Monthly Archives: August 2010

Beastmen vs Bretonnians (1500 points); 18Aug10

Aramoro and I managed to have another game of Warhammer last week.  His Bretonnians put my army to shame since he has a load of lovely painted knights from his previous foray into the game, a bit more than 10 years ago.  If my Beastmen looked like Aramoro’s Bretonnians, I might have taken some photos.  But as it is, the sight of glorious heraldic knights crashing into cardboard unit footprints is less spectacular.  Anyway, at Aramoro’s request we moved up to 1500 points, which I soon found out was to allow him a more expensive Lord character.

Beastlord, talisman of preservation, sword of strife, heavy armour, shield

Wargor, BSB, talisman of endurance, heavy armour, shield

Bray shaman, level 2, additional hand weapon (Lore of Beasts)

Bray shaman, level 2, additional hand weapon (Lore of Beasts)

20 Gors,shields, full command

20 Ungors, full command

12 Gors, additional hand weapon, full command

Tuskgor chariot

Tuskgor chariot

9 Ungor raiders

18 Bestigors, full command, banner of eternal flame

Aramoro went for (approximately)

Green Knight

Paladin, BSB, warhorse, lance

Damsel, level 2, dispel scroll, horse (Lore of Beasts)

Damsel, level 2 (Lore of Life)

9 Knights of the Realm, full command

15 Men at Arms, full command

9 Grail Knights, full command

3 Pegasus Knights, musician, standard bearer

The mounted Damsel is the Bretonnian general, because the Green Knight can’t lead, and neither can the BSB.  Rolling for spells, both Bray Shamans took Wyssan’s Wildform, one getting Amber Spear and the other Transformation of Kadon.  The mounted Damsel also took Wyssan’s Wildform and Amber Spear, the one using Longshank’s pony got Earthblood and Dwellers Below.  Once again, we just took a bunch of the terrain that was spare from Forkbanger and Gary pounding each other at 40K, set it up to look cool and then rolled for the appropriate parts.  We decided that the river would be different on either side of the bridge.

The temple was a Temple of Khaine (causes frenzy) which caused no end of problems as we continually forgot about the extra attacks and that frenzied models can’t use shields.  The North-most swamp was a mist-wreathed swamp (or a Fimir-rape swamp as Forkbanger calls it, for aficionados of very old fluff), the Eastern one was an Earthblood mere.  Somewhat disappointingly, both hills were just normal.  We get the Blood and Glory mission (break points, which was 2) and duly set up.  This picture shows the scene after the Pegasus Knights have made their vanguard move.

The Bretonnians take the first turn.  The Pegasus Knights zoom forward as fast as they can, and the Green Knight appears out of the river on the flank of the ungors.  Everyone else just shuffles a bit to set up thundering charges next turn.  Magic is very effective, with a Dwellers Below going off on the Bestigors. A few of the horny beasts are dragged to some unspeakable doom (although surely not as bad as the one potentially awaiting in a mist-wreathed swamp), and the BSB is sucked down too.  Ouch!

The beastmen respond by moving most units forward, realising that they’re not likely to be doing much charging anyway.  The ungors fail to swift reform, so they just turn to avoid being flanked by the Green Knight and the Pegasus riders.  The Bray Shaman behind them joins the unit, although I’m not really sure what difference it was likely to make.  The raiders move into the river, which turns out to be a river of Light.  Even though almost the whole Lore is made up of augment spells, they manage to roll Net of Amyntok, which will do a lot of damage if they move.  Not surprisingly, they stay put.  Finally, the ambushers appear on the right flank (as a side note, I have been really lucky with ambushing – in every game I’ve played they’ve arrived on turn one, and never on my own table edge).  The Bray Shaman on the left puts Wyssan’s Wildform on the ungors he just joined which I hope might help out a bit against all those armoured maniacs over the river.

This is where it gets messy; you should look away for a few turns if you like Beastmen.  The Pegasus Knights and the Green Knight charge the ungors (the Green Knight gets Light of Battle from the river, which is useless since he already automatically passes leadership checks), nuking them for the loss of two of the Pegasi and overrunning toward the Temple of Khaine.  The Grail Knights do pretty much the same to the gors on the right, except that they don’t even take a casualty in return.  The only light for the Beastmen is that the Knights of the Realm fail a charge on the raiders.  This is a part where I’m not really sure if we did it right.  The chard only failed because of the way skirmishers rank up when receiving a charge (i.e. the charge would have hit if the raiders hadn’t all huddled around the middle guy).  Also, since they had Net of Amyntok on them, it might be that they should have taken a load of hits when they ranked up, and then some more when they returned to skirmishing formation.  Anyway, we didn’t make them take hits.

The surviving goat people try to get even.  Most of the units shuffle to try and get out of the charge arcs of the knights sweeping all before them.  The chariot on the left charges the Knights of the Realm, and does at least manage to kill a couple of them before they beat it senseless and run it into the ground.  I’m still a bit disappointed in its performance though.  The Bestigors and Beastlord (who I should probably name, but I’ll wait until he gets a model first) crash into the men at arms, smite them mightily and then laugh (or bleat) in triumph as a couple of survivors flee the field, taking the Damsel with them.  Incidentally, the Damsel on foot was represented by a miniature of a fat guy with a keg of beer, not very lady-like.  The Bestigors reform to face back toward their own table edge.

In turn 3 for both armies, there isn’t much more than a bit of milling around.   Both the Pegasus Knights and the Green Knight try to charge the surviving chariot, which sensibly flees, rallying only long enough to find itself right in front of some grim-looking (but brightly coloured) Grail Knights.  Otherwise, the only event of note is the Bray Shaman killing 3 Grail Knights with an Amber Spear.  Over 3 consecutive turns, he successfully cast it 3 times, and only once did it even hurt the first knight.  All 3 times were irresistable force, and he actually survived due to lucky rolls on the miscast chart (and more importantly because we forgot to roll at all the first time).

The Grail Knights charge the newly rallied chariot, which flees again, leaving them standing around in (possible) charge range of the gors.  The Knights of the Realm have another go at charging the raiders.  This time they succeed and annihilate the little blighters, but the overrun puts them right in front of the Bestigors.  The Green Knight uses his magic powers to walk into the river and reappear in another part of the river.  Slightly boringly, this turns out to also be a river of Light (so it was all part of the same river after all), and once again he gets Light of Battle, which is useless to him.  The Pegasus Knight turns to face the Bray Shaman who has been trying to stay out of his charge arc for a few turns.

The gors roll poorly in their attempt to charge the Grail Knights, condemning them to an inevitable fate as a kebab on a Bretonnian lance.  The Bestigors have no such troubles, splattering almost all of the Knights of the Realm.  The Beastlord issues a challenge, and duly smites the Knight champion (though I was hoping for a more heroic shot at the Paladin).   A couple of survivors flee off the board (they also lose the BSB and standard bearer when fleeing).  The Bestigors despoil the remains and then reform to face the Green Knight who is looming behind them.

The Green Knight charges the Bestigors, and will spend a few combat phases enduring a rather limp slap-fest in a challenge with the Beastlord and taking wounds from combat resolution.  In fact, if I had remembered about the Despoilers rule (which allows them to use captured standards) the supernatural knight would have evaporated in the first turn.  Oh well, we live and learn.  The Grail Knights have no such problems, crashing into the gors, pulverising them and making the last few flee in hot pursuit of the chariot.  Finally, the Pegasus Knight hits the Bray Shaman, fails to wound, saves all the return attacks, and presumably sighs and throws his lance aside.

The Beastmen turn is fairly dull.  The Bray Shaman is killed off by the Pegasus Knight, and the Beastlord and Green Knight trade blows to minimal effect.   Everyone else keeps on running.

The Grail Knights move toward the Green Knight so that they can (and do) put Wyssan’s Wildform on him.  It doesn’t help, and he loses his last wound to combat resolution.  The Pegasus Knight inexplicably doesn’t move a long way away from the bestigors, which will cost him dearly very soon.

The Bestigors charge the Pegasus Knight and grind his bones to make their bread, then the game ends.

So, for those keeping count, neither side reached their Breaking Point:  the Bretonnians still had 3 (their General and the Grail Knight banner) and so did the Beastmen (their General and the Bestigor banner).   We didn’t bother adding up victory points, figuring that the survivors would be about the same value.  So it was a glorious draw!  I’m not sure what a draw means in fluff terms.  Maybe the Bretonnians stop the Beastmen pillaging a large village, but they ransack a few hamlets instead?

What a nice game.  I felt like I was getting a sound thrashing on the first couple of turns, with magic taking out my BSB and lance charges wiping out my units, but I was glad to pull it back and give Aramoro a bit of a challenge (especially since I don’t think he’s actually lost a game of Warhammer since we started playing again).

I rather enjoyed the Bestigors, especially if I ever remember to use the Despoilers rule.  I definitely felt that they were more effective than the minotaurs that I thought of them as being comparable to.  I think that maybe I would have been better with fewer magic items and more hooves on the field, but magic items (and magic in general) are cool.  We’ll see what I feel like next time I make a list up.

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Beastmen vs High Elves (1000 points)

Last night, I got a game in against Forkbanger‘s High Elves.  I used a similar army to the ones from before:

Great bray shaman, talisman of preservation, additional hand weapon (Lore of Beasts)

Wargor, BSB, talisman of endurance, heavy armour, shield

18 Gors, shields, champion, musician, standard bearer

12 Gors, additional hand weapon, champion, musician, standard bearer

Tuskgor chariot

10 Ungor raiders

3 Minotaurs, extra hand weapons

Forkbanger used this Sea Guard army, mainly because he’d just bought 40 Mantic Games Sea Guard models.

Archmage, some magic items (Lore of Heavens)

Mage, level 2, some other magic items (Lore of Death)

20 Sea Guard, full command

20 Sea Guard, full command

My Great Bray Shaman ended up with Wyssan’s Wildform, Flock of Doom and Transformation of Kadon.  Forkbanger’s Archmage got Urannon’s Thunderbolt, Comet of Casandora and Chain Lightning, while his mage got Spirit Leech and the Purple Sun of Xereus.  Since we’re only playing at 1000 points, we’ve been using a 4 x 4′ board, and only putting down D3+2 terrain pieces (as it happened, we just put down the terrain we had available, as Gary and Furycat were using some of it for a game of 40K).  So, the table looked like this, the swamp was a mist-wreathed swamp and the temple was a sorcerous portal.

We rolled our battle getting a pitched battle, and then went straight on with putting down our units.  Now that I do this up in Battle Chronicler, it looks like we might have started a little too close.

Anyway, Forkbanger finished first (not surprising given he only had 2 units),  but I ended up getting the first turn anyway.  I haven’t got much choice but to go for the throat, which will mean crossing that river.  Everyone just goes for it as fast as their little hooved legs will carry them, and the ambushing gors obligingly arrive on my left flank, wheeling to charge some Sea Guard next turn.  The ungors and minotaurs cross the river, and find that it’s a necrotic ooze – they’ll have poisoned attacks until my next turn, but it’s dangerous, and a few of the ungors don’t get out of the other side.  In the magic phase, the sorcerous portal puts Wyssan’s Wildform on the nearest unit of Sea Guard, but that’s about all that happens apart from some dispelling of Beast magic.  In fact, I don’t get a single spell off all game.  The sorcerous portal never does anything too interesting either, so I won’t mention it again.  The poisonous ungors manage to put a couple of arrows into Sea Guard, but it’s all a bit uneventful.

The unit of Sea Guard with the Archmage (SG1) reform and shuffle left, but still end up with their flank to the ambushing gor unit, although they have at least moved the chariot into the front arc.  The other unit stay still so that they can unleash hell on Forkbanger’s command.  The magic phase is where it gets exciting.  The Archmage fires off Urannon’s Thunderbolt at the chariot.  I let it go through, saving my dispel dice for Something Big, which I can see that Forkbanger is planning.  The chariot is duly turned into matchwood.  The Mage of Death decides that it’s Purple Sun time, and goes for the super-powered version.  It turns out that I might as well have used my dispel dice on the Thunderbolt, because this goes off with Irresistable Force – eek.  The sun rolls pitifully for distance, ending up right on top of the raiders, and fails to kill any of them (it turns out we should have kept it going so that it cleared them; I guess we’ll know for next time).  A better roll would have ended up right on top of the gor unit, so that was probably quite lucky.  The miscast goes nuclear, annihilating all but 4 of the Sea Guard and sucking the poor mage into the warp (they do pass their panic check though).  The bowfire from the Sea Guard is somewhat less impressive than planned (since there are only 4 left), but they do manage to kill another raider.

In the Beastmen turn, the ambushing gors charge the flank of Sea Guard 1, and the minotaurs try (but fail) a charge on what is left of Sea Guard 2, so they shamble forward a bit instead.  The gors reform, move and wheel  along the bank of the river to get further from the Purple Sun.  The raiders move toward the decimated remains of Sea Guard 2.  Magic is ineffective again (we only roll 3,1, and a High Elf magic item converts another power die into a dispel die), except that the Purple Sun makes a beeline directly back over the Ungor raiders and Sea Guard 2.  The few remaining raiders leave their statuesque friends behind and leg it for the board edge / pub (the elves all get out of the way), taking the shooting phase with them.  Combat is much more satisfying though, with the gors shredding half a dozen Sea Guard for the loss of only a couple of their number.  The Sea Guard break and run, hotly pursued (but not hotly enough) by the ambushers, which panics the previously stoic Sea Guard 2, who rashly set off toward the minotaurs.

Sea Guard 1, accompanied by the Archmage, manage to rally and reform to face the big block of gors snorting at them from across the river.  The other Sea Guard, perhaps not surprisingly given the day they’ve had, carry on running, finally making it into the welcoming maws of the minotaurs.  The Archmage goes for Comet of Casandora on the big gor unit, but doesn’t make the casting value, so that’s that for the masters of wizardry.

It’s just mopping up for the Beastmen now, so everyone left charges into the Sea Guard.  Wyssan’s Wildform is dispelled on the big gor unit, and although I have enough dice to have a go at Transformation of Kadon, I decide that the risk of blowing up most of my army with a miscast isn’t worth it, so I wuss out.  In combat, the High Elves are duly shredded, and although the Archmage survives, he breaks from combat and we call it a day.

Victory for the Beastmen!  Hurrah, my first win at Warhammer Fantasy Battle.  Admittedly, the game was pretty much over when the mage blew up half of the High Elf army, but a win is a win.  I did feel that I was playing a bit better than previous games, in particular keeping units in places they could support each other to some extent.  The ungor raiders were rather more interesting than the chaos hounds I tried before.   I’ve been very lucky so far with ambushing, so I expect that I’ll fall foul of late arrivals soon enough.

This was also the first time using Battle Chronicler, and I think it adds nicely to the battle report.  It seems fairly easy to use, and although I find it a bit of a bind moving units around without wheeling them, I think that’ll come with practice.

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Gors assembled

I assembled the 12 gors I received, and they are mould-line-tastic.  It took me far longer than normal to put these guys together since I had to spend ages on each one cleaning them up.  Luckily, my painting skills are bad enough that it won’t really matter too much if I missed some bits.  I also decided to put some milliput in the joints between the arms and the bodies, which is a step I almost never take.  Anyway, here is my first every try at photographing models.  The weather here has been less than amazing, so even though I considered going outside for natural light, I just went with a couple of lamps.

Extra hand weapon gors

I’m still not sure what will be good and what won’t, so I assembled half of the gors with extra hand weapons, and half with shields.  This way it should be easier to mix them in with new edition models to get more variety in the units.  As you can see, I didn’t attach the banner for the standard bearer because I think it would get in the way while painting.  Strictly speaking, the standard bearer and musician have only a single weapon each, but I think that they are probably hard enough just to use their horns as extra weapons and headbutt their foes into submission.

Shield and hand weapon gors

Similarly, I haven’t put shields on these ones, because they’ll just get in the way while painting.

This lot are now outside having their black undercoat dry during a break in the showers.  It looks like the photography hasn’t worked out too well after all.  Well, it’s too late to re-do them now.  Still, grey plastic isn’t too exciting so it’s not a great loss.

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The early games

So far, I have only played 3 games of Warhammer 8th edition, gaining the unedifying record of played:3; lost: 3.  It’s my general intention to post battle reports here when I play games that are interesting enough for me to make time to write about them.  However, I might as well note the story of my herd up to this point, even though I haven’t really taken any detailed notes of them.

Anyway, the games so far have been two defeats to Aramoro‘s Brettonians, and one to Forkbanger‘s High Elves.  My list at 1000 points has been variations on:

Great bray shaman, talisman of preservation (Lore of Beasts)

Wargor, BSB, talisman of endurance, heavy armour, shield


18 Gors, shields, champion, musician, standard bearer

12 Gors, additional hand weapon, champion, musician, standard bearer (ambushing)

Tuskgor chariot

10 chaos hounds


3 Minotaurs

On the whole, the main gor block, which runs with both characters has done fairly well.  It can hold most charges (which have mainly been by big Lance formations of Brettonian knights) and see them off with the combination of the character kicking arse and the gors providing rank bonuses; any kills the rank and file dudes manage is a bonus really.  By contrast, the hounds have yet to achieve anything, although I suspect that I’m not making the most of them; I get over-excited and just charge them forward as fast as they can go.  I like the chariot a lot, but after 3 charges so far, I’ve only managed 4 impact hits so I’m looking for a bit better performance next time.  As for the minotaurs, they’ve done alright (except against Forkbanger, where some Dragon Princes charged them and wiped them out before they even had a go), but so far it feels like I could get more value out of another big mob of gors.

So, have I learned anything?  Well, I think I should be rather more conservative with charges, instead of going for broke all the time.  Most of the time I’ve been too worried about getting lanced by knights, it might be that I’d be better off just setting up counter charges with the chariot or the minotaurs.  I’m thinking that the hounds might get replaced by ungor raiders next time out, especially if I can get the ungors assembled and based in time.  Wyssan’s Wildform (the signature spell from the Lore of Beasts) is great value, and so far I think I’ve cast it in just about every magic phase my Bray Shaman has been alive.

All of the games we have played so far have had one player on each side, and a third party just to look up rules from the titanic rulebook.  I’m planning to take it away for a weekend soon so that I might get more than just a cursory understanding of the rules.  Not only will that improve my list building (because I’ll have a better idea of what is good, rather than just picking stuff that sounds cool), but it should also speed up our games by a considerable margin.  The greater part of each game has been taken up by trying to find out what we’re doing at each stage.

In our gaming group, we have a running joke that painted models play better than unpainted models, getting better rolls of the dice etc.  If so, then my cardboard bases must be a real affront to the dice gods.  Or, maybe I just need to get a lot better at this game.

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The beginnings of the herd

This morning, the very start of my Beastmen herd arrived by the magic of eBay.  It comes in the form of an old edition Chaos Beastmen Regiment, which has 12 gors and 8 ungors.  They all come on 25 mm bases, which is rather different from how it looks in the army book, so a quick check on-line tells me that ungors are meant to be on 20mm bases now.  Back to eBay I go…

I’m going to stick the gors together tonight so that I can actually have some toy soldiers on the board next time we play.  So far, we have all (except Andrew) been pushing little cardboard squares around the place.  It is not inspiring.

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From the dark forests of the Old World…

…stumbles a brand new Beastlord, looking confused.

Hello world!

This is going to be a blog about my trials and tribulations using Beastmen in Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

So, why Warhammer Fantasy Battle?  Well, the group of gamers I play with decided en masse to give this game a go since there is a new (8th) edition out.  Many of us had played earlier editions, but even the most recent had stopped more than 10 years ago (and it was more than that for me).  We all play Warhammer 40K together, so we just picked an army each, and jumped in.  I picked Beastmen.

Why Beastmen?  They just look cool.  Plus, I like the idea of a bunch of bipedal goats rampaging around the villages of the Old World, trying to eat or despoil anything that they can get to stay still long enough.

Why a blog?  Some time ago, I was inspired by my friends’ blogs, – justinmatters’s and furycat’s, and I thought I might have a go, but I never did.  Yesterday, I stumbled across this blog (of a complete stranger) and it was pretty much what I’d been thinking of for a blog, combined with something to write about (i.e.  a new army in a new game system).

So, lets say ‘cheers’ to another blog destined not to be updated very often, and eventually forgotten.

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