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
9 Ungor raiders
18 Bestigors, full command, banner of eternal flame
Aramoro went for (approximately)
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.