Monthly Archives: November 2010

Border Princes Campaign (Turn 6)

First blood to Justinmatters!  After the Orcs & Goblins had repelled the Bretonnians from the Old Silk Road, we were able to run another turn of the campaign.

The Empire were obviously impressed by the Knightly prowess of the Bretonnians, turning their ‘gentleman’s agreement’ into a proper alliance.  After all the moves were made and the Difficult Terrain checks checked, the map looks like this.

So there are battles all over the map, with only the Bretonnians sitting this one out.  The Empire and Orcs & Goblins both tried to out-manoeuvre each other to get a supporting banner into the inevitable fight for the South, but have simply ended up with two battles to fight, in the Blood River Bogs and part of the Southern Forest (Section 91).  Meanwhile in the North, both the High Elves and the Beastmen made a play for one of the special sections, The Warrens.  Since neither of them are human there are no bonuses in play (human armies can recruit help from the mercenaries who live there), but there is a special scenario for us to play out.  As with everything else in the General’s Compendium it might need a little bit of updating, but we’ll worry about that when we play.

After that battle, we have a couple of armies with their generals known.  Currently in Section 58 we have a Bretonnian army led by Lord Guillaume L’Echec, and in Malko the triumphant Orc and Goblin force is headed by a mighty (but currently nameless) Goblin Warboss. Aramoro has very usefully put little symbols on the armies so it is easy to spot which is which.

Now that the Orcs & Goblins have taken Malko there is a very large gap in the scores – that one territory is worth 10 victory points on its own.  The scores so far (apart from the results of battles) are:

Orcs & Goblins: 29 points (16 territories, 1 of which is special, and 1 of which is Malko); 6 banners
Empire: 14 points (10 territories, 1 of which is special); 4 banners
High Elves: 13 points (9 territories, 1 of which is special); 4 banners
Beastmen: 13 points (13 territories); 5 banners
Bretonnians: 9 points (9 territories); 4 banners

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Orcs & Goblins and Beastmen (1760 points) vs Bretonnians (1600 points); 24Nov10

We had our very first campaign battle last night.  Aramoro‘s Bretonnians were trying to take the Old Silk Road from the Beastmen, but were surprised to find that Justinmatters‘s Orcs & Goblins had anticipated this move and arrived there to intercept.  A nearby banner of Beastmen were able to support the Orcs & Goblins (only fair really, since it was their land that was being fought over).  In addition to kicking off the Border Princes campaign properly, this battle was also notable (in our group) for being uneven, in that the alliance of Orcs & Goblins and Beastmen had a 160 point advantage over the Bretonnians.  I expect this to become quite common in the campaign, since it’s a sensible strategy, but it is a first for us this time.

Aramoro’s Bretonnians looked like this.

Guillaume L’Echec – Bretonnian Lord, Sword of Might, Orcbane Shield, Virtue of Confidence, Gauntlet of the Duel (BL)

Isoulde Le Détonant – Damsel, Level 2, Dispel Scroll, Warhorse, Lore of Beasts (D)

Pierre-Louis L’Inspiration – Paladin, BSB, Warhorse (BSB)

11 Knights Errant, full command (KE)

11 Knights of the Realm, full command (KotR)

10 Peasant Bowmen (B1)

12 Peasant Bowmen (B2)

3 Pegasus Knights (PK)

2 Field Trebuchets (T1 and T2)

After promising to try out a Hippogryff-riding Lord, that was exactly what appeared on the field.  Justinmatters, meanwhile had been working long into the night to cook up this list with Furycat. Also noted are the two allied Tuskgor Chariots, which conveniently run to exactly 160 points of Core.

Goblin Warboss, wolf, Enchanted Shield (GW)

Goblin Big Boss, BSB (BSB)

Night Goblin Shaman, level 2 (S1)

Night Goblin Shaman, Staff of Sneaky Stealin’ (S2)

10 Spider Riders, full command (SR)

10 Wolf Riders, full command (W)

22 Night Goblins, bows, full command, 2 Fanatics (NGA)

53 Night Goblins, full command, 3 Fanatics (NG)

20 Black Orcs, full command (BO)

Rock Lobber (RL)

3 Trolls (T)

2 Tuskgor Chariots (TG1 and TG2)

So, place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.  Will an additional pair of chariots be enough to tip the balance in Justinmatters’s favour, or will his inexperience (this is his first ever game with Orcs & Goblins) be ruthlessly exploited by the seasoned Bretonnian general, Aramoro?

The Meeting Engagement was randomly selected as the scenario, and spells were picked.  The Damsel got Curse of Anraheir and Wyssan’s Wildform, the level 2 shaman took Brain Bursta and Gork’ll Fix It and the level 1 ended up with Hand of Gork.  There were a few late arrivals on each side, the Knights of the Realm were too busy rescuing Damsels from trees to appear on time, and one Trebuchet was also late.   This caused us much checking of rule books and on-line errata since the Trebuchet is immobile (i.e. theoretically it can’t actually move on from reserve).    It was decided that it could just be placed on a board edge and move no further.  From the evil alliance, the battle standard bearer and the rock lobber were delayed, along with one of the chariots.

The terrain was generated randomly and placed in turn, so the battlefield ended up like this after deployment and Vanguard moves.  The wall in the West are Blessed Bulwarks, in the North there is a Wyrding Well, and a Sphinx is in the middle of the Bretonnian lines (not sure what that’s doing in the middle of the Border Princes).  Incredibly, both the building and the wall in the North East are just normal.  The Spider Riders find that the wood is an Abyssal Wood, probably much to their relief.

The Bretonnians decline to pray, so the game begins with Guillaume L’Echec charging his Hippogryff into the Trolls.  There is much consternation in the ranks of the Night Goblin archers as their Fanatics are triggered by the arrival of the Bretonnian Lord.  After much deliberation, they are fired into the nearby wall to ensure that they don’t get in the way of the rest of the greenskin advance.  The late-coming Knights of the Realm come into play on the West, and the peasants successfully manhandle the Trebuchet onto the field in the East.  There is nothing exciting in the magic phase, since the Damsel declines to cast anything.  The Trebuchet which was able to fire showed why it is so feared, turning a whole load of Night Goblins into green goo.  The archers turn a few more Goblins into pin-cushions, but the Goblins all hold firm.  Finally, the Bretonnian Lord and his trusty mount make a total mess of their many attacks against the Trolls, apart from a handful of wounds which are regenerated.  The Trolls take one look at the heavily armoured Knight in front of them and cover him in nasty, nasty vomit.  He is killed, the Hippogryff flees and is caught by the Trolls.

The Orcs & Goblins make a general advance toward the Bretonnian lines, except for the Trolls (who amble forward looking at daisies) and the Wolf Riders (who are too busy bickering over who gets to eat roast Hippogryff leg tonight to move at all).  The only action of any note is the Night Goblin Shaman casting Hand of Gork on the Trolls, mainly so that they are facing towards something interesting in the highly likely event that they keep failing their stupidity checks.

The Knights do what Knights do best – charge.  The Knights of the Realm and Pegasus Knights both charge the Spider Riders, losing a handful to Dangerous Terrain checks.  The Knights Errant hit the front of one of the chariots, which holds.  In the magic phase, the Damsel puts Wyssan’s Wildform on the Knights Errant.  Unfortunately for her it is a miscast, and the resulting explosion takes out 7 Knights, as well as wounding herself.  That’s one down side to going in the middle of the second rank.  One of the Trebuchets misfires (but will be usable again next turn) and the other misses the big block of Night Goblins, clipping (and squashing) a couple of Black Orcs instead.  In the combat phase, the Knights of the Realm and Pegasus Knights make heavy work of killing the Spider Riders, but they do break, flee and get caught.  Unfortunately, this brings both units in range of the Night Goblins.  3 Fanatics are released, 2 of them ending up stuck in the Pegasus Knights and the other in the middle of the Knights of the Realm.  Some astonishing dice from Justinmatters ensures that both units are wiped out, and I suspect that the fact that the 3 Fanatics also died in the process won’t have been a lot of comfort to Aramoro.  We move to the much depleted Knights Errant fighting the chariot.  They must have dropped their weapons in surprise from the miscast explosion, causing no wounds on the chariot (now that I think back, I am not certain that we remembered about the Wyssan’s Wildform that was active on them).  The Gor manages to poke a Knight in the eye with his pointy stick, and the charioteers dig in for another round of combat.

At this point, Aramoro has had enough.  His combat units are annihilated (apart from the Knights Errant, who are in tatters, locked in combat and are looking down the barrel of a whole lot of Goblins), so he throws in the towel.  Justinmatters graciously offers to let him away without a massacre; reasoning that the majority of the surviving Bretonnians are far enough away from his lines to make a withdrawal in good order.

Wow… that was one-sided.  I think that between Dangerous Terrain checks and that miscast, Aramoro managed to kill more of his own dudes than Justinmatters did.  Although I was certainly impressed by the power of those Fanatics.  In such a short game, it’s pretty hard to learn anything useful (er, except that Knights don’t like high strength, Armour Piercing attacks), but the funniest part was certainly the Bretonnian Lord being washed off his Hippogryff in a wave of Troll sick.  The Old Silk Road remains in the hands of the Beastmen!

Categories: Battle reports, Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

Minotaurs made

I got a set of the new Minotaurs from eBay and contrary to popular opinion, I found them to be very nice sculpts, provided that your definition of ‘nice’ includes ravenous cow-men intent on eating everything that they can get to stay still for long enough (which mine does).  My only quibble with them is their feet / hooves / flippers (seriously, I can’t think of them without using ‘flippers’ in my head after reading that post), so of course something had to be done about them.

The ‘official’ photos of them on the GW site don’t do them any favours at all. They all have dull, static poses and a paint job giving extreme definition of their already ripped muscles.  There’s not much I can do about the paint job unless I suddenly become an ‘Eavy Metal standard painter, so it’s going to be all about the posing (and sorting out the feet, of course).  Here are my attempts at this.

I took the hooves from two farmyard toy cows which will now live out the rest of their days in my son’s toy box (but slightly closer to the ground than usual).  The hooves and the bottoms of the legs were drilled, and I used bits of a paperclip to pin them together – partly for strength since the hooves are made of a plastic not likely to take well to polystyrene cement and partly to give me a base to put Milliput around.  Even this is by some margin the most optimistic ‘sculpting’ I’ve ever attempted, and so I have pretty much just tapered down from the butch, mighty legs down to the somewhat narrower hooves.  Although I would say that normal cows do have rather narrow hooves when compared to their legs, I’m not sure that it looks so great on Minotaurs, who, after all must make do with only two legs, and are probably drunk most the time anyway.

Firstly, after saying that I didn’t like the static poses of the GW Minotaurs, I decided that this dude with a great weapon looked best just standing threateningly.

I hoped to give these other Minotaurs a bit of life by leaning them slightly forward, as though they are running headlong at their foes / lunch.  The leg poses are a little stilted, but I think that even small alteration is enough to make them look more like crazed killers than cow-headed steroid abusers (although I can hardly deny that they still look like that too).

Anyone paying full attention will note that there is some blood on them already.  I managed to nick my thumb with my knife while assembling them, so I guess they got a very early start on their Blood Greed.

Truly, they are the usurpers of our position in the food chain.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Border Princes Campaign (Turns 1 to 5)

We have now started the Border Princes campaign, with the participants confirmed as:

Me: Beastmen
Aramoro
: Bretonnians
Forkbanger
: High Elves
Furycat
: Empire
Justinmatters
: Orcs and Goblins

We ran the first 5 turns together (still with secret order writing) since there was no actual combat.  Not surprisingly, the majority of this was a land grab, with Justinmatters’s Orcs and Goblins making good use of their Forced March rule to get an early lead in territories and banners.  The map has ended up with a strange arrangement of the Heroic Do-Gooders (Empire, High Elves, Bretonnians) in the West, and the Evil Ne’er-Do-Wells (Orcs and Goblins and Beastmen) in the East.  Inexplicably, the HQ locations ended up right next to each other, so that there are only a couple of map sections to cross to get stuck into the HQ when things get nasty.

In turn 2 there were a few alliances made, mainly to stop this devolving into a giant mess right at the start.  In the North-East, Forkbanger’s High Elves formed an alliance with the Bretonnians and in the West the forces of Naughtiness allied to go and kick some human/elf arse.  The latter came with a stern warning from the Orcs and Goblins that any Beastmen encroaching South of The Old Silk Road would meet with a severe face-beating.  So that’s me put in my place.  Meanwhile, the Empire and Bretonnians have come to a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ over territory, but stopped short of a formal alliance.  So although they feel like they can turn their attentions to other matters (specifically, the hordes of screaming greenskins and braying goatmen heading across the map at them), they can’t actually support each other in a meaningful way while doing so.

In turn 5 we have our first battle, in which the Bretonnians face down an army of Orcs and Goblins (supported by a banner of Beastmen) in a showdown for the Old Silk Road (section 53; currently owned by Beastmen).   This was Justinmatters showing his renowned strategic cunning – I have no idea how he knew that the Bretonnians would make a move on that particular section.  We will probably play it next week, although I’m hopeful that Justinmatters will have a chance to actually play a game with his Orcs and Goblins before then or it’ll be a sound crushing from the might of Aromoro’s knights, even with a 160 point advantage.

Here is the map as it currently stands (prior to the battle which will decide the ownership of the Old Silk Road).

Not that it matters too much at this point, here are the scores on the doors.  It should be noted that Orcs and Goblins, Empire and Beastmen will gain another banner at the start of Turn 6.  Also, the scores may change a little if the Bretonnians manage to win the Old Silk Road.

Orcs and Goblins: 17 points (13 territories, 1 of which is special); 4 banners
Empire: 13 points (9 territories, 1 of which is special); 3 banners
High Elves: 12 points (8 territories, 1 of which is special); 3 banners
Beastmen: 11 points (11 territories); 3 banners
Bretonnians: 7 points (7 territories); 3 banners

Categories: Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ready to start the Border Princes campaign

I’ve been talking, writing and thinking about doing this Border Princes campaign for a while now, and it is time to actually do something about it.  Our first day of campaigning is going to be this week.  Since there won’t be any battles to start with, we will run a few turns together – moving the banners around the map isn’t what takes the time, it’s the Warhammer games in between that will be time consuming.  After that, I think we’ll aim to do a turn every couple of weeks, and can space it out to suit our schedules over busy times and holidays as needed.

The armies participating will be:

Me: Beastmen (of course)
Aramoro: Bretonnians
Forkbanger: High Elves
Furycat: Empire
Justinmatters: Still to decide between Skaven, Orcs and Goblins and High Elves (though the last are an outside bet at best).
Here are a few extra things Aramoro and I have been thinking about.

Banners: each banner will be 1600 points; each supporting banner or fortification will give an extra 160 points.  If something ‘real’ is used which was previously proxied, or field something painted which was previously grey plastic, an extra 80 points can be added to the army for that battle (but that bonus won’t stack – it is a maximum of 80 points no matter how much is bought, assembled or painted).  I won’t be eligible for the painting/modelling bonus.

Once a banner has been in battle once, the general is ‘tied’ to it until the banner is annihilated.  For example, if I field an army with a Great Bray Shaman as the general, every battle that banner fights must include a Great Bray Shaman.  I can vary his equipment, so that one time he rides a chariot, one time he’s level 4 wizard etc, but he must always be there.

Aramoro pointed out that there could be some situations in which the ‘tied’ general is actually superseded by another with higher leadership. So if my ‘tied’ general is a Great Bray Shaman, I could probably squeeze a Beastlord in too, assuming that I’m not too greedy with equipment.  The Beastlord would automatically become the general since he has higher leadership.  In this case, I’ll allow the player to pick who stays on in the army for future turns.

Similarly, if a named character is fielded (even if he’s not the general) he is also tied to that banner until it’s annihilated, although he can then be attached to another banner later – named characters are too heroic to actually die.

Fighting battles: Players can decide on the scenario to play by any mutually agreeable method.  I’d normally just go for a random selection from the Giant Tome of Rules, but if people want to play some special scenario from the internet, the General’s Compendium or whatever then it’ll liven things up a bit.  When a battle is fought (assuming that it isn’t against me), I’m hoping that one person will be able write up a battle report and either send it to me or stick it on their own blog (in which case I’ll link to it).

Winning the game: We’ll play for 20 turns, or until we all get bored.  At the end, whoever has the most points (1 for each normal territory, 5 for each special territory and 10 for Malko) will be declared the winner.  The prize will be some plastic dollies – a small box if it’s just from me, or more if other people want to pay their dues to the victor.  I can’t win (not that I expect that to be a problem), so in the highly unlikely event that I have the most points at the end then the second place will get the goodies.  This is so that I can be impartial if anything occurs that needs a games master.  Not that I expect anything to happen since arguments are very rare in our games (we’re all grown ups, at least from a chronological point of view), and it isn’t like we’re playing for money or anything.  But still, the General’s Compendium is bound to throw up something ambiguous.

If we all lose interest in this then of course the campaign will end in the inevitable fate of all campaigns (which is much like the inevitable fate of all blogs, as I mentioned in a previous post).  If only one of us loses interest, but the other four are still keen, I’ll run their area as an NPC realm from that point on.  All the banners will either stop moving entirely or pull back to defend their capital, depending on what I think will be most fun. Any battles fought will have to be done by a ‘guest’ general; that will probably be me unless I’m the attacker.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions to add?

Categories: Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Beastmen vs Empire (1500 points); 10Nov10

After arriving late (curse having to work on a gaming evening) and watching the tail end of Aramoro‘s annihilation of Forkbanger‘s High Elves, I managed to get in another game against Furycat‘s flat-pack empire.  They are called ‘flat-pack’ because up until now they were entirely composed of cardboard units with little square base sizes marked out on them, so the total storage space taken up is about 100 mm wide by 80 mm long by about 5 mm deep (or however deep half a dozen bits of cereal packet would be).  Not that I’m in much of a position to look down on him for that…

Anyway, after our last battle of Warhammer ended in a thoroughly one-sided shoeing for the humans, Furycat was looking to even the odds up.  He took this list, which narrowly lost to Forkbanger’s Daemons of Chaos last week in the watchtower scenario (on which note, trying to get 20 Bloodletters with a Herald of Khorne out of the tower looks tricky):

Arch Lector, War Altar, Warrior Bane, Van Horstmann’s Speculum (AL)

Captain of the Empire, BSB, knightly stuff, Sword of Might, Seed of Rebirth, Ironcurse Icon (BSB)

Warrior Priest, knightly stuff, Sword of Battle, Luckstone (WP)

2 units of Swordsmen, full command (S1 and S2) each with detachments of 10 Halberdiers (H1 and H2) and 5 Handgunners (HG1 and HG2)

8 Knightly Orders, full command, great weapons, Steel Standard (K)

2 Mortars (M1 and M2)

Helblaster Volley Gun (HVG)

I decided to try a list with a decent sized unit of Minotaurs in it, so I thought I’d put a Gorebull BSB with them to see how that panned out.

Great Bray Shaman, Steel Claws, Talisman of Preservation, Lore of Shadow (GBS)

Gorebull, BSB, Berserker Sword, Talisman of Endurance (BSB)

17 Bestigors, full command, Standard of Discipline (B)

5 Minotaurs, full command, Ironcurse Icon (M)

20 Gors, full command, shields (G1)

12 Gors, musician, standard bearer, additional hand weapon (G2)

Tuskgor Chariot (TC)

5 Ungor Raiders (UR)

Now that I look back, I’m not sure why I didn’t give the Gorebull any armour, but it didn’t matter in the end.  He’s got the Berserker Sword to ensure that he never loses frenzy, and because of the Slaughterer’s Call rule, ensure that his Minotaurs never do either, thereby keeping any Bloodgreed attacks they get to.  The champion on Gors 2 had to go to save points.

The Great Bray Shaman took Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe and Pit of Shades for his spells.  We rolled up a Pitched Battle, and with Aramoro’s help, we set up the terrain.  After deployment, it looked like this (note that Gors 2 were back to their usual ambushing tricks):

The hill in the South West was an Anvil of Vaul, the other one was just normal (but has impassable cliffs on the North and West sides due to the way Justinmatters built it).  The tower in the South West was a Chapel, the altar in the centre was a Tower of Blood, the statue in the North was a Sorcerous Portal, and the ruins in the South East were Arcane Ruins.  Everything else we had to wait and see (though we were very close to just deciding that the river going to the Tower of Blood would be a River of Blood).

The Empire make the first move, shuffling units forward here and there.  Handgunners 2 make sure to stay close to the Sorcerous Portal in case it casts anything nasty on the Helblaster.  In the magic phase, they are duly blasted by a fireball, killing 3 of them in one go.  First blood to the terrain!  The War Alter uses its special power to put Net of Amyntok on the Bestigors, the Arch Lector himself casts Hammer of Sigmar and the Warrior Priest puts Unbending Righteousness on his unit (which I forget to dispel for the entire game; not that it made much difference).  I make a mess of dispelling all of them.  The main action for the turn comes as the Mortars rain deadly accurate blasts onto the Gors, killing 11 of them already.  That’s got to hurt.

Yet again, the ambushing Gors come on exactly where I want them (i.e. right behind those Mortars that have just been sending bits of goat meat across the battle field).  Due to the cliffs on the hill, they have to come on at a bit of an inconvenient angle.  Everyone else moves up, eager to get into combat where it’s safe(ish) from artillery.  In the magic phase, I get the best possible result.  A successful Miasma on the Arch Lector, followed by a successful (and non-scattering) Pit of Shades.  We spend a while flicking through the rule books to find out how to treat the War Altar in this case, and eventually decide it should take a separate test.  It passes, but the Arch Lector fails and is sucked to his doom.  Furycat realises that the Arch Lector is the only crew for the War Altar, so he takes it away anyway.

The Empire, now leaderless move into action.  The Knights charge the Tuskgor Chariot, which flees, so they successfully redirect into the Minotaurs.  The river turns out to be a Raging Torrent, so one of them is swept away to his untimely death.  Swordsmen 1 and their Halberdier detachment wheel to face the ambushers in the hopes of dealing with them next turn.  No spells are successfully cast, so it’s back to the shooting phase (mmm, my favourite).  The Mortars land a couple of shells on the Bestigors, killing 6 of them – where is Slugtongue when you need him?  The main action this turn is the combat between the Minotaurs and the Knights.  The Minotaurs mainly make a spectacular mess of everything, despite having about a million attacks and hatred from the Tower of Blood.  They do manage to pull down the BSB and a couple of Knights, but not the Warrior Priest.  In return they take a lot of wounds, lose and break (even with the reroll from their BSB and the general being right next to them).  They do get away, but the Gorebull and the normal standard bearer annoyingly hurl themselves under the hooves of the Knights, so I actually lose more wounds worth of Minotaurs from fleeing than I did in the combat.

The surviving Minotaurs do at least pull themselves together and rally, but the Chariot just keeps driving right off the table to the pub.  The ambushing Gors predictably charge into the Mortar, and the others make a long charge into the Swordsmen in the East, taking a flank charge from the Halberdier detachment for their trouble.  The Bestigors reform to face West, so that they will hopefully be able to get hold of the Knights once they’ve finished chopping the Minotaurs into minced beef.  I only roll 1,1 for magic, but improbably Miasma is successfully cast on the Swordsmen fighting the Gors.  It doesn’t greatly help them, and they run over by the Swordsmen.  The only saving grace is that the river turns out to be a Boiling Flood and cooks a bunch of Halberdiers.  The ambushers predictably smash through the puny humans defending their Mortar, and over run into the other one.

The Knights charge the Minotaurs again, Swordsmen 1 charge the flank of the ambushing Gors, Halberdiers 2 charge the flank of the raiders, and Swordsmen 2 charge into the rear of the Bestigors, although they do get the unpleasant surprise of having the Great Bray Shaman Make Way to them.  Magic does nothing interesting, and there is no shooting because all the Beastmen are in close combat.  The Great Bray Shaman goes all ninja and kills 4 Swordsmen on his own, and the rest of the Bestigors put another few down for not much damage in return.  The Swordsmen hold on though; I reform the Bestigors to face them so they can get more supporting attacks next turn.  The Halberdiers predictably beat the raiders for no loss; one survivor actually gets away, but he’s not coming back.  The ambushing Gors make a total mess of their attacks on the Mortar crew and only kill 2 of them (apparently Mortars work just as well with 1 crew as 3) then lose by a lot to the Swordsmen, flee and are wiped out.  Finally, the Knights kill all but one Minotaur, who flees, taking his single remaining wound with him.

Well, my turns are going to be much shorter now, since most of my dudes are either fleeing or dead.  The last surviving Minotaur and Ungor both fail to rally, so that’s it for movement.  In the magic phase, the Great Bray Shaman puts Miasma on the Swordsmen he’s in combat with (mainly to make it easier to hit them; pesky WS4 humans) and Enfeebling Foe on the Knights in case they feel like joining the party.  Not surprisingly, the Bestigors chop the remaining Swordsmen into little bits; they reform back to face the Knights.

The Knights take the sensible route to victory, by legging it away from the Bestigors and letting the artillery do its job.  Halberdiers 2 moves to garrison the Tower of Blood (‘Ewww… do we have to?’).  Between the Helblaster and the Hnadgunners, the Bestigors are wiped out apart from the champion. Obligingly, the Mortar finishes off what the Gors couldn’t by misfiring to lose the final crewman.

The Ungor manages to drown in the river (it is my lack of skill with Battle Chronicler that makes it look like he has to divert into it) and the Minotaur runs away to join the charioteers in the pub.  The Great Bray Shaman and Bestigor charge the Halberdiers in the Tower of Blood, put a few hexes on them and then smite them mightily, occupying the building in the hope that -2 to hit might save their pelts.

In the remaining turns, the Bestigor Champion is riddled with shells from the Helblaster which duly blows up.  The Great Bray Shaman tries to do another Miasma and Pit of Shades combination on the Knights.  He survives the explosion from the miscast on Miasma, but the loss of power dice makes it too easy to dispel Pit of Shades, so nothing actually happens.  In the last turn, 5 Handgunners manage to take all 3 wounds from the Great Bray Shaman (seriously… 6s to hit, 5s to wound and a 4+ ward save, and he took 3 wounds), completing the tabling of the Beastmen.  Victory for the Empire!

Wow.  Well, the good thing about losing is that it means that you have to think about what went wrong, instead of just patting yourself on the back as you might for winning.  To be honest, it was only a bit of luck dropping the Arch Lector into the Pit that stopped this being an even more one-sided thrashing.  I think the main problem was with the deployment.  I thought that the Minotaurs would be able to stand up to anything, so I had them facing off against the Knights, with the Gors over on the East.  I think I would have been better served having them the other way round.  That would have allowed the Gors to blunt the Knights by being steadfast for a bit, which might have bought me some time to get the tin-opening Bestigors into them.  The Minotaurs might have been more useful in the East so that they could spend their time chewing through State Troops to get a load of Bloodgreed attacks stacked up.

Categories: Battle reports, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Updating the Border Princes for 8th Edition

So there are a few rules in the General’s Compendium that I think will need to be clarified or updated for our campaign in the Border Princes.

There are 6 special sections, each with some extra rules or bonuses for the controlling player.

The Geistenmund Hills, which are haunted, need mortal armies (i.e. not Vampire Counts, Tomb Kings or Daemons of Chaos) to roll a 3+ to enter, because they are so scary.   There is also a scenario to be played if armies fight there.  I don’t think there is any need to amend this.

The Camp of the Iron Claw Orcs has rules for either recruiting extra greenskins (if you are playing Orcs and Goblins) or losing a few points from your army (if you’re playing anyone else).  Again, the rules are straightforward, and I don’t think they need any change.

Malko is the large castle in the centre of the map.  There is a set of rules for playing a siege scenario, but I think that it will be the defenders choice whether to hide away and use the siege or just sally out and play a normal battle.

Tor Anrok is an ancient mystical Elf tower.  It allows the controlling player to automatically win Don’t Pass in the Night rolls and choose the sides and whether to take first or second turn in any battles , which needs no changes.  There are detailed rules for having a Wizard’s Tower in one deployment zone, but it seems like it would be easier to just use the Wizard’s Tower rules from the 8th Edition Warhammer rulebook.  Finally, if any kind of Elves control Tor Anrok, then one wizard in each of their armies can have an extra spell, which seems fair enough.

The Warrens is another section in which armies can recruit a few extra troops – in this case, Empire and Bretonnians get to have extra troops.  I think 80 points is better (and fits more neatly at 5 % of the base army size), and in the case of Bretonnians, it seems like those extra points should be peasants.  After all, a rag tag mercenary band isn’t likely to have a load of heroic knights ready to join in a battle.  For Empire, I think it should be limited to some suitable soldiers (so not just an extra cannon for example).

The town of Aldium has the special rules which need most amendment.  In the General’s Compendium, controlling Aldium allows an additional Rare or Special choice to one’s army.  Since these army slots are now gone in 8th Edition, I think that I’ll change it to allow an extra 100 points of the army to be allocated to one of those sections.  So a normal 1600 point army would be allowed 800 points of Special choices (i.e. 50 % of the army).  If that player controlled Aldium, their 1600 point army could take 900 points in Special choices.  Other rules for army building would still apply.

In addition to the army specific rules in general campaigning (e.g. Dwarfs can ignore Difficult Terrain checks in mountains) some armies have extra rules in the Border Princes.  Most of them seem reasonable, but I think that the rules for Warriors of Chaos and Daemons of Chaos are overly complex and are going to cause problems.  For a start, there are different rules depending on which of the Chaos Pantheon is being followed, which doesn’t really apply any more, at least in the current Daemon book.  The current GW fluff appears to be that the Ruinous Powers work together freely instead of bickering incessantly like in the old days of Realm of Chaos.  So if anyone decides to play Warriors of Chaos (unlikely, since none of us own that army book) or Daemons of Chaos (not out of the question), they’ll just have to live without the extra rules.

Finally, there are fairly detailed sections in the General’s Compendium about alliances.  For ease of use, I prefer to use the section in the 8th Edition main rule book.  Apart from the fact that they take up about a quarter of the space, the newer rules also allow for alliances between mortal enemies.  This way, we don’t need to worry about evening up the number of Good and Evil armies.  However, such unlikely arrangements as Dwarfs allying with Orcs and Goblins are still tricky situations both on the table (effectively, you treat your allies as enemies who you can’t fight against) and in the campaign map (because I’ll insist on some sort of fluff to deal with it).

If anything else comes up, we’ll get together to think about how to handle it.  If there is no agreement then I’ll just make something up and see how it goes.  This is the main reason I won’t be eligible to win the campaign – I want to be able to claim impartiality if something occurs that needs a bit of games-mastering.

So have I missed anything which will be important?  Or can anyone share any tips?

Categories: Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Thinking of a Border Princes Campaign

Lately, I’ve been thinking about running some sort of campaign for our gaming group.  Since we’ve just (re)started playing Warhammer Fantasy, then that adds a certain appeal to making the campaign in the Old World.  There are a couple of inspirational campaigns out there, particularly ones shown in Selone’s Campaign Thread of Woe (and also a mention of this in an old post on Veni, vidi… which I think is part of the same campaign) and Zaszz’s blog.  With that in mind, I’ve bought The General’s Compendium from eBay, and I have been gradually trawling through it.  Lucky me – there is a pre-designed map-based campaign in there, which includes some rules for common situations, and is simple enough that there wouldn’t need to be an outrageous amount of book-keeping.
The campaign is set in the Border Princes, which is rather to the South of the Old World. There are various bits of fluff in it to give a reason for pretty much all the Warhammer races to be there, and have something to fight over.  The book contains a map which is rather nicely drawn and pre-divided into sections, allowing movement and conquest to happen at a set rate.  There are a few special sections on the map (for things like an Orc camp, haunted hills etc) which have scenarios written for them in case armies clash over them.  I guess I’ll have to do a little work to update these for 8th edition.  Similarly, the special sections often give bonuses to those who own them, and they’ll also need work.  For example, one section allows an additional slot in special or rare, which of course has no effect since there are no army selection slots any more.
So I’m hoping that at least Furycat, Justinmatters, Aramoro and Forkbanger will join me in this venture.  In the case of Justinmatters and Aramoro, I suppose they’d need to confirm which army they’d like to use, since they have more than one each.
According to the ‘rules’ (or perhaps they are more like guidelines), each army is represented by a banner to track its movement and conquests, and each banner is of a preset point values.  The General’s Compendium suggests 2000 or even 2250 points, but we have nowhere near that amount of stuff.  For my campaign, I’m thinking that each banner would be 1600 points (it makes the percentages nice and round), and supporting banners could add 160 points each.  I’m toying with the idea of each banner having to be tied to a specified general, but it might just end up being a hassle, so I’ll discuss that with people when (or if) we get round to making a start on anything.
In the interest of getting us all to paint our god-damn miniatures, I’m thinking of allowing a bonus to the army size of 80 points if there is something there for real that was previously proxied, or something that was painted that was grey plastic before.  In order to convince everyone to play to the end, a prize could be in order – we’ll have to see if people are in favour.  As I’m organising the campaign, I won’t get those bonuses, and I’ll also be excluded from winning.
Wow, that was an unstructured ramble.  So… does anyone have any thoughts?
Categories: Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 6 Comments

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