Monthly Archives: December 2010

Beastmen vs High Elves (1600 points); 20Dec10

Alrunielle watched as the Seaguard struggled to unload the heavy Repeater Bolt Throwers from the majestic ship that had brought them to this ugly forsaken shore.  Her divinations had shown that some humans were going to try one of their crude rituals using the one of Vaul’s Anvils, mighty relics of the Smithing God, so huge as to be like hills to those not versed in Lore.  She smirked as she thought of their primitive magic trying to unlock such power.  The might of her personal guard would be more than enough to thwart any such tampering with the magical bindings.

As the mists began to part and dawn began to show the light of the sky, there was an urgency among the soldiers.   Alrunielle saw them forming up into their companies as though arraying for battle.  But how could that be?  The humans would not come until nightfall, the portents were clear.  Suddenly, silently, her personal body guard stalked out of the mist, their halberds ever ready.  And then she saw the shapes of nearly-men coming at them from the woods in land.  Braying and whooping, the Beastmen hurled themselves at the unprepared High Elves even as they struggled to load the mechanisms of the Repeater Bolt Throwers.  This day, the Children of Asur would have to fight even before their purpose could be revealed…

I managed to get in another game of Warhammer with Forkbanger a couple of nights ago.  Not a campaign, not a special scenario or anything like that, just a good old opportunity to push our plastic dudes around the table.  I was going for a variation on the herd I used in our previous game.

Great Bray Shaman, Level 4, Steel Claws, Talisman of Preservation, Jagged Dagger, Lore of Shadow (GBS)

Wargor, BSB, Gnarled Hide, Heavy Armour, Shield (BSB)

Bray Shaman, Level 2, Dispel Scroll, additional hand weapon, Lore of Beasts (BS)

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

5 Harpies, scouts (H)

25 Gors, additional hand weapons, full command (G)

30 Ungors, full command (U)

8 Ungor raiders, musician (UR)

2 Tuskgor Chariots (TC1 and TC2)

Basically, the Minotaurs are out again, and are replaced with Harpies and a couple of upgrades here and there (notably increased wizard levels on both the Great Bray Shaman and the Bray Shaman).  I wanted to try out Harpies since I haven’t done so yet, and also because they are so highly recommended by Khorne53.  Forkbanger kept the things he liked from out previous game (i.e. just the Seaguard), took a BSB on my recommendation and then went for a bunch of units he hadn’t previously tried much.

Archmage, level 4, Annulian Crystal, Guardian Phoenix, High Magic (AM)

Noble, BSB, Dragon Armour, Reaver bow, great weapon (BSB)

10 Sword Master of Hoeth, full command (SM)

9 Phoenix Guard, full command (PG)

23 Lothern Seaguard, full command (SG)

2 x 10 Archers, full command (A1 and A2)

2 Repeater Bolt Throwers (RBT1 and RBT2)

The Archmage rolled for his huge number of spells, ending up with Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Curse of Arrow Attraction, Fury of Khaine and Vaul’s Unmaking.  The Great Bray Shaman took Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, The Withering and Pit of Shades, while the Bray Shaman got Amber Spear to go with the obligatory Wyssan’s Wildform.  We randomised Dawn Attack as the scenario, and then generated a load of terrain using the charts in the book (then added in a couple of bits to allow us to use the excellent terrain that Forkbanger has just been creating).  The hill in the North is Vaul’s Anvil, the swamp in the South West is Khemrian Quicksand (although it looks like water…), the Altar in the North East is an Altar of Khaine, and the statue in the South East is a Magic Circle (I couldn’t find a good Battle Chronicler picture for that).  The Beastmen deployed first, and this is how it all looked when we were done.

The High Elves failed to seize the initiative so the game begins with a tide of bipedal goats marching across the table as fast as their hairy legs will carry them.  Most of the blocks move together slightly to try to get in range of the BSB.  The Harpies move in position for a charge on one of the Bolt Throwers, hoping to get somewhere out of short range for bow fire.  The winds of magic blow very strong at 6,5 so the Great Bray Shaman begins by dropping the Seaguard to BS1 with Miasma.  The Archmage is up to the task from then on, dispelling first a cheeky Pit of Shades on the Bolt Thrower on the hill and then an Amber Spear down the flank of the Sea Guard.

The Sword Master are keen to get into the action, declaring a slightly optimistic charge on the Bestigors, but roll 7 when they need 8 to make contact.  The Archers in the West wheel slightly to bring the Harpies into view, and everyone else stays still, either to improve their shooting chances or to hold the line.  The Archmage puts Curse of Arrow Attraction on the Bestigors (what is it about High Elves and re-rolls?), but Fury of Khaine on one of the chariots is dispelled.  A casting of Vaul’s Unmaking on the Bestigors unit works with Irresistable Force, breaking the Steel Claws on the Great Bray Shaman and toasting a couple of Phoenix Guard with the Miscast.  The Archers in the West fail to kill any Harpies, and the Bolt Thrower next to them skewers a few Ungors, but not enough to matter.  Everyone else with a missile weapon targets the Bestigors, killing 7 in total even with the Seaguard at BS1 – ouch!  They pass their panic check though.

Beastmen decide they’ve had enough of being shot at so they rush into close combat where they get to fight back.  The Harpies charge the Bolt Thrower on the hill, the Bestigors charge the Seaguard, and both chariots attempt outrageous charges into the Phoenix Guard; one of them even makes it.  The Gors fail their charge into the Sword Masters and shamble forward a bit instead.  Once again, the winds of magic blow very strong, with another 6,5.  The upgraded Miasma goes on the Seaguard (but only -2 to their stats, so still re-rolls to hit all round), Wildform is let through on the Gors in anticipation of a good Sword Mastering next turn.  Amber Spear on the unengaged Bolt Thrower is dispelled, and then Enfeebling Foe reduces the strength of the Seaguard by 3 since the High Elves are out of dispel dice.  In hand to hand combat, the Harpies and Bolt Thrower crew slap each other with handbags for no effect, while the chariot causes enough mayhem in the Phoenix Guard to keep them pinned down for a turn, taking a couple of wounds in the process.  Seaguard with two hexes on them find it very tough going against the Bestigors, who probably have them outclassed anyway.  They poke a couple of the elite Beastmen with their spears before being cut down like wheat.   The handful of survivors flee off the table leaving their standard bearer and the Noble BSB to their fates.  The Bestigors restrain pursuit but I’m stupid and forget to reform them so they are destined to spend next turn changing direction to somewhere useful.

The Sword Masters charge the Gors since it is either that or get charged next turn, and everyone else stands still readying their bowstrings.  The Archmage uses Vaul’s Unmaking to destroy the Great Bray Shaman’s Talisman of Preservation, but Curse of Arrow Attraction on the Raiders is dispelled (after I saw what it did to the shooting at the Bestigors, I didn’t fancy it much on the squishy raiders).  Using the remaining power dice, the Archmage Drains Magic to make it harder for me to hex everything in sight next turn.   The High Elf shooting is lacklustre, killing a few Ungors here and there, but nothing important enough to cause a panic check.  The Harpies finally remember that they have claws and scratch the Bolt Thrower crew to death, and the Phoenix Guard also wake up and chop the chariot into matchwood with their halberds.  They reform to accept charges from wherever they come, preparing to sell their lives dearly to protect the Archmage.  The Sword Masters cut down 7 Gors on the charge, but are wiped out by the return attacks.  This is probably mostly due to Wildform on the Gors from the previous turn – strength 4 and toughness 5 is not to be sneezed at.

The Harpies and surviving chariot both charge the rather sorry-looking remnants of the Phoenix Guard.  Meanwhile, in the West, the Ungors hit the Archers, losing a few more of their number to Stand and Shoot.  Magic is much less effective this turn with a low roll for the winds of magic and Drain Magic in play.  Amber Spear fails to cast, and Miasma on the Phoenix Guard is dispelled.  The Ungors kill the Archers down to the last one, but fail to restrain themselves and run off the board in their excitement (they narrowly avoid clipping the Bolt Thrower).  Over on the other side of the table, the Phoenix Guard make an unbelievable mess of their attacks, managing not a single wound between them.  The Harpies kill all but the champion and the charioteers focus their attacks on the Archmage, with the Bestigor delivering the final blow.  Not surprisingly, the Keeper of the Flame flees, and equally unsurprisingly Forkbanger calls it a day so we shake hands.  Victory for the Beastmen!

Wow.  That was one of those games where it felt like everything went right.  The only down side is that it is hard to learn many lessons from that sort of game.  I think that the main difference between the armies was that I was able to get my hexes and augment spells off where and when I needed them which ensured that every combat was stacked in my favour.  One thing I did differently from normal was not allocating attacks against the Noble with BSB in the Seaguard.  Normally I’d have as many attacks on him as possible to get rid of that pesky re-roll of leadership checks, but this time the Seaguard had so many hexes on them I was confident that I could get more mileage by killing rank and file and then letting the BSB die when they fled.

Carindel watched impassively from the prow of his Eagle Ship as the sounds of battle faded and were replaced by the sounds of butchery.  Already a few battered Sea Guard were retreating down the beach, occasionally turning to put a well placed arrow into some mist-shrouded pursuer.  He had seen this before.  Soon, there would be a bonfire fit for a whole army to drink around, and those who could not flee would be food for the herd.  He knew that he and his crew must wait as long as they could for stragglers, but there was no possibility of rescue for any Elf unfortunate enough to be captured by these Beastmen.  All he could do was hope and pray that the Lady Alrunielle was not among them…

Categories: Battle reports, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Paint your miniatures!

This post is more like a status update for my benefit, or perhaps a to-do list might be a more accurate description.  After buying and assembling a bunch of Ungors, Gors, Minotaurs and even a Bray Shaman, one might reasonably ask why I haven’t actually painted any of them yet.  Well, the answer is that I am part way through doing a great many of them.  However, not even one is photograph-ready yet.

I have painted all 8 of the Ungors I made, but since I left the shields off for ease of painting, I have the slight problem that the shields are currently in a box somewhere, as I am in the throes of moving house.  So all they need is to have their shields painted and stuck on (an easy task, one would hope), and then basing to finish them off.  Once I find the box with the sprues in then it ought to take no time at all.

The Gors are still very much a work in progress.  I’ve painted 8, and there are another 8 on the painting table right now.  I think I’ll go for 24 dudes to complete this unit, so another 8 will see me there.  There are a couple of pieces (notably the banner and a couple of shields) hiding in a box somewhere, but I paint so slowly that I will probably have them handy again before the unit is done.  Although I could have based the 8 finished Gors, I prefer to wait and do a full unit since it’s easier to be consistent.

The Bray Shaman will probably be done after the Gor unit is finished (i.e. some time around 2023 at my current rate), but I still need to decide on colours.  I’m definitely going to paint the severed head he’s holding with a completely different skin colour so it looks like he’s killed a Gor from a different tribe (and for contrast) but I am uncertain on his own skin.  I think it would be good to do him in a slightly different colour from the Gors so he stands out as being marked by his heathen Gods, but which way to go?  The Gors are all dark grey skin and black fur, so my current options are to paint him much lighter, heading toward white skin, or to go much darker and have him mostly black and very deep grey.  I guess white (or at least light grey) skin would probably make him stand out more.

My Minotaurs have had exactly no work whatever done on them.  The weather outside is too cold and wet to be good for spray undercoating, and since I’ve got so many other miniatures to paint, there is no need to rush into them.

What does the future hold?  Well, thanks to the miracles of eBay I am now the owner of not one but two Beastmen Battalions, and an Orc and Goblin chariot.  So my running total for the army is:

72 Gors
28 Ungors
20 Bestigors
3 Minotaurs
1 Chariot

Of course, one of the Gors has already been ‘promoted’ to a Bray Shaman, and that fate will probably befall another (with a Bestigor Head or something) to become a Great Bray Shaman.  A third will crew the Chariot, which will need a Bestigor to ride on the back and continually roll 1s to wound (and I intend to get some of the new Boar Boyz to provide Tuskgors since they actually look like they are wild and ferocious instead of waiting to become bacon).  Another Bestigor will have to be promoted to a Battle Standard Bearer; I’ll probably get him a Chaos Warrior cloak and use the Minotaur banner so he looks the part.  And, finally, perhaps yet another Bestigor will be converted into a Beastlord if I can make him look impressive enough…

Categories: Painting and modelling, Status Updates, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Beastmen vs High Elves (1600 points); 08Dec10

It is turn 6 of our Border Princes Campaign and the first battle to be fought is Forkbanger‘s High Elves clash against my Beastmen in the Warrens. There is a special scenario, Rock Labyrinth, for controlling the Warrens which we decided to use. In summary, the board is full of bits of impassable terrain (which are meant to be giant rock spires), two units can choose to skirmish instead of their normal formation, and 1 skirmishing unit can ambush. This is a far better and more useful form of ambush than the usual Beastmen Ambush, so of course I wanted to give that a try. On turn 2 a marker is placed to show where you want the ambushers to be hiding. On turn 3 it scatters, and then the unit must be placed within 4″ of the marker. They can then act as normal, including charging. We made up our lists in secret as usual, but of course we each knew which army we’d be facing so there was an interesting change from the ‘take all comers’ approach we normally go for.

My braying rabble was as follows:

Brannick the Forlorn – Great Bray Shaman, Steel Claws, Talisman of Preservation, Jagged Dagger, Lore of Shadow (GBS)

Huron – Wargor, BSB, Gnarled Hide, Heavy Armour, Shield (BSB)

Ankar Hearteater – Bray Shaman, Dispel Scroll, additional hand weapon, Lore of Beasts (BS)

24 Bestigors, full command (B)

3 Minotaurs (M)

24 Gors, additional hand weapons, full command (G)

30 Ungors, full command (U)

8 Ungor raiders, musician (UR)

2 Tuskgor Chariots (TC1 and TC2)

I wanted to give the Minotaurs a go as ambushers since it suits them perfectly. They aren’t getting ranks anyway so it doesn’t matter much if they’re skirmishing, and an ambush lets them get stuck in without getting pincushioned with arrows on the way. Following suggestions from Zebrazach, I stopped messing about with shields on the Gors and went straight for the additional hand weapons. Forkbanger took this elite disciplined army:

Archmage, Level 4, Folariath’s Robe, Silver Wand, Guardian Phoenix, Lore of Beasts (AM)

Noble, Armour of Caledor, Ruby Ring of Ruin, great weapon (N)

2 x 5 Dragon Princes, full command (DP1 and DP2)

10 White Lions of Chrace, full command (WL)

10 Archers, full command (A)

28 Seaguard, full command, shields, Banner of Swiftness (SG)

The terrain was pretty much specified by the scenario, so it was quite nice not to constantly have to worry whether a forest was going to run off on its own or eat half a unit inside it. The Great Bray Shaman took Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe and Okkam’s Mindrazor, while the Bray Shaman swapped his spell for Wyssan’s Wildform. As a side note, are there any better spells than Miasma and Wildform? They have such an effect on the game. The Archmage ended up with Wyssan’s Wildform, Flock of Doom, Curse of Anraheir, Amber Spear andTransformation of Kadon, although since he could take 5 spells it was pretty much guaranteed he could get whatever he liked best.  After deployment, this was how the table looked.

The High Elves finished setting up first and duly won the roll off so they set off across the valley first.The Noble fires his Ruby Ring of Ruin, which toasts one Bestigor, while the Archmage’s Amber Spear on them is dispelled.  An attempt to put Wildform on a unit of Dragon Princes fails, so the magic phase comes to a premature end.  The Archers send a rain of arrows into the Raiders but the range and the penalty for shooting skirmishers means only one of them falls.

With a great deal of whooping and braying, the Beastmen march across the table, eager to get stuck into the squishy Elves.  The Gors head toward the East in an attempt to marginalise the SeaGuard, who are stuck way out on their own in the West.  The Great Bray Shaman sees Miasma on the White Lions dispelled, and then rolls poorly to cast Enfeebling Foe on them.  So between two magic phases so far, we have a total of one dead Bestigor.  Finally, the Raiders shoot their short bows at the Archers with no effect at all.

Eager to get the charge, a unit of Dragon Princes crash into the Chariot which is exposed, and others in the East move to set up combats for later.  The Noble’s Ruby Ring of Ruin fails to cast Fireball on the Bestigors, but the Archmage remembers that he is a High Elf, and therefore a master of magic.  Curse of Anraheir and Amber Spear both go into the Bestigors, the latter skewering a couple of them.  An optimistic one-die casting of Flock of Doom fails to work.  The Archers and Seaguard kill another 4 Raiders with their longbows, but these Ungors are evidently made of stern stuff and refuse to panic.  With their lances lowered, the Dragon Princes put a couple of wounds on the Chariot, and it flees.  The block of Ungors panics (even with the general and BSB in range), turns tail and heads for the safety of the board edge.  The Dragon Princes’ pursuit would be stymied by terrain, so they reform to accept the inevitable charge from the Gors in the front rather than the flank.

And, inevitably, the Gors do indeed charge the Dragon Princes (I much prefer to charge units with lances, I’ve had entirely too many experiences being hammered by them on the charge).  The Bestigors throw themselves into the White Lions who had so handily stood in range, presumably to set up a flanking counter charge by Dragon Princes in the next turn.  The Chariot rallies, but the Ungors decide to get an early bath and keep running with their tails between their legs.  The surviving Raiders move back to try to stay out of short range of the Seaguard longbows (although it also puts them out of range for their short bows).  A mooing sound is heard in the middle of the battlefield as the Minotaur ambush point is decided.  We finally get a high roll for the winds of magic, so the Great Bray Shaman puts Miasma on the White Lions, which handily lowers their initiative to the point where they no longer get re-rolls from Always Strike First.  The Bray Shaman casts Wildform on the Gors with Irresistible Force, and the resulting Miscast causes him to lose his only spell.  Still,  I suppose it’s better than blowing up.  An optimistic casting of Mindrazor on the Gors fails, but it was better than just leaving the remaining power dice.  Even without Mindrazor, the Gors kill 3 of the Dragon Princes, who flee through the Bestigors (except the standard bearer, who throws himself into the Gors for no good reason).  This leaves the surviving Dragon Prince inconveniently blocking the charge of the other Dragon Princes into the Bestigors.  In the White Lion versus Bestigor fight, the High Elves say ‘What is all this ‘Always Strike Last with great weapons’ nonsense?’ and chop down a couple of Beastmen.  In return the Bestigors chew through almost the entire unit, capturing (and Despoiling) their banner and sending the Noble and White Lion champion homeward to think again.  The Great Bray Shaman captures the soul of one of them with the Jagged Dagger for good measure.  The Bestigors reform to face East, openly laughing at the cruel fate that one fleeing Dragon Prince is stopping the other unit from charging them.

In a move I certainly did not see coming, the Archmage charges the Bestigors.  The intact Dragon Princes shuffle uncomfortably, and the fleeing units keep fleeing (they would need 1,1 to get back in the fight now).  Forkbanger reveals his cunning plan as the Archmage tries to turn into a big monster with Transformation of Kadon.  Sadly (for him) it doesn’t work as he rolls too low, although since the Bray Shaman is carrying a Dispel Scroll it would have to have been Irresistible Force to be any use.  Another hail of arrows kills all but one of the Raiders, who has finally had enough and so both he and the accompanying Bray Shaman turn tail and head for the pub.  In the combat phase, the Archmage sits dejected but expecting to be kept safe by his Ethereal status. His day is spoiled when the Great Bray Shaman flexes his Steel Claws and tears the poor Elf limb from limb (and steals his soul with the Jagged Dagger for good measure).

A herd of mooing enraged Minotaurs pop out of ambush and crash straight into the flank of the Seaguard (ambushing without getting shot to bits first?  I like it already) and the Bestigors and a Tuskgor Chariot charge the Dragon Princes.  With the Archmage dead, the Great Bray Shaman looks forward to enjoying magical supremacy, but his very first spell (Miasma on the Dragon Princes) is Irresistibly dispelled.  Perhaps the High Elves are masters of magic after all.  Enfeebling Foe does lower their strength though, so it’s not all going the High Elves’ way.  After surviving a handful of spear pokes from the Seaguard the Minotaurs eat a couple of them, but the Elves are Steadfast so they don’t care, although they fail their leadership test to reform to face their assailants.  The Chariot manages to run over all 5 Dragon Princes with impact hits alone, so the crew, the Bestigors and the Great Bray Shaman are forced to just stand around looking at each other for the rest of the phase.  This did raise an interesting question about whether the Bestigors could Despoil the banner, since they didn’t really affect the combat at all.  Does anyone have any thoughts?  We just diced for it and they got to keep the banner (by this point the movement tray was getting crowded with stolen souls and despoiled standards).

The fleeing White Lions and Dragon Prince finally make it off the table this turn, and that’s it for High Elf movement.  There’s no magic either since the Noble with his magic ring has fled the field and bits of the Archmage are adorning the Great Bray Shaman’s fur.  The Archers manage to shoot a few Gors, and then it is onto the combat phase, where I’m expecting good things of frenzied Minotaurs in the flank of the Seaguard.  I am tragically disappointed, as the Seaguard put a couple of wounds on a Minotaur, the Minotaurs make a total mess of their attacks and lose combat on a musician tiebreaker.  They duly fail their break check, flee and are caught by the Seaguard.  Curses!

The wounded Chariot charges the flank of the Seaguard, mainly to keep them pinned in place while the Gors and Bestigors get manoeuvered into position (and to hopefully kill a few of them, of course).  The winds of magic are pitiful (1,1), so the Great Shaman uses one of the Jagged Dagger power dice to put Miasma on the Seaguard.  I was mainly hoping that their initiative would be lowered enough to stop those annoying re-rolls from Always Strikes First plus high initiative, but it didn’t do enough.  They trade a few hits, and the Seaguard reform to face the Chariot.

High Elf turn 5 is a fairly dull turn, so there is probably no need for a picture of this one.  The Archers shoot another couple of Gors, and the Seaguard turn the Charioteers into swiss cheese, and then reform to face the Gor charge they know is coming.  In Beastmen turn 5, the Gors do indeed charge the Seaguard, and are narrowly inside 5″ to avoid getting a face full of stand-and-shoot arrow fire.  Both Miasma and Enfeebling Foe are cast on the Seaguard, lowering their weapon skill, initiative and strength by 3 (and movement and bow skill too, but they didn’t matter).  Not surprisingly, the Gors rip the Seaguard apart, and catch the survivors when they turn to flee.

Again, the High Elf turn isn’t really worthy of a diagram.  The Archers shoot the Bestigors, but don’t kill enough to force a panic check.  In the Beastmen turn, the Bestigors charge the Archers and lose another couple of their number to a stand-and shoot reaction.  I was too chicken to cast any spells in the magic phase, because it would be just too annoying to miscast and lose a load of my little guys at this stage.  Also, I’m fairly confident that the Great Bray Shaman plus a bunch of Bestigors would comfortably outclass some archers in combat.  Of course, that is indeed what happens, and the Archers are all hacked down by giant axe wielding maniacs.

Overall, a very good game. Forkbanger was plagued with his dice rolls, fluctuating between rolling all 6s and all 1s instead of a nice mix that might have given him a better chance. He took a big gamble with the Archmage which didn’t pay off (as mentioned, I had a Dispel Scroll so it wasn’t going to work anyway unless he got Irresistible Force) and by that time I had the White Lions and Dragon Princes on the ropes so I felt comfortable. The Seaguard proved a much harder force than I’d expected, taking out first the Minotaurs and then a Tuskgor Chariot in short order, but the Gors proved more than they could handle. The additional hand weapons make a surprising difference, especially when your target has been hexed to oblivion. As for the Minotaurs, I must admit I was expecting a better showing than killing a handful of Seaguard though in their defence I forgot about impact hits and stomp, which might have have improved their effectiveness. They’ll be back though; I like the models too much. The Ungors will also get another run out, though they didn’t exactly cover themselves with glory this time. On the other hand, it’s not like I needed them as it turned out. It seems that, just like in films and books, the baddies are cowards who run away at the drop of a hat.

So the Warrens are firmly in the hands of the Beastmen, and the High Elf banner is scattered and will reform in their HQ at the start of next turn. The two games between Furycat and Justinmatters can be found here and here, so that is it for turn 6.

Categories: Battle reports, Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments

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