Monthly Archives: January 2011

Beastmen vs Bretonnians (1600 points); 19Jan11

Another week, another battle report for my Beastmen.  This time, my furry braying herd got another chance at Aramoro‘s Bretonnians – a match which has not seen them fare too well so far (a couple of one-sided thrashings noted here, and my best ever result against Aramoro, a draw, here).  I decided to try out a couple of new things, specifically Razorgors and the Lore of Death, and I made room for them by ditching the Ungors and Tuskgor Chariots.  Following a suggestion from Zebrazach, there are four units of Ungor Raiders; two to ambush and the other two to get in the way a bit.  Finally, I keep thinking that I should keep a 20 Gor unit in the army to give me another option in case we roll up the Watchtower scenario.  As it happened, I forgot about that part when I actually made up this list, bumping that unit up to 24 to use up a few more points.

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

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

29 Gors, additional hand weapons, full command (G1)

24 Gors, additional hand weapons, full command (G2)

4 x 6 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR1 to UR4)

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

2 x single Razorgor (R1 and R2)

5 Harpies, scouts (H)

Aramoro was testing out Grail Reliquae in particular this game, and was re-examining the Lore of Heavens.  He also just finished assembling a new Trebuchet, so that was going in the list (not that it was likely that they’d be left at home after it was established here how good they are).  His noble force consisted of these heroic knights, plus a few oppressed peasants.

Prophetess of the Lady, Level 4, Silver Mirror, Lore of Heavens (P)

Paladin, BSB, knightly stuff, Dragonhelm (BSB)

11 Knights of the Realm, full command (KotR)

2 x 16 Peasant Bowmen (PB1 and PB2)

Grail Reliquary and 27 Battle Pilgrims (GR)

9 Questing Knights, full command (QK)

2 x Field Trebuchet (T1 and T2)

The terrain was generated and set up.  All the hills are normal, the building in the centre is a Tower of Blood (but the others are normal), there is a Sinister Statue in the West with an Earthblood Mere in the North.  The walls are Blazing Barricades – note Aramoro’s clever placement of them.  Walls are dangerous terrain for cavalry, and Aramoro has had more than a few bad games with dangerous terrain checks.  Aramoro cunningly positioned the walls so if he took that side then they would be good protection for his artillery, and if I had that side then they wouldn’t be in the way of his glorious charges (as I wouldn’t be hanging about on my own table edge getting hit by flying rocks if I wanted to make a game of it).

The Prophetess takes Chain Lightning, Uranon’s Thunderbolt, Harmonic Convergence and Curse of the Midnight Wind (which always make me think it’s due to the results of a post-beer curry).  The Great Bray Shaman just takes spells I think look cool since I’ve never tried any of them yet – Soulblight (because Sorcerous Portals keep putting it on my units), Doom & Darkness, Fate of Bjuna (a spell where victims laugh themselves to death promises much entertainment) and Purple Sun of Xereus.  The random deployment sees the entire Bretonnian army channeled into the centre, and the Beastmen spread slightly wider across the centre and right flank.  The harpies know their cue when they see it; they scout up next to the West Trebuchet, well out of the charge arc of any nasty knights.

The Bretonnians pray to the Lady, so I gratefully take first turn to avoid a bit of Trebuchet-ing.  One set of Raiders ambushes in the East, and another set moves up into what turns out to be a Blood Forest.  Forkbanger points out to me what a nightmare it would be to use Battle Chronicler to record a game with moving scenery… I hope that Aramoro doesn’t decide to start casting spells at these guys.  Both Razorgors angle themselves to deflect any chargers away from the main action.  The magic phase sees Soulblight dispelled on the Knights of the Realm, but Doom & Darkness goes on to the Peasants accompanying the Prophetess.

As usual, I find that I’ve moved everyone too far forward.  Questing Knights hammer into the small unit of Gors, Knights of the Realm try to turn a Razorgor into a pork kebab and the Battle Pilgrims carry their Grail Reliquae into the forest to get the other Razorgor.  Meanwhile, the Prophetess bails out of the Archer unit (leaving them to their Doom & Darkness); they turn to face the Harpies.  Harmonic Convergence is cast on the Knights of the Realm – it is let through since they hardly need any help to kill the Razorgor on the charge.  Chain Lightning on the Harpies is dispelled.  In the shooting phase, an improbable volley of arrows downs three Harpies (7s to hit, 4s to wound…) and causes the other two to flee, but normality re-establishes itself as the other unit fail to get a single wound on the Gors and both Trebuchets also miss the Gor unit by a comfortable margin.  Predictably, both Knight units squash their puny opposition.  The Gors flee and outrun the Questing Knights’ pursuit, the Razorgor is pierced by many lances and the Knights of the Realm reform to face West.  Over in the East, the other Razorgor manages to eat / stand on a few Battle Pilgrims but it’s not enough to beat their basic combat resolution so it is sent packing.

The Bestigors see a (slightly generous) charge into the back corner of the reformed Knights of the Realm – it takes us a while of looking at the various angles before allowing – and to my huge surprise they opt to flee.  Thinking back on it, I now see Aramoro’s reasoning: the Bestigors would have clipped the rearmost Knight, dealt a wound or two then won by a huge margin on combat resolution due to their ranks etc.  The Knights would have needed a good roll to stay in combat and if they failed then they’d not only lose both the BSB and the unit standard bearer but give the Bestigors a huge boost toward the Bretonnian lines.  Meanwhile, the Harpies and Gors rally, but the Razorgor continues its flight for the board edge at a glacial pace.  The Great Bray Shaman tries Fate of Bjuna on the Prophetess, but she dispels it using all her dice. Seeing my chance for a big play, I throw the rest of the dice at the Purple Sun which (if it works) could go through the Knights of the Realm, the Archers and one of the Trebuchets.  The dice come up with a success… and the Prophetess promptly pulls out her Silver Mirror, dispelling the Purple Sun and wounding the Great Bray Shaman into the bargain.  Dang.

The Questing Knights kick the turn off by charging the rallied Gors.  The Knights of the Realm rally, although it would have been hilarious if they’d just fled off the board; they reform to go 6 wide (apparently this is due to some vagary of the lance formation rules).  Over in the Blood Forest, the Grail Reliquae unit begins what will be an unenviable trend by failing their check to swift reform, which strands them away from the main action for another turn.  The winds of magic only gives the Prophetess 3,1 dice to play with so she uses them all on Chain Lightning at the Bestigors, getting Irresistable Force.  Three of the Bestigors are killed and the bolt fails to jump anywhere, but the miscast does nothing at all – a hit on everyone in base contact (no-one) and lose some power dice from the pool (but there were none left anyway).  The Archers shoot another Harpy out of the sky and the survivor decides that, in fact, she doesn’t really fancy her chances against a Trebuchet crew so she flees for the safety of the pub.  The other set of Archers and one Trebuchet kill 8 Bestigors between them (no panic though, luckily for me) and the other Trebuchet misfires, although it’ll be able to fire again next turn.  Over in the far North West, the Questing Knights get medieval on the Gors’ arses (appropriately enough), sending them fleeing off the board.  The Knights aren’t able to restrain themselves and so they make it almost the board edge themselves.  The only good thing about this for the Beastmen is that the Questing Knights are (like the Grail Reliquae) stranded far away from the centre field action.

Two turns of taking my licks from missile fire is plenty for the Beastmen, so now it is time to get stuck in.  The Gors hit the Archers, and the Bestigors just barely make it into contact with the Knights of the Realm (need an 8, got an 8).  It is the turn of the Great Bray Shaman to get Irresistable Force, this time while putting Doom & Darkness on the Prophetess (I’m trying to stop the other units getting the benefit of her leadership).  The miscast is an explosion which kills off two Knights of the Realm, the three Bestigors under the template aren’t even wounded as Aramoro rolls triple ones!  To add insult to injury, the Great Bray Shaman makes his ward save.  The Bestigors get stuck into the Knights with their handy tin openers and when all is done, bravely Sir Robin et al run away.  Somewhat more predictably, the Gors tear the hapless peasants apart and pursue the survivors into the Trebuchet (the Archers get off the board so they can look forward to a bit more oppression from the Knights of the Realm once they all stop fleeing).

Over in the East, the Grail Reliquae unit charge the Raiders, who spent last turn angling to direct the Battle Pilgrims further away from the action.  The Questing Knights follow the trend of the previous turn by failing to swift reform, and the surviving archers don’t bother to try when they turn to face the unruly mob of Beastmen rampaging about behind them.  The Great Bray Shaman makes a total mess of his dispel attempts, so the Prophetess kills a handful of Bestigors with Thunderbolt and Chain Lightning.  The latter also jumps to the Raiders, leaving nothing more than smoking hooves of four of them.  As it happens, the space those hapless Raiders were standing must have been cursed, because a Trebuchet shot aimed at the Bestigors also scatters on to the space that, just one phase earlier, had been occupied by the now-frazzled Ungors.  The Gors make short work of the artillery crew and reform to face the remaining Archers, and similarly the Grail Reliquae’s unit easily kill all the Raiders and reform to head back to the centre.

The Gors continue their rampage through the Bretonnian centre, charging the Archers on the hill, while the Bestigors can do no more than be annoyed that their smaller brothers are getting all the action.  If anyone remembers that fleeing Razorgor, it finally fails its last opportunity to rally and goes off the table.  At last, the Great Bray Shaman gets Fate of Bjuna off on the Prophetess, but I find out that she has a 3+ ward against magic (5+ ward and magic resistance 2) so not even a single wound gets through.  I can’t help but be disappointed… I was expecting big things from that spell.  The Raiders get their first kill of the entire game, knocking a Questing Knight off his horse (though the rest of the Knights must surely be getting weighed down from all the arrows sticking out of their plate mail).  The Gors kill a whole slew more peasants, the survivors flee and get away as the Gors clip the Trebuchet.

The two serious surviving Bretonnian units (i.e. the Questing Knights and the Grail Reliquae) start their slog back to the centre of the board, and the Questing Knights yet again fail their check to march.  It’s as if they think they’ve done enough Gor-killing for one day.  The Prophetess neatly takes out all the remaining Bestigors with magic, but to my great relief the Great Bray Shaman doesn’t flee.  The second Trebuchet puts up as much of a fight against the Gors as the first (i.e. none at all) and all of a sudden the Prophetess finds herself staring at a very large herd of enraged Beastmen.

It’s probably not worth doing picture maps for most of the remaining turns.  The Prophetess flees a charge from the Gors (straight off the table) and they can’t help but follow.  At least they’ll come back after they’ve finished doing 18-rated things to her.  The Archers rally, but their last volley (at the Raiders in the West) is totally ineffective; the Questing Knights and the Grail Reliquae continue to fail to march because of a handful of Raiders lurking around them.  The big Gor unit comes back onto the table and is joined by the Great Bray Shaman, it is positioned to accept a charge from the Questing Knights in turn 6.  Note that I could have just put them on the hill; there are impassable cliffs on the North and West sides (I couldn’t find any suitable pictures in Battle Chronicler) which would have made them unassailable and pretty much guaranteed me to win, but that’s just boring.  The Questing Knights do indeed charge the Gors, hoping for an epic ballad to be composed in their honour.  Sadly, they had been Soulblight-ed the previous turn, lose a few to the Gors and flee!  Finally, for those keeping count, the fourth unit of Raiders rolled six 2s or 3s in a row and failed to make it onto the battle field at all.  Evidently they decided that the pub was altogether more pleasant than a muddy field full of virtuous / murderous Knights.

The game ends and, for the first time, it is close enough to be worth bothering to add up the Victory Points… Victory for the Beastmen!

That could be the closest game I’ve played yet, it was very enjoyable and tense.  Aramoro could even have won it in the last turn if the Questing Knights had managed to see off the Gors (although I don’t think that was very likely to happen).  I was particularly pleased that I could use some of the smaller units to direct the threats, especially the Grail Reliquae, away from my main blocks.

I like the potential utility of the Razorgors, but I definitely need to work out how to use them better.  The one in the centre was fine – I was happy to sacrifice it to get the Knights of the Realm where I wanted them.  The Razorgor which was charged by the Grail Reliquae unit was just plain embarrassing though.  It simply didn’t occur to me that they might charge it, and of course it was pretty unlikely to hold with all the combat resolution they brought with them (and that rather generously assumed that they couldn’t wound it at all).

The first attempt with the Lore of Death wasn’t so impressive as I had hoped.  Compared to the augments and hexes of the Lore of Shadow, there just didn’t seem to be much damage dealing capability.  It will bear further examination though, so I’ll try it again next time and see how I get on.

Categories: Battle reports, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Border Princes Campaign (Turn 7)

Well, we’ve finally played the games from our Border Princes campaign Turn 6. The noble High Elves were soundly defeated by the Beastmen in the battle for the Warrens, and the Orcs & Goblins suffered a couple of defeats to the forces of the Empire (documented here and here). We all gathered round and did the moves for turn 7, and the map now looks like this.

We only have a single battle this turn, with the eternal struggle between man and greenskin continuing in the far South (Section 97) with support from another Empire banner to the West.

The banners that are currently identified are:

Bretonnians: Lord Guillaume L’Echec (crown symbol; currently in the Old Silk Road Central)
Orcs & Goblins: Un-named Goblin Warboss (chess knight symbol; currently in Section 70); un-named Orc Big Boss (no symbol; currently in Section 97)
Empire: Two armies with un-named Generals of the Empire (no symbols on either; currently in Sections 92 and 97)
High Elves: No identified banners
Beastmen: Great Bray Shaman Brannick the Forlorn (no symbol; currently in Section 21)

Finally, for those interested, here are the scores at this stage (before the battle between Empire and Orcs & Goblins).

Orcs & Goblins: 29 points (16 territories, 1 of which is special, and 1 of which is Malko); 6 banners
Beastmen: 19 points (15 territories, 1 of which is special); 6 banners
Empire: 18 points (14 territories, 1 of which is special); 6 banners
High Elves: 14 points (10 territories, 1 of which is special); 4 banners
Bretonnians: 10 points (10 territories); 4 banners

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

Beastmen vs Orcs & Goblins (1600 points); 12Jan11

It’s been far too long since I managed to get in a game against Justinmatters, so we remedied that situation over a couple of beers earlier this week.  I was running late so we just used old lists.  In my case, it was the Great Bray Shaman-based herd I’ve been playing with lately, which looks like this:

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)

Justinmatters dragged a couple of army lists out of his cupboard and ended up with this mob of greenskinned reprobates.

Orc Big Boss, Martog’s Best Basha, Ironcurse Icon (BB)

Orc Big Boss, BSB (er, BSB)

Orc Shaman, Level 2, dispel scroll (OS)

Goblin Shaman, wolf (GS)

2 x 25 Orc Boyz, full command (B1 and B2)

2 x 30 Night Goblins, full command (NG1 and NG2), 2 fanatics each (F1 to F4)

10 Wolf Riders, full command (WR)

10 Spider Riders, full command (SR)

Giant (G)

Rock Lobber, Orc bully (RL)

Until the end of the game, we thought that the Goblin Shaman was a Level 2, so he rolled up two spells etc.  One of the Night Goblin blocks had paid for nets, but we forgot about them in the game.  I don’t think it made much difference in the end.  I’m also not sure why neither of the Big Bosses have any armour at all, and there are a couple of things the Justinmatters said later that he’d planned to change but hadn’t gotten round to doing (for example giving the Orcs either an extra weapon or a shield).

Anyway, we rolled up the scenario as usual, getting the same Dawn Attack that we had used in our only previous game of Warhammer.  With Forkbanger‘s assistance, we randomised the terrain, and surprisingly ended up with only barricades, hills, forests and rivers despite getting 9 goes on the chart.  The hill in the North West is just a normal one, the one in the South is a Scree Slope and in the middle there is an Anvil of Vaul.  In the North there is a line of walls, and the South has a matching set of fences.  So unless the forests and river really go wild then this’ll be the most mundane game of Warhammer ever (apart from when we played a scenario with no random terrain).

We select our spells, with the Great Bray Shaman taking my favourite combination of Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, The Withering and Pit of Shades and the Bray Shaman taking Transformation of Kadon in addition to the usual Wyssan’s Wildform.  After seeing this Chimera miniature, I was looking forward to having him turn into one and munch some Orcs (in my mind’s eye of course; I don’t actually own that bad boy).  The Orc Shaman got Waaagh! and Fists of Gork, and the Goblin had Brain Bursta and Gaze of Gork.  The Orcs and Goblins set up first, getting a handful of units forced out to the flanks, then passed turn one to the Beastmen (who had been channeled into the middle by the dice rolls; hence the slightly odd placement of one of the Tuskgor Chariots).  Before any movement, we had this arrangement.

I wasn’t actually expecting to get the first turn, but it was actually quite lucky I did since the river turned out to be a boiling flood, so I had a chance to get the Raiders out of danger before they were all cooked.  Everyone else just raced forward as quickly as possible, since the best answer for artillery is surely to be in close combat; the Bestigors moving through what turns out to be a normal wood.  I realise at this point I’ve put the Harpies in a stupid place so I move them into the centre to start threatening the Rock Lobber (it doesn’t look like from my diagram, but there was no where they could land safely that was in range and wouldn’t just mean them being charged straight away).  My big worry is the Giant since I’ve never faced a big monster and I’m not sure how to deal with.  Naturally I go to Plan A, trying to drop his initiative with Miasma (dispelled) then put him into a Pit of Shades. The big spell goes off but he passes the initiative test anyway.  So at the end of the turn, all I’ve achieved is to close the distance a little.

Justinmatters shows me how dumb I am with the Harpies, predictably (now that I look back) charging them with the Giant.  The only good things here are that 1) if the Giant splats them and overruns, he’ll be heading away from the combat and 2) if the Harpies manage to hold, then at least the Giant is standing in the boiling flood.  Elsewhere, the Boyz with the Big Boss and BSB squabble, and the Spider Riders move forward a bit thanks to ‘We’ll show ’em!’.  I guess that this wasn’t part of the plan since they don’t move further.  With no shooting in my list there’s no rush for the Orcs to get stuck in quicker than necessary.  In the magic phase, a cheeky 1 die casting of Brain Bursta on the Ungors fails to make the necessary roll, so that’s it for the Goblin Shaman.  The Orc Shaman irresistably casts Fists of Mork on the Bestigors, pummeling 4 of them to death.  The miscast causes him to become stupid and frenzied which doesn’t sound too bad to me.  The Rock Lobber lobs a rock with pin-point accuracy onto the Bestigors, squashing another 4 of them.  It’s not a great day to be a Bestigor so far today.  The Night Goblins in the West loose their arrows at the Gors but incredibly don’t cause even a single wound.  We move onto the fight between the Harpies and the Giant with me expecting a serious beating for my winged menaces.  It doesn’t go that way though – the Harpies manage to get a wound on the big guy, and he swings with club, rolling only a single hit which fails to even wound.  Since he charged, it is a draw, but to add insult to injury he takes another wound from the river.

Unfortunately I’m still not in charge range so my goats will have to take another round of shooting before the ‘safety’ of melee.  The winds of magic only roll 2,2 and I blow them all on trying to drop the Rock Lobber into the Pit of Shades.  This also goes off irresistably, and the resulting explosion wounds the Great Bray Shaman and vapourises another 3 Bestigors (that’s why he’s in the corner of the unit, of course).  Even worse, the template scatters so far that it doesn’t even hit the war machine anyway, meaning that I’ll get another rock dropped somewhere unpleasant next turn.  The Harpies incredibly put another wound on the Giant who again swings with club, rolls only 2 hits and then rolls 1,1 to wound.  I think he’s swinging a piece of foam at them or something.  Then to top it off, he fails his stubborn 10 leadership check and is sent packing.  The Harpies try to pursue but unfortunately I roll low and they don’t catch him (which would have been epic).

Orc & Goblin turn 2 begins with a mighty Waaagh! being called.  The Spider Riders, both Boyz mobs and the Night Goblins in the East move toward my units menacingly.  This brings the Night Goblins within 8″ of the triumphant Harpies who are duly smashed to paste by the pair of Fanatics released.  The Raiders promptly fail their panic check and leg it back to the ‘safety’ of the boiling flood.  Morons.  All this and we haven’t even declared a charge yet.  So the Spider Riders hit the Chariot, Wolf Riders hit the Ungors and the Orcs contact the Gors and Bestigors.  Well, at least that stops my beasts from being pincushioned by Night Goblin arrows or squashed by lobbed rocks.  The Giant rallies, reforming to face the flank of the Bestigors.  Finally, the Night Goblins in the middle move up and release another two Fanatics, one of which pulverises another couple of Bestigors.  The magic phase is even less impressive than the last turn, with 2,1 power dice available.  The Orc Shaman throws all the dice at another Fists of Gork on the Bestigors, but to my relief it fails to cast.  The Rock Lobber shoots at virtually the only possible target, the Raiders who are slowly cooking themselves in the river and obligingly misfires; it’ll take the Goblins two turns to repair the machine.  In close combat, we decide to begin in the West and move East.  The Spider Riders lose a couple to the charioteers, but win combat easily and catch the fleeing cart.  The long overrun leaves them a long way from the rest of the action though.  After a bit of slapping each other with handbags the fight between the Ungors and the Wolf Riders is a draw, but numbers are on the Ungors’ side in this one.  The Shaman’s Boyz regret charging primal furied, extra hand weapon Gors and are nearly halved in number after a round of excellent rolling from me.  They kill a couple in return and hold on a BSB re-roll; they’re not looking forward to the next round though (especially since Justinmatters knows full well that it’ll be hex o’clock in my magic phase).  The Boyz kill a few Bestigors, but not nearly so many as the Bestigors kill Orcs.  Due to the losses on the way in, the Bestigor ranks are depleted, allowing the Orcs to hold steadfast.  Finally, a couple of raiders are cooked by the river, and the Bray Shaman takes a wound.

Very much against my expectations, the Raider manage to rally, thus ensuring that they’ll get another round of being burned by the river and that my only movement is the glacial pace of the chariot going round the forest in the East in an attempt to influence the game at all.  The winds of magic are good to me, giving me 6,3 dice to play with.  Enfeebling Foe on the Boyz fighting the Bestigors is dispelled using all the dispel dice, so I’m feeling good.  Unfortunately, the Bray Shaman fails a simple casting of Wyssan’s Wildform on the Bestigors (they are seriously outnumbered at this point and I’m not expecting them to hold on for much longer).  The Great Bray Shaman does manage to put Withering on the other Boyz unit for -2 toughness to ensure that the Gors will wound them on 3s instead of 5s.  We begin the combats in the West again, with the Ungors killing most of the Wolf Riders and making the survivors head for the hills with their tails between their legs (note that I forgot they were fighting over an Anvil of Vaul which should have made the Wolf Riders fear the Ungors).  The Ungors reform to face the fights in the middle, which I’m expecting to last for a while.  I am pleasingly proved wrong when the Gors do another number on the Orc they’re fighting.  The Boyz can’t manage the insane courage they’d need to stay in the fight (even on a BSB re-roll) and are run down by the Gors.  The only slight sour note is that they pursued about an inch short of contacting the Night Goblins, which would have saved them from a lot of arrows.  The dice come to my rescue with the Bestigors, allowing me to make an improbable number of armour saves and keep them in the fight.  Plenty of Orcs are hewn apart by the return strikes, and when it’s all done we count up for another draw.

The Night Goblins in the East squabble, presumably unaware of the Chariot creeping up on them from behind.  The Giant is in the mood for taking out his earlier failings on the Bestigors so he charges in with a hungry look on his face.  The Fanatics whirl round causing carnage; one of them falls in the river, the other 3 kill a couple of Orcs and Beastmen between them.  To my great irritation, one ends up in a position that I’ll need to land on him with the  Gors if I want them to charge the Night Goblins.  Which of course I do, otherwise they’ll get another round of shooting like this one, which downs seven of them (they don’t panic though, fortunately).  In the main combat, the Giant tries to eat a Bestigor, but he is fought off (so that’s him still not caused a single wound).  After another round of amazing armour saves, the Orcs are down to just the General and the BSB.  The Giant stays in combat, but even he needs a re-roll for that.  The General legs it, with the BSB heroically/idiotically hurling himself to his doom amongst the Bestigors, who gladly despoil his banner and raise it as their own.  The Bray Shaman finishes being cooked by the river, as do another couple of Raiders.

The Gors charge the Night Goblins in the centre, losing another 6 to the fanatic, and the chariot finally does something by charging the rear of the other Night Goblins.  The Ungors reform to face the Spider Riders, and the surviving Raiders finally drag themselves out of the river.  In the magic phase, The Great Bray Shaman, as the only surviving spell caster, starts to take control.  The Night Goblins get Enfeebling Foe (-2S) on them; the Gors are dangerously low on bodies and it would be embarrassing to take more wounds from the Night Goblins than necessary.  Withering reduces the Giant’s toughness by 3 which will make dealing with him a lot easier.  The Raiders finally do something useful by dropping a Fanatic.  Even including impact hits the chariot only manages to kill a single Night Goblin (admittedly for no loss) and the pesky little blighters hold.  The Night Goblins in the middle do a lot less well, failing to inflict any wounds and fleeing despite being steadfast against the depleted Gors; they don’t make it to safety.  In the main event, the Great Bray Shaman winds up and gets four hits against the T3 Giant, but rolls three 1s to wound, so the Giant gets one last chance to redeem himself.  Going with what he knew best, the mighty foam club was swung, getting four hits but again rolling three 1s to wound.  I think that the Bestigor must have died laughing.  The rest of the Bestigors duly fell the huge monster.

The Big Boss rallies, saving himself the shameful but useful position of being first to the pub (the Wolf Riders get that honour).  The Spider Riders head past the Ungors to avoid a charge, and that’s about it for movement.  The Rock Lobber continues its rich vein of form by misfiring again and collapsing (shoddy workmanship I suppose, although Justinmatters’ artillery dice do seem to have a lot of misfires on them – he should use Furycat’s which appear to have none).  The chariot takes a wound from the Night Goblins, does none back and flees, escaping them by only a few inches.  Very disappointing, especially after all the build up of driving round that forest.

At this point, it’s already late, so we agree that the Beastmen are probably winning and aren’t likely to let go.  So, victory for the Beastmen!

Quite a good close game, but I think that I was kept in it by the dice.  The Bestigors made more than their fair share of armour saves, and the Giant in particular couldn’t roll high except on leadership tests.  It was only when writing this up that I remembered that we forgot to do the falling Giant rules when he was killed, and (more importantly) that he should have been thunderstomping all my pesky little dudes into the dust.  That alone would have radically changed the course of the game, so I’m probably due a defeat on this one.

Anyway, I think it is time to try out a new list, so I’m thinking of losing the Ungors and chariots and replacing them with more Gors and testing Razorgors.  I should probably give the Lore of Death a chance too.  I’ll chuck a list together and see how it pans out.

Categories: Battle reports, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

Beastmen vs Empire (1600 points); 05Jan11

Wolfgang sat comfortably astride the saddle of Magritta, his grey horse, enjoying the rhythm of the marching column.  He checked his pistols and powder again, and then again – his father always used to tell him to make sure it was dry when he needed it, and it looked like that time might be now.  The rumour was that the cavalry detachment had been sent out to this far-flung province on the orders of the Emperor himself, and the presence of two of the most famous heroes in the Empire did nothing to gainsay that.  Not only them, but members of two Knightly orders were present too.  The entire battle group was mounted, sent to move as swiftly as possible to stop the unleashing of terrible forces by the mysterious Elves, or worse if you believed the tales told at campfires.  Of course, those tales were told only by the other youths, Pistoliers like himself, acting as scouts and outriders for the heroic knights.  Those doughty mustachioed men were above telling tales of ghosts in the darkness, at least where they might be heard by lesser mortals.

They had been joined by a well drilled regiment of state troops from the last town, which slowed their progress greatly.  Evidently, wherever they were going could not be far away now.  Wolfgang’s mind started to wander… where could they all be going?  And why?  Then a strident blast on a horn brought him back to reality.  That note was made by no man’s breath… that was a challenge… the challenge of a territorial beast.  This would be about showing the true courage inside every man; this would be about blood and glory.

So for my first game of the new year I got to face off against my ancient adversary, Furycat.  He was in the mood for 40K, and I was in the mood for Warhammer, but since he is such a gentleman, he let me have my way.  I decided to use the same herd as my last outing against Forkbanger‘s High Elves.  This was partly to avoid a case of ‘tailoring for the enemy’ since I knew that I’d be playing against the Empire by that point, but partly because I sometimes like to have a few runs out with the same list to see how units do.

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)

Furycat is currently reading Sword of Justice, so he decided to try out a Knightly army with only a single unmounted unit.

Kurt Helborg (KH)

Ludwig Schwarzhelm (LS)

Warrior Priest, knightly stuff, Hammer of Judgment, Enchanted Shield (WP)

9 Reiksguard Knights (Inner Circle Knights with lances), full command, Steel Standard (RK)

8 Knights of the White Wolf (Knightly Orders with great weapons), full command, War Banner (W)

2 x 5 Pistoliers (P1 and P2)

25 Swordsmen, full command (S)

The Great Bray Shaman takes his spells as Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, The Withering and Pit of Shades (again) and the Bray Shaman gets Wyssan’s Wildform and The Savage Beast of Horros.  Our scenario for today is Blood and Glory, and we both have a fortitude of 6; the breaking point is 2.  The terrain is randomly generated, although due to my uncanny ability this time to roll up either Encampments of Destruction or whatever the goodie-two-shoe equivalent is, we end up re-rolling a few of them so as to actually be able to see the table surface.  The statue in the West is a Bane Stone, there is an Idol of Gork surrounded by normal walls in the Encampment of Destruction in the middle, and the thing that looks like a Sphinx in the East actually is a Sphinx.  The marsh is a mist-wreathed swamp, so we all want to steer well clear of the well-documented fate of those taken by the Fimir.  After deployment, including the scouting Harpies and the vanguard moves from the Pistoliers, the table looked rather like this.

The Beastmen take first turn, despite the Empire deployment finishing comfortably first, so the game begins with the Western Tuskgor Chariot declaring a charge into the Pistoliers.  Furycat considers fleeing in order to take advantage of their fast cavalry status but then realises that they are placed in such a way that they’d just flee straight off the table.  Instead, they stand and shoot, taking  2 wounds off the chariot (and instantly making them the best shots of an otherwise woeful game for missile fire).  Everyone else moves up, with the other chariot moving and angling in such a way as to hopefully prevent the White Wolves just hammering directly into the Gors.  The Raiders form up to shoot the unengaged Pistoliers and avoid simply getting thundered over by the Reiksguard.  Both Shamans make a total mess of the magic phase, failing to cast either spell they tried (Wildform and Miasma), leaving Furycat grinning like a child and clutching a pile of dispel dice with nothing to throw them at.  A stray arrow from the Raiders gets lucky and a single Pistolier falls from his saddle wondering how he came to be so unfortunate as to die by archery when facing Beastmen.   Meanwhile, the chariot mows down 3 of the other Pistoliers with impact hits, then cuts down the other 2 for the loss of its third wound; it reforms to face East, and where I expect the White Wolves to be in my next turn.

The Swordsmen improbably fail a short charge on the Ungors and stumble forward a couple of inches instead, but the charioteers have no such luck and see a wall of armoured horse-riding maniacs crashing down on them, waving mighty hammers and bearing moustaches a walrus would be proud to own.  The surviving Pistoliers move around to keep out of everyone’s charge arcs while still affording themselves nice shots (it doesn’t help; they don’t even manage a single hit on the Besitgors).  In the magic phase, the Warrior Priest puts Armour of Contempt on Ludwig Schwarzhelm, but since we both forget about it immediately, I suppose he might as well not have bothered.  Finally, the Knights of the White Wolf smash the Chariot into matchwood for the loss of a single wound on the Warrior Priest.  Furycat debates over-running to avoid a charge from the Gors and the other Chariot, then decides to take them on by reforming to straighten up (presumably reasoning that since they have great weapons it doesn’t really matter who charges).

It’s pretty much charges all round for the Beastmen.  The Harpies fail a long charge into the flank of the Swordsmen but the Ungors make it (and would have had a re-roll from the Idol of Gork if necessary anyway).  The Gors and the surviving Chariot get stuck into the White Wolves.  The Raiders angle themselves to hopefully redirect the Reiksguard Knights and stop them from charging the Bestigors.  The Bray Shaman puts Wildform on the Ungors (who I figure need the help more than the Gors) and it is let through unopposed since Furycat rightly guesses my intentions and saves his dispel dice.  Miasma on the Reiksguard Knights is dispelled, and although Pit of Shades does work, it hilariously scatters away from the Knights and over a few of the Harpies.  Oh dear.  They all pass their initiative checks though so it’s only a wasted opportunity…  The Raiders get back into their usual style, pattering a few arrows harmlessly off the armour of the Reiksguard Knights.  In the close combat, the Swordsmen take advantage of their initiative 4 to strike before the Ungors, but outrageous rolling has them fail to inflict a single wound.  The Ungors, amazed by this display of ineptitude, carve a bloody swathe through them, then break them and catch the survivors, wiping them out to a man.  Onto the main combat, Ludwig Schwarzhelm issues a challenge and the Wargor bravely pushes the Foe-Render into his way.  It’s a good thing for the BSB too since the hero of the Empire does administer serious beating to the Gor champion.  A few of the brave Knights are dragged down and knifed while a bunch of Gors are pulverised by huge hammer swings; when we finally count things up it’s a draw.  Both sides settle in for a long slugging match.  The Gors have numbers on their side, but Ludwig Schwarzhelm appears to be something of a one-man threshing machine.

Despite my efforts, the Reiksguard Knights do indeed manage to charge the Bestigors.  We all spend a while looking at the rulebook (it’s probably not totally clear in the picture since my Battle Chronicler-fu is weak; there wasn’t quite enough room for the Knights to squeeze between the building and the Raiders), but here is the summary:  the Knights declare a charge on the Bestigors, but can’t reach them without clipping the Raiders.  They automatically declare a multiple charge on the Raiders too.  The Raiders then form up around the middle dude.  This gives space for the Knights to contact the Bestigors cleanly, so the Raiders just spread out again.  Anyway, after that the only unit who can move is the Pistoliers, who circle right back round the swamp to pepper then Raiders with shot.  The Warrior Priest toasts a Gor with Soulfire, and the Pistoliers do indeed manage to take a single Raider out with massed gunfire (I think he must have had a heart attack based on the general quality of shooting in this game), then we go to combat.  Ludwig Schwarzhelm issues another challenge and this time the Wargor steps up to do what he’s got to do.  Sadly, this mainly involves taking a wound and scoring none back, but at least he survives for another round.  The rest of the melee keeps swirling, and after all is said and done we have another draw.  This time though, the White Wolf musician has been one of the casualties, so the Beastmen win.  The Knights bravely hold (admittedly on a re-roll from the BSB who is surely the man of the match so far for the Empire) so they’ll get another go, but the weight of numbers is starting to tell.  Over in the other combat, Kurt Helborg issues a challenge.  After seeing what a Hero (Ludwig Schwarzhelm) can do, the Great Bray Shaman is not keen to face down a combat specialist Lord so the Gouge Horn accepts and is duly annihilated (+3 overkill too).  The Reiksguard Knights weigh in too, skewering another load of Bestigors who somehow fail to inflict a single wound in return, including the Great Bray Shaman who had made way to get in to the fight.  Fortunately, the combat was not so disastrous as to remove 2 full ranks, so they are steadfast and hold.  The Knights reform to maximise contact (which the Bestigors were also going to do otherwise).

There are no charges this turn since everyone is either in combat already or has no-one in their charge arc.  The Ungors and Harpies reform to face some potential victims and the Raiders jink out of the Pistoliers’ charge arc.  In the magic phase, I realise it is time for some serious buffing and hexing to save the Bestigors’ bacon.  Wildform on the Bestigors is dispelled (Furycat is all too aware of how good that spell is), but there aren’t enough dice to stop the Enfeebling Foe (-3 strength) going on the Reiksguard Knights.  With only single die remaining (and none at all for the Empire) the Great Bray Shaman goes for a cheeky single die casting of the lower version of Miasma on the Reiksguard Knights, getting -3 weapon skill.  Even with all those hexes on him, Ludwig Schwarzhelm still manages to put 2 wounds on the Great Bray Shaman in a challenge thanks to that magic sword of his, and it’s only the Talisman of Preservation that keeps the Shaman in the fight at all; he does manage a wound back though which is a good start.  Needing 5s to hit and 6s to wound the rest of the Reiksguard Knights don’t manage a single wound on the Bestigors which is certainly a turn around from the previous combat phase.  A whole lot of great weapon-related chopping goes on and the few surviving Knights flee and are caught by angry Beastmen.  Strictly speaking the game ends there (the Empire are down to their breaking point of 2), but we forgot about that and ran the other combat anyway.  It could also be noted here that Furycat forgot about both the Laurels of Victory carried by Kurt Helborg (meaning the wounds he caused count double for combat resolution) and that he is stubborn when joined to a unit of Reiksguard Knights.  Our impartial witness, Justinmatters, said that his recollection of the dice etc was that the Knights lost and fled anyway so it possibly didn’t make any difference.  Anyway, the lesson here is to try and remember all your special rules, otherwise you’re just handicapping yourself.  Over with Ludwig Schwarzhelm and his dwindling band of drinking buddies, the man himself finally cuts down the Wargor, but when he looks around he finds that he is alone on that side of the field.  Indeed, all that is left of the mighty Empire army is Ludwig Schwarzhelm and a handful of Pistoliers.  Victory for the Beastmen!

As usual, a very fun game with Furycat.  He took a very different army than usual, and I thought he played it rather well for a first outing.  Those two Empire named characters are raging murder-beasts, I’m certainly glad I don’t see them across the table from me each time we play.  For the Beastmen, the two stars of the show were steadfast (allowing the Bestigors to soak up the almighty lance-charge of the Reiksguard Knights) and magic (buffing the Ungors so they were able to decimate the Swordsmen and hexing the Reiksguard Knights at the end).  I didn’t make any real use of the Harpies, so they were a bit a waste this time – if the game had continued I might have been able to throw them into those pesky Pistoliers though.  One possible error was in spell selection: I got a double allowing me to pick Pit of Shades, but I think I’ve possibly just become too keen on that spell after it was the only good thing to happen to me in a previous game against the Empire (dropping an Arch-Lector in one go).  After watching the Gors struggle to get through all that armour on the Knights I wonder if I might have been better off going for Okkam’s Mindrazor instead.  Live and learn…

Wolfgang urged Margitta to greater urgency.  He was covered in sweat and blood, but only the sweat was his own.  This morning, he could never have believed that he would share a horse with a man as valiant as Kurt Helborg.  This morning, he could never have believed that Kurt Helborg could bleed or fall like other men.  But now, this evening, Wolfgang carried the mortally injured hero to somewhere, anywhere safe.  Somewhere out of the woods and away from that accursed braying…

Categories: Battle reports, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

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