Monthly Archives: February 2011

Painted gors

Here are the begnnings of a herd of Gors for my Beastmen.  I’ve actually had most of these painted for a while but I saved them up to base them all in one go since I find that the least inspiring part of the process.  Well, in the specific case of the this colour scheme one of the most depressing parts is applying the first layer of the skin tone since it looks like I’m painting bare plastic back over the undercoat. Currently the musician takes pride of place in the front rank since the Foe Render and the standard bearer are still on the painting table.  They’re near to finished but it’ll be a while before I base them so they’re not likely to get photographed too soon.

This guy is my favourite.  I really like the dynamism of the pose, running forward to get stuck in to the soft tasty flesh of his victims.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Beastmen (1600 points) vs High Elves (1920 points); 09Feb11

In turn 9 of the Border Princes campaign the Beastmen have two battles to fight and they are outnumbered in both. I opted to use both of my supporting banners in the repeat of the showdown with Aramoro‘s Bretonnians for the Old Silk Road, leaving a single banner of my smelly goats to have a go at Forkbanger‘s High Elves, who are not only supported by one of their own banners but fortified for good measure. My banner is actually the one that previously fought the High Elves in the battle for the Warrens, so I chose to take pretty much exactly the same set of characters. I decided that this was a good time to throw one of the big monsters from the Rare selections on to the table. My reasoning was that I might as well do something entertaining in the battle since I was starting it 320 points down, and High Elves have the least artillery available to splatter the poor brute across the landscape. It’s hard to argue with a gigantic enraged bipedal bull, so the Ghorgon duly took up an obscene number of my points. As a result, I had to carve the rest of my list down to a fairly minimal bunch of infantry.

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)

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

30 Ungors, full command (U)

8 Ungor raiders, musician (UR)

23 Bestigors, full command (B)

5 Harpies, scout (H)

Ghorgon (Gh)

Forkbanger took this lot of pointy eared chaps:

Archmage, Level 4, Silver Wand, Talisman of Preservation, Ruby Ring of Ruin, Lore of Shadow (AM)

Mage, Level 2, Seerstaff of Saphery, Talisman of Protection, Lore of High Magic (M)

Noble, BSB, Banner of Sorcery, Dragon Armour, Shield, Great Weapon (BSB)

2 x 24 Lothern Seaguard, shields, full command (SG1 and SG2)

18 White Lions of Chrace, full command, Terrifying Mask of Eeee! (on champion) (WL)

5 Dragon Princes of Caledor, full command, War Banner

Forkbanger and Justinmatters generated the terrain while I was sorting out my army list, and we got only 5 pieces to place.  There is a (normal) fence in the centre of the field with an Anvil of Vaul in the North.  To the East of the fence is a Haunted Mansion (which we forgot about pretty much instantly) and a normal building in the South.  Finally, a mysterious wood is in the West, but since I deployed the Raiders in it, we knew at the start of the game that it was an Abyssal Wood.  The scenario yet again is Blood and Glory, which, along with Dawn Attack, feels like it has made up the vast majority of my games.

The Archmage selects Occam’s Mindrazor, Enfeebling Foe, Withering, Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Pit of Shades (mmm, my favourites too) and the Mage has Curse of Arrow Attraction, Shield of Saphery along with Drain Magic which appears to come as a freebie for High Magic users.  I briefly consider taking a more lively spell for the Bray Shaman, but just go with Wyssan’s Wildform as usual.  The Great Bray Shaman has Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Withering and Pit of Shades.  Sadly, I had rolled up both Penumbral Pendulum and Pit of Shades (both pretty useless against such high initiative foes) and I could only get rid of one of them.  The High Elves finish deploying first, win the roll-off and take the first turn.  This was how we both deployed:

The Dragon Princes move forward, wishing they were riding actual Dragons instead of horses with fancy armour; the rest of the High Elves are quite happy on their hill.  The winds of magic only give a pitiful 1,1 but with the Banner of Sorcery this is actually a pretty decent result for the High Elves since I won’t be able to dispel anything.  The two Elven wizards combine to put Curse of Arrow Attraction and Withering (-3 toughness) on the Harpies.  I mentally write them off, and a volley of arrows from both Seaguard units proves me right.  So not only am I starting 320 short, but I’ve lost one of my units straight out of the gate.  Oh dear.

There’s not much finesse to my army at this stage of the game: I have to get my units forward as quickly as possible or they’ll eventually be shot to death by archers.  Everyone barrels forward at top speed, except the Raiders who stay in the forest (since they’re stubborn in there, and might get to lay a Dragon Prince low with a dangerous terrain check) and the Bestigors, who wheel slightly to keep an option on charging the Dragon Princes.  Magic gives us 5,1 dice to play with.  A casting of the upgraded Miasma on the Seaguard is dispelled, but the Bray Shaman puts Wildform on the Bestigors to further worry the Dragon Princes.

It’s decision time for the Dragon Princes.  They briefly consider charging the Bestigors but realise that at strength 7, toughness 5 they are far too much to handle.  Instead, the noble Elves charge the Raiders, willing to risk the dangerous terrain checks.  The Raiders are having none of that, fleeing the charge and dooming the Dragon Princes to stumble forward into the middle of the charge arc of the Bestigors.  They start to look a little nervous.  To make up for turn 1, we get 6,5 dice for the winds of magic this turn, which combines with the Banner of Sorcery to max out the power dice at 12.  This is going to be bad.  However the Archmage, who isn’t quite the master of magic he hopes, fails a 2 dice casting of the upgraded Miasma on the Gors, thereby ending his contribution to this phase.  Forkbanger sighs.  Still, with so many dice, he might as well use them, so the Ruby Ring of Ruin is used to fire a fireball at the Ghorgon (let through, but fails to wound).  Both Shield of Saphery (on Seaguard 1) and Curse of Arrow Attraction (of the Bestigors) are dispelled.  So much for 12 power dice.  The ranged combat doesn’t go much better, dropping a single Bestigor and failing to wound the Ghorgon.

The Bestigors charge the Dragon Princes, and after some consideration Forkbanger opts to flee with them (which I think I would have done too).  Unfortunately, they roll very low and the Bestigors roll very high and the High Elves are run down.  Perhaps the only consolation for the High Elves is that the Bestigors are now well out of position.  The Raiders fail to rally and are about half an inch too far from the BSB to re-roll it, so they run off the table taking the Bray Shaman with them.  It’s probably quite marginal whether trading them for the Dragon Princes is worth it (points-wise), but that’s how it goes.  The Ghorgon moves up to the East of the Seaguard so that they at least have to move before shooting him; I forgot to roll to restrain frenzy but he probably would have passed anyway on leadership 10 and in range of the BSB.  The Gors swift reform to 5 wide since I think they’ll need plenty of ranks against the White Lions directly ahead of them.  In the magic phase, another casting of Miasma on the Seaguard is dispelled, but Withering reduces the White Lions’ toughness by 2.

The Seaguard in the East wheel to bring the Ghorgon into view, and then it’s straight to magic.  The Archmage continues his poor run by failing a 3 dice casting of Withering on the Ghorgon (lucky for me – that would have really hurt) and Curse of Arrow attraction on the Bestigors is dispelled.  With a single remaining die available, the Mage casts Drain Magic which we instantly forget about.  Volleys of arrows fell another Bestigor and put two wounds on the Ghorgon, but it’s looking like too little.

The Ghorgon charges the Seaguard, and the Gors and Ungors both charge the White Lions, everyone making contact.  The Bestigors swift reform to head back to the action as quickly as possible.  The magic dice are 4,3, and I do something silly.  Miasma is put on the White Lions, but I only reduce their stats by one so they’ll still re-roll to hit (curses!) and since I have no spells left (remember, Withering is still on the White Lions) I try my luck with Pit of Shades on the unengaged Seaguard.  Of course it has no effect.  The High Elves then simply dispel Withering using the dice they saved by letting the other two spells through.  I hadn’t realised that you could dispel remain in play spells with dispel dice, I thought it had to be done with power dice.  So of course the low casting value is easily overcome.  I should have voluntarily ended the spell and recast it (using the dice I effectively wasted on Pit of Shades) thus making sure that at least a higher dispel roll could have been needed.  Anyway, you live and learn.  The Gors and Ungors mow down half the White Lions, though the Gors suffer plenty of casualties in return.  They’re stubborn, so they hold easily.  Meanwhile, the Seaguard fail to wound the Ghorgon and are thoroughly trampled for their failure, although they do at least hold since they’re steadfast.

There is no movement so it’s straight to the magic phase where the High Elves really need a good run to turn things around.  They get 4,3 dice plus a couple from the Banner of Sorcery, and the Archmage casts Withering on the Ghorgon.  Sadly, he might as well have cast ‘nuclear strike on my location’, thanks to a hilarious miscast.  The Irresistable spell itself only reduces the Ghorgon’s toughness by one (so no difference to the strength 3 Seaguard), but the resulting Dimensional Cascade vapourises 9 Seaguard, 6 Ungors and wounds the Ghorgon.  The Archmage himself not only ward saves the strength 10 hit but also avoids being dragged into the warp.  Sensing the Seaguard’s impending doom (since he blew up so many of them that it is close to inconceivable that they could bring down the Ghorgon now) he uses Smoke and Mirrors to swap places with the hapless Mage.  It sucks to be the Mage – his last attempt to survive, putting  Shield of Saphery on his newly-joined Seaguard, is dispelled by the Great Bray Shaman.  The unengaged Seaguard kill a few more Bestigors, but there are still plenty of them left.  The enraged Ghorgon tramples or eats almost all of the remaining Seaguard in the East and pursues a couple of survivors off the table to snack on them at his leisure.  In the centre, the White Lions wake up to the gravity of their situation and severely dent the Gors for only a couple of losses.  Both Beastmen units hold thanks to the BSB re-roll.

The Bestigors, needing a 7 to charge the Seaguard, roll a 12 and hit the High Elves like an avalanche.  Standing and shooting fells a couple of the elite Beastmen but it’s surely too little, too late for the Seaguard.  The Ghorgon comes back on the table and wheels to face the flank of the Seaguard, or, more specifically, the tasty looking Archmage on the flank.  The Great Bray Shaman tries to put Miasma on the Seaguard but the Archmage wisely dispels it.  This allows him to put Withering on the White Lions, reducing their toughness to 1.  The Bestigors chop through the Seaguard like the wild lumberjacks they are, and the High Elves have clearly had enough of this, fleeing off the table with the Archmage in tow.  The Beastmen reform to threaten the flank of the White Lions.  Despite only having toughness 1, the White Lions actually win combat again, mainly thanks to an astonishing number of 1s to wound from the Ungors and saving throws being made.  The Gors, who are down to only two plus the BSB manage to hold on the BSB reroll, as do the Ungors (though they are steadfast anyway).

Forkbanger calls it a day there, since he has about 6 White Lions and the BSB left, and they aren’t likely to do enough damage to rescue the situation on their own.  Victory for the Beastmen!

I’m amazed that I managed to pull off such a massacre there considering the points disadvantage.  Forkbanger had three terrible magic phases in a row – fail to cast, fail to cast, miscast, and that pretty much sealed his doom.  Even the best general can’t do much with dice like that.

I wasn’t too impressed with the Ghorgon.  Admittedly, he did all I asked of him (i.e. eating some Seaguard), but I just felt that those 275 points could have been much more effective somewhere else.  Perhaps I just need to make more of those outrageous number of attacks.

As for the High Elves, we spoke a bit after the game, and wondered if Beastmen against High Elves is just a match-up that hugely favours the Beastmen.  It was also suggested that 1600 points is an army size which is much better for Beastmen than High Elves, although I’m not sure whether that could have been the case.  Forkbanger had a look on the interwebs to see if any useful information could be found, and got the following contradictory advice:

  • spend no more than 400 points on core.
  • spend 800 points on special.
  • not buy command groups for units.
  • not play elves at less than 2000 points.
  • not play at all at less than 2000 points.
  • remove about 50-100 points of magic items and spend it on [something wonderous that wins games].
  • keep the magic item spend the same but change them all.
  • drop the casters and use combat lords/heroes.
  • keep the casters and use them better, duh.
  • change the core units.
  • use a different formation for the core units.
  • use numerically more core units.
  • use less costly core units.
  • use more cavalry.
  • use fast cavalry.
  • use no cavalry.
  • use heroes on eagles as cavalry.

So if anyone has any clever ideas then I’m sure he’d be delighted to hear about them.

Categories: Battle reports, Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , | 14 Comments

Border Princes Campaign (Turn 9)

After a single indecisive (but large) battle in the dead centre of the map, turn 9 of the Border Princes campaign has thrown up a host of battles with supporting banners all over the place.  In the North, two High Elf banners make the first use of Fortifications to prepare themselves for the inevitable Beastmen assault, while a Bretonnian banner in Malko does the same (but is disappointed by the lack of callers).  Other Beastmen movement includes a repeat assault on the Old Silk Road, a move which is reciprocated by the Bretonnians.

A contingent of Orcs and Goblins moves into the Northern section of the Central Blood River and find itself caught up in a battle with an Empire army with two supporting banners – Justinmatters decides just to flee without putting up a fight (boo, hiss!).  Meanwhile, the Empire continue their march to the North and East intent on their stated goal of wiping the hated Beastmen from the Border Princes entirely.

Due to the close proximity of the battles around the Old Silk Road, the Beastmen have a choice of where to use their support.  The High Elves in Section 40 already have a 320 point advantage (fortification plus support from the banner in Section 21) so I opt to just face them with a single banner.  In the Old Silk Road that leaves the Beastmen with two supporting banners versus a host of Bretonnians (also with two supporting banners) and an allied contingent of Empire troops from Section 61.

The banners that are currently identified are:

Bretonnians: Lord Guillaume L’Echec (crown symbol; currently in Malko), un-named Prophetess (chalice symbol; fighting in the Old Silk Road)
Orcs & Goblins: Un-named Goblin Warboss (chess knight symbol; currently in Section 71); un-named Orc Big Boss (Orc head symbol; currently in Section 96)
Empire: Two armies with un-named Generals of the Empire (cannon symbol; currently in Section 62 and cavalry symbol (also includes Ludwig Schwarzhelm); currently in section 92)
High Elves: No identified banners
Beastmen: Great Bray Shaman Brannick the Forlorn (cow symbol; fighting in Section40), Great Bray Shaman Black Angus (bull’s head symbol; fighting in the Old Silk Road)

Finally, for those interested, here are the scores at this stage (before any battles involving High Elves, Bretonnians and the Beastmen, but after the flight of the Orcs and Goblins).  The Orcs & Goblins and Beastmen will gain an extra banner at the start of next turn regardless of the results of any combat (the Beastmen could gain two if they manage to win both battles).  The High Elves will gain a banner if they hold at Section 40 and the Bretonnians will also gain one if they hold the Old Silk Road at the second time of asking.

Empire: 24 points (20 territories, 1 of which is special); 7 banners
Orcs & Goblins: 23 points (19 territories, 1 of which is special); 6 banners
Beastmen: 23 points (19 territories, 1 of which is special); 6 banners
Bretonnians: 21 points (12 territories, 1 of which is Malko); 4 banners
High Elves: 16 points (12 territories, 1 of which is special); 4 banners

Categories: Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tavern Talk – List Building

Kuffeh asks:

After listening to a recent show of Heelanhammer I came across the idea of list building.  I wanted to see how people went about building their lists.  There are a host of methods people use.  Some start with the rare slots or their character choices, while others get the core choice out of the way.  Do you see a difference between a friendly pick up game list and a tournament list?  One thing it seems many gamers often appear to view and consider with their lists is the meta game – how much attention do you put on the local meta-gaming?  Are your lists consistent or do you change from game to game?  I have heard of gamers tailoring their lists to work against certain armies or lists, does this appeal to you?  How do you feel on the topic of tailored lists?

The main criterion I find I adhere to when selecting a list is that the army laid out before me must look like the way I see the army in my head. In the case of Beastmen, that would be a mob of unruly goat men surging across the table in their desperation to get to grips with their hated foes, In that regard, I quote Aramoro: ‘Effectiveness be damned!’

Even for me there are some subtleties for my choices though; I do like a little effectiveness. So the first to go on my army list is always the Battle Standard Bearer (BSB). A Wargor with gnarled hide, heavy armour and a shield; he has rarely let me down, especially in comparison to the single time I tried to use a Gorebull BSB. After that, a mighty herd of Gors to strain their leashes across to their victims on the other side of the field is the next to go on the list. I’ve used a lot of Bestigors lately (and after all, they are very effective for me, and the models are excellent), but I find that they are not an automatic selection for me in the same way as the Gors. The Bestigors have had to fight tooth and nail (or should that be horn and hoof) to win their way into my army lists. After that, it’s a matter of bulking up the core blocks and then trying to find the points to test out something new and (so far) untested, such as the Lore of Death, Harpies, Razorgors or a Ghorgon.

Ideally, I like to try out a list (or very close variations of a list) for a few games before making a decision about whether it is a ‘keeper’ or not. A few poor decisions, which are particularly common in my games, can make a good list seem bad so I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt. Equally, bad dice can influence one’s thought on units or lists. For example, Justinmatters was put off war machines in his Orc and Goblin armies after this game in which his artillery dice had ‘misfire’ written on all six sides. Sometimes, though, a list turns out to have so many weak points that it isn’t worth playing even one more game with it.

The question of tailored lists and meta-games is an interesting one. Ordinarily, all my army lists would be ‘take-all-comers’ type lists, since I don’t know who I’m facing. However, with the Border Princes campaign I am currently running, each battle is against a known opponent, with a known army (or at least, a known race to select his army from) so it would be possible to select a list which is specifically effective against them. Luckily here, my lack of knowledge of Warhammer comes in handy, since I simply don’t know enough about any army to choose better options against them. Perhaps the only consideration I would make is not to take any of the big rare monsters (Cygor, Ghorgon, Giant or Jabberslythe) when facing Furycat‘s Empire – he really likes his artillery!

Categories: Tavern Talk, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Painted ungors

These are my Ungors.  There are many like them, but these ones are mine.  Without me, my Ungors are useless.  Without my Ungors… well, perhaps not quite that far.

Hello, and welcome to the first post with painted models ever to ‘grace’ this blog.  When I started playing Beastmen, I bought one of the old mixed herd boxes, and assembled them back in September. So it’s only taken me about 4 months to actually paint the little blighters.  There are only 8 of them, and recently they’ve been doing their duty as Raiders since they stand out nicely from the rest of my (unpainted) Ungors.  The stern looking chap above is my favourite so far.  I just like the pose with him glowering fiercely over his shield as though contemplating which of the hated man-things’ idols to despoil first.  In that regard, his ambition far outreachs his ability.

It can easily be seen that my photography skills still need a lot of work.  I think the main thing I’m getting wrong in these pictures must be the lack of light.  Though in the flesh (so to speak) there’s so much light being put on them I’m concerned about browning out the local grid.  The only saving grace is that at least it hides the paint job.  If anyone is looking for some well painted models, I most highly recommend Forkbanger‘s recent posts showing off his Blood Angels and Tyranids.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 8 Comments

Beastmen and Orcs & Goblins (2080 points) vs Bretonnians and High Elves (1920 points); 01Feb11

It’s turn 8 of the Border Princes campaign, and the only battle is an epic clash in the middle of the map. Aramoro lay down the gauntlet for my Beastmen on the Old Silk Road, and I was happy to oblige (after all, there’s not much point playing a Warhammer campaign if we’re going to avoid fighting any battles). Due to other movement, the Bretonnians are supported by one of their own banners and a contingent of Forkbanger‘s High Elves. For my part there are two supporting Beastmen banners and one of Justinmatters‘ Orc & Goblin banners nearby to lend some small green hands, which leaves me with a small advantage in points. Since I’m a bit of a numpty , I thought that my banner in combat was the same one which fought the High Elves in the Warrens, so I selected a very similar force, then bolstered it with a bunch of entertaining stuff like Razorgors. I added the Beast Banner to my BSB after a strong recommendation from Zebrazach; normally I’m wary about using such an expensive magic item in a small game, but this is the most points I’ve played so far.

Black Angus – Great Bray Shaman, Level 4, Steel Claws, Talisman of Preservation, Jagged Dagger, Ironcurse Icon, Lore of Shadow (GBS)

Herod of the Short Mile – Wargor, BSB, Beast Banner, Gnarled Hide, Heavy Armour, Shield (BSB)

Mumak the Wanderer – Bray Shaman, Level 2, Chalice of Dark Rain, additional hand weapon, Lore of Beasts (BS)

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

30 Ungors, full command (U)

8 Ungor raiders, musician (UR)

2 Tuskgor Chariots (TC1 and TC2)

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

2 x 5 Harpies, scouts (H1 and H2)

2 single Razorgors (R1 and R2)

22 Night Goblins, short bows, full command, 3 fanatics (NG and F1 to F3)

Aramoro already had his list ready for the game so he just added a unit of Knights Errant at 160 points or so to make up his total.  Forkbanger weighed in with a unit of Archers to pepper my poor Beastmen with even more hurty arrows.

Prophetess, Level 4, Warhorse, Dispel Scroll, Lore of Life (P)

Damsel, Level 2, Warhorse, Power Scroll, Lore of Life (D)

Paladin, BSB, Warhorse (BSB)

Paladin, Virtue of Confidence, Gauntlets of the Duel, Ogre Blade (Pa)

11 Knights of the Realm, full command (KotR1)

10 Knights of the Realm, full command (KotR2)

15 Peasant Bowmen (PB)

7 Knights Errant, full command (KE)

3 Pegasus Knights (PK)

2 x Field Trebuchet (T1 and T2)

12 High Elf Archers, full command (HEA)

We generated the terrain randomly, and Aramoro got to place first, so once again he placed those pesky walls (Blessed Bulwarks this time) out of the way in the South East corner.  There is a normal hill in the North West, an Earthblood Mere in the West and in dead centre we have a Bane Stone.  As for the rest… we’ll have to wait and see.  The scenario is Blood and Glory – which causes an interesting question in this lopsided game; according to the rules we have different breaking points because of the different army sizes.  Anyway, this didn’t occur to us until I started writing the report so it didn’t actually affect anything.  Still, I’m curious to know what anyone thinks.

The Great Bray Shaman rolls a Yahtzee of 1s so I pick Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, The Withering, Enfeebling Foe and Okkam’s Mindrazor (I’ve never seen the use of Steed of Shadows for my armies yet).  The Bray Shaman takes Transformation of Kadon to go with the usual Wyssan’s Wildform.  Over on the Bretonnian camp, the Prophetess picks spell first (presumably to guarantee that the Power Scrolling Damsel will get Dwellers Below), taking Throne of Vines, Skin to Stone, Earthblood and Awakening the Wood.  The Damsel takes Dwellers Below (of course) and Shield of Thorns.

The Bretonnians finish setting up first by a long chalk, but they pray anyway so the Beastmen gratefully take first turn for the chance to get out from under the falling Trebuchet-launched rocks a little quicker.

The game itself starts with the Night Goblins obligingly rolling ‘Plan’s a Good ‘un!’ on the animosity table and racing toward the Bretonnians like the good little meatshields allies they are.  Pretty much everyone else does the same; the Razorgor in the West angling so that if the Knights Errant kill it on the charge then at least they run the risk of over-running into the swamp.  Magic comes up with 1,1 (and to add insult to injury, the Prophetess channels another dispel die), but the Great Bray Shaman nevertheless manages to put Enfeebling Foe on the Prophetess’s Knights.  This was partly to make them think twice about charging, and partly to suck up a few power dice next turn dispelling it.

Predictably, the Knights Errant charge the Razorgor; they didn’t even try to restrain themselves.  Both of the Knights of the Realm units shuffle back to give a little more time before it is Fanatic o’clock, with the Damsel bailing out of her unit.  In the magic phase, Enfeebling Foe is indeed dispelled, then the Prophetess puts Throne of Vines on herself.  An attempt at casting Flesh to Stone on her Knight bodyguard is dispelled.  The Bray Shaman uses the Chalice of Dark Rain to stymie the Bretonnian shooting phase, but annoyingly both Trebuchets pass their test and squash 11 of the Bestigors between them.  Both archer units fire at the Night Goblins, but this time the rain has more of an effect and only 4 of the little guys keel over.  The Knight Errant turn the Razorgor into a giant pork kebab before it even has a chance to fight back, and in the rush to season it heavily with garlic they forget to over-run (in fact, they reform to face the flank of the Ungors).

Both sets of Harpies go screeching into their intended victims, a mob of Peasant Archers and the crew of a Trebuchet respectively.  Both chariots and the Razorgor fail charges on Knights of the Realm units despite only needing 7s across the board and having swiftstride.  It’s not like I thought they’d win, but the could have been luck and held the Knights in place until I could get in about them with other units.  Instead, the Night Goblins move up and fire their Fanatics.  One bounces through the Prophetess’s Knights of the Realm and the Trebuchet before going off the board, but poor rolls from Justinmatters means that only a single Knight is taken down.  The other 2 just park themselves in front of the Knights of the Realm to make charging anyone a slightly less pleasant proposition.  Throne of Vines is dispelled in the magic phase, and the upgraded version of Miasma reduces the Pegasus Knights stats by 1 (mainly to make it a bit less appealing for them to go charging around my rear areas next turn).  As usual, the shooting phase is wholly ineffective.  Combat goes much more to my taste though, with the Harpies in the West killing a few Peasants and running the rest down, finally contacting the flank of the High Elves.  Over in the East, the other Harpies comfortably eat the entire Trebuchet crew and over-run into what turns out to be a River of Light.  To sour things a little, it kills one of them with Shem’s Burning Gaze.

The Bretonnians decide that it’s time to even up the story a bit.  The Prophetess’s Knights charge a chariot, losing 2 to the Fanatic on the way.  The other Knights of the Realm charge the Razorgor, which flees and successfully redirect into the Gors.  The Pegasus Knights swoop into the Raiders, who also hold (this surprised me a little; I was expecting that they’d go for the flank of the Gors, which probably shows how much I know about Bretonnian tactics).  To my great disappointment the Knights Errant restrain themselves from charging the Ungors.  The magic phases yields 3,3 dice, and the Damsel sticks all 6 into Power Scroll-ing Dwellers Below into the Bestigors, though a decent bit of rolling means only 3 are dragged to their doom.  The miscast does nothing of note, failing to wound the Damsel thanks to her ward save and sucking away the rest of the power dice (of which there none anyway).  The Trebuchet crew are too busy looking over their shoulders at the Harpies eyeing them greedily from river to concentrate on what they’re doing.  Thanks to the misfire they won’t be able to fire next turn either, although if I have my way that won’t really matter.  The Paladin in the Knights of the Realm issues his inescapable challenge, and the Wargor, noting the size of his weapon, hurriedly pushes the Foe-Render into his path.  It’s just as well, since he wounds with all 3 attacks, although I guess strength 6 re-rolling hits and wounds will do that for you.  The rest of the Knights kill a few Gors in exchange for 3 of them being dragged off their horses and trampled inelegantly.  The Gors hold on steadfast and the Knights reform to 5 wide.  The High Elves and Harpies trade slaps (draw), but the rest of the combats go much better for the Bretonnians.  The Pegasus Knights kill a couple of Raiders for no loss although they can’t catch the fleeing Ungors thanks to a ridiculously low pursuit roll.  The other Knights of the Realm blow through the chariot without even slowing down.

The unengaged Harpies flap their way into the terrified (I imagine) Peasants manning the Trebuchet, but thanks to my hopeless positioning of units, I can’t manage to get any charges anywhere else.  The Raiders (and more importantly, the Bray Shaman in them) rally but the Razorgor doesn’t, so that’s good night from him.  Otherwise, units reform or wheel to try and sort out the mess in midfield, with the exception of the Goblins who are too busy squabbling to do anything useful.  The newly rallied Bray Shaman puts an Irresistable Wildform on the Gors in combat (strength 5, toughness 5 Gors? yes please), but the miscast wounds him and toasts another couple of Raiders as well as ending the magic phase.  The High Elves and Harpies kill another few of each other, and the Elves reform to face the sole surviving Harpy; numbers are definitely on their side in this fight.  The other Harpies easily dispatch the Trebuchet crew but their pursuit isn’t enough to contact the Elves (in retrospect, I probably should have tried to reform them to threaten that dang Damsel).  The super-Gors kill a whole lot of Knights (though the Paladin gives me a scare by very nearly killing off the Wargor BSB) and they let them flee into the river, which puts Net of Amyntok on them.  The Gors reform to face the main action in the South.

The Pegasus Knights charge those pesky Raiders again, confident of doing a better job wiping them out this time; this wouldn’t be hard since there are only a couple left.  Over in the North East the Paladin rallies the fleeing Knights but thanks to Net of Amyntok they are stuck facing away from the action.  The Damsel and Knights Errant both take their chances with the other river, which also turns out to be a River of Light.  Whatever happened to the Damsel apparently wasn’t interesting enough to make it into my notes, but one of the Knights is killed by Banishment (apparently he wasn’t quite as worthy as the others).  The main block of Knights of the Realm apparently forget that they are in a life-or-death battle with evil sub-human monsters and begin a complex dressage routine.  Even Forkbanger, who was on the same side, couldn’t quite believe it.  A good roll on the winds of magic gives 6,4 dice to play with, and the Damsel chucks another 6 of them at Dwellers Below on the Ungors.  They come up 5,5,5,5,5,6; I start to wonder if a Dispel Scroll (or a Feedback Scroll) might have been better buy than the Chalice of Dark Rain.  Needless to say my 6 dice attempt at dispelling it don’t give the double 6 I’d realistically need to stop it, and 13 Ungors are stolen away by imps even more horrible than themselves.  However, they do me credit by not panicking.  The Prophetess, seeing that the Beastmen are out of dispel dice, gets greedy and tries to cast Throne of Vine on 2 dice, but it fails.  The Pegasus Knights predictable wipe out the Raiders, and the High Elves finally finish off the last Harpy, and reform the face the other brood flapping toward them.

The Night Goblins again surge forward with ‘Plan’s a good ‘un!’, and I briefly toy with the idea of having them charge the Knights of the Realm.  Fortunately, Justinmatters points out what a stupid idea this is (and besides, they are his unit to control), so they just move to fire arrows at them instead.  The Bestigors and chariot declare charges on the Pegasus Knights but they flee, so both units just lurch forward a little.  The Harpies do indeed charge the High Elves, and are fortunately well inside stand-and-shoot range.  The Great Bray Shaman puts Enfeebling Foe on the Knights Errant (again, mainly to either suck up some power dice next turn), but Withering on the Knights of the Realm draws out the Prophetess’s Dispel Scroll.  Over in the North, the High Elves easily wipe out the Harpies before they even get to start fighting.  A pox upon that Always Strike First plus re-rolls malarkey.

A hilarious sequence of failed swift reform checks leaves the Knights Errant and Knights of the Realm immobilised down in the South.  The Pegasus Knights rally and make use of the fast cavalry rules to fly over out of the firing line of the Beastmen blocks.  The Damsel tries her luck with the river again and this time gets the Net of Amyntok for her troubles.  It doesn’t stop her from throwing yet another 6 power dice at Dwellers Below, and yet again I can’t manage to dispel it so another handful of Bestigors are dragged away from the battle.  With the remaining dice, Enfeebling Foe is dispelled.

It’s getting very late, so we agree that turn 5 will be the last turn.  The Ungors bravely / suicidally charge the Knights Errant, but the Bestigors fail to contact the Knights of the Realm despite again only needing a 7.  The Night Goblins squabble, missing their final chance to have their arrows bounce off 2+/6++ armour.  For those keeping count, there has been only a single turn when they acted under Justinmatters’ full control.  The Great Bray Shaman does all he can to aid the Ungors, and Enfeebling Foe (among my favourite spells, if you couldn’t guess) goes on the Knights Errant.  It proves to be enough, the Ungors forcing the Knights Errant to flee, then running them down and contacting the flank of the Knights of the Realm.  This rather spoils Aramoro’s plans, which surely involved Bestigor kebabs next turn.  The only downside is that the river decides to cast Banishment on the Ungors as they wheel through it, sending 5 of them to their unholy graves.  Once again, the little guys do me proud and don’t panic.

The Paladin and his two Knights of the Realm charge the Night Goblins in the North; their counterparts in the South sigh and think of what might have been.  Another 6 dice are used to put Dwellers Below on the Bestigors, and I can’t dispel this one either.  Between that and the High Elf Archers (who finally find their range), only the Gouge Horn and the Great Bray Shaman are left, holding onto their huge number of points.  The Paladin vapourises the Night Goblin champion in a challenge; and the rest of the Night Goblins flee, but in yet another failure of swiftstriding pursuit, they get away from the Knights.  In the South, the Ungors manage to tie combat with the Knights of the Realm… and with that, the game ends.  No-one had reached their breaking point (in fact, we’d collected remarkably few banners considering that was the objective), so we tallied up victory points.  The final scores were 564 to the Bretonnians, 487 to the Beastmen.  So after all that, we have a draw (in terms of the campaign, both banners must retreat, but the territory remains Bretonnian).

That was a very entertaining and fun game, but I probably played the worst I have in a long while.  So many mistakes… where to start?  The list was wrong to start with.  I had too many small distraction units (two chariots and two Razorgors) and not enough big units to actually take a charge.  This allowed the Prophetess’s Knights of the Realm to punch through my line instead of (as I had hoped) getting stuck on a big steadfast block.

My deployment was hopeless.  I got lucky in that the Night Goblins didn’t squabble on turn 1 which would have stymied the Bestigors.  My thinking was to send in the Night Goblins (or more precisely the Fanatics) first and then get stuck in with the Bestigors.  I think I probably would have been better off just putting the Bestigors in harm’s way and letting them take the charge. They’ve got enough hitting power to really mess up Knights so they’d have a good chance of holding.  As it was, they didn’t get into combat at all and did nothing but take arrows, rocks and Dwellers Below all game.

I’m still using the Razorgors wrong, but in particular I wasted the one on the West flank.  I would have been better to make its first move back in to the main body of my force; as it was its death served nothing.  I guess if I’d been lucky and it had drawn the Knights Errant into the swamp I would have been celebrating my tactical genius, so maybe it’s just a risk/reward thing.

Categories: Battle reports, Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Border Princes Campaign (Turn 8)

The place:  The Border Princes.  The time:  Turn 8…

Well, Justinmatters and Furycat played their game from turn 7 and the Orcs & Goblins turned round their recent run of bad form by defeating an Empire list containing the mighty Ludwig Schwarzhelm.  It has yet to be written up, but hopefully it will shortly appear on Justinmatters’ blog.  The eagle-eyed among you will note that we’ve corrected a mistake in the map from turn 7, in that the battle between the Orcs & Goblins and the Empire was actually one section to the East.

The movement this turn sees some High Elves fail to take over a mountain section in the far North West, presumably because of the lack of hairdressers and manicurists in such rarefied air.  Otherwise, a couple of Orc & Goblin banners inexplicably retreat deeper into their own lands rather than face down the encroaching forces of the Empire.

Most significantly, a mighty battle is arranged over the Old Silk Road between the Beastmen and the Bretonnians.  Aramoro pretty much said ‘Old Silk Road, after school, bring all your hardest mates’ in the time honoured fashion (note: in character, there would have been lots of sneering, stroking of triangular beards and insulting my parentage in a quasi-french accent).  So what can I do but bring him what I’ve got?  On the side of good we have the noble Bretonnians, supported not only by one of their own banners but also by a contingent of High Elves.  In the blue corner the Beastmen have support from two other Beastmen banners and a detachment of Orcs & Goblins.   The game has been played, with the report posted here, resulting in a hard fought draw, mostly characterised by poor play on my part.

The banners that are currently identified are:

Bretonnians: Lord Guillaume L’Echec (crown symbol; currently in Malko), un-named Prophetess (chalice symbol; current in Section 58)
Orcs & Goblins: Un-named Goblin Warboss (chess knight symbol; currently in Section 70); un-named Orc Big Boss (Orc head symbol; currently in Section 90)
Empire: Two armies with un-named Generals of the Empire (cannon symbol; currently in the Red River Bogs and cavalry symbol (also includes Ludwig Schwarzhelm); currently in section 98)
High Elves: No identified banners
Beastmen: Great Bray Shaman Brannick the Forlorn (cow symbol; currently in Section 39), Great Bray Shaman Black Angus (bull’s head symbol; currently in section 54)

Finally, for those interested, here are the scores at this stage (after the battle between Bretonnia and the Beastmen).  It’s all very tight, with only a single point separating first from fourth.

Empire: 22 points (18 territories, 1 of which is special); 6 banners (note:  I think we might have miscounted, so there might need to be an additional banner appearing for the Empire, taking them to 7)
Orcs & Goblins: 21 points (17 territories, 1 of which is special); 6 banners
Bretonnians: 21 points (12 territories, 1 of which is Malko); 4 banners
Beastmen: 21 points (17 territories, 1 of which is special); 6 banners
High Elves: 15 points (11 territories, 1 of which is special); 4 banners

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