Beastmen (2200 points) vs Empire (2000 points); 05Jul11

This week I managed to get my second game from turn 11 of the Border Princes campaign against Furycat (my third of four in total; now I just need to get organised with Justinmatters).  Just like our previous battle, I had a 200 point advantage thanks to cunning fortunate use of the fortification order.  Following a comment from reader far2casual, I tried out a list without much magic; a major contrast from my normal style.  Since I had so many points to play with (due to not taking a hatful of wizards), it also seemed a great opportunity to go for a Gor-filled list – about 100 of the blighters. Bleat bleat.

Beastlord, Steel Claws, Armour of Destiny, Ironcurse Icon (BL)

Wargor, BSB, Beast Banner, Gnarled Hide, heavy armour, shield, (BSB)

Bray Shaman, level 2, Chalice of Dark Rain, Lore of Beasts (BS)

2 x 39 Gors, additional hand weapons, full command (G1 and G2)

20 Gors, additional hand weapons, full command (G3)

2 Tuskgor Chariots (TC1 and TC2)

2 x 5 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR1 and UR2)

24 Bestigors, full command, Banner of Eternal Flame (B)

2 x 5 Harpies, scouts (H1 and H2)

Razorgor (R)

Furycat decided to go for maximum big templates and maximum impact hits with this well-drilled force.

Arch Lector of Sigmar, War Altar, Sword of Justice, Armour of Meteoric Iron, Dawnstone (AL)

Captain of the Empire, BSB, full plate armour, Talisman of Preservation (BSB)

Captain of the Empire, Pegasus, Aldred’s Casket of Sorcery, Enchanted Shield, lance, full plate armour (P)

30 Flagellants, Prophet of Doom (F)

50 Halberdiers, full command (H)

24 Greatswords, full command (G)

2 Mortars (M1 and M2)

Helstorm Rocket Battery (HRB)

Steam Tank (ST)

That Steam Tank is going to be a problem without magic to see it off.  The mission is Blood and Glory; we agree on a Break Point of 2 for clarity.  We roll up a lot of terrain, but apart from the hill (scree slope), we forget about almost all of instantly.  In our defence, the game was highly absorbing so we had no problem with it once the game ended and we realised our mistake.  The Bray Shaman selects Wyssan’s Wildform (don’t leave home without it) and Curse of Anraheir, which is quickly becoming a favourite of mine.  Finally, we deploy all our dudes, and even with more units to drop, I still get to go first.  As you can see, the Empire army is fortifying themselves in the East and making clever use of the scree slope to make a mess of incoming Harpies.

The game begins with the ambushing herd of Raiders arriving in the West; apparently they were holding the map upside down since the East would have been vastly more useful.  The Razorgor moves to try to tempt the Greatsword into doing something silly (i.e. presenting themselves as a juicy target for the Beastlord’s Gors); he can charge and hopefully eat the BSB next turn if they stay still. Otherwise there is little more than jockeying for position, though the Bray Shaman leaves the Raiders once he realises that they’re on ‘bait the Flagellants’ duty.  I’m mainly trying to stay out of Steam Tank range for the time being, in the absence of a better plan.  The river turns out to be a boiling flood, so the Gors get out of it and onto the ford before we forget about the effects entirely.  Magic give me 5,3 dice to play with, but Curse is dispelled on the Greatswords and I fail to cast Wildform on the Razorgor.

The Pegasus Captain (who I had for some reason completely forgotten about) charges the Razorgor, so there goes my hopes for the Greatswords.  The Greatswords themselves manage to lose 3 (from 5) of their number leaving the venom thicket, which also pretty much marks the last time we remember about terrain effects other than the hill.  The Steam Tank generates 5 steam points safely and chugs 6″ toward my lines.  The Flagellants restrain themselves from charging, but rush forward anyway, and the Arch Lector turns his War Altar so that he has a good view of the Harpies.  The winds of magic are 3,1 but the dispel dice are irrelevant as the War Altar vapourises one flight of Harpies with an irresistable Banishment.  Clogging the air with nasty stuff, the Bray Shaman uses the Chalice of Dark Rain to shut down both Mortars, but a direct hit from the Helstorm on the BSB’s Gors kills 17 of them.  The air around the table with ripe with my whining about it, I assure you.  The Steam Tank kills a few others, but it’s small fry after that rocket shot.  In combat, the Captain skewers the Razorgor on his lance (with a little help from his mount) before it can even fight back.  Bye bye little piggy; he over-runs out of the charge arc of the Gors.

The BSB’s much-reduced Gor herd charges the Flagellants, but due to the positioning of the Raiders, they can only get an edge into combat.  One of the chariots thunders into them too, on the other side of the Raiders, and the surviving Harpies charge the Mortar.  Although I really wanted to kill the Helstorm with them, I didn’t fancy my chances on the scree slope, so it was the Mortar first.  Tired of pussy-footing around, the Beastlord urges his Gor herd right into the face of the Greatswords, and the Raiders move away from the Flagellants and try to ‘heroically’ sacrifice themselves to the Steam Tank to keep it off the Bestigors.  From the 3,1 magic dice the Bray Shaman manages to put Wildform on the Beastlord’s Gors, despite the Arch Lector commanding more dispel dice that I had power dice.  Combat begins with a disappointing display of handbag slapping between the Harpies and the Mortar crew (no wounds on either side; the humans hold).  The Flagellants nearly (but not quite) take out the Tuskgor Chariot, lose a bunch of maniacs, and hold anyway since they’re unbreakable and can never lose frenzy.  I decide not to make way with the BSB at this point since the combat isn’t going to be decided in this round and so I might as well wait until the flails are done.  The Gors reform to 5 wide to get as far as possible from the Steam Tank, but it’s plain that the Arch Lector has them in his sights anyway.

The Steam Tank powers up with 5 steam points and easily makes it round the screening Raiders into the edge of the Bestigors.  Dang.  The Arch Lector predictably spurs his War Altar into the Gors directly in front of him.  Meanwhile, the Greatswords decide that the best protection from a massive herd of enraged goat-men is a wall, so they move to join the Halberdiers behind it.  After rolling 4,1 magic dice, Pha’s Protection is dispelled on the Arch Lector, but Soulfire does kill a couple more Gors.  The Helstorm gets another direct hit, this time on the Beastlord’s Gors but kills ‘only’ 10 of them since they’re toughness 5 thanks to Wildform.  The Mortar chips in for another 4.  The Harpies remember that they’re supposed to be terrifying harridans of legend, not feeble old ladies and tear the Mortar crew apart.  Not liking their chances even in the flank of the Halberdiers, they reform to risk the scree slope as they head for the Helstorm.  The Bestigors are ground mercilessly by the Steam Tank, but they hold steadfast, and even manage to wound it in return; they try to reform to 5 wide but fail despite the BSB re-roll.  Finally, the Arch Lector kills a load of Gors (though the sheer weight of return attacks does manage to wound the War Altar) but the Flagellants are down to less than half strength.  They do finish off the chariot though.

My ambushing Gor herd apparently knew where they were going all along and show up just where I needed them; on the East flank.  They eye up the tasty fortitude points sitting in the Greatswords and Halberdiers and decide that there’s nowhere they’d rather be (except the pub, of course).  Further West, the Harpies charge into the Helstorm, losing 2 on the way (and justifying my fear of dangerous terrain checks), the remaining chariot charges the flagellants, presumably over the shattered remains of its brother, and the Beastlord leads his Gors on a mighty charge into the Greatswords.  The winds of magic give me a mighty 1,1 power dice, but again the Bray Shaman’s +2 casting bonus comes up with the goods to beat the Arch Lector’s bonus dispel dice and put Wildform on the Beastlord’s Gors.  The Harpies give up on the ‘terrifying harridans of legend’ malarkey, only dispatching a single Helstorm crewman, who holds, and the Bestigors don’t manage to wound the Steam Tank but do at least reform for maximum depth.  The Flagellants are wiped down to just the Prophet of Doom in combat with the Tuskgor Chariot, thereby splitting the combats.  Over with the Greatswords, the Beastlord makes way to the Empire BSB, who is able to take advantage of a rare occurrence of us remembering that the wall is a Blessed Bulwark to take his swings first.  Sadly for him, the Beastlord is rocking toughness 6, so he shrugs off the petty slaps from the Captain then rips him limb from limb with the Steel Claws.  The Gors tear their way through a good number of the elite humans for good measure and are mostly saved from return swings by the toughness boost of Wildform.  The Greatswords lose combat by about a hundred after that hammering, but they’re stubborn so don’t care at all.

The Pegasus rear charges the Bestigors to try to extricate the Steam Tank a little sooner, though it looks to me like it’s doing fine on its own for now.  The Halberdiers charge into the flank of the Beastlord’s Gor herd.  We get a rather average 4,3 magic dice.  I can’t dispel Birona’s Timewarp on the Halberdiers, nor Soulfire (though it fails it wound the Gors anyway); Armour of Contempt on the Prophet of Doom fails to cast on a single die.  The surviving Mortar misfires, to my great relief; though it can fire next turn.  Continuing their underwhelming run, the Harpies kill off another Helstorm crewman but the sole survivor holds.  The Bestigors continue to die like flies, but hold steadfast anyway.  The Wargor BSB challenges the Arch Lector to a duel and the old man accepts (not that he could have avoided it).  My thinking is that I’m not likely to lose the BSB since he’s sitting on toughness 5 and a 2+/6++ save, and it avoids the Arch Lector carving his way through the Gors to their banner.  If I get lucky I might do a little damage too.  But I don’t, there are no wounds on either side.  The Tuskgors finish off the Prophet of Doom and aim for the Halberdiers.  The Gors do an amazing job, nearly wiping out the Greatswords and weathering the attacks from the Halberdiers like the bleating heroes they are.  After we count it up, the Beastmen actually win the combat, but the Greatswords and Halberdiers (stubborn and steadfast, respectively) so they hold.

The chariot charges the flank of the Halberdiers and the ambushing Gors run into the flank of the handful of surviving Greatswords.  I roll another 1,1 magic phase, and this time fail to cast what could be a critical Wildform on the Beastlord’s herd.  The Harpies top their pathetic performance in this game by losing to the single surviving crewman of the Helstorm and fleeing for their lives.  It’s not a great start to the combat phase, but the it improves as the Bestigors still hold on despite their dwindling numbers and the BSB wounds the War Altar twice for no loss.  The best is saved for last, as the Greatswords are wiped out to a man and the Beastlord is able to reform his unit to face the Halberdiers, who have been somewhat reduced in number thanks to the chariot’s sterling efforts.  The ambushers even over-run far enough to guarantee a flank charge on the Halberdiers next turn. So I suppose that Wildform wasn’t needed after all.

An interesting situation came up here which I am singularly unable to capture in Battle Chronicler.  Despite several attempts I can’t manage to replicate the game precisely enough in the program to show it, so a thousand words will have to suffice.  Anyway, the Chariot flank charged the Halberdiers but could only contact the (dwindling) back rank due to the presence of another unit; i.e. it was only in contact with a single model.  As the attacks came in, the back rank was eventually wiped out, so we ruled that it had isolated itself from combat, allowing it a free reform but not keeping it in the fight for the next turn.  If anyone can understand that, and can answer whether we did it right, please let me know.  So, not withstanding that the picture is obviously a little wrong, here is the map for Beastmen turn 4.

Everyone who can move is already in combat, so we move straight to the magic phase, in which we have 2,2 dice available.  Net of Amyntok is dispelled on the ambushing herd, but Soulfire does manage to kill another Gor.  To make up for their earlier pinpoint accuracy, the Mortar scatters a shell into the middle of nowhere and the Helstorm crewman celebrates his survival with a nice firework display, the rocket detonating high in the sky.  The Steam Tank finishes crushing the Bestigors into paste, and the Arch Lector / BSB challenge continues fruitlessly while the paltry number of Gors from the unit dance around them like ninjas in a Bruce Lee film instead of doing something useful like toppling the Golden Griffon off that accursed War Altar.  The Halberdiers lose another staggering number to the Beastlord and his herd, but they’re still (just) steadfast and hold.

The Tuskgor Chariot and ambushers hit the Halberdiers in the rear and flank respectively, and the ambushing Raiders complete their lengthy trek across the table and charge the Helstorm hoping for more success than the Harpies (who, incidentally, fail to rally).  With 3,2 magic dice I put Wildform on the ambushing Gors (there are more of them by some margin than the Beastlord’s much-reduced herd) using 3 dice and a 2 dice Curse on the Halberdiers; the Arch Lector fails to dispel either using the same number of dice.  Furycat and I know that it all comes down to this combat between with the Halberdiers.  If I can wipe them out or make them flee, the Empire reach their breaking point and it is all over.  The Halberdiers are duly thrashed from all sides, and it all comes down to a single roll. If the Halberdiers can muster the 1,1 they need to pass their break test on insane courage, the Empire will probably win since the Steam Tank can get stuck in and start grinding more of my units down.  In the other 35/36 cases, the game ends with a Beastmen win.  The dice are rolled… and the Halberdiers flee, leaving their standard (and fortitude point) behind.  Victory for the Beastmen!

That was a fabulous game.  It was close all the way through, with twists and turns constantly.  Right up to the final dice roll, either side could have won it.  I believe that it was only my 200 point army advantage that let me take the game here.

Still, there is a lot to learn.  I had thought to use the Raiders to get in the way of the Flagellants, but they actually stymied me by preventing full contact from the Gors.  Looking back, the lesson here should just be to stick to the plan – if I’d just decided to attack the Flagellants head on in the first place I wouldn’t have had that problem, and the Gors should have been able to do a lot of damage.  Strangely, we couldn’t find anything in the rules that allow you to reform to maximise contact in later turns – can anyone shed any light on this?  Theoretically we could have ended up playing the entire game while those units poked each other across a tiny point of contact.

I’m not sure what to do about the Steam Tank.  It apparently has a 15″ 360° charge radius, so short of going back to plan A (take magic and hope to get Pit of Shades or Purple Sun of Xereus), it’s just going to squash its way through anything I have.

That brings me back to the ‘point’ of this list, which was to try out an army with very little magic.  Since two of my magic phases only had 1,1 dice,  far2casual’s point was amply demonstrated.  I didn’t feel too much the loss of spells since I had a huge(ly entertaining) tide of Gors to throw forward.  Still, ultimately I do like using magic in this game, so generally I err on the side of having some.  On the other hand, another game with a hundred Gors is surely in my future.

Finally, my main learning point should be to whine less.  I’ve found myself bitching about dice too much lately, and it’s not a gentlemanly way to play the game.  The same goes for other armies units – the bad parts are, for the most part, in the eye of the beholder.  A classic example was in this game.  Turns 1 to 3 featured a lot of me saying ‘dang artillery!’ and Furycat patiently reminding me that artillery is one of the main things about the Empire.  Turns 3 to 5 had a lot of Furycat say ‘dang Primal Fury!’, to pretty much the same response. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Categories: Battle reports, Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Beastmen (2200 points) vs Empire (2000 points); 05Jul11

  1. That was a very entertaining game, looking at it with the benefit of hindsight I should probably not have moved the flagellents up quite so aggressively on my first turn, as not getting solid contact with them in their opening combat seriously hurts their effectiveness. The combination of martyrdom, flails, and frenzy means that they do their finest work in the very first round of their very first combat, and as it happened most of them couldn’t swing. After that first round, their combat effectiveness tends to drop off sharply, as they die in droves and even kill themselves with martyrdom!

    I’m still not too sure what to do with Empire core troops. They are abysmally bad in combat, even when taken in huge blocks like my halberd horde. I think they badly need every advantage they can get, which likely means warrior priests or arch lectors in the big units. I’m also tempted to investigate taking cheap, throw-away L1 wizards in lores that have access to a solid buff or hex as their signature spell. That way I can garuntee having it, and use it to either buff the unit, or hex their foes.

    Regarding the steam tank, after our chat about it in the pub last night I went away and had a long look at the rules and the FAQ for it. It seems that although it can pivot freely and move 3″ per steam point expended, it still has to declare charges as normal, which would mean it requires LOS to it’s intended squidgy victims. Otherwise it cant do much more than rumble threateningly up to them and stop 1″ away. Though I guess it can still give them a good steam-gunning and fire it’s cannon if it has sufficient steam points.

    • It was indeed lots of fun, even if we missed out on most of the terrain stuff and probably all sort of other rules. I thought that I’d made a terrible mistake when the Gors only clipped the edge of the Flagellants, but in the end it probably did me a lot of good. Overall though, I think that your use of them ran contrary to the rest of the castling in the corner your set-up suggested. If you’d have kept them back as a deterrent they could have done a lot of damage in the later turns.

      The Empire core troops are probably not bad, it’s just that you’re comparing Mr Muscle to Barry White when they come across Gors. Don’t feel bad, everyone else has this problem too (except Bestigors, who are like Theophilus P Wildebeeste). [For clarity for overseas visitors, Mr Muscle is a character from a UK advert for a cleaning product, and Theophilus P Wildebeeste is a character by the comedian Lenny Henry; basically a supercharged version of Barry White. I probably don’t need to explain who Barry White is.]

      The Steam Tank is marginally less of a worry now that I know more about the charging thing. But it is definitely still something you don’t want to be in front of. It didn’t actually affect this game, although it might have done if the Halberdiers had managed to hold.

      • Well, it’s not just in relation to Beastmen core that I find Empire core lacking. If you consider their stat line, WS3, S3, T3, I3 for the ones of relevance to combat, virtually every core infantry I can think of is superior in at least 2 of these stats, and sometimes more. It’s also very common for opposing core to have special rules, such as primal fury, or that elf nasty that lets them fight in more ranks, allways strike first, and get re-rolls to hit due to their higher I score. They also sorely lack in armour, the best available being Swordsmen with 5+/6++ which coupled with T3 means that Empire core are ALLWAYS going to die in droves, most likely without managing to do any significant damage in return due to their poor WS and S stats.

        Knights, while better armoured and having better S on the charge (lances), or permenanty (GW), suffer from the HUGE problem of steadfast in this edition. You end up with a VERY expensive unit, that still cant break an infantry block on the charge, and ends up losing to static combat resolution in subsequent rounds, or just plain being tied up for long periods of time. Not optimal.

        • I make a second post here just to avoid making a super-huge post.

          About Empire troops, I’ll give you my view as an old Empire general. Empire is an army composed of units that, taken separately, are mediocre to terrible. You’ll find better options in almost all segments of the game in other books : chaos has better infantry, brettonia has better cavalry, dwarves have better artillery, elves have better mages. (The two notable exceptions are the Tank and maybe the Pope-Mobile, expect the latter one to be nerfed one day).

          If you just consider the stats of our troops alone, then of course they just sux. If you try to handle a horde of Bestigors on your own, no matter what its size is, a unit of Halberders alone won’t ever be able to take it down.

          So how in hell is Empire considered as a tournament-winning army ? Your Halberders are not alone, and you have many units to help them in many ways. First, the artillery and the shooting will bring down the number of foes you’ll have to handle once in close combat. Second, you have very cheap units that can still deliver some wounds and provide the ranks to be steadfast while denying steadfast for your opponent. You also have the GreatSwords that are always steadfast and make an excellent bunker for a BSB.
          In the meantime, you’ve got very good support units to charge in the flank. Knights are both mobile and solid, while providing an excellent support. Put a Priest in there for hatred and their flank charges will often give your side +7/+8 in combat result (+1 charge, +1 flank, +5-6 kills and very few losses). Flagellants are also amazing in delivering pain in these situations with their rerolls.
          And thirdly, you can count on a nice variety of spells that are amazing depending on the troops. Beasts will give you Wyssan on Halberders for amazing results. Heavens will make your knights rerolls their 1, have you ever seen that in action ? Metal will give your greatswords a 2+ armour save with the scaly skin spell. Light will give your Flagellants CC10, I10 with their usual rerolls, soooo nasty. Life will heal the SteamTank with its lore attribute, as weird as it sounds…

          So yeah, Empire is an army where all the synergy possible in this game works at his maximum. If it was given superior troops as the other armies, it would be so broken that it won’t even be fair.

          • Yeah, I’ve been toying with some possible builds in army builder, trying to find something I like that seems like it’ll have good synergy. All too often I find myself running short on points, and quite particularly short on hero allowance. Trying to get a general, BSB, couple of warrior priests, some magic, a few good solid combat units, something resembling a hammer unit, and a bunch of artillery just doesn’t seem to fit into the points I have available.

            More and more I’m sorely tempted to just avoid magic all together, aside from priests. It’s unreliable, and expensive, and chews into my hero/lord allowance.

            • It’s true that it’s hard when you’re playing 2k points. Quite easy to do at 2k5 though. Under that, you have to make a choice, I often get rid of the Tank !

              A small example of list I’d use at 2k :

              Arch lector, Barded Warhorse, Hammer of Judgment, Dawn Armor, Holy Relic (251 pts)

              Captain BSB, Full Plate Armor, Enchanted Shield (98 pts)
              Wizard, Light/Beasts/Heaven/Metal, Lvl 2, Rod of Power (130 pts)
              Engineer, Repeater Handgun (80 pts)

              40 Halberders, FC (220 pts)
              9 Knights, Heavy Weapon, Full Command, Flaming Banner (257 pts)
              10 Crossbowmen (80 pts)

              26 Greatswords, FC (290 pts)

              Hellstorm Rocket Battery (115 pts)
              Steam Tank (300 pts)

              The Lector goes in the Knights, 5×2.
              The BSB in the GreatSwords, 7×4
              The Wizard can go in the Crossbowmen (5×2) or the Halberders (6×7), depending on your spells.
              The Engineer babysits the Battery.

              Deployment : Split your machines in two groups. Protect the most important with the Crossbowmen against small scout units (pretty effective). Deploy the Halberders and the Greatswords in the center of his lines. Deploy the Knights on a flank, not too far.

              Tactics : Throw your Tank at the most heavy hitting unit of the opponent. Don’t take any unnecessary risk with it while generating Steam Points.
              Take the second one with your Greatswords, counter-charge in the Flank with Knights and crush them. Use the Arch Lector in challenge to absorb the damages from the opponent’s heavy-hitting characters (2+ rerollable and 4+ ward is enough, and you can heal yourself quite easily), rampage through the rest (lots of S5 attacks, lots of 4+ and 2+ armour saves on your side). Buffed Harmonic Convergence in this battle is simply amazing.
              Take the third unit (if any) with your halberders, it should be enough to at least match it and fight back.
              In Magic, pick your lore as you want. Personally, i love heavens. You have good ranges on your damage spells, so you can put your mage in your crossbowmen. The attribute is perfect against flying units that come for your machines. And if you are lucky and get the Harmonic Convergence, the buffed version close to your Knights and Greatswords is amazing. Really, amazing.
              In the shooting phase, use your mortar and battery to soften the “second” and “third” units, if they are hard matches for your units. Use your cannons on machines first (especially rock lobbers / trebuchets / catapults), then very tough monsters (like Sphynx) or monstruous infantries/cavalries.
              Use your Knights against Big Gribblies with Regen. They avoid Thunderstomps, deliver CC4 rerollable, S5 attacks, and you are flaming. 2+ armour save will help you, even against S5-S6 hits. You often get the charge, you have a banner and a musician, and they aren’t steadfast.

              There you go, hope it gives you some ideas.

  2. Great post, thanks. Very interesting read – looks like you chaps had a nery enjoyable game 🙂

  3. Wow, I feel “honoured” that you followed my suggestion and had a try at a different army composition. Battle like these happen very often I must say when the entire game does not depend on the casting of many spells, as you have many points that can fight “on their own”. Glad you enjoyed it !

    Funny enough, I played yesterday for the first time against a Beastman player (I am playing Ogres). I used the knowledge I gathered reading your blog to prepare myself for the battle … and I was properly massacred ! My opponent didn’t even bother to bring a wizard at all ; 2k5 battle, and he had no magic !
    You can easily imagine how nasty his units were : 7 Minotaurs with a Minotaur Lord inside torn apart my poor Ironguts, but I managed to kill them using some trickery. And his Bestigors Horde put 22 wounds on my Bulls in one round of combat !

    So there’s clearly a lot of things to be done with the Beastmen army book. Sad your rares are so badly priced and designed…

    The problem posed by the Steam Tank is that it costs WAY too many points to kill it if you consider the amount of points you’ll earn. Even with Magic, it’s often a waste of time. In almost all cases, it is best just to ignore it and use its odd rules to make him useless. That is quite easy if you throw him a succession of 2-3 very small units each turn. That’s the plan : during your turn, throw him 5 harpies. They have a free chance to try to damage him a bit. On his turn, he’ll often have to spend his entire steam points to kill your small unit. It can’t reform, it can’t pursue, so it will stand where it is. On your next turn, repeat. During this time, you just avoid it with the rest of your army and go in its back to kill the rest. When it will finally be free, you’ll be in his back and he won’t be able to support his troops in the main battles. That brings me to …

    Your questions on the rules, as a main Empire player, you are right in the comment above. Yes, Steam Tanks can freely pivot on himself during his movement phase (as any other single model), but it still has to declare and resolve charges like other units (but it’s charge distance is fixed). So the ennemy unit has to be in his front arc for him to declare a charge. No 360° charges !

    And about contact optimisation after combat, yes, you can do it. After combat, both sides can make combat reforms. The winner can do it freely, the looser can do it if he passes a Ld check modified by the combat result. In the FAQ, you’ll see that a combat reform allows the unit to change the position of its center. So basically, you let the models in contact where they are, but you can completely change the position of the rest of the models to optimise the contact, even by changing the center of the unit if it’s needed.
    So nothing forces you to optimise, but you have the option to.

    Hope it helps, and once again thanks for your the excellents reads !

    • Your suggestion led to a great game, so I’m grateful for your comments. It’s a shame that your Ogres were beaten by Beastmen (though of course I’m a little bit on the side of your friend’s Beastmen too), but it shows that there are plenty of ways to play this highly entertaining army. And that’s without even considering the excellent miniatures.

      Thanks very much for your thoughts about dealing with the Steam Tank, I’ll try to use the techniques next time I face one. Also thanks for confirming about the optimisation of contact in subsequent rounds – we looked through the main rule book, but forgot to check the FAQs. In the end, it probably made minimal difference, but at least we’ll know for next time.

  4. Sounds like an epic game all in all, lot of fun on both sides.

    You are spot on as well, the most unfair thing about Steam Tanks is I don’t have them. If I did they would be ace.

    • It certainly was a lot of fun.

      It’s for sure that I’d take a Steam Tank at 300 points over a Ghorgon at 275 points. Although the Ghorgon does have the advantage of being a giant turbo-charged bipedal cow, which I think goes some way to addressing the difference in rule sets.

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