Monthly Archives: September 2011

Painted Wargor Battle Standard Bearer

Since a Battle Standard Bearer is such an important part of my Beastmen army (in game terms), I finally got round to painting this Wargor.  I’m looking forward to putting him on the field again soon, although having this big banner is probably going to be bad for his health (it’s easier to hide when you’re only primed and have no standard on the end of the pole).  As with the Bestigors, the banner itself is done crudely.  This is partly because that’s how I imagine the Beastmen themselves doing it, and partly because I’m really bad at free hand painting.  If you want to know what a really good banner looks like on a Wargor, then check out Zebrazach‘s amazing work.

Originally I only painted the top skull marking, but after some chat with Justinmatters I added a few random symbols at the bottom.

I almost always use a shield on the BSB in the game, but the model was too busy to put one on his arm, and the cloak stops me from slinging it across his back.  My solution was to stick this Warriors of Chaos shield (thanks to Forkbanger) on the base behind him, so as to make it look like he’d driven it in there for better flag-waving action.

Here’s the big boy up-close and personal.  I’m worried that the Wargor looks a little colourless since all that can be seen of him is armour and skin from the front, and cloak from the back.  I usually try to use the clothing as a bright counter colour to all the dark skin and fur for this army, but there’s so little of it showing on this chap that it’s hard to make it work.  Of course, he’s carrying a giant green flag, so overall there’s plenty of colour, just none of it is on his body.

I discussed the basing at length with Furycat, who suggested that I should make more of the ‘stone’ effect caused by the plastic he’s standing on, but I decided against it for three main reasons.  Firstly, the Wargor is already a whole lot of grey, and I didn’t want to add even more.  Secondly, I thought it might look better if it was consistent with the basing for the only other hero in the army, my Bray Shaman.  Finally, it was more hard work than I felt it was going to be worth.

Next up: a few more Gors to make this herd up to a 40-strong horde.

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

Beastmen (2200 points) vs Orcs & Goblins (2400 points); 16Aug11

After all the battles that happened in turn 11 of the Border Princes campaign, it’s something of a surprise to find that I’m only fighting a single battle for turn 12 (though I’m supporting in another elsewhere); a match-up against Justinmatters‘ Orcs & Goblins with a slight points advantage to the greenskins.  I tired of the ‘low magic’ builds I’ve been trying lately and returned to my old favourite: the Great Bray Shaman.  I missed the sheer power of the Bestigors enough in my previous game that they earned a recall to the army, so in the interests of change I decided to use two Razorgor Chariots.  I figured that they should have enough killing power to tip a few combats in my favour, even if I continue to roll single impact hits.

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

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

Bray Shaman, level 2, Chalice of Dark Rain, additional hand weapon, Lore of Shadow (BS1)

Bray Shaman, level 2, Dispel Scroll, additional hand weapon, Lore of Shadow (BS2)

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

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

30 Ungors, full command (U)

2 x 6 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR1 and UR2)

2 x 5 Harpies, scouts (H1 and H2)

2 Razorgor Chariots (RC1 and RC2)

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

Justinmatters continued with his use of Grimgor Ironhide but decided that, in general, massive blocks of Night Goblins were the way to go this time.  Note for clarity: this is the 7th edition army book.

Grimgor Ironhide (GI)

Black Orc Big Boss, BSB, heavy armour (BSB)

Orc Shaman, level 2 (OS)

3 x 48 Night Goblins, spears, nets, full command, 3 Fanatics each (NG1 to NG3 and F1 to F9)

20 Big ‘Uns, additional hand weapons, full command (BU)

19 Orc Boyz, additional hand weapons, full command (B)

24 Black Orcs, full command, Banner of Eternal Flame (BO)

2 Spear Chukkas (SC1 and SC2)

With the assistance of Forkbanger, we roll up the Meeting Engagement with the maximum 10 pieces of scenery.  In the far West is a Bane Stone, the centre is a Khemrian Quicksand and otherwise the walls are normal walls and the buildings are normal buildings.  All four forests remain mysterious.  Perhaps for the first time ever, the Orc Shaman doesn’t get Gaze of Mork and Bash ‘Em Lads, instead taking Gork’s Warpath and Waaagh!  The Great Bray selects Wyssan’s Wildform, Pann’s Impenetrable Pelt, Curse of Anraheir and Savage Beast of Horros while the Bray Shaman has Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma and Penumbral Pendulum.  The Beastmen win the roll off to set up and go first.  One unit of Harpies is delayed along with the Battle Standard Bearer, who was evidently still finishing his last drink when the battle horns were sounded.  On the other side of the table one unit of Night Goblins is late after the fungus brew boiled over, and one of the Spear Chukkas proves too heavy for its weedy crew.

The battle starts with the Orcs & Goblins seizing the initiative.  The Night Goblins in the West surge forward with ‘Plan’s a Good ‘Un’ firing all their Fanatics straight through the Razorgor Chariot in front of them.  All three of the dervishes make contact causing 16 hits between them (and setting the tone for the dice rolling this game) which vapourises the poor contraption before it even gets to move.  The Night Goblins themselves then charge the Gors in front of them, which is awkward since it means that the BSB won’t be able to take his accustomed place in their herd.  The other mob of Night Goblins move up and send their Fanatics toward the other Razorgor Chariot, but they all fall a little short.  Continuing the ‘roll 6s like it’s going out of fashion’ theme, Justinmatters gets 6,6 magic dice to play with but a 6 dice casting of Gork’s Warpath is dispelled.  The Bray Shaman uses the Chalice of Dark Rain since he probably won’t get a better chance with so little firepower; the Spear Chukka obligingly misses the Bestigors and the other is still being towed into position in the far West.  In the close combat phase the Night Goblins turn out to be ninjas and tear through the Gors, downing 16 of them.  The Gors manage to hold (they do kill a few Night Goblins in return, of course) and reform to 6 wide to try and retain steadfast until help arrives.  Ouch!

The ambushing Ungor Raiders arrive in the West, where they are promptly bludgeoned into pulp by Fanatics, although I suppose that was about all I could expect of them anyway.  The Harpies predictably charge the Spear Chukka in the centre and the Razorgor Chariot decides that hanging around next to the Fanatics isn’t going to help anyone, so charges into the Night Goblins in front of it (taking 3 wounds in the process).  The Harpies arrive and jump on the fanatics in an act of anti-heroic self-sacrifice, and the Wargor saunters on, finds his drinking buddies embroiled in combat with the hardest Night Goblins ever seen, and duly stays clear.  We get 3,1 magic dice to use so the Great Bray Shaman puts Curse of Anraheir on Grimgor Ironhide’s unit.  Sadly, he gets Irresistable Force and the calamitous detonation wounds him, kills three Bestigors and sucks away the remaining power dice.  The Night Goblins fighting the Gors go berserk again, and this time the surviving Gors turn tail and flee.  Needless to say, the Razorgor Chariot rolls only a single impact hit but does kill off a few more Night Goblins.  There’s plenty more where they came from though, and they easily hold steadfast in range of both the general and BSB.  Finally, the Harpies kill 2 of the Spear Chukka crew, but the last one bravely holds.

The super Night Goblins chase the surviving Gors off the table; at least it gets the little maniacs out of my hair for a turn!  The mob that arrived in the West warily eye the advancing small unit of Gors and back up to delay the inevitable combat.  The Orc Shaman uses all of the 4,1 magic dice on Gork’s Warpath again, but it is dispelled by the Great Bray.  The Harpies finish off the Spear Chukka crew, and the Razorgor Chariot is poked to death by many, many spears.

The Wargor, intent on avenging his fallen herd, makes a mighty one-man charge into the flank of the Night Goblins.  Over in the West, the Gors charge into the mob in front of them – apparently they didn’t notice what happened in turn 1 to the big herd.  The Bestigors fail a long charge into the Big ‘Uns, while the Raiders move to direct the Black Orcs away from them.  With 6,1 magic dice to use, I start by trying to put Curse of Anraheir on the Black Orcs again.  Justinmatters hates that spell, so he uses most of his dispel dice to stop it.  That leaves the Great Bray Shaman free to put Wildform on his own unit and Savage Beast on the Wargor.  The Gors kill a bunch of Night Goblins, but they narrowly hold, and thin out the herd a little for good measure.  The pumped-up Wargor chews through a lot of Night Goblins, but they hold steadfast.  For some reason, they don’t reform to face him though.

Turn 3 begins with the Big ‘Uns squabbling, stopping them from charging the Bestigors.  The Grimgor Ironhide leads his bodyguard into the swamp to take out the pesky Raiders – my main hope here was that a lot of them would fail dangerous terrain checks, but I was disappointed; over the course of the game, the swamp only claimed a single Black Orc.  In the magic phase there are 5,1 dice to use, and once again, the Shaman puts them all into Gork’s Warpath.  Sadly (for him) he gets Irresistable Force, and even though he kills 5 Ungors, his head explodes, taking 2 Boyz and the Orc magic phase with him.  The Wargor continues his magic-fuelled rampage through the Night Goblins, who still hold.  The Black Orcs annihilate the Raiders with the exception of the Bray Shaman on one wound.  He flees, gets away but then fails his dangerous terrain check and is sucked into the quicksand.  Dang (and stupid, since I should have moved him out of the unit last turn anyway).  The Black Orcs pursue into the Ungors.  Finally, the dwindling Gors lose slightly to the Night Goblins but hold (needing a 4, got a 3).  I breathe a sigh of relief.

The Bestigors charge into the squabbling Big ‘Uns, and everyone else continues fighting (except the Harpies, who notice that they’ve run out of squishy targets).  With 6,3 magic dice to use, the Great Bray Shaman cracks his knuckles and gets down to business.  Savage Beast is put on the Wargor again (6 attacks at strength 8? Yes please!)  and Curse of Anraheir is cast on the Big ‘Uns.  Justinmatters is wise to the old ‘save Wildform for last’ trick, and dispels it using all his dice; apparently he really hates Bestigors with Wildform… in fact, Bestigors in general.  I see why as they carve through the Big ‘Uns like they’re not there, running them down and crashing into the flank of some rather surprised Boyz.  As a side note, I considered charging the Harpies into the Boyz so that I could get a second round of combat in case this happened… but I wussed out.  The Night Goblins in the West net themselves, fail to kill even a single Gor and find that steadfast on leadership 5 is nothing special.  They flee off the table and the Gors reform to face the Spear Chukka.  Similarly, the Wargor chops down another bunch of Night Goblins who realise that Grimgor Ironhide and his BSB are no longer in range, break (again, steadfast on leadership 5: not great) and the surviving 35 or so of them are run down by the hero.  What a guy.  Putting a crimp on my otherwise excellent turn, Grimgor’s mob smash through the Ungors (in retrospect, I forgot about their parry save but they still wouldn’t have lasted long) and run them down.

The Spear Chukka crew squabble, dooming themselves to an inevitable messy fate at the hands of the Gors.  The Bestigors do terrible things to the Orc Boyz, who flee.  I consider chasing them but instead elect to reform and go for the Night Goblins – they’re worth more points and I don’t have to get too lucky for the surviving Boyz to run off the table.  In case you’re interested, the forest turned out to be an Abyssal Wood, so the fleeing Orcs would cause fear if they both rallied and sucked someone into attacking them before they leave.

The Gors charge into the squabbling Spear Chukka crew and the depleted Bestigors head south and pick up the Wargor, who is looking pretty pleased with himself.  I get 1,1 power dice in the magic phase, and briefly curse my roll before I remember that the Great Bray Shaman has stored a whole lot of souls with his Jagged Dagger.  One dispel dice isn’t going to help the Orcs & Goblins a lot.  He puts Wildform on the Bestigors in case the Night Goblins get any clever ideas and Curse of Anraheir on the Black Orcs to make them think twice about moving anywhere.  The Gors, not unexpectedly, spike the Spear Chukka with ease.

Grimgor Ironhide curses whoever Anraheir was with all his might, but otherwise stands still and decides not to risk the dangerous terrain checks on his bodyguard.  The Night Goblins shuffle around a bit in an attempt to get out of the way of some rather murderous looking Bestigors…

…but it doesn’t help.  The Bestigors hit them like a tidal wave, and the Harpies move to re-direct the Black Orcs into the swamp and far away from the Bestigors.  For the second turn in a row we get 1,1 magic dice, and again the Jagged Dagger is awesome.  I put Wildform on the Bestigors, but an attempt to put Curse of Anraheir on the Black Orcs again fails.  Plenty of Night Goblins are hewn limb from limb, but they hold steadfast and reform to 5 wide to keep it that way for longer.

The Black Orcs charge the Harpies, and don’t get to do more than watch as Grimgor cuts them all down himself.  More Night Goblins die, but they’re not going anywhere.  To my mild irritation, the Boyz manage to rally before they depart the table (and give me their victory points).

It’s the last turn, and I know I need to take out the remaining Night Goblins to have any chance of winning.  Improbably, we roll 1,1 for magic dice for the third time, and once again the Jagged Dagger comes into its own.  The Great Bray Shaman puts the two dice and all the remaining souls he’s stolen into the upgraded version of Savage Beast… it works, and the two heroes tear apart the remaining handful of Night Goblins before they even get to swing.

It’s close.  Very close.  In a rare event we have to add up the victory points, and the scores are:  Beastmen: 1446; Orcs & Goblins: 1202.  Victory for the Beastmen!

Overall, a highly satisfying and close game.  I thought I was in a lot of trouble when the Night Goblins took out first my Razorgor Chariot and then the Gor horde, but some stalwart performances pulled me back from the brink.  Man of the match is surely the Wargor, taking out 45 Night Goblins on his own.  The ambushing Raiders and the delayed Harpies helped out a lot by taking out those pesky Fanatics.  And, of course, the Bestigors did what they do best: kill everything they see (though I was careful to keep them clear of Grimgor Ironhide and his mob).

Still, there are always lessons to be learned.  I should have detached the Bray Shaman from the Raiders before they moved to intercept the Black Orcs, though since he didn’t cast a single spell all game, perhaps that’s not such a big loss.  I also missed an opportunity to use the Harpies to chase off the fleeing Boyz, which could have cost me the game if things had gone a little less well in the final turns.

The game also showed me not to get too reliant on certain combinations; specifically, the Gor horde and Beast Banner BSB, although on another day I still would have expected the Gors to see of the Night Goblins even without help from the Wargor.  The Razorgor Chariots singularly failed to impress, but I think it’s worth another go with them since this was not a game where the dice favoured them.

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

Border Princes Campaign (Turn 12)

All the battles from turn 11 of our ongoing Border Princes campaign have now been completed, and most of the battles are fully documented.  We had two victories of my Beastmen over Justinmatters‘ Orcs & Goblins (here and here), two victories for the Beastmen over Furycat‘s Empire (here and here), two Empire victories over their erstwhile allies, Aramoro‘s Bretonnians (still waiting for battle reports on these) and finally a bizarre no-score draw between the Empire and the Orcs & Goblins (also not reported yet).  Only Forkbanger‘s High Elves are too soft far away from the action to get any battles in.

After that giant scrum there are relatively few battles for turn 12, although still a good number.  The Beastmen army in the North-East finally get their act together and march in to take the haunted Geistenmund Hills and make an aggressive move into the territory of the Orcs & Goblins.  They also make their now traditional march into the Old Silk Road, but due to poor communication with their High Elf allies they are blocked from actually getting there [High Elves campaign special rule is that they always win Don’t Pass in the Night rolls, ensuring that they are always on the offense when taking territory]; they get good support from the goaty ones.  Equally poor communication in the West traps a Bretonnian banner in combat with the Empire, though again their allies are in position to assist.  In the south, the Empire continue their long-running border skirmish with the Orcs & Goblins, and in the centre there is finally an assault on Malko, a special territory which has been held by the Bretonnians since turn 8.

Here are the current score, before any battles are fought.  As with turn 11 there are too many permutations to be worth calculating who will gain or lose banners at the end of the turn.

Beastmen: 34 points (26 territories, 2 of which are special); 9 banners
Empire: 27 points (23 territories, 1 of which is special); 8 banners
Orcs & Goblins: 20 points (16 territories, 1 of which is special); 7 banners
Bretonnians: 19 points (10 territories, 1 of which is Malko); 4 banners
High Elves: 18 points (14 territories, 1 of which is special); 5 banners

The scores are starting to diverge more and more as we head to the end of the campaign.  With only 4 turns of battles to play (this one included) there is still everything to play for, especially with the key territory of Malko giving 10 points to the holder.

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

Painted Bestigor herd

Here is my painted herd of Bestigors.  A bleating mob of enraged goaty lumberjacks storming across the field at them has been the last sight for many a disciplined unit of my foes.  Sadly, their improbable success on the table has sometimes doomed them to a sad end under a barrage of artillery fire or otherworldly magic, but I take that as a compliment on how scary this herd can be.  It’s a well-known meme among our gaming group that painted models do better, so I am looking forward to seeing how the Bestigors get on now that they are dressed to kill.

The painting was quite a nice change after all the Gors.  Bestigors have hardly any skin and hair showing (at least, compared to the Gors and Ungors), so it was good to be able to break out some nice blues for the clothing and bronze for the armour.  I mainly decided on bronze for contrast with the sea of grey and black that makes up the majority of my war herd, but as it turns out it contrasts nicely with the blue robes too.

I’ve always liked the way these chaps look when ranked up.  All you can see sticking out over the mass of unwashed goat bodies is horns and huge axes.

The three amigos.  Due to the way victory points are counted in 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the herd only counts as destroyed if it’s wiped out the last Beastman.  As a result I’ve had more than a few games where a handful of survivors has hung on to the points for the entire unit – they’re always in the thick of the fighting (if I can help it) and inevitably take a few casualties every combat.

Depending on how the battle goes, the Gouge Horn is either the first or last to die.  If a challenge comes in from a mighty hero then this chap gets pushed in his way until I can thin out the ranks of the other unit.  He’s no slouch in combat, though I can’t think of a time I’ve actually taken a character down in a challenge with him.

There’s not much to be said about the musician.  He was a lot easier to paint than the rank and file because he doesn’t have a giant axe blade covering half of his head.

The banner isn’t exactly the finest painting in the world, but I just don’t really enjoy doing pictures on flat surfaces.  I originally was going to do a few details, but after getting the moon on the blue background I decided that I liked it just like that.  Beastmen aren’t artists either, I suppose.  At least it looks a lot less bad at tabletop distance.

Next on the painting table: the Wargor Battle Standard Bearer.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 10 Comments

Two Urban War Battle Reports; 18Aug11

After the success of the Urban War test games played between Forkbanger and me, we got together again along with Furycat to have another shot.  Furycat surprised me greatly by rejecting Viridians after a game with them against Forkbanger, preferring instead the secret police stylings of VASA.  I thought Colonial Marines would have been more his cup of tea, but whatever.  I’ve settled on a preference for Syntha, since I enjoyed their hardiness in-game and the models are very nice too.  Anyway, the games I took notes on were still using the basic rules (I’ve ordered the main rulebook but evidently it’s still in the post), and involved VASA, Syntha and Koralon (H. R. Giger‘s Alien, with a bit of the Thing thrown in for good measure).

VASA: Suppressor Sergeant (SS), Suppressor Sniper (S), Archangel (AA), two Suppressors with Gauss Rifles (GS1 and GS2) and two Suppressors with Force Batons (BS1 and BS2)

Syntha: Artemis Biomech (AB), Pointman (P) and four Androsynths (A1 to A4)

Koralon: Phazon (P), Larvan (L), two Calibre 1 Broods (BC1 and BC2) and two ‘normal’ Broods (B1 and B2)

Game 1:

Forkbanger continued his quest to use all the factions, taking Koralon this time.  They have no ranged weapons, but the Phazon can create a pair of temporary portals through which other Koralon can move (including charge, which seems like it is worth avoiding against giant armoured aliens).  Both portal ends must be near a friendly model though, so you can’t just create a portal in the middle of the other force’s deployment zone and then rush through and maul them all.  A Brood moves up to the centre of the field and a portal is duly created, with another two Broods from the East moving though it.  The Artemis uses both follow up actions to try and shoot one, but there’s no effect against these tough dudes.

The Pointman surprises me by not only hitting the nearest Brood, but killing it too.  For good measure, the next one in line panics.  Panicked models can’t charge, but this one shook off the panic in its normal turn and then used it’s follow up move to get stuck into the Artemis.  Spectacular missing goes on in that combat.  The Phazon fails to create another portal, and some good shooting from the Androsynths drops another Brood and the Larvan.  The Artemis is taken out by the Brood in her own activation… curses.

Turn 3 begins with the Phazon creating another portal and charging through it into the Pointman.  I find out the power of interrupt (i.e. overwatch) charging as both surviving Broods assault Androsynths.  Despite all the close combat there are no fatalities, but the Koralon are surely happy to be safe from the shooting.

The Phazon finally cuts down the Pointman and is shot by an Androsynth while celebrating.  Another Androsynth is killed by a Brood.

One of the Androsynths fails an attempted overwatch shot on the unengaged Brood, who gleefully jumps into combat.  The other Brood kills its victim, but is stuck out in the open.

An Androsynth shows the aliens how close combat is meant to be done, first shrugging off the attack from the Brood then beating into submission.  The last Brood fails its command check to make an interrupt charge into the successful robot and is shot down.  Victory for the Syntha!

Game 2:

I stayed with Syntha and, on my recommendation, Furycat tried out VASA for this game.  The Suppressor Sniper made our first ever turn 1 kill by taking out an Androsynth at long range, but otherwise the game begins as usual with everyone moving into position.

The Sergeant is obviously in good cover as it saves her from two good hits by the Androsynths, the return fire from the Gauss Rifle Suppressors is equally ineffective.  The Artemis Biomech uses all her follow up moves to run forward, shoot the Sniper and chop down one of the Suppressors.  The Sergeant charges into close combat in search of revenge, but no telling blow is struck on either side.  The Pointman takes out a Baton-armed Suppressor, then the Archangel jumps over and shoots it (but it bounces off the armour) and uses her follow up move to assault the nearest Androsynth (also to no effect).

The Sergeant kills the Artemis, and another Androsynth is shot by the Suppressor.  The Archangel and Androsynth remain locked in combat.

The Sergeant’s cover finally fails her as the Pointman hoses her position with its Chain Gun.  The Archangel finally finishes beating the Androsynth in its activation, then uses her own to assault the Pointman.  However, the big machine continues its excellent run of form by kicking her into the middle of next week.

The Baton-armed Suppressor finally steps into the open and is shot by an Androsynth, but otherwise the tiny amount of shooting across the board is wholly ineffective.

The Pointman moves forward to get the last Suppressor into short range, but misses all its shots and is gunned down.  The last Androsynth, sick of having its shots ricochet off the Suppressor’s cover, moves for a clear shot and makes it stick.  Victory for Syntha!

Again, I’m really enjoying the fast play of Urban War.  Even including chit-chat, and teaching Furycat how to play, we got four games in about three and half hours.  I was highly impressed by the close combat abilities of the Koralon – even after having half the team gunned down I very nearly lost once the survivors got in about the Syntha.

In terms of actual tactics, I’m finding that it is generally not a bad idea to keep the Androsynths together since they’re immune to panic, and that way they can support each other.  We’re still getting used to the various options afforded by overwatch, but I think that there is probably a lot of value in knowing when to use it and when to just activate normally.  We found a couple of times that overwatch (particularly interrupt charges) made a huge impact on the game, but other times we found that no-one made an action they could affect, so effectively wasted their turn.  Of course, there is the risk that they fail the command check entirely, and stand around doing nothing useful at all, but that’s part of the mechanic.

In the interests of completeness, I might as well note that I played two final games with the basic rules.  One was a game to teach Aramoro how to play (Syntha win against Viridians), the other was a match against Forkbanger’s Triads (also a Syntha win).

Categories: Battle reports, Urban War | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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