Monthly Archives: October 2011

Beastmen (2000 points) vs Orcs & Goblins (2200 points); 11Oct11

Here is the first of the five battles in which my bleating Beastmen herd is involved for turn 13 of our Border Princes campaign.  The border skirmishes with my erstwhile allies, Justinmatters‘ Orcs & Goblins have escalated to the point where I’m assaulting his HQ territory this turn, but this isn’t that game.  Justinmatters finally cracked and started using the 8th edition army book for the Orcs & Goblins, and decided it might be unwise to fight a crucial battle as his first ever.  I took more or less the same arrangement as my last outing against Aramoro‘s Vampire Counts, losing the hapless Minotaurs in favour of some more Gors, Raiders and a flight of Harpies.

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, Dispel Scroll, Lore of Shadow (BS)

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

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

30 Ungors, full command (U)

5 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR1)

5 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR2)

5 Harpies, scouts (H)

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

Justinmatters probably had some selection criteria in mind for this horde of greenskinned hooligans, but I have no idea what it might have been.

Black Orc Warboss (W)

Orc Big Boss, BSB (BSB)

Savage Orc Shaman, level 2, War Boar, Dispel Scroll (S)

50 Orc Big ‘Uns, additional hand weapons, full command, Ranger’s Standard (BU)

40 Night Goblins, nets, full command (NG)

25 Black Orcs, full command (BO)

28 Squig Herders (SH)

6 Trolls (T)

14 Boar Boyz, full command, Gleaming Pennant (BB)

10 Arrer Boyz, full command (AB)

We roll up a Battleline, and the only piece of funny terrain is a Magic Circle in the South.  The Great Bray Shaman selects Wyssan’s Wildform (don’t leave the forest without it), Curse of Anraheir, Amber Spear and Transformation of Kadon, with the Bray Shaman taking Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma and Enfeebling Foe.  On the other side of the table, the Savage Orc Shaman revels in the opportunity to try out new spells and gets ‘Ere We Go and Gaze of Mork.  Noting the lack of artillery in the North, the Harpies reluctantly engage Operation: Get Smashed By Fanatics.  The Orcs & Goblins win the roll to go first and take it.

The game begins with a near catastrophic series of mis-readings of the animosity rules (in which the Warboss beats his unit so severely they flee off the table) before we get ourselves sorted out.  The Arrer Boyz squabble and are beaten back to shape (but in smaller numbers) by the Warboss.  The Night Goblins head toward the Harpies with We’ll Show Em! and the Squig herders squabble about who has to stand closest to the actual Squigs.  The Night Goblins then charge the Harpies, who flee and get away.  To my great surprise, a bunch of Fanatics are not suddenly hurled into the middle of the table.  The rest of the mobs move forward with the exception of the Boar Boyz, who presumably have a cunning plan.  The Shaman channels 6,4 magic dice but strangely decides not to bother casting any spells.  Apparently his plan is even more cunning than I suspected.

Determined to match the incompetence of the Squig Herders, the small Gor herd gets lost and arrives behind the Beastmen lines.  Imbeciles.  The Harpies fail to rally, and everyone else moves up.  The Ungor Raiders are shoved unceremoniously in front of the massive mob of Big Uns.  It’s a tough life being at the bottom of the ladder if you’re a Beastman.  Continuing the magical nature of the game so far, I get 6, 5 power dice.  After a quick look at the stat line for Squigs, I start by putting Miasma (-2 move) on them; I’m happy for them to stay right where they are.  An Amber Spear kills a single Boar Boy, but Curse of Anraheir on the Big Uns is dispelled using all 6 dispel dice.  I put Enfeebling Foe on the Black Orcs just for something to do (I know that it’ll be dispelled in the next magic phase, but it doesn’t hurt to try) and then Wildform on the Gors to liven up the expected combat next turn.

The Night Goblins squabble again, and charge into the Gors.  The Black Orcs, not wanting to be shown up, join in the action.  The Arrer Boyz squabble again, presumably in an attempt to not be the ones standing next to the decreasingly serene Warboss, but he beats another few of them to death anyway.  The Big Uns charge into the Raiders.  With 6,3 magic dice, Enfeebling Foe is dispelled (of course), but I’m able to stop Gaze of Mork at the Bestigors.  The Big Uns predictably annihilate the Raiders and reform to face West (I was hoping they’d fail to restrain, but at least they’re out of my hair for another turn).  The Gors get netted by the Night Goblins but go absolutely bonkers, tearing apart greenskins left, right and centre (total kills: 24 over both mobs).  When the dust settles, the Black Orcs are unable to muster the 1,1 they’d need to keep fighting but the Night Goblins are steadfast so hang around for another round of blending.  I think that the Black Orcs had the right idea after that performance.

Seeing a never-to-be-repeated opportunity, the Ungors charge the fleeing Black Orcs and wipe them out.  The remaining Beastmen herds manoeuver to set up charges next turn, except for the Raiders who move to tempt the Squigs into doing something stupid.  We carry on getting lots of magic dice with 6, 2 this turn.  Curse of Anraheir is cast on the Big Uns (tried but failed to dispel) but a single die casting of Miasma on the Night Goblins and a two dice attempt at Amber Spear on the curiously reticent Boar Boyz both fail.  The Night Goblins are hammered thoroughly for the second round in a row and this time they aren’t steadfast.  Even a re-roll for the proximity of the Battle Standard Bearer isn’t enough to keep them going this time, and they flee; the Gors, seeing the Big Uns hoving into view, reform to five wide and face East.

The Squig Herd obligingly squabbles again and fails to make the charge into the Raiders.  The Big Uns charge into the small unit of Gors, but nine of them trip and die thanks to the Curse.  Over in the West, the Boar Boyz and Trolls both charge the Bestigors.  There aren’t enough remaining Arrer Boyz to squabble, so the Warboss leads a couple of them into the building without having to slap any more sense into them.  Just when the Shaman really needs the magic dice, we only get 4,1.  Gaze of Mork is dispelled and the Bray Shaman uses his Dispel Scroll on ‘Ere We Go.  The Big Uns mercilessly crush the Gors, who flee and get away.  Sadly for the Big Uns, not only do they lose a few more to the Curse when pursuing, but they roll pitifully for distance and present their flank to the big Gor herd.  The combat between the Trolls, Boar Boyz and Bestigors is incredibly bloody and close, but the Bestigors narrowly squeak it.  The Trolls realise that they’re now out of both general and BSB range and turn tail for their board edge.  The Boar Boyz, or, more accurately, the single surviving Boar Boy plus the Shaman, make use of their Gleaming Banner and hold on the re-roll (note: I think we did this wrong because the standard bearer was dead by that point, but it didn’t make any difference).  The Bestigors breathe a sigh of relief and reform to 6 wide.

The Wargor’s Gor herd charges the flank of the Big Uns, but the Ungors make a mess of their charge into the Night Goblins.  Meanwhile, the Raiders get right up in the face of the Squig Herd in the hope of luring them off the table, the Harpies flap into the middle of the table to try and look like they’re actually contributing something and the surviving Gors rally.  In another titanic magic phase, we have 6,6 dice to play with.  Enfeebling Foe (-1S) on the Big Uns is let through but the Curse is dispelled using the Shaman’s Scroll (I think this was a case of ‘use it or lose it’).  The Squig Herders are once again hit with Miasma, this time the upgraded version.  Wildform on the Gors is dispelled, but it doesn’t really help the Big Uns who lose be enough to flee, although they do get away.  The Bestigors finish off the last Boar Boy and the Shaman, and Justinmatters calls it a day.  Victory for the Beastmen!

Sadly for my conclusion writing, I don’t really feel like there are any great things for me to learn from this game.  It was fun and satisfactory in the sense that everything went my way, but after the Gors hammered the Black Orcs so convincingly in turn two it was clear that the dice were on my side.  The combat with the Bestigors was a little uncomfortable but I felt confident that they’d do enough damage to the Trolls and Boar Boyz to remain steadfast until I could get some magical augmentation and hexing into the action.  As it happened, they did just fine on their own.

Categories: Battle reports, Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

The painted herd so far

Following a comment from the excellent blogger Iggykoopa30, I decided that it would be a good time to take a photo of my Beastmen war-herd in all it’s glory.  So, without further ado, here are some pretty pictures.

It’s not the best lighting or photography, but I think it gives a reasonable idea of how the herd looks as a whole.  At some stage it’s my general intention to add photos to battle reports, but only if we ever manage to get two fully painted and based units fighting each other, which has almost never happened so far.

This isn’t really a great angle from which to photograph an army, but I decided to include it to give a ‘model’s-eye-view’ of how the foes of the herd would see this lot hurtling across the battlefield in search of victims.

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

Beastmen vs Vampire Counts (2000 points); 04Oct11

This week Aramoro and I managed to fit in our oft-rescheduled Warhammer game of Beastmen against Vampire Counts.  Following a comment from my fellow Beastmen blogger Zebrazach, I decided to try out a Bestigor horde.  After all, if Bestigors are good (and they certainly are) then lots of Bestigors are surely better.  Otherwise, I tried to stick to models I actually have, so no Harpies, though I did proxy in a few Raiders since it’s unwise to ever leave the forest without the little guys.

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, Dispel Scroll, Lore of Shadow (BS)

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

31 Ungors, full command (U)

6 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR)

5 Minotaurs (M)

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

Naturally, Aramoro was keen to try out some of the new Vampire Counts toys in his army of shambling undead, so the Terrorgheist was duly listed along with a hero Tomb Banshee.

Vampire Lord, level 4, Crown of the Damned, Dispel Scroll, Helm of Commandment, Master of the Black Arts, Summon Ghouls, Forbidden Lore (Light) (V)

Mannfred the Acolyte, Black Periapt, Sword of Unholy Power, Walking Death (M)

Tomb Banshee (B)

30 Crypt Ghouls (CG1)

23 Crypt Ghouls (CG2)

14 Skeleton Warriors, full command (SW)

30 Grave Guard, full command, great weapons, Banner of the Barrows (GG)

Terrorgheist, infested (T)

Wow that Vampire Lord comes loaded with a lot of toys.  I don’t really know the Vampire Counts army very well, so I spent a lot of the game asking ‘what does that do?’ followed by ‘I think I heard wrong… it can’t possibly do that rule-bending thing’ (notably, the shooting attacks which happen even when in combat and being able to repeatedly cast the same spell).

The scenario was Battleline with 8 terrain pieces.  In the East was a Sinister Statue (which we never remembered about), the centre held an Altar of Khaine and in the far West we had a Nehekharan Sphinx.  In the South-West were some (normal) walls and in the East was a (normal) fence.  As ever, the forests and the river were mysterious.  The Great Bray Shaman took Wyssan’s Wildform, Curse of Anraheir, Amber Spear and Pann’s Impenetrable Pelt while the Bray Shaman had Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma and Enfeebling Foe.  Both Vampires, eschewing having to randomly select spells like a peasant, simply took their entire Lores.  We set up, pausing frequently to correct minor mistakes and then again to remind Aramoro to actually put his Terrorgheist on the table (it is mid-painting, so he was just using the base), and the Vampires won the roll to go first.  Against a foe with almost as little shooting as me, I was happy to let them.

The army of the Undead marches shuffles forward.  The Eastern Ghoul pack enter what turns out to be a Blood Forest and I sigh as I realise that lots of spells are going to be cast in this game and that the forest could end up just about anywhere (moving terrain makes Battle Chronicler-ing the game harder).  The Winds of Magic blow at 6,4 and the Vampire Lord pulls another couple of power dice out of nowhere thanks to his Master of the Black Arts.  Invocation of Nehek raises 5 Ghouls in the forest, which scoots 8″ toward the river (and fails to take any of them with it).  Winds of Undeath takes a couple of wounds off here and there and raises a Spirit Host in front of the Gors, then Birona’s Timewarp is put on the Western Ghouls.  I dispel both Shem’s Burning Gaze (on the Raiders) and Pha’a Protection on the Grave Guard.  The Terrorgheist clears his throat and 5 Gors perish.

The Gors, not fancying a giant undead monster in their flank, manoeuver to keep the big guy in their front arc and refuse the bait of the Spirit Host.  Everyone else goes forward with the Minotaurs angling to either direct the Ghouls out of the way or face the interesting part of the battlefield depending on how things went.  The Great Bray Shaman uses the first few of his 3,2 magic dice to put Curse of Ahraheir on the Ghouls in the Forest (but luckily we forgot to move it again) then gets an Irresistable casting of Wyssan’s Wildform (on two dice) on the Gors.  The resulting Magical Feedback wounds the Bray Shaman, but my general is made of sterner stuff.

The turbo-powered Western Ghouls charge the Minotaurs, but the Grave Guard, needing a 3 to charge the Raiders roll 1,1 and stumble forward ineptly.  Despite rolling only 5,1 magic dice, the Vampires end up with 10 power dice after using the Black Periapt, Master of the Black arts and channelling (not Black channelling though).  Curse of Years on the Gors is dispelled, but Vanhel’s Danse Macabre gets the Grave Guard into the Raiders.  I was going to use my Dispel Scroll at this stage, but it was pointed out that it could just be cast again.  How happy would I be if I could just cast Wyssan’s Wildform as often as I felt like it?  Pha’s Protection and Speed of Light are cast on the Ghouls in combat (the former was let through, the latter I failed to dispel).  In a mighty display of shouting ‘Boo!’, the Terrorgheist scares another 6 Gors to death.  My Ungor Raiders turn out to be little ninjas, killing 4 Grave Guard before being cut down; the Undead reform to 5 wide to get round the Altar.  The Ghouls are taking none of that nonsense from the Minotaurs, killing 4 of them and leaving the last one to flee (though he does take a single Ghoul with him to snack on).  They reform to face the Bestigors.

Unfortunately for the Ghouls in the forest, the reforming of the other pack leaves the Bestigors a clear path to their flank (I considered going for the Skeletons instead but it was a bit too risky on the charge roll, and failing would have meant terrible things happening to the Bestigors).  The Gors, seeing path out of the Terrorgheist’s charge arc, run screaming into the Spirit Host, apparently hoping to dissolve it by weight of numbers and flags.  The Bray Shaman moves to try to encourage the Grave Guard to stay out of the way a bit longer while the Ungors wheel to keep the Ghouls off the back of the Bestigors for a turn.  With 4,3 magic dice, the Great Bray Shaman puts the Curse on the unit of Ghouls he’s fighting, then Wildform on the Ungors (to keep the expected combat against the Ghouls a bit more even).  Miasma on the unengaged Ghouls is dispelled.  In combat, the Great Bray Shaman makes way to get involved, as does the Tomb Banshee (though the latter is careful to avoid the magical attacks of the former, moving over to keep some of the Bestigor swings from mattering).  Even with such a narrow contact point and the Banshee blocking some attacks, the Ghouls are mauled down to only 4 plus the Banshee after crumbling.  The Bestigors reform to 5 wide to keep the Skeleton Warriors from sneaking past them.  Meanwhile, the Spirit Host fails to wound any of the Gors and disappears to static combat resolution.  The Gors gleefully over-run past the Terrorgheist and out of the way.

In a move that I somehow didn’t see coming, the Terrorgheist charges the Bray Shaman.  More expectedly, the Ghouls charge the Ungors and the Vampire Lord goes for broke, charging his Skeletons into the flank of the Bestigors.  The Grave Guard wheel round the Altar of Khaine and I realise that it’s going to Ungor sandwich time shortly.  Indeed, an Irresistable casting of Vanhel’s Danse Macabre ensure that the Grave Guard contact the rear of the Ungors, but Mannfred the Acolyte loses all his remaining wizard levels.  Pha’s Protection on the Skeleton Warriors is dispelled, and of three attempts to reinforce the mauled Ghoul pack, one is dispelled, one is Scrolled (I was about to lose the Shaman anyway, so there was no reason not to use it) and once reincarnates five Ghouls.  In the shooting phase, the Terrorgheist shouts the Bray Shaman to death (oh well, I suppose it only hastened his inevitable end) but the Tomb Banshee can’t be heard above the braying of Bestigors.  The Great Bray Shaman makes way once again to cut down the annoying Tomb Banshee, and the Bestigors finish off the Ghouls.  A couple of Skeletons are cut down, but two hits on the Vampire Lord roll 1,1, to wound so this one is obviously destined to go to single combat.  Crumbling takes care of a few more Skeletons, then the Bestigors reform to face them for width and maximum contact.  Things don’t go so smoothly for the Ungors who are duly hammered.  Even in defeat they do me proud though, as the Ghouls fail to restrain pursuit and are dragged away from the action in the West.  The Grave Guard are more sensible though, reforming back to 10 wide and facing the rear of the Bestigors.

The Wargor signals a swift reform, and the Gors begin a long trudge to actually achieve anything in this game.  We roll 5,2 magic dice, but the Great Bray Shaman casts Curse of Anraheir on the Grave Guard with Irresistable Force killing 4 Bestigors in the miscast and sucking up the rest of the power dice.  I consider  using some of the dice collected by the Jagged Dagger to do more casting but since the Vampires have their full allotment of dispel dice it would probably be a waste this time.  The Vampire Lord takes a look at the enraged goatmen facing him, then takes a look at the giant axes they’re all wielding and finally decides on the ‘soft’ option of issuing a challenge.  It’s a good call, but the Great Bray Shaman is no slouch in combat either; the pair of generals trade a wound each.  Meanwhile, the skeletons are smashed down to just the champion, and with just him and the Vampire Lord left to face 10 crumble wounds, that means it’s good night from both of them.  The Bestigors shrug and reform to face the Grave Guard.

Neither the Grave Guard nor the Ghouls crumble after the demise of their master, but the Terrorgeist obligingly falls into a pile of dust (it had a taken a wound from dangerous terrain earlier thanks to its shenanigans in the woods).  To make matters worse, the Grave Guard fail the frenzy check due to the proximity of the Altar of Khaine and charge into the Bestigors who are waiting and licking their lips in anticipation of a proper fight.  The Ghouls sheepishly reform to face back to the action, wishing that they could use musicians.  I am amazed by the sheer power of the Bestigors.  They take a few casualties from the Grave Guard, but six of them gang up to send Mannfred back to the earth and the rest wipe the Grave Guard out to a man.  There isn’t even anyone left to face the 20 or so crumble wounds coming to them.  With that and only having a single Ghoul pack left, Aramoro has seen enough and concedes.  Victory for the Beastmen!

That was certainly a game of two halves.  For the first couple of turns I felt like I was really getting crushed, after the Minotaurs were mauled by the Ghouls and the Gors were out-manoeuvered by the Grave Guard and Terrorgheist.  Then, once the Bestigors got into combat, it was a different game entirely.  The unit isn’t cheap, but it really hands out damage like nothing else.

The Minotaurs might have been a little unlucky facing Ghouls with such good magical support, but as it happened they were nothing more than an expensive speed-bump.  I think Aramoro made a big mistake in reforming the Ghouls as it allowed the Bestigors to get past them, and from there they were able to chew through three units on their own.  The Ungors, by contrast, died horribly as well but at least they did it on my terms, holding off two units when it mattered most.  And as for the Raiders, they performed far better than could be expected.

On the down side, I completely wasted the Gors and Wargor and they achieved almost nothing other than not dying.  Even thinking back, I’m not really sure how I could have used them.  Although they’d have stuck around with the Terrorgheist in their flank, it would have killed plenty of them in the process.  Similarly, I didn’t really get much value out of the Bray Shaman, but I’m not too worried about that – I didn’t have enough magic dice to make much of his spells this time, but there have been plenty of battles when he’s shown his mettle.

Overall, I think that there are two major learning objectives here.  One is to moan less.  I’ve noticed again how whiny I can be when things don’t seem to be going well and I need to stop that.  It’s especially embarrassing in games like this where the flow of the battle swings so dramatically back in my favour.  The second is to recognise that I’m not likely to be doing much apart from picking my Beastmen off the table in the first few turns – they don’t have much in the way of missile weapons and I rarely take ranged damage magic either.  But when the herd gets into tooth-and-nail range, that’s where the battles are won.

Categories: Battle reports, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Border Princes Campaign (Turn 13)

We thought that turn 12 had been a busy turn of the Border Princes campaign.  We had nice simple victories for my Beastmen over Justinmatters‘ Orcs & Goblins (here), Aramoro‘s Bretonnians over Furycat‘s Empire (here) and the infamous ‘Teclis incident‘ (Forkbanger‘s High Elves defeat the Empire). In the more complex battles, the High Elves used their unlikely Beastmen allies to narrowly defeat the Empire (here) and the Bretonnians were aided by High Elves to see off a marauding Empire army (here).

But we were wrong.  This turn is a busy turn.  Firstly, the men of the Empire allied with the shrinking greenskinned nation to their East, and then suddenly all hell broke loose.  Right along the centre of the map are fights in almost every territory.  In the West Bretonnians and High Elves are banding together to fight the Empire, and the increasingly isolated Bretonnians stuck in Malko are once again desperately staving off an assault from the Empire.  Looking East, a force of High Elves moves into Empire lands for the first time, with support from a trailing herd of Beastmen.  Further East, two Empire banners are throwing themselves at two fortified Beastmen positions to the South of the Old Silk Road.  Finally, there are three battles between the Beastmen and the Orcs & Goblins, including a crucial one in the greenskins’ home territory.  Despite their alliance, not one army from the Empire or the Orcs & Goblins is in a position to help the other nation.  For those keeping count, that’s nine battles this turn, including six each for me and Furycat.

Here are the current score, before any battles are fought.  As with the previous couple of turns there are far 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: 29 points (25 territories, 1 of which is special); 9 banners
High Elves: 19 points (15 territories, 1 of which is special); 6 banners
Orcs & Goblins: 18 points (14 territories, 1 of which is special); 5 banners
Bretonnians: 18 points (9 territories, 1 of which is Malko); 4 banners

As we move to the last few turns, the pack has started to split.  It’s a near certainty that Furycat’s Empire will take victory (remember that I can’t win the game), but it’s unbelievably tight between the other three players.  Forkbanger’s High Elves have been making quite the come back in the last few turns after accidentally penning themselves into a corner in the mid-game.  Meanwhile, the previously mighty nation of the Orcs & Goblins has been cut to a shadow of its former glory, though I expect that this will change now that the Empire aren’t taking territory off them at a terrifying rate.  Finally, the hopes of the Bretonnians mainly hang on holding onto Malko for the last few turns.

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

Beastmen vs Empire (1000 points); 10Sep11

Furycat and I got in a little extra Saturday night wargaming thanks to an unusual arrangement of our schedules.  He suggested a nice small quick 1000 point affair, and I readily agreed.  There are probably no great surprises in my list – it’s not easy to fit all you might like into such a small game.  It’s probably worth noting that we played closed lists here, something we haven’t done much before.

Great Bray Shaman, level 3, extra hand weapon, Jagged Dagger, Talisman of Endurance, Lore of Beasts (GBS)

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

29 Gors, additional hand weapons, full command (G)6 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR)

5 Harpies (H)

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

Furycat selected these moustachioed men.

General of the Empire, Sword of Justice, Armour of Meteoric Iron, Dawnstone, Van Horstman’s Speculum (GE)

Captain of the Empire, BSB, full plate armour, Dragonhelm, Potion of Toughness (BSB)

Battle Wizard, level 2, Dispel Scroll, Lore of Shadow (BW)

39 Halberdiers, full command (H)

29 Swordsmen, full command (S)

Mortar (M)

5 Pistoliers (P)

We randomly selected the Battleline scenario, and rolled up the minimum 5 terrain pieces.  It’s probably just as well with such small armies.  There was a (suspiciously bloody-looking) Wyrding Well just to the North-West of the centre and a Magic Circle in the South.  The forests and river lay in wait to attack our armies when we least expected it.  The Great Bray Shaman chose Wyssan’s Wildform, Curse of Anraheir and Savage Beast of Horros as his spells; the Battle Wizard took Enfeebling Foe and The Withering.  The Pistoliers use their Vanguard move to head for their goaty foes, and we begin with the Empire.

The Pistoliers get right in the face of the Bestigors, and everyone else strolls forward.  The Halberdiers enter what turns out to be a Blood Forest which we instantly forget about for the rest of the game.  The Battle Wizard commands 4,2 magic dice, but his attempt to put Enfeebling Foe on the Gors fails anyway.  The shooting phase continues in this manner, with the Mortar missing the Gors by miles and the Pistoliers all failing to hit any Harpies.

The Bestigors declare a charge on the Pistoliers, who flee.  The Harpies then do the same, forcing another flee reaction.  After bumping through the impassable Wyrding Well, the Pistoliers end up having fled across half the table.  Both Beastmen units stumble forward a little, of course.  The Gors try to charge the Swordsmen, but fail to roll the 11″ they’d have needed to make contact (I was hoping to chew through the Swordsmen before the Halberdiers could get in a good position to support them).  In the magic phase, I have 3,3 power dice to use.  Curse of Anraheir is put on the Halberdiers (failed dispel from the Battle Wizard) and the Gors receive Wyssan’s Wildform.

The Pistoliers fail to rally, stopping only a little short of their own table edge.  The Halberdiers wheel to support the Swordsmen, though 5 of them are killed thanks to the Curse.  With 4,1 magic dice, Enfeebling Foe on the Gors is dispelled, but they lose 3 toughness to The Withering.  Luckily for them, the Mortar misses again.

The Gors charge the Swordsmen, who hold.  I roll 5,4 magic dice and the first thing to go is a dispel of the Withering – the Swordsmen would have made short work of toughness 1 Gors.  In a crucial move, the Battle Wizard uses his Dispel Scroll to stop Wildform on the Gors, and then the Shaman fails to cast the Curse on the Swordsmen.  After an epic round of everyone doing nothing much (apart from the Empire Captain, who nails all 3 of his victims), the Swordsmen easily hold.

The Halberdiers gleefully charge the flank of the Gors, and the Pistoliers decide to rally before they leave the battlefield entirely.  The Battle Wizard gets 5,1 dice and although Enfeebling Foe is dispelled, The Withering reduces the Gors to toughness 3.  The Mortar carries on its stellar performance by misfiring, though it’ll be fine again next turn.  The Gors are blended thoroughly by the State Troops, with the General killing the Foe-Render in a challenge and the Captain killing another 3 alone.  A handful of survivors are unable to muster the 1,1 they’d need to hold in combat, even on the re-roll, and are run over by the Halberdiers who contact the Raiders.  The Swordsmen restrain themselves and reform instead.

The Harpies finally catch up with and charge the Pistoliers, losing no-one to a stand and shoot reaction, and the Bestigors throw themselves into the Halberdiers.  The Winds of Magic blow strongly, and with 6,4 power dice and some good rolling, the Great Bray Shaman puts Savage Beast on himself, Wildform on his herd and Curse on the humans.  The General of the Empire issues a challenge to single combat… and, since I (correctly) suspect the Speculum we go away to look up some rules.  We couldn’t find anything conclusive, so ruled that the Shaman’s buffed stats would transfer in this case.  Of course, accepting a challenge in that case would be suicidal, so the Gouge-Horn is pushed in front of the General instead.  Improbably, there are no wounds on either side of the challenge, but that was the end of the good news for the Empire as they didn’t even kill a Raider, never mind any Bestigors.  The Halberdiers flee, and I decide to pursue only with the Raiders and reform with the Bestigors.  The Halberdiers only roll a 4″ flee and I triumphantly follow up with… a 3″ pursuit from the Raiders.  Curses.  Over on the other side of the field, the Harpies don’t manage a single wound on the Pistoliers, lose 2 of their own, flee and are run down.

The Swordsmen charge the Raiders, who hold (I couldn’t really see much point in having them flee).  The Halberdiers rally and turn to face their tormentors, reforming for depth while they do so.  There are 6,2 magic dice, and while Enfeebling Foe (-1 strength) is let through on the Bestigors, The Withering is dispelled.  Apparently aiming to make up for its earlier mediocrity, the Mortar lands a direct hit on the Bestigors and kills 6 of them despite them having Wildform on them.  They then fail their panic check and head for the hills.  Only a single Raider survives the onslaught of the Swordsmen (or more accurately, the Captain, who again kills with all 3 of his attacks; the rest of the unit only managed 2 between the lot of them).  He flees and the Swordsmen fail to catch him.

The Bestigors rally, and that’s it for the Beastmen movement phase.  Now that it’ll make no difference, I roll 6,5 magic dice, and to cap it off, the Great Bray Shaman miscasts on a 3-dice casting of Savage Beast.  The resulting calamitous detonation vapourises another 3 Bestigors.  The Curse is let through on the Halberdiers, but Wildform is dispelled.

The Empire army continue to close the trap on the Bestigors.  The magic phase (6,4 dice) is remarkably similar to the previous turn, with Enfeebling Foe (-1 strength) being let through and The Withering being dispelled.  The Mortar returns to it’s hilarious, calamitous bad form, missing the Bestigors but landing a shot directly on top of the Pistoliers and wiping them out to a man.

The Bestigors fail to charge the Halberdiers despite only needing to roll a 3, the dice come up 1,1.  With 3,2 magic dice, I just put them all into Wildform.

Both units charge the Bestigors.  The Battle Wizard uses all of the 2,2 dice to put The Withering (-3 toughness) on Bestigors, and the Great Bray Shaman is unable to dispel it.  Of course, the game is over by this point, but Furycat is happy to take the opportunity to get revenge on the Bestigors for all the hurt they’ve handed out over our games, so we roll the dice anyway.  Naturally, not a single Bestigor lives to swing his mighty weapon, though the Great Bray Shaman survives long enough for us to decline to roll his break check.  Victory for the Empire!

As ever with Furycat, that was a highly satisfying game.  It was also a highly instructive one for me, and I hope that I can learn from my errors.  Specifically, here are two events from the game which I think are worth mentioning.

1.  Charging the Gors into the Swordsmen.  Actually, I don’t particularly consider this to be a huge error, and would probably do it again.  With only a single rank more than the Gors, I wouldn’t have had to do much damage to the Swordsmen to remove Steadfast, and with Wildform in play I could have expected to mow through them seriously.  My hope was to blow through the Swordsmen before the Halberdiers could come to their aid.  Good play by Furycat though, firstly by positioning the Halberdier well and secondly by knowing the perfect moment to use the Dispel Scroll.

2.  Not pursuing the Halberdier with the Bestigors.  This was a serious error – having two pursuing units gave me twice the opportunity to run down the monster block of Halberdiers and the General, and it cost me dearly in the end.

After the game, Furycat looked in more detail into the rules around the use of the Speculum and we played it wrong – only the ‘base’ statistics are swapped.  Still, it wouldn’t have made much difference, since he could have simply not issued the challenge if we’d known to play it that way.

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Painted Gors to bulk out the herd

Lately I’ve been using Gors around 40-strong to give me the option of a decent horde formation, so I painted up another eight to fill the herd I painted earlier to up to full strength.  The paint job is nothing to write home about, but then again they’ll be sitting in a morass of other grey goat people anyway, so it’s probably not so bad.  The photography rather accentuates the poor painting; very few of my miniatures would look good when magnified up to giant size like this, and these certainly aren’t among them.  Still, I’m happy with the effect at table top distance, which is where it really matters.

I suppose that they all look rather similar ranked up like that, but the pictures have the front rank and back rank swapped round.

This is my favourite of this batch.  He’s coming to get you, eat your children and tear down your idols.  The photography makes him look rather shinier than he actually is.  I try to take pictures on sunny days (i.e. not very often) to get the best light, but sometimes it back-fires a little.

Next on the painting table: Minotaurs.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Urban War Battle Report: Syntha vs VASA (200 points); 08Sep11

I received the second edition rule book for Urban War so Furycat and I tried to branch out into the full ruleset, including selecting our own forces from the army lists.  We each stayed with the same factions as before: Syntha for me and VASA for him.  There didn’t seem to be many major gameplay differences between the full rulebook and the starter set, so we focussed on the ‘new’ (to us) aspects of the game, particularly indirect firing.

Syntha: Artemis Alpha Biomech (calibre 2; AA), two Androsynths with Pulse Rifles (PA1 and PA2), two Androsynths with Grape Guns (GA1 and GA2), Androsynth with Plasma Launcher (PLA), Tactical Teratosynth with mini-MLRS (a big missile launcher) and heavy armour (TT)

VASA: BLack Legion Sergeant (calibre 2; BL), Red Guard (calibre 1; RG), Suppressor Sniper (SS), two Suppressors with Gauss Rifles (GS1 and GS2) and two Suppressors with Force Batons (BS1 and BS2), Suppressor with Grenade Launcher (GLS)

We start the game by slinging template weapons across the field at each others bunched up models.  Both the Suppressor and Androsynth miss their shots (at this range, not an unlikely outcome), but the Teratosynth lands a rocket on a Suppressor and the Sniper.  Sadly for me, the Suppressor dodges (another new rule to us) and the Sniper is neither wounded nor shocked.  The VASA jump troopers move up the Eastern edge of the board followed by a couple of baton-wielding thugs.

The Black Legion Sergeant makes a clever use of overwatch to interrupt charge the Artemis Alpha, but it isn’t helpful as she survives his attacks and then an Androsynth rushes in and beats him to death.  The Red Guard jumps up (an overwatching Androsynth fails its command check to shoot him), misses a shot at the nearest Androsynth then uses his follow up move to kill the Artemis in close combat.  Gunfire patters around the battlefield to no effect at all.

The world’s most boring game turn occurs.  The Red Guard fails his command check to interrupt a shot from an Androsynth, but shrugs off the hit anyway, and all other shots either miss or fail to wound.

The Red Guard tries to charge the Androsynth with the Plasma Launcher but is intercepted by another Androsynth.  Both Baton-armed Suppressors also join in combat but remarkably there are no wounds anywhere.  Meanwhile, in the gunfight across the midfield, the Syntha continue to miss with every shot and both of the Androsynths with Pulse Rifles are killed.

One of the close combat Androsynths is killed on his own activation by a Suppressor, who then uses his own turn to run over and smash the one toting a Plasma Launcher.  The last Androsynth kills off the Suppressor in combat with him, but the Red Guard is still breathing down his neck.

The Red Guard finishes off the last Androsynth, and, with only a Teratosynth who appears to be blind left on the table, I concede.  Victory to VASA!

It was a good fun game.  It took a relatively long time to play while we wrestled with the new rules, but everything seemed to flow fairly well as we got the hang of shock and so on.

I’m not sure that there are any major conclusions to be drawn from a ‘rules-learning’ game like this, but it occurs to me that I did VASA a favour by allowing my Androsynths to stay at medium range, where their guns are no better than those carried by the Suppressors.  I should have kept advancing them to take advantage of the strength and accuracy boost for the Pulse Rifle at short range.  Still, I’ll be back.

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

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