Monthly Archives: April 2012

Firebelly conversion

My first ever foray into the world of resin miniatures is this Firebelly, and I was not disappointed by the detail.  There’s no two ways about this: the Firebelly is an amazing sculpt.  After doing the initial clean up work I tried to bend the wonky parts back to shape.  In this, I met with limited success, as the flame-holding arm went fine, but the knife and hammer handle were a bit trickier and didn’t quite straighten out.  I really only had one decision to make here, which was whether or not to ruin the fabulous miniature by adding my own sculpture on it.  In the fluff, Firebellies are itinerant prophets, not belonging to any tribe, so I could have justified it to myself to use the model as it was.  But in the end I thought ‘in for a  penny, in for a pound’ and went ahead with the Milliput anyway.  I had to redo the necklace as the original is now covered up by a large bikini.

I really like this miniature, and I’m really looking forward to painting it.  That’s all the conversions for the time being, so next up should be some painted Mournfang Cavalry.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Beastmen (2200 points) vs Orcs & Goblins (2400 points); 27Mar12

After my crushing defeat to Justinmatters’ Orcs & Goblins in the Iron Claw Orc camp, I had one last game in turn 14 of the Border Princes campaign to play. This was a rematch of my ill-fated attempt to take the Orc & Goblin home territory and cement the whole of the Eastern Border Princes as the domain of the Beastmen. For the first time in ages I eschewed the Great Bray Shaman and chose to mix things up with a Doombull as my general (actually, I was trying to get both, but I couldn’t quite make things fit nicely). The Minotaurs kept their place despite a fairly pitiful showing against an Arachnarok, and in general I tried to mainly use miniatures I own. This is probably not notable in any other gaming group, but proxying is the norm here and Justinmatters in particular builds his army by printing off sheets of paper with the unit displayed as a bunch of boxes next to each other with (for example) BO written in each for Black Orcs.

Doombull, Axes of Khorgor, Ramhorn Helm, Talisman of Preservation (don’t leave the forest without it), heavy armour (D)

Gorebull, Berserker Sword, Talisman of Endurance, heavy armour (G1)

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

Bray Shaman, level 2, Dispel Scroll, extra hand weapon, Lore of Beasts (BS)

37 Gors, extra hand weapon, full command (G2)

40 Ungors, full command (U)

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

5 Harpies, scouts (H)

4 Minotaurs, full command (M)

24 Bestigors, full command, Manbane Standard (B)

Justinmatters returned to his more usual choices after his brief foray into Goblins and spiders, though the Arachnarok clearly impressed him as it another made an appearance here. Still, you can get plenty of artillery with Orcs & Goblins, and no-one likes to take a horde of Savage Orc Big ‘Uns to the face.

Black Orc Warboss, Armour of Destiny, Dawnstone (W)

Orc Great Shaman, level 4 (OS)

Savage Orc Big Boss, BSB, Armour of Silvered Steel (BSB)

Night Goblin Shaman, level 2, Dispel Scroll (S1)

Night Goblin Shaman, level 2 (S2)

38 Savage Orc Big ‘Uns, full command (SOBU)

2 x 5 Wolf Riders (WR1 and WR2)

20 Arrer Boyz, standard (AB)

10 Savage Orc Boar Boyz, full command, Gleaming Pennant (SOB)

3 x Orc Chariots (OC1 to OC3)

3 x Spear Chukkas (SC1 to SC3)

Rock Lobber (RL)

Arachnarok Spider (A)

It’s a battle for the pass, never a good sign when you’ve got significantly less shooting than your opponent (i.e. almost always if you’re playing Beastmen). Justinmatters then ups the ante by sticking a river right across the middle of the table for me to slowly wade across; there’s certainly no reason for him to come to me. We also get a Wyrding Well, a Magic Circle, a Nehekharan Sphinx (generously provided by Furycat as he didn’t need his Warsphinx) and a Sorcerous Portal but as usual we forget about all of them as soon as we start playing the game. Still, I think that it affects us both equally so it’s all fine. The spells are divided up as Hand of Gork, ‘Ere We Go, Foot of Gork and Gaze of Mork for the Orc Great Shaman, Sneaky Stabbin’ and Gork’ll Fix It for one Night Goblin and Vindictive Glare and Night Shroud for the other. After that lot I feel slightly inadequate as I meekly roll up Savage Beast of Horros and Wyssan’s Wildform for the Bray Shaman. Not surprisingly, deployment sees the Beastmen lined up on the 12” mark and the Orcs mostly cowering standing proudly behind a fence near the back of their deployment zone. The Beastmen are happy to take first turn…

…And they duly race out of the blocks until most of them are stymied by the fact that they can’t march across rivers. The Harpies flap around to irritate Justinmatters a bit; I’m not really expecting much of them but they have been heroes enough times for me that everyone else in our group hates them with a passion. Now that I only have a single level 2 wizard, of course I roll 6,5 magic dice. Six dice go into Wildform on the Minotaurs to help them survive the inevitable barrage of artillery and to my great surprise it is let through (as it is not irresistable or anything like that). I’m not sure what Justinmatters thought I was going to do with Savage Beast this turn, but anyway his dispel dice are inexplicably wasted.

Animosity strikes the Orcs in the most hilarious way. The Arrer Boyz decide that gun-lines are boring and flip out, making an outrageous charge into the waiting Gor herd who can’t believe their luck (and neither can I). No-one else is in such a hurry, mostly just shuffling around a little. The greenskins get 6,2 magic dice to split among their many magic users. Gork’ll Fix It is cast on the Gors and I let it through. For one, I’m still confident that they can do bad things to the Arrer Boyz, but mainly because I can spring them across the river if enough Arrer Boyz survive to flee. Foot of Gork is dispelled with all my dice on the Bestigors, and Gaze of Mork wounds a Minotaur and kills off a hapless Raider. The Rock Lobber misses the Bestigors but that’s the end of my luck with the shooting phase. The first two Spear Chukkas kill off two Minotaurs and I try to save more of them from the same fate by taking the third on the Doombull. It doesn’t go completely to plan, as he takes one for the team to tune of three wounds. As predicted, even with a hex the Gors are far too much for the Arrer Boyz, mauling them down to a handful for minimal losses and running down the rest as they flee, conveniently crossing the river.

I charge the Harpies into the nearest Orc Chariot, hoping that they might do something with the combat resolution from flank charging. The general and BSB were both too far away to matter so I could potentially panic some stuff. Karma comes back to the Gors as they fail a charge into the nearest of the Night Goblin Shamans. Still, the Minotaurs move up to cover their side so I’m probably better off than I might have been if they’d had to slog it across the river. That’s just what everyone else has to do, though at least thanks to the sterling efforts of the Arrer Boyz I am safe in the knowledge that it’s ‘only’ a River of Blood. The Bray Shaman puts another six dice (of the 5,2 rolled) into Wildform on the Minotaurs again and amazingly it isn’t irresistable or dispelled for the second time in a row. All my hopes for the Harpies are brought back to earth as they fail to do anything to Chariot, are mauled in return and flee off the table. Easy come, easy go.

The Savage Orc Big ‘Uns and one of the Wolf Rider mobs both suffer animosity, but while the Warboss is able to beat sense into his charges, the Wolf Riders obligingly charge into the Doombull and his drinking buddies. Further East, the Gors are brought back to reality by a combined charge from the Arachnarok and an Orc Chariot. The rest of the army jostles for good positions and the Orc Great Shaman leaves the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns, presumably sensing that it’s going to get personal with the Minotaurs shortly. We roll 5,1 magic dice and a Night Goblin Shaman makes a poor start, failing to cast Vindictive Gaze at the Raiders. Gork’ll Fix It on the Gors is scrolled as having to re-roll 6s will stop them having even a slight chance against the mighty spider. Foot of Gork stomps on a few Bestigors as the Bray Shaman fails to dispel it with dice. The Spear Chukkas make up for their stellar performance last turn by missing every shot; the Rock Lobber goes one better by misfiring, though it’ll be fine again next turn. It’s a bad turn to be a Gor as the Orc Chariot and Arachnarok kill them in droves. Still, they do a good job in return, taking down the chariot and putting a couple of wounds on the spider, then holding steadfast. The Wolf Riders have just enough time to realise their mistake before the Doombull swats them all single-handedly.

With only 8.5” separating themselves from the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns, the Minotaurs roll up the only possible result (1,1) that fails their charge; a single manly tear rolls down my cheek. The Raiders decided that they’ve had enough of babysitting the Bray Shaman and head off to tackle the Night Goblin Shamans who are sitting out in the open. Everyone else finally gets out of the river and the air is replete with the unholy aroma of wet goat. The Bray Shaman puts all the 4,1 power dice into the boosted version of Savage Beast in anticipation of action next turn, but it fails to cast so once again Justinmatters is left sitting with a load of unused dispel dice. Finally, the Arachnarok scythes through a load more Gors but it’s running out of wounds faster than I’m running out of Gors; they hold steadfast again.

This turn it’s proper fighting time as the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns charge the Minotaurs in the front and an Orc Chariot comes into the flank. The Orc Great Shaman moves to get the maximum benefit for ‘Ere We Go, and with all of the 2,1 power dice, it goes off; I fail to dispel it. The Spear Chukkas, denied their shots on the Minotaurs, get a fantastic three hits (of three) on the Bestigors though they do hold after the massive casualties. I’m expecting terrible things to happen from the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns, but although the Bloodkine is pulled down, I roll armour and ward saves like a champion and actually win combat. Good work Minotaurs! I’m a bit happier about next turn as the craziness is beaten out of the Savage Orcs and their choppa bonus is gone. Almost as good, the Gors pull the last legs off the Arachnarok with the Wargor saving a venom surge. They reform to face flank of the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns at 5 wide as they’re down to less than half strength; horde formation isn’t much use if you can only go two deep anyway.

This is one of the most satisfying parts of playing Beastmen as I declare charges with almost my whole army. The Bestigors go into the flank of the Orc Chariot that’s stuck on the Doombull and the Gors flank the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns. The Ungors catch the Wolf Riders and the Raiders get stuck into the closer of the Night Goblin Shamans; in both cases if they fled they’d have gone off the table.  All I need now is a good magic phase to seal the deal so I promptly roll up 2,1 magic dice. They all go into Wildform on the Minotaurs but the Night Goblin sensibly scrolls it. Still, I always feel like I’ve got a puncher’s chance once I make it into combat with a good portion of my army, dependant on match-ups of course. The Raiders shank the pesky Shaman and grin maliciously as they turn to face the other one. Over in the West, the Wolf Riders put up a good show against the Ungors, but they’re outnumbered heavily and are chased off the table. Finally, in the big scrum in the centre, it’s like a pillow fight as everyone ineffectively pokes at each other. Still, the Bestigors smash the Orc Chariot into matchwood and when all is said and done the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns lose by seven. After recent experience (here and here) I’m expecting the Crown of Command on the BSB (even after putting some attacks into him and finding him armoured up to the nines) so when Justinmatters announces he needs snake eyes I’m pretty surprised. Even with a re-roll, he can’t make it and the remnants of the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns flee. Justinmatters has seen enough and offers his hand in surrender, which I gladly take. Victory for the Beastmen!

It was a game with wild swings of luck, but in the end the terrible dice thrown in the main fight in the centre came down a little in my favour. I wasn’t feeling too optimistic in the first couple of turns, but it seems that games with Beastmen are often that way. You take a lot of licks at the start and it feels like you’re just removing handfuls of goats without doing anything in return. But from turn 3 (or 2 if you’re doing well) you can get a lot of combat going on, and a Gor in combat is a happy Gor.

Incidentally, compare the movement of this game against my recent loss to Furycat’s Empire. Here I was largely able to keep my battle line tight together and make use of the general and BSB effects for large portions of my army; even when I took a flank charge (the Orc Chariot into the Minotaurs) I had a counter flank charge with the Bestigors on straight away. In the game against the Empire I had my line strung out across a huge distance and no-one was able to support anyone else. Beastmen benefit greatly from leadership effects thanks to primal fury so the more herds that can get re-rolls or the general’s leadership the better.

As for the Doombull, he is a wrecking ball, that’s for sure. Still, as effective as he may be (and he would have been up to 10 attacks on his own if we’d continued), I am not sure that he’s more fun than the Great Bray Shaman. That’s purely because I find the magic phase entertaining to play with and I find that having only 2 spells, as in this case, means that you have very few options.

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More Leadbelcher conversions

The last two miniatures to prepare from my Ogre Kingdoms battalion box are a couple more Leadbelchers for the Little Death tribe.  I was going to do a command group, but Leadbelchers can’t have banners, and I don’t usually bother with a champion in the unit, so I’ve decided to leave it for now to think about a nice way to do a musician.  These are pretty much straight out of the box, with no spare parts from the new kits used.  Of course, I did my usual work adding breasts and hair, and  there are some pretty cavernous gaps along the lengths of the cannon to fill in.  Looking at them again I might need to fill gaps in the gun powder / beer barrels, but I’ll see how they look when they’re undercoated.

The main thing this picture illustrates is the difference between my sculpting and the professional miniatures – check out the strand of hair moulded onto the head.

I’m not a great fan of the patched up look of the some of the Leadbelcher heads, with eyes missing and bits of shrapnel embedded in them.  It’s not that I object to that part of the fluff (it’s quite fitting) but rather that the damage is limited to the head, with nothing on the bodies.  The body is shared between the Bulls, Ironguts and Leadbelchers, so it has a ‘generic’ look (if that’s the right word for a fantasy Ogre wearing a shield over its bellybutton).

The final bit of sculpting work is on a Firebelly, then I’ll concentrate on the painting of these guys (plus a bit of Malifaux, since I won’t be able to resist).

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Beastmen (2110 points) vs Orcs & Goblins (2475 points); 21Feb12

Here is the second of my three battles against Justinmatters’ Orc & Goblins for turn 14 of the Border Princes campaign. This time we were playing on the Iron Claw Orc camp territory. The sharp-eyed among you might have noted that ‘Orc’ appears in both the name of Justinmatters’ army and the territory. This is a bad confluence of events if you aren’t the Orc in question. Anyway, there isn’t much of a scenario for this territory. Basically, a D6 roll determines how many (if any) points are killed from your army by clashes with the native Orcs. However, if you are in fact playing as Orcs & Goblins, you get to add that many points to your army instead. It’s not really clear if you’re meant to make up a list then remove the relevant number of dudes, or just write a smaller/larger list so we selected the latter option for simplicity. The upshot is that I lose 90 points, but Justinmatters is reinforced by a mighty 225 points, so from our bases of 2200 point each, I’m actually down by 315 before we even write our names on our army lists.

I fancied a change so I took some Minotaurs, though frankly I’ve never been able to make them work for me too well. I also took no Gors at all, something I think I’ve never even attempted before. It turns out that you can get a lot of Ungors into a core allowance.

Great Bray Shaman, level 4, Talisman of Preservation, Dispel Scroll, extra hand weapon, Lore of Shadow (GBS)

Gorebull, BSB, armour of Fortune, Gnarled Hide, extra hand weapon (BSB)

Gorebull, Berserker Sword, Talisman of Endurance, heavy armour (G)

2 x 40 Ungors, full command (U1 and U2)

3 x 6 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR1 to UR3)

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

2 x 5 Harpies, scouts (H1 and H2)

4 Minotaurs, full command, Ironcurse Icon (M)

1 Razorgor (R)

Justinmatters took offense at the idea that only Orcs inhabited the Iron Claw Orc camp (though in fairness, the clue is in the name) and took an army composed entirely of various flavours of Goblin.

Goblin Great Shaman, level 4 Arachnarok Spider, Catchweb Spidershrine, Dispel Scroll, Talisman of Preservation, Potion of Toughness (GGS)

Goblin Big Boss, BSB, Spider Banner (BSB)

Snagla Grobspit (SG)

10 Spider Riders (Deff Creepers), full command (DC)

10 Spider Riders, full command (SR)

2x 60 Goblin, 3 Nasty Skulkers, spears, full command (G1 and G2)

20 Night Goblins, 3 Fanatics (NG and F1 to F3)

Arachnarok Spider, flinger (A1)

Arachnarok Spider (A2)

Three outrageous spiders, plus about a million Goblins. This may get silly. It does. We roll the Watchtower, and the first piece of terrain down after it is an Altar of Khaine right next to it. So no-one can stay in the Watch Tower at all. Otherwise, we’ve got a Ghost Mansion in the South East that we forget about, a Scree Slope and a Temple of Skulls in the West that never do anything of note and a Wyrding Well slightly to the North West of the Watchtower. The Goblin is a loremaster thanks to the shrine he’s sitting in, but the Great Bray Shaman has to roll for spells like a peasant, taking Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, Withering and Pit of Shades. I elect not to start with 6 Raiders in the Watchtower and Justinmatters gets us going.

One set of Goblins squabbles a bit and everyone else moves up for poison fun. The Goblin Great Shaman starts big with 6,5 magic dice. Continuing the ‘go big’ theme, he Irresistably casts Vindictive Glare on the some Ungors and then shrugs off the Magical Feedback, losing a power die for good measure. A few Ungors die, but there’s plenty more where they came from. Itchy Nuisance (-2 movement) is let through on the Minotaurs and Curse of the Bad Moon is dispelled.

The Razorgor and Harpies charge the Spider Riders, who surprisingly elect to hold. The other Harpies trigger the Fanatics out of the Night Goblin mob from the safety of the wall, and strangely the Fanatics all head towards them, though none of them actually splat themselves on the terrain. I get 6,1 magic dice but both Enfeebling Foe and Withering on one of the Arachnaroks are dispelled. The Spider Riders put up a bit of a fight but a couple of survivors break and are run down by the Razorgor. Sadly for said Razorgor, this puts it right in front of the Goblins and the Shaman’s Arachnarok. It’s not a happy place for a big pig.

One Arachnarok charges into some unfortunate Raiders, who hold to stop it redirecting into something useful. The other charges into the Ungors who fail their terror check despite being in range of both the general and the BSB then redirects into the Bestigors. The Great Shaman and the huge Goblin mob charge the hapless Razorgor, who holds to keep them busy for a turn. Snagla Grobspit and his Deff Creepers emerge in Ambush behind the Minotaurs (as an aside, what Beastmen general worth their horns wouldn’t swap the Beastmen Ambush special rule for the basic Ambush rule from the main rule book?). Finally, two of the Fanatics continue their headlong rush into a wall, paying for it with their drug-addled lives. It’s another big magic phase with 5,5 power dice. Once again, I’m forced to let through Itchy Nuisance (-2 movement) on the Minotaurs. Gift of the Spider God on the Arachnarok is scrolled, and Gork’ll Fix It on the Bestigors is also dispelled. After much flicking through rulebooks, the mighty Snagla Grobspit throws his magic javelin at the Minotaurs, and in a huge let down, it misses. We start combat with the plucky Raiders putting two wounds on their Arachnarok before being stomped into the dust; another herd nearby runs off the table and I’m not sure I blame them. The Bestigors put a handy 4 wounds on their Arachnarok, whose venom surge on the Great Bray is stopped by his ward save. It holds anyway though after eating a few Bestigors. The Razorgor puts a wound on the Goblin Great Shaman before being poisoned about a thousand times.

The Minotaurs charge into the Goblin Great Shaman’s Arachnarok, hoping that the immunity to thunderstomps is enough to offset a multiple wound attack. The fleeing Ungors fail yet another leadership test, on 10 this time, and head off the table to get the drinks in ahead of the rush. This time there are 6,3 magic dice, but Justinmatters is taking no chances and scrolls Enfeebling Foe on the Shaman then dispels Withering on him. Miasma fails to cast anyway so he doesn’t even need to use the last dice. Although using the scroll was a good move anyway, it is even more useful this time as he (sensibly) didn’t expect the Shaman to live long enough to use it again. And he’s right. The Goblin Great Shaman is dragged off the back of the Arachnarok and eaten by angry cow people, though the big spider holds. Meanwhile, the Bestigors reduce the second Arachnarok to a single wound, but there aren’t many of them left either.

Urged on by Furycat (who was cheerleading from the sidelines), the Deff Creepers charge into the rear of the Minotaurs. As the Shaman is dead, we skip past the magic phase and straight to combat. The Great Bray Shaman joins his small green counterpart in the dead pile as the Arachnarok venom surges him again and his ward fails to save him this time. In revenge, the Bestigors finally topple the mighty beast, but there’s only the plucky command group now. The other combat turns out to be a complete blood bath with dead and dying Minotaurs and Spider Riders everywhere.  In the end the Minotaurs need to muster a 4 to hold… and they manage it.

I’m not really sure what I was thinking at this point, as I charged the Ungors into the Arachnarok. They weren’t likely to hurt it, they could give up huge combat resolution as suddenly it had something to thunderstomp, and finally it’s stubborn so it didn’t care about the rank bonus they brought with them. Oh well, live and learn. Figuring they’re getting a Spider to the face no matter what they do next, I also charge the pitiful remnants of the once-proud Bestigors into the flank of the Deff Creepers. Anyway, the giant mess finished up with a narrow Beastmen victory and Snagla dead, though the Arachnarok and Spider Riders held again. One flock of Harpies charge into the rear of the Goblin regiment. This might also seem like a poor idea but I had a good chance of doing enough damage to win the combat (as I get +2 for a rear charge and +1 for charging) and even though the Goblins would be steadfast, they’re only leadership 6 and out of BSB range. Sadly, I hadn’t accounted for Nasty Skulkers as Justinmatters has never used them against me before (and I only had a vague idea of what they did), so they leapt into the fray, tipping the odds against me somewhat. And indeed, the Goblin assassins kill a few of the Harpies and the rest flee but get away.

It doesn’t help for long, as the Goblins chase them off the table. The final Arachnarok charges into the rear of the Bestigors, who, it’s fair to say, don’t like it up ‘em. All of the remaining Spider Riders are killed off along with the Bestigors. Even with all that, the pair of Arachnaroks actually lose combat but they’re stubborn and in range of the BSB (who is happily twiddling his thumbs and watching the carnage) so they’re not going anywhere. It’s at this point that Justinmatters realises that his wounded Arachnarok is in range of the Wyrding Well and hence can heal the wounds I’m putting on him pathetically slowly. With my forces all tied up with the Arachnarok double team and the rest of the Goblins just hanging around waiting for something to beat up, I call it a night. Victory for the Orcs & Goblins!

Or, as Furycat put it later in a summarised battle report for the benefit of Aramoro and Forkbanger: ‘Oh God! Spiders! Poison!’

It was a hilarious game with spiders and goblins all over the place, but I was never really in it. Between hapless minions (the Ungors fleeing off the board from the Arachnarok in turn two) and my own poor play (the other Ungors charging pointlessly into the Arachnarok) I didn’t make Justinmatters do anything more than play competently. Which he did, and deservedly got a crushing victory over me, only giving up a few victory points to boot. I should also point out that while I was panicking around the board fighting a never-ending series of huge scary spiders, Justinmatters was quietly keeping a giant mob of Goblins right next to the Watchtower so that he could actually win the game even if I did somehow kill off all the beasties.

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

Irongut command conversions

I actually put the command group together for my Irongut unit a while ago, but it’s taken me ages to get round to photographing them.  As with the Cow command group I made full use of the bits I have available from the Ironblaster and the Mournfang cavalry to make these three look a bit different from the run-of-the-mill Ironguts.  All the Ogre parts (that I’ve found so far) are completely interchangeable which is a goldmine for a kit-basher.  The Dwarf bucklers I used for the ‘armoured bras’ are the same set as the ones on the rank and file Ironguts.  Presumably giving shields to Dwarf Warriors is out of fashion as there are millions of them available on eBay.

The Gutlord (Gutlady?) was inspired by this post on Well of Miniatures.  I don’t speak Finnish, so I have no idea what the text says, but the picture was enough to convince me.  She has the arms from the Mournfang Cavalry great weapons (as I assembled my own Mournfang riders with ironfists) and the armoured head from the Ironblaster which I think goes pretty well on an Irongut.  Holding the great weapon across the body also breaks up the look of the unit as the rest of them so far are all holding their weapons aloft to smite their tiny foes with, though it took a bit of work to make them rank up well.

Somewhere in the Ogre Kingdoms army book, it mentions that Ogre Bruisers who carry the battle standard often just use them to beat their enemies senseless instead of carrying other weapons, and that was the inspiration for this standard bearer.  I took the Mournfang Cavalry banner as it looks like it’s streaming behind the pole and cut off the banner above the hand.  I cut a standard Irongut right hand down to just the hand and then (after a few false starts) drilled into it to give the banner something to stick to.  Early attempts at just gluing the banner pole onto the top of the hand weren’t effective as the banner is too heavy for the small contact area.  Then I just had to line the pieces up straight which took surprisingly long considering how simple it should be.  The head is also from the Mournfang kit; you get a remarkable number of heads in that box considering that you can only build two Ogres.  Not that I’m complaining, of course.

Finally, the musician.  I’m not a great fan of the ‘bellower’ thing that Ogres have going on instead of normal musicians, but the only musical instrument that you can get in the right size is the trumpet in the Mournfang Cavalry box and that’s already been used on the Cows.  The only work I did here, apart from the sex change of course, was to make the weapon to be held one-handed and alter the positioning of the arm to allow it to be slung over the shoulder.  Ogre arms are pretty forgiving that way, so I just had to apply some milliput to the gap in the shoulder and to extend the wrist.

I am pretty pleased with the look of these three big girls.  They look different enough that it’s clear they are the command group, which is important as I’ve tended to put some characters in with the Irongut unit so it needs to be obvious who is who.  The only difficult thing now will be to think of a clever way to make my battle standard bearer look good now that I’ve used this trick with the Irongut banner.  Next for conversion: some more Leadbelchers.

Categories: Painting and modelling, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Beastmen vs Empire; 2000 points (14Feb12)

Well, it really has taken me ages to get this battle report written up from turn 14 of the Border Princes Campaign; my opponent this time was my arch-nemesis / best friend, Furycat and his mustachioed Empire army.  I mostly just stuck with the same army as my previous outing against Justinmatters, the narrowest of wins against Justinmatters‘ Orcs & Goblins.  Still, with the reduction back to 2000 points, I ditched the under-performing Lore of Death Bray Shaman and the Razorgors, shuffled a few things around and fit in a Chaos Spawn.  I’ve never tried one before and to be honest I’m not really sure what to do with it, but it’s not many points so I figured it was worth a go.

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

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

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

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

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

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

40 Ungors, full command (UH)

2 x 5 Harpies, scouts (H1 and H2)

Chaos Spawn (CS)

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

Furycat tried out double Lore of Light wizards, which seems pretty sound on paper.  I like the Lore of Light a lot, although I don’t actually play any armies that can take it (unless I go for the Wizarding Hat, which is still a pretty long shot).

Arch Lector of Sigmar, War Altar, Dawn Armour (AL)

Wizard Lord, level 4, Lore of Light(WL)

Captain of the Empire, BSB, Armour of Meteoric Iron, Dawnstone (BSB)

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

30 Flagellants, Prophet of Doom(F)

20 Crossbowmen (C)

48 Halberdiers, full command (H)

10 Outriders (O)

5 Pistoliers (P)

2 Helstorm Rocket Battery (HRB1 and HRB2)

The scenario is the Meeting Engagement.  There’s a Sigmarite Shrine in the centre and an Earthblood Mere in the far East; the fence in the North West is just that (i.e. a normal common or garden fence).  The rivers and forests lay in wait for us, of course.  There’s a ford in the middle of one of them, which is under the Ungors in the first picture.  Note that the third river just got place in the corner as we were both pretty tired of laying out river by the time that one came round; funnily enough I made a bit of hash of setting it up in Battle Chronicler too but don’t worry about that as it’ll never be remotely near any units.  The Wizard Lord rolls Speed of Light, Light of Battle, Birona’s Timewarp and Pha’s Protection while the Battle Wizard has Net of Amyntok and Banishment.  Over on my side of the table, the Great Bray Shaman has Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, Penumbral Pendulum and Okkam’s Mindrazorand the Bray Shaman has Wyssan’s Wildform and Savage Beast of Horros.  A frankly preposterous series of dice rolls sees the Great Bray Shaman, the Wargor and Bestigors late to the battle, while the Crossbowmen, Halberdiers and Captain are similarly detained for an extra round in the pub.  The Beastmen set up first and go first.  Note the placement of the Harpies to stymie the vanguard move of the Outriders; the small Gor herd and one of Raider herds are ambushing.

The Gors helpfully ambush in the West, setting up to either threaten all the units set up over there or be mangled by Outrider machine gun fire depending on Furycat’s preference.  Everyone else moves forward, though the big Gor herd takes a slow approach to give the Wargor a chance to join them.  The Harpies move to give themselves options next turn and (more importantly) get out of the way of the Flagellants while the Chaos Spawn tests the river and finds out that it’s full of blood.  Cute.  We roll 6,4 magic dice, but start off auspiciously with the Bray Shaman getting Irresistable Force putting Wildform on the Ungors.  The resulting calamitous detonation does remarkably little damage (improbably, only a single Raider dies).Despite using 3 dice, I fail to cast the upgraded version of Miasma on the Pistoliers.  This pretty much sets the tone for my magic in this game.

The Pistoliers feel lucky and try the other river, which helpfully gives them Pha’s Protection as it’s a river of light.  There’s minimal other movement (why bother when the Beastmen will come to you?) but the delayed units sheepishly slink onto the table carrying letters from their mums.  The winds of magic are pretty wild with 6,6 dice – I prepare for a lot of stinging.  I let through the Net of Amyntok on the ambushing Gors as it’s only a 50-50 chance of doing anything useful.  The War Altar tries to cast Banishment on the Harpies but fails and then the Wizard Lord casts the bubble version of Speed of Light which I fail to dispel.  I do manage to stop Banishment on the Harpies though.  The Pistoliers shoot up a Harpy in the East but the Outriders annihilate the other flock in hail of bullets, panicking the first lot off the table (luckily, the Gors hold).  The Helstorms remind me why I hate them so much as a single hit takes out 11 Gors from the big herd.

The ambushing Raiders are right on the money, arriving on the Empire table edge just at the right time; any earlier and they’d probably have been panicked off the table again by the Harpies.  The ambushing herd of Gors tries to charge the Battle Wizard, who smirks at them from under his funny hat as they fail to shrug off the Net of Amyntok.  The Ungors charge into the Halberdiers and are joined by the Chaos Spawn as it ambles slowly over.  This time, I only get 3,2 magic dice; Enfeebling Foe on the Halberdiers is dispelled and Wildform on the Ungors is scrolled.  They lose slightly to the Halberdiers and remember that steadfast is only useful if you’re more than leadership 6 or near a BSB; heading back for my lines.  The Spawn is unbreakable, so it sticks around for more punishment.

There’s not a lot of movement apart from the Flagellants moving backward to keep the Gors on the other side of the river for a bit longer (so much for crazed fanatics!) and the Wizards fleeing from the might of the ambushing Raiders.  The Pistoliers cross the river again just to show that they can and are rewarded with Pha’s Protection once more.  There are only 6,1 magic dice this time; Net of Amyntok is let through on the small Gor herd again but the War Altar’s casting of the same thing on the Wargor’s herd is dispelled.  The Bray Shaman uses the Chalice of Dark Rain but one of the Helstorms still lands a direct hit on the big Gor herd, killing another load of them.  In fairness, the rest of the shooting is minimal.  Finally, the Halberdiers put the Spawn out of its misery.

This time, the ambushing Gors escape the Net of Amyntok and hit the flank of the Flagellants.  There’s never a good time to mix it up with flail-wielding lunatics, but if you have to then it’s best to get in somewhere the flails won’t have too much effect.  The Raiders charge the Helstorm, creating my favoured situation for artillery: in combat with something cheap.  The Ungors pull themselves together now that they’ve gone back to the Great Bray Shaman.  I get 4,3 magic dice to play with and the Bray Shaman gets Irresistable Force again on a 3 dice casting of Wildform on the Ungors.  He doesn’t get away so lightly this time, joining the Hierophant from Furycat’s Tomb King army in a hole in reality (side note: after half a dozen games with Tomb Kings, Furycat’s Hierophant has been sucked into the warp more often than not, and has yet to feel the sweet caress of turn 4).  Enfeebling Foe on the Flagellants is dispelled.  The Gors kill a few of them anyway, but being unbreakable, they don’t care at all and reform to face.  Still, even though you can’t beat the frenzy out of them, I’m a lot happier now that they’re too tired to swing their flails.  The Raiders kill one of the Helstorm crew but the others hold anyway.

In a move I didn’t see coming, the Outriders charge the flank of the Gors, none of them dying to the fence as they cross it.  The Halberdiers charge the Ungors again and the Wizards shuffle about for no obvious reason.  It’s another good magic phase for the Empire with 6,4 dice available.  I let Speed of Light through on the Halberdiers then the Wizard Lord puts an Irresistable Birona’s Timewarp on the Flagellants.  The calamitous detonation wounds both Wizards and gets rid of the last magic dice.  The unengaged Helstorm helpfully misfires (and can’t fire next turn either), lighting up the battlefield with pretty fireworks, while the Crossbowmen continue to plink away at the Gors.  Once again the Halberdiers narrowly beat the Ungors and once again they bodge their break check (despite the presence of the general this time) and once again they get away.  Over on the other side of the table, the Gors lose narrowly to the combined efforts of the Outriders and Flagellants and hold, but it’s a blood bath over there. I didn’t actually write it in my notes but I have a vague memory that Furycat opted not to sacrifice any Flagellants this turn (reasoning that they would be re-rolling to hit anyway from ASF) and then epically failed his wound rolls.  Finally, the Ungors finish off the Helstorm crew which improbably panics the Wizard Lord off the board.

The big Gor herd charges the flank of the Flagellants and gets Birona’s Timewarp from the river to match the one on the Flagellents.  The triumphant Raiders charge the Battle Wizard, who flees.  They fail to redirect and stumble unwisely right in front of the Crossbowmen.  The Bestigors charge into the Pistoliers and the Ungors rally yet again.  I roll 5,2 magic dice but start off with 1,1 on an unboosted version of Miasma on the Crossbowmen so that’s that.  The Bestigors smite the Pistoliers into the ground and over run out of reach of the Halberdiers.  Meanwhile, the small Gor herd is wiped out (which inconveniently strands the Outriders out of combat) and the Flagellants take horrendous losses; they reform to face the big herd.

The Arch Lector, tired of just pulling dispel dice out of his cassock (not that he’s needed them), decides to get in on the fighting and spurs his mobile pulpit into the Bestigors.  The Halberdiers continue their game of ‘tig’ with the Ungors and the Outriders canter back to the safety of their fence.  With another big magic phase (6,5), I use all my dispel dice to stop a 6 dice Speed of Light on the Flagellants from the freshly-rallied Battle Wizard.  Net of Amyntok is put on the Gors and the Arch Lector Soulfires a single Bestigor.  The Crossbowmen kill three of the Raiders right in front of them, but this doesn’t bother the plucky little buggers.  In combat, the Gors finish off the Flagellants and reform to 5 wide.  For the third time in a row the Ungors lose a close fight against the Halberdiers and flee, although this time the Halberdiers reform to face the Bestigors instead.  The Arch Lector runs over a few Bestigors with his War Altar but otherwise not much happens in their combat.

The Raiders try again to catch the Battle Wizard, but he flees again.  The Gors attempt to charge the Crossbowmen but fail to escape the Net (note: it looks from Battle Chronicler that they’re miles away, but they were in credible charging range).  The winds of magic only give me 3,1 dice; I put them all into Mindrazor on the Bestigors but it’s dispelled.  The Bestigors all bounce off the War Altar’s ward save, so everyone stays right where they are.

The Halberdiers charge into the back of the Bestigors – this is going to get ugly (if you’re a Beastman).  The Battle Wizard fails to rally and keeps on running, and everyone else is toting move-or-fire weapons so they’re going nowhere.  There are only 2,1 magic dice; the Arch Lector puts them all into Birona’s Timewarp on the Halberdiers but it gets dispelled.  The Outriders and Crossbowmen reduce the Gors to just the Foe Render and the Wargor (though they do hold) and the Helstorm fires a wild shot in the vague direction of the Ungors.  The Bestigors fare surprisingly well against the Halberdiers (they still can’t get through the ward save on the War Altar though) but they still lose and flee.  Then it got complicated…

So, the losers flee from the biggest unit – clearly the Halberdiers in this case.  For some reason, I’d always thought that the fleeing unit got away clean if it rolled higher on distance than all pursuers, but that doesn’t seem to be explicit in the rules.  The upshot of this is that the Arch Lector is almost certain to catch them as he effectively has a 100 mm head start on them (evidently the War Altar can be rotated much more easily than it looks).  So the first question is: is this correct?  To complicate things even further, the fleeing Bestigors ended up in a River of Light so we agreed to see what spell was cast on them.  Of course, it was Light of Battle, meaning that they rallied immediately.  We played it that they got this and then the Arch Lector charged them again, as if he’d pursued into a fresh unit.  Second question: is this correct?

Determined to go out in a blaze of glory, the Foe Render and the Wargor (or Butch and Sundance) charge into the Crossbowmen… they needed an 8 to make it… they didn’t.  The Gor was pincushioned for his troubles too.  The Raiders charge into the surviving Helstorm, more to stop it shooting than anything else, and the others charge at the Battle Wizard who very narrowly manages to stay on the table after he flees.  I get 4,4 magic dice and start off by reducing the Outriders’ BS by 3 with Miasma (let through).  Enfeebling Foe is dispelled but I get Mindrazor on the Bestigors.  It doesn’t help, as I still can’t put a single wound through the ward save on the War Altar; according to my notes I’d managed more than 15 by this point).  The Raiders do manage to kill one of the Helstorm crew, but the other two hold.

The Halberdiers fail a fourth charge on the Ungors, and the Battle Wizard rallies now that the Arch Lector is back in inspiring presence range.  There are only 3,1 magic dice; Pha’s Protection and Healing Hand on the Arch Lector are both dispelled and Armour of Contempt fails (not that he’s likely to need it).  The BSB is shot down by the Outriders despite needing 8s to hit, 5s to wound and rocking a 2+ save (admittedly, down to 4+ from black powder weapons).  I finally kill off the War Altar but the Arch Lector holds firm, and the game ends.  We go to our calculators and the results are Empire: 1250, Beastmen 732.  Victory for the Empire!

Another tight game against my most challenging foe.  Furycat played well and took some bad luck in his stride (notably, the Wizard Lord panicking off the table), still coming out on top.  There are a few lessons here for me though.

The biggest one is surely familiar to all Beastmen players.  Scroll back up and check the map for my turn 1 (don’t worry, I’ll wait for you).  That is a prime example of how not to play Beastmen.  My herds are spread out right across the table; you could drive a bus between most of them.  Beastmen benefit hugely from keeping packed close to get the BSB and general’s leadership bonuses.  Almost as bad, it also meant that I was coming piecemeal across the table, allowing my units to be dealt with one at a time.

Otherwise, I made quite a mistake right at the end by playing aggressively with the Wargor and Foe Render.  There was no good reason to give the Crossbowmen an extra round of shooting by going for an optimistic charge; instead I should have run as far away as possible from the shooting.  Even though there were only 2 in the unit at the end, they were worth 643 points (including the bonus points for the BSB); more than the difference between victory and at least a draw.  The even more annoying thing is that I even considered these factors in the same turn when I moved the Ungors back to keep them away from the Halberdiers.  Still, I suppose it was more Beastmen-y to charge headlong into the teeth of the guns crossbows.

Categories: Battle reports, Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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