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!
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.