So this is it. The last battle of the last turn of our long-running Border Princes campaign. Fittingly this final fight is between erstwhile allies, my Beastmen and Justinmatters‘ Orcs & Goblins. As it happens this would have been the last fight for the greenskins anyway, as they would have been eliminated from the campaign at the end of the turn (as I took their HQ territory last turn and they failed to retake it this time). After the rather short game against Furycat‘s Empire, I decided just to use a cut-down version of the same list as last time out. Notably, I swapped the equipment on my Doombull for a more useful selection, then dropped one of the Bray Shamans and some filler.
Doombull, Sword of Swift Slaying, Ramhorn Helm, Dawnstone, Gnarled Hide, heavy armour, shield (D)
Gorebull, BSB, Beserker Sword, Talisman of Endurance, heavy armour, shield (BSB)
Bray Shaman, level 2, Dispel Scroll, extra hand weapon, Lore of Beasts (BS)
40 Gors, extra hand weapon, full command (G)
40 Ungors, full command (U1)
Tuskgor Chariot (TC)
2 x 6 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR1 and UR2)
5 Harpies, scouts (H)
8 Minotaurs, full command, Ironcurse Icon (M)
Justinmatters went for a fairly normal (by his standards) list featuring a massive block of Savage Orc Big ‘Uns loaded down with characters and huge horrible spider to poison all my heroes to death.
Savage Orc Warboss, Fencer’s Blades, Armour of Silvered Steel, Luckstone
Savage Orc Big Boss, BSB, Armour of Destiny, shield (BSB)
Orc Great Shaman, level 4, Dispel Scroll (OS)
Night Goblin Shaman, level 2 (GS)
37 Savage Orc Big ‘Uns, full command (SOBU)
2 x 5 Wolf Riders (WR1 and WR2)
20 Night Goblins, standard bearer, 2 fanatics (NG, F1 and F2)
3 Goblin Wolf Chariots (GW)
10 Savage Orc Boar Boyz, full command, Gleaming Pennant (SOB)
We select a Battle for the Pass, and I breathe a sigh of relief that Justinmatters hasn’t loaded up with artillery this time. Scenery of note includes an Altar of Khaine in the West, a Dwarf Brewhouse in the Centre with a Wizard’s Tower further East and a Wyrding Well in the South East. My Bray Shaman takes the Amber Spear and Savage Beast of Horros. Yes, you read that right, I didn’t take Wyssan’s Wildform. I thought that the Amber Spear might come in useful to hurt the Arachnarok and the Boar Boyz, and I have glorious dreams of getting Savage Beast off on the Doombull. The Orc Great Shaman has Hand of Gork, Foot of Gork,
Pancreas of Gork, ‘Eadbutt and ‘Ere We Go while the Night Goblin ends up with Nightshroud and Sneaky Stabbin’. The Orcs & Goblins take first turn, and off we go.
For reasons that aren’t clear to me, the Wolf Riders don’t make a vanguard move, but then advance anyway, followed by everything else with green skin. The Shamans decide not to risk getting a dose of Harpies and join up with their buddies before generating a mighty 6,6 magic dice. My only consolation is how far away they are from my lines. We start off with a 6 dice Foot of Gork (let through) which scatters off the Gors then helpfully crushes one of the Goblin Wolf Chariots. The only way that could have been better is if they’d panicked as well, but the Warboss is having none of their silliness and they stay in line. I let through a long range ‘Eadbutt on my Bray Shaman but Justinmatters proceeds to roll exactly what he needs to vapourise the poor chap. You would think I’d have learned my lesson after this episode… and this one. Oh well, so much for my magic phase. I do at least manage to dispel Hand of Gork.
There are feather everywhere as the Harpies flap forward and all of a sudden find that there’s a drug addled maniac swinging a massive wrecking ball right through them. It’s all too much for the poor ladies and they flee right back the way they came. The other Fanatic is fired off into mid field to annoy me later. Everyone else just closes the distance; as neither army has any ranged firepower to speak of there isn’t much choice but to rampage forward and aim for good match-ups. In a rare event, the Raiders do manage to fell a Boar Boy with their arrows, but otherwise it doesn’t look good news for the little guys.
Helpfully, the huge mob of Savage Orcs gets into a shouting match with the nearest unit of Wolf Riders, paralysing both of them for the turn. The rest of the army has their minds on the battle though, as the Wolf Chariots declare that it is ‘impact hit o’ clock’ for the Minotaurs, the Wolf Riders and Boar Boyz charge the Raiders and the Arachnarok charges the Ungors. I was a bit concerned for the Ungors as they’re depressingly prone to fleeing but luckily they hold to face the massive beastie. Whatever Justinmatters is doing for magic dice, it’s working well as we get another 6,6 magic dice. However, only the Night Goblin can use them as the Orc Great Shaman is busy deriding the parentage of the Wolf Riders. He puts six dice into a bubbled version of Nightshroud and I throw all my dice at dispelling it (I might as well since I’ll probably lose another dice any from the lore attribute if I let it through)… it’s not enough. The diminutive Shaman declines to even cast Sneaky Stabbin’, presumably fearing the mis-cast. Combat goes pretty much as you’d expect. The Raiders in the North are annihilated by the Boar Boyz, though they do kill one first. Impact hits from the Chariots kill a Minotaur before the Doombull smashes them both into flinders (and starts the Bloodgreed counting). The Ungors take a wound off the Arachnarok before it eats, poisons and stomps a bunch of them; they hold steadfast. Finally, the Wolf Riders and Raiders show why they’re used for redirection etc and not mainline combat as everyone flaps ineffectually at each other for no effect whatsoever.
This turn starts off in great form for the Beastmen as the Tuskgor Chariot declares a charge into the Wolf Riders, who flee, then redirects into the Night Goblins, fails its dangerous terrain check (thanks to Nightshroud) and blows up having hardly even left my deployment zone. I realise that I’m going to have to thin out the Savage Orcs at some point so the Gors charge them (losing 9 to dangerous terrain from Nightshroud). I am aware that this will certainly cost me the Gors but I think that I’m going to need to get the Savage Orcs down to a manageable level before I fight them with the Minotaurs. Speaking of whom, the Minotaurs charge into the very large flank of the Arachnarok. The Harpies reckon they’ve got far enough away from the Fanatic and turn back to survey what they can do in the battle. Not surprisingly, the Gors are indeed severely brutalised by the Savage Orcs, but they do manage to kill off a respectable number before the tattered remnants go fleeing back where they came from. The Raiders get their murder right on this turn, pulling down two of the Wolf Riders, though amazingly the Goblins hold. My worries about the Arachnarok venom surge-ing my Minotaurs come to nothing as the big spider is crushed by impact hits plus the Doombull before it even gets to attack. They gleefully pursue into the shocked-looking Wolf Riders.
The Gors’ escape is short-lived as the Savage Orcs run them down, reforming for the inevitable fight against the Minotaurs. Hilarity ensues as the Fanatic makes a bee-line for the newly rallied Harpies, killing another one; their flight is improbably short and they manage to stay on the field. Random movement? I’m not so sure. Magic has calmed down a bit (3,2 dice); Foot of Gork (let through) kills a few Ungors, and Hand of Gork is dispelled. To no-one’s surprise, the Wolf Riders are messily devoured by the Minotaurs, with the impact hits from the Doombull killing all them all before I even have the chance to roll anything else. Crucially, this means that the Minotaurs are on three Bloodgreed counters now.
It’s a quiet turn, as the Harpies rally, the Minotaurs reform to face the Savage Orcs (while suitable music plays from the background) and everyone else gets out of the way.
It’s on, as the Savage Orcs charge the Minotaurs. The Boar Boyz manage a long charge (but not quite as long as the picture makes it look) into the Ungors, who I must admit I thought were safe this turn. We watch the roll for the Fanatic with bated breath, but sadly this time the crazed little chap heads away from the Harpies. Now that he’s safe from aerial assault, the Night Goblin Shaman leaves his buddies and head for the Wizard’s Tower. It looks like the Winds of Magic are making up for blowing so strong in the first couple of turn as we get 1,1; ‘Ere We Go is cast and there’s nothing I can do about it. To build suspense we start the combat phase with the Boar Boyz, who kill off a lot of Ungors for the loss of only one of their own, but the Ungors are steadfast and aren’t going anywhere. So we’re onto the big one, Minotaurs against Savage Orc Big ‘Uns. I am not disappointed, Although the Bloodkine and a few Minotaurs are killed, the Savage Orcs are mauled hopelessly, with only 3 of the unit left (plus the characters). Even with the re-roll for the BSB, the mob can’t muster the 1,1 required to hold and they flee from the raw power of the Minotaurs.
The Minotaurs declare a charge on the Savage Orcs, who flee through the Night Goblins, panicking them. The Raiders declare an opportunistic charge on the fleeing Night Goblins to send them packing even further, and the Minotaurs complete their own charge, messily consuming what was left of the Savage Orcs. The two remaining Harpies decide to chance a flank charge on the Wolf Riders, who hold just to be different. In an attempt to get some Ungors back to hold off the Boar Boyz again, they drink from the Wyrding Well. None of them are healed, but they become unbreakable instead (and stupid), which will do me fine. It’s just as well as the Boar Boyz lay into them again, getting them down only 10 or so strong. The Harpies are really on form today, as they miss with all their attacks and then one of them gets savaged by a wolf. Luckily, they win combat anyway and the Wolf Riders flee the solitary Harpy. With his army in tatters and most of the survivors fleeing, Justinmatters calls it a day. Victory for the Beastmen!
A satisfying victory, but it must be said that this game always felt like it was going to come down to a battle between the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns and the Minotaurs as we both had so many points invested in those units. I was worried at the time that I had just thrown the Gors away by getting them mauled by the Savage Orcs, but it turned out to be crucial in thinning them out enough that the Minotaurs could handle them fairly comfortably. I don’t think I’ll play with a herd of Minotaurs this big again as the game just comes down to whether anyone has the tools to take them out or keep them out of the fight for long enough to mop up the rest of my army.
One thing I should try to keep in mind is how dangerous ‘Eadbutt appears to be. On paper it looks pretty innocuous but every time Justinmatters casts it he does massive damage to my Shamans.
So that’s it for the campaign games, though I’ll post a final map in due course for the sake of completeness. Thanks for sticking with us; I’ve had a great time and I hope that the others have too.