The second game of our ongoing escalation campaign at the 750 point level is against Joe’s Lizardmen force. My army is as per this post, but for convenience, here it is again.
Miss Madras, Firebelly (FB)
Heidi’s lasses, 6 Ironguts, musician, standard bearer (IG)
Helena’s lasses, 6 Ogre
BullsCows, ironfists, standard bearer (OC)
Helga’s lasses, 3 Leadbelchers (LB)
Blackcat Bone, Sabretusk (ST)
Joe has evidently decided that non-Skirmisher Skinks are just no good and duly dropped them. So I’m facing a couple of different flavours of Skink, some flying Skinks and increasingly scary looking unit of Saurus Warriors. The Skink Chief has apparently grown up into a Saurus Scar Veteran too.
Saurus Scar Veteran, Egg of Quango, Enchanted Shield, light armour (SV)
Skink Priest, Lore of Heavens (P)
13 and 12 Skink Skirmishers (S1 and S2 respectively)
17 Saurus Warriors, full command (SW)
3 Terradon Riders (T)
5 Chameleon Skinks (C)
We’re still defaulting to Battle Line and the random terrain gives us a forest in the North East, a Wyrding Well in the North West and a river in the South West. The Firebelly rolls something useless again and takes Fireball; I don’t actually think there’s anything I’d have kept against this force. Maybe Fulminating Flame Cage, maybe not even that. The Skink Priest rolls Curse of the Midnight Wind and keeps it. The Lizardmen win the roll off and opt to go first.
The Terradons roll right up to the Sabretusk, and the Chameleons evidently trust their mounted brethren to kill it off as they present their flank. For reasons which are not clear to me, the Skinks swap sides with each other. The Priest summons 3,1 magic dice and puts Curse on the Leadbelcher. The Chameleons manage to outright kill one Leadbelcher but luck smiles on me as they don’t panic. The Terradon riders are much less effective and fail to even wound the Sabretusk.
The Sabretusk charges the Chameleons in the flank; they’re too busy glaring at the Terradon riders to flee. The Firebelly leaves the Leadbelchers, at least in part because they’re apparently magnets for ranged attacks, and faces the Terradons. The winds of magic give us 3,1 magic dice again and they all go into a medium fireball at the Terradon riders. One of them actually survives the barrage but only for long enough to remember he’d left the gas on back at the temple and flee off the board. With Curse of the Midnight wind on them, the Leadbelchers predictably fail to do anything to the Saurus Warriors. Just as predictably, the Sabretusk eats a couple of Chameleon Skinks and runs the rest down.
The Saurus Warriors fail a long charge into the Cows and the Skink Priest bails out of his unit to join the other one. I suppose that this was to get in a better position for range on his spells, but it looked to me like getting in a better position to be eaten by Ogresses. He uses his 3,1 magic dice to put Curse on the Ironguts then a hail of poison from the Skinks kills off the Sabretusk and wounds a Leadbelcher.
With the two ‘new’ units both gone and the rest of his force in range of mine, I’m feeling pretty good about this game now. The Cows charge the Skinks, expecting them to flee and to hopefully redirect into the Saurus but instead they have to suck up a stand and shoot reaction which drops one of them. Then I declare that the Ironguts will charge the Saurus, foolishly uttering the immortal words ‘Only snake-eyes will fail this charge’. Naturally, they roll 1,1 and all of a sudden my great plans are for nothing. Oh well, it would be a pretty dull game if I could predict everything flawlessly. The Winds of Magic come up with 3,2 power dice and I go for a big Fireball on the unengaged Skinks but fail to make the cast. The Leadbelchers do shoot 4 of them down though. The Cows trample the Skink Priest and most of his unit; 3 of them live long enough to flee and the Cows reform to face the Saurus to make them choose between the fronts of two fairly competent fighting units.
The Saurus choose the Ironguts (it’s what I’d have done too) and make it of course. Sadly, the forest turns out to be a Venom Thicket and a few of them don’t make it to the other side. The fleeing Skinks rally, and the other ones move across the river and throw poisonous sticks at the Firebelly for a couple of wounds. In the combat I’m expecting a tough time. The Scar Veteran uses his Egg of Quango for a couple of wounds but then the Saurus put out a terrible round of rolls and only drop a single Irongut even with the hero and his magic item. To really rub it in, my dice are on fire and the 15 attacks and 3 stomps back kill an outrageous 14 of the Saurus Warriors. Needless to say, the Scar Veteran and his few remaining friends flee. I think that Joe’s luck has continued when he rolls only a 4″ flee but the Ironguts only ponder after them 3″.
That’s pretty much it for the game, but Joe is keen to play on. Just for a laugh, I decide to try to get the Ironguts into the Skinks so the Cows declare a charge on the Saurus (who flee off the board) to get them out of the way before rolling too low for the distance to reach the Skinks anyway. Still, it can be a neat trick sometimes since the receiving unit must flee as the charge reaction whereas the charges themselves can be resolved in the order I choose. With 2,1 magic dice, the Firebelly cooks a few Skink with a Fireball then breathes fire killing all but one. The Leadbelchers finish off the other unit. Victory to the Ogre Kingdoms! Actually, we did play a bit of a further turn in which the lone Skink charged the Firebelly (we allowed him to turn then charge). All it resulted in was one more squashed Skink.
Another satisfying game with a fun player across the ‘table’ (i.e. floor) from me. I think I had things in hand anyway even without the Ironguts (which I expected to lose the Saurus Warriors) but the dice stopped any chance that Joe had of pulling this back. Looking at the other side of the board, Joe needs to learn when to flee rather than holding all the time (in fairness, I also could do with learning this, but it matters less with brutish Ogresses than with squishy Skinks) and perhaps also to stop offering me perfect charges with the Sabretusk.