Posts Tagged With: Beastmen

Tuskgor Chariot conversion 2

It’s been so long since I posted anything about Beastmen that any random visitors here might be confused by the blog subtitle ‘A Warhammer Beastmen Blog’. Well, it is time to briefly rectify this lapse with a kit-bashed Tuskgor Chariot.  Long-time readers will be aware of my preference for plastic over metal as a miniature medium, and specifically my dislike for the proper GW Tuskgor Chariot kit.  A while ago, I received a High Elf Chariot as a gift; the lions were duly co-opted into my Ogresses’ force as Sabretusks, and now I’ve completed my nefarious plan by using the rest of the pieces of the chariot.  The Ghorgon kit contains a ridiculous number of skulls in varying formats so I put of few of them hanging on the chariot to make it look more Beastman-ish and the shields from the Gor kit are conveniently the exact correct size to hide all the fine workmanship of the Elven wheels behind a lump of wood and bone.  The individual pieces here are all just blue-tacked together for photo purposes; I’m only going to glue it all together after the painting is complete.




The beasts of burden are the remaining pair of Chaos Warhounds after the six I painted as a unit and the two pulling my other Tuskgor chariot.  The two halves of the body still fit together terribly.  Luckily, this perfectly matches my skill with Milliput and a camera.


The Gor is modelling the hands from the High Elf crewman because I like the look of the the reins.  They’re a bit fiddly since the only contact point at the moment is the wrist where I removed the driver’s original hands but when I get this all painted they’ll be glued on at the other end too.  Despite the reputation for some High Elf miniatures to have outrageous monkey hands, these are somewhat too small but I don’t think it’ll be too noticeable.  Since the Gor is unarmed (apart from his horns, which I imagine are tricky to use as a weapon while driving a chariot) the Bestigor has taken on the additional responsibility and packed a spare axe.





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

Border Princes Campaign (End)

Finally, it’s the end of the Border Princes campaign.  We finished playing the games about 5 months ago, but real-life intervened and posting the results has suffered.  Still, better late than never.

The most important battle in terms of final standings is the last ever Siege of Malko, in which Aramoro‘s Bretonnians managed to hang onto the city despite repeated assaults from the Empire.  Furycat was significantly hampered during this final turn as it coincided with the release of the updated Empire army book (a significant decrease in power if ever there was one); the Empire were defeated in every game they played this turn.  The overall story of turn 15 ended up as one of the Empire’s star waning while Forkbanger‘s High Elves’ waxed.  From a Beastmen perspective it’s been a highly successful turn, pushing back forces from the Empire (here and here) and completing the rout of Justinmatters‘ Orcs and Goblins (here).  The only relative fly in the ointment is a draw in the Old Silk Road, a battle in which both the Beastmen and Bretonnians think that they are defending the territory on behalf of their mutual ally, the High Elves.  Considering that, it is probably fitting to be a draw.  The last ever battle of the campaign is a force of Orcs and Goblins holding out their outpost in the Northern mountains against the High Elves; in fairness to Forkbanger he could have played it safe in the last turn but opted for a far more amusing charge into some Black Orcs (sadly for him it didn’t work out).

BorderPrincesMap-Turn15 end

So, at the end of the campaign, our final scores are:

Beastmen: 50 points (38 territories, 3 of which are special)
Empire: 27 points (23 territories, 1 of which is special)
High Elves: 23 points (18 territories, 1 of which is special)
Bretonnians: 16 points (7 territories, 1 of which is Malko)
Orcs & Goblins: 7 points (7 territories)

To my great surprise (counting from our original plans to run the campaign) the runaway winners are the Beastmen.  Furycat’s Empire limp over the line in second as a catastrophic final turn is not taken full advantage of by Forkbanger’s High Elf forces.  Aramoro’s Bretonnians hang onto fourth by dint of holding Malko leaving Justinmatters’ Orcs and Goblins bringing up the rear.  Furycat will get his prize in due course.

Thanks very much to my friends for playing along with the Border Princes campaign for so long, and especially to Aramoro for doing the maps.  And, finally, thanks to everyone who read the saga of the Border Princes.  I hope you’re inspired to try something bigger than ‘just another game’.

Categories: Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Painted Chaos Warhounds

I’ve had the remains of a box of Chaos Warhounds lying around since I used two of them as draft beasts for a Tuskgor Chariot, and decided that they’d make quite a nice break in my painting.  The miniatures are simple yet characterful, and they’re ridiculously quick and easy to paint since (of course) almost the entire surface is either fur or skin.  I kept two back in case I ever decide that I need a second chariot, and in any case I don’t think that a unit of eight is going to be more helpful in game than six.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve even put Chaos Warhounds on the table since my very first games with Beastmen since most of the things I’d use them for can also be done by with Harpies or Ungor Raiders.  Perhaps I should evaluate them again sometime soon.


They’re a bit awkward to photograph since all the interesting bits are on the side rather than the front.





Next on the painting table: Dark Debts.

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Painted Ghorgon

A long time ago, I received a Ghorgon for my birthday.  At the time I was in the throes of painting Ogres so the poor chap just stayed in the shrink wrap feeling all unloved.  But good things come to those who wait, and finally it was time to see what was in the box.  It turned out to be enormous; the Ghorgon is much bigger than I’d expected.  As it happens, this is bad news in the game thanks to true line of sight and the existence of cannons, but since he’s massively overcosted that’s probably not too important.  What is important is how entertaining the Ghorgon was to paint.  He’s absolutely covered in bling, and there’s easily twice as much remaining on the sprue that I left off just so I’d be able to see the big guy under all the skulls.  Two of the hands are meant to just be huge spikes but I thought that looked a bit silly (admittedly, he’s still a giant cow-man-monster, but the spiky hands were too far for my disbelief) so I did some minor work to fit the alternative set, which I suppose are intended for making a Cygor.

The Ghorgon is actually big enough to be worth taking close-ups of, though it’s sure that they don’t do my painting any favours.  There are a frankly ridiculous number of skulls on him: a necklace, on his loin cloth, woven into his fur at various parts.  There is even a Bestigor skull being used as a vambrace.  I really had a good time putting paint on the Ghorgon because at this size he’s so different from the entire rest of the herd.  If only I could get more use out of him on the table top…

Next on the painting table: Papa Loco Ortega.

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

Another painted Gor herd

After another age of non-Beastman-related blogging, I got round to painting up another herd of Gors.  They’re 20 strong, a number that conveniently fits into the Watchtower should the need arise.  Gors with additional hand weapons love buildings as it means that they get the full value of that second tasty attack.  Not coincidentally, 20 is also a number I am comfortable being placed into an awkward position by a poor ambush roll which is where they often end up in non-Watchtower scenarios.  For this herd I opted for orange as their signature colour and I’m happy with the way it contrasts with the grey skin.

The Foe-Render is on my favourite of the body choices, the ‘running forward to eat your family’ pose.  I just love the dynamism of the sculpt, and the posability of these plastic kits means that I can always get a result I like.  The last shot of him (alone, and from behind) is a depressingly common feature for this herd as I ram them into the way of something hard and then have them break and flee after a thorough mauling.

Annoyingly, I used the same body for the musician as I did for the champion.  I’ve always imagined that it must be hard to blow a horn when running at full tilt, but evidently it’s no problem for a Beastman.

Finally, the standard bearer.  After some consideration of the motif for the banner I just selected a simple moon design as I felt that the Beastmen would not be in for complex works of art on their flags.  Also, I can’t paint a decent free-hand.

Next on the painting table: Perdita Ortega.

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

Beastmen vs Tomb Kings (2000 points); 11Sep12

After a lengthy period on the shelf, my trusty Beastmen are back for another shot at glory, this time against Furycat‘s Tomb Kings.  After a shaky start, Furycat recently got his first win with the army against Forkbanger‘s Warriors of Chaos and was keen to push on with the dusty ones.  My army consisted of as much painted stuff as I could manage, including a herd of 20 Gors lifted from the painting table (photos to follow once I get them finished).  I didn’t want to pick an ‘anti Tomb King’ army anyway, so I went for tried and trusty methods; most of these choices will be familiar to readers of this blog.

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

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

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

39 Gors, extra hand weapon, full command (G1)

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

40 Ungors, full command (U1)

6 and 5 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR1 and UR2 respectively)

5 Harpies, scouts (H)

Tuskgor Chariot (TC)

27 Bestigors, full command, Standard of Discipline (B1)

As for Furycat’s list, it transpired that the majority was essentially a delivery mechanism for the Golden Death Mask of Kharnut.  However, I didn’t know that at the time as we play with closed lists as a rule.  He was also looking forward to ramming a Khemrian Warsphinx down my goaty throat since in almost every other game it’s been cannoned off the table (Skaven), tied up endlessly with ethereal units (Vampire Counts) or found that everything is immune to its special sauce (Ogre Kingdoms).  Beastmen have none of that good stuff so there was a certain amount of anticipation for the big stone cat.

Tomb King, Armour of Fortune, Dragonbane Gem, Golden Death Mask of Kharnut, great weapon (TK)

Liche High Priest, level 4, Lore of Nehekhara (Hierophant) (LHP)

The Herald Nekaph (N)

Liche Priest, level 2, Dispel Scroll, Lore of Light (LP)

58 Skeleton Warriors, musician, standard bearer (SW)

20 and 16 Skeleton Archers, musician, standard bearer (SA1 and SA2, respectively)

Khemrian Warsphinx, Fiery Roar (KW)

3 Necropolis Knights, champion, standard bearer (NK)

Casket of Souls (CoS)

Necrolith Colossus (NC)

As usual we randomised terrain and mission, getting Dawn Attack and 10 pieces of terrain.  Also as usual, we forgot about most of the special rules during the game.  Anyway, a Wyrding Well went into the North West corner to make it unappealing to the Khemrian Warsphinx, a Temple of Skulls in the centre and an Idol of Gork in the South.  There are four normal buildings and a Haunted Mansion (the one that looks like a castle in the East) and the fences are Blazing Barricades.  Finally the river turns out to be a Boiling Flood, though I don’t find that out until it’s too late.  The Liche High Priest takes Desert Wind, Cursed Blades, Righteous Smiting and Dessication and the Liche Priest has Shem’s Burning Gaze (swapped from Light of Battle, of course) and Speed of Light.  Over on my side of the table, the Great Bray Shaman takes Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, Pit of Shades and Okkam’s Mindrazor; I swapped out Penumbral Pendulum as there are just too many chances for it to do nothing even against a low initiative army like Tomb Kings.  The Bray Shaman takes Wyssan’s Wildform and Amber Spear.  Tomb Kings set up and go first, though with the random deployment of Dawn Attack there’s not much thought that can be put into it; of note is that the Gor herd end up in the Boiling Flood and won’t be able to get out until a few of them are cooked.  The small herd of Gors is ambushing, mainly because I haven’t done so for ages.

The Hierophant’s Skeleton Archers get off to a great start by failing their swift reform check and stay stubbornly out of range of those pesky Raiders, but there’s no such luck for the Harpies who are surely getting a face full of arrows.  With 5,4 magic dice rolled (plus a load from the Casket of Souls) Righteous Smiting on the Archers in the East is let through.  Shem’s Burning Gaze (on the Harpies) is dispelled because it was such a low roll that it made sense to use some dice on it rather than because I think it’ll save the Harpies.  Light of Death fails to cast and Desert Wind is dispelled leaving the Archers with Righteous Smiting out of range of anything to smite.  To my amazement the Archers only take down a single Harpy, but the river gets started on the death toll early by boiling 4 Gors.

I get this turn off to a heroic start by completely forgetting to try and bring on my ambushers, though of course I don’t realise this until partway through.  The Raiders in the East huddle up behind the building in the hope of staying out of sight of those nasty Archers and the Gors get out of the bath river.  Otherwise it’s a cagey start as I have no idea what to do about the Colossus and Warsphinx in front of my army.  We get 6,1 magic dice, and start off with Miasma (movement only) being dispelled on the Warsphinx.  The low version of Amber Spear is let through on the Colossus but fails to wound.  The turn ends on a bright note as Pit of Shades gets through on the Warsphinx, doesn’t deviate and then sucks the big chap out of reality.  It’s a bit of a relief for me, though I did feel a bit sorry for Furycat as he’s had a pretty unlucky run with it overall.

The Skeleton Warriors try to charge the Ungors, but the hapless goats fail their terror check despite the presence of the general and BSB and head for the hills.  Not to be out done, the Tuskgor Chariot also fails a terror check from the Colossus (only once though as it was a bit further from the BSB) and zooms off the table.  Suddenly, things are looking a bit less good.  We get a 1,1 magic phase but thanks to the Casket that’s actually pretty good news for the Liche High Priest who puts Righteous Smiting on his Archer bodyguard.  I do manage to dispel Shem’s Burning Gaze.  Amazingly, one of the Raiders lives through the barrage of arrows coming at them, though the Harpies’ luck doesn’t last and they’re wiped out.

The Gors make a slightly generous charge into the Necropolis Knights, comfortable that the mix of killyness and static combat resolution will be enough to swing the day.  The Bestigors move up to make the Skeleton Warriors roll above average on the charge, and then I stupidly bring the lost, hapless, ambushing Gors on directly behind them.  I’m not sure what I was thinking there.  Meanwhile, the Ungors pull themselves together and the Bray Shaman leaves the last Raider to his fate, which is to be trampled flat by the Colossus.  Making up for the low roll in the previous turn we get 6,6 magic dice to play with.  A boosted Amber Spear is let through on the Colossus but only causes 2 wounds, while Miasma on the Skeleton Warriors is dispelled.  To my great irritation, the Pit of Shades gets through (failed dispel) on the Colossus but the blighter makes his initiative test to stay in the game.  Finally, I put Wildform on the Bestigors to make a charge from the Skeleton Warriors even less appealing.  The Necropolis Knights roll armour saves like heroes and only one of them is brought down by the Gors.

My poor Raider is charged by the Colossus, fails his terror check and is run over unceremoniously.  Still, it’s good for the herd as it keep the monster out of the way for another turn.  The Skeleton Warriors make their charge into the Bestigors, and everyone else just shuffles for firing position.  With 6,1 magic dice, I have to let through the Speed of Light on the Necropolis Knights (there’s not many of them so it shouldn’t make a difference).  Dessication on the Bestigors is Dispel Scrolled, mainly because I don’t think that I’m likely to have many more goes with the Bray Shaman carrying it before he’s turned into a pin cushion, and Desert Wind and Righteous Smiting are likewise dispelled.  In combat, the Gors get into their groove and finish off the Necropolis Knights, reforming to face both the Skeleton Archers and the Skeleton Warriors.  Nekaph issues a challenge and smacks the Gouge Horn mercilessly, and otherwise there’s not a lot of action in the central melee.  The lack of BSB re-roll (thanks to the Golden Death Mask of Kharnut) costs the Bestigors their Primal Fury and without it their low number of attacks is quite pitiful.

After a significant consideration, the Ungors charge into the Colossus.  They’re not likely to hurt it, though a poor roll on the thunderstomp could allow them to knock a few wounds off through combat resolution, but in any case I think that the alternative (i.e. getting charged) is going to be a lot worse.  It probably worth noting that (despite the picture) the unit remains within 6″ of the Tomb King and also that I didn’t realise at the time that the range on the Death Mask is 6″.  Still, even with that I am not sure that I would have made a different choice.  The Gors take the much easier decision to charge the Skeleton Archers.  We get 5,3 magic dice and a boosted Miasma (-2) is let through on the Skeleton Warriors.  Enfeebling Foe draws the Dispel Scroll and Wildform is dispelled with the remaining dice.  A swift and brutal showing from the Gors wipes out the Skeleton Archers and Liche Priest, though they can’t overrun into the Casket of Souls as the last couple fall to crumbling.  After that it’s all bad news as the Colossus annihilates a full quarter of the Ungors in one go and runs the rest down; steadfast on leadership 6 is pretty uninspiring.  It then gets even worse as the Bestigors fail both their fear test and primal fury check, lose heavily to the Skeleton Warriors and are run down.  The ambushing Gors take a surprise bus-load of over-running Skeletons to the flank.

Slightly to my surprise, the triumphant Colossus ignores the Bray Shaman and turn to head for the Gor herd.  There are 4,2 magic dice in play, and I use up my dispel dice to prevent one last Light of Death from killing on the Bray Shaman.  Righteous Smiting is then cast irresistably and the Magical Feedback wounds the Liche High Priest.  Needless to say, the Gors are soundly thrashed by the Skeleton Warriors and flee; the rampant Nehekharans reform to chase the other herd in the North.

The Gors predictably charge into the Casket of Souls, and the ambushers rally and then a few of them boil in the river.  With 6,4 magic dice, I put the maximum 6 into the Amber Spear but its dispelled.  Furycat optimistically asks if I’m going to send the Wargor in to the combat with the Casket Guard, but I decline; the Gors are more than up to the task on their own.

Everyone simply moves as quickly as they can (i.e. not very) toward the Gor herd.  Magic gives us 4,3 dice, and finally that’s all as the Casket of Souls is gone.  I fail to dispel Dessication, and with no more dispel dice available Desert Wind moves everyone a bit closer.  Then, for the second turn in a row, the Liche High Priest miscasts Righteous Smiting and takes another wound from Feedback.  Even with all that, Furycat rolls terribly and only a couple of Gors are killed by the Skeleton Archers.

The game is up now, but I have the Gors swift reform and run away from the incoming mass of Nehekharans.  An irresistable Amber Spear does another couple of wounds to the Colossus, but it’s getting healed by the Liche High Priest as quickly as I can damage it.  The miscast fails to wound the Bray Shaman.

Both the Colossus and the Skeleton Warriors try long charges at the Gors; neither make it and the Gors pass both terror checks (though just to rack up the tension I did need the BSB re-roll on both).  All the 2,1 magic dice are used to put Righteous Smiting on the Skeleton Archers but they can’t kill enough Gors to matter.

In one final attempt to gather some victory points, the Bray Shaman tries to kill the Colossus with another irresistable Amber Spear, but it’s not enough to put it down and the miscast doesn’t put the Beastman out of his misery.  We add up the scores; Tomb Kings: 1273, Beastmen: 876.  Victory to the Tomb Kings!

That was a very satisfying game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle with lots of swings over the first few turns.  Furycat played his units the way he needed to play them, and I wasn’t able to put enough in the way to stop them and get my own herds where I needed them.

I really misplayed the ambushing Gors.  Of course, I was hoping that they would arrive somewhere more useful than my own table edge but even so I should have put them on the far East and sent them up to threaten the Liche High Priest’s unit.  On the other hand, I am going to have to think of something to do about the Golden Death Mask of Kharnut.  The best way I have found so far to use the Beastmen is to keep them close together to get the maximum effect of the leadership benefits of the general and BSB.  The Death Mask stops the use of the General’s inspiring presence or the BSB re-roll within it’s range.  To compound this, Beastmen are uniquely vulnerable to leadership effects as they rely on it for Primal Fury as well as psychology effects.

Categories: Battle reports, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Beastmen vs Orcs & Goblins (2000 points); 19Jun12

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 (W)

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)

Arachnarok (A)

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.

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

Beastmen (2200 points) vs Empire (2000 points); 12Jun12

As we bring the Border Princes campaign to a close, I have one final game against Furycat.  Overall, it feels like honour is even between our forces, but now the new Empire army book is hamstringing him significantly, so it’s time for me to change things up and make it more of a game.  Furycat is a big fan of the video battle reports from Oncebitten360, and although I don’t care for the format of video battle reports in general, I checked them out on recommendation.  So, in homage to Oncebitten360, I decided to forego my usual Great Bray Shaman in favour a Doombull with all the trimmings and frankly ludicrous block of Minotaurs.  I’ve never really felt like I can get Minotaurs to work well in the past so I’m keen to test it out.

Doombull, Axes of Khorgor, Ramhorn Helm, Dawnstone, Gnarled Hide, Heavy Armour (D)

Gorebull, BSB, Beserker Sword, Talisman of Endurance, Heavy Armour (BSB)

Bray Shaman, level 2, Dispel Scroll, extra hand weapon, Lore of Shadow (BS1)

Bray Shaman, level 2, extra hand weapon, Lore of Beasts (BS2)

40 Gors, extra hand weapon, full command (G)

40 Ungors, full command (U)

Tuskgor Chariot (TC)

6, 5 and 5 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR1 to UR3)

5 Harpies, scouts (H)

9 Minotaurs, full command, Ironcurse Icon (M)

Furycat has been struggling to get a list that suits his style, but I gather that the plan here is that the Lore of Heavens will provide a massive bonus to Knights, especially if the boosted version of Harmonic Convergence is cast.

Wizard Lord, level 4, Dispel Scroll, Lore of Heavens (WL)

Captain of the Empire, general, Helm of the Skavenslayer, Dawnstone, full plate armour, shield (C)

Captain of the Empire, BSB, Shrieking Blade, barded warhorse, full plate armour, shield (BSB)

Warrior Priest, Enchanted Shield, barded warhorse, heavy armour (WP)

Master Engineer, frilly shirt (M)

9 Knights of the Inner Circle, lances, shields, full command (IC)

5 Knightly Orders, great weapons, standard bearer, musician (KO)

45 Spearmen, full command (S)

5 Archers [Detachment to Spearmen] (A)

24 Greatswords, full command, Standard of Discipline (G)

Celestial Hurricanum (CH)

3 Demigryph Knights, standard bearer (DK)

Helblaster Volley Gun (HVG)

We randomly get Blood and Glory as the scenario, and a variety of surprisingly mundane terrain to fight over.  In the North is a Wyrding Well and in the far East is a Sorcerous Portal that we instantly forget about as usual.  The Wizard Lord gets Iceshard Blizzard, Curse of the Midnight Wind, Comet of Cassandora and Chain Lightning; sadly forgetting that the whole point of coming along was to bring Harmonic Convergence.  The Shadow Bray Shaman takes Melkoth’s Mystifying Misama and Enfeebling Foe; the other one has Wyssan’s Wildform and Curse of Anraheir.  The Beastmen happily take first turn, with one herd of Raiders ambushing.

As usual, there’s nothing too subtle in first turn movement for my Beastmen: everyone marches forward.  The Raiders in the West move to tempt either the Inner Circle Knights or the Demigryph Knights into charging through the forest.  I roll up 3,1 magic dice, but fail to cast Miasma on the Inner Circle Knights and the follow-up (Wildform on the Gors) is easily dispelled.

As I hoped, the Demigryph Knights charge into the baiting Raiders (the forest turns out to be a Wildwood, but it doesn’t attempt to beat them up).  However, the Greatswords and the Inner Circle Knights both fail their charges, on the Ungors and the Tuskgor Chariot respectively.  The Wizard Lord leaves his Archer companions to their fate, which apparently is to be a speed bump in front of the Gors.  The Spearmen also move up to face the inevitable charge from the Minotaurs, but crucially they can’t fully align so their flank is hanging slightly to the West.  The winds of magic give us 5,1 dice to play with and I let Chain Lightning through on the Tuskgor Chariot.  In retrospect, that was probably a poor idea as it jumps across half of my army, reducing the Chariot to a single wound, killing the Beasts Bray Shaman and taking off wounds from the Gors, Minotaurs and Ungors.  Ouch.  At least I dispel Iceshard Blizzard.  The Helblaster and the Archers plink a handful of Gors, but it’s not enough to matter.  Finally, the Demigryph Knights make short work of the Raiders and reform to face the line of battle.

It’s turn two and there are targets in charge range, so I happily send the Gors into the Archers, the Minotaurs into the Spearmen and the Ungors into the Greatswords.  I’m not expecting much from the Ungors, but against the Greatswords they’ll be steadfast for long enough to get something else in to help out.  The Harpies charge the Wizard Lord (who flees), fail to redirect into the Engineer and then roll 1,1,1 for charge distance anyway.  Idiots.  I consider charging with the Tuskgor Chariot, but with only one wound left it’ll do me more good keeping those pesky Inner Circle Knights out of my hair for a bit longer.  The same goes for my remaining Raider herd (once the Bray Shaman has run off, of course), moving into the path of the Knightly Orders.  I generate 6,2 magic dice and am greatly helped by the fact that the Wizard Lord is running for his life.  Miasma (-3WS) and Enfeebling Foe (-1S) both go on the Greatswords after two failed dispel attempts.  In the combat phase, the Gors blend the Archers into a fine red mist, and their overrun allows them to charge the flank of the Spearmen.  To no-one’s surprise, there aren’t many Spearmen left after the attentions of a horde of Gors a Doombull, a Gorebull and bunch of other Minotaurs.  Furycat decides that there’s no way back and throws in the towel.  Victory for the Beastmen!

Well, that was one sided.  Furycat discussed this for a while after the game and, while I think he might have been able to kill off a few things, he probably wasn’t going to pull a win out.  I did consider not even writing this battle report up as it was so short, but in the end I decided that I should do it in the interests of completness.  There’s probably not much to learn for any Beastmen readers out there (except that so many Minotaurs is probably overkill), but if anyone can make suggestions on how the Empire could have been played then I would be delighted to read about them.

Categories: Battle reports, Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

Beastmen vs Bretonnians (2000 points); 08May12

For various reasons, it’s been a long time since my Beastmen faced off against Aramoro‘s Bretonnians in the Border Princes campaign.  A few turns ago, we agreed to briefly call off hostilities so that both of us could refocus on other threats (the Bretonnians against the Empire, and Beastmen fighting Orcs & Goblins) and though we didn’t intend a permanent cease-fire there was never the opportunity to clash again.  In the main, this was because Furycat‘s Empire had driven a wedge across the centre of the map by that point.  Anyway, it is always a pleasure to test my mettle against the Bretonnians as they play very differently from Beastmen with heavily armoured cavalry compared to unarmoured infantry.  I wasn’t feeling adventurous so I just went for a lot of goats on the table.

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 1, Dispel Scroll, additional hand weapon, Lore of Beasts (BS)

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

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

40 Ungors, full command (U)

5 Harpies, scouts (H)

23 Bestigors, full command, Banner of Discipline (B1)

24 Bestigors, full command, Manbane Standard (B2)

Harpies are so universally disliked (by people who aren’t me) that Aramoro actively spent some time putting anti-Harpy measures in the army list.  Otherwise, it’s the usual good stuff: double Trebuchets, a huge block of Men at Arms and bunch of I-can’t-believe-they’re-not-Frenchmen wearing metal trousers and riding on horses.

Bretonnian Lord, Charmed Shield, Heartwood Lance, Knight’s Vow, Other Trickster’s Shard, Virtue of Heroism, Warhorse (BL)

Prophetess, level 4, Dispel Scroll, Lore of Life (P)

Damsel, level 2, Potion Sacre, Lore of Life (D)

Paladin, BSB, Dragonhelm, Knight’s Vow, Virtue of Empathy (BSB)

11 Knights of the Realm, full command, Standard of Discipline (KOTR)

40 Men at Arms, full command (MaA)

3 x 10 Peasant Bowmen (PB1 to PB3)

2 x 5 Mounted Yeomen, shields (MY1 and MY2)

9 Questing Knights, full command (QK)

2 Trebuchets (T1 and T2)

We roll up the Meeting Engagement, which on the whole I like as it means that Beastmen can start relatively close and often sweep their foe into a corner.  We have some Blazing Barricades across the centre of the board with a Scree Slope in the East and a Temple of Skulls in the West.  The bulding is normal, the swamp is a Khemrian Quicksand and in the South East there is a Magic Circle.  The Prophetess rolls first and gets Shield of Thorns, Regrowth, Flesh to Stone and Throne of Vines.  Naturally, this leaves the sacrificial Damsel to to get Dwellers Below (she also gets Awakening of the Wood).  Meanwhile, the Great Bray Shaman takes Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, Withering and Okkam’s Mindrazor and the Bray Shaman has Wyssan’s Wildform (of course).  I deploy centrally to give me the most options depending where the Bretonnians inevitably castle up; they make their stand around the building.  The Harpies, both herds of Raiders, the Paladin BSB and one unit of Mounted Yeomen are out too late the night before and will come on as reserves.  The Beastmen get to move first to try and get out from underneath the barrage of rocks.

The Harpies arrive in the far West and look to either get into mischief or at least force the Bretonnians to do something about them.  Both herds of Raiders appear in centrefield, nursing hangovers that Ghorros Warhoof would be proud of.  Otherwise, the main battle line just rotates West and starts to close the trap on the pesky humans.  Although it’s not really useful so early in the game we get 6,4 magic dice.  A low-level Miasma is let through on the Peasants in the bulding (-3BS), but Withering on the Men at Arms fails (despite only needing to roll 9 on four dice) and Wildform on the Gors is dispelled.  I hoped that the Withering would use up some dice in a later magic phase (or better yet, not be dispelled at all), and the Wildform was just to make the Gors less appealing as a Trebuchet target; it’s tough to miss such a big herd with artillery.

The Mounted Yeomen and one unit of Peasant Archers move to shoot up the Harpies, and the Questing Knights rush forward round the hill until they are stopped in their tracks by the awesome sight of goaty goodness facing them.  Otherwise, no-one is in any hurry to close the distance, although the Paladin rushes onto the field to try and join his Men at Arms.  We get 4,3 magic dice and start with an Irresistable Dwellers Below on the Gors.  I get lucky, and ‘only’ 10 of them are pulled down to their doom; the miscast kills off a few Peasant Archers, but there’s plenty more where they came from.  The Harpies are shot by many arrows and eventually the sorry survivor flees the table.  Helpfully, one of the Trebuchets misfires (and can’t fire next turn) while the other misses the Gors by a wide margin.

The somewhat depleted Gors reform to 6 wide (that is also useful to tighten up my battle line as we’re nearly playing lengthwise by this point) and everyone continues to hoof it toward the waiting Bretonnians.  The Raider herds take note of the incoming cavalry and move to make themselves unattractive targets; the Bray Shaman joins one to give himself a chance to avoid being hit by a rock or nasty magic.  With 4,4 magic dice the Great Bray Shaman puts Miasma on the Northern Peasant Bowmen (-2BS; let through), but the Bray Shaman fails to cast Wildform on the Gors.  The Prophetess fails to dispel Enfeebling Foe (-3S) on the Knights of the Realm.

Slightly to my disappointment, the Questing Knights don’t charge the Bestigors, instead moving past to threaten my rear areas.  The Paladin joins his Men at Arms, but his outrageous accent is too overpowering for the Prophetess, who leaves the unit and heads behind the building.  Magic comes up with a mighty 6,5 dice, but the Bray Shaman uses his Dispel Scroll on a six-dice Dwellers Below, Throne of Vines is dispelled and Awakening of the Wood fails to cast.  Not bad at all for such a big phase.  In the shooting phase, the Trebuchet lands a direct hit on the Bestigors but amazingly only kills 3 of them.

The Great Bray Shaman urges his herd to charge the building, which they do with gusto.  Everyone else just moves up to threaten charges next turn, except the Raiders who do their best to not be charged next turn.  The Beastmen Shamans have 5,1 magic dice to use, but Withering on the Men at Arms is dispelled with a Scroll and Miasma fails to cast (though there were plenty of dice to dispel it anyway, so it didn’t matter much).  The Great Bray Shaman and his Bestigors wipe out the Peasant Bowmen but fail to even wound the Damsel despite putting five primal fury great weapon attacks into her.  This will become a theme.  Naturally, she holds and the herd of mighty Beastmen are repelled from the building by a lone woman with an inappropriate dress and a faint smell of garlic.

This time there’s some actual forward movement from the Bretonnians as the Knights of the Realm crash into the waiting Bestigors.  The Men at Arms move forward too, presumably to stop the Gors from flanking the Knights of the Realm if they don’t break the Bestigors this turn.  Laughing, the Damsel leaves the building by a back door, leaving the Great Bray Shaman, the Bestigors and me cursing her.  The Winds of Magic give us 3,2 dice to use.  Throne of Vines is let through, but crucially I fail to dispel Flesh to Stone on the Knights of the Realm.  Toughness 7 Knights are going to take a bit of cracking, even for Bestigors who usually love to see Knights.  After a shooting phase which sees a few more Raiders shot and few more Gors hit by falling rocks, we move the critical combat.  The Bestigors put up a decent showing, but Toughness 7 is too much for them and they flee.  Luckily, the stone Knights of the Realm are inexplicably slow and fail to catch them.

After roundly cursing the Damsel for a while, I realise that the Great Bray Shaman can actually charge out of his unit at her; she even holds to my surprise.  The Gors get stuck into the Men at Arms, and the Ungors eschew the Peasant Bowmen and race past them to spike the Trebuchet (note: it’s only my lack of skill with Battle Chronicler that makes it look like the gap between the Peasant Bowmen and the building is too narrow for the Ungors).  After three turns of trying hard not to be charged, one herd of Raiders moves to make it hard not to charge them as they block the Questing Knights (and, conveniently, some Mounted Yeomen) from getting a clear shot at the rear of the Gors.  The fleeing Bestigors rally and turn to face their assailants, and the other herd reform to five wide and turn to face the action.  It’s another big magic phase with 5,5 power dice.  Enfeebling Foe is let through on the Men at Arms (-1S) and then the Withering is cast at them with Irresistable Force (-3T).  Both the Great Bray and the Damsel ward the Calamitous Detonation.  Finally, Miasma is dispelled.  The Ungors easily take out the Trebuchet and reform to face the other one, but the Great Bray Shaman can only manage a single wound on the Damsel.  Not surprisingly, the Gors rip the Paladin to bits and shred a good portion of his unit; they hold anyway though.

It’s charge of the Knights as the Questing Knights (and Mounted Yeomen) contact the poor Raiders and the Knights of the Realm have another go at the Bestigors.  The Prophetess moves into the building now that the Bestigors have helpfully turned away from it.  To make up for the big magic phases so far, we get 1,1 this turn.  The Prophetess rolls terribly on Flesh to stone and it is dispelled; note that this also dooms the Men at Arms to remain S1 and T1 as the hexes on them cannot be dispelled.  Bowfire also does nothing, but a good hit from the Trebuchet kills seven of the Bestigors next to the building; they hold.  My plucky Raiders manage to kill a Questing Knight before being butchered; both cavalry units reform to face the Gors and Bestigors.  The Knights of the Realm turn the Bestigors into kebabs and run a few survivors down.  To no-one’s surprise, the Men at Arms are hammered and flee with the Gors reforming to face the Questing Knights.  Finally, the Damsel manages to ward all four of the wounds she took this turn to survive (and prevent me taking a shot at the Prophetess to boot).

The Ungors charge the remaining Trebuchet, which holds.  That’s the last time I’ll write that for this turn.  The Bestigors charge the Men at Arms (who must flee) causing them to go through the Peasant Bowmen (who panic and also flee).  Then the Gors charge the Questing Knights (who flee) and redirect in the Mounted Yeomen (who also flee).  We get 5,2 magic dice, and I put Withering (-1T) on the Damsel.  It’s mainly frustration at her ward saves, and Aramoro knows it so lets it though.  Wildform is dispelled on the Gors.  The Great Bray Shaman finally kills off the Damsel, and the Ungors easily take out the Trebuchet.

Sadly, everyone rallies, including the Men at Arms who manage the 1,1 they need.  Everyone else moves up to threaten the Gors.  Another pitiful magic phase (2,1) has Regrowth on the Knights of the Realm dispelled, and archery is similarly ineffective.

The Great Bray Shaman charges at the Men at Arms, who flee again, and (again) panic the Peasant Bowmen; this time they go off the board.  Otherwise, there’s not much going on as I can’t get any victory points easily anywhere.  There’s another 1,1 magic phase, which puts the upgraded Miasma (-1) on the Knights of the Realm just to try and make them roll a little higher to get into the Gors.

After some urging on from Furycat, Aramoro declares that all four cavalry units will charge the Gors.  They feel rather surrounded, but at least the Men at Arms flee off the board to give me their juicy victory points.  There are 5,2 magic dice but somehow both Shield of Thorns and Flesh to Stone on the Knights of the Realm are dispelled.  The Bretonnian Lord skewers the Wargor on impact, but the Gors are not so easily cowed (that would be Minotaurs, of course).  There is a lot of death all round but not enough to take out any full Bretonnian units and the Gors end up needing a 6 to hold… which they do.  The game ends and we go to add up the scores; Bretonnians: 787, Beastmen: 872.  So after all that, it’s a draw.  But a great one.

That was a close game, and a lot of fun.  The silly thing is that, in terms of the campaign, we’re fighting over the territory of our mutual ally, the High Elves.  So whichever army won, there wouldn’t be any advantage to be had.  Putting my GM hat on, I guess I’ll rule that both armies stay locked in for another round; however since this is the last campaign turn it doesn’t actually matter in the least.  Overall, it’s fitting to be a draw considering all that!

There were a couple of bits of luck that really affected the game.  Firstly, that pesky Damsel shrugging off a stupendous number of attacks over four combat rounds stymied me in the critical turns when I could have been setting up to vapourise most of the Bretonnian army.  On the flip side, I needed to roll a straight six or less to hold the Gors in combat at the end and avoid giving up a few hundred points (and the game, of course).  All credit to Aramoro for throwing the kitchen sink at the Gors to try and pick up the win in the last turn.

Still, I think that this was a really good game to show what I enjoy about playing Beastmen.  The first couple of turns were just an unstoppable wall of goat braying their way across the table, and the Bretonnians were forced to break them up and take units on piecemeal.  In particular, note Aramoro’s clever use of the building to keep the Prophetess out of trouble; moving in and out as required to stay out of charge arcs.  The Western herd of Bestigors were a little disappointing when they faced up against the Knights of the Realm, but getting Flesh to Stone makes a bit difference.  Interestingly, I’ve taken the Manbane banner in a few games on a second herd of Bestigors and I don’t think I’ve ever used it at all.  Points well spent there…

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Beastmen (2200 points) vs Empire (2000 points); 10Apr12

It’s the final turn of the Border Princes campaign, and my first game is against Furycat’s Empire. With the advent of the new (i.e. 8th edition) army book for the Empire, I had no idea what to expect, so I just went for a minor variation on my usual army, i.e. lots of bipedal goats of varying sizes.

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

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

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

39 Gors, extra hand weapon, full command (G1)

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

37 Ungors, full command (U1)

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

5 Harpies, scouts (H)

23 Bestigors, full command, Standard of Discipline (B1)

24 Bestigors, full command, Manbane Standard (B2)

Furycat purchased the new Empire army book on the day of release and has been vocal about its shortcoming in the time since, but this was his first opportunity to put anything to work on the table [note: in the time it’s taken between us playing this game and me actually writing it up, Furycat has posted some thoughts on the current Empire army book, which I highly recommend reading]. I didn’t actually take a copy of his list, but it was (roughly):

Templar Grand Master, knightly stuff, Runefang (G)

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

Luthor Huss (LH)

Captain, BSB, protective stuff (BSB)

Witch Hunter (WH)

60 Spearmen, full command (S)

8 Inner Circle Knights, full command (K)

20 Crossbowmen, standard (C1)

Celestial Hurricanum (CH)

Steam Tank (ST)

As previously mentioned, we’d agreed that we would play Storm of Magic games (the basic scenario) to replace Battle Line if we rolled that. Furycat’s not keen on Storm of Magic as it’s too random for his strategic ‘may the best man win’ tastes, but he accepted that we’d go for it if that came up. And it did. So after agonising over his list for hours, he had to go back and pick another 500 points of monsters or crazy magic items; I got 550 points. Luckily we had Aramoro and Forkbanger respectively on hand for advice since they’ve played quite a few games of Storm of Magic.

So the Beastmen added:

Zoat, level 4, Lore of Life (not that he has any choice) (Z)

4 Royal Unicorns (RU)

The Zoat was selected because it gave me chance to use the Lore of Life for the first time. But that wasn’t the main reason: after all, wouldn’t you choose a Zoat if you could? I guess the Royal Unicorns were told that Ghorros Warhoof’s magic hat was actually the skull of a completely different horned horse-like creature of the forest, and not at all the one formerly belonging to the Prince of Unicorns.  Anyway, the Empire were joined by:

Chimera, some upgrades (C2)

Truthsayer, level 3, Lore of Life (T)

Apart from the four Arcane Fulcrums, we had the usual mish-mash of deadly to forget to use. This time there was a mist-wreathed swamp in the East that no-one went in (not that I blame them), a Sinister Statue that never fired at anything and a few forests and assorted obstacles. For simplicity, I’ve used the same tower picture for all four Fulcrums, but in reality we used the excellent models that Forkbanger has painted. Magic got messy. The Wizard Lord had Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, Withering and Pit of Shades while the Truthsayer took Regrowth, Awakening of the Wood and Dwellers Below. Over on my side of the table, the Great Bray Shaman had Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, Withering and Okkam’s Mindrazor; the Bray Shaman had Savage Beast of Horros and Wyssan’s Wildform and finally the Zoat has Throne of Vines, Flesh to Stone, Regrowth and Dwellers Below (after all, everyone else seems to think it’s amazing). Finally, the Witch Hunter takes the somewhat redundant step of accusing the Great Bray Shaman of heresy.

The game begins with the Steam Tank generating three steam points and zooming a terrifying 15” into some unfortunate Raiders. The Knights canter up to 13.1“ away from the Gor herd, presumably to reduce the odds of taking a ridiculous long charge, and the rest of the centre moves up to keep pace. The Lore of Beasts is Ascendant but it’s manipulated round to Light (which also does nothing, so no change). The winds of magic give us 13 power dice to 9 dispel dice. I dispel the Hurricanum’s bound spell and Shield of Faith fails to cast. Magical Duel from the Truthsayer is dispelled but Bridge of Shadows is let through, moving the Chimera behind the Gors, facing their rear and Hammer of Sigmar is also let through. Saving dispel dice doesn’t help as Dwellers Below is Irresistibly cast on the Great Bray’s Bestigor herd. Helpfully, he doesn’t jump down a magical hole this time, though 10 Bestigors do. Magical Feedback does nothing, but then it’s on to the event we’ve all been waiting for – the cataclysmic miscast. We are not disappointed, as all the wizards are turned into frogs [note for simplicity: I put a little starburst next to the Wizards for each magic phase in which they’re a frog]. After that, the rest of the turn can’t help but be a bit of a let down, as the Crossbows kill a few Ungors and the Steam Tank runs over the Raiders (though neither herd nearby panics).

Following the standard Steam Tank abatement plan, the surviving herd of Raiders charge into the side of the metal behemoth, and the Unicorns fabulously charge the suspiciously froggy Truthsayer perched on top of his Fulcrum. Sadly, he does stop being a frog in the magic phase, along with the Zoat. I have 12 power dice to Furycat’s 9 dispel dice, and Metal is the Ascendant Lore. Throne of Vines and Magical Duel are both dispelled, but Regrowth does get me back some of the Bestigors. I try getting in on the six-dice Dwellers action, but it is Irresistibly dispelled. To no-one’s surprise, the Raiders do nothing to the Steam Tank, but the Unicorns have a great run at the Turthsayer. Only one can attack him due to the Fulcrum, but it wounds him twice, he fails both 3+ wards and then fails stubborn 8 leadership and flees for his life. Improbable, but highly satisfying.

Now that the Steam Tank can fight back, it spends three steam points to grind those pesky Raiders into a thin paste. The Chimera and the Knights both charge the Gors, and Furycat is suspiciously careful to line up the Grand Master for a shot on the Wargor. Failing another leadership test, the Truthsayer continues his sprint for the table edge. Both the Beastmen Shamans return to normal form, but the Wizard Lord obligingly stays amphibious. The Lore of Beasts is Ascendant, and there are 13 power dice to 7 dispel dice. I let the Hurricanum through on the Harpies, and it kills 4 of them between the bad weather and the Lore attribute; the last one doesn’t panic. Hammer of Sigmar is dispelled, but I can’t stop Shield of Faith. A couple of shots from the Witch Hunter at the Great Bray Shaman both miss despite his rerolls to hit, and the Crossbowmen shoot a few more Ungors. In the main event, Furycat is delighted as the Grand Master easily kills off the Wargor with his Runefang, and a whole lot of other Gors go with him. They do manage to put a wound on the Chimera and drag three Knights off their horses though. The result is that the Gors lose heavily but are steadfast. Following the Truthsayer’s shining example, they fail their break check anyway and flee, getting run down by the Chimera while the Knights reform. To add insult to injury, the Great Bray Shaman’s Bestigor herd and the Ungor herd panic and also head for the pub. So where there was once a mighty battle line of bleating goat men, there is now nothing but some triumphant Knights and a scattering of fleeing victims.  Looking back, I probably had this coming to me after the Truthsayer’s antics.

With nothing much else useful to do, the Harpy charges into the Witch Hunter, the Bestigors who aren’t fleeing like little girls charge the Knights (a match up I’m much happier about, even with that Grand Master in there) and the Gors in the far West try to show that they’re contributing a little and charge the Wizard Lord, who sadly stops being a frog. The fleeing Bestigors pull themselves together, but the Ungors continue running right up to the table edge. Death is Ascendant and I have 17 power dice to 10 dispel dice. This should be good. Furycat sensibly dispels Wildform on the Bestigors, but I follow up with Hunters Moon (sort of like a super version of Wildform that affects your whole army) with Irresistible Force. A Calamitous Detonation does nothing of note, but the cataclysmic miscast is a Power Siphon, allowing the Wizard Lord to put Miasma (-2 WS) on the Bestigors in combat. The Zoat tries again for Dwellers Below, getting Irresistible Force this time and sucking 30 Spearmen (but sadly not the Captain) into a hole in the ground. Not bad. The Magical Feedback wounds the Zoat and then we get ‘Was it just me or did the world move?’ on the cataclysmic miscast table. It’s a slight let down that the only movement is the Bray Shaman swapping to the previously empty Fulcrum as the other two Wizards get teleported to the exact place they started. The Wizard Lord gets to enjoy his reprieve from frogginess as the Foe Render does nothing to him and the Gors bounce back from the Fulcrum; elsewhere the Witch Hunter makes short work of the foolish Harpy. In the main event, the Grand Master does his thing (i.e. kill one Bestigor for each of his attacks) and Luthor Huss turns into the Incredible Hulk and kills some more. In return the Bestigors smite the Knights down to just the champion and hold (they lost anyway despite a good round of combat).

The Spearmen realise that they can just see the corner of the Gors peeking out from the Fulcrum and charge in for a ridiculously minimised combat. The Steam Tank goes for it with 5 steam points and tonks over to the engaged Bestigors. It needs to make 14” on three dice and I breathe a sigh of relief as it makes it 13” across the table. Apparently the Truthsayer left the gas on at home as he fails yet another chance to rally and finally leaves the table. With the Lore of Fire Ascendant we have 9 power dice against 6 dispel dice. I dispel Miasma on the Bestigors in combat, Scroll Withering and dispel Hammer of Faith. With no dispel dice left to stop it, Furycat rolls 1,1 casting Shield of Faith (needing only 3) with Luthor Huss. There’s some sort of pathetic pillow fight between the Spearmen and Gors with only 3 casualties in total but the Gors are scared off by the size of the Captains moustache flag and run away (they get away thanks to swiftstride granted by Hunters Moon). Meanwhile, the three amigos kill off a few more Bestigors but are all cut down mercilessly in return. With that, Furycat has seen enough. Victory for the Beastmen!

That was a highly entertaining game, with ridiculous leadership checks defining both sides. I admit I was highly surprised that Furycat agreed to play Storm of Magic at all, but it turned out to be abnormally… normal. Still, the odds were in my favour all the way with a points advantage combined with Furycat’s unfamiliarity with his new army book.

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

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