Posts Tagged With: Orcs and Goblins

Ogre Kingdoms vs Orcs & Goblins (500 points); 08Aug13

A good evening of gaming started with my slow grow campaign game against Justinmatters at 500 points.  My list is as noted previously, but for convenience, here it is again.

Miss Madras, Firebelly, additional hand weapon (FB)

Heidi’s lasses, 5 Ironguts, musician (IG)

Helga’s lasses, 3 Leadbelchers (LB)

Blackcat Bone, Sabretusk (ST)

Justinmatters has quite a bit of amusing story around his list (which can be found on his own blog) but for the purposes of this battle report, the main gist of it seems to be ‘throw Goblins at stuff and hope that the other army runs out of dudes first’.  This application has been surprisingly successful.

Goblin Big Boss, Shrieking Blade, Potion of Foolhardiness (BB)

Night Goblin Shaman (S)

30 Goblins, musician (G1)

25 Goblins, musician (G2)

30 Night Goblins, musician (NG)

12 Squigs, 5 Herders (SH)

We used Battle Line again without consciously deciding not to roll, then randomly get 3 pieces of terrain.  Two of them are just boring old houses and the last is some Blessed Bulwarks that we will inevitably forget about.  My Firebelly once again rolls up Cascading Fire Cloak and discards it in favour of Fireball; the Night Goblin keeps Gork’ll Fix It.  I win the first turn and make the Goblins move first on the principle that they might as well be in range by the time I get my turn.


Nothing exciting here, as everyone marches forward in a straight line.  Well, when you have no ranged attacks, there’s not much choice but to get stuck in quickly.  With 3,2 magic dice, the Shaman puts Gork’ll Fix It on the Leadbelchers and I fail to dispel it.


I see an opportunity to rid myself of the pesky shaman early so I charge with the Sabretusk, making it easily.  My other units move up to 12″ away from the Goblins; short range for the Leadbelchers (who’ll need it with Gork’ll Fix It on them) and optimal charging range for Ogres vs M4 enemies (they need an 8 to contact, and I only need a 6).  We get another big magic phase (3,2 dice) and I try my luck with the big version of Fireball.  It goes off and takes out a bunch of Squigs and Herders, though I did forget that they’re Immune to Psychology and hence wouldn’t panic.  The Leadbelchers thin out the Goblins with their Big Boss for good measure, then the Sabretusk puts a wound on the Shaman before fleeing and being run down.  It was a risky manoeuver, as killing the Shaman early is worth a lot, but I have to do it in one round (not out of the question against WS2, T3 and W2) as the Sabretusk will certainly lose to static combat resolution and flee, risking panic if it gets close to my lines and baiting the Night Goblins closer if they choose to pursue.


The Night Goblins take advantage of the free move from chasing down the Sabretusk to charge into the Leadbelchers, but both units in the West fail their charges into the Ironguts.  As it happens, I’d probably be quite happy to accept one of them, but receiving double charges has rarely been good news for me.  The unengaged Goblins in the East wheel to keep their options open.  We get 3,1 magic dice and the Shaman helpfully kills himself with his Magic Mushrooms while putting Gork’ll Fix It back on the Leadbelchers with Irresistable Force.  The hapless Night Goblin doesn’t live long enough to ‘enjoy’ the resulting Calamitous Detonation but it does put a couple of wounds on a Leadbelcher and take out a rank or so of his erstwhile companions.  More are mown down as the Firebelly uses her breath weapon, but the Night Goblins are comfortably within range of the Big Boss who keeps them in line.


The Ironguts happily take the ‘can’t possibly miss it’ charge on the Big Boss’s mob of Goblins, beating the general to death and generally trampling Greenskins left and right in a very satisfying manner all the while only taking a single wound in return.  The Goblins are Steadfast of course, but passing it on 6 is not so easy and they flee, ending up only an inch or so away from the pursuing Ironguts; I needed to follow up to make sure I was safe from a flank charge in return by the Squigs.  The Leadbelchers and Night Goblins continue to chew each other.


The fleeing Goblins rally, and everyone else reforms to trap the Ironguts.  The Night Goblins take out the last Leadbelcher but are still taking bucketloads of wounds back, they hold steadfast on Ld5.


The Ironguts have no way to avoid the multiple charge next turn so they just go for plan A: straight up the middle into the rallied Goblins, then face-tank the inevitable counter punch.  A single Goblin lives long enough to flee and the Ironguts reform to take the Squigs in their front arc.  Meanwhile, the Firebelly makes a mess of her attacks on the Night Goblins and loses to the musician on combat resolution; happily she holds.  That could easily have been the game right there.


Of course, everyone piles into the Ironguts, and I’m just down to hoping for bad rolls from the Squigs here.  They do me proud and one of the Ironguts survives on a single wound, which is probably critical to the mauling they then dish out; one more wound would have really impacted the amount of damage I handed out.  The Goblins are Steadfast and manage to hang on, but the 1 surviving Squig and his Handler fail to muster the Insane Courage they’d need, go wild, then apparently run off to the Night Goblins, taking out 5 of them (while doing no wounds at all to either unit close by).  Thanks to that piece of luck, the Firebelly then takes out most of the remaining Night Goblins who finally fail their leadership check and are run down.  Who would have thought that Steadfast on Ld5 would be so reliable!


There’s not much choice here, I just charge the Firebelly into the flank of the Goblins, hack them apart and run the survivors down with both units.  We don’t bother playing on to see if the last Goblin can rally before he makes it off the table.  Victory to the Ogre Kingdoms!


That could have been the funniest game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle I’ve played in ages.  Justinmatters’ list is ridiculous and hilarious; dealing with 100 Goblins is outrageous at 500 points, especially so when I only have 10 of my own miniatures on the table.  As usual, a couple of different rolls could have made a big difference; notably the Firebelly fleeing from the Night Goblins in turn 3 or the Squigs putting a single extra wound on the Ironguts in turn 4 could very easily have turned the tables in Justinmatters’ favour.  Otherwise, there’s not much to be learned from the tactics – we just ran at each other and the dice went my way when I needed them; though the Night Goblins were a bit of an annoyance constantly passing Ld5 checks for fear and break tests.

Edit: Justinmatters has written about how this went from the Goblins’ perspective here.

Categories: Battle reports, Campaigns, Escalation campaign, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , | 2 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

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

Border Princes Campaign (Turn 15)

Well Border Princes fans: it’s taken me entirely too long to post this, the start of the final turn of our long-running campaign.  The map has been produced after a long series of events: losing the notes, improbably finding them again, failing to understand what we’d written, then working it all out again.  It is probably telling that we actually did the map moves in April.

Be that as it may, turn 14 of the Border Princes campaign was full of blood and thunder (but mostly blood).  Aramoro‘s Bretonnians managed to hold Malko for yet another turn, forcing back more Empire assaults than you can shake a frog’s leg at.  Otherwise it’s business as usual in the far West as Furycat‘s Empire push the Bretonnians inexorably toward their home territory; High Elf interference from Forkbanger‘s armies is largely ineffective, though they do make some inroads south of the Old Silk Road for the first time.  There are some skirmishes throughout the main contested area; a block of landed bordered by the Old Silk Road in the North, the Central South Road in the West and the Lower Thunder River in the East but they ultimately don’t affect who owns which patch of bloodstained land (a victories for the Empire over the Beastmen and High Elves are documented here and here, respectively, while a victory for a gimmicky High Elf army against a rather gentle Empire army is here).  In the North, Justinmatter‘s Orcs & Goblins defeat a contigent of High Elves who have found themselves far from the action.  Finally, despite a sound victory in the Iron Claw Orc Camp, the Orcs & Goblins are ousted from their lands with their home territory in the hands of the Beastmen (here, here and here).

Turn 15 is the last turn, and it begins with the Orcs & Goblins breaking their alliance with the Empire.  It’s largely symbolic gesture, as they have only two banners left on the table and they’re both trying to get away from the hideous braying of the Beastmen looting their home territory.  All the nations make a final push for glory, but the main battle in terms of deciding both first and last place is yet another assault on Malko by the Empire against the Bretonnians.  I like to imagine that they’ve long since done away with the castle and are now fighting over mounds of bodies, such has been the bloodshed on that territory.  The Beastmen mop up in the far East, consolidating total control over the lands of the greenskins.  The rest of the battles are mainly grinding along the Old Silk Road as that is where the majority of the banners are located.  Of note, defeats in turn 14 to a banner each of Beastmen and Bretonnians (both by the Empire) has them retreating to the same location (the actual Old Silk Road territory).  We rule that they’ll fight there rather than move again, but as the land is owned by their mutual ally (the High Elves) it’s completly irrelevant to the scoring; whoever wins will simply be defending their ally’s territory.

Here are the current scores, before we get on to any battles are fought. There’s no point working out permutations for number of banners next turn, as there will not be one.

Beastmen: 47 points (35 territories, 3 of which are special)
Empire: 30 points (26 territories, 1 of which is special)
High Elves: 24 points (19 territories, 1 of which is special)
Bretonnians: 15 points (6 territories, 1 of which is Malko)
Orcs & Goblins: 7 points (7 territories)

With only a single turn of battles to play, the scores are starting to widen out.  Nonetheless, there is still plenty to play for.  Of note, if the Empire can finally take Malko and have a good overall swing they are in with an outside chance of taking a clear first place.  On the other hand, a bad turn for the Empire coupled with good work from the High Elves could see them leapfrog the moustachioed powerhouse into a highly unexpected second place.  Malko is also key for the Bretonnians as holding it will see them leave the Orcs & Goblins in last place.  As for the greenskins themselves, events are out of their hands.  I intend to publish one further map so that the final scores are documented for completeness.

As it’s the final turn we agreed to add Storm of Magic games in as one of the possible scenarios, replacing either Battle Line or Watchtower depending on the preferences of the two players.

Thanks for sticking with us so far.

Categories: Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

40 Ungors, full command (U)

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

5 Harpies, scouts (H)

4 Minotaurs, full command (M)

24 Bestigors, full command, Manbane Standard (B)

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

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

Orc Great Shaman, level 4 (OS)

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

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

Night Goblin Shaman, level 2 (S2)

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

2 x 5 Wolf Riders (WR1 and WR2)

20 Arrer Boyz, standard (AB)

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

3 x Orc Chariots (OC1 to OC3)

3 x Spear Chukkas (SC1 to SC3)

Rock Lobber (RL)

Arachnarok Spider (A)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 x 5 Harpies, scouts (H1 and H2)

4 Minotaurs, full command, Ironcurse Icon (M)

1 Razorgor (R)

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

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

Goblin Big Boss, BSB, Spider Banner (BSB)

Snagla Grobspit (SG)

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

10 Spider Riders, full command (SR)

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

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

Arachnarok Spider, flinger (A1)

Arachnarok Spider (A2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Beastmen vs Orcs & Goblins (2200 points); 07Feb12

For various reasons, playing games of Warhammer Fantasy Battle hasn’t really been on the menu for me lately, but I got back into the swing of the battles for turn 14 of the Border Princes campaign with the second of four games against Justinmatters‘ Orcs & Goblins.  I decided that playing with two Giants again so soon would be boring so I brought in a couple of Razorgors and a Bray Shaman toting the Lore of Death.  It’s been a while since I used either in my lists; I feel like the Razorgors ought to be pretty handy for picking off lone characters, artillery and generally making a nuisance of themselves, but somehow I just never seem to be able to do much with them.  The only previous time I tried out the Lore of Death was on a Great Bray Shaman and I was pretty underwhelmed (though I did well enough in the game).

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

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

Bray Shaman, level 2, Dispel Scroll, additional hand weapon, Lore of Beasts (BS1)

Bray Shaman, level 2, Chalice of Dark Rain, additional hand weapon, Lore of Death (BS2)

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

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

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

40 Ungors, full command (UH)

2 x 5 Harpies, scouts (H1 and H2)

2 x Razorgors (R1 and R2)

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

Justinmatters just took the same list as our last outing, though he did take the bold step of actually using the Wolf Chariots this time.

Savage Orc Warboss, Armour of Silvered Steel, Dawnstone, Potion of Foolhardiness, War Boar, additional hand weapon (WB)

Orc Great Shaman, level 4 (OS)

Black Orc Big Boss, BSB, Dragonhelm, Crown of Command (BSB)

Night Goblin Shaman, level 2, dispel scroll (S1)

Night Goblin Shaman (S2)

30 Savage Orc Big ‘Uns, additional hand weapons, full command (SOBU)

26 Night Goblins, full command (NG), with 1 Fanatic (F)

2 x 5 Wolf Riders, musician, standard bearer (WR1 and WR2)

9 Savage Orc Boar Boyz, musician, standard bearer (SOB)

3 Goblin Wolf Chariots (WC)

5 Spear Chukkas (SC1 to SC5)

2 Rock Lobbers with Orc bullies (RL1 and RL2)

We randomly select Blood and Glory with only 5 terrain pieces.  Even the deployment of the terrain is part of the game: Justinmatters puts an Altar of Khaine away out in the West, reasoning that there’s no reason to share the frenzy that most of his army has anyway.  Similarly, I put a Scree Slope in the East as I hate when artillery is parked on it (though we forget about it straight away anyway).  Otherwise, there is normal hill, a mysterious forest and a Charnel Pit all in the middle.  Strictly speaking the Charnel Pit is supposed to be impassable but considering the bit of terrain we end up using, it is agreed to be ‘merely’ dangerous terrain.  The Orc Great Shaman takes Hand of Gork, ‘Ere We Go, Fists of Gork and Gaze of Mork; the first Night Goblin takes Sneaky Stabbin’ and Gork’ll Fix It and the other has Itchy Nuisance.  Meanwhile, I yet again get my favourite set of spells: Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, The Withering, and Okkam’s Mindrazor on the Great Bray Shaman and Wyssan’s Wildform and Curse of Anraheir for the Bray Shaman.  The Death Bray Shaman takes Doom and Darkness and Purple Sun of Xereus; I’m not really sure what would be useful from that Lore, so I just wing it.  Looking at the deployment of the Orcs & Goblins, I decide not to ambush either a herd of Raiders or the small Gor unit.  The Razorgors and one set of Raiders were deployed early until it became clear where teh action was going to be, hence the tight deployment of other herds.  The Harpies scout to annoying positions and the Wolf Riders vanguard up to try and intercept them, then the Orcs & Goblins get going first.

The game begins with the Wolf Riders moving towards the Harpies, and that’s about it.  The Winds of Magic give up 4,2 dice; Itchy Nuisance fails to cast on the West Harpies and Fists of Gork is dispelled.  However, the shooting phase is more productive as both Razorgors are turned into kebabs and a rock lands right on top of the Ungors killing 8 of them before they even moved.  Luckily no-one panics, but so much for my hopes of working out good uses for the big pigs.

The Harpies in the East charge the nearest Spear Chukka, releasing a Fanatic as they pass who only manages to kill one of them as he whirls through.  I ponder a bit about the other Harpies and finally charge them into the Wolf Riders.  Naturally, everyone else move forward with the Raiders in the West popping into what turns out to be a Fungus Forest before steering clear again.  I have 6,1 magic dice to use, and put 5 of them into the little version of Purple Sun which is promptly dispelled.  Unopposed, the Great Bray Shaman puts Enfeebling Foe (-2S) on the Chariots, mainly to use up some of Justinmatters’ magic dice in a later turn getting rid of it.  In the East, the Harpies easily kill the Spear Chukka crew and over run into the next one, but it’s a different story on the other side of the table.  The Harpies only pull down one of the Wolf Riders and lose 4 in return; not surprisingly the lone survivor heads for the board edge and the victorious Goblins reform to face South.

The glorious Wolf Riders charge into the Raiders accompanying the Bray Shaman and make contact despite needing an 11.  The other Wolf Riders lose interest in the Harpies and move to redirect the small Gor herd, and the Fanatic has a heart attack (in fact, he’d have hit a cliff wall anyway).  Again, the rest of the army is content to stay still and wait for the Beastmen to do all the work crossing the table.  Justinmatters rolls 6,3 magic dice and starts by putting Itchy Nuisance on the Bestigors (-1M and I) which is let through.  Gork’ll Fix It on the engaged Raiders fails to cast, then Enfeebling Foe is dispelled.  Finally, ‘Ere We Go is dispelled since there’s nothing else to do with the dice.  After the great shooting of last turn, every piece of artillery misses and one of the Spear Chukkas even manages to fire a crew member instead of the more usual projectile.  Things briefly look good for the Raiders as they kill all but one of the Wolf Riders, but they lose a couple of their own, break and are run down by a single Goblin joyfully waving his flag.  That’s the end of my experiment with the Lore of Death.  More happily, the Harpies kill off the crew of the second Spear Chukka and reform to face along the battle line.

The Gors charge the Wolf Riders in front of them, who choose to hold for reasons best known to themselves.  The Harpies fly over the intervening units and into a Rock Lobber while the Ungor herd (presumably reasoning that it’s safer in combat than being shelled by rocks from the sky) charges the Night Goblins to try and determine once and for all which group is the more oppressed.  Not fancying more dangerous terrain checks than are strictly necessary, the Gors and Bestigors in the centre tiptoe gingerly over the ickiness of the Charnel Pit while ordering the Raiders to move up and hurl insults at / get in the way of the Savage Orcs.  It’s a pretty quiet magic phase with only 2,2 dice. Enfeebling Foe (-1S) is let through on the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns, and Curse of Anraheir goes through despite an attempt at a dispel.  I’m hoping that it will tempt the Savage Orcs to hold off charging until I can get ready for them (plus, Justinmatters hates that spell).  The Harpies easily kill off the Rock Lobber’s crew and overrun into the next one screeching with undisguised glee.  This panics the nearby Night Goblin Shaman who runs through the Savage Orcs to get away; sadly I can’t recreate the scenario that caused this in Battle Chronicler so the picture looks rather weird.  The Ungors, delighted with the opportunity to pick on someone smaller than themselves, show off the power of Primal Fury and beat the Night Goblins heavily, eventually running them down when the break (and more importantly, getting nicely behind the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns).  Meanwhile, the improbable success of Goblins riding on wolves continues as the Gors only manage to kill 4 of the Wolf Riders and the last one holds on insane courage.

There are no charges, and the only moves are the Shamans moving further away from the Harpies marauding about behind the main line of battle and the Wolf Rider heading behind the Gors to threaten a charge on the Bray Shaman.  The fleeing Shaman pulls himself together under the stern glare of both the general and BSB.  We only roll 2,2 magic dice but the Goblins channel twice.  Enfeebling Foe is dispelled again, and the Itchy Nuisance (-3 M and I) goes through on the Bestigors as I fail to roll the double 6 I’d have needed to stop it.  The only shooting of note sees the charioteers kill 3 Raiders but the plucky blighters hang on in there.  After his valiant display last turn the final Wolf Rider is killed off by the Gors, who reform.  The second Rock Lobber is spiked by the Harpies who choose to restrain so as to make sure that they didn’t accidentally clip the Wolf Chariots when pursuing; I’m confident that one of the Shamans is still in range anyway.

It turns out that I’m right as the Harpies flap over to the Night Goblin Shaman skulking away behind the Boar Boyz, and the Gor herd charges into the last Spear Chukka in the East.  The Ungors reform to get a rear charge on the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns but the other units don’t move as I’m quite happy with a stand-off for another turn while the trap closes in the East. This time it’s my turn to channel twice to add to the 3,2 magic dice rolled.  The Orc Great Shaman uses all his dice but fails to stop Wildform on the Bestigors, but Enfeebling Foe on the Big ‘Uns fails on two dice.  I use the final two dice to put Curse of Anraheir on them instead and it goes off Irresistably; the Magical Feedback wounds the Bray Shaman.  Not surprisingly, the Spear Chukka is destroyed by the Gors (who reform to face the flank of the Big ‘Uns) and the Night Goblin Shaman is killed by the Harpies (who overrun into yet another warmachine).

This time it’s finally ‘go’ with the charges as the tense stand-off ends and a Waaagh! is declared.  The Savage Orc Big ‘Uns lose half a dozen to Curse-induced dangerous terrain checks as they run into the surviving Raiders and the Wolf Chariots and Boar Boyz both make it into the Bestigors, the latter only clipping the herd.  Finally, the lone Wolf Rider fancies his chances against the Bray Shaman now that he’s been wounded.  The Shamans mill about with the Orc moving to where ‘Ere We Go will be most useful.  Our rounds of low magic continue with only 3,1 magic dice which are all put into ‘Ere We Go.  Sensing that I’m about to lose the Bray Shaman, I use the Dispel Scroll.  In the big combat, the Wolf Chariots are wiped out and a single Boar Boy is taken out, thereby ensuring that the Bestigors remain steadfast when they lose narrowly.  Sadly, I fail the Leadership check even with the re-roll and the Bestigors are off.  Luckily, they don’t get caught, but the Boar Boyz pursue into the Bray Shaman who looks rather surprised before being unceremoniously trampled by the pig stampede.  The Savage Orc Big ‘Uns easily kill off the Raiders but lose another four to the dangerous terrain check as they over-run (but only 3″ so not enough to allow the Gors a flank charge).  Finally the penultimate Spear Chukka is killed by the Harpies who over-run into the last one, high-fiving each other at their glorious run across the table.

Both Gor herds charge into the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns, but the Ungors can’t make it on their little legs.  The Bestigors fail to rally and run right to the edge of the table, and so I don’t get a magic phase either.  Dang it.  The Harpies polish off the last Spear Chukka (they’ve killed six of the seven artillery pieces on their own, not to mention a Night Goblin Shaman; surely this is their best game ever) and reform to face the rest of the action.  The Savage Orcs are hammered down to just four plus the Black Orc Battle Standard Bearer, but he’s stubborn so they’re not going anywhere.

Justinmatters has an interesting conundrum: he can either charge the Boar Boyz at the Bestigors, ensuring that they go off the table and he’ll get the points for them, or he can reform and hope that the BSB can hold on for another turn until the cavalry can ride to the rescue.  He chooses the former, apparently not fancying the sheer number of attacks that the Black Orc will have to weather.  All three of the remaining pieces head over to do bad things to the Harpies and stay out of range of anything that might hurt them.  We finally get a good number of magic dice at 6,3; with no Shaman of my own, this is going to be bad.  Gork’ll Fix It is let through on the big Gor herd, and I try but fail to dispel Gaze of Mork on the Harpies which vapourises them all.  Still, they had a good innings.  In the only combat the BSB and remaining Savage Orc Big ‘Uns are dog-piled (er, goat-piled?) for minimal loss of Beastmen life.  Both herd reform to give charges on the Boar Boyz and the Night Goblin Shaman next turn.

Neither herd of Gors makes it to their intended targets.  I only needed to roll an 8, but it was not to be.

All remaining units move out of potential charge arcs, and the Orc Great Shaman lines up a good Gaze of Mork on the Gors.  It’s the only spell cast as it get Irresistable Force and I briefly hope that it’ll suck him into the warp, but sadly it’s just a Magical Feedback that doesn’t kill anything.  A few Gors are blown up by the Gaze, but it’s no big deal.  We don’t bother with the Beastmen turn 6 as nothing important can happen, and it’s clear that this is going to be close as we go to check the victory points (neither side reached its Breaking Point).  The results are Orcs & Goblins: 1381; Beastmen: 1500.  So with a 119 point difference, it’s the narrowest of possible wins.  Victory for the Beastmen!

I really enjoyed that game, it felt all the way through like both sides were really closely matched and that even one bit of luck or great skill could be the decisive moment.  I thought that moment had been the Bestigors breaking, but fortunately that didn’t quite lose me the game.  My original hopes for the game, to play with the Lore of Death and the Razorgors never really came to anything, so I’ll run them out again some other time.

On thing that was discussed a little afterward was my choice to charge the Wolf Riders in the West with the Harpies, even though they could have flown over them into the Spear Chukkas.  I thought that the Harpies had about a 50-50 chance off taking out the Wolf Riders and from there they would have been able to run amok through the artillery.  Plus, the Wolf Riders were carrying a tasty banner, whereas the Harpies were not, so I felt it was worth a go to try and get the Orcs & Goblins on their way to Breaking Point.

Thinking back about it, I was probably quite fortunate that the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns didn’t over-run the Raiders by much in turn 4, as a frontal charge from the Gors into them proved far more useful as it meant that I could pour a ridiculous number of attacks into them and neutered them before their initiative step.  With the Bestigors, I feel that I did everything right: wiped out the Wolf Chariots to get their victory points, killed a Boar Boy to ensure that the Bestigors remained steadfast and rode out the turn of the Choppa and spear bonuses.  Until the break test was rolled, I thought that the Bestigors could probably do reasonably well against the Boar Boyz in subsequent rounds and perhaps even put some hurt onto the Warboss.   Still, as it turned out, I got a highly satisfying win anyway so I can’t really complain.

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

Beastmen (2000 points) vs Orcs & Goblins (2200 points); 03Jan12

After a certain amount of procrastination, Justinmatters and I played the first of many games we have lined up in turn 14 of the Border Princes campaign.  Somewhat arbitrarily, we selected one of the games in which the Orcs & Goblins have a small advantage.  I decided that I fancied a change from my usual fare and put down a pair of Giants as the first part of my list.  They’re stubborn on leadership 10 so I was thinking of sending them out together on a flank (i.e. far from the Orc BSB) and hoping to get lucky with terror, yell and bawl or one of the other amusing giant actions.  It’s amazing how small an army can feel when you take up almost a quarter of it with two Giants; even the few games I’ve tried with Ogres felt like they had more on the table than this.  The rest of the herd is fairly standard stuff.

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

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

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

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

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

6 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR)

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

2 Giants (Gt1 and Gt2)

Furycat has taken it upon himself to try and improve Justinmatters game play, and provided this list and (apparently) detailed instructions on its use in the game.  It feels like I’m playing against two men!  Still, they are allies in the campaign, so it’s fair enough.

Savage Orc Warboss, Armour of Silvered Steel, Dawnstone, Potion of Foolhardiness, War Boar, additional hand weapon (WB)

Orc Great Shaman, level 4 (OS)

Black Orc Big Boss, BSB, Dragonhelm, Crown of Command (BSB)

Night Goblin Shaman, level 2, dispel scroll (S1)

Night Goblin Shaman (S2)

30 Savage Orc Big ‘Uns, additional hand weapons, full command (SOBU)

26 Night Goblins, full command (NG), with 1 Fanatic (F)

2 x 5 Wolf Riders, musician, standard bearer (WR1 and WR2)

9 Savage Orc Boar Boyz, musician, standard bearer (SOB)

3 Goblin Wolf Chariots

5 Spear Chukkas (SC1 to SC5)

2 Rock Lobbers with Orc bullies (RL1 and RL2)

Furycat’s detailed instructions go out of the window at the first opportunity, as Justinmatters forgets entirely about the chariots and fails to bring them to the table; we didn’t actually find this out until several days later.  The scenario is Dawn Attack with 9 terrain pieces, including 3 rivers (which I find awkward to fight across).  The hill in the South is a Temple of Skulls and everything else is either mundane or lying in wait for us.  Rolling for spells, the Orc Great Shaman takes Hand of Gork, ‘Ere We Go, ‘Eadbutt and Gaze of Mork; the first Night Goblin takes Gift of the Spider God and Itchy Nuisance and the other has Gork’ll Fix It.  Justinmatters rubs his hands in glee, which can’t be a good sign.  The Beastmen magic users both roll loads of doubles, thereby guaranteeing my favourite selection of spells: Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, The Withering, and Okkam’s Mindrazor on the Great Bray Shaman and Wyssan’s Wildform and Curse of Anraheir for the Bray Shaman.  I set up first, and the random deployment is something of a pain for my plan of using the Giants on  flank, as they are stuck in the middle.  At least they’re together.  The Wargor and his herd are way off in the East with everyone else (depressingly few hooves on the ground, now that I think about it) are in the far West.  The greenskins are focussed in the centre, though the Savage Orc infantry along with the BSB and Orc Great Shaman find themselves off in the West.

Everyone runs forward as fast as they can, with the Gors wheeling to try and get close to the rest of my army.  The Giants find that the wood they were planning on lurking in is a Wild Wood which promptly beats a wound off one and three from the other.  So, back to the previous plan of ramming them into the first mob to present itself.  I get 5,3 magic dice.  Enfeebling Foe is let through on the Big ‘Uns (-3S) but Curse of Anraheir is dispelled on the Boar Boyz.

We forget to roll for animosity, and will for the entire game.  I guess these are just well-drilled greenskins.  There’s a bit of shuffling and the Shamans all bail out of their mobs, but most of it could have been done in deployment so it’s a mystery to me what was going on.  The Big ‘Uns move up to the river to guarantee that whatever fights them won’t be steadfast, and the Wolf Riders cross what turns out to be a River of Blood in the East.  With 4,4 magic dice, Itchy Nuisance is put on the Bestigors. I tried and failed to dispel it, figuring that spending even more time messing about in the river isn’t going to help my chances much.  ‘Eadbutt takes 2 wounds from the Great Bray Shaman, and Gaze of Mork kills a couple of Bestigors.  The artillery is a bit less successful, with one Rock Lobber missing by miles and the other firing a Goblin to his doom; the Spear Chukkas kill a few Gors but there’s plenty more where they came from.

There are no charges (I was tempted with the Giants but decided to play it safe).  The Bestigors lose a few to the Necrotic Ooze they’re mired in thanks to the Itchy Nuisance, and the Raiders quickly rethink their plan of hiding in the wood after seeing what it did to the Giants. For their part, the Giants move up to get in the middle of the Orc & Goblin line; the first one triggers a Fanatic that falls a little short of hitting him.  I dream of the glory of it spinning on to the Boar Boyz next turn.  The winds of magic give me a handy 6,4 dice to cast with.  Curse of Anraheir on the Boar Boyz is dispelled with a Scroll and Wildform is dispelled with dice, but in between I do manage to cast Withering (-2T) on the Boar Boyz.

After some lengthy consideration of charging the Boar Boyz at the Giant and just taking the hits from the Fanatic like men, Justinmatters is talked back to sense by Furycat.  Instead, they move round to avoid a double charge from the Giants, although with a slight worry that the Gors will get into their rear.  Elsewhere, the Wolf Riders in the East move back over the river, presumably to get in the way of the Gors a little and the other mob grudgingly move to block one of the Giants.  The Fanatic spins through the Giant, taking the big guy down to a single wound.  The Orc Shaman uses all of the 6,1 magic dice to dispel both Enfeebling Foe and Withering, which saves me a bit of worry about what spells are going to do to me this time.  Again, the artillery kills a few Gors but nothing of note.

My ambushing Gor unit finally arrive, showing up usefully on the Orc & Goblin table edge.  One Giant charges the Wolf Riders, who can’t flee since that would open up alternative charges, and the other stomps over to the Boar Boyz [funnily enough we rolled the terror check which the Boar Boyz failed and were fun over until Furycat helpfully reminds us that the Savage Orcs are immune to psychology thanks to their frenzy].  The Gors charge the Wolf Riders in the East, who flee off the table to my significant surprise.  One of the Spear Chukkas obligingly panics too.  Finally, the Bestigors charge the Big ‘Uns over what turns out to be a normal river.  I only get 4,1 magic dice, but the Great Bray Shaman Irresistably casts Enfeebling Foe on the Big ‘Uns and is then killed by the magical feedback (which also wounds the Bray Shaman).  A casting of Wildform on a Giant is easily dispelled.  The Bestigors make the most of their weakened foes, beating them heavily.  It’s at this point I find out that the BSB is carrying the Crown of Command so the Savage Orc Big ‘Uns easily pass their check, although at least the frenzy is beaten out of them.  One Giant swings with his club, killing off the Wolf Riders, but the other one can only manage to kill a couple of Boar Boyz despite jumping up and down on them and is then killed for his troubles.  Still, at least the other one isn’t hit by his falling body; the Boar Boyz reform to face the newly arrived Gors (we forgot that they should have been forced to over run).

Buoyed from their simple felling of the Giant, the Boar Boyz charge into the freshly arrived Gors, and the Night Goblins charge the surviving Giant while he tries to wipe Wolf Rider from his club.  Justinmatters rolls 5,2 magic dice and starts off by trying to put Curse of the Spider God on the Night Goblins, which is dispelled.  Enfeebling Foe is dispelled (strength 2 Big ‘Uns aren’t likely to put much of a dent in Bestigors after all) and Ere We Go is scrolled.  After another fairly insignificant round of shooting, the Giant takes no wounds from the Night Goblins before yelling at them; they don’t seem to care.  A good round of fighting has the Gors trade kills with the Boar Boyz and even narrowly win thanks to their static combat resolution.  The Boar Boyz hold, of course, but at least they’re not frenzied any more.  The Bestigors spot the crucial link in the Big ‘Uns game plan: the BSB.  After a flurry of axes he’s gone and that’s it for the Savage Orcs – they flee after a close defeat and the Bestigors reform instead of chasing.

Turn 4 starts with the surviving Big ‘Uns being chased off the table by the Bestigors, who then pass their leadership test to redirect into the Orc Great Shaman, who is suddenly feeling lonely.  The Gor horde fail a charge that would have had them contacting 3 of the artillery pieces, condemning them to yet another round of taking spears and rocks to the face.  With 5,2 magic dice the Bray Shaman puts Curse of Anraheir on the Boar Boyz (let through); Wildform on the Gors is dispelled.  Justinmatters realised that I’d probably get both of those off and concentrated on making sure that he could dispel one of them.  The Bestigors carve the Orc Great Shaman down easily and over run into the first of the Night Goblin Shamans.  The Giant kills a handful of Night Goblins and holds after a narrow loss to static combat resolution.  Finally, the Warboss can’t do enough damage to the Gors to prevent the remaining couple of Boar Boyz from being pulled down.  He improbably fails his break check and gets away; the Gors gleefully pursue into the flank of the Night Goblins.  Justinmatters has had enough and offers his hand in defeat.  Victory for the Beastmen!

That was a funny old game.  Dawn Attack is always a bit weird because of the random deployment.  I quite like the challenge of re-planning as I go, but I know some people see it as undoing all the good work they put into getting the elements of their army list to work together.  I’m happy that I managed to win as I wasn’t feeling too good after the first couple of turn (especially when the Wild Wood beat both Giants senseless); I wonder how it would have gone with those Wolf Chariots tearing around.  The Wargor and his Gor horde didn’t get to contribute much to the game since they were stuck away from the remainder of my army for the whole game, and it was all over by the time they arrived.

I am not sure about the value of the double Giant list.  In fairness, they didn’t get a chance to do what I wanted because they were stuck in the centre instead of the flank where they might have done some good.  The hilarity of the Giant random attacks table didn’t get much chance to shine either since they weren’t in combat for very long.  So I will probably try the list again to see what happens, but the main weakness in my eyes is how thin the army looks on the table; I can get a mind boggling number of Bestigors, Gors and Ungors for the cost of a pair of Giants.

Categories: Battle reports, Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Border Princes Campaign (Turn 14)

After a busy turn of combats in turn 13 of the Border Princes campaign, there’s been something of a mixed bag of results. From the perspective of the Beastmen, a narrow defeat to the men of Furycat‘s Empire was avenged by an equally narrow victory. My dreadful performance trying to invade Justinmatters‘ Orcs & Goblins’ home territory was made up for by two good results elsewhere (here and here) and a general good gaining of their ground. Further West, Aramoro‘s Bretonnians held Malko again (no report yet) and otherwise there’s a victory each in the skirmishes around the Old Silk Road West. Finally, an Empire army makes short work of an invading High Elf force from Forkbanger with a handful of hapless Gors along (briefly) for the ride.

Turn 14 is just as busy. The marauding Orc & Goblin banner that has been hoovering up territory in the Blackfire Mountains is finally intercepted by the High Elves and will have to fight their way free. All along the Old Silk Road there are more border clashes between the Empire, the Bretonnians and the High Elves, with the Empire fighting two battles against each of the others. That includes the regular scheduled clash in Malko as the Empire once again throw themselves at the heavily fortified Bretonnians. Foolish humans, they should be tearing down the walls of civilisation, not hiding behind them. The Beastmen rush South from the Old Silk Road to get to grips with another Empire force, but a bizarre merry-go-round develops around the Lower Thunder Road as various armies from both the Empire and the Beastmen chase each other futilely as the Benny Hill chase music plays. Finally, the Beastmen overrun of the Orc & Goblin homelands continues, with four battles in the offing. One of them is another attempt on the HQ territory while another is in the Iron Claw Orc Camp so we’ll get to play with some funky extra special rules.

Here are the current scores, before we get on to any battles are fought.  With 11 games to play, there are far too many permutations for me to bother to work out anyone’s potential gains and losses.

Beastmen: 36 points (28 territories, 2 of which are special); 10 banners
Empire: 31 points (27 territories, 1 of which is special); 9 banners
High Elves: 20 points (16 territories, 1 of which is special); 6 banners
Bretonnians: 17 points (8 territories, 1 of which is Malko); 3 banners
Orcs & Goblins: 15 points (11 territories, 1 of which is special); 5 banners

So with only the battles from turn 14 plus the whole of turn 15 to go, Furycat is almost assured of overall victory with the sweet plastic prize it brings.  In the fight to be best of the rest, Justinmatters’ Orcs & Goblins are sliding dramatically down the rankings having been top dog for the early phases; in effect they traded a voracious assault by the Empire for an equally ferocious over-run at the hands of my Beastmen.  Forkbanger’s High Elves are the big winners of the late stages of the campaign, taking advantage of some good alliances to keep their lands safe while picking off isolated territories.  Aramoro’s Bretonnians are still desperately fighting to avoid trading their onions for sausage as the Empire unrelentingly attack them across all fronts, but holding onto Malko will probably decide their fate in the campaign.

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Beastmen vs Orcs & Goblins (2000 points); 28Nov11

The final battle from turn 13 of the Border Princes campaign was another scuffle between my Beastmen and Justinmatters‘ Orcs & Goblins.  Frankly, after the high stakes game over the greenskins’ home territory this seemed like a playful scrap between old friends (er, which it is).  I made a conscious decision to use as few proxies as possible for this game, which dictated my army fairly effectively.  Indeed, only the Minotaurs weren’t represented, though they did take part as unit fillers for the Ungors.  Of the following list, I don’t have any Harpies at all, normal Ungors were doing duty as Raiders and the Minotaurs were filling out the ranked Ungor herd.  Also, the small Gor herd is unpainted.  OK, so it’s not that much of a big deal, but playing without proxies is more or less unheard of in our gaming group.

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 Ungors, full command (U1)

Tuskgor Chariot (TC)

5 Harpies, scouts (H)

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

Justinmatters took a similar list to the one that soundly thrashed me earlier, losing the Trolls, the Rock Lobber and the Night Goblin Shaman and generally tidying up the bigger units.

Black Orc Warboss (W)

Orc Big Boss, BSB (BSB)

Savage Orc Shaman, level 2, War Boar, Dispel Scroll (SOS)

50 Orc Big ‘Uns, additional hand weapons, full command, Ranger’s Standard (BU)

5 Wolf Riders (WR)

30 Black Orcs, full command (BO)

30 Squig Herders (SH)

14 Boar Boyz, full command, Gleaming Pennant (BB)

20 Arrer Boyz, full command (AB)

Appropriately, it’s a Battle Line.  We only roll the minimum five terrain pieces, but one is a Settlement of Order (again) which has an Acropolis of Heroes represented by a tower among some Blazing Barricades (wooden stakes in the picture, apparently they haven’t been lit).  Fittingly, there’s an Idol of Gork (or possibly Mork) in the North with Blessed Bulwarks stretching incongruously away from it.  The lonely looking building in the South West is a Haunted Mansion that we instantly forget about.  The Savage Orc Shaman takes Fists of Gork and Gaze of Mork to keep favours even between his gods.  For about the third game in a row, I get all my favourite spells: Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, The Withering, and Okkam’s Mindrazor on the Great Bray Shaman and Wyssan’s Wildform and Curse of Anraheir for the Bray Shaman.  Sadly, there’s no Wizard’s Tower for the Bray Shaman to relax in.  The small Gor herd go in ambush, but I reason that there’s nothing that the Raiders are going to be able to achieve in the backfield so they stay in my deployment zone to get in the way of everyone as usual.  I take first turn, but with these two armies, neither of us is concerned about taking that extra round of shooting before combat.

The ambushing Gors are right on their game and arrive in the West, right behind some slightly startled looking Squig Herders.  Everyone else simply sets off at a run; there’s no point hanging around waiting for the Orcs to advance when we can meet them half-way.  I do forget about the Harpies though, silly me.  I start the magic off well with 5,4 dice.  The Bray Shaman puts Curse of Anraheir on the Big ‘Uns, partly to slow them down, partly because they’re a huge unit and mainly because I know Justinmatters hates the spell with a vengeance.  The Squigs are Enfeebled for -2S, but an upgraded Miasma on the Arrer Boyz fails.

Everyone passes their animosity checks.  The Squig Herd reforms to face the ambushing Gors who inconsiderately arrived behind them.  Presumably just reforming without losing half of the herders is quite a feat for the unit.  Other units mill about a bit, the Big ‘Uns don’t risk marching thanks to Curse of Anraheir and the Boar Boyz move backward for no apparent reason.  The Shaman get 6,4 power dice but the phase itself is something of a trade.  I dispel Fists of Gork, and in turn Enfeebling Foe is dispelled.  Apparently I didn’t need to worry about my failure to hex the Arrer Boyz as they fail to do anything at all to the Bestigors.

It’s turn two and there are realistic charges on.  That makes me a happy Beastmen player.  The Harpies charge the Wolf Riders, who realise that they’re too close to flee and hold instead.  The ambushers charge the Squigs and the Bestigors fail to charge the Black Orcs.  In the West, the hapless Raiders get sent to hamper the Big ‘Uns.  Poor little chaps.  Their counterparts in the East move into one of the many buildings, unsure of what to do with themselves, though the Bray Shaman realises that Wildform is going to be needed on the other side of the table and sets off behind the battle line.  Finally, the Ungors move up to try and tempt the Boar Boyz into charging over the blessed bulwark, and hence dangerous terrain.  This turn we only get 2,2 magic dice.  Wildform on the Harpies is let through (interestingly, I don’t think I’ve ever cast it on Harpies before; there are usually bigger units that need it more) and Enfeebling Foe (-2S again) works on the Squig Herd with the Savage Orc Shaman failing to dispel it.  Level 4 versus level 2 wizard can make a big difference, though you do have to pay for it.  The Wolf Riders are beaten soundly by the steroided Harpies and the survivors are run down, though this does leave the Harpies with their flank presented to the Boar Boyz.  The Gors kill a bunch of Squigs, but not enough to break their steadfast and so they hold thanks to the presence of the Warboss.

The Boar Boyz happily charge the Harpies and the Big ‘Uns accept that they’ll have to fight through the Raiders to get to a foe worthy of them.  Magic comes up 1,1 to Justinmatters’ horror, and he throw both dice at dispelling Enfeebling Foe.  It comes up just short; I know how that feels.  Amazingly, one of the Boar Boyz is killed by a Harpy, but only one of the winged pests lives long enough to flee from the combat.  The Boar Boyz choose to restrain, presumably to offer a counter charge if necessary when the Black Orcs are inevitably charged by the Bestigors.  Needless to say, the Raiders are wiped out.  After a lot of thinking about it, Justinmatters elects to keep the Big ‘Uns where they are having worked out that he would contact the Chariot first and give up a flank charge to the Gors.  The Squigs are beaten mercilessly again, and this time they’re not steadfast.  They need a 3 to stay in combat…and get it.  Dang.  Still, at least the number of actual Squigs left is getting manageable; I’m not so worried about the Goblins.

The Gors and the Tuskgor Chariot both charge the Big ‘Uns; it’s on for the big scrap.  The Bestigors make their charge on the Black Orcs this time.  Meanwhile, the Ungors move up to the barricade (I reasoned that the benefit was better than a tiny chance of killing any Boar Boyz with dangerous terrain, and more importantly it blocks off a flank charge on the Bestigors) and the Raiders in the building move out to get in the way a bit.  I roll 4,3 magic dice.  Withering on the Big ‘Uns is scrolled but Wildform on the Gors works after a failed dispel.  The combat between the Gors, the Tuskgor Chariot and the Big ‘Uns is every bit as epic as we hope, with amazing casualties on each side, including the Orc BSB under a dog pile of goat bodies.  After we collect up all the dead models to work out the combat resolution, it emerges that the Orcs came off significantly worse, and need insane courage to stay in the fight… and get it.  Still, neither side can take another round like that one.  The Squigs finally get tired of being hexed and beaten up, fleeing from the Gors (or more accurately perhaps, the demise of the last Squig lets the Goblins herding them know that it’s time to leave).  The Gors reform to face the flank of the Arrer Boyz.  The Bestigors do me proud and smite the Black Orcs mightily despite the penalty for attacking a defended obstacle.  It’s enough for both the Black Orcs (who flee) and Justinmatters (who offers me his hand in defeat).  Victory for the Beastmen!

This was one of those games where almost everything seemed to go my way, and nothing went for Justinmatters.  The only bit of good luck he had was holding with the Squigs and the Big ‘Uns when needing low numbers, but that only delayed the inevitable.  In the case of the Big ‘Uns, they certainly couldn’t have taken another beating like they took in the first round against the Gors, particularly since they’d have to suck up all the attacks from the Gors first (at S5 thanks to Wildform and the Beast Banner).  For my part, I had good luck with the dice just where I needed it, starting with the ambushing Gors arriving in the first turn just where I wanted them, and continuing for pretty much the entire game.

Categories: Battle reports, Border Princes, Campaigns, Warhammer Fantasy Battle | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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