Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Warhammer Warbands: Chaos Versus the world

The Starving Crazed Weasels decided to try some Warbands Escalation. Starting with 200 point armies, we were going to try to run all the way up to 500. So I frantically painted but was unable to complete any Marauders so I would be using some proxies. 

In just 200 points I was going to have to use Marauders in order to fit in any Knights. Per the rules, I either had to have a character of no more than 150 points or else a unit Champion. However, to get a unit Champion, I had to have a LEGAL minimum size unit instead of a 2 Cavalry or 3 Infantry unit.

Since Chaos Warriors cost a minimum of 16 points apiece after their mandatory upgrade, if I took 10 of them and a Champion I am at 172 points, leaving 28...not enough to fit in the requires 2 Knights. Actually, I could not even fit in one of the 40 point buzzards. 

At the same time, part of my army-building philosophy is to never take units that can't do anything. For example, Chaos Marauders have the combination of traits I try to avoid. To keep them affordable they have no armor, a strength of 3 and a toughness of 3. That means they are easy to kill. With no ranged weapons in the Chaos Army they are likely to get shot down while crossing the field. That means they are worse than useless; not only are they unable to accomplish anything, they are basically free points for the opponent. I am better off taking nothing than taking Marauders.

Of course, you could argue I CAN tool them up; give them light armor and shields (Save 5+), maybe the Mark of Tzeentch (6+ Ward Save). Except now they are over half the cost of a Chaos Warrior and, in the group we play in, unlikely to have a save anyway: the Dark Elves have Armor Piercing on their Repeater Crossbows meaning the save is 6+, the Dwarf army has Armor Piercing on their strength 4 Weapons meaning no save, the Ogres have S4 Weapons meaning the save is at best 6+: in other words, the points spent on tooling them up are essentially wasted.

Well, what I REALLY wanted to do was put some Knights on the table. I had 5 of them painted to at least tabletop standard, though I still have some highlighting and shading to do. But I really, really, really wanted to get some Knights rolling. I would rather roll out 5 Knights and lose than no Knights and win. 

But the rules forced me to put some Marauders out there. If I am going to have to use pointless troops and get limited or no Knights then I want to win a little bit.

So I went for an army that would be well-balanced enough to have at least a fighting chance against Dark Elves, Ogres, Lizardmen, Dwarfs, Wood Elfs and possibly the Vampire Counts based on who I thought might show up.  As it turned out, the V.C. guy was out of town, the guy playing the Wood Elfs had to work, and the guys playing the Ogres and Lizardmen were only there for a game or two each.

I started with my General. Since the cheapest hero I have is the Chaos Sorcerer, in he went, 85 points, level one, Lore of Death or Fire (I chose Death). 

Then I needed two core units. Chaos Marauders at 4 points each mean if I go 3 of each, another 24 points, I am up to 109. Cool, that let me fit in two Knights, the only models I REALLY wanted to play. 280, we were letting people have up to 203 points so I bumped one unit of Marauders to 4 and the other to 5 guys. 201 points. 

Game one I drew Kev and his Ogres. Uh-oh...exactly one of the reasons I hate Marauders. 

Lets assume I get 100 attacks and Kev gets 100 attacks. I have a higher weapon skill so SHOULD hit about 66% of the time, so I will hit him 66 times. I then have a 1 in 3 chance of wounding so 22 wounds. He has a 5+ armor save so will save 1 in 3 so I will do about 14 wounds in 100 attacks if all goes strictly according to statistics. 

He will hit me 1 in 3 times, or about 33 times. He will wound 2 in 3, or 22 times. All of those will kill me.

So I am doing 14 wounds in 100 attacks, he is doing 22. Each wound I cause goes 1/3 of the way toward reducing the number of attacks he gets whereas each wound he does reduces the number of attacks I get. See the problem here? I need way more force in Marauders to equal his Bulls. 

So for this battle, my Marauders will basically try to maneuver out of his way and let the Knights do all the heavy lifting. That is where Kev has the problem.

He will still hit 1/3 of the time. However, he then wounds just 50% of the time, let's round up to 17. I am going to save 5 out of 6 of those, so he should do about 3 casualties in 100 attacks. 

Conversely, I will hit 66 times, wound 33 of those, and he will save just 1 in 6, so I should do 27-28 wounds in 100 attacks.

Of course, these are just basic statistical models and as any competent mathematician will tell you, a sample size of 100 is ridiculously small and inaccurate. These numbers will be born out of hundreds of thousands of rolls, not over a short time. On to the game.

We had a small village in the center of the table, a river basically closing off one corner, and a tower opposite the village. Plenty of obstacles to make maneuver important. I won the roll to go first. My mission was Hold Table Quarter.

Chaos Turn one
I march everyone forward planning to hide behind the village with the Marauders (and occupy a table quarter with each of them), get off a little bit of magic, and when they got close, charge the Knights.

I did try to cast my Magic Missile. I used both allowed dice, rolled a 5. Successful...but dispelled. What? Magic failed? I...I...I...I just don't believe it. This has never happened before except every other time I have tried to use magic...

Ogre Turn 1
His Gnoblars bickered, so they stood still. Everyone else advanced a march move. He also wanted to get into hand to hand since he had no magic and only his Gnoblars had range.

Chaos Turn 2
Walk forward with the 5 man Marauders, move my sorcerer to the left to get line of sight on his Bull, move my Knights further left to either give me a flank charge if he ignored me or just plain give me the charge if not. This time for Dark Hand of Death I roll a 6 and again he dispelled it. Ah, Magic, how I love thee. Like a superfluous second belly button you are. Not really good for much and not all that attractive.

Ogre Turn 2
He advanced everybody and had one charge. He charged the Marauders with 2 Bulls. Rules Error: We forgot he had to have 3 Bulls for the Bull charge and he killed one Marauder with a Bull Charge, killed 2 more in close combat, I broke 7", he pursued 5. 

Chaos Turn 3
His breaking of my guys meant I had no charge. Fortunately (?) my fleeing guys rallied. Of course, standing 2" in front of his Bulls...did it matter? I maneuvered my Knights to get a charge hopefully next turn. Oh, and in case you wondered...I rolled a 7 (getting HIGHER!) to cast and yeah, he dispelled it.

Ogre Turn 3
2 charges. He Bull Charged the 4 man Chaos, 1 Impact hit, 2 more in close combat, I actually do a wound (!) in return, needing a 5, I pass my break test...RULES ERROR;when outnumbered by someone you fear, you auto-break. 

He also charged the remainder of the 5 man, they lost the combat, ran 5", he over ran 7" and they were done. 

Chaos Turn 4
My Knights finally charge. Then, Magic phase. This time, to save time, I did not even cast it successfully. 

First we do the combat of my one remaining Marauder. He actually caused a wound! I am highly impressed. Just 9 Marauders somehow inflicted 2 wounds. Of course, he is then slain...still, 36 points of Marauders did 24 points worth of damage...or 24 points more than I figured they would. On the dark side, his fast-moving Ogres prevented me from hiding behind the buildings which meant I could not control a table quarter...

The Knights actually did what they were supposed to. They kill one of his Ogres outright and the suffer no wounds in return. The remaining Ogre breaks and runs just 6". I roll my 3D6 to pursue...and roll out triple 1s. 

Ogre Turn 4
He fails to rally, runs 11". Everyone moves towards my Knights but stay out of my line of sight. Because of the direction he fled I cannot even see the fleeing Ogre. Great turn for the Ogres. 

Chaos Turn 5
Move my Knights to follow the fleeing Ogre (and prevent him from getting a charge) and move my Sorcerer back to also avoid a charge. And something very, very exciting happened.

I rolled a 6 to cast Dark Hand of Death...and he rolled Snake Eyes! Finally! A SUCCESSFUL magic spell! I now get to do D6 hits at S6. So I roll for how many...1. Then I roll to see if the hit wounds...and roll a 1. 

Let me just save time; the rest of the day in games against the Dwarf army, Dark Elf Army twice, Lizardmen, I do not again get a spell cast successfully even though  three of those games I had a level 2 wizard and was rolling the maximum three dice. Magic on my behalf totally sucks. Worthless. Wasted points. So depressing. 

Ogre Turn 5
He does not much, can't catch me, and his Ogre finally rallies.

Chaos Turn 6
I charge his rallied Ogre, kill him. 

Ogre Turn 6. 
Grabs table quarter. That is all he can do.

Final Results
He killed 36 points of Marauders. We thought he got 100 points for table quarter, but  re-reading of the rules says no points for Table Quarter unless it is your objective. Meanwhile, that WAS my objective and it turns out the minimum unit size is only 2. Unfortunately, he controlled as many table quarters as I did. Actually, with his Gnoblars in one quarter and 2 1-bull units in the other, he out-controlled table quarters 2-1. I did, however, score 108 points of damage for a final tally of 108-36 (which is different than what we thought at the time).

72 points, Victory belongs to Chaos.

Game Two: Chaos Versus Dwarf Army
We fought on the same battlefield. Again I won the first turn. This game was pretty quick. I simply moved my Marauders behind two different buildings to grab two table quarters and started maneuvering my Knights to charge his Warriors. He had a gun line of Thunderers and I had no intention of allowing them to shoot at my Marauders and did not particularly want him shooting at my Knights, either.

Meanwhile, he was maneuvering his Warriors to get the charge, so we did some hide and seek before finally he had to leave me line of sight to them for turn 5

Chaos Turn 5
By the time we reached turn 5 we were maybe 6 minutes into the game...INCLUDING setup. I finally got the charge.  Planning to support them, I move my 5 man Chaos Unit forward knowing they would be covered by the battle and also thinking I was out of range of the Thunderers anyway. Plus I joined my Sorcerer to them. Space Monkey passed his Fear test, I did two casualties to him, he did none in return but he did not run.

Dwarf Turn 5
Oops. During turn 5...well, a couple of my Marauders were exposed. He shot and killed 2 of them. They broke. 

In hand to hand I killed 2 more of his guys but he killed one of my Knights. This time he broke and I followed, overrunning him and running clean off the table. 

Chaos Turn 6
My fleeing guys rally, I forgot to bring my other Knight back on...not that it would have mattered. I was out of the firing arc of his Thunderers and could not contest the table quarter.

Dwarf Turn 6
He had nothing to do, game.

Final Results
We mis-figured it again* thinking he got points for the table quarter. I actually held 2 table quarters to his one and had chosen Invade so his points were 40 points for killing the Knight. I scored 126 for killing his Thane and Warriors, nothing for Invade. It was an 86 point advantage for me, another Victory. 

*(We initially thought he got 100 for the table quarter + 40 for the Knight + 40 for achieving his objective giving him 180 points which would have been a victory for him)

Chaos Victory, 2-0.

Game Three:Chaos Versus Dark Elf

This time we would be on the other table that had been set up. He had a hill on his side of the table, I had a forest on mine. I hid two units behind the forest, one unit on the right planning to overwhelm that side of the field. But I forgot how fast Elf armies move...
Once more I rolled Capture a Standard so got to choose my own. I knew the only way to win was kill his Sorceress fast so I chose Assassinate.

Dark Elf Turn One
He advances everyone up onto the hill. I see my Marauders will get shot down next turn.

Chaos Turn One
I start moving my Marauders over to hide behind the Forest. I know his crossbows will get 3 turns of shooting at them so they are just casualties. I put the Knights in front and move towards him as much as possible but he is too close for me to march.

Dark Elf Turn Two
He successfully casts a magic spell that kills both of my Knights and shoots down a Marauder.

Rest of Game
I have no chance of getting to him before he can shoot and magic me down so I just move behind the forest and will not move again. There is no point to him moving either so the game is over at that point. 

I thought I had a table quarter...well, he had one too. So he scored 80 for the Knights, an 80 point Dark Elf Victory.


We bumped it up to 300 points and again it was Dark Elf versus Chaos. At this point we had stopped taking pictures and notes, so this is largely memory.

I now had a level 2 sorcerer, 3 Knights, and 10 Chaos Marauders. He had a Bolt Thrower, level 2 sorcerer, and a couple other units.

The field we rolled meant we would start about an inch apart. His Bolt Thrower was on the corner as were my Knights. Behind his Bolt Thrower were 3  Repeater Crossbows and down the hill behind a fence were his Sorceress with that same stupid 18" area of effect spell and a few warriors. I had 5 Marauders and my Sorcerer to my Knights' left and the other unit behind them.

I won the first turn.

Chaos Turn 1
"Charge!" My Knights and Marauders declare charge. His Bolt Thrower crew failed their fear test. Depending on point of view...that was HORRIBLE.

If he stands and I get into hand to hand I should easily defeat him and either kill him outright or else overrun right into his repeater crossbows. I could do lots of damage right off the bat. Instead, it became a failed charge. I mean, sure, I marched up the hill and destroyed the bolt thrower, but it put my Knights and Marauders in the open in front of his Crossbows and within 18" of the Sorceress.

Dark Elf Turn 2
His fleeing crew failed their rally test. Again, bad for me. I could have charged them with my Marauders on the left flank the next turn but this meant they got out of my range. Then he cast his magic.

First he rolled 2 dice on the one that adds D3 dice to his pool. Looking back at the game he thought he rolled a 9, I thought he rolled an 11. Either way, with only 3 Dispel dice, I wasn't going to try to stop it. So then he had 4 dice, rolled them all for the Area of Effect spell. I planned to Dispel it but he rolled Irresistible Force. 

2 of my 3 Knights died, the other one fled. 2 of my 5 Marauders died, the other 3 and the Sorcerer fled.

Chaos Turn 2
Everyone RALLIED. Yeah.

Dark Elf Turn 2
He moved his Crossbows forward to get line of sight. His shooting missed. Oh, some good news! His magic did no damage.

Chaos Turn 3
I get the charge on his Crossbows, kill them, get to the crest of the hill. 

Dark Elf Turn 3
Not much happened.

Chaos Turn 4
I advance down the hill, too far away to get the charge. My other Marauders also advance.

Dark Elf Turn 4
Again he gets Irresistible Force. My last Knight died, as did another Marauder. 

Chaos Turn 5
At this point it looked pretty bad for me. I had my Sorcerer (who remember had cast 1 (one) spell successfully all day, doing a total of zero casualties. He had a couple small units and his sorceress behind a fence which meant I could not really get any benefits from charging. However, I HAD to charge or else sit there and let him cast magic. So I did. I charged even with no expectations. 

But then something happened. My Marauders killed a couple guys. He did no return wounds. He failed his break test and ran. I could not catch him.

Dark Elf Turn 5
He failed his rally test. He fled the table. Game over.

What? He killed all my knights, over a third of my Marauders, twice cast successful spells and I crushed him? I am confused.

Sure, him losing 1/3rd of his army in the first moment hurt...but that still shocked me. It was the first points my Marauders earned all day in combat.

Final tally: He got 130 for Knights and Marauders (ironically, the highest total scored against me all day). I got 300 for his army plus 60 for achieving my Assasinate goal. A Massacre.

At this point I was 3-1 with one Massacre for me and one against me (both against the Dark Elf army.)

Game Five: Chaos Versus Lizardmen
Fullur came over with his Lizardmen, pointed out that we had been playing wrong. He pointed out that, depending on your reading of the rules, we could NOT, in fact, have characters worth more than 75 points. It was 150 points TOTAL, not each. 

In other words, I could not use any character in my entire army since the cheapest one is a mere 85 points...10 points over the maximum allowed. So I had to retool.

Well, there was no way I was going with a Marauder Champion so I went with Chaos Warriors, a unit I typically eschew because they are too expensive for a unit that is unlikely to ever actually get into combat. 10 guys at 15 points plus a mandatory upgrade plus a Champion, 172 points. 

3 Knights, another 120 points. 3 Marauders 304 points. Due to my victory, I was actually allowed 310 so I added a 4th Marauder.

Facing me would be I think 3 units of Skinks, one of which had a Kroxigor in it, and a Skink Priest.

Lots of shooting by him, lots of marching forward by me. Somewhere along the line I lost a Warrior to his shooting so no rank bonus for me. I got the charge with my Knights on one of his Skin units. Their Stand and Shoot killed a Knight, the other two rampaged through his unit.

Meanwhile, he outmaneuvered me on the other flank and got a flank charge on my Warriors but also charged them frontally with his Skinks. 

I made all my saves, did back five casualties (this is the moment Fullur was talking about  where he gave me an unneeded advantage. He let me make a lot of attacks that I should not have gotten. As a result, both his units broke and fled. From there it was just mop-up and the game became a massacre.

Eventually his Kroxigor and Skink rallied only to be charged by my Knights.

Oddly, he out-generaled me in the maneuver phase. I typically feel I win the maneuver phases, but not this time. He made just one mistake...charging my front. 

For the day I went 4-1. Much better than I thought I did and better than I wanted to do. Oh, well. It was all right.

Ultmiately looking at Warbands I am a bit disappointed. It forces you to use units that have little to no capability and does not let you use units that are actually fun to play or, if it does, they are disproportionately penalized by individual bad moments. 

My Knights did perform fairly well. They wrecked the Dwarf Warriors, killed a couple Ogre Bulls, their Fear caused a Bolt Thrower to get destroyed. On the other hand, they were much more fragile than I anticipated, taking casualties in every game except the Ogre game...which, by the way, was the one I thought they wer most likely to take a casualty in.

The Sorcerer was worse than ever. I am seriously considering taking no magic at all in future battles since it never does anything. However, in light of the need to stop stuff like the hyper destructive Dark Elf magic, I think I will probably have to take some low level guys with Dispel Scrolls. 

All in all, it was okay, but I would much rather play games where I can actually have enough Knights that I don't have to fear I won't get them into combat if they take even a single casualty.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Learned an important lesson

I learned an important lesson yesterday. Okay, I fought the battle yesterday, I learned the lesson today, but leave us not split hairs.

Here is the set up, Darthweasel has a unit of 10 Chaos Warriors just outside the corner of a wood. I have a mixed unit of 10 Skinks and 1 Kroxigor on that flank of the warriors. I get another unit of 10 Skinks in front of him angled in such a way that I can hit him with my 8" range javelins, but because he will have to wheel to make the charge he will not make it when he tries the following turn.

I get my shooting in which does 1 wound which doesn't get saved. There may have been more wounds, but if so they were saved. On his turn he tries to charge and falls just short, so moves 4", lining him up perfectly for my flank charge. I declare my Skink/Krox unit is charging him in the flank and then I make the mistake that probably cost me the game (okay, one of the two). I then declare that my ten man skink unit will charge him in the front. I was thinking I wanted to get as many units in as possible and do the damage. I now see that Skinks should flee from any other unit in the game including goblins unless there is something else in the unit with them. You see, I started the combat 4 ahead. I got bonuses for flanking, outnumbering, having a standard, and having a rank bonus. He got no bonuses. I lost five guys from the 10 man skink unit and did nothing with my attacks. I may have done one or two had I remembered at this point that the Kroxigor has a Great Weapon giving his attacks S6, but I definitely won if I just left the stupid second unit out. All of my bonuses came from the flanking unit. Had I taken in that unit alone, the best he could have managed would be a draw. He probably would have taken the break test instead of me. He might have lost his unit to the overrun instead of me. I might have killed his commander and acheived my objective instead of him wiping out my army and acheiving his.

The morals of this story are two-fold. More guys in the combat are not always better, and NEVER EVER, under any circumstances, use weak units to hold the front of an enemy unit.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dark Elves vs Vampire Counts 750 points

Here's my first battle report! w00t w00t! Everybody dance now....!
It was April 11th, 2009. It was warm in the garage....too warm....I, kennyb, a noble druchii (dark elf), could sense a .....sense of dread. I could smell mold, like grave mold. I put on deoderant and the smell lessened. But then I could smell....mustard? I wiped my lip and the smell subsided, but that allowed me to smell the gas. Mustard gas? No..... Drew gas! Or Rick (Space Monkey) gas? The difference is minimal at most. Must be time for the battle!
Today it would be my 751 point Druchii force against the evil and ignoble Chris' 740 point Vampire Counts. I am going into this battle with a great fear knowing that only my "General Malus" and my Sorceress will be able to harm his ethereal units, and also Malus is most likely the only model in the army capable of taking out his characters in melee combat. That is a precarious and unenviable position to be in, let me tell you! My heart is racing before the battle begins and I'm perspiring furiously. Oh....nope. My nose was running and I wiped it inadvertantly on my arm, making it feel like perspiration until it dried, so I threw it at Chris. Ha! My weakness suddenly turned into a weapon, let's see how I do in the battle:
Here are the armies:

Chris's Grave Stenchy Ignoble Vampire Counts

10 Skeleton Warriors at 8 pts ea : 80/80 sub-total

10 Crypt Ghouls at 8 pts ea : 80/160 sub-total
3 Cairn Wraiths at 50 pts ea +Banshee upgrade at 25 pts : 175/335 sub-total
3 Cairn Wraiths at 50 pts ea +Banshee upgrade at 25 pts : 175/510 sub-total
1 Wight King at 75 pts : 75/585 sub-total
1 Vampire at 100 pts w/Lord of the Dead Ability at 15 pts, and Blood Drinker Magic Sword at 40 pts : 155/740 sub-total
For a grand total of 740 pts. Should have had another Skele there Chris!

kennyb's Noble Druchii Valorous Defenders of the Rightful King Malekith
13 Spearmen at 6 pts ea w/Shields at +1 pt per model : 91/91 sub-total
10 Crossbowmen at 10 pts ea : 100/191 sub-total
10 Crossbowmen at 10 pts ea : 100/291 sub-total
1 Malus Darkblade, Scion of Hag Graef : 275/566 sub-total
1 Lvl 2 Sorceress at 135 pts w/Sacrificial Dagger at 25 pts and the Pearl of Infinite Bleakness at 25 pts : 155/751 sub-total

So to open we rolled to see who would place the first piece of terrain. I won. I rolled a 9 for type which is a fence. I placed it towards closer to the side of the table I was standing on and near the table edge, hoping to use it for cover for my archers or sorceress. Chris rolled a river and placed it near the edge of the table to his left. I rolled another fence, and placed it next to the first fence leading further onto the battlefield. He passed. I rolled my final roll....a forest. Bleh. I placed it on the left table edge near me to try and keep it out of the battle basically. We rolled for terrain scatter and the items moved further into the field and a little bit more towards the side I was standing on. Nice.

Rolling for magic Chris rolled high for his spell (6 I think) and exchanged it for Raise Dead. I rolled a 1 and a 6, so it was decided for me completely! Luckily, I always end up with Chillwind anyway and Black Horror seemed like a good spell for this battle since he had some weak Strength units and it uses the large round template. Sweet! (Chillwind is a 24" D6 S4 Magic Missile that keeps a unit taking casualties from shooting in it's next turn {5+ to cast}, and Black Horror let's you place the large template anywhere within 18", and all models TOUCHED must pass a Strength test or suffer a wound, no armour saves allowed, and any unit suffering a casualty must take a panic test [no good against undead, but oh well!] {11+ to cast}. Thankfully, with the Power of Darkness spell, Druchii Sorcery (can use any amount of casting dice no matter what level the sorceress is), and my Sacrificial Dagger I figured I would get them both cast every magic phase, and he couldn't dispel that much power. We shall see.....

I won the roll to pick table edge first, so I chose the edge I was already standing on. The terrain placement gave me a good place to hole up my sorceress AND my archers behind fences, and the trees could actually shield Malus until the enemy got close enough for me to charge, at which point I planned on working my way out of the trees and flanking. I was hoping to riddle his troops with arrows as they advanced, from behind my fortified position, but I forgot about ethereals.

Chris won the roll to choose who placed first and chose to place the first unit. He placed his Wraith units in the front, followed by his Skeletons and Ghouls, then placed his Vampire with the Skele's and his Wight with his Ghouls.

In the meantime, I placed my x-bowmen, then my 2nd x-bowmen, then my spearmen, all in position to run up to the fences and blow him away. Then I placed my Sorceress with my Spearmen and Malus on my left flank in the trees, about 2" in.

We rolled to see who went first, me having a +1 from finishing my setup first (my 3 units + 2 characters to his 4 units + 2 characters). He rolled a....1 and I rolled a 6. Pretty decisive! I chose to go first, thinking I would advance as quickly as possible into x-bow range and hail him with black fetched bolts.

Dark Elf Turn 1

Movement Phase
I advance all 3 units straight ahead toward the enemy as a noble Druchii would, and it just so happens there was a defensive position directly in my path. Fate is kind to the true hearted. :)
Malus comes out of the trees so I am in a better position to charge when the time comes. I didn't want to get stuck in the trees at a critical moment.

Magic Phase
I get 4 power dice per turn, 2 for my lvl 2 Sorceress and 2 for my army pool. My first casting intent is to cast Black Horror on his approaching Wraiths. I roll 3 dice to cast and achieve a 10. Perfect! I love to kill my own troops so I do. I sacrifice a Spearman (6pts!) to roll an additional die and roll a 3 to bring the total to 13. That's sufficient so Chris rolls all 3 of his Dispel Dice. He rolls a 10. Success! I place the center of the template at 18" and it reaches....nothing! Oh well, it was close, and he used all his Dispel Dice. I cast Chillwind towards the same Wraith unit using my last Power Die. I roll a 3. Yes! I murder, I mean "Sacrifice", another Spearman and roll an additional 3 for a total of 6. Success! I roll a 3 for quantity of hits. 1 for each model in the unit. Fail the to Wound on the first Wraith. Success on the Banshee. Success on the second Wraith. Not bad. For 12 pts of sacrifice 2 spells that would have failed were successful, and ended up doing 2 wounds. I'll take that any day of the week!

Shooting Phase
I state my intent for all 40 of my Bolts (20 Repeater x-bows) to fire at the Wraith units. It is mentioned that I certainly may, but that THEY ARE ETHEREAL SO IT DOESN'T MATTER. Ouch. That's going to sting for a few turns! Half my army is useless until the Wraith Units are decimated. Oops. lol

Vampire Counts Turn 1

Movement Phase
Chris marched all of his army directly towards me.

Magic Phase
Chris attempts Invocation of Nehek with 2 Power Dice. Rolls a 4 (3+1). I roll 2 Dispel Dice and score a 5 (3+2). Great rolling from both of us. An average roll of 2.25 on a d6 (total of 9 rolled on 4 dice: 9/4=2.25). Chris attemps Raise Dead with his last Power Die and scores a...1. That brings our average rolls for this phase to a whopping 2. lol. Better his phase than mine!

Shooting Phase
Chris attempts to use his Banshee howl but is out of range.

Dark Elf Turn 2
The first thing I do is invoke Tz'Arkan with Malus. For the uninitiated, Malus is
Invoking Tz'Arkan gives +1 WS, +1S, +2T, +2I, +1 Ld, and Frenzy, with a result that looks like
A very nice stat line if I do say so myself. :)
The main reason I did it is for the Frenzy. I didn't want to fail a charge, and becoming frenzied lets the game take over that for me.

Movement Phase
Malus is within range (14" charge range on Cold One) of the left hand unit of Wraiths and so must charge them. Chris declares his reaction will be to stand and whimper (Banshee Wail). His wail is a 2d6+2 roll against my Ld of 10, with the difference being the # of wounds Malus will take with no armour save allowed. Potent indeed! He rolled a 7 I think, for a total of 9. No wounds! Im-potent perhaps...the poor Banshee must have had a sore throat or strained vocal cord...
I moved my archers on my left flank back 2 and 1/2" (turned 180, walked 2 1/2", and turned 180 back around) directly away from the Wraith unit and my right flank arhcers 3 3/4" (turn 180 and walk away) directly away from the other Wraith unit, hoping to stay out of reach of that horrible wail! I left my Sorceress where she was because I needed her on the offensive to have any hope of survival, seeing as her and Malus are my only models capable of even damaging the Wraiths in this army build.

Magic Phase
I roll 3d6 to attempt Black Horror again, and this time roll a 12 (6+5+1). I wanted to sacrifice another Spearman but since I rolled a 1 already, and the spell is successful, I didn't want to chance a miscast. So I let him live. But I did lurch at the intended winner (victim some might say) causing him to yelp in fear. The other Spearmen thought it was a Banshee Wail and almost ran him through, but caught themselves just in time. Chris rolled all 3 of his Dispel Dice and scored an 11 (5+4+2). Yes! The template covered his entire Wraith unit so all will suffer the wrath of the Black Horror! They only have Strength 3 so I figure 2 will wound meaning 1 should die! The first Wraith rolls a 5. Yes! 1 Wound. The Banshee rolls....a 3. No! It survives. But 1 more wound to the other Wraith would kill it... he rolls....another 3! NO! Oh well. 1 Wound is better than none!

I roll my final Power Die to cast Chillwind at the same unit again, and roll a 4. I sacrifice the wailing Spearman and roll a 6 to bring the total to 10. Success! I roll a 3 for the quanity of hits again, which is definitely acceptable. Roll to wound the first Wraith (needing 3's I think), a 5! Success. The first Wraith is DEAD! Roll to wound the Banshee...a 1. Epic fail. Roll to wound the last Wraith, a 3! Yes! 2 more wounds and 2 dead wraiths...2....dead....wraiths.....I'm sure there is a more "accurate" way of deading a dead, but hey, they are epic dead now! Unfortunately, the Banshee is the thing I'm most afraid of and the last man standing in the unit! Oh well. No complaint, just a healthy dose of fear!
Shooting Phase
1 unit of my x-bowmen fired 20 shots at his Skeletons that were exposed by the reduced size of the wraith unit. Needing 6's to hit, I rolled : 2 1's, 2 3's, 6 4's, 8 5's, and 2 (2!) 6's. Bleh. To wound, 2 4's. Both successful! He needs 6's to save and rolled...2 5's! Yes! 2 hits and 2 wounds. The to hit ratio wasn't great, but 100% hit-to-kill is awesome!

Close Combat
Malus rolls 4 attacks all against the Banshee (I really am scared of them!) needing 3's to hit. 2 hit. Re-rolled the 2 misses with Eternal Hatred and scored 1 more hit for a total of 3. 3 rolls to wound needing 2's = 2 successful. Re-roll failed to wound with Warpsword of Khaine and it's successful. He killed the Banshee! YES!! Go Malus! (I really, really, really, have high hopes for Malus and this is a great start for his career with me!)

Chris' Wraiths roll 6 attacks needing 5's to hit (WS3 vs WS7): no hits! Sweet! So Combat Result is he had 3 models at start giving him unit strength 3 to my 2, giving him +1. I got +2 for causing 2 wounds, winning by 1. 1 Wraith takes a wound.

Vampire Counts Turn 2

Movement Phase
Right Banshee moves 6" towards Sorceress. Right Skele's move in a wheel towards Malus's right flank. Vampire led unit on left wheels to move past the Wraith unit between them and Malus.

Magic Phase
Chris attempts Raise Dead with 2 Power Dice and scores a 7 (5+2). I roll all 3 of my Dispel Dice and score an 11 (6+3+2). Nice! He attemps Invocation of Nehek with his last Power Die and rolls....a 2! Awesome (for me)!!!
Shooting Phase
Cris's remaining Banshee draws a deep breath, aims at Malus, and...sneezed! She shouldn't have eaten that snake and maybe she wouldn't have sneezed Snake Eyes! Malus is INVINCIBLE!!

Close Combat
Malus's initiative trumps the Wraiths badly. I roll his 4 attacks and hit 2 needing only 3's. :(
I roll to wound needing 2's and roll a 1 and a 2. Re-roll failed roll to wound with Warpsword and score another 2. Good enough! 2 wounds kills 1 Wraith and wounds the other. 2nd Wraith hits me one time but does not wound. Wraiths lost the combat by 2 so the remaining Wraith dies! Malus Wins! Go Malus, go, go, go Malus!

I believe the battle is decided at this point. So far, I have done 275 pts to the Vampires' army with 2 characters, and my only losses are from the 3 sacrifices I made. I am in positon to flank the Skeleton unit containing the Vampire, my sorceress is free to go toe-to-toe with the final Banshee who is down to 1 wound, and my archers are going to unleash. However.... :

At this point we have another engagement to attend and so leave with the intent to come back and finish. I was unable to come back, but Rick (Space Monkcy) finished it out for me and won. Cris miscast with his Vampire and his head blew up, Malus finished off the remaining Banshee, and the x-bowmen and sorceress ate through the Skele's and Ghouls. My plan was to send Malus against the Vampire unit (he had a flank attack, so he had 4 attacks with re-rolls to hit and to wound, and his Cold One Spite had 2 attacks with re-rolls to hit, so I believe I would have squashed the unit single handedly and in a manner befitting the Which King's personal champion), have the sorceress finish off the Banshee and then move on to the Core units, and have the x-bowmen eat up anything they could see. Either way, I don't think Cris had a chance at this point.

A fun time for me, but Cris had been up all night working on his army and so came half asleep, and probably won't remember any of this. rofl

Thursday, April 16, 2009

750 Point Ogres vs. Dwarves

Well this is my first battle report so hopefully, it makes some sort of sense.


Battle Report 750 points - Dwarfs vs. Ogre Kingdoms

Dwarf Army led by Rick and Liam. (Rick was helping Liam to learn the game a little more so he'll be ready when his Brettonians come in. They therefore ganged up on me, but us Ogres don't let that stop us.)

Thane – Unsure of equipment/items other than a pistol.

Cannon & Crew

Organ Gun & Crew

19 Warriors with Standard Bearer and Musician.

10 Thunderers

Ogre Army led by Kevin

Bruiser with Greatskull (didn't know I was against the Dwarves) & Heavy Armor.

Bulls x5 with Ironfists and Light Armor, Bellower, Standard Bearer

20 Gnoblars

Leadbelchers x2

Leadbelchers x2


Battlefield really favored one side over the other with 2 hills and a village with ~5 inch spaces between, on one side of the table.

I won the setup and chose the side that made Rick and Lliam go to the side with all the terrain so that they only had a narrow field of fire between the terrain features.

Interesting note: Since I had no Butcher and Rick/Lliam were the Dwarfs. There was no magic phase on either side.

I place a unit of leadbelchers to the extreme corners of my deployment zone. One unit had LOS but was out of range of the organ gun, while the other had a hill between them and the cannon and the other hill between them and the organ gun. The unit of gnoblars was strung out to provide a screen for the 5 bulls and the bruiser who joined the Bulls. As the pictures show, have too many Gnoblars on the table. I found out later that the compartment in my army box had more than the 20 that were supposed to be there, so I took them off the table as soon as I noticed. This was before they had any attacks so didn't actually affect the game, other than maybe providing targets.

Rick/Liam placed their war machines on either corner almost at the table edge had his unit of thunderers in the middle with Thane attached, and the unit of warriors in front of them.

Rick/Liam won the dice roll to go first.

Dwarf Turn 1

Rick/Liam moved the Warriors the full movement straight forward to the hill in the middle. He fired is cannon through the gap and killed a Gnoblar and put 2 wounds on a Bull that was behind him from the bounce.

Ogre turn 1, I moved the Gnoblars up as close as possible to the hill that the Warriors were behind, position my Leadbelchers to be ready to fire on anything coming through the gaps in the terrain.

Dwarf Turn 2

Rick/Liam killed another Gnoblar but failed to wound any of the bulls behind it from the Cannon. He moved his Warriors up on to the hill towards the Gnoblar screen with the Bulls behind it. Took 6 shots with his Organ Gun and killed about 3 Gnoblars who passed their break test with flying colors.

(I'm still kind of new and I think I may have been reading the Break test rules wrong as I tested when I dropped by 25% of starting unit strength, when this should probably have been 25% of what the unit started that phase at. )

Ogres turn 2

My Gorger decided not to come in this turn and wait for a more opportune moment. I moved my Gnoblars up to put almost everyone within sharp stuff range against the Warriors and moved my units of Leadbelchers into a place where they could all fire on the Thunderers since they were elevated.. The first unit of Leadbelchers only got 2 shots, while the second one got 4 shots each. The Gnoblars Sharpstuff and both units of Leadbelchers still only were able to kill 3 Warriors total.

Dwarf Turn 3

Rick/Liam charges the Warriors into the Gnoblars and CC killed about 6 of the Gnoblars. They faced and passed another break test to stand firm against the Warriors. The Thunderers fired against one unit of Leadbelchers and gave 2 wounds. The Organ Gun put one wound on the other unit of Leadbelchers.

Ogre turn 3

I rolled in my Gorger and placed it as close as possible to the Dwarf Cannon (bottom left side of the picture). I left one unit of Leadbelchers to reload, while the others moved to prepare a flank charge against the Warriors. The Bulls/Bruiser unit moved up right behind the Gnoblars, preparing for their seemingly inevitable fleeing. The Gnoblars CC had no hits whatsoever in this round.

(This is where our photographer decided to ditch us and go play a game of his own. I can't really blame him, but none of us got around to taking further pics)

Dwarf Turn 4

Rick/Liam tried to kill the Gorger with the cannon by a 1” guess and ended up rolling something that was not a misfire. Measuring to the Gorger showed that it was only about 1” away so the shot would have missed anyway. He decided to detach Thane from the Thunderers and faced toward the Gorger. Shooting with the Thunderers killed one of the previously wounded leadbelchers that was hiding from the Cannon. Panic test forced the other in it's unit to flee about 5”. The Organ Gun tried to shoot at the Leadbelchers who were reloading but misfired, preventing it from firing this turn or the nest. The Warriors killed another 5 Gnoblars in CC.

Ogre turn 4

The fleeing Leadbelcher rallied. I charged the Gorger into the Cannon which failed the fear test causing the crew to flee through the Thunderers to their far side allowing the Gorger to pursue into the Thunderer's flank. The unit of Leadbelchers that had reloaded, flank-charged the Warriors. The warriors failed their fear test and ran away from CC by about 9” putting them far enough away to avoid getting caught.

Dwarf Turn 5

The Cannon crew that was fleeing rallied. The Warriors also rallied and decided to face the Bulls/Brusier unit head on by moving 1” away from them, downgrading a potential Bull Charge to just a charge, and leaving a single Leadbelcher behind them. Thane headed towards the Gorger to help out, but couldn't quite get close enough to it due to distance.

Ogre Turn 5

My Gorger fought against the Thunderer's flank and won the combat causing the Thunderers to panic and run, but the Gorger pursued 7” to their fleeing of 5” and took them out of the picture. I Charged my Bull/Bruiser unit into the Warriors, who passed their fear test and the close combat killed 2 Warriors. The Warriors attack back then put one more wound into the Bulls, finally killing the one that was wounded in the cannon shot from turn 1. Even combat resolution meant no break tests.

Dwarf Turn 6

Thane charged the Gorger and during CC put one wound on it. It's response was to wiff on each of the 4 attacks it had and do absolutely nothing back. The Warriors battling the Bulls/Bruiser didn't really do anything to speak of. The Bulls response was to kill 3 more Warriors. The Organ Gun was back in business and killed off the Leadbelcher unit that had flank charged earlier. Sinc it was so close to the Gnoblars it caused the unit to panic and move about 4” to the other side of of the Bulls/Bruiser unit.

Ogre turn 6

The Gnoblars rallied. The Gorger responded with some good dice rolls and got all 4 attacks to hit, and 3 to wound against Thane. Thane's armor save prevented one of the wounds his ward save prevented a second one but let the third wound through, leaving him with one remaining. The Warriors did nothing against the Bulls/Bruiser unit, but the Bulls/Bruiser were able to take out about 4 more Warriors.

Victory Points

After counting up victory points, RickRick/Liam had 110 points for a destroyed unit of Leadbelchers, 55 for a unit of Leadbelchers down to ½ strength and 20 points for unit of Gnoblars down to ½ strength. For a total of 185.

We originally thought he had a table quarter claimed because there was a quarter that had the Organ Gun and crew, as well as the recently rallied crew from the Cannon, but it turns out that a re-reading of the rules says that units with a US of less than 5 don't count for claiming them.

My victory points included 150 for the Thunderers that fled and were caught, 90 points for the Cannon that wasn't crewed at the end of the game, and 109 for the half strength unit of Warriors and 33 points for Thane being half strength at the end of the game for a total of 384. The difference of 199 points giving a Solid Victory to the Ogres.

Monday, April 13, 2009

750 point Chaos v. Lizardmen

Running Weasel's head came around. Had...had the Slann just moved? For generations it had remained motionless, so long that none remembered its name anymore. No matter, it was the job of Running Weasel and, for that matter, all Skinks, to serve and protect the ancient and wise Slann, even if they did not know his name. 

Yet now...yes, there it was. The faintest flick of his smallest finger. Knowledge filled Running Weasel's mind. He spun on his heel and hurried off to do the Slann's bidding. A swift gesture brought 2 units of Skink scouts to his side. 

"The Wise One tells me there is evil afoot in the land. Go forth, seek out and find the intruders. I shall gather what forces I can and come to join you as swiftly as possible."

Without hesitation the skink scouts headed off in the direction indicated. Wasting no time, Running Weasel summoned whatever Saurus warriors he could find. As they exited the village he saw a Stegadon returning from a training session. He gestured the handlers to join him and headed off to see what the incursion consisted of.

It never crossed Running Weasels' mind that they might be facing a vastly superior force. No, the Slann had instructed him to find and deter the invaders lest the invasion grow in size, so that was what he intended to do, regardless of odds.

Don Killemall glanced at the questioner. It was Paolo. "What do I know of this land? Nothing, Paolo, except there are enemies to slay, loot to be had. That is enough.

Suddenly he drew rein. Ahead he saw movement. "It seems we have been discovered. " He gestured ahead to where strange creatures developed out of the mist. He looked to the left where the Made Men, without waiting for orders, had already begun a flanking maneuver. He smiled inside his all-encompassing armor. Well, time to see what these enemies were made of. He had no need to know who they were, the fact they were not his men meant they were enemies. 

This game started rather rugged. To see who put a piece of terrain on first, i rolled a 1. To see who picked side of board I rolled a 1. To see who went first, I rolled...a 1. Ugh. My opponent, Fullur, was playing 6th edition Lizardmen. Initially I planned to go with the Wood Elf army, but feeling bad because Josh would again be the Goblins, I went with having him play the Wood Elf army I had designed while I hastily threw together a Hordes of Chaos. We were playing 750 point games. At the far end it was Kevin and his Ogres against Space Monkey and Liam, his acolyte, playing the Dwarf army. In the middle was Fixed Dice and his undefeated Dark Elf army against Cris and his undefeated Vampire Count army. I would be taking another proxy Chaos army. Meanwhile, Josh and his Wood Elf army would play one of the first two to finish their game. (Chad had a birthday party for his mother in law so was not there, thus making the 4th table unnecessary.

I took an Exalted Champion on Chaos Steed, gave him the Mark of Tzeentch (Level 2 Wiz, lore of Tzeentch), the Golden Eye (3+ Ward v. Shooting and Magic Missiles) and the Sword of Might (+1S) giving me a close combat monster: WS 7, S6, T4, 4 attacks, and a 2+ Save (1+ in close combat). For spells he scored a 2 and a 6. The six gave him I think Indigo, the one that makes an enemy character take a test of some sort or disappear; mis-reading Orange Fire, I kept that and got rid of Indigo in favor of Red Fire (Magic Missile, 30", D6 S6 hits, cast on 5+). I thought Orange Fire gave a Ward save to the entire unit; nope, just the socrcerer himself. Stupid, stupid, stupid. 222 points of lethality nonetheless.

Anyway, my first core unit was 4 Knights with Champion, Mark of Tzeentch (+1 power die), and Standard Bearer with Banner of Wrath (bound spell, 24", D6 S4 hits). 242 points.

Finally, I took 4 Chosen Knights with Mark of Tzeentch (+1 power die), Blasted Standard (Bound Spell Yellow Fire, grants unit 5+ Ward verse shooting) 262 points
726 points

Fullur had a 2nd level skink priest w/Cube of Darkness, a unit of about 16 (?) Saurus Warriors, and 2 Skink Scouts, approximately 10/unit, about 730 points.

The field was crowded with rough ground to the right, a marsh in the center, a building to the left. 

I meant to put my basic Knights in front, the Chosen behind them, and put my general slightly to the right. Instead, I put the Chosen in front in some sort of brain cramp maneuver, then attached my General to the other Knights.

Fullur flanked his Scouts wide right, but the other unit had no place to scout so went on the left end of his battle line. The Stegadon was to their right (from his viewpoint) and his Saurus to their right.

Roll to go first, after my mighty 1, he won and elected to have me go first.

Chaos Turn One
I marched my Chosen ahead to the left. Well...I say "marched" but for whatever reason had 4" movement in mind so moved them merely 8". Then I walked my other Knights forward...again, 4", not 7". Not a good start. 

No line of sight for the Chosen, Cast Red Fire at his Saurus, he dispelled it. Orange Fire passed, but since it only affected my Wizard it was kind of pointless. My Banner was successful since he had used all his Dispel Dice on Red Fire. So I would get off some key magic, D6 S4 hits. Except I rolled 1 for how many and then a 2 to wound. Not a good start.

Pointless magic my old friend
you've come to mock me once again
Wasted points I will probably need
to defeat the stegadon mighty steed

Lizardmen Turn 1
He advanced his left hand (from his viewpoint) Skinks into the march, walked his Stegadon and Saurus forward, and moved his Skinks on his right forward to get line of sight. He cast some Comet spell I did not like the looks of so I Dispelled it, and then his roll to cast a protective spell on the Skinks failed. Good to see the awesome power of magic works for others as well. 

His Skinks shot at my Chosen just 10 times in order to take advantage of the poison weapons (since multiple shots would move him to needing 7s to hit, then 5s or 6s to wound.  One actually hit which automatically meant he wounded. But I saved, so no damage yet.

The Stegadon big bow shot at my Champion-attached unit with his big bow but missed.

Chaos Turn 2
I charged the skinks to my left with the Chosen. He elected to stand and shoot. My other unit plodded forward another 4 inches. Good to see I had already not figured out my mistake...

My Blasted Standard went first, he used his Dispel Dice. Bwoohahaha, get ready for the power of Red Fire! Except...he had the Cube which auto-Dispelled it. Even worse, he rolled a 4 and ended the Magic Phase. 

In his stand and shoot he got off the multiple shots since he had not moved, meaning he again needed 6s. 3 hit, but needing just 2 or better to save, I saved all three.
In close combat it was no contest. Between my mighty Chosen and the horses, 7 skinks died. He ran, but not far enough. I pursued, hoping to NOT be in the Skink Priest's line of sight, but the 8" over run left me right where I did not want to be... and overrunning a 70 point unit with a 262 point unit was not unexpected. He would have liked to do at least one casualty before dying, but eh...whatchya gonna do when Chaos runs wild on you?

Lizardman Turn 2
His Saurus reformed to face my Chosen. His magic all failed or was Dispelled (I see a pattern here...) His remaining Skinks opened fire on my Knights. Needing 2 2s or better to save, I did of them. I had taken my first casualty. Fortunately, his Stegadon missed again.

Chaos Turn 3
I declared a charge against his Stegadon but failed my Terror test. Instead of getting my Exalted Champion and Knights into combat with a unit I really wanted to destroy, I fled towards the edge of the field, stopping less than 3" from the edge. If I failed again, even rolling triple 1s would mean I left the field with 464 points. That would not be pleasant...

Meanwhile, my Chosen had no line of sight, so simply reformed to accept the charge from his Saurus. With my General/Sorcerer fleeing, there was no Magic phase. Actually, that is not strictly true. My Bound Yellow Fire was easily Dispelled by his 3 Dispel Dice. Ironically, having no wizard was every bit as effective as having a Wizard and 6 power dice to go with 2 Standards.

At this point, things were looking pretty grim. I was one 9 or higher roll, or a 1 in 3 chance, of losing 2/3 of my army and was about to be charged by his best hand to hand unit. I was outnumbered and, with my Wizard fleeing, down to 2 Dispel dice.

Lizardmen Turn 3
To the surprise of nobody, his Saurus charged my Chosen. With my Knights so far away, he (wisely) elected to move his Stegadon towards my Chosen since he could not catch my cowards. He tried to cast the Portent of Afar on the Saurus but he rolled just an 8 on 3 dice which I was fortunate enough to match on my 2 dice. His Comet failed. Once again, magic does...well...nothing. Magic sucks in this game. Just sayin'.

His Saurus then unleashed a hail of attacks on empty air. He needed 4s to hit, had 10 attacks, and managed to score 2 wounds. But I saved both. I then slew 4 Saurus. Well, he had a rank bonus of 2 and outnumbered me so I won the combat by one. He needed a 7 to pass and rolled...a 7. Good rolling?

Not really. His best hand to hand unit, with all the advantage of charging, did exactly no damage to me. Not one casualty. His lowly 70 point Skink unit had done more damage at this point. The next turn I would have the first attack, he had lost one of his rank bonuses...suddenly it looked like he was the one in trouble.

Chaos Turn 4
Needing an 8 or below, I saw the first die drop on a 6. Uh-oh...the other one tumbled, rolled, sputtered...and dropped on the 2. Total of 8, I passed! 
I used my Standard to cast at his skinks. Fullur just let it go. At last! Successful magic! Here come D6 S4 hits on the weak little skinks. Roll for number...1. Roll for damage...rolled a 2. Wait...back on turn 1, did I not roll a 1 followed by a 2? Why yes...yes I did. Fortunately, this was against Skinks, so even the 2 killed one. Bwoohahaha, magic did some damage! I mean, sure, I spent 70 points to give my Champ the Mark of Tzeentch, 40 points giving it to each unit, plus the upgrades to standard bearers and the 2 magic banners, meaning I had, at this point, spent about 275 points on magic to kill one 7 point Skink...but it was totally (not) worth it! But wait, the magic phase was not over...Red Fire was cast with Irresistible Force. Bwoohahaha. D6 strength 6 hits. For how many I I even need to tell you? I rolled a 1. To wound? Yep...I rolled a 2. For a third straight time when I successfully cast something I rolled 1 for how many and 2 to wound. Oh well, I doubled the damage I had done. Now I had done 14 points of damage with my mere 275 points spent. Magic is TOTALLY worth it.

Orange Fire was again successful. Of course, it is also pointless. 

Close Combat is where the Hordes did their nasty work. I killed 5 Saurus, he could not even wound with his Spear 2nd rank attacks. He ran, the Priest, within 6", also ran, I over ran his Saurus. 

Final tally: 2 rounds of combat, 9 Saurus slain, no Chosen slain. Their point total was pretty close to that of the Saurus, but it was no contest.

Lizardman Turn 4
His Stegadon charged my Chosen. With his priest continuing to flee, there was no Magic phase, and my Knights were out of range of his Skinks.

This time I passed my Terror test. He did a whopping zero Impact hits. (He rolled 3 5s, but needed 6s) He did a whopping zero hand to hand hits. I Almost killed a couple skinks, did a wound to the Stegadon, he broke, I over ran him.

At this point I would be able to charge his fleeing priest, leaving him 8 skinks against my entire remaining army so we shut it down.

So what happened here?  After my third turn it looked like he was on the verge of completely massacring me. 2/3 of my army was at the table edge, ready to flee. The last unit was facing a frontal charge from his best hand to hand unit and the next turn a flank charge from a Terror causing Stegadon while his Wizard had essentially a free hand in the Magic Phase. One and a half turns later it was a complete annihilation the other way.

His poor rolling when he charged did him in. If his Saurus could have done even a single casualty when they charged they would have possibly broken the Chosen and changed the game completely. If I fail a 33% chance to fail roll, he can focus all the might of his army against one suddenly badly over matched unit.

However, his Saurus could NOT get the rolls they needed at a key moment and I DID get the key roll I needed at a key moment. As a result, he really had no chance.

Kind of indicates the Hordes may have been vastly over powered or else the Saurus were vastly underpowered. In the 7th edition book, we did a quick comparison of the new Saurus against the Chaos Warriors and think they have done some nice tweaks. The Saurus are cheaper, the Warriors more...and the Warriors are slightly better, but not so much so that the Saurus should be unable to do at least a little bit of damage. 

Hopefully next months game will see me have legit models assembled and painted and playing the actual Warriors of Chaos. We are shooting for a 2500 point game. I know Fixed Dice is excited as he has finished painting and assembling his gorgeous Dragon model, Fullur is excited to get his actual Stegadon model and some Terradons on the table, and I am excited to get Warriors on the table.

My preliminary plan is to have Galrauch as my General, a couple Sorcerers, a couple small units of Marauders to fill my core choices, and a couple units of Knights because, over costed though I believe they are in the new book, I love, love, love playing Knights. We will see how it goes.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dwarf Verse Chaos Game 2

Immediately following my complete humiliation, we refought the battle. This time he won the roll for set-up and had me set up first. So I put my smaller 10 man unit behind the ruin in the center. He placed his Thunderer unit identical to the first game. My 12 Made Men then went on my right, his Warriors opposite, and my General/Sorcerer once more joined the larger unit. I won the roll to go first. This time I have Flickering Fire, Pandemonium, and Infernal Gateway.

Chaos Mafia Turn One
I advance 8", veering my 10 man unit to the right, away from the Thunderers. 

Infernal Gateway requires  15: I roll a 13. But wait...I use Blood of Tzeentch to re-roll one die which gets me to 15, and the Homonculus adds 3. He fails to Dispel it!
I get 10 hits at S4. 6 hit. 3 Dwarf Warriors make their way through Deaths Door. The Banner of Wrath then hits unopposed since he used all his Dispel Dice on Infernal. Another Warrior dies. I have already done 300% more casualties than I did the entire first game! Woo-Hoo!

Awesome Magic my old friend
Grace me with your presence once again

Dwarf Turn One
Warriors move forward a moderate 3". His Longbeard Scouts about face so they will be able to flank me when I clear the building. Only 2 of his Thunderers have Line of Sight, take a couple pot shots, one hits, no wounds. This game is going my way!

Chaos Mafia Turn Two
This time I remember his scouts and know I can't march, even though I desperately want to. Instead, I only walk forward 4". Infernal Gateway never reaches the needed total of 15. With him having 4 dice, my Bound Spell of 4 is doomed as long as he can at least avoid double ones.

Pointless magic my old friend...

Dwarf Turn Two
Apparently tired of playing well, Space Monkey advances his Rangers into L.O.S. of my small unit and wheels his Warriors to better get in position to face my larger Made Men unit. This presents both flanks to me and I am excited. 

Since it closes off his shooting lanes, he retreats his Thunderers an inch and a half to buy more time should I win the combat. I thought he might be better served to wheel them instead, thus allowing ten guys to fire, but since I just lost a game by 1250 points when we started with 750, why would anyone find value in any advice I could offer? 

(Space Monkey would have listened, to be fair).

Chaos Mafia Turn Three
I unattached my Sorcerer/Don just in case there was a repeat of last game. Both units charged. My smaller Made Men took his Rangers in the flank and my larger ones hit his Warriors head on. I had sent my rule book home with Chad for him to learn the game, so could not remember if the flanked unit aligned to face me or not. 

Meanwhile, with both enemy units involved in combat, my only option for a spell was Pandemonium. Uh...yay? It was successful, which just meant instead of using the Thane's leadership of 9, the units had to use their own leadership of just 9.

Yes, that is sarcasm.

I finally get a spell off successfully...and what is the result?

Pointless magic my old friend...

On the bright side, it was time to try close combat again. Turning the flank to meet me or not did not matter.
As it turned out, I hit him 4 times, wounded 2, killed just one. He did nothing back, broke, and was overrun. (Forgot the Old Grumblers rule. D'oh! Doesn't matter...with me hitting him in the flank, having a rank bonus, and wounding him 1-0, he had a healthy -4 to his save, so he needed I think a 5 or less).

In the other combat, 9 of my 13 dice were good for hits. Needing 3s to hit, or 67%, that is actually about right. I wounded 4 (again, needing 4s, or 50%, that is about right, ever so slightly on the low side) and he saved 1 (real close to right; he needed 5s to save, so 33% chance:1 or 2 would have been right). Hey, when the percentages play out, I do real well!

His Thane managed to hit with all three attacks, but did just 1 wound and that was saved. His Warrior Champ could do no better. 

He broke and ran. I overran him. It is all rolling my way, now.

Dwarf Turn Three
His choice to make a retrograde movement meant even with a generous interpretation of the field of fire, he had but 3 guys firing. Of course, in those three he got 2 hits, and one of them killed a Chaos Made Man. After the first game debacle, this was my first game 2 casualty. Just for fun he dispelled Pandemonium. No real effect, but was something accomplished.

Chaos Mafia Turn 4

 Only had my 10...okay, 9 man unit of Made Men, but that SHOULD be enough. Dedicated instruments of death and destruction against weak Close Combat troops. He Stand and Shoots, hitting twice, killing one more.

I roll 11 dice in Hand to Hand. With a higher Weapon Skill, I need a 3 to hit. I should hit 7 to 8 times. I hit twice. I did kill one Dwarf...uh...yay? Pathetic. He cannot wound back. I have his flank, I have rank bonus, I have running Dwarfs, I overrun, I smashed him nearly as bad as he smashed me.

In game one, I did one casualty. In game 2, he did two.

I actually managed some more appalling dice rolling as I could barely do any Close Combat damage, even needing 3s to hit as opposed to him needing 5s (Mark of Nurgle), needing 4s to wound and him needing 5s to save. Magic was a little better, actually doing 4 casualties this game. 

Final Tally? Magic did 5 casualties in 8 rounds. Not even a casualty per round. Was it worth 35 points to upgrade to level 2, 65 points more in Gifts and Magic Items? Did nowhere near 100 points. 

Oh well. Regardless, the combined outcomes was very cool. Very evenly matched armies overall, even if the outcomes were each complete annihilation's. Fun games, and a perfect .500 record. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dwarf versus Chaos Game 1

Some new models purchased from Ebay arrived so after the song-writing portion of the day, Space Monkey tried out a Dwarf army I developed while I tried out a Warriors of Chaos army. At 750 points, it is not ideal for the high-priced Chaos army...but hey, the models were painted, I had an opponent, what else could I do?

The Dwarf army was pretty tight:
Thane with Rune of Shielding (2+ Ward v. Shooting & Magic Missiles), Master Rune of Spite (4+ Ward) and Rune of Stone (+1 to save), making him pretty tough to kill and "only" 152 points.

10 Thunderers with the nasty Dwarf Handguns. I did give them shields, giving them a 5+ save. (150 pts)

17 Dwarf Warriors with Veteran, Musician, and standard bearer. (202 points)

13 Longbeard Rangers with a veteran, Musician, and Standard Bearer with Runes of Battle (+1 to combat Resolution) and Stoicism (Count as double strength). This unit has the Scout rule, 248 points. 
Total:752 points.

Facing them would be my most awesome, newly arrived Mafioso Evilosa
Led by a Mafia Don with Treason of the Mob, Call to Glory, and Flickering Fire. With a Spell Familiar and Conjoined Humonculus I figured to get off some good magic. 205 points.

10 Mafia Made Men with a Champion, Standard Bearer with Banner of Wrath, Mark of the Capo (-1 to be hit by shooting, -1 to be hit in Close Combat), and a shield giving them a 3+ Save verse Shooting and 2+ in close combat. 253 points. 

12 Mafia Made Men as above except with Musician and Blasted Standard (5+ Ward verse shooting), 292 points.

750 points. Yes, a 2 point deficit :-)

Space Monkey built a completely symmetrical field with ruins in the center, trees to my left and ruins to my right (and the reverse for him).  I won the pre-game set-up roll and elected to set up a unit first, thus completing set-up first. Good and bad decision...I unwisely set up my larger unit first on my left in the open, thus allowing him to plant his Thunderers opposite them. My smaller unit went on my right and he planted the warriors opposite them. I then put my General in the center of the larger unit to my left and he put the Thane in his Warriors, then put his Longbeards behind the central ruins. 

We then rolled for turn. We both rolled 2s, but since I finished setting up my units first, that meant I won. Bwooohahaha, my error paid off!

Chaos Mafia Turn One
Basic. March forward 8". Try to cast Treason of the Mob (enemy unit attacks itself). My roll was high enough after re-rolling one die with Blood of the Mob and adding 3 with the Conjoined Homonculus but the Dwarf magic resistance dispelled it. 

Dwarf Turn 1
His Warriors marched forward the full 6" and his Thunderers fired at my Warriors. Three hits led to 2 wounds of which I could save just one. I took my first casualty. 

Chaos Mafia Turn Two
My Made Men on the right advanced just 3". Here was my thought: we started 24" apart. I moved forward 8", leaving 16". He moved forward 6" leaving 10, 2" too far for me to charge. If I marched 8 he would get the charge. If I moved forward 3", it should leave 7"...too far for him, perfect for me.
Meanwhile, my Made Men on the left advanced a full 8". I suspect this was illegal in retrospect as I think I might have been within 12" of his Rangers but that just now occurred to me as I typed this. *sigh* So much to remember.

This time I was successful in casting Treason of the Mob on his Thunderers. They would attack themselves. Excellent! Needing 4s to hit, 4s to wound, and 5s to save, I figured he would lose 2 -3 and perhaps need a break test. Perfect! 

Until only 2 of his guys hit themselves and neither wounded. 

Dwarf Turn 2
No movement.
Thunderers hit 3 times, wound 2. One I Armor saved, one I Ward Saved. Sweet! They are working they way they are supposed to. Shooting and Magic are about the same.

Chaos Mafia Turn 3
I announce two charges. The Made Men on the left had his Rangers in sight and made it with an inch to spare. Good, that was the one I was worried about. I almost didn't bother to measure on the right since, as seen above, I was a solid 1" within range. But I did measure...and was about a quarter inch short.

Somewhere my math went wrong. Either I set up too far back or he did. Either way...I was short! Because of the nature of people we are, he offered to allow the charge to hit home and I refused.

Oh, well. I did cast "Call to Glory" on my unit on the left, but he used all 4 of his dice to Dispel it, thus letting the Blasted Banner hit his Warriors. Well...sort of. I rolled a 2 for number of hits, then failed to wound. 

Pointless magic my old friend...

But at least I had some close combat. With him being 6 wide, I had 5 guys with 2 attacks each and one with 3. My Sorcerer/General (yeah, I close combat, he can't cast. Oops) did wound one, but it was saved. My warriors?2 wounds, , 1 save, but 1 kill...

except then we remembered his save was one better in close combat. Re-rolled and he saved both. 

Yep, my awesome hand to hand unit, with full force, just did a combined ZERO casualties. 

On the bright side, I saved his paltry wound. 

So let's see...equal rank bonuses, both have Banners, both have musicians,, wait, he has that rune giving him +1 Combat resolution. My warriors broke. At least I had not waited 14 years to put a premier hand to hand unit into combat only to see them break at the first sign of resistance...these broke just a week into my desire to play them.

And ran 5". Fortunately, he only pursued 2. Would have been more fortunate if this occurred on his turn...

Dwarf Turn 4
He declared 2 charges. On my left, his charge into my fleeing unit overran them and destroyed them.  But hey, look at the bright side...his Warriors charged by other Made Men. Here we go.
His Thane hit just one time and could not wound. His Warriors hit twice, zero wounds. With the Mark, they needed 6s. Excellent, my plan was working.

I struck back. 9 Hits. Now we are getting somewhere. Of course, only 3 of those wounded. And he saved all 3. 

He had a rank bonus of 2. I had a rank bonus of 1. He won the combat by 1. I had a leadership of 8, now modified to a 7. I rolled an 8. He overran me.

He wiped out my entire army in four turns. 

I did a total of 1 (one) one casualty in the entire game. Three magic phases. 2 Hand to Hand combat rounds with 9 of "the best hand to hand core units in the game" and a mighty Champion. 
One casualty. 


Check out the picture above: that is the casualties experienced by each side during the game.

Space Monkey asked if this happened to me often. 

I remember when I was about 10 playing a game of Risk where my opponent had Quebec and Peru. I went against each of those with almost 20-1 numerical superiority in each case...and lost both. 

Since then I have never had anything remotely close. I lose occasionally, but it is always a close game. I have never, ever, ever lost by over 1000 points in a 750 point game. (I did 17 points to him; he did 750, + captured 2 banners for another 200, plus would get 3 table quarters for a total of 1250 points to zero). 

So here is the traditional picture of the survivors. Considering the bloody nature of the battles we typically fight, this is pretty unusual to see...complete units.

If that is not the definition of a Massacre, I don't know what is. My Banner of Wrath did the only casualty I caused in the entire game.

I suppose you could argue my set-up was flawed in allowing his Thunderers to shoot. I would buy that argument much more if it had ANY impact on the outcome. He shot down one guy. That guy did not remove a rank bonus, did not cause a test, or in any way affect the outcome. Ironically, it was one of only two actual kills in the entire game.

I broke in two hand to hand combats without ever taking a casualty in either. 

*Sigh*. 2 failed break tests wiped out my once-proud Mafia. Time for a re-match.