Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chaos Versus Ogres

I had not played the Ogres yet and was very excited about doing so. Well, okay, I played them in Warbands...but that doesn't count.

First off, Warbands is so limiting that you don't get a real feeling for what troops can do. For example, Tomb Kings desperately need mass Magic to be effective. In Warbands, the simply can't have it.

Second, armies that are small numbers are disproportionately punished in Warbands for bad rolls. If you only have 2 guys and one bad roll means one of them dies...well, every so often you are going to have a bad roll. There is no margin for error in Warbands.

So anyway, I was really looking forward to this game. Ogres have the strength to be a threat to Chaos, they have the toughness to take a lot of damage and with multiple wounds, they can strike back more frequently than a lot of armies. Plus, there is something vaguely disquieting about attacking a small unit of 4 models, wounding 16 times, and seeing half the unit stil standing there....

Of course, they also struggle to hit striking back due to their low weapon skill, they have such limited armor that they take wounds anytime they are wounded, and their missile range is pretty limited. (I mistakenly thought it was 12" except for the Hunter...turns out the Maneaters have 24" range).

So the potential is there for some epic close combat encounters.

I got a wild hair Friday night and decided to try gluing the Dragon Ogre Shaggoth without pinning, so a last-minute adjustment to my army was needed. Fortunately, Kev is an easy going guy, so the adjustment was simple; we each added 265 points to our armies which let me fit him in...well, okay, I gave him an extra hand weapon, so 275 points.

We rolled and I ended up with a 2000 point and he a 1500 point army. I think if it had been the reverse, I would have lived with it but A) the poor Ogres have yet to win a game and B) I did not want to Massacre him in a game where he had no chance which I probably would have done in that case...unless we altered the scenario to something like Ambush which actually just occurred to me when I typed that.

Oh well.

We really wanted to go a game under Lord-level characters, so we settled on 1750+265.

I went with the 1750 point list from this post and added the Shaggoth. Good times.

1) Get off a charge with the Knights
2) Win a challenge that allows me to roll on the Eye table
3) Do some damage with the Shaggoth

The terrain was interesting. On both sides we had hills, a small stream entered and left the field about the center on one flank, and there was another stream in one deployment zone. He won the roll for table edge and took the side he was standing on. I had to deploy first.

I had a simple plan: group my units of Warriors in the center, my Knights on the flanks, and my Battle Standard Bearer in the center, ideally within 6" of all of them so my entire army would be Stubborn leadership 8, giving them an 89% chance of passing any test.

So the first unit I placed was a unit of Warriors in the valley between the hills. He placed his Leadbelchers opposite them. I placed my other unit of Warriors a bit to their right...and realized I had already made a mistake.

I would have at least 2 units outside of range of my Battle Standard Bearer if I put the Knights on the flanks as planned. And I knew he had a Gut Magic spell that forces me to take Leadership tests and a magic item he could take that made those tests -3. So that could really hurt.

Anyway, I put a unit of Knights outside each unit of Warriors and the Shaggoth in the hole between them. The Battle Standard Bearer went behind the Shaggoth and my General joined the Knights on the right since he was loading up his left flank with Bull units. He had Maneaters in teh center, Gnoblars everywhere and a Scraplauncher. I did NOT see that coming. Fortunately, I had Wulfrik, 16 Marauders and they could enter from any table edge at some point.

I won the roll and chose to have him go first. I thought the max range he had was the Leadbelchers at 12" and as a result, I thought the entire battle would be fought from 12" or less (except the Scraplauncher).

Well, if he is within 12",I am within charge range with my Knights and Shaggoth, and not far removed from the Warriors charging as well. Therefore, having him move first meant I might have a first-turn charge.

He moved about everyone forward.

He cast the Gut Magic Spell that added Regeneration to a unit of Bulls on my right flank. Not good. My Dispel failed.

He then tried some other random spell but failed to cast it.

Then came my first shock: His Maneaters had 24" range and were able to shoot at my Warriors. No damage done.

His Scraplauncher had no Line of Sight.

Chaos Turn 1
I had deployed over an inch behind my center line which meant I was out of charge range.On the bright (?) side, Wulfric rolled on!

I was not ready for him yet. I wanted him to come on when Kev was engaged in hand to hand so I could flank or rear charge him. Now I had a choice: I could come on my right flank under cover of the stream to threaten his flank. That, however, would mean I was across the field from his General, which was Wulfrik's target.

Alternatively, I could come on behind his Scraplauncher to take it out. Again...I would be BEHIND the General and moving 4-8" a turn, probably never catch him moving 6-12".

His Yehtees on the hill meant I was in danger if I came on that flank, but I thought I could protect against the flank charge so entered a little less than half way on my left flank which allowed me to threaten his General unit. (Is it just me, or do I sound like I have studied too many chess games? 'He moves B2 to K4, threatening p3-p4, Q-R8 check, Kk5-Q1, KB1-K1 Mate)

My Knights on the right performed a slight retrograde allowing them to face the 2 or 3 units of Bulls coming over the hill. My left flank Knights moved to charge the Yehtees should they charge my Marauders.

Ogre Turn 2
His rear-most Gnoblars bickered. No big deal, they were blocked out of the action. He moved his Bulls on my right flank up to the top of the hill, a unit behind them, and his Butcher to their flank.

I THINK this is the turn his Gorger arrived.

He advanced up the middle with other troops but the Yehtees proved too far away to charge.

His Maneaters opened fire but again failed to wound any Warriors.

Then came Episode 493 in Warhammer things I find funny. His most effective units got into the action as the Scraplauncher killed a Marauder. First blood to...the Gnoblars?

Seriously? I have Chaos Warrios, Chaos Knights, a Dragon Ogre Shaggoth, an Exalted Hero, Wulfrik...Kev has Maneaters, a Tyrant, Leadbelchers, Yehtees...and the GNOBLARS draw first blood? Whatever.

It was pretty funny.

His magic phase gave +1 Strength to the back-up unit of Bulls on his left (my right) flank.

Chaos Turn 2
My plan worked to perfection. He was in range of mass charges. My Wulfrik-led Marauders charged his Leadbelchers in the flank. My Knights on the right flank charged his Bulls on the hill. My Shaggoth charged his Maneaters. My Warriors charged some Gnoblars maybe?

Well...ALMOST perfection. He did the one thing I did not anticipate...he fled his Leadbelchers.

I actually agree with the decision. He got no stand and shoot, I had Wulfrik and 2 extran ranks of Marauders hitting him in the flank, the failed charge meant he would flank charge with the Yehtees and frontal charge me with his Tyrant and Ironguts. He would PROBABLY rally with the Leadbelchers in the center of the field.

Well, anyway I moved my Battle Standard on top of the left hill so he would be within 6" of the Marauders and turned my left Chaos Warriors to face his Gorger. My Knights moved to get out of the gorgers line of sight.

On the right flank, my Frenzied Knights went to work. 16 attacks needing 3s to hit and then 3 to wound. Sweet, 10 wounds! Nothing to complain about there!!!!

Until he Regenerated 6 of them. Wow, already his less than 100 point Wizard has been more valuable than entire magic-based armies I have used before with over 1000 points invested in making magic powerful.

He then had just 9 attacks back wounded me twice. Needing 2s to save...I failed one. Awesome. I need worse saves so I can save 60% :-)

I still won the battle handily: 4 wounds + outnumber + Battle Standard to 1 wound + he needs insane courage. He did not get it, but his flee bounced through the second unit of Bulls whom I then hit...bypassing his Butcher and I think yet another unit of Bulls who would have had a charge if I was still atop the hill. All in all, that combat went better than could have been drawn up for me.

My Shaggoth went to work. With 2 hand weapons, he had a massive 6 attacks. 5 hit. 3 wounded. A Maneater died. Then the other Maneater wounded me back 3 times. At first we thought it meant a drawn combat but then realized the Shaggoth had unit strength 6, not 3, so I outnumbered him. His Stubborn Maneater then failed his test, broke and ran.

I caught him...and ended up right in front of the fleeing Leadbelchers. Hmm.

I think this was when my Warriors charged in, devastated his Gnoblars, but I don't remember. All in all, awesome turn for me.

Ogre Turn 3
His Yehtees did indeed flank charge my Marauders and then he made what, in retrospect, might have been a mistake. He charged his Tyrant-led Ironguts into the front.

Which meant Wulfrik could fight. And could challenge his Tyrant who, per Hunter of Men, could not refuse.

His Gorger charged my Warriors.

His Leadbelchers rallied. His fleeing Bulls...on my Shaggoth's right, but out of line of sight....also rallied. Uh-oh...

The Yehtees were awesome, slaying 3 or 4 Marauders. The Bull Charge killed a couple more. His regular Bulls killed one or two.

And Wulfrik, who consistently has underperformed, dying without wounding, went to work on the Tyrant. He saved both wounds, then went and wounded the Tyrant 4 times...who could save just one and, having taken a wound for some armor prior to the battle, he one-turn killed him! Yes!

I instantly said, "I forfeit, Kev wins via Massacre." I was really excited. About time something I looked forward to playing performed to expectations.

I finally got to roll on the table! I got a +1 to my armor, making Wulfrik better yet.

Still, I lost the combat by a handful. Fortunately, I was within 6" of the Battle Standard Bearer and passed my test, being Stubborn thanks to the Banner of Chaos (my own slight renaming).

Over on the other flank, it was more of the same. I had the charge, slew a couple Bulls, took no damage in return, he fled, I pursued...right to a couple inches short of his freshly rallied Bulls.

Meanwhile, his Gorger benefited from my "must declare a challenge" rule. Since he was alone, he could not deny it. Therefore, instead of having 3 Frenzied guys attacking, I had one...who, after taking 2 wounds, did not get to attack at all.

I still won the combat with rank bonus, outnumbering, and banner, but since the Gorger is Unbreakable, it did not matter. I would have to actually slay him to win. Good luck with that, let me know how it turns out.

Chaos Turn 4
Okay, my priority here is pretty simple. I need to make sure my Shaggoth doesn't get shot. Simple solution? Remember the Gnoblars that bickered? Perfect charge target. Here I go!

My left flank Knights charged his Yehtees. My Battle Standard Bearer could rear-charge his Leadbelchers or flank-charge his Ironguts. Since I would be outnumbered and not remove his bonuses, I went after the Ironguts.

So that was an intriguing combat; My Battle Standard Bearer was flanking his Ironguts who were frontally committed against the Marauders who were flanked by the Yehtees who were facing the Knights. Awesome.

The Knights killed 2 Yehtees and hurt the third, a Marauder wounded a Bull, Wulfrik killed a Bull, the Battle Standard Bearer killed a Bull. He could only kill one Marauder in return, he broke all over the place, my Marauders ran down his Ironguts, my Knights ran down his Yehtees.

I also, being under Frenzy, had to charge his Bulls. I killed one or two, he fled, I over-ran not only him but the other fleeing unit of Bulls. I had now taken out that entire flank except one unit of Bulls and the Butcher with one unit of Knights bolstered by my Exalted Hero General.

The Shaggoth slew 5 Gnoblars, but their rank bonus and outnumbering meant it was a drawn combat. Whatever. Run, you little nits!

With a nice 9 attacks needing 3s, I flailed away at the Gorger. I did not wound him even once. He killed 2 Warriors. I won the combat with static combat resolution. He laughed and decided to stick around for another round.

Ogre Turn 4
His Scraplauncher charged my Warriors. His Bulls began crossing my deployment zone towards my Warriors hissy-fit fighting the Gorger, supported by his Butcher. His Leadbelchers advanced towards my rampaging Knights.

The scraplauncher slew a couple Warriors, but my BSB meant they were stubborn. I rolled a 9...but they were close enough to the BSB to re-roll and passed. Every roll going my way.

The Leadbelchers finally opened fire. Something like 18 or 20 shots. 4 wounds. 2 not saved. I lost 2 of my Knights, finally giving him over 50% for them.

I killed 5 more Gnoblars and this time they fled the Shaggoth who chose not to pursue.

Again, I swung 9 times and this time 6 hit. That is better. 6 hits needing 5s...should do a wound or two. But whiffed completely with not one roll over a 4. His Gorger killed another Warrior or so and was eating away at my advantage.

Chaos Turn 4
I turned my Knights to face his Leadbelchers, turned my Shaggoth to get behind them, moved my Marauders and BSB to pin them down.

My other Knights started heading towards his Gorger/Bulls.

Only one close combat right now: the famous Gorger. And something weird happened this turn; I got a wound on him!

It only took 27 rolls needing a 3 followed by 5. I should have done slightly less than 6 wounds by this point and had done one. Hmm.

He, of course, killed another Warrior.

Ogre Turn 5
His Leadbelchers charged my Exalted Hero/Knights on my right flank. His Bulls moved towards my engaged Warriors. His Butcher moved forward.
I won the combat. His Leadbelchers broke and died.

The Gorger slew another Warrior.

Chaos Turn 5
Not much to do but get the Knights on my left close enough to MAYBE save my Warriors and seize table quarters. Oh, and charge into his Scraplauncher with Wulfrik and company who promptly did enough wounds to cause his Scraplauncher to break and I over ran it.

No wounds by the Gorger this turn.

Ogre turn 6
His Bulls got the rear-charge. They were too close to Bull charge, but killed 2 warriors. And with the least attacks I had on him all game, my last 2 Warriors killed the Gorger at long last. Inspired by their great feat....they promptly failed their break test and fled off the table. He pursued right off the table which meant he had exactly one model left on the table.

Chaos Turn 6
I charged his Butcher with my Knights and BSB, a tremendously stupid move.

See, I MUST declare a challenge. If he rolls well and I roll poorly, he could kill by BSB and all the combat resolution in the world won't save me. Fortunately, my BSB won the duel and took bloody revenge for him hacking down my warriors. It was a decisive revenge.

Okay, the Knights ROCKED this battle. One unit punched up with an Exalted Hero single-handed wrecked an entire flank. I destroyed 2 units of Bulls and a Leadbelcher.

Furthermore, when I destroyed the units, it led to fortuitous movement that took me out of range of units he had well-set up to flank charge me if I were held up for even a single turn. So I was very fortunate in that regard.

Getting the charge on his Maneaters allowed the Shaggoth to win a combat he probaby would have lost otherwise since just one of them was able to wound him THREE times. Of course, the Maneaters had to have been disappointing to Kev as they took I believe 12 shots without ever doing a wound.

The Marauders were good at protecting Wulfrik ad letting him actually do what he does best. IN combination with a BSB keeping them in the fight regardless of casualties, they were able to survive 12 casualties to deliver my killing machine to the places he needed to be.

It was cool rolling on the table even though the result was one I ended up never taking advantage of...but that is okay I was super happy to roll on the table.

The Battle Standard Bearer w/Banner proved well worth his points, even if he did not "do" the points worth. He kept my Marauders and Wulfrik around long enough for my Knights to arrive and take care of the Yehtees. He kept my Warriors alive long enough for Wulfrik to arrive and slay the Scraplauncher. All in all, he contended with Wulfrk and my Knights for MVP.

The Shaggoth did everything I wanted him to. He got into combat, did some damage, and generally controlled the center of the field.

Only the Warriors did not meet or exceed expectations. Taking I believe it was 5 turns to kill the Gorger was really, really pathetic. Of course, I was playing them wrong.

I thought I took the version with Khorne and...I am not sure what. I played them with that Mark and no upgrades. They should have been striking last with no Frenzy but with Strength 6. Instead, I had them striking first with Frenzy and with S4...but no other upgrade. Oops.

Still, Math Hammer suggest 27 swings should be good for 17.82 hits. 17 hits needing 5s to hit is good for 5.88 wounds. In other words, 3 - 4 turns at the outside should have been plenty. The extra turns were tough and ended up costing them their lives.

I would say this battle confirms a couple things. Needing 4s to hit, it was just too hard for the Ogres to get damage through.

As for my goals:

1) Epic success. The right flank Knights charged almost every turn except the first and 5th I think. The Knights on the left only got off two charges, but both led to Ogre disaster.
2) Wulfrik did the deed and got the roll. I am happy now.
3) Oh, yeah, the Shaggoth rolled. He destroyed a unit of Maneaters and a unit of Gnoblars. He did 11 actual casualties...1 Maneater and 10 Gnoblars. This is the type of result I was hoping for.

He is a fun model and I look forward to painting him.
The traditional "We won and survived" Photo op.

Overall, it was a pretty fun game. I think some tactical choices by Kev slanted the battle in my favor; he knew my Knights would have Khorne, so with a bit of patience, he could have forced me to charge Gnoblars with my Knights and, knowing I was likely to overrun them, set up one unit of Bulls to accept the charge and another one (or two) to counter-charge my flanks. That would have given him a starting static combat resolution of +2 (+1 for flank, +1 for outnumber) while removing my Battle Standard bonus and given him at least a chance. He had enough units to do that on one flank.

Then again, that is a trap that takes a lot of patience to put together and with the hill placement, it might have taken 2 more turns to set up. With my Shaggoth and Warriors advancing up the middle and my left flank having spare Knights, he might not have had time.

The Scraplauncher only fired 1 time, the Leadbelchers did not fire until the game was over, and that worked out in my favor.


Randroid said...

Interesting battle report.

A few pieces of inaccurate information (such as his Butcher costing only 100pts) but I like reading about other people's experiences with two armies I know well.

Would love to hear it from the OK player's point of view but if it went the way you described I can see several mistakes he made that cost him the game.

kev said...

I definitely made a few mistakes in that game. Some I realized right away, some after I read the report. The biggest one in this game was blocking my line of sight for my Scraplauncher. Since I had just gotten the model, I wanted to play with it more, but foolishly marched my other units in front of it.
I should have fled from most of the charges, but there were a few that I didn't simply because I knew that I wouldn't get away.
You're probably right about being a mistake charging your unit with Wulfrik and getting the ensuing challenge, but had I not received that wound from my magic item earlier I might have survived long enough to do some damage.
I may have also done a little better had I remembered that this particular item gave me a ward save and was not the magic armour I had been using in all my other games. D'oh!

(BTW, my butcher was only 155 points. 130 base cost and my utterly useless Bangstick which could get any of it's magic missles to wound)

Darth Weasel said...

Some of the things I see as possible mistakes may or may not be because they rely on how I would play it: for example, particularly against Chaos, I would spread my Gnoblars thin to provide a screen and send them up first. If they die, who cares? They might let you get the charge in.

Second, although the Maneaters did fire every turn, I only had to face the Leadbelchers fire once and that was after the game was decided. In a game where you had that many models, it seems possible with better maneuvering of them they might have gotten off one more round of shooting early in the game and still had time where it made sense to reload...not that their fire was devastating, but little things add up.

As for the charge into Wulfrik, I was mostly thinking the following:
1) The Yehtees were going to win the combat without being atacked back. They would not face Wulfrik until turn 2 and lots of squishy Marauders would be taking dirt naps, so you might win 2 or 3 rounds of combat. That would allow your General and Ironguts to help the Gnoblars against my Chaos Warriors, possibly getting a flank charge of their own in a turn or two or at worst, supporting the Leadbelchers or even the Bulls on the far side of the table. Or the Gorger.

He is a valuable piece that you might consider supporting a bit more. Currently it seems you use him to hold up tough units, but with some support, he could run some pretty powerful ones off the table...

Darth Weasel said...

Of course, all that again relies on you playing it the way I would instead of your style.

Randroid, sounds like you have a lot of experience with the Ogres. What tactics do you use with them?