Saturday, October 24, 2009

Warriors of Chaos verus Lizardmen



Brought in my 2250 point no Special Character, no Dragon list. First up (and ultimately only up) I would face the mighty Lizardmen.

Our field had a tower in one corner and forest in the other in one deployment zone. In the right center of the field (from the side I would eventually get to choose) was some very difficult ground protected by some hedges. Meanwhile, in what would be my deployment zone were a hill on the right and shallow stream on the left.

This would ensure a compact deployment in the center of the field for me. With 6 units, some would be deployed behind others due to the crippling nature of the stream on one flank and rough ground on the other.

Ultimately, I decided to anchor one flank with Shaggy (my Dragon ogre Shaggoth, who has developed the unfortunate habit of dying every single game) and the other with 3 Dragon Ogres, a unit I was trying out for the first time. This gave me M7, S7 or S8 models on each flank, so monsters held no fear for me. Then I had to decide; the infantry blocks I desperately wanted to get into battle in front and the mounted troops behind or the Marauder Horsemen and Knights in front and the Marauders and Chaos Warriors behind. I honestly did not know which I would choose until I dropped the Horsemen in the left front of my line.





This basically locked me in to putting cavalry in front. Lizardmen armies essentially have to fight battles from 12" in due to their short range in firepower. So I could charge after they shot.

Meanwhile, Fullur spread a skink skirmish screen across his front, temple guard with Slann in the middle flanked by big Saurus blocks on each side, backed up by an Engine of the Gods and a unit of Terradons. Finally, he put a Skink Priest and small unit of Chameleon Skinks by the tower on my left flank.



By the way, about this point I wished I had gone with an early permutation of the list involving 3 blocks of infantry, 2 Marauders and 1 Warriors that I discarded for need to include a scroll caddy. I would love to have a game where Marauders go against Saurus and Warriors against Temple Guard. Oh, well.

He won the roll and elected to go first.



Lizardman Turn 1

He advanced the skinks a rather interesting 5", the 3 infantry blocks moving up 4". The Chameleon Skinks marched into the rough ground and his Skink Priest showed he could fly, heading to the stream on my left flank for cover.

The Terradons, for the express reason that, "because they can and I think it is fun", flew into the forest. This, by the way, is the type of play that makes me love our Team Starving Crazed Weasels gaming group. It really had no bearing on the outcome, but did reference and earlier rules discovery and discussion, and added some "color" to the game in a fun way.



He starts throwing magic around; gets off the spell allowing d3 re-rolls, adds 2. Then the skink on the Engine cast Celestial Shield on the Skink Screen. I had nothing it would affect, but he did not know that. Then the Slann cast Guardian Light with irresistible force. Had he not done so, i would have used a scroll, because psychology was going to matter I think.

He then casts Burning Gaze at Shaggy, but rolls a measly 3. He picks up the 1 and re-rolls it using one of his 2 re-rolls...and rolls a 1 again. Shrug, pick up the "2", re-roll it...and it is a 2. Yeah, that helped...and really set the tone for a game that would be full of wacky rolls and goofy but fun moments.

No shooting, he passes the turn.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 1

Mithridates (my General) sends the Marauder horsemen off to the left flank...and I make a serious mistake. I thought about going after his Skink Priest, but then remember how deadly Chameleon Skinks are...scratch that, WERE in 6th edition and go after them.

I have not used much Fast Cavalry, so think I hit on 4+ all the time more or less, forget to make it 1 harder for them being Skirmisher and a further -1 for being Chameleons. I roll 4 dice, 1 wounds, he is down a Chameleon.

Everyone else marches up the gut, though not their full range, most about 6-7". Like chess, I control the center of the table and am out of his charge range...except the Skinks who I will happily let charge me if they choose.

I then roll my 3 Power Dice trying to Dispel Guardian Light, needing an 8...and roll a 7. More on this in the next magic phase.

Lizardman turn 2

The Skinks advance to get in good shooting position on the Chaos Knights, the Chameleons advance to get close to the Marauder Horsemen. He advances the 2 Saurus units, but leaves the Temple Guard, trying to draw me in and get some flank charges.

His terradons fly over the Dragon Ogres, landing right behind them on my right flank.

His Skink Priest on my left flank continues to wreak havoc behind my lines, flying behind the Marauder Horsemen.



Magic

This time, he remembers to have the Engine of the Gods make the Lore of Heavens one easier5 to cast. Ironically, had he remembered this in the first turn, nothing else would have been successful for him...but my Dispel attempt would have succeeded. So his "error"worked to his advantage.

The Skink on the Engine tries the lethal Comet of Cassandra next to my Knights, but the casting score is not high enough. The Flyink Skink casts 2nd Sign, this time adding 1 re-roll...but taking 2 dice to do it. Another intriguing moment.

The Slann tries Burning Gaze against the Dragon Ogres, I roll dice and Dispel it.

In the shooting phase, the Chameleons twice wound the Marauder Horsemen, and I save but one, taking my first casualty.

Then his 10 skinks fire on my Knights...and fail miserably, garnering not a single hit. His Terradons will make up for it.

Not with their rock-dropping; they drop 8 rocks on the Dragon Ogres. Only 3 hit, just one wound goes through. But he then throws his Javelins,hitting 4 times, uses the re-roll which fails, of the 4, 3 wound, I save just 1 and take 2 wounds on my trial unit.

Chaos Turn 2: Time to get down to business

I turn Shaggy to charge the skinks, knowing they will flee and I will end up in his Saurus furthest off to my right. The Dragon Ogres, having circled the fence, charge, catching his Saurus flank. The Knights, having the Banner of Rage, have Frenzy and also charge the skinks.

And he makes the interesting (and probably correct) decision to let me hit his skinks, thinking it will redirect the charges, I think. *

This time I send my Marauder Horsemen after the flying skink. My Magic phase is short; I dispel the Remains in Play Celestial.



The Marauder Horsemen are deadly. Of my 4 attempts, needing 5s, 3 hit and all 3 wound...his priest is dead.

While the skink had done no actual damage, he had been a headache, as I thought he could use the skink to hit me with a magic missile cast by the slann, which could have hurt, coming from behind. Later conversation indicates this may not have been possible,...but it affected my thought process. The Marauder Horsemen were proving their worth!

Also, the possible worth of cheating...I think his Priest was in the stream, and if so should have benefited from a -1 to hit for soft cover. D'oh! My Horsemen look good when I play by my own rules....

Anyway, the mighty Shaggoth reels off his 5 attacks...and only 2 hit, though both do slay skinks. The Knights have a mighty 19 attacks, need 3s...and hit 13 times. The 7 dead skinks, horses finish them off, over-run...and the re-direct has mixed results.

Shaggy hits his Temple Guard head on, not getting into the juicy Saurus combat. The Knights hit the Saurus head-on...and since that is a fresh combat which has not been fought this turn, they get to immediately fight another combat, pursuant to the (cheesy) rules since the Dragon Ogres had yet to take their turn.

This just in, Knights are AWESOME and when they get to fight twice a turn, bad things generally happen for the enemy.

Mithridates challenges, the Saurus champ accepts, for the first time ever I get overkill, hitting just half of my attacks, but all 3 wounding unsaved. The other Knights kill 5 more Saurus, the horses kill another; Diphratus (the army Battle Standard Bearer) kills 2 more, the Dragon Ogres go 5 for 5, hitting 5 times and killing 5. That is a whopping 16 dead Saurus in one turn. He flees, the Dragon Ogres follow and catch him while the Knights...well, they run into the Shaggoth and stop right there.



Furthermore, the angle they are at combined with the width of his base means they will not be able to charge the Temple Guard next turn.

This was a very mixed turn for the Lizardmen. On the one hand, they lost a unit of Skinks and a unit of Saurus, and Shaggy got the charge on the Temple Guard.

On the other hand, ONLY the Shaggoth hit the Temple Guard, the Knights and Dragon Ogres are out of position, and my Warrior and Marauder blocks are still half way across the table.

Lizardman Turn 3
This was his most effective turn of the game, and it cost him heavily. (When I posted the photo below, I noticed how heavily...had I not moved the Knights, he very well might have flank charged THEM instead of Shaggy...which changes everything said below)



He moves the Engine of the Gods into ideal position. They are behind the Dragon Ogres, no charge there. He is close to the Shaggoth, who is locked in combat with the Stubborn Temple guard (who have a re-roll, making them effectively Unbreakable). Finally, he is close to the Chaos Knights, but because of positioning, the Shaggoth keeps them from chargin. In other words, his Burning Alignment will hit my 3 best units...and the Knights include my General and Battle Standard Bearer...while being in no danger himself.


Furthermore, he flies his Terradons behind my Knights for some fun little poison javelin throwing action.


He does make one choice I might have done differently; his remaining Saurus unit has a choice between dealing with my Marauder block or re-forming to flank charge Shaggy.
I personally would have gone after the Marauders; the Saurus would have forced them to choose between going with Shield for a 5+ save after strength modification, but only wounding on 5+, or having no armor but using their Great Weapons to wound on a 3+. Either way, the Saurus will have a chance of striking the Marauders and doing lots of wounds which force break tests.

At the same time, if he can break the Shaggoth, he will flank the Knights and possibly win by Static Combat Resolution.

I think he underestimated the power of a Stubborn with re-roll LD9 model and he later admitted as much.

Be that as it may, they reformed to get the flank charge next turn and the Chameleons moved forward.

Now for the magic phase, where he effectively lost the game...by being successful.

The Engine went with Burning Alignment and it was brutally effective. The Dragon Ogres take 3 wounds, killing one and leaving a second with just 2 wounds left. It doesn't touch the Shaggoth...but it does wonders against the Knights.

I had a large unit of 6 which, when the 3 characters were included, was really too wide because for some inexplicable reason, I went 8 wide with them. This made them hard to maneuver. It was a mistake. Fullur corrected that for me, killing 3 Knights with Burning Alignment.

Now, on the one hand, that was brutal. I just lost half of a 355 point unit in one moment with no way of stopping it or saving against it. It was proof to me of just how good the Engine is against my armies (seeing my Dragon Ogres going down did not hurt with that perception...they were taken specifically to deal with stuff like the Stegadon).

On the other hand, taking 2 Knights off one end and one off the other end...meant I now was not blocked off by the Shaggoth. So his greatest success turned into a Pyrrhic victory. I almost named my General Pyrrhus instead of Mithridates...oh, the irony.

Well, after seeing that damage, I figured this was going to be a key turn in the game. If he could break the Knight unit, it would mean the Shaggoth would probably run as it was the Standard that made him stubborn and with "only" 5 attacks, facing a unit with 3 ranks, outnumbering, unit standard and BSB in the Slann/Temple Guard, he was guaranteed to lose every combat even if he killed with every attack so it was vital to keep him next to my standard. I could not afford for it to run.

The Skink Priest on the Engine, emboldened by the carnage he had wreaked, unleashed Uranon's Thunderbolt on the hapless Knights...another d6 S5 hits with no armor save? Uh-oh...but he failed to meet the casting roll. Whew. Relief.

He cast some Blinding spell that would reduce the Shaggoth's attacks to WS1. I used my first Dispel Scroll. (probably a mistake:I should have saved it for Uranon or the Comet). He cast the lighter Magic Missile and I used all my dice to Dispel it. He then failed to cast Guardian Light and I used my last Dispel Scroll to stop Cleansing Flare.

Which left him plenty of dice to try the Comet which, to my tremendous relief, failed to get cast.

So magic was survived in what I thought would be the key turn.
His Chameleons then wound my Marauders thrice (including 2 with poison), I fail 2 tests and see a couple of them die.

The Terradons only get one poison attack through on the Knights which I save.

The Engine, still flush with success, poisons my Dragon Ogres twice, I save neither, and he kills a second Dragon Ogre in the same turn.

On to close combat. Shaggy goes ballistic, hitting 4 times and killing all 4, leaving only his unit Champion to attack back. The Champ shows why he is a champ, hitting three times and wounding twice, neither of which I can save. I then roll a 10...fortunately, my BSB is right there so I get to re-roll, and this time pass handily.
The Battle Standard Bearer paid for himself right there.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 3
No longer impeded by the Shaggoth, the Knights have a choice; flank charge the Temple Guard or go after the Engine. I do not want the Engine roaming around casting Burning Alignment, so I choose that.

I continue advancing my Marauder and Warrior blocks up the center of the table, my Marauder Horsemen ride over to reintroduce themselves to the Chameleon Skinks, and now they are inspired.

This time I DO take into account the penalties for Skirmishing and being Chameleons...and in 3 shots, score 2 6s, both of which then kill Chameleons.

Epic Close combat:last time I got into combat with a Skink Priest on an Engine, I had a daemon Prince with 5 WS8 attacks at S5. In 10 total rounds of combat (9 consecutive) I did a combined 1 wound. I never did wound his Stegadon or any skink rider. So I knew this wound be tough.

Fortunately, Mithridates was tooled up. He had 6 attacks with Frenzy, all would hit on 2+, wound on 2+ with a -3 to armor save, and on any failed wound, the Skink would have to pass a toughness test or else die...and do a S4 wound to everyone on the Stegadon. I liked my chances.

Of course, I then hit slightly less than true percentage, getting three hits through. Unsurprisingly, I wound all 3 times. He rolls three dice needing 5s to save...and saves them. All three. Every. Stinking. One.

What? Does taking a measly skink and throwing him onto a Stegadon give him the special rule, "Darth Weasels' killing machines cannot harm you, ward save 0+, cannot be modified in any way"? SO FRUSTRATING!

But not as frustrating as poor Fullur found it. Because my Chaos Horse, with just the 2 attacks, hits. Now, needing 3s to save....he fails them both and his Skink Priest dies, removing the Burning Radiance with it.

Whatever. Mithridates cannot touch you, but a weedy mount takes you down?

My Knights were similarly effective, with 4 of their 7 attacks hitting and, in a fit of great dice rolling, 3 of them wounding the Stegadon. He saves just 2 of them. Diophantus the Battle Standard Bearer hits 4 times...and fails to wound any of them. I had all the horses attack the skinks, and one skink went down.

Now he attacked back. The Stegadon wounded the Knights twice, but I saved them both. One skink somehow manages to get a wound on a Knight, but I save that too.

Save this moment;
He needs insane courage, does not get it, breaks, flees just 6", but that hits the dragon Ogres and he is destroyed, while the Knights pursue...but run into the Temple Guard. Since that combat has not been fought this turn, they immediately get to fight again. For those counting at home, this makes 4 times in two turns the Knights have fought which means the battle is going great for me.

Mithridates kills 4, his mount another, Diophantus continues his incompetent ways, hitting just once (though that kills) and his horse equals him by killing another temple guard. The Knights wound 6, he can save but 1, the horses wound another three, he saves just one. I have killed 14 Temple Guard in one frenetic, furious charge.

He gets to attack Shaggy next because Shaggy has a Great Weapon. They hit 3 times, wound once, and needing a 5, Shaggy saves. I am getting more than my share of rolls. Shaggy goes after the Champ, hits and wounds with all 5. Good night.

Remember that moment I said to save/ Lets re-examine it. He remembered at that moment that the Stegadon was supposed to be stubborn which means that, although he still failed the first roll, his second roll had included 2 dice totaling 5, so he should still be there.

I am a big fan of competitive games, not a fan of routs. Myself and Fixed Dice had to argue with Fullur at this point that the proper thing to do was put the Stegadon back in combat and put back all the casualties done to the Temple Guard.

Fullur, who is playing the Lizardmen, is arguing that he should pay the penalty for forgetting.

After much debate, and him saying that if the Steg stood, he still thinks the game is in doubt, we finally convince him to return it to its position and undue the ridiculous damage that should never have happened.

I am glad he did. Made for a much better game I think and I think it was the right thing to do in the spirit of Team Starving Crazed Weasels. I am very against cutthroat competition (ironic, I know...see regurgitation) and very in favor of doing whatever it takes to make the game better and more fun for both players.

So now it is Shaggy taking the break test since even with doing 1 wound (it was not a challenge, so no overkill). And for a second straight turn he fails it, rolling a 10 again. And again I pass on the re-roll allowed by the BSB being right there.

Lizardman Turn 4
His Saurus now flank charge the Shaggoth. He has taken three wounds, showing he is killable. He cannot attack both units well enough to kill every Saurus in contact. This might be the right play, but only if he gets it done this turn.




Meanwhile, his Terradons fly behind the Dragon Ogre, he does not move his Chameleons.

The magic phase is now more manageable. I killed both his Skink Priests, removing 4 or 5 dice from his pool. I also removed 3 or 4 spells he could cast from his options...though he still has some stuff that can hurt me.

His Magic Missile kills a couple Marauders. Slowly but surely he is whittling that unit down. He heals the Stegadon and I have to save my Dispel Dice. Boo! That thing is so hard to wound in the first place! But I really did not mind...it would make for a good battle I think.

I had to Dispel Dazzling Brilliance so now he is unopposed...and promptly fails to get either Cleansing Flare or Guiding Light cast successfully. It it wasn't for bad luck, he would have no luck at all.

The Terradons twice wound the Dragon Ogre, but he saves both. The Chameleons hit the Maraduer Horsemen three times but cannot wound even once.

Close combat; the charging Saurus hit just 2 times, just 1 wounds, I save it. The Temple Guard hit 4 times but fail to wound at all. At this moment, the game essentially ended because now his Saurus were in deep, deep trouble. Shaggy strikes back, 5 hit, 4 wound, 4 dead Saurus. Did not go after Temple Guard because I figured the Saurus needed to start losing rank bonus. This time I passed my break test outright.

Mithridates opened up a can of whoop-smurf. This was the guy I thought he was, hitting the Stegadon 5 times and wounding it 4 times...noe of which were saved and I promptly forgot to have him take a T test. Which I am okay with. Mithridates horse killed a skink for good measure.

Diophantus continued to prove he is no Mithridates, hitting just twice, wounding once, but it was saved. The Knights wound the Stegadon a further 3 times, 2 are saved...but he only had 1 wound left and that killed him. Which is bad, because that was on the Lizardman turn...

Chaos Turn 4
The Marauder infantry charges his Saurus in the flank. That would be the Saurus who are flank charging the Shaggoth is is frontally facing the Temple Guard...who then get rear-charged by the Dragon Ogre and flank charged by the Chaos Knights.





And it was ugly for the Lizardmen. My Great Weapon wielding Marauders kill 3 Saurus. Mithridates kills 4 Temple Guard, Diophantus chips in his usual 1, the Knights kill 1, the horses another 1, the Dragon Ogre kills just 1 (what? 3 attacks at S7? Whatever :-) . The Saurus and Temple Guard hit Shaggy 6 times, wound him 3 times, he saves 2 but takes another wound. Only one Marauder falls. Shaggy kills 4 more Saurus.

Now comes a dissapointing moment. The Saurus, needing insane courage, obviously fail both rolls and flee 6". I decide to restrain the Marauders. He then rolls Insane Courage for the Temple Guard...who were testing on a Stubborn 8 or 9 on three dice. If those rolls reverse, who knows what his Saurus could have done since they would attack the Marauders first, so might have not been attacked again...as it was, I think I somehow contacted the Temple Guard, though I am at a loss to explain how.

Lizardmen Turn 5
The Terradons see the combat and decide it is not complicated enough, so they rear-charge the Dragon Ogre who is rear-charging the Temple Guard that are being flank charged by the Chaos Knights and fighting the Shaggoth to their front (and soon the Marauders as well), the flank charge on Shaggy having just been seen off or the Marauders would have been flank charging a flank charge on a front charge matched by a flank and rear charge that was being rear-charged. That might be the single greatest situation in Warhammer history...




The fleeing Saurus are trying to figure out the ramifications of this and decide it is too difficult, so sp they roll 6,6,5 and run right off the table. Whatever. Fullur just cannot roll dice against me...

Well, he gets Blinding Brilliance off against the Chaos Knight unit, meaning Mithridates, Diophantus, and the 3 remaining Knights have WS1 this turn. Including horses, that means I will have 27 attacks needing a 5...so I should "only" hit him 9 times this turn. Kind of says something about how bad they made the Lizardman "elite" infantry. They still expect to lose lots of guys.

Anyway, he casts Cleansing Flare on a 13. I ponder for a long time; this will hit the Dragon Ogre, Chaos Knights, Shaggoth, and Marauders. I have but 3 Dispel Dice...okay, I will try to stop it. I roll...a 12. it wounds the Dragon Ogre once, kills a Knight, does 4 wounds to the Shaggoth and for the fourth straight battle (and 5th time in 7 outings), the Shaggoth dies.

Burning Gaze hits the Chaos Warriors three times, but did no damage. It would be the only action they saw in the entire game. He then got off the spell that makes his units within 12" Immune to Psychology.

His Chameleons then prove their worth. they have 6 shots needing 4s to hit. Taking a cue from the Saurus, they roll about 5 3s and a two, producing no hits.




His Terradons proved more formidable than I would have thought. The riders of course do little, wounding just once which is saved, but the mounts wound twice and I save neither. Dragon Ogre is one wound from joining Shaggy in the dead pile. But first he wounds the Terradons twice.




My Marauders wound the Temple Guard 4 times, and three are killed. And my mighty 9 hits? Well, actually, Diophantus hit once and failed to wound...and nobody else even hit! Epic fail...not that it mattered. Static combar resolution alone meant he would lose the combat. So it was a good time for it and proved the power of the blinding spell.

The Temple Guard hit the Marauders three times, wounding 2, 1 of which I saved.


Warriors of Chaos Turn 5
Not much to do. My Marauders are locked in a shoot-out with his Chameleon skinks, my Warriors are caught in the middle of the field with no viable opponent (they are within charge range of the Temple Guard, but the entire frontage is covered) and everyone else is in that epic duel.

So I (barely) Dispel his ItP spell.

Mithridates kills 3 Temple Guard and his horse kills the last one. This is bad because with no Temple Guard, the Slann is now alone and not Stubborn. The Marauders wound him 5 times; his Ward Save saves 3, Regeneration another, so he takes a wound. His Terradon then kills my Dragon Ogre which, ironically, removes the Terradons from the combat since they were only touching the Dragon Ogre...

Well, the Slann breaks, flees 10", my Marauders pursue just 7" and the Knights 6. Yes, the Marauders outran the Knights. Good stuff.


Lizardman Turn 6
The Slann rallies. The Terradons make a suicide charge into the Marauders.

The Slann heals himself with one spell. Casts Burning Gaze, wounding the Knights twice and making it so Mithridates and Diophantus no longer have a unit to join, so now they are just independent characters. Who happen to be deadlier than elite units.

Dazzling Brightness fails...which he was sad about because all game long he had been trying to mis-cast.

Which Cleansing Flare promptly does...and he uses the Cupped hands to transfer it to my Wizard, but the result, even after re-roll, is simply a wound which does not go through. So anti-climatic...

The Chameleons do manage to hit the Marauders twice, wound once, but I save.

The Terradons cannot even wound the Marauders. Whatever. I manage to wound the Terradons twice, howe3ver...they flee and are done.



Warriors of Chaos Turn 6
Diophantus charges the Slann, and in a surprise move, my Marauder Horsemen charge the Chameleons who hang around to see what happens. I have no idea what I did with Mithridates.


Diophantus has his best turn of the game, wounding the Slann twice unsaved. the Slann needs Insane Courage (I guess I must have charged my Marauders too)...and gets it!

The marauder Horsemen wipe out the Skink Chameleons.

The game ends with his Slann bravely facing about 18 Marauders, 13 Chaos Warriors, 3 Marauder Horsemen, Mithridates and Diophantus. He did a LOT of damage in this game...but so did I.

Conclusion/Regurgitation

First, what went right. Which was everything.

Diophantus, while completely useless in close combat (despite having 5 WS7, S5 attacks, he averaged about a wound a turn, killing just 1 Skink, 2 Saurus, and putting 2 wounds on the Slann) is almost game-breaking. When fields are set up so I can keep my important units within 6" of him...which is not all that hard to do...they are functionally Unbreakable. Killing Chaos Knights, Dragon Ogres, and Dragon Ogre Shaggoths to the last man can be done...since every one of those I had did die in this battle. But it takes a long time and lets them do a lot of damage in return. In future games, if they have the option, they should definitely target him as, if I take him, he makes the army over-poweringly strong.

Shaggy was awesome. He killed 2 Skinks, 4 Temple Guard (including their champ or it would have been 8) and 8 regular Saurus, single-handedly holding up the temple guard for two turns while I finished off the Engine Stegadon.

Mithridates was awesome. He killed a Saurus Champ in a challenge, getting overkill. He killed the Skink Priest in a challenge (and I just, as I typed this, realized I failed to roll on the Eye table). He put 4 wounds on the Stegadon, killed three regular Saurus and 8 Temple Guard, plus a few skinks.



The Knights are always awesome, ringing up 2 wounds on the Stegadon, about 5 or 6 skinks, 6 regular Saurus and 3 Temple Guard.

And the Marauder Horsemen are tremendous as well. Their fast Cavalry antics wiped out his Chameleon Skinks and a flying Skink Priest.

I would even argue the block Marauder infantry performed at or above expectations. They are such a low-priority target...and rightfully so...that they were almost unscathed, were allowed to flank charge a Saurus unit, and even managed to hurt the Temple Guard.
So what did not work? Uh...uh...well, not enough to counter magic, which did kill I think all 6 Knights, several wounds on Shaggy, a couple Dragon Ogres, made one turn by my Chaos Knights/Mithridates/Diophantus combo worthless....

yet if we totaled up the points, I either won by Solid Victory or more.

Which means I really did have enough to counter magic. He threw everything he had at me and I survived long enough to do what the Warriors of Chaos do.

But that kind of points up the "what went wrong" portion of the proceedings as well. He deliberately went without Cold One Knights which was kind of him...but also sort of means I had a pretty bent, cheese-filled list. Yes, he killed all of my power units...but he never touched any of my characters and had nothing left to deal with my second line units. I think he played about as well as he could with maybe one or two things that, if done differently, may or may not have been better choices...BUT DID NOT MATTER. I would still have won handily.

On the bright side, I think it was still an enjoyable game and it had some truly memorable moments.

I loved certain elements of this game; Mithridates seeing his best shot laughed off by the Skink Priest, only to have the horse wound 100% unsaved....that was awesome.

The convoluted combat with my Marauders flank charging his Saurus who were flank charging my Shaggoth who was face to face with his Temple Guard who were flank-charged by my Chaos Knights and rear-charged by my Dragon Ogre was awesome, and it took up the majority of the game to resolve.

For the future, I think I might look into more big blocks of Marauders...strong enough to do damage when kitted up, weak enough to be taken out. I also might go back to more Magic. It is spotty, erratic, and when people are prepared, does nothing, and there is one army it means near auto-loss against, but I think it might make the Warriors of Chaos more vulnerable while still potent.

I do not know. Still toying with ideas.
I did love the Dragon Ogres, even though they ended up doing surprisingly little. They were a good choice, and had they gotten together with Shaggy, they might have been able to take out the Engine and leave the Knights free to go after the Temple Guard.

I think I am starting to not care for Lord-level characters as they turn the game into Hero-hammer. Yes, it was great watching Mithridates rampage. But at the same time...he did more casualties than a unit of 6 Knights. The Knights did not kill all 8 skinks, Mithridates had already killed a couple before they attacked but I did not write it down. He did more wounds to the Stegadon (4-2), more to the Temple Guard (8-3) and, if you take Overkill into account, more against regular Saurus (8-6). That is ridiculous.

Meanwhile, my hero level character, with a VERY impressive stat line of his own was not particulary effective in this battle...but could be.

Of course, the problem I run into is my Knights are considered by some to be Hero or Lord level characters on their own...as all Knights are on the verge of being, though mine are admittedly a hair better than any but perhaps the Blood Knights.

And if you start saying, "No Lord-Level", where does it stop? "Okay, then, no Knights." "Fine, no monsters (including Shaggoths, Treemen, ridden mounts)." "Oh, and no items that invalidate armor saves or make magic all but useless...and no spells like Infernal Gateway or weapons like Frost Blade."

Great, you take 10 Dwarf Warriors, I will take 20 Night Goblins, lets put them next to each other and roll some dice...not much fun.

Early on, someone said they thought every Warriors of Chaos game would be a Massacre, one way or the other. At the time, I had a couple games that were closer than that, and I disagreed.

But I have not been able to get the balance right and am starting to agree. What to do?

I am seriously considering shelving the Warriors of Chaos for a while. It would mean switching to Wood Elfs or Vampire Counts, since those are the two armies being used seldom or never. Or maybe the Goblins. But they, I think, are too weak. I will have to think about it.

I do not mean to sound like I did not enjoy the game. I did. I loved it. It was great fun with epic combats, classic mano a mano duels, and some thrills.

But I want my opponent to enjoy it to, and I do not know if I would enjoy going against the WoC.

Any way you look at it, I will be playing them at least sometimes. But I might look to go in another direction for a while, just to see if it can be more fun for everyone.
* Okay, major, MAJOR reassessment of this battle. When putting in the pictures, I noticed something I may (read "almost certainly") have done wrong whcih COMPLETELY changed the character of this battle. Look at the photo by the asterisk. It was when putting this photo in after writing the report that I noticed this.
His Skinks receiving the charge was brilliant...IF I did my charges correctly. I had to declare my Shaggoth charge on the Skinks, but could not declare one with the Knights because they had the Banner of Rage and therefore had Frenzy. That means the Shaggoth had to charge first.
No problem, I "wheeled" him at the beginning of combat so he would overrun into the Saurus my Dragon Ogres were flanking. No problem there.
But then I wheeled my Knights and charged at the same angle.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. As soon as Shaggy hit the Skinks, they should have "ranked up" facing him. Which means my Knights would have hit the Skinks in their "flank". Which means A) they would not have gotten as many guys touching the Skinks and B, more importantly, THEY WOULD HAVE OVERRUN INTO THE FRONT OF THE TEMPLE GUARD. Or at worst, still been stopped by the Shaggoth, but I think they would have been almost dead center in front of the Temple Guard, so their subsequent slaying of the Saurus on my right flank and then the Engine would not happen.
Okay, that HUGELY changes the complexion of the game. If I am in front of the Temple Guard, their armor save is 2 better. More might survive to hit back at the Knights. His Saurus unit might survive. The other Saurus unit might flank the Knights or it might become a blocking unit that keeps my marauders out of that battle...and would make the Chaos Warriors go a long, long way to get in position to charge. I am still Stubborn with a re-roll on a 9 with my Knights...but now I have to find a way to deal with his Engine which OWNED me while it had the Burning Alignment going.
So look at all the mistakes I made rules-wise which HUGELY impacted this game; Marauder Horsemen might kill fewer Chameleon Skinks which means they might do more damage. The Skink Priest in water, -1 for soft cover, may have survived for another turn or three and occupied the Horsemen attention, letting the Chameleons whittle down ranks of infantry marauders...who probably do not now get to flank the Saurus unit in front of the Temple Guard.
So maybe the army is not strong...my ability to not clearly think through the rules during a game is super strong.
Either way, I now feel horrible. My apology, Fullur. Lets call this one a Draw.



2 comments:

Fullur said...

The irony is I put the Skink Priest in the stream for two reasons: being at that place makes him hard to charge and gives him soft cover. I promptly forgot and ignored it.

Oh well, we still make so many rules mistakes every battle that I do not think it is fair to discount a battle because we played it wrong.

Darth Weasel said...

there ae so many nebulous areas in the rules that it makes it difficult to know what the actual rules are. Ultimately, as long as we are all having fun, I am good with it.