Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Warriors of Chaos Versus Vampire Counts

We were going to play 3K and I had a couple things I wanted to play...Prince Sigvald, since I had the model painted, and Wulfrik with a big band of Marauders.

In any game, I pretty much always take my BSB build with the Banner so I have stubborn units.

Knowing I would be facing the Vampire Counts, and fearing the Wind of Undeath, I needed some Dispel scrolls...4 sounded about right.

21 Chaos Warriors with full command and War Banner should have me taking on and crushing any big blocks of skeletons, ghouls, zombies, etc. he might have roaming around.

24 marauders with Light armor, shield, standard bearer and Mark of khorne coming on with Wulfrik should be able to go Vampire Hunting.

5 marauder Horsemen with throwing axes should allow more Vampire hunting.

10 Marauders could be home to my Scroll Caddies.

I also wanted to try out the Chaos Cannon and a big block of Knights..9 of them with my BSB gives me a rank bonus.

A Chaos Warshrine is something I always think costs far too many points for what it does and my beloved Great Weapon wielding Shaggoth rounded it out.

Then he changed the total to 3500.

So I added a Sorcerer Lord with 4 Dispel scrolls, changed one of my Scroll Caddies to dude with Infernal Puppet, and time to go.

He basically spread out in a line. His General was Mannfred on some flying mount or other. I did the same, except the Stone Thrower....err, cannon was up on a hill.

Warriors of Chaos Turn One
Wulfrik rolled on, and I brought him on behind the enemy. Perfect! They are all march-blocked and, if they do not turn, I will charge their rear and do lots of damage. If they do turn, Wulfrik and Co. Will do lots of damage.

I move everyone except the cannon forward, some very little...because Sigvald promptly fails his Stupidity test and moves forward 3". I want to keep everyone within range of the Banner so it limits my advance. On the bright side, the Cannon passes its test.

Magic goes better as my Sorcerer Lord gets Infernal Gateway off with Irresistible Force. Good start as I dial up 7 hits on his Blood Knights...but then they turn out to be only S3. He takes just 1.

Then I fire the cannon and I hit almost dead center on a unit. 16 are covered. 9 of them are slain but...the one directly under the hole somehow survives! The Warshrine, inspired by Sigvald's talent, managed to give me an "Eye is Closed" result.

Vampire Counts Turn 1
He makes no movement at all. Then comes time for the magic phase.

He raises back 8 of the Grave Guard I hit with the Cannon. He adds 6 Skeletons to a unit. I use a scroll to twice dispel Wind of undeath attempts. He then adds 3, 6, and another 3 Ghouls. Finally, one of his Corpse Carts brings back the last Grave Guard I had hurt. Then another 8 Ghouls pop up in the unit he had not been adding to.

So yeah...turn one I do 10 casualties, and after his first turn, he has 26 more models than he had when my turn started. This could become a problem.

Warriors of Chaos can cause a lot of casualties, but not so many that seeing your opponent raise 35+ models per turn is not going to cause some HUGE problems. It would be imperative to start whittling down his Power Dice ASAP.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 2
Sigvald and the Cannon both pass their tests this turn.

And now his not moving shows its flaw. Wulfrik's unit could not charge...but he could charge out of them!* So he charged Mannfred.

This presented him a problem. If Mannfred fled too far, he would be in my charge range next turn...or off the board completely. If he did not flee, he would face the fury of Wulfrik...which he elected to do.

For a second consecutive turn, I get Irresistible Force on Infernal Gateway, and this time 7 Blood Knights are wiped out, essentially rendering that unit a non-entity with just one member left.

The Warshrine is useful this time, adding +1S to the Knights.

The Cannon slays just 5 Grave Guard this time.

Since Mannfred was close to his Corpse Cart which had done the Miasma of Vigor or whatever it is called, he got to strike first. I saved one of 2 wounds, so Wulfrik still lived. Then I did 2 wounds to him and he died to Combat Resolution.


That removed something like NINE power dice from him. I had Marauders, Chaos Warriors, and Knights ready to charge his units, his Blood Knights were all but gone, and I now had more Dispel Dice than he had power dice.

Furthermore, he would be losing guys to the dead general thing every turn so we called it a game.

1) I made a HUGE mistake with Sigvald. I had a cramped deployment zone and, having taken Sigvald specifically to make use of any Difficult terrain, I then did NOT start him and his unit in the forest, leaving plenteous room for the rest of my army, I put him in the open, which forced me to deploy my Marauder Horsemen wide left, essentially out of the battle.

2) having no fear of Mis-cast due to Infernal Puppet is awesome.

3) I need to remember special Frenzy on units I do not normally put it on, remembering to roll on the Eye table when I win appropriate combats, etc.

4) The Stone Thrower is much better than I actually sticks a third of the time, not a sixth. I might try that again.

5) Regardless of it having been an illegal death for Mannfred, he was only going to live one more turn anyway. I had my Marauder Horsemen and Shaggoth deployed to where they could cover anyplace he could reach. The lesson here; if you have a key part of your army (like, for me, the BSB), put him in a unit that can protect him unless you are positive, positive, positive that you can protect him.

6) Wulfrik can be very powerful or very weak. When he works, he is worth the 185 he costs, maybe even 10 - 15 points more. When he doesn't, he is worth 40 or 45 points at most.

* As I typed this, I realized the Marauders had khorne...which means they were frenzied...which means they should have charged the rear of his Grave Guard. Which means Wulfrik could NOT have charged. Though I would actually have charged his Vamp who was off to the side. Oops.


Liam said...

Those were black knights, not blood knights. 31 points difference :)

I guess that game would've been quite different if Manny hadn't got himself handed to him.

Overall, I think depending that heavily on magic wasn't a good thing. I don't believe VC are for me.

Darth Weasel said...

I think had you buried him in a small block of trrops against the back row with another block in front and, if possible, beside, I could not have gotten to him. Line of Sight did not matter for anything he was casting that mattered.

For some wizards, mobility is paramount. For matters more. In his case, he would have been better served by being in a small block of troops that were protected by a bigger block.

But that alignment gets progressively harder to develop the smaller the game. I think the VC would be particularly difficult at low point levels as they need lots of magic to be successful.

At the same time, the best vc armies I have seen seldom if evr actually use their potent stuff like Winds of Undeath,l and instead spam the casting of raising spells. Soon the board is covered with units that, no matter how many you kill, are still there the next turn. Flanking, rear-charging just to build SCR while removing that of the opponents.

So no matter how many zombies/skeletons/ghouls you kill, the combat is a closely run thing and you still get no bonuses from combat resolution since you are denied your rank bonuses.

So even without doing damage the VC hold the good units in place and still outnumber the enemy elsewhere.

Takes a certain mindset to play them well, one I suspect I do not have.