Friday, October 30, 2009

A statistical modification

It seems possible we have been making an erroneous assumption.

For example, when discussing the possibility of getting Irresistible Force, we several times have said there is a 1-in-11 chance. Seems roll a pair of dice and you can get a 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11, or 12. 11 possible outcomes. Or are there?

The only way to get a "2" is to roll a one on each die. One possible way.

The only way to get a "3" is to roll a one on one die and a 2 on the other. Since there are 2 possible ways to do that, there are actually 2 chances to score a 3.

Add in a "4" and it gets more complicated. You can roll a "4" and a "1" or each die can be a 2, so three possible ways.

By the time you get to rolling a "7" the numbers add up exponentially. You can roll a "6" and a "1", a "5" and a "2", or a "3" and a "4", more possible combinations than any other which is why statistically speaking, a "7" is the most frequent outcome for rolling a pair of dice.

So there are actually 36 possible combinations, not 11.

This changes things drastically.

Just something to think about.

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.


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 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 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 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 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.


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 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 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.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Oh, the irony!

Been working and tweaking on my tourney list for Saturday. And the irony is high.

For me a perfect army, if I could make it competitive, might have 2 or at most 3 characters; General, BSB, and if he had a chance of being effective, a magic user. The rest would be spent on units, units, units.

Big blocks of infantry. Couple units of Knights.

And I find that to deal with everything I expect to need to deal with...nasty magic from a couple armies, nasty monsters from a couple armies, mass shooting from a couple armies, and an unfortunate number of weapons that nullify my good stuff, I find to build something I think will be effective...I need to max out my characters.

Which I don't want to do.


What to do, what to do...will it just be a long afternoon if I go all units? Looks like we might find out

Saturday, October 17, 2009

We are all wrong...

Want to read a four page thread wondering if the Lizardmen are strong enough to be one of the "3 massively overpowered army lists"?

Go here

I particularly like the guy who makes I think close to the only reference to my beloved Warriors of Chaos in the entire thread...and it is not a nice one :-) (though another guy mentions Chaos Knights for their support role)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Campaign Round 1: Empire Versus Chaos Dwarfs

When I rolled up who each army would be facing, one of the units I rolled was Chaos Dwarfs. I have been wanting to try them out, though it is slightly more difficult since one player in our group thinks they are even more imbalanced than I think one of the official army lists is (I actually so despise one of their magic items I have considered not playing against them, though ultimately I have not elected to go there) and does not want to play against them, so my pool of potential opponents is one smaller.

So naturally, I took them on. There were a few things working against me; I would have 500 points and would be facing 750 points, they are a different style from the other two armies I typically play...and the Inferno Golems, the unit I really want to play test a bit, were way out of reach in a 500 point army.

But there were some things going for me, as well. While they are slower than either the 5" Wood Elf move or the awesome Chaos knight Cavalry charge, they do combine the ability to ramble 6" per turn with T4 and generally heavy or Chaos Armor, thus providing a rugged, tortoise style army. Plus they have the Eruption Gun.

They needed something to deal with monsters, so I started with a Chaos Dwarf Slavemaster with the Axe of ghorth, which meant he did not need to roll to wound.

Next I took something like 25 Chaos Dwarf Warriors with Chaos Armor and shield before re-thinking it. The idea was to provide a game somewhat softer than normal for my opponent, not have a bunch of hard-core, tough to wound killers. Plus, that was a lot of points so I removed the Chaos armor and dropped their unit size. After some fine-tuning, they would end up with 15 of them, including a Champion. By putting the Slave-master in this unit, they could lose a guy and still have 2 ranks.

They allowed me to take an Eruption gun, one of the controversial Dwarf units. At first it was thought to be identical to an Organ Gun, which would mean it was ridiculously under-priced at 45 points. Closer examination reveals it has a BS3 and suffers modifiers to its shots which means it has 0-10 shots that never have better than 50% chance to deal out S4 hits. Still seems a bit under-priced at 45 points, but we will see.

Next I took 10 Chaos Dwarf Annihilators, another controversial choice that seems perhaps over-powered.

Finally, I was able to take 6 Obsidian Guard as my elite unit.

I would be facing 750 points of Empire madness.

The field would encourage a melee in the center as there was rough ground on my right flank protecting a tower, and beyond that a small stream that would inhibit movement. To my left were a pair of forests opposite a hill. Oops, he won for table sides and I knew the cannon on the hill could be deadly.

Since I had no fast-moving troops, it would be 4 - 5 turns before I could get to the cannon (24" between us, 6" per turn max move) so that could be quite problematic.

He had a detachment of quarrelers butted up to the Cannon, then a big block of infantry, then a detachment of Free Company. finally, he placed his knights in the Stream, really the only place they could go. He won the first turn.

Empire Turn 1

The cannon would not move in the entire game. The parent unit and its detachments marched forward. the knights, hobbled by the stream, could only move 3-1/2" forward. Neither of us had magic, so shooting would be the fun phase.

This turn he could only fire his cannon. His range guess was excellent, the Artillery Dice kind, landing about an inch in front of my Warriors. Any 4, 6,8, or 10 would most likely do 4-5 wounds since his aim was perfect. He had a 66% chance of doing serious damage....and a 1-in-6 chance of what happened, the cannon ball sticking where it landed and doing nothing other than drawing an evil chortle from the chaos Dwarfs. Which is what happened. Ouch.

On the bright side, his Pegasus riding general, out ahead of the army, took a shot at the Eruption Gun...and wounded it.

Chaos Dwarf Turn 1

I marched the Warriors on my left wing and the Obsidian guard on my right the full 6". I moved the Blunderbuss 3" and took a shot at his Pegasus-riding General, but whiffed. The Eruption Gun stayed put to maximize its firing potential. It rolled a mighty 8 shots and, needing 5s to hit, hit 4 times, killing 2 of his big block.

Empire Turn 2

He made a slight advance, and his reasoning was not just sound, it was hilarious. "I guess I will stop here since getting charged by Dwarfs would just be humiliating."

Bwoohahahah, great line. Thanks, Fullur.

The Pegasus General flies behind my Warriors and shoots at the Eruption Gun, but somehow misses. then his Cannon...mis-fires. Fortunately, he rolls a 6 and will be able to fire it next turn.

Chaos Dwarf Turn 2

My Obsidian Guard makes just a 3" advance, as I do not want his detachment to charge with the Knights. I figure I can maybe survive a Knight charge, but would lose badly to a combined charge so I tried to stay out of range of the detachment.

Meanwhile, my Warriors march 6" again. I move the Annihilators just 3" so they can fire at the infantry block.

once again i roll an 8 on the artillery dice and, again needing 5s, hit 4 times and again wound 2 guys. The Blunderbusses, with S5 due to 2 ranks, also open fire on his unit...and proceed to do another 2 wounds. The unit takes 25% in this round...breaks and flees.

Empire Turn 3

He fails to rally. Whatever. The Knights charge my Obsidian Guard.

His cannon...for the second consecutive turn...mis-fires. In the interest of a better game (his cannon dropped the ball in the mud, mis-fired, and mis-fired) we make him re-roll, only to see it overshoot everybody.

His Quarreler detachment shoots down 2 Warriors and his Pegasus General shoots down the Eruption Gun.

Close Combat goes about as expected. His Knights kill one Obsidian Guard, they kill a Knight, are outnumbered, and needing an 8 roll an 11, epic fail. They flee but are over-run.

Chaos Dwarf Turn 3

Just a turn ago, it looked so good for me. Well, my Warriors charge his detachment, which flees...3". At first, I rolled the dice and thought I had caught them, but then we remembered I would only go my charge distance which lagged behind them by about an inch, so failed charge, I only go 3". His detachment lives.

I wheel the Blunderbuss unit to face the Knights who otherwise would be rear-charging me in about 2 turns.

Empire Turn 4

He initially fails both rally tests, but we take a good look at the dice. They have rolled 9 or higher 6 consecutive times. We remove the dice, have him re-roll and both units rally. His other detachment flank charges my Warriors, which I am not overly worried about.

Then his Pegasus shoots down a Blunderbuss, the Cannon does its first 2 casualties of the game against them, causing 25% to the unit...which promptly rolls an 11, flees, runs into the Knights and is wiped out.

In close combat, he kills 2 Warriors, who can do but one casualty in return. 2 casualties +flank beats one casualty + outnumber...I break, run, get over-run...and abruptly the game is over.


His dice rolling was appalling in this game. The 3 rounds of nothing from the cannon...the failing of EVERY SINGLE LEADERSHIP TEST until we made him re-roll...the Knights doing all of 1 wound...

While mine, on the other hand, was stupendous. I took 16 shots which should reasonably have had 5.3 hits...and got 8 out of it. Also, I should have averaged 5 shots per turn, so I got more than an extra turn of shooting out of the Eruption Gun, hit more often than it should.

I do think the Eruption gun is under costed by 5 points or is pretty squishy for a War Engine, and I suspect will be pretty erratic over the course of time.

The Blunderbusses I think are pretty balanced. They are awesome against hoard type units and will pretty much be worthless against tough enemies unless I can keep them ranked up to get the strength bonus.

The Warriors I think are probably costed about right assuming regular Dwarf Warriors have WS4 as well, other wise I think they cost a point or 2 too many.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed playing as Dwarfs though and might take up the regular Dwarf army a bit more often. Assuming, of course, I can ever get the Gyrocoptor assembled...sometime after I get the dragon glued together, after I get the Juggernaut glued together. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate the assembling portion of the hobby? I suck at it, and it really sucks a lot of the enjoyment of the game out of it for me. I might have to try and trade off some Blazer tickets to someone to pin them :-)

Over-all, i think the spirit of the game was held up. The idea was to ensure an Empire victory, and he only permanently lost one guy, so no real harm done and I think it was a pretty fun game.

Seeing his 10 man Free Company detachment make my 15 Warriors and Slavemaster run was pretty awesome, definitely a highlight of the day for me. I like seeing my opponents do well and after watching the Cannon do nothing all was time.

Good game, massacre for the Empire.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Campaign Round 1: Wood Elf Verse Goblins

First, a preface. We started a campaign where the attrition elements requires a different style of play. the further you get from home, the more each casualty will hurt. It is not enough to simply win a battle, it is imperative to minimize casualties.

Knowing that a casualty might not be with your army for the next battle means you sometimes need to be a bit more conservative in how you maneuver your army.

Fortunately, I am playing the Wood Elfs; an army that relies on maneuver to avoid combat and tries to win with massed missile fire.

Now, I also know there is a 5-in-6 chance I will be facing an army smaller than my own, and 750 points does not go far, so I want to have a force that is hard-hitting and can still deal damage if I lose a few troops as I move out.

Building the Army
I started with my hero. I could either go a Wood Elf Noble or a Spellsinger. The Noble is slightly cheaper, can provide some close combat punch, has a higher leadership, and for me, magic pretty much always is pointless. I went with the Noble.

I know I might run into some Vampire Counts, and if so, fear of Ethereal means I might need some magic so I made him a member of the Waywatcher Kindred and gave him the Spites of Luminescents and Shrikes, which means he and any unit he joins have their attacks count as Magic.

Thus Windstar will lead my War banner forth.
Since he has the Waywatcher kindred and can deploy with Waywatchers, kind of a no-brainer to take some, so I maxed out a unit at 10 of them. They should provide me some good shooting that can louse up an opponents' battle plan.

I still need 2 core units so I took 5 Glade Riders. Fast cavalry with 30" bows...I have a 48" reach, though they are only S3. Still, I should hit often enough to do some damage and, being Fast Cavalry, might even be able to go after War Machines.

Finally, I took a big unit of Glade Guard. Probably my favorite core unit in any army, they have great striking power, particularly from 15" in. With their ability to suffer no penalty for moving or firing, they are a fast, mobile, deadly fire base that, in emergency, can form into ranks and at least maybe take out an enemy or two on their way out the door. I took 19 since often I can either place them on a hill in 2 ranks or occasionally even go 19 wide and control the center of a field.

the set-up
When forces were rolled, it was determined I would be facing 500 points of Orcs and Goblins. Good news; most O&G fear Elfs, and I would have a 3-2 advantage in points.

We rolled scenario and drew Surprise attack. Since I had just 4 placements, placed first, and he had 5 placements, it meant I would get 2 4" moves besides.

I had hills on my left and center, a forest out of my deployment zone on my left flank, and on the right flank half-way across the table another forest (placed there via Wood Elf ability). The center of the field was open.
I started by lining up my Glade Guard 19 wide in front of the hill. The plan was to get within 15" as quick as possible and then retreat 2.5" per turn in a shooting retreat to maximize the number of turns I was wounding on a 4+. He lined up 20 bowmen wide opposite me...though I thought for some inexplicable reason they were spearmen.

Next I placed the Glade Riders on my Right planning to make for the forest and shoot him from there.

He lined up another 20 bowmen behind the first.

I placed my Waywatchers on my left, planning to head for that forest, giving me a horse-shoe to fire on him. I planned to concentrate my fire on one unit at a time.

He placed 10 Black orcs behind the bows on my right.

I put Windstar with the Waywatchers.

He placed a bunch of regular Orcs on my left behind the bows. I advanced the Waywatchers 4". He placed his Black Orc general with the Orcs and I got my Waywatchers into the forest.

I won the roll to go first.

Wood Elf Turn 1
Windstar led the Waywatchers to the edge of the forest, the Glade Guard advanced the full 5", the Glade Riders shot forward about 16" to enfilade the enemy. Time to do what Wood Elfs do best.

Twang! Twang! Twang!

No, not play banjos, fiddles, and country "music". They were shooting. And shooting. And shooting some more. Then, just for something different, they shot.

The Glade Guard shot down 6 Night Goblin bowmen. The Waywatchers then almost whiffed, shooting down just 1, and the Glade Riders could also do but 1 wound. Still, 8 Night Goblins down in one turn. This was promising.

Orc and Goblin Turn 1
All his units passed their animosity test, which I was happy about. I think the Orcs and Goblins MIGHT be playable if they did not have that rule. Well, his 12 bowmen open fire on the Glade Guard that tormented them so badly. They hit just once, but that one proceeded to kill a Glade Guard.

Why? What did he ever do to them? How do they know he was not one of the 11 guys who did no damage?

Anyway, about 7 or so guys from his 2nd unit of bowmen had line of sight on the Glade Riders and took pot shots on them. However, being goblins, they may have been imbibing in pot and the shot was rot, doing no damage.

You are welcome for the horrible poetry, by the way.

He also had no magic so the turns went pretty quick.
Wood Elf Turn 2
I moved the Glade Guard forward a couple inches to get within 15". The Glade Riders now proved their value, riding behind enemy lines. In some respects, this was a tactical error, but in others it was brilliant. More on that in a moment.

The Waywatchers were in perfect position. Time to shoot.

The Glade Guard again showed why they rock as a core choice, shooting down another 8 Night Goblin archers.

Okay, so the enemy is "just" Night goblins. Average T, not particularly dangerous...still, whacking 14 of them with 2 rounds of shooting is pretty awesome. Not a lot of units can do that.

The Waywatchers for whatever reason, instead of finishing that unit off, fire at the second line, killing 5, and the General kills another. This turn I remember his Pageant of Shikes, but it does no damage.

The Glade Riders also do well, hitting 4 times and killing one of the Black Orcs. At this point I am ecstatic with my shooting.

I mentioned a tactical error. I should have concentrated all my fire on individual units until they were gone. That had been my plan, and I randomly abandoned it on turn 2. Why?

Excellent question. On the bright side, it did put me behind his close combat monsters and march block them...which would matter. I accidentally learned the power of that maneuver and probably saved myself several casualties, though I think the outcome was pretty much determined already by point totals and a field quite favorable to me.

Orc and Goblin Turn 2
The Orcs promptly fail their animosity test. The General has an ability though where he whacks around his troops, and rolls just one. So one orc dies to the orc attack. He then tries to wheel towards the Waywatchers, only to be march-blocked by the Glade Riders, so he only goes 4".

His 4 man unit fires at the Glade Guard...and promptly do nothing useful. I still should have finished them off! His big unit of archers has a bunch of guys who can see me, but their shooting is ineffectual, killing just one.

Wood Elf turn 3
Time to start phase 2.

Glade Guard retreat 2.5 inches. You can call it a retrograde movement. Advancing to the rear. I call it lining up the shot...

Glade Riders move to keep both the orcs and Black Orcs march blocked.

Between the Glade Guard and Waywatchers, I finish off the second line of archers...leaving the 4 untouched. Pageant of Shrikes again fails to wound.

Glade Riders again fire at teh Black Orcs, hitting 4 times...and failing to wound even once. S3 versus T5 is bad news.

Orc and Goblin Turn 3
Lets see...what would be the WORST possible outcome for the Orc army? Oh, I know...both eligible units failing animosity.

So they did. Pathetic dice rolling.

The bowmen would simply stand and bicker. The Orc general was tired of the bickering, so this time he hits 5 of his guys, killing 2. He has done 3 casualties to his own unit, more than his entire army has done to me. Animosity is so horrible.

Anyway, the move towards the Waywatchers commences, Black Orcs can only advance 4" towards my Glade Guard, He splits off his General to go see what the Glade Riders are up to.

Wood Elf Turn 4
The retrograde advance continues, as I advance another 2.5" towards my edge of the battlefield, trying to keep distance between me and those nasty Black orcs. Everybody else is happy where they are.

Glade Guard now opens fire at the Black Orcs. They wound 4 of them...and all 4 promptly fail their saves and die.

The Glade Riders have a choice; shoot at the Orc general or at the 4 man archer unit. It seemed like I had shot at the Black Orcs three or four times without wounding (2 times for those who can count...which apparently is a category I do not fit in...) so thought firing at the General was a last-ditch resort. I shot at the 4 bowmen and 2 died. The other 2 broke and, being less than 25% of the starting size, would not rally.

Meanwhile, the Waywatchers were looking at a formidable group of Orcs. If I had to face them in close combat, it was very dangerous; if Windstar was killed, it would put my overall campaign strategy in a serious would taking any serious hit to my Waywatcher unit.

So they took their job seriously, and put down 3 orcs with some very accuragte fire (and some lucky Lethal Shot casualties).
Gobline Turn 4
The 2 archers run into the Glade Riders and die. The Black Orcs and Orcs both advance 4".

Later, he pointed out this is the turn he should have called the Wwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggghhhhhhhh but did not. Good point.

Wood Elf Turn 5
I need to concentrate on the Orcs as they are close to my Waywatchers so I bounce the Glade Riders onto a hill in his deployment zone and open fire on the Orcs. I should have built a fire and had s'mores, it would have been equally effective and tasted better.

Fortunately, the Waywatchers killed 3 more and the Pageant of Shrikes did its first casualty of the game.

The Glade Guard wounded 6 black Orcs, but 3 saved. Uh-oh...

Goblin Turn 5
Ah, a great turn for the gobbos. The Orcs finally get to charge, though by now they are but 5 strong. Too little, too late. For the first time in the game, the Black Orcs get to march.

In close combat, the Orcs strike down a Waywatcher. With no save, he is squishy and easy to kill. My General is ineffective, but the Waywatchers do kill one orc. I outnumber, so win the combat but the last 2 orcs laugh and stand.

Wood Elf Turn 6
The Glade Guard continue their nice bow work, retreating 2.5"...I mean, making a retrograde advance...and wound 6 Black Orcs, killing 4. That once mighty unit breaks and flees.

The Glade Riders fire on the General and even with the minuses and needing a 6 to wound, they do wound him once...and he cannot save. Excellent.

I get to strike first. The Waywatchers kill one Orc and the General the other.

Orc and Goblin Turn 6
At this point, he has 3 models on the table; the 2 fleeing Black Orcs and his General. He calls the WWWWWWWWWWWaaaaaaaggggggggghhhhhhhh and charges the Glade Riders...who slay him with their Stand and Shoot.

Post-game Wrap Up
With a 250 point advantage, I was a prohibitive favorite to not only win this game but win via massacre...which we knew going in. These games are just to provide a minimal obstacle to taking "free" territories and perhaps cause some attrition problems. As a result, my goal was 2-fold; first and foremost, win the game, obviously, so I get the territory.

2nd, minimize my casualties so I lose as few troops as possible.

I succeeded brilliantly, losing but 3 guys, all of whom made their rolls and proved to be minor casualties who will heal in time to move with the Banner.

As far as the game itself,I think I played pretty well. I used the Wood Elf mobility to get their troops where they needed to be and, except for changing targets with the Glade Riders, I more or less maximized my firing. By retreating 2.5" per turn, I stayed within the 15" to give me that viatl S4 with my bows and also, with him being march blocked, it meant he was only getting 1.5" closer to me each turn. All day I can take that trade as it will take him about 8 turns to catch me. Good luck with that.
I think it did concince me that I need to dedicate some troops in each army to being March-block hunters. They will have to be mobile but with punch to keep people from march-blocking me. It is so hard to win if you ar close-combat oriented and can never bring the enemy to contact.

This left him little option. In our post game discussion, he said he might have put the 2 units of bowmen side by each which may or may not have caused me more problems. As it was, they only lost a half turn of firing and were about as effective as Night Goblin archers can be against fast moving, tricksy elves.

Overall, a fun game with the desired outcome. And I get to add a rare choice to my War banner. I might go with a Treeman for those games where I cannot keep out of Close Combat...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My First tournament

Fair Warning: Long post ahead. Also, the upgrade to Blogger seems to have removed spell-check. I do not really pay attention as I am typing since I make a lot of typos, knowing I will catch them and correct them with spell-check...but not this time. So sorry about the typos...

Thursday night I did not get to bed until 6 in the morning. Friday got home about 9:30, by 9:40 had figured out the list I had built for today would not work since I could not get the Juggernaut assembled so back to square one. So I built the following:

Prince of tzeentch, level 4, tendrils of tzeentch.My thought process was this; he is an assembled, painted model that can fly around seeking out tough enemies. I should get off a charge with him. Why the points on level 4, tendrils and mark? Because he is only S5, T5 so he cannot really take on monsters without some help...

A walking level 1. Scroll caddy. The very definition.
Another walking level one with infernal puppet
A mounted level 2 with a Power Stone and another Scroll.

I wanted to build it around close combat guys but they needed mobility. Neither my flying tzeentch nor Juggernaut models were completed, and I was thinking I had no Walking Exalted heros so instead I went magic since I have had no success to speak of most of the time. So this would fit my own definition of a not-too-tough army.

Ironically, I have a painted and assembled Prince Sigvald and was told the modified Bret I have would have been acceptable for my overall Army Standard Bearer. So in retrospect, I would have built a vastly different army.

10 unaugmented Marauders twice. Fill 2/3rds of my Core requirements, easy for opponent to kill, no real useful function in this alignment.

12 Chaos Warriors with Shield, Full Command, War Banner. Meant to put khorne on them, inexplicably forgot, used the excess points I had at the end of putting the list together to add more Marauders...which I then turned out to not have the models for, so did not use. This was fatigue I will claim...

I took one 5 man Knight unit with nurgle, full command and the Banner of Rage to give them permanent Frenzy. They would be my front unit against shooting armies to be a bit harder to get rid of prior to getting into combat. Otherwise, I did not really care about the -1 to be hit.

Second 5 man Knight unit with khorne, full command, Banner of Rage to back up the other magic. would have been a better idea if I used it more than once. Should have put the War Banner on them and Banner of Wrath on the Warriors...not that it would have swung any games, but would have gotten me a couple more points overall...and that would have mattered.

Dragon Ogre Shaggoth with Great Weapon. He is my monster hunter. With 5 attacks at S8 where he should usually hit on a 3 and only rarely need a 4, he should do some real damage.

Then I went to print up my list. A week ago I purchased a printer but had not hooked it up since some people hereabouts might not conserve ink and paper. Just an educated guess....

Problem is, this plug and play printer took nearly 3 hours to install. I think the software installation disk was defective as eventually I had to uninstall everything, reboot the computer, go to the HP website, download the software from there to get it to work. But by then it was almost 2.

Did not get to sleep until about 3:45 or so and then some, ah, household events woke me up about 7. (Who makes cookies at 7 in the morning? Who sounds louder than front row seats in a rock conc ert to make cookies? these are the questions which man might ponder to the end of days...)

So now I am rolling a pseudo-strong goofy army (no skirmish screen, only 1 flyer)on about 10 hours sleep since Wednesday about noon. This could get ugly.

I had no idea what to expect at the tournament. I know how to guage my self against my regular opponents, but not total strangers. So I decided to play sledge-Hammer. Put my Knights as close to his units as possible and more or less charge them in tandem headlong into him. And I flat out told my first opponent that. I did not care if I lost so long as I got off a charge. He could redirect me into being double flank charged or whatever...I just wanted to get off a charge. My secondary goal was a draw or marginal loss. I would not complain if I got a Solid Loss or Marginal Victory. I just wanted to avoid Massacres either way.

Game 1, Versus Lizardmen

There were a lot of ironies here. Like, I told him I had nothing to guage it by and hoped my list was pretty mediocre. He looked at it, said the 10 power dice were an awful lot...and proceeded to have 14-16 power dice every turn. Is all good, I mostly thought it was funny.

I more or less set up in a line. I tried to hide my Marauders since I could tell early on they had no targets. They were too slow to catch his many, many, many skinks. They could not touch his Temple Guard. They could not catch his Terradons. And they had no chance whatsoever against the 2 (TWO) Engine Stegadons he brought. I put my Knights side by each in the center of the table opposite where his Stegadons and Temple Guard were. Then I had my first real decision.

Where to put Shaggy? (The Dragon Ogre) If I wanted to win, there was only one place; right between my Knights. He was probably the only thing I had that could touch the monstrous Stegadons. Or I could float him out on my left flank to pseudo-protect the Marauders that I did not care about.

So I floated him out to the left flank.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 1

I went first. No charges (obviously) and did not want him charging my Knights with those impact-causing Engine-dons. Slow move forward. He pretty much dispelled everything except a Hand of Death thrown at his skinks on my left flank which got 2 of them.

Lizardman Turn 1
He moved forward more or less in a line, flying hisTerradons over Shaggy. I blocked just one thing using one scroll, but he got like 4 or 5 spells through. I don't even remember what they all did, but two knights died and that is the main thing I remember. That hurt.

 His shooting was scary, putting 4 (4) wounds on Shaggy between the Terradon rock droppers and his Blowpipe poison. Ouch.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 2
Time to charge. Shaggy charged the skinks who promptly fled...but were caught and wiped out. This was not the unit I had slain a couple with my Magic Missile, so that was good.
Another choice. If I was going to try to win, I should concentrate everything on one Engine. I should charge both units of Knights at it and my Prince. Or I could charge the 3 Knights at his Temple Guard and the Prince and other Knights at his Engine if I cared more about massive charges. You can safely assume I did the latter.

Now, to be fair, I knew  his Engine was tough but was also fairly sure that having 25 S5 attacks with WS5, another 5 S5 attacks with WS8 and 16 S4 attacks with WS 4 could have done some real damage. I also knew if instead of doing that if I took 3 Knights at his Temple Guard, I would probably lose the combat but with 10 S5 attacks should do some damage. Plus I think I thought I had my army battle standard and would be stubborn, holding up his Temple Guard who probably could not hurt me either more than once every couple of turns. Still, I knew it was basically a suicide charge that would ensure I lost.

Let 'er rip. In I went.

And promptly had I think the three most pathetic charges I ever hope to see from Chaos. My Knights whiffed completely on his Temple Guard. They might have done 1 wound? Which means even before he attacked, I had lost the combat to Rank Bonus, 2 Standards, outnumbering...And of course I broke and fled.

Meanwhile, the Knights against the Stegadon saw my Prince challenge and his Skink Chief accept from atop the howdah. So I flailed away madly at his Stegadon.

I figured he was so tough it would take everything I had to bring him down and the skinks were not going to hurt me. Plus I had 5 Knights with Frenzy and a Wizard flailing away at him, not to mention the horses.

Of course, I failed to wound him even once.

They did, however, take a wound.

Fortunately, I was about to take out his Skink Chief and get rid of that super-powered Radiance thing they do. 5 attacks needing 3s to hit. 5 dice come up with no number higher than a 2 showing.

Now that...that was awesome.

Right about that moment I knew this would be a massacre.

Making it worse, when my Knights against the Temple Guard broke, because of how I had positioned my Prince to get everyone into combat, his Temple Guard hit my Champion...which meant he outnumbered me, had rank and banner bonuses, and I would need Insane Courage to not run.

Note that if I had my battle standard bearer, I still would have been fine. I would have been testing on an 8 with a re-roll, giving me an 89% chance to stay in the battle and damage him. I could have brought my Warriors around and flanked his Temple Guard and since his other Engine was out of position, it would have no bearing on this melee.

Amazing how much more powerful that one model would make this army.

Or Stubborn Prince promptly failed his break test too. He would later rally and get into a challenge with the Skink Chief on the Engine that lasted for 9 rounds....but hurt.  I know it is a risk...but he has broken I think 3 of the last 4 times he has had the chance to.

He spent the next few turns putting his Engines in position to double-whammy my stubborn Prince with their magic phase unblockable attack of doom, killing Shaggy with javelins and poison darts, and watching my WS8, S5 Prince do 1 (one) unsaved wound to his Skink Chief in 9 rounds of one-on-one challenge combat before being slain himself when the second Engine charged and did impact hits on him.

For what it is worth, I had the Chaos Warriors untouched and one unit of Marauders with 4 guys left. I also think he slightly eased up, because instead of coming to visit my Warriors, he used his Stegadons to go after 3 Marauders...

He lost 2 units of Skinks (Shaggy) and his Terradons (Shaggy).

My Magic was ineffectual, my close combat troops pathetic.

I did not really mind. I got off three charges. True, they were ineffectual...but they sure looked good charging in.

Result: Massacre

Knowing what I now know, I would have played it differently. The other guys were all talking about what a vicious list it was to bring two Engines. They are all but impossible to kill, he had more Power Dice than anyone else and more Dispel Scrolls...none of which I mind, but it does mean playing soft as I did meant I was doomed.

Since no hill was in play (thought the field had 4 of them), I would use my Marauders to screen, put my Warriors and Shaggoth in the middle of the field, the Knights to the side, and bring full blunt force trauma to bear instead of splitting out my army, attacking piecemeal when I had the option of ganging up and flanking him, and I think I would at the least achieve a draw...though with the complete lack of success I had with the guys who did make it into combat, I might still get massacred. I doubt it. Shaggy with 5 attacks at S8 is going to give no save to the Engines and that will take them down pretty quick. I would also include my BSB with the Banner to make me stubborn.

Game 2: Warriors of Chaos
I will say up fron this kid might be my favorite game of all time. He was a wise cracking goof-ball...we had a lot of fun with our table chatter. Awesome.
His list is vastly different from mine. He has 2 large units of khorne Marauders, 3 units of khorne Chaos Warriors, and a single tzeentch wizard.

This game would have "echelon deployment" where the table is angled.

Neither of us was subtle in our deployment. Marauders on each flank, I had my Knights/Shaggoth/Knights Chaos Warriors in the middle, he had 3 Chaos Warrior units in the middle, and 4 Spawn off on my left.

His Warriors of Chaos Turn 1

I let him go first. He moved slightly forward, he tried Infernal Gateway, I used a Dispel Scroll. My Dispel dice blocked his uber-magic missile.

My Turn 1
Lets see, he moved a Spawn within 14" of a Frenzied unit of Knights...and his Warriors were within 14" of Frenzied Knights...I best be charging Shaggy. I did, and the Kngihts and the Knights and slightly moved my Warriors forward so he could not flank me without getting flanked.

Magic was brutal. I used Treason of tzeentch on his Maraduers on my left. They promptly offed like 8 of themselves. (Rules error; about turn 5 we realized he had Frenzy and so was immune to psychology. Oops...) I used Infernal Gateway to knock off some random troops.