Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Campaign Game: Warriors of Chaos Versus Dogs of War

In our campaign there is a lot more strategy to the game than merely winning or losing. Because losing a model means it might not come back for the next game, it is imperative to minimize casualties, though of course not at the cost of losing the game.

With that in mind, this game had some major pitfalls.

On the one hand, between my points advantage (2250-1750) and the fact the Dogs of War are out-dated and therefore slightly weakened and over-costed, I should win fairly handily.

At the same time, with two cannons, pikemen, and some crossbowmen ensconced in a tower, I could take a lot of attrition to important models. One lucky cannon shot could cost me the services of the Shaggoth or a Knight. So I had to be careful.

The Setup
We went "secret dispositions". The only relevant terrain on my side of the field were a couple forests closing off my left flank and a small village on my right, ensuring I would head straight up the center of the field.

This is bad when the opponent has a hill and tower on their left flank to put cannons and crossbowmen in....

Anchoring his flank on the forest, Liam put a cannon on my left flank, Pikemen flanking it, then Ogres, the Paymaster and his bodyguard, his second cannon on the hill on my right, and the crossbows in the tower.

I placed my Dragon Ogres on my left flank, then a block of Chaos Marauders, My Chaos Knights (with Mithridates and Diophantus, my General and Battle Standard Bearer in it) with the Chaos Warriors behind them, Marauder Horsemen on the right with the Shaggoth on the extreme right.

My theory was the left flank would probably have little on it and the Dragon Ogres could probably handle it. If nothing was there, they were fast enough to get into the action quickly.

The Marauder Horsemen could ride ahead to take some shots at his anticipated cannon-placings on the hill with the Knights coming behind quickly.

My placement worked pretty well. But now it was key to get the first turn, because a couple well-placed cannon balls could careen through two or three units apiece...but the dice were against me.

Dogs of War Turn 1
Oh, forgot...he had some Halflings who started taking advantage of their special rules to head through the forest on my left. Everything else stood firm.

His first cannon shot was guessed perfectly, with the artillery die l/4" in front of my Knights. Any 4+ result would not only get a Knight, it would take out Chaos Warriors as well. But...it stuck in the mud. HUGE sigh of relief!

His second cannon was guessed nearly as well, though the flight landed it an eight inch beyond my Dragon Ogres but in good shape to rip all five ranks of Marauders...until it also stuck!

But then his crossbows went to work on the Shaggoth and put a whopping 3 wounds on him. Half dead before I even got a turn!

He had other shots that forced my Knights to make a couple saves, which they did and then his Magic spell Forked Lightning was successful but harmless.

Overall, I was not unhappy.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 1
With no shooting and no magic, I was in trouble. I took a quick look at his forces...no Giants, Dragons, Wyverns, or other hard, nasty targets i would need Shaggy's S6 for. He went to hide behind the buildings.

Note this is how a campaign game is different than a normal game. As a general rule, I want him being the target so my other units can cross the field unweakened by missile fire. However, if I lost him permanently for the campaign, my army would be significantly weakened. So best to hide him and keep him around for the next game.

Everything else moved forward nearly a full march move.

Dogs of War Turn 2
He surprised me by making a general advance.
His first cannon again landed perfectly an inch in front of the knights (curse his extremely accurate range guessing!) and then...stuck! Bwoohahahaha...urk.

His other cannon scythed through my Marauders like a cannon ball through models with no armor, doing three casualties.

His Crossbowmen then shot at my Marauder horsemen, wounding 4 times. Fortunately, I saved 2, but still 2 died. then his second unit shot down 2 more and his captain shot down the last one. I looked on in awe as he one-turn wiped out my Horsemen before they ever got into their 6" axe range.

This time I dispelled Forked Lightning.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 2
When you have a close-combat oriented army and the opponent is throwing 40 or 50 shots a turn, the best thing you can do is get into contact so he cannot shoot at you anymore.

His cannoneers fail their Fear test and flee but I redirect and hit his bodyguard. Mithridates declared a challenge which was met by the Mercenary Captain.

This just in; heroes from 3 years back do not fare well against WoC Lord level characters. Mithridates only did 2 wounds, but the Sword of Change proved its worth; the Mercenary failed his test and died. I rolled on the table and now Mithridates causes Terror.

Well, when he became a spawn, the Captain thrashed around, wounding the Paymaster and killing a random bodyguard.

Diophantus wounded 4 of them...and they saved them all. Ouch. The horse wounded twice...they saved both. Fortunately, the Knights managed to do 8 unsaved wounds and their horses another.

At first it seemed they would stand, but then we remembered...they were now outnumbered by a Fear causing enemy. they broke, the nearby Ogres broke, both over-run. This caused the Pikes to break.

Dogs of War Turn 3
His cannon failed its terror test, broke and ran. However, his pikemen and Wizard both rallied. His crossbows shot a lot at the Knights, but I saved the only 3 wounds. then his halflings popped out of the forest and wounded a dragon ogre.

Then he got off the Comet of Cassandra with irresistible force. Oops.

Warriors of Chaos turn 3
And...the Comet hits. 2 Chaos Warriors and 6 Chaos Marauders die. This game is getting expensive...and there is more danger ahead.

Time to concentrate on his pikemen. Able to invalidate my cavalry charge and fight in multiple ranks, I really want to make sure I break them.

The Chaos Dragon Ogres ignore the plinking halflings and get on the left flank of the pikemen. the Knights wheel around to get the right flank of the pikemen. And the Chaos Warriors advance to close the trap. He has nowhere to go.

(Note; If this were not a campaign game, I would have sent lots less after the pikes, but their ability to perhaps kill a Knight or three meant I was taking no chances. I figured he would probably turn to face the Knights but I would do great harm with my Dragon Ogres in the rear and Chaos Warriors in the flank.)

Dogs of War Turn 4
Sometimes you forget the obvious or overlook the unexpected. Liam made a brilliant move here...he charged my Chaos Marauders. I must admit I did not see that one coming.

His Wizard Mis-cast, his Halflings had like one shot and it missed.

The Pikes proved they are old edition and facing Chaos Marauders, wounding but one time in like 15 attacks. That wound was saved. The Marauders wounded the Pikemen 3 times, but 2 were saved.

Uh-oh...he has 2 more ranks, a better standard, and outnumbers...I break and flee, he over-runs. this is disastrous, as being over-run has one of the largest negative modifiers and so the entire unit was likely lost for good. D'oh!

Warriors of Chaos Turn 4
Revenge...his Wizard was alone in front of my Knights. Mithridates killed him in a challenge, gaining Slaughterers Strength. His cannoneers see the slaying, break, flee and leave the table.

Dogs of War Turn 5
Not much left to do but reform to face the inevitable charge next turn. His shooting and magic missed.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 5
Charge! In go the Knights and Warriors. And the Dragon Ogres.

His Pikemen got to strike my Knights first but between their weak attacks, the Mark of nurgle, and my armor got nothing done.

The Dragon Ogres hit 6 times and, needing 2s to kill, manage to dial up 4 "1"s. Epic fail approaching?
Nah. The Warriors killed 7 Pikemen, the Knights another 7, and the horses the final three.

We called it a game since all he had left were a few halflings and archers across the table.

Looking back
I have made no secret of my distaste for certain parts of the hobby. I do not like assembling my troops. I am not a huge fan of painting them, though sometimes I enjoy it. Basing them is slow, tedious work.

But when the Knights make those glorious charges or there is an epic combat involving numerous participants, it is all worth while. That is great fun.

Seeing inferior troops do damage to superior troops can also be entertaining. I admit I enjoyed the combat between the Marauders and Pikemen, even though it proved costly (I permanently lost over half the unit) to my campaign plans.

But it is a fun part of the game. Those moments of fear when your best troops see the cannonball flying straight at them...then the relief as the mud sucks it down, never to be seen again.

Yeah, this just in...for me, playing the game is so fun it makes the other parts of the hobby worthwhile.


Kuffeh said...

Great report! It was interesting to see that people still use the DOW army, but I would never have expected it to stand up to the new warriors of chaos.

Again, a great read. =)

Anonymous said...

Do your Chaos heroes retain their gained bonuses on the EotG table throughout your campaign?

Anonymous said...

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John said...

Another great write up mate - and good pictures too.

Darth Weasel said...

Wow, thanks for the kind words.
As for retaining the bonuses...I suspect they will but am not sure. I will have to check.

Also, thanks for the kind words on the pics...most of them will even expand if you click on them, giving you a pretty good idea of my lack of painting skills :-)

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