Friday, June 25, 2010

On 8th Edition

I enjoy playing the 7th edition of Warhammer.

Partially this is because of the group I play with. Very relaxed, easy going, with the process (that is, the playing of the game) meaning a great deal more than the outcome.

Not that the outcome doesn't matter...if it did not, then we would not tally up points at the end.

But I think all of us would vastly prefer a tightly contested game with many wild swings of fortune than a game that is predetermined.

Now, there are exceptions; whether it is in my head or somewhere else, I really believe I have no chance against the Dark Elf army when using the Warriors of Chaos. I have yet to even give them a game. It has reached the point where even when building my list, I know the game is lost.

Conversely, when playing the Empire (pre-Steam Tank acquisition) I just assume a win. They do not match well with the Warriors of Chaos.

Most of the time, however, when going into a game, I look forward to the process...the unexpected Foot of Gork taking out 60% of the Dragon Princes on turn one, having 3 of 5 Chaos Knights fail a 2+ armor save, and so forth.

Working to get a positional advantage or to overcome the vagaries of misfortune that turned a brilliant battle plan into a desperate situation.

Not to say there were not flaws...the books are FAR from balanced and, more importantly to me, there are key troops in every army purely not worth taking.

For example, when building a Lizardman list, I pure and simple cannot see myself ever taking Saurus Warriors.

This is partially predicated on how I play the game. I assume my opponent is at least as skilled as I am and will no more make a mistake than I would.

The Saurus are so slow they will only ever get into close combat in unfavorable circumstances. They are not rugged enough to withstand a charge from any real cavalry, so they become nothing but "free" points for the opponent as they never, ever, ever get to even attack back. Doing 5 casualties to Saurus is not hard.

This, by the way, is why with the Warriors of Chaos I very seldom take Warriors of Chaos. The only time they have gotten into combat has been when I was charged by Cold One Knights (I did not get to attack back), by Grail Knights (I did not get to attack back), and when I was able to pin an opponent with my Knights.

In short, there are certain troops that at any cost over zero are priced too high for what they do. Note; not what they are CAPABLE of, but what they DO.

I also, as part of my love of fantasy, want to have magic and dragons.

Magic, to put it mildly, has been ineffective for me. I have had 12 levels of magic shut down by 3, for example.

None of this is to say I am crying for infantry to play some huge role or for the game to degenerate into Wizard v. Wizard with everyone else irrelevant.

But in reading over the 8th edition changes now that they are confirmed, I am starting to really get excited.

First off, I love epic combats. Although the outcome was a foregone conclusion, (largely because in something like 8 rounds of combat his 'elite" Temple Guard got to attack me like once), perhaps my all-time favorite game moment was a Shaggoth v. Temple Guard v. Chaos Knights and Dragon Ogres v. Terradons v. Saurus v Chaos Marauders.

It was such a memorable moment I still have it as a picture on my phone (though the Brandon Roy dunk of the year remains my screen saver).

Second, I do not mind losing fact, perhaps my biggest complaint has been that games are heavily weighted in favor of whoever can get off a charge, and any unit not engaged in setting up and executing the charge is just filler.

It certainly appears to me that this specific issue has been addressed in 8th. With the return to the "step-up" rule and the addition of the "steadfast" rule, the idea of my "filler" actually getting to fight instead of having the giant "we are free vp with almost no risk" stamp is in an iron lung breathing its last.

Instead, I actually see a real use for Marauders and Chaos Warriors.

I have to laugh about the complaints that "true line of sight means no more screening units " as the ridiculous "people on a hill have no targeting restrictions" rule meant I was able to actually screen maybe twice. Ever. So there is really very little change.

When it comes to the charge, at first I hated the random add. But the more I think about it, the more I like it.

I have had several games, particularly with the Ogre Kingdoms and Bretonnians, where a bulk of the game was playing chicken to see who would first either maneuver their opponent into being forced to receive a charge or else giving up and allowing the opponent to charge.

At the same time, armies faster than my own (Wood Elf, Skinks, Dark Elfs) were all but un-touchable for me as they were able to elude me through wise use of skirmishing and/or the ability to force me to either give them the charge (which I could not stand up to) or die without responding under missile fire. (though the Skinks, wisely, have yet to charge me)

The ability to reach further than a static distance alters every one of those scenarios. In the ones where I held the advantage, I still do but now, between random charge distance and the altered importance of the charge (striking in I order rule), it is not an unbeatable advantage.

Conversely, when I am at a disadvantage, I am still at a disadvantage, but now it is not un-overcomable.

Whereas before if the Grail Knights charged me I typically would lose anywhere from 3 to all 5 Knights without a chance to attack back, now I have a chance to at least fight, for example.

So overall, although my favorite army elements (the Knights, Shaggoth, Dragon Ogres) got weakened in some respects, the prospect of some massive, epic combats with units I regularly took, but only to weaken my army, like Marauders and Chaos Warriors, makes me excited.

Moving on to magic, I like the limit of scrolls (and hope they eliminate stuff like the High Elf item that makes any double an 100 points, it is far too strong for the points, especially with the new mis-cast table) and the way being a higher level actually means you are stronger than a lower level.

Not sure how I feel about some of the super-powered spells, but love that you should get some stuff more total wall of shut-down.

Basically, 90% of what I heard are rules adjustments I really, really like.

The main downside? Until they release the box set with the small rulebook...I will be playing 7th.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

4999 Warriors of Chaos versus 4999 Ogre Kingdoms

Lately all I have been able to get in have been small games. Not that there is anything wrong with that...I enjoy the occasional 750 point or 1500 point game. I have even been toying with the idea of some more War bands experiments.

But there are times you want something big, epic...more akin to something out of Herodotus than the petty squabbles of smallish games.

So I sat down, looked at all the models I owned, and put together a list that incorporated all the models I wanted to play except one (I wanted to put in the Giant, but did not want to go over 5K...and he was the one I least wanted to play so out he went.)

It was not a particularly well-designed army...too many expensive troops, little flexibility, and no real focus.

But it would be fun. My goals were simple....get off that one epic charge that resulted in ridiculous numbers of casualties.

The Set-Up

He placed first and dropped his Yehtees on my extreme left flank. I had my plan in place before he ever placed a model...a small blocking force on the left, push my real power through on the right.

The Warriors of Chaos are better than almost any other configuration at pounding mass quantities of lethality into a small frontage than almost any other force. With a village in the middle and a forest on the right, I would be able to force the action to my advantage. Any and everything he sent after my left flank was to my advantage.

So I responded by placing a unit of Marauder Horsemen off to the left opposite the Yehtees. They were just a ruse...their job would be to sweep up around the village and turn him back towards the right.

He then put some Bulls behind the Yehtees and I put some Knights to the right of the Marauder Horsemen. Again...turn him back to the middle. The Knights were strong enough to be a legit threat (the Marauders more just redirect than anything).

I then put another unit of Marauders behind the would not impeded their progress at all. Soon after, I deployed the troops I had planned all along...12 Knights with a Juggernaut riding Exalted, my Exalted hero with Banner of Chaos, etc.

At some point my brain cramped and I threw a unit of 25 Marauders on the extreme left. I still cannot explain why.

Ogre Turn 1
He moves forward somewhat faster than a walk but slower than a march. I stop most of his magic, but he DOES get off the gut magic that makes his Rhinorx stubborn with enhanced Toughness. No big deal...I will just dispel it on my turn.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 1

My games with Kev often have a turn or two of chicken..who can maneuver JUST SO to get the charge, as an Ogre bull charge is not a good idea to receive...but neither is receiving a charge from ranked up Knights with a couple heroes in the unit.

I get a break as I roll on Wulfrik and his band of Marauders. They come on directly behind Greesus.

On the downside, Sigvald the Magnificent manages to roll an 11 and is Stupid.

I slowly advance, setting up counter charges for about turn 3ish.
I do get off one bit...a nice combo charge with Galrauch and the Dragon Ogres against his Giant (Shaggoth had declared a charge against some Bulls, but he chose to flee and hung Shaggy out to dry.

I had Galrauch and a level four Prince as well as a second level Wizard on a Disc with Infernal many dice as I intended to be casting, I figured to have a couple of mis-casts.

Sure first attempt of the game was Galrauch mis-casting. No damage as it did not wound him. The Prince gets off Infernal Gateway, but he Scrolled it and I get nothing else useful cast successfully.

I fire the H-cannon. My guess drops it all but on the head of Kev's leading unit, it scatters 2"...and lands in between three units, touching none of them.

On the left, I do manage to kill a Gnoblar with a throwing Axe, but they bounce off the Rhinorx like snowballs off a furnace...and it is about this point I remember I forgot to Dispel his unit buff.

Galrauch manages to hit just twice and only one wounds. The Dragon Ogres get the Giant twice. 3 wounds...pathetic. I should have done 5 with 6 attacks needing 3s to hit and 2s to wound and another 6 tries with the same numbers.Instead, 12 S7 or S8 attacks against a lower WS result in 3 wounds. Then the Giant does 6 wounds back, killing one Dragon Ogre outright and putting two wounds on the second.

It is now that I roll an 11 for the Dragon Ogre break test, but have a re-roll because of my Battle Standard Bearer. So I roll a 10...even on their Stubborn re-roll, they properly (at the time I thought improperly) break and run. Ouch.

Ogre Turn 2

His Gorger arrives and comes on ready to counter-charge my Marauders. His Gnoblars on the left charge my Marauder Horsemen, his Rhonorx charge the other unit. His Irongut fail their Fear test and cannot charge my massive Knight unit (both Exalted heroes caused Terror) and his Hunter failed another Fear test and could not charge Shaggy. Would anyone ever pass a Leadership test?
Meanwhile, his scraplauncher careened into my 12 knight unit.
My Marauders stand and shoot down a whopping 4 Gnoblars in five attempts.
Then Magic starts. I have a history of losing the magic phase...such as having 14 levels of magic, facing 4, and getting crushed. So it is no surprise when he gets off Brainbustah to kill two Chaos Warriors and then casts Troll Guts on his biggest unit.
In close combat, I get a surprise. His Gnoblars fail to wound my Horsemen, in return the Horsemen and Horses slew 4 apiece. The Static Combat Resolution advantage of +4 meant nothing, the Gnoblars broke.

I restrained from pursuing. It was a (near) perfect plan. He would kill my other horsemen, over-run, and clip these Horsemen, allowing me to Combo-charge with my Chariot and 5-Knight unit.
To the surprise of...well...nobody, the Rhinorx wreck the Marauder Horsemen. My other unit passes a second Leadership test and my trap is set up.

His Scraplauncher does 6 Impact hits. Wound this be a bad time to point out I have had three Chariot charges...with Scythes...for a combined SEVEN impact hits? Whine, whine whine.
Anyhow, he does 5 wounds with them and I save 3. His crew and beasts fail to wound. My Exalted hero does 4 wounds back and he breaks.
Galrauch manages to hit the Giant thrice, but only 1 wound. The Giant wounds him back and, worse yet, the result means Galrauch cannot fight next turn. I am in deep, deep trouble.
The charge of my Knights on the left is something that has less than a 50% chance of winning. I should probably make him chew through the horsemen first, but I want the epic charge. So I am likely to see the left flank disintegrate, lose my biggest point model, and I am not overly confident in the ability of the Dragon Ogres to rally.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 2
The Warriors of Chaos have a simple game plan. When in doubt...charge. When in trouble...charge. When desperate...charge. When you have the advantage...charge and over-run.
Unless...of course...Greesus uses his ability to make you stupid, which he did to Sigvald.
Wulfrik considers charging out of the Marauders...I was thinking Greesus was like the Cauldron of Blood and removed rank/standard bonuses. Ultimately I left them with him. He charged in.
Shaggy charged in on the Giant. I forgot the Knights would not leave room for the Chariot...a bit rusty. So I charge them in anyway and move the chariot to counter-charge if I lose.
the big Knight unit charges his big block of Ogres.
Galraugh has his Infernal dispelled, but the Prince gets it off on a big unit. Unfortunately, it only does 5 S5 hits...and the Luck Gnoblar saves the only wound it does. I get Treason off and his unit wounds its champ once and one regular guy once.

Shaggy does his job, killing the Giant to save Galrauch. He then fails his restrain roll (on a ten!) and overruns into the forest.
In a challenge, the Exalted Hero kills the Ogre champ. The other Exalted hero does nothing, the Knight champ and 2 other Knights and their horses combine for a rather pathetic 3 wounds total. His Butcher kills one Knight in return. He breaks and flees. My plan is now working to perfection. I am wiping out the right flank while holding off his forces on my left.
Wulfrik goes bananas, hitting Greesus all four times and even getting 2 wounds to go through. Because he had to challenge, it was only those two fighting. Greeses enacts bloody revenge, hitting just once, but that one wounds and multiplies into 3, killing Wulfrik. Still, Greesus falls to Static Combat Resolution. The Marauders follow and hit his Bull unit, getting out of the way of the Gorger in the process.
On the left, my Champ faces his Rhinorx riding champ in another challenge, but fails to wound, then rolls a 1 and therefore does not save. The spell he cast on the first turn I twice failed to save makes my job tougher, and the Knights only get off 4 wounds, 3 of which are saved. I save everything else he throws at me and my gamble, while it had low reward, still works as it holds him up for a turn.

Ogre Kingdoms Turn 3
When in trouble, the Ogre Kingdoms charge. When they are bored, they charge. When they have the advantage, they charge. a shocking maneuver in a game between the Ogre Kingdoms and the Warriors of Chaos...they charge. And Charge. And charge. It was like a WASP in Saks Fifth Avenue.
He rallies Greesus, but the intentional fleeing Bulls decide they have business elsewhere and fail to rally.
I stop all his magic.

His Leadbelchers unleash at my H-cannon. His first one mis-fires and does 4 wounds to him. However, he does put 2 wounds on the cannon and kills a chaos dwarf cannon-guide.
His Gnoblars throw sharp stuff at the Chaos Prince, but he Ward Saves the only wound they inflict.
In close combat, he gets just wound off on Shaggy, who responds with 3 wounds to him.
My Exalted hero and Juggernaut, in a challenge, combine to do just one wound and take one back. That is...well...disappointing. My close combat troops are combating the idea of actually doing damage...
The other exalted, the Knights and their mounts combine for 6 wounds...not terrible, but not close to their capabilities, either. He kills another knight, but it is a foregone conclusion he is running.
The Gorger can only put one Marauder down, and they go to work with their Great Weapons, wounding him twice.
His Sabertooths attack my Dragon Ogres, wounding once, but I wound them twice and over-run.
Against the Rhinorx I cannot wound him even once. He only wounds back one time...but his new charges put down all the Marauder Horsemen. He overruns with the Leadbelchers and yehtees...but I am fine with that. they are out of the game for yet another turn.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 3
He makes Galrauch and Sigvald stupid with Greesus...yes, Sigvald has now been stupid a tidy three out of three turns.
I respond by charging Greesus with the D-Prince and H-cannon. The khorne-marked chariot charges his Rhinorx.
Time for Magic. The prince rolls 5 dice for Infernal Gateway...and gets 4 '1"s and a "2". I roll on the 11. I use Infernal to make it a 12, thus getting it off irresistibly. 7 S8 hits...and I get just 3 wounds out of it. I say "just" because with 78 dice needing 2s, I expect a little more than 3.

I FINALLY remember to dispel his Super-Rhinorx spell.
Shaggy wounds the champ a couple times, but takes a couple wounds in return.

The D-Prince puts down Greesus, which causes a 5 man unit behind him to break, they run into the Marauders and are destroyed.

The Marauders wound the Gorger once again.
The Chariot, for me, does a record 3 impact hits. Only 1 wound goes through, the Warriors put 2 more wounds on him and even a chariot horse wounds them, putting down a Rhinorx (finally). He returns fire, killing both Chaos Warriors and taking out the chariot.

Ogre Turn 4
His Gnoblars want to charge my Dragon Ogres but fail their fear test. He does, however, put a lot of pressure on Wulfrik's Marauders, hitting them in the flank with Maneaters, a Tyrant, and a Butcher.
His other Gnoblar unit throws enough sharp stuff to wound a Dragon Ogre.

Then he opens fire with his Leadbelchers against the Maraude4rs who have been wandering around my back flank.

The first one mis-fires, wounding him once. The second one...mis-fires, doing another 5 wounds, killing 2 Leadbelchers. His shots do just 2 to the Marauders, his Leadbelchers fail their break test and flee.
And never come back.
Yes, for the price of 2 7ish point Marauders, he loses an entire 4-man unit of Leadbelchers.

This, for all intents and purposes, is game. He does not move his Rhinorx again, I am able to get my Cannon and Prince into combat with the maneaters (the Marauders being Stubborn due to proximity to my BSB).
I get his Yehtees in a corner, charge them with my Marauders and wipe them out.

Sigvald goes stupid twice more (for a total of 5 of 6 turns he was Stupid) and Galrauchs' breath weapon fails, but the game turned ugly.

The Warriors of Chaos mop up the Ogres. But they never see Shrek...

During the game, it felt like the game was on a razor's edge through about 4 turns. Looking back it looks a little different.
At the time, I was bummed that my Dragon Ogres failed, that none of my charges was very effective, and that the left flank was doing exactly what it was intended to do...get chewed up slowly, holding superior forces in check while I used over-whelming force to obliterate the right wing.
The fact my plan was working slower than intended, combined with him forcing the Dragon Ogres to flee and Galrauch being in danger meant it FELT a lot worse than it was.
Meanwhile, the 12-Knight unit was chewing through everything in sight. I was crushing his stronger flank while using throw-away points to slow him down. My left flank had just about 800 points and was doing a great job of keeping his Rhinorx, leadbelchers, 2 units of Gnoblars, the Yehtees, and a unit or two of Bulls occupied....which meant I had a nice advantage on the other flank.

The Traditional "We Bring Carnage and leave with mayhem" Survivor Photo

I guess more important than anything else, it was a very pleasant 4 or 5 hours gaming with one brother next to me playing another game (their epic Steam Tank v Grail Knight grind-fest should be detailed!) and, in our post-battle redux, all involved copped to having a really great time.
Ultimately, that is the point of the game. Did we have fun? And the answer was a resounding yes.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

1500 pt O&G v. High Elfs

I ponder how to set up my mighty forces, feeling mighty spiffy in my rocking pink collar.

As with much of the Warhammer universe, our group takes a dim view of the abilities of the Orc and Goblin army. There is a reason for this.

On any given turn, on average close to 1/3rd of your army will be operating outside your complete control due to animosity/Waaaagggh non-sense. This is compounded by low leadership and sub-par strength of attacks.

The result is a hard to control army subject to fleeing at inopportune times and struggling to wound tough enemies.

On the flip side of the coin, they have some very fun stuff. I played a game (no report written) a couple weaks ago at 1000 points versus the Beastmen. I had a jolly good time with the Doom Diver, the Iron-Back Boar impact hits, the Squig Hoppers, and the Fanatics. In fact, the Squig Hoppers saw off one unit on turn two and, when defeated in turn three, led their pursuers too close to the Night Goblins, thus seeing the Fanatics whirl in and finish him off (they took out his best unit which included his general and another key character so we packed it in after I think 2 turns since the game was, for all intents and purposes, over) (thus the lack of report...short game.)

My buddy Space Monkey and I decided on the spur of the moment to play a game to get him some experience with the High Elfs. He has his dragon painted and a couple other units that, combined with some stuff I had painted would make for a small but intriguing game.

He wanted to use his Dragon Mage, so off we went.

Contrary to my usual practice, I elected to build a thematic army. Generally, I just build an army by first putting in the units I want to play, then using my remaining points to cover the weaknesses.

This time I chose to emphasize the "no control" theme; all Savage Orcs or Night Goblins.*

In the set-up, I then further went with the theme. The Night Goblins...who universally fear the elfs would be on the right flank. I put 20 bows spread in a thin line anchored on the forest on the hill on my extreme right, with the Spear Chukkah in the forest. The other Spear Chukkah was on my left, and the Night Goblin Spearmen went behind the bowmen. Then the Squig Hoppers went on the extreme right in the forest, their ability to skirmish meaning it would not matter.

On the left I went front were 13 Savage Orc Bowmen, with 15 Savage Orc Big Uns with extra Choppa in hand, and the Shaman, Big Boss on Ironback Boar and Chariot behind them. The Giant was more or less just between the spear chukkah and the Night Goblins.

He placed a line of Lothern Sea Guard spread in a line facing my Night Goblin bowmen, and behind them his White Lions and Phoenix Guard?

In his hill-top forest went his Repeater Bolt Thrower and Shadow Warriors with his Knights just next to the forest and in front of his Dragon mage.

O&G Turn 1I fail my animosity with the Night Goblin Spearmen (actually, I Waaaghed...but I needed them to NOT move for my battle plan/army theme so I consider it a fail), and make a general advance to get in range. I should have had him go first...*sigh* oh well. I then get the Foot of Gork off with Irresistible force and kill 3 Knights. 1 Spear Chukkah manages to wound the dragon...a great start for the greenskins!

High Elf Turn 1
On my left flank, he moves his Swordmasters forward and runs the Knights forward in front of them. He elects not to move anything on my right flank, though the Dragon Mage does fly off to my extreme right.

He then costs Conflagration of Doom on my Giant with a whopping 16 or so, and I am forced to use my only Dispel Scroll on it.

His Repeater Bolt thrower then fires a spread at my Savage Orc Arrer Boyz, wounding 2, one of which my mighty Warpaint saves.

This is one of those moments that is great about the game.

I, personally, prefer to use RBT to take out tough targets. I would have gone after the Giant. Yet I have seen some pretty solid statistical analysis that indicates the most damage is done by firing it the way he did.

My theory, however, goes thusly. A giant is tough to kill...high T, many W. He only has one or two things likely to have good chances to wound me. a RBT is one of those.

It is interesting to note that I am in the distinct minority even in the Starving Crazed Weasels...most prefer not to shoot when they have but one chance to hit.

I can certainly understand that point of view and do not necessarily disagree with it...however, he had Knights, Swordmasters, White Lions and Phoenix Guard who could all reasonably be expected to wound the Arrer Boyz relatively frequently, but is only a FAVORITE to wound the Giant with the Dragon and RBT. Their higher S (and the RBT ability to multi-wound) mean they are a threat the Giant must respect.

Meanwhile, the Giant was the only VISIBLE thing I had with a reasonable chance to wound his Dragon. If I lose the Giant, his Dragon could conceivably rampage at will throughout my lines. I had nothing else to stop it. Thus, to me, the clear target is taking out the only threat to your dominant advantage.

It all comes down to play style and choices.

I USUALLY go after the most dangerous thing first and then clean up the rest at my leisure. I also realize it is personal preference, and there is no really "wrong" answer here. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages.

His Shadow Warrios also fire at the Arrer Boyz and kill another. His Lothern Seaguard rain 3 hits on the Squig Hoppers, but their S3 proves unable to wound.

O & G Turn 2The Arrer Boyz really have no interest in charging, but my General, being frenzied, is GOING to charge whether I want him to or they might as well to provide him some support. And there are just two knights... so in go the Arrer Boyz.

On the right flank, I demonstrate a complete incompetence in regard to the rules. I think his reckless rule functions like frenzy and that if a flyer flies into trees, it is destroyed like impassable terrain.

So I move my Squig Hoppers towards his dragon mage to force that exact scenario.
I was wrong on every count. He is NOT forced to charge and would stop just short of the trees. Oops.

I manage to get all my magic dispelled, the one that hurt being rolling double 3s, he having just one die left and rolling a six. Grrr.

Shooting not much better as one Spear Chukkah hits, but a "1" means no wounds.

The General does 3 impact hits (Iron Back Boar, but he saves 2 of them, then in the challenge I whiff. Fortunately, I outnumber, and win...they break, I over-run. The Arrer Boyz barely move, but the General over-runs into the RBT. Woo-hoo!

High Elf Turn 2His Phoenix Guard charge the Arrer Boyz, his Dragon mage charges the Squig Hoppers, and his Shadow Warriors reform to flank my General after he over-runs the RBT (assuming he will).

I use all my dice to Dispel his Conflagration of Doom, he gets of Flaming Sword off.

The Lothern Sea Guard kill 3 Night Goblin bowmen in six hits.

Prior to forming up to face the dragon (and showing my one proxy unit...only 2 actual riders)

The dragon tears the Squig Hoppers to shreds, and then pursues leading to one of my favorite moments in recent memory.

Check out the joy on that Squig-hoppers face. He survived the onslaught...will he survive the pursuit?

It also releases all my Fanatics who open up a can of whoop-smurf on his candy smurf. ** They do a whopping 17 hits. 10 on the dragon, doing....ONE wound. ONE. Hence, I will probably need my Giant to do any damage to him... But they do seven wounds to the Mage. He saves 4 but dies, and the Dragon gets the "whimper" result...which means the Fanatic that JUST reached him dies, and in its death throws, he takes another 2 wounds.

Meanwhile, my General kills both Bolt Thrower crew with impact hits, and gets nearly a max over-run, thus escaping the Shadow Warriors.

I kept trying to anticipate his wins and over-runs so I could counter-charge with my Chariot. It never worked...because I kept beating his Elite units with the Savage Orcs.

High Elf Turn 3
His Swordmasters (I think I called them Phoenix Guard earlier) charge my Save Orc Big Uns. I am not too worried...I have a couple ranks, they are my best combat troops, with good S and T and an extra attack from the Choppas and another from Frenzy.

His champ and mine go into a challenge. His General kills one Big Un. In the challenge, I ward save his hit (Go 6+ Ward!) and wound him back 3 times. He saves 2 with his own Ward save but fails the third and dies. The other 3 swordmasters kill 2 Big Uns, my last guy kills 2 of his. I win by 2 but he passes his test.

Orc & Goblin Turn 4
The Giant charges into the combat and gets in a challenge with Cadryan (?). Foot of Gork stomps the Lothern Seaguard, killing 4, I release my bound spell 'headbuttt to kill another, and then the Gaze of Gork finishes them off. Magic FTW!

In the challenge, Cadryan wounds the Giant. The Giant swings his club, wounding Cadryan thrice, but saved twice, so tied. His Sword masters kill 2 Big Uns, I do 2 wounds back and he armor saves one and ward saves the other. I still win the combat...

High Elf Turn 4
He makes a couple charges on my right flank with his tardily moving White Lions and Phoenix Guard.

Note: he had not played for a while, so this was understandable. In our post-battle discussion, these were the primary topic. He admitted his initial plan was thwarted...and as a result he only began moving them late in the game.
This was a big advantage for me as it allowed my weak flank to hold its own and actually (eventually) take out his dragon mage while my strong flank was allowed to have more strength at each point of contact.

There is a lesson here for every general . Units you place or leave where they are no threat are wasted points and give your opponent an unnecessary advantage. He effectively removed nearly a third of his points from the battle until too late whereas I had just about 10% of my points over there.

This had the same effect as giving me over a 300 point advantage...and in a 1500 point game, that is far too much unless one player is VASTLY superior to the other.

Always make sure you have not just a primary role for each troop, but also a secondary role...never let them just stand around. At the very least THREATEN your opponent with them...maybe a flank charge or even a frontal charge if necessary. A threat is often better than an actual attack because your opponent then has to react.

This is not a shot at Space Monkey. I think it would be unfair to expect someone who had not played in close to a year to play a flawless game (and I have already shown that I hardly played a flawless game...) and this is exactly the type of thing that is more about inexperience and rust than anything.

Anyway, I stand and shoot....3 Phoenix Guard slain, the other 2 break and run. The White Lions make it in.

His Shadow Guard also charge my General.

The White Lions only kill 2 bowmen and take a casualty in return. I am ranked (I had reformed a while before when I had no target and I was thinking about moving my spearmen)...he breaks and flees.

My general kills 2 Shadow Warriors, the other breaks, I overrun him.

Cadryan cannot wound the Giant, the Giant again swings club. Three wounds...two saved, one not. It is enough. Cadryan dies...and does 5 wounds to the Giant with the curse, killing him as well!
This was the highlight of the night, as it was the express purpose Space Monkey included Cadryan, and it worked. He wanted Cadryan to die and take someone with him via curse. Since the Giant was my single most expensive model (by about double!) it was the right one.

No damage from the fall.
His Swordmasters die and we call it.

The traditional "We survived the carnage" photo op.
My Chariot did lots of maneuvering, but never managed to get into combat. Fail. Well, sort was always a threat he had to be aware of. Would have been nice to get some impact hits...and I kept it from getting charged. But

My General, by contrast, rampaged around the field killing indiscriminately. He basically Casablanca'd the entire High Elf army.

The Spear chukkas, for just 70 points total, put a wound on a dragon. The fanatics killed the dragon (and about 6 or 7 Night Goblins) and Mage. Epic success.

The Squig Hoppers lured him to where I wanted him...65 points well spent.

The Savage Orc big Uns were fun (and look cool) but struggled to wound t3 troops. Scary. I can only imagine how ugly it would be against Chaos Warriors or Ogres. Oh, well.

The Savage Orc Shaman and Night Goblin Shaman combined to kill 3 Knights, 10 Lothern Sea Guard, and keep him from getting off Conflagration of Doom.

This was a very enjoyable evening with my favorite Warhammer outcome. Do not know who not care. We both did some casualties, both took some, and had a great time with my good friend playing an entertaining game.

Oh, and...the O&G are quite fun.

* Yes, I realize the chariot and Spear Chukkas do not have options for those things...but they were the only models I had to hand to fill the points.
** Yes, you are welcome for the random, pointless callback to the Great One, the Rock. Do you smell what I am cooking?