Background; I was fiddling around trying to make some small-game lists I would enjoy playing. Stuff with *gasp* no Chaos Dragon Ogres, no Dragon Ogre Shaggoth....lists that include stuff I normally leave off my list for suctitude like Chaos Warhounds, Chaos Warriors, big Chaos Marauder blocks not including Wulfrik...
Plus, I wanted to find a fun, workable Dwarf build that did not have the "gunline" feel but would be fun to play.
So I made lists for Warriors of Chaos, Wood Elfs, High Elfs, Dwarfs, and Orcs & Goblins.
All the lists were sort of restricted; less than 200 points in characters (and just 1 character), blocks of ranked core fighters, just one Elite unit (except the High Elfs).
My brother was going to take me to the airport, so we snuck in a game. Having just played Warrios of Chaos versus High Elfs the night before against Space Monkey (report to follow in a week or so), I was going to play either Wood Elfs, Dwarfs or High Elfs.
Just to give you a rough idea...my Wood Elf list was so soft it included both Dryads and Wardancers. This just in...skirmishing close combat troops with no ranked troops to help against ranked up fighter units = worse suctitude than normal.
Fullur selected the High Elf list, so I mentally flipped a coin. It came up Dwarfs.
I hesitated...with T4 and decent armor, against S3 Elfs...would the High Elf army have a chance? I decided they would and went Dwarfs.
Setup was simple. Dwarf Warriors in center front with Thane w/Oathstone in it. Thunderers to left and right, Hammerers directly behind the Warriors and a unit of Rangers in the woods on my left flank.
My right flank Thunderers would be blocked by a hill, but that was okay...this field was deliberately set to allow some shooting but encourage close combat and not allow hill-placed missile fire to control the field.
He had his Bolt Thrower on my right guarded by a small stream , then his Dragon Princes, big block of spearmen, then 11 strong Lothern Sea Guard, and on my extreme left, 5 White Lions.
He won the roll and passed the turn to me.
Dwarf Turn 1
I knew he was out of range. I also knew I wanted my Thunderers on the right to get up on the hill. I marched my battle line forward, meaning (but forgetting) to start my Hammmerers off to the right to back up the Thunderers who would almost inevitable get charged (and probably run off) by the Dragon Princes.
My turn took almost a full minute to complete.
High Elf Turn 1
He marches his Spearmen forward, angles his Dragon Princes to get my flank, walks forward with his Seaguard and advances his White Lions towards my Rangers.
He shoots down a Thunderer on my left with his Sea Guard(the Grungi-Ward save provided by the Hammerers did its job) and his Repeater Bolt Thrower does in one or 2 more. I easily pass my break test.
Dwarf Turn 2
This time I do turn and start moving behind the Thunderers. Too bad that means I move less than an inch because you cannot turn and march and Dwarfs are outpaced by slugs. I fire my right flank Thunderers at his Dragon Princes, taking out two of them. My left Flank Thunderers knock off a couple Seaguard.
I ponder retreating my Rangers so he cannot "see" me in the forest. But I decide to rely on the famed Dwarf toughness and armor. And my Rank bonus. I figure to put down a White Lion or two...
High Elf Turn 2
He does his best Warriors of Chaos impersonation, charging his Dragon Princes onto my Thunderer flank (the stand and shoot had maybe 3 or 4 guys firing and did nothing), his Spearmen into my Warriors, and his White Lions at my Rangers.
I pointed out if he put his General on the hill, he could fire the Reaver Bow at my Hammerers, so he did.
He took out I think 2 Hammerers. No big deal.
What I expected to happen: His Knights put down a couple of my Thunderers, they run, bounce through the Warriors 3" to their left, and he hit them in the flank, only to find me throwing my Oathstone and taking out enough Spearmen to win the combat decisively, while the Rangers lose one or two guys, put a couple White Lions down, break him, and the game is in great shape.
What happened: He put down a Thunderer, I break, and....roll snake-eyes. His Princes roll about a 6, which means they are 3" short of my Warriors, and wanting to set a trap, I do not throw the Stone.
His Spearmen put down a Warrior, my Thane gets 1 overkill in challenge with his Champ, but my Warriors only put down one more elf, he passes his test.
The White Lions put down FIVE Rangers. I break, he over-runs, and now I am hurting a bit.
Dwarf Turn 3
Because of how I am moving, the Hammerers have the flank of the Dragon Princes, but will only hit it...2 wide. On the bright side, he will be S3 hitting me and his Champ will not be involved.
My Thunderers take his Lothern under half strength with shooting. His one guy kills one of my Hammerers, I kill one in return, he passes his test.
The Spearmen then break my Warriors by doing one or two casualties to ONE in return. Yes, my Thane's 3 attacks needing 3s to hit and 2s to kill and my other 6 attacks needing 4/2 did a total of one casualty. I need a 7, roll an 8, then run...well, I rolled snake-eyes. He over-runs about 5".
High Elf Turn 3
He concentrates fire on the Thunderers and reforms his Spears to hit my Hammerers.
Dwarf Turn 4
The Hammerers kill one Dragon Prince, the last one breaks. His General passes his test, but the Spearmen fail, break...and run 9". 9-1/8th inch would take them off the table. They stay on.
I shoot at the Lothern, they have a couple guys left.
High Elf Turn 4
He shoots down the remaining Thunderers, we agree he will never allow my Hammerers to catch them so the rest of the game will be him shooting the Hammerers trying to force break tests and pack it in.
What Went Right
The Master Rune of Grungi in the middle of my line was awesome. Everyone had a 5+ ward v. shooting. The Hammerers were outstanding at taking on well-armored troops. The Thunderers were very effective and deadly...that -2 armor save is amazing verse high-armor troops.
What Went Wrong
2 bad decisions were painful;
1) The Rangers should have played hide and seek in the forest, keeping him from marching, staying 2+ inches away as long as possible. His 11 S6 attacks were always going to cause problems and I should have realized 1 rank and outnumbering would not be enough. I could have held up his unit for a while, then shot them with Thunderers.
2) The Hammerers should have either supported my weak right flank from the get-go or moved over there turn one.
3) Rolling snake-eyes for the Thunderer flee was an ouch moment; if I can reform 8 of them to do some more shooting, I am okay...unless, of course,
4) The Thane-led Warriors doing about 4 casualties total in 2 rounds of combat is simply unacceptable. I had them where I wanted them...fighting low-S guys who needed 4 to hit, 5 to wound, and I had a 5+ save whereas I needed 4s to hit and 2s to wound against what turned out to be no save.
At the same time, what cost me the game was not anything to do with dice, and had everything to do with getting out-played.
He properly protected his flanks, concentrated his fire, and made the most of his opportunities. He had some poor fortune in having his Dragon Princes unable to get in position to face the Hammerers and an ill-timed break of the spearmen (who would have rear-charged the Hammerers next turn) and yet dominated the game thoroughly.
I really enjoyed this game. It had some great moments and produced exactly what I designed the lists to do; some block infantry combat with tactics making the difference in the win-loss. Well played, young bean, and I want a rematch of those armies, that field!