In fact, I have painted all the models I exchanged my once-well loved Wood Elf army for. So I was kind of wanting a game with them. My brother Ken came through, accepting a challenge for a Beastmen v. Tomb Kings battle.
It would be an epic battle between two of the lowest-regarded books currently.
Now, on the one hand this is advantageous for me. I have found a build for the Beastmen that looks like it would be both fun and effective. On the down side...I do not yet have the models to put it together.
On the other hand, there is a certain disadvantage. Back in 1995 I was unquestionably better at Warhammer than my brothers. Of course, back then I also had a lot of power gamer/waac type stuff in me. My Brettonian list involved a Lord character on dragon, a few archers, and the rest Grail Knights. It was all but untouchable in that edition and pretty stupid of me.
I would no longer argue I am the better player. In fact, if you had to pick one player in our group who I believe is currently the best, it would be Ken.
Part of that revolves around his list building. He mixes up his lists so well that I often have no idea what he will bring. This is not always true for the rest of us.
With me, for example, you know my WoC list will revolve around Knights. Everything else is just filler. Same with Liam's Bretonnians.
Kev's Skaven will always have the Plague Furnace, HPA, and Doomwheel with miscellaneous other stuff filling in around it.
Fullur will bring boatloads of skinks, some temple guard, slann, and a stegadon.
Ken does the best job of any of us of changing up his lists.
Then he deploys them well, maneuvers them with talent, and tends to maximize his advantages.
In short, any time I can win against him I figure I have done exceptionally well. In our group, I always feel I had to play well to come out on top. But with him I feel like I cannot make any mistakes and win. Which is good.
Well, anyway, I started to build a form of the list I am working towards building overall. But then something happened. I decided I really, really, really wanted to try a doombull. This already throws me off trail because it costs me that LD9 re-rollable big block I typically center my beastmen lists around.
So I decided to take it a step further. I went with a Gorebull as my bsb, costing myself another dip from LD8 to LD7.
Instead of multiple mobile blocks of Gor I horded 53, planting the Gorebull with Banner of the Beasts. To fill my core I upped my chariot plans from 0 to 3.
Going against prevailing wisdom I took a grand total of zero bestigor. I then fought prevailing wisdom by taking the vastly over-costed, nigh-defenseless Ghorgon. Then I followed up by taking 5 minotaur without doing the "plant a bunch of characters in there so the rank and file attack but do not get hit" mino-bus thing.
I had challenged him to a "soft" game between two low-ranked books. I felt like this was in the spirit of that. I "only" took 2 bray-shamans and a great bray-shaman instead of the 5 or 6ish I initially planned. I did come with a plan, though.
I expected him to take the special character who gave his entire army poison and figured to be facing blocks of skeleton archers hitting on 5s, doing wounds on 6s against my unarmored, no-save guys. So I was going to be flying towards him, hoping to get into combat on turn two as many people claim they unfailingly manage. With minimum 7" moves, this seemed possible.
The big Gor block should be steadfast for quite a while, so re-rolling on LD7 and tying up his expected Tomb Guard and/or Skeleton blocks. Meanwhile, my Chariots and Minotaur would sweep up the flanks close by, charging in to benefit from their impact hits to do some real damage.
It was really the Doombull and minotaur I was centering my battle plan around. Much like the Wood Elf Wardancers, Dragon Ogre Shaggoth, Galrauch, and the Chaos Knights I had mighty expectations for them.
Tomb King 3
His bone giant flank charges my Gor. His Ushabti rear charge them.
I try to dispel his bonus chariot move and fail to do so. They will be on my magic park next turn. Fortunately, he fails his charge this turn so moves only 4" extra.
I debate a long time about his righteous smiting ushabti attack on my gor. Ultimately, I make the single best decision I have made all game. I decide the point of a horde is to absorb casualties and still attack. I save my dice for the casket.
His Ushabti manage just one wound. I stop his giant from getting it when he rolls poorly, then stuff the casket again.
My Gorebull BSB makes way to face the Giant. I hit and wound 3 times. I am impressed. Everyone left is initiative 3 so will attack simultaneously.
The Gor hit the bone giant 4 times, but can muster just 1 wound which he saves. I hit the Ushabti 12 times, doing 4 wounds, of which he saves just 1.
The bone giant goes after the Gorebull. This was the chance I took. If he kills him, I will lose my LD re-roll. Fortunately, he whiffs all but one attack which fails to wound. The Ushabti do markedly better on my r&f gor, hitting 8 times and killing 7. He then stomps pretty good but the thunderstomp rolls just 1, so he kills just 4 more gor.
Still, he wins handily between his 11 wounds, charge, flank and rear. But I am steadfast and pass. I fail the reform roll by...well, bt the one point of LD difference between a Doombull and Beastlord.
At this point I have one chariot that will flank charge his Ushabti next turn. The other two will be moving to protect my two bray Shaman. That means he is likely to get 2 of my three chariots and the 2 bray-shaman in the next couple of turns.
Meanwhile, I need the Gor to hold off his Bone Giant long enough for the Ghorgon to sweep around the back and hit the Ushabti and the Doombull to go after his Bone Giant.
One bad roll kills by BSB and gives a good chance of my gor fleeing before that can happen. One good roll kills his Bone Giant and lets me concentrate on his Ushabti.
It is late, his kids want to watch The Sorcerers Apprentice, and this game has given us a great time.
He got off an epic charge. I got off an epic charge. I offer a draw. He accepts. I think it is a fitting end to this game.
He held an early advantage. I held a mid-game advantage. The dice could turn it into a massacre for either of us. I had a great time, I would just as soon reflect on it.
Well, as usual for me, a unit I looked forward to rolling out was a huge disappointment. But this one was different.
With the Wardancers, I will never not believe I played them correctly. I softened their target, charged the right unit at the right time and fluffed the rolls, only to run into some very good rolls.
With the Shaggoth I simply experienced one of the problems of running into a shooting heavy army with a lightly armored model and died to shooting.
With the Chaos Knights, I played them correctly and they inflicted mass carnage.
With my highly anticipated Minotaurs I simply got out-played. He out-maneuvered me to get the charge, then I took the challenge with the wrong model and thus died bloodily and deservedly. this was not a unit fail. It was combo player fail and opponent superior play. Mostly it was his better use of magic, so I do not feel badly about their performance. I am simply not good enough to stop the plan he developed and executed.
Meanwhile, the herdstone park performed outstanding. As he commented at one point, "you rolled snake-eyes for magic and have 6 dice." Yep. And it mattered. I think slowing his chariots on the left flank for that one turn made a huge difference.I think having enough dice to at least ATTEMPT Wyssans on the key turn despite rolling snake-eyes was huge.
And the Gor with Beast banner...hitting the flank, rolling all those dice...oh, I LOVED that. Still think I would have been better served with units of 20 and 30 for assistance if we had rolled Blood and Glory or Watchtower.
But there is something about rolling 50 S4 attacks that is just plain awesome.
Overall, I am going to declare my initial foray with the Beastmen a smashing success. I enjoyed the game, it was much more involved than sometimes I get with my Warriors of Chaos, and every turn except the first brought excitement.
Thanks too, to Fixed Dice for a most entertaining game.
On a completely unrelated note...Fullur, you should come to painting Friday. Come early. We will go by Performance Bike. Let you try riding a...well, different type of bike. I see why you drive to work. You should try it on a more comfortable bike.
All fear the Beastmen!