Saturday, November 24, 2012

Warriors of Chaos versus...does it really matter?

As always, click on the pics for full-size glory

Kev and I had planned to play a really big game. Unfortunately, little things like...modeling, painting and, most importantly, building the @#$%^& army list got in the way so we settled in at 3600.

I built an atypical army for me; no Marauder Horsemen, only one unit of Knights, no Dragon Ogres, and 3, count em 3 units of Chaos Warriors are all quite unusual. Furthermore, I included a D-prince as my general...which means instead of my normal unbreakable army (LD 10 with re-roll staying within the bubble) I would be counting on LD 8.

I built it with a 45 strong Marauder horde with mark of khorne and great weapons. They would come on the most important side whenever the dice were with me, probably the back line via Wulfrik the Wanderer's ability.

Then I planned a really strong battle line; 2 12 strong units of chaos warriors with shield and mark of tzeentch intended to flank a 12-strong Chaos Warrior unit with great weapons and mark of khorne.

On one flank would be 10 Chaos Knights with khorne and on the other 3 Juggernaut Knights. The D-prince would fly around wherever needed to muck things up. Throw in a Dragon Ogre Shaggoth to hit tough targets and the H-cannon for a little distance shooting and I feel equipped to battle anything.

So lets start counting set-up mistakes.

We rolled up battleline. He would be playing the Ogres.

Ogres setup. 

And I would be playing the Warriors of Chaos.

The Warriors of Chaos set-up

All directions are from my point of view because, lets face it, I am the only one that matters :-)

He planted the new Iron-blaster cannon on a hill on the left flank. I responded by planting the H-cannon on the left corner. I had good line of sight to the entire field, I am happy.

He plants his giant just to the right f the hill the iron-blaster is on. I put my Dragon Ogre Shaggoth behind the house so he cannot shoot me with the iron blaster, planning to intercept the giant with my great-weapon wielding monster hunting Shaggy.

Your idiot alarm probably just went off. Giants are so-so against line troops but get them in a battle where they attack, for instance, against a great-weapon wielding Shaggoth who is Always Strikes Last, for instance...and the giant's ability to pretty much keep the opponent from ever getting a chance to attack makes him a very poor target. But surely one mistake is all I would make, right?

He puts his Stonehorn next door. I know I am going to put either my Knights or Juggernauts opposite them so carefully measure off to leave space for them and put down...wait for it...THE MARAUDER HORDE.

Yep, the centerpiece of my offensive strategy to sneak in his back line and run rampage is now clogging my set-up under my "unit he must account for that will control space" theory. It would be a good setup...if it did not wreck my PLANNED setup. Huge, huge, huge error.

He launches some Ironguts.

I counter with my Knights, 10 strong. moving, hard hitting shock troops...setting up opposite something they will take multiple turns to put down if they are not wrecked first. Set-up is not going well.

I then start deploying in depth and anchor my Ranger Banner carrying Skullcrushers of khorne on the right behind the forest.

It has been a while since I played so I more or less went with my "I designed the army to control space, make you come to me, force lots of combats" set-up instead of the one I designed the army around.

Fortunately, the WoC are flexible enough to withstand such an error. And lets face standard set-up is pretty strong. I have fast, dangerous units on either flank so there will be no rolling up my lines. I can advance in a line and, with more available units across the front force advantageous combats. The set-up is poor because it is not the plan I built the army around...but it is a very strong set-up anyway.

Ogre Turn 1
He starts his Leadbelchers wheeling around the mysterious forest on the right threatening KR8-KR...wait, not chess notation, sorry about that...threatening  a flank shot at my Juggers. Everything else makes a measured advance up the middle except the Cannon on the hill.

Winds blow a 3 and I dispel his Comet. His Iron Blaster misfires and does nothing to itself.

Strong first turn. He set me up to have long charges that I needed to try anyway or risk getting charged with impact hits. Ogre impact hits can hurt. His Leadbelchers needed to move to get a shot and if I pursue them I risk doing nothing else with my Juggers. Meanwhile his center is extremely strong.

WoC Turn 1
I declare the charge with my knights against his Stonehorn. I then roll a 3/3/1 for the fail. I advance everything in a row. I move my Juggers to make it so if he advances the Leadbelchers I should get a turn 2 charge but he will not be able to shoot his entire unit.

I 6-dice the Purple Sun and total about a 15 including my level 2. He then dispels Pandaemonium. As usual for me, magic is pretty dominant...

The H-Cannon scatters well away from anything. It will not fire again all game...
Setting the trap; charge my horde, do some damage, take a Warriors of Chaos unit in the side

I figured to miss the one charge. I needed a 10 to make it. But with his cannon up on the hill I could not sit back and let him blast away. Plus I have been torn to shreds by the Leadbelchers a few times in the past so would not be surprised to see them wipe out my Juggers in one turn. I had to be somewhat aggressive.

He forced me into that position, so good on him. I erred here with my D-prince. I did not want to peak him out in the open to get shot my the Iron Blaster so did nothing with him.  That was a mistake. Taking models is fine unless I plan to do nothing with them.

Ogre Turn 2
He declares two charges; Mournfangs against my Marauders, Stonehorn against my Knights.

His Stonehorn then rolls triple 1s for distance. Fail. His Mournfang fail their charge by 1" and pass both dangerous terrain tests. He moves everything else slightly forward.

Winds; he rolls two dice at Harmonic Convergence; both are "6"s. I then Infernal Puppet his roll to the worst one on the chart, he loses 3 levels and is never a factor after that.

His Ironblaster goes perfect; the carry lands it on Wulfrik, the bounce hits the rest of the unit. I make my "Look Out Sir!" roll and he kills 5 marauders. It will not successfully fire again.

Meanwhile, 4 of his Leadbelchers have sight to my Juggers; 11 shots result in 1 wound which I save. Remember that save; 1 for 1 at this point.

He advanced pretty quickly giving me some tempting charges. I think he mis-guessed how many Leadbelchers could fire. He made a couple of good, aggressive charge declarations that could have put some hurt on me and hit some poor luck. We are about to have massive contact, and the benefit to getting the charge is well worth the penalty of minor positional disadvantage for failing.

WoC Turn 2
I declare several charges; the H-cannon Rampages forward about 11", doing nothing constructive.

The Juggers crash into the Leadbelchers. The Knights charge his Ironguts. The Shaggoth charges the Giant to keep it from hitting the Knights should they not be gone by his turn. The Marauders fail by an inch to charge his other unit up front.

In a shocking development my magic fails to achieve the casting score on the Purple Sun and he stuffs whatever else I tried. But wait, Magic will have some success in this game. Just not in the first two turns...

The Juggers prove awesome; the hit 7 times and put 5 wounds on him. The mounts do 2 more. 7 wounds dished out; nice. I save all 5 wounds he gets on me (yeah, he was hitting well). 6 for 6 on saves. I run him down.

A clever observer might see a rarity; I am using 2 proxies in this unit. See if you can find them...

Meanwhile, the Giant Yells & Bawls. Needing a 10 or less, I promptly roll...11. Standard Bearer and choosing proper combat order to the rescue. Re-roll passes.
I see your size and raise you this giant axe. Which I will never use...

Last but not least, here comes the thunder; my Chaos Knight unit champ takes on his Bruiser; I hit thrice, wound once; he hits back 4 times, 3 wounds, I ward save 1; 7 for 10 on saves.
Hack, slash, slay. No rinse, lots of repeat

The BSB does 2 wounds, the knights another 13. Things look good. He breaks and flees a whopping 10" which is pretty good. Not as good as the 12" I pursue and hit another unit...

Hey, where did our army go? Slow-pokes.

Well, for a successful turn, that was brutal. The Leadbelchers being gone is great. I am at least two turns from the Juggernauts being relevant, though, and his Ironblaster can take all 3 out with one well-placed shot.

My knights can be hit in both flanks, his Mournfangs are about to do some nasty stuff, his Giant can keep my Shaggoth from ever using his axe...the reward does not out-way the risk. I might be in trouble even though the table looks good at the moment.

Ogre Turn 3
The Mournfangs and Ogre Bulls smash into my Marauders. Not worried. I will absorb lots of casualties, be steadfast, and hold him in place for the counter charge.

The Stonehorn makes the long charge and hits a unit of Chaos warriors. I am not worried, they are designed to laugh on nonsense like this; he might be running if not stubborn after I put a couple wounds on him and use banner and ranks to win the combat.

For a second time he gets a spell off; the irreistible force costs him a wound and gives him +1 T. The Ironblaster mis-fires and splits in two.

The Giant does thump with club. I fail the test, he does 7 wounds, Shaggy died without ever taking his axe off his shoulder. Ouch.

The Stonehorn does 5 impact hits, 3 wound, I fail all three saves and the ward as well. 7 for 16. The warriors then swing...and wound him once. Which he saves. His rider does another wound, I duly fail both saves. His thunderstomp does 6 (six) hits, 4 wounds, I save 1. 8 for 26 on saves.

Still steadfast, but now there are just 6 guys left. He did over half the unit in during that one turn.

Meanwhile, my chaos knights pt a barrel of attacks on his BSB, can only wound him once. My regular knights do 1 more wound. The exalted puts a second wound on the BSB. The horses finish off the BSB and do one to his regular guys.

He kills one knight in return, I run him down. His wizard breaks, his gnoblars break; I have wrecked his center.

Apparently he wants vengeance. Looking around, he spots my Marauders.
No problem. Counter charges to the left and right to wreck you with my steadfast army. 

6 impact kills start us off. Wulfrik gets in a challenge with his...Maneater? Whatever the wizard is. Does 1 wound Takes 1 wound...Wulfrik seldom performs for me. My level 2 Chaos sorcerer does wound a Mournfang, so I feel a little better.

then his Ogres hit 12 of 15 tries needing 4s. Uh oh. His Mournfangs start scratching biting, clawing and hacking; 23 Marauders lay dead before they get to swing. But they DO get to swing.

They do 8 wounds to the ogres, 5 to the Mournfangs..and the Mournfangs save 2. Fie upon thee, Great Weapons. Do some damage! (actually, I am pleased with doing 11 wounds in one turn but I cannot admit it, right?)
He stomps for 3 and thunderstomps for another 6.

He did 32 wounds in one turn; I fell one wound short of decreasing his ogres to no full rank. If I were steadfast I would still be there. I am not, am not...I flee, he overruns into my Great Weapon khorn threshers.
Someone explain my plan to Kev. His failure to co-operate has me worried about outcomes

I thought flanking the knights and almost assuredly wiping them out would have been a strong move. My Warriors would have needed a 12 or more to charge successfully. Not doing that let me wreck his unit, get into Groesus and chase off a couple units he would need.

Who is getting ready to turn Groesus into Grease? Us.
Other than that I like his turn. Very destructive.

The stomp/thunderstomp/impact hits were lethal, lethal, lethal. I thought 20 wounds taken was way on the high side and was not worried about my Marauders hanging around. I figured to lose the combat, but figured it would not be by a lot and I would wear him down. Wulfrik 's failure followed by being one figure too few attacking his Bulls was costly but that was good positioning by him.

I was now worried; his Mournfangs impact hits and attacking first could put a hurt on my great weapons. If I had at least one rank left I still figured to put his Mournfangs down, but if I would have enough survivors was an open question.

WoC Turn 3
The Knights have Groesus' flank. Auto-charge; I must declare challenge, figure to limit the damage he does, use flank charge, standard, battle standard and ranks to make him run.

I bring my D-prince into action, flank-charging the Ogres. I will hope he must accept my challenge, he has 1 wound left, I should slay him outright, win the combat and with luck he will run. At worst he has one guy attacking me. I should win this combat.

I hesitate about what to do with the H-cannon. Ultimately, I do not want the giant joining in against my Warriors because at the moment it looks like his stonehorn, mournfangs and ogre bulls are going to be roughing me up pretty good. In a desperation maneuver, I charge into the giant.

Meanwhile, I flip my unengaged Warriors in the forlorn hope the khorne threshers can hold up his Mournfangs for a turn so I can get into action.

Inexplicably, I forget he slew my champ earlier. I use my unit champ against Groesus; I do get a wound through, dies in return. Groesus stays...barely.

His Giant does the Thump with Club and, with I2, inexplicably I pass. I then wound him once, but he sticks around for more.

I want the Stonehorn unengaged if I can break his ogres; maybe a failed break test will do what my army cannot. I wound it once, he saves; he does 3 wounds back, I save 1; his rider then does another one, the Thunderstomp kills another, I flee and he overruns.

His fortune against the Threshers is worse; he only does 2 wounds and I save 1. The Rhinorxes whiff; I then retaliate with 12 wounds. No more Mournfangs. Being frenzied, there will be no turning to face the Stonehorn. I move away

He accepts my challenge, I do indeed kill his wizard, he flees, I run him down. Perfection.

Unintentional cheating aside, a near perfect turn.

I would have like Groesus to go away. His magic weapon is FIERCE. His ability can be lethal. I had a shot at his Giant...did not do much, but it is something, right? The Mournfangs are gone, the bulls are one turn I went from feeling like I was in deep trouble to liking where I was at.

Except I really felt like his Stonehorn alone could take out the rest of my Chaos Warriors. I was down to the D-prince for magic and he had nothing useful. As usual, we combine to do one wound (no casualties) despite both having a level 4 and 2 level 2s. Magic is its typical irrelevant thing.

Ogre Turn 4
His wiz continues to flee. His Gnoblars wuto-rally due to Groesus. His Ironblaster rear-charges the knights. His Stonehorn goes to face my assembled avengers.

Hisgiant headbutts my cannon, doing a wound. I do not get to attack.

My Exalted, forced to challenge, knows he will die but makes a valiant effort, hitting 4 times and getting off 3 wounds. Groesus hits just once, multiplies to 2 wounds...down goes my BSB.

Meanwhile, only 2 knights are facing his Blaster; they do wound him twice. The rhinox is the only thing to hit and puts down 1 knight.

By the time we get done adding ranks, banner, wounds, his rear charge...I win. His cannon breaks, Groesus breaks, I run down Groesus, the Gnoblars break again...
I was expecting a fight, not a group hug

When his Ironblaster charged my knights in the rear I was nervous. I knew my BSB was going to die; with his multiplying wound thing, he could have gotten plenty of overkill. I was expecint lots of Impact damage, the +2 for hitting me in the back, me only having 2 knights involved...recipe for disaster.

I benefited from some good fortune at the right time and suddenly I liked my chances overall.

WoC Turn 4
I turn the Juggers to see off the Gnoblars. I turn the knights to see off the wizard and/or Iron Blaster. I turn the khorne threshers and tzeentch-marked Warriors to face his Stone Horn and move the D-Prince to not be in the way.

I do get off 3 spells; Flickering Fire does the minimum 2 hits, zero wounds. Baleful sees him pass his LD test. Pandemonium gets off, probably should have done Call to Glory but...

His Giant does thump with club and unbelievably I again pass initiative. I think I even wounded him this turn

Most of this turn played itself; Nothing else I can do with Knights and Juggers at this point, it is either form to receive charge or try to run from the Stonehorn. Again, maybe getting the Exalted...but going to a S4 without shield and 2 wounds instead of S4 with shield and parry save does not seem very effective strategy to me.
Wherever you go I will be right here waiting for you

Ogre Turn 5
Stonehorn chooses to charge the tzeentch marked block of warriors. His Wiz rallies an inch from the table edge, his stoneblaster continues to flee (and does so the rest of the game, leaving the table in turn 6).

Ironically, after spending the game rolling 2s, 3s and a 5 for the winds, he now rolls something like 9 or 10...with no usable spells to cast.

The Stonehorn does what it does; 4 impact hits, 2 wounds, I save zero. I hit him 8 times, do 4 wounds, he saves 2. He thunderstomps for just 1. We tie, I have musician and win. No more frenzy for him.
Look Who is Coming to (have you for) Dinner

The Giant yells and bawls, my H-cannon is unbreakable.

Touch choice between charging the tzeentch marked guys who probably cannot hurt him but should withstand the charge and charging the great-weapon wielding guys who you could conceivably break...but who might one-turn slay your Stonehorn is a dilemma I was glad it was him facing. No right answer, just a couple forlorn hopes.

Ultimately at this point I think, retroactively, it was ever so slightly a better choice to go after the threshers; if he could break them, there was a slim chance the other unit would break and he could run them down in turn 6. Conversely, breaking the tzeentch guys could not force a test on the frenzied threshers.

Honestly though I do not think there was a "right" answer here.

As it turns out, he was in a bad spot and in deep trouble.

WoC Turn 5
The Juggernauts finish the formality, charging the fleeing Gnoblars and finishing them off.

The Knight charge the wizard, kill him on the way in. The D-Prince rear-charges the Stonehorn, the threshers flank him; the prince hits 4 times but can only wound the Stonehorn 1 time. the knights hit 10 times, can only do 2 wounds. He kills three of the threshers, but they hit 21 times and get through a whopping 7 wounds. Turns out not charging them was probably the right move because they are th only thing I had that could touch him...

The only model he has left is the giant and in the bottom of the 6th the H-cannon absorbs two wounds, then finishes off the giant to table him.

Overall Analysis

This game was fantastically fun. My first charge seemed devastating but put me in a precarious position. Then when he massacred my Marauder horde in one turn, his stonehorn single-handedly wrecked a unit of warriors and my knights and Juggernauts were basically out of the game, it did not look good.

It seemed I had nothing that could touch his stonehorn, Mournfang Cavalry, or Ironblaster; my defensive units were not surviving, my offensive units were not creating mayhem and magic....phshaw, that stuff is worthless for me.

I think had he flanked and destroyed my knights he might have won. When he went for broke, however, it gave me time to get my units of Chaos Warriors into position to start tag-teaming his tough units. When the Great Weapon wielding Chaos Warriors went to work they were a buzz-saw, chewing through everything they touched. Definitely a game-winning unit.

There were a couple bad moments where he could have won convincingly and a couple where I thought I was going to rampage through him in about three turns. In the end, it was in doubt until the 5th turn when it turned irrevocably in my favor and from there the only question was who would die, H-cannon or Giant.

We both enjoyed the game a great deal, got to see some fierce units in action and I think that 32 casualty blitz he threw at me put to shame the best efforts my theoretically super-deadly knights have ever put forth.

Hope for more games like this one. Love 8th edition.
Seems like there were a lot more of us a couple hours ago...

The traditional survivor picture.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

O&G V Empire 2800 Round 2....sort of

 A few weeks ago Fullur and I had a game at 2800. It was a short game...and recently I figured out one element of why. I somehow made a massive math erro. A part of my list I had added up to say 2500 was actually about I ended up inadvertently cheating my way into the game, adding an extra 200 or so points.

The irony is...I added stuff I would not have included otherwise that I only included because I had the proper models and they were painted...

Well, this tie I corrected that. I dropped the (worse than) worthless Wolf Riders, a troll, a couple of spider riders and a night goblin. We went to play.

We rolled up battleline. I started deploying my army from memory...and completely forgot a couple minor units. Like Deathnarok..the Mangler Squig...the troll, my Doom I ended up with an abominable setup.

Fortunately, his was no better as, just as I failed to keep key units within range of Gorbad, he clogged up key units.

Marius promptly fails his test...and gains Frenzy until he fails another test. Which he would not for the duration...

The Steam Tank generates 4 Steam Points...and misfires, doing an emergency vent to take it down to 2 SP. A good start. He also takes 2d6 S2 hits, ends up being 5, and 1 wound goes through. Sweet, I have done nothing and the tank is already damaged!

His scouts occupy the building in the center. They will be a minor annoyance. Ican shoot them to death with my 100-strong night goblin archer horde, charge them with either my 20 or 30 man Savage Orcs...just need to do it quickly.

His knight on my far right flank move on in to the blood forest.

The Winds blow weakly, with 4+1...and he promptly channels 3 for 3. It is really bad luck..because at some point when he can cast meaningful magic he is unlikely to channel. On this turn he will have nothing worth casting.

His only useful firing is the tank cannon-balling 3 Savage Orcs to death.

O&G turn1
My Spider Riders fail their Animosity test. Fortunately, Gorbads rule turns their "3" into a 6 and they move forward toward his Knights. I like this as it will let me do some extra marching.

The winds are weak...I get 4 dice. I give poison to the Spider riders. They miss, the night goblins do nothing, I completely forget about the Doom Diver.

He again generates 4 sp for the tank.Marius he will every turn for the rest of the game.

His knights declare a charge on the spider riders. I debate for a couple second...he will wipe them out, then reform to face my charge or, if he is not thinking, probably over-run and be stopped by the building. My 30-strong Savage Orcs will then hit his Knights...and I am not sure they will do well against his knights.

 If I flee my Spider Riders I probably get away, thus avoiding giving up the free points that "chaff" units represent (which is one reason I seldom use them)and I force him into a tough choice; try to redirect in a lon-shot against either my 30 man Savage Orcs or the Boar Riders. Either way I think he is a long-shot to succeeed...and I will be in excellent shape to combo-charge him and get his most dangerous unit off the board. Barring that, my Mangler Squig can probably smack into him.

I flee, he redirects to the boar riders. I really do not want to get smacked on the charge...and fortunately, he fails by a half inch.

He rolls 4+2 for winds and channels.

He throws the ward at his knights. I need to roll a 2 to dispel...I want to stop wyssans, so take my 5-in-6 chance of stopping him, and roll one die...and it is a 1. He wards the knights. I dispel his wyssans with my scroll figuring this might be the key turn.

His Organ Gun kills just one of my 30 Savage Orcs. His rifleman kill a couple more, his Hochland does another one...they are getting whittled down fast...the cannon lands 1" short...his scouts are ineffectual.
Meanwhile his other gunmen put down 3 more of my 20 man Savage orcs. His shooting is taking a mighty toll on me.

ORC Turn 2
My Boars charge his Knights...he flees, wanting to preserve their strength bonus.

My troll fails his stupidty test again, shambles forward a bit.

The 20 man savage orcs charge the building and reach it easily (they failed animosity and had moved closer at the beginning of the turn)

The winds are a mighty 3, and I channel 2, he channels 1. I hex the scouts in the building, then all my shooting whiffs.

His Marcus Fellheart kills my champ in a challenge. My regular guys then ht 20 times in 30 attempts, and all 20 wound. Unfortunately, Marcus is stubborn and refuses to leave the building...which will be costly.

His Steam Tank mis-fires, losing a steam point. His fleeing Knights easily rally.

The Steam Tank charges into the 20 man savage orcs.
I stop Wyssans, do not care about anything else.

His Master Engineer proves to be points well spent, turning an Organ Gun misfire into 6 shots, but another misfire means it only get 4 shots at my Mangler; all 4 hit, all 4 wound, tand the Mangler leaves having done exactly nothing. Oh, and for those keeping score, he now is ahead 65-0.

His riflemen then shoot down 5 spider riders.

My troll regenerates the only wound his other gunners put on it.

The Steam Tank ends up doing 13 impact hits..out of 15 possible. 8 dead Savage Orcs later I get a tiny bit of revenge, putting a wound on the tank, but then I am fleeing with my last 3. That unit is done for the game as they will not rally. He is ahead 320 - 0.

Well, lets take stock. My shooting has done not one wound. My magic has done nothing. My Mangler left having been impotent. My 20 man savage orcs got shot to pieces and ground to sausage. My short bow horde of Night Goblins are out of position to do ANYTHING. My Troll is probably going to be stupid every turn for the rest of the game until he walks straight into the 15ish gunmen and gets shot to doll rags. Things look bleak.

Deathnarok charges his Organ Gun. Spider Riders charge his center-field riflemen (mostly to limit his stand and shoot against my 30 man Savage orcs) who follow up with a charge into the same unit.My horde enters the building. And releases the fanatics into the tank.

The limited stand & shoot gets just 5 shots...but kills 3 Savage Orcs. Grr.

Winds give me 4+2. I Gork'll Fix it his gunners. Gorks Foot then wounds 8 of his...Great Swords? Yes! Magic damage!

Doom Diver mis-fires again, the horde misses everything...

The Fanatics do massive damage, putting a whopping 6 wounds on the tank. It now has 8 is in deep trouble.

Deathnarok  puts one wound on his machine, he wounds deathnarok back, a goblin kills a guy. He stands. That charge was a miserable failure. I have higher hopes for the spider-rider/savage orc combo charge.

The impact hits from the Big Stabba does zero damage (impact hits do nothing for me, but always wreck me when they hit. That rule is NOT my friend.)

The shaman accepts his champions challenge, and both attacks hit and wound. His regular guys are ineffective.

My Savage Orcs do 5 wounds, a spider does another, and a rider does still another. He flees, I run him down and over-run into his units behind. Much better.

His steam tank does its next to last wound to itself (he wound it up trying to make it explode...but it stubbornly refused to do so when he could have done lots of damage).

So he ends it charging into the 30-man savage orcs. His Knights flank the Deathnarok. Stupid strider banner....

Low winds, I stop Wyssans.

With nothing else to shoot at, his men hiding behind the river shoot the fleeing orcs, reducing them from 3 to 2.

Marcus shoots the troll, who can neither use his stone skin or regen to stop either wound. I would say I miss my Warriors of Chaos...but I failed all their armor saves really no different.

Marcus hits Deathnarok all 3 times which means 3 wounds more. Deathnarok does a bit better than last round, killing 3 knights...but the other knights hit 7 of 8 tries and wound him 5 dead Arachnarok.

For those keeping score at home, it is now 610-120ish. He is WRECKING me. Deathnarok and the Mangler did nothing, the 20 man savage orcs did little Boar Riders are out of spider riders are going to die this turn...oh, and on the over-run, his knights get to fight again.

This time the Stabba actually does a wound with its impact hits. Yay!

My joy is short lived as the steam tank again does...wait for it...13 impact hits to the Savage Orcs. 12 wound...but I save 5 (3 thanks to the Lucky Shrunken Head). It is sad when you feel good about "only" losing 7 orcs to impact hits...

Marius does 3 more wounds..I wound him back....the Savae Orcs do 4 wounds, he kills 2 of my guys back, he kills the last two spiders...

Fortunately I have the stubborn hat on the Savage Orc shaman, so they are not going anywhere.

The Boar Riders get the flank on his knights. I foot of Gork his Demigryph only hits one after the scatter, no wounds, and on the re-stomp it scatters off. Grr.

The horde of Night Goblins shoots Marcus dead. POINTS!

Gorbad  puts down 2 knights, Marius hits 3 times, but I save 2 (one via shrunken head, the other straight warpaint. Score more for Ward saves!)

The Savage Orcs Boar Riders open a can of whoop-smurf, hitting 11 times, 9 of them wounding...and only 4 saves! The boars kill another one. He only has heroes left.

I kill a couple Great Weapons guys, they do one back, he flees, I overrun.

So here is where we stand; we are close to even on points, his steam tank most likely blows itself upat the start of his turn, I should wreck his war machine with my Savage orcs on his turn and overrun into the that looks good for me.

I will also finish off his support unit, but his great swords are going to damage my Savage orcs...his hand gunners are out of the battle, my night goblins are out of the battle...this game can go either way.

But we ran out of time and could not finish. This bums me out as it was a fantastic game.

We both set up poorly, though in his case I get what he was trying to quibble is that Knights are based on mobility and he hemmed his demigryphs in.

I hemmed everything in. I would have been fine if I had remembered all my units...instead I let stuff get out of range, then took too long to get my boar riders into position.

I also though Deathnarok should make short work of his war machine. When he proved unable to wipe it out it wrecked my plans to open that flank up for my boars to come in.

I was also somewhat sorry to see his Steam Tank do 26 of a possible 30 impact hits while my shooting did...well...nothing. Of course, I only had 116 short bow shots and a Doom Diver...and he never had to even make a save against any of it.

Whoops...they did shoot down Marcus in the last turn.

Gorbad is...okay in combat. But he is GREAT at what I want him for...18" bsb, three units of Big Uns, turning animosity from crippling to advantageous...

I need to stop running solo trolls "just because I have the model painted", and use the points for a second Mangler.

And get rid of the spider riders and Night Goblins in favor of more boar riders and savage orcs.

On the other hand, the Lucky Shrunken Head might be the best 50 points ever spent. I must have made a dozen saves thanks to the Shrunken Head.

Fun game, hope to get in more Savage Orc goodness soon

And hope to, miracle of miracles...finish the game. Because it could go either way!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Deathnarok; Pictures of a mis-built model

As always, click on them to expand to full size. This could have been a cool looking model if I had not put a leg in an eye hole...been completely unsure of what piece was what body part...had a steady hand and/or the patience to paint it up properly...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

2800 Orcs and Goblins V. Empire

I have been furiously painting and assembling Orc models for a while, excited about trying them out. There are three models in particular;

First, Gorbad Ironclaw. He "unlocks" my ability to make any number of units Big Uns which to me are well worth the points. So really I am paying 375 points to make 2 extra units Big Uns. That is how much I believe in that extra pip of strength...

Second, the Arachnarok spider. Assembling it is a pain in the rear, painting it not fun...but I want very much to try it out.

Third, the Mangler Squig.

So I made my typical "take on any army in any scenario" army and headed off to battle Fullur.

We rolled up Watchtower. That is one thing I LOVE about 8th Edition. Instead of endless, repetitive "Battle Lines" there are things like Watchtower and Blood and Glory, easily my two favorite scenarios from the new edition which make it a different and, in my opinion, better game.

I felt fortunate to "win" the right to occupy the tower. I had included a unit of Savage Orc Big Uns for this express purpose; with Frenzy and Extra Hand Weapons they can deal out 31 S5 attacks in close combat as long as they have 10 guys (including champion), and with their 6+ Warpaint save, they can take a pounding as well. In the tower they went.

He planted a largish Greatsword unit with 2 detachments slightly off center. I then experienced something I rarely face; I had too many units to be useful. I typically play elite armies where I can deploy everyone. However, with massive amounts of terrain on the field, I was going to struggle to defend the watchtower.

In the end I decided to use my Trolls and Mangler Squigs as a sort of "screen" and planned to rush my close combat units as quick as possible to keep him from assaulting the tower.

He outsmarted me in set-up. It has been a long time since scouts have ben an issue for me. This time he spotted my Doom Diver alone on my left flank and put his scouts 12-1/4" away. Oops.

Empire Turn 1
Leitdorf passes his test. The Steam Tank dials up 4 Steam points. He moves his cavalry on my right flank forward, then tank blows forward 12" on my left flank, his greatswords and scouts make minimal advances. Perfect.

He is set up to draw me into the center and ave hard-hitting units on my flanks in a "pincer" movement.

The Winds are great for him; he rolls double 3s, I channel one to get to 4 and he channels 2, plus has the Magic Arcanum.  Still, the only one I care about is Wyssans, thinking it is Remains in Play so I stop it and do not bother trying to block anything else.

Then he shows the strength of the Empire. The Volley Gun opens up on the Watchtower, followed by 2 units of handgunners.e kills 6 of my garrison in one go. Uh-oh.

His cannon picks off one Spider Rider due to unlucky bounce roll and his Skirmishers cannot wound the Doom Diver.

Orc Turn 1
My 100 man unit of Night Goblin archers promptly fails their Animosity test. Gorbad's special rule turns the result into a Waagh so they instantly turn and start heading towards his Skirmishers.

In the process they hit the Mysterious River and gain a benefit. The Spider Riders dash over to block him off and also find a benefit.

I move my Mangler on the right and put the trolls spaced so if he wants to charge he has to hit a troll or the Mangler. I thought he would have my troll flank if he charged with his knights...but really, it is a Troll. Do I care if he is on the flank? Not really....and if he charges, his flank is there for me to charge or he can reform to face me and my Tusker charge will mow him down.

If he has a brain fart and charges the troll with his Greatswords, the Mangler is there so an over-run hits plan is in place.

Time for Magic. His Steam Tank is going to be a problem on my left flank. I do not bother to read Curse of the Bad Moon but instead think it will wipe out the Steam Tank. I get it off successfully on the boosted version without mis-casting...but mis-place it to hit his Steam Tank and Organ Gun.

Better placement would have been to hit his handgunners. It does but one even if both Steam Tank and Organ Gun are hit (they were...barely...) they do not reduce his shooting whereas the handgunners reduce his volume on a one for one basis.
Anyway, I do take a wound off the steam tank but not the Organ Gun.

Shooting is a huge disappointment; the Animosity failure pulled the Archers out of position. The Spider Riders cannot wound a scout. This, by the way, is one reason I never take Spider Riders; their role is shooting harassment...which their stat line means they cannot fulfill. If they were 5 or 6 points each they MIGHT be a unit I take. In this case, they are double that or thereabouts; I took them (and the wolf riders...and Night Goblin Archers...)because I had the models and they were painted.

Empire Turn 2
Leitdorf fails his roll and grants Gorbad Hatred towards him. They will never meet so it is irrelevant...

The Steam Tank generates just 3 for fear that wound I put on it will matter. It does not as he rolls the 10. He ends up adding an extra steam point but taking wound 2. His knights charge my right-most troll which is in the bog that grants regenerate. His Steam Tank angles to hit my wolf riders with his shot.

His Knights charge my troll but prove to be in his front arc. I am not worried; my Regenerate should keep me alive long enough to attack back. I just want to Troll Vomit him, then flee and get the charge with my boars. Insert evil cackle here.

He rolls a whopping 3 for the Winds. I plan to stop Wyssans and play it by ear on anything else; I do have a Dispel Scroll.

Instead he gets Irresistible Force and the Knights have Wyssans. The Calamitous Detonation should hurt though; his Wizard and Battle priest fail their Look Out rolls; but the wiz is not wounded anyway. In fact, of the 12 potential S10 wounds...5 fail. 5. Still, he did 7 wounds to that was good.

Meanwhile, his wall of fire takes down 3 more of my Garrison. I was lucky there;
See, his well-positioned Steam Tank rolled perfect, hitting a full rank of 5 Wolf Riders and the building. But he rolled 2 ones to wound, so only 3 wolf riders died (thanks to the River spell, they auto-passed their LD test) and he rolled a "1" for how many guys in the building were hit.

But then his Handgunners, needing 7s to hit, manage to hit with a third of their shots and wound two more; I get some justice when I ward save one of them.

His scouts kill 2 of my Spider rides.

Meanwhile, Leitdorf wounds my troll 3 times. I regenerate one which means his knights get to fight; 4 wounds, none regenerated. Oops.

His overrun proves my plan worked, though; he hits the mangler Squigs; 9 of the 10 ensuing hits wound; he gets some luck as the bog's regenerate keeps 3 of them alive. Still, he cannot stand the heat and flees.

I have a long history of models I want to try out stinking up the joint like a frat boy at a bean-eating picnic. Not so for the mangler; did massive damage, changed the momentum, he was AWESOME sauce with a side dish of super cool.
Orc Turn 2
This is the turn a failed animosity test will not matter but failed stupidity will hurt. Evey unit passes, though.

The Troll charges the fleeing knights who of course must flee causing him some anxious moments when it flees through the center of his battle line. The Troll re-directs onto his Greatswords with the Arachnarok following suit.

Meanwhile, the Wolf Riders charge the organ Gun and the Spider Riders charge his scouts.

 Every charge hits home. I am excited; the Arachnarok made it in unscathed. I have high hopes for it. they are little lessened when both his detachments counter charge. I knew that was coming.I plan to have the troll vomit on a character, counting on his regeneration to keep him alive.

I consider declaring the Waaagh. This turn could be key; making his Greatswords flee would be devastating. I need to ensure seeing off that deadly Organ Gun. Ultimately, though, the key turn will include a battle for the Wachtower itself. I decide to keep the Waaagh in my pocket.

I put my Lucky Shrunken Head Savage Orc Shaman in the Watchtower and also one of my Night Goblin Shamans.

I roll double 3s for the winds. He then channels 3 and I channel none. He has as many Dispel as I have magic.Grr. The Vortex stays in place (rolled a hit on the scatter dice) but fails to damage him; it does, however, kill 2 or 3 of my Wolf Riders. I have now done more damage to me than him with it.

I throw Gaze of Mork at the tank thinking I get more than a plus one. In retrospect...I got no bonus at all as no ORC units were in combat. even with my unintentional cheating I fail to wound the Steam Tank.

I then cast Gork'll Fix it at his Greatswords. It goes off irresistibly but I die to the result.I am not happy with that trade.

The Doom Diver hits the Steam tank, gets a 6, and manages to get tough 2 wounds. Sweet. Then my Night Goblin archers use the Volley Fire to get off an impressive 60 shots. Let us not forget they are Night Goblin archers, though...22 hits, 3 wounds, he saves just one. I just put 4 wounds on the Steam Tank in one turn, crippling it.

I consider my order of combats and ultimately decide to work left to right since there are no combats that will see the result of another one affect theirs. I am wrong, but more on that in a bit.

The Spiders kill 2. His character has 3 attacks...and cannot roll higher than a 2. He does kill one, I get another of his with my goblins, he flees, I run him down.

I then discover not only how bad Wolf Riders are (and I knew they sucked) but especially how bad they are against war machines. Only 2 cavalry models get to fght! You choose 6, but each cavalry counts as THREE models, not two. I went in planning 8 goblin and 5 spider attacks and got 3 and 2...with luck I still kill the machine off but am down to 4 wolf riders.

By the way, these will be the next to last points I score in the entire game...

His Master Engineer panics and flees, I over-run to get out of the line of fire of his handgunners. This is another mistake; I want to divert his fire from the tower, I could not care less about these guys. This is residue from playing armies where every casualty hurts badly.

Time for the big gun.

The Arachnarok goes first as his I5 guy had a great weapon. I must choose one attack to be Venomous Surge so I pick on his BSB. And promptly roll a 6 for tat, then a dead BSB. That was pure luck and pure awesome.

I then get a further 4 wounds from his regular attacks; Gork'll fix it turns three saves into fails on re-roll. I am impressed.

Then his Halberds attack the Troll. 5 hit, 4 wound, and...not one regenerate. Not one.O11 possible Regeneration opportunities, exactly one was successful. Oh, and the 5+ regular save and magic resistance I paid extra for? Neither ever came into play. Trolls are just as awesome as I have always found them to be...

His Halberds on the other side fail to wound the Arachnarok. The Goblins attack them back and do two wounds.

His Greatswords do 3 wounds. Uh-oh...I am actually losing combat by one when standards, ranks, charges are taken into account...but I roll a 3 for Thunderstomp, kill 2 and win the combat. Barely. I determine to seldom if ever again charge the Arachnarok in without some actual support...

Empire turn 3
Leitdorf passes. He calls 2 for Steam Tank points. There is a 5 in 6 chance he will get hurt this turn...but rolls a 2, the only result he could get that did not hurt him.

The Demigryph Knights charge Gorbad's unit.

I use my Dispel Scroll to stop his Wyssans. Everything else my Level 4 v. his level 1 means I can block with dice.

He just gets the Steam Tank into range to use the Steam on the Watchtower. I save one of the 2 wounds thanks to the enhanced Ward from the Lucky Shrunken Head. I save all three wounds his first handgnner unit does, 2 because of the Shrunken Head. Wow. The difference between a 5+ and a 6+ sure FEELS like a lot more than 18%...he does wound another with his other handgunner unit.

Meanwhile, when he charged with his Demigryph Knights, 2 of the 3 failed their dangerous terrain tests and were wounded. Gorbad's always strikes first no armor save attacks do 4 more wounds, so he is down 2 knights. He wounds my rank & file 3 times, 1 Warpaint save, so two down. I wound his last knight twice, he flees, I overrun but lose one of my own Savage Orcs to the dangerous terrain.These will be the last points I score...

Meanwhile, the Arachnarok is less impressive this time; he hits just twice, though that means two casualties. We get to my goblins without him doing any wounds; I put 4 attacks apiece on his battle priest and wizard; 1 wound to each. remember the calamitous detonation? That means the priest dies. Huzzah!

The Greatswords put a further 3 wounds on the Arachnarok; have maybe one turn left before he dies. He has just 2 wounds left...well, Thunderstomp is an unimpressive 2, only one wounds...which means it is a draw...which means his musician is the difference. I pass my break test.

Orc Turn 3
Every unit passes animosity. Well, that is...every unit except Gorbads, which decides to sit on top of the bog staring aimlessly at the edge of the battlefield.

This will mean a wasted turn getting into position.

My big block of savage orcs moves forward to support the Arachnarock. One or two more turns an I will join the combat.

The Spider Riders enter the river, take the shooting spell, 9 hits wipe them out, the Night goblins panic and wiping out the Steam Tank this turn.

I get Ere We Go off, then Gaze of Mork fails to wound the tank. The Doom Diver misses.

Arachnarok misses on 5 of his attacks...but Ere We Go turns every one of them to a hit. 8 for 8. The Venomous Surge had been directed at the wizard; no surge, but still kills him. he saves just one of the other 7 hits so 6 die.

His Halberds whiff.

The goblins use Ere We go to get all 8 hits successfully, wounding 3, and 2 of those die. when his Greatswords whiff, he passes his tests, but we take stock;

He has plans, nothing to get into the Watchtower, has just a few knights, couple units of handgunners, 2 detachments of Halberds left. Gorbad is around, the big Savage Orc unit and Night Goblin archers (if they come back) are untouched...he cannot take the tower, and if he does cannot hold it. The Arachnarok...or, as Space Monkey dubbed it, Deathnarok should finish off the Greatswords next turn and the Halberds are not getting the job done...we call it.

OVERALL he rolled really well. However, at the key moments he rolled poorly. Also, his army setup which at first scared me might not have been able to take the tower under any circumstances.

As soon as I tied up his Greatswords, there was nothing but shooting left to attack the tower; and with the hard cover granted by buildings, he simply could not generate enough firepower to take them out quick enough.

Even had he finished them off with shooting, I would get my 30 man block in there and be untouchable. Or if he assaulted with a handgunner unit and won, I had plenty of force to evict him.

Second, magic was game-changing. When I hexed his unit in one turn, it cost him about 10 wounds and saves as he had to re-roll numerous successful saves which became fails, hits which became misses and wounds which became whiffs. Deathnarok probably would have died in turn two on his turn and definitely in turn 3 without Gork'll Fix it, and 'Ere We Go was worth a whopping 10 extra wounds in the defining round of combat.

The funny thing about it is I was and am underwhelmed by the overall power of the Big and Little Waaaghs. There was one turn early where he had used all his Dispel Dice, I had three dice left and nothing I particularly wanted to cast...nor did either lore attribute ever come into play.

I still think I would rather have a combat oriented character than another wizard.

Still, there were 4 models that determined this game. Deathnarok, Gorbad, Night Goblin Shaman and Mangler Squig.

The Mangler changed a strong advantage for him into a massive advantage for me. If he hits Gorbad's unit on the charge, all those S6 attacks are going to hurt me badly. Instead they fled and were never a factor again.

Gorbad turned a failed animosity test into a good thing. Ironically, the thing I paid the extra points for...his ability to make any number of Orc Units Big Unz...never mattered as the only unit that saw combat would be the one that is Big Un anyway...

But being the BSB and General, the expanded 18" bubble...those were huge.

And Deathnarok single-handedly reduced the Greatswords and three characters from dangerous battle force to no characters and I think 4 or 5 models...nothing I was scared of even with Night Goblins...

Looking back I see several errors I made. Each was minor and did not affect the outcome...but are things to work on. Target selection is the biggest.

Early on I was sure I was going to lose. His shooting was taking out my garrison at a frightening place, his Steam Tank alone was dominating my left flank and my cramped position was taking me too long to get my Sage orcs and Boar Boyz into action. then he took 3 wounds off my Deathnarok in one go...

Slowly the game turned, though. The Mangler Squig was the key point. It let me get into his Greatswords. I do not know they would have gone after the tower if he had been able to tie up Gorbad and the Savage Orc Big Unz and have the Demigryphs to deal with my 30-strong Savage orcs...but I know that being able to tie them up with the Deathnarok due to his fleeing knights removed that option from him.

Ultimately, this was a very entertaining game and I hope to play many more like it.

Oh, and the irony here? At the moment we called the game, I suspect he was ahead on points; He scored over three hundred, I doubt I had that many...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Empire vs. Ogres 2k 2012-05-19

Marius Leitdorf surveyed the battlefield. Off to his right a village where the Sigmarites used to worship, one of their shrines decaying on the far side. Beyond the village, a mysterious looking river rolled along and disappeared. On his left, a strange looking forest, and beyond it a tomb of skulls where the chaos horde (which had driven out the Sigmarites years ago) used to sacrifice to their evil gods. Beyond, a fence, and beyond that, more forest, a river, and a swamp.  A small lump of a hill rose up straight ahead.

Marius consulted his mount, Daisy. She had given him good advice in the past. Behind Marius, his Unusual Bearer Jorge (other Counts had Standard Bearers. But Marius found that boring) snorted derisively, wondering how he had ended up serving The Mad Count.

After consulting Daisy, Marius began issuing orders. "Steam Tank, right flank, behind that large structure. Handgunners, next to the Steam Tank. Greatswords, center with your Halberdier detachments flanking at four wide. Volley Gun, to the left of the Halberdiers. Knights of the Inner Circle, set up in the forest on the left." Some of the men looked at him askew, but the Knights knowingly regarded the Ranger Standard which would allow them to safely move through the terrain (The Ranger standard gives the unit Strider) He sent Jorge, one of the accompanying Warrior Priests, and another Captain to join the Greatswords. That should allow the center to hold effectively. The other Warrior Priest he had join himself and Daisy accompanying the knights.

The plan was to have the Greatswords hold the center line, while the Steam Tank and Knights circled outside and the shooters chewed up the enemy from afar. Even the thick skin of the Ogres will have a tough time surviving against the deadly bullets of the Empire.

Surveying the battlefield, Marius congratulated Daisy on a sound battle plan. This would be for Blood and Glory!

Looking across the field, Marius finally thought to pay attention to the approaching Ogres. To Marius left, a creature was crawling out of the river. It looked very cold. Absently Marius wondered if he should reconsider the dip in that river he had been planning after the battle. Near the creature, there were three ogres riding large pig looking things. Next to them, a group carrying what looked to be cannon barrels. In the middle of the field, a bunch of tough looking Ogres carrying all manner of fierce looking weapons, including a Butcher and a (whatever their other character type is. Help me out here Kev). On the right, more cannon-weilding ogres and a bunch of small creatures riding on what looked to be a catapult pulled behind another large pig creature.

The Winds of Magic began to swirl. A fiery cloak appeared around one of the groups of Ogres. The Ogre-Mage cursed as a great Maw opened over some of the Ogres, nicking them with its teeth.

The Ogres' center advanced in a rush, brandishing weapons and bellowing voluminously. The pig creatures on both flanks lurched forward, and the creature from the swamp crawled forward. The cannon-weilding Ogres on Marius right blew away 4 of the Handgunners before they could even bring their weapons in line. The other Leadbelchers, as the Inner Circle Preceptor informed him they were called, fired at the Greatswords. One of them fell.

Marius struggled to maintain control, but his insanity got the better of him. He flew into a terrible rage, cursing the Ogre gods and screaming that the Butcher's mother was a half-troll. (I rolled three times for Marius' Mad Count special rule. Every time I failed the leadership test, and every time I rolled Insane Bravado giving him Stubborn, Frenzy, and making it so he could not refuse challenges.)

The Steam Tank's Engineer generated steam without trying to push the boiler too hard, and managed to keep it under control. The Knights and Marius attempted to charge the Ogre-Pig-Cavalry, but were unable to catch them as they fled the charge.

The Winds of Magic swirled again. The Warrior Priests prayed and an ethereal shield (Shield of Faith: 5+ ward in close combat) materialized around the units they accompanied.

The Steam Tank attempted to fire a cannon ball at the larger group of Ogres, but something went wrong with the boiler (misfire). The Tank suffered some damage, but was still quite capable of continuing. The Engineer and the Marksmen from both Handgunner units fired at the enemy standard bearer, all failing to cause any harm. The rest of the Handgunners fired at the same unit, ripping holes through one Ogre. The Volley gun, although one barrel jammed, managed to finish off the injured monster-man.

The Ogres in the center, enraged at losing one of their number surged forward, charging the Greatswords and the Halberdiers to their right. The impact of the charging Ogres felled three Greatswords and three Halberdiers. The Halberdiers to the left counter-charged the Ogres, catching them in the flank.

The Ogre-Mage cursed once again as a great mouth opened up, this time over the pig-knights who had just regained their composure. Again, all they suffered was a nick to one of them too slow to completely escape the great Maw's teeth.

The Leadbelchers opened up again, felling 6 more Handgunners.

The great melee ensued in the center. The Warrior Priest, Jorge the Unusual Bearer, and Captain 13 (as Marius liked to call him) tore into the Ogres, dealing significant damage. The Halberdiers managed to rip a couple holes in the great monster-men as well. The Greatswords and Ogres struck simultaneously. Several times the Ogres struck what would have been crushing blows, only to have their attacks deflected by the ethereal shield the Warrior Priest had summoned. Their were still eight Plate Armored bodies that lay crushed on the ground when the blood-spray cleared. However, there were also four of the great Ogre corpses slashed to pieces on the ground. Unable to stand up to the concept of these puny humans besting them in combat, the Ogres began to flee. Jorge ordered his men to press the attack, but they were unable to catch the fleeing Ogres.

Having been abandoned by their parent unit, the other unit of Halberdiers crumbled under the might of the charging Bull Ogres. All but one of them were killed outright without doing a single wound in return. The remaining soldier attempted to flee, but was trampled to death as the Ogres continued on with the momentum of their charge (they pursued and easily caught him).

The Marksmen in both Handgunner units were just barely able to keep their men under control as they watched the nearby route of their Halberdier brethren. (Rolled 7's needing 7's for both units.)

The Steam Tank's engineer powered up the boiler without incident. Marius once again lost his senses. In a Frenzy he charged forward at the Swamp-thing, leaving the Knights no choice but to follow him. (I notice in the picture my knights are a man down, I cannot recall how that happened, although it was probably the Leadbelchers, or perhaps the catapult.) The Halberdiers and Greatswords charged the fleeing Ogres, the Halberdiers managing to run them down. The Steam Tank rolled forward into the Leadbelchers near them. (This is when I discovered how cool semi-random movement is. There is no charge, so there is no charge-reaction. Kevin wanted to flee which would have resulted in a failed charge. In looking up how far the Stank would go, I discovered that because it is technically random movement there is no charge, and no charge reaction.)

The Handgunners turned to face the Ogres now behind them. The Volley Gun crew wheeled the great gun around to face them as well.

The winds of magic swirled. Once again ethereal shields appeared.

The Hangunners were too preoccupied with their maneuvers to get a shot off, but the Volley Gun managed to get off a sizable volley (22 shots). They killed three Ogres, sending the rest running for the hills.

The Steam Tank ground two of the Ogres into the ground. The third tried to bash the armored behemoth with his cannon. Seeing it was futile he fled, leaving the great metal monster parked on the bodies of his dead friends.

The Swamp-thing and its handlers fought ferociously, but were only able to fell one of the Knights. Marius' Runefang flew about hacking bits off of the monster (3 wounds in 3 attacks with the Runefang. Forgot about Frenzy or it may have been four.) The Warrior Priest was too focused on maintaining his Shield of Faith to manage an effective assault. The Knight Preceptor managed to finish off the creature with his lance.

The remaining Leadbelchers pounded forward and caught up to the Volley Gun. They killed one of the crew on impact. The Pig-Knights charged Marius and his knights trampling some of them.

The sole Leadbelcher continued fleeing. The 3 Ogres who had fled for the hills thought better of it, and turned around to return to the battle.

The Winds of Magic swirled again, and again the Maw appeared, but this time over the Greatswords and Halberdiers! The mouth was much larger this time (cast at the higher value for the 5" template rather than the 3"). When the Maw disappeared, 6 Greatswords and 4 Halberdiers were gone too. They held their ground, but were visibly shaken by the event. (One of them failed the first attempt at the Panic test.)

The Leadbelchers easily killed the crew of the Volley gun, and set about crushing the machine before turning to face the remaining Empire soldiers.

The Pig-Knights proved deadly combatants, managing to slay four of the Knights of the Inner Circle. However, Marius and the Warrior Priest managed to kill two Ogre Knights, with the Empire Knights finishing off the third.

Marius once again began raving, and ordered his men to attack the Ogres who had destroyed the Volley Gun. However, they were unable to set up for the charge, and had to settle for facing them and waiting for an opportunity. The opportunity would not come.

The Steam Tank managed to generate steam without incident and rolled into the Pig-drawn-catapult. The remaining Halberdiers wheeled around and approached the Leadbelchers and Butcher. The remaining Greatswords went to inspect the river beyond the Sigmarite village. (I was trying to hide my standards since they would not be able to reach the enemy without getting shot to pieces.)

The Marksmen opened up at the returning unit of Ogres. They missed completely. However, the rest of the Handgunners managed to take down the unit's standard bearer. Seeing their last standard fall, the remaining Ogres observed the better part of valor, and left the field.

Survivor Shot

1 Stank
3 Knights
1 Marius Leitdorf
2 Warrior Priests
12 Handgunners
5 Greatswords
2 Captains of the Empire (including Jorge the Unusual Bearer)
8 Halberdiers

I had a lot of things go my way in this battle. From Marius getting the best possible result on the Mad Count table every turn, to the Maw misfiring 2 out of 3 times it was tried.

I tried much harder with my deployment, such that I was actually factoring deployment into my army building (I know this is basic, but I don't often do it). I think I did a good job this game. Things broke right for me several times, but I was set up to take advantage of the breaks.

I discovered I love the Warrior priests. Diving Fury (Hatred) is strong when it applies not only to the unit he is in, but also any detachments. Also, a 5+ ward in close combat is great against strong enemies. Against weaker enemies I might go for the re-rolling of failed wounds, but in this game the Shield was great. Also, innate bound spells are great! You can roll irresistible and get the benefit, but not the negative. The Volley Gun is a terror when the situation is right. It managed to fell 3 Ogres in one volley due to: short range, 22 shots, S5 and Armour Piercing.

We both did a lot of damage, and we both took a lot of damage. I had a lot of fun in this game. I think Kevin did too.