Saturday, January 12, 2013

2800 Beastmen V. Empire

2012 was a lost year in gaming. 4-1/2 games of Warhammer was all I got played. So I am making a conscious effort to make sure I get regular games in this year. With that in mind, I challenged any of the Starving Crazed Weasels to a game. Fullur accepted the challenge.

As usual, I put off the misery of list-building til the last possible second, then hastily threw one together Friday after racquetball. Perhaps feeling excessively euphoric after running the table, going 5-0 in cut throat and never letting Scott and Tim COMBINED score 15 in any single game, I built a nigh-invincible list of beastmen.

Then this morning on my way out to the game, thinking about some of the tweaks I had done, I realized the points did not make sense. Got to the game and re-calculated. Sure enough, that last tweak had put me over the allowance for characters.

So I hurriedly tried to tweak it and it just became a jumbled mess I was unhappy with and did not want to play.

So I went back to the Orc and Goblin army I played twice last year and greatly enjoyed.

Of course, when I figured out Fullur had put off list-building and was finishing his, I decided to try one more time to tweak the Beastmen.

Thing is, my first Beastmen build had two giants...way out of the ordinary for me. Giants stink up the joint FOR me but are devastating AGAINST me. I knew he would be playing the Steam Tank and thought it would be funny to club it with a special Giant attack.

Well, when I went to re-tweak the list I randomly started in the "Rare" section and took out a giant, put in a Jabberslythe. Flying enemies routinely give me problems and in the WoC game my D-Prince was awesome, flying around wreaking havoc. So I would use that power for me.

Ultimately I ended up with a playable list and we rolled up battleline.

As always, click the picture to see all of it

From my standpoint I made a couple errors in setup. The Giant went on my far right. The Steamtank ended up on his left. This happened because I dropped the giant early, my head in other places. However, the weaknesses were minimal and the overall set-up was exactly what I wanted.

My horded up Gors with a couple Wargors in it would control the center of the field. The 20-strong Gors with Great Bray-Shaman would protect their flank while having its own flank anchored on the Wizards tower. The Minotaurs could either sweep between the house and the tower or follow the 20 gore and get some nice combo charges.

Meanwhile, the Empire crowded itself. Post-game, Fullur was rather harsh on himself about his set-up, and it is easy to see why.

The Knights were off on a flank with one unit angled to join what would inevitable huge amount of combat in the center of the field. The Knights of the Inner Circle with their strider banner would come out of the Blood Forest and try to roll up a flank. They were probably a bit too far from the action but with a potential 14" move, not a huge deal.

It was in the center his problems existed. The gunners should have been 5 wide and 2 deep. That would have allowed him to put both combat units in front. Instead his 30 strong Greatswords took up space, the wide lines of gunners did likewise and he had no place for the spearmen flanked by 2 Halberd detachments except backing up the greatswords.

Strategically speaking this was disastrous. General Robert E Lee won a lot of nearly unwinnable battles simply by having numerical superiority at the point of contact despite being outnumbered by far in any given battle.

Clogging up his close-combat units like this would give me both numerical superiority in the overall battle AND superiority at the point of contact.

The tank could conceivably move really quick so putting it on the edge of the field was fine; this kept it away from my units strong enough to be dangerous to it (the Giant and Minotaurs) and potentially let it shoot horizontally into my lines.

He won the roll to go first

Marius, even with the BSB re-roll, failed his test. Ranting and raving, he stupidly moved forward 4". Fullur had planned to march close to 10 to get into combat quickly (and set up turn 2 flank charge with his Knights, incidentally) and this unfortunate roll disrupted that plan.

The steam tank used 3 SP to roll forward 8" and get in position to fire down my line, potentially doing lots of damage.

His 10 knights moved to get in position to countercharge me if I charged his greatswords or charge my flank if I failed a charge. He carefully weighed his options with the Knights of the Inner Circle and ultimately put them at a range where I would be statistically likely to fail to charge with my Giant...but have to try anyway lest his knights charge me and get the strength bonus.

He had no magic he even wanted to attempt. I used the Chalice of Dark rain on the theory it looked like we would be in combat on turn 2; he was moving aggressively and I had every intent of attempting to get close enough to ensure he could charge next turn.

His cannon was still able to fire, hit 2 Gor but killed just 1. The tank failed its Chalice roll and could not fire. I like my use of it. Probably the tank does 3 - 5 casualties at most...but with a 1-use item, you use it when you can. There was no guarantee it would not be most valuable right now.

I wwas going to play aggressively as well. I rolled I think a 10 and hit his Knights of the Inner Circle. I had high hopes for this battle. His S3 or 4 guys should struggle to wound me and I was stubborn on a 10.

Then I made a move that could make or break the entire game. My Minotaurs had line of sight to the flank of his other knights. He thought I could not fit between the Wizard Tower and the house, but I had checked prior to setting the minos up and knew they did fit. I declared a charge needing I think an 8 or so...and rolled a 10. I passed the Dangerous Terrain tests for rampaging over obstacles and slammed into his flank.
It was at this moment the Knights wished it was night

I marched the Gor horde forward and moved the 20 gor to flank charge the greatswords after they slammed into the Horde.

Then I thought carefully about the Jabberslythe. I did not want his tank grinding me but I needed to get to the cannon. Aha! The Aura of Madness rule could force a wound or two on it with luck...I checked distance from his BSB...out of range...sweet! I aggressively planted the Jabberslythe in front of his handgunners. I would take a round of shooting and then probably wreck that flank with my monster.
To your uneducated eye that looks like a Necrosphinx...but a Jabberslythe it is

In my ecstatic state over making two possible but unlikely charges, I completely forgot to move either my Chariot or Ungor Raiders.

Magic: I rolled 9, got 2 from the Herdstone and channeled one. For the first time ever, I maxed out my power dice.

He quickly passes his first few Aura tests...and then his cannon fails so badly it is gone, and his Master Engineer thinks that was such a good idea, he also dies of fear. This is instantly my most successful magic phase ever and I have not cast a spell yet.

I boosted the Mystifying Miasma at his knights facing the minotaurs. He could not dispel it...all 4 attributes decreased by 2. He stopped me adding to their misery with the Curse of Anreheir, but I gave Wyssans Wildform to the Minotaurs and then cast the Miasma at the base level on his greatswords.

My most successful magic phase ever with magic being cast. Just brilliant.

The Knights and Giant went simultaneously. He got 3 wounds through. Ouch, that was....unexpected. Then his horse put a 4th wound on me. Super ouch. I would have expected 4 wounds if he had S6 from the charge...not from S3.

I rolled Jump Up & Down. Between 2 and 12 S6 hits. This would be fun. I passed my Fall Over test....and then rolled snake-eyes. 2 hits. Sigh. At least both wounded...but he saved one. Fortunately, I passed my break test but that was a tough pill to swallow. I should have done way more than 2 wounds. And taken less than 4.

Lets hope the boosted Minotaurs could make up for it against his weakened Knights. The Doombull has potentially 3 impact hits; it should not surprise you to learn he elected to do 1. It wounds. The other two minos also wound with their impact hits. He promptly saves the S6 hit (whch should have been S7...) and fails the S5s..two knights down. I am good with that.

The Bloodkine kills his unit champ in the challenge. The Doombull kills 4 knights (2 saved or it would have been a massive 6...even so, killing 4 Knights with one round of attacks is nothing short of awesome), the regular guys finish off the unit and I overrun something like 2".

Marius passes his test. Empire's turn to charge.

The Greatswords go after my 20 strong unit. I instantly realize my mistake and assume my Great Bray-Shaman will be leaving the table soon. I just hope somehow, someway I can survive the combat and find a way to stay in place.

Meanwhile his Spearmen charge the Jabberslythe. Whoops...did not anticipate that, either.

His tank thunders along 12", getting ready to heat-blast my Gor horde.

I stop the first two priest attempts to buff his Greatswords, using all my dice to do so thinking he only has one Hammer of Sigmar. Oops, he uses his OTHER Battle Priest to cast it on the Spearmen. I debate using my Dispel Scroll but think I might need it at a more key point in the battle so let it go.

The Steam from the tank hits 9 Gor but can kill just 1. His handgunners put two wounds on my Minotaurs. Could be painful, but not too bad...I will be wiping those handgunners out with said Minotaurs on my next turn.

He chooses the combat with the Jabberslythe first. His Captain promptly wounds the Jabberslythe whose spurting blood bile cannot wound him back. The Slyth is angry though, and hits all 5 attacks, killing four puny humans.

Said Puny Humans then wound the Slythe twice more, taking two sputing blood bile wounds in return for their efforts. I roll a 2 for Thunderstomp and both wounds...and I win the combat. Being steadfast, he stands but I am not sure how I feel about this; they wounded the Slythe thrice in one round with lowered WS. What will they do at full strength?

His Knights revert to form this turn, doing not one wound. I jump up and down and this time do not roll snake-eyes...I roll a 3. Yes, with between 4 and 24 potential attacks, I get 5. Grr. Anyway, I naturally fluff one of the 3 hits but he does me one better, failing both save attempts and failing his Steadfast LD test, then getting run down by the Giant who runs into the blood forest.
Guffawing madly, the Giant runs into the Forest to check his height against a tree

It is only fair to point out that each time I rolled for "Jump up and Down" I was literally imitating the Giant by "guffawing madly". I can only assume the dice punished me for this with their pathetic rolls...and Fullurs' dice rewarded me for the entertainment value by rolling even more pathetically.

Marius can only do 1 wound to my unit champ. It is enough to keep me from attacking him, but no overkill. I start to feel hope I might be able to keep this combat close and find a way to not flee.

His Captain and Warrior priest each kill a Gor. Still not too bad...his three heroes did a combined 3 wounds. They should have one 5 or 6 I should think. I am doing well here.

My Great Bray-Shaman shows them how a hero should fight, killing the Warrior Priest. Fullur looks crest-fallen....that was a big, unexpected loss.

I have primal fury for the first time ever. I have passed it. I roll 11 attacks...and 2 hit. Then I reroll and now 8 hit. Much better. I inflict 5 wounds, but he saves 4. My hope flickers. I needed to do a few wounds there to have any hope.

His Greatswords only do 4 wounds, but it is more than enough. I decide to break...and roll snake-eyes for distance. What is going on with these rolls?

He overruns and is safe from my horde. I am not ecstatic about that.

Beastmen Turn 2
The Minos make the obvious charge into his handgunners. I use the tactical wheel to get in his center and close the door, now in position to overrun into his halberd detachment.

The Gor horde makes the less likely but ultimately successful charge to support the Jabberslythe.

I move the chariot out of his charge range with the Greatswords, move my Ungor raiders to get a shot at them, move the Giant towards the combat with the Minos.

Without my Great Bray-shaman I have 2 level one Shadow Bray-Shamans with Miasma. He stops the first, but I get the boosted version off against his Spearmen, then max it with a 3, reducing him to zero WS, I...he is in trouble.

The Minotaurs are putting out ridiculous numbers of attacks between their base, frenzy, and Bloodgreed. The handgunners melt away without doing any harm and the Minos slam into the Halberd detachment.

Meanwhile, the Wargor kills his Captain in a challenge, my other wargor wounds his battle priest, the Gor kill 10 spearmen, the Jabberslythe kills 5, does another with a thunderstomp (in two attempts)...he cannot roll insane courage...I slam into his other handgunners...

The Gor horde hits the flank of his Halberd detachment in their overrun. This will not end well for his out-matched unit.

We look at the field. His 25ish remaining Greatswords with Marius, 2 Halberd detachments (one of which has about 5 seconds left to live, the other about 6 seconds) and Steam tank entire army less the 20 Gor and Bray Shaman.

I ask him if he feels like he has any chance in this game. No. It would not be fun for him and, for that matter, me. All that is left is tabling him and what is the fun in that? The outcome is a foregone conclusion so we pack it in.

What went right
Everything. My flank charge with the Minos wrecked a key unit of his Knights and ensured that I was in combat with my strongest unit constantly. My spells were well-timed and devastating. My horde buffed with a couple Wargors was death incarnate, wiping out everything in its path. My Giant single-handedly took out his second strongest unit WITH HORRIFIC ROLLS. His two cannons (tank and actual cannon) combined to do two wounds....the same number as the rest of his shooting combined.

My plan worked pretty much the way I drew it up; the horde in the center controlled space and, even when I unexpectedly saw him bypass the horde with his best unit, I knew I had the rest of his army now in bad, bad position. Magic weakened him, sheer volume of attacks finished him.

What went wrong
The aforementioned pathetic dice rolls by the giant, the large numbers of unexpected wounds suffered by the Giant and Jabberslythe. And file this under what went right...those never hurt.

The one truly harmful thing was his taking out my Great-shaman and Gor contingent. And even that was not too took his Greatswords out of the active battle for at least 2 turns and more likely 3 so they would never be a factor in the battle again.

It was a fun game and it was brutal watching a Doombull-led, frenzied, Bloodgreed enhanced Minotaur unit take on a weakened Knight unit and then just wreck anything softer without even trying.

I am likely to try a Jabberslythe again. His lack of any save at all is a severe hit, but he performs a valuable role and, against low S troops that have low volumes of attacks, he has a chance to do some massive damage.

I am unlikely to lay without taking a herdstone and two or three bray shamans throwing around Mystifying Miasma and Wussans Wildforms at every opportunity. Turning dangerous units into wimpy punching bags is unbelievably strong.

I do enjoy the Beastmen army. Of course, their battle plan is pretty simple; weaken w/magic, get into close combat, deal out massive quantities of high S attacks. Rinse in blood, repeat.

Thanks for the game Fullur and you will get me next time.

1 comment:

Phillip Barton said...

Not that it would have made a positive difference for me but, I left off an entire unit of swordsman. I had put them in in case we rolled up a watchtower. They would have almost certainly done nothing but clogged up my setup even more.