Saturday, November 30, 2013

6500 points WoC v 6500 points Skaven

So this has been...saying a slow year for Warhammer would be an understatement. Spent much of the year playing 8-12 hours of racquetball a week along with spring and summer softball, some biking, a little bit of tennis...and somewhere along the line Warhammer fell off the map.

A recent spate of injuries opened some time...between the torn meniscus in the knee, the pulled hamstring, the tennis elbow in both arms and the torn rotator cuff I don't feel much like all the racquet sports or biking...though I did play racquetball Friday. Kind of felt bad...John is left-handed and I was wrecking him so badly right handed I switched off and played left handed the last 4 games...and won all those, too...

Anyway, I have been painting up models to kill time. And wanted to play a bunch of WoC stuff I had never gotten to play such as my juggernauts, 5 units of Chaos Knights, etc...

 So Kev and I decided to get in a big game.

I used all but I think 2 WoC models I had and it came out to 6500ish when I got them kitted out (6422 before I nudged in a couple extra Marauders). I think he said he proxied a unit but I don't recall which one, he got together the same amount in Skaven goodness and off we went.

We actually rolled up battle for the Pass...twice. But since the table is a 12'x4' designed to have 2 games going side by each and since we had such massive armies we agreed to re-roll and got Dawn Deployment. Still crowded and it would result in a couple of my units stuck in corners unable to ever get in action but still fun.

It took us between 45 minutes and an hour to set up. That will happen when one side has something like 21 units and 415 models...and the other has about 18 units and 156 models.

On my left flank I had my chariot which I thought would take it out of the battle with its no march rule and the distance, a shaggoth and a unit of chaos knights.

On the right flank I had Marauder horsemen, 2 more units of knights and my great weapon, khorne marked Corn Thresher unit. They were stacked on each other. My H-Cannon being over there did not help.

But the middle was the worst. I had another Marauder Horsemen, a unit of Forsaken and dogs in the front holding back 2 units of knights, a unit of Juggernauts, Dragon Ogres, a horde of Marauders, and a couple units of warriors marked tzeentch with shield.

Kev was nearly as crowded...oh, not overall. Counterintuitively, despite haing more units and out-model counting me nearly 3-1 he had more space for units without needing to deploy in depth. BUT...his big (Warpfire?) cannon was blocked by a forest and would have very limited targets, and a couple other batteries were locked on the back row and behind a hill so they could not unleash a Napoleonic Artillery Park barrage.

I was fortunate to get the first turn. I have played Skaven a few times and they have a habit that disturbs me. The strength of my WoC is 2-fold:1, they dish out a TON of punishment with a narrow frontage and 2, they have great armor saves so are tough to bring down.

The Skaven seem to have a ton of no armor saving allowing weapons. Warpfire cannons, Plague monks, plague furnace, poison wind feels like every wound is a death with no save allowed. Not sure I have all the names right and not sure it matters...the FEELING overrides reality and I play based on perception when I have not played in a while and can't be bothered to look up all the little rules for an army.

I based my plan over eliminating his armor-save denial guns. I ran my Marauder horsemen up in front of two weapon teams and positioned my level 4 to do some damage to the Globadiers.

I had designs for the magic phase that abruptly changed. I cast a calm 4-dice Firestorm trying to draw out his dispel dice, then was going to Treason them and then hit them with damage from my other wizard. Except he used a Feedback Scroll...and promptly threw 3 wounds on my only Level 4. Fortunately I ward saved one to live but it changed my entire magic plan.

Meanwhile, he lost a couple globadiers and of course gained Regen 6 from my warpflame rule. That would later come into play.

Shooting; for the Warriors of Chaos this is not traditionally a very good phase. Marauders with throwing axes are fun, though...and each unit took out a weapon team. The only weapon teams with shots in his first turn.

Then the H-cannon fired at his doomwheel. A hit and...uh oh, mis-fire. A 6. Oops...cannot fire again this game. does the hit. Boom, got the wound through and it is d6 multiple wounds...rolled a 6. His Doomwheel is gone...and worse yet, something like 3 units and a character all panicked off the board.

So magic does its traditional hurt me more than the opponent but shooting was DEVASTATING. Yeah, so the cannon can't fire again...just means I now have a vicious, unbreakable close combat monster to hand.

Oh, and he had scouts on the left flank I was able to charge with my Knights. Their stand and shoot wounds one, I just need a 2 or better...who needs to eliminate my awesome saves when I will fail that anyway?

No worries, they chew up his scouts and spit them out, overrunning them in one turn into his slaves behind.

His turn he runs the plague furnace into my 4 strong unit of Great Weapon wielding Dragon Ogres. I have been pummeled by that thing before. I hope at least one guy hangs on and I can get help there next turn in the form of a Shaggoth and maybe some Juggers...except I foolishly fled with both Marauder units and thus clogged up my lines. That was rust on my game.

Turns out against tough, multi-wound models the Furnace does fewer wounds. Also turns out a bunch of decent weapon skill, S7 attacks are not good for the furnace. It was gone in one turn leaving a very manageable bunch of rats.

His slaves survive my second turn and even kill off a second Knight. Yes, skaven slaves stand up to Chaos Knights and do a wound.

On turn two I go to draw out his dispel dice with an Infernal Gateway...and get irresistible force. The miscast reduces a level 2 to a level 0. My magic is getting weaker. But I do get the globadiers down to just 3. And then I use my level 4's breath weapon to wipe them out...except the regen saves him.

Meanwhile his Abomination has pinwheeled into my Corn Threshers and his Screaming Bell runs into my 6 strong knights.

Over the next two turns his A-bomb will kill 9 Corn Threshers and make about 10 ward saves or regeneration saves before dying and becoming swarms which occupy another turn. The Screaming Bell only kills one knight but it is turn 5 before it dies, and that is only when the last 3 Corn Threshers join in with their mighty S6 and finish it off.

In the center I have far too much power for him. That opening H-Cannon shot lets me pound 2 and 3 units at a time into his individual units.

The best moment comes when he unleashes some banner with his Plague Monks and gets 24 hits and like 8 or 10 wounds onto my Dragon Ogres, shrinking them to just one guy left.

On the left flank my chariot is having a grand time doing 7 impact hits on his big gun (which to be fair one-shotted a Chaos Spawn...who cares...and missed the much juicier Knight unit) and running it off the table, thus getting the chariott out of the way of his nastiest unit.

So at this point it looks really good for me. He has lost all three war machines and the HPA along with miscellaneous weaker units.He does have 2 units of knights down to 1 wound apiece, my Giant down to 3 wounds remaining, the forsaken down to 2 models and the Dragon Ogre down to 1.

He also had killed my Level 4 at some point, leaving him dominant in the magic phase.

Then comes a key turn. I have 2 knights behind his level 4/Rat Ogre pair. he tries cracks call, I need them alive to kill his wizard so spin all my dispel dice at them.

I should point out I had some great rolls...but I also had 5 "1"s in 8 tries and 0 hits in 5 tries needing a mere 3. Well, this roll with 7 dispel dice totaled something like 12. So it went off...I think it killed one of the knights. Then I used Dispel on something else knowing if he got the 13th off it would be irresistible anyway. He uses his last magic die...and 5 warp tokens. Gets the 13th off without irresistible.

My untouched 12 strong tzeentch warriors bolstered by a level 2 and a Chaos Lord tooled up for close combat becomes 14 clan rats.

Ouch. That hurt. On the bright side, it gave the H-Cannon and Marauder unit a target and they dutifully wiped out the new unit.

Meanwhile the bright, shiny new Juggernaut unit got a brief run. Along with the giant, they did a number on his last meaningful unit on the right or center.

 Then it was time to deal with that pesky 13th-casting mad-man. This is French for "overwhelming force".
By this time the outcome was again looking like a fore-gone conclusion. With just 2 turns left I could run away from his last unit.

I did not.

He briefly looked like he might make me regret it. With Queek, his general and some other model he had so many high I, decent strength, often no save-allowing attacks it looked like the Shaggoth was done for, he dispatched my last dragon ogre and I was in trouble as I fluffed a ton of attacks.

Fortunately the stomps and chariot impact hits won the combat.

In the bottom of the 6th I finished off all the little guys and Queek in a challenge. The Skaven had enough and left the field unchallenged.

And here is the traditional "We survived" photo.

What went right:
Turn one shooting. When that huge hole was ripped in the middle of his lines it allowed me to separate his forces and defeat them in detail, often teaming up 3 or even 4 units against suddenly badly outmatched, outnumbered skaven.

That shot was so crucial; even though he had nearly a 3-1 model advantage, I routinely had a numerical advantage in each combat after that.

Second, the impact hits and stomps were awesome. At least 3 times I got the max impact hits and/or stomps, turning lost combats into devastating wins.

Third, by keeping him from ramping up his ratling guns and warpfire cannons by either having them blocked in by troops or else killed on turn one, two or charged before they could fire when they were uncovered removed his hard counter to my armor advantage.

Fourth, he did plenty of damage but it was separated too widely. I totaled it up after the game and if he could have done 1 - 3 more wounds per unit he would have had another 2000 points. As it was, he wiped out several units but missed wiping out just as many more units by 1,1,1,1,2, and 3 wounds I think. That turned it from a close game into a rout.

5th, but turn 3 I had invalidated or outright destroyed all his war machines and the HPA.

What Went Wrong
Having not played in some time, I forgot key stuff and made juvenile tactical errors...such as fleeing marauder horsemen that A) had served their purpose and B) would have brought him right into my happy zone, allowing turn 2 charges by such potent forces as my Juggernauts, Marauder Horde, and Chaos Knights.

I also had some badly fluffed rolls, though those were balanced out by some really nice rolls.

In other words, not much went wrong. Well, except his #$%^& H-bomb making more Regen saves than it failed. That thing does so much damage in a short amount of time...

Says the guy who rudely tabled his opponent. Apparently the WoC dish out a ton of damage as well...

In the end it was a great afternoon of gaming with a great friend. I can now say I have played the new Warriors of Chaos book, I have used every unit I have and the same thing as every model, and I look forward to a lot more Warhammer in 2014.