Monday, May 12, 2014

3600 Dwarfs v 3600 Ogres

These young whippersnappers have been keeping me busy doing stuff called NOT playing Warhammer, but Kev the ogre and I decided to correct that so off we went. I wanted to try out the new Dwarf book...yes, it has been so long since I played the Dwarf book is still new to me...

 I wanted to try out the new Irondrakes, etc. I figured he would be playing the Skaven so took a couple cannons, a flame cannon and an organ gun...the cannons would go after the H-Pit Abomination which always rips my lips off, if they found a way of getting it early then I would have something to deal with the Screaming bell and Doomwheel.

 Meanwhile, I put strollaz Runes all over the place so I could Vanguard as many units as possible. I had 2 blocks of Longbeards (20 for potential Watchtower scenario, and 30), a 25 strong Hammerer block, 1 10-strong thunderer, a couple gyrocopters, including one with Vanguard.

 My plan was simple. The Hammerers would go dead-center in my battle line, keeping the other blocks within 12" meant they would be stubborn with a re-roll, allowing me to theoretically whittle them down with shooting and then they would have to slay every dwarf to get points.

 That beardy Kev went and foiled my plan, bringing Ogres and rolling up Dawn deployment.

Most of my rolls were really nice...I planted a cannon in the right corner with beautiful fire lanes and protected by a mysterious river with a 20 strong Longbeard Block with thane to protect it. Next to that was the second cannon and my Runelord on Anvil. Just in front of him were the Irondrakes with Stollaz so they pushed well forward pre-game to control the center.

 In the center were my 30 Longbeards in hoard formation controlling a ton of space. Getting towards the left I had a mini-artillery park of steam cannon and Organ Gun. They were protected by a mysterious forest straight ahead but could easily hit either the killing zone in the center of the table or the left flank should he sweep around that one.

I had one vanguarded Gyrocopter and the Irondrakes, but missed that the 30-strong Longbeards had it. This would turn out to be a fortuitous mistake...
The only problem was the Hammerers, who were meant to be dead center, were stuck on the left flank. Oops...

For his part, his rolls were much worse. His 8-strong (!) Leadbelchers were stuck well off to the left (out of sight on the picture above) and his right flank was very crowded with a stonehorn, unit of...bulls? in fron, another unit of ironguts behind them, and maneaters behind them. He managed to only have 10 units to my 11 so got to go first. Or had to, depending on point of view...

Ogre turn 1
The sinister statue in the center of his line (the OOOOOOLLLLLLDDDD school giant) puts a wound on his regular bulls, then hits the general 4 times....and musters 3 "1"s and a "2". It would be my last bad roll until the game was decided...

The ogre lines made a general advance but had no charges. He gets off Flamestar with irresistible force, only to see the only wound saved, roll an 11 on the mis-cast table essentially making his special character a level 0 speedbump for the rest of the game...

His Ironblaster cannon overshoots the Irondrakes and puts a wound on the Anvil of Doom. His Leadbelchers can only muster 3 hits in 20 shots and kill 1 Longbeard. Overall this turn was a huge fluff for the ogres.

Dwarf Turn 1
I move the 20-strong longbeards towards the Leadbelchers. I really have no interest in getting closer to that firestorm, but this march actually opens an enfilade on his unit of Mournfangs.Ialso do slight retrograde with the Hammerers because I am an idiot.

They are a hard as nails combat unit. Oh, sure, they die easily if anything with decent strength hits them...but they dish out a ton of pain. He has a clogged up flank...I need to keep it clogged.

My cannon enfilade works perfectly as the two cannons both hit the Mournfangs in the flank and there is no more Mournfang unit on the board.

Meanwhile, the Trollhammer Torpedo fires out of the Irondrakes, putting 3 wounds on his Ironblaster and the rest of the unit finishes it off.

The thunderers, organ gun and steam gun combine to take out three bulls.

I have not played a shooting army since trading away the Wood Elves for the Beastmen. This is the most effective shooting phase I have ever had; 3 Mournfangs, an Iron Blaster, 3 bulls, the center of his line ripped out, leaving 8 Leadbelchers with a long shot at some longbeards and 3 bulls to take on 10 Irondrakes...his other flank crowded in on itself...I am instantly in control of this game.

Ogre Turn 2
The dice turn in his favor. His Gorgers, for the first time ever, arrive, 4 strong, and come on my back edge behind my 30 Longbeards. He declares charges all over the field, and they are easy to make charges. It hurts I erred in taking my BSB out of the Hammerer unit thinking A) the Rune of Slowness was on their banner and B) they were going to die to the combined charge they were about to receive. So no -d6" to his charge.

Not that it mattered...he moves forward 1" with the Stonehorn and 2" with the Ironguts as they both fail spectacularly. Meanwhile, his Bulls take 4 wounds when the Irondrakes stand and shoot them to ribbons.His level 0 charges my Gyrocopter and his general breaks out of the now 3 strong unit.

The Leadbelchers get a whopping 34 shots and do a handful of wounds.

The gyrocopter and character cannot hurt each other, but I fail my test, flee and get run down. The Irondrakes beat the Bulls, need a 4 to run down the remaining one...and he lives by an inch.

Dwarf turn 2
Well, that double-failed charge was a stroke of luck, but the Hammerers are still grumbling, knowing they will get smacked around next turn. Where is the rest of the army? Just like those young punks to be off gallivanting doing nothing while the mighty Hammerers do all the work.

At least the BSB rejoined to bolster them and potentially inhibit the forthcoming charge.

I need a 9 to reach his leadbelchers but decide to charge anyway rather than let him keep shooting my Longbeards without fear.

In the center I don't want his Gorgers charging the rear of my Longbeards, and then getting smacked in front by his bulls. I make those combo charges, I don't receive them so needing a 10 I declare the charge.

Both make it.

He needs like 3s to make charges and fails. I need 9 and 10 and make it. Bwoohahaha. As Gimli said, Dwarves are "wasted on cross country. We Dwarves are natural sprinters. Very dangerous over short distances." I am going to count 13" as a short distance...

I have his Gorgers lined up for an enfilade. To cannons speak...4 Gorgers leave the table having done nought but occupy cannons that had no other target.

This lets my steam cannon and Organ Gun concentrate on his general who eats their fire and walks off wounded three times.

In close combat we both expect his leadbelchers to win. This is stupid thinking...I charged (S5) with a strong, tough, armored unit. Sure, he is strong and tough too...but I hit on 3, he hits on 4, we both wound on 5, I have a save.

I beat the Belchers, need a 5 to run them down...he lives by an inch.

The 30-strong Longbeards in the center terrorize his bulls, killing them and running down the BSB. wow, could things be going any better?

Ogre Turn 3
There was an outside shot he could get two units into combat the first turn on my left flank. It is now turn 3 and time for the Stonehorns and Ironguts to charge again.The Stonehorn makes it with ease despite my Rune of Slowness. The Ironguts...are you kidding me? They fail. They needed I think a 4 and could not make it happen even without the rune.

His General charges the hapless Organ Gun. It is not long for this world...

Everyone rallies. Uh oh.

When he had most things running, it looked good. I still do not think I can stand up to him face to face in combat...Ogres are fast, tough and strong. With bad WS.

His name character enfilades the Longbeards with a breath weapon and kills 5.

The Stonehorn does 3d3 Impact hits. He gets...9. Max possible. He does fail to kill 1, but before the battle with his most fearsome troop starts I am down essentially a third of my unit, from 25 to 17. He then fluffs most of his attacks and does no further wounds, and the Hammerers kill the Stonehorn outright in one go.

Wow. behold the power of multiple attack S6, high WS guys v low WS.

Dwarf Turn 3
I charge his Leadbelchers again on the right flank with my Longbeards. Not much else they can do...he wins a shooting battle between his 20-30 shots/turn v my 0 shots, but I figure to do okay in cc. I do NOT charge his 1 bull with my Irondrakes. I want to fire that Trollhammer Torpedo again!

Meanwhile, my Longbeards charge his Level 4 wizard...that should end well for me I should think.

I fly the gyrocopter over to look at his single bull.

Shooting is pretty awesome as I take out his level 0 wizard, kill the single bull with the Trollhammer. His level 4 also dies. His Leadbelchers lose but refuse to break.

 Ogre Turn 4
Two turns too late his Ironguts charge the Hammerers. His general and some random unit of Bulls make a combined charge on the Flame cannon, the Bulls in front and General to the side.

Improbably, the Flame cannon survives and stands. Even more improbably the Hammerers take out his Ironguts in one go. I have no explanation for this.

Dwarf turn 4
The game is flying as there is little left to do. With him having no wizards left I am DOMINATING the magic phase...getting off the armor save boost has twice saved multiple Longbeards, the Wrath and Ruin is wounding Maneaters, Bulls, etc left and right...

I have very few targets left with the cannons as all but one of his 5 remaining units are engaged in combat and that one is behind a forest.

I charge my Thunderers into the Flame Cannon battle thinking I have Resolute and a chance...

The Longbeards force the Leadbelchers to flee off the table and are basically out of the game themselves, being in the far right flank across the board while the only remaining ogres are in my left flank deployment zone...

He finishes off the flame cannon, does lots of wounds to the Thunderers but they stick around.

Ogre Turn 5
His 2 Maneaters charge the flank of the 30-strong Longbeards. Why not, they have nothing else to do...

His Great Weapon Ironguts (?) charge the meatgrinding Hammerer unit. They battle fiercely, heavy losses both sides, I am down to 3 guys, he has 2, both wounded. Unfortunately, his unit Champ killed my BSB in a challenge. Fortunately, I passed the break test.

My General takes his champion in a challenge, he needs 6s to save the 2 wounds, gets them both, then adds insult to injury by wounding the general but I win combat anyway and reform to face them.

He wipes out the thunderers but gets stuck in the worst place front of the cannons.

Dwarf Turn 5
Unopposed, the Anvil Wrath And Ruins his bulls to death. The Cannons take out his general. The Hammerers and ironguts, both having great weapons, strike simultaneously. He does three wounds, wiping out my Hammerers. I do about 5 wounds...killing his last two unit members as well. Simultaneous mutual death. It was awesome.

His Maneaters break and get so far away that next turn would be me charging, him fleeing, then regrouping. Actually, they went through a mysterious forest, so I probably could not have seen them...we called it off since that was all he had left on the table.

What Went Right
Multiple wound-causing cannons getting enfilades on his Mournfangs and Gorgers before they could engage was unbelievable. I think he made a mistake not taking into account his positioning would allow me to shoot down his flank...but I made the right decision on  what to shoot at.

Additionally, when his already-clogged flank failed charges 3 of 4 attempts it allowed my single unit of Hammerers to take them on piece-meal and grind up the entire left flank, thus allowing the rest of my army to overwhelm him.

Finally, hitting those two low-percentage, high-risk, high-reward charges was a game-winning bit of luck. It got me out of precarious situations...if his leadbelchers get to sit back taking 20,30, 35 S4 shots a turn my Longbeards are going to die.

Meanwhile, multiple multi-wound causing weapons is a REALLY bad match for the ogres. If I enfilade a skaven unit, sure, I might do 5 or 6 casualties...who cares? Do 5-6 wounds (or 16...) to a Mournfang unit or Gorgers...well, that is a different story. I actually thought I would see skaven and against them the cannons would be nice but not stupid powerful. As it was, I think I fired the cannons 4 times each, had to reroll thanks to rune of forgning at least 5 of the 8 shots....and ended up never having a misfire, leading to some HUGE damage.

What Went Wrong
I definitely showed some rust in several decisions, but really, very little went wrong. I had a couple fluffed rolls but they were at times and places that did not hurt me overall.

He did a TON of damage. My 25 man Longbeards ended with 6 or 8 guys 30 strong had I think 14 or so guys hammerers, thunderers, gyrocopter, BSB, Steam cannon and Organ Gun all died...but the damage was spread out.

Really, I think it came down to my cannons being able to enfilade his key units and those failed charges. Do less cannonball damage and he can do some things. Get the Hammerers in a tough spot against a Stonehorn and Ironguts turn 2 and suddenly I don't have one unit holding up 3-4 units.

Final Thoughts
Overall, it was a really fun game. I love that I was able to vanguard 2 9and should have been 3 units, though if my Longbeards were further forward it would not have let me kill his Mournfangs, overshooting into his Maneaters...)

I like the Dwarf army has the option to push forward far enough to not have to sit back and gunline. At the same time, I kind of feel like I might have taken too much was nearly 20% of my points, I just added it up. Sadly, Dwarfs are so expensive that taking say 2 less pieces would not let me take another combat unit. As is, nearly 50% of my points were in cc units and, including characters designed to make them even more CC oriented, well over 50% of them.I only had one unit of Thunderers so maybe a second one of them, but the nerf-bat they took makes that questionable.

Regardless, Kev said he liked the combat feel of the army and did not feel overwhelmed by the artillery/shooting and, in fact, thought he had more overall shooting. Not sure about that, though the 8 leadbelchers putting out 8d6 shots, his Ironblaster...they were fierce.

Anyhow, great time with great opponent. Looking forward to the next game. At this rate, that will probably be about 2016...