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Matt vs The New German: The Revenge

Brad came around again yesterday and we had another game of Warhammer. He is interested in starting a Warriors of Chaos army, and I happen to have one lying around. So he took Warriors of Chaos and I took the Skaven again. We went for pitched battle again, and randomly selected and placed the scenery.

His army contained four units and three characters. Two lots of Chaos Warriors, Marauders and Chaos Knights along with a Sorcerer Lord, Sorcerer and Aspiring Champion Battle Standard Bearer. On my end I decided to take three units of 35 Clanrats, 30 Slaves, 6 Jezzails, 10 Gutter Runners, 10 Globadiers, 3 Rat Ogres and a Doomwheel. They were accompanied by a Warlord on War-litter, Warlock Engineer, Cheiftain Battle Standard Bearer and an Assassin.

I was very excited that some of the new scenery that I recently built finally got used in a battle. So excited I decided to deploy my Jezzails behind a wall. Possibly not the best position for them.

Unfortunately a detailed battle report really isn’t needed. No offence to Brad, but he played an average game at best. Mostly because he didn’t get the chance to excel, as I was sucking so bad. My Warlock miscast first turn, killing sixteen Clanrats in a calamitous detonation. When my Assassin was revealed in combat he fluffed all his attacks against the Aspiring Battle Standard Bearer. My Warlord even failed to make a real dent, both him and his unit being broken and run down in their first round of combat. The only thing that went right in any respect was the Globadier Bombardier managing to kill a half-dozen or so Chaos Warriors with a well placed Death Globe.

As a testament to how poorly I played the game only made it to the end of Turn 3. I had little hope that three Jezzails and a Doomwheel could defeat an almost unharmed 2000 point Warriors of Chaos army.

That’s not to say it was a waste in any sense. We both had fun in the game, and I learnt a few things. Firstly under the new rules the Warriors of Chaos hit like a tonne of bricks. They have a high Initiative and a large number of attacks, so facing them one on one with an army like the Skaven is going to fail. Charging in seemed pointless, and holding back to give me some more time to soften them up would probably have been the way to go.

Secondly, their magic is nasty. I probably could have done with another Warlock Engineer, or even a Grey Seer or Vermin Lord. As it was Brad could walk all over me in the magic phase, and I didn’t have the power to negate that advantage in the combat phase.

Third, I clearly had the advantage in shooting, but unfortunately Skaven shooting is a bit selective. It hits hard, but there isn’t a lot of it. In hindsight I should probably have ditched the Doomwheel and opted for a Warplighting Cannon instead. At least then I could have been killing a larger amount of infantry in every shooting phase, rather than have the Doomwheel meandering around on the flanks doing as much damage to myself as the Chaos.

Fourth, (and I actually already knew this, but it is nice to have old beliefs reinforced) sometimes stuff just goes wrong. Really wrong. Spectacularly wrong. But you just have to roll with it.

Matt vs The New German

Brad is back in Australia for a few weeks over Christmas before he heads back to Germany. So it seemed like an opportune moment to break out Warhammer and trash talk each other.

Thanks to a slight shed key mishap, Brad decided to take control of my Bretonnian army while I marched forth the forces of the Skaven. Since we don’t have a lot of the new edition games under our belts, the traditional pitched battle seemed the way to go. We randomised the scenery  from all that I had available, and ended up with all buildings.

Brad took a nice mix of knights and commoners, with fair-sized Man-at-arms and Knights of the Realm units. I took three sizable blocks of Clanrats, backed up by weapons teams, Jezzails and Globadiers. I also decided to do something different, and took three Rat Ogres and a Packmaster.

By the end of turn three most of the units were in combat.  I was especially pleased with how the Rat Ogres were performing, having charged a unit of bowmen entrenched in a building and breaking them. This left them in prime position to charge back out and engage the large unit of Men-at-arms.

Much like a good Skaven player, Brad used one of my favourite trick against me. The Men-at-arms had a Damsel in their unit with a Tres of Isole, which granted them a ward save. He also managed to compound this advantage by adding some hitting power in the form of a Paladin. These two characters, combined with a buff spell from Lore of Beasts, managed to make this unit almost impossible to shift.

Here we have the other side of the board, with 30 Clanrats trying (and failing) to destroy the Lord on Hippogryph. The unit of Knights of the Realm has also managed to push through and charge the Doomwheel. It didn’t last more than one combat, with the Doomwheel failing its break test and fleeing.

Fast forward to the end of turn six, and this is how the board looked. The Clanrat unit I had left only just managed to rally in the very last turn, denying Brad the points for both them and my Warlord. Of particular note, the Rat Ogres managed to move across the board, charging the Lord of Hippogryph. The fighting was fierce, with the Rat Ogres taking the Lord down to one wound and the Lord killing all the Rat Ogres. Then amazingly, the Packmaster both hit and wounded with is single attack, and the Lord failed both his armour and ward saves. I was very pleased with that. In the end it was a technical draw, with Brad a couple of hundred points over me.

Overall our game was pretty good. Half the time was spent with us looking up rules, forgetting rules, and generally acting like 12-year-old novices. But it was fun, which was the main thing.

I realise that this probably isn’t that much of a revelation to those who have been playing this edition for a while, but it isn’t too bad. Some processes and rules felt odd, but not flat-out wrong. I can see how players generally don’t play this edition at tournaments ‘straight from the box’, as there is quite a bit of randomness. But as something you can break out and play with a mate over a couple of beers, this edition seems very attuned to that spirit.

More an Eyot of Blood

Today was the day we bit the bullet.

Brad and I had our first games of the new edition. High Elves against Skaven. Our very own Island of Blood.

Using the terrain generator table we managed to come up with this. Since this was our first game we decided to keep things simple and ignore the special rules associated with some of the items we rolled.

Here we are after deployment, with Brad already taking the  first turn. I have, from left flank to right, a Doomwheel, 30 Plague Monks, 25 Stormvermin with Cheiftain, 6 Jezzails (deployed in a house), Warlock Engineer, 40 Slaves, Warplightning Cannon, 10 Globadiers, 25 Clanrats with Battle Standard Bearer, 40 Clanrats with Warlord on War-litter and 15 Giant Rats. Meanwhile for the High Elves, left flank to right, was 15 Swordmasters, Great Eagle, 15 Spearmen, 15 Pheonix Guad, 1 Bold Thrower, 15 Sea Guard, 15 Archers, 6 Dragon Princes, 1 Bolt Thrower and a Great Eagle. In front of the large ‘tavern’ to the right of the image Brad also deployed 6 Shadow Warriors using the Scouts rule.

First turn for both of use was moving forward, with shooting chipping away at some of the units.

By the end of the second turn battle had been met.  The Swordmasters charged the 40 strong Clanrat regiment, while the smaller Clanrat unit charged the Shadow Warriors in the building, who promptly fled. In typical jammey elf form the Swordmasters cut a bloody swathe, though thanks to the Steadfast rule and the Warlords high leadership the Clanrats held on strong. I did make my first stupid mistake, though. The Giant Rats were primed to reform and be able to flank charge the Swordmasters next turn, but instead I ran them past the combat after the fleeing Shadow Warriors. In hindsight this was a bad move. The Slaves also managed to charge the Elf Spearmen, failed to make a scratch and promptly fled. They managed to take out a couple of elves and skaven in their mad scrabble to freedom.

End of the third turn, and things are already looking grim. The Swordmasters manage to finish off the Clanrats. The Warlock Engineer is charged by a Great Eagle, who kills him and over-runs into the Globadiers, killing them next turn. The Warplightning Cannon fares better, beating the Great Eagle that charged it in close combat only to Misfire in its next turn. It promptly exploded. The Giant Rats charge the newly rallied Shadow Warriors and kill them, while the Clanrats in the tavern charge out of it and into the Spearmen.  Meanwhile the Stormvermin get stuck in combat with the Pheonix Guard. The Doomwheel is charged by the Dragon Knights, but manages to wipe them all out in a couple of turns of combat.

We called the end of turn four as the end of the game. Pheonix Guard eventually broke the Stormvermin and pursued them, but failed to catch them. In the subsequent turn the Stormvermin failed to rally and fled straight into a building, thus destroying themselves. The Clanrats charged the archers on the hill, while the Giant Rats charged the Bolt Thrower.  I did the Giant Rat combat first, and as I hoped the filthy vermin easily overran the weak crew. This meant the Giant Rats could overrun into the archers, giving me two units in that combat. The combined might of the Clanrats and Giant Rats easily defeated the pathetic elven archers. The Doomwheel moved towards the other Bolt Thrower, though not enough for it to enter combat. It was enough to hit it with three Strength 8 Warplightning Bolts, frying the crew with ease.

Overall it was a good game. On the face of it everything was very familiar, but there was an interesting undertone of the unknown. Once we get to grips with the rules I can see how a game would go a lot faster. The magic phase, while not doing a lot in this battle, has a strange and new feel to it. I particularly like how the power and dispel dice are generated and it makes the Winds of Magic seem far less stable and reliable than it was before. It was a pity neither of us was required to roll on the miscast table.

Shooting is a lot quicker, especially with being able to measure distances and not having to guess ranges. It also makes it a lot more accurate and deadly.

Combat now seems to be geared more towards combats resulting in units destruction, rather than having multiple units fleeing all over the board. It is interesting to see so many attacks being thrown down by both sides.

I’m quite happy with how this battle went. The new edition looks to be extremely playable, and I am keen to get some more battles in soon.

Border Princes Teaparty 2010

Border Princes Teaparty was yesterday. And I didn’t do well. Ha! That’s an understatment. I did shockingly.

My first battle was against Ben and his lizardmen. I decided to weight my left flank, as this area of the board was more open than the rest, allowing me some more maneuverability. My right flank was left pretty much to a single unit of 25 slaves. It must be said, they did fantastically, protecting the flank from Skinks, Razordons and Terradons.

I think I did fairly well in this game.  Though I ended up losing, it wasn’t by much. The Skinks and swarms were no problems, but breaking though the units of Temple Guard and Saurases proved almost impossible. The Globadiers occupied the central building quite early, and this gave them three turns of uninterrupted shooting, during which they wiped out a skink unit trying to flank me.

Really, I wouldn’t change much from this game. What let me down were important dice rolls. On more than one occasion my Warplightning Cannon landed a shot right on top of the Slann, only to roll no strength for the shot. The Jezzails also let me down, having two turns of close range shooting on the Stegadon and failing to take it out. Overall, though, it was a good game that was really fun to play.

My next game was against Jason and his Beastmen amy. The objective in this game was to be holding the building in the last turn of the game. Our battle field had a river through the centre, with woods on either side near the middle. This meant that the centre area was difficult to get through, and I only committed the Giant Rats unit to the entire centres defence. On the right flank I put the Jezzails and slaves, facing off against a Chariot, Minotaurs and Hounds.

The Beastmen had me on the defencive from the start, with two units showing up in my deployment zone in the first turn. This proved difficult for my right flank, but a shot from a Warpfire Thrower kept the one on the left at bay. By the second turn Jason had occupied the building with a sizable Gor herd. I had placed my Clanrat unit with the Screaming Bell across the only ford in the river, making it difficult for Jason to shift me.

For most of the battle we just sat on the river, constantly in melee combat. My Globadier tried to remove the Gors from the building with shooting, instead managing to destroy themselves with a disastrous shot of a Death Globe. My Stormvermin fared little better as they tried to beat back a single chariot and assault the building.

Jason was pretty much primed for a win, the house being worth 300 points, but on the last turn I managed to roll the building destroying bell toll. The Screaming Bell was only just within 18 inches, and it took the building down in a shower of rubble. This event not only deprived Jason of the 300 points, but gave me half points for the Gor unit inside the building along with his Battle Standard Bearer.

So it was a win for me, but really only by the luckiest of events.

My third game was against Andrew and his Warriors of Chaos. And yes, in typical fashion I totally forgot to take a picture.

His army was mainly cavalry, backed up by two medium sized blocks of warriors and three mounted sorcerers. In this game, I got totally thrashed. I managed to miscast in the first turn, giving Andrew a free spell. He cast some terrible thing on the Screaming Bell, managing to make all the hits against the carriage and destroying it totally. From here things went from bad to worse. Using Pandemonium he cut off my spell casting ability and quickly closed on my army. Without it’s Unbreakable centre, and thanks to some appalling rolling, the Skaven line quickly become overrun.

In fact, I did almost as much damage to myself as Andrew did, with multiple Ratling Gun misfires culling whole units of my own troops and things generally exploding at every opportunity. This really was the eye of the storm for everything going wrong.

So in the end, my meager middle-of-the-road placing became second from the bottom thanks to one terrible game. But that is what the Skaven army is for, self-destruction and chaos.

I did have fun, and got to play some good armies and players. This also gave me an idea on what I should be adding to my army, or using less of. Surely no one would have a problem with two Doomwheels?

Right in the guts

Today Brad came around to christen the game room with a hefty game of Warhammer. 1500 points. Ogre Kingdoms versus Skaven. To the death. A no holds barred battle of epic proportions. This would be a sombre and gritty war, and legends would be sung of its magnificence and horrors.

Ok, Brad destroyed the mood a bit with his cheesy grin. And my visiting nephew hasn’t helped any.

So this is how the board stands at deployment. I have decided to take a Plague Furnace today. Seems like as good a time as any to give it a go.

End of turn 1. My clanrats are fleeing after their Warpfire Thrower explodes over them and the Plague Monks. Some of Brad’s Bulls are on the run too from a nasty Scorch, so that evens out. The Gnoblar Trappers are also fleeing, after being shot by the Doomwheel.

End of turn 2. The Gorger turned up behind my Jezzails, but the fleeing Clanrats rally and threaten the monster. The Giant Rats flee from the board, and continue their reign as useless points. Three Ogre Bulls flee before the Plague Monks, but are caught and killed. The Doomwheel misfires and ploughs straight into a unit of Gnoblars. The ensuing combat sees the Doomwheel win, and persue straight into the Plague Monks, blocking them.

Learn to drive, dumbass.

The Gorger charges the Jezzails, who break and flee. The Gnoblars charge the Globadiers, who stupidly take the charge. While the Globadiers hold out for a round of combat, they are running by the next turn. The Butcher leaves the safety of his Irongut unit and stands around looking smug. Somehow the Plague Monks and Doomwheel sort out their head on collision and move apart. More Ogres flee because of Scorch. The Jezzails fail to rally and flee past the Gorger towards the board edge. The Clanrat unit trails the Gorger, intent on looking like they will actually do something.

And here we see the odd logjam of Ogre Bulls and Ironguts. What is going on?

Annoyingly, the Gorger charges the rear of the Plague Monks. Unbreakable unit versus Unbreakable unit. Terrific.  The fleeing ogres rally and turn to face the Plague Monks. The Bulls angle themselves in the wrong way, trying to divert the imminent Plague Monks charge. Displaying the power of Skaven magic, the Warlock Engineer blasts the Butcher to pieces with Warplightning. Meanwhile, the Doomwheel engages the Leadbelchers, while the Skavenslaves complete their faking move and head for a completely different ogre unit.

End of turn 5. The Plague Monks kills the Gorger, and then charge the Ironguts. The Doomwheel finishes off the Leadbelchers, while the Slaves are smashed in combat with the second Ironguts. The Jezzails rally.

End of turn 6. The Ogre Bulls charge the Clanrats who fail their Fear test. In an amazing move of tactical genius, they flee just enough to completely block the line of sight of the Jezzails. The Plague Furnace fires at the Ironguts to no effect. The Doomwheel fares better, killing two Ogres.

In the end, the battle ended in a draw. I quite liked the Plague Furnace, and will have to include on in my force in the future. Also, only having one weapon team didn’t seem to be a hinderance, which is interesting. Again, the Giant Rats failed to perform.

It is good to see that the Ogre Kingdoms still have some fire in them that lets them compete, though.

That’s Bull

I haven’t really had much time to do all my regular Warhammer stuff the last week or so. Why this is can be revealed soon. Very soon. In the interim, though, I offer up a brief battle Brad and I had the other day. He popped around with his Ogres so I decided to give the new Skaven a run against them.

Ogre Kingdoms – 1500 points
1 Bruiser
1 Butcher
4 Bulls
4 Ironguts
3 Ironguts
3 Leadbelchers
3 Leadbelchers
3 Bulls
1 Gorger
10 Gnoblar Trappers

Skaven – 1500 points
1 Cheiftain
1 Cheiftain Battle Standard Bearer
1 Warlock Engineer
30 Clanrats
25 Stormvermin
20 Slaves
20 Slaves
25 Plague Monks
3 Jezzails
1 Doomwheel

So the Ogres were a pretty standard ogre list, while the skaven list I have taken is pretty much a cut down version of the one I used at Dogs Breakfast.

The ogres took the first turn, moving forward in a V formation, with Bulls followed by Leadbelchers and then Ironguts. My Skaven were deployed with the bulk of their hitting power on the left flank, with a unit of slaves and the Globadiers on the right.

To be honest, the specific details of the battle are a haze. The Gorger appeared on turn two and tried to harry the right flank, only managing to put the hurt on the Globadiers. A unit of Leadbelchers and the Bruiser also managed to get a charge on the Plague Monks, breaking them in two rounds of combat. However, by pursuing them they were left in an opportune spot for the Clanrats to charge and overwhelm them.

The Gnoblar Trappers really failed to do anything, only drawing a 40 point slave unit away from the main battleline. The Stormvermin too contributed little to the battle, though they did soundly pummel the Bull regiment they flank charged.

Reprising its role as ‘man of the match’ from Dogs Breakfast, the Doomwheel performed amazingly. This instrument of destruction consistently put the hurt into the Ogres, either with massively powerful blasts of warplightning or with precision close combat attacks. Even misfiring once didn’t seem to phase it. I think, of any army in Warhammer, Ogre Kingdoms is the one that the Doomwheel will be able to do the most damage against. The warplightning attacks are extremely focused, doing D6 wounds on single models. Against such a small multi-wound force like the Ogres this is bad news. Ogre Kingdoms players be warned! The Doomwheel is your number one opponent in the new Skaven list.

So there wasn’t really much in this Ogre Kingdoms list the Skaven couldn’t handle. I think if Brad had attacked with a little bit more focus the result would have been very different. Obviously the Doomwheel should have been his first target, maybe keeping some Leadbelchers back to fire on it, rather than trying to bring it down in combat. When left one on one against ranked unit the Ogres did fairly well, though obviously faltered badly when Skaven flanked charged into the combat. I think some more Gnoblars might be needed to cushion the Bull units and protect their sides. Angle charging flankers off away from the Bulls, rather than destroying units.

In the end we didn’t bother totalling the results. I had lost the Plague Monks and Globadiers, while all Brad had left was a single Leadbelcher. A pretty decisive Massacre, I think you will agree.

Old enemies clash

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Craig came around today and we threw down in quick 1500 point Skaven vs Chaos pitched battle.

The Warriors of Chaos were sporting 5 Chaos Knights, 15 Chaos Warriors, 15 Marauders, a Shaggoth and three Exalted Champions. My Skaven were fielding a modest force of 19 Stormvermin, two lots of 25 Clanrats, 15 Plague Monks, 5 Warplock Jezzails, two lots of 20 Slaves, a Warplightning Cannon, 2 Ratling Guns, a Warpfire Thrower, an Assassin and two Warlock Engineers. One of these Engineers was the force general, while the Exalted Champion on horse was the Warriors of Chaos’ general.

Through clever planning, and the blessing of the Horned Rat, the Skaven chose their side, and were given the honour of deploying first as well. The bulk of my force was placed on the right of the ruined hill. Clanrats hugged the rocky outcrop, with the Plague Monks and then a unit of slaves next to them. Behind these troops waited the Stormvermin, protecting the Warlock Engineer general. On the left of the hill was the other Clanrat unit, also loitering close to the feature. In the mid of this section I placed the other slave unit, and near the back of the table, the Warplightning Cannon. On the hill I placed the Warplock Jezzails, giving them a good view of the battlefield. On the ground in front of them stood the second Engineer.

The Warriors of Chaos were evenly spread out, with the Shaggoth and Knights on their right flank, and the Marauders and Warriors on their left. The armies general rode with the knights, while the standard bearer threw his lot in with the Chaos Warriors. The third character bulked out the Marauders.

Overall, the battle was closely fought, with both sides getting the upper hand on a number of occasions. The Skaven managed to funnel the Chaos away from their left flank and towards the centre of the table. The plan was to bunch them up and fire on them, though this plan was hindered by catastrophic failures of multiple shooting units. The Warlock Engineers did manage to cause the Chaos Warriors to flee early on, though, effectively denying the Chaos one of their heavy hitters for much of the game.

The Shaggoth consistently supported the Maruaders, flank charging the enemies this unit was engaged with on multiple occasions. It was eventually taken down in the later turns by consistent Jezzail fire.

While killing machines on paper, the Chaos Knights managed to perform poorly against one of the Clanrat units. This was compounded when an Assassin revealed himself and took the general out in a challenge. While the Clanrats ultimately lost the combat and broke, this was still a coup for the black clad Eshin.

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In the end, the battle was extremely close. The Skaven only had the Stormvermin and two Warlock Engineers left at the end, while two Warriors of Chaos and two Chaos Knights remained on the Chaos side. The Chaos had also managed to capture two standards, while the Skaven boasted points for killing the general, and capturing a table quarter. With points totalled up, the game came to a draw, leaning slightly in the Skavens favour.

Maybe next time!

The Move Forward Horde

Today I played a couple of battles against Brad and Matt. The other Matt.

I decided to run a slightly different skaven army than I normally take. Since the new army book is drawing ever near, I thought I might try out some stuff I don’t normally take.

My army looked like this:

Chieftain: General with Skavenbrew
Warlock Engineer: Level 2
Chieftain: Battle Standard Bearer, Banner of Burning Hatred
20 Clanrats x2 units: Full command
15 Stormvermin: Full command
20 Slaves x2 units
5 Globadiers x2 units
Ratling Gun
Warpfire Thrower
Warplightning Cannon
5 Jezzail Teams

The first game was against Matt and his Dark Elves. I hate Dark Elves.

His army was a couple of large blocks of Crossbowmen, 20 or so Black Guard, 20 or so Witch Elves and a Bolt Thrower. He also had two Sorcerers and a Hero of some description.

Basically, his army peppered me from afar with magic and shooting, quickly whittling down all my troops. My only glimmer of hope was when his Witch Elves pursued some Slaves into the heart of my army, where I had the opportunity to shoot and magic them to death in almost a single turn. Apart from this, the Dark Elves wiped me out while making it through the battle pretty unscathed.

The magic was a big problem. He was slinging spells at me, and I just didn’t have enough dice to dispel any of them. I also couldn’t get any spells off either, which was infuriating. I think I really should have changed tactic. I was trying the old pincer move, sending Globadiers and Clanrats up either side with the rest of the army in the centre, but it just wasn’t working. I think weighting more troops onto one flank may have been a better idea. At least then a larger amount of troops may have made it into combat. As it was, only a third of a unit was making it across the board.

Next game was against Brad and his Orcs and Goblins. His army was made up of 5 Wolf Riders, 30 Goblins, 25 Orc Boyz, 20 Squig Herders, 6 Squig Hoppers, a Rock Lobba and a Giant. Characters were an Orc Boss, Orc Shaman and Goblin Shaman.

This game turned out much better. The Warplightning Cannon took the Giant out in the first turn with a S2 hit doing 6 wounds.  Some deadly shooting by the Jezzails sent the Wolf Riders running from the board, while the Globadiers and Warlock Engineer took a sizable chunk from the Squig Hoppers. The hoppers managed to break the Globadiers in close combat, but the Ratling Gun make short work of the single hopper left. The Squig Herd was wiped out by the Clanrat unit it charged, but when it exploded took out the Ratling Gun, Warlock Engineer, some Stormvermin, Clanrats and Jezzails, as well as the Orc Boss and some Orc Boyz. Nasty stuff. The rest of the battle was some brief fighting and maneuvering, but in the end I came away with a Solid Victory.

I had taken what I learnt from against the Dark Elves and applied it here against Brad. I weighted the battle line towards the centre, leaving just a couple of units on the fringes. The Globadiers worked much better when they stuck closer to larger troop units. The Jezzails also did much better, most probably  because htey had smaller units to shoot at, rather than the sparse, dense units in the Dark Elf army.

So these two battles contribute to my armys progress in our groups campaign. The skaven have their first win on the board!

While I was around at Brad’s, I also pick up some stuff he had for me. To Brad miniatures are like crack, he just can’t help but buy them. He happened to have quite a few skaven lying around, so I took them off his hands to build up my own army with.

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There are some metal miniatures in there I probably won’t use, but the bulk of this I can probably find a use for. There are quite a few of the current multi-part Clanrats. Since it looks like new Clanrats are on the way I think I might use these ones as Slaves. This should give me a pretty sizable skaven force.

Now I have to sort through all this stuff.

To war!

Brad, Jarryd and Craig came around today to fight the first battles of the campaign. Yes, we are undertaking a campaign, run mostly by Brad. It’s a good idea, as it will give me a chance to run some of my Skaven troops and see what I am going to need. In my usual style I forgot to take pictures of my first battle, and then just couldn’t be bothered taking any of the second one.

The special rule for this campaign is that armies are made up with one less Rare or Special option than normally allowed. I decided to forgo my Rare choice and build an army a little different to what I normally take. I had a Chieftain, 2 Warlock Engineers, 2 lots of 20 Clanrats, 2 lots of 20 slaves, 5 Globadiers, 3 Rat Ogres and 5 Warplock Jezzails.

First I played a 1000 point battle against Jarryd’s Warriors of Chaos. It was a fairly solid list, 2 units of wolves, 2 units of warriors, a unit of knights, a spawn and a sorcerer. Mu initial shooting and magic made a couple of big holes in his army, killing 2 knights and causing some wolves to flee. A unit of slaves went up against the spawn and managed to beat it after three turns. The rest of my army pretty much fell apart, but not after doing a bit of damage to some of the wolf units and a Chaos Warrior unit. In the end I was Massacred, but only just. If my Globadiers had of performed a little better I think that might have tipped the game in my favour, but as it was, they were more effective at killing themselves than the enemy. I also probably don’t need to shoot into my own unit quite so over zealously. In one round of shooting I did more damage to a slave unit than I did to the Chaos Warrior unit it was fighting, pretty much obliterating any chance it had of winning the combat.

Next I fought Brad and his Orcs & Goblins. 1 Boss, 1 Shaman, Wolf Riders, a Squig Herd, a chariot, Boyz, Night Goblins, Snotlings and Squig Hoppers were his go. I have not played against Squigs before. Man! Do they ever hurt! I wasn’t quite expecting such a diminutive fungoid creature to break out such mean stats. I realise they are little bouncing killing machines, but this was painful! I did equally as poorly against Brad, though this time I think this was due to luck and not Brad’s generalship. He used his units sensibly, but there were a couple of times that it all just went his way in spades. Multiple units rolling 6 for Animosity in a single turn and my Globadiers continued inability to hit anything are but a few. This game was a lot closer, though. While his main units ripped into my units pretty badly, my smaller peripheral troops did some shocking damage. A single Warlock Engineer is responsible for causing (what was left of ) the Orc Boyz to run from the battle.

I’m pretty happy with the list, and how it performed. The Rat Ogres could probably be taken out and replaced with something like more Clanrats or Plague Monks. At such a small size I think putting in some more ranked units would be a better idea, and the Rat Ogres just kind of peter around at the moment. I could probably also replace the Jezzails or Globadiers with more ranked units. I like the Globadiers more, but the Jezzails did a much better job against the Chaos and the Orcs. I think two units of Slaves might be one too many for 1000 points, but coming to a total of 80 points for the two of them, it seems silly not to take them. Keeping the Warplighting Cannon out of the battle was a good idea, though. While it can be a powerhouse of a machine, the absence of larger, heftier target for it to shoot at negated it’s overall usefulness. Sure, shooting 20 guys in a line is great, but is it worth risking 100 points over?

Border Princes Teaparty Rundown

Brad stayed around last night, as it was easier than him driving down from a world away to get to Border Princes Teaparty, so I helped him finish painting some High Elf White Lions and Spearelves to a tabletop standard. It was interesting, I’ve never really painted elves before. But on to the tournament!

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My first battle was against Aubruy and his Vampire Counts. I think in any other circumstance I could have given him a closer run for his money, but the terrain layout on the board we got hamstrung me a bit. The placement of the castle terrain meant that is was almost impossible for me to get in any kind of flanking force. With the large blocks of ghouls he had, I really needed to get a flank attack in there to bring down his static combat resolution and help me destroy his units quicker.

As it was, inability to maneuver, plus Aubruy’s small quickfire Invocation casts and multiple Van Hels undid me pretty quickly. When on more open ground my knights easily destroyed a unit of wolves and skeletons in almost a single turn.

Don’t get me wrong, he was a good general. Raising in the right units, not waisting troops needlessly. But I think on a more open battlefield he would have had a much harder time. As it was, he managed to beat me quite convincingly. Until next time!

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Next up was Andrew and his High Elf force. I’m pretty familiar with High Elves, as I have played against Brad’s. But Andrew’s army was a lot different to what Brad usually takes.

Like Brad, he has archers, spearelves, Silver Helms, Swordmasters and an eagle. All these familiar troops I had no problem with. He also has 2 Lion Chariots and Phoenix Guard, troops I have not faced before. It’s interesting facing elves with Fear causing troops. To top it all off, he also had two Bolt Throwers. And he managed to hit with both more often than not!

Basically, in this battle, I was absolutely trounced. Bad rolling on my part played a big party, but Andrew did have a good handle on what his army was good at. He used the eagle to redirecting perfection, and like most, assumed that his massed blocks of Always Strike First Spearelves could stand up to a combined charge of Knights of the Realm and Questing Knights. Two mid sized knight units in a combined is my signature move buddy. No one stands before that. No one.

Somehow his two Bolt Throwers managed to wipe out all my Grail Knights in the first two turns. What the hell! Brad obviously needs to go back to Bolt Thrower firing school, as this guy was just making hits like it was no big deal. I tried to use Assault of Stone to take care of them, but the elven magic was far too strong and just blocked me at every attempt.

So yes, in the end I lost by a lot. I didn’t really make many mistakes in this battle, there was just a lot of unlucky occurrences on my end that I had to deal with.

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Last game was against Jason and his Warriors of Chaos. I believe Jason is Andrew’s father too. There you go.

Where as everything was going wrong in the last couple of games, everything just went right in this one. I was able to choose my deployment side, opting for the side with a hill to put my archers on. The battlefield was basically a river down the centre with three bridges to cross. I set up the Grail Pilgrims to guard on bridge, the Men-at-arms with the Damsel to defend another, and sent the majority of my cavalry over the third.

My plan was to divide Jason’s army up, as I doubted I could withstand progressive charges by blocks of Chaos Knights and Warriors. He took the bait, sending three units to deal with the Men-at-arms and Pilgrims, while lining the rest of his army up to accept multiple knight charges. With combined charge after combined charge his force just folded like a cheap lawn chair.

He had the right idea, baiting my knights with Marauder Horsemen, but put his Chaos Knights way too close behind them. When the Marauders fled a charge, the two units of knight could just redirect straight into the Chaos Knights. Personally, I think Jason’s main problem was that he has what I like to call ‘Craig Syndrome’. Like my brother Craig, he largely believes  that Warhammer is a game of moving guys into combat and hitting stuff, rather than it being a game of movement. This misunderstanding of the game, and movement rules, led to a lot of his woes I think.

If he keeps at it, I think he’ll eventually get the hang of it and start to do better in a competitive environment.

As it was, I have no idea how well I did overall at the tournament. I went home with one of the consolation prizes, so “particularly poorly” comes to mind. I did get a blister pack of Dark Elf Executioners. I wasn’t too sure what I would do with them, but I showed them to Linda and she wants to paint them. So that seems fair enough, methinks.