WHFB Incoming !

Yesterday was spent playing a WHFB game with byakhee Anthony. I had not gone head to head with his Dwarves for some time, so it was a novel experience. I kept my army pretty much the same as for the last two games, in the hope that it is actually a half decent list. I tweaked it so that I had two flocks of 10 Harpies – on the grounds that he was bound to bring artillery, and with 4 dwarves per artillery piece (he likes his engineers) I was going to need more than just 5 Harpies to deal with a couple of artillery pieces before it was destroyed.

More photos here.

As a surprise I deployed my Hydra on the far right flank to sneak round his flank and make a flank attack on his unit of Longbeards.

Once again, I lost initiative, and my opponent went first. This has now become (a) a regular event where I don’t go first (b) very important as I don’t get to use the Altar of Khaine to gift a unit with a ward save.

Anthony’s luck with dice is legendarily bad. Not for this game though.

He had deployed 2 Bolt Throwers, 2 Stone Throwers and an Organ Gun, plus two units of 12 Hand Gunnerererers* in a firing line, that proceeded to hand out an almighty amount of damage. The two stone throwers both rolled Direct Hits. The first, which he had naturally souped up with a flaming rune, caused but one wound on the Hydra (Phew!). The second Direct Hit (start the violins now), caused 6 wounds… and of course I couldn’t regenerate any of them. Goodbye Hydra. The Bolt throwers, Organ Gun and Hand Gunnererers, then wiped out 10 Silver Talons, 9 Black Guard and 4 RXB men. All this in the first round. That’s in excess of 400 points out of 3,000 points.

My feeble reply, saw a Hammererer and a couple of Hand Gunnererers killed.

This looked like another car crash of a game. Still, I held out.

The second turn got off to a good start, for me. The ~25 Hammererers and their shield borne lord charged Mengil’s who were lurking in the woods. Out of 18 shots, not a single 6 (for poisoned attacks) was rolled, and the Dwarves crashed in on the 10 man strong unit of Mengil but they’d taken a few casualties now. At this point, Anthony then rolled a handful of dice for dangerous terrain, and rolled seven 1s (see photo). Oh how I wept. It didn’t change the course of the game really, Mengil’s were defeated after taking more Hammererers out and reducing the unit to a fragile rump.

Anthony’s Gyrocopter zapped the Harpies but couldn’t stop them. The Black Guard took another pummeling, but the large RXB unit and Silver Talons got off lightly this time. His Longbeards did however charge the Silver Talons, and despite my best magical effects, proceeded to surprisingly defeat the Silver Talons, before running them down, only to leave themselves open to…

…A charge from my RXB unit. It’s twenty strong, often has an Assassin in and is my second line combat unit. It dealt out a heft amount of damage and made the Long Beards run – and their stumpy little legs carried them further than my leggy Dark Elves could stumble !

Meanwhile, the harpies on my left attacked the first Bolt Thrower, and wiped out all but one of the crew (the engineer of course!). The Harpies on my right got into position to charge the stone thrower the next go. The Dark Guard were all but wiped out by missile fire.

Anthony’s Miners, who had come on the previous turn now started rolling up my artillery (Repeat Bolt Throwers), the Black Guard were wiped out, my Sorceress blew herself up and was reduced to 0 level. The RXB unit again charged the Longbeards and finally overcame them. The Harpies on my left got into combat with the Stone Thrower crew, as did the Harpies on my right, who were then promptly charged by a Master Engineer and Dragon Slayer – and they held out !

By the end of the fourth turn it was over, I’d lost but by a much narrowererer margin than could have been expected from the first turn. Of the six stones chucked by Anthony’s stone throwererers, he’d managed an amazing 4 direct hits. With that sort of pummelling my T3 Dark Elves have very little chance of survival.

Key issues:

  • My Dice hate me
  • With a limited repertoire of units, my opponents know my army very well and plan accordingly
  • Most of my opponents now know to take lots of Artillery units
  • I need to get my Cold One Knights and Chariots painted and fielded
  • Stick to the plan, do not get side tracked
  • Harpies are good at taking out Artillery units, but take at least 2 turns to get into combat
  • Therefore winning the initiative is key
  • Ward saves !
  • Whilst named units are fun, they also act as magnets for enemy fire.

* As most Dwarf units have names that end in “…er”, I frequently and deliberately obtain the michael by naming them: Hammerererers, Hand Gunerererers etc. Small things and small minds… 😉

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