WHFB: Orcs & Goblins vs Dwarves and Empire – Reflections

Rich’s Reflections on last w/e’s game:

Army list (approx)

  • Arch Lector with magic armour, Van Horstman’s Speculum, great weapon and the War Altar (army general)
  • Level 2 Light Wizard on horse, with Dispel Scroll
  • Mounted Captain Battle Standard Bearer accompanying
  • 19 Inner Circle Knights of the White Wolf, with Command and the Ranger Standard (to ignore Difficult Terrain)
  • 10 Reiksguard with Command
  • 2 x 5 Pistoliers with Outrider and Musician
  • 5 Outriders with Sharpshooter and Musician
  • 11 Huntsmen

To get lots of S6 attacks to bear on a narrow section of the orc battle line, with the War Altar providing enhancements (Hatred, Battle Prayers) to the cavalry units. The fast cavalry units are to keep small enemy units from flanking the heavy cavalry, or to hunt down war machines and wizards if the opportunity arose. The huntsmen are scouts and give an opportunity to counter enemy deployment.

All this depended on Dwarf allies providing supporting firepower and a secure base line to fall back on.

The Battle
Went largely to plan in the end. We were caught out a little by the speed of the orc advance and the size of some of the units – you can’t hold off 30 orc archers with 5 or 10 fast cavalry for long, and I thought I sacrificed them without gaining much benefit. At key moments our armies performed as expected – no orc unit could handle 30 Knights with rerolls to hit and sometimes to wound, and the Dwarf artillery was effective in wiping out the trolls and whittling down the other orc threats. The Dwarf Handgunners proved their worth in melee, holding up the flanking wolf riders until the troll slayers could arrive to help them out, which was crucial. Probably the moment which swung the game finally our way was when the Orc Great Shaman caused a Dimensional Cascade, removing himself and his Wyvern from the game

I need to think about how to best use expensive fast cavalry, and also how to pick a balanced army from the huge array of choices the Empire book has. And I think the Wyvern Shaman is an interesting pick for the Orcs and worth persevering with.

Quote of the Day
“Have you really got those movement trays UPSIDE DOWN!?”

Anthony comments (as typed by Rich):

The purpose of the Dwarf Allies force was to provide an artillery and missile cover for the advancing Empire cavalry army. The stone throwererers, as usual, proved to be effective (read: deadly! R) due to the usual souping up with runes. The trolls were toast (thanks to the flaming attack rune). The flanking thundererers managed to intercept the orc wolf riders, despite not being able to shoot at them, and held their own until help could arrive. (And in many ways, that was the game right there! R)

Dwarf Juggernaut TA2 – Part Four

This is a big beast of a kit. I’ve opted to paint to wargaming standards the various decks before gluing them together.

An example is the lower deck, where we have a pile of coal that would be completely obscured once the upper and steering decks are added on top:

So what I’ve done is glue the two main decks together, along with the front wheels.

The steering deck, and boiler are still loose, but you can see where they go.

To help maintain structural integrity I’ve provided a base, using a spare plastic base tray cut to size. Nothing is true in terms of angles for this model, so there have been a few additions to the base to make it all work out.

The crew remain unpainted as they will be added in places you can’t get to normally. Similarly the “passengers”.

It gets deployed tomorrow, with a few more imporvements ! 🙂

BoB/RCW: Colourful White Russian Army

Ok, enough talk, here’s some eye candy. Finally finished off my first ‘army’. It’s the Colourful White Russian army I’ve been working on that I thought was very very alohisotrical being based on the White School Cadets massacred in Dr Zhivago, but turned out was very close to a real unit operating within the AFSR.

Top Left: Cavalry (15)
Top Middle: Mounted Command
Top Right: Artillery piece

Middle Left: foot Command x2
Middle Middle: HMG
Middle Right: Infantry squad (10)

Front Left: Infantry squad (10)
Front Right: Infantry squad (10)

I can augment this with more infantry, the (30) ragged White Russians I have, but this is the core of the army…and it’s all painted, yay ! Only taken about 9 years…

The Cavalry.
I may well add a unit of Circassian Cossacks soon, just need to paint them.

The Infantry.

Command on foot & HMG. Another HMG is on the cards, again just needs to be built and painted.

Now I’ll feel happier organising a Big Game for Back of Beyond/RCW, now that I can field an army myself ! 🙂

Tanks & armoured cars will also augment this army.

Dwarf Juggernaut rules

Well I’m aspiring to field my (currently half) completed Dwarf Juggernaut this w/e, and as there were never any rules published, I had a look at the latest Empire Steam Tank rules. Here’s my first draft of some rules:

Dwarf Juggernaut

 Basic PV of 200 points



M Ws Bs S T W I A Ld
Juggernaut Var 6 6 10
Captain 4 4 3 4 1 2 1 9
Crew & Passengers 4 3 3 4 1 2 1 9

Troop type: Chariot (armour Save 2+)

Special Rules:

Large Target, Random Movement (variable), Terror, Unbreakable

Wood & Brass behemoth: The Juggernaut, crew and passengers can shoot missile weapons with the Move or fire special rule even if it has moved in its movement phase. In addition, the Juggernaut cannot overrun or pursue a fleeing enemy – it must restrain pursuit.

Crew & Passengers

The Juggernaut has a crew of four, led by the Captain who counts as an Engineer as listed in the Dwarf Army Book and who has a brace of pistols and who can attack in combat. The other three Crew cannot fight in combat – they are either manning the steam boiler, or the steam gun.

In addition, the Juggernaut can take on Passengers – up to 5 Quarrellers or Thunderers. These have the basic stat lines as above, and are equipped as basic troops of that type. None can be champions, and cannot receive any upgrades of equipment.  Their points cost is added to the value of the Juggernauts basic PV of 200 points.They are treated as if they were additional chariot crew in all respects except:

  • If the Juggernaut is not engaged in close combat, they may shoot as normal during the shooting phase;
  • If the Juggernaut is in close combat, they may not shoot in the shooting phase, but instead “stand by to repel boarders” and rush to the gunnels on whatever side the Juggernaut is attacked;
  • When in close combat in the first combat round, they may use their cross bows’ or hand guns’ profiles in combat, so a Thunderer would shoot into the enemy using an effective WS of 4, with a S4 hit, and a -2 armour save;
  • After the first round of close combat, then they revert to using their hand weapons and fight as normal;
  • When a wound(s) is scored against the Juggernaut in close combat, remove the Passengers until they are all gone. (Only remaining passengers can fight).

Steam Engine and Steam Gun are the same as per the Imperial rules but…

If only one steam point is used, then the steam gun counts as a S3 breath weapon which uses the Captain’s Initiative. The strength of the steam gun is increased by one, for each additional steam point used. The steam gun can only fire on the usual forwards arc, and can be used once per turn.

Steam Valves

Cunningly, the crew know how to vent a steam point from the steam pistons on the sides of the Juggernaut. You may opt to use one steam point to vent steam from the valves on the flank of the Juggernaut in close combat. This counts as a S2 breath weapon against one enemy in the front rank, and one enemy in the second rank only. You may not increase the strength by expending extra steam points. This can be done on either or both flanks of the Juggernaut. It cannot be used to the front or rear.

Steam Bolier Mishap Table:


1-4 Valve Locked, roll a d6:1-3 You cannot use the steam engine this turn3-5  ou cannot use the steam gun this turn5-6 You cannot use the steam valves this turn
5 Minor leak: the Juggernaut immediately loses D3 Steam Points
6 Emergency vent. The Juggernaut immediately loses D6 Steam Points. The Juggernaut and any unit in base contact immediately suffers 2d6, S2 hits distributed as from shooting (roll for each unit)
7 Dangerous overpressure: Roll a d3, the Juggernaut immediately gains a number of Steam Points and loses a number of Wounds equal to the result. You may reduce the number of wounds on the Juggernaut by using the Steam Valves (one per side) which inflict damage on any unit in base contact as usual, or any unit within in 2”.
8 Kaboom. All units within 6” of the Juggernaut immediately suffer 2d6 S4 hits distributed as from shooting (roll ofr each unit) and the Juggernaut is removed.


The Imperial Steam Tank costs 250Points, but has a cannon. So knock off 50 points for the cannon. The Juggernaut is not steel, its wood and brass, so knock of an armour saving point and about 20 points. The steam cannon, isn’t mounted in a turret and clearly doesn’t have 360 degrees arc of fire, hmm, knock off another 20 points or so. Hmm, that sounds boring now so…

There are steam gears either side of the Juggernaut, now I’ve seen steam engines in action and they are venting steam from their gears…so let’s make them into smaller but useful weapons to scald and generally annoy the enemy. But incorporate some unfortunate side effects into the Mishap table. That deck is nice and empty, and the original guide to building the thing suggested adding extra passengers so….

Any bright ideas ?

Feedback is welcome !

The Pecking Order

Our gaming group is aiming to always field fully painted armies, and we achieve this to a greater or lesser extent. In particular, the part timer Gavin A has had his army subjected to my attentions in an attempt to bring it to a state that it can be fielded without figures falling over. Yesterday I had a rant about painted figures, basing and movement trays, when I spotted Gavin was using half his movement trays upside down !

Richard insisted I post the gist of my rant.
So the pecking order:

  • well painted, based units on a painted movement tray (if req’d)
  • well painted, based figures
  • painted figures, based and on a painted movement tray
  • painted and based figures
  • basically painted figures (block painted), on a movement tray
  • basically painted figures
  • undercoated and based figures on a movement tray
  • undercoated and based figures
  • based figures, on a movement tray
  • based figures, on an upside down movement tray
  • based figures
  • figures on the wrong base
  • figures not properly based and totally unpainted
  • a pile of pieces

For the Big Games I attend for AVBCW, then pretty much its only the first six categories that are acceptable – a Gentleman does not turn up with unpainted unassembled miniatures ! Big Games are difficult to organise (he says having been there, done one, got the scars) and as we travel long distances to attend them they have to be, and indeed are top notch with players turning up behaving impeccably with well turned out armies.

Now with the local gaming group you can get away with a bit more lee way, on the understanding that your army is progressing up the pecking order. Indeed 8 years ago when we first got back into WHFB on a regular basis (as in more than twice a year) I had the embarrassment of fielding part built DE Spearmen (the horror, the horror), at least now all the miniatures are built, most are base coated and many are fully painted for all our gaming group.

Of clourse, late in the evening, I found another Abhorrence that will be detailed later. ‘Abhorrence’ is an in-joke, I saw a number of unpainted figures not on the right bases, shouted “Abhorrence” pointing at them when Anthony walked into the room…so I had to swiftly explain it wasn’t him, it was the figures…so that’s sort of stuck as the rallying cry for our efforts to field properly based and painted figures.

No pressure !

WHFB: Empire & Dwarves vs Greenskins

We had a 4k PV game of Warhammer, with Rich’s new Empire army allying with Anthony’s Dwarves to fight Gavin A’s greenskins (aided and abetted by me). Just as well I wasn’t actually fielding anything myself, as I spent most of Friday evening trying to sort out the electrics on my oven that had decided to die.

Gavin A does not get to game much, so I’ve had to help him set up his army, but he tinkered with it on his ownsome and came up with some new surprises for Anthony & Richard.

Here’s the initial set up, which was for a head to head battle:

Gav’s Orcs & Goblins span the full range from slotta to modern plastics. Mostly they are painted by me at various times ranging from simple one coat of paint, through to more up to date paint methods, so I do cringe when I see the efforts of a 12 year old.

In fact, those painted bolt thrower crew were my original, so at least I can salvage some pride in that my painting skills have improved oveer the last 20+ years (cough).

Anthony’s firing line, 2 bolt throwers, 2 stone throwers, and 40 Thunderers in 2 units. A small squad (6) of Slayers were used as artillery guard and proved very useful:

Richard’s cavalry !

Both sides had fast cavalry so did vanguard moves. Gav’s plan, was for the wolf riders to go artillery hunting, and it got off to a good start. Gav won the roll for going first but then animosity set in. A unit of Goblins squabbled rather than move forward to protect the bolt throwers from Rich’s scouts. On the other hand, Harboth’s got the Waaghh ! and moved forward 5 inches, which then led them to charge Rich’s pistolliers and wipe them out in combat. the second unit of pistolliers were also wiped out by the massed ranks of Arrer boys and bolt throwers, much to Rich’s chagrin.

The downside was…

Rich’s cavalry and war altar managed to charge Harboth’s !
Meanwhile the Goblins finally released their fanatics:

And the wolf riders flanked the Dwarves drawing in the Thunderers and Slayers who after a close combat for two rounds were defeated:

Richard then got sneaky and charged the war altar into Ezza Uzegod’s unit, issued a challenge and won. As the war altar commanded by the arch-lector counts as a character, there was no one else for the Black Orcs to fight. With two wounds done, and none in return the war altar/arch lector won the combat ! Sneaky ! But the Black Orcs didn’t break. They were however in trouble.

Gav fired off the foot of gork spell, rolled a double six, killed a couple of dwarves and blew his shaman up. The Wyvern didn’t even go beserk !

The White wolves were then charged in by Richard into the flank of Eeza Ugezod’s unit. Who were in term charged in the rear by the Arrer boys…

An aLmighty combat ensued with the Black Orcs taking two rounds to be ground down eventually, and the Arrer boys being wiped out. As it was now 9.45pm, Gav conceeded defeat, but it had been a tough battle with the new improved Orc army proving itself capable of taking a lot of punishment.

Ernie !
(I’m having to make it up to the cats today, all three of whom sulked and refused to come in last night.

Mircowaving pizza, is not ideal, but it works. But BBQs are easier ! 🙂

Being Sociable (Edited)

Today was nearly 12 hours of 4 of us together playing with our little toy soldiers. We also had a guest dog, which greatly upset my three cats, but also helped see off Timmy the EVIL ginger tom cat.

We even had a BBQ so we were out doors for a good hour soaking in the fresh air and the views from my garden.

That’s part of the joy of wargaming – being sociable you have to be in the same room together. You have to be talkative, witty, paying attention, and dare I say it hygienic ? Yes we play with our toy soldiers, but we’re also chatting about the rest of our lives and other people we all know. We share tips about the gaming hobby, how we assembled/painted our figures, what we have planned next for our armies and so on.

Much better than spending 12 hours trapped in a room on your own playing a computer game that you can ‘game’ and never speak to a real person.

Sure we all use e-mail, and in my case blog about our games, but at the end of the day, it is the creative and social impulses that drive me and others to do wargaming where we field real miniatures, in the same room and share our lives together in a social manner.

Write up of the game tomorrow !

We’ve planned the next game session next w/e.

We are not victims, we are in control of our lives.