WHFB: Lots of quick games tournament style – Part 1

We set up three separate tables (4×4) with different terain in the village hall, and deployed armies of 1200PV, that we re-used to churn our way through different opponents for a day.

Neil W and Scott were the newbies tat came along. Scott has played long ago, and has also done Mordheim and Necromunda, but it was Neil W first outing for wargaming with his well painted Ogre Kingdoms army.

The first round was:

  • Neil W (Ogre Kingdoms) vs KIY (Dark Elves)
  • Rich (Empire) vs Jim m(Bretonnians)

Dark Elves vs Ogres

Ogre deployment.

Dark Elf deployment.

As we would be facing unknown adversaries, most of us plumped for generic army lists, so facing off against Ogres I expected to be squashed.

Which almost happened to my Dark Riders when they turned tail and ran away from the mournfang cavalry and escaped by one inch !

Luckily, the CoK hammered into the Ironguts unit with BSB, won combat and ran them down, causing the Leadbelcher unit with General to run away. However they rallied, and toasted my Harpies.

I then charged my Dark Riders into the Ogre bulls, and flank charged with the CoK. Amazingly, Neil pulled off lots of parry saves, wiped out the Dark Riders, and faced the CoK in a draw on combat resolution.

Only for the leadbechers to steam into the side of the Co, which amazingly survived a round of combat, passed LD test, which allowed my Silver Talons (Spearmen) to charge into the melee.

I won combat, Neil’s luck deserted him and he failed his LD tests and ran away…and then it was his trn…and he faled the rally tests…game over.

Good job, because the dice were not with me:

Special Guest Superstar DJ: Empire Luminark

Byakhee Rich has been busy sniffing glue building an Empire Luminark, or is that loonyark ?

This is one of the latest GW kits that has potential for dual roles/construction. Rich goes into more details of the construction process here.

Looks like a nice big piece of machinery he’ll be fielding, and I must finish off the crew of the the Dwarf Juggernaut ASAP !

One thing that caught my attention, was the basing he did:

The wheels are all double sided, so make sure you get the design you want to see facing outwards – I went with the magical symbols rather than the Sigmar stylings. Then I assembled the horses too.

It might look like I have stuck the whole model straight onto the base, but that would restrict later modelling steps and definitely painting. What I actually did is blu-tack a small piece of card to each wheel / hoof, put a spot of glue on each, and then place the model onto the base in the position I wanted, Then you can remove the models:

and the base has handy markers for where all the wheels and feet will stick. Now I can go ahead and landscape the base without worryng about obstructing the model. In this case it will be pretty basic, with PVA sand and a few small rocks and plants I think.

And from this photo you can just about see where the wheels and hooves are going to be placed in the now textured/modelled base:

This is a good idea and whilst I’ve done more primitive variants of it, one I’ll be copying in the future.
And the crew, are of course mounted on magnets so he can swap them round.

Whilst we can moan about the cost of GW products, at least with their latest plastic kits they are pushing the boundaries of model building and wargames figures.

WHFB: Xmashammer 2012 Rich’s view

Byakhee Rich is a very active member on many Warhammer forums, has his own internet stalker, but still managed to surprise us with his Fozzrik’s Folding Fortress made out of brass tape (?) (Hmm I feel another Special Guest Superstar DJ posting coming this way). His Luminark was not ready for the battle but he fielded his demi-Gryphs for the first time. Here’s his take on the two days:

So, a couple of days since Xmashammer 2012 and I’ve finally got my breath back and my thoughts together…

The first thing we all learnt is that you CAN deploy 8000 points of army in a 6’ by 1’ deployment zone, but you SHOULDN’T! Both sides started off with a vague plan, about half way through deployment both realised that there would be a unit in every space on the table – in fact, we waived the 1” apart rule and the Orc / Skaven alliance still hardly fitted on the table.

Smaller armies? No, simply the King in Yellow needs a bigger room and table! [New Kickstarter project, fund my purchase of a bigger house, only £100k needed, and in return you get errr….]

Going first had pros and cons for the forces of Good. Ultimately, taking the initiative and pressing the enemy back into a confined space was crucial. In the short term, any shooting advantage was lost in the swirling dawn mists of Lustria (half range, bah!) and the initial Imperial flank attack was seen off with minimal effort – a crowded table has no place for fast cavalry and scouts to hide!

Despite Evil artillery exploding, missing and generally entertaining rather than functioning, Jim’s Skaven punched through the middle of our armies in short order, and after two turns things looked bleak for the good guys. Especially after the epic duel between the High Elf and Skaven generals ending in victory for the (heavily wounded) Queek Headtaker. With the cream of the Good armies bogged down in difficult terrain and enormous Orc units on one flank, it was a massive relief when the ratmen fled the battlefield at the end of Day One.

Day Two dawned, and suddenly the log jam on the left flank looked like a stroke of genius! The steam tank “Ekaterina” and 20 Phoenix Guard had, with the aid of the ruined temple and jungle, held up about two thirds of the Orc army on their own, with the massed greenskins unable to push past their fellows to get at the enemy. The tank alone held up a gang of trolls and the Orc general for most of the battle! The fleeing Skaven left a huge space in the central plain, and the arrival of the Dragon Princes and Reiksguard Knights allowed the Good allies to reform a battle line beyond the half way point of the field. Conversely the massed Evil artillery made it very hard for the newly arrived Dark Elves and Orc reserves to join the battle in good order. Even on the weak right flank, the arrival of the mighty Eltharion and his Giant Eagles allowed Good to gain ground and secure their objectives.

Key to the eventual good victory was the performance of their Elite troops. The Phoenix Guard eventually destroyed twice their number of orcs and swept into the trolls with their fiery halberds, seeing them off and dispatching the Orc General at last. The flanking SIlver Helms crashed into the Dark Elf Silver Talon regiment, fighting a prolonged battle which helped secure the flank. And then the Talons of the Ulricsberg, just six Empire Knights on their mighty Demigryph mounts, tore into the heart of the Orc and Goblin army, accounting for 120 or more greenskins on their own!

The final acts of the battle saw Emperor Karl Franz enter the fray on the Imperial Dragon. Although he fought in just one combat, crushing a Dark Elf Champion and putting an end to the Silver Talons, his influence was massive as he helped rally the leaderless High Elves (in game terms, covering half the battlefield with Leadership 10 cannot be underestimated!) His dragon also scorched 15 elite Black Orcs, reducing a potent threat to a nuisance level. And in a final desperate bid to salvage the battle, the Orc Great Shaman blew his escort to pieces as the Winds of Magic escaped his control.

After being on their knees after Day One, Good had taken the opportunity to triumph! In secure possession of the ruins of Copalotaothat and the battlefield as a whole, and despite heavy casualties amongst the Empire forces especially, a final score of 5500 to 3000 was estimated!

My….

Humans of the Match: despite other acts of heroism, like the archers who took a flank charge from wolf riders and held, it has to be the Demigryph Knights, who caused carnage!

High Elves of the Match: The Phoenix Guard were good, but you’d expect that. Mention must be made of the High Elf Archmagi who carried the burden of magical support for the forces of good. But the stars of the army were the Silver Helms, who we really never expected to hold up against the Dark Elf Spearmen for so long.

Skaven of the Match: the whole Skaven army was fierce, swamping the enemy with superior numbers and an apparent disregard for amour (does the whole army ignore armour saves and / or make strength 5 attacks? It seemed like it!). Special character Queek Headtaker was certainly special, taking down the High Elf Prince with only a tiny squeak of good luck.

Orcs of the Match: Notlob and his bolt thrower crews. A woeful previous record of 1s to hit and wound was laid aside as Notlob’s boys mowed down Empire White Wolf Knights and High Elf White Lions and put a bolt through all 6 ranks of the famous Weisspanther Spearmen! Hmmm, maybe he likes white targets???

Dark Elves of the Match: There was a rare lack of Dark Elf glory to go around, perhaps the most distinguished was Samaertik the captain of the Silver Talons – at least until he shoved their champion into the path of the onrushing Emperor!
[hey we’re Dark Elves, just what you’d expect]

Dice rolls of the Match:
1 – the Orc General makes 4 consecutive 5+ armour saves to preserve his last wound
2 – Notlob scores a 6 to snipe my Heaven’s Wizard, who is hiding behind an Eldritch Statue
3 – Empire archers roll a 2 and 1 needing a total of 3 or less to stand against the Orc Wolf riders

Player of the Match: Jim for giving us another hard lesson in Warhammer! Well done for taking this one just seriously enough Jim!

All in all it was an epic game, 25 hours of game time from starting unpacking on Day One to finishing packing up on Day Two. It had chaos and confusion and drama and glory, and five people having a good time, which is the main thing. Roll on Xmashammer 2013!

I’m working on extracting commentaries by Jim and Anthony.

WHFB: Xmashammer 2012 Day Two

Day Two starts with us deploying reserves and (part of) my army.

Needless to say a shiney dragon’s tail overhanging from the edge of the table attracted the attention of BlackJack, and we had to move it fast following the first exploratory dab with a cat’s paw almost hooked it off the table and onto the tiled floor.

The Eagles are coming !

It took til the fourth turn for all my troops to come on. This was due to the Orc artillery being placed only a few inches in from the board, and because several large units of Orcs and Goblins had spent time squabbling ratheer than moving forward.

I deployed the Silver Talons (30 DE Spears) on the flank to fend off the inevitable flank attack by HE heavy cavalry.

Hoever, it was the turn of the HE and Empire to start, so our forces were pinned down immediately including the inevitable charge by the cavalry onto the spearmen – which almost won combat if it were not for the fact I was steadfast. Elsewhere we had “wind back time” due to Gav forgetting he had to release his Goblin Fanatics into the fleeing remains of the White Wolf knights, which were predictably ddestroyed, and for the HE and Empire to destroy the whirling loonies. The DE bolt throwers reaped a heavy harvest, but in return about 30 HE Spearmen charged my Dark Riders and pursued them off the board on our extreme flank.

After much humming and hawing, the demi-gryphs climbed the pyramid, to be attacked by the Spider riders – and destroy them. The Emperor on his gopld dragon pussyfooted around, before finally commiting a flank charge into my DE Silver Talons that finally destroyed them after 3 turns in combat. The Orcs and Goblins still found time squabble in amongst this and eventually my Cold One Knights wandered over to their side of the board but had no one to engage in combat. I blew up one of my own sorceresses, and Gav blew up on of his shamen. the trolls aided by their General destroyed the Steam Tank.

The final act came when after several rounds of combat the Phoenix Guard finally defeated Harboth’s horde, and my Cold One Chariot supported by Goblins bounced off the another unit of HE Spearmen that had been brought up to support them on the flank.

And that was the end of the game – at nearly midnight !

The forces of Good had triumphed – by quite some way.

Players perspectives to follow.

WHFB: Xmashammer 2012 Day One

On Day One, each general was allowed to field up to 4,000 points from their 5,000 points army. Byakhees Jim and Gavin fielded Skaven and Orcs, and then Rich and Anthony fielded Empire and High Elves respectively. As host for two days, and as GM, I did not field an army on Day One as I have found it very difficult to host four players and attempt a semblance of order on the games as well as trying to play my own army.

Here’s the table, showing the ruins of Copalotothat:

First surprise was Rich’s deployment of the Folding Fortress of Fozzrick:

Meanwhile, the players were unearthing their treasure troves of figures, including Jim whose wife had bought him yet more Skaven for Xmas:

Nominally the players arrived at 11am, but it was not until gone 1pm thatb we actually started the game – its takes a lot of time to deploy 4 x 4,000 points. Rich deployed a unit of X-bowmen in the tower, and then both he and Anthony deployed a lot of heavy cavalry. Jim had lots of plague monks and a screaming bell as well as sundry war machines, and Gavin’s Orcs had several massed hordes.

And their opponents the Empire & High Elf alliance:

With Pistolier outriders:

These, along with the Drakwald Greencoats,flanked the Skaven and Orcs hoping to get at their artillery, only to be driven off.

In the centre, the armies headed straight for each other.

The fleet of foot Empire and HE armies seized the objectives early on. The secret surprises started to be revealed, with the Rich being able to summon triffids from the jungle terrain.

Whilst the Orcs & Goblins squabbled, the Skaven entered combat with the enemy.

The Skaven caused a lot of damage whilst the Trolls finally got into combat with the Steam Tank.

There was a lot of cobat, a lot of shooting, and units were runing hither and thither, and this after only two turns, but then a large surprise happened, the entire Skaven army fled the scene of battle, and my Dark Elves had arrived pursuing them for a hitherto unknown reason, to find their hated enemies locked in battle with long time “allies” hte greenskins…

(AKA: Jim had to disappear for domestic reasons so I took over, with the 2,000 points Jim had left plus the 1,000 points for Day Two)

More to follow tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Clawed was deeply unimpressed with all this:

WHFB: Dwarves vs Dwarves & Empire

Byakhees Anthony, Jim Richard & I played a game today – remarkably short, staretd rolling at 1pm ended by 3pm !

Anthony & Rich turned up packing a Dwarf army (2k), and Empire (2k). Jim & I played two lot of 2k Dwarves.

Set up was completed. Surprisingly to me, Anthony and Richard didn’t refuse one of the flanks which was a bit interesting.

First round, and our six stone throwers had mixed success, until the 5th shot, when a direct hit on Rich’s White Wolves caused enough damage to provoke a panic test. Rich rolled 11, and then using his Battle Standard Bearer re-rolled and still got a 10…and then rolled 11 inches for a run away which was enough to see his entire unit of the table – 900 points running in the first turn…Then the Organ Gun (rolling a 10), Handgunners and Quarrellerers went onto wipe out the Drakwald Greencoats. So that was the entire flank gone in turn one. Adding insult to injury my Thunderers whittled the Imperial Outriders down to two !

Their turn and they killed 6 Thunderers, and that was pretty much it….and a crossbowman…

Next turn, the Dwarves wiped out the flanking Pistoliers unit and the Outriders causing Anthony’s Gyropcopter to panic and run away. Jim’s artillery hacked down more of Anthony’s Dwarves. My Dwarf Warriors charged the Reiksguard, rather than be charged by them (with lances), and won combat ! Guess what, the LD roll was 11 and they turned tail and ran, through the transgender wizard, at which point Rich declared game over ! Anthony knew the game was up as well, and so didn’t continue, so his 40 Miners didn’t get to turn up.

Anthony says:

We were trying to preform a flanking manoeuvre with the Dwarf miners, it is possible ! The plan was to bring a horde of 40 mIners on to a flank to cause serious problems and roll up thier exposed units. These were to be supported by Gyrocopters, that had proved useful against weaker troops. They are still yet to be tested on tougher opponents. The original plan was that they’d also be supported by the advancing troops on the flank which were initially planned to be Dwarves. This did not come about.

I regret in hindsight, of only deploying in normal deployment phase – I could have done everything as Scouts or Miners. I didn’t do this this time because of the size of the time. It would have forced me to take Great Weapons which I didn’t want.

Richard’s idea to field cavalry was good, but it should be heavy cavalry throughout. Reason: High Armour save and melee support.

It doesn’t matter how good the set up was, with those dice roll (Jim’s & Richard’s).

Richard says:

I brought two big units of knights in the hope that either of them would pretty much deal with anything in front of them [Anthony comments: Normally they have] with both units being Stubborn, so if stuck in combat could hang around in combat until help arrived, hopefully Anthony’s Miners. The Fast Cavalry were mobile support to keep up, but have yet to still see them do anything useful. ‘Cos they’re way to vulnerable to any form of shooting. They’d have been quite useful against our army ! 😀

With 40 missile troops on one flank, and 30 on another, there’s no flank to turn. Sending them down the middle means they ping off a few from big Infantry units they’d have made no difference.

In summary the army(s) we bought, were incapable of dealing with the army(s) Giles & Jim brought. [Anthony: If you’d got into combat…] Maybe, if in combat with the firing line…

In summary, bad dice roll affected by just how much the game would have gone.

Jim & I got it right, to a greater extent than Anthony & Richard. We got lucky with some good dice

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

Plan
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

Aftermath
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)