Xmashammer Lite 2015

Byakhee Gav and I had a single day game this Xmas – 3,000 points Orcs & Goblins vs Dwarves.

My Dwarf army is very “Oldhammer”. A cannon, organ gun, 20 Rangerererers, 15 Quarrellerererers, 20 Warriorerererers, 20 Dragon Company, plus the Pony Express (10 pony riders) and a Steam Juggernaut.

Vs Gav’s lot: Harboth’s Black Mountain Boys, EEza Ugezod Black Orcs, Savage Orcs, Night Goblin Spearmen, Night Goblin Archers, Spider riders and a trebuchet.

The spider riders moved into the woods as they cxan ignore difficult terrain.

But the Rangerererers defeated the Wolf Riders’ Vanguard move.

Gav one first move, and proceeded to shoot my Pony Express unit with his Spider Riders. With a 4+ armour save, what did I roll ? Yup nearly half the unit killed first round !

The Wolf Riders charged the flank guard unit, bounced off, retreated and then reformed.

In the centre, the Orc columns advanced. Gav had predicted he had little chance of good Magic Phases so had not come packing, and was vindicated.

Just short of charge range, the orcs managed to get charged by my DWarves, after they had taken a lot of damage from missile fire. The Steam Juggernaut and remaining Slayers charged into the Black Orcs, and the Juggernaut did a lot of damage.

Following up the Black Orcs, the Slayers got side charged by the Night Goblin Spearmen.

But meanwhile, the Warriorererers and Dragon Guard were charged, and the Dragon Guard failed their LD test ran away and were run down by Harboth’s Black Mountain boys.

Things were looking bad.My slayers were only just above 25%, the Dragon Guard gone, and the Pony Express was at half…

WHFB: A Return Match – Part Three (Final)

The Orc Warriors, predictably given 14+ casualties, collapsed and were run down by the Silver Talons and CoK, who followed up into Eeza Ugezod’s Black Orc Warriors.

At this poinjt it was looking good for me, but not good enough for me to rest on my laurels. I’d lost the Dark Riders to the Trolls who were holding out, CoK Chariots, Shades and Warlocks.

My second lot of Dark Riders also fled failing their LD test and were essentially out of the game. That left my flank exposed.

The dice hated me throughout the game….

And then I had a breakthrough – Eric finished off the Trolls, and charged straight into Harboth’s (a column of 40 Big ‘Uns), and defeated them in combat.

SAY WHAT ?

Yup, I trashed a fair number of his lot and sustained minor wounds to Eric, as they had more Ranks than Eric, Harboth’s were Steadfast, so a straight roll on LD…except with Abyssal Howl I forced him to re-roll his LD roll…and Gav rolled two 5’s (total of 10)…and of course at this point it dawned on both of us that the Orc BSB had just been wiped out in the Orc Warrior unit the Silver Talons and CoK had over-run ! So NO re-rolls allowed, AND they were more than 12″ away from Eeza Ugezod, so no LD 10….ADIOS.

To add insult to injury(s) Eric then followed up and caught them wiping out the entire unit.

The CoK and Silver Talons waded into the Black Orcs, with a rather ferocious assault. Again with predictable results.

Defeating them in combat and again running them down.

My General on Manticore destroyed the goblins min combat, but had the Manticore shot out from underneath him, but was left inches away from a very nervous looking Orc Shaman. The Gioblin spearmen were left stranded deep in my lines fighting the spearmen.

It was 10.30pm, Gav threw in the towel. We calculated that he had 2100 points left and I had 3500 points left – a victory for me.

Comments:

  • The army list is highly aggressive and works well with the new rules and army book.
  • Warlocks are good in many ways, but even with a Ward Save of 4+ are still brittle when fighting against Orc Wolf Riders.
  • Trolls can be very effective against highly armoured opponents.
  • Don’t rely on any one part of the army – magic proved to be not as effective this game as the last.
  • Gave has now played almost a smany times this year as me and is rapidly improving his game play, so don’t rely on your enemy’s inexperience.
  • The novelty of some of the new units wears off – looks like I am going to have to introduce more of the new units in the DE army and rotate through them to keep my opponents off balance.
  • 5k is a lot of points – we spent about 2 hours setting up and 7 hours playing to get three turns in.

Most importantly we had a good fun time.

And I got my hat-trick of wins !

WHFB: A Return Match – Part Two

I pumped up the Silver Talons, as they were facing off against a lot of big units – Augment spells like Blades of Aiban and Glittering Robes.

The Warlocks charged the Wolf Riders, with mixed results, and were eventually defeated, so they are not an uber combat unit, at least not against Orc Wolf Riders.

The Dark Riders having defeated the Spider Riders followed up into the Orc Arrer Boys, along with the Shades, who were in turned charged by the Savage Orcs.

The panoramic view. The Silver Talons charged the Orc Warriors.

We broke for our evening meal – a take out curry.

And returned to find BlackJack surveying the battlefield.

Redark (hunter in the Dark…dun dun derr), flank charged the large Night Goblin archers who stood and took it (foolishly).

And the CoK charged in against the Orc Warriors to back up the Silver Talons.

But the Goblin Spear horde charged my rather smaller spear unit, with the lavishly equipped Faegyn Cheapsoul.
Eric, and Spitty charged in against the Trolls following the defeat of the Dark Riders and the CoK chariot.

Combat ensued, with the Orc Warriors racking up the casualties, after their champion wussied out of a challenge against Samartik, the hero leading the Silver Talons. There was only possible result when there is a disparity of ~14 on the combat resolution…

WHFB: A Return Match – Part One

Byakhee Gav and I had a return match on Saturday – again 5k points a side with a full day’s gaming pizza and curry.

Our armies were substantially unchanged. I didn’t have time to photo my new heroes before they hit the gaming table.

So 5k Orcs & Goblins vs 5k Dark Elves.

Deployment was very similar to last time, unsurprising given similar armies !

I deployed my Scouts (Shades) well forward in the ruins on both extreme flanks.

With a hefty back up of Fast Cavalry, and flying critters.

Though Gav won the dice off for Vanguard moves, my scouts stymied most of his moves and (for example) his Goblin Spider Riders only inched (!) forward, whilst my Dark Riders had full rein to move forward 12 inches to support Mengils’.

And the Fast Cavalry on the other flank caught up with the Shades in the ruins.

Gav has learnt from me however, and having won initiative took an aggressive approach charging the trolls in against the Dark Riders (eek), and also hexed them to reduce their Initiative.

And Spider Riders against the rather cooped up Dark Riders on the other side of the board. Fortunately, the Savage Orcs had failed their charge due to animosity and the Wolf Riders also failed their charge.

His army as a whole advanced, Night Goblin Fanatics were released and just got in the way.

But the Dark Riders held in combat, and allowed the Shades to flank charge the Spider Riders.

Mengils’ charged the Spider Riders who had cautiously advanced up the steps of the Temple of Skulls, and proceeded to wipe them out, unable to follow up into the Orc Arrer Boyz because of course they are Reavers and were busy butchering the corpses for brilliant new fashions to wear. 😉

Even a flank attack from a CoK chariot was not enough to save the other Dark Riders from the pestilent Trolls who were busy reliving a friday night’s binge of lager, chips ‘n’ curry on everyone near and far.

And could my newly painted CoK Hero with his smart RXB hit a single Goblin Fanatic and kill him – NO – of course not ! So the nutter remained right in front of the CoK unit and I had to take a hit (literally) the next turn and charge through him and take the damage.

That was just Turn One, which we finished about 4pm after starting at 1pm….

WHFB: The Portal of Kittens & Return of the Jim

Byakhee Jim has been away for a while, but returned yesterday at a rather short notice WHFB game.

So we had a 2k point game of Warhammer, he was playing Orcs & Goblins, and I as ever was playing Dark Elves.

Stone thrower, bolt thrower, herd of squigs, two huge Goblin archer units, some Orcs,a boar chariot, goblin wolf riders and 2 snotling pump wagons. OH and his general on a Wyvern.

Warlocks, RXBs x2, Silver Talons, Spitty the Hydra, CoK, and two CoK Chariots.

I wasx baffled by his deployment, and he all but admitted it was a bit of a mess. He won initiative, and promptly hid his General behind a snotling pump wagon that also was, not quite running away from its initial deployment. We had a chat and agreed, that the deployment of heroes, specifically Orc generals on Wyverns was one of those interminable mysteries. The models look really good, but in game terms are mostly a liability.

The wolf riders, using the vanguard move, outflanked me, causing me to have to redeploy huge amounts of my army. So Jim was quite pleased. This later turned out to be a hollow victory, as it spread his forces way too thin.

Unlike last game, I shifted all my units into an aggresive attack mode, pimping them up with augment spells. For various reasons, Jim’s goblin shamans either failed to cast spells, blew themselves up, or were otherwise ineffectual in the magic phase.

That said, my Warlocks had rto race around and reposition themselves, using the Portal of Kittens as cover (long story).

Goblin models treated with contempt – as I commented, Byakhee Richard would have a fit with models being poured on to the table like this.

With a banner of swiftness, the Silver Talons charged the Orc Archers in turn two, even a goblin fanatic released from a neighbouring Goblin unit failed to stop them, and crunch time happened.

Now you see them, now you don’t.

Faced with a wall of Cold One Knights, the Goblin wolf riders dodged round them and behind the rest of my army.

Unfortunately, they then encountered my Sorceress, who unleashed Blade Wind on them in the magic phase. they then failed their leadership test and fled the battlefield. Adios 21 wolf riders ! Leaving Spitty with a lump in her throat.

This eliminated the threat of envelopment, and allowed my CoK to let loose.

A goblin shaman bravely (?) unleashed a great spell using about 5 power dice, and promptly made a mess of things. The spell didn’t go off. By now, I had rolled NO dispel dice by turn three.

As you can see the Shaman, didn’t last long, he wasn’t even a speed bump by the time the RXBs had riddled him with bolts.

The Silver Talons steamed through the Orc Archers, and followed up onto a pump wagon, only to get side charged by the Orc General on Wyvern. A challenge later, a wounded orc General defeated Samartik my Hero. But, my unit held. In the same turn, my Sorceress, zapped the second Goblin archers unit, again with Blade Wind, and wiped out 31 of them. ! Naturally a failed panic test later and they were running away.

It wasn’t going all my way. The Portal of Kittens, spewed force magicks, and injured both my unit of Warlocks and the Squig hoppers, but not enough to stop them meeting in combat, and they defeated my Warlocks – at a price.

The Silver Talons defeated the Pump Wagon and Orc General in the second round of combat, causing the the General to flee way beyond the artillery on the hill. They restrained pursuit, until an Orc Boar Chariot decided a sideswipe from the two CoK Chariots was not advisable and hoved into view.

The CoK, had meanwhile, redirected their charge from the boar chariot, onto the goblin host, losing a knight on the way in, they duy proceeded to trash the goblins for another couple of casualties. The goblins being steadfast, stood there and took it. Unfortunately, allowing themselves to be side charged by the CoK Chariots.

In the meantime, the squig hoppers charged a unit of RXBs, and all but wiped them out, causing me a bit of concern, but with with Spitty and the Sorceress to hand I was confident of dealing with them. The second and last remaining pump wagon took a leisurely tour of the field and harmed no -one.

By now however, the game was over and Jim conceded defeat:

  • This was a very long game for 2k – taking between 12.30 and 5pm to play;
  • Jim, having not played for more than 6 months needed to be reminded of a lot of rules;
  • though as he admitted sadly, he could remember the page numbers of certain rules;
  • his random deployment completely blindsided me – I had no way of developing a strategy to cope with his lack of strategy;
  • he got unlucky on a couple of rolls;
  • I came packing for certain stuff, as did he, but my prognostications turned out better for once;
  • Blade Wind is a horrible spell to be on the end of in large units for example;
  • I still made mistakes, but an aggressive stance certainly suits a Dark Elf army.

Obligatory Cat photo – yes, I must have been inspired by Black Jack’s Satanic powers. Actually, the two cats were remarkably absent from the room for the day. They gave Jim “the Evils” but eventually recognised him.

Jim also had to deny his Tortoises had anything to do with the fire at their hosts’ house whilst he was away. 😉

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: Gavin’s View

Here is Byakhee Gavin’s thoughts on the game – he doesn’t get out much as he should do but he’s played several games recently and is slowly mastering the latest rule book for his beloved Orcs & Goblins:

This was probably the most enjoyable game I’ve had yet.

With the exception of a couple of minor errrors (no more than anyone else makes) I think I played as well as a I possibly could have done.

All credit to Richard and Anthony, for a strategy that eventually paid off. Even though that didn’t become obvious until the last turn.

Major lessons learnt from this one:
– having enough room to breath
– lack of space forced us to sub optimum deployment options.

We were forced into decisions we wouldn’t have made due to lack of space. Particularly as on the side of the Orc/Skaven/DE who accentuated the problem by claiming the high ground for the artillery which then blocked a huge chunk of our side of the board on day one and more importantly day two.

I enjoyed the Lustria scenery and the mist in the first round was a nice idea. Triffids were just fun despite us being on the wrong end !

Spider riders are not unique in being able to climb terrain (demi-gryphs) but this was the first time I’d used them so…

Next time I’ll keep an eye out for his Goblin Fanatics and make sure they are triggered properly ! 😉