MH: 2015 10 31 More Mordheim – 3

So, on to our third game of the afternoon, a straight up skirmish, head to head.

BlackJack was clearly disgusted with events, and was ignoring me despite me having opened the cat-door for him.

Again changing table edges, we set up – the SXkaven mass in the middle.

Their sorcerer taking up a vantage point.

As did my “Marksman” ho ho…

The Witch Hunters moved forward.

Only for the Rat Ogre to pounce upon my Priest. Surprisingly, the Priest survived, and did a crticial hit causing two wounds to the Rat OGre, and it was my go next…

…and the “marksman” who was on the floor above did a diving charge and caused the third and final wound the Rat OGre, just as the rest of the Warband surged forward into the square.

Mass melee !

But the Skaven move in in greater numbers…

Both sides committed all their forces.

Mayhem !
But sadly…

Greater numbers paid off.

My Priest died, but I finally got a number of useful skill/stat increases.
Jim had chosen from my Skaven models so that he could use his own figures in the future, so scores will be settled.

We’re yet to have the discussion on whetehr Skaven are too powerful. I think his warband benefited from lots of cheap slings in the first two games, as I really only had two people with ranged weapons – the “marksman” and my Captain (pistol).

Cross-patch BlackJack: “So you had the stupid human round, and lost all three games ?”

MH: 2015 10 31 More Mordheim – 2

Having reminded ourselves of the Mordheim rules (mostly) a fortnight previously Byakhee Jim & I raced through to a second game. Jim was still of the opinion that Skaven are over powered, but I insisted we played the rules as written and discuss it later (yes, I was the Witch Hunters).

Neither side had lost any models, but there were a few injuires. We set up on a different set of sides to vary the game. This time we were fighting to retain Wyrdstone we had already found.

Jim’s luck with the dice continued, he had 3 shards of Wyrdstone, I had a measly one !

The Skaven massed behind a building (my flagellants just visible top left on the other side of the building). The sun was getting low and whilst bright was causing lots of extreme contrasts of light, so apologies for the quality of the photos.

Black Skaven pounced on my With Hunter Captain and killed his puppy.

Whilst the clanrats did for another puppy, and my “marksman” did SFA.

Two flagelants and the Priest moved forward, as the Rat Ogre lurked.

And yet more Skaven lurked, fortunately within charge range of me it turned out.

Not neccesarily for the best…again Jim’s luck with the dice continued, he rolled three 6’s one after the other, all on different dice.

So I’d lost the second game, BUT BlackJack turned up to sit on Jim’s car again. This was deliberate – he’d done the same thing a fortnight previously.

WHFB: DE Camp Bastion

The game starts with the Skaven juggernaut basically coming straight at me, with the all the sophistication of a rat on steroids. However, my plan to disrupt the deployment works, to my left flank, the plague monks and Rat Ogres are delayed crossing the river.

The Skaven fire a mortar at Mengil’s to defend the flank, but blow up destroying themselves and injuring a Rat Gore. Magical enhancement costs more Skaven, and by the end of Jim’s first turn, he has killed 6 skaven, a mortar team and done zero casualties to me.

On my right the pack of giant rates and the second unit of plague monks is distracted by the Dark Riders and veer off to attack them…only for the fast cavalry to do a quick sharp exit and deny that flank entirely. These two units of Skaven then make virtually no impact on the rest of the game.

In the centre a Mexican stand off ensues, with the Mexi-Skaven (naturally) breaking first and coming off worse. First I used the BladeWind spell on one Skaven unit causing 11 casualties (out of 50), then riddled them with bolts reducing them still further.

The Hydra does not get defeated in the first round of combat ! And proceeds to burn, bite and stomp them into paste.

Failed charges leave another unit of Skaven to a charge from my army general on Manticore and a nice friendly monster who wade in and despite the Skaven’s magically induced frenzy start turning them into so much mush. The Screaming Bells effect of always re-rolling failed leadership tests now works against Jim, and the slaves decide to tough it out, meaning the unit of Rat Ogres is now stuck behind them and subject to RXB fire with no way of getting into combat.

After being charged by the CoK, the other slave unit runs away, all the way to behind the Rat Ogres, exactly what Jim didn’t want. By now, I have taken zero casualties and wounds, whilst carving up two enemy units and starting to reduce other units.

Finally the Screaming Bell and clan rats charge into combat, fire of a magic spell which destroys the Hydra and 2 CoK – my first casualties of the game.

Due to time constraints, I go for an otherwise suicidal charge of the remaining 8 CoK into the Screaming Bell unit, take another casualty, but cause more damage and the combat is locked.

The second Plague Monk unit emerges from the ruins into a barrage of RXB fire from Mengil’s, 2 units of 10 RXBs, plus 10 Dark Riders.

The game ended here as I had to leave for an evening social event. At this point Jim had killed 3 CoK (inc Champion) and the Hydra. I had destroyed an entire unit of 50 slaves, seen off a second unit of 50 slaves (about half remained) and locked the Screaming Bell and Clan rats in combat, knocked over 15 Plague monks off and tied up his other units in the centre and right flanks.

We agreed on a draw as he did still have significant reserves on the table to bring to bear.

Conclusions

  • Turning up with all your figures is a GREAT IDEA !!!!
  • Disrupting the enemy deployment is a key starting point
  • Feigning flank attacks with Fast Cavalry is a great way of keeping enemy units out of the battle for a few rounds
  • The War Hydra remains a fearsome beastie in close combat, and the spits fire option is fun when you’re charged…8 shots if you’re lucky !
  • The Kharibdyss is not a unit killer, it is more useful for large monsters and characters, but nonetheless remains a potent force in close combat
  • Jim is of the opinion the Screaming Bell is a waste of time…and I agree it was an irritant nothing more
  • My Dreadlord on Manticore (that I have started painting), needs pimping up
  • I need to sit down and do some spreadsheet engineering in general to reflect all the rules changes in the army book and have stock characters and units again. Sigh, that’ll be fun…
  • Bladewind, is a fun spell to throw at large units
  • Access to the lore of Life and others brings in all sorts of buff spells, like Flesh to Stone that are useful to offset DE low T rating
  • Oh, and I need to prepare thoroughly with military precision preparations for visits to The Cursed House.

WHFB: The Cursed House

Off to the Cursed House for a game hosted by Byakhee Jim. Everytime I go there bad things happen:

  • I forget my army list
  • I forget my army book
  • I forget parts of my army
  • I forget to bring any luck
  • some, any or all of the above
  • I forget the camers so I can’t take funky photos
  • I am late arriving and / or otherwise flustered and forget to field a unit

So I carefully prepared my army list on Friday. I got up early Saturday morning, and made sure the army list and army book were first in the car along with the camera and my box of dice and equipment. Next up were the boxes of figures, and the as yet unboxed Manticore and other new monsters in the army.

I arrive on time. And then I find I removed the Black Guard from the army list and therefore did not bring the box labelled Special Troops. Unfortunately, that box also contained the Executioners that I had retained in the army list, and it was also the temporary home of the new plastic Bleakswords unit, AND the Corsairs, which I had also retained in the army list. Fantastic, I am now down about 700 points on a 3,000 point army, and have to improvise with what is in the boxes I brought with me.

Jim and I assess the options, and Jim admits fielding Mengil’s is the most sensible option. I add along a unit of Shades and another Sorceress.

These are not good options when fighting a Skaven Horde army ! (Of course on my return home I find Jim’s e-mail sent that morning informing me what army I’d be fighting.)

Oh well, lets at least use this as a chance to use the new monsters and the new rules in the army book and get an understanding of how the new army works. Jim spent a long time unboxing his horde army so we didn’t “lose” time.

Lots and lots of Skaven slave units acting as a meat shield.

I had won the dice off for choosing table edge, and elected to choose the open side, on the assumption that a Skaven horde would have lots of large units that would all get cramped up and in each others’ way, with the river an added aggravation.

On my side of the table, a square section was defended by what we agreed would be difficult terrain, which we nick named Camp Bastion. I decided to set up my 2×10 RXB units and Silver Talons unit there, with mobile units of monsters, Lords, CoK and Dark Riders. The Dark Riders I placed on the far right flank almost on their own in the hope that I could get in a flank attack/harrasment.

Jim’s set up, as mentioned contained lots of slaves as a meat shield in front of the Screaming Bell amid a unit of clan rats, a large unit of Rat Ogres, and each flank was buttressed by large (30+) Skaven Plague Monks which I had not seen him do before – a very cunning move (T4, frenzied basically tough hombres).

So I had to place Mengil’s and the Shades on one flank against the mad plague monks, and the vanguard moved the Dark Riders up close to them.

The game started with Jim winning first go – I felt a bit like the bowl of petunias in HHGTG (“Oh no, not again“)….

To be cont’d…

WHFB: Dark Elves vs Skaven 2013 03 09

On Saturday Byakhee Jim and I played a 3k WHFB game. Ater clearing up from Friday when Byakhee Gavin and I gamed AVBCW and BoB, I was sitting totally unenthused trying to sort out an army list. Maybe its because I’ve p[played DE too much, maybe it was because I was tired (the Alarm Cat went off at 4am that morning) but with 15 minutes to go, the army spreadsheet was empty. A phone call from Jim, he’s clearing up parental mess, and all of a sudden I get enthused with some ideas on my army.

Having had a run of failures I’d already cogitated on what I was doing wrong, so with 40 minutes on the clock I set to work redesigning my army around my available units. As I also knew I was facing Jim’s Skaven, I knew some of his tactics so for once I actually prepared for them.

The army list 95% complete on his arrival was very experimental, and whilst he got his 200+ troops I finished it of.

After agreeing the rules for the Arcane Ruins we would be fighting over we got the game going. Jim was using Skaven slaves as “meat shields”, however, as it panned out this was not entirely in his favour. What also did not pan out in his favour was blowing up his L4 Grey Seer and taking half the large unit of Skaven he was in with him into the realms of chaos…

Use it or lose it. Despite my Crystal of Midnight not stealing a spell from his Skaven magic users, the Hydras lunged forth and used their breath weapons on the hapless Skaven. I caught his main unit of Skaven, his Skaven slaves, and his Plague Monks. I then managed to use the Guiding Eye successfully with what little RXBs I had to whittle down more of his troops. My Cold Ones did a sharp left turn and repositioned themselves to take on the left flank.

Combat started early, with a bunch of Giant Rats charging my DE RXB unit on my right, and failing to see it off. Jim’s plan had been to charge his unit of PLague Monks in as well, but it seemed they were only offering moral support only….this is where Jim’s quite good plan started to unravel big time. His Skaven Slaves couldn’t get out of the way of the main Plague Monk unit’s way, so he ended backing them (the plague monks) off.

In the middle he charged the Hydra with his main unit, only to ind the dice were against him and the Hydra inflicted yet more wounds on this unit that had now lost nearly half his its number

On the other flank, he charged his slaves ninto the COK, and then charged the Rat Ogres through the woods into the flank of the COK – only to find on close reading of the rules he lost a lot o benefits. The COK, healthily bolstered by the Hydra Banner saw of both of these units and started the domino effect that Jim himself regularly uses.

The RXB unit on my right held out and saw of the Giant Rats, the second RXB unit charged in against the Skaven fighting the Hydra in the middle and the Harpies pounced on the Warp Lightning Cannon as had been planned wiping it out. At the same time, the Hydra and RXB unit in the centre finished off his main unit, causing panic tests to continue disrupting his line.

The Harpies and Hydra on the right flank moved out of harms way, and the Plague Monks went in for the Silver Talons, wiping nearly half of them out, only to end up losing the combat.

Sadly the RXB unit was charged by the smaller Plague Monk unit, and didn’t do as well as it had done against the Giant Rats. Running away.

The COK, Dark Riders, and RXB unit did make a good charge in against the (9) Rat Ogres crushing them completely – that unit ahd been my main worry.

Jim’s dice did let him down on several occasions…he needed 4s….Jim continued on to the bitter end.

Victory to the Dark Elves, the Skaven are now preparing to welcome their new overlords:

By the end of the game, I’d seen off his entire right flank, trashed his centre, killed or run of his few war machines, and destroyed his main Plague Monk unit with Warp Fire thrower leaving one unit of ~20 Plague Monks relatively unscathed. I’d lost one RXB unit plus L2 Sorceress, lost half the Silver Talons and half of my block of ordinary Spearmen, but still 20 had harpies, 10 Dark Riders, 5 COKs, 8 RXBs and 2 Hydras on the loose.

For once I’d stuck some combat heroes into units, and this worked well, along with following nthe dictum: “Know your enemy”. At a number of points I got lucky, but that would not have been enough to win this battle.

There’s a few other things I did, but they’re little secrets. I also took loads of photos with Louis the camera, and they can be found here.

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 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: