WHFB: Dwarves vs High Elves Comments

Ok so a three thousand point army each side. Byakhee Anthony after retrieving his army list after (he turned up without army list and army book) laid into me and gave me a damn good thrashing.

So what went wrong ?

Rich, as the neutral obsever, arrived somewhat later than originally planned due to illness and being out until 3am….

We have just said that…there are three phases of WHFB…

  • Deployment (you cocked up)
  • Reaction (Dwarves can’t)
  • Pure dumb luck (You didn’t)

Obviously not as simple as that but they’re the deciding factors in the first few turns of the battle. Also, you’re suffering from playing an army against someone who has mastered it. So he can predict what sort of army you will use, counter your tactics knowing the ins and outs of the army.

Very true !

Psychology – totally different army. Dark Elves move fast and are able to react. And also there is a whole phase of the game that Dwarves don’t take part in [Magic] that’s a different thing.

Doing something like this, the battle reports like this, capturing different view points, is more useful and interesting than reading a blow by blow account. I hope.

Anthony says (and Rich types)

I’d have liked to put my favourite skirmishers (Shadow Warriors) in for this battle, but couldn’t justify their points cost. They would just get in the way of the idea of a very rapid attack, really.

The keys to the plan:

How to get at the dwarf artillery? A flying attack force on one flank, and heavy cavalry (8 Dragon Princes, that’s very heavy cavalry! R ) with a heavy (Lion) chariot in support on the other flank.
How to protect the flanks of the big spearmen units? With elite units (Phoenix Guard and White Lions) on either side. And then two small (8) units of Swordmasters to respond as needed.

It proved straightforward to move down both flanks quickly, taking out small units on the way for minor losses in return. By the end of turn 3 I was in combat with the artillery and they were out of the game. Meanwhile the main infantry block moved forwards, taking heavy casualties from artillery as expected. They took advantage of the immobilised Juggernaut, surrounding it with spearmen, White Lions and Swordmasters (and benefitting from not being shot at while in combat, too! R)

On the dwarf counter charge (into the flank of the swordmasters) the swordmasters held their own, actually out-killing the hammererers (who had rubber mallets) and allowing me to finsih of the Juggernaut and reform before taking on the Hammererers, which resulted in a crushing victory!

Overall, the strategy of going with a fast moving army concentrating on combat rather than magic or shooting paid off.

The King In Yellow says:

I expected at least some token shooting and much more magic.

One of the features of how we play WHFB here is that we all collect BIG armies, so we can field entirely different forces from game to game, and this battle was a good example of how that can catch out your opponent.

On top of this, I fouled up my deployment spectacularly, and then didn’t react quick enough – not that Dwarves really can. I hadn’t realsied the flaning cavalry were Dragon Princes, so the poor Rangers were destroyed instantly, and the Thunderers were dumb and sat there with no field of fire.

I deployed the Juggernaut for the first time, and got obsessed with it – I knew/know its no battle winner, but got carried away charging away unsupported at the enemy.

I then got unlucky, rolling a misfire for the Juggernaut, AND next roll having a second misfire for the organ gun. It all ended in a predictable bloody mess. Also typically my DWarf Lord, also seems to have been to the School for Dark Elf Assassins, and having hit 3 times on the Swordmasters, managed to roll THREE ONES to wound. Those three wounds might have made a big difference. Still I did at least annihalte one of the High Elf Spearmen units (40 each inc hero).

I think I’d learnt from some of Anthony’s tactics with flanking units, only he was one step ahead of me and knew what I’d do as Rich comments earlier. back to the drawing board/spreadsheet.

Still, I got to field the Dwarf Juggernaut, so there !
More photos of which will be forthcoming ! 🙂

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)