Friday, 15 November 2013

Doom in the Mountainous Valley of Doom! Lizardmen vs Skaven

Mage Priest Phunki P'Art'Ii led his forces from the narrow valley in the Spine of Sotek mountain range. His thoughts were preoccupied with the recent battle against the Ruinous Powers where his forces had banished the decadent army of Slaanesh back into the Realm of Chaos. After the wounded were tended and the slain returned to the earth, the long journey back to Itza would be arduous but hopefully trouble free. Presently Skink Cheif  Sticki Xuaxua excited voice could be heard yammering to the Skink attendants. That most hated of words were heard - "Skaven"! The twisted rodents of chaos were arrayed for battle across the narrow valley!  With a weary sigh Venerable Lord Phunki signaled his army to array for battle.

Following the game I had two weeks ago against Phil, I found myself up against Stuarts Skaven army. As I am usually on the dishing out end of Skaven ingenuity I thought this game would be a good learning opportunity. We rolled for scenario and got Battle for the Pass (again). Rather than bore you with the exact army lists (they're not that fascinating anyway) I thought I'd try out my Paint Shop Pro program and put words on the pictures (as if by magic). It will become evident later in the battle why you don't need to know what nasty stuff the Skaven army had.............
The Verminous Horde

 Ok so my army was led once again by Phunki Part'Ii mage extraordinaire aided and abetted by Skink Priest Teensiweensi with the Forbidden Rod and Opal Amulet. a Saurus Skar Veteran Gok Jan the battle standard bearer using the Talisman of Preservation. A skink cheif on a Terradon and another Skar Veteran with a The Sword of Bloodshed (+2 attacks) made up my characters. two units of Saurus, three units of Skinks, Terradons, Salamanders and an Ancient Stegadon with the Engine Of The Gods on it rounded off my force. The basic plan was to hold the middle with the Saurus and Stegadon whilst using the skinks and skinkesque monsters to snipe and kill stuff.
The Good Guys

Start of turn 1

Turn One

As I thought there was an awful lot Skaven troops I decided that moving forward was not in my best interest. I hardly moved forward at all and hoped to buff some skinks with magic as High Magic has some terrible short ranges. As far as I remember my turn was me not daring to move forward in case the Doomwheels destroyed whatever it was. The Skaven turn was far more eventful. Warplightning Cannon #1 killed my Ancient Stegadon and a couple of Saurus, while the other killed the remainder in the picture below. The Sorcerous Portal decided it would buff the Doomwheel with Wyssans Wildform! Aparently strength & toughness 6 just wasn't enough for the disgustingly biased piece of scenery! The Plague Priest cast Bless with Filth on their filthy little weapons, as if Stuart could make them any less attractive in hand to hand combat! With that the turn ended with me down about 420 points and the skaven gleefully marching forward.
Lizardmen 0 Skaven 420

End of Turn One

Bless them Monks!

Turn Two

Once again movement was kept to a minimum (only the skinks with the priest moved into the fungus forest). On to the magic phase. At this point I would like to inform you about the current battle that is running in my head regarding Mage Priest's magical abilities. Now I have given my Slann Mage Priest Becalming Cogitation (rerolls dispells) and Harmonic Cogitation (rolling an extra two channelling dice each magic phase). In the last two games I have played since the new army book came out I have given Phunki both of these abilities, managing to channel one single magic dice in 18 magic phases, so Stuart pointed out to me last game, that if I gave the priest the Channeling Staff the power becomes far more effective, particularly due to the amount of 5's I rolled in the last game. So for this game I decided to do away with the Earthing Rod for the Channeling Staff thus greatly improving my magical potency! I Roll for magic dice double 6! Oh look, no channels for you fatty! What followed I can really only describe as a MAGIC PHASE FROM HELL! I cast the Amber Spear on the Doomwheel on the left (the boosted version), BOOM! Miscast - kills some skinks, wounds the skink priest. but at least I managed to put 2 wounds on the Doomwheel. Lost 1 more dice from the pool, but that was ok, I still had 7. So my Slann Mage Priest casts Hand of Glory on the skinks on the left BOOM! Miscast! Kill 9 Saurus. Lose a couple more dice. End Magic Phase. Shooting puts a wound on the Abomb.
Lizardmen 0 Skaven 555

End of my turn 2
I think this turn the Sorcerous Portal decided to cast Speed Of Light on the Doomwheel this turn, to be honest I don't know why is didn't just go the whole hog and cast Super Mega Spell of Total Death Augmentation Cantrip on it! The Skaven turn two showed me just how awful a Hellpit Abomination can be. It ambled in its random way into my skinks unit, with a series of bites, scratches, humping actions and farts the skink unit was no more!
Skinks using the fence to act brave.

Wiped out to a skink!

Turn Three

Despite the fact the game was going hideously badly for me, things took a turn for the worse. I flew the unit of terradons over the Doomwheel on the right to drop rocks and hopefully smash it up. They didn't. I moved some skinks and then lined the salamander up to burn the Doomwheel when I realised that if I did flame it there was a hella good chance of the Terradons getting roasted too. The magic phase was a doozy. I cast the boosted version of Soul Quench on the Abomb only to miscast, AGAIN!!!!! This time Phunki destroyed 11 or more Saurii before cutting his losses and scarpering into the Realm of Chaos where he presumably thought it was safer. Oh yes and all I managed to do was cause a single wound on the Abomb! 600+ points lost to cause a single wound. I think it was around this time that the whole game took on a sinister aspect where I knew with absolute certainty anything I tried in this game would not come off! The skavenslaves charged my Terradons and routed them pursuing into my skinks. The Doomwheel charged my salamanders and this is where I got my first skaven casualty. The other Doomwheel splatted my now tiny Saurus unit, killing them all and overrunning into the dead figure area! Surely the Warlock Engineer was driven mad by the smell of pulped lizard meat & was preparing to pulp more. 
My dead Pool

The remains of my big Saurus unit

The first casualty my army caused!

The Salamander tooled up with skinks

End of Turn 3

Clash of the titans!

Skaven skaven everywhere!

At this point I'm thinking, things aren't going my way.

Turn Four

At this stage all I was playing for was a bit of pride so I declared charges with my skink chief on a Warplightning Cannon, and the Saurus unit on the Plague Monks in front of them. all I needed to roll was 4+ on 2d6, it came up 3. My only other movement was to bring the Salamander up to torch the Grey Seers unit. I just hoped against hope that it would hit them panic them and start a chain reaction that would make my defeat not so crushing. I rolled the artillery dice to see how many clanrats would I toast, and it came up a MISFIRE & the Salamander ate 2 handlers.As a side note, even the Sorcerous Portal was looking at me with pity as it cast Soul Blight on the slaves.  My skinks with the priest lost combat and fled off table. 
All I needed to roll was 4+ on my charge roll!

the Skaven dead pile
The final turn of the game saw a Doomwheel, Abomb & horde of Plague Monks charge the Saurus, the slaves who had reformed charged the useless bloody Salamander. At this point I think anyone reading this report will have a fair idea how those combats went. No! I didn't rout my enemies as I hoped, the Saurus and Salamander units lost, in fact the best thing to happen in the turn was the Hellpit Abombinable Gribbly ate the Plague Priest, Pluhrg Blechter! My Skink Cheif was still trying to kill the Warplightning Cannon so with only 87 points left on the table I gracefully conceded.
Meanwhile on the other side of the table

I predicted this unit would get wiped out to the last Saurii

Circling like big rodent sharks

Plague Priest gets et by the Abomb

Skink Terradon Chief giving the Warplightning cannon what for. 
Sticki Xuaxua looked over his shoulder at the battlefield behind him, all he could see was hundreds of skaven devouring the carcasses of the dead. Leaving the last remaining Skaven cowering under the Warplightning cannon he gave a single sharp chirp to his Terradon Buk and together they sailed up into the late evening thermals. Another army had to be raised to drive the foul ratmen from the mountains - swiftly!
Game Over Dude!
To conclude, there are a few things I could have done which may have altered (but not much) the outcome. I should have been braver with my Saurus, if I'd marched up and got stuck in the result might have been closer. The other thing that could've made a difference would have been to garrison the Slaans unit in the building, this might have hekped with the overall Mage Priest survival but I doubt it. I must check the rules for detonating wizards in buildings, it can't be pretty. I must also buy/convert some chameleon Skinks  to dispose those bloody war machines! The most glaring gaps in my army list is a plan B to deal with an Abomb if plan A gets mushed by cannon fire, and a designated war machine killer.


matthieu parmentier said...

Miscasts in building is d6 hits on the unit, with any of the "boom" results, be it small, large or no template

results makes sense anyway, can't see what a collection of shoes and handbags can do against the magnificient hordes of the rightful UnderEmpire

Chickenbane said...

Then that turns my slight tactical error in to a very large one!