Saturday, 25 April 2015

Internet Warhammer!

Cavan vs Longford 

A member of my gaming group lives quite a distance away from us, probably a good days marching away anyhow, so he can't always make it up for a game. He mentioned a website called Universal Battle where people long days marches away from each other can play Warhammer without shouting or losing dice. So Donal & myself prepared to do some online gaming within the Warhammer world.

The Armies

Donal said he wanted to have a game vs Lizardmen so after a quick squint at the model graphics I realized this was doable as there are a few sprites on there to make a force up. We decided to play 1600 points so (we thought) it would be a fairly quick affair. My force consisted of Slann Mage Priest, BSB, Skink Cheiftain on a Ripperdactyl, and a level 1 Skink Priest using Beast magic. There were a couple of items in there and my Slann took Light magic as I heard that was pretty good for Lizards. 30 Saurus, 20 Temple Guard, 11 skinks and a Salamander made up the rest of my army. Donal took an Arch Lector, Level 4 wizard, BSB and a level 1 fire mage. Troops were 10 archers, 3 Demigriffs, Halberdiers, Swordsmen, a Great cannon and a Hellblaster Volley Gun. I forgot to name a unit for my blot toad marker, but I imagine (had I remembered it would have been placed on the cannon). As No notes were taken (just screenshots) it's a bit tricky to remember what was going on, but I think it was pretty straight forward.
Note: There are a few models in my army (and Donal's) that do not have images in the free version of UB. These are - on my side anyway - Salamanders (in the diagram below the Kroxigor hiding behind the central hill), Slann Mage Priest (another Kroxigor within the unit of Temple Guard - who are actually Saurus in the image - to the left. Donal's units in disguise are : the Hellblaster Volley Gun that looks like a Trebuchet situated almost directly opposite the Salamander pretending to be Kroxigor, and Demigriffs (they are the winged beasties - most likely Pegasus riders - to the right of the Trebuchet/Hellblaster image).

Turn One

I won the roll for first turn so I shuffled my army up on the left flank (the only model to go on the right was the Salamander - which was one of those place a unit to provoke your opponent to place a counter type move). I sent the Ripperdactyl towards the cannon. I let the skinks have a paddle in the river (we didn't roll for mysterious terrain as typing all that stuff is annoying). Judging by the screenshot below the magic and shooting phases were pretty quiet affairs.

Lizardman turn 1
Donal advanced his forces forward to engage mine but not a far as he could (was he hoping I'd make up the distance and get in range of the Hellblaster? I had seen it destroy a not insignificant sized Grave Guard unit so I was wary of it). I didn't think taking notes was necessary but it seems it would have been useful as I don't remember what spells were successfully castbut there is a skull counter on the level 4 wizard and fewer skinks so I'm thinking Banishment or Shem's Burning Gaze. The cannon also shot and I think it either missed the Skink Chieftain or killed 1 or 2 Saurus.

Empire turn 1

Turn Two

I charged (successfully I might add) with the Skink Brave on the cannon and advanced the skinks up to provide a nuisance to the archers and indeed maybe have some kind of shootout Wild West style with arrows and poison darts. One of the things I'm getting better more used to is not advancing forward just because I can. I chose to deploy my forces using the river so that's where I stopped moving them. I also moved the Salamander up to hopefully spew fiery hot halitosis on the humans in the next few turns (and to provide bait for the Demigriffs so they might charge them providing me with a flank charge into them). Judging by the distinct lack of Empire casualties I must presume that magic and shooting were both pretty uninspiring. Close combat saw the Skink smash the cannon then overrun off the table due to an enthusiastic frenzied Ripperdactyl.

Lizardman turn 2
Donal wasn't taking the bait and didn't charge my Salamander with anything. He just advanced his units up angling units to deal with threats. In magic all I know is I scrolled something I didn't like as there is a scroll icon in front of the Saurus unit. I think it may have been Banishment. Then when Donal cast another spell with his level 2 wizard I Hex scrolled him, turning him into a toad! It also has to be noted that the skink chief is currently off the table and therefore not getting shot at or spelled upon. I'm down to 3 skinks so the archer unit must got their shooting boots on. The Hellblaster shot at the Salamander and luckily for me killed 2 handlers and caused only one wound on the beastie itself.

Empire turn 2

Turn Three

I remembered to bring my Skink Chief back on and scooted him round into the woods so as the archers would struggle to hit him, another option was to fly around the back lines but I just wasn't into getting within 24" of the Hellblaster. Shuffled my Temple Guard so they were angled towards stuff and the skink priest got inbetween both Saurus units as protection. The Salamander moved forward to do some barbecuing. Magic was forgettable and in shooting I think an archer died to a poison dart. The Salamander torched about 10+ halberdiers but failed to rout them (damn BSBs). End of Lizardman turn three.

Lizardman turn 3
Donal charged the Salamander with his Swordsmen. The halberdiers could only march forward 2" thanks to the hex scroll. The rest of his army advanced. In the magic phase the Fire wizard turned back into a human (unfortunately) but it had disrupted the advance. I think most of his offensive spells didn't get through. Shooting caused the skinks to flee! In close combat the Salamander was routed and destroyed.As you can see from enlarging the picture below - Donal also listened to "My Steampunk Song" on YouTube while we played.

Empire turn 3

Turn Four

I charged my cheif into the archer unit making sure I was in base to base contact with the wizard. The skinks didn't rally. I angled my Saurus block towards the Demigriffs and Swordsmen. In the magic phase I irristably cast a spell, judging by the distinct lack of missing empire soldiery it must have been Bironas Timewarp or Speed of Light, either way I lost 11 Temple Guard to the resulting explosion. I think Wyssan's was also cast successfully on the Saurus unit. In close combat I put a wound on the wizard and took one but no one ran away.

Lizardman turn 4
The slow Empire advance continued. I'm surprised Donal didn't charge the Temple Guard but the buff probably discouraged him. The Light wizard cast Speed of Light on his own unit, in the hope that the combat monster that is the Skink Chief on a Ripperdactyl might be fooled by some chicanery. The Hellblaster Volley Gun crew had probably by now pulled out some roll ups and started smoking them as I think by now they realised I wasn't going near them anytime soon. In the combat phase the wizard failed to wound the Chief, but he killed the mage in return. The archers still refused to run!

Empire turn 4

Turn Five

Rather than receive a double charge on my Temple Guard unit next turn I decided to be proactive and charge the Swordsmen. I also got stuck in to the Demigriffs too. In the magic phase (now that the meddlesome Light wizard was gone) I successfully cast both Bironas Timewarp and Wyssan's on the Temple Guard. As the skinks are still in the picture I imagine that they either rallied or I couldn't be bothered to take them off. In combat the diminished Temple Guard figuratively tore the Swordsmen a new one, routed and killed them (thanks, I think to Predatory Fighter). They also overran into the halberd unit. The Demigriff/Saurus unit seems rather less vicious judging by the lack of casualties on either side. The brave Skink Chief died to some archers who got a bit up themselves with ASF but he gets a posthumous MVP award anyway.

Lizardman turn 5
The Hellblaster crew kept on smoking, the uppity archers moved forward a bit. The wizard didn't cast. The Arch Lector turned out to be a bit of a pain to kill. The Demigriffs and Saurus fought on.

Empire turn 5

Turn Six

The combats ground on, I think I Wyssaned my Temple Guard again and cast another buff on the Saurus. I won the TG combat and reformed, the Saurus Demigriff scrum continued. I lost combat but steadfast kept me rocking in the free world!

Lizardman turn 6
The game continued with my Saurus Scar Veteran unable to kill the Arch Lector (and vice versa) my Fencers Blades toting Slann also proved to be very Steven Segal (Hard To Kill). The Demigriffs started getting into the swing of things killing 4 Saurus but again steadfast would (by my reckoning) give me another 2-3 combat rounds before it became a problem. So the game ended with a 505 - 251 points difference in favour of the servants of the Old Ones.

Empire turn 6


The game seemed to take absolutely ages, mainly I think to my slow typing skills. UB is a good vehicle for playing Warhammer across the world so in that respect it is a good thing. Not as visually pleasing as WFB but if it was I'm sure it wouldn't be free. I found the wheeling and rotating tools to be a bit finicky but I'm sure with practise I can get my head round it. The main stumbling block is time taken to play it so next time we will Skype at the same time to speed the whole lot up.

As far as the game and my tactics went I think I was a little to cautious with the main combat blocks but I really wanted Donal to come to me (piss poor initiative means a charge is fairly irrelevant). Combats need to be ground out. Hopefully our next game will be face to face as I really do enjoy the banter over a table, it's a social game.

A quick comment on Battlefield Debris. I thought that without dice everywhere, casualty models and cups of tea the game table would look a lot tidier. Clearly I am a slob as the table looked every bit as messy as if it was round Phil's house. One aspect of using Universal Battle is the lack of crotches in the pictures. Now as far as I'm concerned this isn't a bad thing but as I'm not 100% sure of the motivations of the people viewing this blog I hope this won't negatively affect my viewing numbers. Perhaps if you could leave a comment below regarding crotches could help clear up any doubts about my audience.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Pop Khorne!

We had arranged a 4 person 1500 point each game of Warhammer, but unfortunately things got in the way, and two halves of the group couldn't make it. Hence a rather smaller scale battle report, but it was certainly an emotional roller coaster.

Armies & Deployment

My list was a Slann Mage Priest (Light magic), BSB with Gold Sigil Sword and Glittering Scales, Skink Beast Priest, 30 saurus, 20 Temple Guard, 11 skink skirmishers and a Salamander. Arrayed against me was a Bloodthirster (!!!!!!), Soul Grinder, 2 units of Bloodletters, Blood Crushers and Flesh Hounds.
I deployed my big units of saurus & Temple Guard behind the fences hoping to weather some overly frenzied attacking. The skinks were a decoy on the other side of the table and the Salamander was a flanking amphibian death machine.

A rather strong Khornite left flank.
Stuart got first turn and did what all Khornate armies do - marched forward to start knocking on doors selling copies of the Watchtower. No copies were sold in the first turn but next turn probably.
In my turn I slunk my Salamander forward. Both infantry models behind the fences stayed where they were. The skinks decided to advance into the swamp as they'd be silly not to. I think both my shooting and magic phase achieved very little. Brace for impact I suppose!

Overkill by Motorhead keeps playing in my head.
The Bloodthirster (being the insufferable bully that he is) charged my salamander. I think the Soul Grinder tried to as well (for shits and giggles) but failed. As if things weren't bad enough the Flesh Hounds appeared behing the skinks in the swamp. The Bloodcrushems totally ignored the skinks and advanced towards the Temple Guard. There was no magic (there is some benefits to playing mono Khorne ) and shooting was the Soul Grinder not shooting because he failed a charge. Close combat was unsurprisingly one sided. The salamander got his arse kicked and he died leaving some skinks to flee (or also be killed in combat - I forget which).

Two rather innocuous charges
The start of my turn two was one of those times I feel that Warhammer is a prick of a game! I had two charges to declare one from the Saurus on the Bloodletters unit #1 and one from the Temple Guard on Bloodletter unit #2. Both were pretty short distances 9" and 10" I think and pretty important if I wanted to avoid charges from a testosteroned up Bloodthirster and Soul Grinder. Both were failed leaving me so far up Shit Creek that I was probably perched up on Shit Mountain waiting for Shit Avalanche to bludgeon me into Shit Niagra Falls. I caused  a few wounds on the Bloodcrutchers with Shem's Burning Gaze. I shot ineffectually with the skinks.

Bloodcrushers ignore the skinks

So near and yet so far!
In turn 3 a veritable crapfest of close combat troops desended on my Saurus, the Bloodthirster, Soul Grinder and Bloodletter unit #1 atacked them whereas the Temple guard got off lightly with Bloodletter unit #2 and the Bloodcrushers failing a charge. Flesh Hounds made a long charge into the skinks as well. The only unit I had not in combat was my Skink Shaman. The Close combat phase was fairly unsurprising - Saurus lost 20 models, fled through the Temple Guard. The Bloodthirster pursued into the Temple Guard luckily not leaving enough room for the Soul Grinder or Bloodletters. Small Mercies I suppose. The Temple Guard didn't win their combat but neither did they run (stubborn is good). The Flesh Hounds routed the skinks and caught them, probably throwing their bloody carcasses up in the air like playful Labradors.

In the backgound the dead saurus  (20 or more) can be seen. 
In my turn the Saurus rallied. The Slann mage Priest buffed his Temple guard up with Speed of Light I seem to recall. Mr Bloodthirster pummelled the Temple Guard, but they still gave a good account of themselves.
The Skink Shaman does his best to look like a blade of grass
The army of Khorne was well and truly in the driving seat. The Bloodcrocheters charged my now ok saurus. The soul Grinder due to it's ridiculous sized base (well done GW) had to maneuver it's way round to shoot the skink shaman as there was nothing else it could do. The Flesh Hounds after finishing playing with the skink carcasses ambled back towards the main fight. The magic phase was fun as even though nothing would happen Stu rolled anyway. It was at this time Slaanesh (my favourite chaos power) decided that he didn't like what Khorne was achieving on the battlefield and threw, well, whatever it is he lobs onto the battlefield. The only recipient of Slaanesh's stuff was the Soul Grinder. Whatever it is it caused 3 or 4 wounds on it dropping it down to 1 wound! Now all I need is it to misfire when it shoots my shaman, and it did! BOOM! No more Soul Grinder! Close combat went pretty well for the Saurus and not too bad for the Temple Guard either. The former actually won the combat whereas the latter just kept chopping.

Soulgrinder takes aim, fires!

The turns were now getting mercifully short. My only movement was to ensure no one could charge the shaman (who is getting a nice new paint job for his heroics). I cast Savage Beast on the Slann and that was about it. The Saurus finally killed off the Bloodcrushers and (rather unsportingly I thought) the Bloodthirster directed all his attacks on the Slann killing him before his now magically roided body could kick his arse! We called the called as in the next turn the saurus would be once again on the receiving end of a triple charge and I really didn't think a Savage Beast of Horros skink would turn the tide. I did enjoy the Soul Grinder blowing up though.

The scene from Alien reenacted


The list I had wasn't the toughest I could have made but it was an all comers(ish) one that had a lot of magical defenses (MR on the Slann, Hex Scroll and Dispel Scroll). All of these were useless against a mono Khorne army. it was actually a refreshing change for Stuart not to dispel as much as usual.  I daresay putting an Old Blood on a Carnosaur would have been more effective, and fun, especially with my skink defeating the Soul Grinder! Of course what lost me the game (or at least tabled me the game) was the two combat units failing charges - if I'd rolled average dice I'm sure the game would have had a more balanced look to it at the end. 

Thanks for reading, and may you always get your average dice when you need them!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Meanwhile, Somewhere Between the Empire & Athel Loren.....

After finally getting my dragon finished, I decided I needed to take him for a test drive. My enemy of the evening was Vinny with his ever willing Undead, as Donal was also present with his Empire army we decided to play 1500 points Wood Elves, 1500 points Empire vs 3000 points of Undead.

The Armies

Wood Elves
Glade Lord : Gilgamish the Enduring

  • Armour of Fortune, Obsidian Amulet, Asrai Longbow, Asrai Spear, Forest Dragon (who is called Minty), Light Armor, Shield, Swiftshiver Shards
Glade Riders Musician, Standard Bearer
5x Glade Riders, Hagbane Tips
Glade Riders ,Musician, Standard Bearer
10x Glade Riders, Starfire Shafts
7x Waywatchers
3x Warhawk Riders
 6x Wild Riders, Champion, Standard Bearer, Banner of Eternal Flame
 5x Wild Riders, Champion,
The Empire Contingent
Arch Lector ,Additional Hand Weapon,  Armour of Meteoric Iron Battle Wizard Lord ,Lore of Light, Wizard Level 4, Talisman of Endurance. Heroes
Battle Wizard , Lore of Shadow, Wizard Level 2 Captain of the Empire Additional Hand Weapon, Battle Standard Bearer, Full Plate Armour, Shield , Dawnstone, Dragonhelm. Master Engineer
10x Archers 40x Halberdiers Champion,Musician, Standard Bearer
 10 xSpearmen
Helblaster Volley Gun
Special 3 x Demigryph Knights, Lance, Musician Great Cannon 

Mannfred Von Carstein's Evil Incorporated

Unless I get a copy of Vinny's list before I post this, there will be a certain amount of supposition, not admissable in court but evidence nonetheless.

 Mannfred Von Carstein riding little Magnus the ethereal mega beast type thing.

Vampire Hero with semi blender capabilities and a little bit of magic.

Wight King

From a lazy glance at the picture of Vinny's set up the rest of his army consisted of:
 Terrorgheist, Varghulfs, skeletons with a Mortis Engine hiding behind them, more skeletons (armed with spears)  with Mannfred cowering behind them, even more skeletons to their derriere - grave guard, zombies, Crypt Ghouls with some Crypt Horrors trying to look inconspicuous in the rear.

Pre Game Dice rolling

Vinny won the table edge (the main tactical consdieration is being the opposite side of the table to the kettle as this ensures you won't be on tea duty. Spells rolled were for the Light Mage : Net of Amintok, Banishment, Birona's Timewarp and Shem's Burning Gaze. The Shadow wizard got Enfeebling Foe and Okkam's Mindrazor. Mannfred's spells were Invocation, Raise Dead, Gaze of Nagash and Vanhel's. Mannfred's understudy got Spirit Leech.

Some Tactic Thoughts

As the main purpose of this game was to give my dragon a run out, my 1500 points was made up of him and whatever else I could fit in there troopwise, I went with as much mobility as I could with fluff in mind. I figured that my elven force had travelled over to help out the Empire with a little undead problem they were having. My second, even more fluffy tactical idea was if the game goes tits up and the Empire troops get mullered I can dodge about saving the invaluable elven troops whilst leaving the inconsequential humans to their fate. So it seems I'm even thinking like an elf! I gave all magical responsibilities to Donal as a wizard would only slow me down, man. Donal brought the artillery and magic with some cheap troops with it. I wasn't really sure what he was going to bring but it fell in with my plan as the Empire troops presented a nice big target so I could work the flanks while he held up the rest. So I rolled for my Arrow of Kurnous (failed to wound) and the game started.

set up

Undead set up

The forces of good(ish) set up

Turn One

I vangarded the Wild Riders on the far right of the table and the Warhawks to the far left. Vinny got the first turn (normally I whinge about this but with hardly any shooting on the table - I didn't mind so much). The majority of the undead army was clumped around Mannfred. Everything advanced forward except for the Terrorgheist, it hid behind the big hill in the picture below. The magic phase was fairly kind 7 dice. Vanhels was cast, then Mannfred cast Gaze of Nagash on my general. I calculated that with MR2 and various wards and armour I'd be safe, and I was! Vinny rolled poorly so I didn't even have to tell him I had a 2+ ward save vs magic and Minty had a 5+. He then raised 6 skeletons, directly in front of the Demigriffs.

undead movement turn 1
The fanfare's blared and it was our turn. There were a lot of charges. The Wild Riders on my left charged into the Varghulfs, The dragon rider charged the skeleton unit to the right of them. The Demigriffs had to charge the annoying skeleton unit parked a few inches from them and the other unit of Wild Riders got a flank charge on the leading zombie unit at the top of the picture above. There was a 10 dice magic phase whereby the Spirit Host got vapourised by Shem's Burning Gaze and Shield of Faith was mumbled over the halberdiers. I had a strange shooting phase where I only threw 3 dice (the warhawks) and the Empire army threw lots more. Lets hope nothing goes wrong!

gigantic clusterfuck

Vinny is about to learn that you should kill wild riders first 
The Hellblaster killed 11 skeletons and then it was time for the big gun. The cannon took careful aim at Mannfred and then misfired! Proceeded to roll a 2 on the black powder misfire chart an became an ex-cannon. Then came close combat. My Wild Riders caused 15 wounds on the  Varghulfs and lost two of their own. Pop went the Varghulfs and the Wild Riders overran into the side of the Dragon/skeleton combat. This combat was brutal as well destroying the undead unit and allowing my dragon to overrun into the Mortis Engine behind. Over on the other flank my other Wild rider unit shanks the zombies repeatedly until only 5 remain after combat resolution. Appallingly the reform on snake eyes!
when a cannon misfires don't roll this on the black powder misfire chart

Lovely plumage

Wild zombie slayers

Turn Two

Vinny charges his skeleton unit into the Demigriffs and his other skeleton unit charges the spearmen valiantly staying on their side of the river. The Grave Guard charge the archers containing the Light Wizard - they sensibly leg it. The rather poisonous Ghouls charge into the flank of my Wild Riders. The Terrorgheist now flaps into view presumably it didn't like the idea of cannon kisses. The magic phase was a bad one for Vinny, firstly Mannfred fails to cast Vanhels, then the Vampire fails to cast Spirit Leech. End of magic phase. Both the Terrorgheist and the Mortis Engine try some synchronised screaming at the Dragon Lord causing no damage! In combat Vinny's piss poor rolling continues and the Wild Riders win the combat despite being flanked by a unit with 3 ranks. Unsurprisingly the Dragon with attached Elf lord smash the Mortis Engine which promptly explodes. It does 2d6 hits with the strength of the game turn so luckily I got it before it could start mashing up my weedy elves. Despite the feeble Strength of 2 I still lost 2 wounds off my Warhawks and 2 Wild Riders. 5 skeletons also rebit the dirt as did a Grave Guard. I reformed my general so he was pointing at Mannfred. The Demigriffs destroyed the impudent skeletons and the fight over the river was a draw.

Some stuff happening

the brave men of the empire hide behind the river

Dragon voiced by Tim Curry
Everyone ignores the Terrorgheist
The Alliance's turn was again filled with charges. Minty with a couple of Wild Riders charged Mannfred whilst the Demigriffs charged the flank of the Grave Guard. Both of my Glade rider units arrived ( they really seem to be getting the hang of  appearing early in the game). The fleeing archers with a rather embarrassed wizard lord rallied now that they were the right side of the undead with a healthy 40 strong unit between them. A 6 + 2 magic phase saw nothing successfully cast. The shooting phase was forgettable too except for a few wounds shot off the the Terrorgheist by Glade Riders. In combat the zombie unit and Wild rider units were destroyed leaving the victorious Ghouls. The scrap in the river ground on. The battle of the generals was very nearly over in one round.  The Vampire makes way in the Grave Guard unit causing two wounds on the Demigriffs allowing them to reform. The Dragon and Elf combo took a few wounds off Mannfred and only the sensible act of directing all his attacks on the Wild Riders saved that particular Von Carstein. After combat resolution Mannfred was down to one Scrofuletic wound!

meanwhile not far away

Turn Three

Vinny advanced his Ghouls and Crypt Horrors towards the frantically waving Von Carstein.The Terrorgheist flew towards my Glade Riders, ready to inflict eardrum bursting death upon them. Vinny cast Vanhel's due to Donal listening to me, getting a wound back on himself. Invocation brought some more bad guys back. Then it was shooting, the Terrorgheist inflicted minimal damage due to his low number of wounds and my high leadership. In the close combat phase the Demigriffs were destroyed by the enthusiastic Vampire and his mates. The scrap between the spearmen and skeleton spearmen was reaching its end phase with models being removed by the 1's and 2's. Then came the important bit, Minty and Gilgamish kill Manfred and his skull infested horse thing. I reformed to face the oncoming Ghouls.

Trailer shot
The halberdiers who had up till now been standing around smoking pipes and extolling the virtues of the local strumpets decided to do something, that something was to charge the now very small spear armed skeletons that their detachment had been having so much trouble with. In a moment of weakness I charged both the warhawks and Minty into the front of the Ghouls. My Glade Rider units moved out of the charge arc of Mr Terry Ghiste whilst ensuring he was in their sights. In the magic phase Donal pulled off a sweet move by reducing the strength of the Grave Guard with Enfeebling Foe then casting Net of Amyntoc on them. In the shooting phase 6 Grave Guard got Hellblasted to death and the Glade Riders killed the Terrorgheist. The only thing that didn't go to plan was the Dragon/Warhawk destroy the Ghouls play, the dice were bad and I didn't cause enough damage to crumble them. Drat and double drat!

Turn Four

Vinny force was in a bad waybut there was still the matter of undead pride so the Crypt Horrors charged the Warhawks. The Grave Guard were in a bad way, if they attempt to engage the Glade Riders they certainly would run away, that is if they managed to pass their now dodgy strength test, or suffer 2d6 hits. So in the end they stayed where they were. Vinny also failed to dispel Enfeebling Foe too. In combat the dragon woke up a bit and the Ghoul unit was destroyed. Unfortunately it was a turn late so the Warhawks were stuck in combat with the Crypt Horrors. 
in our game turn I moved the now unengaged dragon to face the rear of the Grave Guard (no way was he going to be brave and fight the Crypt Horrors), the Glade Riders got closer to the Grave Guard but not in their charge arcs. Then it was magic. The 10 remaining Grave Guard were destroyed by a combination of Shem's Burning Gaze and Banishment leaving a now very exposed Vampire standing about 11" away from the Hellblaster Volley Gun. To be honest I've never been that enthralled with the Master Engineer rules thinking that attaching himself to artillery may not be all that. I take it back, the absolute shitstorm of bullets/pellets/whatever was enough to kill the Vampire twice or possibly three times over. I was so impressed by the display that I made a mental note to snipe him the first time I come across one in a game when my elves are opposing Empire. The halberdiers and Spearmen destroyed the skeletons in the river (at last). The final action of this turn was the Crypt Horrors kicking the living piss out of the Warhawks routing them and outrunning them like any self respecting shambling undead monster should.

We called the game at the end of turn four as the Crypt Horrors was all that was left of the undead and there was a largely untouched Empire force with quite a bit of Wood Elfery there as well.


I rather enjoyed having a big killy dragon swooping around doing horrible things to the enemy, but once again the Wild Riders put in a solid shift. I think Vinny's piss poor magic phase in turn two was a killer for him as undead rely on recycling the dead and when it really counted the winds of magic blew a big fat raspberry at Mannfred (much to my delight). Other mitigating factors are the Empire allies were a great help, they provided a big target to attack so I could attack the flanks. The Terrorgheist not coming into view until the 2nd turn was also a help - presumably he didn't want it cannoned off the table first turn. To be honest when it all goes well and luck evades your opponent in the same game there are few tactical lessons to learn. Probably the only thing I did wrong was charging the Ghouls with the hawks and dragon. I should have been more conservative and flitted around annoying them with arrows, but then, where's the fun in that? Have Dragon will use it.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

All Aboard The Daemonic Skylark!

This is the battle report for my 2400 point battle vs Stuart's ever willing Daemons of Chaos. Stu had painted up some new toys since our last game, namely a Exhalted Daemon of Slaanesh on a seeker chariot. Stuart is the head of photography at *C.L.A.W. and as owner of the good camera he gets to crop the crotches out of pictures and write the captions for the pictures, he's a lucky guy! He has actually given me his full army list and will be adding some comments on the game at the end.

The Glorious Elven Host

This game I decided to have a Jedi/Sith theme going on with a High Spellweaver and Mizzard Wodel as a Dark Spellweaver. A Waystalker and a mounted BSB. 16 Trueflight Glade Guard, 2 units of Wild Riders, 3 units of  5 Glade Riders, a unit of Warhawks, Waywatchers and Sisters of the Thorn. Lastly a Great Eagle. 

The Degenerate Erotic Horde

Keeper Of Secrets, level 2, lore of slaanesh (Aquiecense, slicing shards), 2x greater gifts
Daemon Prince, level 4, lore of nurgle (rancid visitations, miasma of pestilence, plague wind, curse of the leper), exalted gift
Herald of Slaanesh, exalted chariots, locus of swiftness (ASF)
10x Pink Horrors (Glean magic)
10x Pink Horrors (Infernal Gateway)
25x plaguebearers, standard
3x beasts of nurgle

Pre Game Warm Up & Stretches

The presents the Chaos gods bestowed on the greater daemons were Unbreakable Skin and Unholy Fury of the Slaanesh whilst the Daemon Prince of Nurgle got Impenetrable Hide. My broad strategy was to skirt round the enemy and attack from flanks and rear whilst picking off the bigger threats with arrows. I wanted to take the table edge with the river but Stuart picked that end out of spite. Unsurprisingly my Arrow of Kurnous failed to wound the Keeper of Secrets. I normally put Wild Riders on the flanks but for a change I decided to put the main unit in the centre.  

Set up after vangard daemon left flank

set up after vangard daemon right flank

Turn One

I won the roll for the first turn which was a nice change, as I seem to lose this roll a lot. My Waywatchers entered a building on the far left. I moved my right flanking Wild Riders forward for a reasonably long charge next turn, held my central Wild Rider unit and advanced with my mobile stuff on the left (Sisters, Warhawks, Great Eagle). I don't like the Skullcannon (mobile cannons are a terrible imposition) so I scooted round to make shooting them difficult. The magic phase was surprising as I rolled a 12! This was somewhat off putting and it spooked me into casting (and failing) Black Horror, so that was the end of Dark Magic this turn. My High Spellweaver also failed to cast on her first attempt. I Curse of Anhrared the KoS and that was the end of my magic phase. Typical! shooting was pretty poor with one Horror taking an early bath and the KoS taking a wound (not too bad considering his 2+ armour save). The picture below was the first set of Waywatcher shots!

The moment I realise I'm never going to Las Vegas

Brave Wood Elves shooting daemons from a house they have so tastefully decorated
The Daemon choppy chariot charged the Great Eagle, he wisely fled - 2d6 St 5 hits is most unpleasant. The rest of the daemon army advanced. The magic phase caused a Storm of fire but as far as I know no one died. Acquiescence was cast on my central Wild Rider unit. The horror unit on the right cast Infernal Gateway killing 7 Glade Guard (but also giving them 6+ regeneration - thanks Tzeentch). The Skullcannon attempted to shoot but the skull tube got blocked so it did nowt this turn.

Daemons discover that eagles are cowardly creatures

Daemons are afraid of getting their feet wet

This flank basically did nothing all game

End of turn 1 

Turn Two

My Glade Riders appeared on the back table edge (they seem to like arriving on time). I declared a charge on the Horrors (who after killing 7 Glade Guard - went quite high up on my to kill list) and failed. Another 7 on 3d6 cock up. They ambled forward setting themselves up for all sorts of pain in the daemon turn. My Eagle rallied, ready for more swooping. The bewitched Wild riders in the centre strolled forward 5" presenting the Daemon Prince of Nurgle with a nice handy charge too. I Arcanely Unforged the KoS armour which was a relief. However the resulting miscast put a wound on Mizard Wodel and a SoTT. I managed to inflict 4 wounds on the now armourless KoS but the tart saved them all with her ward saves.

ambushers turn up to be a pain in the arse

Elves keep harassing the poor useless horrors
Both the DP and KoS got their slaughter on by charging a unit of Wild riders each. The Beasts of Nurgle failed, but in fairness they were superfluous as it turned out. The hellish chariot of doom angles itself towards my Glade Riders. In Stu's magic phase all I have written down is 'scrolled something nasty' so I'm sure it was fairly uneventful. Close combat ended in two units of Wild Riders - my main weapon in destroying the big unpleasant daemons - getting destroyed so I had to revert to plan B. The Skullcannon overshot the Great Eagle so he wasn't in the daemon 'zone' yet. Good!
Not  pictured, dead Wild Riders

Turn Three

My Warhawks & Great Eagle charge the leftmost unit of Horrors. the Glade Riders march through the river to the flank of the chariot taking two fatalities to cold water (rather than annihilation from the chariot). My Sisters unit crests the hill hoping to not draw the attention of the cannon. I cast Soul stealer on the Plaguebearers bringing Mizard up to 4 wounds but the resulting miscast kills 2 sisters and takes the extra wound back! I think the Waywatchers kill one or two Plaguebearers but the KoS won't accept arrows as a new pleasant experience so remains unscathed. The horrors are destroyed by my feathered friends and they subsequently overrun into the Skullcannon.

wood Elf movement turn 3

wood Elf movement turn 3 right flank

The Beasts of Nurgle and Plaguebearers are presented with nothing to charge as is the chariot and big daemons. Ha! Superior Elven moving about! Daemonic magic phase, Tzeentch sticks his nose in official Elven business and kills 2 more sisters and takes a wound off Mizard. The KoS slicing shards a unit of Glade Riders to death (took three attempts, so it was more like death by a thousand cuts - very Slaanesh). The DP miscasts Plague Wind and wounds the KoS with the miscast. In combat the warhawks destroy the Skullcannon and earn themselves a huzzar for their troubles.

Things start to happen on the boring flank

Everyone hesitates as the warhawks kill the Skull Cannon, one elf is so shocked she falls off her stag!

Turn Four

No charges, just some scooting round to get out of daemonic charge arcs.The only unit I left in danger was the Glade Guard whom were trying to avoid receiving a rear charge from the Daemon Prince of Nurgle with neither antiseptic or lube. This magic phase is where I think I majorly cocked up. I had a nice big magic phase, 9 or 10 dice, I cast Soul Stealer on the Plaguebearers getting a wound from them for my Darkweaver. Unfortunately it was cast Irresistibly! This caused a the wound being taken back from the wizard who had worked so hard to get it, and to add insult to injury took all my remaining magic dice to boot! The reason it was such a bad idea was I had a clear Soul Quench spell ready for the Keeper of Secrets (who by this stage was on 1 wound). In the shooting phase accurate elven archery couln't land that final wound on the Keeper but I did manage to wreck the Seeker chariot that was on 5 wounds with the Hail of doom arrow.

Everyone gangs up on the poor defenseless keeper of secrets
Stuart moved his depleted Plaguebearers towards my Waywatchers in the house. The Daemon Prince failed to charge the Glade Guard. Various other daemonic entities maneuvered to hopefully catch static elves off guard. The only spell cast was Slicing Shards on the Glade Guard (killing 3).

Plaguebearers notice they've been getting arrows shot at them

Turn Five

As I'm getting right into annoying your opponent without engaging him unnecessarily I made another mistake. I moved my warhawks and great eagle to the rear of the horrors without charging them, I would end up regretting it! Another poor decision was not to vacate the building with the Waywatchers in it, after all , all I needed to do was leave out the back door and the building would act as an impassable barrier for a turn. D'oh! my magic phase consisted of me casting Curse of Anhrar on the Plaguebearers (hoping this would stop them kicking the crap out of the Waywatchers). I had a pathetic shooting phase trying to get the last wound off the Keeper (many ward saves). No combat, but that was about to change.

Nurgle Daemon Prince about to reach cartoon levels of ineptitude 
Stuart's turn was rather more eventful. The Plaguebearers charged the Waywatchers & the Daemon Prince charged the glade guard in the rear. In the magic phase Khorne himself lobbed some skulls but his aim was off. The horrors then proceeded to nuke my warhawk unit (who until a short while ago were on my shortlist for MVP awards) and adding insult to injury summoned 2 screamers in the subsequent pyrotechnic display. The Plaguebearers killed 5 Waywatchers but the brave elf archers didn't flee! The Daemon Prince revealed himself as pretty rubbish by only causing 1 wound and that was by stomping an elf. Steadfast saves the day.

Plaguebearers chase the Waywatchers out of the building like diseased government officials 

Turn Six

Sometimes  in a game you can get so focused on a particular course of action that may not be the correct one, I decided the best course for my Highweaver was to scoot back into the woods and Soul Quench the Keeper to death (or at least back to the Realm of Chaos) so this I did. Hindsight being the wonderful thing it is, now tells me a double charge from both Highweaver and Waystalker would probably be enough to take his last wound and give me a hefty pile of VP's. Sadly I took the wimps option and it came to nothing, no Keeper of secrets shot to death, no Waywatcher unit making a last ditch escape from the building, in fact looking at my notes, no successful attacks on the board at all!
I did roll 12 dice for magic - cast Soul Stealer irresistibly (again!) gaining a wound on the mage but killing 3 sisters into the bargain! Soul Quench was dispelled and my chance for assassination was too.

If I had to choose the theme music for the game it would be the Benny Hill theme
Stuart's last turn was a lot more clinical. I thought I'd positioned my elf Highweaver far enough away from the Keeper to not get charged but a long charge got the hag in. I still didn't worry overmuch as putting her in the wood made her stubborn (and with 3 wound tokens) and unlikely to get killed. The Plaguebearers charged the Waywatchers once more and the freebie Screamers flew over the Waystalker showering him with some sort of daemonic goo that killed him. There was no magic to speak of and no shooting. Close combat - Plaguebearers unsurprisingly wiped out the Waywatchers. The Daemon Prince finished toying with the Glade Guard, but by this time everybody was going home. Then it came down to the generals tete a tete. The Keeper caused no damage thanks to the counters, and neither did I - thanks to piss poor rolling. Sadly, for me my dice decided to make up for my previous low dice rolling to give me a big fat rout to finish with. My only crumb of consolation was the Keeper of Secrets failed to catch her. Small mercies I suppose. On the subject of small mercies this was the first battle I remember having a live Great Eagle at the end, not a huge moral victory but enough to stop the rumors in the figure case about Kichener syndrome. After totting up VPs the Daemons won by the cost of a routed general Highweaver on a Unicorn, give or take.


Usually I whinge a bit about dice rolls, Stuart cheating (when he clearly hasn't) and how terribly under powered my army is. I definitely won't be doing that this time as I can pinpoint three mistakes I made that cost me the game. 
Mistake #1 In turn 4 instead of faffing around casting Soul Stealer I should have gone all out for Soul Quench, had I got this off chances are the Keeper would be gone and my Unicorn rider free to frolic around the battlefield willy nilly. Worth 250ish points.
Mistake #2 Not charging the Horrors with the Warhawks and Eagle, they may not have destroyed the unit (but probably would have), but they would have stopped them casting Infernal Gateway, thus saving me at the least the Waystalker and possibly the Warhawks too. Worth 95 - 240 points.
Mistake #3 Not vacating the building with my Waywatchers in the last turn. Leave the building, save the unit. Simple as that. Worth 160 points.
Mistake #4 Not double charging the Keeper of Secrets. Again, not a guaranteed win but with a flank charge and 3 wound counters, a good chance of taking the last wound off he/she/it. Worth 250 - 600 points.
Mistake #4 Only counter 3 mistakes at the start of the paragraph.
So summing up a really good game that could have given me a win had I chosen a different path but as often happens Stuart's nous towards the end game snatches victory from the jaws of defeat.

A Word From the Victorious Coach

Stu kindly wrote down some of his thoughts about the game (probably so as he doesn't have to write a full report for his own blog). 

I generally ignore the internet wisdom when it comes to daemons. I think the book has a lot more to offer than Nurgle spam and generally everything has value. I'd just gotten the Exalted chariot and the Keeper of Secrets model so this list was written specifically to give them a go. I chose to keep my Keeper level 2 for reasons I forgot. I think it was mainly because most people expect the daemons level 4 to be the greater daemon by default, so I wanted to change that up and see how it went.
People generally consider the Exalted Chariot a waste. Even more so with the herald, but I'm not convinced. 8 wounds is a lot, especially when the opponent has two big scary daemon princes to deal with as well, and it can put out  alot of damage (2d6+1 impact hits, 10 daemonette attacks, 4 steed attacks). I tried to fit a magic level on her because 5 channeling dice is fun
Beasts and skullcannon were included because making up the rest of the points was fairly tough. The skullcannon and beasts are cheap as hell, so after taking up over 1000pts in lords, 300-odd in heroes and 600-odd in core, I needed to fit as much effectiveness in as I could for as few points as possible.

Opponents thoughts:
So interesting game, overall. Jason seems to have nailed the annoyance of playing silly buggers with fast cavalry movement.
I got lucky with saves in this game, like, a lot and Jason got unlucky with the initial charge on his wild riders against the pink horrors. Aquiecense on  the wild riders was pretty funny but that's alway a funny spell to put on something that relies on being fast.
What really saved me in this game was magic, even though my Winds rolls were generally awful. Not being able to charge anything was frustrating but Slicing Shards and Infernal Gateway pretty much kept the game going. I messed up towards the end when I should have cast Rancid Visitations instead of Slicing Shards as its the same spell but with T instead of Ld, and hoping elves fail a Ld test is a bit of a long shot.
I regret how I used my exalted chariot.  I should have just put it in the river and hoped for the best rather than dithering about and trying to play it safe. It's a lot of points, so I should have concentrated on getting it into combat, though thats easier said than done with wood elves.