Fresh Battle Report! This time against Ogre Kingdoms
:: The Might of the Ogre Kingdoms ::
My second game at 2500 points! First, as usual, his army list:
Tyrant, great weapon, re-roll successful to-wound
15 Scout Gnoblars
My apologies for not remembering exact equipment.
:: Getting ready and deploying ::
This was the same player that I played against last time (the Kholek General). The list is, I guess, kind if similar - relying on big units which hit hard to win the day. This, however, did not have an insane character like Kholek which I would have to dodge all game. For this, I was relieved! Before the battle I had gotten som nice input from the thread found here
. In particular, I knew that Ironguts were dangerous for my Cavalry and the Tyrant was hard for the Prince. As we prepared, I was considering how to approach this. In my typical fashion, I wanted to secure the middle with Spearelves and another combat-unit while the other 2 units sweep the flanks. I was intending to Dweller’s-soften his units before approaching them in melee. Apart from this, I’d try my best to make what little shooting I have count before combat.
We rolled meeting engagement, and as such deployment was something I wasn’t used to. We both rolled a ridiculous amount of 1’s so half our armies started in reserve. For deployment, I placed my Silver Helms to be the spearpoint of an enveloping manoevre, intending to follow up with Dragon Princes. After both sides had finished, this was the result:
He went first, I needed to roll a 6 to get another result.
:: Ogre Kingdoms Turn 1 ::
Everything save the Gorgers enter the table. Magic relatively uneventful. His Scraplaunchers both target my Spearelves. One misses completely, the other lands a hit. A few dice later, 17 (!!) Spearelves are dead. So much for having a strong unit in the middle…
:: High Elves Turn 1 ::
All my units enter the table, Dragon Princes behind the helms and archers deployed centrally. Magic is 11 vs 7 dice. I start with Throne on 3, which is dispelled with 4. I follow up with +2T on Spears on 2 dice which he lets through. I then 6-die Dweller’s on his central bulls, containing the mage. I roll an IF and kill 2 bulls. Rolling for miscast, I get 4. Olannon promptly dies on the roll of a 3, along with more Spearelves due to the blast. A mere 9 remain. Hold the line, you said? A disastrous start, to say the least, as one of my main combat units are all but gone, along with my Archmage. Roughly 600 points reduced to just about nothing.
:: Ogre Kingdoms Turn 2 ::
Everything moves up, his bulls taking a central position. I eye an opportunity here as they’re probably well within my charge range (Swordmasters). If I can break his middle and avoid his Deathstar with relative few losses, this might turn out ok, despite the first turn's horrible outcome. His Scraplaunchers pivot to face my cavalry. A gorger shows up behind the repeater. He tries to cast +T and stubborn on bulls, which I barely dispel with all my dice (14 vs 14). He buffs his Deathstar somewhat. I’m not concerned with this as they’re far gone and I don’t have anything better to spend my power dice at than removing this later on.
Shooting fails miserably as his Scraplaunchers combine to kill a single Helm.
:: High Elves Turn 2 ::
My Swordmasters charge the central bulls, who hold. I assume they intended to flee from the Helms’ combo-charge. This never happened, instead my Prince charges out of the Silver Helms, into the Gnoblars in the tower. An Eagle charges a scraplauncher to deny a round of shooting. The rest moves up, the BSB going into the Spearelves, hoping to make a somewhat useful unit.
In my magic phase I dispel regeneration on both his bulls and the Deathstar. Shooting sees Archers put a wound on Gorger, but the RBT fails to wound it.
In combat, my Swordmasters go to work and kill off 2 bulls (6 wounds). He kills 3 in return but fails his break test badly. I choose to reform, as he’s running through his own units (diagram somewhat poor here). The unoccupied Scraplauncher panics. The Prince kills a couple of Gnoblars, not being wounded in return. They flee. The Eagle and chariot fail to wound eachother, the Scraplauncher passing its break test.
:: Ogre Kingdoms Turn 3 ::
His Ironguts go into the tower. I hadn’t predicted this, I was simply oblivious to the fact that it was there. I’d just have to send the Dragon Princes around that tower to get involved centrally as soon as possible instead. His Scraplauncher rallies. Magic and shooting is uneventful. The Eagle loses a wound but holds. The Gorger kills the repeater and reforms to face archers.
:: High Elves Turn 3 ::
My Prince and Swordmasters charge in to help the Eagle against the Scraplauncher. My remaining eagle blocks the Ironguts’ charge on the Swordmasters’ flank. The Dragon Princes wheel around the tower, ready to get involved in Turn 4. The Silver Helms free reform to face the Iron Guts, thus denying them a flank charge. I have a feeling the middle fight is going to last a while, and the last thing I need is one unit of Iron Guts from either side. Shooting again wounds the Gorger.
In combat I somehow fail to kill the chariot, let alone break it (it rolled a 4 for its break test within the General’s range - just what it needed).
:: Ogre Kingdoms Turn 4 ::
His Slaughtermaster charges the Eagle, the 2 other characters wheel past it to charge the Swordmasters. I hadn’t seen this coming. The Scraplauncher who rallied charges the Swordmasters. Oh my. Magic gives him 6 dice vs my 3. The result is that his Tyrant has regeneration and his Slaughtermaster has +1S. Not too bad, in my opinion. Now we truly have a huge combat in the middle, between 2 chariots, 2 ogre characters, the Swordmasters, an Eagle and the Prince. I know that my only chance of winning this is holding out at least one round of combat so the Spearelves can help. To achieve this, I need to lift the Swordmasters off some of the pressure. Here's an interesting turn of events: we exchanged closed lists before the game, and I noted that his Tyrant had a great weapon. I really believed this meant that he didn't have a magic weapon. Anyways, Saerith called out a challenge. His Tyrant, with regen, accepted. He resolved the fight against the Eagle first. Unfortunately, he killed it and overran into Swordmasters...
Time for impact hits! His Scraplauncher scores 2 hits on its D6. Rolling for wounds, they both turn up snake eyes. The BSB and Slaughtermaster ALSO roll snake eyes. I can't believe my eyes as 4 1's are there and no Swordmaster has died. Neither can my opponent! In the challenge, Saerith puts 3 hits on the Tyrant. All 3 wound on the 2+ roll, and he reveals re-roll-your-successful-wounds-roll-item (Trickster's Helm?). I re-roll them all, and they still score 3 wounds. He fails to regenerate 1 of them. In return, his Tyrant misses with 4/5 attacks, rolling 1, 2, 3, 3, 4. The single hit rolls a '1' to wound. The Elven steed attacks, hits, wounds. I'm asked to re-roll, which I do. Still a wound! It even goes past his regeneration and the Tyrant is down to 3 wounds.
The Swordmasters hack and slash left, right and centre. When the dust settles they've killed a Scraplauncher and put a wound on his Slaughtermaster. In return a handful are killed. My Eagle survives another round from the Scraplauncher! Due to the charges and a roughly even combat res, I test on -2. The Swordmasters and Eagle pass their break tests, however Saerith fails his! Fortunately, Naenor is nearby and the 8+ roll is passed on the second attempt. Phew! I'm back in the game, and with Talisman of Loec waiting around, I have a good feeling I might be able to at least grab a draw here.
His Gorger charges my archers, who stand and shoot. This puts one wound on him, and the last one is taken down due to ASF.
:: High Elves Turn 4 ::
My remaining 9 Spearelves and Naenor charge the Slaughtermaster in his flank to aid the Swordmasters in the middle. The Dragon Princes try to charge his Scraplauncher in combat with the Great Eagle, being 13.5" away. I promptly roll 2, 2 and 1 for charge distance. Was the luck about to change?
My magic phase is pretty good - I get 10 dice and have 2 Power Level 7 buffs to dispel. They're both cleared easily. The Archers wound the Gorger twice.
Combat phase, and I release Loec! I hit on all 4 attacks, and all of them wound. He regenerates 2, of which 1 is lost due to Loec. The Tyrant dies and at this point I'm informed that he did indeed have the D3 wounds magical weapon. Apparantly it is still supposed to be listed in a closed list, as a great weapon. I didn't know, otherwise I might not have engaged in this fight!
Naenor and the Spearelves manage to kill the Slaughtermaster in a rather splendid display of dice rolling. My opponent could but shake his head and I understand him 100%. The dice rolls in this central combat are among the worst I've ever seen - as if they were biased. His BSB stubbornly holds his ground. My Eagle died, but his Scraplauncher flees. Curiously enough, the Prince is not in combat any longer. I thought that anyone part of a multi-combat wouldn't get detached from it until either side had won. However, all the other players in the room agreed that indeed, the Prince could simply choose to pursue the Scraplauncher or reform (since the Eagle and Tyrant died he was rather far away from the BSB). I choose to pursue, the Scraplauncher rolling 1, 5, 6 for its escape move. I best it by rolling 1, 6, 6. Oh the fickle nature of dice! Adding insult to injury, his other Gnoblar unit panics due to this and runs away! I combat reform my Swordmasters (who are now down to 6 models) to 3-3, maximizing attacks against his BSB next time around.
:: Ogre Kingdoms Turn 5 ::
At this stage, there's not a whole lot he can do. The remaining bull with the mage flees off the table, as does the scouting Gnoblars. The last gnoblar unit runs to within 1" of the table edge. His Ironguts flank-charge my Spearelves. His other unit of Ironguts and the Gorger charge my Silver Helms, who hold, not intending to let him direct into the middle.
In the combat, he challenges and I refuse. He then places Naenor at the back of the Spearelves. My Swordmasters roll very well and kills the BSB outright (this isn't shown in the diagram until Turn 6 - my bad)! The charge from the Ironguts totally mangles the Spearelves though and I fail to roll my double-1's to hold. The BSB dies, as does the Swordmaster banner bearer, however they manage to escape his pursuit move.
The Silver Helms only lose a few models as he, again, rolls very poor. 3 of them remain (the command group) and they flee 10" - 1" more than his pursuing Gorger who rolled 9"!
:: High Elves Turn 5 ::
I rally both my Swordmasters and Silver Helms. The Archers wheel around to target his Gorger, who now has 2 wounds left. The Prince and Dragon Princes line up a final, glorious charge, making sure to be 12.5" away from the Swordmasters' far flank, just in case.
The Archers score a single wound on the Gorger, due to hard cover by Silver Helms.
:: Ogre Kingdoms Turn 6 ::
He combo-charges my Swordmasters and the Gorger charges the Helms, who hold. His Gnoblars rally! The Swordmasters score 5 wounds on the Iron Guts - enough to kill 2 as they'd taken a wound before. In return they're all killed. He overruns with one, going past the tower, while the other reforms to face Saerith and the Dragon Princes.
The Silver Helms' command group score 3 hits but all fail to wound. They failed their fear test, however one of the steeds hits... and scores a 6, killing the Gorger!
:: High Elves Turn 6 ::
My Dragon Princes look like they'll finally get to see combat! I use Potion of Strength and both units declare charges, easily making the range they need. They put no less than 4 Iron Guts down (12 wounds) and 1 is killed in return. He fails his break test and is run down.
:: Victory Points ::
I have Saerith, the Silver Helms, the Dragon Princes and both Archer units left. Additionally, his General is dead. He caught 2 more banners than me but only has 3-400 points left on the table. Massacre to the High Elves!
:: Evaluation ::
I've never been this lucky or seen anyone been this lucky in a game of Warhammer, ever. It was just insane how he kept rolling consistently bad. That being said, let's try to have a reasonable look at the events:
My Dragon Princes missed their crucial charge. I was so sure I'd get them in against Ironguts but the Watchtower really saved them and gave my Silver Helms a real headache. However, the Silver Helms really performed when I needed them to - guiding the central units' eastern flank for several turns. They never got a charge off, but that doesn't necessarily matter. In hindsight, I should not have charged the Dragon Princes against the chariot. Instead, they should've set up for a counter-charge next turn when they could've hit his Iron Guts.
The Prince again performed very, very well and is without doubt the MVP this match. My poor start meant I needed to take every opportunity I could, regardless of risk. One such opportunity was to involve the Swordmasters as soon as possible, without cavalry support being close by. I believe this was the only way I could win. If he could've brought his Deathstar around before major combats had taken place I think I wouldn't have had a chance - even considering his poor rolls.
His characters-out-of-deathstar charges took me by surprise and almost cost me the game. Still, that central fight was a necessity for me to win the game and I had to take it. I knew I was in trouble when his Scraplauncher held after I combo-charged it, however the Eagle at least kept his Iron Guts away until it was too late.
On an end-note, I'd like to address some of the variance in this game. Granted, a lot of his rolls were poor, but quite a few of them were unimportant. His Gorger against Archers for example hardly impacted the game at all. On the other hand, 3 crucial events went really poor for me and had a big impact on the game:
- 17 Spearelves dieing in Turn 1. He made a LOT of killing blows, denying me an opportunity to roll the 5+
- Olannon miscasting, dieing and taking a lot of Spearelves with him, also in Turn 1
- His Scraplauncher passing a Break Test on 4-, barely within his General's bubble
Even though he had lots of poor luck, the few times I was unlucky made it really hard. This just highlights the point that when we need to get something to work, it REALLY needs to work. Fortunately, we do this better than most other armies if the lists are constructed accordingly.
As always, feedback's welcome and appreciated