19th February 2004

Here are the latest batch of games which took place at the club on Thursday 19th February 2004...and a proper Battle Report this week, courtesy of Steve, one of our newer members, with a few additional comments from me.

Game: 25mm Fantasy
Rules: Warhammer Fantasy


We play all sorts of games at the club, from Ancients to WWII and of late there’s even been quite a bit of Games Workshop’s ‘Lord of the Rings’. Axis & Allies even made a recent appearance, much to the amusement of many club members. Basically, if you put on a game, someone will play it. That said, very few fantasy or science fiction games are played, probably because eveyone’s so engrossed in ther Swedish Gallopers or SS Flammenwerfers.

I recently built up a 2000 point Warhammer Fantasy Battle, fantasy orc army for the Sheffield Slaughter tournament. There I was duely slaughtered by some fabulous armies that tore me to pieces! Being the sort of chap that likes to rise to a challenge, I’ve discovered that several of the club members here have fantasy armies as well! In particular, a sub-group of Warhammer 40,000 players meet on a Tuesday night, away from the regular Thursdays.

So, with some trepidation, Graeme (Webmaster) and I resolved to have a game or two and I at least am looking at this as training for future tournaments.

The Orcs (Steve)

I’d learned a lot in Sheffield. Particularly that characters seemed better off unattached from their units and that a unit of 6 trolls was little more than a free 300 victory points to my opponent! So my army underwent some revision that saw the core troops thinned out and the addition of some hard hitters like the fabulous Boar Boyz. The army itself is themed around an orc tribe and so I have no goblins or lesser species in it. The orcs simply wouldn’t allow such weedy creatures the honour of fighting alongside them!

I also learned that greenskin magic its not only powerful, but brilliant fun! More than once, Gork himself helped me by stamping all over the opposition, although I paid for it with shamans that regularly exploded! Nevertheless, I wanted more of it in the army.

Graeme has Vampire Counts and so I knew that magic was going to be a problem. I could do something about this. I also knew that fear and terror would be a problem for me. There was little I could do about this. I took along an orc hero for the Leadership of 9 but even so, knew I’d be failing and fleeing fairly regularly.

I had some hard hitting units, including Boar Boyz, Trolls, a Boar Chariot and my trusty Giant, ‘Lug’. I also had powerful magical support, with two Level 2 Shamans and one Level 4, and I was confident I could take on the Nechrach army, particularly with 10 power dice, 6 dispel dice, 5 dispel scrolls and magical items that meant I could cast my Big Waaagh! Spells twice and reroll any of those castings. This of course relied on the premise that the boyz didn’t spot the shambling horde and decide thay had extremely pressing engagements elsewhere!

The Vampire Counts (Graeme)

Well, I don't think my Magic was quite as fearsome as Steve predicted, nevertheless, it was pretty darn potent. I fielded a Necrach Vampire Count army which consisted of 3 Vampires, one of which was a Count on a Winged Nightmare, a Necromancer, a Banshee, Black Coach and units of Dire Wolves, Black Knights, Skeletons and a Spirit Host. I hoped to raise more Skeletons as the game progressed.

Game 1

The set up

Graeme and I set up the terrain in a mutually agreed way, filling the flanks with forests, villages and hills, while leaving the centre ground open for the bash. As I prefer a ‘refused flank’ approach to fighting, this suited me well.

Orcs

Rolling for magic I was happy with what I got. The three big spells for me are Fists of Gork, Warpath of Gork and Waaagh! And I got all these. Often I found that the magic phase starts by casting lesser spells in the hope that the opponent has little defense left by the time you come to your big spell at the end. With these three spells I don’t mind which one I get cast!

We deployed the armies one unit at a time and I was quite happy with the deployment. My hard hitters were facing off against Graeme’s Black Coach and dire wolves and thankfully, his ethereal troops (Spirit Host and Banshee) were lined up against my Arrer Boyz. I see these troops are orcs from the tribe that have committed ‘crimes’ and have been forced into the shameful role of archers. They are considered not quite ‘orcky’ enough and highly expendable by the tribe and funnily enough by me. Hopefully Graeme would send his ethereals off after these!

Vampire Counts

Setup was predictable, I wanted my Black Coach to tie up his strongest unit, while my flanks would be protected by the Ethereal models. Hopefully he would fail a terror/fear test or two and leave some holes in his line.

Turn 1 - Orcs

I got the first turn and marched everything forwards. My battle plan is fairly simple, get the boyz into the mixer as early as possible and smack the opponent about until he gives in! Orcs are not subtle.

My magic and shooting was fairly ineffective as I concentrated on trying to destroy his general on a winged nightmare and the spirit hosts. Neither fell, although I did get three hits on the host. And so play passed to Graeme.

Turn 1 - Vampire Counts

My magic was equally ineffective....bugger. Time to advance (or should that be shamble forwards).


Turn 2 – Orcs

I was now in range for my favourite tactic (maching up as close as possible to the enemy and then using the Waaagh! Spell to press home the charge) and marched the boyz forwards towards the shuffling horde. The trolls charged Graeme’s skirmishing ghouls, wiped them out and overran into his cavalry! Unfortunately, my Waagh! spell (as so often happens) was dispelled and I was left facing a full charge. Never mind, at least the trolls were enjoying themselves!

Turn 2 – Vampire Counts

I'd used the ghouls as a skirmish line...big mistake as it turned out. I moved away from my Battle Plan (never a good idea) and decided to charge his chariot with my Black Coach. My big mistake was to voluntarily break my Necromancer who had stryed into charge distance......this left me some dispel dice short.

Turn 3 – Orcs

Well, I survived relatively intact. Amazingly, the whole army succeeded in its psychology tests and stood firm! Only the Chariot had problems, fleeing from the Black Coach. In fact, in all the games I’ve played, this Chariot has yet to make a successful charge! It usually gets charged, flees and then rallies just in time to take no further part in the game. I’ll have to have words with the crew.

The Trolls were slapping Graeme’s cavalry about in the center and the Boar Boyz were having similar fun with the dire wolves.

With very little left unengaged and filled with orky ‘Green’ (extra power dice from the orcs in close combat), the shamans started babbling and calling on Mork and Gork for aid.

Gork answered and began a rampaging ‘Warpath’, fully ready to flatten everything. Bizarrely, Graeme chose not to dispel the Warpath, despite the fact that it was targeting his general! With a mighty ‘THUMP!!’ Gorks veruca-pocked, cheesy green heel smacked down on the Nechrach and ground him into the dirt!!

I couldn’t believe it, the game was effectively over and Graeme conceeded!!!! Just when it was getting interesting too.

Conclusion – Orcs

Gork won it! All bow before the magificent green orckiness himself!! That said, given the fact that pretty much my whole army had stood in the face of the fear and terror, Graeme was going to have a hard time. The orcs make mincemeat of undead IF they can stand their ground, so I think I probably would have won it in the long run.

Conclusions – Vampire Counts

Stupid mistake, I figured that he would need good rolls just to get the Warpath spell to do even minor damage...how wrong I was. I was just looking at that big pile of power dice he had left, and thought maybe I should just hang on for a while.....splat!!!!

Memo to self........learn from mistakes.

As half the evening’s play still remained we decided to have another go.

Game 2

The set up

Orcs

Rolling for magic I got pretty much the same selection which suited me fine. We left the terrain as it was and began deploying the armies in a similar way.

This time however, Graemes ethereal troops were deployed in the center where they were going to cause me a lot of problems. His cavalry joind the Black coach out on the flank, facing off against my hard hitters and his General sat squarly in the center of the battle line. My deployment was basically the same. The only difference being that I put one unit of arrer boyz on each flank rather than both on one.

Vampire Counts

Thought I'd try something different. I'd seen how effective his trolls could be, so thought I'd tie them up with my 3 Spirit Host bases. My fast units were on the flanks.

Turn 1 - Vampire Counts

Attack attack attack.....got my magic through as well, which used up some of his dispel scrolls.


Turn 1 - Orcs

Graeme got the first turn and this time stormed across the battlefield towards me, really laying the challenge down! His magic phase was largely ineffective (thanks to my dispel scrolls) and play passed to me.

This time I was determined that my Waaagh! plan would work and I marched forward in readiness. The trolls were close enough to charge the dire wolves, which they duely did.

Once again, with my army stood within charge range of the undead, my magic phase began with a few ineffective Gaze of Morks. Despite having a fistful of Dispel dice, Graeme failed to stop the Waaagh! and all the boyz surged forwards. Unfortunately, with some spectactularly poor dice rolling, most of them stopped short by a couple of inches...disaster! the Boar boyz were the oly unit to strike home, crashing into Graeme’s cavalry.

In the following combats, the trolls performed a fabulously ineffective scufflew ith the wolves, but the Boar Boyz smacked home in a truly devastating blast, completely destroying the skeletal horsemen!! With nothing to overrun onto behind, they stayed put with an extremely self satisfied look on their faces.

Turn 2 - Vampire Counts

Attack attack attack........this time, i got my terror causing units into a more effective position and his units duly obliged by failing some terror tests. Bye bye.....

Turn 3 – Orcs

Oh Dear. Rather more predictably than the first battle, pretty much my whole army, faced with two terror casuing troops and charged by fear causers, upped stumps and fled to the hills. From this point on, the game is pretty much over, but with a Giant, Boar Boyz, all my characters and Arrer Boyz still in it, things could swing back my way. The Arrer Boyz mucked in with the Trolls and killed off the Wolves, overruning into the ghouls behind. The giant charged into the black coach, yelling and bawling all the way! Aside from this the Boar Boyz, tried to charge Graems Necromancer who wisely turned tail and ran, leaving a failed charge that set them up for a decent charge next turn.

Turn 4 - Vampire Counts

Didn't realise a Banshee could be so effective...routed his Boar Boyz nicely it did.


Turn 4 – Orcs.

Well, that’s it. The Banshee has routed my Boar Boyz, most of what’s left is engaged and outnumbered and although I could probably still put up a hard fight, it was 10:30 and Graeme pretty much had it in the bag. So I conceded for a very respectable one all draw finish to the evening!

Overall conclusions

Orcs – Steve

Well, a couple of very fun games. Orcs are a great army to use. Rock hard and real heavy hitters, they are however, brittle in the morale. Once it starts going wrong, there’s very little to stop a full scale rout. When I could get into combat, Graeme’s units stood little chance, but the cascading failures triggered by fear and terror destroyed my in the second game.

Animosity isn’t too much of a problem either and the presence of Black Orcs to quell the squabbling really makes a difference. It really didn’t affect me at all, except for one internal squabble among the arrer boyz.

Orcs magic is awesome, with numerous excellent spells. Quite often it is as destructive to you as the enemy, but in these two games, it generally favoured me. Coupled with the bonuses for getting the orcs into melee, I effectively shut down Graeme’s magic. In the whole two games he got off no more that 2-3 spells and most of them were innefective. Crucially, he only got a couple of invocations into play, one to heal the spirit host in game one and one to summon 7 skeletons.

Graeme is, like all the chaps at the club, a great opponent to play against. The club has a ‘taking part’ ethic that makes most games immensely enjoyable, good-natured and fun. For the most part, the results of battles are secondary to the enjoyment of playing. Grameme usually kicks me at English Civil War battles and I usually kick him at WWII. In the end, like these two battles we come out even!

Warhammer Fantasy is an interesting game, with its own strange play-flows. It is mightily fun and the figure quality is second to none. There’s not much as impressive of the table top as two well painted fantasy armies and this element at least, seemed to impressed the other club members.

I think this may become one of the many regular games we play.

Vampire Counts

Ages since I'd played tis on a regular basis....forgotten how enjoyable it was. Great fun, and Steve is a good (and sporting) opponent. Disappointed with the first game, but things worked more or less how I'd hoped in the second. One footnote though, I may have to look at the Magic thing as it was nowhere near as dominant as I'd been led to believe.

Game: 6mm WW2
Rules: GHQ Microarmour

Game: 25mm Rennaisance
Rules: Warhammer ECW With Amendments

Game: 15mm Medieval
Rules: Medieval Warfare

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