Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fantasy Battle Report: Vampires versus Ogre Kingdoms!

For the first time in almost a year and a half I played Warhammer Fantasy! I used the Vampire Counts army I detailed here, and met with mixed success. I was quite pleased with how the army's one I'll definitely tweak a bit and continue using...maybe even break my tradition and completely paint it!

I got to the store a few minutes before Tim (a rarity, usually I make folks wait with my perpetual lateness!), and I came armed with donuts and coffee. I got some terrain on the table while he pulled his army out of his cool case. stuff is in a box lid, so setup takes me seconds, but folks with painted armies take care of their toys!

Tim was using his Ogre Kingdoms. He has many really beautiful conversions and the models that are complete look incredible. I'm really anxious to see what he does with the new models, particularly the Stonehorn! Here's Tim's list, and here's his discussion on it:

Slaughtermaster, Level 4, General
Fencers Blades (WS 10 AHW), Glittering Scales (-1 to hit, LA), Greedy Fist (+1 Str, 6+ ward, wizards hit lose levels per hit, magic weapon attacks saved by the ward are turned into mundane for the battle)

Bruiser BSB
Stubborn Crown, Enchanted Shield, HA, GW

Firebelly, Level 2, AHW
Hellheart (D6x5 inched worth of miscast causing madness once a game)

Ogres x 9 w/ Ironfist, Full Command

Ironguts x 6 HA, GW, Full Command, Standard of +1 Leadership

Leadbelchers x 6 LA, Muso

Mournfang Cavalry x 4 HA, IF, Full Command, Dragonhide banner

Sabretusks 1 x 3



It was really dismaying to see the outright size of this army. I mean my weedy little Ghouls looked like snotlings next to his Ogres, and were absolutely insignificant-looking when next to the Stonehorn! Folks watching the game kept asking me why mine were so much smaller than his...sigh, it never ends.
For a recap, here's my army:

Vampire Lord: Level Upgrade, General
Mastery of the Black Arts, Dark Acolyte, Summon Ghouls
Helm of Commandment, Skull Staff

Vampire: BSB
Mastery of the Black Arts
Black Periapt

Necromancer: Invocation, Danse Macabre
Staff of Damnation

Necromancer: Invocation, Danse Macabre
Dispel Scroll

10 Ghouls (with Ghast)

40 Ghouls (with Ghast)

40 Ghouls (with Ghast)

30 Grave Guard (Full Command, Banner of the Barrows)

4 Cairn Wraths plus a Banshee

and a Varghulf

We rolled the Dawn fight, where we had to deploy randomly. I had a whopping 6 deploys, and in true Ordo fashion I rolled five 1's and a 2, leaving one Ghoul horde off in the right corner while the rest of my army was all stuck around a Poisonous forest in a very unpleasant traffic jam.

The Bulls and the Stonehorn were directly across from my cluster of stinky dead things. His Mournfang were off on my right, opposite the lonely Ghoul horde. The rest of his things were in the middle, but near my "army".

I had first turn, and off I went, trying to unravel my traffic jam. I was a bit discouraged, as with the Ghoul horde stuck off on the right, opposite the cavalry that they couldn't hurt...well, I was going to be fighting his whole army while I was down over 300 points.

Still, off we went. I moved the Grave Guard up on the left, angled in a bit to allow charges along my line. The far-away Ghoul horde angled slightly to deny a good overrun to the Mournfang that were coming to kill them . The Varghulf and Wraiths moved up to the edge of the Venomous Forest, while my other Ghoul horde moved around the forest a bit. I got off Winds of Undeath, doing 5 wounds, giving me some nice Spirit Hosts that I put near center-table.

The Ogres all moved up, no charges, but setting up for turn 2 charges across the table. Shooting took down some Graveguard, while the Cannon tried to snipe the Vampire Lord, but a brave Ghoul took the shot. Magic was all stopped.

My turn 2, and it was time to kill! My lonely Ghouls off on my right tried to charge the Mournfangs, but fell short. The Graveguard marched towards the Bulls, the Varghulf marched towards the Belchers, and the other Ghouls marched towards a Sabretusk that was directly in between the bunker and the Gut-star.

Magic was terrifying. He used the Hellheart...The Lord rolled a 7, there were two 11s and a 6 in there. I lost several Ghouls, the BSB died to blast damages, and all three survivors took a wound. The Lord was the only one able to cast, and I lost 5 of my 12 Power Dice. Still, I was able to Vanhels the Grave Guard in to the Bulls, the Ghouls in to the Sabretusk, and get Vanhels again on the Grave Guard. I'd wanted to get the Varghulf in to the Belchers and the Wraiths in to the Stonehorn, but didn't have the dice I'd hoped to have. Similarly I was unable to use the Damned Staff.

The Ghouls wrecked the Sabretusk, and reformed in to a Horde facing the Gut-star. The Grave Guard were given WS7, and unloaded some woop-ass on the Bulls, leaving only 4 alive and breaking the unit. For some reason I decided to reform them (passing their Restrain roll) to face the Stonehorn. I wanted to block him from charging the bunker, but really I don't think it was necessary, I should have just finished off the Bulls.

On his part of turn two, the Mournfang charged the lonely Ghouls. The Stonehorn charged the Graveguard; and the Gut-star charged the Ghouls. I believe magic was all shut down again. The Bulls sadly rallied...I should have pursued them.

The Blechers unloaded on the Varghulf, leaving him with 2 wounds.

The Mournfang unit absolutely shattered the Ghouls. Between Impacts, melee, and Stomps, they lost 2/3 of the unit, the rest dieing to combat resolution. Very sad.

The Stonehorn killed a fair amount of Grave Guard, but put a few wounds on him in return. The Gut-star fight was interesting. The Slaughermaster and the Firebell made way to the front. The Slaughtermaster and Ghouls went at the same time, the former killing several Ghouls, but the Ghouls killed the Firebelly and I believe put a few wounds on the Slaughtermaster and the Champion. The Guts had a hard time hitting the WS7 Ghouls...

So, not a horrible turn. I felt at this point that I had things pretty well in hand. The terrifying Mournfang unit had ripped a whole Horde out from me, but I knew that was going to happen. Now I hoped they'd be out of the fight for a few turns, so I could kill everything else. I planned to have the Wraiths help the Grave Guard finish the Stonehorn, the Varghulf tie up the Belchers, the Spirit Host tie up the Cannon, while magic supported the Ghouls fighting the Gut-star to keep them tied up until the Wraiths and Grave Guard could come support to finish it.

So, to that end the Wraiths pulled off a charge on the Stonehorn's flank. The Varghulf charged the Belchers. The Spirit Host got in to the rear of the Cannon.

In Magic I got the full Monty on the Ghouls fighting the Gut-star: Vanhels for ASF/rerolls, and the Staff of Damnation finally was used, though it crapped out with a 1 after use. The Grave Guard it affected dropped the Stonehorn, and the Ghouls put several wounds on the Slaughtermaster, and killed several more Ironguts. In the melee phase, the Ghouls put another round of attacks on, in total killing 3 whole guts and putting 3 wounds on the Slaughtermaster. I'm sure I'll forget to mention it later, but in later Magic Phases he was able to heal himself completely casting his Gut Magic. The Guts and Slaughtermaster were still quite formidable, though, and killed off several more Ghouls. The Wraiths overran, and the Grave Guard reformed. The Varghulf didn't too very well, and was killed doing no damage, allowing the Belchers to reform.

My memory of this turn is a bit fuzzy I ahve to admit. As I recall, the Bulls tried a long-range charge in to...something...maybe the Spirit Hosts? Maybe the Ghouls? Regardless, they failed, and were left standing with the Wraiths right in their Flank. The Mournfang were nearing the fight now...worrisome!

Magic saw the Guts get Regeneration. The Belchers shot up more Grave Guard. The Guts took a few more wounds, but finished off the Ghouls finally. Bummer.

Well, turn 4 and I'm losing the war of attrition I'd built the army to win. The Grave Guard marched to get close enough to be Vanhels'd in to the the Guts. The Wraiths charged the Bull's flank.

Magic was...too successful. On the Vanhels, the Vampire Lord rolled boxcars for the Irresistible Force. The miscast effectively ended the magic phase by draining all my Power Dice, and the explosion killed off one of the Necromancers. Had this not happened, I felt I had a good chance to finish off the Gut-star, but it wasn't meant to be.

The Wraiths easily beat the Bulls in melee, broke them, and ran them down. The Grave Guard finished off the BSB and all but 2 Ironguts, but were beaten up badly. Had I had the 3 more successful Invocations I would likely have had, this would have been the end of the star...but...

On his turn, the Belchers left only 1 Ghoul alive in the bunker. The Grave Guard were wiped out (though just barely!). The Mournfang had no charge targets, so moved up closer.

So on my turn 5, all I have left is the Vamp Lord, a wounded Necromancer, the Spirit Host, and the Wraiths. I felt I still had a small chance to pull it off!

The Wraiths charged the rear of the Belchers. The Lord charged out of the unit, between the Guts and Belchers in to the Cannon (big mistake!). I summoned some Zombies to prevent the Guts from charging the ragged remains of my bunker, and got Vanhels on the Wraiths to help ensure their win against the Belchers. I think I'd had been better off putting it on the Lord...

The Wraiths had little trouble devouring the Belchers, and running them down. The Lord, however, fluffed badly, doing nothing to the Ironblaster...and the Ironblaster ate him.

Game over. :)

It was a really fun game, I got a good feel for what my units could do...with and without magic. I really felt that not having my second Ghoul horde able to join the fight was a hinderance. I'd had much rather have the Mournfangs nearer the rest of his army so I could get the Wraiths or Graveguard on them. In short...that deployment really messed me up! Still, it wasn't an overwhelming loss or anything...I definitely felt like I made a game of it. The Hellheart was very cool...nice item there! The Staff of Damnation was fun, something I'll definitely be keeping!

Here's a time-lapse video of the game that Tim made using his iPad. Lots of views of my butt, unfortunately, but still fun to see how the game flowed.

After a quick Pizza-break, we had one more game...a normal Pitched Battle. We had a bit under 2 hours to play, so I spent no time taking pictures, so will just give a brief summary.

We ended up deploying so that a large building at center-table divided his forces in to two, while his Mournfangs, with the Fire Belly, went on the extreme right...opposite my Wraiths. On his first turn everything walked forward, some shooting for a few wounds, and no magic.

My first turn the Wraiths charged the Bulls, beat them badly, they broke and were run down...a huge boon for me.

He got the Belchers in to the center building, and the shooting continued picking on the Grave Guard, while the Gut-star and Stonehorn moved around one side of the building and the Mournfang tried to get thru the other. He was careful to avoid Vanhels charge range this time...

I charged Ghouls in to the Belchers building, and the Varghulf got Vanhels'd in to the Ironblaster when the Lord surprised him by leaving the bunker to join the Graveguard. The Graveguard and other Ghoul unit backed up to avoid getting charged. The Varghulf beat up the Cannon...I restrained expecting it to roll the 6" or so it needed to go off the table, but he stayed on...but the Varghulf was able to reform to threaten the Mournfang's rear if they should press forward. The Ghouls got Vanhels and Helm, so beat up a few Belchers, who were Stubborn in the building and didn't run.

He repositioned the Mournfang to keep the Varghulf in their front. The Stonehorn charged the flank of Ghouls that had tried to get the Belchers out of the building, the Guts tried it too, but failed to roll the 6+ they needed.

The Stonehorn put a hurt on the Ghouls, but not very exciting.

My turn 3, I charged the second Ghoul unit in to the Stonehorn. Winds of Undeath did only 1 wound, I put the Spirit Host blocking the Mournfang's charge-path. I had a miscast on a 2-die Invocation here, doing some damage to Grave Guard and a wound on the Lord, and draining away Power Dice I wanted to use to beef up the Ghouls getting eaten by the Stonehorn. I managed to put a few wounds on it anyway.

His turn and the Mournfang charged the Spirit Host, and the Guts failed the 5" they needed to charge...again. The Mournfang won on static, and overran...sadly for him in to the Cairn Wraiths! The Stonehorn was finished off.

My turn, and I charged the Grave Guard with Lord in to the flank of the Mournfang...arranged so that though Maximized the Lord is not in the combat. Ghouls again charge the Belchers in the building. Varghulf fails to charge the Mournfang rear.

Magic goes very well for me. I get Vanhels on the Ghouls, the Grave Guard, and get the Staff off. Grave Guard kills the Mournfang Champ in the Magic phase, then obliterates the rest in the melee phase. The Belchers are down to two models left.

In his turn, he tries to charge the big Ghoul block that had finished the Mournfang, but needed a 5 again, he fails. We stopped the game there due to time, but it was looking pretty solid for the El Duque this time! At the end I'd lost no units or characters, while all he had left was the Gut-star and a couple Belchers in a building. We talked about it, and I figure I could have kept high-value things away from the Star, and kept up support on it to deny points and delay until end-game.

The second game went a lot better for me as I felt I got the match-ups I wanted, and didn't have to endure the Hellheart. That first turn beat-up of the Bulls with Firebelly was huge, as was the unexpected charge from the Varghulf tieing up the Mournfang and getting rid of the Cannon.

Both games were a lot of fun, and I really want to thank Tim for his patience with my millions of rules questions and inability to keep track of combat resolution at all!

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