Tuesday, February 28, 2012

WFB Battle Report: Half a game Vampires versus Orcs!

My friend Rodrigo and I got a little time last night to play some fantasy! We only had 2 hours for setup, gaming, and putting the table away, which didn't give us time to finish, but we had fun anyway and learned a lot about how our armies work!

Rodrigo deploys the Greenskins!
  I'm using the same Vampires list I've been fiddling with, though sadly I've not made much progress on the painting...considering I've owned these Graveguard and Ghouls for about 4 years now, it'll be a miracle if I finish in this decade! I'm using:

Necromancer Lord
Level 4; Talisman of Preservation; Black Periapt

Battle Standard Bearer; Heavy Armour; Enchanted Shield; Book of Arkhan; Sword of Might; Red Fury

Level 2; Heavy Armour; Shield; Staff of Damnation; Dark Acolyte

Cairn Wraith

21 Zombies
Standard; Musician

21 Zombies
Standard; Musician

40 Ghouls

5 Dire Wolves

5 Dire Wolves

29 Grave Guard
Full Command; Banner of the Barrows; Great Weapons

6 Hexwraiths

Corpse Cart
Unholy Lodestone

Spirit Host

Spirit Host

Mortis Engine
Blasphemous Tome

I'll restrain myself from my usual babble about the list...if you have any questions, please ask! :)

Rodrigo was using his Orcs and Goblins, something like this:

Grimgor Ironhide

Orc Great Shaman
Lvl 4; Dispel Scroll; Talisman of Preservation

Savage Orc Big Boss
War Boar; Basha's Axe of Stunty Smashin'; Shield

Black Orc Big Boss
Battle Standard Bearer; Armour of Destiny; Shield

Goblin Shaman
Level 2; Giant Wolf; Power Stone; Talisman of Endurance

16 Black Orcs "Da Immortulz"
Full Command; Banner of Eternal Flame

12 Arrer Boyz

41 Night Goblins
Standard; Musician; Netters; 2 Fanatics

18 Savage Orc Boyz
Standard; Musician; Extra Hand Weapon

5 Savage Orc Boar Boyz Big'Unz
Standard; Musician; Extra Hand Weapons

5 Goblin Wolf Riders
Musician; Short Bows; Shields

5 Forest Goblin Spider Riders
Musician; Short Bows

5 Forest Goblin Spider Riders

Musician; Short Bows

6 Trolls

Doom Diver Catapult
Now I've only fought against the new O&G a few times, but at a glance this had some really bad matchups for me. The Pig unit looks like it can dish out a ton of damage, that's something I don't want on my flank. The Goblins can be a formidable tar pit, setting up a flank charge. Da Immortulz looks to be terrifying, with a ton of S5 Hate-filled attacks coming at me...plus Grimgor himself. Ouch! And enough Chaff around to block me and get the charges in he wants. The Trolls I want to get the Hexwraiths in to, I don't want them on a flank either! So, pressed for time and not using too much strategery, we got to work. We deployed quickly (in fact, Rod forgot to deploy his Trolls, leaving them sitting on his table edge until his first turn...no problem, though, easily fixed!)
So my deployment, from left to right, was Wolves, Hexwraiths, Graveguard, Spirit Host behind the GG (so they'd be in 12" range of General to march out wide...I guesstimated they'd get a bit more distance this way), Ghouls, Corpse Cart and Zombie Bunker behind them, the Zombies with Mortis Engine behind, Spirit Host, and Wolves on the other end.

His line, from my left to right, was Boar Boyz with Spiders in front; Night Goblins, Savage Orcs, Black Orcs, Trolls with Archers behind on hill, and Doom Diver with Wolves in front (on hill).

The Hexwraiths shuffle to the flank as the Dire Wolves lope forward!
After vanguard moves, I went first. I was very conservative, keeping things together and trying to boost up the Zombie units a bit, which I did, adding about a dozen to each. I was a little worried about the Boar unit plowing thru my Hexwraiths, so kept them back. I blocked my own movement a bit, the Graveguard getting stuck behind the Spirit Host, but no biggie, as I didn't want to drive them out there too far anyway.

The Ghouls and Zombies form the spearhead!
Rod started his turn, and animosity struck. The Night Goblins lurched forward then had an unsuccessful charge at the Ghouls...a unit of Spiders had to charge Direwolves, and the Boars suffered also, though I don't think it hurt him too badly. Everything else moved up as expected, ready for a turn 2 crash!

The Wolf-riders go wide around the church, while the Spirit Hosts move to intercept the trolls.

His magic and shooting combined to do two wounds to the Mortis Engine, while the archers killed two of the right Wolves. In melee the spiders and goblins killed all the Wolves they'd charged, but the wolves took one goblin with them!

Spider-riders are forced to charge the Dire Wolves.
On my turn 2, I still wasn't feeling ready to commit. I used the space made by the dead Wolves on the right to charge a Spirit Host in to the Trolls. My Hexwraiths were in range of the General to March, and passing their Ld test, marched through the Spiders that had just killed the wolves, and killed 3 of them, the last failing his Panic test and running away! I marched the other Spirit Host towards his Goblins to get the Fanatics out...one of them went right in front of the Ghouls, the other passed right through the Ghouls, but killed only 1. I moved the remaining Wolves up to block the charge from Da Immortulz, while the Grave Guard went over the fence.
I was hoping for a good Winds here this turn, but instead got a big 4. He got a channel, making it 4 dice to 4 dice. I tried two invocations, he dispelled the first with dice, and used his Scroll on the second. No new Zombies for me!

In shooting the Mortis Engine's Banshees screamed at the Fanatic that had passed through the Goblins, killing it.

The Spirit Host did a wound to the trolls, which was Regenerated, and tied combat 1 to 1 (I charged, they had a rank). Perfect!

Spirit Host moves towards the Goblins, who release the Fanatics!

Dire Wolves interpose themselves as the Spirit Host locks down the Trolls.

On his second turn, Animosity was just as bad. His Wolf Riders squabbled, the Boar Boyz did too, killing some of the Spiders in front of them. Those same Spiders, the Night Goblins, and the Arrer Boyz all were compelled to charge something: the spiders went in to the Grave Guard (not what he wanted); the Goblins went in to the Spirit Host (not what he wanted); and the arrer boyz we decided had no valid charge targets, so they weren't too hurt.

He decided to see how tough my big unit of Zombies were, so the Savages went in to the tar-pit. He did not charge Da Immortulz in to the Wolves, counting on his shooting and magic to clear them out.

But, like me, he rolled weak Winds, getting a 4 only. He used them to put a Foot of Gork on the Mortis Engine...I was brave, let it go, and passed the Regen. Phew! Two dice saved in the Periapt!

His shooting left one doggie alive, and the Doom Diver blew itself up...that's Rodrigo's luck!

In melee, the Goblins beat the Spirit Host by three, proximity to BSB meant they only took two Wounds. The Trolls beat their Spirit Host by one, causing a wound. The Savage Orcs beat up a lot of zombies, but took a wound in return. The zombie unit held firm, with plenty of bodies left! Of course, the Spiders killed a couple Grave Guard, but were wiped out.

The Night Goblins are forced to charge the Spirit host, showing their flank.

The Hexwraiths and Graveguard cleared out the Spider-riders, but mainly due to Animosity!

The Zombies hold the forest, while the last Dire Wolf giggles through both his heads at Da Immortulz!
 On my turn 3, it was finally time to get in to the thick of things...sort of. I felt I had the Trolls tied up for a few more turns; Grimgor was out of it for another turn at least; the Savage Orcs were tied up with Zombies; and the Boar Boyz had no chance in a front-on fight with the Grave Guard. On the flip-side, I had no way to get to the Boar Boyz, so was relying on him charging me...which he wouldn't do. The only "points" I saw available was the Goblins, but wiping them would get me turned to get the Ghouls involved with Grimgor. I don't know if that's where I wanted them, but that's what I had!

First the Mortis Engine did its job, clearing out the last Fanatic and doing a few wounds to the Savages and Night Goblins, as well as giving 6+ Regen to nearly everything.

So, the Ghouls charged the poor Goblins in the Flank. The last Dire Wolf moved to block Da Immortulz again. The Grave Guard moved up a tweak, and all the support toys moved up as far as they could. The Hexwraiths backed up through the ruin where they'd threaten the flank of the Boars if they went after the Grave Guard to ensure the win. I'd hoped he'd not charge, then I'd offer the Guard's flank/rear to the Boars and see if he'd take it and eat the rear charge from the Hexies...

Those dead Goblins are just from the BSB...
Winds of Magic time, and I rolled....snake eyes! Still, I had 2 in the Periapt, giving me 4 to his 1...not a bad spot really. I got off a 6" and a 12" Invocation, getting me all of my 100 zombies on the table, healing up the Spirit Host and Mortis Engine to full, and handing out ASF with the Corpse Cart to the Ghouls and Spirit Host. Yeah!
The Zombies did well again versus the Savages, taking a few of the Greenskins down with them, and only losing combat by a few! And the Goblins...poor Goblins. I think Dretchen the Dark, the Vampiric BSB, killed 6 all by herself, the rest of the ghouls killed another dozen or so. The ghouls lost only 1. The Goblins were 1 body short of being steadfast. If they'd lost just one less guy, they would have maintained more ranks and tied me up, but alas, the fled and were run down by the Spirit Host, the Ghouls restraining and reforming to do mean things to the rest of the Orcs.

The Hexwraiths hide, the Grave Guard wait, the Ghouls kill, the Zombies die...

The roadblocks worked well, I'd say!
And that's where we had to stop things due to running out of time. We talked through the potential next turn...Grimgor charging in to the dogs, overrunning to get away from ghouls and maybe getting in to the Spirit Host, the predicament of the Boar Boyz, and the complete disaster caused by Animosity.
Really, without the Animosity problem...primarily his 'screening' units being forced to charge, and the Goblins being forced to hit the closest target instead of the Ghouls, took him out of this game completely.

I'm not really that familiar with the O&G book, but from my limited experiences I just don't see it being anywhere near "balanced". It seems to push players in to taking certain units, or certain characters, to prevent/limit the effects of Animosity. The points and abilities of the units seem really fine to me, until you factor in animosity and can't control your army 1/3 of the time. How's this supposed to tick?

I think if you get rid of Animosity, the army would work great...any experienced O&G people chime in?

Thanks for the great 1/2 game, Rod! I look forward to the next!

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