My Japanese friend and I decided to travel to Nakano for a 3,000 point game of Warhammer yesterday, choosing to skip the normal megabattle event featuring Grimgor Ironhide that was happening at the adjacent table. I've become famous for failing leadership checks of all types and with all units here in Japan, but never have I been so crippled so early on in the game by them.
The armies: Slaaneshi Chaos vs. The Horned Rat.
Lord with runesword, gaze of the gods in chaos warriors, exalted sorceror with the skull of katam and dispel scroll on foot.
3 level 2 sorcerors. one mounted and with marauders, two on foot. Exalted Champion with the sword of might inside the other unit of marauders.
20 Slaanesh chaos warriors, full command, rapturous std.
2x25 marauders, lt. armour, hw/shield, full command
6 marauder horsemen, full command, flails
2x 5 chaos hounds *HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS*
6 mounted daemonettes
4 dragon ogres with 2x hand weapons
2 fiends of slaanesh.
I'm less familiar with the skaven army but basically:
Thoqquol special character, Grey Seer with Eye of the Horned Rat and some magic resistance item.
Warplock engineer, plague priest, assassin
25 plague monks, 2x 25 clanrats with musician only, 2x 20 skaven slaves, 2x 10 nightrunners, 2x 4 globadiers, 10 jezzails, 6 plague censer bearers, 1 ratling gun, 1 warpfire thrower, BIG unit of giant rats and 6 Ogre Kingdom ironguts.
I set up the marauders with the champion on the left flank opposite the plague monks with a chaos spawn and a sorceror, figuring I could do some damage there. My warriors went in the middle with the chaos hounds in front screening them. The other marauders set up to the right of the chaos hounds. Next to them was a chaos spawn, then the dragon ogres, then the mounted marauders, with the mounted daemonettes set up behind the dragon ogres.
The game opens with him going first and casting vermintide towards the rightmost unit of chaos hounds. I let it go, figuring the odds are about 50/50 of it reaching that far. It does, and it wipes out the chaos hounds.
And things went badly.
The left unit of chaos hounds, despite my general in the warriors behind them, broke and ran - into the building I was using to support the flank of the chaos warriors, so they're toast. The marauders, with the mounted sorceror and also within the general's arc, ALSO broke and ran - but their flee distance put them into the spawn, so they were pushed to the other side - into the dragon ogres - so they were pushed to the other side - into the marauder horsemen - so they were pushed off the board entirely.
Then came the panic check for the dragon ogres, having had a unit flee through them. Yup, failed. So they ran....into the marauder horsemen on their right, and then off the board. Surprisingly, the marauder horsemen passed two Ld 7 panic checks [because I didn't realize you need only 1]. In the blink of an eye at the first spell of the game, I'd lost some 700 points of my army, the power familiar held by that sorceror, and the right flank was now being held by 6 marauder horsemen and some mounted daemonettes. I was just glad the spawn, exalted sorceror, and mounted daemonettes were all immune to psychology!
I was actually pretty annoyed. My strategy, my favorite unit [the dragon ogres], my new mounted sorceror model all gone before I could even so much as move them. But years ago when I started this hobby I almost lost a regular opponent due to getting angry at dice rolls, so I decided to press on - my spirit wasn't quite as much in the game though, so my "strategy" became "march everything directly forward and slaughter everything". I hadn't rolled very well for my spells either, so wasn't sure how that was going to help me.
The game proceeded with me mostly getting shot and dying, but I was saved by the marauder horsemen and my opponent's overuse of the death frenzy spell. One of his favorite tactics is to frenzy and then death frenzy units of skaven slaves, and then throw them at the enemy. They can often surprisingly win combat against weaker foes, and against tougher ones serve to cause a few more casualties - since of course he'll shoot into the combat in true skaven fashion. The slaves hurt more than helping though, taking more shots than my chaos warriors did and after bouncing harmlessly off of them, lost combat and ran. My warriors made an impressive pursuit move, placing them directly in front of Thoqquol's unit of clanrats, which also had the grey seer. On the right flank, my marauder horsemen made a charge past the noses of the ironguts and into the front of the giant rats in what I thought was a suicidal gesture. They won the combat by only their musician, and the giant rats fled. The panic check caused the skaven slaves to run, their flee distance taking them first into the clanrats and then the jezzails, ending up on the opposite side of the jezzails next to the board edge. The clanrats also panicked from the breaking and destruction of the giant rats, fleeing first into the jezzails, then the slaves, and then off the board. The jezzails followed suit, panicking from the clanrats moving through them and also going off the table due to the presence of the slaves.
I charged Thoqquol's unit with the few remaining chaos warriors I had. He couldn't flee, as it was only the second turn of the game and he hadn't advanced far enough to make such a move feasible with the board edge being so close. He held, praying his rank bonus would keep him in the fight.
Over the next few turns I dedicated ALL of my dispel dice to dispelling Skitterleap, which he tried desperately to cast. The move was costly, causing me to lose more chaos warriors and the mounted marauders, but it paid off. It took several turns of reducing their rank bonus, but the clanrats finally broke, taking Thoqquol with them. The Grey Seer had managed to skitterleap away, but he died later due to Luxurious Torment taking its toll on him. The last unit of nightrunners charged my chaos spawn, only to have the grey seer miscast that turn and allow me to cast Enrapturing Spasms, ensuring they did nothing and took the spawn's attacks automatically. They were cut down brutally. At the end of the battle he had his plague priest and the monks on the left flank [having defeated my marauders over there] and the ironguts on the right. I was left with 5 chaos warriors with the lord, two wizards, one chaos spawn and 4 mounted daemonettes, giving me a 650 victory point lead.
His biggest mistake was, in my opinion, frenzy-ing the slaves. Had they not been put forward I couldn't have forced their charge, and they gave my warriors the extra jump to get them into combat faster. Speaking of forced charges, Luxurious Torment has to be the best spell in the chaos arsenal. In addition to causing damage every turn and thus making it extremely useful for killing weak skirmishers and war machine crews, forcing your opponent's globadiers to charge a chaos spawn tossed in their path or their dragon with a lord to charge the front of one of your biggest combat resolution monsters before allowing them to come in the rear is immensely powerful. My own biggest mistake was those ACCURSED dogs. I use them for a screen, as filler to allow me to see what my opponent's deployment will be like, and in general cannon fodder, putting them in front of the enemy's guns so they have to shoot them or forcing the enemy to charge, putting them that much closer to my units. But they seem to do more harm than good!
Hope you enjoyed reading. Glory for Slaanesh!