Auspicious Aspiring Champion of Chaos
Just putting up the latest battle for your review...
We played 1500 points, pitched battle. I'd been recently playing at 1200 points, and so really scrambled to squeeze up to 1500 without proxying or using all kinds of horrible unpaintedness. This is all just to point out that I was way more stacked with runes than I normally would be willing to tolerate.
Thane w/: Rune of Stone, MR of Dismay, Shield, Great weapon, Oathstone
Dragonslayer w/: MR of Smiting
24xWarriors:Shields, Full command, Thane goes here
16xLongbeards: Shileds, Full commnad, Rune of Battle & Stoicism
10xRangers: Veteran, Musician
6xMiners: Blasting Charges
Bolt Thrower: Engineer, Rune of Penetrating
Grudge Thrower: Rune of Accuracy, Engineer
Bruiser w/: Great weapon, Heavy armor
Hunter w/:Longstrider, 2 sabercats
5 Bulls, Full command
5 Ironguts, Standard, Bellower
20 gnoblar fighters
I won the roll to pick table edges. My edge had a small hill on the left, a large, impassible hill just outside my far right. There was a large set of woods just outisde the center of his deployment zone, somewhat spilling into his deployment zone.
I was set up, from left to right- Grudgethrower (on hill), Longbeards, Warriors, Thunderers, Dragonslayer, Flamecannon, and on my far right, in an effort to pull away some of his army and get flank shots was the bolt thrower. The rangers tucked themselves into the edge of the woods nearest me.
He was set up with leadbelchers on my far left, gnoblars, bruiser and ironguts, and approaching around the other side of the woods, the butcher with 5 bulls, 3 more bulls, and on my extreme right, the hunter.
Pre-game notes: This was my first game against OK, but I felt pretty read up. My blocks on the left were pretty hard, and I thought I'd put priority on the Thunderlord (wasn't sure how nasty it was, but seemed pretty dangerous), and the bruiser's unit. The hunter looked like he'd knock out the bolt thrower, but probably wouldn't have time to do anything else, so I'd commit that to shots in support of the rest of the army. The miners would take appropriate action whenever they would arrive.
Turn One: I win the roll off and decide the extra round of artillery shots would be handy. The Dragonslayer runs forward towards the rangers who start thrashing their way out of the woods. The flame cannon misfires, but will be able to shoot next turn. The grudge thrower knocks four wounds of the thunderlord, who is still around. The bolt thrower misses and the thunderers are out of range.
He advances with everything, sending the hunter around the far side, where it will be out of sight of the bolt thrower. The thunderlord can't quite see the rangers and so positions for a charge next turn. The Butcher's unit threatens the rangers from the other flank.
Turn Two: The rangers reform to face the thunderlord, taking them out of sight of the butcher's unit. The dragonslayer positions himself almost abreast, slightly back from the rangers. The miners arrive, moving on behind the leadbelchers. The grudgethrower wounds one bull who takes the hit instead of the bruiser. The bolt thrower tries a flank shot into the butcher's unit but misses. The thunderers fail to inflict any wounds on the thunderlord, the flame cannon converts two partials to hits on the butcher's bulls, but only wounds one, and only causes one wound at that.
He charges the rangers with the thunderlord- they flee as a reaction, barely getting away. He wheels the gnoblars to face the miners, and advances the ironguts a short distance (to allow for a bull charge next turn). The leadbelchers are march blocked, but stay mostly in line with the ironguts. The butchers unit has the fleeing rangers directly ahead, blocking a long move, and they cannot charge (none declared). The bulls make another move towards my flame cannon and thunderers. The gnoblars fail to hurt the miners with their sharp stuff. The hunter picks off a bolt thrower crew member.
Turn Three: The dragonslayer can charge the thunderlord now, or at a stretch, the rear/flank of the ironguts. After some agonizing debate, I decide to charge the ironguts flank with the Dragonslayer, hoping to hold them long enough to charge with my warriors. I expect the thunderers will be able to inflict the one more wound needed to finish the thunderlord (and thus protect the rangers). The rangers rally, and choose to face the butcher's unit. The dragonslayer fails his charge by less than half an inch (Doh!). The miners charge the gnoblars who cause no wounds with their stand and shoot. The warriors march forward to prevent a bull charge from the brusier's unit. The longbeards keep abreast, to support and prevent a combined charge from the leadbelchers.
The flame cannon misfires, and will not fire next turn. The grudgethrower scatters, scoring a partial hit- with the proximity of my troops, I elect not to reroll the scatter dice. I don't convert the partial to a full hit. The bolt thrower hits and kills a bull in the butcher's unit, and inflicts one more wound. The thunderers inflict one wound on the thunderlord but it is saved. The miners all hit (thanks to hatred) and all wound (thanks to great weapons), break the gnoblars and fail to catch them. The gnoblars would eventually flee off the table. Nobody cares.
At this point, I'm worried- I botched my handling of the center of the battle, and the left flank will be a close thing, made harder when the butcher and extra bulls arrive. So I sound the MR of Dismay, which prevents the Rhinox from charging (no one else was affected, but it might be enough)
He charges the rangers with the butcher unit, and the warriors with his bruiser. The thane and his warriors fail their fear test, but outnumber and so will hit on 6s. The leadbelchers set up to shoot the longbeards, and kill four, while the hunter charges and kills the bolt thrower crew. The bulls will set up for a charge on the flame cannon next turn. The butchers unit kills two rangers- the rangers inflict three wounds in return and draw the combat. The warriors take five casualties, but the thane manages to roll two 6s to hit and inflicts two wounds, resulting in a one point win for the dwarfs. The brusier and ironguts hold however.
Turn 4: Having dodged a bullet, I set to trying to take advantage. The dragonslayer charges the thunderlord (which looked awesome given the relative size of the models). The longbeards charged the flank of the ironguts, and the thunderers reformed to face the approaching bulls. The miners turn to (eventually) threaten the main combats in the center. The butcher's unit whiffs and loses by one. They run, and are chased down by the rangers. The bruiser and ironguts kill another 5 warriors, but lose badly, fail their break test and flee. They are caught by the warriors, which panics the leadbelchers. The dragonslayer manages three hits, two wounds, one of which is saved, but it's still enough to finish the thunderlord off.
The OK player is a little rocked by the unfortunate turn of events, but soldiers on. The leadbelchers rally, the three bulls charge the flame cannon, and the hunter kills a ranger with his harpoon gun. The bulls break the flame cannon crew who flee. The bulls catch them and overrun off the table.
Turn 5: The Dwarfs don't have a lot to do at this stage. The miners turn to face the leadbelchers and start lighting their blasting charges. The dragonslayer moves to help this combat. The warriors and longbeards mill around, trading high fives. The thunderers turn to face the expected return of the ogre bulls. The grudgethrower misses the hunter.
He charges the leadbelchers into the miners who inflict three hits and two wounds with the charges, one short of what I needed to get a casualty and a panic check. They are defeated, outnumbered, flee and are caught.
Turn 6: The thunderers fail to inflict any wounds on the bulls. The dragonslayer just hits the flank of the leadbelchers, and kills two, breaking them and pursuing and catching the last one.
He charges the bulls into the thunderers, but is too close for a bull charge or stand and shoot. He kills three, and I inflict no wounds. I lose by two, but we have exactly equal numbers, so I get to test, and pass by two. The game ends, and a visual inspection has us settle on a massacre.
Summary/Lessons learned: Things might have been a lot different if I hadn't managed the lucky pursuit rolls. If I hadn't caught the butcher or bruiser units, they might have rallied, preserving their victory points, or even getting a fresh charge in. I was also pretty fortunate with psychology, only failing the one fear test. Things might have gotten ugly if the longbeards had frozen up before their flank charge.
1- The opportunity to prevent a bull charge should probably be taken if the opportunity arises. The first round between the generals' respective units was a really close thing. Impact hits would likely have swung the combat the other way.
2- The rune of stoicicsm and battle are a nice combo on the longbeards- it can represent up to a 3 point swing in combat resolution (+1 for battle, and giving you the +1 outnumbering instead of the enemy for stoicism). I didn't fail the fear test to counter charge, otherwise I'd probably be a little less enthusiastic about all this.
3- The flame cannon was supposed to be my ace in the hole, causing panic tests on the low leadership of the ogres. Unfortunately, with the size of their bases, I wasn't going to do much better than partial hits. I think I would have been better off with a gyrocopter to run down units (as I can't expect to be so lucky as to catch everyone in future).
4- The bolt thrower as decoy is less effective when you've got an engineer and 25 points of runes. I wouldn't change the placement, but I would probably have dropped the rune if my hand hadn't been forced in the first place...
If I think of more, I'll post it! In the end it was a fun game. The result was lopsided, but I was pretty lucky to recover from some early mismanagement, and there was a serious hinge point that made the game feel much closer. My opponent was really a great guy who could laugh at misfortune, but still play hard and smart. This sometimes seems like a rare combination, as I've played a number of guys who turn goofy once things go south.