This Warhammer blog is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.
eBay auctions ending soonest great eBay sales WFB (US) WFB (UK) WFB (Aus) WFB (Can) eBay storesregister on eBay is an approved affiliate of eBay, all auctions are current and hosted securely by eBay

Friday, 13 March 2009

The Empire vs Dwarfs 2000 pts battle report

warhammer fantasy battle report :-

"The Knights finished the Quarrellers outright and overran into the Longbeards. They killed nothing, but they didn’t need to, the Steam Tank took 10 down by itself." [Ed. Ouch !]

(a well written and engaging report. It makes for a great read)

source : bugmansbrewery.comcredit : Karzaki_Darstok13-Mar-2009

A thick broth of mist swirled fitfully at the foot of the watchtower, gradually burned away by the sunlight of an early spring morning. Runelord Breigor the Sullen had brought his forge outside and was working to unlock the secrets of an ancient, rune-encrusted axe when the cry went up from the platform at the top of the tower.

"Riders!" cried the lookout. "Riders of the Empire!"

Breigor's beetled brows drew down over his gimlet eyes. The umgi had been harrying at them for several weeks, their fleet-footed riders no match for the stalwart warriors of the Darstok Clan's loyal Hearth Guard. They sought the treasures Breigor had discovered here, they wanted the secrets of the runefang for their own.

"They shall not have it!" he growled. "TO ARMS!!!"

The forces:

The Empire 2000 pt army list

Level 4 Wizard, w/ +1 to cast, Lore of Life (Mistress of the Marsh, Master of the Wood, Howler Wind, Master of Stone)
Level 2 Wizard, w/ Rod of Power, Lore of Life (Mistress of the Marsh, Howler Wind)
Level 2 Wizard, Lore of Death (Wind of Death, Creeping Death)
Level 2 Wizard, Lore of Shadows (Walking Death, Crown of Taidron)

5 Knights w/ Musician
5 Knights w/ Musician
10 Militia
8 Pistoliers w/ Champion, Musician
8 Pistoliers w/ Champion, Musician
10 Outriders w/ Champion, Hochland Long Rifle, Musician, Barding
10 Outriders w/ Champion, Hochland Long Rifle, Musician, Barding
Steam Tank

Dwarf 2000 pt army list

Runelord w/ Anvil, Shield, MroBalance, 2x RoSpellbreaking, RoPreservation
Thane w/ BSB, MroSwiftness, RoCleaving, RotForge

19 Longbeards w/ FCG, Shields, RoStoicism, RoBattle
25 Warriors w/ Standard, Musician, Shields
10 Thunderers w/ Shields
10 Quarrellers w/ Shields
12 Hammerers w/ FCG, Shields, RoCourage, RoDetermination
Bolt Thrower w/ Engineer, RoPenetration
Organ Gun

Terrain and Deployment: We played on a 4’x4’ board, making for a fairly cramped table. In the past Ed has toyed with the idea of not putting any terrain down at all as he tends to find it impedes him more than it helps him. He was not so conservative this time, and we had five terrain pieces down, including two large woods in opposite ends of no-man’s land, a hill in each deployment zone and a tower between the hill and wood in my deployment. Most of Ed’s units deployed on the left, partially behind the hill or blocked from line of sight by the left hand wood. On the right he had a single unit of knights with the steam tank deployed right of the hill. My Runelord, Warriors and Gyrocopter deployed behind the left hand wood and tower. My missile troops went on the hill with the Longbeards behind them. The Bolt Thrower and Hammerers swung out onto the right flank while the Organ gun deployed on top of the tower (we have a house rule allowing this provided the war machine does not move during the game). All done and we rolled for first turn. I won the roll and opted to go second. I had nothing withing range but the Quarrellers and Bolt Thrower, and targets were limited. The only possible advantage to going first would be any panic checkes forced on the tightly clumped left flank with my steam gun. Going second would give me greater options.

Turn 1, Empire: First of all Ed declared his intention to try and generate 5 steam points. He rolled a five, meaning it was “Full steam ahead!” for the valiant ironclad as it used all its steam points to roll 15” forward. Other moves included both knights units trundling forward into the gap between the woods. The Militia wheeled out to make room for the Pistoliers and Outriders behind them to move up. The more central Outrider regiment moved up behind the knights. The foremost unit of pistoliers made it as far as the edge of the wood while the other unit shunted out of the Outrider’s way. It was looking very crowded on this flank, Ed would certainly have benefitted from playing on a larger table in this game, especially with his long line-abreast formations. In the magic phase he successfully cast Creeping Death on the Quarrellers (which I allowed), killing two. He also cast Howler wind, rendering three quarters of his army immune to my steam gun, Quarrellers and Thunderers (sucks!). Most of his other spells (i.e. Master of the Wood/Stone either did nothing or were dispelled).

Initial thoughts: Ed has a tendency to go all out on one or maybe two aspects of the game with whatever army tickles his fancy. This week it was lots of magic and shooting. He knows from experience that he has trouble going toe to toe with my dawi, but I was a little perplexed by some of his choices with this list, namely the fact that his general was leadership 8 and his Outriders with their barding were no longer fast cavalry. I knew that any panic checks I could force on his units would pay dividends, but unfortunately, I also knew that he knew that… hence the small, expendable units of knights riding down my throat. My plan was to move the Hammerers up the right, covered by the woods. A small unit like this might be ignored in favour of my bigger or shootier units. An anvil fuelled charge could really scupper his Outriders. The rest of my units would remain pretty static. All in all, I wasn’t too worried at this stage, although he had a frightening amount of power dice at his disposal.

Dwarfs, Turn 1: The Hammerers advanced with a slight wheel in towards the centre. The Warriors behind the tower moved to intercept the pistoliers headed for the left hand wood. The Gyro lofted into the middle of the Empire formation to block marchers, but due to the unnatural winds would not be able to use its steam gun. In the shooting phase I tried to slow the knights headed for my bolt thrower, but the Runelord mistruck and would have to take another turn to recover. The Thunderers and Quarrellers were limited in what they could shoot at, and so had to go for the right hand knights, but all their efforts were shrugged off. The Organ Gun had more success, killing two of the left hand unit of knights (who weren’t protected from the war machine by the wizard’s Howler Wind). Likewise, the Bolt Thrower proved its worth by taking the maximum three wounds off the steam tank.

Turn 2, Empire: Taking a huge risk, Ed declared “Five steam points, please!” and promptly rolled a 2, meaning the charge declared on the Thunderers would definitely be in. They stood firm and unloaded on the charging metal monstrosity, failing to even scratch the paintwork… In other moves he advanced the foremost pistoliers into the wood, with the other unit angling in behind, facing out towards the central clearing. The left hand outriders stayed where they were, while the militia changed formation in front of them so they could get more shots at the Gyrocopter. Again the two knights units advanced, the left one lining up on the Quarrellers, the other angling to bypass the Hammerers and go for the bolt Thrower (although they were still in the Hammerer’s charge arc, the distance looked too close to call). Some of his wizards changed units, Ed succeeded in getting himself all confused over who did what during the first couple of turns, which played in my favour as he’s wanted to have more of an effect in the magic phase. As it was, he managed to kill a couple more Quarrellers with the Creeping Death and cast another Howler Wind. The central Outriders unit reduced the Quarrellers to four models while the champions in both units used their Hochland Long Rifles to try and pick off the crew of the Organ Gun. One of them succeeded. The other Outrider unit only managed to remove a single wound from the Gryocopter as the militia were still handily blocking the line of sight for most of the unit. In combat the Thunderers were slain to a dawi, meaning the steam tank would be a viable target in my turn.

I had been expecting a lot worse this turn and still felt good about my position. The two knights units I could handle and with a bit of luck the steam tank would soon be rendered much less effective. I think my confidence when to my head a little… you’ll see why!

Turn 2, Dwarfs: Foolishly I declared a charge with my Gyro onto the militia. I don’t know why, must have been the beer! My Hammerers also declared for the knights, who opted to flee. We measured the charge range and they were millimetres out, which led to much forehead-slapping from my opponent. The Knights plonked themselves right in from of the central Outriders unit, which was a shame as I would have liked to see a panic check here. The Warriors moved up towards the wood ready to charge the Pistoliers next turn. My Miners also arrived and moved on along my own board edge to threaten the Steam Tank. In shooting, my Bolt Thrower missed the Steam Tank, while the Organ Gun failed to kill any Knights. The Quarrellers were about as effective. In combat, the Gyrocopter pilot fluffed his attacks and lost by two, which resulted in him fleeing and dropping down just behind the fleeing knights, smack bang in front of the Outriders. I realised at this point what a rooky mistake I’d made, and proceeded with a forehead-slapping moment of my own.

Turn 3, Empire: Ed had a cunning plan this turn (they’re always cunning, just not necessarily good!) [Ed. Lol :)]. Charges included the Steam Tank at the Longbeards and the left hand Knights at the Quarrellers. Stand and shoot did nothing and the blasted Steam Tank managed to generate full steam again (something fishy going on here!). The other unit of Knights rallied. The Pistoliers in the wood had been effectively blocked by my Warriors so stayed where they were. The other unit swept into the gap between the hill and the tower, joined by another of the wizards (it now included the Death and Shadow casters). The left hand Outriders moved up slightly, changing formation to make sure they weren’t slowed by terrain in the next turn. The other unit remained where it was. The Militia commenced a conga-line trundle up behind this unit, headed for the far right board-quarter, but they’d had to change formation so were fairly slow. Ed commenced his magic phase with a couple of castings, including Creeping death on my Organ Gun, which was dispelled, followed by the Wind of Death, also dispelled. He then cackled with glee as he managed to cast Crown of Taidron on his Shadow caster. Here is a rought transcript of the conversation that followed:

Matt: What’s that do then?
Ed: Every unit within 12” takes D6 strength 4 hits.
Matt: What, ALL units?
Ed: Yep, friendly units included.
Matt does some quick mental arithmetic. Dwarfs have base toughness 4 and generally good armour, four units in range. Empire have base toughness 3 and generally poor armour (at least in this army), he has potentially seven units in range.
Matt: Okay, I’ll let you have that one!

The result was two Quarrellers and a Longbeard slain. Oh and let’s not forget four Pistoliers from the left hand unit, three from the Wizard’s own unit and an Outrider. That’ll be panic checks for the Pistoliers then. The left hand unit passed and Ed tentatively reached for the dice a second time, rolling for his Wizardy unit… who ran off the table in a blind panic!

Nice one, Ed! That’s one for the annals and no mistake!

Then we moved to shooting, nothing of note occurred as the rallied Knights were more or less covering the Gyro and those that could see it fluffed it. The Combat phase was a little more decisive. The Knights finished the Quarrellers outright and overran into the Longbeards. They killed nothing, but they didn’t need to, the Steam Tank took 10 down by itself. I had two ranks, outnumber (thanks to stoicism), standard, Battle standard and a Rune of Battle and I was on a hill, meaning he won by three (I was mightily impressed that it was only three, and fairly confident that I could hold since the BSB was still alive. So I went and rolled up two failures and the knights ran them down, pursuing off the table and capturing two banners. Isn’t that just typical?

Well, by this point I was looking forward to being royally plundered as the Outriders finished what the Steam Tank had started. The centre of my army was gone, and despite Ed’s royal blunder with the Crown of Taidron, things were looking shakey. However, as Dwarfs will do, I knuckled down and swore vengeance upon the Empire for the death of my Longbeards.

Turn 3, Dwarfs: With the Anvil back in action this turn I was determined to make some serious dents in Ed’s fairly fragile force. The Steam Tank had to die, so the Miners walked right up to it, ready for an Anvil fuelled charge. The Hammerers maintained their stoic advance and the Gyrocopter rallied in place. In shooting, the Bolt Thrower hit the steam tank but failed to to any damage. The Organ Gun stripped a further two wounds from the behemoth, but it was still intact. The Miners, determined to finish the job, were helped into battle by the vivifying effects of the Anvil of Doom. They wound three times, but all were saved. I would just have to hope that the damage was already done… I then realised that I’d forgotten to declare a charge on the Pistoliers in the wood, which was hardly surprising as I’d been piling my dead on that corner and got it all muddled up. On this plus side, Ed had also forgotten to shoot with them in his turn. Oh well!

Turn 4, Empire: Ed toyed with the idea of charging my Gyrocopter with his Knights, as if it fled he would probably have the option to go into the Hammerers instead. Personally this is what I would have done with my “expendable” Knights. However, he dithered, moving them out of the way so that his Outriders could finish the Gyro off. He moved his Wizard Lord into the large Outriders unit, with the other remaining mage in the second unit, which was moving around behind the wood to little or no effect. He also decided that his remaining Pistoliers were no longer a viable unit and retreated them back through the wood. The Knights came back on the threaten the flank of the Miners. By this stage Ed’s magical influence was waning. His most useful spells were Master of the Wood and Master of Stone, which achieved the mighty accolade of reducing my Organ Gun Crew to a single model. In the shooting phase he finished the Gyrocopter with a storm of fire from the Outriders. In combat, the Steam Tank failed to generate any steam this turn, leaving it on two wounds remaining. The Miners laid in again, reducing this rare mechanical beast to so much scrap iron. As the steam cleared they were all that was left standing on the hill, grumbling about the inferior machinations of manlings in general. “There’s nought in this world can’t be solved with the precise application of a good Dwarfish pick!”

With the Steam Tank gone, things are looking a bit more equitable, but far from decided. This turn could be the breaker. If My Hammerers can get into the fight they could tear their way through the heart of Ed’s formation, but it will take some true Anvil-striking to get them there.

Turn 4, Dwarfs: My Hammerers marched down the Knight’s throats, wielding their mighty greathammers menacingly. The Miners turned to face the Knights, and I was toying with the idea of using Ancient Power if the war machines couldn’t do the job on them. With nothing else worth moving I went to the shootingphase. The Bolt Thrower had a lovely flank shot on the Knights and managed to miss by a mile. The lone crewman on the Organ Gun swung it round to unload all barrels on the blighters, killing them all and avenging the Longbeards in full. With some modicum of relief I declared a normal striking of the Rune of Oath and Honour on my Hammerers, who smashed into the Knights. They killed two for no return and sent the Knights fleeing through the Outriders. My pursuit move carried my Hammerers into this fresh enemy, putting them safely out of harm’s way from the majority of Ed’s offensive capabilities.

Turn 5, Empire: Ed had no charges. He rallied the Knights on the hill behind the Outriders and directed all his magic and shooting against my Organ Gun and Miners. In the aftermath of this three Miners lay dead and the Organ Gun was scratched. The combat phase was where I wanted to be. Ed declared a challenge with his Outrider champion, who was no match for the Gatekeeper, who struck him down with contempt. Three more fell to the hammers of the unit, it was just a shame that the Mage Lord was tucked well out of the way. The Outriders fled, easily outdistancing the Dawi, perilously close to the board edge. The Hammerer’s pursuit put them an inch away from the rallied Knights who, if they opted to flee, would likely go off the table, along with the Outriders who were also likely to be within the Hammerer’s charge range.

This small unit of Hammerers is a new addition to my generic tournament list and so far I’ve been mightily impressed by its capabilities. Not only had it caused Ed to flee with his Knights early in the game, thereby protecting the Bolt Thrower, they had put that unit and the general’s to flight in just two rounds of combat. I only hope they could keep it up as they were now extremely isolated in enemy territory. Everything else was going well, for me, and I could almost taste victory despite some horrendous losses.

Turn 5, Dwarfs: Without hesitation the Hammerers declared a charge on the Knights, whose only option was to hold in the hopes of protecting their General in a valiant last stand. The Miners moved off the hill to claim or contest my right hand table quarter, comfortably out of sight of Ed’s Outriders. In the shooting phase the Organ Gun crewman busied himself charging the barrels while the Bolt Thrower finally found its mark and killed two Outriders from the unit hiding behind the wood on the opposite side of the table. The Runelord tried to slow them with the Rune of Wrath and Ruin but once again he mistruck, and would spend the rest of the game recovering his wits. In combat the Knights once again broke and ran, losing two of their number for only one casualty in return. The Dwarf pursuit move was typically slow, which was a shame as the General was a very tempting target and a 7 on 2D6 would have been sufficient to see them off aswell. This also left them vulnerable to a heck of a lot of shooting.

Turn 6, Empire: Spurred by desperation at this point, Ed rallied his General’s unit and make a mad land-grab with his other Outrider unit consisting of eight plus the one surviving level two wizard. They exposed themselves to the recharged Organ Gun and Bolt Thrower in the hopes of being able to contest the table quarter. Unfortunately the level two wizard made a grave error when trying to cast a spell which resulted in a strength 6 hit on him and the two men in base contact. Both Outriders were slain, leaving the wizard patting himself down, trying to work out why he was still in one piece… The Hammerers botre the brunt of Ed’s friustrations this turn, losing fully half their number to concentrated fire. This was too much for the doughty warriors and they were put to flight. This piece of luck saved Ed from a more humiliating defeat as it meant his Lord and Outriders were safe.

Turn 6, Dwarfs: At the moment, victory was still a long mile from home, but it was still possible due to Ed’s last minute land-grab and the Wizard’s ineptitude. I quickly rallied my Hammerers, who would spend the last turn contesting a board quarter and little more. The only thing I had to do was unload what shooting remained to me. The order in which I did this was carefully planned. If the Bolt Thrower could penetrate both ranks, this would leave the Wizard and four rank and file, meaning any hits from the Organ Gun would be randomised. With some trepidation I rolled the dice to hit. It came up a six. Both ranks were skewered, meaning the Organ Gun could really win me the game… if only it avoided a misfire! So far the Organ Gun had proved to be distinctly average. Despite a few “what the heck!” re-rolls it had never managed to roll above a four for hits, apart from the single occasion of a six. I was slightly worried that it would choose this turn to misfire. So I rolled the dice and it came up with an EIGHT! WOOHOO! Randomisation put four hits on the wizard and four on the unit. Three Outriders died and, needless to say, the Wizard promptly followed them to the Halls of Morr. The last Outrider saw sense and turned tail.

And with that, we totted up the points. I won by around 450 points making it a minor victory to the Dwarfs, but a victory nevertheless!

Post Game thoughts: As always, Ed suffered in this game because of the terrain and a series of bad decisions. He got lucky with his Steam Tank, and that probably saved him from a massacre, but his wanton use of the Crown of Taidron and his indecisive use of that “expendable” unit of Knights Panther cost him dear in the long run. My own one mistake with the Gyrocopter was unforgivable, but hardly a game breaker, and the Hammerers more than made up for this by tearing their way through the heart of his army… they just couldn’t quite send that rotten Wizard off the board! He and I both thought that this ultimately boiled down to the fact that he lost concentration late in the game, and in general the Fantasy game doesn’t agree with the way he likes to play (he’s more of a 40K player – which is a system I struggle to beat him in). At the end of the day, though, we both had an enjoyable game, and that Crown of Taidron moment will be remembered forever!

Breigor stretched his aching limbs in the afternoon sun, stretching out his arthritic shoulder. Gunder the Gatekeeper approach him with trepidation, wary of the Runesmith's legendary temper.

"We saw them off, Lord."

"As you should have, Gunder, but at what cost?"

Together they surveyed the ruin of the hillside where the bitterest fighting had been fought. Too many doughty warriors lay fallen there, the cost was high indeed. Breigor turned back to the runefang where it lay atop the anvil. It was worth it!

No comments:

Warhammer armies for sale - click "view all items" to hunt for a bargain is an approved eBay affiliate, auctions are current and are hosted securely by eBay