Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hell Dorado - First Impressions

Cash Johnson with even more gaming bloggery, this time about a new game the rest of the crew picked up from GenCon - Hell Dorado. I was introduced to this via link by Drew, and was instantly impressed with the model sculpts, both in originality and detail (pic related). After looking at everything the game had in store, I decided on the Demons, as I like demons, and these are very nicely made. Drew picked me up the Demon starter box because I wasn't going.

So first we come to the actual starter box - pocket sized, cardboard army sleeve around the actual box to keep minis inside it, plush high quality foam inside. The minis themselves were all single cast pewter with the exception of the Wrath demon, who actually came with his own arm sprue containing three variants to put on him - bonus points for that little bit, I'm going with the hammer. Next we have the cards, double-sided and meant for dry erase markers and plastic sleeves, which is fine. Each card is clearly legible, good quality printing, and flows nicely.

The quick start rules, however, took the cake. A single 11x17 sheet, double-sided contains every rule you need to know to play the game as far as I am aware. Every action you can take is clearly explained, both ranged and close combat procedures laid out, using spells and officer abilities, status effects and special rules - everything is on this single sheet of paper. Then I start reading the rules...

First, the game requires a tape measure, metric or standard, and only 6d6, plus minis and terrain - incredibly simple. Second, instead of complicated charts and tables, or having to do addition and subtraction in your head, combat goes as follows - roll number of dice equal to your ability, target's defense is the number you need, apply damage as per your card's description. That's it. If you have a 6 or more in either CBT or SHS (Combat and Shooting Skill), you get to re-roll. Even better! Then I read that ranged attacks have no maximum range, just increased difficulty at longer distances. I was instantly sold on this game. On top of that, most things do not affect the die roll required, but the number of dice you get to roll, which is incredibly similar to the White Wolf system (which I also love). Simple rules, easy system. I like.

Which brings us to the army itself - the Demons. In the starter box, you receive Asaliah (a rebel angel summoner), a Damned one of Wrath, two Damned ones of Sloth, and Harborym (a summoned demon, or lemure). The way magic works for the Demons is the summoner summons a lemure, who acts as the physical manifestation of the spell - I get to move it around and trigger it when I feel like, not instantly. That alone is very awesome. Then Asaliah has the ability to summon and control multiple lemures at once, meaning I can have 2 spell manifestations running around the field at once. Even more awesome. Unfortunately, she can only cast a maximum of three summons a game. Not as awesome, but still awesome.

Then I read what her powers do - apparently all Satanist (meaning demons) models within 6" of her automatically regenerate 1 Life Point per turn just from being around her, and she can do a single big heal where ALL allies on the table receive 8 Life Points of healing... WHA?! So my choice to play Demons inadvertently gave me an awesome army right off the bat? I'm even further sold. On top of that, even the three demons the starter comes with aren't that bad. Both Sloths get Advance Deployment 4, meaning I can setup an additional 4" when placing them, and they each have 18 Life Points, which is more than Asaliah gets. Then my Wrath gets Fury, which means he doesn't lose CBT when Charging, and has a DEF of 4, meaning only a 4+ causes a success against him in combat (considering my Sloths have DEF 2, that's badass). I haven't even played a game of this yet and already love what I have to work with.

Thursday will be an interesting day as I will play my first game of Hell Dorado... after some more Blood Bowl.

- Cash

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Meteoric Rise to Not Bad

Cash Johnson once more with even more Blood Bowl sports news.

First, we have the full story on the Reikland Wrath, who are quickly becoming a team to talk about. In a stunning week's performance, they have brought their record to an impressive 3-0 against Ogres and Orcs. The success I have achieved with them in the league thus far is due to my paying fealty to the Chaos Gods - not only did I switch names around to better suit the four sacred numbers, but I made sure that all four numbered players were suitably marked and painted first before all others. It worked. The updated Reikland Wrath lineup after three games:

#1 Blag Dahlia, Team Captain, Warrior - 2 SPP
#2 Kurgan Scalptaker, Warrior - 2 SPP
#3 The Black Duke, Warrior - 2 SPP
#4 Goretusk, Minotaur - 8 SPP, Standard Skills + Claws (dedicated Can Opener)
#5 Abrax the Twisted, Beastman - 5 SPP (MVP on the first game he didn't get KO'd)
#6 Gorruk the Wild, Beastman of Slaanesh - 9 SPP, Horns, Guard
#7 Morgen Grimtusk, Beastman of Nurgle - 5 SPP, Horns
#8 Gathak Bloodhorn, Beastman of Khorne - 8 SPP, Horns, Juggernaut (dedicated Safety)
#9 Volus Raveneye, Beastman of Tzeentch - 4 SPP, Horns
#10 Karthax Ironhoof, Beastman - 6 SPP, Guard, Horns
#11 Kursk Two-Tongue, Beastman - 5 SPP, Horns (dedicated Passer, YES I SAID PASSER)
Additional Staff: Apothecary

So I can already hear gears grinding in the collective virtual head of the readers - why didn't Cash take Block on his Beastmen?! At least, that's what I hear from the old timers every time they see my roster sheet. Sure, Block was great back in the day, but this is a younger man's game now. What good is a skill that only increases my chances of taking a hit by 17% when I could double up on Guard and deny an entire line Assists so I always get two dice my favor when he hits me (because everyone hates a Push when they NEED a Knockdown)? As for Juggernaut, I only get the bonus from Horns on a Blitz anyway, and he IS the favored of Khorne. Obviously it's worked out well for him, having gotten four Casualties, so why not? Between Goretusk, Gorruk, Gathak and Karthax, plus always putting the three warriors on the line, that gives me a seven-man brick wall that still keeps the remaining four beastmen open and on the move. Just because we're Chaos doesn't mean we have to play like it... :D

I wish I could claim the same success with Clan Xymox, who got over their injury streak yesterday. In a series of unfortunate mishaps - Ogres, Orcs, and Khemri respectively - I had a Blitzer miss a game, followed by three Linemen miss a game (resulting in the firing of two of them for optimum performance), then a horrific series of "Miss This Game" while holding off against Tomb Guard. Clan Xymox now stands as follows with a 3-3 record:

#1 Squeak Twitchfoot, Team Captain, Gutter Runner - 13 SPP, Dodge, Leap
#2 Thrak the White, Thrower - 3 SPP, Pass, Sure Hands
#3 Bulk Irontail, Blitzer - 6 SPP, Block, Mighty Blow (seems fitting given his name)
#4 Queeg Blackfur, Blitzer - 0 SPP, Block
#5 Shiv Sneakpaw, Gutter Runner - 7 SPP, Dodge, Sure Hands, MV 8 (dedicated Handoff now)
#6 Titch Redeye, Gutter Runner - 19 SPP, Dodge, Leap, Agility 5 (only fails on a 1 now)
#7 Snag Longsnout, Lineman - 10 SPP, Shadowing (best skill ever for rats)
#8 Ignatz Vilepelt, Lineman - 7 SPP, Tackle (would be better with Shadowing)
#9 Toerag Shorthair II, Lineman - 0 SPP (former Journeyman, permanent Reserve box)
#10 Snog Gnawfang, Lineman - 2 SPP
#11 Blag Warptail II, Lineman - 0 SPP
#12 Nitz Dwarfstab, Lineman - 4 SPP
Additional Staff: Apothecary

I'm not going to lie, I was crushed after I played against Orcs and took a 3 "Miss Next Game" beating, despite the win. The only clear option was to fire #'s 9 and 11 for incompetence, keep Ignatz on the bench since he has a skill, then take a Journeyman and hire a new player, which only cost me 50,000 instead of the full hundred - I decided Loner was a one-game risk I could take against Khemri, and I was right. In a stunning Tomb Guard Blitz, the new #9 was sent careening down the pitch and into the injury pile, where the Apothecary saved him from dying, though now I have the rest of the team back in play, he will only come out when needed.

Moving forward, Shadowing and Tackle will be the plan for Snag and Ignatz, as Wood Elves have now gotten into the league as well. I need to get some Casualties on Queeg since he's done practically nothing since game one. Nitz will be getting Guard at the first opportunity to make the Ratcage more effective when on defense. Right now, I have to make sure Titch doesn't have anything bad happen to him - I feel I am not paying enough homage to the Horned Rat by denying a 13th player into the fold, and he has punished me already with three muggings. Another 60k from winnings and the Rat Ogre will be purchased, I swear it.

- Cash

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Whole Different Game

Cash Johnson with the second Blood Bowl post in a row, this time all about Chaos. The pic kinda says it all about this new team and the match against Ogres - it was a struggle both ways.

This was a practice run for my team, as well as extra practice for Irvin to get better at planning his blocks, as well as running plays and the proper use of Gnoblars. What it turned into, however, was one of the best games I've played to date.

First of all, the reason I chose Chaos as a second team was because it is about as different from Skaven as I could get - it's much stronger, much tougher, and is great for stopping most advances once they hit my line. I also had plenty of Beastmen to use, so 7 Gors became the bulk of my team off the bat - I only had to proxy 3 Warriors and the Minotaur because I don't have the spare models to convert at the moment. Probably just going to pick up a 3 pack of Warriors from the store and save up for the Minotaur box, everything on 25mm bases.

Before I get into the gritty details, meet the Reikland Wrath:

#1 - Blag Dahlia, Team Captain, Warrior: Scored his first touchdown today
#2 - Kurgan Scalptaker, Warrior: 1 Casualty, Gnoblar at -1 AV
#3 - The Black Duke, Warrior
#4 - Goretusk, Minotaur: 1 Casualty, Ogre out for Remainder of Game, First Blood on First Play
#5 - Abrax the Twisted, Beastman
#6 - Gathak Bloodhorn, Beastman: 1 Casualty, Gnoblar at -1 AV
#7 - Karthax Ironhoof, Beastman
#8 - Morgen Grimtusk, Beastman
#9 - Volus Raveneye, Beastman (Chosen of Tzeentch)
#10 - Kursk Two-Tongue, Beastman
#11 - Gorruk the Wild, Beastman

I won the coin flip so I chose to Receive, had 2 FAME going in, with perfect weather, and a Quick Snap, plus the Kickoff was a Touchback, so I gave it to Blag because he was already on the line. First thing was first, and Goretusk proceeded to Blitz the Ogre tying Blag up, causing him to black out for the rest of the game - not too shabby for an opening play. While the rest of the line did their best to push the Ogres off of them, it still took the entire first half to score a single Touchdown, though four Gnoblars found out why they shouldn't have gotten in the way of Chaos (only two losing 1 Armour, but as this was exhibition, it didn't much matter, more of a pride issue for me). Five opposing players were down going into Turn 8 of the First Half (another two Gnoblars were KO'd on the last drive), which suited me fine - less Dodges to make and less Blocks to worry about.

The Second Half was where things didn't go to plan as I'd hoped. He got both Gnoblars back, who intended to show the Chaos Gods the power of the Great Maw. It was "just as planned" as the Kickoff landed just in front of his end zone AND I got an extra Re-Roll from Brilliant Coaching (yay Tzeentch). All I had to do was stop him from getting past my line, which I tried my best to do, but just not enough. His lonely Gnoblar in the backfield ran back, picked up the ball, then proceeded to run the entire length of the field while caged in formation, making two consecutive Dodges at the end of Turn 6 to score a Touchdown.

My Turn 7 saw the ball land in front of Morgen, who picked it up and ran to the line, while Blag and the Black Duke proceeded to open a hole to the right side, knocking down two Ogres. A quick blitz from Gorruk the Wild proceeded to KO another Gnoblar and open the right flank entirely and, two Go For It rolls later, was in a position to score if he could just get the ball. At the same time, Abrax and Gathak both shot through openings on the left flank, crossed the field, and made a total of three possible receivers. Meanwhile, creative blocking saw Morgen boxed in nicely by his own team, making a Blitz impossible against him. With the game-winning throw on the line, both Gnoblars and Ogres immediately fell back to flood the passing lanes with nothing but Interceptions.

Morgen snapped back and threw a Long Pass to Gorruk who jumped up, inches away from the ball... but what he didn't see was the little Gnoblar crawling up his loin cloth, kicking off his chest, and launching himself face first at the ball to make a stunning Turn 8 Interception that cost the Wrath the win (as we don't do overtime). It wasn't until the game was over that the Chaos team realized the little bastard that caught the ball was the same one who scored earlier in the half - he will be dealt with next time.

I have to say, Chaos was a completely different game. Instead of trying to engineer openings and use speed and skills to save the day, I can just plow forward when I get the ball. I don't have to worry about getting hit as much as with Skaven, since my armour is an 8 or 9 instead of a 7. Less chance of injury to me, more chance of causing damage to them. Chaos is definitely going to be added to the list of teams - now I just need a third...

- Cash

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blood Bowl Blues

Cash Johnson once more with yet another gaming post, this time about the small Blood Bowl league we happen to be running amongst ourselves. As of this moment, we are five players, two of which have yet to actually play a game because they are lazy. The three active teams, however, are my Skaven, Jon's Khemri, and (another local from my end) Irvin's Ogres. We are still waiting on Drew's Chaos Dwarves and Hoj's Dwarves.

But I digress - it's time for the Skaven breakdown: 3 Gutter Runners, 1 Thrower, 2 Blitzers and 6 Linemen. I know I should have taken 13 players, but I'm holding out for either a 4th Gutter Runner or my 0-1 Rat Ogre (plus 3 re-rolls is always nice for a starting team). As it stands now, im 1 and 2 with Fan Factor 5, and 60,000 left in winnings (would have had more, but I had to replace a dead lineman in my first game).

So how does my team stack up? Well, outside of the league, I played two games before we started to get used to the rules (since I had never played before). Against Humans, I managed a 3-2 victory. Against Orcs, I got my ass pounded into the dirt by Black Orcs. In the league, however, I am actually a victim of luck more than poor coaching. The first win was against Ogres, my Team Captain able to break away with the ball to score the only point that game, and my linemen proceeded to injure Gnoblars simply as a matter of course. My first loss was to Khemri, as Tomb Guard are just mean and their Blitzers aren't any nicer - I did, however, break one Skeleton's ankle, so it wasn't a total loss. The second loss was today, victim of three lucky plays to my two normal plays - I stacked up a lot of Star Player Points all around, though.

Meet the team of Clan Xymox:

#1 - Squeak Twitchfoot, Team Captain, Gutter Runner: Dodge, Leap, 9 SPP (3 TDs)
#2 - Thrak the White, Thrower: Pass, Sure Hands, 0 SPP
#3 - Bulk Irontail, Blitzer: Block, 2 SPP (1 Casualty)
#4 - Queeg Blackfur, Blitzer: Block, 0 SPP
#5 - Shiv Sneakpaw, Gutter Runner: Dodge, 3 SPP (1 TD)
#6 - Titch Redeye, Gutter Runner: Dodge, Leap, 6 SPP (2 TDs)
#7 - Snag Longsnout, Lineman: Shadowing, 10 SPP (2 MVP)
#8 - Ignatz Vilepelt, Lineman: Tackle, 7 SPP (1 Casualty, 1 MVP)
#9 - Toerag Shorthair, Lineman: 0 SPP
#10 - Snog Gnawfang, Lineman: 2 SPP (1 Casualty)
#11 - Blag Warptail, Lineman: 0 SPP
#12 - Nitz Dwarfstab, Lineman: 4 SPP (2 Casualties)

Now, those of you who know how Skaven play in Blood Bowl are probably wondering how rats
managed to rack up five casualties against teams who are tougher than they are. Well, seeing how squishy Gnoblars are, my strategy is simple - the moment the rat with the ball gets further than they can catch in a single turn, I gang up on Gnoblars and roll my 3 Block Dice, occasionally getting the lucky 2 Dice Block against an Ogre to put him on his ass. I would have had two more casualties to my credit, but rocks thrown by my fans unfortunately don't count (2 in the same game, one Ogre suffering a Cracked Skull).

Right now I am saving up for a tasty Rat Ogre so I can concentrate more on moving the ball instead of minimizing damage done to me. Maybe if I could rack up some casualties with him, possibly take Piling On or Multiple Block - but I'm still 100k short and down my #4 Blitzer in my next game, which will cost me precious defense. Still, three Gutter Runners and a Thrower means I will always have someone on the ball after a kickoff, so I just need to concentrate on boxing out for the meanwhile.

Also thinking of putting a Chaos team together, just to have another fun team on the back burner for another league. Maybe the store league if they get that going this year. Who knows, they may be even better for me.

- Cash

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Having just returned from Gen Con Indy I bring a wealth of updates that I will post up, I see in my stead that Cash has been taking care of the site quite well. I will start things off by introducing my Pulp City Villain Team that I had used for the tournament at Gen Con along with some tactical thoughts.

Name: Boreas
Origin: Mystery
Affiliation: The Forgotten
Occupation: Villain

Boreas is one of the minor gods that controls the wind, in fact if you have ever seen a map with an incarnation of a cloud blowing wind on a sailboat you have actually seen Boreas! As with all "Forgotten" they are all minor gods/entities that fell into obscurity and now they have come to Pulp City in order to make the population remember them.

Special Abilities:
Air- This is more of a subtype, against "Earth" supremes Boreas will both deal and take more damage.

Blend 1 - If Boreas is near a piece of scenery he gains +1 to his agility making him harder to hit with projectile attacks.

Flight 5- With the new flight rules whoever has a higher flight value compared to their opponent gains +1 to agility, strength and defense traits.

Immovable - Boreas will not suffer from knocked down condition

Immune/Whirlwind & Shot Down - Most supremes with flight have to worry if they fail their opposed roll while in flight they take extra damage when they fall. This ability means Boreas never has to worry about being "shot down".

Exclusive Actions:
-Echoes- A situational power that lets you move non-exclusive minions and citizens 4 inches, good if you want to cut down some of the enemies minions or get after some citizens that are running away for some agenda points.

-Gale- Gives Boreas to the "throw trump action" despite not having Strength as his trump trait, alternatively it can be used to attack an enemy supreme and if you cause damage you can move the supreme 4 inches in any direction they will take additional damage if they hit into a piece of scenery.

-Blood Wind- A power hated by many an opponent, it is a blast 3 radius any supremes taking damage cannot activate this round. Needless to say if you start the round with Blood Wind doing successful damage against an enemy their model sits there for a turn. It should be noted that only the target of the attack suffers a full opposed roll. Others caught in the blast only suffer attacks at 1/2 of Boreas' attack.

-Whirlwind- A good power to screen your beaters, any attacks directed to models within the aura are at -2 to their opposed rolls. Minions and citizens cannot move into or within the aura and the aura is treated as difficult terrain for everyone else.

Team Power: Host
Boreas has to inhabit a body which means he can always be attacked in close combat regardless of how many flight counters he has on him. If he has at least one flight counter he can freely leave close combat without penalty. He is also vulnerable to the Exorcism ability.

Monday, August 9, 2010

My Retribution

Cash Johnson once again with a totally different report this time. After telling myself and others I would not get involved with Warmachine, I ended up getting involved with Warmachine - but only because a good friend decided to just give me a complete Retribution army. Every caster, 5 units, 6 solos, and one of each heavy Myrmidon: I pay him back over time when I get extra moneys. But I digress.

The problem with getting involved in a new game after being in GW mode for so long, and especially when you have a complete army at your disposal, is that you have too many new options to experiment with. I am proud to say, however, that after slogging through many lists, both theirs and mine, I have finally managed to score a victory with a list that works.

At 35 points I took Ravyn with a Hydra (punch battery), a full Mage Hunter Strike Force with Commander, a full unit of Dawnguard Invictors, Stormfall Archers, two Mage Hunter Assassins, and Narn. I went up against Khador, with Beast as the only 'Jack, and Epic Sorscha as caster, some snipers with sniper solo, some big guys with hammers, a mortar team, and Winter Guard with Command attachment. I let him setup first, because I had me a plan. As expected, he threw everything in the middle and the big hammer guys to one flank.

I, on the other hand, had an army with quite a bit of Advance Deployment so I placed the archers, Invictors, Hydra and Ravyn in the middle, screening her and he Hydra from view. Then he placed his snipers on the other flank, but still near the middle of the table. Good, thought I, as I placed my Strike Force opposite the big hammer guys, then put both Assassins and Narn to the extreme right side of the table, literally hugging the edge in one case.

Turn one, he moved up. Then I cast Snipe on the archers and moved them up. Unfortunately, they were a couple inches shy of his line so that was a flop. My three solos ran up the right side while my Strike Force advanced normally to the edge of the forested hill they were in. The rest of my turn was spent running the Invictors up, then moving the Hydra and Ravyn to follow.

Turn two, his snipers managed to kill my archers, but it took every shot to do it, allowing my killer trio to survive another turn - yes, he could have walked over and shot me, overruling my Stealth, but didnt. But more about that later on. My turn two consisted of casting Snipe on my Strike Force and unloading into the big hammer guys, killing one outright (they have 8 Damage each, and Armor 16, so it's kind of a big deal). The Invictors took out two of the Winter Guard with combined fire. Narn and the two assassins proceeded to run even more, getting across the table and in a position to sweep the back field.

Turn three saw several casualties on my end, his snipers managing to kill quite a few of my Invictors with this explodey-kill spell he was upkeeping on them since the first turn. Then he tried to shoot at my Strike Force with his Winter Guard and missed because they were in trees on a hill (yay, Defense 18). Then came my turn three. My Invictors, of which only 3 of the original 10 remained passed their Command Check, charged the Winter Guard and did no damage whatsoever. My Strike Force decided to go in for the kill and Charge the hammer guys, doing even more damage to two of them and killing a second. Narn and the twins kept running, this time behind the mortar team, which so far had missed its shots every turn. Ravyn started to disengage behind a wooded hill, and the Hydra charged into the Winter Guard, killing two of them.

Turn four was where things started going wrong for my opponent. The Winter Guard failed to kill the Invictors, the big hammer guys only killed two of the Strike Force, Beast was still behind the Winter Guard and unable to do anything about it, and Sorscha + her dog were advancing around the side. Then I struck - Narn killed the mortar team outright, both assassins moved into covering positions for next turn, a third hammer guy was killed, the Hydra turned slightly and punched two more Winter Guard into paste. Ravyn moved even more behind the hill, and the trap was one turn from being sprung...

Turn five saw another chunk of my Strike Force taken out, but still alive. Snipers killed another Strike Force member, the hammer guy missed again, the remainder of the Winter Guard finally won out against the remaining Invictors, Beast began to move up into the fray , and Sorscha kept moving with her dog to put as much of her own forces in the way of the sodomy that was to come. My turn began with one assassin murdering the last hammer bearer. Then Ravyn walked up, killed a sniper with a melee attack, fired at Beast, fired again at Beast with her normal ranged attack, then I remembered to pop my feat (stupid me). My Strike Force, however, did some mighty fine work, using Ravyn's feat against Beast, obliterating 4 of his 6 columns with 10+4d6 Damage per shot. My Hydra, now unengaged, walked over to the snipers and killed two.

Turn six saw everything come to an end (as the store was 10 minutes from closing). Sorscha cast Boundless Charge on Beast, who immediately used Thresher on the Strike Force, killing all but the Commander and three others. The snipers were useless now, missing everything they shot at. The Winter Guard were huddling in a small circle now, and missed with their shots. Then I went and the trap closed completely. The remainder of the Strike Force shot up Beast some more, then the assassin charged, then Narn struck the fatal killing blows against it. Ravyn cast Snipe on herself, then used her last focus to turn her only ranged shot into an AOE, which hit the Winter Guard and killed all six of them. The other assassin charged Sorscha's dog and killed it without difficulty. This left the Hydra to charge at Sorscha, who took a free strike from a sniper (no damage) and proceeded to pound 10 Damage out of her with a single punch.

The game ended there as we had to clean up, so we agreed that since I damaged his caster, and would have killed her had we gone into another turn (Hydra still in combat, assassin and Narn in charge range), I won. Impressions? Well, now that I have a fast moving, far shooting list, I need to test it against other armies. Now I just need to work on a solid melee list... I'm thinking Vyros and a lot of Sentinels...

- Cash

Saturday, August 7, 2010

And the tie goes to...

Cash Johnson once more with a battle report from my WoC. Deciding the Northern Wastes were boring, my marauding horde ventured southward into Ogre Country for a good, old-fashioned brawl. At 1,000 points, I was skeptical about the punch I could bring against what has essentially become a higher-tier army with the 8th Edition rules, and rightly so. Now that Ogres get rank bonuses and two ranks of attacks, plus the new Fear rules, I knew I had my work cut out for me, and I was right.

My forces included a Level 2 Tzeentch Sorcerer as my General, thrown in with 10 Warriors with Paired Weapons and Standard as his bodyguard, 8 Khorne Marauder Horsemen with Flails and Standard, 7 Nurgle Marauder Horsemen with Hand Weapon/Shield/Light Armour and Full Command, two units of 6 Marauder Horsemen with Javelins and Musician (aka 'JavCav'), and 5 Khorne Knights with Ensorceled Weapons and Standard.

His forces, which were actually my models (as he wanted to learn Ogres before putting money into the game) were a Bruiser with Great Weapon and Heavy Armour, 6 Bulls with Paired Weapons/Champion/Standard, 6 Bulls with Ironfists/Champion/Standard, two sets of 2 Leadbelchers, and a Ninja Maneater with Cathayan Longsword (I love that model so much).

The Mission was Meeting Engagement - diagonal deployment, corner to corner. I got to deploy first, and everything made it on the board. This mission hurt me on the deployment, as I knew I couldn't get any charges off on Turn 1 - all my Fast Cavalry were able to use the Vanguard move, but my three normal units were deployed behind them to ensure I didn't get hosed later on deployment. The last thing I wanted was to get smacked by Ogres, so everything was well enough away from the front line to avoid taking unnecessary hits. As a result, my Khorne Marauders stayed back from the line as well, but the JavCav units were placed on the far flanks to take advantage of their free movement.

His deployment was center mass, the Bull units in front with Leadbelchers to the sides, the Maneater in the middle. My saving grace here was the random obstruction we rolled for the terrain - hooray wall! He was forced to deploy behind it, so his forces would either have to split up or concentrate on one side.

First turn went to me, so the JavCav did their regular movement and were already starting to wrap around. Everyone else just milled about waiting for the right moment to strike, but my Sorcerer and his unit moved up and cast his only useful spell - the Flickering Fire of Tzeentch. Two wounds hit one Ogre Bull and first blood was mine.

His first turn consisted of me misjudging my JavCav's movement by a quarter inch on both sides, and the Leadbelchers were able to get shots off. The first unit suffered two wounds from a misfire, and killed two of my own, while the second unit managed to get 8 shots into me, killing 4. Two Panic checks later and I was fine, though, but not pleased at the results. The rest of his movement was to split up his forces around the wall, with the Maneater staying far enough back to support.

Second turn was going to be my crowning achievement, but the Khorne Marauders failed to break the Bulls on the charge because of bad rolling. Only one Ogre fell to my flails and horses, and all 8 received a buzzsaw from 24 normal attacks, plus 3 stomps. The sorcerer failed to wound the two Leadbelchers in front of him. My right flank JavCav charged the Leadbelchers that shot at them, passed their Fear check, and managed to take the remaining wound off the one who misfired, but took another two wounds in turn, rolled a 9 on the Break check and fled. On the left flank, my two JavCav moved up and proceeded to bait the Leadbelchers by throwing pointy sticks at them - one hit, no wounds. Ogres 2, Chaos 0.

His second turn saw less action than mine. His two Leadbelchers charged my two JavCav, who immediately fled, giving him a failed charge move of 2". His two Bull units moved up further, as did the Maneater, and the lone Leadbelcher stayed still to reload his cannon. He failed a charge against my Warrior unit, moving 4" and bringing him within definite charge range of the Knights next turn.

Turn three was a lot better for me. My JavCav on the left rallied and stayed put, well away from both being shot and being charged. My sorcerer moved up again, cast another spell that put two wounds on a Leadbelcher (finally). My Khorne Knights got their charge in and a broad smile hit my face. A combined 20 attacks later and 4 Bulls were killed outright, with another 2 wounds on the Standard Bearer, with nothing hitting me back at all. He broke, he fled, I didn't get enough pursuit, but at least I managed to wreak vengeance. My Nurgle Marauders then decided to join in the fight against the Bulls that punked my Khorne Marauders and did remarkably better. Somehow they passed their Fear test, then proceeded to do four wounds, killing another Bull, but lost four in the process. Our Standards cancelled each other out, but he had the second rank, so I lost by 1, passed the Break check and was still standing. Ogres 2, Chaos 1.

His turn three did not go his way. His Bull unit rallied, and did nothing. His lone 'Belcher decided to move up and rejoin the fight, and the other two turned to go after my Warriors, killing 2 from cannon fire. Meanwhile, he lost yet another Bull in the ongoing melee (2 wounds), killed my last grunt and Standard Bearer for a total of +4 to his resolution, which I managed to actually roll a 3 for - Nurgle does not go down without a fight, so my lone Champion just sneezed at them. But the Maneater was able to get a charge off on my Knights' flank - which took 2 wounds to the 1 he dealt me, failed and Broke, was trampled under my hooves, and brought me into charge range against the other Bull unit next turn. Another broad smile appeared. Ogres 2, Chaos 2.

Turn four was my sweet revenge - the two JavCav got a flank charge against the Leadbelchers, and my Knights charged the rear of his last Bull unit, which contained his Bruiser. Naturally, the JavCav did nothing more than slap effortlessly into the Leadbelchers, as they were both crushed by heavy cannons. The Knights, however, mercilessly slaughtered another 3 Bulls, wounded the Champion, and only took 1 casualty in the process. His Bruiser then got swings back and killed a second Knight, but the damage was done, and only Insane Courage would save him... it didn't. In a single sweeping motion, the Knights managed to kill almost half the enemy forces and rout his General in the process, though they managed to get away. It tasted sweet for that moment, let me tell you. Ogres 2, Chaos 4.

His turn four was spent moving his remaining Bulls up, reloading his two Leadbelchers to the side, and moving to fire a single cannon at the rear of my Knights - no damage. Oh, and his General failed to rally yet again, fleeing another 10".

My turn five saw another spell do no damage against him after moving up the sorcerer and warriors. I forgot to turn the knights around, which actually may or may not have cost me the win. My lone Marauder Horseman charged the Leadbelcher in front of him and died valiantly. Ogres 3, Chaos 4.

His turn five saw another failed rally, this time taking his poor General off the field completely. There was much smiling again on my side of the table. His two Leadbelchers, however, managed to rake 14 shots into my warriors, killing 6, though they passed their Panic check.

Turn six had come at last, and it was down to my only charge, as the knights were not in range anymore. The warriors threw caution to the wind and went against the Leadbelchers, killing yet another Ogre, and taking no wounds back. Sadly he did not break.

His turn six saw his remaining two Bulls flank charge my sorcerer and kill him, plus the two guys that remained with him. Ogres 5, Chaos 4.

However, since Fantasy isn't played with Kill Points, we went to the points. In raw kills, I took out 752 while he killed 750. Both of us lost Generals, so no points there. I lost three standards and he lost two, HOWEVER, two of the standards I lost were "reclaimed" by the Knights as they slaughtered their way across the table (a good 40" from where they started). Final score saw me with 27 Victory Points - a Tie. Had I turned my Knights around, I could have increased that margin by another Leadbelcher, and possibly the two Bulls that wound up killing my General if an Overrun would have occurred, but we will never know.

My thoughts? Ogres are effin mean! Toughness 4 with that many attacks back is enough to kill any low-count unit, which it did on several occasions. Leadbelchers are just as awesome as they always have been. Maneaters do not do well as solo units. Enough about them, though.

While JavCav are great in larger games as a harrassment unit, they suck in smaller ones, so they will not be seeing action at less than 2250... or at least not against anything larger than 25mm. For all the good the Magic Phase did for me, I should have just kept my Sorcerer at Lv1 and used the points for more Warriors. The Knights were the MVP without question - taking out at least twice their points guarantees they will see action in every game. The Khorne Marauders I really can't say anything about because it was a bad roll - all hits, no wounds. The Nurgle Marauders, I wish I had something lighter to throw them against, but they still managed to hold the line until the Knights arrived. If I had to make any changes, it would have been to take the Nurgle Exalted Hero and throw him in the Nurgle Marauder unit - possibly do more damage against a more powerful regiment, but possibly not. Maybe next time I'll do a larger game against him when he gets his own models...

- Cash