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

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