Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Da Battle of Da Lost Toof (Part 2)

This is the second half of my rough battle report of a recent game of Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition. You can find the first half here.


Turn 3

His Night Goblins had embarrassed themselves, but Moregut Browbeater was not concerned. The enemy were now within his reach, and he would do what he always did - solve his problems with the blade of his axe. His first victims were a scorched looking pair of Elf archers, who had stumbled out of the trees and directly into his path. With a bestial roar, Moregut charged toward the hapless pair, followed immediately by his howling personal guard of Black Orcs.
Moregut and his ladz charge into the Glade Guard who had been "volunteered" to serve as a speedbump, whilst the Arachnarok somehow manages the 1" charge into the Eternal Guard. Outrageous.
On the flank, the Savage Orcs could no longer control their rabid enthusiasm and charged into the Treekin emerging from the trees. The Arachnarok scuttled forward and joined in the charge, with the Goblins perched on its back hooting and waving their spears around in something they imagined to be a menacing fashion.
The Treekin receive the combo charge from the Savage Orcs and Arachnarok, whilst the Glade Guard speedbump questions whether I have treated their lives with appropriate care.
Splintered stone and wood burst into the air as the Mangler Squig changed it course and careened back through the walls around the farmstead on the flank. The bestial roars and sound of gnashing teeth was joined by panicked screams and the shrieks of dying birds as the Warhawk riders failed to evade the brute, and perished in a cloud of blood and feathers.
I  needed the Mangler Squig to roll badly in order for it to not hit the Warhawk Riders. Unfortunately it made it. Easily. The Warhawks did not.
The Savage Orcs rushed down the hill toward the waiting Treekin and threw themselves recklessly at the enemy. Their assault was enthusiastic, however they found their opponents a little tougher than expected, and they made little headway. Likewise the Arachnarok's charge ground to a halt as the Treekin held their ground stolidly.
The Treekin did a great job of absorbing the charge. I think I passed a 6+ save against the Venom Surge attack from the Arachnarok, which was probably very fortunate.
Moregut's Black Orcs cut through the Elf archers like they were made of paper, and continued their rush toward their real prey - the forest spirits that had been lurking behind their Elf allies.
The Dryads had hoped to avoid this, but in the end the Glade Guard had only been able to march out so far in front of the Black Orcs. Tim only needed maybe a 6 on the overrun to make it into my slightly more substantial unit. Oh well, the sacrifice of the Glade Guard had still bought me a combat phase. 
The superior skills of the Elves continued to take a heavy toll upon the cowering Night Goblins, however the arrival of the Arachnarok changed the situation dramatically. It thrashed into its victims, sending broken bodies flying with each strike. Spears rained down from above as the Goblins on its back tried to reach the improbable distance down to the enemies on the ground.
The Arachnarok's arrival did bad things to my prospects in this combat. The combined attacks of Goblins and Spider (as well as a solid roll for Thunderstomp) saw 9 of the Eternal Guard perish that turn. I went from winning the combat handily to being well and truly on the back foot.
The Wild Riders on the flank made short work of the remaining Boar Boyz before they turned and moved toward the flank of the Arachnarok. They sought to assist their friends on foot, however they were in danger of being too late.
Frenzy on the Wild Riders meant they had to overrun after killing the Boar Boyz, so they were only able to set up their charge in the following movement phase, rather than reforming and charging straight in. It was a costly delay, but at least the Treeman was there on time...
The Dragon that had been lurking behind the main Elf lines finally made its presence felt as it surged into the Savage Orcs with a roar.
Dragon to the rescue! Pity it hadn't occurred to me to target the Savage Orc champion in the previous round of combat. We're so rusty. :(
Moregut and his ladz crashed fiercely into the Dryads, hacking half of the enemy apart and ignoring the few losses they suffered in return. The assault was too much for the forest spirits and their turned and fled. Moregut bellowed the order to hold and reform, and with a level of discipline that would have been impossible for lesser Orcs, his Black Orc bodyguard slowed their charge and wheeled about to face the main battle. What Moregut saw there did not exactly please him.
Dryads dealt with, the Black Orcs manage to restrain pursuit and reform to face my other stuff. I admit I had hoped they would chase me.
The accursed tree had somehow arrived beside the remaining regiment of Night Goblins, and was swaying and swinging its branches about alarmingly as the cowardly little gits shrieked and struggled to get out of its reach. The Elves appeared to have been heartened by this development, and a dark magical aura seemed to shimmer around them as they fought, hacking relentlessly into the hapless Goblins. Nevertheless, the Arachnarok continued to press into the Elves' formation, tossing some opponents around like rag dolls and crushing others with brute force.
The Treeman arrives to try to rescue the Eternal Guard, whilst the Spellsinger casts Power of Darkness to increase her unit's strength. Between them they take a heavy toll on the Night Goblins, but Tim's Arachnarok is much better at Thunderstomp rolls than my Treeman. Running out of Elves...
Running out of Eeeeeelves!!... :(
The arrival of the Dragon pushed the Savage Orcs back, however their Boss stepped forward and issued something that passed for a challenge by howling and clubbing himself (and everyone within reach) over the head with a very heavy stone club. The Boss died bravely as the Elf prince drove his blade through his chest twice in quick succession. The other Savage Orcs continued to throw themselves at the Treekin, however they no longer struck with the same ferocity, and they began to waver. The Arachnarok lost its nerve entirely, and the Goblins wailed pitifully as it staggered back and then skittered for safety.
The Arachnarok fails its break test and abandons the Savage Orcs to their fate. The Savage Orcs held due to Steadfast, thanks largely to the sacrifice of their Boss in the challenge. The Dragon could only sit and watch as the rider did his business.

Turn 4

The sky was dimming unnaturally early, no doubt due to some sorcerous trick of the Elves (Tim had to leave early, so we weren't going to get 6 turns in). Moregut's expression also darkened as he saw the Dragon tearing into the now visibly shaken Savage Orcs. It wouldn't be long before they collapsed. He considered moving to assist them, but then the sight of the Night Goblins continuing to flail helplessly against a tree filled him with a burning rage and he roared as he charged into the rear of the apparently unstoppable piece of vegetation.

The Elves that had also been attacking the Night Goblins had diminished in number, and even as Moregut's ladz reached combat, the last of the Elves struck down a few Goblins before the Arachnarok tore them to pieces. A few more Goblins somehow impaled themselves on the branches of the tree before the axes of the Black Orcs descended upon it from behind. Pieces of shattered wood flew in all directions as their blows struck home, however for all their fury, the tree remained standing. It seemed to sway and shift as the axes swung, and some sort of fey Elvish magic seemed to protect it from being felled on the spot, as Moregut had expected. He snorted in disgust. Trust the tree-hugging Elves to cast spells on the plants around them.

As expected, the Savage Orcs were unable to stand up to a rampaging Dragon and they were wiped out by its slashing claws and corrosive breath before they could even contemplate fleeing. The Dragon then turned its sights on the rear of Moregut's boys.
The Black Orcs rear-charge the Treeman, but are only able to inflict a few wounds (I think I actually passed some saves for a change). I think the Treeman actually swung at the Black Orc BSB that turn (before their great weapons struck), and did a single wound. The Arachnarok broke free of the combat, having wiped out my Eternal Guard, including the BSB and Spellsinger.
Even the Night Goblins turned to face the Treeman. Things were honestly not looking great for him.
But help was on the way!
I actually used the Dragon's breath weapon that turn to ensure that I got rid of the Savage Orcs. It turned out it was probably a waste, and I could have made use of it later.
The centre of the Elf line was failing, and they committed their remaining forces in a desperate attempt to swing things back in their favour. The Arachnarok was assailed from two directions at once, with the Goblins atop it looking back and forth in confusion as to who abuse in their nasty little squeaky voices first. The Dragon launched itself across the field and into the rear of the Black Orcs, and even the Elf mage on her Unicorn charged into the fray. The fleeing Dryads regrouped, however they were unable to help their allies immediately.
So... what was I hoping to achieve with the Glade Guard? Honestly I wanted every attack I could get, and figured that a poor Thunderstomp roll would give me a net gain in combat resolution (flank, standard, etc). Most of my hopes rested on the Wild Riders, obviously.
Dragon into the rear. The Spellsinger got involved because she could, really. Her Unicorn was dangerous, and she effectively had 4 wounds and a 5+ ward save at this point. She could accept challenges too. Leave the Dragon free to have its way with the rank and file Black Orcs (who were too dangerous to be left alive).
The cavalry charging the Arachnarok struck hard, driving their wickedly sharp spears through the enormous spider's tough skin in multiple places. This only served to enrage it however, and it tore into the enemy with renewed vigour. Aided by the Goblins on its back, it completely annihilated the cavalry, before dropping itself bodily into the archers beside it. The carnage was immense, and the remaining Elves screamed and fled as the crippled beast gave chase.
Well... That went well. My attacks left the Arachnarok on 2 wounds. It then killed 4 of the Wild Riders, before Tim pulled some "tactical brilliance" by splitting the attacks of the Goblins between the two units. This paid off entirely unreasonably, as the final Wild Rider perished (each of the 4 attacks having less than a 1/12 chance of doing this), and 3 of the Glade Guard died as well. Then the Thunderstomp further culled the unit and it was just all kinds of badness. Hey, at least we got away, right? Right?
Moregut barely noticed what was happening with the Arachnarok. He was too busy trying to kill this accursed tree. Blow after blow rained down upon it, and blow after blow was shrugged off by some infernal enchantment. It was terribly unfair. Maybe this was more than a tree after all... But then, it was not like it had killed any of his Black Orcs. Brorep, his personal banner bearer, had taken a nasty wound to his face, but Moregut was becoming more and more convinced that this was down to sheer imbecilic clumsiness on his part, and that this was in fact just a very tough old piece of wood. Surely a beast of this size would have killed something by now.

The Elf riding the Unicorn shrieked a challenge as she charged into the fray, and the champion of the Black Orcs stepped across to accept (Moregut was busy tree-chopping). This did not go quite as well as the Black Orc has expected, as he was summarily impaled by the lowered horn of the charging steed. Howls from behind gave a fair indication of how the struggle against the Dragon was going, but the Orcs had the numbers and they held their ground against its onslaught. Moregut was not concerned. Soon his lads would finish their lumberjack work and they could turn to deal with the over-sized lizard breathing down their necks.

The Dragon takes a toll on the Black Orcs, but not as much as I needed it to. I needed some big Thunderstomp rolls from my 2 monsters to cull the Black Orcs and knock off their Steadfast, but it just wasn't happening. I think they might have killed 1 between them. Ooh yeah. Having said that, the Treeman should have been dead. He was on 1 wound, and had passed at least 3 6+ saves to survive that turn. It was amazing, and entirely unlike me. At least I couldn't hurt anything. That helped assure us that the situation hadn't turned entirely abnormal.

So this is how things finished. The Arachnarok alive on 2 wounds, and chasing Elves that it probably would have allowed to escape if we had been planning on playing another turn or two. Moregut trapped in a combat with more Elf reinforcements coming, but entirely unhurt himself and the Treeman was surely about to die.
It is slightly unfortunate that we had to stop where we did, and there have been "discussions" about what would have happened had we continued. I think I would have won; Tim disagrees. Either way, it was fun to play Warhammer again and this was the outcome we had when we stopped after 4 turns:

Result

Elves: 2049 VPsOrcs and Goblins: 1380 VPs

Elf Victory!


Conclusion

As the elite Black Orcs grouped together into a well-disciplined defensive formation and prepared to take a terrible toll upon their enemies, Follarion looked across from the back of his Dragon at the battered state of Darthur, their Treeman ally. The formidable spirit of the forest was a shadow of his former self, with terrible wounds hack into his body. Axes remained embedded in his flesh, and it was possible that the act of removing those blades would  be his undoing. Beyond, in the fading light the Elf lord could see the shadow of the massive Spider tearing through his remaining comrades. Already an irreplaceable Spellsinger had fallen, as had his own standard. He knew that he still had perhaps a dozen Dryads and Treekin at his back, but would it be enough to crush the remaining life from this Orc incursion? The back of the greenskin army had been broken. Was it worth the lives that would be spent? Were the lives of a few pitiful Orcs worth the sacrifice of yet another mighty forest spirit? Athel Loren had lost too many of their kind already. 

With the sigh of one knowing he had failed to properly complete his sacred mission, Follarion called off the attack. The Black Orcs hunkered down briefly as the Dragon bellowed directly above them, and then Follarion and his mount were gone, lifting off overhead as Lorielle turned her Unicorn around and vanished, and Darthur waded bodily through the tiny Night Goblins in order to disengage from the Black Orcs. Even if they could have stopped the mighty spirit, they were too busy cowering to do much more than dodge out of its way.

The Wood Elves vanished into the surrounding forests, and Moregut was temporarily stunned as he found himself looking around for an enemy that was no longer there. Eventually the truth dawned on him - their foes had fled. He had won. Beating his chest and roaring triumphantly, he glared around to make sure that the remaining lads shared his confidence (which was a mandatory requirement of being in his bodyguard). When their cheering subsided, he stomped off towards the few quivering Night Goblins, axe in hand. He would show them how he felt about warriors who ran away from a lousy tree.

9 comments:

  1. how long did the game last (in hours?) I think 8th did some things good, but wow do I not miss the games taking the better part of a day to get finished!

    glad you find satisfaction in 8th, though I for one am not looking back at that convoluted game system :)

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    1. We were probably only actually playing for roughly 2 hours. We were disorganised, Tim had to leave early, and it's possible it was the first game of Warhammer either of us had played in 10 months. It was also 3000 points, so slightly larger than a "regular" tournament-sized game. So yeah, we were not as efficient as you might have been. Honestly when we stopped it due to timing I don't think either of us realised we had only played 4 turns.

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  2. Great report, nice to see 8th Edition getting an airing.

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  4. I love it!
    As a old greenskin player I love watching the brutes giving the axe to some cowardly elves.

    And, whilst the system migth be dated, it still make for the absolute best battle reports if they are told as a story, such as yours!
    Keep up the good work and remember the orcs never lose! They just come back fur anuther' go!

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  5. A welcome return of an 8th battle report.

    When we will see some 9th age action?

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    1. Not really on the cards, I'm afraid. Not at the moment. It's hard enough to get up enough steam just to play a game, let alone pick up a new one that nobody at the club is playing.

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  6. Great report again! 8th edition narrative reports are the best. I Think 8th is one of the best editions when not abused by tournament players.

    Some smart assing: Level 2 spellsingers cannot take dark and high magic.

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    1. This is what happens when you read through an army book, decide what you'd like to try, and then finally get around to making a casual list 2 years later... :(

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