Tuesday, 20 August 2013

6K Mega-Battle!

The Saturday before last saw the first of what will hopefully be many "big battle days" at Stafford Games, and to launch we started with a Warhammer mega-battle! 

We ended up with three players per side with 2000 points each, for a total of 6000 points a side. After a quick discussion about who should side with who (we had several armies to pick from), we ended up with a "Good" alliance of Lizardmen, Ogres and Wood Elves (commanded by Paul, Raven and myself respectively) against an "Evil" muster of Dark Elves allied with two lots of Chaos Warriors (commanded by Ewan, Dayle and Jonathan). 


2000 points was convenient, as it meant I could use the Wood Elf list I've been trialing of late in preparation for the Throne of Skulls tournament. Paul and Raven's armies looked something like the following:

Slann Mage
2 x 24 Saurus Warriors
10 Cold One Cavalry
2 x 10 Skink Skirmishers
2 x 10 Chameleon Skinks

Ogre Tyrant
2 x 20? Gnoblars (not sure on the numbers of these)
7 Leadbelchers
11 Ironguts
3 Maneaters
3 Mournfang Cavalry

The Forces of Destruction lined up like this:

Dreadlord on foot
BSB on foot
Master on Cold One
2 x 15 Repeater Crossbowmen
21 Corsairs
20 Executioners
9 Cold One Knights
5 Shades

Tzeentch Sorcerer Lord
Exalted Champion on Daemonic Mount
2 x 30 Nurgle Warriors
3 K'daii Fireborn

Tzeentch Sorcerer Lord
3 x 21 Khorne Warriors
10 Khorne Knights


As myself and Paul were the first to arrive (by quite some time...), we were the ones who got to set up the table. Terrain was randomised as per the rulebook (although we made an impromptu ruling that we would only have a single river - we must have rolled four or five in total, but we didn't fancy fighting in a swamp...)

The table set up. The Coke bottle counted as hard cover (jus' kidding...)
In the end, Paul and myself ended up on the same side, along with Raven, and got to pick table edge (I promise there was no foul play!) To help speed things up a little, as we were already running late, we decided to have each army deploy a unit at a time (so each side deployed three units at a time). It soon became clear that the Good team had a lot more units than the Team Evil did - in fact, my 2000 points of Wood Elves nearly matched the number of units for the whole 6000 points of Evil!

The table following deployment - the Wood Elves take the right flank, facing off against Ewan's Druchii, while the Lizardmen take the centre and the Ogres cram themselves onto the left flank, opposite the two Chaos armies.

The view from the Asrai camp - from here it all looks like a relatively straightforward battle!

Unsurprisingly, Team Evil finished deploying first and gained the +1 for first turn. Jonathan promptly rolled a 1, to which I responded with a casual "Even I can beat that!" Naturally, my dice also came up a 1, and Team Evil chose to take the first turn.

Evil T1

With the armies so far apart, there was little for the Evil armies to do but advance as fast as they could across the table. The only action of note was Dayle managing to roll IF with his first spell on 2d6, and then promptly causing his Sorcerer Lord to lose three Wizard levels and forget three spells! Not a bad start to the game for Team Good! On the plus side, Ewan and Jonathan somewhat made up for Dayle's atrocious luck by chasing away both of Paul's units of Chameleon Skinks (who had been placed to be an early nuisance on either flank).
Evil T1 Movement

Good T1

Buoyed by Dayle managing to cripple his own wizard, the Good armies were mostly happy to sit back and let the Bad Guys continue to blow themselves up. The Lizardmen surged up the middle, while the Ogres and Wood Elves mostly held back to draw Team Evil onto their potentially devastating shooting. In an attempt to show Dayle how things were done, Raven's Firebelly successfully cast Fulminating Flame Cave on one of Dayle's Nurgle Warrior units, promptly slaying fourteen of the spiky ones and forcing them to flee!

Good T1 Movement
Evil T2

Team Evil's second turn carried on much the same as their first, although Dayle managed not to blow his own sorcerer up this time. On the right flank, the Frenzied Corsairs were forced to charge the first of my Suicide Pigeons, who duly fled and left the Corsairs stranded in a Blood Forest. 

Good T2

Time to take the fight to the Evil Ones! Raven's Mournfang Cavalry thundered into the front of Jonathan's Khorne Knights, hoping to break the spiky horsemen and carry on down the left flank. Unfortunately, things didn't quite go to plan and the Mournfangs were promptly slaughtered and run down by the crazed followers of the Blood God. Elsewhere, my Pigeons began their aerial display with the ol' Switcheroo, with the second Eagle taking over suicide duties from the now-rallied first Eagle. Paul's Skinks threw all caution to the wind and sprinted into the sights of Ewan's Repeater Crossbowmen (while my Dryads decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and remained safely ensconced in the nearby Venom Thicket, awaiting the opportune moment). The rest of the Lizardmen continued their slog forward, with the Saurus splitting to either side of the central tower ready to take on the encroaching Chaos Warriors.

Good T2 Movement
Good T2 Left Flank
Evil T3

Following on from his earlier dice rolling, Dayle once again managed the seemingly impossible - needing to roll 4 or greater on 2d6 for his K'daii to charge into Raven's Leadbelchers, Dayle managed to pull out a...3, failing the charge by an inch and leaving his K'daii to stumble forwards into lethal range of the Ogre's cannons. To compound Team Evil's bad luck, Ewan's Cold One Knights chose this as the moment to go Stupid, although he still managed to charge the Shades into Paul's Skinks as Dayle's Chaos Lord ploughed into the Maneaters and the Chaos Knights continued their path of destruction into the flank of the Ironbreaker.

Just to add insult to injury, in the Shooting phase Dayle's Hellcannon proceeded to land a shot right on the Firebelly's head, only to roll a 1 to wound and fail to do any damage at all! After all the bad rolls that had plagued Team Evil so far, it was almost unsurprising when none of their chargers had much success either - the Shades were held up by the Skinks, the Chaos Lord of Killy-death failed to break the Maneaters and the Ironbreaker stubbornly refused to give before the Knights of Khorne.

Evil T3 Movement Left Flank
Evil Movement T3
Good T3

With the Evil army on the back foot, the Forces of Order chose this moment to launch their attack. My Dryads finally emerged from the Venom Thicket to smack into the Corsairs while Raven's Ironguts ploughed into the first of Jonathan's Chaos Warrior units alongside a flanking Gnoblar unit.

Good T3 Movement
Magic saw my Spellweaver finally get into the action, as she Flock of Doom'ed one of Ewan's Repeater Crossbow units and forced them to flee the table. Paul's Slann finally cast something and killed eight Executioners with Fiery Convocation.
The Wood Elf perspective
In combat, the heroic Skinks again managed to hold the Shades (on Insane Courage!). The Dryads soundly thrashed the Corsairs, but failed to catch them by an inch (that would come back to haunt me later...). On the other side of the board, the Ironbreaker finally succumb to the Chaos Knights, but the Ironguts absolutely hammered Jonathan's Chaos Warriors and smacked into the second unit of Warriors behind them (although they failed to catch the fleeing first unit...)

The Good Left Flank
The Ironguts surge through the ranks of the Chaos Warriors, cheered on by the Gnoblars!
Evil T4

In an opportunity gifted to them by careless positioning, Dayle charged his Nurgle Warriors into Paul's first Saurus unit and managed to drag the Slann into the combat as well, who promptly fled. Elsewhere, Ewan's Executioners charged the Skinks in their way, while the Chaos Knights charge into the flank of the Ogre Maneaters, running down the fleeing Ironbreaker in the process.

Evil T4 Movement
Finally, the Hellcannon managed to land a shot on target as it killed six of the unengaged Saurus unit. The main action was in combat, however. Unsurprisingly, the Executioners cut their way through the Skinks with ease but then chose to reform rather than overrun. The Nurgle Warriors performed a similar feat against the Saurus, slicing and dicing the unit into chunks, and then pursuing into the Slann and running the toad down (although the few living Saurus managed to escape). The Khorne Knights and the Chaos Lord finally managed to chop down the last of the Maneaters, but in return the Ironguts continued their rampage through the Chaos ranks as they made mincemeat of the second Khorne Warriors unit and pursued back into the newly-rallied first unit (again failing to catch the fleeing unit they'd just beaten!)

The Nurgle Warriors catch the Slann off guard
Good T4

With the centre collapsing, things had suddenly taken a turn for the worse for the Forces of Order. In an attempt to rescue the situation, the Suicide Pigeons performed a stunning (and somewhat baffling) manoeuvre that saw them blocking off the potential Druchii charges as the Eternal Guard and Treekin rearranged themselves to deal with the inevitable aftermath. Elsewhere, the Stegadon finally trundled into gear as it smacked into the exposed flank of Jonathan's third unit of Chaos Warriors.

Good T4 Movement - some careful manoeuvring by the Wood Elf Aerial Display Team,
plus other ground-based sacrifices
The view across the battlefield
Somewhat surprisingly, the Stegadon made an absolute mess of the Chaos Warriors and chased them down, gaining itself bonus points by running straight into Jonathan's Sorcerer Lord and chasing him down too! Continuing the combat success on the left flank, the Ironguts defeated the first Warriors unit for the second time and this time ran the spiky ones down, and this time succeeded in taking out the second Warriors unit as well!
The Wood Elf perspective again - too many Druchii left alive for comfort
The situation in the centre - the Nurgle Warriors have reformed to face back towards the main action, the Saurus manage to rally and reform to face the rear of the Nurgle Warriors, while the Leadbelchers turn to face the incoming Chaos Knights.
Evil T5

The fifth turn saw a flurry of charges that would possibly settle the game once and for all. The Nurgle Warriors, as expected, charged the rear of my sacrificial Glade Guard unit, the Cold One Knights charged one of the Eagles while the Executioners charged the other, the Corsairs charged into the exposed flank of the Dryads in the Blood Forest (which was careless of me...), while on the other flank the Chaos Knights and Chaos Lord charged into the Leadbelchers.

Evil T5 Movement
Unsurprisingly, the Nurgle Warriors cut down the Glade Guard to a man and reformed to face three potential incoming charges. The Cold One Knights easily slew the first Pigeon and more or less had to reform, due to lack of room to overrun into anything. The Executioners slew the second Pigeon just as easily, and unfortunately the charge angle meant I couldn't avoid having them overrun into the Treekin (ouch...). In the Blood Forest, the Corsairs managed to beat the Dryads narrowly, but they held and managed a combat reform to bring the whole unit into combat (what was left of the unit, anyway). On the other flank, the Knights easily managed to cut their way through the Leadbelchers and overrun into the Saurus Cavalry, while the Chaos Lord overran into the rear of the second Saurus unit

Evil T5 Movement Centre/Left
Good T5

With time quickly running out, we decided this would be the final turn of the game, and it was probably a good thing too as Team Evil were having a bit of a resurgence. In a gamble to turn the game back to the Good Guys, the Eternal Guard and recently-rallied Saurus double-teamed the Nurgle Warriors in an attempt to break them once and for all. Elsewhere, my much-reduced Dryad unit charged into the depleted Repeater Crossbowmen.
Good T5 Movement
Good T5 Movement Centre
Magic was my Spellweaver fail her one attempt at Amber Spear-ing the Hydra, before casting Wyssan's with IF on the Treekin, and blowing up her bodyguard unit of Scouts in the process. 

Unfortunately, things didn't quite go to plan for Team Good - both Dryads were beaten by the Corsairs and Crossbowmen respectively (but importantly manage to hold....), the Treekin were mercilessly cut down by the Executioners, and the Eternal Guard and Saurus failed to break the Nurgle Warriors (with the Saurus being nearly cut down to a man in the process). On the upside though, the Saurus Cavalry finally managed to do something useful as they killed off the Chaos Knights (their one and only contribution to the game).

 ~ ~ ~

With the game over, it was time to tot up the scores. All told, Team Evil had 3489 points left on the table (Dayle 1845, Ewan 1344, Jonathan 300) compared to Team Good's 3611 (Raven 1038, Paul 920 and myself 1653). The Good Guys had claimed four unit standards plus one enemy general (all Jonathan's for 200VPs), while the Bad Guys could claim one banner and one enemy general (all Paul's, for 125VPs) 

The total VPs then were 2711VPs for Team Good, and 2514VPs for Team Evil - a difference of 197VPs; just enough to call it a narrow Victory for Team Good!

All in all though, the overall result didn't really matter - we all had a whale of a time playing the game, and it swung both ways at one point or another, which is what a good game is all about! If we had had time to play the final turn, I think Team Evil would have managed to pull out a win of their own, as they were in a much stronger position at the end of the fifth turn than us Good Guys were. Still, there's plenty of opportunities for a rematch!

No comments:

Post a Comment