You’ve been waiting for it… that’s right, it Wednesday Night (actual) Warhammer!
On today’s menu we have a 2600 pt Warhammer battle between myself and my opponent, Ben.
Righto before I delve into the details I must remember my manners. How’ve you been? Swell? Chuffed? Grand!
Mmmkay, time for the nitty-gritty. Ben and I decided that we needed to test our army lists for the upcoming Moonstruck tournament, before submitting our lists. Moonstruck details can be found on The Dwellers Below website.
Following the shining example of last year’s “Face Off” tournament (there seems to be a Nicholas Cage movie theme here) the players pack is a little different from the Australian norm.
Contestants will be playing with the Win / Loss / Draw system this time ‘round, meaning you only need to win by a small amount to claim victory for a match. Table quarters will again give up a point if held and there are bound to be unusual terrain effects in play. Also, and probably the most key point, armies of the End of Times are allowed in this tournament.
Now I won’t go into how I feel about that as that’s a whole other bucket of kettles which we don’t have time for. In a nutshell though, some tough army combinations can be constructed.
“…. K” I hear you muse, which is my cue to move on to the meat and ‘tates of this report.
Ben and I decided to play a straight up Battleline scenario… nice and simple, no tricks to worry about.
Ben is hoping to take his Slaanesh Daemons to the tourney (if he can get them painted in time) while I was going to run my goblins / Squigs again… except I popped in a twist to my list that would make M. Night Shamalamadingdong proud.
Ben is going with his “lawn mower” list which is essentially a chariot heavy army. Why lawn mower? Because that’s what the Slaanesh chariots remind us of… those old push mowers.
The list consisted of:
Keeper of Secrets, a lv 4 Slaanesh mage with a couple of daemonic gifts
Slaanesh Herald BSB with a lesser daemonic gift and ASF locus (to give it and the unit it’s in “Always strike first”)
Exalted Chariot Herald with a greater gift and locus to pick and choose challengers
2 blocks of Daemonettes, one with movement banner the other re-roll leadership test
A bunch of furies
2 units of Slaanesh seekers (daemon horsies)
3 standard chariots
A small unit of Fiends
This was a very fast army with a scary beasty leading the charge. Slaanesh as a whole have some of the quickest units in the game. The biggest threat for me was probably the Keeper of Secrets as it could cast one of the most annoying spells in the game: Cacophonic Choir. This bastard of a spell causes easy wounds on the unit it chooses as well as forcing the victim to move randomly. To add insult to injury this spell doesn’t need a line of sight from the caster and can be cast even while in combat (unlike almost any other damage spell). I hate it with a passion.
So, what was I running? Have a look and see:
Skarsnik and Gobbla (my favourite. Pretty rubbish but awesome fun)
Night goblin Shaman lv4 using the Lore of Undeath 😮 (you mean Bruce Willis was dead this whole time?!)
Night goblin shaman lv 2 with standard goblin lore and Dispel scroll
4 blocks of goblins ranging from 20 strong to 45 (with fanatics of course)
2 smaller blocks of Squigs
2 mangler Squigs
A Squig hopper unit with Squig hopper hero
Some war machines (catapult, doom diver, 2 bolt throwers)
And an Arachnarok spider
So I tried to cover my bases with this list. It’s essentially my standard goblin list with some added extras. Firstly I’ve 2 units of Squigs rather than the larger single block, I’ve an extra block of gobbo’s and was able to squeeze in the A’rok spider. The biggest thing was the lv4 on the lore of Undeath. As the End of Times had brought in the rule that everyone can use this lore (thanks Nagash), I’d be able to take it and see how it goes.
For anyone not savvy on the Undeath lore, it’s a fairly costly (cast-wise) set which allows the wizard to summon units of undead from either the Tomb Kings or Vampire Counts army books. This is what I felt could patch a hole on some of the glaring weaknesses of my Squig army.
While not the best of fighters, most undead are better than a night goblin in a scrap, won’t run in a fight and have some nasty, unique abilities. I figured in a pinch I could summon up some monstrous infantry to protect my flanks or hold up some opposing units that I don’t want my main army to fight or better yet, summon some ethereal creatures to annoy my opponent (which won’t help vs daemons as they have magical attacks and can injure ethereal hosts).
So the theory was sound (in my own opinion) but putting that into practice was another thing.
So with armies lined up we started our first game of Warhammer in what seems like forever.
By the power of schweppervescence, the goblins will stand strong.
Ben won the roll off to go first which he desperately needed. My war machines, if left to their own devices, could snipe the Keeper, giving me a serious early lead.
Skarsnik didn’t do much in delaying Ben’s daemons, preventing only 2 units (the fiends and a chariot) from deploying normally. Not great but better than nothing.
The Slaaneshi host sped forward at a decent pace. Not full pelt though, as I’m sure Ben was wary of the Fanatics sitting in my units. He knew I had 5 of the little buggers but didn’t know which units they were hiding in.
So he did what any smart general would do and sacrificed his unit of Furies to discover if my main block had any ball ‘n chain wielding loonies… which it did. I had 2 hiding away and flung them towards the winged beasts. I was hoping to wipe them out before they could fly about to the next unit and do the same thing.
“Blarghaugarag” screamed the fanatic as he spun on the spot, gaining momentum with every rotation. Without warning the crazed goblin launched himself through the air, a massive ball of metal leading the way.
Whomp! Crunch! As the fanatic ploughed its way through the startled Furies, the iron ball connecting with a daemon. What followed was the sickening sound of wet meat and bone hitting the high speed object and a whizzing pop as the daemon withdrew back into the warp.
A soft “Blarghaugarag” could be heard in the distance that increased in volume and intensity with every passing moment. The daemons were too busy trying to avoid one mushroom-addled goblin to notice a second one screaming through the air. With a resounding thud, all but one of the daemonic Furies disappeared into a cloud of gore and dirt.
So basically, I had only killed 4 of the 5 furies with my fanatics which I wasn’t too happy about as it only takes 1 model to draw them out of a unit.
Not to worry, I was able to pick off the last one with a volley of 35+ bow shots from the goblin hoard it was standing in front of. Go me!
Other than that Ben tried to get into position for a turn 2 charge and draw out the last of my fanatics. He had also assumed that my small block of 20 goblins sitting out on a flank by itself was fanatic laden. To draw it out unharmed, he moved his fast cavalry unit (seekers) into a nearby forest but also just in range to trigger the fanatic (8 inches is the threshold)… but I didn’t have any in that unit did I? *Nyuk nyuk nyuk*
So Ben had exposed a flank of his fairly weak cav unit to my fairly weak goblins. The battle of the century was about to begin. Oh and a horsy tripped on a tree root and died.
So in my turn there wasn’t much I could really do. I didn’t want to move forward and get into combat so I just shuffled around a bit. My hoppers bounced to the board edge to try and get away from the 2 chariots that were screaming down the line and my spider walked over a building to give it some breathing space (it was quite crowded in my deployment zone). With that spider out of the way, my second largest goblin unit was able to manoeuvre its way into the nearby building, hoping to safely get some arrow shots into … something. The Keeper perhaps? I dunno.
All my magic was fairly unsuccessful so we won’t go into that. My shooting though, that was another thing. Another unsuccessful thing (relatively speaking). Not having much sight on any daemons I took a pot shot with a bolt thrower. Miss. My second one also tried. Misfire. Dang. Roll to see what happens as a result of the misfire. Kaboom! Double dang.
My doom diver and catapult were quite successful though, both a direct hit and both causing wounds on Bens’ Herald riding the mega-chariot. I would have gone for the Keeper but it was conveniently hidden from the sight of thewar machines.
How that thing can hide behind a building is an innate trick of the daemons.
This game really all came down to 2 turns, this one and the next. Ben was able to make charges with his big Daemonette block which contained the Herald with ASF locus (into my Squigs), Keeper of Secrets into my A’rok spider, Mega-chariot into a block of goblins and a small chariot into my hoppers.
As the Big chariot fanged its way into combat, my goblin block holding another 2 fanatics released its secret weapon upon its quarry. The result? 1 dead Herald. Whoop! The chariot was still squeaking along but at least the nasty Herald was out of the picture.
Here it becomes a big mess of combat so I’ll leave the details out and just dot point the essentials:
· Keeper casts Cacophonic Choir and hurts the spider, goblins in building and my big goblin block. Great. Now the building gobbos will walk out of said building and my big block will trundle forward, closer to combat.
· Daemonettes win combat against Squigs but the Squigs pass their leadership test and hold.
· Small goblin block defeats cavalry in the woods and gets charged by a third chariot. They end up losing combat and running but make a rally in the next turn.
· The Keeper lays the hurt on the Spider but it survives.
· The chariot / hopper combat is lost by the hoppers, they run and the chariot chases into my remaining bolt thrower. It too pops in combat.
· A chariot sacrifices itself against a mangler Squig and they both pop.
· Second mangler Squig rolls right through the big chariot and Daemonettes in combat. The chariot explodes and the ‘nettes take a couple of wounds. The mangler now moves randomly and doesn’t do anything for the rest of the game.
So this was pretty much the game. This mess of combat. I spent my magic weakening the larger daemonette block with goblin magic (forcing re-rolls of any 6) and I was able to summon a couple of units which helped out a little.
Before three round of combat…
… after three rounds of combat.
The biggest of all the rolls though was that one of my Squig units lost combat so severely that I needed to roll double 1’s for them to stay in the fight. If I didn’t they’d explode, damage everyone around them and the Daemonettes would be free to turn about and charge my big goblin block in the back.
That didn’t happen though. I rolled double 1’s. I laughed, he cried. It was a good day.
The second huge incident was that after the Keeper cleaned up the A’rok spider, he (or she? I can never tell with Slaanesh) was suddenly free to cop a stone to the face. I lined up my catapult, roll to see if it hit it’s mark and… direct hit. The Keeper failed its ward save and I did enough wounds to smoosh it.
At that point it was a very steep uphill battle for Ben. I now had magic superiority and didn’t need to fear the immobilising spells of the Slaanesh lore.
So after the very protracted combat with the Squigs and Daemonettes which Ben ended up losing (the second unit was in combat by mid game and taking few casualties) he didn’t have much to fight with and we called it.
Though I was able to scrape in a very convincing win it didn’t feel like I earned it. Rolling snake eyes for my unit to hold and wiping out the Keeper sealed the game. I feel like I didn’t make any superior tactical decisions to grant me victory. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun game and Ben is always good for a laugh but yeah, I dunno. Perhaps it’s the random nature of Squigs / fanatics / reliance on magic which doesn’t lend itself to that style of play.
I’ve found with these goblins that no matter how clever you might be, the fact that so many things in this list are random means anything can and will go wrong. As I always say “Mathammer doesn’t work”.
As for the lore of Undeath, it certainly has potential but I need to use it more so I can get a handle on exactly what everything does.
Have you used the Undeath lore with a living army? If so how’d it go? Let me know in the comments below.
Anyways that’s enough rambling from me, I hope you enjoyed the read.
Until next time folks, may you always snake-eye leadership tests.