Saturday, 20 May 2017

Battle Report 2: Orcs vs Undead 20/05/2017

The mass of Orcs ready to go
Hello again everyone :)

This is the first of three battle reports I'll be doing from the Wellington Warlords Super Series' Autumn tournament.

This was my second tournament (last time I came 9th of 10) and going in I was hoping for a mid-table finish, but realisically not coming last would be the minimum :p

I drew Ryan's undead with night stalker allies for my first game. I'd only faced Ryan once before where I had scraped a really lucky victory against his Varangur thanks to some Orclings who refused to die. I've never faced his this army which is quite a different list.


Ax Horde, Blood of the Old King 205
  - Godspeaker, banechant, heal 100
  - Wardrum 80
  - Skulk Troop 75

Ax Horde 205
  - Godspeaker, banechant, heal 100
  - Giant 190

Morax Regiment, Brew of Sharpness 245
 - Flagger, Banner of the Griffin 70

Gore Rider Regiment 185
 - Flagger, mounted on Gore  65

Gore Rider Regiment 185  
Troll Horde* 190  
Orcling Horde* 90  

This is the same army that faced Pete's ratkin. Whilst I'm not convinced by the Gore Riders I've kept them in as another dimension to the army, and I wanted a list that I was familiar with, rather than tinkering just before a tournament.

Undead with Night Stalker Allies

Ghoul Regiment 90
  - Revenant King on Undead Wyrm – Blade of Slashing 195
  - Wraith Troop 140

  - Wraith Troop 140

Ghoul Regiment 90

   - Undead Army Standard Bearer 50
   - Wraith Troop 140

Ghoul Regiment 90

Soul Reaver Regiment – Blood of the Old King 260

Zombie Regiment 80

Zombie Regiment 80

Zombie Horde 130

Wight Horde 235

Doppelganger Regiment 150

Screamer 115

Ryan's list is different to the horde and werewolf undead list that I've faced before, with large quantities of cheap Zombies and Ghouls, fast troops and a couple of really dangerous combat units. The use of Night Stalkers as allies provides another dangerous regiment as well as a ranged attack, and doesn't need to worry about inspiring.


The first game was going to be dominate - the TO had decided not to roll up missions ahead of time, which added an additional (and welcome) uncertainty to the game.

The Epic Dwarf map pack was used to roll up the terrain. We had an odd shaped hill in the middle, with two height 4 impassible buildings on the right flank, and lower terrain on the left.

Ryan deployed his two regiments of Zombies in the middle, and then his Screamer behind the hill before deploying the Wraiths, Zombie horde and Ghouls across the board. He left his valuable units - the Soul Reavers, Wights and Dopplegangers until last.

I deployed in my usual way, first placing the Ax hordes, and then my chaff and support heroes to hide where my more independent elements were going. I left my Giant and Gore Riders until last, and toyed with the idea placing the Giant on the right flank with the Gore Riders. In the end however, I decided to place it between the Ax hordes to provide extra weight in the centre.

As this was dominate both of our deployments were fairly straight forward - a strong centre to push up and take the dominate circle, and fast flanks. The Gore Riders were intended to stop his left from advancing. I'd refused my left because of the difficult terrain, but of course this left the Wraiths freedom to advance up and threaten my hordes.

The Skulks vanguarded 6", just over the obstacle

I won the roll for turns, and elected to go first.

The armies fully deployed

Turn 1 Orcs
The Orcs advance
The orcs marched forward, the Gore Riders reforming to face the hill, whist the Orclings and second Ax horde turning to protect the left flank.

The Skulks fired across the board but didn't do enough to worry the shambling dead.

Turn 1 Undead
The Undead respond in kind
The undead responded in kind and closed the gap.  The undead's left flank repositioned to face the Gore Riders but otherwise stayed stationary.

Meanwhile on my left, the Wraiths pivoted slightly inward.

The Screamer fired at the second Ax horde (I think), but only did a couple of points of damage.

Turn 2 Orcs
The Orcs rethink their advance
Spotting the Wraiths flanking them on the right the Orc advance stalled not wanting to engage too quickly and risk being rolled early in the game.

The cavalry advanced to the hill, relying on it hiding them from charges as they pivoted to threaten the undead centre.

The Godspeakers healed the damage from the Screamer

Turn 2 Undead
The undead are not as hesitant
Whilst the orcs rethought their strategy, the undead forced the issue with the centre pushing up, barring the Zombies on the right who stalled to cover the Wights' flank from the orc cavalry.

On the right the Ghouls moved on top of the hill and the Dopplegangers moved up to the base of the hill to counter-charge anything that attacked the Ghouls.

The Wraiths fully advanced up their flank and nimble-pivoted into place as the infantry in the middle continued their slow shamble into the forests.

The screamer again shot, this time at the Orclings, but was only able to do one point of damage to them.

Turn 3 Orcs
The orc vanguard charges

With the undead now in range, the orcs regained their confidence . The Gore Riders and Skulks smashed the Zombie regiment on the right and reformed to face the Ghouls and Zombie horde.

The Orclings charged into the forest and began hacking at the Zombies within, unfortunately hitting on sixes meant that the charge was almost entirely ineffective.

The Trolls turned to face the Wraiths as the second Ax horde advanced and turned to present its front to as many undead units as possible.

The Godspeakers fireballed the Ghouls screening the Soul Reavers and were able to do 7 damage, wavering them.

On the right the Gore Riders charged into the Ghouls to buy their compatriots time, and managed to scatter them.

Turn 3 Undead
The Orclings find themselves in trouble

The undead counter-charged the exposed orc units. The Dopplegangers shifting into a hard-hitting cavalry unit to make short work of the Gore Riders on the hill as they and the Wraiths reformed to face inward.

In the centre the Zombie horde stopped slightly more than 10" away from the Ax horde, as the Soul Reavers also pause behind the wavered Ghouls.

The newly exposed Ghoul regiment behind the building charged the Gore Riders but only did a single point of damage.

The undead had better luck on the right as the Revenant King joined the Zombies in the forest to annihilate the Orclings.

The Wraiths re-positioned slightly to remain outside of the Troll's charge-range on the left.

The undead counter-attack

Turn 4 Orcs

The Gore Riders corkscrew the Wights
The orcs found themselves in an interesting position, if the Skulks shifted sideways 3", avoiding the Zombie horde, then the Gore Riders could corkscrew into the Wights. After some discussion we checked with the TO and (after further discussion) decided that the charge was legal, although barely. Fortunately the Gore Riders were able to break the Wights as their maneuver had exposed both their flank and rear to the Ghouls and Wraiths.

However the Skulks' movement meant that the Ax horde was unable to charge the Zombie horde. I think that the other Ax horde was just out of range of the Revenent King so didn't charge.

The Godspeakers fired another volley at the Ghouls, hoping to expose the Soul Reavers and killed the last of them.

The Trolls again repositioned to protect the flank of the Ax horde.
The Gore Riders celebrate after destroying the Wights...

Turn 4 Undead
...but their celebrations are cut short

The exposed Gore Riders were cut down by a combination flank and rear charge and the Wraiths and Ghouls repositioned to face the main body of the orc army.

The Zombie horde also charged the Skulks but were hindered by the forest so despite their numbers could only waver them.

The Soul Reavers decided that they didn't want to move into the Giants' charge range so stayed put as the Zombies and Revenant King moved into a better position.

The Screamer screeched at the Godspeaker who had foolishly moved out into the open to fire at the Ghouls but failed to kill the shaman.

The undead continue the fight on the right flank

Turn 5 Orcs
The orcs re-position on the right
With the Skulks blocking their charge, the Ax horde shuffled to the right to let the Morax move into a better position. However this exposed their flank to the Dopplegangers and so the Flagger moved to slow the monsters for a turn.

In the centre the Giant and Wardrum charged the flank of the Zombies but were unable to do more than a few points of damage to them. The second Ax hore moved up to force the issue on the left, relying on the Godspeakers, Wardrum, Flagger and Trolls to back them up.

Bolstered by the two Ax hordes the Godspeakers fired at the Soul Reaver regiment, but over-estimated their power and only put 4 points of damage on the vampires.

Turn 5 Undead

The Soul Reavers spot a juicy charge
With the orcs moving up, the undead had plenty of charges to choose from. On the right the Wraiths, lacking confidence in the Dopplegangers flank the Flagger and slaughter the lone orc.

This also allowed the Ghouls to charge the Ax, but they were unable to do more than a couple of points of damage on the horde.

The Soul Reavers, offered a juicy flank charge on the Giant took the opportunity, drinking the blood of the old king they cut the beast down with a massive 33 wounds, healing up most of the damage the Godspeakers put on them.

The Reverent King led a mass charge on the left, with one unit of the Wraiths hitting the second Ax horde on the flank, as the other unit charged the Trolls. However despite the weight of numbers the dice deserted the undead and they only did 9 points of damage and failed to break either unit.

The Screamer again targeted a Godspeaker, and was able to waver it, halving the fireballs going the way of the Soul Reavers.

The Zombie horde declined to charge the Skulks, preferring that they continue blocking the orc advance.
The left flank livens up

Turn 6 Orcs
The Wardrum moves to delay the Soul Reavers

By charging the Ax first, the Wraiths on the left had exposed their flank to the Trolls but the dumb beasts could only do 5 points of damage to them, giving the ghosts another chance to charge the Ax. At the same time the Ax horde picked off the Zombie regement (after much deliberation whether to charge them or the tougher King).

On the right, the other Ax horde counter-charged the Ghouls but I forgot they had the blood of the old king and so they only did 4 damage to them.

By sliding across they opened up the Zombie horde to a double charge from the Morax and Skulks. Even hindered the Morax were hitting on 3+ and so they were able to break the zombies.

Suddenly exposed to a mass of slightly charred vampires the orcs' support scattered, with the exception of the Wardrum and the wavering Godspeaker.

Turn 6 Undead
The undead crush the orc left flank

The Revenant King and Wraiths charged Ax horde, finishing them off as the other Wraiths wavered the Trolls.

On the right a combined charge from the Wraiths, Dopplegangers and Ghouls failed to break the other Ax horde, whilst the Standard Bearer waved its flag in the vague direction of the Skulks but didn't bother them.

The Soul Reavers massacred the Wardrum as the Screamer again failed to pick off a Godspeaker, only doing a single point of damage to the individual.

Had the game ended at turn 6 the undead would have won, with the orcs only having the Skulks and morax in the middle, against the Revenant King, Screamer and Soul Reavers for the undead, however there was to be a 7th turn, giving me one last chance to get something out of the game.
Dopplegangers in the flank, and Wraiths to the front, but somehow the Ax horde holds

Turn 7 Orcs
The Morax charge the Soul Reavers
With the Trolls wavered, one of the Godspeakers launched a fireball at the damaged Wraiths, preventing them from entering the circle. It was enough to finish the troop off.

In the middle the Morax charged the Soul Reavers, relying on a lucky role and the support of a banechant from the Godspeaker. Disappointingly the banechant failed and the Morax only did 6 damage to the Soul Reavers, nowhere near enough to kill them.

The other Ax horde remembered that they had the blood of the old king and used it to slaughter the remaining Ghouls, and turned to face the Wraiths and Dopplegangers.

With the Soul Reavers surviving the undead had won, but they had another chance to gain kill points... 
The elite infantry and heroes settle the fight in the middle
Turn 7 Undead
The undead secure the centre

Ryan was also nearly out of time and had already won so opted to only attack the Morax regiment. The Soul Reavers counter charged and the Revenant King joined them, hitting the flank. Together they did 17 damage, more than enough to break the elite Orcs and secure an additional victory point.
After a long battle, the undead claim the hill, as the orcs retreat from the field

After-battle thoughts
Congratulations to Ryan for a solid victory. We added up the victory points and the undead had 1065 points remaining compared to the orc's 755, giving a +1 modifier for the undead.

Overall I enjoyed this game, and Ryan was again a stellar opponent (he deservedly won best opponent) and his army provided an interesting match up to my orcs

Ryan played a far better game than me, controlling the left flank and winning the right, whilst using the Soul Reavers as an excellent late-game hammer in the centre.

My big mistakes were in some of my choices of charges, most obviously the one with the Giant and Wardrum. For some reason I thought that I could break the Zombie horde and turn to face the Soul Reavers. However that was optimistic to say the least and cost me the Giant. I also wonder if charging the Ghouls with the Gore Riders on the right was the best idea or if I should have moved them to block the Wraiths or even just backed off slightly to force the Dopplegangers to crest the hill. Something to work on in the future I think.

That said I also feel that I could have been more aggressive on the left. I think I over-estimated the damage the Wraiths would do, something my opponent pointed out to me after the match.

Despite my questionable plays, the  cavalry had a better than average game, with one unit taking out over 300 points and the other managing to delay the Dopplegangers somewhat.

I could have also done more to play the game, with my moving both Ax hordes out of the centre on turns 5 and 6 meaning that I was reliant on the Morax, Wardrum and Skulks to win the game.

The defeat left me near the bottom of the table, and I would face David's interesting Dwarf list for my second game. I'll aim to get that report finished this week, and the third game soon afterward.