Friday, 16 June 2017

Battle Report 8: Orcs vs Goblins 03/06/2017

It's always important to feed your giant squig...
Hello again, and welcome to the third game of Runefang IX, this time against Jono's goblins.

Jono is an old friend of mine who I've been trying to get into wargaming for a while, so it was really nice to get a chance to play against him.

He was playing with a goblin army borrowed from Seerlord Morskitta, and I'd written his army list for him. Having never played with goblins before, I had no idea how good the army was, but I'd aimed for a mixed list with some shooting, combat, and speed.



Ax horde 205
- Godspeaker, banechant, heal 100
- Skulks, 75
- Giant 190

Ax horde 205
- Godspeaker, banechant, heal 100
- Skulks, 75
- Wardrum 80

Morax regiment, brew of sharpness 245
- Godspeaker, heal, inspiring talisman 105

Gore Rider regiment, mace of crushing 190
- Flagger, gore mount 65

Gore Rider regiment 185
*Orcling horde 90
*Orcling horde 90

Rabble Legion – Healing Brew 185
  - Fleabag Sniff Troop 95
  - Fleabag Sniff Troop 95
  - Fleabag Sniff Troop 95
  - War Trombone 65
  - Flaggit 40
  - Big Rock Thrower 80

Spitters Horde – Wine of Elvenkind 180
  - Mincer 80
  - War Trombone 65
  - Wiz – Bane Chant 60

Troll Horde – Blood of the Old King 205
   - War Trombone 65
   - Giant (Squig) 190
   - Flaggit 40

Troll Horde 190
  -Mincer 80

*Mawbeast Regiment 95
*Mawbeast Regiment 95

Terrain and Deployment
I was back on the same board I played in game 1, and on the same side. This time however we were going to play Eliminate. My targets were the two Troll hordes and the Giant (Squig), whilst Jono had to kill my Ax hordes and Morax regiment, with the middle of the table worth an extra point.
Jono deployed both of his Troll hordes on the right behind two Fleabag sniff troops. On the right he deployed his Giant and the two Mawbeasts, providing a potential flanking force using the hill as cover. The rest of his deployment was a bit haphazard, with the Trombones out in the open, and the two Mincers in difficult terrain.

One thing I noticed going through Jono's list was that there weren't many 'shock' troops besides the Trolls. Because of this I was confident that my Godspeakers could keep my Ax hordes alive for the whole game. Consequently, my plan A was to take the middle point, and just keep my hordes alive for 7 turns as they ground down the Goblins.

Since the Trolls were isolated, I placed my Giant with the two regiments of Gore Riders as a plan B. I doubted that they would be able to take the entire flank, but I calculated likely damage and figured that they had a decent chance of taking out one of the Troll hordes. Since none of them were a bounty unit for me I wasn't worried about losing them all to take one horde out.

We rolled and I elected to go first.

Turn 1 Orcs
The orcs begin well
The orc infantry began slowly moving through the difficult terrain toward the open field in the middle, and the Skulks provided covering fire. The orc archers were particularly accurate, doing 3 damage to a War Trombone, which proved enough to make the cowardly goblins flee the field.

The Gore Riders moved up to the hill, but didn't begin to crest it just yet.

Turn 1 Goblins
The goblins began to move forward as well, with the Rabble legion charging forward toward the massed orcs. The Trolls and their minders decided to stay where they were and ping a few shots at the Giant above the hill... doing 1 point of damage to him.

The rest of the goblin shooting was as effective as the orcs, with the Fleabag Sniffs, Big Rock Thrower, and Spitters combining to wipe out an exposed horde of Orclings.

Turn 2 Orcs
The  shooting continues to be effective...
The orcs continued to advance, with the Skulks again discouraging a small goblin unit - this time the Fleabag Sniffs were wavered with 2 damage.

On the right, the Giant and Gore Riders elected to crest the hill and pressure the Trolls.
The flankers force the issue

Turn 2 Goblins
The goblin flank advances as the Rabble fall back
The goblins decided that they didn't want to face the orcs head-on with the Rabble falling back, outside the charge range of the Ax hordes, and the Mincers curiously stopped in the mud.

On the left the Giant and the Mawbeasts climbed the hill to threaten the orcs' flank.

The Spitters and War Trombones were able to put 6 points of damage on the left Skulks, but the over-confident orcs refused to break. The Rock Thrower also added 3 points of damage to the Ax horde behind them. On the right the Fleabags failed to damage the Giant.
The goblins fal back

Turn 3 Orcs
The Giant and Gore Riders lose patience
The orcs continued to advance, but turned slightly in response to the Mawbeasts in their flank. The Skulks pushed forward to block as many charges as possible. They again opened fire, wavering another War Trombone and put a few damage on the Rabble.

The Giant and one of the Gore Riders crushed the Fleabag screen on the right, and prepared for the Troll counter-attack.

Turn 3 Goblins 
The goblins begin to make progress

The goblins elected to charge the orc chaff - the Mawbeasts and Rabble charge the Skulks, as the Giant (Squig) begins to feast on the Orclings.

Despite having 30 attacks the rabble were unable to break the Skulks with a hindered charge, only doing 2 damage to them. The Giant (Squig) was equally ineffective, only gobbling down one orcling. The Mawbeasts were more successful, finishing off the badly damaged Skulk troop and advancing.

The Trolls counter-charged as a Mincer turned and rumbled forward to help them. The Giant held firm, only taking 4 damage. The Gore Riders were not as lucky, taking 8 damage and wavering.

Greenskins: Quantity versus Quality

Turn 4 Orcs
The Ax join the fray

The Skulks' refusal to die gave the Ax horde the opportunity to charge the Rabble doing 7 damage. The charge was hindered but also pinned the Mincer in the difficult terrain. The other horde turned to face the Mawbeasts, trying to position themselves so that at least one charge would be hindered.

More importantly on the right the Giant and unwavered Gore Riders smashed into a Troll unit, hoping to break the beasts this turn. The Gore Riders did well, doing 9 damage. However the Giant swung wildly, only hitting once, meaning they needed a 7 twice to break the Trolls... whilst the first roll was good the second was a 3, giving the Trolls a chance to counter-charge.
The Trolls withstand the orcs' cavalry charge

Turn 4 Goblins
Something is about to go well for the goblins...
The goblins had survived the initial orc charge, and hit back. In the middle the Rabble slid over to counter-charge the Ax horde, and were joined by the hindered Mincer. However together they were only able to do 4 damage to the tougher greenskins.

The Giant (Squig) put 3 more damage on the Orclings, but again they held firm. The Fleabag Sniffs shot past the Giant before it charged, perhaps hoping to flank the Orclings.

Both Mawbeast packs attempted to charge the remaining unengaged Ax, but one of the units misheard the order and held the high ground.

The Spitters reformed to get a better target, as the Rock Thrower missed the remaining Skulks.

On the right the Mincer hit the Gore Riders in the flank and managed to get 20 attacks. The Mincer hit accurately and proved more than enough to pulp and sift both the orcs and their mounts. The Trolls also managed to finish off the wavered unit.

The Trolls counter-charged the Giant. Whilst they could only do 5 more points of damage, they clearly hit a soft-spot as the Giant keeled over on a roll of 10 and 11, giving the goblins a comfortable win on the right flank.
The right flank scores an easy win

Turn 5 Orcs
The orcs aren't out of it yet
With plan B being failing, the orcs needed to hold the centre. They began with one Ax horde annihilating the Mawbeast pack, before falling back into the woods. The Godspeakers stopped healing the orcs briefly to eradicate the War Trombone in the woods.

The Orclings decided that fighting the Giant (Squig) was boring, and hit the Fleabags in the rear, scattering them and reforming to face their larger opponent.

The Skulks hit the Rabble in the flank, adding their attacks to the Ax horde. Together they managed to bring the goblins up to 14 damage, not enough to break a legion.

The mounted Flagger decided to ply his trade elsewhere, and headed to support the Ax horde.
The orc infantry grinds down the goblins

Turn 5 Goblins
Orclings are good eatin'
The Rabble and Mincer continued their attempts to destroy the Ax horde. However, they only did another 4 damage to the orcs combined, bringing them to 8 in total. Not enough to break them.

The Spitters, Wiz, War Trombone, and Rock Thrower hit the unengaged horde but couldn't break them.

On the right the Mawbeasts who'd refused to charge the Ax horde clearly decided that the Orclings were tastier. They joined the Giant (Squig) in finishing off the diminutive orcs and turned to face their larger cousins.

The Trolls and Mincer rushed toward the centre to help out against the valuable orc infantry.
The goblins control most of the table.

Turn 6 Orcs
The orcs circle the wagon as the legion falls
The orcs now found themselves surrounded in the middle of the table. The left Ax horde decided to stay put, as the Godspeakers healed the damage done by the goblin shooting and most of that done by the legion. The Morax also turned to protect against the Trolls.

The Flagger, deciding that his flag was unnecessary charged the slowly regenerating Trolls (who were at 7 wounds), but couldn't damage them.

The Skulks and Ax horde continued to slaughter the goblin Rabble, finally breaking the legion and reforming to face the incoming Trolls.
The orcs heal up for the next wave

Turn 6 Goblins
The goblins close in
The goblins had one or two turns to break the orc infantry to claim victory. The Mawbeast and Giant (Squig) began by doing 6 damage to the Ax horde, as the Mincer did another 1 to the Ax horde.

The War Trombone couldn't see anything, so it advanced into the forest. Meanwhile the Spitters failed to break one of the Godspeakers and the Rock Thrower missed the Skulk troop.

The Trolls slowed down to kill the Flagger, but advanced enough to charge the Ax next turn. The other Trolls decided not to risk a hit from the Morax so slowed down to stay out of range

Turn 7 Orcs
The orcs repel the goblin attacks
The Godspeakers again healed most of the damage done to the Ax hordes. The rejuvenated orcs also cut down both the Mincer and the last of the Mawbeasts, and again fell back to protect the centre.

The Skulks, clearly exhausted from 7 turns of combat, failed to damage the War Trombone.
The Ax get revenge for the Orclings

Turn 7 Goblins
The Trolls finally hit the orc infantry, but will they break them?

The goblins had one last attempt to break the orc Ax hordes. However, the Giant didn't have enough attacks to concern the Ax, and the combined hit from the hindered Trolls and Mincer was insufficient to break the healed horde.

The Rock Thrower also tried to break the Morax. Despite hitting, it could only do 3 damage which was not enough to break a regiment of the elite orcs.
The orc fort holds to the last...
In the end the orc fort held, giving them the centre point with neither side claiming any bounty.

There were quite a few breaks and distractions during this game and we lost track of turns, and rolled for a turn '7', and got it (oops). Thankfully the only exchange was the mincer for the Skulks.

After-battle thoughts
That was a really fun game which we both enjoyed immensely. Tallying up the victory points, I had 1165 points to Jono's 1130, giving us no modifier. Jono played against Niel's shooty Varangur the game prior to this and didn't have a great time, so it was really good to see him enjoy the game.

Despite it being a tournament game, playing a friend made it feel more like a casual game. Whilst that probably contributed to losing track of the turns, it more than made up for it with the experience.

As for my performance. I felt fairly comfortable throughout the game, only getting nervous when the Troll hunters failed so spectacularly. It wasn't the best of wins or performances but my plan to take and hold the middle worked in the end.

The Godspeakers proved invaluable in healing my hordes. This game showed how hard it is to break down well supported nerve 24, De5+ Ax hordes, especially when they're regaining 6 wounds every turn.

The failure of the Gore Riders and Giant wasn't ideal, but that was always a backup plan so wasn't the end of the world. I probably should have waited another turn before cresting the hill, but nevermind.

Unfortunately the Morax didn't get into combat, and I'm beginning to think that the Brew is wasted on them. I think that I should take it and the inspiring Godspeaker out for Blood of the Old King and a second Flagger.

The win meant that I would be finishing against Niel's Varangur. This was great since I was itching to play it one last time before Niel retired it.

As always thank you for reading, and feedback is always welcome.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Battle Report 7: Orcs vs Forces of Nature 03/06/2017

Can the orcs get a win against a second Forces of Nature army?

Hello everyone, and welcome to the second battle report from  Runefang IX earlier this month.

Having drawn against Pete Williamson's FoN in my first game I was drawn against Carson's very different FoN list.

I've faced Carson twice before, having lost my first game, but then winning the rematch comfortably. However he had changed his list since then and his new list looks far stronger.


Ax horde 205
   - Godspeaker, banechant, heal 100
  - Skulks, 75
  - Giant 190

Ax horde 205
  - Godspeaker, banechant, heal 100
  - Skulks, 75
  - Wardrum 80

Morax regiment, brew of sharpness 245
  - Godspeaker, heal, inspiring talisman 105

Gore Rider regiment, mace of crushing 190
  - Flagger, gore mount 65

Gore Rider regiment 185
*Orcling horde 90
*Orcling horde 90

Forces of Nature

Earth Elemental Horde, Blade of Slashing 205
  - Greater Earth Elemental 160
  - Centaur Chief 105

Fire Elemental Horde – Blood of the Old King 215
  - Greater Fire Elemental 160
  - Druid, Surge 105

Forest Shambler Horde – Healing Brew 195
   - Centaur Bray Strider Troop 100
   - Centaur Bray Strider Troop 100
   - Winged Unicorn, Lightning Bolt 190

Naiad Wyrmrider Horde, Brew of Haste 265
  - Beast of Nature, Wings, Vicious 210

Terrain and Mission
This time we were going to play Ransack, and rolled up 5 tokens in total, with Carson placing first. I rolled well for my token values - getting a 3 and a 2, whereas he got 2 2s and a 1.

I placed my tokens on the left, hoping to use the open space to avoid hindered charges (as with the previous game), and to use the obstacles to cover my flank. Carson placed his tokens in a more dispersed fashion, which would benefit his fliers.

As I mentioned above I placed the bulk of my army on the left to claim the three tokens there. With Carson having no shooting and only a couple of mid-strength fliers I elected to deploy my Morax between the two Ax hordes covered by a unit of Skulks. The Giant was deployed to protect the flanks and to exploit the two obstacles.

Carson deployed all of his Elementals as well as the Forest Shamblers facing my infantry. All of his fast units were deployed on the right, offering a potentially powerful flank charge, as well as claiming the two tokens on the right.

In response to Carson's deployment I placed my Gore Riders on the far right. This would threaten his flank should he turn inward, and also hopefully hold up his Wyrmriders and Fliers for a few turns.

After vanguarding we rolled and Carson elected to go first.
Turn 1 Forces of Nature
The forces of nature begin to move up
The Forces of Nature began their advance, with the Elementals shambling up to join the Shamblers. The Druid gave the Greater Fire Elemental an extra push, and surged him up 6". The Centaur Chief moved behind the slow moving Forest Shamblers.

On the right the cavalry slowed down to match the movement of the Elementals. Both of the fliers turned toward the Gore Riders and the Winged Unicorn attempted to hit them with lightning, it totally missed however.
The Elementals begin their advance

Turn 1 Orcs

The orc chaff moved up to tempt the elementals into charging, as the orclings also turned to aid the Giant in covering the flank. The Morax moved up to the forest but didn't enter, relying on the Skulks to bait a juicy target in.

The Gore Riders repositioned to take cover behind the hill and threaten the FoN's cavalry. The Skulks fired at the Greater Fire Elemental but couldn't cause any damage.
The orc chaff face down the wall of Elementals whilst the elites wait in hiding
 Turn 2 Forces of Nature
The Forces of Nature hit the Orc chaff
The orc chaff was all within range of the FoN army. The Forest Shamblers destroyed on unit of Skulks, whilst the Earth Elementals and Greater Fire Elemental entered the forest to kill the orcs within. After destroying the archers the Greater Fire Elemental continued rushing forward, whilst the more patient Earth Elementals repositioned.

The Centaurs provided cover for the elementals, with one Bray Strider troop holding up an Ax horde, whilst the Chief charged into the Orclings.

On the right the Wyrmriders' brew of speed allowed them to join the Beast of Nature in shocking one of the Gore Rider regiments, easily slaughtering the orcs.

Turn 2 Orcs
The remaining Gore Riders do well
The early engagement on the right meant that the orcs had to break through quickly and so the orcs hit back across the board.

The Morax Charging the GFE, as the Morax moved in to stop a combined counter-charge from both Elemental units. However their sacrifice was in vain. Despite being bane chanted and doing 11 points of damage the Morax failed to take the monster down, leaving them in a precarious position.

Thankfully the Ax horde destroyed the Bray Striders so could protect the Moraxs' flank. The Orcling horde also put six damage on the Centaur Chief.

On the right the Gore Riders were joined by the Flagger and did really well to waver the Naiad Wyrmriders, buying the orc infantry another turn.

Turn 3 Forces of Nature
The Morax are burnt to a crisp
The Earth Elementals easily destroyed the offered Wardrum. The helped the fire elementals to punish the Morax for failing to break the Greater Fire Elemental.

The Greater Earth Elemental also charged into the right Ax horde, holding them down as the Greater Fire Elemental advanced toward their flank.

On the right the fliers zapped the Gore Riders for 3 points. On the left the Centaur Chief continued to fight a horde of Orclings, doing another 2 damage to them, and the Forest Shamblers did 3 damage to the Ax horde.

Turn 3 Orcs
The Giant moves in to flank the Greater Earth Elemental

The Greater Fire Elemental had a wealth of options and had to be brought down by the Godspeakers, even if they had to forgo any bane chanting.

The orcs did well regardless. The Orclings managed to push the Centaur Chief up to 13 damage... however they rolled snake eyes! This became more painful as the Ax horde did enough to make the Forest Shamblers fail their first nerve test (on an 8), but passed their next one (on a 5).

The Gore Riders attempted to break the Wyrmriders, however this time they couldn't even waver them.

Without banechant the Ax horde had no chance of breaking the Greater Earth Elemental, however the Giant moved around to flank it next turn.
Turn 4 Forces of Nature
The Centaur Chief's refusal to die scares the orclings
The forces of nature fully engaged. The Lesser Earth Elementals joining the Forest Shamblers to do another 10 damage to the Ax horde, however they couldn't quite break them yet. The Fire Elementals joined the Greater Earth Elemental, pushing that Ax horde up to 12 damage but again not breaking them.

The Centaur Chief's refusal to die paid off as he did 3 more damage and wavered the cowardly orclings.

On the right the cavalry crushed the Gore Riders and turned back toward the main battle.

Turn 4 Orcs
The Elemental wall begins to crumble
The orcs continued to push against the Elementals. The Ax horde finished off the Forest Shamblers, as the Giant and Ax horde cracked the Greater Earth Elemental.

The unwavered Orcling horde engaged the Earth Elementals in the flank and, despite being hindered (needing 6's and 6's), still did 4 damage to them!

The Flagger made one last attempt to chase off the Wyrmriders but failed to hit.
The Godspeakers form a conga line
 Turn 5 Forces of Nature
The Earth Elementals crack the Ax horde
With the Gore Riders dead the Beast of Nature was free to land behind the orcs' lines. The Wyrmriders however stayed behind to cut down the irritating Flagger.

The remaining Earth Elementals finished off the Ax horde on the left and turned to face the determined Orclings.

However neither the Centaur Chief nor the Fire Elementals could finish their fights.
The fliers are freed to join the fight
Turn 5 Orcs
The Godspeakers move to protect the Ax horde
The arrival of the Beast of Nature meant that the orcs were in trouble. Thankfully the Centaur Chief finally died, and the orclings could claim the token just infront of them.

The Giant's aid allowed the Ax horde to destroy the Fire Elementals, and the Ax elected turned to face the Beast of Nature, as the Giant turned to Face the Centaur Bray Striders.

The Orclings withdraw to prevent the Beast of Nature from landing and contesting the 3 value token. The Godspeakers also moved between them and the Earth Elementals, blocking a double charge (I realised after I'd passed the turn that I screwed up here, placing one 5" from the Orclings but the other 4" away, giving a potential chain of advances).

The elementals were finally crumbling and the orcs controlled most of the tokens, but with the arrival of the Beast of Nature, it was far from over.

Turn 6 Forces of Nature
The cavalry closes in
The FoN needed to claim the 3 token from the orcs. The Beast of Nature ignored the Ax horde and hit the Orclings as the Earth Elementals attempted to push through the Godspeakers.

The Godspeaker held against the slow moving, fossilised trees, however the Beast of Nature was albe to do enough, managing to break the Orclings with a flank charge, and contesting the token!

The Wyrmriders also moved into range to claim the 2-value token as the Centaur Bray Striders moved to block the Giant.
The Beast of Nature arrives to save the day

Turn 6 Orcs
The remaining orcs are surrounded (and sliding down the obstacle)

With the contested token, the FoN were now winning 3 - 2 and, with the Centaurs blocking the Giant, the only option the orcs had was for the Godspeakers to break the Beast of Nature (highly unlikely) or for the Ax horde to survive a potential turn 7 and destroy the Beast of Nature

As it was the Godspeakers managed an above-average 5 damage but it wasn't enough to break the Beast of Nature.

There wasn't to be a turn 7, giving the Forces of Nature a close victory!
The Ax horde hope for a turn 7

After-battle thoughts

That was close, and thank you to Carson for a great game, tallying up the points gave him a solid 14 - 2 victory. It's also nice to play such a beautifully painted army and terrain (Carson deservedly won the best army award), and a pity that I don't have more photos of it, I'll have to try better next time :)

The De5 and 6 wall is really hard to break down even especially with the small footprint. I had thought that with bane chant I could crack the Earth Elementals far more easily. Perhaps the Trolls would have helped here, but there you go.

Overall though I think that I played okay, even if I obviously made a couple of mistakes.

The most obvious error was leaving the Gore Riders in range of the Wyrmriders. I can't remember if I forgot to measure or just forgot about the brew, but either way it was a rookie mistake. Getting the waver did somewhat make up for it, but I really needed that flank held up another turn or two.

I think charging the Wardrum into the Elementals was also a blunder. I thought that even hindered the Morax would break the GFE, and should have survived the Lesser Fire Elementals before breaking them and being healed by the Godspeakers. However that was a bit of a gamble that didn't pay off.

Obviously the snake eyes on the Centaur Chief was a pain, especially since it kept the Shamblers in the game. I wonder what would have happened if that had gone differently. Nevermind though!
Regarding the list, I think having an inspiring Godspeaker isn't working, and dropping the Brew of Sharpness for a Flagger may be the way to go, but that's a minor change.

Losing this game put me second last and meant that I would be playing Jono's Goblins (borrowed from Pete).  

As a funny aside, straight after this tournament I left for Fiji, leaving my minis but bringing everything else. I placed my chess clock in the checked in luggage but was able to get through security with everything else on the way there.

On the way back Fijian security confiscated my (plastic coated) tape measure and wouldn't provide a reason beyond it being 'dangerous'. This got weirder when I realised that I had another, identical tape measure in my carry on luggage. 

Maybe tape measures are expensive in Fiji...