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...

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