Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Belly Good Show: Ogre Kingdoms vs Legions of Chaos

We've posted a lot of battle reports recently, but this has something new: both protagonists in the same room. Not to mention the same country.

A mid-week sojourn to Kasfunatu Towers, and so we rounded up a few of his multitudinous armies to put together a 2400pt End Times battle.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Ogre Kingdoms and Legions of Chaos.


Ogre Kingdoms

What my army lacked in imagination, it also lacked in originality: a big mass of Ironguts, stuffed with characters. The magical equipment was mostly aimed at keeping them alive, relying on their own stats and great weapons to do the damage. I also took the Rampager's Standard, because I figured getting off the charge might be important to these guys.

On top of that: a couple of units of Leadbelchers (who always seem very handy), a small unit of Mournfang, (because I have Monstrous Cav envy), a lovely Ironblaster; and a couple of Sabretusks, continuing my ongoing quest to understand how to chaff and redirect properly.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Ogre Kingdoms and Legions of Chaos.
One very big basket, and a whole lot of eggs.

  • Tyrant: Great Weapon, Heavy Armour. Trickster's Helm. Talisman of Protection.
  • Slaughtermaster: Lv4 Heavens, Dispel Scroll. Talisman of Preservation
    • Iceshard Blizzard, Harmonic Convergence, Curse of the Midnight Wind, Chain Lightning
  • Battle Standard Bearer: Heavy Armour, Ironfist. Rampager's Standard
  • Butcher: Lv 1 Great Maw, Ironfist. Hellheart.
    • Trollguts
  • 12 x Ironguts: Great Weapons. Heavy Armour. Full Command. Lookout Gnoblar. Dragonhide Banner.
  • 4 x Leadbelchers: Light Armour. Leadbelcher gun. Musician.
  • 4 x Leadbelchers: Light Armour. Leadbelcher gun. Musician.
  • 3 x Mournfang Cavalry: Heavy Armour. Ironfist. Champion, Musician.
  • 1 x Sabretusk
  • 1 x Sabretusk
  • 1 x Ironblaster
It's a little more of a power list than I'm used to taking, but I knew Kas would be playing the new Legions of Chaos rules, and is not adverse to a bit of power build himself. Also, the last time I beat Kasfunatu was April 2012 (four losses, two draws in the interim), so I had my eyes on the prize.

Legions of Chaos

I think I recognise Kasfunatu's turbo-charged Nurgle Warrior horde from a previous battle. But that clearly wasn't enough bloated pestilence, so he threw in a Maggoth Lord too.

Add to that a Lv 4 Tzeench Sorcerer Lord on a Disc and I was facing a total of 10 magic levels! Kas was clearly keen on magical dominance.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Ogre Kingdoms and Legions of Chaos.
They're so chaotic, they don't even have the same colour primer.

  • Bloab Rotspawned - Chaos Armour, Great Weapon, Lv 3 Nurgle
  • Sorcerer Lord - Lv4 Metal, Chaos Armour, Mark of Tzeench, Talisman of Preservation, Third Eye of Tzeench, Scaled Skin, Disc of Tzeench.
  • Epidemius
  • Festus the Leechlord - Pestilent Posions, Lv 2 Nurgle
  • Bray Shaman - Lv 1 Beasts, Stone of Spite, Dispel Scroll
  • 24 x Chaos Warriors - Mark of Nurgle, Chaos Armour, Shields, Halberds, Full Command
  • 9 x Chaos Warhounds
  • 1 x Beast of Nurgle
  • 1 x Beast of Nurgle
  • 3 x Skullcrushers of Khorne - Chaos Armour, Shields, Lances, Full Command
  • 1 x Skull Cannon of Khorne - Scythes, Skull Cannon


A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Ogre Kingdoms and Legions of Chaos.

When you're Ogres, why be subtle? I had more drops than Kasfunatu, but I didn't try anything tricksy - I wanted my Gutstar in the centre, ready to steam down the middle of the field, so they were the first thing down.

On the flanks, I did give it some more thought: rather than going like-for-like on Monstrous Cavalry, I placed my Mournfang against his Warhounds on the left; and Sabretusks against his Skullcrushers on the right. Each was supported by a unit of Leadbelchers, and the Ironblaster faced the Skullcannon, in a good position to start an artillery duel.

If I could keep the flanks clear of his support units, and smash into the Warrior horde before magic and monsters took their toll, I reckoned I was in with a chance.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Ogre Kingdoms and Legions of Chaos.
You'll notice there are no swamps. I'd forgotten you could have a Warhammer battle without them.

Legions of Chaos - Turn 1

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Ogre Kingdoms and Legions of Chaos.

The mighty Legions of Chaos get the first turn and launch themselves forward ... cautiously.

The Warhounds and Skullcrushers move up the flanks, but the main body of troops seems keen to stay out of the Gutstar's charge range.

The magic phase begins with no special daemon effects. The Tzeentch Sorcerer lobs Final Transformation at my Ironguts and, not wanted to take any chances, I burn my Dispel Scroll to stop it. A little early in the game perhaps (eep!), but at least it leaves me enough dispel dice to shut down the rest of the phase.

In the shooting phase, the Skullcannon blasts off a shot at Sabretusk 1 (in the centre), but only rolls a 1 to wound. Bad luck.

(Gee, I hope that won't prove to be ... significant)

Ogre Kingdoms - Turn 1

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Ogre Kingdoms and Legions of Chaos.

And they're off! The Ironguts march straight ahead, making a likely charge for them and a trickier one for the Warriors. The Mournfang move up to get into charging distance of the warhounds, with eyes on the flank of the Chaos horde.

The two Leadbelcher units just angle themselves for position. The Ironblaster swings around to line up both the Skullcannon and Bloab Rotspawned for a shot (I was feeling ambitious).

Sabretusk 1 moves ahead of Gutstar, getting in the path of the big beasts. Sabretusk 2 moves up to get into the grill of the Skullcrushers - they now can't charge past him, and if they hit him (and likely tread on him), their frenzy will force them to overrun into empty space.

In magic I roll a whopping 12 dice - and then finally channel a dice (which I, of course, cannot add to my pile). Despite the power in my hands, I fail to cast Trollguts, then my Chain Lightning on Bloab is dispel scrolled, which leaves Kasfunatu enough dispel dice to shut down the rest of the phase (I think I tried Harmonic Convergence).

In the shooting phase, Leadbelchers 1 fail to get anything on the Warriors, Leadbelchers 2 managed to get two wounds off the Skullcrushers, falling sadly short of that final one to remove a model (they're immune to panic, but one fewer would have been nice).

The Ironblaster falls short of its double-target, but hits and wounds the Maggoth - then a roll a 1 on the D6 for wounds and the creature is still left with 7.

No combat, so that's my turn over - the ball is now in the Garden of Nurgle.

Legions of Chaos - Turn 2

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Ogre Kingdoms and Legions of Chaos.

Second turn, and everyone starts picking on the pussycats. The Skullcrushers charge Sabretusk 2 (I can't remember if they failed frenzy, or just wanted to get rid of it).

Meanwhile Bloab Rotspawned charges Sabretusk 1. I'm having none of that, so I flee a very long way, through the Ironguts (who do not panic) leaving Kas a very long roll to redirect into my Gutstar ... and he makes it (I think I was happier about this than Kas was).

Beast of Nurgle 2 also joins in the charge, just so Bloab isn't completely hung out to dry, and that's it for charges.

The Sorcerer Lord scoots around the flank of the Mournfang, ready to cast something nasty, and the Warhounds move up to block them. The Warriors stay put, the Skullcannon repositions and the Beast of Nurgle 1 moves up alongside them.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Ogre Kingdoms and Legions of Chaos.
Ah the ever-expendable Sabretusks, like wingless Great Eagles. 

In magic, the daemonic effects kick in: I lose one Leadbelcher and take a wound off the Ironblaster.

Bloab Rotspawned tries to cast a boosted Plague Wind down the ranks of the Ironguts and fails (boosted was probably a waste, as the regular one would have hit almost as many, and would have been cast). I dispel his Shaman's attempt at Wyssans and I don't remember taking any more hits (although the picture show that I'm down an Irongut, so maybe something else got through).

The Skullcannon shoots the Ironblaster, knocking off a further three wounds.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Ogre Kingdoms and Legions of Chaos.

In combat, the Skullcrushers do enough wounds to kill the Sabretusk (only just! I almost survived!) but their frenzy means they have to overrun anyway and they place themselves between my Leadbelchers and Ironblaster.

Bloab challenges the Tyrant, putting one wound on him and getting three back in return. The Beast of Nurgle targets the BSB (who had 'Made Way' to the front rank, pushing the Butcher to the back - I'm not sure if that's the correct application of the rule). Either way, I should have just let the Butcher take the punishment, as my poor BSB gets struck for two wounds. In reply, the Beast gets squished by the mass of Irongut attacks.

I win the combat by a shedload, and Bloab needs Insane Courage to stick - unfortunately Kas rolls 1,2 and flees. The Ironguts gladly pursue, run down the Maggoth Lord and crash straight into the Chaos Warriors.

Ogre Kingdoms - Turn 2

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Ogre Kingdoms and Legions of Chaos.

All kicking off, and it's only Turn 2. Ogres don't hang about, do they?

To begin with, the Warhounds are charge-blocking my Mournfang - so I oblige them by charging. They flee and are run down as my Mounfang daintily skip over the intervening wall with no casualties.

Having overrun into a tempting spot, the Skullcrushers are charged in the front by Leadbelchers 2 and the Ironblaster on the flank.

I then notice that the Disc Sorcerer had scooted into the charge arc of my other Leadbelchers and declared a charge with them. As he was functionally unkillable, Kas decided to hold.

(now I look at the image, maybe the Leadbelchers should have got in a flank charge - in a sneaky Tzeenchian trick, the sorcerer was mounted on a round base, making it hard to gauge its front arc)

I roll badly for magic: 6,1 and Kasfunatu also channels, so we have 7 apiece. I don't roll above average, which means everything I try (Trollguts, Harmonic Convergence - basically stuff to help me in the centre combat) gets neutralised.

Everything that can shoot is now in combat, so away we go!

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Ogre Kingdoms and Legions of Chaos.
Here comes the Bull Dozer.

The Sorcerer Lord only puts 1 wound on the Leadbelchers. They get nothing in return, but still have the charge bonus and do draw the combat (but maybe should have had a flank? Damn you, round bases!). However, I had the prescience to provide the Leadbelchers with a musician, and that breaks the tie - the Sorcerer Lord fails his break test and scoots away on the Disc, escaping pursuit.

On the right flank, my missile troops aren't so fortunate. The Ironblaster manages six impact hits, but all of them fail against the armour of the Skullcrushers (I only needed one to take off a model!), while the Leadbelchers' impact hits don't even scratch the chaos armour. The Khornites go first, killing two Leadbelchers outright and taking only one wound in return.

I lose the combat badly and both units flee. Kasfunatu goes after the Leadbelchers, who represent slightly more points, but they get away.

(That was hopeless. In hindsight: I really should have just kept both units out of the Skullcrushers' charge arc and fired at them)

In the big combat, we begin with four Chaos Warriors are lost to impact hits (since the slimy armour hit modifiers don't count against impact hits).

The Chaos champion challenges and I accept with the BSB, hoping to keep him alive in there. The Champion goes first, does no wounds and gets killed.

In the regular melee, the Tyrant unwisely accepts Festus' offer of a pre-fight snifter and immediately loses three wounds. The rest of the Chaos Warrior attacks finish off his last wound.

(Maybe I should have put the Tyrant in the challenge - but I reckoned I may need the BSB's combat res more than the general's leadership).

Epidemius and the remaining Chaos Warriors kill two Ironguts outright, their poisoned attacks making a mockery of Ogre toughness. But they don't take a wound off the Slaughtermaster (his 4+ ward and immunity to poison seeing him through).

Meanwhile, the Ironguts smash and stomp six more Warriors (which was the best I could manage against that -1 to hit), so combat ends on ten wounds apiece. With a BSB still standing, and a charge, I win combat by two. The Chaos Warriors fail their break test and are run down by the Ogres.

A Warhammer Fantasy Battle Report between Ogre Kingdoms and Legions of Chaos.

At this point, Kasfunatu throws on the towel. The slimy, pustulating Nurgley towel.

Final Score: 19:1
(or 1,714 : 687 in old money)

Pruning the Garden of Nurgle

Two-and-a-half years and I finally beat Kasfunatu! Ogres rock! I rock! Everything rocks!

In truth, this was very close to going horribly wrong. My Gutstar may have bulldozed through to the deployment zone, but had the Chaos Warriors held for another round, it would be me taking the break tests (and with very little to back them up but a unit of distant Mournfang and some Leadbelchers).

It was the usual story with Nurgle Warriors: it's just so damn hard to land any hits on them. Without the auto-hits of the Bull Charge to support the combat, I would have lost in the first round. Combined with the poison hits that were bypassing my toughness, and the Ironguts were struggling to make headway.

Which leads me to my first, and most overwhelming, lesson of the battle: Kasfunatu needed a BSB.

Re-rolling break tests would have very likely held the Warriors in place, held the Sorcerer in place, it may have even held Bloab Rotspawned in place, which would have made for a very different outcome.

Given that the Legions of Chaos army were rocking something like 10 magic levels in total (with neither of us casting a spell worth remembering), I think an Exalted BSB (or Wargor, keeping it on the cheap) would have been a useful replacement.

Speaking of Bloab Rotspawned, the all-new Maggoth Lord didn't frighten me nearly as much as I'd thought (although maybe taking a Gutstar to the face isn't his optimum use - he certainly would have been hard to kill as a backline magic user).

Elsewhere, I think both our use of diverters worked on both flanks: the warhounds pulling the Mournfang away from the main conflict; and the lone Sabretusk doing the same with the Skullcrushers (although I then squandered that chance by not blasting away at them - Ogres clearly need to learn shooting and evasion from Wood Elves)

The other lone Sabretusk did even better: dragging the Maggoth Lord into the Gutstar, which led to the entire breaktrough. Lone Sabretusks are great for Ogre Kingdoms - I can see why they're so frowned-upon. ;-)

Gameplay query: I seem to remember Kasfunatu stating that, when the Sabretusk fled, he *didn't* want to redirect into the Gutstar and would have preferred to fail his charge. Surely you can just fail a charge, and not be forced to redirect?

Magic was a complete bust - I even forgot to use my Hellheart (although Kasfunatu forgot to use the item that would destroy my Hellheart, so we'll call it even).

What did surprise me about the army was how fragile my Tyrant proved to be. I suppose Festus's cocktail did a lot of damage, but I was expecting him to withstand a lot more pain (especially when I realised how much I might be relying on his Ld9 should the combat turn against me). In future, I think I'll definitely give the best ward save to the general, and leave the magic users (who at least have Bloodgruel to regain wounds) to fend for themselves.

All in all, a fun game. Short but brutal, and thanks to Kasfunatu for the lend of his army - I do enjoy Ogres.


  1. I'd second that on BSBs - Chaos are surprisingly pansy when it comes to running off.

    Hurrah for settling that grudge, though!

  2. Gameplay Query answer: You do not have to redirect a charge if your target flees. In fact you have to pass a leadership test in order to redirect at all.

    1. Cheers - in which case, I may have misremembered and Bloab was just too overconfident about his chances!

  3. Good report, very enjoyable. A fine gutsy performance, usually against DoC my wood elves dance around them til they get tired and go home.

    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

      Yeah, when I play Wood Elves, they try and float around like dandelion seeds. I guess Ogres and Chaos are more direct - like a couple of pachycephalosaurus headbutting each other.