Monday, 30 March 2015

Pass, the Ogres on the Left Hand Side: Ogre Kingdoms vs Warriors of Chaos

A Scheduling Oversight!

It's All-Skype Fight Night!

After a number of failed attempts over the last fortnight, and a memory failure on my part, Kraken and I (Kas) broke out the dice and battleboard for another EndTimes-esque battle. In a break from tradition, I will be writing in normal font, and will leave Kraken to be bold.

I certainly am Bold. It's the real-life equivalent of Stubborn. Which I also am.

This time we would be playing non-Legion lists (Ogres vs Warriors) but would be trying the (now standard) composition rules from Archaon book. 

This is a format I had experienced before. Many years ago Leofa and I had played a game of this format; affectionately referred to as "Billie"... Why you may ask? "Because we want to!" (click only for nostalgia)

In our efforts to tweak and find a magic phase we all liked, we tried the following update:

End times magic
  without random roles for winds
  without multiple castings from same wizard
  with second casting from second wizard with same spell
  all spells can be dispelled
  power: sum(3d6)
  dispel: max(3d6) + min(3d6)
...I am not sure if better to start with 8th as explanation...

8th ed magic
  with all spells known and loremasters get to reroll casting attempts
  with access to ET spells
  with no max dice in pool
  with no broken concentration
  power: sum(3d6)
  dispel: max(3d6) + min(3d6)

Hmm... no better. Once settled, will come up with a name the system. Queen maybe??

Why would that be? oh no, wait, I get it.

The scenario

We opted for something different to a normal scrap and went for Battle of the Pass. Which turns out was a normal scrap but fought the long way round on the board.

For this the long sides of the board were sheer cliff, and I thought this was the best time to set the table up with the large moulded hill in the middle. In the flatlands stood a farmstead, and some woods, and on the hill an arcane ruin and another wood.

We dutifully deployed 12" in and looked at the mass of open ground between us, before Kraken pointed out I could be 24" in. The ogres did not need to think twice about being 12" closer to their lunch.

I lost part of my lunch, but stayed put. 


Warriors of Chaos

[Army Photos will be late from me due to technical difficulties]

Surfeo, a Chaos Lord - Mark of Tzeentch, Scaled Skin, Third Eye of Tzeentch, Soul Feeder, Hellfire Sword, Talisman of Endurance, Disc of Tzeentch
Bodachious, a Chaos Sorceror - Lvl 2 Lore of Shadow, dispel scroll, Gorebeast Chariot, Ironcurse Icon
Narl Edoude, a BSB - Helm of Discord, Talisman of Protection
5 Marauder Horsemen - Mark of Slaanesh, Shields, Spears, Throwing Axes
1 Chimera - Regenerating Flesh
19 Chosen - Mark of Nurgle, Full Command, Warbanner, Halberds, Shields
5 Putrid Blightkings - Full Command, Banner of Swiftness

In a way, you almost can't tell I've gone Billie too. It's a relatively standard list, other than the Warrior block is upgraded to Chosen. Having painted them, I wanted the Blightkings to have another crack at a fight, I've decided I like Chimeras and the rest are fairly vanilla WoC choices. 

Apart from the sorceror on a Gorebeast. That's just the silly talking. 

Ogre Kingdoms

I opted that my next game would be Ogres as they had not had any love from me since the ET started, but that decision was made before knowing we were playing Billie. Once I knew that: I was tempted for a second to run just the four greater daemons for my 2k points; but I was going to remain strong and be true to the belly, so Ogres it was.

I did not want to go crazy with composition and decided on a reasonably balanced force; but I was going to eschew core.

With the Billie list, I really exploited the rules and instead of the 3 Rhinox units I was allowed: I took 4. Yes, unfortunately I went a bit more balanced. 2 blocks, 2 cannons, 4 Rhinox.

Bratezar, Slaughtermaster lvl4 Beasts, dispel scroll
Uuruk, Bruiser lvl 1 Maw hellheart
Osezar, Butcher flaming banner with lookout gnoblar and brace of pistols
4 maneaters, captain, bellower, heavy armour, brace of pistols (poisonous snipers)
5 leadbelchers musician
4 Thunderlords (Rhinox rider champions as separate units) heavy armour, iron fist, brace of pistols

Turn 1: Ogre Kingdoms

The rhinox stomp their feet impatiently; nothing is close enough for them to pounce. The pair to the south dig their heels in and march forward closing the gap to the engorged pussfilled warriors shambling by the building.

The other pair skit forward more gingerly; the belchers eye up their rhinox mounted brethren, and then look around. There must be something more than those five marauder horsemen that they are afraid of. Perhaps Nurgle is hiding a daemon prince in their numbers waiting to break free of human constraints once in combat. The snort lift cannons and daemon prince or not, leave a human and horse stained crater where they once stood.

The maneaters march forward, nothing in range of their guns anyway, and the cannons trundle forward.

The chaos lord on a disk looked formidable, and Bratezar lofted a giant aetheric amber spear, only for it to dissipate at the wave of another sorceror's hands. Bratezar through the movement curse on the chariot only for that too to be dispelled, and resorted to boosting his units toughness instead.

The first cannon targets the chimera for a shot that hits the beast square in the chest and barrelling straight through. (obviously no one cared about seeing this mighty beast fall). The other cannon tried to do the same and take out the chariot. Maybe it was the god of fate for using a proxy for this model, but he misfired; nothing damaged but noise caused the rhinox to lurch and the cannon was left staring the wrong way.

Turn 1: Warriors of Chaos

The Chimera wasn't much good anyway, Surfeo decided, and swept disdainfully south. Deny the enemy their north flank, let them ramble closer and then smash them with a countercharge. The walls and farmhouse would serve as cover against the rain of lead. 

Bodachious stood on the back of his chariot and summoned various spells. But the Ogres were ready for it, swatting hostile incantations down with scroll and skill. A ravening pit of shadowy power was set to open under the paired cannons, but the Winds of Magic blew it far off target. It swallowed some rabbits, far up on the rocky hill. 

Turn 2: Ogre Kingdoms

Just out of charge range the rhinox patter forward to make their next rampage more realistic.

On the northern flank the pair of ogre outriders march forward, swinging to come in through the back lines. The leadbelchers stuck on the rocky precipice take care walking down.

Bratezar tries again with his javelin, but the warriors whip out a gnarled parchment and again the javelin fizzles away. 

Most other offensive spells are dispelled or ineffectual, although the ancient Curse of Anraheir is invoked on the Tzeentchian Lord. But noticing the potential charge from that very hero, the BSB is embued with strength and toughness to levels beyond that of Nagash.

The maneaters can't hit anything, the rhinox can't hurt; the cannons on the other hand smash into the building, and from the screams five warriors are squashed in the falling rubble.

Turn 2: Warriors of Chaos

The rustic farmhouse was perhaps a little too rustic to hide from cannons inside. The Chosen carefully backed out again, leaving their dead behind. 

Beset by wailing spectres, Surfeo's Disc looped and circled distractedly. But there was no rush - the ogre cavalry was still distant, and he was well placed for his counter. He could afford to wait.

Bodachious once again saw the Winds fling his Pit of Shades away from his target, the Maneaters. And then they fell suddenly still, as though defying him to use them further. 

Turn 3: Ogre Kingdoms

The rhinox were always going to charge, but on checking, there was no stopping them anyway; it was only a short distance, both ogres yell their battle cry and patter forward nonchalantly.

One cannon lines up the chariot, the other the chaos lord. The maneaters aim for the warriors and the leadbelchers continue their slow approach.

The winds of magic were not with the bellies; and although a reasonable amount of power circling, Bratezar could not summon the power at the right time to even threaten a dispell. 

In shooting the poisonous maneaters aim for and manage to bring a shade of green to the BSB's face. 

The cannon targeting the lord gets jammed irrevocably and is now just another ogre with a pet rhinox. 

The other cannon aims straight and true at the chariot, and the cannon tears through the chariot and the sorceror mounted on it. As expected the chaos warriors are not worried by the destruction of their chariot.

Turn 3: Warriors of Chaos

Now was the time to strike! Surfeo signalled the rancid line of Blightkings in front of him. Heavily, they stomped forwards over the wall, slowly bending down to act as humanoid stiles for each other. Their sought-after impact was going to be a while in arriving. 

Surfeo cursed - with the Blightkings blocking him, he couldn't see any of the nearest foe. Although the cannon beyond might be reached, it was a long shot. And one that would enable any return fire to be done at much closer range. Seething, he moved to take cover to one side of his fat companions. 

The Chosen prepared to defend themselves to the North, wheeling in behind the farmhouse. And waited for the inevitable. 

Turn 4: Ogre Kingdoms


Both Rhinox riders, and the broken cannon all barrel into the blightkings.

The outriders, belchers and eaters all keep moving towards the warriors. The other cannon, with no targets backs up the hill.

Magic is unnoteworthy, and shooting scratches the warriors (now safe from cannons behind the building).

In combat the rhinox horns skewer one and badly scratch another, the blightkings mutated arms pull great weapons from their arsenal and yell a challenge which one of the rhinox answers. 

In the main battle a wound is done on both the blaster and thunderlord, and in the challenge the rhinox gores the blight champion. All told it's a substantial loss and the blightkings turn tail, their great bulk carrying a fair way. Frenzied as they were the thunderlords were chasing, and with his cannon broken (and spying the lord overlooking the situation) he elects to do the same. The three crash through the fence unhurt and catch the fleeing nurgle warriors.

On turning round to look to see if they had got out of sight of the lord: to their surprise, they had; the last they saw was the disk rising high into the skies up the sheer cliff face to freedom. 

Turn 4: Warriors of Chaos

Rejected by their Fickle Lord and wounded by war, the Chosen flung themselves headlong against the nearest foe, as though to dash themselves to pieces on its rocky rhinox hide. 

In this much, they were unsuccessful. Their leader, the hero Narl, screamed a challenge before flinging himself on the Rhinox's horn. Impaled and dead, he still impeded the beast from crushing his followers. And intimidated by the fury of the ranked warriors and their psychotic leader, the warbeast turned and fled! 

Turn 5: Ogre Kingdoms

Nothing can charge, nothing to see. 

The fleeing rhinox rallies and returns to the fray. Everything else encircles the remaining warriors.

The fighting thunderlord is empowered by magic of the belly and the beast and stands imposing over the warriors; who too get cursed.

More warriors fall, but with that strange magic banner and their superior numbers they are prepared to keep fighting. The ogre is too.

Turn 5: Warriors of Chaos

The battle continues, but to no avail. The armoured hide of the Rhinox is all but impervious to the halberds of the Chosen, who are hacked down in dribs and drabs. Weak of resolve like all evil men, they turn and run rather than face the monster down, and at least prove they can run better than they fight.

Turn 6: Ogre Kingdoms

They weren't supposed to run, now I can't charge. 

Everything turns ready to shoot, and the wizards run out of their units in the hope of a last few spells.

A few more are whittled by pistol shots, nothing much happens from magic and an epic fail from the cannon leaves a resilient 4 warriors remaining (Kraken: we thought five, but forgot the standard would fall when routing).

Turn 6: Warriors of Chaos

Pulling up short, the Chosen look round. An ogreous ring is closing on their final position, and perhaps seeing the wreckage that was once the Putrid Blightkings is enough to shame them into making a final stand. 

On which desperate plight, the curtain slowly lowers. 


20:0 to the Ogre Kingdoms (or 2113 vs 0 in old money)

Locker Room Chat

I did not expect that to be as one sided as it ended up being. The fleeing lord was unlucky though and the Warriors army, in general, suffered from being forced to challenge: so a single model taking on the many s5 (or 6 when wyssan'd) attacks from a thunderlord did not go well any of the three times it happened.

I think I should have been a lot more extreme in my army selection! More flyers, more monsters, fewer foot soldiers. A bit more panache would have helped generally, actually - rather than cowering in a corner, romping out to meet the foe might have cheered my morale as a general, if not really changed the final result any. 

The magic system worked well I think; slightly less power, and a decent balance on dispel. The 3d6 had been suggested by Leofa as a way bring in line, and I think the curve on the maths for min+max works well on the dispel pool.

Yeah, I'd second that. It feels balanced and friendly, and I enjoy the range of spells now that you don't see all of them every turn. 

I don't think the maneaters were worth their money.

I dunno, I think they were a better buy than the Chosen. Not that they're a bad choice particularly, just not a good one against Cannons and Ogres in the same sitting. Neither of us really used those units to good effect, though - either would probably have taken the other out on the charge, so neither of us risked getting close enough for that to happen.

On the other hand, I still like Putrid Blightkings. I can't think of many other units that size that wouldn't just get totally wiped out by a charge like they took (by which I mean they weren't all dead after impact hits, obviously they got flattened in resolution when the Rhinox armour save proved too tough to beat!). But if I'd remembered their Banner of Swiftness, the charge in turn 3 would have made it! Taking the giant rhinos on one by one would have been a lot easier. 

I think I benefited from not having to deal with shooting back, and dealing with one of the flyers early definitely helped my chances.

Yeah, I kind of saw the writing not long after that. I probably should have gone hell for leather with the Lord and trusted in his armour and ward saves to get him in, as he'd have made a mess of anything he reached. But again, the failed Blightking charge left him stranded at the wrong moment. 

It's also the second time I've had a Hellfire Sword Lord bugger off before he did anything. Which probably makes up for the fact that I forgot to roll for his cursed wound loss at any point in the game. Still, fun stuff all the same, and good practice for the imminent Woffboot...

PS - anyone wondering what the relevance of the opening picture was? Wonder no more! It's an oil painting called 'The Valley of the Ogre' by someone called Ernesto Allason. Thank you, Google, for being a good search engine. 

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