Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Battle of Kraken Plains

Had a game today...

Cue blurry photo....

It was 2400, Ogres vs Skaven.

As I mentioned yesterday, I was not overly confident going into the game as I didn't have the toys to deal with the Bell, double A bomb, and was rather worried that I would get stuck in giant blocks of saves and ground out. Let's put it this way, the army I have at present is really only a flexible base for the army I would like to have. And the army I was imagining facing, was the army I would build.


My concern was not alleviated when I looked at the rather small number of figures I had, as I went for a fag leaving my opponent to rank up his massed hordes.

To be honest the army I ended up facing wasn't the army I was expecting - 2*30 clanrats, 30 Stormvermin, 30 slaves, 50 clanrats with the bell - some had weapons teams, some didn't, a warp lightening cannon and an abomb. I noticed his list included jezzails but they never appeared on the table, I decided against mentioned it. He had four characters, 2 mages, a BSB and a combat chap.

So basically he had 5 blocks to my 3.

The battlefield had two woods, kind of in the middle of the table, two hills, one in each deployment zone and a large ruined tower in the right hand side of my deployment. We didn't role for scenario.

I get to deploy first, so I set down 10 gnoblar trappers on the 12" line anchored on the right hand wood. He sets down the cannon on the hill. I set down some more gnoblar trappers next to the first. He sets down the slaves opposite the first trapper unit. I set down some more trappers, he gets bored with deployment sets up his whole army so that the Abomb is on his extreme right supported by a block of rats, and it is fairly obvious that the rest of the army is intending to advance between the two woods.

So I line up my sniping Maneaters in front of the Bell, my leadbelchers with the Firebelly on my extreme left opposite the Abomb, and deploy the bulls and Ironguts on the left in a refused flank.

And because we haven't gone through deployment correctly, and because neither off us can be bothered to work out who would have finished deploying first, we dice for it... I win.... you bet I'll go first.

Turn 1

I push my mobile minfields - sorry gnoblars - foward. Move the Maneaters forward a bit. Move the Leadbelchers foward a bit. And kind of jiggle the bulls and ironguts so that they threaten the block supporting the Abomb and offer a face to the block with the bell, while moving away from the rest of the army, whilst maintaining the protection of the wood to block LoS to the cannon.

I throw a fireball at the Abomb, it gets dispelled. I throw braingobbler at the block supporting it, it gets dispelled. He now has no dispel dice left to block my casting Flaming Sword on the Leadbelchers.

The leadbelchers then roll 17 shots, 12 of them hit, 10 of them wound, and the Abomb disappears. My opponent is not pleased. He says that he should have used his dispel scroll. I keep my counsel as to the wisdom of going through the deployment phase correctly. The Maneaters snipe at the Grey Seer, get a couple of wounds but the ward saves cancel them out.

His line rumbles foward, in the way I predicted. The main line pushes through the gap between the woods toward my mobile minefields - sorry gnoblars - the block that was supporting the Abomb flanks around the woods. In the magic phase he tries to cast a template spell from the Grey Seer onto the gnoblars, it would have hit 4 of them, if it kills two and forces a panic check my minefields might be a little too mobile for my liking - rerollable leadership 5 is not great, especially when the other two units will be testing without a reroll. I decide to take a risk. I have Hellheart and because no spells have as yet been cast, I ask him if it is OK to use. He says yes. I need a 4, roll a 1. Hellheart is 50 points wasted (BUT IT'S OVERPOWERED AND TOTALLY BROKEN... WAH!!!!). So he rolls for the spell, gets like an 11 on two dice. He still has a lot of dice left in the magic phase, and I really don't want this spell to go off. So I scroll it. He is surprised at this, I grin and bear during the comments about it only a rubbish sell and a waste of a scroll etc - and keep my mouth shut about why I don't want him to cast it. There's a bit more magic, he gives poison attacks to a unit I recall and I throw a lot of dice at another spell and stop it.

His cannon fires and misses, and the weapon team attached to the unit that was supporting the Abomb misfires, kills itself and a couple of the parent unit.

Turn 2

I roll for ambush and both Gorgers decide they are hungry and come onto the table. In the movement phase one of them runs towards the cannon and the other runs towards the increasingly isolated clanrats who were supporting the Abomb.

The gnoblars move into range for throwing things, the Maneaters redeploy slightly to keep them 13" from the Bell. The leadbelchers move to angle themselves on the flank of the isolated clanrats, and the bulls and ironguts do a little dance to bring one unit of Bulls and the Ironguts into a good charging position on the horde with the Bell, and the other unit of Bulls into a position threatening the isolated clanrats.

The magic phase is pretty much a non event. In the shooting the gnoblars chuck stuff at various targets, taking the odd figure off here and there. The leadbelchers open up on the isolated clanrats. After there pinpoint display of marksmanship against the Abomb, the law of averages kick in, and they manage to kill bugger all - in fact I think they may well have killed nothing. Oh and the Maneaters finally find a way past the Grey Seers ward save and inflict a wound.

The Skaven them charge the 3 units of gnoblars with the slaves, the stormvermin and the horde with the Bell. Buckets of dice get thrown and each unit loses maybe a few figures. The fight between the gnoblars and the slaves is real handbags stuff, with the gnoblars actually killing more, but losing on everything else. They flee, the slaves run after them and catch them. The Stormvermin simply wipe the gnoblars out. But crucially the gnoblars fighting the horde and the Bell manage to keep two of them alive, which then break and he pursues.

There was some magic and shooting in the Skaven turn but it didn't amount to much.

Oh the other thing of note is that the isolated clanrat unit on his right turns to face the onrushing Gorger - turning it's back on the Leadbelchers and the Bulls.

Turn 3

The pursuit by the Horde with Bell created a situation in which my cautious fiddling in the previous two turns has paid off, because I can now get the Bulls into the flank and the Ironguts in the front. And what's better is that when I roll for charges, both units are Bull Charging. One Gorger piles into the warp lightening cannon. The other restrains himself and performs a little street mime to entertain the isolated clanrats, while the leadbelchers reload behind them.

After reloading the Leadbelchers move closer to the rear of the isolated clanrats in order that the Firebelly can belch on them should it be required. The Maneaters do a little shuffling about to keep a decorous distance between themselves and the newly victorious Stormvermin.

Not much happens in the magic phase. I think I tried to get stubborn on the Bulls and may have thrown a fireball at the isolated clanrats. Not that it matters because in the shooting phase the Leadbelchers had readjusted their sights. At the time they fired there were 28 rats in the unit. When the smoke cleared, there were 16. The Firebelly then spat the magnamised (c) contents of his guts over them and killed 8 of them. 'Merde' they squeaked and legged it into the warrp lightening cannon and died.

And so to combat.

The Gorger left the Warp Lightening crew with a single wound.

The Bulls killed 7 from impact hits, the Iron Guts killed 6. They then leaned on their swords while the Skaven used their superior iniative to pound on the gut plates of the the Iron Guts to inflict 2 wounds. The Ogres then struck back and killed 15 more. They then stomped another 5 to death. To give a grand total of 33 killed, versus 2 wounds recieved. "WADOOMIO" cried the Ogre general, "unbreakable" spake the Skaven.

It was at this point that what may very well of been the critical moment of the battle occured. The Stormvermin declared a charge on the Maneaters. The Maneaters stood and fired, the Stormvermin failed the charge. I say critical because I have a big block of Ironguts locked in combat with an unbreakable unit, and they have to chop to bits the Bell if they are to free themselves from the combat. The last thing I need is for the Stormvermin to come in the flank, especially when he also has a unit of slaves and another lot of clanrats coming in as well.

In the magic phase the mage with slaves got Cracks Call off on the Maneaters irresis... iressis... and had to roll on the miscast table. He managed to kill one of them. But lost three magic levels in the process. The two remaining Maneaters held.

And so it was chop chop time. The Gorger ate the cannon crew. The Skaven in what remained of the horde, with the help of the bellringing Rat Ogre, managed to kill an Iron Gut. In return the Ogres killed off the remaining Skaven, and cursed the ward save on the Bell, as for all their chop chopping, and bash bashing, they managed to inflict but a single wound.

Turn 4 + 5

To cut a long story short. The Bell was finally destryed and the Ironguts reformed to face the danger on their flank. The Maneaters tried a bit more sniping, but without success. The gorgers and the as yet unengaged Bulls moved a bit, the Bulls swinging round to come into position on the Ironguts right flank. The Leadbelchers also moved.

The Stormvermin charged the Maneaters, beat them and forced them to flee off the board. They reformed to face the Ironguts.

At this point the ogre general was heard to mutter a most ungentlemanly expletive, as the situation was such that the Ironguts would have to charge the Stormvermin alone, the Bulls would have to charge the remaining clanrats with gorgers coming in on the flank. The Leadbelchers would have no targets, and the unused Bulls come do no more that move into a position to protect the Ironguts flank from the slaves.

I needn't have worried, as the Bulls and Gorgers virtually wiped out and ran down the clanrats. And the Ironguts made short work of the stormvermin, killing half of them in the process, at the cost of 2 wounds that took one of the Ironguts over the limit and onto the after battle bar-b-que - and running down the rest.

It was at this point that the Skaven player conceded.

I lost the Maneaters, 3 units of gnoblar trappers, and 2 Ironguts. He had remaining 20 something slaves and a mage who had forgotten everything he knew about magic.

As Bruce Forsyth would say, good game.

Yeah we played fast and loose with the rules a bit, but no matter.


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