I got down the club today, and cracked open the Ogres.
It's been a while since I have even thought about Warhammer so it was perhaps ideal that I was up against James and his Warriors of Chaos army. James is a nice bloke and, unlike many Warhammer players, is willing to discuss things in an adult manner so that we both got a batter idea of what was meant to happen - it helped too that Darren was there to lend a hand when situations arose that we were unsure of.
His army was slightly different to what I had envisaged, as he had only one large Marauder block - Korne with halberds - instead of the two that I thought he would run. He had two blocks of Marauder horsemen, one with axes, one with spears. A largish unit of Warriors. A small unit of dogs. A level 4 sorceror and a level 1 on a disc, both Tzeentch.
We rolled for deployment - meeting engagement. I won the roll off and deployed first.
This was perhaps the best scenrio for my army, as it offered the opportunity to get into combat quickly, thus overcoming the 'disadvantage' in the magical battle.
The initial deployment can be seen in the picture below.
After the deployments, I placed the scouting maneaters behind the warriors unit, intending to bring down the level 1 on the disc with pistol shots.
The Mournfangs declared a charge on the Marauder horsemen with axes. After some indecision as to what the marauders should do, James decided that they should stand and take the charge. His problem was that if the Marauders fled, there was a good chance either of their being caught, or fleeing off the table. Add to this that they were masking a unit of Chaos Knights, that he wished not to be charged.
This was the first time he had faced Ogres and was perhaps unaware of how fast the army can move.
In the movement phase I played things cautiously, shuffling the line to set up potential flank charges, and trying to set up a threat zone into which James would be reluctant to advance with his warriors.
In the magic phase the firebelly got Flame Cage off on the Marauders irresistibly. This caused a few casualties, but more importantly pinned the unit. The firebelly took a wound from the miscast.
In the shooting phase the Leadbelchers blasted away at the dogs without much effect. The Ironblaster was more successful. It took a shot at the sorceror in the woods, and though it missed him it took out eight or nine of them. The Maneaters manged a get a wound on the disc rider.
The combat bewteen the Marauders and the Mournfang went in favour of the Ogres. The Marauders were reduced to a single figure by the impact hits. The riders did their best to give them a sporting chance by whiffing their attacks, but the hungry mounts ate the remianing rider, leaving the unit to slam into the stationary Chaos Knights.
This a picture of the end of the Ogre turn 1
In the Chaos turn, the dogs charged the Leadbelchers. The Marauder cavalry, with spears, flanked around the house to threaten the flank of the bulls. The Marauders in the flame cage opted to stay put. The level 4 jumped form the woods to the safety fo the marauder block. While the level 1 flew over the Maneaters. And the Warriors moved up.
I managed to nullify the magic phase pretty much. The level 4 managed to get one spell off irresistibly, I don't recall that it did much more than kill a few of the chaps standing around the wizard due to the miscast.
The cavalry threw some spears at the bulls, and managed a wound.
Which led to the combat phase. The Leadbelchers killed the dogs. The Mournfangs killed three of Knights with impact hits before killing off the rest of the unit in the comabt at the cost of a single wound. The unit reformed for a flank charge at the Marauder block.
Going into turn 2 the table looked like this.
It was at this point that I made several mistakes.
The plan I had was that the Mournfangs should be used to take out the Marauders. I was pretty certain that they could do enough casualties to win the combat despite static res. However, perhaps because the level 4 had joined the unit, I decided to double up on the Marauders with the Maneaters and the Mournfangs. Thinking back I should have used a swift reform on the Maneaters to allow them to have another shot at killing the Level 1 on the disc with their pistols.
The other mistake I made was to put the Bulls into the house. The logic of this is something I can't quite explain. They would have been better employed facing off the Marauder cavalry as a meatshield. Perhaps I thought they would have a psychological effect on the Warriors who would sooner or later parade past the window as the Bulls waved at them from the windows.
In the magic phase I managed to get a flame cage on the warriors, at the cost of another wound to the Firebelly from the miscast.
The shooting was again a non event.
The comabt between the Maneaters and Mournfangs and the Marauders was pretty one sided. The Mournfangs lost more casualties to the charge through the woods than the combat. Though the unit was not wiped out, which led to another mistake. I opted to pursue with the Maneaters with the aim of hitting the warriors in the flank, while the Mournfangs pursued the Marauders with the intention of running them down.
The problem was that though the Maneaters were able to pin the warriors and prevent them charging, the Mournfangs in their destruction of the Marauders created a huge jam in the centre of the bag I had created around the Warriors, and prevented the Tyrant and the Iron Guts from charging.
The tactical mess can be seen here...
It would have been better on reflection not to have pursued. This may well have created a problem when the level 4 rallied, but the unit would have certainly beeen destroyed by an Iron Gut charge - assuming they survived the magic phase. It also compounded the earlier mistake of the dual charge. For it would have been better for the Mournfangs to go in alone, and assuming they won the combat, to break the Marauders in the second round of combat and force them to flee in a direction away form the centre of the bag.
The mistake of putting the Bulls in the house was also played out, when the cavalry simply moved around the flank and took a position at the rear of the Leadbelchers. The Maneaters were killed to a man by the warriors in the combat phase.
In my turn I managed to clear some charge and firing lanes on the Warriors, but despite getting another flame cage on the Warriors, they ignored this and charged the Leadbelchers, while the cavalry stuck to them in the rear. The leadbelchers put up a decent fight, with the Firebelly doing well in the challenge, they were run down. However the Warriors did not pursue sufficiently to escape a flank charge by the Iron Guts which broke them. Though they were not caught in flight, they were charged again as they rallied and destroyed.
At which point James called it a day. And their we rolled out the last few turns to see what may have happened, it was clear the day belonged to the Ogres.
A very enjoyable game, for a number of reasons. Obviously a victory makes things sweeter, but more importantly I was pleased to see that it is possible to play without a Level 4. Despite the Bulls househunting adventures it was noticable that without the BSB, two or three butcher set up that I have been using as a principle of the army build, that the extra unit is useful - even if as a means of points denial. And to be honest I really feel uneasy at running the multi character bunker of Iron Guts.