Before the game I watched a game between Vampires and Beastmen. The Beastmen list was slightly unorthadox because it had a Cygor and a Gorgon, which as we all know is considered heresy according to the interwebz. The end result was a win for the Vampires, by a tabling, but the result was rather closer than that and hinged on the Minotaurs forgetting that they had received a dose of Wildform. It didn't help that the dice Gods were against them anyway - I can't recall seeing so many 1's rolled from a handful of dice.
I bumped into Jason - the Vampire player - whilst having a fag and he agreed to give my Ogre list a game. I've been meaning to fix up a game with him for ages, as he is a genuinely nice guy and plays in a very friendly and open fashion.
While Jason worked out a 2000 point list, I took my 23 models out of the case. Yes that's right 23 models. The Vampire army that emerged from the calculation consisted of a Covern Throne, a horde of Ghouls, 2 units of skellies, and a horde of Crypt Horrors (or whatever they are called).
The scenario was pitched battle and after several dice throw eventually Jason got to go choose who went first, and decided to do so.
Because of terrain, the battle was pretty much between two woods in the centre of the field. I lined up with the two Mournfang units in the centre, flanked by an Ironblaster on each side, with the bunker tucked in behind.
The Vampire moved forward cautiously, the magic phase was pretty much a non event - the only spell that got off was Invocation which added 6 skellies to the battlefield. There was an attempt to move the Crypt Horrors backwards by use of Van Hels, but I put a stop to that.
On my turn I declared a charge with both Mournfang units, the charge disatnce was 19", so I would have needed double 6, but what the heck!. Both charges failed, but as it turned out it was to my advanvantage as it meant I could get both Ironblasters into position to get in some pot shots on the Covern Throne, and allowed the BSB to be pulled in tight behind the Mournfangs.
As I was playing all out attack I had a go at casting the Maw. This went of irresistibly, and thankfully didn't misfire, but all it did was shoot across the front of the Vampire army. The miscast inflicted a strength 10 hit on the chaps standing around the Slaughtermaster, which chipped an Irongut off the unit.
In turn 2 the Vampires continued to shuffle forward, and once again I stopped the attempt to Van Hels the Crypt Horrors backwards.
In my turn I launched both Mournfang units into the Crypt Horrors. There was no grand tactical for reason for this beyond it scared the bejesus out of me and I figured that splitting the charges between them and the ghouls was not beneficial. The cannons continued to snipe at the Covern Throne, and the only spell I managed to get off Stubborn on one of the Mournfang units.
I guess Mournfangs really are as good as people say. between the two units they suffered three wounds. The Crypt Horrors lost by something like 19. The flaming banner was pretty much decisive in this combat, stripping the horrors of their regen. Which meant the remaining four or five Crypt Horrors crumbled to nothing.
One of the Mournfangs overran into the ghouls. As luck would have it the unit fighting the ghouls was not the unit with the flaming banner. Their situation was worsened when a unit of skeletons charged them in the flank.
It was at this point that the book came into play. It had drawn out my scroll in the previous turn, so I was left with a bit of choice when it came up with the Withering on the Mournfangs in combat. After humming and haaing I decided not to attempt to dispel it, and instead save my dispel dice for the Vampire magic. I had written the Mournfangs off, and was already making plans for getting the bunker and at least one of the Ironblasters into the Ghouls.
As it turned out the Mournfangs lost narrowly, by 2, and might not have done so if I hadn't forgotten to do their stomps. Anywho, they failed their break test ran and were caught by the skeletons.
In the Ogre turn 3, the bunker charged the skeletons which had run down the Mournfang, along with one of the Ironblasters. The other Mournfang ploughed into the remaining Skeleton block. Both Skeleton blocks were destroyed, allowing the bunker and the Mournfangs to set up a joint charge on the Ghouls.
What happened next rather surprised me. The ghouls charged the bunker and the Covern Throne charged the Mournfangs.
The fight between the Covern Throne and the Mournfangs was a clear demonstration of just how tough this unit is. After taking into account impact hits, and the attacks from the various ghosts and ghouuls riding on the chariot, the grand total of wounds suffered by the Mounfangs was..... one. In return the Mournfangs destroyed the chariot before the Ogres got to strike. The resultant explosion did two wounds, which meant the unit finally lost a model - it having suffered a grand total of four wounds in three combats.
The fight between the Ghouls and the bunker was closer, it going the way of the Ghouls but the bunker stood fast.
Which meant that the final Ogre turn started with everything in the army charged into the flanks and rear of the already engaged Ghouls. Despite a valiant effort by the Ghouls, by the end of the combat all that remained was the Ghoul King, and he was wiped away by the crumble due to the excess wounds.
At the end Jason's comment was, 'I hope I don;t draw you at the tournament.'
And I could see his point.
It is certainly a strong build, and there are a few tweeks that I thought of after the game, but in essence I am happy with it. I'm not sure how fun it is to play against.
Still it was a good game, and it was nice to watch the game beforehand as it was as much a useful gaming experience as actually playing.