Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Whole New World #2 WOC Battle-report

Battle Report 1: Sunday, November 2nd 2014

Continuing on from my 1st post in this series, where I outlined my (I now realize illegal) 1,000 point list, here is a battle report on my first battle of the day.
(Actually, more of a set of game highlights than a battle report, as I don't have detailed notes about each turn...)

Before I get to my opponent's list though, let me note a couple of interesting things about the match:
1. This was my first ever "timed" game. 
I'm a notoriously slow player! To get in two games, we decided to try to limit the total each player had for their turns to 45 minutes. This was an interesting challenge for me. If you are more of a "Painta than a playa" (like me) I recommend trying this from time to time as it can help build your confidence - although you'll learn some hard lessons along the way.

2. I've never played against WOC before, so I had absolutely NO idea of what the units could do. I actually do own an old WOC army book, but not owning a WOC army means that until now it was more an interesting read than an opportunity to gem-up on units (and the book I have is also from the previous edition). Like all my Warhammer books, it sits in a rack above my "Porcelain Throne" ('coz that's the only place I get to read in peace and quiet...)

My Skaven army list.

"The Great Dane's Warriors of Chaos List"

Heroes:

X1 Chaos Sorcerer (Level 2 Wizard)
Eye of the Gods,  Lore of Shadow, Chaos Mutations, Powers,Chaos Familiar,
Daemonic Mount (Daemonic Attacks, Fear, Stomp, Swiftstride) 
Magic Items: Charmed Shield, Talisman of Preservation (45pts)

X1 Exalted Hero.
Eye of the Gods Battle Standard Bearer, Chaos Mutations, Powers, Great weapon, Mark of Tzeentch, Barded Chaos Steed (Swiftstride)
Magic Items: Ironcurse Icon, Talisman of Protection.

Core:

X1 Chaos Chariot (Scythes, Swiftstride, 2x Chaos Charioteers)
X5 Chaos Warhounds (Swiftstride)
X5 Chaos Warhound (Swiftstride)
X10 Chaos Warriors (Shields)

Special

X5 Chaos Knights (Fear, Barded Chaos Steed (Swiftstride), Standard Bearer,
Ensorcelled weapons, 5x Mark of Tzeentch)

Model count comparison?
Skaven: x135 (including war machines)
WOC: x28 (?????????)

Whisky Tango Foxtrot, that is a large model count discrepancy in favour of the rat-men (as it should be!), but would that help me?

Deployment.

For simplicity, we chose a straight up battleline game. The table had some terrain in the form of a couple of buildings. Skaven setup was a line in the center, with PCC and WLC on a hill to maximize their view. 
Skaven
L-R: Slaves with Warlock Engineer, x30 Clanrats with Warlord, warmachines, x20 Clanrats with BSB, slaves.

WOC:
L-R: Chaos Warhounds, 10 Chaos warriors, Chaos Chariot, Chaos Warhounds, Chaos Knights.
Noting the speedy Warhounds on either flank, and the knights on the right, I placed my slaves to either side of my battleline. I was hoping that my warmachines would take out a healthy chunk of the Chaos warriors before they made it into combat in the centre, allowing the clanrats to drive them from the field.

Skaven Battleline (L-R) Slaves, Clanrats, WLC, Clanrats, PCC, Slaves

Early Turns: Magical and Mundane Misfire MADNESS!

After an opening movement phase that saw the Skaven mostly sit tight, with some limited forward skittering by the slaves, we went into our first Magic phase.

My lone Warlock Engineer threw everything into firing off Skitterleap, and casts the spell with irresistible force. Knowing that he may be about to be blown to pieces by the force of his own magic, he Skitterleaps next to the Chaos Wizard, hoping to take the dark conjurer with him into oblivion. The magical explosion does hit the enemy wizard, but his enchanted shield saves him (CURSES!). 
Singed but not killed, Warlock Engineer "Boom Boom" Vilekin says a prayer of thanks to the Great Horned One, and starts off the shooting phase by aimings his Doomrocket down the ranks of the Chaos battle line.
The rocket streaks off into the sky, but only manages to clip the Warriors of Chaos, killing one.


Engineer "Boom Boom" Vilekin almost lives up to his name (L)
Aiming at the same Warriors of Chaos, the Warplightning cannon charges up, but immediately suffers a misfire, rendering it ineffective...
Not a great start...
...which became an even worse start when the Plagueclaw catapult aims and also misfires, allowing my opponent to place the template square within 3D6 inches of the target point. Fortunately, none of my units were close enough to take any damage. Phew! 


Curse you Pestilens and Skryre, the war-machines you sold me are cursed!
Chaos moves across the table...
Struck by "Mystical Miasma", the slaves can barely move

Heavily armed (and armoured) Chaos Warriors advance in the center.

The Chaos chariot (L), speeds forward, accompanied by the Warhounds
and Chaos Knights to the right of the abandoned watchtower.
After weaving some dark magic on my Skaven slaves on the left flank, ("Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma") the Chaos sorcerer also suffers a miscast from his magic while attempting to cast "Fly". Like the Skaven Warlock before him he appears in the Skaven rear, but fails to use his magical misfire to his advantage.


"Watch out lads - Chaos Wizard in our rear!"

More "Misfire misery"...

With the Chaos army advancing on all fronts, I was hoping (praying!) to make up for my previous poor round of shooting with some hard-hitting Warplightning Cannon and Plague Claw Catapult shots...
...but that was not to be.
The WLC misfired again, this time being totally destroyed...
...and my PCC also misfired (Double CURSES!). This time my opponent was able to place the template over my unit of slaves on the right flank, killing around 8 of the Goblin skaven slaves. 
No great loss, but no help to me in terms of thinning out the ranks of the Northern army, and it would mean that the WOC fast movers (most of his army!) would be upon me in the next movement phase.
Yes, it happens! The WLC miscasts and blows up on turn 2, leaving a hole....
Goblin slaves...dropping like flies!

The Dice Gods are (equally?) fickle...

While not much consolation for the awful shooting, my slaves on the left flank manage to drive off the Chaos warhounds, who flee back towards their lines through a building. Perhaps the Chaos gods were angry at their cowardice, as my opponent rolled four "1s" on his dangerous terrain test for the unit, resulting in all the Warhounds being destroyed.

Four Chaos Warhounds, four dangerous terrain tests, four fails!?
From here on, things get a bit hazy...(a few too many cans of "Bugman's", and not enough photo evidence) but some highlights were....

The dark wizard moved into the rear of the Skaven lines, tying up my catapult in close combat, so it could not fire.
Meanwhile the Clanrats and Warlord drove away the Chaos warriors and ran them down, principally due to some very poor rolls on the part of my opponent.
NOTE: I later learned that my Warlord build was illegal. The "Warlock Augmented weapon" does not buff another weapon carried with +1 Str+1 Attack, but is a weapon itself. I thought it augmented the Halberd my warlord was carrying, resulting in an overall +2 Str and +1 attack. This meant my warlord had an illegal x5 attacks at Str 6, when he should have had x5 attacks at strength 5.

Here are some photos of the rest of the action...
The Dark Wizard assaults the Plague Claw catapult (Curses!)
The Chaos Chariot and Chaos BSB get stuck into the Clanrat bunker
The Chaos Knights (R) line up for a charge at the Skaven warlord
and his unit of Clanrats (top left)
 
The gobbo slaves excitedly crash into the rear of the Chaos knights...
...while the Skaven slaves (L) try to maneuver themselves back into the fight.
The grand melee! The Skaven warlord is wounded, but holding out...

Long story short, by the end of the game I had lost:
x1 Chieftain -(92 pts) who was my Battle Standard Bearer (100pts) 
x20 Clanrats (Full command). (110 pts) (+Standard Bearer 25 pts)
x1 Plague Claw Catapult (100 pts)
x1 Warplightning cannon (90pts)
x1 Warlock Engineer (95 pts)
Total losses: 612 pts

Whereas the forces of Chaos had only lost:
x1 unit of Warhounds (30 pts)
x 10 Chaos Warriors. (150 pts)
X1 Exalted Hero (187 pts)
x5 Chaos Knights (235 pts)
Total losses: 415 pts

A big loss for the Skaven!

Post battle analysis:

Warmachine failure:
Obviously the poor performance of my warmachines didn't help me in this game! 3 misfires in a row really hurt my chances when I was hoping to make a big dent in the Chaos forces before they closed in on me. 
Possible lesson? None. There isn't much I can take away from those unlucky rolls!

Deployment:
Should I have placed my slaves in the center of the line or on the flanks? 
My slaves survived, and maybe they shouldn't if I had used them properly! Losing my smaller clanrat unit and BSB cost me dearly in points. 
Possible lesson? If you are going to have a bunker for your BSB, then really try to avoid combat! This will include making some difficult decisions at deployment. 

List Building:
My misunderstanding of what the "Warlock Augmented Weapon" does affected play (although not the outcome of the game obviously).
Possible lesson? When trying new units or equipment, review them really, really carefully.

Warlock Engineers:
Should I have defaulted to Warplightning instead of Skitterleap? After launching my Doom-rocket, there wasn't a lot the Engineer could do in terms of damage. 
Possible lesson? Use your Engineers more aggressively. Teleport around the table to redirect enemy charges or interrupt marching.

Magic Miscast (A.K.A. Skaveny Suicide"?):
If you cast Skitterleap with irresistible force, you know you are going to have to roll on the miscast table. Consider teleporting behind or next to an important enemy target (1 inch). If you roll between a 2-6 ("Dimensional Cascade"/ "Calamitous Detonation"), you have a chance of damaging your enemy... If you survive, you might still be out of harm's way, yet force the enemy to deal with you, or be in a position to line up for an attack or to do something useful.

...and finally, some post match perspective, courtesy of my opponent:

"I think the main thing I did in that game was running around A LOT. I made it very difficult for you to charge me because I ran outside of your arch of visibility and my dogs were put in your way from time to time. Your characters were spread out in your big units so not matter who I attacked I knew I would kill something important of yours.
It would have been much more difficult if you had 2 big blocks of slaves to stop me and a smaller bunker behind to give rerolls and leadership. That way I would never have gone through them all in time. Also, bringing only a level 1 is almost always useless - except for the rare cases where you get a very small winds of magic roll. Usually the one spell is not worth a miscast and I will be able to throw all my dice at it - you have a maximum of 6 dice for casting and I can cast all the dice I want for dispelling. I think you should also have waited to shoot the rocket from your engineer. You were aiming for 30 point dogs and you were very far away from my important units - the warriors. I did not have any shooting or magic damage so you could have moved behind me and waited for a perfect shot." 
So, lots of lessons for me! 

A big thanks to my opponent, who was a gentlemen and a good person to play against for my first battle against the Warriors of Chaos. 

Later the same afternoon, I would have another chance to learn about WOC, as my second game would also see the Skaven face off against them (but against a different player). Look out for  my next battle report!

Cheers,





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