Sunday, September 8, 2013

Warhammer Fantasy Battle - Blood and Glory in the highlands of squamish

I've been super lucky to be getting in a lot of gaming lately. Some of my highschool friends have a organized a day of Warhammer fantasy battle up in the old town (of squamish, hence the title). Considering I haven't touched my army for well on 2 years, and never played the current edition (7th? 8th?) it was high time to venture forth.

Arriving there was 3 tables set up on a covered porch in the back of the house. It was a fantastic day for the event, bright and cool, despite the thunder storms that had plagued us only a few days back. The only hiccup in starting was the sea to sky highway (64km of highway perched on the edge of mountains) was being used for the Gran Fondo, a bicycle race. As a result we didn't leave Vancouver till about noon, and arrived around 1330, it would make for a late day.

2 tables immediately set up for 40k, while Ryan and I ended up playing Goblins (no orcs) vs Empire. To add further shame to the fact I don't have anything painted, my opponent has a fully painted goblin army. The only thing unpainted currently is his huge spider which I suspect was a recent purchase. Quite impressive really (the painting).

Here we can see my army of grey (the shame!). Lowest is some fantastic painted forest goblin spider riders flanking my 'knights' (the riders are dismounted as I'm investigating storage/carriage options for lances *sigh*). Above them are a unit of ~30 swordsman. Off the pic to the bottom right is a pegasus rider captain who setting up to kill a stone thrower that my cannon killed instead.

Along the tree line is a cannon and a hellblaster (actually an organ gun I use as a proxy). Behind the tower is some more knights, a horder of 50 halberdiers (spearmen), and another unit of 30 swordsmen.

Facing me (from the top right), 2 wolf chariots, an artillery park on the hill (2 bolt throwers, 1 doom diver), squig herders, 30 goblin spearmen with netters, 60 ish goblin bows with some magic poison standard that made them amazingly awful to fight, another unit of ~30 spearmen, and off to the right is a HUGE spider with some sort of magic altar on it that made the magic phase painful for me every turn.

Here we see the 2 lonely units on the right flank that played for time most of the game. The spiders did their best ever, according to ryan, no doubt from the derth of opponents facing them, and their ability to run through the marsh with no problem. Fast cavalry indeed.

 Meanwhile my left flank was racing up the narrow approaches to try and take out the artillery park and the other units. Lack of space, units and time meant that I was going to soak up some chariot charges unfortunately.

The pegasus rider triggers the fanatics in the largest unit. I now learn the owner gets to choose the initial direction, here I hoped they would all fly back into his rear and cause mayhem there. Overall the 5 fanatics didn't do a ton, and split damage evenly between both sides. Given my guys are at least twice the cost it was advantage goblins.

The other view of the fanatics from the front. Right flank moves backwards to play for time, and try to avoid getting turned into poisoned pin cushions by the enormous archer unit.

 This is going to hurt. It looks obvious the goblins will get their charges. The knights were nerfed with magic and unable to pull off a charge, so needed to move backwards to get out of the way. This also prevented a charge from the halberdiers.
 Ryan chortles as his goblins do awful things to me. This is the view of the cannon the whole game. Do you seen the giant spider? No, neither can they, it's hiding behind the tower. This was a sad SAD thing as that monster seriously screwed with my battle plan.
 My pegasus has transited the entire back field and hit the bolt thrower. In a moment of high comedy, a comet lands where the black dice are putting the hurt on all units including my captain. The captain AND the pegasus wiff their attacks, and the goblin crew manage to down the captain.

Luckily the pegasus guard his owners body and proceeds to destroy the bolt thrower. A 45 point investment........not a good exchange.

 The swordsment have managed to win a chariot fight, flank charge the one hitting the halberdiers, and are moving into the back field to deal with the doom diver.

The halberdiers are killing squigs, but can't bring their entire force to bear. The wide 'horde' frontage is really not working out too well for me here. I'm also informed if the squigs break they go wild and will inflict hits on my 'winning' unit as they run amok and off the table. Oh the joys to look forward to.

Shortly before the death of the swordsmen. The spiders hit the cavalry, and overun into the flank. Over the next 2 combat turns the swordsmen are broken and wiped out. A warrior priest was attempting to buff the unit, but wasn't able to avoid the huge hand of dispel dice the goblins were wielding.

Good bye right flank. At least the hellblaster has another good shot coming up.....course it's unlikely to do anything of substance to the 40 goblins remaining...

 Turn 5 I barely managed an automatic loss due to some clever magic work by the goblins. Having reduced my initiative to 1, he cast an enormous template spell to eat my halberdiers....they'd need to roll their initiative or less on a d6 or disappear. eek! Luckily I had saved my dispel scroll for just suck an occurrence. Ryan was suitably foiled and cursing in a good natured way.
Bottom of turn 6 (the last chance) my unit is heavily debuffed, the goblins are buffed up, and everything crashes into my depleted unit. Holding my 3 expensive heroes if this goes poof it's going to be a massacre. I loss the combat, but am not outnumbered (by 1!) so I test on my unmodified leadership. Success on the nose!

Victory points show I loss by ~125 or so in a 2000 point game. Not too bad. I have to give mad props to my opponent for shepherding me through the latest edition. We both forgot numerous buffs and attacks of various units, but I suspect the balance of the advantage of that would have acrued to him. I was set up for a much more serious loss.

Looking back at the game, I'm totally stoked I played it. I am excited about warhammer fantasy again. I'll have to see about playing some more games, it could be the opponent and social atmosphere at the time. I failed to take pictures of the second round games that occurred (I spectated), but there was some ridiculous over the top miniatures on the table. Nice eye candy, although I wonder if I'd have had such a good time playing against that matchup.

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