Empire vs. Lizardmen (800pts) – 3/27/12   5 comments

a.k.a. “A Tale of Blood and Glory…and Lots of 1s”

You’ll see why.


So I got there a little early, rolled up “Blood and Glory” and set up the table.  I sort of forgot how annoying lots of terrain can be in WHFB, as opposed to other games where lots of terrain is a better thing.  My board looked pretty, but the bunch of Marshes meant that maneuvering would be difficult and charges would be dangerous.  I regretted the set-up during the game, but I guess it was a nice change from the blank table we used last time.  As well, we actually stuck with the “Blood and Glory” scenario this time, which we have never previously done.  Luckily our armies were somewhat prepared for it with a number of banners.  Although thankfully my Empire had two more than Andrew.  And since Men are usually a lot squishier than Lizardmen, it was a good thing.


  • Wizard Lord (Level 3 – Metal, General)
  • Captain (BSB)
  • 20 Halberdiers (Banner, Musician)
  • 5 Knightly Orders (Banner, Musician)
  • 10 Handgunners
  • 10 Greatswords (Banner, Musician)
  • 5 Pistoliers


  • Skink Priest (Level 2, -Heavens, General)
  • 13 Saurus Warriors (Full Command)
  • 13 Saurus Warriors (Full Command)
  • 12 Skink Skirmishers
  • 12 Skink Skirmishers
  • 12 Skink Skirmishers
  • Salamander Hunting Pack

I was finally going to try out Halberdiers, who lose 1 WS, Initiative, Armour Save and a Parry Save, and gain 1 Strength and cost 1 less point.  Hitting power at the expense of staying power.  The Strength would definitely help out against the Saurii, but would losing the rest spell certain destruction for them?  I also brought out Greatswords who have not yet been effective for me, I think because they are always only 10-strong.  And would the two small cavalry units work out?  Let’s see!

Turn 1

We both rolled a 6 for going first, but thankfully I finished deploying first and got that much-needed +1.  So I sent the already Vanguarded Pistoliers up and around behind the Salamander, hoping to knock it out before it knocked me out.  The other units moved up a bit, except the Handgunners who had to sit still to fire.  I got Transmutation of Lead off on one of the Saurii units, and dropped 3 from the other unit with Searing Doom.  The Pistoliers managed to do 1 wound to the Sal and drop 1 handler, which meant they were probably going to die on Andrew’s turn.  The Handgunners actually managed to drop three more Saurii from the Transmuted unit, S4 AP guns and -1 Armour Save meaning they did outright with successful wounding rolls.

Andrew spun the Salamander and the nearby Skinks around to face the Pistoliers (*gulp!*), while everyone else moved up.  He successfully cast Chain Lightning, which the Knights avoided to lose anyone to, but the Halberdiers lost 3 to. Skink unit #3 took blowpipe shots at the Knights, and with three poisoned hits managed to drop 2 Knights!  All I didn’t need to roll were 1s, and they would be safe.  And so began the avalanche of 1s that plagued this game.  Mostly for me.  Unit #2 managed some hits, but they were properly saved.  The Salamander toasted up 3 Pistoliers, and the rest ran away like little sissies, right off the board.

Turn 2

Once again cavalry is proving not to be the most effective unit choice, but I continue to field them and hope for the best!  I sent the remaining Knights charging at the Priest’s Skink unit, who chose to Flee! and paid for it with their squishy little blue lives.  They were just too close to the Knights to survive it, much to Andrew’s chagrin.  At this point he had a little rant about the uselessness of Skinks every time he has tried to table them, and what he plans on doing with them (it involves collecting them all and depositing them into a trash bin!).  He wrote a post-mortem post about this game and he’ll talk about all this, and why these Skinks died and why the Priest shouldn’t have, etc.  Anyway, the Knights trampled them and continued on, while the Halberdiers moved back a touch.  It was either Searing Doom or the Handgunners helped by Transmutation again that dropped two more Saurii from unit #2.

After recovering his resolve Andrew had revenge in his eyes, and sent both Saurii units in.  One failed the charge and lost 1 warrior to the Marsh, while the other one made it in.  The Skinks and Sals moved about to find new targets.  Andrew rolled for magic, forgetting his Priest was dead.  In shooting, Skink unit #2 managed to drop another 2 Knights!  Yup, 2 more 1s rolled for Armour Saves.  Yeesh.  The other Skinks felled 2 Greatswords, after the Salamander burned up 4 others.  Just like that the unit got neutered.  Finally in close combat, the Halberdiers managed to kill only a single Lizard, while the Lizards dropped a whopping 6 Men!  6!  With no ranks to keep them steadfast (I had spread them out for more attacks), they Fled, losing the BSB Captain and another model to the fleeing banner.  And then, yes, you guessed it, more 1s on the Dangerous Terrain test.  Guess how many.  Yup, another 6.  6 more 1s, just like that!

Turn 3

The Halberdiers rallied.  My single Knight had the Skinks just enough in his forward arc that he was able to charge them, which he did.  The Greatswords turned slightly. Searing Doomdropped another 3 Saurii from the unit nearby, which the Handgunners could not shoot at.  So they took aim at the other unit and blast two more Lizards away.  The S4 AP guns are great against Lizards, if they hit.  The Knight missed with his lance, but his trusty horse managed to hoof one Skink to death, and the Skinks failed to hit back (surprisingly, at this point), but they made their combat res test with 2 1s!  Yup, another 2 1s, this time for Andrew, but this time a welcome roll.  Yup, the 1s are never in my favour.

The aggressive Saurii unit continued their attack, losing 1 to the Dangerous Terrain test.  The unengaged Skinks moved up to get within 6″ of the Greatswords to try and finish them off, the Sal moved in for a Wizard and Handgunner Roast-a-thon, and the other Saurii moved sideways out of the Marsh.  The Sal only managed to hit the Wizard with his template, which was enough to drop a Handgunner who jumped in the way.  The Skinks darted another two Greatswords, leaving the unit with only the banner and musician.  The 4 remaining Halberdiers failed to kill any more Saurii, who struck back and dropped another 2, also leaving the unit with just the banner and musician.  The Halberdiers, somehow, stayed put.  In the other combat, neither the Skinks nor the Knight were able to do any wounds, but the banner saved the day for combat res, and surprisingly the Skinks fled this time.  But not far enough, as the Knight was able to chase them down and destroy the unit.  This also brought him closer to the other close combat, which would be do-or-die next turn.

Turn 4

Well, that lone knight made the charge into the flank of the Saurii.  No one else moved, likely due to all the tension surrounding that one important melee.  Or because moving was pointless.  Anyway, the Wizard Lord went all-out and Irresistably cast Searing Doom on the other Saurii, hoping to hurt them enough for the Handgunners to finish them off, just in case the melee didn’t go well.  Well, the backlash of the Irresistable spell killed the Wizard and knocked out 6 more Handgunners, leaving 3 behind.  Wow.  I don’t even think he killed many Lizards.  What a waste of a valiant sacrifice!  And in the do-or-die, winner-takes-all combat the Knight and his horse of course failed to do anything, but the Halberdiers managed that single all-important kill, taking out the banner and winning the game.  I like to think that it was a standard-on-standard duel-to-the-death at the very end, with the entire battle riding on it, both generals dead and it all coming down to one…single…die.

And that was that.  What a seesaw game!  When the Skink general’s unit fell Andrew was ready to give up, but he stuck through it and even though he lost in the end, it was amazingly close.  Too close.  We both looked back and were happy that we continued the game, something that at other times we did not do.  Now I wonder how some of those other games would have gone if we kept playing past major losses.

The Empire was left with 1 Knight, 2 Halberdiers, 2 Greatswords and 3 Handgunners.  But because I had musicians and banners in those first three units, the 1 or 2 survivors in each included the standard bearer, which kept me in the game.  Andrew, on the other hand, had champions, who are the last to die, which is how I won in the end.  I did not plan it this way, but I was very fortunate.  If we were playing a standard to-the-death scenario, I definitely would not have won this fight.

Well, I am not in love with the Empire as I was last summer when choosing them for ToG army.  As with Andrew’s frustrations with the Lizardmen, I think we need to be playing 2000pt games to properly see how the armies work.  The Empire needs a combined arms sort of list, and at 800pts I don’t think they combine strongly enough to do much good.  I’m contemplating trying to sell off the Empire with my Elves and just stick to Skaven.  We’ll see.

And let’s just forget about all those 1s, shall we?  If I wasn’t rolling 1s to die, Andrew was rolling 1s to survive!  And ‘6’ was a special number for me this game too: I lost 6 Hals to the combat, 6 to the Dangerous Terrain test, and 6 Handgunners to the Irresistable Force explosion.  Man, 1s and 6s hated me this game.  But I managed to squeek out a hard-fought victory, oh so slightly.  Hopefully we’ll play again in a week or two, while the game is till fresh in our minds.

Go check out Andrew’s post-mortem post here on ToG, and see if he learns anything from this game for the next.

Thanks for reading.


Posted March 29, 2012 by mrborges in Battle Report, Empire, Lizardmen, Warhammer Fantasy

5 responses to “Empire vs. Lizardmen (800pts) – 3/27/12

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  1. Pingback: Back to the spawning pools « Tales of Gamers

  2. Pingback: Workbench Update – Recent Random Pictures « 10-4 Miniatures

  3. ONly just found this – but absolutely amazing report! So thorough and illuminating!

    • Yes, Justin does really good batreps. He took a video of our last game and will be putting up a report for it next week (I think). Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    • Thanks again for the comment. Glad you enjoyed it. I love writing the reports, even when they take longer to write out than the actual game did to play out!
      Check out my blog (http://ten4miniatures.wordpress.com) to see some of my older reports. I believe there are others here as well.

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