Archive for the ‘Empire’ Category

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.

Deployment

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.

Empire

  • 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

Lizardmen

  • 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.

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

Empire vs. Dwarfs (750pts) – 6/26/11   1 comment

*dun dun dunn!*

Rob and I finally got to set our forces against each other.  Mano e Dwarfo.  I’ve been looking forward to this game, and it delivered.

Army Lists

Empire

  • Warrior Priest (General)
  • Captain (BSB)
  • 20 Swordsmen
  • 10 Handgunners
  • 10 Greatswords
  • 5 Pistoliers
  • Mortar

Dwarfs

  • Thane (General)
  • 10 Warriors
  • 10 Warriors
  • 9 Longbeards
  • 2 Cannons
  • Gyrocopter

We rolled up Watchtower, and I got to start in it.  Three Forests, some shrine or another, and some fences made up the rest of the terrain.  I popped my Handgunners in the Watchtower, and the rest of the deployment looked like this:

I Vanguarded my Pistoliers straight up, and we began.

Turn 1 – Dwarfs

The Warriors to my right attempted to Charge the Pistoliers, but fell short.  They ended up moving 6″, and lost nobody to the Stand & Shoot reaction, so it’s as if they had merely Ran.  The Gyrocopter puttered up closer. 

The Cannons opened up on the Watchtower.  One Misfired (Rob’s first time rolling so) and blew up, and the other fell just short.

Turn 1 – Empire

The Pistoliers made their way past the Warriors and faced the Thane and his Longbeards.  The Swordsmen and Greatswords both moved up.

The Pistoliers took out a whopping four Longbeards, while the Handgunners dropped another three Warriors.  Pretty happy with those rolls, but I would later realise that the Gyrocopter would be a greater threat, sooner.  The Warriors passed their Panic check, but the Longbeards, Thane and all, ran.  Luckily, they only Fled 2″.  The Mortat took a shot at the Longbeards as well, but it scattered off to the side.

Turn 2 – Dwarfs

Both Warrior units moved up.  The Gyrocopter got into position, and the Longbeards Rallied.

The Cannon once again fell just short of the Watchtower, the Handgunners inside getting used to not being hit.  But the Gyrocopter’s crazy template attack toasted a whopping 9 Swordsmen.  They passed their Panic check.

Turn 2 – Empire

The Greatswords got off a long Charge on the full Warrior unit.  The Pistoliers got behind the Longbeards (in Grapeshot distance of the Cannon…d’oh!), and the Swordsmen, or what was left of them, moved up.

The Handgunners took aim at the Gyrocopter, and managed two Wounds, one shy of destroying it.  It would have been nice if I had remembered that I had a Marksman in the unit, who might have been able to knock it out with his higher BS.  But, once again, I forgot I had him in there.  I need to start making sure I have a print-out of my list with me when I play, I really do.  Anyway!  The Pistoliers managed to drop two more Longbeards.  And the Mortar….blew up.  Once again.  Pfft.

In Close Combat, the Greatswords deal four Wounds to the Warriors, who inflict none in return.  The Warriors can’t take it and Flee!  Once again Rob manages to Flee to exactly the board edge.  This has to be the third time he’s done this, completely by fluke.  His corner dude lands a bare millimetre from the edge.  Yeesh.  What’s worse, the Greatswords can’t even manage to Catch them.  Can you believe that?  Big ol’ elites can’t even catch up to a bunch of stunties.

Turn 3 – Dwarfs

If the previous turns were a little lackluster for the Dwarfs, this one was a little too shiny for my liking!

The Longbeards got a very long Charge into the Flank of the Greatswords.  The one Warrior unit attempted a Charge on the Watchtower, but lost three to the S&S reaction and were driven backwards in fear.  The other Warriors Rallied, and the Gyrocopter merely spun in place.

The Cannon Grapeshot the Pistoliers and blew them all up.  The ‘copter roasted another eight Swordsmen.  That made it 17 dead Swordsmen to the Gyrocopter alone.  This was turning out to be a bad turn, indeed!

In Combat the Thane Challenged, which was accepted by the Count’s dude (Greatsword Champion), who died before he could lift his sword.  Two other Greatswords fell to the Longbeard, and neither Captain nor the rest of the unit could inflict a single Wound on the Dwarfs.  Yeesh!  At least they did not Flee.  They did Reform, however, to better fight the Longbeards next turn.

Turn 3 – Empire

With fewer units on the board, at least it makes turns go faster 🙂

The Swordsmen just move on up, hoping to eventually get into this game, other than as casualties.

The Handgunners finish off the Gyrocopter.

And in Close Combat the Greatswords are once again stifled by the Longbeards.  The Thane once again Challenges, and the Captain accepts.  They each do a Wound to each other.  Otherwise, one Greatsword dies, and not a single Longbeard goes down.  At least the Greatswords stay around again. 

Turn 4 – Dwarfs

It’s not pictured, but the first Warrior unit failed to Rally and actually Fled off the board.  I think they needed a Flee roll of 11 or 12 or something, and got it.  The other Warriors Charged into the Greatsword flank.

The Cannon took a shot and finally landed one in the Watchtower, easily killing off 5 Handgunners.

Combat turned out to be another draw.  The Challenge continued with no headway, while the larger combat ended with one more Greatsword dead and NO Dwarfs killed.  Seriously…what in the world are these Greatswords good for?

Turn 4 – Empire

The Swordsmen continue their move up the field.  That’s 3 Swordsmen (Full Command) and a Warrior Priest, the only survivors of the Gyrocopter’s rampage.  At least they’re still around.

The Handgunners take a shot at the Cannon and I think fail to do anything.

In Close Combat, the Greatswords finally knock off one more Longbeard!  But they lose two themselves, and are forced to make a Break Test.  They fail.  And Flee.  But don’t get Caught!  So hah! Take that, Dwarfs!  I may have lost my Captain and the unit standard, but the unit lives on.  Mwahaha!  I’m not really that happy about the outcome, but at least a few of them survived round after round of combat.  Pathetic, pathetic combat.

Game End and Final Thoughts

Well, it was turn 4 and a roll of 6 was going to end the game.  And thankfully I rolled a 6, and won the game by controlling the Watchtower.  Oooh, it was a bloody battle indeed.  Fun, even though one unit got decimated without even doing anything, and another failed to do much harm. 

My MVP award goes to the Pistoliers, with a Runner-Up nod to the Handgunners.  These two units did the most damage to the Dwarfs, either knocking out the Gyrocopter, or punking the Longbeards a few times down to four.  Even though those four did exceptional damage to my Greatswords.

Speaking of Greatswords, I think I’ll have to outfit them in the future with a Warrior Priest or something.  I definitely want a larger unit of Greatswords, so they can survive long enough to really strike back. They also need some aid to avoid the flanking Charges against them that they suffered this battle.

Well, there you have it.  Another game in the books, and I finally had a chance to play against Rob’s Dwarfs.

Thanks for reading, and following our little Tale of Gamers.

-Justin

Where the Imperial Standing Army…Stands… (Empire)   Leave a comment

Perhaps it’s a little much to consider my Empire force a “standing army.”  Maybe more of an Empire-themed haphazard scouting party?

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve given a proper update, and I thought that it was time to throw some thoughts around regarding my army.  I’ve been able to play a handful of games with various sizes of Empire forces over the last couple of months: two 500pt demo games against Lizardmen, showing a couple of friends how fun Warhammer can be; three Tale of Gamers games against Andrew’s Tomb Kings (500, 500 and 750); and one Tale of Gamers game against Loy’s Dark Elves (500).  In these games I’ve thrown together different lists, used different units, trying to figure out some of the things I like about the Empire.  Like Rob did recently, I’m going to go through the various units and ramble on a little about them.  As you may be able to tell by now…I am good at rambling on.

General of the Empire

A relatively cheap army general whose stats are so-so.  And that’s okay.  He’s just a Man in a world of monsters.  He’s got the Leadership of 9 that an Empire force really needs.  I’ve had him mounted and on foot, and so far his biggest impact on the games has indeed bean that Leadership boost.  Otherwise, his stats are one Wound higher than a Captain, who I would rather take points-permitting.  WhichI guess is the problem in the small games we’ve been playing: it’s hard to fit all your necessary Lords and Heroes within 125 and 187.5pt slots.  It’ll be nice to get to 1000+ points in order to field a nice array of leaders, all kitted out as they should be.  It’s not easy keeping your important peeps alive when all you can give them is heavy armour, if any at all. 

Wizard Lord

I only played a single game with a WL, and only because I couldn’t fit the points into Heroes.  I did indeed love having a Level 3 Wizard in my army.  Three spells and +3 to casting/dispelling is really helpful.  But he’s also expensive points-wise.  He’ll be another regular in the army at higher point games, but until then he sadly won’t be part of the fun.

Captain of the Empire

What I like to consider the bread-and-butter of Empire leadership.  I’ve had a Captain as either/both my General and my Battle Standard Bearer in every game.  At only 50 points and with access to a bunch of things, he’s the Man.  He’s only one Wound and one Leadership lower than the General, so in a jiffy he can take that role.  My major qualm with the Captain is that when he’s the BSB, he can’t have mundane items other than armour, so no shield.  Which doesn’t help when you want to keep him alive.  As we get to higher and higher points, I can see multiple Captains in my army, for sure.

Battle Wizard

A game of Warhammer without a Magic phase is pretty dull, in my books (I don’t know how the Dwarfs do it!).  Of course it’s not necessary, but it does add some fun to the mix.  And a Battle Wizard is, I think, among the lower point costs among the various races in the game.  Ideally you can field two Battle Wizards in a game, one or both at Level 2 being even nicer.  So far my Lore of choice has been Light.  I’d really like to have a pair of Battle Wizards representing Light and Shadow in a future game.  Moreso for the flavour than for spell choice, but I do like those two Lores.  Light has been great to me against Andrew’s Tomb Kings, of course, being Undead.  If nothing else I can choose the sig spell Shem’s Burning Gaze and have a good magic missile.  I’ve tested out other Lores in previous games with High Elves, and I will probably play around with the gamut with Empire, but I think Light will end up being my go-to Lore.  Only time will tell.

Warrior Priest

Okay, so I’ve only played one game with a Priest, removing the Wizard for him.  And all I have to say is, tough call!  This guy is awesome!  An ideal Empire army will have one Warrior Priest in each unit!  This guy gives Hatred to his unit, is not too bad in a fight, and best of all comes with Magical qualities: a bonus dispell die and built-in spells!  And when you’re playing against Tomb Kings, nothing says “Die, Undead Chariot Scum!” better than Soulfire, dealing d6 S5 hits.  I will definitely be including a Warrior Priest again in my army ASAP.  Oh, just to put him in context, I had him in my Swordsmen unit last game.  I chose there instead of my Greatswords because there were 20 of the former, and only 10 of the latter, and I figured the Greatswords might be dead before the action starts.

Swordsmen

What I consider the bread-and-butter of Empire units.  Thematically any of the State Troops will work, but I personally enjoy the look and feel of the Swordsmen more than any of the others.  Now, it’s a real toss-up between these guys and Halberdiers.  I was debating from the beginning which of these units I would start off with (and include the other later on).   The differences are: Swordsmen have WS4 I4 Shield (5+ Armour Save and Parry); the Halberdiers have S4, and are one point less.  Now, at a unit of 20 guys, the one point difference is only only 20 points.  And the other stats are only different by one.  But it can be huge.  Each characteristic has its place, but what it really comes down to is survivability vs. hitting power.  In this edition, most people are going with hitting power it seems, fielding often multiple hordes of Halberdiers.  Even when we get to really high points games, I don’t think I’ll ever have the model count to field even one horde of any type, let alone multiples.  That’s for two reasons: one is that I don’t like hordes like that.  I dig big units, but 50 models in a unit is just too big for me.  Maybe one day I’ll actually try it and like it and never go back, but I doubt it.  The other reason is cost.  It’s hard enough collecting the models to make a couple of units of State Troopers, as relatively cheap as they are.  I can’t even imagine buying up enough to make two 50-man units!  Oh, and I guess that’s similar to another reason.  I would never in a million years have the time to build and paint that many guys, in addition to all the rest I have to paint.  Just see my Tale of Lamers post, and read about my gamer ADD. 

Anyway, in the end I built my State Troopers up as Swordsmen.  I went with survivability.  That Parry save is AWESOME.  Although, twice they’ve been charged by a unit of Tomb King Chariots…and the Parry save was unavailable there.  Otherwise, though, it’s saved my skin a number of times.  However, I think I’ll play them as Halberdiers next game just to see how they do.  C’mon S4!

Handgunners

I went with Handgunners over Crossbowmen, as I have bows in other armies.  I want gunpowder!  That beings said, to use up the crossbows I got with the Handgunners, I bought extra bodies, so I’ll have 10 Crossbowmen eventually (same goes with Halberdiers, I bought bodies to go with the extra halberds I had on the sprue).  I’m not a fan of the Move or Fire rule, but I do like their S4 + AP quality.  Range of 24″ is just fine, and their BS of 3 leaves something to be desired, but I think for the most part I’ve had no problem with them.  I will continue to field them to add a Shooting element to the army,even when I can field multiple artillery pieces.  They are part of the flavour that drew me to Empire, so they will remain a component of my forces.  They are also a good bunker for a Battle Wizard, so I’m sure down the road I’ll have two units (or one Handgunner and one Crossbowmen unit), bunkering both my Battle Wizards, and protecting my rear from flank attacks and Ambushers.

Knightly Orders

I will start off saying I have not used these guys properly, most of the time, and because of this they have not performed up to my expectations.  I know that not a lot of people like cavalry in this edition (lack of Steadfast/can’t disrupt in regular-sized units), but I still have medium-to-high hopes for the Knights.  They’ve got average speed, good Strength and an Armour save to die for.  Or live for.  But you wouldn’t believe how many 1s I have rolled on a 2+ Armour save.  You wouldn’t.  I’m talking about 3 out of 5 dice coming up a 1.  I’m talking about 2 out of 3 coming up a 1.  I don’t think I’ve ever rolled so many 1s as I have when making Knightly Order Armour saves.  And that’s a fact.  Anyway, I will be using these guys again.  I’m not giving up on them.  You know what would be nice?  A unit of 8 Knights, lead by a Warrior Priest and a Captain/General.  Talk about ideal!  More Knights would be better for survivability and getting a nice big unit into combat, but they’re not cheap, points-wise.

Greatswords

I see the potential of these guys.  They have pretty good armour, they’re Stubborn, and they hit hard.  But I’ve only got the 10 of them that came with the Battalion, and that’s just not a good enough sized unit.  They get targeted early on because of their strengths, and dying early seems to be one of their weaknesses.  I would like another 10 of these guys to fill out a 20-man unit.  That will probably make this unit for me.  I’ll have to proxy them for now, maybe in the next game.  When I’ve painted everything I have right now, I think I’m just going to go and pick up another Battalion box.  That’ll add the 10 Greatswords I want, some more Knights to flush out that unit, another unit of Handgunners and a bunch more Swordsmen/Halberdiers, which I’d like.  But that will have to wait until I’ve painted what I’ve got.  That’s part of the challenge!

Mortar

Ah, the Mortar.  Another reason why I picked up Empire in the first place.  A large template is a nice way to crush a unit of enemies.  I’d say, though, that I’ve had limited success with this war machine.  Mostly because my enemies know how devestating it can be if left unchecked, so they find ways to get rid of it early.  Or else I go and Misfire, and blow myself up.  But I am definitely going to keep on using this 75-point infantry-block-killer.  Eventually I will add a Cannon to the mix, as well.  I’ll probably proxy the Cannon soon, just to see how it does.  I know Andrew, for one, quivers when he thinks of war machines in my armies, after all the hurt my Warplightning Cannons put on his Lizards in oh so many games.

Pistoliers

Last but not least, the Pistoliers.  Right from the beginning I knew I would add one of these units to my force early on.  It turned out that they were one of my first builds, too.  They have seen action in most of my games, and have been hit and miss.  Hit when I can get them into a nice, threatening position and chuck a tonne of lead at the enemy.  Miss when the enemy knows they’re annoying and have the potential for greatness behind the lines, so, like the Mortar, aim for them early on.  I am definitely keeping these guys around.

Well, those are the units I’ve used, accompanied by pictures of their current progress.  This is a good post, as it’s making me want to paintpaintpaint!  I could probably go on more about my army and the games I’ve played, but I should end here.  I will leave you with this picture, though.  It’s the Deployment and Set-up (and Vanguard) of my last game with Andrew.  I haven’t been able to finish the report I had started, and it’s already been long enough since we played that I have forgotten most details.  I’ll see if he and I can chat and try and remember enough for me to write something up.  Quickly, it was a real back and forth game. I thought I was toast early on, but came back pretty strong.  We had to call it due to time, and called a draw, but really it could have gone either way, with Andrew probably with a slight advantage.

I’m eager to play another game soon.  Rob’s Dwarfs are in my sights, but I’ll battle any of the other Tale of Gamers armies, just to get my fix.  Hopefully the Men of the Empire can stand firm and resolute against the onslaught of their varied enemies!

Posted June 19, 2011 by mrborges in A Tale of Gamers, Empire, Warhammer Fantasy

Empire vs. Tomb Kings (750pts) – 5/31/11   3 comments

Now, normally I post my battle reports in the DakkaDakka WHFB Battle Reports forum and then link them to my blog(s), but I felt that this Tale of Gamers needs a nice kick in the pants.  So, I’m writing it here and I will link it there instead.  I like spicing things up once in a while.

Speaking of spiced-up things, ready for a Empire vs. Tomb Kings rematch?  If you have read the report from our last battle, I’d suggest you take a quick peek at that one first.  Mostly because the outcome of this game is an utter reversal of that game’s outcome.  Andrew and I have faced each other plenty, plenty of times, but this is our second game with Empire and Tomb Kings, so we are still trying to figure out the dos, don’ts and can’ts of our armies.

So, if you are up to date on all (one) of the previous battles between our Tale of Gamer challenge armies, I present to you the following.  Once again I am folding both player turns into a single image.  This is both because it makes it much quicker to complete the images (as always, using Battle Chronicler), and at such small point levels there’s not enough going on to warrant more than this.

Army Lists

Empire

  • Captain (General), mounted
  • Captain (BSB), on foot
  • Wizard Lord, Level 3, Light (Shem’s Burning Gaze, Pha’s Protection, Birona’s Timewarp)
  • 20 Swordsmen
  • 5 Knightly Orders
  • 10 Greatswords

Tomb Kings

  • Tomb Prince (General)
  • Liche Priest (Hierophant), Level 1 (Augment Signature Spell)
  • 20 Skeleton Warriors
  • 8 Skeleton Archers
  • 3 Skeleton Chariots
  • 2 Tomb Swarms
  • Screaming Skull Catapult

For the Empire list, this was another “experimental” one.  I wanted to try out the Greatswords, no shooting, and a level 3 Wizard.  I’m going to preface the game with, “I miss shooting already, especially the Pistoliers to hunt down that Catapult,” and “a Level 3 is awesome…but that’s a lot eggs in one basket.”

Andrew wanted to test out a couple of things as well, such as the Swarms and the Catapult.

Set Up and Deployment

We rolled up two Mysterious Forests (or Mysterious Palm Groves to keep to theme, as the turf was beige and I was fighting TK), a set of walls, a Dwarf Brewhouse (left) and a regular building (top right).

Andrew started deploying, but I finished first.  I got the +1 and won the roll to go first.  I’ll mention now that we both rolled a 1 for this roll.  For one of us, at least, this was a sign of things to come.

Turn 1

I started off by just moving forward.  Nothing fancy.  The Swordsmen left what had turned out to be an Abyssal Grove (again, sticking with the theme).  The Greatswords stopped just in front of the other grove, just in case.  It was in the Magic phase that I realised that Pha’s Protection was going to be useless against the modifier-ignoring Tomb Kings.  Unless that Asaph rule does not pertain to spells…I’ll have to check that one.  I chose to try Gaze first, which was dispelled.  Next I chose to try Pha’s instead of Birona’s for some strange reason.  At least it goes off.  And now I realise I put my Wizard in the wrong corner, so the Greatswords aren’t even affected!  More on my dumb-dumb decisions later.

On Andrew’s turn he failed a charge with the Chariots into the Knights.  The Archers swung around and the Warriors moved up to help the Chariots next turn, in case I Charged them.  Magic was not important.  Shooting saw three Swordsmen fall to the Archers, and the Catapult shot scatter 10″ away.  The best part was Andrew used my dice.  So we said what if he had use his own?  10″  in the SAME direction!  It was uncanny.  Again, another sign of the silly dice-related things to come.

Turn 2

Ready for this?  This is where things get ugly.  Fast.

SO, first I decide to charge my Knights into the Warriors.  The ones with spears and the General, who gives everyone WS5.  Okay.  Yeah.  I should have charged the Chariots instead, and then had my Swordsmen come in and protect the Knights’ flank.  Yeah.  I know.  But don’t worry, it gets worse.  So with an average amount of dice to cast I lob 6 at the upped version of Timewarp.  I roll 26, with no double 6s.  So Andrew has to beat 29 with a Level 1 dude and I think 5 dice or something.  What does he get?  Double 6s.  UGH!  It’s okay! I’ve got the Gaze, it’s not all bad.  BAM! Snake-eyes.  Seriously?  Wicked-GIJoe-ninja, I like.  Failing a 5+ spell with a Level 3, I don’t.  So off to Combat, which just did not get any better.  I challenged his General with my General…and only managed a single wound.  Not surprising.  I should have attacked the unit.  Next I only manage to kill two Warriors.  TWO!  With five so-called Knights.  And what happens in retaliation?  Yeah…I lose THREE Knights.  THREE.  Five wounds to save I roll THREE ones!  On a 2+ armour save!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

So, the Chariots charge into the Swordsmen, and the Archers move closer.  Magic is dispelled.  The Archers’ shots fail or are saved, and the Catapult kills a single Greatsword.  And here comes the real fun.  We start with the Chariots and Swordsmen.  3d6 S4 Impact Hits later, I think I lost 7 guys.  After flubbing literally all but one attack, which is saved, the crew and horses kill another 2.  Not only have I lost 9 Swordsmen, but I’ve lost my rank bonus and thus my Steadfast-ness.  Guess who breaks.  Right.  They fly away, but are easily caught by the Chariots.  *chompchompchomp*  In other news my Knights manage to kill only a single Warrior.  The Warriors kill a single Knight (so much for a 1+ armour save…against SKELETONS!).  His ranks mean I have to test.  I fail.  BSB re-roll! I fail again.  Serious?  It’s okay, they’re cav, they can outrun…what do you mean I rolled 2-2-1?  A four?  Warriors roll a 5, and the Knights and General are caput.  So I have now lost all but one unit, making up 223 points between the BSB and the Greatswords.

Turn 3

I kinda want to see if the Greatswords can do anything.  They charge into the Warriors.  Battle ensues.  They lose a guy, but kill a few!  I win combat, but he’s steadfast, rolls a 10 (General’s Ld9), so loses only one more dude.  Ugh.  At least the Greatswords didn’t uber-fail like the Knights did.

Anyway, we figured that the Chariots could be on me by Turn 4, so we called it.

Final Thoughts

So, even with this outcome, I had fun, as usual.  If you look through my game reports on DakkaDakka you’ll see that I almost always play Andrew, and no matter what happens we enjoy ourselves.  Although I’ll note usually I win.  Which is fine, because when we used to play Warmachine he usually won.  But that’s for another Tale of Gamers.

I was disappointed with how the Knights did.  I know they can do better.  I also chose the wrong unit to charge.  I made a lot of mistakes, really.  Right from spell choice I was doing things wrong.  I’m going to blame the heat.  We played at my house and my wife and I are refusing to use the A/C just yet.  I’m also going to blame the lighting.  We played in what is technically the dining room, which has VERY little lighting.  That needs to be remedied.  I’ll also blame baby-brain.  We played on Tuesday, making my newborn only 12 days old.  I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep. 

So yeah.  That’s why I did all of the silly things that I did.

Thankfully I learned a little.  Like, don’t spend so much on Lords and Heroes.  And, no Magic is probably better than no Shooting.  I learned some other things, too, but for now I’m happy that I got in a game.

Hopefully next week we can play again.  We might not be able to bump up to 1000 points yet, but maybe 800.  I really don’t enjoy these small-point games, even if they take little time to play.  I’d rather sacrifice time spent playing and be able to field a few more units, and do more things.

Anyway, thanks for reading.  This is going to count as my Week 4 update.  Again, little baby means not a lot of hobby time right now.  Although I think it’s getting better (I was able to both play a game AND write a report for it in the span of two days).  Things are looking up!  Well…not for those Knights…three 1s…yeesh!…

Taking a Break (Test) (Empire)   Leave a comment

You see how I did that there? I added “test” because you take Break Tests in the game?  Get it? No? Whatever.

Anyway, my update for Week Three is here, and you’re not going to see much, as the last half-week I’ve been caring for my wife and new baby boy, Aidan-Grey.  It was a toss-up between my family and hobby, and, well, the family won.  Sorry 🙂

The next month-plus will probably see very little in the way of gaming for me, but I think I will soon be able to get back to hobbying this Empire army.  I’m not out of the Tale of Gamers, I’m just taking a necessary hiatus of sorts.  Fear not.  I think I am still futher along than anyone else in this challenge! Hah.

My first order of business will be to finish the battle reports of the two games I played last Tuesday (which I couldn’t finish as my wife’s water broke mere hours after I got home).  Quickly, I played 500 point games against Andrew (Tomb Kings) and Loy (Dark Elves), with very different outcomes.  I’ll see if I can get those up soon.

Otherwise, let’s hope the rest of these guys get some work done, and hopefully play some games.  I also need to see if Ilan has been able to start his Warriors yet.

Bye for now!

Posted May 23, 2011 by mrborges in Empire, Warhammer Fantasy

Built, Based and Primed (Empire)   Leave a comment

So this past week I was able to finish building the rest of my Empire forces.  Everyone is built (minus shields for those that have them), based (sand for now, grass later) and primed (Krylon white primer).  I have also started painting the horses.  I don’t exactly know why I chose the horses to start off with, but I did.  And lastly, I got in a couple of demo games of WHFB using a 500pt list.

Building

I don’t have any pictures today, so you’ll have to take my word for it.  I will see if I can get some in the next couple of days.

I have now built:

  • 1 General on horseback
  • 1 Captain as Battle Standard Bearer
  • 2 Battle Wizards
  • 8 Knightly Orders
  • 20 Swordsmen
  • 10 Handgunners
  • 10 Greatswords
  • 5 Pistoliers
  • 1 Mortar

The units all have Full Command built.  Until I get more replacement models, if I ever don’t have any of the command units in the list, I will just place them in the back ranks to die early.  It helps avoid confusion. 

Everyone also has sand on their bases.  It’s just some regular white ‘play’ sand I borrowed from work (I work at a day care), that I glued to the bases using regular white Elmer’s glue.  Which I also borrowed from work.  I primed using Krylon white primer.  I’ve been using Krylon forever.  Krylon brown I find las down the best.  Gray and White often get a little funky and chunky, but with enough shaking and a test spray it works great.  And for around $5 a can, it is way cheaper than the GW stuff which I will never buy again.  Which means I will probably never prime black again, but that’s fine by me.  I can’t afford black primer at GW’s prices.

Painting

As mentioned, I’ve started painting horses.  First I put painted all of the Knightly Orders’ armour with Pig Iron.  I use P3 paints, by the way.  I think I’ll talk more about my tools and materials in the next update.  Next I painted the bases of all the horses with DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic Burnt Umber.  This is a paint from the dollar store (Dollarama), since I don’t want to be wasting my more expensive paint on bases.

Next I painted hides.  For the Knightly Orders I’ve got two black, two gray, one tan, one dark brown, one reddish brown and one light brown.  The General’s horse will be dark brown.  For the Pistoliers I’ve got one dark brown, one reddish brown, one light brown, one tan and one gray.  When I get pictures of them all, I’ll name the actual paints I used on them.  I painted the Knightly Orders’ saddles blue and red, so the KOs will have Altdorfian colours.  More on choosing units’ colours next update, as well.  That’s where I am right now, with no detailing, manes, shading or highlights.  That will come over the next few days, hopefully.

Gaming

And again, last week I helped teach WHFB to gaming buddies Les and Chris.  A report can be found at http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/368056.page

Tonight I should be able to play another game or two, this time against some of the other ToG armies.  It looks like Rob, Loy and Andrew will all be able to make it out.  Maybe I can them how to make battle reports with Battle Chronicler, and there can be some for the games I don’t play in.

Anyway, that’s my update for week two.

Posted May 17, 2011 by mrborges in Empire, Warhammer Fantasy

Mustering the Troops (Empire)   Leave a comment

So Week 1 of the Tale of Gamers challenge has come and gone.  By day 1 I had the following…

I started working on building the units right away.  A week later, I’ve only got the 10 Handgunners and 10 Greatswords left to build.  Not too bad, but I should have had them finished already.  That’s okay, because what I’ve built I have already sand-based and primed!

In fact, after I took these pictures, I even started painting some of the Knightly Orders horses.  Today (Monday) I will try and finish building the remaining models so I can at least have the entire army ready to use for our first games of the challenge, which will hopefully be tomorrow.

Thoughts so far…

So I’m pretty happy with how things are going.  It’s only been a week, and shortly I will have all of my available troops built and primed, and I am already starting on the painting.  I think in terms of pace, I’m doing well.  I will not need all 60 men and 14 horses for my first few games, so I will be painting what I need for starters.

Still no baby yet.  He’s refusing to leave the comfort of the womb, much to my wife’s chagrin.  And belly-aching.  Literally.  So this is giving me some extra time to work on this stuff, but I know time is running out.

I ended up going with the Swordsmen for my initial State Troopers unit.  I prefer the look and feel of them over the Halberdiers, although I know the latter is the more popular unit these days.  It’s a trade-off between a point in WS, I, Armour Save and a Parry Save, versus a higher S.  I am hoping that lasting power is going to help me more than hitting power will, but we will see soon enough.  I will add 20 Halberdiers as soon as as I’ve added all the troops I have that I want to use, so probably when we get above 1000pts.

I think that’s all for now.  Let’s see how my compatriots are doing with their armies…

Posted May 9, 2011 by mrborges in Empire, Warhammer Fantasy