It’s time for new battle reports.
Due to my lack of time in the last weeks, I wasn’t able to play as much Warhammer as I would have liked. But now, I’m looking forward to a nice time of gaming and writing about it.
Due to the humble and unfinished state of my Ogres, I fielded the ever-ready Dwarves. I didn’t want to lend miniatures, for I try to finish my Ogre army for a tournament in Munich in April – and perhaps, this could be a good motivation to get the Ogres ready.
The army list
Anyhow, the army list was pretty “standard” for me: three blocks of melee infantry, a king for the higher morale and fighting potential (well, not really – he is more for getting hurt and absorbing melee hits, but he is a great threat for every unit). As usual in the last year, I didn’t field Hammerers, for their Stubbornness is way overpriced in this Warhammer edition. The massive contribution of (organ) guns was granted by the actual army choice in my gaming club which allowed two of these nice babies. Of course, I was really looking forward for the rare opportunity of fielding four war machines which hit automatically. The Bolt Throwers should also be a threat not to be underestimated, as the Engineers granted them the important additional Ballistic Skill.
Dwarf Lord, General, GW, Shieldbearers, 1 x Rune of Resistance, 1 x Rune of Stone – 206 Pts.
Runelord, Anvil of Doom, 2 x Rune of Spellbreaking – 365 Pts.
Thane, GW, 1 x Master Rune of Gromril, 1 x Rune of Resistance, Battle Standard Bearer – 144 Pts.
28 Longbeards, GW, M, S, C – 389 Pts.
25 Longbeards, Ranger Upgrade, GW, M, S, C – 375 Pts.
34 Miners, M, S, C – 399 Pts.
6 Miners, M, C – 81 Pts.
Cannon – 90 Pts.
Cannon – 90 Pts.
Bolt Thrower, Engineer – 60 Pts.
Bolt Thrower, Engineer – 60 Pts.
Organ Gun – 120 Pts.
Organ Gun – 120 Pts.
The first opponent I would meet was a veteran Ogre player (also playing Wood Elves from time to time). While the unwashed hordes of multiple wounds which moved into my direction were a nice target for the cannons, I had a feeling that there were way too many possibilities where to shoot. Clearly, shooting here and there would be fruitless, so I had to concentrate the fire and hopefully would take advantage of the low Ogre morale.
The Ogre army contained a Tyrant, the unavoidable Ironblaster, a big Ogre carrier for protecting the Characters, two smaller units of Maneaters and Yhetees, a Thundertusk, a middle-sized unit of Ironguts, two Sabertooths and a Firebelly.
The Rangers were put in a wood at the flank of the Yhetees and the Thundertusk, mainly because I thought that their presence could cause a delay in the movement of this flank. Beside this, I felt that they would be of pretty small use when the Tyrant and his massive unit would hit my line.
The Yhetees managed to attack the Organ Gun on the most left position and eat through the artillery base henceforth. And the artillery fire had started so well with decimating the Maneater unit. Sadly, it wasn’t enough.
The Miners were of pretty small use in this battle – or even near to none. While the small Miners managed to enter the battlefield in turn three, the bigger unit was delayed one turn more and could only assist in the big melee which consumed both the Longbeards and the Miners. At least, the six Miners were able to deal with a lonely Sabertooth.
The reasons causing this defeat were various – a poor position for the artillery, which was way too exposed and could be attacked by a small, fast unit. I also felt pretty helpless against the massive amalgamation of Wounds in the big Ogre units carrying the Characters. It’s questionable whether a Catapult causing multiple wounds might have been of better use than the second Organ gun or not.
I think it’s questionable whether such a massive amount of artillery would be successful against the vast speed of Ogres. Surely, one unit can always be decimated while one other is slowed down by the Anvil. But it should be also said that the guns lacked a proper positioning from the beginning of the battle – if they had been directly behind the dwarven units, maybe they could have been of better use. But on the other hand, I feared that the melee units would lack manoeuvrability during the battle and hoped that the Ogres would not be able to overthrow them so fast.
The second battle should be against the new Skullcrushers (as if the possibility of fielding entire units of Heroes mounted on these Khornite Daemons wouldn’t be ridiculous enough…). I fielded the same army from the first report and again hoped that the Anvil would obstruct one unit while the artillery dealed with the other unit of daemon-riding Chaos Knights.
The other unit I had to care of was a pretty massive melee unit of ten Chaos Knights carrying a Chaos Lord. Again, I tried my luck with positioning my artillery in one corner of the battlefield and protecting them with my melee units (after a nasty defeat by Wood Elves years ago, I never put my artillery on the edge of the battle line).
Having no better plan for the Rangers, I decided that they would be of best use at the side of the bigger Longbeard unit. Sadly, the battle plan proofed to be poor once again. The powers of Chaos granted my opponent the first turn, to protect their servants from an early bath in dwarven artillery fire. The one shooting phase I was granted was useless, as just one Skullcrusher went down. The next decision was born of simple curiosity what would happen if the small Longbeards would attack the Chaos Knights (well, I really should have been able to be at least this prophetical). The Knights defeated the Dwarves severely and overran into the Generals unit. From this onward, it was clear that the battle was lost and I conceded.
Against so much heavy cavalry, the best hope against these daemon riders will be the flank attack granted by the Anvil. Most armies lacking rerolls in melee or the proper spells will have to be very tricky against this new unit.
The last opponent fielded the Empire. It was a quite nicer list than I had expected (just one unit of Griffon riders, to begin with) and I was really optimistic about this meeting. First, I knew that I would outnumber him with the sheer amount of artillery in my list and second, I knew that he is a “fluffy” gamer who likes to play non-maximised armies. Well, but it still was an army with Griffon Riders, good artillery and a Steam Tank. So anyhow, it would be an interesting challenge.
We started with a pretty balanced field which didn’t give an advantage to both parties. His army contained three “Breakers” – the mentioned Griffon Riders and the Steam Tank and a team of ten knights of the Inner Circle carrying the General (obviously). For flanking and hunting war machines, there were five knights and a Pegasus-riding Captain. A second group of five knights protected the imperial wizards.
The battle was pretty straightforward: the men of the Empire moved with full speed, with one exception of the Steam Tank who accidentally produced too much steam and decided not to take part in this forward movement.
The participation of the tank wasn’t needed whatsoever. Underestimating the seer power of a cavalry attack, the frontal assault proofed to be enough for my Dwarves. The human General killed the Dwarf Lord with some strikes of his armour-neglecting sword while his comrades demonstrated how useful the strike-repeating powers of the Orcanium could be. Confronted with such a poor situation, it was just a drop in an ocean that the Miners wisely choose not to appear at the battlefield. Perhaps, it would have been better to lay fire on the Orcanium rather than trying to shoot my first Steam Tank (who was pretty crushed, but not defeated at the end of the battle). Additionally, the fire of the Organ Guns on the knights was near to useless due to their marvellous 1+ armour.
Deciding that the battle would end sooner than later with a crushing defeat, I surrendered. But I have to say that, beside the poor outcome in statistic terms, the battle nevertheless was a fun one with a relaxed opponent.
I also underestimated the Griffon Riders (which were not that cruel than their counterparts some battle reports ago) while the artillery fire from both armies wasn’t that terrifying, like the magic. The only real bloodshed was caused in hand-to-hand melee – in a battle between Dwarves and Empire, the two classic gun armies, who would have guessed?
Needless to say that the result of the battles speaks for itself – the decision of fielding the whole artillery range just because it was allowed in the army restrictions was pretty foolish. The dice-related war machines were too dependent on good luck and getting the first turn for an additional round. Sadly, war machine hunters found easy prey on my machinists and the Organ Guns seemed to have taken holiday.
Having no possibility for repeating the hitting dices in melee, close combat is also a very uneasy affair due to the heavy points every Dwarf costs. But I don’t want to paint the picture too black – the actual Dwarven army is a really tough stone that is not cracked too easily – if played by a cunning player. Perhaps the points spent in artillery would have been of better use in bigger and better equipped units – taking advantage of the 450 points limit per unit which is 50 points more than in normal Austrian army restrictions.
Next weekend, I will attend the Austrian Team Tournament (the ÖTT in German) in Carinthia with my Ogres. I don’t expect too much outcome for my Ogres but will enjoy the battles and report from the tournament site – and maybe, I can get a glimpse of the Austrian view on the ETC rule set and army restriction as the tournament uses the ETC restrictions. So it will be really interesting next time.