This time a battle in October 2015
2000 point High Elves v Orc Waagh!
Not having played Warmaster for a while we were delighted at how much of the rules we remembered. Aside from a few errors in brackets, we did well.
As usual Stormwind set up the terrain on a 6’ x 4’ table then we diced for sides [he won] and then we set up. We usually set up blind writing down where our units will be and then transferring them to the table top. Today I was lazy and just set up whilst Stormwind noted his on paper and then set up after me.
With 2000 points I had to use most of the table, but I put cavalry on both flanks and trolls in the centre. So left to right
[Giant] [2 Boar riders 1 wolf boys, Orc Hero] [2 gobos, 2 orcs, Orc Shaman] --
[3 Trolls, 1 gobo, Orc General and crown of command, never leave home without one!]
[Rock lobber, goblin shaman] [2 gobos, 2 orcs, Orc Hero and gobo shaman]
[1 Orc boys with 2 Wolf riders and Orc hero]
Stormwind set up on both flanks leaving the centre empty, a favourite tactic of his, if I have a smaller army I will often refuse a flank leaving half his army several command throws from the action.
On his left flank were
[2 Reavers and 1 Silver Helms, Elf Hero] [Eagles, behind a mage with Bolt throwers in front]
[2 Spearmen, 2 archers and General]
On his right flank, with apologies for the rubbish photo
[Mage with Bolt throwers] [2 archers, 2 spearmen] [Elf hero] [2 reavers, 2 Silver helms]
As you will see both sides have generals sitting atop a dragon or wyvern, these aren’t paid for, but we like the models and it makes general spotting easier.
So , the field of battle Orcs left, High Elf [pointy stick throwers] on the right.
We rolled to start and the High elves got to go first, Stormwind has now won two out of two roll offs, this is most unusual. So at this point I get out my proper dice, time to get serious?
Turn One High Elf
Stormwind has a history of failed commands so I was taken aback as his army seemed to romp across the table. [A lot of units in his Chaos army like to wait around for a turn or two before moving, I guess they want to see how things are developing.]
The only unit to fail was a blunder on the Giant Eagles, penalty minus one command for rest of game, as the mage rolling this also had command of bolt throwers, rather than waste the General’s command on them Stormwind chose to ignore their movement and moved on to the General’s brigade.
Characters moved, no magic no shooting.
After his move, sorry again a fuzzy shot. I guess I was still in shock at not going first.
Turn one Orc
It is often said that my dice will roll to my command; this game proved it was my opponnets' selective memories.
Starting from the right, or the top in the following image;
The cavalry brigade refused, as did the Orc and gobo brigade.
The rock lobber moved forwards under the command of a gobo shaman.
In his Turn the General moved the Trolls forward with the Crown of Command and then managed a second command needing a 6.
Before that the Orc Shaman moved his brigade forwards twice, 36cm
The Orc hero advanced the Giant twice and the cavalry twice too.
I realised too late that I should have moved the giant after the cavalry and pushed for a fail, with a "what does he do next?" with elves in sight it could have been fun!
My Charcters moved fowards and my Gobo Shman got a geroff result but only pushed the bolt throwers back into the wood's edge 2cm, Should have used gotcha might have got some wounds, however the best result was the Orc Shaman's magic Geroff, pushing back one unit of Silver helms a full 60cm. This removed them from the brigade and possibly from the game, it is always difficult to pull back a unit, unless you dedicate a hero and forfeit movement elsewhere. Such unit recovery is one of the uses I put my Crown of Command too.
Sadly I forgot to take the photo at this point but did remember after Stormwind's move but before his magic as shown.
Turn two High Elf
Seeing how poorly the Orcs moved Stormwind was keen to take advantage, as you can see from the bottom of the picture upwards he rushed his Reavers and High Helms forwards on his left flank racing them around the dead marsh [impassable not blocking LOS].
The mage then pulled his archers and spear-men forwards 31cm from my cavalry brigade that was behind the crest of the hill.
The Hero in the centre brought forwards his Spear and archers to the table centre.
The Eagles refused to move for the mage.
But the General rushed the High Helms and Reavers forwards [top of photo] putting them to the flank of my cavalry brigade judging it so he was level and I couldn't see him. (Elvish cunning.)
To add insult to injury he then moved the bolt thrower forwards 40cm before falling a command roll. Characters were then moved see photo above.
Having moved his characters, Stormwind fires arrows from his reavers into the Giant and from his archers into the giant and then cast 'Heaven's Fire' so his archers could fire a second time, I note they only hit on a 4+ the second time, can't recall if we got that right.
However he achieved 4 unsaved wounds on the Giant, and pushed him back 11cm. This reduced him to half strength attacks but allowed him to see and to use initiative to attack the reavers in his turn.
At the top the reavers shot at the wolf boys who had to move 4cm away. I moved the boar boys back to make way which now meant when the wolf boys moved away they would see the reavers, the brigade remains intact and the boar boys move back into the General Stormwind chose for them to join the High Helms. (With hind sight we realised this wasn't possible, as he wasn't mounted he should have joined an infantry unit).
The really horrible image that follows gives a flavour for his moves and show my moves before attack and firing.
Turn two Orc
My response to his turn was to initiative the giant into the reavers, I could see his front and flank, we chose to attack the front even though it wasn't a good fit because of the marsh, but it seemed fairer than hitting the flank and gave him the chance to fire at the giant as it came in.
(Infact the move was impossible under initiative, I should have commanded a move to get line of charge and then charged.)
Next I galloped the Cavalry brigade just above the giant over the hill within 30 cm, then commanded move, the boar boys went in first charging the archers and unsighting the wolf boys who I moved into position to fire at the rear rank of spear men that was supporting the archers. Chancing my arm I rolled a third time for the wolf boys, -2 moves -1 distance - 1 proximity got a four and charged into the flank.
The unit of Orcs and Gobos next to them moved twice allowing me to move and I reformed to face off an expected charger from the Reavers when they polished off my Giant.
At the top I commanded the brigade to move on a -1, the wolf boys moved forwards and around to fire at the two ranks of Reavers leaving the Boar boys to move and exposing the front of the Reavers, which they now attacked.
The Unit of Orcs and Goblins adjacent to them moved the other side of the woods to attack the Archers and spear-men in the table centre, getting close enough to fire 15cm, but leaving LOS for the rock chucker.
That left the Trolls and gobos with them, using Crown of command I ordered them forwards into the woods, the Trolls stayed in column and the gobos managed to go in line in the woods where they could fire at the Elves. [Nothing quite like a tree to hide behind :) ]
Chancing my arm I decided to see if I could move the trolls against the elves. -1 moves - 1 proximity, -1 trolls, -1 difficult terrain, 4 required. 4 rolled 'maybe they have a point about my dice rolling to command', the trolls lined up against the elves.
All this can be seen in the fuzzy pic above.
The wolf boys fired into the Reavers behind the ones the boar boys had attacked destroying a stand and pushing the unit off table, but no shooting in the centre as I'd blocked LOS, magic allowed me to cast Waagh! on the Boar boys attacking the Reavers and on the right hand unit attacking the elven infantry.
The giant charges into the reavers received one hit as they fired at him but in the melee the was 1 point in his favour so a draw and both sides retreated, I knew he'd be shot to pieces in their turn.
The boar Boys and wolf boys destroyed one unit of elven archers the other lost a stand. Behind them the spear men hit in the flank dropped back, the other unit of spears behind the archers with two stands left had not been in combat and no stands were able to support. The archers in front forced them back and both they and the archers rolled 6 and became confused.
The wolf boys swung around to take the retreating spear men in the front rather than shuffling along their flank, if not then they would have collided with the bolt throwers.
(In fact the elves should have moved directly away from the wolfboys who would have then pursued them hitting the flank again.)
The boar boys now down to two stands each, all rushed forwards to the Spear men too, although one unit should have continued the melee against the spear men on the right, our error.
This lined the 7 Cavalry stands up against the three stands of Spear men.
The spear men were destroyed and the Wolf boys advanced into the flank of bolt throwers, destroying them on the next melee.
The boar boys now advanced to the archers and their supporting Spear men and bounced.
The Trolls chewed into the mixed elven infantry but the incoming arrows and poor dice rolls and loads of support resulted in a draw and both side now moved back, but with trolls in front and near the flank they were in trouble.
The Boar boys now attacked the Reavers at the top of the table. The Silver helms were also in contact and as the general had joined them he and one stand added their weight to the attack. The boar boys even with Waagh only managed to achieve two wounds and lost two stands, they retreated but only the Reavers pursued, wiping them out with no further loss to the reavers who then chose to advance into the wolf boys.
Their advance makes contact with two units of wolf boys and their shooting took an amazing 4 wounds reducing the reavers to one stand. In the ensuing melee both sides only achieved one wound, including shooting this was a victory and the reavers should have retreated 5cm with the boar boys pursing, but in a brain dead moment we considered it a draw.
Had the Reavers retreated the wolf boys should have won the next combat and been able to take the silver helms in the flank, and died, but hey :) .
As we had run out of time we called it quits. At this time it was a minor Orc victory but a draw would have been a better description.