Hello and welcome back for another SAGA showdown, this time between my Crusaders and Herman’s Frankish force using 6pt warbands! After having played several of the standard scenarios, like ‘Sacred Ground’, ‘Champions of God’, and the Challenge’, we decided that it was about time we stirred things up a bit. So, after a short discussion we settled on playing ‘the Last Stand!’ from the Crescent and the Cross rulebook, which is a challenging scenario for both defender and attacker alike. I really wanted to make sure that I got to attack in this scenario, mainly because the Crusaders are quite an aggressive army, but also since the risk of not unlocking virtues in time can make defending extremely hard and annoying. This scenario uses an interesting but tricky mechanic where both players bids a secret number between 1-10, which is translated to the number of turns each player thinks he/she can destroy the enemy army in. The lowest bidder automatically becomes the attacker, which basically means that you have to wager between a bid that not only gets you the role you want to play, but also gives you a chance of winning should you become the attacker. I opted to bet for 7 turns, while Herman placed a total of 8 turns in his bet. As I was the lowest bidder I became the attacker, set to destroy Herman’s entire army (not counting the Warlord) within seven turns. The scenario also allows the attacker to use the ‘Endless Warband’ special rule which means that warriors and hearthguard that have previously been killed can form up fresh units that can re-deploy on the table as the game progress – this in turn means that the defender will have to watch out and not try to kill too many soldiers from the attacking force. A tricky situation to handle even for a skilled player!
I took the following army:
8 Mounted Hearthguards
8 Hearthguards on foot w. great weapons
9 Warriors on foot w. spears/shields
7 Warriors on foot w. crossbows
Herman’s army consisted of:
1 Charlemagne, Emprah of the West
8 Mounted Hearthguards (Charlie’s bodyguard: armor 6. Please note that we played this unit a bit wrong as it can only consist of a total of 6 models)
4 Mounted Hearthguards
8 Warriors on foot w. bows
8 Warriors on foot w. bows
The Crusader force, mainly consisting of the fleur of Norman nobility, scum and villany.
The army’s punching capability have improved after I recruited some more axe hurlers from the Kingdom of Scicily!
Crusading knights on their V4 mustangs ready to ride shiny and chrome!
Foot sergeants make up the center of the force and are eager to pillage their way to the Holy land!
An army led by the young and bold Charlemagne, of course a heretical Norman duke in the eyes of the Crusaders, is a force not to underestimate.
The Imperial bodyguard unit gets an increase to their armor which really makes them a tough nut to crack!
Herman has really improved his painting skills with this army!
These 16 archers will be a real threat to the Crusading cavalry should they get into a good firing position…
Herman deploys his entire force on the board. The attacking units will start the first turn by moving in from the table edges without any SAGA dice on their battleboard.
In order to secure his Warlord from a first turn cavalry charge, Herman deploys Charlemagne in the very center and shields the flanks with his Hearthguards. He also uses the terrain to his advantage!
The Crusaders take their first turn. Since no SAGA dice are generated for the first Orders phase in this scenario, I roll all 8 dice to unlock my first Virtue, and -oh my! There’s that flag which opens up both “Ascalon” and “Birth of a Kingdom”! The Crusaders are now kickstarted and ready for some Deus Vult!
The axemen from Scicily advance up the center to threaten both the archers and the bodyguard cavalry on my left flank.
Signeur Bohemond de Roz gallops behind his battleline who approach the Franks in cover of the farmhouse.
By using my Warlord’s ‘Determination’ activation I’m able to send the first wave of knights into combat (generating a fatigue for activating twice). Hopefully I can clear off these pesky outriders and chew up a unit and a SAGA dice from Herman’s army this early in the game.
Since Herman opts to halve his attack pool, and played “Anticipation” which grants him an extra three defense dice, as well as increasing his own armor to 6 using the fatigue marker on the knights, I only manage to kill two Frankish chevalliers while losing one knight in return. So much for my easy pickings…
As the Franks disengage Herman picks up his 6 SAGA dice and enters his first Orders phase.
Herman opts to play “Exploitation” thus forfeiting his offensive power in order to roll up 8 fresh dice on his battleboard. Using regular activations, Charlemagne’s extra ‘We Obey’ effect and “Oppression” He moves all of his cavalry out of the Crusaders threat range!
The archers who are left behind are ordered out of the woods to form a first line of defense against the latin zealots. Herman ends his turn with the “Interdiction” and “Anticipation” abilities ready to react to my activations…
At the start of my second turn I manage to unlock the ‘Justice’ virtue using three dice, which boosts my offensive powers even more! Being somewhat limited with only having 5 SAGA dice left, I put three dice into Hearthguard activations, one dice on “Victory!”, and one dice on “Taking the cross”. I then send in the dismounted knights against Herman’s “defending” archers and slaughter them to the last man while losing 3 men in return. “Victory!” reduces my armor to a dreadful 2, but is neccesary to counter Herman’s “Anticipation” which grants him extra defense dice.
Since the mounted knights are too close to the Franks in the field they have to engage once activated. This sends them into an unneccecary melee as I’d rather kill these plebs using sergeants, but I didn’t measure this before allocating SAGA dice. The knights charge!
The knights get some easy kills but fail to wipe out the unit of warriors who cut down two knights while defending their position.
Herman takes a really fast turn and decides to stack up on more control abilities like “Interdiction”, “Planification”, “Protection” and “Domination” in order to try and stall my next wave of assaults!
I decide to not bother unlocking the last Virtue and get really lucky by rolling two flags in my third Orders phase which enables the Crusaders to roll up 8 Dice on their board. All aboard the PAIN TRAIN! Herman responds by removing “Birth of a Kingdom” using “Domination”. I Start my turn by moving my units into position with regular activations and then go for “the Siege” which lets me activate my entire army. As the crossbowmen fail to inflict a single wound on the warriors in the field they generate an extra fatigue after shooting.
The foot sergeants are sent in to clear out the crop field and slaugther the remaining archers.
Two units down, two to go!
I then proceed to activate the knights (still using “the Siege” ) where I plan on trading as many knights as I can using both “Victory!” and “Ascalon”, but alas, Herman proves to be a slippery eel and reacts using “Planification” and simply moves his cavalry out of reach which means that the crusading knights take a fatigue from “the Siege”. Frankish cowardice and trickery wins the day as my combat abilities are left on the board withouth any more activation dice.
Herman starts his third turn with a somewhat unlucky roll in the Orders phase. After deciding not to counter attack without the right combination of abilities, and since there are no archers left, all he can do is to retreat and put more ground between our forces.
During their fourth turn, the crusading infantry continue to force their way up the center of the board in an attempt to establish a threat around the flanks should the Franks try to make a run down the sides of the table. Bohemond de Roz has to stay back to help activating the infantry.
With “Taking the Cross” activated the Crusaders are at an advantage in terms of mobility and striking distance. I Decide to throw away the remnant cavalry and take as many Franks with me as possible!
After combat a single knight is left standing while Herman loses two of Charlemagne’s bodyguards.
Herman decides to make a run along his own table edge, and scoots Charlemagne along with his hearthguard around the remaining crusader.
Using his dented unit of hearthguard to clear off the final knight which strips me of a SAGA dice for one turn!
Starting my fifth turn I’m able to re-deploy the entire unit of mounted knights along one of the short table edges as per the ‘Endless Warband’ special rule.
This puts Charlemagne within striking distance as I’m starting to get tired of Herman still rolling a lot of SAGA dice even after losing half his army!
I send in the knights for a short pit stop to bash some skull on the way…
…which splash some fatigue to the nearby unit of bodyguards.
I then launch the SCUD missile of axemen across half the table, once again thanks to the fantastic “Taking the Cross” ability! I decide to go MAXIMUM FIREPOWER and activate both “Victory!” and “Birth of a kingdom”. This should be bloody…
But as the SAGA dice Gods have their way, I completely fail to put a dent in the bodyguard unit and lose all of my axemen in return.
Having nothing but a sinle hearthguard activation left I send in the cavalry to desperately snip off Charlemagne’s head. Thanks to some good saving and nearby bodyguards the false Emeperor escapes death once again!
As Herman is now running low on SAGA dice he once again makes a run for it, while staying away from the table edges where crusading reserves can re-enter the game. In return, the Crusaders have quite a bad SAGA roll for their sixth turn which means that the slow infantry line staggers forth to close the gap and control the flanks. The fate of this game will be decided in the final, seventh turn…
Sensing the final battle of the game Herman decides to play defensively, rather than running away, and puts a dice in the “Combat pool” as well as a dice in the “Protection” ability which basically cancels the amount of hits taken. The closing battle will be a nail biter indeed!
Since the crusader cavalry is out of reach for anything but a tripple activation, I decide to bring on those axemen who recently got slaughtered…
Easy plan here: First, the Warlord will kill Charlemagne using “Ascalon” and “Birth of a Kingdom” (remember I have to kill his non-Warlord units but ‘Warlord’s pride’ kind of gets in my way here), then…
…Er, I only manage to score two hits out of my ten attacks which are shrugged off by saving throws and the ‘Resilience’ rule. Second of all, Charlemagne manage to land two strikes on my holy warrior which kills him outright. This was NOT supposed to happen…
This forces me to activate the hearthguard who were supposed to go in together with the crusader Warlord for the final assault on Herman’s non-Warlord unit…
But as the Dice Gods taketh, the Dice Gods giveth! Herman rolls an abysmal saving throw in the final combat!
The axemen from Scicily steps up to save the day and secures a victory for the Crusaders! As the final Frankish head rolls down the hillside, peace and order are once again returned to these lands. Jeebus is pleased.
Took the Byzantines out to their 4th SAGA tournament. I’ve been playing the Moors a lot in our Age of the Wolf campaign, but external circumstances forced my hand to pick the Romans. This AAR will describe my army, the scenarios we played, how the battles went, with focus on the important tactical decisions I remember. Lastly, a short evaluation of the tournament and my army will be presented. The initial strategy behind my army selection was to use Turcoman mercenaries and switch them with Javelin Levy. I totally failed to paint this as I needed more practice games. I ended up with:
7-point Byzantine Warband
Warlord- Strategos on Horse
2 points of Hearthguard Cavalry
4 points of Warriors
1 Point of Levy
We bring 7 points to the tournament, but only play with 6. This time I had enough models to arm the Hearthguard with both Bows or Lances depending on the opponent. I ended up playing this composition in every game except one:
8 Hearthguard w bows
10 Warriors spearmen
10 Warrior spearmen
4 Warrior spearmen
5 Levy Javelin
7 Levy Javelin
Game 1 – Pagan Rus – The Challenge
First game was against Freddys Pagan Rus, who came in all the way from Denmark to join the fun. Rus Pagans are a very historic but somewhat difficult army to face with Byzantines. Their durability and strong counters to shooting and mounted models can cause problems. He had:
Warlord- Khagan on Foot
The game starts with the Khagan charging my Strategos (I had one dice in the Combat Pool, Withdrawal and Support Archers). The Rus Khagan has an ability that if the opponent scores no hits, he can do up to 6 automatic hits. I opted to attack but failed to land a blow with 6 dice, Support Archers all missed while the Pagan Rus did 7 wounds to my Byzantine Warlord. A total frickin’ disaster. If he did three more wounds to me, he would immediately win the game so I took a conservative approach.
The Pagans sent a 12-man flanking unit which I hoped the chase down, remove a SAGA dice and did it after two turns. After this the Pagans moved towards their own edge, sacrificing units along the way. Only in the last turn I could mount a charge on the Khagan with a reduced unit of mounted Hearthguard. This was not enough to bring him down. I unintentionally cheated in the last turn by using the Kontos ability on my bow-armed hearthguard. Sorry for that Freddy.
Results: Overall victory for my opponent but I got points for some secondary objectives.
And intense game to the end but 7 inflicted wounds in turn 1 was nothing I could come back from easily. Their anti-shooting ability was especially unpleasant and they could shut down the game without using Great Winter. I made a big mistake in army composition by not running the cavalry lancers. The Rus are good at slowing the game down and surviving, somewhat like the Moors. The way to beat these durable forces is by focusing on scenario objectives. Killing all of them is way too much hassle. The cavalry lancers have a lot of attacks and could put the Rus Khagan in serious hurt after he mauled my Strategos. Ranged capability could be maintained by opting for bows among the Warriors squads.
I had a fun time during the entire game, my opponent was a great sportsman and I bet he was in some difficulties himself. He never faced Byzantines before and the Battleboard has a lot of hard to spot tricks. Freddy came from Denmark and we joked that the Danish reconquisita of Skåne was underway, one SAGA game at a time. He will arrange a team tournament in Copenhagen which I really look forward to play in.
Game 2 – Norse-Gaels – Champions of God
Second game was against another Dane, he also used a Viking faction (noticing a trend here), the Norse Gaels. In this game switched out one of the Spearmen units to archers, to shoot as much as possible. I am quite scared of the Norse-Gaels, the do massive damage to anything they touch. However, Byzantines are strong in scenarios like this where I can castle up and go full DEFENSIOR. My opponent had:
My strategy when dealing with Norse Gaels is killing all their Hearthguard as soon as possible and making sure the Warlord can’t trash my best units in a challenge. Their Hearthguard are particularly nasty because they win challenges easier and can make themselves hard to kill in combat. The Norse-Gael warriors can still do damage but are a lot more brittle in melee. They also need more support from the Battleboard to reliably win challenges.
The game starts off by having my mounted archers doing massive damage in the first turn and my opponent pushing hard to catch on and even out the numbers.
I lost the Levy and the Bowmen in this game. The Bowmen on foot are a brittle unit, if they fatigue themselves just once, their survival in melee becomes VERY difficult. Especially against opponents with Dane-axes. Should have used more spearmen here. My opponent was quite a fun guy, made great jokes but he was new to the game. He should have deployed his army centrally and avoid going around the forest. He also didn’t use the scary Norse Gael Warlord at all, who hung back with a 10-man warrior squad. Had he been closer to the front, he could have served some revenge for the Hearthguard.
Result: Win for me.
Game 3 – Moors – Into the Slaughter
Third game was against Moors led by Jonatan the tourney organizer. I didn’t expect an easy win because Jonatan is a very good SAGA player, only one so far who netted a win against Saracens led by Alex the One-Man Jihad. My shooting gives me a slight edge in this game that I have to exploit. I’ve also been playing the Moors a lot lately so knew the board well. The mission was to kill the enemy Warlord while being within M to one of 3 tokens placed along the central vertical axis running across the board. He had:
Unfortunately, as the lines close in, Friendly Fire makes shooting much riskier. We kind of charged each other back and forth, the Support Archers ability being incredible as it goes right past shooting reaction abilities.
A hard fought game, Jonatan has not been playing the Moors much and I think he will do much better with them in the future. A mistake I made here was underestimating the Doubts ability, it led to my 4-man fatigue sink unit falling far behind. Moorish abilities make resting difficult so I needed those fellows further up the board to use Common Efforts. Jonatan joked that he let me win because otherwise I would get butthurt, take the models I borrowed to him and run home crying. All I can say is, it’s not within the realms of the impossible.
Result: Win for the Byzantines.
Game 4 – Crusaders – Battle for the Hoard
Last game was Battle for the Hoard against the Crusaders run by Fredrik, some schmuck who spams the 40k articles around here. The scenario is about securing a central hoard token in difficult terrain. The army was:
8 HG mounted
8 HG w dane axes
9 Warrior Spearmen
7 Warrior Crossbow men
My standard plan against the Crusaders is to quickly reduce the Knights before they could unlock their entire board and do a heckin’ lot of damage. On the left flank, I intended one unit of Levy supported by Warriors to grab the hoard.
In the next turn, the Crusader Knights charged the levy, wrecked them and then went after my HG. After they were reduced, I really struggled to do anything the game. I did manage to destroy all the Knights but my army was beyond ravaged. The Crusader Warlord and the foot sergeants, wiped the rest of my dudes out.
I made a lot of mistakes in this game with unit placement and didn’t support my army properly which my opponent was able to exploit. And even with good SAGA dice in the end, it was very painful loss as all my models were destroyed on the table. They are tricky to face the Crusaders, ideally you want to start near them, get the first turn and pick off some knights before they power up. I should have been able to do so with my Hearthguard but I put them too far back or put shit in the way. Second thing I will take away from this game is not to split the levy into 5+7 when facing this type of aggressive ultra violent factions. The small units get wiped out too quickly and the opponent can exploit that in the same turn to cause more headache. A proper 12-man levy unit takes more effort to chew through. It didn’t help me that Fredrik plays his Crusaders well, he has a good strategy for generating Virtues and manages his dice allocation skillfully.
Result: You can always count on latins to ruin all the fun. A big fat zero points for me.
Some final words
It was a good SAGA event, well run by Jonatan. It was fun to play against new dudes and their armies. The Danes who came over to game, were a super fun bunch to play against. I particularly liked their habit of picking up your “to hit dice” when rolling for defence, this allows for no errors.
Jonatans selection of missions, terrain and overall rules was perfect, in no game I felt disadvantaged by the scenario or board. The only thing that got a bit difficult was time, no game reached the end turn. It could be the schedule but I had one of the larger armies coupled with a complicated Battleboard. Need to work on a better army composition next time, right now it feels like I am running a warband with complex solutions to simple problems. When the different scenarios are factored in, the workload from all the micromanagement becomes simply too high. With two wins, I got in the upper half of the scoring table.
Out of 10 participants, the top 3 was:
1. Alex the One-Man Jihad (Saracens with Kilij Arslan)
2. Johan (Milites Christi with Raymond de Puy)
3. Fredrik (Crusaders)
Really hope SAGA takes off here, two tournaments planned so-far in the fall. Until next time.
The Xenos incursion was swift and resolute in this system. Within a matter of days every Imperial navy ship had been either destroyed or captured, and the local Planetary Defence Force proved little to no resistance against the superior weaponry of the Tau. Any survivors that had not accepted submission into the false Xeno empire had either fled into the wastelands, or formed small gangs of militia who spent more time fighting each other than the enemies of mankind.
Lt. col. Myron of the 101st had gone through every report and vox transmission from the initial assault on Verdis Prime in order to study the tactics of his alien adversary. Co-ordinated suppressive fire with guided targeting missiles and pulse weapons, followed by jet deployed specialist strike teams of battlesuits and drones. The Tau were a well equipped and seasoned host of warriors, but one thing they had not: the Emperor’s blessing. Operation Adamant Wedge was under way and the 101st, supported by a small group of Grey Knights, were the speardhead. The plan was as bold as dauntless: after establishing a firing line with elysian recon forces, the rest of the army would strike from above and deploy using the High Altitude Combat Drop-doctrine. Myron looked at brother Captain Severus on the other side of the briefing table. A stern warrior cleric clad in ancient terminator armor, decorated with the sacred insignias of the Inquisition, stood in silence as the staff team overlooked holographic maps and attack patterns. Myron’s requests of having a small unit of Terminators dispatched to the 101st for the initial assault had finally been granted. “Make your peace with the Emperor, brother Captain…” he said, “…we make planetfall in 6 hours!”.
Welcome back to yet another Warhammer 40.000 8th edition battlereport, this time between my Elysian 101st Light Drop company, and (parts of) Jacob’s Tau Farsight enclave! This was a Matched Play game between two 1500pt armies. We chose to play the ‘Retrieval Mission’ scenario and rolled off to start deploying four objective markers. Jacob won the roll off and placed an objective on top of the skyshield landing pad, I then placed an objective in the large ruin on the opposite corner of the table. Jacob placed the third objective a couple of inches from the center of the table, right in front of the smaller ruin, and I placed the final objective behind the red silo close to the overgrown vehicle wreck. Each objective is worth 3 victory points at the end of the game to the player who controls it, and additional victory points can be scored for ‘slaying the warlord’, drawing ‘first blood’ and securing ‘linebreaker’. Since I got to place the final objective I then chose the ‘Frontline Assault’ deployment map, allowing Jacob to start deploying his units, as per the scenario rules for setting up the game. Please note that the army lists we used were in no way optimized for competitive play, but rather made up of the painted units we used in our 7th edition armies. Therefore, some special weapons, options, and upgrades may seem odd or unjustified. As a final disclaimer, some photos came out a bit blurry due to some lighting issues during the game, but hopefully they’ll give a good enough picture of how the battle progressed. Enjoy!
Elysian Droptroops Vanguard Detachment (3+1 Command Points) HQ
Company commander: powerfist (Warlord)
Command squad: 4x plasmaguns
Veteran squad: 2x plasmaguns, 1x meltagun 1x missile launcher, vox
Veteran squad: 3x meltaguns, shotguns, vox
3x Drop Sentinels: multimeltas, 3x HKM
3x Drop Sentinels: multimeltas
Officer of the fleet
Tauros Venator: twin lascannon, 1x HKM
2x Tauros assault: tauros grenadelaunchers
Droptrooper infantry squad: flamer, vox, krak grenades
Grey Knights Terminator squad: 1x Nemesis deamonhammer, 1x psycannon, 1x nemesis force falchions, 3x nemesis force halberds
Droptrooper heavy weapons squad: 2x heavy bolters, 1x missile launcher
Vulture: twin punisher cannons
Brother Captain Severus and his unit of Grey Knight terminators.
The two company commanders and an officer of the fleet.
Veteran Droptroopers with shotguns and meltaguns.
A company command squad with 4 plasmaguns, such a cost efficient unit!
Drop sentinels and heavy weapon squads.
Some of the sentinels have Hunter killer missiles.
I finally get to play the Tauros Venator in the new edition.
Recon elements of the 101st Light Drop Company.
The dreaded Vulture, now with 40 shots and a bad attitude!
Fredrik deploys 7 units in total on the table, and keeps another 7 in reserves. The Terminators, a veteran squad, his Warlord, a unit of Drop sentinels, the Officer of the fleet, the Vulture gunship, and the plasma equiped command squad are all kept in reserves ready to deploy using either ‘Aerial deployment’ or ‘Teleport strike’!
A Tau commander equipped with a Coldstar battlesuit.
XV8 Crisis battlesuit teams with specialized weapon outfits. Most units in Jacob’s army have the ‘Fly’ keyword, rendering the ‘Strafing run’ ability of the Vulture pretty much useless.
Three XV88 Broadsides provide the Tau with some much needed fire support!
Jacob’s pathfinders, a beautifully posed and painted unit!
Jacob deploys his forces as follows, and keeps both Crisis teams in reserve ready to deep strike them right where they’re needed during the game!
A wounded officer, such a fitting objective marker for the ‘Retrieval’ scenario!
Elysian Droptrooper infantry supported by Sentinels and Tauros buggies.
The Coldstar Commander hovering above his mobile firebase.
Pathfinders staying stealthy underneath one of the ruins.
Fire support squads deploy in cover of what seems to be the remains of a burnt down grove.
The center of the Tau deployment zone is made up of Broadsides, drones, and the commander.
The Venator is set up in cover of the ruined factory building.
Veterans are deployed in position to give supporting fire with plasmaguns and missile launchers to supress the enemy before the Aerial assault begins!
After both armies have deployed, Jacob uses his ‘Vanguard’ move to get the pathfinders in a better position to provide his army with marker light support. A great move!
Fredrik responds by using his ‘Vanguard’ ability to move a unit of Dropsentinels up the mid field, this will provide his center with a 9″ ‘bubble’ that will keep Jacobs crisis teams from deepstriking to close to vulnerable spots!
Jacob then takes the first turn. The entire Tau army stays quite static to not risk any negative modifiers for moving and shooting heavy weapons. At the end of the movement phase Jacob calls down his first Crisis battlesuit unit and deep strikes them onto the skyshield landing pad!
As the first shooting phase begins, the entire Tau battleline lights up the horizon. Jacob activates his commander’s ability to give all ‘Tau Empire’ units within 6″ a well needed re-roll to hit. Fredrik prepares for the incoming iron rain!
Veterans take some incoming fire but manage to shrug off most hits., only taking two casualties.
Jacob manages to place 3 markerlights on the vanguarding sentinels, and unleashes a deadly salvo of rail rifle fire, high yeild and smart missiles, exploding the walkers one after the other! This earns Jacob ‘First blood!’
The deep striking Crisis teams open up on the weapon teams with their burstcannons but only manage to down a single team. The rest of the squad keep their cool and pass their morale check.
A couple of smart missiles also hit home on the Droptrooper infantry squad, inflicting a total of 8 casualties, the remaining two soldiers deserts from the battlefield due to a failed morale test.
Fredrik starts his first turn by scaling the industrial building with his Veteran droptroopers in order to get his plasmaguns in range. The officer of the fleet also enters the battlefield using grav-chute technology provided by the Elysian regiments.
The Vulture gunship arrives just in time to light up the pathfinder team that is providing Jacob’s army with the vital marker light support!
Fredrik chooses to deploy two of his specialist squads in the forest to counter the Crisis team on the landing pad. A command squad and the Veteran droptrooper squad with melta- and shotguns make ground contact just in range to return fire!
The Grey Knight terminators who were placed in the teleport chamber also manage to find a sweet spot 9″ behind Jacob’s army and teleports into battle!
The second squad of Drop sentinels land right in front of the Broadsides to put some pressure on Jacob’s center. Thanks to the early warning override systems Jacob gets to shoot at the incoming reserves! Fearing to lose his Warlord, Fredrik keeps his last company commander in the tactical reserve.
One of the Drop sentinels go down, while another takes a wound, to the Tau intercepting fire.
Heavy weapon squads, Tauros grenade launchers and missile launcher fire removes some of Jacob’s drones which keeps the Broadsides unharmed for the entire shooting phase!
On the landing platform, overcharged plasmaguns with the “Take aim!’ order, as well as shotgun and meltagun fire proves to much for the Crisis battlesuits to withstand, thus wiping the entire unit!
The Vulture gunship opens up with it’s twin Punisher gatling cannons, benefitting from the ‘Re-roll 1s’ ability of the nearby officer of the fleet, and inflicts a total of 11 hits on the pathfinder team! Ouch!
As the muzzle flashes and gunfire goes silent, both armies have lost two units each, this will be a bloody game indeed! In the assault phase, Fredrik fails to make the 9″ charge for the Terminators (even with a command re-roll), thus failing to lock two of the broadsides in combat….
During Tau turn 2 the broadsides reload their missile systems and prepares to unleash another salvo!
Jacob calls down his second Crisis team to clear out the objective on the far side of the table!
The Coldstar commander takes to the skies and makes a skyleap towards Jacob’s left flank.
Jacob then enters his shooting phase by placing two rockets from the commander into the Venator which dodge both hits with it’s 5+ invulnerable save!
The commander then puts a well aimed volley of burstcannon fire into the Veterans on the second level of the ruin. The Veterans take heavy losses from the deep striking Crisis teams forcing a heavy morale check on the unit who runs off the field.
The broadsides split their fire between the Terminator squad in the back and the Drop sentinels in front of them…
…blowing up another sentinel, and killing two of the Grey Knights who weather the storm!
Sensing their deadly potential Jacob fires off a couple of smart missile systems to clear out the command squad in the woods.
During his turn 2, Fredrik moves the heavy weapon teams from the safety of the woods in order to respond to the new threat of the Crisis battlesuits.
Tauros assault buggies moves across the battlefield at high speed to chase down the Recon drone who managed to survive the Vulture strafing the Pathfinders.
The venator chase after the Coldstar commander, twin lascannons ready to engage on sight!
In an artful manouvre the Vulture steers left and locks his sights on a new target.
The threat of the advancing terminators. Still fearing to lose his Warlord Fredrik keeps the company commander off table for one more turn. If he’s not deployed by the end of turn 3 he will count as being destroyed!
Using the ‘Move and fire!’ order, Fredrik gets to shoot his heavy bolters as if they were ‘Assault’ weapons, a clever move!
Which clears some drones from the Crisis team!
The Venator lands a lascannon shot into the Tau commander who fails both his shield generator and stimulant injector rolls (even with a Command re-roll). Scoring only a single wound of damage Fredrik then uses a Command point to re-roll the die, managing to inflict a solid 5 on the second roll!
Seeing how close he is to a Warlord kill, Fredrik chooses to fire the Vulture gunship into the Coldstar battlesuit instead of the Crisis team ahead. Despite hitting on 5’s Fredrik score enough hits to force a handfull of failed armor saves. The large battlesuit crashes to the ground, leaving a plume of black smoke behind…
As if things weren’t bad enough, the Grey Knight squad makes a successfull assault into one of the Broadside suits.
Brother Captain Severus lands a powerful blow with his Nemesis deamonhammer into the back of the battlesuit, killing it in an instant!
The last Drop sentinel also completes a charge into a broadside but both units fail to inflict any wounds. At the start of his third turn, Jacob falls back out of combat to be able to shoot at the sentinel again.
Using their jetpacks, the Crisis team launches themselves onto the second level of the ruin to secure the objective. The rapid firing plasmarifles puts a single wound on the Vulture Gunship above!
Once again Jacob splits his missile fire and takes out the final Drop sentinel but fails to inflict any wounds on the Terminators threatening the last Broadsides.
Fredrik starts his third turn by advancing his Veteran droptroopers onto the landing pad, The Elysian company commander now enters the battlefield and makes a smooth landing behind his troops, ready to lead them from the front!
The Venator swings around to take pot shots at the Crisis team on top of the ruin
In order to respond to the threat of the Crisis teams, Fredrik enters ‘Hover mode’ with the Vulture and lights up the taget on the leveled platform. Both Crisis suits are destroyed due to some unlucky armor saves!
The Tauros assault buggies finally chase down the Recon drone who is lurking behind cover to grab one of the objectives in the late game!
After yet another deadly assault phase Jacob loses his second Broadside to the Grey Knight strike team! In a final stand, Jacob starts his fourth turn by opening fire into the Terminators but fails to inflict any damage….
At the start of turn 4, the Tau general concedes which earns the Droptroops their second crushing victory in the new edition of the game! As the rangers secure the objectives, any remaining Xeno scum are relieved of their miserable lives!
The wounded officer is retrieved and safely returned to his staff. All is as the Emperor wills!
After action thoughts
Jacob: After beeing away from the hobby for a good twelve months this was the game to get me interested again. Not that I ever really lost interest in it, but there is a lot to do here in the world. The conditions were perfect: well painted armies, board and terrain, and of top of that a new edition. For me this was a walkthrough of 8th as well as a walkthrough of the new rules for T’au in 8th, very exiting! Overall, the match was a good one. My plan was to shoot with Broadsides, and make awesome surgical tactical teleportation strikes (place them on the board more then 9″ away from enemy unit and unleash hell) with my two teams of Crisis suits wherever they were needed. My first turn of shooting with my Broadsides made an impact. My commander used his ability Kauyon (giving re-rolls of to hit to friendlies within 6″), so nothing else was expected. To my Crisis suits all I can say is, YOU ARE ALL FIRED! As you probably have read I lost the game. But don’t feel sorry for me, this is the best part. The process of trying out new things (and throwing out the old), the creativity in list making, exploring new units and ways to play the game is what makes Warhammer 40k interesting to me. Losing a game is really boosting this. The T’au empire will be back for a rematch, that I promise you!
Fredrik Well I’ll be damned! Another one in the loop for the Elysians! This game was very interesting, both in terms of the points increase from my last game (allowing me to take more unique units), and in terms of facing off against my most feared opponent – the Tau enclaves! When Jacob opened up with his 24 high yield missiles and 24 smart missile systems with re-rolls to hit I thought I was in for a bad day. And I sort was at an early stage as he cleared off a whole unit of infantry and my expensive sentinels. This forced me to position my reserve units to deal at least an equal blow back to the Tau, and boy they did. The overcharged plasmas on a cheap command squad with orders once again proved deadly by wiping out an entire unit of Crisis suits. And the Vulture? What’s not to love?! A beautiful model with a heavy damage output versus units of fragile and unsupported infantry. That strafing run on the building during turn 1 will be remembered for a long time. Even though the Elysians have gotten a whole lot better in this edition, I think the unit that made this victory possible was the teleporting Grey Knight Terminators who soaked up a lot of fire and really pressured his back line. Kudos for being awesome again termies… I’m really looking forward to playing again, and by then, lets hope we see some awesome mecha robots (read Riptides and Stormsurges) on the blog!
Captain Ikaru Perseus personally supervised the task of rearming and refueling one of the platoon Valkyries from the vantage point of a tower at the F.O.B “White Haven” – also known as “the Marbled Hellhole” by it’s garrisoned inhabitants. He was at the end of his twenty month long deployment at this Emperor forsaken rock, called Aglaia IV, which apperantly had resources valuable enough to justify the deployment of Phantine skyborne specialists rather than conscripted colonials for protection. Resources that were needed in some distant part of the Imperium, and that would never enrich these men and women’s home system. He hated this place. The ever burning sun, the scorching sands of the planet surface, and the constant harassment by solar winds making scanners and clarion vox-nets unreliable. For some ironic reason this system was also under constant threat from Eldar piracy, as if the Xenos found some animalistic pleasure or instinct in fighting over this place of rock and sand. Skirmishing with Eldar corsairs was a daily routine for the troopers of the 101st, which is why the commanders made sure to keep response units in the air at all times – consuming fuel on a rate higher than normally accepted by the Adeptus Administratum. Perseus glanced at the red veil flickering around the sun. In an instant, a flash of pure white light pierced his vizor and forced him to avert his gaze! A thundering salvo of laser and shuriken fire blasted the surface of the colony, forcing the defenders to take cover while Xeno hover craft and jet units deployed around the perimiter in a graceful manouvre. Before his troops had time to return fire, Cpt. Perseus activated his distress beacon to signal the rapid reaction units. “Three weeks left” he thought, and the Xenos could have this hell hole for all that he cared…
Welcome to this Warhammer 40.0008th edition battlereport between my Elysian Droptroops and my good friend Simon’s Eldar army. This was a Matched Play test game of 700pts designed for us to try out the new indexes, as well as the core game rules and mechanics. We set up the game using the Vanguard deployment map and the ‘Secure and Control’ Eternal War mission. I won the roll off to set up a single objective first and placed it on the Skyshield landing pad. Simon then set up a single objective on top of one of the towers. Each objective is worth 3 victory points at the end of the game, and additional victory points can be scored for ‘slay the warlord’, drawing ‘first blood’ and securing ‘linebreaker’. Since this was a rather small test game I won’t go through the army lists, although I should point out that my army was battleforged (+3 command points), consisting of a single Vanguard detachment (+1 command point) while Simon’s army was unbound (0 command points). Units and models were selected mainly due to what we had painted from our 7th edition armies. Here’s an overview of the deployment.
700pts of Elysian Droptroops consisting of two infantry squads with one plasmagun each, 2 company commanders (one with a powerfist), a veteran squad with three meltaguns and seven shotguns, a company command squad with four plasmaguns, two Tauros assault vehicles with grenade launchers, three Drop sentinels with multimeltas, and a heavy weapons squad with one missile launcher and two heavy Bolters.
The commander in charge with a Powerfist, and Cpt. Perseus ever at his side.
Veteran Droptroopers ready for breaching action!
Fire support section.
Infantry squads make up the core of the army.
Simon’s 700pts of Eldar. A spiritseer with five Wraithguards equipped with D-Scythes, three Jetbikes all armed with Shuriken cannons, a Wave Serpent, and a Wraithlord.
The Xeno witchmaster commanding his spirit warrior warband of corsairs.
The Wave Serpent, a truly beautiful model and such a beast in the new 8th edition Index!
Simon deploys his Jetbikes outside the perimiter defenses.
The Wraithlord also deploys behind cover.
Fire support squads deploy on the landing pad around one of the objectives.
Infantry squads scale the catwalks linking two of the guard towers. Four units are deployed in tactical reserves to utilize the Elysian Aerial drop deployment. The warlord, the veteran squad, a command squad, and the Drop sentinels make themselves ready for planetfall…
Having deployed his army first, Simon takes first turn and zooms forward with his jetbikes to apply pressure on one flank.
The Wraithlord lumbers forward using the barricades as cover!
The Wave Serpent skim on top of the second objective and prepares to lay fire on the human defenders!
Shuriken cannon fire from both the Jetbike unit and the Wraithlord rips through the air but only manages to inflict 3 wounds on a Tauros.
The Wave Serpent opens up on the heavy weapon teams but only manage to down one of the loaders thanks to the teams being in cover.
The Elysians respond to the raider’s advance by moving around the flank of the Jetbikes. By moving more than 10″ the Tauros buggies get a 5+ invulnerable save until their next turn!
The Elysian rapid reaction units arrive using their renowned Combat Drop and deploy specialist weapon squads beneath the Wave Serpent.
Veteran troopers with meltaguns and plasmacarbines take aim. The Warlord drops in behind both squads to provide them with the valuable “Take Aim!” order!
A cloud of ash and red sand engulfs the troops as the grav-thrusters of the Drop sentinels secures a soft landing!
Fredrik rolls a total of six hits while supercharging his plasmaguns! Simon then show the trickery of the Eldar by saving almost every plasma and melta hit using the Serpent shields. The transport escapes death with 7 wounds left!
Combined fire from the infantry and Tauros grenade launchers kill off two Jetbikes.
Simon starts his second turn by moving the Wraithlord closer in preparation to scale the gates!
The Wave Serpent thrusts forward and lands right beneath the landing pad, preparing to disembark it’s deadly cargo in the next turn.
Fredrik starts his second turn by chasing after the Wave Serpent and prepares to unleash a second volley of anti-tank fire!
The command squad climb on top of the compound to get a clear line of sight while staying in range of the second objective.
The veterans strip another 6 wounds from the Wave Serpent, a well placed order from the 2IC allows the missile launcher team on the landing pad to re-roll a missed shot of a 1, which then scores a hit and explode the skimmer, killing two of it’s Wraith warriors in an instant! The Drop sentinels kills off another Wraith construct. Ouch!
Hungry for revenge Simon moves up his Wraithlord to clear off the pesky guardsmen who are taking pot shots at it with their lasguns.
The Wraithguards position themselves for an upcoming assault while the Spiritseer breaks off and head towards the landing pad! A great move by Simon.
Before hurling the ancient constructs into the fray, Simon heats up his D-Scythes…
…and sends five veterans to a screaming death with warpfire!
The lumbering hulk of a Wraithlord towers the guardsmen and catches them in the open…
…only to fry seven of them to death! The rest breaks off from the battlefield due to a failed morale test.
The veterans roll a heavy 6(+5) for their morale test, but thanks to the Elysian ‘Iron Dicipline’ rule they get to re-roll the test and pass it with a 2(+5). Quite handy to be a Phantine specialist!
While the Wraithguard below assaults the veteans, the Spiritseer launches himself into combat with the heavy weapons squad above!
Combat is quite unsatisfying for both parts as every combatant fail to hurt their opponents… Fredrik begins his turn by disengaging and falling back from combat.
The infantry squad and the 2IC leave the safety of the guard tower and advance ahead to reinforce the Elysian positions around the first objective marker on the landing pad. Using the order ‘Get back into the fight!’ Cpt. Perseus orders the heavy weapons to open fire on the Spiritseer after disengaging. All shots fail to hit however.
The Drop sentinels and the Elysian Warlord also joins the melee beneath the landing pad. The company commander smashes a single Wraithguard to death using his powerfist.
Starting his fourth turn, Simon advances his Wraithlord to get closer to the action.
The Spiritseer successfully harness the warp and destroys two of the weapon teams using the ‘Smite’ psychic power.
Elysian troopers advance twice using the ‘Move, move, move!” order and covers almost 18″ of ground to form a second perimiter around the landing pad.
After losing the heavy weapon teams Fredrik makes the decision to send both commanders into close combat with the Spiritseer to make sure the Emperor is still in control of his objective. A powerfist blow smashes the ghosthelm of the sorcerer and deals 2 wounds to the scum, while a slash using the force stave deals 2 wounds in return to the company commander. An epic Warlord duel takes place above the sands of Aglaia IV!
During Simon’s turn 5 the Wraithlord completes a charge into the back of the Drop sentinels, but fail to save his brethren before the veterans smash them to death using ther gun stocks and bad attitude.
In the following turn of combat the Wraithlord makes a clean sweep with his Ghostblade and destroys two sentinels, leaving the third one running off the field! Using his final powers the Spiritseer then deals a finishing blow to the Elysian Warlord and kills him for a Warlord point! Cpt. Perseus steps up and take command of the force while dealing one wound to the Spiritseer with his laspistol!
In a final move to secure the Objective, Fredrik sends up the last squad of Droptroopers and assault the Spiritseer who is stabbed to death by combat blades in the following melee!
While securing the objective on the landing pad, the command squad scales the opposite guard towe to secure the second objective. Tauros buggies hunt down the last Eldar Jetbike and get in position to score Linebreaker!
After rolling for turn 6, the Wraithlord climbs the landing pad and prepares to avenge his Spiritmaster! Simon fires one flamer into the squad on the pad, one flamer into the remnant veterans below, and the Shuriken cannon into the command squad on the far objective – hoping to force morale checks. Two guardsmen die while defending the objective with their bodies, as well as the veteran sergeant of the breacher team below. Once again the ‘Iron Dicipline’ rule turns two very ugly morale checks into good ones!
The Wraithlord then charges into combat and kills off two guardsmen, while Cpt. Perseus screams orders from the back to make sure the troopers stay in the fight!
In turn 6, Fredrik disengage and falls back from the Wraithlord on the landing pad and heats up the meltaguns from the veterans below. Landing two out of three hits (both within melta range) the veterans put the spirit warrior to his eternal sleep, all while the shambling construct body falls down the landing pad and crashes into the red sand below… The game ends with Fredrik in control of both objective markes, scoring him a total of 9 victory points (3+3+First blood, Warlord kill, and Linebreaker) to Simon’s 1 victory point (Warlord kill).
After action thoughts
Simon: It’s always a pleasure to play against Fredrik and his flyboys. This was my second game in 8th ed. and the inexperience really shows off in some of the decisions I made during the game. But that of course went both ways since it was also Fredriks first game. I love how the new edition works, and all the small tricks that we found out as the game went on. Overall the game was really close but I made a fatal mistake in the 6th turn that made it possible for Fredrik to table me. Meltaguns in melta range hurts A LOT. My unharmed wraithlord got deleted by three lone meltagunners and BOOM!, game. We were equally surprised by their effect but had a great laugh together. Next time my Ghostwarriors will return in larger numbers and claim victory.
Fredrik: Wow, what a game! The new edition is really fast and engaging. My first impression is that you are a lot more active as a player during each phase now, since every situation has modifiers that impact the game in ways you need to be aware of. This feels very refreshing as opposed to seventh edition, even though I still miss templates (but that’s another debate). I really really enjoyed how well the Elysians performed in this game. They are my favourite army both in the lore and modelwise, and it’s very rewarding to finally see how their flavour as a guard regiment impact their game style. Having the ability to reserve half your army and perform deep striking attacks with surgical precision, wherever you want and whenever you want to (remember turn 3 at the latest!) for such low priced units is very strong. I will make a more thorough review over the next couple of days, but for now I think it’s safe to say that the Elysians have gotten a new set of teeth after lagging behind with an old armylist for a couple of years. Two final points: Tauros assault buggies and Drop sentinels are way more useful now since they dropped in price and got a boost to their weaponry. They are still not cheap enough to be over powered in any way, but at least they’re an option worth considering over similar units. I would love to make use of the Elysian’s unique order(s), of using heavy weapons as assault weapons, but never had the opportunity or the model count to use them effectively in this game – thus I tended to spam the “re-roll 1s” order a lot. In higher point games I think there will be more of a choice between orders for different situations. All I can say is watch this space for more battlereports with the Phantine skyrborne over the coming weeks!
Our SAGA campaign steams on and here’s a short battle report of Moorish volounteer warriors facing the illustrious Jomsviking brotherhood. This battle took place in the third campaign turn (out of six possible). Since we were both raiding this turn, Battle at the Ford was rolled as the scenario.
The Jomsvikings were lead by the infamous King Fury who took over the reigns once the previous leader was killed. Driven into the fray by his lust for riches, the Jomsviking leader had many scars from previous battles represented by the Trollhide ability, requiring two wounds to be slain. The force consisted of:
My Moorish Warband is led by a tough Sub-Saharan former merchant calling himself al-Battal Ghazi, who sold as all his property and took up the Jihad of the Sword. While lacking serious religious credentials, few can doubt that he doesn’t receive what he asks from Allah. His sense for business and logistics has led to the employment of northerners with various faiths, despite grumblings from his more puritan warriors.
The Moorish warlord has the Son of Odin (heh), Eye of the God,Scout and the Great Special Rules. In game it means he is requires two unsaved hits to die, Levys generate SAGA dice, the post game progression table can be rerolled (very useful this one) and up to 7 SAGA dice can be rolled each turn. He’s a total beast in the game. The Moorish Warband had:
The Moors had a stronger Warband in this game, and together with some above average dice rolling, they were able to reel in a victory. With few losses too. I really shouldn’t have played Betrayal though. A weak ability to play on Jomsvikings who can easily remove 3 fatigues from their Warlord with a common dice and free rest.
My Jomsviking opponent didn’t blame his dice. He found his plan flawed as he expected to move my men out of the way with Jomsborg, but this ability could only be played in my turn. He told me he could have played more cool, there was no need to rush into battle.
Post battle, the Jomsvikings faced another revolt at home, as the inhabitants of Jomsborg expect victories. Al Battal Ghazi gained some additional warriors and levies were bulked up to full strength.
I am surprised to like Age of the Wolf as it has the faults of classical British game design. These are characterized by eccentric rules married with random charts, where rolling double ones can totally ruin your life. But unlike my experience Flames of War and Warhammer 40k, where the campaigns are basically marketing ploys requiring huge amount of product to play, Age of the Wolf offers interesting games and characterful Warband development. Just don’t expect it to be fair.
I would recommend fans of SAGA to try it out but consider two things before hand. Firstly, roster management is a huge part of the campaign and there needs to be a way to update it easily and keep them accessible to other players. For gaming balance reasons, the roster management is quite complicated so prepare to dumb it down a bit.
Secondly, try to figure out some way players can get more games in regardless of their chosen campaign actions. Now, back to painting.
The first rays of sunlight pierced the autumn sky and revealed the nearly one hundred tents and makeshift shelters that had occupied Silverhorn Valley of Ostermark for almost three months. In addition to the mercenaries stemming from all over the Empire, the encampment housed desperate fortune seekers, vagabonds, prostitutes, and other misfits. Calling it an army would have been overrated but it was an experienced force made up of adventurers and sell-swords, led by Arch Prefectus Hademar Greiffhart himself – an ill fortuned opportunist who had been outlawed from the Holy Imperial Sigmarite Cult and now wanted for treason and gluttony. With his last savings he had managed to scramble enough men to march against the merchant town of Silverhollow in an attempt scare his political enemies and squeeze the coins off of more fortunate bastards. Only fifteen recruits had deserted during the night and a dozen more had fallen ill, which meant that he could still pull off the siege. Had it not been for the merchants’ cowardly alliance with the Dwarves of Karak-Kadrin he could have taken the town several weeks ago, but Dwarven raiding parties kept harrassing anyone who approached the outskirts of the town bearing arms. Hademar knew he had to take the Dwarves by surprise in order to make a real dent in their defences, so he ordered his captains to make ready for battle and march by midday…
This is a battlereport from a game of Warhammer 8th ed. between two 2500pt armies of Empire and Dwarfs, using our new gaming mats from UrbanMatz. Please note that it was almost a year since we played Warhammer 8th edition regularly, so a couple of mistakes were made during the game but decided to keep on playing for the sake of the narrative. The army lists were:
Empire Mercenary Contingent
Arch Lector on Barded Warhorse: Heavy armor, Greatweapon, Dragonhelm, White cloak of Ulric, Luckstone
Wizard Lord: Lvl4, Light, Dispel Scroll
Captain of the Empire: BSB, Fullplate armor, Enchanted Shield, Dawnstone, Ironcurse Icon, sword of striking
Captain of the Empire on Imperial Pegasus: Fullplate armor, Lance, Charmed shield, Potion of foolhardiness
Warriorpriest: Heavy armor, shield, handweapon
10 Knights of the Inner Circle: FCG, The Steel Standard
13 Crossbowmen: Standard
23 Spearmen: FCG
5 Archers Detachment
5 Archers Detachment
25 Greatswords: FCG, Razor standard
4 Demigryph Knights: Musician
1 Great cannon
1 Hellblaster Volleygun
Lord with Shieldbearers: Great Weapon, Rune of Iron, Rune of Stone, Rune of Wardingx3
Runesmith: Great Weapon, Rune of Spellbreakingx2
Thane: BSB Master Rune of Grugni, Shield
25 Longbeards: Great Weapons, FCG, Rune of Sanctuary, Rune of Stoicism
10 Quarrellers: Great Weapons, Standard Bearer
10 Quarrellers: Great Weapons, Standard Bearer
1 Gyrocopter: Steam Gun
1 Gyrocopter: Steam Gun
18 Hammerers: FCG
20 Ironbreakers: FCG, Rune of Stoicism
1 Flame Cannon: Rune of Forging
1 Organ Gun: Rune of Accuracy, Rune of Forging
Just click on the first thumbnail below and use the arrows to navigate through the slide-show of the battle! Don’t forget the After Action Conclusions in the end of the article, enjoy.
The ragtag Empire mercenary contingent in full force
The high command of the mercenaries, an Arch Lector on horse, a level 4 rogue mage using the Lore of Metal, a Captain BSB and a Warrior Priest
Heavy Imperial cavalry together with a Captain on a baby Griffon (Pegasus) side by side with the fearsome Greatswords!
A regiment of pike (spearmen) and supporting crossbowmen from the Tilean peninsula.
Another exotic unit in the army is the Demigryph Knights
The Dwarf clan of the Iron Cheek in all it’s glory, the grudge roll result gives Hatred towards all enemy characters for the Dwarf characters
The Dwarf army is led by a stout Dwarf Lord on Shieldbearers, a Thane BSB, and a mysterious Runepriest
The army is flanked by artillery and Gyrocopters
Gems of Dwarven ingenuity
As both armies marches onto the battlefield, the mercenary general takes the initiative and begins the first turn of the game!
Regiments of mercenaries march forward and adjust their lines. The Steamtank pumps two points worth of steam into the engine and takes aim towards the dwarven Flamecannon. On the right flank the Captain and his Griffon takes to the skies and position themselves for a charge into the Dwarf cannon.
Fredrik pushes his Hellblaster through the woods and re-deploys it within range of the entire Dwarven line, giving Herman one choice: to let his troops take a volley, or respond with his own artillery in the following turn.
The Winds of Magic are scarce but the metal Wizard still manages to throw Searing Doom which kills off two ironbreakers,, and then finishes the magic phase by conjurung the Glittering Robe to bolster the Greatswords as the Runepriest fails to dispel.
The shooting phase starts off by noticing that some drunkard had taken a piss in the powder keg during last night’s feasting. The result of the misfire will take the crew two turns to fix… Meanwhile, the steamtank places a well aimed shot through the Flamecannon, but the cannon ball is deflected by the BSB’s Master Rune of Grugni, the shot keeps bouncing through the flank of the Ironbreakers killing another two.
Herman responds to the threat of the airborne Captain by charging one of his Gyrocopters into him. This will be a fairly weak combat for both players, and will probably see their flyers locked for the rest of the game.
On the other flank a Gyrocopter manages to sneak past the Demigryph Knight’s charge arc (despite Fredrik pre-measuring this exact move and thinking it wasn’t possible) – maybe the Dwarfs have tailwind today!?
The Dwarf artillery battery takes aim and pummel the Steamtank with a cannon round shot, dealing four wounds to it in an instance!
The Flamecannon lands a barrage between the two infantry regiments, killing off two Spearmen and a Greatsword. The Organ gun also unleash a salvo into the Demigryphs but only manages to put two wounds through their fullplate armor!
After receiving a gush of hot steam the Archer detachment declares a charge into the Gyrocopter, hoping to pin it down in order for the Demigryphs to re-position themselves for a rear charge and remove one of Herman’s important chaff units.
The rest of the Archers push on to take pot shots at the entrenched Dwarves, while the regiment of pike tries to keep up and provide magic support.
Since the Greatswords couldn’t wheel properly to also charge the Gyrocopter, Fredrik marches them up to be within 3″ of their Archer detachment, providing it with both the Stubborn and Hatred special rules of their parent unit. This allows them to keep the Dwarf pilot occupied while the Demis get in position. A great move to mend a disastrous mistake!
After yet another poor magic phase the Hellblaster opens up and mows down an entire rank of Quarellers. Ouch! The Steamtank takes another shot at the Flamecannon but fails to hit it.
In the following close combat phase the Empire Captain somehow manages to beat his opponent in melee, but rolls a rather short (6″) pursuit and fails to hunt it down.
In true Dwarven fashion, the Lord responds by moving forward just shy of an inch, and prepares to unleash yet another devastating salvo of artillery fire which manage to kill a Demigryph and put two more wounds on the Steamtank!
At the start of the third turn the Captain gulps down his Potion of Foolhardiness, granting him an extra attack, and charges in for some easy kills!
Since the Steamtank only has 4 wounds remaining it fails to generate enough steampoints to get out of the way of the Knights, and successfully bogs itself down between the Crossbowmen and the lone tree (which is impassable for this game) – meaning that that the Knights won’t get out to threaten the Dwarven flank as planned, so they have to reform and wait for another opening!
The Demigryphs charge in to finish off the Gyrocopter on the far side of the battlefield, while the Empire’s right flank is slowed down due to precise Dwarven fire!
As the Greatcannon crew fix their gun, nicknamed ‘Boese Gerhilde’, from their previous misfire – they load her up with fresh powder and send the Dwarven artillery crew a clear message: DIE!
After hiddeously failing to kill the crewmen on the charge and in the subsequent turn of combat, the mounted Captain is counter-charged by Quarellers with greatweapons… Fredrik begins to curse the deity of Morr who has clearly tricked him today!
Boiling hot steam from the Gyrocopter who barely escaped the flying Captain kills off another seven Spearmen and triggers a panic chech – which is only passed after the General and the BSB have had their say and threatened to charge down any desserters! Fredrik really needs his magic support to stay in this game!
The cavalry sound their horn to ‘Charge!’ but the Gyrocopter declares to flee. Yet another miscalculation thanks to that damn tree in the middle prevents the cavalry to wheel around, thus resulting in them being pinned down for a whole more turn as the Spearmen back off to open up a gap…
In an attempt to clear the way for the Demis, the paochers are sent in for more ‘knyfes work’!
Meanwhile the Hellblaster keeps peppering the Dwarven lines through the gaps of the friendly units!
Captain Fail finally manages to kill the last crewman but breaks off from combat with the Quarellers. What a feint hearted bastard!
During Herman’s turn the Longbeards charge in and make short work of the poor Archers… Fredrik smiles as the dead cost nothing and all is according to plan – the eager Dwarves have now set themselves up for a date with the underpaid angry Greatswords – Blood for money, money for blood!
Fredrik declares a charge on the last Quarellers…
…and plans to overrun into the fresh unit of Longbeards!
Meanwhile the rogue Wizard shows Herman why the Collegia Metallica has such a bad reputation!
Mumbling mysterious words of forbidden magic, the mage successfully casts Final Transmutation on the Longbeards – turning twelve of them, including the champion, to gold! Thats what you get for being a greedy Dwarf!
The Quarellers gets cut down and the mercenaries hurl themselves into the next obstacle!
Unfortunately the Captain on his Griffon would have been the cherry on top of this battle plan if he could stick around to re-direct the coming flank charge by the Ironbreakers – but he’s off to other business…
The Dwarves of the Iron Cheek Clan declares a charge into the flank of the Greatswords in order to settle this battle!
Meanwhile the Quarellers are hungry for more and successfully charge the Captain one last time!
Even the Hammerers wan’t to join in for the feast and declares a charge into the pinned down Knights…
Even though it was a bit long, the Dwarves pull out their longest leaps and successfully makes the charge! Ouch, it will take a long time to clean up the fullplates after this!
In the upcoming melee both regiments pound eachother with greatweapons, while the Dwarf lord makes short work of the foolish Warrior Priest in a duel…
After murdering the cavalry the Hammerers overrun and dig themselves into the flank of the Spearmen! Somehow the Steamtank manages to generate enough steampoints in the last game turn to ram itself into the backs of the ironclad Dwarves, killing off seven with it’s deadly impact hits!
After failing to make a combat reform with their re-rollable Ld 8, the Greatswords ends up in a bad grind with the Ironbreakers.
Despite the Steel behemoth coming to their aid the Pikemen live up to their reputation of loving life more than gold, and breaks off from the battlefield.
Leaving their veteran Captain defending his Battle Standard and holding the Ironbreakers in place. As the final turn comes to an end the Imperial artillery crews abbandon their guns and scatter as well. The Dwarves pull off a victory with more than a 450pts lead! Well fought!
After a good two-and-a-half hour game we rounded up our victory points, with the Dwarves coming out on top, and shared our thoughts on the game. It was nice to finally get back into Warhammer Fantasy which has been dormant in our local area for quite a while but on the rise again thanks to some new players getting active and older ones dusting off their armies. Here are some after action thoughts from both of us.
Fredrik (The Empire): Yikes! This was a great game despite the swing in the last turns! I’ve beaten this army several times before and might have gone in to this game a bit overconfident. Some major set backs for me was the captain who failed to kill 3 naked dwarves and their cannon despite having 4 attacks at strentgh 6+2 attacks at strength 4, and a stomp – followed up by 5 attacks at strength 4, and a stomp in the next turn – before getting counter-charged in the flank by those pesky Quarellers. I lost a good late game re-director because of that which made the flank charge into the Greatswords inevitable. Also, the Knights failing to threaten the softer Dwarven flank thanks to the Steamtank getting bogged down in front of them was also a big turning point that took away pressure from the Dwarves, maybe I should have just sat back and let him come to me once I had the upper hand (in points) for taking out his artillery? But nobody remembers a coward, especially if you’re looking to sell your fighting skills to others in the future! The mercenaries will have to regroup and come back for another round once we find a wealthy prick who can pay for our services.
Herman (Dwarfs): From my point of view the game against the Empire went up and down. It felt like that during the two, three first turns not much happened. Although, now in hindsight I can see that the six wounds my cannon inflicted on the Steam Tank made sure that it got stranded and in the way for that nasty unit of knights. The flame cannon inflicting about 13 wounds on the Greatswords over a couple of turns made them a little bit weaker, but it couldn´t make them flee. Other than the Cannon and the Flame cannon the shooting didn´t do much, and after turn 3 both were dead anyways. The organ gun shot about 30 shots the first three turns and only inflicted about 4 wounds on the Demigryphs. I must say that my charge rolls were very lucky. All the charges I rolled for succeeded. The first one with my Gyrocopter charging the Captain on Pegasus made sure that my cannon could shoot one turn more. The one that was very lucky and made sure that the victory went to the dwarfs was when my Hammerers succeeded with a 11” charge into the flank of the nasty knights. It was hammer time!
I brought my trusty Byzantines to test their mettle in the brutal fighting grounds of A Clash of Dice and Men II. God willing, the burning shame of placing last at the spring tournament will be avenged. I got to play 3 out of 4 games (had to omit one to make up for uneven number of players).
The tournament was 6+1 points, meaning that we brought 7 points but only 6 fight on the table. I ended up with:
Byzantines of Komes Dwellias (7 Points)
1 Mounted Warlord
3 Points of Hearthguard (8 Mounted Lancers + 4 Mounted Archers)
3 Points of Warriors (10 Warriors w Bow + 10 Warriors w Spears+ 4 Warriors w Spears)
1 Point of Levy (12 Javelinmen)
Game 1 – Jomsvikings – Battle Twilight
I got to face the winner from the last tournament with his army of invincible Jomsvikings. It consisted of:
20 Hearthguard (split into 6+6+8)
Special Rules: Armor 6 against shooting attacks. Starts the game with 1 Wrath.
My opponent plucked his boys near the center lines of each quarter. I put some the cavalry and 6 Warriors in one quarter, the levy split and took the lower quarters. The last quarter was occupied by 10 Archers and 8 spearmen. Foolishly, I put my lord with the infantry and not with the cavalry.
A possible weakness of the Jomsvikings is Sigvaldi who generates 3 SAGA dice by himself. If I could knock him out, the Jomsvikings would run out of steam. Without having my Warlord nearby, there was no way of using double cavalry activations moves from Basileus.
The Jomsvikings are very scary in combat. Their defensive abilities can subdue everything thrown at them. They can activate easily and are completely immune to shooting.
My opponent was determined that he could not win this mission from the start but he made things easier for me by splitting his force into 3 units and not 4. In this way, I was guaranteed to score in at least one quarter. Unfortunately, my opponent did a good job exploiting the bad positioning of my Warlord, netting him one victory point.
While my army had the advantage of many units, it had the disadvantage of them having specialized equipment. It was hard for me to utilize the Endless Warband rule compared to an Jomsvikings all Hearthguard army with uniform equipment. As the Byzantine battleboard demands close inter-unit-cooperation, using it in this scenario is quite a challenge.
Result: 3-1 for me. (3 points for me by winning the mission, 1 point for my opponent for taking out a Warlord). Won the battle by not fighting, the proper Byzantine way. Game 2 – Anglodanes – The Challenge
In this mission we used the revised rules where the objective is to get 10 wounds on the opposing warlord first. Units cannot engage an Warlord unless your Warlord took more wounds than the opponent. The secondary objective is to get 4 conquering points in your opponents deployment. The Anglodanish force arrayed against the might of Byzantium consisted of:
With a quick glance, the obvious mission plan is to avoid the 8 Huscarls with Daneaxes smashing into my Warlord and chopping him up like firewood.
Initially the Danes were able to play Trapped for a couple of turns, sprinkling fatigue all over my army (mostly the cavalry). I should have really found some time to paint up some banner-men.
The Danish defenses turn out to be impeccable. Exhaustion and defense dice hamper my horsemen’s efforts while the Jarl and his men run towards the woods. In the last turn of the game, I put all my activation on the Hearthguard, it’s Now or Never! and..
I can’t believe I snatched defeat from the Jaws of Victory here. Short term gratification of killing models took precedence over long term victory conditions.
But it was an enjoyable close and tense game to the last dice roll. Anglodanes are a good opponent for the Byzantines. Their fatigue and activation blocking shenanigans can throw plans off and they are surprisingly durable in combat. However, the Danes have to watch themselves from the Byzantine shooting and avoid losing too many men breaking the shield wall. Their slow pace allows cavalry to hit them in bad places. My opponent won the tournament. Congratulations Alex!
Game 3 – Crusaders – Champions of God
The final opponent fielded Crusaders. The force had:
Godfrey de Bouillon
8 Mounted Knights (Hearthguard)
4 Foot Knights with Heavy Weapons (Hearthguard)
8 Crossbows (Warriors)
8 Spearmen (Warriors) Special Rules: de Buillion can use We obey! twice, and starts the game with the Temperance virtue unlocked. de Bouillon can also allocate wounds to nearby models within 4″ instead of 2″ thanks to him being a knight exampler. Everybody wants to take one for team Bouillon.
I have played this type of mission a lot and the terrain was suitable for my army.
My opponent held off his close combat abilities waiting for my inevitable counter attack.
My opponent also attack my levy with his spearmen but they refuse to die. In my turn I counterattack with my spearmen and push his back. De Boullion stands alone..
After this huge setback, the crusaders were out of the game. My opponent was a new player, having borrowed his army. I felt like an total ass for wiping out all of his miniature dudes. A real “That Guy” way of introducing someone to a game.
I was however impressed with my opponents decision to follow the game through until his last man was cut down, without a word of complaint. It was no surprise he won Best Sportsmanship.
Result: 4-0 to the Byzantines. I finished 3/9 place overall.
My Warband did a good job most of the games but I need to play other missions than just slay the Warlord. I like the flexibility of the Byzantines but its not an easy battle board to use. Overall it was a great tournament.
Some quick words about organization. As each game had to completed within two hours, the terrain was pre-placed on each table by the tournament organizers. To avoid unfair advantages, we decided also that buildings (one of our common terrain pieces) was impassible terrain. We also had only one mission where Slaughtering Victory Points were counted at the end. Avoiding them seem to speed things up.
It was great to see new players showing up with their warbands. Also shout outs to Pedro for coming here all the way from Denmark. I suspect watching me getting molested by a piss drunk stag party later that night made up for the long trip.