Thursday, September 30, 2010

Empire vs Skaven, 2500 pts, 9/4/10 (First game of 8th!)

Wow, this post really is quite late. Better late than never though, right?

After getting the 8th edition rulebook, I was really excited about playing the game. The rules are significantly different, and really you can feel just from the reading that the game is going to be a very different experience than 7th. So, with the girlfriend out of town, I really wanted to get a game in. Frans volunteered, so I went over to his place for a fun, relaxed game.

Of course, I got home, and since we agreed on 2500 points (and since I randomly choose which army I'll play- choosing Empire) sat down to start working on the list, and realized, to my panic, that I really didn't have enough points of assembled Empire. Some digging through my pieces relaxed me some, and some extra upgrades on the characters made up the difference. Clearly, need to work on these Fantasy armies some!

Well, let's start with the list I ended up with. Not optimized, but since it was supposed to be a 'fun' game, I wasn't going to worry about it.

Wizard Lord (lvl 4) w/ Rod of Power, Holy Relic, Ring of Volans, Barded Warhorse, Lore of Fire
Captain (BSB) w/ Armour of Meteoric Iron, Wyrmslayer Sword
Wizard (lvl 2) w/ Dispel Scroll, Lore of Life
34 Spearmen w/ shields, full command
28 Swordsmen w/ full command
20 Handgunners
11 Handgunners
12 Knights w/ Full Command, Banner of Valour
2 Cannon
2 Mortar
5 Pistoliers w/ Musician
Steam Tank

6 war machines, although the Steam Tank really isn't that scary these days. Lots of stuff that really was just a waste, but sadly, no choice.

I don't have Frans' list- but some of it's basic components:
Grey Seer w/ Power Scroll
Warlord on Bonebreaker
2-3 Warlock Engineers
3 min. size units of Stormvermin, one with the Storm Banner
1 large (50?) unit of Clanrats
2 20 or so man units of Slaves
About 3 Poison Wind Mortars as weapon teams
unit of 5-6 Rat Ogres
2 Hellpit Abominations

Frans may end up commenting to correct it. I wasn't pleased about the addition of the Power Scroll, but whatever.

We rolled up some terrain, then realized we really didn't have much available, so kind of fudged things a bit. By a bit, I mean a lot. We also rolled the Watchtower scenario, so that was the main piece in the middle.

Quick summary for those that are without rulebook:
Sorcerous Portal casts a random spell a turn. During our game, all it did was cast Wyssan's Wildform and Soulblight on the nearest unit of Slaves... in the exact opposite order for it to be useful.
Sigmarite Shrine would force Skaven within 6" to reroll successful ward saves.
The Charnel pit causes all units within 6" to have -1 leadership.
The Wyrding Well had a chance to recover models in a unit, as well as a change to force the unit to be completely inactive for a turn.
Our three pillars represented a Nehekharan Sphynx, which could add cool special rules randomly to a character who goes near it... or damage it. I don't think we ended up using it during the game.

I rolled to be in the watchtower, and sadly only had a choice between a 20 man unit of Handgunners, and an 11 man unit of Handgunners. I chose the former (perhaps not a good idea). We deployed our armies, and the game started.


Full picture of the deployment

Better picture of the Skaven side.

With that done, we got stared.

Turn 1:
The Doomwheel starts off by going 14" straight towards the Steam Tank. The Hellpits move 7 and 17" (ugh). The Rat Ogres started the game by charging the Watchtower, and get shot at by the defenders, losing a taskmaster and I believe a Rat Ogre.

The Skaven successfully get off Bless with Filth and a Howling Warpgale, protecting the army from shooting.

The Doomwheel generates electricity and sends it at the Steam Tank, rolling a 6 or so. He does get one wound by, however, and deals 3- a very frustrating blow to start the game. Other Skaven shooting is just as effective... 2 direct hits by Plague Wind Mortars on the Spearmen result in 24 dead, but it's not all good as one of the Plague Wind Mortars misfires and dies.

In Close Combat, 11 of the Hangunners die, and they do 4 wounds in return to the Rat Ogres, and continue holding the building.

The Watchtower, surrounded, but still held.

I generate 4 Steam Points with the Steam Tank, and the Spearmen recover 3 models from the Wyrding Well. I move a few things forward, mainly the Pistoliers to a side of a clanrat unit, and the Steam Tank into his Doomwheel. The rest of my army stays put, hoping to do some damage with shooting (of course, Frans had popped the Storm Banner at the beginning of the turn).

I don't really accomplish much with magic, but do succeed in getting a Fireball off onto one of the Hellpit Abominations, dealing maybe 1-2 wounds. The shooting doesn't help much either. I do another wound to the Hellpit with a Cannonball, the rest of my shooting deals a single wound to a Rat Ogre. Not the decisive firepower I need.

In combat, I roll up my 5d3 for the Steam Tank's impact hits, hoping this will help turn the tide a little... and roll a 6. *sigh. It does total to 4 wounds on the Doomwheel, however, but that's not enough to kill it.

Nope, really didn't move a whole lot that turn.

Turn 2:
The Rat Ogres launch themselves at the building again, the nearest Abomination charges into my unit of Knights, and the other one rolls a triple 2, moving itself 6" backwards. Everything else moves up a little.

The only accomplishment from shooting or magic is the Doomwheel, who rolls a 10 for his strength that turn... destroying the Steam Tank. This causes Frans to scream and dance around in joy.

His joy continues as his Rat Ogres destroy the remaining Handgunners and enter the building, and the Abomination destroys the unit of knights, takes no wounds in return, and runs them off the board, Wizard Lord in tow.

I believe everything I have left is in this picture. Frans also has a Doomwheel and 2 Abominations off to the left. Ugh.

The Storm Banner had worn off on his turn, so I had high hopes that a good round of shooting would help even the gap some. Maybe I could salvage this. I didn't really move a whole lot, although my infantry units started to move up a little to start getting ready to assault the building.

My shooting phase starts off promising- the Pistoliers drop the Doomwheel. The Helblaster then kills 4 slaves (a cannon kills another 2), and my handgunners kill 4 Stormvermin. The other cannon, however, explodes. My mortars kill 11 slaves and 7 clanrats total. This all causes a unit of slaves and a unit of Stormvermin to panic and run. Not dominate, but it's certainly a start.

Turn 3:
Frans doesn't really move much, just enough to get things around the watchtower.

He Power Scrolls the 13th spell into the only decent sized unit I have, killing 17 of my Swordsmen (and killing 17 of his Clanrats who were by the Grey Seer!). The Swordsmen then panic off the board.

His shooting also takes a toll again, killing 3 Handgunners, and 4 Spearmen. The Spearmen then panic off the board.

At this point, I had no combat unit capable of assaulting the building, so I concede.

There were a few things I did wrong this game, but there really wasn't a lot I could do. My army, for now, is really only designed to work in one phase in the game, and Frans was able to stop me playing. I really ended up spending the entire game watching him.

Obviously, this soured my opinion of fantasy some, but I'm willing to play a few more games before I really start hating on it. There's a lot of reasons this game wasn't that enjoyable. As Rob, our spectator, pointed out- my luck sucked BAD, for instance. Also, I really need to run an army that can compete in the close combat phase. There's so many new changes, and there's a lot of maneuvering to do. I can't judge a game unfairly when I don't even try to take advantage of it, right?

Following this game, I showed Frans how to play Warmachine, and he played against Rob. Frans took a modified version of the Khador starter set, taking Vlad instead. Rob took Mercs. I won't bother with a report, suffice to say that Frans won, and ended up thoroughly enjoyed the game, and the faction.


  1. Skaven army was something like this:
    Grey Seer with Power Stone
    Warlord on Bonebreaker
    Cheiftain with Storm Banner
    Warlock engineer with ring of ruin
    Warlock Engineer with Condenser
    50 clan rats with Standard and PWM team
    3 units of slaves 20 each
    2 units of 10 Storm vermin with PWV team
    8 Rat Ogres with champion
    2 Hellpits
    1 Doonwheel
    I think thats about it.

    I tried to go as balanced as I could, having some speed, firepower, magic power, and combat goodness.

    I wouldn't give up now Steve. You have yet to play your dark Elves who would have given me much more difficulty, if not clean me off the board. But I was prepared for either one.

    I do have a completely new build I would love to against ya with, so let me know when you have time next.

    I also want to try the vampire counts against you. I think that will be a classic battle as well.

    Also as far as warmachine goes, i find it a very appealing tabletop game, and im looking forward to playing it next saturday against you and rob, and whoever else decides to come over.

  2. The Grey Seer had a Power Scroll, didn't he? He couldn't have had the Power Stone as well.

    Your list was fairly balanced, I will say that. I think it's going to be quite a competitive list.

    Also, I don't think Dark Elves have that ability. I would have probably performed better, but tabling opponents is, for the moment, out of my ability.

    I'm probably not going to be able to come over, however. I'm still busy as heck :(. However, I should have some Saturdays free coming up :)