Today I popped into the mini empire after work to face Damons Dwarves.
Damon is another 30 year veteran of Warhammer and a life long fan of dwarves so I was going to be taking on another salty dog with one of his favourate armies, what could possibly go wrong?
I won the roll and forced Damon to set up first. His slayers deployed in the right side of the table and my battle plan was formed. I would deploy my Gryphs in the opposite corner of the table with the other units in close support. If I was lucky Damon would spread the rest of his forces across the table meaning I could hopefully mob his units and finish them off piecemeal before the other units could charge in to support.
The Gyrocopter set up opposite my knights and Damon took great pleasure in showing me the template he would be using to decimate my forces. I had to keep the Gyro moving so it could not open up on any of my forces!
I used my first couple of turns slowly bringing my forces within charge range while at the same time using my speed to move away from the Gyrocopter until I could catch it in charge range. Markus opened up on the Dwarf hand gunners as they were the only current threat to my units and I wanted to see if I could get them to flee while they were still close to a table edge. He wiped out an entire rank but the stubbon sods refused to move.
The copter was a tempting target but would only be affected on a 6 on one D6. Do you feel lucky punk? Well do you? Well no I didn't so the hand gunners got it instead.
The dwarves crawled forward and I decided the middle unit was exposed enough to risk a charge from the Gryphs. If I was lucky I might be able to coax the gunners or Copter to attempt to charge the Gryphs flank. At the least it would stop them whittling away my knights with their hand cannons, if I was lucky they would fail their charge and be exposed to another mauling from my wizard. I left Markus within 3" of the unit so the "look out sir" rule would possibly save him from any shooting attacks.
Damons Leader issued a challenge to my Gryph champion and looking at the numder of attacks I generated vs his 3 I fancied my chances! Between Damons inability to pierce my armour and my inability to hit a barn door this was going to take a while!
Damons Slayers attempt to flank the Gryphs but fail their charge roll miserably, his gunners open fire on the knights but obviously still shaken from their treatment at the hands of Markus the shots prove mostly ineffective.
With the Copter moving ever closer and my knights open to its shooting attacks regardless of where they move Custoras urges his Knights to charge! At least now the copter will not be able to fire on the unit and I have successfully managed to nullify it as a threat since the start of the game!
Now I have a real quandary. Do I open up on the Gunners again, attempt to blast the Copter from the sky or Augment the Knights so they can attempt to wipe out the slayers in one fell swoop?
I decide to augment the Knights and hope Marcus can pull off the same Jedi mind trick he did against the chaos chariot last game.
The Augment works wonders and the Knights annihilate the Dwarf slayers in one turn of combat but I lose my wizard in close combat with the copter. At least it will not get to shoot this turn. With no viable target to shoot at the Dwarf gunners charge the flank of the Gryphs but they stand firm.
Thankfully finishing off the slayers allows the knights to reform and are within charge range of the Dwarfs flank. Result!
The Gryphs continue to grind away at the Dwarfs and the Leaders continue to go hammer and tongs at each other but both are too exhausted to bring the combat to conclusion.
Custoras smells blood and reforms the cavalry line before thundering into the Dwarven flank hoping to decide this once and for all. Once again the Gyrocopter is left impotent.
This proves all to much for the remaining Dwarves and only the dwarf leader is left standing in his unit, only saved from destruction due to his unresolved challenge with the Gryph Champion. Both units fail their morale checks (no surprise considering he needed to roll a double one for both units) and are run down by the blood drunk Knights and Demigryphs.
Only the dwarven Gyrocopter survives to carry back his tale of sorrow to the Dwarven camp and once again Custoras is declared victor. The third victory in 5 days.
Damon and I shake hands and to be honest I'm a little bit shell shocked I have managed to pull this one off!
1) I am happy again with my target selection and feel I am getting the hang of my spell selection. For example not getting bamboozled by the Gyrocopter and concentrating on more threatening units in order of priority.
2) the key to a successful charge is patience, I am timing the charges well at the movement and feel this is what is swinging the games to my favour. In the last two games I have successfully selected the right time to charge an isolated unit. Both have proved to be decisive to the game (to be fair Lee was outrageously unlucky with his morale roll), and I was chuffed with my use of my augment spell to sway the combat (learnt that one from Lano)
3) One thing I have been considering since the 4 gamers has kicked off is how to nullify enemy units with spells, unit positioning and initial set up to help with my lack of units.
In this game it all seemed to come together, the isolation of the slayers for the initial turns, the repositioning of my more mobile units to nullify the Gyrocopter as a threat (its only real contribution was finishing off my Wizard). This allowed my wizard to concentrate on the dwarf gunners allowing him to reduce the gunners effectiveness and my Knights to fight on an equal footing for at least two turns before getting flanked.