Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Tale of 4 gamers. The Empire vs Dwarven Longbeards

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.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

The tale of 4 gamers. The Empire pups Vs the salty dogs of Chaos.

Last Friday Lee (the originator of the 4 gamers) and I agreed we would try to meet up this Sunday to lock horns.

After some machiavellianism that would have made Custorias proud, I arrived just after 1pm to find the forces of Chaos arrayed on the table as a veritable wall of bronze, steel and bad intentions!

Opening moves

Lee races his hounds across the field, I've heard he likes to use them to flush out his opponents and catches them on the counter charge. So I plan to hold the charge as long as possible and use Marcus to blast them with his fire spells and force them to flee.

Marcus opens up on the Hounds flanking my left and force them to flee....

but the other unit rush my right flank and force my Knights to pivot to face this threat. Thankfully the Chaos warriors only move 4" and I should have time to see them off before the big boys arrive. Time will tell!

I am slowly being hemmed in and worry if I am routed I will flee the table before I can regroup. With a Whoop of joy mingled with some trepidation Custoras sends in the Gryphs to force Lee onto the back foot and hopefully force a hole in the Chaos line the Knights can escape through and exploit.

This photo gives some idea of the dire straits I am in and this attack needs to yield results.

Marcus does not beware the voices and decides to offer himself as a target to the chariot. Probably seemed like a good idea at the time!

Lee is a 25 year veteran of Warhammer and has spent most of those years playing Empire, but has never fielded Demigryphs in his forces. I think thats all about to change (fingers crossed)!

Once again I look on in disbelief as Lee works out his attack die, man I hope the Imperial armourers were concentrating the day they banged out our suits of armour!!

Turns out they were as Lee only inflicts one wound on the Gryphs before they get to work. The Gryphs go nuts, more out of relief then anything else and inflict enough wounds to force the morale check.

To Lees astonishment they fail the test and bolt for the nearest table edge. The Gryph Knights spur on their mounts and cut the Chaos warriors down in an orgy of slaughter that would have pleased Khorne himself!

With a scream of frustration to the heavens (Lee really is getting into role), Lee demands retribution and targets the Empire wizard as his charge target. Once again to Lee's astonishment Markus stands his ground and prepares to meet his fate (and I did not want him to bolt and open up the knights to a charge!)

With a little chuckle to himself Lee picks up his 3 die and only needs to roll a 5, paybacks a bitch!

Once again the Chaos gods show they are fickle in their favours and Lee only rolls a 4 on three die! Sigmar be praised the Knights are facing the right way and the charge is on!

Markus wipes his brow, rips off his soiled under loins (the camp washer woman is going to be working overtime tonight) and turns to take bloody retribution on the second unit of hounds sneaking up behind him and threatening to charge my knights in the rear. He turns 4 of the hounds into hot dogs (pun intended) and the sole survivor legs it for the back table edge.


With his Lucky red cap held high Custoras urges on "the second sons of Custoras" for one last roll of the die and they crash into the Chaos chariot to reap the crimson tempest (this act of desperation was basically to stop the chariot charging and scything through the Knights) until the Gryphs can rejoin the fray.

To everyones surprise, the knights do enough to win the combat and with another howl to the heavens Lee fails his morale check and the Chariot is cut down by the jubilant Knights in an epic confrontation that Bards will sing throughout the empire for years to come!

Custoras wipes black offal from his sword of might and is already planning his dispatch back to the Empire. Surely such a series of victories will secure his command of this expedition?

He looks sheepishly at the Last Bretonian and he will have to present him with a bottle of his finest wine from his personal store after forcing him into the potential blast zone of Marcus' miscast spell. C'est la vie

As I leave the Miniature empire I am sure I see Lee scouring the shelves for a box of Demigryphs!

Here is Lee's write up for the MEGC forum

"Had Baruk retained the enfeebling fears of mortals he might have felt unnerved. The army that confronted him across the bay seemed somehow more determined than most. It mattered not. Years ago he had been a formidable enemy, now he was a champion of Khorne; a warrior without equal amongst his kinsmen from the north. Mighty warbands had fallen beneath his shadow; the slaughter he wrought amusing the fickle gods of chaos. These knights of the Empire would be no different. And yet the enemies before him were somehow different – men drawn together in common cause. Men who had not yet accepted defeat.

The hounds swept forward, the ruinous scent of them unnerving the imperial mounts, forcing them to turn about for fear of being outflanked by the unnatural beasts. A storm of flame from the sorcerer scattered the others. And then through the burning undergrowth it came; a blood soaked chariot of chaos ready to smash into the imperial line. Clutching a skull from his enveloping robes and muttering enigmatically the wizard desperately called for more ferocious flame to fall upon the warmachine but his sorcery was no match for the hell wrought iron of its construction. Death had taken shape but the inevitable onslaught did not come. Held by the clinging vines and clawing roots of an enraged jungle the chariot was slowed to a crawl (I only needed a 5!!)

And now, as a warm tropical rain began to fall, Baruk’s end had come. As he watched the imperial cavalry charge through the jungle with cold, shimmering steel and grim resolve he could almost hear the fickle gods laughing. He felt no fear, such senses had long been lost to him, but as the Griffon Knights tore into his warriors and swept them all aside with bestial fury he grudgingly recalled the memory of it"

Custoras was carried into camp on the shoulders of the jubilant men of the line, his lucky red cap held aloft. Marcus “the beast slayer” Darklore by his side, hoisted high and cheered by the imperial host. A vacant look in his eyes like a man sleep walking.

Each Red cap and knight hailed Custoras as a hero of the Empire and swore an oath to fight shoulder to shoulder with him in battles to come to the bitter end!

The cannon crew fired their gun in salute to the heroes of Barracuda Bay. As its report echoed through the camp Marcus’ eyes snapped into focus, his visage a portrait of a man waking from a nightmare. Startled he listened to his comrades’ report of the battles. The Elf eagle burnt to cinders, his single handed destruction of the chaos hell hounds, Markus “the beast slayer” standing alone before the Chaos chariot, unflinching before its charge, a true hero of the empire! Bewildered Marcus pulled the skull from his robes and stared into its eye sockets, an ember of burning red barely visible within the core of the jewel embedded within its forehead.

Custoras’ head was whirling with possibilities. Two victories in three days, although the first battle had nearly been his last. Struck from his saddle by an Elf arrow and knocked unconscious by the unforgiving ground, only saved from caving his skull in by his lucky red cap. If the Gryphs had not carried the field his hat would not have saved him from an Elf blade between the shoulder blades no matter how lucky it had been!

And then running into the Lords of Chaos on the return to camp. Marcus had been a pillar of fire, a rock of insane courage. Forget his snivelling fathers pitiful plans of a trading post! Custoras dared to dream bigger, a colony, his own fiefdom, his own southern empire! Emperor Custoras the Sigmar of the south!

Surely the gods of fate had spoken!

1) Imperial armour really is the nuts, but there must be stuff out there wth armour piercing etc which will rip me to pieces and I will need to look at augment spells to buff up my units.

2) I was really pleased with my manoeuvring of my units and target selection. Lee is a veteran of 25 years and I feel I held my own against such a salty dog.

3) Sometimes it pays to take a chance against all reason and roll the die, if nothing else it confuses the hell out of your opponent and gives you a tale to tell!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

2000 page views

hit another landmark today.

Its mad how the babblings of a bloke in wanstead gets read by folks from Italy to the USA and everywhere inbetween.

Thank you all.

Tales of 4 gamers "The Empire strike first"

This Friday saw the "Tale of 4 gamers" kick off.

One of the guys I definately wanted to face was Anthony. He appeared on the scene about 3 months ago and proceeded to set out a fully painted Beastman army which left us all in awe. Personally I think he was one of the catalysis for this whole "4 gamers".

As soon as I knew he was playing I wanted to see what new army he was going to pull out of the bag!

Turns out I would be facing Wood elves (that will be a new one!).


Turns out Wood elves bring their own woods with them! and if they have a wizard they move around like an armoured personel carrier??????

Anthony sets his forces across the table with his War dancers in the woods, I decide to keep my forces in close support as I figure I am going to spend the game chasing pointy ears around the table. Against some sage advice I decide to keep my wizard out on his own but will try to keep him within 3" on a friendly unit for the "look out sir!!" thing.

Heres a close up of the unit up on the hill.

and his Elf scouts are converted LOTR rangers

First surprise of the day is when an "Arrow of doom" suddenly multiplies in mid air and hits my knights with 15 hits! Thankfully the 1 up armour save is a god send but I know that it would have shredded any infantry I had on the table. 

My Knights march towards the War dancers as quick as possible as I hope to bait them into charging.

The Gryphs and Wizard move to assault the Eagle and Elf unit on the hill. Markus opens up with the flaming cage spell on the eagle to trap it in place but this is dispelled so I slam it with the fireball Spell.

Eat incandesent flames of fury Elf Canary!!!

It was a gorgeous miniature but it had to go!

The Elves flank my forces and take pot shots at my forces but in my next magic phase I pin down the elves on the hill with the flaming cage and then hit them with the Fireball before the Gryphs charge to finish off the unit.

It looks like Elves are soon to become an endangered species!

The Knights are going dizzy spinning on the spot as they are desperately trying to avoid flank attacks until the Gryphs turn up in support.

The next couple of turns turn into a massive game of kiss chase as I desperately try to stop myself being out maneuvered while trying to pin down at least one unit so I can get the charge off. This is made all the harder due to Markus rolling a double 6 and then getting stuck full of arrows (inevitable really).

Despite my best efforts I find myself out maneuvered and in charge the War dancers. Personally I am surprised Anthony does not commit more forces to these attacks and I suspect the Dancers are his only real hitty unit.

YES THEY ARE as I lose an entire rank of Knights and off they gallop towards the nearest table edge. Thankfully they outrun the pursuing Dancers.

Maybe its an oversight on his part but Anthony does not flank my Gryphs with his scouts and I get to chase after the Dancers for some pay back!

(check out this unit with the General in) (gorgeous)

The Dancers crash in again and my only hope is I can hold on long enough until the cavalry arrive (literally)

The whiff of fear wafts through whats left of the Knights and the camps washer woman will be busy in the morning, but the Knights hang in there and give the Gryphs enough time to come crashing into the Dancers rear. 

Lets see them Tango their way out of this one!

I poop a small brick when Anthony shows me how many attack die his Dancers have just generated!

Thankfully the Imperial armour saves me again and the 2 survivors run down whats left of the Dancers! while the Gryphs rein themselves in and turn to face the next threat.

This turns out to be a major mistake as I now know why Anthony did not commit more forces to the assault and his Scouts hunt down my General and snipe his out of the game................SOD IT !!!!!

That puts Anthony well in the lead on points but I can't believe my luck when he leaves his last remaining unit JUST within the charge arc of my Gryphs (the battle of 3mm springs instantly to mind) and I charge like a thing possessed through the woods as I only have this last roll of the die to win the game!

Thankfully the Gryphs do what Gryphs do best and whallop the Elves to the point of destruction. The Elves decide "Sod the trees" and flee for the nearest table edge but the Gryphs have a taste for Elf flesh and run down the remainder of the unit to give me a Minor victory in the final roll of the final turn. How close was that.

Anthony and I shake hands on a hard fought battle with both of us beaming from ear to ear!

Lessons learnt
1) using the flaming cage worked wonders but I need a plan B to pin down skirmisher units uncase some thing happens to the wizard early in the game.

2) I should not get too complacent about my armour saves and work harder to keep my units in cover as I am sure there will be other nasty surprises like the "Arrow of doom" lurking about.

3) really should work out whats what with magic items as I wasted 25 points on a dispell scroll when it was surplus to requirements.

P.S. This is how Custoras Should have met his end!

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