Monday, September 26, 2011

Winter is Coming!

And I just received the Core Set of the Game of Thrones Living Card Game from the Beardy One last night.

Finally, we can sit down to have a nice multi-player game. We were missing enough cards for a decent Baratheon and Targeryen deck before but the Core Set solved that nicely.

Greyjoy and Martell still poses a bit of a challenge though, and mayhaps YC's chapter packs can solve that quandry.

It's been years(?) since I last read books, but I've went through 3 books from the series and is now halfway through the 4th. I like the direction of the storyline, there's twists and turns all around to really provide an epic feel. It's like reading the story of some of the more tumultuous eras in European history where each player in this game of thrones are striving to do their best, some succeeding and some failing.

Even Lord of the Rings failed at that to tell the truth. Mordor was always going to fail. Sauron was always going to be defeated. Gandalf was lost for a time but he was never gone for good. Good will always triumph over evil.

But in the Song of Fire and Ice, things are not that simple. Houses rise, Houses fall. There is no being of pure evil (except one?), each player has a story to tell, failings, honour etc. Some characters are more loveable than others, but everyone has their shades of white, grey and black.

This is not Lord of the Rings.

This is not the Belgariad or The Mallorean.

This is not the Wheel of Time.

This is not the Forgotten Realms.

This is more Romance of Three Kingdoms. And that is based on history with each player having their shades of grey.

This is what makes the story more interesting.

Time to build decks!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

First taste of 8th Ed Ogres!

Been a long time since I posted hehe. There has been many battles since my last report and i enjoyed them all, even though I am frequently on the losing side. I guess I have lost so many times that I don't mind losing at all (1****2th grudge match against the Beardy One's dwarves still had me losing the battle.. Loss rate against Dwarves = 100%)

Over the years though, I have started to eat more and more of Daniel's dwarves in close combat though still not enough. Maybe a new list...

8th Ed has started and a new 8th Ed army book came out just this month. It's the Ogre Kingdoms!

Defu wanted to start an 8th Ed Ogre army and took them out today for a first taste of blood. I fielded my Dark Elves again (with a twist) and we got down for a nice little brawl.

My army has :

1 Dreadlord on Dark Steed with Great Weapon, Armour of Darkness, Pendant of Khaeleth and Crown of Command
1 lvl 4 Supreme Sorceress with Dispel Scroll and Talisman of Preservation (4+ ward)
1 Death Hag BSB with Cauldron of Blood

29 x SpearElves Full Command
29 x Spear Elves Full Command
10 x R.CrossbowElves
5x Dark Riders

15x WitchElves with Hag with Manbane
15x WitchElves with Hag with Manbane
2x Cold One Chariots
5x Cold One Knights
2x Hydras

Defu's Ogres brought (roughly, I'm not sure about the magic items)

Firebelly lvl 2 GW with the Hellheart that cause all mages within range to take a miscast roll
Firebelly lvl 1 Great Weapon with Dispel Scroll
Bruiser BSB

40x Gnoblars with Standard
10x Gnoblars
10x Gnoblars
27x Ogres Not 27, 18x Ogres?

3x Maneaters (Poison? Scout?) with Standard
3x LeadBelchers
4x Mournfang Cavalry
3x Sabretusks
2x Ironblasters
2x Scraplaunchers

We were playing the mission where Standards and General count as fortitude points and we need to break each other. Each of us have 5 fortitude points.

The Deployment is roughly like this :

I had a small cramped center which forced me to deploy the Dark Riders in a single line. The Dreadlord was placed right in the front so that he can try for a first turn charge into the Ogre ranks. I won the roll for first turn so...

DE turn 1 :

As expected, I tried for a first turn charge into the Ogre ranks. Being 18 inch apart and riding a Dark Steed (mv:9), I fortuitously rolled a 9 with Swiftstride (6,3,1) and got my Dreadlord in. The Dreadlord's role for this battle was to use the Dark Elf cheese armour/ward save combo to tarpit the Ogres until the end of battle, while I try to use the rest of my units to wipe his army off the map.

All other units moved up, Sorceress fled to the side to join the RxB while the previous SpearElf unit moved to block the Maneaters. Hydra flamed 3 wounds into the Maneaters and took 1 base. Sorceress failed to get any spell off. Dreadlord called for challenge and killed the Firebelly lvl 1 who bravely answered the challenge. (2D6 Str4 fire-breath-weapon did not get past my 1+ armour save)

Ogre Turn 1 :

Ogres Mournfang Cavalry and Maneater charged into the Hydra in front. The main Ogre bus reformed to get more ranks and the other units moved to charge-block. Magic resulted in a very interesting IF to get Flaming Swords. Ironblasters squashed 1 Cold One Knight and the Cold One Chariot on the right. But the 2nd Ironblaster misfired and blew up.

Hydra handlers killed 1 Maneater, Mournfang ate 6 wounds off Hydra and Hydra bit 3 wounds back (taking another Mournfang base). Overrunning Mournfang slammed into the flank of the SpearElf unit 1. Dreadlord continued to tarpit Ogres with Stubborn.

DE turn 2 :

Right at the start, Defu used Hellheart and my DE Sorceress rolled 11, dropped 2 spell levels, lost Withering and Okkam Mindrazor and ended Magic phase T_T Shooting however, took 2 wounds off another Maneater and killed 1 base.

Hydra and Cold One Knight both charged the Sabretusks that were charge-blockers (and wiped it out). Cold One chariot and Witchelves on the left charged the 10-gnoblar charge blocker, wiped it out and proceeded to overrun into the 40x Gnoblar behind.

Right Witchelves charged the flank of the 10xGnoblars, killed everyone and overran into the Mournfang Cavalry. Dark Riders charged the Mournfang to get a flank charge bonus. Impact hits + Stomp = 6 dead Spearelves while I dealt 4 wounds in return thanks to the Hag with Manbane. I lost combat and the Dark Riders ran. But I reformed my steadfast SpearElves to face the Mournfang.

Ogre Turn 2 :

Ogre Bus continued to be tarpitted but the General, the Firebelly lvl 2, took the challenge and lost 2 wounds while his 2D6 Firebreathing got past my armour save and ward save to take 2 wounds off my Dreadlord. Stubborn!

Scraplauncher and Leadbelchers counter-charged the Witchelves in combat with the 40xGnoblars unit. Impact hits + Witchelves + Cold One Chariot = 17 dead Gnoblars. Impact hits + Gnoblars + Leadbelcher + Scraplauncher = 10 dead Witchelves. 40xGnoblar broke from combat (fail high high!) and threw their banner guy into the arms of the Hag.

Maneater charged the Repeater CrossbowElves and was rewarded with a fleeing unit that failed break test at -2. Both unit and Sorceress was caught.

Mournfang fluffed their attacks and combat was drawn.

DE Fortitude : 5/3 Ogre Fortitude 4/3

DE turn 3 :

(Ignore the Sorceress unit hehe)

SpearElves unit on the left tried to charge into the melee that was brawling in the left flank. Cold One Knights moved to threaten the Ironblaster.

WitchElf Hag (on her own after losing the rest in the previous combat turn) attacked the Leadbelcher and dealt 4 wounds through Manbane, Everyone fluffed all their attacks afterwards except the Hag was also cut down by the 2 Leadbelchers but both Ogre units broke from combat.

The Ogre bus combat was resolved next but the General Firebelly was finally cut down by the Dreadlord and the Ogres Fortitude dropped to 2/3 and a loss was immediately declared.

Nice and bloody business for the day concluded. =D

Comments :

ManEaters and Mournfang Cavalry! They had a bit of trouble since Defu had terrible luck fluffing most of his close combat hits. But they managed to hold their own against 2 units of Elves including a WitchElf unit with Manbane. If the rolls to hit were better, they could have turned that center flank by the next turn and then be free to chew other targets.

The tarpit Dreadlord was an idea suggested to me by Defu, and I can really see where he can work. Against High Elves, Defu will surely try to get Vaul's of Unmaking to break the tarpit combo. But against every other army, he can slowly work his way through the ranks and hold 1 big unit down for all 6 game turns, giving me time to work through the other units and then come to assist the Dreadlord. Power!

Had this mission be pitched battle though, I think I would still be able to take the left flanks while my Cold One Knights go chariot/cannon hunting. I was able to hold off the Mournfang for some time because I have steadfast + bsb rerolls. But given 2 more combat turns, there probably won't be enough Spears left to fight. The ManEater, although 1-Ogre by himself can still do some damage. All depends on how fast I can bring the Hydra on the left back to face him and control the center.

WitchElves. Scary. Easy to kill. On the turn that I killed 10 Gnoblars, I also lost another 10 WitchElves. Without Impact hits from the Chariot, I would not have broken the Gnoblars. Good against other armies where my I6 can come into play but against ASF High Elves, it is just asking for trouble without any armour saves. 10 Gnoblars costs 25 points. 10 Witchelves costs 100 points. I lose out in the end. And my Cauldron of Blood can only give the ward save to 1 single unit a turn and may need to use it for other higher priority unit.

So I think I will drop the Witchelves. Both units. Back to the drawing boards to see what other counter-charging options I have.

What do you guys think?