Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Game 111 - Warriors of Chaos - 2014/05/28

Game 4 - John - Monsters of Chaos - Blood and Glory

Game 4 and this time I met John, another frequent attendant of the tournaments (both WFB and 40K I might add) and this particular event organizer (one of two). We were about to play Blood and Glory scenario where breaking the enemy gave you extra victory points but didn't stop the game. How hard you broke them also mattered as:

1. If you break your enemy - 200VP
2. If you are first to break the enemy - 200VP
3. If the enemy is broken and 1 fortitude point below his breaking point - 200VP
4. If the enemy is broken and 2 fortitude point below his breaking point - 200VP

Breaking point at 2400 is 3.

I was about to face yet another Forces of Destruction army, yet another Warriors of Chaos force but this time of the Monster of Chaos flavour:

Monsters of Chaos - Army List

Kholek the Suneater

Throgg - King of Trolls
Festus the LeechlordLore of Nurgle
BSB - Mark of Khorne, Juggernaut, Sword of Swiftslaying, Dragonbane Gem, Soul Feeder

6 Chaos Warhounds, Vanguard
6 Chaos Trolls
3 Chaos Trolls
20 Warriors of Chaos - Mark of Nurgle, Halberds, Shields, Banner of Swiftness

Dragon Ogre Shaggoth, Extra Hand Weapon
Dragon Ogre Shaggoth, Extra Hand Weapon

Special character heavy, Monster Mash type of an army. I played against variations of such armies and boy, they are really tough.

Kolek - It was the first time I had an opportunity to face Kholek and this guy makes his fellow Shaggoths look like schoolboys. With 8W he can risk to take a cannonball or two and still keep fighting. With S8 and 7A (as well as a weapon to inflict D3 wounds) he is a character/monster killer. His special rule also means he can also target units with the Lightning meaning d6 hits with S6 in 24" in the front arc. Nice :)

What to do then? Well, first thing is to isolate if possible or even feed him with units to slow him down. Challenges and being steadfast as always help here. He is also vulnerable to Searing Doom (2+ armour) and Spirit Leach so if possible I wanted to try that out. I had to keep him busy and divert him at all cost as otherwise he can easily destroy any unit I could send at him.

Throgg - Throgg is another individual that can deal a lot of damage on his own. In addition to quite impressive characteristics he has that nasty S5 breath attack (super vomit), can help controlling monsters, allows Trolls to be your core units and have some fancy regeneration abilities. He is tough but I fought against him and he can be defeated. However, I could also assume he would lead bigger trolls to battle and as such this unit was very tough to defeat.

Festus - Another special character I had no opportunity to play against before. He is the only wizard in the army (which always helps) but a nasty one. He adds poisonous attacks to the unit and gives them regeneration 5+ which is fantastic for the Warriors. Inflicting wounds on that army is going to be tough! It is also quite difficult to kill him as he can heal himself with his potion. But some flaming attacks should do the job here!

BSB - Frenzied Champion on Juggernaut with ASF sword. Ouch. Searing Doom is not going to help against him as he has 2++ against flaming attacks. His 1+ armour save is also hard to overcome. He can be devastating when joining any other unit on the attack. Breaking him can be the way to destroy him or ... shooting a single bolt :)

Trolls - Always a problem but I have tools for the job. I can shoot them with the help of sisters and attack them in close combat with Dragon princes. Small unit should be possible to be destroyed by the knights alone but the bigger unit, in particular with Throgg, needs more resources. A few fireballs in the meantime also can help.

Hounds - small vanguarding unit. Not to be underestimated as they have a good role to play and throwing them to feed the enemy might not be the only one. Have to be dealt with quickly so that they don't mess up with the movement phase.

Shaggoths - One is a problem, two is very tough, add in Kholek and you have very, very dangerous trio. The question is, are they going to work together or as separate units? If they move separately there is a chance to get them. Not easy at all and I expected to lose some warriors, in particular in the infantry regiments.

The scenario allows the units to deploy closer to the enemy. That suits Monsters very well as they are combat orientated and want to be there asap. Because of that I decided to deploy on the back edge to give myself a little space. First, I wanted to make sure that my banners and characters (i.e. Loremaster and BSB) are relatively safe so I needed to see where the Monsters are and deploy accordingly. Basically, I wanted to create a situation where slower trolls and warriors would have further to go to my characters. In that way faster Shaggoths, BSB and Kholek have to either move alone or wait for the foot sloggers. I expected to have 2 turns without combat unless I wanted to.

Smaller and more compact army also meant that it should be easier to outflank it, in particular if it deployed centrally. The main approach would be to wound with magic/shooting and finish in charge while avoiding and diverting the attacks.


Apologies for the quality - the sun messed things up!

Deployment of the armies after vanguard

As expected the minions of Chaos deployed in tight formation in the centre. Shaggoths guarded both flanks. Good. On the left flank, Dragon Princes with Banner of Eternal Flame were ready to charge Trolls (eventually) and Noble with Potion of Strength was there to threaten the Shaggoth. On the other flank, Swordmasters and Dragon Princes with Star Lance were to hunt down second beast.

Reavers on the left flank didn't vanguard to have a chance to charge Hounds turn one but Monsters of Chaos were about to move first anyway.

Festus rehearsed his spells: Curse of the Lepper, Rancid Visitations and the army marched forward.

Monsters of Chaos - Turn 1
Kholek leads by example!

Monsters of Chaos move forward!

Kholek roared his order and there could be only one - forward! Monsters of all kinds sped forward as fast as they could. A steamroller of flesh, scaly skin and multitudes of mutations started to pick up its momentum.

First, Festus broke through the magical defences of the Loremaster and one of the Ellyrian Reavers unit ceased to exist, all riders victims to a horrible disease that developed in seconds. Then Kholek himself summoned power of the lightning but only two Sisters were struck.

Elves had to react quick!

Outcasts - Turn 1
Enveloping the enemy
Power of the magic and missile fire

The units on the flanks started outflanking the enemy as it left the sides of their formation relatively open. The units in the centre remained motionless and kept disciplined ranks despite incoming enemy.

First, Larry the Loremaster furiously attacked a simple mind of a Shaggoth and poor beast was barely alive after that experience. Then, the crew of the Eagle Claw aimed well and hit the enemy BSB with a single bolt. The missile hit perfectly and killed chaos champion on the spot!

Monsters of Chaos - Turn 2
Kholek attacks but is delayed
Monsters consolidate their centre

Kholek, irritated by the eagle, catches the bird of pray and shreds it to pieces. Throgg urges his minions to attack the eagle claw bolt thrower but they didn't respond fast enough. Other trolls, now without anybody telling them what to do, simply stumbled forward a few paces without any purpose. On the other flank, a Shaggoth moved to intercept Dragon Princes trying to outflank him.

The eagle proved to be a distraction enough because Kholek summoned a very weak lightning and only single Sister got struck.

Outcasts - Turn 2
First counter attacks
Outflanking proceeds
Elves proceeded with outflanking. On the left, Dragon Princes used the fact the nearby Trolls went stupid and positioned themselves for a flank attack. On the right, elven hero spearheaded the attack at the Shaggoth but thick hide deflected well aimed attacks. The beasted roared its defiance and held its ground.

In his eagerness to move his bodyguards to safety, Bob and Larry moved behind nearby trees but underestimated how thick and mutated they were. They completely blocked the vision and Larry was very frustrated that he could not use the magical powers strong winds gave him.

Monsters of Chaos - Turn 3
Left Flank
Centre and right flank

Attack through the centre (Edit: Apologies for inaccuracy of Kholek positioning)

Monsters attacked again. Wounded Shaggoth destroyed nearby Reavers while Kholek and Warriors dispatched two brave Sisters with easy. Kholek then tried to reach Archers but fell short. Barely. And proceeded to smash them with lightning instead.

On the left trolls stumbled forward oblivious to the fact that nearby Dragon Princes were about to charge them. On the right flank the combat continued. SHaggoth's hide proved too thick to penetrate by all but the elven noble. Shaggoth then tried to unhorse the knights but their armour and magical protection deflected many hits. The combat remained unresolved but Elves took heart as nearby Swordmasters were about to charge.

Outcasts - Turn 3
Dark forest on the left flank
Fleeing Warriors!
Flank Attacks!
Dragon Princes on the left, led by their noble, charged exposed flank of the trolls and one of the beast fell immediately to the fiery hot lances while another beast was wounded badly. They limped away and Dragn Princes didn't catch them yet to make sport of them soon.

On the right flank Swordmasters charged into melee. Even warriors of Hoeth may lose their resolve sometimes but they managed to land two deadly blows that ended life of the Shaggoth. Its twin fared not better as magical missiles finished him too. Surprisingly, that unnerved Festus and he ordered his warriors to carry him to the safety!

Monsters of Chaos - Turn 4
Kholek scares the Archers away
Festus miscasts!

Kholek was enraged and charged the Archers but young Elves fled, not feeling brave being alone. Throgg was furious that Warriors blocked his path to some Elves and had to move around. Festus, now confident and comfortable, cast deadly spell at the Dragon Princes and claimed all of the knights and wounded the noble. However, the feedback was devastating and Festus was promptly consumed by dimensional portal while his warriors were scattered around like rag dolls.

Outcasts - Turn 4
Elves regroup
Finishing the stragglers

Dragon Princes lost the interest in some fleeing trolls so Larry the Loremaster had to cast some spells to finish them before they started making trouble again. Swordmasters tried to avoid Throgg and his trolls while single Noble moved away too.

Kholek was about to get back.

Monsters of Chaos - Turn 5
Kholek retreats
Horrible fate for Swordmasters

Kholek returned but didn't fancy facing 5 Elven units on his own and started retreating. Throgg could not catch Swordmasters but was close enough to puke some horrible acids at them and all but 2 warriors of Hoeth perished.

Outcasts - Turn 5
With enemy too far away it was all up to Larry do some damage

Searing Doom!

With Monsters reluctant to fight and too far to reach Larry the Loremaster stepped in. He battled Kholek with his magical powers and magic missiles went towards the hulking beasts. Searing Doom reached him and wounded him badly. One more blow like that and even might Kholek can collapse.

Monsters of Chaos - Turn 6
Kholek is running away!

Throggs last charge - still failed

Throgg desperately tried to catch some Elves but still could not. Kholek summoned his lightning one more time but his wounds were deepn and his strike was weak. Only one Swordmaster died.

Outcasts - Turn 6
Last chance to get Kholek!

There was nothing else to do. Winds of magic were very low but Larry still summoned yet another Searing Doom. However, despite wounding Kholek again it was not enough to finish the beast. The Monsters were defeated but with Kholek alive it was a matter of time before they returned!


 photo output_4oKHoY_zpslfitliag.gif
Turn-by-turn summary animation

After-battle thoughts

First of all let me thank John for a very challenging game! His army is tough and he pressed it forward hard. He proceeded to smash all his other opponents and placed 3rd over all. Well done, John!  

I was very happy with the victory over Monster of Chaos. It is very tough, resilient and fast army and it started closer to my lines than usual. Kholek is a beast and his lightnings are truly dangerous!

I ma glad I managed to destroy both Shaggoths and what is more, to get BSB with a single bolt! That required a little luck but it was definitely worth trying! That also helped to confuse smaller trolls and destroy them eventually although my rolls for pursuit and then charge were bad. I should not complain, however, as failed panic check for warriors and then cascade were definitely more unlucky for John.

With some bonus for breaking the enemy I got almost 700 points more that gave me 12-8 victory. And while that is the result I would have taken any time against this army, I always wonder what I could have done better.

I think I played good for first half but I didn't capitalise fully on the gained advantage (especially after killing both Shaggoths). John told me he was surprised I didn't target Kholek with boosted Searing Doom right from the start. Well, I need that breathing space and I thought I had better chances in killing smaller Shaggoths first to make it so.

However, from turn 4 I should have pressed from the left flank. Initially I deployed these units there to keep my fortitude points safe. But from turn 4 I needed them to press forward and try to surround warriors at least. I didn't expect I would have been able to panic them but even then my units should have advanced. That would have helped me to be closer to Kholek. In particular, I didn't use the great asset in the form of noble with lance and potion of strength.

Two small searing dooms in turn 5 and 6 would have been enough but I didn't roll enough hits with the second one and getting double 1 for winds of magic didn't help. Ah well, I guess I had my luck when I got BSB with that single shot! :)

Thanks for reading!

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