Thursday 7 August 2014

Game 20 - Orcs & Goblins - 2012/04/14


After a little break I had another opportunity to play a game. This time against Squigkikka (or Gutrippa for those who play at UB) and his all Goblin army.

Army lists and Pre-battle considerations

I have seen a few variants of his army already and it indeed does not include a single Orc. Which makes it easy to underestimate. I have also seen it wining games against tough opponents. The exact army list I faced this time is as follows:

Goblins - Army List

Goblin Warboss, Great Weapon, Glittering Scales, Talisman of Preservation, Other Tricksters Shard
Night Goblin Warboss, Great Weapon, Armor of Destiny
Night Goblin Warboss, Great Weapon
Night Goblin Warboss, Great Weapon
Night Goblin Warboss, Great Weapon

Night Goblin BSB, Great Weapon, Standard of Discipline
Goblin shaman, Level 2, Dispel scroll - Little Waaagh
Goblin Big Boss, Gigantic Spider, Shield, Light Armor, Sword of Might, Dragonhelm, Luckstone, Potion of foolhardiness
Goblin Big Boss, Wolf, Light Armor, Shrieking Blade, Enchanted Shield, Dragonbane Gem 
Goblin Big Boss, Wolf, Light Armor, Spear, Charmed Shield, Opal Amulet, Potion of Toughness

5 Wolf Riders, Spears, Shields, Light Armor, Shortbows¨
5 Wolf Riders, Spears, Shields, Light Armor, Shortbows¨
38 Night Goblins, Spears, Shields, Full Command, Nets
21 Night Goblins, Shortbows, Musician, 2 fanatics
28 Goblins, HW, Shields, Full Command, 3 Skulkers

26/9 Squig Herd
15/10 Squig Herd
6 Trolls
Wolf Chariot
Wolf Chariot

2 Doom Divers
Rock Lobba

I was really surprised by the number of characters in this army. I haven't seen it before. I also expected Arachnarok or Pump Wagon too but it seems this time I didn't have a pleasure to face huge monsters. We played hidden lists so I didn't know exactly about the equipment each character has and definitely didn't know about fanatics or skulkers. So many warbosses with GW meant that it would be very difficult to defeat goblin units head on. I needed combined charges and even then it would mean casualties on my part. Some of the characters had fast cavalry rule which again made them even more dangerous.

Also Squig Herds pose a threat as with so many of them they will have a lot of attacks back anyway. I also needed to get to the artillery very quickly as Doom Divers in particular are very dangerous to my small units and their accuracy is even better than rock lobber. Chariots had to be taken out quickly as well. I had an answer to trolls but I also knew they are going to be troublesome anyway.

Basically, the main problem with this army is that it has so many targets which need to be dealt with quickly that it makes it really difficult to tackle them.

Outcasts - Army List

Archmage, Level 4, Annulian Crystal, Dragonbane Gem - High Magic
BSB, Great Weapon, Armor of Caledor, Dawnstone

20 Spearelves, Musician, Standard
18 Lothern Sea Guard, Musician, Standard
10 Archers, Light Armor, Musician
10 Archers, Light Armor, Musician

10 Swordmasters, Musician
10 Swordmasters, Musician
10 White Lions, Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame
10 White Lions, Musician
5 Dragon Princes, Musician, Drakemaster, Foe Bane 5 Dragon Princes, Musician
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bows, Spears, Musician
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bows, Spears, Musician

Great Eagle
Great Eagle

I decided to come back to classic equipment for my BSB and run him with Spears to help them in combat as he tends to end up in there anyway. I also wanted to see if I can make use of Lothern Sea Guard in more aggressive approach. Sometimes they can be in spots where they cannot yet charge but with swift reform I could be annoying and add some more arrows when it counts.

Before deploying armies we rolled for spells and the wizards got:

Goblin Shaman - Vindictive Glare, Itchy Nuisance
Archmage - Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Curse of Arrow Attraction, Fury of Khaine, Flames of the Phoenix


Deployment after vanguard moves
I decided to play refused flank and overwhelm the enemy with my units on the West while Lions backed up by nearby BSB could hold the enemy approaching from the East or support the center if required. I also intended to focus my shooting and magic on a single target (if possible) to create opening for cavalry to go through and attack artillery as I expected there would be no easy paths there.

Three Night Goblin Warbosses joined Night Goblin regiment with nets while the general, another warboss, bsb and shaman led ordinary goblins to battle. Big boss on spider joined night goblins too, one wolf rider boss kept trolls in check while his twin used his vanguard move.

Goblins won the roll off and theirs was the first turn.

Goblins - Turn 1
Goblins rush forward

All goblin army rushed forward. Only the chariot on the Western flank didn't move much, a little shy to be too close to elven cavalry. On the other hand, Wolf Riders on the Eastern flank started to argue who is going to reach elves first and darted forward with even greater than usual speed. Who said animosity is a bad thing?

Elves were not impressed but then greenskins launched their crazy suicidal goblins. One of them flapped his wings furiously and aimed at heavy cavalry. The wind was strong and his course was changed but ... he hit another heavy cavalry regiment. And he did so with such a force that all knights were dead in an instant. This impact was so strong that it created some additional effects and second unit of elven knights could not keep their steeds under control and moved away. Swordmasters nearby interpreted that as a signal to regroup and moved back quickly too. Just a second after that the earth cracked and both regiments had no chance to join the battle again. (Edit: It was a very heavy blow, I lost 3 regiments in one go because when one unit of DP died 2 other units simply panicked and I rolled high enough for them to flee the battle. It looked as if I didn't bring any heavy cavalry at all and started the game with less than 2000 point army. Auch!)

Outcasts - Turn 1
High Elves try to re-arrange their battle line

Elven Warriors knew that they need to act fast. The army redressed the ranks to be able to focus on the Western flank. Ellyrian Reavers risked the swift movement through treacherous swamp and even their horsemanship was not enough to force their way through the mud. They lost two of their numbers and their steeds panicked. Instead of using the narrow opening they had to break through and charge the enemy artillery they now added to the confusion among elven ranks.

One of the valiant eagles sacrificed itself and drew the attention of goblin fanatics. One of them didn't reach the noble bird pf prey, while second killed it outright and promptly flattened himself on the nearby rock.

All shooter and archmage focused on the goblin unit with biggest, most ragged standard. Around 2/3 of the regiment perished due to combined efforts of archers and magical flames but goblins, still fearing the warboss more than Elves, kept going forward.

Goblins - Turn 2
Goblins keep up the momentum and charge

Goblin regiments continued envelopment of the elven line from the East and to keep them where they are Trolls were ordered to charge White Lions. Huge brutes stumbled forward and drew another unit of Lions into bloody combat. Only single troll fell, as their regenerative abilities saved many wounds in an instant. Many lions fell but both units held and the fight continued.

Greatly depleted regiment of goblins, burned badly decided to go through the swamp to put down the fire but in doing so some of them went too deep into the mud and after they crawled out of it their bsb and their ragged banner was no where to be found (Edit: I apologize for not correct diagram, basically goblins where closer to the swamp and with march move they had to do some dangerous terrain tests. BSB failed and since he was already wounded it meant he was dead)

Spider riding big boss charged great eagle which retreated and then changed his attack at reavers who performed their feigned flight. With no more targets to charge big boss slowed down his monstrous mount. Goblins already started to celebrate their shooting efficiency and that led to a disaster as one of the catapults which supposed to launch another crazy diver fell apart. Still some Spearelves were hit by remaining artillery shots.

Outcasts - Turn 2
High Elves are in a very difficult situation now

Eagle and Reavers rallied but that also blocked other regiments and elves could not press forward to be able to break through the encirclement. Second regiment of Lions, augmented by their magical banner, destroyed all but 2 trolls and ugly monsters fled but were faster than pursuing chracians. Too bad for elves as that would help them to attack another foe before the enemy could co-ordinate their charges.

Lothern Sea Guard spotted the flank of spider rider but could not reach it just yet. In that situation desperate measures were taken and reavers and archers both exposed themselves to charges of the enemy to protect the flank of other regiments. Archmage tried to help too but although his fury of khain was cast successfully it didn't do enough damage and spider rider was only wounded once.

Goblins - Turn 3
Goblins attack from every direction

Badly positioned Lions were attacked from 3 directions. They managed to kill one wolf rider, wound big boss once despite the fact some shiny trinket interfered dramatically with the magic of their banner and then killed one of the strange goblin, masked and performing moves in the mockery of true martial artists. Despite their bravery Chracians lost half of their numbers to combined attacks of goblin characters.

Goblin chariot crew decided that riding through mud is great fun and splashing through the swamp charged Swordmasters. Their vehicle barely managed to hold long enough for them to hit home but when they did even super-natural speed and training of warriors of Hoeth was not enough to avoid the chariot. They destroyed it but at a cost of many of their numbers and few survivors had to retreat. Luckily for them wolf riding boss was distracted by the flying eagle and didn't catch them.

With so many units to charge no wonder that night goblin warbosses started to argue which one to attack first and by some random decision they attacked reavers. Light cavalry held knowing it is a suicidal mission only to keep the horde occupied a little bit longer.

On the West their companions also desperate to let other regiments to survive sacrificed themselves and held against the attack of horde of squigs. Even Archers tried to fight but although they inflicted a wound at spider rider they could not hold and fled the battle.

Outcasts - Turn 3
Situation of the elven army is grim indeed

Heavily beaten Elves still had some options to fight back. Spears charged wolf riding boss but he fled. Lions kept fighting to the last warrior. Archers aimed at wolf riders behind their back but only 2 goblins fell and the survivors didn't care about their dead companions.

Archmage, knowing it is probably the last chance to change the course of battle, tried to destroy the chariot but yet again his spell didn't do the damage it supposed to. Even added volley from Lothern Sea Guard was not enough to destroy the chariot. Then the attempt to summon flames of the phoenix was stopped by goblin shaman who managed to read some dirty parchment properly enough to awake its magic and dissipate the spell.

Goblins - Turn 4

Goblins keep attacking

Squigs and Chariot both charge remaining Swordmasters with an Archmage who manages to destroy the chariot but it does not help them as they all die horribly. Lothern Sea Guard fights bravely, despite the nets dropped on them from all sides and wound all the warbosses badly. However, they do not kill them and many elves perish too. The pressure of many goblin ranks is too much and elves flee.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Although defeated Elves keep fighting

Archers aim carefully and kill wolf rider boss. Great Eagle charges spider rider to open the path for spearelves to attack as well. Great bird cannot defeat the spider and dies in combat. Spearelves, led by BSB destroy wolf rider boss and overrun towards trolls but do not reach them just yet. BSB swung his blade so hard that the head of the goblin boss flew far towards the goblin warboss. He picked it up and decided he liked the hat. He remembered some story about some general who was wearing the hat in a funny way. What was his name? Papo, Napo, Gapo ... some kind of Leon for sure. He was supposed to be a smart general too. Feeling that he is going to be even better he was about to shout "March Move!". At the same time though, he took a bite of something he found in his pocket and while munching he managed to shout "Mushroom!". All the goblins at once decided they want another mushroom too and started to run towards nearest forest. Which was exactly in the opposite direction than warboss intended to go. What is more, nearby night goblins also heard about new tasty mushroom and run towards the forest not wanting to be the last ones. Only trolls didn't know what is going on and looked around in confusion.

Goblins - Turn 5
Not many Elves are going to survive this battle

While warboss and his goblins were still running toward the forest other regiments kept fighting. Spider rider attacked archers who held and fought bravely despite casualties. Night goblins charged Lothern Sea Guard again but this time elves could not wound warbosses and fled the battle with goblins in hot pursuit. Trolls, oblivious to the presence of elven spears nearby, moved a little bit forward.

Outcasts - Turn 5

Last Elven charge
 Determined to save their battle banner at least Elves charge trolls. They beat them and run them down in pursuit but 4 of elves drawn in the treacherous swamp. Unfortunately archers could not inflict the last wound and died fighting spider rider.

Later on, goblins stop in the forest but not being able to find any mushrooms turn around to face the elves again. They were too far away though and decided to attack with magic and artillery but could not finish off elven BSB. In any case it didn't matter as goblins were victorious anyway.

After-battle thoughts

Oh boy, where should I start? That was heavy blow at the very beginning of the battle. I tried to fight back but kept making mistakes and as a result was beaten so badly it was not even funny. My fleeing units kept blocking the path of my still intact regiments and I was choked by goblins who had no problems at all with encircling and picking up the fights. Very painful lesson indeed. This is the list of things I believe could have been much better:

1. Deployment - the idea was good the execution not so. I should have taken into account that DP are going to be the first target and deploy them closer to BSB or BSB closer to where they are. Thus helping nearby units to pass their panic tests if I got hit as badly as I did. I also failed to deploy my regiments so that they can support each other. As a consequence they were picked apart one by one. Worst case scenario for my army.

2. Reavers - I didn't use them well. Especially the unit on the Western flank. I was desperate to keep Squigs away but in doing so I forgot they can reform after combat. I should have fled thus taking them away from my lines.

3. Magic - in general very strong point of my army this time, flames could have changed much. However, the main problem was getting rid of that chariot when it mattered. I could have cast curse on it too so that I could be sure it is destroyed. Of course, getting 4 hits for fury didn't help but I really should have added all I could to kill it. With archmage still alive I could try to cat magic at big night goblin unit and help LSG to fight it.

4. Movement - apart from the fact I could not move due to fleeing units in front of my battle line (which didn't want to flee far enough to go behind it) I didn't position Lions and SM in the center well. I could expose Lions with banner so that charging trolls would not be able to attack second unit. Because they could they held them and with no luck in catching them in the second round of combat I was simply exposed for combined charges which sealed my doom in turn 3.

That was very poorly played on my part and I am in addition embarrassed to lose so badly against goblins. Squigkikka is a very competent player and he used all the opportunities very well. The good thing is it can only be better :)

Thanks for reading! :)

P.S. Many thanks to frapermax for providing maps for the game. Cheers mate! :)

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