Thursday 16 July 2015

Game 132 - Orcs and Goblins - 2015/03/13

Game 5 - Blood and Glory - Dan - Orcs and Goblins

Game 5 was Blood and Glory scenario. It was modified in the way that a player received bonus points (400VP) for breaking the opponent but the game continued for 6 turns as normal. If second player broke his opponent too he also received bonus points (200VP). This time I was fighting against Orcs and Goblins led by Black Orc Warboss Dan!

Dan had an army that looked to me as a classic Orcs and Goblins force, 2 big blocks of Orc infantry, small regiment of Night Goblins, support in the form of Wolf Riders and 4 chariots as well as 3 war machines and 2 manglers plus, of course, a nice selection of characters. Here are the details of his army list:

Orcs & Goblins - Army List

Black Orc Warboss, Shield, Armour of Destiny, Axe of Stunty Smashing = 263
Orc Great Shaman, Lvl 4, Talisman of Endurance, Fencers Blades, Ironcurse = 270 - Big Waagh!
Black Orc Big Boss, BSB, Talisman of Preservation, Enchanted Shield = 165
Night Goblin Shaman, Ruby Ring = 75 - Little Waagh!
Night Goblin Shaman, Dispel Scroll  = 75 - Little Waagh!

34 Orc Boyz, Full Command, Big Un’s, Extra Choppa, Razor Standard = 386
22 Night Goblins, Standard, Musician, 2x Fanatics = 136 Points
5 Wolf Riders, Standard, Musician, Spears, Shields = 80 Points

Wolf Chariot = 50
Wolf Chariot = 50
Boar Chariot = 85
Boar Chariot = 85
23 Black Orcs, Full Command, Shields, Standard of Discipline = 349 
Spear Chukka = 35 

Doom Diver = 80
Mangler Squig = 65 
Mangler Squig = 65 
Rock Lobber = 85

Swedish Comp = 14.0

Black Orc Warboss - Very tough leader and very good fighter. His magic weapon makes him S6 with AP rule and with 5A. With 3+/4++ saves he is reasonably protected too. He can quell the animosity so his unit is not going to misbehave. He will add to any combat he is going to join significantly. Both mounted heroes have a chance to wound him though but if they don't slay him outright he may easily chop them down in a single turn of hand to hand.

Orc Great Shaman - main army wizard, with the access to quite nasty spells. He is also well equipped as a combination of T5, WS 10 and 5++ makes him harder to kill than your regular wizard. Some of the spells in the Big Waagh! can also make him quite good in combat. He will most likely be with on of the big blocks making it harder to get him unless the whole unit goes down.

BSB - as his Warboss, he is reasonably protected. His BSB abilities are very important and the army can assume compact formation to benefit from his and General's presence. As a black orc he also adds to combat prowess of a unit he joins and stops animosity giving Dan a nice choice of positioning his characters with either unit of Orcs.

Goblin Shamen - they are mainly there to carry good magic items such as ring and scroll  and provide 2 more attempts for channeling. However, spells from Little Waagh! can also be very useful. Not to be underestimated.

34 Orc Boyz - WS4 and S4 (S5 first round of combat) with 2A each and with AP on top of that makes them potent unit too. Their weakness is they don't have much of defense to speak about so they will sustain casualties due to shooting, magic and in close combat too, as their initiative is low. But that's why there are 34 of them. And with the addition of characters they are not easy unit to defeat.

Night Goblins - mainly fanatic system delivery. But their ranks can matter and in fact, they can be used to great effect too. Until the fanatics are released they can control area well.

Wolf Riders - personally I was happy to see just a single unit of them as they can be really annoying with their 4+ save. However, they are still a unit to be taken care of quickly as they are part of the entire support contingent and every piece of it can and will prevent me from mounting a proper charge against big blocks.

Wolf Chariots - very cheap, very fast still very dangerous due to D6+1 impact hits. Fortunately they are also quite fragile so I will try and shoot them down quickly.

Boar Chariots - much harder nut to crack than wolf chariots, slower but still fast enough. They will require much harder counter, mounted nobles being the main weapon against them as they are faster and hit hard enough to destroy them on the charge.

Manglers - very dangerous even if moving at random. This is actually their strength as units cannot flee from them at all. They will stop any advance and as such are my priority to be destroyed. At any cost, even with sacrificing a unit to achieve that goal.

Artillery - while not as potent as some O&G armies muster it is still dangerous also because it is very versatile. My fast units will be assigned a mission to silence them down but getting to them may be a problem as long as fanatics and manglers are not dealt with.

In general, I was facing a very dangerous army with wide range of tools to use against my force and that participates in every phase. It controls movement very well with fanatics, manglers and chariots. It can harm at a distance with magic and artillery. It can fight in combat very well and may not allow me to surround the main regiments either.

My approach would be to destroy manglers as soon as possible. Try to draw and destroy fanatics. Magic missiles and shooting will also be good choice against fast cavalry and chariots. I have many targets to deal with quickly and the fact Blood and Glory has deployment zones closer to each other does not help either.

Usually I would deploy at the very rear of the deployment zone to buy myself more time. However, with artillery capable of inflicting panic checks with a single rock dropped on a unit I wanted to have some chance of survival if that is failed (despite re-rolls). It would be a hard game for sure but the one I was really looking forward to as I knew it would be a very interesting encounter.


Deployment of the armies
Both formations in weighted flank and main forces facing each other

Orc and Goblin wizards had the following spells:

Great Shaman - Fists of Gork, The Hand of Gork, 'Ere we go!, Foot of Gork
Shaman - Itchy Nuisance
Shaman - Night Shroud

Surprisingly Outcasts won the roll off and their was the first turn!

Outcasts - Turn 1
Outcasts await their foes
First blood for Elves

Outcasts decided to maintain the position for a while and try to soften the enemy first. The flanks were expanded a little. Then Larry the Loremaster and army shooters aimed at various targets in the enemy army. The only success was killing one of the Manglers. Unfortunately, wolf chariot survived the attack and only single wolf rider fell so no panic check was necessary.

Orcs & Goblins - Turn 1
Cunning Orcs and Goblins move forward
Power of the Waaagh! magic

Entire army of Orcs and Goblins moves forward. Black Orcs loot nearby tower on their way. And then green hell is unleashed. First, Great Shaman invites Gork for some stomping but is modest in his pleas so moody Gork decided to grant his wish. Whole unit of Swordmasters is then splatted flat. Eagle rider who joined them look with the horror in his eyes at the blood stains on his new gown and urged his mount to find him the nearest mountain stream where he could wash his clothes in cold water as his mother thought him. The battle could wait.

Then Great Shaman, encouraged by this success convinced Gork that when you use a leg then the hand should follow. Big green arm reached from the skies and picked the whole mob of Night Goblins who were so inspired with such an honor that as soon as they were put down they released their fanatics to celebrate. Little did they know how well orchestrated it was as nearby Dragon princes had no time to avoid the lunatics and it was a miracle there was even a survivor.

Last but not least the artillery opened fire and more dragon princes, this time from another unit, and more noble elven knights fell.

Outcasts - Turn 2
High Elves assume defensive formation

And keep firing

With fanatics too close to their lines High Elves are forced to divert their attention to them instead. They are soon dead but it means other regiments are not targeted.

Single Dragon Prince charges Wolf Riders who flee but are caught in pursuit. That, however, puts the knight in a very dangerous spot.

On the right flank Reavers take one for the team and sacrifice themselves to remove the mangler. Dragon Princes by pass enemy units to attack artillery but they also lose one of their number in the treacherous forest.

Orcs & Goblins -Turn 2
Orcs and Goblins keep advancing

More Elves die

Support elements of the Orcs and Goblins army attack. Boar Chariot charges lone knight who valiantly receives the charge and even survives it but somehow breaks from combat and flees only to be caught (Edit: I really hate how dice sometimes give you hope and then just betray you for something like failed Ld 8 test )

Wounded Wolf Chariot on the opposite flanks crushes into Swordmasters inflicting horrendous casualties before it is chopped to pieces.

Finally, Night Goblins overrun bolt thrower crew and are fast enough to escape the attention of the nearby reavers.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Elves move through the gaps on the flanks

Archers and Lions stand shoulder to shoulder

Noble and Swordmasters move through the gap in the flank and try to reach the artillery. Reavers on the other flank avoid wolf chariot and help in destroying orc chariot. The archers focus their fire on Big 'Uns and inflict significant damage (combined with previous head bashing by black orc leaders to maintain control over the unit).

Orcs & Goblins -Turn 3

Orcs are finally close and personal

Elves surrounded

With the aid of Hand of Gork three units of Orcs and Goblins surround Elven leaders and few remaining regiments. Is there a way for them to break from that encirclement?

Swordmasters are hit by a doom diver and die to an Elf but thanks to that single knight remains unscathed and is ready to avenge his fallen companions.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Elves use the openings

for Great Escape!

It was a hard decision to make. White Lions moved to block big Uns and buy time for archers and leaders to avoid Orcs. Great Eagle flew to stop Night Goblins too. Remnants of cavalry moved fast to destroy the artillery as soon as possible.

Orcs & Goblins -Turn 4

Orcs attack again!

Big Uns attack valiant Lions who attempt to assassinate Black Orc BSB but his ward save proves to be dependable and he is only wounded. Lions pay ultimate price especially when Great Shaman turns himself into a beast.

(Edit: I might have made a mistake on the map as I think Dan actually charged against my bolt thrower with his Boar Chariot, sorry!)

Black Orcs reform to block the escape route for archers and Elven BSB.

Wolf Chariot smashed into ranks of Archers and inflicted some damage but the Loremaster made sure it was quickly destroyed.

Goblins could not harm the eagle and it actually held the line all by itself!

Outcasts - Turn 5

Apologies for a blurry picture

BSB joins the Loremaster

Once again Elves try to avoid combat and BSB joins another unit of Archers while Noble rampages through the enemy artillery in the back yard. Magic is unfortunately uneventful.

Orcs & Goblins -Turn 5

Last push

Elves manage to escape!

Black orcs charged Archers who withdrew but that put them in the front of the boar chariot which charged too so Archers had to flee through enemy units again. Fortunately for them they were fact enough to avoid all enemies and escaped to safety.

Orcs were greatly disappointed that Elves didn't stood and fight. They decided there is no pointing in chasing them anymore and Orc leaders regrouped their army to go and look for a foe who does not flee.


 photo output_a33xGU_zpsru9ztrli.gif
Turn-by-turn summary animation

After-battle thoughts

I would like to congratulate Dan for a very well fought game where he outplayed me and won 12-8 (after composition score modification). I really like how he used chariots as well as movement spell to a great effect. He punched hard turn 1 and I could not recover from that blow. Thanks a lot, Dan! It was a pleasure to play against you and learn from you! 

As always I start looking at my deployment and I must say I didn't do a good job. I was too close to the enemy and confined myself to the flank where my opponent could knock out my fast elements which usually are very good at flank attacks. I also didn't give myself enough time to deal with many threats.

After the game I think I should have deployed further back anyway and more centrally. That would have saved me from that great Hand of Gork fanatic delivery.

I also wonder if aiming with ranged attacks against support elements is always a good idea. On one hand things like manglers have to be dealt with these as otherwise they inflict too much damage. And chariots are indeed a problem. However, wolf chariots can be destroyed in combat as they are fragile while Boar Chariots are slow and were away from the front line. Maybe I should have focused on one of the units to thin them down significantly and try to attack them later on in hand to hand? Especially if I managed to play better with my fast troops so that I could use them to counter the chariots.

Eagle rider was an example of an obvious mistake. First of all, I wonder if it was good decision to join Swordmasters in the first place. Second, I should have anticipated the possibility of such attack and he should have been placed on the other side of the unit to be in range of BSB influence.

I was very unhappy with ER2 and the way I didn't use them to any effect. I should have move them better to be able to attack NG when they approached, could have used them for blocking purposes etc. Instead I moved them back and forth for no purpose at all.

Then the biggest question for me is what happened in my Turn 3. During the game I simply assumed I was not in position to attack. Especially when Dan used Hand of Gork to move Big 'Uns to the side as initially they seemed to expose the flank to the archers and I potentially could have charged them with all my 3 units.

However, assuming I didn't make a mistake and Black Orcs didn't include any characters, I could have tried the frontal attack with Archers led by BSB and Lions. BO cannot run. The distance, I think, was not that large. I wondered if that is a good fight for me and it looks that even without augments or hexes I had a good chance to win combat. Even more so the following turn when BO would drop to S4. I assumed they would use two weapons. Then I would have had Loremaster and his units to guard the flank, great eagle to block big uns and reavers to help with chariot or night goblins.

It was of course risky, because I needed both units to attack at the same time but still.

Then Turn 4 I had an opportunity flank charge BO with Archers and 2 characters and Archers from the front. This one looked more risky than the previous one. But maybe again I assumed too quickly that fighting is not an option?

Let me know what do you think!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Hello Swordmaster.

    Let me first tell you that I absolutely love your battle reports. I've even begun writing a few myself, largely thanks to your inspiration. I also hope that this way, I can contribute to keeping WHFB 8 alive. Like yourself (I read on your reply from the Hoodling's Hole), I feel that AoS is a serious letdown. It may be a decent game in its own right, but it doesn't fill the same craving as WHFB.

    Anyways, about the potential charge in turn 3. I'm not so sure. Your archers would have strike first and rerolls, but assuming their maximum attacks, you'd only inflict 3.1 casualties with them. But you have to share the frontage with the lions. Those would not have the rerolls and therefore would cause 5.55 casualties. That is just assuming regular on regular troops. With additional hand weapons, he'd be inflicting 6.25 casualties back assuming 5 front rank and 5 supporting attacks.

    In other words, if it was just rank on rank, you'd be looking at sort of equal damage dishing in the first round. The orcs would however, have more ranks.

    Furthermore, it looks like he had most of his characters in there, while you only had the loremaster. The loremaster is capable, but only does so much. The orc characters seemed better equiped for prolonged melees. And there's more of them.

    So in short, I feel that a potential charge in turn 3 with archers and lions would have been very high risk. And statistically unsound. But possibly worth it as a desperate shot (but that wasn't the case yet at that moment, I think)

    Anyways, thanks for another fantastic read!

    Your friend,

    1. Hi Bonsai!

      Many thanks for your feedback and very kind words! It is already a great reward to know you enjoy my reports! I am very happy to know I provide some good entertainment. :) It is even more enjoyable to see that they are inspiring and I am glad you tried to write some of your own. While they take time to create I find it a lot of fun and I can simply re-create a game one more time and see all these options I could not spot during the heat of battle. I hope you have similar experience. Please, let me know where I can read yours and I will make sure to venture to your corner of the internet to read them!

      Now about that potential charge :) First of all I just wanted to make sure I was talking about charging the unit of Black Orcs that (I think) were not accompanied by Orc characters. I totally agree these are tough nut to crack and Larry the Loremaster might be facing even bigger challenge if he did so.

      However, against Black Orcs it might have been different story. Thanks for the calculations, btw, very helpful for the analysis. I wonder, however, if you took into account the fact that my opponent would have to divide his attacks somehow. It does not mean it would lead to a dramatically different outcome. But I have learned that that fact alone may indeed change the situation in a large enough margin.

      In addition there is also magic phase and Larry was equipped to help his units to either wound better (Wild Form) or affect the enemy (Miasma, Iceshard) or finally provide some protection (Earthblood). It is hard to predict if any of these effects would take place but one cannot totally ignore them either. I would agree that the decision should be made on the basis of no-magical-help so that any spell taking effect would tip the balance into my favor further.

      However, that makes me want to try and see what could have been an outcome :)

      It is not to say I regret I didn't risk. Sometimes it pays off but equally it might be a path to disaster. That is what happens with high risk moves. But I am very happy we discuss this situation and I am grateful for your feedback as it is fantastic to have an opinion of another player. I agree with you in general, it is just this little tiny voice that keeps asking "what if" in my head :)

      Once again, many thanks for your comments and kind words. I hope you will enjoy my future reports too. I have a few left to re-post from other forums and some more games in the pipeline. I want to keep playing 8th edition, now more casually than before. I can also tell you that I plan to venture into Kings of War 2 and I will do my best to write some reports from these games too.


    2. Cheers mate.
      Your blog is actually the second time I've been reading your reports, I read them all on the warhammer forum too =)

      Sorry about the misunderstanding, reading your post game analysis again, I have no idea how I ended up thinking you were talking about the big'uns.
      Anyways, the Black Orcs then. They seem to have a 5 men frontage. That's 5". They also had a character, which I'm assuming (from the fact that he's to the side and looks slightly smaller than the other characters) is a lowly night goblin shaman.

      So assuming you make it with lions and archers. You could put up a frontage of nine men yourself if optimised, I think. That would be five lions, Larry and three archers. All with supporting attacks and the archers with another rank. Meaning, ten Lions, Larry and eleven archers. Six archers allocating on the shaman should cause 1.78 wounds. The other five archers inflict 0.83 wounds on the black orcs, assuming additional hand weapons. Larry does 2.22. The ten lions still do 5.56. Total tally of 10.39 wounds.

      The Black Orcs would have 15 attacks and would cause 6.25 wounds. Their larger footbase is really the bane of them here.

      Of course, this assumes no challenges complicating things (but that's what the champions are for) and optimal frontage. In that case, I would definitely go for the iceshard blizzard as it would reduce your own casualties and the Black Orc's leadership. They would probably be testing on insane courage at that point ...

      A lot of ifs. But it suddenly certainly looks like a worthwhile idea.

    3. Hi Bonsai,

      Haha, that is great! It seems that the reports are not too bad if you want to read them twice and even comment after that :) Greatly appreciated, especially here, on the blog, as it is always good to have some discussion.

      It is one of the things I talked about with my friend, who used to write WHFB reports on forums and not runs his own website dedicated to X-Wing. It is far harder to get some traffic on your blog than on the forum. We are still looking for the opportunities to make the blogs more attractive and advertise them better and I know there is a lot to be done to get regular comments for example. Hence, I am very happy when that happens :)

      Don't worry about slight mistake :) Technically we also could discuss that option and the conclusion would be it is way too risky, in particular with the Blood and Glory scenario.

      I also agree there are a lot of "If's" but I guess that is also part of the beauty of the game where you can assess the risk and you still have to flip the coin :) To add to the complexity I also had to take into account the possibility that one unit might not make it (or worse, both would not!) and how to deal with the consequences. On the other hand, I had second unit of archers coming from the flank in the second wave.

      So many choices and only a single decision to make! :)