June 2, 2009

Warhammer Battle Report [Dwarves vs. Dwarves @ NICON 09]

Return of Llad the Usurper
Dwarves vs. Dwarves (2,250pts Game 4 NICON 09)

This was the fourth game I played at NICON and the last of Day 1, and it was by far the most fun. Why? Because it was Dwarf vs. Dwarf which I have never done before and with the different builds of our armies it seemed that Ken and I were in for a knock down toe-to-toe melee fest. Ken's army for the battle consisted of:

Lord on Shieldbearers
Warriors x10
Warriors x20
Longbeards x20
Ironbreakers x15
Hammerers x15

Ken was also, as it turned out, using some very different runic combinations to me including a number of Runes that I have and haven't tried before. These included:
  • Strollaz Rune - gives everyone within 6" of your BSB (has to be BSB as no-one else can afford to carry it) a free 6" move before the start of Turn 1. Effectively it gives you an 18" deployment zone.
  • MR Flight - the killer axe which flies out 12" from your character auto hits whatever target you pick and then flies back to your hand, used by Ken throughout the tournament to kill enemy characters and Champions.
  • MR Grungi - gives all units with 6" of BSB a 5+ WS against all shooting including magic missles. Against my missle heavy force this was a life saver for Ken's Dwarfs.
I have used Strollaz and Grungi before but have always preferred to protect my BSB and take the banner without any runes on it. After watching Ken's Dwarfs throughout the tournament I have begun to reconsider that.

Ken's Dwarfs were concentrated in the middle of his deployment zone with only the small unit of 10 Warriors off on its own. It basically marched into a building and stayed there for the entire game. I deployed the majority of my army on the right flank angled across the board. The general idea was to shoot down as much of Ken's army as I could, get him to charge my gunline using MR Challenge and then hit him in the flank with my Longbeards and Lord w. Hammers unit. The Gyrocopter flew around taking pot shots at his Warmachines and his Warriors, but otherwise was unable to do much as its S3 weapon found it hard to wound anything.

Turn 1
Strollaz sends Ken's Dwarfs marching forward into the middle of the board putting me at a distinct disadvantage from Turn 1 as I now have less time in which to get my flanking movement completed. His Bolt-Thrower misses my Quarrellers, but his Cannon is more lucky taking down 4 Hammerers. In response I move cautiously forward but focus principally on shooting. Disaster strikes though when the Organ Gun misfires and blows up without firing a single shot or scoring a single wound. The Quarrellers and Gyro take down 5-6 Warriors but without the Organ Gun my shooting plans are in tatters.

Turns 2-3
Agghhh a working Bolt-Thrower just a pity it wasn't mine. With my Longbeards and large Hammerer unit now angling toward Ken's troops his Bolt-Thrower goes through 5 ranks of Longbeards killing 5 Dwarves, while his cannon takes down 2 more models in the other Hammerer unit. My own shooting isn't as effective but I still take down a few more Warriors removing his rank bonus from one unit. They Gyrocopter goes after the Cannon but misses out and is grape shoted for its trouble. The MR Flight snaps an axe into the head of a Quarreller as Ken's Hammerers move into charge range of them, smoke from the burning Organ Gun obscuring their view and slowing them somewhat.

Shooting is much better on my side though with 4 Hammerers and 4 Longbeards taken down by the Quarrellers, Bolt-Throwers and Gyrocopter (which has limped away from the Cannon). On the left Ken's Hammerers now charge my exposed Quarrellers chopping down 4 of them and causing them to flee in panic, along with the accompanying Runesmith. In the centre my Hammerers weakened by Cannon fire are charged by Ken's Warriors and Ironbreakers and so begins what promises to be a meat grinder of a combat.

Turn 4
Things are getting nasty now. Ken's Warriors are tearing into my Hammerers. The key question now is will they hold long enough for the Longbeards, other Hammerer unit and my Lord to come crashing into the Warriors flank? Or will they break and flee. Well, it turns out they hold briefly before fleeing. The Warriors though do not overrun far enough and leave their flank wide open, but then.... then instead of a charge from me.... the game ends... thats right we have to roll for the variable end of game rule and I roll a 6 seeing the game end in Turn 4. Turn 4 when everything is neatly set up for an epic confrontation sees the game stop with Ken having destroyed two of my units earning enough points for the victory, but my own units now in a great position to earn some payback.

What do we do? We tally up the official results a victory to Ken by 16-8, and then play out the battle. My Longbeards hit his Warriors flank and his Ironbreakers charge into my Hammerers with my Lord. In the ensuing combats the Longbeards emerge victorious rampaging through his Warriors and killing his Lord. To their rear the Hammerers and Ironbreakers fight each other tooth and nail, but Hammerer Great Weapons help tilt the balance slightly in their favour. Once again cursed with poor dice rolling Ken's units turn and flee from the grand melee and are cut down. Things are now balanced again, only this time it is Ken who has the better chance to turn things his way. His Hammerer unit has now returned to the board and is ready to charge my Longbeards, his Longbeards untouched as yet by hand to hand combat are in position to charge my severly depleted Hammerers and his small Warrior unit should be able to move toward the rear of that same unit. However, we are unable to find out what would have happened as we reach Turn 6 before things get that far.

The follow through game ends then it what can only be an amicable and very enjoyable draw. I go onto to get massacred by Wood Elves, while Ken's Dwarfs take on Lizardmen where they grind out a huge melee combat over 10 rounds against two big units of Saurus.


Darth Weasel said...

I hate it when the game ends just before it gets interesting. Early on we had a great game going between the Dwarf army and Dark Elves. Rick was just ready to flank-charge the Cold One Knights with his Hammerers who were just about to get help from a couple crack units with Assassins which in turn were about to be flank charged by Ironbreakers who were going to be hit by a Manticore-riding Dark Elf hero when the game ended.

Final tally in that game was like 35 points difference, but give it two more turns and someone would have won in a massacre...but we will never know. Bah humbug.

John said...

Put it this way both Ken (my opponent) and I hung our heads and groaned when I rolled that 6 - we really really didnt want game to end. Depending dice rolls it could have gone to 8 turns