Monday, 18 January 2010

The Ratmen Cometh

I played a game against Scotts skaven last night. We've had a few games before now which I haven't written reports on, as most interest in this blog seems to be on the 40k side of things, so I've let keeping track of the fantasy side slide. I'm writing this one up for several reasons. For one, it's my first game of 2010, and a friend suggested I should track my results. For another, it is the largest game of fantasy I have yet played, as we played a 4000 point game.

I took a basic infantry and cannons army I had from a club night a few weeks ago, and knowing it was light on magic added Balthasar Gelt to it. I also added Karl Franz, as I felt he was justified in a game this size. I chucked in about 40 handgunners (some as detachments, some as independent units) 2 steam tanks and a couple of pegasus heroes, one with the Doomfire ring (for causing panic checks) and another with the casket of sorcery (for wizard harrassment)

Scott had taken his usual army, led by skrolk to make his plague monks a core choce. He'd also thrown in Thanquol, a verminlord, a warp lightning cannon and a hellpit abomination.

I won't go into a full battle report, as that would be too long, but will give a brief rundown of highlights and new units (to me.) I won the game convincingly, though the margin would have been greater if the hellpit abomb hadn't got back up again with 6 wounds. Annoying creature! Scott had a rather unconvincing magic phase for such a magic heavy list (though I had decent anti magic to this list, so he wasn't quite as unlucky as he makes out. It was funny that every time I ignored warp lightning he'd roll a 1 and hurt himself!) In balance, my cannons did NOT want to hurt his verminlord, falling short, failing to wound, misfiring etc on about 4 or 5 occassions. Scott conceded on turn 5 with not too much left, whereas the bulk of my army was still alive and kicking. He had managed to finish off my steam tanks (at the second time of trying for the hellpit abomb.)

The pegasus heroes worked very well. The panic check causing doomfire ring caused some casualties, and while the panic checks may only have seen off a couple of units of skaven slaves, it got annoying units out of the way without the "break explosion" thing they do. The casket only stole 2 spells (out of 2 attempts - I kept forgetting) though the first one, death frenzy, cast on the flaggellents nearly took down the hellpit abomb on the charge. He scraped through with one wound left... failed his morale check, but was within range of the BSB, and the stubborn rule saw him pass on the second attempt. Balthasar Gelt was flying with them, and while metal magic isn't best against the lightly armoured skaven, casting commandment of brass every turn to keep the warpfire cannon from firing was a worthwhile goal.

The steam tanks saw off a unit of clanrats, then tied up some of Scotts biggest creatures for several turns. One had a verminlord and rat ogre battering it, and slowly it got taken apart (too slowly, scott was quite unlucky here) and the hellpit abomb charged the other (only to die to the impact hits!) but on the 2nd attempt took the thing down. These monsters fighting it out in the middle were arranged in such a way that the stormvermin could not get through to my army - they just kept turning trying to avoid getting charged in the rear by my pegasus heroes. I had no intention on doing such a thing. These guys were for harrassment only.

The plague monks made it through to my lines (minus the cannon blasted furnace) and were duly thumped by the Emporer and his retinue. The impressive combat resolution saw them off with the detachment of 5 free company fighters in hot pursuit. They then declared a charged, and the plague monks fled... a mere 3 inches, and were duly run down.

About the only unit to really do well was the plague censor bearers. They charged the swordsmen, and despite being flank charged for a starting combat res of 5 for me (outnumbering too) they managed to inflict 10 kills from 15 attacks, handsomely winning the combat. They destroyed the free company fighters, and while the swordsmen recovered their nerve the censor bearers ran riot, killing a couple of cannons. Probably scotts best unit for the damage done.

At the end of turn 5, he'd finally finished off the other steam tank, but his verminlord was about to be charged in the flank by my emporer and his massive unit. The rat ogres would have killed the handgunners on the right flank, but the censor bearers were finally in a position that I could open up with my hellblaster. I don't think i would have killed everything in turn 6, simply because the stormvermin had been trapped behind the steam tank fight too long. But I reckon I could have killed most other things (got the warp lightning cannon to not shoot again) and left him with very little to do in his turn.

So, in summary, the verminlord is quite tough, but didn't excell in this game. I know the hellpit abomb can be a nightmare, but by throwing every unbreakable unit I had in his way I kept him away from the squishier stuff. I've also seen that a good charge can do some damage to him, so sometimes it's worth risking. This wasn't a good game for the warp lightning cannon, as it got off a single str 4 shot that failed to wound the steam tank. It spent the rest of the game under Balthasars power, doing nothing. As for the Empire, the pegasus heroes proved quite useful, causing interference wherever they went. I picked them up cos in a game this big I had the hero slots available. I may have another game this size and try a proper list designed to make full use of them, rather than tacking them onto an existing army.

A good fun game, that we got through in about 3 hours including setup. May have to go for bigger next time... :oP


  1. its things like this that keep the will I ever collect a fantasy army question open for me. it look like it could be fun. But I wouldn't get to play it enough to make it worthwhile.

  2. I feel the same on that.

    Also, it seems the Hellpit Abomination actually lost its' effectiveness because the game was so large. You could afford more unbreakable units to swing his way while you concentrate on the rest of his army.

    Well done on the victory though! Have I ever mentioned, I hate Karl Franz? It was going so well until he turned up :P

  3. Karl didn't do much in this game. It was my unbreakable units, fighting his unbreakable units, that blocked the advance of his stormvermin and broke up his attack. Him hitting me piecemeal was not as effective as a combined charge :oP

    In this game Karl managed to kill 4 plague priests. The unit then broke and fled. His lackeys ran them down. The emporer was gearing up to beat up the verminlord, but the priest spelled it to death before he had the chance (If I said he was alive at the end of the game earlier, I was mistaken.)

    On points value the abomb was effective. It killed the flagellents, and while it died to the steam tank, it killed it on the second attempt. It more than made it's points back. :oP

    Was a good fun game though.