Attended the club on Monday night, facing Nige with 2500 of Ogres against my Empire forces. Technically I won the first game - the roll of mission gave us the army breaking point one. For a game of this size your breaking point is three, your fortitude is two for the general plus one for every standard. If fortitude reaches breaking point you lose. Due to poor army design on Niges part, his fortitude at deployment was three... so, I won! :oP
I magnaminously challenged Nige to a rematch, and we rolled for the mission again. This time we rolled Dawn Attack. This is where you roll off for where the units from your army show up. I deployed first. I ended up with both cannons on my right flank (with a decent cross field shot) protected by a unit of swords with detachment of handgunners. I had my general, BSB and big unit of spears over on the left flank (typical) along with the other unit/det of swords/handgunners. The flagellents took the centre, and the two mortars and two hellblasters also took the centre. I had two Shadow wizards offering augment/hex support.
Nige ended up with his hobgoblins on his right, both units of leadbelchers on his left, and everything else coming straight down the middle.
Murphys Law - anything that can go wrong, will. This is pretty much what happened from turn two onwards.
I let my flagellents charge his massive unit of ogres (18 or so strong) knowing they would die, but hoping to take plenty down with me. I had my shadow wizards poised to (potentially) reduce his toughness by D3, reduce his strength by D3, or let my flaggellents use their LD for str (10) All I needed was say 5 or 6 power dice to get one of these spells off for sure. Not too much to ask for surely? Seems it was. I rolled 3 on the winds of magic. My wizards channelled nothing (depsite using four on the Arcane Ruins) I even used my power stone, and still couldn't get a spell off. The flaggellents were without support when they needed it most. Still, if they could make the 3+ required to get rerolls to wound it might still work out. Nope. Got a 1. So they have hatred... which they have anyway. Oh dear.
In return, Nige tried a spell that inflicted 2D6 str 2 hits (no armour save) on my swordsmen. I let this pass through. He rolled 8 hits. Needed 5s to wound, he'd get a couple I thought. 7 wounds later, we have a failed panic check, and the swordsmen run... taking both cannon crews with them! The leadbelchers merely rubbed salt in the wound, eliminating my right flank by turn 2.
My swordsmen on the left flank did manage to chase the hobgoblins away, and reform themselves ready to charge the flank of the Ogre unit. They then failed their charge from 8 inches away. Thus the ogre unit charged my spears. This is where I started to bull it back. Niges general issued a challenge. My general accepted. Thanks to the potion of swiftness he was I7. No vhs for me this time (that was on a random wizard) this time my general had the mace of Helstrum - allowing him to sacrifice his normal attacks and make a single S10 D6Wounds attack. Thank heavens the warrior preists get a reroll to hit - the ogre general was smashed to pieces. The ogres won this fight (by 1) but thanks to the BSB the unit stuck around. The next round the shadow wizard finally got the spells off to reduce the S and T of the ogre bulls, allowing the spearmen and late arriving swordsmen to beat the ogres in combat and chase them off in the final turn of the game. With the unit fleeing and counting as destroyed, there was a mere 25 point difference in victory points. A draw.
Overall, with how disasterous this game was (summed up best by my ten handgunners, needing 4s to hit, rolling 4 ones, 5 twos and a three) I am more than satisfied with a draw. I wouldn't change the list all that much to be honest, as it is a fairly decent balanced list. With a bit better luck from the winds of magic, I would have done better. I quite like using Shadow, as with the augments and hexes it is a good balanced lore (heavens being better against flying things, light against evil things, metal against armoured foes - Shadow doesn't really have a favourite opponent)
We'll see how next week goes.
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