Thursday, 22 August 2019

Skarsnik and Kemmler

I mentioned in my previous post that Tim and I were inspired to play a game of Warhammer recently, which led to my painting those heroes on big squigs. Well, this was the game. Such as it was... At least I got photos!

Skarsnik's Horde
Tim's highly questionable list was built around the simple concept of whatever I had available that didn't include Orcs, for the sake of glorious Goblin purity. He was limited a bit as some of my more useful elements like Goblin Chariots are in a terrible state of disrepair.

  • Skarsnik and Gobbla
  • Goblin Warboss on Gigantic Spider with Armour of Endurance, Basha's Axe of Stunty Bashing, Shield
  • Night Goblin Great Shaman (Level 4) with Dispel Scroll
  • Night Goblin Big Boss with Battle Standard, 5+ Ward, Great Weapon
  • Night Goblin Big Boss on Great Cave Squig with Spear
  • Night Goblin Big Boss on Great Cave Squig with Great Weapon
  • 40 Night Goblins with Spears, Command, Netters, 3 Fanatics
  • 40 Night Goblins with Spears, Command, Netters, 3 Fanatics
  • 40 Night Goblins with Short Bows
  • 20 Night Goblins with Short Bows
  • 10 Goblin Wolf Riders with Command, Spears, Shields, Short Bows
  • 10 Goblin Wolf Riders with Command, Spears, Shields, Short Bows
  • Squig Herd with 12 Squigs, 6 Herders
  • 6 Trolls
  • 8 Squig Hoppers
  • Mangler Squig
  • Mangler Squig
  • Arachnarok
  • Rock Lobber
  • Doom Diver

Kemmler's Legions
I didn't even make my list. Pete made it for me, with the basic instruction of making a weak Vampire Counts list, as I assumed the Goblin list wouldn't be particularly potent. Especially given I was busy at the painting table, painting up a pair of squig heroes. This is what Pete came up with.

  • Heinrich Kemmler
  • Krell
  • Necromancer (Level 2, Lore of Vampires)
  • Wight King with Battle Standard, Armour of Endurance, Great Weapon
  • 40 Ghouls with Ghast
  • 30 Skeletons with Command
  • 20 Zombies with Standard, Musician
  • 20 Zombies with Standard, Musician
  • 5 Dire Wolves
  • 2 Bat Swarms
  • 10 Black Knights with Command, Heavy Armour, Barding, Shields, Lances
  • 20 Grave Guard with Command, Great Weapons
  • 20 Grave Guard with Command
  • Black Coach
  • 5 Blood Knights
Seems reasonable, right? No vampires, not a lot in the way of fancy toys, and several things where Pete would normally look at them and say "that's terrible" made it in (like the Black Coach)...

We rolled up Watchtower, and decided that would do as well as anything in terms of a scenario. Skarsnik rolled to delay all my units with his sneaky traps, but only managed to snare the Blood Knights. Given how many rolls Tim had made, I got off very lightly. Tim "won" control of the Watchtower, meaning he really lost the first turn...

Deployment. Tim suffered here, due a combination of inexperience with the nonsense of Goblin deployment, and our forgetting the exact order of declaring charges, moving chargers and compulsory movement (that's the correct order. We were using the 7th ed rules where compulsories went in between declaration and movement of chargers). Hey, we're rusty.
Can't say as I liked the idea of a Mangler Squig going through my Black Knights or Coach... 
My Blood Knights were not on the field yet, and Tim was about to reshuffle his deployment over on the left in order to get the Mangler in front of the things he didn't want it to eat. 
Kemmler (who for some reason is on a 25mm base) and Krell (we didn't seem to have the correct model on hand, so Pete loaned me his converted version).
Skarsnik and Gobbla, front and centre in the Goblin lines. 
Tim felt obliged to place his unit of 20 Night Goblin Archers in the watchtower, although this was probably a mistake. 
I got the first turn, and immediately set about triggering all the fanatics with a raised unit of Zombies.  
The Ghouls, led by my BSB, charged the poor Night Goblins in their tower. 
Look at all those Fanatics whirling about. And note that I managed to create another unit of Zombies in the path of the Mangler Squig to either force it to steer around or lose control right from the get-go. 
Somewhat surprisingly, the Night Goblins fended me off from the tower pretty efficiently. I think I only killed half a dozen of them and they held their ground. 
I was pretty hesitant on the right, and couldn't march anyway. 
The Mangler Squig elected to swing past the Zombies, leaving them for the Squig Herd. I guess this wouldn't have worked if we had done things in the correct order. But it made sense at the time. The Zombies were doing a pretty fair job of messing up any advance on that flank, although they didn't survive the round of combat.
Having successfully defended the tower, the Night Goblins then decided to leave it on their own terms.  
No more Zombies on the left, but I got to keep the ones in the middle thanks largely to animosity. Skarsnik's own unit went wild and started flinging insults and poo at the unit next to them. Naturally they retaliated, meaning both units did nothing for the turn. The Rock Lobber misfired and missed a turn, but the Doom Diver fired blindly at the newly arrived Blood Knights over on the left and successfully squished a few. That was disappointing.  
 On the right, the Mangler Squig and one of the Fanatics headed rapidly toward my lines.
In my turn I was able to declare a charge on the left with my Dire Wolves, who took one for the team by crossing paths with the Mangler Squig on their way in. I don't remember who they were charging at, because of course they never made it. But it took the Mangler out of the equation too. 
On the right I did something similar, marching the Zombies onto the other Mangler and essentially trading most of the unit for the Squig.
"Marched, you say?" Well in order to accomplish that manoeuvre, Kemmler had to fly out of the  safety of his unit and into leadership range of the Zombies. The downside of this was that there was nowhere safe for him to land. Nothing could see me, but the Goblin artillery didn't really seem to care, landing indirect shots with alarming accuracy... It was definitely a gamble. The Fanatic was also a concern, so I ended up moving the Black Knights onto it and losing maybe 4 models to his whirling ball. But that was OK - Kemmler brought them back in the magic phase.
My great weapon-wielding Grave Guard spotted the Night Goblin Archers emerging from the watchtower and charged them, however these guys were proving surprisingly hard to shift and they held their ground again. 
I had moved the Bat Swarms up to slow the advance of the Arachnarok, but that didn't stop the Warboss on his Gigantic Spider scurrying up onto the hill in front of my Blood Knights. That's some impressive disrespect for a pretty dangerous unit, but I think by this point Tim realised he could challenge and I'd have to accept (because honour and stuff, I think). 
Skarsnik and his buddies had not yet finishing flinging poo at their neighbours, so both of those units remained pinned in the deployment zone. The Archers showed off by moving slightly out of the forest (not really sure why), with the Great Shaman falling flat on his face. The Fanatics were starting to clear themselves up but one was still twirling in the way. 
The watchtower was mine, and honestly it was hard to imagine what could dislodge 40 Ghouls. That unit might have been a bit much in the scheme of the game. 
On the right, the Trolls charged my Black Knights. Not ideal. I'd have liked the charge with my lances. 
The Wolf Riders went in to clean up what remained of the Zombies post-Mangler. The Squig Hoppers boldly ran away, realising that they would otherwise end up somewhere they didn't want to be. 
Someone needs to teach that uppity Goblin some manners. 
Kemmler didn't die in the shooting phase, which was nice. Given he doesn't have a ward save, leaving him without Look Out, Sir! was perhaps a little rash.
The Troll combat went surprisingly well. Trolls have such poor initiative that I got to inflict all my damage first, which resulted in a dead Troll and an extra wound (Tim rolled poorly for his saves). In return, they vomited on my unit and dissolved 4 Black Knights. 4 wounds each. He had a charge, I had a standard, but I had a musician... The Trolls turned and fled.
In fact, they fled straight through the Fanatic behind them, and in a solid refusal to pass any regeneration saves, the Trolls lost another 2 of their number (as well as clearing my path - thanks). The Wolf Riders very nearly flanked me then, with their overrun ending up 1" short after removing the Zombies. In Hindsight Tim would have been better off doing the Zombie combat first; if the Wolf Riders had made it into my flank to join in the Troll combat, things would not have gone as well for me. 
Manners time for the feisty Goblin. At least that was the plan. As expected, he challenged. My Blood Knight Castellan accepted, but did a single wound before getting hacked into multiple pieces by the Goblin's magic sword. Fortunately I had brought enough friends to win anyway, and the Gigantic Spider swiftly scurried from the field, closely followed by the Blood Knights. It was actually a recurring theme of Tim's rolling - every time he fled, he went far further than normal. Most things seemed to be between 9s and 11s. He was also great at Fear and Panic tests despite his modest leadership... Pity about the Animosity.
In my turn, the Black Knights and Black Coach (I only work in black, and sometimes really really dark grey) both tried charges on Trolls and Wolf Riders, but couldn't pin them down.
In the centre, I decided that occupying the watchtower with an immovable force was boring in the extreme when I could just walk out the other side and eat all the Night Goblins. So whilst the free Zombies did their best to get in the way of Tim's forces, the Ghouls emerged and got ready to fight. Kemmler flew over and joined the unit, happy to be safe from artillery once more. He also raised a new unit of Zombies next to the fleeing Trolls, to either help them off the field or threaten rear charges (because Zombies are sooo threatening).
In a highly questionable move, the horde of Night Goblin Archers led by the Great Shaman (with a collective combat effectiveness of about zero) charged my Skeleton regiment led by Krell. The horde that had been next to them turned to deal with the Zombie speed bump, but had the Grave Guard bearing down on them after finally disposing of the small Archer regiment. 
On the left, with the Blood Knights yet to return after chasing the Goblin on his Spider, the Arachnarok charged into my Grave Guard alongside the Squig Herd.  
This was quite unfortunate, as my Necromancer was there on the corner. He got eaten. My unit held, although it was not exactly in ship shape. 
I've lost track of the sequence of events here a little. The Night Goblins got rid of the Zombies, then carried on into the flank of my Ghouls. The Grave Guard arrived in their flank shortly thereafter 
The clash of the titans over on the right flank. The Black Coach had a few upgrades by this point thanks to syphoning power from the winds of magic. This meant it could win this fight, provided that it survived. That was very much up in the air thanks to all the high strength attacks coming from the Squigs, but I passed a few saves and broke the Squig Hoppers.
The central tangle from Tim's side of the field. You will note the Archers very sensibly running away from Krell's Skeletons. Naturally they fled a million inches whilst I barely moved. Look how far behind them I am! 
Yeah, you better run... Man, how is he so far ahead again? 
As excited as the Night Goblins might have been to flank my Ghouls, getting flanked in return by a far superior (albeit smaller) unit was bad. The highlight of the combat was my BSB cutting down Tim's in an epic duel, before the Goblins turned and fled. It's possible I actually caught them for once. More likely Tim rolled about a 15 on 2D6 and teleported off the table (that can happen, I swear).
Anyway, with no other enemy units in the way and with no other Goblin units to argue with, Skarsnik and his lads finally got down to business. They netted the Ghouls, which slowed them down a bit. But realistically, Night Goblins shouldn't be fighting the same number of Ghouls... Even ones wearing lovely net hats. 
Things were collapsing for the Goblins over on my left. With the Grave Guard having held their position, the Zombies flanked the Squig Herd. That rank bonus combined with the Squigs running out of numbers at much the same speed as my Grave Guard (who were passing quite a few saves) eventually saw me win the combat, and then the poor leadership of the Goblins did the rest. The Arachnarok fled the field and the Squigs popped. 
In the end, Skarsnik was not able to compensate for the sheer lack of awesomeness that is a Night Goblin horde in close combat. He did try. But the Ghouls gave better than they got, and without steadfast, the Night Goblins were in trouble. They departed and Tim called it a game.  
Skarsnik retreats, living to fight another day. It wasn't a very nice watchtower anyway. Not worth having, really.

In the end it was all a bit of a non-event. The Goblins couldn't stand up in a fight. They needed more toys than I had to offer. Something shall be done about that for next time...


  1. Now and again I quite miss playing 7th Ed! Good to read about it again.

    1. Wait, do you miss 7th ed or 8th ed (plenty of people miss 7th more than 8th)? I am confused...

    2. I mostly played 8th, and I did prefer it in all honesty, but 7th had its moments too. The magic system was more fun, for example! I've gone back to 40k pretty hard at the moment, though, that was always my favourite back in the day and it's in a very good place now.

  2. Great to see a return of WHFB content. Love the blog and glad to see it updated more often!

  3. It is awesome to see 8th ed on the table, mostly play 9th.

    1. I would imagine it's still not terribly different.