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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goblins against Bretonnians, 1000 pts

With the year soon coming to a close, I thought I'd post a battle report from a recent army battle I fought with the Orcs & Goblins going up against Bretonnians. It was one of the better performances of my early Warhammer career, so hopefully it will set the tone for the next year. The battle below is only 1000 pts of Bretonnians against only my goblins, accompanied by a giant. My list as follows:

Goblin Big Boss @ 92 pts
- Wolf
- Light Armor & Shield
- One Hit Wunda
- Tricksy Trinket

Goblin Big Boss @ 100 pts
- Battle Standard Bearer
- Amulet of Protectyness
- Sneaky Skewerer

Night Goblin Shaman @ 120 pts
- Level 2
- Pipes of Doom

24 Goblins @ 108 pts
- Shields
- Standard Bearer
- Musician

20 Night Goblins @ 85 pts
- Short Bows
- 1 Fanatics

5 Goblin Wolf Riders @ 71 pts
- Spears
- Musician

6 Squig Hoppers @ 90 pts

Goblin Wolf Chariot @ 60 pts

2x Goblin Spear Chukkas @ 70 pts

Giant @ 205 pts

After having the majority of his all-mounted, no damsel army run away from the Pipes of Doom in the last game, with the remaining units later being stomped out of existence by Gork’s Massive Foot (on behalf of the Night Goblin Shaman carrying the pipes), I expected a more balanced army of Bretonnians for our 1000 point game and he did not disappoint. This was his army:

Damsel of the Lady, level 2
Paladin, Battle Standard Bearer
10 Peasant Bowmen x 2 (one of the units Skirmishers)
Grail Reliquae with 3 ranks of Battle Pilgrims
6 Questing Knights with Full Command, x 2
Field Trebuchet

The terrain was a highland field, with a large boulder in the middle of the map and some ruins to the right. My side of the map had a bunch of rocks on the left flank, a ruined tower in the middle and a small forest in the right corner. The Bretonnians had a tower of their own to the left.

My wolf riders took up the left flank, convinced they could quickly move somewhere else if the fighting was elsewhere. Quite so, as the horse-people countered by placing a very un-horsey trebuchet in the opposite corner, behind a set of ruins (difficult terrain). The Squig Hoppers decided they would be the ones to hunt the strange rock lobber down and deployed right across from it, while a unit of skirmishing bowmen placed themselves to guard the trebuchet against that wall of teeth. The two goblin blocks took their place in the middle, slightly right of the large boulder and were pitted against more bowmen and the pilgrims. Finally, I placed my chariot to the right of my blocks, to be joined by the general on wolf later, the chukkas between my blocks while I shocked the Bretonnians by bringing a giant to the small battle and placing him on the left flank hidden from missile fire. They would go up against both units of questing knights, who were joined by the paladin while the damsel rode on her own in order to hurl offensive magic my way. The shaman with the bagpipes went into the tower, the banner-gobbo joined the ‘ard grotz while the big boss himself rode up next to the chariot. Voices were raised and horns were blown and the battle was underway!

Round 1
The Bretonnians took the initiative and decided not to pray. Pilgrims move forward, carrying the carcass and shouting holy verses. Trebuchet takes aim at the chariot, fearing their long range and hits of impact, but something malfunctions (no doubt a sneaky gobbo had tinkered with the fine-tuned controls the night before) and it misfires, unable to shoot this turn. The skirmishing bowmen takes aim at the hoppers and manages to hit one, whose rider fall to the ground with an arrow in the gut. The other bowmen fire at the wolf-riding boss but misses. The damsel manages to tie up the wolves dragging the chariot for a round, giving the trebuchet another chance to crush it with a rock.

Wolf Riders marches forward to the left of the boulder to threaten the flank of the questing knights. Giant marches to behind the boulder, safe from missile fire in true goblin spirit. Hoppers hop up towards the ruins and the bowmen behind them. The big boss rides to the other side of the chariot, safe from missile fire while waiting for the wolves to be released from the stuck-spell, not daring to charge the pilgrims on his own (in fact, charging the pilgrims period would probably be a stupid idea). Night goblins and goblins march forward. One of the chukkas take down a pilgrim while the other misses the knights. Shaman tries to sow mischief amongst the bowmen firing at the hoppers but it is dispelled.

Round 2
No charges yet. Both knight units move forward, one to each side of the boulder. Damsel rides up between them. Pilgrims continue their march forward. Shooting sees the trebuchet fire and hit the chariot, even though it scatters and touches the ground more than anything, it still manages to disrupt a wheel and the chariot crashes. Bowmen miss the hoppers, who are hiding behind hard cover, but the other bowmen manages to kill a night goblin. In the magic phase the Damsel casts a sneaky spell worthy of the most unsuspecting-looking goblin, which makes the questing knights closest to the boulder take an extra move, which allows them to declare a charge against the wolf riders, hopefully avoiding the giant. The wolves flee but the knights still move the distance of 11" and far away from the giant.

Giant roars and charges the damsel instead, but fails to make it there as he has to turn around the edge of the boulder. Hoppers hope to hop right into a charge of the bowmen, but fall short a single inch and stops right in front of their arrow tips far out in the open! The Wolf Riders rally and move to the side of the knights, out of sight yet close by. Night goblins and goblins run forward in a hurry, come within 8" of the other knight unit and releases a fanatic right into them, managing to kill off one of the filthy questing humans. The wolf boss rides forward to threaten the pilgrims (although I would never charge them) and to inspire his peers in case of unwanted break tests. Magic sees the shaman miscast and turn into a frenzied and stupid mess, screaming his nonsense into the wind from on top of the tower. This would have been the perfect time to sound the horn for panic tests, as both cavalry units were within 24", but after the miscast I forgot all about it. One chukka manages to kill off two knights close to the wolf riders.

Round 3
Unfortunately for the giant, who’s been bellowing and trying to look scary, the knights are 2" away from taking terror tests. One of the knight units declares a charge against the ‘ard grotz, hoping to run them down. The other knight unit turns around and moves to set up a nice flank charge against the night goblins and (hopefully) the ‘ard grotz too. The pilgrims move up to flank the ‘ard grotz from the other side. The damsel rides out of charge range from the giant. The trebuchet takes aim for the giant, guess the distance brilliantly, but ends up misfiring for a second time. The bowmen nearby fire at the giant as well, but fails to wound the big guy. However, the skirmishing ones on the flank put their arrows right in the faces of three hoppers that landed an inch away from them, leaving only three standing (well, hopping). In combat, the charging knights thunder straight into the goblin horde, but manage to kill only a single ‘ard grot on five attacks. The standard bearer boss, equipped with the armor save of a knight and a dirk for a total of -4 armor save, challenges their champion and destroys him three times over. The knights lose by a lot, fail their two break tests, yet manages to escape the pursuing goblins.

The remaining three hoppers finally get to charge the bowmen who are too close to stand and shoot. On the other side, the giant spots a fleeing unit of knights and a standard bearer and with a roar runs them down, but stops one inch short of overrunning into the bowmen on the other side. Out on the left flank, the wolf riders realize that the knights might cause havoc if they charge into the side of the goblin blocks, and so they bravely charge the questing knights in the rear! The big boss on the wolf, so far entirely useless in the battle, notices the other flank still dangerously close to being exposed for the pilgrims to charge the goblins - a battle the goblins do not want even in the front - and so he moves up on his wolf to stand in the way and force them to charge him and his wolf instead. The shaman, now stupid and frenzied, wobbles out of the tower without managing much else. Chukkas shoot at the pilgrims but miss their targets. The three hoppers manage to kill off five bowmen, their faces eaten by overly hungry squigs, so they break and gets run down. Unfortunately, the hoppers fail to overrun into the trebuchet by an inch, for a second time in the battle. The wolf riders, carrying out a perfectly acceptable stab in the back, manage to kill two of the questing knights with the rear charge, but loses a goblin in return. Still, they win the battle but the knights stand put.

Round 4
The bowmen close to the frightening giant fail their terror test and runs away. The pilgrims decide to charge the goblin big boss who flees out of reach on his wolf. The damsel rallies but has very little to do. The trebuchet aims for the giant and hits, but takes only one wound from the big guy. In the battle between backstabbing wolf riders and the two remaining questing knights, the wolf riders kill of another knight and loses a rider in return, yet the knights still hold with only the champion left standing.

The squig hoppers jump straight into the trebuchet for a late charge. The general rallies and turns to face the front of the pilgrims, who looks around to find themselves surrounded by greenskins. The giant, trusting that the bowmen will continue running away from the field, turns around to face the rear of the pilgrims. Both goblin units turn as appropriate as well to surround the poor religious fanatics. Realizing their predicament and the state of the army as a whole, the Bretonnians decide to surrender, which probably would have ended up a massacre for the goblins anyway, if the final knight would break and the trebuchet would be killed off by the hoppers, which both seemed likely to occur.

Result: Goblins win a Massacre! Very suprising, as I did not expect this at all. I could have easily ditched the shaman (since he did very little) and gone with another goblin block, but the horn really strikes fear in my opponent and forces him away from the all cavalry army that used to ride me off the map. The giant didn’t see a whole lot of combat, mostly because I kept him out of sight from missile fire, but he definitely forced the horsemen to adapt to his presence, meaning I was able to control the movement phase despite their mounts. My big boss on the wolf didn’t see combat either when the wolf chariot got hit by a rock (I had planned to combo-charge with the two), but he did provide a key maneuver by redirecting the pilgrim’s charge, that could have proven fatal for the goblins. The unpredictability of the Squig Hoppers almost cost me the right flank, but even though half of them were shot down they managed to do what they were supposed to. In the end, I believe my big boss standard bearer was instrumental, with the dirk and the knight’s own save used against them, he really gave the ‘ard grotz a lot of combat resolution that broke the questing knights. However, the most valuable unit proved to be my wolf riders that rear charged the other knight unit. With +3 from rear and outnumbering, and striking before the enemy each turn, they were able to take down the second unit of questing knights.

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