Game 3: Vampire Counts
I had faced Benjamin's Vampire list before and done very well, it was clearly a mismatch in army lists. He had a fighty Vampire Lord and a Wight King with the Battle Standard, backed up by a Necromancer with the Van Heel's spell. His army consisted of three medium sized units; some Ghouls, Skeletons and Grave Guard with Great Weapon and Banner of Barrows. To round it off he also brought a Varghulf and some Dire Wolves.
He started out by playing very defensively, bunkering his units up together in a refused flank. This was weird to me, as I clearly had more shooting than him (nothing) and a stronger offensive magic phase. I figured he wanted to play point denial as he had a low chance of beating my army with his, so I responded by focusing in on the Varghulf, wounding it and forcing the beasty to hurry against me and into combat.
Things of note:
- Warboss - After the Varghulf charged and destroyed a Pump Wagon, it overran but just came up short of the Squig Herd. I wanted to avoid the Thunderstomp and save my Squigs for a better target, so in charged my Monster-hunter of a Warboss on his pet wolf. With his collar that makes beasties hit on 6's, he easily avoided all the blows of the monster and killed it off through two rounds of combat.
- Giant - I wanted the big guy to charge into the Skeletons, as he was certain to crush them in two rounds of combat at the very least, but Benjamin reformed and moved the Grave Guard up to threaten him. With their great weapons I certainly did not want to engage them alone, so the Squig Herd combo-charged alongside the big guy, needing only to roll 6 to reach. Naturally, considering the way my charge rolls had been going on this day, they failed, so the Giant had to go in alone. He crushed a few with his club, then stomped upon them before they cut him down. Now, Benjamin has had a bad habit of getting the Giant to fall ontop of his own units once he killed him, and today was no exception. The big guy toppled over and landed directly ontop of the Grave Guards, sending all but the remaining two ranks back to the grave.
- Shieldgobbos - Led by both the Warboss and the BSB, the Gobbos charged into the Ghouls led by the Vampire Lord, and were joined in battle by the Wolf Chariot (finally, a succesfull combo-charge!). Although the Vampire quaffed a potion of strength and caused mayhem with his Bloodrinker sword and Red Fury, a hex spell by one of my Shamans turned all the units rolls of 6's into 1's, effectively ridding the Ghouls of their poison for two rounds of combat, while the nets lowered the Strength 2. Suitably hexed and netted, my Goblin Horde proved too much for the dead to handle, and the unit was destroyed in the second round of combat, as my Warboss took most of the frenzied Vampire's hits on his ward save.
- Squig Herd - Sensing the chance to make up for a day of too many failed charges, the Squig Herd finally found itself in combat with what remained of the Grave Guard after the giant had landed ontop of them. Striking before their great weapons, such a high amount of bites chewed up the entire unit aside from the Wight King before they even had a chance to strike, and the Wight crumbled shortly afterwards. This left only the Skeletons with a Necromancer standing, and at the end of Turn 4, they found themselves charged in the front by a Squig Herd, as well as in the flank by the Shieldgobbos and two chariots. Suffice to say, it was not pretty, but it meant a win for me by about 1500 points.
Sadly, it was a below average performance by the Goblins in what will be the last tournament of the 7th edition army book. For once, I think I can place some blame on absolutely abyssmal dice rolls in key moments during two of the games. It was particularly frustrating as I did not feel as if I took that many risks. Of all the key charges that I had to make and failed, not one of them required even an average roll of 7, so that was disappointing. Of course, you're always going to make tactical mistakes every now and then, especially in tournament games, and I commited a big one in the second game. What is apparent for Goblins is that if things go well, and you make your average dice rolls, the army is fine and will be able to swarm a lot of enemies. However, if something goes wrong, and you lose something that you ordinarly shouldn't, there are very few ways of coming back. A misplaced snotling, or a failed charge later, and things tend to just spiral downwards. Adding in orcs tend to ease up on that part, which is why it's really fun and a good challenge to limit yourself as a player to only a few choices in the army books. It teaches you good crisis management (not that I'm very good at it as I still tend to panic) and makes you appreciate each unit individually all the more.
Thanks for reading!