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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Storm of Magic, O&G vs Ogres, 3000 pts

I fought my first battle in the Storm of Magic expansion yesterday, going up against Benjamin's Ogres. He had a Slaughtermaster and a Tyrant leading his force, with another Butcher and a Bruiser with the Tenderizer. His characters were equipped to be monster hunters, even the Slaughtermaster had Killing Blow to ward off any attempts on his life. His forces consisted of a huge Bull unit of 11, two Irongut units of 7, some Gnoblars and a Giant and a Carnosaur as his Monsters.  As I mentioned earlier I hadn't read through the rulebook at all, so I figured I'd just bring my Arachnarok Spider and the Giant  for my monster and magic allowance, to see how they'd do.

The Slaughtermaster started out by miscasting on the Big Maw spell, as Gut Magic became the focus that round, meaning he got through the Ogre's own Purple Sun. Sadly it didn't reach all the way to my line and the resulting miscast turned all Wizards into frogs, with each one having to roll a 4+ in order to turn back to normal. That effectively meant we barely had any spells for half of the game, and the Slaughtermaster wasn't turned back until round five. It also meant my Wolf Rider Boss could risk a charge against the Butcher (now as a frog with statline of 1's) and squash him despite the 3+ ward save.

So this meant I had a majority of the Sanctums early and Benjamin would have to push me off them in order to get even a draw here, since you measure the winner and loser by how many Sanctums you're holding on to in the end. Having a majority of them also meant I had access to all the Cataclysm spells, so I summoned an Idol of Gork that allowed all my units within 12" to re-roll failed charges and failed to hit rolls for as long as it was present. Yes, it's effectively a permanent Waaagh spell, as if the old one wasn't overpowered enough. I was also able to get through the Cataclystic Goblin spell that meant all enemies within 24" were automatically hit for that round of combat. This was the same time as my Savage Orcs and Orc Big 'Uns had charged the Ogre Bull Horde to the front and the rear, so around 50 attacks that I only had to roll to wound for. Not much remained of those Bulls after that round. At least you have to roll to hit for the Mindrazor, eh.

Finally the Slaughtermaster came out of his froglike state and countered my shannigans by pulling out a one use bound item that would turn a forest into some overpowered guardians (basically statlines of 10) while killing anything already involved in close combat. He used a Power Scroll to get that one through (took about 2 hours for my gaming group to discover that combo). Naturally, that meant my Savage Orcs, BSB and his Tyrant were done. After that the Guardians, who are basically treated as within a building that can move around, and allows them to charge in 360 degrees, killed off 25 Big 'Uns in one round of combat.
The Black Orc Warboss go up against the Slaughtermaster 
It wasn't enough though, as the Squig Herd chewed through one Irongut unit while the Wolf Chariots and the Giant took care of the other. The Carnosaur died to a Rock Lobber. There was a lot of switching places for the Wizards around the Sanctums I found, as just about every miscast involved wizards replacing one another. This effectively meant that it was next to impossible to hunt down a particular wizard with your Monsters, we both found, as once you had lined up for the charge you were all of a sudden starting at your own wizard instead by the next round. Finally though I did manage to charge my Warboss into the Slaughtermaster and kill him off over a couple of rounds, effectively ending the game and giving the Greenskins the victory.

All in all, this game was just crazy and over the top, but sadly not in a good way. Turning everyone into frogs for a majority of the rounds won't happen every game I'm sure, but is it just me or is that a poor design choice for an expansion that is supposed to be "all about magic and monster"; to include ways that you can effectively shut down the magic phase for all players involved? I don't know, but what I do know is that you probably will get more out of this expansion if you play at higher point levels than the 3000 points that we were running. Perhaps a team battle at 6000 points can make for a fun and cataclystic game where people aren't so concerned about Victory Points and crazy magical effects occur constantly. I don't know, but this first outing in Storm of Magic sadly did not blow me away.