Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rat Run

The first run out for some months of my Dwarves was scheduled to be against an Empire army, but due to a no show I ended up facing a Skaven force. Possibly the last Warhammer Army I'd no experience of facing, and one with a brand new army book to boot; usually a sure sign they've been pimped out with all the best toys and cheesy new rules.

My 1500 point force was pretty much my standard army, in fact before the game I'd simply used an old list out the back of my book and swapped one unit. As such I fielded:
  • 2 Units of 12 Thunderers without command
  • 2 units of 11 Warriors with command, to defend the characters
  • 1 unit of 14 Longbeards with command to defend the Army standard and act as a reserve
  • 1 unit of 10 Miners with a musician, to act as anti-artillery troops
  • 1 Cannon
  • 2 runesmiths, one as army general, to neutralise enemy magic
  • 1 Army Standard bearer

The Skaven army was a mix of blocks of chod, 25 strong units of warriors; and weirdo elites, skirmishers, gun teams and rat swarms. It turned out to have little significant in terms of magic or characters.

I let Darren have the first turn, figuring he would come on to my guns, he obliged me by doing so; allowing my turn to begin with a massed fusillade. Still it was unlikely to be enough to stop him and the rats kept coming on.

One thing you grow to expect when playing Dwarves is that you will be reacting to their movement all the time and seldom moving very much yourself.

As the rats came on the only option for me was to charge when an opportunity arose, to avoid the initiative falling to Darren, and to fire when it did not. Thankfully the Skaven's enthusiasm to advance, stopped them from judging the distances well, and the consistently allowed me to govern most attacks in my favour. Admittedly he was unlucky when his Globadiers were roundly trounced by my cannon crew, but then he should probably have never charged with them anyway.

Elsewhere the gutter runners charged the thunderers on my right flank, and also failed dismally to make an impact, the routed, and were caught by the Dwarves, oh! the ignominy! It was the only sensible thing to do, as the block of warriors behind would have simply charged anyhow, and I needed to stall for time.

By this point Darren's mobile guns were starting to fire, supporting the unit of long rifles at the back of the field. however due to their special rules they proved an unreliable beast, deadly on the two occasions they worked, but close to a liability on the other four.

Naturally the Thunderers on my right broke under the mass of warriors, but they allowed my own warriors to get out of the firing line. On the hill the poorly coordinated Skaven attack allowed a blast of grapeshot from the cannon to decimate two units, routing both. By now my Miners had arrived to and soon put the long rifles to flight.

Fortune favoured the Skaven at this point though, and somehow they managed to pass some dismally low morale tests. The rallied troops came on again and finally managed to destroy the cannon. But he was now stuck with a confused mess of units in the centre , and on his last turn found he couldn't actually initiate the charge he needed to have any chance of a win. One of his mobile guns saw fit to explode, whilst the other jammed.

In the end, both sides had several substantive units, spread over the field; and so a draw seemed mutually agreeable.

A good fun game, and although the firing of the Skaven is very powerful, they did not seem too overpowered. Of course, I think some of that may have been due to the generalship of my opponent!

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