Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Dogs eat Rats!

The final club day before Xmas saw me booked to play a Warhammer Fantasy game. 2000points against a Skaven opponent I'd faced only recently.

I wasn't expecting to win with the army I'd brought along, in fact it was simply a case of 'Do I have a list handy already? yes, OK, that'll do...' My Dogs of War Army got a run out simply because he knew I had Dwarves, and probably would aim his force to beat them.

No one plays DoW with any great expectation of winning; their official list is so old that it goes back 2 or 3 editions of the rules! Anyway, my main tactics with the army now is to play it magic heavy, one of it's few strengths, with a Level 4 Archmage in command and two level 2 mages to back him up. Two units of pikes, two units of crossbows, two cannon and some shock troops on the flanks made up the army.

Normally of course an army with all mages in command would struggle in combat, but the DoW can solve that by judicious use of Regiments of Renown. I fielded 7 characters, quite legally in my 2000 point army. Still it is rather putting all your eggs in one big, fragile basket.

On came the Skaven and whilst they advanced my spell users and missile troops as ever did their best to avoid harming them! It looked like it was going to go strictly to plan, as my knights were wiped out, except for their hero by gunfire, my ogres were distracted, and the cannons malfunctioned. But Darren doesn't generally play a subtle game, and his inability to stop all his Skaven pursuing a handful of duellists left him wide open to a counter attack by the pike blocks.

These went in and finally found their ideal opponent, first one, then another Skaven unit was skewered on or pikes. Meanwhile the Ogres returned to the fray, and the Knight Hero made it his business to charge down various missile troops. The poor Skaven morale was gutting Darren's army.

In the end, despite poor shooting on my side and an average performance from my mages, I was able to comprehensively out fight the rats. After six turns we held the field and were ready to mop up any resistance that may have rallied for a second day.

As satisfying as it is to win when you expect to, it is all the better to pull one out the bag, when by rights you should have no chance.

To be fair Darren doesn't use many of the super cheesy choices in his list (no Doomwheels, Plague Bell and so on; his assassin was in a unit wiped out by pikes before it could strike, IIRC), whilst to scrape 2000 points together, my army has to cheese it up to the max.

Still it is always a handicap to play the Dogs of War, so a win over the newest army book, is still a win; and one to stick on the roll of honour!


  1. Nice to see that you played against someone who doesn't use all the gimicks offered to them. my problem with Warhammer that it seems to stand outside so many of the mainstream fantasy writers and theirdepictions of warfare in fantasy worlds. Even the great Tolkein had a limited role for magic relying more on the fighting qualities of his races.

  2. Yeah, it's not known as 'Hero-Hammer' for nothing. Characters, magic items and gimmick units tend to dominate, especially tournament armies.