Well… I played my second game of the ongoing escalation league at the local Games Workshop today. It was going to be a rematch between Mr. J (I found out his first name is Paul) and myself, and he was going to bring his Beastmen again, except this time the points total grew by 500, bringing the total to 1,000 points. I have been toying with some lists lately, trying to figure out what the best combo is for my style of play (which happens to be hand-to-hand combat rather than magic heavy) and have been receiving a lot of constructive criticism (mostly… see below on Current Army List, V2.0 so I did what I could in only a 1,000 point list. I was looking forward to this game since it had been a whole week since I played last and I am very eager to get more and more games under my belt in this newest edition. Here’s what I brought to the table:
Scar-Vet w/Enchanted Shield, Light Armour, Gold Sword of Sigil, and a Luckstone.
Skink Priest w/Level 2 Upgrade and the Plaque of Tepok.
20 Saurus w/hand weapons and shields.
18 Saurus w/hand weapons and shields. (Proxied from current models w/spears… changes coming soon…)
10 Skink Skirmishers.
10 Skink Skirmishers.
6 Chameleon Skinks
1 Salamander w/extra handler. (Proxied from a Razordon.)
My main objective was to form the battleline with the 2 block units of Saurus who, bolstered by the Scar-Vet, would make for a pretty tough fight for most armies. The Skink Priest went into a unit of the Skinks for some added protection and the Salamander was put to the right flank of the furthest Saurus unit, giving some flank protection. Per the Scouts special rule, the Chameleons would set up where they would be most beneficial, peppering the enemy with poison darts from their blowpipes.
Mr. J brought the following:
Gorebull w/Blackened Plate, Talisman of Protection, and Gnarled Hide.
5 Minotaurs w/Great Weapons.
24 Gors w/hand weapons.
20 Gors w/hand weapons.
1 Chaos Spawn.
His army was truly a “shoebox” for those that are familiar with the term. I had never faced Minotaurs before and was thinking they would be somewhat of a problem. I was hoping my magic would help me out since he didn’t bother to bring a caster at all. For the spells, I rolled 3 dice (+1 spell from Plaque of Tepok) and got Curse of the Midnight Wind, The Comet of Casandora, and Chain Lightning. I traded out the Comet of Casandora for the signature spell, The Iceshard Blizzard. This was going to get bloody…
If you look at the Beastmen list you’ll notice there’s no magic or shooting, which makes for a very short turn once movement is completed. The time it took you to read that last sentence is about the amount of time Mr. J’s first turn took… He moved the Minotaurs forward, closer to the awaiting Saurus Warriors and the unit of Gors closer as well, towards the unit of Skink Skirmishers that were positioned in front of the 18 block unit of Saurus. A random movement roll of 6 (I believe so, anyways) moved the Chaos Spawn closer to my chameleons. For his ambush roll, the dice gods didn’t look down on him favorably, and so, after rolling a 2, he passed it over to me for my Turn 1.
I started by moving my Saurus warriors (with the Scar-Vet) closer to his Minotaurs. I figured he’d get the charge off so I braced myself for impact, hoping that the parry save (that Khorne53 has suggested to me, several times) would see me through. I moved the skinks forward slightly and I refrained from moving my skink shaman out of the unit. It would come back to bite me later and I knew I should have done it at the time but I figured that he wouldn’t roll so high to get his Gors into combat with my skinks. Anyways, I inched the Chameleons closer to the Spawn, hoping to get a few shots off into it and cause some damage and moved the Skink Skirmishers closer around the forest for a shot at the unit of Gors. The Salamander also moved up 6″, hoping to get some flame action onto the Minotaurs.
Onto the magic phase, I rolled a total of 9 for the casting pool, a 6 and a 3, so his dispel pool was 6 dice. This was where I made a big mistake that I soon realized once I checked my casting pool. I cast the Iceshard Blizzard on the unit of Minotaurs (which causes -1 to hit and -1 to Leadership until the beginning of my next turn) hoping that if he did get into combat this would help me out. It turned out to be successful and he let it go through without a roll of the dispel dice. I then cast Curse of the Midnight Wind on the unit of Gors (which means he’d need 6’s to hit, to wound, and for armour saves). He tried an attempt to dispel but fell short. It was at this point that I realized my mistake. Of the 9 dice that I had for my casting pool I had discovered that I already used 7 of them (I was holding onto some dice in my hand and it made me think I had more, for some reason…). Needless to say, Mr. J had saved most of his dispel dice waiting for me to cast Chain Lightning and I knew I wouldn’t get it off now, only having 2 dice. My only hope was Irresistible Force. It fell short and so I didn’t get the spell off, however, 2 units were already affected by the 2 successful spells that were cast earlier. With the magic phase out of the way, it was now time for the skinks to shoot off some poisoned darts. On the unit to my left, the Skinks were able to fell 2 of the Gors with the poison while the Chameleons on the right side failed to get any darts into the lumbering Chaos Spawn. Lastly, the Salamander attempted to spout flames at the oncoming Minotaurs and managed to hit one however the To Wound roll came up short, and, with that, I ended my turn.
It was time to get down to the hand-to-hand battles and I knew Mr. J was looking forward to this, as this is what his army list was geared to do. He started off by declaring charges against my Saurus Warriors with his Minotaurs and then the Gors into the Skinks (with the Shaman…) Both rolls to charge came up successful and it was only a short matter of time until battle was met! He tried to get the other unit of Gors by way of the Ambush! rule but only mustered a 2 on the die roll. This meant that I could place his unit on any table edge and so, I chose the furthest away, which was his side. So the Gors moved on and it would take a least a turn for them to get involved. The magic went quickly, as Mr. J rolled 7 for his casting pool and quickly dispelled the two Remains in Play spells that I had on his Minotaurs and Gors and so spoiled my plan… It would have to be the sheer toughness and Cold-blooded wit of the Saurus that would have to see them through… and I was not so sure at this point… The shooting phases passed right by and onto the Close Combat phase we went.
We started with the Minotaurs and the Saurus (the Main Event) and those big bulls started things off by killing 3 of my Saurus Warriors by way of their Impact Hits, felling them before they ever got the chance to swing back. However, since my Scar-Veteran was equipped with the Gold Sword of Sigil (Initiative 10) he had the chance to go first, and, having witnessed 3 of his fellow Lizardmen fall to the thundering charge of the Minotaurs, he was sent into a frenzy (not literally, he doesn’t have the Frenzy rule…) With a bellowing roar, he hacked and slashed at the Minotaurs and caused 4 wounds, killing a Minotaur where it stood and further wounding another. The rest of the Saurus Warriors, inspired by their Champion’s efforts, were spurred on and began hacking and slashing as well, causing 5 wounds total, killing 2 of the raging beasts. The Minotaurs would not be outdone and raised their Great Weapons along with their leader, the Gorebull, and dropped 7 more Saurus Warriors, bringing the total to 10. After the CR was calculated, I lost in total by only 1 and so after rolling a 5 on my Leadership test, the Saurus Warriors prepared themselves for another round of combat.
The Gors charged into the skinks and, even though the Skinks were quick enough to strike first, it was not enough to withstand the charge and were routed and chased down. This brought the Gors head to head with the other unit of Saurus warriors, who were more than ready for the fight…
On my turn 2, I didn’t have any charges to declare since they were all either in combat or preparing to shoot. And having lost my shaman to the Gors I figured this would go pretty quickly. I was surprised by the Saurus Warriors and the Minotaurs and was hoping that they could make it through another round. The Chameleons sat still and concentrated on taking out the Chaos Spawn, it was now close enough to charge next turn and so I knew that I would need to kill it this turn or watch the Chameleons go down…
We skipped the Magic Phase (obviously) and went onto shooting, where the Chameleons readied their blowpipes and let off 12 shots into the Spawn, and, to my surprise (and luck) 3 dice were showing 6’s… the Chaos Spawn had been failed by the poison darts of the Chameleon Skinks.
On to the Close Combat phase, we started with the Minotaurs/Saurus again and this time Mr. J issued a challenge with his Gorebull to my Scar-Veteran, to which I accepted. The Scar-Vet only hit on 2 dice and wounded on just 1… the Gorebull retaliated by swinging his Great Weapon at the Scar-Vet, hitting on 3 and wounding on 2… I was able to save one of them and my Scar-Vet was able to survive the onslaught, living to fight another round. The remaining Saurus Warriors were still inspired by their comrades and did a whopping 6 wounds to the remaining Minotaurs, killing 2 of them. This left only one Minotaur to attack and he was able to kill 2 of the Saurus but it proved to not be enough. With the Standard Bearer now gone and the strength in numbers in my favor, a break test was issued to the Gorebull and remaining Minotaur. They fled from combat as the Saurus gave chase and were eventually ran down. The Saurus looked up and readied their attention to a last unit of Gors off in the distance. This is where they would go…
Remainder of the Game:
To sum up the remainder of the battle, the other Saurus unit made short work of the Gors (their needing 5 to wound me made it very difficult to Mr. J… it also didn’t help that my dice rolling was, seriously, on fire! I can remember Mr. J saying he hates my dice a couple of times… and I gotta admit that I made several parry saves and high armour saves.) and then both units of Saurus gave chase to the remaining unit of Gors. While he was able to obliterate the unit of skinks with his Gors the Saurus again proved to be too much as we fought for 2 rounds before I was finally able to roll high enough to catch him, which happened to be on Turn 6. To finish the game off, I finally chased down his fleeing Gors by rolling double 6’s… perhaps a telling sign of the game. In total and for the purposes of victory points, I had full units of both Saurus Warrior units, the Chameleon Skinks, and the Salamander. Definitely a “Massacre” in terms of gameplay.
This was the second game I have played with Mr. J and he is a very good opponent to play against. We are both polishing up on the rules so we always take the time to get it right if we think it may be something different. We have agreed to go to a full scale 2,250 point game next Wednesday and so I’ll have the results of that one as well. He said he’s going to make changes to his list so I’m not sure what to expect next week but I’m sure that either way we are going to have a good time. Thanks for checking it out and make sure to check back often as I’m still in the process of finishing up my Lizardmen! Leave a comment too!