Before you jump to conclusions, this battle was in fact not played against Andrew! Nor was it played on a Tuesday night at Meeplemart! Unheard of!
Well, it was played at Meeplemart, but on Monday, mid-day. I was sent home from work because I wasn’t feeling well (I was told to go home, and I’m not one to argue a day off), and I started feeling better shortly. So messaged Steve at Meeplemart who I was supposed to play a game with the night before, but couldn’t because I ended up drinking at my family’s Easter dinner and couldn’t drive. So I made it up to him and came over during the day.
I used one my 1000pt Empire lists against the Tomb King list he used against Andrew last week.
This report will not be as detailed as they usually are. I didn’t bring any of my cameras, nor do I want to spend the next few hours writing up a report. But I’ll give a brief summary of each turn, and then some of the points of our post-game discussion.
- Wizard Lord (Level 3, Light)
- Captain of the Empire (mounted, General)
- Captain of the Empire (BSB)
- 11 Knights
- 20 Swordsmen
- 20 Swordsmen
- Great Cannon
- Liche Priest (Level 3, Hierophant)
- Tomb Prince
- Tomb Herald
- 23 Skeleton Spear Warriors
- 12 Skeleton Archers
- 12 Skeleton Archers
- Tomb Skorpion
- 3 Sepulchral Stalkers
N.B. Steve actually only deployed 10 Archers in each unit, instead of 12, which may or may not have impacted the game much. Always the optimist, I like to think it would have.
Steve got the first turn. The Warriors stayed put, waiting for me to come to him, while the Archers moved up 2″ to be able to hit anyone. Magic I think was dispelled, and shooting the Archers ended up doing little-to-no wounds. I think they all shot at the Wizard’s Swordmasters, but maybe one unit shot at the Knights.
I on the other hand moved all of my units up, the Swords going up 6-8″, the Knights getting a bit closer for a charge next turn. The cannon took a shot and wounded the Herald, who had failed his Look Out Sir! roll but luckily I got a 1 on the d6 for Multiple Wounds, and dropped three Warriors.
The Warriors stayed put again, the Archers moved back 2″. The Skorpion Misfired on his un-earthing, then rolled a 1 to die outright. This was highly unfortunate for Steve, and I always hate when things like this happen to new players, or guys trying to learn and enjoy their army. Bah. The Sepulchral Stalkers unearther safely. Magic, I dispelled the spell that would have made everything dangerous terrain for my Knights, and then the Priest failed to cast the Multiple Shots spell by 1! Luck was currently not on Steve’s side. The Stalkers managed to drop a single Knight with their Gaze, on 14 hits, but one Stalker also took 2 Wounds to a Misfire. The Archers I believe just aimed at the Swordsmen, but only managed to drop one.
I charged the Knights into the middle Archer unit, while the Swordsmen just moved up, readying for a charge next turn. I unintentionally cheated by having the Wizard cast a magic missile at the Stalkers. This cheat would have changed the game, I think, so I have to go and tell Steve so he knows. The Cannon shot at the Stalkers as well, and by the end they were down to one guy left of the initial three. The Knights managed to wipe out 7 of the Archers, and the others died due to their Unstable rule, and the Knights just overran onwards toward the board edge.
The Warriors spun around to face the Knights instead of charging the Swordsmen. The Priest gave his Archers Multiple Shots. The Archers shot at the Wizard’s Swordsmen, with I think a couple of casualties, and the Stalker shot at the Cannon, with no casualties.
The Knights spun and stayed put. I was going to move them in between the TK units, avoiding combat, but I felt that was cheap and would make Steve unhappy, so I let them get ready to take the charge. The Swordsmen on the left failed a charge into the Warrior’s rear, but moved up 6″, while the other Swordsmen charged into the Archers. The Wizard gave his unit and the Knights “pass all Leadership tests,” which would help with the coming Fear tests they’d have to take. The cannon managed to hit the Stalker at close range…I forgot all about Grapeshot until right now. Dang, that would have been handy. Dang. Anyway, they did a wound to the Stalker. In combat, the Swordsmen dropped some Archers, who also dropped some Swordsmen, so it wasn’t a complete rout, and both units stayed around.
The Warriors charged into the Knights. The Priest gave the both units an extra Attack (I failed to dispell it), as well as a Ward Save on the Warriors, I think, but we both forgot by the time combat came around (having the Magic cards is SO good, not having them is SO bad!). Some Archers came back because of this. The Stalker failed to gaze the Cannon crewman, again. I think at this point Steve realised he should have just charged in. In combat, the Archers were annihilated, with the Priest standing alone against 14 Swordsmen and a Wizard. The Warriors were whittled down a bit, but they managed to kill two Knights in the process. Oh, and the Herald accepted the Captain’s challenge and was slain for it.
The Captain’s Swordsmen once again failed to charge into the rear of the Warriors. The Wizard once again gave both units auto-pass on their Leadership tests. The cannon overshot (again, I forgot about grapeshot). The Swordsmen killed the Priest (no one died to crumbling). The Knights whittled the Warriors down a bunch again, down to two rows, and the Warriors killed two more Knights.
At this point Steve gave up, as there was nothing much else he could do. It is quite unfortunate that the dice were not his friends this game, as he failed a lot of Archers shots, and the Skorpion dying right off the bat was not helpful. I did cheat with the Wizard’s magic missile, which I’ll apologize for. That could possibly have changed a lot about the game.
Steve is still new to WHFB, especially 8th Edition and the new Tomb Kings book, so a lot of rules are either shady or altogether-unknown to him. I’m no pro or veteran of the system myself, only having played for a year and a bit, but I did try to go over some points with him, that perhaps could have led to a more successful TK outing.
One was that he probably should have been a bit more aggressive. Early on he didn’t move up much, which I personally think was one of his downfalls. I suggested that his Warriors should have moved up and gotten into combat with the Swordsmen on Turn 2, or 3 at the latest, what with their WS 5 thanks to the Prince and regrowability thanks to the Nehekharan lore attribute. PLUS the extra rank from spears. So the only things I had better than him were Initiative and 5+/6+ saves. To stop the Knights from crashing into their flank, he could have had the middle Archers move up into speedbump/redirection position, forcing me to wait a turn or two to get into combat with them. That would have given them two turns of shooting, before valiantly sacrificing themselves for the cause. And then, the Sepulchral stalkers could have charged the rear of the Swordsmen, giving him +3 to combat res for that turn, plus gotten them out of the way of magic missiles and cannon shots, as they would be engaged. I don’t think he felt that any of this would have helped, as he thinks his guys are just too flimsy and weak to do much. Meh, it’s his loss! Maybe next time he’ll think more like that.
Another point I tried to make was that after watching a video on youtube about the magic phase, by one of my favourite youtubers OnceBitten360, aiming for one spell a turn is good, with extras as a bonus. Also, the ‘think big, think ahead’ idea is something to deal with. In the end I think he pretty much did this sort of thing during the game, but I dispelled enough of the spells for it not to matter.
Anyway, Steve was not too impressed with his army after two crushing defeats. But the fact that we’re playing at less than half of the ideal points value for WHFB games does not help, especially for armies like TK that do better at higher point levels than Empire. But he said that he’s reserving judgement for playing bigger games, which is great. I don’t enjoy the game at 500 or 750 either, and I think that once we all start playing at 2000 points, we’re going to start having real fun with this system.
The WHFB fun is going to continue tomorrow night, when I should be playing both WHFB and Malifaux. Hopefully even more than one WHFB game, which would be ideal, but I’m not counting on it 🙂 If only we can talk less and play more!
Thanks for reading.