We’ve been prepping for Bring&Battle II (a local event).
We played two games. Both were Norsca vs. Chaos at 1500 points.
I wanted try out a Chaos Undivided force without magic… and I made that an armylist to that end. That’s about all the influence I had over the first game.
Then in game two I exchanged my Chaos Hero for a Chaos Sorcerer (lvl 2) with Dark Magic.
I guess there is a compromise between no magic and too much magic… but I have yet to find it.
We played a “new” scenario that I devised and that will be used at Bring&Battle II. It was essentially Take the Tower, except that the tower is occupied by 3d6 bandits (human statline, light armour and hand weapons, immune to psychology – “staying in the tower is better than out there!”). To take the tower you first have to defeat the bandits.
This game had it all – if by ‘all’ you mean every conceivable statistical anomaly. It started well, the Norscans got the first turn, and due to secret deployment ‘The Axecutioners’ which was my dedicated large target killing regiment, were stranded on the far side of the large targets… whoops!
From there the game developed like a gift that just keeps on taking. My patron deity (a minor Chaos God called P’haul) decided that now was about as good a time as any to bestow Sal Zhu, the leader of my force, with a Chaos Gift in the form of… turning him inside out and all his resculpting his limbs as tentacles!
The Norscan mammoth made a succesful charge on the Fangs of Kwetul… who had just been mauled by a Berzerker too. The regiment lost 4 to the berzerker, and then 7 to the mammoth (4 on impact, and 3 on combat). That left only Dardrak the champion, who inflicted a single wound and then ran off… 10″ with the mammoth in hot pursuit (9″).
At the start of my next turn, I had to roll a terror test for the Horns of Doom (Chaos Knights) and Heldrak’s Revenge (Chaos Warriors). They both rolled 12 and ran off. Next Darnak failed his leadership test and ran a further 3 inches towards the edge. So there was that…
I then tried to fight my way back in the game. The Norscans were in dire lack of any leadership giving characters, so the plan on the left flank was simple: Break the Dwarfs and see the Giant (ld 6) , the warriors (ld 7) and the thralls (ld 6) run off! The Dwarfs were easily eviscerated! YES! But NO… the warriors rolled 6, the Giant rolled 5 and only the pesky thralls legged it for the leadership. So the plan failed.
Since I had not brought a Wizard, the Norse magic was pretty much free to reign. In Warhammer Renaissance your best option for magic defense is having a wizard… or a general with the Mark of Khorne. If you don’t want either of those, the options are very limited. So basically I could do nothing about the spells and they quickly dismantled the remainder of my army. The Dance of Despair sent Heldrak’s Revenge into a berzerker, causing 5 wounds, and then Grey Wings sent another bezerker in their direction and lastly the Pit of Tarnus finished off my chariot. That was two consecutive rounds of magic. Nice!
At this point we decided to call the game. I still had an unscathed unit of Warriors left, but I was more keen to try another game with a slight modification. Than to continue the shitshow.
We played “Take the bandit tower again” and this time there was but 6 bandits in the tower.
The Chaos Army had booted their Chaos Hero and hired a Chaos Sorcerer (lvl 2) instead. That was more or less the only change. (well… and an extra beast master which I forgot to include).
I went for a different deployment – a small solid box with the sorcerer pointed at the middle where I expected the opposining wizard/general to be too. The plan was to throw all the damage spells I could get at the enemy characters and eliminate them fast and hopefully cause a cardhouse implosion because of the bad Norse leadership.
I went for super aggresive – turn one everything moved forward and the sorcerer fired a Doom bolt at the enemy general causing only 1 wound (bad rolling). The Chaos Knights charged the Norse Trolls and broke them and ran them down.
Next turn I charged with everything. The Norse giant was trying to hunt down the Chaos Knights, but I moved them just enough to get them out of line of sight. (not shown).
The main fight I called a challenge, and failed to kill the enemy general, since my dice rolling was just dysmal. The fight resulted in a draw overall. The Norse Shield Wall rule (charge reaction, gives -1 to enemy S on the turn of the charge, if charged to the front) was very good. We actually forgot that the Shield Wall only works in the first turn (on charge), but in the second round of the fight the dice were back to normal and the general had been shot and killed in the magic phase with a Doom bolt.
The charge on the other flank was the same story – the Chaos Warriors in combination with the chariot had mauled the Norse Warriors and the whole thing was more or less gone.
We decided to call the game at this point, and talked a bit about what we thought.
Well well well… I wanted to test whether a magic-less army would fare notably different than an army with a little magic (a lvl 2 and a dispel scroll). The answer – in this extremely unscientific experiment – is a resounding yes! Playing without ANY magic at all puts you at a massive disadvantage. Only 5+ on dispel attempts with the Winds of Magic cards, IF you get any… None of the special cards can be used and you cannot Drain Magic or hold a card from turn to turn.
Conversely, if you add Magic to a force like Chaos, it grows in potency by a factor of 10! You suddenly dispel on 4+, can use the special cards (I actually used Destroy Magic to take out the Norse Bridge of Shadows), can buy dispel scrolls and not least you can fire off spells!
I don’t seriously think that anyone expects to be a game partly build on 4th ed Warhammer to be anything other than this. It is exactly like it should be to be a slightly updated version of 4th ed. I just wish, personally, that I could figure out a version that toned down magic just a notch. We played with no magic in turn 1, and the other suggestions in the book of course (new interpretations of spells and so on). But I am coming around to the thinking expressed by at snyggejygge.blogspot.com that maybe Magic should be only in your own turn, like 5th edition. That won’t stop insane spells from happening. But it will reduce Magic to half of the current (almost).
I really liked how the “Take the bandit tower” worked. It became less of a race to the objective and more of hmmmm what to do. The Norse tried to take the tower, but did not get inside.