Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Goblin's take on Runefang - Day Two + Wrap

After Day One, our team, the Pigstikkas, were gaining momentum after a slowish start in the first two rounds. We were careful not to be too successful, as then we'd get the All or Nothing card, which was bad news (this card means all members on the team needed to win their games or the whole team got 0 points for that turn).

For the first game, I was paired up against Hagen Kerr and his Dwarfs, which promised to be fun. Hagen's list looked very 7th ed, with 17 Hammerers + Lord and BSB, 15 Ironbreakers and Runesmith, 18 Longbeards, 3 x 10 shooters and an Organ Gun. We played Battle for the Pass (the Dwarf players kept picking the card to choose the scenario...).

On my left flank, the Arachnarok and Trolls moved up quickly to take out the Thunderers in a building and the Organ Gun, since both of these units wouldn't get crippled by the Organ Gun. On the right, I had the Squig Hoppers, Mangler Squig, Chariot and Spider Riders all lined up to rush the two units of Crossbowmen opposite them. With some help from the Doomdiver (from our Empire's gold reserves), they were able to deal with these units in the first few turns.

In the center, the goblins and squig herd were opposite the three combat blocks. However, some rampant animosity led to a big squabble, and I had 4 of the 5 units unable to move for two turns in a row! The trolls overran into the centre after dealing with the Organ Gun, and this drew the Dwarfs closer to me when they charged these trolls. The Squig Herd eventually got into gear, and charged the unit of 18 Longbeards and one-rounded them.

The Ironbreakers were finished off by a combination of fanatics and doomdiver, leaving Hagen with just the Hammerers and characters. With minimal losses on my side, it ended up as a solid victory to me.

After a successful round for the Pigstikkas (3 big wins), we decided I needed to play Dwarfs again, so I played Matthew Hassall in Battle for the Pass (again). Matt had a Runelord in 20 Hammerers, 20 GW Warriors, 30 Warriors with 2 Thanes, 20 Thunderers, Cannon, Stone Thrower (S5) and Organ Gun. This was more suited to 8th ed than Hagen's list, but the units still seemed a bit small.

Matt had a big building across one side of his deployment zone, and promptly put the 20 Thunderers in there, which meant I was going to have to work really hard to get anywhere on that flank. I set up heavily weighted on the other flank (well, as much as you can on Battle for the Pass), and left the faster stuff (Hoppers, Chariot, Arachnarok, Spiders) on the building side to kill the Cannon and Organ Gun, then get out before the Thunderers did too much damage.

I had a lucky break in Turn 2, where my 5 Spiders killed the Cannon crew in one round. These spiders then went round the building and hit the Organ Gun in Turn 4, eventually killing it too. This good luck was balanced by some more rampant animosity in the center, and again the center locked up for the first 2 turns.

On the flank away from the building, the Squig Herd moved up with Fanatics to the left, and the Mangler to the right. Matt had nothing on this flank to deal with the Mangler, and so it eventually bounced through the Hammerers, killing 6 or 7, and the Grudge Thrower, killing it outright. In the next turn, the Herd was charged by the GW warriors, who took a beating from the Squigs, but stuck around. In my turn, the Trolls flanked the hammerers, and then the fun started! The Mangler Squig randomly turned around and plowed through both of these combats and another of my units. Both Dwarf units were destroyed, the Trolls were left on one wound, and the best bit was the last 2 handlers in the Squig herd were killed, meaning the herd blew up as well! That one Mangler was responsible for around half of the total kills on the table, and it alone killed well over 500pts of Matt's stuff. Well worth it!

From there, the game was pretty straightforward. I kept away from the last unit of Dwarfs and moved everything out of range of the building. This left me with another solid victory, and our team once again got 3 wins. The 6 wins on day 2 gave us enough points to expand and upgrade our Empire more than any other team, which put us in first place at the end. This was a nice way to top off a great weekend of fun gaming. I played 5 excellent opponents, and everyone was playing in the spirit of the event, which was perfect.

Finally, some thoughts on my list. The Goblin magic is very situational, and doesn't have much to do before the armies get into combat. I think it would be a lot better when paired with Orc magic, but that's not really an option for me.

The new rules for Fanatics make them very scary, and I would alway include some NG units just for them. I was impressed by the NG archers being able to shoot 15 shots out to 18" makes them surprisingly effective.

The Squig Herd was fantastic, as it gave me some punch I was otherwise lacking. Same with the Trolls, although 4 wasn't ideal. I'd have preferred 6. Likewise, more Chariots would have been nice, but I've only got 1. I'm keen to try the Hoppers in a bigger unit with a character. Being able to re-roll the move distance makes them even better! A unit of 5 was definitely useful though.

The big disappointment was the Arachnarok. It just doesn't kill enough to justify its 290 point price tag. Over the weekend, it killed only 14 HE archers and 10 Thunderers, and died twice. I'd much rather spend the points on the other rare units, like the Manglers, Pump Wagons and Doomdivers, all of which were fantastic! Certainly I think you need some artillery, at least a Rock Lobba and a Doomdiver for me from now on.

And after Game 5, I'll have as many Manglers as I can get away with ;)

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