Path to Glory Campaign, Round 2, Battle 1: Gloomspite Gitz Vs Kharadron OverlordsAdmiral Riprock clung to the stony crown of the hill, spyglass held over one eye. What he beheld was a rocky, wind-swept pass, winding and staggering down into the valley below. The bite of winter was in the air - gales of supernaturally frigid air, hurtling down from imposing stormclouds. Bad weather for flying. Bad weather for mechanisms. Bad weather for visibility. But also bad weather for goblins.
The little gobbo warband his fleet had been tracking since their encounter in the Forest of Fangs would be headed up this pass any minute, bound for the cavern entrances a few miles to the north where the wretched little greenskins would seek shelter from the frigid weather. There had been no way to catch the slimy bastards in the swamps or forests, but here - under the open sky - they'd be his. As would their prisoner - a Deepkin Prince worth a hefty ransom to the Courts of Iphesis.
Riprock spotted them first - an ugly mob, led by a trio of stinking troggoths. They were headed straight up the pass and right into his trap. He gave the signal to the frigate
Understated Elegance, which rose from behind the peaks.
This would be almost too easy.
For the first battle of the Path to Glory's second round, my Moonclan Grots (and their hired trolls) face off against the greedy Kharadron Overlords for a second time. Last time I was basically blown off the map. This time, hopefully, I will do a bit better.
My list was as follows:
Loonboss w/Giant Cave Squig ("Gloama," General: Cunning Plans)
Madcap Shaman (The Hand of Gork, Artifact: Moonface Mommet)
20 Stabbas w/Spears, Bad Moon Icon, 3x Netters
20 Stabbas w/Spears, Bad Moon Icon, 3x Netters
5 Boingrot Bounderz
5 Boingrot Bounderz
3 Fellwater Troggoths
Meanwhile, the Karadron's had expanded their forces, too:
Admiral w/command ability allowing re-rolls to hit
Arknaut Company w/3x Light Skyhooks
Arknaut Company w/3x Light Skyhooks
3 Endrinriggers w/Rivet Guns and Pneumatic Saws
Frigate w/Cannon (Artifact: The Last Word) Mission, Terrain, and Deployment
The terrain was dominated by two large hills - one topped with a rocky top (with the "Commanding" trait: +1 CP per turn if the general is within 1") and the other with a ruin ("Arcane" trait - bonuses to cast and unbind). Between these two hills, running roughly north-south along the middle of the board, was a fairly narrow pass through which ran a ridge of rocks and trees. The mission we rolled up was Take and Hold - one objective at the center of the northern DZ, one at the center of the southern DZ which, as luck would have it, situated them at either end of the pass. The mission stated that any force that held both objectives with two units of more than 5 guys apiece at any time
from the 3rd turn on would win the game. If that wasn't achieved, whoever killed the most by the 5th battle round would win a minor victory.
The Realm rule this game was frigid winds that meant no weapons would Rend for the entire game. This hurt the Karadrons a lot more than it hurt me, but it would still suck for my main combat units - the trolls, bounderz, and Loonboss. So, come to think of it, it sucked for me pretty badly. Ah, well.
I deployed in the north this time. Remembering how spreading out had killed me last time, I resolved not to make the same error. The troggoths anchored the center of my line, just in front of the objective and at one end of the pass. They were flanked by the two groups of Bounderz. The Stabbas held down the flanks - one group in the west by the ridge through the pass, the other behind the big hill with the ruins. Gloama the Loonboss and his giant squig, Gitgobbla, deployed behind the trolls and close enough to provide Inspiring Presence to anyone who needed it. The shaman deployed closer to the eastern stabbas. This was all part of my Cunning Plan. The Bad Moon deployed in the SW corner, reading to place the Clammy Hand upon the arrogant duardin as soon as possible.
The Overlords dropped a Company of Arknauts at the other end of the pass, flanked by their Navigator. The Aether-Khemist took up the other side of the company while Admiral Riprock stood atop the Commanding hill to suck up more CP. The Frigate, with the other Company and the Endrinriggers deployed behind the Admiral. Their plan was fairly obvious: shoot me to death. It worked before, no reason it shouldn't work again.
DeploymentThe Goblin CenterThe Goblin West FlankThe Overlords wait to unleash hell.Turn 1
The Overlords were entitled to first turn, but they gave it to me (which I found moderately surprising). Pleased, I attempted to cast Night Shroud on the Troggoths to increase their odds of living to see the next turn. I, of course, promptly rolled a 4 on 2d6. This kind of rolling was to be fairly standard for me during the remainder of the battle.
Okay, so fine, if my magic wouldn't work, I may as well move as fast as possible. I used a Command Point to accelerate the trolls a full 12" towards the dwarven lines, flanked by the Bounderz who moved a solid 10" and 14" respectively. The stabbas in the pass also moved up, though not quite as fast, and Gloama traveled in their midst. In the east, those stabbas got a very respectable run roll (thanks Gong-bashers!) and seized control of the Arcane ruin. The Shaman followed them, lurking just behind the ruin and safely out of sight.
Top of Turn 1The Gitz close rapidlyI'll give you *one guess* who gets shot to death first.
In the first dwarf turn, the Navigator doesn't manage to harness the winds, so that's good. Then the second arknaut company disembarks and the Frigate cruises forward. The Admiral targets the troggoths for deletion (GASP!) and he fires all skyhooks and the Frigate at them. Thanks to him rolling near-maximum damage with everything that wounded, I lost all three trolls almost right away. So, yeah - so glad I spent a glory point to hire those guys, for sure. It's okay, though - it all fit with my Cunning Plan.
Then the Frigate...charged the western group of bounderz? Ummm...okay? It doesn't do a lot of damage, but I manage to strip 4 wounds off of it. While unexpected, this is also part of the Cunning Plan.
Bottom of Turn 1The Understated Elegance sets...sail? Blimp? Hoists balloon?We're Being Charged by a Boat!Turn 2
I win initiative for the round, thus staving off the dreaded double-turn. The Bad Moon zooms onto the board and turns two Akrnauts into mushrooms (in the unit closest to the southern objective) and Gloama used his magic fork to shoot another one dead, but the Admiral's Inspiring Presence nullified the need for a battleshock test.
The Shaman throws Mystic Shield on the unengaged group of Bounderz and they (along with Gloama the Loonboss and his trusty squig) charge into the Frigate, essentially surrounding it. It fires The Last Word as I'm charging in and does...1 wound. I take no other damage in the round. My goblin knights struggle to damage the ship (bad, bad rolls and my opponent was making his 5+ save a full half the time), but the squigs make up for it, running amok on the decks and rooting through the holds of the mighty ship, devouring every dawi they find. In the end, it took the last attack of Gitgobbla to do the two remaining wounds to kill the ship, but it happened. Also, since the ship was entirely surrounded, the Endrinriggers couldn't disembark and, thus, went down with their benighted vessel.
Elsewhere, the stabbas inched forward a bit more, not overly eager to commit to combat just yet.
Top of Turn 2
In the Overlord turn, the damaged bunch of Arknauts and the Aether-Khemist shoot and charge the closest bunch of Bounderz and kills three out of 5 and only lose one themselves (lousy dice!). The other company and the Admiral do their best to shoot down Gloama, but he's a slippery fellow and takes only one wound.
Bottom of Turn 2The Flower of Goblin Knighthood is slain Turn 3
In turn 3, the Overlords win initiative! Oh calamity! So, any plans I had of getting to charge anybody with anything basically evaporate as the Aether-Khemist and Arknaut Company shoot down the last two bounderz in the front group and then the Company charges the back group while the Khemist joins the Admiral in charging Gloama. My bounders acquit themselves better this time, killing 2 Akrnauts to losing 1 bounder. Gloama takes three wounds--one from the Admiral's pistol and two from his hammer. The Loonboss orders Gitgobbla to eat himself an Aether-Khemist, but the dwarf is crunchier than anticipated and he only takes 1 wound.
Elsewhere on the battlefield, the Bad Moon skips the center of the board entirely and zips to the NE quadrant (not ideal, but I'll take it) and the other company and the Navigator shuffle here and there in the backfield.
Top of Turn 3
In the bottom of turn 3 - my turn - I enact my Master Plan. You thought I was losing this battle, did you? DID YOU? You thought to yourself "man, Wyddr's goblins are getting slaughtered and bogged down at the center of the pass!" Indeed, this is what the Overlords thought as Admiral Riprock thumped Gitgobbla on the head and knocked Gloama sprawling (though not before the giant squig did, in fact, eat the Aether-Khemist whole). Even as the last of the Arknauts fighting the bounderz were killed (at a loss of two of their own numbers), the Overlords thought to themselves "there's no way they'll get our objective!"
I even cast Nightshroud on the goblins in the ruins - a coward's move (which the Navigator tried to dispel but could not). But then the Shaman popped himself some madcap mushrooms and cast the Hand of Gork! Suddenly twenty goblins in a ruin atop an irrelevant hill are now a mere 9" away from the dwarves' objective! I daisy-chained the transported unit back to the Shaman so that I could use a command point re-roll the charge on the Navigator. If it goes off, I win.
So, of course it doesn't, because my dice are garbage, but now the plan is revealed. The dwaves weren't bogging me down; I was bogging them
down! And now it's too late. TOO LATE! The maniacal laughter of Gloama echoes through the burning wreckage of the Admirals downed ship. "You stupid dawi!" he cackles. "You stupid, stupid dawi, thinks to set a trap for Gloama on his own mountain! HAHAHAHAHAHA!"
Bottom of Turn 3SURPRISE!Daisy chain formation! (to no avail)Turn 4
My opponent at this point still hasn't quite understood what happens if I score that objective (he was working under the assumption it was "by end of game," despite my cackling glee). He doesn't move his remaining Arknauts their full distance to close with my troops encroaching on the southern objective. In point of fact, it really wouldn't matter if he did--I outnumber him 2:1 and will score that objective over him regardless. They shoot at the stabbas, but the nightshroud insulates them from the worst of the damage and I lose only two gobbos.
In a final act of defiance, the Admiral uses one of his sky-ports statutes to charge in the hero phase and his double attacks wipe out the rest of my bounderz. Considering that they were the diversion this entire time, I really couldn't care less.
Top of Turn 4It gradually dawns on the Admiral that he's surrounded and this was all for naught
In my turn, the Shaman tosses an Arcane Bolt at the Admiral and does three wounds. This is just for spite, though. The main show is that the Stabbas advance onto the southern objective, the other stabbas have already retreated to claim the northern one, and that's it--I have both objectives. Game over.
Bottom of Turn 4GOBLINS SCORE!MAJOR VICTORY FOR THE GITZ!Current Glory for Campaign:
Gitz: 5 (spent 1 on hiring the Troggoths, for all the good that did)
That was a fun game, despite my fairly terrible dice. The weather nullifying Rend was huge for me, allowing the Bounderz to last a lot longer than they would have otherwise. Of course, they would have *also* chewed through the Akrnauts faster, so who knows what might have happened? I'm tempted to say the Troggoths were a waste, but they also sucked up a lot of shooting on that first turn, so that's probably worth it. My opponent even got lucky there with high damage rolls and me failing to cast Nightshroud on turn 1.
The real key here was that, ultimately, my opponent didn't play the mission (and didn't properly understand the mission) and focused on killing my guys, which didn't really matter much. I deliberately set up a diversion and it worked like a charm. Charging me with his ship was a bad call, too - another mistake on his part that I doubt he'll repeat. He certainly did a good job of wiping out my key combat units, but at the cost of totally ignoring my major *scoring* units which, frankly, are way more important.
I am currently loving my Madcap Shaman and wish him all the best for the future. Underhanded tricks and rank cowardice are why I'm playing this army, and it hasn't disappointed.
Thanks for reading and thanks, as always, to my opponent!