1250 Beasts of Chaos vs Ossiarch Bonereapers: Head-on Collision

Started by Wyddr, October 4, 2023, 10:27:18 PM

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1250 Beasts of Chaos Vs Ossiarch Bonereapers: Head-on Collision

The old woman's screams could be heard for miles. Kraggoth the Seer knew her voice, and knew it well. She was a sorcerer of the Old Way, a servant of the Eightpoints. She was little more than a slave to her demonic masters, but she had her uses. She and the beasts had an understanding - she provided wise counsel and profane blessings and, in turn, the beastmen of the Krondspine protected her.

But now eight foot tall golems of bone stood guard outside her house, deep in the verdant wilds of some distant, forgotten forest, while the servants of Nagash were inside, torturing her. The witch knew much of these lands and their secrets; there was much she might tell these boneshapers. It was for this reason, more than any sense of duty, that Kraggoth had ordered his herd to encircle the bone-constructs.

Not to save her, no. But to silence her, once and for all, before her pox-encrusted lips could speak the wrong secrets to the wrong undead host.

Another Path to Glory game! We've moved up to 1250 points, now, and my army is starting to take shape. The last two battles against the bonereapers have ended in humiliating defeat. Now, I hope, I have a chance to win. Here were our army lists. Note that, as this was a Path to Glory match, we have some special veteran abilities kicking around, as well as an extra artifact for me:

Allherd Battle Regiment
Great Bray Shaman (General: Twistfray Cursebeast, Bleating Gnarlstaff, Spell: Wild Rampage)
Doombull (Brayblast Trumpet)

20 Gors w/Shields (Veterans: Exemplars of Valor)
10 Ungors w/Spears (Veterans: Wilderness Stalkers)
10 Ungors w/Spears
3 Bullgors w/Mansplitter Great Axes (Veterans: Toughened Hides)
1 Cygor
2 Tuskgor Chariots

Grand Strategy: Desecrating Brayherd
Quest: Scout Fertile Lands

Petrifex Elite Battle Regiment
Boneshaper (General: Aura of Sterility, Artisan's Key, Spell: Empower Nadrite Weapons)

3 Necropolis Stalkers (Veterans: +1 attack)
3 Immortis Guard (Veterans +1 attack)
3 Immortis Guard (Veterans +1 to wound)
2 Mortghast Harbingers
1 Gothizzar Harvester
Endless Spell: Soulstealer Carrion

Grand Strategy: Have Battleline alive at the end of the game (almost all of this is Battleline)
Quest: Hunt the Endless Spell

Mission, Terrain, and Deployment
I know, I know - I outnumber my opponent by a LOT, but I'm telling you that it doesn't make one lick of difference, as all of his guys are nigh-invulnerable and hit like a ton of bricks. When we rolled for mission, I was hoping for something with a bunch of objectives spread out that would be very hard for him to hold on to with his compact phalanx.

We got...Head-on Collision. We would deploy in table quarters and there would be three objectives: one in his DZ, one at board center, and one in mine. You got minimal points for holding your objective (1), modest point for taking the middle one (2), and big-time points for taking your opponent's (4). Plus a bonus point for each "Galletian Veterans" unit when they took an objective for the first time. Galletian Veteran is code for "Battleline unit with 4 or fewer wounds per model and no mount. Another way of putting this is my opponent had absolutely no Galletian Veteran units, which gave me a slight advantage. The problem, though, was I still had to run straight at him, more-or-less, to get the good points, and he would grind up anything I sent at him. Ugh.

The Bonereapers were defender, so this time (per advice from this forum), we made sure that the defender could set up the terrain. My opponent made sure to keep the center of the board clear of any obstruction. We had a forest on each flank, a house in the south and a house in the north (no garrisoning), and a long hill at about north-center edge. We have been skipping mysterious terrain, but for the purposes of the Bonereaper Quest, they needed an arcane piece of terrain. We rolled randomly and got the house in the north, which was smack dab in the middle of the bonereaper DZ, so they stood good odds of scoring it.

For deployment, the Bonereapers dropped their fairly standard phalanx - Immortis Guard on each end, Harbingers and Stalkers in the middle, Harvester behind. The Boneshaper was at the northern edge of this formation, behind the Immortis Guard. The idea, as always, was to keep them together and make them invincible, then (I presume) march up the board.

My deployment was more complex. I deployed first, but I knew how the bonereapers would deploy, as they'd done it to me twice now, and so I deployed with that picture in mind. I resolved that I would *not* ambush my Bullgors (GASP!), since it occurred to me that they would be better as a deterrent against enemy movement than an actual hammer - the *threat* of them charging was more useful than the charge itself. So, the Bullgors and Doombull deployed just in front of my herdstone (which was way back at board center south), the 20 Gors went to their right, and both units were screened by a unit of Ungors, the veteran ungors in the east in front of the Gors. My Bray Shaman general, the Cygor, and the Chariots would ambush. I wasn't sure what to do with the Chariots (and, overall, I'm pretty down on their performance right now), but I had a fiendish plan for my general and the Cygor.


The Beasts Deployment
Bonebros Deploy!

To Be Continued...   

Post Merge: October  5, 2023, 10:18:56 PM
In the future, please use the modify button. Double posting is against the forum rules, and for that reason, the system merged your posts.

Turn 1
I finished deploying first, so I had first turn. Now, I am very well aware that I can't reasonably destroy his army in a fair fight, so my general strategy here is to not try. All I want to do is score objectives, and as I outnumber him in every respect, doing that won't be very hard. I shouldn't even need to fight him that much to do it.

This means my battle strategy has two prongs: delaying actions and diversionary tactics. The first of these general tactics is to screen my bullgors and doombull by running one group of ungors to stand atop the central objective. This means if he charges my ungors, he will have to face a countercharge from my heavy hitters. Next, I bring the chariots in along a very non-ambushy axis in the western forest near the south edge, well away from his force, but quick enough to move up the board. I also swing my veteran ungors up into the eastern forest--there's no way he can catch all of my things, so he'll have to choose *or* sit on his hands, and either choice will work in my favor.

BUT, I still have a battle tactic to achieve. Because of where his general was placed, that made him vulnerable. My battle tactic was "Reduce to Savagery" which is to destroy a unit that was the target of one of my special rituals of ruin. I used the Blood Taunt to draw the Boneshaper 7" to the north, away from his bodyguards (the taunt did 3 mortal wounds to my Bray Shaman, which hurt). Then, with him thusly exposed, I ambushed both my general and the Cygor in the northern edge of the board. I used the Bleating Gnarlstaff to do a couple mortal wounds to a couple different units clustered near that northern hill (yay, I remembered!). Then, my shaman gave the giant cyclops an All-Out Attack command and then the big guy hurled his boulder. It sailed, end-over-end in a graceful arc, and smashed down on the boneshaper, killing the bastard instantly. Battle Tactic achieved, enemy general slain, nasty endless spell headed off, and, perhaps most importantly, NO MORE HEALING for the undead army. Or, at least, less so.

All in all, I scored 3 points on objectives, 2 bonus points for my battleline infantry doing the taking, and 2 points for the smooshed boneshaper, for a whopping 7 point first turn!

Top of Turn 1

Hey look! Stupid Chariots doing Stupid Stuff!
Obvious trap is obvious

Where the Boneshaper walked, the grass withered and died. Though Kraggoth knew that rage and disgust roiled inside its desiccated soul, it gave no sign. It's eyes were cold, calculating. It was utterly unafraid of Kraggoth, whom by comparison must look haggard and weak.

The boneshaper's voice was like dust being swept across a barren floor. "If you believe my legions will be distracted by this paltry ruse, you are incorrect."

"This is no diversion, dead thing. I am going to kill you," Kraggoth growled.

The Boneshaper rose to its full height - a foot or more taller than the Bray Shaman. "If that is the case, you should not have come alone."

Kraggoth permitted himself a vicious grin. "Who said I was alone?"

Behind him, the trees parted, and the towering form of Topha the Blessed emerged, great boulder already in hand.

If the Boneshaper was afraid, it gave no sign, but then again it didn't have much time. Before it could utter a command to its legions, the creature vanished beneath the titanic bulk of the cygor's boulder, dirt and bonedust flying up in the air.

"That was for the first herd of mine you slaughtered," Kraggoth said. "I look forward to paying you back for the second one."

In the bottom of Turn 1, the Bonereapers seemed stymied, which was just what I was hoping. The bulk of their force pulled back a couple inches, clustering close to the northwest objective, while one group of Immortis Guard charged the Cygor. The cygor tried to smash them with a boulder on the way in, but missed. It survived the first salvo of attacks, even with their veteran ability active, but then choked on its own counter attack, and then the Immortis Guard activated their cursed ability to attack twice once per game and finished the poor blighter off. This scored them their Battle Tactic (an Eye for and Eye), scoring them a total of 3 points for the turn - 1 on objectives and 2 for the battle tactic.

Bottom of Turn 1

Front Lines remain basically unchanged
There used to be a Cygor here.

Turn 1 Score
Beasts: 7
Bonereapers: 3

Turn 2
I won the priority roll on a tie. My battle tactic this turn was Aid of the Wild, which meant putting 2 of my units in cover which, given the forests, would be easy enough.

My first order of business was to protect my warlord, who was grievously exposed up there with no more giant cyclops to protect him. So, Kraggoth hiked up his skirts and ran for the hills, heading into the woods, where the ungors moved up and blocked for him. The doombull also blew the whistle (the Brayblast Trumpet) and in came another 10 gors to likewise shield Kraggoth. I got off a Warping Curse on the Immortis Guard who had come after me, too, and killed one with a very solid 5-6 mortal wounds done at a cost of another wound to Kraggoth (who had healed himself up in the last hero phase with a Heroic Recovery). Oh, and I forget all about the Bleating Gnarlstaff again.

In the west, the chariots moved up cautiously, not quite in the forest and mostly hugging the board edge. I have not, as of yet, figured out how to use chariots or what they are good at, and my current suspicion is that they aren't much good at anything, but more on that later. In the center, my screen and my hammers moved up ever so slightly, restricting Bonereaper movement even more. 

I have the center objective and my home objective as well as the battle tactic (Bray Shaman and Ungors in the woods), but no bonus points for taking any objectives, for a very solid 5 point turn.

Top of Turn 2

Kraggoth scurried behind his minions for safety
Chariots do stupid chariot stuff

The ungors bleated in victory as the imposing line of bone constructs fell back before their mighty advance. With the bullgors and the mighty doombull behind them, they felt invincible!

Kraggoth, from his position in the forest, knew better. He didn't care though - he didn't care if the ungors were slain, or if more of Maygog's moronic bullgors were cut apart by nadrite blades. All they needed to do was get to that shack. Five seconds is all it would take.

In the bottom of turn 2, the Bonereapers lined up for a charge on my ungor screen but...hesitated. What if I charged him back? Yes, yes - what *if?* That was, more or less, my entire plan right there. They stood there and hoped for the double turn.

Meanwhile, the other group of Immortis Guard ran off into the woods and, using their two rounds of attacking (and, god, is that AWFUL to endure), crushed both chariots with no damage in return. That might be the last time I bother fielding chariots, honestly. If they aren't going to be fast and aren't going to be durable and ALSO aren't that great on the charge (referring to my last outing with then), why bother?

Anyway, the battle tactic they chose (Head to Head) was unachievable, since they don't have any battleline infantry, and so all they scored was the 1 point off their home objective.

Bottom of Turn 2

The Immortis Guard go looking for bone donations

Turn 2 Score
Beasts: 12
Bonereapers: 4



Turn 3
I keep priority again! For a battle tactic, I choose An Eye for an Eye, since I was reasonably certain I'd be killing at least one enemy unit this turn. The plan went like this: I would curse the Immortis Guard on the hill again (which I did, killing another one) and soften everything up with the Bleating Gnarlstaff (which I also did - it didn't do all that much), then I would move the gors to charge the lone Immortis on the hill and slam the bullgors/Doombull into his line. The Ungors would charge the immortis on the hill as well, with the objective of bouncing off into his backfield with the use of Fleet of Hoof or whatever that ability is called where they fall back in combat.

Additionally, I use the Wilderness Stalkers veteran ability to have my veteran ungors (in the woods) ghost into some secret path that pops them out way up in the NW corner of the board, right behind the house with the witch in it. I'm in his backfield, now--no way he'll have enough time to come after me.

As for the charges, they go like this: the gors fail their charge on the lone Immortis Guard. The ungors charge the Immortis Guard. The Bullgors smash into the Stalkers and almost kill them, but leave one with a couple wounds (they choke, in other words). The doombull smacks into the Harvester/Harbingers. Now, the doombull, who had Finest Hour going, survived the onslaught of the Harbingers, so I could have activated him second, but I really wanted to get my ungors out of combat, so I activated them second to use Fleet of Hoof to bounce into the bonereaper backfield again. This means the doombull is smashed by the Harvester,  and at the time I thought I'd made the wrong call, but no, I was right. The plan was to score objectives, not kill things. This did mean that I didn't score my battle tactic, but honestly that's the bullgors' fault more than anything else. I earn 3 points on the turn.

Top of Turn 3

Prepping the assault
The Gors need to do more cardio.
We r in ur base, killin ur doodz.
Us too!

The witch hung upside down above her own cauldron, her blood running down her body from the strips of flesh the undead had flayed, coating her face crimson. She was delirious, but knew at least that she had spoken nothing but curses to Nagash's impotent heralds.

The door burst inwards, revealing the hunched, pot-bellied form of an ungor, spear in hand, nose ring glittering in the sunlight beyond. The witch was not so foolish as to rejoice in her rescue. She knew the beasts too well.

The creature came close, grinning a yellow-toothed grin. He drew a rusty knife. The witch closed her eyes, thanking the gods for their mercies, paltry though they were.

My opponent has a backfield problem and a point-flow problem. To solve these, he chose "Gain Momentum" as the battle tactic--have more objectives than me at the end of the turn. He moves the harvester to board center to claim that objective and then charges the Bullgors with the chariot-slaying Immortis Guard, the veteran ungors with the Harbingers, and the remaining ungors with the lone Immortis Guard on the hill.

The following series of combat activations are crucially important:
1) He activates the Immortis Guard fighting the Bullgors. Kill all but 1 Bullgor.
2) I activate the non-veteran ungors, who fall back to contest the Bonereaper's home objective.
3) He activates the Stalker to kill off my last Bullgor.
4) I activate the veteran ungors to run away from the Harbingers.

Did I lose my hammer unit? Yes. Does it matter? No. I have his home objective. He fails his battle tactic. He scores only 2 points for holding the center.

Bottom of Turn 3

Turn 3 Score
Beasts: 15
Bonereapers: 6

Turn 4
I win priority again. I don't actually have to do that much. The gors take the hill and sacrifice one of their number so the Bray Shaman's Twisting Curse finishes off the lone Immortis Guard. That's right - turn 4 and this is the first unit I've killed since turn 1.

The ungors gather around the bonereaper objective, which is currently being held by a lone Stalker with 1 wound. They throw LOTS of spears and do exactly jack amphetamine parrot, but it doesn't matter, because I have 20 guys to his 8 (1 Stalker + 3 Immortis Guard x 2), so I claim that home objective.

My battle tactic? Desecrate their Lands - hold a terrain piece in the enemy territory. Well, I also have 20 guys in range of that house (compared to 4 from the Harbingers). Big points, there. I score 5 from objectives (home and enemy), 1 for claiming the objective with battleline infantry, and 2 for my battle tactic. 8 point turn, total.

Top of Turn 4

You might be spear proof, but we are burning this here house down.

At this point, victory is a lost cause for my opponent. He concedes rather than slaughter my guys just for jollies. I appreciate the restraint.

Final Score
Beasts: 26 (Grand Strategy achieved)
Bonereapers: 9 (Grand Strategy achieved)

The witch's house burned and the ungors reveled in the ashes, sampling the sorceress's rare potions and cavorting about in necklaces of her charms and totems. The gors offered the splintered pieces of the destroyed constructs to the herdstone, in hopes of gaining favor in future battles. Kraggoth, though, did not join in their revels. He had taken from the house a single scrap of paper - one that the little skull on his staff had sung to him about.

On it there was a map.

It took him hours to find it, striding through twisted brambles and past evil-looking trees, but in the end the map was true: a foetid pool, an eight-pointed star burned into the barren ground surrounding it. An arcane waypoint for chaotic energy. Kraggoth smiled. Now this - THIS - was worthy of celebration.

Post Mortem
Well, I gotta say that it felt good to beat down the army that had slaughtered me twice in a row now. Now, granted, it doesn't really look like a beatdown until you look at the score. I lost pretty much every battle I engaged in and, other than a lucky rock, my dice weren't even that great. I won through magic, guile, and board control.

I'm starting to see how the beast play, or, at least, how I am playing the beasts. I have mobile and cheap scoring units, a pile of fairly dirty tricks, and just enough weapons to be a little scary. This isn't an easy combination to master, I don't think, but it has worked for me in two games so far.

For individual units, the ungors and the cygor were the heroes of the match. The ungor fall back ability is huge in situations like this, and of course the Cygor had that clutch rock toss. I doubt I'll get something like that off again, but man, was it satisfying.

For the aftermath of the Path to Glory, I found an Arcane Waypoint (more wizards! Yay!), earned 10 savagery points, and managed to get most of my units out unscathed except for the Cygor, who will start a d3 wounds down next match. I'll be retiring the chariots, too, in favor of something with a little more punch.

Overall, it was a great game and I'm very much looking forward to the next one. Thanks for reading and thanks very much to my opponent!       


Now that was a very devious tactic to pull out the Bonereaper general like that.  It was so very apt for Beastmen!  I think that it certainly helped you, but your superior mobility is what really won you this game.  Your opponent also hesitated when I think that he should have charged, however, it's easy for me to say that from the armchair :D!

On the chariots specifically, I would not give up on them, yet.  They are a flanking unit, so you're starting to place them better, but they cannot survive being charged.  Chariots work best alongside other cavalry and can be very effective when charging on the flank.  Do you have any other cavalry you could pair them with?  I think that they would be more effective that way.

The report was very enjoyable to read.  Thank you for writing it up and well done for finally emerging victorious.
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Quote from: Irisado on October 11, 2023, 05:41:47 AM
Now that was a very devious tactic to pull out the Bonereaper general like that.  It was so very apt for Beastmen!  I think that it certainly helped you, but your superior mobility is what really won you this game.  Your opponent also hesitated when I think that he should have charged, however, it's easy for me to say that from the armchair :D!

I think he was worried (and rightly so) that the second he threw his guys at the middle, I'd loop around and take his rear objective. He was also worried that if he split up, I'd have better odds of winning enough to keep him from my home objective (also possible), so it really was a choice of evils.

QuoteOn the chariots specifically, I would not give up on them, yet.  They are a flanking unit, so you're starting to place them better, but they cannot survive being charged.  Chariots work best alongside other cavalry and can be very effective when charging on the flank.  Do you have any other cavalry you could pair them with?  I think that they would be more effective that way.

So, here's the problem with the chariots:
1) They are actually *slower* that many of my infantry units.
2) There are really no decent cavalry units that the beasts have access to (well, Centigors, but they aren't very good).
3) Unlike almost everything else in the book, they don't get any bonus to charge. So, they get the native +1" when ambushing (which means they need to make an 8" charge), but other stuff only needs to make a 7" charge, since they have a banner that gives them another +1." They are literally one of the lesser ambushing units, meaning their ability flank effectively is comparatively weak alongside, like, everything else I have access to.
4) The only thing they're much good at charging are 1-2 wound infantry (their impact hits only generate on a 5+ against anything bigger). Now, I don't actually have any problems with 1-2 wound infantry, not only because all my other units can handle them (gors can take on guys like that, bullgors mulch them, etc.), but also because my opponents (Bonereapers and Overlords) don't chiefly rely on those things much. I've got to be able to kill off or at least severely damage big, fat, multi-wound models and the chariots just *cannot* do that.

So, if they were substantially cheaper, I might consider it, but as it stands they just don't do the thing they are supposed to do. I might change my tune as the Nighthaunt start to get involved with our little Path To Glory (we have a 4th player, but he's brand new to the hobby and is taking a while to ramp up), but I sort of doubt it. There are way better things to spend points on in the army book.

QuoteThe report was very enjoyable to read.  Thank you for writing it up and well done for finally emerging victorious.

Thanks! This was a very satisfying game, as I feel I have provided the dominant member of our PtG league something to think about that may force him to alter his "keep all my monsters together and march up the board" strategy that is, honestly, quite demoralizing to play against.

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