I had my first game using both the Chaos Dwarf Ravening Hordes list and the new 8th edition rules. Overall, I really like the new rules, though there are some aspects of it that I need to get accustomed to, such as the random charge range.
We had decided on 2000 pt armies and my opponent was using Dwarfs. While I don’t remember the specifics of everything he had, here is what I recall:
Dwarf Lord (never saw combat, but usually this character is more defensive than offensive).
BSB (again, never saw combat so I have no idea what kind of runes he had)
2 Dragon Slayers (not sure if he had any runes on either of them. One never saw combat and the other was rolling 4 attacks but there didn’t seem to be any enhancements that I was aware of)
15 Longbeards (his Lord and BSB were in this unit)
10 Longbeard Rangers w/ Great weapons
20 Ironbreakers w/ runic standard that allowed a single break test to be taken on 1d6.
15 Slayers (both Dragon Slayers were in this unit)
I had just received my new rulebook about 30 minutes before this game was played, as such, I didn’t have time to change out magic items so these are taken from the Ravening Hordes list and 7th edition Common Magic Item list.
Lord w/ heavy armor; Obsidian Blade, Enchanted Shield (205)
Hero BSB w/ heavy armor (89)
Sorcerer (Fire) w/ Lvl 2 (100) Spells: Fireball and Burning Bolts
Sorcerer (Metal) w/ Lvl 2 (100) Spells: Default and Gehenna’s Golden Hounds
19 Warriors w/ FC; War Banner (226)
20 Warriors w/ FC (210)
20 Warriors w/ great weapons; FC (250)
15 Warriors w/ blunderbusses; musician (190)
15 Warriors w/ blunderbusses; musician (190)
30 Hobgoblins w/ light armor, shield; FC (150)
20 Hobgoblins w/ bows (100)
Death Rocket (80)
The battlefield was interesting. There was a Venomous Woods, a scree slope, and a sorcerous portal on the field. A watchtower was on my half of the board as well and there were two normal hills and an area of boulders that offered hard cover, but otherwise acted like a forest.
I placed my hobgoblin archers in the venomous wood on the far right side of my deployment zone. The sorcerous portal was on the opposite side of the field in the Dwarf deployment zone. That piece of scenery and the fact that I had placed my hobgoblins relatively near to it influenced my opponent’s deployment to the point where he deployed fully on the other half of his zone. My hobgoblin horde was placed roughly in the center of the line. To its left were the warriors bearing the War Banner, accompanied by my Lord. To their left I deployed the other warrior unit with the army BSB, then blunderbusses accompanied by my Fire sorcerer, the great weapon armed warriors with my Metal sorcerer, and finally the other blunderbuss unit. My earthshaker and death rocket were deployed behind my line, roughly centered.
My opponent deployed his dwarfs with quarrellers behind the scree slope on his far right, then his 10 warriors supporting his longbeards. In front of them were the Ironbreakers and in front of them were the Slayers. His bolt thrower was deployed in an elevated position in some ruins. The longbeard rangers defended the wall on the edge of the ruins and his other unit of quarrellers were deployed next to the ruins, marking the extent of his battleline.
I’ll just give some highlights of the battle as I didn’t take notes on it.
In my first magic phase I rolled Irresistable Force on my first spell with 3 dice trying to cast Burning Bolts. I promptly rolled the miscast result that centered the large template over myself and blasted everything with a S10 hit. The sorcerer took a wound but managed to avoid being sucked into the warp. A lone blunderbusser also survived this catastrophic mishap. Suddenly, I was unsure of how much I was going to like magic in 8th edition. My first shooting phase was also horrendous. The earthshaker misfired but luckily only missed that turn of firing because of it. The death rocket veered wildly off course and caused no damage.
The Dwarfs marched toward me. My opponent sent his quarrellers up the scree slope. After two turns of moving he lost 4 models to Dangerous Terrain tests. By this time, my blunderbusses on my left flank had moved over a hill and were nearly in front of the quarrellers on the scree slope. He had deployed his slayers in an interesting fashion:
sssss s=slayer; D=Dragon slayer
He charged in two different directions with the Dragon Slayers. They were kind of like controllable goblin fanatics. One of the slayers charged my blunderbussers but failed to reach them. I had opted to stand and fire. The slayer was unaffected by the storm of shrapnel, but my fire zone extended into the quarrellers on the scree slop, killing about 5 of them, a few slayers in the unit the Dragon Slayer had just charged out of, and a couple of the Iron Breakers behind them. Needless to say, he was shocked at the amount of devastation i had caused and was immensely glad i had obliterated my other unit of them.
My bad luck continued with the death rocket destroying itself. My earthshaker successfully fired twice but caused only a couple of wounds. It did manage to slow the main block of his force, but by this time they weren’t moving much anyhow as the slayers had engaged my warriors and had bottle-necked his troops. Then his miners arrived on Turn 2 and on Turn 3 destroyed my earthshaker. My warriors with great weapons about-faced and charged them, driving them off and running them down. I also managed to miscast with my metal sorcerer, causing him to lose a magic level and the Golden Hounds spell.
On the plus side, I had moved my sorcerers out of their units toward the end of the game and my opponent had targeted my Fire sorcerer with his bolt thrower. He hit him but failed to wound him. The next turn he was able to shoot at my Metal sorcerer with it and failed to hit him.
In the end the game was a draw in my favor. I had destroyed over half of one quarreller unit, killed a Dragon Slayer, slaughtered the remaining slayers, avenged my earthshaker by running down the miners and drove of the Iron Breakers. In return I had lost my hobgoblin archers to a failed panic test from a fireball generated from the sorcerous portal that caused them to flee the board. My hobgoblin horde had been nickle-and-dimed by bolt thrower and quarrller shots and were run off when they assaulted the rangers defending the wall of the ruins. I had also lost the blunderbussers I fried with magical backlash, and had lost my Fire sorcerer to a lucky shot by a quarreller. Also, both of my war machines had been destroyed.
The game was entertaining. I do like the new rules and can’t wait to experiment with some different Lores of Magic and magic items from the rulebook (I really want to convert a Sorcerer on a flying carpet ). I also plan on changing up my army list. I think I’ll try some bolt throwers so that I have some armor piercing artillery and bulk up my horde of hobgoblins a bit more. I have to say that there is VERY little maneuvering in a battle against Dwarfs. We both just sort of sludged toward one another. It was very different from my fast moving ratmen and Chaos Knights. I was most impressed with the amount of damage blunderbuss units can dish out. I think that they will be the first units I finish converting and painting.
Next game should be against my son’s Brettonians and I’ll make sure to take notes so that I can write a proper battle report.