I had the opportunity to play a game against an old friend of mine last weekend with my old school CD’s. He wanted to try a game with the new Lizards book, to which I hesitantly agreed. You see…He has a bit of a reputation as ‘that guy.’ If you don’t know what I mean, you will soon enough…
My List (the armies were 2250pts apiece, by the by)
Jon-Jon the Cow Man - CD Lord on Great Taurus w/Black Hammer, shield, Armour of the Furnace - orange
Little Billy - Sorc w/2 scrolls - in BB unit A
Mighty Steve - Bull Centaur BSB w/Sword of Might, Armour of Gaz - in BC unit
20 Warriors w/FC - purp
14 'busses A - brown
15 'busses B - yellow
10 Hobbo Archers - grey
10 Hobbos A - white
10 Hobbos B - blue
10 Wolfies w/armour, Shields, mus. - green
15 Black Orcs w/Shields, std, mus., War Banner - olive
20 Sneaky Gits - black
Death Rocket - black
2 BTs - green
6 Centaurs w/heavy armour - red
Earthshaker - red
So as you can see, not exactly the most roughneck, beard-to-the-wall list ever. In fact, a lot of my choices were either due to my limited number of CD models (I don’t convert, I only use the old school big-hats so my collection tops out at around 3000pts) or the fact that to me it really just doesn’t feel like a Chaos Dwarf army without some Sneaky Gits, Black Orcs, Hobbo Archers, and Death Rockets, no matter how suboptimal these choices may be. In fact, the only thing that’s really hardcore about this list is how hardcore nostalgic it is. Now take a look at…
His List (Which he happily obliged me when I mentioned I wanted to make a BR from our game. I later used it as toilet paper.)
Slann - hiding in 2nd rank of the TG unit (yeah, he can do that and still cast away with impunity, even in combat)
-this guy was tooled out like you wouldn’t believe. Get this… He rerolls results on the miscast table, adds a free PD to every spell he casts, knows all spells in whatever lore he chooses, and chooses a wizard within 24" every enemy magic phase who has to discard all rolls of 6 when casting. He also comes with a magic item that doubles any wounds caused by him on one character (of course he chose my big flying beasty man), is upgraded to a BSB with some magic rag that gives him and his unit -1 to be hit by shooting, and has a dispel scroll and three power stones.
Skink Priest on an Engine of the Gods with an item giving him an extra spell - brown
- if you don’t know what the engine does, combined with his magic item it basically makes him a level 3 wizard and gives him some cauldron of blood/anvil of doom style abilities that he can use once every shooting phase. Oh yeah, and it’s mounted on the back of an Ancient Stegadon. More on that later.
10 Skinks A - red
10 Skinks B - blue
10 Skinks C - yellow
3 Terradons A - orange
3 Terradons B - light blue
3 Terradons C - black
- In case you haven’t heard, these guys are brutal. They can fly through forests, get to move after they flee just like fast cav, and when they fly over a unit they drop rocks and inflict D3 S4 hits PER TERRADON. He had 9 of these things!
16 Temple Guard w/std & champ - green
Ancient Steg A - purp
Ancient Steg B - white
Basically a chariot and a giant beasty rolled into one… Except in this case each giant beasty has mounted on his back a couple of contraptions that together get 4D6 shots at S3 with poison per Stegadon. Per Stegadon. Also don’t forget that he has another one of these things being ridden by his priest. For those of you who are bad at math, that’s 12D6 S3 poisoned shots per turn. So yummy in my tummy.
So my initial reaction was a feeling of mild nausea followed by an intense hour and a half of projectile vomiting. I felt like some minor circuit nobody being tossed into the ring to box with Muhammad Ali. To make matters worse, school and work have kept me from really sitting down and playing a game of Warhammer since around October, while he’s one of those tournament-hopping hotshots with something to prove in every game he plays. You’re probably all thinking the same thing I was at this point. Anyway, I’m not going to bore you with long, drawn out descriptions of deployment and terrain so I’ll just let MS Paint do the talking for me:
That’s a spicy meat-a-ball-a!
The lower half is the side of the good guys, the upper half belongs to the green slimy cheese-huggers. For lores, his Slann took Death (knowing all the spells as he does - joy of joys) and his Skink Priest was ‘stuck’ with Heavens and rolled Comet, Forked Lightning, and Celestial Shield which he swapped for Portent. Good old Little Billy stuck with the tried and tested Fireball for his spell.
So my thinking for this game is I’m going to try and castle up as best as I can and whittle away his TG death star with whatever shooting I can throw on them. Oh, I should mention at this point that his Engine, unless stated otherwise, was using its ability to bless everything within 12" with a 5+ ward save vs shooting… Because heaven forbid me and my mighty 2 page army book might actually have the audacity to defy the gods themselves. I had a feeling this night was going to result in about 20 minutes of Warhammer and 3 hours of crying.
…Thankfully the gods were playing Guitar Hero or something when the roll for first turn came since the CD won it despite having deployed last.
Chaos Dwarf Turn 1
Mercifully, all my units decided to behave themselves and not run screaming headfirst into the meat grinder due to animosity. I did some positional shifting with the Wolfies, Centaurs, and Taurus, as well as move the ‘busses up some in the hopes that they wouldn’t be horribly butchered before getting a chance to show the Temple Guard how much they love them. My Death Rocket (or as I like to call it, Old Reliable - seriously, I swear the previous owner of this army had some kind of voodoo blessing placed on it) hit dead smack in the middle of the TG unit and knocked 4 of them on their reptilian butts… Although ironically the one taking the S8 hit was unharmed. He must’ve caught the rocket in his teeth or something. I aimed the Earthshaker at the flank with 2 terradons and a Steg hoping I might luck out and hit one or two, but it scattered into nowhereland. Thankfully it still managed to accomplish its primary goal of slowing the Terradons down to a 10" move, stopping them from peppering my Centaurs with rocks and javelins. Also, one of the Bolt Throwers managed to put a wound on the Engine Steg. The Archers, predictably, sat around picking their noses as they were out of range.
Lizards Turn 1
Well, here it comes, the legion of PAIN is ready to exact some vengeance for those 4 brave Lizards I so insolently sent to their amphibian creators. Everyone who wasn’t just there to fill up a core slot and act as cheerleaders moved up full tilt. The magic phase, as you might expect, was something of a spectacle. The Skink Priest threw 4 dice at the Comet which had to be scrolled. The Dark Hand of Death lovingly embraced 2 Hobgoblin slaves and Wind of Death was stopped with dice. D&D was cast on one of the slave units. All things considered, that wasn’t as brutal as I was expecting but things were sure to get a lot hairier next turn.
So the tradeoff is 4 Temple Guard for 2 Hobgoblins? Sweet, I think I can live with that.
Chaos Dwarf Turn 2
At the start of the turn, the Hobgoblins, as is to be expected, did not pass their Ld3 test and so remained under the grasp of D&D for another turn. Damn you, ghost of Gygax!
The animosity gods were not so kind to me this time. The Hobbos on my right decided to fight over who had the biggest crush on Ashley Tisdale (which is quite silly, as clearly nobody has a bigger crush on Ashley Tisdale than I do), slowing the advance of the Black Orcs behind them. The Wolf Riders decided turtling is for suckas and ran 5" forward towards the Terradons. I consoled myself with the fact that they were now close enough that I could attempt a charge on the little buggers, who somehow were under the belief that being 1" inside a forest grants you total immunity from shooting and charging. Predictably, they fled. None shall challenge the might of the little green men in purple pyjamas riding dogs! Jon-Jon the Cow Man was feeling ballsy and wanted to test his new toy against the Ancient Steg that so arrogantly marched itself right into his way. For his troubles, his Taurus took 2 wounds and he himself caught a dart in the eye. That’s okay, an eyepatch would just make him even more badass. Mighty Steve and the Bull Centaurs, not to be outdone, charged at the Terradons who fled, and the Bull Centaurs passed their terror test to EITW right into the flank of the other jolly green giant. In my opponent’s defense, he thought he had positioned his ‘dons such that the Centaurs would have to go through the woods to hit them but it turned out I could wheel and just clip the one closest to the table edge without touching the forest. The S&S resulted in 3 wounds, but clearly the Chaos Dwarf blacksmiths made the centaur’s heavy armour with a little bit of the secret ingredient and they all made their 4+ saves. Some other positional dancing went on… By the way, if you’re wondering what those Sneaky Gits are doing just chilling out in the forest, I put them there to prevent the Terradons getting a free ride into that forest from which they could roll up Bunker Hill with impunity.
The shooting phase saw Old Reliable miss its mark (that’s okay, even voodoo isn’t foolproof) while the Earthshaker managed to not only knock 1 more Temple Guard from the unit, it slowed and stopped from shooting the TG and Engine. The Archers decided they didn’t feel like doing anything that turn, but the yellow ‘busses made up for this by knocking 2 Skinks off the engine platform, meaning it would ‘only’ pump out 2D6 shots from that giant blowpipe instead of 4D6 if it managed to escape the grasp of the Earthshaker. One of the Bolt Throwers had found its mark on the Engine Steg and even managed to wound it, but the high fives and spraying of champagne were cut short as it bounced off the ward save with an unsatisfying ‘ping!‘
In combat, the 8 S6 attacks from Jon-Jon and his beloved flying cow Norman combined for 3 wounds against the big lizard, with its 3 return attacks against the Taurus resulting in another wound. Norman was looking a bit worse for wear but thankfully the Skinks’ ineffectual sissy slaps were not enough to finish the job. With the Slann nearby the thing easily passed the resulting break test. Meanwhile, Mighty Steve and the Centaurs unloaded their bovine fury onto the Ancient Steg, felling it with a mighty “KA-THUD!” The Skinks, in retaliation, dragged down one of the Centaurs and gnawed him to death before booking it off the end of the board. The Centaurs decided with the Terradons lurking nearby it would be best for them to hightail it off the board with a pursuit to be spared a rocky doom.
Things are starting to get a bit hectic, wouldn’t you say?
Lizards Turn 2
Things had certainly taken a turn for the worse in the last round (no thanks in part to a little bit of above-average rolling by myself - remember, always use the purple and gold dice when your army’s color scheme is purple and gold! The dice gods are pleased by consistency). However, the Slann and Skink Priest were still around and just beginning to warm up for the real show. The Terradons nearest the Wolf Riders rallied and moved towards the center of the board. The other fleeing Terradon unit decided they’d seen enough for today and headed home. The third unit, however, rocked the blunderbusses. I mean, they rocked them hard. Like, 6 wounds hard. And to add insult to injury, they sent another brave Chaos Dwarf to feast with his ancestors in Valhalla via their javelins. Thankfully they passed the resulting panic test, but just barely.
Finally, it was time for 1000 points of magic to show what it could do. I prepared myself for the worst. I adopted the fetal position and began weeping under the table. I silently prayed to Hashut for a quick deliverance. Children ran screaming in terror and mothers attempted to shelter their babies from the terrible wrath that was to be visited upon the neighborhood that day. The skies darkened and the rivers ran red with the blood of the innocent.
…Then the Skink Priest miscast his first spell and ended the magic phase, wounding himself in the process. That was certainly anticlimactic. No prizes for guessing it was on another 4 dice attempt at the Comet.
In the combat phase, Jon-Jon and Norman finished off the Ancient Steg, the Skinks this time attempting to tickle the flying cow to death. They were promptly run down for their shenanigans, and Jon-Jon found himself flying headfirst into a bunch of very angry-looking Temple Guard. Apparently they don’t like it when you beat up their little buddies.
I say, does anyone happen to know where the rest of my army went?
Chaos Dwarf Turn 3
Well, despite my very expensive and very beat up general getting himself in a bit of a pickle, I’d say things have certainly started to turn my way. The Hobgoblin Archers, true to their useless nature, decided to run up 2" just because. The BC’s re-entered the table and headed back towards the middle, but not before Mighty Steve decided to say his sweet farewells and go chasing after some Skinks that had until now had very little to do besides eat flies and look pretty. The Wolf Riders raced up the opposite flank ready to do likewise. Meanwhile, the Blunderbusses basically resigned themselves to death as they pulled a 180 and changed formation to a 4x2 block, ready to shoot the Terradons before becoming easy prey for the Stegadon. This served a dual purpose as I was hoping the bait of an easy rear charge would distract the Steg’s attention from my very expensive Black Orc unit, which it could probably rampage through with impunity. Just to be safe, I angled my Hobgoblin units in such a way that if he charged one of them, his overrun/pursuit path would lead him into my Chaos Dwarf unit where I could then countercharge in the flank with my Black Orcs. This would ensure my frowny face would be turned into a happy face.
…Not that it ended up mattering, as the thing and its priest got smoked by war machine fire anyway. Who else but trusty Old Reliable would deliver the killing blow? The Terradons took a wound from Blunderbuss fire and the Archers once again lived up to their reputation by accomplishing absolutely jack all. In combat, Jon-Jon decided he didn’t feel like dying today so he issued a challenge to the Temple Guard champ. I guess he was a Temple Guard chump because he decided to decline the challenge and sip margaritas in the back rank with the Slann. Jon-Jon and Norman proceeded to plough through no less than 4 Temple Guard. Despite his valiant efforts he ended up losing the combat by one but held anyway. There’s still lots of killin’ left to do!
Lizards Turn 3
Having seen quite enough of Old Reliable’s usual tricks, the Terradons made it a point to try and silence it once and for all. The left flank Terradons also raced up the board ready to try and roll up Bunker Hill before it was too late. The Slann, having finally been freed of that meddling Skink who messed all up his jam last turn, was ready to do some wheelin’ and dealin’. First a Dark Hand of Death was cast on the Black Orcs, which I had to let go. It killed 3 and I was a sad panda. Then came Wind of Death on the same unit with a good ol’ Power Stone (one of many, it seems) and I had to let that one go also. It killed 4 more. Tear. Then out came the big guns. Drain Life was cast with a Power Stone and despite me rolling my dispel dice and crossing my fingers for double 6’s, it went off. Seriously, does that ever work when you actually want it to? Anyway, both Norman and Jon-Jon shrugged off the spell (thank Hashut) but the Hobgoblins lost 2 more and passed their panic check with the general nearby. Now came the spell that I was dreading, Steal Soul on poor Norman in an attempt to finish off the giant flying cow. Thankfully it didn’t go off with irresistible force (despite yet another Power Stone being munched) so I scrolled it quicker than you can say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” All in all, I think I got out lucky from that one. The Black Orcs passed their panic test, and all I can say is thank goodness for Ld8 on those boys. A fail there would’ve really ruined my day.
In combat, the Terradons managed to successfully bumrush one of the Death Rocket crew and the remaining bum flailed his arms helplessly, but held. The Temple Guard champ must’ve found his manhood in the back of that unit or just learned from last round and issued a challenge of his own. He was quickly and summarily butchered for his courage but the unit easily held.
Dear me, where did all this blood come from?
Chaos Dwarf Turn 4
By now it was looking as though unless there was a large swing in points the Chaos Dwarfs would come out the victors in this little game of cat and mouse. Mighty Steve heroically charged the cheerleader Skinks and was heroically slain by two out of the five stand-and-shoot javelins despite his T5 and 1+ armour save. So much for the secret ingredient. The Bull Centaurs also closed in on the flank of the currently preoccupied Temple Guard and the Wolf Riders scurried up to the flank of the Skinks ready to lay down some cheerleaders (now, how often does a Warhammer geek like me get to say that?). The Black Orcs turned around hoping that the lone Death Rocket crewman ate his wheaties this morning, because if he held in this combat phase it would likely be the end of the Terradons even if they killed him in their turn.
Between the Earthshaker, two bolt throwers, the Archers, the Blunderbusses, and yes, even a fireball which went through thanks to some double 1’s on the dispel dice, the left flank Terradons were sent to drop rocks on some other poor sod up in Lizard heaven. Norman and Cow Man killed 4 more TG and they were seriously starting to look much worse for wear. Also, as it turns out, the lone Death Rocket crewman did have part of a balanced breakfast as the 2 Terradons and their Skink pals failed to scratch him and the combat ended in a draw (as I had oh-so-cleverly-totally-by-accident placed the rocket such that he had high ground in the combat).
By this point my opponent conceded as even if he were to kill my general it was looking extremely unlikely that he could pull off enough of a comeback to salvage the game, as the Bull Centaurs were looking hungrily at the 2 remaining Temple Guard and the rather wimpy Slann who had run out of friends to hide behind. The Wolf Riders were also set to roll up his entire squadron of Skink onlookers and the rest, as they say, is history.
So long and thanks for all the fish!
All in all, I’m not above admitting I had to have a little bit of luck in some clutch moments but I feel the luck on both sides pretty much evened out. I’m still a little choked about Mighty Steve biting the curb to 5 little sticks with pointy rocks tied to them, but them’s the breaks. My opponent made a few little mistakes, the biggest I feel was his choice of lore for his Slann. Had he chosen something more destructive like fire magic, he could’ve pelted me with damage from afar instead of allowing me to sit back and turtle the way I did. His rationale was that he knew my giant flying cow was immune to fire and he wanted something to make sure he could deal with it in case his giant blowpipes crapped out or got destroyed before they were in range. He also rushed up too fast and got himself out of position, allowing me to roll both those Ancient Stegs with my Taurus and Centaurs. Let this be a lesson to all you aspiring cheese-mongers that making a vicious, cutthroat army list doesn’t necessarily make you a smart player. Overall I feel it was a pretty good game, and in the end everyone likes to hear when the underdog comes through, right? Anyway, until next time.