Tuesday, 27 March 2018

WFB4 Battle Report: The Kraken's Lament vs Grumpgit's Goblin Snivellers

Yikes - the intro to this post shows how long I have been sat on it. It's not even the oldest draft post I have.

Orctober was a busy month for me hobby wise, not only were numerous greenskins painted up for various forces/rule sets and painting challenges, but I also managed to fit in some D&D and even a small introductory battle of WFB4 with one of my D&D group who has started collecting a small force of Dark Elves.

Apologies in advance that there are only photos of the beginning and end of the game. It was a tutorial game so I wasn't really thinking about a battle report at the time, but we are hoping to carry on with the story in a mini campaign, so decided to write it up for fun.

I've had these painted boards for about 20 years. MDF with green gloss on one side and yellow on the other. Crude but incredibly durable and versatile.

The battle field (approx 3'x3') was set up with deployment zones in the corners, Goblin Village on one side and hill top and woodland on the other for the sneaky Dark Elves to sneak about in. Sneaks.

Here we see the necessary accoutrements for a game of WFB4 in their natural habitat
An experienced roleplayer, with a love of the Old World from playing WFRP, she knows the background for Warhammer Fantasy Battle but was interested in learning the game so I suggested we play a small 500pt game (no magic) which would also give her a chance to figure out what her first purchases should be when building up her force. She brought along her newly assembled Corsairs, so they were the first unit on the list, but the models themselves got a spray undercoat so had to sit out the battle while we turned to my collection of unpainted Dark Elves and assorted other bits to make up her forces.

Her Dark Elf raiding party would face off against my small tribe of Goblins, in the hope of taking slaves and improving the reputation of her ambitious young champion before high tailing it back to their boat and then back to the Black Arc before it sailed too far ahead for them to rejoin the larger raiding force.


Dark Elf Champion w/ Light Armour, Repeater X-bow + Blade of Leaping Bronze (25 pts) - 77 pts
10 x X-bowmen - 130 pts
10 x Scouts - 130 pts
5 x Witch Elves - 60 pts
Repeater Bolt Thrower - 100 pts

Total: 497 pts


Goblin Big Boss w/ Light armour, Short Bow, Axe, Shield, riding a Gigantic Spider - 87pts
5 Wolf Riders w/ Shields (inc Standard Bearer)* - 60 pts
5 Wolf Riders w/ Short Bows (inc Musician)* - 60 pts
18 Goblin Spearmen w/ shields - 63 pts
2 Goblin Fanatics - 60 pts

9 Goblin Archers - 27 pts
Snotling Mob (3 bases) - 45 pts.
Goblin Doom Diver - 100pts

Total: 502 pts

*The leaders of the two Wolf Rider units are rivals, so one has a standard, and one has a musician, but neither have both, because that would be too convenient (and I was attempting to demonstrate their different functions, and the potential benefits of having both in the same unit). If I had been playing to win I would have put them all in one unit. Obvs.

Grumpgit's Goblin Snivellers have gathered  outside their huts to watch Doom Diver target practice

Grumpgit the Goblin Big Boss was grumpy. As usual. He was tired of getting pushed around by Hoggrash the Orc Big Boss from over the hill, just coz he was twice the size of Grumpgit and was best mates with Big Drekk the Warlord from down the fire caves, and liked to remind all the other tribal bosses at every opportunity. There was only one thing for it, he needed some mindless cruelty to take his mind of things. Grumpgit snatched up another Snotling that had got too drunk on Mushroom Beer to get out of the way in time and tossed it to his Gigantic Spider Rosey Red Knees to devour, before shouting for the boys to get the catapult set up. Maybe some Doom Diver target practice would cheer him up?

Caci Pyrerider, champion and leader of the Kraken's Lament raiding band, slunk silently through the shadows on the tree dotted hillside. Vekha Silentreaper, unit leader of her corsair scouts, had located a suitably miserable goblin village for them to execute a quick raid and score some new Goblin slaves for the bilges of the Black Arc. Caci was ambitious, but she also knew the key to success here was a quick and simple raid. They couldn't afford to get held up otherwise the Arc would be too far ahead for them to rejoin and they'd have to make their way home back along the blasted stretch of Naggaroth's coastline in disgrace. She'd commandeered one of the Arc's deck ballistae for the mission, and had chosen to base herself with the X-bowmen for this action. She planned to dominate the goblins with missile fire. That and she wanted to keep an eye on Tocek Duskcrusher, the treacherous unit leader and her potential rival for leadership of the raiding band. If this mission didn't go well she wanted to be close enough to put a knife between his ribs during the retreat before he could mount any kind of coup... Her thoughts returned to the present. She must focus. Now what on earth were those Goblin wretches gathered around outside that big hut?

Turn One

Caution was the watch word for the Dark Elves and having won the first turn it was the Witch Elves on their left flank that made the boldest move, pushing their way to the edge of the woods but remaining in cover. The Scouts advanced very cautiously in a skirmish formation while the Bolt Thrower took aim at the Wolf Riders and dropped two of them, forcing a leadership test which they only pass due to them still being next to the Big Boss in their starting formation! However, the Dark Elf champion was left cursing the Scouts who had ended up blocking the line of sight of her Crossbowmen, otherwise that might have been curtains for the first unit of Wolf Riders on the first turn!

Never fear! They didn't have to wait long as the remaining Wolf Riders (with bows) positioned themselves to shoot at the Scouts and lined up for a charge on the next turn (the cautious advance of the Dark Elves having prevented a charge straight out of the gates - damn them!) and would now be dead centre in the sights of those vicious Repeater X-bows. Grumpgit urged his Gigantic Spider (Rosey Red Knees) forward to back up the charge, but hopefully keep out of the way of the missile fire. The Goblin archers and their Snotling meat shields held their ground as protection for the all important Doom Diver, who took aim at the Bolt Thrower and only over shot by a couple of inches, unable to quite adjust in the wind, ending up a Goblin Pizza in the open space between the hill and the trees.

But what about the Goblin spearmen I hear you cry? The mainstay of Grumpgit's Snivellers line? Well they succumbed to animosity on their first turn and did nothing but shout abuse at the nearby archers. Well, I guess it did help show a new player all the fun of playing with/against Orcs and Goblins!

On the far flank the Wolf Riders more melee minded frenemies lowered their standard and charged into the Witch Elves skulking in the trees in front of them. This turned out to be a BAD IDEA (who would have guessed!?) and although they valiantly took down two Witch Elves (or rather their wolves did) the remaining Witch Elves ripped them a whole bunch of new green/furry arseholes in return, sending the surviving pair fleeing back a fair old 9 inches, but savagely following up a whopping 11 inches and butchering the lot of them in a blood soaked frenzy. As you do.

Turn Two

The second turn was all about the Dark Elves superior missile fire. The Witch Elves advanced along the edge of the goblin village trying to get close enough to charge the Goblin Archers while the Scouts backed up slightly and then opened fire along with the X-bowmen on the Wolf Riders in the middle, killing them all. This left the Bolt Thrower free to shoot at the Goblin Big Boss, choosing a single bolt it struck true leaving poor Rosey on a single wound.

The Snivelling Spearmen finally got their act together and marched forward into the gap left by the dearly departed Wolf Riders, hoping to tempt the cowardly Dark Elves into a charge so they could unleash their secret weapon. Without anyone to back up his charge Grumpgit held back. This was also a mistake. I thought about moving back into the cover of the trees, but I was worried this would bring him within charge range of the Witch Elves, he was a bit stuck really. Sadly the archers failed to take down any of the Witch Elves menacing their flank, and although the Doom Diver did manage to take out one of the crew of the Bolt Thrower this was clearly not going to be enough.

The cowardly Dark Elf scouts slink back into the cover of the trees having taken a mauling from a Goblin Fanatic

Turn Three and beyond

At the start of the next turn the Witch Elves charged the Goblin Archers in the flank, the small number of remaining models meaning they could bypass the Snotling defences. This seemed to cheer the Dark Elf forces and the Scouts finally made a more aggressive move to charge the Spearmen - just as I hoped they would! The unit parted to reveal two spinning balls of death with mushroom crazed goblins attached to them, stopping the Dark Elf charge in its tracks as they tried to dodge out of the way to no avail. The Fanatics did OK taking out four scouts and none of my own troops before being promptly shot to pieces by the nearby X-bowmen who didn't like the look of what might happen on the next turn. The Bolt Thrower targeted the Bog Boss and Gigantic Spider again, this time hitting the Goblin and killing him in a single hit, leaving a wounded spider limping about in circles. Meanwhile the Witch Elves had remarkably been held in combat having only killed one archer and a very low role on the resulting LD test for the Gobbos.

I must admit I can't entirely remember what happened towards the end. I know the Doom Diver missed by a couple of inches again, and that the Spearmen ended up loosing a combat and the resulting break test and then being caught and slaughtered (captured?), and the three remaining Witch Elves breaking the archers who then fled off the battle field. I think the X-bowmen put the Spider out of its misery and the Bolt Thrower took a chunk out of the Doom Diver catapult, but didn't destroy it.

Don't be decieved. Those Wood Elf archers are actually

There really wasn't any debate as to who won. The rampaging Witch Elves saw off all resistance and the village was left abandoned to the Snotlings, who soon enacted Darwin's Law by deciding to play with the Doom Diver catapult unsupervised...

We didn't bother with victory points. The dead piles told their own story at the end.

Dark Elf dead pile - note the genuine giant spider corpse in authentic web in the nearby trees. That's what you get if you store your scenery in the garage...

Goblin dead/captured pile

My opponent was rewarded for her victory with 10 un-built and unpainted Goblin Archers I had going spare to add to her small but growing collection, and to represent the Goblin slaves her Dark Elf raiders had taken with them.

Even though my Goblins were completely massacred I'm still counting it as a win, as my main objective was to show how much fun old school Herohammer could be, and the best evidence of that is that we are planning for the next game, where her wily Dark Elf raiders need to avoid being smashed before they can get back to their boat, by Big Boss Hoggrash and his nearby Orc tribe who have been alerted to their presence by all those fleeing gobbos!

Thanks for reading. Do pop back for the next installment.

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