Last night we played our first turn of Nightowls in the Badlands campaign, the warherd of Grosque Manculler facing off against James's (Xisor's) red skinned Orc hoard, led by the mighty Warboss Morfang, straddling his equally impressive wyvern.
The setting for this encounter is that Grosque, goat for hire, has been sent ahead of the warherd to clear any resistance to the southerly migration of the rest of Kravyn's armies. Morfang's Orcs would be the first major conflict for the beastmen in this new land.
We played blood and glory. From my mines, I had an additional 30 points of magic items to take with my 2000point army...woohoo. Xisor, on the other hand, had a mighty 300 extra points! So effectively it was 2030 vs 2300 points. Yikes!
Unfortunately, as lists are closed I can't reveal too much of what our armies had. The jist of my list was:
Great Bray Shamen, lore of death, L3
Beastlord, magic weapon, magic armour (sorry about the vagueness)
Wargor BSB, heavy armour, great weapon
L1 Beast shamen
39 Gors with additional hand weapon
2x 20 ungor
3x 1x razorgors
35 bestigors, magic banner
And, across the board, Xisor lined up with:
Warboss on wyvern
Nob with bsb (are they nobs in fantasy?)
3x shamens - two orc shamens (one on boar) and one gobbo shamen
2x 20 black orcs
1x 40 big uns
1 x 20 orcs
2x 5 boarboys
So, a proper good match up!
I'm not going to lie, there wasn't much tactics - we both lined up and ran at each other. Failed charges littered the first turns - my two blocks of gors and bestigors failed the 13in charges, then the orc hoard made it and a black orc unit didn't. That allowed my bestigors to flank charge his orc unit. On the other side of the combat, his orc warboss and his wyvern got the corner of my unit, where I foolishly had placed my L3 and took him out in a brutal turn of combat. Magic phase was now a problem, as my only mage was a L1 with Wissans wildform!
Luckily, my mage proved a champion, and by shamelessly casting wissans on 6 dice every turn helped carry the game - T5 gors was just too much for Xisor's orcs to deal with with a large killer unit of bestigors on their flank. The boss and wyvern and the orc boys both fled and eventually, after much skipping and rallying and panicing, ended up carrying themselves off the board.
My ungor proved more trouble than they were worth. One unit stay on the flank, got ruthlessly charged and then fled off the board. The other I put in beastmen ambush and worried me as I rolled a 2 literally every turn until turn 6. When they finally came on it was too late to do anything.
My chariot charged the flank of a black orc unit and in some characteristic under par rolling utterly bounced off, and did nothing of note for the rest of the game.
My razorgors were great too- harrying every unit possible. They didn't know whether they were coming or going, and the number of leadership 6 rolls they made was truly impressive. The key moment came when one declared a charge on a lone shamen on boar, who Xisor chose to flee, and caused his nearby BSB unit to panic! He managed to rally them at the last moment to keep them in the game.
There were plenty of hair raising moments for both armies - Xisor's aptitude at rolling 6's for foot of Gork (and the repeated "stompy stompy stomp!" chant from the sidelines of the crowd) caused me alot of grief, taking out 13 bestigors in one stomp! Again, my lack of a level 3+ caster meant my dispel phase was very carefully thought out (keeping all my dice for foot of gork and allowing everything else free reign).
In the final turns, Xisor's animosity earlier in the game had left is units in vulnerable positions. Knowing he needed at least two units to charge my bestigor and general, he couldn't get them in reasonable position without leaving them vulnerable to counter charges, so threw a gobbo shamen in the bestigors way to stall them - Typical black orc tactic. I also had a razorgor flee right between my bestigors and his black orcs, meaning neither could charge. Turn six ended with both heavily armoured units glaring each other down with a panicked piggie in the middle!
By the end of the game, we'd both taken a huge toll on each others armies, but equal on fortitude points. On victory points however the Beastmen came out triumphant.
Xisor was a great opponant who revelled in the opportunity to pitch his brute force against mine. His Warboss who fled rolled lucky on the aftermath chart, and gained an extra wound from his experiences.
Only my level 3 death great bray shamen (whose name I hadn't learnt before the campaign) was knocked unconscious by a wyvern, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger - he earnt +1 toughness (T6 mage!) and the name Mhurk.
My level 1, whose libral casting of wissans carried me the game, earnt himself first pickings of the corpse of the annoying goblin shamen who was thrown at the feet of my bestigor by the black orcs to stall their charge. He found a channeling staff. Grosque also told him never to join his unit again as his miscasts took out almost ten brave bestigors.
And finally, on a happy note, after the battle one of my razorgors had a razorpiglet. mother and child are doing well. The father was last seen on the temple of skulls, praying to his porcine deity and grew wings and flew away. I suspect hes looking for the orc warboss and his pet wyvern. I didn't roll for this.
So unfortunately I didn't take any photos - games are often too fun to bother pulling yourself away and take really good photos. I do however have a few of Xisor's Fireborne red orcs to show you all the quality of his army - it will look amazing once finished!
That skin tone is better than some bloodletters I've seen. Friday heralds the beginning of turn 2, I'll try and update with a few more photos before then.