Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Garagehammer Campaign - Dogs of War vs. Empire Battle Report

“The people think we no longer exist, that we no longer matter,” complained the paymaster as he paced within his castle.

“Obsolete, retired, and no longer legal have been used to describe us,” the paymaster continued.

“Sir, you do realize that this Formal Announcement from the Queen, or FAQ as they call it, states we can no longer hire Ogres from the ogre kingdoms,” piped in Chase.

“Screw the empire and their money grabbing attempts at oppressing the free market,” the paymaster responded angrily.

“But sir, the FAQ states that we cannot legally operate, and yet they continue to offer up our services in their kingdom,” replied Chase.

“Very well, they may wish for us to go quietly into the night, but that is not something I am content to do. Gather the men; we march on the closest Empire province. Tonight we remind them that we still exist.”

In this battle report, I played Tom’s Empire army as part of the Garagehammer campaign. The scenario for this game was the default one that has us lining up and fighting for victory points. With regards to the campaign, I believe this was the first invasion gaming being played and it was a chance for me to bust out of the corner that I was stuck in.

Tom’s Army
Arch Lector
Lvl 3 Wizard w/ Fire
BSB w/ magic items
40+ block of swordsmen
10 knights
20+ block of great swords
5 outriders
2 mortars
2 cannons
1 helblaster
1 rocket rack

My army
Merchant Prince w/ Ogre Sword, Tilean Plate, Enchanted Shield, 4+Ward, Barded Warhorse
Level 4 Hireling Wizard Lord w/ Arbyan Tome
Level 2 Hireling Wizard w/ Plaque of Chotec
Paymaster w/ Armour of Destiny
15 Marksmen of Mirgliano
5 Vespero Vendetta
5 Cavaliers w/ full command & Razor Standard
10 Braganza’s Besieger
4 Ogres with full command & Movement Banner (+1 movement)
1 Espringal
2 Mercenary Cannons

Tom had set-up his helblaster in a ruined building on the southern flank. All of his other war machines were deployed across his deployment zone, with one cannon stationed on top of an impassible mound. In comparison, I had the ogres positioned to move straight ahead, flanked on each side by a cannon and a unit of crossbowmen. I used scout to position Vespero to advance along the northern flank in the hope of dealing with a cannon and some outriders.

Early Turns
Tom started the game with his war machines firing at the marksmen and killing 10 of them. His outriders also took down a member of Vespero’s crew.

During my turn, I advanced Vespero and the knights with the merchant prince towards the northern cannons and outriders. I also pushed forward the ogres. During the magic phase, I was able to get off Dwellers and remove Tom’s cannon that was sitting on top of the mound. During my shooting phase, I got off a very lucky cannon shot that killed his wizard who had failed his ‘Look Out Sir’ and ward saves.

Middle Turns
The middle of the game saw Tom killing a couple of ogres with his helblaster. He was also able to wipe out the Marksmen with his knights. Finally, his cannons were able to pick-off Vespero himself.

During my turn, what remained of Vespero and the Knights were able to hit his outriders and cannon. Wiping them out, they moved to the north to engage the block of swordsmen and rocket rack. With nothing to hinder my wizards, I continued to unleash the big spells on everything in range. Final Transmutation was able to kill a number of knights and swordsmen over a couple of turns.

Final Turns
The game concluded with my ogres, prince, and duelist units sandwiching his swordsmen. I was worried at first that it may be a disaster for me as I was not hitting well, but in the end, I was able to break the unit and chase them off the board.

The last turn of the game was me playing a game of cat & mouse between his remaining mortars and great swords. I know he was trying to bait me into charging them, but I kept my head on the objective and pulled back and around the mortars, thus prevent him from charging my last duelist or prince.

In the end, I ended up winning the game by a difference of 886. The game seemed close at the end with me only having a few models left in each of my units, but once you look at the differences in model count (2:1 in Tom’s favor), it was a pretty significant win for me.

The game changer was when I was able to hit his wizard with a cannon ball. I got lucky with the shot, but sometimes that is how the game plays out. Without anything to slow down my magic phase, I was able to remove rows from the swordmen and knights.

Lessons Learned…
1. I made the mistake of posting the first part of this battle report on the campaign forum. It was a mistake because Tom seemed to have been offended by it and posted his own quick report that spun the game as not being a huge loss for him. Again, it was a good game between us, but in the end, I was still sitting on a level 4 wizard, a merchant prince, a fully crewed cannon, two ogres, a paymaster with a single Marksmen, and a single duelist. In comparison, Tom had two mortars, a helblaster, and his great swords with lector. Another turn would have likely seen the two mortars dead and the great swords hit with some big magic.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a really fun game with Tom and would love to play him again. His army was a challenge to beat, so I am not claiming that it was anything less than a hard fought battle. I guess I was just surprised by his post and wondered if he had taken my opening narrative the wrong way. Hopefully we can chat sometime in the near future and clear things up.

2. I am starting to believe in the elite army again. Now that I am getting a handle on the rules, I am finding that if I deploy smart and focus on the objectives, I can win games, or at least stay in them.

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