Saturday 13 August 2016

Oldhammer Weekend 2016: A Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers Battle

Battle reports can be deathly dull. As anyone who has seen Red Dwarf's 'Meltdown' episode (and Rimmer's Risk story) will attest, the recount of dice rolls and tactical movement hardly make interesting or worthwhile reading. As I said before, I took part in a single game during the Oldhammer Weekend and that was on the Sunday morning with the rest of the Tale of Four Oldhammer Gamers crew - namely Chico, Steve and Paul.

As you can see from the opening image, Chico was in a typically restrained mood and spent some careful moments setting out his horde of hobgoblins. They certainly looked very impressive, with their abundance of grey, the mass of near identical bases drawing the force together in a nice coherent whole. You may not know this, but our Chico is a prize-winner with his armies, often picking up awards at tournaments and whatnots. Alas, it was not to be for him at this particular event.

Warlord Paul brought along his undead and as they seemed most suitably matched with my undead, we joined forces. Looking over his models made me laugh, remembering the verb he coined earlier on in the year - namely 'warlording', or spending an incredibly long time painting a model who ends up looking rather unimportant.

When we could prize Steve Casey away from the Casting Room, he set up his unique Slann force across the table from me. Considering the short period of time the Citadel Collector has been painting models, his army looked bright and rather vigorous ranked up on our gaming table. You don't often get to see a decent sized Slann army and it was certainly a treat to play against one. Note must be made of his excellently poised giant spider (which you should just be able to make out to the rear of his line) and Mr. Casey has proven to be a highly skilled converter of models of late. I am looking forwards to seeing what he comes up with in future.

And yours truly, the author of this blog, and the Chaos Warband of Nurgle I have been working on over the past twelve months. Small but putridly formed!

The game got going after much faffing about with armylists and much flicking through rulebooks. Chico and Steve won the roll off and end up with the first turn. They moved forwards in a vague line towards Paul and my troops. Chico's massed ranks of hobgoblins looked a fearsome sight and I was glad I ended up facing off Steve's Slann as having fielded such a small force, being surrounded was a big, big concern. Chico has some choice models on the table - the Foundry giant troll thing almost being consumed by Mr Danks and the rare Temple Dog on the far right.

Here is the view from my table edge. An impressive force of Slann is always a pleasure to see, let alone face across the wargames table. I was very concerned that Steve's cold one riders would reach me quickly and smash my weaker troops off the table, though his Slann magician being carried aloft by his lobotomised slaves also worried me deeply. His magical attacks could cripple my army if used wisely.

Let's zoom in on Steve's army and take a closer look at what I faced.

Here we are. Slann, lizardmen and troglodytes - not to mention a giant spider and a unit of human warriors. A pokey little force weighing in just over 1000 points.

As Chico and Steve has opted to advance, Paul and I stood our ground, deciding that their forces would need to come to us. Chico has a hobgoblin rocket crew which looked dangerous if the dice gods held sway and Steve's magical prowess would also prove problematic if his Slann mage was not dealt with quickly.

Paul's undead were supported by a Skull Chucker. I hate these damn things when I have to face them, especially long range. I recall fighting a bit game one year when a triad of these things decimated by Khorne force at long range. His siege machine launched attacks against Chico's line as it advanced and I moved my plague cart alongside to give Paul's undead a little extra support.

Over the next couple of turns things looked pretty dire for me. Steve prepared to set up his cold one riders for a charge as his Slann mage peppered my chaos warriors with fireball spells. His first magical attack did three wounds and killed off one of my Nurgle warriors of Chaos. I was concerned that a powerful charge from his cavalry would destroy my key unit and push me out of the game.

Luckily, I had a couple of aces up my sleeve. I used my chaos sorcerer to send back fireball spells of his own, targeted against the cold one riders. My initial attacks did nothing, however. My second ace was the Plague Banner that cost me 100 points as each turn it could send a foul disease towards any unit in range, causing d6 wounds (and a further d6 wounds each subsequent turn) if a magic save is failed.

My first attack was catastrophic! Steve used his Slann mage's magic points to boost his resistance to the banner's evil magic and the attack resulted in 0 wounds. With his cold one riders looming large against me and a imminent cavalry charge probably only one turn away I was extremely concerned that the Citadel collector would destroy my best units early in the game. Nurgle's Cloud of Flies rule allowed be to hold the Slann mage at bay for a turn and prevent the relentless fireball attacks from reaching my chaos warriors.

With his magical attacks checked, Steve opted to position his cavalry in order to crush me as well as advancing his other troops. Thankfully for me, he didn't charge and I was able to launch one final Plague Banner attack on the cold ones. This attack was devastating and destroyed two of his models and causes the remaining riders to panic and rout. They fled straight into my beastmen and were hacked to pieces!!

What a superb result!

Steve didn't let up the pressure though. He advanced with his remaining infantry and used his giant spider to threaten my right flank. Over a couple of turns, his spider launched another attack at my chaos warriors but thankfully the magical attacks ceased. This was a critical point for Steve as my Plague Banner was a devastating magical weapon, though I sensed that for whatever reason he wasn't throwing everything he had at destroying it.

The spider was eventually dispatched with a few wounds to me and another plague was cast forth that destroyed his lobotomised human unit. This was a turning point in the battle. With so many of his units destroyed, Steve low lacked the forces to deal with my smaller force.

On my left flank, Chico's hobgoblin rocket crew was destroying Paul's skeleton units. The dead you can see here was from a single attack, causing Paul to use magic points to raise his skeletal warriors once again. A cheeky wind blast spell held Chico's giant in place, restricting the Garbage Pail Man's ability to attack with his rank and file. I have had similar things happen to me when using giants. You work so hard of painting the huge buggers up that you want them to have a glorious central place in your army. This makes them missile and magic magnets unfortunately, and Chico's big boy suffered.

The battle lines close. Chico begins to smirk chaotically after destroying yet more of Paul's undead forces.

Missile fire begins to destroy my plague skeletons as Steve positions his Slann and lizardmen for the charge.

The units collide and the ebb and flow of hand to hand fighting begins. But sadly, Chico's time with us has come to an end. The time now is late Sunday afternoon and people have trains to catch and places to be. We decide to end things were they were and the outcome of this match up will now never be known. Would Steve's forces have done enough damage to my warband to put it out of action? I think they certainly could.

In conclusion, it was a fabulous game. I really enjoyed the process of building up my warband and finally getting it used in a game. I have also got the beginnings of a 'proper' Nurgle army to join the ranks of my Khorne and Slaanesh force.

Nor is this the 'end' of the Tales of Four Oldhammer Gamers either, we have a new plan for next year! But more on that in a future post!



  1. That game looked great and was certainly entertaining to listen to as I was on the next table!

  2. Great stuff, looked like a very fun game on the day and in these pics.