Saturday, 5 July 2014

A Gathering of Eagles: Warhammer Third Edition Battle Report

I have spoken about the old White Dwarf battle reports before and have even published my own scenarios. Now, I missed this one from my overview published in March and have finally got around to address the balance.

Peter Morrison is again at the helm of the article and in this installment (the third to be published in WD) we have a classic match up between the Wood Elves and the Goblinoids. I find it no surprise that Orcs and Goblins were extremely popular back in the late '80s as they remains so today. Wood Elves seem to have been in decline for some time, certainly from what I saw of Warhammer gaming 2004-2011, and were recently mooted to being expunged altogether; it stirs happy memories to be reminded that the mighty forest folk were highly popular back then. 

Its also interesting to hear about the effectiveness of magic. The wind blast spell is no one that I consider using very often, which is hardly surprising considering my main Oldhammer Army is a Khorne one, but its power is easily demonstrated here with the little story about the 100 strong block of goblins. 

Let's have a look at this article...

No doubt the gorgeous (and I really do mean that) artwork produced by this article will no doubt failed to make your notice. Its by Gary Chalk and is some of my favourite work produced in White Dwarf It really is lovely stuff and really helps me imagine the mad cap battle in my mind's eye.

So a Wood Elf victory! Whatever happened to them in the pages of White Dwarf?


  1. This battle report is what got me into Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Awesome!

  2. This was the first battle report I ever read. I was hooked. Thanks for digging it up.

  3. Wow! Massive nostalgia hit! I'm dyslexic. As a child, a very harsh teacher turned me off reading age 8 (ish). When I started collecting miniatures later on, I bought WD to see what I could buy. It was reports like these that got me into reading again. Thank you!

  4. See, it feels meanspirited to criticise this after reading the happy memories people have of it above. But personally, setting aside the inspired and inspiring Gary Chalk map, I can't say I thought much of it. A rather boring pitched battle in a tournament context, with the game written up as a scissor/paper/stone exercise with no thought towards narrative. Meh.

  5. Maybe not narrative no but it serves reasonably well as a lesson in strategy. The report discussed order of march and arrival times to shield the best units from the war machines (a feature woefully lacking from later editions of warhammer), it identified key units in each phase of the game, identified good moves (the swift assassination of the majority of the warmachines and the use of wind blast) and risky moves (charging the wolf boyz). It also identified the most influential units overall in the game, mentioned their weaknesses and what the player had done to try and negate them. If I had read this as a child/teenager I am sure I would have walked away knowing more than before I read it.

    I do see what you mean about no narrative at all. Which is a shame, a little extra effort could have made the article even more awesome. At the start they were talking about tournaments and ways people had won previously so maybe they wanted to concentrate purely on the competative side?

    Compared to modern battle reports where the new product wins this is a veritable treatise on strategy, which I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed! Many thanks for posting and if you have any more please share!