Monday, 5 August 2013

Battle Report: Standing Firm at Mourning Glory (Turns 2 & 3)

Sorry for the delay in getting these up. Real Life has taken a particular dislike to me this month (and we're only five days in...) and is making every effort to screw this report up. Rest assured, dear reader, that my stamina and resolve have so far held firm and that I have soldiered through dark, dark valleys in order to relay the next few turns.

Battle Navigator
Forces Involved
Deployment and Turn 1
Turns 2 & 3 (you are here)
Turns 4 & 5
Turns 6 & 7

Turn 2

Except for turn 2, that is. The act of playing with myself was so novel and exciting, that I completely forgot to take pictures of it.

I can, however, sum up events (I still took notes) - you'll have to imagine the photo's. If you're having trouble with imagining, I would suggest you reconsider your interest in fantasy wargaming - it is, after all, an exercise involving imaginary creatures.

The goblins generally do well to keep order, as no units fail animosity and surprisingly, the trolls pass their stupidity test, despite Grommble's sudden focus on his left leg. Thus enabled, all goblin units advance. The sticka's carry on crossing the hedge, the gobbo's advance up the road behind Grommble and Grommbo 'drops off' the Lead Belcher. There are no rules about towing in WFB3 - I just made it up on the spot when deploying (as the GM, I suppose). I reasoned the gun would not be able to fire this turn as the crew work the thing out (one assumes even goblin generals are not in the habit of towing loaded cannons behind them).

In dropping off the gun, Grommbo must unfortunately occupy the space in front of the sticka's on the hill, thus preventing them from firing at the Halberdiers, but Grommbo wasn't too worried about this - they had failed to make a difference earlier and the trolls were advancing nicely anyway.

As far as the brave village defenders go, nothing much happens. Dumbel Doore rests on the bridge, safe in the knowledge that the Halberdiers and Victoria are between him and the trolls. If a wizard does nothing in his turn (no movement, shooting, no spells - nothing!), then he is considered to be resting and can gain a magic point. This is important for low level wizards who can quickly become spent in three turns of casting - or dwarf wizards, who have half the magic points of other wizards of the same level!

Turn 3

Fortunately, I got pictures of all the rest of the turns. From here on out, all the exciting stuff happens anyway.

Given that there had now been two turns of animosity free movement, Miss Fortune shushed Lady Luck out of the room and caused chaos. Animosity is a complex rule that can't really be summed up here, but essentially, there are a series of conditions that add or subtract modifiers from the animosity roll. In the end, if you get 7+ on the roll and the unit can charge, well - it will. If you have animosity suffering troops in your army, read up on it - it takes some wrapping your head around.

You may remember this picture from Turn 1:

See the Gobbo's perfectly lined up to slam into the rear of the Stickas? You'll never guess who failed their animosity test.

So I'll just have to tell you: The Gobbo's.

Yeah. They rolled 7.

Now, when a unit is charged and they are crossing an obstacle (you know, like the Stickas), they must take a panic test. 

A key difference between this edition and later editions of warhammer is that the only test that can be taken with the generals leadership score if he is within 12" of the testing unit is a rout test. Not panic tests. Not stupidity tests. Not driving tests. Only rout tests - that is, when a unit has lost combat and must test to rout. So, even if these chaps had been in range of Grommbo, they would have had to use their own Cl to test against. Goblins have a Cl of 5, so it should be no surprise that they panicked and routed.

Now, let's clear up something I said above: A rout test takes place when a unit loses combat. A panic test occurs for a wide variety of reasons, but if it is failed, the result is a rout - i.e. the same behaviour as if a unit failed a rout test - so if you're trying to find rules about running away from things, remember - you're looking for routing. I hope I wrote that clearly enough. 

Fortunately, no other units (that is, the one remaining unit of stickas) failed their animosity. More surprisingly, the Trolls passed their stupidity test all by themselves! Grommbo was too consumed with pain and rage to really enjoy this proud moment of lucidity and focus as he watched from a distance.

And given their continuing clarity and grumbling bellies, the trolls declared a charge on the halberdiers.

Now the Halberdiers of Count Tuten are renowned for many things (mainly gambling and whoring), but battling trolls is not one of them. Even Victoria's spirited cries of encouragement were not enough to bolster the courage of the men in the face of three raging 9' tall trolls. They fled, dragging poor Victoria with them.

Trolls cause fear. In 3rd edition, if you are charged by something that causes fear and fail your fear test (test on Cl), you flee (rout - see convoluted description above...). Even with Victoria's leadership bonus, the boys were not up to the task and fled away from the trolls as fast as they could go:

Now as best as I could make out, Dumbel Doore was not required to make a panic test for having the Halberdiers flee through him - this phase. In the beginning of his movement phase (remember, the Halberdiers are fleeing as a result of a move in the Goblin movement phase), he will be required to take a panic test for being within 4" of a fleeing unit. Seeing as we're here now, I'll just tell you: he passed.

Units which fail to connect in a charge become unformed. This is really important to remember, because its an extra incentive to make sure you really think you're going to connect. An unformed unit must spend its next movement phase reforming, so if you do happen to miss a charge you might find yourself reforming in front of other enemy units who can charge you. An unformed unit which is charged, beaten and pushed back in combat is automatically routed, so be careful with your charges. Astute tacticians take note - fleeing is a real tactical option in WFB3. 

The trolls have become unformed as a result of the failed charge.

The rest of the movement phase is uneventful. The Stickas move off the hill in order to give Grommbo a means of returning over the hill to the road in future turns. I know he's facing the hedge, but I didn't think he could cross the hedge with the chariot, so I planned his return to the road in about three turns time.

The view down the road:

In the movement phase of the defenders, the halberdiers continued fleeing (a big change between WFB3 and later editions is that the rally phase is the last phase of the turn, not the first or second. This means that fleeing units get the maximum opportunity to screw up your lines and cause havoc!) 

So, they move a further rout move (in their movement phase) before getting the opportunity at the end of the turn to rally. As mentioned earlier, Dumbel Doore would have needed to take a panic test (which he passed) at the start of the movement phase.

The dwarf wizard, faced with the thought of dealing with the trolls by himself (hardly a growth opportunity) elects to cast Rally on the Halberdiers, causing them to automatically rally in their rally phase (just after the magic phase):

Unfortunately, they're now on the wrong side of the village...

Battle Navigator
Forces Involved
Deployment and Turn 1
Turns 2 & 3 (you are here)
Turns 4 & 5
Turns 6 & 7


  1. Dumble needs to hitch his dress up and run me thinks, well if the trolls reform and pass stupidity. Low level dwarf wisards are one way of proving you are not a power gamer.

  2. Great stuff, although it brought back nightmares of entire Skaven armies routing due to the 4" rule. Sigh, good times :-).
    All the best,

  3. That went as well as could be expected all around I imagine : )

  4. Thanks chaps.

    Dumbel Doore is proving to be everything I hoped he would be. Very quickly he has become my favourite fantasy wizard ever.

    1. Nah he got it wrong - isn't he supposed to shout "Fly you Fools" instead of rallying them.

      Then follow it with something along the lines of "You shall not pass!" as he turns to the trolls.

      Ah, hang on - wrong film!

  5. Ah but it would be grand to see ole Dumbel Doore take up the challenge!