Friday, January 29, 2016

Battle for Bremen's Run

This 1500 point battle report between the Dwarfs and the Empire comes from Volker over at Volker's Training Ground. Keep up the good work, Volker!

There’s gold in them there hills. Well, at least iron, but to the people of Bremen’s Run, with its dwindling fish stocks and recent invasions of pine beetles, that was as good as gold. Now, if only those stubborn Dwarves would withdraw their claim.
        Well, it was not my idea of an army boys, but the mining guild was paying me enough that I would take even rag-tag bunch they sent me. First were a small group of scouts from Bremen. Despite a generation away from the Steppes, these were still horsemen. Next came the guild representatives, each carrying one of those strange guns. I tell ye true, when they shot, a man could see naught but smoke and flames, but for all that, they rarely seemed to kill anything. 
        My own Winged Lancers would form the core of the army. Two groups of young nobles, hoping to claim a piece of the mine for themselves also rode with us. Last were five of the heavy laborers the guild employs, and a couple of wizards drawn by rumors of an unknown creature which supposedly inhabited a lake near the mountain. (7 Horse Archers, 4 Outriders plus champ, 14 Winged Lancers with standard-Dread Banner, plus champ and general-warhorse, lance, pistol heavy armor, 2X6 pistoliers, 5 ogres, 1st level and 2nd level wizard-on warhorses with lances and pistol, 1500 points, campaign rules me- 2 villages and a sacred grove, him- 2 villages and a treasure trove).
        It should have been easy. All we had to do get to our mountain, and put on a big enough show of force that the Stunties would decide it was not really worth attacking. However, as my friend Murphy says if something seems easy, you obviously don’t know what’s going on. Such was the case here. The damn Goldgathers were dug in and waiting for us. You know how the rock lovers are when they smell a profit, even the war-eagles cannot match their pace then.
        Attacking a Dwarf force which has had to time to prepare is almost always suicide, even more so with an army of light and medium cavalry, but the Guild ordered it, so we did. On my left were the Outriders and Ogres, moving through a small alley between a low rock wall, and a watch tower. One group of Pistoliers were in front of my Lances who advanced on the other side of the tower, beside us were the horse archers and the second group of pistoliers. From left to right, the Stunties had, a group of slayers who blocked the approach of the Ogres, the Dwarf general and his bodyguard, a strange device that sprouted gouts of flame, a goup of Crossbows on a hill, and a second group of Slayers at the base of the hill, blocking my advance. As it was already late afternoon, the battle would have to be decided quickly (4 turns were rolled).
        I gave the order to advance, but before we could move, the Horse Archers were destroyed by a volley of crossbow bolts, and the cursed cannon had covered my Lancers in flame. Seeing the Archers destroyed, both groups of the effeminate nobles (pistoliers) decided to flee. One fled the field completely , and the other moved so far away as to be unable to rejoin the battle. In response, the much lauded guns of the Guild managed to kill 2 Slayers, and the mage burned another with a ball of flame (my first ever successfully cast spell in a game of Warhammer-yeah!). Everything else advanced, but not quickly enough, and that cannon again sprouted flame. Together with the crossbows, it reaped a gory harvest, and of my lancers, only myself, the standard bearer and champion were left. The Outriders managed to make a lot of noise but not drop a single slayer (short range, no move, 2 hits, 0 wounds). The remnants of my lancers managed to reach the cannon and slay its crew, but the ogres were locked in against the slayers and nothing could be accomplished. At this point, I sounded the retreat as night was falling. (It was only the end of the 3rd turn, but I had nothing that could even charge the last turn, so the game was for all intents and purposes over.) (Though the final score was close, the game wasn’t) 
        Knowing that the Dwarves would push on to the village, I gathered the survivors and rushed back, hoping to catch the stunties in a Flank Attack. I personally rushed ahead to summon the militia (armies as above, the Ogres, and Pistoliers would form the flanking group).
        We caught the Stunties just coming out of the valley before the village. My winged lancers set up behind a hill on the west of the field, out of sight of his crossbows and flame cannon, behind them was the L1 wizard, beside him a small shed, then horse archers, L2 wizard, and the outriders. Halfway between the forces on the eastern side of the field was a watchtower connected by fences to a pair of houses. His slayers set up opposite my winged lancers, beside that in order were the hammerers, flame cannon, x-bows (again on a hill) and the slayers.
        Everything advanced. The Outriders taking up firing positions behind the fence. Here, I made a mistake. Misjudging the power of the Flame Cannon I order the wizard to break cover from behind the tower so he would have a site line to his target. When the Flame Cannon erupted, he along with 2 horse archers was destroyed. (Which lead to a question, if a wizard has cast a spell which remains in play, and then he dies, does the spell go away? Not that it mattered as I forgot the Outriders had Bless on them. AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!) Two more horse archers fell to crossbow bolts, somehow, they managed to hold. Then they are charged the Flame Cannon (and in the bottom of the 4th turn, finally killed the last crew member). The Outriders, managed to kill 3 dwarves all game, so they will no longer be mentioned. The Winged Lancers charged the Slayers and managed to kill 1 on the charge (Great! Probably would have helped to roll the horse attacks [I forgot them every time]). The hammerers tried to charge the Lances, but decide the Banner is just too dreadful and sat still. Then the ogres and pistoliers showed up. Things were looking good. The Lancers managed to finish off the slayers, then fled rather than be flank charged by the hammerers. The Ogres fail a charge against the crossbows, allowing the Dwarves a chance to reform. The Pistoliers move into position to flank charge the Hammerers, who turn to face them, exposing their flank to the winged lances. Here was my second mistake. Seeing the sun was setting (final turn) and feeling I needed to turn the battle around, the ogres charged the crossbows, the pistoliers and winged lances charged the hammerers. (This was a mistake, I have lost many models, [1 horse archer left, 2 outriders left] but only the 2nd level wizard was worth any points. I had killed the flame cannon and a unit of slayers, so I was winning by about 80 points, which would have been a cheap win, but my first win none the less). Instead, the ogres manage 1 wound (WS 3 hurts), break and run. The Pistoliers were cut down by a runic axe (master rune of swiftness, +1 attack, +1 str) which struck five times and killed 4 men. The lancers clipped a tree, throwing their own ranks into disorder, so they failed to kill a single hammerer and fled along with the pistoliers.(All I can say is Oooppps.) {The final score wasn’t close, but the game was, heck, as above I could actually have won [though it would have a really cheap and silly way to do so]) 
        The village of doomed and all we could do was retreat behind a line of watch towers (now occupied by wizards) which marked the old border. There will now be war. The Dwarves are angry that the Empire tried to take ‘their’ mountain. The villagers are upset about losing both their village and the mountain. Of course, since the Dwarves and Empire are both GOOD GUYS, we all know this is just some magic driven plot by a crazed, EVIL nercomancer to gain more subjects for himself.
Lessons Learned
1) Dwarves can shoot.
2) Light and Medium Cavalry can be easily shot to shyte.
3) A combination of points 1 and 2 equals a bad day for the cav army. (I
don’t think the army was that bad, just this was a bad match up for it.
I was actually expecting play against Undead.)
4) Mobility isn’t worth that much in short games or when the avenues of
approach are very clear (easy to concentrate fire on).
5) WS is an important stat regardless of what anyone says (WS 4 vs. WS3)
is a great advantage.
6) If you forget the advantages of your army, you are hooped. example-
Warhorses do have attacks.
7) I need more practice.

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