So I played a game against my buddy @eron12. Usually he plays Dwarves. Usually I play Lizardmen, but today we played our secondary/tertiary armies instead. Army selection was influenced as much by available assembled models as by tactical choice. I was not sure if Eron12 would play his Dwarves, Orcs, or Warriors of Chaos. If I read his text message more carefully I would have known he was playing WoC and would have taken a Dispel Scroll. Otherwise I don’t think I would have changed much. My friend's first game as Warriors of Chaos. My first game as Empire over 1500 points. It’s not a Lizardmen battle report, I figured there is enough pining for 8th edition that no one would mind. I did use Lizardmen themed dice… Army of Scalenex Lords Marius Leitdorf, crazy Elector Count of Averland Battle Wizard Lord, Lore of Shadow, Level 4, Channeling Staff, Ruby Ring of Ruin, Heroes Empire Captain, BSB, Armor of Meteoric Iron (1+ Armor, 6+ Ward), Great Weapon Empire Captain, Pegasus with “Swift as the Wind”, Lance, Full Plate Armor, Charmed Shield (aka the Captasus) Core 13 Archers 11 Crossbowmen 10 Inner Circle Knights, Full Command, Steel Standard, Lance and Shield Special 3 Bear Knights, Full Command (I use substitute models for Demigryph kngihts because I refuse to use giant chickens) Great Cannon Great Cannon 26 Great Swords, Full Command Army of Eron12 Lords L4 Lore of Nurgle Sorcerer Lord with Chaos Familiar (giving him a fifth spell and a 5+ channel) Heroes L2 Nurgle Aspect Lore of Death Caster. Exalted Hero with Mark of Nurgle and BSB Core 17ish Nurgle Warriors with Halberds 17ish Nurgle Warriors with Hand Weapon and Shield 5 Chaos Hounds 5 Chaos Hounds Nurgle Chariot Special 6 Chaos Trolls with extra Handweapon Rare Giant with no upgrades We used the BRB terrain generator with our house rule that mysterious terrain has only a 1 in 3 chance of being mysterious. It looked like we were fighting in the wilderness. Lower left corner had a blessed bulkwark along part of the long table edge. Upper left corner had two rivers making a natural looking fork. Center left had a forest. Middle The dead center of the table had a large impassable Arcane Ruins. Center right and the far right corner had a forest. My wizard ended up with Steed of Shadows and all three Shadow hexes. Eron12 had 5 out of 7 of the Nurgle spells (I don’t remember them all), Purple Sun and second Death spell that was never used. I also had the Ruby Ring of Ruin. Left to right I deployed my Crossbowmen and a cannon along the Blessed Bulwark. My Inner Circkle Knights were just off the edge of the fence. Then I had a small gap and deployed my great swords. If I made the gap a little wider I could have deployed my archers in the gap. Instead I had to put them behind straddling the gap and the two units. This meant I had to wait till turn two to get my wizard in range of the Arcane Ruins. A mild setback, but not a gamebreaking one. A modest space later I had bear knights and captasus (forward). My other cannon was wedged in the far right corner. I did not deploy to the edge of my 12 inch zone. Figuring I had more shooting supremacy (on paper anyway), so I should make the enemy come to me. Opposite me, 5 warhounds were on the right in the river fork space pointed at my gunline. Then came the chariot opposite my fence, then the HWS Warriors (and the level 2 wizard), the an empty space, then the halberd Warriors (with the sorcerer lord general and BSB), then trolls a small gap, the giants, and the 5 other warhounds were pointed at my other cannon. Empire Turn 1 Marius Leitdorf passes his crazy test. My Great Swords marched forward their full 8 inches. My two cavalry units advanced far enough to line up with them. My archer/wizard bunker advanced a bit between my main forces. My Captasus moved into “possible but unlikely charge” range of the enemy. Of course the cannons and crossbowmen had no reason to move. Magic spread was 7 power dice versus six dispel dice. The only thing I could that was useful was hex the right most doggies. My casting rolls were good but my d3 rolling was not. I used the augmented Melkoths to dock their WS, I, and M by 1. Then I hexed their Strength by one point. Because of the large Arcane Ruins in the table center, my left most cannon could not shoot the giant. My rightmost cannon could not shoot the chariot. My left most cannon attempted to shoot the chariot and misfired, losing the shot next turn. My right most cannon hit the Giant square on and then I rolled a “1” for damage. My crossbowmen wanted to shoot the left-most doggies, but with the forest in the way it would have been difficulty 7 so they shot at the chariot doing no damage. The archers did not have a shot on anyone. Chaos Turn 2 The Trolls passed their stupidity test, tried to charge my Captasus and failed to make it. The nearby Chaos hounds marched right in the Captasus’ face along with the Giant. The Warriors advanced and the sorcerer lord was now in range of the Arcane Ruins. 8 to 3 (arcane ruins was involved). He threw Miasma of Pestilence which I dispelled. Then he six diced Purple Sun and rolled Irresitible Force. He hit seven knights and six of them passed their Initiative test. Huzzah. The feedback miscast took a wound off both wizards. Empire Turn 2 Marius Leitdorf passes his crazy test. My Captasus charged the Chaos Hounds, My bear Knights charged Giant’s flank. Marius and his knights charged the HWS warriors. I advanced the Great Swords just enough to give the knights BSB coverage. I advanced my archers just barely enough to get my wizard in range of the arcane ruins. My gun line stayed put. 10 PD vs 7 DD. Three hex attempts were dispelled. Then I tried one dicing my Fireball and failed. The still active Purple Sun deviated towards my archers and hit most of them. I rolled phenomenal Initiative tests and only lost two. My archers had no decent targets, so they tried a futile volley on the chariot. My crossbowmen did exceptionally well. Despite needing “6s” to hit, they managed to kill three doggies on the left side of the board and panic them. With no eligble Giant target, my right cannon aimed at the nearest warrior block. It ALMOST overshot and ended up killing a single halberd warrior. The other cannon couldn’t fire this turn. Warriors of Chaos have to issue a challenge when able. Leitdorf answered the uppity unit champion’s challenge and killed with two overkill. The knights failed to inflict any unsaved wounds. The Chaos Warriors only killed one knight. I won CR by a point but the Steadfast warriors were unimpressed. My Bear Knights inflicted four wounds on the Giant wounded four times. The Giant rolled the least useful respond bonked champion on the head inflicting one wound (out of three) and causing him to lose his next attacks due to his concussion (both bear and rider shared a collective head injury). The Giant lost combat by five points and fled off the table. I pursued into the flan of the Chaos doggies. Since the doggies were engaged with the Captasus and I hadn’t started the battle yet. That meant my Bear Knights (minus the concussed unit champion) got an extra round of attacks. I slaughtered 4 out of 5 doggies and the last one fled off the table. Unfortunately I failed both unit’s attempts to restrain a pursuit. Chaos Turn 2 As expected, the Chaos Chariot charged the flank of my knights and the Halberd warriors charged my great swords front arc. The two fleeing doggies on the left rally. The trolls passed their Stupidity test and advanced. 10 PD vs 6 DD. I dispelled his attempt to cast Curse of the Leper on Leitdorfs knights. I failed to stop Miasma of Pestilence on Knights. Then he cast Plague Wind cast with IF when I was out of dice (template with Toughness test or death). He hit 16 Great Swords (7 die counting the unit champion). He hit 10 archers and my wizard. Wizard was untouched but seven archers die and the unit panics. The templated nicked 3 crossbowmen (2 die) and finally passed over the cannon (it was fine). He got another feedback miscast. The Strength 6 hit killed his L2 Death wizard but the L4 Nurgle wizard emerged unscathed. Grand Melee between Marius Leitdorf’s Knights versus the Chariot and HWS warriors. I lost a knight to impact hits. Then Marius kills two Chaos warriors. The Chaos Warriors kill two knights. My knights fail to kill any warriors but they wound the chariot twice. Then a chariot horse kills a knight. I lost combat by a small margin but held. Halberd Warriors versus Empire Great Swords. WoC BSB must challenge. I answered the challenge with my BSB. I rolled very poorly with my saves and my BSB was killed. I lost four Great Swords and inflicted no wounds back. The Stubborn Great Swords held. Empire Turn 3 Marius failed his crazy test. All the blood from the Nurgle warriors he was killing splashed on him and ruined his favorite shirt. He gained Frenzy that would hold until his next failed crazy tests. My Wizard and the surviving archers failed to rally and ran off the board. No more magic phase. No chance to bail out my Great Swords with hex spells… My Bear Knights and Captasus re-entered the battlefield and advanced towards the halberd warriors and Trolls. I had no spells to cast, but we had an active template spell in my back field. Fortunately, it fizzled out. Crossbowmen failed shooting through forest at doggies. My right most cannon smacked the trolls but I rolled a “1” for damage. The other cannon could only shoot at the pair of doggies on the right. I obliterated one which caused the lone survivor to panic. I’d probably freak out too if I just barely rallied after a cross bow attack only to see my last surviving friend explode before my eyes. Halberd Warriors versus Empire Great Swords. The Halberd Warriors and enemy BSB slaughter every Great Sword save my Standard Bearer. Stubborn fool refused to budge. Grand Melee between Marius Leitdorf’s Knights versus the Chariot and HWS warriors. Marius Leitdorf personally dispatches four Chaos Warriors. Chaos forces manage to bring down one more knight. My knights fail to inflict any unsaved wound. No one breaks. Chaos Turn 3 The last Chaos Hound fails to rally and flees off the table. The Trolls passed their Stupidity test (they were within general and BSB range all game btw). The Trolls marched around my Captasus getting out of my bears’ charge arc. 7 PD vs 4 DD. I had no wizard, but there wasn’t many useable spells for my opponent to take advantage of this. I dispelled a buff on the Warriors fighting Leitdorf. Then he cast Curse of Leper on Leitdorf’s knights to dock their Toughness by 1. Grand Melee between Marius Leitdorfs Knights versus the Chariot and HWS warriors. Marius flubs his dice rolls and kills only a singe warrior. I lost two knights and lost CR by one point. I broke. I ran 8 inches. Both the chariot and the warriors rolled 8 inch pursuits. As Eron12 explains, Nurgle troops are not overachievers. They do just enough to get the job done. Halberd Warriors versus Empire Great Swords. The Empire BSB butchers the Great Sword Standard Bearer before the rank and file warriors can swing a weapon. The victorious warriors reform to face the bears and Captasus. Empire 4 A combined charge with my Captasus and Bear Knights could have broken the Chaos Warriors and deprived the enemy of their general and BSB swinging the game back in my favor. That’s NOT what happened. For dramatic purposes, I will cover the combat phases out of order so readers can follow connected events better. There was no magic phase to speak of. The shooting phase was my best yet and that's very sad. My rightmost Cannon hit the chariot and rolled a “1” for damage (again). My cannons were 0 for 3 for rolling damage when shooting at dangerous enemies. Fortunately the chariot was far enough forward that both cannons could see it. The second cannon hit the chariot. I needed a "2" wound hit to seal the deal and I got a "2" to wound and a "2" on the multiwound. Way to do the bare minimum cannons! Since the unit was destroyed right next to the HWS Chaos Warriors, they took a panic test and failed it running away. My crossbowmen shot at their fleeing backs, killing one. My Bear Knights meandered when they should have been making a fairly easy swiftstride charge. The Captain was shocked to see the Bear knights had let him charge against the enemy’s core forces all by himself. Smirking, the Chaos BSB issued a challenge. The Captain and his brave steed fought back skillfully overcoming the Nurgle curse and hit their opponent many times, but they could not overcome his potent armor and defensive talisman. The Chaos champion could not wound the brave Empire Captain, but the Captain saw his fight was doomed and turned tail and flew away. Adventure Continues next turn Chaos Turn 4 Halberd Warriors charge my fleeing Captasus who slingshots over the Bear Knights who then panic and flee. I am quite angry at my Bear knights. The Halberd Warriors redirect their charge into the Bear Knights who are forced to flee again and go off the table. “The pansy on the flying horse was not able to take on an enemy regiment single-handedly. We are three heavily armored elite warriors riding ferocious giant bears. What could we do?” Maybe the leader was still woozy from his Giant induced head trauma? I decided to concede. I had eight crossbowmen and two cannons left. With the Chaos Hounds and chariot dead or fled, I had no more realistic options to kill a whole unit. Afterthoughts I don’t think I made any mistakes. At least not big ones. I mostly had bad luck. My cannons were underwhelming and my Bears really dropped the ball when I really needed them to step up. I also got unlucky losing my BSB and wizard early. If I had a little more foresight in deployment I could have had my wizard benefiting from the Arcane Ruins channeling bonuses in Turn 1 rather than Turn 2. That’s hardly what cost me the game. Neither of us made hypercompetitive cookie cutter lists (no Steam Tank, no Daemon Prince). The crossbowmen weren’t great but they did their job filling my Core tax and keeping the Chaos Hounds from charging my cannon. I don’t see a reason not to keep them in as artillery babysitters. Archers did their job giving my wizard a mobile platform. It’s not the archer’s fault an IF nuke spell devastated them. Marius Leitdorf is both potent and fun. He only costs slightly more than a cookie-cutter Grand Master. I think I will stick with Leitdorf as my go-to Empire general unless I’m playing an infantry focused Empire army (which I’m not super keen on because both my Lizardmen and VC/Undead Legions armies are infantry focused.) Call me crazy (I do like a general who talks to his horse), but I’m thinking I need to get some yellow and black Averland dice (or at least ordinary dice). My lizard dice did okay with Empire, but they have been conditioned from years of scaly game play to hate cannons. Thus, when I tried to roll cannon damage they rolled quite poorly. 2000 points is a bit small for Eron12 and myself but we didn’t have hours and hours to play. Ourupcoming plan for a 10,000 point Dwarf/WoC versus LM/Empire will take a full day and it’s rare for both of us to have an entire day free at the same time. I doubt we can pull over mega-game till 2016, but hopefully we can sneak in more little games before year end.