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AoS Beastmen Ambush

Discussion in 'Battle Reports' started by Bainbow, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. Bainbow
    Bastiladon

    Bainbow Well-Known Member

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    Never really played against Beastmen before, didn't know what they were like. Found out last night.

    125 wounds worth of Seraphon, 150 wounds worth of Beastmen. We had Kroak, a Starseer, a Starpriest, and Engine of the Gods, nine Chameleons, a Stalker, three Salamanders with one handler each, an Oldblood atop a Carnosaur, a Bastiladon with a Solar Engine, an Astriloth Bearer, two units of 20 Temple Guard, and an Eternity Warden. First game for the Eternity Warden and Starpriest too, so things were experimental. Against us was a massive Beastman horde, so big it felt like they had 150 models, let alone wounds. They used the Furious Brayheard battalion, with Khazrak One-Eye as their Beastlord. In addition, they had two extra Shamans, Gorthor the Beastlord, a Cygor (converted to have its lower body as a spider with the Arachnorok model, beautiful,) Bloab Rotspawned, a unit of about 8 Chaos Trolls, two chariots, and two Skullcannons (again converted so it was piloted by Beastmen rather than Daemons, very nice indeed.)

    On my opponent's side, the terrain was littered with acres of dead forest from which the Beastmen emerged, on ours was a landscape of ash, lava pits, and rocks, no life in sight anywhere on the board save for our two armies. As we took the first turn, our very tight formation moved only a small distance forward, nobody running to prevent the formation from being split up. Our Carnosaur and Bastiladon held back by a few inches, hiding from the Skullcannons in a charred and ruined building to our left flank as the enemy were out of range of our Solar Engine, while our Salamanders moved up the right side through a small rocky valley for cover. Unfortunately, we were not able to get a single spell off as the dice rolls were pitifully low, so all we could do was to reveal our Chameleons in the trees just ahead of the enemy's left flank, directly in front of the Skullcannons. As the Skullcannons are Daemonic, our Star Venom absolutely decimated one of the Cannons before it could fire, saving us a lot of grief in the future.

    However as the enemy's turn came around, I discovered what makes the Beastmen so intimidating. They're fast. The Beastmen absolutely cleared the board in only one movement phase, and suddenly we were faced with a unit of 20 Bestigors in our Guard's faces on the left, and on the right our Salamanders were facing down a unit of Gors and a chariot before the fiery lizards even had a chance to shoot at the Beasts. Our Chameleons attracted the ire of a nearby unit of Trolls and a unit of Ungors, both of which charged our poor skinks while Bloab Rotspawned fired a ranged attack at them as he moved towards the Temple Guard line. In addition, the three Shamans were able to each try to summon a Cygor with Savage Dominion, and unfortunately the third and final attempt was a success, and the Cygor set up shop directly behind our line. In addition, Khazrak and Bloab were now both so close to us that we were suffering a -4 to our casting rolls, though our Astriloth Bearer was negating part of that with a +1, lowering it to a -3 To Cast. However, with a Cygor, Bloab, and three Shamans all within unbinding range now, the odds were stacked against us casting any worthwhile spells. The Cygor threw a boulder at Kroak, but was blocked by the Eternity Warden who suffered only a single wound in place of the D6 that Kroak would have taken. In addition, the remaining Skullcannon missed its shot at Kroak, leaving our general safe. After that, 30 Ungor Raiders launched a volley at our Salamanders, killing two of them before we had the chance to use our most devastating shooters.

    As combat hit, I discovered very quickly why Beastmen are so fast. They are insane Glass Cannons, with Besigors hitting on 2's with rerolls, and wounding on 3's and with 2 attacks each, they cleaved into our Temple Guard. As we were unable to cast our Arcane Shield or Starlight, our only defenses were our +1 Save from the Sworn Guardians ability, though our shields did block their rend. We ultimately suffered 8 casualties from this one attack, which for a Temple Guard unit is massive. We would have suffered 10 wounds, but the rerolls granted by Kroak and the Starseer were put to good use and saved two extra lives. I can only imagine how painful this attack would be on anything else. Elsewhere battles did not go in our favour. Our Salamander missed its attacks and was killed by the Chariot and Gors, and our Handlers were trapped in a combat they could not hope to win. However, the Trolls' attacks on our Chameleons rolled very poorly, as did the Ungors, and our Skinks survived with minimal losses. After that, the Skinks were able to wound a single Ungor, netting one kill. Things would have been very dire if not for our Temple Guard's retaliation on the Bestigor herd. Though only 12 remained, each was able to pile in to attack, and they found themselves empowered by the Eternity Warden's Alpha Warden ability and the planted Astriloth Bearer's Proud Defiance, granting this depleted unit a total of 37 attacks of 3+/3+ with rerolls for failed To Hits with Rend -1. Even though the Bestigors were carrying a Mystic Shield courtesy of Bloab, the sheer volume of rapid, lethal attacks mowed the Bestigors down, and a flurry of bite attacks with rerolls and poison courtesy of the local Starpriest reduced the Bestigors down to a measly four survivors, all of which ran away in the turn's Battleshock. Hilariously, after suffering only one wound at the hands of the Chameleons in melee, three Ungors ran in Battleshock. Fear Skinks. Although our ranged reinforcements had been cut off or wiped out and the fact we now had a weakened left flank, plus a Cygor behind us, we had defeated the most powerful enemy unit. If not for the half dozen other Beastmen units, I'd have said we were doing well. As was, we were just about surviving.

    In the next turn, the Beastmen won the initiative. A new unit of Gors charged in to the damaged Temple Guard unit, as did Bloab, a combination that was certain to decimate the unit at the very least, if not destroy it outright, though thankfully Bloab's shooting attack missed our Temple Guard. In fact, shooting was not friendly towards the Beastmen as both the Skullcannon and the Cygor missed their shots. However the Ungor Raiders salvaged the shooting phase as they turned their sights on to our right Temple Guard unit and unleashed a massive volley, killing 6 Guard, and then followed by a unit of Gors charging right into the now damaged right unit to try to finish it off. The Gors on the left struck first, killing off another 7 Temple Guard and depleting the unit down to just five troops. However, the Beastmen made a huge mistake by charging two units of Gors in at once on different units, because before the Gors on the right even got the chance to attack, our 14 Temple Guard in that unit all piled in and delivered 42 devastating attacks on the Gors, with rerolls to hit of course. As the Gors were reduced to only a 6+ save by our rend, they were totally annihilated before they even got the chance to attack. Meanwhile our Chameleons up in the enemy forest were actually able to hold for another turn, though they were reduced to just the Stalker and two Chameleons, though one ran in the Battleshock phase. Bloab back on the left piled in and attempted to finish the left unit off, but missed with all of his Scythe attacks and caused only one wound with his mount's claws, dropping the unit down to four. However, these four Temple Guard struck back at the Gors that had plagued them and were able to cause 12 wounds with their polearms, venomous bites, and intense good luck. Really here it was the venomous bites that tipped the balance by killing off three Gors. Battleshock was cruel to the low bravery Gors as all but 3 ran, and the remaining 3 fell prey to the nearby Carnosaur's Bloodroar, causing the entire remaining unit to flee.

    Then came our counterattack. Though our magic was still suppressed, the Engine of the Gods was able to activate its Starfire ability, wounding a nearby chariot and Shaman rather heavily. In addition, our Bastiladon and Carnosaur both fired on Bloab and followed through by charging him. Trusting the left flank to the pair of monsters, the right unit of Temple Guard were blessed with venom bites by the Starpriest and broke off from the formation and made their way towards the nearby Ungor Raiders to put a stop to their shooting before they got another round of fire in, as that could be devastating. In order to get the extra attacks from the Eternity Warden's passive, the Warden followed. Not content to leave Kroak unguarded as the break in formation would leave him exposed, the Warden, Starpriest, Starseer, and Engine all surrounded him, creating a circle to prevent anything from charging him necessary as both Khazrak and Gorthor were withing charging distance. As combat hit, the Carnosaur failed to pin Bloab, but was still able to kill him thanks to the shooting attacks that had weakened him. The Ungor Raiders fought back against the Temple Guard, but did absolutely no damage. In response, the Guard annihilated the Raiders, killing 21 of them and dooming them to a wipe out by Battleshock. In the forest, the Trolls finally slew the Chameleons, but they had been distracted all game and were prevented from making a difference in the real fight, thankfully. In revenge, both a nearby unit of Gors and Gorthor piled in to my right Temple Guard as their charge had left them within 3" of both threats, and while Gorthor did an impressive amount of damage, the Gors were not as only three Gors were in range to attack. Though we held the advantage with troops, there were still trolls on the horizon, three chariots including Gorthor, a Cygor, three wizards, and Khazrak who was still blocking our powerful magic, evening the odds.. Things were rather even so long as Khazrak lived.

    Then we won the initiative and rolled a 9 on the Engine of the Gods. A lightning bolt struck Khazrak, reducing him to only one wound. Seeing my chance, I had our Starpriest attempt to cast a single Arcane Bolt on Khazrak in order to finish him, and the magic suppression, off. I rolled a double 6. The enemy attempted to unbind the spell, but I rolled too high and Khazrak was disintegrated by a bolt of raw magic, ending the magic suppression field that the enemy had set up. Like clockwork, meteors instantly impacted the battlefield as Kroak's magic was freed up, instantly killing a chariot and a shaman, and wounding another shaman heavily. This shaman, in addition to some nearby Gors, were then destroyed by three rapid castings of Celestial Deliverance, causing a wonderful 3D3 wounds from this volley. The Starpriest's venom blessing was moved over to the Carnosaur, who charged and pinned the Cygor, killing it with a venomous bite that hit at a damage of 6, as well as two regular bites. The Eternity Warden charged Gorthor and, with the help of the Temple Guard, slew the Beastlord. Instantly, the tide had turned intensely. With the freed magic, the Beastmen's advantage of surrounding us had backfired as Celestial Deliverance was smashing everyone nearby and Comet's Call was crushing enemy heroes. With Starlight up to defend us, the Beastmen general dead, and too much of a depleted army, the Beastmen could not recover and the Seraphon took home the win.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  2. Bainbow
    Bastiladon

    Bainbow Well-Known Member

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    It was probably the closest game I've had with my Seraphon, so very fun.
     
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  3. Freddy25
    Kroxigor

    Freddy25 Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful battle report, thank you!
    It seems it was a really nice and intense match: did you have any problems moving all the models you brought to the table? I mean, 125 Lizards' wounds and 150 Beastmen are a lot of models: if you didn't use movement trays it may have taken a lot of time to move them one by one.
     
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  4. Bainbow
    Bastiladon

    Bainbow Well-Known Member

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    No, we moved them all by hand. It wasn't as hard as you make it out to be, the first Beastmen movement phase took a while but that was it because they were in melee range on Turn 1, so big movements were no longer necessary.
    We would move the front row of a unit, then just pile the remaining models in the unit behind the front row and align them up neatly in the opponent's turn to save time. Worked easily, my movement phase lasted barely two minutes and a lot of that was deciding where to position my monsters.
     
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  5. protector
    Temple Guard

    protector Active Member

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    Excellent report, I really enjoyed the write up and the look into how beastmen work in AoS. Have you or your opponents started using "mixed" unit formations when you play or does it not play out well for you? And how do you personally count Kroak against wounds when you comp your lists?
     
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  6. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    This is awesome! Glad the beastmen aren't as bad as I initially heard! Sounds like it could have gone either way if you hadn't got the initiative in that last round!
     
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  7. Bainbow
    Bastiladon

    Bainbow Well-Known Member

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    By "mixed unit formations" do you mean having units from multiple armies, like mixing Empire and Seraphon? If so a couple of people I know have, those Beastmen Skullcannons or a guy who has that big Ogre cannon (I forget the name) converted to be piloted by Black Orcs. However I myself do not. Typically here it's a general agreement that heavily mixed armies like that are weak as they lack the synergy of pure armies. In addition, there's an unspoken rule we follow that if you want to ave a unit from another army that isn't in your Grand Alliance (Order, Chaos, Destruction, Death) then you must convert it to fit, like those cannons I mentioned, though that's more flexible and optional.

    As bad as you heard? What did you hear? Beastmen are bloody top tier now, it's hilarious considering how they were historically the worst army in the game.
    And come on, I had a plan for if they got the last initiative. Give me some credit. ;)
     
  8. protector
    Temple Guard

    protector Active Member

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    Actually I meant more like having some saurus with spears boxed in by temple guard, or adding some krox into a salamander pack, basically since unit formations are competely flexible you can take advantage of weapon range specifically with temple guard defense. Also do you actually measure from the closest point on the model or do you still use bases? I found that using the closest point was turning out really ugly especially with halberds and spears as I could pile in models from 3-4 rows back and still be in range, I still like the idea but I don't like how modeling can have such a massive effect on gameplay.
     
  9. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    Haha! Right! The backup plan for not going in sequence is the hardest tactic to master, but would have been an even closer game had you not! I heard they had great movement, but were way too weak! Apparently this is not the case! Although, I do remeber a well put together beastmen army from 8th that absolutely crushed all comers (at the time anyway) depends on the player I guess!
     
  10. Bainbow
    Bastiladon

    Bainbow Well-Known Member

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    Oh right. Personally, looking at the Seraphon now, they have an interesting little thing in that they can fulfill literally any role, defensive armies, offensive, melee only, shooting armies, etc. But in order to be really effective, they need to truly commit to their desired style and not mix very much. If you're doing a defensive army, for example, I'd recommend having no Warriors and just Guard with an Eternity Warden, Kroak, Engine of the Gods, and Astriloth Bearer. Aggressive army? Warriors, no Guard, a Sunblood general, Stegadon with Sunfire Throwers, and a Slann Starmaster. Shooting? Go all skinks, add a Starmaster if you aren't looking for a themed army. You need to really commit to the desired role, or you wind up diluted and weaker. This feels especially severe for the Seraphon, I find. Most other armies can mix just fine.
    Oh, and we count Kroak as having as many wounds as a regular Slann.

    Well put it this way, does a unit of Bestigors charging on turn 1, hitting on 2's, wounding on 2's with rerolls To Wound, rend -1 and 3 attacks each sound weak to you? Does locking down magic so hard that you start wondering if they're secretly Dwarfs sound weak? How about Savage Dominion, summoning any monster in the game, the spell for regular Bray Shamans? I saw a Beastman player take on a Wood Elf player and beat them in ranged combat because Ungor Raiders hit on 3's with their bows and get rerolls to hit, so a huge unit of them drowns the enemy in arrows. If a Beastmen player is weak, it's because he doesn't synergise his army.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
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  11. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    Yeah they sound pretty killer, but I am already unpopular for stating (on several occasions ) there are no weak armies, only weak players! Haha! I think I will start learning a few of the other armies battle scrolls to get an idea of what kind of synergies and supports I am facing off against. Know your enemy type of thing!
     
  12. Bainbow
    Bastiladon

    Bainbow Well-Known Member

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    Why would that make you unpopular, it's true. Time was some armies were weak, but every army is playable now.
     
  13. Bowser
    Slann

    Bowser Third Spawning

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    You know how people react to the truth when it might apply to them!
     
  14. Bainbow
    Bastiladon

    Bainbow Well-Known Member

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    Well that's stupid because you're literally saying "your army is good" to everyone, why would people dislike good armies?
     
  15. Crowsfoot
    Slann

    Crowsfoot Guardian of Paints Staff Member

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    very close and killing Khazrak was the key, could you target him earlier in your next battle?

    Nice report I enjoyed reading the tactics both Armies used. ;)
     
  16. Crowsfoot
    Slann

    Crowsfoot Guardian of Paints Staff Member

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    The key to AOS as were finding out more and more with these detailed reports.
     
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  17. Bainbow
    Bastiladon

    Bainbow Well-Known Member

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    Truth be told, I think the real key was holding my defensive line long enough to have a shot at Khazrak. If his Gors had broken through my left flank, it would have exposed my back line and put my support at risk. If those trolls had hit my line, I'd have been in danger.

    I always said that's the case. It does bug me when nobody can even come close to beating me at my Workshop because nobody makes an attempt to synergise. That's why this Beastman player was so good, he synergised even more than I did, making him a real threat.
     
  18. Carrp
    Skink

    Carrp Member

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    Nice to report. I agree the game is all about synnergy, and having the right models to compliment each other.

    Best part of the game now is there are very few models that are hard to win with. And zero armies that aren't good. Back in 8th you basically couldn't play TK or Beastmen if you wanted to be good, now you can use anything you like!
     
  19. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Great report, it was a pleasure to read it. And nice victory! ;)

    That's absolutely true. For some armies, the synergies are painfully clear (dwarfs), but I suppose every army works in the same way, by stacking bonuses. There aren't overpowered units by themselves, even the best ones need some help to really shine (see our TG, as clear example)
     
  20. Bainbow
    Bastiladon

    Bainbow Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, I'm starting to despair over the fact that a majority of my Warhammer friends aren't figuring this out even though I keep telling them. It's gotten to the point where there are only a very small number of players who can actually even remotely challenge me because the rest are sticking with the proven-wrong idea that you'll win if you just take powerful models and units rather than synergies and as a result I totally annihilate them. That Beastman player is one of the very few people playing in my area who gets synergy.
    Though thankfully I did design an army for this one guy who let me to get one of his units firing over 40 shots that hit on 2's with rerolls and do double damage on 5's or 6's, hopefully that should teach him a bit.
     

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