I was scheduled to play against Varangur for my first game, but my opponent couldn´t make it on time, so I got to face off against Abyssal Dwarfs instead. The army looked great, including even older GW figures than my own, with the two chaos dwarf warrior units (Immortals or Blacksouls) consisting of 80s GW chaos dwarfs.
First game was Control.
The Abyssal list was approximately:
Supreme Iron Caster on Great Winged Halfbreed
2x Immortal or Blacksoul regiments
1x Abbysal Berserkers regiment
1x Obsidian Golem horde, diadem of dragonkind
1x Greater Obsidian Golem
3x Gargoyle troops
2x Slave Ork troops
1x Heavy Mortar
1x Slave Driver, lute of darkness
Lots of chaff, annoying fliers that can rob me of TC, a hard defense 6 golem brick, a nasty artillery piece and 20 breath. My plan was to get rid of the chaff so I could break through the normal dwarfs, staying away from the Golems as best I could, counting on my superior movement to allow me to win control without taking out the Golems.
Tzarina Katarin, diadem of dragonkind (ancient aralez)
Winged Lancers Regiment, catterpillar (household knights)
Winged Lancers Regiment, fire oil (household knights)
Winged Lancers Troop (household knights)
Sons of Ursun horde (Honor guard)
2x Ungol Horse Archer Troops (halfling ranger cavalry)
2x Urgan Cannons (halfling volley gun)
Boyar on horse, spark stone (Baron on horse)
I deployed with a fairly heavy right flank consisting of Boyar, Lancers regiment, Lancers troop, and with Sons of Ursun coming in on center right. I planned to win quickly here and swing into the middle. The rest of the army was center left, Urugans placed with decent lines into the middle. In retrospect, my placement of the Tzarina was wrong. She should have switched space with the Boyar, so she could quickly destroy the gargoyles on the right with her breath attack. My thinking was that the Boyar could sparkstone the gargoyles, but of course, that doesn´t actually work 😛I started my plan, moving up slowly as I needed the chaff to become visible to my shooters so I could start clearing them out. My deployment of the Ungols hurt me a bit, as they could not focus on one unit, and against the 3+ regen of the gargoyles, a couple of wounds is not useful. I also forgot that breath is 12″, so I put several units within range of breath attacks without needing to.The abyssal dwarfs pushed forward, taking advantage of the opportunity to breath attack. Vicious is a bitch! One of my Ungol units was wavered, and the Tzarina got hit with a heavy mortar round for six wounds. I can see why people complain about the AD heavy mortar, as it feels cheap that it has 33% chance of placing an average of 7.5 wounds on whatever each turn. Vicious with piercing 3? 😦 Wish I could have them in my list 🙂
On my turn 2, one unit of slave orks was taken out by Tzarina´s breath attack and shooting from a unit of ungols, while the other was in the sights of both urugan cannons without cover. Somehow, I only landed 3 wounds on them, and they were not even wavered. Sad panda. Now they would get to charge my Sons of Ursun, robbing me of TC and the initiative. On the right flank, I pushed towards the gargoyles, intent on finishing up the flank quickly. The center held impotently.So with the complete failure of the volley guns in their first outing, the slave orks charged and robbed me of TC, while the rest of the infantry marched up, closing the distance.
My left flank was looking very poor. There was no way I could push through with what little I had there against all the golems and dwarf infantry.
By turn 2, my bad deployment, early mistakes and volley gun woes had left me very reliant on the right flank finishing up quickly.
To that end, I charged gargoyles on the right with a regiment of lancers and the other group with the Boyar. I gambled on him putting one wound on them at least, so my troop of lancers swung in towards the center. Unfortunately, he failed 😦
The sons crushed the slave orks predictably, while Tzarina got a flank charge on the bersekers, putting a lot of wounds on them, but not taking them out. The pathfinder lancers went into the golems, as they would get charged anyway. A group of ungols joined in on the fun, flanking the golems and actually putting two wounds on the stone giants. That also blocked the greater golem from flanking the lancers. The volley guns failed again when tasked with taking out the dwarf battle standard bearer.
Abyssal dwarfs charged all along the front, golems into lancers, greater golem taking out the ungols in the way.
Dwarf warriors charge into Tzarina´s flank, but are luckily not able to put many wounds on her.
Both the berserkers and warriors go into sons of ursun, with bane chant support from the banner. This is life when you can´t remove the enemy chaff. The sons of ursun get to take the damage from the volley guns failing twice, and they are knocked out.
On the right flank, my troop of lancers get the gargoyles in the rear, as the Boyar failed to inflict a single wound on them. They fluff, but manage to put a single wound on the lancers, robbing them of TC.
The winged lancers charged by Golems actually hold.
On my turn 4, I try to salvage what I can. Tzarina and winged lancers troop both jump on the enemy battle standard, easily killing the dwarf. They are now in a good position behind enemy lines, but unfortunately, there is no battleline remaining on my side of the field, so it seems to be too late. The right flank lancers finish off the gargoyles. The volley guns finally start hitting, and put 6 wounds on dwarf warriors, wavering them.
Abyssal dwarfs turn 4 means the end of an urugan cannon to gargoyles and the end of the right hand lancers. The dwarf infantry manouvre to reduce rear and flank charges.
Turn 5 gives the forces of Kislev some revenge. Tzarina charges the wounded golems in the flank and her dragon rips the horde apart. The troop of lancers finish of the berserkers, while the remaining lancer regiment crush a regiment of dwarfs.
The Abyssal dwarfs take revenge however. The greater golem charges Tzarina and swipes her from the sky. The second urugan cannon is taken out by gargoyles, while the damned heavy mortar lands a hit on the unwounded lancer regiment and take them out with that single hit. With that heavy blow, the Kislev chances of victory go from “still som chance” to “no way in hell”.
Turn 6 is just a little grinding back and forth to little effect.
Abyssals win handidly on both scenario and victory points.
End game thoughts
I think my initial plan was very sound. If I could just kill those slave orks, the dwarf regiments could not stand against the sons of ursun, and the right flank would crumble very quickly. However, my flanking action got delayed because I did not have the right tools there. Tzarina Katarin would have easily cleaned the gargoyles out with her speed and breath attack, especially if supported by a troop of ungols. Over there, she and the ungols could also help taking out slave orks. Putting ungols in breath range on turn 1 also stopped that opportunity, so lesson learned hard way on 12″ breath range 🙂
This game did display one of the weaknesses of the list. If I cannot get rid of enemy chaff, I lose my speed and hitting power advantages, and then I lose the game to a grinding match my list can´t handle. Some bad luck in the beginning drove my failures in deployment home.
Abyssal dwarfs were tough opponents, having very dangerous vicious shooting, a defense 6 brick with lots of crushing strength, and lots of annoying and very good chaff in gargoyles and slave orks. I do feel that my list can do well against this list however, as long as I am able to better leverage my way superior speed.
Enemy MVP: Slave orks for tanking 30 shots and then putting too many wounds on my Sons of Ursun.
Runner up: Heavy mortar for badly hurting Tzarina and then late game robbing me of all hope by knocking out my unhurt lancers.
Kislev MVP: Tzarina Katarin for putting the hurt on zerkers, breathing slave orks, crushing an elemental horde and eating up a battle standard, somewhat keeping me in the game until the end.