22 July, 2019

The first Battle! Vanguard Game 1: Supply Grab

Yesterday saw the first mission of our "A Corner of Mantica" campaign.

And it was a glorious battle with a suprising outcome!

Captain Erundas and his men faced the Vanguard of Biggit Crunchem for the first time, and it was a battle to be remembered!

Let me repost the prequel to the first mission from the campaign which you can find here to get you up to speed:

Vanguard Game 1: Supply Grab (Vanguard Scenario 1)

Erundas and his Vanguard have landed and scatter to begin to scout the area. As luck would have it, Biggit Crunchem’s troops are currently roaming the lands in search for valuables the elves might have hidden. By chance 2 small detachments crash together just as the Goblins have finally found some valuables to loot! Biggit Crunchems guts WERE right! Indeed those tricky elves had hidden some of their belongings! And now they even had the audacity to try to defend their belongings! On the elven side Erundas is surprised to make contact with the Goblins so soon. But when he sees the Elven posessions at stake he knows those would be important to secure for the expeditionary forces!

Last minute changes to the Vanguard Company

I made some last minute changes to my <Vanguard Company list> before we started.

I removed the Banggit, added a third mawbeast, added 3 more spears for the rabble that did not have them, totalling me 4 spears, bought a potion of concentration and a second heavy weapon. I figured there is no way I will field the Banggit against elves: The Banggit with his area-of-effect bomb has only 1d8, but the elves with their racial ability can force me to reroll a single die... so that would be a very ineffective at the price of 28 points!

Martin, my elven opponent was caught off guard, because his Vanguard Company contained a Unique Mount already which he wanted to field in the first mission. As I pointed out to him, Unique Items cannot be bought at the beginning of a campaign, so he needed to shift around a bit and restructure his list for the first mission.

I also decide to make a change to my main Wiz: He holds on to the Stun spell and instead replaces the Zap! I decided Stun is much more important against the high-point units of the elves than Zap is! 

The setup for the mission

You can read about my complete list for the first scenario here

When I created the Campaign I initially wanted to use the first scenario of the Vanguard Rulebook as the very first game so new players could get accustomed to the rules without any "special" scenario rules. 

Martin, and me already had a few games against each other under our belly, so we already knew what we were getting ourselves into. 

The list of Martin came up with for the scenario looked like this. Remember, he initially had a different list with a unique mount:

Captain Erundas and his men:

1x Prince (Captain Erundas)
1x Battle Mage
1x Guardian Shambler
1x Kindred Tallspear
3x Kindred Archers
2x Citizen Levy

When I unpacked my rucksack I found in shock that I had forgotten to bring the models along! 

So unfortunately we had to proxy a bit.

The beautifully painted Elven Ranger (5th unit from the left) is proxying for the battle mage. 
That had its good side:
When Martin decided he would not bring any KINDRED GLADESTALKER in his Vanguard company I was a bit sad, because at some point I had wanted to see that model on the table! 
Now it got its chance!

My force was also ready for battle...

Biggit Crunchem and his men

Find the list in detail here.

Yes I needed to proxy too...
The leftmost wolf is the mawbeast, then I unplugged one of my luggits and put it on top of the other wolf I had along with Patafix. The luggit with the squig needed to proxy for my other Luggit on Common mount... 

Having settled that we were ready for battle.

After Setup

The fences gave me a bit of a headache. If he decided to move there with his archers, my Luggits on mounts would not be able to reach them because they cannot climb... luckily he decided not to do that but instead directly go in the center with them. 

General Battle movement over the course of the game

In the first round we both moved forward. He was a bit too sure about the abilities of his Prince so he went in alone, lured by my proxied Luggit on Mount.I decided to charge my Mawbeast up on the flank to maybe lure another one of his models or his archers. 
On the left flank I moved up one luggit to the obelisks in order to make him think twice if he wants to go with his archers there. Apart from that I stayed cautious. 

The Prince takes the bait

The Mawbeast charges forward

The Luggit threatens the Archers flank

His Prince makes the mistake to charge into my Luggit. The trap closes!

Note that in the shadow of the ruin another of my luggits is lurking in the shadows... literally!
I get very lucky because the Prince makes a hindered charge against the proxied luggit on the wolf but is unable to mortally wound him! 

I run and fatigue move my Troll to get in contact with the Wiz and run my Wiz up, use the SLINK of the Wiz on the troll with a boosted die to be able to reactivate him... and SUCCEED and move the rabble up to support the troll. His Kindred Tallspear ignores my Mawbeast to support Captain Erundas (the prince) but he is late to the party.

Boom! Without the support of the Shambler with his ability to soak damage, and being engaged in the back, the Troll is devastating! Captain Erundas gets thrown to the ground. The Troll is in my Retinue and has the MAULER ability which is REALLY powerful especially in combination with the POUND special rule of the troll. Captain Erundas is taken out of the game!

Its the end of turn two, the Elves have secured the middle, but their commander is down.

On the other side my other Luggit on Mount tries to reach the Archers. Martin runs out of luck with his dice, his 2 remaining archers AND battle mage first fail to kill the Luggit... at last for now! 
My opponent thinks about giving up, but then decides against it. It would not be the elven way!

With the Prince gone, I get a bit too bold.I charge my Biggit into his archer that moved to
the middle and kill him.Unfortunately the archers take me out in turn... Biggit Crunchem
is gone!We both lost our commanders...
My troll decides to go for the Kindred Tallspear on the right instead of going against the Shambler:
I would not be able to kill the Shambler! Without the support of the Biggit and without a Heavy Weapon (which I usually give to the troll) the Shambler would prove to be too resilient! 
A Luggit decides it would be heroic of him to help the troll against that single elf instead of moving into the middle...

End of round 3:

2 Luggits go into position to attack or just secure the objectives

The mawbeast is in the back of the enemy

The troll has its day!

It is past midnight already. I think its at that point that his Shambler decides to charge my Wiz and I elect to flee (which is the goblins special ability). The Shambler fails the charge after that and therefore just walks forward. With the 1 short action I have I have left on the Wiz I stun the Shambler in return! I charge the hated archers battle mage from all sides... finally action for my mawbeast! The mage dies.

His shambler joins in, but because my wiz stunned in cannot hit this turn. The Tallspear falls to the Troll but kills the heroic Luggit that decided to help the troll in return.

The mawbeast, troll and the wiz go for the objectives, his archers fall left and right. but he kills my luggit on the mount in the middle!

I charge to engage his Shambler so I can claim the objective in the middle!

Total golbin victory, or so it seems!

End of turn 5, we roll, game ends! 2 enemy models still standing. Not bad. We roll for casualties and give XP!

Campaign Maintenance follows...

We roll for injuries. I do not yet have a healer as retinue but martin does. 

after the dice are cast, especially me gets quite unlucky:

Biggit (Crunchem): Old Wounds -> on a 1d8, if "1" is rolled, start the next game without that model

wow... this is... unfortunate... especially for the campaign. on the very first MISSION!

even worse: i do not have a backup COMMAND unit that i could bring instead!

Martin is also a bit unlucky and we end up with a strange situation, for the elves as well:

Prince (Captain Erundas): miss next game

Its a similar situation for the elves: they do not have a backup command unit... so what happens now? because while I ROLL and even if I fail, the mission may commence. Not so for Martin. At first we did not know how this could be solved...

Martin is not allowed to field an army WITHOUT a command unit, and we both cannot afford a new one right now:
after rolling, the goblins end up with 18 gold and the elves with 10 (+2?) gold...
Probably the only way we can legally play the second game is by Martin using a mercenary commander next game! I do not own the Firebrand, but I do have Blaine from the Vanguard Kickstarter. But I will need to assemble and paint him until next game... thats a task... and it will eat up his whole savings and he will need to sell additional items worth 2 gold to get one gold to get up to 13 gold. but on the other hand... it was his gamble to not get a second command unit. As it was mine... still, its very unfortunate that the "hero" of my campaign Biggit Crunchem will be replaced on the field by a new Biggit as soon as I can afford it... a 1 in 8 chance that nearly a quarter of my points do not show up is too much risk for me! he will need to be replaced, but i will need probably 2 more games to be able to do so.

Other injuries

His battle mage gets "Broken Bones" after the mawbeast took him down... -1 wound on the next game
One of his archers gets killed outright, but he has enough on his roster!
another of his archers will miss the next game too

Other Goblin Injuries

The Luggit on Mawbeast surviving the attack of the Prince got permanently "Broken Bones", so a permanent -1 on wounds. Ouch...
For the other one I rolled better. The luggit on the Mawbeast charging the Battle Mage gets "Impressive Scars", meaning he is now inspiring. Alright!

in my exploration phase i find a blade of slashing (my second) while martin gets 1 lucky charm and 1 crossbow.   

My Troll managing 2 kills has enough XP to level up, so I upgrade his Melee stats and will now hit on a 4+!

Unfortunately, as the campaign rules are written, we cannot make another retinue, because that phase is BEFORE getting gold, and we did not yet have gold to promote anyone... we are not sure if this is on purpose but we will stick to it... and will need to wait until after next battle!

A battle retrospective

Martin decided he would not pursue his tactic to get a unique mount for Captain Erundas... he is far too valuable to be risked and to put even more points into him. We both agreed that his brave and fearless charge into my right flank all by himself was... unwise. Erundas failed to impress when he failed to kill a single luggit!
We both imagine that my Troll will get quite some XP before the campaign ends, because he is hard to kill but is very deadly. His shambler did not see any real action this time because I opted to ignore him as a target, and that was a good decision. On my side, I was really happy with the new setup I came up with. I can threaten his archers with the two luggits on the mawbeasts and the single mawbeast. That the mawbeast ran into the back and killed his Battle Mage with the help of the Luggit on the mawbeast which in turn got burned with an impressive scar by the mage was epic!
His archer combo stays deadly, I need to make sure to threaten them in the upcoming games!
Apart from that, it was quite clear early on who the winner would be after Captain Erundas went down. Still we both enjoyed the game, because it was still interesting to see if the elves managed to hold some of the objectives!

The next scenario 

The second vanguard game will be "Light the Beacon"! Captain Erundas wants to get a signal to the Elven expeditionary fleet while the Goblins will try to prevent that. 
The game will probably be in about 2 weeks time. I am already exited! And I hope that the "old wounds" will not make Biggit Crunchem incapable of participating in the battle... if so, then I should probably forfeit as soon as I can!

18 July, 2019

First "A Corner of Mantica" Vanguard Game ahead!

The first mission will be the first mission in the Vanguard rule-book: "Supply Grab"

In this scenario, we score at the end of the game for 3 objectives.
Because we only score in the end of the game, scouts are not that important. And because I am sure my elf-opponent will again bring his "Archers of Death" I will not bring my Grunt Spitters. 
My estimation is that I will be heads on with my opponent battling it out for those 3 crucial points, where not much maneuvering will be done and sheer Battlepower will be key. I also estimate he will only have around 6-8 models because the elven models are quite expensive.
Therefore I decided upon the following list: 

Vanguard for: First Mission Supply Grab

Biggit + Hvy Wpn + Rare Mount 48
Troll 34
Wiz + Lucky Charm 30
Luggit 10 
Luggit 10 
Luggit 10
Luggit+Mount 15
Luggit+Mount 15
Rabble+Spear  9
Maw-beast 19

The idea is to have a few models that will not be immediately killed by the Archers of Death who can overwhelm single enemies with numerical advantage. The two mounted Luggits and the Maw-beast are there to be able to chase down his archers or at least to make him think twice where he puts them. I did not have the points to give my Troll the Blade of Slashing, so I am not sure how I will fare against his Prince or Shambler... but let's try it out!

16 July, 2019

My Vanguard Company for the Campaign

After our prequel battle, I finalized my company roster and supply wagon for the campaign. I tried to keep flexible and also to have a bit of backup in case some of my units get wounded. 

The final list I decided upon was:

1 Biggit
2 Trolls
2 Wiz
6 Luggits
5 Spitter
4 Rabble
1 Banggit
2 Mawbeasts


1x Rabble Spear 3x Potion of Haste
1x Battle Potion
1x Rare Mount (Biggit)
1x Heavy Weapon (Biggit)
1x Blade of Slashing (Troll)
1x Lucky Charm (Wiz)
1x Rare Healing Herbs (Wiz)
2x Common Mount (Luggits)
1x Long Bow (Bangit)

The second troll and the wiz are both backup in case my main ones get maimed. I thought hard if I should get a third mawbeast, but fielding 3 mawbeats in one mission would limit my other choices too much anyway, so I went with only 2. Plus, I am not yet sure if they are really useful. I am right now more leaning towards using Luggits on Common Mounts. They are only 15 points in comparison to 19 points and do not use a "support" slot. Granted, no "howl" ability, but apart from that I still have 7 movement which should help me reach the pesky elven archers in time. I am also not sure yet if the Banggit will be useful, but maybe I will try him out... but if I do, then definitely with a Long Bow as equipment to give him the reach he needs in the rounds he is not close enough to the enemy for using his bombs! I will proxy my Banggit with an old Goblin Fanatic (I think a 4th edition model). I think his iron ball looks like it could be stuffed with gunpowder and he has the chain for better throwing it! (You can find him on the left on the group picture)

My first wiz will surely be replacing the Stun spell with Slink. Idea is to give my buffed Troll and Biggit another chance to shine each round! For my second Wiz I am tempted to instead stay with Stun... because the elves do not have many models, so if I stun one of his models, that effectively takes away half of his actions... and for his expensive models that could be quite nasty! 

I got 4 Rabble in case I want to try to flood my enemy with models! But only one of them has a spear so far. Let us see if I really use the other 3. If so, definitely not in the first mission, therefore I only bought one spear. And later on if I want to field them, I will spend the gold in order to pay for the spears. I think it will depend much on the mission we are going to play if they will see any action. 

You might wonder about the 3 Potions of Haste. The idea behind that was that in the campaign rules you are only allowed to buy ONE rare OR unique item after each battle! And I might want to buy some of the cool unique items so I would not be able to replenish my potions. Idea would be to give them to my Luggits in order to reach the mentioned archers quickly. In a 1 on 1 combat its pretty even, but I can beat them with the Luggits, plus... I have the numbers on the elven player!

Then, after the first or second campaign game, I will review my strategy and see if I want to change anything...

Next up I might hopefully be able to present the Elven Vanguard Company in another blogpost! 

07 July, 2019

Prequel battle to the "A Corner of Mantica battle" campaign

It is finaly time to play my campaign!

My opponent is a teacher and now has some more spare time in summer. We agreed to play the campaign, me of course leading the goblins. (Actually I also would have enjoyed the elves, but he is an Elf fan).
We agreed to make one test match prior to starting the campaign in order to get a feel what troops we should get for our campaign roster.
I clashed with him two times before and to my suprise he beat me both times. One fight was Undead (me) vs. Forces of Nature (him), I think. The second game I do not remember, but I know he played elves again.
So this time I was determined to play better!

We met yesterday after I had prepared my standard goblin list that I use against the abyssals. He played more or less with the same list like last time when he faced my undead (which he crushed).

My list (old goblin rules!):
* 4 Spitters
* 4 Luggit
* 1 Troll with Rare Blade of Slashing
* 1 Wiz with Lucky Charm and healing bandages
* 1 Biggit with Rare Mount & Heavy Weapon
* 1 Rubble (Spear)

His List:
* 3 Archers
* 1 Levy
* 1 Shambler
* 3 Tallspears
* 1 Wizard
* 1 Prince

First we had the list, then we rolled for the scenario. I rolled "Capture the Giant", but since I did not bring my Giant with me and its not yet painted, we re-rolled. Then Scenario 2: Light the Beacon came up, which would have meant that the defender needed to re-choose his list as he only has 175 pts. Therefore we rolled again and came to "Capture the princess". Another die roll later we knew, I was the defender.
Goblins having captured an Elven princess that the elven vanguard now has to free. Fitting!

After deployment
He positioned himself mostly on my left flank. I put two spitters left and right (they have the scout rule). Apart from that I was lacking a real strategy. My thought was to let him come in close and then kill him off...

He had the first turn but first we rolled for power. I got extremely lucky as you can see...

One lucky dice roll for me!

Then the first round commenced. I was immediately reminded that playing against elves is VERY different from playing against Abyssals when he instantly sniped off two of my spitters! 

My spitter in the middle was immediately killed

He was reluctant to move any closer and feared that I would charge him. But after seeing how fast my Goblins died to his Archers and Spellcaster I got a bit uneasy just sitting back at the objective. 
When he was finally finished with elaborating his next moves and decided to move up his Shambler, I decided to attack! After all, I knew my Troll, combined with a Rabble with Spear and my Biggit buffed with his Mount and Heavy Weapon could do some nasty damage! Even more so with the Wiz being able to remove one activation. 
I think that decision cost me the game... 

The shambler goes in all alone. I decide to charge!
The princess has the best view of the drama unfolding

Unfortunately the shambler is very hard to kill. He keeps my best units bogged down while the battle around them unfolds. Its turn two and I already get charged near the princess... which catches me quite by surprise. The speed of the elves is astonishing! He runs forward and fatigues to get into melee with some of my units. His archers move forward, putting devastation into my lines. 

His archer takes a shot at the Wiz
The Wiz has a bad armor, but an amazing nerve of 3! During the game my Spellcaster gets mortally wounded many times, but stands up again and again thanks to nerve 3 and inspiring. The Healing Herbs I gave him also helped. 

The enemy prince and one tallspear take the already mentioned "Run plus Walk via Fatigue" action and take my Wiz by suprise. Like a miracle my Wiz survives.

I have a decision to make. I could forsake the Wiz. But I have three luggits guarding the princess. I could charge the Prince in the back and the Tallspear in the back as well. If he retaliates at the charging units, I can run away with the Wiz without risking the free "attack". I go for it. 

Unfortunately we played the "6th Sense" skill wrong that the Prince has. Because usually, charging in the back with 2 Luggits would be quite devastating: 8d8 with Sneaky, meaning dice exploding on 7s or 8s...  even with the elven rule that forces me to reroll one of my dice this can be deadly. Unfortunately we interpreted the 6th sense rule of the prince wrong when we think it nullifies the charge in the back and thus the sneaky... but actually it should have worked! 6th Sense only helps in case you are not enganged, but the prince was actually already engaged with the wiz. 
My attack fails completely, but i at least can move away with the Wiz. 

They get closer... 

In the front: 2 of my luggits ordered to rescue the Wiz from the attack of the Prince. In the back on the right you can see the Shambler still being pounded by the Biggit and the Troll. The  Rabble supporting them was already sniped by the deadly archers. 

Round 3 begins... my luck breaks...

Well, with one power point I do not have much wiggle room! I later realize I may reroll a die and end up with two power points, but still... my enemy is again at 7 power points in comparison. Here we made another mistake... he of course always uses his elven special power ability to force me to reroll one of the dice i hit him with on each attack. but we only make him pay 2 power points. oh well, lesson learned for next time. its actually 3 power points!

This round everything goes south. My wiz escapes and I finally kill the shambler, but I decide to move up with my Biggit to shield a lowly spitter from being sniped. And immediately my unwounded biggit gets killed by combined fire of the Elven Wizard and an archer! Those archers are really deadly! My Luggits that came to the rescue of the Wiz both get taken down by the Prince. The Wiz that escaped the Prince gets shot by the elven archers. Once again I get a down-but-not-out result.  

I get dangerously close to breaking. With that and my Biggit gone, my hopes of winning get quite slim. Unless I can tie him down...
Round 4 sees me breaking, but my heroic goblins all stay and fight! Well... the ones that are still alive that is...

But it does not help. The elves advance and secure the princes with beginning of round 5. Even my Troll finally goes down. If I remember correctly it gets shot down by the deadly archers. My wiz gets charged by another archer and finally dies. 

The elves cut the princess free

I have 2 Goblins standing. One Luggit is duelling for the longest time on my left. The other one rushed back from the right flank to the princess... but no chance against those overwhelming numbers.

That was the game! Well, what shall I say.... very different from the games against Dwarves and Abyssals that I did lately. I forgot how deadly those elves are. The spitters are absolutely wasted against this race. I need to come up with a different tactic. Their superior mobility gives me headaches too, he can just stand back and shoot. With his 3 Archers I am pretty sure he can even kill off my troll in one go if he does his group shoot. Fighting him in the campaign will be tricky. I am thinking about bringing some Luggits on mounts. I am not yet sure about bringing mawbeasts instead of just those luggits on mounts, I think mawbeasts are quite expensive and a bit squishy... we will see. 
Apart from that I also learned not to charge his Shambler. He is really a formidable foe! He took so much beating until he went down... I need to focus on other enemies and ignore the shambler until it only has one health left.

The game took quite a few hours, but for my opponent it was also the first game since the beta rules if i recall correctly. PLUS he likes to think quite a while. 
Next time we meet we will assemble our Vanguard Companies and supply train! In about two weeks we will then play our first campaign game. We are both very exited already!