This was the first game I played of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Despite getting the rules when 8th edition came out, here it is years later (mere months away from the 9th edition) that I finally pull it out to play. This particular game was played about three weeks ago, and I’ve given it the full Battle Report treatment even though it was a far from perfect game. Curious as to how it went? Read on!
It was a bit of a fluke, really. When the new Dwarfs Army Book was announced, I pulled out my minis to see how much I actually had. I knew I had a ton of Dwarfs, but I was surprised to find that I had enough goblins for a fairly decent army as well. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m still trying to decide how to spend my hobby time this year, but rereading the WFB rules got me excited about the game again. I am not going to make the same mistake I made with 40K, however. I always felt that with 40K I had to have a fully painted army to play, especially since at the time I figured most of my gaming was going to be done at the local GW store. Now that I have the pleasure of a regular opponent, I plan on actually playing the damn game.
Before I get started, some notes:
- Nothing is painted. Some units have been primed, but the rest are just bare plastic or metal. I apologize for this, as it makes some of the units difficult to see against the basic terrain used.
- There are newbie mistakes all over the place. I’ve added “out of character” notes at the end of each turn to describe what we did wrong. If the action in the turn seems odd, hopefully the notes at the end will explain.
- Many thanks to my opponent, whom I will refer to as “Drakard.” He’s not a big fan of fantasy in general, but is always keen to play an interesting game.
Rage of the Blood Ruby: Dwarfs vs Night Goblins (1000 pts)
Dwarfs: 997 pts
“Like the rock, we endure.”
– Lord Urik Jernhånd
My honoured opponent Drakard played this list, though I created it.
This army list was created from the 2005 Dwarf army book. The new Dwarf book was not yet available.
I noticed a few days after the battle that the Dwarf Warriors in this list had no shields purchased. This was a mistake, as they were used in the game. Including shields would have adjusted the overall cost of the list upwards to 1017 points, which was a little high. To compensate, either a Dwarf or two would have been lost from a specific unit or a rune would have been removed from one of the characters.
Dwarf Lord Jernhånd (188 pts): Runic Axe (Rune of Snorri Spangelhelm, Rune of Striking), Runic Gromril Armour (Rune of Stone), Fancy but Non-Magical Shield.
Dragon Slayer Sinnsyk (60 pts), Runic Axe (Rune of Striking).
Dragon Slayer Gol (75 pts), Runic Axe (Rune of Striking, Grudge Rune).
Sisteskanse’s Dwarf Warriors (185 pts): 19 Warriors plus Veteran, with Standard Bearer and Musician. Hand weapons, heavy armour (and should have had shields).
Tordenbukser’s Thunderers (249 pts): 15 Warriors plus Veteran, with Standard Bearer and Musician. Dwarf handguns, Light armour. The Veteran carried a brace of Dwarf pistols instead of a handgun.
Gulsharljet’s Miners (135 pts): 9 Miners plus Prospector, with Standard Bearer and Musician. Great weapons, hand weapons, heavy armour.
Grårøyk’s Artiller Battery (105 pts): Dwarf cannon with three crew. Runes of Reloading and Burning.
No rare units.
Night Goblins: 997 pts
“Oi, dey`s gonna get a right slappin’ fer tryna steal our stuff”
-Warboss Rung of the Zogspindamiffa Tribe
I played this list.
This is essentially the Skull Pass goblin set, bulked up with some extra minis from a second Skull Pass goblin set.
Rung, Night Goblin Warboss (143 pts), Shrieking Blade, Armour of Fortune, Luckstone, Crown of Command.
Blamma, Night Goblin Shaman (120 pts), Level 2 Wizard, Ruby Ring of Ruin, Seed of Rebirth. Known spells of the Little Waaagh: Vindictive Glare, Gift of the Spider God.
Dawja, Big Boss Battle Standard Bearer (107 pts), Light Armour, The Bad Moon Banner.
Klug’s Night Goblin Spear Mob (137 pts): 23 Night Goblins plus Boss with musician. Shields and spears. Netters. This mob is designed to support the Battle Standard Bearer, to there is no unit standard bearer.
Tunk’s Night Goblin Spear Mob (105 pts): 24 Night Goblins plus Boss, with Standard Bearer and Musician. Shields and spears.
Bikka’s Night Goblin Arrer Mob (102 pts): 24 Night Goblins plus Boss, with Standard Bearer and Musician. Bows and arrows.
Gostab’s Spider Rider Mob (238 pts): 15 Forest Goblin Spider Riders plus Boss, with Standard Bearer and Musician.
Kini, Stone Troll (45 pts): Kini carries nothing special except his favourite bashing rock. It’s more like a security blanket, really.
Deep within the roots of the mountains sits a treasure of staggering value: The Heartstone, a blood ruby crystal the size of an ale barrel, cut so flawlessly it refracted any light with a warm, ruddy glow. It belonged to the Dwarfs, thousands of years ago. They considered it too valuable to risk the journey to their fortress, so they carved a chamber for it from the surrounding rock and placed it on a plinth so its shine could illuminate every corner of its home. Clever Dwarf engineering tricks concealed the lone entrance, and runes sealed the entryway. The Heartstone was thought to be safe from any calamity.
Then came the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and and other calamities that heralded the start of the Goblin Wars. Expeditions to the chamber found routes flooded, blocked or too unstable to pass. The chamber was thought lost, though stories of a lone, lost miner or Ironbreaker discovering a ruby of immense size would appear from time to time.
Now, 1500 years later, the intrepid Dwarf explorer Lord Urik Jernhånd has found the chamber. His journey was a long one, fraught with risk and danger as he led his expedition through tunnels long lost to Goblins and Skaven. His party suffered greatly as they travelled, yet they stayed true to their cause. In the end they were rewarded by the honour of being the first Dwarfs to stand in the light of the Heartstone in a millennium and a half.
Their moment of triumph was interrupted as goblins emerged into the far side of the chamber. Members of the Zogspindamiffa tribe, they had been harrying Lord Jernhånd the last leg of his journey. Now, united under goblin Warboss Rung, they stand between Jernhånd and his prize…
Deployment: Each side deploys within 12” of the long table edge.
Victory Conditions: Victory points.
Table Size: Play is on a 4’ x 6’ table
Special Scenario Rules: No special rules.
Night Goblins win initiative, and start unit placement.
Night Goblins Deployment
The Night Goblins deploy across the length of the table edge. Facing the Dwarf lines, from left to right:
- Gostab’s Spider Riders form up in the left corner in three full ranks and a fourth rank with a lone rider.
- Kini the Stone Troll stands on the far side of the gravel mound.
- Tunk’s Spear Mob sets up behind a column near the board edge.
- Shaman Blamma hides directly behind the column, close to Tunk’s Spear Mob but not a part of it.
- Klug’s Spear Mob deploys in the middle, out of sight of the Dwarfs.
- Dawja, the Battle Standard Bearer, starts as a part of Klug’s Spear Mob and stands in the normal standard bearer’s position.
- Warboss Rung stands on the far side of the Klug’s Spear Mob, but does not join that mob.
- Bikka’s Arrer Mob starts almost in the far right corner.
The Dwarfs castle up in the right corner (from the perspective of looking across the battlefield towards the Goblins), with a tight deployment.
- Grårøyk’s Artiller Crew rolls out the cannon near the corner.
- Sisteskanse’s Dwarf Warriors position themselves to the right front of the cannon.
- Dwarf Lord Jernhånd starts with the warriors, and stands in their front rank.
- Tordenbukser’s Thunderers deploy to the left front of the cannon, in a formation two ranks deep, eight files across.
- Slayer Gol stands between the Warriors and Thunderers.
- The Grudge Rune is declared for the Stone Troll.
- Slayer Sinnsyk takes up a spot on the far side of the Thunderers.
- Gulsharljet’s Miners are not placed on the battlefield. As per the Underground Advance rule, they are currently tunnelling through rock and will appear from an unexpected quarter later on.
What We Did Wrong
I forgot about the Spider Riders’ Vanguard Move. Seems that Gostab and his lot enjoyed a nice hot cup of fungomille tea instead of getting a free move on the Dwarfs.
The Dwarfs win the roll to go first.
“Tell the lads to stand fast. Let them come to us.”
– Dwarf Lord Jernhånd
The Dwarf contingent does not advance.
Skipped, as the Dwarfs have a pint and wonder what they’re supposed to be doing during this step.
Grårøyk spots Kini, the stone troll, out in the open on the other side of the chamber. He sights the cannon and fires. The cannon ball skips across the cavern floor and catches Kini right in the chest, killing him instantly and splattering his remains across the ground.
Close Combat Phase
No close combat. Slayers chop the air with anticipation, but cause no wounds to the atmosphere.
“Oh my glob, dey killed Kini! Da bastids!”
-Chok, Standard Bearer for Tunk’s Mob
A squabble breaks out in Tunk’s Spear Mob as Chok, the standard bearer, tries to lead everyone across the field to teach the stunties a lesson. Boss Tunk explains to his standard bearer the risk of marching right at a cannon through slaps, bites and a well-placed kick to the groin. Chok presents his counter-argument with a head-butt and kidney punch. The rest of the goblin rank and file joins the spirited debate, keeping Tunk’s Spear Mob out of the fight for the turn.
Gostab wheels his Spider Riders around a full 90 degrees towards the Dwarf lines and advances over the stone embankment.
Klug’s Spear Mob marches straight ahead. Warboss Rung paces alongside, using them as a shield for the cannon.
Bikka’s Arrer Mob marches straight ahead for another stone embankment, looking to gain some high ground for their short bows.
Shaman Blamma stays put, out of sight of the cannon.
Shaman Blamma casts… nothing. The brawl in Tunk’s mob is far too entertaining, and the shaman is having trouble getting more than a few words out between hysterical cackles.
Nothing. Bikka’s Arrer Mob is way, way, way out of range.
Close Combat Phase
Nobody is close enough to fight the Dwarfs, but Tunk body-slams Chok just to keep the phase from being a total waste.
“Load ‘er up, boys. A round of Bugman’s says I can hit those gobbos from here.”
-Grårøyk, Dwarf Gunner
Tordenbukser’s Thunderers wheel to the left and marched into the gap between the stone rise and the central rise housing the blood ruby.
Both the Slayers marched ahead towards the Goblin lines. Slayer Sinnsyk ends up behind the stone rise, while Slayer Gol finishes adjacent to a column, in front of the Thunderers.
Sisteskanse’s Dwarf Warriors and Lord Jernhånd stay put.
Sisteskanse attemtps the pick-a-card-any-card trick, much to the dismay of the rest of his unit.
Squinting into the gloom, Grårøyk makes out the dim shapes of Tunk’s night goblins lurking about behind a distant column. He can’t tell what they’re up to—not that he cares, so long as they stay in sight. His crew reloads. The goblins are almost at the edge of the cannon’s range. Grårøyk makes a bet that he can hit them despite the distance. He takes a rod and nudges the cannon slightly to the left, then fires. Four goblins in Tunk’s Spear Mob are sent flying in different directions.
Tunk’s Mob is surprised by the shot. They don’t panic, but their debate on tactics is over for now.
“We’s goin da wrong way.”
“Oh yeah? Sez who?”
“Sez the back o’ me hand!”
-Boss Bikka and a Dissenting Goblin Soldier
Boss Bikka’s Arrer Mob is just short of the stone rise on the far side of the battlefield. Bikka is determined to get to the top of the rise, but some of the goblins want a break before the climb. Union rules. Bikka tells them to file a proper grievance. The goblins don’t have any files, but they do try to submit a grievance with their fists. Boss Bikka’s Arrer Mob misses a turn of combat.
Nearby, one of the night goblins in the first rank of Klug’s Spear Mob trips over his robes and falls flat on his face. The goblins in the rank behind him don’t see him and trip over him as they march. The effect cascades as goblins in each of the following ranks trip over the goblins sprawled on the ground and join the pile. As the goblins try to rise, their spears get snarled with the ones held by those still standing, and they all go down in a heap. This continues for the rest of the turn.
Gostab’s Spider Riders march at an eight-legged trot towards the Dwarf warriors. As the lines of Sisteskanse’s unit come into view, Gostab readies his riders for a charge.
His amusement over, Shaman Blamma moves up to behind a nearby column.
Tunk’s Spear Mob moves to the left 2 inches. The nearby column was not much cover against the cannon, and the unit is too close to wheel and march.
Shaman Blamma gets distracted fondling his fetishes and casts no spells.
Bikka’s Arrer Mob is not only way, way, way out of range, they’re a bit busy to shoot anything.
Close Combat Phase
Nobody is close enough to assault the Dwarfs, which suits the Dwarfs just fine.
What We Did Wrong
We forgot to roll to see if the Dwarf Miners entered the battlefield.
“I don’t care what the Rules of War say. I didn’t dig through all this rock just to watch a bunch of gobbos charge me!”
“C’mon, ya poxy web-cursed gobbos! Charge me! Charge me!!”
– Dragon Slayer Sinnsyk
The Miners arrive!
Sadly, some of the actions here are riddled with errors.
Tordenbukser’s Thunderers wheel to the right, lining themselves up to march right down the battlefield towards the Goblin forces.
Dragon Slayer Gol moves across the front of the Thunderers to stand in front of their right-most flank.
In a characteristically suicidal move, Dragon Slayer Sinnsyk moves out in front of the Spider Riders, blocking their charge of the Sisteskanse’s Dwarf Warriors.
The Warriors wheel to the right, readying to either move or charge the Spider Riders.
With a crash of rock exploding outwards, Gulsharljet’s Miners emerge from a new opening in the cavern wall. They discover they’ve arrived behind goblin lines, very close to the Tunk’s Spear Mob. The Miners declare a charge against the mob. The goblins hold, as the Dwarfs are so close that fleeing is too risky. The Miners rush the goblins and hit Tunk’s mob on the right flank.
Sisteskanse attempts to pull a rabbit out of his helmet. All he manages to get is a nasty rabbit bite and the inside of his helmet soiled.
Grårøyk catches sight of the Spider Riders over the crest of the stone rise. His crew pivots the cannon towards the new target, but something goes wrong when Grårøyk pulls the firing lanyard. Instead of a satisfying boom, the cannon makes an ominous click. Launching his own volley of thunderous expletives, Grårøyk and his crew start to clear the misfire.
Close Combat Phase
Although caught along the flank, Tunk’s Spear Mob still harries the charging Miners. Crude iron speartips slip past shields and pierce armour plates. Four Dwarfs fall before they can strike blows. The losses whip Gulsharljet’s surviving Miners into a fury. Enraged swings of their mighty pick-axes send five reedy night goblins to their dooms. Surprised at their sudden losses, Tunk’s Mob breaks and runs. The Miners give chase and pursue the gobbos up a nearby gravel mound, but the Dwarfs are not fast enough to catch the fleeing green-skinned creatures.
“Run the stunty down, me ladz!”
Tunk’s Spear Mob fails to rally, preferring the more goblin tactic of screaming and running for safety.
Bikka’s Arrer Mob notices Gulsharljet’s Miners chasing after the last of Tunk’s goblins.
“Oi, Tunk is makin’ off with all da stunties!” someone shouts. “We’ll show ‘em!”
Bikka’s Mob forms up with record speed and runs towards the Miners.
Tunk’s Spear Mob continues to flee over the gravel mound from the Miners.
Filled with grim determination, Bikka’s Archer Mob marches towards the miners.
Nearby, Klug’s Spear Mob wheels left towards the Thunderers. Warboss Rung walks over and joins the unit.
Gostab lets loose a squeaky war cry, and the Spider Riders charge Dragon Slayer Sinnsyk. The Slayer holds his ground and waits for the spiders to get close.
Shaman Blamma decides it’s time to get involved in Tunk’s plight. He dances around, chants a few words to Mork (or is it Gork?) and lets fly with a Vindictive Glare spell at the Miners. Spiteful energy races towards Gulsharljet’s troop, but the Dwarf’s natural resistance saps the strength from the magic, undoing and dispelling the spell.
Gulsharljet feels the magic expire, and looks over his shoulder at the scrawny shaman. Shaman Blamma is suddenly aware of how isolated he is. Preparing for the worst, he casts Gift of the Spider God on himself. Though most of his teeth rotted away long ago, the few remaining drip with magical venom.
For the first time this battle, Bikka’s Arrer Mob is almost within range of an enemy. Unfortunately, “almost” is still too far away.
Close Combat Phase
Gostab’s Spider Riders descend from the stone rise, thundering towards Slayer Sinnsyk.
The Slayer shifts his weight to his rear foot, adjusts the grip on his axes. He inhales deeply, and explodes into motion. Goblin spear thrusts barely scratch him or miss altogether. Dwarf rune axes bite hard and drink deep of forest goblin blood. Two riders and their spiders are butchered, while the Slayer is effectively unwounded.
Slayer Sinnsyk stops the goblin charge single-handedly. Severely outnumbered, he holds his ground.
What We Did Wrong
- Dragon Slayer Gol should be 1 inch out in front of the warriors, as he can’t join the unit and should not be in base-to-base contact with them.
- I forgot to have the Shaman make a chanelling roll.
- In the Miners-vs-Goblins close combat…
- The Miners couldn’t have declared a charge on the Tunk’s Spear Mob, as the gobbos weren’t in the Miner’s front arc. The Miners should have moved normally this turn, and been in position to charge next turn.
- Tunk’s goblins attacked with a supporting rank. This shouldn’t have happened with a flank combat. Only those models in direct contact with the Dwarfs should have rolled To-Hit.
- The goblin dead models should have been removed from the back ranks according to goblin unit facing. Instead, they were removed from the opposite file (the “back” of the unit as per the Dwarfs’ attack).
- When the goblins fled, they should have lost their standard bearer.
- In the Slayer-vs-Spider Riders combat…
- The mounts in the front rank did not attack. If they did, they would have not only brought an additional three attacks against the Slayer, but the attacks would have been poisoned. I was looking up the rule at the time, as I was wondering why attacks for the mount were even listed—I thought only the riders could attack. However, I couldn’t find anything right then so we ignored the mounts for the game. I finally found the rules about mount attacks while going through the main book the following day.
- I forgot about the combat reform. The gobbos were victorious, so the would have been able to adjust their ranks to better receive the Dwarf charge and get more gobbos into the fight.
“I will have DEATH!”
– Slayer Sinnsyk
Tordenbukser’s Thunderers and Slayer Gol march forward.
Sisteskanse’s Dwarf Warriors, led by Lord Jernhånd, rush to aid Slayer Sinnsyk, and charge into combat on the right of the frenzied Dwarf.
Finding the energy for a burst of speed, Gulsharljet’s Miners charge Tunk’s fleeing Spear Mob. They catch the goblins atop the second crest of the gravel mound and massacre the little creatures.
Lord Jernhånd disappears! For a pint of ale, that is. He’s back before anyone notices he was gone.
With the help of a cleverly crafted Rune of Reloading, Grårøyk’s crew clears out the dud and reloads with fresh powder. The cannon is brought to bear on Klug’s Spear Mob, now visible crossing the central platform. A magical darkness enshrouds and obscures the goblins, so the Dwarf crew aims a shot for the biggest thing they can see: the goblin battle standard.
The cannon fires. The iron ball hits the ground short of the unit and bounces into the air, ripping the top off the standard bearer’s high, peaked hood and the hoods of the two night goblins behind him. The two goblins after that were not so lucky. Their hoods were blown off as well, along with both their heads.
Note: Three 1’s were rolled To Wound. Dawja and two rank-and-file goblins escaped certain doom by sheer luck.
Tordenbukser’s Thunderers cannot see Klug’s Spear Mob thanks to the shape of their advancing formation and the plinth holding the blood ruby.
Close Combat Phase
Slayer Sinnsyk and Lord Jernhånd carve into the middle of the Spider Rider ranks, killing four.
The Spider Riders retaliate, but are unable to pierce Lord Jernhånd’s armour. One goblin spear finds its mark on the Slayer, stabbing him deeply but not fatally.
Sisteskanse’s Dwarf Warriors fight proudly alongside their lord. They send another two Spider Riders to oblivion.
Gostab’s Spider Riders lose the round, but they don’t break.
“C’mon, ya lumpz! We’z missin’ da fight!”
The goblins finally stand united against the Dwarfs. No unit suffers from animosity this turn.
Bikka’s Archer Mob continues to march towards the miners, closing the distance to the armoured Dwarfs.
Klug’s Spear Mob and Warboss Rung likewise advance on the Thunderers, marching right up behind the plinth holding the blood ruby.
Shaman Blamma makes a regular move, taking a short stroll towards the Miners while keeping the column between himself and the Thunderers.
Shaman Blamma chants, stomps and dances his way through casting another Vindictive Glare. This time, he boosts it to make sure the stunties don’t ruin his fun again. He targets the Miners and releases a potent magical blast. This time, the Dwarf resistance is overcome. Three of the remaining six Miners are slain by magical maliciousness.
Gulsharljet and the other two survivors panic and flee the battle.
Bikka’s Arrer mob is again almost within range of an enemy. Again, “almost” is still too far away—though a few gobbos shoot some arrows just to be sure.
Close Combat Phase
Slayer Sinnsyk and Lord Jernhånd continue their carnage, killing four more Spider Riders.
Their numbers severely depleted, the Spider Riders do no damage to Jernhånd, Sinnsyk or any of the warriors in Sisteskanse’s unit.
The Dwarf Warriors also fail to hurt the Spider Riders.
Gostab has had enough. He sounds the retreat with a loud fearful squeak and runs back across the stone rise. The rest of his spider riders follow closely, with the Slayer and the other Dwarfs not very far behind.
What We Did Wrong
- Again, I forgot the channelling roll for the Shaman.
- As mentioned before, the spider mounts did not attack as I didn’t think they were allowed.
- Also forgot about the combat reform once more. It really would have helped after the first round of Turn 4 close combat, assuming I rolled Gostab’s pitiful Leadership.
“Erm… Wot happened to da ovver haff o’ me army?”
The goblin warboss shows rare insight and withdraws his forces from the battlefield before anyone else falls to the Dwarf might. Warboss Rung will simply have to get the blood ruby using more traditional methods: cheatin’ and thievin’.
Lord Jernhånd at first thinks he’s won a stunning victory over the night goblins with no losses, but Prospector Gulsharljet eventually finds his way back to report his casualties. Though saddened, the Dwarfs realize this could have been much worse. They thank their good fortune and return to their stone halls—and this time, they take the blood ruby with them.
The battle was actually called because we ran out of time to play. Dwarfs won over Goblins, just by lost units alone.
Just out of curiosity, we rolled to see if the Slayer would have caught the Spider Riders next turn. He would have indeed caught up to the unit and wiped them all out.
Despite all the mistakes and the things we forgot, this was a good, fun first battle. My opponent did his usual tactic of castling up in a corner and waiting for me to come to him. That’s not a good position for a goblin to be in with the forces I had. Plus, my deployment was far too scattered to get half of my forces into the fight.
Freakin’ tough. The goblins had a hard time landing a wound on anything with their lower weapon skill and strength. Even though the Slayer wore no armour, most goblins still needed a d6 roll of 6 to do some damage. That 6 proved pretty elusive – it came up only once.
That cannon was also a real worry. Except for the one time it misfired, it killed something every round and the Bad Moon Banner’s enshrouding darkness was useless against it.
The Slayer had the epic moment this battle. I’m sure it might have played out a bit differently if we’d had the poisoned attacks from the spiders, but even stepping out in front of that charge was awesome.
They weren’t as spineless as I expected. I thought the main problem I’d face would be having all these units fleeing the battlefield. I really didn’t think Animosity would take such a high toll, but there was a unit down every turn except for the last turn.
Light cavalry is fast, maneuverable but not so strong. I was later shown a tactic that units like this can do to bait other units into charging them. It’s a bit risky if they get caught, but hopefully their higher movement will keep them safe.
I think my goblin forces do need some war machine muscle. That cannon was rather impressive, and though the gobbos don’t really have an equivalent they do have some neat toys I’d like to try.
I’ve also heard stories about the nice things that mangler squigs can do to tight, defensive formations. Unfortunately, I don’t have the $70 to buy the units. I may at some time in the future try making them.