Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Where it all began - a trip down WFB lane

While in New Zealand recently I got a surprise message from an old sparring partner, Barrie.  He and his brother Greg introduced me to 'official' wargaming via Warhammer Fantasy Battle in the very early '90s.

We had some great games, and I often find myself reminiscing fondly of those times playing on a ping pong table with books for hills, the odd unpainted regiment, and one rule book shared amongst the three of us.

So when Barrie messaged me through Facebook asking if I'd like a game while I was in town I jumped at the chance.

I went round to his place on the Wednesday night and he had set up his table and brought out Orc and Empire armies.  I hadn't seen Barrie in 20 years, so we were naturally distracted by catching up as much as I was by seeing some of the same figures we used to game with all those years ago.

I took the Orcs because it sounded like the Empire army required spell casting and what not, which was never my favourite part of WFB.  The rules have changed since the edition we played with back then, and I was sorry to see that the old no-measuring rule which required you to estimate charge and war engine fire ranges by eye has gone by the wayside.

This disappointment was largely due to range estimation being a part of the game I was good at!

We used the recent rules for setting up the table, and by the end there were masses of terrain.  I decided to concentrate on a narrow front, with war engines in the centre to try and break up the enemy horse as they came in.  My main strike force of chariots was on the right, and I hoped that they'd be able to give as good as they got.

I kept trolls and a chariot to guard my left flank, and another chariot and the unit of Black Orcs in reserve.*

My right flank.

The Empire line was just a giant whack of horsemen, with some light types that scooted around my left flank and started the game in a very nice spot.  They also had some kind of magical war machine of impressive dimensions in the centre.

The sneaky light horse on their sneaky way.

The Empire left and centre, with sneaky horse in the distance.

Barrie started off by getting his light horse into position to harass my left, immediately killing off a chariot with pistol fire.  He advanced his main line a little, casting various spells of protection on his units and necessitating some dispel attempts of my own.

Those pesky blokes with pistols who killed my chariot...

Some chaps on fearsome war beasts.

In my turn I charged in on the right with the chariots, hoping to knock over his left-most unit of cavalry and from there roll up his flank.  We almost succeeded with the first part of that grand scheme, but magical saves and hatred helped him to win the first round of combat.

My chariots then gallantly turned and fled.



Oh dear, here we go!

I shot with my missile weapons with some success, but we were not in a good place for the counter attack.

When it came, it looked something like the scene below.

Barrie charged in all along the line and my 'narrow frontage' plan proved to be less than inspired, as he was able to concentrate two mounted units against each of my single ones of foot.  The initial results were not, from my perspective, especially encouraging.

The Orc foot not in formation are all casualties.  The remaining three were then destroyed in the exploitation charge...

 The space where my right used to be.

Things were also messy on the other flank...

The infantry and war machine toilers were wiped out to an Orc by this charge, and then everyone else ran away in panic.

In the interests of the children I refuse to show any further pictures of the carnage.

So, there it was: game over in two turns for the enemy, one for me, and my undefeated record in WFB shattered!  What a lot of fun it was.  My tactics were, as Barrie noted, those of another time and place, but I was just happy to catch up with an old mucker again, push some figures around and roll some dice.

Will look forward to doing it again next time I'm back home.

*note to self: don't put Black Orcs in reserve!

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