On the blog today we have another Battle Report for Oathmark: Battles of the Lost Age, with Prince Roderick and Urzag facing off against one another with 1300 point armies!
The earlier skirmish had ended in a victory for Prince Roderick’s forces, but he had failed to kill the Goblin leader. It would only be a matter of time before they struck again. Sure enough, Urzag’s raiding party was spotted south of the Kingdom, and Prince Roderick marched down to meet them head on. Ominous clouds loomed overhead as they approached the battlefield.
As the two forces deployed, Urzag was eager to make sure he made the most of the Command special ability, which both he and his Captain have. The Command ability grants an extra die to friendly units within 6 inches when they roll for Activation and Morale, which can be crucial when trying to control Goblins. It also allows you to issue orders to nearby units if you successfully activate.
Prince Roderick’s army still only had one character with Command, the Prince himself, but he had brought a powerful Level 3 Human Spellcaster along to aid him as he attempted to defend their borders from the oncoming Goblin Horde. In pride of place at the centre of his battle line were the Dwarf Linebreakers, led by their Champion, who had proven so powerful in their last battle.
These weren’t the only dwarves on the battlefield though. Unbeknownst to Prince Roderick, Urzag had recruited some Dwarf Soldiers to his army, with a Dwarf Champion leading them, eager to help the Goblins in their raid. Who knows what was offered in return…
Once again the battle was played on a 2x4 table, with a point limit of 1300 points. We took some of the Special Rules from the Wind and Rain scenario, with a storm building as the game was played. We were playing until the end of the 6th turn, at which point the side with the lowest point value of casualties would be the victor.
The armies for this game were as follows:
Prince Roderick’s Army (1264 points)
Prince Roderick leading a unit of 19 Human Spearmen (Prince Roderick has taken the Banner of Courage Magic Item, which gives the unit the Courage (1) special ability) (442 points)
Matilda, the Dwarf Champion, leading a unit of 9 Dwarf Linebreakers (Matilda has the Sword of Starsilver Magic Item, which gives her +1 on her Champion Die rolls) (292 points)
A Level 3 Human Spellcaster (with the Ring of Spellcasting Magic Item, which grants him access to one additional spell. His spells are Blade Mastery, Shift, Courage, and Fireball) (230 points)
A Level 2 Dwarf Spellcaster (spells: Resolute and Sunder) (60 points)
10 Human Archers (120 points)
10 Human Soldiers (120 points)
Urzag’s Raiding Party (1265 points)
Urzag, a Mounted Goblin Advisor, leading a unit of 9 Goblin Wolf Riders (334 points)
Brennon, the Dwarf Champion, leading a unit of 19 Dwarf Soldiers (347 points)
A Level 3 Goblin Spellcaster (spells: Fireball, Weakness, and Fear) (180 points)
Gobby, the Gobiln Captain, leading 19 Goblin Soldiers (304 points)
10 Goblin Archers (100 points)
Roderick’s force won the roll for initiative, only to see their Human Spellcaster fail to cast Blade Mastery on the Prince’s unit, which would have increased their fight by one. To add insult to injury, the Goblin Spellcaster successfully followed up by casting Weakness on the Dwarf Linebreakers, decreasing their fight by one.
Unperturbed, the Linebreakers were the next to activate, moving forwards a double move (which for them only took them 6 inches). This made the heavily armoured Dwarves the closest unit to the Goblin Archers, which meant that if the Goblins chose to fire they would have to target the Linebreakers.
For Urzag, his Dwarven allies were next to advance, moving towards their kinfolk. Would Brennon and Matilda find themselves locked in combat before the day was done?
Spying the advancing Dwarven adversaries, Prince Roderick’s level 2 Dwarf Spell Caster sprang to action and attempted to cast Sunder, which would have removed the Soldier’s Shielding bonus. However, it seems that magic had failed Roderick’s forces on their first turn with another poor roll. Clearly he doesn’t have them studying hard enough.
Next to activate was Urzag, advancing his unit of Wolf Riders to bring them into a threatening position on the left flank.
Prince Roderick’s archers were next to activate. Unfortunately, the positioning of Matilda and her Linebreakers were blocking line of sight to the Dwarf Soldiers. Some ranged units have the ability to fire over a single Friendly Unit, but to do this you have to be within 3 inches. The Archers were not, and so had to advance in order to be able to fire upon Brennon’s slowly advancing Dwarves.
The Archers have a shoot value of 2 against the Dwarf Soldier’s armour of 9. To calculate the number you need to hit you would take the targets armour and subtract your Shoot value, then apply modifiers. For the Human Archers, they benefit from a +1 for having an extra rank, but -1 for having moved and a further -1 due to the gathering storm. They needed 8s to hit, managing just one kill. The Dwarves were unfazed, easily passing their Morale check.
Unfortunately, in order to get that shot the Archers had put themselves in a vulnerable position. Gobby activated his unit of Soldiers and barked an order to the nearby Goblin Archers, who scurried forward to fire at the opposing Archers. Had they not advanced, the Goblins would have been firing at the Dwarf Linebreakers and would have required to roll a 10 followed by an 8 to hit them (when you need to roll above 10, this is how you do it). However, the Goblins were able to move to a position where the enemies were equidistant from them, and elected to shoot at the softer targets.
The turn concluded with Prince Roderick’s two remaining units, the Spearmen he was leading and the Soldiers, advancing to meet the oncoming Goblin Wolf Riders
Prince Roderick claimed the initiative, and once again turned to his faithful Human Spellcaster. This time he was successful in casting Blade Mastery, granting the Human Spearmen +1 fight. This would make them a more formidable opponent for Urzag’s Wolf Riders.
The Goblin (and Dwarf) raiding party responded by sending another volley of arrows flying into the Human Archers. Even with the -1 penalty from the wind and rain of the storm, the Goblins managed to kill 2 more of their Human counterparts, but they did not break them.
Prince Roderick now had a tricky decision on his hands. His unit of Spearmen were buffed, but were not in range to charge the Urzag’s Goblin Wolf Riders. However, the nearby unit of Soldiers were. While the soldiers would be heavily outclassed by the Wolf Riders, by charging in they would be denying the Wolf Riders their activation for the turn.
The Soldiers gallantly charged in, with the Wolf Riders opting not to raise their shields (units with the Shielding (X) special ability can raise their shields when charged in the front, or targeted with ranged attacks, reducing the number of combat dice rolled by X). Clearly they were ready for a scrap.
The Human Soldiers had a Fight stat of 2 against the Wolf Rider’s Defense of 11, which took left them with 9s to kill. This was further increased by having 1 additional full rank, which offered another +1 to their roll and left them needing 8s to kill.
The Wolf Riders also had a Fight of 2, but the Human Soldiers only had 9 for their Defense. With an additional full rank, this took them down to 6s to kill, with the added bonus of a Champion Die meaning they could inflict some serious damage.
The Dice were rolled. For the Humans – 2, 2, 2, 3, and 7. For the Goblins – 3, 7, 10, 10, and an 8 on the Champion Die. No Wolf Riders were lost, but the Humans saw 5 of their comrades fall. To make matters worse, they failed their Morale Test and were left disordered. Urzag’s Riders opted to push them back only a single inch, which left them just out of range of Prince Roderick’s Command radius.
For the Goblins, the rest of their turn was left to manoeuvring. Noone was within Charge range, and their Spellcaster, clearly basking in the glory of his previous turn’s exploits, failed to activate and simply moved forwards.
Prince Roderick, on the other hand, still had some tricks up his sleeves. His Archers fired a volley at the Goblin Soldiers, slaying one. This may seem insignificant, but this single casualty reduced the combat effectiveness of the unit as the rear-most rank was no longer full. They would now only get the benefit for 2 full ranks after the first.
His Dwarf Spellcaster also managed to cast Resolute on the Disordered Human Soldiers, bringing them back to their senses.
As Turn 3 began, the Storm worsened. Units attempting to shoot would now suffer a -2 modifier to their roll, and additionally all units would suffer -1 to their activation rolls. Things had been going well for the Goblins so far, but could this be their undoing.
The battle was poised to explode, and once again Prince Roderick’s forces claimed the initiative. His eyes were set on Urzag’s marauding Wolf Riders, so devastating in that previous turn. Unfortunately for them, the Prince had a trick up his sleeve.
He activated his own unit, then bellowed some complicated orders to the Soldiers ahead of him. They wheeled backwards and, thanks to the Dwarven Spellcaster ridding them of their Disorder the previous turn, used a second action to step backwards, leaving a clear path for Prince Roderick to charge. And charge he did.
This combat was a lot less one sided, and with a fearful glance towards his unit, Urzag ordered them to raise their shields.
The Human Spearmen had Fight 2, buffed to 3 by the Blade Mastery spell. They also had 3 full ranks, each granting a +1 bonus, and so would be hitting the Wolf Riders on 5s. The Prince also granted them a Champion Die.
Urzag’s Wolfriders, however, would only be hitting the Spearmen on 6s, still with a Champion Die. Both sides would only be rolling 4 dice because of the use of Shielding.
Fortunately (if you are a Goblin) the dice went in Urzag’s favour. 1 Wolf Rider was lost, but 4 Human Spearmen fell. Even rolling 3 Dice for their Morale test, the Spearmen failed to get an 8 and were left Disordered and pushed back a single inch, ready for a follow up attack.
Things went from bad to worse for Roderick’s forces, as his Linebreakers now faced the wrath of the Goblins. Gobby the Goblin Captain activated and sent a Fireball flying towards them, which killed one even after applying the penalties for the ferocious storm. Then, Gobby led his Soldiers in a charge, crashing headlong into the Dwarf Linebreakers.
The Goblins were hitting on 9s, the Dwarf Linebreakers on 7s. They had the upper hand, but they were massively outnumbered.
It was here that Matilda, armed with the Sword (or Warhammer) of Starsilver, proved her worth once again. The Goblins scored one kill on the heavily armoured Dwarves, but suffered 4 casualties themselves. With heavy losses suffered, they needed to roll a 10 to avoid becoming Disordered, a task that proved too great for Gobby.
Matilda’s unit, however, easily passed their morale test and opted to push the Goblins back a single inch.
Hoping to follow up with a ferocious volley of arrows, the Human Archers rolled to activate, but a roll of two 5s (usually enough) failed due to the stormy conditions. They could Shoot as a Simple Action, but would suffer a penalty which, combined with the weather, left them needing 10s to hit the Goblins.
Miraculously, they scored one hit, which forced a Morale test. A lot was at stake here, as a failed morale test would see them rout from the table.
The Goblins have an activation of 6. They suffered one casualty, which gives a modifier of -1 to the roll, but this was negated by the fact that it was a shooting attack (a +1 modifier to the roll). However, they were disordered, which is a -1 modifier. The unit needed 7s, and had 3 dice to get it.
The dice were cast – a 2, a 5… and a 7. They remained – but for how long?
The remainder of the turn saw the Goblin Archers continue with their task of whittling down their Human counterparts, knocking another one of the back rank. Urzag’s Dwarven allies repositioned for a possible flank attack on Prince Roderick’s unit, as their path to Matilda’s Linebreakers was blocked by the Goblin Soldiers, and the two Spell Casters in Roderick’s army failed to cast anything.
Heading into the fourth turn, there was an awful lot to lose on the table for both teams, and an awful lot to gain. Initiative was crucial, and amazingly both players rolled the exact same – an 8 and a 3. Rerolling, the Goblins got a 10 and a 2, while Roderick’s army got a 10 and a 1. The Goblins would strike first, and they would strike hard!
It was Urzag’s Wolf Riders who would deliver the hammer blow. They charged against the Disordered Spearmen, who raised their shields in the hope that they would weather the storm. The Wolf Rider Charge meant that gave them a +2 bonus to their attack, meaning they would be hitting the Spearmen on 5s. The Human Spearmen would need 7s to kill the Wolf Riders.
The battle could have been the bloodiest yet. However, it ended with only one Spearmen losing his life. The Human’s faced a crucial morale test, as again it was a situation where the unit would rout if defeated, but with three dice they easily got the 6 they needed.
Desperate not to see his own unit flee from the table, Roderick looked back to his Dwarf Spellcaster for support. With a roll of 7, the wise old Dwarf successfully cast Resolute, and the Prince’s unit was no longer disordered.
The Goblins were also keen to avoid the ignominity of fleeing the table, but failed to activate. They remained Disordered, and wheeled backwards as a simple action.
Matilda’s Linebreakers could smell blood, but they held off for a turn in the hope that the Human Spellcaster could grant them Blade Mastery. He could not.
Urzag’s Dwarven allies were the next to activate, but they failed their roll (only due to the negative modifier given by the storm). Indecision reigned supreme, as they again pivoted on the spot, hoping to find someone to attack.
The Linebreakers could not be contained any longer. Successfully activating, they charged. It is worth noting that when moving into combat, the Attacking unit should move to be flush with the facing of the Defending unit. In this case, it meant that the attacking Linebreakers wheeled to meet the Goblins head on, exposing their flank to Brennon’s Dwarf Soldiers. An opportunity for the next turn, perhaps?
The Linebreakers would need 7s to kill the Goblins, rolling 4 dice (one of which is a Champion die) as the defending unit used Shielding. The Goblins would need 10s. 3 Goblins fell with nothing in return. They now had a Morale test to face – 3 dice, and they needed a 10 or the Disordered unit would rout…
Bye bye Goblins!
With the unit broken, a special rule called Cascading Panic set in. All of Urzag’s units within 8 inches of the broken unit would have to take a morale test with no modifiers. The Dwarf Soldiers and Goblin Archers were fine, but the Goblin Spellcaster got spooked and was left Disordered.
The fourth turn ended with some feeble volleys from the Archers, who were failing to have much of an impact in the heavy rain; a failed activation from the Goblin Spellcaster, and a slight shimmy to the side by the Human Soldiers, who were contemplating a charge on the flank of Urzag’s Wolf Riders
Heading into the penultimate turn, the players took a look at who was ahead on casualties. For Prince Roderick’s forces, there were 5 dead Human Spearmen, 5 dead Human Soldiers, 4 dead Human Archers, and 2 dead Dwarf Linebreakers, a total of 213 points.
Had it not been for Gobby routing on the previous turn, the Urzag’s forces would have comfortably been in the lead, but with 1 dead Wolf Rider, the loss of a Goblin Captain and his whole unit of 19 soldiers, Urzag’s raiding party had lost 324 points worth of figures.
The two leaders were eager to strike the first blow on this fifth turn. The initiative dice were rolled and Urzag’s force won, but Prince Roderick’s army had rolled a double 1. We were playing with the optional rules for Strange and Catastrophic Events, so this caused something…unusual to happen.
A strange apparition appeared, the spirit of a fallen Goblin bannerman, causing the nearby Dwarves and the Goblin Spellcaster to take a morale check. The Dwarves were fine, but things had got a little too spooky for the Goblin Spellcaster. Already disordered, he fled the battle, widening the points gap between the two armies.
Urzag himself wasn’t concerned by this ghostly apparition, and charged once more into the Prince Roderick’s Human Spearmen, confident that if he broke that unit the battle would be his. 3 more Spearmen fell, with 1 wolfrider lost in return. Again the Human Spearmen were left disordered, and Urzag opted this time to force them backwards 6 inches.
In response, Matilda’s Linebreakers prepared to charge, but faltered at that critical moment. A failed activation meant all they could do was wheel to avoid a flank attack from Brennon’s Dwarf Soldiers.
They didn’t hesitate, as they knew that the Human Spellcaster could buff the Linebreakers’ Fight Statistic on their next activation. The Soldiers charged, and the clash of Dwarf Champions finally happened.
Brennon’s Dwarves needed 7s to hits – Matilda’s needed 8s. The dice were rolled…1, 1, 5, 6, and 9 for Matilda (with 9 being the Champion Die) and 2, 2, 6, 9, and 7 for Brennon (7 was his Champion Die). Three Linebreakers fell, to just two Dwarf Soldiers. Neither unit ended Disordered (Dwarves are made of stern stuff!) and the Linebreakers were pushed back 1 inch.
Prince Roderick turned to his Dwarf Spellcaster again, imploring him to help rally his troops. A successful casting of Resolute snapped the Human Spearmen back into order!
Next up were the Goblin Archers, rendered practically useless by the storm whirling around them. They needed 10s to hit the Dwarf Linebreakers, and miraculously rolled three! Matilda was left dumbfounded by this rare display of Goblin Marksmanship, which left her unit (now just her and one Linebreaker) disordered.
The Human Archers responded by taking out 2 of the Goblin ‘Marksmen’, their first casualties of the game!
Urzag had no units left to activate, and so the turn ended with Roderick readying his forces for the next turn. The Human Spellcaster cast Blade Mastery on Matilda’s Linebreakers, hoping to give them a fighting chance against Brennon’s Dwarves, and the half-strength unit of Human Soldiers held their position, ready to crash into Urzag’s flank if necessary.
Heading into the final turn Urzag’s forces had suffered 544 points worth of casualties, with Roderick’s army losing 372 points themselves.
Urzag’s forces won the roll for initiative and he once again charged into Prince Roderick’s Spearmen, requiring 5s to kill against 7s for the Spearmen. Three more Spearmen fell, with no reply against the savage Wolf Riders.
For Prince Roderick’s forces, all that was left to do is hold on, to reach the end of the turn without suffering too many casualties. Matilda’s Linebreakers activated next, meaning they were no longer disordered, but could do nothing but stand and wait for the inevitable.
Brennon’s band of burly Dwarves didn’t make them wait long, charging in on the next activation. For this combat, Matilda opted to fight alone, using her stats as a Champion rather than the stats of the unit. Given that most of her unit was dead, this actually worked out better for her – using the units stats the Linebreakers would have received 2 Combat Dice at Fight 3, but using Matilda they receive 3 Combat Dice at Fight 4. This meant that in the battle, Matilda would roll 3 dice, hitting on 6s, while Brennon’s Dwarves would have 5 dice, hitting on 7s. Both units would roll one Champion Die.
Two Dwarf Soldiers were lost, but the Linebreakers were wiped out.
The Human Archers sent a volley flying at the Dwarf Soldiers, keen to avenge their fallen allies, but the arrows fell short of their target. The Goblins had better luck, plugging two more Human Archers from an impressive distance.
At this point Prince Roderick had one last roll of the dice to try to ensure victory. The points were going to be pretty even given how the sixth turn had played out, and so he threw his beleaguered Human Soldier’s into the mix. They had recovered from the humiliating defeat they suffered earlier in the game, and were glad to charge into the rear of the Goblin Wolf Riders.
Attacking from the rear or flank works differently to when you units meet head on. For one thing, there is a bonus to the attacking unit and a penalty to the defending unit in terms of what they need to roll. The way the number of Combat Dice is calculated is different too. You take the number of complete ranks, and multiply it by the Combat Dice statistic of one of the models in the unit. In this case, the Wolf Riders had one complete rank, and their Combat Dice statistic is 2, so they would have 2 attacks back against the 5 from the Human Soldiers.
Once the modifiers had been applied, the Humans needed to roll 8s while the Goblin Wolf Riders needed 9s. Two Wolf Riders fell, the final two casualties of the battle.
At the end of the game, the casualties stood as follows:
Prince Roderick’s Casualties
Matilda, the Dwarf Champion and her 9 Dwarf Linebreakers (plus the Sword of Star Silver) - 292
11 Human Spearmen - 143
6 Human Archers - 72
5 Human Soldiers - 60
TOTAL - 567
Urzag’s Raiding Party
Gobby the Goblin Champion and his 19 Goblin Soldiers - 304
A Level 3 Goblin Spellcaster - 180
5 Dwarf Soldiers - 75
4 Goblin Wolf Riders - 80
2 Goblin Archers - 20
TOTAL – 659
The victory fell to Roderick, but by a very slim margin. A key turning point had been when Gobby’s unit routed, which in turn led to the Spellcaster becoming disordered and then routing himself when the Strange Apparition appeared the following turn.
The Goblin (and Dwarf) raid was rebuffed, but it had come at a heavy price. The Dwarf Linebreakers, so valiant in their first game, had fallen at the hands of their kin. Prince Roderick may have to search for some new allies should the Goblin’s attack again…
Excited to give Oathmark: Battles of the Lost Age a try? Preorder your copy today!
The miniatures used in this battle report are available from North Star Military Figures.
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