Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Ogres on tour

 I have been a bit slack lately with gaming reports, busy with work and moving offices (and towns), and getting my place in Timaru ready to rent out. 

I've finally achieved my goal after 14 years of moving to our bach at Kakanui near Oamaru and have transferred  to our Oamaru office so now instead of a 5 minute bike ride or 10 minute walk to work I now have a 15 minute drive or 30 minute bike ride (on my new e-bike purchased for the commute).

There could be worse commutes than following the stunning North Otago coast in the morning. 

I had to pop up to Christchurch for a weeks training for work at the beginning of December so arranged a couple of games of Kings of War vs Martin and Mark. I stayed at a hotel in Cathedral Square.  It is now 11 years after the devastating earthquakes the Cathedral is still a ruin, though work is now being undertaken ot repair it. the central city had emerged new and envigorated and unlike the previous version designed for pedestrians and has a really nice vibe about it. 

The site of the fomer CTV building where the bulk of the fatalities occured now a memorial park to the victims. 

My army had been tweaked post Conquest incorporating some of the changes from Clash of kings 2022. 

  • 1x Boomer chariot regiment
  • 1x warrior regiment
  • 2x boomer regiments- screeners and chaff
  • 1x Hunters horde
  • 2x Siege  Breakers
  • Manny the Mammoth- the big deal. 
  • 2x boomer sergeants
  • 1x Beserker bully
  • 1x Nom Nom. 

Some interesting changes. The warriors replaced the beserker braves frm Conquest- having decided the Def 5 and melee 3 would be more handy.

The boomer chariots have stealthy and this has proved a real boon vs shooting in the games I've played with it and has been invaluable because of this.

Manny- brutal 2, very inpsiring, Manny is the brains behind the whole ogre outfit.

Game 1 vs Martin. 

We played ona 3ft wide board so only had a narrow deployment zone which really worked in my favour vs a crap load of Dwarf hordes!  At Oamaru Onslaught Martin deployed his war machines behind the dwarven hordes but this time he wouldn't be able to. This battle was push. I put my tokens on my siege breakers on the far right, Martin put his tokens with his crossbow horde and only late in the game relasied he couldn't win as his crossbows were stuck near his baseline while the siegebreakers had pushed over half way. I managed to roll up the dwarves on the hill on the right and rolled up the dwarf line to take a 4-2 victory.  It was a good fun game, and thoroughly enjoyed the change to catch up with Martin again.  

Games 2 vs Mark's Abyssals.

 I didn't know what to expect from the abyssals so was quite wary of it. It is another beautifully painted army of Mark's. We played Salt the Earth. 

The demons were quite a combined arms force with some heavy hitting units, some shooters and various flying demons. It ended up a bit of a bloodbath but in the end we managed a 2-2 draw, thanks mianly to Mark forgetting that he went first and so failing to protect a key objective on the final turn. As so often happens attrition of units slowly wore down the ogres and I ended up just hanging on for the draw. It was a very close game and nice to get in another game in vs Mark.  Once again Manny performed well and was MVP. 

Mark got behind my line with one of his flying demons. 

Nom Nom, chariots and boomers did a 180 degree turn and blew it away with some focused fire. 

Game 3 vs Gordon's elves- invade.  
Gordon has finally retired his invincible dwarves (I am sure he is feeling sorry for Josh and I) and trying out a few new armies, including elves. this army was a beast, lots of shooting, 3x bolt throwers and various units of elf cavalry. The army had tabled Josh's goblins a few days earlier and so I was a little wary. 

As with the last couple of games I was relying on the boomer chariots stealth to protect my main units form shooting but I got over confident on turn 1 by leaving a unit of siege breakers in the open and so Gordon promptly hit them with everything including the kitchen sink (bolt throwers) and I only just kept them on table thanks to Gordon failing to get a 7on the 2nd nerve test. The siegebreakers were then healed by Nom Nom but spent quite a bit of the game wavered.

My main aim this game was to avoid the elves shooting as much as I could. Gordon tempted my hunters to charge some silver breeze and then shot the hunters off the table. Gordon used his nimble cavalry really well, taking out my chariots and only some clever use of Nom Nom to block some of the cavalry stopped hm once again rolling up my flanks. In the end though the ogres managed to just get more points over half way on turn 6 but of there was a turn 7 then the elves would probably win and luckily the ogres rolled low.

Those bolt throwers were a real beast to face- three of them were a really nasty threat!   

The elves shooting phases were pretty dangerous but the ogres just hung on for a win. It was a good fun game vs a very mobile army which was quite dangerous on the table top, and my first victory vs Gordon n a long, long time.   

I was down to using characters to block charges in the last turn or so. 

Game 4 vs Gordon's Brother hood

I made a couple of changes- dropping the hunters that haven't performed that well for a horde of bog standard warriors (Def 5), adding a sacred horn to the boomer chariots and swapping a boomer sergeant for a warlock with a conjurer's staff. 

Gordon has been very busy rebasing mini's and tried another new army today- the Brother hood wtih 5x nmounted regiments and 2x infantyry legond + various characters and a phoenix. Another new army full of stuff  I've not fought before but after 15 or more games with the ogres I feel I am getting more able to using them effectively. I still make plenty of mistakes but have a fairly good grasp of their strengths and weaknesses. 

 We rolled and got the Kill mission and so to me it sounded a lot easier for my ogres than an objective mission, especially since Gordon had 5 units of cavalry and/or knights. Having been outflanked time and time again I decided to turtle up and defend a single table quarter vs the brotherhood to try and minimise the opportunities for the knights to outflank me. 

Gordon's army lacked shooting but had plenty of healing and managed to heal most of my damage, it wasn't unit the 4th turn we had a hand to hand combat. Gordon was worried about my defence in depth and I mainly wanted to avoid his being able to turn my flanks and hoped to take out a couple of units if I could. My boomers and his knights ended up in a stale mate most of the game as Gordon was concerned about the threat of a siege breakers counter charge while I knew that if I advanced too far forward the knights mobility would potentially unhinge one of my flanks and it would be game over. 

As you can see I gave Gordon free reign over the table. 

A very nice model subbing in as a phoenix. 

A stalemate developed till turn 5. 

I pushed forward the boomers but worried about his knights 16-18" charge ranges. 

At the bottom of the screen my warrior regiment took out a unit of lesser knights (mounted villiens) after rolling some outrageous dice (7 hits from 9 needing 5s!) 

The warrior regiment and chariots countercharged a legion of infantry and finishedthem off when Manny charged in the rear.

Maybe not our best game when it came to action but I wanted to test the tetsudo defence vs mobile armies and it worked well. Gordon played a lot more restrained than he normally does so it was a bit of a game of cat and mouse.
Final thoughts

I am really happy with how the ogres have been performing lately and feel I  am getting to grips with them. They hit hard but are also very fragile to attrition and shooting, so the boomer chariot is a welcome addition to mitigate that a bit. Even so I often am struggling to keep my units alive later in the game so and rarely feel that I have things completely under control, one good round of shooting or melee can be very dangerous so it is never an army I feel is dominating the game.

My favourite units:
Boomer regiments- everyone takes hordes but I like the flexbility of regiments and they screen my harder hitting units and can act as chaff. They always perform well.

Warriors- both regiment and now horde. Great value (for ogres). I like the defence 5 and melee 3. Not a flashy unit but dependeable.

The mammoth with the big deal- damn good value upgrade. The rampage D6 is the icing on the cake as far as I am concerned. 

Siege  Breakers- they are damn solid game after game and usually one of my toughest units. 

Boomer sergeants-  No inspiring but damn, I love 8 shots with piercing 1!


Monday, November 22, 2021

Conquest day 2


Game 4 v Rodney- Kingdoms of Men- Control

Rodney fielded a Kingdom’s of Men army bult around a horde of knights and a horde of pike backed up by a couple  giants, a regiment of foot guard, some mounted scouts, 2 canon, 2 wizards on pegasi (beautifully painted giant eagles)- one with a boom stick and a general on a winged beast. Rodney is another historica player and has conveted some of his armies inot Kingdoms of Men and it looked shrp- I loved his 1980s era Essex knights. 

Rodney’s Archilles heel in our game was his lack of inspiring which would come back to bite him. Having played KoM myself a bit I also hoped to exploit the relatively nerve of his army. Finally, my ogres melt against shooting so I wanted to neutralise his cannons early and then his flyers if possible.

Deployment- what I noticed when looking back at the photos was that I changed my standard deployment anchoring my line at each end with the siege breakers. 

I focused most of my shooting at his cannons on turn 1 wavering one which was destroyed the following turn. I also wavered one of the wizards. I retreated into the forest nd my scouts redeployed closer to my line this turn. 

Rodney redeploys his giants- using them as thicc chaff. 

To get to the knights, not that Iwant to i need to deal with the giants. 

Turn 3, the manovreing continues one cannon down, the other about to go. 

Rodney stuck his pike too far forward and so I charged them with siegebreakers, beserker braves and just to top it off the mammoth in the flank. The pike were crushed. While the scouts and hunters multicahrged one of the giants. 

The knights got a flank charge on the scouts, supported by the genearl on the winged beast. That was about 80 attacks slamming into the goblins but unfortunately Rodney rolled double 1s and the goblins held!

In my turn my seige breakers hit the sknights damaging them then Rodney sidestepped into the Mammoth but didn't kill it. In my turn my shooters finished off the last of the flyers.

In the end the ogres held and mopped up the last few units.  

Another enjoyable game. Rodney had a bit of bad luck- the scouts holding vs the knights for instance but luckily I was able to neutralise the main shootiung threats early. We discussed regiments vs hordes of knights and Rodney had already decided the horde formation is too unweildy. It hits hard when it hits but easily countered and chaffed up and that was the case in this game. Rodney was another enjoyable opponent and I hope he enjoyed the game. 

 Game 5: Push vs Gordon's Dwarves 

Going into the last game godon and I had both won 4 games. He had had a really tough game vs the Northern Alliance army of Paul's but came out on top in the previous game so I hoped I might have a chance. However, history was on his side with him winning 4 of our last 5 games and he definitely has the measure of my dwarves.

I've only played Push once, my plan was to ignore the dwarves deployment as much as I could try to capture the middle objective and carry my own tokens with the siege breakers over half way. Gordon has a tendency to stretch my army and use his mastiffs and brock lord to get flank charges and turn my lines. I wanted to try to create a wedge to get to the centre and across to the far side. Gordon was always going to  outdeploy me and ended up putting his tokens with an Ironclad and had them flanked by two units of brocks, as close to the table edge as possible which was going to be hard to counter. 

Gordon's dwarves

  • 2 regiments Ironclad both with throwing dogs,
  • 1 troop of mastiffs,
  • 2  troops of brock riders
  • 2 regiments of brock riders 1 with brew strength, 1 with brew sharpness,
  • 2 troop sharp shooters,
  • 1 regiment of rangers,
  • 1 berserker lord on a brock.
  • 1 lord on a beast with blade of the beast slayer,
  • 2 ASB 1 with heal 3, 1 with bane chant 2.
  • 1 hero or lord on a brock.

I've fought the dwarves on a number of occasions now and really really like the synergy of the list. Apart from the brocks it doesn't look too dangerous on paper but the sharpshooters and rangers snipe away, the mastiffs and lord on a beast works the flanks, as does the standard hero and Gordon sets up his brocks for the game winning charges. 

Not a great shot but you can see Gordon split his brocks and used the hill as cover. 

Turn 1- I redeployed my scouts to support the flank while off to the left just out of shot lurked the mastiffs and the brock lord. I took a bit of shooting from the sharpshooters and rangers but Nom Nom healed most of it. 

The loot tokens were given to the Ironguard on the far right of the screen, welll protected by the brocks and would be very hard for me to counter- well played Gordon. Seeing this my main aim was to get my tokens over the centre line and grab the central token on the way. 

As you can see by my formation there were dangers on both flanks- the general on a brock and mastiffs on the left, brocks on the right.This is the start of turn 3 and the pivotal move which smashed my army. My beserkers had just killed a troop of brock riders and advanced into the hero on a brock (just in front of them). I was happy to sacrifice my beserkers if it meant they would hold up the brock regiment. However Gordon had other ideas. His brocks were just in range of the siege breakers carrying my tokens and by advancing after combat I had given Gordon an unexpected opening. The brock regiment charged past the beserkers, pivoted 90 degrees and hit the corner of the siegebreakers and then aligned to them. An inspired move.  

The brock lord also charged into the flank of the siege breakers and between the two units the siege breakers were cut down and the dwarves grabbed all my tokens.   

Gordon was well and truely in conrol of the game now and next turn he charged Nom Nom with the brocks but somehow Nom Nom held on- this turn I also lost the hunters to shooting thanks to two rolls   on nerve tests of 11 which was a tad unfortunate.

In my turn I tried a cunning ploy of my own to try to salvage something. Nom Nom withdrew 1" and then tried to charge the brock lord in the rear and altohugh there was some cotroversary here as to if there was enough room- it as close we ended up rolling for it and it wasn't to be. Unfortunately this litle incident probably marred the game a bit for us both as we disagreed on the call but in the scheme of things it was close and the dice decided it. In all likelihood Nom Nom wouldn't have done much to help the goblins vs the brock lord anyway. 

Instead Non nom fought the brocks andi tried to kill another unit or two but conceded at the end of turn 5 as there was no way I could capture enough tokens to sway the result. 

Fianl resuult a resounding win to the dwarves.

Gordon had a good plan and executed it well, my plan not so much and getting units tangled by being to close didn't help my casue either but that was the reuslt of the presure being exerted on the flanks. With a small army like mine I did not feel that I could stretch out across the table and survive a brock charge and this allowed Gordon free reign with his objective. 

A wee controversary in the middle there but that is to be expected in a finals game when we were both tired. I was disappointed at the time but hey, its only toy soldiers and even had I managed that move it wouldn't have made a difference to the result. 

Gordon played well all weekend and I knew I was going to struggle to beat the dwarves- and so it proved. Gordon shielded his brocks with the hills and terrain and in the end quite clinically finished off the ogres and was a well deserved winner of the competition. I really do struggle with the dwarves as I said as they stretch my army wide and Gordon then works the angles and flanks nicely. Probably another hero would help to counter some of the threats but we will see.

I will post my post tournament thoughts on my army in the next few days but was really happy with how it perfomed on the table and thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. Gordon, Josh and I had two really good evenings relaxing at an Air B&B and was good to make some new gaming aquaintances and catch up with a number of old ones too.



Sunday, November 21, 2021

Conquest 2021- Ogres on tour

 This weekend was the annual Conquest wargaming competition in Christchurch. Gordon (Dwarves), Josh (Goblins) and myself (Ogres) drove up on Friday afternoon. We spent a relaxing Friday evening discussing possible match ups, armies and units we liked the look of, armies we didn’t want to face.

 Mark organised the event and was our gracious umpire/organiser.

 Game 1: Nick Grant- kill

I knew of Nick through Robin Sutton’s blog Wargaming NZ, where he sometimes features in battle reports and games, but hadn’t met him before. Nick had a nice Goblin army which included two giants and two legions of rabble a horde of allied axe orcs and a krudger.

The missions was kill, which is always a good misison to introduce new gamers to the game. Looking at my ogre army I knew I was going to be out numbered but hoped to whittle down the orcs before dealing with the legions and the giants so focused all my firing on the orcs and soon had them waivered. The game ended up pretty ones sided and the ogres eventually emerged the victors having lost a couple of units in the process. 

That is a lot of goblins!

You know you are having a bad day when you are ganged up by two units of siege breakers and some boomers. 

Nick kept a great attitude throughout the game even when things went from bad to worse to damn near cataclsymic- he was left with a maw pup launcher on the table at the end of turn 5! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him and sharing a few laughs over the game and weekend. Nick not only got my vote for best sport but also won the sportsmanship prize for the weekend which was a testament to the attitude he displayed throughout the weekend. 

MVP: Manny the mammoth, who was a major part in dealing with both giants- though the goblins scouts also got an assist on one of them. 

Game 2 vs Paul with Nothern Alliance- Loot

This was the game I was least looking forward to going into the competition and Paul’s army was one I hoped not to face and it looked as tough as nails and included:

A human Clansmen (Horde), a regiment of Dwarf Clansmen , a regiment of half elf berserkers, some Ice Naiads, 2x Huscarls regiments, a couple of troops of pack hunters a lord of frostfang, caver dweller and some characters.

The mission was loot there were three loot counters across the table and whoever controlled more of them at the end of the game would win. 

Northern Alliance deployment

Turn 1, the Northern alliance cave dweller heads for the loot counter

Turn 1- the frost fang charges the hunters in the woods and face difficlt going + ensnare. In my turn the mammoth flank charges the lord on fhe frost fang and make shot work of him. In fact on turn 2 I destroyed 3-4 units through shooting and the combats and suddenly the game swung my way. 

Rampaging siege breakers charge the huscarls. 

Over the next couple of turns the ogres smash theri way though the various units and by yhe end of turn 5 or 6 only two cahracters remain o fhte Northern Alliance army. 

Thoughts: that wasn't what I expected! Paul sending the frost lord in to the woods unsupported allowed me to take him and then the cave dweller out piecemeal and this really took the pressure off. 
I definitely had the roll of the dice fall my way but was glad to have seen off the army I still rate it as one of the most dangerous at the competition.

Hard luck Paul but well played even when the game swung so decisively in my favour. Paul went on to win three of the games and come 4th overall.  

Game 3: vs Emma (Basilians)- control 

This was Emma's third wargame ever- her earlier two games big her first two! Emma had just finished painting her army and it was looking pretty good. She hadn't had time to finish the basing but the army is coming along nicely, she has a great theme for it and the army is petty damn solid on the table top. In fact, this was actually the other army going into the comp that I'd have rather not face it I could avoid it as those knights hit hard and have extra movement on my ogres, and the flying units would also be a real problem fo rthe ogres to deal with.

Emma's dragon- the first dragon I've enocountered in Kings of War. 

Having not played the misson before Mark the TO and I explained to mission conditions and gave advice here and there but for someone who has only just started playing wargames Emma played a pretty damn good game and it really went down to the wire in the latter turns. 


One of the three regiments of knights. 

Emma, made a strong attack early on my right flank. 

The mammoth was once again my MVP thee times a nerve reroll ended up on 17 needing 18 to destroy him and then Nom Nom would hela the wounds back a bit. 

Somewhere in the middle turns there is a brawl in the centre of the board. 

If in doubt send the mammoth vs the dragon. 

Turn 5- I am hanging on to get enough unit strength over half way. The Eohli has just slammed into the rear of the hunters destroying them and then done the same to the goblin scouts. 

End of the game- that was about all that was left on the table and the ogres squeeked out a win.

That was a great game Emma played really  well and really took it to the ogres. About turn 3 onwards she got her three fireball using characters focus firing on units and suddenly the ogres started to melt.
Emma was anothe great opponent and I really enjoyed the game, for someone who hasn't played any games before she played damn well and she ended up coming 5th overall Definitely someone to watch out for in future if she keeps playing Kings of War.

End of day 1
I had a great first day. Gordon also won three games and Josh 2. Going into the event I wanted to win two maybe three games and so had achieved that I joked about not needing to come back for day two.

I enjoyed all my games and although most of the players were new to Kings of War Mark ensured that everyone had a good time and that it was a chance to get familar with the rules enjoyed the event and hopefully would want to continue with Kings. There was a good friendly atmosphere throughout and everyone seemed to enjoy the games and rules which was the main aim. 

At the end of day 1 the Ogres were doing well but each game I was always worried at how easily they can melt away as had been shown in the third game when Emma managed to destroy 7-8 of my units. With only 11 units I tended to be to out-deployed and so tried to focus on what my plan was and what I wanted to do rather than what my opponent was trying to do with their deployment or to get me to react to them. This usually worked and gave me a solid platform in the first few turns. I really needed the boomers and shooters to chip a way a few units early if I could to bring the unit number balance back to more partity. As I had a small army I had decided to try to concentrate on two thirds of the table at most and not stretch my army out to thinly. In most games this strategy seemed to work reasonably well. 

I was probaby lucky not to face much more shooting as the army does seem to melt quite quickly to shooting. Still ,all the units had performed well in one game or another on day one and although I definitely was making mistakes by and large things had gone my way.