Monday, November 9, 2009

Dragon Wars

Dragon Wars was last Saturday; I had a good time and three good games.

It was also my last go-round with the old Skaven book.  From now on, I'll be playing with the new armybook.

The list I ultimately ran:
Dragon Wars
2,000 Points - Skaven

Lords & Heroes
Warlord - General, Dragon, Heavy Armor, Cautious Shield, Ring of DarknessSkavenbrew
Warlock Engineer - Accumulator, Condenser, Warp-Blades, Dispel ScrollStorm Daemon
Warlock Engineer - Accumulator, Condenser, Warp-Blades, Dispel Scroll

Clanrats x24 - Full Command, Ratling Gun
Clanrats x24 - Full Command, Ratling Gun
Slaves x20 - Musician
Slaves x20 - Musician
Night Runners x5 - Slings
Night Runners x5 - Slings
Giant Rats x24 - Packmasters x4
Giant Rats x24 - Packmasters x4
Poisoned Wind Globadiers x2
Poisoned Wind Globadiers x2

Gutter Runners x5 - Slings
Jezzails x9

Warp-Lightning Cannon
I dropped The Gouger when I remembered that, per tournament rules, Dragons ignore magic weapons.  I replaced it with Skavenbrew, which I unfortunately forgot to use in 2/3rds of my games.  I really, really hate when I do that.

Game 1

First game was against Ben "Jammin'" Jones' Vampire Counts.  He ran something like:
Vampire with Ghoulkin on Zombie Dragon
Vampire on Hellsteed
Ghouls x~20
Ghouls x~20
Ghouls x~20
Ghouls x~20
Corpse Cart
Black Coach
The scenario involved woods catching fire, spreading that fire to nearby units, and blowing dragons away from them.

Events of notes include when the Vargulf charged my Giant Rats (or did I charge it?):  when I realized it only had 5 attacks (only!), I knew it wasn't going to beat the Rats.  After three rounds of combat, it crumbled to wounds the Giant Rats were never able to inflict.  Similarly, the Black Coach slammed into block of Clanrats, it didn't last very long either: disintegrating to static CR alone.

I lost this one, to scenario.  I managed to tag Ben's dragon twice via shooting and Warp Lightning, which was good for two points (one point each).  He was able to get a charge in on my dragon and, over two rounds, was able to put two wounds on it; each of which were worth four points each.

Game 2

This game was against the nephew of one of the guys who plays at GPC regularly, Cameron, who was running High Elves.  He ran something like:
Prince on a Moon Dragon
Spearmen x30
Archers x15
Dragon Princes x6
White Lions x20
Swordmasters x20
Repeater Bolt Thrower
The scenario involved placing a large blast template beneath the path of a dragon's flight, scattering it, and then scattering any units touched by the template.  It never came up.

This game was over as soon as it began.  I went first, did my usual thing.  He smacked his Dragon Princes into a block of Giant Rats that should have fled but, because they were so badass in the previous game, decided to stick around.  It's even entirely possible that they'd have fled through the Warlord who was perilously close to them.  Point is: the Dragon Princes wrecked the rats, who fled, kicking off a test in the Ld 7 Warlord who, as close as he was to the edge of the table, didn't need 3d6 to be off the table.

At that point, we put aside the Dragon Wars special rules and continued with the game because our game had lasted 30 minutes and we didn't have anything better to do.  Despite losing it nearly as soon as I'd started it, it was still a good game.

Game 3

Was on the bottom table, against Bill Donovan, who was running the ringer army.  I think he was running two dragons to deliberately give up twice as many dragon points as everyone else.  It's not an accident that Jay's second game was on the bottom table and that his third was on the first table.

At this point, I've forgotten most of what he ran.  He had two casters (a hero and a lord) on dragons (sun and moon), spearmen and a chariot... but past that, I can't remember.

The scenario involved rolling a d3 on the top of each player's turn.  If the roll corresponded to the relative facing between the two dragons on the table (facing, not facing, one facing and the other not), then an effect would happen (dragons would shoot a breath weapon out of their backside, dragons would immediately charge each other and dragons would charge the nearest unit, respectively).

Through the game I did pretty well, plinking away at his weaker Sun Dragon with shooting and Warp-Lightning, eventually dropping it.

Then, I rolled the effect that forced our two dragons to charge each other.  At this point, I'd wounded his Lord and had an uninjured Warlord atop my dragon.  More significantly, where we met was perfectly positioned to have a full unit of Clanrats charge his dragon in the flank, getting in on the action.  Combat was pretty brutal; my Skaven did quite well against the dragon, killing it in two turns.

At the end of the game (which happened immediately after my killing his Lord's dragon), I'd killed or run everything he had off the table, save for 4-5 archers.


  1. Thats a good thing to know, that Skaven can beat the best things that vampires have (some say anyway, the black coach and varghulf) with their really dirt cheap guys without really actually fighting.

  2. A block of clanrats should be able to beat any single model in a standup fight, no matter how badass it is. Few things in the game have 5+ attacks and, even with 5 attacks, it's got to hit, wound, and get through armor with every single hit to merely get a tie.

    So, Vargulfs and Black Coaches aren't too bad.

    What's completely insurmountable for Skaven are blocks of troops.

    For one, they have the potential to throw out enough attacks (that could potentially wound) to counteract the static CR; zombies aren't as bad about this as, say, ghouls.

    They also come with their own static CR, which cancels out that of the rats: when you've got 2-3 ranks and maybe a standard, you don't need to kill 6 rats to win; it's more like 2 or 3 which is much more likely.

    Most significantly, however, is that they do not go away. It's one thing to wear through the 4 wounds on a Varghulf over the course of several rounds of combat resolution (1 or 2 at a time). It's a completely different matter to inflict approximately the same number of wounds through combat res, if that much, on a unit with 15-20 1 wound models that grows additional models in increments of d6 every turn.

    I'm still not sure how to deal with blocks of undead infantry, besides throwing everything I have at them, one at a time.

  3. Well, as a tomb kings player, the easiest way to deal with undead is to get them in front and flank. Skeletons and zombies aren't too great, the equal of slave for a skeleton, worse if a zombie. If you can get in the front with storm vermin or clanrats and then hit them in the flank with giant rats they should fall to pieces. I played an undead on undead game, and my tomb guard got charged by a 40+ man zombie unit. The first turn he lost a few zombies but no big deal, the 2nd round I flanked him with my "heavy" horsemen and he lost combat by about 20. They started crumbling real quick.

    I imagine the undead would be one of the biggest problems for skaven though as you just have to take way to many Ld checks that you are bound to fail eventually.


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