The Furry and the Furious

An Orc and Goblins vs Skaven battle report by Peter Spiller and Greg Johnson

Some while ago now, Pete and I decided to put together a battle report more in the old style than the sort you might find in White Dwarf nowadays. Rather than record the rolling and tactics employed by the players, the focus is on the story as it unfolds and the character of the armies involved. That being the case, why not use two of the most characterful armies in the game - Skaven vs Orcs and Goblins!

Furthermore, we decided that this would be a good chance to try a slightly different scenario from your regular pitched battle. As such, we thought we would try a Flank Attack, based roughly on the rules used in the previous edition of the Warhammer rulebook. We tampered with them slightly to make it a little more interesting. The rules can be found elsewhere on the website.

Waaagh Snog!

Snog is my standard Black Orc warlord, and the veteran of many battles, largely because I like his hat. This will be his first battle commanding an army under the new Orcs and Goblins rules, and he is naturally looking forward to it. Snog was, of course, my first choice for the army. I gave him Bigged's Kickin Boots for a little more punch and the Akkrit Axe to help him perform a little more consistently than he used to, plus an Enchanted Shield and Warboss Umm's Best Boss 'At (as I am wary of Skaven Warlords with Weeping Blades, having been stabbed good and proper by those before). Given that he is on a boar and wears heavy armour, his 1+ save (and 5+ ward) is about the best protection an Orc can get. Orcs vs Skaven Orc Army.jpg: Snog's Mighty Waagh!Orcs vs Skaven Orc Army.jpg: Snog's Mighty Waagh!

Having made a pretty hard general, I then opted for his usual partner in crime, Flagga - a Black Orc Army Standard Bearer. Lacking any real defensive options to give him, I went for Martog's Best Basha, in the hope that WS 7 would go some way to keeping him intact. I like fielding as many fighting characters as I can, so Wozzdat the Savage Orc Big Boss with a great weapon seemed a good way to round things out. Given that I don't fancy being fried repeatedly by Warp Lightning (another thing I have experienced before), I fielded Fizzgit (a Level 2 Orc Shaman with 2 Dispel Scrolls). I always upgrade my magic users given a chance, as being able to use 3 dice at once gives you a decent crack at a spell each turn, which is good value for 35 points.

I was going to resist the temptation to field too many upgraded units, however the lure of multiple Strength 5 attacks was too much for me, and I ended up going overboard. 25 Orc Big'Uns with additional choppas offer more than a little punch, and I gave the unit Mork's Spirit Totem (an item I seem likely to use in every game - it's just that good!). 25 Savage Orc Big'Uns (also with additional choppas) makes for a very expensive unit, but offers more punch than almost every other infantry unit in the game, so in the end I succumbed to the voices and bought them. 20 Black Orcs with Nogg's Banner of Butchery are always something I want; even though they're yet to perform the way I always hope they will. In effect these guys are being fielded instead of some Boar Boyz, so hopefully their larger numbers (and ability to automatically surge when I declare a Waaagh) will count for something. Waaagh Snog.jpg: Army DetailsWaaagh Snog.jpg: Army Details

I had spent just about enough on my elite troops, so it was time to pad out the army with some regular grunts. 2 units of 25 Orcs with Shields are about the best way I know of to do this, so they got the nod. I decided against units of Goblins, opting for a much tougher, choppier approach. I also decided I needed something a little faster in case I ended up being the flanker in the scenario, so I added a giant and a small unit of Wolf Riders.

With a few points left over, I decided I would like something to try to neutralise the inevitable Ratling Guns, so 2 Spear Chukkas were added, and then a Rock Lobber filled up the remaining points nicely.

We rolled a dice to see who would play the role of the Attacker in the scenario, and it was me. I also won the roll-off for table edges, and chose the one I was already sitting at, for want of a better reason. I rolled 'Eadbutt and Waaagh for my spells, which (while not as exciting as Gork's Warpath) was a pretty good result.

Given the terrain, I decided to bring my flanking force onto my right-hand side. This will probably not be a surprise to Pete, but that's because it's the sensible thing to do. I made sure I allocated a character to my flanking force in the hope of arriving earlier, and Wozzdat the Savage Orc Big Boss got the job. He led the Savage Orc Big'Uns, the Giant and the Wolf Riders off around the battlefield, hopefully to arrive at an opportune time.

The rest of my army set up pretty simply, with the war machines being split between the hill on my left and the safety of the forest on the right. I set up one unit of Orc Boyz so that they had the opportunity to swing around the building if the way was left open, and the rest of my troops in a solid line across the centre. With a little luck, I would be about to engage the enemy when my flankers arrived, ready to lend a hand wherever they were needed.


Gnashqueek's Retinue

Back in days of yore I used a Grey Seer quite a lot, but changed to using a Warlord to save some points, get somebody who could actually fight and get some Ld10 happening (which was a bit useless as I managed to fail Ld10 tests about as well as Ld9 ones, but oh well). This was a 2500pt game, though, and my Skaven army isn't really that big. Still, desperate times call for desperate measures, so...

Orcs vs Skaven Skaven Army.jpg: Gnashqueek's Glorious RetinueOrcs vs Skaven Skaven Army.jpg: Gnashqueek's Glorious Retinue...out comes Gnashqueek the Grey Seer again. Riding on his pimped-out, chromed-to-the-max Screaming Bell and waving around a full load of magic items (a Dispel Scroll, a Warpstone Charm to save him from miscasting and the Twisted Crown to keep his fur intact), he manages to single-handedly account for about 20% of my points. As long as he managed to roll either Warp Lightning and/or Plague, I'd be happy. Accompanying him was the Warlock Tiskreek to ensure I had a respectable magic phase. Storm-Daemon was almost obligatory, and he also got the Death Globes - teleporting him with Skitterleap and then lobbing those never gets old.

Next up was Skittrik, a Chieftain waving the Battle Standard, which also happened to be the War Banner. He could lurk at the back of a unit and supply an extra 2 combat resolution, as well as (hopefully) prevent things running off (too often). There was still one more character slot to go, and I thought I'd better fill it or I'd hard-pressed to reach 2500pts. Another Warlock might have been a bit too much, so I went with Vasqueek the Assassin. With the Warpstone Amulet and the Bands of Power, he was pretty flexible - still about as tough than your average Chieftain, and more dangerous if the Bands managed to cast their spell and beef him up to Strength 8. The options of hiding or Scouting didn't hurt, either. The price did add up some something that felt vaguely outrageous for a mangy rat, but I had to use the points up somehow.

Next up was the core of the army. I scraped together just about every Clanrat I had, winding up with two units of 26 and one of 27. More might have been nice, but oh well. They each got a Ratling Gun, since I figured that way one or two might survive to shoot. Throwing in a unit of Slaves for each Clanrat block made the army look a lot bigger and added some ever-useful diversionary troops, and some Giant Rats would give me something slightly speedier. Finally, I grabbed some Plague Rat Swarms, figuring that they might be able to either hold up a unit for at least one turn (even with their shiny new 7th Ed crumbliness) or maul a Giant.

Gnashqueek's Retinue.jpg: Army ListGnashqueek's Retinue.jpg: Army ListI'd managed to take a reasonable bite out of 2500pts with my characters and Core, and hopefully I'd be able to finish it with the Special and Rare choices. First up was a pair of Gutter Runner Tunnelling Teams. Ninja-rats are always good to have, and having two teams hopefully meant that at least one would manage to surface in the right place and knife something. A modest Jezzail unit could lurk behind my lines and take pot-shots at any large targets that decided to show up (i.e. Giants - I don't like those, or more accurately the Terror tests they cause). The last special slot was looking a bit lonely, so I added a couple of Rat Ogre packs. I really wasn't expecting much out of them (they're a bit feeble against anything with WS3+ or a ranged weapon), but they might manage something. Maybe. Last up was a Warp-Lightning Cannon - amusing and useful, if not massively reliable.

The overall plan was fairly simple - soften up any large chunky blocks of Orcs with shooting and magic, get in their way annoyingly with the Slaves and then stab them to death in close combat. I thought I probably had enough units to slow down any sneaky flanking Orcs for a while, so I wouldn't be too worried if I didn't get to flank. Deployment was also pretty standard - an alternating line of Clanrats and Slaves, with the faster stuff on the flanks.

I managed to roll Warp Lightning on the Grey Seer, which was nice. No Plague, unfortunately, but at least I wasn't stuck trying to Vermintide the green gits to death. I ended up going second and not flanking, so at least my army looked impressively big compared to the three Orc units that started on the table. Most of them looked worryingly 'ard, though...



























Orcs vs Skaven Deployment 2.jpg: The armies face off...Orcs vs Skaven Deployment 2.jpg: The armies face off...









Orc Turn 1

Snog began the battle in a heated discussion with one of the Big'Uns in his unit over the finer points of squig beer. Deciding that enough time had been wasted and it was time to move, he lopped the unfortunate Orc's head off, to the guffaws of his neighbours (nobody liked him anyway - he knew nothing about squig beer). The dissent quelled, Snog gave the order to advance and the army shuffled forward rather warily.

Orcs vs Skaven Deployment 1.jpg: The Orcs prepare to advance...Orcs vs Skaven Deployment 1.jpg: The Orcs prepare to advance...Fizzgit tried to 'Eadbutt the less-than-stealthy Assassin in the front ranks of one of the Clanrat units, but the Grey Seer decided he wanted his best fighter alive, and whisked out a Dispel Scroll.

The Rock Lobber took aim at the furry critter atop the big bell, however they forgot the minor detail of loading a rock, and the shot unsurprisingly did very little. Snog had been shot by the sneaky rat-a-tat-tat guns before, and still had some nasty bruises from the encounter. The Spear Chukkas actually followed his pre-battle instructions for once, and duly fired at the Skaven weapon teams. Displaying remarkable accuracy for marksmen who could rarely hit the side of a barn, 2 Ratling guns were skewered before they could move.

Skaven Turn 1

Turn 1.jpgTurn 1.jpgGnashqueek surveyed the greenskin lines from the relative safety of his perch atop the Screaming Bell. Despite the setback of two of his precious Ratling guns (curse them for their incompetence in getting shot!), the Grey Seer was feeling confident. The Orcs were far fewer than his Gutter Runner scouts had reported (curse them for the feeble lack of judgement!), and his noble Skaven had them vastly outnumbered. Drawing himself up to his full magnificent height, he pointed a claw imperiously at the approaching enemy and squeaked, "Kill-kill the feeble Orc-things!"

The army surged forward - including the artillery, which had been denied good firing positions by the poor choice of battlefield (again, the fault of the poor scouting of his Gutter Runners. Gnashqueek would see them pay!). The Rat Ogres on loan from Clan Moulder swung around the flank of the building with their masters' whips urging them onward, heading for the distant hill bearing the enemy war machines.

Tiskreek attempted to hurl Warp Lightning at the enemy lines, however his efforts were undone by a scroll eaten by the Orcish Shaman. Gnashqueek blinked. He had thought the use of scrolls would be beyond the greenskins, who could certainly not read - however, it appeared the morons had found another way to make use of their power. So be it. Denied the use of his war machines early in the battle by the poor planning of the accursed Gutter Runners, and surrounded by incompetent offsiders, it was left up to Gnashqueek to do the dirty work. Drawing power through the Bell beneath him, he summoned the power to cast Warp Lightning himself, only to see the stupid brute of a shaman devour another scroll. Surely he could not have any more! A belly-ache upon his warty hide! In frustration he prepared to throw a Vermintide upon his foes, however there was something strange about the banner that the big Orcs on the left were carrying, and the power was swept from his claws as he formed it.

A great clang issued forth from the Screaming Bell beneath him; however it had no discernible effect on the enemy and left Gnashqueek feeling a little queasy. He hissed in frustration. This was not starting well.



















Orc Turn 2

Snog gazed across the battlefield, expecting his cunningly prepared reinforcements to arrive at any moment. However after waiting a few moments, there was no sign of them. He grunted. No doubt that addle-brained Savage Orc Wozzdat had got lost. Having paused to wait for the help that was clearly not forthcoming, Snog's lines had slowed to a halt. He looked across as Flappa cracked one of his companions in the skull for "Givin' 'im lip", and the Orc dropped like a stone. Snog grunted again, and decided he would have to wait.

Fizzgit again threw an 'Eadbutt at the Skaven Assassin, and this time managed to get past the defences of the wildly gesturing Seer atop his lofty perch. The Assassin staggered slightly, however he was protected by powers unseen and continued walking.

Turn 2.jpgTurn 2.jpgThe Rock Lobber again targeted the massive bell, however this time they had chosen too large a rock, and it didn't make the distance. On the bright side, it did happen to land smack on the remaining Ratling gun, crushing the crew and sending the weapon flying into the adjacent Clanrats, taking out a couple. Their main aim completed, one of the Spear Chukkas took a shot at the Grey Seer, however the bolt glanced harmlessly off the Bell beneath him. The crew of the other Spear Chukka, concerned by the quickly approaching Rat Ogres, targeted them and were satisfied to see one of the massive fiends dropped by the bolt, toppling backwards to crush its master. The remaining handler lost his nerve at this point, and wheeled his charge around, heading back the way he came with all due haste.

Skaven Turn 2

Gnashqueek glared at the backs of the retreating Rat Ogre and its handler, as they continued their speedy departure from the field. Their weakness was typical of Clan Moulder. What good were massive-taloned brutes if they would not stand and fight? He would be demanding his tokens back when this affair was over, or else he might do a little experimenting of his own.

On the bright side, the Gutter Runners appeared to be trying to compensate for their earlier incompetence by appearing exactly as planned, erupting from the ground in the midst of the Orcish war machines and engaging the crew.

Glowering at the approaching greenskins, Gnashqueek thrust his mighty paw into the air, drawing the powers of Warp Lightning to him, and sent them hurtling towards the big Orcs. Their strange standard was unable to resist his glorious powers, and 7 of them dropped to the ground, a charred ruin. However, the big black leader on his pig grunted some guttural orders and kept the rest in line.

Chittering in frustration, Gnashqueek drew even greater power towards him, preparing to blast the accursed Orcs into oblivion. However, as his whiskers stood on end with the power surging inside him, something went wrong. He lost control at the critical moment, and felt the energies being dragged from him, and into the idiot Orc shaman with his glowing green eyes. With a mighty roar, the shaman unleashed the power of the Waaagh, and the army surged forward. The Grey Seer clutched his head in his paws as the magical energies roiled around him, and as he peered out in dismay at this turn of events. Even the ringing of the Screaming Bell beneath him did little to sooth his pounding head, even as its resounding echoes splintered the Orc Rock Lobber and shook the Spear Chukkas on their legs.

Orcs vs Skaven Slaves Break.jpg: The Slaves get too close to Snog's Big 'Uns...Orcs vs Skaven Slaves Break.jpg: The Slaves get too close to Snog's Big 'Uns...The big Orcs with their pig-mounted leader lunged at the Slaves who had approached a little too close, and they were caught as they turned to flee, the madly howling Orcs hacking and slashing as they came. Beside them the other large units also advanced, the huge Black Orcs with their massive swords getting so close to their enemies that their foetid breath made the Skaven cringe.

With a loud Bamff and a cloud of greenish smoke, Tiskreek disappeared from his post leading the flanking unit of Clanrats, and reappeared next to the surging Black Orc regiment. Producing a Death Globe from under his robes, he tossed it back and forth, grinning evilly, before losing control of it and sending his throw in completely the wrong direction, where it landed harmlessly in the open ground. Gnashqueek groaned. He was going to have to have words with his foolish underling.

Gnashqueek's artillery was finally in place, and opened fire on the (now uncomfortably close) Orc lines. The Warp Lightning Cannon managed to zap 2 Big'Uns, while the Jezzails accounted for 2 of the advancing Black Orcs. This less-than-inspiring display was not enough to even shake the morale of the Orcs, and the Grey Seer emitted a shrill squeak of frustration.

Taken aback by the sudden furious energy of the Goblin crew of the Spear Chukka they had assaulted, two Gutter Runners were beaten down with blunt objects before they could strike back. They were still able to cut two down in return, which was enough to beat back the remaining Goblin. Despite turning, tripping, and sliding face-first down the hill as he tried to escape, he still managed to get away as the Gutter Runners argued over how best to destroy the machine he left behind, and wasted too much time to catch up. The Rock Lobber crew danced and gibbered, but ultimately inflicted more damage on each other with randomly hurled rocks than they did on their assailants, and they were easily cut down.

On the far left, the Goblin Spear Chukka crew had a mad rush of enthusiasm and charged the fully ranked-up unit of Giant Rats in the flank. Despite their heroism and the death of 2 enormous rats, the little green fools suddenly remembered something they needed to do back home, and departed whence they came, one being cut down in the process.

Orc Turn 3

Snog would have been delighted to see his flanking force arriving, had he not been too busy sorting out an argument over who got to eat the best rat-bits. Roaring his displeasure, he hacked his way through 3 of his bodyguard and seized the choice cut of Skaven slave. In a rage, he turned and hurled it straight into the Grey Seer's unit, and was rewarded as the entire regiment of Big'Uns surged after they prize, crashing head-long into the unfortunate Clanrats.

On the right, the Orc reinforcements did indeed make their slightly delayed appearance, their arrival being announced by a mighty belch from the slightly inebriated Giant. The flankers had stumbled across an undefended brewery along the way, and it was not until every last drop of the produce was drunk that the giant was willing to move on. Led almost competently by Wozzdat, the units now lurched rather drunkenly onto the field, just in time to see (albeit a little blearily) the main battle joined.

All along the front line, the Orc regiments smashed into the beleaguered Skaven, who could do little but hold and hope. Heartened by the sounds of the Waaagh in full flight, the lone Goblin from the destroyed Spear Chukka picked himself up and prepared to deal with the oncoming Gutter Runners. The Goblins on the other flank seemed to better grasp their situation, and continued fleeing for the hills. Fizzgit managed not to cast any spells, muttering something about the pretty green lights as he was overcome by the energy of the Waaagh.

Orcs vs Skaven Main Combat.jpg: The armies engageOrcs vs Skaven Main Combat.jpg: The armies engageAs Snog hurtled towards the Grey Seer's regiment of clan rats, he found himself face to face with the unit's champion, who was waving his sword in a less than enthusiastic challenge, having been thrust forward by his fearless leader. Meanwhile Gnashqueek cowered atop the Bell, already looking for the next 'volunteer' to face the Black Orc Warboss. Accepting the champion's challenge, Snog rode straight over the top of him, killing him thrice over in a grisly display. Alongside him the Big'Uns also set about cleaving into the remaining Skaven, and despite several of the warriors being saved by their armour, 4 still perished. Despite this carnage (and thanks somewhat to the shrill commands issuing from their precariously balanced Grey Seer and the heartening presence of the Battle Standard across the way) the Clanrats held their nerve.

Orcs vs Skaven Assassin Breaks.jpg: The carnage is too much for Gnashqueek's loyal henchmenOrcs vs Skaven Assassin Breaks.jpg: The carnage is too much for Gnashqueek's loyal henchmenAt the other end of the line, the Black Orcs careened into the Clanrat regiment containing Vasqueek the Assassin who, brandishing his swords, squealed a piercing challenge. Drawing on the power of Nogg's Banner of Butchery, their boss Tuffgut accepted the challenge, but only managed to inflict 1 wound on the deadly villain, before falling beneath his flashing blades. Ignoring the fate of their leader, the Black Orcs carved their way into the Clanrats. In an orgy of destruction, 6 Skaven perished, weapons, cloven shields, limbs and other body parts flying through the air in a shower of gore. Despite the impassioned commands of Gnashqueek and Skittrik franticly waving his standard, the carnage was too great and the Skaven broke ranks and fled, only to be run down from behind by the brutal Black Orcs, chopping and slashing as they went. The Jezzails decided that this sight was a sure sign they were needed elsewhere, and they turned and fled the field.

The Skaven Slaves also decided not to hang around any longer, and broke after losing 4 of their number to Flagga and his ladz. They managed to outdistance their pursuers, who were hindered by having to slog through air thick with flying Skaven body parts.

Skaven Turn 3

Turn 3.jpg: The reinforcements arrive as the battle ragesTurn 3.jpg: The reinforcements arrive as the battle ragesIt was all going horribly wrong. His supposedly loyal henchmen had failed him, and the extremely expensive services of the Clan Eshin assassin had proven to be tokens ill-spent. Gnashqueek added Vasqueek's fees to the growing list of costs he would demand refunded when this debacle was over. Right now he had bigger problems, however. His battle line was crumbling, his own unit was besieged, and yet more of the greenskin hordes had suddenly arrived upon his left flank. How could that be? Surely Orcs did not possess the keen Skaven cunning required to execute a flanking manoeuvre! Did he have the misfortune to have encountered two armies at once instead of the one he had expected? That must be it - his forces were not prepared for such overwhelming numbers. This was yet another mistake that had been made by the useless Gutter Runner scouts. There would be hell to pay when this battle was over.

On the far right flank, the Rat Ogre continued its mad scramble for safety and disappeared from the field. In the middle the Slaves continued their less than speedy departure, their lack of interest in the task at hand made abundantly clear. The now depleted unit of Gutter Runners again charged the feisty surviving Goblin, intent on finishing what they started. On the far left flank, the teeming swarms of rats rushed into the side of the newly-arrived Savage Orc unit, while the Giant Rats turned to face the threat of the Giant and Wolf Riders.

Tiskreek finally did something right, and managed to fry 6 Orcs with a blast of Warp Lightning, then another 2 when he lowered his Storm Daemon and gave them another taste, despite the Shaman's best efforts to protect their worthless hides. This was enough to send them and their annoying Shaman scrambling to get away. The Slaves manning the Warp Lightning Cannon finally sighted the Giant in the distance, and unleashed a blast at him. Unfortunately the shot fell just short, merely showering the massive drunken oaf with a cloud of sod. Two Giant Rats and a Goblin Wolf Rider were less fortunate, and felt the full force of the beam as it vaporised them.

The swarms of rats washed against the side of the Savage Orc unit like a living wave of fur, and managed to bring down 3 of the massive tattooed savages. They never had any hope of besting their victims, however. In return the Orcs set about them like a whirlwind, stomping, chopping, biting and swatting rats left right and centre. They were already clearly gaining the upper hand, however there remained a small number of the nagging rats to keep the Savage Orcs occupied. The valiant Goblin crewman finally succumbed to the attentions of the Gutter Runners, defiant to the last.

Orcs vs Skaven Grey Seer Breaks.jpg: Gnashqueek makes his hasty tactical withdrawalOrcs vs Skaven Grey Seer Breaks.jpg: Gnashqueek makes his hasty tactical withdrawalGnashqueek had little time to savour these successes however, as 6 more of his bodyguard fell to the massive crude weapons of the Orc Big'Uns. Orcs started to clamber up onto the Screaming Bell in an attempt to reach him, and the Grey Seer decided that the time for bravery was long past. Squeaking the retreat, he leapt from atop his tower and led the way, rushing for safety as quickly as his legs would carry him. Behind him he heard the crashing noise of the Screaming Bell being toppled by the foul brutes, in amongst the sounds of their pursuit. Thankfully those sounds were gradually falling behind him. It seemed he would escape to wreak his vengeance upon those rivals who had clearly engineered this battle against him, in an attempt to eliminate him once and for all.

Orc Turn 4

Seeing that victory was within his grasp, Snog urged his mount and his unit forwards, charging after the fleeing Skaven general. Unfortunately it seemed the Skaven were as fast at running away as he had heard, and easily escaped from the field, disappearing into the surrounding forests. Nearby, the Black Orcs also charged after the Skaven Slaves, who also departed the field, saving their miserable lives. The Giant and the Wolf Riders charged at the Giant Rats, who decided they would rather flee than face the approaching abomination. Their flight was short-lived however, as the lightning-fast wolves caught them easily, dragging them down as they went.

Fizzgit decided that they had not yet put enough distance between themselves and the dangerous Skaven Warlock, and he and his unit continued their 'controlled withdrawal'. The remaining Spear Chukka crew also reached the relative safety of the edge of the field and departed, saying something about heading back to camp to check on their cooking.

Flagga's unit in the centre of the field turned to face the approaching regiment of Clanrats; the last real resistance on the field.

The Savage Orcs now turned their full attentions on the remaining handful of rats that were plaguing them, and ate them in pretty short order.

Skaven Turn 4

Turn 4.jpgTurn 4.jpgTiskreek, the lowly and unassuming Warlock Engineer, had rather suddenly and unexpectedly found himself promoted to general, and in true Skaven style, seized the opportunity to better his position and began to direct what few units remained. As he did so, he slunk towards the relative safety of the building, looking for a good place from which to issue his orders. At the very least, perhaps he might be able to make it from the field of battle in one piece.

With a vengeful shriek, the Clanrat unit surged into the Orcs in front of them, who braced themselves to receive the charge. The remaining slave regiment was also instructed to charge the flank of the savage Orc Big'Uns, against their better judgement (such is their lot in life). The Gutter Runners moved back towards the fray, their primary goal of disabling the enemy war machines finally complete.

Tiskreek took advantage of the Orc shaman's distraction to kill a few more Orcs with his Storm Daemon, giving them extra encouragement to continue their withdrawal. Intent on further destruction, he gulped down a chunk of warpstone that he had 'borrowed' from one of Gnashqueek's stores, however it appeared that the Grey Seer had the last laugh as the lump seemed to catch in his throat, half choking him and leaving him coughing and retching.

The Warp Lightning Cannon had somehow lurked unnoticed on the flank of the Big'Uns, and opened up with a mighty volley, catching the Black Orc general and his unit unprepared. Snog's bodyguard failed to perform their duty and push him aside, and he caught the full force of the blast. 3 Big'Uns and 2 Black Orcs perished in the storm of power, however when the energy had dissipated and everyone's vision began to return to normal, there was Snog, a little singed but apparently unharmed.

The Clanrats crashed into the Orc warriors in the centre of the field, hacking down Grunta, the unit champion. Flagga issued a challenge and cut down the Skaven champion convincingly, however it was not enough to break the resolve of the Skaven, who held their ground. The Slaves on the flank were not so fortunate, however. Weakened by maltreatment and a lack of food, their blows were easily shrugged off by their massive opponents, who then set about destroying them with impunity. 11 Slaves were reduced to little more than a red mist in the onslaught, as the wild Orcs went completely berserk, hacking at everything in sight with inhuman strength. Wozzdat alone killed 4 of the unfortunate Slaves, leading by example. Screaming in terror, the remaining Slaves scattered in an attempt to escape, but they were soon caught and wiped out by their blood-crazed opponents.

Orc Turn 5

Snog glared at the Warp Lightning Cannon and savagely pulled his boar about to face it, with his unit following suit. It seemed that the insolent rats were still trying to kill him, despite the fact that their leader had fled the field. Lucky he was so 'ard, or they might have succeeded. With a few commanding grunts and gestures, he prepared to mop up the survivors.

The Goblin Wolf Riders, buoyed by their swift elimination of the Giant Rats, rode enthusiastically into the Gutter Runners, whooping as they went. The Giant drunkenly bellowed his idiot war-cry and lumbered towards the rear of the already engaged Clanrats, only to find that he misjudged the distance, his addled wits serving him even more poorly than usual. The Black Orcs turned around and headed back towards the fighting, spotting the Warlock as he crept into the building.

Fizzgit finally decided that they had put enough distance between themselves and the mad, lightning-spitting Warlock, and halted abruptly, the Orcs following him crashing into each other and ending up in a heap. Climbing over the mess of arms and legs, the shaman raised his arms into the air and summoned the mighty power of the Waaagh once more. The Warlock was too busy hiding to make a proper show of resisting the spell, and the Orc army surged forwards once more. With a gargantuan belch, the Giant staggered onwards, this time making it to the rear ranks of the distracted Clanrats. Snog roared triumphantly as he led the Big'Uns in a sudden charge on the Warp Lightning Cannon, which its crew promptly abandoned, only to be run down as they went. The Black Orcs brandished their huge choppas and rushed at the Warlock in his new house, who saw them coming and decided to leave again via the back door.

Even Fizzgit's mob managed to get themselves in order enough to charge (albeit in a rather disorganized fashion) into the nearby Gutter Runners. Caught unprepared, the Skaven put up little resistance, and were crushed beneath the iron-shod boots of the Orcs as they ran right through them. The other Gutter Runners fared little better, losing one of their number to a Goblin spear, and another 3 to the jaws of their slavering mounts. Despite managing to kill a Goblin in return, the combat was clearly against them, and they turned and ran, narrowly outdistancing the wolves, who were more interested in devouring their victims than they were in catching the remaining ratmen.

Orcs vs SKaven Giant Arrives.jpg: The Giant searches the Clanrats for more beer...Orcs vs SKaven Giant Arrives.jpg: The Giant searches the Clanrats for more beer...The Skaven in the rear of the Clanrats finally noticed the earth shaking and turned in time to see the leering face of the inebriated giant, and the descending shadow of his club as it swept down, knocking 5 dead Skaven clean out of the unit. Their comrades at the front managed to kill a solitary Orc, before Flappa and his mates chopped down 3 more. This was all too much for the survivors, who turned to escape only to be chased down by the excitable giant, who laughed goofily as he thumped and kicked those who were too slow to get away.

Turn 5.jpgTurn 5.jpgSkaven Turn 5

Having escaped the clutches of the Black Orcs who were now milling confusedly around the building (back doors being beyond their understanding), Tiskreek turned once more to survey the battle, just in time to see the last clanrat booted unceremoniously over the horizon by the crazed Giant, who appeared to be attempting some sort of drunken jig. It seemed that his new minions were doing even worse than he had hoped. Seeing his remaining Gutter Runners fleeing towards him, the Warlock issued a shrill command and was satisfied to see them pull up and turn to face the foe. Tiskreek shuffled across slightly to ensure that any enemy intent on his demise would first have to best the poison-wielding death-dealers. If nothing else, they would buy him time to run for it if things turned any worse.

Seeing the accursed Orc shaman's unit approaching once more, he turned toward them and threw yet more warp lightning in their direction. Things did not go entirely as planned however, and it seemed Tiskreek's tiredness was affecting his control over his powers. While 2 more Orcs were reduced to charred corpses, Tiskreek's own body was momentarily racked with energy. Fortunately his new advanced-energy-discharger-unit-thing (patent pending) was able to protect him, although it in turn died with a popping noise and a display of sparks and smoke. No matter - it had served its purpose.

Orc Turn 6

The Wolf Riders lunged once more into the remaining Gutter Runners, trying to break through their somewhat depleted line and make it to the wildly sparking and shaking Warlock behind. Fizzgit also urged his boyz on towards the remaining enemy, however his hastily formed 'Eadbutt was to no avail.

Orcs vs Skaven Last Stand.jpg: The end is nigh...Orcs vs Skaven Last Stand.jpg: The end is nigh...The Wolf Riders displayed the complete lack of skill that makes them such a fearsome fighting force and failed to kill either of their opponents, however one of the wolves had not yet eaten and dragged down its meal. The remaining Gutter Runner managed to take one of the Goblins out, leaping atop his mount and plunging a poisoned knife into his chest.

Turn 6.jpgTurn 6.jpgSkaven Turn 6

The remaining Gutter Runner appeared to be making a good fist of protecting him, so Tiskreek focused his full attention on the approaching Orcs, who just didn't seem to get the message. His anger got the better of him, and he drew far more power to himself than was wise. His whiskers stood on end and his tail twitched of its own accord. His eyes aglow with blue crackling power, Tiskreek screamed his defiance and unleashed a massive thunderbolt of power into the Orcs, slaying many and leaving the others scrambling for safety. Unfortunately all the noise proved a fatal distraction for the Gutter Runner, who was cut down as he glanced behind him.

As the echoes from the mighty blast dissipated and the smoke cleared, no sign remained of the Warlock Engineer except for a large patch of scorched and blackened ground, and a half-melted pair of protective goggles.

The battle was over.

Victory Points

Orcs and Goblins 3400

Skaven 648

Taktikul Genius!

Well that certainly went rather well. Not having played that many games with the new Orcs and Goblins book, I am still getting used to just how powerful Orcs are in combat. Admittedly the majority of the damage was done by more than simple vanilla Orcs, however it was impressive how easily they cut through the normally pretty durable Clanrats.

The main clash of battle lines happened a little quicker than I expected, thanks largely to Pete's miscast and allowing me to rebound by casting Waaagh. This thrust the Black Orcs forwards and did wonders for the other units as well, and meant that I was upon him earlier than he might have liked. Pete pointed out later than he could have used his Warpstone Charm to prevent the miscast, however he forgot in the heat of the moment. I don't know if this necessarily cost him the game, but it was a nasty mistake.

The main group of combats went so well that the arrival of the flanking force almost became redundant. These troops allowed me to clean up the enemy units trying to hold the flank, however these were not likely to affect the main flow of the battle anyway.

I have to wonder if Skaven weapon teams are even worth fielding any more, now that they can be targeted so easily by shooting. The Spear Chukkas did a brilliant job of neutralising what loomed as a serious threat to my elite units of Orcs. This meant that all I really had to worry about was magic, and I was in combat before I knew it, which pretty much took the Grey Seer (and by extension, the magic) out of the equation.

The scenario seemed to work fine, although as I say, the game was probably not the best judge of this. It promises to be quite powerful when the player has spells like Waaagh (or even an Anvil of Doom) at his disposal, as I had units arrive within striking distance of the rear of Pete's units, and things could have been over even more quickly if he had failed to dispel my Waaagh attempt.

All in all it was a good performance by Snog and his ladz, and I look forward to using the Orcs again in the near future. Snog's clearly got a good Waaagh going, and it would appear that no furry critter is going to stop him!

Idiot-fool minion-things!

Well, I've had things go better than that before. Pride of place for 'stupid mistake of the game' has to go to completely forgetting about having the Warpstone Charm, which could have quite probably stopped my Grey Seer miscasting, which would have meant no free Waaagh for the Orcs. Not hiding the Ratling Guns better was also a bit silly, though to be fair at least two of them would have gotten shot anyway. This was the first time I'd used Skaven in about half a year, so I'll plead rustiness as a partial excuse for gross incompetence. That and a bunch of troops who were clearly out to betray me (Ld8 rerollable break tests apparently being just too much), presumably working on the orders of various shadowy foes back in Skavenblight, curse-hex them.

Orcs are certainly a lot choppier than they used to be. Choppas used to be like atrocious cut-rate morning stars; now they're some kind of hyper-evolved morning star-hand weapon cross-breed. Fair enough, given that under the old rules most Orcs would have been happier with hand weapons, but note to self: try not to get charged by Big 'Uns or Black Orcs. If charging them with T3 troops (i.e. Clanrats), try to make sure half the front rank's dead before they get to strike back. Actually having killed some at range probably would have helped, as would some marginally competent diverting (and basic magic item memorisation, grr).

Apart from a few small flaws (i.e. getting butchered to a rat and losing by over 2500VPs), I'm reasonably happy with the army. I'm quite sure I could make a more efficiently dangerous Skaven list by leaving out the 500+pt Grey Seer on Bell, but he's fun to use. The Assassin is a lot pricier than an equivalent Chieftain, and doesn't provide any Ld benefits to units, but the better stats and deployment options are interesting, so I'll try him again at some point. Rat Swarms are nowhere near as good as they used to be. Holding up Savage Orc Big 'Uns was always going to be tricky for them, but even three bases barely managed one turn's delay - and that was only because wounding on a 2+ seemed to be too hard.. Four bases of non-diseased Swarms would have been better (and cheaper), but I was distracted by visions of nibbling Giants to death.

Next time, green-things, next time...