Thursday, 2 January 2014

Finally raiding from the cover of the mists

At last the little Fimir warband that I have been putting together have had an outing and trial. On New Year's Day some friends and I got together to play the Regiment of Renown rules that I mentioned right at my blogging, that was initially giving me a drive and incentive to start my Fimir project. There were seven of us playing: Dave with Lizardmen, Nick with Lizardmen, Barry with Empire, Vicky with Tomb Kings, Joey with Warriors of Chaos, RV with Bretonnians, and of course me with my Fimir. There's a photo of my warband below; I meant to take photos of eveyone's warbands but I simply forgot - sorry!

My warband, 'The Dread Blade from the Mists' were as follows:

  • Belenus (24pts)
    • Fimm Fian, Leader
    • Luckstone, Kroll's Bellyshield, Morningstar, Shield
  • Devlyn (14pts)
    • Fimm Warrior, Dog of War
    • Blade of Prescient Perfection, Additional Hand Weapon
  • Pryderi (14pts)
    • Fimm Warrior, Dog of War
    • Regimental Standard, Morningstar, Shield
  • Arawn (12pts)
    • Moor Hound, Dog of War
    • Spiky Shoulder Plates
  • Mabon (12pts)
    • Moor Hound
  • Lugus (12pts)
    • Moor Hound
  • The Unnamed One (12pts)
    • Fir Bolg
    • Light Armour, Shield

The games were really good fun, though really rather reliant upon luck - far more so than normal Warhammer rules, as generally you are only rolling one attack as each individual model acts as its own unit. We each played three games (well, RV only played two, but he had to leave early as apparently he has something called a life???), so we totted up the victory points from all of the games and made a league table - unfortunately I cam last! Begrudging congratulations must go to Dave with his Lizardmen for scoring nearly 700 victory points from his three games - but surely you expect a fairly nasty warband from someone who is the manager of a Games Workshop store!

Battle one saw me face Nick and his Lizardmen. He had one skink, three saurus warriors and a kroxigor - I was not especially amused to see that monster get pulled from the miniatures case! Things started well, and in all fairness I didn't think my Fimir performed too badly despite the fact that I was routed with only one of my moor hounds left alive. Largely I was having an uncanny ability to roll twos. I did however kill the skink and his saurus warrior leader, and reduce his kroxigor to only one wound left, but I couldn't deliver that killing blow before my warband were smashed into a pulp. Once we totalled up the victory points (having worked out the additional rewards you get in this format) Nick scored 158 and I got 73 - not a brilliant start, but not horrendous either. The game also includes an element of experience, so your warband's leader can upgrade some of his statistics based on a roll of 2d6 plus the number of models he killed in that game. Belenus developed a 'Heroic Resolve' boosting his leadership by one. I wasn't that impressed by this initially, especially as other people were getting pluses to their strength, toughness, attacks or wounds, but I think it did help in some later games.

Battle two and this time I was facing off against Vicky and her Tomb Kings. I have played Vicky's Tomb Kings before in a proper game of Warhammer, but with my Dwarfs. I know how devastating they can be, but magic is such a big part of their army and there is no magic in Regiment of Renown at all. The worrying thing right at the start of this battle was the fact that Vicky had about 14 models - by far the largest warband of any of us. Now admittedly her basic skeleton warriors aren't hard, but when she outnumbered me two to one it was a bit worrying. I was definitely anticipating struggling as I simply wouldn't be able to put out enough attacks per turn to kill all her stuff (I think this was actually a problem for me throughout as only my leader had multiple attacks). This was a very close battle and I thoroughly enjoyed it as a result. I was killing quite a few of her skeletons and tomb guard, but equally was loosing my moor hounds and the fir bolg. Once the half hour had elapsed, we decided to continue for a little longer to reach a fair point where we'd had an even number of turns. I'm quite glad it stopped there, as if we had continued I would have been forced to have a rout test and would have conceded 50 victory points. As it was, I ended the game with only my three fimm warriors alive, but having killed half of Vicky's warband, including two of her Dogs of War. The victory point count results as 58 to Vicky and 66 to me - a very narrow victory indeed! This result would be rather influential in my coming last overall as when other players won games, they won by quite convincing margins, scoring easily over 100 victory points, but I just couldn't rank up enough points of killed things; maybe I was unlucky with dice roles, maybe some of the Fimir rules aren't especially suited to this format (tail attack, I'm looking at you here!). I rolled for Belenus' advancement and this time he acquired 'Ferocious Blows' giving plus one attack - I was hoping that this would be very useful, but obviously that would rely heavily on my dice roles.

Battle three arrived and it was time to take on Joey's Warriors of Chaos. I was definitely worried about this game as I know that Chaos Warriors are pretty hard, and when combined with their marks of chaos and good armour I knew I was going to struggle. Well Joey fielded three chaos warhounds, three chaos warriors, and one chosen as his leader - this was going to be brutal! Sure enough I was forced to take a rout test, which I passed, only to be wiped out. I managed to kill all three of his hounds, and one of his Dog of War chaos warriors, but nothing else was going to go my way with generally always striking after his warriors and far too many attacks being missed. One good thing that came out of this battle was The Unnamed One killing one of Joey's warhounds so that the fir bolg 'join us' ability could work, creating another fir bolg model to instantly start attacking Joey again. He didn't last long though. The victory point count left Joey scoring 230 and awarding me a measly 48. This was not the lowest total received from any game though, there were a couple of scores in the 20s and one person only scoring 14. Even though this was the final game we were going to play, we still rolled on the advancement table and Belenus improved his 'Ferocious Blows' again, giving another plus one to his attacks, totalling four now.

The entire day was really good fun, but I learnt some valuable lessons from it. Five of the seven members of my warband caused fear, which did help on a couple of occasions, but playing against Lizardmen (cold blooded), Tomb Kings (also cause fear so immune), and Warriors of Chaos (pretty high leadership) wasn't going to make the best of the situation. It also didn't help that I forgot to make my opponent take their leadership test on a couple of occasions. The other important lesson I learnt was about equipping your Dogs of War. I had deliberately given Pryderi the Regimental Standard upgrade to enable me to reroll panic tests as I thought that would play a big role in the games; now I don't know if we played it wrongly or something, but it just didn't really crop up. That meant that one of my warriors had an upgrade that did absolutely nothing in terms of helping to protect him, nor making him more deadly. Instead he just awarded the opposition 10 bonus victory points for killing him. Next time we play Regiment of Renown I am definitely changing this upgrade: the Totem of Bilious Curses giving Hatred would be good, or maybe the Club Wiv a Nail In' for d6 attacks, or even the Dashing Cloak of Heroic Renown for Regeneration 5+. It certainly seems important trying to find ways to increase the numbers of attacks, gaining rerolls, or improving survivability. The combination of scaly skin 6+, light armour and shield did help make my fimm warriors a little bit more survivable, but it was still a struggle. I was really pleased to have won one game, even though it was so narrow; what was annoying was that Barry lost all three of his games, but was able to kill enough stuff in those games anyway to get quite decent victory point scores and therefore still beat me in the rankings. Full credit to him though for what he managed to achieve.

Oh well, the Fimir return to the mists once more to lick their wounds, consult the demons and plan their revenge. Next time ... just you wait ... next time!