Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Blade in the Mists confront Skarsnik's Goblins

I had another game with my Fimir a week or so ago. This time it was a normal one-on-one game rather than Triumph and Treachery rules, this would give me a decent chance to see what the Fimir were like in a straight up battle without having to divide resources between different opponents. My friend decided that he would take his Goblin army as it is full of character - otherwise known as a hell of a lot of squigs! I threw together a rough army list of what I had assembled (though not necessarily painted), along with magic items and it came to 2650 points so we agreed on that as a point limit - a slightly random number, but it allowed us both to have a range of different things in our lists. The game was really good fun and has led my Goblin friend to have a new nemesis in one of my characters, or more accurately in one particular magic item from the Fimir army book - the Runic Bellyshield!

Fimir Army List
  • Magella Wisestone - Meargh
    • Level 4 caster, Earthing rod, Bloodstone garnet, Lore of Shadow (Okkam's Mindrazor, Pit of Shades, Penumbral Pendulum, Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma), Deployed with Fimm Warriors
  • Drust - Fimm Mistmor
    • Heavy armour, Vile Branch Crusher, Runic Bellyshield, The Other Trickster's Shard, Luckstone, Deployed with Fimm Warriors
  • Rictumal - Dirach
    • Level 2 caster, Orb of the All-Seeing Eye, Lore of Beasts (Amber Spear, Wyssan's Wildform), Deployed with Shearl
  • Ololamin - Dirach
    • Level 1 caster, Miasma of Malodorous Mist, Lore of the Fimir (Swirling Mists), Deployed with Shearl
  • Marroar - Fimm Finmor
    • Heavy armour, Shield, Battle Standard Bearer, The Banner of the Mists, Deployed with Fimm Warriors
  • 29 Fimm Warriors
    • Fimm Fian, Musician, Standard Bearer, Fimul's Hatred, Additional hand weapons
  • 23 Shearl
    • Shearl Finn, Musician, Standard Bearer, Spears, Shields
  • 5 Moor Hounds
  • 5 Moor Hounds
  • 3 Marsh Reavers
    • Musician
  • 21 Fir bolg
    • Crypt Keeper, Great weapons
  • Eye Oculus of Balor

Goblin Army List (roughly!)
  • Skarsnik and Gobbla
  • Goblin Shaman on Colossal Squig (counts as Arachnarok Spider)
  • Goblin Battle Standard Bearer
  • Goblin Boss on Giant Squid
  • Goblin Boss on Giant Squig
  • Night Goblin Archers with Fanatics
  • Night Goblin Archers with Fanatics
  • Squig Hoppers
  • Squig Hoppers
  • Squig Herders
  • Night Goblins with Netters
  • Mangler Squig
  • Mangler Squig
  • Doom Diver
  • Doom Diver

Long ago the watchtower on the edge of the marshland had been manned by a determined Empire outpost, even housing a talented wizard. It had long been a target for the Fimir, yet there had always been some magical force preventing the swirling mists conjured by Magella and her Dirachs from taking hold and covering an approach. Magella was convinced, therefore, that whatever was causing this blackout was an essential tool for her to acquire. Over recent months Magella had sensed the magic emanating from the tower weakening, the mists stretching that little bit further. Now was the time to strike and claim whatever artefact the Human wizard had been forced to leave behind. However, it seemed as though a horde of greenskins had also been eyeing up the tower. Magella had ensured that her Fimir would be in the best position to claim the watchtower first. Unfortunately the foul goblins had arrived moments too soon, preventing any Fimir unit from getting a foothold in the tower itself.

Before deployment, Skarsnik had sent squigs to hassle and delay the Fimir forces. Whilst most of the Fimir army battled through without issue, the Eye Oculus of Balor and Rictumal were disrupted and could not deploy with the rest of the Fimir, instead arriving during turn one.

The two Moor Hound units vanguarded up into the swamps near the middle line of the battlefield, hoping to delay the squigs from crashing into the Fimir line.

Turn One
The Goblins start the battle with the Snotling Pump Wagon lurching haphazardly into the first unit of Moor Hounds whilst the rest of their force ignore any chance of animosity striking in the ranks and advance steadily towards the watchtower and the Fimir. The Goblin Shaman, with a commanding view over the battlefield from the top of his Colossal Squig, successfully casts Itchy Nuisance on the Fimm Warriors, slightly reducing their movement and initiative, but then the winds of magic flee from his grasp. Snarsnik bellows at the Doom Divers to clear the Moor Hounds out of the way. The first Diver aims carefully at the closest Moor Hound unit, but scatters well beyond his target, the second suffers a problem with his catapult, being sent skidding across the ground, but still collides with the intended Hound unit, causing Hound corpses to sink into the swamp. The Pump Wagon's various blades, and Snotlings lash out and destroy the other unit of Moor Hounds.

The Fimir commence the battle with the Marsh Reavers declaring a charge against the Pump Wagon, but failing to make any decent distance. Instead the Fir Bolg charge through the line of swampland in front of them to take out the Pump Wagon. The Eye Oculus of Balor finally moves onto the battlefield. Ololamin commands the unit of Shearl to remain stationary so that Rictumal, arriving after a squig-related delay, can also join their unit. The remaining Hounds move into one of the Mangler Squigs, dying but removing the nuisance of such insane beasts. Magella looks across to the numerous squigs quickly bearing down on the Fimir, and calls upon the winds of magic to launch a Penumbral Pendulum. The winds blow mightily and the spell is conjured with irresistible force, causing all three Fimir casters to lose a wound, though the spell itself ultimately doesn't affect the Goblin forces. The two Dirachs both fail to cast their spells. The Oculus opens its eye and the gaze of Balor kills two Squig Hoppers. The Fir Bolg raise their great weapons, completely decimating the Pump Wagon and overrunning into the Squig Hoppers.

Turn Two
Skarsnik's unit begin to bicker and squabble, despite his best attempts to beat them into order. The unit of Squig Herders charge into the flank of the Fir Bolg. The remaining units manoeuvre into better positions, one unit of Goblin Archers marching to the foot of the watchtower, but are unable to enter it this turn. As the Goblins draw closer to the Fimir, some Fanatics hidden in their midst can no longer restrain themselves and launch towards the Fir Bolg. The Shaman consults the winds of magic to try and influence the combat against the dead of the marshes, casting Gork'll Fix It. Both Doom Divers pull back on their catapults and aiming towards the Marsh Reavers, one flinging himself beyond the target, the other wounding one of the mounted Fimir. The Squig Hoppers and Squig Herders kill numerous Fir Bolg, who in turn fluff their attacks, killing only three Hoppers, causing three dead bodies to rise from the marshes to join the diminished ranks of the Fir Bolg. With the weight of the combat against them, several Fir Bolg crumble to the ground, leaving only three of the dead bodies remaining, locking both of the Squig units into the combat.

This time the Marsh Reavers complete their charge, roaring into the flank of the Squig Herders. Drust sees the Goblin Archers preparing to enter the watchtower, so he instead leaves the Fimm Warriors and strides into the tower by himself to secure it for the Fimir. The Shearl and Dirachs move forward into the swamp ahead of them. Rictumal fails to control the surge of magical power, casting Wyssan's Wildform with irresistible force, a caster level and that spell fading from his mind. Some of Magella's spells are dispelled, but Penumbral Pendulum is cast, but the Goblin Shaman shakes off its effects before it can truly take hold. The Marsh Reavers break the Squigs in combat after killing seven of the Herders, causing the Squigs to go wild, killing one Shearl and one Fanatic.

Turn Three
Goblin Fanatics are not known for their impressive degree of control, and two kill each other as they collide. Both units of Squig Hoppers head towards their targets, one unit hitting the Marsh Reavers, the other the Fimm Warriors. The Shaman peered with annoyance at Drust in the watchtower before reaching into the winds of magic to cast Gift of the Spider God to give the Archers poisoned attacks. However, their arrows bounced off his Runic Bellyshield, denying the poison from taking hold. One Doom Diver takes aim at Drust in the tower, but scatters short and kills three Shearl instead. The other Diver equally aims at Drust, hitting his hulking form, but failing to wound. The Marsh Reavers kill four of the Squig Hoppers, leaving only the Squig-mounted boss. The Fimm Warriors slaughter the other unit of Squig Hoppers, with the Squig-mounted boss fleeing into the forest from the onslaught.
(Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of the end of the Goblin turn 3)

Having secured the watchtower, preventing the Goblin Archers from entering, Drust charged out at the Shaman on the Colossal Squig. The Dirachs sensed a pivotal moment in the battle and launched their unit of Shearl at the closest unit of Goblin Archers, who flee in response. Unfortunately the Shearl are unable to redirect to another target and are left stranded with their flank exposed to Skarsnik's unit. The Fimm Warriors move into the watchtower to guard the important objective, causing more Goblin Fanatics to throw themselves towards the Fimir. Rictumal consults the Orb of the All-Seeing Eye, as he had previously done without problem, but this time the Orb sucked up part of the winds of magic, denying some of their power from the Fimir casters. Magella and the Dirachs all try to cast a selection of spells, yet the Goblins use their own resources to dispell every conjuration. The Eye Oculus of Balor casts its gaze at the Mangler Squig, but fails to wound the insane beast. The Marsh Reavers confront and slay the Squig-mounted boss, before staring across the intervening distance at Skarsnik. The Shaman and Colossal Squig fail to wound Drust, with its venom surge attack bouncing harmlessly off the Runic Bellyshield. Drust swings wildly at his opponent and monstrous mount, but failed to wound his opponent. The charge itself was the decisive factor and won Drust the combat. Expecting to spend quite a while slugging it out with this monster, Drust was stunned to see the Colossal Squig turn tail and flee, taking the Shaman with it. Drust gave chase, but was unable to catch the huge target, instead slaughtering the already fleeing Squig-mounted boss.

Turn Four
With numerous Fanatics now littering the battlefield, any step would be fraught with peril. One Fanatic drowns in the swamp, two others collide with the watchtower and splatter themselves against the stones, two plough through Skarsnik's unit killing 7, the remaining Fanatic tore through one of the Goblin Archer units killing another 2 Goblins. Skarsnik's unit finally see some combat and charge the Shearl in the flank. The Shaman on the Colossal Squig was clearly struggling to control his monstrous mount, failing to rally and ultimately fleeing completely from the battlefield, the Goblin Archers put him to shame and rally bravely from their tactical retreat to confront the Fimir. The two Doom Divers take aim at the Marsh Reavers with the first failing to wound, but the second adjusting his flight expertly to kill one Reaver and wound another. The two units of Goblin Archers take aim at the Fimm Warriors in the watchtower, yet the Banner of the Mists prevents them from being able to clearly see the unit. Skarsnik bellows at challenge at his foes, answered bravely by a small Shearl Finn, who is unfortunately fed to Skarsnik's pet squig Gobbla. Rictumal and Ololamin consult with their daemon friends to lend aid in this fight, killing seven Goblins, before two Shearl and one more Goblin die as the two sides exchange blows. Whilst the Shearl lose the combat, they hold strong to prevent Skarsnik's forces attacking the watchtower.

Magella raises her eyes to the sky, fearing the loss of the mists whilst the attention of the Fimir is distracted by the Goblin attack, luckily their cover holds and the Fimir can continue to press their advantage. Drust charges the closest Goblin Archer unit, looking to smash apart such puny green enemies. The solitary remaining Marsh Reaver bravely, possibly foolhardily, charges into the flank of Skarsnik's unit. The Eye Oculus of Balor positions itself to once again cast its gaze of Balor at the remaining Mangler Squig which has been circling and hunting it. Looking in the direction of the Doom Divers, the Oculus also takes care to ensure that its position is close enough to not be a target. Rictumal once again consults to Orb of the All-Seeing Eye, but once again it drains some of the surrounding magical energy. Magella and the Dirachs only manage to get one spell off unoposed, casting Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma on Skarsnik's unit to reduce their weapon skill, ballistic skill, movement and initiative. The Eye Oculus of Balor opens and sends its gaze at the Mangler Squig, but once again fails to deal with the annoyance. In the combat with Skarsnik's unit, the Goblin Netters entangle the Reaver, reducing the attack strength. With the daemons having lent their aid to the Dirachs, they were now left to fight for themselves alongside the remaining Shearl. Unfortunately the Shearl were only ever going to come out second best in this combat and flee around the base of the watchtower. The Reaver remains in combat, once again preventing Skarsnik's unit from approaching the tower. Drust kills six of the Goblin Archers, causing them to break and flee through the other Archer unit and a Fanatic, killing a further 6 Archers.

Turn Five
The Mangler Squig finally manages to catch up with its prey, crashing through the swamp and into the Eye Oculus of Balor, demolishing it completely. The mushroom-infused madness of the Fanatics continued to take its toll as one Fanatic plunged through Skarsnik's unit killing five hapless Goblins, another Fanatic collided with the Goblin Archers slaying two, the third remaining Fanatic staggered through the fleeing Archer unit killing another five Goblins. Despite these additional casualties, the Archer unit rallies. Both Doom Divers aim at the Fimm Warriors inside the watchtower, killing five between them. The Archers aim at Drust, but their arrows were ineffective, six bouncing off the powerful magic of the Runic Bellyshield. Skarsnik and his large Goblin unit finally kill the last Reaver and reform to face the watchtower.

The mists vanish from the battlefield, the sun's powerful rays finally casting their full power on the souls below, yet the Fimir all shrug off its effects. Drust charges the larger of the Goblin Archer units. Rictumal and Ololamin ensure that the Shearl rally next to the watchtower. Magella looks out from the tower at Skarsnik and his unit, determined to thin it down before they attack, hopefully even assassinate Skarsnik in the process. Pit of Shades causes eight Goblins to be dragged to their doom, but Skarsnik passes this test. The Penumbral Pendulum swings through the Goblin battle standard bearer, the rest of the unit and into one Doom Diver, though they are all quick enough to dodge out of the way. An Amber Spear was hurled by Rictumal but the Goblin force dispell the conjuration. Ololamin unfortunately failed to cast Swirling Mists. With the winds of magic easing away once again, only then did Magella realise her error, if she had cast Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma she could not only have reduced the fighting effectiveness of Skarsnik and his unit, but also reduced their movement potentially meaning that they wouldn't reach the watch tower in time. She let out a cry of frustration before urging the Fimm Warriors around her to do their duty. In combat with Drust the Archers fail to wound the hulking brute before he then strikes seven down to their doom. They flee away from his might, but he runs them down, falling agonisingly short of blocking Skarsnik's charge to the tower.

Turn Six
The Mangler Squig is now running aimlessly, but fortunately careers away into empty space. The Fanatics once again prove deadly to the Goblins with one passing through Skarsnik's unit killing six greenskins. One hurls itself away from the battlefield, and the final one drifts aimlessly towards the remaining Goblin Archers, but falls short. Skarsnik and his unit only have one target in sight and charge at the watchtower, taking them through the edge of the swamp and a Fanatic, resulting in another two dead Goblins. Both Doom Divers take aim at Drust, but scatter off target and are unable to adjust enough, splattering themselves onto the ground. The Netters entangle some of the defenders before Skarsnik, Gobbla and some fellow Goblins attack the defending Fimm Warriors. Skarsnik and Gobbla were nothing to be feared in these confines, however, with only 3 Fimm Warriors dying, as opposed to seven dead Goblins and a wound on Skarsnik from a determined Fimir tail attack. Skarsnik and his unit are repelled from the tower, forced to withdraw.

With the heat of the sun bearing down on the pale skins of the Fimir, their brains begin to heat, yet nobody falls foul of stupidity. Drust strides boldly between Skarsnik's unit and the watchtower, protecting the tower and his Meargh contained within.

End of Game
Victory! The Fimir forces controlled the watchtower and the Goblins would not be able to wrestle it from their grasp.

Magella Wisestone cackled into the wind as it swirled around the watchtower. Skarsnik had made his last gamble but had been repelled by the raw aggression of the Fimm Warriors. Now the huge form of Drust was striding boldly to position himself between Skarsnik's remaining Goblins and the watchtower. There was no hope of victory for the greenskins, the mists would claim this landmark and the secrets it held.

Skarsnik fed the remaining Goblins to Gobbla and muttered "more squigs" to himself.