page id: 183 Battle Report XI: The first time was "for kicks". This time it's personal, as Matt and John are at it again with their second Warhammer fantasy battle report. By Matt Birdoff

Slaves and Mercenaries, Part 2

Battle Report XI:

Slaves and Mercenaries, Part 2
A fantasy Battle Report between Matt's Chaos Dwarfs and John's Dogs of War

By Matt "The Mad" Birdoff and John "Ogres and Pikes" Bianchi

Chaos Dwarf Pre-game

'Okay. So's we take a little break afta da last fight, an I is in-struc-tin' Count Freddy Montfellatio in da' propa army com-pos-it-i-on. Now, da army he 'ad befo- it real good against da small supa strong armies, but ain't all that against a big horde a' worthless green fucks. Or brown or blue fucks, or whatevah color dey is. Dey was just too many, an he got hisself shot up swamped like a little wee girl. Now, da best way ta fight not only da small supa dupa armies, but da big horde armies, is wit youah OWN horde, okay?

Okay. So Count Fedora de Manfelt here, he let's me fire alla his guys, an buy him new ones- he'll tell you what he bought exactly, but it's lotsa hand ta hand smackin shit up kinda boyz. For my stupid cousin Brezznek, well, he and Nidal Nasereth is tinkin' dey so smart and strong and stuff- dey don't realize dat I iz now helpin Count Friz de Mannyfella ova here. I iz hopin dat stupid Brezznek gets his ass killed real good, otherwise I be hearin alla his ' Well lookit me, so strong and brave and kickin' ass all ovah! Now will yoo stop makin fun a my stoopid lookin' hat and scruffy beard?' And hell will be all frozen ovah before I do dat!

So, basically, Brezznek and Nidal will try da same ting as before, only now dat I help Count Fred 'er e' go and his moicenary army, Brezznek is gonna see what a REAL army can do ta him an is' stoopid ugly useless big hat!

Dis is gonna be good!

Dogs of War Pre-game

Urghghgh! I, Federigo di Montefeltro, the Count of Urbino and Condottieri of the Bianchi Company (reasonable rates), was hung over. When I awoke in my tent, everything looked strange, especially the little man with the beard and the big, big hat. I thought I was maybe still a little inebriated, but no, the little man in my tent was indeed there. His dialect, fairly unintelligible to begin with, was altered by the fact that my head felt as though it was the size and shape of a watermelon. His general critique of my strategy revealed his deep knowledge of the art and science of war, and his advice was faultlessly sound. Only after my second cup of expresso did I realize that this was, in fact, my late enemy, that eminent Chaos Dwarf, Slavemaster General Zhatan the Black, and not my imagination, and he wanted me to fight his army - again! This was mighty sporting of the odd-talking (and smelling) fellow. Apparently, he wanted me to prove some kind of point for him and teach his cousin, Brazzek Splitskin, and his colleague, Nadir Nasal, a lesson. After I realized how sincere he was, I was only too happy to comply after being properly motivated.

Now whatever he may have told you in the last battle dispatches, I was not in the least interested in how he gets girls. That is a flat out fabrication. But his grasp of strategy did indeed interest me, and I begged the gnome-like tyro to favor me with the benefit of his centuries of wisdom. Here's what I learned:

My Ogres, cavalry, cannon, and crossbowmen, reassuring as they have been to have around, eat far too much and don't really work all that well for the lira against most armies - although as anyone will tell you, they've worked just fine against armies like the High Elves, Brettonians, and Chaos, which rely on pricey elite troopers. Against hordes, as I had just seen, I was spitted, roasted, and chewed up.

What I lacked was numbers. I needed enough line troops to take the fight to the enemy. And so, accompanied by the short, malodorous Zhatan, I returned to the taverns of Famagusta to find men to hire.

Here's who we got:

We found a bodyguard for Cosimo di Bianchi consisting of the toughest, ugliest, and greediest bastards in Tilea. They were cheap compared to my pikemen, more skilled in battle, and with Bianchi accompanying them, they would be stubborn.

We also found Long Drong Slayer's Pirate Dwarves sitting idle, trying to get drunk on rum and benzene. Before the horrid brew could have its effect, we snatched up the whole regiment, each man jack of which carries so many pistols he never has to reload! And, unlike Venetian glass, they were unbreakable.

We scoured my baggage train to find the nastiest camp followers, men with reputations, who were known to slit your throat for just a few groats. They might be untrustworthy, but they were fierce skirmishers. They would protect the exposed flank of my army.

We hired the Engineer, Ser Bronzino, and a section of his small galloper guns. They can move and then fire, or double their movement to a march. They could use grapeshot. I was liking this already much better.

We couldn't afford a unit of Norse Marauders - at least I don't think we could, since they only spoke in grunts between bites of lutefisk - but I plan to use them soon, since they seemed frenzied!

We kept the two reginments of Pikemen from Florence and Urbino. We also kept the Marksmen of Miragnano. I kept a unit of Saracens from Sicilia to serve as my mounted escort. That would be the force I would field to try to beat the cousin of the man who just hired my troops for me. Did I do this for free? Well, a condottiere can never really reveal the contents of any contract, now can he? That's bad for business.

Initial Setup

Dogs of War Turn 1

My strategy would be the simplest I'd employed in a long time. Get there first with the most. Now with a force of dedicated HTH troops, supported by one unit of crossbows and moving galloper guns, I moved off the line straight for the center and left flank of the hobgoblin force. Every company in the army marched forward as fast as they could go. My Paymaster and his bodyguard and one regiment of pikes occupied the high ground to my right, but they wouldn't be holding it long. Avanti!!

Chaos Dwarf Turn 1

Okay, so's my opponent Count Fred-here-he-go is makin a much betta showin uv hisself dis time, movin alla his boyz forward as fast as 'e can. He's got dese 2 move-an-shoot cannons dat is gonna fry Brazzek an his red flyin ting real good- an if dey don't, den dere is some crossbow boyz ovah on da right what will do it anyways. So, out uv da fry-plate, an inta da fire, as dey say. Brazzek goes ovah ta da right as fast as possible, hopin ta magic and terrify dem humies ovah dere an make dem run way real fast. Da rest uv da boyz just rearrange demselves ta shoot lots at all da dogs uv war guys comin up real fast. But den- Oh shit! Breazzek's magic gets all fucked up, an no one runs way like da plan said so. Da rest uv da shootin ain't nuttin' either, so it's pretty poor for Brezznek all 'round.

But un-know-ing-ly to him, I iz hopin' dat he lose real bad anyway, an hopfully get an ax ta da head, too. So so fa, so good!

Dogs of War Turn 2

Although I now knew that the green tide would never come forward, my crossbowmen and the company of skirmishing robbers and scumbags were left to counter a flanking move from the Dwarves - which actually came right away! My Marksmen of Miragnano (much cheaper than their more well-known and ballistically gifted counterparts from Mirigliano) killed two wolf riders, and my skirmishers charged right in against Brazzek on that horribly deformed dwarven entity known in the annals of monsterdom as a lammassu. I was doubtful they could truly harm it, but they had many attackes and the Dwarven creature and mage had very few wounds. The rest of the army moved forward, on to certain glory and honor! To support their long advance, Ser Bronzino and his gallopers fired on the enemy flank, turning several chaos dwarves on the flank regiment to an oily, tan paste, suitable for spreading on a nice semolina bread.

Chaos Dwarf Turn 2

Okay, so Brazzek is stuck out in da open, an he looks ta be dyin real soon, like, now. An da rest a da boyz is lookin all weedy an scared uv alla dese guys come runnin up. Now, Brazzek is gonna die, fo sure, an dat's good! Maybe I can have my goblin pie an eat it too, right? If Brezzek gets killed, an we win da fight against Count Freddycrisco- den I can take alla da credit, without hearin none uv Brazzek's stoopid shit about it, right?


Okay, so I put on my big 'tinkin' hat, an plan ta out-strateegerize his ass. First, I shoot up dem nasty slayer dwarves comin my way. Den I shoots em some more. Den I shoot em again. An again. Den I magic 'em a bit. Before we iz done, dey is knocked down real good! Den a few more shots at da stoopid pointy stick boyz, and dey run off like liddle girlies- Dat's good!

In da hand ta hand bit, Brazzek gets killed- Wooo! Dat little wee twit, let 'im eat broken-glass pies in Hell!

Okay, den!

Dogs of War Turn 3

Son of a Catalan dog's sister!! I began to have a sneaking suspicion that I should have brought the Norsemen when the Florentine Pikes failed to rally after being pummeled by magic, bowfire, and ballista bolts! Still, the rest of my army inexorably closed with my despised green foe. My troops were positioned for charges - and mostly armed with pikes, would be almost as happy taking them. One galloper now poured grape into the waiting Chaos Dwarf lines, killing several dwarves and greenskins. The other, able to draw an enfilading line through every hobgoblin bolt thrower, lined up a perfect shot --- fired, and - the ball landed on top of one crewman, really, really killing him, but failing to bounce merrily along the line, scattering heads and machinery as anticipated. Oh, that got me right in the cippiollines!

My scum continued to whittle away at the mage's monstrous mount, finally carving his carcass into medium-sized chunks suitable for ogre feed. Huzzay and pass the grappa!

Chaos Dwarf Turn 3

Okay, so's now we gets ta da fun part- bashin' da heads! Here I must use all a my strateegerizin' powaz so dat I may ovahcome ad-vuh-city an defeat da' stoopid Count Friedigoo De whatever. He's comin in real fast an close now, so's I manuvah da boyz ta try ta force him inta awkward charges. Dis way I cin get ta his exposed flanks, an dat be good, okay?

Okay. So I move a few bolt trowa's out ta right in front a his 2 closest units. When he beats dem in hand ta hand smakin', he is gonna expose hisself ta multiple charges in da front an sides, den maybe if da green twits don fuck it up too bad, maybe we can scratch a win. Den da supa fast green guys on wolves, dey run behind da whole mess, lookin' ta charge 'em inna back. Da wee short fellas wid da bows, dey reform outta da way so's dey can't get charged. In da shootin bit, we keep on shootin da slayer pirate guys, cuz dey is real bad news, an we don wan non'a dere shit, no friggin' way!

Dogs of War Turn 4

My Urbinian Pikemen rallied as I knew they must. Then, the Florentine Pikemen and Cosimo Bianchi's Bodyguard charged in against the sacrificial war machines hastily brought forward. Those, unsurprisingly, died quickly. Elsewhere, Ser Bronzino's Gallopers once against rained tiny deadly pellets upon the dwarf regiment on the left flank, which, though seriously mauled, still would not go away. My normally single-minded Dwarves turned facing in order to shoot their pistols at the flanking regiment of wolf cavalry, killing one of them and guarding against a rear charge. The marksmen continued to shoot, picking off some green-hued ballista crewmen at range.

Chaos Dwarf Turn 4

Alright- bashin' da heads! So's we charge in on da pointy stick boyz, but shit- dey run way, an avoid losin' real bad. Dat stoopid Cunt Freddy is provin dat e' got a bit goin on in da noggin' a his afta all. Dis may prove ta' be a problem... Den, ta make tings woise, insteada chargin' in like dey was supposed ta, da sneaky gitz start arguin all ova 'Can da Tau really out shoot da Imperial Guard? An is it cheesy ta bring assassins in a Space Marine army? An wonderin' if dey will evah bring back da Squats...' Wake up boyz! Dis ain't Forty-friggin-Kay, dis is a REAL fight!

Well, now we iz all out a position, an who knows what da fuck will happen next, cept I am sure dere will be Moiphy's Stout an' goblin pot pie involved aftawads...

Dogs of War Turn 5

Oh, bloody stools of St. Christopher!! My line seemed to be infected by the chaos they faced! Thankfully, my Pikes rallied after avoiding a goblin flank charge. My other pike regiment - now far from the action - also rallied, but each mercenary battalion on the field faced a different direction - I had to follow up their success with some serious support. To that end, everything that could shoot did, the gallopers shredding a unit of greenskins with grape and taking the last of the seemingly unbreakable dwarf flank company down to only two troopers. My crossbowmen removed another ballista crewman, but the Dwarves spread the remainder evenly among the machines on the right.

On my order, cavalry and support troops charged in, keeping on the pressure and holding back the traffic jam of mucus-colored marauders. Ser Bronzino left his gallopers to charge the last Ballista on the right flank, killing both crewmen and chopping the machine into tiny toothpicks. I led my cavalry into the front of a large hobgoblin regiment. My pirate slayers, desperate to redeem their dishonored souls in the crucible of combat, charged in against the pesky troop of halfling archers, which promptly fled for the rear. The slayers stopped in the open, again in range of all the chaotic missiles and magic that might come their way, and which had brought them down to almost half strength. My new favorite regiment, the dueling scumbags, charged the flank of a small dwarven company; they didn't cause much damage, but at least they held them back! Spit out that hay and say a novena, Fierenze! Il Bambini strachia li cazze!

Chaos Dwarf Turn 5

Okay, so's itsa all lookin' pretty friggin poor from where I iz standin'. Fortunately, I iz hidin' way da hell back behind a hill, no where NEAR alla dis ax smashin' an gut spillin'. But hey, maybe we get lucky, right? So da sneaky gits finally agree dat Tau CAN out shoot IG, Space Marines wid assassins IS cheesy, an da squats ain't NEVAH comin back, an dat now is a good time ta charge, so's dey do. An da green-o's next ta dem also charge, an get da paymasta's guard in da side, an dat's pretty good, even fo' da green-o's!


Okay, so dere ain't much shootyin, cuz we iz all in close head bashin' mode now, so we get on wid it. Da hobgobbos on da left get killed real total-like, not even enough left fo' pie aftah Count Fried Rico De Whatever gets done wid dem. We beat da paymastah bodyguard, but dey is gettin' paid real good ta guard da money, so's dey don run. Maybe we can win, but it's gonna be close, even wid my keen in-tel-lect.

Dogs of War Turn 6

This kind of thing could be bad for your heart. With one unit off to the rear trying to get back into line and the other regiment facing away from the fighting to make token resistance against a wolf cavalry charge (I mean, who would charge the front of a pike unit when they could just go around it?!?), my pikes were not contributing to the fighting at all! My cavalry escort got mauled, but still managed to panic the big regiment of hobgoblins, so instead of pursuing them, I charged in on the flank of the goblin unit that just charged my paymaster's company. The paymaster's stubborn and dedicated troopers, surrounded by sneaky gits, not only held, but caused extensive damage against the elite green warriors - who says an accountant and his associates won't fight?!. The slayers were too far away to charge anything, so I move them up to the hill where mi amici Splitskin seems to be running to avoid what now looks like a personal dwarf vendetta. My gallopers take out the last of the Chaos Dwarf flank company, and my crossbows take out some of the last remaining crewmen on the ballistas.

Now that I survey the wreckage of the field, I realized that though the Hobgoblins have performed even better in HTH than they did in our first disastrous meeting, the balance has tipped my way. Almost all my units are still effective, while I appeared to have whittled the Chaos Dwarves and their green slaves to almost half what they started with. Still, for this to be a victory, I needed to accomplish more. Oh well - this was the end of what I could do before the curtain of night fell upon this bloodied stage. The rest was in the hands of my men and lady luck. Oh Fortuna! Ve lut luna! Status variabilis!

Chaos Dwarf Turn 6

Okay, so's itsa all pretty damn close, an maybe we can win, or at least not lose too bad, but what wid old Brezzek bein dead an all dat, we got's a lotta ground ta make up. If we beat dis here bodyguard unit, den we win, if not, we iz gettin' loaded on da Moiphy's Stout afta, so who cares anyway, ok?

Ok, so it starts off real bad when da stupid friggin idiot green-o's wid wolves decide all on dere own ta charge a unit uv pointy stick boyz. Dat combat lasts, like, tree seconds, what wid dem all like' Oi! let's git some pointy stick action- charge!' an den 'Oi! Who's idea was dis? ' an den 'Ow! dat stick goin trough me private area dere sure hurts a whole lot.' den 'Oi! we is so friggin' dead, but at least wid alla dis sticks stuck in us we can be instant shish-ke-bob dinnah fo da boss, den e' won't be so mad at us.'

Mmmmmm. Gobbo-kebabs.....

An den, we don win da last big fight, but we ain't runnin' neither, so we still tied. Den we realize how late it is.... sleepy... an call it a day.

Chaos Dwarf Post Mortem

Well, we lose a little bit, but dat's okay, cuz Brazzek is dead, an Nidal Nasr is off hidin' somewhere bitchin' "Hey! Space marines wid assassins ain't cheesy! It's poifectly legal!'

Yeah, whatever.

An besides, dis fight proves dat havin' lotsa hand ta hand fightin' guys is way better dan havin shootin magikin' kinda guyz, okay?

Okay, I'm drinkin'- who's buyin'?

Dogs of War Post Battle

On the life of my sainted mother, I'm tired. I'm almost too exhausted to enjoy my Vittoria! And what a Vittoria she is, too! Let me tell you about her, flaming red hair and the eyes of an angel, and a pair of golden ripe tomatoes that could...

Ah, well, perhaps that's something for another time, eh?

But the victory, now that was something else again, huh? I hate to admit this, but my worthy opponent spoke the truth, assuming he's still speaking to me after the unholy drubbing he just received! My pike and ogre combination put too much money into a little bit of this and a little bit of that, without really concentrating on a particular strength. Not enough shooting, not enough close combat, and five support units? I must say, the bambini have done a great deal, many victories, but against quantity, ah well, I don't do so well. If you and I learn one thing from all this, it should be that a lot of not so very good troops will beat a small number of excellent troops senseless almost every time!

What about the troops I hired this time? Well, the pikes are the heart of the army and the only thing almost as bad as charging into them is being charged by them, since they hit in three ranks! Ser Bronzino's Galloper guns succeeded in really drubbing the enemy - a nasty surprise! The Slayers never saw combat because my opponent knew to avoid them, so in that they filled a certain purpose. My favorite pleasant surprises were the duelists, who though simple camp followers, were able to deliver two attacks each and effectively protect my flank (and kill the guy we were supposed to get), and Cosimo di Bianchi's bodyguard of picked men, who forgot they had the War Banner! Armed with halberds and stubborn, they were able to take a charge and hold up against some of the most aggressive attackers in the Chaos Dwarf army. I had been warned several times that bodyguard are among the worst buys available to a Tilean general, but hey, they did ok by me, and I plan to throw a lot more business their way. The most amazing part of the battle, which made the victory a little more decisive, was the wholly unnecessary charge of the wolf riders - never have I witnessed such courage. Never have I witnessed such stupidity.

I learned valuable lessons here today. Lots of big battalions will win you the battle. Use the right support troops and then, fully commit them. And finally, sometimes, you can trust what an enemy tells you, even if he is stunted and his breath, Holy Virgin!, smells like a sacrilegious combination of sulfur, brimstone, feet, and onions.


Created by: system. Last Modification: Monday 26 of January, 2009 03:35:01 PM EST by ZiggyQubert.

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