Sunday 28 January 2024

Warhammer The Old World Empire v Warriors of Chaos

Although there was some back and forth with chums during the build up to release there was never really any doubt I was going to get the new Warhammer rules when they came out, and so it proved. I resisted the FOMO attempts of the pre-ordering hype and simply walked into town on release day and came home with the thee books - Rulebook, Forces of Fantasy and Ravening Hordes.

Kenton and I had already agreed we'd try and have a game the week after release to see how it played and what we thought. So he bought over his Chaos Warriors, I dusted off the Empire and we set about things.

Sadly my sabots from Warbases to make my 20mm bases become 25mm bases didn't arrive in time so we just agreed we'd fudge things as we went along. Much of Kenton's armies have been on bigger bases for a few years (as the more recent GW releases have slowly grown in stature) so we've been doing this kind of thing in 8th anyway. The book also says rebasing isn't necessary unless of course you're one of those deviants who play in official GW Tournaments. Hilariously the postie delivered my package from Warbases about half way through the game - but we were committed by that point!

People looking for insight and comprehensive analysis of the new rules have clearly never met me, nor read this blog before. It's mostly pretty pictures of soldiers in this post as per usual. I might do a post later in the week with my thoughts on the rules, but apart from a few asides there's not going to be much of that here.

Expectations managed, here's the eye candy and pithy comments.

We went for a 2K pitched battle to ease ourselves in.

Simple table, six bits of scenery (as the rules suggest) - hills, woods, fences and a swamp.

Khorne Khniggits - scary!

I took a fairly basic Empire list, nothing too fancy or complicated - trying out detachments and variety.

And war machines, natch.

Bit sad that my massive block of 50 spears hasn't seen the table as intended - just 24 in this game.

One thing that occurred - there wasn't a *lot* of table edge with this army on 20 mm bases. Wondering how a bigger 2400 points on 25mm would even fit...

The Khorne Khniggits rampaged forward, as Khorne intended.

Slightly outpacing their rather worrying compatriots on foot.

I was not entirely convinced my flagellants and guns were going to hold them.

Khorneton Kenton also had a big old lump of Nurgle Warriors and a badass beasty chariot.

Pistoliers are now "impetuous". I duly failed the test and they charged the Chariot. 
Minor rules quibble - the Swiftstride rule says the poistoliers *may* roll another dice when charging. Without that they'd have failed a charge. But not rolling it didn't seem a very Impetuous thing to do - so I rolled it and in they went.

The zealots went marching off in search of doom and destruction - just as well as things turned out.

Whist the gunners took aim (and deep breaths)

I bought the knights up ready to try and help the hot-headed pistoliers.

That's one unit - just the hill making it look weird.

The Helblaster took out a couple of Khniggits. It's hard to get high armour saves now (and being mounted doesn't grant +1) so they're a bit more vulnerable.

The fighting didn't go the way the horsemen had hoped. Seemingly in these rules the beasts can fight all around - in the previous version they could only fight directly ahead.
The pistoliers ran away, but the chariot couldn't catch them.

Next turn the chariot charged - and the knights took advantage of a new rule to Countercharge

The Khorne lads failed their compulsory charge (You have to try if you've got Frenzy, no holding back)

The Knights slammed in to the handguns who managed to ping another on the way in (needing a six followed by a 4 just to get the hit!)

The chariot won the fight, but the knights just fell back a bit.

Nurgle moved into the centre. Curse of Arrow Attraction had helped whittle them down a bit.

The White Wolves stood ready to charge them.

All a bit cagey on the Empire left.

The Inner Circle dudes crashed home.

As did the Flagellants on their right.

The Khorne Deathstar revved up their chainsaws and began chopping flagellants into mulch.

The Champion and Lord killed so many before the flagellants could even swing that they would not get any attacks on the unit!

I sent up the veterans to help the knights.

The White Wolves were whittling the Nurgle lads, but taking a bit back in return.

End of the first round of combat. 14 dead flagellants, no dead Khorne blokes. Good job the rag clad mad lads are Unbreakable.

Meanwhile in back field the Khniggits have gone to work on the war machines.

The field of war at about the half way point.

One machine munched, it's on to the next!

The White Wolves fled from the Nurgle warriors but failed to outrun them and were cut down in the swamp!

However the knights finally dealt with the chariot.

They then rampaged into the rear of the Nurgle block.

As the Khorne Khniggits picked on some handgunners.

The Knights beat the Nurgle warriors, but the Chaos forces were able to just give ground. Not very much ground as it was a swamp.

This allowed the Khorne Khillingmachine to thump (just) in to the flank of the Empire knights.
Oh dear.

It was all hanging in the balance.

Close up of Khornetons Nurglemen. Nice, aren't they?

This is the inevitable result of a Khorne Deathstar hitting your flank.

This is the inevitable result of Khorne Khniggits charging your five man handgunner screen.

With things going badly the Veterans of Middenheim were thrown into the fray.

Looks nice though.

As the Wissenland Whitespears hung on grimly.

More Empire men have been fed into the Khorne mincer.

The Wissenlanders managed to drag down another Khorne Khniggit.

However it was all over and the field belonged to the Dark Gods!

That was good fun. It took a long time to play - Kenton and I play slowly anyway, but there was inevitably a lot of looking things up and checking of rules and the like. Also I think it *is* a slower game than the last edition - combat especially lasts a lot longer, or so it seems.

There's plenty to like about TOW and a few things that are "ho-hum" but it's all Warhammer and that's always the BEST game, whatever flavour you play.

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