I was invited to my friend Mark's house for a rematch of Warmaster!
We both decided to go for a 2000 point - a - side game, with Mark taking his customary Orc & Goblin list and Chaos for myself.
My army list was:
I finally have not just a fully painted Chaos army, but enough units painted that I have different options to try out in my list. For this one I went for almost the maximum light cavalry that I could have for the points, as Chaos command is expensive, with a minimum unit cost which is likewise a bit pricey.
I went for a terrain dense board as usual, I hadn't brought out my cliff / pass terrain for a while so I thought I'd put it down as a dominant feature in the centre.
My favourite way of setting up, as suggested in the rulebook, is to write down roughly where your brigades are on a piece of paper as your opponent does the same. The scale of Warmaster means that even at 2000 points on a 6` by 4` table you can keep your forces entirely on one side of the table. Rather than doing the "I place one unit, you place one" which usually ends up with everyone trying to counteract one another and spreading out in a thin line - this way usually ends up with more interesting games where opponents double guess one another then have to compensate for miscalculations.
This is the initial setup, Mark's Orcs all cosied up on one side, cavalry on the flanks, artillery in the middle. As for myself, I am pretty evenly spread out in infantry and cavalry brigades.
Orcs Turn 1
Mark won initiative but didn't have much luck with his command rolls. He made a bit of an error in putting his elite Black Orcs unit directly behind his Giant. When a Giant fails an order you have to roll on the "Oh No, What's He Doing, Now?" chart. In this case, he ran backwards, engaged the Black Orcs and crippled them!
He plugged some gaps in the terrain with his cavalry but most everything else wasn't too interested in moving. Orcs managed a nasty "Gerroff!" spell (the bane of my life) which broke my main cavalry formation and sent a Marauder Cavalry unit off the table.
Chaos Turn 1
I had a lot of movement in my turn, all infantry marching forward to the hills, all cavalry moving up, as my Marauder Cavalry remained stubbornly off table.
Orcs Turn 2
A much more aggressive turn, with a wall of goblin Wolf Riders crashing into my chariots, and a Giant clashing with my Chaos Warriors on the hill. However, the Wolf Riders only managed a few wounds before withdrawing, allowing me to sweep in and destroy them all! The Giant didn't do so well against me, and brimming with over-confidence, I attempted to pursue him and was taught a lesson in how tough monstrous creatures can be! I limped off with just one stand remaining, but the Giant was severely wounded and reduced to half strength.
Chaos Turn 2
Harpies managed to get the drop at the rear of Mark's army, moving behind the remaining Black Orcs and Rock Lobber units near the centre.
My Chaos Chariots charge a brigade of Orc Boyz who had been following up the Wolf Riders and destroy them!
A foolhardy infantry group of mine attempt to charge some Boar Boyz, doing some damage but end up being crippled.
My Chaos Marauder Cavalry finally come back on the table and sweep to the left, hoping to maybe flank the Giant or move to threaten the artillery in the centre.
The elite cavalry including some Chaos Knights pushes forward from one piece of cover to another in order to challenge the Boar Boyz.
Orc Turn 3
The Giant attempts another movement, but can't get into combat, instead hurling a stone at a remaining Chaos Warrior stand which is driven back!
The enraged Boar Boyz crush the last of the Chaos infantry at the loss of one of its own units.
The artillery finally had some targets to shoot alongside goblins hiding in the treeline but failed to take out the remnants of the Chaos Chariot units on the left flank.
Chaos Turn 3
My cavalry move forward, destroying a surviving Boar Boyz unit and not doing a very good job of attacking a reserve brigade of Orc Boyz.
Everything else refused to move, but on initiative my Harpies rear charged the Black Orcs defending the artillery section and destroyed them, but did not do so decisively enough to have the momentum to move into the Rock Lobbers and destroy them as well.
At this point in the game, I had lost a lot of stands, but Mark had lost more individual units. He had lost:
3 Orc Boyz units
3 Wolf Rider units
2 Boar Boy units
1 Black Orc unit
But I had only lost:
1 Chaos Warrior unit
1 Chaos Marauder Infantry unit
At this point, he conceded. I was definitely close to losing several units, but only needed to destroy a couple more of his to earn a victory.
I consistently complain about Orcs having cheap spellcasters in their games, but having a General who only has a command of 8 can be a pretty big impediment as I saw. Mark attempts to counter act this by using the Crown of Command magic item. It's powerful, to be sure, but it's 100 points, a big investment for any army.
Overall a good game which could have gone either way!