Well I managed to play a quick game again this morning and I'm slowly getting to grips with gameplay which is speeding things up quite a bit!
I decided to try one or two experiments that I had been mulling over during play so read on!
Orka Bonebreaker fumed loudly. His previous encounter with the Stunted Ones had left him knocked unconscious atop his mortally wounded Carnosaur, Mordurk. Following the drubbing his force had taken at the hands of the Gorath cursed Dwarves, his followers had carried him back to their encampment where, thanks to his hardy constitution, Orka was ready for more!
Mordurk had also survived the carnage but now bore scars all over his flanks from the blows of Dwarven steel and his jaw had reset crooked giving him a rather unsavoury look. Fortunately, Orka's scouts had tracked down the Stunted Ones and he was determined to have his revenge. He would return to camp victorious with captives to sacrifice to Gorath and booty to raise his standing amongst the Horde.
The forces are identical to the last game I played as I wanted to see if I could alter the drubbing that the Orcs had received without altering my forces.
This time I tried a bit of an experiment with the scouting and terrain layout of the board. Instead of secret maps and so on which is fine for two player games but solo gaming makes it a bit redundant, I opted to roll a D6 for each 12 inch square. 1-2 resulted in no terrain, 3-4 One Piece and 5-6 Two.
The Orcs won the scouting roll again as they have faster moving troops and the Dwarves always suffer when scouting. The Orcs opted to up the level of cover as much as possible so several pieces of terrain went from two to three.
I quite like the simplicity of this but really need to get some more hills and stuff to make it look a bit more impressive and to give the big guys something to hide behind. Interestingly though the extra terrain made its impact felt almost immediately.
The Orcs concentrated their entire force in the cover heavy right flank of the board while the Dwarves formed up more centrally with their dreaded Wargolems guarding the flank and their cannon at the base of a hill which would give them a commanding field of fire over much of the battlefield.
Densely packed Orcs
I do like the way extra terrain added a lot more interesting options for deployment and maneuver early on in the game and the fact that while vegetation causes infantry movement penalties, mighty warbeasts and vehicles can rumble through it without difficulty. Possibly not too realistic but rather fun!
Dwarven battle line
Turn 1 Orcs win initiative.
The Orcish force surges forward while the Dwarven troops move into position. The Cannon cannot fire this turn as it had to move to the top of the hill but the Orcish Necrosaur aims its dart thrower at the Dwarven Wargolem on the flank and rolls a 1 to hit.
I decided that a natural 1 to hit results in a perfect. Essentially the projectile or blow has found a weak spot in the target's armour. This bypasses the armour save entirely.
The roll on the damage table for the Dwarven Wargolem saw it Immobilised which was quite a welcome surprise for the Orcs and rather a problem for the Dwarves as they are now at a disadvantage in combat.
Turn 2 Orcs win initiative.
The Orcish warriors lurking in the fungus forest happen across a stand of Stonecap mushrooms which they promptly harvest.
The Orcish player rolls a D20 every time they encounter Fungus and it can give some really handy boosts to them. In this case Stonecap allows them to ignore Resolve tests on the turn they consume it.
Orcish forces in turn two
The Orcish units move forward, closer to the Dwarves while the Dwarves in turn move in on the approaching Horde. The Necrosaur crew, buoyed by their previous success, takes aim at the remaining Wargolem but the dart whistles past the warengine without striking it. In return the Dwarves let rip with their artillery.
The cannon, now mounted on the top of the hill, booms but the iron ball aimed at the Carnosaur on the flank overshoots and impacts in the desert behind it.
Not such a near miss as the Dwarf cannon overshoots the Carnosaur
Dwarven gunnery is similarly poor from the Thunderhammer as it fires its mighty grapeshot mortar at the Orcish Khan and his Carnosaur but it too misses, blasting a massive crater out of the desert floor but failing to do anything else.
BOOM! The Thunderhammer's shot misses by a mile
Turn 3 Dwarves win initiative.
Turn three is going to be the big one for the game as pretty much all the warbeasts charge at whatever they can.
In the centre, the Orc Carnosaur hurtles into the Dwarven crossbowmen who hold their ground and manage to cause two damage on the approaching beast, crippling it but causing Fury.
Fury is one of the damage results and means the beast is maddened with pain and goes uncontrolled for a turn. As it's in close combat already though, it doesn't matter too much at present.
CHOMP! The pain maddened Carnosaur eats a Dwarf whole
In the swirling melee, the Dwarves repeatedly strike the warbeast but cannot piece it's tough hide but in return one of the Orcish crewmen skewers one Dwarf and a second is eaten by the enraged beast!
The Orc Khan bursts from the mushroom forest with a bellow and is countercharged by the Dwarves. The Dwarven champion bravely issues a challenge to the Khan which is readily accepted (this may sound familiar as it happened in the last game too!) The two trade blows which strikes both of them down while the Dwarf warriors hack madly at the carnosaur and manage to stun it.
Stun is another damage effect which essentially leaves the beast unhurt but means it cannot fight back during that turn which was quite handy for the Dwarves as their crossbowmen companions were getting eaten!
The main combat though involves the Necrosaur and surviving Wargolem who crash into each other with earth shaking blows. The combat is fierce but the Dwarven pilot has gambled on another shoulder charge being enough to finish off the warbeast but misses and in return the Necrosaur's mighty jaws clamp down on the Ironclad machine and wreck it, killing the crew and rendering it a pile of scrap!
Turn three winds down
In the shooting phase, the Dwarven cannon crew, outraged at the loss of their mighty Wargolems at the hands of the hooting Orcs, let rip with their gun. The resulting shot hits the Necrosaur and cripples it, leaving it hobbling along at half movement.
I am not sure how I feel about shooting being last in the turn as it means that combat can be fought out first, a unit killed but the winner then be blasted to pieces in return. I may need to look at that in the future but it was quite cinematic in the game!
Turn 4 Dwarves win initiative.
Uncontrolled Monster. The Khan's warbeast, wanders off away from the action.
Uncontrolled monsters roll on a chart to see what they will do, sometimes they will just stand there but they may attack the nearest unit or as in this case wander off. Warbeasts and Warengines can freely disengage from combat with smaller units such as infantry and the Dwarves were rather pleased to see it go as it allowed them to free up their warriors.
The Dwarven warriors move as quickly as their stumpy legs will allow to support their kin who are sorely pressed by the crippled Carnosaur.
The Orc and Goblin infantry move towards the Thunderhammer who in turn advances and turns its gun towards the Goblin archers.
The Crossbowmen manage to hit their opponent multiple times but can't seem to damage the brute and in turn, maddened by the blows, the Carnosaur flails and snaps ineffectually, failing to hit its tormentors. The Orc crew are still trying to bring the beast under control so cannot attack this turn.
BOOM! The Thunderhammer blasts some Goblins
The Dwarven Thunderhammer once again fires, this time it's explosive grapeshot hits the Goblin archers squarely and blasts six of them into a pink mist. The two survivors turn tail and run.
The Necrosaur fires on the Dwarven warriors in hope of stopping them supporting their kin but the jolting of the platform caused by the Necrosaurs crippling wounds results in the dart whistling past over their helmeted heads.
The last action of the turn sees the Dwarven cannon once again targeting the Necrosaur, hitting it square on but the gun crews cheer is cut off when the smoke clears and the beast is unhurt.
At this point, night is approaching and the two sides are forced to withdraw to lick their wounds, re-arm and curse their foes.
Well that was quite a lot of fun! I think that if I had played out a fifth turn, it could have gone either way as the Dwarves had taken a pounding, having lost two warengines but in turn, the Orcs had all their beasts badly damaged and their Goblins blown up.
I am really enjoying playing Leviathan and it is proving to be quite solidly put together and the Wargolems didn't dominate the game! I think I need to bulk up the forces a bit next time with another 250 points worth or so but it's interesting to see that Infantry can hold their own against warbeasts and with a bit of luck, the Orcs can take down the super tough Dwarven engines.
I really need to get on with painting some forces but I do seem to be getting the hang of how the two factions that I've played work and maybe it's time I cracked on with getting some of the cardboard counters replaced with proper miniatures!
All the best!