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Sunday, 2 August 2015

The FIRST BOYL 4th Ed Battle!

On Friday Morning Quick Ben and myself headed up the M1 to the Foundry for BOYL2015 (sadly, due to traffic this 2 hour journey was doubled up to 4 hours - D'OH!).

Once there we hastily set about putting together a game of 4th Edition - yup, you read that right, 4th Edition! To the best of my knowledge this is the first time 4th has been played at BOYL and I was a little worried how it would be perceived as there is a large chunk of the community who turn their noses up at anything younger than 3rd Edition and certainly wouldn't dream of bringing a game of "Herohammer" to an "Oldhammer" event.

I really needn't of worried though as anyone who did stumble across our little game seemed to be interested and intrigued. The biggest turn off for many is the Magic system but everyone who watched it was waiting to see the Magic phases and see the big whiz bangs happen. I was so encouraged by the comments we received that I am definitely going to champion 4th Ed at future BOYL's. In fact, I'm hoping to be able to run the Battle for Maugthrond Pass next year replacing the plastics and cards with appropriate lead minis. I'm also hoping to run a little 4th Ed campaign if possible using the 5th Ed campaign rules.

Anyhow, enough bleating, here's a summary the game we played, Empire (Quick Ben) Vs. High Elves (myself) with some nice pictures taken on my ipad, a much improved camera than the one used to take previous BOYL photos in the previous 2 years!

The Empire set up
Pistoliers on one flank

Reiksguard on the other
A centrally placed hill held Crossbowmen, a Grey Wizard Champion and a Helblaster
Next to the hill was a unit of Halberdiers and a Gold Wizard

Lastly, just off centre was Reiksguard Foot, placed to defend a Great Cannon

The High Elf set up
My centre was held by Spearmen and a Repeater Bolt Thrower with a small unit of 6 Archers and another Repeater Bolt Thrower (out of shot)

A unit of Silverhelms lead by my General stand ready on one flank (opposite the Pistoliers)

Pheonix Guard hold my other flank, with a Mage on this side...............

................................ and a Mage Champion on the other

A Great Eagle waits for a signal to take flight behind a copse (so it didn't take flak!)

The Battle went something like this:

After an uneventful first turn (except the Great Cannon smashing one of my Bolt Throwers to bits) the first action is the Pistoliers charging my Silverhelms.
The Halberdiers march towards the Elves who hold back. Two Archers are lost to crossbow fire. My Phoenix Guard edge forward to draw the Reiksguard Knights on. My Mage hides in the woods.

Two Spearmen are lost to the Cannon

Two Silverhelms fall to pistol shot at point blank range

But kill three in return

The Pistoliers flee and manage to out run the Silverhelms. In the next turn they charged the Pistoliers again who flee the battle. The Silverhelms are left in a position where the Great Cannon could blast along their line.

The Phoenix Guard, having lured the Reiksguard Knights on, turn to move behind the safety of the woods, note, due to the turn they only have a frontage of 3. The Mage casts The Sanguine Swords with Total Power. In the first combat turn I attempted to kill the Empire General with little success. In the next two turns I used it to assassinate the two Empire Wizards, except the Grey Wizard used Escape to save his life.

The Great Eagle dives down onto the Cannon to prevent it blasting my Silverhelms. I had wanted to take out the Helblaster but I thought this was a greater threat at this particular moment in time.

The Reiksguard Knights had been cautiously making their way forward, trying not to be charged by my Phoenix Guard or shot up by my Bolt thrower.

The Eagle kills one of the crew who flew. I decide to stay put with my Eagle to stay out of the Helblasters sights.

The Phoenix Guard charge the Hallberdiers and the the Eagle, who charged the fleeing Cannon crew redirects his charge into the Halberdiers rear. If things weren't bad enough for the hapless fellows they also had a Fiery Convocation cast upon them, this coupled with a round of combat reduced their number to just their Standard Bearer.

The Silverhelms cast an ominous shadow as they reform to face the Rieksguard foot.

And look even more ominous from this angle

At this point Quick Ben knew his number was up and fired off his Helblaster into the combat. Killing his Standard Bearer and nine Phoenix Guard - ouch!

The Reiksguard Knights, depleted after Magic and Bolt Thrower bolts faced off against the majority of the High Elf army. The crew of the smashed up Bolt Thrower bravely try to stand between the Knights and their fellows

The Silverhelms crash into the Reiksguard Foot.

The Eagle circles high about the hill,working out where next to strike.

The Empire General stands alone, his brave Knights blasted apart by Magic and Bolt

The Silverhelms rout and catch the Reiksguard Foot, slaughtering them.

It was at this point the Quick Ben conceded defeat. This game was quite one sided but I did get a heck of a lot of luck (I think this was the new dice I bought the week before BOYL). It should be pointed out that Quick Ben is far from a bad General, his plans have given him victory more often than not in our games over the years we've been playing. It just seemed that everything came together for me in this battle. The sweeping flank on one side worked wonders and the fainted attack on the other slowed the Empire's Knights down enough to still draw them on but make them very cautious. Even my unmoving centre drew the Halberdiers out of the battle line. If only all games could run so smoothly.................................


  1. Excellent report Sir,
    Not everyone in the movement is as stringent with adherence to third and older. I started in fourth also with high elves. Made me laugh to see the classic high flying Eagles land to prevent marching and assassinate engine crews. Good times.
    Looking forward to seeing more sons of Ulthuan take to the field. I genuinely hope to see Eltharion arrive someday too, he was such a beast, even for 4th edition.

    1. My hope is to have the troops for the Battle for Maugthrond Pass ready for next year so 2015/2016 should see him arrive in the painted status, along with a finished Grom and Blacktooth!

  2. Pah.... 3rd Edition, 4th Edition...who cares as long as you had fun. It annoys me that people preach religiously as about what is Real Oldhammer!! That's exactly the kind of attitude the movement is trying to escape from the GW tournament mindset!!!!

    1. This is exactly how I feel but there are a lot who do view 4Th and later as evil and that if you don't play a scenario then you're a mindless automaton with no imagination. Personally I think that's tosh. Sometimes you just want a scrap!

  3. I for one am so glad you guys got in a game of 4th Edition at BOYL, if I could A) ever get a full damned weekend off and B) finish painting my figures, I'd happily attend the show and play a few games of 4th, as it's the system I played for 3 years at boarding school (1993-96), I've never played any other system.

    I agree it does take some getting used to the magic system in 4th and 5th, it's quite the departure from the tables and lists in previous (and later) editions, I myself like it.

    Also not only did having Magic Items on cards and thus 'in game lore' become rare beasts (as the sets only include 1 copy of each card except for a few 'common' things like dispell scrolls and such) it also meant you had the rules for the item on the card, which also applied to the spells, it makes the game go much quicker then having to flip through books all the time.

    On a side note, there are some very nice figures in those two armies, I notice some are based differently within units, I assume some figures were donated for use for this battle?

    1. I agree with everything you've said. Normally it's not the mechanic of the Magic phase but how powerful it is that has people turning their noses up.

      The miniatures were a combo of our collections. Mine were the Elves, Pistoliers, crossbowmen, Reiksguard Knights (except the General) and Grey Wizard. The rest of the Empire army belongs to Quick Ben. The different basing styles is also due to different times painting them up. Most of mine are recent paint jobs and repaints of old miniatures. Quick Ben's are from his old collection with their original paint jobs on and a few new ones.

    2. ahh, so that explains the bases, thought it might be, but had to check.

      Yeah some of the spells were overpowered mostly IMHO any of the spell's which used templates, I seem to recall one of the Amethest template ones getting much abuse back when I played, by all the gamers at my school I might add, myself included!

    3. Agreed, you can always chuck in the 5th edition rule of only casting in your own Magic phase to limit this.

  4. A fantastic battle report, and a great display of 4e. It's reputation is mainly undeserved as the magic rules are so open to tweaking, and any Oldhammer gamer isn't interested in power gaming. Can't wait to see Grom again!

    1. He's mostly done, just got to finish him off, he was done for Orctober about three years ago now!

      My love of 4th is both nostalgic but also it's simplicity, you really can pick it up out of the box and play it, even the advanced rules are relatively simple when compared to 3rd. Almost everyone I know has, knowingly or not, got a mashed up version in their head of each of the best bits from each edition. 3rd with a few 4 weeks usually works well, so a 3.5 if you like.

  5. Great looking game - personally speaking, I'm not too fussed about editions. I like 3rd but have played the Lichemaster scenario using 6th edition, which also worked really well for the Warhammer Ahoy game. I played loads of 4th as a kid but always hankered after 3rd which it replaced fairly soon after I started playing. Enjoying yourself and making sure your opponent has a good time is the most important thing.

    I hope to see hordes of the plastic Goblin spearmen and archers if you're doing Maugthrond Pass! ; )

    1. Oh no no no no no no, I'm replacing with metal equivalents. In the case of the Goblins it'll be 3rd edition and prior versions, so iron Claws mixed in with citadels and marauders, a couple of true Oldhammer units. The Night Goblin Archers will be replaced with normal Gobbo stikkas too as the Battle for Maugthrond Pass scenario book lists them as goblins, not Night Goblins, hence why I think the box cover has them in yellow clothes, I don't think they were intended to be Night Goblins, plus the clothes do suggest they aren't as they have a lot of exposed skin, Night Goblins are reputed to cover up bar their hands and faces.

  6. It's a very nice looking game and you guys had fun, the rest is details! I play a lot of 6th, so who am I to judge ;-)

    1. Oh we certainly did have fun, 6 edition also rocks!

  7. oh btw I so agree with this statement " It annoys me that people preach religiously as about what is Real Oldhammer!! That's exactly the kind of attitude the movement is trying to escape from the GW tournament mindset!!!!"

    1. I totally agree, it's crazy but it is evident. Personally my Oldhammer philosophy is "if it makes you smile then do it".