Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Gruesome goblin-ing

On Saturday Nick and I headed over to Paul D's place for some long-overdue Oldhammer. Paul had set up a scenario and I was to field a goblin-only force for the first time. It's something I've been interested in trying ever since I got back into the hobby - I was wary of their general cowardice but intrigued by the possibilities of the ultimate horde warband.

Goblins are way down my painting list at the moment though, so it was great to be able to make use of Paul's extensive collection for the experiment. Much easier than painting the 103 figures needed for my 750 point force!

I'd like to write up a proper report but given that I still have to do the write-up of our Kremlo games from a couple of months ago I'm kind of hoping someone else will beat me to it... Meanwhile I thought I'd give some first impressions.

Underlying it all is the issue that I'm clearly not good at this generalship lark - Paul had lots of advice (or perhaps more accurately classed as astonished questions) at the end of the game which, if the ideas had occurred to me at the time, might have made things less heavy going. One was distinctly situational but others were more routine and in at least one case I should have known the better course of action. More games and hence more practice are probably a big part of the answer, but one of my weaknesses seems to be that I'm not good at seeing some of the tactical possibilities of the terrain.

Other challenges had more to do with goblins, specifically their appalling personal stats, and my warband selection. My deployment, and not remembering to keep my general central, were also slightly self-inflicted hurdles.
  • On the selection front I really don't like warbands where the troops are just cheerleaders for the heroes, but I went a bit too far down the opposite path having only two heroes and two low-level wizards (albeit that my general was level 20 - and still extremely cheap being a goblin). In future I'll go for at least two decent level heroes (15+, so as to get a Cool bonus as well as Leadership).
  • Even with heroes it's a given that goblins are going to fail most Leadership, panic and rout tests. That being the case the key is to minimise any such tests. So for example, if being charged, running away is not really an option - it will likely turn into a rout, and other nearby units will follow suit. Far better to hope for the best in combat (and trust to deep formations).
  • Deployment and maneuvering are also key - flanks need to be kept protected. That unit at the bottom middle in the photo above is outside of the wall so that they can safely deliver their cargo of fanatics - but having them exposed like that turned out to be bad...
  • Generals don't belong in flanking forces or off chasing objectives - best to keep them central where their Leadership bonus can be used as widely as possible. This is the one that annoys me most, as I remember it being a mistake I've made before!
It'll be some years probably before I get to give goblins another proper go, and I'm kind of looking forward to the challenge. Meanwhile I'll go back to painting my chaos warband, and revelling in their stats...

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