Hi everyone, I’m fairly new to KoW and brand new to abyssal dwarfs, so I decided to jump right in balls-deep and attend an event to get a feel for 3rd edition. I started a new army and made a pledge to focus on one faction only for 2020 to get a good idea of how to play them.
I’ve started a blog to chart my progress with the Abyssal dwarfs throughout the year (https://saxonwargaming.blogspot.com/) where I discuss my list development and post tournament review.
Anyway the event I attended was held in Melbourne, Australia over the weekend with 3 games at 2000 points
so for summary I ran:
Army: Abyssal Dwarfs
Unit Strength: 20
265, Abyssal Grotesque Horde
– Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
245, Abyssal Grotesque Horde
215, Lesser Obsidian Golem Horde
160, Slave Orc Horde
– Staying Stone
155, Slave Orc Horde
140, Slave Orc Gore Rider Regiment
85, Gargoyle Troop
85, Gargoyle Troop
210, Ba’su’su the Vile
115, Angkor Heavy Mortar
115, Angkor Heavy Mortar
– Surge (8) to replace Fireball
– Bane Chant (2)
– Lute of Insatiable Darkness
So I had a fair idea of how I wanted the list to run. Slave orc hordes backed up with the slave driver ffor rally and inspiring with the golems on one side. I planned to run a crushing flank with Ba’su’su and gargoyles supporting the grotesques.
Game 1 vs Shane G - mission was loot with 3 objectives along the centre line
Shane was a relatively new KoW player as well and was running a nicely themed northern alliance force - which you can see on his blog here: https://chroniclesofwargaming.blogspot.com/
from my (albeit hazy) memory he was running:
3 troops of javelin packhunters
2 regiments of clansmen
horde of clansmen
regiment of snow trolls
horde of snow trolls
snow troll prime
2 regiments of snow foxes
lord on chimera
from my left to right we had trolls and brusier with a clansman regiment facing off against grotesques, gargoyles and goreriders with a big forrest in between the lines. my orc hordes and golems held the centre backed up my the mortars facing two objectives and off against the horde of clansmen, lord on chimera and 2 regiments of snow foxes. On my right the other grotesques, gargoyles, ba’su’su faced off against a regiment of clansmen, packhunters overlooking the thrid objective. with a forrest and blocking building in the way
Abyssal dwarfs went first and cautiously advanced the centre toward the objectives, the left flank moved well forward staying out of charge range, while the right flank moved forward to guard the objectives and to maintain striking distance.
The mortars had a good opening salvo, point 7 points of damage on the lord on chimera. On the NA turn the troll units and prime advanced towards my gargoyles and goreriders, which I was fine with as my plan was to throw away these units to keep the heavy hitting trolls away from the centre for as long as possible. The snow fox regiments managed to make charges into each of my orc hordes, holding them in place away from the centre objective. The lord on chimera moved over the the right flank to hide behing the building, but in line of sight of my units there
In the next turns the hordes in the centre counter charged the snow foxes to try and remove the speed bump - only partially effective as I routed one unit, did 10 wounds to the other and then rolled out my first double ‘1’ of the event. Over on the left the gargoyles did what gargoyles do and parked themselves 1" away from the troll regiment, forcing them to charge next turn. My grotesques with catepillar took the charge into the troll regiment, but couldn;t rout them while the goreriders moved to block the troll horde. Over on the right the grotesques sat in the forest eyeing off the objective waiting for the regiment of clansmen and packhunters to advance far enough to claim it.
Ba’su’su however decided to go balls-n-all and charged the wounded lord on manticore and routed it in one turn!
NA alliance next turn saw some work being done, the trolls routed the gargoyles on the left, while the clansmen and trolls claimed the grotesques in the forrest. In the centre the surving snow fox unit went in to hold up the orc horde, while the horde of clansmen advanced forward to get towards the objective. The packhunters on the right flank took out my gargoyles with shooting while the clansmen moved forward to claim the objective by the building.
In my turn the obsidian golems finally got into range to pick up an objective and moved into the forest facing the clansmen and with their flank looking exposed to the troll regiment that had dealt with the gargoyles. The orc horde that had finally dealt with the snow foxes moved onto the objective in the centre, the orc horde next to them took a hindered charge from the clansmen and Shane rolled lights out with 21 hits out of 25 attacks! fortunately with the rally from the nearby slave driver they held, while on the right flank the grotesques and ba’su’su charged the clansmen holding the objective, routing them and claiming it for themselves. Crucially the grotesque’s overrun managed to take around the blocking building and open up LOS to the flank of the clansmen horde
At this point things were looking good, we were near the end of the game and I was holding 3 objectives, but my left flank was looking suprisingly dicey as I had the troll horde, regiment, clansmen and prime all starring at my flanks on the golems.
In NA next turn the troll prime and clansmen charged the obsidian golems for little reward while the troll regiment moved around the forrest to draw LOS to the flank of the golems.
In my next turn there wasn’t too much to do, the golems counter charged into the clansmen, while the orc horde engaed with the clansmen horde went back in accompanyied by a flank charge from the grotesques. Both these combats went my way the golems routed the clansmen regiment and backed up to try and avoid the trolls in the front (but conceeding the trolls in the flank) and the multi-charge on the clansmen horde managed to route them as well.
Last roll of the dice time for the NA - the troll regiment hit the golems in the flank, while the trolls horde hit the front of the orc horde. The golems managed to shrug off the attack, but the poor orc horde were routed with some good rolls! dropping their objective - Shane and I made a mistake here as I dropped the objective within my unit footprint, but for some reason Shane didn’T pic it up.
So game ended here - I had 2 objectives to 0 and finished up with a 17-4 win
Overall great first game with the abyssal dwarfs and great opponent.
So with a good win for game 1 it was time to get ready for game 2. I joked with a good friend of mine Tim (who also had a good win) that we would run in to each other… and sure enough - game 2 vs Tim H in salt the earth scenario. Tim actually introduced me to KoW and is one of my regular gamin partners so I knew his twlight kin army pretty well. He was running:
3 x regiments of blade dancers
2 x troops of blade dancers
horde of fiends
2 gargoyle troops
allied ogre chariot legion
so lots of fast moving, hitty stuff backed up by the scary shadow hulk and fiends. The battlefield had a large blocking terrain feature on my left flank, a forest on my opponents side, a hill in the centre just outside my deployment zone and a forest on my right flank facing off against a blocking terrain building with a wall. Of the objectives, only one went to the left flank, with almost all the others being as close as possible to each other in the centre and right side
Tim set up his chariots and gargoyles on the left flank with the gargoyles in front and flanks protecting by the blocking terrain facing off against my gargoyles, gore riders and a unit of grotesques. I deployed the golems, mortars and orc hordes in the middle in a line facing off against all three blade dancer regiments with BD troops out front. On my right I had grotesques, gargoyles and ba’su’su facing down the fiends shadow hulk and summoner crone. Tim won the roll to go first and moved his gargoyles out in front of the chariots on the leftt and in front of fiends on the right. The BD troops and regiments advanced in the centre to get within charge range of my orc hordes but not be able to be charged by them. The bolt thrower had a shot at the golems but failed to hit. In my turn I took both the gargoyle charges with my gargoyles with the grotesques on the right moving up to counter charge anything that came through. Ba’su’su flew up the right out of charge range of the hulk and fiends with eyes for the summoner crone. On my far right flank, the gore riders hammered foreward to come around the blocking terrain with the plan to get behind Tim’s lines. The mortars opened fire on the chariot legion which had moved into range, but only managed 4 or so wounds. The gargoyle slap fest on the right ended with Tim’s gargoyles being wavered, which crucially served to block the chariot legion in meaning they would be stuck for a turn. On the left flank my gargoyles routed Tim’s unit of gargoyles but were now hanging in the wind facing the fiends and the shadowhulk.
Tim’s next turn is where things started to get dicey - the two troops of blade dancers charged one of the orc hordes while the regiments of blade dancers moved forward to threaten the other horde. The fiends on the right flank went into the gargoyles while the shadow hulk advanced. The summoner crone threw out drain life at Ba’su’su for a couple of wounds. The combat with the orc horde and troops was a massacre - goodbye orc horde - blade dancer troops are nasty. The troops reformed, one to face the mortar and the other facing down the flank of the other horde of orcs.
In my next turn the gore riders were in range to charge the chariot legion while the gargoyles on the right went back into the previously waver gargoyles, the gore riders managed a lucky waver on the chariots while the gargoyles cleaned up the final unit of gargoyles. My slave orcs left in the centre didn’t have any charges but moved to try and limit impact of next turn charges. The obsidian golems swung around to face the centre and wait for the blade dancer onslaught. On the right Ba’su’su and the grotesques went into the fiends and managed to waver them. Fortunately both of these charges took my units out of LOS of the shadow hulk.
In the next turn the orc horde took a 3-way multi charge from 2 blade dancer regiments and a troop resulting in their absolute slaughter (we didn’t roll for it - straight to double ‘1’ after seeing what troops can do to orcs!) the two regiments finish up on the hill looking down at he golems and grotesques, while the other troop went into and took out one of the mortars and reformed in the woods. I’m pretty sure at this point, the third blade dancer unit went into the obsidian golems but bounced (Def 6 is hard to get past for blade dancers).
In my my next the gore riders and gargoyles go back into the wavered chariot legion and manage to rout it. The golems with a surge and grotesques go into the closet blade dancer unit and rout them, while on the right flank Ba’su’su charges the summoner crone wavering her, while the grotesques go back into the wavered fiends, routing them and reforming to face the flank of the shadow hulk.
In Tims next turn one of the blade dancer regiments came down off the hill for the TC bonus into the golems, but unfortunately they bounce again - the obsidian golems proved exceedingly resiliant when backed up with Def6 and heal from the iron caster, while the shadow hulk finally go into the action charging into the back Ba’su’su but failed to waver or rout him.
In the abyssal dwarf turn the grotesque and golem combo account for the final regiment of blade dancers and managed to rout them, while on the right flank Ba’su’su and the grotesques go into the front and flank of the shadow hulk respectively and manage to rout it.
At this point Tim had a troop of blade dancers and the summoner crone left so he didn’t have a lot to do. In my last turn the golems cleared out the troop in the centre while on the right Ba’su’su turned back around and finished off the summoner crone, effecting a tabling of the twilight kin.
In the wash up, the abyssal dwarfs were left holding 5/7 objectives and were 1600+ points ahead on attrition points.
An always awesomegame vs Tim, finished up 21-0 win to the Abyssal Dwarfs
So with 2 good wins, I knew I would be up the top of the leaderboard and facing some stiff opposition and was drawn against the man, the myth, the legend (he’s going to hate reading that) Andrew G (AG). AG and I go waaay back 15 years or so and he was responsible for getting me into competitive WHFB gaming. In all the times I’ve played him, I’ve beaten him a couple of times, but never in KoW. He has always been one of those players who just “gets” wargaming - always thinking 2 moves ahead. To top it off AG was playing Abyssal Dwarfs as well, an army that he knows inside and out and recently took to the masters with great success. To say I felt that I would be pushing the proverbial up hill would be an understatement. AG has always been great to play, and with me being new to KoW, always takes the time to explain what he’s doing so I understand it.
AG’s list had some similar features to mine, he was running:
3 x grotesque hordes – boots of striding, caterpillar potion and blessing of the gods
2 x lesser obsidian golem regiments
2 x gargoyle troops
2 x heavy mortars
Overmaster on winged halfbreed – blade of slashing
Slave driver with tome of darkness
Scenario was invade.
The board had forests on each flank with a hill just outside my deployment zone. The center of the board was fairly open. They say the majority of the battle can be won or lost during deployment, and this game illustrated that perfectly. I tried for a center and flank setup with the orcs holding the center of the board and the fast movers on my flanks. AG cleverly ignored the center apart from a mortar and deployed heavily on each flank.
On my left I had gargoyles, gore riders and grotesques in a forest facing off against 2 hordes of grotesques, gargoyles and half breed champ, in the center I had my mortars, slave orc hordes and slave driver facing off against a solitary mortar, while on the right I had gargoyles, Ba’su’su and grotesques facing off against the 2 golem regiments, grotesques, gargoyles and overmaster on winged halfbreed. If you noticed that I didn’t mention my horde of golems there’s a reason for that…… I stuffed up their deployment completely and had nowhere to place them, due to the large footprint of the orc hordes and my trying to anchor my flanks with the forests, so the only spot I had available was behind my mortars facepalm thereby ensuring they had not much to do.
I won the roll for first turn and decided to take it. I advanced with the right flank gore riders and gargoyles trying to stay out of charge range of the grotesques, with the gore riders taking cover behind a low wall. The grotesques in the woods moved forward to stay in the woods but maintain some cover in case anything wanted to charge into them (which I realize now was a bit of a waste since the grotesques facing them had caterpillar potion). My center advanced slowly not wanting to get too far towards the golems and grotesques angling in from the right flank. The shining light of my turn was the counter-battery fire from the mortars wiping out one of AG mortars that was facing the center of my army.
In AG’s first turn I’m pretty sure his gargoyles on the right took the charge on my gargoyles, while his grotesques moved up to threaten my grotesques hiding in the forest. The halfbreed champ moved straight forward like a missile to park himself directly in front of the grotesques hiding in the forest inviting the charge. On the right flank the overmaster had a charge into my grotesque unit and took it, while the golem regiments marched forward across the board. The overmaster managed to waver the grotesques with a good round of combat ensuring they weren’t going anywhere next turn. Pretty sure there was some more gargoyle on gargoyle hand bagging over on this flank too.
In my next turn I felt like I had to get things moving, the gore riders went across the obstacle into the grotesques (it was a charge or be charged situation so I figured it was better to charge), while the grotesques in the forest took the charge into the halfbreed champ. The center left orc horde advanced forward to try and head towards my opponent’s half, while the right-most orc horde crested the hill and moved to claim some territory. The mortars, now blocked by most things had a pot shot at the grotesques on the left, around the forest heading toward my grotesques but failed to hit (or may have done the odd wound, but they were regenerated right back). The lesser obsidian golems turned to face the right flank, surged and moved and were sitting behind the hill.
In combat the gore riders put a couple of wounds onto the grotesques, but not enough to worry them, while my grotesques killed off the half breed champ and readied for the onslaught of AG’s grotesque horde
In AG’s turn, the his grotesques on my left flank went back into the pigs, who were now sitting across the obstacle and thereby not hindering the charge, the grotesques with the caterpillar potion went into my grotesques into the forest and on the far right the overmaster again went into the previously wavered grotesques, who had managed to regenerate a few wounds in my turn but not many. The mortar managed a long range shot into my golems and pinged a few wounds through. The gore riders crumpled under the charge of the grotesques while the grotesque on grotesque action in the forest ended with my unit becoming wavered (brutal making the difference here). The overmaster on the far flank managed to wipe out the grotesques on the second attempted and turn to face along my line towards the golems and orc horde.
In my turn things were looking grim, the orc horde on the left side of the center had a flank on the grotesques and took it, but due to their huge footprint they’d be hindered by the forest so hitting on 6’s. AG had set a clever trap on the right of center for my other orc horde, with both lesser obsidian golem regiments in charge range, but which ever I charged I’d be giving a flank to the other, and if I didn’t charge I’d be on the end of both golem units and probably the grotesques as well. So, deciding to go in I charged the unit of golems closet to me and accepted the inevitable. The mortars turned to face the right flank hoping to get a target next turn. The orc flank charge into the grotesques on the left failed – 50 attacks, hitting on 6’s, wounding on 4’s – I think I did maybe 5 wounds, not enough to waver them. The orc horde charge into the obsidian golem regiment bounced and left the horde wide open for retribution.
In AG’s next turn things tightened further, the grotesques on the left flank that had dealt with the gore riders went into the flank of my previously wavered grotesques in the forest while the grotesques that had been hit by the orc horde counter charged the orcs. On the right, both golems and the overmaster went into the orc horde (spoiler alert… it didn’t end well for me). AG’s mortar again put a couple of wounds onto my lesser obsidian golems, being able to see them due to the height. Combats went as expected, AG’s grotesques cleared out my unit of grotesques in the woods and moved up to face my warmachines, the grotesques going into my orc horde I “think” wavered them - pretty sure brutal again made the difference. The combat on the right we didn’t actually roll, I was happy to straight “double 1” roll it – with that many attacks coming in on a fairly weak unit, I wasn’t hopeful of much. AG’s units all moved forward to get into my side of the table completely.
From this point I didn’t have a lot to do, I wanted to unleash the mortars on the closing overmaster, however AG had cleverly overrun to be within the minimum range of the mortars. The surviving orc horde were wavered and were waiting to get charged again by the grotesques.
In AG’s last turn it was really a case of mopping up, the grotesques rampaging through the forest charged the mortar – we just “double 1” it instead of rolling – to which AG kindly rolled double 1 – not sure if you can randomly have a “pity roll” but that was it! The grotesques fighting the slave orcs went back into them and managed to rout them. The overmaster and I “think” the last unit of grotesques went into the injured lesser obsidian golem horde and managed to rout them as well.
In the wash up I had my 2 heroes and 2 warmachines left on the board (I can’t quite recall that happened to Ba’su’su this game, I think I used him as a speed-bump to slow down the grotesque horde on the right flank). Of AG’s stuff I think I managed to get his gargoyles a mortar and the half breed champ. Ended up a resounding loss for me 1-20. In hindsight I think I was out deployed from the start by a very good opponent (who went on to win the whole event), however I did learn some things about playing abyssal dwarfs.
So overall I went 2 wins and a loss and finished 6/26 for my 4 - 6th games of 3rd edition and my first 3 games with abyssal dwarfs.
If you’ve got this far, thanks for reading!