Last night, after work, I went over to my friend Matt's house and we had a game of Warhammer. It was an 8th edition game because neither of us are bowled over by Age Of Sigmar (to put it politely for the sake of a quiet life) and, contrary to what the internet at large seems to believe about 8th, the game was fun, interesting and only took about three and a half hours.
2000 points, my Lizardmen versus his Orcs & Goblins. I lost as it happens. I spent the first four turns utterly dominating the game, helped more than a little by Matt fluffing endless Fear tests and having the laziest Fanatics known to man. They just didn't want to go anywhere, I think someone subbed out their madcap mushrooms for weed. He had nine of the buggers, they all got activated and the complete butcher's bill for them was two Saurus Warriors and three of his own Squigs. Also, as always seems to be the case with his Orcs & Goblins, his warmachines promptly destroyed themselves when fired.
On the plus side he totally obliterated my usual MVPs the Saurus Cavalry when they utterly fluffed their attacks on his Big 'Uns. My two previous games with Lizards have given this unit something of an inflated reputation, I feel, but a useful one from the psychological point of view.
It all turned on me in the fifth turn. I compensated poorly for some failed charges and my Saurus Old-Blood and his Temple Guard were surrounded: Black Orc Warboss and Black Orcs to the front, a gigantic Squig Herd to the flank. It was all over from there, the Temple Guard were obliterated, my right flank dissolved and I spent the remaining turn impotently victimising Night Goblins for want of anything constructive to do.
And it was really fun. Yes, part of what killed me was chance but it was also partly my own poor decisions. There were genuine learning experiences that will help me in future games, most particularly that Fanatics are not necessarily as horrendous as I previously thought. From now on I'll be a little more confident in charging Night Goblins. Equally, my Saurus Cavalry are not as hard as any of us believed, they just did well in the previous games and I need to be more cautious about charging them into ranked units.
This was the second time I've used Lizards against Matt's Orcs and we're starting to create a storyline around it with the Lizardmen trying to stop the Orcs colonising a series of vital nodes in the geomantic web. His Warboss keeps escaping me, as well, so I feel my Old-Blood So'Kar is going to be pursuing a cold-blooded and logical vendetta against the creature that keeps defying the will of the Old Ones by surviving.
So I'm feeling inspired to write about this game. I'm also feeling inspired to get some painting done, which is useful because the painting table, thanks to my experiments in white spray, is getting seriously over-populated. Currently sitting on or orbiting the paint station on various surfaces are:
5 Ork Boyz with slugga and choppa
5 Ork Meganobz
5 Tomb Kings Skeleton Warriors with command options
Lizardmen Saurus Old-Blood with halberd and shield
Lizardmen Skink Priest with Cloak of Feathers
1 Lizardmen Bastiladon with Solar Engine
5 Lizardmen Saurus Warriors with spears and shields
2 Lizardmen Salamanders
Wood Elves Shadowdancer
This is too much and, frankly, inspiration is probably for the best. I suppose that what's making me happiest is that, after weeks of annoyance and being told that my opinion is somehow objectively wrong, I'm rediscovering the actual joy in my hobby. Long may it continue.