Sunday, 5 May 2019

2019-05-04: GoB Undead vs Dwarves AAR

Initial deployment.
Saturday, Ulolkish and I played God of Battles - still our go-to fantasy battle game.

Friday, Ulolkish announced his intention to arrive mid-morning, which made me give up on getting the Oseberg tents ready for the table Saturday (and also the big tent for my Necromancer), but both will be ready for Tuesday evening and a scrap with Kevin's Orcs!

The game was 40 pts., and we agreed on a break level of 26 pts.
  • We agreed that hills and woods would Slow movement, and that the rocks were impassable (duh!).
  • The giant skeleton was fielded as a unit of Guardians of Midnight (6 wounds).
  • We were testing some house rules regarding push-backs between Formed Units; as it were they did not work quite to our satisfaction, and we shall try a modified version next time.
  • We also tested an alternative rule regarding the Necromancer's ability to raise skeletons (an option to add Power Cards from the Necromancer's hand to the flipped card); it worked nicely, but the ability is still quite underwhelming, according to Ulolkish, who was on the 'wrong' end of it. We agreed that I shall come up with a 'Raise Dead' Miracle to add to the Lords of Undeath Miracle Deck, but in a way to not offset balance. More about this at a later time.

The Dwarves were the aggressors, and having fewer units, they maintained the Initiative for most of the game.

On Turn 1, both armies advanced steadily.

On Turn 2, the Undead phalanx reached a hill and slowed down.

Turn 3 saw the Undead left take up position on the hill, while the Dwarves were outflanking the phalanx. The Giant Guardian moved to protect the left flank.

Turn 4: The Giant Guardian was beaten back badly by the Dwarves.

On Turn 5 I made my first tactical error: Moving the Skeleton Warriors down to meet the Dwarves; I should have rotated on the spot to maintain the higher ground!

Turn 5 also saw some fighting at the center, and the Undead Phalanx began to look a bit tattered...

On Turn 6, things began to go badly wrong in earnest. My army was crumbling rapidly, and the Dwarves were too stubborn to die. Another tactical error on my part was to move the warriors on the right too far forward, exposing their flank to attack, but at this point it didn't matter a whole lot anyway.

The dwarves had reached my Camp. It was now only a matter of time before they would succeed and break my army, though.

On Turn 7, another two of my units were destroyed. The Dwarves were beaten back by my Camp Followers this time.

Only a little fighting occurred on Turn 8 (and I forgot to snap a photo of the final positions). My Camp was sacked, and my army broke.

I did not manage to remove a single point from the Dwarf army, and I am a bit bewildered, as to how to get on even terms with them.

I may have to add some Skeleton Archers to my army; I can think of two ways to employ them:
  1. As part of the main battle line, advancing before the close combat units in a kind of manipular/checkerboard formation, then withdrawing between the fighting units, but stil able to shoot between them. I.e. a kind of skirmishing rôle.
  2. As  independent scouts/skirmishers on one or both flanks, perhaps in cooperation with Ghouls. They can then pester enemy units going for my main phalanx, even threaten their flanks, and ultimately go for the enemy Camp & Baggage if unopposed.
Fielding the Undead Knights may also be an option, as they are fast and a relatively strong unit for charging enemies in the flank, but they soak up an awful lot of points, and thus weaken on of the few advantages held by the Undeads, namely their ability to field many cheap units to put in the way of the enemy advance.

As mentioned earlier, we have decided to augment the Necromancer's raise dead abilities, and next time we shall be testing a new Miracle to see, if we can give the Unded a little more staying power and even out the odds a bit, I just do not want to tweak too much, before I have tried more options with the army - but even Ulolkish seems to think that the dead are too easily dispatched, so we shall see... 

As we had not played for quite some time, we spent an awful lot of time flipping through the rules - If from now on we manage to play at least once a month, gaming time should shorten considerably (we spent almost six hours on this game, without any breaks for snacks or drinks). I did not suffer a lot of fatigue from the experience, even though I am suffering from a bad cold, and this goes a long way to explain why I prefer God of Battles over other fantasy battle systems I have encountered: It flows easily, you don't have downtime while your opponent moves his entire army (GoB has alternate unit activation), and the turns kinda flow together, so it really feels like one long game with short alternating turns instead of a series of very long turns.


  1. I love hearing about God of Battles! It is hands down my favourite fantasy wargame, because it flows so well, and it is so quick and easy to build your army. I command the undead myself, so I have some experience with the archers. It can be hard to use formed archers, as they can't just zip around and shoot. I do find a lot of use for them on the flanks though, because they can destroy or delay the small units of skirmishers who so often grind away at your warriors. Good luck, fellow necromancer!

    1. Thanks, I am pretty sure I shall have a go at some archers, as soon as I have painted 8 Royal Guards for my Rohan SAGA warband ;)

  2. Impressive armies. Must have been fun to play with these!

    1. Thank you! Yes we always thoroughly enjoy getting our armies out. It is a great award for all the time spent on painting them :)