Orcs vs Slime from the Heavens

[From Eric Reel]

Somewhere in the heavens . . . a toilet overflowed. As the unholy effluent fell to earth, it . . . changed. Red eyes peered from misshapen bodies & took stock of this new world. The filth took arms & began its unholy crusade. Could anyone stop the world from being engulfed in a wave of stench and decay? The orcs were willing to give it a try. This is their story.

The Armies

Army of Filth (Chaos list)

Unit Type
Point Cost
1 General Elite, with Magic Ward
OLD GW Epic scale GUCO
Attached to burrowing Large Monster
1 Cleric With Magic Ward
Nurgling conversion
1 Hero With Exceptional Weapon
Nurgling with epic scale chainsword
1 Large Monster With Burrowing and Grapple
RAFM Cthonian
2 Small Monster GW Epic scale Great Unclean Ones 120
7 HW Fear
GW Nurglings
5 Flying Irregulars Fly swarms 150
2 Slaves Plastic civilains from one of the Gigantics big bug model sets 10


Orcs: (not 100% accurate)

Unit Type
Point Cost
1 General With Exceptional Weapon 160
1 Wizard With Exceptional Weapon 110
2 Hero   40
1 Hero With Exceptional Weapon, attached to LM 30
2 Large Monster GW 28mm warboars. These giant hogs looked way cool on the 15mm battlefield 160
4 Light cavalry   120
3 Bow   60
2 Spear   60
2 Handweapon   60
2 Irregulars   20


The orc infantry & characters were made up primarily of GW Snotlings.

The Battle

The first engagement:

Filth deploys with a solid battle line of hand weapons with fly swarms behind. One GUCO is posted on each flank while the Cthonian & general advance up the right. Orcs advance a battle line flanked by two large monsters on the right & the light cav + battlewagons on the left.

The filth line stays immobile (oops, shouldn't have stuck the cleric in there... can't move when yer castin' sacrifice). Cthonian + general advance to meet oncoming large monsters. Small monsters move to engage battlewagons advancing up the left. Over the course of the next few turns, the Orcs lose almost every magic roll (at least 6 in a row), the results being: one large monster, one battle wagon sacrificed to death, large monster+hero engaged & destroyed by Cthonian, small monsters, aided by 'invigorate' & 'curse' engage & destroy remaining battlewagon + a light cav unit. Orcs concede.

The second engagement:

Almost identical deployment. This time both forces advance. Both small monsters charge up the right flank, attempting to engage the battlewagons & LC. In the orc phase, 'invigorate' is used to bring the Cthonian into contact with a Giant Hogs. Hog dies. Orcs wizard uses Fly to move remaining Hawg into contact with handweapon unit containing shaman. Sevaral more invigorates are used to bring the Cthonian into charge range of the Orc battle line, but the beast is trapped before it can charge.

On the right, the GUCOs attempts to close with the light cav are frustrated by demoralizations inflicted by concentrated bowfire. Fly swarms surround the Hawg + Hero, and a Hero+XWeapon joins in the fray, but the Hawg eventually prevails, killing the HW unit, the hero, and two attached slave units. Cleric jumps into next available HW unit. The Cthonian's attempts to engage continue to be frustrated by apolexy spells. Orc bow units advance to within range of the Filth battle line & begin a harassing fire.

Filth morale clock is falling fast, a large monster + hero is rampaging through the battle line, and the small monsters are getting pecked to death. However, the Filth general finally goads the Cthonian into a charge into the left flank of the orc battle line, killing the hapless handweapon unit & following up. The orcs manage to kill off the small monsters, but leave themselves at 0 on the magic clock vs 9 for the Filth. A mass 'curse' follows, swinging the phase in favor of Filth.

Both 'large monster vs battle line' battles continue, but the Cthonian + Elite general is killing its opponent each turn, vs. what's usually a demoralize from the Orc Hawg&Hero. Filth goes to 4 on the morale clock first and things are looking very grim, but the Orcs make a last stand with a spear unit augmented by two heroes & a general. Unfortunately for the orcs, the spears fail their 'grapple' roll & are destroyed along with the general. Both heroes are captured. Orcs go to 2 on the clock. Remaining orc units back off from the Filth general. The Hawg finally kills the unit containing the cleric--and the cleric! Bowfire drops the morale clock another point, the last orc spear unit actually manages to hold off the Cthonian a round, and orc bowfire drops the Filth morale clock to zero.

Final morale clock:Filth 0 Orcs 1
Final VP:Orcs 630, Filth 420
Victory Orcs!

A very close game. This was the most fun I've had playing a wargame for some time.

The Lessons

Lesson 1:
Do not stick a cleric in a unit you actually might want to move early in the game. Probably the best choice of a unit for spellcasters seems to be either a pike + bow or a large monster, both of which are held as a reserve against marauding LMs/dragons/etc. A cheap flyer or burrowing unit is another possiblity.

Lesson 2:
A battle line consisting of foot troops is lunch for a powerful raider unit. This battle reminded me a bit of the 'Samauri vs Dust' battle wherein a bunch of greater spirits demolished an infantry army. In the future, I'll either toss the battle line out entirely, or play more conservatively, keeping the big boys nearby to defend against enemy raiders.

Lesson 3:
Light cav are great! The demoralizes inflicted by these units were instrumental in ticking the morale clock away on several turns. Occasionally, the 4x concentrated bowfire actually killed something.

Lesson 4:
DON'T RUN OUT OF MAGIC POINTS! When one or the other of us would run out of MP before the other, it got very, very ugly for the side with no spell-countering ability.

Lesson 5:
Fear is your friend. The fact that all of my handweapon units were immune to fear really helped in their holding back the orc LM as long as they did. This was also a real hinderance for the orcs since the orc units often wound up demoralized just by being engaged by my monster.

Lesson 6:
I love flying irregulars. My original concept for the Filth army was envelopment warfare. Land the flies behind the enemy battle line, charge with fear-causing HWs & hope for a bunch of double-demoralizes. As it turns out, they were also very useful in a defensive role, their mobility allowing them to easily give flank/rear/support CF bonuses.

Copyright © 1999 by Samuel Reynolds. All rights reserved. Last modified 1998/08/14.
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