Saturday, my friend Matt and I met in battle, High Elves vs. a Night Goblin horde. It was bloody, in the extreme. 2000 points to a side.

My Army:
Savage Orc Warboss, Armor of Gork, Kickin' Boots, Collar of Zorga, Great Weapon
Night Goblin Great Shaman, Level 4 (spells: Brain Bursta, Gork'll Fix It, Hand of Gork, Foot of Gork)

Savage Orc Big Boss, Choppa, Light Armor, Battle Standard, Mork's Spirit Banner
Night Goblin Shaman, Level 2, Staff of Sneaky Stealin' (spells: Gaze of Gork, Mork Wants Ya)

35 Night Goblins, Full Command, Nets, Spears, Shields, 1 Fanatic
35 Night Goblins, Full Command, Nets, Spears, Shields, 1 Fanatic
35 Night Goblins, Full Command, Nets, Spears, Shields
20 Night Goblins, Musician, Shortbow, 1 Fanatic
20 Night Goblins, Musician, Shortbow, 1 Fanatic
20 Savage Orcs, Full Command, 2 Choppas

4 Spear Chukkas
4 Squig Herds (1 unit of 20 models)

Matt's Army:
Prince, Great Weapon, Heavy Armor, Helm of Fortune, Guardian Phoenix
Mage Lord, Level 4, Shadow Lore, Staff of something-or-other (forget name and function) (spells: Miasma, Enfeebling, Withering, Mindrazor)

Noble, Heavy Armor, Great Weapon, Battle Standard (magic banner; don't know which one as it wasn't relevant)
Mage, Level 2, High Magic, Silver Wand (spells: Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Courage of Aenarion, Vaul's Unmaking)

24 Spearmen, Full Command
16 Seaguard, Shields, Full Command, Standard of Discipline

14 Swordmasters, Full Command
14 Swordmasters, Full Command

Giant Eagle
2 Bolt Throwers

Battle: Dawn Attack (random sector deployment)
Terrain: We used random-terrain generation, and got 2 Khemrian Marshes, a Mysterious Forest, 3 sections of Ghost Fence, and a Wyrding Well. The Marshes went on my left in my deployment zone and on my left in Matt's zone. The Forest was on the right flank near the centerline. The Ghost Fences were scattered throughout, and the Wyrding Well in the exact center.

Matt won the roll for first deployment. Our deployment was kind of haphazard, given the pseudo-random nature of it, which left me with some Leadership-bubble issues.

Deployment (units from left to right, from my perspective):


Turn 1
The High Elves advanced quickly, the Giant Eagle winging forward to the Wyrding Well, the Swordmasters and Spearmen all rushing forward on my right and center. The righthand Swordmasters entered the Mysterious Forest, only to find it was a Venom Thicket which killed two of them! The Seaguard advanced more slowly, aiming their bows.

The High Elf Mages gathered their power, but the combination of Goblin sneakiness (stealing a power die) and Orcish Waaagh power (the Spirit Banner) meant that I had as many Dispel dice as there were Power dice. I let the Shadow Mage cast Enfeebling on the Warboss's regiment, as I didn't need extra Move, I, or WS that turn anyway. All other spells were easily dispelled.

The Bolt Throwers and Seaguard caused carnage on my left among the Bowgobbos, forcing a Panic test which, fortunately, they passed, despite 8 of them dying. With that it was my turn.

I passed every Animosity test--an unusual occurrence. However, I didn't have much need to advance. My magic was more offensive, and I had my Chukkas. I'd let the Elves come to me. I did shift my Great Shaman from his depleted Bowgobbos into the Speargobbo regiment to his right, where he had 35 ablative bodies to soak up hits for him. The Savage Orcs rushed forward on my left, knowing they had to move fast if they wanted to do anything. My remaining Bowgobbos also advanced. I also hurled my Squig Herd straight at the heart of the enemy line. I knew they couldn't possibly win combat against the Elves, but I hoped when they were defeated, one Squig might survive to spread random destruction.

My magic was more effective than the Elves', and nearly gave me a massive advantage right off the bat. I led with a Brain Bursta on the center Swordmasters, which was dispelled, then followed up with a Foot of Gork onto the Mage Lord! d6 S6 hits could easily have killed him outright, and left me in firm command of magic for the remainder of the game. However, I rolled a measly 1 hit and wounded him only lightly. Curses!

The less said about the Chukkas, the better, as I rolled nothing but 2s and 1s to hit with them.

Turn 2
The Great Eagle flew along the front of my army, drawing Fanatics as it went. The first two fell short, but the third connected with the bird and smashed it apart in a cloud of feathers (6 S5 hits--ouch) following up straight into the Wyrding Well, where the crazed Goblin drowned. The Elf infantry continued its bold advance, the Swordmasters striding straight through the Venom Thicket, though it cost them 4 more of their number. Coming out the other side, they drew my last Fanatic, which got one more of them, leaving just seven alive.

The Mages continued to try to crack my magic defense, but Gork and Mork were up to the task, as were Sizzle (the Great Shaman) and Frizzle (the other Shaman), and nothing got through. I actually had more Dispel dice than they had Power dice this turn!

Shooting was less pleasant, as the Seaguard picked off a nearby Fanatic, followed by the Bolt Throwers blazing away. They got some of Frizzle's Bowgobbos and picked off a Squig and a Herder.

In my turn, I Squabbled with my BSB's Speargobbos (facing the Swordmasters about 5" away), the Savage Orcs, and Sizzle's Speargobbos, while Frizzle's Bowgobbos Waaaghed (foolishly) 2" toward the Seaguard. The Squigs charged the Spearmen and Prince, in what was probably a very stupid move, but I felt lucky. One Fanatic scattered in front of the center Swordmasters, and the other remaining one went straight into the Venom Thicket and was never seen again. The rest of my army held back to fire arrows and receive charges.

With Sizzle having been rendered unable to cast by the Squabble, my magic phase was necessarily weak. I did manage to get a Gaze of Gork off on the Seaguard, killing one.

The Chukkas continued to be mostly unable to hit anything, though one got a flanking shot on the Swordmasters in front of my BSB, killing two. Down to just 5 models now, that unit of Swordmasters seemed unlikely to be able to deal with 35 Night Goblins and a Savage Orc.

In combat, the Spearmen and Prince caused massive carnage, killing 10 Squigs. However, there had been 11 Squigs in the unit, and the surviving Squig went on a rampage of 9" radius, hitting both Swordmaster units, my last Fanatic, the Spearmen, and the wounded Mage Lord! The Fanatic was killed, as were three Spearmen and two Swordmasters, but unfortunately, the Squig only succeeded in causing one wound to the Mage Lord, who was truly leading a charmed life (he should've died twice over now!)

Turn 3
The 3 remaining Swordmasters on my right finally charged into my BSB's unit. The other Swordmasters, Spearmen, and Prince advanced, looking for targets. The other Swordmasters charged into my Warboss's Speargobbos, the Prince and Spearmen coming on behind. The Seaguard finally moved forward as well.

The Shadow Mage drained the Strength of the Speargobbos on my right, reducing it to a pitiful 1 (this made me nervous about rolling for the Nets). I dispelled other spells.

The Bolt Throwers panicked Frizzle's Bowgobbos, sending them fleeing toward my own lines.

The Swordmasters hit hard. The Gobbos' Nets helped, but ten Goblins were still scythed down. The Bladelord shouted a challenge, and Caveboss the Savage Orc bellowed his acceptance. To Matt's shock, the Bladelord needed 6s to wound (T6 Orc with Nets helping) and failed even to injure the big Orc before being bludgeones mercilessly to the ground. A couple of Swordmasters were poked to death by Gobbo spears as well. I lost combat, but held thanks to Steadfast. This was going to be one messy combat. In the other combat, the Swordmasters slaughtered six Goblins. In return, the plucky little Gobbos got two of the Swordmasters (despite being S1!) and won the combat, thanks to their Musician. The Swordmaster Bladelord stood alone, gruesomely outnumbered, and prepared to die fighting.

In my turn, the Savage Orcs Squabbled again. They were now pretty much irrelevant for this game. My Bowgobbos flank-charged the Swordmasters, which was a mistake on balance. I did rally the fleeing Bowgobbos, which was good.

A Brain Bursta sizzled through the air, hitting 11 Seaguard and killing 6. Foot of Gork was then dispelled, sadly, leaving the Mage Lord alive for another turn.

The Chukkas didn't do much, but one did succeed in hitting a High Elf Bolt Thrower, wounding it, and causing 2 wounds, destroying it outright! That was a bright spot, at least.

In combat, the lone Swordmaster was indomitable, killing three Goblins, surviving the S1 return attacks, and holding firm. This Elf was a hero in the making! Caveboss killed some Swordmasters, who continued disassembling the Gobbos around him. My tendency to roll 1s for Nets didn't help. The Bowgobbos had to roll a 3 or lower to not flee, since they weren't Steadfast. They rolled double 1s and held firm. This was bad, as the Elf Spearmen could annihilate them easily, dragging down my Warboss's combat resolution and, critically, removing Steadfast!

Turn 4
Spearmen and Prince came for my Bowgobbos. The Seaguard moved up next to the Wyrding Well, where (to my disgust) they regenerated all their casualties!

An attempted Mindrazor on the Swordmasters failed by 1 to reach its casting value, ending the magic phase with a fizzle.

The Bowgobbos got shot up by the remaining Bolt Thrower and Seaguard, Panicking again and ending up about 5" from my own table edge.

In combat, the Bladelord finally succumbed to the inevitable, despite the Speargobbos entangling themselves with their nets, and died with Goblin spears thrust through him, though he got three more before he went. The other combat was less cheering. Though Caveboss did his best, pulping Swordmasters left and right (he got 4 of them), the Swordmasters still wiped another ten or so Goblins. They were being pretty alarmingly depleted. Though the Swordmasters were reduced to a handful, so were the Speargobbos, and the Bowgobbos were down to a single model (the Musician). The Musician fled, but Caveboss and his flunkies didn't--somehow. The Spearelves restrained pursuit and reformed.

In my turn I called my Waaagh. The Savage Orcs leapt toward the Bolt Thrower opposite them, as their only legitimate target, and the BSB's Speargobbos moved toward the Elf Spearmen. I rallied the fleeing Bowgobbos again. I charged at the Spearmen's flank with the BSB's unit, but rolled only 3" for charge distance and advanced a measly 2" failed charge. I marched the Savage Orcs up close to the Bolt Thrower; one more turn and they'd actually get to kill something!

In this Magic phase I decided to end things right. A massive foot stomped down on the Mage Lord, reducing him to paste (3 more wounds). With his +5 to dispel reduced to a +3, the other spells had better chances. Gork'll Fix It went on the Swordmasters, but Brain Bursta failed to cast.

The Spear Chukkas killed a handful of Spearmen. Then two of them, seeing only one shot, took it. The first one needed just a 5+ to hit the High Mage. I rolled a 5, then wounded him--and did only 1 wound. Sigh. I had just one remaining Chukka to try with. Long range, through woods, at a single target. This was a 7+ to hit shot. I rolled a 6. Then another 6. Then a 4 to wound, and 6 for number of wounds. With a phenomenal shot, the mage was obliterated. In a single turn, I'd destroyed all Matt's magical offense and defense!

Combat was worse. Caveboss was knocked down to just himself and the Boss from the Speargobbos, facing a single Swordmaster. Neither side, however, fled.

Turn 5
The Seaguard charged the recently-rallied Musician, who fled (but was caught and killed), allowing them to redirect into Sizzle's Speargobbos. With the lone Swordmaster blocking the Spearmen from charging, the Prince left the unit and charged into the Goblin Boss. The Spearmen swift-reformed and moved to face the oncoming BSB's Speargobbos.

No magic anymore; all the High Elf Mages were dead.

The last Bolt Thrower, in a final act of defiance, Panicked Frizzle's Bowgobbos a THIRD time, and this time they fled all the way off the field.

The Seaguard won combat convincingly, but the plucky little gits (despite another 1 on Nets) killed four Seaguard as well and held firm.

The Savage Orcs finally charged, as did the BSB's Gobbos; Bolt Thrower and Spearmen being the targets. I really didn't have anything else to move.

I put Gork'll Fix It on the Seaguard, making me feel much better about that combat.

Nothing to shoot at; all the Elves were in combat or dead.

The Spearmen were no match for the BSB's Gobbos who, despite heavy casualties, slaughtered six of them and made the survivors flee. Unfortunately, despite only fleeing 4", I rolled a 3 and couldn't catch them. The Prince easily decapitated the Goblin Boss in a one-sided challenge, but CaveBoss equally easily despatched the last Swordmaster, leaving the two army generals facing each other atop a heap of corpses. The Seaguard and Speargobbos stabbed and thrust at each other, but the Goblins seemed to be winning the war of attrition. Finally, the Savage Orcs easily overran the Bolt Thrower, losing one Orc in the process.

Turn 6
The fleeing Spearmen rallied. Since they were close to the Wyrding Well, they drank some water and became Stupid and Unbreakable!

The Seaguard fought hard, but were knocked down to just a handful of troops. The Speargobbos were winning. In the duel between the generals, the Orc's toughness and the Elf's Guardian Phoenix prevented any damage this turn.

In the final turn of the game, I charged the Spearmen again, though I didn't think it'd matter much.

The Seaguard finally broke and were destroyed, the Battle Standard Bearer standing and dying. The Spearmen lost some more troops, but thanks to the Wyrding waters, remained undaunted. Finally, the Elf Prince neatly beheaded Caveboss, slaying my general!

However, it was too little, much too late. The battlefield was strewn with corpses, the Elf army virtually annihilated.

The Elves had only 6 Spearmen and the Prince alive, while I still had two regiments of Speargobbos, the Savage Orcs, the Chukkas, the BSB, and Sizzle the Great Shaman (who Matt admitted he probably should've been allocating attacks on). Victory to the Goblins!

1) O&G defensive magic is AWESOME. The +4 dispel dice I was getting every turn, coupled with him losing a power die, was tremendous in preventing the High Elf magic from doing much of anything.

2) Steadfast is pretty huge, but it goes away fast once those Swordmasters start swinging.

3) The only things I'd seriously fault in the Elves' tactics would be failing to advance with the Seaguard (when another combat unit might've been important) and leaving the Mages outside units where I could target them. He was really lucky twice not to lose his Shadow Mage, and I got them both in the end.

4) As far as my own tactics, the random deployment hurt, but I still could've used my Savage Orcs better, by deploying them nearer to the middle of the field. One Bolt Thrower is a bad return on a 230-point investment.