Well, it was a massacre and a lesson to all Nautican commanders planning to field an army with no elite fighters.
The Nautican Army list...
General : Prince (hero) on The Great White Titan
20 Wave Breakers
40 Sand gangers (4 x 10)
20 Coral Hunters (2 x 10)
30 Tide Watchers (2 x 15)
1 unit of Giant Crabs
15 Interceptors (incl. Destroyer)
The Lizardmen Army list (from memory)
Stegadon Ancient with the Engine of the Gods and level 2 skink priest.
Saurus Oldblood on Carnosaur with blade of striking
2 units of 20 Saurus Warriors with full command
10 Cameleon Skinks
10 Skink Skirmishers
5 Cold One Riders
1 unit of 3 Razordons
I decided before the battle to try to test out the Nautican core rank and file and not to rely on the ever effective Oceanic Trident Guard.
I also wanted to try out the Leviathan again, it had been locked in it's under water cage for too long. Likewise with the Octopus Giganteus.
I was expecting my opponent "J" to bring 3 Stegadons. I'm not sure why, in retrospect I think he may have "planted" this sublimally when my mental defences were relaxed at the end of our last game ;-)
As it happened, I was only going to face 1 Steg and I was confident that it wouldn't cause me too much trouble. The reptilian monstrosity would either be "pin cushioned" back to it's dinosaur ancestors by the tripoons or become a rare treat for my Leviathan's dinner.
It turned out that the Steg, which was an ancient, didn't cause too much trouble. The Engine of the Gods and it's skink chief were a bit of an irritation though.
I was reasonably happy with the setup. I outnumbered the Lizardmen and was fairly sure I'd have the chance to flank charge. I'd need it, his rank and file were a lot more powerful then mine.
I had set up the terrain and "J" had chosen the side with the hill... Grrr.... He didn't have any use for it but wanted to make sure my tripoons couldn't occupy it.
I think I may have made one error. The Leviathan was too far away from the main combat. That's the second time I've done that !
"J" thought I got the setup wrong with respect to my tripoons. He thought I should have split them and deployed one on each side of the battlefield.
On reflection "J" may have been right. My plan though was to deny the enemy the quarter that the tripoons were in and 'persuade' his forces to mainly deploy on the opposite flank. That way, I figured, I could deploy all of my rank and file forces on the non-tripoon flank to allow me more units in one place to outnumber and thus to flank charge. This ploy would also afford my Tripoons an unrestricted field of fire in front of them on the left flank.
I had a lot of units with the Creatures of the Shores rule in this game. So, the crabs, tide watchers, wave breakers and sandgangers all benefitted (or not !) by being deployed 6 inches further into the battlefield.
When introducing the Sea Creature Origins rule I had wondered if this extra 6 inches might prove unbalancing. But now I reconsider it, I don't think it's unbalancing at all. Sure, it will make the sandgangers more of a pain but the other units really need some backup in the form of more combat effective units. So deploying the Creatures of the Shore 6 inches in front of the main army could even be a drawback if they get isolated.
The battle got off to a bad start for the Nauticans. The Octopus Giganteus failed it's stupidity test and nestled itself into the ground to patiently await it's foe (which was not part of the plan !) Before any units even entered combat a Giant Crab was killed by the Cameleon skinks and, it's partner was so depressed at the loss of it's mate, it dug itself into the ground to await death and played no further part in the action.
Even worse... My Nautican General (a hero) failed a panic test and headed right back to the table edge, he almost fled off the battlefield !
The skink skirmishers also proved a pain in the Nautican's flank by picking off tide watcher after tide watcher (which carried on for much of the game).
On the left flank the Leviathan moved forward. The great sea monster was keen to get to grips with the enemy and I wanted to move him as far away from my tripoons as possible in case he failed his Instinctive Killer rules and attacked his own side !
The Lizardmen had smartly placed their Terradons and Razordons opposite the Leviathan. The terradons would be able to march block if they wanted and the razordons knew they would get a double shot on the Leviathan when it charged into combat. The double shot would be the Razordons best chance of getting woulds on the Leviathan, they wouldn't be able to do much damage to it in close combat with it's toughness of 6.
The Leviathan did take 3 wounds from the razor barbs although it soon wiped out the 3 razordons and handlers when they fleed. Honours were about even from their encounter although the Lizardmen were better off with the Leviathan now stuck in the middle of nowhere. Even the terradons had deserted that flank, flying off for a session of carpet bombing against the Interceptors.
In the middle of the field there was a wood, it was a pain in the fish tail (mammals and other land based beings should translate this accordingly).
I was fully expecting my enemy to deploy cameleon skinks in the wood but he declined that most obvious of choices. As a result my skirmishing Interceptors were wasted because I had planned to use them to "clear out" the pesky skinks from the wood.
The Interceptors did however see some combat and destroyed the Terradons after taking several casualties from rock bombing.
On the right flank things just went from bad to worse. There was little I could do against the Old Blood on Carnosaur with 5 Cold One riders. They just cut everything down in their path. The Oldblood was devastating.
The Octopus finally managed to make it into combat against the Stegadon Ancient ut with only a few sandgangers to keep it company it's fate was assured. It had already taken some wounds and quickly became in effective*
* the octopus starts with 8 str 5 attacks and 8 wounds but as it takes wounds it's number of attacks diminishes so an octopus with just 3 wounds will have only 3 attacks.
Well, I cannot recall a lot more other than the steady unrelenting whittling down of my army.
The unit of the game must be the cameleon skinks and the Oldblood on Carnosaur. They were well worth their points.
The Nautican Army as a whole was a disappointment. I really needed some more steadfast fighters like the Trident Guard. My experiment to try to beat my enemy without elite rank and file by simply outnumbering and flanking had failed dismally. The Nauticans simply were not resilient ebough.
There was one major mistake I made. I should have deployed a sand ganger missile shield. I actually lined them up adjacent to the other Nautican units with the Creatures of the Shores rule in the hope of getting in multiple flank charges.
Oh well, the Nauticans will be facing off against a 2250pts lizardmen army again soon so at least I will get another crack at them.
Better luck (and planning !) next time I hope.
Thanks for reading,