MSU in action! - 9th Age! New Battle Report!

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SmithF
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MSU in action! (2500 - pics) - Swecomp tourney report!

Postby SmithF » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:32 pm

*Comes out of his cave*
Hmm, it has been quite some time! I still owe you that Wood Elf vs HE game report, and it will be done in telegram fashion in a while. But the reason I'm resurrecting this threat is that a nice fellow going by the name of "Huntsmen" in these boards managed to stir my interest for Warhammer once more!

He organizes a tournament with Swedish Composition scoring (comp between 10 and 20, to be added to your overall score in the end) and an added twist: Mission "cards" that you choose to play (once each) before the deployment, giving you an objective:
- Hold the Line (prevent enemy scoring units from entering your deployment zone, bonus 750 points)
- Get their Colours (capture more banners than your opponent, +250 points per banner differential, up to 750)
- Breakthrough (Get scoring units into the enemy Deployment zone, +250 points per unit, up to 750)
- King of the Hill (3 objectives on the table, +250 points for controlling an objective)
- Land Control (table quarters, get +250 points for having more scoring units in each, up to 750)
- Survivors (have more scoring units at the end of the game than your opponent, +250 per unit differential, up to 750)

*Scoring units = non-fleeing units with banner and a full rank of 5+ (3+ for monstrous infantry/cavalry).

So objectives is the name of the game, meaning that my usual Wood Elves wouldn't fare that well in that setting! After a bit of thought, I settled for the next best thing, going for a mixed arms High Elf army approach. (any similarities with Mr. Swordmaster's list are purely coincidental, I assure you!)

High Elves (12.7)
Lords/Heroes:
- Loremaster, Sword of Might, Shield of the Merwyrm, Book of Hoeth
- Noble BSB, Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Enchanted Shield, Dawn Stone, Potion of Strength, Lance

Core:
- 14 Archers, Standard, Musician
- 14 Archers, Standard, Musician
- 9 Silverhelms, Shields, Standard, Musician
- 5 Ellyrian Reavers

Special:
- 8 Dragon Princes, Full Command, Banner of Swiftness
- 19 Phoenix Guard, Full Command, Razor Standard
- 15 White Lions, Standard, Musician, Gleaming Pendant
- 18 Swordmasters of Hoeth, Full Command, Banner of Discipline

Rare:
Great Eagle
Great Eagle
RBT
RBT


I opted for a lot of scoring units, but at mid-large quantities, to get some durability out of them. By keeping the characters relatively cheap I did manage to get one each of Swordmasters, White Lions, Dragon Princes and Phoenix Guard, so I'm quite happy about that!

The list is a departure from the usual MSU antics, in that it has some units that can hold their own without a lot of support, at least for a turn. Also, I did cheese out by including the Book of Hoeth, guilty as charged (and blame Squigkikka, he said it was ok!)

So stay tuned, reports coming at you real soon!

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MSU in action! (2500 - pics) - Swecomp tourney report! Game

Postby SmithF » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:36 pm

GAME 1 – High Elves vs Dark Elves

For the first game I was called upon to play against Harkonnen, a very friendly Dutch fellow. He brought an interesting mix of Khainite dark elves, with a good balance of combat, shooting and magic.
His list was as follows:

Dark Elves (14.1)

Heroes/Lords:
Supreme Sorceress - Lvl3 (Death), Dark Steed, Cloak of Twlight, Scroll of Shielding, Obsidian Trinket
Death Hag - BSB, Cauldron of Blood, Banner of Swiftness
Sorcerer - Lvl2(Dark), Tome of Furion

Core:
6 Dark Riders - shields, Rxbs, mus
6 Dark Riders - shields, Rxbs, mus
12 Corsairs - handbows, mus
23 Witch Elves - full command, Razor Standard

Special:
9 Shades - 2hws
12 Executioners - standard, musician
12 Executioners - standard, musician
6 Cold One Knights- standard, champ
6 Cold One Knights- standard, champ
2x Repeater Bolt Throwers


From the get-go I was a bit sad I wouldn’t get to strike first and reroll with all my troops, not to mention getting a bit worried about all the AP shots coming my way! But I figured that his troops are about as squishy as mine, and the Loremaster’s magic missiles would help me whittle his soft units up.
For my mission I picked «Hold the Line» for fluff reasons (High Elves defending their homeland against Naggarothi invaders) but also because it would hopefully force the Dark Elves to come to me. My opponent picked «capture their colours», meaning that he had to capture banners in the usual way (by wiping out units or making them flee from close combat).
The dark elf supreme sorceress got Spirit Leech, Soulblight and Purple Sun (bad roll, didn’t get any of the other 2 snipes and had to swap the aspect of the dreadknight). The other sorceress opted for Doombolt and Word of Pain.

I unfortunately don’t have any pictures of the pre-game, but it involved me practically deploying my entire army in cover, in anticipation of the enemy shooting. It worked pretty well, with both my cavalry units in the far right flank and out of RBT range, the Swordmasters shielded by a hill and my shooting battery in long range and within a forest. The witch elves were deployed centrally and opposite my shooting, with Phoenix Guard and Swordmasters threatening their flanks. (see turn 1 pic, will help)

TURN 1 - DE
Harkonnen won the roll off for the first turn and he lost no time, surging forward with the Witch Elves. The left flank (Shades, Dark Riders, Supreme Sorceress) performed an envelopping maneuver staying out of the Swordmasters’ arc of sight. On the right, the Cold Ones and Dark Riders advanced a bit, tempting an early HE cavalry charge.

Magic saw a Word of Pain cast on the rightmost archers, lowering their BS to 1, while a Spirit Leech on the left eagle failed to wound. Shooting was unimpressive: The shades and Dark Riders only managed 2 wounds on the eagle! The RBT focused on the white lions, dropping two of them.

Image

TURN 1 – HE
The High Elves responded with the entire right flank swerving to threaten the advance of the witch elves and executioners while the Silver Helms blocked the advance of the fast cavalry and of the Cold One Riders. On the left flank the eagles surged forward, one to threaten the RBT and the other to tempt a Witch Elf charge right into the clutches of the Swordmasters and Phoenix Guard.

The Loremaster’s attempt to out-magick the Supreme Sorceress were not very successful, despite the Book of Hoeth: Only a miasma went through on the Shades, lowering their BS by one. Shooting dropped 3 witch elves, 3 Dark Riders from the left unit (passed panic) and another one from the rightmost unit.

Image

TURN 2 – DE
No charges from the Dark Elves, with the Witch Elves passing their frenzy check and swift reforming towards my right flank. The depleted dark riders moved into position to charge the RBT next turn, while the Shades took cover behind the hill once more. Both Cold One units shuffled into position to prevent the advance of the White Lions and the Swordmasters respectively. Finally, the corsairs and the executioners converged on the right flank, which was starting to look a bit too weighed for the High Elves’ taste.

Shooting dropped a Silver Helm and both Eagles, and magic was largely ineffective (low roll for Winds of Magic and a failed Doombolt on the White lions).

Image

TURN 2 – HE
Here I was faced with a big dilemma: my redirectors were gone, and the witch elves had already gotten very close to my line and within charge range of very juicy targets. So I figured that the best course of action was to charge with my Phoenix Guard and Swordmasters into the Witch Elf block and rely on the Loremaster’s magic to shift the balance to my advantage. The Silverhelms made the Dark Riders flee, and the Reavers rear charged the small Dark Riders behind my lines. They made it in, and so did the Phoenix guard. Unfortunately for the HE, the Swordmasters fell short (they needed an 8) and so the PG were left fighting in an even fight (never a good idea, with a couple of very angry-looking executioner units bearing down on you).

I then had the idea of using the White Lions to block the corsairs (and so avoid the next turn’s executioner flank charge), but for some reason I didn’t implement it as I had wanted to (probably due to my trying to avoid a flank charge from the cold ones). Oh, well!

Magic was focused on the combat: A miasma lowered the Witch Elves’ WS by 2, while a Blizzard on the same unit was stopped. Finally, the Wildform was cast irresistibly, much to the dismay of my opponent!
Shooting targets were now scarce due to the big combat, but the shooting battery still managed to kill a Cold One knight on the left unit and drop an executioner.

In combat, the Reavers killed the Dark Riders and overran out of the table. In the main combat things went badly: the witch Elves managed to kill 6 Phoenix Guard even though they were hitting on 5’s and wounding vs T4 (abysmall rolls for ward saves!) while in return the 5+ ward of the witches was stellar: In the end, only 3 witch elves and the Hag BSB lied dead. This meant that the Phoenix Guard actually lost combat by 1, but held their ground. So much for the plan of stripping the Frenzy off the witch elves!

Image

TURN 3 – DE
Harkonnen saw the opportunity and grabbed it: The Corsairs charged into the White Lions, opening the way for the executioners to flank charge right into the Phoenix Guard and in contact with my BSB! The rest of the army maneuvered (see pic), save for the rightmost Cold Ones which stumbled forward after a failed stupidity test.

Magic was largely shut down again (bad rolls for winds of magic and Book of Hoeth giving me a cheeky dispel against Soulblight), and the entire DE shooting was focused on the Swordmasters, dropping 6 of them despite their arrow-hacking antics.

Combat was heart-wrenching for the defenders of Ulthuan: The corsairs dropped 4 White Lions and only suffered three casualties back, but the Hunters held their ground.
In the main event, the Noble BSB hacked two executioners before his head was severed by a Killing Blow. The witch elves focused on the Phoenix Guard and once more they performed better than I had expected, dealing 9 wounds out of which I only managed to save two with my ward save! (that’s 2/15 ward saves passed!) In return, they only dealt 5 wounds on the Witch Elves, meaning the Phoenix Guard needed to pass a Break Test on Ld 3 with no reroll...



They proceeded to roll a 1 and a 2 and carried on hacking and failing Ward Saves like there was no tomorrow!! This stroke of luck gave the High Elves hope, when all was almost lost!

Image

TURN 3 – HE
That was all the invitation the High Elves needed to crash the DE party: the Dragon Princes smashed into the Executioners and the Swordmasters flank charged the Witch Elves. The Silver Helms charged the Dark Riders right in front of them, who had to hold in order to protect the Cold Ones right behind.

Magic once more focused on the Witch Elf combat: Blizzard was dispelled, and Miasma once more lowered the witch elf WS, this time to a 1. The Wildform was once more cast, this time on the Swordmasters.
Shooting dropped three Cold One knights from the left unit.

In combat, the White lions fared a lot better this time against the corsairs, winning the combat and running them down, but missing the executioners by a couple of inches. The Silver helms wiped out the Dark Riders and reformed.

In the central combat the Dragon Princes struck swiftly and wiped out all 9 executioners, while the rest of the attacks were relatively disappointing, only killing 3 Witch Elves. The latter carried on their streak, killing the Loremaster and another 4 Phoenix Guard ( I stopped counting the failed ward saves!). However, the dragon princes’ contribution meant that the Witches needed snake eyes to hold their ground...



Turns out, luck is fickle, and Harkonnen proceeded to roll double ones and keep his main unit in the game!
Image

TURN 4 – DE
The two Cold Ones on the left charged the closest archers, who fled, then fell into the Reavers, while the other unit of Knights fell into the Silver Helms. The remaining executioners attempted to swift reform but failed.

In the magic phase the absence of the Loremaster was felt, with a Doom Bolt dropping three Dragon Princes. The shooting dropped a couple of White Lions despite their cloak protection.

In combat the Witch Elves finally ran out of steam, fluffing their attacks. The retaliation from the swordmasters and remaining PG forced them to flee, bringing them close to the table edge with half the HE army in close pursuit. The Reavers fled out of the table and cold ones followed, while the Silver Helms were crushed, with only the musician surviving to flee towards the High Elf deployment.

TURN 4 – HE
After forcing the Witch Elves (and cauldron) to flee out of table, the PG, Dragon Princes and White Lions all fell into the executioners (and sorceress) inside the woods. The resulting combat saw the executioners flee and get cut down, but left all three HE units in very bad positions: close to the Cold One cavalry and with 2 RBT ready to shoot.

On a high note, the archers and RBT killed 4 shades and forced the survivors to flee after a failed panic.

Image

TURN 5 - DE
The Cold One knights on the right first forced the White Lions out the table (couldn’t risk them overrunning into the DP) and then forced also the Swordmasters to flee (too uneven a combat for my liking). The Shades rallied, and the Supreme Sorceress moved up to line up a purple sun across my archers and rbt.

And she managed to cast it and drop my RBT and 3 or so archers in it, suffering a wound from a miscast in the process. Shooting finished off the Phoenix Guard.

TURN 5 – HE
After the big point boost that was the Witch Elf massacre, I was bleeding points at an alarming rate! The Silver helms failed to rally and fled off the table, panicking the RBT and preventing it from shooting down the Cold Ones’ flank. The Swordmasters rallied, and the DP failed their swift reform and became sitting ducks for the aforementioned Cold One Knights.

In a desperate move, the two archer units moved to face the Supreme Sorceress, and opened fire. Five wounds were scored (go HE sharp shooters!) and after all saves, 2 went through the 3+ ward save, killing the (already wounded from the miscast last turn) Dark Elf General!

Image

TURN 6
The last turn saw the Cold Ones charge and finish off the Dragon Princes (that’s what you get for failing that reform, guys!) and the RBT didn’t manage to kill all Swordmasters. In retaliation, the archers and RBT killed off the last 2 Cold One Knights from the leftmost unit, fulfilling my mission to “Hold the Line” against the Dark Elf invader!

Image


HE Victory Points: 2223 (+750 from mission) = 2973
DE Victory Points: 2056

Victory for the High Elves!

AFTERMATH
Like almost all reenactments of the Sundering, this has been a bloody affair! Dice were not very kind to either of us at times, with the highlights being the resolute stand of the Phoenix Guard against the Executioners and the Witch Elves, only to be repaid in kind by the Witch Elves with an Insane Courage! A close second was the citizen levy killing the cocky Supreme Sorceress in spite of that cursed 3++ ward save. Who needs waywatchers when you’ve got these guys!

Harkonnen was a great opponent, playing a tight but fun game with a list that’s quite refreshing and very close to what I’d play if I had Dark Elves. In the end, it came down to the missions, with the Dark Elf units failing to get more banners than the High Elves, and also staying out of the enemy deployment zone (granting me 750 points according to tournament rules!).

I must admit that the Loremaster had a great impact on the game, with his hexes and augments keeping the elves in the fight even when things were looking bleak! One could argue that the Phoenix Guard charge against the Witch Elves was reckless, but I couldn’t see what else I could do to keep them in check. In the end, it all worked out I guess…

Stay tuned for the second battle report, this time against Nurgle Warriors of Chaos!

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Re: MSU in action! (2500 - pics) - Swecomp tourney report!

Postby SmithF » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:04 am

Just a heads up, I finished the Wood Elf vs High Elf report from 6 months back, you can find it HERE.

As always, comments and criticism are more than welcome!

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Re: MSU in action! (2500 - pics) - Swecomp tourney report!

Postby Swordmaster » Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:55 am

Hello Mr. Smith!

It is fantastic news to see that you are back to reporting! I have only browsed through both reports and I will do my best to add some more comments later on. But just wanted to say it is good to have you back and hopefully there will be more regular updates in the near future.

Cheers!
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Re: MSU in action! (2500 - pics) - Swecomp tourney report!

Postby Ungrik » Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:56 pm

Great report!

Where was this tournament? Sounds great!
Cheers, Lars

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Re: MSU in action! (2500 - pics) - Swecomp tourney report!

Postby 41spoons » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:50 pm

Made an account just to follow these reports! You and Swordmaster are the inspiration for me to give Dark Elves MSU a try. Looking forward to more reports, Mr. Smith!

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Re: MSU in action! (2500 - pics) - Swecomp tourney report!

Postby Razon » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:58 pm

Great to hear you are back to playing and reporting your games!
Really looking forward to these reports. :)
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Re: MSU in action! (2500 - pics) - Swecomp tourney report!

Postby SmithF » Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:24 pm

41spoons wrote:Made an account just to follow these reports! You and Swordmaster are the inspiration for me to give Dark Elves MSU a try. Looking forward to more reports, Mr. Smith!


Welcome to TWF, that is high praise indeed! Hope we can keep up the reports! (though only time can tell, given the current changes in Fantasy)

Ungrik wrote:Great report!

Where was this tournament? Sounds great!


Hey mate, it's an online tourney organized by Huntsmen. The scenarios are devised by Gatti, who also posts on this forum. For more info, drop me a PM ;)

@ Razon, Swordmaster:
Good to be back, the scenarios were so good (and succeeded in regulating army composition) that I couldn't say no! Hope we can get a game in soon, although I'm so rusty I will probably won't be a very challenging opponent! :D

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Re: MSU in action! (2500 - pics) - Swecomp tourney report!

Postby Swordmaster » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:31 am

Hello Mr. Smith,

I wonder what happened to the usually very active and responsive TWF community. I thought I will have hardly anything to add after so long since you have posted your most recent report. Is it yet another effect of End Times?

The description of the tournament shows it is a very interesting idea and I applaud Mr. Huntsmen for stepping in and organizing it. I know it is a lot of hard work for the organizer. He is the last one to have fun and the first one to contact when there is some issue to solve.

It is a very interesting concept when players choose their objectives which are also different in the same game. I think it spices up the game as there are different goals to achieve. First, you have guess what is the objective for your opponent. Then how to combine your plan so that it allows you to accomplish yours while you can disrupt the opponent's. That has a potential to create a completely different dynamic in the game!

I was interested to see how your list is going to perform because you moved away from MSU concept a little and included medium size regiments. That means they can handle things by themselves sometimes but also that you would probably be more reluctant to set usual traps which may often include a bait.

The only thing I am "disappointed" about is Book of Hoeth, you should not listen to Squigkikka, he is slowly turning towards the dark side and already is preaching horrible things with the zeal of a newly converted fanatic! :-P

I like the fact you got DE as the opposing army. That always ensures a bloody encounter! And definitely fits End Times theme. :)

Harkonnen's list looks great and seems to be tailored for combat. It is also a very intriguing match up as each unit in respective armies has some favorite targets and proper counters. How both players are going to try and match them accordingly will be very interesting and entertaining!

I have a question about the deployment. You seem to arrange units in some kind of refused flank as majority of your hard hitters were on your flank with only Swordmasters guarding the opposite side. Do you think, also after the game, that it would be a better idea to have Lions there instead? They had gleaming pennant that makes them a little bit more stable than Ld9 unit but without re-rolls. Also, their lion cloaks could help them to survive a little more of potential shooting.

In turn 1 you sacrificed the eagle by landing in front of WE. I wonder if you could set up a potential double flee with reavers if they moved to the center instead. Of course that means they can be shot at instead but I wonder if you considered that option. On the other hand, maybe it was a little too early to commit the eagle? If you kept it and reavers more in the center behind the trees you could have jumped out next turn and block WE more efficiently. Or were you concerned with a possibility of long charge by that unit?

It was already an interesting situation with PG charging to the front of WE and Swordmasters attempting the flank charge. I think that would have made the combat even more bloody. WE hit first, with the re-rolls so I expect a lot of warriors of Hoeth dead. Would they make up for it with their remaining attacks?

I am surprised Harkonnen didn't try flank charging Swordmasters with Cold Ones. They are superior (as hard as it pains me to admit!) and you would probably have to flee from that attack.

All was decided in one multi-combat and the fact that it involved a few turns as well as more units escalating the conflict only added to the drama unfolding. It is hilarious how sometimes dice alter the game but these make for such a great story!

It was also interesting to see that the objectives made all the difference between a draw (or small victory) and a big win for HE. I guess the idea works perfectly then!

My last question is how do you find playing with fewer units (although not that few to be honest) but stronger in numbers? How did it change (if it did?) your approach to the game and decisions on how to use particular units?

Thanks again for a great report, to both of you for taking time to play that exciting game and I am looking forward to reading more about the events in that exciting tournament!

Cheers!
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Re: MSU in action! (2500 - pics) - Swecomp tourney report!

Postby Kanadian » Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:27 am

Nice to see you back Smith :), just returning my self. Should make some more time to analyze and get a few of my own in, nice to see you didn't loose your touch ;).
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MSU in action! - 9th Age playtesting WE vs HE

Postby SmithF » Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:16 am

Greetings and salutations kind readers.
So, the End Times have come and gone and Warhammer is no more...

Or is it? With all the community efforts to improve the (already pretty decent) 8th edition that GW has left us with, I doubt that WHFB will be going anywhere anytime soon.

One such effort is the 9th Age, created by several of the Swecomp lads in collaboration with some of the ETC rulesmakers. (you can find the Alpha version of their rules in the 9th Age subforum).

I decided to help out by doing two things:
i) Playtest their rules and give feedback
ii) Spread the word about this wonderful new version of Warhammer.

And what better way to accomplish both than writing up some reports with the new rules?

Looking at the rules changes, the most important ones in my mind are:
- Spears: they now give KB against cavalry/monstrous cav. when engaged to the front; a good change and pretty representative of what spears did in classical warfare.
- Lores of Magic: reworked, with new spells replacing old and never used ones, and 6th spells slightly toned down (more on this later)
- Magic System: Miscast table reworked, the results vary based on how many dice were used to cast. Irresistible force now adds a big bonus to the casting roll, but can still be dispelled. Maximum casting dice = 5.
- Fast cavalry: units were split in pure fast cavalry that can vanguard (such as Reavers, Pistoliers, Spider Riders and the such) and Light Troops that retain the old fast cavalry rules in terms of movement/reforms but not the feigned flight or the vanguard option (such as Wild Riders, Warlocks, Pegasus Knights).
- Parry save: this was upped to 5+ in an effort to increase the use and survivability of Sword and Board infantry; a good change, if you ask me, and another reason to try and flank these infantry blocks!
- Marks of Chaos were also changed, mainly Nurgle (now forces rerolls on 6's to hit, making it better against poison but worse against regular attacks) and Tzeentch (the 6+ ward doesn't stack, but comes with a built-in re-roll 1's mechanism)
- Killing Blow: works on everything, but now only causes a single wound without armour saves on any unit type that was previously immune to it; infantry and cavalry now get D3 wounds instead of getting instantly killed. Good change, my wardancers are happy! (and better all-around troops now)

Other notable changes are slight points tweaks and nerfing of the worst offenders (Banner of The World Dragon, Chalice of Darkness, Storm Banner and the such) and a brand new Army Book for Beastmen!

My opponent for the first game of 9th Age was a member of this forum, ArchangelusM (also known as Ljinxphoenix), a Croatian ETC veteran. We decided to play a 2500 Battleline game, with no additional composition rules whatsoever.

Wood Elves 2500 points

Heroes:
Treeman Ancient, Lvl3, Lore of Life: Master of Stone (D6/2D6 s4 magic missile in proximity from hill terrain), Flesh to Stone, Dwellers Below (Same as before, only it comes with a built-in protection clause for the first model to fail the S test)

Spellweaver, Lvl4, Feedback Scroll*, Lore of Beasts: Wyssan's Wildform, The Wolf Hunts (permanent +1 movement and swiftstride), Curse of Aranheir, Transformation of Kadon (now is a mix between savage beast of horros and the old transformation - it gives the choice of several boosts for a target single model, more on that later on)
Core:
20 Eternal Guard, Full Command, Gleaming Pendant
10 Dryads, Skirmish (in 9th Age the Dryads regained their Skirmish status, all forest spirits got 5+ ward and the Treekin got back their S5 at last!)10 Dryads, Skirmish
5 Glade Riders
5 Glade Riders

Special:
18 Wildwood Rangers, Standard, Musician, Banner of Swiftness
5 Wild Riders, Shields
5 Wild Riders, Shields
5 Treekin, Champion
7 Wardancers
7 Wardancers

Rare:
Treeman
Great Eagle

* The feedback scroll now forces a roll on the miscast table, instead of its old rules. By using it one forgoes the chance of dispelling the spell.



Wanting to test the changes, I went for a list that was based on my regular Wood Elves, but with the addition of Treekin,Eternal Guard and skirmishing Dryads. I had to cut points from somewhere to afford these units, and the obvious choice was the Glade Guard (gasp!).

So I ended up with the equivalent of a Khorne Wood Elf list: no shooting, all combat!

High Elves 2500 points

Heroes:
Annointed of Asuryan, Giant Blade, Enchanted Shield, OTS
Archmage, lvl4, Book of Hoeth, Gem of Sunfire, Lore of Fire: Fireball, Flaming Sword (can now be cast as an AoE for 14+ or so), Piercing Bolts of burning (mage now chooses to deal damage according to number of ranks OR number of files the unit has, whichever is more numerous), Flaming Cage

Lothern Sea Helm, BSB, Sword of Might, Armour of Silvered Steel (its point cost was lowered), Luckstone
Mage, lvl2, Feedback Scroll, Lore of Fire: Fireball, Cascading Fire (D6 s4 hits on unit at the end of each magic phase, RiP)
Core:
15 Archers, musician
15 Archers, musician
5 Silver Helms, Shields, Standard, Musician
5 Reavers, Bows
5 Reavers, Bows

Special:
21 Phoenix Guard, Full Command, Banner of Swiftness
15 White Lions, Full Command, Banner of the World Dragon (now gives a 3+ Ward Save vs magic/magical attacks instead of a 2+)
Rare:
3x Repeater Bolt Thrower
5 Sisters of Avelorn
5 Sisters of Avelorn


My opponent, being much more reasonable than yours truly, opted for a balanced force based around a big PG block bolstered by the Annointed and a Lothern Sea Helm, just to make flanking all the more difficult!

With the changes in the Lore of Fire, I was looking at quite a few magic missiles coming the way of T3 wood Elves and their flammable (yet durable) companions. Add to that a healthy amount of shooting and you've got a challenging opposition to say the least!

Report to come soon, for the time being feel free to post comments on the lists/changes and your speculations about the outcome!

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Re: MSU in action! - 9th Age Playtesting. WE vs HE (intro)

Postby Swordmaster » Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:47 pm

Hello Mr. Smith!

I must admit I lost hope to see you reporting again so you can imagine how happy I am to see that intro to some great quality battle. 9th Age looks like a great initiative and I keep fingers crossed it will take off nicely.

It is a very good approach to play games and provide the feedback in the form of reports (and probably with some additional musings based on the game just played). I am looking forward to whatever you have in store for us.

I have noticed that you replaced one unit of Rangers with Eternal Guard so I am very curious about the exploits with this great regiment. I am sure Spears + Killing Blow is one of the reasons you are taking them. :)

9th Age games are also on my list so hopefully I will also be able to follow your example and provide some reports as feedback.

Cheers!
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Re: MSU in action! - 9th Age Playtesting. WE vs HE

Postby SmithF » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:15 pm

My opponent for the first game of 9th Age was a member of this forum, ArchangelusM (also known as Ljinxphoenix), a Croatian ETC veteran. We decided to play a 2500 Battleline game, with no additional composition rules whatsoever.

NOTE: All rules changes/9th Age additions are highlighted in BLUE to make it easier to follow and appreciate the changes.

Wood Elves 2500 points

Heroes:
Treeman Ancient, Lvl3, Lore of Life: Master of Stone (D6/2D6 s4 magic missile in proximity from hill terrain), Flesh to Stone, Dwellers Below (Same as before, only it comes with a built-in protection clause for the first model to fail the S test)

Spellweaver, Lvl4, Feedback Scroll*, Lore of Beasts: Wyssan's Wildform, The Wolf Hunts (permanent +1 movement and swiftstride), Curse of Aranheir, Transformation of Kadon (now is a mix between savage beast of horros and the old transformation - it gives the choice of several boosts for a target single model, more on that later on)

Core:
20 Eternal Guard, Full Command, Gleaming Pendant
10 Dryads, Skirmish (in 9th Age the Dryads regained their Skirmish status, all forest spirits got 5+ ward and the Treekin got back their S5 at last!)
10 Dryads, Skirmish
5 Glade Riders
5 Glade Riders

Special:
18 Wildwood Rangers, Standard, Musician, Banner of Swiftness
5 Wild Riders, Shields
5 Wild Riders, Shields
5 Treekin, Champion
7 Wardancers
7 Wardancers

Rare:
Treeman
Great Eagle

* The feedback scroll now forces a roll on the miscast table, instead of its old rules. By using it one forgoes the chance of dispelling the spell.




Wanting to test the changes, I went for a list that was based on my regular Wood Elves, but with the addition of Treekin,Eternal Guard and skirmishing Dryads. I had to cut points from somewhere to afford these units, and the obvious choice was the Glade Guard (gasp!).

So I ended up with the equivalent of a Khorne Wood Elf list: no shooting, all combat!

High Elves 2500 points

Heroes:
Annointed of Asuryan, Giant Blade, Enchanted Shield, OTS
Archmage, lvl4, Book of Hoeth, Gem of Sunfire, Lore of Fire: Fireball, Flaming Sword (can now be cast as an AoE for 14+ or so), Piercing Bolts of burning (mage now chooses to deal damage according to number of ranks OR number of files the unit has, whichever is more numerous), Flaming Cage

Lothern Sea Helm, BSB, Sword of Might, Armour of Silvered Steel (its point cost was lowered), Luckstone
Mage, lvl2, Feedback Scroll, Lore of Fire: Fireball, Cascading Fire (D6 s4 hits on unit at the end of each magic phase, RiP)

Core:
15 Archers, musician
15 Archers, musician
5 Silver Helms, Shields, Standard, Musician
5 Reavers, Bows
5 Reavers, Bows

Special:
18 Phoenix Guard, Full Command, Banner of Swiftness
15 White Lions, Full Command, Banner of the World Dragon (now gives a 3+ Ward Save vs magic/magical attacks instead of a 2+)

Rare:
3x Repeater Bolt Thrower
5 Sisters of Avelorn
5 Sisters of Avelorn


My opponent, being much more reasonable than yours truly, opted for a balanced force based around a big PG block bolstered by the Annointed and a Lothern Sea Helm, just to make flanking all the more difficult!

With the changes in the Lore of Fire, I was looking at quite a few magic missiles coming the way of T3 wood Elves and their flammable (yet durable) companions. Add to that a healthy amount of shooting and you've got a challenging opposition to say the least!

Nobody’s perfect in this life, so I forgot to take pictures until Jinxy had finished his first turn. So we’ll start from the assumption that we deployed, the wood elves taking cover behind the hill in anticipation of going second, and then my opponent won the roll off and he did stuff during his turn:

TURN 1 - High Elves

(From left to right: dryads, wild riders, dryads, Eternal Guard, Wardancers x2, Treeman Ancient, Great Eagle, Glade Riders, Treekin, Treeman, Wildwood Rangers, Wild Riders)
Image
(From left to right: Glade Riders (ignore, they are ambushing), Archers, RBT, 2x Sisters, Reavers, Phoenix Guard, Reavers, RBT, Archers, Silver Helms, White lions, RBT)

What happened in this turn is a bit of cautious advancing (Jinxy knew he had the upper hand in the ranged fight, no reason to advance more than a bit).

In the magic phase the Archmage got IF on two dice while casting Fireball on my Wild Riders in the middle. The new miscast table meant that even though he rolled the result where he’d have lost magic levels, given that he had only used 2 dice he only lost 2 dice and no levels (the formula being that you lose levels equal to the Power Dice used minus 2) Thankfully, the Wild Riders saved most of the damage and only lost one of their number.

Shooting dropped another 2 of them, while a well-aimed RBT shot dealt two wounds on the Treeman and the archers on the left claimed a single dryad, despite needing 7’s to hit.

Image

TURN 1 – Wood Elves

I haven’t got a picture from this turn (or the next, for what it’s worth). But the general idea was going forward full throttle, especiall on the flanks. In the right flank the Wildwood Rangers dared the White lions to charge them inside the forest (18 attacks and reroll 1’s is nothing to sniff at). It’s worth noting that with the 9th age rules Strider units don’t lose their Steadfast status in the relevant terrain, so the woods are the place they want to be! Wild Riders stayed behind in countercharge duty if need be.

In magic I got 7 dice and looking at the possibilities I saw that Phoenix Guard unit with 4 character in it. Cue a 5-dice Dwellers Below, cast with Irresistible Force (which in reality gave it a boost of 5 (dice used) +D3).

And then Jinxy pulled an ace from his sleeve: Feedback Scroll, he said! The spell was cast, healing the regular Treeman in the process. The Archmage failed his Strength test, but since he was the first model passing a test, he could ignore the failure. The Lothern Seahelm BSB was less fortunate and perished to the attack of the dead. ( or whatever the Dwellers below are) Five Phoenix Guard joined him, after some good rolls from my opponent.

And then came the miscasts: I had to roll twice on the table, once I lost 3 levels and the second one disaster struck! Dimensional cascade, which is now harsher when it comes to reckless wizards casting with 5 dice; The Treeman died automatically (that’s right, no roll needed) and any dice left were drained away.

TURN 2 – High Elves
No photos here, either (surprise!), but the general idea was to hold the ground and shoot as much as possible at the incoming units. The Silver Helms pulled off a maneuver that allowed them to evade both the Rangers and the Wild Riders and threaten my backfield.

Magic saw the casting of fireball yet again, this time on one of the dryad units getting dangerously close to the bowline on the left: two fell to the flames (their new 5+ ward saved two more) and the lore attribute (now allowing do cause d3 s4 hits within 24’’ like a hex) killed another one. The Archmage then cast Flaming Sword on the archers directly opposite the surviving treeman, and I failed to dispel it!

The boosted archers turned their sights to the treeman and let loose, but they failed abysmally! Only two shots wounded and these were saved by the 3+ armour save. The rest of the shooting dropped two dryads more (one from each unit) and brought the Wild Riders on the right down to one survivor. The Treeman warded an incoming bolt thrower shot and evaded a second one.

TURN 2 – Wood Elves

Some early charges to declare here: The dryads each spotted a unit of Sisters of Avelorn and proceeded to charge. The left unit fled while the right one held. Little did it matter, though, as both units managed to roll the required 10+ to make contact! Unfortunately for me, the victorious dryads failed their Ld to reform on the spot, meaning that they left their flank open to a countercharge next turn. On the right flank the Wildwood Rangers threw all caution to the wind and charged the White lions, now unsupported by the Silver helms. Their banner of swiftness helped accomplish that charge, making it a good buy!

Remaining moves saw the wood elves in the middle close in for a turn 3 charge, with 7-wide wardancers threatening the phoenix guard should they get the idea to charge. The Eagle blocked the Silver helms, with the lone wild rider threatening to countercharge. The ambushing Glade riders arrived to put the pressure on the leftmost shooting battery.

Magic was completely shut down, I was trying to put the Wolf Hunts on the Treekin to give them Swiftstride and movement 6 but my opponent knew better than to let this through! Shooting killed a single Reaver on the left.

In combat the dryads and sisters fought to a stalemate, while the White Lions chopped down 7 of the Rangers for just three casualties back! This meant the WWR lost the fight by 3, but they valiantly held and fought on!

Image

TURN 3 - High Elves

The Archers on the left took the opportunity and flanked the big dryad unit, while reavers moved to intercept the Glade Guard and to block next turn’s charge from the Treekin/Treeman/Wardancers. The Phoenix Guard performed a swift reform and backed away from the incoming trees. Finally, the silverhelms charged the eagle.
Magic was focused on my wizard’s wardancer bunker: I stopped one fireball, but had to let go the second one, which killed 5 wardancers. Finally, the Cascading fire was stopped.

Shooting dropped one glade rider, one Wild Rider to the right and put two wounds on the Treeman. The RBT on the hill targetted the mage’s bunker (now comprised of himself and a wardancer bodyguard), and managed to wound the mage once.

Combat kicked off with the Archers beating the dryads but not pursuing for fear of a next turn Eternal Guard charge. The Sisters/Dryads combat raged on, only two sisters remaining now. The Silverhelms easily dispatched the Eagle and reformed to face the incoming Wild Rider. Finally, the White Lions fluffed their attacks and only killed two Wildwood rangers, suffering 3 wounds back. This meant the Rangers won combat by 1, and my opponent helped them out by failing his Ld8 Stubborn test and fleeing. The lions were caught by the rangers’ pursuit, which brought the latter close to the RBT.

Image

TURN 3 – Wood Elves

The Treeman, Treekin and Wardancers charged the Reaver Screen, the Glade Riders on the left went into the second Reaver unit and their counterparts on the right charged the nearby archers to allow for a Treeman overrun into combat. The lone wild rider also charged, into the Silver Helms. (I had a plan!) The victorious rangers fell into the RBT and the fleeing Dryads rallied.

My plan was revealed in the magic phase: the idea was to use the beast spells to bolster that lone wild rider to Daemon Prince status! The new Beasts attribute allows to give a single model (not necessarily a character) +1 attack or +1 strength. Combined with Wildform and/or transformation of Kadon (which could give for example +3 strength and a 4+ scaly skin, or +2 attacks and Regeneration, or even a S4 Breath Weapon) that lone wild Rider would be a formidable adversary.

Alas, it was not to be as the Archmage more than matched my Spellweaver’s spell casting (bad dice here, and the Book Of Hoeth saving the day!)

The Rangers dispatched the RBT, dryads kept hacking at the Sisters (one left now!) and the Glade Riders on the left failed horribly and got two of their own killed in the process, although they held their ground at least.
The combined tree charge dealt with the Reaver screen, which allowed the treeman to overrun into the engaged Archers’ flank. 8 of these fell, but they held due to steadfast. The Wild Rider fluffed his attacks against the Silver helms and died killed by a horse’s hoof. That’s what you get for underperforming!

Image

TURN 4 – High Elves

The Asur went on the offensive: phoenix guard crushed into the dryads right in front of them, the archers on the left charged into the dryad/sister combat and the silver helms attempted a charge into the Wardancer screen, but failed.

Since now most of the Fire magic spells are either direct damage of Hexes, the Archmage had spells to cast: The Flame cage vs the Eternal Guard was dispelled, but this left me without any dice to dispel the Cascading fire on the Wardancer/Spellweaver duo hiding behind the hill. I used my Feedback scroll instead, but the resulting explosion was less impressive thant the one my Treeman Ancient managed: Three PG fell, along with a couple of dryads and a wound on the offending mage. The cascading fire put a wound on the spellweaver, but left the wardancer bodyguard unscathed!

With everything engaged in combat, the only shooting was the two RBT that targetted my remaining wild Rider unit: this proved to be quite effective, leaving just one rider alive.

Combat was swift: Rangers killed the RBT, Treeman and GR killed the remaining archers and reformed, while the phoenix guard and the flanking archers made short work of their dryad adversaries respectively. However, this left the archers exposed to the Eternal guard’s countercharge since the lone sister was blocking their overrun. The victorious phoenix guard reformed 4-wide, in order to push the Mages into the second rank and away from Wardancer blades.

The underwhelming performance of the Glade Riders continued, the fight being a stalemate after one rider fell from each unit.

Image

TURN 4 – Wood Elves

Treeman charged the Silverhelms, who elected to flee. The glade riders attempted then to push them off the table, a task which they failed by a mere inch! The treekin and lone WR charged the middle RBT and the Eternal Guard went for the archer unit stranded right in front of them. Finally, the Wardancers parked in front of the Phoenix guard and dared them to charge them next turn.

Magic was yet again shut down, owing to a failed casting attempt on my part.
In combat the reavers finally beat the Glade riders and sent them fleeing off table, but the Archers fared a lot worse and got cut down in pursuit by the eternal guard, who in turn overran into the lone Sister of avelorn. The RBT was dealt with and the WR moved closer to the last Bolt thrower.

Image

TURN 5-6

Image

Over the last two turns the phoenix guard charged the wardancers, made short work of them without getting in the way of any killing blows, but then failed to overrun far enough to avoid the Treekin/Eternal Guard double charge. These two fell into the unit and ground it down over two rounds of combat, enough to force a double-1 break test and catch around 1300 points in pursuit.

The saving grace for the High Elves was that the RBT killed off the last wild rider and the Archmage lived enough to kill his adversary with yet another Cascading Fire.

Image

In the end, both armies were left bloodied, but the Wood Elves emerged victorious!

So there you have it, my first 9th Age report! My impressions on the game and comments on the rules to come shortly!

@ Swordmaster: I can always count on you for a warm welcome back to the Battle Reports forum! 9th Age looks nice, I think we’ve got quite a few battles left before we put the armies into the display cabinet for good!

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Re: MSU in action! - 9th Age Playtesting. WE vs HE

Postby ArhangelusM » Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:12 am

It was a great game with some very interesting and dowright abyssmal rolls on both sides... :mrgreen:

We must play some more, rematch is the name of the game! :8)
Playing WFB/HE since 2002
ETC 2011 Team Croatia Empire player
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ETC 2015 Team Slovenia Mercenary High Elves player

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Re: MSU in action! - 9th Age Playtesting. WE vs HE

Postby Swordmaster » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:26 pm

Hello Mr. Smith,

Thank you so much for such a great report and I am sorry I am commenting on it so late. As you, I am excited about 9th Age and together with KoW experience I actually feel more liberated than sad. I was, initially, very confused what am I going to do with my miniatures, blogs and all these hours spent on playing war games. But it seems people are simply amazing and all they need is the opportunity to show how creative they can be.

It is great then that one of the best reporters I have ever known is back online. Hopefully we will hear from you again and more often!

I must say that when I saw the introduction I was very excited! Not only I could see MSU Master in action again but it is going to be against High Elves, my chosen army. Mr. ArchangelusM brought a very intriguing list as well so I knew I am for a real threat here!

Armies

I admire your willingness to play combat orientated WE army that is also based on various infantry units. I am not saying it is crazy, that they are weak or something. Quite the contrary and if anybody was to show it can be done I would suggest it is you. However, in my own experience (although with different army) I found out I really need shooting support if only to participate in each phase of the game.

Hence, the question about the motivation to try such an army (apart from the fact it would allow you to test as many updated units as possible)?

You also tend to have very few items and this army is not an exception. Gleaming Pennant on Eternal Guard is self-explanatory if you consider the fact you have no BSB. It is an interesting choice, however, to give Wildwood Rangers Banner of Swiftness.

This army feels good though. It is fast even with many infantry units, has a good mix of regiments that have quite diverse skills. I like the fact your magic is so flexible too. On one hand you have fragile Elves but they are well supported by skirmishing Dryads and tough Treekin/Treemen (which can be further augmented by Life/Beast magic - if that is not right theme I don't know what is :)).

However, because it has no shooting (almost, 2 x 5 Glade Riders does not count much :)) it is obvious it has to move towards the enemy one way or another to get into favorable combats. Can't wait to see how you are going to do it!

High Elves look to me as a combined arms force but with defensive flavor and counter attacking abilities. IT has quite significant amount of shooting and I am sure you were not happy about Fire magic at all. Not only your Treemen are more vulnerable to it but the Sword of Ruin can be very handy and whatever you stop from magic missiles there are plenty more to choose from.

The Game

Deployment looked very interesting with WE army kind of hidden behind the hill (no surprise here) with a detachment of Wildwood Rangers and Wild Riders to the flank. It looked like an interesting challenge here where they faced Lions and Helms supported by some shooters on the flank.

High Elves were a little bit more spread out but I think it was due to the fact your opponent wanted to keep the options open and be able to target different units or focus fire on one, depending on the situation.

It is a very interesting mechanics we have now with Overwhelming power. First of all I find it interesting that it "only" adds to the score but you can still dispel that. Hence, the very interesting situation with Feedback Scroll! Second, the number of dice used is important and as you showed, quite risky. I assume it is to avoid 6-dicing spells (or in the case of 9th Age, 5-dicing) and not suffering the consequences. And boy, the consequences can be hard! I believe I need to re-think the whole strategy of the magic phase now.

It is amazing how fast your army can be. Turn 2 and your Elves are almost upon the enemy already! It should not be so surprising, they can cover 20" in two turns at worst, but it is still interesting sight.

I started getting worried about HE around turn 3. Their units don't support each other and reavers are called for diverting duty. To add insult to injury Lions failed stubborn test, even worse that it happened in HE turn.

That devious plan of ascending Wild Rider to daemonhood (no wonder you call them Khorne Elves :)) was great, just a pity it didn't work. However, it has a potential so it is good to keep it in mind for later.

I also liked that overrun of a treemen into the Archers. Whenever the situation like that happens, i.e. one unit charging to hold the enemy in place so that more powerful ally can follow up from another combat, I am smiling because it is one of the most beautiful rules Warhammer has.

Unfortunately, it also meant even more difficult situation for High Elves. I am glad that Mr. ArhangelusM made you pay for that victory but when he lost PG with characters in it it was game over as the amount of points you earned was huge.

It was definitely a great read and I would like to thank you both for the report. As I said, great to see some enthusiasm rekindled with the 9th Age upon us. Indeed, we are not going to put away our trusty toy soldiers and there will be more tales where they are the main characters. I know because I am currently preparing a second report of my own!

So, what are your impressions after that game? What about sneak peaks that were presented these days? I am looking forward to reading Beta version soon and I am very curious about the changes to the books. Personally, I would not mind if the books were left alone for a while but maybe one cannot change the core rules without addressing the army books at the same time.

Thanks again and hopefully see you soon!

Cheers!
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MSU in action! - 9th Age! New Battle Report!

Postby SmithF » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:22 pm

Greetings, people!

Just a heads up, I've gotten behind the 9th Age project and have been playtesting the various army lists in the past few weeks.
To me, it's like a better, smoother version of Warhammer and it's bound to get better due to all the feedback people are giving!

I'll be writing battle reports for that game system over at my Army Blog @ 9th Age:

http://www.the-ninth-age.com/index.php? ... #post60064

I'll keep updating this thread with links and the occasional battle report here, but most of the action will be on the 9th Age forum.

So hurry up and join the fun, looking forward to discussing tactics with you over there!

And a small welcome present, a battle report using a pure-Tree army (yes, it is pretty viable in 9th age!)

http://www.the-ninth-age.com/index.php? ... #post65278


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