MSU HE - KoW - Kings of Dave 4 - vs Abyssal Dwarfs - 05/06

Tales of your glorious victories and bitter defeats

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Swordmaster
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Re: MSU HE - 2700 vs Empire - 09.06.2015

Postby Swordmaster » Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:43 am

Greetings!

I had a chance to play against Mr. Galharen and his Winged Hussar Host recently over UB. Galharen is well known on Ulthuan for his unparalleled skills with painting brushes but he also is a skillful general as he has demonstrated recently by placing 3rd at one of the biggest events in Poland. Here is a link to his army blog:

The Winged Hussar Host - Army Blog

As he wanted to have a game under ETC rules we will be using these during our game. He will most likely use his trustworthy army list featuring Star Dragon and Silver Helm bus among others.

The Winged Hussar Host - Army List

Prince, Star Dragon, General; Heavy Armour; Lion Cloak; Shield, Dragonhelm, Talisman of Preservation, The Other Trickster's Shard, Sword of Might - 635
Prince, barded steed, Heavy Armour, Giant Blade, Enchanted Shield, Dawnstone - 263
Archmage, steed, level 4, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon, Obsidian Lodestone - 315 - Lore of High Magic
BSB, barded steed, Lance; Dragon Armour; Battle Standard; Ithilmar Barding, Charmed Shield, Luckstone - 136

17 Silver Helms, Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Champion, Ithilmar Barding - 421
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bow (swap); Light Armour - 85
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bow (swap); Light Armour; Standard - 95

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Frostheart Phoenix - 240

Total Army Cost: 2400

Super fast and hard hitting army, considered one of the strongest HE forces under ETC rules. I will try to provide some run down of the army choices from the point of view of my army but I am sure many forum members are familiar with this or very similar army lists.

I intend to put up a proper fight with the following force:

Outcasts - Army List

Larry the Loremaster, Earthing Rod, Armor of Fortune, Obsidian Amulet - 320
Bob the Battle Standard Bearer, Griffon (Swiftsense, Swooping Strike), Dragon Armor, Lance, Talisman of Preservation, Charmed Shield - 356

16 Archers, Full Command - 190
15 Archers, Full Command - 180
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Champion, Musician, Bows, Spears - 115
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Champion, Musician, Bows, Spears - 115

5 Dragon Princes, Musician - 155
5 Dragon Princes, Musician - 155
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Lions, Banner, Musician - 150

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Great Eagle - 50
Great Eagle - 50
9 Sisters - 126

Army Total: 2397

Which is my Work in Progress army list I would like to compete with for upcoming Hobby Masters.

Here is what I prepared for myself as The Winged Hussar Host overview before the game to post it after we play it.

Prince on Star Dragon - The most dangerous single model on the board. It will smash any unit I have without breaking a sweat. I can only hope to delay it with champions in a challenge and being steadfast. I expect the dragon to charge turn 2 as with its range of movement and high magic it can get almost everywhere. If I can make it attack turn 3 then it will be great already. Next I need to make sure that the dragon fights alone so it is very important I delay and divert Silver Helms. It will be more difficult with Frostheart though.

Another important thing when fighting such monstrosities is to be careful with overrun options and make sure that if that happens it does not allow the dragon to get into fresh enemy. In any case I need to assume that I will lose 3-4 units to the dragon itself if it gets to combat unharmed.

However, I believe I have some tools to wound it and either make it shy to attack thus losing fewer units or making it more risky as all the attacks I might have left can still have a chance to wound it.

Magic can be an answer here. Main weapon, boosted Searing Doom has a potential of wounding the dragon seriously. I also made a mental note to remember I can boost Burning Gaze for S6 version. While both spells are flaming and the prince would laugh at them it was no less important to kill the dragon. It might not give me points but at least it will seriously limit the options for the prince and decrease the damage potential for my opponent to deal. Bolt throwers are natural anti-aircraft weapon and I intended to use them here given the opportunity. Unlike with magic, single bolts have better chance of killing the prince as they would wound on 2+ and he would get only 4++ ward save while Dragon is wounded on 5+ and has 7 wounds. However, a combination of both is a threat and I wanted to use it to my advantage.

Last but not least, if the dragon is seriously wounded I could risk a charge of BSB on Griffon. With ASF and S6 from both I had a chance to finish the wyrm before it would strike. If I could do that with the assistance of Swordmasters, Lions or Dragon Princes then even batter. It may look like a folly but as I said, it is a solution to kill the seriously wounded dragon before it could strike. While S5 still wound on 6+ only it also reduces the armor save to 5+ which is important.

Cavalry Prince - reminds me about Mr. Seredain with his Gian Blade and 1+ rerollable armor save! Real killer too and he might not have a match in close combat among my army. Even Bob the BSB and his pet griffon would find it hard to by pass 4+ re-rollable save. But he would stay in the SH bus most likely as it makes attacking it very risky (even from the rear). I expected he might be sent on hunting missions alone when the circumstances were right but unless my bolt throwers are gone and Larry eliminated or contained, he should be much safer with the knights, also because he would benefit from MR(3) against sniping spells.

Archmage - the only wizard of the army but very important figure for the force. First of all, at least in my opinion, he is here to protect. Dispel scroll and talisman granting MR(3) are the best tools after Banner of the World Dragon which Glaharen could not take under ETC draft with this particular list. Ironcurse Icon is a nice addition against War Machines especially when you consider the fact how it can be quickly improved with Shield of Saphery attribute. Single spell cast gives them 5++ already and that is not too bad at all. It gets even better with combination of MR(3) so as you can see even deadly Searing Doom can be efficiently neglected when Archmage is with Silver Helms. And he will stay with them all the time, I am sure, so in order to get him I need to get the unit. Which would be very hard.

I am very fond of High Magic and I admire how wonderfully it adds to the potential of Galharen's army. I think there are two crucial spells for him, Walk Between Worlds and Aphoteosis. First one makes his army even faster and can put his units or monsters in a great position to attack turn 2. Second one will be amazing in healing these monsters. Wounding Star Dragon is difficult but when it is healed in the process it can be almost impossible. The rest of the spells have great utility too and I just wonder how Galharen is going to use it. I can expect SH bus would get at least 6++/5++ wards every turn depending on the strength of winds of magic and my priority will be one of these spells, even at the cost of losing units to Soul Quench for example.

BSB - seems a little under equipped but I assume it is due to lack of points. His role is to wave the flag and stay alive and with fighting prince in the front rank he should be safe. Of course 3S6 attacks on a charge help too! Oh, and with him in the first rank Archmage can stay safe in the second one which is very important as well.

Silver Helms - main unit of the army. Bunker for 3 out of 4 characters, 20 models total, very hard to get points from and without bonuses for banners it is worth 1100+ points! It has great hitting potential, even SH count with their S5 attack and re-rolls, ranks to break steadfast. With the aid of Star Dragon and/or Phoenix they can smash tough opponents too. There are not such units in my army so whatever SH attack dies.

Out of many threats Glaharen's army has Silver Helms is the one I can delay in traditional way. While his fliers don't care, Silver Helms can be diverted and slowed down so it will be very important for me to keep the eagles and reavers nearby and ready. That is my chance too because dividing the efforts of my opponent is always a very important part of the plan.

In terms of defeating that unit it would be a very hard thing to do. There 20 models to deal with, 20+ wounds and those from characters are harder to get. The unit is well protected from magic and regular shooting too, with the ability to increase its protection due to ward saves. I would need to attack it from all sides with overwhelming force to be able to grind it down and even then it would not be possible with any of the flying monsters around. So unless I have them contained somehow the only charges I was preparing to make where those to actually slow them down where I could win the turn of combat and hold them in place for one turn.

Ellyrian Reavers - I am very fond of the fast cavalry and I think Glaharen made a very good choice with including two units as a support. They would make my plan much more difficult as they can interfere with my own diverters and with bows they can hunt down the eagles too. They are one of the priorities to shoot at so that I could move my own units more efficiently.

Bolt Throwers - Very dangerous to any unit I have. I will need to use the terrain to get protection. The problem with them is that I have tools to hunt them down but the return of points delegated to the task will be poor. At the same time I will need the same units to deal with the fast elements of the army. So it was a very hard decision for me to make what is the real priority. I decided I will have to make it when I see the terrain and how I can limit their efficiency with the deployment.

Frostheart - one of the big 3, along Star Dragon and Silver Helm bus it is a very versatile support monster capable of destroying my small units alone. It has the advantage over Star Dragon as it cannot be challenged. Against some of the big regiments out there it is very helpful with its Frost Aura but against my small units it will probably be less relevant. Hence, I expect it to go for individual missions.

I was looking for a way to destroy it and I reminded myself that long time ago I had a similar dilemma with a Warsphinx. Frosty is of course much more dangerous because it flies and it is better protected but I decided the way to deal with it is the same. Throw as many sticks at it as possible and the sheer number of them should grant me a few wounds. So if given the chance I intended to use any ranged attack at my disposal to focus on Frosty as out of big 3 it is still the most "easy" to kill.

To sum it up my plan was to use magic and shooting to deal the damage on Frosty, Reavers and Star Dragon to be able to have some chance in inevitable close combat where I expected to lose units but not without a fight and if these monsters where at least seriously wounded I could kill them in return. If I managed to slow down the bus and limit the damage from Bolt Throwers I think I had a chance to earn enough points to balance out any losses.

Terrain

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Four Kniggits' Game

Here are the rules for terrain under ETC format:

Hills - As per BRB description of an ordinary hill (p. 118 first 5 paragraphs, i.e. without the“Examples of hills” subsection) with following additional explanations :
- Line of Sight: Hills block Line of Sight.

Forests - As per BRB description of an ordinary forest (p. 119 first6 paragraphs, i.e. without “Mysterious Forests” subsection) with following additional explanations:
- Line of Sight: Forests are Interfering terrain providing Soft Cover for units, as described in BRB. For Line of Sight purposes Forests count as being of infinite height. This implies that units shooting trough forest will always suffer Soft Cover penalty, even if shooting from a hill or building.

Lake - As per BRB description of a Normal River (p. 120 first 5 paragraphs, i.e. without “Mysterious Rivers” subsection) with following additional explanations:
- Line of Sight: Lakes are non-interfering terrain features.
- Lakes are Water Features.

Obstacle: Wall - As per BRB description of an ordinary Wall (p. 123 with common rules for Obstacles,p.122) with following additional explanations:
- Walls definition of a unit “behind” is applied only to units actually defending the obstacle (i.e.aligned with it and touching it).
- Line of Sight: Obstacles are non-interfering terrain features.

Ruins - As per BRB description of an ordinary marshland (p.121 first 3 paragraphs, i.e. without “Examples of Marshland”
subsection) with following additional explanations:
- Ruins are NOT Water Features.
- Line of Sight: Ruins are non-interfering terrain features, providing Hard Cover for all units withmajority of their models in the feature.

Impassable
As the title says - infinite height, impassable terrain.

There is also a way to select the scenario under these rules. One player rolls a die and depending on the results player A chooses the scenario, player B does or it is simple Battle Line. Galharen was appointed to choose the scenario and he picked up Meeting Engagement. However, I won the roll off and had to pick the corner. After some deliberation I decided that North-West is the best option as it offers cover from Bolt Throwers even if it may limit the visibility of my own troops for the purpose of shooting and casting magic.

ETC has a modification to the rules of that scenario and there is no need to roll for each unit to see if it is going to be in reserves. I simply had to place my entire army first. Then I had the first turn unless Galharen rolled a 6 to steal the initiative.

Here is the sequence of my deployment and how Galhaner responded:

Deployment

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Outcasts

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The Winged Hussar Host

Although the result is no longer a surprise I still hope the deployment will prove interesting. I find that scenario quite a challenge, in particular when I had to deploy first. Usually I have the advantage of having more deployment drops so that I can use it and position my units where I want them the most.

Here, I had to guess where my opponent is going to deploy his army and plan accordingly. Having better odds of starting first can also be a trap as stealing the initiative does happen so I also wanted to take that into account. Galharen's army is very fast and with much more narrow deployment gap (only 12"!) I really had to be careful not to give him the chance for turn 1 charges.

At the same time I wanted to have that first turn count. That is why I deployed some of the shooters and cavalry behind the hills. Shooters would jump on it to target the units I wanted to shoot at while heavy cavalry would be able to cover some angles while remaining relatively safe from the bolt throwers.

Eagles and reavers were also nearby in case I would need to slow down some units quickly or if there was a need to move forward fast.

Despite the efforts I knew I was at a disadvantage as the distance between the armies is much smaller and Galharen would have all the knowledge of my deployment to counter it in any way he liked.

Galharen got the following spells for his Archmage: Soul Quench, Apotheosis, Walk Between Worlds, Tempest

He didn't steal the initiative, however, so I had the first turn:

Outcasts - Turn 1

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Fighting Ice with Fire

Outcasts remained in the defensive formation and withdrew some regiments for better positions for a potential counter attacks. Sisters and Archers moved a little forward to get into range of their chosen targets.

Larry the Loremaster drew from the winds of magic deeply and cast a fireball at Frostheart and wounded the Phoenix. Following Burning Gaze was unstoppable and resulted in another deep gash in the side of a frosty bird.

Sisters and Archers continued the barrage and Frostheart Phoenix finally shattered like a broken glass. Encouraged by the success of their companions, Eagle Claw crews aimed carefully. One of them shot at the Star Dragon itself and found a weak spot in between the scales, the roar of pain of a wounded beast was heard across entire battle field.

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 5,6 --> 11:7 (successful channel attempt for Galharen)
2d6 Fireball at Frostheart: cast on a roll 2,2,2,6 + 2 = 14 --> no dispel attempt --> 10 hits, 3 wounds, 1 save --> 2 wounds
Boosted Burning Gaze at Frostheart: cast on a roll 1,4,5,6,6 --> 4 hits, 1 wound, no save
Miscast Result: 3,6 --> wounded Loremaster, warded on 5++ --> 4 power dice lost

Shooting Phase Details

Sisters at Frostheart: 4+ to hit (move, long range) --> 5 hits, no wounds
Archers at Frostheart: 5+ to hit (4+ champions, move, long range) --> 11 hits total, 2 wounds, no saves --> dead Phoenix
Eagle Claw (EC1) at Star Dragon: 4+ to hit (long range, single bolt) --> hits, randomized to dragon, wounds, multiplies to 3 wounds
Eagle Claw (EC2) at Silver Helms: 4+ to hit (long range, multiple) --> 3 hits, 3 wounds, 2 saves

The Winged Hussar Host - Turn 1

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Fighting fire with fire!

Enraged Caledorian Prince flew his loyal dragon to the top of the hill where enemy archers were and ordered his beast to incinerate them. Half of the unit died horrible deaths in flames and their companions fled in panic. Enormous unit of knights galloped nearby allowing the Archmage to focus on healing the Star Dragon whose strength was restored.

Due to lack of other targets the bolt throwers aimed at the Sisters on the other hill and no less than three of them were punished for daring to shoot at the Frostheart Phoenix.

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 1,2 --> 3:2 (no channels)
Boosted Apotheosis on Star Dragon: cast on a roll of 2,2,5 + 5 = 14 --> failed attempt to dispel --> 2 wounds healed

Shooting Phase Details:

Star Dragon at Archers: 15 hits, 7 wounds (3+ to wound), failed panic test on 5,6
2 bolt throwers at Sisters: 4+ to hit (long range) --> 5 hits, 3 wounds, panic test passed

Outcasts - Turn 2

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Dragon Hunt continues!

With the enemy approaching the Outcasts focused on the biggest threat, the Star Dragon and employed their tested delaying tactics in order to slow down enemy knights. Ellyrian Reavers took one for the team while Lions shifted their position to avoid the gaze of a dragon rider and getting ready to intercept impetuous silver helms.

Larry the Loremaster had power only for a single spell and he attempted to send a Searing Doom at the dragon but this time enemy Archmage didn't underestimate his adversary and dispelled that threat.

Now the shooters aimed at the great wyrm. First, Loremaster's companions shot and they too hit well wounding the dragon twice! Then one of the bolt thrower crews repeated the feat and wounded the dragon as hard as the last time! It was barely alive now and second eagle crew as well as nearby reavers tried to get that last wound from it. Unfortunately their multiple shots were not lucky enough to penetrate the thick hide while a few bolts and arrows were easily deflected by the prince atop the dragon.

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 1,6 --> 7:6 (no channels)
Boosted Searing Doom at Star Dragon: cast on a roll 1,2,3,3,4,6 + 2 = 21 --> dispelled with a scroll

Shooting Phase Details:

Archers (A1) at Star Dragon: 5+ to hit (move, long range) --> 8 hits, 6 at dragon, 3 wounds, 1 save; 2 at prince, 1 wound, saved
Eagle Claw (EC1) at Star Dragon: 4+ to hit (long range, single shot) --> hits, randomized to dragon, wounds, multiplies to 3 wounds
Eagle Claw (EC2) at Star Dragon: 3+ to hit (short range, multiple shot) --> 3 hits, 2 at dragon, 1 at prince, no wounds

The Winged Hussar Host - Turn 2

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Last charge of the Star Dragon

Enraged dragon rider throws caution to the wind and charges the Eagle Claw crew that dared to shoot at him and his pet mount! Silver Helms follow the example and attack the annoying fast cavalry. Brave Reavers die to an elf and nearby Lions withdraw rather than stay to receive such a murderous charge.

In the confusion and chaos due to combat the Archmage tries to help his prince and his dragon. He draws from winds of magic and once again tries to heal the great wyrm. However, Larry the Loremaster this time bested his opponent and the spell was deflected.

The dragon was coming. You could see it flying low and picking up the speed, blood rage in its eyes. On top hated Caledorian prince, the embodiment of everything Outcasts stood against. The foolish pride, arrogance, disregard for non-Caledorians, leading Ulthuan to the fall and collapse under the waves, betraying those loyal and siding with archenemy Malekith.

The dragon was a deadly weapon but this time it was seriously wounded, it looked like it was about to crash and bury everything under its belly. Two veteran Eagle Claw crew members did their duty already but they were adamant they should at least try to make last additional effort for their companions and for all that was lost forever. The End of Time and the End of the World is upon them.

They picked huge bolts and planted them like pikes, steadied their gaze and aimed at the incoming dragon. There were no battle cries, no shouts, no war songs. Just silence and grim determination to take the wounded dragon with them.

Everybody held their breaths as the roar of rage turned into cry of pain and the sound of immense body crashing to the ground. When the dust settled Outcast could see motionless, dead dragon, single bolt protruding from his eye. There was no sign of the Eagle Claw crew and only the lone figure of the prince with his bloodied sword in his hand was seen standing tall next to his dead mount.

He slowly turned and started running towards Swordmasters ...


Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,4 --> 6:4 (no channels)
Apotheosis on Star Dragon: cast on a roll of 1,1,4,5,6 + 5 = 22 --> dispelled on a roll 1,5,6,6
Walk Between Worlds at Bolt Thrower (EC1): cast on a roll 3 + 5 = 8

Shooting Phase Details:

Bolt Thrower (EC2) at Dragon Princes (DP1): 4+ to hit (long rage, multiple) --> 2 hits, 2 wounds, 2 saves
Reavers (ER1) at Dragon Princes (DP2): 4+ to hit (move, short range) --> 2 hits, 1 wound, 1 save

Combat Phase Details:

Star Dragon vs Eagle Claw Crew: crew at the dragon, fear test passed, 4+ with a re-roll, 1 hit, 1 wound, no save --> dead dragon; prince kills the crew, overruns 11" into the flank of Swordmasters.
Silver Helms vs Reavers: 3A at BSB, charmed shield deflected the hit, 2A against SH, 1 hit, no wounds --> all reavers die --> White Lions fail panic test on 5,6 and flee off the table

Outcasts - Turn 3

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Glimpse of hope for the Outcasts!

With the dragon dead it seemed that the Outcasts have a chance to prevail! Furious prince stormed into the ranks of Swordmasters who were aided by the magic of the Loremaster. He battled enemy general in the duel of the minds but the prince ignored the pain and cut down three Swordmasters. Their companions held their ground knowing the help is coming.

In the meantime Dragon Princes charged enemy fast cavalry but could not break them and the combat continued.

Edit: I made a mistake in here as Walk Between Worlds was cast on Bolt thrower in the previous turn. I am sorry for the confusion.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,6 --> 7:6
Miasma on Prince (to lower WS): cast on a roll of 1,3 + 2 = 6 --> dispelled on a roll of 6 + 4 = 10
Blizzard on Prince: cast on a roll of 3,5 + 2 = 10 --> dispelled on a roll of 1,6 + 4 = 11
Spirit Leech on Prince: cast on a roll of 2,4,6 + 2 = 14 --> failed attempt to dispel 1,1,6 + 4 = 12 --> Loremaster ld9 + 4 vs Prince Ld10 + 2 --> 1 wound, no ward save

Shooting Phase Details:

Eagle Claw at Bolt Thrower (EC1): 4+ (long range, multiple shot) --> 3 hits, no wounds
Archers at Silver Helms: 5+ (move, long range) --> 9 hits total, 4 wounds, 1 save

Combat Phase Details:

Dragon Princes vs Reavers: 3 warriors from each side in contact --> no wounds from reavers, 2 wounds from princes, reavers pass break on 2,3
Prince vs Swordmasters: 4A on 3+ --> 4 hits, 3 wounds --> 4A swordmasters, 4+ to hit --> 2 hits, 1 wound, saved --> steadfast, passed break test on 3,5

The Winged Hussar Host - Turn 3

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Power of High Magic!

With army general alone among enemy ranks his second in command decided to join the fight. He spurred his steed but it seems he miscalculated the distance and didn't reach the archers. Silver Helms maneuvered around the eagle to set into new position and keep the pressure up. The Archmage used his powers to kill many Swordmasters with Soul Quench while Bolt Throwers finished them off and claimed two more casualties among the enemy Dragon Princes.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,6 --> 7:6 (no channels)
Boosted Soul Quench on Swordmasters: cast on a roll of 2,3,4,5,5 + 5 = 24 --> no dispel attempt --> 18 hits, 8 wounds, no saves
Walk Between Worlds on Silver Helms: cast on a roll of 1,6 + 5 = 12 --> dispelled on a roll of 1,1,1,3,4,6 + 2 = 18

Shooting Phase Details:

Bolt Thrower at Swordmasters: 4+ (long range) --> 3 hits, 3 wounds, no shots deflected, dead unit, panic tests passed
Bolt Thrower at Dragon Princes: 4+ (long range) --> 2 hits, 2 wounds, no saves, panic test passed

Combat Phase Details:

Prince vs Swordmasters: Bladelord challenges, dies, Swordmasters pass break test on steadfast
Dragon Princes vs Reavers: Reavers hit once, didn't wound, died

Outcasts - Turn 4

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Larry and Bob in action!

Seeing the opening Bob the Battle Standard Bearer flew to the rescue of nearby Swordmasters, challenges enemy general and kills him in a single combat (although being wounded in the process). Larry continues exchanging magical punches and manages to cast yet another spell irresistibly that kills lone cavalry prince outright!

With both the princes dead, the Archmage decided to withdraw in good order leaving the field to the victorious Outcasts!

Edit: Galharen threw the towel when I got Searing Doom on his cavalry prince through and rolled 6 hits that were turned into 4 wounds. We just rolled for the combat as I wanted to see how BSB and his Griffon would do. Despite inflicting 6 wounds Galharen saved 5 of them on 4++ and only thunderstomps got the last wound from the stubborn prince.

Summary

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Turn-by-turn summary animation

After-battle thoughts

I will not deny that I was very happy to win the game against such a tough list. When Glaharen gave up I was leading with 800+ points which according to the ETC scoring meant 15-5 victory. I had good rolls that helped me a lot and bolt thrower crew sneaking that last wound on Star Dragon was the most epic situation I have ever had in my games!

I think my opponent gave up too early. While I understand he was upset by losing Star Dragon and both Princes he still had a potent archmage and his soul quench and tempest had a potential to make up for the losses. His bolt throwers were not in danger and I was running out of combat troops to engage his Silver Helm bus. My magic and shooting did great damage but he still had 3 more turns to at least make the difference smaller. 800+ points is a good advantage but it is not an auto win.

As a tribute to a great player and painter as well as an example to follow, Rowan (whose excellent report you should read here: Tomb Kings at Moonstruck) I would like to analyze the game in similar fashion by starting with:

Why I think I got an advantage:

1. Deployment - I mentioned at the beginning I was at a disadvantage because I had to deploy first. Glaharen saw my entire army that tried to squeeze in between two hills and the ruins to avoid his shooting. That in turn limited my own abilities to shoot and cast magic significantly as well as options for counter-charges. He could measure and check my lines of sight and distances. He saw my archers ready to step on the hills to shoot and could plan accordingly.

However, he left his two big monsters in the open. If he only positioned his Frostheart a little to the West I would not be able to target it with my spells at all. While I was lucky with wounding it with fireball and getting IF on burning gaze (although getting only single wound) he could have completely eliminate that possibility with slight correction of the position. The same goes with his Dragon, why risk taking shots and then spending power dice to heal it when you could have avoid it and use them on some magic missiles?

2. Impatience - I think he got impatient and was reckless with his Star Dragon. The game last 6 turns and you gained less than he risked with the Dragon landing on the top of the hill where every single unit could see it. Again, I was lucky to sneak through more wounds, especially with the archers but he could easily land behind the hill, keep his options for the charge open but avoid being targeted by spells (and saving his scroll for later) and not count on healing that didn't work in the end.

He had the odds in his favor when he charged the eagle claw. And it was very lucky to get that last wound from the dragon. But was absolutely necessary? He could have waited, see if he can heal the dragon and join the combat after he did so. It was just turn 2, there were 4 more to come!

3. Lack of support - I like the fact his army has fast cavalry to support the army and bolt throwers to create range threat. I understand he deployed his bolt throwers further away to avoid being shot at by archers but I wonder if they could have been deployed better. I do believe, however, that he didn't use his fast cavalry at all. I barely managed to divert Silver Helms with my own reavers but a move of his cavalry would have immediately prevented that. I lost Lions anyway but it would have been much better to charge them already as they were in a wrong position. What is more, fast cavalry staying close to the knights could always jump out to intercept my support, try to hunt down the eagles, redirect and simply provide -2 to hit for shooting.

4. Making the most of the given opportunities - I had my initial plan on how to try and put up a fight but it was far from perfect. My own deployment was not good in my opinion, with some units in wrong spots (I will talk about that earlier). However, I was prepared to use the tools I had if I had the chance. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. This time they did because my opponent let me to. Position of monsters I mentioned before, exposing the dragon, failed charge with the cavalry prince, overruning without a support (although this one is not a mistake by itself because it was planned for the dragon).

I talked about first two already. Failed charge was unlucky, Galharen needed 7+ and rolled 1,2,4 for charge distance. While I was prepared to hold his character I wonder if at this stage charging with 260+ worth prince at 200 worth archers was worthy risking? If he was winning then sure but he was losing. And there was no good overrun path either. I wonder if it was not a mistake on my part to flee in the first place anyway but still. His character would be exposed and risked being targeted with spells and shooting.

I tried to play to my strengths and minimize my weaknesses but I don't think my opponent did the same. And I think the mistakes he made and that could have been avoided were the main reason things turned out ugly for him rather than above the average rolls I got this time.

I have mentioned already a few things I was not happy with, so here is what I think I should have done better.

1. Deployment - it was very tricky and I will repeat it again that deploying first puts me at a disadvantage. For starters I think I exposed Lions unnecessary. It was hard to predict which side Galharen would favor at the beginning but the more I think about the more it seems that he would have chosen the spot he really picked because it allowed him to get into contact faster and offered good protection thanks to the hill. I should move them turn 1 too, instead they were easy target and fleeing might have seemed unlucky but let's face it, they were good as dead anyway.

I wanted to use shooters soon and have them in position to try and hunt down Frostheart that worked far better than I expected. However, I wonder if swapping Archers and Sisters would have not been better? Archers had better chance to hold Frosty for a while and if ignored or after Frosty died, they could have threaten bolt throwers.

I could not use heavy cavalry well either and I wonder if I was simply too shy or maybe I should have deploy them differently?

2. Swordmasters positioning - I expected that one of the options Galharen considered was charging bolt thrower in a way that allowed him to overrun into Swordmasters. I didn't anticipate his positioning well enough though to see flank charge was possible.

3. Heavy cavalry - I wonder if it was a good idea to actually move both units and fast cavalry to hunt down bolt throwers? I had to deal with enemy reavers too and 3 bolt throwers can hurt a lot but if I attacked from both flanks maybe I would be fast enough to kill them all and not lose too many units in the process? I was concern, however, that I might need them to delay fliers but once Frosty was dead maybe it was good time to try?

I also have one rules question and some things I learned during the game:

Rules question:

How is the direction of the overrun decided when the unit attacks war machine?

I know about "tactical wheels" that allow units to face the direction they want to follow but we had a following situation in our game.

Image

However, when usually determining the overrun direction you take center to center line. Of course it is easier because fronts of regular units are aligned but sometimes the regiments are not touching bases over their entire front ranks. In such case the overrun direction is at an angle to the front line.

The question then is which is the direction of the overrun in the situation presented in the picture above, center-to-center as 12" tape shows or is it 6" one?

I would greatly appreciate if you could also back you reasoning with relevant page of the rulebook or FAQ. Thanks!

Things I learned

1. BRB page 109 "War machines treat all terrain other than open ground and hills as impassable"

It means that e.g. bolt thrower in the forest cannot be moved out of it (or through it). But can it be placed in such terrain in the first place?

2. Ethereal move (granted by walk between for example) doesn't allow to end up in impassable terrain.

It might not be anything new but I am glad I learned something new :)

Many thanks to my opponent for the game, I hope that he feels much better about our game now. Also, many thanks to all the spectators in the peanut gallery for watching it!

I hope the report was an interesting one and thanks for reading!

Cheers!
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Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs StarDragon - 12.06.2015

Postby wardancer » Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:14 pm

Great report and well played brother! I really liked how you concentrated on your targets and got the priorities right.You were against a really hard list, so well done!
i agree with you that your opponent gave up too fast, there was still much room for getting points back and you should really always fight till the end or unless you are well and truly massacred and nothing can be done to redeem the situation. He still had fair bit of force to fight with.

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Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs StarDragon - 12.06.2015

Postby RaZeR » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:22 pm

Another great report, and congrats on dealing well with a pretty nasty army! Good target prioritisation, and decent rolls definitely helped!

In terms of your overrun question, the 6" stick is the correct direction. Pursuit (and fleeing) is centre to centre (the 12" stick), however overruns are always directly forward (unless that would bring you into contact with a new enemy etc). Don't have my rulebook at work, but it's somewhere in the pursuit and overrun section if I remember correctly!

I also have a question for you...
In your turn 3, you spirit leeched the now-dragonless prince? I'm pretty sure (again without the book in front of me) that you cant cast spirit leech into combat, as it's a direct damage spell... Am I missing something? :)

Thanks again for taking the time to write everything up :)
Ken Groom

Xtapl wrote:How are goblins going to throw a fanatic high enough into the air to hit an eagle?

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Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs StarDragon - 12.06.2015

Postby Swordmaster » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:04 pm

@ wardancer

Ah well, what can you do. I understand the frustration when you lose your expensive models like that.

@ RaZeR

Thanks! :)

You are correct, I could not cast Spirit Leech into combat, my mistake and I apologize my opponent for using the wrong spell in that situation. :oops:

As to the overrun question I believe you are referring to the paragraph on page 58 of the small rulebook:

An overrun is essentially a special pursuit move. When making an overrun, the victorious unit moves 2D6" directly forwards, as if they were pursuing a fleeing enemy to their front. All other rules governing pursuit moves, such as intervening units and terrain, apply to overruns.


However, page 8 of FAQ 1.9 says:

Q: When a unit flees ‘directly away’ from another, does this mean that you turn the unit about its centre, so that it will flee directly away from the centre of the unit it is fleeing from? (p57)
A: Yes.


and that suggests that "directly away" and "directly forward" is determined by using centers of respective units, since overrun is a special pursuit move.

Would it not be 12" stick in that case?

Cheers!
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Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs StarDragon - 12.06.2015

Postby RaZeR » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:48 pm

Yep, that's the section!

I can see your logic, however I think it falls down in 2 places. Firstly, 'directly away from' and 'directly forward' are not really synonymous, in that 'directly away from' requires interaction with a second unit, whereas 'directly forward' doesnt. So I don't see that FAQ as being relevant to this situation...

Also, you then go on to say "and that suggests that "directly away" and "directly forward" is determined by using centers of respective units, since overrun is a special pursuit move." But there's only one unit involved now, because the target unit has been destroyed. So there is no 'centre to centre' path that you could follow, so you fall back on the 'directly forwards, as if they were pursuing a fleeing enemy to their front' part of the rule from p.58...

Does that make sense? :D
Ken Groom

Xtapl wrote:How are goblins going to throw a fanatic high enough into the air to hit an eagle?

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Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs StarDragon - 12.06.2015

Postby Herminard » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:37 am

Nice read! Always enjoyable to see the guy bringing a bag of feathers to a gunfight coming up on top :) Looking forward to the read vs Eloriel as well.

Cheers,

-H-

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Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs StarDragon - 12.06.2015

Postby Swordmaster » Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:07 pm

Greetings!

I have recently enrolled for UB tournament organized by Warhammer-Board, a German website community who invited some international players. It is 3 round small event using ETC player's pack.

In the first round I had a pleasure to play against Eloriel, one of the organizers of the tournament who decided to bring Beastmen this time (he usually plays WE or DE or WoC).

Beastmen - Army List

Doombull *General*, Mark of Tzeentch, Great Weapon, Heavy Armor, Shield, Crown of Command, Talisman of Perservation, Dragonhelm - 368

Doombull, Mark of Tzeentch, Great Weapon, Shield, Arabyan Carpet, Armour of Destiny - 366

Doombull, Mark of Tzeentch, Shield, Gnarled Hide, Sword of Swift Slaying, The other Tricksters Shard, Dragonbane Gem, Armour of Fortune - 346

Gorebull, Battle Standard Bearer, Mark of Tzeentch, Great Weapon, Heavy Armor, Charmed Shield, Talisman of Endurance - 248

Slugtonque - 190 - Lore of Undeath

Bray Shaman, level 1, Dispel Scroll - 105 - Lore of Shadow

Bray Shaman, level 1, Chalice of Dark Rain - 120 - Lore of Shadow

10 Gor Herd, Mark of Slaanesh, Musican, Standard - 95
10 Gor Herd, Mark of Slaanesh, Musican, Standard - 95
10 Ungor Herd, Full Command - 65
10 Ungor Herd, Full Command - 65
5 Ungor-Raider, Mark of Slaanesh, Musician - 38
5 Ungor-Raider, Mark of Slaanesh, Musician - 38
5 Ungor-Raider, Mark of Slaanesh, Musician - 38
5 Ungor-Raider, Mark of Slaanesh, Musician - 38
5 Ungor-Raider, Mark of Slaanesh, Musician - 38
5 Ungor-Raider, Mark of Slaanesh, Musician - 38
5 Ungor-Raider, Mark of Slaanesh, Musician - 38
5 Ungor-Raider, Mark of Slaanesh, Musician - 38

5 Harpies - 55
5 Harpies - 55

Totaly:2474 Points

Very interesting list! It is clear that Minotaurs are here to charge, stomp, trample and basically destroy the enemies. They are also well protected with good armor and even better ward save. Multitudes of Raiders are to ensure the right placement of the Minotaurs and to block potential reinforcements. With mark of Slaanesh it is great deal as the opponent has to kill them all to get rid of the problem.

Addition of Slugtongue with Lore of Undeath is a good trick too because he can affect a few nasty unit on the enemy side (in particular cannons) and then add to the pool of redirectors or even summon some hard hitting regiments too.

You would notice that the army is above 2400 points as accordingly to ETC rules Beastmen can have more points to spend if they don't take particular choices:

Maximum unit size is increased to 550 points
May take Putrid Blightkings from Warhammer End Times: Glottkin
● Additional 75 points for the army size (Up to 300 maximum) 1 choice each
● Take Marks of Chaos as in Warhammer End Times: Glottkin 1 choice
● Slugtongue 1 choice


I decided to take my recent version of the army with a little adjustment due to possibility to play against creatures that can regenerate and blood and glory scenario.

Outcasts - Army List

Larry the Loremaster, Earthing Rod, Armor of Fortune, Obsidian Amulet - 320
Bob the Battle Standard Bearer, Griffon (Swiftsense), Dragon Armor, Lance, Talisman of Preservation, Charmed Shield - 331

16 Archers, Full Command - 190
15 Archers, Full Command - 180
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Champion, Musician, Bows, Spears - 115
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Champion, Musician, Bows, Spears - 115

5 Dragon Princes, Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame - 175
5 Dragon Princes, Musician - 155
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Lions, Banner, Musician, Gleaming Pennant - 150

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Great Eagle - 50
Great Eagle - 50
9 Sisters - 126

Army Total: 2397

As usual let's have a look at the opposing army with more details:

Doombull - General - 4+ armor save, 3+ against the shooting, 3++ ward and 2++ ward against flaming attacks. It is very hard to break through these defenses. In particular on a model that has T5 and 5W. Doombull hits back very hard too and every combat he wins adds to the already impressive amount of attacks. What is more, Minotaur characters inflict d3 impacts and stomps are also good to have. Potentially, a single doombull has a good chance of killing entire units of mine in a single combat.

I cannot harm it with magic missiles because these are usually flaming attacks. I observed, however, that Elo likes to join units with his characters for time being to better distribute the shooting attacks among his characters and regiment so that they arrive in combat in better shape. Since this character is on foot he can still be diverted. My approach would be to avoid combat with such monstrosities as long as possible and feed them with units that may not be worthy much or would take them out of combat for longer.

Doombull - 2+ armor save, 4++ ward save, 2++ against flaming attacks, this characters is the most dangerous model for my army because he also has ASF thanks to his magical sword. He will have re-rolls against Swordmasters and Lions, for example. Same story, has to be avoided although wounding him with single bolts from bolt throwers is more likely than the general of the army.

Doombull - Flying Carpet - very fast and dangerous too but with worse protection. 3++ ward save is of course fantastic but 4+ armor save means I can at least try some magic missiles and even regular arrows can be lucky enough. He is also alone and exposed meaning out of three doombulls I have the best chance to target this one and he was my priority. Another reason why I wanted to hunt him down is that he can get to my bolt throwers faster than others.

BSB - adds to the killing potential of the army but is the most vulnerable of all minotaurs. Ideally breaking him in combat is the best way to destroy that character but close combat is where the minotaurs want to be. If that happens I would try to direct attacks at him to be able to kill him. This army is Ld8 only so destroying BSB is very important too.

Slugtongue - this guy has a potential to cripple my army before the game even starts. That is why I decided to deploy at the very edge of the deployment to make it more difficult for him to reach all the units and hopefully limit the impact of his special rule. Another interesting thing is that he will use Lore of Undeath and that is the first time I would ever face one. In fact, Larry the Loremaster also has a chance to use signature spell from that lore and I might use it for my own benefit.

Bray Shamen - this guys are here mainly to provide channeling but shadow magic can be very useful too. They are also worthy some more points than the units and are possible to hunt down so I will look for the opportunities to catch them.

Gor Herds - very small units, but Slaanesh marked so they would flee nowhere. They will be protecting the wizards for sure and I expect them to stay behind but with my fast cavalry I have a chance to catch them and will definitely try to do so.

Ungor Herds - delivery systems for Minotaurs as due to base size they fit in nicely. Question was how Elo would assign his characters, would they go to a single unit or spread them among two regiments. Potentially provide some wounds to balance the combat results but with huge amount of attacks by minos that might not be enough. It still might be a good idea to shoot at them to get points as well as deprive minos from living shield.

Ungor Riders - wow, how many units again? :) the interesting part is that Elo can choose how many (if at all) he wants to have in ambush. These little critters are very annoying because they can shoot, they don't panic and may at least re-direct or simply tie in combat other regiments. I also expect them to interfere with the movement phase so that Minos can reach combats they want to be in. The good thing is that I have units that can comfortably take them out one on one and I will use that advantage.

Harpies - also dangerous, very fast and with more attacks, have to be eliminated real quick. Riders are slower and can be blocked, flying units cannot and that is huge difference.

My general plan was to deploy far back and use shooting superiority to inflict damage. At the same time I wanted to use my own units to outflank the enemy and get around to the wizards that are not well defended and easier to destroy. Since they are all worth 100-200 points each it is a good amount to get some advantage. I would try to destroy all these small units on the way as well and with some bonuses for banners I think I can earn some points to balance out inevitable casualties.

At the same time I would delay Minotaurs and re-redirect them using their frenzy to make them go away from my regiments. With some luck I may even be able to hunt down one of them.

Terrain

Image
The map called "Burning down the house"

Here are the rules for terrain under ETC format:

Hills - As per BRB description of an ordinary hill (p. 118 first 5 paragraphs, i.e. without the“Examples of hills” subsection) with following additional explanations :
- Line of Sight: Hills block Line of Sight.

Forests - As per BRB description of an ordinary forest (p. 119 first6 paragraphs, i.e. without “Mysterious Forests” subsection) with following additional explanations:
- Line of Sight: Forests are Interfering terrain providing Soft Cover for units, as described in BRB. For Line of Sight purposes Forests count as being of infinite height. This implies that units shooting trough forest will always suffer Soft Cover penalty, even if shooting from a hill or building.

Lake - As per BRB description of a Normal River (p. 120 first 5 paragraphs, i.e. without “Mysterious Rivers” subsection) with following additional explanations:
- Line of Sight: Lakes are non-interfering terrain features.
- Lakes are Water Features.

Obstacle: Wall - As per BRB description of an ordinary Wall (p. 123 with common rules for Obstacles,p.122) with following additional explanations:
- Walls definition of a unit “behind” is applied only to units actually defending the obstacle (i.e.aligned with it and touching it).
- Line of Sight: Obstacles are non-interfering terrain features.

Ruins - As per BRB description of an ordinary marshland (p.121 first 3 paragraphs, i.e. without “Examples of Marshland”
subsection) with following additional explanations:
- Ruins are NOT Water Features.
- Line of Sight: Ruins are non-interfering terrain features, providing Hard Cover for all units withmajority of their models in the feature.

Impassable
As the title says - infinite height, impassable terrain.

Deployment

Image
Deployment of the armies

Image
After vanguard and Slugtongue attacks

Slugtongue got:

Ryze - Grave Call - summons infantry up to 50 or 100 points or monstrous infantry up to 150 points
Akar'aran - The Dark Riders - summons cavalry, monstrous cavalry or chariots up to 150 points

I won the roll off and got the first turn!

Outcasts - Turn 1

Image
Fast cavalry is fast!

Elves moved on the flanks in order to envelop the enemy, their favorite tactics. The center remained stationary, the foe was still far away and out of range of the archers. But not for the magic missiles. Larry the Loremaster managed to cast medium fireball at gors irresistibly and used his earthing rod to contain the feedback. Luckily for him he didn't forget his spells thanks to that safety valve!

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 2,4 --> 6:5 (one channel for Beastmen)
Iceshard at Gors with Slugtongue: 5,5,5 + 2 = 17, no dispel attempt (Edit: Clearly a mistake, I kept forgetting about Mark of Slaanesh)
2d6 Fireball at Gors with Slugtongue: 1,6,6 - Irresistible Force --> 4,6 = 10 hits, 7 wounds --> Miscast: 4,6 --> re-rolled with Earthing Rod to 1,6 --> 2 archers die

Shooting Phase Details

Eagle Claws at gors with Slugtongue: 4+ to hit --> 5 hits --> 2 at Slugtongue, 1 wounds, failed regeneration; 3 at the unit, no wounds inflicted
Reavers at respective riders: no casualties

Beastmen - Turn 1

Image
Beastmen try to seize the initiative

Beastmen used their primal cunning and converged around their big Minotaur leaders that moved forward to reach squishy Elves as soon as possible. Some riders obeyed the orders of Shaman leaders and grouped behind the hill to provide protection. Finally, the riders on the flanks took the fight to the enemy. And while the ones on the left flank could not shift the reavers, the bands on the right broke their enemy! Fortunately for the Elves their steeds were fast enough to take them to the temporary safety.

(Edit: Please, not that G2 failed their Swift Reform test)

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 1,1 --> 3:2 (one successful channel for each side)
Ryze: 1,2,3 + 2 = 8 --> failed

Combat Phase Details

ER1 vs Riders: Elves 3+ with re-roll --> 3 hits, 1 wound; steeds 4+ --> 1 hit, 0 wounds; riders 4+ (failed primal fury test) --> 1 hit, 1 wound, saved on 5+ --> draw
ER2 vs 2 bands of riders: Elves 3+ with re-roll --> 5 hits, 2 wounds; steeds 4+ --> 1 hit, 0 wounds; raiders 5+ with re-roll (passed primal fury test but -1 to hit due to obstacle) --> 4 hits, 3 wounds, no saves --> Reavers break on a roll of 9

Outcasts - Turn 2

Image
Outflanking continues

Elves continue their outflanking maneuvers and at the same time consolidate their positions in the center. They are already under the direct threat of one of the Doombulls charge but the main enemy unit is still too far to attack.

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 1,5 --> 6:6 (one channel for Beastmen)
2d6 Fireball at Flying Doombull: 1,3,6 + 2 = 12 --> dispelled on the roll of 2,2,5,5 + 2 = 16
Boosted Burning Gaze at Flying Doombull: 2,3,5 + 2 = 12 failed to cast

Shooting Phase Details

Eagle Claws at Flying Doombull: 3+ and 4+ to hit, 1 hit, 1 wound, warded on a roll of 5+
Sisters of Avelorn at Flying Doombull: 3+ due to long range, 3 hits, 0 wounds
Archers A1 at Flying Doombull: 4+ to hit (long range), 8 hits, 1 wound, saved
Archers A2 at Flying Doombull: 5+ to hit (long range, move), 7 hits, 0 wounds

Combat Phase Details

ER1 vs Riders: Elves 3+ with re-roll --> 3 hits, 3 wounds; steeds 4+ --> 3 hits, 2 wounds --> dead unit

Beastmen - Turn 2

Image
Beastmen keep pressing forward

Flying Doombull, annoyed by some Elves shooting at him, charges at the eagle claw and reduces it to splinters (Edit: needed 8+ to charge). Ungors on the extreme flanks try again to get rid of pesky Reavers but this time they lose badly and that puts some of the more vulnerable units in a bad position.

Minotaurs rush forward without paying attention to expendable riders even as they rush to intercept outflanking Elves. Beastmen herds become more and more divided.

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 5,6 --> 11:6 (no channels)
Boosted Miasma on ER1: cast on a roll 2,2,4,5,5 + 1 = 19 --> no dispel attempt --> d3 = 4 --> -2
Akar'aran: cast on 2,3,3,3,4 + 2 = 17 --> dispelled on a roll of 2,2,3,5,5,6 + 2 = 25

Combat Phase Details

ER1 vs Riders: Elves 4+ with re-rolls --> 3 hits, 2 wounds; riders (primal fury failed) 4+ --> 3 hits, 1 wound, saved; steeds 5+ --> 1 hit, 0 wounds --> Riders fail break test and are caught in pursuit
ER2 vs 2 units of Riders: Elves 3+ with re-rolls --> 2 hits, 1 wound; Steeds 4+ --> 1 hit, 1 wound; Riders fail to inflict casualties --> left unit breaks, right units holds

Outcasts - Turn 3

Image
Elves remove first layer of living shield

Elven units attacked blocking rider bands. Dragon Princes and Swordmasters defeated their enemies easily. Tired and under the influence of a spell reavers attacked gors with Slugtongue but could not break them. Would they hold long enough for reinforcements to arrive?

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 5,5 --> 10:5 (no channels)
d6 Fireball: 1,2 + 2 = 5 --> dispelled on 1,2 + 2 = 5
Burning Gaze: 2,5 + 2 = 9 --> dispelled on 2,4,6 + 2 = 14
Iceshard Blizzard at Minotaurs: 4,4 + 2 = 10 --> no dispel attempt
Spirit Leach on BSB: 2,4,4 + 2 = 12 --> no dispel attempt --> Elves (Ld9 + 2 = 11) < Beastmen (Ld8 + 5 = 13) --> no wounds

Some Shooting Phase Details:

Archers A1 at Minotaurs: 7 hits, 1 hit at each Minotaur, BSB used his Charmed Shield, 3 wounds against Ungors
Eagle Claw single bolt: missed

Some Combat Phase Details:

ER1 vs Gors: Elves 4+ with re-rolls at Gors --> 1 hit, 0 wounds; Gors 3+ (failed primal fury) --> 1 hit, 1 wound, saved; Steeds 4+ --> 1 hit, 1 wound --> Gors pass break test

Beastmen - Turn 3

Image
Minotaurs give in to their bloodgreed!

Minotaurs have had enough of waiting and charged the Sisters who dared to block their path. Brave Elven maidens were utterly destroyed but slowed down the rampage of the beasts. (Edit: With Iceshard on Mino-Bus had Ld7 and failed their frenzy check even with a re-roll from the BSB.)

In the meantime Bray Shamen frantically run to hide among Gors and harpies with riders were surrounding reavers to help Slugtongue. Fortunately for him, Reavers failed to break his few bodyguards again. (Edit: Ungors U1 failed their swift reform test and only changed the formation.)

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 2,5 --> 7:6 (one successful channel for Elves)
Boosted Miasma: 1,2,4 + 1 = 8 failed to cast
Akar'aran: 3,3,5,5 + 2 = 18 --> dispelled on a roll of 1,1,2,3,4,5 + 2 = 18

Some Combat Phase Details:

ER1 vs Gors: Elves 3+ with re-roll --> 3 hits (all at the unit), 1 wound; Steeds 4+ --> 1 hit, 0 wounds --> 0 casualties from Slugtongue and Gor --> draw due to banner (Edit: I think we made a mistake here as there was no musician among Gors anymore so I should have win that by 1.)

Outcasts - Turn 4

Image
Elves continue their attack!

The situation became even more complex. On the North Archers moved forward to distract Minotaurs and to buy more time for the assault units to hunt down vulnerable hordes and enemy wizards hiding on the South.

Dragon Princes destroyed their foes again. Swordmasters spotted exposed flank of gors with two enemy wizards and charged in, won combat decisively but didn't catch the fleeing beastmen. Unfortunately, Ellyrian Reavers lost the combat against single gor and Slugtongue, broke and were run down in pursuit.

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 1,6 --> 7:6 (no channels)
Burning Gaze at Flying Doombull: 4,6 + 2 = 12 --> no dispel attempt --> 2 hits, 0 wounds
Fireball at Flying Doombull: 2,6 + 2 = 10 --> no dispel attempt --> 4 hits, 3 wounds, 2 saved
Spirit Leach at Flying Doombull: 1,5,6 + 2 = 14 --> dispelled with a roll of 1,3,4,5,6,6

Shooting Phase Details

Archers A2 at Flying Doombull: 5+ (move, long range) --> 7 hits, 0 wounds
Eagle Claw single at Flying Doombull: 3+ --> hits, wounds, no ward --> d3 multiplied to 2 wounds

Some Combat Phase Details:

ER1 vs Gor and Slugtongue: 2 Elves attack gor --> 0 hits, 1 wounds Slugtongue but he regenerates; Steeds fail to wound --> ER lose by 1 and fail break test

(Edit: I think I made a mistake here, I should have allocated the attacks at standard bearer as it would mean I would win the combat at least by musician.)

Beastmen - Turn 4

Image
Minotaurs separate to hunt alone!

Flying Doombull hunted down second Eagle Claw with easy while his brethren moved out of their pack and started hunting down units individually, each going after different Elven unit.

Harpies spotted the chance for revenge when Swordmasters exposed their flank to the attack. The warriors of Hoeth fought well but broke from combat anyway. They were lucky to flee though but it was clear that hot pursuits were a mistake and beastmen wizards will have a chance to escape now.

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 3,5 --> 8:5 (no channels)
Boosted Miasma: 3,4,6,6 --> IF --> miscast result: 1,6 --> single wound on Gor --> 6 dice lost --> end of magic phase

Some Combat Phase Details:

Harpies vs Swordmasters: Harpies 4+ to hit ---> 6 hits (out of 9 attacks) --> 4 + to wound --> 4 wounds --> 5+ saves --> no saves; Swordmasters --> 3+ to hit, 4 attacks --> 2 hits, 2+ to wound --> 2 wounds --> steadfast, failed break test

Outcasts - Turn 5

Image
Evading maneuvers

Elven units were hard pressed but they used their superior training to execute well organized march moves and avoid the rampaging Minotaurs where possible. Sometimes it required trusty eagle to distract bloodthirsty beasts.

At the same time Larry and Archers tried to inflict some damage at the distance but could not land the killing blow just yet.

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 1,6 --> 7:6 (no channels)
Burning Gaze at Flying Doombull: 3,5 + 2 = 10 --> no dispel attempt --> 5 hits, 1 wound, saved
2d6 Fireball at Flying Doombull: 1,1,4 + 2 = 8 failed to cast

Shooting Phase Details

Archers A1 at a single Gor: 6+ to hit (long range, hard cover) --> 4 hits, 0 wounds
Archers A2 at Flying Doombull: 4+ to hit --> 8 hits, 1 wound, saved

Beastmen - Turn 5

Image
Minotaurs try to catch fleet on foot Elves

Four angry Minotaurs moved around again, trying to catch the Elves who kept avoiding them. At the same time Ungor Riders failed to rally and fled through the ranks of Swordmasters who captured one of the creatures. That also meant remaining two were blocking the attack path for the warriors of Hoeth.

One Shaman and Slugtongue moved to join last pack of riders and hid behind the hills. Slugtongue finally raised some Zombies to help him out too!

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 3,4 --> 8:5 (one successful channel each)
Ryze: 1,1,5,6 + 2 = 15 --> no dispel attempt --> 10 Zombies summoned
Akar'aran: 1,1,2,3 + 2 = 9 --> failed to cast

Outcasts - Turn 6

Image
Last chance to hunt some beastmen!

It was the last chance to hunt down some vile beastmen. Swordmasters charged ungors who held to prevent the attack at their Minotaur boss. They died but single survivor fled!

In the South another unit of Swordmasters chased riders away and re-directed into Gors but they fled to safety! Dragon Princes attacked herpies and killed them all. Nearby Shaman thought it was all lost and fled towards the dark forest as well.

Larry and Archers tried for the last time to inflict some more damage but while last Gor was pinned dead to the ground, Flying Doombull remained barely alive but alive nonetheless!

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 5,5 --> 10-7 (successful channel for Beastmen)
Iceshard Blizzard at Flying Doombull: 4,6 + 2 = 12 --> dispelled on 3,4,4,6 + 2 = 19
Burning Gaze at Flying Doombull: 3,3 + 2 = 8 --> no dispel attempt --> 5 hits, 2 wounds, 1 save
Fireball at Flying Doombull: 3,4 + 2 = 9 --> no dispel attempt --> 2 hits, 2 wounds, 2 saves
Spirit Leach at Flying Doombull: 2,6 + 2 = 10 --> dispel scroll
Searing Doom at Flying Doombull: 4,5 + 2 = 11 --> failed dispel attempt on 2,5 + 2 = 9 --> 2 hits, 1 wound, saved

Shooting Phase Details

Archers A2 at Flying Doombull: 4+ to hit --> 7 hits, 3 wounds, 3 saves

Beastmen - Turn 6

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Sorry for that picture, don't know why it uploads to photobucket like that :(

Great Eagles took one for the team and stopped Doombulls from causing more damage. Wounded Flying Doombull charged White Lions but they decided that they better withdraw as they would have been attacked from the flank and their chances at killing the beast were slim anyway.

With that both forces withdrew and regrouped and it seemed that Elves managed to carry the day by the narrowest of margins!

Summary

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Turn-by-turn summary animation

After-battle thoughts

First of all let me thank Elo for being a great opponent and all the spectators from the peanut gallery. There was quite a crowd there at some stage and it's just a pity we had to start the game 9:30-10pm as many people didn't stay long enough to see the end of the game. I hope they will enjoy reading this report then! :)

I was very happy to scrap 11:9 victory from that game as it was a big challenge for me to avoid the Minotaurs while trying to earn enough points elsewhere. There were moments of luck/bad luck on both sides. Before I move on to my own observations here are some points Elo emailed me to comment on the mistakes he says he made and that he believes resulted in his defeat:

1. I didn't split the Minotaurs between 2 units. Your regiments don't have the chance against the Bulls and by putting them into a single unit I limited my movement options and could not play aggressively with them.

2. Failed Frenzy test when Sisters of Avelorn where blocking the unit. If passed I would charge with BSB only, move Doombull with Sword of Swift Slaying against the Lions and the General against the Archers.

3. Charging Reavers with Riders, I should shoot at them instead.

4. I didn't bring the redirector to avoid being charged in the situation when Reavers attacked depleted unit of Gors with Slugtongue.


I agree with the above and here are my observations and comments on various things that happened in the game:

1. Deployment - I was happy with it as I limited the number of units that were affected by Slugtongue by half and didn't suffer many casualties either. The only thing I would change was the relative position of ER1 and DP1 as I had havy cavalry slowed down by the lake where I could not march.

2. Reavers - While I moved them forward in an attempt to outflank the enemy fast and in the end caused lot of trouble for enemy wizards, I wonder if I could have played them better? For example, ER1 could tempt Flying Doombull to charge them, challenge and flee to draw him away from the Eagle Claw. Or even charge him and do the same if he didn't take the bait.

When in combat I made a mistake at some stage when I split the attacks between one remaining gor standard bearer and Slugtongue. The single attack that wounded was regenerated while it would have killed the unit outright and won me the combat. I may have had broken the enemy then, instead I broke myself and lost the unit.

3. Overruns - I definitely made a mistake with overruning in turn 4. I should have restrained and reformed with both, Swordmasters and Dragon Princes. If I did I would have had more options, attack defeated units again if they rallied or attack/press against fresh targets. As a result I endangered Swordmasters who luckily escaped harpies and totally lost the chance to hunt down all 3 enemy wizards that were quite expensive in comparison.

4. Dragon princes - I left them after defeating the riders where I could press South and help in hunting down enemy wizards.

5. BSB - his main role was to make sure I have the re-rolls for swift re-forms when needed. Fortunately, I didn't but if I failed at least one test these Doombulls would have caught me. I am just wondering if I could position him better to be able to charge something in the meantime. I considered attacking Flying Doombull if possible but at that time he still had 2 wounds left and I am not sure if even with re-rolls I would by pass 3++ ward twice.

6. Lions - that was another thing I am not sure if I did properly. I exposed the flank to Flying Doombull. I decided I better flee and give up half the points (ETC rule) than risk being trampled. Lions and Doombull would strike at the same time. I had 4+ to hit, 3+ to wound with 3 attacks only. Doombull had 8A at this stage + d3 impact hits + stomp. With 3+ to hit and 2+ to wound I could have lost entire unit anyway. That would be the difference between small victory and a draw and while I didn't know the score at the moment I made that decision, I decided to play safe.

I hoped to inflict that last wound on Doombull as it would have been great but it was not to be. As you can see there were some points to collect on both sides if not for the mistakes we made so I guess 11:9 is a good reflection of the game.

Thanks for reading and looking forward to your comments and feedback!

Cheers!
Blog: Path of an Outcast

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Battle Log with shortcuts to Battle Reports: HE MSU
Article on HE MSU: HE MSU - Observations
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Rabidnid wrote:Are you seriously asking someone called Swordmaster of Hoeth why he has more swordmasters than white lions? Really?

Swordmaster
Posts: 1170
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:21 am
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Location: White Tower

Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs Beastmen - 27.06.2015

Postby Swordmaster » Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:41 pm

Hi Herminard,

Thanks for the comment! I am glad you liked the report and I hope you would enjoy the one I have just posted. Thanks for the help with the rule query during the game too! :)

Cheers!
Blog: Path of an Outcast

Follow me @SwordOfHoeth

Battle Log with shortcuts to Battle Reports: HE MSU
Article on HE MSU: HE MSU - Observations
Rate my Battle Reports at: Sigmar's Fantasy Battles

Rabidnid wrote:Are you seriously asking someone called Swordmaster of Hoeth why he has more swordmasters than white lions? Really?

Swordmaster
Posts: 1170
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:21 am
Pick number 4 to enter: 1
Location: White Tower

Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs Beastmen - 27.06.2015

Postby Swordmaster » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:29 pm

Greetings!

I had a great pleasure to play against fellow forum member and battle reporter, Loriel. We played over Universal Battle and Loriel was kind enough to let me choose which army I would like to face, High Elves or Tomb Kings. As I have played against HE recently quite often and I haven't had a chance to see new units from End Times in action, I asked for Tomb Kings! However, Loriel told me he plays old school with no benefits from End Times books whatsoever!

We agreed on a simple Battle Field with standard 2400 points armies. Loriel asked for closed lists so the one I am going to present below was not fully known to me during the game. In fact, I didn't know the composition of his force at all (I had some clues though) so please, take that into account when considering my decisions during the deployment phase.

Cursed Kings - Army List

Liche High Priest, level 4, Obsidian Lodestone, Power Stone - Lore of Nehekara - 275
Prince Apophas - 130

20 Skeleton Archers, Master of Arrows, Musician - 140
20 Skeleton Archers, Musician - 130
20 Skeleton Archers, Musician - 130
12 Skeleton Archers - 72
5 Skeleton Horse Archers - 70
5 Skeleton Horse Archers - 70

3 Necropolis Knights, Standard, Entombed Beneath the Sands - 220
3 Necropolis Knights, Standard, Entombed Beneath the Sands - 220
3 Sepulcher Stalkers, Entombed Beneath the Sands - 165
3 Sepulcher Stalkers, Entombed Beneath the Sands - 165
Tomb Scorpion, Entombed Beneath the Sands - 85
Tomb Scorpion, Entombed Beneath the Sands - 85
2 Tomb Swarms, Entombed Beneath the Sands - 80
2 Tomb Swarms, Entombed Beneath the Sands - 80

Casket of Souls - 135
Casket of Souls - 135
Screaming Skull Catapult - 90
Screaming Skull Catapult - 90

I decided to use my most recent version of MSU force:

Outcasts - Army List

Larry the Loremaster, Earthing Rod, Armor of Fortune, Obsidian Amulet - 320
Bob the Battle Standard Bearer, Griffon (Swiftsense), Dragon Armor, Lance, Talisman of Preservation, Charmed Shield - 331

16 Archers, Full Command - 190
15 Archers, Full Command - 180
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Champion, Musician, Bows, Spears - 115
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Champion, Musician, Bows, Spears - 115

5 Dragon Princes, Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame - 175
5 Dragon Princes, Musician - 155
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Lions, Banner, Musician, Gleaming Pennant - 150

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Great Eagle - 50
Great Eagle - 50
9 Sisters - 126

Terrain

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Hill - Blocks line of sight
Forrests - Mysterious terrain
Lake - Mysterious terrain
Pyramids - Impassable, blocks line of sight
Sphinx - Nehekeran Sphinx (as per rulebook, p. 130), blocks line of sight

I won the roll off for picking up the side and chose South. Lorile won the roll determining who is going to start deploying troops.

Deployment

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Deployment, Scouts, Vanguards

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Final deployment

Deployment order:

Skeleton Archers (SA1) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER1)
Skeleton Archers (SA2) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER2)
Skeleton Archers (SA3) - Great Eagle (GE1)
War Machines - Great Eagle (GE2)
Skeleton Archers (SA4) - Archers (A1)
Hierophant - Rest of the Army
Horse Archers (Scouts)

I won the roll off for vanguards and started:

Ellyrian Reavers (ER1) - Horse Archers (HA1)
Ellyrian Reavers (ER2) - Horse Archers (HA2)

We are looking forward to reading your comments! I will not reveal at the moment who got first turn but remember that Loriel has +1 to start. No less than 8 units are waiting in Ambush! I will present turn one tomorrow and hopefully I will also be able to go through Loriel's army.

Loriel's Hierophant got following spells: Desert Wind, Cursed Blades, Dessication, Skullstorm

Loriel won the roll off as expected and proceeded to his first turn!

Cursed Kings - Turn 1

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First blood for Cursed Kings

Hierophant ordered his minions forward and drew deeply from the raging winds of magic. Larry could stop only one thing and focused on shutting down the effect of one casket of souls. Thanks to that Hierophant moved his units forward faster and the second casket released its deadly cargo. The unit of Swordmasters became the target and howling souls claimed all but the Bladelord. Even the training in White Tower didn't prepare him for the horrors he has just witnessed and he went mad. Nearby White Lions were shaken too but fortunately for them magical banner calmed them down (Edit: Had to use Gleaming Pennant for failed panic check do to destroyed unit in 6", i.e. fleeing Bladelord off the table edge.).

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 6,6 --> 12:6 (no channels)
Desert Wind: 3,6 + 4 = 13 --> no dispel attempt
Casket of Souls (right): 1,3,4,5,6 = 19 --> dispelled on a roll 1,3,4,5,6,6
Casket of Souls (left): 1,3,3,4,5 = 16 --> no dispel attempt --> 3d6 Ld test for Swordmasters (S2): 5,6,6 - ld8 = 9 wounds, panic failed on a roll of 4,6 --> Bladelord fled off the table --> didn't jump to new unit due to roll of 2 to do so


Shooting Phase Details:

Horse Archers (HA2) at Reavers (ER2): 5+ to hit --> 4 hits, 4+ to wound --> 2 wounds, no saves (failed 5+)
Archers(SA2) at Reavers (ER2): 5+ to hit --> 4 hits, 4+ to wound --> 2 wounds, both saved on 5+
Archers(SA3) at Reavers (ER1): 5+ to hit (11 can shoot) --> 1 hit, 4+ to wound --> 1 wound, saved on 6+
Horse Archers (HA1) at Reavers (ER1): 5+ to hit --> 4 hits, 4+ to wound --> 2 wounds, no saves (failed 5+)
Right Catapult at Larry the Loremaster: HIT --> Look Out Sir! passed --> 2 Archers affected but no wounds --> 6 + 1 Swordmasters hit --> 4 + to wound (2+ for one) --> 3 wound (1 wound) --> 2 saved on 5+
Left Catapult at Eagle Claw (EC1): missed the target

Outcasts - Turn 1

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Outcasts move forward!

Elves had to move fast to use the opportunity that ambushing elements of the enemy army (expected but not known in what quantity yet) have not joined the battle yet. Since the enemy deployed in the center outflanking seems like an invitation and it would have been rude not to oblige. Especially as a guest!

Larry tried to make undead bowmen less accurate and burn some others to dust but somehow his fireball didn't even form properly and he lost his energy completely.

The shooters picked up but although one unit of Horse Archers was destroyed, the general performance seemed not to be as efficient as expected.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,6 --> 8:6 (no channels)
Miasma at Archers (SA1): 2,6 + 2 = 10 --> no dispel attempt --> -1 BS
2d6 Fireball at Archers (SA3): 1,2,3 +2 = 8 failed to cast

Shooting Phase Details:

Reavers (ER2) at Horse Archers (HA2): move, range, 4+/5+ (champ/unit) --> 2 hits, 4+ to wound --> 1 wound, no save
Sisters at Horse Archers (HA2): range, 3+ --> 6 hits, 3+ to wound --> 5 wounds, no save
Archers (A1) at Archers (SA3): move, range, 4+/5+ (champion/unit) --> 2 hits, 4 + to wound --> 1 wound
Eagle Claw (EC1) at Archers (SA3): 3+ to hit, multiple --> 4 hits, 3+ to wound --> 2 wounds
Archers (A2) at Archers (SA3): range, 3+/4+ (champion/unit) --> 10 hits, 4 + to wound --> 3 wounds
Eagle Claw (EC2) at Horse Archers (SA1): 4+ to hit, multiple --> 3 hits, 3+ to wound --> 2 wounds

Cursed Kings - Turn 2

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Units start crawling out of the sands

The call to arms and to protect their King resonated through vast desert. It was answered by the creatures buried beneath the sands, small and large and each dangerous in its own way. Majority of the ambushing forces appeared behind Elven lines, where Sepulchar Stalkers, Swarms and Necropolis Knights made their presence seen. Another pack of Stalkers blocked Dragon Princes on the East and both tried to transfix as many knights as possible. There were significant casualties but the survivors were determined to hold fast and enact vengeance!

A lone Tomb scorpion lost its way, however, but fortunately showed up close it its own forces to be still of some use. At the same time Skeletons moved back as their Hierophant wanted to put extra distance in between the forces. Some of the fallen warriors stood up to fight again but unlucky magical feedback turned some of them into dust again. Elves suffered more damage again although it seemed slightly less devastating than before. Unfortunately, they could not be resurrected as the Undead warriors and each casualty was making the situation of the Outcasts worse.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 5,5 --> 12:6 (2 power dice from casket and one channel for Elves)
Desert Wind: 1,4 + 4 = 9 (no dispel attempt)
Left Casket of Souls at BSB: 2,2,3,3,4 = 14 --> dispelled with the roll 1,3,3,4,6 + 2 = 19
Right Casket of Souls at Great Eagle (GE1): 2,4,6 = 12 --> no dispel attempt --> 2,4,6 - Ld9 = 3w --> jumps to great eagle (GE2) --> 1,3,5 - Ld 9 = 0w --> jumps to Archers --> 1,3,3 - Ld 9 = 0w --> fails to jump further
Dessication at Swordmasters (SM1): 6,6 --> Irresistible Force --> Miscast: 1,5 --> small template s10 hits --> 9 archers destroyed, hierophant wounded

Shooting Phase Details:

Horse Archers (HA2) at Reavers (ER2): 5+ to hit --> 3 hits, 4+ to wound --> 3 wounds, no saves (failed 5+)
Sepulchar Stalkers (SS2) at Dragon Princes (DP2): 6,6,8 = 20 hits, 6+ to wound --> 3 wounds, 6++ ward saves --> no saves, panic passed
Sepulchar Stalkers (SS1) at Dragon Princes (DP1): 6,6,MISFIRE (suffered 1 wound) = 12 hits, 6+ to wound --> 2 wounds, 6++ ward saves --> no saves, panic passed
Left Catapult at BSB: misses the target
Right Catapult at Eagle Claw (EC2): misses the target
Archers (SA1) at Swordmasters (SM1): 11 could shoot, 6+ to hit (due to Miasma) --> 2 hits, 3+ to wound (due to Dessication) --> 2 wounds, 1 save on 5+
Archers (SA3) at Swordmasters (SM1): 18 shots, 5+ to hit --> 11 hits, 3+ to wound (due to Dessication) --> 6 wounds, 2 saves on 5+, 1 parry on 6++
Archers (SA4) at White Lions: 12 shots, 5+ to hit --> 3 hits, 4+ to wound --> 3 wounds, 3+ save --> all saved
Archers (SA2) at White Lions: 20 shots, 5+ to hit --> 8 hits, 4+ to wound --> 4 wounds, 3+ save --> 3 saves

Outcasts - Turn 2

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Elves re-arrange their formation to counter a new threat

With new players entering the stage Elves had to react fast. Their leaders noticed that the enemy bowmen pulled back and that gave them a little bit more breathing space they wanted to to use to their advantage. The new plan was quickly formulated. Cavalry on the flanks proceeded with their initial push and Reavers destroyed first catapult on the West while Dragon Princes avenged their fallen companions and attacked Stalkers.

In the meantime, the rest of the forces reformed and tried to hurt the ambushers with ranged attacks before bracing for impact. However, the magic and shooting results were a big disappointment and Elves stoically awaited incoming attacks.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,1 --> 2:1 (no channels)
Burning Gaze at Necropolis Knights (NK1): 4,5 + 2 = 11 --> 1,3 = 4 hits, 4+ to wound --> 1 wound, 4+ to save --> saved

Shooting Phase Details:

Eagle Claw (EC2) at Necropolis Knights (NK1): single shot, 3+ to hit --> hits, 2+ to wound --> wounds, multiplies to 1 wound, does not go further
Archers (A2) at Necropolis Knights (NK1): move, 3+/4+ to hit (champ/unit) --> 10 hits, 5+ to wound --> 2 wounds, 1 save on 3+
Eagle Claw (EC2) at Necropolis Knights (NK1): multiple shot, 3+ to hit --> 4 hits, 4+ to wound --> 4 wound, 5+ to save --> all saved
Sisters at Sepulcher Stalkers (SS1): move, distance, 4+ to hit --> 4 hits, 4+ to wound --> 2 wounds, 6+ to save --> no saves
Arches (A1) at Sepulcher Stalkers (SS1): move, 3+/4+ to hit (champ/unit) --> 6 hits, 5+ to wound --> 2 wounds, 5+ save --> no saves

Cursed Kings - Turn 3

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Prince Apophas is here!

Prince Apophas made it to the battle among more swarms but he went towards the Sisters as main target. They were also attacked by vicious swarms who have just devoured eagle claw and its crew.

More Necropolis Knights emerged from beneath the sands and they joined nearby Stalkers to attack elven archers. However, those that attacked elven forces earlier didn't fare that well. First group of the Knights charged against Archers but their ranks and martial prowess of the Loremaster meant that only one knight was allowed to strike back and he crumbled to dust soon after. It was the fate of the Stalkers attacked by Dragon Princes too although only regimental standard bearer remained alive.

Hierophant and his legions of shooters stepped in but surprisingly this time they didn't claim as many casualties.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 3,3 --> 9:3 (3 additional from Casket)
Desert Wind: 2,2 + 4 = 8 --> Dispelled on a roll of 2,3,5 + 2 = 12
Left Casket of Souls at Dragon Princes (DP1): 2,4,4 = 10 --> 2,3,6 - Ld9 = 2w --> 1 6++ ward save --> panic check passed
Right Casket of Souls at Eagle Claw (EC2): 1,4,6,6 = 17 --> 1,2,6 - Ld8 = 1w

Shooting Phase Details:

Horse Archers at Eagle Claw (EC2): 5+ to hit --> 2 hits, 6+ to wound --> no wounds
Stalkers (SS1) at Archers (A1): 8,6 = 14 hits, 6+ to wound --> 1w
Prince Apophas at Sisters: 7 hits, 5+ to wound --> 3 wounds, 6+ save --> no save
Catapult at Eagle Claw (EC2): missed the target
Archers (A3) at Dragon Princes (DP1): 12 shots, 5+ to hit --> 4 hits, 4+ to wound --> 3 wounds, all saved
Remaining Archers at White Lions: 1 wound total

Close Combat Details:

Stalker (SS2) vs Dragon Princes (DP2): DP 3+ to hit with re-roll --> 3 hits, 5+ to wound --> 2 wounds, 5+ save --> no saves; Steeds, 4+ to hit --> 2 hits, 5+ to wound --> no wounds; Stalker, 4+ to hit --> 2 hits, 2+ to wound --> 2w, 4+/6++ to save --> 1 save; Stalker crumbles
Necropolis Knights (NK1) vs Archers (A2): Archers, 4+ to hit with re-rolls --> 8 hits, 5+ to wound --> 6 wounds, 3+ to save --> 4 saves; Larry the Loremaster --> 3+ to hit --> 3 hits, 2+ to wound --> 3 wounds, 6+ to save --> no saves; Necropolis Knight, 2 attacks 4+ to hit --> 1 hit, 2+ to wound --> wounds, 5++ save --> saved; Snake Mount, 3 attacks, 4+ to hit --> 1 hit, 2+ to wound --> 1 wound, 5++ save --> no save; The Knight crumbles

Outcasts - Turn 3

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Lots of explosions!

Outcasts had to push harder if they wanted to survive that tough situations. Fortunately, they had the tools to do so. Depleted squadrons of the cavalry were still dangerous and they didn't hesitate to attack. Reavers charge the scorpion and pinned it down for a while although they lost another rider. Dragon Princes charged their respective targets and while the lonely standard bearer inflicted significant damage it was his companions who had a more important task to accomplish. They spotted exposed flank of the units where the Hierophant was hiding. They hit fast, they hit hard and more than half of a unit crumbled. Now, would they be able to hack it to pieces fast enough before the reinforces would come?

In the meantime Bob the Battle Standard Bearer exploited another mistake his undead foe made. He charged at the exposed flank of the Stalkers, tore through them like hot knife and impacted into a flank of another regiment, freshly emerged Necropolis Knights.

One of the great eagles tried to aid Sisters but poisonous attacks of the vicious undead swarms were too much for him and Sisters could not hold and broke only to be run down in the pursuit.

Larry used his potent magic but anger made him careless. He drew too much of the energy, it was unstoppable balefire that evaporated Prince Apophas in an instant. However, as he exploded the feedback also resulted in another disaster. Many Archers fell and their surviving companions thought it was better to take away Larry to safety despite his vocal protests! (Edit: I made a huge mistake here. I thought charging Bob has them in range still but I didn't measure and when the explosions happened I failed panic check and was just above 18" for the re-roll!)

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 3,5 --> 8:5 (no channels attempts)
Burning Gaze at Prince Apophas: 6,6 --> 2d6 (due to lore attribute against undead) = 11, 4+ to wound --> 6w; his explosion kills 3 archers; Miscast result = 1,4 --> Loremaster wounded but saves on ward 6+ --> 7 more archers die --> failed panic check

Cursed Kings - Turn 4

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Few Elves that survive try to fight back

With many fights around the battle field the balance seemed to swing towards one and then to the other side. On one hand Elves defeated their enemies in close combat (although Reavers were still destroyed by Tomb Scorpion) and were very close to get the main prize, the Hierophant now. On the other Undead were deadly with their ranged attacks, in particular Caskets reminded about their presence by destroying entire regiment of White Lions!

Larry and his few companions lost some more warriors to asp arrows and they were now interested only in trying to find a shelter and simply surviving the battle.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,5 --> 9:4 (3 dice from casket)
Dessication at Dragon Princes (DP1): 1,5,6 + 4 = 16, dispelled on the roll of 1,3,4,6 + 2 = 16 (Edit: According to my chat copy I thought I had only 4 dispel dice, I would use 5th dice for this attempt for sure)
Left Casket to White Lions: 4,5,6 = 15 --> 4,5,5 - Ld8 = 6 wounds
Right Casket to White Lions: 2,5 = 7 --> 4,6,6 - Ld8 = 8 wounds, dead unit
Cursed Blades at Archers (A1): 2,2,3 + 4 = 11 (with the use of a power stone) --> no dispel attempt, 2 models resurrected

Shooting Phase Details:

Horse Archers (HA2) at Archers (A2): 5+ to hit --> 1 hit, 4+ to wound --> no wounds
Archers (SA2) at Archers (A2): 5+ to hit --> 5 hits, 1 allocated to Larry (saved) --> 2 wounds
Catapult at Eagle Claw: missed the target

Outcasts - Turn 4

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Hierophant is destroyed!

Knowing that if they get the Hierophant then there is a chance to survive the battle, Elves pushed for one more effort. Bob the Battle Standard Bearer destroyed last Knights and was scanning the field. On far East single Dragon Prince emerged victorious from the fight against Skeleton Archers. Remaining Swordmasters crushed the annoying but dangerous Swarms.

But in the most important fight, two Elven knights finished off the Hierophant and the magic that bind the walking skeletons weakened. As a result one Tomb Scorpion, Horse Archers and Catapult crumbled to dust. That relieved some pressure from the Outcasts but the battle was far from over!

Cursed Kings - Turn 5

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Leaderless the army of undead slowly crumbles to dust

Without the Hierophat to lead them the undead forces were not as vigorous and some of the skeleton warriors started to crumble. But the fight continued and one regiment of Archers attacked Dragon Princes. Exhausted Knights moved away to avoid the combat.

One of the Casket of Souls was still stopped but the other one released its cargo and remaining Swordmasters were claimed by the souls of the dead.

Outcasts - Turn 5

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Very few warriors remain

Larry and his few companions keep fleeing, they almost managed to reach the pyramid and while they are not yet completely safe at least they will not be attacked anymore.

Bob the Battle Standard Bearer spurred his mount and flew towards Dragon Princes but he was too late. Elven Knights were so battered they had to withdraw immediately to avoid destruction. Their lone companion in a heroic charge finally demolished the cursed Casket that claimed so many Elven lives but the resulting detonation killed brave Knight as well.

The archers tried to finish off the other Casket of Souls that suffered some damage due to weakening of the bond between realms of the dead and the living but could not make it.

Cursed Kings - Turn 6

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Last strike by Cursed Kings

More units crumbled and last Casket fell apart too. Without any magic and no chance for combat, Skeleton Archers released the last arrows and got the remaining crew member of the Eagle Claw bolt thrower.

The final word belonged to Elves however.

Outcasts - Turn 6

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Last combat

Larry the Loremaster climbed through the ruins and almost fell if not for a helping hand of his companion. They were exhausted, wounded and barely alive but made it to the safety and could wait for the rescue teams now.

Bob led the last attack all by himself and stormed furiously into the remnants of the Skeleton Archers. He and his griffon left no foe to fight any further.

In the meantime, Archers marched to shoot at a Tomb Scorpion. It was clear that the beast is brely animated and a single arrow would end its artificial live but the target was not easy to hit and Archers didn't deliver the final blow.

Although both armies were almost utterly destroyed, Elves carried the day as their leaders were still among them!

Summary

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Turn by turn animation summary

After-battle thoughts

First of all I would like to thank Loriel for a great game! He is a great person and I highly recommend that you go and ask him for a game. The sportsmanship of your opponent is the most crucial factor in determining how much fun you get from it and Loriel is an example to follow!

I also hope that this game showed that you should never underestimate Tomb Kings. I absolutely love the army Loriel brought to the game as in my opinion it emphasizes the nature of the skeleton warriors of the Desert. In particular the huge amount of regiments that were entombed beneath the sands.

This time I go an upper hand but I am sure you could see many moments in that game were things could go much better for Loriel and he was definitely on a good path to the victory. As always, tiny details can change the course of battle! Here are the situations I think had a significant impact on our game:

1. Opening the route to the hierophant - even if didn't bring much destruction to TK army on its own it definitely helped. First of all, with the constant threat of Caskets I had a tough choice, allow them to unleash their deadly cargo or allow the TK general to move his firebase into range and resurrect fallen troops. Both situations where undesirable because both meant I was losing warriors.

Getting the hierophant and the bonus for the general was still a significant amount of points. In addition, when the crumbling occurred, Loriel lost one Casket and remaining catapult, further limiting his ability to inflict damage at the distance. It is also important to note that killing hierophant took away horse archers who would otherwise attack fleeing Loremaster and earned Lorile 600+ points!

2. Exposing the flank of Satlkers and Knights - that simply crushed the plan Loriel had to surround and destroy my archers and I was happy to use BSB as mobile reserve for that particular purpose. I just wish I noticed I could charge with the Eagle against the Knights so that BSB could fight twice the same turn and hopefully finish the enemy earlier.

3. Not charging with Archers against Swarms attacking Eagle Claw - I considered that and acknowledging the full benefit of a hindsight I think it was a mistake not to do so. If I did I would be able to save Sisters and prevent Larry from fleeing even if he miscast anyway.

4. Not measuring the distance from charging BSB to other units - that was simply unacceptable. And if not for some luck I would have lost my general and another unit. Not to mention that the loremaster had no opportunity to redeem himself for quite miserable magic phases in the first half of the game.

I still wonder how could I deploy better, the main and always the same question I ask each time I play a game :)

I hope you enjoyed the report and we are both looking forward to reading your comments!

Cheers!
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Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs Tomb Kings - 16.07.2015

Postby Edzig » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:14 am

That was a really bloody / dusty battle! I play Tomb Kings as well as High Elves and like you I love Loriel's list. I've never entombed more than a few units (Stalkers and Scorpions), but the mass of units emerging from the sands is really effective - as well as cinematic. Thanks as ever for a great report.

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Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs Tomb Kings - 16.07.2015

Postby Swordmaster » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:24 pm

Hi Edzig,

Many thanks for your feedback. I am glad to know you liked Loriel's list and that you enjoyed the report! We might try to organize a rematch but this time Loriel would bring his HE.

I can also say that there might be another battle report in the making, so watch this space. :)

Cheers!
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Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs Tomb Kings - 16.07.2015

Postby Swordmaster » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:28 am

Greetings!

I had two games against Skaven recently but I will present the report from the second one only. In the first things went quite well, didn't even lose a unit until turn 4 while my opponent suffered some considerable casualties. In turn 4 we had a rule issue and ... my opponent rage quit. Never happened to me before ... Unfortunately, it does not feel right to write a report from such a game. A shame it ended like that as I had some spectacular moments in it and I think there would have been some interesting finale to the struggle. Ah well ...

Fortunately, Eastern Barbarian aka Wardancer, with whom I planned to play for quite a long time (and who was featured in my reports many times) stepped in and he also decided to field Skaven. Being true to his style, he brought and army totally different to what I have seen so far. (Please, take into account we played 2500 points as well as EB trying to get good score under Swedish Comp).

Skaven - Army List

Warlord, Brood Horror mount
Warlord, Rat Ogre mount
BSB
Plague Priest, Plague Furnace - Lore of Plague

25 Stormvermin, Ratling Gun
25 Stormvermin, Doom Flyer
25 Slaves
25 Slaves

6 Gutter Runners
6 Gutter Runners
30 Plague Monks

Abomination
Abomination

As you can see quite an aggressive and combat orientated force. 2 abominations are already something everybody should be concerned with so I was happy to bring Sisters, Banner of Eternal Flame and flaming magic missiles. In addition, Brood Horror is essentially Abomination mount that does not move randomly. So, 3 A-boms to deal with! :)

Next, huge unit of unbreakable Plague Monks with Plague Furnace. I knew from my previous game that it might be good idea to shoot at it with all I had (I shot down Screaming Bell to pieces then!) but the challenge lied in the fact I would have many other targets to shoot. I decided then I will focus on Abominations and try to kill as many as possible while the furnace will have to wait and will be diverted.

4 units of ranked infantry with 2 weapon teams could not be ignored either. They could help the more killy elements by providing rank bonus (although against my tiny units it might not be so necessary) or block the surrounding units from combining their efforts in outflanking the enemy. In fact, they could go into one-on-one fights too and expect to stay there for some time without support as well as inflict some casualties in the process.

The army obviously lacks typical shooting and magic Skaven armies are known for. However, 2 units of gutter runners will be a problem and even at level 2, with correct spells like Plague, the Priest can be a dangerous element of the Skaven army.

I took almost identical army as before, with one more fast cavalry:

Outcasts - Army List

Larry the Loremaster, Earthing Rod, Armor of Fortune, Obsidian Amulet - 320
Bob the Battle Standard Bearer, Griffon (Swiftsense), Dragon Armor, Lance, Talisman of Preservation, Charmed Shield - 331

16 Archers, Full Command - 190
15 Archers, Full Command - 180
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Champion, Musician, Bows, Spears - 115
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Champion, Musician, Bows, Spears - 115
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Champion, Musician, Bows, Spears - 115

5 Dragon Princes, Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame - 175
5 Dragon Princes, Musician - 155
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Lions, Banner, Musician, Gleaming Pennant - 150

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Great Eagle - 50
Great Eagle - 50
8 Sisters - 112

My general plan was to deploy further away, inflict as much damage as possible with flaming ranged attacks and engage in combat with elements I hoped to defeat. E.g. infantry blocks or wounded abominations, especially if attacked by Dragon Princess with banner and Swordmasters to use the initiative order to my advantage. Dragon Princess would inflict a flaming wound while Swordmasters would follow with theirs soon after.

Terrain

Image

The hills were blocking line of sight so that longer one in the middle would be a good cover. The fences were hard cover and the building was just small cottage with a single level. Forrests were mysterious and the blue hole on the battle field was dangerous terrain (the map was actually called 'Hole in the Ground' :)).

Deployment

Image
Deployment Order and Vanguard

Slaves (S1) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER1)
Abomination (A1) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER2)
Storm Vermin (SV1) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER3)
Plague Monks - Great Eagle (GE1)
Storm Vermin (S2) - Great Eagle (GE2)
Slaves (S2) - Sisters of Avelorn
Abomination (A2) - Eagle Claws
Characters - Rest of the Army

Image
Final Deployment

Plague Priest got: Wither, Plague

EB won the roll off so Skaven moved forward without any delay!

Skaven - Turn 1

Image
Not all went according to the plan

Skaven moved forward as fast as possible. The abomination on the left flank was kind of lazy but the one on the right was more than eager to move forward. Plague Priest started to brew his deadly fumes when something went horribly wrong. Not only he could not resist the huge magical feedback but it resulted in a detonation of cataclysmic proportion and his own untimely demise. Magicless Skaven started to wave their rag-tag banners feverishly and somehow the huge storm started to build over the battlefield.

Magic Phase Details:
Winds of Magic: 5,6 --> 11:6 (no channels)
Wither at Ellyrian Ravers (ER1): 5,6,6 - Irresistible Force --> Miscast result: 1,3 --> Cascade, 20 Plague Monks affected, 15 die, Furnace not affected --> Plague Priest goes down the hole :( #-o

Outcasts - Turn 1

Image
Outcast begin their ranged barrage

Fast reavers pulled back and majority of the forces remained in their positions. Partially because of the storm raging over the battlefield that already affected the accuracy of the shooting. However, Larry the Loremaster decided to shed some light in that darkness. Although his Fireball was consumed by the evil energies they could not stop the spell of pure light and one of the abominations roared in pain when it was hurt by a burning gaze. Sisters picked up after him and their flaming arrows sailed through the storm and finished off the beast from hell! (Edit: As they didn't move they were hitting on 5+ and wounding on 5+ and I managed to score 2 wounds)

Magic Phase Details:
Winds of Magic: 5,2 --> 8-5 (1 channel for HE)
2d6 Fireball at Abomination (A1): 1,2,3,5 + 2 = 13, dispelled on the roll of: 1,2,5,6,6
Boosted Burning Gaze at Abomination (A1): 1,4,5,6 + 2 = 18 --> d6 S6 --> 6 hits --> 4 wounds

Skaven - Turn 2

Image
Skaven keep advancing

Skaven turned towards the more juicy Elven center and kept pressing forward. Gutter Runners made their way towards the battle but their usually deadly throwing stars didn't hit that many targets due to raging storm. One of the Warlords urged his Rat Ogre mount to the left flank while Abomination moved super fast towards elven regiments on the hill.

Outcasts - Turn 2

Image
Power of the Elven archery

The storm disappears as quickly and abruptly as it started and Elven army had now a clear view at the horrors that were running towards them. Veterans of the countless battles were not to be shaken easily though and they took advantage of the clear weather that didn't affect the accuracy of their shooting. Sisters led the way and their flaming arrows deeply wounded the Broodhorror. The volley from one of the Eagle Claws was all that was needed to finish it off! (Edit: Both units were hitting on 3+. After randomization of hits Sisters wounded 3 times and Eagle Claw inflicted 4w. Seems like S4 against T5 can be deadly.).

With one of the main targets gone Archers and the other Eagle Claw aimed at damaged Furnace. Without Plague Priest it was now even more vulnerable and that device was also ruined by elven arrows and bolts. They expertly hit vulnerable joints and the Furnace collapsed under its own weight (Edit: I was lucky to get three 6's to wound the Furnace with the Archers who hit 12 times. Then Eagle Claw got that lucky 6 too to finish it.)

On the right flank Dragon Princes, trusting in the fiery power of their banner, charged the Abomination. Unfortunately, its thick skin was too hard to pierce and only a single wound was inflicted. Abomination flailed back and thanks to Dragon Armor only 3 knights fell down. They barely won the combat but stubborn abomination didn't move anywhere.

Magic Phase Details:
Winds of Magic: 1,4 --> 5:4
3d6 Fireball at Broodhorror: 1,3,4,4,6 + 2 = 20 --> dispelled on a roll: 1,5,6,6

Skaven - Turn 3

Image
Skaven do not give up

Despite heavy losses Skaven haven't given up yet. They attacked blocking eagles and used the momentum to cover more distance towards the Elves. Slaves were dispatched to pin down Elven heavy cavalry. Gutter runners destroyed Reavers that blocked their path to more vulnerable war machines.

Surprisingly, though, the last Dragon Prince was waving his flag proudly against hulking abomination! (Edit: A-bom inflicted 6 wounds, I saved 4 with 5+ armor and 1 more with 6++ ward!)

Outcasts - Turn 3

Image
Counter-charge!

Elves decided it is time to get close and personal. Archers on the left flank charged gutter runners who had to hold or flee the battle. They were still killed by super swift Archers. Their companions on the right flank joined Swordmasters and their BSB in the all out attack at Stormvermin and enemy BSB. Larry the Loremaster further aided his troops by slowing Stormvermin and freezing their limbs. Elite vermin stood no chance to such an attack and many of them lied dead before the survivors could hit back. The remaining few turned their tails and fled, chased by Swordmasters.

Magic Phase Details:
Winds of Magic: 1,5 --> 6:5
Miasma (Initiative) at Stormvermin (SV2): 4,4 + 2 = 10, dispel attempt failed at: 1,2,3 --> -1 Initiative (enough to let Swordmasters to strike before Stormvermin)
Iceshard at Stormvermin (SV2): 1,6 + 2 = 9 --> no dispel attempt
Spirit Leech at Warlord with Stormvermin (SV1): 3,5 + 2 = 10, dispel attempt failed at 4,5 --> ld9 + 5 = 14 vs Ld10 + 2 = 12, 2 wounds, 1 saved with 5++ ward

Skaven - Turn 4

Image
Last push

Abomination got crazy and charged in the random direction but it still hit Swordmasters and simply wiped them out (Edit: EB rolled triple 6! Please, note, that reavers where there to get one for the team as we don't acknowledge rail-roading as valid move.) Crazy monks, although heavily depleted charged Sisters who ... held! And didn't even take that many casualties! On the left flank Warlord easily killed lone reaver but he didn't make it to the Eagle Claw with his overrun.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Image
Killing Blow

Dragon princes leveled their lances and charged at Stormvermin who surprisingly turned their tails and fled. But not far enough to avoid elven knights and yet another unit was wiped out.

Larry the Loremaster summoned irresistible fireballs and wounded Abomination further. The shooters picked up and the beast was left barely breathing. It was a matter of time before it was finished.

The last remaining Warlord of the Skaven army decided to leave the battle field. There was not much left from the mighty army but as old verminous wisdom says "the one who flees today, lives to fight tomorrow". Besides, it was a great opportunity to blame now dead clan leader for the incompetence and disaster and claim his mantle unopposed.

Summary

Image
Turn-by-turn summary animation

After-battle thoughts

I must admit I didn't expect that I would be able to inflict such heavy damage in such a short time. Early cascade was a big blow for EB as he lost his only spell caster, it was easier to get wounds against his Furnace and he wiped out half of his unit for me. We discussed the game afterwards, obviously, and EB said that when looking back at the battle he probably switched on Storm Banner too early. That turn when he did I was still at long distance with my shooters and majority of the targets were not even visible. On the other hand his Gutter Runners suffered from additional -2 to hit and didn't wipe out blocking reavers. What's more, Storm Banner run out of power when he needed him the most. Losing one Abomination was acceptable but losing Broodhorror and Furnace in the same turn, before they could even attempt any charges, was heavy blow.

I think that positioning both Abomination and Broodhorror in the center was still unnecessary. If he moved more to the right the hill would have provided some shelter. He would put me in a difficult situation. To deploy units in the opposite corner but without chance to damage him for 1-2 turns (and still facing Storm Banner) or to deploy some regiments directly opposite where he could reach them much faster.

I had some more than average rolls again (it was the case in the game I mentioned before, where by turn 4 I didn't lose a unit yet but got 2 cannons, Stormfiends, Screaming Bell and Warlord on Rat Ogre) that definitely helped. But at the same time the combined charge of Archers, Swordmasters and BSB showed I had some considerable fighting abilities, especially when supported by magic.

I am sorry the luck was not on EB's side this time but I am sure he is plotting his revenge as we speak and we might have a chance for a re-match. He showed many times (check his double Wyvern or Empire games) that he learns quickly from his mistakes and can win with his unique armies despite initial defeats.

I hope you enjoyed the report and thanks for reading!
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Re: MSU HE - 2500 vs Skaven - 27.07.2015

Postby wardancer » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:18 am

All I can say that it was really painful ;)

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Re: MSU HE - 2500 vs Skaven - 27.07.2015

Postby Swordmaster » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:07 am

Yes, it went too good for me for sure. However, given our track record from the past games I am also sure you will learn from the mistakes and come up with a plan to get your revenge :)
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Re: MSU HE - 2500 vs Skaven - 27.07.2015

Postby Swordmaster » Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:12 pm

Greetings!

We have finally played a game with Loriel (my Tomb Kings opponent from the game I posted recently) where he used his High Elves. If you haven't done that already you absolutely must read his fantastic High Magic article where he describes his approach to that lore and how it influences his army list building as well as tactics on the battle field.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Loriel for his patience as due to real life interference I again had to postpone the game we planned initially. Fortunately, he was kind enough to find another date for me and that game took place!

I kept posting each turn separately on Ulthuan. It allowed for some nice discussion about evolving situation and some people were kind enough to provide their predictions as well as comments. If you are interested in reading these, here is the link: Battle Report - Ulthuan.net

Prologue

Two sworn-hosts of Ellyrian Reavers were patrolling the coast while the main army of the Outcasts marched from the desert after recent encounters with the undead armies of Tomb Kings. It was refreshing to feel the sea breeze and both riders and steeds were invigorated by it. Suddenly swift Elven cavalry stopped and the warriors looked towards the horizon. White and silver sails with blue runic signs were clearly visible in the distance. Not an armada but enough ships to carry a full host of one of the noble houses.

"House Loriel sails to war", said the leader of the Reaveres , "They sent House Loriel against us this time."
"How do we know they are hostile?", asked another warrior with a bit of hope in his voice.
"They always are", grizzled veteran replied. Warriors observed approaching ships in silence, counting them and assessing possible strength of their kin.
"Why did they send House Loriel though? I thought that among them all they are the most friendly towards us?"
"Oh, that's simple" replied the leader with crooked smile, "they send the ones that actually didn't scorn us but studied us the most".

The reavers turned around knowing their kin spotted them already and raced back towards the army. There will be few time to form towards the battle.


We agreed with Loriel to come up with some kind of background to link our previous game where he commanded Tomb Kings to this one. I will leave it to Loriel to explain his part of the story :) As before we are going to post the report in stages so that Loriel can add his feedback and comments about each turn. We are, of course, very interested in your take on the evolving situation so don't hesitate and tell us what you think!

House Loriel - Army List

Anointed, General, Enchanted Shield, Sword of Bloodshed - 275
Loriel, Archmage, level 4, Book of Hoeth, Golden Crown, Fencer's Blades - 320 - Lore of High Magic
Battle Standard Bearer, Dragon Armor, Ring of Fury, Shield of the Merwyrm - 145

18 Archers, Musician - 190
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bows - 85
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bows - 85
10 Silver Helms, Musician, Standard - 250

24 Phoenix Guard, Full Command, Standard of Swiftness - 405
25 White Lions, Full Command, Banner of the World Dragon - 405

Frostheart - 240

As you can see this is the army that is based and constructed on a totally different philosophy to mine. It is, as Loriel stated in his article, build around High Magic. Please, bear in mind we played closed lists so while I knew from Loriel's previous reports what to expect in general I didn't know if he took the same magic items. It turns out not necessarily. I am sure he will explain his choices in more details later so I will just say that +3A on the Annointed and Banner of Swiftness were added specifically against my army. He also mentioned he was considering taking Swordmasters instead of Lions for this match up but in the end decided not to tweak his army too much.

I expected to have a very tough nut to crack. Loriel's Lions would most likely be accompanied with Anointed and Archmage. It means they already have 6++ and any magic phase will improve it fast. They are very well protected against magic with BotWD and against shooting with 3+ armor save and any ward save they would end up with. Their already considerable potential can be further improved with spells. They are stubborn and hit hard with 3 ranks so it will be a suicide to hit them from the front. On top of that the presence of Anointed makes them Immune to Psychology so these guys are not going to go anywhere.

Second big block of Phoenix Guard is also well protected. With BSB and his ring then can potentially get 3++ ward save too. Depending on the situation they should be able to receive some magical support too.

Silver Helms and Phoenix form hard hitting units on their own although in comparison to Lions and Phoenix Guard they seem to be less tough. But they are very fast and if any of infantry block is also moved with the spell then I can have these hard hitters extremely close and hard to avoid.

Support in the form of reavers and archers is not to be ignored. I may have advantage in the shooting but these bows and long bows will hurt my small units regardless.

High Magic will play crucial role this game. With BoH it will reliable influence the battle so my aim is to pick a spell to dispel per phase and try to overcome the rest with my own actions instead. Priority would be walk between worlds. Movement is, for me, the most crucial phase and I will need to limit my opponents maneuverability. Soul Quench is potentially very dangerous but I assume to lose some regiments to it. It is acceptable to a degree because there are no bolt throwers that could cripple my army if used in addition to powerful magic missiles. Having said that, to have 2 of these per magic phase is not desirable.

My plan was kind of similar to what I tried to use against big blocks. Kill support (reavers, archers) fast to have better movement control. I thought I could deal with SH but with some sacrifices. Phoenix will be a problem so at least delay it and try some lucky charges with cavalry. Delay and divert PG and WL as long as possible and try to give up as few points in the process as possible.

However, I also wanted to try and tackle one of these two blocks at least but to do that I needed overwhelming odds and blocked other elements of Loriel's army so that I can actually grind the enemy down. It is possible when I attack from 2 directions at the same time (preferably both flanks), hold in enemy turn and then add more push again from few directions.

My army list was exactly the same as against Loriel when he played with his Tomb Kings.

Outcasts - Army List

Larry the Loremaster, Earthing Rod, Armor of Fortune, Obsidian Amulet - 320
Bob the Battle Standard Bearer, Griffon (Swiftsense), Dragon Armor, Lance, Talisman of Preservation, Charmed Shield - 331

16 Archers, Full Command - 190
15 Archers, Full Command - 180
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Champion, Musician, Bows, Spears - 115
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Champion, Musician, Bows, Spears - 115

5 Dragon Princes, Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame - 175
5 Dragon Princes, Musician - 155
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Lions, Banner, Musician, Gleaming Pennant - 150

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Great Eagle - 50
Great Eagle - 50
9 Sisters - 126

Terrain

Image
Desert coast

I tried to recreate a nice map we had on UB that represented a desert and a delta of a river close to the coast of the sea. I know it is not smooth enough but it was the best I could achieve quickly. I hope you will forgive me crude "drawing". The hills are only in brown colors.

We agreed there are two passages through the rivers that don't affect the units in any way. However, any water (delta including) and forests are mysterious. Sphinx is impassable and blocks line of sight. Same with hills and even if you are on the hill you cannot see to the other side of the hill or sphinx.

Deployment

Image
Deployment order and vanguards

Loriel won the roll off to pick the sides and chose North. He did that for background reasons but I think it was better choice regardless. He then won the roll off to start deploying. But I was the first to move my vanguards.

Deployment Order:

1. White Lions - Ellyrian Reavers (ER1)
2. Ellyrian Reavers (ER1) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER2)
3. Ellyrian Reavers (ER2) - Great Eagle (GE1)
4. Phoenix Guard - Great Eagle (GE2)
5. Silver Helms - Archers (A1)
6. Frostheart - Archers (A2)
7. Archers - Dragon Princes (DP1)
8. Characters - Rest of the Army

Final deployment:

Image
Deployment after vanguards

It happened that the forest where Archers hoped to find protection turned out to be a Venomous one so any move would result in dangerous terrain tests.

The Archmage got the following spells: Soul Quench, Apotheosis, Hand of Glory, Walk Between Worlds

Loriel won the roll off thanks to +1 bonus and proceeded to his first turn.

House Loriel - Turn 1

Image
House Loriel moves at a double

High Elves from House Loriel moved fast to take advantage of the situation. Their opponent deployed defensively and was clearly trying to buy time either in the vain hope for negotiations or to catch a breath after long march through the desert. Outcasts enemies picked their battle field well and the timing even better.

Expected magical barrage came with strong winds of magic harnessed with expert practice. Larry the Loremaster focused on a single spell his adversary was weaving and used all his might to dispel the one that was about to teleport White Lions closer to his army. Fortunately for him the following magic missile didn't do as much as damage as expected but Lions were nicely protected by a double layer of Shield of Saphery.

Finally, the Archers focused on Sister of Avelorn as their only target and Outcasts elite troops suffered first casualties.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 3,6 --> 9:6 (4++ ward save for the Phoenix)

Boosted Hand of Glory on White Lions: cast on 4,4 + 5 = 13, no dispel attempt, d3 = 3
Apotheosis on Archmage: 2 --> Book of Hoeth re-roll --> 6 + 5 = 11, cast, no dispel attempt
Boosted Walk Between Worlds on White Lions: cast on 4,4,4,6 + 5 = 23, dispelled on 2,2,3,3,5,6 + 2 = 23
Ring of Fury at Dragon Princes (DP2): 3,5 = 8, number of hits: 4,4 = 8, number of wounds = 6, number of saves (3+/6++) = 5, 1 dead

Outcasts - Turn 1

Image
Outcasts strike back!

Despite visible tiredness Outcasts attacked without delay. The enemy attempted double pincer maneuver so it was important to not only stall it but counter charge as fast as possible.

On the right flank the Swordmasters charged Reavers who exposed their flank and since enemy fast horse didn't flee, warriors of Hoeth didn't give them much of a chance to fight back. Swordmasters tried to use momentum to reach the Phoenix but they were too slow.

At the same time the nearby units regrouped and got ready to receive Phoenix attack.

On the left flank the regiments moved to avoid Phoenix Guard and at the same time surround Silver Helms with fast troops fleeing if attacked and Lions and Dragon Princes ready to counter. However, before they could do that Eagle Claw crews aimed at enemy knights and released the multiple bolts that penetrated armor as if it was not there. That heavy blow panicked young knights of House Loriel and they fled the battle!

Following the example, Sisters and Archers aimed at exposed enemy fast cavalry and wiped them out. In a powerful combination of ranged and close combat attacks, Outcasts managed to get rid of all three cavalry units of the House Loriel giving them a good advantage already.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,3 --> 6:3 (1 channel for the Loremaster)

d6 Fireball at Phoenix: 3,4 + 2 --> 9, dispelled at 6 + 4 = 10
Iceshard at Phoenix: 1,3 + 2 = 6, failed

House Loriel - Turn 2

Image
The power of High Magic

Despite the losses House Loriel pushed hard. Lions charged enemy Swordmasters who wisely retreated but it didn't slow down rampaging warriors as their Archmage aided them with the magical ability to move further and faster than naturally possible. The Phoenix used the momentary disorder among the Outcasts ranks to charge the second unit of Swordmasters and warriors of Hoeth tried hard to hold fast. Fortunately for them, there were enough of them remaining to do so and the help was on its way.

On the other flank Phoenix Guard moved towards their adversaries fast and their battle standard bearer used his magical ring too. With the aid of Archers the casualties among Sisters were huge and only their leader survived.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,3 --> 6:3 (channel for Loriel)

Walk Between Worlds at White Lions: 3,6 + 5 = 14, dispel attempt failed on a roll of 1,2,3 + 2 = 8
Soul Quench at Griffon: 2, BoH reroll 4 + 5 = 9; number of hits: 8, 7 at Griffon (1 hit at the rider deflected by Charmed Shield); 3 wounds
Hand of Glory at Phoenix, WS increase: 2, BoH reroll 3 + 5 = 8; d3 = 5, +3 WS
Ring of Fury at Sisters: cast on a roll of 5; number of hits: 5; number of wounds: 3

Outcasts - Turn 2

Image
Phoenix Hunt

Outcasts where hard pressed so in order to reclaim the initiative they had to push back harder. Sensing the opportunity, Larry the Loremaster and Bob the BSB gave the order to attack the Phoenix with all available units. It was very risky fight and lone Sister took it for the team to buy them more time to press against the Frostheart if it held the ground. Sheer power of the attack was great but to further tip the balance of the fight to Outcasts favor, Larry shrouded his unit in protective bubble, healed griffon a little and froze the Frosheart beyond the point that even that Phoenix can comfortably withstand.

It is still extremely resilient opponent and out of multitudes of attacks only a few wound. The Phoenix, however, is overwhelmed byt the swarming Elves and does not hit back strong enough, breaks and is run down in pursuit. Only Larry and Archers do not run after the Frostheart, Outcasts wanted to be sure it does not escape.

On the other flank great eagle delayed Phoenix Guard while shooters opened at enemy Archers. They suffered lots of casualties and panicked not to rally until the end of the battle.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,3 --> 5:3 (no channels)

Iceshard at Phoenix: 1,5 + 2 = 8 , dispel attempt: 2, BoH reroll 3 + 4 = 7, fails;
Earthblood at Archers: 4,4,4 + 2 = 14, cast, one wound on griffon healed from lore attribute

House Loriel - Turn 3

Image
House Loriel lost the momentum of the advance

With only two main regiments left and both blocked, House Loriel leaders had to come up with a better idea of how to catch elusive Outcasts. Phoenix Guard got rid of the annoying eagle but didn't change the facing and were still attacking towards the South.

White Lions attempted a complex reform maneuver that didn't work as well as planned (Edit: Loriel planned the swift reform and shuffle to the right but failed his Ld9 test to d so). It was not going well but magic could still save the day. Unfortunately, this time the Loremaster was ready and dispelled the attempt to make a magical teleportation. The Archmage took more energy to Soul Quench the crew of the Eagle Claw and this time the Loremaster was not able to prevent that. As a result the war machine was destroyed and nearby Archers had to withdraw from the battle.

However, the feedback depleted the Archmage of his energy completely and no other spells were cast.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 6,2 --> 9:6 (Successful channel for Loriel)

Walk Between Worlds at Lions: 3 + 5 = 8, dispelled with the roll 1,1,5 + 2 = 9
Boosted Soul Quench: 1,3,5,6,6 --> Irresistible Force --> 4d6 hits = 14 --> 3 wounds --> Miscast result: 3,6 --> wounds saved with Golden Crown --> remaining power dice lost, end of magic phase

Outcasts - Turn 3

Image
Archmage captured!

Seeing the opportunity to pin White Lions down, both units of Dragon Princes charged in and both made it. The rest of the army maneuvered to form second wave of the attack and only Reavers moved to block Pheonix Guard from attacking anybody else.

The winds of magic were super strong this time but Archmage dispelled all but two spells anyway. Larry the Loremaster managed to heal his friend Bob and dueled enemy BSB to mind war but could not penetrate mental armor of his adversary just yet.

Dragon Princes use the charge momentum to push hard against Lions and while on the left flank they created good distraction, the unit on the right managed to capture the enemy Archmage. With such an important hostage in their hands, Outcasts gave the chance to the enemy to withdraw and negotiate terms of their surrender. Seeing the reason behind that offer, Anointed ordered his remaining troops to withdraw, while the Archmage was taken away for difficult negotiation talks.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 6,6 --> 12:6

Miasma at White Lions (WS): 1,2,4 + 2 = 9, dispelled on a roll of 1,6 + 4 = 11
Iceshard at White Lions: 3,4,5 + 2 = 14, dispelled on a roll of 1,3,4,5 + 4 = 17 (no more dispel dice now)
Earthblood: 1,3,3 + 2 = 9, 1 wound healed on BSB from Lore Attribute
Spirit Leech at BSB: 1,2,6 + 2 = 11, Loremaster: 9 + 1 = 10, BSB: 9 + 5 = 14, no wounds

Summary

Image
Turn by turn summary animation

After-battle thoughts

After the last combat where Loriel lost his Archmage (I managed to inflict 3 wounds and Loriel didn't save any on his 5++ ward) he decided to call it a game. I understand the decision, as without magical protection and many units heading towards the Lions this unit was doomed. They had few attacks to the flanks, Anointed had only S4 and no re-rolls either so it would not be easy to get rid of Dragon Princes now. In subsequent turn Archers, Swordmasters and BSB could all storm in again. It was also late hour so i didn't push Loriel to play a little longer either.

However, I am curious how long would it take to tackle Lions and if I had enough time to try and attack PG too. I really hoped to demonstrate that my army has tools to dismantle powerful blocks as well. It is kind of funny that my recent opponents, Darth, Galharen, EB and now Loriel, all threw the towel before the game finished.

As I said, I totally understand why a player might want to do so but at the same time I feel something is missing. In all these games I had a tough nut to crack so when I finally got upper hand I could not show to the fullest the potential of the army. And it seems to me that the reader might get an impression that I won with shooting and magic alone, while I know that positioning and using the opportunities to surround the enemy as well as openings given, were very important.

So again, this is not a rant or disappointment but kind of funny thing that happened to me recently.

I think several factors contributed to my victory this time.

1. Deployment - Loriel decided to deploy his army wide but that resulted in the battle line that consisted of individual units rather than the army. Many of these could not be engaged from the front but by separating them Loriel gave me the opportunity to isolate them and attack from both flanks. What is more, no unit apart from PG benefited from BSB re-rolls which happened to be crucial in so many occasions. For example, loss of Silver Helms is one but the Swift reform where the Archmage in Lions could not reach BSB to finish him with Soul Quench is another one.

2. Approaching piecemeal - Loriel moved his forces as individual units and that also cost him. In particular, Reavers were lost without good reason and when I got 3 cavalry units in one turn his chances to avoid out maneuvering were greatly depleted.

The charge of the Phoenix was premature and with such a massive static combat result it also showed that such a powerful unit can be taken down by swarm of troops.

3. "Unlucky" magic phase - it was a great opportunity when I managed to stop Loriel's Walk Between World spells and when on top of that his Archmage got irresistible force. It meant I had a chance to attack him when he had "only" 5++ ward save. Thanks to that and despite his Fencer's blade I still had enough attacks to attempt killing him in a single combat that actually worked! From that moment he could not protect his Lions anymore.

I hope you still found the report interesting!

Thanks for reading!
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Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs High Elves - 2015.08.13

Postby RaZeR » Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:16 pm

Nice report and a good win.
I agree that it's a shame that you're not getting to finish all these games, although I can see the reasons for it. Especially on UB, there's not much incentive to play on from those situations! Clearly you're just getting too good with your stealth filth!

I have to say, when I saw the deployment I thought you should do quite well (although him getting first turn made it a bit closer, if you'd gone first I think it would have been over quite quickly!), but well done for containing and dealing with the fast threats so quickly.

Looking forward to more, as always :)
Ken Groom

Xtapl wrote:How are goblins going to throw a fanatic high enough into the air to hit an eagle?

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Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs High Elves - 2015.08.13

Postby Swordmaster » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:07 pm

Thanks mate! Really appreciate you enjoyed the reading in these difficult times. I will do my best to continue providing the reports but there might be some odd games in something else than 8th edition too :)

Cheers!
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Re: MSU HE - 2400 vs High Elves - 2015.08.13

Postby Swordmaster » Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:14 pm

Greetings!

That was supposed to be a week packed with games. I was about to play 9th Age against Daemons on Tuesday, against WE on Thursday and finally, KoW on Friday. Unfortunately, real life had some other plans and 9th Age didn't happen (sorry Elithmar! We will get our game, I promise!)

Fortunately, the interference didn't last as long as I was afraid of and I managed to play the game on Friday. Kings of War for the very first time after a lot of thinking, reading and observing. I had a pleasure to play against Loriel, who also was interested in trying out KoW and he decided to use one of the experimental lists, Empire of Dust.

If you are interested in these armies here is the link: KoW - Beta Army Lists

Loriel told me he picked the units from his collection purely on their aesthetics as we are both new and we didn't yet know what to expect from these regiments. His army was:

Cursed Kings - Army List

Revenant Chariot Horde - 185
- Skeleton Cavalry - 85
- Skeleton Cavalry - 85
- Balefire Catapult - 100
- Bone Giant - 180
- Cursed Pharaoh in Chariot -225

Enslaved Guardian Archers Horde - 230
- Bone Giant - 180

Skeleton Archers Regiment - 100
- Cursed High Priest, Heal - 145

Skeleton Archers Regiment - 100
- Balefire Catapult - 100

Swarms Regiment - 65
Swarms Horde - 100

I decided to use the following army list:

Outcasts - Army List

Palace Guard Regiment - 150
- Stormwind Troop - 140
- Stormwind Troop - 140
- Drakon Rider Lord, Beastslayer Sword- 180

Sea Guard Regiment - 170
- Silverbreeze Troop - 145
- Silverbreeze Troop - 145
- Wizard with Banechant and Inspire - 110

Sea Guard Regiment - 170
- Palace Guard Troop - 105
- Palace Guard Troop - 105
- Drakon Rider Lord- 160

Hunters Regiment - 170
- Bolt Thrower - 90

Army Total: 2000

You can read more about this army and why I chose these regiments on my blog: MSU Elves in KoW

Let me go briefly through each choice in the EoD army. It is more to learn what these units can really do so let's see if I can assess their roles accurately before the game started.

Chariots - Very versatile unit, that is equipped with bows meaning they can be used both as shooters but can hit hard too due to their Thunderous Charge (2) rule. They also have quite a reasonable number of attacks so hitting on 4+ in combat and 5+ in shooting will do some damage. Of course moving and shooting is not that great because of the additional penalty but they can be useful both as static and dynamic unit. What seemed to be their disadvantage in my opinion is their big foot print. They can be potentially attacked by many enemies at the same time and despite the fact they have good nerve (I think :)) they are definitely not invulnerable.

To attack them first will be tricky as they are fast but it would be good to take away a few damage points and then hit them hard, hopefully with my heavy cavalry and drake lords.

Skeleton Cavalry - they look to me as medium cavalry. They are nimble, so can have additional pivot but no bows. They hit harder due to Thunderous Charge (1) but it is not as hard as Chariots (fewer attacks, not as strong impact and hitting on 5+). They are also fastest units in this army. If possible I would like to destroy them fast as they look to me as units that can interfere with my movement phase well.

Balefire Catapult - two war machines that are actually good at inflicting damage but they also have 5+ to hit and one can always try to move out of line of sight. However, with 48" range it is not easy to hide from them. I decided to make them my priority and try to eliminate them first. Both with shooting (for lucky nerve test or simply to inflict damage) and in combat. Units triple their attacks against war machines so I thought that whatever hits them - kills them.

Bone Giant - these guys are really tough. Very high nerve, defense 6+ (meaning I would need 6's to do damage unless piercing, crushing strength or thunderous charge rules apply) and hit very hard too! With relatively small foot print they can also sneak around nicely. I thought that I could potentially inflict some damage with Bolt Thrower against them, and try to attack it from two directions with Drake Lords. But even then I would need to face counter charge and if I cannot isolate them it can be very tough opponent to destroy.

Pharaoh in Chariot - first, source of inspire. Second, has surge (6) so can help the army to move faster. He is quite good in combat and definitely hard to destroy with Defense 6+ and regeneration. As with the Giant I was thinking about softening it up with Bolt Thrower and finish it with my own heroes.

Enslaved Guardians - walking statues with giant crossbows. Excellent, 36" range means it will be hard to avoid their fire. They hit on 5+ but they have many attacks. They can hit well in combat too so they make another versatile unit. As a horde they also have a good nerve value. In order to bring them down I need either a cooperation of several units or good shooting and then attack. Seems like there are many targets like that in the enemy camp!

Skeleton Archers - they might not strike fear in their enemies hearts but they should not be ignored. Their shooting always adds damage, they are not easily destroyed but have to be taken into account. They should be easier to deal with that other tough units and I think I might actually try and attack them to receive their charge (and stop them from shooting) and finish them in subsequent round of combat.

High Priest - Surge (10) is great at pushing units forward and with additional heal he is great. He also has Inspire rule which makes him 2nd and last source of that in the army. Fragile so will be kept in safe place but needs to stay close to help the units.

Swarms - good at interfering with the movement phase and cheap to sacrifice but can suffer damage quickly. Vanguarding units so that can be very useful too.

In general, EoD has advantage in shooting but is slow due to whole army Shambling (i.e. cannot move at a double). Surge will be vital here but can be cast on 2 units maximum. I wanted to use my shooting to help the regiments in combat but at the same time I would have to move fast to neglect my enemy's advantage.

Terrain

Image

We wanted to keep the things simple so decided the hills are very high so while the largest monster is level 4 we decided to make hills level 5 (although I am not sure if that is possible in the system :)).

The rocks were blocking terrain meaning you cannot see and move through them at all. Trees were level 3 high for the purpose of determining if units on the hill are in cover/shoot through cover.

Deployment

Image
Deployment order and vanguards

The deployment order:

1. Skeleton Archers (SA1) - Silverbreeze (SB1)
2. Skeleton Archers (SA2) - Silverbreeze (SB2)
3. Bone Giant (BG1) - Stormwind (S1)
4. Balefire (BF1) - Stormwind (S2)
5. Chariots (C) - Hunters (H)
6. Enslaved Guardians (EG) - Sea Guard (SG1)
7. Balefire (BF2) - Palace Guard (PG2)
8. Bone Giant (BG2) - Sea Guard (SG2)
9. Skeleton Cavalry (SC1) - Palace Guard (PG3)
10. Skeleton Cavalry (SC2) - Palace Guard (PG1)
11. Swarms (S2) - Bolt Thrower (BT)
12. Pharaoh (P) - Wizard (W)
13. High Priest (HP) - Drake Lord (DL1)
14. Swarms (S1) - Drake Lord (DL2)

Vanguard:

15. Swarms (S1) - Hunters (H)

Image
Deployment after Vanguards

As expected I had a dilemma how to deploy as my usual approach of having more units than the enemy and positioning the units accordingly could not be used. I decided to use fast elements in two groups on both flanks so that I could use Drake Lords to provide sources of inspire and combine their efforts to outflank the enemy.

I had infantry in the middle with small PG behind to protect them from shooting and close together to be in inspire range. I knew I am at disadvantage in shooting but wanted to still use it until cavalry secures the flank to weaken the enemy. If that worked I could then coordinate the approach of all units from three directions and use fliers to attack what I want without being blocked by ground forces.

Another reason I used Sea Guard as a main line of defense is that they have Phalanx special rule and have a chance to reduce the impact of the chariot charge since Thunderous Charge is neglected.

I was very curious if that simple and kind of obvious plan is going to work! :)

Loriel won the roll-off and decided to take the first turn.

Cursed Kings - Turn 1

Image
Opening fire

Pharaoh looked at the mortal army across the desert and with a single move of his hand the order was given. Silent warriors shuffled forward where necessary and arrows sailed towards the Outcasts. Early shooting was not yet as harmful but fast cavalry on the right flank suffered some casualties but they held fast.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Image
Outcasts on the move

Elves moved forward, with the center approaching slower to be able to shoot at the enemy. However, the impact was low as the shooting was not yet that accurate. On both flanks fast cavalry opened fire at the catapults but it was the one on the right that was utterly destroyed thanks to the help of Bolt Thrower crew great skill.

Cursed Kings - Turn 2

Image
Elves die in droves!

Pharaoh kept his army steady and his warriors, now not distracted by the unnecessary movement, aimed much better. Two Elven regiments were the targets and both suffered a lot of damage. Surviving warriors lost their nerve and fled the battle (Edit: I tried to show damage in red circles in this report to provide information on the odds of losing the nerve and being routed. In addition, I was careless and didn't bring both inspiring characters into range for lucky re-roll. While Silverbreeze cavalry was probably gone anyway, Palace Guard still had a small chance to survive for a little bit longer.)

Outcasts - Turn 2

Image

Elves decided to launch first charges. On the left flank fast cavalry attacked the war machine of the enemy but the long charge must have drained their strength as they failed to destroy it and now were in a very bad spot as they exposed their flank for the counter charge.

On the right flank Hunters, not hindered by the forest, cleared it from some undead bugs stopping their advance.

In the center, Sea Guard parked firmly and with the aid of their wizard leader continued shooting match, this time choosing more vulnerable target.

Cursed Kings - Turn 3

Image
Undead shooting is still dangerous

Skeleton cavalry countered the Elves and their fast unit could not hold against flank attack and broke. Undead shooters aimed at various targets across the battle field and while they didn't claim any regiments this time the damage was substantial.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Image
Elves continue the advance on the flanks

Elves took the risk and attacked on the left flank. Both targets, the catapult and cavalry, were finally destroyed but the impetus of the attack was not enough to carry Stormwind squadron away from the nearby giant.

On the right flank the hunters led the way to dare the giants to attacks them with fast troops following and waiting for the chance to counter.

Sea Guard continued the shooting at the Skeleton Warriors but they still refused to crumble, despite heavy losses.

Cursed Kings - Turn 4

Image
Undead counter attack

Expected counter attacks hit home. On the left flank the giant stormed through the flank of elven cavalry and they barely held but were wavered and had to limp away to regroup. Also Palace Guard now securing the flank of the Sea Guard wavered under heavy fire.

On the right flank Hunters were lucky to be charged by Enslaved Guardians only as the magical Surge of the nearby giant didn't bring him in contact. However, skeleton cavalry spotted the opening and attacked their elven counterparts. The attack resulted in disruption of the enemy.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Image
Elves push again

The fight on flanks continued with no definite result yet. Stormwind cavalry on the left flank had to move away from the giant to avoid extermination. Hunters and Drake Rider on the right flank pushed against Enslaved Guardians but despite heavy punch they didn't crumble just yet. Disrupted formation of the right flank cavalry prevented them from mounting successful charge and their attack lacked cohesion and didn't bring any effect.

Cursed Kings - Turn 5

Image
Another heavy punch by Undead warriors

Yet another opportunity presented itself and Pharaoh was eager to use it to his advantage. He and his loyal High Priest used their unholy magic to animate Bone Giant and one of the Elven Drake Lords was totally surprised by the attack and smashed to a bloody pulp.

On the other flank Hunters were not able to withstand such a heavy punch when rampaging giant hit their flank together with vengeful guardians and were destroyed. Cavalry squadrons continued their fight with no side gaining the upper hand yet.

What is more, arrows of the undead warriors finally destroyed yet another Palace Guard unit. Elven forces melted at dangerous speed in the merciless heat of the desert sun.

Outcasts - Turn 5

Image
Preemptive attack

With flanks collapsing it was the time that central units moved to positions. On the right flank Drake Lord managed to destroy the heavily damaged Guardians but cavalry were still locked in combat.

Valiant Palace Guard charged alone against Chariots, ready to sacrifice themselves but their valor allowed phalanxes of sea guard to move safely to position and disrupt the enemy so that their counter charge would be less devastating.

Cursed Kings - Turn 6

Image
Palace Guards holds!

Chariots as expected stormed into thin line of the Palace Guard but proud Elves refused to give up their position. Undead forces try to finish off Elven cavalry but these warriors hold fast too. Although the regiment on the right flank wavered and had to regroup.

It was the last change for the Elves to hit the enemy hard!

Outcasts - Turn 6

Image
Powerful attack!

Finally, Elven units managed to combine their efforts and attack together against single powerful enemy. However, the attack, also supported by the mage, hit so hard the ancient chariots crumbled into dust and victorious Elves moved forward re-grouping quickly to be ready for a counter attack.

But such attack never came as desert storm, appearing as if from nowhere, separated the forces and when it cleared out as quickly as it started, undead warriors were all gone.

It was clear that it is not the end to the feud between two armies but for now commanders of both forces decided to withdraw as the conflict remained unresolved.

Image
Final position of the forces

Summary

Image
Turn-by-turn summary animation

After-battle thoughts

After turn 6 we rolled to see if we are going to play one more turn but it was not to be and we simply calculated the points to find out it was a draw! It is a perfect result for the first game, where both players are learning the game, if you ask me and I was happy to get one after such powerful hits for sure.

I would like to thank Loriel for a great game where we were both very slow but I am sure it is just a matter of practice. However, I really liked the game and I am also happy to learn that my previous concerns it can be quite static were not justified.

It was inevitable that we made some mistakes but more importantly it showed that if you take the army you like the look of it can still be dangerous on the battle field. My first impression is thus very positive as it suggests that you can play successfully with any army.

I believe, however, I could have avoided many of these mistakes and they cannot be simply justified by the fact it was our first game.

First of all I should have positioned my fast cavalry on the right flank behind the forest to provide cover from shooting. Second, when I moved them forward I was not in 6" range of inspire from my Drake Lord. In fact, I made that mistake several times and while the chances were not great at least I would give myself the opportunity to save the unit.

I also think I should have kept the Palace Guard as a second wave and provide some cover from shooting too. They were more important that game because they can do more damage with CS(1) (and even more so with Bane Chant) while being static with Sea Guard was not as successful as I hoped for. Instead, I should have kept marching and even being in the charge range of the Chariots would put me in the good position with Phalanx rule and the good support from other units for a counter charge.

I thought I took Surge into account but Loriel quickly showed me I didn't. In the first flanking attack I was lucky but I should have really paid more attention second time when I moved my drake lord to the center. It simply means that against armies with Surge such maneuvers are too risky as the units can still turn around and then be pushed forward. Hard lesson learned!

Another mistake was exposing Stormwind cavalry for the charge of Skeletons horse. I lost thunderous charge due to that and as a result the unit that can hit hard was stuck and I was lucky not to lose it.

In general, I found that cavalry is a very tricky tool to use and seems like it can be devastating but only when charging first. It also greatly pays off to attack the unit with TC rule just to inflict a single damage so that they lose the ability for next turn.

I liked that last charge so much! I was nicely surprised to see I can inflict a lot of damage indeed and that it was really enough to crumble the horde that is not that easy to destroy.

In addition to the observation I made about cavalry I also think it is interesting to see how shooting works. On one hand it can indeed inflict enough damage to destroy units. In fact, dishing out 10 damage point for the regiment of 20 warriors is already enough to have a great chance to rout it. And that is important conclusion for me.

However, I took Sea Guard that is easily limited in their shooting abilities as they hit on 5+ so any penalty makes it 6+ quickly. Hence, I need to re-think how I want to use them and as this game showed I may need to be more aggressive with them if the enemy does not want to come to me.

I think I will play a few more games with the same force as I need to test it against different foes before I will start thinking about any changes. I need to learn what works well for me in this system. But the first impressions are very positive.

I hope you liked the report, thanks for reading and looking forward to your comments and feedback!

Cheers!
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Re: MSU HE - KoW - 2000 vs Empire of Dust - 2015.08.24

Postby Edzig » Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:23 pm

Thanks for the report. A very interesting read for me, as I am also dabbling with KoW at the same time as continuing with WFB.

In KoW the differences between various armies and lists are not so extreme as in WFB, so you are less likely to face armies based around a few deathstar units, or heavily reliant on characters riding monsters. From the game - and your blog - it is clear that your MSU approach is going to be less distinctive in KoW than in WFB. All armies will have multiple units. And the movement dynamic - where you can EITHER move fast or MANOEUVRE makes your 'surround and attack from all sides tactic' much harder to pull off.

Taking all that into account, I was surprised by how much your army does still look and play like the WFB MSU Outcasts that we have all grown to love and enjoy so much.

I don't have much to add on tactics as I'm a complete beginner myself, except to say that as charge distances are fixed there's no gambling on long charges and you may need more often to be ready to sacrifice a unit so as to negate a charge from a powerful enemy. E.g., to deal with his Chariot Horde, as well as negating Thunderous Charge by matching it against units with Phalanx, you could move a disposable fast unit up to take a charge and (probably) die, leaving you with two or three of your units in charge range for your next turn. Killing the opponent's support units early seems to be at least as important in KoW as in WFB, and may be a key role for shooting.

Re your list, after only a couple of games, I'm starting to think that it is worth trying to keep a source of Inspiring in range of every unit as much of the time as possible. Making an opponent re-roll a lucky double six nerve test, or having a second chance to turn a rout into a waver (even if it needs snake eyes) is worth the cost of a cheap character. Taking more than one BSB does take a bit of getting used to after WFB though!

The diagrams work pretty well for KoW, but if you could find a way to mark Wavering and Disordered as well as the accumulating Damage that would make the action easier to follow.

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Re: MSU HE - KoW - 2000 vs Empire of Dust - 2015.08.24

Postby wardancer » Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:42 pm

great report, definitely gives a feel for the game for a beginner like me.

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Re: MSU HE - KoW - 2000 vs Empire of Dust - 2015.08.24

Postby Swordmaster » Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:59 am

Hi guys,

Many thanks for the comments!

@ Edzig

My observations are not detailed enough yet to see what kind of styles people are going to develop. I also think the game is at the stage where these things are being born, as the system is new and it is simply a matter of time. Players need to learn the rules and their way around the armies to find out what they want.

I have seen, however, some forces that rely on shooting and counter charging elements. I think Lordy on UB is sporting 4 bolt throwers and 2 regiments of heavy cavalry as a good example of such approach.

Having said that I totally agree that it is very hard to distinguish my MSU style where all armies have many elements (and often more than me) and the game emphasizes movement phase. I am sure I will need to adapt somehow and learn a lot of new things but I believe it will be possible to work out something similar to MSU eventually.

The will and ability to sacrifice a unit or even units in order to get better position and claim more expensive enemy seems to be an integral part of the game. I am not so sure about sources of inspire yet but it might be the thing if you have regiments and units. It was an interesting observation to notice that despite the fact the regiment is 20 strong it does not require taking 20 points of damage to lose it. From that point of view it looks like Inspire might not be as helpful as it seems. On the other hand, a re-roll is always better option than no re-roll.

I tried to indicate the damage points for the units but I might try to do it in a way that shows current damage level all the time. I will also try to come up with nice graphics interpretation for the Wavered/Disordered/Hindered units.

Thanks for the comments one more time!

@ wardancer

As always, great and detailed feedback, bro! :)

Cheers!
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Re: MSU HE - KoW - 2000 vs Empire of Dust - 2015.08.24

Postby Swordmaster » Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:29 pm

Greetings!

After the untimely death of 8th edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle many players decided to continue with fan based rules they could develop together. One of such initiatives is 9th Age and you can find the link to the rules as well as web site where people are discussing the development process as well as possible changes here:

9th Age - Website

The discussion on TWF forum is quite intense now which simply shows that many people are really interested in keeping Warhammer as we know it going. Personally, I am very happy to see such independent initiative and I even understand the fact a lot of people see it as an opportunity for wish listing. I hope, however, that the work on 9th Age will go towards making Warhammer a better game. That is, of course, quite vague description but the reason for that is that I am not sure yet which direction people who work on it want to go.

I decided that the best way I can help them is to play the games with their rules pack and then write reports as a source of feedback. Real games are, in my opinion, absolutely necessary to develop the best version of the game.

It is great to know I am not the only one who wants to do that and a great player who pioneered MSU approach in 8th edition, SmithF, has already embarked on the journey in the new era. You can check his most recent report, featuring High Elves and Wood Elves, here:

Wood Elves vs High Elves - 9th Age report by SmithF

9th Age - main rules

I borrowed from SmithF's topic his excellent summary of the main rules that were introduced in 9th Age:

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!


Personally, I was surprised to see Lores of Magic reworked and different Miscast Table but maybe I should not be as often people complained about magic being too powerful. The changes to Parry, Spears and Killing Blow are very interesting and look very good on paper to me. I am not sure what to think about Fast Cavalry/Light troops but I presume the proliferation of DE/WE avoidance armies had something to do with it. Marks of Chaos are probably a good change for non-WoC players but then it is supposed to be the version that makes the game better for everybody, not another chapter of arms race.

Prologue

"They sent who?" - asked Larry in a steady voice, looking at the reporting scout, who was sitting by the table full of maps and letters together with Bob. While the voice and face were under the perfect control all who knew the Loremaster well immediately noticed that it was the sign of the well contained anger.
"Wild Hunt. We managed to outrun them only because they let us. Asrai wanted us to know they are coming." - replied tired soldier, taking another sip from his goblet.
"We haven't fought against our savage cousins for ages. And now they send Orion himself. Such an honor." - added battle standard bearer chuckling ironically.
"That is not coincidence we keep fight more of our own these days." - stated Larry - "And it is not an accident we face Wild Hunt this time".
"I wonder who convinced Orion to hunt us down." - Bob studied the maps wondering how long did it take King in the Wood to travel so far away from Athel Loren.
"Oh, I am sure you know the answer to that question already" - laughed Larry bitterly.
"Indeed, I do" - said veteran warrior clenching his fists. - "Time to march again. Time to show the Hunter he can be a pray sometimes too."




The Game

My opponent this time was Ulthuan.net own Elithmar. He usually plays cavalry prince version of HE but for our game he decided to try out Wood Elves. He had an idea for Wild Hunt themed force and here is his army list (please, bear in mind that point costs might be changed here and there, check relevant document for details):

Wood Elves - Army List

Orion - 600
Spellweaver, level 3,Asrai Longbow, Elven Steed, Dispel Scroll - 235 - Lore of Life

9 Glade Riders, Hagbane tips, Glade Knight, Musician - 227
10 Glade Riders, Hagbane tips, Musician - 240
6 Glade Riders, Swiftshiver shards, Musician - 136

3 Warhawk Riders - 135
3 Warhawk Riders - 135
6 Wild Riders, Shields, Musician - 196
6 Wild Riders, Shields, Musician - 196
6 Wild Riders, Shields, Musician - 196

Great Eagle - 50
Great Eagle - 50

Army Total: 2396

A very fast army with units that can hit extremely hard (Orion and Wild Riders), is much more maneuverable and can shoot too. My griffon would not like these poisonous arrows at all. In 9th Age, Glade Riders can start the game as normal and vanguard as any fast cavalry or be kept in Ambush as previously.

Wild Riders lost their vanguard but are still fast cavalry for the purpose of movement. With Orion having movement 9 and so many vanguarding units (Warhawks can do that too) I expected to be hard pressed turn 1.

I really like the look of this force and I can easily imagine how great it would look on the table. I decided to bring my Outcasts with only a slight change.

Outcasts - Army List

Larry the Loremaster, Earthing Rod, Armor of Fortune, Obsidian Amulet - 320
Bob the Battle Standard Bearer, Griffon (Swiftsense), Dragon Armor, Lance, Talisman of Preservation, Charmed Shield – 331

15 Sea Guard, Full Command - 210
15 Archers, Full Command - 180
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Bows, Spears - 105
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Bows, Spears – 105

5 Dragon Princes, Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame - 175
5 Dragon Princes, Musician - 155
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Lions, Banner, Musician – 145

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 80
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 80
Great Eagle - 50
Great Eagle - 50
8 Sisters – 112

Army Total: 2398

As you can see I took Sea Guard again! I wanted to see what they can do with their new Killing Blow rule against so many cavalry units. In order to make room for them I had to downgrade reavers champions to regular warriors. Bolt Throwers are also 10 points more expensive so Sisters are now 8 strong instead of 9.

I wanted to use my shooters to thin down the enemy before they can be upon me. But I also decided to go for aggressive defense, meaning I would start in defensive formation with my own cavalry ready to counter turn 1 too if any unit would be close enough for a charge.

Another important thing to remember was to advance in double line formation to avoid situation where warhawks land behind my line. I think I also have a good chance to harm WE in close combat but I will need to chose the fights right. With SM/WL hitting after ASF cavalry these elite infantry is really at the back foot and can be aggressive only if flank attacks are possible. However, with the help of magic I can actually affect such combats significantly, denying the re-rolls with Miasma (lower the initiative) and making it even harder to hit with Iceshard.

Terrain

Image

We used 9th Age Terrain rules of course, which are similar but seem to me to be streamlined and well defined. In short:

Hills - block LoS, elevated position meaning it is possible to shoot over regiments

Ruins - provide hard cover, dangerous terrain for all but skirmishers, cavalry, monstrous cavalry and chariots fail Dt on 1 and 2.

Walls - provide hard cover if the unit is aligned along it, -1 to hit in close combat, DT for cavalry, monstrous cavalry and chariots

Forests - as usual

Buildings - provide hard cover, up to 15 models can shoot

There is no mysterious terrain in 9th Age. We treated the rocks on the edges of the hills as dangerous terrain.

Elithmar won the roll off to choose the side and took North. He also won the roll to start deploying.

Deployment

Image
Deployment order and Vanguards

Deployment Order:

1. Great Eagle (GE1) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER1)
2. Great Eagle (GE2) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER2)
3. Glade Riders (GR1) - Great Eagle (GE1)
4. Glade Riders (GR2) - Archers (A)
5. Wild Riders (WR1) - Bolt Throwers (EC1 & EC2)
6. Wild Riders (WR2) - Sea Guard (SG)
7. Wild Riders (WR3) - Sisters of Avelorn (SoA)
8. Warhawk Riders (WR4) - Dragon Princes (DP1)
9. Warhawk Riders (WR5) - Dragon Princes (DP2)
10. Characters - Rest of the Army

Vanguard:

1. Glade Riders (GR1) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER1)
2. Warhawk Riders (WR5)

No other vanguards. One regiment of Glade Riders was kept in the ambush.

Image
Final deployment

I wondered how to use terrain to my best advantage. Elithmar won the roll off so I had to use what I got, i.e. South deployment zone. The battlefield was rich with terrain so no matter which side I would be it offered something to use.

First thing I noticed as useful were the ruins. With cover and DT for charging units (and 1-2 counting as fail against cavalry) it was a perfect defensive position for the shooters. I pondered about the hill but I decided ruins are better, also because Elithmar got Master of Stone spell (will talk about it later).

I knew I had to have good, solid formation to start with. Double line formation to prevent landing zones. But I also didn't want to castle and choke myself in the corner. Hence, I chose to deploy in tighter formation first but with heavy cavalry on the flanks to spear head the counter and with the plan to move elite units forward (as well as Sea Guard) to intercept the advancing enemy and don't allow outflanking. I thought that attack is the best form of defense especially if I could help my shooters to continue doing their job.

I also kept light cavalry and eagles behind because they are the most fragile but may become more important in the later turns of the game where speed matters more for various reasons. Either defensively, to still have units to block the enemy or have fast shooters to go and hunt down the survivors.

Elithmar got the following spells for his Life-weaver: Master of Stone (new No. 1 spell, magic missile, 1d6/2d6 S4 but line of sight can be taken from the caster or from the hill on the battle field for example), Flesh to Stone, Regrowth

I got lucky though and won the roll off to have the first turn!

Outcasts - Turn 1

Image
Wood Elves taste their own medicine - shooting!

Outcasts seized the initiative despite the fact the enemy was faster and more maneuverable than them. Centuries of the constant campaigning allowed for smooth deployment from the marching formation. Orion seemed amused that his adversaries offered such a challenge to his Wild Hunt.

Dragon Princes on the left flank risked a long charge against vanguarding Glade Riders but overestimated the distance. Larry the Loremaster tried to weave some fireballs from the very weak winds of magic but he failed. It was up to the shooters to do some damage.

Archers, Reavers, Sea Guard and Sisters all focused on the Glade Riders lurking in the forest. Despite additional cover High Elves showed their savage cousins it was them who invented archery. Only a single survivor was left alive and he fled to safety. Eagle Claw crews didn't want to be worse and aimed at the Wild Riders and again, a single rider was left standing.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,1 --> 3:2 (no channels)
2d6 Fireball at Warhawks (WR4): 1,1,5 + 2 = 9, failed to cast

Wood Elves - Turn 1

Image
Wood Elves counter attack and re-position

Orion didn't give the order to all out attack yet but Warhawks decided to intercept Dragon Princes regardless. In the flurry of movement two High Elf knights fell down but not before one Warhawk rider was killed too. The fight was not resolved yet though.

Other elements re-positioned and Orion used his massive bow to kill two more knights from the second Claw of Dragon Princes. Their grim companions refused to abandon their positions though.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 3,4 --> 7:5 (channel for HE Loremaster)
Flesh to Stone at Wild Riders (WR2): 1,1,2 + 4 = 8, failed to cast

(Edit: We made a mistake here. In 9th Age if you lose concentration you can keep casting spells but you don't add bonus due to caster's magic level. So Elithmar could use his remaining 4 dice to attempt casting another spell.)

Outcasts - Turn 2

Image
Steady advance while shooting continues

Great eagle swooped down to help Dragon Princes but it was not enough to tip the balance into the favor of High Elves and the fight continued. If only Bob was more eager to come and help!

The rest of the army moved forward a bit to get into the shooting range and another group of Wild Riders was reduced to a single member. Only Lions and Dragon Princes moved back to draw remaining enemy troops in.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,3 --> 6:3 (channel for HE)
Miasma on Orion, Movement: 1,3 + 2 = 6, no dispel attempt, d3 = 3, -2 to movement
2d6 Fireball at Wild Riders: 1,1,5,6 + 2 = 15, dispel attempt fails on a roll of 1,1,2 + 3 = 7 --> number of hits: 2 --> 2 wounds, 1 saved

Wood Elves - Turn 2

Image
Wild Hunt is melting away quickly

With yet another unit almost destroyed Wood Elves had few regiments left. These didn't move forward that much either, Asrai being more content with some shooting attacks and withdrawing the survivors to the safety of a nearby abandoned village.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 5,5 --> 10:5
Boosted Master of Stone: 1,1,1 + 4 = 7, failed cast attempt

(Edit: Again we completely forgot you can keep casting after losing the concentration. #-o )

Outcasts - Turn 3

Image
Defending the shooting base

One squadron of Glade Riders sneaked behind Outcasts' lines and was threatening to overrun the bolt throwers. However, before that happened eagle claws opened fire and ambushers quickly decided it is a lost cause and fled the battle as quickly as they appeared.

Reavers maneuvered to the hill to have a good line of sight to surviving Wild Riders but could not land a proper hot yet. Other units re-positioned expecting the charge of Wild Hunt soon.

Magic Phase Details

Winds of Magic: 6,6 --> 12:6
Miasma at Orion, Movement 6,3 + 2 = 11 --> no dispel attempt --> d3 = 2, -1 to Movement
2d6 Fireball at Wild Riders (WR3): 4,4,6 + 2 = 16 --> dispelled with the roll of 1,3,4,5,5,6 + 3 = 27
boosted Burning Gaze at Wild Riders (WR3): 2,3,3,4 + 2 = 14, failed to cast

Wood Elves - Turn 3

Image
Wood Elves don't give up!

Wild Riders charged Lions. Warriors of Chrace were now cowards but they knew very well what chances they get against Asrai cavalry and executed tactical withdraw to get the enemy closer and counter charge. Wild Riders are reckless but not stupid and slowed down expecting a trap.

Orion called for the assistance of last glade riders and they moved forward at a double, leaving Spell weaver alone in the woods. Orion decided to use his spear to skewer pesky Dragon Princes but this time it failed to do any harm at all (Edit: Unlucky 1 to wound :()

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,2 --> 4:2
Regrowth at Wild Riders (WR3): 1,3,3,3 + 4 = 14, failed dispel attempt on a roll of 1,5 + 2 = 8 --> d3 = 1, 1 Wild Rider resurrected

(Edit: Seems I lost the detail about the second spell cast this turn, apologies for that omission.)

Outcasts - Turn 4

Image
Gaining territory

Ellyrian Reavers ignored the threatening maneuvers of the nearby Warhawk riders and tried to hunt down surviving riders. This time they succeeded in getting one but the second rider escaped his destiny for a while.

Rest of the army pushed towards the center of the battle field in anticipation of some bold moves from the remaining forces of Wood Elves.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,2 --> 3:3 (successful channel for WE)
2d6 Fireball at Glade Riders: 1,5,6 + 2 = 14, dispelled with the scroll

Wood Elves - Turn 4

Image
Wood Elves charge only to taste their own medicine - combat avoidance

Wood Elves were losing the ranged attacks duel and they decided to wing the balance in close combat. Unfortunately, only Ellyrian Reavers held and met Warhawk riders head on. The rest of the High Elf units withdrew. In the resulting chaos Wood Elves lost their cohesion and units bumped into each other instead of catching retreating enemy. Only Warhawks succeeded in breaking the enemy.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,4 --> 5:4
Flesh to Stone at Wild Riders (WR3): 5,5,6 + 4 = 20, failed attempt to dispel 2,2,2,5 + 2 = 13
Regrowth at Wild Riders (WR3): 5,6 + 4 = 15, d3 = 1, one rider resurrected

Outcasts - Turn 5

Image
High Elves show they can fight too

Taking advantage of the situation and the confusion among Wood Elves, Outcasts charge in. Bob the BSB and Dragon Princes coordinate their long charges perfectly and managed to get two wild riders without suffering any casualties in return. They ignored lone survivor and reformed to face fresh enemies.

The shooters do what they have done so well so far but it was Larry the Loremaster who dealt the most painful blow when he used his magical sight to seek out his adversary and destroy him despite the protection of the forest.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 4,4 --> 8:4
Miasma at Wild Riders (WR3), WS: 4,4 + 2 = 10, no dispel attempt --> d3 = 5, -3
3d6 Fireball at Spellweaver: 2,2,3,5,6 + 2 = 20, dispel attempt fails, 2,3,3,4 + 3 = 15 --> 3d6 = 9 --> 5 wounds, dead Spellweaver

Wood Elves - Turn 5

Image
Great eagles try to save the day

Surprisingly, single wild rider rallied and prepared to fight till the end (Edit: Elithmar got double 1 for the rally test!). Great eagles swooped down against the enemies but failed to succeed in their mission. Orion and Glade Riders moved to new positions but would they have time to mount the last attack?

Outcasts - Turn 6

Image
Killing Blow

High Elves pushed one more time to deal the killing blow to their enemies. Dragon Prince leveled his lance and charge wild rider who bravely took the charge but died in that knightly duel. Glade Riders decided to perform feigned flight but griffon was too swift for them to escape and they were run down.

Warhawk riders lost a few of their own and the survivors decided it is not worthy pressing forward and withdrew. Finally, all remaining shooters aimed at Orion, King on the Hill. He stood proudly, motionless and didn't flinch when the arrows started hitting his body.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,4 --> 7:4 (successful channeling for the Loremaster)
Iceshard at Wild Rider (WR3): 4,4,5 + 2 = 15, dispel attempt failed 1,2,4,5 = 12
3d6 Fireball at Orion: 1,5,5,6 + 2 = 19, no dispel attempt --> 3d6 = 11, 5 wounds, 4 saves

Wood Elves - Turn 6

Image
The charge of last wild rider

Last Wild Rider charge exposed reavers, dodged arrows shot at him and attacked the enemy. One of the reavers fell from the horse but his companions avenged him and got brave Asrai warrior. With no enemies left on the battle field Outcasts were clearly victorious.

Summary

Image

Epilogue

"They were all ghosts!" said Larry without even trying to hide his relief.
"Indeed, they were." confirmed Bob, as always stoic.
"What does it all mean though?" asked another warrior.
"That those who sent them simply wanted to test us again"


After-battle thoughts

First of all I would like to thank Elithmar for the game. He had a tough time in his first battle with Wood Elves but took all the blows with great spirit. I am really grateful for that! I also wanted to thank him for adding comments to the turns as I know it is not easy to recall a defeat with such details (see Ulthuan.net and the Battle Report section). I do hope, however, that the report will be helpful to him and that his future games with WE will be victorious!

I certainly didn't expect such an outcome. I knew I am against a fast army with many great assets so I am happy my plan worked. Elithmar made some mistakes that I think had important impact on the end result.

First of all vanguarding forward, even into the forest, may not be good idea. It didn't lose him the game but losing entire unit like that without having a chance to fight back didn't help.

But the main thing that helped me execute my plan was being shy and not advancing fast to be in a position to attack turn 2. He had an advantage in close combat but didn't use it and when we finally had fights they were not on his terms.

9th Age first impressions

I also tried to look at the game from the point of view of 9th Age and here are my first impressions:

1. Army List - I took LSG back because they have KB. That in itself was a good incentive to have them back on board. I didn't have a chance to use them in close combat but they have a nice purpose now.

2. Magic - we failed to remember that you can keep casting after losing the concentration. It might have had additional impact on the game. Changes to the lores and spells are interesting but can't say yet if I like them as I haven't used the spells in new way. I like bubble Earthblood on paper for example or increasing armor save as a new Metal attribute. But these things will be apparent in the longer run.

Other than that we didn't encounter situations where new rules would have had some impact. I do like the line of sight and terrain rules though so I might have omitted that as too obvious. I guess the changes can also be more evident if one wanted to play a game to test as many things as possible on purpose. Be it by choosing many units that were reworked or looking for the situatons where the changes occurred.

I hope you enjoyed the report and thanks for reading!
Blog: Path of an Outcast

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Re: MSU HE - 9th Age - 2400 vs WE - 2.09

Postby Swordmaster » Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:13 pm

Greetings!

I have a great pleasure to play against Marchosias of Druchii.net fame and his Dark Elves (Marchosias also started a blog together with Rowena about alternative models for WHFB here:
Armies of Unsupported Age).

Prologue

Bob the Battle Standard Bearer was taking another report from one of the Reavers who had just returned from another patrol. They were standing in front of a small command tent.

"I tell you they saw us, they want us to see them and they led us closer to their camp so we could inspect their camp", said the scout not even trying masking his surprise. "They look like Druchii but at the same time they don't. It is really strange because you could feel the same wild and savage aura our Asrai cousins have around them". He added.

"Why did they let you leave then? That's not like Druchii at all." asked Bob trying to understand the situation.

"They wanted us to deliver the message of course. Not quite sure what it was though. Their Sorceress, however, waved to us and showed us some kind of a book, with a huge letter "H" engraved on the cover. If I didn't see that myself I would not have believed that at all!" the Reaver was not sure if he should be more amused or worried.

Then Larry stormed out form the tent with a parchment that showed a picture of some ancient tome and grabbed the army of the scout.

"Was it that book?!" he almost shouted and looked intensely at the warrior face "Was it?!?"

"Yes, looks similar but ..." the scout had not time to finish as Larry was already moving away and shouting orders. Outcasts were marching to meet their new foe at once!


The Game

We planned that game little bit earlier but with 9th Age around and sneak peaks coming every day we also decided to try out Alpha version of the rules plus whatever was added in the sneak peaks on their website. Marchosias initially planned to bring his Peg riders but after reading the rules he decided to come up with something different.

Lost Colony - Army List

Supreme sorceress, level 4, Manticore (iron hard skin), Dispel scroll, Healing potion - 445 - Lore of Beast
Death hag BSB, cauldron, Ogre blade - 340

5 Dark riders, shields, crossbows, musician, standard - 120
5 Dark riders, shields, crossbows, musician, standard - 120
10 Witch elves, FCG, Banner of Eternal Flame - 150
20 Dreadspears, FCG - 210

5 shades, Additional Hand Weapon - 90
5 shades, Additional Hand Weapon - 90
5 shades, Additional Hand Weapon - 90
10 Executioners, musician - 130
10 Executioners, musician - 130

Bolt thrower - 80
Bolt thrower - 80
Bolt thrower - 80
Bolt thrower - 80
5 Warlocks - 165

One of the main things 9th Age has already addressed (via sneak peaks) is the issue of ridden monsters such as Manticores and Griffons. They are now still large monsters but of a smaller kind. That means that they combine the profile, i.e. you use monster's number of wounds and toughness and the better save the model has. So, Supreme Sorceress has now 4 wounds at T5 and 4+ save due to scaly skin! With healing potion that under 9th Age rules recovers 2 wounds, it is a nice combination that allows the player to use such model without fear of losing the fragile but expensive model too quickly. It can also fight better too, the spells affect whole model etc.

Beast magic is also re-worked and I was very curious about it. The new attribute looks very intriguing and I can tell you already it was used to good effect.

The same situation is with characters riding chariots so Hag BSB became a very tough nut to crack with her T6 and 5W. I will discuss the Griffon and its equipment later but I also changed equipment for the BSB to try something new.

Another big change is about Warlocks (when DE army is considered). They are more expensive, no longer can save against miscasts and are fast troops meaning they don't have vanguard anymore. They still can move fast and are very maneuverable but their abilities from 8th edition are limited. For me, personally, they are a priority to deal with because they are very good at supporting Supreme Sorceress both in terms of additional channeling but also because their two spells are very dangerous.

Dark Elf army I was about to face had a very strong shooting. What is more, with long range Bolt Throwers, Shades that can get into good position and fast Dark Riders, I would be in a difficult situation where enemy shooters are constantly dangerous but not easy to get rid of.

With such choice of shooting regiments the rest of the army could also be more aggressive in its approach and 4 infantry units could all do proper damage against any element I had in my force. They could also maneuver well because the shooters would, in general, be able to pick targets either by moving to the position or thanks to long range.

In general, I faced an army that is as good at maneuvering as mine, has a very good shooting, good combat units and advantage in magic too (by that I mean more levels and 2 sources of spells).

I decided to take the usual army of mine with a single change:

Outcasts - Army List

Larry the Loremaster, Earthing Rod, Armor of Fortune, Obsidian Amulet - 320
Bob the Battle Standard Bearer, Griffon (Swiftsense), Dragon Armor, Lance, Shield, Trickster's Helm – 333

15 Sea Guard, Full Command - 210
15 Archers, Full Command - 180
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Bows, Spears - 105
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Bows, Spears – 105

5 Dragon Princes, Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame - 175
5 Dragon Princes, Musician - 155
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Lions, Banner, Musician – 145

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 80
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 80
Great Eagle - 50
Great Eagle - 50
8 Sisters – 112

Army Total: 2400

I chose different equipment for my BSB. I chose it when I thought I cannot really use armor for my griffon rider but apparently, griffon works like eagle in terms of being a mount. That could be still handy if I chose previous equipment, i.e. Charmed Shield and 4++ ward. The difference is, that griffon (or similar) does not improve armor save as eagle does. So I could either stay with 4+/4++ save or try something new.

For the game against DE I decided it might be a good idea to try Trickster Helm. It would improve normal save to 3+ but give me only 6++ due to dragon armor. However, with T5 suddenly re-rolls to wound looked very attractive. So I decided to try it out.

The games against DE are always bloody. I had to accept that there will be casualties so I needed to make sure I can bleed the enemy too. I wanted to use my own shooting and magic missiles to attack Shades and Dark Riders, provided I had that opportunity. At the same time I knew I need to advance and use terrain to get into favorable combats. I think I had a slight advantage in close combat but it also depended which unit I could send against each. The challenge lied in the fact that every single unit on the battle field had a good counter. For example, Witch Elves are vulnerable to fire and Dragon Princes are the best unit to send against them. But as soon as I lead the cavalry towards Witch Elves the enemy shooters would aim at small heavy cavalry and would delete them before I had a chance to attack. Swordmasters should prevail against Executioners but would be at a disadvantage if Dreadspears blocked their way and so on.

Terrain

Image

For the terrain Marchosias rolled ETC map (I think it was number 1 from this year) but we used 9th Age rules for terrain and Line of Sight. Basically, Hills and Impassable Terrain (the Rocks) block Line of Sight, Wall provides hard cover, while water and forest force dangerous tests for cavalry.

Deployment

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Deployment Order, Scouts, Vanguard

Deployment Order:

1. Dark Riders (DR1) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER1)
2. Dark Riders (DR2) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER2)
3. Bolt Throwers - Great Eagle (GE1)
4. Dreadspears - Great Eagle (GE2)
5. Executioners (E1) - Sisters of Avelorn
6. Executioners (E2) - Sea Guard
7. Warlocks - Dragon Princes (DP1)
8. Witch Elves - Dragon Princes (DP2)
9. Characters - Rest of the Army

Scouts:

10. Shades

Vanguards

11. Dark Riders (DR2) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER2)
12. Dark Riders (DR1)

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Final deployment

Marchosias rolled for the spells of his Supreme Sorceress and she got:

Wyssan’s Wildform - casting values 10+/13+; range 12"/24", Augment, Temporary; Target has +1 Strength and +1 Toughness

The Amber Spear - casting values 9+/15+; range 24", Hex, Missile, Damage, Instant; Target suffers 1 strength 6/10 hit with multiple wound (D3/D6), no armour saves allowed. Penetrates ranks like bolt throwers.

The Curse of Anraheir - casting values 10+/13+, range 36"/72", Hex, Temporary, Target has -1 to hit (shooting and close combat), and treat all terrain (including open ground) as dangerous terrain, and fails dangerous terrain tests on 1 and 2.

Transformation of Kadon - casting values 13+/15+, Cater, range 12", Augment, Focused, Temporary, Target get one of following effects (choose onewhen spell is cast):
Aspect of Hydra: +2 Attack and Regeneration
Aspect of Chimera: +3 Strength, 4+ Scaly Skin
Aspect of Manticore: +4 Initiative, Killing Blow
Aspect of Dragon: +3 Weapon Skill, Strength 4, Flaming Breath Weapon

Lore Attribute - Range 18”, Focused, Augment; Temporary, Target has +1 Strength or +1 Attack. (choose which when the the attribute is cast)

As you can see there are some interesting changes to the Lore of Beast. The lore attribute in particular can turn units into killing machines. Imagine Wild form and Lore Attribute augmenting a unit at the same time. Transformation of Kadon is great because now you are getting an aspect instead of trying to get the monster in some tight situation and it can be cast on something else not only the caster her/himself. I think Marchosias had very versatile spells to cast with Sorceress herself and even more so with the aid of Warlocks. Larry was about to face a tough adversary for sure!

I got lucky to win the roll off and got the first turn:

Outcasts - Turn 1

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Outflanking!

Outcasts seized the initiative and started their outflanking maneuver. Sea Guard and Sisters jumped on the hill to start shooting at the enemies but the Shades were well hidden. Only a few of them died and it looked like the bold opening put some of the Elven units in very dangerous spots.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,5 --> 8-6 (one channel each)
Miasma at BT2, BS: 1,6 + 2 = 9, no dispel attempt, d3=1 --> -1
2d6 Fireball at BT4: 4,5,6 + 2 = 17, dispel attempt successful on the roll of 2,2,4,6,6
Earthing Blood, Bubble: 1,3,3 + 2 = 11, failed to cast

Lost Colony - Turn 1

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Druchii shooting is not yet as efficient as it could be.

Dark Elves advanced too, it seems their savage nature was taking over and they didn't plan to wait for their enemies to come to them. They also had the means to hurt their foes at a distance. Sisters of Avelorn took the brute of the attack but it was not as efficient as it could have been yet.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,4 --> 5:4
Amber Spear at DP2: 1,5,6 + 4 = 16, no dispel attempt --> lore attribute: +1A for Executioners --> 1 dead Dragon Prince
Wildform at Shades in the Woods: 1,6 + 4 = 11, dispelled on the roll of 1,4,6,6

Outcasts - Turn 2

Image
Fireworks!

High Elves pushed through the flank harder, now baiting their enemies to charge some of the regiments and to counter in order to get behind their lines. The shooters finished off now exposed Dark Riders and last Shade hiding behind the wall. However, the disaster struck when Larry the Loremaster could not contain the magical feedback and half of his Sea Guard perished in flames.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 6,6 --> 12-7 (one channel for DE)
3d6 Fireball at Sorceress: 2,3,6,6,6 , no dispel attempt --> 3d6 = 10 hits --> 3 wounds, 2 saved

(Edit: In the new rules double 6 or more 6's is called Overwhelming power. It adds to the result rolled d3 + number of power dice used. In this case I would add 6-8 dice but Marchosias didn't attempt to dispel anyway so we didn't check. In addition, there is a new table you roll for to determine the result of the feedback. I got 2,4 = 6 that means that:

Centre the 3" template over the caster. Each model
touched by the template takes a hit with strength
equal to PDU+2 (no armour saves allowed). The
caster may neither use Look out Sir! nor saves of
any kind .
Remove PDU power dice from the power pool


Where PDU = Power Dice Used.

It means that all models under the template got hit with Strength 5 + 2 = 7, the Loremaster got wounded with no ward saves either and I lost 8 Sea Guards. In addition 5 dice were immediately removed from the pool meaning I now had only 2 power dice against 7 for Marchosias. I didn't bother casting more spells this round.
)

Lost Colony - Turn 2

Image
Exploiting the situation

Dark Elves moved forward again and exploited the situation where some of the High Elf regiments were already weakened. The shooters focused on Sisters and Sea Guard and both units were completely destroyed, with lone Loremasters standing on the hill now. Fortunately, Dark Elves had to reload and he had time to run for cover.

On the left flank things didn't go well for the Outcasts either as Shades destroyed Bolt Thrower and nearby Archers panicked and abandoned their positions in the forest. Dark Elves clearly got the upper hand.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 3,3 --> 7:3 (one channel for DE)
Amber Spear at DP1: 2,3,4 + 4 = 13, dispelled on the roll of 2,3,6 + 2 = 13
Wildform at Warlocks: 1,4,5,6 + 4 = 20, no dispel attempt (Edit: With lore attribute they are now S6 T4)

Outcasts - Turn 3

Image
HE keep pressing forward

Despite heavy casualties High Elves kept moving forward and regrouped on the march. With the Archers rallying and other long range shooters gone Outcasts could not do much at the distance. Would they be still able to fight back?

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 4,5 --> 9:5 (no channels)
Burning Gaze at Sorceress: 2,3 + 2 = 7 --> no dispel attempt --> d6 = 2 --> 1 wound, no save
2d6 Fireball: 1,3,3 + 2 = 9, failed to cast
Miasma at Dark Riders: 5,6 = 11, dispelled on the roll 4,6,6 + 4 = 20
Earthblood: 2,6 = 8, dispelled on the roll 3,5 + 4 = 12

Lost Colony - Turn 3

Image
Outcasts lose more units, situation looks grim.

Dark Elves didn't take an obvious bait and withdrew. They used their ranged attacks to further thin down High Elves battle line and they were very successful. Regular shooting eliminated Reavers while magic Amber Spear skewered entire Claw of Dragon Princes!
Things started to look even more grim for the Outcasts.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,2 --> 4:2 (one channel for DE)
Amber Spear at Dragon Princes: 1,4,5 + 4 = 14, no dispel attempt --> all unit dead (Edit: I had only 2 dice to dispel it and would need double 6's anyway so decided to dispel something else instead. Marchosias proceeded to roll very well for "to wound" while I could not make a single 6+ ward save. Well done! =D> )
Frenzy bound spell from the Cauldron: 2, failed to cast

Outcasts - Turn 4

Image
Counter attack!

It was now or never. Outcasts were wounded badly and they needed a counter attack to keep any hopes for surviving that battle. Bob called for the aid of Dragon Princes and together they charged the Warlocks. Three of them fell but remaining two held their ground nevertheless!

Swordmasters and Eallyrian Reavers all charged in against exposed Executioners who arrogantly held their ground. Only Larry's bodyguards were late to the party. Outcasts hit hard but Reavers had to take the attacks back and none of the valiant fast cavalry survived. But they occupied Executioners long enough so that flanking Swordmasters broke them and overrun into nearby Sorceress!

Archers tried to fend off surrounding Dark Elves and even managed to panic the Shades. However, they still had to face Dreadspears!

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,6 --> 7-7 (channel for DE)
Iceshard at Executioners (E2): 1,1,2 + 2 = 6, failed to cast

(Edit: After that failed attempt to cast 7+ spell with 3 dice I didn't even bother trying anything else.)

Lost Colony - Turn 4

Image
Is it a killing blow to Outcasts army?

Despite successful charges, Outcasts were not out of the trouble yet. In fact, Dark Elves pushed further and Dreadspears broke the Archers (Edit: I lost just enough models to lose steadfast!). Fortunately, BSB and Dragon princes finished off the Warlocks and had a clear path to charge new targets while Swordmasters left the Manticore barely alive and there was no reinforcements coming. Would they be able to capture the Sorceress and go back to the game?

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 4,6 --> 10:6
Transformation of Kadon, Dragon Aspect: 1,2,4,5 + 4 = 16, dispelled with the roll of 1,1,2,2,3,5 + 2 = 16
Wildform on herself: 2,6,6, no dispel attempt --> Overwhelming power result: 4,5 = 9 --> no further effect

Outcasts - Turn 5

Image
Sorceress is captured!

Outcasts tried to press the attack but not all went according to the plan. Dragon Princes attacked exposed bolt thrower but managed to kill only one crew member while the other one refused to flee. Fortunately, nearby Hag directed her cauldron elsewhere as she decided it is beneath her to fight such an insignificant foe.

Elsewhere, White Lions were so eager to catch fleeing Executioners that they didn't hear their general and didn't attack exposed flank of another, still intact unit. Fortunately, Swordmasters managed to kill the Manticore and capture the sorceress! Larry the Loremaster was so happy because of this turn of events that he completely failed to cast spells this turn!

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,5 --> 7:5 (one channel for HE)
Burning Gaze at Witch Elves: 1,1 + 2 = 4, failed to cast #-o
2d6 Fireball: 2,3,6 = 11, dispelled on a roll of 1,1,5,6 + 4 = 17
Earthblood 1,2 = 3, failed to cast

Lost Colony - Turn 5

Image
White Lions are destroyed!

Witch Elves spotted the Lions and charged in. Warriors of Chrace seeing a bunch of half-naked and crazy women started to retreat but strangely they withdrew in the manner that suggested they actually wanted to be caught!

Dragon Princes finally destroyed first bolt thrower and reformed looking for new targets.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 3,4 --> 7:5 (channel for HE)
Frenzy bound spell at Executioners: 3,4,4,5,6 = 22, dispelled on a roll of 2,4,4,5,6 + 2 = 23

Outcasts - Turn 6

Image
Last attacks by the Outcasts

Dragon Princes, desperate to pay back, charged Dark Riders who fled to the forest and never came through to the other side! (Edit: Two failed DT tests, Ouch! #-o ). Elven Knights expertly changed the direction of the attack and without losing the momentum hit another bolt thrower. What is more, they carried their charge into third war machine!

Bob the Battle Standard Bearer tried to catch Shades and Executioners but both units didn't want to fight against him alone and fled too. Finally, Larry the Loremaster one last time tried to cast some meaningful spells but once again he failed!

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 3,6 --> 9:6
Burning Gaze at Shades: 3,3,3 + 2 = 11, no dispel attempt --> d6 = 2, 1 wound
d6 Fireball 1,1 + 2 = 4, failed to cast
Searing Doom at Executioners: 5,5,6 + 2 = 18, no dispel attempt --> d6 = 2, no wounds

(Edit: I was very desperate with the last turn magic phase and didn't plan it well. I will get back to that in my summary.)

Lost Colony - Turn 6

Image
Finale

Two fleeing units rallied and two kept running away. Swordmasters sacrificed themselves to stop the Hag and paid ultimate price for it. Dragon Princes finished off third bolt thrower and were about to catch the last one but the horns sounded the withdrawal.

Both armies were heavily bloodied but none could claim victory this day.

Summary

Image
Turn-by-turn animation summary

Epilogue

"All this just because of some book, Larry?", Bob was not sure if he was more furious or more disappointed.
"Not "some" book, Bob. It is my signed copy of Book of Hoeth, hand written by Belannaer himself! Not some cheap copies Goblin traders sell everywhere these days", replied Larry.
"They are not even Druchii! They are The Lost Colony, Larry, the people we read about in chronicles and you almost destroyed them!", the veteran didn't want to let the subject go, "You are not one of these hot headed Caledorians who first fight and then ask who did they attack. How did you lose that book and how did she get it in the first place anyway?", Bob continued what was probably the longest speech he has ever had.
"Ah, well, you know ..." Larry looked suspiciously shy "we were in the same group at White Tower when I started my studies. She tricked me, took the book and I have never seen her again."
"Well, at least you will know from now on how to cast spells!" said Bob and left the tent to cool down. Larry looked deeply hurt.


After-battle thoughts

First of all I would like to thank Marchosias for a great game! Even when I was losing units it was a fantastic challenge to claw my way back, Marchosias was a very sporty opponent all the time and we had a great time for sure. To my surprise we lost almost the same number of points! (Marchosias beat me by around 20 points :)) I think it is the new rule of giving half points for fleeing units and big bonus for the Sorceress that helped me to save the game.

I think my first mistake was to push LSG and Sisters forward too early. I didn't have good range yet, many potential targets were not available and others had additional protection. I should have moved SG on the slope only so that I could benefit from cover for the purpose of spells casting.

Another mistake was to position left Bolt thrower too close to the archers and force the panic check. I am still not sure if positioning these two units there was a good idea (or rather why not reinforce them with something) but that would have helped for sure. One more shooting round or freedom of movement would have been great.

I am glad I spotted some opportunities to bring the fight back to the enemy, in particular the one where I got the Executioners and overrun into the Sorceress. That definitely saved me the game. However, I feel I didn't maneuver well with the rest of the army and Lions and Swordmasters with Larry did nothing this time. I should have used them more aggressively or at least support each other.

There were a few other mistakes, like not positioning Swordmasters with the Loremaster well enough to be able to see the flank of Witch Elves. I face 6 poisonous attacks but I think I would be able to inflict enough casualties to overcome that and with some spells I should have been able to get them. Or am I too confident here? :) Of course I didn't create the best opportunity to attack them with Dragon Princes or BSB for that matter, since both have ward save against flaming attacks while witches had the Banner of Eternal Flames.

I wonder how should I use my last chance to get points during the 6th turn and magic phase. I failed to inflict proper damage where I had a chance to destroy 2 units. I hoped I could destroy at least fleeing shades and exacutioners as there were 5 models total there. But with 6 dispel dice Marchosias was in a good position to dispel my attempts. Looking at it I would probably go for 3d6 Burning Gaze, followed by 3d6 Fireball (maybe 2d6 version) and just try that Searing Doom at executioners again. Not perfect but might work better.

But other than that I need a better overall plan as I was losing the game due to my mistakes in the first place.

9th Age Impressions

We still used Alpha version of the rules but with some sneak peaks in play too. I have two points this time I would like to highlight with these new rules:

1. Line of Sight - in our game the rule that defines the size of a model and based on that one can tell what is seen is very good. In particular on UB where you can't judge what is what really. But even in real game I would like that as it simply makes it much easier to play with. You have to get used to it and stop assuming you can see anything but I like it a lot.

2. Ridden Monsters - it was great to see Griffon and Manticore again. I started using Griffon some time ago but I like the new approach. These medium sized monsters will have a role to play I think. They are not particularly tough but still much better protected. And I think they will finally find their way back to the armies and augment fantasy aspect of the game.

I can also tell you that next report will feature an Archmage on Star Dragon that will showcase the bigger ridden monster and how the new rules affect these Monsters!

Thanks for reading!

Cheers!
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Re: MSU HE - 9th Age - 2400 vs DE - 10.09

Postby Swordmaster » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:30 pm

Greetings!

On the very day 9th Age Beta rules were released I had a great pleasure to play against Eltharis. We haven't met before but he was very helpful during my game against Marchosias and his Dark Elves. Eltharis wanted to test 9th Age rules as well and I was looking for an opponent. Luckily I had some free time so we set up a game. We still used the Alpha version of the rules but we agreed upon using new deployment rules and secondary objectives that were explained in respective sneak peak. I will explain all the details later because I assume that not all the readers may be familiar with these rules yet. It will also serve as a context for some explanation why certain decision where made.

Eltharis wanted to test his Elves of Light army that was led by the Archmage on Ancient Dragon! (please, note this army was still using 8th edition High Elves army book for points values for all entries)

Elves of Light - Army List

Archmage; level 4; Star Dragon; Other Trickster Shard, Ring of Fury - 650 - Lore of Life
Noble; BsB; Heavy Armour, Fire Pike, Charmed Shield, Golden Crown - 124

21 Archers; Musician - 220
21 Archers; Musician - 220
5 Reavers - 80
5 Reavers - 80

22 Phoenix Guards; Full Command; Razor Standard - 405
23 White Lions; Full Command; Banner of the World Dragon - 379

3 Repeater Bolt Thrower - 240

I have faced a similar version of this army but never with an Archmage on Star Dragon. It is a very interesting combination because under 9th Age rules this model has a combined profile meaning you have a single model with 8 wounds, T7 and 3+ armor save. What is more this model is 4 level Life mage that will recover a wound each time it casts a spell.

The rest of the army is no less dangerous. Both combat infantry units are very well protected against magic and shooting. The support in the form of two units of archers and three bolt throwers means my units will have hard time maneuvering and will definitely suffer casualties. It also creates a very good situation for my opponent. If I go after his shooters, then his combat troops and the dragon will waste no time in getting to my troops. If I ignore the shooters they will shoot my fragile units and they might not be in good shape to attack his tough regiments.

For the reference, this is the army I took for this battle:

Outcasts - Army List

Larry the Loremaster, Earthing Rod, Armor of Fortune, Obsidian Amulet - 320
Bob the Battle Standard Bearer, Griffon (Swiftsense), Dragon Armor, Lance, Talisman of Preservation, Charmed Shield – 331

15 Sea Guard, Full Command - 210
15 Archers, Full Command - 180
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Bows, Spears - 105
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Bows, Spears – 105

5 Dragon Princes, Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame - 175
5 Dragon Princes, Musician - 155
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 150
10 Lions, Banner, Musician – 145

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 80
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 80
Great Eagle - 50
Great Eagle - 50
8 Sisters – 112

As we also used new deployment rules let me discuss the terrain and the way we positioned our respective armies first and then I will discuss the plan I had for this battle.

Terrain

Image

Hills - block LoS, elevated position meaning it is possible to shoot over regiments

Ruins - provide hard cover, dangerous terrain for all but skirmishers, cavalry, monstrous cavalry and chariots fail Dt on 1 and 2.

Forests - as usual

Buildings - provide hard cover, up to 15 models can shoot

River - no steadfast

The ruined fort on the right was treated as ruins. The terrain more to the left and close to the hills was treated as dangerous terrain but not blocking line of sight at all.

Deployment

First of all we decided to roll for deployment as per new rules and got Flank Attack (you can get either classical (1-3), diagonal (4-5) or flank attack variants (6)). It means that the deployment zones looked like this:

Image

Then players roll dice and the winner has to decide if he wants to be an attacker or defender and picks the site. The attacker has to choose the deployment zone with the center 9" away from the middle of the battle field. The defender has to pick the one which is 15" from the center.

I chose to be the defender. I thought it would give me a better option to be in outflanking position. Also, if Eltharis positioned his Bolt Throwers in the flanks they would be further away from my units. If in the center then my outflanking regiments would have shorter way to get them. I also picked South as I think North was worse for my opponent to deploy his shooters while I had some cover to advance against him.

We also rolled for the secondary objective and we got Breakthrough. The rules for this scenario are:

A player with one or more Scoring units in his opponent's deployment zone at the end of the game gains an extra 10% of the game’s size in VPs. Ambushers which entered the battlefield on game turn 4 or later don’t count for this purpose.


where scoring unit is defined as:

All units with a Standard Bearer (including Battle Standard Bearer) are Scoring Units, unless the unit (or any model in the unit) has the Light Troops special rule. Units consisting solely of characters can never be Scoring.


In that case, either White Lions or Phoenix Guard could be scoring units for Eltharis. While for me these were: Archers, Sea Guard, White Lions, Dragon Princes.

Due to the nature of our respective armies I decided I have better chance to block his infantry from entering my deployment zone first, even if I initially wanted him to move forward through the center.

Image
Deployment order and vanguards

Deployment order:

1. Ellyrian Reavers (ER1) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER1)
2. Ellyrian Reavers (ER2) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER2)
3. Great Eagle (GE1) - White Lions
4. Great Eagle (GE2) - Phoenix Guard
5. Dragon Princes (DP1) - Archers (A1)
6. Archers - Rest of the Army
7. Rest of the Army

Vanguard:

1. Ellyrian Reavers (ER1) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER2)
2. Ellyrian Reavers (ER2) - Ellyrian Reavers (ER1)

Image
Final deployment after vanguards

There is an interesting novelty in the deployment procedure now. At any moment a player can decide to deploy one or more drops. Then, you have to count how many deployment drops the second player to finish has left. The number of these is added to the roll off for the first turn. It means that Eltharis had the first turn automatically as I had many units to deploy after him.

I would like to apologize here as I thought it works differently and believed that last drop still counts as one unit thus conferring only +1 bonus. However, that would make no sense and I simply misunderstood previous explanation I have received from the 9th Age Rules-team. Fortunately, Eltharis rolled better anyway and got first turn as he should.

It is interesting approach as it allows to predict who is going to be first or who has better chances for it and one can deploy accordingly. However, I could have deployed my remaining troops in one go too, even before my opponent finished and technically get the chance to get the first turn too. It may also lead to the situation where your opponent assumes he will be first due to fewer deployment drops but can be tricked when you deploy all your army before him.

Eltharis rolled for the spells for his Archmage and got the following:

Earth Blood - Casting Value 5+/9+, Caster’s unit/Range 12” Augment, Lasts one turn, Target has Regeneration (5+).

Master of Stone - Casting Value 7+/12+, Range 18” Hex, Direct Damage, Instant, Range for this spell can be measured from the caster or from any Impassable Terrain or Hill on the table. Target suffers 1D6/2D6 Strength 4 hits.

Flesh to Stone - Casting Value 12+, Range 24”, Augment, Lasts one turn, Target has +2 Toughness.

Regrowth - Casting Value 13+/18+, Range 24”/Range 48”, Augment, Remains in Play, Raise D3+1 wounds in target unit at the end of each of caster’s magic phases. Units of Height 2 or more halve the number of Raised wounds (rounding fractions up).

Elves of Light - Turn 1

Image
Advancing through the center

The Archmage spearheaded the advance boldly, taking a risk that all possible shots will be directed at him. He summoned raging storm of magic and first invoke avalanche of stones on enemy fast cavalry and then toughened the skin of his powerful mount even further. The shooters didn't have that many good targets yet but another fast cavalry was almost decimated despite the cover of the ruins.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 6,6 --> 12:7 (one channel for the Master of the Paths)

Ring of Fury at Great Eagle (GE 2): 2,3,3 = 8, dispelled on the roll of 3,3 + 2 = 8
Master of Stone at Reavers (ER 2): 4,6,6 --> Overwhelming power --> 16 + 4 (power level) + 2 (d3) + 3 (PDU) = 25 --> no dispel attempt --> 2 casualties --> Miscast: 1,3 --> S5 hit --> no wounds --> 3 power dice lost
Flesh to Stone: 2,6,6 --> Overwhelming power --> 14 + 4 (power level) + 2 (d3) + 3 (PDU) = 23 --> dispel attempt failed on the roll of 1,1,4,4,5 + 2 = 17 --> Miscast: 2,3 --> S5 hit --> no wounds

Outcasts - Turn 1

Image
Reform before the Dragon strikes

Outcasts had to react fast. Lone Reaver threw caution to the wind and stormed through the ruins. He hit the enemy crew and managed to break them and run them down all on his own! The cavalry on the other flank maneuvered to overwhelm their foes there and get rid of another two war machines. But thanks to Larry one of them was already burned to the ground.

The shooters then aimed at the dragon and inflicted total of 3 wounds on the beast despite its insanely tough skin.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,5 --> 7:5

2d6 Fireball at BT 2: 1,2,5 + 2 = 10, no dispel attempt --> 2d6 = 8 hits --> 2 wounds
Boosted Searing Doom at the Dragon: 3,3,4,6 + 2 = 18, dispelled on 2,3,6,6,6 + 4

Elves of Light - Turn 2

Image
Dragon begins its rampage!

The Archmage spotted a weak link in the enemy formation and spurred his mount to attack. Star Dragon charged with a might roar and Sea Guard, unable to properly close formation in the forest, could not hold against such a ferocious attack. What is more, nearby Sowrdmasters and Archers fled despite encouragements shouted from the Battle Standard Bearer.

(Edit: That was a massive mistake on my part. First I should have pulled back Sea Guard from the forest where I had no steadfast. I challenged but in this situation I should probably just use all the attacks for lucky 6's to wound. Then I promptly failed break test, panic test for Swordmasters (on Ld8) and panic test for Archers (Ld9 with a re-roll). I could have avoided that if I positioned units just a little bit better. Instead, I lost 3 regiments.)

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,2 --> 3:2

Earthblood on himself: 2,2,3 + 4 = 11, dispel attempt failed 1,5 + 2 = 7

Outcasts - Turn 2

Image
Foolish counter charge

Swordmasters and Lions both charged the Star Dragon, foolishly hoping to wound it badly. Instead, Lions got incinerated and killed to the last member while Swordmasters where thunder stomped and fled. They managed to flee the wrath for a while but the Dragon was about to emerge from the woods any second and there were other juicy targets for it to attack!

The only highlight was that another lone Reaver repeated the fit of his companion and destroyed the last enemy war machine. But it was clear now that the Outcasts suffered a very heavy blow and would need to use all their skills to survive that battle.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 3,5 --> 8:6 (one channel for the Archmage)

Miasma at the Dragon (WS): 1,4 + 2 = 7, no dispel attempt --> d3 = 1, WS6
Iceshard at the Dragon: 1,3,4 + 2 = 10, dispelled on a roll of 2,4,6 + 4 = 16
Wildform at Swordmasters (S1): 1,3,4 + 2 = 10, dispelled on a roll of 4,4,4 + 4 = 16

Elves of Light - Turn 3

Image
Star Dragon chooses another target

With so many enemy units routed the Archmage feels confident to attack one of the leaders of the opposing army and charges against griffon rider. Vicious aerial fight erupts where toughness of the Star Dragon is matched by viciousness and speed of the griffon. In the end the combat is not resolved with both monsters dripping blood.

The rest of the army press forward while the shooters finish off the Sisters accompanying the general of the Outcasts.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 4,6 --> 10:6

Master of Stone at Sisters: 5,6 + 2 = 13, no dispel attempt --> d6 = 4 --> 4 wounds, no successful save due to magic resistance.
Earthblood, Area: 1,2,4 + 4 = 11, failed to cast
Regrowth: 4,4,5 = 13, dispelled on the roll of 1,4,4,4,5 + 2 = 20
Flesh to Stone: 3,3 = 6, failed to cast

Outcasts - Turn 3

Image
Dragon Trap!

Dragon Princes shouted their battle cry and attacked the Star Dragon. The beast was wounded but stubbornly held its ground. Outcasts were fighting desperate war now and some units had to buy time for the rest to hunt down the Dragon.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,6 --> 8:6

Miasma at the Dragon, WS: 3,6 + 2 = 11, no dispel attempt, d6 = 4, WS5
Wildform on Griffon: : 2,4,4 + 2 = 12, dispelled on the roll of 2,3,3,5 + 4 = 17
Iceshard at the Dragon: 2,4,6 + 2 = 14, failed dispel attempt on the roll of 4,5 + 4 = 13

Elves of Light - Turn 4

Image
Battle Standard Bearer dies!

The remaining road blockers are removed and it is now just a matter of time before the survivors of the Outcasts army are cornered and surrounded. What is more, they also lose their valiant battle standard bearer who fell to the might of the Star Dragon. Dragon Princes were now all alone because their companions were delayed by the enemy fast cavalry.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 4,5 --> 9:5

Earthblood on himself: 2,3,4 + 4 = 13, no dispel attempt
Master of Stone at Loremaster: 2,6 + 4 = 12, no dispel attempt --> d6 = 4, 2 wounds, both ward saved
Regrowth: 1,2,3,4 + 4 = 13, dispelled on the roll of 1,2,3,4,4 + 2 = 15

Outcasts - Turn 4

Image
Star Dragon down!

It was the last chance to hunt down Star Dragon and minimize the margin of defeat as well as capture enemy general. Dragon Princes charged fast cavalry and reformed to help their companions but all they could do was to watch. Larry the Master of Paths did what he could to aid his knights but the winds of magic were low. And then the miracle happened! The knights fell the beast all by themselves and thanks to their magical banner the great wyrm didn't regenerate the wounds and finally fell down!

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,2 --> 4:2

Touch of the Reaper at the Star Dragon: 1,2,3,5 + 2 = 13, dispelled on a roll of 4,6 + 4 = 14

(Edit: In the previous version that spell inflicted a single wound and then lore attribute could also result in a wound meaning the Dragon would have died on the spot. However, good roll to dispel saved the dragon until combat when it finally gave its final breath.)

Elves of Light - Turn 5

Image
Tactical retreat

With the loss of their general and a dragon it was much harder to catch mounted Outcasts. The Archers also could not find the weak spot in the construction of their bolt throwers. Does that mean some of the Outcasts are going to escape?

Outcasts - Turn 5

Image
Getting ready for the last charge

Outcasts reformed with the very few units that were left. But they had one more trick up their sleeve. They decided to focus their efforts on the enemy Protectors of the Flame. Bolt Throwers released at them for the last time and a few warriors fell down. Master of the Paths used his magic to strip some defensive gear from enemy BSB and aimed at the warriors again but only one fell to the fireball. Now they had to wait for the enemy reaction to see if their last effort could pay off.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,5 --> 6:5

Miasma at Protectors: 3,4 + 2 = 9, dispelled on the roll of 1,3,4,5,6 = 19
Touch of the Reaper at BSB: 1,3 + 2 = 6, failed to cast
d6 Fireball at Protectors: 3,4 = 7, d6 = 4 --> 2 wounds, 1 saved

Elves of Light - Turn 6

Image
Last attempt to catch enemy knights

Lion Guard tried to reach enemy knights but could not make it in time. Protectors, however, destroyed one bolt thrower and stormed into nearby heavy cavalry. Will the be able to hold?

Outcasts - Turn 6

Image
Last charge of the Outcasts!

The battle was surely lost but the last word belonged to the Outcasts. The Knights spurred their steeds and made that last charge into the flank of the Protectors. Suddenly the fight didn't look that one sided anymore and it could go both ways. Master of the Paths managed to inflict a single wound upon enemy BSB but the Knights could not finish him off. Warriors fell on both sides and in the end the Knights lost the combat by the narrowest margin but they didn't break.

The battle was over and this time Outcasts had to acknowledge that their opponents outsmarted them and withdrew with few remaining units to regroup.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,6 --> 8:6

Blizzard at Protectors: 3,4,5 + 2 = 14 --> dispelled on the roll of 1,3,4,6,6,6
Touch of the Reaper at BSB: 4,4,6 + 2 = 16, 1 wound saved with the Golden Crown but 1 wound inflicted due to (old) attribute
Miasma at Protectors: 1,1 + 2 = 4, failed to cast

Summary

Image
Turn-by-turn summary

After-battle thoughts

First of all I would like to thank Eltharis for a great game and congratulations for well deserved victory! He definitely played a better game and made me pay for my huge mistakes :)

I believe I put up some fight despite the losses and in fact I was close to making that defeat much less sore! If only the plan of winning against protectors and breaking them worked! In the end I lost by around 1200 VP which is a Major Defeat according to 9th Age rules. That last combat, if worked for me, would have brought the margin of defeat to 400+ points so it was definitely worth trying. It is simply good to know that despite the heavy blows at the start I was able to get some points back.

I really like how Eltharis commanded his army. He was aggressive in approach, was ready to exploit the mistakes I made but kept his options open. He also made sure his Lions were nearby to provide stubbornness and I really had to inflict quite a substantial number of additional wounds to the dragon to take it down. Life magic worked wonders on this model.

Looking at it again I believe the idea of refused flank was good but I messed up the deployment. I should have put my Archers and Sea Guard as well as Swordmasters on the bank of a river to form a defensive perimeter and prevent attacking infantry from getting rank bonus.

Bolt Throwers and Lions could stay in the forest. Thanks to that I could have a good defensive position, have cavalry going through the flank and made the distance to my army longer. I was going second too so I think I should have positioned right reavers better. I got lucky that they survived and that I didn't fail DT test as well that I managed to kill bolt throwers with single riders.

The biggest mistake was, of course, leaving Sea Guard in the forest. I really can't explain why I did that. I am also sure there was a way to keep the BSB nearby too so I could try to prevent both units from running away. Archers failed on a re-roll but maybe Swordmasters would not. Next, I decided to charge with 2 regiments against Star Dragon and made my own situation even worse. Another stupid mistake and both cost me the game. I simply lost 5 units in one go there. Again, no idea why I did that.

On the other hand I am glad how I tried to mitigate the margin of defeat. I managed to prevent some of the more important spells from being cast (such as Regrowth) and if I remembered about my Charmed Shield then who knows, maybe my BSB would actually survive :-P I was in turn lucky to get these 6's to wound when I needed them and Eltharis just could not make enough 3+ saves.

In the end I had that last chance to get Protectors and BSB but it didn't work out. I think there was something I could do better. First of all I picked too few dice to cast Touch of the Reaper in 5th turn, should have cast it with 3 dice. That would be 1 wound. Then repeat it next turn as I did and get BSB.

That would allow to direct more attacks at Protectors because in order to kill BSB (and that failed), I directed 4 attacks from the Knights and 3 attacks from the steeds. All these could have been then used to inflict more damage and to actually break steadfast.

We definitely forgot about the river and possible disruption to rank bonus and it also seems that full rank of Dragon Princes would get +2 bonus from flank attack. It wouldn't have changed the outcome of the combat though but I decided to mention it as these are some of the new rules that actually got into play too.

I hope to organize some re-match with Eltharis as I really think he deserves a game where I don't make that many mistakes :)

9th Age Impressions

I would also like to add, as usual, some comments about 9th Age rules that we used in this game.

1. Deployment

I think the new way of deploying regiments (i.e. ability to deploy more than 1 unit) is a very interesting idea and I am looking forward to trying it again in future games.

I like the method of new deployment zones as well as secondary objectives. I didn't play well enough in this game to even think about scoring some more points for these but it is definitely good to have them as that adds to the variety of the battle. It will hopefully make the games more interesting and not always about killing the most of the enemy.

2. Magic

New idea for Overwhelming Power needs some getting used to. First of all it does not always mean you can get the spell in as the total result might not be high enough to prevent the enemy from dispelling it. On the other hand I noticed a tendency to cast spells with maximum 3 dice, in particular in the case of a wizard on a ridden monster (more on it later). That creates an interesting dynamics because it is far more risky to try and push for that one spell. It does not have to be anything big here. Just the one that is quite important to have.

At the same time casting spells for the Master of the Paths may be more problematic if the casting value is higher. Boosted versions of the default spells might not be game changing but require 4+ dice to be used and that is huge risk for a level 2. I noticed that that leads to the situation where I try to cast many spells instead of few with more dice but unless I have significantly more power dice than my enemy I have smaller chance to get anything through.

3. Ridden Monsters

I like the monsters we used. Griffon Rider is very good now (please, remember it was before Beta versions of army lists), should be harder to harm by small arms fire. It does not allow to protect points as before though, i.e. if your rider survived then you could hide him and thus don't give up points. But it is not a disadvantage, just an observation that it is harder to kill it with low Strength attacks but might be a little easier with something big.

On the other hand a wizard on a dragon is a huge thing. First, when casting spells with 3 dice all the feedback hits might not even scratch the model. S5 against T6 or 7 of a Star Dragon is not going to make much of an impact. And I don't think a player will risk 4+ dice as a miscast takes off the whole model. I am not quite sure why one would mount a fighting lord on such mount though, since having a wizard there seems like much better idea. Especially if he chooses path of magic that allows some kind of healing.

I hope you liked the report!

Thanks for reading and I am looking forward to your comments!

Cheers!
Blog: Path of an Outcast

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Re: MSU HE - 9th Age - 2400 vs HE - 14.09

Postby laribold » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:02 pm

Another great report Swordie!

Really good to see 9th Age getting some airtime. From what I've read of it so far, I'm looking forward to trying out some games.

Do you think the Sea Guard suffered from you playing this on UB and thus forgetting that it was a forest? I think if this was played in real life, you'd see it was a forest and move them out.
Double-flanking the Dragon seemed to be a decent idea. What made it fail so hard? With that number of attacks (and a fair few at S6) you'd expect to do a decent amount of damage wouldn't you? When did the Star Dragon use its breath weapon?

Still from losing so many key units early on, as ever, you never gave up and fought back well, bagging the Mage and the Dragon, so kudos for that.

Interesting to see your thoughts on the magic casting. It does look like a wholly different prospect.

Do you think the Mage on a Monster combo has the right balance of risk/reward? It is a lot of points after all, just to mitigate potential miscasts.
With one mage each side, there was no chance for any aided dispels as well, which would make the Lvl4 vs lower level wizards a more interesting duel.

I hope to see the New Outcasts forming up for a full 9th Age battle soon (and would be more than happy to play on UB!)
My trading feedback thread:
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Re: MSU HE - 9th Age - 2400 vs HE - 14.09

Postby Swordmaster » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:24 pm

Hi laribold,

Thanks a lot! I am trying to play 9th Age and KoW these days and it just happened that I had more opportunities to play Warhammer :) I am glad the report was enjoyable read!

Oh no, I totally messed up with Sea Guard here. I actually think I spot the opportunities better on UB so it is even harder for me to explain my silly decision here.

Flanking the dragon turned out to be a horrible idea :D My opponent used his attacks in a very smart way. First of all, he used breath attack to incinerate some lions and the regular attacks to finish them off. Thanks to that he got rid of the Stubborn unit.

Next, he thunderstomped Swordmasters for good measure although they were not steadfast in the forest anyway so had little chance to hold either. The challenge with Star Dragon is that with its T7 Swordmasters wound on 6's. I hoped to get that Wildform but it didn't work. What is more it is hit on 4+ so despite having quite a large number of attacks not that many actually got through. If it was wounded more then such risk might have been justified. But it has 8 wounds with the Archmage so it was not possible to inflict enough to kill it outright at all. Even to make the break test possible to pass was very hard since I lost 13 warriors. :(

But yes, I am glad I didn't give up and managed to hunt down the dragon eventually, that changed the situation a little. :)

I think the current combination of wizard and his monstrous mount works very well. It is indeed hard to get these points but as you see even my army could do it. Cannons are still good solution to that problem. I just think the rules need something to allow these fighting Lords on Dragons to be an equally good option. After all you want to have Dragon Riders in the fantasy game.

Yes, I will definitely play more games so watch this space! It would be fantastic to play a game of course, so if you could shoot me PM and tell me when it suits you to play I will do my best to find good time to do so!

Cheers!
Blog: Path of an Outcast

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Re: MSU HE - 9th Age - 2400 vs HE - 14.09

Postby Swordmaster » Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:24 pm

Greetings!

I have finally had a chance for another game in KoW. It happened that it was a re-match against Loriel and his Empire of Dust. Both of us are trying to find our ways in the new system, hence new armies in comparison to what we had last time.

Cursed Kings - Army List

40 Revenants, Horde, Cascet of the Damned - 210
- Idol of Shobik, Monster - 350

6 Enslaved Giants Archers, Horde - 245
- Cursed High Priest, Hero, Surge (10), Heal (4) - 135
- Soul Snare, War Engine, Lightning Bolt (5), Heal (3) - 110
- Bone Giant - 190

6 Enslaved Giants Archers, Horde - 245
- Cursed High Priest, Hero, Surge (10), Heal (4) - 135
- Monolith - 80
- Bone Giant - 190

3 Swarms, Regiment - 65
3 Swarms, Regiment - 65
3 Scavengers, Regiment - 90

Because it is a new game for me I am going to give some description of each entry just to try and get familiar with the enemy. If you are more experienced player you might want to skip that part or see if I assess these elements properly. :)

40 Revenants - one of the mainstay regiments of this army for sure. The have the highest nerve value, -/24, meaning they are the toughest nut to crack, at least on paper. They have good defense of 5, hit on 4+ in melee with 25 attacks. These guys look like elite infantry and are dangerous opponent. Their potential disadvantage lies in the fact that they have wide frontage so that the can receive the charge of several units at the same time.

They also benefit from the casket of the damned. It is a unit upgrade that allows adding 5 dice to Surge spell directed at this unit once per game. As High Priests have Surge (10) it means that once per game the unit can move 5 inches and then use 15 dice to cast Surge, with every 4+ the unit moves further inch. So in theory it can move up to 15 inches in the shooting phase only and up to 20 if the spell is cast only once.

Idol of Shobik - he is some kind of special character for the army and he is tough. First of all his defense is 6. He is medium fast with 7 inches of movement but Inspires units in 9 inches instead of 6, has crushing strength (4) so he will do damage to any of my units on 2+. He has massive 10 attacks in his own and nerve -/18. He can heal with 6 dice and provides Iron Resolve to units in 6 inches. It means that if the unit is Steady as a result of the nerve test it can regain 1 point of damage.

As you can see he is extremely versatile character, being able to provide all kind of support but also tough to rout and being able to deal a lot of damage all by himself.

6 Enslaved Giants - there are 2 hordes of these powerful constructs. They are two other mainstay units of the army and also main shooting providers. Their giant crossbows have 36 inches range what means it is very hard to deploy anything outside of their attention if they are positioned on the edge of the deployment. They might hit on 5+ only but they have 18 attacks. What is more they have Piercing (2) which means that whatever hits does damage on 2+ against my infantry and light cavalry, while heavy horse and drakes on 3+. So I can easily expect around 10 damage points per turn, either against 2 targets or against 1 units if focused fire. That means that a single volley by these constructs potentially delete a unit per turn.

The only consolation is that they have the rule Reload so that they cannot move and shoot.

At the same time they are not too bad in close combat either! Again, 18 attacks, 5+ to hit with Crushing Strength (1) means they can do quite a few wound when attacking or counter charging and assuming by the time something approaches them it is already damaged it can be enough to finish off the enemy. With nerve -/17 and defense 4+ these guys will stick around unless attacked by a powerful enemy.

Cursed High Priest - High priests have several important roles to play for this army. First of all they are additional sources of inspire. There are 2 of them so with the Idol there are 3 sources of inspire in the army. Their second, probably even more crucial, role is to move the shambling horde faster. With Surge (10) they can move them a little bit around. The interesting thing is that this can be augmented by Monolith (see later) and the same target can be Surged more than once. In my first game I learned that it can be a powerful combination when you think you are safe behind the enemy lines.

In addition, they can use Heal which is great with generally higher values of nerve and the fact the army has a rule Lifeleech (1) which means they regain one point of damage if they deal damage in combat. Add to that previously mentioned Iron Reseolve and these guys can keep the army recovering any damage real quick.

Soul Snare - it is a very interesting war engine. It basically casts the spell called Lightning Bolt with 5 dice, always hitting on 4+. The spell has Piercing(1) rule which improves chances to do damage by 1 and the range is 24 inches. It can also move and fire so effective range is 29 inches with possibility to extend that by any Surge spell.

Bone Giant - another powerful unit that benefits from high nerve -/19, crushing strength (3) - it wounds unit in my army on 2/3+, has d6+6 attacks and hits enemies on 4+. It has small footprint allowing it to use 7 inches move to sneak to the flanks and then be Surged to combat for these powerful flank attacks. With defense 5+ it is tough too and the combination of high nerve means that in order to eliminate one quite an effort is required.

Monolith - very interesting element of the army. It cannot move and its main and only role is to augment allied spells by 2. So whatever is in 6 inches away from it the benefit is granted. The disadvantage is lack of mobility but if one plans on being defensive and let the enemy to come to him it is a perfect addition.

3 Swarms - 2 units of expendable troops. These little buggers can simply move forward and block enemy advance. They are very easy to destroy but that also means the effort is put into crushing bugs and not fighting the real enemy.

3 Scavengers - they are similar to Swarms but may be a very dangerous unit as they can fly behind enemy lines, use nimble to pivot twice and then are ready to charge from the flank/rear. They have 9 attacks that hit on 5+ but it is not that bad when doing so from the flank/rear.

In general, I faced a defensive army with powerful shooting in the form of two units of Guardians augmented by Soul Snare. I had to choose between moving straight at them and suffer casualties in the process or trying to move with the use of cover and outside their arc of sight. But that meant I would slow down the advance and might have harder time in coordinating or moving to good position.

Guardians, Giants, Revenants and Idol are all powerful combat troops too and as I said before, their counter attacks might be enough to finish what shooting started.

With 4 sources of Heal in the army (Priests, Idol, Soul Snare) and Lifeleech and Iron Resolve special rules this army has the potential to heal a lot fast. At the same time 3 sources of Surge can be really dangerous.

To battle this army I took:

Outcasts - Army List

10 Stormwind, Regiment - 215
- 5 Silverbreeze, Troop - 145
- 5 Silverbreeze, Troop - 145
- Drakon Rider Lord, Hero, Large Cavalry - 160

10 Stormwind, Regiment - 215
- Drakon Rider Lord, Hero, Large Cavalry - 160

3 Drakon Riders, Regiment - 175
- Bolt Thrower - 90

20 Palace Guard, Regiment - 150
- Bolt Thrower - 90

20 Sea Guard, Regiment - 170
- Elven Mage, Inspire, Bane Chant - 110

20 Sea Guard, Regiment - 170

This time I decided to take more heavy cavalry at the expense of Hunters. More regiments and fewer troops as well as added one regiment of Drake Riders. What I wanted to achieve is faster army that can approach the enemy quicker and hopefully exploit the flanks. Stormwind cavalry hit harder than anything I have in the army and I hoped their higher nerve, 14/16, would be sufficient to stay around longer than small unit with 10/12.

At the same time I know that the shooting potential of the enemy is high so that 14/16 may not be enough to stick around for long.

I don't have much shooting, the same as before and I don't think I will have the chance to do much damage. Bolt Throwers are good but the enemies are tough and have great abilities to heal themselves. In that case I will try to focus my shooting at the units that might be hurt on its own or are wounded and can be destroyed easier.

The piece I needed to form a plan was terrain.

Terrain

Image

We have four pieces of Forest here. They block line of sight although we decided that unit on the hills can see above the forests without any penalty. The regiments inside the forest can be seen but are -1 to hit for shooting, cannot move at a double unless have the rule pathfinder and if attacking through can be hindered.

The shore on the left flank was all inaccessible so in effect we played on a narrower battle field. The green part on the right is still flat, only the brownish hills are elevated positions.

I decided I will position my infantry in the center first, at the back edge of the deployment to avoid being shot by all shooters at the same time. Then I thought I will go on the flank with the shore if possible with my fast elements and will either turn to the center with some but will send fliers further, to use the forest as a cover and emerge on the flank or even rear if possible.

Loriel won the roll off and picked South as his deployment zone.

Deployment

Image
Deployment order

1. Enslaved Guardians (EG1) - Sea Guard (SG1)
2. Revenants (R) - Palace Guard (PG1)
3. Bone Giant (BG1) - Sea Guard (SG2)
4. Enslaved Guardians (EG2) - Elven Mage
5. Bone Giant (BG2) - Stormwind (SW1)
6. Swarms (S1) - Silverbreeze (SW1)
7. Idol of Shobik (IoS) - Drake Rider Lord (DL1)
8. Monolith (M) - Silverbreeze (SW2)
9. Swarms (S2) - Bolt Thrower (BT1)
10. Soul Snare (SS) - Bolt Thrower (BT2)
11. High Priest - Drake Riders
12. High Priest - Drake Rider Lord (DL2)
13. Scavengers (S3) - Silverbreeze (SW2)

Image
Final Deployment

It looked to me I am a little too crowded on the left flank but the advantage I had with this deployment was that only infantry was available as targets for shooting and one of these regiments was in the forest. At the same time none was in range for Lightning Bolts.

Loriel won the roll off for the first turn and he chose to have the first turn.

Edit: When I surveyed the diagrams I made in Battle Chronicler I noticed that I was not meticulous enough to keep the relative distances close enough to reality and some maps may suggest that units were not in range for certain spells, Surge in particular but also the range for Monolith effect. Please, accept my apologies in advance for potential confusion and if in doubt, please do not hesitate to ask.

Cursed Kings - Turn 1

Image
Opening fire

The army of bones moved slowly and simply re-adjusted their defensive positions. Only Enslaved Guardians could shoot and only Elven infantry was in range. The regiment in the forest received minor damage but the one in the open was less lucky and Elven warriors wavered under such a heavy fire.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Image
Fast approach on the flank

All fast elements moved at haste on the flank along the shore of the ocean. That allowed them to avoid the attention of the Enslaved Guardians for a while. Infantry in the middle left one regiment of Sea Guard behind and moved forward too, although not at full speed.

Bolt Throwers tried to damage the very dangerous Guardians but at this distance the effect was too small.

Cursed Kings - Turn 2

Image
First Elven unit was destroyed

The undead army kept its good defensive position and only some regiments moved around to change their positions. Guardians showed the true power of their crossbows and Sea Guard regiment was routed after sustaining horrendous casualties.

Outcasts - Turn 2

Image
Elven shooting claims one enemy regiment too.

Outflanking force emerged in between the forests and light cavalry spearheaded the attack. Infantry moved fast forward and Elven Mage managed to heal Sea Guard a little. Bolt Throwers took aim at less resilient enemy and the regiment of Scavengers was destroyed.

Cursed Kings - Turn 3

Image
Blocking the enemy advance.

Mindless swarms of many creatures of the desert were sent with the single mental order of the general of the undead army towards the approaching cavalry. It would not stop them for long but at least it would slow down the advance and allow them to move Guardians into new position and be ready for advancing enemy.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Image
First Elven charges

The Elves decided to perform preemptive attack to disorder the enemy and get into the position to launch main assault. First, Silverbreeze cavalry charged the Guardians in order to distract them and prevent them from shooting. Their companions tried to clear the path but nasty swarms refused to disperse.

Both Drake Rider Lords attacked the Giant in the woods so that it could not charge the advancing cavalry from the flank.

Finally, Sea Guard and Bolt Throwers aimed at approaching Giant from their quarters of the battle field and braced for impact. Palace Guard was getting ready to counter charge.

Cursed Kings - Turn 4

Image
Powerful counter attack

Undead troops surged forward to enact vengeance on the intruders who dared to enter sacred desert. Bone giants stormed their respective foes. On the left flank Drake Rider Lord barely survived the encounter while Sea Guard on the right flank was not so lucky and despite the encouraging shouts of the nearby Mage they were destroyed. Silver Breeze cavalry that attacked Guardians paid ultimate price for their folly too.

Swarms hit the fast cavalry that was not impressed but could not move anywhere either. But the biggest hit came through the center. Revenants shambled towards the Elven heavy cavalry. Then both priests started their incantations and shambling horde suddenly moved with unnatural speed and hit surprised Elven knights. Their armor was sturdy enough to deflect majority of the attacks but they still wavered. That was a heavy blow in its own because in the narrow passage in between the forests the reinforcements were blocked as well.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Image
Elves press hard again.

It was very hard situation and Elves were desperate. Palace Guard charged the exposed flank of the Revenants and were aided in their efforts by the wizard but despite huge amount of damage it was still not enough to destroy the enemy.

Silverbreeze still could not get rid of the swarms and Drake Riders as well as Drake Lord recklessly attacked enemies alone. They didn't rout them and were about to face dire consequences.

Bolt Throwers aimed at two different targets this time. One high priest and Guardians on the hill were damaged but not enough to make that count.

Cursed Kings - Turn 5

Image
Killing blow

Another massive counter attack was coming. On the left flank Giant punished Elven fast cavalry for their incompetence and inability to destroy swarms when given the chance. Drake Lord and Drake Riders also were destroyed when their enemies descended upon them.

Guardians on the hill took aim at seriously wounded Drake Lord and another leader of the Elven army was destroyed. Finally, healed Revenants stormed into previously wavered heavy cavalry and this time they were routed too.

Surprisingly, Elven Mage survived the encounter with the Giant for the time being but after losing no less than 5 units in a single, powerful attack, the Elven army (or the remnants of it) decided to quickly disengage and save whatever was left to be saved.

The victory was clearly on the side of the Empire of Dust!

Summary

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Turn-by-turn animation summary

After-battle thoughts

It was my first game ever when I threw the towel and I really feel bad about it. But the victory was clear and Loriel simply out played me and punished my numerous mistakes immediately and to great effect. He did very well with his army, had a very good plan to first, force me into hard decisions about the deployment and then to use his army's strengths to great effect.

Congratulations, King Loriel, really well done! =D> Please, accept my apologies for throwing down the towel, even if I think I could do little to even make the margin of the defeat smaller. However, I simply could not fight off the frustration that built up during the game at my incompetence and poor performance and decided it would be better to stop the game at this stage.

The good thing after such a disastrous defeat is that there are plenty to things to discuss and learn from. It is even more important for the new player as I am in KoW.

Deployment

I think I have mentioned that before but the challenge in the game of KoW is that by the game nature all armies have multiple units or elements. As each of them is deployed separately it is really hard to outdeploy the enemy, in particular with the army like Elves that has more expensive units. We ended up with 13 elements each. I believe KoW requires different philosophy for the deployment because of that. I think one needs to form a plan about the initial formation regardless of the enemy but taking into account the terrain. I guess it will be possible to predict the enemy deployment with some experience but that is not available at the moment.

I still have mixed feelings about the deployment. On one hand I managed to save cavalry wing from shooting at the beginning of the game. If I deployed them in the center I would have to face powerful shooting. Cavalry has better defense than infantry but then I would be exposed to shooting without cover unless I sacrificed fast cavalry as a living shield. All options are both viable and risky.

I also had infantry very far away which, from the perspective of hindsight, I think was a mistake. In theory the benefit was supposed to be that I didn't say which flank I am going to support with infantry. But I gave it up when cavalry was deployed on the single flank. I think the good approach will be to assume that I am going to lose a unit each turn due to shooting against this army and simply choose which one it will be by exposing some and hiding the other while not holding back and putting pressure as fast as possible.

I will try to prepare some variants of the deployment later. Assuming, of course, that Loriel's army is not going to change its formation. It is of course not true but I think it is still beneficial to do so.

The Game

Now, what could have been done better during the game? I will try to discuss my options as I saw them during the battle and discuss other options I could have used (although I might have not necessary seen them before).

Turn 1

I could not do much about the shooting of the Guardians. They were hitting on 5+/6+ but were wounding on 2+. Loriel chose to shoot at each Sea Guard regiment. With 7 points of damage he needed 7-8 on 2d6 to waver my unit and 9+ to rout it. There is an interesting observation I made here.

In this situation in order to stay steady I had ~53% probability to pass. Probability I would waver was ~39% which is huge considering there were only two results that led to it. At the same time the probability to be routed was ~8% thanks to the fact there was a wizard with inspiring presence. Without him the probabilities would be, ~41%, ~31% and ~28% for steady, waver and rout, respectively.

I must say that is is a very intriguing result. First of all there is a very significant chance the unit will be wavered and could not do much. And while the chances of routing are dramatically reduced with the inspiring character nearby, the probability to get wavered is also increased. It is totally different mechanics and I think I will need to take that into account for the future games.

In my turn 1 I made a mistake by not moving the mage properly and not having Sea Guard unit in his arc of sight so that I could not heal it.

Turn 2

One more time the Guardians showed their might in ranged warfare. They didn't inflict more damage points than expected. If you have 36 shots total, hit at 5+ and then do damage at 2+ then 11 damage points is simply the average. But it accumulated to 13 damage points total and even with inspire there was little chance to save that unit. It shows my mistake with deploying infantry so far away because I lost a unit and had severely damaged the second one and I haven't left my deployment zone yet!

I got lucky with the shooting this time as I inflicted enough damage and rolled high enough to get rid of one of the expendable troops. It is not much but at least one of the elements in the enemy army would not block the advance.

I still keep wondering about the role of limited shooting I have in that army. It can destroy troops on its own but might not be enough to do significant damage on the tougher targets. And they got healed anyway. However, when they get healed other spells are not cast. But then, Loriel had enough sources of various spells that he still could heal the Guardians and cast other spells if needed.

Turn 3

That was interesting to observe how Loriel reacted. I wonder if he still maneuvered if I applied more pressure with infantry (i.e. deployed them closer and be already in charge distance) or would he chose to shoot at them instead. Here, he had space to breath and change the facing so that he could cover the flank with his shooters. It also shows that the idea of positioning everything on one flank resulted in easy decision for Loriel. He had no threat on the right flank so could easily turn his Guardians and be ready to repel my attack.

I was in a kind of difficult position again. First of all I was blocked by Swarms but also was threatened by the Giant if I stayed where I was. So I had to do something to keep moving and address the threat. I didn't want to move further around the forest because it would not keep me safe from the Guardians on the hill (unless we play it wrong and forests block LoS no matter what). At the same time I would not be able to attack anything as I would not see the targets. Finally, even if I attacked the Giant in the forest I am hindered, meaning I hit at -1 penalty and lose Thunderous Charge.

That is why I chose to attack with Lords as they have Crushing Strength that is not affected by the forest. However, I don't think it was a good idea to send both of them since I only wanted to block the Giant.

Another thing I did that is probably not such a great plan was to charge with light cavalry against Guardians. Yes, I stopped them from shooting, that is a good thing. But I was in a position to counter with only a single heavy cavalry and that whole crowded formation proved to be my undoing. So the idea was not too bad in general but I didn't back up that bold move with proper maneuvers.

In this situation I should have done something different. I believe the following plan would have been much better:

- DL1 into the flank of the Swarm, 10 Attacks hitting on 4+, rerolls of 1's and wounding on 2+ would have been far better than 7 attacks hitting on 5+.
- DL2 into Giant to block it a little. It still can pivot and then charge with Surge but would not be able to attack much on its own. And DL could hold against frontal assault for a while.
- Move Drakes towards the South but pivot to see the Giant and be able to counter with DL in the following round as well as use the forest to hide it from all but Guardians on the hill. Stay in 6 inches from DL just in case.
- Maneuver the cavalry past the Swarms and towards the center. In that way I could still have good point of view for charges but also provide some cover with fast cavalry as well as connect with infantry better.

Turn 4

Turn 4 was the beginning of the end and a direct consequence of my mistakes. First, the one I made turn 1 by not positioning mage properly now backfired when I lost Sea Guard, with the exact same probabilities for stead, waver and rout results as in turn 1 due to shooting. While one may think that it was simply unlucky to lose a unit when there was only 8% chances for it being routed, I could have avoided that if I healed it. One point less damage would result in SG being wavered. But more importantly, would leave Giant with exposed flank to the attack of the Palace Guard that assisted with Bane Chant would have had huge chance to fall it down.

Double Surge should have not been a surprise either. First of all I positioned myself 13 inches away from Revenants. They moved 5 inches in their movement phase so they needed only 8 inches in the shooting phase. Loriel maximized the chances for success by moving his priest so that they would be 6 inches away from Monolith but also way inside 12 inches range from Revenants. First Surge, cast with 12 dice move the horde by 3 inches only but second one added 6 more. In fact, Loriel forgot about his Casket which would have added 5 dice extra for this spell. Anyway, I should have taken that into account and it seems that with the cavalry I should simply park a little bit further to avoid such a nasty surprise.

You can again ask about the chances to get the regiment of Heavy Cavalry wavered when it sustained 4 points damage. Loriel needed 10-11 for that result and 12 to rout. Since there was no hero to inspire around, respective probabilities for steady, waver and rout results are approximately 83%, 14% and 3%. Again, one can call it unlucky but I think it was simply my mistake to position the regiments in such way that blocked one with the other. The best way to take such effects into account is either to avoid them all together or move in a way that any waver result would not affect the rest of the army. Interestingly, it would have been better to actually rout that unit as that would have opened path for counter charge.

I simply should have positioned my units better so that I could still maneuver around wavered regiment, something I will definitely take to my heart for later games. At the time it was crushing as that single result made my plan fall apart but as I expected, closer look revealed all the things I did up to this moment that were the real cause for disaster. Also note, that even if Loriel lost his Revenants, he was in a good defensive position to hit me back again anyway.

Depressed and frustrated, I followed the path towards the catastrophe blindly. Instead of re-thinking the situation I charged wildly, not taking into account the chances and not considering the consequences.

First of all I could measure if the Lord that was not engaged in combat could flank charge the Giant. You see, it had to align to the other Lord and thus probably exposed his flank. If he did I should have charged again, this time having 15 attacks and a chance to damage the giant further.

More importantly, I should have charged with Drakes in aid for Palace Guard. PG did a great job of inflicting 12 points of damage upon revenants. Then I rolled 11 for nerve test and that was just 1 point short of the rout. Yes, I would have been left in the open but I would be in the situation that allowed for some chance to fight back.

Turn 5 was just a killing blow I deserved for the whole game of making mistakes and bad maneuvering. It was a harsh lesson but now that I see how certain things affect the game flow I can adjust my plans accordingly. In particular, it was very important to see how easy it is actually to get your units wavered so one should always take that into account.

I am still trying to figure out what would be my perfect army list and I really want more units in it. I have already made some changes so I guess I should schedule new game asap. :)

Thanks for reading and I hope it was still good report!

Cheers!
Blog: Path of an Outcast

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Re: MSU HE - KoW - 2000 vs Empire of Dust - 20.09

Postby Swordmaster » Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:29 pm

Greetings!

I had a great pleasure to play against Eltharis again, this time he brought his Elves of Nature to the table. We played this game under 6.5 version of the 9th Age rules pack.

Here is the army Eltharis brought for our re-match:

Elves of Nature - Army List

High Enchantress (Spellweaver), Level 4, Magical Bean; General - 300 - Path of Heaven
Forest Captain (Glade Captain); BsB; Heavy Armor, Shield, Glade Bow - 151
Enchantress (Mage); Level 1; Dispel Scroll - Path of Shadow - 105

10 Forest Guardians (Glade Guards); Truemark Shots; Skirmish - 160
10 Forest Guardians (Glade Guards); Truemark Shots; Skirmish - 160
10 Forest Guardians (Glade Guards); Truemark Shots; Skirmish - 160
6 Horse Archers (Glade Riders); Howthorn - 126

14 Bladedancers (Wardancers) - 168
14 Bladedancers (Wardancers) - 168
14 Bladedancers (Wardancers) - 168

6 Wild Huntsmen (Wild Riders) - 180
6 Wild Huntsmen (Wild Riders) - 180

10 Pathfinders (Waywatchers) - 200
10 Pathfinders (Waywatchers) - 200

Just look at all these skirmishers! If you also take into account the fact that archers are equipped with Truemark arrows (quick to fire and no penalties for cover) and there will be 4 additional wood pieces then the strategy of this army seems to be clear. Stay in the woods with the units as long as possible in order to benefit from stubbornness and AP as well as Poison attacks in close combat. On top of that, Bladedancers will be very hard to shift from these forests too so getting to the softer archers and characters is not easy.

The amount of shooting this army has is huge. 30 arrows that you cannot hide much (unless blocked by height 2+ models), 20 Pathfinders that can move to even better position and choose right arrows for the job and Glade Bow + magic create quite a nasty situation for T3, lightly armored infantry. In addition, whatever gets to the lines will be intercepted by Bladedancers and Wild Huntsmen.

Really tough nut to crack and such defensive army is not easy opponent at all while having a lot of assets against my forces.

Outcasts - Army List

Larry - Master of the Paths
(210), Earthing Wand (25), Armor of Fortune (30), Obsidian Rock (30) – 295
Bob the Battle Standard Bearer (95), Griffon (200), Dragon Armor (14), Lance (4), Shield (2), Bluffer’s Helm (30), Obsidian Pebble (10) – 355

15 Spearelves, Heavy Armor, Bows, Full Command, Banner of Courage – 200
18 Archers, Full Command – 210
5 Light Cavalry, Bows, Light Lances, Musician – 100
5 Light Cavalry, Bows, Light Lances, Musician – 100

5 Knights of the Dragon Realm (150), Musician (10), Standard (10), Banner of Fire (10) – 180
5 Knights of the Dragon Realm (150), Musician (10) – 160
10 Swordmasters (130), Champion (10), Musician (10) - 150
10 Swordmasters (130), Champion (10), Musician (10) – 150
9 Protectors (135), Full Command – 165
Coastal Guard Reaper - 80
Coastal Guard Reaper – 80

Great Eagle – 50
8 Queen's Guard, Musician – 122

Please note that I cannot give Bluffer's Helm to Griffon rider anymore. I also decided to use Protectors instead of Lion Guard. I used them as stubborn regiment on their own to hold flanks but they cannot preform that duty anymore. Protectors would be dedicated unit for the master of paths so that they can benefit from 2+ ward save against spells.

That required some savings, however, and a single eagle was dropped, also to give Queen's Guard much needed musician.

I had to act fast in this game as I could not engage in a shooting duel. I decided on a gamble that was possible with the new deployment rules.

Terrain

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You can see that the terrain was really favorable to Elves of Nature. That was good investment in the Magical Beans and Eltharis clearly designed his army to benefit from its effect.

Deployment

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Deployment before scouts and vanguards

I assumed Eltharis will deploy his army mainly in the top right corner because the huge woods there allowed him to keep entire army there and use it as a good base to jump forward and make stands in the smaller forests in the middle of the board. So I decided to deploy just Reavers to get a some kind of confirmation and when he positioned archers there I decided my prediction was correct. I then simply deployed entire army to had a guarantee of the first turn.

I think having first turn is more important here so that I can cover the distance faster. I was also sure I could vanguard forward and not be shot to pieces and I wanted to use that to my advantage as well as will be seen in the opening turns.

After that Eltharis positioned his Pathfinders and I moved Fast Cavalry forward in a vanguard move:

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We rolled classic scenario for this game and when we checked secondary objectives it was "Secure the Target". There were two points on the battle field that if secured would add victory points. But in order to do so one would have to use "scoring units". Scoring unit is a regiment with a banner (including bsb) but the one the does not have Free Reform. In this case no unit in Eltharis army could contain these objectives. However, that was balanced by the fact that my own scoring units were too fragile to hold on in the open. I predicted then, that we would focus on killing each other rather than trying to get 240VP extra per objective.

Eltharis rolled for the spells and got the following:

High Enchantress - Wind Blast, Thunderbolt, Harmonic Convergence, Chain Lightning

Enchantress - Shadow Miasma

Outcasts - Turn 1

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Forward!

Elves of Light moved forward fast but maintained the formation and slowed down the advance only when it was too dangerous. For example, the treacherous woods required caution for the cavalry. Valiant light horse entered the woods at full speed, however, to distract lurking enemy from shooting at the main forces. They paid ultimate price but their companions were determined to avenge them.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,2 --> 4:2 (1 channel for EoL)

d6 Fireball: 2,6 + 2 = 10, dispelled on a roll of 3,4 + 4 = 11
Burning Gaze: 1,4 + 2 = 7, no dispel attempt --> d6 = 1, 1 wound, saved on 6+

Elves of Nature - Turn 1

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Elves of Nature shooting is indeed powerful

One regiment of Wild Hunters were clearly too hot blooded and tried to charge the enemy cavalry but they misjudged the distance and didn't reach the foe (Edit: I didn't note it on the diagram but WH1 failed their frenzy check and had to charge DP1). Their companions outflanked enemy forces teasing some of them to charge through the woods.

Despite the noble sacrifice of light cavalry, Elves of Nature still had plenty of targets to shoot at. Sisters and Bolt Thrower took the majority of hits and the untimely demise of the war machine unnerved nearby archers who fled to safer position.

But Elves of Nature suffered some casualties too since their High Enchantress could not contain the magical feedback and resulting blast killed a few warriors around her as well as wounding herself.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,4 --> 6:4 (1 channel for EoN)

Thunderbolt at heavy cavalry: 1,6,6 + 4 + 3 + 2 = 22, no dispel attempt --> d6 = 4, 4 wounds, 3 saved --> miscast result: 1,3

Outcasts - Turn 2

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Hunters were hunted down!

Remaining light horse attacked exposed flank of the enemy pathfinder with the high enchantress among them but combination of wooden traps and skill in combat of the enemy saw them annihilated.

On the other hand, Coastal Guard and the Knights both charged against the Hunters of the Wild. Both units were destroyed although Coastal Guard lost one third of their numbers in the vicious fight.

The other unit of the Knights attempted a long preemptive strike against Bladedancers but failed to reach the enemy in time and the rest of the army had to slow down to fall into formation.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 4,5 --> 9:6 (1 channel for EoN)

d6 Fireball: 3,3 + 2 = 8, dispelled on 2,5 + 4 = 11
Boosted Earthblood at S2 1,3,6 + 2 = 12, no dispel attempt (Edit: A mistake here as I thought the spell has area effect. I would not have cast it otherwise.)
Blizzard at the Hunters: 4,6,6 + 3 + 2 + 2 = 23, dispel scroll

Elves of Nature - Turn 2

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Storm of arrows didn't bring that many casualties this time

Elves of Nature only shifted their positions but they kept their defensive formation and stayed under the forest protection. The shooting continued but this time it was not as deadly as opening fire.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 4,5 --> 9:6 (1 channel for EoL)

Boosted Thunderbolt at Bolt Thrower: 1,2,4 + 4 = 11, failed to cast
Boosted Harmonic Convergence: 1,2,2,2,4 = 11, failed to cast

Outcasts - Turn 3

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Outflanking continues

Outcasts remained disciplined despite heavy casualties and continued their outflanking maneuver with the use of a nearby village as a cover for their advance. They also tried to use their own shooting and magic to hurt the enemy during the advance and managed to kill some Pathfinders and High Enchantress but it was still not enough to eliminate them entirely.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,6 --> 8:7 (1 channel for EoN)

Burning Gaze: 3,4 + 2 = 9, dispelled on the roll of 3,6 + 4 = 13
Touch of the Reaper at BSB: 2,5,6 + 2 = 15, failed to dispel with the roll of 1,1,4,4 + 4 = 14
2d6 Fireball at pathfinders with High Enchantress: 4,5,5 + 2 = 16, no dispel attempt --> 2d6 = 6, 3 wounds --> lore attribute at the same unit, d3 = 3 --> 1 more wound

Elves of Nature - Turn 3

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Elves of Nature shoot back again!

Elves of Nature rearranged their battle line and kept shooting mercilessly. Two not engaged knights fell but fortunately their companion routed some archers who, due to proximity of the enemy, fled from the battle. Then the shooting focused on the Protectors and many gave up their lives to fulfill their duty so that the general remained unharmed.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,2 --> 3:2

Boosted Thunderbolt at BSB: 3,4,6 + 4 = 17, failed dispel attempt on a roll of 3,6 + 2 = 11 --> d6 = 3, 3 wounds, 2 saves (one 6+ armor, one 6++ ward, lightning attacks didn't wound).

Outcasts - Turn 4

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Outcasts attack - bravery or recklessness

Bob the Battle Standard Bearer spearheaded his attack and charged the group of archers protecting enchantress. At the same time Swordmasters charged in against Blademasters but in their folly they didn't wait for the master of the paths to support them. Blademasters were fighting on their chosen ground and that proved to be a huge advantage. Swordmasters were cut to pieces before they got a chance to strike a single blow. It was a mistake that was about to have even more grievous consequences soon.

The crew of the bolt thrower had to defend themselves but fortunately a well placed volley at a short range killed enough enemy riders that the survivors fled the battle as swiftly as they appeared.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,5 --> 6:6 (1 channel for EoN)

2d6 Fireball: 1,1,6 + 2 = 10, dispelled on a roll of 1,5 + 4 = 10
Miasma on Bladedancers on Initiative: 3,3,4 + 2 = 12, dispelled on 1,3,4,6 + 4 = 18

(Edit: I clearly risked a lot with the charge of Swordmasters and that backfired badly. However, there were two things I didn't take into account that I will discuss later in more detail. First, I was not aware that Dancers are I7 not I6. That makes casting miasma on them far more risky than with I6 because I needed only drop of 1 point of initiative to strike at the same time and I was willing to go for exchange here.

Second, I was not aware that Griffon lost thunder stomp and couldn't inflict that many casualties as I have hoped for.

Both are examples where I made a wrong call because I had a wrong assessment of the situation. I really didn't like that it occurred because the knowledge I had was a liability due to too many changes made to the core rules. I will discuss it deeper in the post game analysis.
)

Elves of Nature - Turn 4

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Counter-punch!

Bladedancers, now free to attack again, charged the flank of the griffon rider. Surprisingly, they inflicted only a single wound but the archers added one more and the enemy battle standard was captured. Griffon rider tried to catch enchantress before he died but he managed to wound her once only.

It went even worse for the heavily depleted Elves of Light as they lost another war machine and Archers panicked again. It was no clear that they will have to fight for the very survival from now on.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,6 --> 8:6 (1 channel for EoN)

Blizzard at BSB: 1,5 + 4 = 10, dispelled on 3,4,5 + 2 = 14
Harmonic Convergence on Bladedancers: 1,6,6 --> no dispel attempt --> miscast result: 6,6 --> high enchantress lost 1 wizard level

Outcasts - Turn 5

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It is all in the hands of Master of the Paths now.

Archers decided the cause is lost and didn't rally. Single knight could not rally either and even the Protectors tried to get to safer position. It was then up to Larry and a few Coastal Guard to gamble to get some dignity back.

He managed to inflict the last wound upon the enemy general and main wizard and also hit the archers that captured the battle banner of his army. Unfortunately not hard enough to destroy them (Edit: I was paying here for forgetting to attack with my griffon last turn :()

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 2,3 --> 6:3 (one channel for EoL)

Touch of the reaper at High Enchantress: 1,5,5 + 2 = 13, dispel failed on the roll of 2,2,4 + 3 = 11
d6 Fireball at Archers with Enchantress: 3,6 + 2 = 11, no dispel attempt, d6 = 2, 1 wound, lore attribute d3 = 4, 2 wounds
Burning Gaze at Archers with Enchantress: 5 + 2 = 7, d6 = 1, 1 wound

Elves of Nature - Turn 5

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Tactical retreat

Bladedancers charged respective units but enemy general made a good use of the village to cover his retreat and it was down to the shooters to claim some victims. With the obscured line of sight now it was more difficult to do so but the enemy army melted dramatically anyway.

Outcasts - Turn 6

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Last chance

The few survivors made a last stand and allowed Larry the Path master to cast his spells but despite his best efforts they were not nearly as efficient as they could have been. Now they grimly awaited the last volley.

Magic Phase Details:

Winds of Magic: 1,4 --> 5:4

Burning Gaze: 1,2 + 2 = 5, dispelled on 5,6 + 1 = 12
2d6 Fireball: 1,1,2 + 2 = 6, failed to cast :(

Elves of Nature - Turn 6

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Coastal Guard dies but the General lives!

With no ability to charge the remnants of the outcasts, Elves of Nature used their formidable shooting to try and hunt their general down. However, he miraculously managed to survive, although his bodyguards died to an Elf.

It was clear that the assault on the forest failed and Elves of Nature repelled the attack.

Summary

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Summary turn-by-turn animation

After-battle thoughts

In the end Eltharis got well deserved victory and I wanted to congratulate him on his win! He had a very good plan and used his army in a disciplined manner and played to his strength very well. I don't have the result somehow but rough estimate suggests that he won by around 500VP which is much less than I though I lost. And that is why I am so disappointed with myself because as I am going to show you my mistakes cost me a lot when I could have really avoided some of the poor decisions.

The Game

I was happy I decided to deploy my entire army as I think having first turn was very important. I could also use my vanguard and fast cavalry to limit the shooting efficiency of the enemy. Eltharis still inflicted a lot of casualties but not against the assault units that was very important.

I was also very happy to eliminate Wild Hunters soon. I know Eltharis thought they are initiative 6 but they are not and that allowed Coastal Guard to hit at the same time. I got two killing blows in the process that helped in getting the wounds through as otherwise 4+ save would have been very handy here.

I knew I had to be disciplined and do not waver under the heavy fire and I believe the approach was not to bad until turn 4 where I made the crucial mistake of charging Swordmasters against Bladedancers. The fact I lost a unit for nothing was not a problem, the issue was that the enemy now could charge my BSB. Otherwise, I was happy to have him in combat as that allowed him to avoid one turn of shooting.

If I didn't charge with Swordmasters I would have been able to finish the Archers (if I didn't forget about the attacks of the griffon) and possibly charge the depleted units with the wounded High Enchantress.

In addition, if the griffon survived, it would would be enough to get a draw so basically that mistake cost me the game. #-o

Why did I risk so much then? Well, I was really sure that dancers are I6. If I succeeded with magic then we would have probably decimated each other. With the benefit of a hindsight I see it was too risky even if that was true (i.e. dancers with i6). I should have waited a little bit longer for the better opportunity.

However, the reason I thought the risk is worth taking is that if I did succeed in my plan then Eltharis would be at a back foot with his fragile characters running out of places to hide.

What I should have done instead is I should charged lonely Knight along my BSB to inflict more casualties and also to protect his flank.

I am glad I managed to get high enchantress eventually but I was really frustrated with the magic and shooting sometimes where I needed slightly better results to claim these units. If you look at the state of Elves of Nature army you would see that two units of Archers were almost dead, there was 1 Pathfinder left and both characters were on a single wound left. It is around 500 VP left hanging so low and I just failed to grab it :(

The fact that silly archers failed their Ld tests 3 times and simply fled the battle didn't help here either. The only consolation here is that if I didn't make these mistakes then the end result could have been better. I guess I simply need to play tighter game :)

9th Age - Impressions

I have some additional impressions on the core rules after this game but some might be actually after all the games I have played so far.

I am not sure what seem to be the reason but all the games I have played so far are very long. I know it is partially due to UB as online chats take longer. however, it was not the case before. I also know it is not because of learning new rules as I had few discussions about them.

Choosing the scenario and secondary objectives as well as new way of deploying may take more time now. Especially, that I have found out that the description of the secondary objectives is only in the scoring section where, in my opinion, it should also be in the description of the deployment. I simply wasted time trying to recall where they were. You may think it is a small thing and people would remember these rules soon but it does not mean the access to the information cannot be better.

I mentioned during the game that if I knew about some changes I would have made different decision. I find it frustrating that playing in 9th Age often means that previous experience is not only obsolete but can even lead to disastrous decisions. It is ok for a new player to make such mistakes but it should not be the case for somebody who played 150 games in the system that should be essentially the same, just better.

I don't know how to address that. Technically, it is up to a player to know the rules. It is true the changes are in different color in the rules too. However, there are so many of them that it is simply hard to recall them all. Or one would not assume they changed at all. For example, the whole discussion and announcement of the new type of monsters class like griffons didn't even suggest there are changes to stomp rules. Or while it may be a good idea to add +1 to the initiative for additional hand weapon it does not seem to be the most pressing matter in streamlining the core rule set.

My conclusion here was that by adding a lot of changes at this stage, not necessarily those that solve pressing matters or the biggest offenders, you generated a rule set that is equally complex and convoluted as the 8th edition. The difference being that the complexity may just lay in a slightly different area of the game.

I like the options of the new deployment and the idea of the secondary objectives. However, in the games I played so far the secondary objectives didn't play important role, both armies still focused on killing each other instead of trying to secure them as priority.

I understand that the nature of secondary objective may not be to be the primary mission (hence the name) but I hoped it would affect the outcome or army list composition. Please note, that my opponent didn't even have scoring units but with the composition of his army he could easily shoot to pieces any regiment of mine that would attempt to sit on the objective. Thus, neither army had a slightest incentive to actually even think about them.

I observed I don't cast spells with more than 3 dice and would not risk using more to get overwhelming power because it is not a guarantee of a success anymore (still can be dispelled) but at the same time can be much more damaging. As a result I cannot push for that one spell per game as before, where I can get it off. I miss that and I don't think it was such a power abuse as it was in the case of 6-dicing Dwellers or Gateways by more powerful wizards every turn. It also means my spells get off less often because I either fail to cast the more difficult ones on 3 dice or simply my opponent has better chance to dispel them with fewer dice too.

Other than that the game does not seem much different yet. Even more so when I observed the armies other people play and the way they play them. I hope it will change with the work done by respective army teams. I can say now, that I see a good sign based on what Elves of Light team did and I hope other crews are doing equally good job.

Elves of Nature - Impressions

I decided to try and provide the feedback on the army I fought against as I hope it will also be helpful to other teams to create the most balanced army books.

Eltharis based his strategy on the fact that he was sure to get 4 forests with the special rule he had for his army and the investment in the Magical Beans. It happened we had even more woods for him on this battle field but I think it is clear one can base a strategy on such a safe bet. It helps defensive armies of course and uses the ability to have whole army with skirmishers to great effect.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with such approach. It creates a tough army to break through that still is not much hindered by its own units. At least for type of forces like mine as I don't know how hard it could be for the forces of different armies and approaches. It is of course possible, that the fact I decided to aggressively advance made my opponent to choose defensive stance and against another foe he would be more dynamic.

In any case I find it very useful for the Archers to be able to skirmish because they are extremely mobile as infantry and that does not affect their shooting abilities, provided they choose right arrows. Combination of quick to fire and skirmish is fantastic because it makes for 40" effective distance with no penalties for movement. Then cover is also not a protection either.

Having protection of the Bladedancers was awesome as I could not comfortably attack them with any unit of mine at all. At the same time my own shooting was limited due to skirmish + soft cover combination. It required indirect approach but still cost me a lot during the advance.

Elves of Light - Impressions

I was trying a few new things with this army and wanted to share some impressions.

Griffon Rider - I am still getting used to the fact how much that model changed. No terror, slower, no thunder stomp, no ability to upgrade it to former ASF (extremely helpful) but combined profile helps. I wish I could keep the Helmet but as far as I now I cannot give it to large targets anymore. I liked the fact that apart from 18" range for BSB effect I have also a quick, hard hitting but not overpowered model that is perfect reserve unit.

Unfortunately, he became very expensive with far smaller potential on the attack. As a result I started thinking about having a separate eagle rider and pedestrian BSB for similar cost but much better flexibility. The good thing is that at the time of writing there is a new draft now that provides some solutions. Hopefully, that will be approved for official release.

Coastal Guard - I always liked them and I am glad they have heavy armor and killing blow with spears. They are still fragile but I like the fact they are reinforced for aggressive use.

Protectors - still not sure about them. I just need to train more to get these 4+ saves done! :) I need to re-think what I really need in this army but they are quite good as a dedicated bodyguards for the general, especially that he carries MR(2) item.

Other than that I am happy with the army as it is. The only thing I don't like with the existing rules is the fact that two models with Supernatural Reflexes but the same WS hit each other on 3+ anyway. I don't think it is right from any point of view.

Thanks for reading! I know it was quite a long report, especially with the added text after the game but I hope you liked it anyway!

Cheers!
Blog: Path of an Outcast

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laribold
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Re: MSU HE - 9th Age - 2400 vs Elves of Nature - 11.10

Postby laribold » Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:01 pm

Hi Swordie,
Tough game there against a very shooting heavy, specific and well-thought out build. Here are some thoughts that exclusively benefit from hindsight!

Battle thoughts:
I think you played the Deployment game very well, allowing you to get that first turn and use your Vanguard to great effect. Unfortunately things seems to go downhill a little from then on.
Given the shooting threat, I’m surprised that you didn’t use the DPs more aggressively , setting them on the East of your deployment zone and going hell for leather up the right flank. It would have put the whole main forest in charge range by Turn 2, or else potentially allowed them to get around the back of the forest and threaten the archers. The BSB could then provide support, threaten from the other side, or keep the Wild Hunters in check as appropriate.

Having said that one DP unit dealt with the Hunters pretty well. It might also have saved them from a bit of incoming fire. DP2 did look like it was going into the ‘cannon’s mouth’ somewhat.
It was clear that the Bladedancers weren’t going to come out of the forest unless forced to as they’d be giving up too much. I think forcing them to either come out to counter you or else giving up the protection of the archers from your infantry units who I would have had coming at them head on. In fact, given how little successful shooting your archers would be able to do (range, skirmish, woods) might it have been an idea to throw them forward as a combat option, or a distracting meat shield, if nothing else? It’s a little tricky on the map to quite see which skirmishers are which (archers or bladedancers).

This didn’t feel like a game where you could use your MSU infantry units to outmanoeuvre the enemy, more like a charge ahead and brave the arrow storm kind of game. But kudos to the Coastal Guard for taking down the Hunters like they did. Which you kind of did, but I think what really started to put you on the back foot was your long charge by DP2 in your T2. Clearly I don’t know what the distance was, but the fact you call it a long one suggests it was less likely to succeed. As you say, by failing this charge your whole battle line seemed to stall too far away from the main forest and it took them too long to get into a position to pressure the skirmish line.

My only other comment to note is that I’m not convinced that Larry is pulling his weight. Magic rolls seemed to be on the low side (and you know how much I love having all the sig spells) but he struggles as a Level 2. It means you can’t trickle cast so effectively as you need to throw 3 dice to be confident(ish) of getting a spell off. Plus your casting values are so low that a Level 4 (or even a Level 2 with some Aided Dispels) can counter you relatively easily. I know you’re not one for changing up your lists, but have you thought about Archie coming back and giving Larry a break?


9th thoughts:
Looking at what you’ve written from an outside perspective I think that you’re struggling a little bit with your perception of 9th Age. It seems that you are still looking at it as though it’s merely a patch to 8th edition (as I did when it first started). But I’ve realised now that it is not this, it is a new edition of WHFB with all that entails. It’s not as much as a 7th-8th change or as little as a 6th-7th change, but it absolutely is a new edition, hence all the changes that you talk about. I also partly think that you’ve been screwed over a bit by being a decent chap and some of the changes (ie forcing a spell through with Irresistible Force) have been amended because other people did ‘abuse’ it.
For example I like the secondary objectives and think that people will start to take them into account more when list building once things have moved on from the trying out and playtesting phase.

It’s also worth remembering that is in the playtesting phase and there are clearly things that still need sorting out. It’s a bit of a tough slog at times and things are changing maybe a bit too often to get your teeth into properly for my liking, but I fully believe we’ll have a proper, well-balanced game by the end of it. I also think that the length of games is a result of it being a new edition, although UB games always take 50%+ longer than a tabletop game imo. Players are trying out new things (units they’ve rarely used before, in different combinations) and allied to rules changes people are still finding their feet. Again the too-often changes make this an ongoing issue, but this isn’t a forever situation.

I like Bob on his Griffon, but again the rules changes have altered how he can be used now (probably more so than anyone else in the army). It kind of feels like he doesn’t have a primary role now and I think you need to define him with one. Personally, I’d set him up to take on small units of heavy Cavalry/Monstrous Cav if I were you (lance for first turn charge, Potion of Strength for second round of combat + Griffon attacks?) although not much use in EoN game

Protectors are pretty good and form a decent bodyguard for your general (be that Larry or Archie) and you get S6 on your Dragon Princes for now, so you miss the Lion Guard less.

So there you go, a long response to a long post! As I said, it’s always so much easier in hindsight and a lot of what I’ve said you may have considered and discounted as a rubbish plan/idea!

Hope you keep on with 9th Age too.
There’s (elves of) light at the end of the tunnel ;)

Cheers!
My trading feedback thread:
viewtopic.php?f=68&t=103203&start=0

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Re: MSU HE - 9th Age - 2400 vs Elves of Nature - 11.10

Postby Swordmaster » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:21 pm

Hi laribold,

Thanks a lot for great and detailed feedback! It is hard to get any comments these days, so I appreciate that you took time to post yours! :)

It was a difficult choice as to where to place heavy cavalry once I decided to deploy my entire army almost in one go. The reason is that while I assumed my opponent would deploy in the corner he could still split his forces and use some of his fast skirmishers to stay in the open on the West for time being. With Hunters there he could keep my advance in check and still shoot at me with great effect.

I decided then, that in order to have a chance to move aggressively but also keep some of the options open I should deploy centrally. If my opponent split his force I could use it to advance against either flank fast enough. I totally agree, that apart from the fact I made that dump mistake of charging with Swordmasters, the attack of DP so early was a mistake and slowed down the advance. It looked like I simply gave away the advantage I had thanks to gamble with deployment.

I did consider taking Archmage in general, I just think the versatility of spells Larry provides overcomes his level 2 disadvantage. What is more, with new rules for him as a warrior he is a little more capable in that department. On top of that, the EoL team for their draft suggested level 3 option so in my next game I intend to test that too.

I simply found out that with 8 spells I still can make some trouble for the enemy, even if I have to be more careful with the number of dice I can use for a single spell. It is tough to get a spell through unless I have twice as many power dice as my enemy has dispel dice. But it was true before anyway. I rely on the fact I have spells that have similar effects and that no matter what I have something to use.

If I deployed Archie again I would need to change the approach again. First, he is more fragile as he cannot fight as well as Larry. So having him in the first line is dangerous. Larry does not need the same level of babysitting. Second, I am concerned that with just 4 spells I would not make decision making for my opponent hard enough. And the problem of not being able to force that one spell through 5-dice cast is still there. Sure, if I use 4 dice I can still survive and with level 4 instead it might be enough to cast big spells. However, that leads to the concern that I might end with 2 spells at particular moment to use. I learned before that paths of magic tend to have some spells for range attacks and some for augment/hex but due to their higher casting value, I can attempt to cast 2-3 per turn. And that makes it far easier for the opponent to choose what to dispel and what to let go.

In this particular game Larry did cast quite a few spells, it is just that he could not finish the job sometimes. For example, having d6 hits per spell and rolling 1-2 when the unit was 3 models strong was simply a little unlucky. The odds for that happen were not small but in general I had better chances to succeed than not. It just the way this game work sometimes.

I was indeed thinking about using Archers as combat troops. There was a situation where Bladedancers exposed a flank to them while being in the open. I decided not to be cause I though with the aid of magic I had a better chance to hunt down enemy general than to break blademasters. If I failed to do so on the charge I would die badly. Not sure if I would win either.

At the same time I could not do 5" advance and shoot as due to all penalties I had poor chances anyway. Unfortunately I lost the unit due to chain of failed panic checks that seems to be the case with the units I have outside of the BSB range.

It may be indeed the case that I look at 9th Age in a different way. It is true it should be considered separate edition. The thing is, that with the changes before, even the most dramatic ones, they were in the final product already. Here, I have a chance to test work in progress but as such I know it will change. And it is far easier to get caught in something that I didn't spot but would affect the game. I am trying to be patient and it helps a lot that I have great opponents who understand the situation. :)

I guess my own approach of small changes and tests before jumping to far reaching conclusions and changing everything at the same time also affects my judgement. It is like with the army list, I need to think about it, play with it some time before I decide if I need a change and if yes what it should be. I prefer methodical approach while here it is simply huge overhaul. And it is just the impression that some changes were made because they could.

I am sorry my conclusions seem a little grumpy. I am aware I might not sound too enthusiastic or even supportive. I will try to be more balanced in forming my opinions later because there are a lot of things I like about the project.

I hoped to test some new ideas and newly fashioned units from EoL team draft 1 but unfortunately will need to wait a little bit more for that to happen. In the meantime I think you will be glad to know I have started making another report, this time from our game :)

Thanks again for fantastic feedback! Please, keep it coming!

Cheers!
Blog: Path of an Outcast

Follow me @SwordOfHoeth

Battle Log with shortcuts to Battle Reports: HE MSU
Article on HE MSU: HE MSU - Observations
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Rabidnid wrote:Are you seriously asking someone called Swordmaster of Hoeth why he has more swordmasters than white lions? Really?


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