How to find your way through the wreckage

Hi all, thanks for arriving and having a read of the articles on here. It is all a scrolling Blog however every article is labelled and titled as accurately as I can. Use the label list or article lists to go straight to what you want to read (if you haven't found it already!). I have added summary pages in the top bar, that will have all the direct links to related posts.

Enjoy!
GuessRange.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Battle Report: Warhammer - Dark Elves vs High Elves - 2500 pt - Ep 2


2500 pt Warhammer Fantasy Battle


Dark Elves (The Good Guys...Best and Baddest Award 2507IC) - Me


Vs


High Elves (The Outcasts...Lost on the Way Home) - Swordmaster

Episode II - Attack of the Swordmaster

A rematch! Let civil war reign! Swordmaster has graciously agreed to a rematch between our forces in honour of the unending enmity between our two points of view. In the spirit of ongoing forces there are few changes to the armies. Both armies were previously revealed and will do battle against their well known foes. Once again we will be using Universal Battle for the conduct of this clash. Battle Reports will be submitted using our favourite Battle Chronicler.

But onwards to the forces arrayed for battle:

The Good Guys (In the most evil way possible)
High Sorceress Melith (Level 4, Darkstar cloak, Crystal of Midnight) - Dark Magic
Master Horkrim (BSB, Heavy Armour, Great Weapon)
Assassin Kalil (Rune of Khaine, Extra Handweapon, Repeater Handbow)
Assassin Sharik (Rune of Khaine, Extra Handweapon, Repeater Handbow)

20 Corsairs (Full Command, Repeater Handbow)
20 Corsairs (Full Command, Repeater Handbow)
16 Repeater Crossbowmen (Musician)
8 Dark Riders (Musician, Repeater Crossbows)
5 Harpies

20 Black Guard (Full Command, Banner of Murder)
5 Cold One Knights (Full Command, Standard of Discipline)
8 Shades (Repeater Crossbows, Great Weapons)

3 Reaper Bolt Throwers

The Bad Guys (Vauls Outcasts)
Archmage (Staff of Solidity) - High Magic
Noble (BSB, Heavy Armour, Shield, Great Weapon, Dragon Helm, Reaver Bow)

10 Archers (Musician)
10 Archers (Musician)
15 Lothern Sea Guard (Full Command)
15 Lothern Sea Guard (Full Command)
10 Swordmasters (Musician, Bladelord, Amulet of Light)
10 Swordmasters (Musician, Bladelord, Talisman of Loec)
10 White Lions (Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame)
10 White Lions (Musician, Standard, Gleaming Pennant)
5 Dragon Princes
5 Dragon Princes
5 Ellyrian Reavers (Spears)
5 Ellyrian Reavers (Spears)

Great Eagle
Great Eagle

1 Eagle Claw Repeater Bolt Thrower

Only minor changes to the armies, notably Swordmaster was testing out the High Elf Eagle Claw Bolt Throw.

Pre-Game

The map selected was a SmithF creation for use in his UB Tournament coming up over summer. Talking through the table:
Hills - infinite height
Forests - magical, soft cover, infinite height
Buildings - from left to right, 2 levels, 3 levels, 1 level. Blocks LOS for units, not hill unless within 1"
Pond - magical river

The Dark Elves had been busy looting and burning their way through a nice little High Elf village and subsequently deployed on the northern edge. (Dark Elves won the roll for edge).

Magic Spells:
High Elf Archmage rolled: 2,3,4,5 (+0). Dropped 3 for 1. Translates to: Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Curse of Arrow Attraction, Fury of Khaine, Flames of the Phoenix.

Dark Elf High Sorceress Melith rolled: 2,2,3,6 (+0). picked 4, dropped 3 for 1. Translates to: Power of Darkness, Chillwind, Doombolt, Bladewind, Black Horror.

Dark Elves won deployment roll and order was:
Dark Elves: Reaper Bolt Throwers, Repeater Crossbowmen, Corsairs, Corsairs, Black Guard, Cold One Knights, Dark Riders, Harpies, Shades, Characters
High Elves: Archers, Archers, Eagle, Eagle, White Lions, Sword Masters, Lothern Sea Guard, Dragon Princes, Ellyrian Reavers, Eagle Claw, Dragon Princes, White Lions, Sword Masters, Lothern Sea Guard, Characters.

Only vanguard move was the Dark Riders who received orders to spy on the High Elf left flank.
Deployment

First turn roll was a draw (even with +1). The High Elves won the second by a narrow single point.



Turn 1

High Elf Turn 1


Movement: The High Elf had formed an imposing Cavalry Wing on the left flank and rode forward in battle line to start surrounding the Dark Elves pillaging the village. High Elf infantry marched forward gaining sight of their wretched kin and the carnage they were causing to the innocents still alive in the village. 

Magic: Sensing the fickle nature of the winds of magic, the High Elf Archmage disciplined himself casting Fury of Khaine the Dark Elf Cold One Knights. Despite causing serious damage the heavy amour and thick skin of the Cold Ones kept all of the Heavy Cavalry upright. Shaping the magic once more the Archmage tried to place a curse on the Heavy Cavalry but his efforts were deflected by his Dark Elf opposite. Determined  to cause damage the Archmage tried to cast Flames of the Phoenix but the spell evaporated before it could form. (Triple one to cast!). 

Shooting: Seeing the Archmages' difficulty the Elf Noble lifts his bow and with ease cuts down one of the Cold One Knights. With a wave to the Archmage, the Noble then orders the Eagle Claw and Archers to focus their fire on the Dark Elf Black Guard cutting down four of the elite infantry.


Dark Elf Turn 1


High Sorceress Melith uncased her Crystal of Midnight on the High Elf Archmage who despite his training could no longer remember how to cast his Drain Magic spell.

Movement:  The Dark Riders carried out their orders and came face to face with the High Elf Cavalry Wing. The Harpies, flapping alongside them got distracted and landed in front of a small horde of High Elf infantry they had not been expecting. The Shades swiftly moved in to kill the occupants of the outlying farmhouse, taking delight in finding fresh victims. The Repeater Crossbowmen occupied the large house on their left flank prepared to occupy a fire position. The eastern Corsair unit moved around to position themselves against a stone wall in a good defensive position. 

Magic: Feeling the rippling nature of the magic pools of power, Melith giggled in delight and flicked a Doombolt at the nearby White Lions killing four. Shocked at the damage they almost withdraw, however the screams of innocent High Elves in the farmhouse firmed their resolve. Calling on the Black Horror Melith killed another two White Lions. Happy with the casualties she quickly threw Chillwind at the eastern White Lions unit however the quick cast did not allow the spell to form properly and it only claimed a single While Lion. Concentrating and draining the pool of magic Melith tried to cut them to pieces with Bladewind however the High Elf Archmage had stored his strength and was able to nullify the damaging spell..

Shooting: The Repeater Crossbowmen were able to pepper the White Lions in front of them but the heavy cloaks stopped any of the damage causing casualties. The Dark Riders and Shades focused on the Lothern Sea Guard next to the High Elf Cavalry, culling a full rank of the infantry. The Reaper Bolt Throwers fail to coordinate their target firing at both High Elf Archer units. One of them breaks, however the other holds it ground.


Turn 2

High Elf Turn 2



The full strength Cavalry Wing storms forward into the Dark Elf right flank. 

Movement: One of the Dragon Prince unit charge the Dark Riders in front of them who flee, but are crushed under the hooves of the Dragon Prince steeds. The four White Lions charge at the Shades in the farmhouse, trying to save the innocents suffering within. The western Sea Guard unit charges the harpies who hold their ground, still confused by the appearance of the infantry. The rest of the Cavalry Wing follows the charging Dragon Princes. The Archers rally and reform their shooting line. The other High Elf infantry units continue to consolidate towards the farmhouse.

Magic: Seeing the fate of the White Lions who had been left out in the open and subject to High Sorceress Meliths magic, the Archmage swiftly cast Shield of Saphery on the Swordmasters in the firing line of the Dark Elf mage and Repeater Botl Throwers. With a brave smile the Archmage casts a hesitant Flames of the Pheonix on the Corsairs with the Dark Elf mage in it. The spell gets away from him and is cast with Irresistible Force. The spell causes six casualties, but horrified by the magic over-pressure they flee into the forest behind them. Holding up his now burnt-out Staff of Solidity the Archmage tosses it over his shoulder and picks up a more sturdy stick from the ground.

Shooting: Continuing his target practice, the Noble picks off another Cold One Knight, and directs the Eagle Claw to follow his lead, which punctures another. The Archers try their luck shooting at the Black Guard  however their heavy armour is not even scratched. 

Combat: The Sea Guard chop down four of the Harpies, however are unable to catch the last of the Harpies which scampers through the farmhouse to escape. Clearly still suffering the after effects of a recent drug fuelled sacrifice, the Harpy stops in front of the thundering Cavalry Wing. The White Lions charge into the farmhouse and find two Shades torturing an innocent family. They quickly cleave them with their axes but when they rescue civilians find themselves surrounded by grinning Shades, who fall upon them carving them into pieces. The White Lions and the civilians are not seen or heard from by the High Elf units outside again.


Dark Elf Turn 2


Movement: The Harpy continues to foolishly flee in front of the High Elf Cavalry Wing. Melith whips and scratches the Corsairs back into formation. The two Cold One Knights consider moving but decide to hold back. The Black Guard and Corsairs on the left flank both move forward to try and close the distance with the High Elf forces which deployed at range from the High Elf village.

Magic: High Sorceress Melith, seeing the intimidating Cavalry Wing charging towards her turns and starts hurling magic at the armoured masses. Her Black Horror spell is snuffed into nothing by the High Elf Archmage. A poorly cast Doombolt only blackens one of the heavily armoured Dragon Princes. Summoning a horde of blades to find a gap in the armour, Melith is able to cut down two of the Dragon Princes with Bladewind. Flicking a Chillwind at the stubborn cavalry Melith claims one more. Distracted by causing pain on her foes, Melith almost forgets the flames which are burning around her. Drawing upon the well of dark magic she crushes the flames with a toss of her head. [Swordmaster reminded me- very generous of him, very forgetful of me].

Shooting: With targets sitting out in the open, the Repeater Crossbowmen tried to wipe out the White Lions sitting in the middle of the battlefield, but are only able to kill two of the fierce warriors. The Repeater botl Throwers are directed by Melith to eliminate her Dragon Prince target so she can claim credit for wiping them out. Knowing what disappointing her would entail  the Bolt Throwers perform very well, carving the Dragon Princes apart, and even inflicting some casualties on the Ellyrian Reavers behind them. The Shades pitch in from the farmhouse and are able to cut down the rest of the Reaver unit near them. Only the bitter memories of lost loved ones who had lived in the village kept the nearby Lothern Sea Guard from withdrawing after the Reavers were wiped out.


Turn 3

High Elf Turn 3



Movement: A weakened Cavalry Wing continued to lead the wheel into the depth of the Dark Elf right flank, threatening to completely roll through the rear of the Dark Elf lines. Seeking to follow after the White Lions who disappeared into the farmhouse a unit of Swordmasters charged in to do battle with the insidious Shades. The White Lions move forward to pressure the core of the Dark Elf battle line. The Great Eagles position themselves to prepare to charge the Dark Elf war machines next turn and spend this turn providing a distraction to the Bolt Thrower crews.

Magic: A surge in the winds of magic allows both mages to channel additional strength. A Shield of Saphery is cast undefended on the White Lions now vulnerable in front of the Dark Elf lines. A curse is cast, again undefended, on the Cold One Knights. Assuming the Dark Elf High Sorceress was distracted the High Elf Archmage tries to cast Flames of the Phoenix again. A sudden surge from the Dark Elf Melith blast against the spell. Holding onto the magic for dear life, the Archmage feels the spell slip through a narrow gap in the magical defense and form upon the Corsairs and the Dark Elf mage again. The flames cause another three casualties on the diminishing corsairs. 

Shooting: The Nobles' target practice is ruined as his shots bounce of the Cold One Knights think armour. The Eagle Claw and Archers are directed to fire upon the fresh Corsair unit approaching, inflicting four casualties. 

Combat: Scattered through the farmhouse the Shades are unable to ambush the Swordmasters who cut them down to the last.


Dark Elf Turn 3


Movement:  Annoyed at the constant ping of arrows land around them the Cold One Knights charge the White Lions in front of them, arrogant in their ability to kill their inferiors. The lone Harpy continues its stuttering flight away from the battle. The Black Guard wheel to assist frustrated by being out of position. The Corsairs in the forest reform to face the High Elf Cavalry Wing. The Corsair unit on the left flank continues its rush towards the High Elf Archers, desperate to get into combat and out of the open firing range. The Repeater Crossbowmen found a High Elf hiding in a panic room and get distracted and stay put entertaining themselves.

Magic: Melith lashes out furiously at the Cavalry Wing in front of her. Casting Chillwind kills a Reaver but the follow up Bladewind is dispelled. Hurling a Doombolt at the Reavers, Melith wipes them out completely. Wickedly happy at the destruction, Melith senses the strength of the High Elf Archmage and draws deeply on the dark pools of power casts and full strength Black Horror on the Dragon Princes in front of her. However only two of the mighty warriors fall to the magic. [Rolled six power dice, no Irresistible Force, lucky!]

Shooting: The Corsairs loose their repeater handbows at the Great Eagle that landed in front of them and treated it like a dart board, swiftly killing it with a horde of small bolts. One of the Reaper Bolt Throwers cuts down another Dragon Prince. The second Reaper cuts down the Great Eagle in front of the farmhouse and despite its terrified scream it releases as it dies, the surrounding units hold fast. The third Reaper kills four of the Lothern Sea Guard in the centre of the battlefield. 

Combat: White Lions swing quickly and cut down the arrogant Cold One Knights, with easy access to the Repeater Bolt Throwers now available. 


Turn 4

High Elf Turn 4


Movement: With free access to the Dark Elf war machines the White Lions charge forward but the deceptively step ground slows their charge and they are unable to make it into combat. The remaining Dragon Princes swing around through the forest to support the While Lions and prepare for a charge into the Dark Elf war machines. The Archmage declares the farmhouse to be the new fighting point and moves in to secure sight on his opponents. The Swordmasters out in the open swing around to protect the flank of the building. The Sea Guard in the centre of the table swiftly reform to shoot at the Corsairs stranded in the open. 

Magic: The Dark Elf High Sorceress had forgotten the Phoenix flames again and this time they surged and seared through the Corsair Reaver and five of his brethren. The Archmage casts Fury of Khaine and claims another of the Corsairs. Realising the mistake, Melith is finally able to concentrate and suppress the dangerous flames. [Swordmaster well within his right not to remind me a second time. Only way to learn a lesson properly is to suffer the results]

Shooting: The Noble orders all shooting into the nearby Corsair unit and they cut down eight of the marauding criminals. 


Dark Elf Turn 4


Movement: The Black Guard were finally in position and charged the stranded White Lions in the Flank. They tried to flee but were hacked down with relish by the Black Guard chasing them. The Corsairs make a desperate dive forward to try and reach their Archer foes. The Archers flee and force a dislocated halt to the charge, once more leaving the Corsairs stranded in the open. The lone Harpy finally flees off the table.

Magic: The winds of magic blow strong. Just as Melith reaches out to case her first spell, the power evaporates as if just air. Melith is shocked to lose so much power and casts about for something to hurt.

Shooting: The Corsair repeater handbows cannot scratch the Dragon Princes in front of them. The Repeater Crossbowmen, finished with their distraction line up and with great accuracy use the Dragon Princes to create pin-cushioned corpses. Once again the Reapers are unable to coordinate their attacks. One of them shoots at the Archers still holding their ground, killing two of them but unable to convince them to flee as well. The other two shoot at the Sea Guard facing the Corsairs in the open but are only able to kill three of the warriors.


Turn 5

High Elf Turn 5


Movement: The Sea Guard next to the farmhouse swing around to bring the bows into sight with the Corsairs hiding in the forest. The Archers rally and rejoin the battle.

Magic: The Archmage once again tries to cast Flames of the Phoenix on Melith and her Corsairs. however the Dark Elf is clearly tired of the flames and quashes them totally. However she is then unable to resist as her unit is cursed and Fury of Khaine sweeps through causing devastating casualties.

Shooting: The Sea Guard now with a juicy and vulnerable target in front of them loose and kill the remaining Corsairs, and wound the Dark Elf mage and Assassin. Once again the Eagle Claw, Sea Guard and the Noble loose at the Corsairs who are now depleted to four warriors.


Dark Elf Turn 5


Movement: The Corsairs declare their suicidal charge into the archers and lose one to shooting, leaving them with only three warriors. The Black Guard swing around to face the farmhouse, contemplating a charge in to clear out the High Elves within. Melith and Assassin Kalil move into the Black Guard unit for protection. The Repeater Crossbowmen finally leave the devastation of the village behind and begin to trek across the battlefield.


Magic : Melith reaches once more for the winds of magic but once again they dissipate before she can cast anything.


Shooting: All three Reapers aim at the Sea Guard who had killed the Corsair unit, however were only able to kill six annoying warriors. 

Combat: The Archers bravely start cutting down the Corsairs but as they go to finish them off, Assassin Sharik leaps out and in moments cuts each of their throats. Distracted by the flying blood he overruns, but not enough to clear him of the battlefield. 


Turn 6

High Elf Turn 6


Movement: .Eager to kill the Dark Elf mage the Sea Guard near the farmhouse charge the Black Guard. Assassin Kalil snipes one as they charge in. The archers conduct a swift reform, and level their bows at the lone Assassin. The Noble, his work down, steps into the farmhouse to confer on the clean-up with the Archmage. The Sea Guard reform to face the Dark Elf Reaper Bolt Thrower, aiming to shoot one to pieces.

Magic: The Archmage sends magic flying each effort is dispelled. Finally he manages to squeeze a curse onto one of the Dark Elf war machines.

Shooting: The Archers neatly pick off the Assassin wandering in the open. The Noble coordinates with the Sea Guard to open up at range in an attempt to kill the crew of the cursed Reaper. Wounding it, the Eagle Claw is able to reach out and finish the job.

Combat: The Sea Guard manage to inflict a single wound on the High Sorcerss Melith before Assassin Kalil steps in and dissects them all.


Dark Elf Turn 6



Movement: Unwilling to invite disaster, Melith orders the Black Guard to stand their ground and let here raze the building to the ground with magic.

Magic: Arrogantly confident Melith casts a simple Doombolt which comes alive with Irresistible Force. The magic cascades around her in a monstrous miscast. Nine of the Black Guard are vaporised, and Melith is broken by the magic, collapsing before she could be dragged into the Realm of Chaos.

Shooting :The two remaining Reapers try to decimate the last Sea Guard unit but could only puncture two of them, leaving them alive with two warriors.



End of Game


RESULT - High Elf win 12-8.

Post Battle Wrap-Up

A bloody, knock-down, drag-out battle.
Massive thank you to Swordmaster for both the game, and surviving a constant barrage of questions and problems I ran into. Loads learnt about the game and both armies. A topsy-turvy game made for a number of stressful-frustrating situations, and I am glad we finished the game. We were also plagued by a number of UB problems. This caused our focus to constantly be broken and really dragged the game out.

So let's look through the phases. 
Movt- Swordmaster was surprised to get the first turn, but given our deployments neither of us gained a lot. A focused deployment by Swordmaster on almost a single half of the table meant a number of my units were now stretched out. Looking back through. The use of a very solid Cavalry really unbalanced my army, not helped by my deployment. Shelling up in the forests and building also meant that Swordmaster had a very hard to kill army come late-game.

Magic- First Rule - REMEMBER REMAINS IN PLAY SPELLS!. The first time Swordmaster kindly reminded me before it was too late. I said I needed posted notes then. I forgot again. Tsk tsk shame on me. I had a reasonable first 3 turns and then its all stopped. Apart from a few dispels, me mage may as well have not been there. Not blaming anyone - except 'Gatti' an audience member, cursed my magic phase the left the audience box. After that, my magic stopped. Coincidence? I think not. Hmmm. Perhaps too superstitious. :) lol.

Shooting- During the game I thought I kep the pressure up and forced a lot of panic tests. Except High Elves always get a re-roll of their leadership against Dark Elves. I caused a single unit to flee, despite nearly every other unit testing at least 4-6 times through the game, some twice every turn. Need to re-think this phase entirely. Writing this report I realised some basic strategic mistakes which I will be tucking away for use later. I may share these offline or in a less public forum, can't give away cunning plans too easily!

Combat- Hamstrung myself with poor movement phase which cost me my Cold One Knights. Also facing such a fast Cavalry Wing. I probably could have repositioned alot better to face it down rather than rely on magic and shooting.

Overall- As I said a bloody game. In the end my Dark Elves threw themselves away. If Assassin Sharik had run off the table, and Melith not go nuclear it would have been a draw. Nothing more. Swordmaster had a lot of points left on the table despite only a few units. A very good game to him. This brings us to 1-1 however for now we will be resting the civil war to recover, reset, then maybe down the track go again at it.


I hope you all enjoyed reading. Feel free to leave comments on the forums or here. Any questions I will do my best to answer them.

GuessRange.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Battle Report: Warhammer 40K - Imperial Fists vs Chaos Space Marines - 1750 pts

1750 Point Warhammer 40K Battle Report


Imperial Fists (The Good Guys - *it's true this time!*)


vs


Chaos Space Marines (The Bad Guys - *they really are!*)


So we are back with another epic battle between Chazz and I. Inspired by the release of the new Codex: Chaos Space Marines he has drawn forth his legions from the warp and it is my duty to destroy him. This is the first time either of us has seen the new CSM army in action, so there may be a few surprises for us both, probably nasty and warp tainted as well..

Forces on parade are:

The Good Guys (Garrison drawn from Imperial Fists 4th Company)
Captain (Artificer Armour, Relic Blade, Jump Pack)
10 x Tactical Marines (Flamer, Plasma Cannon)
10 x Tactical Marines (Flamer, Plasma Cannon)
10 x Tactical Marines (Flamer, Plasma Cannon)
10 x Assault Marines (Sgt w/Lightning Claws)
2 x Landspeeders (Heavy Bolter and Typhoon Missile Launcher)
Dreadnought (Plasma Cannon, DCCW w/Heavy Flamer)
Dreadnought (Plasma Cannon, DCCW w/Heavy Flamer)
Predator (Lascannon sponsons, Twin-linked Lascannon turret)
Predator (Lascannon sponsons, Twin-linked Lascannon turret)
Thunderfire Cannon (After playing a game at a local store against 2 of these I really wanted to give them a run, will see how it goes!)

The Bad Guys (The Newly Minted Chaos and their Necron lackeys) (list not 100% accurate)
Slaanesh Sorcerer (Lev 2, rolled up Sympathy of Pain and Puppet Master), Bike, Lightning Claw
6 x Chaos Bikers (Aspiring Champ w/ Lightning Claw, 2 x Plasma Guns)
10 x Chaos Marines (Aspiring Champ w/Lightning Claw, 2 x Plasma Guns)
10 x Chaos Marines (Aspiring Champ w/Lightning Claw, 2 x Melta Guns)
5 x Havocs (Aspiring Champ, 4 x Autocannons)

Necron Lord (Mindshackle Scarabs, Warscythe)
2 x Harbinger of Despair (Both with Abyssal Staff, one in each squad)
8 x Necron Immortals (Tesla Carbines)
7 x Necron Immortals (Gauss Blasters)
6 x Canoptek Wraiths



Everyone lined up and ready to go.

Pre-Game

As per our standard last-minute game organisation we rolled up the battle using the standard rules. The Emperor's Will using a Hammer and Anvil Deployment. Chazz won the dice for table edge, however this was rather redundant as we had accidentally set up a very symmetrical table. Both objectives were placed obligatorily on the hill in our deployment zone and we got onto putting troops on the table. Chazz won the dice for first turn and deployed first. Keeping half his forces in reserve he lined himself on up the starting mark and got ready to charge. A little more cautious I stayed back with my long-range guns, and kept everything else sitting at about 30-36" from him, just trying to make his first turn as difficult as possible to get lots of guns in range. I kept my Assault Marines in reserve to Deepstrike in and hopefully sweep him off his objective, and simply survive for five turns to contest it. With this scenario the battle is forced to concentrate at both ends of the table which makes for an interesting (bloody) middle ground.

So with our forces deployed this is what it looked like:

Deployment

Description for Chaos - Chaos Sorcerer and Bikers at the top. Havocs positioned on the hill at the rear. CSM Squads lined up on northern and southern flanks. Wraiths positioned just off centre. All other units in reserve. (2x Night Scythes, 1x Necron Lord, 2x Immortal Squads w/Cryptek, 1x Chaos Cultist Squad)

Description for the Imperial Fists - Predators at northern and southern extremes. Thunderfire in back right (southern flank) corner. Landspeeders central at back. Dreadnoughts on northern and southern flanks with Combat Squad positioned nearby. Three Combat Squads with Plasma Cannons located on hill. Single Combat Squad positioned at bottom of hill. Captain and Assault Marines in Deepstrike Reserve.

Chaos objective located under Havocs, Imperial Fists objective located under Plasma Cannon Combat Squads.

I stole the initiative (much cheering!) and we got started.



TURN 1 - No Night Fighting (A nice change)



Imperial Fists Turn 1
IF - Turn 1
Movement:  The Imperial Fists moved up both flanking Combat Squads to start creating a buffer between hostiles and the objective. The Dreadnoughts stomped up behind, bringing their Plasma Cannons into range. The Landspeeders drifted a fraction but were still awaiting orders.

Shooting: Stealing the opportunity to take the first shots, Lascannon and Plasma Cannon bolts flew out from the Imperial Fist lines. Reasonable casualties were inflicted, however some of the more powerful weapons did not seem to be functioning properly. Two of the Chaos Bikers were vaporised by plasma. The of the CSM squads suffered seven casualties as Thunderfire Cannon and Plasma Cannon shots landed amongst them. Only two CSM's were killed in the other squad. Despite a barrage of Lascannon and Plasma Cannon shots, only a single wraith was felled. Not an insignificant opening salvo, however Imperial Fist Tacticians were not impressed.


Chaos Space Marines Turn 1
CSM - Turn 1
Movement: The Wraiths drifted swiftly forward next to the ruins. Both CSM squads moved forward, trying to close the range for their weapons. The Sorcerer and his Bikers dashed down the flank eager to close with the enemy.

Shooting: Finding a target in range the Havocs unload on one of the Dreadnoughts, glancing it and breaking its Power Fist. A lucky Plasma Gun shot from the speeding Bikers felled a Marine. The Wraiths continued their drift forward and both of the CSM squads used the lull in the fire-fight to keep dashing forward.



TURN 2 



Imperial Fists Turn 2
IF - Turn 2
Movement: The Imperial Fists reserve did not arrive this turn, no doubt planning the exact moment to arrive and change the course of the battle. A coordinated strike was dedicated against the Wraiths and orders passed to close and kill the creatures before they could reach the objective position. The remaining Combat Squad on the northern flank moved forward, aiming to engage the fast Bikers before they could break into the defensive lines. With approaching targets the Landspeeders strafed across to bring their guns to bear on the approaching Bikers.

Shooting: With everything now in range the Imperial Fists blazed away. The Tacticians looked on in startled surprise and nearly none of the shooting managed to inflict casualties. Fortunately all of the Chaos Bikers were gunned down with a strike being caused on the Chaos Sorcerer. Afraid that similar shooting would continue, the Tacticians ordered the strike to commence.

Assault: Two Combat Squads and a Dreadnought crashed into the Wraiths, ready to crush and demolish the creatures. The Chaos Gods must have intervened in the fates of the Loyalist Marines, the Dreadnought plasma generator was pierced and exploded across the entire combat. The two sergeants each to squash the Wraiths were unable to cause a single casualty. With their supporting Dreadnought destroyed the southern Combat Squad broke from combat after seeing an approaching CSM Squad, moving rearwards they sought a more advantageous fighting position. The Combat Squad remaining in contact with the Wraiths gritted their teeth and hoped to hold the line and buy time for their battle-brothers. The Imperial Fists Tacticians in space looked in confusion, how could this be happening!?


Chaos Space Marines Turn 2
CSM - Turn 2
Movement: The Necron Lord with his Immortals and Night Scythe arrived this turn, as did the Chaos Cultists, fresh from their recent offerings. The Sorcerer annoyed at his Bikers for dying around him moved up to charge the uppity marines in front of him. The southern CSM squad moved up to bring more fire-power to bear on the corpse-worshippers falling back. The battered northern CSM Squad continued its advance, using the hill to avoid attracting too much attention.

Shooting: The Havocs re-target the damaged Dreadnought and cripple the rest of its functioning systems. The Sorcerer cast Symphony of Pain on the squad in front of him and prepared to charge. The Night Scythe targeted the southern predator, however only causes two glancing hits, leaving it tantalisingly vulnerable.

Assault: With a cry to the Gods, the Sorcerer charged in. Calling out the Sergeant he immediately decapitated him in a challenge. The Imperial Fists managed to break contact from the Sorcerer, calling for fire to cover their withdrawal. The Wraiths butchered the last of the Combat Squad, pausing only briefly to collect grisly trophies before resuming their drift towards the Imperial Fists defensive position.



TURN 3



Imperial Fists Turn 3
IF - Turn 3
Movement: The Captain and his Assault Marines arrive from deep strike landing right behind the Chaos objective, surprised by Chaos Cultists that did not appear on the Auspex Scanners during the drop. Both Combat Squads regroup and turn back into the fray. The Landspeeders strafe left to open up lines of fire onto the approaching Wraiths.

Shooting: Lining up each of its' Lascannons, the northern Predator erases the Sorcerer from the battlefield. The Techmarine working the Thunderfire Cannon manages to hit and wound the Wraiths twelve times, however the creatures manage to only lose two casualties. Warning icons flashed on the Combat Squads guarding the objective, who all turned to fire upon the Wraiths. In a moment there was only a single Wraith alive, sparking and stumbling along. The Assault Marines, in accordance with their pre-drop orders target the Havocs on the Objective, and even the Captains orders for Target Priority were unable to cause a single casualty.

Assault: Keen to regain their lost honour the southern Combat Squad charges the remaining Wraith and swiftly puts it down.


Chaos Space Marines Turn 3
CSM - Turn 3
Movement: With reports of casualties filtering back, the Necrons order their second Night Scythe to arrive to relieve some of the battle pressure. The clustered Assault Marines make for a perfect target, and the Immortals and their Cryptek with Abyssal Staff line up to destroy the irrelevant Marines. The Necron Lord sighting the Chaos Sorcerer being destroyed injected himself and his Immortals into the battle, taking the fight to the Imperial Fists defensive position. The southern CSM Squad moved up again to continue their fire upon the dislocated loyalist defensive position. The northern CSM Squad moved into hilly ground to gain sight on the marines responsible for killing the Sorcerer.

Shooting: With a scream of energy the Abyssal Staff unleashed, striking down six of the Assault Marines. The Immortals, Chaos Cultists, and Havocs, finish the work killing the rest of the Assault Marines and wounding the now lone Captain. The Necron Lord orders his Cryptek to use its Abyssal Staff and once again pain envelopes the Imperial Fist Defensive position. However due to the hilly ground, many of the marines escape destruction. The eastern Night Scythe guns down one of the Landspeeders, leaving a blasted wreck in its place.

Assault: The southern CSM squad, finally in range sprints into combat with its Combat Squad enemies. The Aspiring Champ challenges the Sergeant and swiftly cuts him down. Another marine falls to the CSM blades, and the remaining marine attempts to withdraw again, however the CSMs refuse to let their sport escape. The Captain alone now is a ripe target for the enraged Chaos Cultists. The Captain cuts down one of the Cultists, who are subsequently shocked to find their Champion not willing to fight. They attempt to flee but the Captain continues to strike out and kills them all a swift bloodbath.



TURN 4 



Imperial Fists Turn 4
IF - Turn 4
Movement: With forces starting to get thin on the ground, Imperial Fist Tacticians attempt to calculate the greatest probabilities for victorious solutions. Deciding upon massed fire-power the orders are passed. The Captain takes the lead and steps forward toward the Havocs. The Landspeeders continue their strafe to line up fresh targets.

Shooting: Every gun remaining in the Imperial Fist line is levelled at the Necrons. A blaze of plasma and las pour over the Necrons. After sighting optics return to optimal capacity only the Necron Lord is left, limping forward towards the objective. One of the Plasma Cannons failed to receive the order and fired upon the northern CSM Squad, reducing two of its members to bubbling messes.

Assault: The Captain charges into the Havocs, calling out the Aspiring Champ and cleaving him in two before he can shout an insult. The Havoc refuse to be intimidated and close the gap to try and strike down the rampaging Captain.


Chaos Space Marines Turn 4
CSM - Turn 4
Movement: The Necron Lord spots the nearby CSM Squad and signals them to conduct an assault with him upon the Imperial Fist objective position. The CSMs gladly agree and stride forward to charge their foes. The Necron Lord orders a rapid repositioning and the Immortals back in their deployment zone re-materialise aboard the Night Scythe which carries them swiftly down the battlefield.

Shooting: Pre-assault fire kills two of the marines guarding the objective, nicely softening them up for imminent destruction.

Assault: The Necron Lord hurls himself up the hill and immediately begins laying about, killing all the enemy marines nearby. The CSMs impressed and not wanting to seem lacking equally throw themselves into an energetic massacre of the small Combat Squad that had been guarding the objective.


TURN 5 - No Night Fighting



Imperial Fists Turn 5
IF - Turn 5
Movement: The last remaining Combat Squad redeploys from the northern edge of the hill, moving back around and in range of the objective. The sole survivor of the northern Combat Squad continues his run towards the hill, eager to assist.

Shooting: Risking friendly casualties the Thunderfire Cannon causes fifteen hits and manages to kill four of the CSMs by itself. A combination of twin Predators and a supporting Landspeeder see the Necron Lord and remaining CSMs on the hill pulped and withered into scrap metal and flesh.

Assault: The Captain, starting to warm up to his day of blade-work cuts through two more Havocs, easily parrying their desultory attempts to attack. However despite the losses the Havocs stand their ground, ready to die to the last (rolled Snake-Eyes for break-test).


Chaos Space Marines Turn 5
CSM - Turn 5
Movement: The Necron Scythe hurries on its way, racing to reach the objective with its cargo before the battle concludes.

Shooting: Seeing the Combat Squad slink behind the hill, the Night Scythe opens fire, killing two of their number. The remaining marine falls back and commences his evacuation to the emergency landing zone.

Assault: The Captain cuts the last of the Havoc down, satisfied with his blade practice for the evening.

TURN 6 (The Game goes on)



Imperial Fists Turn 6
IF - Turn 6
Movement: The Captain launches himself from the hill toward the east, frustrated by the broken messages being sent through and the worrying lack of friendly beacons remaining. The remaining marine dashes around the hill to hide from a sole CSM that is stalking him.

Shooting: Both Predators, and the Landspeeder attempt to bring down the approaching Night Scythe, desperate to slow the swiftly approaching Necron transport. After a dangerous dive to avoid the incoming fire the Night Scythe manages to jink away from two potentially destructive shots, however a lucky Lascannon strike is still unlucky enough to only glance the deadly machine.


Chaos Space Marines Turn 6
CSM - Turn 6
Movement: The Night Scythe, bounced by a glancing Lascannon shot delivers its cargo of Immortals nearly directly onto the target objective. The Scythe sweep north toward the Predator, aiming to destroy the annoying machine.

Shooting: With efficient protocols, the Necrons gun down the sole remaining marine trying to protect the objective. With the objective now secure the Necrons commence scanning for new orders. The Night Scythe tries to destroy the Predator however is unable to penetrate the thick front armour.


TURN 7 (The Game goes on, one last turn!)


Imperial Fists Turn 7
IF - Turn 7
Movement:  The Captain continues his bounding flight to the east, knowing he will be too late to save the objective, however determined not to give up.

Shooting: A last ditch effort to coax lethal fire-power from tired guns is ordered. Once again the Lascannons, Thunderfire Cannon, and remaining Landspeeder sweep the hill with fire. Only two Necron Immortals remain. A tense moment occurs as the guns fall silent while the Necrons slowly conduct internal diagnostics and search for orders. Unable to locate over-riding orders the Necron Immortals remain in position to secure the objective for their Lord. The Imperial Fist Tacticians observing from their command deck concede the objective, ordering a blanket withdrawal of all remaining troops in order to commence planning for the next assault into contested territory.


Chaos Space Marines Turn 7
CSM - Turn 7
Movement: The lone CSM left dashes forward to retrieve the objective before the Necron Immortals can damage the archeotech. Satisfied with the destruction of their foes, and the unlikely success of the new arrangement with the metallic Necrons, the lone CSM assumes command and orders all forces to return and commence sacrifices in thanks to the Dark Gods.


Post-Battle Wrap-Up - Chaos Win 4-2


Now that was a game. Hectic! There were massive swings in luck. I rolled a monstrous amounts of 1's with weapons that would have obliterated so many foes. And yet....at the very very end of a very bloody battle, it came down to a single Leadership test to determine who won the game! As Chazz joked shortly after, we should have just rocked up, rolled the leadership test, and called the game then and there! lol

So first roll-out against the new CSMs. There are a few nice little tweaks which change some of the gameplay, however only taking half an army there really wasn't space to see all the new toys. The lack of vehicles surprised me, however it freed up all my Lascannons and Typhoon Missiles to shoot at tough things like the Bikers, cutting them down in short work. Once again Wraiths are horrible, horrible, things to have to deal with. After that disastrous combat, I was almost certain than game was over right then and there. However a lucky shooting phase and we were back in the game.

In the after-battle discussion one of the things that came up was that sometimes the timing of units arriving can make or break their effectiveness. My Assault Marines and Captain almost had a zero impact on the game, nearly being wiped out in a single Necron turn. I was very lucky that the Captain survived and was then protected in combat for the next couple of turns. It forced Chazz to launch his race down the table to secure my objective. A great tactic by him which was timed perfectly, a single turn delay would have given me the victory with First Blood and Warlord.

An awesome game, thanks to Chazz for trialling some of the new Chaos units. We will probably be conducting a similar game in the near future, this time with more of a Chaos slant to the force I think. There is always a lot of things to learn over a game, be it in terms of how the game works, how an army can find synergies its units and weapons, or how an opponent deals with tactical situations.

There is plenty which I have not covered, however if I think it really needs mentioning, I will update the post as required.

Hope you all enjoyed it and thanks for reading!

GuessRange.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Battle Report: Warhammer - Dark Elves vs High Elves 2500pt

2500 pt Warhammer Fantasy Battle


Dark Elves (The Good Guys...Clearly) - Me


Vs


High Elves (The Bad Guys...Honestly) - Swordmaster (from Hoeth, ulthuan.net fame)


So this is only my second ever battle of 8th Ed WHFB rules. Due to the impracticality of playing this face-to-face, we played this game using Universal Battle. This was my first exposure to this, and frankly, it is a damn great way of playing the games when you can't do it in person. By no measure it is a substitute for real life and I would not recommend people only play their games through this. UB is an enabler. It doesn't give any rules, only the tools and working space to apply our own. Swordmaster has had more experience with this than I, so he ran the show mostly.

But onwards to the forces arrayed for battle:

The Good Guys (In the most evil way possible)
High Sorceress Melith (Level 4, Darkstar cloak, Crystal of Midnight) - Dark Magic
Master Horkrim (BSB, Heavy Armour, Great Weapon)
Assassin Kalil (Rune of Khaine)
Assassin Sharik (Rune of Khaine)

19 Corsairs (Full Command, extra Hand Weapon)
19 Corsairs (Full Command, extra Hand Weapon)
16 Repeater Crossbowmen (Musician)
8 Dark Riders (Musician, Repeater Crossbows)
5 Harpies

19 Black Guard (Full Command with Kouran - Crimson Death, Armour of GriefBanner of Hag Graef)
5 Cold One Knights (Full Command, Gleaming Pennant)
8 Shades (extra Hand Weapon)

3 Reaper Bolt Throwers

The Bad Guys (Trespassing Traitors)
Archmage (Annulian Crystal) - High Magic
Noble (BSB, Heavy Armour, Shield, Great Weapon, Dragon Helm, Reaver Bow)

10 Archers (Light Armour, Musician)
10 Archers (Light Armour, Musician)
14 Lothern Sea Guard (Shields, Full Command)
15 Lothern Sea Guard (Shields, Full Command)
10 Swordmasters (Musician, Bladelord, Amulet of Light)
10 Swordmasters (Musician, Bladelord, Talisman of Loec)
10 White Lions (Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame)
10 White Lions (Musician, Standard, Gleaming Pennant)
5 Dragon Princes
5 Dragon Princes
5 Ellyrian Reavers (Musician)
5 Ellyrian Reavers (Musician)

Great Eagle
Great Eagle


So with the actors set, onto the stage.

Pre-Game


It took a bit longer than usual to go through everything. It takes longer to type and discuss rather than just immediate discussion. Still, we eventually got it all sorted. Basic forests, basic hills, building heights all discussed pre-game. I won the deployment and took the hill. Too good an opportunity to let go given I was deploying with Reapers.

Magic: We rolled the following spells:
DE High Sorceress: (1,2,3,4) - translates to: Power of Darkness, Chillwind, Doombolt, Word of Pain, Bladewind.
HE Archmage: (1,2,5,6) - translates to: Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Curse of Arrow Attraction, Flames of the Phoenix, Vaul's Unmaking

Deployment: WHFB uses an alternating unit drop system so that you are constantly assessing and adapting to how the opponent is deploying on the table. Swordmaster has a huge number of unit drops, so will always be able to adjust his deployment after the enemy has long finished. However it does mean that he gives the +1 to first turn away to his opponent. With all the drops and vanguard moves complete this is where we got started.
Deployment

I won the roll for first turn (Swordmaster rolled a 1, add the +1 for finishing my deployment first meant it was going to be mine)


Turn 1

DE Turn 1
Dark Elf Turn 1
Movement: This was my opportunity to adjust myself to face any immediate threats from Swordmasters deployment. His vanguard movement left a Ellyrian Reavers unit far too close to my lines for comfort. The Harpies pushed forward on a long fly for later harassing flying about. The Shades and Dark Riders position themselves to shoot the Ellyrian Reavers. 

Magic: With lots of magic missile up my sleeve I wanted to come out blasting. Also, fortunately Swordmaster was lenient enough to let me use my Crystal of Midnight on his Archmage. He failed the first test, but luckily the unit he was attached to used its Gleaming Pennant up and he didn't lose a spell. Noting I had Bladewind waiting to strike out at his units, Swordmaster carefully hoarded his dispel dice. I managed to get a Chillwind off on one of his western LSG unit causing some damage and holding off his shooting for a turn. Swordmaster carefully crushed my attempt to cast Bladewind with all his dispel dice. Not a very eventful magic phase, but showed good signs of a decent magic duel to come.

Shooting: Like a hail of death raining from the forests the Dark Riders wiped their High Elf counterparts from the battlefield. Lacking a target now, the Shades tried to loft their shots towards the LSG hiding in the forest to no avail. The three Reapers were still testing the new maiden-hair feather replacements on their bolts and were only able to reach out and kill three Ellyrian Reavers in the centrally deployed unit. Despite the casualties a stern word from the nearby Archmage kept them from running.

HE Turn 1
High Elf Turn 1
Movement: The loss of the Ellyrian Reavers meant that only a solid defense on the western flank would serve. Fortunately there was a lot of ranged firepower there to pepper anything that came near it. Repositioning the LSG, moving one of the Swordmaster units around, and pivoting the central White Lions created this hard shoulder for any wandering Dark Elves to deal with. The Eastern flank advanced in close order. The two remaining Ellyrian Reavers arrayed themselves in front of their Dragon Prince superiors, eager to show their commitment to the greater sacrifice. 

Magic: Eager to show the traitor-kin what real mastery of magic meant the Archmage swiftly enclosed the nearby by unit of Crossbowmen in a flaming cage which burnt through five of their members. Eager to flee the Crossbowmen were restrained by Master Horkrim (BSB) promising to offer their souls up to Khaine if they moved an inch. Eager to continue to demonstration the Archmage began to unleash her favourite spell, Vauls Unmaking. A surprising tidal wave of energy, no doubt caused by Dark Elf manipulation, caused the spell to take on a life of its own. After unravelling the Black Guards precious banner it returned to the Archmage and collapsed upon itself. In the blink of an eye a Dimensional Cascade consumed two of the nearby Dragon Princes, and half of the White Lion unit. The Archmage was never seen from again.

Shooting: Disheartened by the loss of their Archmage, the Archers opened fire upon the Cold One Knights foolishly wandering about the open ground. Despite their accuracy, the arrows bounced harmlessly off the think armour and hides.

Turn 2

DE Turn 2
Dark Elf Turn 2
A massive boost coming into turn 2. The loss of the Archmage would pretty much leave the Magic phase to me now. The light casualties also left me in good fighting form to deal with the exceptionally good fights advancing towards me.

Movement: The Harpies continued their forward flight, landing beside the LSG on the western flank, ready and eager to cause havoc. The Dark Riders raced forward to close the distance and continue to throw bolts upon their foes. The shades repositioned themselves at the forest edge. Happy to fire at long range at their High Elf ranged opposition. The Cold One Knights adjusted themselves slightly to front themselves onto the hardening High Elf western flank. The High Sorceress drove her corsairs forward, eager to close the distance and unleash her dark magic. The eastern flank only realigned itself to the advancing Dragon Princes, happy to wait for them to arrive before counter-charging.

Magic: With glee High Sorceress Melith began lashing about herself if dark magic. Summoning a mighty Chillwind and unleashing it on one of the Archer units, it carved through nearly half of their number. Terrified at continuing the battle without magical defence the Archer unit fled the battle. Lining up the White Lions that were now in range Melith hurled a Doombolt forward, killing four of the hardy warriors. Summoning the last of the powers swirling about she attempted to throw Bladewind at the remaining Archer unit. However Swordmaster cannily kept all his dispel dice and was able to dispel this last spell.

Shooting: On the western flank the Dark Riders and Shades started their rain of bolts upon the LSG however were only able to kill two of their foes. The High Elves were holding to the forests, using the trees to dodge the deadly bolts. One of the Reapers attempted to fire a large bolt down the flank of the eastern Dragon Princes, but surprised at the change of ammunition missed the opportunity. The two remaining Reapers seeking easier targets unloaded their volleys on the White Lions, killing all of them.


HE Turn 2
High Elf Turn 2
Movement: Desperate to close with their evil kin the central Dragon Princes charged through the central forest into a Corsair unit. In their haste, two of their brothers were felled by branches and trees. The Great Eagles floated forward to protect flanks and block the Black Guard from flanking the Dragon Princes. The western flank saw the LSG reposition to target the Harpies and Dark Riders advancing on them. The Swordmasters moved into the forest lining up with their White Lion brethren. The Archers moved forward to target the Dark Elf units in teh open, and delay any attacks on the defensive line forming behind them. The eastern flank had the Dragon Princes, Swordmasters, and LSG all position themselves for a devastating charge onto the Dark Elf flank. The vulnerable Crossbowmen would be easily killed, opening up the way to kill the dangerous Reapers and flank the core Dark Elf forces.

Shooting: The western LSG opened up on the Dark Riders, killing three, but were unable to break them. The LSG on the eastern flank tried to kill the Crossbowmen in the forest, however due to branches and trees in the way and a lucky armour save did not cause a casualty. 

Combat: The crushing arrival of the Dragon Princes caused a Dark Elf Assassin to leap in the combat. With the full force of their charge they rode straight through a whole rank. Despite all the attacks back upon them, Assassin Kalil having seven attacks himself after being blessed by Khaine, the Dark Elves could not penetrate the thick Dragon Prince armour. Despite the heavy losses they held their ground, ready to continue to fight.

Turn 3

DE Turn 3
Dark Elf Turn 3
I was now in combat, however I had sufficient number to continue to take the hits. My priority at this stage was to attempt to unload as much damage upon the High Elves in the Magic and Shooting phases that hopefully by the time I got into further combats, the High Elf combat machines (Swordmasters and White Lions) were weak enough to be defeated.

Movement: Black Guard charged the Great Eagle that foolishly landed in front of them. Stunned at teh reception, the Great Eagle didn't even have the temerity to get out of the way. The Harpies flew over the LSG with cackling laughs, landing behind the newly formed High Elf defensive line. The Dark Riders surged around the LSG seeking to hide from their bows while unloading bolts into their flank. The Shades frustrated at being left out of the battle by their opponents dying ahead of schedule raced froward to continue their shooting spree on the LSG. Happy to sit in the open ground and let their Cold Ones chew on fresh bones the Knights simply sat about and watched the battle, arrogantly impervious to anything their inferior High Elf kin could throw at them. 

Magic: Once again Melith unleashed a vicious Chillwind into the approaching archers, ending their attempts to shoot their long bows. Lining up the White Lions in front of here again, Melith called down a Doombolt which wiped out the entire White Lion except for the lucky High Elf BSB who had fortuitously grounded his standard just before the bolt landed. Once more summoning a Bladewind Melith attempted to wipe the Archers out of the battle. Once again Swordmaster saved his dice and stopped the spell ever eventuating.

Shooting: The Dark Riders and Shades volleyed into the LSG on the western flank, killing five of the stubborn defenders. The Repeater Crossbowmen were unable to inflict any casualties on the Dragon Princes in front of them, the armour beyond their ability to breach. Seeking another opportunity to redeem itself the same Reaper loaded a large bolt to fire at the Dragon Princes flank. It missed again. Master Horkrim was noting these failures down for later discussion. Another of the Reapers lined up the Great Eagle which hand landed directly in front of it and promptly punctured it with half dozen bolts. It did not get back up. The remaining Reaper volleyed into the Dragon Princes trying to wipe them out, but only killed one of the mighty warriors.

Combat: With a snarl Kouran raised his axe carved through a wing and one of the legs of the Great Eagle that had landed in front of him. Cheering the rest of the Black Guard proceeded to chop the crippled bird into cook-fire sized pieces for later. The Dragon Princes in combat with the Corsairs and Assassin Kalil lashed about them but were not able to kill a single opponent. In retaliation they were slaughtered as the Kalil led the Corsairs in a revenge motivated butchering.

HE Turn 3
High Elf Turn 3
Movement: Seeing the opportunity to break the eastern flank the Dragon Princes, Swordmasters, and LSG all declare a charge on the crossbowmen in the forest Despite shooting at the approaching LSG and killing five of them the Crossbowmen are unable to stop their advance. Surprised by the charge the Swordmasters do not make it into combat. The Archers in a valiant effort to stop the evil Sorceress from continuing here destructive magic charge into her Corsair unit. The LSG on the western flank fail their swift reform to shoot at the Dark Riders on their flank, but realign to face the Dark Riders stalking them. The Swordmasters pivot to allow their Noble BSB to shoot at the wily Dark Riders, ignoring the jeers from the Harpies behind them.

Shooting: With the Archers in combat, the western LSG realigning, and the eastern LSG in combat. The BSB lifts his Reaver Bow and strikes down two of the Dark Riders, whom sensing their impending deaths deciding to go and scout the far far ends of the High Elf encampment, fleeing off the table.

Combat: With a crash the Dragon Princes and LSG collide against the Repeater Crossbowmen. Three Crossbowmen and carved apart with none of the High Elves falling in return. Despite Master Horkrim looking on, the Crossbowmen flee. The pursuing Dragon Princes, caught up in the adrenalin fuelled victory lose one of their members to a stray branch and are unable to catch the swift Dark Elves.

Turn 4

DE Turn 4
Dark Elf Turn 4
Despite some combat I was still in reasonable health and able to punch at more magic and ranged damage again.
Movement: The Repeater Crossbowmen rallied, confident in the knowledge that life would be worse if they didn't and Master Horkrim found them later. The Cold One Knights wandered forward to see what had happened to the Dark Riders, frustrated at missing out on that part of the excitement. The Harpies continued to throw insults and other disgusting items at the Swordmasters, continuing to flit about behind them.The High Sorceress Melith reordered her unit to target the un-engaged High Elf units on the eastern flank. The Black Guard and other corsair unit realigned to prepare for a suicidal charge by the High Elf units remaining.

Magic: Melith called Chillwind down on the eastern LSG, killing four of the archers and denying them their ranged attacks. A Doombolt landed amongst the Swordmasters killing four of the mighty warriors. Once again despite drawing extra power, Bladewind was dispelled by the nefarious High Elf army.

Shooting: The Reapers, instructed to not use single bolts any more, unleashed their volleys at the western Swordmasters, killing five of the western Swordmasters. The Shades continued to try and land the bolts amongst their foes hiding in the forest but were foiled by well crafted Elven armour.

HE Turn 4
High Elf Turn 4
Things were dire for the High Elves.
Movement: The eastern Swordmasters called again their charge into the Crossbowmen, accompanied by their LSG brethren. Once again due to a miscommunication in the appropriate tactics to employ the Sword Masters did not make it into combat. The LSG swiftly reformed to face the main battle. The western Swordmasters aligned themselves fro a potential charge against the sluggish Cold One Knights in the middle of the battlefield.

Shooting: Freed of attending to the insipid Dark Riders, the LSG were able to focus on the Shades, foolishly standing in the open. Cutting down three of their number the Shades fled back into the forest they had appeared from.

Combat: The brave LSG were able to cut down half of the remaining Crossbowmen, but took three casualties in return. The Crossbowmen, desperate not to flee again stood their ground and grimly fought on.

Turn 5

DE Turn 5
Dark Elf Turn 5
Movement: The Shades, rallied and returned to their shooting positions at the forests edge. The Sorceress once more moved her unit forward, this time to target the western High Elf forces. The Black Guard and Corsairs on the east surged forward to crush the High Elf units remaining.

Magic: With relish, Melith called forth a Chillwind which carved through the western LSG unit, leaving four alive. A surge of power and a Doombolt was cast down on the Swordsman, killing every one of them except for the Noble BSB once again. Seeing the Noble BSB caught out in the open, Melith cackled and fully opened up her conduit to Dark Magic. Almost bursting with power, Melith channelled it forth in a Bladewind which punctured through the High Elf magic defences  causing the BSB to carved, sliced, sheared, diced by thousands of invisible blades, until there was nothing remaining except a pool of blood and body detritus. 

Shooting: With targets running in short supply the Shades attempted to range their shots against the eastern LSG but could not cause a casualty. Demonstrating the power of war machines  the Reapers volley about, striking down a Swordmaster in the east, and two LSG in the west. Not spectacular, but better than the Shades.

Combat: Morale crumbling around them the eastern LSG in combat could not cause a casualty and another casualty. Passing their break test they resolutely continued the fight.

HE Turn 5
High Elf Turn 5
Movement: Seeing their LSG brothers in trouble the Swordmaster declare their charge and finally make into into combat with their target. The western LSG dig their heels in and continue to fire at any target which presents itself.

Shooting: Ranging the Shades once again the pair of LSG are unable to down their targets.

Combat: With a swirl of blades the the Swordmasters care through three of the Crossbowmen. Unable to inflict any damage the remaining Crossbowmen flees for his life off the table. Caught up in their whirling dervish of the death the Swordmasters follow him off. The LSG reform to face the approaching Dark Elf masses.

Turn 6

DE Turn 6
Dark Elf Turn 6
Movement: Feeling their moment has finally arrived the Cold One Knight charge the lonely pair of western LSG, who promptly flee. Not willing to see their masters embarrassed the Harpies declare a charge as well. The LSG flee again, unwilling to sacrifice themselves for Dark Elf sport. The Blackguard declare a charge against the remaining eastern LSG who flee as well. The Harpies throw themselves at the LSG but are unable to make it. The Cold One Knights, after forgetting they are cavalry are reminded once the blood starts flowing again and in a sprint of 12" make contact with their wretched High Elf kin, and subsequently slaughter them.

Magic: Failing a swift reform, Melith is infuriated and is out of range of any targets to kill. After casting a few sidelong glances at her Corsairs she takes a seat to watch the rest of the battle.

Shooting: With the eastern LSG fleeing, the one Reaper with a clear line, pivots and unleashes its volley, pinning the fleeing High Elves against the trees they were attempting to hide in. There are no other targets on the battlefield to shoot at. The other two Reapers are disappointed however did get to see the Cold Ones sport about with High Elf body parts.


HE Turn 6
High Elf Turn 6

The remaining Swordmasters return to the battlefield to find all in ruin. Swiftly finding their commanders broken body they slip away from the battle.

Post Battle Wrap-Up

An epic game. It turned out very one-sided, but I was not so certain of the victory. A big thanks to Swordmaster for the game, especially all the ridiculous simple question I continued asked to make sure I was getting the rules right, or at least less-wrong. A shout-out to the crowd that watched along, thanks for chiming in and helping out with rules - much appreciated!
Wow. Where to start. Luck - massive. 
Movt- Getting the first turn and being able to wipe that first Reavers unit, gave me the whole western field to move in, and force Swordmaster to create that hard flank. Swordmaster runs a manoeuvre army which needs to move and position itself. Forcing this defensive position  penned him in, and allowed my to magic and shoot his units at will.
Magic- I lost my 'always strikes first banner' which would have made combat a level playing field for my Black Guard, but losing it at the cost of the Archmage, was a very good trade for me. This opened up the magic phase enormously. I was able to roll off Chillwind (d6 S4), Doombolt(d6 S5), and  Word of Pain without opposition as Swordmaster was holding out to stop Bladewind (3d6 WS4 S4). Combined with rolls on Chillwind of 6, 6, 5, 4, and Doombolt of 5, 6, 4, 6, 5 these two spells carved through precious units. The Chillwind effect of stopping shooting also held up a third of Swordmasters shooting every turn. Power of Darkness only worked properly for 1 turn, every other time it only returned the dice I used to cast it. Shooting- Multiple shooting units, kept me pumping out lots of shots and nearly always killing one or two casualties, which builds up over 6 game turns. The 3 Reapers were a monster asset to have. Both in the options it gave me, and the psychological effect they caused. Sure I didn't get my 'ignore armour saves' shots off, but the volleys were able to whittle away at Swordmasters heavy-hitters. By the time he was able to engage me, he lacked the punch to really smash be apart.
Combat- Played a relatively small part in this for me, other than not losing major units to combat and forcing Swordmaster to engage in unequal fights. The combats where he was able to get his 2-3 unit charges off went well for him. But a trusty BSB and numbers, plus a few handy assassins meant that if he didn't break my main units in turn one I could overwhelm them in the next combat phase. There were also a number of combats which Swordmaster won, but then was stranded out in the open for magic missiles and ranged shooting to inflict more damage.

Overall- Big game for my second game. Heaps learnt. Swordmaster has already graciously offered a rematch. No doubt these two armies are going to develop a decent grudge pledge against each other. I can't praise enough the effect that playing with more knowledgeable players has on improving your own skills and gameplay.


I hope you all enjoyed reading. Feel free to leave comments on the forums or here. Any questions I will do my best to answer them.

GuessRange.