How to find your way through the wreckage

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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


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.


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.

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.


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