Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Horned Rat V - Part 1: Battle Reports

The list I took to Horned Rat V is as follows:

Tomb Prince, Armour of destiny, Great Weapon, Shield, General
39 Tomb Guard, Standard, Champion, Sword & Board
Hierophant Liche Priest, L4, Earthing Rod
High Liche Priest, L4, Dispel Scroll, Light magic
2 units of 20 Archers, Standard, Musician
3 units of 10 Archers
2 units of 5 Horse Archers
6 Necropolis Knights, Champion, Musician
2 Screaming Skull Catapults
2400 points

Game 1 – Wood Elves, Joel van de Ven-Long
Scenario: Dawn Attack

First game of the day was dawn attack vs Joels Wood Elves. Deployment was rather uneventful with the only critical thing being Joels bunker with mage/general and BS having to set up in the same side as my Necro Knights.
Joel had bought along almost 100 shots a turn with 6 units of 10 and one unit of 20 Glade Guard, and 2 units of 5 way watchers + some characters. He had 4 small units of dryads and  2 wildrider units, + an eagle. This match was going to be all about who could get the upper hand in the ranged warfare.
I was lucky enough to draw “Pha’s” protection and “Smiting” spells.

Turn one quickly revealed Joels hand in throwing as much chaff in the way of my Knights to slow there advance and attacking my smaller archer and horse archer units. He managed to remove a horse archer unit early on and started working down my shots. I advanced everything into range and loosened off a volley taking out his eagle and whittling down some archer units. My catapults aimed at his bunker as it was set up on the table edge. One failed panic roll and he would loose over 900 vp’s. The knights moved up as did the TG block which I had deployed centre right of the table. I got Phas off which would help reduce my casualties.

Turn two and again Joel was throwing chaff towards my knights. I lost a 10 man archer squad and the other horse archers to his bow fire. His dryads moved across to threaten my flanks and provide some speed bumps for his archers. I shot some wild riders and dryads up, along with several more of his glad guard. A catapult found its target but Joel made his panic check with ease. The knights steamrolled some dryads and got redirected towards the table edge, so made a combat reform to position them the right way. The TG block moved up with the aid of desert wind. A good magic phase seen Phas go off again and light of death, which bounced about 5 times taking out both waywatcher units and a bunch of glade guard, not to mention a dryad or two.

Turn three would see the deciding movements of the game. My Necroknights charged the other dryads in the way, and had to combat reform to face the right way again. I used this to my advantage and faced off his bunker. My catapults force a look out sir, which was passed, along with the panic check. Joel moved a small glade guard unit of 2 and 2 wild riders up to block the now flank charge I had on his bunker. Joel then made a critical mistake and shot a necroknight off which in turn reduced my width of unit, allowing me to make the gap that he had left. I had 4 left at this point I believe. Joel opened up at close range with most of his archers and removed about 15 odd TG! Magic was fairly ineffectual for both as I remember with maybe a smiting going off for me on one 20 man unit.

Turn four and I get my charge into his bunker which sees it off the board, including his general/mage and BSB. I reform as an overrun would see me off the board aswell. I shoot off some units with few models remaining. Both my catapults misfired iirc and I got another light off death off to try clean up some more units. Joel starts withdrawing as many units as possible to save some VP’s. My TG connect with some glade guard and delete them, the necros sort out another.

Turn five and its all about Joel saving his remaining units and me trying to shoot them off as the Necroknights and TG have nothing to charge. The game ends due to time with a resounding victory to Prince Amonakhom.

In summary I won the early game deployment getting an ideal situation for the knights which Joel had to spend a lot of resources trying to delay. The shooting war was probably decided by mid game with me being able to heal, and reducing his shots to 5+ to hit for two early rounds. This was a very difficult match up for Joel and I think he played well considering his less than ideal deployment. His list just didn’t have the answers to my combination of shooting and fast hard hitters.

Result 19-1 to me

Game 2 – High Elves, Mathew Collett
Meeting Engagement

I’ve never had that much luck against High Elves, even though on paper, they should be one of the better match ups for the Tomb Kings. It must be the funny smell Elves have…

Mathew bought along a Calador themed list. He even went as far as using drakes for eagles. I do like his approach to army building and his army will look great when he manages to finish it all off.  He had a Dragon Mage as well as a Lord on Star Dragon, 2 units of Dragon Princes, 2 drakes (eagles), 2 blocks of spearmen, a battle standard and a small archer unit

Mathew won the roll off for first turn, and proceeded to roll to see who was held in reserve. All was going well until his BSB came up. Into reserve he goes along with the spearman block he lived in. And then he rolled for his general on star dragon… Ok so Mathew didn’t get the best deployment scenario with both his General, and BSB off the board. He deploys his forces as far forward as he can in a neat battleline, with his drakes and dragon princes on the flanks.

I then deploy my forces. Seeing an opportunity I deploy my Necroknights opposite his spearmen block, and anchor its flank towards the centre with my Tomb Guard. My archers form a defensive square behind these two with my squishy mages in the centre. Catapults go to the rare as far as they can go and horse archers in the flanks. I only loose 1 10 man archer block to reserves.

So the plan is to put pressure on his core units early, shoot off the drakes, magic off the dragon princes, and catapults hit the dragons. I have no real answer for the Star dragon as the rider has Dragon armour giving him and his mount immunity to fire. Mathew’s army is very mobile and will be able to out flank me easily with all his fast hard hitting units. I then tell Mathew I will be rolling a six to steal first turn and charge his spearmen…

I roll a six…

Turn one. Charge! Necroknights thunder towards the spearmen who are only 12” away. They elect to flee and escape, and the knights move 5” forward. I advance the Tomb Guard and archers forward to cover the knights flank. I get a light of Death off which bounces around killing a dragon prince and causing a few wounds on some other stuff. I also irresistible force Shem’s and drop 2 levels on my light mage. My archers shoot one of his drakes to my left, and pepper the archers in his centre. Mathew moves his reserves on (I had forgotten to move on my one unit) putting his General on dragon to my right flank setting up some charge opportunities and his spearmen block with BSB comes on opposite my knights.

Turn two, and after not making contact with the first spearmen unit (who subsequently rallies) the Knights lined up the second spear unit with BSB. All that Mathew can do is hold as if he fled he would be off the board. This I think is where Mathew made a huge mistake. He had moved them on into a forest, therefore gaining no steadfast for out ranking me. He then proceeded to fluff all his attacks. Looking for double ones with a reroll his unit fled off the table and I chose to reform to face the other spear block I had charge first turn. Meanwhile I was not willing to commit my TG into combat as it would open up my archer bunker to a charge from his dragon lord. I spend a long time getting angles right and covering my flanks with my small archer units and horsemen to redirect any charges from the dragons deployed either side of me and move my Hierophant into my TG. Magic was uneventful with Mathew dispelling light of death. I fire a heap of arrows into his dragon mage killing the rider and putting a wound or two on the dragon, causing a monster reaction test. He gets a 5 and it becomes unbreakable. Great. I then fire my catapults at it and kill it! Mathew charges me on my left with some dragon princes and on the right with his dragon lord. He wipes out the chaff and overruns with his dragon princes and reforms his dragon lord.

Turn three sees the heat turn up a bit. I reform my Tomb Guard to face the Star dragon threat, and throw some chaff into the path of the dragon princes. I Light of death the second dragon prince unit to 1 man, and shoot the archers down to 2. Both catapults misfire! Mathew moves the full strength dragon prince unit to threaten my catapults along with his remaining drake/eagle, and withdraws the other. I advance my Knights to gain a fourth turn charge on his other spearmen block who has reformed to face them. I had finally remembered to move on my reserved archer unit which went to the defence of the artillery. I shoot the drake/eagle with everything I can but only score 2 wounds on it. Mathew charges his dragon lord into my archer bunker for the light mage and kills a bunch but the unit still remains.

It is now turn four and I move my Necroknights execute a charge against the second spearmen block and cause serious damage. Mathew manages to fail his stubborn test and flees 2”. I catch him and overrun into the withdrawing 2 man archers and single dragon prince. They clean them up and get a free reform to face the other way in Mathews turn.
Mathew charges his dragon lord into my tomb guard unit with all my remaining characters in it. I issue a challenge with my champion and win the combat by one thanks to ranks, but Mathew passes his break test. I loose both catapults to Mathews dragon princes bit I shoot his drake/eagle dead with my archers. The archers move to redirect them away from the casket

Turn five sees Mathews down to his Dragon Lord and 1 unit of Dragon Princes. However the dice gods do not favour me… With little to do I move the necroknights back into play threatening the flank of his dragon for turn 6. I fire my remaining two units of archers at the dragon prince hoping for a lucky shot but get none. Magic phase sees me roll up eight, so first things first I cast cursed blades on my TG unit to get my champion back. I roll a double 1… crap.  With no other caster I throw six dice at light of death and take a few dragon princes off. Combat sees me issuing a challenge with my Prince as my hierophant is in base contact with his dragon. My prince causes a wound to his lord but dies to his dragon. The curse then causes a wound to his dragon upon the untimely death of my general. In his turn there is nothing stopping him killing my hierophant. Mathew uses his breath weapon and I manage to cause a further wound on his lord. I pass all my crumble tests on and take a few casualties to combat res…

Turn six and we both know it is very close. I declare a successful charge with my Necroknights into the flank of Mathew’s dragon lord. Mathews 2 remain Dragon princes clean up my 10 man archer squad. I loose a few archers from the 20 man unit remain to crumble but I am otherwise unaffected. Magic has no effect and we move to rolling some dice for the main combat. Mathew directs his lord and dragon onto my knights, and I split my Snakes attacks all onto the dragon, and riders onto his lord. I get a few poisons off and the dragon takes a further 2 wounds. I think at this point it has 2 remaining. My riders cause a couple of wounds but both are saved by his lord. After Mathew stomps the combat is a loss to him but he manages to pass a break test on a 5. In Mathews last and final turn there is nothing left to do but fight the good fight. Mathews lord goes first, and manages a wound on a TG. My riders on my Necroknights then strike the lord for two wounds, which Mathew fails to save. His dragon then takes its monster reaction test which results in it staying in the fight. The snakes cause a further wound on the Dragon leaving one left to be done by the Tomb guard. Sensing the Death of their Prince and feeling the weakening link with reality the Tomb Guard all strike out for the dragon, finding the final chink in its armour and bringing the foul beast down.

With their Prince avenged his royal guard turn and start the march back to the liege’s tomb with body in toe. The priests of the mortuary cult will need to perform their rituals’ once again so that Prince Amonakhom may rise again

Result: 16-4 to me

Mathew fought a very hard game. Although he was unlucky having both BSB and general off the first turn, I could not take advantage of this. I was lucky to steal the first turn and upon reflection it could have gone completely the opposite way if I had not. In retrospect I deployed to deep allowing Mathew to gain both my flanks early on in the game, requiring me to play reactively from turn two to the threats he had on either side. The game was a bloodbath (or bonefield) I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was down to the wire right to the last turn. I look forward to playing Mathew again in the future!

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