Friday, 11 May 2012

Horned Rat V - Part 3: Battle Reports

Game 4 – Wood Elves, Gavin Stewart
Scenario: Blood and Glory

I was fairly confident going into this battle, having played another Wood Elf player the day before. Gavin had bought along a more combat orientated force consisting of just 4 units of 10 Glade Guard, 2 units of 8 Dryads, 6 Treekin, a Treeman, 3 Warhawk Riders, some Waywatchers and a great eagle. A Spellweaver lead his force and a BSB joined one of his Glaud Guard units. Unfortunately for Gavin he hadn’t read the player pack properly as he only had 3 break points, which meant his army was broken before the game begun. For this scenario the first army broken awards 600 vp to their opponent.

My battleplan was simple. I had more archers, so I would deploy my archers as far forward as possible to ensure they where in range, and bunker my wizards in the Tomb Guard as I felt Gavin had nothing that could threaten them, and he didn’t have enough firepower to remove them that way. I would wage the shooting war and win by attrition, and concentrate my magic on regenerating my losses.

Gavin deployed his army with his archers in the back near his table edge, Treeman and Treekin to the centre, with dryads on either flank. His eagle and Warhawks deployed opposite my artillery. My deployment was a similar battle line, with my Necroknights to the centre left, all archers as far forward as possible, catapult and casket to the rear, and the Tomb guard acting as bunker was deployed on opposite side to Gavins Treekin where there would be zero threat. I also deployed a 20 man archer unit faceing a building that was 3” from my deployment. This would give them great range and fields of fire, whilest only having to deal with 1 dryad unit.

Gavin won first turn and immediately moved his eagle and Warhawks up my flank to threaten my artillery. He advanced his Treekin and Treeman and lined them up so that iff I charged either one of them, they would both make combat. In the magic phase he buffed his Treekin making them strength 6 and toughness 6. I let this spell through. I had surveyed the battlefield and his initial movements realising that Gavin had moved his Spellweaver into a 6 man unit of Waywatchers, which would be in range of about 35 archers in my turn. There was little reason for me to commit to combat on the first turn as I had flaming catapults that would make a mess of his Trees. In my turn I advance all archers up into range (with the aid of desert wind) and back up the Necroknights 4” to put them out of charge range of Gavins trees. I also try light of death which only kills one or two Glade Guard. Gavin dispels banishment which I had targeted at his Waywatcher unit with his mage in it. In the shooting phase I land a direct hit of Gavins Treeman killing it outright thanks for flaming, and fire all my archers in range at his mage/Waywatchers, destroying the unit and killing his general and L4 mage.

Second turn sees Gavin move his treekin slightly forward. His Eagle and Warhawks withdraw as they where shot up pretty bad first turn. Gavin rearranges his Dryads for a third turn charge on the building with my archers in. He has no magic now and starts his shooting. He targets my archers as he had in first turn, but dosnt manage to remove enough to kill a whole unit thanks to me bunkering in a wood. In my phase I regen back all my caualties and shoot off his Dryads on the right. I also weaken his Dryads on the left and drop some catapults on his treekin, causing a few wounds. I remove the rest of his Warhawks with shooting and advance my entire battle line forward to maintain pressure

Gavin starts his third turn with a charge from his Dryads into my archers in the building. The rest of his army withdraws as much as they can with the Treekin front and centre. Gavin targets my Tomb Guard block and kills about 10. The fight for the building is uneventful with each side loosing a few models. Gavin didn’t have the numbers and even a full strength Dryad unit would have had troubles here. I start my turn with a charge on the Treekin. The rest of my army advances again. Magic sees me throw a buff on the Knights and light of death on his archers. I have been dominating the magic phase thanks to Gavin loosing his caster and the caskets bonus D3. My archers shoot off the remaining dryads, a unit of Glaud guard, and I finish off the eagle. My Necroknights predictably monster his Treekin.

In the forth turn Gavin continues to retreat to his right and away from my advance, but he is quickly running out of room. He continues to shoot at the Tomb Guard. I execute a charge with the Necroknights on his centre Glade Guard unit splitting his withdrawal. At this point Gavin only has the three left. I shoot off his other one with his BSB in it. I use my magic to regenerate my Tomb Guard. Gavin is now left with a unit of Glade Guard that is under half strength, and I have effectively lost nothing thanks to “the restless dead’ lore attribute

Gavin calls it as there is noting he can do, and his last unit is just going to be shot off. The game ends with a victory to me

20-0 to the undying legion of Amonakhom

Post game we talk about the match up. My army was pretty much the complete hard counter to Gavins. With him going in already broken making me effectively 600vp up from the get go, it was always going to be a struggle.

The win in round 4 brings me back into contention for a podium after the mothering Sam gave me. However the next round would be a much harder match up for me, and I wouldn’t have a bonus 600vp going in.

Game 5 – Daemons – Tom Dunn
Scenario: Battleline

Tom’s Daemons presented themselves as a very hard challenge. Tom had been doing very well throughout the weekend notching up three strong wins, and only going down to his old man Pete (I smell shenanigans!) His list consisted of Billy the Bloodthirster, 2 units of 30 odd Bloodletters with a herald Icon in one, 2 units of 1 fiends, 2 units of 1 bloodcrushers, 2 units of 5 screamers, 2 units of 5 flamers, and a unit of horrors with a herald of Tzeentch using lore of Light. The combination of 9 units with 18” + moves was daunting to say the least.

We drew the desert table with two huge Sphinx statues across the middle. Surely a good sign! Unfortunately for me they where more than big enough to hide Billy behind…

Deployment had tom set up his two bloodletter units in the centre making for the large gap between the statues. Billy hid behind one and the horrors held the rare of the bloodletters. The two screamers where on my right with a bloodcrusher, and the other crusher along with both fiends went to my left flank. I castled up on the only hill which was on my right side corner (I had won roll off to choose sides), placing my casket and catapults behind, archers on top with Necroknights and Tomb Guard to the front. My horse archers went hard right with my three 10 man archer units in the centre right. I deployed my horse archers to try draw out as much as I could so my deployment was beneficial.

Going into the game I try keep my stratergy simple. I shoot his chaff off, then whittle down his bloodletters and combo charge the remains. Catapults target the Bloodthirster and then throw chaff at it if it gets to close. I had deployed my bunker with this in mind, as to not allow any openings for his flyers to charge past my combat blocks. If it come down to it I would grind him down on combat res.

Tom won first turn and proceeded to move his flankers down my left and flamers into range of my horse archers. His infantry blocks moved up the centre and Billy stayed hiding. Tom tried a fee spells with little effect but managed to remove a unit of horse archers with his flamers. In my turn I responded in kind by nudging forward 4” with everything to get most of my archers in range. I angled the 10 man archers so his fiends wouldn’t get overruns. I threw some dice at light of death which got through, but had no real effect on Toms units. I shot off one flamer unit and reduced the other to 1 guy. My remaining shots went into his lead bloodletter unit as di my catapults to start reducing the numbers.

Turn two and Tom moves his bloodletters up some more. He is off centre with my army so needs to take some time to reposition as to not expose his flanks. His screamer withdraws and his fiends/bloodcrushers move up. Magic has little effect again with me dispelling his missles. With no shooting in range I start my turn. I now angle my Knights to threaten a flank if his Bloodletters try charging my Tomb Guard. I move up a little more with some archers to gain range on some of his chaff. I shoot the fiends putting 2 wounds on one, and put a wound on the bloodcrusher to my right. I drop a skull from my catapults on the other crusher who gets banished back to the neither. Light of Death goes off again, but this time I get some success. Both units of screamers are wiped out and some bloodletters die as well.

Turn three and I can see how this game is panning out. Tom has opted to resign his Bloodthirster from view as a few catapult shots will kill it. With this in mind it frees up my Necroknights somewhat. Tom charges in with his 2 fiends on the first 10 man archer unit, and withdraws his wounded bloodcrusher. Magic plays little impact again and his fiends failed to wipe oout my 10 man archers. Booo now I don’t get to shoot him in my turn. He realigns his bloodletters but is unwilling to commit as he can see my trap. I reposition the archers again on my left to ensure no overruns. My horse archers take som pot shots at the last flamer. I try for some opportunistic scatters from my catapults as Tom has his caster, bloodthirster, and bloodcrusher all close to each other. I nab a few horros but that’s all. Light of death takes 2 wounds of Billy and my archers keep working on the bloodletters. The fiends finish up the archers in my turn and reform to face the next unit

Turn four sees Tom charge the next archer unit and romp through them this time. He elects to overrun off the board as I still have 55-110 shots left in my army (yay! smiting) Billy is still hiding but Tom starts spacing his stuff out of the 6” jump range from light of death. In my turn I wheel the Necroknights right around to close the distance as it appears Tom is reluctant to get to grips with my army. I sneakily move my last unit of 10 archers to the board edge where Toms fiends went off, denying him the ability to come back on the board and effectively destroying them. I then pump every shot I have into the closest unit of bloodletters to prep them for a charge in turn 5. Magic is ineffective with light of death bouncing around harmlessly and both my catapults scatter from indirect fire on the Billy.

In turn five Tom spends some time positioning his units to avoid getting double teamed. He moves his bloodletter unit that is under half strength  up to my Tomb Guard and angles his other to minimise any overrun from a potential Necroknights charge. Billy still hides as does the last flamer and bloodcrusher. Magic plays little roll and we work out combat. My turn rolls around and I execute the charge from the Necroknights into his flank of the bloodletters and my Tomb Guard into the front. I shoot what I can into his other bloodletter unit and throw a few magic missles and light of death for minimal effect. In close combat his Bloodletter champion attacks my Tomb Prince to no affect, and a couple of Tomb Guard die from the bloodletters. In return my hoard sends a half dozen or so back to the warp. The Knights the smash the rest and Tom looses the rest to instability. I overrun 5” with my Tomb Guard and reform the Knights to allow the best chance for a charge.

Turn six starts with Tom pulling back all that he can to gain distance from my combat blocks. Billy remains hiding as does the flamer and bloodcrusher. He bails the hearld out of his horrors and hides it behind the sphinx monument where billy has been cowering all game. With limited view from his caster magic plays no part again. The fiends remain off the board awarding vp to me. In my last turn I execute 2 charges. The Tomb Guard charge the other bloodletter unit to make room for the knights to hit the horrors. Both make it in. My archers do basically nothing as there are no targets left for them. The horse archer unit finally manages to kill the last flamer. Magic sees me buff my combat units a little and cast light of death one last time, which is dispelled. My 2 catapults target billy to get the last 3 wounds. The first one misses but the second scores a direct hit! But since it is indirect fire it scatters on the little arrow, - my BS skill. I roll a 2 one the misfire dice (yes it is a misfire dice!) and the hole is centred nicely over Billy. I roll to wound and I roll a 1… typical. The Tomb Guard win the combat vs the bloodletters but don’t kill them off. This was never going to happen as there was to many left, but charging in here allowed me the opportunity to kill his icon hearld and open up the charge on the horrors. Tom just removed the Horros as he had seen what the Necroknights could do earlier. We called it game with a resounding win to me.

15-5 to my Tomb Kings

I was surprised at first how Tom used his bloodthirster. All weekend I had heard these horror stories how Billy had carried the games. In hindsight I think he made the right decision as Billy wouldn’t have faired that well against my combat blocks and exposing himself to 4 catapult shots minimum with a 1/3 chance of hitting each time was not favourable odds. I have always thought that Tomb Kings where a good hard counter to Demons and Tom agreed with this sentiment. The number of missile fire I can pump out vs T3 with a 5+ save is no different to me shooting an empire swordsman. I think maybe I should have made my move turn 4 instead of turn 5 to allow an extra 2 rounds of combat with the second bloodletter unit, giving more opportunity to kill them off.

I finished 4th overall, only 1 BP off 3rd place! This is especially annoying considering the simple dice roll that I forgot to do game 3 which would have netted me at least 5 more BP. But I guess the same can be said about rolling a one to kill the Bloodthirster instead of a 2+.
What I did find interesting is that not once did I find myself wanting for a Sphinx! I did not miss them at all. A Necrosphinx may have been nice vs Sam and Mathew, and a warsphinx would have made its mark vs Tom, but against the woodies they would have been a liability. Next tournament I may try a Necroshpinx as the player pack restricts all rares to 0-1 each.

In conclusion I liked the way my army preformed. Having the second large combat unit really helped and I think this was what was really missing from my previous builds. I’m not 100% sold on the second level 4 mage. Over the course of the 5 battles I found I was only wanting the use of one or two spells selectively. Its only real use was aiding to get Briona’s Timewarp, although Pha’s protection was worth its weight against Wood Elves. I might try a Death mage out as adding a few more magic missiles would help against ethereal armies and Sam’s destroyer! And would compliment the aggressive defensive style I play.

Next stop is Southcon in June, less than 3 weeks away. It is a six round 2400 point tourney with hard caps of 0-1 for all rare’s, and 450 points max unit size. I’m back to defend my title as I won this event last year with my Orc’s and Goblins. Stay tuned!

Pete's Orge's trying to finish off Sam's Chaos Dwarfs. Theres a Stubborn Castellen in there somewhere...

Also a huge thanks to Pete Dunn for putting me up (or putting up with me) for the weekend. Hes a great host, not to mention he put up all the terrain for the weekend!


  1. Nice result, a little gutted I couldn't make the trip down... Tomb Kings or Orcs for South-Con?

  2. A shame. It was a great event. Will be back next year for sure!
    Probably Tomb Kings for Southcon. Have a few ideas I want to try out