Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The One Tower

Last week had a game of Fantasy Battle with the new Wood Elf book. It was against Stu with his Skaven, but this time there was a difference, I managed to take pictures for almost the entire battle (mainly thanks to Aaron reminding me). We played a 2500 point pitched battle.

My army consisted of High Mage Spellweaver, with Talisman of Endurance, Spells were Soul Quench, Hand of Glory, Arcane Unforging and Walk Between Worlds, riding an Unicorn

BSB with Hail of Doom Arrow on a elven steed asrai spear,
Waystalker,
Branchwraith,
15 Glade Guard full command & Starfire Shafts
10 Glade Guard with Swiftshiver Shards
19 Dryads
10 Deepwood Scouts Hagbane
8 Wardancers
10 Wild Riders
5 Sisters of the Thorn
8 Waywatchers
Treeman

Stu's skaven consisted of (more or less)
Grey Seer with Skalm, Talisman of Endurance. Also spells were Plague,Wither, Pestilent Breath and The Dreaded Thirteenth.
Warlord on war litter.
Plague Priest on Plague Furnace (Probably also had Wither and Cloud of Corruption).
BSB with a ward save.
2 units of 40ish Clanrats
2 units of 40ish Slaves
a horde of Plague Monks
2 Doomwheels
Plague Claw Catapult
Warp Lightning Cannon

Terrain consisted of 2 mysterious *rivers, Sorcerous Portal, a small village of order including a wizards tower and a mysterious forest.


Rivers by Hornby

Skaven Deployment

Wood Elf Deployment

Turn One

I got the first turn, **Arrow of Kurnous didn't wound the Grey Seer but it's the thought that counts. I cast Hand of Glory on my main archer unit buffing up their BS to an impressive 6 which I aimed at the Plague Furnace killed the Priest and damn near destroying it first turn (it would come back to haunt me later though). Also damaged the Doomwheel on my right sending it out of control and directly away from the battle and off the table. *thumbs up*. The leftmost Doomwheel also was damaged by scout & waywatcher fire, but refused to go out of control. The Waystalker started sniping at the grey seer taking a wound off him, and presumably the musk of fear was squirted in large amounts too. The skaven advanced and a lucky hit from the Plagueclaw killed 3 or 4 of my lovely Wild Riders. The Grey Seer tried to cast some unpleasant stuff which for now was stopped. Turn one to the Forces of Order I think.

The verminous horde advance

A lot of rats

Turn Two

I had two fairly short charges to declare, both my wardancers & Dryads on the slave unit directly opposite the woods (see picture below), only the Dryads rolled a 5 -needed a 6- leaving the Wardancers to take the slaves alone. I think this was a rather game defining roll. The Dryads bumbled into the woods leaving themselves open to an even easier charge from the Plague Monks avec Furnace. Shooting saw the destruction of the left Doomwheel which, as I've been on the receiving end of many a charge from these feckers, came a great relief. Close combat saw my Wardancers defeat the slaves but they refused to run. The the Plague monks charged in on their turn to destroy the Dryad unit in the woods***. The Slaves blew up (for want of a more satisfactory term) killing all but 2 Wardancers. The skaven artillery didn't kill much this turn so I was definately getting off lightly in that respect. Also the skaven grey seer was having trouble casting spells too. The Dryads broke and got run down, but due to some very low pursuit rolls the Plague monk unit was still in the wood. 
Start of Wood Elf Turn 2

A ratio of 10:1 


Someone wasn't really into the game.

Blurry Treeman comes out to sort out some slaves

The Doomwheel is no more!

Non removable trees are the bane of my games.

A failed break test

Turn Three

I charged my Wild Riders into the Plague Monk unit and my Treeman into the slaves at the top of the picture. I managed to destroy the Grey Seer's Skalm with  Arcane Unforging, a pity really had I gotten the Ward save item instead the game may have turned out ever-so slightly different. Shooting was fun, I sniped another wound off the Seer. Combat saw the Treeman make a mess of the slaves (but they would run), and the Wild Riders cause ferocious casualties on the Plague Monk unit only to be gassed to death with their totally rubbish toughness of 3! I'm beginning to think that a wizards tower on the table is the worst possible piece of scenery for me as I left the Sisters there, availing of having Loremaster of both Beasts and Life, had I been more aggressive with them, this battle report would be less of a lament! Another mistake I believe was not moving the scouts forward to make an attack on the war machines of the ratmen. In the skaven turn the Doomwheel couldn't actually hit my treeman which was of huge benefit to me. Also the Grey Seers unit charged my Glade Guard in the wood (mainly I think to stop the Waystalker shooting at him). They broke the Glade Guard & then overran into my imbecillically situated High Mage on a unicorn. The skaven BSB challenged her (but due to having 3-4 protection counters I believed myself to be safe). One failed stubborn roll later my mage was dead as was my chances of a win too. The BSB was killed by the Plague Monks (thrice accursed). All while the large combat units moved inexorably forward. My only good news was the Treeman destroyed the slave unit whilst taking no damage.

Wild Riders kick arse but don't like furnace fumes in a now ethereal wood

Billy no mates about to succumb to Plague monk B.O.

The sideways on doomwheel represent the treeman base size.

Turn Four

My forces were looking a bit depleted at this point. I charged my treeman into the Doomwheel. Shot the Plague Furnace dead with my poisoned arrows. The Sisters of the Thorn did what they did all game, hung around the Wizards Tower trying pretty unsucessfully to cast spells. My treeman did a tree whack on the Doomwheel mashing it for 5 wounds. I scooted the Waystalker round to snipe the Grey Seer, but he saved both wounds! The Plague Monks advanced towards the treeman and the unit of Clanrats charged and routed my small Glade Guard unit. The Waywatchers got Withered and a few Sisters got slimed by buckets of Plague Monk secretions. 
It's all gone a bit Pete Tong

Turn Five and Six

The last two turns highlights were: my treeman charged the Plague Monks who failed their terror test never to return to this particular battlefield. My Waystalker finally managed to snipe the Grey Seer out of his unit. And my Scout, Waywatcher and Sister units dodged combat from the remaining (much depleted, but still rather large) Clanrat units. The skaven for their part did their damnest  to artillery my brave lads but not enough to rout/destroy enough to make a difference to the game. We totaled up Victory Points, Stuart had done me by about 350+ points which is pretty much the cost of dumbassed Unicorn pilot who failed his stubborn roll whilst in the woods.

 An archers view just after they poison the Plague furnace to death

Treeman makes a longish charge, Plague monks scarper!


Conclussions

Despite me owning a skaven army I never really appreciated just how dangerous the Plague Furnace & chums are. After I killed the Priest on top, I started shooting at the Doomwheel when I should have put it out of it's misery (and mine) had I accomplished this there would probably have been enough Wild Riders alive to deal with the one or other of the Clanrat units. The other mistakes I made were leaving the Unicorn rider in a direct overrun path and not utilizing the Sisters as a mobile harrassing unit. That said, you learn a lot more from a defeat than a win so I will shortly be a fricking expert on Wood Elves! I have another Battle Report coming up shortly this time against Daemons of chaos! So until then, adieu.

*Mysterious rivers were actually train tracks but my river sections are still under construction.
** Arrow of Kurnous  is a great way of determining where an army general is at the start of the game especially with horde armies as sometimes it's not always evident.
***Games Workshop, why on earth didn't you make Dryads stubborn in wood? It for me would have been the most thematic special rule to give them.
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