Sunday, 26 October 2014

Skirmishing with the Empire

Last night I played two games of Warhammer, the first was a 900 point introductory game against a pleasant chap called Donal, the other was another gorefest against my regular sparring partner Stuart. Here's how the first one went;

Game One

I was recently contacted via the Wargaming Ireland Forum by a lad called Donal interested in playing Warhammer. Arrangements were made and to sum up we met up to play a 900 point games with my wood elves vs an Empire army, virtually straight out of the battalion box. My forces composed of a Shadowsinger (spells were the Withering and Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma), BSB and Waystalker, 12 trueflight Glade Guard, 10 naked Glade Guard, 5 Wardancers and 5 Waystalkers. Donal took 10 reiksguard knights, 30 halberdiers, 10 handgunners, a Beasts wizard (with Wyssan's Wildform and Curse of Anhreir) and a general mounted on a warhorse. I had advised Donal about the importance of a BSB but  he didn't put one in his list. A neutral party (Stuart) set up the terrain and we diced off for 1st turn. I won the roll.


I have been flailing around with a tactic of putting a unit of skirmishers in front of a unit of Trueflight Glade Guard as some kind of a castle. This game I put 5 Wardancers in front of the GG hoping they can fend off a charge from any Empire troops soaking up damage from their 3+ Ward save on the charge then killing blow their way out of it next turn. I think this is a valid tactic, especially in such a small point game as there is unlikely to be any uber units coming their way. Waywatchers were there to deal with any heavily armoured troops and a Waystalker was there to get rid of any pesky wizards. The emphasis of this army was to shoot off any combat unit before it got into my no save having squishy archers.


The Game

As I said I won the first turn and started off with my Arrow of Kurnous, unfortunately the Empire general had sneakily deployed outside my 36" death zone so I couldn't give him a tickle with it. My turn consisted of no movement, Due to Stuart's disapproval of me taking Shadow magic against a first timer my shooting wasn't as agressive as it could have been. I Withered the big unit of halberdiers dropping their toughness down to 1! Some accurate shooting took about 10 off the unit, but they passed their panic test. Stu's aura of reproach stopped me from sniping his wizard with my Waystalker. The Reiksguard moved up on the flank, as did the now fragile halberdiers. The cannon shot at and killed maybe one glade guard due to an unfortunate bounce. Wither was dispelled and Wyssan's cast on the halberdiers (making my small unit of Wardancers uninterested in attacking them in the following turn).

Turn one

Next turn I continued my shooting policy at the halberdiers, killing a few more, I wasn't as successful this turn as the last due to the pesky Wyssan's and Wither running out. The waywatchers killed a knight or two and I maintained my non aggression policy with the wizard. The halberdiers advanced and the handgunners failed to hit my sneaky wardancers in the wood. Donal charged at my waywatchers this turn and they stood & shot, scoring 3 wounds. This prompted a panic test that routed the unit and the general off the board! The cannon killed 2 glade guard as well, I think.

Wood Elf turn two

Empire turn two

Turn three saw me charge out of the woods with my wardancers into the depleted halberdiers. I think I cast Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma on the halberds tooShooting wasn't spectacular. My wardancers won combat and broke the halberds. The halberdiers rallied in Donal's turn. An uninspiring shooting phase saw the elves remain largely unscathed.

wood Elf turn three

Empire turn three


With most of my force intact and Donal's combat units neutered we called the game. From my point of view an enjoyable game where my tactics worked well against a first timer. In my defense, the list was an all comers one that got very lucky shooting off the Reiksguard unit in turn two. From Donal's point of view a BSB would have probably stopped the fleeing knights and caused me a lot more problems.

Friday, 10 October 2014

The Battle of Improbable Magical Activity

My latest battle for the quest of tactical greatness matched me up against Stuarts Daemons of Chaos. As I'm intending to go to a tournament later on in the year, it's a 2400 point all comers list. The title of this batrep is in reference to the large number of mysterious scenery items that seem to be prevalent in my games of Warhammer. In this battle we had: A magic circle (top left in the picture below), an Elven Waystone (the 40kish drop pod in the centre), a sinister statue (bottom right), Wizard's Tower (above & right of statue) and a Bane Stone to the bottom left of the picture - out of shot. Not forgetting some Ghost fences, a hill and a Venom Thicket in the middle.

My army consisted of 16 Glade Guard,10 Scouts,30 Dryads, a unit of Wild Riders, Sisters of the Thorn and a Treeman. a mounted BSB, 2 mouted mages and a Waystalker made up my force.
the Daemons of Chaos were led by a Great Unclean One, Plaguebearers and Beasts of Nurgle made up that pestilent contingent. Khorne was represented by a Skullcannon and some Bloodcrushers, Tzeentch was also present in the form of two units of horrors and the flying Tzeentchian chariot of doom!

I deployed with a fairly strong middle, the skirmishers out to the left, my fast cavalry to the right. I unsuccessfully hid my treeman from the the skullcannon, but due to my drops he placed it after the Treeman. His turns were numbered. My vanguarding Sisters of the Thorn got nice and comfy by the wizards tower whilst my Wild Riders came round the other side ready to chase off any thieving Horrors. The Daemons set up was pretty much based on racial tolerance, the Khorne contingent being the only group who wouldn't mix with their allies. The great Unclean One squatted between a Tzeentch chariot and unit of Horrors. In my day there was a thing called daemonic hatred where that sort of thing just wasn't done!
Wood Elf deployment after vanguard

Hazy Chaos Daemons

Less hazy Chaos Daemons

Turn One

The DoC got the first turn, with the usual amount of bowling forward at high speed. The GUO marched straight into the woods hoping (presumably) to blend in with all that greenery. Magic was fairly muted (can't remember much happening) and then the Skullcannon moved forward and killed my Treeman. So I'm down my best chance of neutralizing the GUO threat. No combat meant the Elves were looking for some payback!
I charged my Wild Riders into the unit of Beasts of Nurgle. Advanced my High Wizard into the woods, the other mage scooted round with the Sisters, mainly to avail of the magical knowledge in the Wizard's Tower. Magic saw me put some protection counters on the High Mage. My shooting was pretty cost effective, the Great Unclean One thought he could hid in the woods (with him being green and all) but my keen eyed archer saw through this ruse and peppered his poxy hide with arrows killing him. Interested question if a GUO falls in the woods is there still a smell of Gonorhea? Shooting over with we had combat, my Wild Riders absolutely annihilated the Beasts of Nurgle leaving me with a warm fuzzy feeling inside as they usually ruin whatever unit I charge into them. So end of turn one and Stu lost his GUO and BoN, I've lost a Treeman. All in all not a bad exchange.
The Cylon on the left is a sinister statue.

Dirty old Khorne!

The Great Unclean attempts to hide in the woods.

Shot to Death in the 1st turn Great Unclean One

Wild riders about face after trouncing Beasts of Nurgle 

The sisters keep magical control of the wizards tower (just)

Some Shit Dice rolling

Turn Two

Stuart was on the back foot but didn't look overly worried (he has seen me snatch defeat from certain victory many times before). A unit of Fleshhounds arrived at the back of my deployment zone .He charged his Skullcrushers at the Hagbane Scouts (whom, I thought I had placed cleverly enough so the overrun would take them off the board). The Tzeentchian chariot snuck round the back of the Dryads whilst the Plaguebearers turned to face an inevitable Wild Rider charge. Shooting saw the Skullcannon and Tzeentch chariot kill Dryads. The Scout/Skullcrusher tete a tete went predictably with the exception that both the pursuit and flee rolls were low enough to keep the servants of Khorne on the table! In my turn, I charged the wild riders, BSB and High Mage into the Plaguebearers and made two 9+ charge rolls into the bargain, the Sisters of the Thorn charged into the Horrors as the are probably the weakest combat unit on the table, and they have a 4+ ward save, so they were feeling pretty tough. I turned my waywatchers (who never feature prominently against Daemons) towards the Bloodcrushers and advanced the Dryads forward. Both combats were inconclusive (damn Nurgles -1 to hit) but with the advantage going to the Elves.
Sneaky Tzeentch chariot

Scouts bravely get obliterated 

The dead Daemons area

Plaguebearers get what for

As do the Horrors

Turn Three

Turn three was a bit unpleasant for some of my guys. One Fleshhound unit charged the Waystalker (who is generally useless against Daemons).The other Fleshhound unit appeared behind the cavalry in Stu's deployment zone. The Skullduggerymaster about faced to rape my Waywatchers in the following turn the chariot continued to swoop around, this time targetting the glade guard unit. Magic was minor, shooting saw the Waywatchers take some Daemonic grapeshot, making them flee, and the Glade Guard took some horrible casualties to warpflame. Combat saw my cavalry units both vanquish their daemonic opponents and reform. In my turn I charged into the Horrors unit with my depleated Wild riders, BSB and High Mage (who was now rocking 4 protection counters, feeling pretty invincible). I also rallied the Waywatchers. My shooting didn't have much to target, except for large high toughness Khorney units. Combat saw the cavalry destroy the Horrors, but with chaos there always a sting the tail. The blue horrors rule killed my last wild Rider, this would prove to be rather costly. The Waystalker was butchered and the remaining Fleshhounds bundled into the back of the Dryads.

Waywatchers are on borrowed time

Even sneakier Fleshhounds

I was pretty confident at this time.

Daemons of Tzeentch? Prepare to die!

Turn Four

Having only a skullcannon, a wounded Juggernaut ridery type thing, 2 thrice accursed Fleshhound unitsand a Tzeentch Chariot, I was pretty confident of a win. Then the Fleshhounds charged my BSB. The cannon killed a sister or two. The Fleshounds then killed my BSB who was on full wounds and had a 5+ then 4+ save. Even then, after they overran into my High Mage I wasn't panicky as he had 4 token and the fencers blades, what could go wrong? One failed break test saw him flee abysmally get get caught and effectively lose the game for me. The other combat saw my Dryads destroy the other fleshounds (I'm so mad I'm not even giving the a capital letter). In my turn I moved the Dryads to take a charge from the Skullcannon in the hope that they could withstand it and ultimately defeat it, all surviving units attempted to look inconspicuous (this is a valid battle plan).

Some sinister Flesh Hounds make an unwelcome appearance

Turn Five 

The wheels had definitely come off the Wood Elf bus, so now it was time for Stuart to turn the screw. The Hellcannon charged the Dryads and the Skullcrusher charged my remaining Glade Guard. The impact hits and all round nastiness of the chariot broke the dryads only to see them run down to the last vengeful spirit. The Skullcrusher also broke the Glade Guard but failed to catch the final two. My turn comprised of trying to get the hell out of dodge! In this I was marginally sucessful. The terrain played its part when the Sinister Statue decided he didn't like the look of the two fleeing elves and fried them, lazer bolt eye style!

Rear ended by Khorne

The Dryads,BSB & Elven Spellweaver are no more!

Turn Six

Turn six was a Skullcannon shooting and killing my wizard and my Sisters of the Thorn (now numbering 1) running round behind the wizard's tower hoping to find some sort of There, There It Was All A Dream Scroll or Wand of Going Home & Getting My Mum. The final result was fairly close, but certainly no cigar for the Wood Elves.

A lone sister

Bloody mongrels!


Well, both Stuart and I agreed that was one of the best games we had played against each other. At the back of turn 2 I really thought I had it but some unfortunate dice rolls and me over extending my thrust (as Sean Connery said to Christopher Lambert in Highlander) led to me being off balance and ultimately defeated. On a whiny note, I really do seem to have terrible difficulties dealing with Chariot/Cannons as a move and fire war machine is very hard to avoid. On a second even whinier note, it's about time one of Stuarts cannons misfired! I was also unimpressed with the plethora of mysterious terrain that stuck it's interfering noses in Wood Elf business! We both agreed to stop using mysterious terrain except for woods and rivers.

Thanks for reading.