Sunday, 5 April 2015

All Aboard The Daemonic Skylark!

This is the battle report for my 2400 point battle vs Stuart's ever willing Daemons of Chaos. Stu had painted up some new toys since our last game, namely a Exhalted Daemon of Slaanesh on a seeker chariot. Stuart is the head of photography at *C.L.A.W. and as owner of the good camera he gets to crop the crotches out of pictures and write the captions for the pictures, he's a lucky guy! He has actually given me his full army list and will be adding some comments on the game at the end.

The Glorious Elven Host

This game I decided to have a Jedi/Sith theme going on with a High Spellweaver and Mizzard Wodel as a Dark Spellweaver. A Waystalker and a mounted BSB. 16 Trueflight Glade Guard, 2 units of Wild Riders, 3 units of  5 Glade Riders, a unit of Warhawks, Waywatchers and Sisters of the Thorn. Lastly a Great Eagle. 

The Degenerate Erotic Horde

Keeper Of Secrets, level 2, lore of slaanesh (Aquiecense, slicing shards), 2x greater gifts
Daemon Prince, level 4, lore of nurgle (rancid visitations, miasma of pestilence, plague wind, curse of the leper), exalted gift
Herald of Slaanesh, exalted chariots, locus of swiftness (ASF)
10x Pink Horrors (Glean magic)
10x Pink Horrors (Infernal Gateway)
25x plaguebearers, standard
3x beasts of nurgle
Skullcannnon

Pre Game Warm Up & Stretches

The presents the Chaos gods bestowed on the greater daemons were Unbreakable Skin and Unholy Fury of the Slaanesh whilst the Daemon Prince of Nurgle got Impenetrable Hide. My broad strategy was to skirt round the enemy and attack from flanks and rear whilst picking off the bigger threats with arrows. I wanted to take the table edge with the river but Stuart picked that end out of spite. Unsurprisingly my Arrow of Kurnous failed to wound the Keeper of Secrets. I normally put Wild Riders on the flanks but for a change I decided to put the main unit in the centre.  

Set up after vangard daemon left flank

set up after vangard daemon right flank

Turn One

I won the roll for the first turn which was a nice change, as I seem to lose this roll a lot. My Waywatchers entered a building on the far left. I moved my right flanking Wild Riders forward for a reasonably long charge next turn, held my central Wild Rider unit and advanced with my mobile stuff on the left (Sisters, Warhawks, Great Eagle). I don't like the Skullcannon (mobile cannons are a terrible imposition) so I scooted round to make shooting them difficult. The magic phase was surprising as I rolled a 12! This was somewhat off putting and it spooked me into casting (and failing) Black Horror, so that was the end of Dark Magic this turn. My High Spellweaver also failed to cast on her first attempt. I Curse of Anhrared the KoS and that was the end of my magic phase. Typical! shooting was pretty poor with one Horror taking an early bath and the KoS taking a wound (not too bad considering his 2+ armour save). The picture below was the first set of Waywatcher shots!

The moment I realise I'm never going to Las Vegas

Brave Wood Elves shooting daemons from a house they have so tastefully decorated
The Daemon choppy chariot charged the Great Eagle, he wisely fled - 2d6 St 5 hits is most unpleasant. The rest of the daemon army advanced. The magic phase caused a Storm of fire but as far as I know no one died. Acquiescence was cast on my central Wild Rider unit. The horror unit on the right cast Infernal Gateway killing 7 Glade Guard (but also giving them 6+ regeneration - thanks Tzeentch). The Skullcannon attempted to shoot but the skull tube got blocked so it did nowt this turn.

Daemons discover that eagles are cowardly creatures

Daemons are afraid of getting their feet wet

This flank basically did nothing all game

End of turn 1 

Turn Two

My Glade Riders appeared on the back table edge (they seem to like arriving on time). I declared a charge on the Horrors (who after killing 7 Glade Guard - went quite high up on my to kill list) and failed. Another 7 on 3d6 cock up. They ambled forward setting themselves up for all sorts of pain in the daemon turn. My Eagle rallied, ready for more swooping. The bewitched Wild riders in the centre strolled forward 5" presenting the Daemon Prince of Nurgle with a nice handy charge too. I Arcanely Unforged the KoS armour which was a relief. However the resulting miscast put a wound on Mizard Wodel and a SoTT. I managed to inflict 4 wounds on the now armourless KoS but the tart saved them all with her ward saves.

ambushers turn up to be a pain in the arse

Elves keep harassing the poor useless horrors
Both the DP and KoS got their slaughter on by charging a unit of Wild riders each. The Beasts of Nurgle failed, but in fairness they were superfluous as it turned out. The hellish chariot of doom angles itself towards my Glade Riders. In Stu's magic phase all I have written down is 'scrolled something nasty' so I'm sure it was fairly uneventful. Close combat ended in two units of Wild Riders - my main weapon in destroying the big unpleasant daemons - getting destroyed so I had to revert to plan B. The Skullcannon overshot the Great Eagle so he wasn't in the daemon 'zone' yet. Good!
Not  pictured, dead Wild Riders

Turn Three

My Warhawks & Great Eagle charge the leftmost unit of Horrors. the Glade Riders march through the river to the flank of the chariot taking two fatalities to cold water (rather than annihilation from the chariot). My Sisters unit crests the hill hoping to not draw the attention of the cannon. I cast Soul stealer on the Plaguebearers bringing Mizard up to 4 wounds but the resulting miscast kills 2 sisters and takes the extra wound back! I think the Waywatchers kill one or two Plaguebearers but the KoS won't accept arrows as a new pleasant experience so remains unscathed. The horrors are destroyed by my feathered friends and they subsequently overrun into the Skullcannon.

wood Elf movement turn 3

wood Elf movement turn 3 right flank

The Beasts of Nurgle and Plaguebearers are presented with nothing to charge as is the chariot and big daemons. Ha! Superior Elven moving about! Daemonic magic phase, Tzeentch sticks his nose in official Elven business and kills 2 more sisters and takes a wound off Mizard. The KoS slicing shards a unit of Glade Riders to death (took three attempts, so it was more like death by a thousand cuts - very Slaanesh). The DP miscasts Plague Wind and wounds the KoS with the miscast. In combat the warhawks destroy the Skullcannon and earn themselves a huzzar for their troubles.

Things start to happen on the boring flank

Everyone hesitates as the warhawks kill the Skull Cannon, one elf is so shocked she falls off her stag!

Turn Four

No charges, just some scooting round to get out of daemonic charge arcs.The only unit I left in danger was the Glade Guard whom were trying to avoid receiving a rear charge from the Daemon Prince of Nurgle with neither antiseptic or lube. This magic phase is where I think I majorly cocked up. I had a nice big magic phase, 9 or 10 dice, I cast Soul Stealer on the Plaguebearers getting a wound from them for my Darkweaver. Unfortunately it was cast Irresistibly! This caused a the wound being taken back from the wizard who had worked so hard to get it, and to add insult to injury took all my remaining magic dice to boot! The reason it was such a bad idea was I had a clear Soul Quench spell ready for the Keeper of Secrets (who by this stage was on 1 wound). In the shooting phase accurate elven archery couln't land that final wound on the Keeper but I did manage to wreck the Seeker chariot that was on 5 wounds with the Hail of doom arrow.

Everyone gangs up on the poor defenseless keeper of secrets
Stuart moved his depleted Plaguebearers towards my Waywatchers in the house. The Daemon Prince failed to charge the Glade Guard. Various other daemonic entities maneuvered to hopefully catch static elves off guard. The only spell cast was Slicing Shards on the Glade Guard (killing 3).

Plaguebearers notice they've been getting arrows shot at them

Turn Five

As I'm getting right into annoying your opponent without engaging him unnecessarily I made another mistake. I moved my warhawks and great eagle to the rear of the horrors without charging them, I would end up regretting it! Another poor decision was not to vacate the building with the Waywatchers in it, after all , all I needed to do was leave out the back door and the building would act as an impassable barrier for a turn. D'oh! my magic phase consisted of me casting Curse of Anhrar on the Plaguebearers (hoping this would stop them kicking the crap out of the Waywatchers). I had a pathetic shooting phase trying to get the last wound off the Keeper (many ward saves). No combat, but that was about to change.

Nurgle Daemon Prince about to reach cartoon levels of ineptitude 
Stuart's turn was rather more eventful. The Plaguebearers charged the Waywatchers & the Daemon Prince charged the glade guard in the rear. In the magic phase Khorne himself lobbed some skulls but his aim was off. The horrors then proceeded to nuke my warhawk unit (who until a short while ago were on my shortlist for MVP awards) and adding insult to injury summoned 2 screamers in the subsequent pyrotechnic display. The Plaguebearers killed 5 Waywatchers but the brave elf archers didn't flee! The Daemon Prince revealed himself as pretty rubbish by only causing 1 wound and that was by stomping an elf. Steadfast saves the day.

Plaguebearers chase the Waywatchers out of the building like diseased government officials 

Turn Six

Sometimes  in a game you can get so focused on a particular course of action that may not be the correct one, I decided the best course for my Highweaver was to scoot back into the woods and Soul Quench the Keeper to death (or at least back to the Realm of Chaos) so this I did. Hindsight being the wonderful thing it is, now tells me a double charge from both Highweaver and Waystalker would probably be enough to take his last wound and give me a hefty pile of VP's. Sadly I took the wimps option and it came to nothing, no Keeper of secrets shot to death, no Waywatcher unit making a last ditch escape from the building, in fact looking at my notes, no successful attacks on the board at all!
I did roll 12 dice for magic - cast Soul Stealer irresistibly (again!) gaining a wound on the mage but killing 3 sisters into the bargain! Soul Quench was dispelled and my chance for assassination was too.

If I had to choose the theme music for the game it would be the Benny Hill theme
Stuart's last turn was a lot more clinical. I thought I'd positioned my elf Highweaver far enough away from the Keeper to not get charged but a long charge got the hag in. I still didn't worry overmuch as putting her in the wood made her stubborn (and with 3 wound tokens) and unlikely to get killed. The Plaguebearers charged the Waywatchers once more and the freebie Screamers flew over the Waystalker showering him with some sort of daemonic goo that killed him. There was no magic to speak of and no shooting. Close combat - Plaguebearers unsurprisingly wiped out the Waywatchers. The Daemon Prince finished toying with the Glade Guard, but by this time everybody was going home. Then it came down to the generals tete a tete. The Keeper caused no damage thanks to the counters, and neither did I - thanks to piss poor rolling. Sadly, for me my dice decided to make up for my previous low dice rolling to give me a big fat rout to finish with. My only crumb of consolation was the Keeper of Secrets failed to catch her. Small mercies I suppose. On the subject of small mercies this was the first battle I remember having a live Great Eagle at the end, not a huge moral victory but enough to stop the rumors in the figure case about Kichener syndrome. After totting up VPs the Daemons won by the cost of a routed general Highweaver on a Unicorn, give or take.
14-6.

Conclusion

Usually I whinge a bit about dice rolls, Stuart cheating (when he clearly hasn't) and how terribly under powered my army is. I definitely won't be doing that this time as I can pinpoint three mistakes I made that cost me the game. 
Mistake #1 In turn 4 instead of faffing around casting Soul Stealer I should have gone all out for Soul Quench, had I got this off chances are the Keeper would be gone and my Unicorn rider free to frolic around the battlefield willy nilly. Worth 250ish points.
Mistake #2 Not charging the Horrors with the Warhawks and Eagle, they may not have destroyed the unit (but probably would have), but they would have stopped them casting Infernal Gateway, thus saving me at the least the Waystalker and possibly the Warhawks too. Worth 95 - 240 points.
Mistake #3 Not vacating the building with my Waywatchers in the last turn. Leave the building, save the unit. Simple as that. Worth 160 points.
Mistake #4 Not double charging the Keeper of Secrets. Again, not a guaranteed win but with a flank charge and 3 wound counters, a good chance of taking the last wound off he/she/it. Worth 250 - 600 points.
Mistake #4 Only counter 3 mistakes at the start of the paragraph.
So summing up a really good game that could have given me a win had I chosen a different path but as often happens Stuart's nous towards the end game snatches victory from the jaws of defeat.

A Word From the Victorious Coach

Stu kindly wrote down some of his thoughts about the game (probably so as he doesn't have to write a full report for his own blog). 

I generally ignore the internet wisdom when it comes to daemons. I think the book has a lot more to offer than Nurgle spam and generally everything has value. I'd just gotten the Exalted chariot and the Keeper of Secrets model so this list was written specifically to give them a go. I chose to keep my Keeper level 2 for reasons I forgot. I think it was mainly because most people expect the daemons level 4 to be the greater daemon by default, so I wanted to change that up and see how it went.
People generally consider the Exalted Chariot a waste. Even more so with the herald, but I'm not convinced. 8 wounds is a lot, especially when the opponent has two big scary daemon princes to deal with as well, and it can put out  alot of damage (2d6+1 impact hits, 10 daemonette attacks, 4 steed attacks). I tried to fit a magic level on her because 5 channeling dice is fun
Beasts and skullcannon were included because making up the rest of the points was fairly tough. The skullcannon and beasts are cheap as hell, so after taking up over 1000pts in lords, 300-odd in heroes and 600-odd in core, I needed to fit as much effectiveness in as I could for as few points as possible.

Opponents thoughts:
So interesting game, overall. Jason seems to have nailed the annoyance of playing silly buggers with fast cavalry movement.
I got lucky with saves in this game, like, a lot and Jason got unlucky with the initial charge on his wild riders against the pink horrors. Aquiecense on  the wild riders was pretty funny but that's alway a funny spell to put on something that relies on being fast.
What really saved me in this game was magic, even though my Winds rolls were generally awful. Not being able to charge anything was frustrating but Slicing Shards and Infernal Gateway pretty much kept the game going. I messed up towards the end when I should have cast Rancid Visitations instead of Slicing Shards as its the same spell but with T instead of Ld, and hoping elves fail a Ld test is a bit of a long shot.
I regret how I used my exalted chariot.  I should have just put it in the river and hoped for the best rather than dithering about and trying to play it safe. It's a lot of points, so I should have concentrated on getting it into combat, though thats easier said than done with wood elves.


*C.L.A.W is the tentative name of Cavan Longford Associated Wargamers, it is very much a working title until we come up with something better. Of course another group member is from Monaghan but if we add that it won't sound as cool. 
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