Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The War Against Chaos Continues

Glitterbane The Fey stared at the amassing Chaos Warband. For the second time this month a foul Chaos Warband had encroached on the borders of Athel Loren. The previous one now lay in a pit thrice purified by spellsingers and warded by glyphs of confusion. The previous interlopers were followers of Nurgle, foul polluted creatures born of nightmares, these (though no less vile) were followers of Tzeentch the changer of the ways. They would be no less deadly. Glitterbane, signaled to the surrounding elven force to advance forward. Glancing towards her second in command Gargamel The Swift she used her kinband's hand signals to tell him "No quarter, these like the previous group seemed intent on searching for something. The only thing they will find, is death".

The winds of Chaos are blowing strong in Cavan at the moment as we have a new member of our gaming group - Pat - and he is another follower of the ruinous powers. This time Tzeentch. Pat is new to Warhammer and contacted me through the Wargaming Ireland forum. A few texts were exchanged, a telephone call and lo! Another gamer enters the fold. So following my game against Aaron I tweaked my list a little bit (but with 1500 points there isn't much tweaking to be done). Got rid of the Elven Lord and exchanged for a Spellweaver with Metal magic. An extra unit of Waywatchers and a few cosmetic changes. I skimped on the BSB's equipment as I decided I wasn't going to risk his hide in combat - just a Hail of Doom arrow for him.
My Army consisted of:
Unicorn Spellweaver Lore of Metal 4++ Ward Save and *Scroll of Shielding, Plague Of Rust, Searing Doom, Glittering Robe
BSB Eagle HoD Arrow
**Branchwraith, Shield of Thorns.
8 Glade Riders Hagbane
13 Glade Guard
2 x 5 Wild Riders
2 x 6 Waywatchers

From memory Pat's army was
Level 4 Mage on foot, Tzeentch, Blue Fire of Tzeentch, Pink fire of Tzeentch, Bolt Of Change, Treason of Tzeentch.
BSB also on foot, Tzeentch
20 chaos warriors of Tzeentch
3 x 5 Chaos hounds
3 Dragon Ogres
5 Chaos Knights
5 chaos marauder horse

Not sure what (if any) magic items were on the characters but I'm sure they weren't pleasant.

Technical Ineptitude and Tactical Preamble

The technical ineptitude comes in the form of the soopadoopa camera that Stuart lets us use for photographic evidence didn't have its SD card in it at the start so some of my best ever camera work has disappeared into the ether. This was noticed some time in turn two when Stu noticed the card in his bag or about his person. As far as set up was concerned, Pat went for a strong centre (Chaos Warriors and Knights) with units of Hounds splattered along the table. The Dragon Ogres skulked the far side of a forest on my right side. I placed my free (Venom Thicket) right next to another wood to give my Elves a sense that Athel Loren was near.  My set up was both units of Wild riders on opposing flanks, the Glade Guard, Unicorn Weaver, BSB and Branchwraith were loitering around the forest just right of the centre. Once Pat had finished deploying I placed my Waywatcher units either side of the central group (the set of Waywatchers on my right started inside a mysterious wood which turned out to be a Blood Forest). I won the roll for starting turn so that gave me an extra round of shooting before combat. I vangarded my left hand Wild Riders up around 9" forward (relatively close to the Chaos Knights) and the ones on the right (opposite the Dragon Ogres) a more respectful 7" or 8". Got an ineffective Arrow of Kurnous off and the game began.

Set Up

Turn One

With the utter nastiness of some of the WoC units I was reluctant to go bowling up to them giving Pat the benefits of a charge and thusly giving myself the penalties of being charged. Also it's generally a good idea to get as many turns firing at the enemy as possible before the inherent squishyness of the Wood Elves becomes evident. I hardly moved forward at all except for the Wild Riders on both flanks. Magic was a non event. Shooting was better. I got both the central and right Chaos Hound units down to one each but neither fled. I considered using my HoD on one or other unit but felt it was a waste of a decent 30 point item. In my head I shook my fist at both Warhounds and muttered ' Your days are numbered sonny!'. Hopefully Pat wasn't watching my internal utterings (it was, after all the first time we met). My Waywatchers killed two Chaos Knights as well. All in all a satisfactory turn.

Wood Elf Turn 1

Pat then started some movement jiggery pokery that I wasn't overly pleased with, he marched his two lone Chaos Warhounds to foil my plans. One Warhound was placed within easy charge range of the Wild Riders whilst at the same time he angled his Dragon Ogres to flank said Wild Riders even with an overrun. The other Warhound got all up in the face of the Waywatchers.  The Marauders moved towards the Waywatchers, using the single Warhound as a canine shield. The unmolested Warhounds on my left moved to block any charge from my Wild Rider unit in the Knights, whilst angling them away so an overrun would be annoying. The rest of his army moved forward. In the magic phase Pat got off a Bolt of Change on the flank of the Wild Riders on my left. I pulled out a Scroll of Shielding only to find out it was a dud! 4 dead Wild Riders! He also cast another Treason of Tzeentch at the Waywatchers (who had foolishly decided to deploy in a blood forest) managing to kill just the one when the woods got all funny. Maybe they knew what they were doing anyway. Then the forest ambled forward to envelop the Wild Riders.

Chaos Turn 1
For some unknown reason Battle Chronicler (the program I used for the above picture) decided to make the marauders into single file unit even though they weren't. Sorry for the confusion. Also I didn't manage to figure out how to move terrain mid game. No if you can all imagine a Disneyesqe cutaway where the cartoon images somehow transform into real life - a bit like the movie Enhanted - thanks.

Turn Two

The single Wild Rider on the left charges the Warhounds ahead of  him as I was certain I'd a) win the combat and b) overrun out of the charge arc of the Chaos Knights. My Glade Riders arrived and deployed directly behind the Dragon Ogres. The Wild Rider unit on the right was a different kettle of fish. Rather than charge the single Chaos Warhound, destroy it, overrun and get flanked by the Dragon Ogres I thought amble back a few inches would be preferable.Overcoming their surprise at the forest wandering into their midst they passed their Ld test and away from the snarly dog they defiantly go. Very little else in my army moves - probably something to do with the split infinitive in the previous sentence. Cast Plague of rust on Chaos Warriors, then cast Searing Doom on the same unit (total brainfart). Shooting kills 2 lone dogs. The Glade Riders take wound off Dragon Ogres. The  Wild Rider routs dogs on left then catches them.

End of  my turn 2

In Pat's turn the Marauders charge the Waywatchers who double tap them to death. The Chaos Knights charge into the Waywatchers on the other side. The large unit of Chaos Warriors also declare a charge but fail it marginally. The Dragon Ogres realising their Wild Rider trap wasn't going to work attempted to march forward, failing to pass their Ld test due to the glade riders being up their jackseys. Magic was uneventful (according to my notes anyway). Now onto close combat.  This was a worry for me as in my lack of a plan with the Eagle riding BSB I had stupidly placed him directly behind the Waywatchers, just as the Chaos Knights crashed in. Knight actually as stand and shoot had picked off another two. All I needed now was Pat to fluff his attack dice and I'd be fine. Now, as regular readers of my battle reports may have noticed I complain about poxy luck ruining my carefully wrought plans. Seemingly, Lady Luck, having read a few of my battle reports took pity on me. the Waywatchers dutifully attacked their virtually impervious enemy 4s to hit, 5s to wound 2+ armour save. I managed two wounding hits on the Knight and Pat (very generously I thought), failed a save making the Waywatchers early contenders for MVPs of the game. 

My poorly placed BSB

The Chaos Warriors failed charge was significant

Turn Three

There were no charges for me to declare, just keeping out of charge arcs. I did however put my BSB within a possible, but rather improbable charge of the Dragon Ogres (I think a 10 or 11 was needed). Everything else just made sure it was nice and safe. The slayers of the Chaos Knights went and hid in the tower. We had a 12 dice magic phase. Plague of Rust was cast on the Warriors again (armour save was now 5+). Shooting kills a Dragon Ogre. The Hail of Doom arrow is fired at the Warriors and due to some crap rolling to wound I only kill one. A 30 point item causes 16 points of damage.  Oh well.

Elusive Elven troops #dickmoves
In Pat's turn the Dragon Ogres fail their charge on the BSB and the Chaos Warriors continue their march into painful arrow death. The magic phase didn't do much - a single Waywatcher was killed.

Turn Four

The only charge I had to declare was the wild riders into the flank of the Dragon Ogres. The magic phase was nice to me I cast Glittering Robe on the Glade Guard and Plague of Rust on the Chaos Warriors. Now that the Chaos Warriors effectively had a 6+ ward save and nothing else, my archery did horrible things to them. I think I took off  half a dozen models from shooting. Close combat was brutal, the wild riders wiped out the Dragon Ogres causing 12 unsaved wounds. They overran and were halted 1" away from the Glade Riders.

The Dragon Ogres receive some flanking Wild Rider love

Yes my Wild Rider could have charged. #dickmovenumbertwo
Pat's army now consisted of a unit of Chaos Warriors with only the whims of Tzeentch as protection. Undaunted he declared a charge on my Glade Guard in the woods. Lady Luck was indeed on my side today as they failed their charge roll. I killed another few to stand and shooting so the unit was down to 8 models. The game was called as another round of shooting would have pretty much done for the virtually naked followers of Chaos. We didn't count VPs but it was a pretty solid victory for the Elves.

The End is Nigh for Tzeentch


The margin of my victory was I think, misleading. Had we played another turn I'm confident there would be possibly the BSB and General left at best. I think Pat's army was ideal for me to fight as it consisted of lots of small, easily picked off units. There was also the matter of Pat's craptacular luck in this game. Failed charges notwithstanding (I had deliberately left long charges to tempt him), the Chaos Knight would 9 times out of 10 routed the Waywatchers (pursuing into the BSB) which could have netted quite a few points and the Dragon Ogres failing their march test gave me the time to deal with the other threats. All in all I think (hope) Pat enjoyed the game and I know from experience he learnt from this defeat to designed a much more unpleasant army list.

*This turned out to be a worthless item.
** Not one mention of the Branchwraith in my notes. 75 points well spent I guess.

Glitterbane The Fey watched the remaining followers of Chaos skulk away from the battlefield. Casualties had been light and the enemy thwarted. Whatever these foul minions of the ruinous powers were after, the weren't successful this time. She was sure though, they would return.........

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