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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:50 am 
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There's a 'Cavalry Prince' army blog, an 'Eagle Prince' army blog, so I figured I'd add a 'Dragon Prince' army blog to post my occasional battles using my Caledor army, and hopefully prompt some worthwile discussion around how to use big scaly lizards in your army.

At 2500 points (which is usually the points level I seem to be playing at currently) there are two variants of my list. The original version (and slightly more sensible one) is as follows:

Lords (21%) = 525
Prince w Moon Dragon, Dragon Armour, Lance, Vambraces of Defence, Charmed Shield = 525

Heroes (14%) = 350
Mage Lvl 2 w Anullian Crystal (High Magic) = 175
BSB w Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Great Weapon, Helm of Fortune, Gem of Courage = 175

Core (25%) = 626
35 Spearmen w Full Command = 340
12 Archers w Light Armour, Musician = 149
11 Archers w Light Armour, Musician = 137

Special (31.8%) = 797
12 Dragon Princes w Drakemaster (Ironcurse Icon) Standard (Banner of Ellyrion) = 420
11 Silver Helms w High Helm & Standard = 285
5 Reaver Knights w Musician = 92

Rare (8%) = 200
2 Eagles = 100
Repeater Bolt Thrower = 100

Army Total = 2498

The second version is a Double Dragon list, very fun if rather less sensible. This is the one I've been using recently, seeing as despite its weaknesses its definitely very fun indeed to play:

Lords (21%) = 525
Prince w Moon Dragon, Dragon Armour, Lance, Vambraces of Defence, Charmed Shield = 525

Heroes (24.2%) = 605
Lvl 2 Dragon Mage, Silver Wand, Potion of Toughness = 415
BSB, Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, GW, Radiant Gem of Hoeth (High), Luckstone = 190

Core (25%) = 626
35 Spearmen w Full Command = 340
12 Archers w Light Armour, Musician = 149
11 Archers w Light Armour, Musician = 137

Special (25.8%) = 645
10 Dragon Princes w Drakemaster (Ironcurse Icon) Standard (Banner of Ellyrion) = 360
11 Silver Helms w High Helm & Standard = 285

Rare (4%) = 100
2 Eagles = 100

Total = 2501

Fairly obviously, these lists fly in the face of much of accepted practice for list design in 8th edition - limited infantry, no Level 4 Wizard, with the hitting power consisting of heavy cavalry and monsters. However, HE cavalry suffered less than most due to the reliability ASF rerolls give them, and I find they work particularly well with a flying monster as they can keep up with him and offer a champion to soak up challenges. A cavalry bus to the front and dragon to the flank can often break steadfast in a single round even on fairly large units due to the number of casualties and the 1-2 ranks on the cavalry. In addition, both armies present lots of fast moving threats that make target priority a serious headache for opponents, particularly given how quickly the meat of the army - i.e. the heavy cavalry and monster(s) - can be into their battleline.

I'm not a tournament gamer, so I appreciate that in a tourney environment with some of the super-evil lists you can find - chosen deathstars and the like - Dragon lists will probably struggle massively. Still, against slightly more friendly lists they can be immense fun to play, and actually surprisingly successful...

So, here begins the adventures of Prince Altheus of Caledor and his proud Caledorian Legions!

I've got notes written up for several recent games that are in the process of being battle-reported up, but the first (vs orcs) is already done...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 11:54 am 
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2500 points – Meeting Engagement – Orcs and Goblins

Lords
Orc Warboss, Wyvern, Shield, GW, Armour of Destiny
Orc Lvl 4 Great Shaman, Talisman of Endurance

Heroes
Night Goblin Lvl 2 Shaman
Orc Big Boss BSB, Silver Steel Armour
Orc Big Boss, Boar, Enchanted Shield, Sword of Might

Core
30 Orc Boys w AHW, FC
29 Orc Boyz w Shield, FC
18 Savage Orc Boyz w Shield, FC
30 Night Goblins w Bows, FC
w. 3 Fanatics
10 Wolf Riders w Spears, FC
12 Arrer Boyz

Special
14 Boar Boyz w Shield, Spear, FC, Banner of Swiftness
Boar Chariot

Rare
Doom Diver

We rolled Meeting Engagement. I set up first, and most things ended up in the centre apart from my Silver Helms and BSB, who went on the left flank – this meant my traditional plan of my Prince and DPs barrelling down the flank would have to be adjusted slightly. I clustered roughly around the hill in my deployment zone, setting my Silver Helms with the BSB to march to join the centre as quickly as possible.

My opponent was forced to deploy his BSB unit on his left flank as well, prompting him to concentrate his orc infantry units opposite my main battleline, with the Boarboyz, Night Goblins and Wolfboyz ending up on the far flank. He fails to steal the initiative and I get first turn.

Image

Spells – DM 1, 5, 6 – swap Flamestorm for Flaming Sword
Cascading Fire Cloak, Flaming Sword of Rhuin, Fulminating Fire Cage
BSB – Shield of Saphery, Drain Magic

O&G –
Great Shaman gets Brain Bursta, Fists of Gork, Ere We Go, Foot of Gork
Night Goblin gets Vindictive Glare, Sneaky Stabbin.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:23 pm 
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HE Turn 1

Image
My Dragonmage flies up behind the house and my right eagle hides behind the forest. My other eagle flies up to reveal the NG fanatics, and the first rolls a mighty 12”, but only a single hit (which wounds). The others roll short, blocking the NG unit. My Helms march towards the centre. The rest of my army stands, aiming to force my opponent to move up.

Magic.
3 and 4 for magic, and no channels. 7 for me, 4 for him. I start with 2+1 on Flaming Sword on the archers, just passing. He lets it through. Next I throw 3+1 on Fire Cage on his Choppa Boyz, which he throws all of his dice at and dispels. Next I throw my final two dice on Drain Magic, which again, just goes off. Nice.

Shooting
My Flaming Sworded-archers shoot up the Boar Chariot, with 7 hits, 4 wounds, and only 1 save, leaving it on 1w. My other archers manage 2w against the Arrer Boyz.

O&G 1

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The first two fanatics whirl straight into the nearby wall, killing themselves. The final one goes directly backwards through the Night Goblins, killing 4. My elves laugh. My opponent then fails both his march tests for the Night Goblins and Wolfboyz, seeing as they are miles from the general and BSB – another useful gain from my eagle’s position. His Wolfboyz move up and reform to get through the gap between the fence and tower into the flank of my archers. His battleline moves up, with his Boarboyz zipping towards the centre and his Warboss staying with the battleline for now.

Magic
4-1, and he manages 1 channel – 6 for the Orcs, 4 to me. He throws all his dice at Foot of Gork on my Dragon Princes, and I unsurprisingly fail to dispel. Bugger. Thankfully it scatters, only catching 2 DPs in the end – and one of his to wound rolls comes up ‘1’, so I end up only taking one casualty.

Shooting
His NG unleash 23 arrows at my eagle, hitting 14 times. He unsurprisingly ends up a pincushion, but he’s delayed the goblins on my left and dealt with the fanatics – job done. The Doomdiver aims for my Dragonmage but scatters 10”, just missing his Boarboyz.

HE Turn 2

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My Eagle and Dragonmage hopped over the Orc battleline to threaten the doom Diver and set up potential harassment later on. My Silver Helms moved up into my battleline, and I shuffled forwards with several units in order to attempt to get my opponent to try some long-bomb charges. The left archers reformed and moved up to target the wolf riders. Was rather strange for me not to be charging in turn 2, but seeing as I had shooting superiority in the centre I figured it was probably worth trying to thin him down somewhat.

Magic
I roll 5-5 for magic. No channels, so 10-5.

I start with 2+1 on Fire Cloak, which goes through. Flaming Sword is out of range of anything useful, so I try 3+1 on Fire Cage on the Choppa orcs, and the 3-dice dispel falls one short. Nice! Two orcs die from the flaming hits. My BSB gets Shield through on the Dragon Princes, and he uses his remaining dice to dispel Drain Magic.

Shooting
My left archers kill 4 of the Wolf Riders, they fail their panic test and flee off the board. My other archers manage a wound against the chariot, and he fails his save, removing the chariot. I decide to give both my archer units some well deserved medals afterwards!

O&G Turn 2

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After being well behaved last turn, this turn two of his units fail animosity – the Night Goblins and the Shield Boyz. The NG squabble, but the Boyz start hurling stuff at the nearby Choppa boyz, and take a casualty in return. His centre ends up stationary, giving me a useful turn’s grace to set up favourable charges. The Savage Boyz move up the flank, and the Boarboyz attempt a longish charge on the flank of my archers, just making it in.

Magic
Another 5, 5 for magic this turn, and his NG shaman channelled to give him 11-5. He throws 3 dice at Ere We Go, and I let it through. He rolls 7” for the range, which means all the ork infantry are affected. Then 6 dice at Foot of Gork again, scoring a total of 21 – I throw all my dice against it and luckily get 2 6s. He then uses the rest of his dice on Fists of Gork (his NG shaman is suffering from animosity) which he passes successfully.

Shooting
His doomdiver targets my Prince and again scatters 10” off target, this time clipping the Savage Orcs, propting him to ‘correct’ the crazed goblin into no-mans-land. His arrer boyz cause 1 casualty on the Spearelves.

Combat
The archers fail to hurt the boarboyz, and in return the Bigboss kills 1, the boarboyz 3, and the boars 2. I lose by 8, fail my test and flee – the orcs pass their restraint test and face my Silver Helms.

HE Turn 3

Image

My archers kept fleeing, but stayed on the table.

Time for the traditional Caledorian Charge! Hurrah! A turn later than usual, but lets see how it goes. My DPs and Dragon barrel into the Savage Orcs, the Dragonmage (still with Fire Cloak up) charges into the Arrer Boyz, and my Helms grit their teeth and charge the victorious Boarboyz. Finally, my surviving eagle charges the Doomdiver.

Magic
I roll a 2 and a 1 for the winds, with no channels. Gah. 3 for me, 2 for the orcs. The Dragonmage throws 1+1 at Flaming Sword on the Helms and Miscasts – thankfully I only roll a 7, killing 3 arrer boyz in contact and losing the rest of my dice. Not so bad after all then, though I did miss the opportunity to cast Shield on the Helms as well. Fire Cloak does a very handy 5 wounds to the Arrer Boyz, bringing them down to 4 before my Dragonmage even attacks.

Shooting
My archers kill 2 Choppa Boyz.

Combat
My eagle kills 2 of the Doomdiver crew, they do nothing back, and flee off the table. He reforms facing the Orc lines. The Dragonmage kills an orc, the Dragon rolls rubbish and only kills 1, and the remainder fail to wound the mage. Then thunderstomp finishes off the unit. Against the Savage Orcs, my DPs kill 7, my Prince 2, and the Dragon 4. The remaining 5 target the Dragon, but in a rash of poor rolling fail to cause any wounds at all even with rerolls to hit. Thunderstomp then kills another 4, and they flee for their lives but fail to get away, with both my dragon and cavalry pursuing to get out of the orc infantry’s charge arc.

Meanwhile, the bigboss challenges, and I decide to accept with my BSB in an attempt to stop him chopping up my Helms. Thanks to Flaming Sword, I manage 2 wounds, but he saves one of them. He manages 2 back, but I manage to save one with a 6 after using my Luckstone. The Helms, wounding on 2+, manage 9 wounds, but 4 are saved. However, the boarboyz manage nothing in return, and neither do their mounts, meaning I win by 9-3, and we have equal ranks. He fails his test and flees 11”, loosing 1 to Dangerous Terrain as he flees over the walls – I ponder pursuing, but decide I won’t catch them anyway and don’t want to take the Dangerous Terrain tests. Instead, I reform to face the centre.

O&G 3

Image

This turn starts rather better for the orcs, with everyone passing their animosity, and the Boarboyz rallying. The Warboss finally gets fed up of babysitting the Boyz, and charges the Silver Helms, making it fairly comfortably. Not good for me, as he should be able to hold me in place until the Boarboyz get a charge if he can’t break them himself. The NG reform and start to march towards the centre, and the two Boyz units march up towards my Spears.

Magic
4-6. He managed a channel, so 11-6. He starts by using 2 dice to dispel Fire
Cloak on the Dragonmage. Next up is Ere We Go on three dice. I decide to let it through again – his infantry aren’t in combat, and the position of my Dragon and Dragon Princes mean I may well be avoiding combat next turn anyway. An 8” range again affects the two infantry units in the centre. Finally (and fairly predictably) he 6-dices a powered up Foot of Gork on the Spears. This time he nails Irresistable Force, rolling Magical Feedback with both his wizards taking a wound. It scatters, but still manages to splat 6 Spearelves. He manages to roll the 4+ for another go, this time hitting bang on. Another 14 dead elves later, my unit is down to a paltry 14 elves – ouch! However, the dice then comes up with a 1, and I gleefully place the template over his Choppa boyz. It scatters slightly, but still kills 8 of them. Carnage.

Combat
I challenge his Warboss with my Silver Helm champ. My attacks predictably do nothing, and he butchers him for +2 overkill. Still, my standard, bsb and rank ensure he only wins by 1, and I pass my Steadfast test.

HE 4

Image

I had been hoping to combo-charge with my Helms and Spears this turn, but the decimation of the Spears and pinning of the Helms in combat meant I’d need a rethink. Hmmm. My fleeing archers rallied, but weren’t likely to manage anything from now on. I decided to try a risky move, charging the reduced Choppa boyz with my Spears and Dragon Mage, and position my DPs and Dragon for charges in the next turn. My remaining eagle charges in as well, hoping to add some extra combat res.

Magic
3+4, and a channel each. 8-5 to me. I started with Shield of Saphery on the Spearelves with 2 dice – he let it pass. Next I threw 2+1 at Flaming Sword on the Spearelves, which he let through again. 3+1 on Flame Cage on the Shield Boyz got all his Dispel Dice thrown at it and was stopped comfortably, before I threw 1+1 on Fire Cloak and passed. At the end of the phase, Firecloak incinerated 5 of his Choppa boyz, bringing them down to 15 and giving me a great chance in the coming combat.

Shooting
My archers managed a single solitary casualty against the Shield boyz.

Combat
I resolved the central combat first in case I needed my BSB reroll – I figured he’d probably be dead after another round. After soaking up his boss challenge with my Champion, my Spearelves managed 6 wounds, none of which were saved, and my Dragon added another 3 from his attacks. The Eagle managed one more, before the Great Shaman (with 4 rerolling strength 7 attacks from the still-undispelled Fists of Gork) pulped 4 Spearelves. The remaining 4 orcs killed 3 more, but I made 2 of my ward saves. Thunderstomp and Stomp then killed all but 1 of the remaining orcs. Final combat res was 18 to 5, and he failed to get snakeyes and fled, escaping my Spearelves but being caught by my Eagle.

Against the Wyvern, my BSB challenged, sacrificing himself to keep his comrades alive a little longer. He managed 2 wounds, and the Warboss failed both his 4+ wards – go go BSB!! Sadly, the two S7 hits the Warboss managed pulped my BSB pretty convincingly, taking his final wound and scoring +1 overkill as well. Still, he’d actually lost the combat thanks to my standard, and was out of range of the BSB… sadly he passed his test easily.

O&G turn 4.

Image

All animosity tests were passed this turn. He reformed the Shield Boyz to put both the DPs and Prince in his front arc, attempted (but failed) to get his night goblins in shortbow range of my Eagle or Dragonmage, and charged my Silver Helms in the flank with the Boarboyz, taking a casualty from terrain tests on the way in.

Magic
4 to him, 3 to me. He might be out of bow range, but he was in range of his magic missile, so threw all his dice on a boosted Vindictive Glare at the Dragonmage which I fail to dispel. The majority of the S3 hits go on my T6 Dragon and bounce off, but the mage takes a single wound.

Combat
My knights in the flank managed a lucky kill against the Boarboyz, but bounced off the Warboss. In return the Bigboss killed 2 helms, the Boarboyz 3. I saved the wounds from the boars, but the Wyvern killed 2 more, as did the Warboss. The remaining Helm fled for his life, but the Warboss ran him down while the Boarboyz reformed to face the centre.

HE Turn 5

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My Dragonmage, Prince and Dragon Princes all charged the Shield Boyz and BSB, with my injured Dragon Mage knocking back his Toughness Potion in an attempt to stay alive. The Eagle blocked the Boarboyz, and my remaining Spearelves got the hell out of dodge, marching towards the hill in the far corner.

Magic
7 for me, 4 for him. First up I throw 3+1 on Flamecage on the Boarboyz, but he dispels with all his dice. I throw 2+1 at both Flamecloak on the Dragonmage and Flaming Sword on the Dragon Princes, both passing comfortably without any disasters. Flamecloak then rolls 11 hits, roasting 6 orcs.

Shooting
Both my archer units aim at the Boarboyz, and the smaller unit manages a casualty due to an unlucky save. Only 5 and the Bigboss left.

Combat
Flaming Sword ensures my Dragon Princes do spectacularly against the orcs, killing 11. The Prince kills 2 more (damn HW&S ward saves), the Sun Dragon kills 2, then the two orcs on the flank manage to hit the Dragonmage but bounce off his T6. The Orc BSB manages to kill one of my Dragon Princes, but the rest of the orcs bounce off their armour. My Moon Dragon then kills another 2, then thunderstomps 5 more. The Sun Dragon only managed to Thunderstomp another one, but that removed the last of the Boyz, leaving the BSB facing 2 dragons and a large unit of elite cavalry all on his lonesome. Unsurprisingly, he fled, dying automatically while my Dragomage overran and my Prince and cavalry reformed.

O&G 5

Image

The Night Goblins marched to get the shaman in range of my Dragon Mage again, and the Boarboyz charged the eagle. The Warboss charged the archers, who managed 8 hits on their stand and shoot reaction, causing a wound on both the Warboss and his mount. Sadly he passed both his armour saves.

Magic
7 for him, 4 for me. He threw 6 dice at a boosted Vindictive Glare, casting with Irrisistable Force. He got the small S10 template, which vaped his wizard and 8 of his goblins, who proceeded to fail their panic test and flee. Still, it had the desired effect, managing to take the final wound from my Dragon Mage, and even managed a wound on his Dragon. The Dragon passed his monster reaction test though.

Combat
The archers put all their attacks on the Warboss, but his armour saved the only wound they caused. In return Warboss and pet killed 3 between them, with thunderstomp killing another 2. Surprisingly, I still had a rank, and held on my Steadfast leadership. Meanwhile the eagle disappeared in a cloud of feathers under the charge of the boarboyz.

HE turn 6

Image

My Spears and Dragon Princes shuffled around to get out of charge range of the Boarboyz, my Sun Dragon flew into their flank to breath fire on them, and my Prince comfortably managed a longish charge into his Warboss. Lets see if I could take him down in monster-on-monster combat!

Shooting
My archers bounced off his Boarboyz, and he saved the only wound I caused with the Dragon’s breath attack. Darn.

Combat
I challenged with my Prince, ensuring the archers should stay safe. Charging in, his lance skewered the hulking orc, causing 3 wounds, one of which got through the ward and killed him. The Dragon caused 2w on the Wyvern, while the Wyvern’s 2 wounds on the Prince in return were saved by his ward. The Wyvern failed its monster reaction test (yay!) and became unbreakable (booooo!).

Orc turn 6

Image

The Night Goblins continued fleeing. No other movement – the only thing remaining was to see what would happen in the Wyvern/Dragon combat.

Combat
The Prince managed a wound on the Wyvern, before the Wyvern’s attacks missed altogether. The Dragon then finished off the two remaining wounds.

Final Result:
HE: 1878 + 200 (gen and BSB) + 75 (stds) = 2153
O&G: 575 + 100 (BSB) + 25 (std) = 700

Massacre for the High Elves!

Thoughts

Well that all went rather well! The Dragon Mage was absolutely stellar this battle, and I’m convinced that he had the ideal spell selection. Flaming Sword is always a great spell for HE, what with the large numbers of S3 troops in the army, but I was hugely impressed by Fire Cloak and Cage as well. Seeing as it’s a waste not to use the DM in combat, Fire Cloak helps massively in causing significant casualties to enemy units before they get to strike, and is particularly handy against support units (he dissolved the Arrer Boyz in one round single-handedly). Seeing as this army relies on outmanoeuvring the enemy, Fire Cage is a similarly useful spell, pinning a unit in place while you set up your charges. And of course the extra dice are golden, ensuring you can overwhelm your opponents dispel dice regularly – throughout the battle I was able to get the key spells I wanted through, particularly after the first successful castings meant he was usually saving his dice to counter Flame Cage and Dispel Magic.

The rest of my army did what they are supposed to do, aided by some timely castings of Flaming Sword, and my Prince (very satisfyingly) got to skewer his general at the end. My BSB also did himself proud, managing to cast Shield at a few key points and even putting two wounds on his Warboss! He died in the end, but that’s what you get for having a mere 3+ AS as protection. Once again I was reminded how much I love the Banner of Ellyrion on the Dragon Princes – in contrast to his boarboyz, my princes were galloping through terrain without a care in the world – particularly useful given the forest that would otherwise have caused some serious rethinking of their charges.

My opponent definitely had some bad luck in this battle. Deployment stuck his lowest leadership units well out of range of the BSB/General, ensuring they played little part (its always a hard scenario for O&G seeing as much of the army is reliant on their general’s leadership – that’s why their cheap after all!). The woods in front of his combat infantry could of had a large affect as well – in the end they didn’t, as by the time I engaged his orc blocks the majority were out of the woods and he would still have got steadfast (if I hadn’t effectively wiped both units out with casualties, of course :D ). The failed animosity tests on turn two didn’t help either, but I’d already pinned one of his large infantry blocks in place with magic anyway. Magic was fairly disappointing for him as well – some unlucky rolls didn’t help, but I’m convinced his spell selection was the main reason. He could have swapped a spell for Hand of Gork but chose Foot instead – while it caused some impressive casualties on my spearelves, being able to teleport his scattered battleline into better positions seems like it would have been far more useful in this game. Still, destruction over tactics – that’s orcs for ya!


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:14 pm 
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Just a couple of questions,

How well do your spears generally perform in this list? You have an awful lot of pace in the rest of your army and most of it wants to be charging turn 2 but the spears will be left behind (they're also not natural chargers). I'm very tempted to play around with the idea of running a fast paced cavalry army but will possibly look at using the archer hoarde and 2 smaller archer units as I think they could probably take a lot more wounds off the squishy steadfast units the knights would struggle with (and the low toughness harrassment units that irritate cavalry)

How viable do you think this would be?

Secondly, how necessary do you find your bsb to be in such a list? I know JWG20 doesn't take a BSB in his eagle prince list and his reasoning is that his prince is so mobile he can always have him in the right place for people to use his leadership. I also feel there are a couple of other advantages to not having a BSB in a cav list; he is taking up points which could be spent elsewhere, he is giving the opponent a target with 100 points plus cost on his head and lastly the rerolls are less necessary with cavalry, if it lasts more than one round of combat you will struggle with the lances anyway unless you have the right spells up and running... is he really still essential?

Lastly, well done on your win!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:14 pm 
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Nice list there, and nice batrep (i've found steel wool helps in getting the greenskin stench off) :P What is your opinion of the cost of our monsters? It seems the trend for the 8th ed. is BIG BIG BIG SCARY. Seems every new book includes a big big big scary (or 3). We seem to be left out in the cold when it comes to the big scaries, seeing as our dragons are like 300 pt, and don't really seem to be worth it.... I'd like to see our dragons get cheaper, and maybe some new choice like a white lion hunting pride (that would be sweet!! Hope the GW guys see this) :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:18 pm 
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Greetings from a fellow Prince blogger!

:)

While I'm a huge fan of the Charmed Shield, have you considered Armour of Caledor instead? Then you can take a Great Weapon and grind better with this and the 2+ re-rollable. Of course you risk a cannonball to the face but the Dragon makes you better at getting stuck in than smaller mounts. With the Other Trickster's Shard this Dragonlord can even have a go at a Chosen Deathstar.

Mage looks very sensible. You could go for a Radiant Gem BSB or Prince to get some magic offense but solid defence is probably a better bet. Solid BSB build. I take Andrew's point about the option to drop him but I feel he's still worth it. He's a solid (and fast) fighter too.

Core looks pretty standard though the Archer Horde might indeed be a good bet here. Rest of the army looks eminently sensible to me. I struggle to get a grip on the dynamics of double dragon lists so I'll pass by commenting there!

I do feel the loss of the level 4 hurts. You do get a bloody great Dragon (or 2) though! The DM's magic is some compensation I guess. I don't really hold with the general view that cavalry are poor in 8th. Seredain has shown us how well a bus can work and other armies can do this too. Smaller units can also be good. It seems to me that Dragon lists are fearsome opponents for some armies, it's how you'll deal with the cannon lists that will be interesting.

Well played re the battle! The Dragons let you pick your fights and this seemed decisive to me. I do think even an all-comers O&G list should include more artillery. Against double-dragon he absolutely wants more. Nicely done though.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Cheers for the comments everyone! Welcome aboard.
Quote:
How well do your spears generally perform in this list? You have an awful lot of pace in the rest of your army and most of it wants to be charging turn 2 but the spears will be left behind (they're also not natural chargers)

I actually tend to charge the DPs and Prince out in turn 2, but mostly hold the silver helms/bsb back for a turn near the spears unless they are getting seriously chewed up by war machines/magic or there is a golden charge opportunity - obviously it depends on the battle situation. The Prince and the DPs are my first wave, and the spears/helms are the second, which mitigates their lack of speed somewhat - and also means they often find themselves being charged before charging themself, giving them the job to hold the enemy in place for countercharges with my fast hard-hitters (i.e. a job they are much better suited for). In addition, having the infantry core (spears and archers) aims to give the opponent a central battleline to advance towards, chanelling them more towards the centre and opening up the flanks more for my fast troops. Very much an adaption of a refused flank - the Prince and DPs break through on one flank while the centre moves up, hopefully forcing the opponent to choose between facing the flankers (and exposing flanks to the spears and helms in the centre) or forging on regardless (thus opening up flank/rear charges for the Prince and DPs).

Another reason is sometimes there are really big units where I'm going to need an infantry block with ranks to have any chance of breaking steadfast at all... it wasn't an issue in this battle due to some well timed spells and decent combat rolling but in general there will be deep units who can hold up my cavalry and monsters far longer than I'm comfortable with. Having the option to charge in with fully ranked spears (even if it is a turn after the cavalry hit) can prevent my cavalry for being held up indefinitely and overwhelmed.
Quote:
Secondly, how necessary do you find your bsb to be in such a list?

Seeing as my Prince tends to be off charging on the flank at the earliest opportunity, I don't usually have the option of keeping his leadership close to my centre. Given this, the BSB rerolls (and the LD9 on the helms) help hold the centre together until he can make his way back. Besides, in both lists he is a multi-task character - he adds hitting power to the Silver Helms, and in the double dragon list adds a secondary caster as well. His S6 attacks can keep the helms in the fight if the opponent holds their charge (or if they are charged themselves) and are reduced to S3 attacks. Even if they do get the charge, they are nowhere near as destructive as the DPs, and often really need that extra bit of killing power. The Helm of Fortune version is a good challenge option as well (and even the Radiant Gem version can be useful in a challenge - witness his heroics against the Warboss here!)

In the double dragon list he's even more vital - another two spells are really useful, particularly considering they are Shield and Drain Magic, which help protect my (vastly outnumbered) army from war machines, strong magic and heavy combat damage - as well as providing someone to cast and dispel when my DM mucks up his rolls and/or dies.

As going for all archer core in support of a cavalry-heavy list, I'm personally not convinced it would work that well. Unless you have combat units advancing up to put pressure on the enemy, they can simply concentrate on overwhelming your (outnumbered) cavalry, then deal with your weak missile troops later. Your archers will be back in your deployment zone and unable to lend any truly usefull assistance until its too late (given the general weakness of HE shooting).
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What is your opinion of the cost of our monsters?

Overcosted for 8th. However, recent books indicate pretty clearly they will be going down in cost when our book eventually gets updated - look at the monster costs in the O&G book (160 pt. wyvern, which is pretty similar power level to the Sun Dragon) and Storm of Magic (150 pt Griffons) to get an indication of the sort of discounts our monsters will get... eventually. Still, I do love using 'em! And remember, unlike alot of the BIG BIG BIG monsters around these days, our monsters fly - generally a massive advantage, particularly in 'hit hard and fast' lists like mine.
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While I'm a huge fan of the Charmed Shield, have you considered Armour of Caledor instead?

For the single-dragon list, it probably does make more sense to beef up the Prince with GW, Tricksters and AoC - theres no second dragon as backup so its far more reliant on the big guy. Still, I do love the anti-cannon aspect of the Charmed Shield, seeing as its war machines that seem the main danger to the Prince the vast majority of the time...

My original version of the list had two units of 25 spears and a single unit of archers, which provides the main justification for the bolt thrower (10 archers just aren't enough to perform the support shooting role on their own). I've since bulked up one spear unit (25 just didn't seem a large enough) and taken a second archer unit instead, so I could probably drop the BT and beef up the Prince - and probably fit in a 3rd Eagle as well. Definitely worth considering when I get back to that list - at the moment I'm enjoying two dragons too much! For the double-dragon list, any more points in characters seems impractical, and I can't really see how I can trim the rest of the army any more than I have already.
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I do think even an all-comers O&G list should include more artillery.

Yup, I reckon an easy list tweak for the O&G would be to drop the chariot and add a stone thrower (same points) or a couple of those obscenely cheap bolt throwers (15 points cheaper). They'd be far more useful in general I suspect, and particularly in this battle. Dropping the savages and using the points to bulk out the orc units would probably help as well, they just weren't big enough to hold against my combo-charges here.
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It seems to me that Dragon lists are fearsome opponents for some armies, it's how you'll deal with the cannon lists that will be interesting.

There are battles against Empire and Dwarfs coming up once I get round to converting my notes and scribbles into proper battle reports, so stay tuned! :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:11 pm 
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I love charmed shield, but i think people seem to over-look the opal amulet. While not as reliable on the 4+, it frees up your precious armor slot, for armor of caledor or helm of fortune. A smart player will be able to counter charmed shield fairly easily with scouts, Opal amulet is fairly "scout-proof"

For double dragon, I find the best thing to do is give my Prince Radiant Gem, and a Scroll. I typically give him Life/High to give his dragon a spiffy 5+ save. And it usually works because the Dragon mage is throwing dice everywhere! This also lets me kit out my BSB to be more fighty. I round it off with a 14 Silverhelm Bus (for the bsb) and 10 Dragon Princes (with banner of Sorcery).

All in all, it is a very fun list. I am glad you are doing this, Dragons need some mileage in the currently dull "lv4 spam" enviroment.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:24 pm 
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Greetings!

I have just finished reading your report and I have a quick question for you. Did you use breath attack of your dragons?

The battle must have looked great with two dragons on the table :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:19 am 
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I love charmed shield, but i think people seem to over-look the opal amulet. While not as reliable on the 4+, it frees up your precious armor slot, for armor of caledor or helm of fortune.
My Prince already has a 4+ ward from the Vambraces, so Opal Amulet would be pointless. I considered putting it on the Dragonmage though. In general it seems too much of a gamble to me - one attempt at making a 4+ roll is gong to fail as often as it succeeds, and although its cheap, i tend not to use it. Its the same reason I tend not to use a 5+ ward on Hero-level characters - 1/3 chance of saving a wound with only two wounds means even with fairly average luck, in many games you won't be making any ward saves at all, and so 25-30 points have been totally wasted. Hence my preference for a good rerollable armour save rather than a ward on a BSB.
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Did you use breath attack of your dragons?
I used the Sun Dragon's breath attack in turn 6, in an (futile) attempt to try and cause some casualties on the Boarboyz and potentially panic them. Didn't work of course - S2 is rubbish!

For the Prince, I tend to hold the breath weapon back for a combat where it looks like I'm going to come close to breaking steadfast but not close enough. I was planning on using it in the Shield Boyz combat, but the DPs rolled well so I was confident I wouldn't need it. While it causes more casualties as a template attack, I feel that 3-4 casualties that enable you to break steadfast and run down a unit are more valuable than a larger number of casualties out of combat.
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The battle must have looked great with two dragons on the table

and a Wyvern! Plenty of monsters all round. Battles look much more epic to my mind when there are monsters flying around - reason enough to use them if you ask me! :D And in this case it enabled some epic monster-on-monster action at the end when our generals faced off :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:01 pm 
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Well, Andrew is half right, I did not take a BSB but I take it in my eagle prince list now simply for flexibility. That said, I agree that for you it may not be necessary. Re-rolls are great, but re-rolls give the same probability as failing a LD 10 test (roughly 5% chance), and with your general's extended "inspiring presence" you may be able to get around that. In my list, my BSB isn't there just for re-rolls: he carries the flaming banner. That way, if the opponent has a regeneration monster, my BSB joins some DPs, and charges in to take it out while my general hangs back. If there are only normal monsters around, my general charges forward (maybe with DP assistance) to deal with it while my BSB gives his re-rolls to my main line. This gives me versatility, getting monster-killing power forward without sacrificing the leadership value of my main line. For you, however, I don't see a huge purpose to the BSB aside from making the helms more "killy." It adds re-rolls, true, but doesn't provide any further aid other than the additional LV 1 mage, which you can get other ways. An 18" Inspiring presence should help make sure the combat "business end" of you army is always in his range, which is nice. No BSB can be risky, but it has some benefits and I think your army has the tools to get around it.

Dropping the BSB would allow you to upgrade to a 2nd unit of 10 DPs and have points to spare. If they were DPs, it wouldn't be necessary to make them more killy, as they would already have plenty of hurt. Dropping the BSB would allow you to make your 11 SHs a unit of 10 DPs with Champion, musician, AND give you 135 pts to spare for a 2nd LV 2 mage (high magic for the ward. Or maybe shadow for steed, which would allow you to move one dragon a max of 40" in one turn and a lot of the other spells are great. or metal which has been proven to be a good support lore. Maybe even beasts, as the sig spell for beasts is DEADLY with cavalry).

I love the double dragon list honestly! The RBT in the first list doesn't fit to me, given that your list is all about speed. An RBT gives you a stagnant point of your army, which is not great for an army that revolves around rapid movement. It also gives your opponent too many targets for his cannon. You have two dragons and 2 eagles for him to worry about. As most people only take 2 cannons max in a castle-list, this is 4 targets for 2 cannons, so he can only kill a max of 2/4 before he can't shoot any more (either because your dragons are in combat, or because you charged his cannons with your eagles and eliminated them). This gives him some very tough decisions about what to shoot.

I also second the suggestion to make your spears a horde of archers. 1 horde unit of archers with St, Musician (Carrying the gleaming pennant, or the standard of discipline just in case), and 2 units of 10 archers would work great I think. The small archer units can be deployed to take out annoying units to ensure movement superiority, and the horde can focus on weakening steadfast units and allow your princes and dragons to take them out with a combined charge. The small archers, being only 110 pts total can also double as a re-directing unit in a pinch in case you lose all your eagles, and your archer horde can provide needed ranks to break a steadfast unit. Archers would get fewer attacks than spears in combat, but you shouldn't be relying on them to help with casualties anyway, so it shouldn't matter. The lack of armor save is less important in 8th with the plethora of great weapons that abound in this edition. Charging them into a deep enemy unit to the front or flank while your cavalry and dragons charge from other directions would ensure you get the needed casualties to win combat and break steadfast.

I also agree with keeping the charmed shield. As your general should only be taking one round of cannon fire before you take out his cannons, the shield will help ignore any first-turn shots he takes. 5 points to ensure your general or dragon doesn't go down to a cannon ball turn one? Thats worth it to me, and worth losing the 2+ armor save the armor of caledor would offer. About your dragon mage, why the potion of toughness? Any thought of changing to the guardian phoenix? The potion of toughness is only good for one turn, while the guardian phoenix gives him a 5+ ward in all turns. While, as you say, it is only a 1/3 chance of saving, but its more long-lived than +3 T for one turn which is what the Potion offers. It is also good in case of a cannon ball, whereas +3T against a cannon is moot. As the opponents you will need protection against are likely S5+, he would still likely die in combat anyway against most targets, even with the increased toughness. Just a thought.

Love the list and love the idea! A Caledor-themed army is my next project after my chracian army comes together, so I look forward to seeing a dragon army come together as you modify it and improve it to be an all-comers list.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:41 pm 
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Dropping the BSB would allow you to upgrade to a 2nd unit of 10 DPs and have points to spare.

Its certainly an interesting idea. On the other hand, the bonus of BSB-punch as opposed to Dragon Prince punch is the BSB can keep hacking away in later rounds of combat at S6. 2+ save cavalry can atually do a decent holding role against many units as long as they manage to cause enough casualties to avoid falling foul of combat res - S3 DPs tend not to be able to do this, but the helms with the BSB's attacks have done it for me several times in the past. He can also challenge - aiming either to kill weaker characters, or sacrifice himself to hold up stronger ones (in the battle he enabled me to hold up the warboss for two turns - champion challenge, then BSB challenge - rather than one).

While a Lvl 2 mage would certainly be a great bonus for the army, the shine is rather taken off by the fact I wouldn't have the points to buy him any arcane items, which for me is the main draw of the idea anyway - if its just spell support the BSB does it already. Another bonus of having a combat mage instead of a squishy one is if people want to target him they have to fight a combat unit. A support mage would probably be hiding in one of the archer units, making them a more appealing target for the enemy and meaning I'd have to think about ways to protect them rather than just writing them off if the enemy sends combat troops after them.

It is probably worth trying a different lore for him though, Metal or Beasts sig spells are certainly tempting. The problem is they are also fairly difficult to cast for a Lvl 1, and the more dice he's throwing at spells the higher the chance he'll miscast and blow a hole in the Silver Helms. I'll probably try the 2 DP unit and support mage idea at some point, but I really like the versatility the BSB as is and I'm not sure a support mage would offer the same benefits.
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I also second the suggestion to make your spears a horde of archers.

Surprised to see so much support for an Archer Horde, considering this list is a very aggressive one. For more static/reactive lists I can certainly see the benefits of an archer horde, and it certainly looks like a unit with plenty of potential. However, for my army I feel strongly that a dedicated combat unit that can advance to threaten the enemy battleline as a second wave of attack is far more valuable compared to an archer unit that would either hold back to shoot (thus be unable to support my combat troops in hand to hand) or advance up (thus compromising its shooting role).

Seredain sums up my feelings on the matter pretty well under 'The Archer Horde' http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=33584&start=390 but I'll attempt my own justification as well:

1. Ranks
Nothing else in the army has a proper rank bonus for gaining/preventing Steadfast. This means it can hold up fighty units for me to set up countercharges, as well as break Steadfast on deep units in combination with one of my fast fighty units. The army relies on breaking the enemy in combat, so I feel having a deep unit to break steadfast when required or provide it against scary units is far more useful than the shooting casualties an archer horde could provide.

2. Manouverability
Another key aspect of this army is its ability to outmanouver the opponent. Hordes are unwieldy, taking up a good portion of your deployment, and are awkward to manouver into the positions you need them as the game goes on. Also, the archer horde wants to remain stationary as much as possible, leaving a large (and expensive) unit isolated from the combat units, and probably out of range of the general and BSB. In contrast, the spears can keep pace much better by march moves or free reform/moves, enabling you to threaten the enemy battle line with more units and put greater pressure on how they advance. With the archers holding back, the enemy can reform to face the cavalry without worrying about your ranked infantry following up and hitting him in the flank. With the spears, he'll (hopefully) have to make a difficult decision over weather to face the flanking cavalry or the infantry block in the centre. The spears can also cover the flanks of my own combat units, whereas the archers, holding back, wouldn't be able to.

3. Combat
A deep unit of spears can actually comfortably beat plenty of light infantry units on its own (stuff like clanrats, men at arms, empire state troops) and have the ranks to break them as well. While at full strength the archer horde gets a similar number of attacks, these start to drop very quickly once you take any casualties, and any deep units will unquestionably get Steadfast (unless you reform, in which case you lose most of your attacks anyway). Plus spears are a very handy recipient for Flaming Sword in combat, particularly against certain monsters - the Sphinx comes to mind, for example. And don't discount that 5+ save - apart from dwarfs and chaos, core infantry is S4 or less, so there's plenty of stuff they still get a save against. Against elites, obviousy, it isn't going to count for much - but they should be steadfast against elites.

Essentially, while I think the archer horde is a good unit in isolation, I just don't feel it suits my army particularly well, seeing as in general I aim to advance rapidly and put pressure on the enemy rather than hold back and react to their moves.
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About your dragon mage, why the potion of toughness?

I agree that the Guardian Phoenix does look like a good choice. Certainly it has the potential to save him from warmachines which the toughness potion doesn't. I disagree that he only needs protection against S5+ in combat though - a T3 model with no armour needs protection against pretty much everything in combat! :D I like the toughness potion because it means that when I'm facing a round of standard missile shooting, or am charging in to combat (usually against fairly weak support units, or flanking in combo with other parts of my army) I can knock back the potion and be fairly sure he'll survive that round of fire/combat. Once you've drunk the potion, people probably won't even bother targeting him with S3-4 stuff. Yeah, its a one off, but to me it seems more reliable than the ward as at least for one turn (apart from cannons) I can be fairly sure he'll survive. As long as he survives the first 2-3 turns he's hopefully done his job anyway - I don't think he's survived till the end of the battle once.

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The RBT in the first list doesn't fit to me, given that your list is all about speed.

I've come to much the same conclusion myself. At the moment I'm thinking the single-dragon list should get changed as follows:

Lords
EITHER
Prince w Moon Dragon, Dragon Armour, Ogre Blade, Vambraces of Defence, Charmed Shield = 559
OR
Prince w Moon Dragon, GW, Shield, Armour of Caledor, Vambraces of Defence, Other Trickster's Shard = 560

Heroes
Mage Lvl 2 w Anullian Crystal (High Magic) = 175
BSB w Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Great Weapon, Helm of Fortune, Gem of Courage = 175

Core
35 Spearmen w Full Command = 340
12 Archers w Light Armour, Musician = 149
11 Archers w Light Armour, Musician = 137

Special
12 Dragon Princes w Drakemaster (Ironcurse Icon) Standard (Banner of Ellyrion) = 420
11 Silver Helms w High Helm & Standard = 285
5 Reaver Knights w Musician = 92

Rare
3 Eagles = 150

Comes in just over 2480, giving me points for Std of Discipline/Banner of Swiftness on the Spears.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Second prince doesn't need shield (with AoC, there's no benfit to additional armour).

On the Archer Horde - As the unit is a second wave unit, they move 5 inches a turn, in 2 ranks until you've close into combat, shooting maximum shots (no volley needed) at 4+ to hit (or 5+), thats 10-15 hits per turn for 30 archers.

If you go over your report - Your spear unit did the following:

Turn 1 - No move
Turn 2- Slight move forward
Turn 3 - No move
Turn 4 - Depleted charge (only 2 ranks of attacks)
Turn 5/6 - Hiding

So there was a total of 10 attacks from the unit. If this was an archer unit, that's many more attacks coming from the unit (and with a Flaming sword buff, that would have been devestation!)

The argument is that taking a charge, the 10 extra attacks from the spears will turn a tide. I think they're going to be steadfast with ranks either way, and more effective (even for an offensive list), by helping to clear out the chaffe as they shuffle forward to battle.

Keep em at 2 ranks, and swift reform on your last shuffle before fighting.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:34 pm 
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Well, its been a while but I have updates for the thread! Once again the cream of Caledor has takes to the battlefield, this time against the stubborn (and poorly groomed, smelly and generally uncultured) Dwarfs.

Dwarfs 2500

Lords
Dwarf Lord w Shieldbearers, GW, Rune of Kragg the Grim, 2 x Rune of Fury, Rune of Stone, Master Rune of Spite

Heroes
BSB w Master Rune of Gromril
Runesmith w Shield, Rune of Spellbreaking, Master Rune of Balance
Dragon Slayer w Rune of Swiftness, Rune of Fury, Rune of Fire

Core
29 Warriors w Shields, FC
18 Longbeards w GW, Shields, FC
12 Quarrelers

Special
22 Hammerers w Shields, FC
17 Slayers w Std, Giant Slayer
15 Miners w FC, Steam Drill
Cannon w Engineer
Cannon w Engineer
Bolt Thrower w Engineer

Rare
Organ Gun

Spells
DM – rolls 3, 5, 1 – swaps Burning Head for Flaming Sword - Fire Cloak, Flaming Sword, Fire Cage
BSB - Shield of Saphery

I’m facing two cannons, a mass of combat troops with T4 and Great Weapons, and rolling up terrain gives limited amounts of cover (apart from a rock spire as an Idol of Gork as in the centre of the table). I’m already feeling rather pessimistic, a feeling which gets worse as we roll Battle for the Pass, which means flanking is going to be exceptionally difficult and I’m basically going to have to throw myself into the front of the Dwarf firepower and combat units. Great. Not only that, but my opponent out-deploys me (managing to set up his firebase at the opposite side to my fast units) and manages to win the first turn.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:48 pm 
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Turn 1 Dwarfs
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The slayers shuffled forward slightly to set up potential charges on units advancing down their flank. Everything else sat tight and waited for the war machines to do their work.

Shooting
BT hit the eagle but rolled 1 to wound, xbows put a wound on. Both cannons shoot at the Helms, the first killing two and the second only 1 after another 1 to wound. The Organ Gun is out of range.

Turn 1 HE
Image
A mass advance across the line, with my cavalry aiming themselves at the slayer and warrior units rather than the veterans with GWs.
Magic: 5, 4 – 8 for me, 6 for the Dwarfs. I threw 2 dice at Shield on the Helms, which he left. 2+1 on Fire Cage of Slayers, again left, passes and kills 2 slayers. I then throw 4+1 on Flaming Sword, on my near archers, and he passes his 6 dice dispel. My left archers put a wound on the Organ Gun, and the right archers manage to kill 3 Slayers.

Turn 2 Dwarfs
Image
Despite his Steam Drill reroll, he didn’t manage to pass the roll for his miners arrival. Still no other movement.

Shooting
His 1st cannon hits the Prince – the Charmed Shield protects the Prince, but his dragon takes 4 wounds. The 2nd cannon aims at the Prince as well, but (thankfully) overshoots. Organ Gun shoots at my helms and kills 3. Bolt Thrower takes 2 wounds of left flank Eagle, killing him off. Quarellers shoot at my left archers, killing 3, but they pass their panic test.

Turn 2 HE
Image
Prince and DPs charge the Slayers, Helms charge the Warriors, and Dragon Mage charges the cannon in the forest (passing his terrain tests). The Spearelves advance to face the Longbeards and Hammerers, and my surviving Eagle blocks the hammerers, aiming to prevent their involvement until I can (hopefully) deal with the Slayers and Warriors.

Magic
6+2, so 7 each. I throw 2+1 on Flaming Sword on the DPs, and roll Miscast. Result was Detonation, losing me 3 dice. The S10 hits against models in base contact was a bit problematical given the rules for war machines, but eventually we decided the best solution was to inflict a single S10 hit on the ‘War Machine’ itself as if from shooting/magic, so against T7. This killed off one of the crew. My remaining 2 dice went on Fire Cage, but was easily dispelled by the Dwarfs.

Shooting
My depleted left archers managed to take another wound of the Organ gun – 1 to go! The other archers had marched, so couldn’t shoot.

Combat
The Sun Dragon chomped down the remaining 3 cannon crew. Meanwhile against the Slayers, his Dragonslayer challenged, and I accepted with my Prince – I was hoping to wipe out the Slayers in a single round of combat so my DPs could overrun into the Warriors, and didn’t want the Dragonslayer surviving and holding them in place. Unfortunately, the Rune of Swiftness meant I didn’t get the chance to kill him off before he struck back - on the other hand, he had flaming attacks, meaning the 2 wounds he managed to cause on the Dragon bounced off my 2+ ward from Dragon Armour! Heh. The Prince only caused a single wound, but the Dragon finished the job. The DPs, boosted with Flaming Sword, (just) managed to wipe out the Slayers before they got a chance to strike back. Great! I rolled a decent overrun, which enabled me to continue into the flank of the previously engaged Warriors. The Prince, however, was in the front arc of the Warriors, and didn’t have any space to get into contact, so reformed instead.

So, on to see what my cavalry could do against the Warriors. My BSB challenged, and his BSB accepted – I inflicted a single wound and saved his return attacks. The DPs killed 8 warriors (despite those cursed parry saves!), but the Helms only killed 1. The DPs horses managed to kill another though, thanks to Flaming Sword (or rather, Flaming Hoof!). His return attacks all bounced off my armour, and I won handily – but he easily passed his steadfast test. Hmmm, not so good – my glorious cavalry charge was now firmly locked in combat with a fully ranked T4 4+AS anvil unit. At least they were safe from war machines for the moment.

Turn 3 Dwarfs
Image
His Hammerers charged the Eagle to clear it out so he could advance. The Longbeards advanced around the flank of the Hammerers, positioning themselves to attack the Spearelves. The Miners managed to arrive this time, facing the flank of my archers.

Magic
He dispelled Flaming Sword on the Dragon Princes.

Shooting
His remaining cannon hit the Prince bang on once again – that made it 6 war machine shots so far and not a single misfire on any roll. Gah. The Prince made his ward save, but the Dragon looked pretty doomed – until he rolled a 1 for the number of wounds, leaving him clinging to life with a single wound. His quarrellers rolled pretty poorly and only managed a single wound on the left archers, but the Organ Gun managed to kill 6 of my Spearmen.

Combat
His General hacked the Eagle into tiny pieces personally, and his unit reformed to face the flank of my Silver Helms. Between them my Helms and DPs killed 3 warriors, nowhere near enough. On the plus side, my BSB managed to take his BSBs last wound off, killing him. The return attacks did nothing once again, due to a combination of very poor rolls to hit and a 2+ save against S3. Still, there were 16 of the stubborn little beardlings remaining, and once again they easily passed their Steadfast test. Hmmm.

Turn 3 HE
Image
I desperately needed something to stop the Hammerers slamming into the flank of the Helms and overwhelming my Cavalry. The Spears had a nice flank charge lined up, so I took it. I considered throwing my general in there as well, but the combat was essentially doomed – the Spears were no match for the hammerers, particularly considering that the Lonbeards were perfectly positioned to flank them next turn. Mind you, neither of my Dragons were in position to make any other charges this turn, so I positioned them to make themselves useful next turn (if they survived) by supporting the cavalry or pouncing on the remaining war machines. My full strength archer unit moved up so they could target the organ gun/quarrellers.

Magic
3,2 – 4 each. I threw 2+1 at flaming Sword, which he stopped with his Spellbreaking Rune, saving his dice to (successfully) dispel Flame Cage.

Shooting
Both units of archers combined to take the final wound off the organ gun. The depleted unit was looking pretty doomed with the miners in their flank, but at least my archers had taken out a war machine and achieved something.

Combat
His Lord ‘made way’ as my spears hit the flank. The Spears that could target the Hammerers rolled amazingly to hit, but T4 and some lucky saves meant they only killed 3 – those that could only target the Lord did, predictably, nothing. The Lord then killed 3 in return, while the hammerers and shieldbearers killed another 2. I actually managed to win due to disrupting his ranks, charging and flank bonuses – but unsurprisingly he passed his stubborn 10 test and reformed to face me.

The BSB killed 2 Warriors, the DPs managed 3, and the Helms and Horses wiffed. In return his warriors managed to kill 2 Helms (after I rolled snake eyes on my saving throws) but I still won by 5 and with only 2 ranks left they were no longer Steadfast thanks to the untouched unit of Dragon Princes. They (finally) fled – ideally I’d have pursued with the Silver Helms, but that would have brought them into contact with the Hammerers and certain death. Thankfully, his Hammerers reforming to face my Spears meant that I had the space to pursue with the DPs, who caught them easily, ending up just behind his Hammerers. The Helms reformed to try and get behind his lines in my next turn.

Turn 4 Dwarfs
Image
The Miners charged the archers, who fled but failed to escape. The miners hacked them down then reformed to face my second archer unit. The Longbeards charged into the flank of the Spears, while the quarrellers reformed to face the rest of my army.

Shooting
His last cannon hit my Prince again, this time killing the dragon. The Prince failed his ward save this time and took 2 wounds. His bolt thrower tried to target my dismounted Prince through the intervening quarrellers but missed. Thankfully, the quarrellers were unable to shoot as they had moved.

Combat
My spears managed to down another 3 hammers before all the Great Weapon vengeance of the Dwarfs was unleashed upon them, the two units of veterans killing 12 between them and the Runesmith and Lord killing another 4. The shattered remnants failed to roll insane courage and fled 7”, but the Longbeards rolled an impressive (for Dwarfs) 9” and ran them down. The Hammerers reformed threaten the DP flank.

HE 4
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My Dragon Mage charged his final cannon, and my Dragon Princes charged his quarrellers – but disastrously rolled a 3 on their charge, leaving them smack bang in front of the bloodied Hammerers. GAH. Thankfully the S&S wounds were saved by their armour. This left me in a conundrum with my Helms – any attempt to advance them towards the ‘soft’ rear of the Dwarf army would enable the Hammerers to redirect into them if (when) I fled their charge with my DPs. Instead I reformed them into 2-wide column facing the flank of the Hammerers, hoping to sneak behind them after a failed charge. My archers turned to face the oncoming miners, hoping to get a few shooting casualties on them before they got a pick to the face. My Prince attempted to hide, while putting himself in a position so my DPs could use his LD to rally in my next turn.

Magic
3-1, so 3 to me and 4 to him. Rather than split my dice, I threw all my dice plus the extra at Flame Cage on the Hammerers, rolling Irresistible Force! I rolled a 5, wounding the Dragon and killing one of the cannon crew. I only killed a single Hammerer, but hopefully the s4 hits would stop them from charging my DPs next turn.

My archers killed 2 miners with shooting, and my Dragon Mage and his pet finished off the cannon crew, with the Mage actually managing to kill one himself! He reformed facing the quarrellers/bolt thrower.

Turn 5 Dwarfs
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The Longbeards reformed to face my Helms, and the Miners charged my archers, losing one to S&S. My opponent pondered for a while, then decided to charge the DPs anyway – his reasoning was that I had nothing left that was actually able to finish off his Hammerers even if they took 50%+ casualties from the Flame Cage. If he didn’t charge the Hammerers would be out of the battle anyway, seeing as my cavalry would be zipping off out of effective charge range. I unsurprisingly fled, and got away. It was much closer than I had bargained for – an average charge roll would have seen them caught! Had I realised how easily the dwarfs could have caught me with even fairly average rolls I would have probably positioned the Helms in front of the Hammerers as a sacrifice last turn, but thankfully I got away with my oversight. The Flames killed 5 hammerers as they shuffled forward 3”.

Shooting
The quarrellers unloaded at my Prince. Despite the long range, they managed 4 hits, and one made it through the armour and ward, killing him. Boooo. Still, he’d done well to survive as long as he had given the amount of cannon fire coming his way. The bolt thrower targeted my Dragon Mage, wounding the Dragon but rolling only a single wound.

Combat
My archers rolled rather impressively, managing 4 wounds on the miners – still, the miners killed 5 in return. I lost combat by 3, failed my break test and fled, thankfully escaping the pursuing dwarfs – but taking two more casualties as they fled through the impassable rock formation. Still, the rocks stopped the dwarfs and probably ensured the archers survival – the miners wouldn’t be able to charge them through the rocks next turn.

Turn 5 HE
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My DPs rallied, reforming to open up potential charges to the Hammerers or quarrellers. Learning from their close escape last turn, I decided to sacrifice my BSB to ensure they were safe from the hammerers, removing him from the Helms unit and manouvering him as close as possible to the front of the hammerers. The remaining 3 Helms, like the Hammerers, moved to set up potential charges on the quarrellers or hammerers. With their numbers substantially reduced, I felt that a last turn charge with my remaining Cavalry had a chance of killing off the remainder of the Lord’s bodyguard, removing Stubborn and potentially breaking the Lord as well. The archers managed to rally as well – they turned to face the miners but they were essentially out of the game now. My Dragon Mage charged the Bolt thrower.

I rolled an impressive 9 dice for magic this turn, ending up with 8 to my opponents 6. I started with 2+1 on Flame Cage on the hammerers, but he dispelled with 4 dice. Next was 2 dice on Shield on my BSB in an attempt to draw out dice, but he let it go. I figured if I cast Flaming Sword on the DPs it would just be dispelled in his turn, so instead threw 2+1 to cast it on the Dragon Mage himself to help ensure he killed off the bolt thrower, and his dispel failed. In the shooting phase the 4 remaining archers failed to do anything to the miners.

Combat
With Flaming Sword up, the Dragon Mage actually manage to kill two of the dwarf crew himself. The Dragon killed off the last two before they could strike back, and then reformed to face the rest of the dwarf army.

Turn 6 Dwarfs
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The Longbeards and Miners were effectively out of the battle now, so the only movement was a charge by the Hammerers on the lone BSB. The quarrellers shot at the Dragon Princes, managing to kill two, and it was time for combat.

The Lord ‘made way’ to target my BSB, so I challenged to stop the hammerers targeting him as well. My heroic BSB managed to put a wound on the Lord following a pair of 1s for armour and ward, before being hacked into small pieces. The hammerers overran in an attempt to reach my Dragon Princes, but fell short.

Turn 6 HE
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Well, the hammerers overrun had probably blocked my Dragon Princes from charging the quarrellers, and while close in terms of VPs the Dwarfs were almost certainly in the lead. The only option to save the game was a glorious charge into the hammerers, aiming to finish off the unit and break the Lord – exactly the sort of heroic Caledorian tactics that prompted me to use this army in the first place! So, in went the DPs and the Dragon Mage (knocking back his potion of Toughness on the way) both making it comfortably. I considered throwing the Helms in as well, but decided to preserve their points instead – there were only three left and the lord or even the unit itself could easily finish them off.

I rolled a 5 and a 1 for magic, giving me 5 and the Dwarfs 6. I started with 2+1 at Fire Cloak, rolling poorly and enabling the Dwarfs to comfortably dispel with 2 dice. The rest of my dice went on Flaming Sword, but again the Dwarf’s defences were up to the task. I’d have to do this the old fashioned way…

The Dwarf Lord made way to target the Dragon Mage, figuring there was little chance of polishing off the DPs in a single round. The Hammerer champion challenged, so I accepted with the champion of the DPs, killing him off. The rest of the DPs killed a mere 4 hammerers due to a combination of some poor to hit rolls and the tanked up Dwarf Lord in the front rank, before the Dragon Mage and his pet killed one each. The Lord then threw all his attacks at the Sun Dragon, hoping to bring him down - he managed 2 wounds, leaving him hanging to life with 1 wound remaining. The remaining 4 hammerers brought down 2 of the Dragon Princes, before the Sun Dragon’s thunderstomp managed only a single wound, leaving two hammerers and the Lord remaining and ensuring that he’d be taking his test on LD 10 despite me winning the combat by 10 vs 5. Unsurprisingly he passed and it was all over…

Victory Points

High Elves – 1120 + 100 (BSB) + 50 (Banners) = 1270
Dwarfs – 1292 + 100 (General) + 100 (BSB) + 50 (Banners) = 1542

Thoughts

So close! I went into this game expecting to lose, seeing as an army with (reliable) cannons and great weapons on nearly every combat unit is pretty much tailored to defeat mine, and the scenario ensured I had to charge the dwarfs pretty much head on rather than set up flanking moves to take advantage of my mobility. Not to mention that my opponent managed to out-deploy me, positioning the bulk of his shooting away from my fast moving troops to ensure they could operate as long as possible. And I did indeed lose, although it was far closer than I might of expected and with a bit of luck at certain key moments (the Dragon Princes’ failed charge at the quarrellers, the failure to finish off the Hammerers in the last turn) I could actually have pulled of a convincing victory. Still, I had moments of good luck too (the Prince taking 4 cannon shots – and a round of crossbow fire – to finish off; wiping out the Slayers in one round) and my poor deployment probably has more to do with my defeat than anything else. Had my cavalry managed to break through a weak section of his line rather than getting stuck into a solid anvil unit that pinned them in place it could all have been very different – still, I think I did well to delay his veterans long enough for my cavalry to break through and get clear. In the end it came down to the final combat of the game, and you can’t complain about that really – in fact it could well have been my caution holding back the Helms to preserve VPs that lost it for me, as their extra attacks could/would probably have finished off the Hammers, thus enabling me to break the Lord and win the game. I felt that between the dragon’s attacks and stomp and the DPs attacks (plus potentially some magic buffs) I’d have enough killing power to do the job, but fell agonisingly short.

My opponent’s war machines did pretty well for him in terms of reliability this game (not a single misfire) yet rolled some unfortunate 1s for number of wounds. This meant that they only managed to kill off one of my dragon riders rather than both, which was a relief, and enabled the Dragon Mage to zip around largely unopposed finishing off his war machines and making a nuisance of himself. I’m becoming increasingly fond of the Lore of Fire – OK it has some duff spells (Flaming Head) but Flaming Sword and Flame Cage (particularly Flame Cage) are awesome and the Dragon Mage is one of the few casters for whom Fire Cloak is good as well. Taking into account the Lore’s long range (particularly on boosted spells) and easy casting values I’m surprised its so poorly regarded.

As far as the list goes, I’m beginning to consider taking Life on my BSB – while High gives him much more general utility, the ability to stick wounds back on through the Lore Attribute would have been brilliant this game. Still, the Sig spell is rubbish compared to Shield of Saphery, and much of the rest of the lore is useless for a Lvl 1 caster with a single spell. In addition, having only one spell would mean that an opponent can prioritise his casting to prevent me regrowing wounds (whereas Shield tends to be ignored so they can concentrate on the DM’s spells). Still, the temptation remains, particularly considering the BSB (unlike a support mage hanging round the backfield) is usually in range to put wounds back on my eagles or dragon riders.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:55 pm 
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Nice report. I thought you had a chance after the first two turns of cannon fire didn't drop a dragon, but you just don't grind well, even against his small units. Looks like fun though, so better luck next time.

You only deployment error in my mind was putting the Silver Helms with a big rock in front of them. It didn't really matter as it turned out, but it looks like that limited their options.
Also consider advancing your archers to use as a third Eagle. The flank unit had an Organ gun to shoot, but the other unit didn't.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:56 pm 
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I think I missed the Sun-Dragon breath attack. If ya didn't get that off, that would have given a chance at taking out the last 2 longbeards?

Turn 3 - Sending in the general would have saved him from the cannon shots, threatened his general, and given you an excuse to chase the warriors with the silver helms!

That's also a nice time to divert the long beards with the Dragon Mage (likely lose combat, and maybe the mage, but the Dragon would survive, and conserve points! And delay the LB from entering the fray for 2 turns).


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:36 am 
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Quote:
but you just don't grind well, even against his small units.
Normally I rely on dragon support to provide the casualties during grinding combats. Still, the cav managed part of the grinding fine - they only took 2 casualties over 3 rounds of combat. Grinding with cav isn't as much of a disaster as it might seem - like Phoenix Guard, they don't dish out much damage (apart from the charge) but they soak it up pretty effectively, especially against S3.
Quote:
You only deployment error in my mind was putting the Silver Helms with a big rock in front of them.
I think it might have been better to concentrate my cavalry against his weaker shooting flank. They could then have overwhelmed them quickly, cutting down on shooting casualties and positioning themselves on the flank of the dwarf army, enabing me to put pressure on him from two directions. As it was, the cavalry ended up charging straight at units perfectly suited to holding them up (the unbreakable Slayers and the warriors in deep ranks). I got lucky with the slayers, but the warriors ended up pinning my cavalry in place, and only the sacrifice of the spears and my last eagle enabled me to avoid being overwhelmed by countercharges from his two units of veterans.
Quote:
I think I missed the Sun-Dragon breath attack. If ya didn't get that off, that would have given a chance at taking out the last 2 longbeards?
Gnnnnyarrrg!!!! You're right, I completely forgot about that. How frustrating!! Managing those last two casualties and breaking the Lord would have got me around 600VPs, easily enough to give me a comfortable victory. The S2 hits probably wouldn't have managed it, but they might have done with a bit of luck. I really need to concentrate more on making effective use of my breath weapons...
Quote:
Turn 3 - Sending in the general would have saved him from the cannon shots, threatened his general, and given you an excuse to chase the warriors with the silver helms!
Yeah, as it turned out it was a use him or lose him situation. Still, at the time I was hoping that his good luck avoiding misfires would desert him and I could take the Prince into the warriors combat in my next turn. The Helms, however, had no chance of pursuing the warriors - seeing as you are supposed to pivot round your centre then pursue, the positioning of the Hammerers meant they blocked them any pursuit move that didn't take them into the hammerers.
Quote:
That's also a nice time to divert the long beards with the Dragon Mage (likely lose combat, and maybe the mage, but the Dragon would survive, and conserve points! And delay the LB from entering the fray for 2 turns).
I feel he was better suited mopping up the war machines and providing magical support, personally. Had he charged the Longbeards in turn 3, the mage himself would have been killed, thus depriving me of magic for the rest of the game (the extra dice from the DM were key to me getting any spells off against the dwarfs magic defence - a single Lvl 1 wouldn't have cut it). On the other hand, the DM was perfectly capable of taking out war machines (he killed the last cannon in turn 4, and the bolth thrower in turn 5) while keeping himself alive for potential combo-charges later in the game (i.e. the Hammerers). Diverting the Longbeards wouldn't have saved the spears anyway (facing the Hammerers and a tooled up Lord) so I would have been sacrificing another unit for little gain.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:11 am 
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How has your army been received? I have been considering going the two dragon route myself, but have been concerned about how folks would react to it.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:51 pm 
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@Delaqure: Noone's had any problem with it so far. Monster mounts are largely seen as overcosted/underpowered by most people (steadfast, step up, laser guided artillery, GW hordes and so on all being excellent counters) and the Dragon mage is probably seen as one of the worst monster options around due to the fact its a T3 mage on a combat monster. Considering the fact my two dragons cost nearly 1000 points between them (compared to 450 for double HPAs, or 350 for double Hydras) I think in general it would be rare to recieve complaints.

Anyway, new report!

2500 v Empire

Fairly varied mix of stuff for the Empire:

Empire 2500

Lords
Templar Grand Master, Sword of Power, Holy Relic
Lvl 4 Wizard Lord, Barded Warhorse, Armour of Tarnus (Death)

Heroes
BSB, Barded Warhorse, Dawn Armour, Sword of Might
Warrior Priest, GW, Armour of Meteoric Iron
Lvl 2 Battle Wizard, Dispel Scroll (Metal)

Core
30 Halberdiers, FC
w. Detatchments:
- 15 Free Company
- 15 Halberdiers
30 Spearmen, FC
w. Detatchment:
- 10 Crossbowmen
14 Handgunners
10 Knightly Orders (White Wolves) FC

Special = 558
10 Inner Circle Knights, (Knights Panther) FC, Steel Std
5 Pistoliers, Mus
Cannon
Mortar

Rare
Hellblaster Volley Gun

Only a single cannon this time, but still a good shooting phase that could cause havoc among my elves. I was seriously outnumbered in terms of the number of units as well. War machines and shooters would have to be neutralised early, then my superior battleline units would (hopefully) have the ability to take his chaff apart. Good to see two knights units as well, always nice when people buck the trend in army selection. The Inner Circle were a pretty intimidating problem, housing the Grand Master, BSB, and 1+ saves – I’d definitely need Dragon support or multiple charges to take them down.

Spells:
My DM rolled ended up with Fireball, Flaming Sword, and Piercing Bolts. My BSB chose Shield of Saphery.

My opponent ended up with Soulblight, Fate of Bjuna, Aspect of the Dreadknight and Doom and Darkness. The level 2 had Searing Doom and Plague of Rust.

In deployment I stuck my DPs and Prince on the left, where the forests wouldn’t cause them any trouble, and my spears and Helms went into the centre. The archers took up the right flank, with the Dragon Mage hiding behind the building to keep him safe from first turn cannon shots. The Empire deployment had the IC and general in the middle flanked by the deep infantry and their supporting detatchments. The sniping Death mage went opposite my Prince with the White Wolves, clearly hoping to cast Fate on him as early as possible.

Thankfully I managed to win the first turn, giving me a turn of grace before the war machines started taking me apart!
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:01 pm 
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HE turn 1
Image
Dragon makes a (fairly long) charge on pistoliers, deciding it was worth the risk to take out those S4 AP shots before they started picking off my DPs. Thankfully he managed to roll an 11 and made it comfortably, taking no hits from the S&S. My DPs moved up into position to charge his White Wolves, daring him to charge through the forest if he wanted to try and charge them first. My centre moved up, while my DM (shielded by an Eagle to provide cover) positioned himself forward on the right flank.
Magic
Rolled a 5 and a 4, with my BSB managing to channel. What with the Warrior Priest, this gave 10v6. I started with two dice on Shield of Saphery on the Silver Helms, which he let go. I then threw 3 dice at Piercing Bolts on the Halberdiers, which he dispelled on 3 dice. Flaming Sword on the archers was left alone, before I threw my remaining dice at a mid-level fireball which he managed to dispel due to a poor casting roll.
Shooting
My first archer unit, boosted with Flaming Sword, rolled like ninjas and managed 8 hits and 4 wounds on the mortar, managing to take it out on the first attempt! My smaller archers killed 2 handgunners.
Combat
Prince kills 4 pistoliers, survivor fails to hit in return, dragon eats him. Dragon reforms to face the centre of the Empire line.

Empire 1
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His line largely stayed put, clearly planning to shoot me up a bit before combat. His Halberdiers and their detatchments shuffled round a bit to face my centre, and the White Wolves moved up a bit to get within 12” of my Prince for Death-sniping.
Magic
Winds of Magic rolled a 6 and 1, meaning 7v6. He started off with a 3 Dice Searing Doom on the Silver Helms, which I left (wanting to keep all my dice to counter his sniping of my Prince). He managed to roll 6 hits (ulp) but thankfully I managed to ward 2 of the 5 wounds he caused, resulting in 3 helms roasting in their armour. 4 dice went into Fate against the Prince, but with 6 dice to counter I stopped it comfortably.
Shooting
His Handgunners decided to chance their luck against the Dragon Mage, despite being in cover due to the Eagle in the way. I wondered weather I should have drunk my toughness potion, but thankfully he only managed one hit on the mage which failed to wound. He did, however, manage to wound the Dragon with a 6. The Crossbows put a wound on the eagle on the left flank.

The Helblaster rolled 14 shots against the Helms, but thankfully only 5 of them hit, and the ward saved one of the 3w caused. Still, I was down another 2 Helms (5 in total). The cannon (predictably) aimed at my Prince, hitting him bang on. The Charmed Shield kept the Prince unscathed, and (thankfully) he rolled 3w against the Dragon, leaving him bloodied but alive.

HE 2
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Thankfully his turn hadn’t been as bad as it could have been, but my Dragons were wounded and my Helms had taken heavy casualties. Time to declare the charge while my army was still relatively intact!

My DM drank his toughness potion, intending to be in combat this turn.

MANY MANY charges. DPs charge Knightly Orders, Dragon charges the flank of the Spearmen, potentially acting as a combat placeholder if the DPs could break the Knights, and at least getting him in combat and safe from cannon/hellblaster fire. Eagle charges cannon and just makes it. Other eagle charges handgunners – he opted to hold, planning to S&S against the Dragon Mage - so DM charges flank of Halberd detachment instead. Spearelves charge Halberdiers, only to be flanked by the Free Company, hoping to Disrupt their ranks. In return, I charged the SH into the flank of the Free Company. His counter charge turned out to be a big mistake, though I didn’t realise it at the time – after all, my SH could have charged the Free Company anyway one on one.

Magic
Winds were 4,1 - no channels. So 5v5. I threw 3 dice at Flaming Sword, but he dispelled. My DM couldn’t cast either of his other spells (he was in combat) so my BSB threw 2 dice at Drain Magic (dispelled) and 1 dice at shield (successful) on the Spearelves.
Shooting
My stationary archer unit managed 2w on the Xbows.
COMBAT
I resolve the Dragon Mage combat first, hoping he could break the detachment and overrun into the flank of the Halberds. The mage caused 1w, the dragon 2. The 3 halberdiers on the flank missed completely before thunderstomp killed 4. Still, they had 8 left and were steadfast – and pass their tests, reforming to face the Dragon Mage. Hmm, should have used my breath weapon...

The Eagle fighting the Handgunners missed completely, taking 2w in return. Still, he passed his test on a 6. His compatriot did much better, killing 2 of the cannon crew and taking no damage back. The remaining crewman passed his test on a 3.

In the big central combat, the Warrior Priest challenged and was accepted by the Spearman champ, who predictably does no damage and was killed. The Spears did very well, inflicting 7w including 2w on the unprotected Metal mage, killing him. The Halberds only managed 2w against the Spears despite their rerolls, due to poor rolling and the Shield of Saphery ward. The Helms and BSB kill 7 Free Company, but the remainder do rather well against the Spearelves, killing 4. Still, combat res was massively in my favour, his Halberds didn’t get Steadfast, and both units fled. The Spears rolled a 3 and thus failed to catch his Halberdiers (gah) while my Helms reformed. The Free Company, however, had fled smack bang in front of his Inner Circle unit, blocking them from any charges next turn!

In the Dragon Prince combat, his Wizard Lord issued a challenge in order to avoid taking all of my lance attacks to the face. The DP champ accepted, managing 2w but not killing him. My remaining DPs hit with all their attacks, and despite the heavy armour managed to down 5 of the Knights, taking 2 casualties in return. Combat res was 7v3 and he failed his break test. My pursuit roll took me into his Spears, and the majority of the unit was just in his flank. So, in they went into their flank alongside the Dragon, exactly as I’d hoped they might. :D Between the Prince and the Cavalry I downed 12 Spearmen including their champ in a challenge with the Drakemaster, with return attacks bouncing off the Dragons T6 and the cavalry’s save. The Dragon killed another 4, opting not to use his breath weapon (I wanted them to retain steadfast, seeing is if I broke them now my Prince or DPs would have to take a volley Gun to the face next turn) then stomped another 2. The 12 remaining Spearmen passed their break test comfortably.

Empire Turn 2
Image
All units rally. His Knights about-faced to face my Prince’s Dragon, and his Halberds faced my Spears. His Inner Circle, clearly fuming about the useless sellswords blocking their charge, remained in place, while the Free Company themselves formed up again facing my Helms.
Magic
WoM - 6+4. So, 10 for the Empire, 6 for me. Unable to cast his sniping spell (my Prince was in combat, and everyone else was out of range) he concentrated on buffs/hexes on the DPs and Spears in combat. I left Aspect of the Dreadknight and Doom and Darkness, concentrating on dispelling Soulblight which I managed with all of my 6 dice against a 4 dice cast.

Shooting
His Hellblaster aims at my depleted Helms, but thankfully misfires, being unable to shoot this turn. The XBows manage to kill one of the Helms though.

Combat
My Dragon Princes, with -3 to their LD, fail their fear test against the suddenly terrifying spearmen. However, ASF mitigated much of the damage and they still managed 7 hits, killing 3. The Prince kills 3, and even the horses manage to down one. The return attacks get 1w and I promptly roll a 1 on my armour save, dropping one of my Dragon Princes. The Dragon’s attacks and stomp kill another 4, leaving 2 survivors who (unsurprisingly) run for their lives, bouncing through the length of the Empire battle line and emerging on the flank of the Inner Circle, although with the Grand Masters LD and the BSB’s rerolls, no-one panics. The DPs pursue into the flank of the Crossbows, and the Dragon reforms to face the Wizard Lord and surviving White Wolves.

His handgunners wiff against my eagle, who kills 3 with his attacks and Stomp in return. He passes his Steadfast test. My other Eagle finishes off his cannon and faces the Hellblaster. Meanwhile my Dragon Mage kills a halberdier, his Dragon kills another 2, and I use my breath weapon to kill 2 more. The 3 survivors manage a wound against my now T3 mage, before thunderstomp finishes off the unit. I reform to face his rallied Halberdiers.

HE 3
Image
My Helms charge the rallied Free Company, my Spears charge his rallied Halberdiers with my DM in the flank, and my Prince charges his Wizard Lord and escort, hoping to finish him off for good. My Eagle also charges the Hellblaster.
Magic
6+2, no channels – so 8v7. I throw 3 dice at Shield of Saphery on the Spears, and he lets it through. The rest of my dice go into Flaming Sword on my Spearelves, and despite saving all his Dispel Dice for it, he fails to stop it.
COMBAT.
Handgunners finally kill my eagle. My DPs kill 4 of the crossbows, routing the remaining 4, who again bounce out the end of his line. They pursue into the Hellblaster, which (already engaged by the Eagle) unsurprisingly goes down pretty quick to the Knights. My Silver Helms and BSB kill 5 free company, save the wound they took in return, and rout the 3 survivors. I briefly ponder weather to hold or pursue into the Inner Circle, but I’m so close that they can’t possibly fail to charge me next turn, so I decide to engage them myself so its me rather than them getting lance bonuses.

In the Infantry combat, the Warrior Priest challenges my Dragon Mage. The Mage himself does nothing, and 2 of the 3w caused by the Dragon bounce off his 1+ save. Arse. The DM takes a large hammer to the head in return and dies, and thunderstomp again bounces off his armour. However, wounding on 3+ means my Spears do most impressively, causing 8 wounds. He kills 3 in return and, no longer Steadfast, fails his test and flees. My Dragon passes his Monster Reaction test on the second attempt (thanks to the BSB) and barrels after them, managing to catch them. The Spears stay put, hoping the flee move of the Spearmen and Xbows will put them in a position for them to run them off the table in my next turn.

In my Prince combat, his wizard is in contact with the Prince so he challenges with the Champion in an attempt to keep him safe. The Prince causes 2w, so the Dragon can’t attack. Still, I’ve won combat by 3 seeing as he’s already lost his standard, and he’s out of range of his BSB/General. Thankfully its enough, and they flee off the table, thus taking care of his magic phase. The dragon reforms to face the centre.

Emp 3.
Image
All his units continue fleeing (the spearmen were under 25% and the xbows rolled badly). During shooting his depleted handgunners manage to kill 1 archer.

Combat.
My BSB challenges in attempt to stop his general slaughtering my knights. He ponders accepting with the BSB, but decides to accept with his General to ensure it’s a favourable match up. Despite managing to get 1w through his armour and ward, it is, and my BSB is hacked down, thankfully only taking 2w (so no overkill). My helms manage 3w, but 2 bounce off their 1+ armour (I hate 1+ armour saves). His BSB kills a helm, as do the Inner Circle. I loose combat by 3, but thankfully I’m in range of my general and pass my test. Still, my BSB is down and I only have 3 Helms remaining… time for some assistance!

HE 4.
Image
My Prince barrels into the flank of the Inner Circle to help out the (almost certainly doomed) Helms. Facing two fleeing units right in front of them, my Spears declare a charge, and they both escape, fleeing past my Sun Dragon, who promptly charges them off the table himself. My surviving eagle hops over the central combat, in position to add some CR with a flank charge next turn if required. One of my archer units moves as well to get within short range of his handgunners, and in shooting the two archer units combine to kill the remaining 7 handgunners.

COMBAT
His general challenges, hoping to soak up some of the damage from my Prince. I don’t feel like wasting all his potential CR on a 1+, 4++ save though and accept with my SH champ. My Prince gets 3 wounds through his Knights armour (3 out of 4 saves failed, which was a nice stroke of luck for me). Champ does nothing against Grand Master and dies. The wounds from both his and my knights bounce off armour, as does the 1w from his BSB (poor to hit rolls). The Dragon manages to kill another 2 knights, and I decide to use my breath weapon seeing as one more casualty would bring him down to no ranks (and no Steadfast). The breath weapon manages 10 hits, 6 wounds, and he fails one of his saves – nice! Combat resolution is 9-4 in my favour, but despite not being steadfast he passes his test on a 3. Gah.

Emp 4.
Image
Combat.
His Grand Master again issues a challenge, and this time I accept. My Princes S4 attacks unsurprisingly bounce off his armour, but thankfully both his hits on my dragon fail to wound (hurrah for T6!) My dragon manages 3 wounds, only one of which makes it through armour and ward, but still brings his General down to a single wound. Again, the Inner Circle and remaining 2 Helms trade insults but nothing more dangerous, while his BSB also fails to cause any damage. CR is 3-2 in my favour, and unsurprisingly he passes.

HE 5
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My DPs charge into the corner of the Inner Circle, while my small dragon returns to the table and sets up for a charge into their rear next turn. My Spearelves also position for a charge if needed.
Combat
Again my prince bounces off his armour, and this time his S6 general puts 2w on my Dragon. Aieee! My dragon, thankfully, manages a good number of hits and gets another wound through his protection, killing him – just in time seeing as my Dragon only has 1 wound left. My Helms get a lucky wound on his knights due to a 1 on his AS, but in return his BSB gets his act together and kills a Helm, leaving just the Std Bearer. He’s now down to his BSB and Inner Circle Champion, but only loses combat by one and again passes his break test, clearly prepared to fight to the last. By this point my opponent and I were really enjoying the combat, despite the fact it was pretty irrelevant to the result of the game – the image of the grizzled Inner Circle veterans, last survivors of the army, fighting to the last while heavily outnumbered (and facing a Dragon no less) to protect their General and Battle Standard was pure epic Warhammer-ness as far as we were concerned.

Emp 5
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Combat
So, lets see what the last two Empire survivors can take with them! My Prince and DPs were in contact with his BSB, so couldn’t attack his Champion. My Prince’s S4 attacks were again foiled by armour/ward, and although my DPs managed to get a wound through he again passed on his ward save. His BSB proceeded to hack down my final Silver Helm, trampling their standard into the mud and (I would imagine) giving a mighty roar of satisfaction! My Dragon got a wound through the BSBs defences, leaving him on 1w. He only lost combat by one, passed his test and the wounded BSB and Knight Champion reformed to face me, preparing for their glorious last stand!

HE 6
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So, time to finish this. My Sun Dragon and Spearelves charge into the flank and rear of the beleaguered Empire survivors, leaving them surrounded on all sides. My Prince gets 3w on BSB, finally getting one through his defences and killing the pesky human (after 5 rounds of combat!). My Dragon Princes rain blows on the Champion, getting 4 wounds, but all are saved. The same thing happens to the spears – this time he manages 6 saves out of 6. Finally, my recently arrived Sun Dragon finally gets a wound through that cussed save, and chomps his head off. Hurrah! Finally the last of the Inner Circle falls. What heroes though... after my Prince charged in I thought they were done with, but they truly upheld the honour of the Empire, fighting alongside their General and Army Standard to the very last!

Thoughts
Well, a fairly convincing win for the HE! I had my fair share of luck (surviving the war machine fire without crippling casualties, making all my charge rolls, my opponent having fairly limited suuccess with magic) but the main reason I feel I won so convincingly was
A. My opponent wasn't at all agressive, reacting to my moves rather than taking a more active approach. To an extent this was inevitable (he wanted to hang back and let his war machines cause some casualties) but considering he didn't make a single charge in the game he could have done more to try and stop me setting up the combats I wanted.
B. A lack of planning ahead on my opponents part. Examples are the positioning of the White Wolves prior to my DPs charge (enabling them to pursue into the Spearmen combat) and the Free Company flanking my Spearelves (meaning they fled into the path of his IC unit after losing losing combat). Also, the fact that his troops were all lined up next to each other certainly helped my DPs and Dragon work their way easily down his line once they had made it into his flank.

Still, I'm quite pleased with the way I managed to limit the effect of his magic by effectively prioritising which spells I really needed to stop, and my DPs and Prince did a sterling job of collapsing his flank and then working their way down the rest of his line. My magic didn't do a great deal, but my troops outclassed his, so once I survived his shooting and started charging into favourable combats I didn't really need magical assistance anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:29 pm 
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Wow. That was a really really impressive battle report. Thanks a lot for writing that up.

Your opponent was too dependent upon winning at range, but did not play to keep the range open. Once you got in combat, he had no answers. I think Death was a bad lore for him, and not defaulting to the sniper spell was a mistake. His army list and deployment act as if his knights are powerful in combat, but he has no magic to support them, meaning they really aren't that powerful. I feel like he needed to deploy further back, and send some knights out to delay you. He really didn't move, and you jumped all over him for it. I thought his IC knights might have done a turn 1 charge against your advance. I think that would have helped him, but maybe not. Once he left the IC knights, you correctly hit everything else!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:50 pm 
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It's great to see someone using a dragon (or two!) successfully when such are "popularly" deemed sub-par in 8th Ed. In all three battle reports you've posted, you used your Double Dragon list; have you used the single-dragon list as much? If so, how do they compare in terms of performance?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:29 pm 
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Quote:
I think Death was a bad lore for him, and not defaulting to the sniper spell was a mistake
I'm not sure Spirit Leech would have worked particularly well against my army - with a LD 8 wizard against an army with a base LD of 8, and 9+ on most characters, you're relying on lucky rolls in order for Spirit Leech to have much impact. Fate of Bjuna was much more worrying for me - it was pretty much guaranteed to take out any of my characters with a single cast, meaning I concentrated on keeping all my dice to stop it when he had an opportunity to cast. I suppose if he'd taken Leech as well I'd have been forced to prioritise Bjuna and thus he'd have had a chance to get Leech off and hope for a lucky roll.
Quote:
He really didn't move, and you jumped all over him for it. I thought his IC knights might have done a turn 1 charge against your advance. I think that would have helped him, but maybe not. Once he left the IC knights, you correctly hit everything else!
I think you're right. His first turn he had potential charges with the IC on either the Spearelves or the Helms. Probably the best option would have been to charge the Spearelves, moving his infantry in position to flank next turn. Charging the Helms would have denied him the opportunity to use his war machines/magic to best effect - the DPs are largely immune to Searing Doom (thanks to Dragon Armour's 2+ ward) and would have been hit on 6s by the Volley Gun (due to modifiers from long range and cover). The spears should have held him in place with Steadfast, giving a potential flank charge by the Helms in my turn - but with the General and BSB in the unit he would probably have been able to stand up to it, enabling him to flank my spears in his turn and potentially rout both my units.

Looking at the maps, another option would be to not move his infantry at all. Advancing his halberdiers opened up an easy charge for my spearelves, giving me the matchup I wanted... had they stayed stationary, my spears would have had to spend another turn marching into position, opening up potential combo charges from his infantry and Inner Circle in his second turn. In that situation I'd probably have charged my (depleted) helms at the crossbows, aiming to mop up his forces on my left and sacrifice the Spears to keep the rest of his army off my cavalry until I could set up combo-charges with the Prince later on.
Quote:
have you used the single-dragon list as much? If so, how do they compare in terms of performance?
I used the 2500 point single-dragon list with a slightly different core setup (two units of 25 spears, one unit of 10 archers) in a few battles before I started with double dragons - with a fairly even spread of wins and losses. I've adjusted the core setup as a result of experiences there (a single bigger unit of spears in order to ensure Steadfast rather than two smaller units). The single dragon list has some definite advantages:
- Superior magic defence (at least if you can keep the level 2 alive) due to the Anullian Crystal and +3 to dispel
- Much more fighty BSB - the 2+ rerollable save means he can reliably take out hero level characters in challenges and also survive against most troops should you end up having to grind with the Helms in combat - a 3+ save with no reroll makes the Mage BSB vastly more vulnerable
- Slightly wider variety of units to help control the movement phase (the reavers and bolt thrower can be pretty useful)
However, the main disadvantage is that you are effectively surrendering any real magic phase - with only 3 spells and no extra dice the Lvl 2 will struggle to get anything useful off against most armies. In contrast, with the Dragon Mage and Mage BSB I have 5 spells and (potentially) 3 extra dice a turn, which usually enables you to overwhelm an opponents magic defence and get some useful stuff cast. Seeing as a Dragon means you can't take an Archmage (at least not until over 3000 points) taking a Dragon Mage is actually one of the few ways to get an effective magic phase due to the potential extra dice he gets from his special ability.


I've got another battle with the double dragon list to write up, which I should be able to get posted over the next week or so. In the mean time - in an attempt to emulate some some of the other army blogs here - I'm going to start some army analysis. Seeing as its guaranteed to be part of your army if you go double dragon, and its a generally under-appreciated Lore (in my opinion anyway), I'm starting with the Lore of Fire.

Thoughts on Fire Magic

Certainly not one of the most popular 8th Edition lores out there, and for fairly obvious reasons. It doesn't give you the range of offensive or defensive buffs some lores do (Beasts, Light, Life) it doesn't give you the all round utility of Shadow (various hexes coupled with Pit and Mindrazor) and it doesn't have the specialisation some lores give you to deal with problems your army may otherwise be ill suited to cope with (Death's sniping spells or Metal's anti-armour capabilities). Many see it simply as magical artillery. However, it has some definite advantages that may not be entirely apparent.

First of all, its very easy to cast. Even the boosted template spell only requires a 16+, and the vast majority of the lore can easily be cast on 3 dice even with a level 2. This reduces the risk of miscasts, and lends the lore very well to using multiple easy to cast spells to overwhelm an enemies magical defences, enabling you to get at least some of your spells off rather than relying on 6-dicing nuke spells and hoping for high rolls or Irresistable Force. The Lore Attribute can be of help here as well, should you be using the firepower spells - for example, casting a low-level fireball that your opponent will let through, thus giving you a D3 bonus to a more powerful spell on the same unit later in the phase. Situational, but potentially useful nonetheless, despite the fact its one of the weaker Lore Attributes.

It also has a very good range - most of the lore starts off with a 24" range and above, and can be boosted fairly cheaply to have a 48" range. Overall it has the best range of any of the rulebook lores, meaning you can pretty much rely on being in range of your intended target wherever your wizard may be on the battlefield. Certainly, careful positoning can mitigate the disadvantages of shorter ranges with other Lores, but this can leave a wizard vulnerable - getting in 24" range for a boosted Dwellers, for example, means your wizard will have probably moved into range to be a target for a Dwellers or Death sniping spells himself. With Fire, your caster can be in range to get his own spells off while staying comfortably out of range of your opponents most dangerous magic.

The Spells
Unlike some Lores with their wide variety of useful spells (Shadow being the most obvious), Fire suffers from the fact the majority of the spells are simply based around damaging the enemy. Whats more, there's no variety in terms of what damage you inflict - S4 flaming hits all round, definitely inferior to the sort of damage other Lores can inflict (characteristic test or die spells, Metal's anti armour or Death's auto-wound sniping). However, two spells stand out for me - the jewels in the crown for the Lore of Fire.

Fulminating Flame Cage
I personally think this spell is great. Fairly cheap to cast at 11+, this spell means the target is either pinned in place for a turn or takes significant, and often crippling, damage. OK, its pretty much restricted to targetting infantry units (cavalry's saves, and monstrous infantry's toughness/multiple wounds largely enable them to shrug off the damage). However, against most infantry units the potential loss of half the unit or more will mean they stay firmly in place. This synergises very well with High Elves in general, reinforcing our ability to outmanouver the enemy, control the movement phase, and set up the combat matchups we want. This synergy is even stronger in my own list, with its cavalry and dragons - pinning a threatening unit for a turn so I can get my knight/dragons in position to their flank or rear is incredibly useful. So far I've taken this spell whenever possible.

Flaming Sword of Rhuin
At 8+ to cast, this is one of the cheapest Augment spells out there. A +1 bonus to wound is always helpful - particularly for an army like HE where S3 is so widespread - but there are two things that really help this spell stand out for me.

First of all, it also confers flaming magical attacks. Ethereal or Regenerating troops can be hugely problematical (look at how many lists include the Flaming Banner as an indication). Flaming Sword enables you to counter these abilities with whichever unit happens to be shooting at, or in combat with, such units. Unlike standard counters (e.g. Flaming Banner, Amulet of Light) Flaming Sword doesn't rely on getting the suitable combat matchup, instead enabling you to follow your own battleplan rather than deploying or advancing a particular unit to counter a threat when it could be better utilised elsewhere. This is particularly useful for my Double Dragon list, seeing as it desn't have any other source of magical attacks in combat.

Second, it is a +1 to your roll to wound rather than +1 Strength. At first this might seem like a disadvantage (+1S would also impact armour saves) but due to the fact 6s always wound, this is a huge advantage. Your archers with their S3 arrows can be wounding T7 war machines on a 5+ at range, or your Spears can be wounding T6 or even T8 monsters on a 5+ in combat - and negating Regen as well. Thanks to the Rulebook FAQ, you can even be wounding automatically against some opponents with this spell - a S5 cavalry charge against T3 opponents, for example.

So, a hugely useful spell to have, and one the Dragon Mage is guaranteed to be able to take - and you should always be taking it!

So, thats the two great Fire spells dealt with. The next two are less good, but still genuinely useful.

Cascading Fire Cloak
Not normally a particularly great spell for a fire mage, seeing as their long range would normally mean your keeping them well out of the potential risks of combat! However, a Dragon Mage is one of the few casters that can use this spell to good effect (combat casters like Vamps or an Ethereal mage - i.e. Folariath's Robe - could also potentially make good use of this spell). A low casting value means you only need one dice from the Pool (combined with the extra dice due to the Dragon Mage's ability) to be pretty much guaranteed to get this spell off, and the 2D6 S4 hits are great at bringing down the numbers facing your squishy Caledorian when you throw him into combat - particularly useful for thinning down poorly armoured missile troops, or knocking a rank off a big unit you are flanking in combination with one of your combat units.

Fireball
With three casting levels, this is the most versatile magic missile out there. Level one to target small units like fast cav, skirmishers, or skaven weapons teams for a bargin basement casting value, level 2 as the 'standard' magic missile (again, great for relatively fragile stuff that you want dead before it hurts you - mangler squigs spring to mind) or level 3 to potentially inflict significant casualties on larger combat units. All with a good range.

The remaining spells I'm not so keen on, although they do have their uses.

Flame Storm
Fire's template spell. Cheap to cast (13+ for the non-boosted version) and with a good range - and as elves we know how nasty templates can be to some armies. Still, compared to most equivalent spells this is pretty tame - a S4 hit to those under the template doesn't come close to the damage inflicted by spells that target the entire unit (Dwellers, Final Transmutation) or even equivalent Template spells (Pit of Shades is only one pip harder to cast, but its a test-or-die spell that is infinitely more dangerous against most opponents). And, as a template spell, it scatters, meaning if you get it off there's still a chance it doesn't inflict any damage to the target. Still, having a template to throw around can certainly be useful for us elves with our lack of artillery.

Piercing Bolts of Burning
Another magic missile, but without the versitility of a Fireball. However, it is superior against deep ranked units - 2 hits on average per rank mean against a unit with 4 ranks or more it will be averaging more hits than the mid-level fireball for the same casting value. The problem is, units like this aren't particularly good targets for magic missiles - they will probably have the numbers to shrug off the casualties. For me, magic missiles are usually best aimed at support units, particularly the sort of stuff that can be hard to hit - weapons teams, skink skirmishers and so on. So this definitely makes the spell inferior to Fireball as far as I'm concerned.

Burning Head
The worst spell in the lore as far as I'm concerned. A S4 cannon shot with an 18" range and no multiple wounds? Not so useful. I can't imagine not swapping this spell out for something else, although I suppose a flying mage is able to make better use of it than most by getting into the flanks of units and casting it down the line, causing 10 hits against hordes and other widely deployed targets. Still, far too situational for me.

So, even though two spells (Piercing Bolts and Flaming Head) are genuinely sub-par, the rest of the lore ranges from useful to brilliant as far as I'm concerned - at least when used by the Dragon Mage. I wouldn't have used the Lore beforehand, but now I'm convinced a Seerstaff Lvl 2 with Flaming Sword and Flame Cage could be a useful addition to any HE army - both spells are a great fit for the Asur.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:17 am 
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Beastmen 2500

An interesting one, this battle – the Orc player from the first report wanted to try using 8th Edition beasts, so draw up a list and proxied with the O&G – orcs as gors, gobos as ungors, etc. I’d not played beasts before, but felt fairly confident going in – no shooting, and an opponent who hadn’t used the army before. On the other hand, I usually play against armies that are gradually being adjusted for 8th from 7th edition lists, rather than lists drawn up from scratch for 8th, so I was intrigued to see how it would go. We went for a standard battle rather than roll for scenarios to keep it simple.

Lords
Beastlord w HA, GW, Ramhorn Helm, Talisman of Protection
Lvl 4 Great Bray Shaman – Beasts w Healing Potion

Heroes
Wargor BSB w HA, S, Gnarled Hide, Talisman of Endurance
Gorebull w Berserker Sword, Charmed Shield, Potion of Toughness
Lvl 1 Brayshaman – Beasts

Core
39 Gors w AHW, FC
40 Ungors w FC
15 Gors w AHW, Mus
10 Ungor Raiders w Mus
5 Warhounds

Special
29 Bestigor w FC, Manbane Standard
5 Minotaurs w AHW, Ch, Mus

Rare
1 Spawn

2497

Spells – I ended up with Flame Cage, Flame Storm, Flaming Sword after swapping out a double for Cage. BSB takes Shield and Drain Magic, as always.

Beasts –swapped a duplicate for Savage Beast, and took the Sig spell, ending with Wildform, Pann’s Pelt, Amber Spear, and Savage Beast. The Lvl 1 took Wildform

So, a bog standard battleline and an enemy with no shooting (barring 10 skirmishers and the Amber Spear in the magic phase). I should be able to dictate when and where I engage the beastmen, with my dragons and cavalry almost completely safe until they are in combat. Taking on the two fighty Hordes would be interesting – my plan was to shoot them up a bit first so I can (hopefully) combo charge and break them in a single round. Particularly the Bestigors – I certainly didn’t want to attempt to grind a T4 S6 unit in Horde Formation, particularly with Primal Fury! That would chew up my cavalry and dragons in short order – attempting to get the flank on these guys was the order of the day. The perma-frenzied minotaurs were a potential problem too, but with t4, no armour and no ranks to speak of I should be able to break them without too much problem before they start racking up the extra attacks. Terrain gave a sorcerous portal on the left and a wyrding well on the right, and a sprinkling of standard stuff elsewhere.

Image
Set up went pretty much as expected – the Bestigors (with BSB and Greater Shaman) took the centre, flanked by the Gors with the Beastlord and the Ungors with the Shaman. My infantry roughly took the centre, with my cavalry on my right flank, with my DPs facing off against the Minotaurs.

HE 1
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My DPs advanced up to threaten his left flank, my flyers repositioned themselves, and everyone else stayed put – after all, I had ranged superiority in this matchup.

I rolled 8 vs 5 for the winds, and the Portal kicked things off by casting Speed of Light on the Ungor Raiders. I Started with 2+1 on Flaming Sword on the near archers, left by my opponent. Then 3+1 on Flame Cage on the Bestigors, which he dispelled comfortably on 4 dice due to a low casting roll. The rest of my dice went on Flame Storm, which his remaining 2 dice were unable to stop. I placed the template on the bestigors and it scattered, but still caught a goodly number of them and some decent to-wound rolls resulted in 6 wounds. In my shooting phase the flaming archers only killed another 2 despite impressive rolls to hit. The other archers killed a couple of Gor as well. So not a bad start – the Bestigor Herd was already down to 22 before it had even moved.

Beastmen 1
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His ambushing Gors were still moving into position, and the rest of the army marched up as fast as possible. He’d hoped to be able to block the DPs potential charge on the Minotaurs with the Spawn, but it didn’t move up far enough. The Minotaurs advanced into the forest (an Abyssal Wood) wheeling slightly to face the oncoming knights.

The portal stuck Soulblight on the Ungor Raiders, before a low roll for the winds saw my opponent with 4 dice to my 2. With the Minotaurs looking in trouble, all the dice got thrown at Wildform by the Lvl 1, passing easily with my dispel dice unable to stop it. In shooting the Ungor Raiders managed to hit the Dragon Mage three times, with two of the shots hitting the Mage himself and causing a wound. Dayumn! Hadn’t expected 10 bowshots at -1 to hit to achieve much, but an unarmoured T3 character can be wounded by anything…

HE 2
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Dragon passes DT test charging minos in forest, DPs charge in as well, with the DPs comfortably passing their Fear test. Eagle blocks Bestigors, spears advance slightly while my Dragon Mage positions himself behind the Beastman lines to cause trouble later on.

Magic 5-3. The portal fireballs the Ungor Raiders, killing 2. I start with 3 on Flame Cage on the Bestigors, which he lets through, preferring to save his dice to stop combat spells on the DP/Mino fight. I then 3 dice Flame Storm on the Bestigors again, which he again lets pass, but sadly it scatters off the Bestigors and onto the Hounds, killing 3. My Dragon Mage’s final spell is Flaming Sword on the DPs, but despite him saving his Dispel Dice I manage to cast with Irresistable Force. However the miscast leaves my Dragon Mage without any magic levels left – GAH! Finally he easily stops Shield on the DPs.

The right archers finish off the Hounds, and the left archers manage to kill 3 of the Ungor Raiders, but they pass their panic test.

My DP champ challenges, accepted by his Mino champ. The remainder cause 7 wounds on the Minotaurs (wounding on 3s due to the Wildform vs Flaming Sword combo). My Prince causes another two wounds. Striking simultaneously with my Dragon, his last ‘normal’ mino kills off two DPs while the Dragon inflicts 3 wounds, killing him off as well, leaving the champ (who suffered 2 wounds to the DP Champion before battering him to the ground for +2 overkill) and the Gorebull. The Gorebull killed 2 DPs, but it was too little too late, and the cows lost the combat by 17-7, fleeing through the Ungors as the DPs smashed into their flank with their pursuit move. While it was great that I’d taken out the Minos, my Dragon Princes were down to 5 men and stuck in combat with 40 steadfast fodder, unlikely to be available for a long while. Still, my Dragon restrained and positioned himself for potential charges next turn.

Beasts 2
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First off, his ambushing unit came on on his left flank, positioning themselves behind my Dragon Princes. Frustratingly, the Mino’s rallied (I originally thought they counted as under 25% so needed Insane Courage, but a closer examination of the rules revealed the Character counted towards the units numbers for the purposes of 25% for rally tests). Dayumm – they were now perfectly positioned for a flank charge on the DPs. The Spawn slammed into the rear of the beleagured Dragon Princes. His Bestigors were pinned in place by Flame Cage, but his Gors were free to move and charged into my Spearelves. Not wanting to face the horde on their own (particularly seeing noone was in position to support next turn) the citizen soldiers fled, and the Gors moved 5” forward as a failed charge.

Magic was 6 dice to 3. The Raiders get a (pointless) Plague of Rust off the portal first up. He cast Savage Beast on the Brayshaman in the Ungors, but I let it through, saving my dice to (successfully) dispel the Wildform cast on the Ungors. The Ungor Raiders shot at my Dragon Mage again, but despite hitting the Mage himself twice they failed both their to wound rolls, leaving him alive for now.

Combat
His Shaman made Way to target the DPs, so I allocated 2 attacks on him to try and prevent his 4 S6 attacks destroying my knights. My attacks against the Ungors were wounding automatically due to the still-active flaming sword, and so every one of my seven hits caused a casualty. As for the Shaman, two hits wounding on 2+ was enough to bring him down as well. Result! The Ungors failed their Primal Fury roll, despite the BSB - as they were out of range of the Beastlord – and the single wound they caused bounced off my armour. The Spawn rolled a 1 for its attacks, and the single wound he caused was saved as well. They lost, but despite being Steadfast the fact they were out of range of the Beastlord (and I’d killed the LD 7 Shaman) meant they were testing on a 6 and despite the BSB’s reroll they failed and fled through the Bestigors and out the other side. Sadly for me, the nearby ambushing Gors managed to pass their panic test despite the lack of reroll, and the DPs were pinned in place by the unbreakable spawn. Still, that went much better than I was expecting!
HE 3
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The Gorebull drank the Potion of Toughness at the beginning of the turn. Ulp – that was going to make taking him on with my prince a high risk!

Both my Dragons charged this turn, the Prince into the rallied Minotaurs and the DM towards the fleeing Ungors who fled through the swamp, taking a sprinkling of casualties from the Dangerous Terrain tests. However, a good roll from the DM enabled him to catch them anyway, scattering the unit and passing his reform test to face towards the main battleline. Good work Dragonmage! My spears rallied, but were near the table edge so would have to face the next charge from the Gors. My eagle blocking the Bestigor hopped over them and was replaced by the other one.

Magic was, unsurprisingly, fairly pointless. Speed of Light from the portal went off on the DM, but seeing as he was out of combat that made no difference. Despite getting 9 dice, I wasn’t prepared to throw lots of dice at my spells and risk blowing a hole in my full strength Silver Helm unit, so both Shield and Drain Magic were dispelled. Shooting saw both archer units concentrate on the Bestigors, causing 4 casualties and reducing them to 18 models. Pretty much ripe for a combo charge with the Helms and one of my Dragons now…

In Combat the Prince and Gorebull ended up in a challenge. My prince hit 4 times, but caused no wounds against the T8 beast. In return the Gorebull managed to put a wound past the Prince’s armour and ward, before the Dragon, like the Prince, failed to wound him at all with his attacks. Gah. Combat was drawn, but at least the potion wouldn’t be in effect next round. Meanwhile the DPs managed to put two wounds on the Spawn, before saving all three of the wounds the Spawn caused back. Still, they were pinned in place for the moment.

Beast 3
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The Gors mached forward as fast as possible rather than attempt a long charge at the Spearelves, at least giving me a turn to whittle them down slightly. The Bestigors charged the eagle and the ambush Gors charged into the DP-Spawn combat.

This time the Portal threw Plague of Rust at my DM – no matter, I never expect his or the Dragon’s save to do much. Magic was 3-3, and this time all 6 dice went on to Wildform on the Gors fighting my DPs, casting with Irrisistable Force and blowing up 5 Bestigor. The Raiders again shot at the Dragonmage, but this time all their arrows bounced off the Dragon himself.

The Gors passed their Primal Fury roll comfortably. The DPs failed to wound the spawn despite concentrating most of their attacks on it, but one of the steeds got lucky and took off the last wound. The rest killed 2 Gors, before the Gors killed 3 DPs – ouch! I’d lost the combat, but passed my test comfortably. Meanwhile my Prince managed two wounds on the Gorebull, before the Gorebull rolled poorly and my Prince was able to save the two wounds he inflicted. The Dragon then rolled like a ninja, inflicting 4 wounds, killing the big cow with +2 overkill, easily enough to rout the last minotaur.

HE 4
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The Dragon Mage drunk his Toughness potion in preparation for charging the Bestigor. The Eagle comfortably charged down the last Minotaur, while the Helms and Dragon Mage charged into the depleted Bestigors. My general flew towards my main battleline to provide leadership and hopefully a charge on the Gor Horde in my next turn – I figured I’d have to write off the DPs at this stage, as I didn’t hold up much hope the two survivors could survive another round against Wildformed Gors. Both a\rcher units reformed to shoot the Gors this turn and charge them next turn (as long as my Spearelves could survive a round of combat).

Again my magic was shut down, and I think we forgot to roll for the Portal this turn. Shooting I had more hopes for, but my archery barrage only managed to kill 2 of the Gors. Gah.

In combat the remaining DPs only managed to kill as single Gor before the survivors passed their Primal Fury roll, putting 4 wounds through - of which I saved 3! The standard bearer of the Dragon Princes was still alive, and passed his LD test. Against the Bestigors, my BSB challenged, accepted by the Great Shaman. The Helms managed a fairly disappointing 4 wounds on the Bestigors, the Sun Dragon 2, and even the Dragon Mage managed one. In the challenge my BSB wiffed against the shaman, causing no wounds. In return they passed Primal Fury, with the BSB and Shaman causing no wounds, while the remaining Bestigors killed 2 Helms. The dragon then stomped another Bestigor. The Bestigors had no additional ranks left for Steadfast, and had lost by 7, failing their LD test and fleeing 9”. The Helms couldn’t catch them, but the DM rolled an impressive 11” and ran them down.

Beasts 4
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The Gors charged the Spearelves, and the Raiders moved up to shoot at the Dragon Mage again. This time they finally took off his last wound, but the Dragon easily passed his monster test.

In combat the last Dragon Prince failed to kill any Gors, and was pulled down and killed by the massed beasts. Boooooo.

In the spears/gors combat, my champ challenged hoping to distract his Beastlord, but he accepted with the Gor champ. My elves rolled amazingly to hit, hitting with 22 out of 25 attacks, and managed 8 wounds, though my champ failed to hurt his guy in the challenge. In return he killed my champ and 7 other spearelves, before his beastlord chopped down another three. I lost combat 12v15, but I was still steadfast on LD 10 and passed comfortably. 25 Spearelves were left facing off against 27 gors and a Beastlord – time for some assistance!

HE 5
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The two units off archers charged into the flanks of the Gor horde, as did the Prince. The Sun Dragon could just see the Ungor Raiders who had shot his master, so he charged in too, with the Sun Dragon taking an unlucky wound from stand and shoot.

In magic my BSB got Shield off on the Spears, and the Portal’s fireball didn’t go off as the closest target was in combat.

My Sun Dragon chomped 3 of the ungors, they did nothing back, then thunderstomp finished them off. In the big melee, the surviving Gor champion challenged, forcing me to accept with the Prince – GAH! Unsurprisingly, the Prince skewered him, getting +1 overkill. The Spears rolled rather well once again, killing 7 gors, while the archers on either flank killed another 2. The remaining Gors killed 5 spearelves, and the Beastlord killed another 4, but they lost the combat by 15 to 11, weren’t steadfast, and failed their break test, fleeing away from the Spears, only to be run down by the Dragon.

At that point we called it – neither of us felt there was much point playing more turns just to see if I could pick off the last unit of Gors, who clearly fled for the trees as soon as their General was killed.

Solid Victory for the Elves of Caledor!

Final Thoughts
Well I expected to win this one, given that it was my opponent’s first attempt using the army, and it was an army with none of the firepower or manoeuvrability that are potential problems for my list. In addition, my opponent was hurt by some easily avoidable errors – I’m sure experienced Beasts players wouldn’t leave their general out of range of one of their main units, for example. Still, it was instructive to see how my army would do against a couple of popular 8th Edition Horde units (the Bestigor and the Gors) and taking some models off with archers/magic followed by combocharges seemed to do the job quite nicely. I can see why people rate Monstrous Infantry in 8th as well – that Minotaur unit was brutal, especially when Wildform went off on it, and resulted in my first loss of my DP unit in my Double Dragon series of games. My DM losing his magic levels was something of a disaster, but at least managed to get some good spells off beforehand – after that, magic was pretty much a write-off. Despite this, I got off fairly lightly from magic, which I think was down to the lore – beasts has some great buffs, but they are mostly for characters, and it has no real ranged damage. Probably a better lore for a low level wizard, spamming the sig spell, unless you really go character heavy to take advantage of the boosted character buffs. And my BSB functioning as my backup dispeller helped as well – always useful to have some redundancy in a list as far as magic is concerned.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 5:21 pm
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You really do write good reports. Thanks again.

Good job on fleeing with the spears. You seem to have hit the perfect spot with them - close enough to draw a charge, but far enough away to escape by fleeing. Although if you had rolled low for flee, it could have been really bad. Why did the spears move up so much turn 2?

On turn 2, when you first broke the minotaurs, why did the dragon restrain pursuit? He would pursue in the same direction as the DPs, which would take him into the flank of the ungors along with the DPs. And give you 2 chances to run down the Gorebull immediately.

After not pursuing him immediately, why did you charge the T8 Gorebull with the dragon? It seems like you were out to save the Dragon Princes, even though they had already done a lot, and were likely doomed anyway.

Given your other decisions, and despite it wasting the Flame Cage, it seems like you had a perfect opportunity to kill the Bestigors turn 3, including BSB and level 4. Both Dragons and the Silver Helms with BSB appear to be in easy charge range, and the unit only has about 20 Bestigors plus 2 characters. The dragons alone should take out his entire second rank, and they do so before the bestigors can swing. Prince, BSB and Silver Helms should almost wipe out the unit. Throw in both breath weapons and everything might be dead before they even attack. The survivors would probably finish the dragon mage (no biggie since he already lost his magic) and kill a Silver Helm or two, but be testing on insane courage. That does allow the ungors to rally instead of the Dragon Mage running them down, but with the BSB and all his wizards dead, they would not be a threat.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:49 pm 
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Another error for the beastmen, on turn 2, after the DM had lost his levels, he should have dispelled the Flaming Sword (prior to the Dragon Princes hitting his flank). It would have likely saved he shaman in the first round, and he'd be only wounded on 5's in subsequent rounds! Especially as you had the dispel dice waiting in the wings to counter if and when he cast Wildform.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:57 pm 
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Thanks for the comments guys!
Quote:
Good job on fleeing with the spears. You seem to have hit the perfect spot with them - close enough to draw a charge, but far enough away to escape by fleeing. Although if you had rolled low for flee, it could have been really bad. Why did the spears move up so much turn 2?
That actually went entirely to plan - I moved the Spears up to tempt him into charging, intending to flee so he'd have move up a failed charge move rather than a full march, giving me more time to deal with the rest of the army before they hit combat. Hence the move - premeasuring meant I could move up enough to mean a charge looked incredibly tempting from his point of view, while still giving me enough distance to be outpace him (barring incredibly bad luck) and ensure I didn't go off the table. I don't think he expected me to flee, as it happens - I don't flee charges very often, particularly with full strength units, precisely because it can backfire so badly.
Quote:
On turn 2, when you first broke the minotaurs, why did the dragon restrain pursuit? He would pursue in the same direction as the DPs, which would take him into the flank of the ungors along with the DPs. And give you 2 chances to run down the Gorebull immediately.
Mistake on my part - I mention it later on (Beasts turn 2) - there was only 1 mino left so I thought they counted as under 25% for rallying and would need snakeyes, not realising the Hero counted towards the unit's starting size. And I didn't want to have both the Dragon and the DPs stuck in combat - the Dragon was still at full strength, unlike the DPs, so I figured it would be better to have him ready to lend help in the centre. I could have restrained the DPs as well, but that would leave them about 2-3" away from the spawn, thus guaranteed to get stuck against a T5 unbreakable unit (without my lance bonus) come his turn - I figured the Ungors were probably a better bet.
Quote:
After not pursuing him immediately, why did you charge the T8 Gorebull with the dragon? It seems like you were out to save the Dragon Princes, even though they had already done a lot, and were likely doomed anyway.
I actually figured the DPs had a decent chance of surviving now the big ungor block was gone - it was only the casting of Wildform on the Gors that caused them trouble. Without it I figured they could grind away avoiding casualties with their 2+ save until I could bring in some support, as long as I kept the Gorebull out of the combat. And that Mino unit with the Hero was worth around 500 VPs, and I'd lost half the DPs crippling it, so wanted to make sure I could get the points.
Quote:
on turn 2, after the DM had lost his levels, he should have dispelled the Flaming Sword (prior to the Dragon Princes hitting his flank).
Flaming Sword is an augment spell, so can't be dispelled after its cast (unlike Remains in Play spells). I was in exactly the same position in my turn two - I'd have loved to be able to dispel Wildform, dropping the Minos back to T4 S5. Can't be done though - its why augments are so useful.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Empire 2500

Scenario – Dawn Attack

Lords
Templar Grand Master, Sword of Power, Holy Relic
Lvl 4 Wizard Lord, White Cloak (Life)

Heroes
BSB, Barded Warhorse, Dawn Armour, Sword of Might
Warrior Priest, GW, Armour of Meteoric Iron
Lvl 2 Battle Wizard, Dispel Scroll (Metal)

Core
50 Halberdiers, FC
w. Detatchment:
- 15 Free Company
30 Spearmen, FC
w. Detatchment:
- 10 Crossbowmen
14 Handgunners
10 Knightly Orders (White Wolves) Ch, Std

Special
10 Inner Circle Knights (Knights Panther) Ch, Steel Std
5 Pistoliers, Mus
Cannon
Mortar

Rare
Hellblaster Volley Gun

Some modifications to the army I’d faced last time – while the bulk of the army was the same, dropping a detatchment and the Wizard Lord’s warhorse had enabled the bulking up of the Halberdiers to a Horde of 50. The Wizard himself had switched to Life magic and swapped the Armour of Tarnus for the White Cloak.

Terrain gave us a ‘Quicksand’ marsh, a scree slope, a ghost fence, and a normal building and river.

However, the Scenario deployment rules played some nasty tricks with our deployment. For my opponent, everything apart from the Spears (along with their xbow detatchment and Wizard Lord) ended up in the centre, meaning by the end of putting units down space was at a definite premium, resulting in the handgunners and pistoliers stuck behind other infantry units. The Spears were on my right, stuck behind the river.

However, things went even more bizzarely for me. All my infantry (along with my Prince) ended up on my right flank, leaving my DPs out on their own on the left and my SH, eagles and Dragon Mage in the centre. I decided my best bet was to use the DPs and DM to overwhelm his units on the left, avoiding the centre until I could position my spears to support. My Prince could keep himself safe from the cannon for the first turn or two by hiding behind the Haunted Mansion on the right – after that I’d just have to see what the battleline looked like in the centre. As for the archers, I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with them. Anyway, I failed to win first turn, so at least I’d get a chance to see what his moves were before reacting.
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For spells, the Empire Wizard Lord rolled Awakening of the Wood, Shield of Thorns, Regrowth and Dwellers, without a single duplicate, swapping Awakening for Earthblood. While Dwellers was, obviously, a potential problem, the lack of Throne and Flesh to Stone was pretty encouraging. The Lvl 2 ended up with Plague of Rust and Searing Doom, both potentially very handy against Cavalry.
My BSB took Shield and Drain (as always) and my Dragon Mage rolled Flaming Sword and Piercing Bolts twice. I swapped one of the duplicates for Flame Cage.

Empire Turn 1
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His Missile infantry positioned themselves to face the centre. The halberds stayed put, while the Spears reformed and began to march across the river. The General and BSB hopped into the GW knights, while the Inner Circle (with a extra charge movement banner) positioned themselves threatening my SH. The GW knights advanced to protect their flank. The pistoliers advanced as far as they could onto my left flank.

Magic was 5-1. Three dice got thrown at Plague of Rust on the Helms (which I dispelled) and 3 on Shield of Thorns on the Spearmen (which I let through).

The mortar scattered of my spears, clipping the archers and killing 2. The Helblaster was out of range, but the Cannon aimed at my Dragon Mage, impacting just in front of my protective Eagle and hitting him and the Dragon hiding behind. To my immense relief, he rolled a 2 to wound followed by a 2 for the number of wounds against the eagle – my feathered friend had performed his job brilliantly, stopping the cannon ball in its tracks! He was left with a single wound, so the poor fella was going to be sacrificed blocking the inner circle in my next turn.

HE 1
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Minimal shooting casualties so far – my luck with the cannon and mortar and the rest of his shooters being out of position/out of range meant I was in good shape. Still, I needed to form up some kind of battleline. My DPs charged the Pistoliers, who dispite marching as far as they could last turn just hadn’t made it out of their charge arc. The S&S, needing 6s, achieved nothing. One Eagle moved to block the Inner Circle, while my Helms and Spears advanced towards the centre, with the Helms setting up a guaranteed charge on the IC after they’d dealt with the eagle, while staying just out of range of the Hellblaster. My big dragon hid behind the building facing the centre for potential countercharges when his Cavalry engaged, and the DM moved up to threaten his left flank, covered by my remaining eagle to protect against the Hellblaster and by the obstacle against the cannon. The archers attempted to redeploy somewhere useful, with the reduced unit advancing to fire on the xbows.

6-1 for magic gave us equal dice, but my BSB managed to channel for 8-7. Starting off with 2 dice on Fire Cloak, which was left. Then I went for Flaming Sword on the far right archers with three dice, which again he left. A two dice Shield on the spears was dispelled with three, then 4v4 on Piercing Bolts gave 17v19, so it was dispelled. Gah - drawing out dice with the less important spells failed pretty comprehensively there.

In shooting, my boosted archers killed 4 xbows, but frustratingly they passed their panic test. The DPs unsurprisingly stomped all over the Pistoliers, reforming to face the centre.

Empire 2
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I took a risk and delayed taking my DM’s toughness potion – he had Eagle cover from the Hellblaster, and the depleted xbows were over half range, so I figured he’d probably be ok.

My opponent charged the eagle with the IC but the White Wolves stayed in place, ensuring General and BSB cover for most of his army and giving him another turn to shoot up my Spears. The Empire Spears and Wizard Lord advanced out of the river, and everything else stayed put.

Magic
6 and 3, giving a decent 9 dice to my 6. He started with 3 dice on Plague of Rust on my Silver Helms. I figured the next spell would be a 6-dice dwellers, and decided the likelihood was he’d either cast it irresistibly or beat my dispel roll anyway, so comfortably 4-diced my dispel on Rust rather than risk wasting all my dispel dice. Unfortunately, he managed to cast the boosted version without a miscast, and I failed to get double 6 with my last two dispel dice. 19 Spearelves were dragged to their doom – not good at all. Still, they passed their panic test at least.

Things got worse in the shooting phase, with the mortar scattering but still killing 4 of the depleted Spearelves. The Hellblaster then vapourised the nearby Eagle. The Handgunners managed to down a Silver Helm, before the cannon (denied clear shots at either of the Dragons due to a building and an obstacle) misfired when shooting at the Helms, but only stopped itself firing for this turn. The Xbows shot at the Dragonmage, but thankfully justified my Potion decision by only hitting the dragon (once) and failing to wound. Still, a couple of strokes of luck with the cannon and xbows did little to cheer me over the fact my only ranked unit had been comprehensively blown apart.

In combat, the Inner Circle killed my last eagle and reformed for my SH charge.

HE 2
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My Infantry was effectively out of the game already, either too depleted or out of position. Still, my cavalry and dragons were still in good shape, so at least I had a chance to claw some damage back. The Helms charged the IC – hopefully the charge and the BSB could make the difference and rout them. The DPs charged the Free Company, aiming to overrun into the Handgunners and get back into the centre. The Dragon Mage charged the Hellblaster. My Prince, frustratingly, didn’t have LOS for what would otherwise have been a nice flank charge against the Wizard Lord and his unit of spears, leaving the White Wolves and characters as his only viable CC target. I considered keeping him out of CC for another turn, but that would expose him to cannon fire next turn, and I really needed to start causing some casualties, so I charged him in, only just making it. At least it should stop the White Wolves flanking my Helms.

Magic
4-1, and no channels. 5 each with the Warrior Priest. First up I risked a single dice cast on Shield, which thanfully went off on the Helms. I threw the rest of my dice at Flaming Sword, getting 21 – and just failing to get through his dispel. Flame Cloak fails to get any wounds on the Hellblaster. In shooting my right archers put another couple of wounds on the xbows, and this time they fail their panic test.

In combat the DPs totally marmalise the Free Company, killing 11, running them down and pursuing into the Handgunners flank. The Helms manage to kill 2 of the IC, and the champ kills the IC champ in a challenge. My BSB kills 2 more, and in return I lose a Helm. Still, they lose by 5 and break despite the reroll. Frustratingly, they outpace my pursuit due to a couple of 1s in my roll. Gah! The DM eats the Hellblaster crew and reforms to face the rest of his war machines.

He challenges my Prince with his White Wolf champ, and I suddenly realise the strife my big dragon is in. As long as he holds this turn (pretty much guaranteed given my Dragon won’t get to attack after my lord kills the Champ) the Spears will be able to charge my rear, challenge with another champion, and have an exceptionally good chance of breaking me with the massed combat res. In the meantime, my Prince got 2 wounds past the Champ’s armour, winning combat by 1 – unsurprisingly, they didn’t break, and pass their reform test as well.

Empire 3
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The IC rally, while the xbows flee off the board. The Spears make their charge into my Prince’s rear, and the Halberdiers reform so both DPs and Helms are in their front arc.

4-4 for magic, and no channels. 8v4. He starts with three dice on Regrowth, bringing back the White Wolf champion – sneaky! He then throws 5 at Dwellers on the Helms – and miscasts! He inflicts S6 hits on his 2 wizards and Warrior Priest, all 3 suffering a wound. Dwellers kills 3 Helms, but my BSB survives.

In shooting his mortar lands bang on target on my depleted spears, but only kills 3 due to some lucky saves. His cannon can’t shoot my DM due to the position of the Spears, so shoots at my depleted Helms, but only hits and kills one.

In combat my Prince again gets 2w on his resurrected Champion, but loses combat by 2v8 due to max ranks, std, BSB and rear charge. Unsurprisingly I fail my break test, roll a 9” flee, and get run down my the White Wolves pursuing 11”, who then crash into the flank of my depleted Silver Helms. Oh dear. On the plus side, my DPs cause 13 wounds against the Handgunners, leaving a solitary survivor to be run down by the DPs. I pursue into the Halberdiers, hoping to at least have a chance of breaking them before the Knightly Orders come to their rescue.

HE 3
Image
I figure I haven’t got much chance at this point – my Prince is dead, my Helms and BSB are doomed, and my infantry are in no position to make any useful contribution. Still, if I can take out his machines and left flank I might have a chance to gang up on the depleted Knight unit later.

Anyway, my DPs needed some help against the Halberdiers, and my Dragon Mage still had Fire Cloak up, so in he went on the flank, drinking his potion.

6-1 for magic, so 7 each. Shield went off with 2 dice on the Helms, then I threw the rest of my dice at Flaming Sword – I failed to get two 6s, so he was able to dispel. Flame Cloak rolled a mighty 11 hits, incinerating 8 Halberdiers, which should prove helpful for the coming combat! In shooting my left archers rolled amazingly to hit (only a single miss out of 11 shots!) and killed 4 spearmen.

Combat time! I considered allocating attacks to the wounded Warrior Priest, but decided casualties were key so I could break Steadfast. My DPs killed 10 Halberdiers, my Dragon Mage killed another, and the Dragon killed 2 with attacks and, with some fortunate rolling, 5 with his Breath Weapon. In return the halberdiers caused 5 wounds, but only one got through my armour, and his warrior priest’s single hit was saved as well. On the flank, his three hits against my t6 mage managed a 6 to wound, but left my mage alive on 1W. Then Thunderstomp killed 2 more. I’d won by 23-5, but frustratingly his casualty against my DPs meant they still had 2 ranks to my 1, and passed their Steadfast test. Booo!

In the other combat my BSB made way to the flank and challenged, meaning only his challenger would be able to attack. He accepted with his Grand Master, and my BSB put a wound on him before taking 2 back – but I saved one with a 6 on the armour reroll, then saved the second with the 5+ ward from Shield of Saphery! What an absoloute legend! I still lost combat by 5-1, but passed with my BSB reroll. I refrained from reforming – there was a chance my BSB could hold up his general a bit longer.

Empire 4
Image
Unsurprisingly his Inner Circle charge the front of my Helms. The Spears march towards my elusive infantry.

Magic only gives him 3 dice, and he manages to get off Regrowth on the Inner Circle, bringing back 2 Knights. Bugger. And he healed the wound on his General as well. Still, he still hadn’t dispelled Fire Cloak, which kills 4 Halberds, bringing them down to 18.

In combat he resolves the big Knight-off first, hoping to overrun into my DPs before they can finish off the Halberds. My Helms manage nothing against the IC, taking 3 wounds in return – however, my luck with armour saves continues, with a roll of 6,5,6 saving all the wounds before my ward save comes into play! My BSB manages 2 wounds against his General, but this time his saves are up to the task. However, one of the two wounds he inflicts in return is saved by my ward, leaving my BSB alive. I lose by 3, but pass my test with the reroll.

Meanwhile, the DPs kill 6 halberdiers, my Mage another 2, and the Dragon kills 1 more. This leaves his metal mage in contact with my DM, who misses. The remainder of the Halberdiers attack the DPs, and I fail one of my saves, and the Warrior Priest takes down another. Finally, TStomp takes down 5 of them, and the remainder, no longer Steadfast, flee. My DPs pursue into the cannon while the remainder of the Halberds flee a mighty 9” and escape. I position my Dragon Mage to chase them off the table next turn.

HE 4
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My DM charges the Halberds, they flee off the table, and he redirects into the Mortar. Magic gives me 5v4, and I attempt Flaming Sword on the Helms with 3 dice. He lets it through to save dice for shield, and dispels it relatively comfortably. My shooting concentrates on the Spears, and between the 2 archer units kill 7. In combat my DPs and DM + pet both wipe out their targets before they get a chance to strike back.

Meanwhile, my Helms manage to kill an IC knight, and my BSB lands 3 wounds on his General (wounding automatically with Flaming Sword). One makes it through armour and ward, but he still has 2 left thanks to Lifebloom the turn before. In return, he fluffs his attacks, and I manage – once again – to roll a 6 for the armour against the solitary wound he causes to keep my BSB alive. The IC also roll poorly, and without their lance bonuses I’m able to save their wounds as well. Combat ends up as a draw, pinning his cavalry in place once again.

Empire 5
Image
The Spears charged my archers, who killed 3 with S&S.

Magic gives him 9 dice to my 6. First off he throws 3 at regrowth, which I let through, and he regrows 4 spears. Then 6 dice on the Regen spell on the Spears, which I throw all my dice to dispel and fail. And of course, Lifebloom heals up his Grand Master again, and Shield of Thorns kills two of my archers (after their armour saves 2 wounds).

In combat my archers kill 3 spears, but regen saves one. He then kills two back (after armour saves another, :P to all those who say LA on archers is pointless :D ). I’ve lost combat by 7-2 and flee, with his spears reforming to face my remaining Spearelves.
Against his knights, my Flaming Sworded BSB again puts 3 wounds on his General, but he saves two and wards the other, before finally hacking him down with +1 overkill. My helms wiff against the Inner Circle, but the flaming hooves of their steeds manage to take one down. The Inner Circle kill one in return. Unfortunately, the death of my BSB means the knights on the flank can now attack my SH, and the BSB kills one and the White Wolves kill another. The last two have lost by 6-2 and flee, with the Inner Circle surging forward to cut them down while the White Wolves reform.

HE 5
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My archers fail to rally and flee off the board. My Dragon Princes can’t draw line of sight to the Knights Panther, and they have little chance against the triumphant White Wolves and Grand Master, so I decide to get out of their charge arc and see if I can set up a potential last turn charge on his spears. I manage to wind my way between his two cavalry units with some crafty wheeling, ending up outside of his charge arc. The DM swoops over alongside them. My spears shuffle back a bit so I can flee the incoming charge next turn.

Magic is snakeeyes, so nothing happens (I fail to dispel Thorns), and in shooting my last archer unit only kills one spearman due to poor rolling and regeneration saves.

Empire 6
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Last turn, so the Knights don’t bother moving seeing as they can’t achieve much. His spears, however, charge the last remnants of my spearelf unit that have been cowering in the corner since turn 2. I flee, and despite running a mere 4” its enough to outpace the Spears, who make a failed charge move.

Magic is 6v4. He casts regrowth on 3, which I ignore – it brings back 3 spearmen. I then use my dice to dispel Shield of Thorns.

HE 6
Image
My Dragon Mage and DPs charge his Spears, he easily flees far enough to escape after bouncing through my Spears (taking a sprinkling of casualties from terrain tests in the process) and we call the game.

Result
Empire – 1462 HE – 1206
Empire Victory!

Thoughts
Well, a fairly solid Empire win in the end, though my DPs and Dragon Mage did well to crush his forces on the left flank while my heroic Helms/BSB held up his knights, thus avoiding the sort of trouncing I was expecting at the beginning of turn 3. My opponent certainly learned from his mistakes in the previous game – by advancing his Knights he forced me to deal with them rather than mopping up his weaker units first as I had in our earlier game. This gave him more time to shoot/magic a significant portion of my force into submission, even though my positioning denied him great targets with most of his shooting (the cannon accounted for a solitary SH and a couple of Eagle wounds, and the Hellblaster only killed 1 eagle before my DM ate him). Dwellers, however, was painful – I’d not been on the receiving end of it in 8th before, and I can see why people love/hate it so much!

However, a large portion of this loss is entirely down to my own mistakes or rather, mistake. I thought I’d got myself in a great position by turn 2, with my DPs advancing along his flank, my Dragons safe from cannon and Hellblaster fire, and the Helms set up to take down the Inner Circle while my Spears and Prince threatened the White Wolves. A single Dwellers later, and I panicked on the right, throwing my Prince into a hopeless position that both lost me my best fighter and enabled the White Wolves to overrun into the flank of my Helms, losing me the chance to take out the Inner Circle and combine with the DPs against the infantry on my left. Had I thought more carefully I could have moved him over to support my left flank, aiding the DPs and the Helms in later turns – he’d have been in the open and would have taken a cannon shot, but with the Princes kit and the Dragons 6W he can almost always survive at least one cannon hit. And I had to deal with the humiliation of my Caledorian Price fleeing from Empire State Troops due to CR… pitiful. Still, my justification is his Dragon got spooked by something and fled the battlefield, carrying my Prince away against his will…. :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 5:21 pm
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That Empire army is still a bit light on artillery, and that sure helps your dragons. Although taking double dragon against triple cannon would likely be a pointless game, and you are obviously having a series of tight and interesting games. That really strikes me - you've written up a number of battles that went to turn 6 and were constantly in doubt. I don't play that many games in 8th that work that way. Mine are often effectively over turn 4, if not sooner. Maybe I need to go back to running my High Elves, as perhaps the fragile elite troops provide enough offense to come back from being behind, but have little enough defense the enemy can also come back from being behind.

At the mistaken dragon charge, why not chug the Toughness Potion and send in the Dragon Mage as well? The potion should let him easily survive a challenge from the chump or BSB, and he should survive the Grand Master more than half the time.


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