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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:28 pm 
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Centurion

Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 12:55 am
Posts: 3298
Location: Brisbane, Australia
It's been too long since I've posted a battle report chaps besides my old mate Swordmaster looks like he could use some support in this sub-forum. :D

Undying Dynasties vs. Vampire Covenant
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Hey guys

Hope everyone is doing well approaching the silly season that is Christmas and we're all getting in as much wargaming in as possible with loved ones. Speaking of which I had a chance to setup a game with my old sparring partner Todd who has a bit of experience with 9th age and offered to show me the ropes and run me through a game illustrating some of the changes both major and minor. Also it was an opportunity for me to showcase how much my skills had deteriorated and of course write up a battle report although I must admit my photo taking skills have taken a dive it seems so forgive me in advance for that. Undoubtedly there will be minor errors in the report as well so for that you have my apologies but keep in mind it's my first game of 9th age.

Overview
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Date played: Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Undying Dynasties
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(DCH) Death Cult Hierarch
- Tome of Arcane Lore, Sandstorm Cloak, Rulers of the Dead
(N) Nomarch
- Chariot, Dragonscale Helm, Heavy Armour, Shield, Sword of Strength, Chariot of Nephet-Ra, General
(SC) 6 Skeleton Chariots
- Full Command, Banner of Speed
(S) 20 Skeletons
- Musician, Aspen Bows
(BS1) Battle Sphinx
- Breath Weapon
(DS) Dread Sphinx
(CoP) Casket of Phatep

This list is a copy of an old 'Chariot Prince' list I ran for the Tomb Kings back in 8th edition inspired by Spellarcher from Ulthuan.net who for a time ran a High Elves Prince in a chariot cruising around causing trouble. With the new combined profile I was hoping to re-explore this option and have fun with it.

Vampire Covenant
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(VC1) Vampire Count
- Von Karnstein Bloodline, Dispel Scroll, 5+ Ward
(VC2) Vampire Courtier
- Level 1 - Path of Necromancy (Invocation of the Undead), Divine Icon,
(S) 29 Skeleton
- Full Command, Shields
(DW1) 10 Dire Wolves
- Champion
(DW2) 5 Dire Wolves
(GB) 2 Great Bats
(VS) 4 Vampire Spawn
(WR) 3 Winged Reapers

Todd's list was the same as a list he recently took to a doubles tournament. The Courtier had some more items but I couldn't find them and it didn't really impact on the game that much to my knowledge. I was keen to see of the changes in the Vampires as well as I'd had my fair share of locking horns with Todd back in 8th edition when running the same armies.

Deployment
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Deployment was certainly an interesting change now, I won the roll off and opted to plant my entire force down with little reason not to and secure the first turn whilst doing it. Keen to hear other people's opinions on this as I can't help but feel that perhaps I'm missing something?

Turn 1 - Undying Dynasties
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I kicked off the first turn with some minor movement here and there. Magic phase was 7 vs 5 and although Smiting failed immediately I suddenly had fleeting memories of how poorly my dice rolls were, perhaps I'd be punished for such a long lay off? Thank you dice gods. I then tried to secure Shifting Sands but Todd dispelled this with ease. I'm sure the shooting phase would be kinder to me, I target the Dire Wolves and destroy the unit of 10 on the left flank with bow fire and the casket and leave one remaining in front of the chariots which I could see haunting me.

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Turn 1 - Vampire Covenant
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Todd gets to work and places said lone dog to block the chariots from entering the fray. Maybe I should have given the Nomarch a bow! Magic is a 5 vs 4 phase and 5 dice is thrown at Invocation healing the Dire Wolves to full strength.

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Turn 2 - Undying Dynasties
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After chatting with Todd about the options for solo charging the Nomarch chariot out I come up with a plan to throw him in and the Dread Sphinx into the Winged Reapers take them out and reform to cause some grief to the Skeletons when they make their way into the battle. But as they say no plan survives contact with the enemy or in this case the enemy being my dice. The Nomarch easily makes it in however his loyal pet companion of the Dread Sphinx decides to stop and examine grains of sand instead. I was glad that my consistency from 8th edition was intent on carrying through to any gaming system I was apart of! Not to worry, focus on the things I could control. The Hierarch leaves the unit of archers to support the Prince with magic and the Battle Sphinx doesn't mingle too far away from the Undead battle line. Magic is 9 vs 5 and Shifting Sands goes through onto the Skeleton Warriors. This allows Desert Wind targeting the Dread Sphinx to be dispelled letting Protection go through onto the Nomarch but would it be enough? Short answer no. I then attempt Smiting on my last 2 remaining dice but I hear laughter from the dice gods riding on the momentum of the failed Dread Sphinx charge. Impact hits produces a mighty 1 wound and then the Nomarch is thumped hard and minced into the ground. I blame you Dread Sphinx.

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Turn 2 - Vampire Covenant
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With Todd in a much better position he charged his Winged Reapers into the Chariots to overwhelm them and get out of charge arc for the Dread Sphinx. The Vampire Spawn continued to sweep around the flanks whilst the Bats were heading to cause some trouble of their own intent on closing with the Casket. Magic comes up with 7 vs 5 and everything is thrown at Invocation but I manage to put a stop to it. The chariots take 4 wounds and manage 3 in return holding the combat which both of us weren't expecting.

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Turn 3 - Undying Dynasties
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The archers face the incoming threats whilst the Dread Sphinx gets into counter charge position which is something I should have anticipated the turn before. Bit rusty. The Hierarch flies back into the Archers staying in range of his spells to the Chariots. 10 vs 7 is what the dice give us for magic and Cursed Blades onto the Chariots draws out the dispel scroll. I then attemp Protection but he's having none of that either and it is dispelled. Shooting manages to take out the bats including using a Breath Weapon. The Casket then puts 2 wounds onto the Vampire Spawn.

In combat the Chariots are slapped with 5 wounds and only manage 1 back crumbling away a little leaving the front rank not looking in a terribly exciting position.

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Turn 3 - Vampire Covenant
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Quick turn, magic is 5 vs 4 and Todd throws them all at Invocation creating a miscast. Although is heals some damage on the Winged Reapers it chews a rank off his Skeletons as 'acceptable losses'. In combat the Reapers dish out 5 wounds and the Chariots hit back with 2 leaving a very lonely Chariot all by it's lonesome giving the Dread Sphinx the universal signal of 'Help Me'.

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Turn 4 - Undying Dynasties
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The Dread Sphinx now clearly seeing the signal that the Nomarch failed to provide swoops into the flank of the Winged Reapers intent on getting it's first taste of Undead blood. The Hierarch zooms out again to get into spell range and out of danger of the imminent Vampire Spawn charge coming up whilst the Battle Sphinx prepares for the rear counter charge as well as ensuring there is no room to charge the Casket. Magic winds blow 7 vs 4 and I plant Cursed Blades onto the Dread Sphinx. Protection and Desert Wind (can I do this whilst they're in combat for the healing only?) then goes through onto the Chariots healing some much needed damage. Shooting slaps the Vampire Spawn with 4 wounds and in combat the Chariots and Dread Sphinx crumble away the Reapers with the Sphinx reforming to counter charge the next threat.

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Turn 4 - Vampire Covenant
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The Vampire Spawn charge into the Skeleton Archers whilst Invocation heals 2 wounds onto the Spawn at the cost of a miscast meaning the level 1 Vampire was now a level -2 Wizard. The Vampire Spawn crash a bunch of Skeletons taking no damage in return and after crumble only 3 archers remain once again waving their bones making the universal signal of 'Help me'.

Turn 5 - Undying Dynasties
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The Battle Sphinx and the Dread Sphinx answer the signals and charge into the Vampire Spawn. Opening the way for the Chariots to mow down some infantry. Smiting is dispelled from the Chariots however Cursed Blades augments them healing them a little. Impact hits chops down 6 Skeletons before they take 4 wounds in return. Another 3 Skeletons drop from the Charioteers and then some crumble takes place. The Vampire Spawn continue to assault the Archers leaving the musician left and the pair of Sphinx then smash apart the Spawn and reform to face the infantry.

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Probably the worst quality photo I've ever taken in my life..

Turn 5 - Vampire Covenant
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With no magic phase to speak of Todd wastes no time in chopping chariots apart. The Vampires score 2 wounds onto them however 7 Skeletons collapse in return.

Turn 6 - Undying Dynasties
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The Dread Sphinx hits the flank of the Skeleton Warriors and the winds blow for a solid 9 vs 5 allowing me to get Protection and Cursed Blades through onto the Chariots healing them 8 wounds back. Smiting was dispelled but I could live with that. The Chariots take a few more wounds but the Dread Sphinx chops down the Vampire Courtier and then Thunderstomps the remaining Skeleton forcing the remaining Vampire to crumble away into oblivion...well at least until the next game I have with Todd.

Result - Undying Dudes victory.

Conclusion - So that's 9th age. Interesting. A lot of interesting things running through my mind and no doubt more will come to mind outside of these comments. Remember I'm in no way shape or form a 'competitive' gamer at all, more a garagehammer player. Some things I want to clarify however, can someone point me to a page number explaining what benefits an Undying Dynasties BSB would have on the army as I couldn't find it anymore, would it reduce crumble damage like 8th edition?

Magic was infuriatingly underwhelming, now a prefix. I focus on the negatives all the time so bear with me here but during the game I was annoyed how much of an investment I'd made into magic and it wasn't until late game (after Todd had so kindly removed his magic) that it paid off in terms of keeping the Chariots alive but I can't help but feel perhaps at 1500 points it wasn't warranted to have a level 4 as the points used or not used depending on how you look at it could have been put elsewhere.

Chariots - do these things get any bonuses from being ranked up at all in a unit of 6? Both Todd and I were looking and besides the single attack from the second rank I felt they were very lacking. Granted if some numpty had kept the Nomarch around for a bit longer I may have a different opionion of them however looking at the facts what they did wouldn't have changed, it would have just been a little slower in terms of damage received because of the Weapon Skill boost.

I won't be too harsh on the Sphinx but I feel they're a little expensive for what they're bring to the table, yes they're amazing when one or more spells augments them to heightened skills but when that doesn't happen they're a impressive looking paperweight who can still get cut to ribbons with massed low strength shots. It's cool that the Tomb Guard riding atop have an extra attack to coincide with their brothers riding snakes but I'm sitting here thinking of re-visiting lists that don't include them. I can't help but feel the Bone Giants with the initiative boost are the better way to go but wait and see.

I note Necromantic Aura isn't the same as the Vampires ruling of the same name, is this an oversight and just waiting to be corrected?

Anyway I'm certainly looking forward to my next game with Todd at some stage and I think I'll be exploring the Underground Ambush rule as I see that being a really powerful tool with minimal risk now as opposed to the EBTS ruling from 8th and I was running an MSU'ish type of force centred around that theme heavily and it had some success. The key for me will be not looking at what the writers have done with Ogre Khans and Highborn Elves and getting majorly distracted.

Thanks for reading and please comment away.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:03 pm 
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Southern Sentinel
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Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2004 9:01 am
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Location: On the path of an outcast
Hi Jimmy,

Great to see you reporting again! If the Tomb King himself is back with the report then there is truly some hope for this forum!

Boy but things changed fast. I hardly recognized what is what in both armies with these new names (and I thought I got them right but they keep changing that). Not sure what is what really in terms of magic items so I guess some re-reading is required.

You did the deployment correctly. That is their intention, as far as I know, to allow players more flexibility in how to get first turn. Personally, I find it tricky because it will take longer to deploy. It is a little paradox but unless you have very few units and formation that does not take into account the enemy and objectives, then you really need to think longer how to act and react to the deployment drops of your opponent.

You can, as you did, drop everything in one go and secure first turn. Technically, your opponent has the advantage of knowing that and deploying accordingly. But I think it actually further promotes armies that want to get into combat fast as they will not risk vanguard moves that might backfire and simply deploy their death stars as they usually would. Without risking being second and taking additional turn of shooting.

In the same way, armies that want to castle will do likewise and benefit from first turn shooting as they don't care about formation anyway.

In my opinion it only further complicates deployment phase and on top may last much longer than necessary.

What are these crazy models for the Reapers Todd has? :D

Was it something like a volley fire that further ignores cover with your bowmen? Or is it still the same as with old TK that they hit on 5+ no matter what? Good shooing though!

I wonder how would I cope with random charges again after playing with fixed ones in KoW now. :) Boy, that can be so frustrating! How much did you need on the dice to reach the enemy?

The chariots did well in holding the flank for so long! And the Sphinx redeemed itself by destroying the Reapers! Well done! Then they recovered and got onto attack! Awesome!

Oh, don't worry about the blurry picture, it was normal quality for me some time ago :D

I am not sure how to make magic work with 9th edition. I was running level 2 loremaster so my aim was to spam the small spells and occasionally cast big one. With new version of IF it seems it hurts the low level casters more as it only adds to the cast while has much harsher consequences. I guess it is similar for single level 4 where you don't have that great variety but cannot force the spells you want to go through with more dice. I find it disappointing because we were not the players who spammed 6-dicing while it seems we got hit harder by new rules. But then it might be that new way of using magic was developed and I just don't know about it since I haven't checked for a while.

Anyway, I will be checking your future reports (if planned) to track the changes and see how the game develops. :)

Cheers!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:03 pm
Posts: 1906
Thanks for posting Jimmy, read with interest, doubly so because it's two armies I've not really seen play in 9th yet.

Do you know the old rules name for the unit which from the aerial shots look like mushroom heads (described as winged reapers), I couldn't work this out at all.

I liked how it looked how this game swang, with units dropping down and bouncing back up, flanking, getting wiped out...very cinematic.

Shame your dread sphinx was slow to the party...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:11 pm
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Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
Those were Crypt Horrors, surely.

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