Well, I had a bit of a turn of events on Thursday night's game night - my long anticipated rematch with the Warriors of Chaos (recently turned Beastmen) opponent was postponed! The opponent called the store and let them know he wasn't going to make it, so I subjected myself to the random opponent selection. The showing yesterday was amazing - every table was filled, so there was a pool of about 16 people to draw from.
Who do you think I drew, but my first Daemon opponent in this edition. It was just a matter of time before I got a chance to test my mettle against a greater Daemon. You Shall Not Pass!
Now this match up requires a bit of lead up. Herein lies the account of my exchange with this guy before the fight:
Me: "So what army are you fielding?"
Him: *smug grin* "Daemons"
Me: "Oh right on, have you had much success with them?"
Him: "Let's just say in my last match, there were no enemies left on the table, and lots and lots of Daemons"
Me: "Interesting... So pretty successful then"
Him: "Well, you'll see"
Me (In my head): Oh, it's on like Donkey Kong. Army ListsDaemons
Bloodthirster, Obsidian Armour, Axe of Khorne, Immortal Fury
Herald of Khorne, BSB, Great Standard of Sundering, Some other stuff
Herald of Khorne, some stuff (Neither of these guys equipment mattered much beyond the standard of sundering)
Herald of Tzeentch, Master of Sorcery, Winged Horror, Lore of Life
31 x Bloodletters, Full Command, Icon of Endless War
31 x Bloodletters, Full Command, Icon of Endless War
5 x Flesh Hounds
5 x Flesh Hounds
5 x Flamers, PyrocasterHigh Elves
Some changes made before going to the game night
Archmage, Level 4, Forliath's Robes, Guardian Phoenix, Jewel of the Dusk
Mage, Level 2, Seerstaff (Pha's, Banishment)
Mage, Ring of Corin, Gem of Courage
Mage, Anullian Crystal
35 x Spearmen, Full Command
14 x Archers, Musician
11 x Archers, Musician
14 x Swordmasters, Standard, Standard of Balance
14 x Swordmasters, Standard, Gleaming Pennant
17 x White Lions, Full Command, Banner of Sorcery, Dragonhorn
5 x Dragon Princes
2 x Great Eagles
A couple changes here. First, the Dragonhorn makes the list. After Curu pointed out to me that it lasts for one full game turn, I was sold that this was a key item in a BSB free list. The only tough part is identifying the key turn to use it on
Second change is on the Archmage. I opted for the invincible build with +1 power dice. I like the idea of a worst case scenario giving me +2 power dice - I'm still on the fence between this and the +1 to cast, mainly due to the increase in reliability in casting the bubbled timewarp.
Edit: Forgot to include my spells
Archmage: Shem's, Pha's, Banishment, Timewarp
Ring Mage: Speed of Light
Crystal Mage: Light of BattleDeployment
With only 6 drops, I have the luxury of watching his army go down before I have to worry about committing to anything.
Because of this advantage, I'm able to create some favourable matchups; Dragon Princes & White Lions on the flank with the flamers, and swordmasters + Spears versus his bloodletters. It doesn't come much better than that!
We roll off, and I win first turnHigh Elves, Turn 1
I know I have the ranged advantage with Banishment doing 3D6 hits, so I opt for a conservative advance. I move the Lions up far enough to threaten any aggressive advancing by the thirster in the East, and the Dragon Princes far enough up to create a threat zone for his flamers.
My opponent does not reveal to me that he has the standard of sundering until the END of this phase. My reaction: "Dude... you have to tell me that you have that thing and pick a lore at the start of the game"
We roll the winds, and it's 5 & 1. The banner adds 3 and add the jewel, making the dice 10 v 5.
I throw 4 dice at banishment on his thirster with my level 2 (again, not knowing he had the banner) and roll a 5, 5, 5 and 6. I internally facepalm as I realize he hasn't brought a spellbreaker; he rolls his 5 dice and fails to dispel it.
12 hits, 9 wounds, 5 after his ward rerolls. Not much unlike the story I wrote some 8 months ago, the Bloodthirster crumples to the ground in a smoldering heap. I'm also upping the production value in my battle reports - that is an authentic nuclear explosion photoshopped on top of him!
I throw 3D6 at a banishment on his flamers with my Archmage and succeed - 11 hits, 7 wounds after wards
I wish I could have inconspicuously taken a picture of his face at this point.
Finally, I throw 3D6 at a bubbled pha's protection rolling a 1, 1 & 2. Much to my chagrin, he now reveals the standard. I don't put up too much fuss and take my miscast - I roll a 7 thankfully, and kill 2 archers.
Shooting is ineffective, with cover on the fleshounds. Daemons, Turn 1
Confident in his ability to get a turn 2 charge with his Icons, he moves up to about 15" away from my units.
His flamers move up, and so does his herald of tzeentch, which stays right behind the unit (which looks nearly identical to a flamer...)
Magic is 8 v 7 - He throws 3 at throne of vines and rolls relatively low. I throw 3 of my own dice, and roll relatively lower, failing to dispel.
3 more dice go at a regrowth on his flamers, but he fails to meet the casting value, ending his phase.
The flamers roll low for their shots, and the lion pelts protect the lions resulting in only one casualty. High Elves, Turn 2
Due to his bragging about the speed of his army at the beginning of the game, I suspect he's got +D6 to his first charge, so I offer him some eagles. The Dragon Princes charge the flamers and he stands and shoots. I then inform him of the Dragon Prince's 2+ ward versus flaming attacks.
Him: "Flaming, *magical* attacks"
Him: "Magical attacks negate wards"
Me: "That's not even remotely right" (can anyone tell me if this used to be the case in a previous edition? Or if he just made that up on his own?)
Magic is 4 & 1. I roll 3 for the banner, 1 for the jewel and 1 from channeling. This brings the total to 10 v 4.
I like my odds of 6D6 vs. 4D6+2, so I throw them at the ring of Corin. I roll high, and he lets me have it; the banner of sundering takes a dirt nap. I then attempt a 2D6 Pha's on my spears, but get snakeyes, and he dispels my archmage's attempt on 2D6.
Shooting sees me put 3 wounds on the hounds, but they save them all with their 5+ ward.
In combat, I manage 3 wounds on the Flamers, and they do none in return. However, a break test roll of 3 has him holding the princes in place and not taking the final wound. Daemons, Turn 2
He has no choice but to spend his +D6 charge range on my eagles (given the proliferation of chaff units, I hardly see how this thing is worth it...). His hounds, suprisingly, charge my White Lions instead of the Dragon Princes.
Magic is 3 v 4 - he throws it all at flesh to stone on his fleshounds engaged with the White Lions - I throw my 4 dice to dispel and fail miserably. My White Lions are now facing T8 fleshounds...
Combat sees predictable results in the West - Both eagles die, but he opts not to overrun, hoping I fail a charge with some of my elites. His flesh hounds only manage 1 wound on the White Lions, and they deal none in return. However, due to my rank, standard and banner I win by one, but he passes his instability test. The Dragon Princes manage the final wound on the flamers, and reform to face the West. High Elves, Turn 3
First thing's first - the White Lion champion blows the Dragonhorn! I predict a lot of fear (and maybe break tests in the case of the lions) this turn.
I issue charges with 3 of my units; the Standard of Balance Swordmasters (in the East), the spears and the Dragon Princes.
I move my Archmage's bunker up far enough to get all of my units in the area of effect buffs, and we move on to the magic phase
The dice are 6 & 2, with me rolling 1 channel, 2 for the banner and 1 for the jewel; 12 v 6.
I start with a 2D6 single target Pha's with my Level 2 on the White Lions, which he allows. I follow that up with a 2D6 Speed of Light on the Dragon Princes, which he allows as well. I then attempt a 3D6 Pha's bubble with my Archmage, but fail the casting roll - can't win 'em all.
Shooting sees me put 7 wounds on his herald of tzeentch, and him save every. single. one.
In combat, it is predictably bloody. First, I pass all of my fear tests, with one or two being due to the Dragonhorn rerolls. Between all of the troops, I manage 16 wounds on his bloodletters. He does 4 wounds back on the Swordmasters (sans hatred due to the standard), and he rolls incredibly low for his instability again. He is left with 5 bloodletters and his herald. Daemons, Turn 3
In come his second unit of bloodletters on my spearmen, and his dogs move behind the blocks to try to defend the assault from the East.
He rolls a 2 & 1 for magic, and I roll a channel making the total 2 v 4. I dispel his attempt at flesh.
In combat, I kill what remains of his Eastern Bloodletters, and soak up a fair number of casualties with the spears. They fail their initial break test, but the Dragonhorn reroll keeps them in the fight.
Despite their drop in toughness with flesh wearing off, the Lions only manage one wound on the fleshounds. They hold... on a reroll, once again thanks to the Dragonhorn. Best 25 points I've ever spent? I'm thinking so. High Elves, Turn 4
I declare a charge with my swordmasters, my Dragon Princes on his fleshounds and my swordmasters on his bloodletters. It doesn't pan out quite as I planned, as the Dragon Princes block the swordmasters by a couple fractions of an inch from making their wheel. In retrospect, the Princes should have gone on the bloodletters and the Swordmasters on the Flesh Hounds. Oh well.
Magic is 4 & 1 - I add 2 for the banner, channel and add the Jewel. 9 v 4 total.
I throw 3D6 at a banishment at his herald with my level 2, which he dispels with 4 of his dice. I then put up a bubbled pha's protection with 3 and a Timewarp on my White Lions with another 3.
Shooting sees me fail once again to kill his herald due to ward saves, and we move on to combat.
The spears, now at full attacks, and the swordmasters manage a whopping 15 wounds, and his hatred was spent on the round he charged in on the spears; I win combat big, and he rolls high for his instability. The Bloodletters pop, and the swordmasters overrun into his herald.
At this point he concedes the game
Him: "I guess you've got to lose once and a while to stay humble"After battle thoughts
I realize fully that this guy was a terrible player. I can't even begin to count the mistakes he made - not aggressive enough Turn 1, parking his Tzeentch herald behind his vulnerable flamers, not knowing his own rules regarding the standard, not hording the bloodletters - the list goes on!
Having said that.Things that worked
- I blew up a Bloodthirster turn 1. That. Was. Awesome. Why this guy had no dispel scrolls is beyond me
- The Dragonhorn was a VIP in this match. I had my doubts in my ability to pick the right turn to use it, but it really payed dividends this game.
- The Jewel of the Dusk added a couple things to this match - first, it adds a bit more stability to my magic phase, making low winds rolls even more optimal for me. A roll of 4 & 1 isn't that bad when you're adding 4 power dice on average. Second, it adds intimidation to the magic phase. An extra power dice your opponent can see and fear, wheras a +1 is relatively intangible. Jury's still out which one is better; I'll reserve judgement until I have a chance to test more.
- As always, the Eagles were key. They provided the speed bump that I needed to get into position. It's no co-incidence that my entire strategy changes when there is a good chance my eagles can die first turn versus cannons.
- The Ring of Corin. Banner of Sundering. I need say no more.
- Stubborn White Lions. These guys held those flesh hounds in place despite some bad odds against them (Toughness 8 hounds!). Any other of our elites would have fled that combat. Things that didn't
- At the end of the day, casting with an 80% chance of success means that 1 in 5 spells fails. This is something that needs to be accepted and accounted for.
- Forliath's Robes. This is the one situation where it is utterly useless. I had to treat my Archmage like a regular mage. It raises an interesting point though - if my bunkers need to follow my combat units regardless for high strength banishment, do I really need him in a combat unit?
As always, I'd love to hear your comments and criticism. My tournament is quickly approaching!