Crossing Swords

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SpellArcher
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Re: Crossing Swords

#31 Post by SpellArcher »

Turn Four

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Silver Helms and Frostheart charged the Flesh Hounds, Phoenix Guard the Furies. The Archers swift reformed to face the tower. The Reavers bravely dashed in to block the Beasts.

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Griffon BSB flew right up to the tower. Once again, Fiery Convocation was not cast. High Elf ranged attacks focused on the Flamers but one survived on a single wound. Furies and Flesh Hounds were wiped out, their conquerers reforming to face the foe.

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Re: Crossing Swords

#32 Post by SpellArcher »

Turn Four (continued)

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Beasts charged Reavers, who gallantly held. The Plaguebearers got cold feet and shuffled backwards. The Flamer scooted in to redirect the Phoenix Guard.

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The Herald of Tzeentch, drunk on magic, got too clever by half and miscast, losing both his spells and magic levels. Not before he'd removed an RBT with a parting Gateway though. The Beasts killed all the Reavers.

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Re: Crossing Swords

#33 Post by SpellArcher »

Turn Five

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Phoenix Guard charged the Flamer. The Prince left the Archers, who reformed. The Silver Helms moved further away for safety. The Frostheart landed on the hill to project charge threat from safety. Menaced by the Beasts, both RBT moved backwards out of reach. Largely due to this, ranged attacks achieved little. The Flamer was of course summarily despatched, his enemies then reformed.

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Re: Crossing Swords

#34 Post by Seredain »

Cagefest 2023! Dud magic phases from both sides render a decisive push difficult. One Fury surviving one turn followed by one flamer on one wound the next seriously hurt my soul. At last my right flank is secure but getting big points looks difficult with Nurgle’s children beating a retreat…
The Cavalry Prince - List Design, Tactics, Battle Reports

http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=76&t=33584
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Re: Crossing Swords

#35 Post by SpellArcher »

Those pesky Flamers, eh?

:)

Turn Five (continued)

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The Horrors, next up for the Phoenix Guard Chopping Block, thought better of it and burbled out of the tower. Nurgle's children continued to beat a retreat. The Daemonettes were less orderly and legged it for the table edge. Magic achieved little but I believe Reign of Chaos removed the lone RBT.

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Re: Crossing Swords

#36 Post by SpellArcher »

Turn Six

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Unable to apply the coup de grâce, the High Elves hunted down points. The Griffon made a long charge into the Daemonettes and ate their champion for lunch. The Archmage finally set the Plaguebearers on fire and more fell to missiles.

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The Daemons stayed put, their magic phase proving uneventful. More Plaguebearers were crisped, not enough to claim points though. Griffon BSB put a wound on the Herald of Slaanesh but she and her unit survived.

722 v 235 points

High Elf win.
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Re: Crossing Swords

#37 Post by DrSlam »

Commiserations SpellArcher, though thank you for taking the photos of your battle, putting them up, and writing up the report.

My only query is about Seredain's Griffon BSB - do you why was it placed in front of his RBTs? I can see that it projects threat through creating a "if you get within 10 inches + 2D6, you'll get charged by my griffon BSB with BotWD", but it can do this from behind the RBT bunker, without blocking their shots?

Cheers
A paean for the High Elves:
"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
- Dylan Thomas
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Re: Crossing Swords

#38 Post by SpellArcher »

DrSlam wrote: Mon Jun 12, 2023 9:06 am Commiserations SpellArcher, though thank you for taking the photos of your battle, putting them up, and writing up the report.
You're welcome Doctor. Funnily enough though I was content with how things went.
DrSlam wrote: Mon Jun 12, 2023 9:06 am My only query is about Seredain's Griffon BSB - do you why was it placed in front of his RBTs? I can see that it projects threat through creating a "if you get within 10 inches + 2D6, you'll get charged by my griffon BSB with BotWD", but it can do this from behind the RBT bunker, without blocking their shots?
This may not be clear from the photos but the Griffon model actually blocks very little here because it's on a flying base.

Debrief

As mentioned at the start, I felt I was on a hiding to nothing for this game. The High Elf list was clearly stronger and I was facing a formidable opponent. So the loss I took was fine in my book. Seredain has made the valuable point that in any game, the onus is on the side inferior at range to attack. Here though, the enemy were not only better at a distance, they were better close up too!

I had more drops and used this to slightly surprisingly weight my right flank, away from the fearsome Phoenix Guard. I had hopes of a quick assault on the RBT but the speed of the elf redeployment in turn one rendered this dubious. Happily, I was fortunate enough to blow a hole in the Silver Helms which reduced my chances of being overrun in short order.

It cost me three small units but I was able to keep the PG away from my big points and the Archmage proved unable to cast Fiery Convocation (a potential game-winner) early enough to make a difference. Again, my sacrifice of the Flesh Hounds drew resources away from a concerted push and let me project enough threat with the Beasts to hamper the RBT and slow advances down.

Had Seredain made a big mistake or had I had an outrageous stroke of luck I might have been able to push up on the right and try to win but this was never quite possible. In the end a bit of a chess-like game that showed some interesting points. I very much felt another game was needed, either for the High Elves to land a heavier blow or for the Daemons to properly fight for victory.
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Re: Crossing Swords

#39 Post by SpellArcher »

List Implications

The Fiends I used in the first game were usefully fast but didn't stand up in combat well enough. Had the RBT been trained on them, they wouldn't have made it that far. The Chaos Dwarfs I replaced them with did a job delaying the Phoenix Guard but it was an expensive way to buy a turn. I also ended the game wanting to see what I could do purely with the Daemon book (and I think it's the second best in 8th Edition). What I needed was a flexible unit of around 200pts with some resistance at range that could also fight.

The unit of four Beasts was great and really the only thing that stopped me getting run over. One on one with the Phoenix Guard though, it would lose. I gave a lot of thought to strengthening it. I was also not convinced by my Core. The Horrors had been excellent but the Plaguebearers gave cause for concern. Worse, the expensive Daemonettes (339pts including Herald) felt lightweight. Unfortunately, restructuring the Core was a big job (much painting) so it might have to wait until after the next game, not too far away.
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Re: Crossing Swords

#40 Post by SpellArcher »

Case Study - Kairos MKGT List

I was particularly struck by the following list which Seredain faced in the last round of the Milton Keynes Grand Tournament a few years back. It's very powerful but quite unbalanced and it was fortunate to hold The Cavalry Prince to a draw. Especially frustrating as a moderate win would have won this 100-player event for the High Elves. The list:

Kairos
Epidemus
Blue Scribes (?)

23(ish) Plaguebearers FC
20(ish) Plaguebearers FC
10 Horrors
10 Horrors

5 Furies
5 Furies
3 Beasts
1 Beast
1 Beast

4 Plague Drones
4 Plague Drones

So three tasty Special Characters, no suspect Bloodletters or Daemonettes in Core and just a ton of Nurgle goodness with several redirectors to get this stuff the combats it wants. This list will just run straight over a lot of things and other enemies will be blasted apart by one of the best spellcasters in the game.

The basic conceit is that Epidemius' Tally of Pestilence bonuses make the Nurgle elements stronger and stronger the more they inflict wounds. So any remotely equal grind is very dangerous for the foe. This applies to most of the Core (Plaguebearers) and a whopping 13 Beasts and Drones. Kairos Fateweaver has a grand total of 15 spells, half of which give him access to all of the eight book lores (most unusual for Daemons). He also has a 4+ Ward (re-rolling 1's) and lets his player re-roll any single die he pleases per player turn. Not too shabby. The list starts with 3 channels re-rolling 1's and more if the Blue Scribes get cracking.

Given all this, what then are the problems with this list?
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Re: Crossing Swords

#41 Post by SpellArcher »

Firstly, the list has no shooting. None. No Skillcannon to keep powerful enemy flyers honest. No Flamers to remove redirectors. In short, this hurts board control. Yes it has flyers of its own but only the Drones project charge threat. It has two units of Horrors which can default to low strength magic missiles but that's kind of inefficient. Magic is also not entirely reliable.

Kairos Fateweaver is awesome. His saving throw and flight make him (arguably along with the Great Unclean One) pretty much the only Greater Daemon survivable enough to be worth taking. He's far from unkillable though and will very likely have to hide from war machines. This makes it harder for him to unleash all that power.
Seredain wrote:I was particularly pleased to see Epidemus. This guy is pure filth (appropriately), but his chief weakness is that he has to sit in a slow moving, expensive core infantry unit, and these were all points I could go after. Even better, they also provided me with an alpha target for Fiery Convocation – this would be absolutely massive if it meant Kairos had to throw power dice to dispel my magic rather than direct them into his own spells.
The Cavalry Prince puts the next point more eloquently than I could. Epidemius begets Plaguebearers and PB's are great. Until they run into Fiery Convocation, as I'm finding out myself. All-Horror Core is dull but it does avoid this considerable issue.

As he rides a Palanquin, big E enjoys a tasty four wounds, very helpful and viewed in isolation, he's great value for points. His Locus, making his unit's Poison work on 5's as well as 6's, is excellent. It's generally not as good as the Regen alternative though IMHO. Also, he's not a Battle Standard Bearer. Sure, Daemons are Immune to Psychology but Daemonic Instability tests are frequently well worth re-rolling. Not to mention Swift Reforms, March Blocking and multiple issues from the Reign of Chaos table.

Overall then, a lot of armies would be scared of this list. If your roster's well-written though, with plenty of tools and the bases covered I think you've a good chance of beating it. See below for how only bad luck prevented this:

https://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic ... start=1560
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Re: Crossing Swords

#42 Post by SpellArcher »

Cruel Summer

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Seredain kindly received me once more and battle was joined at 2500pts. His host:

High Elves of the West

Prince, D/Armour, Giant Blade, Merwyrm Shield, MR 1
Archmage, Lvl 4 High, Scroll, Ring of Fury, 4+ Ward

BSB, World Dragon, Heavy Armour, Griffon with Swooping Strike, Lance, Lion Cloak, Shield

35 Spears, FC, Eternal Flame
24 Archers, Full Command

19 Phoenix Guard, Full Command, Razor Standard

12 Sisters of Avelorn
3 RBT
Frostheart Phoenix

Thus much changed. The Prince dismounted and joined his stalwart infantry. Out went the Core cavalry, replaced by a large Flaming spear block. Continuing the noble fight against Regeneration, the Sisters of Avelorn mustered though there was one fewer RBT.

Daemons of Chaos

Lord of Change, Lvl 4 Metal

Herald of Tzeentch, Lvl 2 of Tzeentch
Herald of Nurgle, BSB, Regen Locus, MR 1
Herald of Slaanesh, ASF Locus

19 Plaguebearers, Champion, Musician
14 Daemonettes, FC, Banner of Swiftness
10 Horrors, Full Command

5 Beasts of Nurgle
5 Flesh Hounds, Ambush
3 Flamers, Champion
5 Furies

3 Plague Toads, Poison
Skillcannon

Fewer changes here. The Chaos Dwarfs marched back to their grim abode, replaced by Plague Toads (who counted as Drones). This, together with forfeiting the ASF sword, allowed for an extra Beast, to better resist the Flaming onslaught to come.

Thoughts on the match-up welcome.
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Re: Crossing Swords

#43 Post by MasterOfNone »

No specific thoughts to offer, except I envy your opportunity to play.
Here I am limited to painting and playing both sides.
Seredain's list is a novelty for me.
No redirectors, no fast moving units (almost), which is unusual for High Elves.
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Re: Crossing Swords

#44 Post by SpellArcher »

MasterOfNone wrote: Fri Jun 23, 2023 7:32 am No specific thoughts to offer, except I envy your opportunity to play.
Here I am limited to painting and playing both sides.
It must be frustrating, though your brush is doing great work sir!
MasterOfNone wrote: Fri Jun 23, 2023 7:32 am No redirectors, no fast moving units (almost), which is unusual for High Elves.
Yeah, it's a lot of Infantry and a few monsters and war machines. Almost like Chaos Dwarfs in a way, though M5 makes a real difference. Similarly, it brings Flaming attacks with the Spears and Sisters which definitely helps as my two best fighting units Regenerate. Seredain mentioned in his blog how the ability of the Spears to push up and hold a charge reduces the need for redirectors though in emergency the Sisters can do this.

My army is definitely strengthened by the fifth Beast and especially by the Plague Toads, which can't be shrugged off quite as easily as the choices that preceded them. I still feel the High Elves are stronger though as I lack the might to launch a direct assault against the Phoenix Guard and their support.
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Re: Crossing Swords

#45 Post by MasterOfNone »

Looking forward to the report
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Re: Crossing Swords

#46 Post by SpellArcher »

MasterOfNone wrote: Wed Jun 28, 2023 7:04 am Looking forward to the report
Your wish is my command. The photos used in this report are both mine and my opponent's, thanks to The Cavalry Prince for this.

Spells and Deployment

The Archmage rolled Hand of Glory and Fiery Convocation, choosing Fury of Khaine and Drain Magic also. The only thing missing was Apotheosis. The Lord of Change generated Searing Doom (iffy), Plague of Rust, Enchanted Blades and Final Transmutation. The Herald rolled Infernal Gateway and Bolt of Change, the Horrors defaulting to Blue Fire. I'd have preferred Gateway on the latter but couldn't risk not keeping it when rolled.

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Seredain opted for a compact, counterpunching deployment, trusting in his shooting advantage and focused melee units. The Archers garrisoned the tower about which hovered the flyers. The RBT were set behind the adjacent wall. Holding the centre were the Phoenix Guard, with both Lords. Guarding their flank, the Spears deployed in the wood, screened by the Sisters of Avelorn.

Having more drops, I decided on a wider spread to probe the flanks of the elf host. The Plaguebearers deployed behind the wood to both provide a solid impediment on the wing and keep some distance from the Archmage and Fiery Convocation. Opposite the tower croaked the Plague Toads, looking to use their long charge threat to good effect. The Horrors deployed in the house and the Lord of Change behind it whilst the Beasts held the centre. Flamers and Furies sheltered behind a fence. The Skillcannon sat atop the nearby hill, flanked by Daemonettes. Heralds accompanied their corresponding daemons.
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Re: Crossing Swords

#47 Post by SpellArcher »

Turn One

The High Elf infantry advanced in the centre, while Griffon BSB flew round behind the RBT. A terrific fusillade of magic and shooting killed a Beast and wiped out the Horrors and Herald in the building.

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Nurgle's forces responded with an advance on my left, except the chastened Beasts, who edged backwards. Slaanesh's minions loped forwards on the right, accompanied by those of Tzeentch.

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Final Transmutation on the Phoenix Guard was dispelled but Enchanted Blades went up on the Flamers, who gratefully removed four of the Sisters of Avelorn.
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Re: Crossing Swords

#48 Post by MasterOfNone »

SpellArcher wrote: Tue Jul 04, 2023 11:36 am Turn One
A terrific fusillade of magic and shooting killed a Beast and wiped out the Horrors and Herald in the building.
Sounds like a dreadful start for the forces of Chaos...
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Re: Crossing Swords

#49 Post by SpellArcher »

MasterOfNone wrote: Wed Jul 05, 2023 7:07 pm Sounds like a dreadful start for the forces of Chaos...
I was, I'll admit, somewhat taken aback.

:)

Turn Two

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The High Elf Infantry continued forwards whilst Griffon BSB flew in front of the RBT to shield them from the Toads. Ranged damage was less horrific this time, four Daemonettes died and the Flamers lost a wound.

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The barking mad Toads charged in anyway while the Plaguebearers reached the edge of the wood and were rather ambitiously joined by the Lord of Change. Flesh Hounds chose this moment to arrive from Ambush and ran up behind the RBT. In the centre, Beasts and Furies flopped forwards. My right pulled back slightly but removed another four Sisters. A Toad was banished and World Dragon protected his foes. His brothers continued the fight.

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Re: Crossing Swords

#50 Post by SpellArcher »

Turn Three

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The High Elf infantry blocks changed tack to deal with the threat from my left. The Frostheart flew round behind the Flesh Hounds and the Archers exited the tower. Fiery Convocation caught light on the Plaguebearers, killing five while shooting removed a pair of Daemonettes. The first RBT put a couple of wounds on the Lord of Change but he gave thanks to Tzeentch as the other two whiffed. The Toads suffered another wound but ground on.

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Flesh Hounds leapt on the closest RBT. The Daemonettes charged the Sisters, whilst my light troops hovered around the flank of the Spears. The Lord of Change flew off to hide behind his building again and my Nurgle troops edged backwards.

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Seeking a cold revenge, my greater daemon transmuted a third of the Phoenix Guard, though both High Elf Lords survived. Another four Plaguebearers died to the flames. The Flesh Hounds destroyed the first RBT and overran into a second. Daemonettes slew three Sisters, one survived to outdistance their pursuit. The second Toad fell but the power of World Dragon unexpectedly failed and his brother laid low the High Elf BSB.
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Re: Crossing Swords

#51 Post by MasterOfNone »

You never mention the skull canon, did it ever fire?
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Re: Crossing Swords

#52 Post by SpellArcher »

MasterOfNone wrote: Sat Jul 15, 2023 4:43 pm You never mention the skull canon, did it ever fire?
Yeah, it killed a few infantry I believe. More important I feel was that it encouraged the RBT and especially the monsters to remain behind the obstacles/tower.
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Re: Crossing Swords

#53 Post by SpellArcher »

Turn Four

The Frostheart charged the Flesh Hounds from behind whilst Phoenix Guard went into the flank of the still engaged Plague Toad. The Spears made a swift reform.

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Another Beast bit the dust to High Elf fire. Two Flesh Hounds died but they destroyed the RBT and remained locked in combat with the phoenix. The Toad was finally despatched and the victorious PG reformed to face the foe.

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Re: Crossing Swords

#54 Post by TyrrenAzureblade »

These batreps are impressive, keep up the good work!
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Re: Crossing Swords

#55 Post by SpellArcher »

TyrrenAzureblade wrote: Thu Jul 27, 2023 5:21 am These batreps are impressive, keep up the good work!
Thanks dude! Normal service will be resumed shortly.
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Re: Crossing Swords

#56 Post by SpellArcher »

Turn Four (continued)

The Daemonettes charged the Sister again. Flamers moved round the side of the Spears and the Furies flew in to block the PG. The wounded BSB left the Plaguebearers (who continued to backpedal) to escape Convocation. Somewhat unkindly, the Lord of Change left the PB's to burn, transmuting more Phoenix Guard instead, though he once more failed to bag a Lord. The Frostheart destroyed the Flesh Hounds whilst the Daemonettes ran over the Sister.

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Re: Crossing Swords

#57 Post by SpellArcher »

Turn Five

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The Spears marched towards the Beasts, while the Prince charged out of the PG into the Furies and was joined by the now riderless Griffon. The Phoenix Guard (and Archmage) themselves garrisoned the tower. The Frostheart flew around to threaten the Plaguebearers. More of these died to Convocation and shooting removed the last three Daemonettes, leaving only the Herald. Prince and Griffon killed the Furies and reformed.

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Re: Crossing Swords

#58 Post by SpellArcher »

Turn Five (continued)

The Lord of Change grudgingly decided to conserve his forces. The BSB and Beasts retreated and the Flamers and Herald of Slaanesh ran off to hide. The doomed Plaguebearers were pushed sacrificially on, two more of them succumbing to the flames. The Skillcannon misfired, destroying the weapon.

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Re: Crossing Swords

#59 Post by MasterOfNone »

SpellArcher wrote: Wed Aug 09, 2023 8:35 pm Turn Five (continued)
The Skillcannon misfired, destroying the weapon.
Unlucky.
A good shot at this point could have helped a good deal rebalancing the score of the game.
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Re: Crossing Swords

#60 Post by SpellArcher »

MasterOfNone wrote: Fri Aug 11, 2023 6:51 am Unlucky.
To be fair MoN, I think that's the first time the Skillcannon's misfired in my games with Seredain! I believed the misfire table worked like the Ogre Ironblaster one but couldn't find it in the book. So we 4+'d it and only the gun was destroyed not the entire model. I later checked the Daemon FAQ and nothing, so on balance I now agree with my opponent that the normal Black Powder misfire chart in the book should have applied and the whole engine should have exploded. Apologies to him for that.
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