Sunday, December 14, 2008

WARRIORS OF CHAOS versus Dark Elves

Game: Warhammer Fantasy Battle 7th edition
Opponent: Gary
Scenario: Pitched Battle
1st turn: Warriors of Chaos
Points: 2000
Background: With the new Warriors of Chaos army book recently released I was trying my hand at lots of different lists. In my last game I went Nurgle and this time I felt the pull of Khorne. Out went my two Sorcerers and in came two fighty characters with Khornate wargear. How would I fare without any form of magical defence?

Probably not well since the Dark Elves brought a level four Sorceress and three level two Sorceresses! Gary had to drop his assassin to do this and he didn't have the rock hard fighty Lord either so I just had to make it across the table into combat to guarantee victory.

Warriors of Chaos
  • Sigurt Volsung, Lord on Daemonic Mount, Mark of Khorne, Axe of Khorne, Collar of Khorne, Enchanted Shield, Diabolic Splendour
  • Thaer, Exalted, Mark of Khorne, Additional Hand Weapon, Bloodskull Pendant, Blood Roar, Shield
  • 12 Warriors, Shields, Mark of Khorne, Full command
  • 12 Warriors, Shields, Mark of Khorne, Full command, Standard - Banner of Wrath
  • 16 Marauders, Shields, Light Armour, Mark of Khorne, Full command
  • 5 Knights, Mark of Khorne, Full command, Warbanner
  • 5 Marauder Horse, Mark of Khorne, Musician, Flails
  • 5 War hounds
  • 5 War hounds
  • Chariot, Mark of Khorne

Dark Elves

  • Level 4 sorceress with sacrificial dagger
  • Lvl 2 Sorceress
  • Lvl 2 Sorceress
  • Lvl 2 Sorceress
  • 2 Repeater Bolt Throwers
  • 10 Repeater Crossbows
  • 16 Spearelves full command
  • 5 Dark Riders
  • 5 Dark Riders
  • 19 Executioners full command Banner of Murder
  • Hydra
  • Chariot
  • Chariot

Terrain and deployment

Gary had done us proud once again and set up the table before I arrived. There was a hill in the corner of one deployment zone and a wood in the corner of another. Some rocky columns broke up the centre of the battlefield.

The Dark Elves won the dice off and naturally chose the side with the hill. They bunkered around the hill and I heavily weighted this side of the table. My plan was to hit the hill with my Knights with the Warriors and Marauders following up on each side to prevent the Executioners and Spearelves getting a flank charge. The Marauder horse and Warhounds were on screening duty.

Despite starting to set up second the Warriors of Chaos finished their deployment first and got the +1. With a mighty roar the Khorne army marched to battle.

The game
The Warriors all marched forward at top speed. To my surprise the Dark Elf Dark Riders charged my Marauder block. When Gary tried to cast Word of Pain on them I understood; it would have taken my weapon skill down to one and he might have beaten me. In the event he didn't get the spell off and I slaughtered four of the cavalry. The survivor fled beyond the Spearelves.

Meanwhile the Hydra marched into the centre and flamed the Knights. Both Bolt Throwers unleashed a volley of shots at them too, but only one Knight fell. My Marauder horse weren't so lucky and four died.

Turn two and I was multiple charging already!

The Knights sped up the hill and despite having Word of Pain cast on them they butchered the Bolt Thrower crew (as you can see in the photo below we just left them at the bottom of the hill as we couldn't balance them where they should have been). My Marauder horse survivor charged the Sorceress in the Repeater Crossbows. He was peppered with shots and died before he got into combat. My Marauders on foot charged the Spearelves who fled past the lone Dark Rider.

Closer to the middle of the battlefield a unit of Warhounds charged the Executioners. I knew I'd lose but I was hoping to draw the Elves forward so my Warrior unit could get a charge - possibly even a flank charge. The Warhounds duly took four casualties and the survivor ran. The Executioners just failed to catch him.

My second Warhound unit scampered away from the Hydra in terror.

Things were very tense and tactical now so I forgot to take photo's for a couple of turns. Gary tried to destroy my left flank by charging a unit of Dark Riders into the flank of my Chariot and one of his own Chariots charged my Warriors. Neither combat worked well for the Dark Elves as the Dark Riders were all killed and the Chariot was wounded and fled. It wasn't all doom and gloom for the pointy-ears though, as the Chariot ended up zooming off into the woods. It fortunately didn't take any damage but it was so far from the action it played no further part in the game.

Two turns of concentrated shooting and magic killed my 10 man Warrior unit leaving my Lord out on his own. He charged the Hydra anyway, keen to attract the attention of the Gods if he killed the monster. Sigurt only hit twice then rolled a double one for damage. The Hydra caused a wound in return and Sigurt ran for the hills! The Hydra followed him up and charged him off the table.

Things were tense over by the hill. The Knights munched through the second Bolt Thrower and ended up on the far side of the hill. That last Dark Rider got in the face of my Marauders and due to the Mark of Khorne I had to charge. This left me awkwardly facing the right table edge.

My Knights doubled back to take on the Repeater Crossbows so they ended up charging my Marauders. In an unlikely combat the Dark Elves won comfortably and broke the Marauders. They pursued off the table leaving my Exalted with no-one to charge (he had left the Marauders to try and chase down a Sorceress). He eventually ended up attacking the Spearelves in a futile charge and got killed for his trouble. The Knights too were left hanging so they marched down to face off against the Hydra. Down to just two men by this stage they were easily defeated.

The game deciding action was now happening at the base of the hill. My Warriors got a flank charge into the Executioners and were also fighting the High Sorceress. Despite Word of Pain taking my weapon skill down to one I scored two wounds on her and killed some of her bodyguards. The Dark Elves didn't run.

My dice rolling in the next round of combat was appalling and I lost several men. By this time the Chariot had rallied and charged into my Warriors. The second chariot also thundered in (having fled a charge from my own Chariot in turn two it was only just seeing some action). My Warriors were cut down in short order and that meant I had lost the game.

Result: Loss

Learning points
  • No magic defense versus a level four and three level twos is nasty! At times the Dark Elves were generating close to twenty power dice. The Collar of Khorne helped a little but I was easily overwhelmed. Word of Pain really sapped my close combat prowess and all those magic missiles took their toll. Even the luck was on Gary's side as he rolled several double sixes and only had one miscast (which allowed me to cast one of my own spells - and I had no Sorcerers). It's clear to me that to be competitive I will have to include some magic defense against the Dark Elves.
  • I don't think I'll bother with the mark of Khorne in the future. It is really expensive and the downside is too great. Plus one attack is awesome, and in particular it made my Chariot formidable, but always having to charge allows the enemy too much control.
  • We discovered a number of rules we'd been breaking before and during this game. The first was with Arcane items - you are only allowed to use one and Gary had used three on his High Sorceress in previous games. Gary had to have a re-jig of his gear just befoe the battle. We also found out that units under 25% couldn't rally. That's something I'll have to remember in regards to the Dark Riders in particular - how different would the game have been if my Marauders had got into combat with the Spearelves?

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