Monday, 1 July 2013

Dawn Attack!

Me and Paul got another game of Warhammer in last week, with me eager to try out my new and improved Wood Elf army list (although I didn't manage to finish the extra models I needed in time - as Paul's army is barely painted either though I didn't feel too bad about it!) 

I'd had help with improving my list from members of, although the list I took to the game wasn't in fact the "final" version - Thursday turned out to be such a busy day that I didn't have time to pack anything extra, so I took the v3.0 list rather than the v3.5 list which I had intended to use.

As well as the three extra Treekin I'm currently sculpting (which you can see more of here) I picked up a couple of the new LotR Eagles to use with my Wood Elves (as I currently only have one, and that's an old 5th Edition pigeon which is desperate for retirement). I've nothing against the actual Wood Elf Eagle models, except that they're Mail Order only and I didn't have time to wait!

Spellweaver (Lore of Beasts) ~ 275pts
- Lv.4, Dispel Scroll

Noble ~ 140pts
- BSB, Armour of Silvered Steel, Luckstone

Eternal Guard (25) ~ 355pts
- Warbanner, Full Command

Glade Guard (20) ~ 268pts
- Standard Bearer, Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame

Glade Guard (10) ~ 126pts
- Musician

Glade Guard (10) ~ 126pts
- Musician

Dryads (8) ~ 96pts

Treekin (6) ~ 390pts

Waywatchers (5) ~ 120pts

Great Eagle ~ 50pts

Great Eagle ~ 50pts

Total = 1996pts

Paul ended up taking his Lizardmen, and his list looked something like:

Slann - Cupped Hands of the Old Ones, Focus of Mystery, Focused Rumination, Becalming Cogitation 
Scar Veteran - Cold One, Sword of Strife
30 Saurus Warriors, full command
9 Cold One Cavalry, full command
4x10 Skinks with blowpipes
2x10 Chameleon Skinks
Ancient Stegadon

We rolled Dawn Attack for the scenario, which meant random deployment. Paul won the roll for table side, and so also had to roll his deployment first. His Saurus (with Slann), Cold Ones (with Scar Veteran) and a unit of Skinks ended up on his left flank, the Stegadon and another two units of Skinks were deployed in the centre and the last unit of Skinks deployed on the right. 

For my deployment, I rolled one Eagle and the Dryads on my right, one unit of 10 Glade Guard and the other Eagle on my left, and everything else in the centre. I then won the roll off for scouts and placed the Waywatchers at the back of the central wood, while Paul placed both units of Chameleon Skinks out in the open, one slightly right of centre and the other out on my far left. 

Deployment from the centre of the WE lines
A wider view of the deployment
Against all the odds, I managed to win the roll off for first turn and, learning from my mistakes in the last game (take a look here for details), I elected to take the first turn.

The first act was to declare a charge with the Dryads against the Chameleon Skinks out in the open (either they would act as bait to draw out a charge from the Stegadon and/or Cold Ones, or they'd be in a position to rampage into Paul's skirmishers on T2). The Chameleons elected to Stand and Shoot, and luckily managed to shoot down two of the advancing nymphs. Elsewhere the Treekin and Eternal Guard both advanced slightly around the ruin in order to face off against the two main threats from the Lizards - the Stegadon and Cold Ones. The Waywatchers advanced to the front of the central wood, while the Glade Guard most stayed still to make the most of their longer range (forcing the Skinks to come to me to get shots off). Magic saw Wyssan's Wildform and Curse of Anraheir cast on the Dryad combat (overkill, but I wanted to try and draw out Dispel Dice). Finally, the Amber Spear was successfully cast against the Stegadon, despite Paul's best attempt to dispel, but somehow failed to wound.

Following that, shooting was absolutely awful. A combination of long range and skirmishers conspired to result in only three Skinks falling to the arrow storm that was aimed at them. The only combat of the turn more than made up for the result though, as the Dryads ripped through the Chameleon Skinks with 11 unsaved wounds and a 9" overrun to put them right in front of the Lizardmen advance.

End of WE T1 
Paul's first turn began with a refusal to take the Dryad bait as he declared no charges. Instead he made tentative moves with the Stegadon, Saurus and Cold Ones while the Skinks mostly advanced as far forward as they could to get clear shots at the Wood Elf forces.

Magic saw Piercing Bolts of Burning cast on the Eternal Guard - I thought 5d3 S4 hits would be a bit too much to take for measly T3 elves and whipped out the Dispel Scroll to get rid of it. Clearly the dice gods had other things in mind though, as Paul then went on to cast Flame Storm and land it right on top of the Guard, killing seven of them as I failed every armour save. 

Shooting saw the Dryads take two more casualties to those deadly Skink blowpipes, and the Glade Guard suffered even worse as the remaining Chameleon Skinks on my left inflicted seven casualties on them and caused them to flee.

Lizardmen T1 Movement
End of  Lizardmen T1 - right and centre
End of Lizardmen T1 - centre and left
Turn 2 began with three charges declared; the Waywatchers and Dryads called for a joint charge on the nearest unit of Skinks, and the left-hand Eagle (perhaps foolishly) declared a charge against the left-most Skinks. Not surprisingly, the Eagle was summarily shot down by the Skinks but the Waywatchers and Dryads made contact easily. Meanwhile, the fleeing Glade Guard managed to rally with three archers remaining.

Obviously overwhelmed by successfully casting so many spells in the first turn, my Spellweaver needed a turn's rest and failed to cast her very first spell and ended the Magic phase in short order. Shooting couldn't fail to be more successful, and half of the Chameleon Skinks were shot down along with eight from the unengaged Skink unit in the centre. 

WE T2 Movement
In the only combat, the Waywatchers took out four of the Skinks with the Dryads adding another two casualties. Against such pressure the Skinks stood no chance and fled, although both Wood Elf units failed to roll high enough to catch them.
End of the Dryad-Waywatcher combat
The start of the Lizardmen Turn 2 saw them finally take decisive action, with the Stegadon charging the Eternal Guard and the Saurus, oddly, declaring a charge against the Dryads.

Magic saw the Saurus gifted with the Flaming Sword of Rhuin, and Flame Storm was attempted on the nearby Waywatchers - in the end, it scattered back onto the Dryad-Saurus combat but failed to do any damage. Shooting saw little achieved on the right, as the Skinks failed to damage the Treekin, but the remaining Skinks on the left caused three casualties on the untouched small Glade Guard unit and forced them to flee.

The first of the turn's combats saw the Saurus wipe out the Dryads in short order, but they failed to plough into the Waywatchers with a paltry 2" overrun move! The slaughter did cause the Waywatchers to flee, however, and they ran from the advancing Lizards.

The other, more important, combat saw a grand total of seven Eternal Guard slain, with a single wound returned against the Stegadon. Crucially, the Eternal Guard remained Stubborn and passed their Break Test with ease.

Lizardmen T2 Movement - right
Lizardmen T2 Movement - left

The third Wood Elf turn began with two more charges - the first saw the three Glade Guard charge the Chameleon Skinks, who held, and the Treekin charge the Skinks in the centre, crucially lining up a potential overrun move into the Stegadon combat (although the Stand & Shoot saw the Treekin suffer a wound). Meanwhile, the Eagle positioned itself for sacrifice in the name of granting the Treekin a turn of safety from the Cold Ones, and the Waywatchers kept running away from the Saurus.

Magic saw the Curse of Anraheir cast on the Stegadon, although the more important Wyssan's Wildform and Savage Beast of Horros were dispelled. Shooting saw seven more Skinks culled by the big Glade Guard unit, although they hung around by passing their Panic test. 

The Eternal Guard were in drastic need of some help now, and the Treekin happily obliged by wiping out the Skinks and overrunning into the combat (which had yet to be fought). The Eternal Guard fought first and achieved nothing, the Stegadon took the lives of another three Guard, but the Treekin hit like a tonne of bricks and took three wounds off the dinosaur. Just one more wound to go!

Meanwhile, the other combat saw the Glade Guard suffer a casualty after fluffing their attacks but they still won due to having a musician - the Chameleon Skinks failed the resultant Break test and fled the table.

Wood Elf Movement T3
The Sacrificial Eagle
The Lizardmen third turn saw the Saurus attempt to catch the Waywatchers, who fled a further 11" away. The Cold Ones had no real choice but to charge the Eagle - the birdie fled, but managed a paltry 2" before being caught.

Magic saw Piercing Bolts take down two of the Waywatchers - not enough for Paul's liking, and so he rolled a 6-dice Fireball against them, which was somehow dispelled! Shooting from the few remaining Skinks saw the big Glade Guard unit take a single casualty. 

In combat, the Eternal Guard once again failed to do anything significant against the Stegadon, losing four more of their number to the dino's attacks. Finally, the Treekin managed to take the Stegadon's last wound and the Wood Elves breathed a sigh of relief. Reforming in victory the Eternal Guard (now just three members strong, plus the BSB) turned to face the two Skinks in the central wood while the Treekin about-turned to face the next threat - the Cold Ones.

Lizardmen T3 - the Cold Ones take on the Eagle
Lizardmen T3, prior to the Stegadon combat
And after combat
The fourth Wood Elf turn began with the Eternal Guard charging the two Skinks in the wood, who fled, and the Treekin attempting a charge against the Cold Ones' flank but unluckily failing by an inch. The Waywatchers once again failed to rally, and the Glade Guard finally shot away the remaining Skinks on the left flank. Magic once again saw Amber Spear successfully cast, and again somehow fail to wound the very first Cold One it hit.

In the Lizardmen T4, both the Saurus and Cold Ones reformed to get back in the action and face the Treekin. The Cold Ones prepared for the incoming charge and the Saurus began making very slow progress back the way they had come. Magic saw the Slann cast a Fireball on the Treekin with Irresistible Force and suffer a wound for his troubles, although it also took four wounds off the Treekin.

The Cold Ones reform to face the incoming charge
With the game almost over, what would turn out to be the decisive combat began. The Treekin this time managed to reach the Cold Ones, while the Glade Guard shot down the last of the Skinks and the Eternal Guard took refuge in the central wood. The Waywatchers finally rallied to deny Paul more Victory Points, and the Spellweaver and BSB reposition themselves in order to help the Treekin defeat the Cold Ones.

The Curse of Anraheir goes through on the Cold Ones, but Wyssan's Wildform is unfortunately dispelled. The extra +1S and +1T would have proved useful as well, as the Treekin only managed to kill two Cold Ones (Paul saved five out of seven wounds) and the Cold Ones inflicted two wounds in return. Thanks to the presence of their Standard and musician, the Treekin lost the combat by one. Luckily, they passed the Break test, with the help of the newly positioned BSB.

The decisive combat in action
The final turn saw the Saurus continue to advance on the Treekin, with the Slann casting another Irresistable Force-d Flame Cage on the Treekin, and this time passing the Miscast onto the Spellweaver thanks to the damned Cupped Hands of the Old Ones, causing a wound. The subsequent casting of Fireball against the Spellweaver is emphatically dispelled! 

In combat, the Treekin again killed two Cold Ones and this time only suffered a single wound in return. Again, they somehow lost the combat by one and were again saved on the Break test by the proximity of the BSB (the initial roll was double 6s, the reroll ended up as double 1s!)

With the night now getting late, and not long left to play, we ended the game after the Lizardmen T5. The end score saw the Wood Elves score a surprising 795VPs (I had no idea Skinks could be worth so much!) compared to the Lizardmen's 322VPs - in 8th Edition terms, a clear Win for the forest dwellers, although a Marginal Victory (in 7th Edition) is a better reflection of the result.

One more turn could have seen the Treekin combat go either way - both sides stood to gain as many VPs as the other if either side fled (although the likelihood of that was slim - Ld 9 Treekin with a BSB reroll vs. Ld 9 Cold Ones with Cold-Blooded???). It would have taken an extreme charge from the Saurus to be able to influence the combat (needing at least 10 on 2d6 to reach the Treekin...) so the deciding factor would have been Magic - whether the Spellweaver could cast enough to tip the combat in the Treekin's favour (maybe even entering combat herself with Savage Beast in play?) and whether the Slann could throw around enough magic missiles to take out the vulnerable BSB or Spellweaver, or take a few more wounds off the Treekin to allow the Cold Ones to finish the job. The Treekin fleeing/destroyed would have been enough to snatch Paul a Draw; the Cold Ones (and accompanying Scar Veteran) running or destroyed would have grabbed me roughly 500 more VPs, and turned the Marginal Victory into a comfortable Solid Victory. 

~ ~ ~

So how did the list play? Well, it's a bit difficult to tell entirely - despite still being competitive, the Lizardmen book is a bit outdated (although not nearly as much as the Wood Elves book...) and Paul's list isn't the toughest test I'll face - it will be interesting to see how it works against Vampires or the new High Elves, for instance. That said, the Treekin are a great addition; they hit hard and they're reasonably tough (certainly tougher than any elf). Using the Lore of Beasts rather than Life was a good change; while Regrowth and/or Flesh to Stone would have been hugely beneficial, Wyssan's Wildform and Curse of Anraheir proved useful (even if they didn't come into play too often) and Amber Spear/Transformation of Kadon are sufficient threats to keep any opponent on their toes. I probably need more characters to get the best out of Pann's Pelt and Savage Beast, but they would prove helpful in assisting the Eternal Guard through the BSB. I don't think I can say that I prefer one Lore over the other at this stage, but Lore of Beasts does offer more in the way of offensive advantages which is something Wood Elf combat units struggle with (i.e. I don't kill enough).

Anyway, it'll probably be a couple of weeks before I get another game in, which should give me time to finish off sculpting the rest of the Treekin and painting up them and the new Eagles. So, ciao for now!

No comments:

Post a Comment