Let me set the scene - entering 1st is the Army of Light and all that is Good and True and Wonderful (*ahem*) consisting of my High Elves and Stephen's Wood Elves (nice to be fighting with rather than against the sneaky buggers this time). Approaching them over the top of the imposing Mt. Zugesh is the Army of Darkness and all that is Unholy consisting of Toshi's Army of Chaos and Aidan's Dark Elves. 1500 pts per player, 3000 pts per army, shared power and dispel dice. The basic army lists were:
Army of Light (3000 pts approx.)
11xDragon Princes, 20xSpearmen, 20xSpearmen, 20xPhoenix Guard + 2 Heros
Treeman, 12xDryads, 15xGladeguard, 8xScouts, 6xWildriders, 6xWardancers + 1 Hero
Army of Dark (3000 pts approx.)
5xCold One Knights, 10xDark Riders (2 Units), 14xCrossbows, Boltthrower + 3 Heros
30xWarriors of Chaos, 2xChariots of Khorn, 2xSpawn, Demon, 10xWarhounds (2 units) + 3 Heros
Oh, great I arrive late at Club to see a table covered in terrain and Dark Elf cavalry, and this big bugged wing monstrosity of a Chaos Demon. However, the terrain set up does present some nice bottlenecks for both sides, giving an advantage to the army with the fastest movement. Key advantage for Army of Darkness though was their larger number of fast units and the Demon with its 20" fly ability. Quick overview of terrain:
- Two large impassable hills - with one at top middle having a small path to top allowing it be used for deployment.
- Two forests + one hedgerow.
- A gentle hill + a small rocky outcrop.
I think Dark went first although I'm not quite sure as I got there late. Basically it went as expected, Dark Elf fast units massed on the flat featureless area to our Lights left, Chaos Warriors and fast units to Lights right and missle units (w. Demon) in centre. Army of light deployed all of its infantry in the centre with missle and scout troops on flanks and Heavy Cavalry mid-right flank. Basic battleplan was to block off gap between hill and forest on left w. Spears & Wood Elf archers, hold gap between forest and rocky outcrop on right w. Wood Elves, then charge High Elf Phoenix Guard through centre and around Chaos flank with Dragon Princes & Wardancers tying them down in the middle.
Turn 1 - Light starts
Light begins with sneaky attack by Wood Elf hero on Dark Elf mage in their own deployment zone. A charge and a challenge and he's dead in one round of combat, although the Wood Elf soon follows. CR mean however that the nearby Chaos Warhounds panic, while the Cold One Knights fail a stupid test? and can't move. Wood Elf shooting causes some good early damage as Light advances towards the identified terrain bottlenecks.
Turn 2 - First combats
On Light's right flank the Wild Riders are outnumbered and overrun. The overrunning units advance through to Lights rear causing a quick change in strategy by Lights generals. On Lights right the Dragon Princes charge the first Spawn hoping to kill it quickly and overun into the Chaos warriors, and avoiding the Chariot neatly positioned for a flank charge. Spearmen charge on the left and drive off the DE scouts in the forest and WE shooting continues to decimate the DE fast units.
After the initial Light charges Dark responds with the Chaos Warriors moving in, and the Dark mages using their magic to great effect. Reacting to the movement of the Chaos Demon the Phoenix Guard are effectively removed from the game as they vainly move back and forth trying to counter him/her/it?!? Meanwhile the Spawn has remained alive as despite the Dragon Princes and accompanying Noble having 17 attacks they fail to kill it (its times like that I miss my Stumpies). The Chariots of Khorn then charge in against the Princes and the Treeman.
Things start to look up for the Light. The Dragon Princes kill the Spawn, force the chariot to flee and overrun it. The Treeman kills the other chariot and then charges the Chaos Warriors. More shooting on the left decimates the advancing DE cavalry, while the HE infantry continue to wander around without a clue.
Now things get interesting. Chaos units get in range to charge the WE archers in front and flank, the riders on Dark's left have reformed and now rush into Lights rear forcing the Wardancers to hold back to counter them. Meanwhile the Dragon Princes are being decimated by bowfire and bolts. After 3 turns the have lost 9/11 models are not looking good.
Turn 4 - Last roll of the dice for Light
In Lights centre the Spearelves are now hiding in the trees, wary of both the effective DE bowfire and the flying demon. The 1st Spears on Lights left however, turn about setting up for a flank charge on the advancing Cold One Knights. Meanwhile the Phoenix Guard advance toward the DE cavalry and the remaining WE units charge the Chaos Demon and Chaos Warriors. The Treeman has put up a valiant defence, killing a Chaos Hero and allowing the remaining Dragon Princes time to charge the rear.
Disaster for Chaos on their right - the DE cavalry has all but been wiped out by Wood Elf bowfire. However, DE crossbows have killed the WE scouts in the woods and are starting to decimate the High Elf Spearmen who have pitched tents under the trees. Behind the Chaos Warriors - the 2 remaining Dragon Princes save against a barrage of magic and bolts, ready to charge.
Turn 5 - The final gasp
With time running out this was the last turn of the game. The DE cavalry on Lights left has now been completely destroyed - the WE archers on the hill the Light unit of the game without any doubt - now turn their deadly bows on the sole remaining DE riders, killing the 2 that are left. Disaster follows though as the Dyrads and the Wardancers are all killed forced to flee into impassable terrain and overrun by the Demon and Warhound. The Dragon Princes hit the rear of the Chaos Warriors doing no damage at all - while the High Elf infantry move to secure table quarters to earn some victory points.
The last turn and Chaos is triumphment the mighty warriors burning the Treeman and grinding his ashes into the ground, before turning on the Dragon Princes and the accompanying HE General sending their souls to the Void in agony.
At first glance its really really bad for the Army of Light. All of the units that entered combat have been destroyed, and of the 4 that are left on the board only 1 - the 1st Spears - is at full strength. Dark has also suffered heavily Dark Elf horses litter the battlefield the corpses of their riders rotting beside them. The Chaos Demon and his Warriors pick over the remains of the Chariots and watch as the crows feast on the dead Spawn, as the HE Phoenix Guard and Spearmen look on ashamed that they played no real part in the battle - only watching as their comrades were slaughtered. Final points tally - Dark 2400 approx. Light 1600 approx. for a Dark Marginal Victory.