March 6, 2009

Warhammer Battle Reports - High Elves vs. Chaos

Two battles, two close results, two poor decisions cost me
Game 1 - 1500pts / Game 2 - 1000pts

Two matches against Caleb's Chaos army last night at the Club. First was our scheduled 1500pt match for which I have been struggling to settle on an army list for, just too many damn choices. The 2nd game was played off the cuff with a 1000pts as we finished the first game reasonably quickly.

Game 1 - Army Lists
In the end I went for a magic heavy list. Lore of Metal would help against the high AS Chaos units, and the High Magic would help bolster why low Toughness Elves in combat.

Mage Lvl 2 w. Silver Wand & High Magic
Mage Lvl 2 w. Jewel of Dusk & Lore of Metal
Noble w. Armour of Caledor, GW & BSB
Spears x30 w. FC & Lion Banner
Dragon Princes x5 w. FC & Banner of Sorcery
Silver Helms x8 w. Banner & Musician
Shadow Warriors x5
Bolt Thrower
Archers x10

Facing up against these guys was a large Chaos forces of

Nurgle Sorcerer
Chaos Knights x5
Maruader Horsemen x5
Warhounds x5
Warhounds x5
Marauders x20
Chaos Ogres x5
Chaos Chariot

Game 1 - Deployment
Terrain set up was good with a forests and rocks scattered around the edges and a nice clear space in the middle as you would expect. Rocks hampered deployment of cavalry but did allow me some options with my Shadow Warriors. Chaos deployed first and also moved first.

Game 1 - Turn 1
Well things didn't start well for me when the Nurgle Sorcerer got off his only spell - Fireball - right into the middle of my Archers & Mage General. He rolled a 10 on 3 dice and I rolled an 8 on 4 which pretty much summed up my dice rolls for the rest of the night, 1's and 2's all round. Result 6 Archers die and the unit and my General rout off the board. Not only have I lost a lot of points but also 10xS3 shots (useful against the Marauders & Hounds) and my ability to use High Magic to bolster my Elves. On the bright side though the Lore of Metal makes short work of one unit of Warhounds, but just misses the big unit of Maruaders with the key spell (forget it at moment) when after rolling an irresitable force it falls 5mm short - 5mm SHORT - AGGHHHHH!!!!!!!! Bolt-thrower does well killing one Ogre and wounding another 5/6 shots hitting and wounding.

Game 1 - Turns 2 & 3
Strange things happened this turn. The Marauders wheel and pivot everywhere - damn fast cavalry - and Caleb begins positioning his mobile forces well enough to cut down my options. With the Chaos Knights being held back I am thinking too much about them and not enough about my own troops. In one surprise move though his Ogres end up NOT charging my Spears - still not sure why?!? So I charge them instead with the Silver Helms also charging the Warhounds who flee in response, but I roll a really poor pursuit distance of 4", thats right 4 on 3D6!?!?!. More magic this turn sees the Chaos Chariot take some hits but the big spell launced at the Nurgle Sorcerer and the Marauders is dispelled. The Bolt-Thrower ignores the Chariot and goes for the Marauder Horseman.

Big battle though is on the my right with the Spears charging the Ogres. The Chaos Champion with the unit has to challenge and my Champion responds and is cut down with 4 wounds adding to Chaos CR. However, the Elves are able to hit in 3 ranks - so with the Champion out and the BSB in the front rank I have 13 attacks with my Spears, and 3 from the BSB with his GW. While only 2 Ogres die (one was already wounded in previous turn) the Ogre unit loses on CR (Ogres - 4 wounds + 1 Banner = 5/ Elves - 4 wounds, Banner, BSB, 3 ranks, outnumber = 8) and flees through the Marauders. The Elves pursue but come up 1 yes 1 inch short of the Marauders who were behind the Ogres.

In the middle the Dragon Princes have moved up too close to the Chaos horseman and are charged by the Chariot in the flank and the Maruaders in front. The Chaos Knights with the Marauders out of the way hit the Silver Helms. Results here are brutal while I normally strike first the Chariots impact hits top that rule. A roll of D6+1 gets 7, thats right, the maximum 7 S5 hits onto the Dragon Princes who are all hit. Of the 5 in the unit only 2 survive to hit in combat, they miss and are then cut down. The Chariot overruns a short way and serves only to block the Marauder horsemen. The Silver Helms manage to kill a single Chaos Knight but are then cut down and forced to flee. As they flee into impassable terrain they are killed instantly, and the Chaos Knights overrun into the Shadow Warriors.

Game 1 - Turns 4-5
Ok things look really bad for me now. The turn starts with the Shadow Warriors dying and the Chaos Chariot thundering toward the Bolt-Thrower. With the Silver Helms, Shadow Warriors, my Mage General, Archers & Dragon Princes dead my entire army is virtually wiped out (wish I had a Necromancer handy). Only my 30 strong unit of Spears, my BSB, Mage & Bolt-Thrower are left. With a massive Chaos victory on the cards what happens next is simple awesome - for me anyway.

The Spears charge the Marauders, kill 8 of them including the Nurgle Sorcerer who is cut down by the BSB, overrun them and hit the Ogres who are also wiped out. Result I kill two units, the Chaos General, capture 2 unit banners and the Chaos Battle Standard with a massive points shift to me. The Bolt-Thrower and the Mage chop down the Maruaders leaving only a single model left, who decides to run away and hide for the rest of the game.

At the end of Turn 5 - Chaos has his Knights and his Chariot (with 1 wound left) on the board, and I have my Spears (who have only lost 3 models so far), my BSB, Bolt-Thrower and Mage. Current points put the battle at a draw with a slight 75pt advantage to Chaos.

Rather than protect this advantage by having the Spears run as far away from the Chaos Knights as possible, I leave them in place hoping they can last out one turn thinking that a frontal charge is better than getting hit in the rear.

Game 1 - Turn 6
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory (or a draw)
This turn sees the Chaos Knights who reformed in Turn 4 and moved in Turn 5 charge the Spears. The Bolt-Thrower kills the Chariot (FINALLY IT TOOK 18 SHOTS TO DO IT). The Spears lose on CR flee, the Chaos guys fail to catch them but recover the 3 banners the Spears had captured, and capture the Spears banner in reply. My BSB in one smart turn of events had departed the unit to hide in a forest so isnt captured.

Chaos wins a Solid Victory by 435 pts - the capturing of the Spears banner and the reclaiming of the 3 Chaos banners that Spear unit had itself captured seeing a massive point turnaround in the scores.

Game 1 - Final Thoughts
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it told me quite simply to trust my instincts and protect my points advantage. It sucks in some ways playing for VP instead of going for the kill and I personally think its kind of negative in a way, but hey a win is a win and a loss is a loss. Given the carnage in Turns 1-3 to get it that close to a draw and then lose was heartbreaking. The Spears were simply awesome, but a unit of 30 is too large 25 would be better, and Ill need to buy some more so I can field two units of that strength.

Key was the loss in Turn 1 of my Mage with his High Magic and the Archers. Those 10 xS3 shots would have done some damage at least to the Marauder horsemen, and the Mages use of High Magic would have definately bolstered the High Elf units enough to see them survive a little longer. Once again the Dragon Princes show their split personality. So lethal in the charge, they are sitting ducks when charged themselves. Deploying them in the centre was a mistake, but one dictated by the terrain. Caleb's use of his fast cavalry also showed how badly I need some Ellyrian Reavers, his tactics in using them to block my moves and set up favourable combat options for himself was really good. You need to think 1-2 turns ahead at all times, something I dont always do as I still tend to play too quickly. By this I mean, think ahead with combats - If i charge and win what happens, where would I end up, who would I break into that sort of thing.

Game 2
This was pretty similar with me adding some Swordmasters to the mix this time round. Again the battle see-sawed beginning with Chaos getting an early advantage before I started to crawl it back. However, a massive melee involving the Chaos Knights, Maruader Horsemen, Marauders, Silver Helms and Spears saw my units break and flee and Chaos gain a massive victory.

750pt battles next week - looks like ill get a game against a new club member with his Skaven, should be fun. Might bring my Dwarves though as 750pts of High Elves is too damn tricky to figure out.

Final Note
My record against Chaos is appalling bad P14 W1 L11 D2 !!!!!!!!!!! need help!!!


Darth Weasel said...

Wow, a bot got through the word verification. That is fun.

Sounds like a fun battle. I am seeing more and more that the game is primarily decided in the final two turns, the first ones are just set-up. Losing an important character/unit really hurts and the victory point thing is definitely hokey. After all, a battle should not be decided by 5 miscellaneous routed survivors standing in an away-from-the-real-action corner and somehow giving more points than their original unit was worth (yes, I have seen that done).


I also really enjoy your post-game analysis. Nice work.

Toshi David said...

Yeah thats quite funny - you should definitely delete that first post :)

Good games, sounds like you had your work cut out for you! Ill have to turn up and challenge this Chaos imposter, there is only one true Chaos warlord!!

Anonymous said...

When high elf spearmen charge they can only fight in two ranks and not three.

John said...

Yeah unfortunately that was a rule I forgot during that game unfortunately, didnt make much of difference though...