Tested out my WIP High Elf last night against Doug's Dark Elves. Promised to be a good game as Doug is a very good player, lots of experience, fun to play against and very helpful when it comes to ideas and advice on things.
He promised to bring a standard tournament list and he did, albeit a rather strong one which by his own admission would have suffered a bit on composition. But a hard test was what I was after, his list was (from memory).
Lord on Dragon
BSB w. ASF Banner
Blackguard x15 (BSB's unit)
Cold One Knights x5
Dark Riders x5
Doug won the dice roll and got to choose sides. Terrain was set up fairly eveningly with couple of hills on either side for our respective Bolt-Throwers and some forests to hide our Dragons behind. He opted in the end to stick with the Northern end and the larger forest meaning I had more open space to deploy in.
I made my first mistake here as I mistook his unit of Black Guard for Warriors, this would come back to haunt me later. His Lord went behind the forest, as did my Dragon Mage - we were both worried about our respective Bolt Throwers. His Mage went in with his Warriors and his BSB with his Black Guard. My BSB went on the left hand Spear unit, those without the Lion Banner, while the Archmage went with the P/Guard - in hindsight I should have dropped him out earlier. Swordmasters behind as usual to avoid any shooting, although the hills pretty much made that a waste of time. I also took the opportunity the forest provided me and stuck a single RBT in it principally so his flyers couldnt get both of them on the hill and also to be a pain for his Dragon should it come up that flank.
Turns 1 - 2
Rush everyone forward, cast some magic and kill the damn hydra. Magic didn't work too well, as the Black Guard had some annoying banner that meant anytime I cast something at a target within 12" of them and threw a double it became a miscast. End result 3 turns of miscasts for my Archmage which saw him take a wound and lose a magic level.
End of Turn 1 went to the DE with the Xbows causing carnage in my primary Spear unit, and the Lord on Dragon breathing over and killing one of my D/Princes. Not a fire based attack so they weren't immune to it unfortunately.
I was slightly out of charge range so moved close enough to entice Doug in during Turn 2. My RBTs scored the big kill of the opening rounds skewering the Hydra with 2 Bolts. Doug had slightly mis-calculated his placement and was just within range of my 2nd RBT in the forest and it was this one that put paid to the nasty beastie. My magic also got of this turn with the Dragon Mage buring a few Xbows and the Archmage making everyone Stubborn and sticking a nice little 5+ WS on the BSB's Spear Unit. This proved a good move as the next round in charged the Dark Elves. Cold One Knights into the Spearmen and BSB, Black Guard & DE BSB into the Phoenix Guard. Unfortunately I hadn't taken the Archmage out of the PG unit so he was stuck there unable to attack and unable to be harmed due to his Folraiths Robe. The DE Lord also hit the Dragon Princes in the rear. Combat was relatively even, except with everyone managing to hold on, dragging out combat.
Turns 3 - 5
The big melee in the middle continued throughout these two turns and right into the start of Turn 5. I started off by flying the Dragon Mage over toward the nasty harpies and Cold Riders. Magic and RBT's took care of the Cold Riders while my puny S2 Dragons Breath manage to get rid of the Harpies. In combat the PGuard kept losing the initiative roll to the DE ASF Banner, but were proving as hard to kill as always. End result was a grinding combat over 6 rounds between the PGuard and the Black Guard.
On the left the Spears and BSB managed to kill a single Cold One Knight while losing 5 of their number, and these units also found themselves locked in an ongoing combat. The only significant loss came when the DPrinces were butchered by the DE Lord and his Dragon who only just failed to overrun into the Spears to his front.
Turns 4-5 saw the DE Lord charge the flank of the Spears and challenge my BSB, who manage to hold him off for 2 rounds wounding the DE Lord a couple of times. In the same round that the DE Lord flank charged the Spears those same puny Spearmen managed to kill 3 of the 4 remaining Cold One Knights. The result the DE lost the combat and came within a whisker of running away. In the other combat the PGuard continued to be whittled down by the Black Guard, and the Swordmasters who charged into their flank were also butchered although they did manage to take out 5 Black Guard in the process.
My Dragon Mage also proved himself useful here fluttering around behind the DE Dragon and aiming spells at the DE Mage hiding among his Warriors (this unit didnt move for the entire game, and least not willingly). DE shooting took down my RBT on the hill, and saw my smaller Spear unit flee cut down to just 9 bodies from its original 20.
Turn 5 was a bit nasty though. My BSB is killed along with the Spears, and the DE Lord and remaining Cold One Knight hit my PGuards flank. They break, flee and are cut down. Turn 5 ends then with only a small unit of 10 fleeing Spearmen, a single RBT and my Dragon Mage left on the field.
AH HA HA - Go the Dragon Mage lots of magic and breath attacks on the DE Mage and Warrior unit kills the Mage and 10 Warriors causing the unit to panic and flee. The Spears are charged and cut down by the DE Dragon who fails to overrun far enough to hide behind the hill and out of sight of my Bolt-Thrower - but he misses, for the first time all game and nothing comes of it.
At the same time those damn DE Xbows manage to kill off my Dragon while the RBT's skewer my Dragon Mage. The game ends with only my RBT left on the table facing a DE army at slightly under half strength.
Final thoughts; did my list work?
Damn I lost, but it was fun - a big nasty melee which went for 6 rounds is what you like to see in Warhammer. That damn ASF banner was freaking horrible, and I might have changed what I did if I hadn't mistaken the Black Guard for Spears. Dragon Mage worked surprisingly well know that I wasn't charging him in. Swordmasters could be cut down to 7 giving me points for other units, and I would really like to field 3 not 2 units of Spears. Just need to work on some unit fillers.