DeploymentOnce again we ignored all of the terrain rules and treated everything as being non-threatening so no magical woods, ghost fences or temples of skulls that sort of thing. From my limited experience I am starting to think that this side of 8th is going to add a fair bit of time to the average game, and it may be ignored in many tournament situations. However, the new terrain rules are really good and Ill look forward to incorporating them more regularly.
I choose sides and begun deploying first. Archers on either flank and Budgie in the middle to delay putting down the key units as long as possible. The Phoenix Guard were the one unit I know Aidan was concerned about so they went down early on the extreme flank as a teaser. Aim was for them to hold that side while the rest of the army swept around one side of the Dark Elf army.
Deployment - High Elves in blue, Dark Elves in red
Deployment ended with our forces diagonally opposite each other and orientated for sweeping movements that would rely on one side forcing its way through before the other could do so.
Turn 1 - 2The initial movement saw my Archers deploy into a building and the Phoenix Guard moving behind them to anchor the left flank. Dark Elf flying units began the process of sweeping toward them with the Cold One Knights and Hydra joining them. Meanwhile I moved my other key units in one block toward the Corsairs protecting the Dark Elf right. The main concern were the large units of repeater crossbows guarding the Dark Elf centre. The ability to fire in two ranks with repeating crossbows, with the armour piercing rule, that Dark Elves get is just brutal.
I had rolled for all of the Augment spells on the Lore of Life and had no Hex or Direct Damage options, except for the Thorns spell which required me to be in combat. Magic in early stages consisted of boosts to the Toughness of the Spears (+4 thanks to boost from earlier spell) and the dispelling of the Pit of Shades.
Combat & shooting saw the Eagle charge the Harpies while the Archers fired at the Dark Elf skirmishers. The Eagle managed to chew through one unit of Harpies before overunning into the 2nd but the Archers were cut down when charged by a Dark Elf noble mounted on a winged steed. The new rules allowing monsters to go into buildings proving very dangerous.
A critical turn and one that had a major impact. I held the Spears back from the Crossbows advancing only far enough forward to ensure a succesful charge the next turn. The Dark Elf Corsairs charged the White Lions though, but with the Dark Mage in their front rank (Aidan forgetting that he had to go with them). The White Lions though had had their WS, BS, I and M all reduced by '3' by Shadow Magic. In the resulting combat they only just managed to hold on losing 6 of their number to the charging Corsairs.
In Turn 4 the first thing I did was dispel the spell on the White Lions giving them their re-rolls back. The subsequent 14 attacks from them and the 11 from the Dragon Princes who charged the flank of the Corsairs killed all but 3 of them. They and the accompanying Dark Elf Archmage fled adn were cut down ending the major Dark Elf magical threat. In the same turn the Spears charged the Crossbows after first having 4 of their number revived by 'Regrowth'.
Stand and shoot killed those same 4 models and they crashed into the larger of the 2 Crossbow units. 21 attacks from the Spears (3 ranks of 7) plus 3 from the BSB killed 12 Dark Elves and the rest broke and ran. They and the mage who was with them were chased and cut down. The only Dark Elf success came on the left where a few more archers were killed. So Turn 4 ended with the Dark Elf magic users and General dead and their largest units destroyed.
Turn 5Both sides re-positioned their remaining key units forming opposite sides of the same circle getting ready for charges. Unfortunately I made a poor decision and exposed the flank of the White Lions to the Cauldron of Blood. This charged me and routed them and the Cold One Knights simply crushed the Dragon Princes who they charged in the same turn.
High Elf Turn 5
Sometimes it pays to hang back a little bit and take the points rather than go for the outright kill. That and you should plan for the unexpected - I hadnt counted on the Cauldron charging me and consequently ignored it when moving the White Lions.
End result of this Turn was a major turn around in the fortunes of each army. A final decision on who would win was not forthcoming though as we ran out of time and had to call it a night.
Once again a tight fought contest that showed just how brutal 8th Ed combat can be. In every game I have played so far at least one, if not both, armies have been almost completely destroyed. If we had used the terrain rules it would have been even worse given the number of forests we had on the board.
Looking forward to the testing the same army against Adams Dwarfs next week and then its off to the 1st tournament of 2011, and my first under 8th Edition.