March 23, 2012

Battle Report - High Elves vs. Bretonians 2400pts

The deep Asuryan Blue sky and bright sun shining off the glittering armour of his arrayed warhost filled Lord Ehardill Alnaen Archmage of the 7th House with confidence as he scanned the battlefield ahead of him.  In the distance his keen eyesight had already identified the massed ranks of heavily armoured Bretonnian Knights and the squat ugly blocks of human infantry.  Behind him the ashes of the huge funeral pye, upon which the bodies of the High Elf army butchered 2 days ago by the same Bretonian army lay, still smouldered. Their deaths and the act of collecting and stacking the corpses left to rot by the human scum had steeled his heart and those of the High Elves he commanded.  Rank upon rank of Spears, White Lions, Ellyrian Reavers and Swordmasters of Hoeth all united in their desire for revenge.  Alnaen's only nagging doubt was the resolve of the Spear militia, newly raised and not yet tested in battle the grevious losses suffered in campaigns against the Dwarfs (see here) and now the Bretonnians (see here) had seriously depleted the ranks of Ulthuan's forces. Pushing aside his doubts Ehardill watched as Ellyrian Reavers galloped forward forming a fast moving vanguard ahead of the Elven infantry.  Motioning to the hosts Battle Standard Bearer and his fellow Mage Inhiar Tathedr newly appointed to the 3rd House Lord Ehardill gave the order to march and battle was joined....

The Bretonian Force
Brettonian Lord
Prophetess Level 4
Noble BSB
Damsel L2
30 x Men at Arms
30 x Men at Arms
11 x Knights Errant (KE1)
9 x Knights Errant (KE2)
9 x Knights of the Realm (KotR)
2 x Pegasus Knights
5 x Mounted Yeomen
5 x Mounted Yeomen

Deployment - High Elves in Blue, Bretonians in Red - Advance positions of Reavers etc is where they ended up after Vanguard movement

The High Elf Force
Lord Ehardill Alnaen Level 4 Death Mage
Inhiar Tathedr Level 2 Shadow Mage
Noble BSB
39 x Spears
13 x Archers
13 x Archers
25 x White Lions
13 x Swordmasters
13 x Swordmasters
5 x Ellyrian Reavers
5 x Ellyrian Reavers

Winning vanguard again gave the Reavers a chance to move in and be annoying, bowfire scoring 2 wounds on 1 Trebuchet crew.  The Archers on the hill also did well killing 3 mounted Yeomen and forcing the remainder of the unit to flee off the board.  The rest of the army marched forward angling for the Knights of the Realm.  Deployment I had put everything on the right hand side minimising the areas in which Brendan could deploy and move his large blocks of Knights.  I also considered the option of deploying behind the forest forcing his Knights to charge through it taking dangerous tests and losing their ranks.  The Winds of Magic without the Banner of Sorcery were very kind throwing up a 12 on the first go giving me 13PD with the Jewel of Dusk.  Lore of Death weakened the Knights Errant (KE1) lowering their initiative and leadership.

High Elves - Turn 1
Bretonian movement saw the Men at Arms charge the Ellyrian Reavers to their front.  Choosing to flee the Reavers stumbled failed to gallop far enough and were chopped down.  Meanwhile the other Yeomen and Pegasus Knights made a beeline for the Archers on the hill. Surprisingly or maybe not the principle Knight units, including the 4 character Knights of the Realm all hung back.

Bretonnians Turn 1
The flight of the Ellyrian Reavers offers a small opportunity and the Swordmasters take it charging into the flank of the isolated Men at Arms.  The Archers meanwhile continue their good work wiping out the 2nd unit of Mounted Yeomen, while the 2nd Reaver unit flanks around behind the Bretonnian army to shoot at the Trebuchets.  Their advance also forces the other Men at Arms unit to reform to counter them.  The key movements though are those of the Spears, White Lions and 2nd Swordmaster unit.  Here the plan is to create a concave arc with the Spears at the centre into which the Bretonnian Knights will charge.  Expecting the Knights of the Realm with their 4 characters to hit the Spears they have been deployed 8 ranks deep their only job to hold on long enough for either the White Lions or Swordmasters to hit the Knights in the flank - only one unit would be able to do so as the other would have been charged by the Knights Errant.  Magic proves fickle again as the Bretonnian dispelling proves stronger.  In combat the Swordmasters hack down 13 Men at Arms but they hold on, opening up the Swordmasters flank to the Errants.  Anticipating the flank charge they reform to give themselves an extra body in the side and wait.

High Elves - Turn 2
CHARGE!!!!!!! The thunder of hooves echoes across the battlefield as all three units of Bretonnian Knights charge in.  As expected the Knights of the Realm hit the Spears and boosted by the Lore of Beasts the 3 Characters in the front rank prove completely impervious to the Spears and the accompanying BSB.  Putting all of their attacks into the rank and file Elven militia the Knights chew through the Elven unit.  On the right the Errants charge into the Swordmasters, here the outcome is different as the Elves of Hoeth hack down horse after horse, but somehow the Knights hang on.  On the left the 2nd Swordmaster unit goes down fighting killing another swathe of Men at Arms and a number of Knights before being overrun.  They are joined in death by the Archers who have been killed off by the charging Pegasus Knights.
Bretonnians - Turn 2

"Lord Ehardill Alnaen screams in despair as all around him Elven Militia throw down their shields and spears and flee for their lives.  The charge of the Bretonnian Lords has proven too strong and despite the valiant efforts of his Battle Standard Bearer the militia troops, untried in combat, are simply too terrified to realise that by holding on they would secure victory.  To his left, Ehardill's last sight before a Bretonnian warhorse tramples him into the ground is of the shocked faces of the White Lions - perfectly positioned to charge the exposed flank of the Knights - they watch instead as the Elven armies battleplan falls about and the Knights of the Realm charge past in pursuit of their fleeing comrades."
The victorious Bretonnian General hacks down at the fleeing Elven Militia
After the flight of the Spear Elves my battleplan is in ruins.  The charge of the Knights of the Realm only just, just clipped the front of the Spears and had I gone with the gut and kept the Spears back just that one extra inch they would have failed their charge.  Such was my despair I spent the next turn rolling every dice I had to see if I could make that L9 roll, I did - 16 times in a row without failing - I just couldn't do it when it mattered, a pox on the ficklness of dice.
High Elves - Turn 3

Anyway there was still something to salvage and I still had the White Lions and one unit of Swordmasters, as well as a Level 2 mage with Miasma and Pit of Shades on the board.  The White Lions opted to charge the 2nd Knight Errant unit positioned somewhat luckily for a flank charge.  The Knights opt to flee passing through a forest and losing 4 of their number to dangerous terrain.  Pushing my luck I try to re-direct into the rear of the larger Men at Arms unit but needing a 10 on the dice come up just short rolling 8.  The remaining Swordmasters kill off the rest of the Errants to their front and then reform to face the Knights of the Realm, and the Reavers move up to fire at the Trebuchet again. 

Bretonnian - Turn 3
The Bretonnian turn is relatively short all of their units reforming to face the remainder of my army, and the Trebuchets fire away but continue to miss.

The game is still nicely balanced but unfortunately my options are limited by Bretonnian magic which has seriously buffed up the characters in the front rank of the Knights of the Realm making them pretty much unkillable.  Consequently, the Swordmasters move into flank charge position and the White Lions get as close to the Knights as possible while also putting distance between them and the Men at Arms to their rear.  The Reavers put aside their bows, charge and overrun one of the Trebuchets.

High Elf - Turn 4
Bretonian magic continues to buff up the Characters as nearly everybody charges into combat.  Luckily for me the Pegasus Knights and Men at Arms both fall short and only the Knights get into combat.

Bretonnian - Turn 4

Amazingly the White Lions hang on and manage to take wounds off the Bretonian characters and more importantly kill the Bretonnian Battle Standard Bearer.  Their stubborn stand allows the Swordmasters to hit the Bretonnian flank where the rank and file Knights offer a much nicer target than the magically enhanced Lords.  The Reavers try to finish off the remaining Trebuchet with shooting while also positioning themselves to recieve the charge of the Knights Errant, who have lost more men advancing through the forest.

High Elves - Turn 5
In combat the Swordmasters hack through rank and file Knights and more importantly leave the Prophetess in serious risk of having to join combat. The key combat though comes after the Bretonnian Knights and their General grimly hang on allowing the Pegasus Knights and Men at Arms hit the White Lions in the flank and rear. Allocating attacks becomes critical as Bretonnian magic is no longer buffing their Lords and if the White Lions can kill of the 4 remaining rank and file Knights the Swordmasters will have free rein to put all of their attacks into the Prophetess who has spent the fight hiding in the ranks.  The White Lions fail though as the Knights make a string on huge armour saves (at -4 due to the Lions S6 Armour Piercing attacks) and ward saves.  They also fail to wound the Pegasus Knights and kill only 3 Men at Arms.  Unable to attack the two remaining Bretonnian characters the Swordmasters hit rank and file instead finishing off the Knights of the Realm.  But the Elves lose the rest of the combat and are forced to flee from the Pegasus Knights, Men at Arms, Bretonnian General and Prophetess. The 5 remaining White Lions somehow get away, but the Swordmasters are hacked to bits.  In another sideshow the remaining Trebuchet kills some Archers in the building and the rest flee off the board, and the Reavers are killed by the Errants.

"Inhiar Tathedr covered in blood from his many wounds and those of the Elves who have fallen around him wept as the Bretonnian Prophetess casually struck down his last attempt at using the Winds of Magic against the Bretonnian army.  He and the 5 surviving White Lions form a small blood stained, dirty and weary line and watch as the Bretonnian General and his Pegasus Knights charge toward them, their Prophetess joining them.  Knowing he and his comrades are about to die Inhiar summons his remaining energy and grips his small dagger tightly. 

 Next to him the White Lion commander offers a small smile and raises his axe.  The 6 Elves race forward meeting the advancing Bretonnians head on.  Their counter charge surprises their opponents, the Prophetess loses control of her horse and then her head as an axe cleaves it from her shoulders.  The Pegasus Knights mounts normally brave beyond measure also shy away in fright at the surprising sight of two legged blood drenched Lions (the White Lions having pulled the heads of their Lion pelts over their faces) coming toward them.  Natural animal instincts take over and axes cleave more human flesh, the Pegasus Knights dying along with their frightened mounts.  

But the Bretonnian General is still alive, laughing he raises his Sword and cuts down the 5 remaining White Lions, their commanders head crushed by the hooves of his horse.  Alone on the battlefield all of his comrades head, the funeral pyes of the first Elven host still smouldering behind him Inhiar flees.  The Bretonnian General laughing still doesnt even bother to use his sword but rather runs him down trampling Inhiar's body into the mud."
Bretonnians - Turn 5
Bretonnians - Turn 6
Turn 6 ends with every Elf dead and my army destroyed.  But the White Lions and Swordmasters have taken a huge toll on the Bretonnians who have only 2 depleted units of Men at Arms and one of Knights Errant left alive.  Of the four characters who accompanied the Bretonnian army only their General still lives and they while they have won a victory it is a Pyrrhic one of epic proportions.

An amazingly enjoyable game despite the loss and one that was see-sawing right up till the end.

If only those Spears had not fled.....

Next week 2000pts of Ogres vs. Vampire Counts

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