Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Game 11 - Warriors of Chaos - (2012/02/05)

CanCon 2012 - Battle 5 - Meeting Engagement

Time for Battle 5, this time I faced Peter with Warriors of Chaos in Meeting Engagement scenario.

Meeting engagement is a difficult scenario for my army as the enemy is very close to my lines and with so many units I can have few of them in reserves which might but as well might not be a good thing. What is more I was about to fight against tough army with composition rating of 4. Check the list below and you will see why :) (I do not remember all the items as I don't have a copy of that army list so forgive me any mistakes or omissions.)

Warriors of Chaos - Army List

Sorcerer Lord, Level 4, Mark of Tzeentch, Disk of Tzeentch, Talisman of Preservation, Enchanted Shield, Infernal Puppet - Lore of Tzeentch
BSB, Book of Secrets
Chaos Sorcerer, Level 1, Dispel Scroll - Lore of Fire

30+ Marauders of Chaos, Flails, Standard, Musician, Mark of Khorne
30+ Marauders of Chaos, Flails, Standard, Musician, Mark of Khorne
28 Chaos Warriors, Full Command, [i]Banner of Rage[/i], Mark of Nurgle
5 Chaos Warhounds

3 Chaos Ogres, Great Weapons

Frenzy can be a good thing sometimes and I wanted to use it against the enemy if possible. Big Warriors unit is very tough and I decided to avoid it while killing the rest of the army first and if everything goes right I might even have a chance to set a combined charge against them. Chaos Lord is going to be a problem too but I had a chance to get vauls unmaking and with many units I also had a chance to corner him. That is the theory at least :)

My army list for reference:

Outcasts - Army List

Archibald the Archmage, Level 4, Annulian Crystal, Dragon Bane Gem - High Magic
Bob the BSB, Dragon Armour, Shield, Great Weapon, Radiant Gem of Hoeth - High Magic

20 Spearelves, Musician, Standard,
20 Spearelves, Musician, Standard
10 Archers, Light Armour, Musician
10 Archers, Light Armour, Musician

10 White Lions, Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame
10 White Lions, Musician
9 Swordmasters, Blademaster with Amulet of Light, Musician
8 Swordmasters, Musician
8 Swordmasters, Musician
5 Dragon Princes, Musician
5 Dragon Princes, Musician
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Bows, Spears

Great Eagle
Great Eagle

Before the battle we rolled for spells as usual and respective Wizards got:

Chaos Lord - Flickering Fire, Pandaemonium, Treason, Gateway
Chaos BSB - Miasma
Chaos Sorcerer - Fireball

Elven BSB - Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery
Archmage - Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Courage of Aenarion, Fury of Khaine, Vaul's Unmaking

Perfect selection for Chaos Lord for sure. Small units do not suffer that badly from Treason but it still can be painful. While Gateway is definitely much more dangerous for them in general. Of course when the whole unit disappears due to 11-12 roll it is not that bad (as long as there are no characters) as in the case of horde.

As to my own magic I wanted to cast shields and drain magic and if there are more dice then try to destroy the 3+ ward save of the chaos lord (or other items that are in particular moment too dangerous to have around)


Armies arrayed for battle - two units, Dragon Princes and White Lions, are in reserves

Chaos army deployed without reserves and High Elves didn't steal the initiative to start. It was clear that the river and special deployment due to scenario gave very little room for High Elves and that was a disadvantage.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 1

Warriors of Chaos begin the battle with a blast!

Dragon Princes - first victims of the Chaos Lord evil sorcery

Chaos army moved forward slowly as although elves were very close they were not yet close enough to launch an attack. Marauders on the Eastern bank moved quickly towards the bridge and a queue formed as chariots followed. Warshrine bestowed blessing of the dark gods on chaos warriors improving their already respective armour save. Then Chaos Lord summoned his powers and elven Archmage could not stop him. Proud knights of Caledor were sucked into realm of chaos in an instant. Nearby units were shocked but held their ground with grim determination.

Outcasts - Turn 1
High Elves respond swiftly

Reinforcements arrive too!

Knowing that followers of Khorne often cannot maintain enough discipline both eagles presented themselves as target to draw marauders and warriors further into elven lines but without any cohesion and without mutual support. At the same time White Lions and Swordmasters moved to the flanks of marauder unit in North-West while Spearelves braced for impact in case the momentum of attack carries marauders too far. In South-East White Lions prepared their attack on surprised chariots while Dragon Princes readied to hunt down some warhounds so that they do not interfere later. Magic went a little bit too strong and although Spearelves and White Lions were now protected with Shield of Saphery no other spells were cast and elven BSB suffered a wound due to magical feedback.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 2
Chaos regiments took the bait
First charges of the battle

Marauders killed the eagle and overrun but they didn't get to Spearmens ranks. Chaos warriors caught another bird of prey and also run towards Spearelves. On the other side of the river marauders kept marching over the bridge while chariots dispersed in a futile attempt to avoid White Lions. Chaos Lord was flying here and there and managed to cast Treason on White Lions but they didn't inflict that much damage on themselves, also due to protective shield.

Outcasts - Turn 2

Marauders ranks melt very quickly 
Elves counter attack

Swordmasters hit the flank of marauders but other two regiments of elven warriors wait. They knew that at the moment the impetus of marauders' attack was not spent yet and charging them from the front with Spears and Lions would probably result in significant casualties. It was better for Swordmasters to hit them from the flank where they were not suspected and when marauders are confused to hit them again from 2 other directions to finish the job. And indeed Swordmasters cut through marauders without mercy and many chaos followers died. Despite that the survivors kept fighting. Nearby archers displayed a rare marksman skills and killed two Ogres despite the fact that huge brutes were hiding in the forest.

South-East White Lions charged one chariot and destroyed it in an instant, reforming swiftly to get ready for the charge of the second one. Dragon Princes chased the warhounds but it carried them a little too far away from the battlefield.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 3
Chaos warriors move deeper towards elven formation

Lonely chaos ogre run from elves while other units closed in. Chaos warriors and marauders in particular were eager to get to fight but it was a chariot that charged in. White Lions avoided the war machine as they could but that compromised their ability to strike back and they could not destroy it as they did with the first one. They held and prepared to continue the fight.

More marauders died and the remnants of the unit still held. On the other hand, Chaos Lord was unstoppable and another unit from the elven army perished, this time regiment of white lions.

Outcasts - Turn 3

High Elves gain advantage North-West

Finally Spearelves with BSB join the fight and together with Swordmasters they destroy marauder unit. Unfortunately Spearelves were so eager to make sure that none of chaos followers survives that they too pursued a few who run away despite orders to restrain from their commander.

As the chaos regiments pressed hard many elven units exposed themselves for charges to give the rest of the army chance to counter attack. White Lions still were locked in combat with badly damaged chariot and Dragon Princes moved as quickly as possible to join the fight. Although the Archmage lost his focus and was unable to cast any spells for a while, Archers managed to finish off the last chaos Ogre.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 4

Marauders charge thin line of Swordmasters
Noble sacrifices

Chaos Warriors didn't work too hard to destroy elven archers and overrun toward the hill occupied by the second regiment. Marauders lost many of their warriors but they destroyed few Swordmasters who opposed them and the momentum of the charged carried chaos marauders forward, exposing their flank for counter attacks. Even Warshirne attacked light cavalry but they held their ground despite casualties. White Lions finally manage to destroy the chariot but only a few of them remained.

Outcasts - Turn 4
Flank attack! - Edit: the picture was taken after the turn but my opponent had some not very stable movement tray and we didn't remove his marauders as casualties
Exchange of blows continues

Swordmasters and Spearelves North-West moved towards the warshrine past chaos warriors. Another Swordmasters and Spearelves team charged marauders from the flank but only Swordmasters reached the target. It was, however, sufficient to catch them by surprise and confused marauders didn't even reform properly to continue the fight. Finally elven Archmage managed to win against Chaos Lord and destroyed the Talisman that gave him so powerful protection.

Warriors of Chaos - Turn 5
Casualties on both sides pile up

Chaos warriors restrained themselves and changed formation to get closer to elven Archmage. Swordmasters finished off Marauders without any help, although Lions and Dragon Princes were also ready for attack. Then disaster struck. First Chaos Lord one more time cast powerful spells and destroyed another elven unit. Then Warshirne charged Swordmasters who intended to draw it away from the battle but chaos warriors in the last moment changed the direction of the attack and hit Spearelves. Elven warriors tried to form a shieldwall but they were not quick enough and their Battle Standard Bearer fell. Elves gave a cry of rage and pushed hard enough to break the Warshrine but didn't catch it in hot pursuit. Yet again magic was fickle and an attempt to cast any spell failed to growing frustration of the Archmage.

Reality Check 1

At this moment a referee approached our table saying we are passed time and we need to finish. Somehow that made Peter quite angry and he stated that we either finish immediately or pley full 6 turns. That was a surprise for me because every time I played at a tournament in the situation like that (and if referee agrees) players finish only that particular turn if they haven't finished the same number of them. In my opinion, such behavior was not necessary and that definitely spoiled otherwise very interesting game played in a very nice atmosphere. I decided that I don't care and we finished 6 turns quickly. This is what happened:

1. Spears catch Warshrine
2. Chaos lord destroys one unit of Swordmasters
3. Archmage attempts to cast fury of khaine but he does not get IF and the attempt is scrolled.

If we played 5 full turns Peter would have no chance to finish Swordmasters so he earned extra 126 points for that unit by forcing to play longer. The game ended with his victory as he got ~350 points more than me. It means that it was 12-8 for him instead of 11-9 if we played 5 turns. I guess in a tournament every single point counts. :)

After-battle thoughts

Despite the loss of the game and not quite nice situation it was a good game. A pity it was spoiled by the end. But let's focus on some more interesting things from that game:

1. Meeting engagement with a river across the table? Bad news for MSU army, as I was cornered from the start and had to react fast to overcome that. I think I managed to do that relatively well but it was at a cost of a few units unfortunately.

2. Tzeentch magic is indeed powerful. I had 3 spells per turn that could harm my small regiments. Usually I let Flickering Fire and got lucky as Peter didn't roll high for number of hits and strength. But then I didn't get that lucky with my own dispelling rolls even in one situation when I had 2 more dice than him!  :shock: Also, because of relative low value of casting spells Tzeentch magic is not that much compromised with Drain Magic. My own magic didn't work well this time, as in two turns in the game I managed to roll either double 1 or 1+2 for the Archmage when I needed 7 or 8 to cast a spell. Ah well :) The good thing is that despite unlucky rolls I was very close to draw so if the rolls were more average I might not lose so many units from this guy.

3. I charged first marauders only with Swordmasters as White Lions were not in the flank as I thought they would be. I thought it might be too risky to attack flail armed marauders in the first round of combat from the front. However, thinking about it now I believe I didn't have to be that careful. There were 20-25 of them left. If I attacked from the front with Spears and Lions I would kill many more and probably broke them then. However, as they were still frenzied and my BSB had only one wound I didn't want to risk him either. Maybe I should have charged with Spearelves only? 16 more attacks against naked marauders might be quite useful. What do you think?

4. I am wondering if charging hounds with DP was good idea. I could send them straight away to chase chariots and maybe even be in a position to attack marauders at the bridge with some Swordmasters from the front. Warhoudns would not be able to outpace them and even if attacked from the rear DP would deal with that easily.

5. I definitely made a mistake by fleeing with Swordmasters from Warshrine. I didn't think about the possibility of directing all attacks against my BSB and that mistake cost me a draw. Which is a pity as I think I could get it. In such difficult circumstances I consider that result as a very good one :)

6. I am also wondering if it was not better to divert other units and try to go for a big kill. His fat unit if warriors is tough as nails so how many units should I send against them to have a chance to win? Especially that they were armed with halbers and were always frenzied? Just a thought as that unit was worth a lot more than anything else in the army.

Thanks for reading and if you liked it leave a comment or two :)

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