Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Game 7 - High Elves - (2012/01/30)

CanCon 2012 - Battle 1 - Dawn Attack

It was quite a surprise for me and my opponent Nick to find out we are going to play against our own armies. Fortunately our forces were also much different from each other and that ensured a very interesting game for both of us. :)

High Elves - Army List

Archmage, Level 4, Dispel Scroll, Foliarath's Robe - Lore of Light
BSB, Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Great Weapon, Helm of Fortune, Guardian Phoenix

30 Archers, Standard, Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame
10 Archers, Standard, Musician
10 Archers, Standard, Musician

21 Swordmasters, Full Command, Ironcurse Icon
30 White Lions, Full Command, Banner of Sorcery
8 Dragon Princes, Musician

3 Great Eagles

Probably a typical HE army with horde units. Definitely efficient against other 8th edition style armies. It had an advantage in magic due to banner of Sorcery and his big units are difficult to defeat one-on-one but I had an advantage in the number of units and was in general much more manouverable. 

My army list for the 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


Deployment after Vanguard move

Armies arrayed for battle - Western flank

Center and Eastern Flank

Nick deployed his army on one flank as his army managed to appear together and no unit had to deploy on the opposite flank. My army was not that lucky. Both Dragon Princes units and one unit of Spears had to be deployed on the Western flan, while archers, reavers and one eagle deployed on the East. It was still ok but I was a little disappointed I could not shoot at enemy eagles while his superior fire base had a clear line of sight. Ah well, beauty of dawn attack scenario especially with MSU style army :)

Enemy Archmage had Shem's Burning Gaze, Pha's Protection, Net of Amyntok and Birnona's Timewarp.

My BSB had usual Shield of Saphery and Drain Magic, while the Archmage got Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Fury of Khaine, Flames of the Phoenix and Vaul's Unmaking

Purple High Elves won the roll off and chose to start the game.

Purple High Elves - Turn 1
Cautious approach of the "enemy" commander

What is probably not known by other races High Elves have means to hone their battle skills during War Games. It is a very sophisticated and magical energy consuming test which is rarely organized but every elven commander is looking for an opportunity to take part in one. Mages of Saphery ensure that no elven warrior dies in the process but the pain they feel when the are "cut down" is quite real. The purpose of the test is to test armies in conditions as close to reality as possible so no warrior and no commander is going to risk bold moves knowing they are not going to die or to do something they would not perform otherwise.

Commander of the Purple army moved cautiously. He knew his units are stronger in their big formation but he has not seen such formation of his "enemy" before and decided to proceed with care. Anchoring his fire base he moved his stronger wing forward with a vanguard of great eagles.

Purple Archmage decided to speed up his companions with Timewarp but he channeled too much energy and in resulting explosion 7 archers perished. A little shaken from the unexpected eruption archers aimed at opposing spearelves guarding enemy archmage and first blood was drawn.
Outcasts - Turn 1

Blue Elves are much more aggressive

The race begins

The commander of Blue Elves decided to move quickly. His archers were out of position and in smaller numbers to start a shooting contest so he ordered White Lions to move straight at the enemy firebase, while spears and one swordmaster unit followed. Two other run around the tower, protected from shooting. On the Eastern flank light cavalry and eagle used their speed to reach protective line of woods at the same time preparing a flank charge.

One the Western flank one Dragon Princes unit fell for an eagle trap and charged one of the birds, killing it easily and overrunning into another. Other unit of knights, spearelves and eagle prepared for delaying moves and to keep enemy Lions busy.

Purple High Elves - Turn 2
Purples counter charge!

Blue cavalry trapped

Purple Elves decided to counterattack. One eagle had to charge blue spearelves to make way for galloping heavy cavalry which unfortunately lost two knights in the charge through woods. It was worthy, however, as blue knights were completely surprised and broke from combat. Purple cavalry restrained from pursuit leaving that duty to the eagle. In the meantime archers aimed at white lions with battle standard bearer and although they were protected by thick furs still some chracians fell to the enemy arrows. The purple archmage cast net of amyntok on his counterpart in the spearelves unit, hoping to shut down his ability to cast spells. 

Outcasts - Turn 2
Blue Elves waste no time and attack!

Blue Elves continued their more aggressive approach and attacked with fast elements. On the East Reavers charge through woods at expecting archers, break them but cannot catch them as the enemy shooters flee through entire formation of their own army.

In the center White Lions attempt to charge enemy heavy cavalry which elects to perform feigned flight so chracians swiftly redirect into eagle which was to slow to take into air and was caught before it managed to escape. Seeing the opportunity Spearelves also charged fleeing eagle to swiftly redirect into heavy cavalry and purple knights had to change the direction of their flight, hiding behind Swordmasters. The rest of the army followed quickly.

Purple High Elves - Turn 3
The Purples remain in their entrenched position

Overview of the battlefield

The Purples rally their fleeing troops and redress ranks. Only Swordmasters, now with an Archmage, attempted to charge White Lions who fled and drew the enemy from their battle line. The Archmage then cast Pha's Protection to cover all the units close to him while archers aimed again at their enemy. However, small unit was defnitely shaken by the enemy nearby ready for another charge and missed while bigger regiment didn't score many wounds either.

Outcasts - Turn 3
The Blues continue their assault

More combat!

BSB of the Blue Elves leads his depleted unit against horde archer to keep them busy and also away from enemy Swordmasters. Blue Archmage also urged his bodyguards to join the fight but they misjudged the distance. He protected the lions with Shield of Saphery however. They won combat easily but enemy archers remained steadfast.

On the East Ellyrian Reavers and Eagle attacked another small archer unit but due to pha's protection light cavalry missed and they were now locked in combat with a unit they were supposed to break on the charge.

On the West Spearelves didn't hesitate to attack enemy Swordmasters from the flank. Their orders were to keep them in place for a while until other units can hit them from the other side. Spearelves won combat but Swordmasters held, although just and only after strong voice of their BSB reached them and urged them for greater efforts.

Also Dragon Princes got bored with cautious movements and charged the last of the enemy eagles, easily killing it and pursuing into the Lions Den. It seems that this time Caledorian pride is going to be their undoing.  Other units again closed the distance to the enemy hoping to support their fighting companions.

Purple High Elves - Turn 4
The Purple Elves break through

In their ferocious attack Blue Elves left the opening and although Swordmasters were too hard pressed to reform, the archers charged in to support them. Blue Spearelves didn't hold against that and were run down. Swordmasters pursued into the eagle while nearby Dragon Princes payed the ultimate price for their arrogance.

To give his warriors even better chance to perform against their foe Purple archmage cast Timewarp and Blue archmage failed to stop this powerful spell. It was disastrous as blue BSB was killed. It looked like Purple HE were going to stem the aggressive advance of the Blue HE.

Final push and the catastrophe at the end

The last effort of the Blue High Elves (apologies for blurry picture)

The loss of the BSB was painful but the Blues kept fighting. Swordmasters joined the fight against archers but again Pha's Protection was golden and not only Archers managed to hold but killed remaining 2 light horse of the blue High Elves. Their companions in the bigger unit killed remaining few lions too.

The Archmage and his Swordmasters, as well as Spearelves took the opportunity and charged exposed flank of the purple swordmasters with the archmage-general. Blue archmage tried to cast some protective spell and when he thought he got it right something went terribly wrong. Before the combat started huge eruption killed all but 2 spearelves and a handful of swordmasters. As a result blue HE were so stunned that the Archmage was easily cot down, while swordmasters didn't do any damage at all. Both attacking units broke from combat and pursuing purple swordmasters caught the spearelves.

With that last act the War Games were over and despite aggressive attacks of Blue High Elves it was Purple commander who won in the end.

After-battle thoughts

I lost 3-17. Very painful indeed. I made some mistakes and could play better but some unlucky rolls really cost me a battle here. Especially in that last charge. I had a good roll for Winds of Magic and the plan was to have shield on archmage against Swordmasters attacks and then to switch off the robe for the Purple archmage. With static combat result alone I was winning. He had only 3 attacks from timewarped swordmaster while I had ranks, flank and more attacks from my own swordmaters. The erruption meant I lost my ranks and possiblity to hit him. So instead of killing the archmage and a unit all worth 700+ points I lost 600 points. It would be a draw at least. Ah well, sometimes dice have their own plans :)

Don't take me wrong, however, the game was great and Nick was a great opponent. But in his own words, the result does not reflect what really happened in the game. I was also a little disappointed that my reavers didn't overrun into another archers and didn't catch the first unit. I needed 6" to hit second regiment and of course got 5" :) Then that unit held against reavers, eagle and finally swordmasters. Not having re-rolls to hit really hurt both of us :) I also completely forgot that big archer unit had flaming attacks and didn't use the 2+ ward save on BSB. He would have lived and even on his own could at least keep wining the combat against archer horde. Light magic definitely helped my opponent to survive the combats and even hit me back badly.


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