Sunday, 19 October 2014

Game 46 - Skaven - 2012/12/08

Greetings!

With CanCon in the near future it is about time to start some preparation games. And who better than my coach from the previous year to start it for me? :) Wardancer aka Eastern Barbarian was also eager to get a rematch so we were both excited about the upcoming game. We had to change our army lists from 2500 to 2400. Wardancer introduced some more changes to his army. For reminder, he is always using unorthodox forces so don't be surprised by his army. What is more, he decided to use Swedish comp for army list building and that too affected the final shape of his force (e.g. no Storm Banner).

Pre-battle considerations and Army Lists

The army I was about to face was nothing new to me in general but since I have played against it only once I could not tell I knew all the tricks it possessed either. I also knew that Wardancer was about to make some changes and I could only guess what it might be. Not long before the game he decided on the final list and among others I knew there were two doomwheels and 3 engineers! :)

Skaven - Army List

Queek the Headtaker
Warlord on bonebreaker, poison, halberd, Charmed Shield, Dragonbane Gem, Potion of Strength

Warlock level 2, condenser, Ironcurse icon - Lore of Ruin
Warlock level 1, Dispel scroll - Lore of Ruin
Warlock level 1 - Lore of Ruin
Warlock, Obsidian lodestone
BSB , Enchanted Shield

35 Stormvermin (queek bodyguard), FC, shields, ratling gun, Banner of discipline
2 x 5 giant rats with packmaster
40 slaves, musician
20 slaves, musician
20 slaves, musician

6 Rat ogres
, 2 packmasters, Skweel Gnawtooth
2 x 6 Gutterrunners, slings, poison

Warplightning cannon
2 x Doomwheel 



I am not sure about all the items so I apologize for any inconsistencies. What is new about the army is the whole legion of warlocks and potential of casting 3 warplightnings per turn. Add to that Doomwheels and the cannon and you see that it is quite dangerous at the distance. However, main strength of the army lies in its combat abilities. Although small it does have 2 powerful units in the form of Queek's bodyguard and Super Rat Ogres led by Skweel. The main problem for my army would be doomwheels though. They proved to be very resilient in the past and instead of one I had to deal with two now. Ah, well :)

Outcasts - Army List

My army list didn't change much from 2500 version and I am using now the same force I took to Hammer of Dave tournament.

Archmage, Staff of Solidity - High Magic
BSB, Heavy Armor, Shield, Great Weapon, Dragon Helm, Reaver Bow

10 Archers, Musician
10 Archers, Musician
15 LSG, Shields, Full Command
15 LSG, Shields, Full Command

10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Amulet of Light
9 Swordmasters, Musician, Bladelord, Talisman of Loec
10 White Lions, Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame
10 White Lions, Musician, Standard, Gleaming Pennant
5 Dragon Princes
5 Dragon Princes
5 Ellyrian Reavers
, Spears

Great Eagle
Great Eagle
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower


I would like to have 2 units of light cavalry but could not find points for it at 2400. As I have mentioned before I had to deal with Doom Wheels. This time I decided I would team up Dragon Princes and White Lions to hunt them down. I expected casualties but if I managed to kill the infernal devices then I was happy to sacrifice the units. I knew my other troops would be able to fight against any other foe with the exception of rat ogres, which I wanted to divert and avoid.

Deployment


Deployment of both armies after vanguard move
Queek, BSB and 2 engineers were bodyguarded by Stormvermin. Warlord on Bonebreaker led rat ogres to battle with the aid of Skweel and another warlock. One warlock remained alone just behind slaves. Skaven formed quite compact army with flanks secured by doomwheels.

Archmage joined Sea Guard while BSB was with Swordmasters. The wizards had following spells:

Warlock level 2 - Warplightning, Scorch
Warlock - Warplightning
Warlock - Warp Gale

Archmage - Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Curse of Arrow Attraction, Courage of Aenarion, Flames of the Phoenix

Skaven won the roll off for the first turn and moved forward.

Skaven - Turn 1

Skaven move forward with doomwheels leading the way

Both doomwheels moved towards the center with their engineers visibly having a competition in the race towards the enemy. Unfortunately for the one more to the West he pulled one gear too many or pressed the wrong button and the lightning cracked his own device instead of the enemy. His machine slowed down and was seriously damaged.

The rest of the army moved in tight formation. As elves were still too far away for casting the lightnings engineers called upon the power of warp gale.

The cannon crew aimed at Western Dragon Princes but the power of the shot was suspiciously week and no damage was done.

Outcasts - Turn 1
High Elves waste no time and start hurting rats from afar

The regiments on the Western flank moved quickly. Reaver were racing towards the cannon while Lions and Princes moved together to capture the doom wheel. The similar team on the East also prepared for the hunt with Lions leading the way and Dragon Princes covering their back.

Despite the warp gale elven archery was quite accurate and one small pack of rats was completely destroyed while the other one, too far away from the general, simply fled never to rally.

Finally Archmage summoned the power of the Phoenix and more than half of the biggest horde of slaves burned to the ground.

Skaven - Turn 2
Skaven seem to divide their forces
Skaven started to divide their forces to prevent envelopment. Doomwheels didn't reach their targets yet and were not close enough to shoot their lightnings. Warlock tried but hurt himself instead. Even the cannon could do nothing when their missile exploded midair in a spectacular but otherwise harmless show of green fireworks.

Outcasts - Turn 2
Doomwheels are doomed

Seizing the opportunity High Elves charged. On the West Dragon Princes attacked burning slaves and whatever the fire could not they finished. White Lions aimed at the damaged doomwheel but before they reached it Eagle Claw destroyed infernal device from afar.

On the East another Lions charged second doom wheel and caused a lot of damage but it was Sea Guard who landed the final blow. Lions rampaged into nearby slaves to stall the advance of the Skaven army.

Other regiments maneuvered for better positions. Unfortunately, treacherous forest claimed to knights but their companions were determined to carry on. Finally, archers fell a few laves while BSB spotted a lone warlock and shot at him. However, sixth sense and great survival skills enabled the rat to dive behind the Stormvermin. Three of which too the magic arrows to the chest instead of lucky warlock.

Skaven - Turn 3
Skaven counter attack

Long awaited reinforcements arrive. Gutter runners show up to kill the Eagle Claw and Reavers. There was only one survivor of that treacherous attack but he didn't yield.

Slaves charged Lions alone, obeying the order of their superiors but were destroyed by ferocious chracians. On the East Warlord on his faithful bonebreaker charged lions fighting against slaves and butchered many of the elves. But survivors stubbornly held.

Lone warlock hid among rat ogres and his companion managed to kill the eagle with well aimed warplightning. The cannon still underperformed killing only a single knight.

Outcasts - Turn 3
High Elves maneuver to trap the enemy general

Dragon Princes charge gutter runners who stand no chance and after short attempt to resist they flee the battle. The path to the cannon is wide open.

In the center elven units maneuvered quickly to flank the stromvermin and trap them in deadly combat. Archmage used his powers to summon flames of the phoenix but one of the warlocks quickly burned some old parchment and that stopped the spell.

Skaven - Turn 4
Deadly magic at work

Skaven pushed harder as it was their only way to survive. Queek himself hunted down annoying eagle. The cannon crew killed 3 remaining knights before their companions could charge and prevent that. Then one of the warlocks cast powerful lightning and killed 6 Swordmasters outright. 3 survivors were ordered by the archmage to immediately pull back as they were under the minimum strength to take part in the upcoming combat but might be useful later on. (Edit: Nothing like failing panic test on Ld 9 with a re-roll :))

Outcasts - Turn 4
High Elves attack! (Red circles mark units affected by Courage of Aenarion)

Seeing that there is no time to lose High Elves attack. The archers charge slaves to avoid rampaging warlord and even break the filthy rats.

Dragon Princes destroy the cannon and reform to face the center of the battle field. Then the main attack takes place. Swordmasters and Sea guard charge stormvermin as one. Brave sea guard champion challenged Queek but was killed in that duel. Swordmasters and other warriors killed many stormvermin and one warlock but few elves died too. In the end it was stern look of queek that held the rats together.

In the meantime second unit of sea guard moved in two narrow columns to intercept rat ogres and prevent them from joining the combat where their general was. Archmage, sensing that this is the time when all hang in the balance filled the hearts of his warriors with courage of Aenarion himself.

Skaven - Turn 5
The bloody combat continues with no side giving ground

Rat Ogres charge valiant sea guard who take huge casualties but hold despite that knowing their sacrifice is for greater good. Swordmasters and another unit fight hard but this time stormvermin get upper hand. But both units stubbornly hold knowing nearby lions are ready for the powerful flank charge.

Unfortunately for elves gutter runners managed to sneak around and well placed poisonous darts kill the archmage.

Warlord on bonebreaker, enraged that his prey escaped spotted 3 figures and immediately charged them. Little did he know that it was his doom that awaited him. Bladelord spoke words of power and talisman on his chest burned with light. He himself chopped off two powerful arms of the mutant rat ogre. His companions then attacked the warlord desperately trying to keep the balance and soon both rats lied dead in the pool of dark blood.

Outcasts - Turn 5
High Elves finally get Skaven general!

White Lions attack from the flank and that powerful charge is all that was needed to break the enemy. It was at the high cost though, as only a single sea guardian remained from the whole regiment. All units pursued and caught fleeing enemy.

Archers and BSB aimed at gutter runners and killed enough of them to make them flee. Small revenge for killing the archmage.

But one more powerful enemy unit remained and they just finished the last sea guard blocking their path.

Skaven - Turn 6
Skaven army melted away

Despite best Skweel's efforts he could not control his frenzied rat ogres and they charged lone rider in front of them. He died and they pursued into another lonely figure. But by doing so exposed the flank to much more ferocious foe.

Gutter runners, seeing that there is no army left decided to flee to fight another day.

Outcasts - Turn 6
Last charge of High Elves

White Lions and Dragon Princes charge one more time. Powerful rat ogres fight back but even they are not strong enough to hold against well timed flank attack. Fortunately for them they managed to escape pursuing elves. It was bloody victory but elves carried the day one more time!

After battle thoughts

It was bloody battle indeed. Had I caught Rat Ogres I would have claimed bigger victory but I was very happy with the result anyway. According to the tournament table 600+ difference is 13-7 result. Considering the fact how powerful magic and shooting of this Skaven army can be I was very lucky indeed. As always there are some things I could have done better and some comments on my opponents moves :)

1. Wardancer was very unhappy with his doomwheels and he said himself he made mistakes with them that led to loss of those powerful units. I guess they should have stayed on flanks, stopping my other regiments if not killing them too. That also stalled his advance and robbed him off his first magic phase when he had no target in range.

2. When I overrun with Lions on the East I should have moved them in such way as to prevent counter charge from the Warlord. That cost me the unit. Warlord is very powerful and again if Wardancer used him more efficiently I would have been in bigger trouble. I was also lucky to kill him with 3 Swordmasters but Talisman of Loec did help here.

3. I knew I was risking my Archmage. Maybe I should have stayed in the building? I am not sure why I even moved my characters out. Maybe I was concerned that Rat Ogres could kill all sea guard and overrun into it? I really can't tell now. :( On the other hand I was very glad with Courage of Aenarion spell as it held my units in combat long enough to get Lions in the flank. Of course I should have maneuvered better and position lions, swordmasters and sea guard in such way that after killing eagle stormvermin could not reform to face them all and had to expose the flank to one of them.

4. I also think Wardancer didn't position his Gutter Runners on the South properly. I know he wanted to block the path to the cannon but I think he would have been better with them behind the reavers. It would save the GR and keep them useful for shooting for the rest of the game. The cannon was doomed anyway.

5. Wardancer told me that it was a mistake to use scroll on flames of the phoenix as he could not dispel courage later on. Stormvermin would have 4+ save and 4+ ward save thanks to magic resistance against it. I agree. I didn't even know he has that item (obsidian lodgestone). I am sure he will do better next time :)

What is quite scary is that despite the fact that his magic and shooting didn't work well and his doomwheels did nothing I won by only 600 points and due to the fact I managed to cast the spell to make my units stubborn. I guess I need much more solid pan next time :)

Thanks for reading!

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