Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Game 48 - Lizardmen - 2013/01/13

Greetings!

This game was planned long time ago but only now I had an honor to play against frapermax himself. He kindly offered to provide me with a proper challenge for my CanCon practice. At the same time, however, he also brought a unique Slannless Lizardmen army. I was sure then that I am not only facing an excellent commander but also an army with a trick or two as well.

Army List and pre-battle considerations

Since there are scenarios to be used during the tournament we played Dawn Attack. This scenario is the one that can mess up with my plans big time since I have so many units and a chance to have a regiment on the "wrong flank" is significant. Hence a requirement to be able to improvise as anything could happen.

To an extend one could cope with it provided he is the second to deploy as players have to deploy their whole armies. But it still depends which regiment is about to be forced to go to particular part of the battlefield.

As I have already mentioned, frapermax brought his Slannless army to the field and it looked like this (I hope I got the items right but if I missed something, please correct me! :)).

Lizardmen - Army List

Saurus Oldblood, Light Armor, Shield, Cold One, Dawnstone, Sword of Anti-heroes
Scar Veteran BSB, Light Armor, Shield, Cold One, Burning Blade of Chotec
Skink-Priest, level 2, Dispel Scroll - Lore of Heavens
Skink-Priest, level 2, Engine of the Gods, Diadem of Power - Lore of Heavens

25 Saurus Warriors, Standard, Musician
17 Skinks + 2 Kroxigors with Great Weapons, Standard, Musician
10 Skink Skirmishers
10 Skink Skirmishers


5 Chameleon Skinks
3 Terradon Riders
7 Saurus Cavalry
, Standard Musician

Ancient Stegadon
Slamander Pack
2 Razordon Packs


Quite fast army if you consider the fact that only one unit is M4 and everything else is M6 at least. Can be a nasty surprise with Skink Cohort in particular.

Two Stegadons are also tough either alone or teamed up with other regiments or even each other. In particular with the impact hits and t-stomps.

The army can also dish out some damage at a distance and from my personal point of view I would consider razordons greater danger than salamanders. Not to mention their nasty stand and shoot rule, they can decimate my small regiments easily.

Saurus Characters are exceptionally tough and even my combat specialist might find it very hard to dent their armor. I would not underestimate skink priests either, although they are not as potent as slanns in terms of spell casting.

So in short I faced a fast and tough army, not easily out-maneuvered (if at all possible). Hard enough in close combat so that I had to set up these combined charges in order to have a chance at winning combats.

Deployment

Deployment after vanguard moves (terradons and reavers)

Frapermax rolled well and only Salamanders had to be deployed on the Western flank. The rest of the army could be deployed all together. He deployed his army first and I could not steal the initiative with a lucky roll of 6.

On the other hand I had some troubles with my own deployment. Sea guards lost their way in the morning fog and emerged on the Western flank. Eagle Claw, one unit of Swordmasters and Reavers enede up on the East.

Respective wizards obtained following spells:

Skink-Priest on the Engine of the Gods - Harmonic Convergence, Urannon's Thunderbolt
Skink-Priest - Iceshard Blizzard, Chain Lightning

Archmage - Drain Magic, Curse of Arrow Attraction, Fury of Khaine, Flames of the Phoenix, Vaul's Unmaking

Oldblood led Saurus Cavalry to battle while BSB deployed among Saurus Warriors.

Archmage was deployed with Swordmasters while BSB aided the Archers.

Lizardmen - Turn 1
Lizardmen started the battle with a blast!

In the morning fog, when the sun has not warmed up the cold blood of the Lizardmen army, some of the lizards were slow to move. In particular cold ones were not happy to do so and even the presence of the old one could not stop them from stupidly wondering around sniffing the air.

On the other hand Skink-Priests were busy right from the start. The one on the huge howdah on the back of a Stegadon invoked the powers of the Old Ones and shimmering shield appeared over the battlefield covering quite a number of the cold blooded regiments.

The other priest moved to join Saurus Warriors, replacing BSB who wondered away. Little Skink managed to draw a magical power deeply and soon the sky cracked open with the mighty lightning. The power of the spell was so great that even the Archmage was unable to do anything to prevent that. The lightning hit Dragon Princes and two smoking husks were left behind but luckily for High Elves it didn't jump to another unit. Skink-Priest could not hold the magical feedback though and was visibly wounded.

Outcasts - Turn 1
High Elves advance on the West

Elven army moved forward with a steady pace. The units on the West rushed forward to be able to outflank the enemy quickly while other regiments maintained relatively safe distance. Archmage was not yet able to cast spells but the crew of the Eagle Claw surprised everybody with their marksmanship. They aimed carefully with their single bolt and hit unsuspecting BSB. The shot was so well placed that even the magical shield could not deflect it. However, all other Lizardmen warriors stared at the now dead Scar-Veteran without any trace of emotion as befitted cold blooded warriors.

Lizardmen - Turn 2
Lizardmen slowed down their advance on the Western flank

The regiments on the Western flank slowed down, not wanting to get into charge range of the elven units. Only Skinks moved forward and baited elves to attack them.

The Engine provided the shield again while the priest managed to cast thunderbolt against elven light horse but only a single warrior fell down.

Sneaky chameleon skinks spotted an opening in the enemy lines and managed to get close to the Eagle Claw. Their poisonous barbs quickly finished the crew and elves lost their only war machine.

Outcasts - Turn 2
Elven unsuccessful attempts to attack

Dragon Princes spurred their horses and charged skink skirmishers who fled. Seeing this the heavy cavalry changed the direction of the attack and aimed at the priest hiding among Saurus. It turned out they were too optimistic to maneuver as fast cavalry and had to call off the attack.

Sea guard threatened the skinks too who fled even further but the huge stegadon barely noticed small lizards running underneath its belly while wild Salamander didn't bother either.

On the East archers and BSB aimed at chameleons but they were really hard to hit and in the end only BSB managed to kill one.

Lizardmen - Turn 3

Lizadrmen counter attack

With a mighty roar Ancient Stegadon charged against Dragon Princes who withdrew. The crew tried to redirect the beast but it was already in the full charge and no amount of prodding could change its stampede now.

Nearby Salamander was herded towards White Lions but it was in a very bad mood and this time ate a few skinks instead of spitting its venom against the elves.

Terradons flew over White Lions and dropped rocks on them, killing two.

Another Stegadon charged the Reaves who fled but underestimated the speed and ferocity of the monster and soon were trampled to the ground. That spooked nearby eagle who flew over the rocks to relative safety. It also blocked the view for razordons. One of them was equally enraged at its handlers as the Salamander and promptly attack poor skinks. The other pack did better and combined effort of their shooting and that of chameleons and power of the engine saw 6 swordmasters dead. Remaining 4 held their ground.

Outcasts - Turn 3
More regiments get involved into combat

Seeing the Ancient Stegadon exposed Sea Guard and White Lions tried to co-ordinate their attacks but failed.

Archmage and BSB moved back and both characters joined Swordmasters. The Archmage then cast powerful Fury of Khaine but although he managed to destroy all the skink handlers somehow Salamander itself got only a flesh wound. (Edit: Out of 7 hits the salamander got (after randomization) I got only a single wound (wounding on 4+) :).)

On the East Swordmasters decided to mount last heroic charge and attacked Stegadon. Elves showed their great skill and killed the Priest as well as two crew members but were all destroyed by the furious beast in return. In the meantime, archers decided they have much better chances at killing sneaky chameleons in close combat and attacked down the hill. Small skinks stood no chance.

Lizardmen - Turn 4
Lizardmen dominate on the East

Eastern flank of the elven army collapsed but to prevent the Western regiment from joining the fight, Lizardmen regiment there pulled back. Only skink skirmishers pushed back to hunt down the great eagle with their poisonous barbs. Lone Salamander finally spit the venom at the elves and White Lions were significantly reduced in numbers.

On the East Stegadon trampled another elven unit, this time the archers.

Outcasts - Turn 4
High Elves keep fighting

High Elves now face a very difficult situation. Their battle line is shattered and regiments are scattered without good possibility to support each other. But they kept fighting nonetheless.

Dragon Princes chased away skink skirmishers and then redirected at the Ancient Stegadon but White Lions were closer. Chracians killed many skinks forming the crew but then had to face the wrath of the monster. Only a single Lion remained but somehow that vicious combat unnerved the beast and it started to run. Not fast enough as the Lion was determined to avenge his comrades and finally the stegadon was hunted down. Nearby skinks occupying the building decided it is a good time to find another shelter, especially that they just suffered greatly from the Fury of Khaine and only 2 of them with a Priest survived.

Dragon Princes caught terradons and killed them all while BSB finally put down still dangerous Salamander. Then Swordmasters readied themselves for their last combat.

Lizardmen - Turn 5
Lizardmen push hard through the center

Oldblood led his cohort against thin line of the Swordmasters and stegadon joined them in rampage. Vicious combat erupted, where Swordmasters killed 6 skinks and even put 2 wounds on the Oldblood himself but were all killed shortly after. The stegadon overrun into nearby Dragon Princes.

Saurus tried to attack White Lions but they withdrew together with the Sea Guard.

Outcasts - Turn 5
Desperate situation called for desperate plan

Seeing his comrades dead BSB decided it is time for him to die a hero. He planted the banner in the ground and aimed for the last time at skink priest but the arrows that were supposed to hit him were intercepted by his loyal companion.

The Archmage, however, was determined to fight back too. He cast powerful flames of the phoenix and only a handful of skinks and two kroxigors remained from once large cohort.

Lizardmen - Turn 6
Epic duel between Oldblood and elven BSB

Although stegadon stormed the building with elven unit inside it was another combat that drew the attention of warriors on both sides. Elven BSB called out for a challenge and badly wounded Oldblood accepted.

Both veteran warriors eyed each other with due respect, recognizing their equal in each other despite so many differences. Elven warrior hit with great skill but even his abilities were not enough to wound his adversary more than once. Elven Archmage tried to aid his companion and broke some protective items carried by Oldblood but in the end the thick armor-like skin proved to be too hard to crack open. The grizzled veteran of the Lizardmen army mercilessly cut down the elf and took his banner as a prize of a worthy opponent.

Outcasts - Turn 6

With armies bloodied and regiments already disengaged it was up to the Archmage and his Sea Guard to play the last act. Elven wizard directed all his fury at the survivors from the skink cohort. With all the spells and arrows directed at them it was expected to seal their doom but miraculously a single Kroxigor remained barely alive (Edit: In the last round flames of the phoenix were still on and I cast fury too as well as added some shots from sea guard but it was not enough to get that last wound from the Kroxigor. :))

It was clear that Lizardmen won that day but the question was, by how large margin.

After-battle thoughts

A well deserved victory to frapermax! With BSB dead he got some proper amount of points and it turned out the margin was quite large, 700+ points, giving him nice 14-6 win. Time for some random comments about the game I enjoyed greatly, despite many mistakes on my part and the loss in the end :)

1. Deployment - I screw it up I think. Well, I could do nothing with Sea Guard in terms of positioning but I could have moved them towards the center where they might contribute to the game better.

2. Dragon Princes - Poor deployment of one unit meant they didn't see battle at all. Sure, I rolled poorly on that charge roll against stegadon but they didn't pose a significant threat whole game anyway.

Second unit was used in a wrong way too. Given the opportunity I should have chased the skinks. If I caught them I would be in the better spot to hunt down the salamander. And I they would not have returned to kill the eagle.

What is more I charged with sea guard that ended up in the forest. If the stegadon didn't fail its redirect Ld test I would be in a deep trouble (I would probably flee). All this to try to panic salamander and to kill the priest.

3. BSB - I was really determined to kill that salamander but at the same time that slowed down my character and then I had to move him in front of the Oldblood to stop them from reaching the building. It was only thanks to frapermax's glorious charge that I had a chance to kill his general. Frapermax told me that in a tournament game he would not have risked such charge at all. But it turned out to be good for him as he earned extra 274 points for him.

4. Eastern Flank - I didn't play well there. I exposed Eagle Claw to chameleons while I should have blocked them with reavers. Then the stegadon rampaged through my lines killing Swordmasters, Archers and Dragon Princes. I have a feeling that with that blocking movement (so that lions were not charged from the rear by the cohort) I helped to seal my doom on that flank.

5. Western Flank - That charge with Lions and especially with Sea Guard at the Stegadon was premature. I had a lot of units there and an eagle to block the path so I could just close for the kill with both lions regiments and both Sea guards. That mistake cost me time I needed to clear that flank and rearrange battle line to meet the new threat.

6. Luck - luck is always a factor and while I don't blame the dice for losing the game there were a few ups and downs for sure. I was lucky to kill enemy BSB with a single shot from Eagle Claw and to survive the combat with Stegadon where single White Lion remained to break it and run it down. I was lucky to roll high for number of hits for Fury but then not quite so when I rolled to wound :)

A little luck was needed to finish the cohort for some more points. Or to finish the priest and skink skirmishers. Not to mention to properly wound the oldblood in that epic duel.

I really liked the way frapermax played that game. He was patient and calculating, not falling for my too-obvious traps. He held the Western flank long enough to prevent my units to rearrange and join the fight in the center while destroying my Eastern regiments. He waited for the right moment but the opportunity showed up he moved in with strong charges and decisive attacks.

Thanks a lot, fraper, that was great game. I hope that we will have more opportunities to play against each other in the future as I now need a rematch :) I also want to thank the spectators, even if I know majority were frapermax fan club and supporters :)

Cheers!

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