Friday, 17 April 2015

Game 77 - Warriors of Chaos - 2013/07/21

Battle 2 - Watchtower - Warriors of Chaos

Dreaded watchtower scenario. It was modified for the purpose of the tournament. First of all there was a bonus for a watchtower. If by the end of the game you occupied the watchtower you got 1000VP extra. Massive bonus if you ask me. Second, at no point the unit acting as a garrison could have more than 20 models in it (monstrous infantry counted extra, can't remember how many models though). If the number of models increased beyond that - the unit had to leave the tower immediately.

It is still hard scenario and with a massive bonus it was probably the game when the winner wins big. I was concerned with the fact that if I were to play warriors and if they put a unit of 20 nurgle warriors there I would be in trouble. I could try to thin them down but at great cost. Also, since that requires constant assaulting of the tower, I might not have enough units to protect the assault teams from the rest of the enemy army.

And the enemy army looked like this:

Tzeentch Warriors - Army List

Daemon Prince, level 3, 1+ armor - Lore of Tzeentch
Hero on Daemonic Mount
level 2, Disk - Lore of Tzeentch

12 Tzeentch Warriors, Hand Weapon, Shield, Full Command
12 Tzeentch Warriors, Hand Weapon, Shield, Full Command
Tzeentch Chariot

5 Tzeentch Knights
5 Tzeentch Knights


Army of tanks :) Relatively few units but all powerful and capable of defeating anything I could throw at them in one-on-one combats. Fortunately for me, "only" two units that can garrison the tower. At the same time the presence of the daemon prince was intimidating. It was not the unkillable version but tough enough. I think it also had dragon bane gem. Then 3 other characters were powerful too. Disk Sorcerer is always dangerous and not that easy to kill. Hero on daemonic mount can easily act as a unit on his own and again, a very dangerous character.

I have never faced a hellcannon so I was curious what is it going to do to me. I know from the reports of other players that it can be a proper death dealer.

The army on its own was already a dangerous enemy but a lot depended on the roll-off. I won it this time and it was my decision to choose the side. I also could garrison the tower straight from the start but I didn't. My core units are not tough enough to receive the charge from warriors of chaos. What is more, they could not enter the tower in their turn either as it was not close enough.


Armies deployed for battle
Deployment after vanguard moves

Please note, that only the highest part of the tower was treated as a building. The stairs on the North and the wing on the West of the building was not part of the tower for the purpose of garrisoning. The rocks to the East of the tower were impassable terrain.

Knowing that I am to start second I deployed my units so that I could quickly react and block the incoming warriors. Hence the close proximity of my fast units. Then I wanted to either delay the other regiments, hopefully shooting them down in the process. Swordmasters were there to garrison the tower and with 2 units I hoped I could hold it long enough.

Enemy wizards had following spells:

Daemon Prince - Firestorm, Bolt of Change, Gateway
Level 2 - Pink Fire, Blue Fire

Tzeentch Warriors - Turn 1
Daemon Prince leads the way!
Steamroller of Chaos pick up the momentum

Deamon Prince gives the order to attack and the army responds as one. Units move fast towards their enemies. Regiments of warriors head towards their objective - the Watchtower. Fortunately for the Elves winds of magic are not strong yet. Tzeentch seems to be in a mood for pranks too as he grants regenerative abilities to the sea guard instead of destroying more of them.

Hellcannon opens fire but warp born missile sails wide and does not hit any target.

Outcasts - Turn 1
Elves respond rapidly (and a blurry picture No. 1)
Attack - the best form of defense!

Dragon Princes and White Lions valiantly charge the Daemon Prince. Unfortunately, their determined attack results in a single wound only. The beast kills 4 knights and last survivor flees the battle. White Lions are mercilessly stomped to the ground but few who still live stubbornly hold their ground.

The rest of the army maintains disciplined formation and each unit is focused on their objective. The shooters quickly destroy the chariot and even kill 3 chaos knights on the Western flank! Swordmasters march fast towards the Watchtower, while eagles swoop down to divert the warriors. Shadow Warriors jump straight into the building to observe the flow of battle and to go where they are going to be needed the most.

On the East the units remain in relatively safe distance with only the reavers harassing the knights and trying to force an early charge.

Tzeentch Warriors - Turn 2
First charges by Warriors of Chaos
Exchange of blows begins

Warriors charge the eagles but somehow they are not precise enough in their attacks and both birds of prey are able to escape (although mortally wounded). That stops them from assaulting the tower and buys precious time for High Elves.

On the West Daemon Prince kills last Lions and surveys the battle field to search for more targets. 2 knights arrogantly charge the archers and lose one to quite accurate stand and shoot. The archers fight bravely and take courage from their relatively tight formation.

On the East, champion of the dark gods spurs his daemonic mount and charges alone to confront the best of the best from the elven army. Vicious blows are exchanged and while victorious the champion is barely holding in the saddle. Swordmasters are truly a worthy enemy.

Hellcannon aims at sea guard but the ball of pure warp energy scatters and hits White Lions instead. Many of them die but the survivors hold their ground. Yet again, fickle nature of magic results in an increase of regenerative abilities for the sea guard!

Outcasts - Turn 2
The power of the Elven shooting!
Blockade of the watchtower

Preparing for the worse the elven shooters aim carefully. They know they have one shot only at the rampaging Daemon Prince before it hits their lines. Arrows of Isha fly true however and the focused fire from eagle claw, sisters and sea guard kills the monster!

Fast units move in again to block the enemy. The eagles rally while Shadow Warriors jump out of the tower to distract the warriors led by their battle standard bearer. Swordmasters garrison the tower and if anybody can hold it it is that unit of the Ulthuan finest. Their companions fight against the champion of darkness but this time his armor is too thick to penetrate.

Tzeentch Warriors - Turn 3
Elves win the West!
Warriors keep pushing forward

Lone chaos knight is pushed back by brave archers and retreats to safety. Chaos Warriors keep pushing forward and attack another wave of light elven troops blocking the way to the tower. Unfortunately for them their champion falls to the blades of the warriors of Hoeth.

On the East chaos dwarves that act as a crew and handlers for the hellcannon fail to control the monster and it goes on rampage. Chaos Knights easily destroy the light cavalry stopping their advance.

Outcasts - Turn 3
Larry the Loremaster on the character hunt!
The fight for the tower continues and Warriors are still strong enough to reclaim it. Reavers move in to block the unit from the West while heroic Swordmasters that have just finished a powerful champion move to intercept second regiment of warriors.

On the East Lions move fast forward to stop the advance of the chaos knights while Dragon Princes shift to the flank to be ready for a counter charge.

Then Larry the Loremaster steps in. In the titanic battle of wills he defeats his opponent and might sorcerer of Tzeentch topples down from his disk, his soulless body an empty husk now. Then without the pause a powerful magic missile hits the knights and their armor becomes their doom as two of them are melted down completely.

Tzeentch Warriors - Turn 4
Warriors must charge again!
Elves keep holding them back but are running out of units!

Yet again Warriors charge intervening units and yet again destroy them but lose precious time. With only battle standard bearer as their leader they do not have much to throw at Elves either. Outcasts are bloodied too but are very determined to make their sacrifices worthy.

On the East a single White Lion holds his banner proudly as the nearby heavy cavalry gallops to the rescue.

Outcasts - Turn 4
High Elves are still holding the Tower!
Not many units are left on both sides

Dragon Princes charge the flank of the Knights powerfully and not only they defeated the enemy but also rescued the White Lion!

Shooting and magic was employed to thin down the warriors led by their bsb to give better chances for the Swordmasters in the tower to repel the invaders. Second unit is blocked by the sisters but they reform into tighter formation and it is for their leader to decided who is going to assault the tower first. (Edit: I think I made a mistake in diagrams. It is quite possible that reavers held after an initial attack and were only destroyed in this turn, thus allowing warriors to reform. Sorry for confusion!)

Tzeentch Warriors - Turn 5
Warriors charge!
But are pushed back

BSB leads his warriors into assault and merciless combat at the stairs erupts. Both units suffer many casualties and warriors are pushed back. Hellcannon also goes onto rampage. Dragon Princes were very fortunate that it didn't catch them but it was only by the skin of their teeth that their escaped certain doom.

Outcasts - Turn 5
Dragon Princes counter charge

Seeing exposed flank of the enemy, Dragon Princes charge. They are met by the grim warrior with evil radiating banner. Blows are exchanged and caledorians emerge victorious. Their enemy breaks and they collect two banners as trophies!

Larry and Bob use the moment of relative peace and jump into the Tower to reinforce the Swordmasters and boos their morale. It will be one more fight and if they win they are going to hold the Tower.

Tzeentch Warriors - Turn 6
Last attempt to win the tower fails!
High Elves hold the Watchtower!

Last regiment of warriors charges the tower. But they are pushed back thanks to the presence of High Elven heroes. Only a single warrior survives that assault. It is clear the High Elves got their objective.

Hellcannon shots for the last time and hits archers but despite heavy casualties they hold.

Outcasts - Turn 6
Last warrior of chaos dies

With almost no enemy to fight elves regroup and cheer up when it is clear they captured and held to the strategic objective. Last warrior is hunted down and only hellcannon is allowed to leave the battle field. At this stage Elves are in no shape to hunt it down and the winds of magic were too low to attempt any spell casting with good degree of success.

The army of dark powers was destroyed and Outcasts emerged bloodied but victorious!


Turn by turn animation summary

After-battle thoughts

I would like to thank my opponent, David, for a great game. He constantly kept the pressure and the final result (18-2) didn't reflect what happened in the game. That 1000VP bonus was huge and there were many moments where I was lucky enough to keep my plan going and as a result to keep the tower.

I didn't expect to shoot down the Daemon Prince but at the some time I was a little disappointed with only a single wound inflicted upon it. If I remember correctly it was partially due to the fact I failed my re-rollable (Gleaming Pennant) fear check on White Lions. But I was obviously very happy I did it!

The fight between exalted hero and Swordmasters was epic. I think he had 1+ re-rollable save so it was hard to get through with S5 but then I had enough attacks to make it so. But I know he could have prevailed and if he destroyed that unit I would have been in big trouble.

As a consequence of the loss of the Daemon Prince my Loremaster had a little easier task in terms of casting spells. That is why he managed to kill level 2 and some knights in a single turn! He also contributed to demise of warriors with bsb as he thinned them down before they attacked the tower. Then my Swordmasters could hit with all 20 attacks and that really mattered.

I think David would benefit from some halberds. It is nice to have a unit with 5++ but S4 even against elves was sometimes not enough. Despite that his army was a tough match up for me so I was very happy with the result! I lost a lot of units to keep his warriors away for as long as I could. It is a tough scenario for me as I need to sacrifice a lot of units and it is still not a guarantee I can keep the tower.

I wonder if it were harder for me if David had his unit in the tower from the beginning. Assuming he would choose to garrison it from the start. I could assault the warriors turn one and I would do it gladly. I would accept the casualties but I had some infantry to first, attack (Swordmasters) and then to occupy it (Sea Guard).

I hope you enjoyed the report and thanks for reading!


  1. Hey Mr. Swordmaster!

    I think you played this game about as well as you could have. A main weakness of an MSU army is that it is easy to take VPs from them since smaller units are easier to remove. In this scenario however, these VPs could be offset by claiming the tower (1000VPs is a ridiculous amount) which allowed you the freedom to sacrifice and redirect knowing that the tower could more than make up for the loss of a few extra units.

    Some important points of the battle were the dragon princes avoiding the hell-cannon and the daemon prince being left out in the open. The daemon prince was in an open field in front of seaguard, sisters, and a bolt thrower which is a risky move. Perhaps he would have done better to take an extra turn to get the prince to the other flank where there were less threats. He still played a great game.

    You did great work with eagle and reaver redirects which is something I really look for in your battle reports because it is such an important skill to learn and you do it marvelously. This report is a great lesson in proper MSU play.

    Thanks for the report!

    1. Hi Dan,

      Thanks a lot for your kind words! I was very happy with the way I played this game, somehow I managed to come up with a good plan and execute it. It was one of those games where things were not easy to achieve but they worked and I am glad you enjoyed the read. It is always important to me to show how these support troops can be vital to the success. Especially nowadays, where armies tend to have more and more characters there is less and less space for units like reavers. People prefer big cavalry buses and leave fast cavalry at home.

      On top of that we also played dreaded Watchtower scenario. Even modified the bonus points were huge but that worked well for me in the end as it balanced out the sacrifices I made to hold it. With pure battle points the margin of victory would have been way smaller.

      But taking objectives is part of the game so I was happy to keep it!