Saturday, 6 June 2015

Game 93 - Empire - 2014/01/07


Time to move on! This game was played some time ago on UB against wardancer and his Empire troops. This time we were practicing for wardancer's tournament, hence 2500 size of the game.

Empire - Army List

Battle Wizard, level 4 - 200 - Lore of Light
Warrior priest, barded warhorse, heavy armour and shield -  85
BSB, barded warhorse, plate armour and shield - 109
Captain on pegasus, DragonhelmPotion of foolhardiness, lance, shield, plate armour - 145
Captain on pegasus , Swift as the wind, Dragonbane gem, Charmed shield, plate armour, lance - 138
Witchhunter- brace of pistols, ruby ring of ruin - 80

20 Halberdiers,  banner - 130
10 Crossbowmen - 90
10 Crossbowmen - 90
10 Archers - 70
5 Knights, musician - 120
5 Knights, musician - 120

5 Pistoliers, musician - 100
5 Pistoliers, musician - 100
3 Demigryph knights, musician - 184
8 Reiksguard, FC -  246
Cannon - 120
Cannon - 120

Steam tank - 250

Imperial version of a MSU army. A lot of fast elements, very well protected too, in the case of Captains and Knights. A single bigger unit of Reiksguard was there to protect the BSB and Warrior Priest but at the same time made for a good and versatile regiment that could either charge or receive charge and hold the line. Add the steam tank to the equation and you have a tough nut to crack indeed.

There is a considerable amount of shooting that could prove deadly against small units if focused. 3 cannons would have a field day against eagle claw and chariots (or eagles for that matter too) if there is no place to hide them.

I was also very curious about Light wizard as it seems to be less popular choice unless you field an Archlector too and can have 2 banishments. A witch hunter was another curious choice and we were both eager to see if he can make a difference in that game.

Here is my army list prepared for that occasion:

Outcasts - Army List

Larry the Loremaster - level 2, Shield of the Merwyrm, Golden Crown, Earthing Rod, Sword of Might - 300
Bob the Battle Standard Bearer - Dragon Armour, Halberd, Charmed Shield, Potion of Strength, Reaver Bow - 157

10 Archers - Champion, Musician - 120
10 Archers - Champion, Musician - 120
5 Ellyrian Reavers - Spears, Bows, Musician - 105
5 Ellyrian Reavers - Spears, Bows, Musician - 105
6 Silver Helms - Standard, Musician - 158

5 Dragon Princes - Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame - 175
Tiranoc Chariot  - 70
Tiranoc Chariot  - 70
12 Swordmasters - Bladelord, Musician - 176
12 Swordmasters - Bladelord, Musician - 176
10 White Lions - Full Command, Gleaming Pennant - 165
10 White Lions - Full Command - 160
5 Shadow Warriors - 70
5 Shadow Warriors - 70

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
Great Eagle - 50
Great Eagle - 50
5 Sisters of Avelorn - 70
5 Sisters of Avelorn - 70

I was happy to have more Shadow Warriors as I like them a lot. I also decided to test chariots and because I made a room for them by removing the unit of Dragon Princes I also changed the core troops selection. I added Silver Helms and divided Archers into 2 small regiments. No ranked units then but more of them. Chariots may prove a liability than a help against cannons but the good thing is that if I could make them work under such circumstances then I should be able to make them work in more friendly environment.

I had some tools against armour but my previous experiences showed it will be a hard battle no matter what. One of the main things was to stop or slow down the tank and try to spirit leach it or cast searing doom. Otherwise it can cause way too much trouble! The regular knights are not that dangerous in subsequent rounds of combat. But they need to be contained somehow in the first place. Demigryphs are different story. Good for me there are only 3 of them.

It is very hard to have a detailed plan against another MSU army. A lot depends on the terrain and relative deployment. It will also be a game of manoeuver and counter manoeuver so there might be a few turns without combat when regiments look for the most favourable positions and at the same time try to deny it to the enemy.

EB rolled for spells selection and his level 4 got:

Battle Wizard - Burning Gaze, Pha's Protection, The Speed of Light, Net of Amyntok,


Deployment after vanguard moves (Edit: Handgunners on the left flank are in fact Crossbowmen, apologies for the confusion!)

It seemed we both deployed in a way of refused flank formations, with light troops as delaying forces on the weak flank of our respective formations. We both had good combat elements but we also wanted to use magic and shooting to prevent the opponent from gaining upper hand in the movement phase.

Witch hunter accused Bob, elven BSB of some unholy practice and contacts with evil powers.

Surprisingly I won the roll-off and I got the first turn!

Outcasts - Turn 1
Opening manoeuvers by elven army

Elves seized the initiative and moved forward. Larry jumped into the house and run to the balcony. In his enthusiasm he cast a medium sized fireball and incinerated some pistoliers. Their companions fled in fear they might meet the similar fate soon. Larry could not keep the magical feedback in control but his magical Crown healed him.

All units that managed to get into range opened fire and one more pistolier fell from the horse while half of the regiment of the corssbowmen was eliminated by the well placed arrows.

Empire - Turn 1
Imperial troops separate to both flanks
Imperial troops were ordered to move too. Only crossbowmen on the left flank, under the influence of some poisonous fungus stupidly moved further into the forest instead of shooting at the incoming enemy.

The wizard attempted some magic missiles spell at Sisters but it was deflected by gentlemen Larry. However, whatever gratitude he expected to obtain for his chivalrous behaviour could not save him and his companions to be ensnarled by the magical net that appeared seconds after.

Then Imperial artillery opened fire. Or at least that was the plan. First, the engineer in the tank had to use all his knowledge to fix the boiler as the pressure reached dangerous level and some cracks appeared on the construction. That affected his aim and although the cannonball went straight at the chariot it did absolutely no damage. To make things worse both cannons misfired and it looked like the crews would have to spend considerable amount of time trying to fix the problems.

Outcasts - Turn 2
High Elves press forward!

High Elves keep moving towards their enemies. White Lions in the centre of the battlefield charge the archers and witch hunter hiding among them. 6 men are cut down but the few survivors managed to barricade on the upper level and lions had to pause in their assault.

Magic net proved to be very annoying and while the unit moved out of the house they could not shake it off for spells purpose and suffered some casualties.

Empire - Turn 2
Imperial Air Force in attack!

Pegasus Captains spurred their mounts and both made it to their distant targets. Brave archer champion took one for the team and his companions held the line. Shadow Warriors feigned the retreat and the captain redirected into the new enemy. Sisters were not able to hold and fled.

On the left flank the steamtank rolled over the eagle while on the right flank Shadow Warriors failed to hold the knights in the forest (Edit: My mistake here, I thought I need just one model in the forest of a skirmishing unit to be stubborn while I had to have more than half).

Outcasts - Turn 3
Elves counter attack

The best defense is offense! Elves attacked too. Silver helms charged the exposed crossbowmen and destroy that unit. Nearby Pistoliers lose one of their number and his companions flee in the same fashion as the survivors from the first squadron.

Eagle claw crew decided it is their last chance and loaded single bolt. Unfortunately they missed. Even magical shots from Bob's reaver bow could not hit the target.

Dragon Princes charged the second captain but his armour was tough to pierce and he also held the line! The rest of the units avoided enemy on the right and one unit of reavers used the opportunity to move around and were racing now towards enemy artillery.

Empire - Turn 3
Empire strikes back!

A lot of Imperial units were ordered to attack and attack they did! Steatank rolled over another eagle. Reiksguard charged lions and drew nearby Dragon Princes into combat. Elves lost and Dragon Princes fled only to be run down by avenging captain. 2 remaining archers fled too and only lions kept fighting. In fact, they even wounded imperial BSB!

Demigryphs attempted to catch another unit of archers who withdrew. The Imperial elite redirected their charge and in a long distance attack charged the chariot and destroyed it. Pegasus captain did the same to the eagle claw.

Only shadow warriors were successful as they kept calm and stopped the knightly charge by unhorsing one of them. His companions reconsidered the attack and decided to move to the protection of the forest.

Imperial artillery joins in the attack but one of the cannons explodes instead. Second crew aims at the enemy Lions and force them to withdraw. The wizards casts magic missile at the nearby reavers but elven cavalrymen do not panic and keep racing towards the cannon crew.

Outcasts - Turn 4
The fight continues

Elves had the means to exchange the blows and they didn't hesitate to do so. Reavers attacked the cannon crew and easily defeated unprotected humans. Swordmasters charged the exposed flank of the imperial knights. 5 of them died but the casualties among lions were also heavy. Only single Chracian remained standing at this moment.

Shooting and magic were focused on one of the Pegasus captains and this time he fell.

Empire - Turn 4
Yet another knightly charge
Small units of Imperial knights charge Swordmasters. The pressure of armour was hard but Swordmasters were steadfast (Edit: in the fight I got 10 hits with Swordmasters only to proceed to roll seven 1's to wound )

The steamtank rolled over Silver Helms but this time the lone survivor held! Demigryphs attempted to charge the Sisters but they withdrew.

And yet again Larry, Bob and their companions found themselves to be entrapped in magical net.

Outcasts - Turn 5
Charge of the Light Brigade!

Both units of ellyrian reavers charge enemy knights. The unit that helps Swordmasters gets into contact briefly but fails to wound enemy BSB and retreats. Another regiment charges the exposed flank of the Imperial knights and forces them to flee! What is more, they are destroyed in pursuit!

The combat between Swordmasters and Imperial Knights remains unresolved.

Empire - Turn 5
Last combats
The Imperial forces kept attacking but it was clear that for a while the momentum of the attack was lost. Demigryphs chased away shadow warriors. Swordmasters finally destroyed remaining reiksguard but the BSB, warrior priest and survivors from the second unit of knights refused to give ground.

It was clear that neither army could gain the advantage before the quickly coming night and generals ordered their forces to disengage and withdraw.


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Turn-by-turn summary animation
After-battle thoughts

A draw! I think it was a good result of a game where we kept punching each other in our respective turns. Although I must admit that if not for the bad luck for Imperial artillery I would have faced much more difficult situation.

Another important thing to remember is that under Swedish Comp FAQ a steamtank can pivot freely even if the enemy is 1" away from it so I cannot block its movement at all. Personally I think it is too much. I understand it is to avoid rail roading when the unit sits next to the tank and it cannot charge it but at the same time there is absolutely no option to redirect the tank at all. Like if it needed any help. :)

In general the plan worked more or less I think. I managed to delay the forces on the right flank and could have done a better job if I knew that I need Shadow Warriors to be in the forest with majority of the regiment.

I am not happy with the way I used (or in fact didn't) the chariots. They technically were there to look dangerous but had no impact on the game. Much for me to learn in terms of chariot warfare.

I have definitely made a mistake with Net of Amyntok. I wanted to break lose instead of dispelling that spell. Instead, I had to test every time I wanted to do something.

Having said that I think wardancer could have pressed harder from his strong flank and if he attacked together with Demigryphs I would have been in big trouble. While right captain did great job the left one didn't have to charge the archers as he simply overexposed himself. Sure, in the end it went good for imperial troops there but at the same time he lost Reiksguard due to the combat were different units kept charging into the fray.

Unfortunately we run out of time to play the last turn.

I hope you enjoyed the report and thanks for reading!



  1. This was a fun one! I always enjoy your games with wardancer and I'm quite fond of that empire list. Your army looked much different than usual so that was interesting as well. The chariots didn't do much which was a shame. I was quite fond of them in 6th edition when I played beastmen. They could achieve a potent alpha strike when combined with another unit. I think they lost some utility in 8th due to steadfast and step up so I'm not sure I would put them in a list personally as they are much tougher to use effectively I find. That said, running them into a unit with a wizard is very nice since chariots can't be challenged! With the new edition coming, they may prove more useful.

    I kept thinking about the railroad tactic while reading the report thinking that it would cut down on the amount of models you had to feed to the tank. It's not a tactic I'm fond of at all, but it's such a brutal model model to remove without certain spells/cannons that sometimes that seems like the only option.

    I didn't hear about the FAQ for the tank. As you said, it doesn't need any help haha

    As always, great reading!

    1. Hi Dan,

      Thanks! It is great to know you like our games and I will make sure wardancer knows it too! We share some similar approaches to the game with distinct differences that I think make it all even more interesting. We both like to play with the armies of units and we prefer unorthodox approach to army list building. But while I focus on HE only wardancer has many armies.

      The chariots are great but I think I didn't know how to use them well. They are fantastic looking models, even more so in the army without monsters or center piece figures. They are great support and while they might not win combat all by themselves they are still very good in helping others to do so.

      Railroading is of course one of these controversial things in warhammer but I think it is more a consequence of certain rules that govern units such as steam tank than anything else. Of course people are willing to exploit any chance you give them to win.

      I decided not to use it and try to be as clear as possible to my intentions so that we can avoid confusion and misunderstandings.