Friday, 12 June 2015

Game 99 - Warriors of Chaos - 2014/02/05

Game 1 - Jonathan - Warriors of Chaos - Dawn Attack

I met Jonathan at ConVic last year but we didn't have a chance to play against each other. He told me he is reading my reports and I must admit I was very happy to find out he likes them. We talked about Warhammer at a few opportunities and parted with a promise that next time we meet we should definitely gave a game.

When CanCon was on the horizon TO's started to accept grudges and to my surprise I was challenged to fight the first battle! Jonathan decided I need a proper schooling by his tough as nails Warriors of Chaos! I gladly accepted as I knew he will be a challenging but very nice opponent. What can you ask more for? :)

Jonathan brought his Slaaneshi themed Warriors and the list details were as follows:

Slaanesh Warriors - Army List

Sorceror Lord, Level 4, Mark of Slaanesh, Steed of Slaanesh, Unholy Strike, Charmed Shield, Sword of Striking, Talisman of Preservation, The Other Trickster's Shard - Lore of Slaanesh

Chaos Sorcerer, Level 2, Opal Amulet, Scroll of Shielding, Shrieking Blade - Lore of Fire

Exalted Hero, Army Battle Standard , Chaos Steed (barded), Great weapon, Mark of Slaanesh, Dragonhelm, Potion of Foolhardiness, Talisman of Endurance 

Chaos Chariot, Mark of Slaanesh
20 Chaos Marauders, FC, Shields, Mark of Slaanesh
15 Chaos Warriors, FC, Shields, Mark of Slaanesh, Standard of Discipline
Forsaken, Mark of Khorne
Marauder Horsemen, Shields, Mark of Slaanesh

Chimera, Regenerating Flesh
Hell Striders, Musician

Dragon Ogre Shaggoth , Extra Hand Weapon
Skullcrushers of Khorne, Musician, Ensorcelled Weapons

Swedish Comp: 15.0

Jonathan's army in its full glory

Picture taken by ThaneG from (Thanks for permission! :))

Jonathan's army was tough and great looking force. My favourite was his Shaggoth with double blade weapon, much like Eternal Guards double blade spears. But whole army was really well painted and it was a pleasure to fight against it. I wish I had time for close ups! :)

The characters were very well protected and tough in combat. Level 4 had potentially very powerful weapon against my units in the form of Cacophonic Choir spell but whole lore of Slaanesh is very mean and dangerous. There were a few usual suspects in the form of Crushers, Shaggoth, Chimera and Chariot. Each of these was a problem I had to find a quick solution to. They are all individually beatable but the challenge lies in dividing them and beat them fast enough. And while doable it is not easy at all!

Less frequently observed choices were definitely infantry regiments. While Warriors are still acceptable then internet knowledge deems marauders and forsaken as simply useless. But I always have a respect for these "unwanted" units and I knew that in the hands of a good general they are all very dangerous.

As always against Warriors of Chaos I wanted to use the fact they are less numerous against them. It was , however, hard to plan in details as a lot depended on where particular unit is going to end up to due to scenario special rules. I wanted to shoot Chimera as I think I had a good chance of doing so if it appeared in the open. Despite the fact there were only 2 fast cavalry units they also were a priority and my own reavers would engage them first with shooting and then, if opportunity arises, in close combat.

I wanted to use the fact that the army of warriors had units that approach with different speed. Infantry would march for 3 turns before it comfortably closed to my own lines. Quite enough time to set traps and try to deal with faster elements. Shaggoth and Skull Crushers in particular. If possible, I wanted to use Crusher's frenzy against them. 

Outcasts - CanCon 2014

Larry the Loremaster - level 2, Talisman of Preservation, Earthing Rod, Dragon Helm
Bob the Battle Standard Bearer - Dragon Armour, Halberd, Charmed Shield, Potion of Strength, Reaver Bow

15 Archers - Full Command
15 Sea Guard - Full Command
5 Ellyrian Reavers - Spears, Bows, Musician
5 Ellyrian Reavers - Spears, Bows, Musician

5 Dragon Princes - Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame
5 Dragon Princes - Musician
12 Swordmasters - Bladelord, Musician
12 Swordmasters - Bladelord, Musician
10 White Lions - Full Command, Gleaming Pennant
10 White Lions - Full Command, Standard of Discipline

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
Great Eagle
Great Eagle
5 Sisters of Avelorn
5 Sisters of Avelorn

Swedish Comp Score: 15.3

Ok, let's see how the deployment turned up!

Armies arrayed for battle

Surprisingly there is more chaos in the Elven ranks!

Ah well, that is not exactly what I was hoping for. Especially Sea Guard and Archers turned up on the opposite flank to what I would have preferred as their arrows will find it very difficult to harm either Shaggoth or Crushers. Loremaster had a Lion unit to hide in but that still left him very exposed. The fact that Sorcerer Lord vanguarded didn't look good either. I was worried that my scattered deployment will be hard to fix in turn one, also because I expected that the warriors will approach at a double towards my lines. Even extra distance due to deployment at the edge might not be enough to avoid early charges.

Before the battle started Jonathan rolled for spells and he obtained the following:

Sorcerer Lord - Lash of Slaanesh, Hysterical Frenzy, Slicing Shards, Cacophonic Choir :D

Sorcerer - Fireball, Flaming Sword of Ruin

Jonathan won the roll off and his was the first turn!

Slaanesh Warriors - Turn 1
Chaos army rushes forward!

Something went wrong for the Sorcerer Lord!

Chaos army rushes forward to meet elves before they regroup. Sorcerer Lord leads the assault at the head of the small Hellstriders unit. Seeing elven regiments in not yet perfect but crowded formation he summons his powers and calls for the aid of his deity.
Sorcerer Lord was in a foul mood. He wanted to have some fun but was instead urged by his superiors to fight some elves. While they are always good sport he noticed these are not of his favourite type. Plain clothes, bad style, even few ladies they brought with them were not half naked. And what was that with these silly bows, was that to impress him? Bah!

But the clever mind like his always finds a solution! He put on his favourite music of the most recent album by "Cacophoni" called "The Choir". He was very proud of his tuned daemonic mounted that instead of 3 pairs of boobs sported some proper class loud speakers. Now, let these wimps have a taste of a proper music!

To his astonishment he saw the portal opening. And what did he see on the other side? The stage and a crowd of daemonettes shouting "Cacophoni! Cacophoni!". Could it be? Yes indeed! His favourite music band is about to give a concert! How lucky for him that his lord Slaanesh heard his real desire and provided an opportunity to do what he wanted! And they were about to start with a blast and fireworks! Perfect!

The chaos sorcerer disappeared in the colossal blast, taking half of the unit of Hellstriders with him. A few White Lions, target of his spell, fell too but the damage was not that big considering the huge potential such accursed magic has. A few Reavers fell to the spell of a second wizard but their companions held with grim determination.

It was a start with a blast for a Chaos army but probably not exactly the type they envisioned prior to the battle.
Edit: It was a very interesting situation. Jonathan had 5 dice left for that spell and he was pondering on which version he should cast. After long deliberations he opted for a small one, targeting only a single regiment with a general hoping to kill lots of Lions and panic them from the battle field. If he only knew he was going to get IF! Lucky me he didn't cast the bubble version of that spell!

Outcasts - Turn 1
Offense is the best defense!

Counter attack!

Units on the West attacked immediately. First, Dragon princes charge marauders who elected to withdraw and elven knights changed the direction of the attack. However, that cost them time and they had to stop the charge that would have not reached the enemy chariot any way. At the same time Reavers attacked exposed flank of the Hellstriders. They also tried to escape but swift elven cavalry caught them and marauder horsemen that hit the fleeing unit and caused a lot of chaos in confusion.

At the same time the shooters and Loremaster focused their attention to lonely Chimera and the beast was brought down before it managed to hit the ranks of elven warriors.

The regiments on the East manoeuvred slowly with eagles tempting both hard hitters from the Chaos army to charge them.

Slaanesh Warriors - Turn 2
Chaos army keeps advancing

And hits hard!

Chaos Sorcerer took over the leadership of the army and led them to attack as planned. First, he unleashed Forsaken who made a very long charge avoiding flaming arrows and butchering the unit of Sisters. The impetus carried them over into the flank of second group of elven female archers.

Chaos Sorcerer decided to enact some revenge for his Lord and cast a powerful Fireball that totally obliterated the Lions body guarding elven general. It was cast with such a force that nearby Warriors were also knocked to the ground as ragtag dolls but fortunately for the Sorcerer he was just wounded by the magical feedback.

On the West Shaggoth killed an Eagle with easy but Skull Crushers restrained their blood thirst and didn't fall for the obvious trap.

Outcasts - Turn 2
Another charge!

Skull Crusher hold!

Elven units on both flanks attack. On the left Dragon princes successfully charge the chariot and blows are ferociously exchanged. But the evil war machine and its crew were not going anywhere.

On the right the eagle joined the attack of Dragon Princes and White Lions on the Skull Crushers. But due to little room for the attack the knights pushed away the hunters and only they hit the enemy. Although one chaos knight fell it was not enough to break the enemy and the chaotic juggernaut started to get ready to grind down arrogant elves.

(Edit: Due to initiative order I hit with DP first who killed one Crusher. Then Jonathan smartly removed the model touching White Lions and the hunters were now out of combat. My mistake!)

Slaanesh Warriors - Turn 3
Shaggoth's rampage!
Shaggoth decided to attack elven sea guard but the elves were too afraid to hold the beast in place even if the Swordmasters were nearby to help them out. Shaggoth decided then to redirect his attack and charged the eagle. In the brutal multi unit combat the eagle was killed, elven knights were broken and run down by the furious Shaggoth and Crushers butchered the Lions who stubbornly held.

On the West the chariot broke this time from combat but elven knights, knowing it is not going to remain at the battle field, restrained from pursuit and reformed.

Chaos Sorcerer once again summoned great, unstoppable power and once again half of the elven unit perished in flames.

Outcasts - Turn 3
Huge pressure on the Eastern Front

Elves try to fight back with ranged attacks

Sea Guard rally and reform in a way that would expose Shaggoth flank to the attack from the archers if the beast decided to do so. At the same time it would help the archers if they were the target. But elves were not careful enough and left their own flank exposed to the Skull Crushers who have just finished killing the Lions

On the West the decision was made to direct all the fire at the remnants of the Warriors unit. The regiment was destroyed and the sorcerer barely survived magical attacks too. But then forsaken were ignored, was it a good decision by elven leaders?

Slaanesh Warriors - Turn 4
Situation becomes very difficult for elves

More casualties and elven leaders are left on their own!

Shaggoth and Crushers attack Sea Guard. Elves decided they need to withdraw to avoid such uneven fight but are not fast enough and the regiment is utterly destroyed by the monstrous Shaggoth. Elven right flank is in tatters.

On the left flank ignored forsaken attack elven bolt thrower and temporarily move away from the battle field. Elven leaders, although avoided the furious forsaken, could not dodge the fireball entirely and rest of the Swordmasters were destroyed.

Outcasts - Turn 4
Elves try to fight back

But Skull Crushers avoid combat. Khorne was not pleased.

Swordmasters attempted to attack weakened Skull Crushers but the knights surprisingly withdrew. They have already lost Khorne's blessing and now the will to fight too.

Archers managed to wound Shaggoth but the beast was still very dangerous.

Slaanesh Warriors - Turn 5
Chaos Marauders vs Elven Leaders

Remaining Chaos units regroup (I think Skull Crushers actually moved further away here)

Both armies are very bloodied by now but the battle is not over and they regroup for the final push. This time Chaos Sorcerer was stopped.

What would elves do now?

Outcasts - Turn 5
Marauders surrounded

Elven Leaders charge!

Elven cavalry surprisingly didn't attempt to charge but simply surrounded the marauders with an opening for the enemy BSB to tempt him to charge Elven Leaders. They also attacked previously ignored Foresaken and destroyed them once and for all.

On the right flank Archers wounded Shaggoth once more!

Slaanesh Warriors - Turn 6
Last blurry picture! Hopefully you can distinguish Shaggoth from the building :D
Charge of the BSB!

Battle Standard Bearer of the chaos army sees the opening but also is aware of the trap and decides to spoil elven plans. He noticed that they were not careful enough in setting it up and left the option to escape - through dragon princes. The elven knights fought but not good enough. One of them remained but despite encouraging shouts from the Bob the BSB he still fled and was run down by the champion of chaos who also ensured his safety.

Outcasts - Turn 6
Larry the Loremaster does not allow Shaggoth to escape!

Disappointed that the enemy escaped, Larry the Loremaster directed his attention at the Shaggoth. He cast deadly spells and eventually managed to magically assault the brain of the beast and finish it!

Reavers attempted to charge the marauders but there were still too many of them to break and that unit remained intact.

The survivors of both armies disengaged and it looked like elves managed to carry the day by the narrowest of margins!


 photo output_gm4mYC_zpslzvjbd6c.gif
Turn-by-turn summary animation

After-battle thoughts

First of all I would like to thank Jonathan for a great game and the fact that he called a challenge. It was a great honour to accept and I really appreciate that he wanted to play against me in his first game in CanCon! 

I managed to sneak 11-9 win from that game and was very lucky to get the spells last turn to hunt down the Shaggoth. At the same time I would like to applaud Jonathan for not giving up and meticulously clawing his way back from the disaster of the first turn. He was brutally efficient with his attacks and I am not sure who should get MVP for this game. Contenders, in my opinion, would be level 2 fire sorcerer, Shagoth and Forsaken, even if they didn't earn that many points by themselves.

I also wanted to say I am actually happy that the game was close in the end as it made for a much more pleasant experience for both of us when it looked like it can be a very one sided battle after turn 1.

There are of course a few things I should have done way better :)

1. I risked stand and shoot with Sisters and that was a mistake. I had enough distance to flee and rally later on. Instead, I risked unnecessarily and Forsaken were in my back yard. What is more, I chose to shoot at depleted but way slower warriors, who were also in worse position to attack. I should have aimed at Forsaken with bolt thrower, reaver bow and some magic missiles too.

2. Combined charge on the Skull Crushers was done badly. I had to push the eagle to combat but in the hindsight it was a mistake. I could have charged with the Lions only. That would have allowed me to attack 2 crushers instead of 3 and maximise the amount of attacks. While not bullet proof it would have been a better idea. What is more, I could have waited one more turn and manoeuvre more to surround them from better angles. I lost nothing by not engaging in combat while I could use the opportunity to push the units around my enemy, Shaggoth included.

It then backfired badly as I lost combat and 3 units, also because of bad positioning of the Sea Guard.

3. I don't understand why I didn't attack marauders when my characters charged Forsaken. I had all the odds to win the combat and keep that unit in place. I had enough attacks to cripple them and BSB was on a single wound too (I think I managed to cast a spirit leach on him, another mistake as I should have cast it on wounded sorcerer instead to stop these damn fireballs!). At least I would have held them long enough for the characters to help later. Instead, I also positioned Dragon Princes badly and allowed BSB to charge them and break them. Yes, they were taking LD7 break with a re-roll but there was no reason for me to do it in the first place.

I hope it was entertaining report and I am looking forward to read your comments!


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