Thursday, 26 June 2014

Game 3 - Beastmen - (2011/12/17)


I have another battle report for you. This time Beastmen and an unknown scenario to me so far, Meeting Engagement. :)
Army lists and pre-battle considerations

My opponent is very kind to field different armies and he actually uses that opportunity to try out some unorthdox builds. It makes his life a little more difficult as he has to learn fast and any mistakes due to lack of experience with particular army can back-fire badly. But I never underestimate him as our battles are usually bloody and the end result does not give justice to what actually had happened during the game. As always, I present his list from my memory and I will update the details as soon as I get them.
Beastmen - Army List

Beastlord, Fencers Blades
Great Shaman, Level 4, Dispel Scroll - Lore of Shadow
BSB, 1+ Armor Save
Shaman, Level 1, Chariot, Skin of Man - Lore of Shadow
Shaman, Level 1, Shard of the Herdstone - Lore of Shadow
Shaman, Level 1 - Lore of Shadow

30 Gors, Full Command, Additional Weapons
30 Gors, Full Command, Additional Weapons
5 Ungor Riders
5 Ungor Riders
5 Ungor Riders

30 Bestigors
, Full Command
Razorgor Chariot
Razorgor Chariot
Razorgor Chariot

This particular army aimed to dominate magic phase. With a herdstone and 4 attempts to channel it should have enough of power dice to cast whatever spell it wants as I will not be able to block everything. Although multiple Miasma can slow down any army significantly it would potentially be a biggest problem for MSU army as it needs its movement phase to be efficient. I am not that worried about Pit of Shades or Mindrazor as with small units even S3 attacks can be enough while the damage for entire army would be minimized. Bear in mind that this army was not designed to counter HE MSU but rather to mess up with vital characteristics for particular army. Any big infantry unit, with their Primal Fury, can be deadly when Mindrazored too. Razorgor Chariots are, however, very problematic for my HE. My shooting is not strong enough to damage it and with impact hits and many high S attacks, these guys can destroy my small unit on their own.

The weakness of this force is, however, its LD. LD 7 at best if not assisted by a character means that I should try and inflict as many tests as possible, especially for chariots to take and hopefully drive them away and deny the opportunity for combined charges against my units.

Outcasts - Army List 

Archmage, Level 4, Annulian Crystal - High Magic
BSB, Dragon Armour, Shield, Great Weapon, Radiant Gem of Hoeth - High Magic

20 Spearelves, Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame
20 Spearelves, Musician, Standard
10 Archers, Light Armour, Musician
10 Archers, Light Armour, Musician

10 White Lions, Musician
10 White Lions, Musician
9 Swordmasters, Musician
9 Swordmasters, Musician
9 Swordmasters, Musician
5 Dragon Princes, Musician
5 Dragon Princes, Musician
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Bows, Spears

Great Eagle
Great Eagle

A slight change to the army list. I left the item for the BSB and with saved points I got Standard for one unit of White Lions and transferred Banner of Eternal Flame to this regiment. In this battle it probably is not going to mean anything but adds a little error margin for Blood and Glory scenario as well as creates a dedicated monster hunter regiment in the army.

Only single unit and character were kept in reserves for both armies as they arrayed for battle

Beastmen won the roll off and chose East-South as a deployment area. Single Gor unit with Beastlord were kept in reserves and Beastmen army deployed first. HE kept one unit of Dragon Princes and BSB in reserves and then attempted to steal the initiative but were not successful.

Following Spells were obtained by respective wizards:
Great Shaman - Miasma, Steed of Shadows, Pendulum, Mindrazor
3 x Shaman - 3 x Miasma

Archmage - Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Curse of Arrow Attraction, Fury of Khaine, Vaul's Unmaking
BSB - Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery

With the sound of horns Beastmen army begun their advance.

Beastmen - Turn 1
Beastmen rush forward

Beastmen moved forward keeping their living shield of Ungors in front of the battle line. Gor unit with Beastolrd entered the battle too and moved towards Western flank. Razorgors secured the flanks of infantry units while 3 Shamen were ordered to stay close and perform any vile rituals at their herdstone as they seem to think fit to ensure the victory for dark gods. Soon elven Archers were engulfed in evil fog and their usually kin senses were blunt. They even lost two of their numbers to crude barbs thrown by ungor riders.

Outcasts - Turn 1

High Elves spread their formation even further to envelope their foe

The center of elven formation pulled back slightly to draw their enemies further towards their lines. At the same time cavalry moved forward, with light horse using open plains on the West to their full advantage. Archmage managed to cast magic missiles towards the Razorgor Chariot but the machine proved to be very resilient and was only slightly damaged. The attempt to render some of the magic items carried by the foe was stopped by Great Shaman who read his Dispel Scroll quickly before it could be turned into ashes. Archmage managed to drain some energy from the field but would it be enough to stop dark rituals close to the herdstone? In the meantime elven Archers tried to pierce the evil fog which engulfed them and even managed to skewer one ungor despite losing their arrows without even seeing the enemy.
Beastmen - Turn 2

Beastmen army continues their advance

Beastmen kept their steady advance, closing distance to thin elven line. Beastmen shamen were occupied with their ritual so much they could not channel additional magical force but their unholy stone still radiated with dark energy. And again elven Archers found themselves in the mist of black fog, which dispersed only a little to get thicker the second after. Great Shaman also used his dark magic to swap positions with BSB and now he was leading Bestigors to the battle.

Outcasts - Turn 2

Elven elites strike hard from the center at the most exposed gor mob

Although the enemy was not yet that close elves decided to wait no longer. One White Lion regiment pretended to attack ungor riders in the forest and when they fled, redirected their charge at their true target - Gor mob with BSB. They were not alone as Swordmasters sped forward and calculated their distance perfectly to reach the enemy lines exactly at the same time when White Lions hit the front rank. In the bloody melee many gors fell, their BSB among them, his magic armour not enough to save him. But remaining beastmen kept fighting regardless ([i]EDIT: It was only after the battle that we recalled that in the forest the unit is not steadfast. Even more reasons to charge big blocks with small elite units![/i].

The rest of the army moved to positions to encircle more compact beastmen battle line. Especially elven cavalry and one eagle were eager to get to unprotected shamen behind enemy lines.
Beastmen - Turn 3

Beastmen attempt to counter-attack

Bold attack of High Elves visibly shook Beastmen as their units were not able to perform co-ordinated counter-attacks. The razorgor chariot on the West charged Archers in the ruins who fled behind the cover. The one in the center attacked White Lions in hope to relieve fighting Gors. Then third chariot wheeled to be able to add its support later. Bestigors attacked the eagle which blocked their advance and reformed towards the unengaged White Lion regiment. There seemed to be some weird pattern in Beastmen Shamen behaviour as they focused on their ritual and failed to channel any more energy than already drawn from the dark stone. It was enough, however, to slow down one unit of Dragon Princes and affect the unnatural skills of Swordmasters so that they hacked with their great swords in a clumsy, human like manner. (EDIT: I had 13 attacks this round, hitting on 4+ with re-roll and then wounding on 3+, I inflicted massive 2 wounds :)) Razorgor chariot avoided trees at all cost but it affected the way it eventually entered the combat and only single White Lion died due to the impact caused by it. In this mad hack and slash this time Beastmen got an upper hand but both elven units kept fighting. In the meantime Shaman in chariot urged his driver to charge reckless elven light cavalry but somehow tuskgors didn't want to co-operate and instead of full impact charge they performed dignified throttle towards the fresh ground nearby and promptly started their search for some new tasty things hidden under the surface.

Outcasts - Turn 3

High Elves continue their attack

Second White Lion units charged in order to relieve their bloodied companions. Razorgor chariot fled rather than be attacked by ferocious chracian hunters and they had an open way to the flank of gors still locked in the fight. This time only single Gor survived and it escaped pursuing Lions and Swordmasters whom it fought for so long. Flanking White Lions restrained and reformed to face Bestigors.

On the West Swordmasters charged Ungors hoping to cut them swiftly and panic nearby chariot. Unfortunatley bigger beastmen didn't care for their smaller kin at all. On the East Dragon Princes charged Ungors as well. Second unit of heavy cavalry tried to charge past them at a razorgor chariot but had to stop as their charge could not hit home. However, this time the destruction of lowly ungors must have unnerved razorgor as it pulled away from elves and run away towards the safety of the herdstone. Nearby Swordmasters and Spearelves moved forward to close the gaps.

Light cavalry and Great Eagle spotted a chance and charged Shaman in chariot in unison. Although not a single blow hit home on either side the sheer pressure was enough to break and run down beastmen spell caster. Pursuing Eagle caught his companion too and another fight was about to begin.

Archmage scanned through any magical residues of any items among bestigors but to his surprise he found none. It also loosened his focus as he drew too much energy and although he managed to dissipate it and also drain it for a while from the battlefield it erased the memory of that spell from his mind for the duration of the battle.
Beastmen - Turn 4

Beastmen try to break through the Western flank

Situation looked grim for Beastmen but their leader has not given the signal for retreat yet. Razorgor chariots rallied and faced their enemies once again. Bestigors entered the woods and it was clear that this forest has not seen the end of the carnage yet. Razorgor chariot on the West charged the Archers in the ruins and almost destroyed itself in the process but in the end managed to kill the elves. Gor unit with Beastlord attempted a charge at Swormdasters who withdrew. It also seemed that the attack of elves on beastmen nearby their herdsotne started to break their focus and they were unable to cast much. Only great eagle was forced to fight blindfolded and didn't inflict any damage on his adversary and the fight continued.

Outcasts - Turn 4
Relentless attack of High Elves continues

High Elves didn't stop in their attack and charged again with fresh regiments. Spearelves who until now were protecting the venue towards the back of elven battle line charged exposed bestigor flank together with White Lions hitting from the front. These elite warriors were offered additional magical protection in the form of a Shield as they were about to take on the furious beastmen elite head on. However, it was at a cost of massive detonation that killed 5 Swordmasters and almost cost live of the Archmage. It did help a lot, however, as many deadly attacks were deflected. Beastigors lost the combat but didn't break under the stern and unforgiving eye of their Beastlord.

Other elven units also pressed forward in order to break dark rituals once and for all. Tired and bloodied White Lions and Swordmasters pushed again and finally destroyed Razorgor chariot and Swordmasters carried on towards Shaman fighting ealge and put the evil spell caster down. Dragon Princes made their charge against Ungors and after destroying them utterly continued towards the rear of the gor regiment. Finally, Elyrian Reavers pulled back and used their bows as they should making a pin cushion of the last remaining Shaman protecting herdstone. The ritual was broken.
Beastmen - Turn 5
Finally Beastlord sounds the retreat

In their last attempt to fight back Beatmen charged with all unengaged units. Razorgor chariot pulled back from the ruins but it slowed it down and it could not reach Spearelves. The second chariot charged Swordmasters and as it caught these warriors in the open they didn't stand any chance to survive. Their companions on the West also were attacked but by gor mob led by Beastlord but decided to stand their ground to buy time for other regiments to redress their ranks for last combat. It was not necessary, however, as bestigors finally broke from combat and were run down by Spearelves who avenged White Lions destroyed to the last warrior in that bloody melee.

Seeing that his units are destroyed almost to the last one and that swift elves can still envelope his personal retinue, Beastlord sounded the retreat and used the passage to the West he has just carved himself up.
After-battle thoughts

I must admit it was quite unlucky battle for my opponent. First, he didn't get many useful spells, then he regularly failed to channel even a single dice thus making his advantage less significant and finally he often failed even to cast a spell at all. Little bits and pieces added to his frustration when he failed to wound much despite re-rolls to hit or failed quite probable charges with chariots, not to mention rolling a 1 for impact hits.

Saying that I guess he also made a few mistakes that made this battle going well for elves rather than for Beastmen. Entering the woods with Gors was probably a mistake but the one I forgot to capitalize on as I didn't remember about him losing steadfast. In that case I won the combat on the charge, could go behind his lines with 2 units of my elites and finish off his wizards faster, not to mention being able to close in with other units quicker too. He also didn't swap places with his great shaman and beastlord during the second round of combat against spears and lions where his attacks would swing the balance even without so much needed support from the chariot. It might not saved his day but at least he would destroy more units and be free to take on others.

I am not sure about the army list. I see why he wants to have so many wizards near herdstone but is it really necessary and is it good idea to go for shadow I don't know. His Primal Fury is powerful against my units and his razorgor chariots are very tough and if only he co-ordinated his attacks better (like being able to counter-charge in his turn straight away) he would definitely be in a better shape to continue the fight.

As to my own performance I was lucky with some charges (Lions and Swords in turn 2, Spears in turn 4) when I needed 7 or even 9 to hit home. I took the risk as I had units to fill the gaps and make the new battle line so that his units could not charge me without counter-attacks later on. However, maybe I was too eager to get into combat. Especially in turn 4 I could move my units so that more of them would be able to attack bestigors. I was very lucky that the chariot didn't hit home and I could use the mistake of my opponent of not bringing his Beastolrd to the fight thanks to Shadow Lore attribute.

I hope you enjoyed the battle and report.

Thanks for reading!

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