Friday 4 July 2014

Game 8 - Lizardmen - (2012/02/01)

CanCon 2012 - Battle 2 - Battle for the Pass

In the second game I met Adam with nicely painted Lizardmen army. Adam had a classical force, led by Slann protected by his Temple Guard and with a nice variety of the regiments. Unfortunately for Adam that army list was not that much liked by the judges who gave him score of 4. :( Also apologies for not complete list of items but I really don't remember all of them as they didn't come into play.

Lizardmen - Army List

Slann Mage-Priest, BSB, Level 4, The Focused Ruminations, The Becalming Cogitation - Lore of Life
Skink Priest on Engine of Gods - Lore of Heavens

20 Temple Guards, Full Command
24 Saurus with Spears, Musician, Standard
24 Saurus, Musician, Standard

10 Skink Kohort, Javelins
10 Skink Skirmishers
10 Cameleon Skinks
10 Cameleon Skinks
3 Terradons
2 Salamander Packs

Tough Lizardmen army, with solid battle line, nasty shooters and good support from the engine. As we played battle for the pass I had less space for flanking moves. I also had to deploy carefully not to give chameleons an opportunity to sneak behind my lines. And I tried to keep my mage 24" away from the Slann too :)

My army list for the reference.

Outcasts - Army List

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

20 Spearelves, Musician, Standard,
20 Spearelves, Musician, Standard
10 Archers, Light Armour, Musician
10 Archers, Light Armour, Musician

10 White Lions, Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame
10 White Lions, Musician
9 Swordmasters, Blademaster with Amulet of Light, Musician
8 Swordmasters, Musician
8 Swordmasters, Musician
5 Dragon Princes, Musician
5 Dragon Princes, Musician
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Bows, Spears

Great Eagle
Great Eagle

Both armies blocked the passage for each other
Very blurry picture due to excitement. I was going to play against Lizardmen for the first time ever! :)

Slann Mage had 5 spells from Lore of Light - Earth Blood, Throne of Vines, Flesh to Stone, Regrowth, Dwellers while Skink got Wind Blast. Elven BSB was equipped with Drain Magic and Shield of Saphery and the Archmage had Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Courage of Aenarion, Flames of the Phoenix and Vaul's Unmaking.

Not only the battlefield was narrowed but there was a tower in the middle, making it even more difficult to move, especially for small elven units. It was clear that in order to outflank the enemy they would have to bait it with some targets. The elves managed to seize the initiative and moved first.

Outcasts - Turn 1

High Elves opening move was to charge!
Orderly approach with reinforced Western flank

Swordmasters and Spearelves on the Eastern flank spotted some movement in the grass and charged quickly before enemy scouts managed to reposition themselves and hide in nearby ruins. Chameleons had no other option but to flee.

Archers at the center of the formation aimed at skink skirmishers on the hill and managed to kill a few despite long range and their dispersed formation. Elven Archmage moved forward a little bit and since majority of targets were still away he and elven BSB cast some protective spells after which the Archmage dissipated the energy knowing that even the mighty Slann can find it difficult to cast spells if the winds of magic are weak.

On the West Dragon Princes moved like on parade, their disciplined steed not spoiling the perfect formation and kept the steady line but ready to gallop as soon as the enemy salamanders moved into range. White Lions followed while Spearelves guarded the flank.

Lizardmen - Turn 1

Lizardmen moved forward too but ...
... refused the Western flank

Lizardmen moved steadily forward but only on the Eastern flank. One of the chameleon unit rallied but the other one, too far away from the Slann, got confused and kept running away. On the East Lizardmen created a new formation to prevent fast elven cavalry to outflank them. Salamanders were ordered behind protective bulk of the ancient stegadon while small skink cohort moved forward as a bait.

Winds of magic were indeed weaker and Skink priest could not summon enough energy to cast a spell while Slanns attempts were dispelled by the Archmage. Only the engine worked perfectly and created a protective bubble around the troops nearby.

Outcasts - Turn 2
Charge on the West and ...
... the result - who will prevail?

One Dragon Princes regiment charged skink cohort to clear the path for the other units. Poor skinks had no chance against the knights but that was the order of the Slann and they obeyed without question. Elves then reformed to face much more serious threat. White Lions formed a line challenging Saurus to charge them, while Dragon Princes and Spears readied themselves for counter-attack.

On the East elves didn't not attack but moved aggressively as well. Two Swordmaster units formed in such a way that Saurus warriors, if wanted to break through, had to charge both of them. Nearby Spearelves protected the flank and were also ready for a flanking attack if needed. Then one of the eagles swooped down to divert the attention of the Temple Guard from the fight which was about to start on the East.

Archers opened fire on the Chameleons and again few unfortunate skinks were skewered by elven arrows. Finally protective spells were renewed and elves braced for the inevitable impact.

Lizardmen - Turn 2

Powerful charge of Saurus warriors!

White Lions receive the brute strength of Saurus attack on the East ...
While Swordmasters attempt to strike first before the Lizardmen will crash their ranks

At a single gesture from the Slann entire army of Lizardmen moved as one. On the West ancient stegadon charged Dragon Princes but skink priest decided it is not yet time and halted the beast before it could gain momentum. Saurus Warriors charged the closes target and crushed into seemingly thin and fragile line of elves. White Lions, however, led by Battle Standard Bearer, slew many of coldblooded warriors and lost only a few thanks to magical protection. The attack of Saurus phalanx was stopped.

On the East another Saurus unit charged warriors of Hoeth. Elves stroke with precision but somehow scaly skin protected huge lizards or the wounds that normally would cut a human in half were just scratches and saurus didn't even noticed that they were hit. Besides losing an arm was never enough to stop mighty Lizardmen warrior. Even if you chopped two they could bite your head off and this is exactly what they did to surprised Swordmasters! Inefficient strikes and ferocious attack of Saurus was too much for elven elite and both units broke from combat. From the group of 16 warriors only 3 survived that savage combat! Nearby Speareleves could not even counterattack as they were in danger themselves. Temple Guard just reformed their formation and were ready to hit the flank of the elven infantry. And all that despite enormous efforts of the Archmage to dispel any attempts of the Slann to boost his already tough warriors!

That was not the end of problems for elven forces as Salamanders emerged from the wood and showed why they are such feared beasts. Half of the unit of Spearelves died in horrible pain from the fiery acid the Salamanders spit on them and suddenly their combat usefulness was reduced almost to zero.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Lions attack! ...
... and even powerful Saurus cannot hold against such powerful strike

It was time to counter-attack and Elves did it perfectly. Second White Lion unit charged the flank of the Saurus warriors. They inflicted horrendous casualties and as the remnants of the mighty phalanx were too far away from the Slann, even in their cold-blooded minds something akin to fear grew and they broke from combat only to be destroyed in pursuit. Dragon Princes also did what they do the best and charged Salamanders from the flank, avenging Spearelves and almost hitting the chameleons hiding behind the tower in their hot pursuit of the skinks handlers. Second unit moved away from the path of the Stegadon.

On the East situation didn't look good for elves though. Spears charged skink skirmishers who elected to flee but were not fast enough. Hot pursuit gave the elves enough momentum to escape the danger and Temple Guard could not charge them just yet.

Archers and Ellyrians changed their formation and opened fire at Saurus warriors, killing a few.

Lizardmen - Turn 3
Despite losing on the West Lizardmen are still dangerous and strike back!

With one of his powerful units gone Slann mage ordered light troops to strike back at elves. Terradons bombarded Spearelves with rocks and chameleons peppered them with poisonous missiles. Only a few of elves survived that barrage but they didn't panic and tried to withdraw in good order.

On the West ancient stegadon trampled the eagle to the ground while skink priest used divine powers of the engine to destroy all but one Dragon Prince from the nearby unit. The lone Knight refused to panic, however, vowing to avenge his companions. On the East, Saurus Warriors, now reduced to almost half of their number, finished off remaining Swordmasters who tried to flee but could not escape from merciless Lizardmen.

Outcasts - Turn 4
Last charges of elven warriors
Saurus trapped on the East

Dragon Princes charged nearby Terradons who were too close to flee and flying lizards were destroyed. Battle Standard Bearer led his White Lion bodyguards into flank attack against ancient stegadon. Mighty beast was too tough even for experts huntsmen and many of them lost their lives stomped to death. Depleted unit of Spears charged chameleons shrugging of the rain of poisonous darts and killing a few skins. However, the survivors held due to nearby presence of the Slann. Second unit of Spears tried to escape from the enemy scouts and run towards the safety of the building in front of them.

Archmage managed to summon enough energy to break through Slann's defenses and Saurus warriors started to burn. Archers opened fire at them too and it was too much for the survivors who fled the battle.

Lizardmen - Turn 4

Ancient Stegadon finally fell

White Lions doubled their efforts and although they could not kill the beast just yet they managed to break it from combat and destroy it in pursuit. Seeing that he cannot move South anymore, Slann Mage priest ordered his remaining troops North and after chameleon scouts cleared the path from any elves which were nearby, he was carried away by his Temple Guard already lost in deep meditation and forgetting about such insignificant battle. It required only a minor re-calculation and the plan of the Old Ones was not threatened by this small encounter.

After-battle thoughts

Boy, but these Lizards are tough! I was very close to losing another Spears, one unit of Lions survived only thanks to low rolls on thunder stomp and shield of saphery and that single Dragon Prince denied some points to my opponent too. I also would like to stress out how nice and patient Adam is, he explained any special rule to me perfectly and even if I needed a reminder he was always glad to help. Thanks Adam! I greatly appreciate this and I hope you enjoyed our game too!

I really like his army and it is very dangerous indeed as my Swordmasters learnt hard way. This time I won but I would never underestimate Adam and his forces, especially that in this battle he was a little unlucky with magic. I got good rolls to dispel his spells and sometimes Drain Magic helped me too. I don't want to know what would have happened if only he managed to cast Flesh to Stone on his Saurus warriors (even with the basic version) :)

A few additional things from this game:

1. Narrow deployment is not a friend of MSU army :) It forced me to go against tough army and while on one flank I succeeded I failed on the other one. On the West I had superior numbers and harder hitting troops. On the East I should have done it differently.

2. Although I was a little unlucky to inflict only 6 casualties with 24 S5 attacks (which hit on 3+ with re-roll :)) I believe it was not the best way to fight against Saurus warriors. If I were to do it again I would expose one unit of Swordmasters for their charge and keep Spears and the other Swordmasters 6.5" away. This would prevent any panic tests while would enable co-ordinated counter-charge next turn or all out assault next turn. It would also keep my units away from skins so that they would not be able to block my attack.

3. Magic was quite weak this game but I still managed to cast shields as Adam kept his dispel dice for other spells. And this is what I like about the current set up as I can cast two low level spells, quite useful for any unit while the opponent usually lets me have them.

4. I think Adam made a mistake with placement of his chameleon skinks. I would deploy them further away to make charges against them less likely. Closer to his own lines he could even held as with his poisonous attacks he could elect to stand and shoot. If he held or not in the combat (if I even reached him) was not that important as my troops would be exposed for counter-charges. I would probably not risk it at all. Instead his dangerous scouts were not used to full potential.

5. The initial move to guard the Western flank was very good. I would stay there or even move back a little, blast enemy with the engine and protect Salamanders. His unsupported attack on White Lions was premature. Even if he reached DP with the Stegadon I had units to counter attack and he could shoot at only one of them with his Salamanders. Also, these units were not in proximity of the Slann. By dividing his troops he definitely helped me to win against his army.

Ok, that's game 2 for you! Thanks for reading and if you liked it, please, leave a comment or two :)


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