Monday 29 September 2014

Game 37 - High Elves - 2012/10/04


I must admit it is a great thing to be able to play with more and more members from the forums I read. I am also aware it is only possible in XXI century with all the benefits of the internet. This time I had a pleasure to play against Elessehta of Yvresse from Ulthuan! Ele has his own unique approach to High Elves with his Yvresii theme. He is also a great story teller and I am very glad that he agreed to write a little as a prologue and epilogue for our game.


Elessehta rested in his tent, the encounter with the Asrai had been brief, bloody, and totally unexpected. He had left the others with his troops to get some peace, he needed to meditate. After the shocking loss against a small contingent of men, and then again losing to some Eatainii sailor on a Great Eagle... how he wished his mighty Griffon could have come with them on this journey.

He needed to remember the lessons taught to him at the Armis Kormalin, he'd studied the Way of the Owl with Grand Master Thoronthol himself. Why had he deviated from it so much? Meditation would help.

He still saw the wild elves who had ridden through him and his entourage of mighty Storm Knights. He chuckled thinking that those savages had come upon them like lightning from Mathlann himself. The Paladin Ainmiru took it as a sign that they’d angered their god somehow. Ele had given them permission to return to the sea to try and contact the mighty storm god, but Ainmiru was his cousin, and wouldn’t leave him while he was injured.

His meditation was interrupted by a voice in his head,“Lord Silverbough, a message has come from Tor Yvresse. You had best come quickly”. Maethor, employing an old trick that came with his blood. Ohta’relen, Daggro, and he could all communicate telepathically, without the use of the stones. This is why they were concerned about Daggro, neither of them could reach him, this worried them.

Elessehta signalled to the horn bearer, who blew a note. The small force assembled and they moved quietly through the trees back toward the coast.
A message that Maethor didn't want to relay through the thought-speech, that sounded ominous.

Upon arriving back at camp Elessehta sought out Maethor, finding him in the command tent. He asked for the message, sat down and opened the letter. An incredulous look showed on his face as he read the flowing script on the page.
Turning to his weather mage he said"Prepare the soldiers, our Lord Eltharion will be testing us soon though a magic spell of the Arhain aspect of Qhaysh. A simulated battle against one of the great generals of the People. He wants to know how far I've come in my training in the Way of the Owl"
"My lord, who will be fighting this battle?" Maethor asked.
"Everyone except Vanyion, who will anchor the spell on this side" was the reply.
"Everyone? That's going to be a large battle, who is the General we'll be facing?" Maethor, full of questions as usual.
"A Sapherian Archmage, who many think has gone rogue. He is a brilliant general from all accounts, who likes to flood the battlefield with small units of hand picked warriors."
"We will be fighting this Mage for real in the aether?"
"No, they are using Arhain to project a likeness of him here."
Maethor laughed "We're fighting ghosts? HaHa~ This will be fun."

Army Lists and pre-battle considerations

It was a great honor that it was Eltharion himself who picked the army of outcasts and misfits to test Elessehta's generalship. He is by far my most favorite character :)

I knew that Ele uses Yvresii theme and that meant I could expect Sea Guard, Rangers, Eagle Claws and quite few characters. He was also very kind to send me his army list before the game as well as a photo of assembled army so that there is no doubt we could play the same game in real life if there was an opportunity to do so.

Yvresii High Elves - Army List

Elessehta Silverbough, Barded Elven Steed, Dragon Armour, Ogre Blade, Charmed Shield, Vambraces of Defense
Evelo Maethor of the Mists, Level 4, Jewel of the Dusk, Folariath's Robe - Lore of Heavens
Evelo Ohta'relen, Hand Weapon, Dragon Armour, Shield, Battle Standard, Reaver Bow, Mask of the Merlord
Elithmar of Ar Ninglor, Extra Hand Weapon, Longbow, Shadow Armour, Dragonbane Gem, Potion of Foolhardiness.

47 Sea Guard, Full Command, with Shields.

7x Sword Masters, Musician.
7x Sword Masters, Musician.
5x Yvressii Rangers.
5x Shore Riders
, Musician, Bows.
8x Dragon Princes, Full Command, Potion of Strength, Razor Standard

1x Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower.
1x Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower.

Army of Mists and Shadows

It was clear that whatever closed to that huge Sea Guard unit will be shot to pieces in no time, especially if backed by bolt throwers. So priority number 1 was to avoid that. I wanted to use the fact this big unit could target only one of my regiments per turn to my advantage. I didn't want to attack it from the front either. 5 fighting ranks and simultaneous attacks would see many of my small units perish if I did so. In HE vs HE fights I have already had I learned that it is more about the volume of attacks rather than sheer strength that wins the day. The problem was that this regiment, together with characters in it, was worthy many points and if I don't get it I will not be earning much elsewhere.

The same with hammer unit. Powerful on the charge and with long distance of operation it could smash through many units of my own. In one on one combats it was winning thanks to the presence of the general and thanks to good armor. What is more, one of my White Lion units has the Banner of Eternal Flame so I needed to avoid that combat too.

Rangers with Noble were another interesting choice and I was glad I have no stationary targets for them and that many units I had could limit their deployment options. Noble was also a good counter to my light horse if I wanted to use them to attack in close combat as I would usually do with more attack and higher strength as well as slightly better armor.

Repeaters are also a problem and I could expect small Swordmaster units to guard them. Heavens magic is very dangerous to my army as I have already learned so I needed to roll well on these dispels to avoid chain lightning and/or comet.

Outcasts - Army List

Army list for quick reference:

Archmage, Annulian Crystal - High Magic
BSB, Heavy Armor, Shield, Great Weapon, Dragon Helm, Reaver Bow
Noble, Dragon Armor, Shield, Great Weapon, Barded Steed, Helm of Fortune, The Other Trickster Shard, Pigeons Pennant

10 Archers, Light Armor, Musician
10 Archers, Light Armor, Musician
14 LSG, Shields, Full Command
15 LSG, Shields, Full Command

10 Swordmasters, Musician, Bladelord, Amulet of Light
10 Swordmasters, Musician, Bladelord, Talisman of Loec
10 White Lions, Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame
10 White Lions, Musician, Standard, Gleaming Pennant
5 Dragon Princes
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician

Great Eagle
Great Eagle

With more deployment drops I wanted use it to my advantage. I planned to deploy archers first, at least 30" away from the Ele's deployment zone so that he could not move and shoot at them if they happened to be viable targets. If possible I wanted to target Swordmasters. The reason for that being they are the best targets for my missile fire, they are dangerous if left unchecked and could prevent me from charging bolt throwers.

I wanted to use my own heavy cavalry with a noble to hunt down Rangers as with their superior armor, greater charge range and higher volume of attacks they should be more than a match for them, even with a character.

Light horse would do their war machine hunting duty if they survived the shooting and magic. I wanted to use an eagle to support them and to use them all in coordination so that there would be too many targets to kill them all. With their speed I could also avoid Sea Guard.

Against heavy cavalry I decided to form a task force with 4 units. LSG to shoot at light cavalry that might support the hammer and to provide ranks to CR, in particular if they charged from the flank. Swordmasters with Loec and Lions with Gleaming Pennant would be the main hitters. Since we strike simultaneously I knew I had a chance to inflict enough wounds to kill the heavy cavalry and still have a unit or two to keep going. I decided to send Lions with flaming attacks against heavy cavalry in order to provide a bait if the eagle was not available (I could easily lose it to bolt throwers or magic, in particular when lore attribute is at play).

If I could get Flames of the Phoenix it would be great against such big regiment although I also knew Ele would do everything to dispel that. It also required to get into range of that unit so it was not without a risk.

Then if all worked well I might still have resources and time to surround Sea Guard. But if the fights I planned to fight proved too costly I would back off too. As always the best plans tend to crash in the contact with the opponent so I was curious if whatever I thought out could be realized in a real game.

Deployment of the armies after vanguard moves and scouts placement

In the diagram above I also added numbers to indicate the order of deployment of both armies. 8th deployment drop was actually Swordmasters as indicated and entire Eastern flank plus characters since Ele's army was already arrayed for battle (with the exception of Rangers).

We treated hills as infinite height and blocking line of sight. Forests were magical and we rolled what kind of forest we have as soon as some unit entered the woods. Rocks with ruins in front of the hill on the South blocked line of sight on ground level and provided hard cover (but also obstructed vision) if the regiment was on the hill.

I started to deploy first regiment. I also won the roll off to determine who picks the table side and I decided to choose South.

Ele placed his general with Dragon Princes, Archmage and BSB with Sea Guard and Noble with Rangers. My own BSB ended up with White Lions and Archmage led the Eastern flank.

Respective wizards had following spells:

Evelo Maethor - Iceshard Blizzard, Wind Blast, Urannon's Thunderbolt, Comet of Cassandora
Archibald the Archmage - Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Fury of Khaine, Flames of the Phoenix, Vaul's Unmaking

The Outcasts won the roll off and they opened the game.

Outcasts - Turn 1
Quick attack on the East
Archibald gave a warning to the heavy cavalry commander that he senses some evil energy surrounding the wild forest but he didn't listen. As soon as he spotted movement among the trees he charged his small squadron to attack and proud knights charged at full speed. They avoided the treacherous branches which seemed to attack them as they rode with great skill but could not avoid all incoming arrows and one of them crashed to the ground. It was not enough to stop them however and vicious combat quickly erupted. Enemy rangers skillfully used surrounding forest to protect themselves from being impaled on lances but their blows were turned aside by fine armor. Both leaders fought in a challenge with no one getting the upper hand, although the Ranger commander seemed to be wounded. Despite their efforts Rangers could not hold for long against the pressure of heavy cavalry and fled.

(Note: While writing the report I realized that we made a mistake and Rangers should have held as they were stubborn in the forest)

In the meantime the rest of the army was quite busy too. Combined effort of the archmage and light cavalry saw majority of Eastern Swordmasters of the Yvresii army dead and remaining 2 withdrawing. Also Shore Riders were punished by missile fire for their recklessness.

Yvresii High Elves - Turn 1

Elessehta leads his knights forward while the rest of the army holds
Elessehta moves forward with his knightly bodyguards ready to charge soon. The rest of the army holds, trusting in their deep formation and shooting. Eagle Claws open fire at incoming light cavalry but despite heavy losses the riders refuse to retreat and press forward. Maethor calls to Heavens for a thunderbolt but his attempt is quickly stopped by his counterpart.

Outcasts - Turn 2
Light cavalry in the envelopment maneuver on the East

With support regiment of the enemy gone units on the West move to set a trap for heavy cavalry led by the general of Yvresii army. Archers aim at the second Swordmaster regiment and with the help of the BSB they kill some of them. On the West Archmage hits one enemy Swordmaster with a magic missile but his companion holds ... for a while.

Light cavalry uses its speed to attack the crew of bolt thrower and defeats them but their momentum in the uphill charge was spent and they could not reach the second war machine. Nearby Swordmaster decided to withdraw again seeing as he is surrounded by enemy cavalry from all sides.

Yvresii High Elves - Turn 2
Sea Guard defends their companions operating Eagle Claw

Sea Guard swiftly reforms, showing great skill earned during years of rigorous training, and unleash a volley at enemy light horse who stood no chance. Their companions from the second regiment immediately retreated to the safety of the cover provided by the nearby village. Remaining Eagle Claw aims at enemy heavy cavalry and half of the unit perishes but the survivors remain stoic.

Elessehta orders his knights to perform similar swift maneuver and races towards the center of the battlefield to avoid the obvious trap.

Outcasts - Turn 3
Magical punch

Regiments on the West moved fast to catch heavy cavalry with great eagle blocking its path. But the powerful blow came from the East. Seeing that enemy phalanx is occupied elsewhere units turned and marched towards it so that Archmage was in range to cast his powerful spells. First he fought a battle of minds with his counterpart and won. This opened the window of opportunity he didn't hesitate to use. He destroyed magic flowing in the bow of enemy battle standard bearer and then summoned the power of the Phoenix. Enemy archmage looked in horror as flames engulf proud warriors and at least one third of the unit perishes. Also lone Swordmaster could not avoid swooping Eagle while his companions on the West were again a target for enemy missile fire.

Yvresii High Elves - Turn 3
Sea Guard rearranges formation and faces the enemy again

Despite heavy losses Sea Guard reforms and stoic warriors form deep square while Maethor squashes the flames. The crew of the Eagle Claw aims at enemy heavy cavalry again but their armor saves them although one knight still falls down. Elessehta notices his maneuver was anticipated and that he will not escape the enemy so he orders the knight to charge the eagle and to reform into single wide line to avoid outflanking.

Outcasts - Turn 4
Outcasts attack simultaneously from the West and East

Seeing the opportunity to attack the general and his bodyguard of the enemy army the regiments on the West charge as one. Bladelord and Drakemaster deal fatal wounds to each other but the sheer number of attack from Outcasts prevails and soon Elessehta is alone surrounded by enemy infantry. He hacks left and right killing score of the enemy warriors but the pressure is too high and he has to withdraw. His steed takes him swiftly to safety but the enemy is close in pursuit.

In the center remaining light horse harass the enemy and distract them giving time for other regiments to close in. Heavy cavalry destroys Eagle Claw and use the momentum to get into the fight with the last enemy Swordmaster. Finally, the archmage unleashes the power of the Phoenix again and yet again his counterpart was unable to stop him. More brave warriors fell and their formation is not as intimidating as it was before.

Yvresii High Elves - Turn 4
Yvresii army is being surrounded

With enemy regiments all around there is not much Yvresii army can do but to brace for incoming impact. Sea Guard once more reforms and pulls back a little while Elessehta manages to take control over his steed. Maethor manages to wind blast the great eagle but noble bird fights off the air currents. Last Swordmaster fights well but he cannot penetrate the armor of his enemy with his blows and is run down.

Outcasts - Turn 5
Last Stand

Outcasts seize another opportunity and attack all around. Smaller regiment of White Lions attacks enemy general and nearby sea guard comes to their aid. Noble knight prepares to face numerous enemies but at the sound of war horns his steed bolts again and enemy infantry is left behind. But their light horse chase him too and he simply directs his panicking steed to the best direction without trying to stop. When another regiment of enemy Lions also joins in the pursuit it is clear that Elessehta will not return to the fight and his warriors soon.

Small regiment of White Lions quickly redirects their attack and charge in together with sea guard at the flank of the enemy phalanx. Heavy cavalry commander together with his last companion charge from another flank in a pincer maneuver. Such is a pressure of the attack that the enemy, heavily beaten by magic flames, cannot hold and retreats to be run down in pursuit.

After-battle thoughts

I would like to thank Ele for this game. It was his first 2500 game ever (and 15th game in general) with an army list combined from two smaller ones. He was unlucky in a few crucial moments, in particular in the case of not being able to dispel vauls and flames which cost him a lot and gave me a chance to win against his huge regiment. Despite that he took the outcome of the game with great spirit and I am sure he will do much better next time.

As we discussed after the game his army might have been a little too character heavy. He also helped me by spreading his forces while staying together is what he should have done against more numerous foe. He also learned hard way that Swordmasters do need some protection and keeping them as a second wave would have been much better too.

I am glad my plan worked. I also wanted to use LSG this time as fighting units if possible and I think both combats where they engaged the enemy showed the flexibility I wanted to use since the time I have them in my army list. In the fight against DP's their 2 ranks simply put the odds much more into my favor. What is more in that fight Ele rolled poorly for his own attacks and could not generate better odds for his general. One more turn would mean the units were too far to charge his sea guard in the end. In the second fight they disrupted the enemy and denied the steadfast which again was very important since I failed to kill his BSB. At the same time they had the means to deal with support elements of the enemy at range if needed.

I hope you enjoyed the report!


The Magic ceased immediately after the enemy had charged what remained of the Sea Guard, they came from all sides, it was impossible to hold out. Ohta'relen had watched the enemy blades pass though his son, but he was insubstantial as the mist he was responsible for generating to guard Yvresse. He on the other hand had to rely on his trusty shield, which was awkward to handle with his lords banner. Speaking of Elessehta he had seen his horse shy from the enemies horn when they charged his flank. He had loaned him that horse because his griffon was in the Annulii doing whatever griffons did. Tiralya feared nothing, and could have turned the battle for them. Maybe next time.

With the magic over, Vanyion sought out Elessehta with a message from the Mages he'd been working with back in Yvresse. Apparently, he still had much to learn, and on his return to Yvresse he was to return to the Armis Kormalin to study more. In the meantime, he was to journey to Bretonia and search for some missing students and send them home. Apparently something horrible was going to happen there soon and Eltharion didn't want the young sons of the nobility involved. He did however want Elessehta involved, he'd have been judged good enough to compete against the lesser races found there. The Asur had once ruled that beautiful land, and nobody wanted it despoiled by Chaos.

Thanks for reading! :)


  1. It was so much fun playing you SM, this was such a long time ago hey. It was far from my usual list, but I just had to try the proper big unit of Sea Guard. Man I was noobish in this game, I've learned a lot since then. I still use my Sea Guard ^_^

    1. Thanks for comment! It was a great game and I am very lucky that we had a re-match in real life too! The report from that will b of course uploaded in the right time :) Great to know you are still using Sea Guard!

  2. Hey SM, just want to pop in and say I am really enjoying your batreps. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks a lot, mate! It is great to know that and comments like yours motivate me to add more and keep playing and reporting!