Wednesday 15 October 2014

Game 43 - Daemons of Chaos - 2012/11/15


In Game 3 I played against Peter and his Daemons. I met Peter before at CanCon 2012 where he defeated me with his Warriors of Chaos so it was a good chance for a rematch. On the other hand Daemons tend to be a tough opponent for many armies and when I saw Peter's army list I knew I am up to a challenge again. :)

Army lists and re-battle thoughts

Peter's Warriors were built around big units and his Daemons were similar in that regard. It also seemed that Peter prefers to build tough armies and make up for any penalties from composition score (10/25) with big enough wins against any opponent he faces.

Daemons of Chaos - Army List

Blood Thirster, Obsidian Armor, Immortal Fury, Spell Breaker
Herald of Nurgle, BSB, Noxious Vapours, Stream of Bile
Herald of Khorne, Axe of Khorne, Armor of Khorne
Herald of Tzeentch, Loremaster, Spell Breaker - Lore of Beasts
30 Blood Letters, Full Command
30+ Plaguebearers, Full Command, Icon of Eternal Virulence
7 Flesh Hounds
10 Horrors of Tzeentch
5 Furies
2 x 1 Fiend of Slaanesh

Quite compact army with powerful characters, most notably Blood Thirster. I had a few games against daemons but only one against Blood Thirster. I knew that it can destroy any infantry regiment I have in a single turn with his mighty attacks and thunderstomp. If I was lucky I would get a wound or two with my elites but only if it attacked from the front. Which was hard to force it to do as it flies and can pick combats much better. Units with champions could hope to hold it for longer but again, no guarantee it will fight them at all.

Since hunting down BT can be a very tough task I decided to kill as much of the daemonic army as possible. If I only can kill support units and get one of the big regiments then I might be able to balance any losses caused by BT. Then I had to make a choice which unit to try and engage. I decided to fight against Blood Letters and thin them down with my bows simply because they are much easier target to defeat than Plague Bearers. They have T3 and ward 5+ instead of T4 and 4+.

I didn't know if that might work well enough but I always feel better while moving my troops so I didn't opt for castling my fragile regiments. Even with BT on board I had enough units to play to my strengths in a movement phase so I was really curious to test my plan.

My army list for reference:

Outcasts - Army List

Archmage, Staff of Solidity - High MagicBSB, Heavy Armor, Shield, Great Weapon, Dragon Helm, Reaver Bow

10 Archers, Musician
10 Archers, Musician
15 LSG, Shields, Full Command
15 LSG, Shields, Full Command

10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Amulet of Light
9 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 Dragon Princes
5 Ellyrian Reavers
, Spears

Great Eagle
Great Eagle
Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower


Armies assembled for battle in the far North
It seemed as if both armies weighted their left flanks

Seeing the army of my opponent positioned to the East I opted for West as main direction from which I wanted to approach. It looked to me that Blood Thrister is not going to go this way and I could use my speed to envelope the army of daemons. I also deployed the shooters a little further back so that they put a little distance in between. Especially that it is always more probable that my opponent gets first turn. I positioned cavalry and eagle on the East to slow down enemy advance or to be able to attack any light troops and guard the flank of the shooters for a while at least. I also wanted to keep my characters away from Blood Thirster as keeping them safe against that combat monster is one way to give myself a chance in that game. So Archmage went with Swordmasters while BSB was initially with Sea Guard.

As expected Peter won the roll off and his was the first turn.

Herald of Tzeentch knew all spells from the Lore of Beasts thanks to Loremaster gift. High Elf wizard had:

Archmage - Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Curse of Arrow Attraction, Courage of Aenarion, Flames of the Phoenix

Daemons of Chaos - Turn 1
Daemons advance
Main regiments move forward while rest of the army changes positions accordingly

Main blocks of the daemonic army move forward full speed but maintain dense battle line. Blood Thirster flies more towards the East and lesser daemons flee from the West where majority of the elven army is about to advance.

Herald of Tzeentch, as ordered by his master, magically toughens Blood Letters making their forms even more wild than usual but in doing so it also draws too much energy. The feedback wipes out the spell from his memory and drains the remaining power it wanted to use.

Outcasts - Turn 1
Eastern flank of the Elven army holds ...
... while Western part of the battle line moves rapidly

The regiments on the West move towards the enemy at double speed. Lions and Swordmasters in the center move to intercept Flesh Hounds and to threaten the flank of Blood Letters. The units on the East pull back a little, as the path to the flank was blocked by the enemy.

Archmage engaged the Tzentch herald in the duel of minds and while potent Flames were extinguished by the sacrifice of the part of heralds own physical essence the spell that attracted arrows to target like a magnet was not stopped. Elven archers and bow armed sea guard all aimed at now cursed Blood Letters and despite their magically enhanced toughness full rank of the daemons perishes to the warp. Eagle claw crew aims at Blood Thirster with a single bolt but they miss.

Daemons of Chaos - Turn 2
Blood Thirster has landed

Flesh Hounds charge

Flesh Hounds charged immediately after receiving an order from their master and rushed towards White Lions. Brave Chracians were not impressed much by the ferocity of the daemonic beasts and 4 of the hounds perished. 4 Lions, however, died too.

Blood Letters held their advance and reformed ready to defend the hill and protect the flank of their army while Plague Bearers and Blood Thirster moved forward.

The Tzeentch herald once again drank deeply from winds of magic and once again failed to control them properly. A huge spear projected towards Eagle Claw and the machine was utterly destroyed in a blink of an eye. However, herald forgot yet another spell. (Edit: At this stage the herald was level 0 and I thought he cannot cast spells anymore but Peter assured me he can. I am afraid Peter was mistaken as I have checked later appropriate FAQ.)

Outcasts - Turn 2
High Elves maintain the pressure on the Western flank

Swordmasters flank charged hounds to help out White Lions and beasts of khorne were no more. Other regiments kept fast pace to surround Blood Letters occupying the hill.

The regiments on the East moved so that they were either out of sight or if attacked could prevent overruns into another targets. Only Dragon Princes were somehow slow in their advance (Edit: Nothing like failed march test so they could parade in front of Blood Thirster :))

Archmage again tried to summon deadly Flames and again his efforts were thwarted by diabolic gift, this time used by Blood Thirster itself showing its spite for any magic users.

Not worried about that, bow armed Elves kept shooting at Blood Letters and more than a rank perished again.

Daemons of Chaos - Turn 3
Blood Thirster first kill
Blood Letters had enough and retreat

Blood Thirster seeing such a good target as enemy heavy cavalry charges in and predictably leaves no survivors. Plague Bearers get rid of the annoying eagle while one of the Fiends attacks another one. Surprisingly enough it fails to wound and gets a wound back instead.

Blood Letters start to retreat, as the deadly fire of elven archers melts their number far too quickly.

Outcasts - Turn 3
Elves on the West keep chasing retreating Blood Letters ...
... and these in the center keep shooting at them.

The regiments on the West were relentless in their pursuit and closed the distance again. In the meantime the Archmage finally broke through herald's defenses and Blood Letters started to burn. With the aid of usually accurate and deadly shooting only 2 ranks of daemons remained in that world in their physical form.

The fight between the eagle and fiend remains locked and unresolved.

Daemons of Chaos - Turn 4
According to Peter all goes as planned! :)
Blood Thirster continues its rampage through elven lines

Blood Thirster chooses its next target and only a single archer is allowed to flee to spread the terror among elven ranks. On the East Fiend charges light cavalry which skilfully performs feigned flight and avoids the horrors on the way.

Blood Letters double their efforts to escape pursuing Elves. Surprisingly the Fiend finally loses against Great Eagle (protected by magic shield) and with its bond with physical world broken, it disappears.

Herald of Tzeentch is ordered to put down magical Flames engulfing Blood Letters and it obeys.

Outcasts - Turn 4
High Elves versus Plague Bearers horde
The trap for Blood Letters closes in

Three elven regiments maintained the pursuit after Blood Letters. The Archmage one more time summons the Flames and with the help of limited shooting from some of the elven regiments (notably BSB) Blood Letter horde is now reduced to a single rank.

The units on the South prepare for the inevitable charges of Blood Thirster and Plague Bearers.

Daemons of Chaos - Turn 5
The battle enters its final stage
Elven units on the South are under attack

Blood Thirster destroyed yet another archers unit while Plague Bearers killed the heroic eagle and the momentum of the charge carried them into another fight, this time against sea guard.

Blood Letters, in their last attempt to escape their pursuers attack careless light cavalry which retreats from the battle. Furies sacrifice themselves to block warriors of Hoeth from attacking the Blood Letters.

Outcasts - Turn 5
Blood Letters are finally caught and destroyed

Dragon Princes level their lances and charge the rear of Blood Letters unit, destroying all but a herald. It strikes back but is not able to reverse the inevitable and is sent back to the warp. Swordmasters easily destroy furies and reform.

Sea Guard tries to close their ranks and hold but the pressure of daemons of nurgle is way too much and they flee the battle. Sensing that the battle is close to be over but with grave danger still there, Archmage reaches for magical boost of courage for his warriors. Filled with vision of Aenarion, Elves steel themselves for the incoming attack.

Daemons of Chaos - Turn 6
Plague Bearers at the flank of Sea Guard!
Last daemonic charges

Blood Thirster picks his last target and charges White Lions from the flank. They try to fight back but in such unfavorable situation even mighty Chracians cannot stand and die to an elf.

Plague Bearers charge exposed flank of the Sea Guard but stubborn elves refuse to break. Herald of Tzeentch once more gets too much energy and his unstoppable spell turns it into Black Hydra. Fiend moves in to block the Lions from joining the fight.

Outcasts - Turn 6
High Elves hold the line despite all odds!

Only White Lions charge to finish off the Fiend. Other regiments keep safe distance from very dangerous Hydra. However, all eyes turn to see what is going to happen in the combat between Plague Bearers and Sea Guard. To help his warriors to hold the line just a little longer elven Archmage summons his powers and once more magically aids their courage. The spell is not stopped by daemonic powers and stoic elven warriors hold!

After-battle thoughts

With that last act of valor the game ends and it was a perfect timing as 2.5 hours we had for the game has just run out. A great game, great challenge and very enjoyable atmosphere. Thanks Peter, it was good to meet you on the field of battle again! Although I didn't win I consider it a great progress nevertheless. Also, congratulations for taking 3rd place!  

When we calculated the points we found out the difference is around 20 points so we got a draw! A very good result for me, considering how dangerous Blood Thirster is on its own to all my units.

One of the benefits of writing a battle report is the opportunity to have a look at the game with fresh perspective and many times I have learned some more from that too. I think it is also the case here, so let's have a look at what conclusions I came up with:

1. In general I was pleased with the deployment. The only change I am thinking about now is swapping Dragon Princes with White Lions with Gleaming Pennant. Having Lions on the flank I would be able to protect it better and Dragon Princes would use their greater speed better on the other flank.

2. I made a mistake with Reavers when positioning them behind furies, giving Peter an opportunity to charge them and I had to flee to make sure Blood Letters do not escape my forces. I put too much resources in order to destroy that unit so I would not forgive myself if they escaped.

3. Another mistake was to line up Swordmastres so single unit of furies could block them. In fact, I should have moved SM2 towards horrors instead. First, that would prevent that blockade. Second, I didn't need 3 units against Blood Letters, 2 were enough to keep the pursuit going. Of course, if it was not with Hydra which could not be there as herald could not cast anymore, I might risk charging with Dragon Princes and Swormdasters last turn anyway but it still was my mistake and I didn't use the opportunity.

4. I also think I didn't use eagles well. First eagle was sacrificed too early. I wanted to prevent double charge on Dragon Princes but I could simply move them back and position them so that Blood Thirster would not overrun into another unit. It would put Plague Bearers in position for long charge, something they might not yet attempt. In the worst case scenario I would flee with DP and lose archers but with eagle around I would be able to block Plague Bearers better and prevent them from charging more valuable units. The same with second eagle. By sacrificing it I actually made it possible to overrun into Sea Guard. If I let PB to charge my infantry straight away I might have still lost it but daemons would have been a little too late to charge another regiment. Even more so if I fled. No need to give extra points for banner too! And that would have prevented the free combat reform.

5. Other than that I was very happy with the performance of my army. Shooting and magic once again proved to be quite dangerous and I could use speed to destroy that Blood Letters unit in the end. I am in particular pleased with Courage of Aenarion spell as it literally saved my army. I was hard pressed at this stage and if I lost the combat I would lose 400+ points. Great spell, often underestimated and overlooked. I actually took it on purpose when I could choose one of the spells before the game. Sure, I was lucky enough to cast it, especially on turn 6 when I had 4 dice against Peter's 3 and when I rolled all of them to make sure the spell goes through.

Yet another great game, another good result (in my opinion at least) and a few lessons on how to be even better next time. :)

Thanks for reading and if you liked the report, please leave a comment or two!


  1. Phew, that sounded a bit too close for comfort! That Blood Thirster must have been a major pain in the back side - I reckon re-directs are the only way to deal with the thing.

    Great batrep, thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Sigmar!

      Thanks for the comment! It was indeed a close game and that last break (although on stubborn) resulted in a high heart rate for sure. :) But I am glad we got that result as I think it shows one can put up a fight against such a tough opponent. Blood Thirster is very dangerous because it flies and typical re-directs don't work as it can ignore the units in font of it and charge freely. Hence, the plan was to position the units in a way that prevented overruns into fresh enemies. And try to kill things faster than BT could.

      It is possible to do against one large flier but these days one needs to be prepared to fight against more monsters like BT. For example, I read a battle report from the most recent Crossroads GT where HE player fought against 3 Blood Thirsters and 2 Soulgrinders!