Tuesday 9 December 2014

Game 61 - High Elves - 2013/03/25


On 9th February I had a great pleasure to attend a one-day tournament organized by Queensland Northern Knights. I have never had a chance to attend a tournament outside of Canberra so I decided it is time to do so. :)

Queensland Northern Knights Joust 9.0

One of the things I noticed about warhammer community in Australia is that people here like to organize tournaments in many different ways. Hence you are spoiled for choice due to the variety. There are short and there are long events, you can field armies from 1500 up to 3000 points. Sometimes there is comp, sometimes not etc. Sometimes there are scenarios, sometimes people play battle line. If you ask me it is the way to go as it explores different dimensions of the game rather than forcing players to play the same thing over and over again.

The Knights decided to test Swedish Comp for their local tournament. Each player had to calculate it and send it to TO's with their army list. The only condition was that the army cannot go below 9.0 points (hence 9.0 in the title!).

I must admit I am a little skeptical about this system, although I like the fact it does not ban anything. I do believe, however, that in order to form an opinion and see if something works for me or not I need to try it out instead of neglecting it straight away. Besides, I was curious what kind of armies people will come up with.

The Knights also decided that comp score is not going to be taken into account for the overall score. The only time it was used was to draw opponents for the first game. We were basically paired with the player with as close comp score to our own as possible.

Before the tournament the organizers did their best to secure as much themed terrain as possible. With great help from other players the tables were prepared perfectly and I can tell you right now they were the best tables I played on during any event I attended. Ever! :) 

The tables were set and I could admire great job done. I also met Ele and we immediately started to set up our armies on the elven table. I guess TO's had no choice but to let us play there! As it turned out we had two the most fluffy armies of the tournament and indeed we were drawn as opponents in the first turn

Game 1 - High Elves

There were many reasons why this game was great before it even started. First, I had a chance to play against Ele in real life. I have a feeling he didn't believe me long time ago when I said it might happen. :) Second, having painted armies set up on this fantastic table was a reward in itself. No matter the result. That is what really counts! Last but not least, a chance to have a re-match against cool opponent is always great!

I asked Ele a few days ago if he could write a little story as a prologue for the report from our game. He kindly agreed to do so but also made a condition that I should try and write something too. Well, let's see how it goes, Ele's story first :)

Elessehta and his party left the camp at a brisk trot. While in Elthin Arvan, he thought he’d take the opportunity to try some hunting. Hunting in Yvresse is fraught with danger, getting lost in the mist is the least of the dangers, within the mists prowl fearsome beasts which often come down from the Annuli Mountains. Hunting within the woods of Bretonnia sounded much simpler, even fun.
It was a lovely day, the sun was high and shone through the leaves as they entered a clearing with a strangely elfin tower. Asur like monuments could be seen scattered around the clearing. Ele didn’t remember reading about Asur settlements in this area in his history studies, perhaps it was a mage’s tower or something. It seemed abandoned, but Ele instructed the troops who had accompanied him to spread out and look around, while he and his companions moved towards the tower. Vanyion expressed a great deal of interest in the tower, if it was indeed a mage’s tower, there could be ancient artefacts left behind!
The hunting party moved into the clearing, the other troops, glad to be out of a human city for even a short time followed at their own pace. It was the shore riders, who had ranged ahead like normal, who first spotted movement in the trees on the other side. Not knowing what to expect in a human forest, Ele indicated to Ohta’relen to blow the horn warning the troops of danger. Decades of experience allowed the units to form in minutes, the Knights of the Storm God crowded around Ele and his noble friends, expecting danger.

Bob was lying on the grass in the shade of huge banner he planted nearby. One of the few advantages of being a battle standard bearer was that you didn't have to worry about lack of shade. And shade he needed as this island-continent they arrived to some time ago was very sunny. Bob also wanted to use a little moment of peace when Archie was busy with something else and didn't bother him at all. Elven mage was extremely enthusiastic about his new skills. Well, maybe not that new but he kind of re-discovered them. And Archie was happy as thanks to them he attracted attention of all the elves whose attention he required.

Little golden trinkets always caught the eye of elven maidens. Glittering robes were for elven ladies. Elven lords, thinking themselves art experts, ordered statues of weird creatures, all in gold. Like the last one who was delighted to have Strigoi Ghoul King who looked as if he was still alive, in his collection. If the fool only knew the truth. Elven nobility expressed their gratitude. Each in their own way. Archie just loved that. At least the hounds, who seem to run around the campus were not as messy as normal dogs. And when you stepped in the poo you didn't have to change your shoes.

But the moment of peace, as always, was about to come to an end. Bob spotted a scout approaching him with the most recent report. Apparently elven ruins they have just discovered attracted the attention of another elven war host. And for the greater good of Ulthuan they could not be allowed to find out what exactly caused this ancient city to fall.

Yvresii. Well, Bob had nothing against them, he even like them for their naive sense of honor and respect for their own traditions. He would have preferred, however, to slap one of those proud lords who claimed they knew everything about warfare just because they had a few skirmishes in the vicinity of their small kingdoms. Ah well, maybe next time. Hopefully, the Yvresii can be persuaded to abandon the area without bloodshed. Otherwise it is not going to be another war game.

Yvresii High Elves - Army List

Ele likes to run cavalry bus and a huge sea guard unit and this time it was not different. However, his army was not the same as I faced some time ago. Here are the details:

Elessehta Silverbough, on a Barded Elven Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield, Star Lance, Vambraces of Defense.
Vanyion of Tor Illyria, on an Elven Steed, level 3, Fencer's Blades, Silver Wand, Obsidian Amulet. - Lore of the Beasts
Evelo Ohta'relen, on a Barded Elven Steed, Great Weapon, Dragon Armour, Shield, Battle Standard, Helm of Fortune, Guardian Phoenix.
Gariath Stormrider, on a Barded Elven Steed, Great Weapon, Heavy Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Dawnstone, Gem of Courage.

35x Sea Guard, Full Command, Shields, Gleaming Pennant.
10x Archers, Musician.

5x Shore Riders, Spears.
5x Shore Riders, Spears.
5x Silver Helms, Musician, Shields.
5x Dragon Princes, Musician.
8x Dragon Princes, Musician, Standard, Banner of Ellyrion.

1x Eagle Claw.

Quite fast army, much more powerful in the cavalry department. I knew Ele intended to put all characters into a single unit so I faced kind of a death star. That immediately told me I need to avoid this regiment and focus on the rest of the army. Only if I managed to eliminate other units quickly I could try and mount all out attack against that regiment. Otherwise, the attacks from 3 heroes alone were enough to decimate any unit I had.


Elven armies on the elven table - perfect!

Deployment after vanguard moves
To Ele's disappointment the woods he entered with his cavalry turned out to be just normal forest. It was good move to withdraw with light cavalry and I found myself in not a good position on the left flank where I wanted to use my archers to eliminate the threat of fast horsemen. Instead, they were badly outdeplyed.

On the other hand Ele decided to split his force which I wanted to use to my advantage.

Respective wizards got following spells:

Vanyion of Tor Illyria - Wyssan's Wildform, The Amber Spear , The Curse of Anraheir, The Savage Beasts of Horrors

Archie the Archmage - Plague of Rust, Enchanted Blades of Aiban, Glittering Robes, Final Transmutation

Ele won the roll-off and his was first turn.

Yvresii High Elves - Turn 1
Heavy cavalry approaches fast
Bold moves by Yvresii

Heavy cavalry turned West and galloped towards thin line of the archers. Sea guard followed to occupy defensive position. On the East another heavy cavalry moved ahead of the formation to intercept the enemy.

Exposed Silver Helms received attention of their mage and their strength and toughness were magically reinforced. Eagle claw opened fire at first viable target and a few enemy Lions fell to the ground.

Outcasts - Turn 1
Outcasts maneuver quickly
Swift counter attack on the East

Heavy cavalry chose to charge their counterparts. The squadron used the advantage of picking up momentum when their adversaries just lost theirs and that proved vital. The attack hit home and enemy knights were destroyed.

Magically enhanced bolt from eagle claw crew penetrated the exposed flank of enemy silver helms and that unit too perished. It seemed like the counter was more powerful than initial attack of Yvresii High Elves.

Yvresii High Elves - Turn 2
The fate of the armies still hangs in the balance
Attack is the best form of defense

On the West heavy cavalry charges archers who decide to hold to slow the enemy down and are all destroyed for their stubbornness. Second unit of archers withdraws not wanting to share the same fate.

On the East light cavalry recklessly charges enemy knights but to everyone's surprise they manage to break their heavily armored foe.

Outcasts - Turn 2
Outcasts use the opening to isolate enemy sea guard and protect their flank thanks to the tower
Peculiar situation on the East - read on!

When enemy committed their most powerful unit on the West, Outcasts used the opportunity to march forward the infantry, now without support. All units in that area were protected by glittering robes as they were about to receive a hail of arrows from the enemy unit.

Before that eagle claw and bsb aimed at the enemy fast cavalry and destroyed them. On the West, reavers charged the flank of the victorious enemy light horse, break them and chase them down. (Edit: We had a peculiar situation here. My reavers charged the flank of Ele's light cavalry, broke them and chased them down. But by doing so they entered the forest, failed 1 or 2 dt tests and then failed their panic check and had to flee from nearest enemy, never to rally)

Yvresii High Elves - Turn 3
One against all
Heavy cavalry continues the attack

Heavy cavalry, the only cavalry regiment left alive, charged the eagle blocking their path and used momentum to temporarily move away from the battlefield.

But that small victory didn't change the fact that the rest of the army was isolated and units had to defend themselves against numerous foes alone.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Swarming tactics - stage 1
Outcasts seize the initiative

The infantry on the West surrounded lone sea guard. Lions moved as close as possible without attacking so that the enemy had no room to maneuver. Sea guard and Swordmasters marched quickly to the flanks. Archmage again cast protective spells.

On the East two cavalry units and sea guard moved towards enemy shooters, intending to charge them soon.

Yvresii High Elves - Turn 4
Heavy cavalry returns
But they might be too late

Heavy cavalry returns and moves towards enemy infantry. Sea guard reforms into a deeper formation and are further reinforced by the spell. On the East shooters open fire at fast approaching sea guard but that does not slow them down.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Swarming tactics - closing in for a kill
Outcasts attack!

On the East sea guard and Dragon Princes charge eagle claw and overrun into nearby archers. On the West sea guard and swordmasters attack simultaneously from both flanks. More than half of the enemy infantry formation is destroyed, also thanks to the enchanted blades of swordmasters as well as extra protection from glittering robes. That magical support was costly as the archmage could not hold the energy feedback at safe distance and wounded himself and a few companions. Enemy barely held, however and the fight continued. (Edit: I lost one sea guard warrior in that fight which meant that Ele's regiment had more ranks and was steadfast)

Yvresii High Elves - Turn 5
Cavalry is too late
Sea guard breaks

Heavy cavalry destroys yet another great eagle blocking their way. They are too late too. Brave sea guard could not withstand another round of fighting to both flanks at the same time and broke. They fled their pursuers for a time being.

On the East the knights and sea guard finished off the archers. It looked as if only a single unit of Yvresii High Elves remained on the field of battle.

Outcasts - Turn 5
Only one target left

Enemy cavalry under fire

Sea guard chased their fleeing enemy out of the battle field and only a single target remained. All the regiments, with the exception of a single cavalry unit move out of range of the foe.

Eagle claw aimed at the enemy regiment and two knights fell heavily to the ground.

Yvresii High Elves - Turn 6
Last charge
The enemy does not accept the challenge

With nothing left to do heavy cavalry tries to charge the enemy but their knights withdraw, knowing all too well they are no match for that unit. Frustrated Yvresii can't do anything now but prepare for the incoming fire.

Outcasts - Turn 6

Only heroes survived the battle
Elves win!

With regiments too far away to attack the enemy knights Outcasts put their faith into the shooters enhanced by magic. As the armor of the enemy knights started to turn into rust enchanted bolts pierce them without mercy and in the end only enemy heroes remain alive on the field of battle.

Elves win! :)

Turn Summary

Turn by turn summary
Animation of the turn sequence to summarize the battle development.

After-battle thoughts

I really enjoyed that game as Ele is always great opponent. I just hope he somewhat enjoyed the game not only because we had a chance to play on this fantastic table.

From my own point of view I made mistakes in the deployment, namely in positioning of the archers and to an extend Eastern sea guard. While sea guard could have been used to get into close combat against enemy archers my own were simply thrown away.

Other than that I am happy with the way I played but I must admit Ele made some mistakes that helped me a lot. I will talk about them in more details later on as I would like to first hear what Ele himself thinks about the game.

I had some bad luck with fleeing units but it was balanced out by the fact I miscasted 4 times this game and wounded the archmage only once!

Ele, I hope you enjoyed the report and I am looking forward to your comments.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I remember this game well, I did a lot of foolish things with the beast bus. The one that stands out, was turn four, I come back onto the field, why didn't I just rush up to that eagle and give him seeds or something, we could have chatted while I had a great view of your Sea Guard's rear. Instead I turned toward the centre, which was just crazy with your BS magic phases and the Eagle Claw.
    It was great to play you IRL, keen to do it again sometime hey.

    1. Hi mate! Thanks for comment! Glad to hear from you again!

      It was a fantastic game and I am happy to have pictures from it displaying amazing, Elven themed board. Don't worry about the mistakes, everybody makes them! Yes, my crazy magic phase didn't make it any easier for you but you know how unpredictable Archie was :)

      It would be awesome to play against you again, who knows, if things settle down nicely in 2015 I might be able to pay you guys in the North another visit :)


    2. Always welcome mate, Crusade last year was awesome, and worth the trip if you're free this year, there are many other events too ^_^