Thursday 5 February 2015

Game 68 - High Elves - 2013/04/30

Battle 4 - High Elves - Watchtower

Game 4 was the dreaded Watchtower scenario. However, there was a nice modification. Instead of automatic win, the player who controls the tower at the end of the game, received 400VP bonus. I think it is a good idea as it gives an incentive to actually fight for the tower but at the some time leaves a choice not to do so.

I thought I am going to fight against some Dark Elves but it seems that the player pulled off and I was about to have another civil war, this time against Dhugal and his High Elves.

High Elves - Army List

Prince, Bow of Seafarer
Archmage, level 4 - Lore of Life
Mage, level 2, Silver Wand - Lore of Metal
BSB, Battle Banner

30 Lothern Sea Guard, FC, Banner of Eternal Flame
10 Archers
10 Archers

5 Dragon Princes
14 Swordmasters
, FC

30 Phoenix Guard, FC

Another character heavy and compact army based around 2 guards units. It didn't have many support units and as always flaming attacks on sea guard in my particular case are more a drawback than advantage. I thought I might have a good chance to win if I can attack sea guard with heavy cavalry, shoot at Swordmasters and overwhelm archers and phoenix guard with my own units. Dragon Princes could be neutralized with White Lions and with 2 units of these I thought I might catch the enemy knights anyway.

We rolled to determine who is going to have the tower and Dhugal won that roll. It meant I had the first turn though.


Deployment of armies after vanguard

Enemy archmage and BSB joined Phoenix Guard on the West. Prince and mage were with Swordmasters and the Noble led Sea Guard to battle.

Archie and Bob were in second line with their respective sea guard units.

Respective Wizards had following spells:

Archmage - Throne, Regrowth, Dwellers, Flesh to Stone
Level 2 - Searing Doom, Golden Hounds, Glittering Robe

Archie - Enchanted Blades, Glittering Robe, Final Transmutation and I forgot the last one  

Outcasts - Turn 1
Outcasts move forward at a double
Swordmasters assault the tower

Both units of Swordmasters competed with each other who can get to the tower first. Due to accurate missile fire and some vicious close combat the tower was still in the hands of archers but only 2 of them remained.

Other regiments moved forward, with cavalry leading the way.

High Elves - Turn 1

Enemy High Elves counter attack with shooting

Feigned flight of Ellyrian Reavers

Enemy High Elves tired to charge on the West but ellrian reavers withdrew. On the East enemy sea guard shot down the eagle and the prince managed to get to the position to shoot at the flank of dragon princes and unhorsed all but one.

Outcasts - Turn 2
Another assault

This time the buildings are taken

Swordmasters renewed their attack and this time the tower was theirs. Dragon Princes fought against archers for the possession of another building and they managed to break the enemy and take it too.

White Lions moved forward at a double to avoid enemy phoenix guard and intercept the knights.

All shooting was focused on enemy general and his retinue. Only few survived and mage was wounded too.

High Elves - Turn 2
Enemy knights charge!

Enemy knights charge white lions who hold. The Archmage gets himself elevated on a throne of vines and makes the flesh of his knights almost immune to any blows. However, 2 of them still fell to chracian axes. Half of the unit of lions still die to stop enemy attack.

Outcasts - Turn 3
View from the East
View from the West
Outcasts dominate the center

White Lions charge the exposed flank of enemy knights and even with their flesh turned to stone they cannot be saved. Reavers use the opportunity to sneak between fighting units and a tower and threaten enemy archmage who foolishly left his regiment.

The shooters fell down last swordmasters and the mage but the prince survived only to flee to the safety.

On the West single dragon prince charged against enemy sea guard to kill enemy noble and was quickly surrounded by enemy warriors. He refused to give ground, though.

High Elves - Turn 3
Prince still runs away
Phoenix Guard destroys annoying eagle

Phoenix Guard charges the eagle and the noble bird sacrifices itself for the greater good. On the opposite flank sea guard manage to kill single reckless knight but it seems another squadron is ready for attack.

Outcasts - Turn 4
Powerful spell destroys nearly half of the phoenix guard
Dragon Princes destroy the enemy sea guard all by themselves!

Caledorians leveled their lances and charged, trusting their dragon armor. It proved to be right thing to do as all enemy blows were deflected. The impact of the charge was so powerful that the enemy infantry broke and was run down by pursuing knights.

On the West reavers caught enemy wizard but he kept fighting bravely. Other regiments surrounded isolated phoenix guard and Archie the Archmage turned many of them into golden statues. Also enemy general didn't avoid his fate and fell down pierced by the arrows.

High Elves - Turn 4
Phoenix Guard on the move
Archmage resurrects fallen warriors

Only a handful of warriors remained. Phoenix Guard moved forward, to put some distance from the enemy. The Archmage, while deflecting the blows, managed to resurrect some fallen warriors but it was probably his last act.

Outcasts - Turn 5
Phoenix Guard flanked

Death of the Archmage
White Lions made a very long charge to attack the archmage as well and this time enemy wizard stood no chance. Swordmasters, their enchanted blades flashing, cut through phoenix guard hard. Even the ward saves were not enough but bsb waved his magical banner and this time silent warriors held.

High Elves - Turn 5
Last stand

Phoenix Guard readied themselves. BSB answered the call of the enemy bladelord who gave him a chance to die with dignity in personal combat. Then the enemy Swordmasters pressed hard again and this time even the resolute Phoenix Guard could not hold and fled to be run down shortly.

The Outcasts utterly destroyed their kinsmen army.

Turn by turn animation

After-battle thoughts

It was the first time when I killed every single model of the enemy army but it didn't feel good as they were High Elves. Also, while Dhugal was a great opponent and we played the game in a great and friendly spirit, his inexperience was his undoing.

First, his army was character heavy and lacking support units. So he should deploy with close proximity to each other. Instead, he created 3 vulnerable groups of units who were quickly surrounded and destroyed. Putting archers in the tower helped me to assault it all the quicker. I just hope that Dhugal learned a thing or two in that game that will help him to be a better general in the future. I also would like to congratulate him for a well deserved best sport award! 

Despite crushing victory there are always things to do better. There were 2 mistakes I made:

1. I exposed the eagle on the East too early. I should have waited for next turn, when both cavalry units could line for the charge and the eagle would provide diversion.

2. I moved first knights so that they didn't expose the flank to the Prince with bow of seafarer but I didn't do it well enough so that when he moved he could still shoot at them. I should have moved them a little further back thus not exposing the vulnerable flank.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Not as much to comment on in this one. I wasn't really fond of your opponents list. As you said, it lacked support pieces. I wonder how he fairs against armies with many warmachines? He lacks a counter to that aside from the dragon princes and possibly the nobles bow. And with so little support, it would be hard to justify sending the DPs after a warmachine since it is one of the few ranged/mobile threats.

    As far as what I would have done differently if I were you, as I was reading, I thought you sacrificed your eagle early for no real gain, but you mentioned it at the end of your report! As far as the DPs flank shot goes, I was unfamiliar with the magic bow, but now I know to watch out for it!

    From a deployment perspective, you recognized the separation of his big blocks, removed the swordmasters and contained the DPs. All in all a perfect strategy. As far as his deployment, I think castling on the right side of the board (from your perspective) might have bought his army time since that would put your army in two "waves" essentially since your DPs were closer and your foot troops (had he castled) would have been farther away. But honestly, there was no rush to attack for you so it wouldn't have mattered since he lacked a ranged pressure. You would have been able to pick of DPs and swordmasters and then engaged. His list is the last type of list to bring against an MSU opponent. A fun read though!

    1. Hi Dan,

      My opponent was clearly inexperienced player. I always support variety in the army lists but I do agree his army had some problems. He was a great person and really enjoyed his games no matter what so I hope he got some good feedback from the tournament and learned new things.

      HE don't have the Bow of Seafarer to use as a mobile bolt thrower anymore, however, special character Alith Anar has something similar so this is something to be prepared for.

      I think this game simply shows how you should not play against MSU and many of my opponents learned quickly to keep tight formation and not be tempted to charge too early.