Sunday 22 February 2015

Game 73 - Monsters of Chaos - 2013/06/20

Wardancer showed many times that he is all for unorthodox armies but you would be surprised to think that they lack the punch. Just the contrary! For this game I had only one request. To meet 9.5 minimum score for Swedish Comp as it is used in the tournament I would like to attend next month.

The theme of Monsters of Chaos was present in this topic before. Wardancer built his army on the foundations of the previous one but with some significant changes.

Monsters of Chaos - Army List

Galrauch - Lore of Tzeentch
on Daemonic Steed, (1+ armor, 2++ versus flaming attacks)

3 x 5 Chaos Hounds
2 x 7 Trolls
2 x 3 Dragon Ogres, GW, Champion
Nurgle Giant

Fast and quite tough army, if you ask me. Level 4 Tzeentch is never good news but on top of that it is also a dragon. Throgg is a great addition, making all the monsters so much more reliable. Tank BSB immune to fire is also a tough nut to crack.

As I have mentioned the army is fast so I cannot count delay tactics too much. However, I was very interested in seeing how Sisters of Avelorn are going to help in thinning down the trolls. The problem is that there are so many important targets either for shooting or for magic that it is really hard decision what should be the priority. The good thin was, that there will be always something to point at. :)

I haven't changed my army list but here it is for easy reminder:

Outcasts - Army List

Archmage, level 4, Earthing Rod, Golden Crown - Lore of Metal - 255
Battle Standard Bearer, Dragon Armor, Halberd, Charmed Shield, Potion of Strength, Reaver Bow - 157

15 Archers, Light Armor, Full Command - 195
15 LSG, Full Command - 210
2 x 5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Spear, Bow - 2 x 105

2 x 5 Dragon Princes, Musician - 2 x 155
2 x 12 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician - 2 x 176
10 White Lions, Muscian, Banner of Eternal Flame - 165
10 White Lions, Muscian, Gleaming Pennant - 155 
6 Shadow Warriors - 85

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - 70
2 x Great Eagle - 2 x 50
2 x 5 Sisters of Avelorn - 2 x 70

As I have mentioned before I was very curious about shooting phase with added help of Sisters. I expected to see some dead trolls :) There were a few good targets for metal spells. Galrauch and Shagoth being the most dangerous but juicy targets.

I was up for a challenge in that game but I believed I had a chance to put up a decent fight. I could still outflank it as I was sure wardancer would keep them tight to benefit from BSB and Throggs presence. Some shooting should hopefully make a gap or two in the line that could have been exploited.

Deployment of the armies after vanguard moves

The positioning of Monstrous characters is clear. Archibald the Archmage was with his Swordmaster bodyguards. Bob joined Sea Guard. White Lions with flaming attacks were on the right flank.

Unfortunately, I could not save the chat from the game so that I could check the spells wizards got. I only remember that Galrauch had Infernal Gateway and some kind of Missile or Direct Damage Spell.

Archie got: Searing Doom, Enchanted Blades, Glittering Robe and Golden Hounds

Wardancer won the roll off and his beastie boyz moved forward full speed!

Monsters of Chaos - Turn 1

Galrauch goes for a powerful start!

Whole monstrous army moved as one towards a tiny line of elven warriors. Monsters of Chaos were like a steamroller, crushing all life before them. Then twisted and corrupted dragon Galrauch called for aid of his master and even the mighty archmage was unable to stop the magical onslaught.

First some kind of twisted magic missile engulfed White Lions. Some of them died instantaneously but some had to suffer horrible mutations before they gave their last breath. Infernal gateway opened in front of the Swordmasters and swallowed almost entire unit. Few survivors shared the fate of mutated White Lions and legendary warriors of Hoeth were no more!

Outcasts - Turn 1

Archie strikes back!

The BSB ordered the fire base of the elven army to move back a little and then gave the signal to the nearby Sisters. They all aimed at trolls led by their monstrous king. Shortly after the first flaming arrows hit the beasts and the magical fire engulfed the entire group of them, the rest of the army let loose. Two brutes fell down immediately and another one was visibly wounded.

On the East light cavalry sneaked in between the enemy units and started harassing the foe.

On the West the Archmage led his Swordmasters to the nearby building for a better view. It was not time for subtleties and the Archmage focused all his power into a single spell. Galrauch was unable to stop it (although he tried!) and suffered badly, barely holding on to the last thread of his existence on this mortal plane. Then the Archmage spotted the heavy cavalry picking up momentum ...

Archie, very pleased with himself because of the nice show off with magic (if only that silly dragon died already!) leaned through the window. He saw proud Sons of Caledor picking up the speed and leveling their lances to charge something big in the woods. They stormed in, for a moment disappearing from sight.

Then a mighty roar of anger was heard and as quickly Caledorians stormed in as quickly they were now galloping back. Just behind them an ugly giant (even for their own standards) was chasing them. In one hand he held huge mace, while with the other kept his oversized pants from dropping down his knees or maybe even ankles!

What in the first impression looked like a tail, a frequent mutation among spawn of chaos, happened to be a Caledorian lance. "Ah, I see now" - thought Archie - "all this talking about martial prowess, honor and respect for foe but in their arrogance the Caledorians were kind to forget about manners" Even Archie knew that it is not good idea to attack an enemy like a giant when it was looking for a quiet place to reply to the nature call. Now wonder he was so angry now. Well, maybe that will teach them something.

Monsters of Chaos - Turn 2

Giant continued his rampage

Giant continued his charge and attacked the crew of the eagle claw. Once again it roared at his foes but this time elves were not impressed. The rest of the chaos army reshuffled and slowed down. It seemed they were reluctant to advance if they could not do so all together.

Only badly wounded Galrauch decided on the last gamble. He flew close to the house and yet again powerful Infernal Gateway swallowed almost entire unit of Swordmasters. Some of them mutated to death too. Then one of the heads breathed its magical fire into the ruin of the building but claimed only one warrior. Second head didn't join due to unknown reasons and the archmage and bladelord survived.

Outcasts - Turn 2

Death of Galrauch!

The archmage and his last guardian moved out of the house. Having miraculously survived the attack of the dragon the archmage didn't wait and cast his own powerful magic again.This time weak and wounded dragon died for good.

Ellyrian Reavers continued their harassment and the flank of the enemy simply stopped. In the center, although eagle claw was locked in combat (and a flank charge of the great eagle didn't help to get rid of the giant), the rest of the shooters repeated the feat and two more trolls lied dead while some more got wounded again. That group of trolls was melting down fast!

Monsters of Chaos - Turn 3

Shagoth joins the fight!

Shagoth decided to join the fight. It first charged Sisters but when they retreated it changed the target and attacked the eagle. Noble bird of pray had no chance in that fight and died quickly. But the crew of the eagle claw somehow survived still and kept fighting.

Throgg decided it is getting too hot for him and moved to another group of trolls. They also shifted towards the elven units in the East too, probably trusting big brutes Giant and Shagoth are not going to leave much to play with.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Elves are really hard pressed now!

Light cavalry is doing what it can to stop the foe. The enemy is quite static now but they are still very dangerous.

Archmage casts another powerful spell but this time cannot hold the magical feedback and detonation kills the bladelord. Only magical crown saves the archmage himself from being dead too. But the powerful Shagoth was wounded very badly too.

Unfortunately brave eagle claw crew died eventually. Nearby archers tried to withdraw in good order but caused a lot of confusion instead. They moved away from the battle entirely and nearby White Lions had to withdraw to regroup as well.

Despite a strike of bad luck, BSB and his trustworthy marines finished off remaining trolls (with the great aid of the second group of Sisters). That even panicked heavily mutated BSB of the chaos army who rushed blindly forward.

Monsters of Chaos - Turn 4

Chaos monsters are breaking through

Wounded Shagoth was still a powerful beast and the valiant last stand of the small unit of Sisters was not enough to bring it down.

Throgg and his trolls destroyed intervening reavers who tried to buy some time for nearby heavy cavalry. Unfortunately, the smell of the monsters of chaos spooked the steeds and the knights had no choice but to withdraw.
Outcasts - Turn 4

Elves do not give up and hit hard again

Archmage summoned his powers again and despite his wounds he dominated the battlefield once more. First his spell finished off the Shagoth and the monster was a pile of smoking meat, bones and armor now. Then he aided sea guard led by his trusted lieutenant. With magically increased accuracy they had no problem in putting down the giant too.

It was clear that the integrity of the army was gone already but whatever was left still could and was determined to show some teeth.

Monsters of Chaos - Turn 5

Trolls charge!

Throgg bellows his order and lets loose hounds at the elven heavy cavalry (otherwise stupid dogs would be in the way). But somehow multiple blows from many trolls hit the air or are deflected by the dragon armor. Heavy cavalry holds and nearby White Lions prepare for the attack!

Ellyrian Reavers fight bravely too, lose only one of their own and keep fighting!

Outcasts - Turn 5

Lions try to turn the tide of battle

White Lions easily charge the flank of the trolls. However, either fickle nature of chaos was to blame or maybe something even more mysterious but experienced hunters suddenly felt like a group of untrained militia and barely managed to stay in the fight. Their attack fell a troll or two but it was far too few to break them. The situation looked really grim now.
Monsters of Chaos - Turn 6

Remnants of the Chaos army regroup

Throgg and his trolls now perform way better and noble knights are all dead while only a single White Lion remains on the field of battle.

Can High Elves do something in the final act to tip the balance into their favor?

Outcasts - Turn 6

Ranged attacks are all directed at Dragon Ogres

With almost all units gone there is only magic and shooting left to use for High Elves. However, this time it proves to be a little too much of a challenge and dragon ogres manage to survive.

At this stage both armies disengage, bloodied too much to continue.


Turn-by-turn animation
After-battle thoughts

When we calculated the points it looked like 11-9 win for Monsters. But according to the tournament rules you add a fraction of comp score at the end and it translated to a draw. I am happy, however, to admit I was slightly defeated this time and it certainly shows if you look at the units that are left.

That was one crazy game with some insane dice rolls. But let's try to harness the chaos of the battle with some after-battle comments :)

I have found out I need to play in a counter-attacking style against WoC armies in general. I need to inflict as much damage as possible with shooting/magic, while using support troops to delay other regiments. Putting some extra distance between the armies was very important. Hence deployment further away and shuffling back.

At the same time I am looking for openings and chances to stall the advance of the army. One of such chances is when the warhounds are directly in front of the more powerful units. I know it is tempting to do so to add some shooting protection. However, it is possible to do so without being so close (I think :)).

Another opening I tried to use was the giant. My intend was to charge it and wound it so I could possibly win combat and due to relative positioning of giant and shagoth I could hold them there for a while. If I won and by some luck giant broke from combat, I was in the flank of shagoth and I would gladly pursue into fresh enemy. I would probably lose the unit in the process but effectively it would stall the advance further.

Of course the powerful magic phase of Galraouch was very painful. First, I was unable to dispel these gateways despite having quite a good chance to do so. I let the fire in on Lions and of course wardancer rolled well for number of hits and then I lost some more due to warpfire rule :) Rolling 11 for gateway twice in a row was huge too!

I was glad Archie could fight back. In fact, I was very close to killing Galrauch in first round. I got massive 12 hits for searing doom and that transferred into 7 wounds I believe. But wardancer did well with his 6++ ward and managed to keep Galrauch on a single wound for a little longer.

There was an interesting situation turn 2, which I probably didn't explain well with the story. Archmage and Bladelord were the only survivors from magic. Then we had shooting phase and one of the heads breathed at them. As it was template weapon we rolled for number of hits and it was a 1! So I was lucky not to lose them again. Wardancer also mentioned he didn't know why exactly he decided not to use second breath. Could have been a huge game changer at this stage.

It was already suggested to me and I drew that conclusion as well that it was a mistake to keep Archmage and Bladeolrd together. They should separate and conserve points. Instead, I lost 176 points for nothing, miscasting later on. And detonations in the building are not good idea either, especially when you roll a 6 for number of hits! :)

I was very pleased with a shooting phase too. Magic was powerful and the fact I had level 4 against no wizard did help here. But shooting had an impact as well. These resilient trolls were much less tough without their regeneration. When they also slowed down their advance I was able to finish off the unit all by shooting.

In fact I was surprised wardancer didn't push forward no matter what. Yes, that would expose the flank but I had only 2 units there and only one heavy cavalry which on its own might not be able to do much. Especially against regeneration.

There were a few unlucky moments for both of us. First, that failed break with DP that allowed giant to attack eagle claw shortly after, was painful. But I see that I should take into account such a situation and maybe it was not such a great idea to charge with them in the first place.

A few unlucky panic checks also were brutal. DP could easily destroy hounds and then pursue into DO. Even if trolls reformed and charged them shortly after then great! I would have diverted them from the more juicy targets. Panicking archers and lions in one go was another problem. Lions could threaten wounded Shagoth for example, while archers could pin it down for a turn.

On the other hand, wardancer had some rotten luck with his trolls later! Could you believe he lost combat on the charge? Then I of course had to fail fear test! hitting on 5+ and no re-rolls hurt. Also, attacks back were hitting on 3+ too! It really went wrong here for both of us although in the end the blunder for wardancer was not a problem in the end.

In general I was happy with the game and my performance as it was a tough match up with all these multi-wound, high S monsters. However, I always like to see what I could do better. I think the mixed deployment, with shooting and combat units alternating, is the key here. I can have spread formation, be able to shoot but be close enough to intercept too.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Very great game and a unique army list for the opponent. The dragon princes panicking was maybe the biggest turning point of the battle. That charge and overrun into dragon ogres would have clogged up his advance and forced trolls to turn towards that combat or continue forward without support of dragon ogres. I would be curious to see how the battle turned out had DPs not failed that panic, but that's Warhammer for you haha

    You did well against a list that had some great advantages against you. Speed (which your opponent didn't fully exploit), high strength, breath weapons and stomps are extremely effective against infantry heavy armies. Stomps I've noticed are particularly devastating. Most monsters hit your troops at 4+ which is a benefit of your high WS troops, but high strength stomps that hit automatically really remove the benefit of the fragile, expensive, high WS infantry. 3 dragon ogre stomps that will most likely all wound that don't allow your 5+ save troops any armour save is a 3+ combat resolution swing for the opponent! That's a very big deal that can't be overlooked. That's not even going into the dreaded thunderstomp!

    Thanks for the report!

    1. Hi Dan,

      Sorry for such a late reply. My brother, who was my opponent this game is known for bringing army lists that are unorthodox. If he only kept playing with them for longer he would have been even more formidable adversary :D

      I wish my cavalry was more brave but situations like that also pose a questions, if such events could have been prevented? It may look like bad luck but maybe the risk was too big for the gain I hoped to achieve? It was a long charge, after all and the enemy, although close, was not that close yet. I know for sure that I am often guilty of charging too early!

      I agree about stomps too. I find it a powerful weapon as it never requires any rolls to hit. If you are on the receiving end it even feels unfair that agile Elves are so easy to stomp on while they can dodge powerful blows without much of a problem :)

      But games like that test me properly so that I can come up with better ideas how to tackle such opponent in the future. As a spoiler I can tell you we had some rematch and I will be posting that report at some stage (although not as a next game).


  2. Loved the report! Good Job!, Accurate and not tiresome at all!
    Aramil btw too bored to create google account.

    1. Thanks Aramil! I am glad you enjoyed the report and I m looking forward to reading your comments in the future!