Saturday 30 May 2015

Game 89 - Dwarves - 2013/12/13

Game 3 - Army Swap - Matt - Dwarves

Time to start reporting on game 3. This time it was this unique army swap that created so much discussion and is a very interesting point of the whole tournament. The armies were drawn and ... I got another HE army, this time Simon's MSU. Technically it was a perfect choice for me but there are some things I would like to point out while discussing the army list itself:

High Elves - Army List

Archmage, level 4,  Earthing rod - 245 - Lore of Heavens
BSB, halberd, dragon armour, reaver bow, charmed shield, potion of strength  - 157
Noble, eagle, dragon armour, star lance, golden crown of altrazar, enchanted shield, potion of foolhardiness - 180
6 silver helm, shields, full command - 168
9 silver helm, shields, full command - 237
5 reavers, spears, bows, musician - 105
5 reavers, spears, bows - 95
12 white lions, full command, gleaming pennant - 191
12 white lions, full command - 186
15 phoenix guards, full command, banner of the world dragon  - 305
12 phoenix guards, musician, standard - 200
Eagle claw bolt thrower - 70
Eagle claw bolt thrower - 70
Eagle claw bolt thrower - 70
Eagle claw bolt thrower - 70
eagle - 50

Swedish Comp: 13.2

Technically MSU army and I should rejoice :) However, it has only 10 deployment drops, units are more expensive and not that choppy as Swordmasters. There are more characters but that is ok as they are similar to what I have anyway. Lack of small arms shooting can be a problem as Eagle Claws are either overkill or not good enough when you need to divide the attention. What is more, I expected problems with line of sight clearance when I started to move my regiments. Especially, when there are no hills to occupy.

At the same time I had a chance to see how that powerful banner works, how is phoenix guard in small-ish units and how can I do with less but more powerful shooting.

It was also even more challenging since I was about to face Dwarves and Adam's army led by Matt:

Dwarves - Army List

Runelord, shield, rune of speed, rune of stone, rune of spellbreaking - 178
Master Engineer - 70
Master Engineer - 70
Dragon Slayer - 50
Dragon Slayer - 50
Dragon Slayer - 50
Dragon Slayer - 50
Dragon Slayer - 50
Dragon Slayer - 50
Dragon Slayer - 50
Dragon Slayer - 50

18 Dwarf Warriors, shield, musisian, standard - 177
13 Dwarf Warriors, shield, musician, standard - 132
10 Dwarf Warriors, shield, musician, standard - 105
10 Dwarf Warriors, shield, musician, standard - 105
10 Dwarf Warriors, shield, musician, standard - 105
35 Miners, full command - 410
Cannon, rune of flaming - 95
Cannon - 90
Cannon - 90
Grudge Thrower, 2 x Rune of Penetrating - 130
Organ Gun - 120
Organ Gun - 120

Swedish Comp: 13.8

While not typical Dwarven castle it still has very potent shooting, in particular against small units. 2 Organ Guns have a very good board control abilities and it would be very hard to approach it. Cannons would have a field day against Bolt Throwers and I didn't feel good about giving up free points like that. With so many war machines a flying noble was at grave danger too.

Typical fact about Dwarven castle where all war machines are still expensive, does not apply here. They are also no less accurate simply because there are two engineers to look after them. Other small units are simply road blocks and are not that expensive either. Add to that very annoying Dragon Slayers and you will find out it is very hard to approach that army and to do so quickly enough might not be an option either.

Difference in comp was not big but it still transferred to 160 points of a bonus for Matt.


It is not a castle, at least Matt promised he would not deploy in that formation :)

Deployment of the armies after vanguard move
I had to approach fast but I didn't want to do it recklessly. I assumed I will have second turn and had to move in the first turn slowly so that I am not yet in the range of organ guns. Unless we are talking about the units on the flank which could move faster. I wanted to have them more or less in the charge distance by turn 3 but move them all together so that even with all the shooting there would be too many targets to eliminate.

I also didn't want to move along right flank as I knew the miners might appear there and that would have been a problem.

In the meantime I rolled for spells and the Archmage got:

Iceshard Blizzard, Harmonic Convergence, Uranon's Tunderbolt, Chain Lightning

No comet (I rolled no doubles) but Chain Lightning can actually be quite good against these Dragon Slayers :)

We rolled for that important first turn and Matt won it and almost immediately proceeded to the shooting phase :D

Dwarves - Turn 1
They moved! I swear! :)
Dwarves tighten their formation

Dwarven warriors locked their shields and tightened their formation but apart from that they didn't need to move much. They knew the enemy would come to them!

The artillery opened their fire and one of the bolt throwers was reduced to fire wood and chop sticks while another one, miraculously, survived. The engineers reprimanded their young apprentices. And mumbled something that in their times such short sighted younglings would not be even capable of passing the initial exams to the gunnery university.

High Elves - Turn 1
High Elves move forward
Outflanking - would it work against all these slayers in the woods?

Elven army had to move fast. But not in a reckless way. Units on the Western flank galloped forward but were careful to stay out of range of the organ gun. Units in the centre moved slower also because of the threat of the accursed weapons. If they were to succeed they had to move all together.

Bolt thrower crews tried to find some targets in the growing chaos of the battle and one of the dwarvern warriors regiments caught their attention. Only 2 warriors survived the barrage but they stubbornly held their ground. Then the archmage called the power of the thunders and brought the destruction to one of the orange haired lunatics. His companions cursed the Elves for bringing such cowardly means to the warfare and denying one of them a chance of honourable death in combat.

Dwarves - Turn 2
Dynamic movement among the trees
Slayers shake the woods to make an impression that there are 300 of them there!

Dwarves moved even less this time. Engineers started to cry when they saw the inaccuracy of the cannon crews. The young artillery dwarves turned red in shame and only the duty kept them trying instead of joining the dragon slayers to wash away their humility with the purifying effect of honourable death in combat. Still, some elves died.

High Elves - Turn 2
Elves get closer
Only the Noble is hiding behind the building

The elven army continues the advance and units prepare for charges. If they survive incoming barrage, that is, because they have just entered the kill zone created by organ guns.

Magic and shooting is very limited this time, with many targets obscured by friendly regiments and only two remaining dwarven warriors perish in effect. Not quite the effect elves wanted to achieve.

Dwarves - Turn 3
Slayers to the front!
And some more shooting!

Some slayers could not wait any longer and run towards the elves, shouting insults to provoke cowardly pointy eared warriors to find some courage and engage them in fighting.

Organ gun crews finally found a target for their experimental weapons and one unit of reavers ceased to exist. One of the cannon crews redeemed themselves and killed great eagle.

High Elves - Turn 3
First charges!

Slayers prove to be harder to kill than expected

Three elven units attack interfering dragon slayers but only White Lions succeed in killing one and moving forward. Silver Helms were stopped in their tracks. Smaller unit suffering casualties in the process too.

Shooting and magic once again proved to be ineffective.

Dwarves - Turn 4
Miners show up!
It could have not been a better timing!

With Elves even closer the fight becomes even more bloody. First, dwarven artillery starts to show why it is so feared. Two bolt throwers are utterly destroyed. Organ gun decimates White Lions but despite that stubborn Chracians keep advancing.

Then dragon slayer have mixed luck against elven knights. One of them kills his solitary opponent while another one fails to deflect a lucky slash and finally finds peace in the embrace of death. Third of the slayers charges light cavalry who is forced to retreat after losing some of their members due to ferocious attacks of the naked maniac with huge axe.

High Elves - Turn 4
Elves keep attacking!
They are getting through towards the artillery!
Elves have no choice but to keep attacking. Phoenix Guard and depleted Lions charge dragon slayers and manage to overrun into the artillery behind them. On the East White Lions also charge the warriors, knowing they need to break through to at least stop the miners. They win the fight and chase away the survivors and hit the unit behind them. But the miners are just behind them and now Chracians are trapped.

Dwarves - Turn 5
The fight continues!
Now it was the time for Dwarves to counter attack and stall the advance of the elven army. Warriors and Dragon Slayer attacked the Phoenix Guard that fought against the crew of the organ gun. Warriors and the crew perished but the slayer held the line!

White Lions tried hard to destroy another warrior unit but could not make it as a few survivors kept fighting. And then the sheer number of attacks from the miners attacking their rear was devastating.

High Elves - Turn 5
Getting there?
Death of a Runelord!

Runelord left his bodyguards and moved away but that gave the chance for the Archmage to find him with some lightnings. Chain reaction that occurred killed the Runelord and nearby Organ Gun but was not powerful enough to make more dwarven warriors to perish.

Phoenix Guard and White Lions on the East both destroyed their foes and turned to face new ones.

Dwarves - Turn 6
Dragon Slayers sacrifice themselves to save their companions

A slight mistake, PG is facing towards the enemy now
The last stage of the battle. The dragon slayers move forward to protect their brethren and find the honourable deaths as their comrades from the cult. Only two of them remained! Would that be enough?

High Elves - Turn 6
Matt is very happy as he thought this game would be over in 3 rounds! :)
Brave Dwarves flee to the safety :)

Thanks to the sacrifice of the dragon slayers, elven warriors don't have many opportunities for last charges. Even warriors do not hold as they were supposed to and simply flee to the safety in a very undwarfish manner. Some suspected they are, in fact, Skaven in disguise!

Only magic was left to shift the balance but unfortunately the winds of magic didn't blow hard enough and a few remaining warriors survived the battle as did majority of the artillery park.

Both armies, bloodied but unbowed, disengaged to regroup.


 photo output_WrHoh2_zpsaomduo1n.gif
Turn-by-turn summary animation

After-battle thoughts

That was a tough game indeed but a very enjoyable one and I would like to thank Matt for great battle! Matt plays Skaven so it was also quite a significant change of play style for him but he did great with stalling the advance, despite some bad luck with shooting with cannons. He made up for it with Organ Guns though! :)

His plan worked better than mine and with the extra points due to comp difference we got a draw!

There were many little things in that game that I could have done better and that would have had helped me to achieve a better result but I wanted to start with a comment on both armies.

Dwarven Army designed by Adam G. seemed like a very tough one to use because it looks like it needs to castle as any other typical dwarven force but does not have big punch in close combat. However, in that game a castle-like deployment did help. Timely appearance of the Miners was also vital as they stopped Lions in their rampage that otherwise would have see them going through another unit and getting to the artillery.

It is also difficult army to play against as it is hard to get points from it! All these slayers are worth 400 points in total but they were priceless when they were needed to jump in front of the advancing enemy and block it, often for longer than expected. So it was not only to prevent combined charges but also to stall their advance further. Well done to Matt for playing a very good game with that difficult army to play with.

Simon's HE are technically a MSU but I would make some changes to make it more flexible. There are too many bolt throwers in it as I have mentioned and in particular in this game they were free points. You can argue that if the enemy shoots at the them he does not shoot at something else but there were not many targets that required cannons. 2 organ guns and grudge thrower did enough damage to the light troops that approached them anyway.

Instead I would take some Sisters as they can move and pick the targets better without penalty. I'd prefer to have 2 bolt throwers and 2 x 5 Sisters any time. I would have also divided Silver Helms unto 3 units of 5. It gives more flexibility but also makes them easier to move. I had to make that wide formation to avoid grudge thrower damage and that limited their manoeuvrability.

Some of the units were a little too big for my liking. Costly PG with BoWD made me too careful with them. I kept them back as they baby-sitted two vulnerable characters. While they were protecting them they also didn't contribute to any combat in an active way. But maybe it was more due to my inability to use them better.

A list of mistakes I think were made by me in that game:

1. Deployment - it was not difficult to anticipate that the dwarven army is going to be in the corner and to guess in which one. I also could anticipate that if I were to move along the flank the miners would appear there too. Hence, the deployment was not good. I should have put both PG units on the right flank. Not on the edge but a little more towards the centre in comparison to where the right most lions were. Light cavalry should be on the far left flank and could vanguard and then move to towards the enemy fast. Heavy cavalry should be on the left centre. Then Lions maybe behind the cavalry if need be. The problems with bolt throwers would be the same though.

2. Too careful - I think I was too careful with my advance and should have moved in a more decisive way.

3. Light cavalry on the right flank - I wanted to move them so they could shoot at the slayer. Then I hoped for 1 wound. If he charged I thought I might get another one. But I didn't get any and the cavalry was destroyed. Maybe it was a mistake, I am not sure.

4. Noble - Hiding him behind the building was not bad idea. But positioning him so that he could see nothing was. Also, I was afraid that  that he could have got killed if I only put him in the open. But later on, in turn 5 it was the best time to move him and I had a good chance to make that last charge and maybe kill something. There was also a good opportunity to charge slayers if I positioned him so that he could actually see something. But unfortunately I didn't.

I was still happy with a draw and the over all performance day 1.

Thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment