Sunday 31 May 2015

Game 90 - Vampire Counts vs Lizardmen - 2013/12/18

Game 4 - Army Swap - Simon - Lizardmen

This time I had a pleasure to play against Simon, with whom we have already played a few games and whose army I had an honour to use in the army swap in the previous round. This time I got the very Vampire Counts I have faced in round 2, while Simon commanded Lizardmen, designed by Nick H. Let's have a look at the army lists:

Vampire Counts - Army List

Vampire Lord, level 1, great weapon, heavy armour, Dragonhelm, Talisman of Preservation, Book of Arkhan, Other Tricksters Shard, Red Fury, Flying Horror - 411 - Lore of Vampires
Master necormancer, level 3, Power stone - 185 - Lore of Vampires
Necromancer, level 1, Dispel scroll, Obsidian trinket - 105 - Lore of Death
Wight King, great weapon, Nightshroud - 130

34 Crypt Ghouls, champion - 350
5 dire wolves - 40
5 dire wolves - 40
30 zombies, musician, standard bearer - 100
20 zombies, musician, standard bearer - 70
28 grave guard, great weapons, full command, Banner of the barrows - 416
7 Crypt Horrors - 266
2 fell bats - 32
2 bat swarms - 70
4 vargiests - 184

Comp 12.5

I have seen what this army can do and I was curious if I could repeat the incredibly fast march that force can make. I observed how Mick is using his forces and I decided I will try to imitate it. Keep the army together for the purpose of march moves and spells. Try to use faster elements to outflank the enemy and use the fact I can rise the fallen back and replenish casualties to grind down theoretically more powerful foe. I simply needed to see if that foe was enemy's toughest unit or some other regiment.

I was a little concerned with the relative lack of protection on the Vampire Lord. As I have seen in my previous game, a 4++ ward save alone is really not that much in the case of such an expensive and important individual as Vampire Lord.

Lizardmen - Army List

Slaan, BSB,  Focus of Mystery, Standard of Discipline, Dragonbane Gem - 380 - High Magic
Oldblood, coldone, light armour, great weapon, Charmed shield, Dawnstone - 215
Scar veteran, coldone, shield, [i]dragonhelm, other tricksters shard, luckstone, sword of might [/i] - 154
Skink priest, Dispel scroll - Lore of Heavens - 90
Skink chief, light armour, Obsidian Amulet, Warrior Bane, Enchanted Shield - 82

10 Skink Skirmishers, javelin, shield - 70
10 Skink Skirmishers, javelin, shield - 70
24 Skinks, full command, 3 kroxigor - 300
10 Skinks, musician - 60
16 skinks, musician, champion - 100
3 Terradon Riders, Fireleech Bolas - 108
23 Temple Guard, full command, Jaguar Standard - 402
5 Chameleon Skinks - 65
6 Cold One Riders, musician, standard bearer, spears - 224
1 Salamander Hunting Pack - 80

Comp 13.9

This is a tough army because it is very hard to get points from. A few big units, where characters can hide and deny the points to the enemy. A lot of support units to ensure the enemy cannot simply get into combat and to be annoying with all these poisonous shots.

Slann knowing all the spells from High Magic would be a very interesting opponent indeed as there are many spells that help out the relatively slow Lizardmen and can make them even more formidable in combat. Not to mention a new Fiery Convocation. I was really looking forward to see what new High Magic can do.

It is also amazing how powerful Lizardmen veterans can be at a relatively low cost. That oldblood is very hard to kill while he can dish out a lot of damage on his own. Same with the scar veteran. They would be very dangerous to fight against even for the Vampire Lord, simply because of his great weapon and striking last.


Armies arrayed for battle

Deployment after vanguard moves (very short ones!)

Both armies deployed relatively in the centre and with the support units around the main battle line. Lizardmen deployed all their characters in Temple Guard. While Vampire Lord led Ghouls, Wight King was of course with the Grave Guard and both Necromancers hid among zombies.

The undead casters had following spells:

Master Necromancer - Invocation, Van Hels, Gaze of Nagash
Vampire Lord - Invocation
Necromancer - Spirit Leach

Surprisingly I won the roll off and got the first turn.

Vampire Counts - Turn 1
Undead move forward
Vargheists are overwhelmed by their blood thirst

Undead horde shambled forward. Necromancers tried to hasten them with foul magic but Slann thwarted these attempts. Vargheists spotted the Terradon Riders far away but their blood thirst was strong and they still took flight. Swift lizardmen fliers easily avoided such an obvious attack.

Lizardmen - Turn 1
Lizardmen advance too
Power of the High Magic

Lizardmen moved forward to meet the enemy head on. Swift skinks of each kind moved around the enemy and peppered undead with missiles. But the main blow came at the hands of the Slann. It first attempted to destroy magical protection of the Vampire Lord and his necromantic minions hastened to deflect the spell with a dispel scroll. Slann then focused its power into irresistible spell and Ghoul horde were engulfed in fiery inferno. More than half of them burned to the ashes and the rest could not put down the fires either.

Vampire Counts - Turn 2
Undead don't slow their advance

Vargheists again fail to keep their blood thirst in check

Vampire Lord, tired of the Vargheist misbehave, flew to join Grave Guard regiment to keep a watchful eye on his frenzied minions. The winds of magic blew low and Necromancers barely managed to rise some Ghouls so that they didn't perish yet.

Lizardmen - Turn 2
Lizardmen are careful

Armies are close but don't yet engage
Lizardmen slowed down their advance as the light troops blocked the charge paths. Skinks attacked a single wolf and killed it for good while a Salamander pack charged into burning Ghouls. They killed the handlers but the salamander didn't run.

The armies were very close to each other but none wanted to commit fully to close combat.

Vampire Counts - Turn 3
War of atrocity between support troops
Vampire Lord ordered his units to move patiently before he could spring his trap and attack the temple guard from all sides. Unfortunately, the Slann could anticipate it and did all it could to prevent that. That meant weak winds of magic again and yet again necromancers struggled to get any spells through.

What is more skinks fight with unprecedented bravery instilled in them by the presence of the Slann and they hold against the Zombie horde despite the odds.

Lizardmen - Turn 3
Slanns magic takes some of his temple guard
Both forces try to outflank each other

Lizardmen light troops block more powerful undead regiments from attacking temple guard. Other skirmishers close in and try to inflict additional casualties. Ghouls burn further and only a single creature is standing at the moment.

Saurus cavalry smashes through some bat swarms and hit zombies shambling behind them. Then the Slann weaves its magic. It is yet another irresistible one and Vampire Lord finds his protective talisman destroyed. The following detonation takes away a lot of temple guard but fortunately for the Lizardmen army the Slann remains standing on the edge of the huge crater.

Vampire Counts - Turn 4
Blurry picture as always
Undead surround Temple Guard but it is too late
Undead units finally surround temple guard but it is too late for the attack. The right flank is collapsing and Lizardmen still had units to sacrifice to prevent the charge from all sides. Vampire Lord is also reluctant to engage now as he is stripped of any protection. He may be inhumanly strong but it does not mean he was indestructible. And Lizardmen Oldblood had the means to make his immortal life a little bit shorter.

Some more ghouls are risen again but it seems there were still not enough of them.

Lizardmen - Turn 4
This diagram might not be accurate

Lizardmen cavalry, after destroying the zombies, charge the ghouls and finally destroy them too but small cloud of skinks prevents them from joining the fight with another block of zombies held by skinks as if they were the temple guard.

Slann directs his gaze at the Vampire Lord and his Grave Guard. They start burning in the same way as ghouls not so long time ago. Seeing this, the Vampire brings early night and under the cover of darkness he disengages his army. He failed to outmanoeuvre Lizardmen and now he needed to save himself and his minions from the total demise.


 photo output_eraaWG_zpsytirgg0b.gif
Turn-by-turn summary animation

After-battle thoughts

Well, we run out of time so the game had to finish after turn 4. I am afraid it was also a saviour for me as at this stage my army was slowly crumbling. I am not sure if the situation I presented on the diagram was correct but even if I still could charge temple guard from 3 sides it was not good odds. The Lord was naked. He could have been destroyed by any Saurus hero. Grave Guard was halved and I am not sure I would have been able to dispel that in my turn. So it also decreased the power of the supposed attack.

After calculating the points it looked like I lost around 500VP points more. With the comp difference it also meant the loss was slightly bigger so the final result was 7:13. Not too bad but not that great either.

So what did I do wrong?

1. Vargheists - I should have used the way Mick used in our game and move them backwards so that they cannot see the enemy when it is too early. That really slowed down the advance.
2. Power Stone - I forgot about it!  :oops: When the winds of magic are low it is the best time to use it. So I could have raised more Ghouls (double invocation) or move the units faster.
3. Fiery Convocation - I think that this spell won Simon the game. I lost 350 points for that unit alone. Could I do something? Well, not to prevent the spell cast with Irresistible Force. But using Power Scroll I could raised more ghouls.
4. Skinks - there was nothing I could do when SKinks stubbornly held the line. They were losing combats constantly but held the line anyway. 3d6 base Ld 10 is such a huge asset, especially with re-roll from bsb. The odds were good in particular on the turn when I charged with Zombies.
5. Deployment - I wonder if alternative deployment, along the right flank, would have been better. Assuming Simon would deploy in the same manner I might have engaged the weaker troops there. Maybe I could have gotten some points there?

That army swap was very interesting and after that game I see the need to play games with other armies than mine :)

I hope it was still a good enough read, despite the totally different type of the game.

Thanks for reading!

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