Monday 22 June 2015

Game 110 - Warriors of Chaos - 2014/05/20

Game 3 - Spencer - Tzeentch Warriors - Meeting Engagement

In the third game I had a great pleasure to play against Spencer and his Tzeentch Warriors. I have never played against Spencer before but I know he finished 8th on CanCon 2014! We played Meeting Engagement scenario with no modifications to the rules from the rule book. Warriors of Chaos are always a tough opponent and this time the challenge was to try and win against he following army list:

Warriors of Tzeentch - Army List

Chaos Lord,  Disc of Tzeentch; Mark of Tzeentch, Talisman of Endurance; Hellfire Sword; Enchanted Shield; Third Eye of Tzeentch; Flaming Breath; Soul Feeder

Battle Standard Bearer, Barded Chaos Steed; Mark of Tzeentch; Shield; Talisman of Preservation; Warrior Bane
Chaos Sorceror, Level 2, Disc of Tzeentch; Mark of Tzeentch, Opal Amulet; Charmed Shield; Ruby Ring of Ruin; Chaos Familiar - Lore of Metal

Chaos Chariot, Mark of Tzeentch
Chaos Chariot, Mark of Tzeentch
5 Marauder Horsemen,  javelins, flails, Standard, Mark of Tzeentch
5 Marauder Horsemen,  javelins, flails, Standard, Mark of Tzeentch
5 Marauder Horsemen,  javelins, flails, Standard, Mark of Tzeentch
5 Marauder Horsemen,  javelins, flails, Standard, Mark of Tzeentch
18 Chaos Warriors,  halberds, Full Command; Banner of Swiftness; Mark of Tzeentch   
8 Chaos Ogres, great weapons, Full Command, Mark of Tzeentch   

Chaos Spawn, Spawn of Tzeentch   

It is a rare occasion to see a mono god army these days. However, Spencer showed that such a force can still be an army to be respected and in the hands of a good player it can go high in a tournament. Let's have a closer look at his choices:

Chaos Lord - The hardest hitting model in the entire army. His Hellfire Sword does d3 wounds, allows no armour save but these attacks are flaming. Great for hunting down monsters or lone characters. However, additional effect that the slain foes can explode and inflict further damage can potentially be deadly for rank and files too. The fact he flies makes him very hard to contain. My plan was to slow him down with units with champions (if he attacks them) and make sure any pursuit/overrun moves he has do not lead to new combats. If I could get him into combat with Dragon Princes or Star Lance hero then with 2++ against his flaming attacks I have a chance to hold him for longer. The fact that ha has "only" 4++ ward save (with re-rolls to 1's) makes it actually possible to hurt him by Searing Doom for instance.

Battle Standard Bearer - another well protected character with 1+/3++ saves. Good in combat too so that he can dish out a few more wounds against the enemy. I was curious where is he going to be, however. He can join any unit but due to being cavalry he can stand out from the warriors. Fortunately for Spencer, I have no cannons! :)

Chaos Sorcerer - provides some ranged weapons for the army in the form of ruby ring and spells. I forgot to ask why Spencer favours lore of metal instead of lore of Tzeentch. Both have some good spells to help the army so I guess it is all about personal preference. Another flying character that can potentially escape my attention and be hard to catch.

Chariots - very dangerous against my small units, fortunately slower than cavalry and relatively vulnerable to missile fire and magic missiles. I had to deal with them in the first place as otherwise they can be very, very dangerous, either as single models or a support for other units.

Marauder Horsemen - it is great to see so many fast cavalry units and I think they are very useful for WoC army. There are 4 cavalry units against 4 of mine but the problem might be that only 2 of mine are actually fast cavalry. But I was happy to have bows in that match up. I was very eager to see which support troops would prevail as both sides had their own advantages. Taking care of them would also be a priority. I need clear field to manoeuver.

Warriors - not that slow thanks to Banner of Swiftness. In one-on-one combats they have the upper hand against any of my small units so the trick was to lead to the situations where I could have 2-3 units against this one. I had to isolate them though as any support from characters, chariots or even fast cavalry means I am in trouble.

Ogres - another units that is not that popular among WoC players but has some hard hitting potential. If used in cooperation with characters or Warriors they can be very dangerous  and they will definitely inflict casualties if charged from the front. One should not forget about their impact hits too!

Chaos Spawn - quite annoying little bugger. Not that easy to shoot down, unpredictable in the combat and Tzeentch one also has some breathing attack. May interfere with my movement phase too so I needed to look for the opportunity to eliminate it.

As usual against Warriors who are designed to carry the fight to the enemy I wanted to deploy further back, soften the enemy with magic and missile fire and use the opportunity that I have more units to arrange favourable combats. The trick was that we didn't know which units are going to enter the battle field and which were to be kept in reserves. I won the roll-off and I had to deploy my entire army first.


Deployment of the armies - both forces have some units in reserves
Reavers on the right flank had a tough job to delay 4 enemy regiments

Deployment of the armies after vanguard moves

Both units of Dragon Princes ended up in reserves which was a little bit problematic as I needed them ready to charge right from the start. On the other hand, Spencer's Lord, two units of marauders and a chariot also ended up in reserves.

I didn't move my reavers on the right flank during vanguard phase in order to be able to charge marauder horsemen. However, my plan was ruined when Spencer skilfully rolled a 6 and stole the initiative! :)

Chaos Sorcerer had following spells:

Enchanted Blades of Aiban, Glittering Robe, Final Transmutation
Warriors of Tzeentch - Turn 1
All might of the Warriors of Tzeentch has assembled
Reavers seemed to be hard pressed

The reinforcements have arrived
Warriors of Tzeentch seized the initiative and moved towards the Elves occupying the nearby hill and assembled in the defensive formation. Timely arrival of the reinforcements, led by the army general himself, put even more pressure on the elven army. They had very little time to react.

Outcasts - Turn 1
Elves remain calm and fight back

Heavy cavalry to the rescue!

First blood for Elves!

Elves had to react quickly before the enemy could consolidate the battle line and the units which arrived as reinforcements joined the rest of the army. Ellyrian Reavers in the South charged the opposing marauders and forced them to flee despite the presence of the battle standard bearer. Elven fast cavalry slammed then into another unit of the marauders while heavy cavalry arrived at the rear of the enemy formation.

In the centre the Elven fire base (including the Loremaster and his various magic missiles!) first shot at some Ogres and then eliminated one of the chariots. That was enough of the fireworks for big lads and they turned and fled to safety!

In the North, White Lions and Swordmasters prepared for the inevitable combat.

Warriors of Tzeentch - Turn 2

Attack on the North
And moving forward on the South

Warriors of Tzeentch in a double pincer manoeuvre
Chaos Lord leads the charge and charioteers follow. In between impact hits, Lord attacks and Hellfire effect, not a single Chracian survives and both overrun. Luckily for the nearby Sea Guard the momentum carries the Lord past them while much heavier chariot does not reach their ranks at all.

On the South Reavers face the spawn and despite defensive position they lose combat and are forced to retreat. Their companions draw combat with marauders. In the meantime, the Chaos Sorcerer uses his magical ring to burn a few Archers alive but the survivors grimly hold the line.

Outcasts - Turn 2
Elven counter attack
Chaos Lord - a little bit too far to pose immediate threat this time

Elves fight back to prevent encirclement

As the chariot passed the Swordmasters, warriors of Hoeth decided to scare away the marauders who predictably fled from the charge. Sea Guard reformed and created a hedgehog formation to receive the charge from the chariot. BSB was sent to join the archers and keep the battle standard high.

Dragon Princes charged the marauders engaged in combat with the reavers and killed them all, panicking nearby companions of the chaotic tribesmen.

(Edit: I cannot remember who got the Sorcerer but I am pretty sure I tried some magic missiles and some shooting at him :))

Warriors of Tzeentch - Turn 3
Great Eagle - as usual taking one for the team

Warriors of Tzeenth persistently push forward!
Another attack on the flanks

As predicted the chariot charges Sea Guard and tramples a few brave warriors but the unit holds fast. The Lord surfs around the Elven lines and positions himself to attack soon. In the meantime, his BSB leads the warriors into the attack and storm through poor eagle into the nearby Swordmasters.

Outcasts - Turn 3
Powerful counter attack!

The whole regiment and battle standard bearer perish!
Sea Guard on the North kept fighting hoping that the Swordmasters will finally help them. They held this time but they also knew they have to keep fighting a little bit longer.

The shooters aimed at the marauders and destroyed one unit entirely. Then the ground started to shake as elven cavalry picked up the momentum to charge the enemy.

First Ellyrian Reavers attacked the exposed flank of a wounded Spawn and killed the abomination. Next, their companions charged the ogres to distract them but the brutes were again unnerved by the way elves hunted down chaotic minions and fled. This time, however, they also panicked some horsemen too.

Finally, Dragon Princes stormed into the rear rank of the Warriors of Tzeentch, while Larry the Loremaster led his White Lions to the flank of their foe. One of the Nobles gulped his potion and he hit with unnatural strength. However, weaver of fates protected his children and their magical aura of protection deflected the hits! Despite that, the attack was so powerful that even Warriors of Chaos could not hold against it and were run down in pursuit, their battle standard held high as a trophy.

Warriors of Tzeentch - Turn 4
Chaos General reaches daemonhood!
Or not? :(

Sea Guard once more holds against charioteers and it is sure now that they will be relieved. Chaos Lord charges White Lions and their Loremaster. The Lions carry the general into safety but they are a little too eager and move way too far. The ignored marauders waited for such an opportunity and promptly attacked the Elves who had no option but to flee the battle!

(Edit: I suffered fro tunnel vision here and moved Lions before I reconsidered the consequences. Or maybe I rolled all too well for the flee! :) It was indeed a grievous mistake and well done to Spencer for punishing me for such a stupidity!)

The Chaos Lord smoothly redirected and hit the disciplined ranks of the Swordmasters. Bladelord stepped up to call the challenge and the Chaos Lord was more than happy to accept. He killed the brave Elf and shortly after his form started to change and grow. A daemonic shape started to shimmer in the air but then something broke the spell and Chaos Lord disappeared!

(Edit: Spencer rolled for Eye of the Gods table and got double 6's! It meant his Lord turned into a Daemon Prince! Spencer passed the leadership test and ... announced he does not have the model so he is taking off the Lord as a casualty. :( According to the rules the Lord is removed as a casualty anyway but lack of the Daemon Prince model was unfortunate. Apparently Spencer has never had a similar situation. but he showed a great sportsmanship and accepted the loss without regret. I had 5 fantastic games against great opponents but this behaviour is something others should take example of. I was happy to give a vote for Spencer as a best sport and he actually won that award too! Well done, Spencer! Totally deserved! )

Outcasts - Turn 4
Elves regroup

After violent confrontation in the South, the attention of the Elven warriors was drawn to the North, were the remaining units of the enemy were still intact. Swordmasters managed to rescue Sea Guard in the last possible moment. The shooters killed some Ogres while fast cavalry in the South hunted down few marauder horsemen.

Warriors of Tzeentch - Turn 5

Last attempt to charge by Ogres
Not this time!
Chaos Ogres tried to charge the nearest Elven unit but they just could not make it. Would Elven cavalry take an opportunity to counter charge?

Outcasts - Turn 5
Heavy cavalry charge again!

Proud Dragon Princes level their lances one more time and charge the Ogres. They win the combat and break the enemy but cannot catch them down yet. However, the only survivors of the chaos army don't rally and are soon run down by pursuing Dragon Princes. Warriors of Tzeentch are utterly destroyed!


Turn-by-turn animation summary
After-battle thoughts

I must admit I would have never expected to win by destroying the entire army of Chaos Warriors. They are really tough opponent and I would take any victory over them any time! I thought I am in even bigger trouble when Spencer rolled a 6 to seize the initiative. There were a few things that helped me to win this game fore sure!

1. The fact that Chaos Lord not only missed Sea Guard but could not see any target after defeating White Lions helped enormously. I could hold the Northern flank long enough for the Swordmasters to arrive. Not to mention the fact I could put my BSB to safer place. It was a mistake to charge with Swordmasters against the marauders, however and I should have position them better (so that they could counter immediately).

2. Some crucial panic checks were failed, notably by Ogres and that was a relieve. They could not support the warriors or storm through the centre of my battle line. I guess the fact they were out of range of BSB was a mistake here.

3. Daemonhood! - I got some bonus points for the enemy general which balanced out my very stupid mistake with fleeing Loremaster  #-o However, if Spencer had a model, I would have suffered some more casualties. On the other hand I was hoping to contain that beast with fire proof armour and either Dragon princes or one of the nobles could have held him. In fact, I should have accepted that challenge with the noble in the first place!

I was very happy with the result of the game but I am still sure there were things I could have done better. First, BSB should have started with archers as I knew the North is going to be under pressure. I didn't know what is going to show up in reserves, if anything, but I should have anticipated the danger.

I have mentioned the relative positioning of the Lions and Swordmasters. I could have stopped the enemy in a better way.

I am not sure if I positioned DP's correctly. I guess not really because they blocked each other. Initially I wanted to charge 2 marauder horsemen with the first heavy cavalry unit and make way for the second to hit the rear of the enemy. But I had no space to wheel. That was what we checked during the game. However, I missed the opportunity as I could have wheeled from another side and make contact with 2 marauders. I had a chance to defeat them and then overrun into the combat achieving the destruction of 2 fast enemy units in one go.

Having said that I was very happy I managed to spot the opportunity and charge warriors with enough units to break them on the charge. Some good magic/shooting also helped to achieve some local advantage. With 17-3 victory and 3 wins after day 1 I was sure to face another tough challenge and some voice whispered that I should check what Mr. Kholek can do :)

I would like to take that opportunity and once again thank Spencer for fantastic game. I cannot stress out enough how great opponent he is. Spencer, that was a great privilege to meet you and to play against you. Well done on that Best Sport award and I am sure next time we meet you will get the upper hand!

Thanks for reading! :)

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