Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Game 118 - Dwarves - 2014/08/25


I had an opportunity to play against my friend in the local store. I discovered the fact I had one nearby by pure chance and it happened that they are open longer on Thursdays so we decided to give it a go. Especially that they have some tables ready.

Me and my friend often met at tournaments but we played against each other only once. He wanted to test his new Dwarves as he was intrigued by the new book. He had a force comprised almost entirely of old school models, with only a single new regiment. I don't remember all the details at the moment but hopefully I will get them soon.

Dwarves - Army List

Runesmith, General, Shield, Rune of Spellbreaking, Rune of Furnace
Runesmith, Shield, Rune of Spellbreaking
BSB, 2 x Rune of Iron, Rune of Might

20 Longbeards, Full Command, Rune of Stubbornness :)
17 Thunderers, Shields, Full Command
15 Miners, Full Command, Steam Drill

23 Ironbreakers, Full Command
10 Irondrakes, Full Command

Gyrocopter, Vanguard
Organ Gun, Rune of Accuracy, Rune of Furnace
Organ Gun, Rune of Accuracy
Grudge Thrower, Rune of Accuracy, Rune of Forging

As usual, let's have a closer look at the opponent's army:

Runesmiths - They add a little magic protection, against single caster two runes of spell breaking will be very useful. In fact, they are useful regardless but what I mean is that Larry the Loremaster may have some tough challenge with forcing his spells through. Against my army armor piercing might not be that useful but it is always good to have it.

BSB - I don't remember his equipment at the moment. He might have been equipped with defensive equipment and re-rolls to Ld10 are going to make these units really hard to shift. He might be target number 1 for some spirit leach spells as with his re-rolls he may prevent the enemies from running away and that may be crucial.

Engineers - They are there for the Organ Guns. Extremely useful. Re-rolls to artillery dice are golden. Then they add their BS4 to the war machine. Which means that Organ Gun becomes even more deadly, hitting on 2+ on short range and 3+ on long range thanks to higher BS and rune of accuracy. On top of that they can also entrench these war machines! What not to like? It will be hard choice between targeting these guys or their war machines but I would need to do something to eliminate them. Hopefully I would be able to get some units in combat with them.

Longbeards - tough unit number 1. They are not that well armored as ironbreakers but they are the hammer of the army with great weapons. As they are also stubborn they would probably need to be killed to a Dwarf as ld10 in proximity to general and bsb would not see them running. At the same time they can do some damage even if they have only one attack each. I believe, however, that given the chance I can win against them if I can attack them from two directions. I did it before and I know they can be defeated but to do that I need to isolate them and then attack them early enough to have time to grind them down.

Thunderers - Good shooters but quite well protected too, especially with their shield wall formation. Can be versatile and be used as shooters but also as a small anvil. Easier to defeat but as any other Dwarven unit, they need to be attacked by few units at once.

Miners - small unit with the drill and great weapons can be helpful if arrives in time and shows up close enough to add their numbers to any combat. May be used to attack from behind too but fortunately, with no old anvil, they cannot charge at the same time. Still, cannot be ignored and I needed to move anticipating where they might show up to take that into account.

Ironbreakers - tough units number 2. Even better armored but hitting with S4 only. With runesmith among them I still don't get armor saves though. Proper anvil and great in a team with Longbeards. I haven't played against new Ironbreakers yet so I was looking for the chance to fight them. Again, need to be isolated and attacked from many directions. I am afraid I might not have enough time to do so hence I needed to see which of the units is going to be a better option during the game.

Irondrakes - very good unit for sure but due to flaming attacks I had a chance to eliminate them if I could attack them with Dragon Princes. Or at least tie them down so that they don't shoot at any other regiment. They are well armored and with the rune of slowness it might be quite tricky to get into combat with them in the first place!

Gyrocopter - this little bugger is always annoying even more so when vanguarding. My small units are vulnerable to flame template attacks and I would need to make sure it is not diverting my regiments from the crucial charges. Shooting target number one!

Organ guns - I have mentioned their accuracy when talking about engineers and I expected heavy casualties from them. Magic missiles would be my weapon against them as regular shooting was significantly limited due to entrenchments. Small helpers such as Iceshard Blizzard or Miasma was also good against them. I hoped I would be able to get to them with my fast regiments quickly and at least tie them down in combat.

Grudge Thrower - seems to be less dangerous than Organ Gun but again, accurate and can reach further. Depending on the positioning I will try to get it too as dwarven war machines are actually expensive and it is good to hunt them down for that purpose too.

In general I expected a tight phalanx of troops, guarding each other. Good mixture of shooting and combat abilities, also for shooters and against my small units meant I had to do something to:

1. Arrive to combat in numbers that matter
2. Divide the units to be able to attack them from many sides at the same time.

In order to do that I wanted to:

1. Eliminate gyrocopter
2. Tie or eliminate organ guns as soon as possible
3. approach the enemy from different directions to force the unit to split up

My list hasn't changed from the last game and here it is for the reference:

Outcasts - Army List

Larry the Loremaster, Earthing Rod, Dragon Helm, Talisman of Endurance
Bob the BSB, Dragon Armor, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Shield of the Merwyrm, Ring of Fury
Nasher the Noble, Dragon Armor, Barded Steed, Enchanted Shield, Star Lance, The Other Trickster Shard

15 Archers, Full Command
15 Sea Guard, Full Command
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Spears, Bows
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Spears, Bows

5 Dragon Princes, Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame
5 Dragon Princes, Musician
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician
10 Swordmasters, Bladelord, Musician
10 White Lions, Musician, Standard of Discipline
10 White Lions, Musician, Gleaming Pennant
5 Shadow Warriors

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
Great Eagle
5 Sisters of Avelorn

Dwarven Phalanx versus Elven thin blue line

Deployment of the armies after vanguard

My friend deployed centrally with Organ Guns guarding the flanks. I spotted the opportunity, however, as he grouped Irondrakes and Organ Gun with flaming attacks on the same flank so I decided to move Dragon Princes with the mounted noble there. They would attack that flank as they had a chance to ward off the flaming attacks and hit the war machine and irondrakes before they did more damage.

The fact that another Organ Gun deployed on the other flank had some advantages but also disadvantages. It was good position because it allowed to shoot at many targets. Either approaching through the middle or on the flanks. But again, it was exposed and I wanted to used that. I already placed two fast units there and redeployed second fast cavalry to help too.

I wanted to move in the cover of the forest to the right and use it, hopefully, as a place to draw Dwarves into a trap as they would not count their ranks in the woods. Of course my opponent knew about it but if I rolled the flank quick and at the same time pose a threat from that direction I thought I might force him to make some difficult decisions.

Kaleb, my opponent, won the roll off and his was first turn!

Dwarves - Turn 1
Dwarves move towards the Elves
And open fire!

Dwarven phalanx steamrolled towards the elven lines while pilot of the gyrocopter flew over the heads of the enemies and dropped his bombs. Fortunately for elves, they didn't do any damage. On the other hand, the regiments who were too eager or to careless were quickly punished for that mistake. Both organ guns opened fire and unit of sisters disintegrated while see guard lost the rank.

Even White Lions were hit by a huge boulder and only their lion cloaks prevented further casualties.

Outcasts - Turn 1
Elven bows are turned into anti-aircraft weapons!

Gyro goes down!

Even a lonely gyrocpoter can be a threat so sea guard and archers turned their attention towards that danger. Bob the BSB produced magical ring that emitted a beam of sun bright light and it looked like it is going to destroy Dwarven gyrocopter all by itself but the aircraft still hovered in the air while to Bob's disappointment the cheap imitation of the real Ring of Fury was a one use item only. (Edit: I rolled double 6 to cast it and then out of 9 hits hot 1 wound :)).

Larry the Loremaster laughed at these efforts and decided to show how it is done but after casting the spell from treacherous shadow magic he simply ... forgot it! That was quite pathetic display of magic and Dwarves had new reasons to laugh at puny Elves!

Eagle Claw crew, Archers and Sea Guard had to combine their efforts to destroy what magic could not and this time brave but reckless pilot was pierced by the arrows and his gyrocopter crashed to the ground.

In the meantime, infantry regiments formed defensive formation behind the woods while cavalry moved fast on the flanks to silence the deadly organ guns.

Dwarves - Turn 2
Main regiments move through the center
Organ guns are busy on the flanks
Organ gun crew shoots at the heavy cavalry in the forest and the woods do not offer much of a protection. Two knights fall down and the rest need to move away from the danger as the cannonade spooked their horses!

On the other flank, irondrakes and organ gun try to kill some of the dragon princes but their dragon armor proves solid and only one is unhorsed. Thunderers try to aim at White Lions but can't score much while Grudge Thrower misses this time.

Outcasts - Turn 2
Shadow Warriors scout the forest

Cavalry attacks on the flanks

Shadow Warriors scout the forest and quickly find out it is a wild wood so other regiments are advised not to enter. Luckily for the elven scouts only one of them went missing.

Elven cavalry charges on both flanks but the attack does not go well. On the left reavers fail to reach the engineer while on the right dragon princes lose 2 knights due to deadly stand and shoot and one in combat. Instead of easy victory they are now locked in combat.

Dwarves - Turn 3

Miners arrive!

Organ gun claims another unit

Using the opportunity, organ gun crew on the left opens fire at another unit of the elven cavalry and this time entire fast cavalry dies. Unfortunately, grudge thrower experiences very rare malfunction and breaks beyond repair!

The regiments in the center seem to be confused as how to approach and don't advance much, only changing the formation to cover all flanks.

Dragon Princes held against Irondrakes but they desperately needed help now.

Outcasts - Turn 3
Elves charge again
Archers guard the rear

Elves try to attack on the flanks again. Reavers make it to the combat against engineer on the left but although they wound him, he refuses to flee.

On the right White Lions led by Larry the Loremaster himself charge into the flank of the Irondrakes. It looks like dwarven unit is overwhelmed but elves do not hit with usual efficiency and Dwarves hold their ground.

Archers reform swiftly and shoot at approaching miners, killing a few! They got ready for incoming charge too.

Dwarves - Turn 4
Irondrakes break

But organ gun eliminates 3rd unit!

Miners charge the archers but these must be some Swordmasters in training as no less than four Dwarvs lie dead. Some Archers are killed too but Dwarves lose combat regardless. Being Dwarves they refuse to admit it and keep fighting.

Irondrakes finally break and elven units pursue into organ gun and engineer respectively.

Before that, both organ guns managed to open fire and Dragon Princes on the left were destroyed while Swordmasters on the right lost entire rank.

Outcasts - Turn 4
Archers break the miners!

Stubborn Dwarven crews!

Elves were slowed down on both flanks by Dwarven artillery. On the left the lone eagle could not break the Dwarves but at least kept them busy. On the right the crew and engineer survived the attack and kept fighting!

Only the Archers kept fighting like true warriors and this time they broke the miners and chased them away.

Dwarves - Turn 5
Right flank clear

Left is still fighting

Finally the units on the right managed to destroy Dwarven artillery and turned towards the exposed flank of Dwarven Thunderers.

Dwarves, surprisingly were very static all the time and kept their formation close despite combats on both flanks. Would that stubbornness be the right choice?

Outcasts - Turn 5
Thunderers hold the flank!
Reavers attack the organ gun

Elves keep pressing on the flank, their advance is slow but not entirely stopped. Larry and Lions charge the exposed flank of the Thunderers but they don't kill many and Dwarves hold the line.

On the left Reavers charge the Organ Gun but still can't defeat it!

Dwarves - Turn 6

Finally Longbeards charge through the treacherous woods, losing a few warriors and still not making it towards the elven lines. Brave organ gun crew is finally defeated but the reavers and eagle are too far to contribute to the fight any more.

Thunderers still hold the flank but it seems they will be doomed as elves approach from both sides.

Outcasts - Turn 6
Last charges!

Brave thunderers are attack from 3 sides and this time cannot hold any longer and are run down in pursuit.

Swordmasters charge through the woods at exposed Longbeards. Wild forest claims warriors on both sides. Dwarven runesmith is attacked by 5 Swordmasters but his armor saves him! Then the rest of the warriors of Hoeth fail to land proper blows and only 3 longbeards were sent to meet their ancestors. In revenge, many Swordmasters die. Single survivor from the left unit flees and the rightmost regiment holds only thanks to encouragements of the nearby BSB.

Elves managed to win a bloody victory but two elite regiments of the Dwarven army escorted their ancestral banner to the safety.


 photo output_2b3tMd_zpserdivgyj.gif
Turn-by-turn summary animation

After-battle thoughts

The start of the game didn't profess the victory. I made mistakes in the deployment and paid for that. In the hindsight, I should have deployed further (don't know why I didn't check all the regiments, I guess I fooled myself by thinking that the organ guns would be on the hill) South. I also think that both units of heavy cavalry should have been on the right flank while eagle and ravers would attack left flank, in a more coordinated fashion.

Second mistake was to deploy without second line and allow gyro to land behind my back. Luckily, I managed to shot it down but in a single magic phase Larry lost level and his magic was countered easily while Bob lost his ring and I could not use it against the organ gun for example.

When I got to combat my units had to fight way longer to break through the enemy. Only thanks to the fact my opponent didn't push more aggressively, I had enough time to defeat them anyway.

Wild wood completely stalled my advance. I didn't want to risk moving my small units there and lose significant number of warriors before the combat started. I did want to lure my opponent to fight there as forest negates steadfast. However, he was not eager to do so and the units spent more time staring at each other rather than fighting.

I was very pleased with the archers who fought perfectly against miners. At the same time, the last charge of the Swordmasters was a disappointment. Out of 5 attacks at Runsemith there was only a single wound. Out of 13 (I think) attacks against Longbeards I wounded only 3 times. Where I hit on 3+ and wounded on 3+ with no armor save. In return, also because of hatred, I lost too many of them and I was lucky that second regiment held on a re-roll although the odds were against me.

I didn't think I can break Longbeards because they were stubborn and had bsb nearby. But that last fight could have been good show at the end of the game but it was not to be.

I think that Kaleb started very well and he should have pressed hard without hesitation. I lost too many units on the left flank and the rest was delayed or not that dangerous. The regiments at the rear, Archers and Sea Guard were occupied by miners and I had only 4 units to keep his 3 busy. That shows I need to come up with a better plan and faster attacks to be able to overwhelm even Dwarven infantry with the attacks from 3 directions.

It was a very enjoyable game and I am looking forward to the opportunity to have a re-match!

Thanks for reading!

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