Sunday, 7 June 2015

Game 95 - Daemons of Chaos - 2014/01/19

Game 2 - Daemons of Chaos - Adam - Battle Line

In round 2 I was pitched against a very good friend of mine, Adam. We have already played against each other a few times but I think we haven't done so at a tournament yet. Adam has a selection of a few armies and this time he decided to play with very soft daemonic force (at least according to the Swedish Comp of 18!)

Daemons of Chaos - Army List

Daemon Prince of Nurgle, Chaos Armour, Daemonic Flight, 2 x Lesser Gift
Herald of Tzeentch - Lore of Metal
Herald of Nurgle - Lore of Death

10 Horrors, Musician, Standard
16 Horrors, FC
17 Plague Bearers, Musician, Standard of Discipline
5 Furies of Nurgle
5 Flesh Hounds, Ambush

4 Screamers
Burning Chariot
Exalted Seeker Chariot
Exalted Seeker Chariot
5 Seekers
, Musician, standard

Definitely unusual DoC army. It is a mixture of fast units in the form of Slaaneshi troops and more defensive tzeentch regiments backed up by some plague bearers. Fast units would want to get into combat quickly. In particular chariots as they are the most deadly in the charge (2d6 impact hits, even at S4 are going to hurt!). But also a Daemon Prince is probably safer when engaged in hand to hand as nothing can shoot at him.

On the other hand, horrors, plague bearers and to an extend burning chariot, would rather stay behind and engulf my units in some warpflames. I presumed then that Adam will want to move on one flank with his fast and combat orientated units while the centre would be controlled by the infantry, ready to lend support, in particular in the form of some plague bearers.

The fact that not entire army was so fast gave me some hope. There is a danger the forces can be separated. While chariots and Daemon Prince are tough opponents then horrors can be relatively easily destroyed in close combat. Even more important due to the fact they are wizards and generate power/dispel dice by channelling. 4 attempts per turn plus all the nasty spells from Metal and Death can create quite a potent magic phase.

I must admit I was concerned with the chariots. They are extremely fast, have 8 wounds and have tons of attacks! If I don't charge them first and with something that can withstand some grinding then I was looking at very dangerous units. I noticed, however, that they have a very wide frontage. That meant they would be more easy to divert. My plan was then to delay them as much as possible and hopefully inflict a few wounds before charging them.

Deployment of armies after vanguard

Refused flank formation adopted by High Elves

Before we started Adam rolled for gifts for his Deamon Prince who got: Sword of Swift Slaying, Skill Swallower

His wizards had the following spells:

10 Horrors - Blue Fire of Tzeentch
15 Horrors - Blue Fire of Tzeentch
Herald of Tzeentch - Searing Doom, Glittering Robe
Herlad of NurgleLore of Death

Adam won the roll off for the first turn and Daemons moved to claim some elven souls!

Daemons of Chaos - Turn 1
Daemons separate their forces

Deamon Prince orders his minions to move forward but leaves half of the army to remain stationary and blast the elves from afar. He commands the assault forces himself while the defensive groups are left under the leadership of heralds.

One of the shadow warriors is consumed by the magical fire but his companions found their skin mutate and gain some regenerative effects. On the other hand, Sisters of Avelorn were less lucky and only a single survivor remained from one of their groups.

Winds of magic raged and magical protection daemons wore as a cloak was even tougher now.

Outcasts - Turn 1
Elves move forward!

Early attack on the Eastern Flank

Elven army moved forward towards static and seemingly less dangerous group of daemons on the Western flank. Seekers were hiding in the woods but that didn't save them from mass elven archery and fouls Slaaneshi daemons were banished from that dimension.

On the East, charioteers didn't hesitate and charged in. But despite the powerful impact of the attack and stabs of spears, Daemon Prince was unscathed, his magical protective aura deflecting all the blows. One of the chariots could not keep their terrified horses in control and had to pull out.

Daemons of Chaos - Turn 2
Daemons attempt to attack

But High Elves withdraw

Daemons counter attack on the East. Furies chase away one of the chariots and then redirect to help Daemon Prince to finish off the remaining one.

One of the seeker chariots attempts to charge Dragon Princes who withdraw. But nearby lions misunderstood the situation and withdrew as well, thinking there is a change of plans and a redraw of the army formation.

On the West, now exposed Reavers are the target for the Burning Chariot but the survivors hold their ground.

Outcasts - Turn 2
High Elves redress their ranks

And use magic and shooting to fight their enemies from afar!

Elven units need to redress their ranks and do it swiftly, reforming into new, double line formation. The shooters focus on the burning chariot and manage to get it down. Some burning arrows (or magic missiles?) are directed at plague bearers too.

On the East fast troops move to position to slow down the enemy advance there and to keep the foe's army separated.

Daemons of Chaos - Turn 3
Another attempt of an attack by daemons

And another avoidance manoeuver by High Elves

Furies chase away an eagle that opens a path towards the Swordmasters protecting the general. Seeing a threat in the form of a Seeker Chariot, warriors of Hoeth withdraw and take their Loremaster to the safety. The advance of the Elven army is effectively stalled but daemons attack is slowed down too.

Outcasts - Turn 3
Delaying manoeuvers on the East

Is that an Elven Castle?

Ellyrian Reavers on the East form a thin line to block the daemonic chariots from getting any closer. At the same time the main army formation crated a rectangle and attacked daemons with shooting and magic again. Half of the horrors on the Western flank perished while the Screamers, on the South, also suffered heavy casualties, with only a single floating daemon remaining.

Daemons of Chaos - Turn 4
Surprisingly Daemons do not engage on the East
Flesh Hounds finally arrive!

Surprisingly only Furies are sent to fight the elves and even they fail to defeat their opponents. One chariot and Daemon Prince consolidate to form a single battle line with the rest of the army. Second chariot moves to keep the lions in check.

Finally, ambushing Hounds appear at the rear of the elven formation. The faith of the eagle claw seems to be sealed.

Outcasts - Turn 4
Elves reform to meet new threat

And keep destroying daemons from the distance

Silver Helms attempt to charge the horrors but cannot get through the forest in time. Instead, the daemons are shot down and only a single one remains now. Also seeker chariot is a target and suffers a few wounds. Despite that, a great eagle lands in front of it to prevent any charges against elven regiments.

Daemons of Chaos - Turn 5
Last attempt to attack by Daemonic Legion

Elves are forced to withdraw again

Daemons push for the last time to attack the Elves. Flesh Hounds easily destroy the eagle claw and get ready to receive the charge of avenging Lions.

There is some magical disturbance, a powerful feedback that destroys a handful of plaguebearers. But if it was caused by the miscast on herald of nurgle behalf or if it was a plan of Tzeentch himself, no one can tell.

Seeker chariot on the East also attempts to charge Lions and then Reavers but both units withdraw.

Outcasts - Turn 5
Elves finish the battle with a blast!

Edit: At this point we had to quickly finish the game so it is quite possible I got a few things off. Apologies in advance for any inconsistencies.

Seizing the opportunity Elves deal a powerful blow to their daemonic enemy. Lions charge furiously and win over Flesh Hounds but the dogs of Khorne are not yet entirely defeated.

Last of the horrors is destroyed and only a single plague bearer remains on the field. Even one of the chariots is totally destroyed. And then, Larry the Loremaster stepped in. He summoned the powers of the winds of magic in one unstoppable spell. Light magic proved to be the bane of any daemons and their general was not an exception. In a huge blast of magical energies, the Daemon Prince was banished to the warp.

With that last heroic act, the daemons, now leaderless and feeling their connection to the real world weakening, withdrew from the battlefield.

High Elves were victorious!

 photo output_k4ikO9_zpsbgewlio3.gif
Turn-by-turn animation summary
 After-Battle Thoughts

It was a tough game and I was very happy to pull out the win. Adam as always is a great pleasure to play against and I hope he also had fun. We discussed briefly after the game and we agreed he should have been more aggressive, in particular with his chariots. I am not sure why he restrained himself so much. He should have attacked all the blocking units to make sure they were destroyed. At the same time I think his infantry should advance too simply to provide extra pressure and force me to fight on 2 fronts.

While I was very happy with the outcome and in particular with that boosted Burning Gaze last turn (2d6 S6 hits for the win!) there were a few things I didn't do well.

People often say fleeing is a great thing and MSU armies absolutely must do it. I disagree and that game is a good example. I didn't advance in a good order and kept exposing my units to the chariots (damn their M10!). Yes, I fled and yes that slowed down their advance. But it also ruined any plans I had for engaging Adam's unprotected infantry units. Even in one-on-one combats they were at a disadvantage. And I was not there to do so!

The reason I fled with an eagle was that I wanted to force the movement of one chariot to block the other. But I didn't position my Swordmasters well and they were still visible so that after that flee move chariot could still redirect.

I am not sure if I should have held with Dragon Princes or not. I was not in a good position to support them if they held (lions were the only unit available). If I didn't the chariot would have rolled my army. Again, bad positioning and as a consequence - ruined plan to advance.

Fortunately I had some tools to do the damage from afar and that helped enormously. A pity we didn't have time for turn 6. AS in the first game there were some significant points to be taken. While one way to secure that is to try and speed up my moves I also wonder if I should not start with more aggressive approach instead.

Final score: 13.35 - 6.65
Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Fleeing is tricky to utilize correctly. It is a valid technique in my opinion and important to use, but it becomes easy to flee too much and poor positioning can lead to panic checks. A good opponent will be able to see a "flee trap" from a mile away so it's best to try to make it a damned if you do or damned if you don't scenario.

    One thing that can be helpful is to force a charge. For example, you have a chariot across the field, with dragon princes set up across from them with an eagle behind them at whatever angle you want and a unit (SM or WL) ready to assist. If he doesn't charge, you charge with the DPs which is good. If he charges, you hold and either stay in combat with help coming or break. If you break, they have to overrun into the eagle which sets up a juicy counter charge for you, or hold and reform which still gives you the charge with the nearby unit. Anytime you get to charge a chariot, things are usually going well. It can be tricky to set up, but works surprisingly well. Making it to where you know exactly where an opponent will end up is a key to great play. Same goes for denying fliers landing spots. You limit where your opponent can move making it more likely that you can accurately predict his placement. Just something I've been thinking about. I want to get better at knowing exactly what my opponent will do once I end my turn. Very difficult but something to strive for!