Wednesday 8 July 2015

Game 124 - Lizardmen - 2014/12/17

Game 2 - Anthony - Lizardmen - Battle Line

Game two was simple Battle Line and this time I had a chance to play against a warhammer veteran, Anthony and his unique Lizardmen. My pictures do not show these fantastic miniatures properly so trust my word that it was beautifully painted army. Anthony told me he bought it painted like that already and it was a pleasure to admire the look of it across the table.

As I said the army was unique and here are the details:

Lizardmen - Army List

Oldblood, Great Weapon, Shield, Talisman of Preservation, Dragon Helm, Dawnstone, Carnosaur, Loping Stride, Blood Roar - 492
Skink Priest, Dispel Scroll - Lore of Beast - 90
Scar Veteran, Cold One, Great Weapon, BSB, Armor of Destiny - 179
Tetto'Ekko - 185 - Lore of Heavens
Skink Chief, Ripperdactyl, Light Armor, Javelin, Egg of Quango, Dragonbane Gem, Enchanted Shield - 124

21 Skink Cohort, Standard, Musician, Kroxigor - 175
21 Skink Cohort, Standard, Musician, Kroxigor - 175
21 Skink Cohort, Standard, Musician, Kroxigor - 175

12 Skink Skirmishers, Javelins, Shields - 84
6 Ripperdactyls - 240
6 Cold Ones, Musician, Standard - 224
3 Terradons - 105
Bastiladon with Solar Engine - 150

Swedish Comp: 15.9

This army has a lot of potential and can be very fast and hard hitting. It just emerged from the victorious fight against MSU Daemons with 3 units of Bloodcrushers and 2 units of Flies among others. So I knew I am up to a challenge for sure. Let's have a closer look at what it has among its ranks:

Oldblood - These guys are really tough. With basic T5 they are hard to wound even for my harder hitting regiments. In addition, the general of the Lizardmen army has 1+ armor save against shooting, 2+ against close combat attacks, re-rollable in both cases and 4+ ward on top of that. Not to mention 2++ against flaming attacks. With S7 due to great weapon and Predatory Fighter special rule that character alone can do a lot of damage. His mount, however, is also very dangerous. Carnosaur is not often seen on the battle field but it is quite fast beast and with S7 and D3 wounds rule it can do a lot of damage too. Might be more vulnerable to other attacks though so it would be a good idea to try and take a few wounds from it. Even if I could kill the Carnosaur but not Oldblood (so no points for it) I would do it as pedestrian Oldblood is much easier to contain.

Frenzy might be a way to divert it from chosen prey but I would need to allow it to go into combat in the first place. On the other hand, Bloodroar means taking terror tests on 3d6 and discarding the lowest which means it can scare away some units before they even fight.

Scar Veteran - Another tough character to deal with as I had an opportunity to learn many times, not so long ago when playing against Hinge's Three Amigos for example. He is not as well protected as Oldblood but his high toughness, good armor and ward save can see him through many attacks. As he is vulnerable to single shots from bolt throwers, however, I expected him to join cold ones rather than running solo.

Tetto'ekko - boy but I hate this guy :) His ability to allow d3 units to vanguard is a massive advantage. This particular army then has a potential to vanguard up to 6 regiments! Now that is huge. In addition, that little bugger is also Loremaster of Heavens that is a powerful weapon against my units. Also the fact I had two flying characters made it more dangerous. Would be great to hunt him down but I expected a lot of trouble from this one.

Skink Priest - probably just a Dispel Scroll carrier but Wyssan Wildform can transform formidable Cold One Cavalry into even more dangerous unit.

Skink Chief - quite annoying character, mainly due to his magical Egg. He can of course inflict some damage on his own as he is quite well protected. The fact there are two units of fast cavalry to hide behind may make the task to hunt him down with shooting more difficult but I hoped to use Heavens Magic to good effect here.

Skink Cohorts - it is actually a very interesting type of a unit. It is quite fragile but it can be crucial in dealing wounds to something big but not well protected thanks to poisonous javelins. These weapons are also good thanks to the fact they don't have penalty to hit for movement and you can always stand and shoot with them. Their 5+ armor and 6++ parry can be handy too. On top of that they cause fear due to the presence of Kroxigor that also provides some nice S7 attacks to the regiment. Far from invincible they provide nice options for shooting and combat too.

Skink Skirmishers - More maneuverable version of the Cohort without the Kroxigor so purely for some shooting and diverting activities.

Ripperdactyls - They can hit very hard, in particular against nominated target with d3 frenzy and re-rolls to hit. S4 and killing blow is also powerful combination. In addition there are 6 of them and with skirmishing formation it will not be that easy to shoot them down while they still have enough attacks left to hurt my units. At the same time they are vulnerable enough and each one down makes life easier. They also have big footprint that makes it difficult to find landing zone for them. I think I would have preferred two units instead of one big. Again, flying target should be perfect for heavens magic. The combination of Frenzy and Ld5 even with coldblooded rule can create an opportunity to draw them out of the formation.

Cold One Cavalry - as I have learned before these guys can comfortable take the charge from any of my units and hit back hard. They add nicely to the range of hard hitting units, they are quite fast too. With addition of BSB they can be even more dangerous but fortunately, they don't fly so there is a way to stop them.

Terradons - not hitting as hard as ripperdactyls they are more controllable though. And can be very good at destroying war machines or finishing off stragglers. Not a priority among other targets but I would try to hunt them down if possible.

Bastiladon - I treat them as Lizardmen version of a chariot. It is well armored and while it does not hit hard on its own the solar engine makes it more dangerous. I don't like its random effect it has on the target. In general, it has potential to even destroy any of my units and that takes away precious dispel dice. Fortunately nobles, elite infantry or heavy cavalry all have a chance to hunt it down.

This army hits hard, is very fast but can be fragile. I guess the good option would be to go aggressively against skinks as that reduces the amount of units where tetto'ekko can hide. It also gives away some points and I need to earn some in the meantime as I know I would lose a few units fast.


Deployment of both armies

Before vanguard

After Vanguard

As expected, skin priest chose Wyssan's Wildform while Elven Archmage had: Convergence, Curse, Thunderbolt, Chainlightning

Lizardmen deployed first so with +1 to roll off they got their first turn. It is also worth noting that Spearelves got the attention of Ripperdactyls and they would have extra frenzy against this particular Elven unit.

Lizardmen - Turn 1
Lizardmen advance fast

Especially on the Western flank

Taking advantage of massive vanguard moves, Lizardmen army seized the initiative and rushed on the Western flank, pressing hard against Elven infantry deployed there. Fortunately for Elves, magical powers of Tetto'Ekko revealed themselves only in the form of predicting where his units should go and no additional celestial object hit the battle field.

In the center, skink cohort took advantage of the opening in the Elven battle line and finished off a crew of a eagle claw before they managed to shoot their deadly bolts.

Outcasts - Turn 1
Fast cavalry tries to delay Lizardmen advance
Heavy cavalry counter-attacks

Dragon Princes didn't wait any longer and decided to charge Skink cohort. Their main target was huge Kroxigor and they killed the beast before it managed to swing its huge weapon. A few more skinks were trampled and the unit broke only to be run down by elven knights. The momentum of the charge took them far enough to avoid the attention of nearby bastiladon too.

Their companions baited another cohort so that they could take the charge and hold long enough to other regiments to counter attack. On the opposite flank light cavalry tried to block Carnosaur while infantry re-arranged their formation before inevitable attack.

Lizardmen - Turn 2

The powerful attack of Lizardmen shock troops hit home. Reavers were unable to keep their horses still when Carnosaur roared and fled to safety, further chased down by skink chief. That opened the path to Spearelves who bravely held their formation. Unfortunately, the sacrifice of a captain went for nothing as Ripperdactyls themselves went berserk and killed many Elves and survivors broke to be run down by both, Lizardmen fast cavalry and their general. (Edit: 3d6 Terror test is a wonderful weapon. Then rolling well on d3 for special frenzy combined with re-rolls to hit ensured I lost the rank and was not steadfast anymore. I just wish I rolled better to kill more than 1.5 ripperdactyl with 16 attacks of mine.)

The situation was not better on the East. Dragon Princes took the charge as planned but could not hit the skinks at all and the Kroxigor unhorsed 3 knights with a single blow of his axe. It was too much for remaining knights and they fled the battle while cohort followed them in pursuit.

That was hard blow for Elves as not only they lost 3 regiments but the enemy were temporarily out of the battle field and could not have been counter attacked properly.

Outcasts - Turn 2
Elves fight back
Advance through the weak center

Using the opportunity that impetus Lizardmen troops opened, the Elves attack weaker Lizardmen center and start the hunt for Tetto'Ekko. Swordmasters smash skirmishers but are unable to catch them. The rest of the units reposition themselves and prepare counter attack.

Shooting takes life of a few skinks guarding Tetto'ekko but a single bolt from eagle claw misses its target - skink chief on ripperdactyl.

Lizardmen - Turn 3
Frenzied Lizardmen are back
Elves seem to be surrounded
General of the Lizardmen army was back and some of his troops returned too. The rest of the army started surrounding of the Elven troops from all sides. Terradons killed all but 1 Swordmaster with their rocks. But other than that shooting and magic are uneventful and Elves are going to have their chance to fight their way through the encirclement. However, Tetto'Ekko and skink priest managed to abandon their skink cohort just in time to avoid combat.

Outcasts - Turn 3
Break through
Coordinated attack against two Lizardmen units

Dragon Princes and Lions charge from both sides and skink cohort does not stand a chance. Survivors are quickly caught in pursuit, even if that means the knights lost 2 of their number due to treacherous terrain. That stopped their pursuit just in front of Tett'Ekko hiding in the forest.

Swordmasters, led by BSB charged bastiladon, that was also attacked from the rear by Star Lance wielding Noble and between these the huge beast was killed before it had a chance to fight back. Looked like Elves broke through.

In the meantime, archers killed another 2 ripperdactyls but Archmage once more failed to call upon the power of the Thunder (Edit: Twice in a row I failed to cast Thundrebolt on 3 dice with level 4. Small consolation was that Tetto'Eko failed his attempt once too. I also made a mistake and forgot to move Bladelord, I will regret it soon.)

Lizardmen - Turn 4
Lizardmen keep pressing
Finally Tetto'Ekko casts some spells!
Brave eagle holds despite terrifying roars of the Carnosaur and dies buying some time for the Elves. Rperdactyls go for easy target and kill eagle claw remaining crew and overrun into nearby Reavers.

Skink chieftain charges Swordmasters but they retreat only to enter the danger zone and get shot by poisonous javelins.

Tetto'ekko finally casts some spells. First, he destroys Dragon Princes and nearby Lions retreat to the forest and then he summons his power to hurt eagle rider who barely survives. (Edit: That 3rd wound thanks to being mounted on an eagle saved him.)

Outcasts - Turn 4
Elves attempt to charge again
But Lizardmen flee

Tetto'ekko does not want to meet Elven noble face to face and flees. Nearby terradons follow the same logic and Elven hero has no one to fight against.

Magic and shooting also fail to harm exposed skink chief. Quite disappointing turn of events for Elves.

Lizardmen - Turn 5
Last attacks by Lizardmen

Cold Ones, having the first opportunity to charge anyone, tried to catch Elven Noble but he was too swift for them. However, that evasive maneuver brought him into the charge arc of the skink chief and Elven Noble had to flee off the table.

On the other hand, cowardly Tetto'Ekko failed to rally and kept running away. Also Ripperdactyls lost their combat and reavers run them down to avenge their companions. Unfortunately for Elves, they lost their Swordmasters to some more poisonous javelins.

Outcasts - Turn 5
Last counter attack
But Elves fail to reach their targets

Wounded Elven noble tries to perform heroic act and attacks an exposed flank of the Cold One cavalry but he fails to reach them in time. White Lions chase off Tetto'Ekko from the battle field and try to assault the tower but again fatigue kicks in and they cannot perform that last counter attack.

With that Elves re-group and withdraw. They lost that battle but are far from broken and they bled Lizardmen too.

Turn-by-turn summary
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After-battle thoughts

When we calculated the points it was exactly 400VP in Anthony favor. With extra 75VP due to comp difference he got well deserved 12-8 victory. I expected heavier loss after turn 2 assault so it was good to take as many points from that game as possible.

It was a good battle with plenty of movement and lots of combats but I believe I could have played it better. As always, I start with the deployment.

I had a chance to deploy my heavy cavalry and characters knowing where Lizardmen army is and where it can go with vanguard moves. I decided to deploy them on my right flank but I wonder if that was not a mistake. Simply because infantry forces had no means to intercept fast Lizardmen on the left flank. Single unit of Dragon Princes could threat these troops. It would not be easy but at least I might have slowed down their advance.

I didn't want to position my eagle riders there so that it is not easy to cast spells on them as even with their respectable armor d6 S4 can harm them eventually.

I considered charging Carnosaur with reavers. Champion would challenge, die to Carnosaur and I might hold on steadfast. Next round, if lucky, there would be a survivor to pursue by now frenzied Carno.

I don't think exposing Dragon Princes on the right flank was a mistake but failing Ld9 fear check definitely can happen and that ruined my plan. I thought that with 10 attacks from knights and 5 from horses I had a good chance to nullify any damage I would be taking from skinks. But it didn't happen this time so I guess I should have moved my units there more carefully and try to press the enemy with the fact I had longer charge distance.

I missed that Gleaming Pennant on Lions when they failed panic check but bigger problem was I forgot my Bladelord. I should have positioned him to block Cold Ones. As a result they were in a position to charge my Noble. I think I would have fled again as otherwise, if they made it, I would have lost a chance to get their flank with Star Lance Noble. I really wish that charge hit home (as it was not that unlikely one to get, I needed 7-8 on swiftstride I think) and that would have been interesting for sure.

I was totally disappointed with my magic. I had many flying targets, perfect for Heavens magic, and could do nothing. I guess some dice rolling practice is needed. :) Shooting also could have done more but I deployed eagle claws too forward and skinks could shoot at them turn one. In fact, I think I should have chosen the other side of the table but somehow I decided to take this one when making the decision. The reason is the small hill was as good for eagle claws but I could have defended it better.

On the bright side I am happy I took the fight to the enemy and killed a few of his units anyway. It seems it could have been a closer game if not for the mistakes I made but the good thing is I can try to avoid them next time.

I hope you enjoyed the report!

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