Monday, 18 December 2017

Australian Masters 2017 - Part 9


In the part 9 of the series about Australian Masters 2017 I present the battle report from the last game of the tournament. This time I had a pleasure to play against Adam who also fielded all mounted army of Undead.

Interestingly, I had a chance to play against the very same force in my preparation games so I was even more curious about the battle. Would my preparation pay off? How would Adam use the army he designed? These and more questions were about to be answered!

Undead - Army List

10 Soul Reaver Cavalry, Regiment, Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar
- Revenant King on Undead Winged Wyrm, Hero

10 Revenant Cavalry, Regiment
- 5 Revenant Cavalry, Troops 
- Revenant King, Hero, Mounted
10 Revenant Cavalry, Regiment
- 5 Revenant Cavalry, Troops
- Army Standard Bearer, Hero, Mounted, Lute of Insatiable Darkness

10 Revenant Cavalry, Regiment
- 5 Revenant Cavalry, Troops
- Necromancer, Hero, Mounted, Bane Chant, Inspiring Talisman

6 Werewolves, Horde

Thanks to the first game I knew that this army has superior charge range to many of my own units but on the other hand I still had a few that could outpace it. On the other hand, Undead forces were almost all Shambling that meant they may be slower in advance but much more maneuverable than it may initially seem.

Deployment and Scenario

Deployment of the Armies.

Deployment and Pillage objectives.

We also got Pillage with 5 objectives this games so there was another similarity between this battle and the preparation one. However, when placing the tokens I positioned the 3 I got on the right flank. Please, note that I was placing them from the point of view of the North to South. However, Adam won the roll off to pick sides and chose North instead so we swapped sides.

My initial idea was that if I were to get North I would use my infantry to defend two tokens placed there and use fast elements to contest or win either the one on the opposite flank or the one in the middle or both.

Now I had to change the plan and I decided to advance on my right flank and try to at least contest one of the top tokens. By doing so I should prevent the enemy army from reaching the objective in my half too. And I still needed to use my fast elements to get to the middle and top left corner but now it would be more difficult.

I got the first turn this time.

Outcasts - Turn 1

Elves advance.

Opening salvos are not impressive.

Elves advanced entire battle line and attempted to shoot at the enemy. Some of the shooters aimed at the Army Standard but their shots did not hit the target that often.

Undead - Turn 1

Undead shamble forward too.

King on the Wyrm flies to the flank.

Undead army slowly moved forward to meet the Elves in the middle of the battle field. Only the King on flying Wyrm flew to the far flank as that angle was not covered by the Drakon Riders. At the same time Werewolves pulled back a bit to move out of charge range of the Elven flying cavalry.

Outcasts - Turn 2

First charges.

The attacks did not go as planned.

Drakon Riders reacted to the presence of the King and diverted their attention to him, while trying to stay out of the charge range of the Werewolves.

At the same time the rest of the army moved more aggressively. The knights on the right flank charged Revenant Cavalry to block the advance of the enemy formation and so did Army Standard. The War Chariots spotted an opening and attacked an exposed flank of one of the enemy units. But despite significant damage the Undead knights held their ground against all odds (Edit: In other words, I rolled double 1's!)

Undead - Turn 2

The Kings flies over and the Werewolves follow their master.

Undead forces exploit Elven mistakes.

As the Drakon Riders were too preoccupied with the King, he simply took to the skies and flew over to the empty field behind them. Also the Werewolves followed their Master and moved swiftly past the enemy.

The War Chariots could not hold against flank charge and were routed by the enemy cavalry but other elements of the Elven army held on the right flank.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Elves attack again.

Frantic re-dressing of the ranks.

Drakon Riders realized their mistake and had to circle around to try and catch up with the enemy. The rest of the army tried to either redress the ranks or attack. Some of the units were successful but some were not so. 

Undead - Turn 3

Elven mistakes are exploited by the Undead forces.

Undead powerful strike.

The units on the flank managed to attack their enemies in good coordination and two Elven units perished, while many others were engaged in melee and with no chance to move out of trouble.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Drakon riders come to the rescue ...

... but fail to rout the enemy.

The Elven units on the right flank were besieged and needed a rescue. Drakon Riders answered the call and attack both Werewolves and the Revenant King to clear out the flank and position to attack against some of the damaged enemy units.

Unfortunately, despite all the damage inflicted upon the enemy, they held their ground! (Edit: This time I rolled double 1's twice!).

Undead - Turn 4

Undead counter attack.

Elven forces are being divided.

The Werewolves attacked the Drakon Riders in revenge and routed Elven flying cavalry. Second unit somehow held but only because the enemy cavalry had to charge through difficult terrain that significantly decreased the impact of the charge. 
Outcasts - Turn 5

Elves try to fight back

Some successes.

Elves made one more attempt to bright the fight back to the enemy. Storm Wind finished off the Werewolves and guarded the objective. The Drakon Lord helped Sea Guard to rout one of the cavalry regiments and the Drakon Riders counter charged their foe but failed to do substantial damage.

Undead - Turn 5

Nail to the coffin.

Undead units attacked again and this time the charges were truly devastating as the Elven army lost no less but four units. It was clear now that Undead forces gained the advantage that was impossible to negate and Elves had to withdrew conceding defeat.

Edit: During the game our chess clock did not switch properly. We didn't notice that at the right time and as we didn't know how much time elapsed we stopped using it. But after turn 5, when it was clear what is the result of the game and because we were the last one to provide results - we called it. Victory to Undead!


Turn-by-turn summary

After-battle thoughts

Congratulations to Adam for a well deserved win and thanks a lot for a great game! It was fantastic to observe how he maneuvers the units with the help of Surge and his ability to use it very well definitely contributed to his success. Well done!
I am afraid it was yet another game, however, where I made simply too many mistakes. I think the deployment was not too bad although I am sure there is always a better option.

I started badly when I did not provide second line for the Drakon Riders. Pivoting Storm Wind SW2 (that was playing hide and seek with Revenant Cavalry because of height 2 hill in between them) would be sufficient to intercept and pin down the Revenant King if he flew over. Instead, I allowed the powerful enemy units to get to that area and I begun reacting to the enemy movement.

The charge with Storm Wind on the right flank and blocking with Army Standard were good moves. But I didn't capitalize on it by simply staying there with both elements to slow down the units behind. If I did they would have not been able to move past for another turn and that was what I needed. Slow down the enemy.

Instead, I attacked with Palace Guard and against two different targets. As a result I had little chance to rout any one of them and did not stop the enemy either. I thought I had better chances of blocking the Undead cavalry this way but it was a mistake. Simply because Palace Guard regiment could have been attacked due to Surge. And because Palace Guard troop had enough frontage to be attacked by Soul Reavers too. As a result I didn't slow down the enemy and in addition I lost two units.

I think that the fact that I rolled double 1's twice with Drakon Riders was to emphasize the consequences of the previous mistakes. I had quite a few double 6's too and I always think that a good plan and execution of it should take into account extreme dice rolls. 

Then I followed with more mistakes, where I lost Drakon Lord for example by getting him in charge range of the Soul Reaver cavalry. I should have probably move him away and towards the top left token to at least have a chance for a draw.

That was the last battle report from the tournament. I will provide the summary and some more discussion about the event in the next blog post.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Ouch, managed to pick out both all cavalry armies. Do you feel that was somehow especially tough for your army? No easy match ups of course, but playing unfamiliar lists can't have helped. Surge can be especially annoying for quick armies, it just negates safe places to leave units :). Could you have disordered the surge casters at all or were they well covered?

    I was a little surprised to see the werewolves come out of the far corner, I guess they saw a chance to get around the drakons but I thought they're just camp that objective and make you choose whether to go after them or not. Always tempting to try to use that speed 9 nimble of course :), maybe a troop of revenant cavalry could have sat behind them to take over the objective.

    1. Hi Myriad!

      Thanks for your comments!

      No, not really. Every opponent has the set of strengths that always play against my army. Cavalry forces obviously add speed to that but it is quite an interesting challenge. Some of my units are slower but some are still faster than the enemy.

      I had a taste of what Surge can done but it seems I am a slow learner :) I haven't anticipated all of the options yet and that allowed Adam to exploit the openings. I believe I tried to shoot at the Army Standard turn 1 but it didn't work and Adam protected his heroes well.

      It looked like Adam is going to keep the Werewolves to claim that objective but sometimes it may not be the only good option. After all, you need to claim just one more token than the enemy to win. Perhaps one cavalry troop as a reserve would be helpful here too.