Sunday, 12 January 2020

Game 130 - Elves - 2020/01/12

Greetings!

In the first game of 2020 I played against one of my regular gaming opponents, Michael. In fact, it just occurred to me he is also one of players I met for the first time at my very first CanCon event, 9 years ago! I am really grateful we are continuing our gaming friendship for such a long time and it is only fitting that the first game in 2020 would be against him.

Michael is currently building his brand new Northern Alliance army so it was a great opportunity for me to get a bit more familiar with this new faction. I was really curious about it because it is a new army and one of the forces that heralded the arrival of 3rd edition with the Night Stalkers.

Northern Alliance - Army List

Human Clansman Horde (HC), Infantry, Chalice of Wrath - 245
Ice Naiad Horde (IN), Infantry, Blessing of the Gods - 260
Frostfang Cavalry Horde (FC), Large Cavalry, Brew of Haste - 285

Dwarf Clansman Regiment (DC1), Infantry - 115
Dwarf Clansman Regiment (DC2), Infantry - 115
Huscarl Regiment (H), Heavy Infantry, Brew of Sharpness - 260

Tundra Wolf Troop* (TW1), Cavalry - 115
Tundra Wolf Troop* (TW2), Cavalry - 115

Ice Kin Bolt Thrower (BT1), War Engine - 95
Ice Kin Bolt Thrower (BT1), War Engine - 95

Lord on Frostfang (LoF), Hero (Large Cavalry), Snow Fox - 200
Ice-Queen (IQ), Hero (Infantry), Bane Chant (2), Icy Breath (10) - 100




Because this army is a completely new enemy for me, let's have a closer look at each unit Michael chose for his force.

Human Clansman Horde - this is a versatile unit that can take some punishment thanks to Defence 5+ and usually good nerve of a horde formation. But it can also do some significant damage thanks to 25 attacks with Crushing Strength (1). Wild Charge (1) means it can outpace a few opponents and one needs to be careful approaching it not to get into charge range. The unit comes equipped with Chalice of Wrath that grants Fury special rule. It makes the unit more reliable in melee as they can always fight back. 

Such hordes require combined charges to defeat them, so it would not be the first target for my army. As it is infantry formation, I would most likely try to avoid it until I deal with other threats and I am able to position my faster units for the attack from multiple directions.

Ice Naiad Horde - Ice Naiads are not necessarily new unit to me as I faced their Trident Realm version before. This unit has the ability to regenerate damage so it may have a chance to survive longer than other elements of the army. 

My previous experience showed that this unit needs to be isolated and attacked from multiple directions even more than Human Clansmen. Only to inflict enough damage so that it is not going to have a chance to regenerate it. It is more difficult to execute, however, because Naiads also have Ensnare special rule and can be really hard to shift if occupy defensive position in some difficult terrain. This unit comes equipped with Blessing of the Gods which grants it Elite special rule and makes it better in dealing damage too.

Similarly to the Horde of Clansmen, I will most likely consider this unit as a target for the later part of the game.

Frostfang Cavalry Horde - hard hitting large cavalry of the army. Strider special rule means they are not affected by terrain and obstacles, which is very important for the unit that hits on 4+. 30 attacks with Crushing Strength (2) will always do some significant damage. 

The unit is not the fastest in the game so Michael added Brew of Haste to make them as fast as regular heavy cavalry. In fact, Frostfangs have an advantage of Wild Charge (1) and effective charge range of 17". Not bad at all!

Fortunately, even with Defence 5+, their nerve is 15/17 which means that a combined attack of Storm Wind and Drakon Riders has a chance to defeat them even in a frontal attack. Which would be a chance for me to eliminate this powerful unit.

Dwarf Clansman Regiment - two of these regiments provide some more resilience for the army thanks to their Defence 5+ and good nerve values. Nothing over the top but definitely very good value for the money. Dwarf Clansmen are reliable in melee even if they don't necessary need to inflict a lot of damage. Very good units to hold the objectives. 

As with other infantry units, I would not consider them a priority target unless I deal with faster and/or harder hitting elements of the enemy army first. 

Huscarl Regiment - this is another hard hitting unit, combining good nerve for the regiment and Defence 5+ with very good offensive melee potential. What's more, this unit comes equipped with Brew of Sharpness that allows them to hit on 2+ unless other modifiers apply. That means that they can do a lot of damage and it will be very important to charge them first. Even then, if not routed, they lose nothing from their offensive capabilities. 

Like in the case of Frostfangs, they need to be attack first, otherwise they will defeat units they fight against.

Tundra Wolf Troop - Michael's army is infantry based and even with Wild Charge it will be slower than a number of opponents. Hence, having some units to intercept faster regiments of the enemy is quite important. Thundra Wolfs fill that role very well. They also have reasonable melee abilities and can successfully engage enemy light troops all by themselves.

They would be the target for my shooting early in the game if possible. It is to clear the path for manoeuvres for my fast units. I also cannot afford lucky charges against Drakons or risk Silver Breeze to be attacked either. Which is going to be tricky since they need to get into charge range to be able to shoot at the Wolves.

Ice Kin Bolt Thrower - Another element that the army lacked so far is some kind of ranged attacks support. Hence the Bolt Throwers. Very reliable war engines, they may also be on a priority list because of the potential damage they can do to my fragile units. 

Lord on Frostfang - one of the two heroes and providers of Inspiring Presence. Interestingly, both have Very Inspiring special rule which allows them to inspire more units in bigger radius. Very capable fighter, can take on enemy units on his own if attacking from flank/rear. Very good nerve and Defence 5+ mean that he is not going to be easy target to defeat. 

Ice-Queen - Ice Queen provides support for the troops in the form of Inspiring Presence (only for Naiads in this army), ranged attacks and Bane Chant. Very good all round hero.

In general, this is a melee orientated army with a good combination of different types of units and a bit of ranged attacks support. It has total of 12 elements, 9 of them are scoring and the combined unit strength of the army is 22.

It can do damage in frontal attacks and has enough staying power to engage in war of attrition with many opponents. 

Let's have a look at the army I decided to bring to this game and the force I changed after my previous game:

Outcasts - Army List

Stormwind Cavalry Regiment (S), Cavalry - 215
Palace Guard Regiment (PG1), Infantry - 
160
Palace Guard Regiment (PG2), Infantry - 160
Kindred Archer Regiment (A), Infantry - 
120

Drakon Rider Regiment* (DR1), Large Cavalry - 
165
Drakon Rider Regiment* (DR2), Large Cavalry - 165
Forest Shambler Regiment* (FS1), Large Infantry - 120

Forest Shambler Regiment* (FS2), Large Infantry - 120

Silverbreeze Cavalry Troop* (SB1), Cavalry130
Silverbreeze Cavalry Troop* (SB2), Cavalry - 130

Lord on Drakon (DL1), Hero (Large Cavalry) - 170
Lord on Drakon (DL2), Hero (Large Cavalry) - 170

Elven Archmage (M), Hero (Infantry), Inspiring Talisman, Lightning Bolt (5) - 
115
Army Standard Bearer (AS), Hero (Infantry) - 60

This is my second attempt to create an army under 3rd edition that could be considered as Multiple Small Units force. It means that as a rule I do not take hordes at all. I also tried to fit as many units as possible and to include those that allow me to participate in all phases of the game. I also wanted to create a force that relies on manoeuvrability, cooperation between units and combined arms approach to win battles.

In this version I have 14 elements total, 12 scoring and combined unit strength of 23. It looks like I may have slight advantage in the number of units and especially scoring ones over Michael's army.


Terrain


Terrain Details

Deployment and Scenario


Outcasts vs Northern Alliance

In this game we got Loot as a scenario. I got to place the first loot token and I chose to position it on the left half in a way that forced Michael to place his on the right. In this way I had them all spread out, which usually is advantageous for my army. 

During the deployment I wanted to position Forest Shamblers in a way that allowed them to Scout and move to claim the tokens (if I happen to be first) or threaten any unit that may want to claim them earlier (if I were second). I then intended to pass the token to Palace Guard and perform delaying actions to allow them to avoid attacks.

I wanted my shooter to be able to target Thundra Wolves which I achieved on the left flank but I was not able to wait until second unit was positioned. Hence the Archmage and Silver Breeze are in the centre, using cover from Bolt Throwers. 

The plan was as follows. Use Forest Shamblers and Palace Guard to grab left and centre tokens and withdraw a little to avoid melee. Use Archers and Silverbreeze on the left to shoot down Thundra Wolves to open space for some outflanking manoeuvres for Drakon Lord. Unless more units are committed I should have enough on the left flank to keep the token.

Use fast elements on the right to attack Frostfangs and Thundra Wolves. It should leave enough units to attack Bolt Throwers and to claim the last token later. The unknown would be where the central formation of Northern Alliance force is going to move as it can go forward to claim the token or divide the attention to either flank.

I got the first turn in this game.

Deployment of the armies after Scout moves.

Outcasts - Turn 1


Elves rush to claim the treasures!

As planned, Forest Shamblers moved forward to claim two tokens already, with Palace Guard following closely to assist. The shooters on the left scored only two hits against Thundra Wolves while Archmage cast some lightnings at the Bolt Thrower. 

The fast elements on the right advanced slightly and stayed out of range of the attack of the enemy.


Northern Alliance - Turn 1


Infantry advance.

Northern Alliance withdrew some of their units and allowed infantry formations to advance instead. The bolt throwers opened fire at the Shamblers in the middle inflicting some damage.


Outcasts - Turn 2


Silverbreeze cavalry units hunt down the Wolves

Silverbreeze cavalry units on both flanks targeted Thundra Wolves and this time both were successful as they got rid of the fast and dangerous enemy units.

Forest Shamblers moved backwards with the treasures while the Stormwind and Drakon Riders advanced in a shy way again.


Northern Alliance - Turn 2


Northern Alliance advances at speed.

With Elves withdrawing, the infantry units of Northern Alliance had to speed up to be able to catch up with the fleeing enemy. Fortunately, they had enough units to send after them with the Lord on Frostfang leading the pursuit.


Outcasts - Turn 3


Drakon Lords attempt to exploit the gaps in enemy lines. 

Elven units continued the withdrawal on left and centre. In the centre the Shamblers passed the treasure to Palace Guard as it seemed they would not be able to escape the attack any longer.

Both Drakon Lords used their manoeuvrability to land in safe positions and place themselves for attacks.

The units on the right once again advanced slowly to attack Frostfangs.


Northern Alliance - Turn 3


Northern Alliance exploit mistakes made by the enemy.

In their overcautious advance, the Elven units on the right moved a bit to close and Frostfangs chose the right moment to attack. Not only they completely demolished Drakon Riders but they also avoided any counter attacks from the nearby units.

Human Clansmen also did well in their attack against Forest Shamblers and it seemed that Palace Guard had nowhere to run with the treasure.


Outcasts - Turn 4


Elves fight back.

Despite the unexpected turn of events, Elves decided to fight back. On the left flank a combined attack of Drakon Lord, Palace Guard and Forest Shamblers saw the regiment of Dwarf Clansmen defeated. 

On the other side of the battle field, Drakon Lord destroyed one of the Bolt throwers while Stormwind cavalry attempted to hold Huscarls in place. Nearby Drakon Riders flew away to attack another bolt thrower and be in a position to threaten the rear of the enemy army.


Northern Alliance - Turn 4


More losses for Elves.

As expected, Palace Guard alone was no match for a combined attack of Human Clansmen and Lord on Frostfang, especially when supported by Bane Chant.

Silverbreeze on the right bought only a little time for their companions but it was for nothing as Stormwind cavalry did not hold against the attack of the Huscarls.


Outcasts - Turn 5


Elves keep fighting

Things started looking bad for Elves as they did not have many units to wrestle the middle token from the possession of Northern Alliance. And too few to fight for the one on the right either.

However, they have not given up yet. Palace Guard on the left blocked Naiads while the Shamblers and Silverbreeze charged Dwarf Clansmen. Unfortunately, that attack failed to rout the enemy.


Northern Alliance - Turn 5


Northern Alliance consolidates the positions

The units of Northern Alliance started consolidating positions in the centre and on the right flank. On the left, Naiads and Dwarfs attacked their enemies but were not able to rout their opponents.


Outcasts - Turn 6


Some small successes for Elven army.

This time Silverbreeze and Archers managed to rout Dwarf Clansmen. Both Drakon Lords moved to have Human Clansmen in the range of charge while Drakons defeated remaining Bolt Thrower.


Northern Alliance - Turn 6


Securing the treasure

The treasure tokens were passed to safety and it seems that Norther Alliance army had them all secured. Naiads defeated Palace Guard on top of that but Elves were to attempt one more try.


Outcasts - Turn 7


Last gamble.

There was one slim chance for Elves to win the day. Drakon Lord had to first defeat Ice Queen and then use the momentum of the attack to hit Lord on Frostfang from the unexpected direction. Unfortunately for Elves, he was not able to accomplish that as he did not even do any damage to the Ice Queen.


Northern Alliance - Turn 7


Last Charges

Northern Alliance claimed undisputed victory as the army secured majority of the treasure and on top of that defeated more units of the enemy than lost in battle. Elves had to withdraw defeated.


Summary


Turn-by-turn animation summary

After-battle


Many thanks to Michael for a game and congratulations on a well deserved victory! He was very patient in this game and waited for the right opening to seize the initiative. The charge of the Forstfangs was that perfect moment and I was not able to recover from this mistake.

In general, I liked the army I was using and I think I will play a few more games with it, simply to understand the units better. I definitely need to come up with new ideas how to use them efficiently. I believe I had a good chance to put up a decent fight in this game but I made some crucial mistakes that contributed to the defeat.

Let's start with the deployment. I think I should have focused on 2 tokens instead of trying to go for all 3 of them. If I used Forest Shamblers and Palace Guard to claim the tokens on both flanks, I think I would have had better chances to keep them in my possession. That small gap in between the blocking terrains would have made it impossible for hordes to fit in. And I could have used my units to prevent any attempt to reach the one that would be carrying the treasure.

I should definitely be more decisive with how I advanced with the Drakon Riders and Stormwind cavalry. I had numerical superiority, I should have forced some charges and counter attack. I really needed to secure that flank fast and move to the rescue to the centre. Unfortunately, I left Forest Shamblers and Palace Guard in the middle unsupported and they simply had no chance to hold against Human Clansmen Horde alone. 

It was a good game, however, and as always I enjoyed playing against Michael. It was a much needed practice and I have no doubt I will have quite a few challenges in future games anyway. 

I hope you enjoyed this battle report. I am always interested in any feedback so please leave some comments. Be it about the style of battle report itself and how to improve it or about any aspect of the game and armies used. All are very appreciated.

Thank you very much for reading!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the battle report! I really enjoyed reading through it. I especially liked the analysis of your opponents army and how you're planning to dissect it. The aerial view of the battleground made it easy to follow the flow of battle..

    If you want criticism then a couple of pictures of the actual armies would've been a great addition. Always fun to see what armies/units actually look like.

    -J

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi J!

      Thank you very much for your comment! I am really happy to know that you enjoyed the battle report.

      I agree, the photos of real models and armies add a lot of value to the report. However, in this instance we played online on the Universal Battle platform. If you are not familiar with it, it is an online website where you can play table top games. You can check it by following the address: www.universalbattle2.com

      The good news is that next weekend I am going to participate in a tournament, Australian Clash of Kings, so you can expect photos of the real models and armies in some of the near future reports!

      Thanks!

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete