Thursday, January 29, 2009

Notes on a Massacre

1/27 @ Plastic Legions HQ

Battle Report The Empire vs Wood Elves 2000 points

Felix and I got together for one of our bi- monthly match ups last saturday, this time it was practice for the upcoming Adepticon Escalation Tournament, more of a.."lets try some stuff and see what we want to run" type thing of actual lists. As an Empire Player, I have a very flexible Army, nothing overly powerful( exception Stank and War Altar, which I don't currently use) it's power lies in the tactics of large infantry blocks with static combat res's and support from Detachments, Knights and Strong Shooting. Wood Elves are a similar army in that they are flexible, but fast with extremly strong shooting, and wide variety niche troops, some which are very powerful. Felix has the complete Wood Elves arsenal and easily 3000 points available to him, You never know what your are going to face with Wood Elves and I dread getting matched up against them in a tourney as its total crap shoot there are so many viablebuilds, I just need to build a balanced army, pray to the dice gods and hope for the best.

We played a 1000 point match up first, I ran a Mounted Battle Standard Bearer and a Warrior Priest as my General. I had 20 Flagellants and 24 Swordsmen with 2 Detachments ( archers who would screen the Flaggies) and some Free Company, I also had 5 Knights,10 Handgunners and a Cannon, Felix ran a Noble, 2 x 10 Glade Guard, 2 X 5 Glade Guard Scouts, 2 x 5 Glade Riders, 12 Wardancers and an Eagle.

The end result was I won in a marginal victory but only had both characters and two flagellants at the end of the game. In the end my Characters were single handlely charging and engaging units of Glade Guard and Glade Scouts trying to get points or die trying. Once I killed Felix's General He could of easily played point denial and forced a draw or even won if he choose keep falling back and shooting, I was just fortunate that my 1+ Save for my Priest and 2+ Save for BSB keep them about invulerable to arrow fire. In short,I got the crap shot out of me, but pulled the game out thru luck..with out the +100 General Bounus there was only 96 difference in
straight VP.

The point of discussing this 1000 point game as the precursor the next 2000 point game is to illustrate how I can Win once (granted, with some luck) with one strategy and dismally fail the next time trying the same thing. I'll go through the 2000 point game from my point of view
so I can discuss how not to get my ass handed to me the next time we meet for the 3000 point game.



* General of the Empire- Mounted, Holy Relic + Rod of Command
* Battle Wizard- Lore of Fire, Level 1, Fireball-Dispel Scroll- Wizard's Staff
* Captain of the Empire-Mounted- Battle Standard Bearer- Imperial Standard
* Warrior Priest
- Great Weapon- AoMI- Icon of Magnus
* 28 Empire Swordsmen
Detachment: 9 Free Company
Detachment 9 Free Company
* 10 Handgunners- Marksman- HLR
* 5 Knightly Orders- Musician,Great Weapons
* 5 Knightly Orders-Musician Lance and Shield
* Great Cannon x2
* Greatswords- Full Command
Detachment: 9 Empire Swordsmen
Detachment:9 Empire Archers
* 5 Pistoliers- Champion, Musician

Wood Elves
* Spellweaver- General o Lore of Athel Loren: Treesinging, Fury of the Forest, The Twilight Host, Ariel's Blessing Calaingor's Stave, Dispels Scrolls x2
* Wood Elf Noble- Mounted, Spear, Light Armor, Shield- Hail of Doom Arrow
* 10 Glade Guard with musician
*10 Glade Guard with musician
* 5 Glade Guard Scouts with musician
*5 Glade Guard Scouts with musician
*5 Glade Riders with musician
* 5 Glade Riders with musician
* 10 Dryads
* 10 Dryads
* 12 Wardancers- Champion
* 5 Wild Riders- Full Command, War Banner
* Great Eagle
* Great Eagle

Last time Felix and I played (against his High Elves) I ran what's called a "refused flank" and won in either a solid Victory or Massacre.( I dont recall) Its good strategy versus a fast army because he can't flank my big blocks (as the table edge is there) so he's forced to eat thru my light troops on the weak side and by that point the level has swung around and I am either facing or flanking him, I've used this numerous to sucess with my Empire and I should have used it today..instead I ran a similar deployment in the center with my Infantry on the Right, all my cav on the left and my shooters in the middle. Felix deployed as hidden as possibleby the terrain with his Noble and Wild Riders facing my Cavalry and an eagle on each flank.

Turn 1.

I won first turn and proceed to march my infantry ahead, all my cavarly also blazed forward both units of Knights to top the hill and my Pistoliers movearound the hill with plenty of room to get up close and unload on a unit of scouts, felix had behind the hill. I had to attach my Wizard
to my handgunners as leaving him loose versus Wood Elves is instant I marched them ahead hoping to get a spell off. I take the Wizard's Staff alot it's cheap, and lets me throw a three dice fire ball, so one might actually go off. I got a bunch of them this game, but Felix either scrolled or outright dispelled them. My Cannons kill two Wild Riders and a Couple of Dryads, while myPistoliers put a full volley into the Glade Guard Scouts...with 12 shots, I was praying for 5 wounds but only came up with three..twoscouts make their panic check and stay put blocking my Cavalry.

On the Wood Elves turn Felix, brings up his Glade Riders to shoot and bait me, the Eagles Fly out to march block and head toward mycannons, the rest of felix's infantry positions itself to shoot, while the Dryads move up to challenge. I avoid much pain in the magic but take some serious hits in the shooting phase. The Hail of Doom arrow annihilates my Pistoliers, I lose a full detachment of archers, a bunch of free company and some swordsmen. Ouch.

(The Empire marches to War- two fully painted armies facing off, "smells like victory")

Turn 2

I'm set up to charge several units, with my hope of getting rid of those scouts dashed I figure I can blow thru them and overrun into the glade riders plus this frees up my other unit of knights to wheel down the hill right into those wardancers. I charge the pair of scouts, but thanks to the woods my Knights are an inch short to reach the wardancers. Magic and Shooting don't get me much of anywhere. my Knights blow thru the scouts as expected however my overrun is "4" not enough to reach the Glade they are set up to get Flank Charged by the Wild Riders and Noble. Felix takes advantage of my failed charges of course, The Wardancers charge my one unit of knights, while the Wild Riders and the Noble hit the other. I stupidly overlook they are not in the same unit, and decide to flee forgetting the Noble has an 18" charge so he catches them and runs them down. Magic and Shooting aren't too bad this time...but the wardancers slaughter my knights to a man, with 25 attacks turns into 11 wounds these guys have greatweapons so my armor save is 3+...not hard to fail 5 wounds. End of turn 2- All my Cav is gone...I'm in trouble.

Turn 3

My Swordsmen and General charge a unit of Dryads, while my Greatswords move to brace for one. Other than fear causing which I usually have some protection from..The Empire very regularly eats dryads for lunch, despite T4..they just get slaughtered by the static combat res so any wounds are gravy.. I blow thru them no problem, but the only thing on my side of the table are Glade guard, scouts and riders..nothing worth many points and nothing that can't flee, in short by moving this direction I took my strongest unit out of the game and subject it alot of shooting, In the future I know to just where ever I am to Wheel and head toward the Wood Elf General or the strongest units.

On Felix's turn his other unit of Dryads Charge my Greatswords and it detachment...(which makes its fear check) his Eagles chargebother my cannons, one is in (who kills the crew, spikes the cannon and flys off the table) the other is a bit short setting me up for a nice grapeshot on the eagel next turn. My Greatswords break the dryads easily who flee and get away. My detachment overrunsright into the spellweaver, so I think I am catching a break...not so.

(As good as it got for me, was this combat right here)

Turn 4

My Greatswords wheel to face the on coming Wildriders and Noble...unfortunately I am left with a choice of eventually getting flankedby The Wardancers or remaining Wood Elf Cavalry. I choose the wardancers because if my 9 man detachment can just kill the Spellweaver they can over run into the Wardances or least distract them a turn. Nothing pans out for me, my Grapeshot chance I roll a MISFIRE and Eagle then just kills them and flys off so now there two unchallenged eagles in my backfield. My Swordsmen detachment comes up empty against the spellweaver who with one attack manages to get a wound so we are drawn.

On Felixs turn..the Wardancers come in and obliterate my detachment sending the lone model running..I take numerous other causalites my Wizard and an handgunners go down..I don't have much left at this point with My Swordsmen and their detachment chasing units they can't catch on my right flank is completely gone...except for my Greatswords who are facing charges from several directions

Turn 5

My Swordsmen do manage to take out one of the light units near them..they are pointed in the right direction by its too late..I have no magic or shooting at his points. My Greatswords can't see the wardancers...and can't reach the cavalry and have no where to go. so they sit and wait for the inevitable.

Felix's Wardancers and Noble and three Wild Riders and Noble converge on my Greatswords..My priest kills the Wardancer Champion in achallenge. but its only with one wound...I lose combat and alot and am out of range of my BSB (another big error on my part)
I FAIL my stubborn break test rolling an "11" and my Greatswords are cut down, at this point the game is over. We call the game because wuth Table Quarters and 2 Captured Banners Felix is up 500 points before the VP score...I have about 500 points on the table and all I have killed are of his east expensive units..its easily a Massacre for the Wood Elves.

(A much better player than I, once said "When the Greatswords run the game is done!"
so true, I'm afraid)


I constantly struggle against this type of skirmishing Army, I made alot of mental errors in this game and bad luck just compounded them, Screwing up with my Cav and moving my Greatswords and swordsmen apart more than 12" was idiotic...I usually try to draft the smaller block behind the bigger block but it doesn't always work when you see juicy targets. My Flagellants would have been Key in this game as they could held things like the wardancers up. In a 2k tourney games..I struggle to build list that can take all comers...I may be better of going a larger block on inner circle knights with Flagellants over taking Greatswords -tough call. At 2250 I can squeak in all three if I want..The hellblaster also would have key in this game as it would kept my cannons in the game. Deciding "what" to bring in 2k escalation is going to be very tough it's impossible to cover all the bases so any unfavorable match up is going to make it twice as hard. Felix has an excellent write up,analysis, and photos on this over at his blog on Dakka Dakka.


Sigmar said...

John, you're not the only one who has problems against Wood Elf skirmishing forces. My old High Elf army suffered a total massacre at their hands. I hate them !

I took my vengeance by fielding Tyrion. Thankfully, I second guessed my opponent who slightly changed tactics and took a Treeman and Treekin (as I was expecting). Tyrion made short work of them :)

I've added this report to my drafts. Yet another excellent report! The reason I haven't posted some of yours yet is that I need to balance out the reports as evenly as poss amongst the races. I'm trying to fill the army v army gaps.

It'll be online in a few days though. Thanks for sharing and thanks very much for letting me post it.

All the best,

PS. Let me know if you stumble across any good Beatmen reports, I'm finding them and of course Dogs of War the most difficult to find.


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