Over the weekend, I managed to end my 8 month drought of Warhammer games. I attended the 1600 point tournament that I had written about previously. We only had 4 players, so we played it in a round robin format. I ended up playing all of my games on the same table, so if the terrain seems similar in the images below, it’s because it is the same.
Here is the list that I took:
- Loremaster, Dragonhelm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Khaine’s Ring of Fury, Book of Hoeth
- 17 Archers, Musician, Standard
- 5 Ellyrian Reavers, Spears, Bows, Musician
- 5 Ellyrian Reavers, Spears, Bows, Musician
- 22 Sword Masters, Full Command, Banner of the World Dragon
- 22 Sword Masters, Musician, Standard, Gleaming Pennant
- Bolt Thrower
- Bolt Thrower
I took my camera, but forgot to take any pictures at the event. It would have been pretty helpful for getting game details correct and would help break up the wall of text. I didn’t get a list of my opponent’s lists, so there might be some slight inaccuracies.
Game 1: High Elves vs. Warriors of Chaos
- Nurgle Sorcerer Lord – level 3 (Curse of the Leper, Rancid Visitations, Stream of Corruption)
- Nurgle BSB
- 2 big blocks of Nurgle Chaos Warriors
- Nurgle Gorebeast Chariot
Scenario: Kill the opponent’s characters
This game was littered with errors (by me) from the start. I really made a mess of my deployment and overall strategy for the game. Deployment looked something like this:
He moved first and moved his army forward. He was out of range for Magic Missiles and I dispelled the Toughness spell. His marauders moved up right in front of the bolt throwers. I shot the marauders, and they fled the Bolt Throwers couldn’t get any wounds through on the Chariot. The Reavers ran up the flanks, and I turned my other block of Swordmasters to be ready for the blocks coming to the right of the “building” (I wasn’t 100% sure if it was a building or just impassable. It looked like a tree from my side of the table, so I treated it as impassable).
I was able to charge his remaining Marauders with my Eagle. I think there was one Marauder left after the combat, which kept his chariot from charging my Swordmasters. Eventually, the Eagle and Marauder killed each other off. He was able to get off his Rancid Visitations on my non-World Dragon unit of Swordmasters. It hit them 3 times, and panicked them off the board (I forgot about my Gleaming Pennant until after I had removed the unit).
My Swordmasters decided to charge the Chariot (it took 1 wound through magic or shooting before it was engaged in close combat), rather than face the Impact hits. It was fairly inconclusive, and he was able to counter charge with his unit of Chaos Warriors the next round. The other block of Chaos Warriors hit the archer block, breaking them. They ran away, but eventually ran off of the table.
Over rounds of combat, my Swordmasters were able to take down the chariot. One round, I managed to get off Miasma (Initiative), Iceshard Blizzard, and Wildform but the results were nearly as impressive as I had hoped.
Eventually, his Warriors wore me down. One of his turns his warriors had +3T (of course, we both forgot about it). My Reavers ended up charging the Warriors in the rear, but didn’t really do any damage and the +3 combat res from charging in the rear was negated by the wounds dealt. In our final round of combat, I failed to get off the Earthblood spell (5+ Regen) with 3 dice, which promptly ended my magic phase. I really needed to get some magic off to tip the fight. I stupidly accepted a challenge from his Sorcerer Lord with my Loremaster. The Loremaster died, which ended the game.
Result: Massacre to my opponent. Basically, if you killed the other person’s characters in this game, you had a Massacre, regardless of battle points (not that it would have been much better for me).
Thoughts: Well, there are a lot of things that I did wrong in this game.
The deployment of the bolt throwers really kept me from putting my combat blocks in the right spot. This was my first time using bolt throwers, and I vastly underestimated the 48″ range. I’m not used to anything that can shoot that far. Deploying them in the middle made it pretty crowded, and I had to keep the lanes of fire open to utilize them. I probably should have placed them where the archers were and had the archers move into the forest to shoot. Also, with his only ranged attack being a magic missile, the Loremaster should have been on his own, behind blocks of troops, so that he could still survive if the blocks were wiped out. Also, instead of flanking with the Reavers, I think that I should have put them in the middle as speed bumps to slow him down. This would have allowed me more chances to whittle down his numbers with magic and shooting before we got in to close combat, which leads to my next thing…
I severely underestimated the danger of the Nurgle warriors (and maybe overestimated the Swordmasters ability). Sure, the Swordmasters are WS 6, but with the Mark of Nurgle, I am hitting on 4s. Also, we are striking at Initiative order, so it is simultaneous. When it really came down to it, I was struggling to roll 4s or higher to hit and he was making me pay for it. I really needed last edition’s Speed of Asuryan to help even it out for me.
Even though I made many mistakes, it seems to me that this particular match-up was a bit tough from the start. My main combat units are outclassed by his in a straight up fight. We are striking simultaneously, hitting each other on 4s, wounding on 3s, and his armour is better…
Game 2: High Elves vs. Orcs & Goblins
- Level 4 Wizard on a Boar (Foot of Gork, Hand of Gork) with 5+ Ward for the unit
- 2 or 3 other heroes, on spiders
- 2 units of 5 Spiders
- 15 Spiders
- 15 Spiders (ambushing)
- 9 Savage Orc Big ‘Uns on Boars
- 3 Pump Wagons
- Bolt Thrower
- Doom Diver
Scenario: Dawn Attack deployment. Irresistible Force is on double 6 & double X (where X is the current turn number). Bonus points for killing opponent’s wizards or for rolling double Xs.
So, in true Dawn Attack form, I managed to roll up most of my army on one flank. This time, it was the left flank. The combat blocks ended up in the middle. Only the Reavers ended up on my right flank, but they are quick enough, that they can “redeploy” quickly. He kept one unit of Spiders to ambush with.
After vanguards, his Spiders were close to the tower, just on the left. I ended up with the first turn and used it to obliterate his small spider units with magic and shooting. Having been burned by this scenario last time I played it (Dragon Mage disappearing on the first turn), I kept all of the spell casting to a single die, relying on the Book of Hoeth to keep me from breaking my concentration.
In his turn, he got off an Irresistible Foot of Gork, which stomped on my Swordmasters (killing 15?), Archers (10?), Bolt Thrower (1), Banner of the World Dragon Swordmasters (1?) before ending. I’m pretty sure that the Swordmasters fled off of the board (again), but I think they might have stuck around for another round of punishment before fleeing. His wizard took a wound on the miscast, but his buddies were untouched thanks to their ward save. His big unit of Spiders charged my Eagle, killed it, and decided to overrun off of the table rather than withstand a barrage of missile fire.
In my turn, I decided to boost Spirit Leech to target his mage. I managed roll triple 2 (due to the scenario, this is Irresistible Force). I did 2 wounds, but he saved both of them. The Loremaster ended up exploding. Thankfully, the Swordmasters only took 1 wound from the blast. One bolt thrower killed a boar rider, and the other shooting took out the pump wagon on the left flank.
His spiders came back on to the table and the ambushing unit arrived behind my Archers and Swordmasters. His spiders did a lot of shooting, but didn’t really do anything with it. One of the pump wagons from the right flank started heading toward the Swordmasters.
In my turn, all of my shooting went into the spider unit on the left flank and I managed to catch a break by panicking them off of the board. The Swordmasters turned to face the ambushing spiders and moved forward a bit, to try and stay out of range of the boar riders. I think that I moved the Reavers so that the spiders couldn’t charge my bolt throwers. He charged the Reavers, which fled. He failed his redirect roll, so the unit ended up right in front of the Swordmasters.
The Swordmasters charged the Spider unit. He opted to flee off of the table (I assume so that I couldn’t combat reform), so the 2nd big spider block was gone. I think at this point, I decided to march my Reavers on the right flank through the forest. They failed 2 of the 4 Dangerous Terrain test and panicked.
His boars ended up on the bottom side of the tower. His pump wagon prevented the Swordmasters from charging, so the Pump Wagon faced their fury instead. I managed to kill all of the boars, but the Shaman survived, charging the wounded Bolt Thrower and taking it off.
Result: Draw. I think that I won by 100 points or so, but not enough to get a win. I picked up a bonus point for the double X (although I would have preferred to have kept the Loremaster on the table instead).
Thoughts: This is the 2nd time that I have played this scenario, and the 2nd time that I have lost my wizard early. Last time, it was the Dragon Mage on Turn 1. This time, it was my Loremaster on Turn 2. I probably should have gone with my strategy of 1 or 2 dice, but I really didn’t want that foot stomping on my army again, so tried to snipe the character. I probably could have wiped out the unit with low casting Magic Missiles instead. It would have been a big difference to keep the Loremaster.
I think that the only thing that kept me in this game was the Banner of the World Dragon. If I didn’t have that, the Foot would have wiped out both of my combat units Turn 1.
Overall, I think that I played fairly well in this game. After the devastation of Turn 1, I didn’t think that I had much of a chance, but I was fortunate that my opponent failed some key Leadership rolls with his spider units. Knowing that a unit was ambushing, maybe I should have deployed closer to the board edge, so that they wouldn’t be able to fit in behind me.
Game 3: High Elves vs. High Elves
- Loremaster (Book of Hoeth, Shield of the Merwyrm, Sword of Might)
- BSB on Barded Steed (Banner of the World Dragon)
- 14 Silver Helms
- 5 Ellyrian Reavers
- 19 Phoenix Guard (Razor Standard)
- Frostheart Phoenix
- Bolt Thrower
Scenario: Battle Line. You could call a Last Stand once per game to make any one unit pass a Leadership test. Bonus points were awarded for not using it, killing the opponent’s unit that did use it, and killing the opponent’s most expensive Core unit.
This made my 3rd round on the same table, and on the same side of the board. I could have swapped sides, but maybe I was just too lazy to move all of my models over. The deployment looked something like this:
He ended up getting first turn, throwing a medium Fireball (IF) to destroy one of my bolt throwers. I think that this turn, he also hit me with Spirit Leech (IF) on the Loremaster, but the Crown prevented the wound. His Reavers went around the left side of the tower and the other stuff moved forward. The Frostheart set up on the back left side of the tower.
I threw some Magic Missiles into the Phoenix Guard, but I think I only killed 1. The Archers tried as well, but I don’t think they managed to kill anything. The Bolt Thrower managed to take out 3 Silver Helms on its shot. My two units of Reavers easily dispatched his 1 unit of 5.
The Silver Helms and Frostheart charged the Swordmasters with the Banner of the World Dragon. By the end of the round, lots of Swordmasters were dead. I think that the Frostheart picked up 1 wound, and I killed some Silver Helms. I had to call my Last Stand (scenario) to make sure that my unit held.
My unengaged Swordmasters charged into the flank of the Silver Helms and the Eagle flew in front of the Phoenix Guard to delay them for a turn (i.e. prevent the flank charge on the Swordmasters). I charged the Archers into the side of the Frostheart. I assumed that the more attacks the better, since I was needing to roll 6s to Wound with the Swordmasters, too. I managed to get Wildform off on the Swordmasters not in contact with the Frostheart, so their Strength 6 attacks destroyed the Silver Helm unit, leaving only the BSB. This made them out of contact with the combat now. I wasn’t 100% sure if they should continue on to the BSB, since the unit had been destroyed. We did a 4+, and decided they couldn’t, so I reformed them to face the oncoming Phoenix Guard. He ended up calling his Last Stand to keep his Frostheart and BSB from running. With nothing to shoot at, my Bolt Thrower moved to the right a little bit. One unit of Reavers swung back around to try and lend some support to the combat and the other parked themselves right in front of his Bolt Thrower.
His Bolt Thrower shredded the Reavers, leaving 1 and his Phoenix Guard made short work of the Eagle. They reformed to face the Swordmasters. In the main combat, his Phoenix kept Thunderstomping my Archers and the BSB kept killing Swordmasters. I don’t think that I managed to do much back.
I charged my Reavers into the rear of the Phoenix, the lone Reaver into the Bolt Thrower, and the Swordmasters into the Phoenix Guard. His Phoenix managed to kill all of the Reavers with its attacks and a lot of the Archers with the Thunderstomp. My Swordmasters broke and were caught by the BSB. The Phoenix Guard battle went poorly. I think that he killed 11 Swordmasters, and I only managed to kill 1 or 2. I put a 6 Attacks on his Loremaster, but he made his ward on the few that actually wounded. I rolled double 1s for the Break test, so that I could stick around for another round of punishment. The Reaver killed one of the Bolt Thrower crew, but they managed to kill him.
The Phoenix Guard finished up the Swordmasters and the Archers finally broke and were caught by the Phoenix.
Result: Massacre to the High Elves (his, of course). We both received bonus points for killing the opponent’s most expensive Core unit and killing the unit that called the Last Stand.
Thoughts: Once again, I made quite a few errors in this game. I got distracted by his Reavers on my flank. I should have done something to hold up the Frostheart. I could have charged it, which I think would have locked it into combat for a round or 2. Also, I could have placed a unit of Reavers so that he couldn’t get into the Swordmasters for another turn.
As for taking out his combat blocks, it was kind of a rough time. I think that he took 20+ ward saves in the game with his Phoenix Guard and Loremaster, and only failed 3 or 4. There’s not much I can do about that. My biggest problem with his blocks (even without the Frostheart) is that his units don’t have Great Weapons cancelling out his ASF (like mine do), so he gets to hit me first and gets his re-rolls. The Frostheart reducing my Swordmasters to S4 really hurt, though, because it was harder to wound the Frostheart and to punch through the Silver Helm armour.
Another error that I made, was forgetting to combat reform my still engaged Swordmasters once the Silver Helms were wiped out. I had 2 or 3 that were out of combat. I moved the Loremaster over to fight the Phoenix toward the end, but really should have done so sooner. Those higher Strength attacks might have made the difference. Also, a huge error is that I should have been striking before the Frostheart with my units, since I was striking in Initiative order. That actually could have made a big difference since his Frostheart ended with 3 wounds on it. The extra attacks might have been enough to put it down.
And for my final mistake, instead of turning the Swordmasters that flanked the Silver Helms to face the Phoenix Guard, I should have set them up to charge into his BSB instead. They could have reformed after wiping him out.
I do remember mentioning once during the game that I forgot to take my Terror test for fighting the Phoenix. I don’t think that we ever remembered to have me do it. I think that I remembered the Fear test for the first round of the Phoenix Guard fight, though.
- Warriors of Chaos
- High Elves (Frostheart)
- Orcs & Goblins
- High Elves (Me)
If my High Elf opponent could have pulled off the Massacre against me without having to use the Last Stand, I think that he would have won overall. It was quite close at the top.
It was fun to get out and play once again. All of my opponents were great to play against and the tournament went well. I really wanted to win a game, but that will come in time. I am more than happy to pay $10 to get to play 3 games of Warhammer.
I think that my inexperience really showed, as I made a huge amount of errors. I don’t think that my army (High Elves, in general) is very forgiving, so these errors can really cost me. I probably need to spend more time when I play, as I tend to play fairly quickly, and don’t really think things through all the way.
I felt that the Warriors and Elf lists that I were really bad for my particular build. The Warriors hit simultaneous with me and are better protected, while the High Elves hit before me, so were able to thin me out before I could strike back.
Even though I didn’t utilize them fully, I really liked the Reavers, but have mixed feelings about their equipment. The bows were helpful for me, since they could take out an opponent’s lightly armoured units. However, against anything tougher, they don’t do much. But the bows also give them more flexibility than an Eagle has. The spears didn’t help much, but giving the units both bows and spears helps me hit 400 exactly for my Core points.
I liked using the Loremaster. He has a great variety of spells, and you should always be able to find something that is applicable for the situation. Of course, with the variety of options, I probably need to think more about which spells to cast and the order to cast them in.
My first inclinations after playing was to take out the Swordmasters and put in something better (i.e. White Lions or Phoenix Guard). I feel that the Swordmasters drew the short stick with this edition of the High Elf book. However, after thinking it through a little bit, I think that I am going to try and stick with this list for a while to see how it performs when I start playing better. I tend to switch armies between each time I play, and I’m sure that doesn’t do my any favors. If I keep the same list, I shouldn’t be forgetting as many things, and should have a better idea of how they fight.
Thanks for reading!