The Elven way: A Tale of Gaming updated 06/01/22 Game 12 alt ending

Hi @paulb800 !

I have finally found time to properly read the report from the second game and you have already posted third one! Hopefully I will be able to catch up.

Second game started much better, with solid deployment and no crazy shooting phase (even though PG was in the open again to receive the bolts).

There is usually a reason why in the heat of the battle you choose particular option. And only after the game you realize there may have been other moves to consider. Not always better but something you may not have time to think about earlier. And if it makes you feel better, you are not the only one who wonders about particular moves made during the game, when there were “obviously” better options to choose from :slight_smile:

Speaking of the options, and apart from what you have already discussed, I wonder what do you think about counterchanging tortured souls with the spears instead of attacking Ba’el? They would have better chances of breaking the unit rather than the hero. And in doing so (although I don’t know what was the nerve roll here) they would have reformed to face him and stay in the game longer.

Another element is, of course, keeping the scenario objectives in mind. Something your next opponent, Jeff, is really good at!

Thanks again for another very interesting report, there is always something to learn!

Cheers!

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Hi @paulb800 !

As you can see I could not wait for long and decided to read and comment on your 3rd game! It seems you like to pick the toughest sparring partners available! Fortunately, Jeff is also a fantastic player to learn from, even if the lessons he offers are often quite painful :slight_smile:

The comment you made about the transition from 2nd to 3rd edition made me wonder if many players had to change their armies. Or in other words, if all the factions had to do it in a relatively significant way.

Personally, I had to change it because it was not legal any more. First, some elements were not available (Forest Wardens). Second, some of them stopped unlocking (forest shamblers regiments, war chariots - although chariots can unlock now). Third, the points changed (and I had to replace units with more expensive ones). And fourth, some of the units were not what they used to be (war chariots and nobles in chariots). I have struggled since then to be able to have the same level of confidence and success with my 3rd ed army. However, it is quite possible it is more due to fewer games I have played since the new edition was released.

Ok, let’s go back to your battle!

I was a bit surprised to see a number of non-scoring individuals Jeff had in his army. It is because he used to field armies with an impressive unit strength and pretty much every unit scoring. His nimble heroes and monsters were always a trouble to deal with, especially with the wall of cheap but not so easy to destroy infantry hordes.

Still, there are a lot of elements that look very familiar in his list. I was also curious about this game as your own army list seemed to be completely different in principle. Your army is faster and seems to have advantage in range in terms of shooting as well. Jeff’s army is very resilient, slower but very good at war of attrition.

This time I write comments as I read the report. In your turn 3, was it possible to charge the Fiend with two regiments of PG at the same time? If yes, would you consider this as too risky? If successful, such attack would allow you to reform each regiment against inferior enemy infantry and Forest Guard would be able to help next turn.

With the full benefit of a hindsight, would you consider attacking the Ghouls in turn 4 with both PG regiments at the same time? It seems that in such exchange, there was possibility to defeat at least on of the hordes before the regiments went down?

A pity that the second Drakon horde did not hold against a frontal attack from the Fiend. It looks to me that there were some high nerve rolls involved. However, it is not always possible to avoid that so I wonder if there is anything different to do to, at the very least, minimise the chances further?

Well, I know how it feels to put up a good fight but end up with almost no army left. :slight_smile: That often happens in the games against Jeff, there is that one turn where there is a chain reaction of units being lost. And he still has elements to commit.

Which does not reflect the flow of the battle and does not tell the whole story!

The changes to the army look interesting for sure so I am looking forward to reading about new chapter of the adventures of King Paweldaran and friends. One thing is sure, he seems to be quite a hot headed and reckless warrior! :smiley:

Cheers!

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Glad you enjoyed it.

Palace Guard would have had a Silverbreeze screen if I’d gone first but because I was able to get right in the face of the Flamebearers the Silverbreeze would have just been in the way.

In terms of Ba’el I needed to pin him down because if he jumped over and took the tokens I’d have struggled to kill him. I just had a real brain fail and looked at the kings attacks and lightning bolt as equivalent rather than me not focusing on the tokens.

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No only one could go in, I’d have taken the chance with two as there’s a very good chance to break. I’d have gone in with one if I could have protected it’s flank. This was one of my positioning mistakes I was referring to.

I looked at putting both Palace Guard in that turn problem is your only doing 12-13 wounds on average so it’s a 10 twice on nerve to break so you’d need to seriously over perform (If they weren’t fury it would change this equation a lot). What I did was fairly equivalent in terms of damage trade offs to going all in but made it happen more slowly giving me more time to hopefully bring support back maybe killing the fiend to remove inspire for instance.

The Drakons dying from the front charge I could have supported them more but I was stretched thin trying to get a big enough swing to have the unit advantage to win the game.

Jeff’s list was unusual for him I’ve faced triple Hellequin from him before but never seen him do it to anybody else. Maybe he just wanted to give me a taste of my own medicine!

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Battle Report #4

2000pts vs Forces of Nature Pillage

Narrative Intro:

Amarynth soared over the tree line his riding his steed Navarel & accompanied by a pair of young Griffons from the woods near Tor Bel-Valdar. Navarel was enjoying himself back in his home among the forests and mountains to the north of Tor Bel-Valdar. Amarynth’s was less relaxed his eagle eyed gaze scanned the ground below wary of any sign that the Abyssal scourge had spread this far north.

The plan was a bold one but fraught with danger, Amarynth feared being cut off or surrounded by the Abyssal forces. The risks were, however, necessary he told himself. The idea had come from Eataine the Merchant Prince who had docked in the Bel-Valdar harbour a few short days ago, he and his company of Therennian Seaguard now marched alongside the men of Bel-Valdar. The day before the army had set sail going round the coastline to circle beyond the Abyssals influence. From there they now marched through the forests hoping to surprise the Abyssal forces with a surprise attack.

Amarynth caught a glimpse of unusual movement in the air, then another. Swiftly a Pegasus also came into view. Closer now Amarynth could see the disturbance in the air was in fact an air elemental and it was moments from him. At such speed there was no misreading it’s intentions, it was clear there would be no chance to parley. Pulling on Navarel’s reigns his steed swerved to avoid in the incoming spirit of the sky and broke right to warn the rest of the force, the young griffins distracted the pegasus before following suit. As he turned Amarynth caught glimpses of a unicorn and a pack of centaurs. It was clear the elves had strayed too deep into the forest and would now face the consequences of their desperate actions.

Game Intro and Lists:

Well good news for fans of variety, less good news for fans of Elves vs Abyssals battle reports. I’m playing my friend Jeff again but he fancied running his Forces of Nature list rather than Abyssals.

Elf List:

King (Paweldran): Horse, Shard blade, Blade of the Beast slayer, cats (duellist): 180pts
Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant (2), Lightning Bolt (5): 135pts
Mage (Eldroth): Lightning Bolt (5), Boomstick: 125pts
Prince (Decado): horse, Diadem of Dragonkind: 110pts
Prince (Eataine): horse, mace of crushing; 85pts

Drakon horde (Amarynth and young Griffons): Sir Jesse’s boots of striding: 290pts
Stormwind Regiment: Potion of the Caterpillar: 235pts
Palace Guard regiment: 160pts
Palace Guard regiment: 160pts
Seaguard Horde: Chant of Hate: 290pts
Silverbreeze troop: Piercing arrow: 140pts
Bolt thrower: 90pts

I’m running the list discussed after last game with the tweaks to a couple of units taken from last games list. I was interested to see how it would fare as Jeff’s really good with his Nature builds.

Forces of Nature list:

Avatar of the Green lady: 150pts
Unicorn: Heal 5: 120pts
Druid: Surge: 75pts
Pegasus: 80pts
Greater Air Elemental: 180pts
Greater Air Elemental: 180pts
Greater Fire Elemental: 175pts
Centaur Bray Striders Reg: Otter: 165pts
Centaur Bray Striders reg : Otter: 165pts
Centaur Bray Striders Reg: Otter: 165pts
Salamander Primes horde: CS2 def 4: 225pts
Naiad Heartpiercers Reg:160pts
Naiad Heartpiercers Reg:160pts

Jeff’s Nature lists are always interesting I’m keen to test myself against his use of surge and shambling as he always seems to pull a trick out of the bag I didn’t see coming.

Deployment and Scenario

The scenario was pillage. The tokens were fairly evenly spread out across the board.

Jeff chose sides deploying at the bottom. He spread his forces fairly evenly. My approach was similar to last time trying to swing the shooting flank round against Jeff’s centre.

I won the roll for first turn and took it wanting to start getting shooting damage on Jeff’s units as fast as possible.

Elf Turn 1

On the right the Elven lines advanced into missile range unleashing a hail of arrows, bolts and lightning on the unprotected salamander horde.

Meanwhile the left side heroically fiddled about a bit.

Nature Turn 1

Jeff pushed up on the right keen to get his shooters into range. On the left he was more cautious backing up behind a wall with the Salamanders. The a Greater Fire Elemental seeing Prince Decado has strayed into range of his fireball unleashed a spout of flame singeing the vain Elven Prince’s carefully arranged hair do, thus denting his moral. The healing energies of the Green Lady restored a few wounded Salamanders to the fray.

Elf Turn 2

Seeing that a few warning shots would not dissuade the Forces of Nature from engaging in hostilities the elven troops prepared to unleash the full force of their abilities. On the left this meant showing off their stealth skills by all hiding behind a hill.

On the right however, with a few protective moves to cover the mages the elves took up positions to be aggressive. Volley after volley of arrows rained down on the Salamanders along with lightning bolts it was all to much for the faint hearted creatures and they broke and ran seeing the error of their ways.

In the centre King Paweldran charged the Air Elemental hoping to build up some damage on him and distract him from the units on the left. His fiery blade struck out causing a few satisfying gusts of breeze as it found its mark.

Nature Turn 2

On the left the steady advance continued with a few long range pot shots finding their mark on a Palace Guard unit. The Air Elemental failed to dent the morale of the Elven King as his hair dropped perfectly back in place following the weak breeze directed at him. Meanwhile the Unicorn healed the damage suffered on the Air Elemental.

Sensing it might not be safe to wait too long the Forces of Nature on the left exploded out of the forest. The Avatar of the Green Lady spread gloom among the elven ranks with her cloak of death. Meanwhile with the help of some over excited otters Prince Decado was force to flee, his skirt hem in tatters. Luckily though having learnt the lessons of the Titanic the mages “2nd hull” Prince Eataine held.

Not all was well for the mages, however, Eldroth’s was engulfed by a fireball from the Fire Elemental and joined Decado in the queue for the tailors rather than fighting on (2nd time Jeff’s done this to me in two games!). Finally the air elemental on the hill managed a couple of wounds on the Seaguard.

Elf Turn 3

On the left the elf units continued to plot an cunning plan whilst admiring the (/hiding behind) the hill.

On the right there was plenty of action unfolding. With the Centaurs threatening the Seaguard’s flank the Drakons swept into the fray but only managed to waver the mythical beasts. The Seaguard meanwhile managed to pierce several holes in the old windbag they were fighting but not enough to deflate it entirely. Finally King Paweldran plunged his blade into the greater fire eternal releasing a hiss of steam.

Nature Turn 3

Jeff further advanced on the left with a few point shots landing their mark. The Air Elemental charged King Paweldran hoping to distract him from the array of targets on the right.

On the right Greater Elementals managed some damage on the various targets but not enough to seriously test their courage. Jeff healed what he could but the wavered Centaurs were looking vulnerable despite falling back.

Elf Turn 4

On the left the trap was sprung and the full extent of the elves behind the hill were revealed. Without leaders to inspire them one of the Heart Piercer units fled from the field rather than face the might of the charging cavalry.

Meanwhile on the right the shaken Centaurs broke as the elven cavalry harried them with bow fire. Faced with a mighty Heating element Alenui wove a spell to aid the Drakons in the coming fight but the magic of the Forest was too strong to overcome and he failed in his attempt. The Bolt thrower denied any open targets launched a bolt into the Centaurs in the forest skewering through one of the beasts and injuring several others.

In combat despite the Drakons being unaided by magic they had no trouble wounding the glorified pilot light. As the Fire Elemental recoiled from the Drakons King Paweldran saw his opportunity and his blade arced down scything the monster asunder. Unable to avoid the Air Elemental getting a surge into the flanks of the Drakons I pivoted to ensure he would have to go into the one nearest to the Seaguard.

The Seaguard and their captain Prince Eataine showed how foolish it was to threaten a seafarer with mere wind and easily drove the Air Elemental away. However, with the Elven units now all in the open what would be mother nature’s response…

Nature Turn 4

On the right the Drakons were swept away by an Air Elemental surging into their flank. The unicorn also routed King Paweldran as the constant fear of death emanating from the Green Lady finally became too much for him.

On the left thing went less well for the Forces of Nature. One unit of Palace Guard were wavered as they struggled to cope with the frenzied otters nipping at their ankles. Both the proud Elven Knights and second unit of Palace Guard, however, were undeterred by the damage done.

Elf Turn 5

The Elves had suffered severe losses but were still in a strong position to strike back. On the hill the Seaguard and Prince Eataine once again destroyed an Greater Air Elemental, spears proving the perfect weapon against an old windbag.

On the left the Palace Guard on the hill keen to get some retribution for the barrage of harpoons charged the Heartpiercers. Sadly the Elves only landed a few blows (only managing 5 damage) and ended up only wavering the fishermen. The cavalry also struggled with their swords against the centaurs again only doing a few points of damage and wavering the already injured unit.

Nature Turn 5

On the right Jeff could do little but fly the Green Lady over to cast cloak of death on the Silverbreeze whilst the unicorn moved up to charge next turn.

On the left the Pegasus charged the flank of the Palace Guard wavering them again, meanwhile the Centaurs finished off the other Palace Guard unit in front of them.

Elf Turn 6

Try as they might the Seaguard could only get into range of one objective this turn so would need a turn 7 for a chance at claiming both. Prince Eataine charged the unicorn hoping to distract it from the Silverbreeze who sought protection behind a wall. Eataine sliced into the unicorns thigh but his blade glanced off the bone doing little damage.

On the left the cavalry finished off the injured Centaurs but in a moment of hot headedness allowed their momentum to get the best of them (I’d mistakenly thought I was within 3 inch of the objective with my flank if I went far enough).

Nature Turn 6

Ever the opportunist Jeff sent his Centaurs into the flank of the cav breaking them whilst also being in range to claim the objective. The Pegasus also flew up and claimed the other objective on the left. The Heartpiercers finished off the Palace Guard.

The score was now 2-2 on objectives but Jeff had one last card up his sleeve. The hindered unicorn charged the Silverbreeze who had now taken 2 damage from the cloak of death. 2 more damage were inflicted as the unicorn’s horn pierced horse flesh. The horses bucked and swerved as the riders sought to control them. Alas, It was all too much for them, and the horses bolted leaving the objective unclaimed.

The score was now 2-1 to Jeff a turn 7 would ensure atleast a draw for the Elves.

It was not be as the battle ended leaving the Forces of Nature victorious!

Narrative ending:

King Paweldran stood by his bed chamber window, his eyes fixed to the north at the Mountains and Forests. It had been two weeks since his party had limped home following their ignoble defeat at the hands of the forest creatures. Those who could have proved an ally in the war against the Abyssal invaders were now a foe. Paweldran only hoped the Abyssals would find it equally hard to advance north and that the Forest Dwellers would pin back the Abyssal Legions on one front.

This was not the only sour news for the Elves. Upon their return Paweldran’s force was greeted with the news that Eataine’s beloved father had passed on to the next world. Grief struck Eataine, but the now King of Therennian refused to return home to his coronation pledging instead to continue his aid in the war against the Abyssals. As a coronation present and a symbol of the kinship between their two houses Paweldran had gifted Eataine the sword Sindarin. Forged at the founding of Bel-Valdar it had been made for Valdar’s champion and healed the bearer whilst in the thick of battle.

Conclusions and Recriminations:

Well that was a really thrilling if ultimately disappointing battle. Jeff took all the right chances to swing things back his way and it paid off for him.

The one clear mistake I made was to overrun with the cavalry I’d thought I could reach the objective, contesting it if I survived, but I failed to double check my measurements. As it was I died anyway and should have just turned to face. Jeff may have then not risked fighting me but guarantee he held the objective in turn 6 opening up the chance for me to kill him on the charge turn 7. Either way it probably wouldn’t have changed things, none the less a definite mistake.

The Seaguard did fantastically well, they’re definitely less effective without nimble but vicious is a nice addition to the unit and they can still perform the same role as before if a little less effectively. I definitely think a lack of inspire and general character support costs me on the Palace Guard flank so I really need to bring some dedicated inspire to that flank.

I’m not hugely convinced Princes work out as better value than Kings in 3rd edition so I’m going to drop both for a king next game. That leaves just enough points to upgrade the Silverbreeze troop to a regiment replacing the shooting lost from the Prince Diadem (and adds unit strength and nerve to help keep my scoring units alive).

I’m a big fan of lifeleech on a King so with points tight I dropped duellist on King Paweldran to buy Hanns Scriptures for the newly crowned King Eataine to wield as the sword Sindarin. An alternative might be to take an army standard bearer or foot king instead of one Prince but I’m keen to try out double mounted Kings for the first time.

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Battle Report #5

2000pts vs Forces of the Abyss: Dominate

Narrative Intro:

The coven of Loremasters stood entranced around the Annulian crystal. Each one of them masters of their craft had fought for weeks to keep the Abyssal forces at bay. Channeling their energies through the crystal they’d blocked the portal between the two realms from growing, allowing only a trickle of energy to pass between the realms. Without their efforts the Abyssal Forces would have grown immeasurably.

Ba’el’s claws closed around the lower abyssal’s waist it’s life energy flowing into him as he crushed it with his grip. It was a just reward for interrupting him. The news it had brought, however, was interesting, a tower hidden close to the Elven city had been identified as the source of the great power which had been restricting the Abyssals since their arrival. Despite defeat after defeat the Elves had still held out against Ba’el’s incursion now he knew how. His wings unfurled as he took to the sky’s, his gathered forces seeing their master’s departure, quickly followed unwilling to risk his wrath.

Game Intro and Lists:

Well it’s back to fighting the Forces of the Abyss once again. This time Ben’s back in control but we’ve bumped things up to 2000pts.

We decided after all the Abyssal victories we should continue the flow of the narrative and play for control of an elven tower as the Abyssals increasingly pushed the elves back deeper into their territory. So we chose dominate as the mission and placed an elven tower at the centre of the board.

Elf List:

King (Paweldran): Horse, Shard blade, Blade of the Beast slayer: 170pts

Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant (2), Lightning Bolt (5): 135pts

Mage (Eldroth): Lightning Bolt (5), Boomstick: 125pts

King: Horse, Lifeleech (1): 145pts

Drakon horde (Amarynth and young Griffons): Sir Jesse’s boots of striding: 290pts

Stormwind Regiment: Potion of the Caterpillar: 235pts

Palace Guard regiment: 160pts

Palace Guard regiment: 160pts

Seaguard Horde: Chant of Hate: 290pts

Silverbreeze Regiment: 200pts

Bolt thrower: 90pts

I wanted to keep working on the Seaguard based list I‘d run versus Jeff. So with the tweaks added to the list I discussed after last game I was good to go.

Forces of the Abyss list:

Ba’el: 265pts

Abyssal Warlock: 90pts

Seductress: Blade of Slashing: 135pts

Abyssal Fiend: 175pts

Abyssal Fiend: 175pts

Abyssal Horsemen: Pathfinder: 260pts

Mollochs Horde: Healing Brew: 230pts

Tortured Souls Regiment: 120pts

Tortured Souls Regiment: 120pts

Tortured Souls Regiment: 120pts

Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts

Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts

Ben’s list was an extension of his 1500pts list from games 1 & 2. It’s a tough list nearly all of it was scoring most of it fast and the duellist individual could be problematic with my 4 individuals all being tempting targets.

Deployment and Scenario

The scenario was dominate.

Fairly typical approach for me on deployment with a refused centre. With Ben going fairly spread out with his shooting in the centre. I immediately felt better having a king available to work with the palace guard flank as with most of Ben’s heavy hitters facing off with the seaguard flank I’d need the Palace Guard flank to move up to start pressuring the centre.

Ben won the roll for first turn and gave it to me. I was fairly happy with this as I had several targets for shooting and it mean I could push forwards before Ben could take up positions to pressure me.

Elf Turn 1

The Elves taking the initiative pushed forwards rapidly on the right keen to engage the Abyssals shooting. On the left the advance was slower as shooters pulled up when in range.

Most shooting targeted the Abyssal Fiend in the open as it had no regen or life leech. When all the lightning, arrows and bolts has cleared 7 damage had been inflicted on the beast. The Silverbreeze also got a few arrows to hit their target of the Abyssal Horsemen.

Abyss Turn 1

The Seductress was unable to resist the allure of the dashing Elf cavalry and flew straight over to engage them in some casual flirting.

The rest of the army moved cautiously aware of the threat the elves posed. A few pot shots were fired at the Drakons and Seaguard wounding both.

Elf Turn 2

Wanting to block the Abyssal Cavalry from reaching the Silverbreeze King Paweldran charged the Abyssal horsemen. The remaining elf units advanced other than the Seaguard who held their ground to maximise the accuracy of their bowfire. This paid off as a unit of Flamebearers was removed with excess shooting able to target some Tortured Souls in the centre.

Abyss Turn 2

Unfortunately the Elves had failed to spot that the Tortured Souls and Ba’el were both in range to charge the Silverbreeze rendering King Paweldran’s blocking charge rather moot. As the seductress blocked the Drakons the Silverbreeze ran for the hills lacking in leadership with the King far away. To make things worse the king himself decided enough was enough and also bolted.

On the right the advancing Palace Guard found themselves in trouble as the Flamebearers unleashed 8 damage along with 3 from the Abyssal Fiend they wavered in the face of such an onslaught.

Elf Turn 3

The elves had got themselves in a real mess. Unsure what to do they tried to make the best of the situation. The Drakons went back into the Seductress aided by bane chant from the mage. On the right I tried to make thing difficult for Ben setting up various flank charges as counters to moves he might make. Also the king disrupted the Flamers.

Shooting targeted the Abyssal Horsemen but alas little damage was done and the nerve roll came up short. In combat the Seductress was slain as the Drakons didn’t much fancy her.

Abyss Turn 3

Fearful of the Drakons might the flank of the Seaguard was ignored as both Ba’el and the Tortured Souls charge in killing them. The Tortured souls up top killed the bolt thrower whilst on the right they circled round the rear of the palace guard.

Fireball from the Fiend killed the wounded Palace Guard whilst the other Fiend failed to impress the Stormwind Cavalry despite dispatching a few elven knights with its axe.

Elf Turn 4

Things were getting decidedly desperate. I needed a big swing this turn. Unfortunately the first part of my plan required the Abyssal Horsemen to die before they got back into inspiring range. Another poor round of shooting saw them only take a single wound and a high nerve roll was not forthcoming.

In the centre I got what I needed first killing one Abyssal Fiend with a flank and frontal attack from the Elves. Then needing at least a waver King Eataine slew the injured Fiend outright its head swept clean off by his newly gifted blade Sindarin.

Abyss Turn 4

In another error the Elves had exposed one of their mages to a charge from Ba’el. The Dark Lord comfortably broke Eldroth whilst his minions dispatched the Seaguard. The Tortured Souls managed sufficient damage on the Elven knights to break them in a hammer blow to the Elves chances of retaining enough unit strength to keep the battle going.

Elf Turn 5

Eager for revenge the Elven forces tried a few desperate charges and lightning bolts but the Abyssals were undeterred.

Abyss Turn 5

The Abyssals finished off the last Elven scoring unit as the Tortured Souls broke the Palace Guard. At that point we called it.

Narrative ending:

King Paweldran sat morose, sipping his wine, looking out at the ocean. The ocean held his only hope now. Ships had been sent out to every Elf kingdom and province pleading for aid. With the destruction of the Loremasters’ tower and with it the Annulian Crystal waves and waves of Abyssals had poured through the expanding portal and Tor Bel-Valdar was completely under siege.

Conclusions and Recriminations:

This is one of those defeats where you make a silly mistake early on and just can’t manage to recover. Ben’s a good player and he punished my error mercilessly.

Having the Silverbreeze as a regiment really shifted my thinking. No longer were they a chaff unit to be easily deployed early and something to be seen as expendable if required. They ended up deploying second to last or possibly even last. I was tempted to put them on the right flank but couldn’t get them in range for a first turn shot at the Tortured Souls. In hindsight this would have been a good place to go I should simply be more patient. In the wood to add to my first turn of shooting the Abyssal Fiend could also have worked well if risky as I’d be exposed to some retaliation shooting potentially.

Deployed as they were they should have at least held back from shooting first turn avoiding letting the Seductress into my lines (and then missing that I’d left several other of his units in range turn 2).

That whole corner was a mess everything was blocking each other rather than being in positions to support each other with counters to enemy charges. I think this is part of the issue with not having nimble (steady aim) available on the Seaguard any more. You need to get them in the right position when you do move and you need to prioritise moving over hitting on 5’s when you’re not in the right position.

That said I thought Ben’s army and his use of it was superb every unit felt it was doing something to me every turn and I quickly started to feel outnumbered despite my shooting being effective. Having so much inspire is really helpful to him and I contrasted this by screwing up my positioning of inspire leaving key units unprotected.

List Changes

When I lose like this I’m not overly concerned by the idea of list changes. One concern though is the Palace Guard Regiments they haven’t really done much for me so far and I’m struggling to see them as better value than a single horde would be. However, if I do that I’m moving away from what I felt my 2nd ed list was about and I’m not sure I’m that interested in going down that route as I am playing in trying out other lists. I do think Palace Guard Regiments getting a points increase in 3rd was unwarranted (doubly so as they now compete with Palace Guard Hordes) I’m even more of that opinion now that I’ve used them with 3rd ed rules which have shifted to favour hordes (charge measures from anywhere not just leader point etc).

I’ve got a few choices what to do next:

  • I’ve got a Dragon list I ran last year I’ve been continuing to tinker with and trying some Seaguard in that would be interesting.

-I’ve also got the army list for my Red Era army which I’m painting (see painting blog Link in OP).

-I’m pondering if I could do something more combat based without mages (or at least double Lightning Bolt mages) maybe utilising some Stormwind Troops much as Ben uses his Tortured Souls.

-or I carry on with this list either in its current form or combining the Palace Guard units into a horde.

Decisions, decisions…

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I am truly impressed by both, the number of games you play per week and how quickly you write your reports. I’ve been doing it all wrong! Good I stopped so that you can show how its done! :slight_smile:

Well this isn’t normal I’m afraid. I haven’t played for a full year before these games. I hope to get one or two more in then there will be break again.

Battle Report #6

2000pts vs Trudent Realms: Control

Narrative Intro:

Wind swept through Paweldran’s hair as he rode across the front of his troops the blazing sword Yadrha lifted high to raise the spirits of his men. Elven ships bringing reinforcements to fight the Abyssal incursion had been arriving for weeks and the Abyssal horde had been pushed back from around the walls of Tor Bel-Valdar.

This had not, however, come without its own problems. Concerned at the growing elven forces mustered on the coast the Alaitoc Sea’s Trident King had sent forth recon forces who now clashed regularly in skirmishes with the elven troops along the coastline. It was one of these forces Paweldran now sought to repel.

Game Intro and Lists:

This time it’s back to facing Jeff (yes I have other friends than him and Ben and no you can’t have their names as proof) this time running his Trident Realms (I think he was trying to cheer me up by letting me kill a few things with shooting). Much like with his Forces of Nature Jeff likes to take a different approach with Trident Realms and this time was no different.

Elf List:

King (Paweldran): Horse, Shard blade, Blade of the Beast slayer Duellist (Cats): 180pts
Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant (2), Lightning Bolt (5): 135pts
Mage (Eldroth): Lightning Bolt (5), Boomstick: 125pts
Prince (Decado): Horse, Diadem of Dragonkind: 110pts
Army Standard Bearer: Lute of Insatiable Darkness: 85pts

Drakon horde: Sir Jesse’s boots of striding: 290pts
Stormwind Regiment: Potion of the Caterpillar: 235pts
Palace Guard regiment: Healing Brew 165pts
Palace Guard regiment: Staying Stone: 165pts
Seaguard Horde: Chant of Hate: 290pts
Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts
Bolt thrower: 90pts

I decided to stick with the Seaguard list, I wanted to give the Palace Guard regiments another chance to impress. To give them the best chance possible I gave them a dedicated inspire and bane chant source in the form of an Army Standard Bearer with the Lute. I also dropped the piercing arrow from the Silverbreeze to give a couple of helpful items to try and keep the Palace Guard in the fight a little longer. The list is essentially what I used vs Jeff’s Nature in Game 4 but with the Prince with mace swapped out for the Standard bearer and a minor item tweak.

Trident Realms list:

Thull Mythican: conjurers staff, babe chant:110pts
Thull Mythican: 80pts
Naiad Envoy:Fury Aura, bastion: 90pts
Depth Horror Eternal: Healing Brew: 120pts
Depth Horror Eternal: blade of slashing: 120pts

Thull Regiment: Fire Oil: 165pts
Thull Regiment: 160pts
Thull Regiment: 160pts
Depth Horror Regiment: 130pts
Depth Horror Regiment: 130pts
Depth Horror Horde: 185pts
Depth Horror Horde: 185pts
Placoderm Troop: 105pts
Knucker: 150pts
Knucker: 150pts

Jeff didn’t disappoint with his list being an unconventional one as always (what on earth is a Thull! Never heard of it :rofl:). There were lots of elements I was unused to so it would be an interesting game. Thull Regiments put out 20 attacks on 3+ which could prove quite a challenge as Antique Elven armour is famously terrible at withstanding high numbers of weak attacks.

Deployment and Scenario

The scenario was control.

My deployment should seem fairly familiar by now. Jeff out numbered me by 3 units and with me going first there wasn’t much point overly disguising what I was doing. Clearly fearful of the Elven shooting Jeff deployed most of his army deep incase I got first turn and he could waste a round of my shooting if I went first. This is generally a good ploy as there’s plenty of room to move up at the double turn 1 to make up ground.

I won the roll for first turn and as all the advantages seemed to be in going second I gladly gave Jeff first turn.

Trident Turn 1

To the Elves surprise the Fishy forces seemed uninterested in advancing on the Elven position. Their main focus appeared to be avoiding the Elven archers and mages threat range.

Elf Turn 1

With limited targets the elves generally busied themselves moving into better positions to attack next turn. The shooting phase was limited with the bolt thrower using its long range picking out a depth horror and a glancing blow cut across its fins.

The Seaguard could just reach the Knucker in the wood and a couple of arrows pierced it’s scales. Stunned that an attack could pierce its natural stealth and hidden location the Knucker almost fled but instead chose to wait in the woods until the elves were distracted elsewhere (I rolled a double 6 for nerve, 1 more wound and it would have been toast!).

Trident Turn 2

With the Elven shooting now in threat range the Seafolk began advancing enmass. Although one depth horror horde on the far right dropped back to create a solid line of attack.

Elf Turn 2

With the enemy now in range the game had begun in earnest. Spotting a crucial open flank King Paweldran charged a depth horror regiment supported by the Drakons in the front. A two pronged attack proved too much for the sea creatures who fled rather than get turned into sushi.

The task of thinning the incoming ranks began with the depth horrors on the far left being wavered (reducing from fearless to fury since CoK has been a big loss vs shooty armies). Shooting was spread out on the right with a few wounds on a depth horror horde and the Knucker.

Trident Turn 3

Keen to close the gap to the Elven lines Jeff started getting his troops into more aggressive positions. With the Depth Horror regiments dead or wavered Jeff peeled off two Thull regiments from the centre to reinforce the collapsing left. Clearing the (inexplicably for sea creatures) difficult terrain of a pond most units on the right would be ready to advance full speed next turn.

The Knuckers also pounced on the open ground available to them in the centre surrounding the Seaguard.

Keen to avenge the loss of his regiment the Depth horror eternal slammed into the Drakons before they could fly out of reach and inflicting a few wounds on the mighty beasts.

Elf Turn 3

Things had been going well for the elves so far but they’d only killed one unit and were still badly outnumbered with the Trident Realm’s forces now in close proximity. On the right the elves continued to shuffle positions whilst awaiting the salmon swimming upstream.

King Paweldran faced a tough decision whether to aid the Drakons against the Eternal or the Seaguard against the Knucker. He chose the Drakons as they needed to break the Eternal to get out of Thull charge range whilst the Seaguard could turn and shoot the Knucker whilst protecting their flank from the other.

Shooting saw Fireballs and Lightning Bolts rout the injured Depth Horror Horde as a storm of Elven magic was unleashed. The Seaguard struggled to see the Knucker directly in front of them clearly but the one of the volley of arrows still found its mark. Despite poor shooting from the Elves on the left a single arrow plunged through the eye of a Depth Horror killing it and it’s regiment already shaken fled the battle.

Combat saw the Drakons furiously descended back into the eternal who had just wounded them, badly injuring it before King Paweldran arrived thrusting his sword Yahdra deep into the beast’s back slaying it.

Trident Turn 4

In a crucial turn Jeff began by setting up his right flank to make things as difficult as possible for the Elves if they chose to charge in. Added to this was bastion being cast on the Placaderms giving everything rally.

On the left the Knuckers went into the Seaguard and Drakons respectively inflicting some damage but nothing more. King Paweldran was challenged by the Thull Hero and a bane chanted regiment together they managed to ruffle his hair quite severely requiring all his focus for the next turn (wavered).

Elf Turn 4

The Elves decided it was time to strike. On the left King Paweldran sacrificed himself blocking both Thull regiments from Drakons. The Drakons and Seaguard countercharged the Knuckers wavering one and killing the other.

On the right the elves committed both a Palace Guard unit and the Stormwind into the eternal hoping either they’d break it or shooting would waver the Depth Horror horde waiting to flank them. Shooting fell short of wavering the Horrors and the combined charge couldn’t phase the eternal either.

Trident Turn 5

Things were getting tight, the game could easily swing either way. On the left the Thull hero drove off the Drakons whilst the regiment broke the King. Meanwhile on the right the flanked Palace Guard were easily broken whilst the Cavalry suffered a few wounds from the Eternal.

Elf Turn 5

It was crucial the elves finished off some units to prevent them being overwhelmed. Fortunately shooting on the right cleared off the last depth horror unit and a Palace Guard flank charge on the Eternal finished it off.

Shooting had been so efficient on the right one mage could target the badly wounded Knucker finishing it off as well. Unfortunately the shooters on the left wasted this opportunity only putting one wound on the Thulls. Crucially the Seaguard horde has forgotten the golden rule of prioritising moving over shooting and had left themselves in range for a charge from two Thull heroes and a Thull unit. This could easily be a crucial error on the sailors part.

Trident Turn 6

The Seaguard’s foolishness was punished severely and the Thull’s overwhelmed them in retaliation for the damage done by their shooting. On the right disaster struck as the hindered Thulls managed huge damage on the Palace Guard wavering them. Luckily the Placoderms were unable to damage the Elven knights avoiding a nervous test for them.

Elf Turn 6

The Elves were now scrambling due to their mistakes. Victory was still a possibility as long as the Thulls could be taken out with a single round of shooting. A turn 7 would become very tense, however, with the Palace Guard unlikely to survive any more punishment.

Shooting was effective again with the Thulls comfortably dispatched by the elves’ patented magic and missiles combo. Unfortunately Bane Chant didn’t go off on the Cavalry. They then, however, exceeded expectations by doing 4 damage on the placoderms but failed to break them.

A nervous hush settled over the battlefield as if the game ended now the Elves had won. Sadly I rolled a 6 at the worst time.

Trident Turn 7

On the left the Thull hero tried to get a lucky nerve roll on the Silverbreeze but fell short. On the right the placoderms again failed to land a blow on the proud elven knights. Lady Luck could not save the Palace Guard, however, who needing double 1s fled the battle.

Elf Turn 7

My mages had made a crucial error in their positioning last turn they’d failed to account for a pivot taking the Thulls on the left just out of range of their lightning bolts. As such they had to target the Thulls on the right who had rally and inspire as well as being safe from the bolt thrower.

Astonishingly the elven mages made up for this by hitting with 13 out of 13 lightning bolts wounding the Thulls 11 times! Fortune was just being fickle, however, as the needed 6 on the nerve came up as a 5.

A win was now out of reach but the Elven Cavalry now boosted by bane chant struck out with their swords. 3 more damage was done. With Bastion in play the Elves needed a 6 to break the Placoderms and draw the game. De ja vu struck and a 5 came up again.

Apparently I wasn’t allowed to roll for a turn 8 so Jeff had pulled out a victory once again 2-1 to the Trident Realms.

Narrative ending:

Paweldran sat in his throne room as attendants listed supplies and weapons arrivals and requirements. Shame swept over the king as he contemplated the position he’d found himself in. With casualties and severe injuries endured the forces of Tor Bel-Valdar were no longer in a fit state to take to the battlefield. The other Elven troops from friends and allies now pushed back the Abyssal forces and protected the coast from the Tridebt King’s raids. The proud Paweldran was now limited to overseeing the logistics of the war as his kin claimed the glory.

I’ve decided the end this narrative arc here as short of destroying the city of Bel-Valdar I’m getting into a bit of a dead end of how to explain all these defeats :rofl:

Conclusions and Recriminations:

Defeat, frustrating as it is, is a great teacher as the saying goes. There are lots of little mistakes I might not have realised if not for losing.

There are some obvious mistakes primarily not moving the Seaguard back turn 5. There was no justification to keep still when they were hitting on 6s vs Thulls even when stationary. I’d have had a really great chance to win the game if I’d just backed up. It’s a key lesson with seaguard in 3rd moving is key, shooting is secondary. The same turn I backed up my Palace Guard opening the opportunity for the Placoderms to charge the Cavalry. I should have kept this blocked as the Thulls would have had to charge the Cavalry to stop the Elven Knights flanking them next turn.

Further back there are a number of issues little ones such as mages not being in range turn 7 but also target selections. Turn 4 I double charged the Depth Horror Eternal on the right. He’s unit strength 1 with 5 attacks. My cav should have hit the Depth Horror horde getting damage on them allowing my mages and Prince to target the Thulls behind. Only facing placoderms and an eternal I’d almost certainly have won that corner and the game.

Not having inspiring in the right places also cost me. Either the mage or ASB should be with the seaguard and the other with the Palace Guard as it is I had both with the Palace Guard meaning my Seaguard lacked both bane chant and inspire when it was needed.

List Changes

I’m really happy with this version of the list. I forgot about the 5pts items on the Palace Guard (I pretty much always do) so will swap back to Piercing Arrow on the Silverbreeze as the best magic items are the ones you remember!

3 Likes

List analysis:

Having had a few games with the Seaguard shooting list build I’ve been working on I’ve reached a point where I’m pretty happy with how it’s working. So I thought I’d give it some analysis.

Mages:
Lightning Bolt, boomstick:
125pts
Lightning bolt, bane chant, inspiring talisman: 135pts

No brainier for any shooting list. I need to decide exactly how to use them but generally paired up with the seaguard and Drakons for a strong flank seems the best plan. They’re definitely flexible and can be split up so that’s good.

King: Shardblade, Blade of the Beast Slayer, Sabre-toothed hunting cats: 180pts.

I love this guy. Very expensive but very effective. My opponents hate him. Great odds of putting 4-5 wounds on a def 5 or 6 monsters. Great chance of getting 10 hits on individuals. He needs to be used right to maximise his effectiveness but he’s a prime target for my opponents now which can leave scoring units unscathed to go on and win the game. At this price and this utility i don’t want him doing blocking duty too often which make it important I use other elements like the Prince and the Silverbreeze to be set up to perform these roles for me.

Prince: Diadem of Dragonkind: 110pts

Not sure on this guy. I think blocking Prince is a good idea with the king not really wanting to do it. I’m not sure if using Diadem gets in the way of this. Mace of Crushing would certainly be a good improvement to his blocking abilities As he’s not reliably getting the critical wound without it. He’s got good use out of diadem so I definitely think he’s adding value as is. I think I need to try prioritising using him as a blocker piece with the Seaguard and Drakon flank and see if diadem still feels effective.

Another unit is also an option 20 points more buys another fast blocker in a Silverbreeze Troop or a forest guard troop is 105pts. I do like having him as another warmachine hunter threat, however, and he’s good at shielding the mages from individuals.

Army Standard Bearer: Lute of insatiable darkness: 85pts

This guy does what he’s supposed to do bane chant is a bit unreliable without the elite re-rolls anymore. My main thought is a foot king might just be a lot better. He can do blocking is more survivable and his damage is equal or better to bane chant and has a 360 degree charge. I’d need 15pts which means dropping piercing arrow (no problem) and duellist from the mounted King (Not keen to do this tbh as I’m vulnerable to individuals but I could) or diadem drops off the Prince to Mace of Crushing which also frees up points for extra items. Or I could drop bane chant for more reliable items on the Palace Guard units (maybe brutal and fury?, could even put a war bow on the ASB).

Seaguard: Chant of Hate: 290pts

These are a definite include with the way the list works but they’re no longer the centre piece. I need to improve my use of them accepting moving them needs to come before maximising shooting with them most of the time. Vicious is good but also expensive a cheaper option (like brutal or piercing arrow) or even another expensive one like nimble or crushing Strength 1 might be better use of points.

Palace Guard Regiments: 320pts

I’d love to a) have these guys with items and b) remember I have those items during the game (point b) would be helped in physical games where I have the unit cards). As it is they’re still a little lacking and are at risk of getting swapped out for a horde if I don’t need a 5th character unlock. As it is I quite like the flexibility and I’m getting better at using them effectively in recent games.

Drakon Horde: Strider (1): 290pts

They’re great. I could do with supporting them a bit better so they don’t end up with too many wounds before big combats and I need to keep inspire and bane chant available for them more frequently.

Stormwind Cavalry Regiment: Pathfinder: 235pts

As always the thought is “not as good as Drakons maybe I should just take Drakons”. They do a solid job but do make the “weak“ flank fairly expensive (>600pts) at the sane time they mean the weak flank can’t be ignored as having a cav unit through the woods into your flank hurts. I also think I can swap Silverbreeze and Stormwind about on either flank depending how other deployment goes.

Silverbreeze Troop: Piercing Arrow: 140pts

These guys are solid, I need to consider when to use for blocking more but they’re a good all round inclusion in the list. Piercing Arrow is a luxury item but a useful one.

Overall:

I think the list is in a really good place. In 2nd ed I continually tweaked things not making things better or worse but just making them different. I feel I’m in the same spot here various good options to change things up but not really room to improve it in its current way of working. So I’ll probably play around with different versions but if I had to submit a tournament list today this would be the version I’d use.

I’m not sure what’s next I won’t play for a few weeks and have three different styles of list vying for my attention. If I had to guess I reckon my next reports may well include a Dragon.

2 Likes

Battle Report #7

2000pts vs Trident Realms: Loot

*although the game was played online I’d got my army out for a picture as I was doing some other bits with it so thought I’d take a shot for the report.

Narrative Intro:

King Eataine stood on the newly built watchtower the sea breeze buffeting his cloak. All around the tower his Kingdom’s. finest artisans laboured to establish the foundations for the first settlement that would in time grow into a full trading colony. Across the bay his keen elf eyes could pick out the formations of the Sea Creatures.

Moments ago his scouts had brought the news of the invaders approaching down the coast. Looking upwards Eataine praised Raloris that he’d brought allies with him on this expedition. In the sky above the Dragon Lord Vandruil and his brethren Drakon riders came into view. Meanwhile grateful for his aid in fighting the Abyssal invasion of Bel-Valdar King Paweldran had insisted that two Loremasters, Alenui the King’s brother and Eldroth the King’s Chief advisor would accompany the party. Eataine strode down the steps ready to join his assembling forces.

Game Intro and Lists:

This weeks game was against Jeff and his Trident Realms. I decided to bring out my Dragon list for something different.

Elf List:

Dragon Lord (Vandruil): Blade of Slashing: 320pts

Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant, Lightning Bolt: 135pts

Mage (Eldroth): Lightning Bolt, Boomstick: 125pts

King (Eataine): Horse, Lifeleech (1): 145pts

Drakon Horde: Fury: 290pts

Stormwind Regiment: Pathfinder: 235pts

Stormwind Regiment: Strider (1): 230pts

Seaguard Horde: Brutal: 270pts

Archer Regiment: 120pts

Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts

This list is the continuing evolution of the list I’ve mainly been using at tournaments in 3rd edition. Having been using the Seaguard recently I was interested to see how they would fare in this list so I dropped a Palace Guard horde to fit them in. It’s a fairly flexible list but only has 10 drops so I’d likely be outnumbered by almost any opponent.

Trident Realms list:

Depth Horror Eternal: Inspiring Talisman: 135pts

Depth Horror Eternal: 115pts

Depth Horror Eternal: 115pts

Gigas Horde: 205pts

Gigas Horde: 205pts

Gigas Horde: 205pts

Depth Horror Regiment: 110pts

Depth Horror Regiment: 110pts

Knucker: 150pts

Knucker: 150pts

Knucker: 150pts

Tidal Swarm: 70pts

Tidal Swarm: 70pts

Tidal Swarm: 70pts

Tidal Swarm: 70pts

Tidal Swarm: 70pts

Jeff’s list had changed a lot from previous games the defence 3 Thulls had been replaced by Gigas with defence 6 in the front. Backing them up was a solid mix of Depth Horrors and Knuckers. The odd element is 5 tidal swarms these are vulnerable (especially to shooting) but with ensnare, scout and nimble they’re great at screening and objective/scenario roles. This would be a tough list to crack.

Deployment and Scenario

The scenario was Loot, this feels like it plays into Jeff’s hands as he’s got lots of potential carriers and other units to block me with.

*Picture is after scout moves

I hadn’t used this list in a long time wasn’t sure how to approach things. I figured with Jeff outnumbering me 16-10 I’d best keep things simple with a fast element on either flank and the infantry central so that I could use my speed to reposition where needed. Jeff deployed in two blocks a small block on the right and a big one on the left.

I won the roll for first turn, I was unsure whether to take it but I figured if I didn’t Jeff may take up a very strong position around the tokens I couldn’t recover from.

Elf Turn 1

Seeing the unsupported Tidal swarm on the right the Dragon and Silverbreeze moved up to shoot it whilst the Cavalry slid over to cover a wider area. In the centre the infantry massed on the hill to given them good sight over the board. On the left my units shuffled a little bit as they were fairly happy in their positions.

Shooting started well on the right with the Tidal swarm engulfed in dragon’s breath. In the centre I had the choice of swarms who were in cover or defence 6 Gigas who were not. With no heal in Jeff’s list I decided a few wounds on the Gigas could prove crucial so opened up with everything at them. Sadly their thick shells were more than a match for the arrows and lightning bolts sent their way and they emerged unscathed.

Trident Turn 1

Jeff advances en masse on the left, numbers giving him the confidence to be aggressive. He was more circumspect on the right where he lacked a numerical advantage.

Elf Turn 2

In the centre the infantry positioned on the hill saw an opportunity to draw first blood on a Giga unit, along with the Stormwind the Seaguard and Archers stormed into the crab like creatures.

The Dragon seeing space in behind Jeff’s lines swept over the top of the wood and the Knucker. King Eataine decided to charge the Knucker in the pool seeing it as a good chance to get in behind the Trident Realm lines and begin causing damage to a key weapon in their arsenal. The remaining units shuffled ensuring the best vantage points to observe and strike from.

Fortune favoured the elves as shooting saw the two mages fry the Knucker despite little damage being done (double 6 on nerve).

Combat fared less well, expertly wielded swords, spears and lances pierced the weak points in the Giga’s shells but despite this the magic pendant wielded by the nearby Eternal glowed in a blue light filling the monsters with just enough courage not to flee the field (rolled a 3 on the second nerve roll needing a 4). King Eataine wounded the Knucker he was facing with two vicious cuts but the creature fought on.

Trident Turn 2

The Gigas having barely survived the assault from the hill withdrew and turned to face the Dragon (I now realise the Seaguard’s Phalanx would have removed the nimble used to do this) whilst a swarm sacrificed itself in a blocking move. On the right the Eternal and depth horror regiment advanced on to the objective and put pressure on the Elven Cavalry.

The Stormwind in the centre found themselves caught out of position after not breaking the Gigas and got engaged in the front and flank by Gigas. A Knucker fearing the same death by electrocution endured by his kin the previous turn charged the boomstick mage. The other Knucker decided to continue combat with King Eataine.

In combat the Gigas overwhelmed the proud Stormwind Knights enacting retribution for the damage done to their brethren. The Knuckers wounded the Elven Nobles they faced but not enough to concern them.

Elf Turn 3

The mages moved down off the hill away from danger. Alenui spotting a weak point on the side of the Giga’s shells aimed a lightning bolt injuring one grievously.

The Drakons took the opportunity of a flank charge on the mage hunting Knucker on the hill breaking it’s body in two such was the fury of their attack. In the centre the badly injured Gigas were still recovering themselves when an almighty Dragon fell among them scattering the survivors. The Seaguard flanked and destroyed a Tidal Swarm whilst the Archers fruitlessly engaged the Gigas.

On the right the Cavalry decided it was time to strike, both units charging the injured Depth Horror unit. Sadly rubber lance syndrome meant the Cavalry failed to break their foe and were now bogged down with the sea creatures and their Eternal.

Trident Turn 3

This would be a crucial turn on the right, if Jeff could waver or kill the Silverbreeze it would become very difficult for the elves to get that token or possibly even deny Jeff the token. The Eternal went into the Stormwind as the wavered Regiment used their fury to counter charge the Silverbreeze.

In the centre it was more a matter of entering a grind and seeing who came out on top. The Gigas and swarm in the wood charged the Drakons whilst the Giga’s in the middle charged the blocking archers. Not wanting to take any chances both the Eternal and the Swarm charged the Dragon to ground it. Finally the remain Knucker charged the king who’d run away from it last turn along with the swarms.

Combat saw the Drakons wavered by the Giga’s and swarm but the riders smiled smugly as they sipped from their newly acquired Chalice’s of Wrath. The archers took heavy damage but held the line unwilling to bring shame to their ancestors by fleeing. Combat Jeff thanked movement Jeff for doubling up on the Dragon as only 1 wound was caused. King Eataine surprisingly went down under a flurry of blows as the Knucker landed 6 wounds and the swarms several more.

On the crucial right flank the Eternal landed some damage but no waver on the Stormwind. The Depth Horrors lashed out at the Silverbreeze but their nimble hordes dodged left and right limiting the damage. Knowing how crucial the loot they held would be to their kind they faced down the beasts from the sea with a steely determination abandoning their spears they drew their swords ready to strike back.

Elf Turn 4

The Drakon riders put down their chalices to counter charge the Gigas. There wasn’t much movement with everything counter charging where it could. Shooting saw the Drakons swords glow with an amber light as Alenui blessed them and lighting landed a few wounds on the Knucker.

In combat the Drakons killed the Gigas taking advantage of their lack of inspire. A single Archer showing his skill with a sword was equal to that with a bow lanced his blade through the unprotected eye of a Giga in the centre. The Dragon’s claws raked against the Eternal but only surface damage was inflicted.

On the right the Elven Knights inflicted several wounds on the Eternal with their swords but to no avail. All eyes turned to the crucial combat on the right. One sword evaded the sea creatures parry but failed to pierce the Horror’s skin. All seemed lost but at the last moment an Elven scout weaved his blade past one of the monster’s defences and slashed a key artery killing it. The remaining sea creatures faced with such martial prowess lost heart and fled.

Trident Turn 4

With the right flank looking lost the Trident King’s forces redoubled their efforts in the centre. The Drakons were charged by both the remaining Gigas and Depth Horrors. Whilst the Knucker fresh from downing the King sought to finish off the battered Archers. The Dragon meanwhile was swamped by the Swarms and Eternal. On the right the Eternal continued its fight with the Stormwind.

The Drakons having already taken wounds from the first Giga charge decided to withdraw in the face of a combined assault. The Dragon suffered some damage from its enemies but continued undeterred. A Stormwind knight was killed by the Eternal but the unit held strong. The Archers despite taking grievous damage from the Knucker just managed to keep their nerve. A cold fury at the apparent killing of their King by the beast steeling their hearts (double 1 on the reroll).

Elf Turn 5

The archers holding was a huge boon. Taking full advantage they charged the Gigas to prevent nimble tricks being used to attack the Seaguard next turn. The Seaguard backed up to accommodate this whilst the Dragon charged the Eternal once more.

Shooting saw the injured Knucker wavered by lightning bolt and the Swarm go down to to the seaguard‘s bows. Strong combat rolls saw two Eternals die at the hands of the Dragon and Stormwind Cavalry.

Trident Turn 5

With limited options the Trident Realms finished off the Archer irritant and the swarm in the flank wavered the dragon preventing it from moving into the centre to support the Seaguard.

Elf Turn 6

The Seaguard deciding attack was the best form of defence charged the Gigas hoping to waver them ideally or if not kill them to reduce the attacks coming back at them.

Shooting killed off the Knucker whilst Alenui blessed the Seaguard’s Spears. In combat the Seaguard used their spears to good effect thrusting them into the weak points of the Giga’s shells. It was just enough to get the perfect result of a waver.

Trident Turn 6

Now limited to playing for a turn 7 Jeff took advantage of an open rear on the Dragon to help him encircle the Seaguard. The Dragon decided to flee rather than be subjected to anymore damage. A swarm that was able to reach the Seaguard landed a couple of wounds.

The only important dice roll for Jeff, however, was whether there would be a turn 7. It was not to be and the Elves carried the day!

Narrative ending:

King Eataine lay in his bed the Elven Healers having removed all signs of his wounds he would still need to rest for many days to recover his strength. Having been knocked unconscious by the great Sea Dragon, Eataine had not seen his forces drive off the watery host. Envoys would be sent to the Trident King in the hope this defeat would underline the futility in prolonged hostilities between the two people. Eataine doubted that would be the case the sea folk rarely showing such wisdom. Alenui and Eldroth were already overseeing the building of new fortifications to repel future attacks.

Conclusions and Jubilations:

There’s not a lot to say here to be honest we both played well and it’s hard to pick out many mistakes for either player. At most a few decisions were made that were fairly 50/50 with the other alternatives available.

The game came down to some key rolls, we both got some big rolls at times as the dice were very swingy but I got the ones in the critical places (namely Silverbreeze vs Depth Horrors and double 1 on the Archers). It nice to be on the right side of the dice for the first time in a while but even nicer not to have thrown the game away through silly mistakes!

List wise the Seaguard are good in this list but Palace Guard with staying Stone would probably be equally as good, they’re equal points so it’s an easy swap out either way. I’m definitely keeping fury on the Drakons as it’s a game changer. I feel like the rest of the list is spot on so doubt there will be many changes.

3 Likes

Battle Report #8

2000pts vs Forces of the Abyss: Push

Narrative Intro:

Vandruil sitting astride his mighty dragon Rhugar scanned the ground below. The mages Alenui and Eldroth had identified a disturbance in winds of magic. These same disruptions had been felt near their home in Bel-Valdar and had heralded an Abyssal invasion that had torn their homeland asunder. Only a great effort from an alliance of elven kingdoms had been able to drive the monsters back to their own dimension.

Vandruil had joined with the forces of King Eataine on the expedition inland to find and destroy the threat. A distant flicker on the ground, only visible at such a distance to keen elven eyes, caught his attention. Using his telepathic bond Vandruil urged Rhugar in the direction of the light.

Game Intro and Lists:

This weeks game was against Ben and his Abyssals. I decided to bring out my Dragon list once again but with a few tweaks on the minor items. Ben was practicing for the Kings Cup a knock out tournament held on Universal Battle. This round had a set map and scenario (push).

Elf List:

Dragon Lord (Vandruil): Lifeleech (1): 325pts
Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant, Lightning Bolt: 135pts
Mage (Eldroth): Lightning Bolt, Boomstick: 125pts
King (Eataine): Horse, Brutal: 145pts

Drakon Horde: Fury: 290pts
Stormwind Regiment: Pathfinder: 235pts
Stormwind Regiment: Strider (1): 230pts
Seaguard Horde: Fire Oil: 265pts
Archer Regiment: 120pts
Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts

Not much change from last time but I’ve been finding by the Dragon can get taken down or wavered over time through attrition so I moved lifeleech from the King on to the big guy. I quite liked the look of Fire Oil on the seaguard as it adds both piercing and crushing. The King then picked up brutal as I’d used this combo in 2nd ed and fancied running it out again in 3rd.

Forces of the Abyss List:

Ba’el: 265pts
Warlock: 90pts
Seductress: Mace of Crushing: 135pts

Mollochs Horde: Healing Brew: 230pts
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment: pathfinder: 260pts
Abyssal Fiend: 175pts
Abyssal Fiend: 175pts
Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts
Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts
Tortured Souls Regiment: 120pts
Tortured Souls Regiment: 120pts
Tortured Souls Regiment: 120pts

Ben’s list is unchanged he’s honed it into a lean mean fighting machine and I was keen to work out how to use the Dragon list against it (we had an unreported game with this match up and I wasn’t happy how I’d deployed/played it).

Deployment and Scenario

The scenario was Push it’s always an interesting scenario as it often brings out more extreme tactics as players often focus on one flank and the centre rather than a balanced deployment.

I chose sides and deployed first giving Ben 3 drops after I’d deployed my whole army. As such I largely deployed in a proactive manner as I couldn’t gain a lot of insight into Ben’s plans until I’d deployed nearly everything. I held back my archer regiment (my go to scenario mule) until last so I could place it on the most appealing flank. Otherwise I wanted to deploy fairly spread out, in Push I like to have substantial threats in all 3 sections (both flanks and the centre) so I can put pressure wherever the tokens are as this gives me more options to win rather than giving up any easy points to my opponent.

I deployed in 3 battle groups flyers on one flank cavalry on the other with shooting and infantry in the centre. Ben meanwhile had a different approach leaving the left abandoned. Instead he massed his troops almost entirely in one half of the board. This meant my flyers would have free reign to swing round and my Archers with the tokens should be fairly safe to advance giving me 4 easy game points. I won the roll for first turn and keen to get my flyers into a more aggressive position I took it.

Elf Turn 1

The flyers swing round while the rest of the army shuffled forwards. Shooting saw me start using the Seaguard to open up at the Warlock Ben was hoping would claim the central token. The Fire oil helped me cause a single wound off 5 hits as I rolled poorly to damage. Given that it would now take a very good roll from the mages to kill the Warlock I decided to instead try to build up damage on the Abyssal Fiend with the mages as it couldn’t regenerate.

Abyss Turn 1

Ben was hesitant in the centre with the Dragon staring down the flank of anything that would try and come down the board. The Warlock set out alone to pick up the token with the Seductress moving up to threaten the mages.

On the right Ben was patient avoiding moving into charge range of the two knight units with anything too valuable. Ba’el launched a lightning bolt at one unit of the Elven Cavalry injuring a couple.

Elf Turn 2

On the right the king charged the tortured souls to prevent them from charging the knights next turn. The knights meanwhile shuffled again hoping to delay the Abyssals from moving up aggressively. On the left the flyers and silverbreeze moved up to shoot the Fiend and get good lines of sight over the centre of the board.

In the centre the mages decided to take a risk and lightning bolt the Seductress rather than seek shelter behind the Seaguard. The Seaguard stayed still to maximise their shooting in case the mages didn’t need support from their bows in targeting the seductress.

The gamble paid off as the mages landed 8 damage on the seductress meaning the Seaguard could take careful aim at the Warlock inflicting 6 damage. The seductress was only wavered but the Warlock having only just picked up the loot died horribly as flaming arrows pierced its skin it‘s natural healing powers rendered worthless.

The Silverbreeze and Dragon could not match such heroics with only a single wound caused on the Abyssal Fiend. In combat the King struck left and right with his magical blade Sindarin each blow weakening the bonds holding the pitiful creatures to the mortal realm.

Abyss Turn 2

Ben retained a defensive position in the centre but moved up his shooters to return fire. On the right he moved more aggressively with Ba’el charging the cav in the wood and the Abyssal Fiend moving into charge range of the other knights.

Shooting saw some decent damage as both the Silverbreeze and the Dragon were scorched by the Flamebearers. In combat Ba’el managed 4 damage on the Stormwind despite being hampered by the tree branches. The Tortured souls meanwhile did just enough damage to the king to maximise their lifeleech.

Elf Turn 3

On the right I decided it was time to take action. The unengaged Stormwind chose the mighty Abyssal Fiend as their target as although tough to break getting substantial damage on him may prove crucial later in the game. It would also block him from charging the King who had gone into Ba’el along with the counter charging knights hoping again to build damage on him as he could also be crucial late game.

In the centre with no attractive charges the Dragon flew over the building to get behind the Abyssal lines. The Seaguard moved up towards the central objective whilst the mages positioned themselves to get a range of targets.

Shooting saw the Seductress fall to Alenui’s lightning bolt. Everything else webt into the injured Abyssal Fiend it was just as well as the Fiend very nearly clung on to life (I needed a 6 on nerve and rolled a 6 followed by another 6 :sweat_smile:). Combat was less successful but saw damage build up on Ba’el and the Fiend which may prove crucial down the line.

Abyss Turn 3

With the Cavalry now exposed Ben now set about punishing their impudence. The Fiend counter charged along with the Abyssal Horsemen. Ba’el charged once more into the cavalry in the wood. In the centre he turned to face the Dragon whilst a Tortured Soul charged the Seaguard.

Shooting saw the Silverbreeze break as the repeated attention of the Flamebearers proved too much. Whilst the Dragon took an extra wound from the other unit. In combat the Stormwind were easily routed by the combined might of The Fiend and the Horsemen. Ba’el meanwhile wavered the Stormwind in the wood preventing a potentially dangerous counter next turn.

Elf Turn 4

With only a few turns remaining the Elves needed to start landing some serious blows to the Abyssals forces or risk being overwhelmed. Priority one was the Mollochs with no inspire in range the Drakons took the risk and ploughed into the front of them. The Seaguard boosted by bane chant countered the Tortured Souls hoping to finish them off and take up a strong position in the centre of the board. The Dragon meanwhile flew over the Mollochs to threaten the right flank making Ben think twice about where to commit his troops for the final turns.

Shooting saw the Fiend take further damage but the beast remained unconcerned. In combat the Seaguard tripped over their spears so only did limited damage to the Tortured souls and the resulting nerve check fell one short of what was needed. The King returned to combat with the tortured souls but damage was limited by his journey through the wood. In the key combat the Drakons vanquished the Mollochs.

Abyss Turn 4

The Mollochs dying was a big loss for Ben. With the Dragon and Drakons both now facing his rear most of his movement was aimed at facing these threats. A mistake by the Drakons had left just enough room for the Flamebearers to charge into their flank and the other unit landed more wounds on the dragon. A double 6 on the nerve check raises Ben’s hopes of a waver but sadly for him he’d just managed to rout the Dragon who was then fine on the second roll.

In combat Ba’el finished off the Stormwind Cavalry at his third attempt. The Tortured Souls punished the Seaguard for failing to rout them last turn with a few more points of damage.

Elf Turn 5

With Ba’el now free from the Cavalry combat and facing the centre of the board the Seaguard were in a tricky position if they want to try and claim the token without risking a Flank charge from Ba’el. To avoid this issue King Eataine charged into the forest to disrupt Ba’el and the two mages positioned themselves to block any ground charge as they would no longer yield to Ba’el if he was disrupted.

The Dragon spying an open flank charged the Tortured Souls not holding the loot to put it in a good position next turn. Finally the Drakons countercharged charged the Flamebearers wanting to ensure the centre was secure.

Shooting saw Eldroth’s lightning bolt banish the second Abyssal Fiend. In combat the King clipped Ba’el’s Wings with Sindarin ensuring the Seaguard were safe. The Seaguard themselves then finished off the Tortured Souls and advanced towards the central loot counter. The Drakons and Dragon easily killed their targets meaning the game was now looking very tough for Ba’el and his Abyssals.

Abyss Turn 5

With limited options Ben offered up the token carrying Tortured Souls to the dragon in a position where he could then counter with Ba’el and the Abyssal Horsemen to reclaim the tokens.

Shooting saw a few extra wounds put on the Seaguard and in combat Ba’el just managed to waver the King preventing him blocking the Horsemen’s charge next turn.

Elf Turn 6

An interesting rule change for the Kings Cup tournament meant that if there was a winner at the end of turn 6 the game ends and only in the case of a draw would a 7th turn be played. As such I looked to grab all the tokens now as there was little Ben could do in his remaining turn to stop me winning.

The Seaguard moved up collecting the central loot token and turned to face Ba’el whilst the Dragon charged the Tortured Souls and the Drakons the remaining Flamebearer unit.

Shooting saw the Seaguard and the Mages target Ba’el hoping to waver him, however, much like with the Dragon a few turns earlier Ba’el was routed by a high initial roll but saved by a lower second roll. The Dragon and Drakons killed their foes meaning I held all 5 loot tokens.

Abyss Turn 6

Unable to prevent defeat Ben tried to make the score more respectable with the Abyssal Horsemen charging the Dragon and Ba’el taking out his frustrations on the King. Both were killed easily but a low advance roll for the Horsemen meant they could only get 1 point for each loot token. With the score at 5-2 to the Elves the special tournament rules kicked in and the game ended (we were using these as it was a practice game for Ben).

Narrative ending:

Alenui and Eldroth stood before the maelstrom of energy which served as a portal between the mortal realm and the Abyss. Having pushed back the Abyssal’s vanguard force the Elven Loremasters had the opportunity to close this gateway before more of the foul beasts could pollute the land. Precious crystals were laid out on the ground protecting the mages from the malevolent forces which reached out from the void. Slowly they began the task in front of them, manipulating the energy streams so they fell in on themselves dismantling the portal once and for all.

Conclusions and Jubilations:

This was a very interesting game from a tactical perspective in my opinion. The scenario and our contrasting approaches to deployment made for an interesting game with lots of repositioning as we each wrestled to gain the upper hand. A few key nerve rolls could easily have seen things shift dramatically as killing a single unit often created several opportunities.

I think a huge factor in the Elf victory was Ben deciding to leave the left of the board entirely open. This meant I could move up unhindered and had a dragon staring down the flank of anything he tried to move in the centre. A single Tortured Souls regiment on that flank could have dramatically reduced my options potentially slowing me down a buying crucial time for him to try and gain the upper hand.

I was quite happy with how I played in general but it’s harder to evaluate mistakes in a victory. Possibly I could have used my Knights better to delay Ben on the right for longer rather than giving Ba’el a charge into the woods that I couldn’t counter with a supporting charge from the other unit.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed the game and any comments or insights as always would be welcome.

6 Likes

Battle Report #9

2000pts vs Forces of the Abyss Invade

Narrative Intro:

Amarynth strode the lines, confident that everything was in place he gave the order to begin the march. The Abyssal scourge had infested yet another neighbouring island. With fresh memories of the scars previous incursions had left on their homelands the elves had been quick to dispatch aid to fight the menace.

Amarynth‘s mission was to drive deep into Abyssal held territory diverting Abyssal Forces from their allies to allow relief forces through to reinforce the beleaguered defenders. Mounting Navarel he took off to fly above his forces eyes trained on the horizon to give early warning as soon as the enemy was sighted.

Game Intro and Lists:

This weeks game was against Ben and his Abyssals. I‘ve been struggling to get my current army list to work vs his but had made some progress recently so was hopeful I’d improved enough to get the win. Ben was practicing for the Kings Cup a knock out tournament held on Universal Battle. This round had a set map and scenario (Invade).

Elf List:

Drakon Rider (Amarynth): Brutal: 180pts
Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant, Lightning Bolt: 135pts
Mage (Eldroth): Lightning Bolt, Boomstick: 125pts
King (Paweldran): Horse, Duellist, Shard blade, Blade of the Beastslayer : 180pts

Palace Guard Horde: Fury: 280pts
Spearmen Horde: Brew of Strength: 270pts
Stormwind Regiment: Pathfinder: 235pts
Stormwind Regiment: Strider (1): 230pts
Forest Guard Troop: 105pts
Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts
Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts

This is the list I’m currently painting up in a red era style on my painting blog, I really love using this list as it feels very balanced this does, however, make it challenging to use sometimes as it lacks a clear way to play because it’s so flexible so I often don’t use it in the optimal fashion.

In particular I’ve not been using the Drakon Rider very well so I’m keen to try some alternative strategies for him to try and get good usage out of him.

Forces of the Abyss List:

Ba’el: 265pts
Warlock: 90pts
Seductress: Mace of Crushing: 135pts

Mollochs Horde: Healing Brew: 230pts
Abyssal Horsemen Regiment: pathfinder: 260pts
Abyssal Fiend: 175pts
Abyssal Fiend: 175pts
Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts
Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts
Tortured Souls Regiment: 120pts
Tortured Souls Regiment: 120pts
Tortured Souls Regiment: 120pts

Ben’s list is unchanged from the last report the speed and shooting both cause me a lot of problems so I need to try and figure out some answers to those.

Deployment and Scenario

The scenario was invade it’s always an interesting scenario as it often brings out more extreme tactics as players often focus on one flank rather than a balanced deployment.

Ben chose sides and deployed first meaning we’d finish deploying at nearly the same time. I’d worked out a pre-meditated deployment based on how I wanted my units to support each other. I wanted the Cav to be able to charge aggressively into the shooting or Tortured Souls and my Infantry to be able to follow up quickly to support. As such I deployed both infantry hordes supported by a cavalry unit with the King and Drakon supporting as each as well.

Ben spread out his forces so nothing really impacted my plan. I had one Silverbreeze unit on the left flank fairly unsupported with the intention being to delay the odd unit whilst my main force went down the right. Ben won the roll for first turn and took it.

Abyss Turn 1

The Abyssals advanced cautiously not wanting to push into range or sight of the elves. Shooting saw Ba’el unleash a lightning bolt at Amarynth (Drakon) singeing it’s wings slightly.

Elf Turn 1

Not wanting to get shot up by the Flamebearers on the hill I pushed up my lines aggressively on the right. Meanwhile in the centre I followed Ben’s lead and stood on the other side of the wood. My Silverbreeze charged the Abyssal Fiend to block it from charging my advancing units.

Spying the Flamebearers upon the hill a cold fury enveloped Eldroth he whirled his staff through the air with increasing speed drawing his power from the air itself. The air around the staff began to crackle, the staff span faster and faster until Eldroth thrust the staff high in the air released a vicious arc of lightning towards the miserable creatures of the abyss. As the almighty bolt struck the hill a blinding light erupted, once this had cleared no Abyssals nor a large chunk of the hill remained. (My boomstick mage got 7/8 hits with elite then making it 8/8, wounds were also 8/8 and with 3 more from Alenui I comfortably broke the Flamebearers)

On the left the Silverbreeze managed a single wound on the Abyssal Horsemen.
Combat saw the other Silverbreeze unit avoid the flailing claws monstrous Fiend to bury several of their spears into it’s chest.

Abyss Turn 2

The Abyssals largely retained their defensive positions. Ba’el and the Seductress double teamed Lord Amarynth whilst the Tortured Souls charged to block the Cavalry and the Fiends targeted the Silverbreeze units.

Shooting saw the Silverbreeze on the left flee from a Fiend’s fireball and the Palace Guard suffer a few casualties from the Warlock and Flamebearers. The second Silverbreeze units suffered for the temerity of wounding the Fiend as it’s claws ravished them terribly scattering the remaining elves (7 hits and 7 wounds). The Tortured Souls landed 3 wounds on the Stormwind but the combined might of Ba’el and the Seductress was unable to break Lord Amarynth’s spirts merely wavering him momentarily.

Elf Turn 2

Both Silverbreeze units dying was a harrowing blow to the Elven force, however, sterling themselves they set about bringing retribution to the Abyssal force. The Palace Guard charged into the injured Fiend with the Forest Guard storming through the forest to block the Mollochs from charging in response. The Spears on the right marched quickly keen to avoid Ba’el threatening them if he could finish of Amarynth.

The Stormwind by the wood slid over to move away from the units coming down the left whilst still protecting the elven forces from anything coming into the wood. The other unit of Elven knights drew their ancestral swords ready to free Tortured Souls from this realm. King Paweldran moved into a central position to cover most options next turn.

Worn out by their endeavours last turn Alenui and Eldroth managed little a few wounds on the Flamebearers and a failed attempt to bless the Stormwinds swords with bane chant.

Combat went far better for the Elves with the Palace Guard’s swords easily rending through the Abyssal Fiend’s flesh and despite no magical aid the proud Elven Knights vanquished the Tortured Souls.

Abyss Turn 3

Things were getting tight for Ben so he needed to turn the tide. The Warlock had a rear charge on the Palace Guard so took it whilst the Mollochs charged the blocking Forest Guard. The seductress left Ba’el to finish off Amarynth charging in to block the Stormwind instead. Other elements either moved away from the Spears or swung round on the left.

Shooting saw a couple of wounds on the knights from the Flamebearers. In combat disaster struck for the Elves first the Warlock crashed into the Palace Guard causing so much havoc that they would be unable to reorder their ranks to charge the Mollochs next turns. Equalling troubling the Seductress wavered the Stormwind causing further disorder in the elven lines. One bright spot was Ba’el failed to land more than a single blow on the nimble Amarynth meaning he survived another turn (although still wavered).

Elf Turn 3

With most of my units wavered or out of sight of the enemy choices were limited for the elves. The King decided to try and clear off the Seductress whilst the mages hoped to at least waver the Flamebearers with their lightning bolts. The Palace Guard countercharged the Warlock keen to enact some revenge.

The Flamebearers only took light damage from the lightning bolts but were still wavered. Meanwhile despite decent damage King Paweldran couldn’t even get a waver on the Seductress meaning she had a free reign next turn. The Palace Guard killed the Warlock and advanced to try and pull the Mollochs into a worse position as it was unlikely they’d survive a front charge any better than a rear one.

Abyss Turn 4

With several Elf units close to breaking the Abyssals torn into their foe. Ba’el continued his duel with Lord Amarynth (who so far had spent the entire duel ducking aNd diving). The Mollochs gleefully smashed into the Palace Guard rear and the Tortured Souks joined the Seductress in attempting to finish off the Stormwind who’d so far spent the whole game sitting on a fence.

The remaining units continued to move around the flank with the wood continuing to be a barrier. Combat saw poor nerve rolls mean only the Palace Guard perish with the Stormwind and Drakon Lord merely wavered. Crucially the Mollochs managed to back up enough to be out of the Stormwind Cavalry’s line of sight.

Elf Turn 4

With few units left I had to carefully decide what to prioritise. The Spears charged the Flamebearers whilst the King charged in to block the Mollochs. The Cavalry abandoned their careful watch of the wood to get out of range of the Tortured Souls and try to get their unit strength safely into the other side of the board.

In shooting I decided to gamble sending the smaller lightning bolt into the seductress and the bigger one into the tortured souls. This paid off as a single wound was enough to banish the Seductress but the Tortured souls only took limited damage. In combat King Paweldran executed a Molloch and the Flamebearers were extinguished by the elven spears.

Abyss Turn 5

Ben wasted no time shifting most of his troops towards my side of the board. The injured Tortured Souls committed to a hindered charge on the Stormwind Cav whilst Ba’el and the mollochs countercharged.

In combat the Stormwind and Drakon finally gave up and were routed. The King held firm, however, only wavered by the Mollochs raining blows down on his ancient armour.

Elf Turn 5

It was time to do some maths Ben had 9 unit strength likely to score towards the scenario (only the Mollochs would be blocked. I had 7, these were fairly safe. I’d need to kill a tortured Souls unit mainly with lightning bolt in the next two turns to force a draw and a turn 7 (we’re playing special tournament rules where the game ends turn 6 if there is a winner). If I could kill the second unit of tortured souls in turn 7 I’d win otherwise it comes down to a roll off if it’s still a draw.

Most decisions were fairly easy the Spears went into the Mollochs and the Stormwind went full speed out of trouble. The challenging decision was what to do with the mages. If I wanted a clean shot at the uninspired tortured souls I’d need to open my self up to some potential charges and return fire risking my lightning bolts being shutdown.

In the end I decided to have my Boomstick mage have a clean shot whilst offering the Tortured Souls a charge they probably wouldn’t take whilst the inspiring mage moved to inspire the Cavalry from any shooting targeted at them but this meant he’s shoot into cover.

The critical shooting phase saw Eldroth and Alenui focus their energies on the uninspired Tortured Souls. Both drew forth as much power as they dared to unleash upon the chains binding the spirits. Alenui started well putting two damage on them despite the cover. Eldroth unleashed all his energy at the abominations but despite four hits only a single bolt wounded. A good nerve roll was wasted with so little damage done.

Abyss Turn 6

With no scoring units willing to abandon their side of the board the game would come down to shooting. Ba’el and the Abyssal Fiend only managed 3 wounds on the boomstick mage but he just managed to get the critical waver. It would be tough going for the Elves to save the game now!

Elf Turn 6

There wasn’t much left to do Alenui attempted to lightning bolt the injured Tortured Souls but only landed a single point of damage which was insufficient. King Paweldran charged the other unit but was equally ineffective.

With that Ben was up 9-7 and the game ended.

Narrative ending:

Amarynth sat in his tent his armour battered and his body bruised from the duel with Ba’el. The battle had been a close run thing but the Abyssals had carried the day. The elves had failed to strike deep enough into enemy territory and their allies would continue to be pushed on their front.

Conclusions and Recriminations:

This was a tough game to start picking apart as I felt I was in good positions in most of it but there was also a lot of swingy dice rolls the Drakon lasting for long and the Flamebearers dying turn one for me and Ben got some key wavers which also had a big impact so the game could have been completely different in a variety of ways.

On mistake I definitely feel I made was not putting the Forest Guard into the central wood in the first turn. Ben had some units coming round the left flank and I should have been more aggressive to strike before they could move round. One I’m less sure on is the King’s positioning. I moved him to be able to engage Ba’el if he flew over the Drakon Lord but this meant he couldn’t charge anything in turn 2. It would have been handy to have him perhaps shutting down something or at least threatening.

The big overall issue I’ve realised was most of my faster units were tied up so my slower stuff was free but couldn’t threaten as much. Despite moving 24 inches in the first two turns my Spears couldn’t charge anything until turn 4. I had both Silverbreeze dead, one cav watching a wood, the Drakon blocking Ba’el and the King eventually started coming into play later on. I only had one fast unit in a position to threaten so Ben only needed to block them up with his fast units then he was otherwise safe.

5 Likes

I read these and, being an elf player across many games, I am sitting on the edge of my seat while I read it. Victory is cheered and defeat mourned.

1 Like

Thank you I’m glad your enjoying them.

Clash of Kings 22 initial thoughts

RC & Mantic haven’t held anything back this year in terms of number of changes this seems to be vastly more than we’ve seen in any previous years. I’ve commented to a few people that perhaps they should have just reprinted fresh army lists rather than listing the changes! So it’s going to be a very different landscape going forward for both you and your opponents armies.

Overall Impressions on Elf changes:

I think it doesn’t really shift the power level of elves as other than the dragon going down in points none of the best stuff got better and none of the improved stuff became the most competitive option. What I think it did do, however, is create a lot more competitive options where you can swap out the usual suspects for little to no loss in competitiveness and create more variety of lists that function in different ways. So big thumbs up from me as I imagine this was the RC’s goal.

Seaguard:

I think the Gladestalkers and Seaguard changes are probably the most impactful changes to me. You can now take a lot of shooting effectively and both units have decent combat ability so you can play an aggressive advance and fire tactic (which I used a lot in 2nd ed). I ran a seaguard horde following the points drop last year and they were pretty decent but steady aim is a game changer for them (as you need to keep them moving) I think they’re probably level with Palace Guard hordes in power level now.

Glade Stalkers:

I really like how they’ve addressed these guys. They’re a lot of points but by increasing attacks and Melee they’ve made them worthwhile without adding crushing or thunderous which would have felt wrong thematically. Elf players now have a bow based shooting option to be proud of. One or two of these are a good addition to most armies now.

King’s Champion:

I like the King’s Champion as I already liked the foot king and this guy gets some good buffs over the basic King him (I like Phalanx especially). I’m not sure if he’s worth the points without at least 1 probably 2 hordes of spears though. Spears need some waver protection so they can take killy items so it’s a decent combination I’m keen to try. Outside of that is the fury aura worth investing in for Gladestalkers (are any of the other Kindred units worth taking?) I’m not so sure.

Quicksilver Cavalry:

Stormwind Cavalry Regiments have always had big neon lights above them saying “I couldn’t afford the Drakons horde”. Now we see an upgrade which closes the gap in both points and ability. Nimble on the cavalry stands out it’s great for bombing down a flank and turning in as Drakons used to so pairs really well with a Drakon Horde coming front the front to perform a pincer. Pathfinder will also be the obvious magic item pairing for tearing around the battlefield. Corkscrew charge tricks are limited by the risk of disruption, however, throw in a bane chant and the prospect of 32 elite CS 1 attacks is still going to keep your opponent watchful of their flanks.

It’s nice to finally take 15/17 nerve Elven cavalry which seems the right figure based on the fluff (human cavalry getting more or even the same seems wrong to me). I’m still not convinced if it’s really a better deal than Drakon Riders though I think the Drakons still edge it but I’m likely to take the Quicksilvers quite regularly to test them out.

Drakon Formation:

I don’t have Drakon regiment units so this formation isn’t very relevant to me but its a nice and appropriate buff for those units. I’ve found when I took Drakon regiments the Stormwind Regiments are better value (as you can reliably kill chaff in the front) but adding nimble changes the ways you can utilise the Drakon regiments quite a bit though. Rampage is a well suited upgrade to the Drakon Lord as he’s a touch lacklustre without it but he’s still quite pricey IMO. It’s a very MSU style formation and I know a certain citizen of Hoeth is keen to try it.

Archers:

The big change people have been asking for has arrived and yeah um meh. I never got the lore argument against range 5+ archers (human stats plus elite is the standard adjustment for elves), and I always argued that whilst at 120pts archers were a useful unit for the list increasing the cost to ~150pts for Range 4+ wouldn’t really leave them a role. As it is defence 3 simply adds emphasis that these are just really bad Gladestalkers. The horde doesn’t seem attractive given there are few good items to buff them and every other shooting unit feels better value than the troops or regiments. I think they will only see a place in a list now when you want the unlock and really really can’t afford the Gladestalkers.

Kindred Warriors:

Anticipating we’d have got accustomed to our loot token donkey Archer regiments the RC have replaced that cheap and cheerful unlock with an equally pointed 120pts Kindered Warrior regiment. Problem is for all the shooting is dead talk, even weak shooting attacks are still quite valuable in the game much more so that mediocre combat attacks. These guys add so little a spears regiment with their protective phalanx or even more so an increasingly tempting seaguard regiment just make a lot more sense if your eager to have a unit for the objective grabbing support unit role. These guys really needed to be 10pts cheaper to even enter the mind of the discerning elf general IMO and they still feel a bit pointless then.

Dragon:

Dragon is an awesome piece one of the heavy hitters in the elf list, present in most successful elf list and as has always been the case in KoW “if it’s a dragon it’s going to be good”. So no idea why it’s got a points drop but I’ll take it. Living legend version looks a lot more competitive with nimble added and points deducted the basic is probably still best most of the time though.

Drakon Lord:

Desperately needed something, rampage would have been nice (good example of why I don’t like the use of formations to fix stuff) points drop is welcome but it still feels 10pts too much for a unit that just falls a bit short in my experience.

Drakon Hatchlings:

I think the Drakon swarms are good as a regiment probably trumping forest guard troops as the go to light chaff unit now. I wouldn’t be surprised if the horde is used effectively by somebody. I don’t have any models do I doubt I’ll use them personally.

Argus Rodinar:

Argus was already pretty good for his points he now seems really cheap for what he does but it still depends on your needs from your character slots so I think you’ll only see him a little bit more now than before but if he fits the list he’s a bargain.

Archmages:

I don’t use trees personally (coming from the high elf side of the family) but definitely a good change to increase surge caster options and help the list work in different ways.

Hunters of the Wild:

Still a very niche unit with its combined rules and still irregular. 90pts is cheap for a troop though so I think there is something there to be explored now. Again lack of models means I won’t be utilising these personally.

Nimue:

Only change I can see is she now has full inspire which is a decent improvement. At the same time I’d like to use her aggressively to get in the back lines turn 2 to get cloak of death working. I haven’t used this type of character before as it’s not really my style but she’s got a great back of tricks and I think she would work really well with the move and shoot style list Cok 22 has opened up.

War Chariots:

I’m assuming being made irregular again was an oversight that will be corrected. Despite this chariots are still unpopular and I think adding the new rule rampage would have been a good change both thematically and in game.

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Hi Paul!

Thanks a lot for your thoughts on the Elven updates in CoK22. It is always great to have insights from the more experienced and successful players on what’s available in the list now.

I certainly hope the changes will result in more varied and diverse armies being taken by the Elven players. Personally, I am very happy with some of them because they emphasize that aspect of the Elven armies that focuses on speed and maneuverability. The formation was a great surprise for someone who have been using Drakon Lord + 2 regiments of Drakon Riders for some time. :slight_smile:

I like the improvement to Sea Guard as well. I really like units that have multiple roles and I will try to find space for them in my army again. Not to mention to have a motivation to finally paint some nice models for them I have but that were kept in the boxes for too long.

Interesting comment about the Chariots. I thought how to include a regiment of those. I used to run one in 2nd edition and even started painting but I did not finish before 3rd edition. After that they changed too much and I was not able to find a role for them under new rules and with increased cost. A pity because such unit looks really good on the table. I did hope they would be updated too but it didn’t happen unfortunately. Same for Chariot Nobles.

I have a feeling that Chariots suffered because the Hordes taken in 2nd edition made the armies quite strong. And when the changes were introduced to mitigate the Hordes, the smaller versions of the unit became even less attractive.

Having said that, I am really happy with the update this time and I hope I will be able to test the army we have discussed elsewhere sooner than later.

Btw, I wonder what do you think about the magic system now and if you have considered any of the new spells for Elven Archmages?

Thanks!

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Thanks Swordy glad you like it.

Chariots are a tricky one as they’re a niche unit type so will only appear sporadically if pointed correctly anyway. If you make them too good for their points you get the heavy chariot builds we saw in 2nd ed after their buffs (elf chariots were actually perfectly pointed imo in 2nd before the buffs, I used a regiment regularly to good effect).

I hadn’t looked at the magic nor items before writing my thoughts on elves I may write something but I fear the main takeaway is lightning bolt remains the clear choice because it’s 99% guaranteed to be useful every turn (plus works well with the shooting upgrades provided) at most what I think we’ll see is popularity in purchasing a 2nd spell on a mage for key moments (Alchemist curse, host of shadow beast etc.)

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Mhhh on spells … I’ve been looking at Lightning Bolt + Alchemist’s Curse + that Amulet that lets you shoot with two spells in a turn once per game … that’s 5 LB Piercing 1 Dice and 6-10 AC Piercing 4 dice in one turn on a 140pts. mage (if I added it up right) … pricey … but tempting. :wink:

After using the amulett, it still gives you a versatile 5 Piercing 1 Dice in the 13-24" rangeband and 6-10 Piercing 4 dice in the 0-12" rangeband.

Alternatively I’ll try swapping out Lightning Bolt entirely on a mounted mage maybe and see how that goes … Piercing 4 on a spell is just too tasty not to at least mess around with it for a while :grin:

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As requested my thoughts on Clash of Kings: Magic and General changes Impact on Elves

New/changed rules:

Rampage and Slayer: seem more of a threat than an opportunity for elves.

Spellward: provides good protection for our opponents from our lightning bolt mages but probably more of a deterrent to those naughty triple lightning bolt Archmage generals. On the plus side is we may face less risk of facing lightning bolt spam armies.

Adjusted Spells and Arcane Abilities: not much of interest here that hadn’t already changed last year imo.

New Spells and Spellcaster Tiers:

I really like the idea of being able to buy different levels of spells to give more flexibility in points and would like to see it expanded to all spells in the future. Whilst tempting to go all in on the highest level of spell to maximise the dice I think flexibility is the best approach only splurging on the expensive options where there is a real need to fill a gap or provide a key ability to your forces.

Veil of Shadows: I like it, I’m not sure if I’ll find the points regularly though as I favour attack over defensive abilities. However, Shooting is a vulnerability for elves so it depends what your facing but if you’re having to storm a war machine encampment creating a protected bubble when you move into striking range could be a game winner.

Celestial Restoration: long range heal, I like the idea of the extra flexibility to cast heal where it’s needed most, it seems an all round better option that classic heal to me especially with the Shroud only adding heal 2 now.

Barkskin: that’s a long spell description. A preemptive heal is really nice for our def 4 hordes of infantry acting as a nerve buff when you might need to absorb a dicey charge.

Alchemist Curse: helpful spell as Elves lack high crushing/piercing options. But would you want it alongside lightning bolt? If you’re going to take it I feel you go all in for the 35pts tier 3 version.

Wither and Perish: anything that influences combats is a big deal. Without access to drain life this is tempting. My hesitation would be it works best at reducing enemy damage from charges you don’t really want to take would it be better to focus on bane chant to kill the unit off instead? It feels like an annoying spell to deal with when facing defence 6 heavy armies.

Scorched Earth: a big potential issue for Elves neutering the potential of our alpha strikes. Main takeaway for me is perhaps we should be taking hex regularly as a potential counter to this threat. I guess it depends if it becomes commonplace in opposing lists.

Host Shadowbeast: I‘m keen to try this out I’m very much of the opinion that fast individuals are too powerful if they have over 5 attacks. I doubt it’s worth it for elves unless you have tooled up king. I’m definitely thinking it’s a good choice when I take the Shardblade of the beast slayer combo on my mounted king. Otherwise you really want more than the CS 1 your other options offer and would be better with bane chant. The top tier is pricey and probably more for the fun of doing something silly like one shotting an infantry horde single handily. I think the bottom tier is the one to go for most of the time 3-5 extra attacks with conjurers staff is sufficient to tip the balance in a key combat where the King is supporting a main unit.

The big question with spells is does this replace lightning bolt as the go to option? I don’t think they do as a primary option but they do encourage mages to take a second spell perhaps instead of boomstick.

Magic Artefacts:

Ones that catch my eye:

Skirmishes Boots: could be fun not sure how effective it will be but worth a try on Forest Guard and maybe a Stormwind Troop. Will lack of height be a big factor.

Helm of the Drunken Ram: could be good on all our main combat options probably not first choice but TC 3 Stormwind or Drakons could be a frightening frontal charge to absorb incase you spiked your hit rolls. as even if hindered 4+ elite TC 2 would still rout light units or be frightening in the flank.

Amulet of Fireheart: Conjurers staff seems better unless your willing to commit to two combat based spells.

Gnome glass shield: could be tempting On a king if you’re in the habit of keeping individuals safe from shooting. Could even be worthwhile to draw out shooting whilst say in cover giving a minus 2 to hit and defence 6 target they really want to hit to prevent facing a defence 6 roadblock in combat.

Torc of Dissonance: potential protection mechanism against Shattered Earth? It seems like it would work after moving 18 inches and doesn’t need line of sight.

Wand of borrowed time: sounds fun idea but unless I’m missing something isn’t it a much worse version of the cheaper Amulet of the Fireheart? I appreciate you can use it multiple times but it’s very hit an miss that you’d get much value out of that.

Boomstick: sensible that something would happen to this, it still feels like probably the most competitive option but not by much. It feels like dropping it in the short term will be worth it just to get out of the rut of having used it in nearly every list for the last 2 years. It may reappear when I take a foot king as he’s a more appealing option than using the Arch mage’s precious item slot.

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