Battle Report #2
1500pts vs Forces of the Abyss
As first light entered the windows his eyes opened. He had not slept, he knew he would not. He rose walking to the balcony the oppressive heat present since the Abyssal invasion causing him to sweat already. Pushing aside the distractions of the heat he entered the meditative state taught to him long ago.
Slowly his body began to move through a series of slow thoughtful exercises gently stretching tensed muscles. Gradually the movements quickened from what appeared like an intricate dance onwards into leaps & thrusts barely visible to a human eye as more than a blur. Finishing the exercises balanced on the slender rail of the balcony Amarynth’s eyes opened looking out past the city’s walls to the once luscious fields. The peace which usually resulted from the exercises was absent, in its place a cold fury at what had become of his homelands since the Abyssal incursion.
After the chastising defeat which began the war Amarynth Warden of Tor Bel-Valdar must again lead his forces to face the Abyssal menace. Weeks of study and meditation had been spent honing his strategies and tactics learning from his past mistakes. Now he must prove himself equal to the challenge he’d already failed at once before…
Game intro and lists:
This is a rematch of Game 1 against Ben’s Forces of the Abyss with the same lists as last time but this time the scenario is Plunder. Here are the lists again:
Drakon Lord (Amarynth): Staying Stone: 175pts
King (Paweldran): Horse, Shard blade, Blade of the Beast slayer: 170pts
Mage (Alenui): Inspiring Talisman, Bane Chant (2), Lightning Bolt (5): 135pts
Palace Guard Horde: Chalice of Wrath: 280pts
Spearmen Horde: Brew of Strength: 270pts
Forest Guard Troop: 105pts
Stormwind Regiment: Potion of the Caterpillar: 235pts
Silverbreeze Troop: 130pts
Ben’s Forces of the Abyss:
Abyssal Warlock: 90pts
Abyssal Fiend: 175pts
Abyssal Horsemen: Jesse’s Boots of Striding: 255pts
Tortured Souls Regiment: Mace of Crushing: 125pts
Tortured Souls Regiment: Healing Brew: 125pts
Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts
Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts
Flamebearers Regiment: 155pts
Hopefully I had learned some lessons from last time out.
Deployment and Scenario
Scenario was plunder with the central loot token being worth 2 points.
The map had impassible terrain limiting a lot of movement on the flanks. My plan therefore was to place my infantry in front so that if I got first turn I could jump the faster units past the infantry and move the infantry hordes up in support. If I went second I’d be able to get my infantry right up in Ben’s face whilst my faster units would have a range of options depending on how Ben moved
Ben took advantage of the wood near his deployment zone to offer his Cavalry a screened approach but otherwise deployed fairly central again limited by the impassible. (I’m not convinced two decent sized pieces of impassible on a smaller 4 ft wide board is a good idea especially when they end up blocking both flanks!)
I’m generally a fan of going first to be assertive but on the final deployment I was thinking of going second to remove a turn where the flamebearers could shoot me and to allow me the last turn to hunt down loot tokens. As it was Ben took first turn so I was fairly happy with that.
Abyss Turn 1
Ben moved up quite aggressively, he’s a big fan of using a nimble monster to take tokens turn 1 so his Warlock grabbed the central one worth two points so this was already turning into a key point in the game.
The rest of the Abyssals advanced quite aggressively ready to protect the loot. Ba’el unleashed a lightning bolt at the Silverbreeze cavalry but in avoiding hitting the Palace Guard in front it end ended up going right over their heads.
Elf Turn 1
King Paweldran furious at the damage done to his realm by the Abyssal invaders charged straight for the Abyssal Fiend. The rest of the force pushed up keen to take the fight to the Abyssals before they got shot to pieces.
The Drakon Lord managed to get in a nice position staring down the flank of the Abyssals whilst denying any charges to the enemy using the impassible pyramid (I’m assuming the Abyssals brought this from their realm?).
In combat Paweldran arced his ancestral sword Yahdra down in a furious blow on the Monstrous fiend gouging a deep wound into its shoulder.
Abyss Turn 2
With the battlelines so close together the Abyssals launched a number of charges into the wood including the injured fiend. Meanwhile King Paweldran’s brave (or reckless) charge left him exposed to the Abyssal Horsemen who uses their strider item keen to expose the folly of the Elven arrogance.
Shooting underwhelmed with the Palace Guard weathering most of the shooting well whilst the Stormwind Cavalry lost a couple of pendants reducing their morale.
In combat bitt Tortured Souls units only managed single wounds as the woods got in their way. The abyssal fiend meanwhile comfortably broke the Forest Guard. The Horsemen caused grievous wounds on King Paweldran (11 damage) but remembering his vow in front of the Shrine of Raloris to cleanse the Abyssal filth from his lands Paweldran grit his teeth through the pain fought on (double 1 on the 2nd rout test).
Elf Turn 2
The battle was progressing at a furious pace. The Palace Guard, Drakon Lord and King found tempting targets in Flamebearers units. Meanwhile in the woods the elves counter charged the Abyssals wherever they could.
Alenui (Mage) wove a complex spell to bless the lances of the Stormwind Cavalry a flame engulfed each weapon as they carved into the monstrosity. The Fiend, however, was unconcerned by the damage wrought (low damage double 1s on nerve).
All the remaining engaged units were destroyed except for the tortured souls facing the silverbreeze who took a wound disordering them.
Abyss Turn 3
Amarynth (Drakon Lord) had fatefully miscalculated is position and found an angry Ba’el barrelling into his flank! Quite understandably he was rather stunned (wavered) by this turn of events.
Shooting saw the Flamebearers put a few more wounds on the Palace Guard. The Tortured Souls no longer hindered by tree branches finished off the Silverbreeze whilst the Fiend failed to do much to the Stormwind. The Abyssal Horsemen boldly charging headlong into a horde of spears managed to get 6 damage on them.
Elf Turn 3
After my mistake last turn King Paweldran and Warden Amarynth we’re both now vulnerable to attack from Ba’el. I decided to sacrifice Amarynth to keep Paweldran’s 360 arc charges for going after the loot carrying Warlock. Amarynth withdrew and pivoted to threaten the Warlock whilst also offering the rear to Ba’el forcing Ben to take the charge or risk losing a lot next turn.
King Paweldran charged the Abyssal Horsemen along with the counter charging spears keen to endure the remaining main Abyssal units were destroyed before they could do more damage. The Horsemen learned the hard way about cavalry vs spears and were banished back to the Cavalry Academy for more lessons.
The other combats saw the Stormwind finish off the Fiend and the Palace Guard kill the last Flamebearer unit reforming to threaten Ba’el if he didn’t get far enough away on his overrun next turn.
Abyss Turn 4
The warlock continued to skull away with the previous loot whilst Ba’el finished off Amarynth and the Tortured Souls did a few wounds in the flank of the spears.
Elf Turn 4
The garrison of Tor Bel-Valdar (Spears) steeled themselves and charged the mighty Ba’el. Again and again spears thrust piercing his leathery hide but alas he was unaffected.
The Stormwind cursed as they’d foolishly left themselves completely out of position so we’re left to practice their dressage technique in the forest. Angry at the idiocy of his household knights Paweldran committed himself into the flank of the Tortured Souls doing 4 damage but Ba’el’s menacing aura kept their souls bound to the battlefield.
Alenui attempted to drive the warlock off with lightning but only managed a single point of damage.
Abyss Turn 5
King Paweldran’s admittedly brave charge into the Tortured Souls was shown to be folly as they easily spooked his horse and hit the flank of the spears already engaged with Ba’el breaking their spirits to boot.
Elf Turn 5
The Stormwind keen to get back into the battle charged the Tortured Souls but the life energy they’d absorbed from the King and the Spears meant they just hung on.
The Palace Guard moved round to pick up the token next turn. Whilst Alenui fired another lightning bolt at the Warlock opening the wound that had just regenerated from its evil magic.
Abyss Turn 6
Ba’el and the Tortured Souls charged the Stormwind who keen to atone for their previous failures held firm (double 1).
Elf Turn 6
The Palace Guard picked up the loot whilst the Stormwind grounded Ba’el. All rested on Alenui banishing the foul Warlock he unleashed his full strength adding 3 more damage to the wounded beast. Alas whilst it struggled to stay in the mortal realm it just managed to cling on although it was visibly drained from the effort (wavered).
Time had run out for the Elves as the Forces of the Abyss once more win the day.
Alenui, youngest of Tor Bel-Valdar’s Loremasters, sat still eyes closed as he examined the alien device. The swirling green energies filled his mind’s eye. A pattern formed the one he’d been waiting for a flash of fire cut through the green strands and all was black. Alenui has severed the link with the Abyssal Realm. Knowing that these devices helped create links to bring more Abyssals into the lands of Bel-Valdar only made the failure to secure more of them in the recent battle all the more galling. Try as they might the city’s Loremasters could not defeat the Abyssal threat alone it would need to be achieved on the field of battle.
Conclusions and Recriminations:
Well that was a tale or two halves! No need to go back to the deployment phase on this one (although the Stormwind Leader point should have been deployed in the wood to allow them a turn 1 charge is a minor niggle). I usually play online games turn by turn spread out over a few days. This game was going really well on day one and was approaching a farce of ineptitude on day 2.
At the end of the Abyssals turn 2 it looked game over everything was in excellent positions. The avalanche of mistakes started in my turn 2 by mistakenly thinking I was out of Ba’el’s charge range with my Drakon Lord (we’re playin online and text based so often don’t confirm things with your opponent you usually would in person).
Turn 3 I didn’t position my Stormwind to counter anything instead leaving them whistling in the wind at a key moment. What’s worse is I compounded my mistake by not using the Cav to pick up the loot and instead bring my Palace Guard into the centre where they could have been better positioned than the cav could be.
Turn 4 was the real disaster charging the Tortured Souls with the King rather than the Warlock was a huge error in a multitude of ways. I did this favouring the lightning bolt which hits on 4/3s rather than the king who hits on 2/2s. It’s made even worse due to losing the option to bane chant the spears which could have caused Ba’el a lot of trouble.
From there I’d thrown my best opportunities. Only some lucky lightning bolts could have saved the day. I’d managed somehow not kill a single units in the final 3 turns of the game despite having nearly all my force left at the start of turn 4.
Well I hope you all enjoyed my embarrassment I certainly didn’t .