Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wood Elves Verse Orcs

Josh wanted to stick with the Goblin/Orc army. We bounced the point totals up to 2250 per army, this would allow Lord-level characters. The battles would be as follows:

Drew & Wood Elves versus Josh and the Orcs (proxying goblin figures for Orcs). We matched the points pretty well...2118 for the Orcs, 2112 for the Wood Elves!

Kenneth & the Dark Elves versus Rick and the Dwarfs. Using every Dwarf figure I have, we got the total for the Dwarfs up to 2188.

Phillip and the Lizardmen versus Chris/Kevin and the Vampire Counts. The Vampire Count army is interesting looking; We loaded them with Vlad Von Carstein, Isabella, Konrad, and Mannfred the Acolyte; the latter three are mere Hero level. Plus, we gave them Varghulf. All of them are Vampires which means at the minimum level one Wizards...though Mannfred the Acolyte is a level 2 and Vlad is a level 3. That means they had at worst a whopping 9 power dice! Magic ahoy. 
 Pictured from front right to back right: Vlad Von Karstein, Isabella Von Carstein, Konrad, Mannfred the Acolyte, 12 Crypt Guard (?), 15 skeletons, 15 skeletons, then on the left Varghulf, 24 Grave Guard, 25 Grave Guard.

Not that the Lizardmen were slouches in that department. Phillip had a 2nd generation Slann and 2 Skink Shamans. However, with somewhere around a million skinks, he also had plenty of firepower and with Temple Guard, a large Saurus unit, and 3 Kroxigor (I know, one cleverly disguised as a Minotaur...but whatcha gonna do, right?) he also seemed like a powerhous in every phase...shooting, close combat, magic.

Of course, the Vampire units were...well..wimpy. Other than causing Fear they pretty much blow chunks. Low ws, low strength, low toughness. Cheap, of course...but horrifically bad. As near as I can tell, their best use is protection and numerical support for getting the hand to hand monsters like Conrad and Vlad into close combat. Experimentation might prove that wrong, but it looked to me like throwing Vlad in with the 25 Crypt Guard, having him enter challenges and letting his overkill give huge cmbat resolution bonuses could really do some damage. Then again, I thought charging Wardancers into close combat was a good use of them...uh, no. So maybe (read "probably") I have no clue how to run the Vampire army.

Of course, one could argue I don't know how to run any army. This day would prove that further. The Goose and I went to Taken last night (review to be posted shortly) with Liam Neeson. Good flick, but I had planned that time to finish painting and gluing. Instead, I was trying to do that this morning. 

As a result, I was a bit rushed getting prepped for the Warhammer and later Texas Hold 'Em games and forgot some, a pen to keep notes. So we will see how memory serves.

We were going with Victory Points and a different terrain set-up:minimum 4 pieces, alternate placement by rolling on the 1995 Battle Book terrain chart, then after everything placed, roll scatter dice and 3d6 to see where it moved before rolling for sides.

Josh initially ran the river all the way across the board, but that would have meant I could concentrate all my archers on the 2 fords which means the battle would be over before it began, so we agreed to change it to the alignment seen below where it entered and left the same table edge. 

He deployed his Orc Board Riders (which to the untrained eye might bear a suspicious resemblance to Goblin Spider Riders...), Black Orcs with their Special Character...Grimgor? the one that rocks the Black Orcs, giving them Hatred and so forth..., Orc Arrer Boys, Orc Big Uns and Black Orcs (?) if memory serves. He planted his shaman behind the bowmen and his Stone Troll over on his right flank.

It worked well for me as I was outside 12" and was able to put my scouts behind the ziggurat. This would be great for me. I also took advantage of the Waywatcher ability to plant in the open to guard the ford with some great shooting troops. As if "Wood Elf" is not the definition of "great shooting troops".

Meanwhile, I put 20 Glade Guard in the Forest more or less at the edge of the River with my 6 Wardancers behind them, my 10 man unit of Glade Guard on the Hill with the Dryad s behind them and my Wild Riders of Kuornos ready to back up the Waywatchers with some mobile shooting.

My plan was simple; shoot the Orcs as they advanced, retreat before they could charge me, shoot some more, shoot some more, and then, when I had shot as much as possible...shoot some more.

Of course, locking myself behind the river seriously reduced my mobility. D'oh!

We had to roll 4 times to determine who would go first because we kept tying. Finally I won. Kenneth had pointed out that Fast Cavalry can march and still shoot so I got the Wild Riders up front in a hurry, getting them into range to fire on turn one. Meanwhile, my Scouts climbed the Ziggurat and unleashed a hail of arrows while my other 10 man Glade Guard got ready to fire. 

When you shoot 47 arrows, something is bound to go down and Orcs were dying in droves. It was mostly his Black Orcs taking damage.  

He was out of range of Magic so my first turn consisted of lots of shooting and lots of "Okay, your turn."

March forward except the Arrer boys so they could fire. He elected to ignore the small unit of scouts that shot at him. I probably would have sent the 12 Big 'Uns after them...but eh, whatever. I certainly can't fault him trying to get into my battle line as quick as possible. It is no secret Orcs rock at close combat while Wood Elves are not so good at it. If he could break my Glade Guard, I would be taking a LOT of Panic tests.

In his magic phase he rolled like a 15 for Gaze or Gork. I used a Dispel scroll rather than rolling against such a high score. Magic is pretty much worthless so far...


Stop me if you have heard this one before; Not much movement, just minor tweaking to maximize my firing. Then shooting, shooting some more, and closing out by shooting...oh, and watching my Magic get dispelled...

But this time the shooting was much less effective as he saved virtually every wound. I think out of 47 shots I did like 1 casualty? Maybe even none. It was brutal. Especially after the Orc turn...

Stop me if you have heard this one before...pass animosity except where it was beneficial, his Troll would not fail Stupidity all game, he did "fail" aniomosity with a unit he wanted to move forward quickly. 

Boom, the Close Combat is looming too soon as he moved forward rapidly.

At this point he looked to be charging my Waywatchers the next turn and my Glade Guard the following turn. THe Orc army was working well. This time I Dispelled his Gaze of Gork by rolling.

His shooting was pretty pointless, fortunately for me. 

What to do? Oh, I know...back off my Waywatchers to get one more turn of Shooting. Magic? Ha, he dispelled both attempts. I shot and shot and shot with decent success. He lost rank bonuses with two separate units. 

Key was my pesky Scout unit, plinking away from the back at his exposed units.

Ah, animosity, how I despise thee. His Black Orcs's Waaghed their way into charge range. I decided to flee my Waywatchers. He did not follow very far. My flee and shoot routine was working beautifully. The river was slowing him down, too.

Meanwhile, his Troll charged my Dryads unsupported. His troll suffered a wound for his audacity (after failing all 3 saves but Regenerating 2 of the 3).

Gaze was Dispelled again. See a pattern? Actually, late in the game my Spellweaver...a level 4 Wizard taken at the expense of being led by a Lord, a decision that would be disastrous when my Wardancers rolled one under the number needed on their break test...a test they would have passed if only I had the Lord Spellweaver did get 1 (ONE) spell successfully cast after the Shaman died. And did kill 1 (ONE) Orc, about 12 points. SO I essentially spent 600+ points to kill a 12 point model. Magic is as good as the Orcs.

Wood Elf Turn 4

For the first time in several games, Magic mattered as I got irresistible force and struck down a few Black Orcs.

Shooting was also great as my pesky Scouts shot down his Shaman which he had left alone behind the lines. I also took out a few more Black Orcs.

 And then it happened

Ah, joy of joy...I FINALLY, after over a decade of wanting to, I finally, finally, FINALLY got to send in the Wardancers. WS 6, 2 attacks apiece, +1 thanks to the Shadow dance, S4 for charging...I was going to open a can of whoop-tushy on their candy smurfs. 

So yeah, 19 attacks unleashed. No wounds. Zip. Zero. Nada. Nothing. I did, however, manage to lose a couple and the break test, fleeing.

Yup, that above is my beloved, anxiously awaited Wardancers dancing back through their just-reformed Waywatchers. *Sigh*. That was...uh...not really worth the wait? I think that is a fair assessment.

Fortunately, the Dryads restored some fun as they crushed the Troll by causing another wound (he once again failed 3 Scaly Skin saves only to save 2 of  3 with his Ward save). This time he broke, I overran and charged into his much-reduced Boar Boys, forgetting to force a Panic Test since my Dryads cause Fear. No worries. I had shot 5 of the 10 dead with Glade Guard.


His Black Orcs finally charged. Using Aenach, I decided to Stand & Shoot, taking out a couple more, including reducing his Rank bonus.

He also kept the pressure on my right flank, advancing across the river.

And just passing through to go after my Waywatchers.

Close combat, as you might expect between the Orcs and Wood Elves...uh..went the Wood Elf way as his Boar Boyz fled

After chasing them down, a turn or so later I turned my Dryads on his hapless Arrer boyz...good shooters, bad in close combat. Of his 7 remaining guys, I slew 5. Josh said, "no problem, the last two will each kill one." Which, needing 5s to hit and wound, they did. I, needing 5s to save, rolled 4s. So he went 2 for 2. But he still ran.

On his fifth turn, his last remaining unit chose to charge the Glade Guard. They, unsurprisingly, elected to stand and shoot. They shot down 4 of the 16 charging Orcs, just enough to force a break test, which...they failed. 

See the Orcs.
See the Orcs run.

 Dragon model not included...

His turn 6 he rallied which kept me from winning that table quarter, but that ended the game. 

This was a complete and total rout. He eliminated my 9 man Waywatchers and my 6 man Wardancers, which gave him their points + we gave him captured standards for them even though neither unit had Standard Bearers. That gave him about 600 victory points, give or take a handful of points.

Meanwhile, I killed almost 2000 points of his, slew the general, controlled 3 table quarters, captured several unit standards...I won by over 2400 points.

At this point, I am pretty much giving up on the Orcs and Goblins. They are worthless. They cannot win even when they have stronger, tougher warriors against poor (theoretically) hand to hand warriors. My Glade Guard held off and then defeated his toughest, strongest close combat unit. 

Face it, the Orcs stink badly. I really don't know what else Josh could have done. I suppose his trailing 12 Big Uns could have charged my Scouts on the Ziggurat and prevented a few casualties. Maybe. But that would not have turned the battle. I really thought the turn he charged all his hand to hand units in would be the end of the Wood Elf army but instead it crushed the Orcs.

I recommend that when the High Elf army Rick purchased arrive Josh either switch to the Dwarf army or to the Wood Elf army in which case I will go Dwarf. Goblins and Orcs? Done.

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