Monday, March 30, 2009

A Chaos Proxy game

Wanted to get Chad a little more experience moving guys around the field and Rick also wanted to get a small game in so I made up 3 small armies. Okay, in truth I made 8, but we used 3. 

Basically what I did was make up 500 point armies for the Dwarfs, Wood Elfs, Vampire Counts and Chaos. My initial plan was to use the Vampire Counts to see what they could do, but then I thought it might be fun to proxy a bit of Chaos and see if I would like it. I also made 750 point armies for the above.

We decided to start with the smaller, 500 point games. Chad would be the Wood Elf army. I gave them 6 Glade riders (Fast cavalry which allows them to march and shoot, M 9, BS 4, S 3 Longbows with 30" range) , a unit of 14 Glade Guard with Aenach (M5, BS5, 30 Longbows with S3 over 1/2 range and S4 inside 15"), and a Wood Elf Noble on Steed with a Hail of Doom Arrow (one use, 3d6 S4 shots).  It is designed to be a fast moving force that can essentially skirmish in line. The fast moving Glade Riders have essentially a 48" field of fire every turn and can quickly move to prevent march moves by the enemy while still shooting every turn. 

Due to space constrictions, we (illegally per Warhammer rules) allowed Chad to split the 14 Glade Guard into two 7 man units. More on that in a bit.

Rick wanted to try out the Vampire Counts. They had 25 Skeletons with full command (M4, WS2, S3) and 14 Crypt Ghouls (Poison Attacks, T4) to go with Konrad. His stats don't matter as we will see shortly. 

Meanwhile, I took Chaos. To the untrained eye my guys looked like a Wood Elf General on Steed and 8 Night Goblin Spider Riders, but to those of us who could see Tzeentch change illusion magic, they were clearly a Mounted Exalted Champion with Mark of Tzeentch (M7, Ws7, S4, Armor Save 2+, level 2 Wizard w/Red Fire and Indigo Fire) and 2 each 4-man units of Chaos Knights (M7, WS5, S5, T4, Armor Save 2+). Yep, Rick had 40 models, Chad had 21, and I had 9. All is once more right with the world. 

The field had trees and ruined buildings essentially flanking the 4 corners of the set-up zone. To maintain the 24" separation, Chad and Rick each had 12"x12" set-up zones on one side of the table and I had a 12"by 12" setup zone at the apex of the triangle away from them.

I tried to get Chad to put the Glade Riders in front as this would take advantage of their tremendous range and harrying ability, while giving him still plenty of room for his Glade Guard to use their deadly bows. Instead he placed one 7 man unit facing towards the V.C. and another at a 45 degree angle across his zone facing me, blocking in his Glade Riders on the back line. I thought about changing it for him, but then decided it would be better if he learned why since my explanation had not been very clear apparently so I let him keep the badly flawed set-up. 

Rick meanwhile had a building between his set-up zone and mine so he wisely placed his large skeleton unit facing towards me with the building protecting their flank from Wood Elf shooting and put his Crypt Ghouls next to them against his baseline, also facing me, with Konrad in their unit. 

I have sometimes been critical of some of Rick's set-ups, but that was certainly not the case here. I believe he maximized the protective capabilities of his forces while minimizing their weaknesses.

I, meanwhile, had a pretty basic set-up. With no screening forces and no shooting, my army desperately needed to get into close combat as quickly as possible so I lined them up a full 12" into the table and in a line, 4 to the left, general in the center, 4 to the right. My left wing would just barely clear the forest and my right wing would barely clear the building.

I won the right to go first and off I went. I moved the unit on the right and my General up towards the corner of a ruined building towards the Wood Elf army and the other unit up past the woods on my left to get in position for a charge on his skeletons or Crypt Ghouls.

Now, some of you will note the tactical error here. With such a tiny force, I should never divide my forces. Instead, I should try to wipe out one army or the other with all my force, then go after the other.

However, with two inexperienced opponents, I did not want to "pick on" anyone and this game was more about seeing how movement, shooting, and magic worked. Speaking of Magic...

Not only was my general a level 2 wizard, I gave both units the Mark of Tzeentch which meant they each added a power die to my magic pool giving me a whopping 5 power dice in a 500 point game. Pure brute force would insure I got in some effective magic.

First I threw Red Fire (30", d6 S6 hits) at the Wood Elf Glade Guard on 2 dice, but Chad wisely rolled both Dispel Dice he had and, much to the surprise of nobody, Dispelled it. Ah yes, pointless Magic my old friend, You've come to mock me once again (read the last line to the tune and rhythm of the Beatles song The Sound of Silence), specifically the part that goes "Hello darkness my old friend, I've come to talk to you again" and you will see the kind of twisted thoughts and humor that is constantly passing through my mind).

Then I cast Indigo fire at the Skeletons. Lo and Behold...I rolled 2 6s! It was Irresistible Force, I got one off! So I rolled against his 25 skeletons with S2 against T3, so needing 4s on 25 Dice, I promptly hit 5 of them and he saved 2. So 3 Skeletons died and 3 Horrors of Tzeentch were created in combat with them. Bwoohahaha a 6 model swing! Magic is NOT pointless!

See, by that happening, his skeletons were locked in combat and his Ghouls would be unable to march move. *Twiddles thumbs a la Mr. Burns* EEEEEEExxxxxxxxxccccccceeeeeeellllllllleeeennnnnnnnntttttttt.

Combat was not so good as I failed to wound but he killed one of my Horrors.. Fortunately, I passed my combat resolution test so lost none of the little buggers.

Then Rick went. First, he had to test for Stupidity for Konrad. With a weak LD of 6, it figured Konrad would fail once or twice (remember, I designed that army for ME to play...I wanted some very real flaws in it). And he promptly failed. 

I then mis-remembered the rules and said he had to separate from the unit. WRONG! He should have stayed with it. Not the last rules mistake I would make in this battle. SO old Konrad rambled forward 5" which did allow the Ghouls to move up 4" behind him. 

Rules mistake #2. In the same turn, no less. Though suffering from Stupidity, I thought Konrad could cast magic. Of course, I dispelled his Raise Dead as I did not really want him either restoring the Skeletons or bringing in some Zombies to slow my Knights. And he failed the Lore of Nehetek so his magic...well...hello magic my old friend, you've come to mock me once again.

Combat was again not so good; this time neither of us wounded and I passed my test. On the bright side, I was holding up the Skeletons. On the dark side...I was holding up the skeletons.

Then Chad went. Now the realization dawned on him that he had blocked in his key unit. So he wanted to march the unit of Glade Guard closest to me to get them behind a building (which they could not do in less than 2 turns and I would be charging them before the second turn) which would keep them from firing. I convinced him the march was not needed and would keep him from shooting. He finally elected to march the other unit of Glade Guard towards the Skeletons and move the unit just 5". He then sent his Glade Riders also towards the Skeletons. A screen of Forest protected them from my Knights, so probably a good move.

Chad had no magic phase so on to shooting. First, his Glade Guard. They were just outside 15" from me so S3. Maybe 2 hits, but I easily saved both. If by easily saved I mean, rolled a 6 and one...which means I just lost a quarter of my unit and had to take a break test! Ouch. I passed. Then he shot down a Crypt Ghoul with his Glade Riders. Nice! At this point, I had lost 38 points, Rick had lost about 20, and Chad was unharmed. Time to change that.

I could not quite come to grips with 

My second turn. I had the charge on Chad's Glade Guard but needed to maneuver to avoid Rick's Crypt Ghouls, so just the one charge. Since I was on Chad's flank (he had 7 guys in line) he got no Stand and Shoot. 

Magic was cool as, though my Red Fire at Chad was again Dispelled, the Indigo Fire again was successful, this time at the ghouls. And it even did a casualty! Excellent, now I had both his units pinned with Horrors. 

Of course, in the CC phase, he won both, though both Horrors remaining passed their tests. 

Meanwhile, on the other flank I killed 6 (SIX!) of his Glade Guard. Ah, yes. Drooling a little bit. Finally, I have a close combat unit that, you know, can actually DO SOMETHING in close combat! The 7th broke and I overran off the table, mostly to stay out of Chad's bow fire for another phase since his 1 Glade Guard could not have rallied.

Rick's Konrad, for a third turn, tried to be Frenzied as opposed to stupid. For a third turn in a row he failed. Stupid Konrad kept wandering, his magic again was dispelled or did nothing, and in close combat he won both despite losing another skeleton. This time the Horror facing the skeleton failed its stability test and was destroyed. 

Chad shot down one of my Knights on the left flank. This was not going well for me! 

My turn, I charge the skeletons and brought my other Knights back towards Chad's Glade Guard.  Fortunately, he had moved them forward and was facing away.

I thought magic could not be used in close combat, so directly into that phase. I wracked up 6 skeletons. Unbelievably, they PASSED their break test! Of course, they had a 3 rank rank bonus and I, due to points, did not have a banner. So they only lost by 1. Still, they needed a 5 or below. I knew the way Rick was failing 6+ LD tests for Konrad that I could do a few more...but no. Still, he was now down to just 1 rank bonus.

Unfortunately, on the other battle, hit Ghouls killed my Horror. Which means...

Rick's turn. Do I even need to tell you Konrad failed his test and continued shuffling aimlessly away from the action? This time I remembered Stupidity does not allow magic. But his Ghouls charged my Knights. Already engaged, the flank charge by Fear-causing enemies...they broke. And were promptly slain when they ran into Chad's Glade Riders in their fleeing. Fortunately, General, who was not attached, who ALSO failed his test, was clear of the Riders and escaped. Unfortunately, the ghouls charged right into the Glade Riders. Things were getting messy.

And I lost track of events, but more or less they went like this:

Chad did a lot of damage to the ghouls and actually ended up doing a couple casualties. My knights took another casualty when he stood and shot at them coming in to his Glade Guard but then wiped out the Glade Guard. His General shot at mine with Hail of Doom, missed, charged in and finished off the Ghouls. 

My Knights charged in and finished off the Skeletons. His Glade Guard charged my Knights (!) even though I explained to him how bad an idea it was. His General joined the fray. My Knights and General broke his Riders and General and slew them. Rick failed another Stupidity test. We extended the game to have Konrad on Chaos hand to hand and he FINALLY passed his test...twice. We got into hand to hand, my general killed his, and I "won". 

I think we all won because it was a great learning experience and I think everyone had fun. 


John said...

Proxying stuff is fun especially when it gives you a chance to try new armies out. Nice to see you guys are still enjoying yourselves

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