Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dwarfs versus Wood Elfs pre-game nonsense

What a day. I have been looking forward to this game since last month's devastation of Josh's Orcs at the hands of my heroic and gorgeous Wood Elf shooting army of doom.  The humiliation of waiting 14 years to play a Wardancer unit only to see them routed by a crap unit notwithstanding, the game was a lot of fun. Warhammer usually is. Plus, with the new lights Rick installed and the felt he and I covered the tables with, it should look spectacular.

So I have been painting like mad and spent a good deal of time making sure there would be competitive armies for the Goblins, a couple Dwarf armies, a Wood Elf army, a fun and competitive Vampire count army. So I got the lists all together, gathered up all the stuff and set out to pick up Chad. 

Then I returned home to pick up the army lists. And headed off to pick up Chad.

Then returned home to pick up the army I forgot to bring. Then headed off to pick up Chad.

Then turned back to get the new scenery I had purchased. 

AAAAAAAAAggggggggghhhhhhhhhh! Not a good start.

Well, knew we would be having pizza, so did not eat breakfast. Well, got there late, things were a bit discombobulated. Never did get anything ordered. No big deal...except when all was said and done I would go from 2:30 yesterday afternoon until 9:00 tonight without eating. D'oh!

Well, anyway, we started off with a good game of Heroscape. Got some nice pictures, hopefully will get my camera issues resolved soon and get them up.

Unfortunately, the one thing I did not get resolved was table space issues. So we matched up Kenneth and his Dark Elf army against Josh and the Goblins, Phillip and his lizardmen against Rick and the Dwarf army (with Chad studying the game under Rick) and Kevin's new Ogre Kingdom army against Chris and the Vampire Counts. That left me without a game.

Now, to be fair Rick offered to sit out but I could not bring myself to play when someone else was sitting out so I was just going to take pictures and notes of all the games.

Oh, remember the numerous things I forgot to bring with me this morning? Well...I also forgot to recharge my camera batteries after Friday's Blazer game so I essentially had no batteries left. Just not meant to be my day.

I mostly watched Kevin and Chris. I explained the way I built the Vampire army to work; the Cairn Wraiths working as a protective screen to allow the Skeletons and Grave Guard to get into close combat without taking a lot of damage, plus carry Mannfred the Acolyte with them and let his Sword of Unholy Power do its work.

Unfortunately, he did not quite get what I was saying and put his screening unit off on the left, leaving his Grave Guard w/Mannfred unit exposed to the Leadbelchers of Kevin. With only 1000 point armies, this was a great risk; should the leadbelchers do enough damage to cause a break test and the test fail, he conceivably could lose almost half his army to the opening volley, a totally unnecessary risk.

That is why these learning games are good, because I could freely mention the strategy upgrade and reasoning behind it.

Meanwhile, Kevin had a pretty good set-up and won the first turn. His Leadbelchers and Gut-dudes all rumbled forward. Unfortunately for him, the Leadbelchers were about 1/4" out of range and his magic phase saw either failure to cast or else dispelled by Chris.

Then Chris was able to correct his set-up. He got the Ethereal Cairn Wraiths in front of his units so they would be the only target for the Leadbelchers. That was essentially the game as it turned out.

The next turn for Kev was more maneuvering and failed Magic. Then Chris charged his Cairn Wraiths into the Leadbelchers. Open up with the Banshee Ghostly Howl and soon the Leadbelchers were gone without ever getting to fire their guns. 

That was the way the game went; Kevin had nothing that could hurt the Cairn Wraiths who rampaged through every unit he had. Ultimately, one unit of Zombies Chris managed to raise was slain by one of Kevin's units, giving him 50 points, the total he ended with. At the end of the game he had fleeing Gnoblars and 1 character (75 point character) on the table while Chris lost a total of 4 skeletons. Brutal.

Lesson: Always, always, always have some way of dealing with ethereal creatures. That one unit did ALL the damage, 925 points. 

Meanwhile, the Lizardmen/Dwarf battle was almost as bad. A major tactical error saw 2 of the 3 cannons covered up by Thunderer units; the army he decided to use had 2 10 man Thunderer units (150 points each), 3 cannons (90 points each), a Master Engineer, and a 17 man Warrior regiment meant to surround the Thane. In theory, nobody in the entire army would move until the Warriors charged late in the game. However, he missed that part of the design and planned to move his Thunderers out of the way of the Cannons. However, an all-shooting army that sees 33% of its shooters unable to shoot (Move or Fire) is going to struggle. 

Phillip put a skirmishing screen of skinks all the way across the front. Perfect. Moved forward, fired. Rinse, repeat, and roll to a massacre victory which was only helped when 2 of the cannons blew up in the same turn. *Sigh*. Poor Rick. No luck paired with sub-optimal starting position meant disaster.

And in the third game, Josh also missed part of the army design. I tried to explain that he needed to put his Spider Riders spread 10 wide, then his Archers 20 wide, then all his hand to hand units, meant to move forward, firing as they went, and allow him to numerically overwhelm the badly outnumbered Dark Elf army. Instead he bunched the Spider Riders on one wing 5 wide, the archers about 10 wide, and spread his hand-to-hand units all across the table. Worse yet, he put his general off on his right wing.

This allowed Kenneth to charge his best unit into the unsupported, unready for close combat Spider riders, shoot one of his 40 spearmen units to ribbons on their way across the field, and never outnumber the Dark Elf army. Even with a 200 point advantage, that set-up meant he was way behind. 

I almost cried on the turn he charged his remaining spearmen into the Dark Elf quarrelers and instead of flanking them with his stone troll, instead charged the stone troll solo into a unit of Dark Elf Corsairs. 

Kenneth and Josh thought it was luck that the Stone Troll died in turn one; nope. Not even close. There were 3+ ranks of Corsairs. He had a +2 for that, +1 for outnumbering, +1 for Standard bearer. Before it even started he had a +4 to his combat resolution. He only had 3 attacks. Even if he killed with all 3 of them and took no return wounds, he would have to take a break test on Leadership 4 (out of range of the general) with a -1. The troll was dying that turn. 

This is not taking anything from Kenneth. He set up his army better and moved them better. Josh was in deep trouble from the word go. 

Overall, looked like everyone had fun, so that is a good thing. Shortly will post report on my battle with Chad.


Anonymous said...

I (Cris with the Vampires) also played my magic poorly.

One spell worked out well, the fodder zombies. They busied the ogres enough to let my etherels run around scaring the big greens.

I also should have cast a curse that would have damaged his units as each turn passed. It had more chance of being successful, and would have likely bypassed his defense abilities. The ogres are tuff to hit.

My rolls were terrible for casting my other spells. Not enough dice!! From now on my army will either require more vampires or casting bonuses.

As Andrew said, those wraiths were nasty. Especially with the banshee scream. And I got plans to make them far worse... (mwahahahahah)

I'd hate to see what the Vamps could do when pared up with the big greens... etherel/terror/magic units fighting with brutal warriors who can beef up with their own +3 to cast magic...

...ok, ok. I'd love to see it!

Space Monkey said...

Yeah, yeah I know where I goofed. I am bit still overwhelmed by the game. I'll get someday on how slooooow the Dwarfs are.

Regardless of my poor postioning of the cannons where not completly usess from the first turn they all could shoot. One however miss fired three times, and when finally was able to shot it way over shot. Other two did damge though out the game until they exploded on the same turn OUCH!!! Painfull lesson on the unreliablility of cannons, of course Ken might disagree.

WAIT YOU KNOW ALL ABOUT THAT!!! Where is the posting on your demise with the Dwarfs!!! Huh Huh.