Did Lord Kroak just twitch? No, it couldn't be. The great toad had only been sleeping for a few centuries. It must have been a carrion beetle moving about underneath the ancient Slann's wrappings. But there it was again. Dreadlord Bait, one of the great lord's attendents looked intensly at the ancient undead being to see whether it would move again.
Slowly, the priest's mind began to fill with certain thoughts. The abominable dirtmen, sometimes called dark elves were once again trying to raid the jungles of Lustria. This would not do at all. DBait as the other priests called him for short (actually, it was hsssssss isss sss s, but the rough translation comes out DBait), quickly gave orders to the other priests to gather the cohort. "This is quite fortuitous" thought DBait. The new spawning of Saurus with their innate ability to ride cold ones need to be tested in battle. This should prove interesting.
Okay, with the fluff out of the way, lets get down to descriptions. I brought into this battle:
L2 Skink Priest w/2 Dispel Scrolls
L2 Skink Priest w/Cube of Darkness & Dragonfly of Quicksilver
Saurus Scar Veteran on Cold One
21 Saurus Warriors w/Spears, Champion, Standard Bearer
2x10 Skink Skirmishers w/Javelin & Shields
10 Temple Guard w/Champion, Standard Bearer w/War Banner
8xCold One Cavalry w/Champion, Standard Bearer w/Sun Standard of Chotec
My plan was to put the Temple Guard in the middle with the Saurus to one side and a Steg or two to the other. I would use one of the Skink units to screen, and if possible use the other to harry the opponents troops. Then I placed the Saurus first and in the middle of the field, well that was silly. Especially since that meant they were smack dab in the middle of a patch of rough ground. That mistake would cost me dearly.
I put my Cold Ones on one flank so I could use the hill to shield them from missle fire. In retrospect I probably would have been better served to let them take fire since the Sun Standard makes them much more difficult to hit, and they have an impressive save. They took not one shot from a missle weapon all game. That was 40 wasted points. On the other hand, they were at full strength until their last battle, so maybe I played them exactly right.
Here is what the dark elf deploment looked like.
Here is what my setup ended up looking like.
Lizardmen Turn 1:
My magic phase was not spectacular. I managed to cast Portent of Far on one of my Stegadons. The other three spells I attempted failed to cast.
My skinks were out of range so they did not fire. Both Stegadons missed.
Dark Elf Turn 1:
His Hydra moved forward just far enough to be out of charge range, nothing else moved.
He did a lot of firing. He chewed through all 10 of my screening skink unit. He also killed 3 Saurus from my block of 21 leaving me with 18 and 1 less rank bonus.
Lizardmen Turn 2:
I again trudge forward slowly. My remaining skink unit spreads out to act as screen against the predictable hail of bolts from the dark elf line. The only other notable is my Cold Ones marching to within 3" of the enemy War Hydra. My Saurus Scar-Veteran Beday Pr'sntslay'r leading them. I realized after moving them there that "hey, that is the perfect spot to get smacked by some stanky Hydra-breath. Oh well, this was not the worst play I made all game and kept my Cold Ones out of the cross-hairs for most of the enemy army.
Magic is great this time around. I start off rolling 3 dice to cast the Lore of Heavens shield against shooting spell. I rolled snake eyes on 3 dice. Even with the other die added in I would not have made the total I would need for the spell, but the double 1s made that irrelevant. I roll an 8 on the miscast table and take a wound with one of my skink priests. The worst of it though is the magic phase ends when I still have 7 casting dice to use.
Shooting is no better than last turn. No skinks in range and I am not expecting to hit with my Stegadons needing 6s.
Dark Elf Turn 2:
He announces a charge against my Cold Ones with his War Hydra. After looking around to make sure his fellow Cold One Riders are game (aka taking a Fear test because Terror - Fear = Fear) Beday Pr'sntslay'r steadies himself and receives the charge.
On the other side of the field, the Master of Assasins appears in front of my Skinks, killing one immediately and forcing the rest to form up for combat, practically eliminating them as a shielding unit.
End of any attempt at real reporting
Unfortunately, I let this sit too long and do not recall well what actually happened in the battle. So from here on it is just going to be comments about particular details.
When the Hydra charged my Cold Ones the battle went like this: the hydra attacks hitting 3 or 4 times, wounding I think 2, and in the end all wounds were saved. The Beastmasters fared about the same. My Cavalry did a couple of wounds to the Hydra which he regenerated. In the end, one of my Cold Ones killed a Beastmaster. I outnumbered the Hydra, had a standard, and caused a wound. He lost the combat and broke. I pursued. I rolled first: WHAT!?! 3 on 3d6? Why me? Then I saw his roll: a 2 and a 1! That is ridiculous, I rolled nothing but ones and still caught his fleeing Hydra. The brief reference to a name for my Saurus Scar-Veteran above is a joke about this battle. The Hydra was a b-day gift from myself and another guy to Fixeddice. This is the first battle I played against him and I absolutely demolished it. To be fair, I had around 500 points in this battle to his 175, but it was still somewhat of a shock. Below is a picture of the dice from the pursuit roll.
This is a cool shot of my Cold Ones versus his Dreadlord on Manticore. I had broken off my Hero to try and get him into combat more quickly than the other Cold Ones were going to be able to. That turned out to be a mistake as his general charged, rolled a 6 to wound and had Killing Blow. He then overran into my Cold Ones.
This is the field at the end of the Dark Elf turn 2.
This is the field at the end of the Lizardmen turn 3.
My Cold Ones actually fared pretty well against his Dreadlord. I lost 3 in the first round, but held up because I only lost the combat by 1.
My Saurus that were in the middle who were supposed to be on the side got slaughtered. The broke and were overrun by his Cold Ones. It was not even close.
Following his overrun of my Saurus I charged his Cold Ones in the flank with my Stegadon. He ran not wanting to take the hit without the benefit of his shields.
I knew I couldn't wound his general, so I was directing my attacks at his Manticore. Had I remembered all of the rules, this would have been brilliant. As it was, it kept his general from being even more impactful.
I killed his manticore removing the part of his general that caused Terror. This meant that my Cold Ones causing Fear actually mattered. Since the general only had a unit strength of 1 and my Cold One Champion had a unit strength of 2 I outnumbered him. Since neither of us could get through the other's save, that was the only modifier on the combat resolution and I was winning the rounds of combat. Fear causes enemies you outnumber and beat in combat to auto-break barring a roll of insane courage. Barring another roll like the Hydra pursuit, my Cold One champion would have killed his general.
This is him breaking my Stegadon a turn later than he should have. (I tried to play the rules the way I thought they should be, but they would not let me. Oh well...) He caught steggy the next turn. He also finished off my last Cold One and killed a Skink priest.
We definitely still have a long way to go with knowing the relevant rules. I forgot at one point that any monster mount who's rider(s) is/are killed has to test using its own leadership. It took his Cold Ones an extra turn to break my Stegadon. I forgot about Fear against his general because his Manticore caused Terror effectively making it irrelevant... until I killed his Manty. I did not realize the power of rough ground until this battle.
I do not think I played particularly well or poorly in this battle. I definitely made some major mistakes like sending a lone Stegadon against a massive block of Cold Ones, but I also effectively protected my Cold Ones from fire, guessed the range I would need on Deliverance of Itza perfectly every time, and did an OK job of screening with my skinks.
There is no question my MVP for this battle was Lord Kroak. He kept my Temple Guard from having to take a couple of panic tests, but he also leveled the enemy's firing line. He scored almost all of my points by himself. A spell that can hit everything on the field at S4 2d6 times is quite impressive, particularly against elves who all have T3. I will take Kroak any time I can against an Elven opponent.
I lost by a marginal victory, but had I remembered a few key things I might have won by the same. If I did indeed kill his general, that is another 180+ for me, and 180 that he did not get for killing the last of my Cold Ones. Of course, had I remembered the Ridden Monster leadership thing, he could have taken down my Stegadon 1-2 turns sooner and maybe had time to take out my Temple Guard and Kroak.
All in all this was a very fun battle, and I am really looking forward to the next one, when hopefully I will do a better job.
This is the image of Shadowblade that Fixeddice was referring to. I think this was one of my favorite parts of the battle. I got to show this pic around quite a bit and got many kudos. :)
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