Saturday, March 19, 2011

High Elf Versus Brettonians, Blood and Glory

Liam and I set up a game at 2900 points. Why 2900 you ask?

I looked at the models I had and started there. 10 Swordmasters. 17 White Lions. 5 Dragon Princes plus I could use 5 Silver helms as unit filler. 2 Repeater bolt Throwers.

Throw in some Wizards with various items to ensure a big magic phase. Figure out I needed 475 points in HERO level characters.

Decided to try the horde of Lothern Sea Guard. Had I remembered I had a chariot...that would have appeared as well.

Check out the spears poking through from the second rank. Good times.

Anyway, we rolled the scenario and three consecutive times came up with meeting engagement. That has been Liam's last two games and one of those was with me so we re-rolled until we got something different. Ended up being Blood and Glory.

I had a BSB, banners in the Swordmasters, White Lions and Sea Guard so I was in good shape with 6 points there. He had a whopping 11 banners. Unlikely to win via scenario rules...I would need points.

I knew he had double trebuchets. One of the reasons I seldom play High elfs is because they do not really suit my play style. I try to keep my casualties low, make sure the troops engaged have the capability of doing something and are therefore worth taking.

Against S5 templates I have no save and am wounded on twos. Horrible, horrible match up. On the bright side, I do have two units with either S5 or S6 so his 1 or 2+ armor saves can be hit by those, plus the RBTs will theoretically allow no armor save because I plan to penetrate ranks after I take out his Trebuchets.

Well, I set up the White Lions in a forest to my left. It was a mysterious Forest, but I thought I would play against type and not treat it as impassable terrain as I usually do.

 On the other side of the forest I planted my LSG unit (and later all my characters went in this unit) with another Mysterious Forest to the right and the Dragon princes angled to flank anyone who hit the LSG in the front.

Above this set-up were my small block of 12 Archers, then one RBT on the ground to the right of the second Mysterious Forest, another on a building with Swordmasters there to protect it.

This was a badly flawed set-up. I was thinking the RBT had S10 when they single-shot. Their assigned task was to take out his Trebuchets. The Swordmasters I set up hidden by the building, but I faced them wrong so they would take two turns to threaten any upcoming unit.

I would have been better off putting a RBT to either side of  the LSG and concentrating on the Knights. Not knowing my own stats is inexcusable.  

HE Turn 1
I march the White Lions on the left. Cannot remember the Mysterious result but it ended up having no effect.I make a lesser advance with the archers. Across the field I am looking at Knights flanked by Knights flanked by

Time for Magic. I get max dice. Throne succeeds. I then put Flesh to Stone and one Wyssans on the LSG. He dispels the second Wyssan. So here you see my battle plan. Now I have as many as 50 S4 attacks with re-roll to hit and T6.

Even charging Knights are only wounding on a 4. Now I have a tough, rugged army.

Of my 35 shots 5 wounded...a little low, I should have wounded with about 9. He then proceeded to save all of them but one. So about one wound light by math.

My RBTs targeted his Pegasus Knights because it was at this point I figured out the lower S thing. The first one missed, the second saw its hit discarded by the Enchanted shield.

The theme begins.

Brettonian Turn 1
His Pegasus Knights and hero fly towards my RBT on top of the building. I am not worried...I am on a building, so untouchable by fliers.

Well...actually not. Turns out I invented that rule in my own head. For some reason I was thinking Cavalry, fliers, and monsters could not attack garrisons. I was wrong. Not knowing the rules is not good.

Anyhow, he maxes out on Magic dice as well. He dispels Throne and Flesh to Stone.

Now, the clever reader instantly says Rules Error. Flesh to Stone is an Augment spell that lasts until the casters next magic phase. If it is successful it cannot be dispelled, stopped, removed, etc.

Now...I built this army specifically around having these Augments on my units. I know he will probably get all the charges based on his superior movement. No big deal...I took Okrams Mind Razor with one Wizard along with Wand of jet.

On the key turn I will be using the Power Stone, Wand of Jet, and power Scroll hiding out on my wizards to have him facing a S8/T 6 or 7 Always Strikes First mass attack unit.

And now, by not knowing my own rules, I changed my entire strategy.

Not once in the entire battle did I A) use the aforementioned magic items, B)remember to use the Lore of Life attribute or C) use the strategy I built the army around.

Anyhow, I block his Iceshard and Comet, in both cases only tying him because the High Elf Archmage adds +1 to Dispel.

The first Trebuchet scatters. So far, so good.

The second one kills 18 of 21 possible LSG when it hits.

T4 not as good as T6. Instead of wounding on 5s he was wounding on 3s.

His peasants then kill 5 of my small archer unit.

HE Turn 2
Again my White Lions march on the left. Next turn they can charge the trebuchet on that flank.

This time he dispels Throne, I get Wyssans off and I then Miscast with Flesh to Stone, putting a wound on each of my Wizards and losing the rest of my power dice.

He is moving a big block of Peasants up towards my second RBT so I weirdly break my own rule of concentrating fire and unleash everything...RBTs, LSG, at them. The RBTs kill 4 and the LSG kill 6.

The RBT never hit again in the entire battle.

On the bright side, the remaining 7 archers put a whopping 5 wounds on the Questing Knights and he only saves 4.

Brettonian Turn 2
His Pegasus Knights charge my RBT on the building. His Pegasus Hero charges the other one. Everyone else...knights, the peasant horde...advance on the LSG.

Magic all gets shafted. he again dispels Wyssans. Both Trebuchets hit, though one partially scattered. I lose another 15 LSG this turn. I have now lost 33 of them to two turns of shooting.

His peasant bowmen shoot down 6 more of the small archer unit, leaving just one who stands.

I wound the Pegasus hero once in a minor upset, he kills a crewman. I pass my test.

On the building I wound him TWICE, but he saves the first with armor and ward saves the second. But he whiffs. Drawn combat. Go-go gadget garrison!

He dispels most things, I get regrow off, put back three LSG.

The White Lions charge....the peasants. Why? Why? Why?

The Trebuchet is RIGHT THERE. It is the correct target.

Another play error. I really erred time and again in this game.

Well, the White Lions did what high WS, S models with re-rolls do and slew 9 peasant bowmen. They do none in return and break. His Treb fails LD test so will not shoot for a turn. I fail LD test to combat reform and chase the Peasants but do not catch them.

Brettonian Turn 3
He announces charges on my LSG with Grail Knights and...knights Errant? Knights of the Realm? I stand and shoot his Grail unit, wounding twice but he saves them both. He then fails both charges. His other knight unit charges my lone archer and I elect to flee. I do not want him overrunning into my LSG.

His magic is good, getting the Comet off irresistibly.

High Elf Turn 4
The unit that charged the lone archer presents its rear to my White Lions who charge it. The lone archer...rolls insane courage. Worst possible result for me.

He is now blocking my Dragon princes who, instead of charging, are now trapped behind ONE model.

Tired of playing poorly, I elect to play unbelievably badly. The idea is with the BSB and Crown of Command, I am Stubborn on a re-rollable 9. I am effectively unbreakable.

Yet for some inexplicable reason I break off my wizards and run them into the nearby Mysterious Forest. Oh, by the way...the Crown of Command was on my Archmage, not my BSB. So now my unit is not stubborn.

My shooting and magic all fail. Now my non-stubborn unit is facing 20+ S6 attacks with T3 and no Stubborn. I am probably going to need Insane Courage to stick around.

On the bright side, the White Lions kill 4 knights plus their champ, forcing him to flee and I pursue.

Brettonian Turn 4
This time his Grail Knights make the charge. He rallies everyone else.

And then the Comet hits. And r9olls 9". All my Wizards are now individual units and three consecutive times he rolls 13 hits. 3 dead wizards.

He then kills his Pegasus Hero (which had wiped out my RBT)kills 6 Grail Knights and 6 LSG. I will take the LSG/Grail Trade...

Which frees up his Trebuchets to kill 7 Swordmasters.

In the challenge his one guy kills my champ, I wound his character 5 times, he saves them all. Nobody runs.

High Elf 5
The solo archer has to get out of the way of my Dragon Princes, so he suicide charges the freshly rallied Knights as the White Lions, thinking I need to get that banner, rear-charge the unit next to them. The Dragon Princes then flank his Grail Knight/Champ.

My Dragon princes lay waste to his Grail Knight. My LSG do wound his hero 5 times, but he saves them all. Still, he breaks, I run him down.

The archer, to the surprise of nobody, dies, but the White Lions wound his Knights Errant 10 times, killing 6 of them. He kills 3 back, breaks, I run him down as well.

Bretonnian Turn 5
He begins a strategic retreat. We debated calling it, but a hasty points calculation discovered I was ahead. He would need to do lots of damage with his Trebuchets so we played it out.

12 White Lions die to Trebuchet.

High Elf 6
I do flank charge him with my Swordmasters on his peasants. He can treb me to death anyway with just 3 left. I actually win the combat, he has to test on a 6...and that is what he rolls.

Brettonian Turn 6
His Pegasus Knights charge my Swordmasters, I do a wound or so, he kills them all.

His trebuchets cannot finish off my LSG, leaving like 2...but I fail my re-rollable 9 LD test. I roll a 5, am about 5-1/8" from table edge but declare them off anyway and he gets the win via scenario rules.

Honestly, at this point I was pretty disgusted with the High Elf army. I built the army around Augment spells but at this point was thinking...they would never be in effect when they mattered. People would just dispel them on their turn.

Furthermore, all the shooting was very ineffective. Yes, I had 35 shots at first but just did one wound. S3 is still S3 and against armored troops with a back-up ward, that does nothing.

But after thinking about it...oh, how wrong I was. I had all the tools to not just win that game but win it handily.

With better set-up I would have gotten the Dragon Princes and Swordmasters into multiple combats. My LSG would have had 25 or 30 guys around between taking fewer wounds and using the Life attribute. My Wizards would have been alive. I would likely have had S9 on the key turn by using the tools I built into the army.

Furthermore, the shooting was much more effective than I gave it credit for. I just failed to focus my shots and it was my tactical errors that reduced the effectiveness of the shooting.

He outplayed me in set-up, in knowledge of key rules, and garnered a well-deserved victory.

And it was the best kind of game; enjoyable throughout and led to me rethinking a couple of things. Playing different armies is good... 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reflecting on High Elf versus Brettonia

Saturday I had a fun game against Liam. I was using the High Elf army again against his Brettonians. Worked on the battle report last night but was having some issues with the Picasa-blog interface, so that report has been delayed a couple days.

Meanwhile, a few observations from the game.

When I built my list, it was done in my standard style. I love Knights so took a unit and, in light of my habit of failing or not even getting ridiculously large numbers of saves, I decided to take 10. I also mounted my BSB, planning to put him in that unit so they could lose a guy and still have a rank bonus.

That is one thing that makes a huge difference. When a lance of 10ish Brettonian Knights loses a model it loses little to nothing in terms of effectiveness. No single casualty ever cost him a rank bonus.

But when my beloved Chaos Knight 5 man units lose a model, they lose 20% effectiveness. 5 man units are simply too small when facing things like double trebuchets, 50 man Repeater Crossbow hordes, Jezzails, Engines of the gods, Waywatchers, etc.

Sure, there might be just one or two wounds suffered in crossing the field...but that is 20 - 40% effectiveness lost.

Liam took 2 I believe 2 casualties to his Grail Knights before getting them into combat. I think that cost him 1 attack and maybe a rank bonus?

He did take about 4 wounds to his knights total in crossing the board...but I made the same mistake I have benefited from others making, spreading my fire across units so I reduced the effectiveness of none of them.

So first off, units need to be bigger for WoC to deal with the loss of effectiveness. Second, I need to concentrate my fire.

I also took 10 Swordmasters...all I have painted...and 17 White Lions with a champ giving the unit magic attacks...all I have painted. I also took two Repeater Bolt Throwers.

It is an "all-comers" list...I need to be able to deal with Lizardmen, Ogre Kingdoms, Skaven, Empire, Dark Elfs, Wood Elfs, Brettonians, Tomb Kings, maybe even Vampire Counts or Orcs and Goblins.

So I put in some flaming and planned to use the Swordmasters and White Lions to deal with stuff like the Hydra, the Plague Furnace/Doomwheel/Abomination, etc...anything with high T.

The irony is I did not want to use the White Lions. 1 attack each just does not cut it.

After all this, I still had points I had to put into core units. There just are not any core units I really want to use since they are all pretty ineffective.

So I horded 50 Lothern Sea Guard, then spammed level 1 mages with Shadow and Beasts. The idea was to have the stubborn, re-rollable 9 LD Sea Guard blast everything in sight with 35 shots per turn, get into combat with some buffs from Wyssans Wildform and Life (my level 4) and then have the Dragon Princes and Swordmasters blast the flanks to build combat resolution.

So the list design is simple; 4 total wizards buffing the LSG and keeping it stubborn, everyone else to protect/atack the flanks. Oh, and the RBT to deal with hard to damage stuff.

During the game, however, several things went wrong.

First off, the amount of space 10 wide, 5 deep + 5 heroes takes up a LOT of space and when you roll large quantities of terrain...sometimes it is not possible to set up to protect the flanks with cavalry as forests might be in the way.

Second...if you pay the points for a mount...REMEMBER TO USE THE MOUNT. Instead I forgot the BSB had a horse and put him unmounted in the LSG.

Third...if you build your army around the idea of having a re-rollable stubborn horde unit full of buffs, make sure you can run that strategy and make sure your tactical decisions do not remove it.

Case in point; On the first turn, I buffed the unit with Wyssan and Flesh to stone. Thus when his dual Trebuchets went off, I would have good survivability; T6 troops survive much better than T3. But we made a rules error and let him dispel both buffs.

This was 7th edition thinking. They cannot be dispelled. They are not remains in play spells.

It changed my tactics in subsequent turns. Knowing I would never have the buffs on the unit when he shot or charged, I refocused my magic elsewhere and it became ineffective. So half of the strategy I built the army around was shot down immediately. And having launched 35 shots to do zero wounds...forgetting I had given the Ellyrian Longbow to my BSB and never using it in the game...I thought there was no way to touch the various Knight units he had.

It was also at this point I discovered the RBT did not have S10 as I was thinking. So instead of firing at his Trebuchets as I planned, I shot at his Pegasus Knight, only to see him have some 2+ shield that discounted the shot.

So my first turn saw a great deal of my strategy shot out of the water, partially through rules error and partially due to poor tactical decisions. I have mentioned others splitting their fire...I did the same thing all game long, cnging my mind as to what the target should be from turn to turn.

But the biggest error I made was not knowing what equipment was on what person and/or not using it at the right time.

Case in point 1) NEVER using the S5 bow.
Case in point 2) Never using the Wand of Jet, Power Stone or Power Scroll. I had the dice to use. But the plan was to use Mind Razor on the LSG when they got in combat, guaranteeing it through use of the Power scroll, to have the unit buffed with double Wyssans using the Wand of Jet and Power Stone to provide the extra magic dice punch, and use most of my magic dice for a key Stone to flesh/regrowth combo that would mean on the key turn when his Grail Knights charged in I would have S9, T6 troops striking first with a re-roll to hit.

But I changed magic focus knowing he would just dispel them the turn he charged because I did not know the rules, ended up never using any of those items, and then made a far, far worse error.

Case in point 3) Perhaps the most egregious mistake I made. Not knowing who had what item. I built the list around taking a charge from any and all comers with heavily buffed and, more importantly, STUBBORN with re-roll LSG.

This would let me side-smash him with my stronger units and I had no fear I would be running away. I was effectively unbreakable.

Until I forgot the Crown of Command was on my Level 4 Life Wizard, not on my BSB. So I fled my wizards out of the unit...I still am not sure why I did that....which removed the Crown of Command. And since the unit would have T3 against charging S5 and S6 knights...I was looking at losing 15 - 20 models. Insane Courage is rare.

Instead of rock hard anvil my ignorance of rules, lack of knowing who had what in my own army, and forgetting how the army was built turned it into a marshmallow.

Only his ill-timed Comet of Cassandra saved me from disaster.

I could have saved myself from the final disaster. After I wrecked his peasants, the correct move was to crush his trebuchet. Cutting his firepower in half was the single best thing I could do to help myself. Instead I saw the tempting target of his knight unit.

Now, on the one hand charging them was fun. It was destructive as my White Lions absolutely destroyed them. Arguably, it was a fine decision as it gained me a banner in the Death and Glory scenario.

Realistically, however, it was a poor decision. The dual trebuchets were chewing my LSG to pieces. If it broke I lost and since he started with ELEVEN banners, taking out a second banner did not help all that much.

Taking out a second trebuchet would have halved the damage my key unit was taking. I saw a shiny target that might make sense in a last man standing scenario but meant nothing in this one. They were a tempting, shiny soft target. But they were the wrong target.

I had assigned that unit the role of taking out the trebuchet. I had the chance of doing so. I chose a different target. Bad move.

All of this is just prelude explaining these things which will improve my army and play. In truth, after the first couple of games with the High Elfs I really was looking at them as an extremely sub-par list.

The truth is, I was hamstrung by sub-par list design and sub-par play. If I just correct the following things, that list actually can compete with a lot of things.

1) Know the rules.
Having a good plan can easily be invalidated if it is illegal or if it is legal but you forget a key rule that makes it effective.

2) Know your strategy.
Make your tactics fit in with your strategy.

3) Do not panic.
Bad tactical decisions can wreck good strategy.

4) Do not get distracted by unimportant side issues.

I had all the tools in place to compete with a pretty stout, tough Brettonian list. I just mis-used or did not use them at all.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Upcoming Tournaments

So I have been doing some research. Lets all talk about who would be interested in which tournament.

1) $10.00 entry fee, 2500 points, Guardian Games, Portland Saturday, March 19th. No special characters, armies do NOT have to be fully painted

2) Entry fee is $25 dollar PURCHASE, Saturday, April 9th, at Borderland Games in Salem. Special Characters allowed, bonus points for thematic armies. Link has info on those, scenarios, and also bonus points for how the army is painted. Seems like somewhat more advanced tournament.

3) One we are unlikely to do, but linking to WoW seems nice. We would be late and leave early because of church. $10.00 entry, some VERY strict comp, small games, but very laid back.

Any interest in any of these or other tournaments if I find them? Which one(s) interest you and why? Should I keep looking them up?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Warhammer Tactica: How to rule with cavalry in 8th edition

Cavalry was, in many ways, King in 7th edition. With superior movement, enhanced strength on the charge and little to no fear of being attacked in return, the only things cavalry feared were unbreakable units and flying monsters.

A typical cavalry battle included a furious charge, most or all of the opposing front rank being wiped out, and thus the opponent already losing the combat before their turn to strike ever arrived.

With the advent of 8th edition, the mindset changed. People dismissed cavalry as chaff, unworthy of being taken. After all, they no longer got to attack first due to charging, their advantage in charge distances diminished, and steadfast meant they can be…and are…drawn into multi-turn slugfests with steadfast infantry. They then can be taken out in wars of attrition.

People who dismiss cavalry out of hand are often simply stuck in 7th edition thinking. They are trying to use cavalry in the same role as it was used in that time frame and thus miss out on a great deal of the strength of cavalry.

Lets start with the movement. The swift stride rule still presents an advantage in charge difference for cavalry. To start with, a typical cavalry base Movement is roughly 3” greater than its foot-slogger counterpart.

Second, rolling 3d6 and choosing the best 2 will typically result in better movement than simply rolling 2d6 and accepting the result. The average result in charge distance for cavalry thus starts with two advantages and, occasional outliers due to atypical dice rolling aside, almost always going to result in more distance on the charge thus allowing them to project their force further.

Example: Take a typical infantryman, say an Empire Greatsword with M4 versus his cavalry counterpart. The battle line having been maintained, they both start 11” away from the enemy.

The infantry needs to roll a 7 on 2 dice, a fairly typical result most players “expect” to make. And they will about 58% of the time. Which means slightly more than 4 in 10 times they will fail.

The cavalry, however, has 3 dice to roll needing to total just 4” on any two to accomplish their charge. (Note that later I will argue the charge may not be a good idea anyway). Even without rolling 3 dice, they would have an 83% chance of accomplishing the charge, and that percentage is only improved by being able to roll 3 and discard 1.

Thus it is vastly easier for the cavalry to drive home the charge due to their better base movement and extra die. However, they are also more likely to be in the position to make the charge already.

Infantry moves over 40% slower, on average, than cavalry. The further they are moving, the larger the gap in range.

Example: The Empire marches their battle line forward for 2 consecutive turns, trying to get at the Dwarf battle line 36” away. The infantry moves 8” away, leaving them still 28” from the Dwarf lines. The cavalry, meanwhile, has advanced 28” which virtually assures them of being able to charge the enemy line now just 8” away.

Obviously there are times this will not be a good approach. Most times this will not be a good approach as unsupported cavalry not called Chaos Knights will have a difficult time taking out a stout infantry block.

But it is a powerful option. It also ensures cavalry has the means to set up flank charges for when the slower-moving infantry DOES get to the enemy battle lines.

Thus we clearly see the blatantly obvious; cavalry still has a massive mobility advantage over infantry.

The problem is, many people still attempted to use cavalry the way it was used in 7th. Get there first, charge in, wipe out the front rank, and expect to see the enemy run. But 8th edition infantry tends to A) stay in place due to being steadfast or else have something like the Crown of Command.

Furthermore, they still get to attack back. On the turn the cavalry charged. This leads people to see cavalry get bogged down, worn down by losing a knight or two a turn while doing no damage, and get seen off.

A change in thinking is in order.

Cavalry still has two massive advantages besides their mobility. First, they often are equipped with lances or spears that give them a nice strength advantage on the charge that tends to lead to inflicting large numbers of casualties.

Second, they are heavily armored which tends to increase their survivability.

The best-armored foot troops typically have a 3+ save and that is limited to a handful of troops such as Chaos Warriors and the increasingly rare Gromril Armor/Shield combo for Dwarf armies.

More typically heavy armor and shield is giving a 4+, and most infantry units have even worse armor. Compare that to the 2+ cavalry routinely achieves. Even against S5 troops they are saving 50% of the wounds inflicted!

So how to use a fast-moving, hard-hitting, rugged unit?

All too often the answer has been to send them unsupported into ranked infantry and be disappointed with the results. The correct answer is to use them in conjunction with your own infantry.

When two infantry units clash, it typically is a war of attrition unless the steadfast unit somehow wins the combat. Most steadfast units either have very high leadership, re-rolls, or both, thus making them very difficult to budge.

Cavalry gives your own unit a way of turning that combat into a decisive win. This works best with armies with inexpensive infantry. Chaos Marauders, Empire State Troops, Brettonian Men at Arms are all fine examples.

First you bring an infantry block of your own that either is already large enough on its own to have the steadfast rule or else is close enough in size that a good round of combat might flip it.

Then you use that mobile, fast moving cavalry to hit the steadfast unit in the flank. Several things are going to happen.

First, you are going to get attacked back. That is the reality of 8th edition. Even your most elite, strike first, hard-hitting units are highly unlikely to do enough damage to one-turn annihilate even Skaven slaves even if they do an unsaved wound with every attack and save every wound done in return.

Second, what you are trying to do is take away their steadfast. Charge too early and you will do massive casualties but not remove enough ranks to keep them from being steadfast. Charge too late and your own unit may have run by now.

But charge at the right moment and your cavalry becomes what it should be designed for; a shock unit that hits so hard the unit that was effectively unbreakable loses steadfast, takes so many casualties that their ensuing break test will require insane courage or close to it, and runs.

Third, by charging at the right moment you are going to keep that juicy strength bonus by being able to charge again.

Fourth, even if you get bogged down, you should have advantages in saves so be taking fewer casualties than most infantry forces, though of course there are exceptions.

There are defenses against this maneuver of course. There are always ways of protecting the flanks or having a unit that is stubborn. Of course, there are ways of dealing with flank protectors and often ways of removing stubborn, so do not get too caught up in the extraneous details.

Start by figuring out what cavalry is good at, then using cavalry for that instead of remembering what it used to do and being upset it is not that anymore.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Warriors of Chaos v. Wood Elfs

Fresh off the Dwarf v. Wood Elf game, Liam and I decided to play another one. I had a ready made 1k WoC list, gave him an extra 2560 points and while he built his list I rolled up a magical, mystical field.

There were two Dwarf Ale houses, 3 sections of Ghost fence, an Altar of Sigmar, a Khainite shrine...plenty of terrain, a field built to look like someplace people would live.

My list is full of weaknesses, and on purpose. I have no magic defense, I put in some Chaos Warhounds...a unit I almost never take because they are so bad...and even a 10 man unit of marauders with full command and khorne.

That is a horrible build. They are there so I will have three units, so they should either have some of the guys from the larger block to give me two more reasonable sizes or else be bare of excess points.

But that sort of makes up for having Knights and a Lord level guy on a Juggernaut.

We rolled up Blood and Glory. I knew all I had to do to win was break his Glade Guard unit. He would have to break three of my units to win via scenario rules.

He had to set up a unit first and put it on my right flank. I put the dogs on my left flank, hoping to influence him to split his forces. He did not fall for it, putting his Dryads in the forest on my right flank. Inexplicably, I then put everything on the left anyway.

Battle plan: Marauders will sweep around the right using the houses for cover, then the small Marauder unit to absorb some bow fire, then get out of the way of the big Marauder unit.

Meanwhile the dogs would be a meat shield for the knights on the left, sweeping between the buildings. With any luck, the dogs would charge, get shot, flee, leaving my Knights a free shot at his Glade Guard.

Horrible deployment. I should have set up my Marauders on the left side of the right flank to head for the Dryads, allowing the dogs/Knights to head straight for the Glade Guard.

I forgot how slow infantry is and did not start my Marauders in time, having them hang out for a turn. I think I decided to go all or nothing, planning the Knight charge for the win or loss

The Marauders were first through the gap. In one turn he shot down 6 of the leading unit. The time lost getting them behind my other unit to save their points meant my Marauders did not have time to get to him even if I marched every turn. Time for plan B.

I sent the dogs on ahead. I kind of hoped he would flank them with the Dryads. He would win the combat easily, over-run, and perhaps the Dryads and Marauders could battle while I tried to withstand the inevitable hail of arrows.

He had no plans of leaving the steadfast-making confines of the forest, though. And he shot all 5 dogs down in one turn.

At this point both units of marauders were moving backwards. After he hit the unit with irresistible Dwellers, killing one Knight but not getting either character, it was obvious I could not reach him. I ran behind the building to avoid shooting.

He had set up a perfect situation. He had a wide open field of fire. If I did allow the Dryads to flank me, I would also be hit by the Treeman, who would be stubborn and re-rolling thanks to his BSB. That would keep me from combat reforming. It would also mean I could lose the battle but could not win it.

I turned and headed for the hills, having taken irresistible Dwellers twice (he receiving one wound each time).
I MIGHT have gone in if it were just the Dryads/Treeman. But with Dwellers in play as well...I retreated, giving him the 30 point advantage.

This was a short, entertaining and relatively bloodless battle. I probably should have made him charge with his Dryads and/or Treemen. Would have been interesting to see what happened. But..I did not.
I do think the Wood Elfs are a great army for Liam. He likes setting up defensively, which is near ideal for the Wood Elf army. So that was definitely a win for the day.