Thursday, March 17, 2011

Battle Report - vs Dark Elves

I played a game against the Dark Elves last Tuesday. I used a bizarre army list, with far too few units on the board - and far too many runes.

This is quite the lengthy read, so you'd best go fetch a cuppa before starting. Go on. I'll wait.

About that army list of mine.
I was experimenting:
  • taking a few horde units
  • trying out a Ranger horde
    (no throwing axes though, 6's to hit when standing and shooting is ridiculous)
  • trying out a Thane with RoBrotherhood & RoChallenge (for the craic loike)
  • seeing how good a Grudge Thrower is (I've not played much 8th ed, and not taken a stone thrower in donkeys years)
    • super cheesing it I took RoPenetrating for +1 STR, except I took 2, and a RoAccuracy for a grand total of 155pts for a single Grudge Thrower (wtf? is that normal for Dwarves in 8th Ed?)
    • not totally super cheesing it on the war machines front - only one Grudge Thrower :)
  • dusting off the Gyrocopter after singing it's praises

Emotionally the battle went like:
  1. [setup] I'm so totally fucked, why did I pick such an idiotic list
  2. [midway] I actually I might win this! Stick that in your Hydra and smoke it!
  3. [about turn 3] oh holy crap I should just concede now
I have to say, that I should have been beaten much earlier in the match. My opponent had some awful rolls for the first few turns, with under-performing magic phases, elves which couldn't shoot and worst of all - Hydras that didn't kill very much.

A quick disclaimer: I've probably mixed up the magic phase happenings a tad, like which sorceress cast what spell. Hopefully it's not wildly off the mark.

So, army lists!

MEngineer: GW, BoP, RoStone: 84 pts
Cannon: RoBurning + RoForging: 130 pts
Bolt Thrower: 45 pts
Grudge Thrower: RoAccuracy + RoPenetrating x2: 155 pts
Gyrocopter: 140 pts

28 Rangers: 323 pts, FC+GW+Rangers
Thane: GW, RoS, MRoChallenge, RoBrotherhood: 119 pts

Dwarf Lord: GW, Shieldbearers, RoIron x2, RoPreservation: 176 pts
31 Hammerers, Shield FC, MRoGrungni: 421 pts

Thane: BSB, Oath Stone 20, MRoGromril + RoIron x2: 110 pts
Runesmith: GW, Shield, MRoBalance 50 + RoSpellbreaking x1 25: 76 pts
28 Dwarf Warriors, FC, GW, Shield: 323 pts

Dark Elves
Lord on Dark Pegasus
2 units of Harpies [x5]
Blackguard [x22] with lvl 4 Supreme Sorceress (shadow magic)
Spearmen [x35ish] with lvl 2 Sorceress (shadow magic)
Cauldron of Blood
2x Repeater Crossbowmen [x16]
2x Hyrdas

We rolled Dawn Attack. Damn.
Dark Elves setup first, fully, rolling for each unit as required.
Dwarves then setup fully, rolling for each unit. Gah, 2 units on the left flank after already setting up the middle units. This is not how I wanted to set up.
I do however, get to place the warrior rangers without rolling - the scout rule means they don't have to roll. I choose to set them up on the left, as
a) it looks pretty nasty on the right with the Lord, Hydra, 2x Harpies and the Blackguard
b) I should be able to kill off the Repeater Crossbowmen if I can get into combat

Turn 1a: Dark Elves:
Dwarf Thane in the warrior rangers uses rune of challenge on the only legal target, the repeater crossbowmen. They flee rather than charge.
Stuff marches forward.
Magic phase, lvl4 sorceress casts (can't remember spell name) which if successful she gets D3+1 extra power dice. Success, 4 extra dice. Then casts Pit of Shadows (14+, place 3" template anywhere within 24", models must pass an initiative test to survive). Targets Hammerer unit. Runesmith uses RoSpellbreaking to dispell.
Cauldron is used to give the Blackguard 5+ ward saves.
Turn 1a (end of DE turn)
Turn 1a (end of DE turn)
Click the photo if you don't know which units are which. I've added notes showing this.

Turn 1b: Dwarves:
Advance! All three infantry blocks march forward.
Gyrocopter can't get anywhere interesting with 20", so it stays behind the Hammerer unit.
Cannon aims 6" short of the the Lord on the Pegasus, rolls 10" and lands smack on the Hydra. Rolls 6 for wounds \o/. Cannon has a RoBurning so no regen for you Mr.Hydra! Phew, lucky me.
Bolt thrower aims for Hydra, misses.
Grudge Thrower gets on target with scatter dice, and misfire with artillery dice. Master Engineer is 3" away, allowing the GT to reroll arty dice, it gets 4. Smacks down in the center of the Spearmen, at S5 it kills 19 out of 21 possible hits (21 is the max 20mm models a 3" template can cover).
I almost feel ashamed, but then I remember what the Pit of Shades could have done. I should have fired at the Blackguard but was put off by the 5+ ward save they had been given from the cauldron.
Turn 1b (end of Dwarf turn)
Turn 1b (end of Dwarf turn)

Turn 2a: Dark Elves:
Rallies the Repeater Crossbowmen.
Hydra charges warriors rangers.
Lord on Pegasus charges Grudge Thrower.
Harpies charge cannon.
Other units advance.
Magic (iirc) is a non event, with lousy power dice rolls & pretty much everything dispelled.
Hydra handlers have 6 attacks, Hydra has 7. Add in the Breath Weapon attack, and Thunderstomp and it's a silly number of attacks. Super fortunately the breath weapon did hardly any damage, all of the above attacks only resulted in 7 dead Dwarves. The Dwarves cause 3 wounds in retaliation.
Lord on Pegasus makes mincemeat of the GrudgeThrower crew (it nearly paid for itself killing those spearmen I suppose) and overruns into the Master Engineer.
The cannon crew hold out against the Harpies. They lose CR by 1, but hold with stubborn.
Turn 2a (end of DE turn)
Turn 2a (end of DE turn)

Turn 2b: Dwarves:
Warriors with BSB and Runesmith charge the Hydra.
Hammerers wheel and charge the Blackguard.
Gyro moves 10" alongside the Harpies.

BT has no good Flanks to shoot at, so takes a pot shot at the Cauldron & misses.
I forget to shoot the Gyros steam cannon. Dammit.

The two units wipe out the Hydra, but not before it directs it's attacks against the Runesmith killing him. Stupid me. Warriors use free reform.
The Dwarf Lord with the Hammerers challenges the lvl 4 sorceress. She declines moving to the back of the unit. I shouldn't have challenged her, I should have just directed attacks at her. Lesson learned.
The Hammerers kill 8 or so of the Blackguard. They kill 9 Hammerers. Damn 5+ ward save is really helping them here.
The DW Lord finishes off the Master Engineer, using free reform to turn and face the Hammerers. Uh oh.
The cannon crew kill two Harpies winning CR, but the Harpies hold.
Turn 2b (end of Dwarf turn)
Turn 2b (end of Dwarf turn)

This was the point where I started thinking that I might turn this around, the Hammerers should beat down the Blackguard taking out the lvl 4 sorceress and starting into the spearmen and the cauldron. Easy right? I think I forgot about that Lord.
But oh, it gets worse than just the little Lordy-o...

Turn 3a: Dark Elves:
Lord charges the rear of the Hammerers.
Harpies charge the Gyro.
Blackguard reform into wide unit to maximise their attacks.

Lvl 4 uses Pit of Shades on the Warriors & BSB unit. Man I hate that thing. It's almost as bad as the purple sun. Attempt to dispell the Pit with all dice, fail. The Pit scatters a little over the Ranger Warriors. The BSB and champion successfully roll their look out sirs - the Pit kills about 10 warriors and 3 or 4 rangers.
The rather painful realisation that without my Runesmith I'm down not 1 but 2 dispell dice. 1 for the Runesmith, and 1 for the MRoBalance he had.
The Dark Elf magic phase is definitely a lot stronger now.

The lvl4 sorceress casts 'The Withering' on the Hammerers, reducing their toughness by D3. Fortunately it only reduces by 1 point. Will it be enough?
The lvl 4 also casts Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma, which reduces the WS,BS,I or M of the target unit by D3. Casters choice which stat goes down. The spell reduces the WS of the Hammerers to 1.
Woe is me.

The Repeater Crossbowmen start to make pin cushions of the warrior rangers, and the warriors with the BSB - killing a few more models in each unit.

The Blackguard and Lord make mincemeat of the Hammerers with their reduced stat line - killing 22 Hammerers. /facepalm
A single hammerer survives along side the Dwarven Lord, meaning they still have Stubborn. They hold.
The Harpies do a single wound to the Gyro, it kills one Harpy. CR draw.

I should probably have just conceded the game at this point, but I'm stubborn, just like my army.
Turn 3a (end of DE turn)
Turn 3a (end of DE turn)

Turn 3b: Dwarves:
Rangers attempt to charge closest Repeater Crossbowmen. They stand and shoot killing a few more.
The Warriors also attempt to charge the same Repeater Crossbowmen. Both charges fail.

The Dwarf Lord gets killinated by the DE Lord (with reverse ward save).
The Gyro kills a few more Harpies.

Turn 4a: Dark Elves:
Harpies charge the Bolt Thrower.
Blackguard turn around and move towards remaining dwarf infantry units.
DE Lord lines up for a charge against the Gyro.
Cauldron gives the Harpies in combat with the Gyro the 5+ ward save. They fail to wound the Gyro, it doesn't kill any Harpies either.
The repeater crossbows take out more dwarf warriors.
Turn 3b + 4a (mid DE turn)
Turn 3b + 4a (mid DE turn)

Turn 4b: Dwarves:
Remaining infantry blocks charge the closest Repeater Crossbowmen. They get pincushioned, losing many.
Cannon dies in CC.
Gyro draws against the Harpies again.
Turn 4b (end of Dwarf turn)
Turn 4b (end of Dwarf turn)

Turn 5a: Dark Elves:
Finish off the Gyro, and kill even more dwarf warriors & rangers.
I finally concede. :|

Turn 5a (end of DE turn)
Turn 5a (end of DE turn)

I think the turning point was when the Dark Elves deftly made weaklings of my Hammerers, allowing them to wipe out 22(!) in CC in one turn.
Even if both the debuff spells had been dispelled, and the Hammerers had won the day (unlikely with the DE Lord rear charging in) I'm not sure it would have made any difference else where. The Gyro would still have lost, the warriors and rangers would still have been pincushioned over many failed charges.

Stuff I learned:
  1. Rules for flying things charging - they CAN charge over units as long as they have real line of sight to their intended target - which meant the Hammerers didn't block the charge to the Grudge Thrower.
  2. Shooting through forests is the same, as long as you have real line of sight you can fire.
  3. Flying is different now, the Gyrocopter cannot March and shoot (20" move), it may only Move and shoot = 10" move. It doesn't really say that anywhere in the dwarf book, but it sounds reasonable to me to be honest. I'm sure the Gyro will get FAQ'ed soon enough. I'm not sure about this though, the 1.2 FAQ I have says the Gyro's movement is 1". I have to go read up on Flying.
  4. In turn 2, notice the alignment the Lord took when charging the Grudge Thrower. Charging units no longer have to charge straight at their targets, they can choose the point of contact, and when aligning they line up to the defenders they end up with the facing they want for decent overruns.
  5. Specialist Weapons:
    When in close combat first round and choosing the weapon the unit will use, you must use the specialist weapon. In my case it was the warrior unit with shields and GW's. I had to use GW's as they were specialist, even though I wanted to use shields. I have to go find this in the rules too.
  6. Shooting:
    Perhaps an obvious one. When shooting with a ranged infantry unit, you do divide up the unit when rolling. If half are short range and half are long range, then roll separately.
    If some are in range, and some are not, then you only fire with the ones in range.
  7. Challenges:
    Don't challenge someone you think will refuse. Instead direct attacks at them.
  8. Reforming after combat happens immediately after the end of combat, even if it isn't your turn.
Shit I forgot:
  1. To actually fire the Gyro's steam cannon when lined up with the Harpies.
Shit I won't let happen again:
  1. Lore of Shadows - The Withering (Toughness reduced by D3)
  2. Lore of Shadows - Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma (WS of target unit reduced to 1)
  3. Runesmith in front rank (do they have to be in the front rank?)
  4. Challenging an enemy character, allowing them to refuse and leave combat by moving to the back.
Shit to change in the Army list:
  1. I've had more success with an Anvil army. The Anvil would also help with its 3 extra magic phase dispell dice, and the amount of failed charges I had. Admittedly they were a little long range.
  2. The rangers I'm just not sure about. Quarellers might have been better, they just couldn't get into combat after that Hydra.
  3. The RoBlood allowing the Thane to join the rangers, and his RoChallenge wasn't the greatest. Still I didn't use it effectively enough. I might give the RoC another shot, but probably not the RoBlood.
  4. The Gyro I didn't use very well at all. With it's move and shoot being limited to 10", it's not as useful. I still think it's good for hunting down fleeing units, there just wasn't the chance this battle.
  5. The Cannon with RoBurning is full of win.
  6. The Grudge Thrower with 2xRoPenetration (Str bonus) is awesome, but super expensive at 155pts.
    If I'm taking arty that expensive I'll probably start castling in a corner to protect it.

Well played Mr.Dark Elf sir. 
I'll be looking for a grudge match sooner or later.


  1. Yowch. A beating, but a beating of with added education.

  2. Yeah, I hear education is good.
    For the record, I had no idea what army I was going to be facing when I made my army list - which I think is the way it should be really.

  3. Hello my friend! I wish to say that this article is amazing, nice written
    and come with almost all significant infos. I would like to see
    extra posts like this .
    Here is my web site :: casino usa online

  4. I'm gone to convey my little brother, that he should also pay a quick visit this webpage on regular basis to obtain updated from newest news.
    My web-site play slots for money online

  5. I would like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this website. I'm hoping to see the
    same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my
    own site now ;)
    Stop by my website ... top online casinos usa

  6. Hello! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be okay. I'm absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.
    Review my homepage ... real ways to make money online


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...