Monday, 26 October 2009

10 Observations - The Devotees of Elazar vs. The Empire

Had a 3000pt game against an Empire army yesterday. I've gotten a little tired of writing battle reports as they're always quite a long haul thing and I'm starting to prefer doing an observations sort of post game assessment of things.
So, I wanted to come up with a format for these things. I decided 10 Observations would be a good way to do it, so here we go in no particular order...

1. Gaizka The Warped made a return to my army list and plans for this battle. Breaking convention for me a little I used him as a Sorcerer Lord with the Book of Secrets and Spell Familiar and left him unmarked. I picked the Lore of Death with him as I really like the lore. He also took the Black Tongue. He proved to be really effective. He took out a Captain on Pegasus, a Wizard Lord and countless troops as well as snatching a wound off of Kurt Hellborg with his spells. The Black Tongue also brought me some time to deal with the two lore of metal wizards in the Empire army. Combined with the Infernal Puppet I made the miscast roll (and a further one later in the game) a 6 so that I could get off a spell of my own. Both times I picked Ecstatic Seizures aimed at big blocks of troops. This forced my opponent to throw the power dice he would have used to try to melt my Warriors in their armour at stopping his own troops from writhing around on the ground in excruciating bliss as they tore themselves apart. The Lore of Death is also great combined with Slaanesh. Doom and Darkness! is such a wonderful spell to get off before Hellshriek and/or some other psychology tests. I think Gaizka may well find his way back into my plans using this build again.

2. Vela The Performer is living up to that title. In the three games I've used him he's been incredibly reliable and really helped my army out a great deal. The Puppet is always helpful both offensively and defensively, especially with a Hellcannon in the list as there's always a chance of that misfire! Luckily for me he's always rolled Ecstatic Seizures as one of his spells. With the Marionette rules for Conjoined Homuncus on him I regularly finish my magic phase with him casting Seizures on his 2 power dice and using 1 from the pool. He get's this off 9 times out of 10 it seems with the additional help of the +D3 to casting from the Marionette. This means my opponent has little to no dispel dice left to stop it or has let other spells go through or uses up a scroll. He was generally casting it on a 13 so it's quite hard to dispel at the best of times. He stripped a lot of static combat resolution off of the Empire infantry blocks.

3. Isidro Devante was the other sorcerer I used for this battle. I used him as a Slaaneshi Sorcerer Lord and whilst he did well until Mr. Hellborg came and lopped his head off I still don't think I've quite sussed out a reliable build for this guy. I took Rod of Torment and a Power Familiar for him so he was able to get a few spells off but compared to the other two sorcerers he was disappointing. This might be in part because the other two survived the whole battle without taking wounds... well Gaizka did but he used Steal Soul to recover them!

4. Magic Missles! I feel like I've been re-awakened to their usefulness. Using the Slaaneshi lore I only normally have the one and that one can sometimes be counter-productive to my army with the rule that any unit that takes casualties from Lash can't march. However, with the Lore of Death being used I suddenly had an extra 2 magic missiles plus the area of effect spell Drain Life which does a similar job just on a large scale. These really did the job for me and made up for my rather paltry shooting phase compared to the Empire army!

5. I also felt against the Empire that up until that game I'd be using my Marauder Horsemen all wrong or something. Both units managed to get into the flanks of the Empire army. One unit went up my right hand flank to get behind the Empire troops and took out the level 2 wizard with their throwing axes before being shot do death by the opposing fast cavalry and Hellblaster Volley Gun's combined shooting. The second unit took care of the mortar and cannon on the left flank before wheeling around to block the view of a unit of pistoliers on my already depleted unit of chaos knights. The Marauder Horsemen were wiped out in the shooting phase but in the following turn my Knights managed to make the charge losing 1 of their number to the stand and shoot charge reaction but the remaining 3 Knights had managed to turn the flank of the enemy which would prove to be a crucial point in the game. First time the Marauder Horsemen have really proved their worth in points to me.

6. The Hellcannon actually managed a couple of turns of shooting in this game! It managed one particularly spectacular shot into the middle of a nice big block of 25 Empire Spearmen that scored a direct hit, causing carnage! Also managed to kill a couple of Empire Knights with another shot. After that it got charged by the loathsome Steam Tank and was destroyed by the heinous amount of impact hits it scored! It had taken 2 wounds previously from a cannon ball too.

7. The Steam Tank, this was a thorn in my side throughout. It started off with a wildly overshot cannon ball (thanks to the scatter dice) managing to go into the flank of my unit of Chaos Knights with lances. Said cannon ball proceeded to murder each and every single Knight in the unit. Clearly this was the traditional first game thrashing that each new unit seems to get for my army. The tank then took out the Steam Tank before finishing off my Dragon Ogres who'd been on a tour of the battlefield. Luckily that was the last thing of any worth that it managed to do with the exception of capturing a table quarter. The Dragon Ogres may have been able to deal with it if they could have gotten the charge on it but I'd decided early in the game to use them for a few other jobs and by the time they encountered it there were only 5 wounds left on the unit and the impact hits wiped them out.

8. The Dragon Ogres did really well. They were given the mission at the start of the battle of helping wipe out the big block of Empire Knights and more importantly if they could get hold of him wipe out the Captain on the Pegasus. The Pegasus Captain had Aldred's Casket of Sorcery (I'd had a feeling he was going to be carrying it) and the last thing I wanted was that guy getting a chance to steal the spells from my Sorcerers. He managed to get Aura of Acquiescence but I could live without that one as it's not a spell I cast frequently. As it was the Dragon Ogres started by wiping out the dregs of a free company who they'd charged knowing that their overrun path would take them into the Captain on Pegasus before he got a chance to get away. In the magic phase before the combat Gaizka and Isidro managed to kill the captain with their combined spell casting so when they did overrun the Dragon Ogres were presented with a Pegasus to put out of its misery. After dealing with the Pegasus they hit a unit of Spearmen with a Warrior priest and bounced off of them fleeing back to the centre of my deployment zone near enough. Once they rallied they managed to get into the rear of Kurt Hellborg who'd charged the flank of my Warrior unit containing Neron the Battle Standard Bearer and Gaizka The Warped. The Dragon Ogres made very quick work of Kurt Hellborg which was just as well because with another turn of combat Hellborg could have gotten to the expensive characters and made a huge difference to the game. The Dragon Ogres then turned to go and occupy the Steam Tank, I figured if they went anywhere near it my opponent would have to deal with them as their S7 attacks could actually cause it some problems and I didn't want it focusing its attentions on the same Warrior unit the Dragon Ogres had just relieved. They sold their lives so that Gaizka and Neron could wipe out another detachment of Halberdiers and Gaizka could cause some more damage with his spellcasting.

9. The unit of Chaos Knights that went up the left flank as I mentioned previously managed to get the charge into a unit of pistoliers and this proved to be a turning point in the game. Up until then things had been going mostly in my opponent's favour with the Hellcannon, Isidro Devante and the unit of Knights with lances already having given up a great deal of VP. The Knights easily broke killed the Pistoliers and overran into the next unit and then again overran into the Hellblaster and crew before finally managing to overrun into a big block of infantry with a Captain Battle Standard Bearer. They managed to break the unti with a bit of poor dice rolling for my opponent and then chased them down in the final turn. They mowed their way through my opponent's army and the last unit they dealt with in particular helped make back a lot of lost VPs especially with the captured banners and battle standard. To top it off with three of them still alive they finished up contesting a table quarter that my opponent still had a fair amount of troops in.

10. The game finished at 2438 vs. 2192 VP in my favour. Not enough of a difference to make it a win but it was a really fun game against a great opponent. It was exceptionally brutal with a lot of casualties on each side. My opponent's Warrior Priest was his man of the match. He survived the course of the battle (although gave up half VP) despite the fact that his unit was battered with spells, especially Ecstatic Seizures. His prayers proved to be very useful on a few occassions and along with Kurt Hellborg he was a standout player. I'd have to toss a coin between Vela and Gaizka for me really but I think Gaizka would maybe just edge it as he really made his points back with some important character kills and generally kept my opponent on his toes.


noeste said...

Sounds like a great battle for both yourself and your oponent.
Your new way of filtering out the 10 most important observations from the battle makes for a good and informative read aswell; you proved my initial scepticism wrong. Turned out to be a nice format.

Elazar The Glorified said...

Thanks Noeste, glad you like the format. Whilst I initially enjoyed doing the full written battle reports they took a lot of time and it's hard to keep them interesting throughout. This way I can just pick out the key points and especially anything fun etc that happens.
It was a really good battle. One of those that reminds you why you enjoy the hobby so much! :)