Bar a unit of 12 unpainted archers (which will no doubt form Octobers painting target so I can field a fully painted 2000 point army), the above was the army I fielded.
I had two possible builds for facing Orcs and Goblins. The above (which I'll detail more in a second) and an army list involving a Prince on a Dragon, a Dragon Mage, 2 units of Dragon Princes, 4 eagles and my usual core (as High Elves really don't have much choice when it comes to core units). My idea for the later army was to fly behind enemy lines, eradicate any war machines and then charge into the Orc rear. It all sounded fun and different but I felt I needed to win my first engagement against Orcs with Magic and only having a Dragon Mage limited that. So I went back to my trusty Silver Helm and Archmage setup.
Core: 28 Sea Guard, 12 Archers
Special: 13 Silver Helms, 12 Sword Masters
Rare: Bolt Thrower
Lords & Heroes: Lvl 4 ArchMage, 1 Mounted Noble, 1 Mounted BSB.
Everyone kind of expects me to take Lore of Shadows now I guess but after choosing Life against the Chaos I thought I would give it another whirl. With Life (and more importantly the Throne of Vines) I can ignore miscasts on a 2+ and also take Flesh to Stone which has the possibility of increasing my toughness by 4! Just as useful as Okkams Mindrazor really. I gave the Archmage a silver wand so he knew 5 spells (Throne of vines, Shield of thorns, regrowth, Flesh to Stone and Awakening of the Wood).
To further my spell casting dominance I took an Annulian Crystal (so I could steal and Orc Power Pool die to add to my dispel pool), a Banner of Sorcery (D3 extra power pool die) and a Radiant Gem of Hoeth making my mounted noble a level 1 High magic mage. This importantly gave me the inherent spell Drain Magic (I don't think I ever cast Courage of Anaerion).
So onto to setup: I was facing quite a large force. So large in fact Will had trouble setting up on my new 4'x4' gaming table.
Turn 1 - I quickly advanced the Sword Masters into the pub. The Silver helms moved towards the stone circle and the gap for the charge at the Trolls next turn. With the goblin archers out of sight, the sea-guard hopped over the wall to get into shooting range of the goblin spears. Magic was very successful. I cast the Throne of vines, then the Shield of Thorns on the Sword Masters and even managed to pull of dispel magic! Almost perfect. During shooting I hammered the goblin spears with everything, 1 wound away from causing a panic test. Oh well. Over to Will.
The Orcs and Goblins passed all animosity tests and started their advance... or at least tried. The Gobin spider riders charged the pub where the Sword Masters were 'garrisoned'. The Trolls failed to charge the Silver Helms moving 4" closer for me to retaliate. The giant spider moved between the pub and the chapel. Will primed the pump wagon but it only moved 3" and as (bad)luck would have it got right in the way of the goblin spearmen. They wheeled slightly. The snotlings also had to wheel slighly. The Orcs and Squig herders moved to support the Trolls. During the magic phase Will threw all his power dice into casting some nasty spell which gave the spider riders poisoned attacks. I didn't manage the dispel. But my Shield of Thorns managed to take 1 spider down before combat. Not that combat lasted long. The Sword master butchered all the goblins before they could retaliate.
Turn 2 - I charged the Trolls. Quick reformed the sea-guard allowing me to move back behind the wall in preparation for the incoming giant spider charge. I left the Swords in the building - where they seemed pretty safe. Magic, I managed to cast Flesh to Stone on the Helms (now toughness 7 - beat that Trolls) and Dispel Magic again. Woot! Shooting. Not much in range so I took a chance shot at the giant spider with the archers and Bolt Thrower. Lots of hits and after random distribution - pretty much all on the Goblin Lore Master - who with little armour and no ward save quickly met his maker. Close combat and with the extra strength from charging I cut down 2 Trolls. They had a chance to hit back but couldn't touch the toughness 7 Knights. Will thought the combat resolution wouldn't be too bad, unit I rolled a 6 for my High Elf Battle Banner. The Trolls broke and I ran them down. However, on doing so we crossed a wall which killed 2 Helms! More than the Trolls! Nasty wall.
Will again tried to push his main goblin horde forward, but the spears fail animosity and cant move or cast for the rest of the turn. In a surprise move he moved the spider out to my flank to threaten the archers and Bolt thrower:
He wheeled the Orcs and Squig herders to face the Silver Helm flank and rear respectively:
As he moved the goblin archers within 8" of the Sword Masters 2 fanatics sprung out but seemed magnetically attracted to the chapel wall; SPLAT!
Magic and he casts Hand of Gork to move the spears closer to my line. All other spell casting attempts are easily dispelled. My turn 3.
With the Silver Helms in a very precarious position I wheel them to face the Orc menace. I wheeled my archers and Bolt Thrower to face the spider. Again I left the Sword Masters in the pub (they were having a merry old time waiting for the goblin archers to walk into the space between them and the chapel). Magic and I cast regrowth at full strength bringing the 2 dead Silver Helms back to life. Dispel Magic finishes my casting. Shooting, the Bolt Thrower misses but amazingly the Archers wound the spider considerably. It has 2 wounds remaining.
Surprise surprise the Orcs charge the Silver Helms. Will forgets to charge the archers with the spider being too pre-occupied with my large unit of Knights. He moves the Squigs closer towards the flank of the Helms. The archers move into the Sword Masters trap. The pump wagon, snotlings and Goblin spears get ever closer to the sea guard:
Magic and Will miscasts the Hand of Gork. It allows him to move the squigs to the rear side of my Knights. Maybe he thought his Orcs would hold. The miscast hurts my noble (1 wound left) and kills 3 Orcs. Will remembers he has goblin archers on top of the spider and shoots at the archers, killing a few. The following close combat sees the Silver Helms kill another 2 orcs. The fight back rebounds of the Silver Helm armour. With another great roll for the High Elf battle banner the Orcs flee and are cut down by the Knights (also taking my Knights a considerable distance away from the Squigs).
Turn 4 and I wheel the Knights to face the goblin spearmen rear. A final fanatic almost crashes into my unit! The Sword Masters exit the building to face the goblin archer flank. Magic and I miscast awakening the wood (yes even with the 2+ save from the Throne of Vines... ergh). It does no damage to the giant spider. In fact the magic detonation wipes out 4 Sea guard. I do manage to again pull off dispel magic but Will uses his remaining dice to dispel my Shield of Thorns. Shooting and another wound is taken off the giant spider. 1 wound left! The snotling horde is reduced to 1 wound by the sea guard. No close combat.
The Spider finally charges the archers. The pump wagon is 'pumped ard' and impacts into the Silver Helms killing 2 instantly. With the snotling horde in the way the goblin archers can't charge and are forced to move forward. The goblin archers wheel to face some sword master fun. Magic is un-eventful. No Shooting. Close combat and the archers break and flee off the battle field. The Spider chases them but doesn't quite reach. The Silver Helms Crush the pump wagon but don't overrun far enough to reach the goblin spearmen.
Turn 5 I charge both the goblin spearmen and archers. Rotate the Bolt Thrower to face the spider. Magic and I cast Flesh to Stone on the Knights. The Bolt Thrower misses the spider. Both the Sword Masters and Silver Helms win combat comfortably. The goblin archers are run down. The Spearmen escape the silver helm hooves. 4 die as they fail dangerous terrain tests running through the sea-guard.
Wills turn and all he can do is reform the fleeing spearmen, wheel the giant spider to face the Bolt Thrower - so he throws in the towel and admits defeat.
A Crushing victory for the High Elves. We only lost 1 unit of 12 archers (worth around 130 points). I managed to remove the Spider Riders, Trolls, Orcs (with Shaman and General), Goblin Archers (with Shaman), the battle standard in the goblin spearmen, and the Goblin Lore master. A very nice result and I now know how Kieron felt after our last battle! It does indeed feel good.
Now lets head back to the pub!