I played host to another 2000 point pitched battle. This time against Craig's Tomb Kings. When we last met on the battle field I soon realised that the Tomb Kings are all about magic, never fleeing and fear/terror. Their weakness' are speed and arrows!
So it seemed simple, a Bolt Thrower, 14 Archers, 28 Sea guard to weaken Tomb King units as they slowly advanced. 13 Silver Helms supported with a BSB and a mounted Noble to clear up the field. And some Sword Masters (as I know Craig hates them). All I had to deal with was his Magic. For that I took a level 4 archmage who would dispel with a +5 (being a cheating girly High Elf). I took the annulian crystal to steal one of his power pool dice into my dispel pool (which he hated). This was all supplemented with the Banner of Saphery on the Sword Masters granting me and extra D3 power pool dice on my turn (similar to his Casket of Souls). Now which Lore to pick. I went with something different... Death. I wanted lots of direct damage spells to snipe at his magic characters and weaken the entire army. The lore attribute meant that any wounds I did had the possibility of further increasing my power pool. Try and out magic an ELF will you! It all seemed to make sense. We faced this:
Level 4 hierophant,
Level 2 Liche priest with the law of light,
Tomb Prince on foot,
Lots of skeleton warriors,
10 skeleton archers,
7 mounted archers
3 entombed Necro Knights
a flamming skull catapult
and an exquisite looking casket.
Criag got to go first.
Everything slowly advances, well except the mounted archers who had a reasonable movement. The first round of magic Craig ploughs most of his power pool dice into the casket of souls. Irresistible force (he can ignore miscasts) nets him 1 wound against the Bolt Thrower. I use my remaining dispel pool to dispel all other spell casting. Shooting and everything takes aim at the Bolt Thrower (obviously a unit he is worried about). The Skull catapult misfires and is destroyed (nice start), the archers fail to wound the Bolt Thrower. 3 Sea Guard are shot down by the mounted archers. No combat.
My Sword Masters march down the right flank towards the casket of souls hiding behind the brew house. My knights edge forward, keeping out of charge range but close enough to secure a charge if the undead should move. Magic and my prince uses his ring of Corin to auto cast Fury of Khaine on the mounted skeletons. It is dispelled. I try to snipe at the Tomb king general in the skeleton warrior unit. Dispelled with a scroll. I do manage to cast a hex spell on the skeleton knights to reduce their strength and toughness by 1. Shooting and I decimate the mounted archers with my Sea Guard:
My Bolt Thrower and Archers whittle down the Skeleton archers before they can hit the Sword Masters heading for the casket:
No Close Combat.
After a fantastic first turn for the Elves...it starts to go wrong, the Chariots manage to pull off a 17" charge against my ill prepared sea-guard. Oh no! We can't flee we are too close to the edge of the battle field, we decide to stand and shoot. Luckily we take down 1 chariot meaning the impact hits are only 3D6 rather than 6!
The mounted skeletons move closer to the Silver Helms in an effort to remove the attention from the Bone Giant and Warriors. The remaining skeleton archer moves to the safety of the barricade.
I catch a break. Craig forgets all about his Necro Knights.
Magic phase and the hierophant casts a spell which allows the Skeleton Knights another normal move. They move ever closer to the Silver Helms blocking their path and directing them away from the action should I charge and over-run. Worse still, the spell allows the unit to re-animate to full strength! All other spells are dispelled.
The Sea Guard raise their shields and wait for the impact from the chariots. 3D6. We can weather this right? Wrong! Craig rolls triple 6. Great! 18 hits. (Luckily) only 11 die. The Unit fights on. Craig issues a challenge, to Craig's surprise I accept with my Archmage. Have I gone mad? Possible. I had given my Archmage the robe which means he can only be hit by magic weapons. Ha ha. But my smile is slowly wiped as Craig tells me the character in that unit has a magical weapon. If only I had taken the talisman which null's magical weapons! Argh! I closed my eyes while Craig rolled his 3 attacks. Two 1s and a 2. My wizard survives. Would the unit? The sea guards kill another chariot and seriously wound another but are hit back hard and flee the confrontation to the table edge. Luck is on my side as the chariots pursue to 1 inch away! phew. I still have a wizard!
Time to retaliate. My Silver Helms charge the skeleton archers who are too close to stand and shoot. The sea guard reform. The Sword Masters continue their march towards the casket of souls. The archers rotate to aid the sea guard with a volley of arrows at the remaining chariots. Magic and with the mounted Noble in combat I can't use the Ring of Corinarchmage. My first spell is dispelled. I fail to cast my second direct damage spell and the phase is over. It's all down to the Bolt Thrower and Archers. Between them they manage to knock down the wounded chariot. Only 3 left but still 3D6 impact hits when they charge next turn:
Combat and the Horse Archers are destroyed before they can strike a return blow. The Silver Helms reform to face the giant and warriors:
The giant is currently behind the tree. You can just see the Sword Masters moving around the back of the brewhouse to face the casket.
No surprise I get charged by the chariots. The Bone giant moves forward but I can still wheel the knights to charge to warriors in my next turn. He remembers about the Necro Knights and tries to raise them near the silver Helm flank. They don't appear.
Magic and my only real mistake in the game. Craig casts a spell that allows him to move the giant again. I stupidly don't dispel as I was worried more about damage spells. The Giant is moved into the gap between my Knights and the skeleton warriors. Craig angles the giant so that when I charge and over-run I won't be able to engage the warriors. Smart move. I dispel all other spells while my archmage is still alive.
Shooting amounts to nothing now for the Tomb King army and we move into the combat phase. My Sea guard face another 3D6 impact hits. Surely I can't be that unlucky again. Oh yes I can. Another 15 hits followed by combat and the archmage and last remaining Sea-guard flee off the battle field. The Chariots reform to face the Bolt Thrower and Archers.
I charge the Bone giant with the Silver Helms and the Casket with the Sword Masters. No magic phase so straight to shooting. Everything aims for the chariots taking them down. My archers have been invaluable this game (thanks to Craig's inability to make armour saves):
Combat and the Silver Helms crush the giant and reform to face the warriors:
The Sword Masters crush through the casket and reform to pressure the warriors rear. They have to move through the graveyard of skeletons recently cut down!
Even though we lost our archmage things were looking up for the Elves.
The inevitable charge from the warriors comes. I'm not that worried my armour should hold. The Necro Knights pop up 10 inches away from the back of the archers. Would the Archers and Bolt Thrower prove their worth again! Magic and without my archmage dispelling becomes difficult. The warriors are blessed with an extra attack and I lose 1 Knight to another spell. A nasty spell is cast upon the archers meaning they can't rotate to face the Necro Knight without facing a difficult terrain test.
Combat and Craig's general issues a challenge. I accept with my mounted noble. He scores a wound but is cut down in the end. My knights cause several wounds to the unit but suffer some back. A close round of combat - or so Craig thought until I declared my BSB was a battle banner granting me another D6 to the combat resolution. I win and 6 skeletons crumble to dust. The BSB worried him!
My turn and the Sword Masters wind around the brew house to face the level 2 priest and the remaining skeleton archer. I remembered that the aim of the game was to destroy units and claim the points. Leave no-one alive! I rotated the archers loosing 1 in the dangerous terrain test. Shooting and 1 Necro Knight fell.
Combat was where it fell apart. The Silver Helms had to take a fear test, and failed with a double 6. No matter I can reroll with the BSB. Another double 6. I was reduced to a weapon skill of 1. Damn. The challenge from the Tomb King general was met with the Silver Helm champion in an effort to keep the BSB alive. My champion didn't last long. Half my unit struck against the lvl 4 hierophant. My excellent rolling continued and even with low weapon skill I managed to hit him around 6 times. 3 caused wounds but were all saved by the 5+ ward save! The rest of the unit struck the warriors doing just as little damage. When I was hit back most went against the BSB and killed him. My Silver Helms were defeated and fled. They were easily chased down as they ran bring the skeletons closer to the Bolt Thrower and archers. Gulp! It ended pretty quickly after that
The Necro Knights charge the archers, the skeleton warriors charge the Bolt Thrower. Both units are destroyed. In my turn I catch the level 2 priest with the Sword Masters and reform to capture the remaining skeleton archer in turn 6.
With that it was pretty much all over. Craig had easily won as his big unit of Skeleton warriors included his general and that nasty level 4 hierophant. A 700 point horde with the Necro Knights. Only my Sword Masters worth 200 points remained.
Lessons learnt: I'm rubbish at Warhammer?
I'll get you next time Galbraith!
So Matt/Kieron/Andy fancy an easy game of warhammer soon?