SmithF's 9th Age Battle Reports 75

MSU battle reports, as first seen in TWF.

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  • So three games in, it was already Saturday evening and the fourth round brought us up against a team from Slovakia, the Sons of Blado. They had performed quite well in the previous rounds, and their lists were quite die-hard (including a SA monster-mash, and a WoDG list with 22 Trolls!).


    Through the magic of the pairing skills of our coach, I was paired up against Empire of Sonnstahl, avoiding the masses of Regenerating monstrosities. The list brought a healthy amount of magic, some small-arms shooting, a couple of cannons, and a boatload of fast, hard hitting units. This is something I could see myself playing, especially when you factor in the 2 attacks per knight for the Knightly orders!









    Jakub wrote:

    Jakub Klinský - Empire of Sonnstahl

    LORDS/HEROES:

    Prelate, General, Great Weapon, Blessed Armour of Frederick the Great – 131

    Archwizard, Lvl.4, Wand of Stability, Path of Wilderness – 215

    Captain, BSB, Plate Armour, Shield – 97

    Wizard, Lvl.2, Dispell Scroll, Path of Fire – 125


    CORE:
    50x Heavy Infantry, Spear, M, S, C, Banner of Swiftness – 310

    20x Heavy Infantry, M, S – 100

    2x10 State Militia, Skirmish, Bow - 70

    5x Elector cavalry, Shield, Lance – 100


    SPECIAL:
    2x1 Artillery, Cannon – 100

    2x5 Knightly Orders, M – 155

    5x Knightly Orders - 145

    2x5 Imperial Rangers – 50


    RARE:
    4x Knights of the Sun Griffon, Lance and Shield, M, S – 227

    5x Knights of the Sun Griffon, Lance and Shield, M, S, Flaming Banner – 299



    We got Secure Target as our secondary objective, and – having learned from my first game experience – I opted to put my counter far off to the left flank, in order to try and divide the enemy battle line. My opponent placed his close to the centre, so we were going to have a pretty balanced deployment:

    Left to right: Scouts, Electoral Cavalry (x2), Griffon knights, Militia (x2), Spearmen+BSB+Prelate, Scouts, Imperial Cavalry, Swordsmen+lvl4+lvl2, Griffon Knights, Electoral Cavalry.


    We traded deployment drops for a while, until I realized that he had more chaff than me and could thus dictate the way this would go; With the big unit of Spearmen deployed, I could picture where the rest of the army could go. So I took the opportunity to drop my army and get a +4 bonus to the first turn.


    Magic: The Dryad Matriarch got the Redwood Shaft and Beast within, the Druid got Luminous Bolts and Cataclysm while the Imperial Archwizard got Beast Within, Insect Swarm, Redwood Shaft and Curse of the Wildwood. The Fire wizard took Fireball and Flame Jet as his spells.



    I saw an opening in the imperial battle line through which my fast cavalry could maneuver on both flanks, putting some pressure on the knights: while they are sturdy, none of the knight units (perhaps not even the big griffon knights) can take a charge from the Wild Huntsmen and come out unscathed. Knowing that I’d get +4 on the roll, I vanguarded forward and in a position from where to march 18” right inside the enemy battle line.

    It turns out that one-in-36 actually means 99,9%: My opponent promptly rolled a 6 to begin, and I countered this with a “1”…

    Crap.



    TURN 1 – EMPIRE OF SONNSTAHL



    With his small and expendable knights within charge range (16”), my opponent declared charges on my Wild Huntsmen on both flanks, and made it in. The rest of the army moved forward in unison, not that hard-pressed to get into close combat now that the fast threat had been neutralized.


    In the magic phase I had to let a Beast Within through on the Knights fighting against the right Wild Huntsmen, but shooting went better for me: both cannons misfired, one becoming incapacitated for the entire game while the other would be able to shoot normally on the following turn.


    Combat went as planned: the Wild Huntsmen hit first, dropped three knights from each unit, but the return attacks (did I mention how cool it is, having human knights with 2 attacks each?) took their toll; the rightmost Wild Huntsmen ended up fleeing, the knights in close pursuit, while the rightmost took 4 wounds and the survivor was cut down when he tried to flee.



    TURN 1 – SYLVAN ELVES




    Right, with both of my fast heavy hitters gone so early, I had to pull some rabbits out of my hat! The shapeshifter declared a charge against the victorious knights, and they had to hold as the flee path would make them flee through 3 units, out of which some were not within BSB range. The Forest Guard charged the other knight unit, while the rest of the army moved up to try and give the Empire a good fight. The Briar Maidens moved right in front of the imperial battle line: my opponent, in trying to shield his units with the archers had made a mistake: by parking the Maidens right in front of the Militia, I could bring his entire battle line to a halt. I had to give one of the archer units a flank charge to perform that, but I was confident that the maidens could take it. The last wild huntsman rallied and… [Read More]
  • The second round win for our team pushed us slightly upwards on the tables, where we had to face another German team; By now our coach had gotten the hang of the pairing system, and I was pitted against Erik and his beautifully painted Vampire Counts:

    Erik wrote:


    LORDS/HEROES:

    Vampire Count,General,Lv.2, Heavy Amour, Shield, Ogresword, Talisman of Supreme Shielding, Dragonscale Helm, Lamia, Ancient Blood Power (Commandment), Necromancy - 435

    Necromancer Lord, Lv4, Dispel Scroll, Necromancy - 235

    Barrow King, Battle Standard Bearer, Halberd, Black Standard of Zagvozd - 149

    Fell Wraith, King Slayer - 85

    Fell Wraith, Beastbane Halberd - 80

    Fell Wraith, Banshee - 80


    CORE:
    2x25 Zombies, M, S - 90

    40 Ghouls, FCG - 395

    5 Dire Wolves, C - 50


    SPECIAL:
    2 Phantom Host - 60

    2 Great Bats - 40

    2 Great Bats - 40

    Cadaver Wagon - 80


    RARE:

    10 Wraiths, Flaming Attacks - 195

    5 Wraiths, Ghost Steeds - 150

    Shrieking Horror - 245

    2499

    Deployment/pregame:


    This seemed like a good list to battle gunlines and armies with low/no magic attacks. However, the Otherworldly part of my army was pretty happy to face the ethereal vampires.

    We got the «Capture the Flags» secondary objective, along with regular deployment. We traded deployments until I saw where the Wraiths would go, then I seized the initiative in order to get some first turn maneuvering in.


    Left to right: Banshee, Mounted Wraiths, Bats, Phantom Host, Wraiths + characters, zombies+Master Necromancer, Ghouls + BSB+ Vamp, Corpse Wagon, Zombies, Bats, Wolves, Shrieking Terror


    Left to right: Briar Maidens, Archers +Druid, Dryads+Matriarch, Thicket Beasts+BSB, Wild Huntsmen, Dancers, Shapeshifter, Forest Guard, Eagles, Dancers, Huntsmen

    The overall battle plan was to put pressure on the Ethereals with my magic missiles, focus shooting on the Shrieking Horror and try and open up the vampire battleline to get to the soft zombie underbelly. With Ws5 and a Vampire inside them, the Ghouls were to be avoided if possible.



    Magic: Druid got Luminous Bolts and Guiding Hand, Matriarch got Beast within and Insect Swarm.

    The Vampire got Invocation and Gaze of Shetesh, and the Necromancer Lord got Invocation, Dead Arise, Dance Macabre and Curse of the Dead.



    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves


    With the Shrieking Horror creating a 24 inch no-go zone for many of my units (and especially the Shapeshifter), I pushed forward with the Thicket Beasts up the middle and the Wild Huntsmen on the right flank, the rest of the army in close support. The placement of the Thickets opposite the ethereal units meant that the only thing that could realistically threaten them was the Ghoul unit.


    Magic saw me miscast my first spell with 4 dice, luminous bolts on the lone banshee: Erik let that through, and my miscast result meant that the Briar Maidens were no longer a mage. He was quite happy with the exchange, but at least the banshee wouldn’t worry me any longer.


    TURN 1 – Vampire Covenant


    Not wanting to face the thicket beasts head-on, the vampires didn’t declare any charges. The Ghouls moved closer to my lines, while the wraiths anchored the battle line inside the forest.

    In the magic phase I let invocations go, leading to around 15 zombies being raised per unit.I then elected to not dispel the gaze of shetesh, losing an entire unit of Wild Huntsmen to it. This left with enough dice to stop the Dance Macabre.



    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves




    The Wild Huntsmen saw an opening on the right flank, a charge against the giant bats that would lead to an overrun into the wolves behind. One of the zombie units was hanging out right behing these two units of chaff, and it had no way of getting out of trouble. Given as the objective was to capture the flags, I charged in.


    The Thicket beasts moved aggressively against the wraiths, with the Eagles stepping in front of the Ghouls for some redirection tricks. The rest of the army moved to limit the Shrieking horror’s landing spots.


    In the magic phase I got 5 dice against 4 dispel, and saw this as an opportunity to draw the scroll: the matriarch directed an Insect Swarm on the Shrieking Horror, miscast and my opponent opted to not dispel it. Thankfully, I also rolled a 10+ result and just lost all magic levels. In return, the Shrieking Horror lost 3 wounds from the 5d6 s1 attacks.

    Shooting was directed at the leftmost bat unit, but I only managed to deal 2 wounds to it.


    Combat saw the Huntsmen pop the bats and overrun into the wolves.


    TURN 2 – Vampire Covenant




    The ghouls charged the eagle, which held. In the remaining movement phase the Mounted Wraiths and the bat moved towards my archer unit, while the Shrieking Terror landed close to the rightmost bladedancers and prepared to scream. Due to the distance between the general and the phantom host, the latter did not have enough movement to redirect the Thicket Beasts.


    In the magic phase I used my scroll to dispel the [Read More]
  • After the defeat in the first round, we woke up on Saturday morning paired against a German local team, all made up by veterans of Warhammer: lots of OOP models and a laid back attitude, but that doesn’t mean that their lists were tame! I got paired up against the Daemonic Legion army of Rene, which was a variant of the old Wall of Pestilence list:


    Rene wrote:

    Lords/Heroes:
    Father of Pestilence, lvl4, Death, Seventh Seal, Eternal Blade, Bloated Putrefaction - 725

    Harbinger of Pestilence, BSB, lvl2, Death, Bloated Putrefaction, Blight Fly, Halberd, Nauseating Aura - 330

    Core:

    26x Tallymen, FCG - 322

    25x Tallymen, FCG - 310

    Special:

    2x5 Furie, Mark of Pestilence - 80

    5x Clawed Fiend, Barbed Claws – 300

    Rare:

    5x Blight Fly, C, S, Flaming Standard – 350


    Not the best matchup for the Sylvan Elves, but it did allow my team mates to get opponent that they were more likely to win against. (This is apparently a good strategy in team tournaments)


    Things became worse when we got the Hold the Ground objective: If there’s one thing that the Tallymen are good at, it’s camping on the objective and not going anywhere anytime soon.


    Deployment:


    This time I won the roll off for sides, and opted to give my opponent the side with the impassable terrain: between that and the water feature, I was hoping he’d split his army so that I could focus on half the daemons with a bigger part of my forces. (I even dropped my forest on the “denied” flank, so as to confuse him)

    In the end, the plan worked: we exchanged deployments, and I managed to get the Blight Flies and a unit on Tallymen facing against the majority of my army, with the other unit of tallymen and the Fiends relatively out of place (as out of place as a 20” movement unit can be). I then dropped the rest to get the first turn, which I did.


    Magic:

    Guiding Hand, Luminous Bolts for the Druid, Wildform and Redwood Shaft for the Matriarch.

    Touch of the Reaper, Gnawing Spirits, Soul Harvest and The abyss Gazes Back for the Father of Pestilence, Touch of the Reaper and Curse of Mortality for the Harbinger.



    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves


    The battle plan was to stall the right flank, attack aggressively against the Flies and the Tallymen to the left, and pepper the Father of Pestilence with shots.

    To this end, I moved aggressively with the Thicket Beasts, the Huntsmen and the Shapeshifter, creating no-go zones for the flies while the rest of the army fell into place.

    The Wild Huntsmen to the right moved to threaten the advance of the Fiends, while eagles and Briar Maidens remained safely behind the hill and ready to intervene for redirection and other shenanigans.


    Magic let me put a White magic counter on the Shapeshifter with Guiding hand on the archers. The S10 Redwood Shaft went off against the Father of Pestilence, but I failed to wound. The subsequent BS6 shooting on the flies put two wounds on them, a decent start.



    TURN 1 – Daemonic Legion


    The zoning worked wonders this turn, as the fiends couldn’t advance aggressively while the flies decided to reposition to be supported by the tallymen. The Furies flew right in front of the Shapeshifter, denying me the charge to the flies. The Father of Pestilence moved up aggressively against the elven battleline, with the second Tallymen unit close by.


    Magic started with a miscast Touch of the Reaper on the Shepherd BSB, which I let through; my BSB lost a wound, and the Harbinger a magic level and enough dice to make it easy for me to stop the rest.


    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves



    The Bladedancers charged into the blocking furies, and then the Shapeshifter decided it was a good idea to fail his march test (Ld9 due to the Death attribute), meaning that he couldn’t get around the furies and behind the flies. I opted for a more conventional supporting position, and thrust forward the Thicket Beasts to force a charge into them with the Flies.


    The reasoning here was that – in spite of the Flaming Banner – the Thickets would be able to hold off the flies for quite some time, giving time to my army to come to their defense. Additionally, I knew that as long as the flies were playing support, the Tallymen would be untouchable.

    Other moves involved the Eagles blocking the Fiends’ advance (I put them at a clipping position where only one fiend would be able to attack), as well as some Dryads valiantly throwing themselves (sans Matriarch) in front of the Father of Pestilence.


    In the magic phase the Redwood shaft was cast once more, this time pulling the scroll. Luminous bolts went off against him, causing a single wound. Shooting was directed at the Father of Pestilence too, amounting to a whopping 3 wounds, between the poisoned attacks of the Briar Maidens and the Black arrows of the Archers.


    In combat the Bladedancers made short work of the furies and stood their ground, reforming to face the incoming Tallymen.


    TURN 2 – Daemonic Legions


    The daemons… [Read More]
  • The TGH Chronicles


    Some time ago the guys from ETC Team Belgium approached me and asked me to be a part of their team with my Sylvan Elves. It didn’t take long to convince me, the prospect of two weekends of non-stop gaming with a pack of fun, beer-drinking individuals was enticing!


    And I say two weekends because the first stop in this journey was to be the TGH tournament in Herford, Germany. This event, organized by members of the German team with Frederick at their forefront, promised to bring together more than 100 players for what is called an «ETC warm-up» event. This means that the same rules of team gaming apply, the tables are the same and the competition is stiff.


    This being my first team event, I discovered very soon that one needs to take a different approach to the battles than when playing in singles: the results of each game (0-20) are pooled and the final score decides which team won. The more points one gets, the better it is for the team’s rankings. This means that there are times when one needs to win big to make a difference, or take a small loss to keep the team’s score from plummeting.


    With the 1.0 version of the 9th Age out only for a week, there was practically no time for preparation: everyone went with their gut feeling and what they were comfortable playing with based on their experience from previous beta versions. My role in the team was defined as «hit and run close combat sylvans», but I have never been the «running away» player; so I decided to interpret that as «hit hard and run into close combat», which gave me the following:

    SmithF wrote:



    Lords/Heroes:

    -Shapeshifter Prince, LA, Shield, Elven Cloak, Whirlwind Blade, Dragonhelm,

    Obsidian Pebble, Potion of Strength – 298

    -Dryad Matriarch general, level 2 path of Wilderness, Oaken Crown – 105

    -Thicket Shepherd, BSB, Entwined Roots – 160

    -Druid, Level 2 Path of White Magic, Dispel Scroll - 130


    Core:

    -19x Sylvan Archers, Black Arrows, Standard, Musician – 258

    -28x Forest Guardians, Full Command, Veteran Standard: Gleaming Icon – 257

    -8x Dryads, Skirmishers - 110


    Special:

    -5 Wild Huntsmen, Vanguard – 160

    -5 Wild Huntsmen, Vanguard – 160

    -8x Bladedancers – 120

    -7x Bladedancers 105

    -5 Thicket Beasts, Entwined Roots, FCG - 285


    Rare:

    -2x Forest Eagles – 80

    -10x Briar Maidens, Champion – 270


    In 9th age it is no longer just about killing your opponent, but also about taking the objective: with the addition of the «capture the flags» scenario, having scoring units that can take a beating is important, as is being able to hold the centre. I have found that the Forest Guardians and Thicket Beasts are quite durable, while the Sylvan Archers are big enough to be able to soak up ranged damage when played right.


    The list is overall a mix of MSU combat elements with a couple of more durable multitasking units (they can perform the anvil role as well as the hammer role depending on the situation) with a couple of reliable ranged units and several magic missiles to help out in the ranged fights.

    The most recent addition was getting a second eagle into the rare section, giving me a unit of 2 eagles for the discount price of 80 points. This allows me to preserve the eagles more easily against enemy shooters and magic missiles, without having to burn dispel dice to dispel every d6 s4 directed at them. After all, the unit can take 5 wounds at T4 and still be a perfect redirector, which is more than can be said for fast cavalry units.


    After a 4 hour drive, we arrived at the TGH sports center, where the event would be held: excellent facilities, a big sports hall full of tables with high-quality scenery and a healthy supply of refreshments and coffee were waiting for us. The organization proved to be spot on all tournament long, with results being published on time, game rounds played like clockwork, and a lot of extras such as barbeque on two days, waffles and coffee breaks in the afternoon and so on.


    But you didn’t come here for the culinary review, I hope, so read on for the first match!



    ROUND 1



    The first round we were paired against Team Ukraine, which happened to have a couple of German substitutes due to last-minute drop-outs. I got to play Christian, dwarf player and a tournament regular in Germany. He brought a dwarven push list that nicely portrays how much the stunties have evolved:

    Christian wrote:



    Lords/Heroes:

    -Runic Master, General, Shield, Plate Amor, 2xRune of Shielding, 2xRune of Iron, Rune of Aegis, Rune of Brilliance, Rune of Gleaming, Rune of Resilience, Rune of Reckoning - 243

    -Thain, BSB, Shield, Plate Amor, 2x Rune of Iron, Runic Standard of Shielding - 168

    -Daemon Seeker, Paired Weapons, Rune of Quickening, Rune of Destruction, Rune of Penetrating, Grim Resolve, Magic Resistance(1) - 285

    -Runic Smith, Plate Amor, Shield, Rune of Denial, Rune of
    [Read More]
  • The arrival of the almost final version of the 9th Age rules is a big deal for the entire team, marking the culmination of 6 months’ work. So what better way to celebrate it than a battle report?

    How about a battle report featuring the return of one of the most recognizable and amusing wargame battle reporters ever to grace the forums? Using the new Saurian Ancients book as bait, we managed to lure none other than Bobo (The Vampire Monkey, for friends) out of his hiding!


    For this occasion, we prepared a jungle rumble matchup: The Sylvan Elves against the Saurian Ancients, both in their post-review glory.





    Isaac “Bobo” Alexander – Saurian Ancients





    Intro: The Red Pill



    Bobo: Since the days of Ancient Rome, there is a much-maligned but tried and tested method in competitive sports – boxing, fencing, hell even chess – that when you want your hot young fighter to make a name for himself, you wheel out an ancient veteran of the sport, for the young hotshot to slaughter and springboard himself to fame. And you know what they call it? An “Exhibition Match”. Initially I was delighted to be a part of such an Exhibition Match – until I realised something. I was the old guy.


    In all seriousness, I’m quite flattered to have been invited to showcase the 9th Age rules in a battle report. I was generously given my choice of pre-release army books to pick from, and naturally picked Saurian Ancients. Why? I’ll give you three guesses.


    My opponent was to be the UB tournament specialist SmithFamily (or Mr. Smith for short, get ready for some Matrix references), who also happens to have written the Sylvan Elves book he’s using. As with any game against Wood Elves, I’ll be trying to stop flying arrows with the power of my mind, then jump inside him and make him explode.

    I’m taking a bit of a different approach to writing my list. After wracking my brain for 24 hours, trying to make my old lists and ideas fit into this strange new roster, I decided to go completely the other way and play something crazy. I made a couple of rules for myself when writing my list: no duplicate choices, no minimum unit sizes. This would ensure that I got to put a nice variety of units on the table – and also give me a really good excuse if I get crushed in the game.


    First on my list was The Lone Ranger: a Scar Veteran, mounted on a raptor and with the Bluffer’s Helm and Luckstone. Halberds are now the go-to choice for Lizard fighters since they retain Born Predator, which is essential to avoid fluffing.


    Of course, it can get lonely on the road, so therefore The Lone Ranger got given a sidekick: Tonto! Tonto turned out to be a Ramphodon-riding Skink Chief with the Duskstone. Together these two 1+ armour save cowboys should prove to be a real pain in Mr. Smith’s side, and hopefully buy me enough time to figure out how to play my army.

    I momentarily considered not taking a wizard, but someone once told me “power dice are free – you should use them”. I decided to keep my magic as close to free as possible, and just went with a level 3 Skink High Priest with Light magic. Apart from bringing the Dispel Scroll to the table, his main job would be to 5-dice boosted Burning Gaze at any Treefather that Mr. Smith brought.


    I decided to bring a Caiman Ancient as my general. He’s cheap, and most importantly brings the Gem of Fortune to protect my Caimans from all the shooting which I’m sure will be coming their way.


    Speaking of Caimans, I took 7. They would be my main hammer with which to smash the pointy-ears. Halberds, once again, were a must – the elves have no armour to speak of and the extra hits from BP are just too useful to give up; not to mention the synergies with Lore of Light.

    With basically no shooting in the army now, I decided that a max sized unit of Pteradons would help me control some board space against all the Sylvan Elf flyers and fast cav. A single Salamander was included for the same reason; very short ranged but if he got amongst the enemy he could ruin Mr. Smith’s day.


    My core units pretty much chose themselves; a medium Saurian unit to keep costs down, a small Cohort bunker for the wizard to hang out in, a swarm for flavour, and a Skink/Caiman unit. My core’s main task was to chase objectives and to look scary (they’re not, really). At a pinch I could send them in to support the Caiman block, but the Saurian core is quite fragile overall, so I was planning to Handle With Care.


    My final selections were an Ancient Taurosaur, who elves in general just tend to hate dealing with, and a medium unit of Temple Guard. With these additions I felt like my army had real combat presence, and with a decent amount of ItP units I could possibly compete with the Wood Elves across the board. With my last handful of points I grabbed a Skink Chief BSB on foot to hold my lines steady.


    Well, Mr. Smith, am I the virus, or the cure? Game on!


    Bobo wrote:

    [Read More]