SmithF's 9th Age Battle Reports 73

MSU battle reports, as first seen in TWF.

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  • New

    For the second game of the day we would be facing team Portugal. These guys are actually very active players in France (but half of them are of Portuguese origin, hence the name). Last year we had the pleasure of facing them at the first Benelux Cup, which they won, and at LBM where we took our revenge and beat them! This time they had lined up five very competitive lists, and I got to play @Paulo with his Daemonic Legions.

    Despite all the rage about the Omen/Lemure/Hoarder/Hope Harvester combo, I find daemons quite fun to play against. Paulo had all the afore-mentioned tools, but he had also put his personal touch by bringing the Courtesan of Cibaresh:


    Paulo wrote:


    Characters:
    Omen of Savar, General, Dominion of Pride, Master Thaumaturgy, Iron Husk, Kaleidoscopic Flesh guiding, Living Shield
    Courtesan of Cibaresh, Adept Witchcraft, Brimstone Secretions, Kaleidoscopic Flesh, Chitinous scales, Darkhide

    Core:
    17 Lemures, FCG
    25 Succubi, FCG, Smothering coils

    Special:
    1 Hope Harvester
    6 Clawed Fiends, FCG, Unhinged Jaw
    5 Hoarders, FCG, Kaleidoscopic Flesh, Tarskin

    Aves:
    5 Furies, Kaleidoscopic Flesh



    So overall a list centered around four big blocks, all reasonably fast thanks to the army-wide swiftstride of the DL, plus a scouting Courtesan and some flying redirectors. The deployment this time was Counterthrust and the secondary objective King of the Hill. My opponent won the roll for sides, and declared the Water feature as his piece of terrain for the secondary, while I picked the hill to the left.
    His Omen picked Hand of Heaven, Smite the Unbeliever, Cleansing Fire and the DL Hereditary, while the Courtesan picked Raven’s Wing and the DL Hereditary. I took the same spells I’d end up taking all weekend long: Breath of Corruption/Grave Calls and Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue.
    Knowing that I’d get a considerable bonus for the first turn, and also that we’d be fighting for control of the western part of the board, I used my Dark Raiders to push the daemons back in deployment, and then dropped for first turn. As expected, the daemons deployed right across from my army.



    TURN 1 – Dread Elves
    With a Hope Harvester and Thaumaturgy magic with +2 to cast, I didn’t want to waste any time: the two Dark Raider units moved up and blocked the entire DL battle line, allowing my krakens/Manticore and the Pegasus to move up aggressively and take the hill for some rerollable charges on the following turn.A medusa and the Dark Acolytes started an outflanking maneuver on the weak flank, while the Yema Acolytes approached the courtesan for some magic:
    In the magic phase the Breath of Corruption was cast and resulted in a single wound on the Courtesan. The Grave Calls was dispelled, and the Ice and Fire dealt a single wound to the hoarders.





    TURN 1 – Daemonic Legion

    My opponent surprised me by opting not to charge the dark raider screens! This was a good call, as it would be chaffing me up as much as it did him. The units shuffled a bit, the Succubi moved back but generally the rest held their ground and the Omen joined the Lemures. Magic started with a Hand of Heaven on the nearest kraken failing to wound, then a casting of the Hereditary spell on the manticore was dispelled. A second attempt at the Kraken on the hill resulted in two wounds. Finally, the Raven’s Wing was dispelled.
    In the shooting phase the Harvester took aim at the Blades of Nabh closest to the Lemures, and managed a massive 28 hits! Thankfully, the to-hit penalties from range and cover were enough to limit the damage: the salvo only resulted in two dead witches!



    TURN 2 – Dread Elves

    I feared that the Blades wouldn’t survive a second volley from the Harvester, I declared some charges: First, the rightmost Dark Raiders had to get out of the way. So they charged the Fiends’ flank, opening the way for my rightmost Kraken and the nearby Blades to charge the Lemures. The Pegasus Prince and the wounded kraken spotted the Furies right in front of them and charged them: the Kraken had a 9+ overrun into the succubi. Finally, the Blades right behind the kraken also declared a long charge into the furies: if they made it in, they would use that combat as a stepping stone to get into the Fiends right behind. All of the chargers made it in except for the long Blade Charge. The second unit of Dark Raiders continued to block the Courtesan, and the Medusa to the right moved up to redirect the Hoarders away from the Lemure combat.The two acolyte units were now staring at the Daemon flanks.

    In magic I managed to cast Crippling Fatigue on the Lemure block on a high roll, which my opponent had to let through. He then dispelled the Grave Calls against the Courtesan, and the Breath of Corruption was cast but I totally forgot to use it!

    We started combat with the Omen/Lemure/Kraken/Blade fight: The blades went berserk against the Omen and dealt 6 wounds, instantly… [Read More]
  • New

    Greetings, dear reader!

    The past weekend I had the pleasure of attending one of the biggest and most well-runtournaments in the greaterregion, the Luxembourg Bash Masters. This was a 5-player, 5-game team tournament, run over an entire weekend, with 20 teams attending, for a total of 100 wargamers! Last year was the first time I made the 2,5h trip to Luxembourg for this event, and it was a great experience that you can read all about in this blog. Our team performed very well and we secured the first place, becoming the LBM champions!

    So returning to defend our title was something that we were looking forward to. And when I say “we” I mean my usual partners in miniature-related crime: @PrinceCharming and his Ogre Khans, @IHDarklord and his Undying Dynasties, @gregor and his Daemonic Legions, @Artur with his Highborn Elves and yours truly with my latest Dread Elf list.

    This year the opposition was of a very high level, as you can yourselves notice by the lists of the event (link). Between the teams we’d find two teams from the Netherlands, two German teams, two Italian teams, as well as some of the most well-known tournament players from France, arranged in three powerful teams. Belgium is always well represented due to the geographical proximity of Luxembourg, and this time we had no less than four teams! Add to that other French players, Team Norway,Team Switzerland and last but certainly not least Team Luxembourg and you have an amazing mix of players, gaming culture and ethnic diversity that guarantees a very enjoyable yet challenging weekend.

    First and foremost, I need to applaud the efforts of @kiri and his team of dedicated wargamers who organized this event. Every year it keeps getting better and better, with very good pre-tournament communication, a perfectly run event in itself with well-read and always available judges, top-notch bar/catering service and even a Saturday night social program that allowed us to chat a bit more with the other teams and also have a great time with our team mates. They always deliver great events, and they are the best guys to hang out with. One of the reasons why I am saying all that is because they are also one of the candidates for organizing the ETC 2020, and I think they would do an amazing job in running the event. So there, if you are one of the decision-makers about this, don’t hesitate a single minute to give them their vote!

    Back to the tournament itself now! As is customary, here is the list that I took to the event:

    Dread Elves


    So a list combining high mobility, and featuring some of my favorite models/units in the entire Dread Elf line: the Medusae, the Blades of Nabh and the flying characters. Before the tournament, and in order to accelerate the play speed of the list, I had decided to drop all shooting from the list. This is an army that requires very good movement and is quite unforgiving when it comes to positioning errors, but is also very rewarding when it works as designed! You can find more discussion about lists in my army-building thread (link).

    Our first opponents were some of the top contenders for this year’s team France for ETC, team Obelix (AKA “les enfants du Sud”), bringing together some of the best players in France. I had previously had a great and very tactical game against @benj at last year’s ETC, so I was very happy that we’d be playing them in the first round. The pairing process pitted me against Vincent @vince3310 , and his Infernal Dwarves.

    His list looked like this:

    Vince3310 wrote:

    Characters:
    -Prophet,Wizard Master (Pyromancy), Tablet of Ashuruk, Magical Heirloom
    -Vizier BSB, Icon of the Inferno, Talisman of the Void
    -3 x Hobgoblin Chieftain on Wolf, LA, Shield, Light Lance

    Core:
    -11 Citadel Guard, Musician, Flintlock Axes
    -2 x 10 Citadel Guard, Musician, Flintlock Axes
    -2 x 20 Orc Slaves

    Special:
    -3 x 5 Taurukh, Musician, Shields, Infernal Weapons

    Bound andBinders:
    - KadimTitan
    -4 Kadim Incarnates
    - Infernal Engine w/ Shrapnel Guns

    So in essence a pyro gunline with very good anti-push elements, good redirectors and resilient mobile scoring. The first round secondary objective was going to be Hold the Ground (predetermined and round-dependent) and we got randomly assigned a map-pack table designed for Counterthrust. My opponent picked the side of the table with a sizeable hill,… [Read More]
  • For the final round of the tournament, we would have to fight the Hot n’ Bash team! They are all tournament veterans, and frequent contenders for the ETC team qualification. They had lined up gunline EoS led by our dear friend and former teammate @Luthor Huss , fighty Orcs, minotaur-heavy Beast Herds and, finally, pyromancy-totting Infernal Dwarves!

    Team strategy required that I take on the chaotic stunties, allowing other, better matches for my teammates. Pierre @Kerathop , my opponent, had brought the following:



    So the dreaded Pyro/Infernal Icon combo, plus an Alchemy adept, decent shooting, and three good counter-push elements in the form of the Kadims, Tauruk and theEngine. Our deployment type was Dawn Attack and the objective was Secure Target.

    Going into the game, I knew that just avoiding and playing safe would probably see me take a medium loss, as the ranged output of the Pyromancy Prophet is simply too great, and my opponent had numerous scoring units with which to contest or claim the objectives during the last few turns.
    So I’d have to be aggressive in my approach, for two reasons: first to limit the number of turns that my heavy hitters would be exposed to pyromancy magic, and second to try and keep the ID away from the objective markers, while my scorers advanced towards them.

    To help in this regard I’d need as many magic tricks as possible, so I took Forest Embrace, Awaken the Beast, Chilling Howl, Totemic Summon and Break the Spirit as my spells. The Alchemy Prophet chose the Quicksilver Lash and Word of Iron, and the Pyromancy Prophet got Haze of Magnesia, Fireball, Cascading Fire,Pyroclastic Flow and Scorching Salvo, for a grand total of 5 damage-dealing spells!

    My opponent won the roll for picking sides and he placed his objective marker 12” from his deployment zone, near the “gap” of my deployment. Then I spotted an opening: My right-hand corner (the one where I couldn’t deploy troops) had a point that respected the secure target requirements of being more than 12” from my deployment zone and at least 24” from my enemy’s marker. So I chose that spot, since I had a hill to protect my scorers until the last minute, as well as being able to keep all the scoring units packed instead of pitting a single isolated dryad unit against a unit of Flintlocks in the far flank.






    Then, for the first time after a long time playing Sylvan Elves, I elected to drop my entire army to begin he game! We ended up, predictably, with a very heavily weighed right flank: I didn’t mind the 18” gap in my deployment, since my units had the mobility to cover that distance and keep the enemy from outflanking me.

    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves

    The big eagle unit with the Prince flew forward and took cover behind the obstacle inthe middle of the board. With their height and footprint they’d provide a shield from pyromancy for the first ID turn, allowing my weaker units to advance unscathed. To the left, the Kestrels performed an outflanking maneuver, still staying out of sight/range of the pyromancy wizard. Finally, the right kestrels moved back (my opponent had done a great job of blocking every possible landing zone for them) , and the second unit of Eagles was shoved forward to provoke a Frenzy check on the Kadims. My scoring dryads started the long slog towards the secure target points, and both the Druid’s retinue and the BSB’s Dancers stayed behind the relative safety of the hill.

    In magic my opponent used his binding scroll on the Chilling Howl, then dispelled the Totemic Summon. This left me just enough dice to put Break the Spirit on the Orc Slaves right in front of the Eagles. Shooting destroyed the leftmost unit of wolf riders, and the ball was in the ID court!





    TURN 1 – Infernal Dwarves

    The Kadims passed their frenzy check, and no charges were declared. Dwarven movement was cautious, only the Kadims moving forward with the Tauruks close behind. My adversary took great care at preventing any of my flyers from flying over his lines, but this meant that he’d need to stay relatively static.

    In the magic phase I used the Binding Scroll on the Blaze Attribute, ensuring that I’d only be getting a single extra D3 S4 hits and not two per spell cast! Magic opened with a high roll of Haze of Magnesia on the Eagles with Prince, and I used all of my dispel dice to make sure that this didn’t go through: the 2d3 s4 and the rerolls to all future… [Read More]
  • After a good night’s sleep, we headed back to the venue on Sunday morning, where we would find our round 4 opponents waiting for us: They are tournament regulars in the region, and most of them ETC veterans with either team France or team Portugal (UN). They were lining up Carnosaur Saurians, Full monstrous inf/cav UD, Double Rock Aurochs OK and shooting-heavy SE with double treefathers and Elk lord. I got paired against the Undying Dynasties, a matchup that I considered relatively favorable due to my list’s mobility: Renato ( @Kermit ) had brought the following list:

    Kermit wrote:

    Death Cult Hierarch, Hierophant, wizard Adept, Evocation
    Death Cult Hierarch, General, Binding Scroll, wizard Master, Soul Conduit ,Divination
    2 x Tomb architect

    6vskeleton chariots, M, C, Legion charioteers
    2 x 5bskeleton scouts
    20 Skeletons, M, S, C, Banner of the Relentless Company

    2 x 6 Tomb Cataphracts, M, C
    8 Shabtis Archers , M, S, C, Rending Banner
    3 x 1 Sand Scorpion

    So a no-nonsense undying dynasties list based around the reliability of the 3+/5++ Cataphracts and the help of a very potent magic phase. The scenario was Spoils of War, and the deployment we rolled was once more Marching Columns. Going into the game I knew that I had an advantage when it came to objectives: my opponent had lots of scoring units, but all of them were his main line units. So if I played my cards right, I’d be able to face at least one less unit while it grabbed the spoils of war token and then maneuvered back into place.

    For magic my druid got Forest Embrace, Beast Awakens, Savage Fury, Totemic Summon and Break the Spirit: with a lot of combat phases ahead of us, I figured that I’d be better off with a good mix of augment spells that would help tip the combat in my favor. My opponent opted for the Spectral Blades and Hasten the hour for his hierophant, while the Master took Scrying, Know thy Enemy, Stars Align and Unerring Strike.

    My adversary started deploying his units from his right corner towards the center, and once we had both placed 3 units took the opportunity to start the game, keeping two of his Scorpions in reserve. This allowed me to counter his deployment, keeping my scoring units far from his battle line and creating a fast but hard hitting center with the Kestrels, Prince, Dancers and the Eagles.






    TURN 1 – UD

    My opponent was cautious with his first turn of movement, maneuvering into a slightly oblique line, and unwilling to advance far: the placement of my kestrels meant that if he moved up too far he’d have to deal with flyers behind his lines. So instead, both of his cataphracts maneuvered to zone my kestrels and eagles, while the shabtis moved into a better shooting position.
    Magic started off with a boosted Hasten the hour on the left kestrels, which I dispelled with my dice, leaving the Stars Align to go off on the Shabtis: these took aim at my Eagles protecting the Prince, dealing a couple of wounds.



    TURN 1 – SE

    The first order of business for the sylvans was to put pressure on the UD, so as to force the Scorpions to appear near the enemy battleline and not behind my lines; to do so, I advanced the big line of Forest Eagles to block both cataphract units, and in a position where ignoring them would give the eagles a turn 2 charge on the hierophant bunker. This way a unit of cataphracts would have to charge, and risk a failed restrain pursuit test that would put the enemy scorers within combo-charge range from the bladedancers, kestrels and the Prince. The rightmost part of the army advanced to provide cover fire and claim the right-handside objective marker. I then used my second eagle unit and the small bladedancers to create no-go zones for tunneling scorpions.

    Magic was a complete failure this turn: the totemic summon was dispelled, but at least I kept some Veil Tokens for the next phase. Shooting proved to be more effective, killing a Shabti and putting two wounds to the scorpion in the enemy backline.






    TURN 2 – UD

    The leftmost Cataphracts charged into the eagles, and both Scorpions appeared: oneright next to the left-hand impassable feature, trying to flush out the kestrels hiding behind and preventing the chariots’ and shabtis’ advance, and another right behind the building to keep my second kestrel unit under control.
    Magic started with a high casting of Unerring Strike on my Eagle Prince: I let it through, and suffered two wounds for my troubles despite the 3+/4++ save. This allowed me to dispel the buffs on the Cataphracts, making them easier to deal with if I charged: the shooting bounced off the Prince’s armour harmlessly, which was a relief. In combat, the cataphracts dealt 5 wounds to the eagles, suffered one back and forced the birds to flee through my lines, where they’d rally on the following turn. Unfortunately, the Cataphracts’ restrain pursuit test was… [Read More]
  • So we’re now in the third game of the day, and now the weariness is setting in: we’ve been awake since 5am, who said that tournaments are not an endurance sport! What made things easier was the news that we’d get to play against our friends and neighbors from Luxembourg! We’ve met them a couple of times now on the battlefield, but we often travel to the same tournaments and it’s always a pleasure to get together and share a drink, exchanging war stories.

    They had lined up Vampires, Vermin Swarm, Sylvan Elves and Daemon Legions, and I got one of the more favorable matchups against @zlatanlux ‘s vampires. This time the scenario was Hold the Ground, and the deployment type was to be Frontline Clash once more.

    The vampiric list was one of the most magic-heavy lists I’d seen all tournament:


    Characters:
    Vampire Count of Lamia, General, Adept (Witchcraft), Commandment, LA, Paired Weapons,Destiny’s Call, Obsidian Rock, Touch of Greatness
    Necromancer Master (Evocation), Necromantic Staff, Talisman of the Void
    Necromancer Adept (Alchemy), Book of Arcane Mastery

    Core:
    32 Skeletons, Halberds, Full Command, Banner of Speed
    28 Skeletons, Spear
    23 Zombies
    20 Zombies
    2 x 2 Bat Swarms

    Special:
    Cadaver Wagon
    Court of the Damned, Lamia Blood Ties
    9 Ghasts, Champion
    1 x 2 Great Bats

    Varkolak


    So all in all a relatively compact vampire force with a good amount of redirectors, an unkillable anvil in the form of 9 Ghasts with 4++ regeneration save, and a magic phase with enough raising ability to ensure that both skeleton units would be 60-strong in no time!

    When doing the estimation for this match I hadn’t taken into account the secondary objective: hold the ground is one of the easiest ones for vampires due to their big, immoveable units. So I had to get creative about how to approach this game! One thing was for certain: engaging the big units to the front was a very bad idea!
    For magic,I got Forest Embrace, Beast Awakens, Insect Swarm, Totemic Summon and Break the Spirit. My opponent got three times the hereditary spell, then went for Raven’sWing, Glory of Gold, Spectral Blades, Danse Macabre and Touch of the Reaper for his other spells.

    My opponent chose sides, and I then gave him the first drop: against vampires playing second is usually a good idea, especially when playing the central objective. So I was kind of relieved when he dropped his entire army to get the first turn. He went for a central deployment, weighing one flank with the Ghasts and the Varkolak. I responded by pushing both kestrels and the two eagle units up the flanks, keeping only the bladedancers in the middle, with the scorers a good distance away from any undead unit but still in a position where they’d be able to start contesting the objective from turn 3 onwards.






    TURN 1 –Vampire Covenant


    As is customary for the vampires, the entire army surged forward, the varkolak making use of his movement + vanguard to come close to my lines. In the magic phase I was reminded how difficult it is to contain a magic phase when your opponent channels 5 veil tokens per turn! My priority here was dispelling the movement spells, meaning that the hereditary spell was cast thrice in the 6” aura version: a good chunk of skeletons were raised, bringing the units to around 45-strong each.





    TURN 1 –Sylvan Elves

    While I knew I’d have to try and deal with the magic in an aggressive manner relatively fast, the previous magic phase made it clear that I should really make it a priority: all of the flying units moved up both flanks, within charge range ofthe zombie bunkers. The Eagle Prince spotted a 4” gap between the Ghasts and the big skeleton block, and landed there, with the necromancers’ unit in his sights. The slower parts of the army maneuvered, trying to keep a healthy distance from the Varkolak.
    The magic phase started with a Treesinging that put a forest right in front of the big skeleton block. The Insect Swarm was then dispelled, meaning that the Totemic Beast could be cast! Shooting was aimed at the Varkolak, putting three wounds on the beast despite its regeneration.






    TURN 2 –Vampire Covenant

    With a single wound remaining, the Varkolak didn’t dare declare a charge; the Cadaver Wagon solo-charged into the Eagle Prince, though, threatening to pin him in place long enough for the Ghasts and the Varkolak to come to the rescue. Both of the aforementioned vampire elites maneuvered to get clear charge lanes on my prince in the following turn. The big skeleton block moved up, and the other units consolidated their positions a bit, in an attempt to contain the flying threat.
    In the magic phase I used my Binding scroll on the Spectral Blades, since it was the only way that the cadaver wagon would be able to punch through the Prince’s defenses. I let through a couple more raises, which offset whatever losses the big block had suffered by marching through the… [Read More]
  • For the second round of the tournament we were to face the other half of the team Belgium, who had performed admirably in the first round! While it was a bit sad to have to play against our frequent sparring partners, this has proven to be inevitable for the past three years: their results are usually as good as ours, so we end up having a civil war of sorts!

    The Rieurs Sangliers (laughing boars in French) had lined up EoS, VC, KoE and Vermin Swarm, and it was the latter that I would have to play against. Their commanding general was @valmir , whom you may remember from an earlier battlereport against the Dread Elves: as is customary, he had stomped all over my elves with the help of his Dreadmills and Vermin Daemon. This was a game that I wasn’t too optimistic about, as I feel that Vermin often have all the tools at their disposal to deal with all kinds of elves. However, team strategy required me to get this relatively bad matchup so as for others to get more favorable ones.

    Here is what he had brought to the tournament:


    Valmir wrote:

    Characters:
    Vermin Daemon
    Chief, BSB, Scepter of Verminous Valour, Binding Scroll
    Magister, Adept (Thaumaturgy), Binding Scroll
    Rakachit Machinist, Scurrying Veil, Warp Pistols

    Core:
    2 x 36 Rats-at-arms, Full Command
    2 x 10 Footpads, musician
    2 x 20 Giant Rats

    Special:
    2 x 4 Jezzails
    2 x 12 Plague Disciples
    2 x 1 Meat Grinder
    2 x 1 Dreadmill


    So a lot of the usual suspects: Vermin Daemon, Dreadmills, Plague Disciples, but also his personal touch of the meat grinder R@A blocks and the Machinist for unlimited breath weapon shenanigans.
    We would be playing Breakthrough, and the deployment type was Marching Columns: this last piece of news was particularly good, since it meant that I might be able to put pressure on the parts of the vermin swarm army that would be left without support!

    Wealternated deployment for a while, since getting the right matchups was way more important than getting the first turn. Unfortunately, the rats had far more deployment drops, so once I had a vague idea of where the scoring units would be going I deployed my remaining regiments and got first turn.





    For spells I selected Forest Embrace, BeastAwakens, Swarm of Insects, Chilling Howl and Totemic Summon. Valmir took Handof Heaven and Smite the Unbeliever for his Magister and Unerring Strike, Fate’s Judgment, Awakened Swarm, Know thy Enemy and The Stars Align for his Vermin Daemon.

    Going into the game, I decided to play for the scenario by using my fast units to prevent the enemy scorers from penetrating into my deployment zone, creating pressure all over the board and then finally cheekily moving a unit of dryads inside the vermin swarm zone. Valmir countered this quite nicely by employing his dreadmills and disciples near his flanks, trying to funnel my forces to the center where his combat blocks and the Vermin Daemon were waiting.

    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves

    All of the flyers moved up behind terrain, within charge range of the scorers and keeping an eye out for the Dreadmills: if they peeked from out of cover I’d be able to charge them I return, hopefully ridding myself of that menace and gaining some more maneuver space. The archers stayed safely in the back, still within range for some light shooting.

    In the magic phase I was able to push through a Totemic Summon, and the beast appeared right next to the Jezzails! Its breath weapon only dealt a single wounds to the vermin shooters, though. The archers took pot shots at the Vermin Daemon and managed to inflict a wound!





    TURN 1 – Vermin Swarm

    The vermin chose to go on the offensive: one unit of Giant Rats charged into the middle Forest Eagles. The second unit with the machinist moved up towards the right kestrels, within range for the machinist’s breath. Both units of Rats-at-arms moved up a bit, and the left Dreadmill had to backpedal to deal with the totemic summon. The flank forces shuffled to create bigger threat zones and prevent my birds from flying over their lines.

    In magic the Hand of Heaven was dispelled, allowing the Magister to curse the Forest Eagles in combat with Smite the Unbeliever, giving them -1 Strength. The worst part of shooting was avoided thanks to a combination of Hard Target and Cover penalties, and the rest underperformed: the Dreadmill failed to wound the Totemic Beast, the Jezzails wounded my Prince once and the Machinist only put awound on the kestrels with his breathweapon.

    Combat saw the eagles and rats fight to a stalemate, and the battle of the chaff raged on!





    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves

    I was now faced with a difficult decision: with the Totemic Summon ready to flank one unit of jezzails and overrun into the other, I figured that the safest place to be with my fast units was in combat. The two Rat-at-Arms units were close enough to the Kestrels, and the support units… [Read More]
  • Myreille Strategic Tournament: A team tournament in Lille

    Greetings, one and all!
    It has been too long, but the 2019 tournament season has started at last! For yours truly and the rest of the team Belgium our first stop was to be the Myreille Strategic Team tournament in nearby Lille, France. Those of you who have followed this blog in the past few years will remember that name,since it is a tournament that we’ve been attending since its conception in2017. Tanguy ( @Tartignolle ) is the main driving force of the event, and he never fails to deliver a very enjoyable weekend: an array of great opponents from the north of France, Belgium and Luxembourg, getting together to share quality beer, local food -and local liquor- in the backdrop of competitive games of T9A!

    This year the event was bigger than ever: a total of 14 teams of 4 players managed to make it, with another 6 in a waiting list! This is not surprising, given the quality of the event and the hospitality of our friends from Lille. Our team comprised of @gregor with his Daemonic Legions, @PrinceCharming with his Ogre Khans, the Undying Dynasties of @IHDarklord and, finally, my Tolkein-themed Sylvan Elves. Why the mention of dear old J.R.R. , you ask? Well, because I was looking for an excuse to bring as many Forest Eagles as possible and “the Eagles are coming!” was the best catchphrase I could think of! ;)

    Here is the list that I brought:


    SmithF wrote:

    HEROES:
    Sylvan Prince on Eagle King, LA, Shield, Cloak, Sylvan Lance, Death Cheater, Titanic Might
    Bladedancer Chieftain BSB, Spear, Hunter's Honour, Aether Icon
    Druid Master (Shamanism), Sylvan Bow, Binding Scroll, Magical Heirloom

    CORE:
    2 x 8 Dryads
    15 Sylvan Archers, musician
    16 Sylvan Archers, musician

    SPECIAL:
    13 Bladedancers, Champion, Standard, Aether Icon
    7 Bladedancers
    2 x 4 Kestrel Knights (Hard Target/Shield), Champion
    2 x 5 Forest Eagles

    So overall a good mix of close combat power and maneuverability, with a splash of shooting and magic to keep my opponents relatively honest. One of my goals was to test whether the SE without Forest Spirits are as vulnerable to magic and autohits as the internet makes them out to be.
    The tournament field contained all kinds of lists, with all of the 16 armies being represented: about half of the lists had at least a Pyromancy or a Divination master, with a handful bringing other magic missile-heavy paths such as Thaumaturgy.
    In my quest to prove that Sylvans can face such opposition, the forest Eagles were my secret weapon.

    For our first game we were paired against a team of local players, hastily put together after several of the initial team members dropped out for various reasons. They were all great guys, and I got to play their Dwarven Holds general: he was returning to the hobby after an 8-month hiatus, and had brought a beautiful army, entirely painted with non-metallic metal details. His list was as follows:

    HEROES:
    Dwarf King on Warthrone, Shield, Rune of Might, Rune of Destruction, Rune ofReturning, Holdstone
    Thane BSB, Shield, 3x Rune of Lightning
    Runic Smith, Rune of Dragon’s Breath, 3 Runic Spells
    Anvil of Power

    CORE:
    29 Greybeards,Shields, Full Command, Runic Banner of Swiftness
    10 Handgunners,Shields, Musician
    12 Warriors, Shields, Vanguard

    SPECIAL:
    21 Seekers, Vanguard, Full Command
    7 Hold Guardians, Full Command
    2 x 1 Attack Copter
    1 Vengeance Seeker

    So a rather aggressive dwarven list, not unlike the one that I played last year.With four potential vanguards, it could pose some problems to the more static parts of my army. The scenario we got was Capture the Flags, and deployment was Frontline Clash.

    After a couple of drops (gyrocopters) my adversary went for a full drop, and to my surprise he decided to castle in one of the corners, using a piece of impassable terrain to hide his Anvil. In response, I put my dryads far away from danger, both units of Archers right across the Seekers and loaded up the middle with the Dancers, kestrels and Eagles.






    TURN 1

    The dwarves inched forward cautiously, getting in range for shooting with the gyrocopters; these failed to hit my kestrels thanks to the Hard Target rule. Magic saw the Seekers get the rune of Gleaming cast on them.
    The sylvans were a bit more aggressive: they spotted the flank of the left gyrocopter and declared charges on it, but failed to connect. The middle force moved up to threaten the dwarven advance, careful to stay outside of the charge range of the seekers. The Eagle King moved aggressively past the unbreakable dwarves, with several charge possibilities for the following turn. In the magic phase I was able to cast a Totemic Summon, and the Totemic Beast appeared right behind the dwarven lines. Its breath weapon caused two wounds to the vengeance seeker,while the archers dealt a couple of wounds to the seekers.





    TURN 2
    [Read More]
  • So after two wins, I found myself on table 2, against a familiar army: those of you who have been following these battle reports will remember Yann’s @Shizuu UD from the last game of the Challenge, where he beat me after a very exciting game!

    This time around he had changed his list, mainly motivated by modelling reasons: having completed two Winged Reapers, he managed to get them in the list! Thankfully for me, that required sacrificing the Divination master wizard, much to my dragon’s relief!

    Yann’s list was as follows:


    Shizuu wrote:

    240 –Nomarch, General, Skeleton Chariot, Death Mask of Teput, Heavy Armor, Shield
    250 - Death Cult Hierarch, Wizard Adept, Talisman of the Void, Divination
    280 - Death Cult Hierarch, Hierophant, Wizard Adept, Book of Arcane Mastery, Cosmology

    170 - 20 Skeletons, Spears, M
    170 - 20 Skeletons, Spears, M
    130 - 5 Skeletons Scouts
    130 - 5 Skeletons Scouts
    550 - 5 Skeleton Chariots, FCG, Legion Charioteers, Rending Banner

    508 - 7 Shabti Archers, M
    508 - 7 Shabti Archers, M
    260 - 3 Sand Stalkers

    465 - 1 Battle Sphinx
    465 - 1 Battle Sphinx
    370 - 2 Tomb Reapers, Paired Weapons


    So a list with the usual suspects: double sphinx, double shabti archers, a big skeleton chariot block and a smattering of smaller units but thankfully no Sand Scorpions: With no entombed units to speak of, I only had to worry about what was right across of my army!
    We got to play Flank Attack and Spoils of war, and after a couple of alternate drops I opted for a full deployment in order to get the advantage in the scenario: Spoils of War often depends on how well you can zone the enemy away from the spoils tokens, and whoever gets first turn usually has a big head start in that sub-game.

    For magic, I chose Breath of Corruption/Grave Calls and Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue, while the Hierarchs took Altered Sight/Perception of Strength and Know thy Enemy/Stars Align, for an augment-centered magic phase.

    With the certainty of getting first turn, I focused on building independent teams for each of the spoils of war tokens: the top right, a unit of Dread Legionnaires, along with the Dread Knights and a Medusa, squaring off against the Winged reapers and a unit of skeletons. On my left, the Dancers of Yema and the Yema Acolytes went for the spoils of war token in the ruins, opposite some shabti archers and the big chariot block. And, finally, in the middle the three monsters and a unit of legionnaires were preparing to take on the double sphinxes and the rest of the UD army.








    TURN 1 –Dread Elves

    My adversary was at a disadvantage from the get-go here, since a big piece of impassable terrain was greatly limiting the sphinxes’ maneuverability. I tried to make the most out of it, by pushing my Dark Raiders in a single long file, blocking the entire UD battleline for a turn. This allowed my scoring units and hard hitters to claim the no man’s land, threatening the UD advance with countercharges.
    To the top I was more reluctant to commit, since two unscathed Winged Reapers could do some serious damage on my Dread Legionnaires: in the magic phase I targeted the former with an Ice and Fire, managing an impressive four wounds on the unit, and gaining the upper hand in that partof the table. I also managed to debuff the same unit with Deceptive Glamour,making charging my Dread Legionnaires an even worse idea.




    TURN 1 – Undying Dynasties

    My adversary retaliated by sending his fast cavalry into mine (rear and flankcharges respectively), a move that allowed him to shuffle the rest of his battle line into better positions. The Sphinxes moved on either side of the impassable terrain, the right one exposing its flank to protect the hierophant from a second turn dragon charge. The right shabtis advanced towards my dancers of yema, electing not to charge through the ruins on their own. Up top the now lone winged reaper retreated, leaving the spoils token unprotected.

    In the magic phase I had to let the Altered Sight off into the rightmost Shabtis, but in return I dispelled Perception of Strength on the charging horsemen and Stars align failed to cast. The ensuing shooting phase only managed a couple of wounds on the Dancers of Yema, the Krakens’ hide proving too tough for the Shabtis’ arrows.
    In combat my leftmost dark raider unit (the one doing the conga) overperformed by a lot, killing a single charging horseman for no casualties back. Losing combat by 2,they passed their Break Test and reformed to face the undead horsemen. Their mates were not that lucky and fled from their assailants, ending up dangerously close to the table edge. The Skeleton cavalry performed a reform to block my spears’advance, but in the process they gave me an opening…





    TURN 2 –Dread Elves

    To explain this I’d better use pictures:



    I saw the opportunity to get rid of multiple enemy… [Read More]
  • For the second round of the tournament I’d get to play against one of my favorite opponents in the French/Belgian scene, none other than @Tartignolle, the organizer of the Myreille Strategic Tournaments that I have enjoyed attending over the couple past years! Tanguy is a very good player, and most of all a very great guy to play against! What was a bit more disconcerting was his ability to write very effective army lists that go against any kind of trend and surprise his adversaries!

    He had brought the “weak” Ogre Khans, and a list that would prove to be a nightmare toface!



    So lets see: 99 Bow Shots, 2 (6x6) Catapults, 2 Cannons, Pyromancy magic, and six anti-push models that are immune to stomps! I was very worried about this matchup, especially since the scenario we’d be playing was Capture the flags.

    My opponent went for Flaming Swords, Burning Embers, Pyroclastic Flow and Cascading Fire for his spells, whereas the Acolytes got Grave Calls/Breath of Corruption and Crippling Fatigue/Altered Sight.

    Thankfully, he won the roll for picking sides, which gave me the opportunity to deploy my entire army for the first turn! That meant that I’d be getting one less turn of cannon fire and the opportunity to put some cover between my monsters and the cannons!
    I deployed wide, keeping the Krakens and Dragon relatively central and my infantry units packed, so as to avoid the giants rushing in to kill them. The ogres responded by hugging the long table edge, with a cannon and a Scratapult on each flank and the giants evenly spaced , two on the flanks and one right in the middle. The trappers put all sorts of traps into the various terrain pieces, and the hunter scouted up my right flank, right where my scoring Dread Knights were.



    TURN 1 –Dread Elves

    With limited options available, I pushed forward: both krakens moved into the forest, followed by a medusa. The Dragon relocated to the left flank, putting the hill and the impassable terrain between itself and the cannons. The dark raiders on the left moved up aggressively, tempting the Scratapult to charge them, so as to pull the beast closer to my Dragon. The infantry stayed 24” away from the bows, not eager to get a first turn volley without incurring any penalties.Finally, to the right the dark raiders moved up to pin down the hunter, with the Yema acolytes and Dread Knights in close support.
    In the magic phase I got the “1” card, and powered through a boosted Grave Calls on the hunter: unfortunately, only one wound was suffered by the ogre character!





    TURN 1 –Ogre Khans

    The ogres took the dark raider baits: the ones opposite the hunter stood and took it, while the left ones fled from the Scratapult towards my lines, hoping to pull it out of position. The giant to my right caused a terror check on the yema acolytes, who failed and fled, leaving the Dread Knights somewhat isolated. On the left, the scrapling trappers pushed the dark raiders further back, through my lines, and the scratapult failed the charge, moving a disappointing 2”.
    The rest ofthe ogre army maneuvered a bit, not really hard pressed to engage my units. The scrapling trappers moved up the hill and inside the forest, putting traps on both terrain pieces.
    Magic sawthe Shaman try to fry the kraken with a pyroclastic flow, but it failed to do any damage: I then dispelled burning embers on the dancers of Yema. Shooting went better for the ogres: the right cannon took aim at the rightmost krakenand scored a hit, causing four wounds! A scratapult managed an indirect hit onthe mddle spearelves, killing five of them. Finally, the second cannon, that had moved past the impassable terrain towards the left, failed its shot against the dragon.
    In combat the Hunter dealt with the Dark Raiders with ease, but not before suffering a wound from the riders’ attacks.

    TURN 2 –Dread Elves

    With a Kraken already half-dead and a couple of units fleeing, I knew I had to push forward as fast as possible: the Dread Knights charged the victorious Hunter,the Dragon declared a long charge against the Scratapult and both medusas charged the scrapling trappers near them: the ones in the forest fled but didn’t go far enough, allowing the medusa to catch them and reform on top of the hill, with very good views of the cannon, the Shaman’s unit and the nearest Scraplings. The dragon failed its 11+ charge on the scratapult, and moved 5” forward.
    The medusa breaking through to the right was all the signal the rest of the army needed: The left acolytes moved up to block the middle giant,… [Read More]
  • 2nd Tower Conquest – a tournament report

    Greetings, once again! Welcome to the second installment of my 2018 Dread Elf adventures.
    On the last weekend of October I participated in what was to be the best T9A singles tournament in Belgium, and probably one of the best in the world: The 2nd Tower Conquest! Organized by friends and T9A team mates that are members of the Ebony Tower club in Ath, this tournament attracted no less than 42 players, a record for our small country, with another 10 or so being in a waiting list and finally declined because of space/infrastructure issues.
    So picture this: the event takes place inside an actual Medieval tower, in the heart of the small city of Ath in southern Belgium . The organizers had thought of everything: lists and rounds posted online before the tournament, a nice and comfortable tournament schedule, great food for Lunch, drinks on demand at your table and, finally, lots and lots of prizes! I cannot congratulate them enough, and will start this report by saying that I strongly recommend this tournament to any player that would be within driving distance of the city of Ath.

    Continuing my foray into everything Dread Elf, I took the same list as I’d taken in the Challenge tournament last month: with no time to test anything else, I went with what I knew!

    List:

    SmithF wrote:



    For thoughts on the list, you can visit the List-building thread in the Dread Elf subforum.

    For the first game of the day, I was to fight Cedric, who came all the way from France with a couple of his mates! He brought a very old-school looking Saurian Ancients army which reminded me of the first real army I ever owned, the 5thedition WHFB Lizardmen!

    His list:


    Ceddur wrote:

    Quatl Lord,General, BSB, Essence of a Free Mind (Pyro/Divination), Grasp of the Immortal
    Saurian Warlord, Shield, HA, Ranger’s Boots, Dusk Forged, Basalt Infusion, Touch of Greatness
    Skink Priest, Adept( Druidism), Magical Heirloom
    23 Saurian Warriors, Totem of the Serpent, Spears, Full Command, Rending Banner
    20 Skink Braves with 2 Caimans, Standard, Musician
    17 Skink Braves, Musician
    20 Temple Guards, Full Command, Flaming Standard
    10 Skink Hunters, Blowpipes
    2 Spearbacks
    3 Pteradon Sentries, Shields
    Taurosaur w/ Engine of the Ancients.



    So an all-around force with very good ranged output due to magic, two mobile threats in the Taurosaur and the Warlord on foot, and a couple of durable blocks. We would play Frontline Clash and Breakthrough. My opponent picked Pyromancy for his Cuatl, and got Fireball, Pyroclastic Flow, Burning Embers and Cascading fire, while the Skink got Healing Waters and the Summer Growth. In return, I picked Ice and Fire, Crippling Fatigue, Pentagram of Pain and Breath of Corruption for the acolytes.

    Going into the game, I knew I had to rush forward in order to limit the amount of shooting and magic that the krakens would have to weather, but I’d have to do so while covering my advance and denying any easy charges to the Taurosaur. After deploying my fast troops in a balanced manner, I dropped the rest for the first turn, placing both krakens and the dancers centrally, with medusa/dark raider/legionnaire detachments on either flank and the dragon ready to move on either side of the hill for second turn charges. My opponent went for a denied flank approach, using the Temple Guard to protect the center and weighing heavily his right flank.







    (If you look closely you'll notice @IHDarklord photobombing one of the deployment shots!)

    While this approach was valid, it gave me an opening: the Skink Hunters were in a position where they’d block the Serpent Warriors if I placed my dark raiders in front of them, meaning that I’d be able to push aggressively with no fear of retaliation for a turn or two, from either the Warriors or the Warlord.


    TURN 1 –Dread Elves

    With the above in mind, I pushed the dark raiders forward, aligning the rest of the left flank contingent for counter-charges if my opponent decided to charge the dark raiders instead of shooting them The dragon parked on the hill with clear view of the entire Saurian battleline, eager to use the reroll for charges on the following turn. Both krakens moved as far forward as possible, while the Dancers also made a full march move, in a calculated risk: they’d have to take the Spearbacks’ shooting to the face with no penalties, but their huge charge range meant that I’d be rid of the Spearbacks on turn 2 no matter what.… [Read More]