Challenge 13: A Dread Elf tale - Game 3

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  • Game 3 –Undying Dynasties

    So after two wins, I was up in the top tables and would be facing Yann @'Shizuu' and his beautifully painted Undying Dynasties. You might remember his army from a previous battle report, but now he has completed the painting and it looks amazing(Asian/Japanese theme where Sphinxes are Dragons).

    He hadbrought the following:

    So a list that has a bit of everything, good long ranged shooting and magic, someredirectors and a couple of good anti-push elements in the form of the sphinxes and the chariot unit.

    We got to play Frontline Clash and Breakthrough: I picked sides, giving the UD the side with an impassable terrain potentially breaking the battle line in half, and my opponent opted to drop his entire army once he’d seen where my (scoring) Dread Knights were going. The UD deployment was heavy on the left flank, with the Sphinxes guarding the one flank and the other one protected by the table edge, and a unit of shabtis on each side. This allowed me to pit all of my monsters AND the acolytes against the two sphinxes, safe from the left Shabtis, at least for the firstturn. I took a lot of pictures before we started the game, so here you go:

    For magic the hierophant got Stars Align, Scrying, Know thy enemy and Unerring Strike.The Pharaoh got Altered Sight and my Acolytes chose Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue and Grave Calls/Breath of Corruption.

    Turn 1 – UD

    The Sand Stalkers saw the opportunity to use their gaze at the Dread Knights and moved up aggressively. The sphinxes spotted my fast cavalry near the wood and one of them moved up towards it,with the other and the pharaoh’s unit moving slightly forward.

    With Unerring Strike out of range for the first turn, the magic phase was low impact, aided by my opponent failing a couple of 3d6 casting rolls! Shooting was aimed first at the fast cavalry to the right, killing all of them with a combination of the Sphinx’s Breath Weapon and the bows of the Scouts. The Shabtis targeted the yema Acolytes and felled a couple. Finally, the Sand Stalkers couldonly wound the Dread Knights once, killing a knight but now comfortably within charge range!

    TURN 1 – DE

    My opponenthad given me an opening that I tried to exploit: the sphinx that had used its breath weapon presented its flank to my Acolytes: with 11 poisoned attacks plus charge + flank theodds of killing the beast were too good to pass up. They promptly failed their charge, though! The dread knights charged downhill on the Sand Stalkers, making it in.
    In remaining moves, I pushed both Krakens aggressively towards the rightmost Sphinx, threatening the advance of the other monster, too. The Dragon followed suit, screened from shooting by the two monsters’ footprints. A medusa was thrown right in front ofthe chariots and pharaoh, buying me a turn.

    In magic,the Yema Acolytes cast Breath of Corruption on themselves, to deter the sphinx from charging them (that would have been an ill-advised charge anyway; with poison and 4+ aegis they’d probably hold that charge and allow my Kraken the countercharge).
    The Dread Knights made short work of the Sand Stalkers and reformed to face towards the center.

    TURN 2 – UD

    My adversary had a lot of possible charges this turn, although half of them were traps. He saw right through them, though: the chariots crashed into the medusa -killing it without breaking a sweat- , the left Shabtis declared a charge into the Dread Knights which I promptly fled. The sphinxes elected not to charge, repositioning instead: the right one failed its march test, meaning that it would have to take the kraken charge on the following turn! The scorpion appeared and moved rightin front of the Dancer unit.
    In magic the Hierophant managed to cast Scrying on the rightmost sphinx, but all theother spells were dispelled. Shooting resulted in another two Yema Acolytes dying.

    TURN 2 – DE

    The Prince sounded the attack, and a good chunk of the army charged: the dancers charged into the Sand Scorpion, the left Kraken and Dragon combo charged the farthest Sphinx, but only the kraken made it in, with a very nice overrun path into the chariot unit. The second kraken and the unharmed Acolyte unit combo charged the second sphinx.
    In remaining moves the Dread Knights rallied and the infantry moved up more aggressively, now that both sphinxes were tied up. I had to push my last yema acolyte forward to redirect the rightmost shabtis, to buy time for the rest of the army to deal with the pharaoh’s unit. Finally, the second medusa sprang into action, chaffing the chariot unit once more in case my charges bounced.

    Magic was a mixed bag, with me only managing to cast the Breath of Corruption on the Kraken fighting the left sphinx.
    In combat, the dancers killed the scorpion with ease and reformed. The left Kraken managed to sneak two unsaved wounds past the sphinx, multiplying to 3 wounds. I forgot to use the Breath of Corruption, which would come back to haunt me: my opponent rolled exceptionally well and, between the crew, the sphinx and its breath weapon managed to deal exactly 5 unsaved wounds to the beast and kill it outright! That caught me off guard, as the chances of it happening were really slim. There goes my juicy overrun into the pharaoh unit, and more importantly now I had an angry sphinx staring at my infantry!
    The combo charge against the second Sphinx went better, and the beast died before getting to attack. I tried to overrun with the Kraken, in an attempt to save the situation, but only got a measly 3” overrun!

    TURN 3 – UD

    What a disaster! The undead went on the counterattack: the chariot unit charged and killed the second medusa, while the surviving sphinx spotted the flank of the Dancers of Yema and declared a charge against them! The shabtis also declared a charge into the same, and I fled, not willing to take the combo charge: the dancers fled past the legionnaires, who failed their Ld 10 panic check and fled, too! The sphinx redirected into them, pushing them closer to the table edge. Finally, the second shabti unit charged into my remaining yema acolyte blocking their advance.

    The sphinx and shabti thankfully failed their (now long-ish) charges into the fleeing units, and the two skeleton units shuffled a bit. I cannot remember what happened to one of the skeleton scout unit, but it was dead by now. The second unit relocated a bit towards the center.
    In magic we got a small phase, allowing me to dispel the Unerring Strike and only letting through Scrying on the wounded Sphinx. The combat resulted in all DE redirectors dying, and the chariots overrunning 7”, leaving their flank exposed past the sphinx’s base.

    TURN 3 – DE

    With the center in disarray, I counted on the flanking force to make up for it! The Dragon flank charged into the Chariot unit, while the second unit of Legionnaires and the Kraken combo-charged into the Sphinx’s flank.
    The remaining acolytes spotted the remaining skeleton scout unit, giving them an overrun intothe rightmost shabtis: they charged in, hoping to keep the shabtis pinned for a turn. The Dancers of Yema failed to rally and continued fleeing towards the table edge, but at least the Legionnaires passed their discipline check and regrouped. Finally, my dark raiders came out of hiding and got in the way of the left shabtis, to ensure that the Chariot/Dragon combat would go my way.

    In magic I managed to cast the Crippling Fatigue on the sphinx, sealing its fate.
    The Kraken and Legionnaires finished the job this time, killing the sphinx outright. They both overran into the flank of the chariot unit, and got to fight again! The combined attacks of the Dragon, the Kraken and the legionnaires were enough to kill the entire chariot unit and crumble the Pharaoh,but not before the pharaoh could put 3 wounds on the kraken! It tried to overrun into the flank of the shabtis, but fellshort (needed a 10 or so). The Dragon and Legionnaires held their ground in anticipation of the shabti fight.
    Finally,the acolytes easily dispatched their targets and overran into the rightmost shabti archers.

    TURN 4 – UD

    The Shabtis spotted the overrun into the Kraken, and thus charged the dark raiders. The skeleton blocks shuffled a bit. In magic I had to let the Stars Align off on the right Shabtis, dooming the Acolytes, in order to stop the Unerring Strike on the kraken.
    Combat went as expected: the shabtis to the left killed all of the dark riders and overran into the kraken, while the right ones killed the acolytes to an elf and pivoted.

    TURN 4 – DE

    The Dragon and Legionnaires charged to the rescue of the Kraken. The Dancers of Yema finally rallied. In combat the Prince and Legionnaires struck before the shabtis,dealing considerable damage and ensuring the survival of the Kraken; it only suffered a single unsaved wound from the shabtis’ attacks, and its attacks back managed to deal enough wounds to pop the unit. The Legionnaires overran, butnot far enough to hit the rear of the skeleton unit.

    TURN 5 -UD

    With only the two skeleton units and the shabti archers left, the undead reformed to face the incoming charges: the left unit turned to face the legionnaires, the Hierophant fled to safety behind the spears and shabtis.
    In the magic phase we got an 8/6 magic phase, and I elected to let the Stars Align go through on the Shabtis, in order to dispel the Unerring Strike: my opponent got a 14 on the dice, and using 6 dice I failed to dispel! To add to the insult, the spell resulted in 6 wounds, out of which I failed to save more than one with a 4+ save and the lucky charm!
    So the dragon clung to life on one wound, which the Shabtis easily dealt using rerolls to hit from the Stars Align. This panicked the Kraken next to the dragon, which fled towards the center of the board. Being under 25%, it would have a hard time rallying.

    TURN 5 – DE

    The last turn’s upset had cost me around 1500 points, but I was still ahead: the 16 remaining legionnaires charged into the skeleton spearmen, getting closer to the objective, while the Dread Knights used their cover to move as fast as possible towards the enemy deployment zone. The rallied infantry units moved reluctantly forward: the Shabtis could probably kill any one of them with a long charge,and there was no reason to risk losing any more points!

    The Kraken failed to rally and fled some more.
    In combat, the unthinkable happened: my legionnaires rolled way below average and only killed 4 skeletons. The skeletons attacked back and rolled quite well, resulting in 6 dead elves. I had lost combat by 2, causing the legionnaires to flee and get caught in pursuit! What’s more, the Skeletons overran straight into my Dread Knights’ flank!

    TURN 6 – UD

    With the DE battleline crumbling left and right, the undead consolidated their lines and shot the Kraken off the board. In combat, the flank charge of the spear skeletons was enough to break the Dread Knights, sending them fleeing: they escaped pursuit and could try to rally on my final turn, but the objective was lost!

    TURN 6 – DE
    With that turn of events, the only thing left for me to do was to try a cheeky 17” charge into the Shabti archers with my Dancers of Yema: needing a 10, if I made it in I’d win the breakthrough. I failed the charge, and then failed to rally my fleeing Dread Knights, surrendering half points for them too!

    When the dust settled, the Dread Elves had suffered a 9-11 defeat!


    What a game! Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!
    This had to be one of the biggest turns of the table I’ve ever had: by the end of turn 4, Iwas up by 2000 points and winning the objective, and a turn later I was losing the game! I must admit it was a bit frustrating, but my opponent was a great guy and after the initial disappointment settled I had the chance to appreciate what a great game it was, in spite of the bad luck.

    I feel likeI couldn’t have played this better, perhaps apart from remembering to use the Breath weapon on the sphinx the first time around; this could have saved my kraken and helped preserve my battle line on turn 2. The extraordinary performance of that sphinx meant that I had no plan B when it suddenly was free to pivot and charge on turn 3.
    So with this smallest of losses, I ended the tournament with 41/60 tournament points. The field was very close, with the top spot going to our ETC team’s captain with 49/60 after three very challenging games!

    Despite the catastrophe that was the last two turns of the tournament, I managed to secure the 5th place out of 32 participants, a very good result for the DE!
    The tournament in itself was a huge success: good barbeque, a very big, well ventilated and illuminated hall to play our games in, a combination of 2D and 3D terrain and great painted armies everywhere! A big thanks to @IHDarklord and the Pink Horde for running this, I'll definitely be back next year!

    Looking back at my list, I am really happy with how it performed but also with how it allows aggressive play: the charge threat ranges are excellent, the krakens very durable both in and out of combat and the Prince on Dragon never felt like a subpar choice!

    I really enjoyed the option of double wizard conclave to have something to do inmagic,the combination with the two medusa bound spells was very effective and always gave me several spells worth casting: with Offensive/Defensive skill 5 and Agility 3, the monsters always appreciate a debuff in DS and agility, and the boost in movement is also very helpful in the early steps of the game. The Crippling Fatigue is such an excellent power multiplier, that it allowed other spells to go through. And all that while getting four very mobile fighting units that can win flanks when combined.

    Regarding leadership, Discipline 10 was good for the most part, most of the panic checks I failed would have been outside the BSB bubble anyway. It is a bit scary when half your army ends up fleeing, and it can lead to very big swings in points. But with the current set up and the way that the list plays, I wouldn’t be able to benefit from the BSB reroll half of the time anyway!

    So, what’s next? I’ll be taking the same list to a second 3-game tournament end of October, and then I’ll try to mix it up a little: I’m waiting for some Corsairs and a Kraken on the mail, so depending on the how painting goes I might end up bringing a full corsair/raider themed force. Or I’ll try the same concept (monstermash/dragon/spear core) with Sylvan Elves, trying to see where a self-healing dragon may take me!

    I hope you enjoyed this series, more Dread Elf adventures to come soon!

    1,040 times read

Comments 8

  • Bobo -

    What the heck just happened in that game...

    Great reports as always, P.
    I need to challenge you to a rematch soon. :)

  • daliskhan -

    good read!

  • Genjuro_77 -

    Congrats Mr. SmithF for 5th place! Imo a very good result for your list and DE! I enjoyed reading your batreps a lot, especially the last game which was a very close match.

    Keep up the good work. CU in November at the Belgium Mercs ;)

    Kind regards.

  • IHDarklord -

    I'm expecting you again next year and hope we can welcome more people and make the event even better for the players! :)

  • Klaudel -

    Don't you miss a BSB after the tourney?

    • SmithF -

      Yes and no: my idea is that most of the time the units are so spread out that the BSB's bubble wouldn't suffice to cover everything. Most of the time I can avoid mass panic by keeping the units a safe distance from one another, and Ld10 is not that bad (1/12 chance of failing it, so as long as it's not the Dragon taking the panic I'm ok with that percentage).

      Of course, I might be wrong! But those 300 points needed for the BSB are hard to find, they are the equivalent of an entire scoring unit or the two medusas!

      I am open to suggestions as to how to approach fitting a BSB into the list without fundamentally changing it, though.

  • PrinceCharming -

    Damnnn that was a really unlucky last few turns! 6 dice just isnt enough to get 14 man! Thats what i keep telling ya!

    • SmithF -

      It's a case of: I can handle one or two instances of bad luck, but when they start piling up you end up running out of options! To be fair, my opponent had had a couple of very disappointing magic phases early on too.