Lost Colony Chronicle - 2400 vs. Palmu's Entombed Dynasties

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is here! You can read all about it in the news.

    Our beta phase is finally over. Download The Ninth Age: Fantasy Battles, 2nd Edition now!

    • Lost Colony Chronicle - 2400 vs. Palmu's Entombed Dynasties


      this is hopefully the begining of a new battle report thread. I do not have too much time to play, let alone write reports, so the updates might be far between but it should be better than nothing. :)

      I might write a longer introduction some day but now, it is probably better to post a report straight away. :)

      Lost colony vs. Entombed Dynasties - 2400 points

      This is the first game I had under the full 9th age rules so I hope there were not too many rules mistakes.

      Lost Colony
      (using rules of Elves of Darkness)

      lvl4 light, pegasus, midnight cloak, MR(1), dispel scroll: 350

      lvl 2, essence of free mind: 165
      witch mistress BSB, glittering cuirass, screaming swords: 135

      2x5 dark horsemen, crossbows, shields: 2x 110
      12 blood witches, FCG, flaming banner: 172
      20 spearmen, FCG, heavy armour: 210

      5 shadow raiders, ahw: 85
      10 tower guards, FCG: 160
      12 executioners, FCG: 186
      2x 5 harpies: 2x 70
      3x bolt thrower: 3x 80

      3 medusas: 210
      5 dark art apprentices: 125

      First I have to say that the intention of this list is trying new toys rather than finding the most overpowered roster.

      As the first concept to try I wanted to experiment with MSU elite infantry in some way. As the new elves do not have rerolls anymore - they only get +1 to hit if not wielding a great weapon, and strike at their own initiative even if fighting with one - I am somewhat worried how they can fare in close combat. Too often I witnessed my executioners to fail 60% of their 3+ to hit rolls, my opponent being a bit lucky with armour saves and subsequently destroying the unit in a terrible manner. If other races roll badly in combat they are usually cheap or numerous enough to absorb damage but if elves roll badly, they just die. This is one reason for light magic - WS10, +1 atack or -1 to be hit can all help quite a bit in this regard. And making everything M10 is quite nice as well. A sorceress on foot would probably be better but who cares. A flying one is better at denying points and getting in range at least.

      Essence of free mind on the lvl2 allows her to choose her school of magic on the spot, according to the enemy. It eats the whole magic item allowance, though, costing 50 points for hero level casters nad 100 for lords. On a lvl2 it allows to round up the magic phase nicely, though, choosing metal if against something heavily armoured, light against undead, fire against avoidance armies. Worth a try at least.

      Other units in short:
      - tower guard has many S4 AP attacks at high initiative - excellent against infantry, reasonable against armour
      - executioners have GW so no bonus to hit but they have multiple wounds (2) which really boosts their damage output
      - dark art apprentices are without magic in this roster; they would need to purchase a champion for 70 points who acts as a lvl2 mage
      - witches are slightly worse now, no rerolls means less hits and less poisons but hopefully they can still work as before
      - medusas are now quite cool - three S5 armour piercing attacks each + frenzy. And Ld8 finally. The weird initiative things are no more.

      Entombed Dynasties

      lvl4, Sands, Dispel Scroll, Gem of Fortune 265

      Engineer on Sand Snake: General, HA, Shield, Lance, Golden Mask 195

      4x Chariots: Standard, Flame Banner 200
      4x Chariots: Standard 190
      30 Archers: FCG 210

      10 Ushabti: Great Aspen Bows, Standard, Musician, Holy Icon 535
      5 Pyramid Knights: Standard, Musician, Banner of Speed 310

      Necrotitan: Massive Aspen Bow 160
      Necrotitan: Massive Aspen Bow 160
      Soul Colossus: 185

      I had no time tu study the list of my opponent so I went into the battle more or less blind. I only knew - or thought I knew - the general aspects:
      - their archers only hit on 5+, ignoring all modifiers. They are quite numerous, though, and can be augmented by a spell that gives them multiple shots (2). 60 shots, even if hitting on 5+, are dangerous.
      - shabtis and colossi hit on 5+ as well but have high strength and multiple wounds. The sorceress should beware.
      - shabtis are a good close combat unit as well, though, with three S5 attacks a piece
      - chariots have lots of impact hits but are lackluster combatants otherwise
      - the pyramid knights are good in combat but should be beatable without too much effort, they are no skullcrushers after all
      - and I thought the colossi would be bad in combat. A big mistake.


      We rolled normal deployment and breakthrough secondary objective - any player who has a unit with a banner in the opponents deployment zone at the end of the game gets additional VPs.

      Palmu, my opponent, chose a random map from ETC 2013. One thing is imortant there: there are no hills or impassables in the center of the map, meaning I would be unable to approach with cover. I basically had two options. I could have tried to hide behind rocks and out of range, play a boring game and hope my bolt throwers can outshoot his colossi - risky given their T6 and the fact that the other shooters could advance as well, the shabtis have a range of 36 inches after all. Therefore, I chose the more interesting option and deployed directly opposite the undead, intending a full speed assault.

      One more word to deployment: There was a point where Palmu had two units down I think and I was pretty sure he was about to castle around the hill. I contemplated the option to deploy all my units at once, securing first turn (9th Age: you deploy as many units as you like in one go and every unit your opponent has left after you deploy your last drop gives you +1 to the roll to start). However, I was worried that if I deployed across the hill, he could have put everything else on the opposite flank. I did not fancy being shot at from that direction with limited choice of targets directly opposite me so I decided to wait for one more drop - and in this drop, Palmu went all-in in turn. Not sure if my decision was right, maybe his shooters would have no good place to go anyway.

      Entombed Dynasties, Turn 1

      The force moved forwards a bit to get in range. Archers were too far anyway - I had ensured that with my deployment - but chariots and shabtis were able to shoot. Luckily, the casualties were not high.

      To my surprise, the unit of pyramid knights with general moved forwards at full speed, even aided with a spell. Their intent was probably to eat my bolt throwers. It meant, however, they were exposed to a counterattack - and that they left the rest of the army unprotected. How to make the best use of it?

      Lost Colony, Turn 1

      I charged the dark riders gainst chariots, convinced they could hold them up till my next turn. This opened the way for medusas to flank charge the unit of knights. Warlocks helped from the front. The rest of the army advanced towards the opposing shooters at full speed; only on the far east I moved slowlier so that chariots overrunning after destroying my dark riders would not hit any of my infantry units.

      The pegasus sorceress remained in cover, not willing to risk all the multiple wounds shooting. This limited my options in magic but still, I managed to inflict a few wounds and boost the leadership of dark riders and the sorceress herself through lore attribute.

      Shooting was concentrated on the western colossus as it was the only model not protected by a 5+ ward from a spell. I got lucky and destroyed it in one go.

      The combats were, frankly, a disaster. Dark riders only inflicted one wound (horses saving the day), suffered 3 in return and broke from combat. The chariots pursued (unwillingly) and slammed right in my executioners. Not good. (I should have probably removed the models in a different order to make the chariots pursue in tower guard instead, executioners are more important in this match as they are able to deal with shabtis and colossi better.) Warlocks and medusas inflicted 5 combined wounds after not-so-spectacular rolling... and then I found out a tomb harbinger gives his unit hatred. Well, warlocks got killed and the last medusa broke from combat and was run down. Elves hitting worse than tomb kings are a sad sight.

      Entombed Dynasties, Turn 2

      Snakes failed their swift reform towards the centre. Quite lucky for me, it gave me more time to do something. The shooting base backed off slightly.

      Shooting took down a unit of harpies - the remaining bird flew away lightning fast. Other casualties were minimal.

      In combat, impact hits killed 7 executioners (I think) but the remaining 5 were enough to leave only one wound on the enemy. The last chariot slew an exec and then crumbled to dust. Still, this was a very favourable exchange for my opponent as the executioners are my best tool against all his constructs.

      Lost Colony, Turn 2

      Everything advanced again, just the sorceress was staying hidden from all the nasty bows. Shades remained in the forest to get a better aim which I think was a mistake - they should have closed in and threatened with some flank charges. Executioners advanced towards the shabtis - they would no doubt die in combat with them but I hoped to inflict some serious damage first.

      This turn I begun a barrage on the shabtis to reduce their number to a manageable size. The results were not always spectacular but every wound counts.

      I also got through a bubble timewarp, granting every infantry unit M10.

      Entombed Dynasties, Turn 3

      No charges. Pyramid knights were march blocked and only shuffled a little. Chariots reformed to block the advance of my infantry, a colossus blocked my tower guard.

      Shooting brought down the last few executioners.

      Lost Colony, Turn 3

      Spearmen, witches and riders charged the blocking chariots. Tower guard did not want to face the T6 colossus so I reformed them with the intention to move them 10 inches somewhere safe. However, the swift reform was failed despite BSB reroll.

      Shooting and magic combined reduced the shabtis to one rank. In combat, chariots were destroyed horribly. They still managed to kill a witch, though. Both witches and spearmen overran to get as far from the pyramid knigths as possible, the spearmen were blocked by riders, though. Maybe I should have not sent the cavalry in. Instead, they could have circled around the castle, shooting down a few archers or trying their luck with the colossus and threatening with a rear charge against the bunker. Or something.

      Entombed Dynasties, Turn 4

      The shabtis decided not to attack the buffed executioners and shot them to shreds instead.

      The pyramid knights declared a charge against my tower guard and I decided to flee. There was no danger for me to go outside the board but a roll to rally on a 9 without reroll was to come, besides, the spearmen and riders had to test for panic (spearmen passed, riders did not), so this was not without risk. Hard to say what would have happened if I stayed. The tomb harbinger would survive as he would challenge and with hatred, the snakes would kill a lot even if only two would have been remaining so I consider my chances low. I might be mistaken, though.

      In addition, the skeleton archers reformed to go around my witches. I stopped the movement spell, though, and so their flight did not carry them far enough.

      Not sure what was the target of shooting, probably witches.

      Lost Colony, Turn 4

      Witches charged the death priest bunker. Harpies flew up to march block the pyramid knights again; as they were march blocked themselves, though, the sorceress first flew towards them to give them her Ld. That exposed her to some shooting but I thought I should survive one round and then, she will hide behind the hill.

      Spearmen advanced as far forwards as possible to escape the knights.

      Some more shabtis were killed. Witches destroyed some skeletons but not nearly enough as only two were in contact. I slided them with a combat reform; I noticed the soul colossus there but considered it no big threat - it is a casting colossus, durable but a bad fighter, I thought. Mistake.

      Entombed Dynasties, Turn 5

      Two colossi charged and I witnessed how devastating they can be: not that many attacks on their own but thunderstomp and grinding attacks (D3 +2 hits on s6) meant my units were quickly melting away. Luckily, the tower guard champion survived so the unit kept stubborn and held; and two witches survived, too.

      Pyramid knights turned north to claim the objective. The shabtis shot at shades as Palmu thought they had a banner and could contest his deployment zone in turn.

      Lost Colony, Turn 5

      Last chance to kill the hierophant. Harpies charged the archers and I managed to buff them with timewarp. With 15 attacks hitting on 2+, they were actually quite a strong unit suddenly. Together with witches, they killed all remaining archers, and as the enemy only managed to kill two witches - there were no more remaining - the hierophant crumbled. Amazing!

      Unfortunatelly, now the colossus easily killed my lvl2 sorceress, tower guard champion and BSB. This panicked the nearby spearmen regiment and made me unable to secure the objective. They also lost a full rank to dangerous terrain as fleeing through an enemy unit makes one fail on 1-3.

      Entombed Dynasties, Turn 6

      The wounded wizard-colossus hid behind the hill, the pyramid knights went forwards to secure the territory. Otherwise, nothing important happened as far as I know.

      Lost Colony, Turn 6

      In this round, I ideally wanted to kill a colossus or two and a at least one shabti to get that unit under quarter of its starting size and thus claim half the points for it. I did not realize, however, that the colossus on the hill was outside of bolt thrower range. Thus, I cast banishment on the shabtis (let through) and burning gaze on the wizard colossus which was dispelled. Or maybe it failed to wound as I was using the small version, hoping for a 6. This meant that in the end, I only got points for half the shabtis. It would have probably been better to cast both banishment and burning gaze on the colossi and let bolt throwers to finish the shabtis.

      Spearmen failed to rally and that was it.

      Summed up, we earned a similar number of victory points through casualties but Palmu also claimed the objective, ensuring him a slight win.

      After-battle thoughts

      Well, the ED shooting was in the end not as devastating as I have feared. Most casualties were caused by the colossi. Maybe I should have played the ranged game after all. Not sure, though, I could have easily lost all my bolt throwers turn 1. Would have been unlucky but not impossible.

      Obviously, I did a mistake with my Turn 1 charges. I should have ignored the pyramid knights and raced forwards instead; they would have either eaten my bolt throwers and then found themselves horribly out of position, or the could have tried to reform, in which case I would have had lots of ways to redirect them at my disposal. The medusas would have probably died to shabtis soon after but they might have been able to do something first.

      It would have also allowed me to redirect the western chariots instead of charging them and preserve a good number of executioners in doing so.

      Entombed Dynasties opinions

      Their shooting seems OK - strong enough to pose a threat even to monsters and knights but not game-winning in itself.

      Shabtis might be a bit too much - the unit has 30 wounds and 30 attacks! - but they do not seem unbeatable. 3 medusas should inflict some 6 wounds and suffer 8 in return but it is a unit of half the points cost; two such units combined would destroy the constructs easily. 10 executioners inflict 10 wounds, maybe even 12. 10 shabtis are a bit more expensive than 30 blood witches or tower guards and both he latter units should destroy them easily. None of them can shoot or be healed as easily so this should cancel out.

      However, I am worried about the colossi. They are very sturdy with T6 and the ability to be healed (or get a 5++ ward). They fight very well with 5 S6 attacks and d3+2 (or now, d3+1) grinding attacks. And while their biggest disadvantage is lack of mobility, fliers were nerfed to move 7 or 8 and the sand kings usually do not move that much anyway so this factor is not that big. As a monster that crosses the board, they are fine; but as protectors of a firebase who will often be able to touch something through a corner, they could mean real trouble.
      The bow is fine, the skeletons need means to keep large monsters in check.
      As a side note, I generally dislike autohits as they make weapon skill useless, together with most combat buffs from lore of light, for example.

      On the other hand, I admit I am biased in my rant. The colossi still cannot survive a large enough number of attacks even if they come from goblins and can crumble if the opponent scores enough wounds elsewhere. It just seems to me that one needs significant investment to achieve this, far larger than the point cost of such a thing. I can be mistaken, I have only seen them once.

      On a brighter note, I think I like the Entombed Dynasties. Now that they are able to march if close to the general and that they have several tough units (pyramid knights, sphinxes, colossi, maybe even pyramid guard), they might actually be able to form a solid aggressive force. Something worth testing I think. force. Which would be a very interesting turn of events.

      Not sure what would happen if one tried to field a full gunline but it doesn't seem likely it would be worse than what Empire or Dwarfs can do.

      Elves of Darkness opinions

      Medusas are suddenly worth taking! Amazing! That being said, I am not sure what role are they supposed to fill in the army. There are already many things that wreck face in close combat. I would maybe like a boost to their shooting at the expense of their combat ability. On the other hand, medusas are faster than infantry and less vulnerable to certain weapons (low strength templates, mass damage spells) so even their current form is very nice.

      Executioners are another unit I like. They are still infantry (= slow), die easily, will probably lose to tarpits such as zombies or to units with lots of low strength attacks such as witches - but they are insane if going against the right foe. 10-12 wounds against shabtis out of 10 guys, remember?

      The loss of damage could be felt - warlocks did not roll well at least and ASF witches would have scored a some more wounds as well. The report also shows how fast elves die if something goes wrong - medusas, execs, witches, tower guard, apprentices, all those units only lasted one single round of unfavourable combat. And while elves deserve to die if they make mistakes, they are very vulnerable to bad luck as well. Executioners might be a perfect counter to a titan but if they fluff their attacks and do not kill it outright they will die horribly. This is why ASF was so important, it is a protection from bad rolls ruining the game. This is probably not the right place for this rant, though, so let's keep it here.
    • Seems like I did at least two rules mistakes during the battle. As noted by Norse_malekith at druchii.net:

      1. Tower guards cannot flee from a charge as they are immune to psychology
      2. Wizard cannot take midnight cloak as it is now magic armour, not enchanted item

      The midnight cloak point means, if I understand it correctly, that a master with this item is capped at something like 4+ AS which is not much.