Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The watchtower: Empire vs WoC 2000 points show down!

So the weekend's 2nd game was my tournament empire 2000 point list taking on the might of my opponent's WoC, which I assume is his almost finalised tournament list.

My list:
lvl4: light and a scroll
W.Priest: HA, Sh (General)
W.Priest: H, 2hw
BSB: FPA, charmed shield, opal amulet
30 flagellants
10 xbows
30 Halberds: M, SB
45 Halberds: FC
5 Free Company detachment
46 Halberds: FC
5 Free Company detachment
5 Pistoliers: m
2 cannons

His list:
tz lvl4: 4+ward, puppet, charmed shield

tz BSB: stuff (really need to find out what equipment it has)
lvl2: fire, scroll
2x5 wolves
12 2hw Kwar: M, SB
12 Halberd Kwar: M, SB
12 shield Tzwar: FC
Korn chariot

So I had the fun of having the watchtower and instead of sacrificing my xbows needlessly, I opted to leave the tower empty-beating that my Flagellants can take the tower easier than I can hold it. We deploy like so:

Turn 1
My opponent gets first turn, and it starts on a bad not with the Hellcannon going crazy and not moving due to the doggies in front of it. His dogs move up along with his units. The 2hw Kwar show an intention to contest the tower (and with 40 s4 ws5 attacks, so it should!) His magic phase generates 3 dice to my 5 dispel dice...treason is dispelled (I'm having none of that turn 1!). The warshrine decides to gift the 2hw Kwar with +1 ldship.

In my turn, my pistoliers pull the same risky movement they did vs the Delves, except this time they are shooting at low leadership dogs, and can easily avoid the warshine charge with a feigned flight. I roll a reasonable magic phase of 8 PD to 6 DD. I cover my line with a big phas from any hellcannon shots (my line was arranged for almost auto hit) I then get 1 unbreakable off with the W.Priest opposite the hellcannon; the other unbreakable prayer is dispelled. In the shooting phase to my annoyance, the doggies hold having lost 2 to the pistoliers-sometimes low ldship units actually do pass ldship tests! the mortar misses, the cannons do 1 wound to the chariot and kill 1 crew member of the hellcannon. The xbows kill 1 doggie from the right unit

Turn 2
As predicted, the warshrine charges the pistoliers who flee, the doggies then charge the pistoliers who flee again. The dogs were very unlucky to not catch me having rolled an 11 to chase, when a 12 would have caught me...now just to replicate the doggies staunch leadership! the rightside doggies charge the cannon. The chariot also fails a long range charge on the flagellants. With a 6 dice magic phase vs 6 DD I manage to stop a 4 dice gateway, a fireball from the lvl2 who had entered the building for a strong field of vision, fails to cast (very unlucky), giving me enough dice to stop flicker at the flagellants. The warshrine declines to give any gifts. In the combat, 1 crew member becomes dog food, but the remaining crew decide to stick out the fight.

Having seen the cannon crew heroically hold against doggies, the xbows pull out their daggers and flank the dogs. My pistoliers, inspired by the fact that they are no longer needed in the battle, waltz off to the pub to put the orders in for the rest of the army (typical). My Sisters of Sigmar move to block his Halberd kwar from charging the empire halberds, while the other unit moves to stop the chariot charging anything...or so I thought. The winds of magic continue to blow in my favour granting me another 8 dice magic phase. large phas is dispelled, but I manage to get  banishment off which kills the lvl2 in the building. In the shooting phase my mortar fails to drop the centre on the hellcannon, and my other cannon fails to get past the wardsave of the warshrine. The brutal combat between the cannon, xbows and the doggies ends in a huge CR win for the empire, but the doggies had none of it, snake eyeing their break test.

Turn 3
With all frenzy/crazy tests pasted, my opponent charges the hellcannon into the sister's flank. Seeing that this would give the hellcannon a sweet flank charge on my flagellants (not the best thing for me tbh) I opt to flee-sending the sisters to the other end of my battleline...just where I wanted them to be...honest. This then opens up the flank of my flagellants to the chariot (much more preferable me thinks!) who charges in to thin my super unit. His wolves then charged my cannon, wiping it out. The magic phase is super painful for the Chaos hordes. The winds merely weeze a snake eyes. However, this is all the lvl4 needs to summon the burning ambers of the fire and smites 3 of the sisters blocking the Halberd Kwar. Leaving the redhead and the one with the whip behind, they hold to thwart the Chaos plans. The warshine then grants the halberds mr(3). In the chariot combat, 9 flagellants die to the rampage, while the Chariot takes 2 wounds in return.

The halberds, seeing the need to rescue the flagellants charge the flank of the chariot. The Sisters rally right where I want them to be...right next to the forest opposite where the the wolves who just destroyed the cannon are...well it's good to pretend it was all an elaborate plan haha. The remaining sisters of the other detachment place themselves so any over charge will pull the Halberd kwar forward, giving my halberds the juicy flank.

In the magic phase, like some cruel joke I get a 12 dice phase. I throw 5 dice at speed of light and IF. The puppet means I risk the warp. Dodging that bullet, my lvl4 takes down 12 halberds and I lose the rest of my dice. The rear guard halberds then decide it's time to flee. Once again my Mortar fails to pop the hellcannon. In combat, my Halberds take out the chariot and overrun 6 inches. The doggies finally die.

Turn 4
Being potentially the last turn of the game, the Warriors put their cards on the table and put the 2hw Kwars into the tower. The Hellcannon also decides to get its munch on and charges the halberds, who still have speed of light on them. The wolves who killed the cannon move up into the forest to get around my rear. For the crucial magic phase, the winds once again barely blow giving a painful 3 dice magic phase. 2 dice treason is dispelled and 1 dice flicker fails to cast. In combat, The remaining crew of the hellcannon die, and 2 wounds are taken from the hellcannon. All return attacks are then allocated on the W.Priest, who dies, or more correctly goes to the pits of hell to continue his righteous smiting. 4 Halberds die to stomping as the hellcannon jumps in anger, released from the shackles of it's handlers.

The Chaos hordes having shown their cards, it was only proper that I show mine. This was very risky as my lvl4 was currently fleeing, outside of BSB range; no rally = no flagellants= no chance of taking off the 2hw Kwars. Thankfully, in a nail biting rally test, the lvl4 rallies ready to help the Empire's cause. The rear guard sisters charge the doggies, ready to get their smiting on. The halberds, shielded by the redhead and the dominatrix charge the warshrine, but fail to reach it. The sisters reform to keep the frenzied Halberd Kwar from charging. With another 8 dice magic phase, I throw 6 dice at the timewarp on the flagellants and successfully cast it (lucky I killed the scroll a couple of turns earlier). In shooting, my cannon opens fire and puts 4 wounds on the warshine. The mortar then continues to do nothing and misfires-but the "good" sort.
In combat, the halberds kill the hellcannon and reform to give the tzwar an awkward overrun if they happen to charge and beat my halberds. 2 Sisters are brought down by the doggies, but all the doggies are killed. The flagellants, martyring 2 wipe out the 2hw Kwar with their 30 re-rolling to hit and wound attacks...nasty.
Turn 5
SO the Tzwar charge the halberds. ANOTHER 3 dice magic phase comes to nothing...this is starting to get a little awkward.  In combat, the Tz warriors kill 6, the halberds kill none in return, but pass their steadfast test phew!

The halberds then charge the warshrine and this time make combat. the lvl4 leaves his unit and hides on the other side of the of the building to the Chaos lvl4. The winds of magic continue to show their bias as I get a 10 dice magic phase. This is enough to get timewarp and Speed of light up on the halberds fighting the tzwars. 4 wounds on the warshrine are all saved and it kills 2 in return. Good thing my Sisters are placed so the Halberd Kwar cannot contact the flank of the halberds. The halberds on tzwar combat continues to grind. The Empire lose by 1 as the chaos armour proves strong and impossible to penetrate, but once again hold.

Turn 6
With no movement, the winds of magic finally blow for Chaos giving a merciful 8 power dice. However, the dice are cruel and the lvl4 fails to cast gateway on 4 dice. In combat the shrine holds. The tzwar combat continues to grind. The empire BSB passes all armour saves as the cheap defensive items earn their points. The empire halberds then step up to the plate inflicting 19 wounds, killing the entire unit (only just with 8 of 19 wounds getting past the armour and parry). The BSB is also killed from allocated attacks.

So the only real action of my turn is the combat with the warshrine. I get a6 dice magic phase, which is enough to get timewarp on the halberds. It was in vain as no wounds are achieved. The warshrine does one in return. However the static CR of the halberds is enough. The warshrine then breaks from combat and is run down.

I then roll a 4 and the game ends.

Post battle
So a great stand off game with none of us willing to commit to the tower until we had to. My freecompany detachments are solid gold vs the frenzied Kwars as I can dictate where they will end up as they cannot opt to reform. This however only works when there is no counters. In this game I was lucky that the combat counters were busy artillery hunting and the magic was painfully one sided.

The magic phase

My opponent had a good 500-600 points invested in magic with no free power dice items or sneaky tricks like power of darkness. With the new randomness of 8th, this did not pay off in this game. Painfully poor magic phases the entire game did not help the chaos cause. had there been some good dice rolls-even the odd 5/6 dice phase-I would have had to make some tough calls: stop the flicker/fireball at the screens and wear the treason/pandemonium, or stop the pandemonium and lose the screens. Not getting a good phase on turn 4 was the real killer to the chaos plans. In that turn I was willing to wear any amount of damage to let the flagellants through-of course the flip side of that is all damage would have been aimed at the flagellants. I still had a scroll up my sleeves though.

I got off the magic I wanted to get off, which was good. Killing the lvl2 early was key as it reduced the channelling and removed the scroll-being saved for the flagellant charge into the building I suspect. On that, my army is heavily reliant on the magic buffs-this mission especially. No buffs on flagellants vs the 2hw Kwar, and I might as well not charge. My hordes can grind effectively, which is a bonus. However the buffs do immensely help my cause-even more so vs scary good stat armies like the warriors. Next match up I might try another lore to see what difference it makes.

But still, a very painful magic phase for my opponent, and I suspect he will be looking forward to some decent magic phases to treason my lines fireball my screens while his tough as nails troops bear down on me.

Or he'll start using his drafted 2000 point Darkelf list which can power of darkness its way out of a crap magic phase. I can only wait and see...

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