Friday, 27 May 2011

The Wood marches on part 1: Sibling Rivarly

After a week of number crunching, tactica revising and puppy eyes from the woodies in the corner, I decided to use my wood elf army for this week’s gaming. I find them an interesting army to use in 8th. Always outnumbered, never out gunned. The most effective parts of the army are painfully expensive (Treekin and Treeman). If they don’t drop in points to 55/model for Treekin and 230-250 for the Treeman come the hopefully soon updated book, then I will be very surprised. OR GW will give us some other super awesome weapon of death...

Anyway, we rolled battle of the pass and deployed our armies.

 (At this point I must apologise for not having a fully painted army on the board. The woodies were my first army, so I never really finished all the painting because by the time I got any good at it, the woodies were becoming a little obsolete and I was more excited by painting thousands of state troopers. HOWEVER as my Empire army is now finished, and my to be High Elf army is still in the "most of it is still on route from the UK" stage, I have set myself the task of repainting the woodies-so expect a future post to show off the old vs new)

I took:
Lvl4: Life and scroll
BSB: HODA, Asyendi’s Bane
2x 8 Dryads
11 Glade Guard: M, SB, Flame banner
10 Glade Guard: M, SB
6 Treekin

The Dark elf army lined up across from my lines was:
 LVL4: shadow, scroll
BSB: Relic Sword, usual mundane DE stuff, Pendant of Kaileth-so basically unkillable
2x10 xbows
5 Dark Riders
2x5 harpies
23 Spearelves: FC
15 Black Guard: FC-Flame banner
2x5 Shades

So as I said, outnumbered, but in this case I was also outgunned....Good thing I out MONSTERED.

My pregame tactic (as the deployment shot should show) was to deny the shades easy deployment (check) and also deny them easy shots on stuff (check-Eagle behind lip of hill, everything else either in terrain or behind it-except for the Gladeguard on Woodie right). Sit in the forests (check-Treekin forest is a wildwood, while the other one is normal) and pick off the stuff that comes near me. Meanwhile the Treekin and forward deployed dryads are to push forward and try net either the Black guard or the spears-hopefully keeping them out of multiple combat...

Anyways, to the game!

Turn 1

The Dark elves go first. The xbows enter the forest-and it’s a the end of movement phase it does nothing, but the Treekin are unlucky and take 2 wounds. I also noticed a simple mistake I made; I did not deploy the dryads taking into account the 20 inch move of the harpies. This 20 inch move took them out of the dryad Line of Sight. Had I deployed back 1 or 2 inches I would have threatened a nasty flank charge and had initiative on a loaded flank. However this was not to be and the Harpies were able to advance as planned. HOWEVER I had deployed the Glade Guard to make the Harpies move twice before charging, so that was good for me given the Dryad error. However the rest of the Dark Elf advance guard was very careful to stay out of Dryad charge arch...
In the 7  v 4 magic phase, I stopped Miasma, the only spell in range. The Dreaded shooting phase resulted in 2 wounds on the eagle and 2 dead Glade Guard from the exposed unit, so not as bad as it could have been; the advance guard dryads keeping everything out of short range. 

So the woodies start their turn on a good note by moving to set up traps. The wildwood then eats 3 xbows. My eagle, having done what it needed to do, retreats to the safety of the Woodie lines. The 8 v 5 magic phase started with a 2 dice crappy casting of treesinging on the xbows in the forest. The Darkelf lvl4 was really unlucky to lose concentration in the dispel attempt (1 dice attempt, rolled a 2...). This kills 3 more xbows. I then get Throne of vines up, and re-grow the last Glade guard. I also use the lore “effect” ability to restore the lost Treekin wounds. 

I then open up the bows, killing 3 Dark riders, and 2 shades. The shades-a long way away from the BSB and general fail their panic test, panicking the 2 units of harpies, gaining me control of that flank. All units run 10 inches.

Turn 2
So the Dark elf 2nd turn starts with the harpies and shades rallying. Everything else just kind of hovers around, not wanting to tempt my short range volleys (and in reverse tempting me to leave the forests to GET short range volleys). The hydra continues to hide in the back field. This was actually a good thing for me as it gave me a chance to focus my shooting on the other stuff. In a 8 v 4 magic phase, the lvl4 decided to IF miasma on the dryads who were in a very dangerous position. The relevant stats were reduced by 3, the lvl4 took a wound and lost the rest of the casting dice. In the shooting phase, not a single wound was inflicted. The “to hit” modifiers (long range, move, multiple shots, (skirmish), soft/hard cover (the ruins were hard), target wearing a toupee, your mum etc) was the saving grace for the fragile woodie lines.

In return, the woodie line consolidates. The treekin continue their advance, though as next turn will show, they moved a little too far on reflection. The treeman moves to strangleroot the darkriders, the miasmaed dryads stand around looking stupid, my exposed glade guard keep moving to get short range. A small magic phase (5v4) was a flop with a failed casting of dwellers on the darkriders. Throne of vines was then dispelled easily. The shooting started with another flop. The flaming Glade Guard forgot how to shoot, and I need to get a new artillery dice as my Treeman misfired the strangleroot on the darkriders...sigh, those darkriders were coated in Teflon.

Turn 3
The first charge of the game! The rallied harpies attempt a long range charge on the Glade guard. 1 dies to stand and shoot, while the charge fails. The darkriders run behind the woodie lines...good thing the eagle is hidden and the lvl4 is IN the forest haha. 

The hydra also decides that it is time to come play. A 10 dice magic phase results in the Treekin becoming ws3, while thankfully, a big wither fails to cast (well, I let the miasma through to stop this spell, so with the power of hindsight I could have stopped miasma too...). The reduced shooting and all the to hit modifiers means that only 1 Glade Guard from the flame unit dies.

So, the 2nd charge of the game! Seeing the position I found myself in, I opted to charge the dryads not the treekin into the harpies. I was hoping to get the treekin out of the danger zone, and use the dryads to redirect the Black guard into the Treekin from some one-on-one action that I should come out on top-even with flaming on the Black Guard (still wounding on 5’s and armour + ward). The Treekin move back. 

My 8 dice magic phase sees throne of vines dispelled, Dwellers then failed to cast AGAIN. Treesinging was then easily stopped. The shooting phase netted the first points of the game, killing the last shade on the woodie right, the xbows and the Treeman finally remembered how to strangle root JUST killing the darkriders (rolled a 2...). In the combat, 1 dryad dies while the harpies run off the board. The Dryads reform to draw the black guard in.

Turn 4
So as predicted, the Black guard charge the dryads. The Surviving harpies charge the glade guard, dodge the stand and shoot, making contact with the elf line.

 I scrolled the Power of Darkness and wither failed to cast. His shooting bounces of the treekin and fails to hit the flame Glade Guard. In combat, the BSB kills 1 dryad. The dryads then kill 3 (5 wounds, 2 armour saves grr). The Black Guard then wipe out the dryads. The opt to hold as nothing to pursue. The harpies kill 2 gladeguard, who in return wipe the harpies out.

So the 4th woodie turn. The eagle moves up to redirect the hydra that was looking rather scary! 

The treekin decide not to charge, though I really should have charged the Black guard as I was not hexed. Instead I muddled around trying to avoid the spears and the black guard.... another 5 dice magic phase gets the lost glade guard re-grown (and wound back on the eagle!). Throne of vines is dispelled. My Glade guard then shoot the black guard killing 4. I then shoot long range at the hydra. 10 shots from the HODA = 1 wound sigh and the Glade guard fail to wound the beast. Still-s4 breath weapon...

Turn 5
 So taking advantage of my tactical error, the Black guard charge the Treekin, and the spears successfully do a long range charge to the flank of the treekin...not looking good-though since I forgot to take a photo of it, just imagine the worst possible situation for a unit of treekin to be in haha. To make it worse, a 9 dice magic phase is pumped up to an 11 dice phase....Miasma drops the ws of the treekin to 1. I opt to dispel wither, and Mindrazor on the black guard thankfully fails to cast...looks like both mages are struggling with their uber spells! In the shooting phase, the shades kill the eagle :(. The xbows then shoot the Glade guard killing 2-who must be getting sick of dying and coming back to life again! I the crucial combat, the BSB does nothing. The Black guard get 4 wounds through my armour and ward (multiplies to 8 wounds thank you flammable...). The Spears do nothing (phew!). The Treekin, hitting on 5’s, rip the black guard to pieces, killing every last one of them. However it was not enough to win the combat. Outside of BSB range they roll really high and run 5 inches, easily run down by the spears. The Glade guard (who to be honest were a little too far forward anyway) then panic and run 10 into the wildwood.

So just having lost the main battle unit, I look to see what I can do-kill the hydra and the shades hopefully. The glade guard rally and avoid the wildwood death. The Treeman moves to strange root the hydra. In the magic phase my lvl4 AGAIN fails to cast dwellers on the spears. In the shooting phase I kill 3 of the shade unit I had been ignoring all game. My BSB actually missed, so I used her magic bow for the first time ever, rolled another 1, but thankfully failed to wound herself haha. Strangleroot does 1 wound to the hydra...s3 breath weapon.

Turn 6
The darkelves decide not to charge sadly, instead hoping to do me damage in other ways. In a 9 dice magic phase, the lvl4 lined up the treeman for a pendulum while I practiced passing an initiative test on an I2 treeman...I let the spell through, the lvl4 rolls a massive 20 for the distance (exact number needed), then my practice pays off as I roll a massive 1 and celebrate. My Treeman has passed every initiative test it has ever had to take haha I think it must have some sort of matrix dodge thing going on. The rest of the magic drops my Treeman to t5-so definitely NOT charging the hydra now L.  The xbows fail to hit the treeman, and the s3 breath weapon kills 1 dryad. The remaining shades then kill 1 glade guard.

So the final woodie turn, and the final turn of the game. I opt not to charge the hydra. I re-grow the previously killed Flaming glade guard. In the shooting phase, I drop the hydra to one wound and only kill one of the 2 remaining shades. Oh well.

End Game
In adding up the points, the woodies were ahead by just over 100 points, giving me the win.

My plan- I stuck to my plan almost religiously-having learnt from the mistake with my empir the week earlier. My one real mistake was moving the treekin as far forward as I did. Given that the spears and Black Guard were playing trap the units-with ample chaff to tie me up, I should have never got into the position I was in. Where I was, I should have charged the Black Guard to inflict as much damage as possible...the round of Glade Guard shooting didn’t really achieve as much as another round of Treekin crunching would have-I might have even netted the BSB’s points and overrun out of xbow charge range and threaten the xbows.

I was annoyed I didn’t take down the hydra, but that’s just warhammer. The regen save is sooo key-especially as it also has a 4+ armour save to deal with as well. My opponent acknowledged the BIG mistake of deploying the xbows behind the forest and walking into it first turn. However-had they got through the forest unharmed, they would have put a lot more pressure on that flank, covering the hydra advance. 

So an enjoyable first outing in AGES with the treehugging hippies, with a win to top it off.

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