Battle report 3: Elves vs Herd, 1995 points. Control.
Another PBEM with my man Dave Fanning. This time Dave was away with the family and couldn't log on for deployment so we went with blind deployment play a territory claiming scenario.
I Herd it on the Grapevine - Dave
Guardian Brutes (Horde) 225
Guardian Brutes (Horde) 225
Lycans (Horde) 255 - Brew of Haste 20
Lycans (Horde) 255 - Mead of Madness 10
Lycans (Horde) 255 - Fire-Oil 5
Moonfang  210
Lycan Alpha 165 - Blade of Slashing 5
Minotaur Chariots* (Regiment) 210 - Upgrade to The Stampede  (Regiment only) - Gain Strider and Pathfinder, increase Waver/Rout by +1 30
Great Chieftan 95 - Sacred Horn 15 - Horn of the Great Migration  - Gain Dread and Aura (Wild Charge (+1)) 15
Total Unit Strength: 19 Total Units: 9
Most Noble Elves - Matt
Palace Guard (Horde) 265 Kindred Archers (Regiment) 140 Kindred Archers (Regiment) 140 Kindred Gladestalkers (Regiment) 175 Kindred Gladestalkers (Regiment) 175 Stormwind Cavalry (Regiment) 215 - Upgrade to Quicksilver Lancers  (Regiment only) - Gain Nimble and increase Waver/Route values +1 25 Silverbreeze Cavalry* (Troop) 130 Silverbreeze Cavalry* (Troop) 130 Argus Rodinar 70 Stormwind Cavalry (Regiment) 215 - Maccwar's Potion of the Caterpillar 20 Elven Archmage 60 - Inspiring Talisman 20 - Bane Chant (2) 20 - Lightning Bolt (5) 35 Lord on Drakon 160 ------------------------- Total Unit Strength: 23 Total Units: 12 Target Points: 2000 Core (Target%): 1995 (99.8%)
I’ve wanted to try out a few different archtype so I’ve gone for a super elite fast alpha strike list. My plan like all Aplha lists is to hit Matt hard and first.
I have an elf army that hasn’t seen play since the start of version two. So I wanted to start playing around with lists to see what I could come up with. The elf list is obviously very different to the start of version two, but there are lots of similarities (namely that everything costs you part of your first born to buy it). Complete alpha isn’t really my style, I don’t think I’m good enough at looking multiple turns ahead. Also I am not one to sit and figure out the minutia of each movement, it’s just not me, therefore I still try to go with something mixed-arms-like, of course needs gladestalkers.
I've played against alpha style lycan lists a lot against my good friend Tony Winmill. So I wasn't overly concerned by Dave's list I knew that if I could get some unit strength off the board early he may struggle. The big weakness in his list is the def 4.
I’m lucky enough to get some time away with the family so we have gone for blind deployment this game. Essentially, we both deployed on the map without either seeing, then save them as individual files in UB. When we are done we load them all in and take turn 1. I’ve just gone for a centred approach in the hope I get some good strikes turn 2 or 3. I know his archers can hurt me so with some luck I get a good charge early as they will be up on my target priority list.
I don’t think i have any real staying power in my list and I expect this game to be bloody. So I think I just need to treat this as a game of kill and look for board control options towards the end. I have a lot of speed 8 nimble units so moving big distances turn 6 shouldn’t worry me.
I think blind deployment is cool! The way I approach this is to try and play to the strengths of my own army as obviously I can't worry about his. Trying to predict where an all pathfinder army will drop is a bit nonsensical anyway. Therefore archers in cover and hope to not move, gladestalkers not in cover because I went them mobile shooting and to taking penalties but I want the combined shots with the regiments. Silverbeeze out on the flank as I reckon I'll be able to use that building to scoot around depending on Dave's deployment, I think it's unlikely he will go near that's pace in deployment.
Dave/ Herd 1
There are so many good options to choose from. I’m pretty happy my stampede will delete a unit a turn on the right. So I focused my middle and cracking his horde. If I can get a good double charge in there I think I’m a chance at popping it. My other option is to attack all four of Matts archer units at once and sweep them all up together, then on the reface I can target the horde and force it to reface removing it from the Cav fight on the left of the battle field.
On the left I know I have the first charge, so I’ve positioned for taking up his two storm wind and following through with the brutes on the 2nd wave. I’m not too concerned with his silver breeze, at worst they will block a charge but I don’t think they will remove my brutes.
Time to see what matt comes up with.
Alright Dave was right up in my grill turn 1 and honestly it smelt like he hadn’t brushed his teeth for weeks. I had some big decisions to make. Do I try and out alpha him on the left or do I play a patient game. The items he put on the lycans making them faster were super annoying.
I toyed with the idea of either single or double charging the second lycans from the right with my stormwind but decided to try and draw him forward. Idea being I wanted to take off the lycans so he was left with the slower guardian brutes. I started moving my silverbeeze up the flank where he couldn’t see them. The scenario was control after all and I hoped this may bait him to spin around taking some of his alpha power away.
With this in mind I drew the left hand side of the board back meaning only one of his lycan’s could charge anything and would get swamped on a countercharge if they did. I positioned the lord on Drakon to be annoying and the right hand knights became inspiring from Argus.
On the right hand side I drew the glade stalkers back so that if the stampede charged one the other could flank. I left the archers where they were because they were out of range of the guardian brutes and I wanted to maintain my hitting on 4s to try and blow away the lycans. I took the chance on pushing my mage out as I wanted the lightning bolt just in case. argus could always inspire them over there if Dave decided to charge the mage.
Shooting and everything unloaded on the lycans. The two units of archers did 4 wounds, the two gladestalkers did 8 and the mage 1, enough to pop them on the nerve roll. Great success! Thank you Def4!
Dave/ Herd 2
I’ve lost a unit early to shooting that I didn’t fully expect. My brutes made short work of the left archer unit, and the stampede failed by 1 on the nerve roll to cripple the 2nd archer unit. I got a very promising reface out of the combat which will force the reface or loss of Matts palace guard horde. I’ve used my Alpha as chaff slightly to tie up the glade stalkers, and I'm sure by turn 6 my stampede will of cleaned out this table section.
Over on the left I’ve only given Matt 1 charge, his lord on drakon into my brutes, they are 15/17 and with only 5 attacks I think if he does charge it will be a sacrifice. His pushing to out flank me with his silver breeze. However I don’t intend to be in this board section by the time they are in position.
Time for some shenanigans. I withdrew the (very lucky) wavered archers to make way. Then withdrew the gladestalkers and was able to charge the flank of the stampede. The other gladestalkers danced around the lycan alpha to get a turn of shooting and no charge imminent. On the left silverbeeze pushed around the building whilst out of arc for a charge on them but maintaining an arc for a shot. The other pushed forward slightly and then did an about face for if Dave pushed forward. The way Dave had angled the left 3 units meant the stormwind on the right had a free charge with only a counter charge a likely consequence. So sneaky, dastardly elves that they are, they pushed their prongs into the lycans on the right with haste. The quicksilver lancers danced to the left to get better line of sight in future turns. Blocking the lycans allowed the safe repositioning of the palace guard to take the ongoing guardian brutes.
In shooting I bane chanted the flanking gladestalkers and the other stalkers shot the lycan alpha for 5 wounds. The silver breeze did 1 wound.
Nerve tests saw the lycan wavered.
In combat the gladestalkers did a mighty 9 wounds and were only one short of wavering due to the nerve bump for stampede. The stormwind did 11 wounds and broke the lycans and pivoted towards the centre
Dave/ Herd 3
Well remember how I said I only gave Matt the 1 charge… yeah I screw up and didn’t read his list properly. Here I was 17ish inches back out side of his 16” threat range…. Yeah that should of be 18 and its probably cost me the game. Worst part of all. I build my list pushing 2 of those lycan units to charge 20”, I had him out ranged and everything…
Over on the right. My stampede was peppered heavily from the gladestalkers but took them out on the counter charge I severely under estimated how deadly they would be in the flank, again reading my list I forgot the D3 wild charge, which could of gotten me into to charge range on the far glade stalker originally, another tactical error on my half.
My Guardian brutes when off on a solo charge into the palace guard, doing 11 wounds but failing to crack them.
Next turn I see me lose the stampede, lose another lycan horde and potentially being tied up with the drakon lord to take away any real counter punch I had.
So shocked by my monumental cock up I forgot to even roll the chieftains damage.
At this rate I’ll be lucky to make turn 6.
In the movement phase i backed up the stormwind to be out of arc but threaten the flanks. The quicksilver lancers pushed forward keeping the lycans and moony out of range. The silverbeeze waltzed around the edge of board doing what they like, because you know they're elves. The palace guard countered the brutes. And the only movement on the right hand side was the withdraw and pivoting of the mage because I had a dastardly plan to enact.
Shooting. The silverbeeeze did three on the brutes. I shot with the kindred archers at the stampede and did 3 wounds, I then decided to lightning them too and got another wound. I saved the gladestalkers to shoot last because if i was happy with accumulation on the stampede then I could try and also take out the lycan alpha. The gladeealkers shot at the alpha doing another three wounds. Both units on the right popped.
In combat the palace guard took out the brutes and thinks are looking pretty peachy.
Dave/ Herd 4
I’m running out of option real quick, and my game plan has turned to mush. I reface to provide only front charges and give the silver breeze a hindered flank. I managed a few wounds on on the mage however not enough to force anything. I fear my chieftain will be gone next round as well. Let this be a lesson to always know your threat ranges (the actual ones that reflect the list).
Apologies I lost the image AND the save game file on this turn so I have drawn on the major charges. Basically this turn was to set up for:
There was no relevant shooting. The quicksilver lances popped the brutes, the other knights wavered the lycans leaving a flank exposed and the tribal chieftain was wavered also.
Dave/ Herd 5
Not willing to fall on my sword just yet Moonfang took a flank charge but only managed 5 wounds and failed to break them…. And with that my goose was cooked. (lets be fair I fucked this right up turn 2).
I countercharged Mooney, charged the lycans and chieftain. Mooney died the other two units I only managed a waver but at this point it's game over in a big way so we call it.
Matts list I think is solid. I'd potentially swap out the kindred archers for something else. Another glade stalker regiment perhaps or if he didn’t need the unlocks glade stalker troops for the steady aim and melee 3.
For me, well where to start…. Changing the generals brain is probably a good start…. After that there isn't a lot to dig into, the big thing is potentially this list isn’t tough enough for such a low drop list, all of my key units died quick and early (even to shooting with no piercing). However no list can stand up again tactical errors like what I made.
I don’t think I’ll keep tweaking this list, as its probably worth just scrapping it and starting again.
Who knows I might just go and play kings on easy mode and run a dwarves packed full of throwing dogs… maybe even dogs throwing dogs…
It's time to take a shower because I'm tired and dirty from digging Dave's graves, what else is there to say. What won me this game was error on Dave's part and when you're playing low def Alpha you just can't make a mistake because it can turn the tide (exactly why I don't play it) especially in a meta where shooting is now back again. I enjoyed my list. The archers are the weakness but I do like like them for being a bit innocuous as they're not high threat so people may ignore them. I'll probably give it a game or two but that would be where I look to change first.