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Author Topic: 1500 Dwarves Vs Dark Elves  (Read 5062 times)

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Offline Wyddr

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1500 Dwarves Vs Dark Elves
« on: January 3, 2012, 11:07:57 AM »
1500 Dwarves Vs Dark Elves: Dawn Attack

The pallid light of dawn spilled over the plateau, causing the thick blanket of snow to shimmer. It was quiet, and the Shades at Ithis Duskwalker's back didn't make a sound as they slipped across the surface of the thick snowbanks. Letting her thick fur cloak pool at her heels, Ithis let the mountain air assault her exposed skin. She didn't feel cold--she never felt the cold anymore--but goosebumps rippled across her taught stomach nevertheless. It was a shiver, yes, but of anticipation.

"Fell for it." One of the Shades hissed. He was referring to the massed ranks of a dawi throng struggling desperately to reform some three hundred yards distant. Ithis couldn't hear their shouts and bellows at this range, but her sharp druchii eyes could pick out the panicked bustle of their war leaders. Their drums and horns soon echoed off the cliffs surrounding the plateau; they knew they had been tricked, and they were struggling desperately to amend the mistake.

It was too late, of course. The diversion party of corsairs Ithis had sent to 'assault' the dawi stronghold had long ago melted into the evergreen forests of the northeastern slopes, drawing the throng away from their walls in pursuit--a typical display of dwarven overconfidence. Meanwhile, Ithis' real assault team had moved quickly from their hiding places to within a stone's throw of the strongholds walls. The dawi had no chance to catch the druchii before they could sieze the undefended castle. The dwarves were going to be placed in the awkward position of assaulting their own castle. Ithis giggled at the irony of it.

"Whatever happens, make certain the corsairs secure the books in the hold. They are not to burn it." Ithis waved one of the shades away to carry the message. To the others, she smiled, "Now, let's to the slaughter, shall we?"

So, for the first time in almost a year, I got myself a game of fantasy in. I was tickled pink, let me tell you. My usual opponent Bobby (and I use 'usual' in the loosest sense of the word) decided to slap together a dwarf list rather than bring his usual lizardmen. This suited me just fine (I'm *really* tired of those Temple Guard Slann Bunkers, let me tell you), and we rolled for a mission and got the Dawn Attack one.

Duskwalker's Corsairs

Ithis Duskwalker, Lv 4 Supreme Sorceress of Shadow, Ring of Darkness, Tome of Furion, Lifetaker
Guarael Blackwing, Master on Pegasus w/Hvy Armor, Shield, Sea Dragon Cloak, Lance, Pendant of Khaleth

25 Corsairs w/Full Command, Sea Serpent Standard
10 Dark Riders w/RxBs, Musician
6 Harpies
6 Shades w/Extra Hand Weapons
Cold One Chariot
War Hydra

The Throng of Dwolin Plainbeard

Thane w/Oathstone
Runesmith w/Great Weapon
Battle Standard Bearer w/Rune of Guarding, Rune of Slowness

20 Ironbreakers w/Full Command, Shields, Master Rune of Grungni
15 Longbeards w/Full Command, Shields, Great Weapons (which Bobby forgot to use all game)
15 Warriors w/Full Command, Shields
10 Thunderers w/Full Commad, Shields
1 Cannon w/Engineer (Handgun)
1 Bolt Thrower w/Engineer (Handgun)

Terrain and Deployment
We rolled for maximum terrain and placed 8 pieces plus a castle, which we counted as 2 since it was so large. The castle went at about board center. The southern edge had a hill in the east, a lake in the near west, and a wall in the far west. In the center, there was a forest just east of the castle with a large statue there and that was it. In the north there was a wall in the NW (mirroring the SW wall), a forest just east of that, and then a hill in the NE corner.

Since Dawn Attack randomizes deployment, Bobby got a bit screwed with his rolls. He won the roll-off and picked the northern edge, but all of his blocks wound up in the NE corner, clustered around that hill, while his bolt thrower was alone in the center and the cannon was alone behind the wall in the west. My rolling was a bit more balanced, with most of my units winding up in the center. The Shades + Ithis were in the SE corner, followed by the War Hydra, then the Corsairs, then the Harpies, then the Chariot, and then Blackwing. The Dark Riders got stuck on the western flank, but their vanguard move would be good enough to put them in a decent position. Generally, given the mobility of my army, I wasn't too worried about the whole Dawn Attack thing--it actually worked to my advantage significantly, given Bobby's less then stellar rolling. To make things even better for me, I managed to roll a '6' to determine first turn and, therefore, got to go first. Yay! No cannon balls for me!


Turn 1
The first thing I did, obviously, was charge the cannon in the east with my dark riders. The lousy engineer with his lousy handgun managed to pick one of them off before they closed and, furthermore, the wall really messed up my rolling. Therefore I only killed 2 of the little hairy bastards and they, being stubbornly attached to their ugly lump of iron, refused to run away. Hmph--looked like those Dark Riders were going to be stuck there for a while.

Elsewhere, Blackwing and the Harpies flew past/over the castle to threaten the bolt thrower and thunderers while the Chariot and Corsairs moved up to just behind said castle. In the east, the Hydra moved into the forest and the Shades scooted NE, giving Ithis a good view of the dwarf lines. In magic, she tried to get off Pit of Shades on the Ironbreakers, but was dispelled. She then sent a pendulum bouncing their way, but it only rolled high enough to smash a single ironbreaker. My final attempt to Miasma the thunderers on one die failed. Crap--pretty terrible magic phase for a basically unopposed Lv 4. In shooting, I believe the shades and Ithis managed to knock down another ironbreaker or two.

Top of Turn 1

In the bottom of turn 1, Bobby opened fire on the harpies with his thunderers, killing 3 and causing them to break and run. In the east, the Warriors moved towards the Hydra and the forest while the Ironbreakers headed for the castle, the Dragon Slayer just in front of them. The battle with the Cannon continued in stalemate (I won with the musician, but they didn't break) while the Bolt Thower shot at Blackwing and he, having forgotten to turn on his pendant, took 2 wounds (sure, I roll a 6 *then*, but at no other time!).

Bottom of Turn 1:

Turn 2
In the second turn, my Corsairs occupy the castle while Blackwing charges the bolt thrower (the stand-and-shoot from the engineer fails to penetrate his armor) and kills 3 of them. The Dark Riders drag down another crewmember, and, for a miracle, the Harpies actually manage to rally. The Chariot pokes its head around the corner of the castle, but their RxBs hit nothing. The Hydra scoots to the east in the forest and breathes fire on the Warriors, but only kills about 2 (damned Rune of Grungi!), but another 3 or so are dropped by the Shades/Ithis shooting them. My magic phase continues to fail to impress, as my pit of shades scatters badly and only manages to kill 2 ironbreakers, though I do get off a key Miasma on the Thunderers, dropping their BS to 1. I am wishing, at this juncture, that I had taken Dark Lore and not Shadow--I'd be casting more spells and probably causing more damage at this point.

Top of Turn 2:

In the bottom of the second turn, the Warriors charge into the jaws of the War Hydra; they do no wounds and lose 2-3 guys in return, but don't break (no surprises there). The Hydra Handlers, bizarrely, kill more guys than the Hydra does. The Thunderers, meanwhile, manage to take a wound off the Chariot even when hitting on 7s (the bastards), and the Ironbreakers move closer to assaulting their own castle. The Dragon Slayer heads for the Hydra (but won't get there anytime soon) and both War Machine crews are finally overwhelmed by my assault teams. The Dark Riders reform to face towards the action.

Bottom of Turn 2:

« Last Edit: January 3, 2012, 11:42:20 AM by Wyddr »

Offline Wyddr

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Re: 1500 Dwarves Vs Dark Elves
« Reply #1 on: January 3, 2012, 11:41:40 AM »
Turn 3
Despite a few bouts of crappy luck, things are going more-or-less my way. The Dark Riders postion themselves to charge something next turn while shooting at the Thunderers, killing 2. Blackwing flies behind Bobby's lines for a potential rear charge against somebody. The Hydra and, more importantly, the Handlers continue to tear up the Warriors, killing 3-4, but losing a wound. I lose this round of combat, I think, but I don't run. The Shades shoot off another rank out of the Ironbreakers. My magic phase goes belly-up when I fail to remember The Withering has a ridiculous casting value and don't throw enough dice to make the spell. Stupid mistake. Finally, and most frustatingly, the Chariot fails a charge against the Thunderers (I needed to get a 7, but rolled all 2s), so I fly the harpies up to give him cover from anymore bullets next round.

I wish I could get the Corsairs out of the castle and into a better position, but there are no better options. They hold on and prepare to be assaulted by gromil-encrusted dwarves next round.

Top of Turn 3:

In Bobby's half of the turn, he moves the Longbeards up to flank the Thunderers. I think this was a mistake on his part, since it set him up for some crazy combo-charging by me next round. The Thunderers try shooting things, but the Miasma keeps them from doing any further damage. The Dragon Slayer heads for the Hydra in time to see the Hydra finish eating all warriors who came to stop it. Finally, the Ironbreakers assault the castle. Now, in the first place we did this a bit wrong according to the rules--we had them locked in combat *inside* the castle the whole time, but now we realize I should have been able to shoot them up between assaults so long as my guys didn't break. Ah, well--this whole thing was fun, anyway. The Ironbreakers charge their hold and the thane challenges my Reaver to single combat atop the battlements. I actually manage to do a wound to the big guy before he kills my champ, and then I, after an ungodly 27 hate-filled attacks, manage to kill only one Ironbreaker. They kill 2--I lose combat, but stick. However, I also lose my frenzy, which sucks.

Bottom of Turn 3:

Turn 4
This is where I break the dwarf army's back. Four charges--Harpies to Thunderers (too close to Stand and Shoot); Blackwing to Thunderer rear; Chariot to Longbeards; Hydra to Longbeard flank. Bobby has no choice but to stand there and take it. Of course, he *forgot* his Longbeards had great weapons (I didn't even know--his armylist was practically illegible; not much for penmanship, is Bobby), so things might have gone a bit differently if he'd remembered. In any event, the Hydra and Chariot had pretty lackluster rolls, but still killed 5-6 dwarves for no damage in return. Meanwhile, the Harpies and Blackwing broke the remaining Thunderers and the Harpies ran them down. The Dark Riders cruised in for support and did their best to gun down the Dragon Slayer (now facing the wrong direction), but failed to damage him. Ithis, during the magic phase, tried for Occam's Mindrazor and got Irresistible Force. I believe I forgot to portray this on the map, but it blew up 3 Shades but did no further damage (phew!). That is, incidentaly, one of the advantages of sticking a mage in a group of skirmishers--the template doesn't cover as many guys.

Anyway, with Occam's in effect, my corsairs killed 5 ironbreakers this time around. The dwarves, with their high strength and two heroes in the crowd, managed to kill 5 themselves, so we tied. The rumble in the castle continued.

Top of Turn 4:

In the bottom of 4, the Dragon Slayer ineffectually attempts to turn himself around and get in a useful charge. The Longbeards continue to have their numbers thinned by the big monsters surrounding them, but I think the Chariot took a wound this time around. The Runesmith, engaged in a life-and-death struggle with the Hydra, can't seem to get past the creatures regenerating properties. In the castle, I kill 3 Ironbreakers thanks to the mindrazor, but lose another 4 myself--our numbers are growing thin.

Bottom of Turn 4:

Turn 5
Bobby sees the writing on the wall at this point, but we decide to play it out. After watching their runesmith slaughtred by the Hydra Handlers, the Longbeards break and are run down by the Cold One Chariot. My magic phase is pretty much a bust--I reduce weapon skill on the Ironbreakers and that's pretty much it. In the tussle in the castle, I manage to kill another 1-2 Ironbreakers for a loss of 3-4 of my own, lose, and stick around to fight (those Corsairs must be pretty scared of Ithis).

Top of Turn 5:

In the bottom of 5, the Dragon Slayer makes a suicidal charge at the Hydra, causing a wound, but getting devoured shortly thereafter. The end of the combat in the castle sees my 8-9 corsairs against the command group, BSB, and Thane of the Ironbreakers. At the conclusion of all this, Bobby concedes the battle.

Bottom Turn 5:

The interior of the Dawi Hold smelled like a charnel house--blood was as thick as fog in the air. Ithis inhaled deeply as she stepped over the broken, limp bodies of both druchii and dwarf, moving deeper into the heart of the ancient fortress. Her shades flanked her, putting injured druchii out of their misery and killing injured dwarves with far less efficiency. They would need to be gone quickly--such a small force couldn't risk being caught by the full might of nearby kin to those who once lived here, eager for vengeance.

She found it easily enough--hidden within a vault her arts easily bypassed and laid with great care upon an iron plinth--a great book, bound in gromil, stamped with the frowning runes of the ancient dawi. She struggled to lift it--it weighed practically as much as she did--but she emerged with it nevertheless and passed it to her retainers.

The shades glanced at it quizzically. "A book?" One asked.

Ithis smiled sweetly. "A book of grudges, child, steeped in hatred old; grudges whose dark anger may, with art, be given shape and mold."

The shade nodded, as though understanding. This, too, made Ithis smile. None of them understood, but they would. They would soon enough.

Final Score
Dark Elves: ~1100
Dwarves: ~200

First off, it should be said that (a) Bobby's list was very far from optimal, since he rarely plays dwarves, (b) we screwed a variety of rules up which may have changed the game somewhat, mostly because we rarely play, and (c) my use of the magic phase wasn't perfect, since I made a variety of foolish mistakes. That said, I was severely underwhelmed by the Supreme Sorceress. She got off a few spells, yes, but none of them were the gamechangers they looked like they might have been. Pit of Shades was a bust, Occam's Mindrazor didn't save me, the Withering never got off, and the most reliable spell I could manage--Miasma--barely paid off anyway. I realize the current metagame is 'big magic' everywhere, but there is still just *so* much left to chance in a magic phase that I wonder whether dropping 350 points or more into it really pays off. Bobby's +1 Dispel die and regular dwarf immunity was sufficient to block most of the nastiest stuff from happening.

As for the other stuff we screwed up:
In my favor was
-I attacked with all DR against the cannon, instead of only 6 (oops)
-We thought Ironbreakers were WS4/S3 for part of the game.
-Bobby forgot his Longbeards had great weapons.

In Bobby's favor was
-we applied the Rune of Guarding Ward Save to the whole Ironbreakers unit, not just the BSB
-we allowed the Ironbreakers to be inside the castle the whole time instead of outside, still being shot at.

I feel like this more-or-less evens out, except for the forgetting about Great Weapons thing, which was a big deal. Ah, well. It was a fun game anyway and the castle was lots of good fun. My army, despite some trashy rolls, performed within the bounds of expectations and I rolled the dwarves without losing a whole unit. Not bad, I say.

Thanks for reading and thanks, as always, to my opponent!     


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