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Monday, June 6, 2011

Fanatic 2011 - 4th battle vs Dark Elves

For the 4th game of the tournament I was slotted against Daniel and his gorgeous Dark Elf army on one of the top three tables. His army was led by a Supreme Sorceress with the Lore of Shadow, another Sorceress of the Lore of Death, a Cauldron BSB and a Master on Pegasus. To anchor his line was a unit of 35 Executioners, 30 Dark Elf Spearmen, a Hydra, 10 Corsairs, 20 Crossbowmen, a Cold One Chariot some Harpies. Now, I had faced this army before and was feeling confident, as every time had ended in a solid win for me. I wasn't sure what Daniel had planned to do in order to get out of this one with a win, but as he rolled up Purple Sun with his level 2 Sorceress I sort of got the hint. The scenario involved having more banners than the enemy at the end of the game (including the ones you claimed from breaking the enemy).

Turns out he was going to play for a draw and play a game I had hope to avoid. As he got the initiative he quickly moved into a building located center-west with his Crossbowmen, joined both his Sorceresses to that unit, and flanked both sides of the building with his Spearmen and his Executioners, so that if I were to assault the building I would be unable to kill every single one of the elves, meaning he'd be Steadfast and probably remain, and I'd fall back from the building and automatically give up the flank to one of his regiments.. Then he just went along and tossed all his magic dice at the Purple Sun from inside the building. The Trolls went down early, with only three of them remaining as they got into combat with the Spearelves, but as they killed enough of them to win combat, it made the Dark Elves give up a flank to my Savage Orc Big 'Uns. Meanwhile, the Night Goblins and the Giant went into combat with the Executioners, taking them down to less than 10 elves remaining, before the Giant was cut down by their blades. With 11" to charge, I had to roll an average 7 for the Savages to reach the flank of the Spearmen. If I did, I would surely chop them down and be up in both points and banners. Sadly, the double 1 reared its ugly head and I failed the charge. This allowed the Hydra, who had been avoiding the Black Orcs with their flaming banner for much of the game, to suicide charge into the Savages Orc and direct all its attacks on my Great Shaman, which proved enough to kill it after some poor ward saves. While the beast went down afterwards, it had done its damage, taking out most of the magic. Fittingly, another Purple Sun took out half of the Savage Orcs and some of the Black Orcs while a Souldrain inflicted 6 wounds on the Wyvern, killing it after I mistakenly assumed he was aiming for the Warboss on top and didn't care to dispel his magic.

I still had a shot at a tie if only I could get to the Crossbowmen in the building while my Black Orcs had angled up for a charge on the Spearmen. The Night Goblins kept the Executioners firmly in place, steadfast for all of the game, meaning if only I could take out one of their weak regiments I could still win this game. After failing to roll 8 for two consecutive turns when trying to charge the Hydra, not to mention the failed 7 to hit the flank of the Spearmen, I felt I was up for a change of luck. Unfortunately that must have just been my bladder talking and I failed all my charges and got crossbolts in the face and a purple sun beneath my feet for the trouble. With less than two ranks of Savages left standing, the Spearmen charged in with 15 of theirs and the Master swooped in from the rear. To add insult to my already horrible dice rolls, those 15 attacks amounted to 8 wounds on the tough orcs, who failed every ward save, meaning they had no chance in battle and were broken in the last round, losing the BSB in the process and giving him the scenario objective as well as a solid win on victory points.

Result: Greenskins lose 4-16

Kudos to Daniel, he played to draw and possibly win, and so he did, even though this turned out to be one of the least enjoyable games of 8th edition for me. Not so much that I lost as I'm hardly unaccustomed to that, but just knowing that there is really nothing I can do to get at his wizards when they're huddling inside a building with the rest of his army watching all entrances. Perhaps if I deployed differently and surrounded the building on my side in a similar fashion I could have done better, and instead of holding up his Executioners I could have gone in with the Trolls or the Savage Orcs and smashed their faces. And if only I could have rolled an average charge roll once in this game....

Well, plenty of "what if" here, things could have gone differently but they didn't, and in cruel irony he didn't even need his Supreme Sorceress as he barely cast a Shadow spell in this game. Alone, his level 2 Sorceress took out more than 600 points of my army, leaving a bad taste in my mouth going into the final game of the tournament. This loss took me out of the running for the first place, but I was definitely not about to go down quietly.