The first turn of the High Elves featured quite mild movement around the battlefield. Johan marched his White Lions (WL) forward ontop of the large hill, while his large unit of Spearmen (S1) followed suit, avoiding the Blood Forest with his Archmage. Good moves, as even though he had a bit of a shooting advantage, there was no reason why his White Lions shouldn't see combat as soon as possible. What was curious however, and something I felt was a bit of mistake, was that his left flank remained stationary. The Swordmasters (SM) had fortified the stone wall and was not going anywhere, and neither did the smaller unit of Spearmen (S2) After deployment, his forces were already divided after deployment and without pressure from the west, I could focus all my forces on taking out his eastern flank, where all his characters were marching.
In the magic phases, he revealed his Banner of Sorcery that was being carried by the Swordmasters, and with the help of that he managed to get through a Pit of Shades on Irresistible Force. He centered the Pit on my Savages Orcs, who ended up losing 8 of their numbers. The resulting Miscast was ignored thanks to the Staff of Solidity, allowing him to ignore the first miscast. Just for fun, we rolled to see what the results would have been. A roll of 3 meant a Dimensional Cascade, and a failed roll for 4+ had the Archmage explode. We both lauged and agreed that it was an arcane item well worth its points. I wasn't that concerned though, as I still had 20 Savages still standing which should be enough to beat down the Spearmen lest I lost many more of them.
Moving on to the shooting, the eastern Archers (A2) and the Bolt Thrower (BT2) took aim for the Wyvern Warboss in the forest. Although the Archers were unlikely to hit, and definitely not wound, anything, I'm sure Johan knew I was carrying the Charmed Shield and hoped to remove it. Neither one hit anything though, and the Wyvern remained safe. It was still a good move though, since the Chariots were behind hard cover. To the west, the same combination of units took aim for Arrer Boyz, which I thought was a bit more dubious of a decision. I think firing at my Black Orcs with his Bolt Thrower would have been a better decision, to soften up their numbers before the fight.
For my first turn, no animosity checks were failed and no charges were declared. The Pump Wagon (PW) went far east out on the flank, while the Mangler Squig (MS) bounced out from behind the hill. I was a bit concerned that it wouldn't be able to bounce into anything, but if the Swordmasters would move forward, it would be ready. Wanting to threaten the Bolt Thrower and the Archers on the eastern flank, the Wolf Riders rode up behind a building to grant them hardcover, while their Big Boss placed himself on the corner of the unit to still allow him to charge out.
After that, the Night Goblins (NG), Savage Orcs (SO) and Wolf Chariots (WC) moved up slightly to within 16" of the White Lions. The idea was that if the White Lions would want to charge, he'd have to roll 11 to make it there, which was unlikely. If he failed, he'd have the Savage Orcs in the flank. If he wouldn't charge, I'd charge him with the Wolf Chariots and only have to roll 7 with the swiftriding bonus. The Black Orcs (BO) also moved forward, but angled themselves to look more towards the Swordmaster. This was a ruse on my part: by turning slightly to look at an enemy, I wanted to make the Spearmen feel safe enough to move forward towards the Savage Orcs, hopefully giving up a flank to the Black Orcs even though they seemed to be looking elsewhere. Not extremely innovative, but at times it does work. Figuring that the Savage Orcs would want to get into combat by next turn anyway, no longer fearing animosity, the BSB joined up with his Black Orc peers. Famous last words, maybe?
For magic, the Gobbo Shaman wanted to create some Itching for the White Lions, further preventing them from moving much, but it turned out the BSB in the unit was carrying the Banner of the World Dragon, making them immune to magic. I guess he did not want them to be stomped by Gork's Foot. The Great Shaman instead tried to stomp the Spearmen but the Archmage dispelled it. With the remaining dice, I went for a Hand of Gork on the Mangler Squig, hoping to pick it up and pluck it down somewhere in the middle of the battlefield. Sadly, the spell failed and the Shaman lost his concentration.
Shooting wise, the Arrer Boyz took out an Archer on the western flank, and the Doom Diver took aim for the Swordmasters. This was probably a mistake, I should have fire on the most pressing targets, which for frenzied troops means diverters, such as Eagles. As if to punish my lack of tactic, the Doom Diver scattered far wide out of reach.
In the second turn for the High Elves, there were still no charges. The White Lions did not take the bait. Instead, one of the Eagles (E2) landed within 8" of the Night Goblins to lure out the fanatics. I tossed the first one through the bird, inflicting 5 hits that sadly only amounted to a single wound. It landed straight in front of the Spearmen (S1). Wanting blood, I tossed the second one in much the same direction, hoping to kill the Eagle. A poor roll on my part sent the second fanatic (F2) a mere inches away from the Gobbos. This was a big mistake, in fact both of them were. Now I had one fanatic right in front of the Wolf Chariots, and one in front of the Spearmen. I felt like such a newbie after this move. Instead of hoping to kill off the Eagle, I should have just sent them towards the White Lions, or better yet, directly east away from the action. I was stubborn and didn't want to waste points, and now I was going to pay for it.
The second eagle (E1) landed in front of the Savages to redirect them west, were I to charge. I was pleased to see that the Spearmen (S1) moved forward though, seemingly unaware that the Black Orcs still had them in their sight. To the east, the Archers (A2) moved forward to make sure my Wolf Boss didn't have a clear way to the Bolt Thrower. At the very end of the phase, it seemed Johan did realize the threat looming over the Spearmen, so he quickly marched his Swordmasters (SM) forward to threaten my own flank, were I to charge. I wasn't that concerned though; if the Spearmen were to flee, it's unlikely the Black Orcs would turn enough to give up their own flank to the Spearmen (and I could redirect into the Swordmasters after all).
Magic wise, the Archmage tried his best to safeguard his Spearmen, by casting Mystifying Miasma on the Black Orcs to lower their movement (along with the rest of their stats). That prompted the Night Gobbo to roll out his Dispel Scroll. He then proceeded to cast the Pit of Shades and I failed to dispel it. He placed it over my Trolls, hoping to take them out completely, but it scattered wide and landed only on the Night Gobbos, who lost 5 of their numbers. A good outing for me, could have gone a lot worse.
In the shooting phase, the Archers and Bolt Thrower in the west continued to fire at the Arrer Boyz, taking bringing them down to a mere 2 models standing. The passed their panic test though, so was still coming, and I was happy that they'd been able to soak up shooting for two rounds instead of the Mangler Squig. I am not quite sure why Johan wanted to take them out so badly; even the Archers alone were worth more than them in points. To the east, the Archers there (A2) kept firing into to the Forest at the Wyvern, with one of the arrows hitting the Warboss to waste his Charmed Shield. The Bolt Thrower continued to miss though.
Since there was a fanatic (F2) standing in front of my Wolf Chariots (WC), I dared not charge through it to get to the White Lions, so I held back. As if to further taunt my poor fanatic decision making, the little fellow with the big chain ball decided to go straight at me, flying through the Wolf Chariots and the Night Goblins before ending up near the Doom Diver. Luckily, none of the Chariots were lost and were able to move left shortly afterwards. But I wanted to soften up the White Lions somehow, so the Pump Wagon went in, thrusting in its Exploding Spores to take out plenty of elves. The Arrer Boyz reformed and went to hide behind the building in the west, having taken many arrows and not done much else. The Night Gobbos marched forward to stand in the way of the White Lions, and the Warboss finally decided it was time to come out of the forest. He flew wide and landed behind the enemy lines, looking at the rear of the Spearelves (S1) and the flank of the Swordmasters (SM) in case things would not go well in either of the fights.
The Winds of Magic blew hard and awarded me with plenty of power dice. The Night Gobbo attempted to lower the initiative of the Spearmen, hoping to prevent them their re-rolls, but lost his concentration and took a wound from a poisonous mushroom. But the Great Shaman implored the Hand of Gork to pick up the Trolls and place them ahead of the Wolf Chariots. I had noticed that were the Eagle (E2) to charge into the Wolf Chariots in the following turn, I could be looking at a flank charge into my Savage Orcs if the White Lions reformed after killing the Pump Wagon. That was another mistake on my part, so the Trolls were placed to prevent that from happening. Finally, a spell of 'Ere We Go went through on Irresistible Force, killing a few more Savages who were already looking quite thin after running through a Fanatic, and caused the Blood Forest to hurt a few more. It also managed to kill off the Eagle that was fleeing through the trees, before moving west - trees, leaves and all - to surround the Spearmen (S2) waiting out in the open.
The Doom Diver misfired and got tangled up, unable to fire for a turn.
Finally, we had some combat! To start things up, the Pumpwagon inflicted a meekly 4 impact hits on 2D6, and killed only three White Lions before being cut down. Luckily, the Trolls had prevented them from reforming much at all, and since I had fought that battle before the rest of them, Johan wasn't sure he wanted to give me my flank anyway, in case the Savages did break his Spearmen on the charge and overran out of reach from him. We were about to find out, as that battle was coming up. The Noble went first with his Great Weapon, wounding three of the Savages with his attacks and revealing his Other Trickster's Shard, forcing me to re-roll succesfull ward saves, resulting in three dead orcs. The unit also turned out to be carrying flaming weapons. Flaming and anti-ward saves, think Johan knew what I was going to bring to the fight huh? The Spearmen inflicted a few more casualties and I was down to less than two ranks fighting and losing attacks before I even got to strike. 24 choppas, with misses re-rolled thanks to the augment spell, killed 16 Spearelves and easily won combat by a handful. Sadly, II needed to either have killed two more elves or lost two less of my own troops, since the Spearelves were still steadfast and passed their breaktest. After delivering an attack on the Archmage it was also revealed that he couldn't be harmed my non-magical weapons, which I had expected to begin with.
On the eastern flank, the Wolf Boss failed his fear test, despite having the Warboss nearby, and only managed to take down a single elf, who in turn wounded him once. Thus the battle was a standstill, with neither side given an edge. Finally, we came to the battle I was dreading the most - the fight between the Black Orcs and the Swordmasters to the west. The 21 attacks of the Swordmasters, re-rolled and all, ended up killing 12 Black Orcs before they even got to strike. I was not liking me chances with little more than a rank still standing. I decided to go with two handweapons, an obvious choice against T3 enemies, and the BSB started out by hitting and wounding on all four of his attacks. That left ten Swordmasters standing, with nine Black Orcs to go. 17 attacks, 10 hits, 10 wounds! The Swordmasters were wiped out to a single man! Some lucky dice rolling there on my part. I was torn between reforming to face the smaller unit of Spearmen (S2) with less than two ranks of Black Orcs standing, or to overrun towards the Bolt Thrower, where I needed to roll a 7 to avoid the Spearmen charging my flank. With the Archmage still alive and able to hex me to remove toughness or strenghts, I didn't want to risk anything. Besides, if they did charge my flank, most of them would have to strike at my T5 BSB, in order to remove my Stubborness, so I decided to overrun instead. A roll of 8 brought me past the elves and right in the face of the Bolt Thrower. After that display of strength, I was once again happy with my BSB despite letting the Savages get out of hand earlier.