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Date: 23rd January 2010
Army Composition: Standard
Board size: 6x4’
Deployment Zones: Standard
Deployment Method: Standard
This was my first proper game of Warhammer in 2010 (I’m not counting the teaching games I play with the missus). My opponent Andy and I had planned to get together for a game over Christmas but for whatever reason we didn’t meet up.
It was also my first proper game for about six weeks, having played my regular Orc and Goblin opponent Nick midway through December (and I think before that it was the little mini-tournament we had), which had been a bit of a disaster through some iffy deployment and magic choice on my part (plus a superb Rock Lobber shot by Nick in his first turn that took out one of my Repeater Bolt Throwers before it had even had a chance to shoot). I ended up not doing a report for that battle as my hands were so cold my writing was even worse than normal and I couldn’t make head nor tail of what I was writing.
* Level 3
* Ring of Fury
* Dispel Scroll
* Level 2
* Jewel of the Dusk
* Battle Standard Bearer
* Reaver Bow
* Great Weapon
* Dragon Armour
15 White Lions
* Full command
* Banner of Sorcery
12 Sword Masters of Hoeth
5 Dragon Princes
5 Dragon Princes
12 Lothern Sea Guard
* Full Command
Repeater Bolt Thrower
Repeater Bolt Thrower
Coming into this game I was using a modified version of the list I’d taken against Nick. There were some quite big changes, with my Archmage dropping a Wizard level, my BSB losing the Battle Banner (although gaining the Reaver Bow), my MSU Sword Masters being merged into a single unit and a block of 19 Spearmen with Warbanner now becoming 12 Sea Guard.
Templar Grand Master (General)
* Sword of Sigismund
* Laurels of Victory
* Barded Warhorse
* Sword of Might
* Dawn Armour
* Double-handed weapon
* Armour of Meteoric Iron
* Icon of Magnus
* 2 Dispel Scrolls
* Steel Standard
* Banner of Valor
* Full command
10 Halberdiers (detachment) 
* Brace of pistols for Champion
10 Flagellant Warband
* Repeater Pistol for Champion
I hadn’t seen Andy run a Templar Grand Master before and forgot to check what special advantages he conferred before the battle began which was to prove a bit costly. I don’t think I’ve seen him field 4 artillery pieces before either, or if he has it was quite a while ago. This was also the first time in a while I’d seen him field two units of five knights instead of a block of seven with space for a character.
Set-up of the table was pretty standard for what Andy, Nick and I seem to play – a three house village, a couple of hills and a couple of woods.
Lore of Death:
1. Dark Hand of Death
2. Wind of Death
3. Doom and Darkness
Lore of Fire
2. Wall of Fire
Lore of Heavens
1. Portent of Far
2. Forked Lightning
In the name of experimentation I decided to give Lore of Death a go on my Archmage this time round. I was mainly hoping to see how useful Doom and Darkness turned out to be in practice as opposed to theory and after that I just decided to take the two magic missiles.
I wasn’t sure whether to go with High Magic for the Level 2 in the hope of getting Curse of Arrow Attraction, or something more aggressive like Fire or Metal. In the end I decided to go with Fire but was a bit annoyed to get Wall of Fire as my second spell as even with the extra dice from the Jewel of the Dusk and Banner of Sorcery I wasn’t sure if I’d have the spare dice to chuck at it after the Archmage had taken his share.
I had actually come into this game with a bit of a plan, namely to deploy my BSB in the Sea Guard and make sure he was in range of the Sword Masters and White Lions for them to be able to take advantage of the Break Test re-roll. And then I went and cocked up deploying him by failing to adapt to the developing situation.
Andy had won the roll to deploy first and predictably deployed his Handgunners on top of the hill in his deployment zone. I put my Archers on the right hand side of the hill in my deployment zone, Andy put his Flagellants to the left of his hill and then I deployed my Bolt Throwers, one on the hill, the other to the left of the woods in my deployment zone..
Andy’s next deployment was his first unit of Knights, opposite my hill. My response to this was to deploy the Sea Guard facing them. His second unit of Knights were placed next as he started filling in the gap between his woods and hill while I started to do the same by placing my Sword Masters to the right of my hill. His Greatswords and their detachment of Halberdiers next went into the gap while I placed my White Lions between the Sword Masters and the right hand Bolt Thrower.
Pistoliers went down on Andy’s right, looking to run up the side of the village. I now just had my Dragon Princes and Great Eagle to place and the first unit of DPs went to the right of the woods. Andy’s artillery now went down with the Great Cannon joining the Handgunners on the hill, the first Volley Gun on his extreme left flank, a Mortar between the hill and Halberdier detachment, and finally a second Volley Gun behind the woods next to the village.
My second unit of Dragon Princes I now placed just to the left of my hill as Andy started deploying his characters. First his mounted Warrior Priest went in his right-most unit of Knights, the foot-slogger Warrior Priest went with the Greatswords, the Wizard with the Handgunners and finally his Grand Master with the other unit of Knights.
While this was going on I’d placed my Great Eagle just behind my hill, my Archmage into the White Lions, the Level 2 Mage with the Archers and the BSB with the Sea Guard.
Completing his deployments first Andy had the +1 to the roll to see who went first and duly won it.
Empire – Turn 1
There was a general advance from the Empire’s right flank with the Pistoliers, both units of Knights, the Greatswords and their Halberdier detachment marching forward.
The Battle Wizard cast Forked Lightning at the Repeater Bolt Thrower opposite him. Not wanting to risk losing its crew this early in the game I decided to use my Dispel Scroll to stop it. His attempt to cast Portent of Far on the Great Cannon failed while both Warrior Priests called on Sigmar for his blessing and were rewarded with Unbending Righteousness.
The Empire’s first artillery phase was a bit uneventful with the Mortar scattering away behind the White Lions it had aimed at, while the Great Cannon shot at my right-hand Bolt Thrower but failed to wound.
High Elves – Turn 1
My only movement this phase was to bring the Great Eagle out from behind the hill and into the space between the village and the mounted Warrior Priest’s Knights.
With the Banner of Sorcery providing the maximum three power dice I was determined to try and wreak some early damage on the Empire. The Mage cast Wall of Fire at the Warrior Priest’s Knights which promptly brought out a dispel scroll. The Archmage now tried to cast at the Grand Master’s Knights but failed with both Wind of Death and Dark Hand of Death. He succeeded with Doom and Darkness only for Andy to inform me that with the Grand Master in the unit they were Immune to Psychology. Bah!
The Mage now cast a Fireball at the Warrior Priest’s Knights which failed while Andy dispelled the Archmage’s attempt to use his Ring of Fury on the Greatswords.
The Bolt Thrower on my right fired a volley at the Great Cannon but only succeeded in killing one of the crew. The other Bolt Thrower shot a bolt at the Grand Master’s Knights but failed to wound.
The Battle Standard Bearer fare better with his Reaver Bow, scoring two hits and wounds on the Knights, ultimately killing one of them. Unfortunately the Sea Guard proved unable to do likewise - despite also scoring two hits and wounds the lack of punching power of their bows meant they couldn’t topple any of the horsemen.
The Archers also fancied their chances at the Knights and despite an impressive seven hits they could only muster two wounds, both of which were saved.
Empire – Turn 2
The Grand Master’s Knights declared a charge on my block of Sword Masters. Looking at the board it was a close call but I judged it to be just outside their 14” charge range, which it was until Andy revealed he’d got the Steel Standard on them and as he only needed 1” to be in combat with them the Knights were in. Bugger.
Elsewhere the other Knights, march blocked by my Great Eagle, just moved up 7”, the Pistoliers did the Fast Cavalry shuffle down Andy’s right flank to end up facing my left-most unit of Dragon Princes. The Great Swords and their detachment continued their advance.
The Wizard cast Forked Lightning at my right-hand Bolt Thrower and managed to put two wounds on the machine. He attempted Portent of Far on the Great Cannon too but failed.
I dispelled both Unbending Righteousness’s that were in effect.
The Empire shooting was a bit more effective this turn with the Great Cannon killing one of the right-most Bolt Thrower crew (although managing to just miss the machine). The mortar misfired while the Pistoliers killed two Dragon Princes.
In combat Andy now revealed the Grand Master’s Sword of Sigismund which with his Initiative meant he would strike before the Sword Masters and he duly killed two. In reply the Sword Masters killed 1 Knight before the Knights killed 2 Sword Masters and the warhorses added another. With the Laurels of Victory doubling the Grand Master’s tally for Combat Resolution the Sword Masters needed Insane Courage and duly fled only to be run down.
High Elves – Turn 2
The Dragon Princes on my left charged the Warrior Priest’s Knights while the Great Eagle flew into march-blocking range of the Great Swords. The other unit of Dragon Princes decided not to hang about any further and moved up, aiming to charge the Great Cannon if any of them were left next turn.
The White Lions moved forward and wheeled slightly to face the Great Swords, the Mage left the Archers so he’d have good aim on the Grand Master’s Knights, while the BSB moved to the other end of the Sea Guard block to try and get the White Lions closer in range for re-rolling Break tests.
Again the Banner of Sorcery yielded 3 power dice which the High Elf magic users promptly put into action.
The Arch Mage went first, putting Doom and Darkness on the Knights that were in combat with my Dragon Princes. A Wind of Death on the Great Swords was dispelled but Dark Hand of Death got through, killing 3. His Ring of Fury was also, well, furious, with 9 hits and 8 wounds on the Greatswords, although only 3 of those wounded died.
The Mage then failed to cast his two spells while targeting the Grand Master’s Knights.
The Bolt Thrower on my right flank shot a bolt at the Grand Master’s Knights who were presenting a tasty flank to shoot at but despite being under half range the bolt failed to hit.
The other Bolt Thrower also chanced a bolt at the Great Swords and failed to hit. In the Sea Guard unit the BSB continued the “Pick on the Great Swords” theme and felled 1, although the Sea Guard’s shooting was again rather disappointing (albeit only 4 had line of sight to the Greatswords).
Finally, the Archers, who had clear line of sight to the Greatswords, scored an impressive 8 hits. Their, elation was short-lived as only 3 of these translated into wounds and only 1 Greatsword died.
The Dragon Princes thundered into the Knights and out of 6 attacks got 4 hits, 4 wounds and 2 dead knights. Still tired from the charge the Elven Steeds failed to score any wounds.
In reply the Knights and their warhorses got a mighty 2 hits and wounds while the Warrior Priest got 1 hit and wound. All of these were saved meaning the combat ended in a draw.
Empire – Turn 3
The only movement was that of the Grand Master’s knights as they turned round to face towards the enemy once more.
The Wizard succeeded in casting Forked Lightning on the Dragon Princes who were advancing towards his hill, killing one of them. His attempt to cast Portent of Far on the Volley Gun was dispelled, as was the Warrior Priest’s attempt to summer the Hammer of Sigmar.
Both Great Cannon and Mortar crews had been on the beer in between rounds and both artillery pieces misfired due to sloppy handling.
The Volley Gun crew had also been imbibing to judge by the fact that the machine misfired on its second barrel and so could only fire 4 shots in the direction of the Dragon Princes. This was still enough to score 2 hits and wounds, although one shot bounced off the Dragon Armour.
The Handgunners, whose champion was a strict tee-totaller and had kept his men off the beer , proved the benefits of keeping a clear head by scoring 5 hits on the Dragon Princes that caused 4 wounds and enough failed armour saves to wipe the unit out.
Having shrugged off the effects of Doom and Darkness the Knights were determined to get revenge for their fallen comrades. Unfortunately in terms of wounds the combat was a no score draw, giving the away team a win on account of outnumbering and having a standard. The Dragon Princes fled 9” only to be run down by the Knights who overran into the Sea Guard.
High Elves – Turn 3
Needing to strut his stuff on his own, and dismissing the Empire artillery as ineffective drunks, the Archmage left the White Lions who reformed to face the Grand Master’s Knights.
Slightly more stingy this turn, the Banner of Sorcery dispensed 2 power dice which, as with the dice it has dispensed previously in the battle, largely went to waste as the Mage failed t o cast a simple Fireball on the Pistoliers.
The Archmage’s attempt to cast Dark Hand of Death on the Grand Master’s Knights brought out the Wizard’s final dispel scroll and all his remaining power dice for Wind of Death (although possibly 1 was reserved for the Ring of Fury which doesn’t seem to have done anything this turn according to my notes, meaning either it was dispelled or I forgot to use it. Both events are equally likely).
The remaining Bolt Thrower crew decided not to chance their dodgy aim on a single bolt this turn and instead unleashed a volley on the Grand Master’s Knights scoring 4 hits (yay!), 3 wounds (yay!) but only one dead knight (boo!).
Up on the hill the Archers shot at the Greatswords, who had curiously decided not to move at all in their last turn, and from 7 hits scored 4 wounds and 4 dead Greatswords. Wondering why their armour was no longer working the Greatswords decided to nip back to the baggage train to have a word with the armourer.
In the fight between the Sea Guard and the Knights the BSB stepped up and slew one of them. Unfortunately his fellows were as inept with their spears as they were with their bows, failing to score any wounds. Although the Warrior Priest was still letting the side down by not killing anyone the Knights and their warhorses killed 3 Sea Guard for a drawn combat.
Empire – Turn 4
As expected the Grand Master and his Knights charged the White Lions this turn.
Elsewhere the Greatswords rallied while their detachment of Halberdiers decided to trek towards the combat with the White Lions in the hope of stealing some glory should the combat last more than one turn.
Not wanting to stick around things that go bang when those things are in the care of a load of drunks, both the Handgunners and Flagellants left their positions guarding the artillery and started moving towards the fighting, although the Wizard decided he’d like a mug of beer and stuck around on the hill.
The Volley Gun crew on the Empire’s right flank also decided they’d like a beer but aware of the punishment for abandoning their weapon they began the laborious process of lugging it across the battlefield.
Finally, the Pistoliers decided that if they wanted a beer too they’d better finish off the enemy and get over to the hill before it was all gone and so took up position behind the hill in the High Elf deployment zone.
The Wizard cast Forked Lightning at the Archmage across the field but the Elf haughtily cast aside the magical energy. Aware of just how much the Great Cannon crew had drunk already he then tried to cast Portent of Far on them but, starting to feel the effects of the booze himself, he failed.
The Warrior Priest with the Knights attempted to summon the Soulfire to smite the Sea Guard but the power of the Elven mages was ample to thwart the human god.
Drunk as they were, it was no surprise to see the Great Cannon crew fire over the top of the Archmage. The Mortar crew, who had thus far managed to refrain from the booze, landed a shot on top of the Elven Archers on the hill opposite, killing 4.
The Pistoliers saw a chance for glory and shot at the Archmage, between them putting 2 wounds on him.
Swinging the mighty Sword of Sigismund the Templar Grand Master felled 2 White Lions. In return the woodsmen could only topple 1 Knight while Knights killed another White Lion. Losing the combat the White Lions fled and were run down.
Across the other side of the battlefield neither the High Elf BSB or the Sea Guard could manage to kill a Knight while the Warrior Priest killed 1 of the Sea Guard with the Knights killing another for the combat to end in stalemate.
High Elves – Turn 4
Due to a bit of a cock-up (namely I seem to have not written any notes for nearly all of my turn 4) the things I can say that happened this turn are that my Level 2 Mage cast a Fireball at the Pistoliers, with and unknown effect, and that the Knights either drew the combat with the Sea Guard again or the Sea Guard held. I think that the Warrior Priest targeted and killed the BSB here as I’ve no notes for later in the battle that indicated he took any further part in it..
Empire – Turn 5
The Greatswords, mightily relieved that there were now a lot fewer sharp pointy things flying through the air at them, decided to charge the Great Eagle.
The Templar Grand Master decided he could run the battle more effectively without the hindrance of the Knights’ standard bearer and so left him to his own devices.
Desperate for beer, the Volley Gun crew carried on lugging their machine across the battlefield while the Halberdiers decided to get some revenge for their mauled parent unit and turned towards the Archers on the hill.
Slightly more sober this turn the Wizard cast Forked Lightning at the active Bolt Thrower but this was dispelled. He did succeed in casting Portent of Far on the Great Cannon.
Both Warrior Priests attempted to summon Soulfire and both were thwarted.
The Wizard had been wise to cast Portent of Far on the Great Cannon crew as they were still clearly intoxicated. Unfortunately the Wizard’s efforts were for naught as again the crew shot over the Bolt Thrower they were aiming at.
The Mortar crew again enjoyed some success, landing a shot on top of the Archers, killing 2 and also causing a wound to the nearby Mage.
Having advanced up the field the Handgunners shot at the Bolt Thrower but could only make a single hit on the machine itself, destroying it.
Taking aim the Pistoliers shot at the Archmage, scoring 4 hits and 4 wounds to kill the Elf General.
Finally into combat, the Warrior Priest on foot and the Great Swords wasted no time putting 3 wounds onto the Great Eagle, enough to kill it before it had a chance to strike back.
Without the BSB to lead them the Sea Guard failed to kill any of the Knights and saw three of their fellows cut down. Turning tail they ran only to be run down.
High Elves – Turn 5
With the battle lost the remaining crew member of the Bolt Thrower charged the Standard Bearer of the Knights.
The Mage also had a taste for glory as he cast a Fireball on the Grand Master. Rolling the maximum 6 hits he then rolled 4 wounds – only to see all 4 saved.
An attempt to cast Wall of Fire on the Warrior Priest’s knights failed.
The remaining Archers shot at the Greatswords but failed to kill any.
The Bolt Thrower crewman scored 1 hit and 1 wound on the Standard Bearer but his shot at glory was foiled by the armour. The Knight and horse failed to kill him in return but he held.
Empire – Turn 6
There was a bit of shuffling round by the Flagellants and Pistoliers while the Halberdiers moved to the foot of the hill in my deployment zone where they were joined by the Grand Master.
Forked Lightning was cast at the Mage who perished in blaze of lightning.
The Great Cannon crew were still to sober up and overshot the Archers while the Mortar crew landed a shot on top of the Archers, finishing them off.
The Bolt Thrower crewman failed to hit wound the Standard Bearer who didn’t feel like returning the compliment and dispatched the last elf on the battlefield.
 It wasn’t until a few days after the battle when I was checking a few items on Andy’s list that he mentioned to me that there’s some debate as to whether he could buy 10 Halberdiers or not as a detachment. My reading of it is not – regardless of whether the player plans to put a character in the unit, the unit size for determining detachment size is solely that of the parent unit as bought.
Well this continues a run of pretty poor form for me really. It’s as if it were a tradition, an old charter or something.
I keep meaning to do myself some reference sheets for the various armies so that I hopefully don’t get caught out by things such as not knowing that the Templar Grand Master is Immune to Psychology and confers this to the Knight unit he joins. However, what with having umpteen projects on the go I haven’t got round to doing it. Admittedly it wouldn’t have helped me realise what standard the Grand Master’s unit of Knights was running but might have helped me to guess.
I think a made a few cock-ups deployment-wise. The Dragon Princes on the left should have gone opposite the Pistoliers so at the least they might have been able to force them back, although there would always have been the risk of ending up in front of the Volley Gun on that flank.
The BSB should probably have gone with the Archers rather than the Sea Guard, although those two units should probably have been deployed the other way round. Either way he was never really anywhere that a unit could have made use of the break test re-rolls, which could have been crucial for both the Sword Masters and White Lions.
During the game I realised I had no clue what to do with the Great Eagle. Essentially it has only ended up in the list for when I’m facing Orcs and Goblins and need to draw out Fanatics. I guess I could have used it to charge the Warrior Priest’s Knights in the rear as a couple of extra attacks and in fact I probably would have done if it was US5 as it would then have been affecting combat resolution.
Elsewhere I was annoyed that the White Lions didn’t at least last more than 1 round of combat, bearing in mind that they’re Stubborn, and I wish that the Sea Guard would kill something once in a while.
The biggest annoyance throughout the game was the number of times the Mage and Archmage failed to meet the casting values for spells. Without them forcing Andy to throw dispel dice at the spells the Ring of Fury was pretty much wasted as he had dispel dice to spare to cancel it out.
Next time I plan to switch back to a Level 4 mage but maybe give him the item that allows him to know an additional spell and then give the Seerstaff to the Level 2 Mage so I can be sure of getting the spells I want on him and pretty sure of getting the spell I want on the Level 4.
Great report as always Sorberec. I really appreciate the effort you put into the diagrams and stuff that you draw, it makes the game much easier to follow.
On the eagle, I think that I would have used him in tandem with one of your dragon prince units to try and get into the empire back line.
On another note I think that you had some rotten luck there.
Thanks again for the report better luck next time, the adjustments to your list make a lot of sense.
That is an epic battle report. Great job! Obviously some high elf spies got in on the thirsty Empire crew.
In the end I think I forgot about it after I moved it up to march-block the Greatswords as normally it's dead by the end of Turn 2.
Just remembered one of the other things I was planning to mention in the conclusion, namely that I should have turned the Dragon Princes on the right flank around and brought them round the back of the woods and into the centre of the battlefield so that at least they might have had a chance to get into combat.
nobly fought, regardless.
If you were going to use DP in a flanking manuever anyhow, you could have saved points and used Reaver Knights instead, which would have been just as deadly and cost less.
I don't know about that... They don't hit as hard on the charge and they sure as heck won't last as long if they start taking attacks back. I might try Reavers in a variant of this list now I'm no longer maxing out on my special slots but probably in the traditional light cavalry role.