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Second ever game with my Dark Elves... first being a mirror match that ended in a draw. Time to see how I fare against the pesky treehuggers.
Sorceress (Lvl 2 Dark Magic, Sacrifical Dagger, Focus Familiar) - Chillwind, Bladewind
Assassin (Mark of Khaine, Dark Venom, Dance of Doom)
10 x Repeater Crossbows (shields)
15 x Dark Elf Warriors (shields, full command))
20 x Dark Elf Corsairs (full command)
5 x Cold One Knights (full command, Banner of Hag Graef)
Spellsinger (Lvl 2, Dispel Scroll, <Magic item>) - Tree Singing, The Hidden Path
14 x Glade Guard (Lord's Bowman)
12 (?) x Dryads (Branchnymph)
10 x Scouts (Lord's Bowman)
8 x Glade Riders (Horsemaster)
6 x Waywatchers (Champion)
Hills on opposite corners, with woods in a line on the other diagonal. The Wood Elf 'free wood' went dead centre.
The Repeater Crossbows were put on the left hill, with the warriors sitting behind the hill, and the Cold Ones and Corsairs flanking the Warriors. The Sorceress and Assassin both went with the Warriors. I'd spread out a lot in my last match, and thought that having a tighter deployment would help.
The Glade Guard went on the right hill, with the Glade Riders behind the left forest staring down my Cold Ones, and the Dryads behind the centre forest. The Scouts went in the centre forest, and the Waywatchers in the left forest.
Wood Elf Turn 1
Mass advance. The Waywatchers and Scouts moved forward to the edge of the forest, the Dryads advanced and the Glade Riders swung around into the gap between the left and centre forest. The Spellsinger unleashed a barrage of Tree Singing, and got two of them through, moving the centre forest towards my lines.
Five of my RXBs were turned into pincushions by the withering hail of fire from the Scouts, Glade Riders and Waywatchers. Could've been worse.
Dark Elf Turn 1
The Waywatchers and their Killing Blow made me twitchy, so I marched my Warriors forwards, and swung the Cold Ones around behind them. The Corsairs steadily advanced towards the centre forest.
I managed to get Power of Darkness off, generating 4 dice, giving me 7 to cast two spells. Chillwind killed off four Waywatchers, who subsequently failed their panic test and fled, but Bladewind miscast, killing two warriors and injuring my Sorceress. The RXBs shot at the Glade Riders, killing one.
Wood Elf Turn 2
The Waywatchers rallied, and the Dryads and Glade Guard moved further towards my lines - though due to their poor positioning, the Glade Guard still couldn't draw line of sight. Tree Singing was cast, but not much was done with it. The Glade Riders plunged through a gap in my lines, and sat behind my Corsairs. Shooting took down a few Warriors, and forced the Cold Ones to take some armour saves (all passed).
Dark Elf Turn 2
Many dilemmas here. I knew the Scouts were close, but were they close enough to be charged by my Cold Ones? Likewise for my Warriors against the Dryads? I declared both charges. The Cold Ones breezed through the Stand and Shoot, and then I measured the distance... 13 inches. Perfect. Both charges hit home. The Corsairs spun around to face the Glade Riders, while the RXBs rotated to face them as well.
Magic phase, Power of Darkness was dispelled and Bladewind on the Glade Riders was scrolled. Bit of a let-down, but oh well. The RXBs shot down another Glade Rider, then it was combat.
The Cold Ones slaughtered five Scouts with no losses, easily winning the combat, and managed to overrun straight into the Spellsinger lurking on the other side of the wood. He chose to flee, leaving the Knights looking at a rather annoyed unit of Glade Guard. In the other combat, I unveiled my Assassin and declared a challenge.
The Branchnymph was hacked to bloody pieces for a 4-pt Overkill, thanks to Dark Venom, and the Warriors killed off another Dryad. In return two Warriors were torn apart by woody fingers. Overkill made the difference, and the Dryads narrowly failed their leadership, safely outpacing the Dark Elves.
Wood Elf Turn 3
With two core units in tatters in one round of close combat and the Waywatchers severely depleted, things were looking bad. The Glade Riders ducked around my line of sight again to continue harassing the Corsairs, the Glade Guard rotated to face the Cold Ones and the Waywatchers moved to cover the Dryads, who had failed to rally. His Spellsinger did rally, however.
We had to roll a dice to work out whether my Cold Ones were inside the forest they'd overrun through - turned out they were. Treesinging took out three of them, and they failed their panic test, ending up half an inch from the Glade Riders. The Glade Riders shot at the Corsairs, whose cloaks allowed them to shrug it off.
Dark Elf Turn 3
Critically, the Cold Ones failed to rally, resulting in them fleeing straight through the Glade Riders. Ouch. Elsewhere, the Warrior unit charged the Waywatchers, and the Corsairs and RXBs continued rotating to look at the annoying cavalry.
Power of Darkness failed, so I scanned around for a target - and spotted the lone Spellsinger. Bladewind was successfully cast, and the wizard was torn to pieces by spectral swords. The RXBs took out another Glade Rider.
At this point, we had to finish. We didn't bother playing out the combat with the Warriors - he simply removed both the Waywatchers and Dryads. Despite the painful loss of the Cold Ones (talk about a wasted banner) and the injured Sorceress, the Wood Elves had taken heavy casualties and made the result pretty clear. The relatively intact Glade Riders and Glade Guard helped pull some points back, but...
Dark Elf Minor Victory
The Sacrificial Dagger was wasted points. Against a Dwarf army or something similar, it might be worth it, but I never got into a situation where I felt the loss of a Warrior was worth the extra power dice. Focus Familiar was well worth it, but I think it might be better to give her an Elven Steed and put her with a unit of Dark Riders. My first game was thoroughly crippled because his Harpies were able to single her out from the Spearmen and tear her apart - a more mobile unit could be for the best.
I completely let the Glade Riders dominate two units totalling nearly a third of my points - with a little more care, I could have either forced them to back off or simply ignored them. It's definitely given me ideas for using Dark Riders and/or Harpies, however - the instinct on seeing enemies in your lines is to react to them.
The loss of the Cold Ones was unfortunate and unavoidable, but the Banner of Hag Graef was wasted points. What was going to be charging me in a Woodsy army? To be honest, if I can't hack through the enemy in the first round with them on the charge, it's probably not going to go well. Hag Graef is an Executioner/Black Guard toy.
Assassins rock. Dark Venom (doubled overkill points) really tipped the balance of a potentially hairy combat - 5 attacks with hatred still only produced one casualty against Dryads.
More mobility. I was lucky here - my opponent was overconfident and got close rather than kiting - my losses could have been greater otherwise. I'd definitely like one or two units of Dark Riders to harry flanks with. They're expensive, but the Warriors have been consistently underwhelming. I'd also like to look at some Harpies and expanding my Cold Ones - they hit like a ton of bricks, and having a couple of units should give a few opponents heart attacks.