Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dark Elf - Skaven Battle Report

I got a chance over the Holiday to play my buddy RPA and his Skaven using the new book. I was also running some new stuff as I had, in an attempt to power up my DE a bit, brought some new toys I never fielded before, mainly the manticore, hydra, and Cauldron. This led to a LONG game as we both had a lot to look up, but it was also very interesting and a good learning experience.

My list was:
Dreadlord: manty, regen armor, Crimson Death (always S6), 2 nullstones (MR2)
Hag: Cauldron, D3 A's, BSB
Sorceress - level 1, 2 dispel
Sorceress - level 1, 1 dispel
Assassin - manbane S is always 1 higher), extra hw, D3 A's
15 warriors
15 warriors
5 Dark Riders
5 Dark Riders
5 Dark Riders w/bows
5 harpies
8 shades
7 Witchelves
5 Cold One Knights
1 Reaper Bolt Thrower
1 Hydra

(arrayed for battle)

His Army, while not exact was something like:
Grey Seer on Bell w/ huge unit of clan rats
Level 2 Warlock
Level 2 Warlock
Level 1 Plague Priest in unit of plague monks
2 units of slaves
1 more unit of clan rats w/ plague mortar
6 plague censors
1 unit of gutter runners
Doom Wheel
I would say this is a pretty powerful skaven build. Granted, the Bell may not end up being as optimal as the Furnace, but in this game, it was hard as nails and couldn't be stopped. He had the two destructive Rares and 11 powerdice, plus a bound. I think if he dropped the gutter runners and brought another unit of Censors, this could be a top tourny list, but maybe that's because we don't have all the tricks figured out yet.

My deployment saw me putting most of my army in the middle, with my Dark Riders out wide to flank. I also had major concerns about his Abonination, and put my hydra to might right flank to counter his drop. My manty went behind the hill to protect it, which given his lack of shooting was probably a mistake, especially with MR 2. RPA did a great job deploying, clusturing his troops in the middle, with the Abom and DoomWheel each out to a flank.
I got first turn and advanced my army up towards his. At first I sort of regretted this, but when his magic phase came later that turn, I knew I needed to get in his face. My magic was ineffective b/c he was generating too many dispel dice. In the shooting phase, I decided to pour fire into his grey seer and see if I could take him out. I"m still not sure if this was dumb or smart. The Seer is a large target on the bell, but is only hit on a randomized 6. Once he's hit, he has a 4+ ward (which sure felt like a 2+). My problem is I didn't put every shot every turn on him, and this cost me. I should have either left him alone or just focused on him. End result, no casulties or wounds from my shooting. In his turn he started his magic onslaught and I was able to avoid taking too much damage by good use of dispel dice and burning through 2 scrolls. He did make his slaves poisened, but no big deal there. He also advaced his Abom and Wheel, getting really nice 3D6 rolls for both, and this put pressure on me early. I think one of my biggest problems this game was not knowing how to deal with these two guys.
Turn 2 saw me move up again, now committing to releasing some magic pressure by trying to kill his mages before my scorlls were all gone. I moved my Harpies up to pull his Censors out of his line, as they were head straight at my shades in the woods. Then I made a big mistake. I forgot the Abom pivots then moves. SO I moved my Hydra out of the woods and past the abom to snipe him with my flame breath. Silly me! Again, I had zero magic go through, and I killed almost nothing with my shooting. I also forgot to revel my assassin, as he might have been able to do some damage. In RPA's turn, his gutter runners turned up. He charged his poisened slaves into my shades, and combo charged my WE's with some slaves and guttern runners with a warlock engineer, and charged my hydra with his Abom, In the magic phase he again throwing lots of heat in my face with wither and warp lightning. I avoided most of the worst of it. In his shooting phase, his Doom Wheel rolled well and blasted a unit of dark riders. During combat, my shades held off his slaves, but the new slaves blow up and do d3 wounds took 2 of my shades out. My WE's performed well when the sole remaining witchelf used her cauldren granted KB to take out the Warlock Engineer and then made her stubborn test to hold.

The Hydra-Abom combat did not go well. The impact hits plus 3D6 S6 attacks were too much for me, and I lost combat and died. You can see this epic encounter below, with my proxied carnasaur and his proxied GUO filling in for our models.

Turn 3 the tide really started to roll against me. I charged the Cauldron into the the two units being held up by the WE. I also hit the same slaves in the rear with my flanking Dark Riders. This put hte cauldron at risk to die from the Abom later, as it would, but its ability to face any direction and roll meant I probably couldn't avoid him anyway. I again failed to kill much with shooting as the Grey Seer ward saved again and agian... i don't think he ever took a wound this game. I won the combat, but was forced to pursue cross my own battle line from right to left. I also charged my assassin into the Bell and my Cold One knights. My assasin with his 5 hatred attacks failed to cause a single wound to the Grey Seer. My knight did some damage, but didn't break him and my assassin was forced to break b/c he was outnumbered by a fear causer. We weren't sure how to play this, as the CO Knights did cause fear, but since the Assassin is a seperate unit, we decided he probably did have to flee. Anyone know how to play that? So my assassin who couldn't do dick is now on the run. In his turn, he had a nice magic phase. First, he rings the bell and gets a 13, which means all my MSU units got rocked. Every unit I had on the board was in range and my T3 low armor meant that every unit took 1-2 causalties. He then drops the scorch template on me and takes oult 10 warriors. Man, the new template rules are harsh!!! Then the Abom charged my cauldron and smoked it as he again rolled 3D6 S6 attacks.
In turn 4, I had turned my Manticore lord towards his Doom Wheel on turn 3. I wasn't sure if I could take him, but I wanted the option. This is also where we both kinda screwed up. We thought the Doom Wheel moved like the Abom, which is crazy powerful. But it doesn't. Despite it's 3D6 move, since it moves like a chariot, I think it can only only charge what it can see at the start of it's turn. Anyway, of course my lord fails his manticore test, and is now frenzied, and must charge the wheel. This is going to be dicey. Again, my shooting and magic was ineffective. In combat, my Lord did one wound with his 5 S6 hated attacks and my Manty did a wound with his 5 S5 hatred attacks. Coming back, the manty took 2 wounds and we drew. not good. in his phase, he again hit me with magic, and rang the the bell to get, you guess it, another 13. So again my units got smoked and ALL his clan rats got to attack my knights, finishing them off. In the shooting phase he rolled S10 for his doom wheel which refused to misfire, and this randomized onto my lord, who died a horrible death. His wheel then ground my riderless manitcore to the ground, and it was game over.
Overall, it was slow but very fun and a good experience. RPA deployed his units very well, and did a great job using the rares and his massive casting dice to keep the pressure on me. What cost me was my inability to deal with those big rares. Also, RPA rolled very well, and never once had a costly miscast, misfire, or Bell roll. He definatly outplayed me, but a little better luck and he may have lost a key unit, giving me a chance to breath and play him to a closer result. All in all a fun battle, and I think the Skaven are going to be a fun and viable army going forward.



Darth Weasel said...

lol wow, a mixed blessing; in our group, the Dark Elf army is by far the most powerful, most overpowered, most dominant army, so from strictly a "vengeance on the army I struggle mightily with" angle, I like seeing the Dark Elf army getting beat. On the dark side, we have a guy who plays Skaven who it sounds like just went from a decent army to a very strong one...

sounds like a fun game

Nitz said...

well, I played DE in 6th, and it was very important to me when the new book came out to bring a compy DE army. So, I have not maximized a lot of it's best parts. I still need to work through the magical mix of tough but yet fun to play against. It's a hard line to walk with DE.

It was a great game, but it'll be much better next time as we'll surely have less to look up which means it'll flow much better

Darth Weasel said...

Ha, you optimist :-) We have been playing again for almost a year now, and in some ways, there is MORE we have to look up...

I struggle with that mix a lot. Oddly, to balance it, I am leaning towards using more magic since I have found it less effective than just sending forth my Knights