Warhammer Fantasy Battle 6ed game: Dark Elves vs Wood Elves 2250pts
Report and story: Moudy, Jakub Polkowski
Art: Katarzyna Borek-Polkowska
We are using folding table and mats from Urbanmatz
The wind crept up on him like the sleep does - slithering from the recesses of his mind to suddenly overtake it, then blanket it with dreams that shall not be remembered. It had the taste of evening gloom. Sheer will set his shadowy, ethereal stature in its way - as far as anything could move in the realm where thoughts were sharpened to an edge but nothing was substantial enough to be cut. The blanket of dreams parted for split aeon and a blurry shape drew something from underneath.
It was was bright and full and a contrast to everything surrounding it. Imagined palm extended to expose the soul it held to the wind.
And the wind carried its scent to other dreamers.
He followed, dragged back to the world of sensation and pain by a whip-like strike to his bloodied face. Viviethiel gasped, almost knocked to the ground by the Black Ark captain’s hand.
— Listen to me when I speak. - the Druchii lord scolded the kneeling, almost bowing mage, humbled as he was dragged there in chains by Kilthir, the sole survivor of corsairs who accompanied him to Athel Loren. Vivithiel’s sarcasm was gone as his position deteriorated from unenviable to untenable.
— I could still be of use to your crew, my lord, you know that. Imagine merely th... -
— I imagine I risked too much supporting hunted renegades. Mayhap you could prove useful. Mayhap I could get a prize from the Convent by delivering your brother’s dead body alongside your corpse so you wouldn’t speak against me, what do you say?
Vivithiel didn’t answer, his eyes gazing at black metal and salt that composed the floor of captain’s chamber. He felt the stare of Kilthir on his back (which was at least better than the hilt of his blade) and knew manipulation and lies will not get him out of this situation.
No... he laid his hopes in the desire for vengeance.
— I thought you might have nothing to say. But I am reasonable. - the captain assured his erstwhile ally in a bemused tone - You have until we reach the Golden Desert of northern Lustria to figure out a way to be more useful living then dead. Take him away.
It’s been a while but it’s good to be back. And to make things better, we’re goin’ big this time!
Jakub invited me over again so that we may both try out our lists for the upcoming Chwacka Akcja Eskalacja tourney and here we go again. Having suffered an enjoyable (yet heartfelt!) defeat I decided this time thing will be different. This time I’ll be fielding units to go in for a kill!
And thus I knew there’ll be a dragon, blocks of spearelves, four ballistas, cold one chariots... only, well, none of it was painted. Screw this, a victory without style is no victory at all! With this new paradigm in mind I went for something I might have mentioned (like a hundred times) earlier: my favourite thing in Dark Elves army, the regiments of beautiful infantry. Warhammer, 6th edition especially, has always been for me about blocks of infantry fighting things. My first contact with the models are photos of battles right after the cover of 5th edition army book of the Druchii and guess what draws eye there - three regiments, including corsairs, black guards and witch elves. Despite collecting for more than 15 years I still don’t have witch elves... However, I’ve got a unit of my favourite models of all time - Executioners. Repairing their swords is like battlefield maintenance of WWII tanks but no matter - I’m gonna take them! Besides these Khainites I field a block of corsairs and, believe it or not, Black Guard, who have a reputation of being a poor unit - that was spawned before the Dark Elves army book errata I believe. It corrected them by way of giving them Eternal Hatred. They are still very expensive, given their Toughness and Armour Save... and of course they compete with 2 Bolt Throwers for a Rare slot. Still, I’ve got only two other ballistas and thus they make it in.
An elf army is no army without cavalry and thus, as usual, I field two units of Dark Riders. This time without crossbows just because these are very costly. In addition to that, a unit of Cold One Knights comes equipped with the Banner of Murder for this battle.
In the shooting department, the good old crossbowmen make it by an inch, only due to the cool artwork they got in the book. Last time they were surprisingly effective (due to the fact that all of my 6s rolled for the entire army got condensed in the rolls I made for this single unit) and while I feel they are mostly support and can’t really perform in an all-comers list, they will at least get another reason for Jakub’s forces to advance towards me. If they manage to get off a salvo against Wild Riders, they might make a major difference in the grand scheme of things. Two Repeater Bolt Throwers are an obvious must-have.
Finally, characters. Since this is an all-comers list that will (with modifications) be taken to the tournament, I felt a need for two caddies. They might not be an overkill even for this battle - for the longest time Jakub had been talking about not only taking a Spellweaver (and not just for magic defence, he actually wants her to be Lvl4 and increase Alethir’s level) and of course I have little doubts that he is going to field two Treemen, both with a handy bound spell. All of this would be pretty soft magic compared to High Elven onslaught of Lore of Fire, Skaven with a Grey Seer and three engineers, Vampire Counts and other sweet things of this sort.
In the end, I really wanted to field a Black Dragon, but I would have had to hurry too much and couldn’t finish painting it to a satisfactory level in time for our battle. It will definitely be present during the tournament (prolly in place of the Crossbowmen and the Corsair’s champion), but right now I’ll stick to a Highborn on Manticore. It’s not the same - it cannot truly engage a Treemen while a Dragon-mounted lord could, but it’ll do just fine.
This is it, people. Let’s kill us some Wood Elves using Black Guard!
Full army list
Wood Elves army
This battle report will be a little bit different than the previous ones. We are playing points format of
the third game that from the “Akcja Chwaca Eskalacja” tournament. For me this is the first attempt to play
with the Wood Elves using Lords. Yes. My Wood Elves were “design” as a army for small points formats.
For this tournament I had to pick an additional Hero/Lord and a second rare choice. The latter one was an
easy pick - the second treeman. What is more - this was a perfect opportunity to FINALLY paint the Durthu,
who was in my backlog for years. The first choice was much more difficult. What lord should I select? A
fighting one? On a dragon? A shooty one? Or maybe a magic one? After a long, looooong time I decided that
I will try to use a Alter Nobel Lord - so please welcome Gelorn, who will be equipped with the Helm of the
Hunt, Annoyance of Netlings and Stone of the Crystal Mere. I added a second caddy - Eletha, who will support Alethir. Final choice from this section is as always taken by Dongaer – the Army Battle Standard bearer with a Hail of Doom Arrow.
Core section is a typical mix of two units of Glade Guardians and three units of Dryads. In special section there are two units of Wardancers and a unit of the Wild Riders.
Rare slots are filled with “oak-brothers”. And this is is.
Model-wise my army is smaller than the 1999 one but the concept is similar. Alter Lord is quite powerful but putting to much faith in him can be a bit risky. The thing that I am most worried about are dragons. I have no idea how to deal with them - they are fast, tough and to add even more - breath fire(double wounds! Hoorayy! ;) ).
Well... maybe Elves should stay in the forest after all...
Full army list
Mission: Pitched battle
Alethir (WE) Lore of Loren: Tree singing
Eletha (WE) Lore of Loren: Hidden Path
Vivithiel (DE) Lore of death: Dark Hand of Death
Phantasm (DE) Lore of death: Dark Hand of Death
Wood elves won the roll-off for the side selection. Dark elves won the roll-off who will deploy first and opted that Asrai will deploy first.
Roll-off for the first turn was won by the Druchii.
They landed the night before and immediately marched out. Before dark the small army reached the sight of three ziggurats - naked bone-white stone protruding from the rocky desert. The sorcerer didn’t beg or plead or lie. He seemed broken and void of any hope.
The captain had seen this place before. As he watched the distant temples he remembered slaying the lizard defenders of the place and hauling the riches beyond imagination. This was his greatest conquest and his safe haven. He pointed at the middle ziggurat with his claw-like finger.
— Tomorrow - he announced from the hilltop, surrounded by his lieutenants - we shall make a sacrifice in Khaine’s name, to earn his favour. Behold the altar of your demise, sorcerer.
Vivithiel barely registered the shape cast against dark horizon. He had lived as though he still dreamed, rendered indifferent by his abuse. The Collector - leader of the executioners that priestesses of Khaine gave him due to their shared enmity with the Convent - looked down at the sorcerer, somewhat bemused by the irony. He nodded at captain’s words just as a mounted figure reached them, riding back from the vicinity of the ziggurats. The jet black steed harshly stopped right next to them, dancing a circle as the rider was gathering her breath.
— My captain! - she addressed their leader who still seemed to not notice her, lost in memories of pillage and slaughter - We made a most perplexing discovery. - she collected herself - There is a forest growing at the steps of the main ziggurat!
The captain turned his head to the scout, his gaze so focused on her that he missed the silent sigh of the sorcerer.
— What...? - bewildered, he whispered upon contemplating the revelation.
— ...they have followed us...
As bruised, mistreated Vivithiel raised voice, all eyes turned to him - ...through means too mystical for you to comprehend. I remember their seer. I have... briefly encountered him in the netherworld during the battle. Even now I sense his presence and he is not alone this time.
— And you said nothing.
Vivithiel turned to face captain, this time his voice oozing bemusement and barely contained feeling of superiority.
— You wished to sacrifice me. It seems you must fight your way through Asrai to this temple. - he pointed at the structure.
Silence fell on them. It was broken after a long moment of captain`s deliberation. His eyes were once again fixed on the ziggurats. This time he sounded matter-of-fact in a pragmatic way.
— Your sorcery is intimately engaged with death. Can you bring one back?
— Your brother.
Vivithiel blinked at the suggestion. There many reasons why he wouldn’t want to do it. It was unthinkable to discern them now, but...
— It would cost me most of my power if not kill me outright. - he admitted - And... it wouldn’t really be Vorathion, merely his simulacrum... a shadow. A phantasm.
— Do it. And if we win the day, the sacrifice will be made ten times over and you will have proven that maybe... there is a reason to let you live.
Despite the demeaning words, the tone of captain`s voice discerned uncertainty and Vivithiel couldn’t help but smile.
Dark elves turn 1
Cold One Knights managed to keep control over their steeds and moved forward. Just behind them were the Dark Riders and a Manticore ridden by the Highborn. The Executioners and the Black Guards aligned with the Cold One Knights.
On the left flank, the unit of Dark Riders moved forward to endanger the Wild Riders.
On the right flank the Corsairs moved behind the Ziggurat to intercept Dryads and the Crossbowmen moved slightly to be in range to the Dryads.
The Druchii sorcerers were out of range so no spells were cast.
Bolt Thrower on the right flank shot at the Glade Guard at the hill and failed to kill a single elf! The second machine opened fire at the other unit of archers and caused a single casualty. Last but not least were the Crossbowmen, but they failed even to inflict a single wound.
Wood elves turn 1
Every unit in a Wood Elves army moved. Left flank was prepared for a Druchii advance in the following turn.
The Glade Guard wheeled to be able to shoot at the Dark Riders near the Wild Riders. Dongaer moved forward to be able to utilize Hail of Doom Arrows.
On the right flank the Dryads dashed forward to encircle the Druchii battle line and the Glade Guard moved just a little bit to be in range to the Crossbowmen.
Magic phase begun with twice attempts of Tree Singing made by the Oak Brothers. Both of them were dispelled using dispel dice. Attempt made by Alethir was denied with the phantasm using his dispel scroll. In the end Eletha managed to cast the Hidden Path at the Glade Guard on the left flank.
Dongaer was not sure about the distance to the Manticore and opted to use Hail of Doom Arrows against the Black Guard. The roll was only 7 and in the result only 3 of the Druchii elites died.
Dongaer brought his bow to bear. His eyes half-closed, he focused on the regiment of Druchii elite, telling one figure from another to ensure that each shot would kill. Then, after a heartbeat he let loose and arrow after arrow, his hand guided perfectly by the magic of his bow. Only when he found his magical quiver empty did he look again to examine the results - there lay bodies, but merely a few. Many broke the arrows that pierced both flesh and bloodied steel, gritting their teeth and marching on.
Glade Guard opened fire at the Dark Riders and managed to kill a single cavalry model. The unit on the hill wounded 2 of the Druchii crossbowmen but both were saved by their armour!
Dark elves turn 2
Cold One Knights decided that that is the right time. They declared a charge against the Wardancers. The same target was selected by the Dark Riders who were just behind them. It was time to check the result from the Banner of Murder.
A "1" rolled and the charge was barely failed. To make things even worse - that meant that the Dark Riders also failed their charge.
That was a blow for a Druchii force. All remaining units moved to compensate for the almost decided fate of the Knights and Dark Riders.
On the right flank the Corsairs closed the gap to prevent closer Dryads to pass them.
Again magic phase was omitted.
The Bolt Thrower on the left flank launched a single missile at the Treeman outside the forest but failed to hit.
The crossbowmen again target at the Dryads but failed to wound.
The other machine shot at the Glade Guard at the hill and this time managed to kill 3 of the forest defenders causing a panic check, which the Asrai passed.
Wood elves turn 2
In this turn the winner could be decided, but the Wood Elves greed made it to the top.
The shapeshifter’s keen eyes witnessed the silvery figures on savage steeds as they lowered their lances and began their charge. He glanced at the Wild Riders as they started their ride, unseen by the wicked knights. The Druchii seemed too far to reach the elves gathered around him before he and the companions of Kurnous would intercept them. Then, the banner of the knights was raised high as though to invoke some unspoken power. But nothing happened and they started to slow down, mid-charge. Gelorn knew now was the time and sprinted as he transformed.
Gelorn and the Wild Riders declared a charge against the Cold One Knights, who decided to hold. The Shapeshifter passed his fear test and reached the cavalry unit. But the distance between Wild Riders and the Knights was to long, and they failed their charge, leaving Gelorn alone in the fight...
Both Treemen moved to secure rest of the army should the Alter fail.
The Dryads entered the forest in the center and the Wardancers encircled the Black Guards. Dongaer moved away out of line of sight of the Highborn. The bigger unit of Wardancers and both Spellsingers followed suit.
On the right flank the Glade Guard changed their formation into a single line and header toward the Bolt Thrower. Dryads that were closer to the edge continued their march to the hill occupied by the Bolt Thrower and the Crossbowmen.
In the magic phase, the only spell that was not blocked by the Druchii sorcerers was the
Hidden Path that affected the Treeman next to the Black Guard.
Shooting phase started with 7 remaining Glade Guardians shooting at the distant Bolt Thrower. 4 arrows hit the unit. 2 arrows were in a crew and both of them were pierced by eagle-eye shots!
This volley caused a muscle cramp in Moudy's right foot!
The second unit of Glade Guard open fire at the Manticore. They managed to inflict 2 wounds on the beast.
First Treeman used his root attack against the Dark Riders behind the Cold One Knights but the "2" was rolled and a single elf was killed.
In close combat Gelorn rolled terribly for hit and some knights passed their saves - as a result only 2 Knights were killed. That was not enough - the combat was a draw. But the Knights had a musician which meant that Alter Highborn lost. The fear and outnumber combination forced him to run away 14 inches. The Knights followed but were too slow to catch him, even though they reached the Glade Guard unit.
Dark elves turn 3
The previous turn was a disaster for the Asrai. This was the moment to land a killing blow by the Druchii.
All units passed terror tests.
The Dark Riders declared a charge against the Wild Riders exposed flank and failed their fear test.
We made an error here - the Wild Rider are causing fear ONLY when they have a musician and are charging! After the game we rolled to see how it would end if we played it right - the Dark Riders did nothing, a single Wild Rider and his mount killed 2 of them...
The second unit of the Dark Riders joined the fight against the Glade Guard.
The Black Guard charged the Treeman. They lost 7 out their number due to the stand and shoot reaction but they passed a panic test.
The Manticore with a Highborn charged Dryads in the forest.
The Crossbowmen wheeled to be able to shoot at the Dryads.
For the first time the Druchii could use their magic. The phantasm tried to cast a Dark Hand of Death but rolled a miscast "7". Vivithiel did a little better rolling to cast "1" and "2"...
The crossbowmen started the shooting phase with a multiple salvo at the Dryads. Even though they were hitting on a "7" two of the forest spirits had been slain!
The remaining Bolt Thrower shot at the Wardancers near the Ziggurat and managed to kill two of them.
Cold One Knights killed 3 of the archers and the Dark Riders added one more. That meant that fear&outnumber was in play again. Both units opted to chase the Glade Guard and even though the archers managed to escape the Knights made into a contact with Alter Lord making him run away from the battlefield.
We had a long discussion how the escape route of the archers should look like. Due to some time
limitations we didn't look into Annual 2002 for long enough. As the result - this was played in an incorrect way.
The path of pursuit should not affect Alter Lord since the arrival of the Dark Riders actually
influenced the escape route. But still - that made this game much more interesting.
The Highborn with the Manticore easily killed 5 Dryads. The forest spirits failed they break test and were caught by chasing monster, who pursued into abandoned Dongaer...
The Black Guard managed to inflict a single wound on a Treeman. In return he butchered 3 of them. The combat resolution was a draw and thanks to the musician the Druchii had won. But the ancient construct passed the break test.
Wood elves turn 3
There were no charges to declare. The Glade Guard rallied. The Wild Riders chased the Dark Riders. Durthu run after Cold One Knights and second unit of Dark Riders. The big unit of Wardancers moved away from the possible path of the overrun that the Manticore would for sure perform. The same maneuver was emulated by both Spellsingers.
Three Wardancers moved to block the Executioners.
On the right flank the Dryads finally get close to the Crossbowmen.
In magic phase Eletha cast the Hidden Path on Durthu but phantasm used his last dispel scroll.
Glade guard's volley hit the Crossbowmen and two of them were killed.
Both Spellsingers shot their bows at the closest Dark Riders and managed to kill one of them but they passed their panic test.
Dongaer saw the forest spirits fight some terrible shape in front of him. It came out of nowhere and was upon them. He sped towards combat, holding the banner of his domain aloft. He knew they did not need help, especially not in the woods that Eletha and Alethir made grow in this inhospitable land. It was their home, whatever lands they had been in.
But then the trees around him were felled violently by a massive monstrosity whose claws tore one of the treemaidens in a heartbeat. There was a dark figure atop the manticore, staring him directly in the eyes as his heart quickened.
— There you are! - the rider exclaimed with cruel glee.
In close combat Dongaer was simply slaughtered and the Manticore overrun for 14 inches.
The Treeman made a single sweep with his long arms and 4 elite Druchii were shattered. In return no wounds were inflicted and this time fear & outnumber worked in Wood Elves’ favor. The Black Guard try to run away but the Treeman caught them.
Dark elves turn 4
Dark Elves passed all psychology tests.
Cold One Knights declared a charge against the Glade Guard who failed fear test and ran away from the battlefield with the Knights following them off table.
The Manticore flew right behind the Glade Guard.
First Dark Riders unit run away from the Durthu and the second one blocked the Wild Riders again.
The Executioners charged the Wardancers.
The Crossbowmen turned to be able to see the trio of the Wardancers.
Just like in previous turns no spells were able to break through Asrai magic defence.
The Bolt Thrower shot at the Wardancers. It hit and wounded 3 times but miraculously, only 1 was dead. Then the Crossbowmen released their bolts and again - they were hitting on "7" and managed to kill both elves.
As there were no close combats to resolve the Druchii turn ended.
Wood elves turn 4
The Glade Guard passed their terror test. No charges were declared.
The Durthu closed to the Dark Riders near the Wild Riders.
The Wild Riders moved to be able to support the Treeman in the next turns.
The Treeman moved closer to the Executioners to receive their change in the front arc.
Glade Guard turned to be able to shoot at the Manticore.
The Wardancers and the Dryads moved closer to the Manticore. The Dryads run toward the Crossbowmen and finished their move 1 inch away from them.
In magic phase Vivithiel used another scroll to deny the Hidden Path take effect on the Durthu.
In shooting the Durthu used his root attack and managed to inflict 8 hits!... and 3 wounds.... Which was enough to kill only 2 Dark Riders. The surviving duo passed their panic test. The second Treeman rolled a misfire...
But the most important shooting was yet to happen. The Asrai bowmen voley hit the beast and knocked down the remaining two wounds!
Dark elves turn 5
The Dark Rider passed their terror test. The Executioners declared a charge against the Treeman but failed their fear test. In addition they have lost 5 of their number as a result of stand and shoot reaction.
— No! - Vivithiel shouted, seeing history repeat. He looked at the howling riders, masters of the hunt closing in on their prey that had just stopped dead in front of the animated tree as roots sprawled from the ground impaling some of them just like they did his brother.
He wanted to scream, to claw helplessly witnessing the impending doom of the Executioners while a pale likeness of his brother watched the bodies torn by the branches with absent expression.
The Highborn charged the Glade Guard who decided to flee. As a result the charge was failed and the Druchii general was between the Dryads and the Wardancers...
The Cold One Knights rushed to the rescue their captain.
The Crossbowmen turned to be able to shoot at Dryads and at the same time to direct them into Corsairs.
The sorcerers hid behind the Ziggurat. The Dark Riders moved away so only one of the units could be caught by the Durthu.
Due to the lack of line of sign the sorcerers could not cast any spells.
The Crossbowmen fired their last volley and managed to kill 2 Dryads!
The Bolt Thrower once more shot at the Treeman and this time the giant arrow had hit and wounded the great forest spirit. But the ward save was passed.
Wood elves turn 5
This was a moment of truth. The Wild Riders and a Treeman charged the Executioners, who passed their panic test.
Then the Wardancers and the Dryads charged the Highborn, who also passed fear test.
The Dryads charged the Crossbowmen who decided to flee but were caughts by the forest spirits. The Dryads continued their move and run into the Corsairs.
Next was rallying of fleeing Glade Guardians and they managed to regroup with a roll of 9. Unit's hornblower must have been a very skillful indeed!
The only unit that was not engaged in close combat or fleeing was the Durthu, who walked closer to the Dark Riders.
Eletha once again tried to cast a Hidden Path on a Treeman but this time Vivithiel used a dispel scroll to deny it.
Durthu hit the ground hard and his roots attacked the mounted Druchii. 5 wounds were inflicted and the elves were shredded into pieces.
Close combat was started by the Treeman - who missed all of his 5 attacks! Luckily, the Wild Riders slew 3 of the elite infantry, and one more was killed by their mount. In return the Executioners were unable to pierce thick skin of the Treeman. The Druchii lost a combat and were outnumbered by fear causing units, which meant that they are going to flee. Both Asrai units opted to chase them and the Wild Riders easily performed this duty.
The Dryads on the other hand failed to kill a single enemy and one of them was cut down by the sea dragon clad elves. This meant losing combat and the Dryads failed the test and were unable to run away.
But the most important fight was still to be decided. Only 3 Wardancers were able to attack the Highborn and they used dance that allowed to generate a Killing Blow. 4 hits found their way through a Highborn defence. 2 of them managed to wound him, and one was a killing blow! The regular saves were easily passed. Then a single dice roll on 4+ was to decide whether the Druchii general would survive.
A wail of boundless fury echoed off the ziggurats as the Captain charged at the position that the Asrai archers have hurriedly left, knowing they were no match for his prowess and magic. The lone Druchii stopped, tired beyond imagination, watching them flee. He surveyed the shapes that passed them, closing by. He threw his weighing helmet to the ground.
— Face me! - he challenged the barkskinned maidens who reached for him with branch-like claws - I SHALL SLAY YOU ALL! - he howled, as the troupe of lithe dancers moved about to him, and made music with their blades, one of which reached his ferocious heart where the darkness did not shield it.
And then he was no more.
The dice spinned and the "3" was it result! The Highborn heart was pierced and both units did the overrun moves.
Dark elves turn 6
Once again Cold One Knights tempered their steeds and declared charge against the Glade Guard, who decided to flee. The roll was high enough and the Knights failed their charge.
Other units moved as far away from the Asrai as they could.
The Corsairs on the hill turned to face upcoming Treeman.
The magic was ineffective and none of the spells could break the Wood Elves defence.
Remaining Bolt Thrower shot a single projectile at the closer Treeman but failed to wound the ancient construct.
Wood elves turn 6
There was not much to do now. There were no charges and the most important thing to do was to rally fleeing Glade Guard. Again, they managed to do it on a roll of 9! Blessed be the hornblower of this unit!
Other units spreaded across the board to grab quarters.
There was no magic, and the only thing that could shoot was a Treeman using it root attack against a Corsairs. The roll was a misfire and with that the game ended.
Vivithel was exhausted. He could barely breathe, yet he was still running. The phantasm was just behind him.
Then he heard a horn sounded not far from him. Then another one - this one in the middle of the battlefield.
There was a hunt taking place and he was a prey! He turned rapidly away from the cursed sound. Upon a hilltop he saw Kilthir`s regiment, seemingly fresh despite the carnage that was taking place everywhere around.
He and a memory of his brother dashed towards the hill, dangerously close to the riders that dispersed, running down the Executioners who were all but wiped out, some survivors still trying to make it. Sorcerer briefly glanced at the towering tree giant nearby that sealed their doomed. He briefly wondered what happened to the Collector when some of the riders gathered and spurned their stags to chase them.
The sorcerer cursed in his heart. He looked towards the hilltop and found Kilthir`s cold eyes watching. He knew that silent corsair was enough of a survivor to know they would need each other to survive this… With determined look and bitter awareness that they cannot outrun the riders, he straightened up, calming himself and turned to face the coming Asrai, gripping his staff tightly.
There was one last gambit that could save him, and only if Kilthir will realize what he needs to do.
Out to the forest clearing they came. Their stags had unnatural red gleaming eyes, and the riders seemed to be equally wild as their steeds. They surrounded two druchii mages. The Wild Riders were circling around them pointing their spears. But they didn’t rush in for the kill as Druchii`s mind was filled with words of malice potent enough to reap lives.
They were waiting.
— What do you want...? - the sorcerer hissed, though he knew the answer, his other hand closing over the gem that brought the wood elves so far from their home.
There was no response. After a few minutes more Asrai came to the glade. Vivithel instantly recognized one of the newcomers. His eyes were empty and he had to be guided by others... Like a puppet. This was the one whose soul he took after he had killed his brother. Amidst the Asrai were two Spellsingers. He knew almost nothing of their magic, their customs, their rites… but as they approached him he sensed the radiance of their transcendent spirits.
The female elf was simmering with anger. She didn't hide the pure hatred that he made her feel. It was her male companion that spoke words with familiar voice that he never heard.
— I see you recognized the shapeshifter. Good. Now, release him or die. - the soft tone belied the threat of his words
Vivithel looked him in the eyes before he turned to his brother… the lie that he was still around. The phantasm was looking behind them, watching the corsairs that were there. A few dozen meters behind. They were certainly not enough to win the battle, but enough to kill a number of Asrai, especially with Shyish blowing strong.
The sorcerer didn’t even notice them. He just looked at what he had no more before he spoke to Spellsinger who also knew his voice as they knew each other’s thoughts. A sleek pale hand uncovered the black gem from the folds of purple robes.
— I shall.
Silence befell them. Nothing but the wind over the Golden Desert could be heard. The sounds of battle ceased by now and it was over.
— And would you cease the fighting, with your purpose fulfilled? - the sorcerer asked, turning his bitter gaze to look the Spellsinger straight in the eyes.
Alethir saw a surprising emotion that he would not suspect a Druchii`s cold heart capable of. He knew they could slay them to the last. He also saw that the mourning, hateful sorcerer that had nothing more to loose and bore the marks of abuse and suffering would had nothing else to have but the killing of his enemies. The Druchii lord was dead, but at a price. Spellsinger`s thought were filled with images of Druchii bodies mingled with those of his kin and looking upon the gem knew that their purpose here was done.
He didn’t answer. He didn’t have to.
The sorcerer held the gem aloft and with a single syllable that was not destined for the mortal tongues it began to silently cracked, its black dust carried by the wind.
As Karodras` eyes started to focus, the sorcerer made a few steps back and reached the corsairs that nervously watched the Asrai. Vivithiel looked at the place where the shadow of his brother stood just a moment ago. There were but robes and dust, just like with the gem.
He glanced one last time at Alethir. The Asrai wanted blood, but Spellsinger raised his hand as they strained not to charge here and there. They both understood what could happen here, and neither wanted it. There was no reason for it. He whispered one last sentence before they retreated away from this cursed place.
I will see you again.
Dark Elves 916(7) : 1761(13) Wood Elves
Curses! So close yet so distant! And an amazing carnage at that...
I think I can safely say that if not outcome, the shape of the game was decided on Turn 2. After my initial failed 2+ roll to catch Wardancers with perspective of killing them and BSB and overrunning CoK and Riders into intended targets - I actually outperformed myself and with Lady Luck deciding not to screw me this one time I actually dominated battlefield post Turn 3! But you know what the word is? The word is GREED. And that applies to both of us...
Turn 1 was not very eventful. The biggest thing being Hail of Doom Arrows being unleashed into Black Guard with minimal casualties. Jakub almost decided to go for the Manticore (a superior target), but it was probably out of range and he didn’t know if he’d have another time to use it. Clever elf indeed...
And then disaster struck. I was certain that with my cavalry I can wipe the Wardancers with BSB (having outnumber, minimum contact from Dark Riders and full contact from CoK) and overrun into intended targets (Riders into Glade Guard, Knights into Lord). That would have been great, as I counted my chances fighting Gelorn and this was the only way to try get him wounded. Not only that, static CR favoured me somewhat... None of it happened. I thought all lost after they failed their charge. The rest of the army moved into positions to retaliate after certain double flee before Wood Elven onslaught.
But then I saw that Wild Riders and Lord are the only ones to charge. The Treemen went into position to prevent my infantry from interfering and counter-charging. I knew that these two units were more than enough to slaughter CoK, but... I was also quite certain that Wild Riders were just outside range. Then came quick calculation: 6 attacks for 4 hits, for 3 or 4 wounds, for 1 or 2 saves. The most likely outcome was 2 dead Knights... which would that my command group and outnumber would win me combat, and Fear and outnumber I could actually break and pursue Gelorn - whom I had no other way of dealing with. After deliberating for a few tense minutes I decided the Knights will hold their ground or die trying. Had Jakub rolled slightly above average, or I saved poorly, it would mean total slaughter of the Dark Elves. But this one time, I was right, the rolls had exactly averaged and the Knights emerged closer to Wood Elves lines, magnificently breaking through and pursuing the Elf-lord despite their casualties!
And then I saw means to eliminate Dryads and BSB, safe in knowledge that had anyone else charged me, I could just challenge Dongaer and possibly break and pursue any would-be rescuers thanks to the overkill. After all’s been said and done, I was dominating the field, despite my failed roll. Jakub got greedy.
Now it was time for me. I actually spent a good deal of deliberating whether I should withdraw my Manticore and use it as a counter for last turn, also preserving 500 points. Instead I decided that a wounded Manticore would survive a volley of 2+ hitting S4 bows which is worthy of a facepalm. I actually forgot for a second that these are S4 at close range, otherwise this would not happen and thus - with my thoughts bloody, or nothing worth at all - I sacrificed my general and his mount for no gain at all, other than engaging Wood Elves base for a moment.
It could have all been helped had the Dark Riders not failed Fear test when it came to charge the flank of Wild Riders. We actually rolled after the battle to see the outcome and I rolled really poorly and lost them in combat, but it was still the right decision and in 4 out of 5 situations they would kill the Kindred of Kurnous, preventing the demise of the Executioners which came later. The Khainites could have potentially prevented their own demise had they charged the Treeman before receiving a frontal charge from it and a flank charge from Wild Riders. I made an off-hand joke about them being too scared of the Treeman, referring to our previous battle and a failed Terror test earlier (despite Ld10 from the General!). Needless to say, they sealed their own doom and if any remnants make it back to the camp they will be sacrificed at the altar of Khaine to wash the shame.
And that about wraps it up. As for my mistakes, the biggest was of course what I did to the Highborn. I also forgot for a moment about the crazy good Strangleroot and lost some Dark Riders to it early on (as well as half the Black Guard due to Stand and Shoot). I lost Crossbowmen to 4 Dryads - while it allowed me to pull the Forest Spirits into corsair block that would slaughter them no matter how well Jakub rolled for the ladies, I think I could have played that entire flank better. Had I pushed with Corsairs early on I could have potentially endangered the Dryads and Glade Guard enough to give the Highborn a greater chance. With an impossible terrain at my flank and an equal movement of Dark Elves and Dryads it was impossible for Jakub to initiate simultaneous charge from both Dryad units into Corsairs, and with War Banner and full formation they would have defeated either easily, and maybe even prolong the life of crossbowmen. Jakub got some bad rolls, but all of that could have been easier had he not wiped out the Bolt Thrower Crew with the first salvo from archers!
But in the end, I got a better result than the last time, awfully close to a Draw. Besides, I got to field the Black Guard and that is a victory all of itself!
Next time, Gadget! I promise I’ll get you next time!
Dark Elf of the game:
Previously they would have certainly taken the worst unit title, but after surviving and breaking Gelorn, killing Glade Guard and surviving the battle, the bloodied, proud Cold One Knights are an easy pick for the best of the worst. They lulled my opponent into complacency and have given me that most forlorn of Druchii emotions: hope.
That game was simply CRAZY. When on turn 2 Cold One Knights failed their 2+ charge I was almost sure that nothing bad can happened to my army. How overconfident I was! If I was not so stingy, I would have added a Treeman to the Knights charge and this would be a more than enough to kill and break them. Instead, I decided to take on Executioners and Black Guard with the Oak Brothers and leave the Knights to Alter and Wild Riders... This end up to be a great disaster that lead me losing a Lord due to fear&outnumber and a Glade Guard... What is more, I put my Dryads into a line of sight and charge range of Highborn on a Manticore. Of course he destroyed them easily and overrun into my Battle Standard Bearer and butchered him.... What a nice way to lose over 600pts in one turn... After that the only thing that was left was to try kill as many enemy units and control the damage that Druchi was applying to my forces.
Thanks to cowardiance of the Executioners and Black Guard I managed to kill them with the Treemans and a Wild Riders, but this was more pure luck than the strategy. This gave me huge points bump. “Hyper-Luck” was also needed to kill the Highborn. First Glade Guardians slew the Manticore(2 wounds with S4 vs T5) with one salvo and then he was killed by a single killing blow from Wardancers - even though there was a 4+ ward...
On the other hand I had some really bad rolls - the root attacks, Alter Noble vs Cold One Knights, Dryads vs Corsairs or the Treeman vs the Executioners, Hail of Doom Arrows... This game was had a very bittersweet taste.
After the battle we had over 1h talk how the could go one or other way and simulated things with dice rolls. The results we produced were even more unstatistical then the ones that occured in the battle. I think this is a tradition that my fights against Moudy are unpredictable and keeping in suspense till the real last dice rolls.
To sum up - it was a fantastic battle. So far Moudy is the toughest of my enemies but still - we are managed to play like real gentlemens. Till next time!
Wood Elf of the game:
I had a real problem with choosing who was the best in my army. The worst would be soooo easier after this battle - me.
First option was obvious - the performance of the Oak-brothers for most of the time was very impressive. They managed to keep me in the game killing everything in their range. Of course, root attacks could be better.
The bigger unit of Wardancers managed to kill only a single enemy. But it was a Highborn with 1+ save and 4+ ward and only 3 of them were in a fight. This alone changed the result from a draw to small victory. What is more - they were the “fear factor” that kept the Highborn and the Manticore away from center of my battle line.
All in all - my award goes to the Glade Guard. They managed to kill a Bolt Thrower crew with a single salvo of 7 arrows at long distance. That allowed Dryads to move freely on the left flank. They also killed some crossbowmen and when It was situation all-or-nothing - they knocked down remaining wounds of the Manticore. This allowed me to catch and kill the Highborn and won the game. Beside - they managed to regroup twice - even though they leadership is 8. Everything thanks to the the hornblower!