Monday, December 6, 2010

WFHB Battle Report. Dark Elves vs. Orcs and Goblins

As promised, here is my 2,000 point Dark Elves Battle Report from this weekend.  Ofcourse, I use this list.  My opponent was playing a rather battleforcey Orcs and Goblins list, but despite that it still had some scary elements.  With some tuning it could have been very scary.

From memory, here is the list he had.  I'll put asterisks next to the units that were good.  Anything else should be cut.

L2 Goblin shaman with the staff of sneaky stealing*
L2 Goblin Shaman with a dispell scroll*

Big unit of Black Orcs*
Unit of Night Goblins with 3 Fanatics*
Big unit of normal Orcs
5 Spear Chuckas*
3 River Trolls
A way too big unit of Spider Riders

So as you can see, he had some good stuff and some crap.  Replace the crap Orc unit with another unit of NG with Fanatics.  Replace the Giant and trolls with another unit of Black Orcs.  Replace the spider riders with Rock Lobbers.  Replace Azag with the Black Orc named character.  And if there are enough points add in another L2 goblin shaman.  That would have been a scary list.  

So onto the game.  First I want to say the terrain was pretty bad.  I got to the LGS late and the table was already set up so I didn't want to bother changing it.  But there is a giant castle thing right in the middle of the table.  You just can't have a game that is supposed to be about maneuver and setting traps and multi-charges work when there is a huge impassible, LOS blocking thing in the middle of the board.  But enough about that.  We rolled Battleline, and I finished deploying first and got first turn.

My Deployment.
I deployed with both BG units on my left flank.  One Hydra in the middle, one Hydra on the right.  A unit of RBX on the left with the BG and one on the right screening my spearman horde.

Not a terrible set up for my game plan of playing defensively and shooting and Purple Sunning him to death until he is close enough for me to charge and blow up.

His deployment.
He set up with his spear chuckers all on the right flank facing my BG.  Clearly he planned to shoot the hell of them, which was good because it would disrupt my 'play defensive' game plan and force me to come to him.  He also set up his Night Goblins over there with the Boys in the middle.  This was his defensive flank.  I was going to have to come to him, and he was going to shoot me and Fanatic me when I did, and then counter charge me with the Orcs.  Solid plan.  Had the Orcs been a second unit of Goblins with 3 more Fanatics it would have been even better.  

His left flank had Azag, Trolls, Black Orcs, and Giant.  His plan was clearly to push aggressively to that side with more big stuff and overwhelm me and try to turn my flank.

End of Turn One
On turn one, I moved forward.  I had to push on the left flank in fear of the shooting, but I made a horrible mistake in pushing a few inches on the right flank.  If anything, I should have gone backwards.  My magic phase I cast Purple Sun but not irresistible, and it was stopped my his dispel scroll.  My shooting put a wound on his Giant.  No CC, so I was done.  

On his turn one, his Giant rolled boxcars on the charge and got into combat with my RBXmen.  If I had pulled back an inch, or even just not moved forward at all, he would not have gotten the charge, and I would have had another turn of shooting and magic.  Oh well.  The Giant wiped out out my dudes, and followed through into my Spearmen horde.  This was huge, because it meant that since my Sorceress was locked in combat, she couldn't cast Purple Sun on my turn.   On the other flank, his NG pushed up and threw out the Fanatics which killed half a unit of BG.  So not a good turn one, I killed basically nothing and he wiped half a unit of BG and a whole unit of RBX.

End of Turn One, view from the right flank.
Onto Turn 2...

End of Turn 2.

Turn 2 went rather well for me.  On my turn my half strength BG charged the Night Goblins.  For some reason he did a flee reaction and I redirected into the Orcs which I just managed to catch.  I multi-charged the Orc unit with the Hydra which was forced (to my benefit) to also be in combat with one of the spear chuckers.  I don't understand why he didn't fight with the NG.  Between the nets and spears they might have at least killed a few of the BG, as it was, they killed none.  In my magic phase, I cast Soul Blight with buff, so all his nasty stuff was -1 strength and toughness on the right flank.  This was game breaking.  My Hydra on the right flank templated the now Toughness 3 Black Orcs with a Str 5 Flaming blast and killed around 10 of them.

In combat, my half strength BG unit and Hydra pureed his Orcs and Chucka as expected.  My BSB Master and Spearmen made short work of the now Toughness 4 Giant before it could strike.  

On his turn 3, his Orcs and NG continued to run towards the table edge, and he charged my Hydra with his Black Orcs and Azag.  His magic did nothing.  His spearchuckers did some serious damage to my Blackgiard and Hydra, but nothing I couldn't handle at this point.  In combat, I killed 4 or 5 more Black Orcs with the Hydra, and he managed to do a whopping single wound to my Hydra since he was -1 Strength all around.  He lost combat by 1, but held as he was stubborn.

View from the right Flank end of turn 2.
Onto Turn 3...

Right flank, end of 3.
So this turn I delivered the Coup de Grace.  In order to bail out my Hydra, I charged my horde into the flank of his Black Orcs.  On the left flank, I started smashing my BG into his Spear Chuckers.  My horde was in combat so no Purple Sun, but I did get off the Soul Blight on buff again.  In combat I slaughtered his remaining Black Orcs and forced Azag to break and flee off the table, but not before Azag killed the Hydra.  It was basically game at that point.  He only had a single level 2 left and I had my whole army more or less intact, minus the unit of crossbowmen the Giant killed and the Hydra Azag killed.

Left flank end of turn 3. 
On the left flank I had a wrecked unit of BG, a War Hydra, and a full strength unit of BG, and a full strength RBX unit.  He had two Spear chuckers and a big unit of Spider Riders.  On the right flank, he had 3 River Trolls left.

We played turn 4, but it was basically mop up.  I smashed the trolls, smashed the Spider Riders, and killed a Spear Chucker and was in combat with the last one.  Tabled by turn 4, but basically over turn 3.  

Obviously, his list wasn't great and he was limited by the O&G models he owned as his primary army is Wood Elves, but I gave him advice about what he should add and what I thought didn't work.  All in all it was a solid victory that I was happy with, even if it was a mild seal clubbing.  The thing is, he was a good player with a bad list, not a bad player with a bad list which would be a real seal clubbing.  As much as Wood Elves suck, I would have been interested to see how they would have played against this as I haven't played against them in 8th yet with my Dark Elves.

Comments?  Questions?  Concerns?  I'd really like some feedback on if the pictures were useful to understanding the battle, because I'm never sure what to shoot, and also to see if the narrative makes sense.  Since I remember the battle in person I might be leaving out important details that I know that you don't but makes it difficult for you to follow.  I appreciate the feedback.


  1. Cool man, thanks for the report. :)

    I think if you took a picture after each player turn, it would help people understand exactly what each person did each turn. Also, it helps to have lots of pictures because you don't have to type as much ;-)

    The flank pictures were sort of wonky, since I couldn't see them in the context of the rest of the game, and couldn't see exactly what 'part' of the flank you were showing. Just a little feedback!

    Otherwise, looks good. I actually don't know how bad of an idea it was to get charged by the giant- it kind of left the giant out in the open and unsupported by his other units. It was likely worth it to be able to take care of him and not get flank charged later in the game. I'm sure your crossbowmen would disagree with me though :)

  2. Hm, I find the giant's charge kind of strange. I wasn't there so I lack some crucial knowledge to the situation and the distances seem awkward to me (so short) but in general I would have expected the O&G player to wait out turn 1 and spend the time adjusting positions on your right flank.

    Anyway, how do you get the warbanner into your spearmen unit ? Doesn't the 35p warbanner replace the "old" warbanner ? I know it's also printed in the army book for 25p and there's the "use the points in the army book" thing but doesn't that rule skip common magic items ? Please clearify this.

    Also I noticed you like placing two arcane items on your spellcasters. I thought that was gone ? I don't play much anymore, so I'm not really an expert. Some explaining would be appreciated.

  3. I didn't place two arcane items. The Sac dagger and the Pendant are not in the same class. I don't have my army book handy but they aren't both arcane items.

    You use the army books for the point cost of common magic items if they exist in the book, so the Warbanner is still good on warriors.

    As far as the Giant goes, I think it was one of those things where I left this juicy, tempting target (the RBXers) out there by mistake and he took advantage of it. It worked out in his favor since he ate a whole unit and then prevented me from casting Purple Sun on turn 2. It did seem like a bad trade, since he traded a Giant for a measly RBXers, but I would have killed a lot more on turn 2 with my Purple Sun than the Giant was worth, so I think he made the correct play, even if it was by accident.

  4. My fault, I was talking about your articles on DE spellcasters back in octobre. I found those by accident and I was kind of surprised. See

    The issue with the warbanner seems odd. AFAIK every army book had the common magic items printed in it, so the "new" warbanner for 35p actually doesn't exist. Next would be to expect they will not print them in the 8th edition army books but then again Skaven will most likely not be revisited within the next few years - and there is the 25p warbanner inside the army book. So they will get to keep it for 25p and rest will have it for 35p - unless some Errata will take care of it which I think unlikely. Same goes for other common magic items, e.g. Sword of Striking (15/30).

    I'll read the corresponding part of the BRB again. Sorry if I trouble you with this insignificance but this design of rules really seems strange.

  5. We'll see where they go with it when the next army book comes out in March. I'm guessing you're right that they won't print the common items in the new army books. I doubt that advantage will break the game, though.

    So the expensive warbanner doesn't exist, but the trade off is the cheap Enchanted Shield doesn't exist, either.

  6. Thank you very much for a WHFB report (With pictures!). We don't have much of a fantasy scene here, so seeing/watching a game is a chancy thing. I like what I see so far, through.