Sunday, July 8, 2007

NEMESIS CAMPAIGN: Clash at Solsister valley

The clash at Solsister valley was our first game of the Nemesis campaign. The outcome of this game would determine which player won location three, the Solsister river.

Armies 2000points
My Chaos Undivided mortals:
  • Sigurt Volsung, Lord on Daemonic Mount, Armour of Damnation, Sword of Might, Gaze of the Gods, Enchanted Shield
  • Thaer, Exalted with Book of Secrets, extra hand weapon, shield (Steed of Shadows spell)
  • Angur, Lvl 2 Sorcerer with 2 Dispel Scrolls (Unseen Lurker, Crown of Taidron spells)
  • Boda, Lvl 1 Sorcerer with 2 Dispel Scrolls (Dark Hand of Death spell)
  • 12 Chosen Warriors full command
  • 10 Warriors full command Banner of Wrath
  • 5 Chosen Knights full command, Warbanner
  • 5 Marauder Horse, musician, flails
  • 5 War hounds
  • 5 War hounds
  • Chariot
  • 8 Furies
The Dark Elves had:
  • Highborn on Cold One, Executioners axe, 1+ save
  • Noble, Strength six sword
  • Lvl 2 Sorceress, 2 dispel scrolls
  • Lvl 2 Sorceress, 2 dispel scrolls
  • 2 Repeater Bolt Throwers
  • 10 Repeater Crossbows
  • 16 Spearelves full command
  • 5 Dark Riders Repeater Crossbows
  • 5 Dark Riders Repeater Crossbows
  • 19 Executioners full command Banner of Murder
  • Hydra
Terrain and deployment
The Dark Elves won the choice of table edge and placed the first unit, his repeater bolt throwers right in the middle of his deployment zone. I put down both warhound units, the chariot and marauder horse in my centre, largely ignoring the Dark Elf deployment. Only when I could see where his units of dark riders, the executioners and his hydra were did I decide whether to envelop the right or left flank.

I initially favoured my right, because the left had a wood in the Dark Elf deployment zone but Gary had deployed both units of dark riders on this flank. I wanted to restrict their mobility so I went for the left flank. I put both warrior units and the furies here. My last deployment was the knights. Normally I would put them on the flank of the warriors and completely refuse the opposite flank, but I was worried about how congested things would get on the left and that wood could hamper my attack. After some deliberation I put them on the extreme right. This meant they were unsupported but I felt confident they could handle the spearelves and repeater crossbows that faced them.

The dark elves had the highborn on my left flank, both sorceress' in the executioners unit and the noble in the spearelf unit. I had Sigurt, my lord, in the chosen warriors along with Angur, while the other sorcerer and Thaer were added to the regular warriors.

Here's how the board looked.

Turn 1
I won first turn. There wasn't much subtlety, as you would expect from a Chaos general, as I pushed my units down the dark elves throat. Only my furies hung back on my left to respond to sneaky dark elf manoeuvres. My magic did nothing.

The dark elf response was to charge with the executioners. My warhounds fled. Gary hoped to trigger a collapse of the centre of my army but I had ensured the lord was in a good position to contribute his 9 leadership. None of my units panicked. The executioners fell just short of the chosen warriors containing my lord (even though the banner of murder scored added six inches). The dark riders repositioned for later charges and baits. Both repeater bolt throwers shot at and missed the chariot. The spearelves shuffled back, and turned to face my chosen knights. The repeater crossbows killed four marauder horsemen. I used two dispel scrolls to shut down the elf magic phase.

Here's how the action looked at the end of the first turn.

Turn 2
My chosen warriors, containing Sigurt, and the chariot charged the executioners. They tried to flee but were easily caught. That meant I had also killed both elf magic users. My furies charged the dark riders in front of the wood who also fled. The daemons caught the cavalry and killed them. I flew Thaer out of the warrior unit and behind the highborn and last dark riders. On the right, my chosen knights slammed into the spearelves who lost the combat spectacularly and were overrun. This was a disastrous turn for the pointy-ears as they lost units all over the battlefield. The one ray of light for them was the repeater crossbows who saw off a whole warhound unit by standing and shooting then beat the last marauder in combat without taking a casualty.

The dark elves were down but not entirely out. Then Gary flunked the stupidity test for his highborn. Now he really was in all sorts of trouble. Instead of getting a flank charge into my warriors (with the sorcerer Boda in a vulnerable position) he just stumbled forward. The hydra charged my chosen warriors. It caused one kill while I cut down both handlers. The enraged beast became unbreakable as it stood over the broken bodies of it's masters. The last unit of dark riders pushed up my left flank, away from Thaer, and turned to shoot at the furies but they only killed one of the flyers. The repeater bolt throwers decided to hit something this turn and took three wounds from my chariot.

This is a snapshot from the end of the second turn.

Turn 3
I was now in a very comfortable position. The chosen knights moved up behind the repeater crossbows (I think we forgot to use their overrun in the previous turn). My furies charged the second unit of dark riders who fled off the board. Sigurt repositioned himself in the chosen warriors so he could lop some heads of the hydra. My regular warriors charged into the beast too. Thaer flew over the wood to threaten the repeater bolt throwers. The chariot moved up so it could charge next turn, if it survived.

The bolt throwers both missed the chariot, and the crossbows did nothing either. The dark elf general turned his cold one to face the rear of my warriors who were hacking into the hydra. In the ongoing combat the hydra finally went down under Sigurt's blows.

The battlefield looked like this at the end of turn 3.

Turn 4
My chariot charged one bolt thrower while my exalted charged the other. All the crew were butchered. My chosen charged the crossbows and trampled them into the dirt. Now came the coup de grace. My chosen warriors reformed to face the highborn. Angur cast unseen lurker on the unit and they charged into the dark elf general. The two generals faced off in single combat. Sigurt went first and hit with every attack. He then wounded with every blow. The highborn was smashed out of the saddle and killed.

The game ended with a Chaos massacre.

  • Chaos - chosen warriors (including Sigurt) for seeing off the executioners, the hydra and the highborn
  • Dark elves - repeater crossbows for killing the warhounds and marauder horse
  • From the Chaos side of the board this game was as close to perfect as I'll ever see. I lost about 200 points of my army for the total destruction of the dark elf army. From deployment to winning first turn to the dice rolls, everything went right for me. The dark elves were the complete opposite when their deployment didn't work and their dice rolls were poor.
  • I had expected to face a magical barrage in this, my first 2000 point game, with the dark elves able to choose a level four sorceress, but Gary chose a fighty leader instead. His own magic was reduced to just two scroll caddies.
  • I have never seen Gary so despondent after a game. He is really at a loss as to how to win a game against my Chaos army. I think his list has the edge in mobility, shooting, magic and ranked units if he picks the right list and uses it cleverly, but my list has more brute force. Gary is almost at the point of giving up on them altogether. If anyone has any ideas let me know and I will pass them on to him.

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