I posted a version of this battle report on the Warhammer Forum and it drew a few responses. I've reproduced some of them here. The first batch are some suggestions for Gary's Dark Elves. I've sent them on to him.
The dark elf player needs to bait the chaos more with dark riders and never flee from flyers unless your absolutely certain that he will not reach ( 20 inches is a pain).
More units to combine themselves to attack the brute force of the enemy.
An executioner unit against chaos warriors is not good. Supporting it with a dark rider charge to the flank will turn the tables.
Bad luck on the chariot misses though. Target priority would make you go after the hounds (take away the fast units for the dark riders to work their magic) and shoot up the warriors. Splitting up the bolt throwers (or making them be deployed LAST) allows one to see the fire lanes and forces one to choose which bolt thrower to silence.
Don't let him give up hope. The Dark elves need skill and patience and yes expect to have a lot of losses before you get it right.
Gary made a couple of mistakes and with DE's it is costly. I think he will have learned a few lessons.
DE magic is reliable and they should have at least 2 level 2's using death. His army has no punch he needs some Cold One Chariots as they are a steal at 95 points and some harpies because they do exactly what it says the tin.
he should look at www.druchii.net and get some help
I have had a quick skim of the website mentioned above and there look to be some solid ideas there.
When I played Dark Elves, I had a couple of rules that I always abode by.
Never try to be in combat before turn 4. While this rule wasn't always strict, you see how Gary's turn one charge turned out? Use shooting and magic to remove support units, then envelope and engage in later turns. Most armies I play benefit from this strategy.
Targeting priority. I would not have shot at that chariot with hounds/marauders/furies on the board. Expensive Chaos units can still take a panic check when a 30 point hound unit is wiped out.
Crafty Deployment. Deploy fast units first that can redeploy and shooters first, then load a flank with combat units.
Support. Never almost ever charge alone. Minimally infantry should always charge with chariot/hydra/ADDITIONAL character support.
Good basic advice, I think.
Regarding Gary's prospects on a rematch:
I'd say your armies match up pretty well, though I think yours has a slight advantage.
Here's my advice to Gary:
1) Don't receive charges from the chaos infantry. You have enough shooting to make them come toward you. Your elf infantry have 2" of charge reach on them. With the banner of murder, you've got even more. You still might lose some fights charging executioners into chosen, but you'll do better than the other way 'round.
2) Don't charge hounds unless they are right in front of something you actually want to charge and not angled such that your pursuit will carry you off funny. Hounds can't fight. Shoot them or ignore them, but don't charge them.
3) Play so that your bolt throwers get to shoot at the Chosen Knights. That's pretty much the only thing in your list that will deal with them, and boy, will they.
4) Since Chaos lacks shooting, get your Dark Riders out there to bait and flee the hard hitting stuff. should make it so you don't have to receive those nasty charges.
5) If you can change your list, take either more magic or less magic. 2 level 2s doesn't get that much done; 1 lvl 1 caddy is a much cheaper low magic.
With a little practice and some better feel for his more maneuverable army, Gary should be able to give you some better games that you'll both enjoy more.
More good advice. This poster also pointed out a rules error in our game.
Great batrep! Particularly like the pictures and the arrows and stuff.
In fact, one of the pictures makes one of those quirky little rules mistakes more obvious. I'm not trying to be mean, I just want to help you guys with the rules. This one went against Gary, so maybe that will give him some hope.
In Gary's turn 1, his executioners charge the warhounds, who flee. Even with his 6 on the banner of murder, they end up just shy of the Chosen warriors. The executioners should then move a failed charge move which is half the distance they could have covered for a charge. Your pictures pretty clearly have them moving the whole distance. Embarrassed
Had they moved a proper failed charge, they would have either a) been entirely out of range of the counter-charge by your chosen warriors the next turn or at least b) sufficiently far away that when they fled they would have escaped with the possibility of rallying. This could have made quite a different in the early progress of the game.
Ooops! All the more annoying because we had played the rule correctly in other battles. We probably just got too excited by the banner of murder. It wasn't our only mistake.
Unfortunately you have two pieces of magic armor on your Lord; you'll have to drop one. Armor of Damnation is too sweet, so just swap the enchanted shield out for a regular one.
Ooops again! I'm switching his wargear around for our next game.
Our battle report also got some comments on the blog itself. Check them out on the post below.
Let's see if Gary can turn things around in the second game of the campaign.