Thursday, March 24, 2011

Equinox Fantasy - Round 1

(I'm trying out this format for the battle report with a lot of maps to make it easier to follow what's going on. You can click on the maps to get a bigger version that's more readable. I'd love any feedback on this type of report, and whether a diagram for each turn makes it better or is over the top or whatever.)

Game 1: Daniel Butler (Daemons)
Mission: Battleline

From memory, Daniel had:

Keeper, Level 1, Allure, Siren Song
Khorne Herald, BSB, Firestorm Blade, Armour of Khorne
Tzeentch Herald, MoS (Life), Scroll, Disk
Tzeentch Herald, MoS (Shadow), Fly

28 Bloodletters, FC, +D6 Charge
28 Bloodletters, FC
6 Furies

3 Nurglings

6 Flamers
4 Fiends

Talk about a tough match up for my my first game ever with the High Elves! My thinking going into the game was whittle down the combat blocks as they came across the table, and pounce to cause the real damage once the blocks were committed and wouldn't be able to get away. As much as they were going to hurt me, I knew I had nothing to deal with the Flamers, so I'd have to live with throwing 2 dice a turn at miasma to lower their BS and limit the damage they would do. My spells were miasma, enfeebling (reduce strength), withering (reduce toughness), and mindrazor.


I was pretty happy with my deployment and how it matched up against the daemons. The Archmage is in with the Spearmen, and both Nobles are in the White Lions. The Dragon Princes made the most of the space created by the river, and also stopped the Nurglings going anywhere near the RBT. The archers were across from the Bloodletters, with chariots there to potentially slow the advance. My blocks went on the right to block up that flank, with the Phoenix Guard able to deal with the fiends and stop them swinging round the side of my army.

I luckily won the roll for first turn despite not having the +1, and quickly decided to go first.

Turn 1: High Elves
As you can see, I closely followed my plan, pushing strong up the right flank and moving the Dragon Princes up to threaten flanks to slow the advance of the Bloodletters. Shooting saw a few of the Bloodletters pegged off the back of the right unit, with some help from a -1 toughness spell.

Turn 1: Daemons

Dan pushed up his combat blocks, and swung both the furies and the keeper to the left to deal with the Dragon Princes. Cue the sound of my facepalm as I remember about Siren Song. Doh!

The Flamers predictably move into the woods, and the fiends edge forwards. The surprising move was the Life Herald flying out to try and Dwellers the Archmage. Dan rolled up 12 dice for magic (ouch!) then told me due to the comp he could only use 8 of them, which eased the pain a bit. We both diced off for Dwellers, and I won, leaving the Herald in a very bad place. With his remaining dice Throne of Vines went up. The flamers killed a couple of White Lions

Turn 2: High Elves

Due to my brainfart, the Dragon Princes now had to flee from the keeper. Fortunately, they fled enough to be 23" from both the Furies and the keeper. The only other move was the Phoenix Guard charging the Nurglings, which they did bad things to and reformed to face the fiends.

Magic saw a miasma go off on the flamers, and in the shooting phase everything went into the Life Herald out in the open. The 12 Archers put a wound on him, but then the other 18 and the reaver bow couldn't finish the job, meaning the Herald could just fly off and heal himself next turn. Sigh...

Turn 2: Daemons

The Bloodletters continued their advance, with the keeper rejoining the front line. The Life Herald swung round behind me on the right flank and the fiends backed up from the Phoenix Guard. The furies moved over towards the RBT, but again were 23" away.

Magic saw another 8 dice. 6 went into dwellers, which I stopped with dice, and the last two on self-Regen, just to get his wound back. The Flamers, suffering from miasma, did nothing.

Turn 3: High Elves

I continued my plan this turn, with the Phoenix Guard pushing up to block the Fiends in, and the other two blocks spinning to face the centre. The chariots moved back to avoid getting charged, but were still threatening the Bloodletters if they went after the Archers. The eagle sat in front of the keeper, stopping him for a turn. The Dragon Princes rallied.

A nice big 12 dice for magic (by now I'd had 11, 10 and 12!) let me get off miasma on the flamers again, and much more crucially, -3 Toughness on the right Bloodletters. This gave me 30 archers at short range shooting them, so hitting on 3's and wounding on 2's! Only 8 Bloodletters were left after that onslaught.

Now to brace for impact...

Turn 3: DaemonsUsing their extra charge range to great effect, the Bloodletters pulled off a huge charge into the unit of 12 archers, while the keeper hit the eagle. Apparently I'd been a bit too lax when moving the Phoenix Guard, and there was enough room for the fiends to sneak past. The depleted Bloodletters turned around and started the long walk back home to the warp, and the furies went and parked themselves right next to the RBT.

Dwellers ate my scroll, and the Flamers again did nothing of note due to miasma. The Archers and Eagle were both wiped out, and both the Bloodletters and keeper turned to face the rest of the army.

Turn 4: High Elves

A bit of sneaky swift reforming (nothing dodgy though) let me get the Phoenix Guard back in front of the fiends, and the Dragon Princes moved up to intercept the poor, lonely Bloodlettera on their way back. The chariots moved around again to threaten the Bloodletters after they'd dealt with the archers.

I think that the magic this turn went into lowering the toughness of the keeper, as well as a miasma on the flamers. I'm sure this was a mistake, as I should have been shooting the Bloodletters regardless. All it would take to kill the Keeper would be a mindrazor, and at that point, it shouldn't matter whether he had taken a couple of wounds beforehand or not.

Turn 4: Daemons

The Bloodletters and Herald kept marching back towards the board edge, while the other block charged the Archers along with the Keeper. The Furies charged and ate the RBT.

I managed to out-dice Dan again on the Dwellers,which would have to stop happening soon. The archers were wiped to the man (or elf I suppose) and the keeper spun to face the White Lions.

Turn 5: High Elves
I threw the Phoenix Guard into the Fiends, and both chariots into the back of the Bloodletters. The chariot charge was also a mistake in my mind. The idea was to thin out the numbers before the Bloodletters hit my big points (the Spears and White Lions), but without the shooting from the turn before, the impact the chariots had just wasn't going to be enough. In other news, the Nobles jumped ship to the Spearmen, and the White Lions spun to face the imminent Bloodletter charge. The Princes continued chasing the Bloodletters, setting up for a turn 6 cleanup.

Nothing special happened in magic, and in combat the Phoenix Guard killed 2 Fiends. The chariots went in and killed a not-insignificant number of Bloodletters, but it still wouldn't be enough to save the white lions. The Tiranoc was killed on the spot, and the Lion Chariot fled, while the Bloodletters turned and eyed up my poor white lions.

Turn 5: Daemons

The Bloodletters and Keeper predictably went into the White Lions. The other Bloodletters turned to face the Princes, for what little good it would do, and the Flamers legged it towards the Lion Chariot, keen to snag an easy 140 points in turn 6.

Now that I'd been forced to put all three characters in the Spearmen, I knew exactly what was going to happen in the magic phase. I promptly took off both Nobles and 16 Spearmen to Dwellers. At least the Archmage was fine...

The White Lions got taken off, but by now, the Bloodletters were down to about 12 including the Herald. Both the Bloodletters and Keeper fell short on the overrun to hit the spears, needing 12".

Turn 6: High ElvesThe Dragon Princes charged the Bloodletters and wiped them out, and the Phoenix Guard managed to finish off the fiends. I forgot to move the Lion Chariot like the idiot I am, and I moved the spears so they were out of the keepers charge arc.

The Mage managed to reduce the Bloodletters strength by 3, which gave me some hope that I could hold with the spears, as he was now wounding on 5's, and would need to kill 3 or 4 of me to prevent me being steadfast.

Turn 6: Daemons

The Bloodletters flanked the spears, and the Flamers darted over to the Lion Chariot and punished me for my mistake, picking up some easy points. Right before the combat, the Shadow Herald attempted his first spell of the game, and I crucially failed to dispel it. The result? Those strength 2 Bloodletters were now S6 thanks to everyone's favourite, Mindrazor! Needless to say, the Spearmen got cleaned up, and with that, the game was over.

After totalling up the points, Daniel had got himself a well earned 16-4 win.

I was happy enough with how my plan panned out. I dominated the right flank, and was able to grab one of the Bloodletter blocks. I think the game hinged on a couple of critical moments from my perspective:
  • The Herald being put out in the open and I wasn't able to kill him. This meant he was able to fly off and later cast Dwellers on my bunker unit.
  • The decision not to shoot the Bloodletters with archers and shoot the keeper instead. If I had shot the Bloodletters at -1 toughness instead, I think they would have been depleted enough that the White Lions would have finished them off.
This game also highlighted a few key weaknesses of the army, but like I said before I'll go into that at the end. The most obvious one though was that I rolled 10+ dice for magic in the first four turns, but had no real ability to capitalise on it, since Shadow isn't a very versatile lore on its own.

Anyway, that's the first game done. A great fun game with an excellent guy. You can't ask for much more really. The second should be coming soon. Like I said, I'd love any feedback, especially on the format, so I can make any changes before I do the next one.


  1. I really like those maps, will have to look towards incorporating those I think.

  2. Love the format mate, and I'm not sure if you were taking notes the whole time we played this one, but you seem to have remembered everything to a T. For prosterity, my letter blocks had 28 each, and although it never came up, my Khorne Herald had Firestorm blade and Armour of Khorne.

    From my persepective, I'm glad I had no idea you were such an accomplished player, nerves would have ensured I failed wonderfully. I got lucky with the Life herald being able to fly away from the first pincushion event, but (despite my depleted letter blocks brave rearward advance)I am enamoured with the ability of my army to move swiftly, and usually play as such. So, I've explained to both my Heralds the gods allow them to fly... they shall.. and forward! Your magic rolling dice were thrice-blessed, and i am so happy you didn't have the lore to do things to me other than hex/aug but that's Phils fault not yours.

    And actually I played Phil later on with this army, and he whomped me :( But I like to think he was fresh from merely TO'ing all day, whilst my mind and troops were weary from 4 massive games against brilliant opponents.

    Thanks Jack for taking the time to write up your report, look forward to reading of your other Equinox adventures!

  3. Holy crap. The maps add a lot to the text. Thanks

  4. Brilliant report, I appreciate the time and effort you have put into it. As a complete amateur in gaming in 8th edition, I am looking forward to the rest of your adventures and am sure I will be picking up plenty more tips along the way. I'm not sure I would have put the nobles into the spear unit, would they have survived better running free and out of sight of the flamers?

    As for the format of your report, it's great. The one thing that would improve it would be actual photos from the game as a supplement to your excellent maps, but I know most of us forget about doing stuff like that in the heat of battle.

    Cheers for a jolly good post old bean. Hey, I'm British. ;)

  5. Brilliant report and I really appreciate the maps (battle chronicler?) - they make it more possible to follow the game and enjoy it.
    Thanks for taking the time to give us something to do instead of working :-).

  6. Thanks for the feedback guys. I guess I'll be doing the others in the same format then :) I've also changed the list in the first post.

    Making the maps (using Battle Chronicler) really helps jog the memory, and thats how I'm able to remember a fair bit of it. Of course, I can alway make stuff up to fill the gaps if it seems right :D

    Not being used to having characters with armour, I didn't even consider leaving the characters in the open. I don't think there was enough move to get out of sight of the flamers though, so the BSB could have sat outside the unit with a 2+ reroll save. The reaver bow guy only had a 5+ save, so he probably still needed to be in the unit. Thanks for pointing that out