Friday, May 16, 2014

Company of the Damned Battle Report: 2800 points of Wood Elves vs. Warriors of Chaos

Last night I had two friends over to get a game of Warhammer with my Wood Elves.  I brought my list I posted the other day  here and Brock brought the following:

The Warriors of Chaos army list is roughly:
Daemon Prince, Level 4 Nurgle
20 Nurgle Warriors with Halberds and BSB
2 Nurgle Chariots
1 Nurgle Gorebeast Chariot
3 Skullcrushers
9 Marauder Horsemen w/ L2 Shadow
Warshrine of Nurgle
5 Nurgle Chaos Knights


During deployment I showed my hand too soon and deployed my Glade Guard too early.  This and the fact that my opponent knows all my deployment tricks (where as I will deploy on one side of the field with my fast moving units then in the next movement phase zip over to the other side of the battlefield to engage a flank) made it difficult to pull off my normal chicanery.  Brock was smart in that he deployed his chariots and knights on the far right flank hoping that I would take the bait and deploy the Waywatchers near the Knights so that his Skullcrushers had full access to the Glade Guard on the left side.   Fortunately I was patient and after noting my Glade Guard deployment mistake, I continued with my pre-game plan and thus we have our deployment.

I chose to make the mysterious forest a Venom Thicket.

Turn 1

The Arrow of Kurnous hit the Daemon Prince in the face doing a wound which he then failed to save!  First Blood to the Wood Elves!

The Wood elves got the first turn which was the classic switch to the other side of the board to do battle routine.  The Glade Guard and Waywatchers stayed static however which benefited them greatly as they were able to do six wounds (4 were no armor saves) to the Skullcrushers and reduced them down to 1 model (I was very, very pleased with this turnabout).  The magic phase was uneventful as the Daemon Prince was able to block my spell casting with an irresistible force dispel and a subsequent matching when I attempted to cast Miasma.

The Warriors of Chaos also had a good turn where the entire army shifted hard to the right and I wasn’t able to stop them.  The Spellweaver blocked Stream of Corruption but could not stop Curse of the Leper being cast upon the Daemon Prince.    The Daemon Prince failed to cast Rancid Visitations on the Wildwood Rangers. (phew)

Turn 2

The Treekin charged the Daemon Prince while the Dryads and Treeman moved into position (I had no choice really because the chariots were coming next turn).  The magic phase was a huge success as not only did a Pit of Shades veer off target and nail the Warshrine (destroying it) but also I was able to get Okkam’s Mind Razor off  on the unit of Treekin.  The Shooting phase was a huge success also; I was able to Sniper the Level 2 to death via Waystalker (fast becoming my favorite character) and the Waywatchers/Glade Guard batted clean up on the remaining 9 Marauder Horsemen.  The Treekin took 2 wounds from the Daemon Prince (saving 2 others on their 6+) and dealt 2 more wounds to the already wounded Daemon Prince.  The resulting combat was a tie and both units stuck in there.  I was disappointed as I was hoping that I would blow through the Daemon Prince and smash into the chariots.
Sadly I knew then that I would be taking those on the chin.
Over all, turn 2 was a pretty big success as I was able to delete an entire unit via archery, another by magic and tied up his most destructive character with my heavy infantry.

The Warriors of Chaos decided that they had had enough of my tomfoolery and charged, a lot.  The Daemon Prince attempted to cast Curse of the Leper which was blocked and failed to cast the bigger version of Fleshy Abundance.  Brock cursed as I breathed a sigh of relief.  The impact hits from the chariots did 3 wounds to the Treekin and the Daemon prince and the Chariot Warriors did an additional 3 (I rolled 3 6’s to save).  The Treekin attacked back almost pulping the Daemon Prince with their strength of 8 attacks but he made his ward save but they did an additional 2 wounds each to the chariots but sadly their luck had run out and they were overran by the chariots which ended up slamming into the Treeman.  The Chaos Knights and Dryads fought and the Knights lost one of their own as they trampled the Dryads and smashed into an Eagle.

Turn 3

Turn 3 was a fairly brutal phase for the Wood Elves.  The Wild Riders slammed into the Chaos Knights that were engaged with the Great Eagle.  Meanwhile the rest of the army moved forward to get into position for a multicharge or receive one next turn.  The Daemon Prince blocked the Pit of Shades but was unable to halt the Miasma that tagged his Chaos Warriors or the Mindrazor on the Wild Riders.  The Glade Guard had marched but the Waywatchers began their reign of terror on the Warriors removing 5 guys in one salvo.  Close combat was pretty wild as the Wild Riders killed all but 2 Knights who in turn pulped the Great Eagle before being overrun.  The Wild Riders then slammed into the Chaos Chariot while the Treeman made short work of the already damaged chaos chariot but in turn taking 4 wounds.

The Warriors Turn 3 was just ugly.  The other chariot crashed into the Wild Riders while the Warriors of Chaos charged the Wildwood Rangers.  The Daemon Prince wiped out a unit of Glade Guard by dealing 15 Strength 5 wounds because the unit failed 4 toughness tests.  The Chimera used its breath weapon on the Treeman and killed it.  In close combat the Wild Riders were reduced down to 2 due to Impact hits but were able to kill one of the chariots before being wiped out totally.  The Warriors of Chaos and the Wildwood Rangers fought to a standstill, both of the units suffering casualties (the BSB died to my general in a challenge) but ultimately ending in a push. 

Turn 4

Turn 4 for the Wood Elves was a do or die as the Daemon Prince was in my flank and I would give up a ton of points if he survived and charged me.  So I decided to go for broke.  I charged the Warriors with my Eternal Guard, flew my Eagle behind the Daemon Prince in case he charged the archers and I also moved my archers to face the Daemon Prince.  The Spellweaver attempted to cast Mindrazor but even with her +5 she failed.  The Daemon Prince died when the Waystalker and his Waywatchers downed him with a flurry of arrows that ignored armor saves.  The Wildwood Rangers and my General died but the Eternal Guard were able to run down the Warriors after combat.
Brock decided to go for broke and charged and obliterated my last Great Eagle while his Skullcrusher, not wanting to be shot up by Waywatchers the next turn rearcharged the Eternal Guard.  The Eternal Guard lost combat and only were saved by the Stubborn LD9 reroll thanks to the BSB.  The Eternal Guard then failed to combat reform on LD6.

Turn 5

The phase was rather eventful as the Chimera was destroyed by a Pit of Shades while the Nurgle Chariot fell to massed arrow fire.  The Eternal Guard and BSB died to the Skullcrusher (WTF?)

The lone Skullcrusher, the last bastion of Chaos and the only survivor from the turn 1 onslaught charges the Waywatchers and beats them in combat.  He rolls a 6 when he needed a 7 to crash into the Glade Guard.  He still catches the Waywatchers who rolled a 5 on their flee distance.  The Glade Guard pass their panic test and settle in for the final turn.

Turn 6

The Wood Elves pivot and first reduce the initiative on the Skullcrusher by 3 then the spellweaver manages to land Withering on the Skullcrusher reducing his toughness to 2.  The Glade Guard then unloaded into the Skullcrusher doing 11 wounds of which he failed enough to die!

Wood Elves win.

What was learned:

This game was an excellent game to test out the new army with.  I made some deployment errors and despite not being able to fully utilize the Shadowweaver, it was totally worth it taking Lore of Shadow.  The Forest Spirits have definitely taken a hit in their offensive capabilities but I think synergizing spells like Withering or Mind Razor will help counteract that loss of Strength. 

The Wildwood Rangers are not an anvil unit, I should have positioned them nearer to the Treekin.  I did not wish to charge the Daemon Prince solo but due to deployment and where he ended up, I did not really have a choice.  The Wildwood Rangers however did very, very well with their WS5 and Str5 against the Warriors.  They reduced their saves to a 6+ and despite the Mark of Nurgle, and killed well. 

I should have pursued the Skullcrusher right off the bat, as I would probably had more units left at the end of the game.  I am glad that I managed to kill the Warshrine by accident as I was concerned about extra buffs.  During our game fortunately nothing spectacular came out of the challenges other than models dying. 

I will need to wither any unit I am going to engage with the elves, that or get mindrazored.  Even with a great weapon and Init 8, my general was hard pressed to do enough damage before return attacks hit him back.  Wildriders are absolutely great, they are just perfect for what you need to do with that unit – full offense. 

Archery is not as great as it used to be, the loss of the no-movement penalties hurts in that less hits were being scored than I was used to.  Fortunately I roll a lot of 6’s so Poisoned attacks helps a lot.  I may try a game or two with Trueflight after his list has survived another five or six match ups. I think the terrain in this game also saved the Warriors bacon a lot as I did not have many shooting opportunities due to the manor house and fence in the middle of the table. 

Brock had a good time and was pleased that he almost tabled me.  There are definitely some growing pains with this new army set up but I think that I’ll be successful with it.

Closing Thoughts:

1.       I need to make sure I stick to my game plan on how I want the attack talons to work.  Due to poor deployment I had to break off the Eagles to give “easy points” targets to my opponents or make them stress the +3 rear + charge resolution they provide in combat. 
2.       I need to position my archers a lot better.  Now that they will be fairly more static, I need to ensure my deployment doesn't block line of sight or prevent them from being shot due to close combat.
3.       The Eternal Guard and Wildwood Rangers are great if used in tandem.  If used by themselves, you need to rely heavily on luck.
4.       Lore of Shadow is an excellent choice for the Wood Elves.  It helps counteract the lack of high strength in the army.
5.       The Waystalker is a holy terror.  Brock remarked that had he been smarter he would have tried to nail the Waywatchers and Waystalker with Rancid Visitations early on in the game.
6.       Impact hits annihilate this army.  This hasn't really changed from the last book but due to the increase in offensive might on units like Wild Riders, they really need to get the charge off and prevent units that can do impact hits from doing so.
7.       Always Strike First is incredible as it increased the offensive effectiveness of the army in close combat.
8.       Nurgle is a douche and I hate that army.

As I continue using the newer units and learning how the army has changed, I will post up more reports.

That’s it for now.