Suicide Elves go to the Slaughter - Complete

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Suicide Elves go to the Slaughter - Complete

Postby AndyP » Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:29 pm

Sheffield Slaughter 2007 Report

As a fully paid up flannel-wearing, mint julip-sipping, Nietzsche-reading nancy boy Im going to do my usual thing and write up my Slaughter report in instalments.

Sometime in December, I was feeling a bit guilty for taking some tough armies to tournaments recently, so I decided to do my penance and take an army that was a little bit different. Id always wanted to take a Dark Elf army with a cauldron of blood, the trouble was that Id never been able to come up with a list that I liked, due to a lack of points. Given that the Sheffield Slaughter was to be 2300 points, I figured that I would probably not have a better opportunity. I came up with a list themed on my usual monster-modelled DE troops, using the cauldron as a big cooking pot serving up dinner and driving all the beasties wild. Sadly, due to a series of woeful performances, my practise games gave this army another nickname the Suicide Elves.


Highborn: Heavy Armour, SeaDragon Cloak, Shield, Draich of Dark Power, Heartstone of Darkness, Stupid Chariot

Noble: BSB, Sword of Might, Blood Armour

Noble: Dark Pegasus, Heavy Armour, SeaDragon Cloak, Enchanted Shield, Lifetaker, Lance

Noble: Dark Steed, Heavy Armour, SeaDragon Cloak, Shield, Lance, Seal of Ghrond, Dragon Slayer Item


18 Spearelves: Shields, Banner, Musician

18 Spearelves: Shields, Banner, Musician

5 Dark Riders: Crossbows, Musician

5 Dark Riders: Musician


15 Witches (Cold one Warhounds): Soul Shadows Standard, Musician

10 Witches (Cold one Warhounds): Musician

1 Chariot: Spears

5 Harpies


1 Hydra

Cauldron of Blood


Basically this list just hurls itself across the table at its enemies, hoping to get there more or less intact, then when it does get there it realises that its out of range of the cauldron. Despite losing all of my practise games, they had all been great fun and a nicely different challenge.



GAME ONE Vs Mark (Sovoth) Hamiltons Dwarfs

Well, at least my lack of magic defence wasnt a handicap here, my lack of strength or toughness was a bit more of a worry. Mark had brought a stationary dwarf list with a runelord on anvil, thane general and BSB, two units of warriors, one each of hammerers, longbeards and miners, two bolters, a cannon, an organ gun and a gyrocopter.

Mark set up close to his baseline in a diagonal line, anchoring his flank on an Easterly building. I set up as much of my army in cover as I could. The cover didnt matter much, as I won first turn and ran like hell towards the stunties. The only sensible unit was the hydra (not being an elf, he had no wish to die no matter what his handlers insisted) who scuttled between pieces of cover and began working his way round the aforementioned building.

As expected, I took a few casualties in the first round of shooting, but not too many as Marks organ gun blew itself up on the first shot. This was all the break I needed and my mounted nobles slapped into the cannon and one bolt thrower, blasting right through the cannon, and killing the engineer from the bolter.

With the shooting elements thinned down, my main advance more or less made it to the dwarf lines and I could start the frustrating process of trying to kill dwarfs. Even with the increased range, the cauldron was no help as my troops were too far away to benefit. I managed to break and chase off one unit of warriors with the witches and a spear unit combined, but I subsequently lost the witches to an anvil induced rear charge from the hammerers. In revenge I charged my highborns chariot into the hammerers flank and spent the rest of the game killing one or two a turn, whilst they refused to run away. In true dwarf cowardice, the thane general refused to move through the ranks to see if my lord could killing blow his head off. By the end of the game the hammerers were tantalisingly close to half strength, but not quite there.

My heros finished off the final warmachines but were unable to help out with any unit killing, meaning that I only knocked out the one unit. The hydras sneaky plan was rumbled by the miners, who were anvil assisted in hunting her down and finally charging her. Four miners succeeded in causing three wounds and the hydra was finished off (three wounds had been caused earlier by a bolt thrower).

The gyrocopter performed well, killing off a unit of harpies and a unit of dark riders, before becoming overconfident and charging the cauldron of blood. The cauldron crew escaped harm from the gyros attacks and got lucky again on rolling to wound. The gyrocopter crashed in flames.

By the end of turn six, both armies were dented only slightly, each of us giving up around 1100 points. Mark beat me by 9 points, which as far as the tournament was concerned was a draw, but this was a disaster for the NWA vs TNG badger trophy, as it meant I had helped allow the NWA to go 2-1 up. I shall forever wear this mantle of shame.

On the plus side though, this was the best result I had ever had with the Suicide Elves (my previous best loss had been around 900 points, not 9). So things were looking up. This was the first time I had played Mark and he was a pleasure to face, so I was very happy with this first game.
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Re: Suicide Elves go to the Slaughter - Complete

Postby VectorAWX3 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:41 am

But did he punch you in the stomach and steal your army case? :x
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Re: Suicide Elves go to the Slaughter - Complete

Postby WickerNipple » Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:50 am

Or have polka-ghouls on display? :lol
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Re: Suicide Elves go to the Slaughter - Complete

Postby AndyP » Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:39 am

GAME TWO Vs Ian (Brody) Scovells Nurgle Daemons

As soon as Ian has finished painting his Big Papa, this army is going to be a serious looker. The plagueriders are ace, almost totally scratch built and very original. The gorgeousness of the army helped distract me from the Oh my God, how the feck am I going to beat this? voices that were rattling round my head. Ian had a little Papa, doing a Big Papa impression, a herald, 13 plaguebearers, 11 plaguebearers, two units of nurglings, two units of 4 plagueriders and a two-beast chariot. The scenario was bonus points for killing the enemies general fat chance of that then (pun intended).

I opened up my Ladybird Big Book of Dark Elf Tactics and flipped through to the pages on Nurgle Daemon Legions. According to the book, Nurgle DL shouldnt be too much of a problem as I can just use my speed to avoid combat and shoot/magic the diseased beggars back to the warp. I read on, looking to find the section for those DE armies without much shooting or magic. There didnt seem to be any such section. I guess I would just have to rely on my innate talent to pull me out of this one then. Damn.

I deployed as much of my army as possible near to the cauldron, as I figured that I would sorely need it. Placing the terrain allowed me to put some difficult ground centrally, as I could hopefully use that to flee into the terrain and trap some scabby boys too. On my right flank, I thought I would try an experiment: Can a unit of 10 witches, 7-wide, in the presence of a cauldron, take out a unit of plagueriders? The answer is no but they did have a good try. In fact, the three survivors rallied and came back again for another try. They still failed but did do enough wounds that a last-turn bunting spear from my horsey noble took the unit to half-strength.

Apart from that failed experiment, my first couple of turns were spent trying to engage the nurglings with the hydra and trying to wound the GUO with some bowfire (to get a 50pt bonus for wounding the enemy general). I also did a lot of delaying-tactic fleeing with the dark riders. A lot of fleeing.

I eventually gave the one unit of nurglings a good kicking with the hydra and Pegasus noble. Elsewhere, I was forced to engage Ian, before he engaged me. My large unit of witches were drawn into fighting the smaller unit of plaguebearers, containing the GUO and the herald. They died horribly, but did manage to take two wounds off the herald, allowing the chariot to charge in later, take the unit to half strength and finish off the herald (after the GUO had left the unit).

My other forced engagement involved the highborn and horsey noble smashing into the larger plaguebearer unit. I rolled one of the best rounds of attacks in my life, killing a total of eleven plaguebearers. The two survivors realised that even with the GUO and herald nearby, a roll of double one would still pop them through instability.

The rest of the game involved me trying to keep hold of the points I had whilst avoiding giving up any more. A couple of terrible flee-rolls from my spearmen and hydra saw them caught by chargers when they should easily have escaped. Worst of all was me making a grave mistake in my last turn, I thought I had the highborn protected from the chariot by my careful positioning of the harpies. Ian simply charged the harpies with his nurglings, forcing them to rank up and allowing the chariot to thunder in and kill the highborn, giving up something like 630 points in the process. (330 for the highborn, 200 for being the general and 100 for the plaguebearers banner)

A schoolboy error and two poor flee rolls had cost me a draw or minor loss that I feel would have been quite a coup. To his credit, it wasnt all bad luck. Ian played very well and deserved his massacre win. Hes also avenged himself for the unlucky loss he suffered to my chaos army in Nottingham two months previously.
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Re: Suicide Elves go to the Slaughter - Complete

Postby AndyP » Mon Jan 22, 2007 3:43 am

Quote:
But did he punch you in the stomach and steal your army case? :x


No

Quote:
Or have polka-ghouls on display? :lol


and no. Shame, really. I'm sure people would actually enjoy the reports more if that did happen.

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Re: Suicide Elves go to the Slaughter - Complete

Postby AndyP » Mon Jan 22, 2007 5:45 am

GAME THREE Vs Chris Legg using Joe Sturges Dogs of War

As is to be expected after a low scoring draw and a big big loss, I was on the bottom row of tables for game three. I pulled off a dramatic promotion though. As I was drawn against my TNG team-mate Rob, we switched opponents with the next door table, boosting my up to the next-to-bottom row :)

Because there were an uneven number of players, Chris and Rich (the tournament organisers) were using Joe Sturges lovely Dogs of War army as the ringer army. I got to face Chris. The army had a level 4 with fire magic and a level 2 with beast magic, the paymaster and a captain on foot. The two main fighting units were a block of pikes and a unit of ten heavy cavalry, backed up by three units of ogres, a small unit of knights, two cannon, two units of duellists, light cavalry, two units of crossbows and some dastardly halflings.

With no particular reason to advance, Chris set up to maximise the effectiveness of his shooting troops, with an aim to soften up my assault force so that they would be easy pickings for his combat troops by the time I got there. This did mean that he had to stack up his combat troops, with two units of ogres in front of the pikes, big heavy cavalry and other ogres.

As against the dwarfs, I had no reason to stick around and get shot, so my suicide elves charged as one towards the DoW lines. I took some casualties from the shooting and magic, but I was in a position to charge on turn two. My horsey noble bolted out from the remains of the dark rider unit that had been accompanying him and smacked into the cannon, taking it out.

I spent the best part of three years in Dundee, whiling away the arctic winters by playing my Dark Elves against Tim Gs dogs of war. I knew exactly what witch elves could do to a unit of DoW ogres. When I saw that Chris was inviting me to charge one of his ogre units I was glad that I didnt even get the choice (frenzy). Unable to flee the ogres because of the risk of (Ld 8) panic checks on the two big units behind, Chris was forced to watch the witches kill 2.67 ogres and have the two survivors run through the knights anyway, panicking them off the board. The witches followed up by crashing into the second wave ogres, butchering them and then running into a cannon crew and hero. More kills for the witches (although they were down to half strength by now).

Meanwhile, the third ogre unit had charged into both units of dark elf spearmen, one including the BSB. With the help of the cauldron, I was able to hold the charge and do enough wounds to break the ogres on the second round. With the hydra and horse hero chasing off the rest of the support units, this left the pikes with level 4 wizard pretty much surrounded. Chris tried to break out by charging through one of my spear units, but it was not to be once again the presence of the cauldron meant that I did more wounds to him than he did to me. I won the combat and the pikes broke and were run down.

After this, I tried to do some cleaning up and Chris managed to pull back a few points here and there, but the damage had been done. In all fairness, Chris had never even used a DoW army before and was a bit distracted by the fact that he had to actually run the tournament too, so I got to face him at far from his best. Add to the fact that Ive played similar armies many times in the past and I had a massive mis-match in my favour. Add to that the panicking of the unit that was the biggest threat to me and Chris was up against it from turn two, there wasnt much more he could have done.

As a bonus, I got a two-for-one revenge deal from that game. Not only did I avenge myself against Chris (defeated me at Britcon last year) I got revenge against the army that beat my Dark Elves at a GW heat a few years back. Revenge is a dish best served in large portions.
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Re: Suicide Elves go to the Slaughter - Complete

Postby AndyP » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:00 pm

GAME FOUR Vs Mark (toogoodwood) Woods Bretonnians

Of all my opponents over the weekend, Mark was the only one that I hadnt met (in person) before. I celebrated hard on the Saturday night, after all I had my maiden win and our (controversial) pub quiz win to drink too. So, I wasnt exactly a ray of sunshine on Sunday morning. Thankfully, I couldnt have asked for a nicer opponent, Mark supplied me with water and cheerful chat that helped pull me out of the hangover, he also supplied me with my most enjoyable game of the weekend.

Marks well-balanced Brets had a Lord in a large unit of Realm knights, BSB in a large unit of Errants, Damsel in a small unit of Grails, Damsel in a small unit of Realm, 3 Pegs and 5 Questers. Backing up the knights were 3 units of ten bowmen, 20 Grail Pilgrims, 20 Men-at-arms and some yeomen cavalry. Mark set up with most of his lances riding parallel to come through a gap in the terrain, protected on one flank by the peasants and the other flank by terrain. I set up some spearmen and dark riders directly opposite his knights, with the hydra manoeuvring through the terrain (in a non-skirmishy manner, Neil) to try and get to the exposed flank. The main bulk of my troops set up opposite his peasants, but within easy range of the main knight advance.

As Mark prayed, I took first turn. I think this was absolutely critical as I was able to get my dark riders right up in front of the knights to start interfering with their advance. Luck struck and the errants charged after the dark rider bait, it didnt help that there were two damsels nearby to impress. I got away and the errants messed up the moves of the grails and the smaller realm unit. Not wanting to advance his lords unit unsupported, Mike was forced to stall his entire knightly advance.

The next turn the errants passed their test and very wisely decided not to charge at the freshly-rallied dark riders who were standing in front of some difficult ground. It didnt matter though and the damage had been done, the errants were well and truly jammed between my units, his units and the terrain.

In my next turn I was able to pounce. My hydra charged the small unit of realm knights, catching them after a very poor flee roll. My chariot slapped into the front of the errants, the dark riders into the flank, as well as the noble on Pegasus into the flank. With the help of the cauldron I was able to kill five knights, enough to break them. The errants got away, stranding my chariot in front of the lords unit and the unfortunate dark riders going in unsupported into the grails flank.

As would be expected, Mark charged his Pegasus knights in to the grail vs dark rider combat, to ensure victory and to get pursuit moves into my hydra and Pegasus noble. The dark riders only went and killed two grail knights, taking a single wound from the pegs and drawing the combat. In my following turn, my Pegasus noble got the hell out of dodge and the hydra happy ploughed into the Pegasus knights. With three dark riders now able to hit the damsel, I should have won the combat easily. It wasnt to be however and I got brutally slaughtered, losing the riders and the hydra. The Peg knights then went on to kill the cauldron in the final turns. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

In the middle, a unit of spearelves with BSB did a sterling job of holding a charge from the men-at-arms and questers, beating them in subsequent rounds and breaking the men-at-arms. They then finished off the questers (love that cauldron) and re-charged and re-broke the men-at-arms a further three times. I just couldnt catch them.

My witches, horse noble and lord ground their way through the grail reliquary, following through into the front of Marks lords unit, who had just demolished the cold one chariot. My frontal assault was assisted by a unit of spears in the flank as well as the Pegasus noble. In the heroic challenge, Marks lord ward saved a killing blow from my highborn and in return I ward saved his return attacks. The rest of the elves did the damage though, killing four knights, sending the lords unit running. With so many chasers, they were run down.

During the endgame, the spear unit held off a charge from the grails, to be assisted later on by the Pegasus noble and the small witch elf unit*. A solitary grail knight refused to break at the end of the game. My highborn got lucky with his ward saves again, when the BSB and remnants of the errants charged him. He dispatched the BSB and the big witch elf unit came in to finish off the errants.

* During the early stages of the game, my small witch elf unit and harpies had moved round the far flank and eventually took out both units of archers that were threatening my wussy T3 troops.

Reading the above, it would appear that I had quite an easy time of it, but that is far from the truth. There were multiple points in the game where things could have gone horribly wrong, but the dice favoured me. If my BSB and spears hadnt held the men-at-arms/questers charge, or if the dark riders had ran from the first round of the Pegasus knight/grail fight then both of my flanks would have been blown right open and the game would have gone totally the other way. Mark kept me on my toes the whole game, it was a real challenge and great fun. (another) Big win to me.
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Re: Suicide Elves go to the Slaughter - Complete

Postby AndyP » Mon Jan 22, 2007 6:52 pm

GAME FIVE Vs Matt (Braveheart) Otters High Elves

From the outset, it was obvious from the mis-match in our armies that this was not going to be a very enjoyable game for one or the other of us. Matt had a very defensive High Elf army, with level 3 archmage (seer), level 2 (seer) and another level 2. His magic was made more potent with the inclusion of both rings. Matt had a BSB with the reaver bow, and lots of shooting troops to go with him; a largish block of maiden guard, the same of seaguard, two units of archers, three chariots, 5 shadow warriors and two repeater bolt throwers.

Matt deployed evenly across the table, but then weighted his force by putting all his characters slightly East of centre, in or around the maiden guard. I deployed most of my stuff centrally, behind as much cover as I could find.

Matt went first, but I escaped lightly from Matts first shooting/magic phases, only losing a dark rider unit and a few casualties here and there. I had no choice but to close my eyes and make a break for it, everything moved from cover and ran towards the high elf lines. I aimed all my characters at the maiden guard unit, knowing that I had to silence the magic phase.

I wasnt so lucky in Matts second round. I lost my entire large witch elf unit to shooting and magic, as well as my BSB, other dark rider unit and spear unit (ran off the board). My horse noble escaped by the skin of his teeth thanks to his Golden Locks of Lane (re-roll saves). I also lost my harpies, but that was in a deliberate attempt to trap a chariot in some woods. At this point I was feeling pretty dejected, I wasnt in charge range yet and would have to endure another round of this at close range before I could even start attacking. I seriously doubted that I would see combat at all. One plus point was that the ring of fury ran out.

In my turn I chased the shadow warriors off with my Pegasus noble (it was the way he was heading anyway) and moved my horse noble and hydra up to threaten charges. On the other flank my chariot and surviving spear block moved to threaten the high elves for next turn.

The chariot in the woods failed its terror check for being too close to the cauldron and fled out, surviving death once again. Feeling sorry for me, Matt made some moves to at least give me a taste of combat. In order to avoid combat, his characters left the maiden guard. The archmage and BSB nipping round the flank of my Pegasus rider. Then Matt opened up with his ranged attacks, thinning out the smaller witch elf unit on my western flank (to be later finished off by a chariot) but concentrating his fire on the Pegasus rider and hydra on the eastern flank. The 1+ save of the Pegasus rider saved his bacon, but the Pegasus was not so lucky and it was fried/skewered. The hydra lost a handler and a couple of wounds but was okay.

Thankfully another round of poor rolling and some lucky lucky armour saves from my nobles had kept them alive. Also the loss of the Pegasus meant that the noble could now charge the archmage, which he did, running him down. The hydra chased the BSB off the table, the highborn took out a repeater bolter. The mounted noble chased down the non-seer level 2.

With yet another round of poor shooting, and virtually no magic left, Matt was unable to stop the angry dark elf survivors that were rampaging through his lines. My cold one chariot and spearelves took out the repeater bolter and the seaguard on the eastern flank, whilst the rest of my army ganged up on the maiden guard. The chariot that killed the small witches went on to kill the cauldron, but was out of the game in doing so. Just like that, the battle had completely swung my way.

Unfortunately, once I had reached his lines there was little Matt could do, so he was the dejected one for the second half of the game. Its not fun to have your troops slaughtered by the dozen in close combat either. It was sporting of him to make the aggressive moves he did make in his third turn. Of course, the battle would still have gone his way if either of my nobles had fallen to the hail of arrows heading their way, but their seadragon cloaks held out well. Absolutely crucial was the death of the Pegasus, as that directly led to the death of the archmage. If any of these things had not gone my way, the game would have been Matts.



SUMMARY
Using up all the luck the gods had given me, meant I took three straight big wins for the last three games, catapulting me up the tables. With a good painting score*, average painting and not-too-bad quiz scores as well as whole host of drawn games on the table above me, I ended up in 8th place (out of 66) I was pretty darn shocked.

* I was actually nominated as one of the best six armies, but I reckon they just needed a sixth army to fill the table space, as the other five armies were all miles better. No, Im not being modest, they were.

I quite enjoyed using the suicide elves, even if they can suffer from some very bad match-ups. Obviously there are a few theme-sacrificing changes I could make to make the list a bit more competitive but thats not the point now, is it?

As always, hope you enjoyed reading.

Next stop, Liverpool with the Chaos

Andy P
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Re: Suicide Elves go to the Slaughter - Complete

Postby VectorAWX3 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:15 pm

It's all about the theme. :)
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Re: Suicide Elves go to the Slaughter - Complete

Postby elrodogg » Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:25 pm

Yes Nidal, theme. :rolleyes


Andy, great report as usual. Thanks! :D
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