With the kids and ourselves on holiday, Greg and I arranged to meet up to kick off the whfb competition. Due to the club being shut over the break we decided to meet and play at Warboar, a Friendly Local Gaming store (FLGS) located in southeast London.
It was the first time I’d played there and they had a reasonable space upstairs with a multitude of mats and plenty of scenery on hand (though most was aimed at 40k). The staff were very friendly and there was also a café in the store that also had a bar, bonus! I’d definitely go back there again.
Although I’ve only played Greg a few times at Warhammer, he is one of my regular D&D group so we are well acquainted. We were both a bit rusty on the rules (I last played 3 months ago but Greg hadn’t played in almost a year!). As such we had decided to take a more relaxed approach to the game.
Any mistakes are purely down to memory.
We both had chosen to take magic heavy lists, so it would be interesting to see how that panned out.
Greg’s Dark Elves
Supreme Sorceress (General) – Lvl 4 Dark Magic – Talisman of Preservation, Steed – 285pts
Supreme Sorceress – lvl 3 Dark Magic – Talisman of Endurance, Manticore – 385pts
Death Hag (BSB) – Cauldron of Blood – 300pts
5 Dark Riders – Standard, spears, repeater xbows, shields – 110pts
5 Dark Riders – Standard, spears, repeater xbows, shields – 110pts
34 Witch elves – FC, Banner of Swiftness – 419pts
5 Coldone Knights – FC – 180pts
Repeater Bolt Thrower – 70pts
Repeater Bolt Thrower – 70pts
5 Shades – 80pts
5 Shades – 80pts
War Hydra – 160pts
5 Doomfire Warlocks – 125pts
5 Doomfire Warlocks – 125pts
Total – 2499pts
My Wood Elves
Merilel of the Moon (General) – Lvl 4 Highweaver – Book of Ashur, Ironcurse Icon – 295pts
Sejal Dawntouch – lvl 4 Deathweaver, steed, powerscroll, talisman of preservation – 320pts
Haldrin Stormlight – Glade Captain, Charmed shield, Dragonbane gem, HODA, Great Eagle – 169pts
The Left Hand of Haldrin – Waystalker, Bow of Loren – 110pts
The Right Hand of Haldrin – Waystalker – 90pts
10 Glade Guard – Standard, Musician, Starfire Shafts – 180pts
25 Glade Guard – FC, Swiftshiver arrows, Standard of Discipline – 445pts
10 Deepwood Scouts – Standard, Hagbane tips – 170pts
5 Sisters of the Thorn – Standard, Lichborne Pennant – 155pts
6 Wildriders – Standard, shields – 178pts
6 Wildriders – Standard, shields, banner of eternal flame – 188pts
10 Waywatchers – 200pts
Total – 2500pts
A – Invade and Defend
Gain 500 victory points (VP) if your opponent doesn’t have a unit containing fortitude in your deployment zone
Gain 500 VP if you have a unit containing fortitude in your opponent’s deployment zone
Gain 400 VP if you kill more characters than your opponent.
The Highweaver ended up with: Soul Quench, Hand of Glory, Arcane Unforging and Fiery Convocation.
The Darkweaver took: Spirit Leech, Soulblight, Doom and Darkness and Fate of Bunja
The Lvl 4 Sorceress had: Doombolt, Shroud of Darkness, Chillwind, Word of Pain
The lvl 3 Sorceress rolled: Doombilt, Black Horror and Power of Darkness
I chose Card D – Operation Anaconda. You gain 500 VP if the enemy general is dead by the end of the game.
The card special rule, when played, gives the general +1 LD until the start of your next turn. This is capped at LD 10, so was of no use to me as my general had an LD of 10 due to the standard of discipline.
Greg rolled a D6 for his and ended up with Card A – take the field. You gain 500 VP for controlling more quarters than your opponent.
The special rule allows you to vanguard a core unit or character. (I may be wrong but I think Greg forgot to do this, as if he had, it is more than likely the Witches would have been in my face at a much earlier junction!)
The comp pack specifies that each board should have: 2 buildings, 1 forest, 1 marsh, 2 hills and 3 walls and fences. Greg placed the first piece and then we alternated. I think we both had the same idea but for different reasons as we both placed almost all the scenery down the centre of the board. I think Greg was trying to block my line of sight for shooting, whereas I was trying to impede his witch elf horde.
I won the roll for choosing sides and with the terrain so even, choose the side I had been sitting on.
Laying down my free forest on the right, kind of gave away where the big unit of glade guard was going, even with the dummy drops on the other side.
Even with me getting the bonus to the first turn roll, Greg won it and elected to go first.
Scout placement and vanguard moves
DE Turn 1
Before the Dark elves were able to move, an Arrow of Kurnous sought out the enemy general, striking true and wounding the supreme sorceress. (I initially forgot to roll for this but Greg kindly and probably much to his regret, let me do it after the start of the game).
The two units of Warlocks and the supporting Darkriders (containing his general) continued their swift advance, moving to surround my Sisters bunker and Captain on eagle and putting extreme pressure on that quadrant.
With the limited forces on that side of the table distracted, the witches, Hydra and Sorceress on Manticore advanced up the centre, using the large central building to protect their flank from the bulk of the Wood elf ranged units.
The Knights and the final unit of Darkriders decided they didn’t like being exposed to so many enemy archers and decided to ‘strategically withdraw’ (run away) towards the bulk of their forces.
The winds of magic blew strongly with the DE mages maxing out at 12 power dice. Both units of Warlocks fired Doombolts at the Wood Elf Captain but Merilel was watching over her champion and dispelled both missiles. She was unable to prevent the final Doombolt from the sorceress targeting the ‘Left Hand of Haldrin’ and the Waystalker and his magic bow, were torn apart by the magic missile. The Magical feedback from the miscast killed off one of the Warlocks.
The two units of Shades and the Darkriders all targeted the closest of the Wildriders, slaying 5 of the 6 frenzied elves.
The two Repeater Bolt Throwers targeted the Scouts but were unable to replicate the damage caused on the other side of the battlefield, the multiple bolts only piercing 3 of them.
WE Turn 1
Wood elf movement was limited to redeployment, with Haldrin leapfrogging the warlocks, whilst keeping out of the Manticore’s charge arc. The Deathweaver and sisters failed their march roll so just moved round a little bit. The large unit of glade guard reformed to face the majority of the dark elf forces whilst the smaller unit of guard moved up in support. The remaining Wildrider and the second unit of wildriders retreated behind the archers (while I worked ot what I was going to do with them).
Magic was a write off, with the winds reversing to give a low roll. Fate of Bunja failed to cast (Doh!) and Hand of Glory was easily dispelled.
Haldrin shot the Hail of Doom arrow into the Darkriders but the winds had obviously effected it and the magical arrow had lost its potency, only downing a single rider. 50 shots from the Glade Guard swiftly followed, the weight of arrows wiping out the unit and leaving the Supreme Sorceress on a single wound and looking rather worried.
The Waywatchers found themselves just within range of the Coldone Knights and quickly took out two of them. The small unit of glade guard then tried some speculative shooting at the shades in the building and picked off one who had made the mistake of showing herself at the window.
In the final shooting of the turn, the Scouts took revenge for their earlier deaths and took out one of the bolt throwers.
DE Turn 2
The Witches continued their advance, wheeling round the building to bring them into view of the large unit of glade guard.
One unit of warlocks moved to the edge of the board, next to the Eagle rider. The Sorceress on Manticore moved up to threaten the same rider with a charge in the next turn.
The rest of the DE forces moved up in support of the witches, with the shades leaving the building. They also conveniently formed a living wall in front of the DE general, who had retreated behind the relative safety of the central building. The Doomfire Warlocks then charged into the Sisters unit directly in front of them.
Magic started with a Doombolt launching at Haldrin. Knowing that the sister’s combat could be key, the two wood elf spellweavers glanced at each other and let the spell through. To their regret, Haldrin and his mount were swiftly vaporised by the profusion of dark bolts. His sacrifice was not in vain as it allowed Merilel to prevent Soulblight weakening the sisters.
The DE shooting proved very ineffective with 20 shots from the shades failing to injury the remaining Waystalker and the RBT also failing to kill any of the Deepwood Scouts.
In the only combat of the round, the Sisters overcame the Warlocks, slaying two and sending the remainder running. They restrained from pursuing (though in hindsight that was a mistake as it was their turn next go).
WE Turn 2
Again there was relatively little movement from the wood elves. The Deepwood scouts advanced so that all of them could fire on the bolt thrower. The single wildrider ran away behind the nearby building to conserve his points and the sisters moved up to get the Deathweaver in range of the enemy general and out of the charge arc of anything else (as the fleeing warlocks combined with the witches were blocking them).
The winds of magic picked up again giving the max number of 12 dice and the wood elves made good use of them. Sejal started by casting Fate of Bunja on the enemy general and in a fit of cunning, the sorceress on Manticore interfered with the winds, preventing the general from attempting a dispel, allowing the wood elves to kill the Supreme Sorceress and her rival for power. (This in turn achieved my strategy card bonus and gain the 500 bonus VPs). The Sorceress then let Hand of Glory go through (for a +2 BS on the large unit of glade guard) but successfully dispelled both the Soul quench and Curse of Anraheir aimed at the witch elves.
The large unit of Glade Guard then opened up on the witches and 16 of them were summarily cut down. The other unit of Guard and the sisters accounted for a further 3. The frothing unit of madwomen was definitely looking a bit more manageable now! (Note: we just started recording the number of witches left on the dice, rather than removing the models, hence the unit looked untouched in the photos).
The Scouts again targeted the bolt thrower but failed to do any damage but the waywatchers then stepped up to the plate and removed it in a single round of shooting.
DE Turn 3
Out for blood and eager to get to grips with their arboreal kin, the witches surged forward but the hail of arrows that answered their charge, faltered their advance. On a plus point, they only lost 3 more of their number to the 50 shots.
The rest of the forces moved up, surrounding the sisters and the Deathweaver (and the warlocks successfully rallied).
Magic was a bust for the DEs with Black Horror failing to cast and Doombolt being dispelled.
Their shooting was somewhat more effective with the dark riders killing the final waystalker and the combined fire of the shades taking out 2 of the sisters of the thorn.
WE Turn 3
The Scouts continued their march into the DE half of the board, looking to get into the deployment zone and thus secure those scenario points. The Wildriders all moved up, ready to counter charge should the witches kill the large unit of Glade Guard. The sisters again failed their leadership roll to march but were still able to move to prevent anything charging them.
Fate of Bunja was fast proving to be the Deathweavers favourite spell and this time it was the Deathhag’s turn to feel its gaze. The Cauldrons inbuilt magical resistance came to her rescue and she only took a single wound. The Highweaver then failed to cast Fiery Convocation (damn!) and Spirit Leech (also aimed at the Deathhag) was dispelled.
The Woodelf archers all combined to target the witch elves and after the hail of arrows had finished, another 10 had been slain and the cauldron had also taken a wound and this left only two of the witches and the Deathhag standing.
DE Turn 4
The remaining witches again tried to charge the Glade Guard and with another stand and shoot reaction in the making, Greg just removed the unit.
The cold ones chose this moment to fail their stupidity test and stumbled forward (it was possibly the second turn in a row).
With another huge magic phase, the wood elves were unable to stop volley after volley of doombolts targeting the sisters and their boosted ward was unable to save them. With the sisters all dead, the wounded Deathweaver ran towards the safety of her own lines. She was followed by a flurry of crossbow bolts and although she was further wounded, they failed to bring her down.
WE Turn 4
The Scouts continued to move into the opposing deployment zone and the waywatchers moved out of the building, ensuring they kept the marsh between them and any of their dark kindred. The Deathweaver continued to flee after failing to overcome the fear of her own mortality.
The winds had blown themselves out but despite that, the highweaver still managed to attempt two spells. Hand of Glory was dispelled but Soul Quench obliterated the closest unit of Shades. The waywatchers then targeted the other unit, turning 3 into pin cushions and leaving just two remaining. The larger unit of glade guard turned their sights to the so far undamaged unit of warlocks and when they were finished, a single model was left alive. The final unit of Guard looked to utilise their arrows by firing at the Hydra and took off a single wound.
DE Turn 5
The remaining DE force moved up to form a cohesive battleline ready for a final turn charge.
In another astounding roll, Greg again pulled out a maximum 12 for the winds of magic. He then proceeded to again fire off 3 doombolts against the running Deathweaver. The first was dispelled, the seconded failed to cast but the third was cast by the sorceress with irresistible force and broke through the weavers defences, finally slaying the proverbial thorn in the DE foot. The calamitous detonation only wounded the Manticore thanks to the Sorceresses continuing ability to make her 5++ ward save.
The dark elf shooting again proved to be subpar, with the combined fire of the darkriders and remaining shades unable to kill any of the wildriders.
WE Turn 5
Still not knowing what to do with themselves and not liking the look of the hydra and manticore eyeing them up, the Wildriders, for the second time, decided that they needed to be somewhere else and backed off to threaten with a counter charge.
The winds of magic again dropped off for the wood elves but the Highweaver still managed to cast Hand of Glory on the glade guard to improve their BS. She then targeted the single warlock with a Soul Quench, casting it with irresistible force. The power of the spell not only destroyed the warlock but the dimensional cascade blew up 9 guard from the unit and sucked the Highweaver into the warp! To make matters worse, the unit then failed its panic test and ran. Disaster!
With things looking suddenly grim, the remaining wood elves held their nerve and concentrated on making the dark elves pay. The waywatchers shot at the darkriders, killing three and with casualties mounting and order breaking down on both sides, the remainder also decided to flee. The Scouts and smaller unit of guard both decided to even the playing field and concentrated on the remaining sorceress. She once again passed all her ward saves but her beast was not so fortunate and she was quickly left standing exposed on the corpse of her manticore.
DE Turn 6
In a last bid to get some points, the Hydra tried to charge the 10 glade guard but all it got for its trouble were two additional wounds and a failed charge.
The dark riders rallied and the remaining warlocks decided to retreat to conserve points. The shades moved into the building to gain hard cover and the Sorceress also moved behind the building to avoid being shot. In a typical underhanded Dark elf tactic (yes I was impressed) she then cast Black horror at the waywatchers with another irresistible force. One of the Shades in the building succumbed to the vortex, as did one of the Waywatchers. The miscast was another Calamitous Detonation (which she again saved with the ward) but that signalled the end of the magic phase.
The little shooting available, failed to do anything.
WE Turn 6
In the final turn of the game, I tried to maximise what points I could. It started with the large glade guard regiment rallying, denying Greg any points for them.
The waywatchers did their best to eliminate the Coldone Knights but only managed to slay 2 of the 3 remaining knights.
The scouts and two units of glade guard all aimed at the Hydra but only managed two wound it twice, leaving it clinging to life with a single wound remaining.
In a brutal first game, the Wood elves not only pulled out a win but it was the first one I’d managed with them in 8th edition!
With regards to the scenario objectives, I had a unit with fortitude in Greg’s deployment and had prevented him getting any in my deployment zone, netting me 1000 VPs (500 VPs for each). Greg had killed more characters than I had, giving him the last objective and 400 VPs.
I also achieved my bonus objective in killing his general (for another 500 VPs). He didn’t achieve his objective of capturing more table quarters than I did.
The final breakdown of Victory points were:
Wood Elves Greg’s Dark Elves
Total from kills 1840 1253
General slain 100 100
Scenario 1000 400
Strategy card 500 0
Fully painted 750 750
Total 4190 2503
In the 20-0 format, due to the variance in VPs of 1687, it worked out as 13-7 Tournament points in my favour.
That was an extremely brutal but immensely fun game. It had lots of carnage, a number of points where the game swung and a great opponent. All the hallmarks of a fantastic game and a reminder of why I love this edition so much.
Both of us were a little rusty on some of the rules but there wasn’t too much looking in the BRB or army books. We both made a few errors on deployment and I’ve never played a game with so many scout drops and vanguards from both sides. It made the opening moves very interesting.
There were a number of large magic phases in the game with 4 of them netting the maximum 12 dice (after channels). Three of these were on Greg’s turn, well above the odds. That pretty much guaranteed 3 Doombolts were going to head my way. A frightening prospect of 6D6 Str 5 hits plus a multitude of additional S1 hits from the attribute. He did balance this out by rolling at least 3 miscasts but he again came out of these unscathed each time (in part down to the sorceress continually passing her 5++ ward – the dark gods were smiling on her!). It was definitely the first game that I’ve really enjoyed using magic (at least until the sucked into the warp incident) and I didn’t dither too much over what to use.
I did think that Greg spent too much time chasing around after the sisters. They almost acted as a distraction carnifex for him.
Unlike most of my games, I’m not going to pick apart what worked well or not for my list, mainly as I’m sure a number of my opponents will end up reading this and they can make their own deductions from the report rather than me spelling it out for them. Instead I’ll make notes, that I won’t include here and will then add them into my list analysis at a later date.
I’ll end this brief summary by saying that there are always a number of ‘what if’ situations in a game and one of those for me was ‘what if Greg (and I) had remembered that he gained an additional vanguard and it could have been used on his witches’. It would have meant they would have been an additional 12” across the board from the start. It may have made no difference as other things may have played differently but they may not have been shot to pieces before making it into combat (and the destruction of that unit by my archers, I’ll add, was probably the highlight of the game for me. Having been on the end of them so many times, it was just extremely satisfying so delete them with shooting).
Greg also writes a blog and also wrote up a report from his view point (with more photos taken by him). It can be found here: https://gregwfb.wordpress.com/2018/12/28/2018-19-wfb-campaign-game-one/