I managed to line up a game in our club competition mid-week, when using up leave before our year end. This meant we got to try out the reasonably new wargaming venue in Borough (near London Bridge) called Bad Moon Café. It was my first time using the venue and as you would expect for a new venue it was very bright and sparkly. The thing that sets it apart from other venues I’ve used (Warboar and Darksphere) is they have a bucket load of tables pre-set up and themed with scenery rather than having shelves/selection of terrain to pick and choose. You then book the table you want for a specific slot. It’s a nice idea and as a bonus it has a liquor licence. They also have a wall of models to buy, pretty much exclusively GW. It means they have a great range and more online. Price wise they are fairly average, around 10% off, which means that Darksphere is still the cheapest place to buy items.
Lord (General) – Birth-sword of Carcassonne, Gromril Great Helm, Gauntlet of the Duel, Virtue of Confidence – 234pts
Paladin (BSB) – Biting Blade, Enchanted shield, Dawnstone, Potion of Foolhardiness – 124pts
Paladin – Charmed Shield, Luckstone, Virtue of Heroism, Royal Pegasus – 164pts
Prophetess – level 4 Heavens, warhorse, Chalice of Malfleur, Crown of Command – 295pts
Damsel – level 2 Beasts, Dispel scroll – 140pts
10 Knights Errant, standard, banner of Chalons – 224pts
10 Knights of the Realm, Full Command (FC), Standard of Discipline – 279pts
10 Peasant Bowmen – 60pts
10 Peasant Bowmen – 60pts
10 Peasant Bowmen – 60pts
10 Peasant Bowmen – Villein, skirmish – 75pts
3 Pegasus Knights – 165pts
10 Grail Knights – FC, Banner of Defense – 440pts
1 Trebuchet – 90pts
1 Trebuchet – 90pts
Special Rules: In our comp, knights get devastating charge and if they roll a 10+ for the charge, impact hits (1) at Str 5.
My Wood Elves
Meriel of the Moon – Spellweaver (General) – Level 4 High Magic, Book of Ashur, Ironcurse Icon – 295pts
Sejal Dawntouch – Spellweaver – Level 4 Death Magic, Power scroll, Talisman of Preservation, Elven Steed – 320pts
Haldrin Stormlight – Glade Captain – Great Eagle, Charmed Shield, Dragonbane Gem, Hail of Doom arrow, Great weapon – 169pts
The Left Hand of Haldrin – Waystalker, Bow of Loren – 110pts
The Right Hand of Haldrin – Waystalker – 90pts
10 Glade Guard – Musician, Standard, Trueflight arrows – 180pts
25 Glade Guard – FC, Standard of Discipline, Swiftshiver arrows – 445pts
10 Deepwood Scouts – Standard – 170pts
5 Sisters of the Thorn – Standard, Licheborne Pennant – 155pts
6 Wildriders – Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame – 188pts
6 Wildriders – Standard – 178pts
10 Waywatchers – 200pts
In our comp we played open lists and these are posted on the club website for all to see. I’m also running it so had checked all the lists well in advance of the start of the comp. Having said that, it was well before xmas and I ended up looking at his list again just before he arrived.
The two things that jumped out was that the Knights Errant had a banner that prevented stand and shoot reactions. Guessing that by large unit of Glade Guard would be priority number one, they became my primary target to cut down to size.
The other thing was the number of peasant bowmen. This worried me. Sure they weren’t as accurate as my archers, but they had numbers and against my, mainly, unarmoured elves, they could really cause problems, especially as I would need to be concentrating on the knights at first instance.
You get 100 VPs for each enemy character slain at the end of the game (slain means dead or not on the table for any reason).
You gain an additional 100VP per character slain in a challenge
You can gain 350VP if your BSB is alive at the end of the game. If you don’t have a BSB you automatically get the points (that was a bonus for me as I didn’t have one so started up by 350pts!)
You gain 350VPs if you capture more standards than your opponent
Luke – Anaconda – Gain 500VPs for killing your opponents general (special rule – can add +1 to your generals LD for one turn, to a maximum of 10)
Me – Live to fight another day – Gain +250VPs for having a unit successfully flee from a charge. Gain an additional 250pts if that unit is alive and not fleeing at the end of the game. (Special rule – add D3 inches to one “flee” reaction).
Pre match rolls
The Wood elves took the following spells (this is on top of Curse of Anraheir and Shield of Thorns that the Sisters automatically get)
The Bretonnians took the following.
The terrain was set up by the store on the table and the only thing I changed was to remove the few bits of AOS scenery and replace them with more ‘old world’ appropriate pieces.
My free forest was laid front and centre in my deployment zone. The main unit went into this and then my other units were placed round it. The two units of wildriders went on the edges to provide some threat to anything trying to flank my central units (though one vanguarded back to the edge of the table to get out of range of the archers opposite them). Being immune to psychology, they didn’t need to be in the general’s leadership bubble.
The scouts were placed to hinder any attempt of his Peg Knights to Vanguard and to threaten his Trebuchet, whereas the Waywatchers were placed where they could target the greatest number of knight units.
As a total bonus, the Haldrin loosed the Arrow of Kurnous and it stuck Sir Bors, wounding the general! (No idea if Luke names his characters but I love Monty Python so I named them in my head after characters from the Holy Grail)
Turn 1 – WE
The wood elves remained concealed where they could, determined to let the Iron encased humans come to them.
The winds of magic blew reasonably strong, with a channel each and the Prophetess drawing on the power of the chalice to get a further dispel dice. The sisters started by attempting to cast Curse on the Knights of the Realm (KoTR). The Lady’s chosen vessel quickly dispelled this but it allowed the Meriel to boost the Swiftshiver Glade Guard with Hand of Glory (+1BS).
The large unit immediately made use of their enhanced prowess and 3 of the Errant Knights were swiftly taken out.
The small unit of Guard aimed at the KoTR, killing one of the unit, trying to distract them from their primary target.
The scouts aimed at the nearest Trebuchet, their poisoned arrows cutting down one of the poor unfortunate plebs manning it.
With insidious intent, both of the stalkers had selected Sir Robin the Brave, the enemy BSB as their target and from their concealed position they let loose. He shouted in pain as one of the arrows found its way through his armour and he started looking round nervously for the source.
The Waywatchers failed to do any damage to the KoTR.
Turn 1 – Bret
Sir not appearing in this film, dug his spurs into his Royal Pegasus, and shot forward towards the scouts in the woods. They duly let loose as he charged in, their poisoned arrows wounding him twice. As he reached their ranks, one of their number leapt from a tree, landing behind him and slit his throat, ending the threat before it materialised.
Sir Robin, eyeing the nearby wood in fear, bravely moved away from it, leaving the unit of Errants and into the relative safety of the KoTR.
The Pegasus Knights had seen where the sniping elves were located and swooped down to remove the threat to Sir Robin. The heavy woods prevented them reaching either of the assassins, who fled from the winged knights and to add insult to injury, one of their noble steeds was injured as they flew through the trees (I used the special rule from the strategy card, ensuring that one of the waystalkers escaped and netting 250 bonus VPs).
Recognising the threat of the Waywatchers, the unit of Grail Knights charged towards the elite archers, 4 of their number fell on the way in from the shooting. The assault didn’t go their way either as the elves made the most of the concealment in the house and their speed to butcher a further 5 of the blessed (or not!) knights. The waywatchers did not go unscathed, as Sir Bors had used the charge of the Grail knights to mask his own entry to the building and his surprise attack, together with those of the final Grail knight, struck down 5 of the waywatchers. Despite the carnage, the Bretonnians were repulsed from the building.
The archers on the far flank, led by Hugo le Petit moved forward to try and get into range of anything.
The Prophetess called forth the power of the lady and an immense bolt of lightning shot out into the wood elf Glade Captain, frying both Haldrin and the great eagle he was mounted on. It then leapt to the nearby waystalker toasting the fleeing elf (and denying me the final 250pts from the strategy card). The calamitous detonation, from the misfire, blew up 3 of the KoTR and the Prophetess only escaped harm as her talisman flared to life absorbing the shock wave.
Both Trebuchets attempted to shoot, the first misfired, taking it out of action for this turn and the other aimed at the remaining assassin but only managed a single wound! He then avoided the shots thrown his way from the nearby skirmishers.
One unit of peasant archers shot at the large Unit of Glade Guard. The unit was so large that even with their feeble skills they couldn’t fail to hit them and 3 of the elves fell.
The other peasants shot at the small unit of guard. One of their number also fell to a lucky pot shot.
Turn 2 – WE
The sound of an unworldly horn pierced the air as the wild hunt was sounded. Responding to the call, the Wildriders charged at the Peg knights. Taking one look at the savage elves bearing down on them, the knights fled, discarding their blessing in the process.
Sejal (Deathweaver) and accompanying sisters moved up in order to cause mischief.
The Highweaver looked at the sea of knights heading her way and wisely decided to relocate out of the guard unit and behind the wood elf lines.
The winds continued to dwindle but Meriel was still able to boost the glade guard with the hand of glory again. The miscast managed to wound both spellweavers and killed a sister.
The remaining waystalker stopped running, turned and then finished off the enemy BSB with a pinpoint shot. Sir Robin bravely passed away with an arrow protruding from his forehead.
The rain of arrows, from the woods, continued to pepper the Errant Knights. 4 of their number fell and with the BSB now dead, one flank unprotected with the peg knights having fled and the general not in range to inspire them, the unseasoned knights lost their nerve and ran.
The Scouts continued to target the Trebuchet, felling another of the crew as they cowered behind the mighty construct (I stupidly didn’t think about charging the Peg Knights to see if I could get them to run off the table).
With the Grail Knights neutered, the Waywatchers turned their attention to the only sizeable unit left and picked off two of the KoTR.
Turn 2 – Bret
Sensing their time had come, the Knights of the Realm lowered their lances and thundered into the glade guard. The Prophetess whispered words of power and a blizzard enveloped the wood impeding the elves within. The charge was met by a hail of arrows and 4 of the noble men were unhorsed. This left just the front rank of knights to defend the Prophetess behind them, however a further Knight was killed by the swift moving elves forcing the sorceress into the front rank. The knights in turn only manage to kill 4 of the slippery elves, the trees impeding their attacks.
Sir Bors also sounded the charge and then promptly failed to make it into the small unit in front of him.
The Errants continued to run almost guaranteeing that they would have to do something spectacular to earn their spurs. However the Pegasus Knights were able to control their mounts and turned to face the battle.
Seeing the flying knights still under threat, the skirmishing bowmen moved to block the Wildriders. They grinned inanely as they easily picked off the lone elven sniper, a strange sensation having filled their limbs and improving their shots. They didn’t realise that for the first time in their lives they had felt the touch of the lady and a harmonic convergence.
The peasant archers, seeing some of the enemy not only in the open but close to them, opened up and 3 of the sisters fell to their shooting. One of the Trebuchets also targeted the unit scoring a direct hit. The peasant’s brief elation at the prospect of extra rations from doing something useful was quickly crushed as they managed to cause just a single wound again!!
Turn 3 – WE
Seeing such easy prey in front of them, the Wildriders stormed into the skirmishers. They completely butchered them and in their enthusiasm, overran the maximum distance (which conveniently was just enough to get out of the charge arc of the recently rallied Pegasus Knights, much to Luke’s disgust!).
The magic phase was ineffective, as with the chalice and a channel, the Bretonnians ended up with more dice! Still it wasn’t a total bust as the dispel scroll was drawn out to prevent fate of Bunja being cast on the general.
The scouts, not trusting to their so far lacklustre shooting, moved out of the woods towards the Trebuchet, in the process also avoiding the charge arc of the Pegasus Knights. Sods law the poisoned shots paid off this time and the Trebuchet was destroyed.
Seeing the wounded General next to them, the remaining Waywatchers targeted the wounded Sir Bors. His armour was no protection against their deadly shots and another great Knight fell to the dangerous archers.
The small unit of glade guard, with nothing else of worth to shoot, targeted one of the units of peasants, killing 3 of the serfs.
The final sister felled one of the Errants with a lucky javelin.
The ongoing combat continued with the elves concentrating on the Prophetess, forcing a single wound through, whilst losing one of their own in return.
Turn 3 – Bret
The final Grail Knight went for glory, charging the small unit of archers but swiftly joined the corpse of the general as he was pierced by multiple arrows.
The 2 units of archers turn to sandwich the final sister. Risking a farcical comedy of errors with the possibility of shooting each other, between them they barely managed to take her down and shockingly, without slaying each other in the process.
The Errants finally managed to rally determined to save some face and the Peg knights moved up to assist the KoTR combat.
A huge gust of the winds of magic meant that the prophetess was able to cast both Iceshard and Harmonic into the KoTR and Glade Guard combat. It was followed up by a Comet right in between a number of the wood elf units. This was her last act of the game as the elves finally bought her low. Her 2 remaining bodyguards slew a further 3 archers in retaliation.
Looking for the money shot, the final trebuchet aimed at the exposed Highweaver. Miscalculating the power, the great machine came apart, slaying the unfortunate crew.
The flanking unit of peasants were then able to bring down 2 of the Wildriders stationed behind the house.
Turn 4 – WE
The rampaging Wildriders charged the peasants in front of them. Having seen what happened to the last unit, the indentured archers not surprisingly fled. The riders then redirected into the Knights Errant, crushing the final two and then overran to the edge of the board.
The other Wildriders made an ambitiously long charge into the flank of KoTR. The last of the Knights were butchered and the riders made a small overrun (in the process moving away from the comet.
The Darkweaver choose to move up next to the house the damsel was cowering in (and out of the shooting arc of the peasant archers).
The other wood elf units near the site of the comet, decided to try and move away as fast as possible. The small unit of Glade Guard swift reformed and moved off. The Highweaver ran towards the safety of the large glade guard unit, in the process ensuring the Pegasus couldn’t charge her.
With a seismic boom, the comet stuck engulfing the nearby Trueflight archers in flame and obliterating them. The rest of the nearby wood elf forces threw themselves to the ground or hid in the house and they all watched in relief as the rolling ring of destruction stopped mere inches away from them.
Reading from the mystic words inscribed on a piece of bark, the Darkweaver called forth her own vortex of destruction and cast a Purple Sun through the house. The damsel threw herself out the way but the peasants on the other side were taken by surprise as the rolling vortex burst out of the house and into their midst killing 6 of the downtrodden peasants. The single survivor pissed himself and then ran for safety, sobbing in fright.
The Deepwood Scouts had stealthily moved up and shot at the other unit of archers. Their poisoned shots cutting down half the unit, from behind, as they fled.
Turn 4 – Bretonnians
With the house creaking alarmingly around her and a purple sun sized hole ripped through it, the damsel moved out of the house and moved up hiding in the lee of the wayswatcher’s house, in order to get her spells in range.
In a last hurrah, the remaining Pegasus Knights flew into the Glade Guard. The attempt to boost them by the remaining damsel was swiftly squashed. The archers were unable to shoot the Knights as they charged, but the woods managed to finish off the injured Knight and wound another. This wasn’t enough to stop the flying knights and they did what the KoTR hadn’t been able to and not only beat the archers but then ran them down.
Turn 5 – Wood Elves
The two units of wildriders reformed to face the remaining threats. One at small unit of peasants, the other at the pegasus knights.
The Deathweaver kicked off the magic phase by Spirit leeching and killing the damsel. She then cast Soul blight on the unit of, so far untouched, peasants. With the waywatchers lining up a double tap, it wouldn’t remain that way for long!
The Highweaver then cast a boosted soul quench at the Pegasus Knights. It was always going to be a tall order to save 12 Str4 wounds on a 4+ save but he failed just 3 of them, which was unfortunately (for Luke), just the right number to remove them.
With nothing left bar 2 units of seriously depleted peasants, Luke graciously threw in the towel.
Me vs Luke
Total Points killed 2500 vs 1149
General Slain 100 vs 0
Standards captured 50 vs 25
Scenario objectives 1200 vs 300
Strategy cards 250 vs 0
Fully painted 750 vs 750
Total 4850 vs 2224
In the 20-0 system this gave me a 15-5 victory and puts me top of the table (for the moment at least!)
I can’t help but be hugely satisfied with that win, especially after the last two games played at Riotville. Things really did go right for me in most aspects of the game.
My shooting was deadly and I had a feeling it would be when the initial arrow of Kurnous exceeded expectations by wounding the general. The waystalkers also did their job, removing the BSB and becoming a distraction by putting the fear into Luke for the rest of his characters. This combined with him moving his general to attack the building meant that, when I focused fire on the Knights Errant (their banner that prevented a stand and shoot meant I was very worried about them) they were rolling their panic on a very average leadership 7 with no re-roll.
In a first, I actually managed to not only get my wildriders into combat but they also lived up to the hype. In fairness, everything they touched was seriously outclassed or under strength but still they did their job well.
Magic again is so random. The joy of having so many spells was I had something for every situation but it is so reliant on having a decent magic phase to utilise them and it was only in Turn 5 that I had a strong roll.
The other thing that I have to mention was that it was one of those games where lady luck was on my side (or more to the point not on Luke’s). Him rolling a triple one to charge the General in was just indicative of his rolling during the game, as were the two 1’s rolled for the S10 wounds with the Trebuchets, allowing first my two wound waystalker to survive a direct hit and then the Deathweaver, who also only had two wounds left!. My rolling, such as the wildriders overrunning 12”, which was the only result where they would get completely out of the charge arc of the Pegasus knights, was just rubbing it in. Sometimes these things just go your way.