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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Dark Elves vs Lizardmen Massive 4999pts Battle Report (pictures)

A great Warhammer Fantasy Battle bloodbath !

"Salamander and Razordons manage two wounds on the Hydra..."
[Ed - I love monster on monster combat :)].

Ed. - This fantasy battle is a toughie for me, the Lizardmen and Dark Elf armies are my arch rivals since the new Army books came out. Esp. Dark Elves !

source : David L23-Sep-2009

Time for another big battle, this time 4999 points, Lizardmen vs DE. I dislike the new Lizardmen book compared to the previous version (Slann now boring, bad magic items even worse, little reason to take anything but stegadons), so I have barely played with it, but I basically have Lizardmen to play big games like this. Raf has lots of armies this big and chose to run his Dark Elves.

Lizardmen Army 5000 points (almost !)

Slann, BSB, extra dice, all spells, discard 6s, magic resistance, Cupped Hands, Bane Head (Hotek), power stone, power stone, war banner, Lore of Metal
Oldblood, la, cold one, Scimitar of the Sun, Enchanted Shield, Carnosaur Pendant
Oldblood, la, sh, Burning Blade of Chotec, Horned One, Glyph Necklace
Scar-vet, la, sh, Charm of the Jaguar Warrior
Skink Priest, level 2, Engine of the Gods, Amulet of Itzl, Plaque of Tepok (Second Sign, Lightning, Comet)
Skink Priest, level 2, Engine of the Gods, Curse Charm of Tepok, Scroll (Second Sign, Thunderbolt)
Skink Chief, la, sh, blowpipe, terradon, Blood Statuette of Spite, Sword of Might

10 skink skirmishers
10 skink skirmishers
2 swarms
2 swarms
11 skinks with 1 krox, musician, champion [Ed - "Skrox" in the text below]
11 skinks with 1 krox, musician, champion
19 Saurus, full command
18 Saurus, spears, full command
12 Saurus, spears

21 Temple Guard, full command, Sun Standard of Chotec
4 Terradons
6 chameleon skinks
6 Saurus Cavalry, banner, Huanchi's Blessed Totem

3 Razordons

Army List tactics / theory
I didn't want to take scrolls, so the Slann has extra anti-magic in case Raf does run some big magic. I highly doubt it, but I'd regret getting nailed by magic when I could have slowed it down.

I don't own a Carnosaur, or I might have taken it. But I have trouble coming up with any good Oldblood builds. The idea of the top Oldblood was to have enough attacks (8 and 2) to actually chew through Dark Elf units, but I would need to keep him off of enemy characters and their incredible saves. Too much of the DE army will be stubborn, and I cannot hurt them much at range, so he is likely necessary to actually kill them. I don't much like the Carnosaur Pendant, but it fit with the idea and it might be handy against a Hydra.

Second Oldblood is just what I could fit on him, so is the scar-vet. The Engines are fairly standard. Terradon Chief was just to try it, I don't expect much from him. I was tempted to get the bow or the mirrored shield, but I wanted the Blood Statuette somewhere and everyone else already had an enchanted item.

Swarms are for 360 charge rear-area patrol.

Skrox are bait units that might hurt something wimpy.

Pretty sure the chameleon skinks are not worth having, but I'll try them. Pretty sure the cavalry is not worth having either, but they do have multiple attacks. I gave them the banner to outcharge enemy cavalry.

This is almost everything I have. I have a few more skink models (not a unit), 7 more Kroxigors and a few more Saurus. No more stegadons. Unhappily, I left a box behind with the 3 Razordons (Salamander models) and the 4th Jungle Swarm base. So those all got proxied by Kroxigor models!

5000 points Dark Elf Army list (well almost 5000 pts !)

Dreadlord, Armour of Darkness, Ring of Darkness, Soulrender
Dreadlord, Ring of Hotek, Armour of Eternal Servitude, Dagger of Hotek
Dreadlord, Manticore, Pendant of Khaeleth, Caledor's Bane, Potion of Strength
Death Hag BSB on Cauldron with Banner of Nagarythe
Death Hag on Cauldron
Sorceress, level 2, two scrolls, Chill Wind, Doombolt
Sorceress, level 2, two scrolls, Chill Wind, Word of Pain
Sorceress, level 2, two scrolls, Doombolt, Word of Pain
Assassin, manbane version
Assassin, manbane version

10 crossbows, shields
10 crossbows, shields
20 Corsairs, frenzy banner
10 handbow corsairs
10 handbow corsairs
9 harpies
9 harpies

18 Black Guard, full command, ASF, Crimson Death
21 Witch Elves, full command, armour piercing
21 Executioners, full command
21 Executioners, full command
7 Shades, great weapons
2 RBTs

Thoughts from the Lizardmen perspective
This is basically the combination of the two armies Raf took to the last GTs, plus Executioners. Largely what I was afraid of. He can negate my magic entirely, is mostly stubborn, and hits really really hard. I've fought the Corsairs, Black Guard and Witch Elves (each with one or two characters) repeatedly with Dwarfs and they kill 5-10 elite Dwarfs every round. Saurus will die even faster.

Also tells me I made a mistake taking Temple Guard. That locks the Slann in place, which means either the Temple Guard are useless (if on the flank), or the Slann is trapped by the Ring of Hotek. Perhaps the best alternative would be a cheap Slann in the TG as BSB and general (nothing but war banner) and a real caster Slann solo on a flank. But I only own one Slann model.

Terrain is a couple forests, a couple hills, a swamp, a building, and a big rock.
Going from north to south, I have ...

Terradons with chief, Thunderbolt Engine, chameleons,
skrox with swarms behind, TG with scar-vet, swarms, big spears
shield Saurus with Horned One Oldblood, Razordons, Salamander, skirmish screen, Comet Engine
skirmish screen, small spears with Salamander behind, attacky Oldblood, skrox, normal stegadon
salamander behind rock, Saurus Cavalry

Lizardmen north side

Lizardmen south side

His army, from north to south ...
handbows, RBT, crossbows with wizard, RBT
Executioners with harpies behind, Black Guard with general, frenzied Corsairs with Hotek Dreadlord, BSB Cauldron and harpies behind
both hydras in forest
Executioners, second Cauldron, Witches, handbows with wizard, crossbows with wizard, Manticore behind, shades

Dark Elves north side

Dark Elves south side

entire table

The Stegadons are hoping to flank his big infantry blocks. Saurus cavalry are hoping to take out some shooters and turn inward on the infantry. Terradons will hopefully stop his artillery. I could have tried to avoid the ring with the Slann, but then my TG, general and BSB would be totally separate from the main battle.

Turn 1
My having a few extra drops let me get a few of the direct matchups I prefered (TG unit, big spears opposite BG, cav away from RBTs), but also gives him the first turn.
BG and southern Executioners get Cauldron ward saves as the DE army starts a general advance. The fliers stay conservative.

His three level 2s gives him 8 power dice to my 8 dispel dice and one scroll. Nothing is in range for the Slann to make discard 6s, and nothing is going to cast at the Slann, so those 100 pts are useless. Chill Wind gets through and kills half the chameleons.

Shooting kills 2 regular crew on the northern Engine while the Sun Standard limits Temple Guard losses to 1. The south side is a disaster for the Lizardmen as 10 crossbows and 7 shades drop half the Saurus Cavalry.

end of Dark Elf turn 1

In the north, the Terradons move to the front of the forest, hoping the cover will prevent them being slaughtered by the DE shooting. The Engine moves into position to flank the advancing Executioners while the chameleons and skrox move to bait them. My center largely stays in place, except swarms going out to annoy harpies.

Attacky Oldblood moves toward his Executioner target with a skink screen against RBT fire from the north.

I see an opportunity towards the south, as his Witches can be frenzy baited. Skrox move to about 9 inches away, while Stegadon and spear Saurus prepare to flank. The skrox will have to take the charge to ensure a double flank, but overrun will get the witches away from the cauldron and remove their Stubborn. The Saurus are probably unnecessary, but if he pops a manbane assassin to hurt the stegadon, the stegadon alone might not win by enough to force double 1s.

On the far south end, injured Saurus cavalry advance to just out of shade charge range while a Salamander moves along with. The Manticore is going to charge something, nothing I can do about that.

Magic is useless. I will not get a spell off the entire game.

Shooting, however, is not entirely out of range. The Giant Bow on the regular Stegadon shoots at a Hydra, rolls a 6, and it fails the regen save!!! Two wounds means its breath weapon is no longer total death.

end of Lizardmen turn 1

Turn 2
In the north Raf takes none of the skink bait, but the witches in the south have no choice. The Manticore charges a Salamander, which flees out of range.

The main middle moves up, one unit of harpies being annoying in the center, the other hanging back.

Magic kills the Skink Chief on a Terradon and wounds one of the unit. Also wounds southern Stegadon. Despite a super Slann and two Engines of the Gods, I'm getting seriously out-magiced by three level 2s!!

Weakened Hydra breath gets one skirmish skink, big hydra puts two wounds on Razordons. RBT injures northern skink priest.

Skrox get butchered, but 3 skinks and the injured Kroxigor survive, which is exactly 25%, so after they escape pursuit they can rally. Witches pursue right where I want them.

end of Dark Elf turn 2

Attacky Oldblood, who is lined up to go into some nice Executioners, now fails his stupidity and stumbles in front of them. If they get the charge, he likely gets killing blow'd instead of chopping them up.

Terradons charge RBT, two of them able to drop rocks on crossbows along the way for 3 kills. Jungle Swarms charge rear harpies, figuring poison on the charge should ensure victory. Little spears and little stegadon squish Witches. Saurus Cavalry charge crossbows with wizard and activate their banner in hopes of preventing a successful flee. Elves stand-and-shoot to no affect. Fleeing Salamander and skrox rally.

Northern Engine moves into complete flanking position along the lake, while the 3 chameleons get wet next to him. Skrox stand in front of Exeuctioners waiting to die. Skinks and one Salamander move up to be annoying while Razordons and last Salamander hope to kill something.

I forget to explode the northern Engine, so it keeps the ward save. Shooting kills a couple Executioners and puts one more wound on the injured Hydra (2 left). Skinks get a few Black Guard.

The Terradons kill just one crew and lose the injured Terradon in return. Last crew holds. I really miss Terradons that were slightly useful in close combat, the current ones are only good for dropping rocks.

Jungle Swarms fail to poison and kill just 2 harpies, but aren't entirely wiped out.
Little spear Saurus use hand weapons and still take a casualty, but stegadon impact hits crush the witches. Saurus run them down, hitting the rallied skrox, while the stegadon restrains.

Saurus Cavalry kill two crossbows and wound the wizard for no losses. Dark Elves break, but outrun a pitiful 7 inch pursuit. More importantly, the shades fail panic and run off the table!!

A real unit dead (but no assassin), a useful unit killed (shades) and another unit with character fleeing and likely to die next turn. A good turn for the Lizardmen!

end Lizardmen turn 2

Turn 3
Northern Cauldron continues to ward save the BG, southern grants Executioners an extra attack to killing blow the Stupid Attacky Oldblood.

Northern Executioners charge Skrox, who hold. BG charge skinks, who stand-and-shoot to no affect. Healthy Hydra charges Salamander who flees and dies on building. Injured Hydra charges skinks who hold. Executioners charge Stupid Attacky Oldblood.
The fleeing crossbows with wizard fail to rally, but stay on the table.

Manticore flies back towards the center.

I stop his magic this turn and shooting doesn't kill anything, although I think it put more wounds on the northern Engine.

Terradons still fail to kill the RBT crew, but don't die in return. Elf holds. Harpies wipe out Jungle Swarms.

Executioners beat the snot out of the skrox, but they roll Insane Courage. I'm not sure this is really that good, since I wanted the Executioners to overrun off to nowhere.

Black Guard obliterate skinks and pursue into spear Saurus. Hydra obliterates skinks but pursuit is very short.

Executioner champion declines my challenge (smartly), but the three normal guys, with 6 attacks thanks to the Cauldron, fail to land a killing blow. The Oldblood's super armour save protects him from their hits. He then earns his Attacky name and rips them a new one (5 kills?), although they stubbornly hold. That's big. Huge even.

end Dark Elf turn 3

Temple Guard flank charge Black Guard. The spear Saurus are my best bet to actually kill BG, so I might as well add the static combat res to ensure they must all be individually killed instead of breaking. And the longer the Dark Elves are killing spear Saurus, the less time they can spend killing Temple Guard.

Block Saurus charge harpies, who hold (I could EitW into a Hydra).

Saurus Cavalry charge crossbows again, this time running them down at the table edge. One enemy character dead!

Chameleons move to shoot harpies. Center Engine moves up to explode on stuff. Razordons and last Salamander move south a bit. Small spears turn back east, little steggy moves east as well.

Engine explosions get a few Executioners and handbows in the north, but the central one fails to hurt the injured Hydra. Uh oh ...

This is the only magic phase of the game where I get a spell off. Sort of. Casting Transmutation of Lead on the Black Guard, the ring makes me miscast and I roll a 12. Won't have the spell anymore (Molten Silver and a level are already gone too), but it works this turn.

The Giant Bow produces another 6, this time for 3 wounds on the Manticore. Baby Steggy is kicking butt this game! Razordons then blow away the beast. One Large Terror causer dead! Salamander kills some handbows, but they don't panic. Chameleons kill 3 harpies, but they pass panic.

Combat sees the Terradons finally finish the RBT. The skinks, swinging before the Executioners, kill the unit champion and his friend. While the Kroxigor dies in return, 4 skinks are still alive and I didn't lose combat by much. With the Slann nearby, skinks hold happily.

Block Saurus crush the harpies and overrun. Healthy Stegadon flees, not wanting to be charged by the Burning Blade of Chotec (which really isn't that deadly to a hydra) and static 5. Overrun is a couple inches short of the second Hydra, because of the angle, but the frenzied Corsairs are still in my front arc.

Thanks to Transmutation of Lead, the Black Guard only kill 3 Saurus, the Saurus champ in a challenge, and one TG. I kill a number of them in return and the elves hold.
Attacky Oldblood, swinging first since the Executioners have great weapons, now gets in a challenge with the champion. Attacky is frenzied and really p'ssed with his stupid mount for nearly getting him killed, so he takes that out on the enemy with max overkill. And the Executioners fail their Stubborn test! Attacky runs them down. Afterwards, I learn this unit had the Manbane assassin, but the Oldblood's armour save was so good Raf didn't want to pop him out the second round, figuring he could hold with the champ dying and then kill me with the Manticore. So one assassin dead!.

end Lizardmen turn 3

Turn 4
Cauldron grants frenzied Corsairs killing blow.

Frenzied Corsairs charge block Saurus. Fleeing is death on building, so I decide to hold and hope for luck.

Healthy Hydra charges Engine. Dismounted Dreadlord charges Attacky Oldblood. Harpies charge chameleons.

Hydra rallies. North crossbows turn north to shoot Terradons.

Terradons are reduced to two models, but pass panic. RBT shoots priest off northern Engine.

Executioners kill skinks down to just 1, but he rolls insane courage again. That is one brave skink!

Harpies kill a chameleon, but the skinks somehow kill two back and the last harpy holds.

BG crush the spear Saurus, killing 9, but I get a couple elves back and I hold. My scar-vet is intentionally not moving over to fight and the TG champ keeps declining challenges, so the dreadlord has to keep killing spear Saurus and cannot move into base contact with the TG.

Hydra kills the priest off the Engine as I forget my Amulet of Itzl. And he only did two wounds, so the amulet probably would have saved the priest. Stegadon takes a wound off the Hydra in return.

Dismounted Dreadlord uses his potion of strength to put 2 wounds on Attacky Oldblood. If not for the latest GW FAQ that nukes dismounted lances, even magic ones, I'd be dead. Attacky, of course, bounces off the Pendant of Broken.

Corsairs killing blow my Oldblood and crush the unit, running them down. I should have issued a challenge to reduce the hatred driven killing blow attacks coming at him. He got hit by 2 and ward saved one. I missed the break test by 1 (needed a 3, rolled a 4), because of the Banner of Nagarythe.

Overall not a good turn for the Lizardmen. Three characters and a big unit dead, another lord nearly dead. But the overall situation is looking very nice ...

end Dark Elf turn 4

With only one brave skink still alive to give up combat resolution, the Ancient Stegadon (dead priest) charges the flank of the Executioners. Stegadon charges southern handbows with wizard, they smartly flee. Small spears charge Cauldron, passing Terror.

Desperate to not get shot more, terradons charge flank of handbows. Since I think it will help, and it will prevent fleeing, the Jungle Swarms charge them as well. Corsairs stand-and-shoot. 7 guys, 14 shots, hitting on 5s. Yet they inflict 7 wounds on the Jungle Swarms!!!

Salamander and Razordons manage two wounds on the Hydra.

Black Guard continue beating up spear Saurus, with just 2 Saurus still alive. But BG are reduced to banner, champion and Dreadlord. Elves make Stubborn test.
Terradons and one Jungle Swarm whiff entirely, but the handbows manage just one wound on the Jungle Swarm for a draw. Apparently the elves used all their offense on the stand-and-shoot.

Chameleon skinks kill the last harpy.

Ancient Stegadon squishes 5 Executioners, which reduces them below 10 and autobreaks them. Big guy runs them down. But the last super brave skink infantry died. Turns out this unit had the second assassin and Raf forgot to reveal him, so second assassin dead!.

Skink crew of the center Ancient luckily finish off the Hydra before it can swing and the stegadon squishes the handlers. Second Large Terror causer dead!

The Cauldron of Blood cannot make a ward save, then fails the Stubborn test and is killed by the small spear Saurus. Second enemy character dead!

With just strength 4, the dismounted Dreadlord cannot hurt Attacky Oldblood. I cannot hurt him either, but I am unit strength 2 and cause Fear, so run him down. Third enemy character dead!

A very good turn for the Lizardmen, with 3 characters, a Hydra and a big unit killed.

end Lizardmen turn 4

Turn 5
Hydra charges Razordons. I would much rather flee, but they have to stand-and-shoot. They avoid misfiring and produce 30 shots ... which do 1 wound. As I said, I would much rather flee.

Fleeing handbow corsairs with wizard fail to rally and flee another 2 inches.
Frenzied corsairs turn north towards Temple Guard.

Shooting hurts the northern Ancient again. It has one crew and two wounds left.

Hydra eats two entire Razordons, breaking them. But I escape.

Terradons manage a wound on the corsairs, who only wound the swarms once. Thanks to numbers, I win and the handbow corsairs break. Terradons restrain pursuit while the elves outrun the swarm (which has a single wound left!).

Black Guard kill the last spear Saurus and stubbornly hold.

North Ancient charges the Cauldron. Swarm charges and catches the fleeing handbows. Terradons charge RBT. Razordons rally.

Middle Ancient lines up to rear charge the frenzied Corsairs. Baby Stegadon lines up to flank charge the Hydra. Attacky Oldblood is going Hydra hunting too, but I position him poorly. Saurus Cavalry and southern Salamander (who fled from the Manticore turn 2) move to chase the fleeing handbows with wizard.

Terradons whiff and take a wound.

Ancient Stegadon kills the hags, but takes a wound in return. Stegadon holds.
With nothing in front of the Black Guard, and therefore the champ and dreadlord not in base contact with anything, my scar-vet now moves over to fight. Scar-vet delivers perfectly, producing two kills, which takes out the Black Guard banner and champion. That leaves the Dark Elf general on his own and he breaks and is run down. Fourth enemy character dead! I pursue into the corsairs.

end Lizardmen turn 5

Turn 6
Northern crossbows flank charge Terradons. Terradons get one RBT crew before breaking. They will fail to rally. Two chameleons then charge the last RBT crew in the bottom of the turn and kill him.

Fleeing handbows with wizard again fail to rally. Fifth enemy character dead!

Hydra charges Razordons again and kills them. It pursues at skrox, but they flee and rally in the bottom of the turn.

Stegadon and Cauldron BSB fail to hurt each other and Stegadon holds.
Charging Temple Guard are able to kill three Corsairs to prevent mass killing blow damage in return. Elves hold.

Bottom of the turn, the Ancient Stegadon flanks the Corsairs while the baby Stegadon flanks the Hydra.

I forgot the baby steg was a baby steg and not an Ancient, which means I should not have charged the Hydra. I do nothing, Hydra does two wounds for a draw.

Northern Ancient Stegadon finally gets the Death Hag to fail her ward saves and kills her. Seventh enemy character dead!

Charging Ancient crushes the formerly frenzied Corsairs and they break. Sixth enemy character dead!

The Dark Elves have only 7 crossbows with a wizard, and a Hydra with two wounds left on the table.

I lost most of my characters (lord, 3 heroes, half a lord) and most of my Saurus, but all the Stegadons survived.

Game Thoughts
My opponent couldn't make a leadership test! Shades panic, Stubborn Executioners run, Stubborn Cauldron runs, wizards repeatedly fail to rally. He made a couple panic tests, the BG held once (needing the BSB re-roll!) and hte Corsairs held once (down 1), but overall his troops ran away much more than they should. If they don't run away, how do I kill 4 Stubborn units? I only killed one outright (Black Guard) and broke the rest.

Luck wise, I also got incredible shooting from the Giant Bow, with 2 wounds on a Hydra and 3 on a Manticore. The stegadons generally kicked butt.

The Ring is insane. Zero spells all game. Zero!! His harpies kept the ring unit screened early, so I couldn't suicide charge it, but on a Dreadlord I probably cannot stop the ring that way anyway.

I inflicted zero wounds on his three Dreadlords all game. They were too tough to hurt. I broke them by avoiding them.

He could not kill the Stegadons. Lots of shooting went into the northern Engine, and got the priest eventually, but couldn't stop the Stegadon. I used the Engine explosion poorly, but I did great with the Stegadons themselves.

Stegadon kills: 4 wounds on hydras, 3 wounds on manticore, executioner unit, witch elf unit, Cauldron of Blood BSB, fleeing handbows with wizard, half credit for corsair unit with dreadlord (TG helped, but stegadon alone won by 5).

Swarms are just as horrible as I expected. Even with the limited goal of fighting harpies, they cannot do that.

Game did show a value in spear Saurus against glass cannons like the Black Guard, but without the Transmutation of Lead that first round, the Saurus kill output would be halved. This game largely reinforces my general reading of the army book - stegadons are better than any other unit. Replace the cavalry with a 4th steg. Replace the Terradons and chief with a 5th steg. Replace the swarms and little spears with a 6th steg. Keep some spear Saurus and stubborn Temple Guard. Glad I don't own more Stegadons.

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