Arch Mage [ Level 4 ]
Folariath's Robe, Talisman of Saphery, Dispel Scroll, High Magic
BSB, Battle Banner, Dragon Armour, Lance, Barded Elven Steed
20x Phoenix Guard
Full Command, Banner of Sorcery
15x White Lions
Full Command, Gem of Courage
5x Dragon Princes
25x Lothern Sea Guard
Full Command, Shields
High Magic was a nice change from Life and Death, however it kept me on my toes for this game. He rolled Shield of Saphery, Vaul's Unmaking, Flames of the Phoenix, and Courage of Anaerion on top of Drain Magic. I rolled good for my own spells once again getting Flickering Fire, Pandaemonium, Treason, and Gateway. Deployment for the game can be seen in the below diagram and as per usual contains vanguards also. The High Elves managed to get the first turn.
In a very un-Elf-like fashion the High Elf army charged forward, splitting around the building in the centre. Their phase had quite a devastating turnout, with an irresistable Flames of the Phoenix taking out 29 of the Marauders, and Vaul's Unmaking getting a really high roll forcing me to burn my scrolls to preserve my Puppet. Shooting then saw a unit of Horsemen taken out, reducing my fortitude to 8.
The Chaos turn started off with misfortune as the Hellcannon rampaged and failed to hit anything. No charges were declared and the army manuvered around the High Elves. The Horsemen successfully supressed march blocking and tore up the right flank. Both units of Hounds moved into prime blocking positions while the Knights behind positioned for charges. The Warriors moved up to the building though keeping line of sight on the White Lions. The Maruaders were forced to reform in order to maintain any form of combat ability. Magic only saw one spell getting through, however that Gateway killed 11 Swordsmasters and caused the rest to panic and flee.
The White Lions reared a charge against the blocking Hounds but the muts fled, enough too to allow the Knights a charge in the Chaos turn. The Spearmen unphased by the silly dogs passed march blocking test and moved onward. The LSG moved up slightly to get shots on the Hellcannon and the PG braced for the charge. The SM rallied also while the Dragon Princes simply wheeled to flank the Chaos Knights should opportunity arise. All magic failed with the Arch Mage even miscasting and taking a wound. The Archers and LSG unloaded their collective 35 shots at the Hellcannon but failed to even dent the hull. The RBTs however managed to wipe out the Horsemen bringing the Chaos fortitude down to 7.
The Chaos army trumped and bellowed and the charge was sounded and almost the entire army engaged. The Khorne Knights hit the Spearmen head on, as did their Nurgle brethren to the White Lions. The Marauders and Hellcannon also collectively charge the Phoenix Guard. The Warriors entered the building while the Hounds stayed with their back to the Phoenix Guard hoping beyond hope to bait them out of position. Magic was unimpressive as Gateway got scrolled. Combat was slightly more successful with 8 Spearmen, 11 White Lions and 8 Phoenix Guard getting killed for only 5 Marauders and a single Knight in return. Unfortunately however none of the units broke (even though the Phoenix Guard were testing on a 3).
The High Elf turn proved short and bitter. The LSG moved around to rear charge the Hellcannon next turn while the rest of the army stayed still at their vantage points. Magic was rather lacklustre though a crucial Shield of Saphery got through to the Dragon Princes. Combat went rather awry for the Chaos forces. The PG made a rake of successful ward saves, only losing two elves and breaking the Marauders thus being able to turn to face the Hellcannon. This saw Chaos fortitude reduced to 6. The Khorne Knights fluffed on attacks killing only 4 Elves and losing one of their own, though winning the combat. Furthermore the Chaos BSB fluffed up allowing the White Lions to strike down 3 more Knights before getting killed off. This however finally saw the elven fortitude reduced to 8.
Chaos needed to turn things around. The Nurgle Knights charged headlong into the Dragon Princes, expecting an easy fight should they manage to take out the BSB. The Marauders then failed to rally in the only other act of the movement phase. Magic was rather disappointing once again only killing 3 Swordsmasters; that being said only the champion was left dropping the elven fortitude to 7. In combat the Hellcannon killed another 3 Elves for a wound in return but lost combat. The Knights finally broke through the Spearmen making an impressive overrun, and dropping the elven fortitiude to 6. The Nurgle Knights faired less well however. In a challenge the Knight champion fought the Elven BSB who turned out to only have S4 attacks. Only one wounded and in typical fashion the champion failed his 2+ AS. Furthermore in the combat the S3 Dragon Princes only did one wound to the remaining Knight and he failed his 1+ AS reducing Chaos fortitude to 5, and then to 4 after the BSB was broken (though not before killing 2 Elves; the rest passed their ward saves).
Considering the distance yet between them as the daemon engine the LSG chose not to charge the Hellcannon and moved closer instead. No other movement was made and magic and shooting did nothing. In combat the Hellcannon killed another PG but failed to break them.
The Chaos turn proved the turning point in the game. Seeing the positioning of the Dragon Princes the Khorne Knights turned on their heel knowing they could get a flank charge next turn. Also the Marauders rallied, though it was too little too late. Magic saw both Chaos spells getting off but Flickering Fire failed to kill the last Swordsmaster and the 4 S2 hits from the Gateway was unable to damage to Dragon Princes. In combat the stalemate continued with another PG cut down and the Hellcannon failing to break them.
The Dragon Princes charged the Hounds who fled, seemingly allowing the Khorne Knights their flank charge. The LSG also charged into the back of the Hellcannon. Magic did nothing, however it didn't matter. In a rookie error by me, both myself and Dave realised I had exposed the Khorne Knights' flank to the two RBTs which we had forgotten about since they couldn't shoot the last two turns. At long range and through soft cover both needed 5's to hit. Both hit single shot, each killing two and reducing the Chaos army to breaking point.
However, tournament rules dictated that we still had to finish the turn, so it was all down to the Hellcannon to pull the draw here. To start the combat the Hellcannon takes 3 wounds between the two units of Elves. All 5 attacks from the Hellcannon hit and wound, yet all 5 ward saves are passed by the PG. Thunderstomp then gets 5 wounds also and all 5 wards are passed, sealing the game as a 17-3 to Dave.
Well first let it be said that this was my favourite game from the whole tournament. Dave was a gent to play against and the game was really topsy turvy with some great moments and fights. In hindsight I can easily see my two flaws, one being the obvious Knight-flank incident. The other however was my play of the Warriors. I have a habit of getting my Warriors into buildings and getting comfortble there, resulting in me not being aggressive enough with them. Looking back, if I had moved the Warriors out in turn 3 and rear charged the Phoenix Guard I would have won the game in that turn.
Either way it was fun as hell. This loss put me onto table 6 to play and old friend Derek 'Jarvis' Mitchell. I didn't have my Dragon and spiky elves with me for this encounter however, so I knew Derek's Ogres were licking their chops for revenge and seeing his new list didn't ease my anxiety. Stay tuned.