In the meantime we've been practicing weekly at the club on Monday nights and it has been awhile since I posted a battle report, so I have decided to present the report of Monday nights game against Kevin's High Elves. He tried out a new list for this game which I felt was much more in tune than his previous lists, and performed very well despite that fact that he was only testing out new lores. Both lists can be seen below.
War Altar, Great Weapon, Dawn Armour, Van Horstmann's Speculum
Wizard Lord [ Level 4 ]
Lore of Life, Talisman of Preservation, Seal of Destruction
Battle Standard Bearer, Armour of Meteoric Iron, Sword of Might, Ironcurse Icon
24x Swordsmen [ 12x Crossbowmen ]
Standard Bearer, Musician, Steel Standard
Arch Mage [ Level 4 ]
Lore of Shadow, Book of Hoeth
Battle Standard Bearer, Banner of the World Dragon (I think), Dragon Armour, Great Weapon
Mage [ Level 2 ]
Lore of Death, Seerstaff of Saphery
Mage [ Level 1 ]
Lore of Fire, Sigil of Asuryan
21x White Lions
Full Command, Ironcurse Icon
16x Phoenix Guard
Full Command, Banner of Sorcery
28x Lothern Sea Guard
20x Lothern Sea Guard
Reaper Bolt Thrower
Reaper Bolt Thrower
We opted for a Battleline scenario so Kevin could get a better feel for his new list. My Life wizard got Flesh to Stone, Shield of Thorns, Regrowth, and Dwellers Below. His Shadow got The Withering, Penumbral Pendulum, Pit of Shades, and Okkam's Mindrazor, his Death got Spirit Leech and Fate of Bjuna while his Fire took a Fireball.
The field can be seen in the deployment diagram below. I spread out wth the bulk in the centre but keeping the Steam Tank as far away from his Level 4 as possible without taking it out of the game. The Knights and Pistoliers spread to either flank to go for the RBTs. Kevin bunched up in the center with the Eagles on the flanks and the RBTs both to the East.
Securing the first turn I decided not to rush the High Elves just yet, waiting to see if I can use he opening run to reduce his ranged attacks enough to allow me to stand back and gun him down. The Pistoliers went full pace to the side of the RBTs and the Steam Tank following suit toward the LSG knowing the quicker it could get locked in combat the quicker it could avoid falling into a big hole. The rest of the army moved at regular pace bar the Flagellants who too ran full pace.
Rolling low on the Winds of Magic and with not much to cast, I attempted to turn the Pistoliers' flesh to stone, and attempted the Speed of Light on the Steam Tank (with the War Altar), however both were dispelled. I had a pretty good shooting phase, taking down an RBT between the Pistoliers and Crossbowmen, and killing 10 LSG with a Mortar shell. Furthermore the second RBT panicked stopping it from shooting up the Pistoliers next turn.
The High Elves played defensively to begin with only the Eagles advancing, each set on charging the Empire artillery. The RBT crew rallied meanwhile. A powerful start to the magic phase saw an iressistable Pit of Shades sink the Steam Tank. This was followed up with a weak shooting phase which only saw 4 Flagellants killed.
The Pistoliers kicked off turn 2 by charging the RBT before them. At this point I made the mistake of bringing the Knights back to protect the Cannon and turning the Crossbowmen to face the Eagle, trying to bait it to charge. The rest of the army advanced a little quicker with the Flagellants and the War Altar reading charges on the West side.
In the magic phase the wizard managed to revive the 4 fallen Flagellants but that was all. The Eastern Cannon fired at the oncoming Eagle but landed in the mud; the second one could not fire due to my foolish placement of the Knights. One Mortar took out a few Sea Guard however the other misfired.
In combat the crew striking first desaddled one cavalier however the rest easily despatched the war machine and reformed for a better facing.
The High Elf Eagle in the East flew over the Crossbowmen and into the Cannon, however the other one could not land and so flew around to charge next turn. The White Lions advanced forward to approach the Flagellants, now confident with the Empire Knights busy elsewhere.
Magic was uneventful, and shooting saw the 4 Flagellants fall again as well as one Greatsword. Combat went as expected with the Cannon crew bolting and the Eagle overunning into the Mortar.
The Empire were determined to inflict heavily casualites this turn and declared a double charge with the War Altar and Flagellants hitting the White Lions. The Knights and Crossbowmen each turned to prepare to charge their respective avian foe, while the Greatswords and Swordsmen manuvered for counter charges next turn. Meanwhile the Pistoliers ran around the back of the High Elf lines.
Magic failed to bring up any results yet again and the Cannon's grapeshot failed to hurt the Eagle. The Pistoliers however managed to remove three LSG. Combat was bloody! The initial impact of the War Altar crushed 4 White Lions under wheel. The remaining Lions subsequently killed 7 Flagellants, whose brothers retaliated with another few dead Lions. Cowardice also ran through the lines as the White Lion Champion rejected the Arch Lector's challenge and moved to the back rank. Despite losing the combat by a good number the Lions held firm, their stubbornness winnign through. Elsewhere the Eagle killed one of the Mortar crew however the remianing two held their ground.
Fearful of the looming Greatswords the main High Elf line backed off instead of counter charging; the Eagle however feared not the Cannon crew and charged. Magic was unsuccessful again with shooting similarly only killing two Greatswords. To further worsen the Elves' woe, both Eagle failed to break their respective war machine enemies, with one even being wounded by the stalwart crew. In the main combat the champion finally stepped up to fight the Arch Lector, wounding the priest before falling. A few more Lions fell however not before killing 5 more Flagellants.
The Empire began counter charges now with the Knights charging one Eagle, the Crossbowmen charging the other, and the Greatswords hitting to now exposed White Lions. The Swordsmen moved up to try use the Wizard's Lifebloom to heal the Arch Lector of his wound, however they placed themselves in grave danger. The Pistoliers stayed stationary to remain a thorn in the elven side.
Magic failed once again. With a spectacular volley of lead the Pistoliers killed 4 more LSG reducing the unit to four men, the Arch Mage, and the BSB. The Mortar, now ready to fire, took its change but scattered back off the board. In combat the Eastern Eagle managed to kill off the Mortar crew and turn to face the Crossbowmen. Its brother however was less forutnate and was skewered on the Knights' lances before the horsemen turned to face the ensueing battle in the centrefield. In said battle the Arch Lector suffered another wound as the two remaining Flagellants and a Greatsword were killed, however the Lions were reduced to just 3 men, though they held once again.
The High Elves were now reeling and panic began to set in throughout the ranks. The bigger LSG block backed off while the smaller one made the mistake of turning to face the Pistoliers, thinking they were safe from a rear charge. The Phoenix Guard however shun a light in the elves' darkened hearts by executing a successful flank charge on the Swordsmen due to their untimely mistake in the Empire turn.
With little else to do the Arch Mage cast Okkam's Mindrazor on the Phoenix Guard with Iressistable Force. The Level 1 attempted then a Fireball to take out the Pistoliers but failed to reach the casting value. Shooting was severly reduced, however the elves made the most of it and slew the Pistoliers. In combat, the Crossbowmen lost a man and wounded the Eagle, locking them in combat. The main combat ended with 2 more Greatswords and the remaining White Lions being killed, the Greatswords reforming now to face down the Arch Mage's bunker. Elsewhere the Phoenix Guard took out 8 Swordsmen, breaking them from combat but failing to catch them.
With great joy the Greatswords charged the rear of the Sea Guard bearing the two characters while the Knights advanced to aid against the Phoenix Guard. The Swordsmen meant to rally and in a desparate gambit the Wizard Lord cast Dwellers Below iressistably, healing the Arch Lector of a wound in the process; however the magical backlash killed 12 of his own men but only 6 Phoenix Guard. In combat the Greatswords easily killed the Sea Guard and the Arch Mage, cutting the BSB down to finish as his tried to defend his banner. The Crossbowmen elsewhere lost more men but managed to cut down the Eagle. With that the High Elves surrended and the day was won for the Empire of man.
So the list I have been running has once again proven effective. One thing I need to focus on however is the Arch Lector. I have found that I am using him too recklessly in games, and he really should only be entering combat against low strength units or units with a lot of characters. His vulnerability still is an issue and makes me believe and need to give him back the Sword of Anti-Heroes.
The High Elf list I found to be a lot more challenging and thought Shadow worked well with them. I feel Kevin might have been a little too defensive, and some counter charges in the mid-game might have helped turn the tide.