Kentucky has the opportunity to be on the GT circuit this year! I will probably be unable to attend, unfortunately, but I did make up a force in the event my plans change! One can hope... Anyway, I met up with another local player for a practice game.
Thane: BSB, Shield, MRoGrungni, Strollaz' Rune
Runesmith: Shield, RoStone, Fiery Ring of Thori, RoSpellbreaking, RotFurnace
Runesmith: Shield, RoStone, RoSpellbreaking
Longbeards: x44, Shields, FC, RoStoicism
Miners: x42, FC, Steamdrill
Bugman's Rangers: x35, FC.
The Dark Elves
Dwarf Turn One: I didn't have much to do. I charged the nearest Bolt Thrower with my leftmost Gyrocopter, moving the other Gyrocopter over to steam the Shades. My Longbeards moved forward, but I kept my Rangers right where they were so that they could shoot. Three Shades died to a Steam Gun, but they passed their panic check. The Rangers let their quarrels fly, felling 10 Executioners! I figured that would make that unit more than manageable. In combat, my Gyrocopter did a single wound, winning combat and catching the crew before they could make their escape. So far, so good.
DE2: My opponent declared only a single charge: his Executioners against my Longbeards. I was anticipating this. The Longbeards would potentially lose combat, but they would be Stubborn on Leadership 10, so I was willing to take that risk. Bugman's Rangers could then come into the flank of the Executioners on my turn and finish off the unit. That would net me a lot of points, and I would just have to keep concentrating on systematically destroying the Dark Elf chaff. I had no intentions of taking on the Witch Elves. I've seen what they can do, and while I think my Longbeards and Rangers could handle the horde, I wasn't confident that they would still be able to do so after wading through all the other Dark Elf units... The rest of the enemy army basically shifted around in order to get into better positions or stayed still in order to shoot. The Dark Elf magic phase went much as their first one. I think it was my 6 dispel dice to my opponent's 8 power dice. He started with Arnzipal's Black Horror shot at my Gyrocopter. I used all my dice to stop it, resigning myself to having to burn a RoSpellbreaking to stop his next spell. The next spell was Soulblight. I was not interested in losing any more Longbeards in their fight with the Executioners than I had to, so I used a RoSpellbreaking to stop it. Thinking back on it, I probably should have let that one go, though, and saved my RoSpellbreaking for something scarier. The Executioners were already going to be wounding my Longbeards on 2+, and I was already anticipating losing combat, so the -1 to Strength wasn't really that big of a deal... Live and hopefully learn, I guess. Shooting was almost useless. I lost just a couple of Rangers. I might mention at this point that my opponent shot my leftmost Gyrocopter with a single-shot from his remaining Bolt Thrower. It missed. Remember that, because it's important later on. During combat, the Executioners killed a handful of Longbeards and lost about as many of their number in return from the Longbeards' retaliation. But what I hadn't anticipated was a Khanite Assassin with the Blade of Antiheroes! With three characters in my unit, he easily slaughtered my BSB. That made my Stubborn break test a little unnerving, but the Longbeards passed the test with ease all the same!
D2: I started by declaring a charge with my Rangers into the flank of the Executioners. Fortunately, I didn't roll horribly and was able to get them into combat. I then moved my Gyrocopters around to get good shots on my opponent's units of Dark Riders. Finally, my Miners came on!
I had two options for their deployment as primary considerations. The first was to deploy the Miners behind the Bolt Thrower on my far left flank and take it out. The problem with that plan was that my Miners would have a hard time providing any further contribution to the battle, basically leaving my other units to face off against the other 2400 points of my opponent's force with only 2000 points of Dwarfs. I didn't like that idea, though truthfully it would have been the safe decision. I was confident that I could kill my opponent's chaff while keeping my Longbeards and Rangers away from the Witch Elves, which I had no intentions of engaging. Evidently, I am an adrenaline junkie--really, after two tours of combat in Iraq, I think I might actually be one--so I guess I needed more thrill and hazard in my life. The other place I considered deploying my Miners was directly behind the Witch Elves... (I really should have been treating the game with a little more seriousness, since it was a tournament practice game, after all.) As I was placing my Miners on the table, I was thinking to myself, "This is a bad idea. Who came up with this idea? I am going to lose this unit for no good reason. I'm okay with that? Yes, I'm okay with that. Can I really throw away 455 points of my army? Yes, yes I can. I'll enjoy the rush... Maybe I should get into skydiving instead. Yeah, probably." The string of thought continues from there, basically expanding further on those impressions, but you get the idea. But just so everyone knows what you should not do if you're ever in this situation, DO NOT DEPLOY YOUR HORDE OF MINERS UNSUPPORTED BEHIND THE HUGE UNIT OF WITCH ELVES WITH ACCOMPANYING CAULDRON OF BLOOD!!!
Shooting was encouraging. Each Gyrocopter rolled well, killing 4 of the five models in each of their respective target units. The Dark Riders on my far right failed its panic check and fled. It would need double 1s to rally now, so I figured it should run right off the board on its own. The Assassin issued a challenge, which in proper Dwarf fashion I refused! I know. It doesn't make any sense. I think deploying the Miners got the need for speed out of my system, if you know what I mean. My opponent sent my general, Joseph Bugman, to the back of the unit of Rangers. The Assassin then proceeded to kill 6 Rangers! Not surprising, I guess, considering 6 ASF S7 Attacks... The Executioners killed a few Longbeards. In return, my Rangers killed the Assassin and several Executioners, and the Longbeards killed the rest of the Executioners down to the champion and standard bearer. I won combat by enough to force my opponent to roll his break test on double 1s, which he failed. I pursued the remaining model, catching it and moving up several inches with my Longbeards. My Rangers opted to reform as you can see below.
DE3: With the Executioners gone and a lot of his chaff getting shot up, my opponent was anxious to get his Witch Elves into the fray. However, my Miners would make an easy before-supper snack. No charges were declared, so he started moving his units around in order to either attempt to redirect my units or to set up countermeasures. The Witch Elves, of course, were the one exception, since they just turned about to eat the Miners. The Winds of Magic were again unfavorable to the Dark Elves, leaving them with 4 dice to my 3--again. The only spell attempted was Doombolt, the big version, against one of my Gyrocopters. It failed to cast, thankfully. My opponent's shooting this turn is only worth mentioning because it was hardly worth mentioning.
D3: I of course just charged the remaining Dark Rider with my Longbeards. I hoped they would be able to make short work of him and overrun into my opponent's Supreme Sorceress. I really struggled with what to do with my Miners. I finally came to the conclusion that they had the best chance of doing something useful if they were to charge the Witch Elves rather than the Witch Elves being able to charge them. So, my Miners charged the Witch Elves. I measured the distance, and after a swift reform, the front rank of my Rangers was within range to use their throwing axes against the unit of Dark Riders that had moved up just a little too close behind them. I don't think my opponent honestly had any idea my Rangers had throwing axes. I was excited to actually use them for once! I moved both of my Gyrocopters so that they were hidden from my opponent's chaff but would be in range to be able to move and shoot the Witch Elves on my following turn. They dropped bombs, one on a chariot--which did nothing--and the other on the Warlocks, which killed 3, I think.My Rangers killed 4 of the 5 Dark Riders, who panicked and ran. Now they, too, would need double 1s to rally. *grin* My Longbeards then proceeded to slaughter the Dark Rider model and overran 11 inches--they only needed 6, I think, in order to get to the Supreme Sorceress! The Miners did well. They lost 18 before they got to strike, which was actually less than I anticipated. With their return attacks, they killed 6 Witch Elves and left the Cauldron of Blood on a single remaining wound! Of course, they lost combat very badly and ran. The Witch Elves pursued but failed to catch them. I was actually happy, even though I knew without a doubt I would lose the Miners. It would mean that the Witch Elves would be forced to charge the Miners on my opponent's following turn, and they would likely pursue off the table, which would mean that it would be the Dark Elves' Turn 6 before the Witch Elves could declare a charge.
DE4: The Witch Elves charged my Miners, who fled off the table. The Witch Elves pursued, taking them off the table, too. Both of the Cold One Chariots charged into my Longbeards. My opponent moved his Warlocks around to face my Gyrocopters. Meanwhile, my opponent rallied the fleeing Dark Rider from the unit that my rightmost Gyrocopter had steamed on my Turn 2. My opponent finally pulled out a decent magic phase with 9 or 10 dice to my 8 dispel dice (I just happened to roll 2 channels!). My opponent's first spell was a regular-power version of Word of Pain. I figured, worst-case scenario, my Longbeards would be WS2, which was a bit worrisome for me. Thinking back on it, I should have just let it go, because my Longbeards wouldn't be castrated by it. Instead, I decided to split my dice. 4 went into attempting a dispel, which I failed! Of course, my opponent rolled high, reducing the Longbeards' WS to 2... The second spell was another casting of Soulblight. I knew I couldn't let this one go through. My opponent rolled high, though he didn't roll Irresistible Force. I had to use my remaining RoSpellbreaking on it. Finally, my opponent again rolled high, though this time on an empowered version of Doombolt against my injured Gyrocopter. I rolled pitifully low on my dispel attempt--I could only have stopped it with an Irresistible Dispel, anyway. The Gyrocopter died horribly. The Bolt Thrower fired a single shot at the flank of my Rangers and once again missed! My Longbeards suffered through combat, putting wounds on both Cold One Chariots and the Supreme Sorceress, but ultimately losing the combat. Fortunately, my Longbeards passed their Stubborn break test.
D4: I decided to keep my Rangers right where they were so that they could kill off the remaining Dark Rider who had rallied on my opponent's previous turn. Now that the Cold One Chariots wouldn't have 9 impact hits, I was sure to win combat with my Longbeards, even with WS2, so I wouldn't need the Rangers to help out there. My remaining Gyrocopter set up to steam the Warlocks and Shades and killed 2 Warlocks and a single Shade. Both units passed their panic checks, unfortunately. The Rangers shot the Dark Rider until he looked like a used Biore strip! (The picture below was actually taken on my opponent's Turn 5.) My Longbeards proceeded to lose a couple more of their number, but in return, they killed the Supreme Sorceress and won combat. One of the Cold One Chariots ran, but the other passed its break test, keeping my Longbeards pinned in place for another round of combat.
DE5: My opponent rallied his fleeing Cold One Chariot and reformed it to face my Gyrocopter. The Witch Elves advanced from the board edge. The Winds of Magic proved fickle again, granting my opponent only a few power dice, with which he dumped all of them into casting an empowered version of Doombolt at my Gyrocopter. He failed to meet the casting value, however. The Bolt Thrower targeted the Rangers again with a single-shot, but again missed. In combat, my Longbeards finally despatched the Cold One Chariot and reformed.
D5: My Rangers swift-reformed and moved up 3 inches into the forest--which made them cause Fear, whatever--to attempt a last-turn shot at the Bolt Thrower. The Longbeards charged the remaining Cold One Chariot, which opted to hold its ground. The Gyrocopter stayed put to shoot the Shades and Warlocks, hoping to finish them off in the process. Its Steam Gun shot killed off a Shade and a single Warlock. The 2 remaining Warlocks passed their panic test. The Longbeards killed the Cold One Chariot and reformed. Now, this was tricky. I would have to play it smart, since my Longbeards were so close to the Witch Elves, so I positioned them so that when they fled that inevitable charge on my opponent's turn, they would be able to bounce through the other units beyond. I was actually pretty anxious. I realized I had gotten a bit carried away, and I should have left the Cold One Chariot well enough alone. In my anxiety (which, as we've established, I was thoroughly enjoying #masochism #shouldprobablygethelp #moreptsdcounselingneeded), I failed to take pictures, though I really should have just to have had a good visual record of what happened next.
DE6: The Warlocks charged my Longbeards. I held fast against that charge. The Witch Elves then charged my Longbeards, so I decided to flee that charge. Their flight landed them behind the Warlocks, causing both units to fail their charges, the Warlocks moving just a couple of inches forward, while the Witch Elves moved up 5 inches. Finally, my opponent then charged my Longbeards with his remaining Shade. My Longbeards fled once more through the Warlocks, landing right in front of the Warlocks and barely escaping the Shade, which moved 5 or 6 inches. When all was said and done, my Longbeards had just barely avoided total destruction. I knew it had taken a certain amount of luck, since the unit could have been caught, but I felt I had played the odds and won. The Bolt Thrower took careful aim and missed my Rangers entirely once more...
D6: All I had to do was see what points I could shore up. My Gyrocopter charged the Shade, which held so I wouldn't try to redirect into the Warlocks, which evidently cost more. My Longbeards rallied. The Rangers took careful aim and hit a ton but managed only a single wound on the Bolt Thrower. The Gyrocopter killed the Shade and overran into the Warlocks. The game ended there.
We totalled up points, and I came out on top by 600+ points. Solid victory. Would have been a 15 to 5 win on a 20-point scale. I really had mixed feelings about my performance in this game. I felt I had really played fast and loose and probably didn't deserve the win. Meanwhile, the game did confirm several of my assumptions about the way my force would function and perform. I did have a great time, though, and I think my opponent did, too. That's the important thing when it comes down to it, right? Hope you enjoyed the read! Peace!
Edited by Swordthain, 18 September 2014 - 03:39 AM.