torstai 16. helmikuuta 2017

Local League: Sneaky Stabbing

Hi folks!

Yesterday we had the fifth game of our local league, leaving only the special 2000p scenario to go before the league draws to an end.
The scenario was a 1000p Three Places of Power and I found myself facing an army of Grots.

I even managed to paint a unit and a half during the week, but more on those at the end of this post!

My opponent had a Grot Warboss, two Grot Shaman, two Rocklobbers, fifteen Wolf Riders, a Wolf Chariot and 40 Grots with bows. Quite a numerous foe for only 1000p, I must say!

My Aelf list was the same as last time as I'd built it specifically for this scenario:

1x High Warden
1x Archmage
1x Loremaster
5x Reavers
5x Reavers
10x Spireguard
1x Repeater Bolt Thrower

I got to pick the table edge and take the first turn, so let's see how this all played out!

I moved my forces boldly into the middle, hoping to cover my heroes' advance and pin-cushion his 4-Wound leaders as they rode in to claim the objectives. My opponent had measured my threat ranges carefully, however, and the only unit I could fire this turn was the Bolt Thrower which loosed a salvo of bolts at the archer Grots (the only unit in range).
12 shots and 10 kills, with 5 more running away in terror. Only 25 left to deal with...

Nevertheless, my High Warden already started scoring me points thanks to his amazing movement value.

On my opponent's first turn he unleashed hell upon my pointy-ears. A unit of 10 Wolf Riders (buffed with +1 Attack, +1 to Wound, +1 to Hit, +1 Rend and +1 Save) crashed into my High Warden and a unit of 5 Reavers along with their wolf-mounted Warboss, dealing 9/10 Wounds to the Warden and wiping the Reavers off the face of the world in one go. Ouch!

As if that wasn't enough one of the Rocklobbers scored a hit on my Bolt Thrower Crew who miserably failed their saves (to be fair it was a 6+) and died away, rendering my artillery useless for the rest of the battle. Double ouch!

The Grot Shaman kept away from the fighting even in the second round, with only the Grot Warboss advancing with the buffed-up Wolf Riders. To preserve my Archmage in the middle and to get rid of his heroes I had my Spireguard fire into his Warboss before charging it, but they only managed to inflict 2/4 Wounds on the little warlord before getting trampled by the Wolves. My High Warden healed a Wound with the Phoenix Stone he carried around and flew away from combat to keep himself alive and in control of the objective. My Archmage and Loremaster both made it onto the objectives too and I now held all three places of power.

Then it all took a sudden turn for the worse. Again. My High Warden took a boulder to the head from a Rocklobber and plummeted to the ground. The Wolf Riders (on steroids) charged and ripped apart my Archmage but not before the defiant spellcaster slew one of the riders and sent three more running away in fear!
My last unit of Reavers got charged by the remaining 20-odd Grot archers and my Loremaster got surrounded by 5 Wolf Riders and 3 Nasty Skulkers. At this point my opponent had one of his Shaman run to the left objective, his Warboss was closing in on the middle one and the other Shaman stood on a hill on his deployment zone casting buffs on his units.

This is what the end of the third battleround looked like. My Reavers were slaughtered to a man and even my Loremaster with his Mystic Shield succumbed to the volume of attacks coming his way. My opponent merely moved his characters onto the objectives and we fast-forwarded to the end of the fifth battleround to count the final score as I had no models left on the table anymore.
Up until the third round the Aelves had been leading the game 7-0, but the last rounds the Grots got to hold all three objectives for a total of 15 points.

The game ended up as 15-7 major victory for the Grots and they barely lost more than ~26 models in total during the whole game. Ouch.

After thinking the game through over and over again in my head I have to say that the death of my Bolt Thrower crew seemed to be a major factor. With them alive for even a few rounds more I could have kept the enemy heroes at bay and severely weakened his Wolf Riders, or perhaps even sniped out his 4-Wound heroes pretty reliably had he rushed them into the fight too early.
I have no choice but to congratulate my opponent for playing admirably well and showing excellent tactical sense with how he handled my pretty effective shooting, movement and even long-range artillery. Of course some very lucky rolls were involved, but it's still a special skill to keep all your weedy Grot heroes alive and kickin' for the whole game while making your cheap, screaming simpletons true comets of destruction!

Next week we play the last scenario at 2000p and the overall winner will be revealed. For now I hold the second spot in the league and prepare my forces for the crucial battle. The Aelves will need some reinforcements to take on this final challenge...

I promised some painting at the end of this post, so here it is, along with a few close-ups from the game itself:

Swordmasters finally finished! Only took somewhere around 9-10 hours so I can call them "speed-painted"
Swordmasters back view. Freehand runes on the flag
During this league I've taken to comparing my High Warden's effectiveness to that of a bullfinch, so here we are
Aelves getting wrecked, a total of 19 wounds worth of hurt taken in one combat
My Archmage and his defiant last stand in which he killed off a wounded Rider and made 3 others flee. Ha!

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