Saturday, 14 January 2017

Warmaster Game Day: Dark Elves vs. High Elves

  On Sunday 8th January, 2017, our local gaming club ran a little "Games Day" for Warmaster!

  The plan this year is to have about half a dozen such days - where we can run the games which interest us and we feel others might be willing to have a go at with a loaner army even if they don't have the models / rules themselves.

  My fellow club-member Denis wrote up the first match of the day from his perspective as I taught the rules to his son using a spare army I had brought along.

  Denis took some photos of the 2nd game of the day for us; his Dark Elves vs my High Elves.

  Denis's army is a work in progress as the models for DE are hard to get hold of, nowadays.  As a result, he plumped out his list with magic items, which don't normally give a very good return on investment in Warmaster.  Operative word there being "normally".  With a bit of luck and cunning they can be a decisive factor if you get the right unit in the right place!  The downside of this for Denis is that his break point is lower, meaning it should be easier to destroy enough units to defeat him...

Dark Elf Army, 1500 points
 230 -  3 Spearmen
     -  1 Battle Banner (50)
 125 -  1 Crossbowmen
     -  1 Banner of Shielding (50)
 345 -  3 Dark Riders
     -  1 Banner of Fortitude (50)
     -  1 Sword of Cleaving (10)
 290 -  2 Cold One Knights
     -  1 Banner of Steadfastness (30)
  55 -  1 Bolt Thrower
 255 -  1 General
     -  1 Crown of Command (100)
  90 -  1 Hero
     -  1 Sword of Destruction (10)
 110 -  1 Sorceress
     -  1 Ring of Magic (30)
1500 - 10/5
Denis deployed in the corner, concentrating his forces and forcing me to come to him.

High Elf Army, 1500 points
 180 -  3 Spearmen
 225 -  3 Archers
 220 -  2 Silver Helms
 200 -  2 Reavers
 190 -  2 Chariots
  70 -  1 Giant Eagles
  65 -  1 Elven Bolt Thrower
 180 -  1 General
  80 -  1 Hero
  90 -  1 Wizard
1500 - 14/7


For myself, I deployed in a typical pattern - all infantry in the centre with cavalry on each far flank.


High Elf Turn 1

My first game against Denis's turn was characterised by my battle line barely even moving.  However, I was off to a strong enough start I thought, here.  The main block of infantry stubbornly refused to move, however, and more importantly, my elite Silver Helms cavalry dug their heels in too.

Dark Elf Turn 1

Denis's Dark Elves steered out to meet me.  I felt that I had a chance to bring things to a speedy conclusion...

High Elf Turn 2

Best laid plans of mice and uh... elves!  My chariot line shuffled forward into charging range... Then failed their command, even with the General's beedy eye on them!  All infantry failed to move and my elites shuffled forward towards enemy crossbows and spears but no furth.

Dark Elf Turn 2

Denis wasted no time in mashing his elite Cold One cavalry into my Chariots and Reavers, breaking the back of one of my flanks.  Shooting and magic confused some of my Silver Helms, putting paid to my hopes of a decisive blow with them.  Bolt Throwers wheeled closer to my infantry...

High Elf Turn 3

An attempt to claw back some kills ended very badly for my surviving cavalry on the left flank.  The Silver Helms that were still in order finally were unleashed, smashing into the DE infantry - as I planted my Giant Eagles behind as a threat to support them.  My infantry shuffled forward but there were no great marches, there.

Dark Elf Turn 3

The Dark Elves mopped up the last of the light cavalry - and made an attempt to rout the Giant Eagles and Silver Helms threatening them. 

High Elf Turn 4

Another appalling round of non-commands, nothing moving except on initiative as the Giant Eagles sacrifice themselves to shield the Silver Helms from an imminent hail of crossbow bolts.

Dark Elf Turn 4

Dark Elves reposition to mop up the Great Eagles but fail to maneouvre to crush the surviving cavalry...

High Elf Turn 5

 Finally!  Some forced marches seem to be happening!  Reserves of the previously confused/lazy Silver Helms move in for the kill and the infantry surge forward and spread out, splitting off to tidy up the loose ends of some surviving Cold Ones.  At this point, though it had been getting close - the successful commands pretty much guaranteed that the low Dark Elf breakpoint was going to be reached so we called it at that.

Something I thought was going to be a relatively easy, quick game with the High Elves having the advantage of numbers became something much more interesting - and a lesson for me on the strengths of the Cold Ones and of magic items...