I played a 2500pt WHFB game with a old friend of mine a couple of days and it was really interesting to say the least. My friend Matt was last year's Ard Boyz winner for Fantasy and he's been playing the game a ton since 8th released. Even though I've been a Fantasy vet for a long long time, I don't have nearly as much experience with the new edition as he does. As much as I hate to say it, the game was pretty fun despite some rather frustrating circumstances.
Here's the army lists:
Lv.4 Archmage, High Magic, Annulian Crystal
Lv.2 Mage, Lore of Metal, Seerstaff of Saphery
Noble BSB, Armor of Caledor, Guardian Phoenix, GW
30x Spearmen w/ War Banner
32x Spearmen24x Phoenix Guard w/ FC, Banner of Sorcery
24x White Lions w/ FC, Banner of Eternal Flame
2x Lion Chariots
Lv.4 Sorceress, Dagger, Seal, Dark Magic
Lv.2 Sorceress, Scroll
Unkillable Lord on a Dark Peggy, Stubborn Helm, Pendent, Sword of Might
Big block of Spears to sac for his Lv.4
2x units of 10x RXB
2x units of 5x Dark Riders
A big block of Wyches
Cauldron of Blood
Full unit of Black Guard without ASF Banner
We did the standard Pitched Battle and rolled for spell selection. I got Curse of Arrow Attraction (worthless, switched out to Shield of Saphery), Fury of Khaine, Flames of the Phoenix and Vaul's Unmaking. My Lv.2 took Glittering Robes and Enchanted Blades (awesome, awesome spells). I forgot what he got exactly, but it should come back to me as I'm writing this BR.
This BR will have the standard bullet point notation that I'm known for, so here we go:
- My deployment was a little different than usual as I decided to start 2x Spears to hold my left flank, Lion Chariots in the middle w/ my Phoenix Guard and White Lions to hold my right flank. He deploys his Hydras 1 on each side of the field and keeps most of his important units in the middle. His 2x RXB units were deployed across from my Spears to pick at them since the PG and WL wouldn't make optimal targets.
- I took first turn and the game starts out with me miscasting with my Lv.2 trying to get out Glittering Robes. This blows up 9 Spears right off the top and I lose the rest of my Power Dice as well as taking a wound on my Mage. Awesome I thought. I push everyone up for the most part to bait a reaction and nothing else happens. My power plays his round was moving my Eagles really aggressively towards his Vanguard Lord and Dark Riders (2x Dark Riders on each side) to march block and redirect. Another cool thing that happened this round was that his Vanguard Lord came up pretty close to my Lion Chariots and I declared a charge with my White Lions and one of my Chariots at his Lord. He opted to flee and got away quite easily, but in doing so left his Dark Riders to chill with one of my Eagles.
- His turn moves some of his dude mans up and casts Sword Wind on my Spear unit with the Lv.2. My failure to dispel sees the spell go off and he takes a swing at everyone in the unit. Thankfully, he only kills 2 Spears and misses my Champ and Lv.2. He plays pretty aggressively with his Dark Riders and get into flanking positions on both sides of my forces. Shots from his RXB and Dark Riders put down some Spears and force a wound on the left Eagle but nothing else really happens. His Hydras play aggressively as well and applies pressure to my left and right flank. The Lord on the dark peggy also flies towards his right most Dark Riders.
- My turn sees my Lv.4 move up with his Phoenix Guard in an attempt to cast Shield of Saphery on my WL. I throw two dice and miscast again with IF. My Lv.4 goes down to a Lv.1 and I lose everything but Flames of the Phoenix. At this point I wanted to throw the table across the room but I restrain myself with all that's human in me. I analyze the situation and see a chance for me to charge his Dark Riders who are on the flank of my White Lions. Since he was 10" away, he declares to hold as my chances weren't that good. Luckily, I roll enough to get in and my opponent throws his hands up in the air. The Eagle charges in there, kills 2, +1 for charging and +1 for flank with no wounds forces a break check. He's good on a 10 from his general. My White Lions reform to meet his general and his left over Dark Riders. My other Eagle was not so lucky as he charged the RXB (who opted to stand and shoot and didn't hit once), but he wiffed all his attacks and got killed. Nothing else really happens as everything's dispelled.
- Since his Black Guard and Wyches moved up pretty aggressively, they didn't want to get too close because of the 2x Lion Chariots starring back at them. Instead, he holds them there and inched his Black Guard up into the woods. His Hydras advance some more towards my lines and gets into flanking positions some more. They are now close enough to my Spears and White Lions to charge next turn. His Lord flies behind my Phoenix Guard and sits there. He casts Sword Wind on my Lv.2's unit again and it goes off because I can't really reliably dispel now and my Lv.2 lives once again. My unit champion, however, was not so lucky. His RXBs shoot some more and kill a good number of Spears from my left most unit.
- On this turn, I had to turn things around. The White Lions charge the Dark Riders that was stuck in combat with the Eagle and they erase them easily. I reform and face his Hydra with my White Lions (Archmage moves in here with the BSB) and stare him down. The Eagle flies to block his Lord from charging anything. I declare charges with one of my Lion Chariots and my PG unit at his Black Guard and he holds, obviously. The Lion Chariot goes through dangerous terrain and it'll only suck terribly if I roll a 1. I roll a 1 and he loses 2 wounds before he even gets into combat. Sure, why not. The Lion Chariot slams into the Black Guard with a 6 on Impact Hits and things are looking great. That is, until they look behind them and see that the Phoenix Guard rolled a 3 combined to charge when I need a 7 and falls flat on their face. Well, so much for that I thought. Even though I kill a good amount of Black Guard with my impact hits, my White Lions fluff their attacks and the chariot goes down before the cats get to swing.
- His turn sees his Lord charge my other Lion Chariot and his Lord kills it. The Hydra on the left side charges one of my Spear units and kills 17 by himself. Thanks of Eternal Hatred because of fighting High Elves, those things are even more ridiculous than ever. I flee of course and he reforms to face my Lv.2's unit of Spears. Well, one Spear unit down. Magic gets flung around again and my opponent leads with his Lv.4's default spell to generate D3+1 more PD. I have to let it go and the winds flow heavily in his favor. I dispel the first couple of spells but Word of Pain gets through on my Phoenix Guard.
- Since this BR is getting a little long, I'll just cut down to the end parts of the game: My Phoenix Guard charges his Wyches and thanks to the ASF, re-rolls and my 4+ Ward save, I only take 5 casualties and kill a bunch of girls. The right most Hydra and the White Lions continue their starring contest. The Lv.2's unit flees across the board across my entire army and everyone panics but stays because of the BSB. The White Lions get double charged by the two Hydras and they rape 1 but leaves the other with 1 wound. That one wounded Hydra hits back and kills 12 White Lions, awesome. The PG block grinds down the majority of his army, killing all the Wyches, and holding up 3 other units in combat because my Lv.2 rallied and decided to go on a journey on foot. He starts to shine and throws down a bunch of buffs on my PG while my Lv.1 Archmage takes notes. The Archmage manage to get one Flames of the Phoenix off on the Black Guard before dies in combat.
- The entire center of the board turns into one giant slugfest but eventually my White Lion unit goes down, the BSB along with it, my general (the Archmage) and the game ends with my PG unit and Lv.2 still alive. I did manage to kill both of those damn Hydras at the end. Fuck those things.
Things to do better next time:
- Not have a useless Archmage. The idea was to have a lot of cheap to cast but effective High Magic spells but that went out the drain the second he miscasted. If he only managed to stay at Lv.4 and keep his spells, I would of been able to Vaul's Unmaking that stupid unkillable Dreadlord and done more damage with Flames of the Phoenix. Since I couldn't get Flames off reliably more often, I didn't draw any of my opponent's dispel dice. I also couldn't dispel for shit because my highest level to dispel was a Lv.2 vs. his Lv.4 throwing out dice + the dagger's extra PD.
- Throw all my Spears at his RXB/center ASAP. If I applied more pressure with my Spears instead of hanging back and getting charged by the Hydra + getting shot by the RXB, they would of at least distracted the Hydra long or maybe hold him back. This would of allowed my White Lions to deal with the other Hydra and thus being able to maul through more of his units. Even if his Hydra charged my advancing Spears, I might of been able to use my Eagle to divert his next charge and buy time for the rest of my army. That is, if that Eagle was still alive.
- Overall, my Eagle usage was pretty good. The right Eagle managed to stall a lot of his army but my left Eagle charged the RXBs and died. If I would have advanced the left Eagle up with my Spears going full speed, I might have been able to divert the Hydra or at least block it for a round.