Tuesday, May 10, 2011

BR: 2500pt High Elves vs. Tomb Kings

Had another game of fantasy today vs. my friend Steve's 8th Ed. Tomb Kings.  As most of you know, I'm still pretty damn rusty with 8th since my last game was last year.  Steve's last game of 8th was also last year but since he just got a brand new army book, he wanted to throw them against my High Elves and see how it'll pan out.  It was quite fun, and the new TK book is definitely different than last edition.  That's for certain.

My HE list:
Lv.4 Archmage, Annulian Crystal
Lv.1 Mage, Sigil of Asuryan
BSB, AoC, Guardian Phoenix
30x Spears, War Banner
32x Spears
25x White Lions, Banner of Eternal Flame
25x Phoenix Guard, Banner of Sorcery
2x Lion Chariots
2x Eagles

His list:
Lv.4 Hierophant, 4+ ward
Tomb King, GW, 2+ armor, 5+ ward
Tomb Prince, some heavy armor
2x Lv.1 Wizards
Big unit of 40x Skellies w/ Spears
7x Chariots
20x Archers
20x Tomb Guard w/ Halberds
Tomb Spider
Casket of Souls

The game:
  • We did standard pitch battle and both of my Wizards had Lore of Light.  His Hiero had the TK lore and the 2 Lv.1s had TK and Light.  I will reveal spells as I BR.
  • Deployment saw both Spear units sitting in the middle with my White Lions on my left and Phoenix Guard on the right.  The Lion Chariots were placed on the flanks as well and the two Eagles next to the Chariots.  He won the dice roll to go first since he had less models to put down.
  • As his army moves up the field, he flies his Necrosphinx to my right flank.  The rest of his army slowly moves up and his Lv.4 casts the spell to move again and I let it go.  His army moves up again the same distance.  His Chariots flanked my left by a bunch of trees directly across from my White Lions.  My main focus is drawn on his gigantic Necrosphinx that flies.  Magic phase sees Smiting go off on his Archers and he's able to shoot 30 shots at my Phoenix Guard.  Phew, after 6 wounds I was thinking I'd take more.  The rest of the magic on his turn was dispelled by my Lv.4.  His Chariots also shot at my left Eagle and didn't do anything to it.  The additional move from his Lv.4 also sees one of his Wizards try to move into his unit of Spears but he's just short.
  • On my turn, I move my Eagles to intercept and misdirect his Chariots and his Necrosphnix so they cannot charge my flanks without going in some random direction.  His Necrosphinx was a little out of position for a charge on my PG so the Eagle was the only target.  The rest of my army moves up the board in full force and I move 5" with my Phoenix Guard.  The winds are generous and I'm able to obtain a good amount of PD for my turn.  My Lv.4 starts off with Banishment on his Lv.1 Wizard who's short of the Spears and he lets it through sadly.  He take 3d6 S5 hits because my Lv.1 support was also Light and he goes down in a spectacular display of fire.  I attempt to cast Net of Amyntok on his Tomb Guard but he dispels it with much gusto.  Without any more dice to throw down, Pha's Protection goes down on the Phoenix Guard.  My White Lions move up to intercept his Chariots and my Phoenix Guard face off against his Tomb Guard.  The two Lion Chariots inch closer to him with good pressure (one in range of his Hiero next round).
  • Thanks to the Eagles, the Necrosphinx and Chariots simply reposition themselves so they're closer to my flanks but no charges were declared.  His charge range was just out of comfortable dice range so he reforms his Spears into a 5x8 unit.  The Tomb Scorpion also comes up this turn but it's unable to charge (thank god) and sits closely by my rear lines.  He also moves his Hierophant back now sensing the danger that she's in and then the magic starts.  Winds and rolled and it's a fairly average amount.  I dispel a good amount of the spells coming out but the Casket of Souls fire with IF.  Since it's an innate ability, it goes off without much penalty and my left Chariot takes 2 wounds, it bounces on a 3+ and 2 more Spears die.  It tries to bounce again but he rolls a 2 and it ends.  Shooting from his skeleton archers rolls poorly on the Lion Chariot on the right and his Chariots put a wound on the Eagle on the left.  His army is now in charging range of my army.
  • On this round, my entire army surges forward to intercept the undead army.  My left Eagle charges the Chariots with my White Lions who only needs a 4 to get into combat.  I roll a 2 and a 1.  Awesome.  The right Eagle follows the Necrosphinx and once again, blocks his charge lane to my Phoenix Guard with his base (with the help of a building) and redirects to the middle of nowhere since he can't actually place his model because of the Eagle's base.  My two spear units with my BSB charge the unit of Skeletons w/ Spears and the Lion Chariot charges the flank.  The right Lion Chariot charges his Hierophant but he reveals her 4+ ward save and I only manage to do 1 wound.  He takes none back but he loses combat by 1 and breaks!  King of the jungle my ass.  My Lv.4 leaves his Phoenix Guard to get in the flank area of the Tomb Scorpion (avoiding LoS) while staying close to the center part of my army.  The Phoenix Guard advance as normal.  During the magic phase, I rolled a 7, I channeled for 2 more and I rolled for 3 more with my BoS.  With so many dice to play with, my Lv.4 started throwing out spells with confidence.  I led with Banishment on the Scorpion but it was quickly dispelled.  I followed with a greater cast of Speed of Light and it was scrolled.  I then threw down a handful of dice at Pha's Protection and it goes off.  Now all units within 12" of the Wizard has -1 to hit.
  • Combat on this turn was pretty crazy.  The Eagle on the left charged in, does no damage and dies horribly.  The Spear units in the middle throws out a bunch of attacks and does less damage than I expected, but a good amount of Skeletons still go down.  I found out the unit was WS6 because of the King's My Will Be Done and I was hitting on 4s with re-rolls.  The Lion Chariot also killed a bunch of dudes and my BSB swung at his Tomb King, who took a wound.  His swings back into my unit kills a good amount of spears but I was still able to win combat by 7.  He pulls some dudes on top of the amount I already killed and he has about 25 dudes left after Unstable.  I'm a little saddened by the White Lions who's probably going to get charged next turn, but I'm pretty happy with the combat in the middle.
  • On his turn, he rolls really low for his winds of magic.  I take one of his PD with my Annulian Crystal and I still had a scroll left should things go ill.  He says fuck that Eagle and charges it with his Necrosphinx who attempts to run but rolls like ass.  It's caught, but it's sole purpose in life has been fulfilled and the Necro is out of combat for another turn.  The Tomb Scorpion decides not to charge my White Lions because it'll probably die before it swings so he goes and have a staring contest with my Lv.4.  His Chariots charge through difficult terrain (rolls 7 dangerous and passes them all) and smashes into my White Lions.  10 White Lions go down to the impact hits and I throw back 11 attacks from 2 ranks.  I hit with all and wound with all and god damn, I lol really hard.  His attacks back kills 2 more White Lions after needing 5s to hit because of Pha's and I force him to take a few Unstable wounds.  Steve's Tomb Guard also charges my Phoenix Guard who holds and takes the charge to the face.  Magic sees a pitiful cast of 5+ ward on the TG which was promptly dispelled.  He throws 2 more dice at the Killing Blow spell on his Spears and I needed a average roll on 2 dice to dispel it.  Since I didn't feel like wasting Sigil on that one spell, I throw my dice and I roll just 1 value short.  It goes off and he gets back an entire rank of Skeletons.  Alright, that sucked I thought.
  • Combat on his turn had my Elves swinging first with 4 ranks each.  I issue a challenge with my BSB and his Tomb King accepts.  I epically whiff with my BSB and I take 1 wound.  After dice are thrown from my Spears, a good amount of Skeletons go down.  The Lion Chariot also throws in his attacks but nothing special really happens.  His attacks back at my Spears sees a average number of hits but his attempts to wound were pretty subpar.  No Killing Blows came out and I made some of my 5+s for a decisive Unstable test in the middle.  He is now left with the King and ~13 Skeletons.
  • The Tomb Guard engage my Phoenix Guard on the right and thanks of Pha's Protection and WS5, I nullify the Prince's WS buff on the unit.  He needs 5s to hit with his dudes and only manages to score 6 wounds.  After my 4+ ward saves, I pull 2 Phoenix Guard and combat goes decisively in my direction after I maul a good amount of TG.  We called the game here.

After game thoughts:
  • Since TK's magic system got standardized, I don't think they need to have a bunch of casters anymore.  Steve was definitely overloaded in the caster department and he could of just brought a Lv.4, a Lv.1-2 supporting caster, and maybe 2x Tomb Princes or 1/1 TK/TP.  The casket is definitely a must have though.  It's basically a tough ass warmachine with a 4+ ward, no downsides and it practically pays for itself with ~2 PD per turn.  For it's points, it's practically a no-brainer.
  • Tactically, Steve should of held his Necrosphinx back and used him as a counter-charge unit.  Especially when there's so many infantry units on my side, he really could of used the Sphinx to counter-charge the combat in the middle and sway it in his favor.  That thing would of killed a whole bunch of Elves and would of forced me to swing at it.
  • A correction to the turn that Necrosphinx charged the Eagle:  We found out he could of actually charged my Phoenix Guard by placing the Necrosphinx towards the top right of my block.  A little awkward how the thing could fly through a building, but oh wells.
  • I took my Teclis model instead of my normal Lv.4 model and just played him as a Lv.4.  Yes, I have gamer's superstition, but Teclis has never let me down.
  • I was much more aggressive with my Spears this game and I think that's exactly what I needed.  I had 60+ spears in the center of the table fighting for Ulthuan and they came out victorious over the undead horde.  My BSB was foolish to challenege, but I thought I'd do it for shit and giggles because I was arrogant in centerfield (arrogance? as an elf? no way).
  • Tomb Kings definitely play a lot different than they did last edition.  Their magic is now stoppable and their the dynamics of their army has changed a lot.  The My Will Be Done is fantastic to have because it's basically like a Crown of Command that's constantly in combat.  With 4pt Skeletons and 11pt Tomb Guard, I can see this being spammed out like crazy.  Settra can also apply his ridiculous WS7 to all units within 6", that's pretty godly.  Speaking of which, Chariots hit crazy hard this edition.  Steve didn't even field a lot of Chariots and they did 12 or so S5 hits once they hit my ranks.  Imagine if he had 2 of these units and just used Skeletons to pin down my Spears before he sent them in.
  • I will probably make another post about Tomb Kings in the near future once I get a better look at their army book.  All I can say is that the actual Tomb King core (the troops themselves) got a lot better in terms of cost effectiveness.  While some things got worse:  Ushabti, Tomb Scorpions and Giants, the meat of the army got better:  Cheaper units that are more cost effective.  It's too early to tell yet, but I also think Scorpions should be on the field and used as roadblocks, kinda like Eagles.  The Necrosphinx should definitely play a more backfield role and act as a counter-charge unit, but just like every other MC out there, Cannons will be the death of him.

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