On the 1st of December SS and I battled it out at the Stuttgarter WahnZinn. His Dwarves versus my Dread Elves with 2400 points. We played with the 0.9 rule set of Ninth Age (although I’ll often use the 0.10 names for the units). For terrain we used the 8th Edition Warhammer rules, meaning D6+4 pieces, alternate placing.
We both wanted to try out a lot of stuff, it seems I underestimated the power of the Manitcora
- Lord of Darkness, Manticora, Dragonscale Helm, Execution Axe, Talisman of Supreme Shielding, Shield, Heavy Armour
- High Sorceress, Level 4, Path of Black Magic, Dispel Scroll, Gemstone Amulet
- Cult Priestess, Cult of Blood, Charm of Cursed Iron, Blood Armour
- Dark Master, Battle Standard Bearer, Fleet Commander, Hardened Shield, Sword of Strength, Dusk Stone, Heavy Armour, Repeater Crossbow
- Shadow Assassin, Nightshade Venom
- 14x Blood Maidens, Full Command, Banner of Speed
- 30x Elven Warriors, Heavy Armour, Full Command, Icon of the Relentless Company
- 11x Executioners
- Hunting Chariot, Harpoon Thrower
- 8x Shadow Stalkers, Great Weapons
- 10x Dark Art Apprentices
Unfortunately I do not know the magic item setup of the Dwarves anymore. The Runesmiths had all the Dwarven runes for six different spells.
- King on Shield Bearers
- Thane, Battle Standard Bearer
- Runic Master
- Runic Smith, Dispel Rune
- 20x Clan Warriors, Full Command
- 10x Clan Marksmen
- 10x Clan Marksmen
- 10x Forge Wardens
- 10x Seekers
- Vengeance Seeker
- 23x King’s Guard, Full Command, Runic Standard of Dismay
- Tunnel Artillery, Organ Gun
- 6x Hold Guardians
- Steam Copter
We rolled nine terrain pieces. With nobody being the clear shooter, terrain wasn’t that hard contested. I set a hill into the centre and we had two more forests, two pieces of impassable terrain and some ruins at the lower edge. I got first choice and setup on the right side, with the building in the deployment zone.
For spells I rolled 1, 3, 3, 5. This meant I would have the two missiles and added Moraec’s Fury and Crippling Agony as de-/buffs.
During deployment I placed my large block of warriors upwards of the building and complemented it with the Chariot and the Executioners. As the Dwarves put their Close Quarter far down, I put the Dark Art Apprentices there, to charge them. Finally I dropped my last units at once to get the first turn. As the King’s Guard also deployed to the south, my plan would be to try to avoid them and deployed my Scouts in the upper forest.
Turn 1 -Dread Elves
Movement: The Assassin revealed himself prematurely, as I didn’t want to move with the Scouts and wasn’t in range for the Assassin’s Throwing Weapons. The Dark Riders moved in 23“ distance of the Copter. The rest advanced around the northern forest, with the Manticora and the Hydra deliberately staying out of the range of the war machine. The Dark Art Apprentices marched through the forest, but didn’t lose anyone.
Magic: 2+1, no channels. Freezing Gale (large version) on the Clan Marksmen in the centre (6+5+2) is not dispelled (5+3) and scores one wound. I opt for the reduction of BS and get -2. The Lore Attributes damage is saved.
- Dark Raiders on Steam Copter: No wounds.
- Harpoon on Hold Guardians: Three wounds.
- Raven Cloaks on Clan Marksmen: Five wounds.
Turn 1 – Dwarven Holds
Movement: The King’s Guard tries to charge the Dark Acolytes, needs a ten and fails.
The Hold Guardians advance as do the Clan Warriors. The Seekers advance on the hill. The Forge Wardens guard the northern flank, while the Copter retreats to the centre and the Vengeance Seeker hides behind the rock.
Magic: 5+2, no channels. Glittering Gold (11) fails to reach casting value. Rune of Metal (65) is successful on the King’s Guard. Rune of Resolve (41) is dispelled (552). Rune of Reckoning is also dispelled.
- Organ Gun on Dark Acolytes: Two wounds.
- Copter on Dread Legionnaires: No wounds.
- Clan Marksmen (north) on Hunting Chariot: Two wounds.
- Clan Marksmen (centre) on Raven Cloaks: No wounds.
Turn 2 – Dread Elves
Movement: The time for charges began. Executioners, Hunting Chariot and Dread Legionnaires all charged the Hold Guardians. They all reach the Hold Guardians, but the Dread Legionnaires don’t have any room any more and so fail the charge. The Blood Maidens and Raven Cloaks attack the Seekers. The Manticora and the Hydra the Clan Warriors.
The Dark Acolytes advance towards the War Machine and lose two riders due to dangerous terrain.
Magic: 5+4, no channels. Moraec’s Fury (653) on Blood Maidens is not dispelled (422). Bolt of Darkness on the Copter (643) is dispelled with the Dispel Rune. Crippling Agony (63) on the Clanwarriors is dispelled (54). Freezing Gale on Copter (5) does one wound.
- Dark Raiders on the Marksmen: No wound.
The Hunting Chariot does two wounds with impact hits. The Executioners manage to inflict another four or five. The Hold Guardians kill the Chariot and do three wounds in total. They break and flee, but manage to outrun the Executioners.
The Blood Maidens and the Raven Cloaks completely decimate the Seekers. But the Seekers drag five Maidens and three Cloaks with them.
The Manticora and the Rider kill the Dwarven Runic Smith and together with the Hydra kill five Dwarves (we forgot stomps…). The Dwarves are steadfast and hold.
Turn 2 – Dwarven Holds
Movement: The Vengeance Seeker sees an opportunity and charges the Dread Legionnaires. The Hold Guardians rally. The shooters each turn towards their intended target if necessary.
Magic: 2+2, Dwarves channel. Rune of Reckoning is successful again, -1 ToHit buff on the Organ Cannon also.
- Clan Marksmen (north) on Executioners: Five wounds.
- Copter on Executioners: No wounds.
- Clan Marksmen (centre) on Raven Cloaks: One wound.
- Forge Wardens on Executioners: Five wounds.
- Organ Cannon on Dark Acolytes: Seven wounds, but the last one holds.
Close Combat: The vengeance seeker has six attacks and succeeds in killing the Exalted Oracle. The unit and BSB do one damage on the Dwarf. Meanwhile the Dwarven Clanwarriors continue to crumble. They lose eight, while not inflicting any wound. But they are still steadfast and hold.
Turn 3 – Dread Elves
Movement: The last Acolyte charges the Organ Cannon, but fails the dangerous terrain test as well as his Ward Save. The Blood Maidens and Raven Cloaks both charge the Clan Marksmen and make it. The Dark Raiders move around the back, without any good position to be in.
Close Combat: Manticor and Hydra wipe out the Clan Warriors. The Dread Legionnaires kill the Vengeance Seeker and don’t even take a wound as I manage to save four wounds, with four sixes. The Clan Marksmen are easily obliterated, the Blood Maidens overrun into a bad position.
Turn 3 – Dwarven Holds
Movement: Hold Guardians successfully charge the Blood Maidens. The King’s Guard makes haste to get back into a relevant fight, while the shooters turn towards targets.
Magic: 6+5, no channels. True Grit (66631) is successful, Hatred as well, but movement is dispelled with six dice.
- Organ Cannon has a misfire while shooting on the Raven Cloaks. Organ Cannon suffers one wound.
- Copter on Raven Cloaks: No wounds.
- Forgeguard on Manticora: No wounds (all saved by 2+ from Dragonhelm).
Turn 4 – Dread Elves
Movement: Raven Cloaks charge the flank of the Hold Guardians, the Manticora charges the Forge Warden and Dread Legionnaires make the Copter flee.
Turn 4 – Dwarven Holds
Movement: The King’s Guard still tries to reach the actions. Even the Organ Gun moves. The Copter rallies and moves away.
Magic: 5+1, no channels. The movement spells is dispelled, all other’s are of no relevance.
Shooting: The Marksmen score three wounds on the Blood Maidens.
Rest of the Game
After the Dread Legionnaires catch up with the Clan Marksmen and the Manticora also with the Copter the Dwarves only have their Organ Gun and their King’s Guard. Both of them fail to reach the enemy before the game is over.
I think I won the game in the deployment phase, mainly the unnecessary King’s Guard near the Organ Gun. This way, the main combat block of my enemy was not really in the game. The Dark Acolytes failed miserably in reaching the gun, but at least stayed long enough to distract the King’s Guard from the real action. There I would say, that my opponent didn’t play out all his strengths. With superior shooting he probably shouldn’t have advanced at all, instead remain back and counter-charge as soon as my forces were in range.
The 0.9.X updates were all oky, without a cannon the changes were not so apparent. The manticora as a monstrous beast is very hard to get used to and I think it is probably too strong. T5 for an elven hero just seems wrong. I understand, that there is little space between the real monster, that is the dragon and the pegasus, the real monstrous beast. Making the Manticora a monster will probably eliminate it from play.
The Parry rule is really strong, the Hydra suffered enourmously under it.
We both liked, that unwieldy rule. It’s better than the on/off move or shoot rule that muskets and crossbows had before.
Units & Balancing
- Manticora: See above, feels too strong.
- Copter with Volley Gun seems very weak.
- Runes for Dwarves are funny, but were not really strong in our match, since the King’s Guard could only cast on itself, so no judgement here.
- No more comments here, since 0.10 is already out.