Introduction

Finally my first game with the official 1.0 9th Age rules. UK came over to my place and brought 2000 points of his Beast Herds with him.

To save time we communicated lists before playing and also build the battle field with the rules for random terrain deployment.

The Bleak Legion01-bleaklegion

  • Exalted Oracle – General, Level 4, Path of Black Magic, Dispel Scroll, Talisman of Supreme Shielding
  • Captain – Battle Standard Bearer, Raptor, Hardened Shield, Sword of Strength, Dusk Stone
  • Assassin – Path of Silent Death, Ring of Shadows, Nightshade, Paired Weapons
  • 15x Blades of Nabh – Musician, Standard Bearer
  • 15x Repeater Auxiliaries – Musician, Standard Bearer
  • 5x Dark Raiders – Repeater Crossbows, Shields
  • 6x Dread Knights – Champion, Standard Bearer
  • Dread Reaper -Repeating Shots
  • 14x Executioners – Musician, Standard Bearer
  • 5x Dark Acolytes – Champion
  • 6x Raven Cloaks – Great Weapons
  • 5x Raven Cloaks – Great Weapons

Again I tried to mix things up a little and wanted to use units I didn’t use in the last few games. This meant no Path of Fire, no Tower Guard and no Dread Legionnaires. As the Cult Rules are abysmal, I also shied away from a Cult Army. This left me with a MSU / MMU oriented list. I used an Exalted Oracle as I didn’t do that in the games before, but also because it allowed me to play with Only one Captain.

Beast Herds02-bh

  • Beast Lord – General, Beast Axe, Crown of Horns, Hunting Call, Dragon Mantle, Talisman of Supreme Shielding, Heavy Armour, Shield
  • Soothsayer – Path of Shadow, Dispel Scroll, Soothsayer Staff, Level 2
  • Beast Chieftain – Totem Bearer, Mithril Mail, Battle Standard Bearer, Dark Rain, Paired Weapons, Throwing Weapons
  • Beast Chieftain – Shield, Heavy Armour, Beast Axe, Ambush, Dragonscale Helm, Throwing Weapons
  • 25x Wildhorns – Throwing Weapons, Shields, Ambush, Full Command
  • 10x Mongrel Raiders – Ambush
  • 10x Mongrel Raiders – Ambush
  • 5x Feral Hounds
  • Raiding Chariot
  • Raiding Chariot
  • 29x Longhorns – Full Command
  • 5x Centaurs – Sober, Ambush, Throwing Weapons
  • 5x Centaurs – Sober, Ambush, Throwing Weapons
  • 1x Razortusk Herd
  • Cyclops

UK was using his list from the 2on2 prerelease bash, but modified the ambush heavy army with some additional goodies.

Terrain, Magic, Deployment03-deploy

Terrain did bring a water feature in the centre of the map, which could be deciding, if someone had to walk through. Otherwise there was little cover and only one hill to the side of the map. We rolled breakthrough and a classic deployment.

Magic did bring the desired Spells for us both. I rolled 1, 3, 3, 6 which allowed me to get Fury, Gale, Agony and Bolt. The perfect mixture of two Buffs and two damage Spells. Together with the Spells from the Acolytes three each.

The Soothsayer got a double as well in Turn to Smoke and opted for the Miasma as the second spell.

Deployment went slow, as we thought to matchup favourably. I managed to get the Acolytes across the Razortusk and Cyclops, which was good and the Longhorns were off to one side, which I denied, which was great. Otherwise I turtled a little bit to take care of any ambushers.

With plus two, UK won the roll and started the game.

Beast Herds – Turn 104-bh1

Movement: The whole army, except for the Cyclops, moved aggressively forward. The Razortusk hid a little bit behind the building.

Magic: 2+1, Beasts channel. He casts his Clouded Eye (5) and Gnarled Hide (3) totems on his longhorns. Then tries Shadow Miasma on the Repeater Auxiliaries with two dice (4+3), which goes through (2+2). The Repeaters suffer -2 BS.

Shooting: The Cyclops targets for the Dread Knights. The shot is off a little bit and hits one Knight and two Dark Acolytes. The Knight is not wounded, but the Acolytes are. Lucky for me, I succeed in all four ward save throws.

Close Combat: None.

Dread Elves Turn 105-de1

Movement: UK had overlooked, that my Dark Acolytes could see the Razortusk and were well in charge range. They charged and connected with the giant boar.

The Dread Knights advance with full force, while the Dark Raiders turn around. The Blades and Executioners try to secure the backfield against ambushers.

Magic: 4+1, Elves channel. Bolt of Darkness on the nearer chariot (6+5+4+3) succeeds. Deals three wounds, but Soul Thirst manages to deal the fourth wound and eliminates the chariot. Freezing Gale (6) also succeeds (3+1) and makes five wounds on the hounds, also killing them. Curse of Mortality (6) is then dispelled (5+1).

Shooting:

  • Raven Cloaks on Cyclops: One wound.
  • Assassin on Cyclops: No wounds.
  • Dread Reaper on Cyclops: No wounds.
  • Raven Cloaks on Longhorns: No wounds.

Close Combat: The Dark Acolytes easily deal four wounds with their attacks. Killing the Razortusk with the chance to retaliate. They reform towards the Cyclops

Beast Herds – Turn 206-bh2

Movement: All ambushers enter the battlefield. The Wildhorns to the far side, behind the Dark Raiders. The Mongrels before and behind the Blades of Nabh.

The Longhorns and the remaining chariot move forward with full speed. The Cyclops tries to get away from the Raven Cloaks.

Magic: 6+3, no channels. Miasma on Repeaters (5+4) is dispelled (6+2+1). Gnarled Hide (6+2), Clouded Eye (3+1) are successful, while Black Wing (2+1) is dispelled (6+5+2). Blooded Horn is successful as well.

Shooting:

  • Cyclops on Repeaters: Scatters towards Raven Cloaks, they receive one hit, but no wound.
  • Wildhorns on Dark Raiders: Two wounds.
  • Centaurs on Dark Raiders: Four wounds. Unit is annihilated.
  • Mongrel Raiders on Blades of Nabh: Two wounds.
  • Mongrel Raiders on Blades of Nabh: Three wounds.
  • Centaurs on Repeater Auxiliaries: Two wounds.

Close Combat: None.

Dread Elves – Turn 207-de2

Movement: The Dark Acolytes do a charge on ‚8‘ and successfully connect with the Cyclops. The Blades of Nabh charge the Mongrels directly before them.

The Raven Cloaks try to get into the game again from the far corner. The Executioners turn a little to be able to charge the Centaurs next round. The Raven Cloaks with the Exalted Oracle move towards the centre and away from the Longhorns. The Dread Knights decide against turning around, and try to get into the flank of the Longhorns, despite the water feature before them.

Magic: 6+3, Dread Elves channel. Freezing Gale on Mongrel Raiders (5+2) deals two wounds with the help of Soul Thirst. Curse of Mortality (big) on Cyclops (6+5+2+2) is not dispelled (5+2+1+1). Crippling Agony (small) on Centaurs (6+2+2) is also successful. The Mongrels are not panicked by their losses.

Shooting:

  • Repeater Auxiliaries on Centaurs: One wound.
  • Raven Cloaks on Mongrel Raiders: No wounds.
  • Dread Reaper on Centaurs: One wound.
  • Centaurs do not panic.

Close Combat: The Dark Acolytes once again deal a lot of wounds, three of those are not saved. The Cyclops kills one Acolytes and then proceeds to hold on four.

The Blades of Nabh decimate the Mongrel Raiders, while receiving three wounds on their own. The Mongrels break and are run down.

Beast Herds – Turn 308-bh3

Movement: The Mongrel Raiders charge the Dread Reaper. The Longhorns advance and the Chariot secures their back. The Centaurs charge the Repeater Auxiliaries. The Wildhorns and Centaurs on the far side advance towards the centre.

Magic: 5+1, no channels. Black Wing (4+4) is not dispelled (3+1). Blooded Horn (6+4) is successful, while Gnarled Hide (3+2) is dispelled (2+2+1).

Shooting: None.

Close Combat: The Mongrel Raiders suffer a wound from the Dread Reaper crew, but continue to kill the crew and overrun into the flank of the Repeaters.

In the following fight, the Repeaters do not manage a wound on the Centaurs, but two on the Mongrel Raiders. The Mongrels themselves do one wound and the Centaurs kill another two. The Repeaters lose the combat by two, but remain in the fight.

The Dark Acolytes do eight wounds on the Cyclops, he only saves three and is dead. The Acolytes reform towards the Dread Elf side.

Dread Elves – Turn 309-de3

Movement: The Dread Knights charge the remaining chariot. Two riders die while charging through the water. The Blades of Nabh charge the flank of the Centaurs.

The Acolytes and Raven Cloaks struggle to re-enter the game and move as fast as possible in direction of the Wildhorns. The other Raven Cloaks position themselves in the flank of the Longhorns. The Executioners remain more or less still.

Magic: 4+3, Dread Elves channel. Another excellent magic phase for me. Bolt of Darkness on the Longhorns (4+3+3+1) deals four wounds. Soul Thrist does another. Crippling Agony (4+1+1) on the Longhorns is dispelled (6+2+1). Freezing Gale (1) fails to be cast.

Shooting:

  • Raven Cloaks on Longhorns: Two wounds.
  • Assassin on Wildhorns: One wound.
  • Raven Cloakson Wildhorns: One wound.

Close Combat: Blades of Nabh deal eight wounds on Centaurs. Repeaters do one wound on the Mongrel Raiders. The Mongrels fail to do a wound and flee. The Repeaters try to catch them, but only move two inches. The Blades of Nabh are once again forced to overrun.

Dread Knights easily kill the Chariot without suffering a wound and reform to face the back of the Longhorns.

Beast Herds – Turn 410-bh4

Movement: The Centaurs charge the Repeaters. Those stand & shoot, kill two Centaurs and panic them into retreat.

The Longhorns charge the Blades of Nabh. The Wildhorns successfully charge the Repeater Auxiliaries.

Magic: 6+1, Dread Elves channel. A critical bad magic phase for my opponent here. Turn to Smoke (4+3) on the Blades is successful. Gnarled Hide (6+2) is dispelled (4+3+1). Blooded Horn (2) fails. Black Wing (4+4) is dispelled (6+6+5+1).

Shooting: None.

Close Combat: The Repeater Auxiliaries do not manage to wound the Wildhorns. In return the Wildhorns do enough wounds to send the Repeaters fleeing. The Wildhorns pursue but don’t manage to connect with the Blades of Nabh.

The Blades see their chance in sniping the Soothsayer and do so, while also killing some Longhorns. In return the complete unit is wiped out.

At this point UK surrenders the game.

Deciding Moments, Mistakes, etc.

One major factor in the game was having a water feature in the centre of the playing field, which hindered the Beast Herds from deploying their Longhorns in the centre. UK moved them a little too far to either side, which probably granted me a full turn of additional time before having to confront his deadly main combat block. Additionally leaving the Cyclops with virtually no defense was too risky. He would have nicely combined with a chariot.

I would say, that ambush heavy armies possibly need to keep their starting troops together, to prevent having them taken out too easily. Even small mistakes, like the Razortusk being chargeable by the Acolytes have huge downsides, if there is no other unit near that could correct or alleviate the mistake.

Another big factor was the bad luck my opponent had with magic. While my magic phases were okay to good, his were often crucially low. Whenever he gambled for a lucky throw he also never got it.

I was very happy with the Oracle into Raven Cloaks move. It almost felt a little like old times, when Sorceresses would have fast cavalry and ride with Dark Raiders into battle. The Dread Reaper was almost useless and I think I would always use a chariot against Beast Herds to capture and eliminate the ambushers with impact hits.

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