Army Swap: Warriors of the Dark Gods vs. Dread Elves

Introduction

The stakes were high. JB challenged me to an army swap. I was to command his heavy armoured Warriors, while he would bring my agile and cruel Elves to the field. Now both of us would experience how broken the own army really is and how weak those „overpowered“ troops of the opponent behave, when you are fielding them yourself.

We played 2500 points with normal rules.

The Bleak LegionWarriors

  • Lord of Chaos – General, Mark of Pestilence, Waste Hardened Skin, Charm of Cursed Iron, Dueler’s Shield, Razor Blade, Dusk Stone, Plate Armour
  • Harbinger of Chaos – Battle Standard Bearer, Mark of Pestilence, Dragon Mantle, Lucky Charm, Icon of the Relentless Company, Plate Armour, Shield
  • Sorcerer – Path of Fire, Level 2, Dispel Scroll, Lucky Shield
  • Sorcerer – Path of Fire, Level 2, Tome of Arcane Lore
  • Sorcerer – Path of Fire, Level 2, Hardened Shield, Obsidian Nullstone
  • 5x Barbarian Horsemen – Light Lances, Shields
  • 5x Barbarian Horsemen – Light Lances, Shields
  • 7x Fallen – Champion
  • 5x Fallen
  • 5x Warhounds
  • 25x Wasteland Warriors –Mark of Pestilence, Great Weapons, Full Command, Banner of Speed
  • 10x Chosen – Mark of Lust, Champion, Paired Weapons
  • Fallen Beast
  • Fallen Beast
  • Fallen Beast
  • 6x Wasteland Trolls – Mark of Pestilence

As getting the right combats has always been the problem of the Warriors against me, I tried everything to get the right combats. With The Fallen Beasts I wanted to screw up his backfield in case he would have Repeaters or Dread Reapers. The Warriors should break everything they would be fighting against and the Trolls and Chosen are both very fast, capable of protecting the flank and rushing to some juicy targets. The Fallen should each bunker one Sorcerer and pick chaff if possible. The Horsemen and Hounds were there to perform classic chaff duties.

Dread Elves01-de

  • Dread Prince – General, Headsmen’s Axe, Divine Icon, Crimson Mail
  • Assassin – Path of Bloody Murder, Ward Save (4+), Nightshade, Paired Weapons, Obsidian Nullstone
  • Captain – Battle Standard Bearer, Glittering Cuirass, Hero’s Sword, Raptor, Shield
  • Oracle – Level 2, Path of Fire, Dispel Scroll
  • 5x Dark Raiders
  • 5x Dark Raiders
  • 35x Dread Legionnaires – Spears, Heavy Armour, Full Command
  • 18x Repeater Auxiliaries – Musician, Standard Bearer
  • Divine Altar – Altar of Yema
  • 9x Dread Knights – Full Command, Banner of Blood
  • Medusa – Halberd
  • Dread Reaper – Repeating Shots
  • Dread Reaper – Repeating Shots
  • Hunting Chariot – Harpoon Launcher
  • Hunting Chariot – Harpoon Launcher

JB opted for the large Legionnaires block with the killer heroes in them. Both the Prince and the Assassin are formidable against the Warriors and his Altar would prove support in the form of an important ward save. The Reapers and Chariots could have been devastating, had I brought single monsters.

Terrain, Magic, Deployment02-deployment

Terrain did bring us some fairly common features, with the notable exception of a big impassable terrain right in the centre of the map. But we rolled diagonal for deployment, so the building was suddenly not dead centre anymore. JB could decide and wisely got himself the ruins deep on his side, as those would have been perfect for me if the other diagonal had been used. As secondary objective we had „hold the ground“ marked by the little yellow lego car.

For spells his Oracle got Flaming Swords and Fireball. My Sorcerers had Fireball and Burning Bolts. Fireball, Cascading Fire Cloak, Smoldering Embers. Fireball, Burning Ramparts.

During deployment we went back and forth a little bit with our chaff, then he deployed the rest of his unit to get +3 for first turn. Despite this I still moved forward with my barbarians, but placed them so, that a charge would lead the Dark Raiders through the forest. With the others I took the long route on the far flank. The hounds advanced in the centre as did his unit of Dark Raiders. The others didn’t vanguard to still be able to charge in the first turn.

Dread Elves – Turn 103-de1

Movement: The Dark Raiders charged the barbarians and connected. During their attack through the forest one dies.

Afterwards the Chariots and the Dark Raiders on the flank advance. The Chariots bringing themselves into range to shoot on the Fallen. The rest of the army remains more of less still, with the Medusa creeping a little closer and looking around the building.

Magic: 6+5, no channel. Flaming Swords on the Dark Raiders (4+2+2) gets through, Raging Fire does not do any wounds. Afterwards he casts a big Fireball (4+4+4+4+3) which is dispelled (six dice, total of 23).

Shooting:

  • Hunting Chariot on Fallen: One wound.
  • Hunting Chariot on Fallen: One wound.
  • Dread Reaper on Fallen (other side): No wounds.
  • Dread Reaper on Fallen: Three wounds.
  • (Initially we rolled for panic, then realized, that Fallen are Immune to Psychology, on the picture above one unit of Fallen was still in running away mode, we corrected that afterwards)

Close Combat: The Dark Raiders kill two Horsemen and do not suffer a wound. The Barbarian Horsemen flee and the Raiders roll very low for pursue.

Warriors – Turn 104-wdg1

Movement: I decided not to charge the Dark Raiders with my Chosen. The problem if they flee would have been, that the Trolls might have been blocked by the failed Chosen charge. So I advanced the Chosen directly in front of the Raiders. The Fallen with the Sorcerer moved behind them to be save from shooting. The Trolls and Warriors advanced as fast as possible, while the Barbarians rallied and turned around. The Hounds moved themselves into the way of the Legionnaires to prevent a double charge from them and the Knights on my Wasteland Warriors.

The other Fallen and the Barbarian Horsemen moved back towards the centre, the Horsemen trying to get into the rear of the chariots, the Fallen trying to get in range for spells and preventing from being charged.

Magic: 3+1, no channels. Burning Bolts (5+5+3+1) on Repeater Auxiliaries is not dispelled (4+3+1). Inlcuding Raging Fire it deals nine wounds to the Repeaters. They remain calm, however.

Shooting: None.

Close Combat: None.

Dread Elves – Turn 205-de2

Movement: The Legionnaires charge the Hounds and easily connect. The Hunting Chariots continue hunting the Fallen with the Sorcerer, while the Dark Raiders circle around. The other Dark Raiders succeed in their march test and block the way of the Wasteland Warriors. Knights and Repeaters remain still. The Divine Altar moves a little to the side to remain close to the Legionnaires.

Magic: 4+1, Warriors channel. Flaming Swords on Repeaters (3+1) fails. Medium Fireball on Chosen (5+5+1) is dispelled (5+5+3+3+2).

Shooting:

  • Repeater Auxiliaries on Chosen: No hits.
  • Both Dread Reapers on Chosen: One wound.
  • Hunting Chariots on Fallen: One wound.

Close Combat: The Legionnaires with Assassin and Dread Prince easily kill the Hounds. The armour of the Prince increases from 5+ to 3+.

Warriors – Turn 2

Movement: The Chosen charge the Repeaters and thanks to Swiftstride easily make it. Stand & Shoot kills one. The Barbarien Horsemen charge one of the Hunting Chariots, which flees directly in front of the Fallen, those charge as well, but the Chariot is blocked by the impassable terrain and can only flee 1-2 inches from them. The charge of the Horsemen logically fails afterwards. The Trolls successfully charge the flank of the Dark Raiders within minimum range. The remaining Fallen somehwat advance to be able to cast spells and the Barbarian Horsemen circle round the Wastelane Warriors to prevent an overrun into the Wasteland Warriors.

All Fallen Beasts successfully appear on the battlefield and place themselves to charge the Dread Reapers. One gets within one inch, the others are well within striking distance.

Magic: 5+1, Warriors channel. Cascading Fire Cloak (3+3+2) on the Medusa goes through. Raging Fires do one wound to her. Small Fireball on the Dread Knights (4+1) is dispelled (5+2). Another Fireball is also dispelled. At the end of the phase the fire cloak does not do any damage.

Shooting: None.

Close Combat:

  • The Trolls easily kill the Dark Raiders.
  • The Fallen fought although they should have immediately wiped out the Hunting Chariot. The Chariot kills one, but then breaks and is run down. The Fallen overrun into the Dark Raiders.
  • The Chosen kill everything but the Oracle. The Oracle breaks and because she was standing off to one side the angle became optimal for my Chosen, leading them into overrunning into the Dread Knights flank.

Dread Elves – Turn 306-de3

Movement: The Legionnaires charge the Wasteland Warriors. The Hunting Chariot charges the Fallen. The Medusa moves in front of the Barbarian Horsemen and the Altar follows the Legionnaires.

Magic: 6+1. He dispels the Fire Cloak.

Shooting:

  • Dread Reaper kills one Fallen Beast
  • Dread Reaper does one wound on another Fallen Beast

Close Combat: The Hunting Chariot and the Dark Raiders kill all Fallen but one. The Fallen and the Sorcerer cannot inflict a wound, break from combat and are run down by the Dark Raiders.

The Chosen kill two Knights and do not suffer a casualty in return. The Dread Knights remain in the fight and reform.

My Sorcerer challenges, which is accepted by his champion. Both fluff their attacks. The Assassin attacks my BSB and deals one wound. The Dread Prince suffers from my Dueler’s Shield and then rolls badly and does not hit my general. My general does one wound to the prince. The BSB does one to the Assassin. Afterwards the Legionnaires attack and kill no less than four Wasteland Warriors. My warriors ready their great weapons and kill eleven. I would have needed twelve to break his steadfast.

Deciding Moments, Mistakes, etc.

Seeing his Legionnaires doomed by a coming flank charge from the trolls, the Hunting Chariot redirected once more, the Dread Reapers threatened by the Fallen Beasts and the Dread Knights bogged down into a fight with the chose, with no offensive magic at his disposal my opponent conceded.

Overall I think my strategy of taking a very fast block of Pestilence Wasteland Warriors paid off very well. As long as at least one hero with inspiring presence is there, the sheer amount of high strength attacks is able to battle anything the Dread Elves can bring. So I focused on doing exactly this and fielded a lot of skirmishers for strong flank guard and the beasts to threaten my opponents backfield in case I couldn’t reach that or my opponent played very defensively. The diagonal deployment certainly favoured my in this game. As JB was often forced to shoot on things within cover and/or skirmishers, the effectivness of his shooting was greatly diminished and allowed my stuff to reach combat in near starting strength.

From a play-by-play standpoint: The Repeaters surely were to much exposed against my strong and fast infantry flank, the overrun into the Knights was just bad luck. On the other side the Horsemen should not have been allowed to get a rear charge off on one chariot. The Dark Raiders or one of the Chariots could have prevented that.

My „MVP“ for the match certainly were the Chosen of Lust. They are incredibly fast, have a lot of S4 attacks and are nearly unkillable by normal shooting, especially with that forest in front of them. The lure of the Chosen of Wrath was certainly there to be even more vicious in close combat, but I was very glad I took the Lust option. The other really strong option in this game were the Wasteland Warriors with Mark of Pestilence and Great Weapons. Before the game I was wondering whether to upgrade them, or just leave them with Hand Weapon and Shield. In the end I was lucky of course, that JB brought heavy armour Legionnaires and Dread Knights. Both opponents versus which the great weapons were ideal.

On the Dread Elf side, the Repeater Auxiliaries were very ineffective, proving once again, that you really need to avoid any kind of cover for them to work at all. Even then a single skirmisher might negate the multishot option.

All in all for a Dread Elf player the Warriors of the Dark Gods feel extremely strong and mighty. There are so many options to chose from and so many great options on the unit themselves, I was wishing for a 4000 point match to try it all out. In the end the units are not that strong as they seem on paper, as Elven players often forget this little thing called „Lightning Reflexes“, but still I never had three fighting blocks (Warriors, Trolls, Chosen) of that capability in a 2500 point game. The good thing about the WDG: If your opponent does a slight mistake, they just grab & smash them to pieces.

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