Ron (BubblePig) was over, and we went for a quick-and-dirty game before work. Considering playing Dark Elves at the Championship Tournament, Ron asked me to take Ravenwood vs. them on an open map.
We used all rules which will be in use at the Championship tournament, and played this game as though it were round 1: 2000 points, open map, Breaking Point.Set up and Strategy
Dark Elf Army, left to right:
Slave Warriors, Slave Warriors behind Slave Warriors, Halfblood Levies, Standard Bearers, Highblood Blades, Lashmistress, Dusk Lancers behind Blade Dancers. 2000 points.
Ron's plan was to pulverize my army on one side, while delaying with some cheap units on the other.
Ravenwood Army, left to right:
Spearmen, 2 Bowmasters behind Spearmen, Brownies behind Spearmen, Brownies behind Brownies, Brownies, Brownies, Spearmen. 1985 points.
I placed my Bowmasters last, after he had committed to putting his heavies on the right. This would allow me to get a good deal more volleys of arrows off. I went with a wider line than most stand-and-shoot armies (and a bit less "shoot" -- only 670 points worth), as I'd come to appreciate the awesomeness of the diagonal slope-back formation.
Because the Dark Elf army was so weak on the left, my plan changed a bit, where instead of being all "Stand," I put my two leftmost Spearmen on Close.
Bowmasters were initally set to target the Halfblood Leavies,
You can pretty clearly see two lines of coins, representing locations targets for units in our respective armies.Opening Moves
My units hit their location targets. I'll be leaving my third-from-right unit facing backward, so that it would march forward less far as the Lasmistress pulled it in. Other Brownies stand ready to take their place.
On the left, the Dark Elves did an...unusual...maneuver, where instead of fanning out to the left, the Halfblood Levies went forward-right, behind their line. This meant that my Spearmen wouldn't be outnumbered, and I could send them straight in without worrying about getting pinched. It also meant my Bowmasters had better targets--they were reordered to shoot the Lashmistress, but with her out of range targeted the Slave Warriors. The first volley missed entirely, but the next, with some Spirit Guidance, put them into the red. The Slaves blew their rout check and became Disrupted.
On the right, Dark Elf heavies plod forward.
To the immediately right of my Bowmasters are some Brownies playing "Close Escort," ready to sacrifice themselves to buy me one more round of shooting if Dark Elves broke through.Harvesting the Chumps
Left to right...
Spearmen kill Slave Warriors, but other Slaves are in backup position. The initial slave Warriors fought incredibly well (I think Ron rolled 3 1s at one point), and put my Spearmen into the yellow on the turn they go down. A blown rout check could've been somewhat painful, but my Spearmen Hold.
The Disrupted Slaves with two hit points were moved to protect other units's flanks (costing 2 CAs). My Spearmen predictably finished them in one turn. Halfblood Levies then charged in, but they took a nasty hit back, immediately blew 2 rout checks and disintegrated!
Standard Bearers took 2 damage from a volley of arrows (the nearest target, as the Lashmistress had been out of range), so I send in my Spearmen, confident of victory.
Brownies had moved forward to protect my Spearmen's flank, and got pinched by two Highblood units. We didnt' even bother to roll! The sad part, though, is that the Lashmistress wouldnt' have been able to pinch if the Brownies she'd lashed in hadn't blown their rout check the turn before.
At least other Brownies are positioned to hit the Lashmistress, who had taken a couple of damage from arrows already, in the flank...
To the immediate left of the Bowmasters is a loose card we were using for measuring. Please ignore it. Fear the Mighty Brownies!
Left to right...
Spearmen are predictably beating down the Slave Warriors.
The Spearmen who had one-shotted the Halfblood Levies now pinch the already very wounded Standard Bearers into oblivion.
Brownies get Spirit Guidance, and hit the Lashmistress in the flank. They do 2 damage, and the Bowmasters do several more. The Lashmistrss goes into the red and routs. I play "Strike" on the free Brownie rear attack, and the Brownies finish her off!
Major hurt is headed their way, but they'll be bragging to the other Brownies tomorrow after regenerating in the forest.
Again, please ignore that stupid card to the left of my Bowmasters.All She Wrote
A few turns later...
On the left, my Spearmen finish off the Slave Warriors.
In the center, my Spearmen give chase, but don't manage to get engaged again.
On the right, the Blade Dancers were just in range of the Brownies flank, but not their front. They engaged with their flank and The Brownies exploded.
On his next turn, Ron played "Seize the Moment," and the Highblood Blades joined the Blade Dancers to form the Overkill Squad
which pinched more hapless Brownies
Meanwhile the Dusk Lancers plow into my Spearmen. My Spearmen blow their fear check, so even with a good red card I only do 2 damage. They are put into the yellow and hold, but on the second turn of combat they totally whiff while they are overkilled on damage alone. yike!
However, all this Brownie-and-Elf slaughtering takes time....time for my Bowmasters to get to work on the Highblood Blades, who currently have 4 hit points left.
At this point Ron conceded. There was nothing he could do to stop my Bowmasters from finishing off the Highblood Blades in at most 2 volleys (and at least an even shot of doing it in one), and as soon as the Highblood Blades went down the Dark Elf army would "Break."
A fairly lopsided game. My dice, particularly morale dice, were very good. I was also clearly helped by the Dark Elf heavies being on the opposite corner of the map from my Bowmasters. Similarly, it was a mistake for the Dark Elves not to extend their line on the left, which would have deterred at least one of my Spearmen from engaging. As it was, I was able, with a bit of luck, to annihilate that flank and thereby be positioned to "Break" his army
Of course, Ravenwood Stand-and-Shoot is a nasty, nasty thing for Dark Elves to have to deal with. Most Dark Elf units, especially the Highbloods, are very tilted to the offense, meaning they have relatively poor defenses for their cost. (Defensively, the 313-point Lashmistress has a total of 1 more red box and 1 higher morale than the 207-Point Ravenwood Swordsmen.) And this game illustrated pretty well what happens if the Dark Elves simply send a bunch of expensive but fragile infantry units plodding toward the Ravenwood line.
See many of you next week!