The Wuxing World Tour continued last week, as I took them vs. Jaime's Dark Elves.Set Up & Strategy
Dark Elves, Left to right: Lowbloods, Lowbloods, HalfBloods, Highblood Blades, Highblood Duskblades, Standard Bearers, Dusk Lancers behind Mashlistress.
A pretty "vanilla" close-and-hose army, apart from the Mashlistress. Weaker on the flank where the terrain would slow things down.
Wuxing, left to right: Fu Dogs, RAB (Rocket Arrow Battery) behind Fu Dogs, Fu Dogs, RAB behind Warriors, Spearmen, Monks, Imperial Cavalry.
I'd had great luck with Ravenwood Stand & Shoot armies vs. Dark Elves, so I thought I'd try the same strategy here. Also I wanted to test the RABs, which for their cost are excellent at extreme range and mediocre close in. Truth be told, I had been expecting him to take more shooting stuff here, and was a bit surprised by his close-and-hose army. At one point I'd had two crossbowmen, and at the last minute traded those for Warriors & Imperial Cav to be better if I had to charge. I was also expecting to see Slave Takers, who could boogie through the swamp. Oh well. I was also expecting Drake Riders, and the Fu Dogs and Imperial Cav were my best defense vs. that threat that never materialized.Opening Moves
Left to right:
Despite having over 450 points of shooting, my left flank is stronger than his, so I send the Fu Dogs forward to hopefully crush the Lowbloods & roll the Dark Elf line.
My sloped-back line starts to form. A strategy here was to keep it a respectable distance from the RABs, which can't do indirect fire at short range.
One RAB is targetting the Duskblades. The other, the Mashlistress.
On the right, my Cav is on Range to hit the Mashlistress. This was a mistake; I should've held it back more, as its crossbow shot would be pretty weak.
At least the Dusk Lancers, due to starting behind the Dark Elf line, are unable to move forward too fast.First Blood!
My second-from-left Fu Dogs have engaged Lowbloods. They put them into the yellow, but the Lowbloods, who whiffed their attack back, hold. To their right is a fight I'm not looking forward to--Fu Dugs vs. Halfblood Levies. But my Fu Dogs are more than 3.5" back, and hopefully the Lowbloods will die soon.
My RABs do about average vs. the Mashlistress, and dismal vs. the Duskblades.
The Mashlistress Pulls my Spearmen forward, and I have to waste a precious Command Action pulling them back.Seizing
Terracotta Balls The Moment part 1
My Fu Dogs knock the Lowbloods down to 1 red box! Again, the Lowbloods hold.
Jaime plays the most powerful card in the game, and two uphill fights (Fu Dogs vs. Halfbloods; Warriors vs. Blades) start 2 turns earlier than otherwise. My Fu Dogs break down (I leave them that way.) We're using the 1.75" of card needed to pinch rule, so I can't pinch the Blades.
Mashlistress again nails my Spearmen, pulling it out of formation and dangerously close to the Dark Elf line.Not Happening
The key fight here is the Fu Dogs vs. the right Lowblood Levies. If I can kill them off, I'll probably get a deadly pinch on the Halfblood Levies. But despite only needing one point of damage to do so, dismal dice twice (I had a reroll card) on the damage roll means it doesn't happen.
Fu Dogs are predictably getting owned; Warriors are doing OK.
I desperately need to keep my line intact, and the only way to keep the Spearmen from getting pinched & slaughtered the next turn is to reverse direction to move 2.5", putting them outside final rush range (and since the Mashlistress won't be in their front arc they won't final rush either).Seizing
Terracotta Balls The Moment part 2
My far left Fu Dogs rout their opponents--next turn they'll catch the fleeing cowards. Though that's so deep in the swamp it's not going to affect the rest of the game.
AGAIN my Fu Dogs fail to do a single point of damage.
Halfblood Levies roll well and wipe out my Fu Dogs.
RAB fire continues to oscillate between mediocre and suck.
Swordsmen and Dusblades are put into the yellow; they both hold. Nor is the Mashlistress disrupted.
Yup. Of course Jaime had pulled the second "Seize the Moment" card, so my Spearmen get engaged on their rear by the Standard Bearers.Post-Implosion
Left to right...
Leftmost Fu Dogs finished off the fleeing Lowbloods, but are stuck in the swamp.
My other Fu Dogs, who had engaged 2 turns earlier, finally kill their Lowblood opponent.
Halfblood Levies had pinched my Warirors out of existence, then turned to face the Fu Dogs, were had been a tiny fraction of an inch from catching them in the rear.
Blades advance on my RABs.
I think my Monks and the Duskblades put each other into the red, at which point my Monks routed & died, then the next turn Duskblades (at 1 hit point) were blown away by 6-die short-ranged RAB fire.
The Dusk Lancers utterly muff their charge--Jaime rolled all 5s and 6s other than 1 die, so my Imperial Cav actually gives better than it gets. A rout would've been hilarious...but nope. My Imperial cav still manage to put them into the red before the Mashlistress finishes them off.
At this point, I threw in the towel. Perhaps I could've dropped one of his units into another color with RAB fire, but that was by no means a gimme: Jaime had a big stack of Command Cards at this point, while one can't play cards on the RABs.
------------------------Victory to the Dark Elves
It's hard to see damage, and I'm going on memory here, but I think it was something like...
In the green: Standard Bearers
In the yellow: Halfblood Levies, Highbloood Blades, Mashlistress
In the red: Dusk Lancers
In Hell: 2 Lowblood Levies, Highblood Duskblades:
Scenario points: 889.3 A 7-2 victory
Although it was a very solid win on points for the Dark Elves, this game was closer than it turned out. Jaime's attack dice were mediocre, and he had a couple of spectacular failures--unable to hurt my first-engaged Fu Dogs much with his Lowbloods, and that dismal charge on my Imperial Cav. On the other hand, he had his luck where he needed it: his Lowblood Levies hanging on long enough to keep me from rolling his line (His Halfbloods also killed my Fu Dogs faster than expected, allowing him a pinch in one fight where I'd been getting lucky). And the only failed rout check was that cheap unit deep in the swamp.
Most notably, Jaime drew both Seize the Moment cards (this wasn't a super-rare occurrance, but was below even odds at that point).
(As a general comment, I hope that future factions don't have "Surprise! I caught you!" cards, or at least ones which work on multiple units. Unlike the Orc Lash and High Elf Sprint, the opponent has no way of knowing if units can speed up, and often finds himself either wasting precious CAs in fear of a situation which can't happen, or plays the odds and gets screwed.)
At the same time, to my immense frustration from both a meta level and in the game itself, my RAB fire sucked. On average I should've put about 5 damage on each targeted Dark Elf unit (Duskblades & ML), instead they took about 5 damage between them. This also made it really hard to tell if the RAB is priced right. On a tactical level, I'm not sure if I was targeting the right units. Putting the ML into the yellow had no direct effect on the game, whereas an extra point on the Lowblood Levies might've made a world of difference in hindsight. On the other hand, damaging the ML did have the strategic effect of compelling Jaime to send both the Dusk Lancers and the ML to the corner to deal with my 274-point Imperial Cavalry, which meant the rest of our lines were are something like parity despite me having two RABs.
The Mashlistress is a really nasty unit to take vs. Wuxing--it drains the opponent of CAs, something which are already in critically short supply! When the lines hit Jaime had considerably more cards.
All that said, Jaime played a very solid game, and he outguessed me on the shape of his army. So he deserved a win here. And lame dice aside, in general I like how the RAB plays. Including the fun 6-die "shotgun blast" close in.
Finally, with Wuxing having lost its last 3 games, I'm definitely feeling more confident that units aren't underpriced.
That's it for my reports until after Dexcon. The Wuxing World Tour is almost done! Next up: my Umenzi, then it ends with Jaime's Monsters & Mercs.