Sunday, December 21, 2014

One Game

As promised I decided to take a run at the One Page Fantasy rules today. I decided to run a game where my high elves are facing off against a combined host of daemons. If you’ve been following the End of Times threads, the Old World is in a right poor state these days. Ulthuan has sunk beneath the waves. Most of the elves have been scattered and quite a few of the high elves have made their way to Athel Loren. This particular battle is taking place in the Waste Land just south of Marineburg.

My elven mage Galindan landed accompanied with several nobles in the port city, and had every intention on joining up with his brothers to south. Marineburg however was under siege by a great army, so his journey south has been rather delayed. This battle represents one of the many skirmishes, small scale engagements fought during the larger war happening in the End of Times.

The advanced rules for the One Page Rule Set have a few scenario ideas. I decided to use the Break Through to represent the elves opening a corridor in the forces of the Chaos Daemons. At the end of turn four, the high elves must have 25% of its total forces in the deployment zone of the daemons. Since I am playing a 1500pt battle I need 375pts worth of elves to reach the other side of the board by turn four. The daemons on the hand just have to defend their deployment zone and kill any elf brave enough to come close.

Attacker

  • Elven Mage (lvl 3) on Steed
  • with Apothesis, Soul Quench, and Walk Between Worlds
  • 10 Silver Helms with Full Command
  • Two units of 5 Silver Helms with Sergeants
  • Two units of 15 Archers with Musicians
  • Two Bolt Throwers

Defenders

  • Daemon Prince with Corrupting Stream
  • 6 Bloodcrushers with Banner, Sergeant
  • 15 Bloodletters with Banner, Sergeant
  • Two units of 10 Pink Horrors with Sergeants and Fireball
  • 5 Screamers of Tzeentch

What I really like about the One Page rules is I don’t have to use anything as a counts as model. It is designed to include the typical Warhammer Fantasy models. You’ll notice from, the lists the point costs are similar. Without magic items or fluffy stuff I was coming in at 1175pts for the elves and over 1400pts for the daemons in a WFB list. So either the elves are very good for the points in this game or something is amiss.

One thing I actually do like about this set is magic isn’t as wonky as it is in the current Games Workshop system. It doesn’t automatically work, but it is a little more likely to go off. You can either cast or dispel on your turn with a wizard, but you pay points for the spells you possess. If it is really powerful it is worth more points. The Horrors can cause 2d6 hits within 24” with Fireball, so obviously I am super excited about having some daemon shooting going on. Corrupting Stream lets the Daemon Prince debuff a unit so it strikes last that round which will be really cool against some of these small high elf units since they normally would get all of their attacks in even if you landed a charge on them.

My high elf wizard has a cheaper version of Fireball specific to the elf list. It only has a range of 18” though. Walk Between Worlds allows a unit within 24” to immediately move 10”- would be a really cool spell to land on turn four to push more points into the defenders deployment zone. Apothesis is cool for removing a wound model. Both the wizard himself and the bolt throwers require three wound models to remove from play. So it is a healing spell. I really liked that you had abilities in Kings of War that could heal entire units. One of the hardest things for me to deal with when I am running these test games is I am not really sure whether it is rules, army lists, or tactics that define the battles. Both of these armies have some missiles and some hard hitting units. In my Kings of War game, one elven cavalry charge wiped my Bloodcrushers off the map like the second turn of the game. After that I lost my center for the list I was running. It might have gone the other way if the charge came from the Crushers (was using them as Abyssal Riders from the Twilight Kin list). At least with the One Page rules both sides fight during a melee.

The daemons won the first turn. During movement they advanced, I wanted to use the building to protect at least one flank of both the Khorne units while the other side is covered by the Horrors. I can’t seem to locate the flying rules for the Screamers, so I just assumed they’d move like chariots and ignore intervening terrain. My goal quite honestly was to just avoid the flank they were paired off with for now and try and focus on the center of the board.

For the shooting phase, each horror unit had only moved 4”. That allows them to cast their spells. I wasn’t sure if the fireball, ie. magic rules was going to allow for the opponents to gain a +1 die blocking against the attacks or not. I fizzled on my right side and failed to cast. Each unit is level one, so you have one dice to roll to manifest a spell. You need to score a 4+. The unit on the left side how launched a flaming attack into the Silver Helms. It scored 9 hits. Because the Silver Helms are heavily armored, they received two extra blocking dice. Out of twelve dice, they scored six successes so only lost three models. My first go around I simply removed a model for each one that failed to score a success on the block and was going to remove a total of five models. But each block removes a hit, so I realized I only actually did lose three. They might need to test morale if they take another shot like that.

For the elf turn, I guess we need to see if we have any charges and unleash a few volleys of arrows. I needed to take a look at the movement rules to see how difficult it is going to be move into the woods for my archers on the ground, but my guys on the hill probably don’t need to come down to be in range. Since terrain effectively halves your movement, the archers aren’t going to be able to fire this round. They will have a great command of the field the following round however.

I was a little conservative with my movement of the Silver Helms. They placed themselves in a good position and should have some charges lined up for the next round. My bolt thrower on the left struck the Screamers who took two wounds. Still not enough to drop even a single model, but on the left I fired fifteen archers, the bolt thrower, and a Soul Quench from my mage into the Bloodcrushers. They ignored all the arrows, ballista bolts, and even the six hits from the spell. Maybe it wasn’t the best choice of targets for me. Next round, I think I’ll try hitting them with something else. The mage rolled all three dice to make sure he landed his spell and I had doubles come up. I was a little afraid I was going to blow myself up, but checking the rules it is only double 6’s on a casting or dispelling attempt that loses control of the Winds of Magic, so I have a very happy wizard.

For the daemon turn, pretty much everything advanced. I still only landed one fireball from the Pink Horrors. This time I targeted the archers on the hill and dropped four archers out of ten hits. My Screamers did so very well. Once per game they can do their slashing attack. They scored two out of a possible three hits on the Silver Helm unit with a full command. But eventhough they were blocking with four dice, they couldn’t resist a single wound. They are down to only one rank now. My Stream of Corruption attack from the Daemon Prince failed to land on them. Next turn is the elves and they have a lot of options.

During the shooting phase the archers standing just inches away from the Bloodletters fared pretty well removing four models. The wizard hit with his Soul Quench against them and scored ten hits which were entirely resisted by the highly resistant and well armored daemon unit. I’ve got to learn not to try and cast at these Khorne daemons. Both Bolt Throwers fired into the Screamers who were circling behind the lines, but failed miserably. I took a gamble that the charge of the Silver Helms would stand against the Bloodcrushers and pulled my second archer unit of the hill. Close combat went poorly for that unit though.

This massive Bloodcrusher unit blocks wounds on a 3+. They have Armor (2), so basically even though they took ten hits during the charge, they simply shrugged it off because they rolled ten blocks. I only failed two rolls out the ten hits caused by the unit. Normally high elves strike first. But in this case the elves failed their fear roll so would have struck last in combat. I was sure with the order of which rule takes precedence, so I decided to just use it in this instance as the models fight simultaneously as normal. Here is another rule question I had. The mounts have heavy claws, so three attacks each. The riders have medium swords, so they get two attacks. Five attacks per model then? They brutally wiped out the little five man unit of Silver Helms that crashed into them.

One the opposite side however, my Silver Helms rolled right through the Pink Horrors. They lost a total of 8 models, and fought back with little to nothing. Even the Horror special rule which lets you cause an automatic hit on a 6+ for every casualty inflicted failed miserably. Two turns down and I might have a few units who can reach the enemy’s deployment zone in the next two turns. But it is up to the daemons now to unleash some damage. We’ll just have to see what happens in the center of the field this turn.

The daemons had a very good turn. Despite striking last the Bloodletters were less than amused by the attempt of the archers to repel them. Losing no models and causing seven casualties they routed the elves in the center of the board even with their musician. The Bloodcrushers snacked on the wizard cutting him down without losing a single wound to his light sword. And the daemon prince swept into the flank of the Silver Helms and removed a model. They route the last remaining Horror model, but that is the nature of things. I am pretty sure there aren’t even enough elves left on the field to come up with 25% in my enemy’s deployment zone, so we’ll call this a victory for Chaos. Finishing out turn three for the elves, I fired both bolt throwers into the Screamers who just refuse to take wounds at this point. The Archers who were routed rally. The other unit sprints for the opposite table edge in the hopes that the Horrors fail to cast this turn. While I tried the same move with the other unit of cavalry, the Silver Helms tangled up with the Daemon Prince lost another two models and routes.

Overall it was a pretty quick and easy game. I felt like the 3+ models were really effective. The damn Bloodcrushers were unstoppable. Even the Screamers who were generally only facing a handful of attacks looked really durable. The Horror fireballs were great, but I never fired a lot of arrows at them to test them out. I’ll have to see how my dwarves stack up against each of these armies. If it was a campaign style game, I’d probably rule the wizard escaped his death to the Bloodcrushers, but the elves themselves are still stranded behind the lines in Marineburg. I should probably use the same lists for the battle and run through it again with more of a focus on trying to pick better targets and make sure my archers are shooting at the right models.

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