Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Garagehammer Campaign - Dogs of War vs. High Elves Battle Report
The apprentice had always been fascinated by the plaque that rested within an unsealed chest in the corner of his master’s study. He had seen his master remove it a few times and study the piece in an attempt to copy the magical formula inscribed upon it. Being an apprentice to a paranoid wizard lord meant that he was never told the actual nature of the formula; only that it was beyond his understanding. This became a point of obsession for the young wizard, as his cravings to understand the magical artifact drove him to an act of desperation.
As the wizard lord met with the paymaster to discuss their latest commission, the apprentice snuck into the study. Carefully he removed the plaque from its chest, cradling it like a mother would who wished to gaze into her child’s eyes. As he began to examine the plaque, he realized that the inscriptions on it were those used by the ancient lizardmen. While he did not understand the inscriptions, he knew enough of the language to know that this was indeed a magical formula.
“Your presence has been requested within the paymaster’s tent,” announced a servant who entered the room.
“Tell my lord that I will be with him shortly,” replied the apprentice.
“It has been requested that you come immediately,” responded the servant.
Fearing that he did not have enough time to properly return the plaque to its resting place, the apprentice quickly stashed it within one of the many secret pockets within his robes. Leaving the chamber, the apprentice glanced back at the empty chest, a moment of indecision filling him over whether or not he was making the right choice. The moment quickly passed though as he reminded himself of the terrible wrath he would face if his master realized he had tampered with one of his belongings.
The next few hours were spent by the apprentice dwelling on a scheme to return the plaque as he went thru the routine of serving his master. He expected at some point that he would be asked to retrieve some trinket or spell component for the wizard lord. Only when he realized that they were to leave immediately did the realization settle in that he was not going to have a chance to return the plaque any time soon. This thought gave the apprentice a brief wave of excitement as he thought it would give him more time to study the relic.
As the sun began to set, the Coin Collectors left the capital in route to the site they had been hired to defend. As they cleared the edge of the city, a ghostly figure watched the army’s departure. It could sense the presence of a magic it had longed to re-discover. Knowing that it could not retrieve the item alone, it withdrew to summon the aid of allies.
This is my last battle report for this season of the Garagehammer Campaign. My final opponent for the campaign was Chris Yu, a locally known High Elf player who had recently won Player’s Choice at the Adepticon WFB Championship. I was very curious to see how this game was going to play out as I had yet to play a High Elf army in 8th edition.
When it came to Chris’s army, he had a nice mix of speed, magic, and shooting. There were a couple of large blocks (spearmen and swordmasters), a pair of archer units, a decent size unit of dragon princes, four great eagles, and two chariots. When it came to characters, the army was lead by a level 4 wizard and a BSB.
My army was pretty much the same as I have been using all season with a few minor changes. I decided to swap out the ogre sword for a sword of strife on my merchant prince. The fact that he can take 125 points of magical items is a boon and I knew I needed more attacks and less strength against an elven army. I also included a level 2 wizard with the lore of shadows as I wanted the ability to drop miasma on units when the need arose.
When it came to the campaign, I needed to challenge Taz if I had any chance of gaining ground. Chris on the other hand was sitting on top of the leaderboard, so everyone was avoiding him in an effort to prevent him from gaining more ground. Since neither of us was able to get in any key challenges, we ended up getting paired together for the final round. While this meant our game would not have a huge impact on the campaign, it did give us a good reason to finally get to play each other.
The Early Turns
The first turn of the game started with Chris advancing his forces towards me. I knew the eagles were going to become a problem by turn two, so I responded with my knights charging one of the eagles that were close to my lines. When it came to magic, Chris had a couple of unlucky rolls, while I was able to get off the Blades on my Marksmen and a Miasma on one of his eagles.
The second turn of the game saw the high elves reaching my lines on multiple fronts. Each of my cannons faced the charge of an eagle while Braganza’s Beseigers were hit by the thunder hooves of the Chris’s dragon knights. Elsewhere, my knights faced a horde of spearmen that were being lead by a BSB and wizard and supported by the charge of a chariot. It was a brutal round for me as forces collapsed to the might of the elves.
The Middle Turns
The middle of the game took an interesting swing as my ogres rallied from an earlier flee and began to become a factor on the battlefield. Within the span of two turns, they were able to destroy the swordmasters, one chariot and an eagle. No small feat considering the odds against them. If Chris was shaken by the turn of events, he did not show it. As the middle turns wrapped up, he continued to strike with the skill of an elf, slaying the marksmen and both of my wizards.
The Late Turns
The late turns were spent matching up my ogres against the wave of destruction that Chris was mounting. Bravely they stood as the spearman, dragon knights, and last chariot lined up to charge. Elsewhere, Vespero made his way to one of the archer units and was able to slay them. Having completed his task, I left him to ponder what it felt like to survive a game. Across the field, Ruglud was able to rally from an earlier bout of panic and remain on the table as the game came to a close.
The game concluded with Chris earning 18 campaign points and me receiving 4. Even with the surge of the ogres, I was unable to close the victory point gap between our armies. When the results were totaled, there was a difference of ~1330 points between us. As the game concluded, I was impressed at the power of the high elves and Chris’s skill at using them. The tactic of drawing me out with the eagles was a great plan and really helped Chris to close the distance between our armies. In retrospect, I should have given my shooting attacks a chance to deal with them instead of rushing in with my best stuff.
When it came to the ogres, I was truly shocked at the amount of damage they were able to accomplish. This had been the first time I had decided to use my prince’s ability to improve their armour save and it felt like it made a real difference. Ogres that are armed with great weapons and have a 4+ save are monstrous if they can get into combat.
Another thing I was surprised by was how little magic impacted the game. We both had powerful wizards, but the dice were brutal and what few spells that had gotten off seemed to do little to change the course of the game. Both of us losing our key spells (Final Transmuation for me and Re-Growth for Chris) may have been a key factor in why magic played such a small part.
As the elves walked away, the Plaque of Chotec clearly in their possession, the Chronomancer watched on. Its long slender fingers caressed the Orb of Kronos as it pondered its next move. Clearly the world had changed in ways that it had not expected, so it would need to find better instruments if it was going to free its imprisoned brothers. As its hands began the complex movements of a spell, it concluded that there would need to be blood in the sun before the next invasion could happen.