So, my buddy and I fought 5000 points, his lizards vs my dark elves. We only played two rounds (we're kinda old guys, and it was getting late). But there was killing and death, ranks of models crushing lines, lessons to be learned, and a lot of fun had. WARNING: I'm not really used to writing these so I'm not sure this is all that great. I have some 'lessons learned' at the end that may be more worth your time
His army, approximately:
4 units of Lizardmen, consisting of models numbering 25, 25, 30, and 35. The largest was in the middle, with the unit of 30 on its right flank. Both of these were headed up with a scar vet. They formed the main lizard battle line. No command in any of them.
2 units of 16 skink skirmishers with javelins, one on each flank supporting the Saurus warriors. The unit on the left contained a skink priest.
2 units of salamanders consisting of 2 salamanders and 6 skink handlers per unit. These deployed on the right side.
3 stegidons, deployed on the right. One with giant bow, one with a skunk priest and an engine of the gods, and one with a chieftain. Behind them deployed ...
1 Saurus lord on a Carnisaur (sp.?)
Behind the main line lurked, from his left to right:
16 temple guard with a Slann Mage Priest, casting from Death
16 temple guard with a Slann Mage Priest, casting from Life
A Slann Mage Priest solomente, ethereal, general and bsb, casting from High Magic
Going my right to left
25 spears, full command
21 corsairs, hand bows, full command
33 Phoenix gaurd, full command, banner of the world banner. In this unit went the noble bsb (flaming banner), 2' level 1 casters (high and beast magic), and 1 level 4 de sorceress casting Dark magic. Oh, and Hellebron. You're welcome.
20 witch elves, full command
10 dark riders, spears, shields, full command with high elf noble with magic high elf bow, and de master with crossbow and stuff
High elf noble on griffon
Behind the front rank, middle was 18 we with bows and arrows with the no 'to hit' penalty with full command. Left of these guys were...
High Beastmaster on manticore. Left of him was ...
Malekith. You're welcome.
The scenario: battle line
The setup: one building in each deployment zone, one building in the middle of the table, one Khemrian quicksand on my left, middle, one forest on my right middle.
The dark riders took a vanguard move forward to within 12" of enemy lines.
Dark elves take turn one.
Every unit advances. Malekith uses his powers to advance the Phoenix gaurd right up to within 10" of the Lizardmen big unit, daring a charge. The spearmen moves up on their right flank in support; both these units are left of the building in the middle of the board. The noble and griffon move up on the left flank, within charge range of Stegidons, with Malekith behind. The manticore advances along with Malekith (both are back from the griffon, he way out there) The witches start their march around the swamp to support. On the right flank, the spears advance around the building, while the corsairs move up to the building in the middle. In the rear, the woodelf archers move within range of skirmishing skinks on the right.
The first magic phase saw 17 power dice and 10 dispel dice. My plan was to cast Power of Darkness over and over and supe up my Phoenix guard. After my first successful casting my opponent bitterly complained that I shouldn't be allowed to cast it again, saying that the same spell can't buff the same unit more than once. I couldn't find anything in the rules to disallow it, but was trying to just have fun, so I just let it go. She successfully cast Bladewind on the big unit next, killing 7 warriors. Malekith then reduced the first stegidons strength by three, and swapped him with the griffon using the Shadow lore's attribute. I wanted Malekith further forward - I didn't feel like there was anything to threaten him (and I honestly didn't know why I had the griffon so far forward in the first place).
In the shooting phase, the Glade Guard killed 8 skinks on my right flank. The unit passed its morale check. Those 'no penalty to hit' arrows rock! My fast cav, having no other targets, did two wounds to salamanders.
His first charge saw no charges. He rearranged his front line a little bit to allow the flame geckos through, and to make sure no flanks were given up. He rearranged his stegidons so that I could not charge his priest on stegi. He rearranged his general/bsb so that his leadership bubble enveloped his front line better.
His magic phase saw 12 power dice to 10 dispel dice. Amusingly, twice he tried to Spirit Walk his salamanders into better position to hit my Phoenix guard on two dice and twice he rolled 4, which I dispelled on one die!! The third time he threw four dice and total powered it. The salamanders were now on the Phoenix guard left flank and two Slann and the priest on my right took a wound from magic backlash.
His shooting phase saw the salamanders fire on my PG, killing four (one salamander misfired) and in my dark riders, killing four and forcing the LD test (passed). Poisoned skink javelins forced 4 armor tests on Malekith, all passed.
Dark elf turn two started with charges! Malekith hit the first stegidon. The noble on griffon hit the flank of (my) leftmost block of Saurus warriors on the flank, while the high Beastmaster charged them straight in the front. The PG hid the largest unit right in the front. The Ancient Treeman hit the unit (my) right of the largest unit the PG just engaged. In remaining moves, the corsairs entered the building in the middle. Confronted with a solid block of warriors, a Slann with his temple guard and a priest with his skinks, the spears *didn't move at all*; it seemed like they did their job - keep the flank from being overrun - perfectly well from where they were. Wood elves continued to target (my) right flank skinks. Witches moved forward to support (my) left flank, the dark riders continued to hang out for xbow shots.
Magic saw dark elves generate 13 power dice and 10 dispel. Unfortunately, when I start with Power of Darkness, I threw a '1' for the number of power dice I can use, and follow it up with a '3'. Fortunately, I follow it up by successfully draining 3 from bs, ws, strength, and initiative (he threw a 1 for the number of dispel dice). Malekith tried to drain the toughness of the stegidon the griffon charged, and failed (Yahtzee'd three 1's!!), but then drained his strength by 2. Unfortunately, this was done on a total power, dropping Malekith's level by one (could have been worse!)
Shooting: my WE threw poor dice, killing only three skinks, but forcing a LD test which he failed! (Too far from the general). The dark riders failed to put a single wound on salamanders. Hand bows from corsairs did one sound to Saurus warriors on (my) far right.
Combat: I drew Malekith closer to the PG for the extra rank of attacks and rerolls on wounding. My hot and cold dice were hot again; when I was done, there were only 7 survivors and the skar vet. Oh, and Hellbron is a murdering fiend!! Attacks back netted only one casualty from the vet, thanks to his strength of two. Unfortunately for me, cold blooded came through with snake eyes on the leadership test. On their right, the Treeman whiffed all his attacks, but took no wounds either - he then shot a six on the thunderstomp, killing four models and winning combat. The Saurus warriors passes their leadership, of course. On the left, the high Beastmaster got involved in a challenge with the skar vet. He was only able to put one wound on him, but room none in return. Malekith, receiving one extra attack from the Beastmaster, killed all eleven warriors he attacked, and thunderstomped three more! It still wasn't enough to break his steadfast, however, and we were stuck there another turn.
The noble in griffon out three wounds on the beast, but I guess I didn't quite realize he was stubborn, and he shot a four. Oof, didn't look good for him next turn.
Lizardman turn two started with the stegi with the hero and the last stegi hitting the griffon. The (my) right flank Saurus charged the corsairs, losing only one warrior to hand bows.
Magic saw 17 power dice and 12 dispel. He started with throne of vines, which was uncontested. He then tried regrowth twice on his big unit, both of which were denied (one was thrown on five dice, which I used a dispel scroll on ..). He then got smart and threw the best spell of the game - Vauls Unforging on Malekith, putting a wound on him and robbing him of the Armor of Midnight. On a better note, it was another miscast, which didn't net any wounds, but it rob him of the rest of his power dice.
Combat saw the corsairs kill a single Saurus, while I lost 7 warriors; they made their LD test and stayed put. Next, the noble of the griffon threw down a challenge, which was taken up by the skink chieftain. The griffon was ruthlessly slaughtered but the noble threw a 9 and fled on foot (after passing two dangerous terrain tests!) and ended up on between the manticore and the PG. The Treeman and the Sauruses were up next; both exchanged a single wound, but here the stubborn worked for me, and the combat was locked another turn. In the center, my PG killed every Saurus - I purposely did not engage the skar vet, who survived but failed his LD test and ran. He shot a 6, I shot a 7, killed the skar vet and ran right into the middle temple guard formation. The Beastmaster failed to wound the skar vet, and took no wounds in return. Malekith murdered another 11 Saurus warriors but ... well, let's hear it for cold blooded, another set of ones!
And here we quit. We both got two turns. Old men, what can I say? I feel like I had the momentum when we stopped - my Death Star was about to crush a unit of Temple Guard with a Slann Mage Priest, on my turn to cast magic no less. I was a turn away from finishing off his next largest block. His third block was stuck in combat with a stubborn Treeman and his forth block was out of position. My left flank was folding, however, and he still had a bunch of stegidons and a Carnisaur so ... still could have gone either way, really. It was fun, and I learned a few lessons for End Time games and elves.
- Even with the upgraded magic, it is still fickle. You can roll poorly for power dice, and we both rolled our share of ones for both the number of power and dispel dice we could allocate to spells. You can only really count on two or three spells getting off in a turn. And miscasts are still a biatch. Be prepared.
- First and second level wizards aren't worth much. You can't count on throwing six dice for the total power/miscast. Otherwise, their casting attempts are almost undoubtably getting squashed.
- Don't forget the meat. My first builds were 25% core and the rest were lords and heroes. While my final build was still character heavy, my Phoenix Guard were well, well worth their points. Death Star city, baby!!
- Love the Rainbow. Look, I know we're all dark elf players here on druchii.net, and some of us are kinda twerked at this whole 'one nation of elves' melarky. You know what I did? The Phoenix guard were black guard models (cuz what happens to the black guard when Makekith takes over, anyway??
). My wood elves are made from glade guard kits bashed with ungors. Evil it up! Do this because it f***ing rocks! Glade guards' special arrows are awesome!! We want to use them! Treemen are great - that LD 10 guy is f***ing stubborn! He single-handed my tied up a unit. PG aren't really any better than Black Guard *but they can bring a banner that gives the unit a 2++ vs magic!* Oh, and if Malekith is within 12", he's stubborn! Use it! Use all your tools. Dark elves didn't become elves ... High and wood elves became dark elves >:D
- End Time games are complex. One of the things I felt like I did right was to pick a few strategies and stick to them. Speaking of ...
- I really liked bringing monstrous characters and using the lore of Shadow's lore attribute to swap around Malekith's position. I was going to use that to sneak him in without getting lit up by magic missiles. While it turned out I didn't need to worry about - and while I didn't use it entirely well (see the bit about the griffon above) I still liked it.