Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Moonstruck Aftermath - Part 1

Moonstruck is over, and despite the best efforts of some of the participants in the "Call of the Wintermoon" team competition, everyone survived with relatively minimal psychological damage.

As usual I'll write up what happened in my games, try to be brief, and probably fail. At least you know what to expect...

I've explained my list before, but here it is again for convenience:

  • Alarielle, Incarnate of Life 
  • Durthu 
  • High Elf Noble (BSB) with Sword of Might, Enchanted Shield, Dragon Armour 
  • Wood Elf Spellsinger (Level 1, Lore of Undeath) on Unicorn with Dragonbane Gem 
  • High Elf Noble with Dragonhelm, Heavy Armour, Great Weapon 
  • 18 Maiden Guard (Lothern Sea Guard) with Spears, Bows, Light Armour, Full Command 
  • 18 Maiden Guard (Lothern Sea Guard) with Spears, Bows, Light Armour, Full Command 
  • 18 Dryads with Branch Nymph 
  • 6 Treekin 
  • 5 Dragon Princes of Caledor with Standard, Musician 
  • 5 Sisters of Avelorn 
  • Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower 
  • Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower

I ended up with a 4 out of 5 for comp, which clearly suggested that the comp panel had similar doubts to my own about whether Alarielle would be enough to make the rest of the list competitive.

Game 1 - Battleline deployment
David Travers, Empire

  • General of the Empire with Sword of Anti-Heroes, Dawnstone, Enchanted Shield, Full plate armour
  • Battle Wizard Lord (Level 4, Lore of Life)
  • Captain with Battle Standard, Griffon Banner, Full Plate Armour, Shield
  • Warrior Priest with Heavy Armour, Great Weapon, Ironcurse Icon
  • Master Engineer
  • 38 Halberdiers with Full Command
  • 28 Swordsmen with Full Command
  • 10 Inner Circle Knights with Full Command
  • 5 Outriders
  • Great Cannon
  • Mortar
  • 24 Flagellants
  • 3 Demigryph Knights with Champion, Standard
  • Steam Tank
  • Helblaster Volley Gun

Comp Score: 4

I didn't have time to play any practice games with my army, so I was always going to be a bit rough going into the first game. David's rather impressive Empire-being-set-upon-by-Undead army took away the players' choice award for best army, but the list itself was not particularly tough and had the same comp score as mine.
I didn't get the best shot of it, but the guy with the white hat is really freaking out about the guy next to him somehow being replaced by a wraith.
Something slightly horrible is happening to the Outriders.
They're on a boat!
It was all so pretty. Unfortunately it was also very dark on this table. So showing the army off with pics whilst trying to play was a little tough, sorry.
I deployed centrally between two buildings, putting Durthu out of sight of the enemy artillery. I was a bit worried about the enemy Knights rolling around my right flank, so put the Dryads and Dragon Princes facing around the building to give me something to respond with. David got the first turn and didn't advance very aggressively. He then set about making my job far easier by misfiring with his Cannon and destroying it, which scared the Halberdiers with the Wizard Lord and Warrior Priest off the table. So the main threat to Durthu, his largest unit and his magical defence had all departed without contributing. With a start like that, he was going to have to do something pretty impressive if he wanted a chance of winning the game.

The Outriders had vanguarded and moved up to properly take cover behind the house on my right, clearly not liking the look of all those Elves with bows. In my turn I wandered the nearest regiment of Maiden Guard into the building and shot a couple of them. They didn't panic, but realised they were in trouble and decided to charge the building rather than do something more sensible. They died, and the Knights panicked in horror at their display of lunacy and fled before rallying way back near their deployment zone.
Are you sure you want to do this? Here, have some spear points.
On the left flank Durthu got a bit braver about moving out around the building to confront the Demigryphs, but then found that he didn't have to volunteer for frontline duty when I made a regiment of Skeletons in front of him and moved them up to intercept. Durthu sat back a bit to try to avoid the overrun, but they made it anyway. That was OK, Durthu was the only thing that could face them. But he was outside of Alarielle's regenerative bubble and something needed to be done to ensure things didn't go badly wrong. So Durthu threw a few dice at casting Wildform on himself, got too excited, cast it irresistibly, and vanished in the resultant mushroom cloud. The explosion did kill one of the Demigryphs, I guess. So he achieved something.
The Treekin engage the Steam Tank, knowing they will never be able to really hurt it.
The situation in the centre. Most of the Flagellants have been shot, but the Swordsmen are still fairly numerous. Slightly hard to tell in the photos because David didn't really pull his casualties far out of the way, I'm afraid.
The loss of Durthu was a problem. The only other unit that stood a reasonable chance against the (now somewhat depleted) Demigryphs was the Treekin, and they were busy. They had charged the Steam Tank as it approached my lines, and got bogged in the most uninspiring combat ever. The Treekin couldn't hurt the Steam Tank, and in return it managed to misfire and hiss all of its steam away 2 turns in a row (despite not being wounded). With the Treekin tied up and Durthu gone, I had nothing tough left on my flank to intercept the Demigryphs. I couldn't have them flanking the Treekin or my Maiden Guard, so Alarielle's bodyguard noble moved out bravely and stood in their path to redirect them whilst the other characters moved out of the danger zone.
You ladies run. I've got this...
Having rallied back on their own side of the table, the cowardly Empire Knights started their advance once again. There wasn't much I could do to whittle them down as they were behind a building, so in the end all I could do was face them with Dryads. One or two Knights fell, but the Dryads lost, failed their steadfast, and ran. Happily they managed to outdistance their pursuers and rallied. The Knights charged them again, and this time they basically fought each other to a standstill over a couple of rounds of combat. 
The Knights and Dryads engage for the second time.
My Dragon Princes had left the Dryads to address the Knight problem and went after the enemy artillery. This would have been a suicide mission, however my Bolt Throwers managed to kill the Helblaster with a single volley, meaning the only things left were a Mortar and Engineer. Both eventually perished, but not before the Mortar had done fairly significant damage to my Maiden Guard, despite Alarielle's regeneration bubble.
The Dragon Princes clean up the enemy back lines.
Having lost around half their number to the Mortar, the Maiden Guard were in trouble when the Empire Swordsmen finally made it to them. The Empire unit was not terribly menacing, but having 2 characters in the front and a lot more numbers was enough to ensure my unit was well beaten and it fled the field.
We need more Maiden Guard. Or we need Alarielle back. We've been abandoned!
The other Maiden Guard had emerged from the building on my right to help try to whittle down the Swordsmen as they went past, and in so doing they allowed the much-reduced Flagellants to flank them (they had copped a lot of shots from the Bolt Throwers on the way across the field). I lost a few Maiden Guard but killed a couple of Flagellants before the remaining lunatics sacrificed themselves amid wails of doom in the second round of combat.
Flanked! It's OK, there's really not very many of them.
The final phases of the game really played out around the Treekin. The Demigryphs made short work of the Noble barring their path, but then failed a charge the following turn into one of the Bolt Throwers. Instead they found themselves flanked by another regiment of Skeletons who had popped up out of the ground the previous turn. They held their ground, but the main point of the Skeleton unit was that they gave me the ranked unit with a standard required to claim a table quarter.
The last scramble. Skeletons flank Demigryphs, Swordsmen in the rear of Treekin, Dragon Princes in the rear of the Steam Tank.
David also had an eligible unit in that quarter - his Swordsmen. They reformed after disposing of the Maiden Guard, and charged into the rear of the Treekin as they battled the Steam Tank. It marginally swung the combat in his favour, however the Treekin that could reach immediately began to lay into the softer Swordsmen rather than trying to hurt the Steam Tank. The charge was not enough to break the Treekin, and then my Dragon Princes returned from his deployment zone and charged the Steam Tank in the rear in order to swing the combat bonuses back in my favour. I didn't do enough damage to drop the Swordsman unit below 5 models, but I did do enough for them to have to take a break test. Having already proven his ability to fail leadership tests, David of course failed despite the BSB re-roll, and the unit broke.
The Maiden Guard run to grab an unoccupied table quarter.
The loss of the standards in the Swordsmen meant my Skeletons were the only eligible unit to claim that quarter, whilst another Skeleton unit appeared in the final turn to claim another, and the remaining Maiden Guard grabbed a third. David's Knights controlled the final sector, but it was still a good effort. 

In the end I had lost Durthu, a regiment of Maiden Guard and Alarielle's bodyguard Noble. David had lost all his artillery, the Halberdiers, Wizard Lord, Warrior Priest, Outriders, Flagellants and BSB. In a system that only requires you to win by 150 points to avoid a draw, it was more than enough.

Result: Win (15-0) +3 Table Quarters = 18

It was a positive start, but I think my success had a lot to do with David's self-inflicted damage early on.

You can find part 2 of my Moonstruck report here.


  1. I would have loved to play against Davids Empire army. That is wardolly art if there ever was!
    There are some things that you may never unremember after witnessing the call of the winter moon...

    1. It was indeed an impressive army.

      And I may not be able to forget, but I can certainly try...

  2. What a nutty first game, against a seriously cool army. Thanks for tossing these reports together, excited for more mayhem!

  3. Hi Greg,

    I absolutely love the look of all these old school models you have in your army and the theme is simply fantastic! Great to see both armies wonderfully painted on a beautiful table.

    Congratulations on a great start too! Maybe your concerns as to the "softness" of the list were unjustified? :)


    1. It was slightly unfortunate that I fought the best army on possibly the darkest table in the event. Ah well.

      As for the army strength, I don't know that this game was an accurate gauge. David had some pretty ordinary luck in places, and effectively crippled his own army. I did indeed struggle to handle anything with armour (Demis, Knights and Tank). So that part of my prediction held true.