Everything but the Kitchen Sink
My store has been gradually shifting to the 2200 point format (yeah, I know...), so I gave my recently modified 2200 point list a whirl.
The Coven of Light
Archmage, Dragonhorn, Ring of Corin, Level 4 (Lore of Light)
Mage, Level 2, Seerstaff (Pha's, Banishment)
Mage, Level 1, Annullian Crystal (Lore of Light)
30 x Archers, Musician, Standard, Banner of Discipline
17 x Archers, Musician
28 x White Lions, Full Command, Banner of Sorcery, Gem of Courage
12 x Swordmasters, Standard, Standard of Balance
12 x Swordmasters, Standard, Musician, Gleaming Pennant
2 x Great Eagles
Orcs & Goblins
Goblin Warboss, Dragonhelm, Great Weapon (some other stuff?)
Goblin Great Shaman
Goblin Big Boss, BSB, Armour of Silvered Steel
Night Goblin Shaman
Savage Orc Shaman, Lucky Shrunken Head
48 x Night Goblins, Full Command, Netters, 1 x Fanatic
20 x Night Goblins, Bows, Musician
20 x Savage Orcs, Biguns, AHW, Full Command
3 x Wolf Chariots
3 x Wolf Chariots
3 x Wolf Chariots
3 x Spear Chuckas
Snotling Pump Wagon, Exploding Spores
2 x Doom Divers
2 x Rock Lobbas
Spells were as follows:
Archmage: Shem's, Net, Banishment, Timewarp
Mage: Pha's Protection
Goblin Great Shaman - Vindictive Glare, Itchy Nuisance, Nightshroud, Curse o' da Bad Moon
Night Goblin Shaman - Gork'll Fix it
Savage Orc Shaman - Foot of Gork
With so much artillery on the field, I knew I'd have to stay efficient with Pha's, so I kept my formation reasonably tight. The eagles had lots of potential roles in this matchup, but with the doom divers and spear chuckas I knew they'd be priority #1. Eagles and archers were the first ones down, and his bowmen committed early to taking that building, with a unit of chariots going down over there as well. This solidified in my mind that I was going to refuse that flank and focus on the East.
We roll off, and I win first turn.
Turn 1, High Elves
Not much movement yet. One eagle moves up to a spot to draw out his fanatics if he moves forward with the goblins, and the Lions come around just a touch to compensate for his Westward deployment bias.
Magic is 9 v 4 - I start with a 4D6 Banishment on his Eastern Chariots from my level 2, and he fails to dispel it with 4D6 of his own. 7 hits, 6 wounds and the remaining chariot fails its panic check and flees. I throw 4D6 at a bubbled Pha's from the level 2, and he hasn't got an answer for it (Seems my local store meta is to not take a scroll?? Wierd). I finish with a final D6 Pha's on the archers in the woods.
The archer horde shooting goes on the night goblins, with the Eastern chariot threat removed and takes out 4 of them, and the other unit of archers puts a wound on his mangler.
Turn 1, (mostly) Goblins
His troops move up, with his goblins getting close enough to the eagle to launch the fanatic - I was expecting more to come out here. His fanatic rolls a 9 for distance and a 6 for hits, killing the eagle outright. Darn.
Magic is 10 v 8 - He starts with a D6 + bonus dice at Gork'll fix it, but fails the cast with a natural roll of 1 on his non mushroom dice. He then throws 3D6 at a powered up vindictive glare, which I dispel with 2 (He rolled low), and I allow a subsequent itchy nuisance on the white lions, which he cast with D6. He finishes with Foot of Gork with 5D6, but fails to meet the casting value.
He starts by targetting all his bolt shots at the eagle, but due to soft cover none are able to hit. His doom divers both target the eagle, and he redirects the first onto the swordmasters (I called the 4+ protection from pha's, remembering past matches where I came to realize that the 4+ applies even when they're not targeted specifically. I couldn't find it at the time, but for those interested it's very clearly stated in the FAQ for the main rulebook). He scores maximum hits with this as well, taking out 6 swordmasters. His second doom diver targets the eagle but scatters on to the archers, killing two, and the two rock lobber shots also target the eagle, with one landing home and killing it.
High Elves, Turn 2
With a ton of points up for grabs in the goblin unit, and a billion impact hits moving up on my West, I decide to get a bit more aggressive in the East. The lions and pennant swordmasters move up to threaten his leadership, and I get the Standard of Balance swordmasters in a position to aid in the fight should the savages move up to protect the goblins.
Magic is 12 v 6 - I start with a 3D6 net on his great shaman's unit and roll huge (20 total). He tosses all 6 of his dice to be sure of getting rid of it. I follow it up with a 3D6 Timewarp on the lions to all but guarantee an assault on the bunker next turn, a 2D6 Pha's protection on the archers in the forest which fails, and finally a 4D6 Pha's bubble to protect all of my elites.
In shooting, I don't want to waste 30 shots on a single fanatic, so instead work on whittling away at the bunker again - 5 wounds result from the volley. The archers in the woods manage another wound on the mangler, and there's no combat so we move to his turn
Goblins, Turn 2
His night goblin bowmen squabble this turn.
He declares a charge with his middle Wolf Chariots on my archers, needing a roll of 10 to make it, but fails.
He then moves his compulsary stuff - His fanatic manages to roll the small arc needed to his my dwindling unit of swordmasters, as well as the above average distance. It plows through them, and does 5 hits, 4 wounds. They are down to 2 models. Mangler makes it to the edge of the forest, and his pump wagon pumps harder this turn to get to a good spot to threaten the action between the combat blocks.
Magic is 6 v 5 - He starts with a 3D6 itchy nuisance on my white Lions, which I dispel with 3. He then throws D6 plus an extra one at Gork'll Fix It on my archers, but gets poisoned by his mushroom, failing the spell. He finishes with a vindictive glare at the same unit, which I dispel with 2.
Shooting sees him misfire with one of his doom divers and lose the other and a stone thrower shot to pha's protection (shooting at the lions). He puts one rock lobba shot on the archers in the forest, killing 4 of them, and he misses with his spear shots.
High Elves, Turn 3
I start the turn by declaring two charges - The White Lions into the goblins, and the remaining 2 swordmasters into the pump wagon. The lions need a 5 to make it in, and true to form, right when it counts they roll snakeyes. The swordmasters, however, have better luck.
With remaining moves, I reform the archers in the woods to a more compact formation facing the incoming chariots.
Magic is another 12 v 6 phase - I start with a 2D6 shem's on his mangler, which he allows. I score 5 hits, and manage to take it out. I know at this point that I need to draw out some dispel dice, so I do something a little unconventional with the ring - I use 2D6 to cast it on his Orc unit, knowing he won't want to give up the shrunken head. It works, and he uses 2D6 to dispel it. I follow it up with a 4D6 banishment on his Eastern Chariots, and he allows it. I roll huge for hits, and wipe the unit out. He passes his panic test on the other unit.
I then work to protect my investment in the East - I need those lions to get in to that bunker with enough hitting power to take it out, so I start with a pha's with 2D6, which he dispels, then a second Pha's with 2D6 which goes off.
My archers in the woods manage a wound on the chariots, and my horde of archers takes out two of the Savage Orcs.
In combat, the two swordmasters roll like champions and take out the pump wagon, and instead of overrunning into the side of the savages (certain death), I reform them in such a way that their front is parallel with the edge of his field of vision, making them unchargeable next turn by the savages.
Goblins, Turn 3
He declares a charge with both units of chariots, the one in the East on my White Lions, and the one in the West versus my Archers in the woods. My lions hold and the archers stand and shoot - it's another long charge. Both the chariots fail their charges (the eastern one even had a great chance to get in), and my archers put a wound on the Western ones.
Magic is 2 v 3 - He starts with a 2D6(D6 plus mushroom) gork'll fix it, but again fails the natural roll. He then throws D6 at vindictive glare, which I dispel.
Shooting sees him devote his spear chucka shots to taking out the swordmasters with 2 remaining. He manages one hit, but fails to wound. His doom diver, however, has better luck, wiping the unit out. He starts with his first stone thrower on the Lions, but it misfires and explodes. The second one makes it through pha's and scores a direct hit, killing 4 of the lions. The final doom diver shot is taken out by Pha's.
No combat means it's my turn!
High Elves, Turn 4
I start by declaring a charge with the White Lions on the chariot beside the goblins - he's all but forced to flee, with the risk of holding being getting a unit of white lions on the flank of his bunker. I then redirect the lions into his bunker, and after some pause he holds; the other swordmasters are close enough that they could potentially declare a charge and flee him off the board.
The swordmasters move up to challenge the savages - if the goblins hold, and the savages charge the lions flank, they'll in turn get charged by the swordmasters, and if they charge the swordmasters directly... well... then they'd charged swordmasters :P
Magic is 10 v 4 - I start with a 3D6 Net of Amyntok on his bunker, which he dispels with all 4 of his dice. I then put a 2D6 pha's on his unit, and a 3D6 pha's (from the level 1) on the unit. I finish with a banishment attempt on the savages from my archmage, but don't make the 10+ needed.
Shooting sees me put another wound on the goblin chariots with the archers in the woods, and 4 more casualties on the savages.
In combat, I direct every lion attack I can onto his characters, knowing the importance of character leadership in a goblin based army. I take out all three (general, BSB and Great Shaman), and a handful of goblins. They kill a couple lions in return and are testing on steadfast. However, their low leadership prevents them from holding, and they flee. The lions pursue, catch them, and roll high enough to catch the chariot as well and take a reform. It was getting late at this point, so we both agreed that we were going to play one more full turn after this (ie. Turn 5), so with this in mind, I probably should have reformed to take out the rock lobba and doom diver.
Goblins, Turn 4
He's gotta make something happen at this point, so he charges the swordmasters in front of him with his remaining Savages (16 left now). His chariots also charge the archers in the forest, who flee and get away.
Magic is 4 v 6, with me dispelling all of his spells.
Shooting sees him put 4 wounds on my archers (not shown), and one of his doom divers misfire, unable to fire this turn.
In combat, the swordmasters do 10 wounds to the savages, but he rolls incredibly for his saves; only 4 savages die! In return, he wipes out 9 swordmasters, who flee and are overrun. In this combat, he positioned his mages out of combat.
High Elves, Turn 5
Since it's the last turn, I go for the long charge with the white lions on the savages (needed boxcars), but as expected they fail.
Magic comes in at 8 v 3. I start with a 4D6 banishment on the savages from my archmage, which he allows. I roll only 5 hits, but it results in 5 wounds. I then throw the second 4D6 at banishment on the same unit with my level 2, which he attempts to dispel but fails. Low hits again leaves 4 savages alive, plus characters.
I then direct all of my shots at the unit, and the ensuing volley hitting on 3's wipes the unit out to a man.
Goblins, Turn 5
His wolf chariots charge the recently rallied archers, and make the long charge but fail a difficult terrain test. The ensuing wound forces a panic test, which he fails. We play out the turn to see if he can panic either of my units, and he chooses to focus on the coven bunker, but they hold.
Massacre for the Coven of Light!
After battle thoughts
Well I don't know about you guys, but I feel like this was a great game versus a great opponent. This was one of those games where I looked at the table before the beginning asking myself "how can I possibly win this one?"
A few things that were critical this game:
1. Balancing between offense and defense. Pha's absorbed a huge number of shots this game, so it was necessary to stay balanced between keeping the shields up and taking out high priority targets like the impact hit generating troops
2. I feel that I'm getting much more comfortable with the situation of keeping the bunker safe and reacting to incoming threats. When I transitioned to all archer core, this was one of the hardest things for me. Formerly I had a nice beefy unit of spears to keep my mages out of harm's way, and now I'm one bad move away from getting rolled. I've learned some hard lessons, and am getting much more comfortable with it.
3. Using the Ring of Corin defensively is something I might explore a bit more in the future - in a situation where there isn't an item that I *need* to get rid of, I may start thinking about it as a way to draw out 2 dispel dice. In turn 3, I needed something that could draw out some dispel dice before I cast my important spells, and the ring did just that.
Hope you enjoyed reading, and as always comments or criticism is more than welcome!