I actually delayed this post, as I know my regular opponent (the long-suffering Alan) reads this blog and, as we were playing a game yesterday, I did not want him to know what he would be facing!
Anyway, this weekend I was busy beavering away on the finishing touches to a fair haul of High Elves I picked up (very) cheap on eBay.
These came from two eBay auctions, and I grabbed both for about £1 each – can’t complain with that! There were enough to make up 21 ‘old style’ Archers and 18 of the current plastic models – before this, I had just 12 Archers and 24 Sea Guard, so this represents a major addition to the shooting power of my High Elves.
I had originally intended to go purely with Sea Guard as, while they cost a few more points per model (and that quickly adds up), their spears make them fairly formidable when the enemy reaches your base line. However, I started to think that the extra range of the Archer’s Longbow (more or less buys another turn’s worth of firing), plus the addition of a few more models from the points saved, might very well ensure the enemy never actually reaches my base line. For the cost of £2, the experiment seemed worthwhile. You can see the results a little further below.
These were all painted with my ‘half-and-half’ method – major base colours (silver, white, skin and gold) go down first, then the Magic Goop is used. When dry, I then go over the pink areas (washed with a thinned red) and black. The base is sanded, painted black and then has liberal amounts of snow added.
High Elves normally take a fair while to paint, but this method seems fast and effective. Not going to win any painting competitions but when they are on the table top, the pink and black/snow bases seem to go very well together. The pink, at least, tends to invite comment…
I also completed these two, a mounted Noble and the Champion of Asuryan. I am not sure these two are going to see use any time soon, as I already have way cooler Lords and Heroes in the force who are going to take a major shift in tactical thinking to replace.
So, I called up Alan and told him a 2,000 point battle was on. He has been wanting to try out new things with his Skaven force, so I figured he would be bringing them rather than his Vampire Counts.
Now, I had gone over the Skaven army list thoroughly the night before, and I knew there would be some things he would take. His last game made him addicted to the Grey Seer combined with the Dreaded Thirteenth spell, so I promptly ditched my small unit of Swordmasters, and went with the two big blocks of Archers above – as well as allowing me to try out my experiment, they would also greatly reduce the chance of losing a unit outright to that spell. Plus, his Grey Seer would have to get within 24″ of them to use it, and they had been warned to look out for white rats.
In our last match, I did not take any flyers at all, thinking Alan would take the Storm Banner (he did). I figured this time round he would think I would not be able to resist taking them – and he would have been right, as I was dying to try out the Frostheart Phoenix for the first time and, well, Dragonmages are just cool all over. However, I did not fancy them being forced to the ground and the Storm Banner stuffs up archery too. Knowing the Strorm Banner can only be taken by Plague Priests and Stormvermin, and that Alan did not have the former, I decided the priority target would be the Stormvermin. However, I had also just figured out that Arcane Unforging works on any model, not just rock hard characters…
The battle itself was fairly simple and while we played for four turns, it was pretty much done by the end of turn two.
The first thing I tried was Arcane Unforging on the Stormvermin standard bearer, but Alan saw immediately what I was doing and used his Dispel Scroll. However, more magic in the form of the Fiery Convocation and a few fireballs from the Dragonmage sent not only the Stormvermin running but the Rat Ogres too – the loss of those units basically collapsed the Skaven’s entire right flank, and all by the end of the Magic Phase of the first turn.
The Grey Seer used Skitterleap to jump across the battlefield to stop these two units running, but that left the two big blocks of Clan Rats on the other flank without too much leadership. The Phoenix dove into one, holding it up until the Dragon Knights charged (one charge from them tends to end most things), while another Fiery Convocation wiped out the other. Panic tests took care of the weapons teams, while enough arrows wedged into the Doomwheel bearing down on them that the rats on board promptly abandoned it.
Total Kills by the Skaven: Four Clan Rats (the Ratling Gun went a bit wild).
Every High Elf went home alive (though I hear one stubbed his toe on a rock).
So, the High Elf plan worked perfectly – but if anyone has any help or suggestions for the Skaven, Alan would love to hear it, I am sure!