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1000 point Wood Elves tournament report

posted Jan 29, 2012 10:49:11 by BenThomas
Good day, Painting Tablefolk!
Yesterday I attended a 1000 point tournament with my Wood Elves. Low points limit, but 5 games in one day. I was pretty cynical about it but had an excellent time! I've been playing Wood Elves since 8th came out with pretty reasonable success, and have found that they work fairly well in lower points where their movement can really dominate the larger amounts of space available (we were playing on full size 6x4 boards). The tournament involved 2 games of Blood and Glory, one of Dawn Attack, and 2 of Battleline.

I was aiming to win the movement phase and, as such, my list consisted of:
Noble: Great Eagle, LA, S, Spear, Amaranthine Brooch, Dragonhelm
8x Dryads
8x Dryads
8x Dryads
8x Dryads
6x Wild Riders: Musician
7x Wild Riders: Musician
Great Eagle
Great Eagle

Lots of drops, its all quick, and if everything starts to go wrong I should also be able to run away and hide. I was terrified of Skaven as they would be able to take a Grey Seer and an Abomination at this points level: but surely nobody would do such a thing at a friendly tournament?
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10 replies
BenThomas said Jan 29, 2012 11:06:52
Game 1: Blood and Glory: Rob Derbyshire: Skaven (I think we all already know where this is going)
Grey Seer
3 Engineers with various toys
3 units of roughly 30-40 Slaves
5 Gutter Runners

As this was Blood and Glory and neither of us had anything resembling a banner it was a simple game of assasinate the general. Unfortunately, mine was on an Eagle with nowhere to hide, and his was on foot in the middle of a million Slaves.
The early turns were spent trying to distract the Abomination with my Eagles and some Dryads whilst pressurising his Slaves with the rest of the Dryads and Wild Riders. His Engineers weapons all went off and dealt with one unit of Wild Riders whilst the Grey Seer flung Sorches and Warp Lightning around.
Then the Grey Seer rolled a double 6, then on the miscast, he rolled a 3.
By the fact that there are still a lot of words left you can safely assume he didn't fall down the dimensions and, alas, this was the case.

Rob was extremely clever in defending his Seer from my numerous units, placing him within a V formed by 2 units of Slaves so that nothing could really attempt to assassinate him, and so I knew I had to go through a second unit of 30 rerollable 10 rats.
Alas, it was time I did not have. His Gutter Runners had come on the back of the board, forcing my Noble forwards so as not to recieve a load of poison shots (this was probably an error on my part, even when they did throw my 3+ armour should have been able to keep the worst of it away). This however brought him into Warp Lightning range.
A moment to explain my general's build (she is my BSB in larger sized games): The combination of items means she has a 3+ armour save, followed by a 3+ ward against non-magical attacks or a 2+ against flaming. Between them, these wards cover most things that you commonly see. They do nothing against Warp Lightning.
2 magic phases and 2 unstoppable Warp Lightings later my General was down and the game was done. I think that even if I hadn't advanced with him I had lost too many models and points to the Abomination and Engineers that I would have lost on a tie break anyway.

Rob was a gent throughout, it was his first real outing with Skaven and he asserted at the end of the tournament that he didn't enjoy using them a great amount (he is usually an Orc and Goblin player).
So a loss in game 1, but having looked around the other armies (10 in all) I thought there were a few I would have a chance against.
Game 2 to follow.
Greg2thePerson said Jan 29, 2012 13:21:56
Hey, Ben,

I love this report so far! You certainly had a rough patch of luck with the first pairing, but I'm eager to hear how your army fares against some more balanced lists. Keep 'em coming. :-)
The slightly less beautiful host.
BenThomas said Jan 29, 2012 15:17:15
Game 2: Dawn Attack: Joe Grimwade: Ogre Kingdoms
6 Ironguts
6 Leadbelchers
2 single Sabretusks
3 Mournfang Cavalry

*Joe's magic build for low point games really impressed me. He had a level 2 Firebelly with the ruby ring. In each phase he opened with the ring, leaving 2 options: either let that through, take D6 hits and allow him the Kindleflame +D3 on the next cast, or stop that with probably most of your dice, and face a likely 2D6 fireball.

Random deployment was quite interesting as I rolle d a huge number of 1s and most my army was left or left of middle, and then he deployed largely opposite me. In his first turn of shooting and magic he had managed to half both of my units of Wild Riders, effectively forcing me to act fast, as a result, the 7 remaining Wild Riders charded the front of the Leadbelchers in such a way that as long as he killed one of the Wind Riders, he wouldn't be able to contercharge. I lost 3 from attacks but won combat, with him sticking around.
Side Note: Wild Riders are slightly odd amongst Cavalry in that they are arguable better when they dont charge. With their spears and Fury of Kurnous special rule they effectively have 1S5 attack on the charge, and 2S4 when they dont. This really came into effect here in that they did very little to the Leadbelchers on the charge, but then realy began to butcher them in subsequent rounds.
A few rounds of combat later one unit of wild riders was dead, with the other down to 3 men, but the Leadbelchers had broken and been run down. Seeing the chance to ge some fairly easy points (having by this point found out that my Noble was toting a 2+ ward) the firebelly left his unit to turn and face the Wild Riders. Discussing later on Joe and I decided that this had been an error on his part. The reasoning behind not turning round the whole unit was that he didn't want Dryads in the rear of his Ironguts, but on Mathammering the combat we saw that he should have been able to take them fairly comfortably.

As it was I had a chance to do some classic Woodelfing (tm). A poor magic phase had seen 2 Wild Riders survive and between them and the 2 Great Eagles I was able to block the Firebelly's route back to his unit. I then placed my Noble where he would be able to charge the Firebelly. I felt pretty proud of myself for this :).
In what Joe suspected would be his firebellies final moments he was able to finish off the Wild Riders and panic one of the Great Eagles, but there was no escaping the Noble. He charged in (Fleeing was not an option due to the proximity of the board edge) did a wound, won by 2 and chased down the enemy general.
At this point there was nothing else I could really kill so the thin remains of my army turned and disappeared into the woods.

Joe was certain he had lost the game but I wasn't sure (Wild Riders are a lot of points) and upon adding up the points I had acquired only 18 more than him. A draw was a fair result and I really enjoyed my first game against Joe.
After a loss and a draw I would be down towards the lower reaches (fluffier armies!) for the next games, so we should see if things improve.
Greg2thePerson said Jan 29, 2012 16:38:13
Once again, I'd like to reiterate that these are excellent reports. Very easy to follow the action and understand the flow of the game, but not so lengthy as to tire out the reader or overwhelm him/her with details. Perhaps that's an advantage of a low points game, but I'll chalk it up to your ability to craft a solid battle report!

You clearly know how to play your army well. Makes me want to play some 1000 point games and convince Jen to pull out her Wood Elves. :-)
The slightly less beautiful host.
BenThomas said Jan 29, 2012 22:46:22
Game 3: Battleline: Ben Firth: Skaven

I assume you are aware of the saying that Lightning doesn't strike the same place twice. Apparently Warp Lightning does.
Grey Seer
BSB, Engineer
2 units of Slaves
Unit of Clanrats

Ben is a very, how to put this diplomatically, "difficult" opponent. He attends the same club as I do and whilst I try to avoid playing him in friendly pick-up games we tend to run into each other in small events there. Unlike Rob in game 1 who had a certain amount of shame in the fact that he had brought ridiculous filth, Ben took to explaining how he was going to take me off the table.
I mention this for one reason: to justify my actions with the Abomination. He deployed it on one flank and moved it straight forwards in turn 1. At which point I placed a Great Eagle one inch from the side of it. For those that aren't aware, this means that the Abomination cannot pivot as it would come within an inch of the Eagle, and is forced to simply plough forwards into open space. This is what it did for the game. It is not a tactic I am especially proud of, and not one I hope to have to use again. But I think the list justifies it!

Onto the rest of the game. The start was the fairly standard Wood Elf vs Skaven fare of "Wood Elves move up agressively, Skaven 13th a unit off" with the Wild Riders going through one of the units of Slaves (People are constantly suprised at how well they do this, but against 5 wide Slaves they get 12 attacks hitting on 3s and wounding on 3s, with horses to add, and the Slaves need 5s to hit back and must get through saves of 5+/5++). In about turn 3 I made my move on his Clanrat bunker. My general and a unit of Dryads charged in, with the other unit of Dryads choosing not to make it... And 2 rounds of combat later I fluffed my attacks and bounced straight back off again.
Things were looking grim but one thing I had learnt with Wood Elves is that the game isn't lost until all your models are gone. After rallying my general, motivating the sluggish Dryads, and freeing up some Wild Riders we went in again for a glorious final turn! In the unit the Skaven BSB was on 1 wound, the Grey Seer on 2 and the Engineer on 1. I split my attacks accoringly and did exactly the right number of wounds to each. The Clanrats fled and were cut down. The Abomination continued along its straight path and looked confused.

This was a good win in the end and demonstrated what the Wood Elves can do given enough board space. The attitude of my opponent didn't give me the best of games but you can expect that every so often. Either way the Wood Elf wagon was up and running. And I had played all of the Skaven players!
noah.nathanson said Jan 30, 2012 01:29:31
Loving the battle reports. I've had the same thing come up with abominations, sometimes it's what you've got to do! I like the style of your reports, mine tend to be loooong and in depth, too much of both ;o). Keep the reports coming.
BenThomas said Jan 30, 2012 03:17:19
Game 4: Blood and Glory: Kevin Gillett: Orcs and Goblins

Finally, an army with almost as much stuff as me, and as little magic!
Goblin Warboss, and BSB in about 40 Goblins with Skulkers
5 Wolf Riders + Hero on Wolf
5 Savage Orc Boar Boy Big 'Uns
3 single Wolf Chariots
Doom Diver, Bolt Thrower
2 Mangler Squigs

Note on Mangler Squigs: If a unit of Dryads sits itself on a Mangler Squig it shouldn't die. 12 hits would be 10 wounds, 3 of which should be saved on Ward, leaving one or 2 left. As it happened when I sat on one I had 3 left (this will come up later). The other Mangler got sat on by and Eagle and we shall speak no more of it!

My main worry in this game was having my general simply taken off by the two war machines, but once he had found out that I had a 3+ ward against them Kevin began to target other units instead. I was pretty scared of the Chariots as well as little in my army would be able to take one to the face so I would have to plan cleverly to find a route to his War Machines.

The first turns were very cagey, with me trying to advance up one flank whilst keeping out of charge range of his chariots in the centre. I failed a charge needing a 4 on one of them with my general which left my Wild Riders rear exposed to it. At this point I had to push fairly agressively in my Remaining Moves phase so as not to be picked off piecemeal. In his turn Kevin prepared to strike. This did not go well for him.
1. His Goblin Wolf Hero failed a charge to support the Chariot going into my Wild Riders
2. His other Chariot failed a reasonable charge into my other Wild Riders
3. His Boar Boys charged the 3 Dryads left from Mangler splatting and lost 2 on the way in to dangerous terrain
4. His Doom Diver misfired and shot dead his Wolf Rider Hero
5. His Chariot killed only a single Wild Rider with impact hits, and was destroyed by their attacks before it could attack
6. The 3 Dryads killed 2 Boar Boys and the other failed to hit and ran away to be chased off the table in my turn.

After this series of unfortunate events I was able to simply kill the last chariot and War Machines and turn around in about turn 4 (to much berating by Kevin, who called me a wuss for not chargin his Goblin "Death Star"), but knowing the Wood Elves ability to grab defeat from any situation I skulked away and took a decent win.
I have Kevin's dice to thank as much here as anything else but I do genuinely think the Wild Riders would have been OK against the Chariot, but the Savage Orcs... Wow.
JenPerson said Jan 30, 2012 12:17:13
LOVING these battle reports! I've only read the first three so far because Greg and I are reading them together. Pushing the HPA forward is genius! I never thought of that. It certainly works better in a small points game, as in a larger game, your opponent would likely have something that could come over and interrupt your great eagle. I must be a mean opponent, because I think that's a fine tactic. Anyone who takes a HPA (especially at 1,000 points!) should have to face such a strategy now and again.

Time and again I've been impressed with how other people use the wood elves. I must have the problem, not the elves! Can't wait to read more.
BenThomas said Jan 30, 2012 16:40:21
Game 5: Battleline: Nigel Chorlton: Orcs and Goblins

This is the most fun I have ever had in a game of Warhammer. Nige and I have played a few times before and he's always great fun, but this... this was something special. His army was:
Level 3 Savage Orc Shaman (Shrunken Head) and BSB in about 30 Savage Orc Big Uns
3 Trolls
2 Doom Divers and a Rock Lobber

The army looks so small compared to mine on the tabletop, and Nige cleverly realised that he would be unable to protect his war machines even if he put them behind his unit, so spread them to the corners to at least make me travel to get them.
This I did for the first 2 turns (though his Rock Lobber rudely destroyed itself just as I was honing in). In doing so one of my units of Wild Riders was reduced to a single model, and for the rest of the game found himself a nice big rock to hide behind.
My next port of call was his Trolls, a unit of Dryads and my general in the flank was enough to remove Steadfast and run them down, leaving the Dryads in front of the Savag Orcs as a friendly sacrifice.
Whilst this had been going on, Gork had merrily been stoming around my, and Nige's armies, and had reduces some Dryads, and taken (along with a miscast) about 10 Savage Orcs.

And so it came to turn 4, and a choice. A sensible player would have turned around, moved his general out of Foot of Gork range, and hoped to fend off enough magic for a small win or draw. But then Nigel called me a chicken, and I wasn't having any of that!
I charged him in both flanks with Dryads, and in the front with my general and more Dryads (you cant have too many Dryads!) I fluffed my rolls, he ward saved like a champion and I lost by 3, splendid! Thankfully, one of my units held, stopping him running a load down, and so I fled, rallied and regrouped.
Then Gork got his act together and stomped on my General. This would have been a much bigger problem if the resulting miscast hadn't finished his own general and 2 more Orcs, but still!
So, into the last turn, his 4 remaining Orcs and BSB had been forced to overrun after fighting an Eagle, and there were 6 Dryads facing one flank, and 3 the other. Some (very basic) maths told me I had to go for it. The 2 bystanders held their breath, and the Dryads WENT MENTAL!!!!! They killed the BSB before he could strike (he only had 1 wound left but they did 3) and slew 2 other Savage Orcs, forcing the last to be cut down dead. And that was the end of Nige's army.

For the rest of my time playing this game I will remember this as the time I tabled Nige, but I'm not sure it really counts when you only have 8 models left on the table yourself. It was an incredible back and forth game played in such a relaxed atmosphere.

I'll add some results, thoughts, and responses to all the kind comments later.
BenThomas said Jan 30, 2012 17:19:25
And by later I mean basically straight away...

Onto the results. The event was run by Gerry Brawley's Daemon army. He's been playing them a good while now and is starting to get some good results. I think I would have had a decent chance if I'd faced him but who knows!
Second place... was ME! Sneaking up from the lower reaches I was really pleased with this result, pipping my friend Mark (Dark Elves) to third by victory points. Interestingly, such was the way I submarined my way through this tournament I hadn't played 1st 3rd or 4th. Such is life.

The tournament was run alongside a 40k tournament and, even though it was run by a teenager, it went incredible smoothly, considering the need for speed trying to get in 5 games in a day.

Onto my list:
I have said since I started playing Wood Elves 2 years ago that it is possible to build a Wood Elf list that can beat any enemy, but impossible to write one that can beat every enemy. I like this style of list a lot, it really plays into the Wood Elves ability to manouver all around the place, but I dont feel that the style of list works in larger games.
This list really brought one thing home to me: Wild Riders are awesome! My main list tends to have 2 units of 5 but I'm really tempted to try and up them to 7s just because of the damage output they can put into units such as Slaves that we largely struggle to deal with. Also vanguard plus a march move is 30 inches. That's roughly a mile!

I must also say thank you very much for the kind words during these reports (which have gone up quickly, before I forget stuff). I am English, and as stereotype insists, I drink a lot of tea. Tea breaks at work is where I tend to get time to read battle reports and so it is a constant (very mild) irritation to me when my cup of tea runs out before the battle report does. Hence my attempting to keep reports as short and sweet as possible.

Finally: There were only 10 of us at this event (a big GT was happening the same weekend, reducing numbers) but we all really had a blast. Its a really quick fire format but all of my games finished within the hour and a quarter we had for them. I had never really tried lower point games since I learnt how to play 4 years ago, but I cannot recommend the format highly enough.

Thanks for reading!
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