The roar of the fog horns that the iron clad ships signaled the arrival of the dwarven fleet to the treasure hunt. Goethe had his shades follow the ships along the coast for days plotting where they might make their beach landing. Just after they deployed Goethe would meet them in the field of battle. His army hiding just behind the tree line with bordered the sandy coast, if they were spotted in the open the great array of naval weapons would surely lead to a quick, short and bloody battle.
It only took a few hours before the dwarves unloaded their supplies and sent out a scout party, it might of well been an eternity for the psychotic Geothe whose blood thirst was growing more impatient. Almost if on cue the dwarven scouting party began to reach the crest of the hill where their naval guns no longer afforded them covering fire and with that the order was given out... "charge".
Again I was facing Hoj's dreaded anvil list the first time I fought against the list I had no idea of the capablities of any of his units (been awhile since i've played against dwarves..). This time though I had a solid grasp of the threat level of his units and attempted to plan accordingly. I took the same list as last time magic wise Sameth took Metal lore and Nimue as always took dark magic. Since it was largely ineffectual and I played 6 games this week I totally forgot what they rolled lol.
Rune Lord Anvil of Doom GW, SH, RoStone, RoSpellbrk, RoFurnace, MRoBalance
Thane BSB, MRoGrom, RoPreservation, RoFire, RoFurnace, RoStrike
Warriors x21 FC, SH
Longbeards x21 FC, SH, Battle, Stoic
Quarrellers x10 SH
Hammerers x20 FC, SH, Stoic
Miners x10 Champ
Gruge Thrower Engineer, RoAcc, RoPen, RoBurn
Bolt Thrower Engineer, RoPen
Bolt Thrower Engineer, RoBurn
Total Point Value = 2245
A good overhead picture of my deployment that only thing missing from the picture is my bolt thrower that is far left right around where the dice lay.
The dwarven army hastily formed a battle line as the dark elves rushed across the field assembling their warmachines and preparing for the inevitable charge. In an effort to buy time the dwarven runesmith hit the anvil and a bolt of lighting maimed Jotan's pegasus who kicked his steed as he dismounted disgusted with the prospect of charging across the field on foot.
The harpies screeched as they soared into the air like angels of death intent on feeding on some dwarven crewmen. Covered by the advance of harpies the rest of the dark elf army charged headlong into the dwarves. Bolt throwers rang out killing a few the stout crewmen from the grudge thrower in order to soften them up for the harpies.
The dwarven army went first the only movement coming from the gyrocopter who took cover on the other side of the hill that the shades were hiding behind. I really must of caught the dwarf army by surprise as all his warmachines managed to miss or fail to wound! The anvil amazingly knocked the pegasus out of the sky! I definitely didn't plan for it to get killed first turn!
My army just advanced as fast and as far as they could possibly go, the harpies as always flew the full 20' and waited to see what hoj would target before I made my final choice of where they would cause the most trouble.
Having found their ranges the dwarven artillery let loose with the grudge thrower smashing the chariot and sending bits of wood and crew in various directions. One of the bolt throwers managed to skewer two of the crossbowmen much to the delight of the cold ones pulling the chariot behind them. Who ambled on forward to feast on the corpses disheartening the elves who beat the beasts into submission before it got out of hand.
Aiming high the organ gun managed to shoot all of the harpies out of the sky their bodies crashing into the hard earth to the amusement of both armies. Though the quarrelers tried their best they only managed to knock out a few from their flock of harpies, determined as they were the harpies decided the bolt thrower crew would make a tastier snack and flew behind the dwarf army. The gentle hum of a motor signaled the arrival of the gyrocopter to the dismay of the bolt thrower crew in the center. In an amazing show of agility one of the crewmen dodged being steamed in his light yet ornate armor.
The winds of the aether blew in the favor of the dark elves as the skies darkened above the field. Sameth muttered ancient words of power and pointed at the longbeards who chuckled at his actions, before they knew what was happening their armor began to burn and melt killing five of the dwarves who were no longer laughing.
Again I advance (see a trend going?) one unit of harpies was wiped out the other despite taking ten crossbow bolts managed to survive! better yet they actually managed not to run! The bolt thrower on my far left decided to get into a duel with my left most bolt thrower (constantly not pictured) for some reason and managed to put a wound on the machine. My bolt thrower and shades let loose on his gyrocopter but I failed to do any real damage (maybe one wound got through).
I believe the anvil either malfunctioned and was not able to use it's power this turn or it failed to wound anything. My chariot decided to go stupid and move into the crossbows slowly down the advance slightly. Any other missile fire on my part was largely ineffective as you can tell. Sameth irresistibly cast spirit of the forge on the long beards killing four or five of them.
Screeching overhead the harpies dived into the bolt thrower crew ripping two of them apart but the remaining two crewmen stubbornly held on preferring death over the abandonment of their machine. The steady rhythmic beating of the anvil bolstered the morale of the dwarves but was of no material help when faced an army of elves filled with unending hatred.
The dwarven deities were surely looking over their kin as a disruption of the aether caused Sameth and Nimue to lose focus of their spells almost costing their lives as the magical power leaked from their fingertips. The assassin cursed to himself as the magical trinket around his neck failed to work.
I believe in his turn hoj failed yet again to hit with the bolt thrower on the far left flank. The anvil continued being but for some reason failed to cause any major damage on the dark elves, getting 1-2 hits resulting in no wounds. His blocks stayed in the pefect position waiting to see what units would charge where. It should be noted that the gyrocopter STILL failed to wound the lone crewman at the bolt thrower, i'm not sure why hoj didn't charge the bolt thrower. I guess he was afraid that by some fluke luke it would die, though the combat was stacked in his favor.
At this point I was positioning units for the charge that would make or break me over the next two turns. I knew that his hammerers with a re-rollable leadership of 9 (with stubborn) were going to be hard to hit so I knew I had to keep the chariot a live preparing to cause the most damage in the last two turns.
For me this is this magic phase was one of the focal points of the battle, I was expecting to send a barrage of spells at hoj and then use the cloak of twilight on the assassin to fly onto a warmachine. But alas all plans were for naught when Sameth miscasted ending the magic phase.. i would have rather he take a wound or lose a level... but NO he decided that was enough magic for that phase. It was at this point that I knew i would definitely be in for some hurting...
The dwarves had drawn their battle line and dared the dark elves to charge as they locked shields and prepared themselves for the pending onslaught. The rune smith struck the anvil with such force summoning forth lightning from the heavens striking both the assassin and the quite surprised Nimue into unconsciousness. If that weren't enough the organ gun wheeled and point at the corsairs protecting Sameth, with a deafening boom the regiment lay in bloody smear on the battlefield. With a sneer Sameth decided he had enough of this battle and disappeared in a cloud of smoke leaving the dying corsairs to the vultures.
Jotan led the executioners against the quarrelers who despite their best efforts could not stop the momentum of the dark elves. With practiced ease the executioners cleaved through the dwarven crossbowmen. The assault was too terrifying for the the quarrelers who tried to unsuccessfully flee to the delight of the executioners who scattered the unit.
Flying around the bolt thrower the gyrocopter avoided being hit from all it's bolts, too late the dwarven pilot would realize his folly as a company of shades had taken up positions above a hill expertly shooting down his craft in a volley of black bolts. The crossbow armed warriors decided to single out the crew manning the grudge thrower whose pure volume of bolts pinned the dwarves to their precious machine.
As expected Hoj rang the ancient power killing both Nimue and the Assassin from pulling any tricks out of their sleeves. To make his dominance total in the magic department the organ gun rolled an 8 or 10? killing just about everyone in the corsair regiment with the survivors fleeing.
The crossbowmen on the left flank managed to kill off the grudge thrower crew while the shades busied themselves with taking out the gyrocopter. My luck was holding with the steam gun not doing any damage to the last crewman! but I couldn't count on that forever so I decided to be a bit more proactive.
Jotan and the executioners messed up the quarrelers day depleting just about the whole regiment and running down the rest. I only lost three executioners to crossbow bolts as I went up the field so I was pretty happy that no more died along the way.
The organ gun slowly wheeled to pick out it's new target but before it could fire one of the barrels jammed causing the crew many confused looks. Luckily for the crew they wouldn't have to search for answers, the shades perforated them in a hail of bolts from upon their perch. A torrent of fire was aimed at the longbeards both dark elf crossbow regiments firing their bolt magazines non stop. Any dwarf curious enough to poke his head from behind his shield received a final answer in the form of crossbow diplomacy.
The miners finally showed up the battle intent on flanking the bolt thrower guarding the left flank. The crewmen hastily loaded and let the crank go sending a handful of miners to the grave.
Seeing the confusion that his missile troops were causing on the enemy Goethe and his corsairs charged alongside the chariot. The combat was intense as many dwarves fell the frenzied attacks of the corsairs. To the hammerers credit despite loosing many of their brethren they were determined to fight to the bitter end.
I knew that my dark elves were too fragile to survive combat all on their own so I tried to do the sneaky thing. Deny the dwarves their superior toughness and armor save in combat by shooting at them... A LOT. If I recall correctly the lone harpy that was battling the rightmost bolt thrower either killed the last crewman this turn or last.
Goethe, his corsairs and the chariot charge was quite devastating! despite this the hammerers are stubborn and the battle standard bearer was close by so I really doubted my chances of breaking them. I went into sixth turn wondering what Hoj had up his sleeve, I knew he would use the movement rune from his anvil but I was unsure in what way...
Dwarven horns sounded and the warriors changed formation to look at their flanks, seeing a dark elf noble in their grasp they tried to charge blinded by their rage to punish the evil dark elves. Unfortunately for them Jotan was but a distraction as he managed to get away leaving the warriors open for the executioner counter attack. With finese unknown in the lands of mere men the executioners charged with their draichs spinning intricate death among the dwarves who grimly stayed in the fight despite their casualties.
Knowing their range was beyond that of the dwarves the crossbowmen continued to pepper longbeards, this time even the infamous shades joining in on the slaughter. By the time their ammunition had run out the pile of dead dwarves ran high as the survivors admitted defeat and were slowly pushed back heads hung in shame.
With the sun setting the dwarven miners knew that the battle would soon come to a close and charged into the dark elf crewmen manning the bolt thrower. To their dismay they did not fight levy solders but skilled swordsmen as they failed to land any connecting blows on the dark elves who managed to impale one of the foolish miners for their mistake.
Goethe's intricate armor seemed to glow from the amount of dwarf blood that covered it a smile played out on his lips as he asked "did you get the prisoner?". A bound and beaten miner was thrown at his feet by the shades who knew better than to come any closer to their master. Goethe kicked the miner over onto his back "so my little friend... I hear you know the location of a certain treasure..."
Well that turned out better than I imagined, I questioned Hoj after the game why didn't he charge his warriors into the flank of the corsairs he said that he was afraid the spearmen would just counter charge and see off two units rather than just one. So instead he tried to charge Jotan (failed) and was counter charged by executioners, luckily for him he did not lose combat that would of been quite a blow if the warriors ran!
My crossbowmen along with shades brought the longbeards with attached standard bearer to about 8 or 9 models. For some reason we totally forgot that long beards ignore panic and hoj rolled an 11 running them off the board. We later corrected this mistake and it turned out instead of me ahead 200pts for a draw it was him who was ahead 200 pts in the draw lol.
Always a fun game against Hoj's competitive dwarf army i'm slowly starting to get the hang of the dark elf army in higher point games which has been a recent problem. After this match the dark elf shooting gallery gave me a few ideas on how to bring units under half... an idea that would prove useful in the tournament...