Right I know I was gonna do this 1 a day but life got in the way and these take a surprising amount of time!! However I started this, so I'll finish it.. On to game 3 it was Border War. This game really opened my eyes to how differently people can look at an army list on paper or before a game starts. I drew Dan (forget his last name) an Elven player! One of only a couple at the event. I inwardly rubbed my hands together as I thought this was going to be a breeze.. He had: Archmage on Dragon-Reckless, Quick potion Archmage on foot SeaWarden-General Elven standard bearer Lore Master 20 Spireguard x 2 5 ellyrian reavers x 3 2 bolt throwers. My friend has tried to make Elves work in AOS many times and I have never struggled with it. I massively underestimated this list to the point I didn't even go through my normal pre game routine of going through the first couple of turns in my head and coming up with a plan. But that wasn't the biggest error I made.. Under the table was a stool and after explaining our armies to each other I popped my rippers on the stool out the way.. The battlefield had was pretty sparse, only scenery of note was some trees off centre to the right in Dan's territory and some ruins on the objective on the centre line to my left. Dan deployed his Dragon, Mage, Lore Master centrally behind lines of Spireguard moving towards the flanks. A unit of Reavers on each flank and one centrally.. Bolt throwers behind the trees with the SeaWarden and Standard bearer in the trees also behind the Spireguard. I deployed a Shadowstrike unit of skinks on each flank to move up pre game to take each central objective early on and get some shots off against the Reavers opposing them. Basti front and centre with Kroak behind to Vortex push him in range of the Spireguard. Astrolith, Skink priest and Starseer were placed base line behind Kroak as I didn't wanna lose either to the swift reavers if I didn't cause enough damage or got double turned (good decision this..) Non SS skinks to Kroaks left to run into the ruins and Rippers off the board safely on their stool. I genuinely thought this game would be over turn 2 or 3 so very little thought went into this placement, I was tired from the 2 games before and a little deflated I'd lost to death in a game I could have won if less 5's had been rolled or I'd deployed better.. should have bought myself a cup of tea.. Turn 1: Standard stuff.. Kroak gets a reroll and I choose 6 rerolls for my Starseer, I end up with 7, happy days. Kroak pops up on his Vortex and blows up, pushing Basti in to range of the Spireguard after he moves. Manages to take 6 wounds off the Dragon, kills the Lore Master and Mage on foot and heavily wounds the Warden and Banner Bearer. Only takes off 1 Reaver on the left though and a few Spireguard. Here's where I could have gotten really gamey.. Dan plays his bolt throwers differently to me. Rather than treating the crew as a separate unit (as per the FAQ) he assigns the wounds to the machine. This leave one bolt thrower on 1 wound with 1 crew member and another fully functioning. It's late and I loathe going to an FAQ if I can avoid it. I figure I'm well ahead and Kroak is safe from them as he's on a Vortex with mystic shield and -1 to hit (cast earlier). Plus Dan is super nice and I actually think think his way of using war machines would make them worth their points. So I roll with it. Both objectives on the centre line are taken by the skinks and the central ones move into the ruin hidden from any shots. Basti Moves straight forward. Rippers..... remain on the stool.. I completely forget about them and their Toad.. "You idiot Stimpy!" Skinks bring a second Reaver down and Basti takes off 4 Spireguard with my shooting phase. no one runs from battleshock and my turn ends. I have a feeling something isn't quite right.. What could it be... Dan begins by using his command ability to reroll hits and wounds on one of his bolt throwers (thank goodness I prioritised the Lore Masters death as he would have had 2 bolt throwers doing this, Ouch). Dragon Mystic shields itself and the standard plants itself in the woods. everything other than the bolt throwers and standard move forwards as far as they can. Dan is careful to keep the 2 Spireguard units and 2 of the reavers in range of the standard, the bolt throwers are also in range of it. The Standard gives his units plus 1 to wound in the shooting phase. He had explained this to me, but I wasn't listening, safe in the knowledge I was untouchable.. Turns out I wasn't.. His shooting phase saw skinks reduced to a few on each flank and the Basti reduced to 3 wounds.. Reavers move 2d6 closer after they shoot and engage the remaining skinks. The left side is left with a single skink and the 4 left on the right retreat from combat thanks to wary fighter.. Game turn ends and we are drawing 5 points each.. Turn 2: I have cleverly kept back 2 rerolls to use for the priority, losing this priority is quite a scary prospect at this point in time. It has dawned on me just how many shots Dan's army kicks out and the Dragon is quite literally about to breath down my neck.. I am now also fully aware I have forgotten my RIppers.. T.W.A.T. they would have quite happily engaged the reavers and Spireguard on my left flank, effectively letting the skinks there secure that objective for the rest of the game and reducing the damage my Basti would have taken, as they would of had to of been dealt with. Instead, reavers are all over that point scoring and my poor Basti is in danger of being Dragon breathed off the table.. LIVID. I confidently pick up the dice for priority (I think it's important to expect to win the roll if you need it) and promptly, despite rerolling my dice and making Dan reroll his when mine can't beat him, lose the roll.. I am now fully immersed in the game and appreciate to bring this back will require me paying full attention. Dan's turn 2 starts with his general improving one of the bolt throwers again and the Dragon Mage failing to cast mystic shield as Kroak luckily unbinds it. The standard also gets planted again. Everything other than the reavers on my left objective, standard and bolt throwers move forwards with the reavers on my right flank joining their brethren in the centre, with I presume the intent to take my central objective after the Basti's demise. The sjhooting phase see's my skinks on each flank disappear and Basti thanks to the sup'd up bolt thrower and Dragon breath dies an inglorious death.. This in particular annoys me as I have lost him very carelessly and now an easy score on my central objective is on the cards... 9 Reavers are now in range of Kroak and the second bolt thrower that's moved up to get in range of him. however this wasn't anything to worry about, losing my Basti Carelessly meant Kroak had a 2 up save, -1 to hit and the one time I failed a save. Curse of Fate meant I still passed it. Kroak is safe so we're still in this. As Dan moved on to his combat phase he makes his first mistake. Exultant after the Basti falling over dead he forgets to move his reavers their 2d6 to move on to my objective. He only realises this 10 or so minutes later in my turn and by then the game has moved forwards to much. I'm ok with this because I was chill about his bolt throwers and at the end of the day it's a competitive game, I also had missed this, if I'm honest I probably wouldn't have pointed this out to him.. The reavers and Dragon try to charge the skinks in the ruins but the Dragon falls short (was long charge). Thanks to being in cover only 1 skink loses it's life to the reaver charge and they retreat towards the reavers sitting on the objective on my left, ready to try and reduce their number and hopefully retake the objective. No battleshock loses and it seems even though I've underestimated my opponent and made and error with my Rippers we are still in this.. Dan's turn ends with him being 10-5 up. First things first.. I get my Rippers from under the table and pop them on the side. I will NOT be forgetting them this time. I start with Kroak going nuclear.. This time he manages to finish the bolt throwers, takes a couple of the reavers and Spireguard. Another 4 wounds off the Dragon and leaves the General on a wound. Good Kroak. with Mystic shield and -1 to hit cast on the remaining skinks I'm planning on charging the reavers and outnumbering them to get an objective back. We get fewer rerolls this time as Dan correctly guesses my 2 rerolls (i was very impressed with this guess.. bastard). He uses them to keep his General alive and reduce the amount of wounds the Dragon took by 1. Happy they were quickly used and not kept for priority TBH. Moving phase sees my Rippers finally descend! I place them in front of the Dragon where they can engage him and a unit or reavers threatening my objective. Skinks in the ruins move up to 3 " away from the reavers on my left with the Starseer and Skink priest moving away from the centre to the base line. Shooting sees a reaver take a wound and die but it's combat I'm focused on.. Forgot the quick potion on the Dragon.. Balls. I use remaining reroll to mitigate the damage from the Dragons jaws.. only 1 d6 worth of damage comes through and 2 wounds are lost.. Phew the Rippers are still fighting fit, got lucky here big time. Ripper despite not having a toad to help them do what they do so well.. end things. after the dice are rolled the Dragon and reavers are no more. I breath a sigh of relief.. The skinks have also charged the and survived thanks to Kroak's help. Kill nothing in return but now we have the numbers to score the points, Happy days. Turn ends 10-8 to Dan. Big priority roll this one.. I have no rerolls this time but it doesn't matter.. We win in even though we don't deserve it.. In short we win this turn and deal enough damage with Kroak and the Rippers where Dan isn't able to recover. Kroaks spells nuke the Spire Guard again, kill the General and take a few reavers. The skinks continue to hold their own on the right flank and the Spire Guard on the left flank die to the Rippers. Dan's turn sees him move his Spireguard on to my objective and it ends 14-13 to him but there's 2 turns to go and he has very few bodies on the board. I do win the next priority and mop up the rest of his army. This game taught he a few things and the result wasn't a fair reflection of generalship at all. I simply had a more disgusting army. Anyone who runs Elves and plays well with them deserves much respect. In the future I will not be judging a games outcome by what is on paper against anyone other than Wanderers.. Seriously these guys need some love.. they are so poor... If I was to play this again I would have given it the attention it deserved. My battle plan would have changed somewhat. I could have deployed my Basti on the right flank out of range of the bolt throwers. Kroak would have been the only worthwhile target and I reckon he could have tanked these hits. Massing the Skinks on the other flank would have worked much better than spreading them across the front lines. Remembering my Rippers and hitting his left flank would have secured my left objective for the whole game and drawn the attention of his shooting and perhaps Dragon making my Basti's assault even better. Great game though and I ended the day on a high! to the point where I got drunk and made day 2 much harder than it needed to be... Next instalment much quicker than this one I promise ha! Cheers for reading.