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AoS Vs Dark Elves - "Knife to a gunfight"

Discussion in 'Battle Reports' started by IronLizard, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. IronLizard
    Skink

    IronLizard Member

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    Hi All

    I've just played a 1500pt (my list was 1520, he said his was 1500 exactly) game vs Dark Elves and took a fairly horrendous beating. I took:

    Firelance starhost
    Scarvet on cold one
    3 units of 5 knights (lances)
    Plus:
    Skink starpriest
    2 units of 10 skinks (boltspitters & shields)
    2 units of 5 chameleon skinks
    Bastilidon (solar engine)
    Troglodon

    My opponent brought:
    Some kind of witch on a dragon
    20 executioners
    2 units of 20 crossbows
    2 bolt throwers
    20 guys with halberds (blackguard I think?)

    Deployment was fairly standard; I strung my skinks out as chaff ahead of the firelance who had each of the three units within 8" of the scarvet & starpriest for the buffs, bastilidon anchoring the left end of my line and troglodon anchoring the right. He deployed his dragon witch dead centre with halberds to the left and executioners to the right, a unit of crossbows at either end of his line and both bolt throwers on the extreme left of his line (raised terrain in that corner).

    My plan is to advance my line using the skinks as chaff to set up a charge from my knights with the behemoths trying to collapse the flanks; in retrospect my plan should've been "leave my models in my case and go home".

    My opponent won the initiative roll and gave me the first turn. I had been warned Executioners were the priority to kill, so I popped both units of chameleon skinks up in cover (one in dead centre of table, one to the right centre), both units right on the limit of 16" range for shooting. I then moved my line up, shot at the executioners with all the chameleons and the bastilidon killing 7 guys who then lost another to battleshock.

    My opponents first turn - his warlord has a command ability that lets his executioners immediately charge their full range (i.e. 16") without having to roll and attack in the hero phase; they roll 3 attacks each hitting on 3's and wounding on 4's with 6's being mortal wounds - dead chameleons. That unit then gets to move in the movement phase where it moves up to my line; his dragon flies up to my lines as well, halberds advance toward the other units of chameleons and crossbows move up. Shooting phase is utter carnage - one unit of crossbows kill 3 knights, the other kills 2 knights from a second unit; bolt throwers kill another knight and some skinks; dragon does a breath attack that kills 6 skinks and another knight. Executioners charge and wipe one unit of skinks, dragon charges and wipes the other; halberds get lucky with a long bomb charge and kill the second unit of chameleon skinks. I have swung back in a couple of the combats but the couple of wounds I inflict are saved.

    We then roll for turn two and my opponent gets the initiative; he obviously takes the next turn. Executioners do the hero phase charge/attack again and wipes the remains of a unit of knights (36 attacks hitting on 3's, wounding on 4's, 6's mortal wounds). Move phase the dragon flies over into the gap the executioners just cleared meaning everything barring one unit of knights (3 guys left in that unit) and troglodon are in range of the breath attack which kills another knight and wounds scarvet and starpriest. Everything else shoots at bastilidon, chipping 3 wounds off it. Executioners then charge bastilidon and kill it by cranking out 13 wounds, 4 of which are mortal; I fail 5 saves and bastilidon is gone. His dragon charges my scarvet; I got to swing at his dragon and managed to take a couple of wounds from it, but his dragon then kills scarvet.

    My second turn I look at the table and realise I have my starpriest on 3 wounds who's staring down 12 executioners and the dragon, plus 3 knights and my troglodon on what remains of my right flank facing down 20 halberds, plus he has 2 units of 20 crossbows and the bolt throwers - at that point I conceded.

    So clearly I had a nightmare here, but that double charge and attack (once in hero phase and then again as usual in the charge/fight phase) thing the executioners do seems crazy? Has anyone else had a similar experience? I'll freely admit I'm not a competitive gamer, but I've never looked at the table at the start of my second turn and thought "this is pointless". I guess my question is, what should I have done to counteract this? I think I could've tried to duck and weave a bit more and try to stay away from him, but all of my shooting requires me to be within his charge range with that command ability so I'm not sure how feasible that would've been. Also, his shooting was all longer range and more massed than mine, so I would never win a gunfight against him.

    Thoughts please?!
     
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  2. Crowsfoot
    OldBlood

    Crowsfoot Well-Known Member

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    Gets some rippers and take the shadowstrike,

    Use skinks to bait the executioners into a charge, pop chamo skinks behind them and shoot the hell out of them, use more chamos and rippers to take out the crossbows. Use the basilidon to wound the dragon and then charge it with your knights or better still a Carny.

    Hit and run tactics but it won't be easy.

    Executioners are a brilliant unit
     
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  3. Ritual
    Skink Chief

    Ritual Well-Known Member

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    I concur... Shadowstrike is just about all we have going for us in a lot of situations... We really need some attention... Please GW... Love us...
     
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  4. Crowsfoot
    OldBlood

    Crowsfoot Well-Known Member

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    No chance, mixed order army is the only way
     
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  5. TheSkeptic
    Saurus

    TheSkeptic Member

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    Doubt we'll be seeing any attention for a while, at the very least until after 40k 8th edition settles down somewhat. Feels like they're pushing way to hard for a mixed order army in the meantime. I also find it annoying that the Shadowstrike is our only really strong formation right now.
     
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  6. Seraphage
    Troglodon

    Seraphage Well-Known Member

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    I think you should try again with the same list. You did not get crushed accidentally. You just lacked the knowledge of your opponents' army which unfortunately is more than 50% of what matters in order to win. I remember my 1st time I faced the meteor strike list from Sigmarines. He did tell me before hand that the units come down "have to be within 6" of my prosecutors or however they are called" but I failed to realise the lack of the word "whole" and thus ending up getting charged by 440p of dominance losing 900p army in his 1st activation.
    It wasn't inbalance though. It was me not having a clue what I was facing in order to place my army accordingly.

    Now you know how his army works. Try again with different placement !
     
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  7. IronLizard
    Skink

    IronLizard Member

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    Thanks for the comments all; a lot of valid insights in there for me to think about.

    I'm still struggling to think what I could've done differently to be honest; the bulk of the shooting in my list is ranged at 16" and he gets to pick a unit to auto charge 16" in each hero phase, so short of getting the double turn it seems any skink within shooting range is as good as dead the next turn. Also, at my store we play on 4' square tables, so trying to spread out to prevent him getting two charges off per turn is limited, especially as I need my knights within 8" of scarvet and starpriest to get buffs. Finally, I'm not blaming the double turn as I really like it as a concept, but him getting the double turn meant his executioners got to fight 4 times effectively uncontested, which was horrific considering the amount of mortal wounds they churn out and the heaps of saves I was having to make.

    On a positive note, my ripperdactyls turned up in the mail today :D
     
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  8. Seraphage
    Troglodon

    Seraphage Well-Known Member

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    I'd try to hardly move at all, give him priority 1st turn if possible, if not , literally stay almost still. Use the 2 skinks as chaff like you did, but try to spread them a bit in order to have him to spread out his unit or hit with less models.
    I would hold the chameleon skinks for after his dangerous units are away and go hit his artillery preferably or some of his crossbows. Then, keep Carno near all 3 units of knights for that awesome bloodroar ability that gives in a 8" bubble the D3 models flee chance. Always remeber our banners' ability. It doesnt sound as great as other, but it can really be useful + if your units are close enough, when an opponent near 2 of our units takes a battleshock it gets affected by BOTH banners resulting to a +2 to his roll. Keep your Troglodon close and he has an AUTOMATIC +3 to his battleshocK !

    **Our ability says add one to the RESULT, NOT the Dice Roll which means that it may actually doesn't even mean that it is added to the roll for the Bloodroar ability

    Use starpriest's starlight on one of the units that will definitely get charged. Don't forget : EVERYTHING on the opponent side targetting it will be having -1 in ALL of the phases. Besides the fact that it deminishes the damage done due to all these attacks getting -1, he can NO LONGER mortal wound you on 6 because he will be simply rolling 5 on his 6s due to the -1 !

    Last but definitely not list : Trust your Bastiladon my man. I've done the mistake in the past trying to "protect him" because he was too valuable and not letting him draw that much fire. Well that's what this awesome dude does. He can literally absorb up to 23 wounds and still get 1 left to fight back without having any luck at all *well not bad luck either but still*. He tanked the Maw Crusha 2 turns once without even having starlight on him. Trust your bastiladon !
     
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  9. IronLizard
    Skink

    IronLizard Member

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    Starlight is a good shout, I hadn't thought about using it to take away his ability to roll any 6's thus blunting the mortal wounds issue.

    I thought the bastilidon would be a tank, but 12 executioners deleted it in one round of combat, so possibly not the tank I thought it was; if anything I would be more inclined to hide him away after this game!

    Also, my plan was stacking up the banners from the three units of knights, but I never even got a chance to swing in the majority of the combats, so I never forced a battleshock test barring the one I forced from my first round of shooting.
     
  10. Killer Angel
    Skink Chief

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    Another thought here.
    Never played against them, but reading you report it seems that the real problem are not the executioners by themselves, but the command ability of the warlord. That should be your first priorioty kill.
    Once he's down, you'll have to face a "usual" elite unit.

    EDIT: by fluff, one of the sworn enemies of Dark elves are High elves. Bring Teclis as support and cripple all the executioners' movement.
     
  11. TheSkeptic
    Saurus

    TheSkeptic Member

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    The Bastiladon's not a bad tank normally, but he really shines with a bit of buffing. Put a mystic shield on him, so he's got a 2+ save, then use a skink priests priestly rites or whatever, and now he's got a 2+ rerollable that can't be affected by rend, and has a 50% chance to ignore mortal wounds, which is about as good as it gets.
     
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  12. Padre
    Chameleon Skink

    Padre Well-Known Member

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    What was his general? With a command ability that powerful, I'd want to see it in print. Not because I don't believe that is what it does, but because I've seen a lot of people misread what their units do. I had one of my regular opponents tell me that his ogres had an ability that caused me to lose half a thirty man unit on a battleshock test and when we checked it, he was remembering the wrong banner ability.
     
  13. IronLizard
    Skink

    IronLizard Member

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    It was a sorceress on a dragon, I don't know if it was a named character? I didn't question it as he's a very experienced player, but perhaps looking at it more closely might've been a good idea. I've played 40k against him a couple of times and he does like to build super-aggro lists and us very good at finding synergies etc, so I suspect I probably just bit off more than I could chew by agreeing to play him!
     
  14. Padre
    Chameleon Skink

    Padre Well-Known Member

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    Ok. I found it. He is running a Thrall Warhost. He's not playing it right, though if it's what you described. "At the beginning of the game, pick one Sorceress in the battalion to be Cohen's master. In your hero phase, pick one unit that is within 12" of an enemy unit and within 18" of the coven master. That unit may charge as if it were the charge phase, then pile in and attack as if it were the combat phase. This does not stop them from charging, piling in, and attacking later in the turn." Grand Alliance: Order p.243.

    In other words, it's not a 16" move, then fight. It's a regular charge and has to be in 12" of you. Much easier to deal with. If you were just inside of 16", he couldn't get to you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
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  15. Killer Angel
    Skink Chief

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    Found it? Sort of...

    Ebondrake Warhost
    A Dreadlord on Black Dragon, 2-3 units of Drakespawn Knights, 1-2 units of Drakespawn Chariots, 1-3 units of War Hydras.

    "Once per battle, in any of your hero phases, the warhost's Dreadlord can let loose his hatred in a chilling howl. When he does so, every unit in his warhost that is within 8" of him and within 12" of at least one enemy unit can immediately attempt to charge as if it were the charge phase."

    anyway, it's still an attempt, and they have to roll for the charge.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
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  16. Padre
    Chameleon Skink

    Padre Well-Known Member

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    I think the Thrall Warhost is a better match. 1-6 Sorceresses (can be on a dragon), 1 Black Guard, 1 Executioner, 3-6 Dreadspears, Bleakswords, or Darkshards.
     
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  17. Killer Angel
    Skink Chief

    Killer Angel Well-Known Member

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    It seems so.
    Do you have the reference of the rules of the battalion?
     
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  18. IronLizard
    Skink

    IronLizard Member

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    I think it was this he was playing, and if I'm generous he got it wrong, though I suspect it wasn't a mistake - having spoken to others he's pulled shenanigans in the past. Either way I shan't be playing him again.
     
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  19. Padre
    Chameleon Skink

    Padre Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I say play him again. But make him show you _everything_ in the rule book before you let him do it. And bring your Order book to double check it. Show everyone in the store that he is misplaying his army. Make him refuse to play you again. :)
     
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  20. Padre
    Chameleon Skink

    Padre Well-Known Member

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    See my post a couple above yours.
     

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