Author Topic: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare  (Read 1423 times)

Kevin

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Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« on: October 31, 2017, 04:57:44 PM »
Blakely and I were deciding what to play.  When I casually mentioned that I'd never actually played the Dark Elves myself (Jaime wouldn't let me.  :) ), Blakely suggested I take them for a spin.  I spotted her the usual 100 points.  We played the usual:  2000, Terrain, Total Warfare, Championship rules.






Set Up and Strategy

Dwarves, left to right:  Militia, Hammermen, Healer Mages behind Spearmen, Longbeards, Spearmen, Battleaxemen, Militia

A solid infantry line, heavy in the center with Longbeards' flanks protected by hardy, 2/3 units and a Healer Mage to prevent ranged attacks from hurting too much.

Dark Elves, left to right:  Coven, Halfblood Levies behind Lowblood Levies, Highblood Duskblades, Lashmistress, Standard Bearers, Standard Bearers, Halfblood Leavies. 

Not sure if I had a great plan, but I figured I'd put a Lashmistress on the high ground and wreak havoc...I hoped.  Not surprised, but not happy, when the Longbeards came down opposite her.




Opening Cheese


My army was Holding on objectives, other than the Halfblood Levies on the far right.  Meanwhile, smelling blood, Blakely sprinted her Longbeards--a wasted CA when facing a Lashmistress.  I lashed the Longbeards to within final rush range.  Blakely took Direct Control and had the Longbeards not move at all--but made the mistake if leaving it within 3.5" of the Lashmistress rather than backing it up a bit.  While she'd calculated that her units would advance far enough ahead to protect its flanks, she didn't count on me "tilting" the Lashmistress.  Now the Longbeards have to fight uphill (though even at a 4/1 defense I'll lose a one-on-one fight), but their "butt" is blocking the Spearmen from protecting their flank and there's nothing Blakely can do to stop a pinch on my next turn...except hope for a lucky Lashmistress rout.





First Rout, First Pinch

Left to right:

Miltia get the Rune of Uruz.  Even fighting uphill and needing 1s, 6 dice each turn will do the trick eventually.  2-3 turns of combat later and my Coven blow a rout check...but escape with no damage.  Ironically, this rout was probably a good thing in the long run.

I move my Lowbloods and Halfbloods forward.  Lowbloods are doomed, but with luck I can wipe out the Longbeards and pinch the Spearmen before they kill the Halfblood Levies.

Longbeards are pinched by the Highblood Duskblades with an unanswered Force card and they get mauled just into the red, likely to pop next turn.

Both Standard Bearers were just outside 3.5", so those mismatches are delayed, but my Halfblood Levies get lots of red card love, as I'm hoping to kill the Militia quickly and pinch.





Pinches and Pain

Left to right:

I let the routing Coven run.  They're current under the tape measure, as they were near the table edge.

I feel like an idiot for not saving points and buying Slave Warriors, as my Lowblood Levies are pinched and explode on damage.

I have another sad as Blakely's dice go hot and my Halfblood Levies are put into the red on the charge turn...then blow their rout check by 1 and are one-shotted.  Worthless cowards, could've been Slaves for all the good they did.  >:(

The middle is looking prettier, though.  My Highblood Duskblades don't get a pinch, but they do get a flank, on the Dwarf Spearmen.  I should be able to win this one, though it'll take a little while.  They start getting lots of red card love.  Happy that the Healer Mages can't counter-pinch right away.

Standard Bearers hold fast when they go into the yellow (Yay C14) and the Lashmistress pinches.  Lashmistress is kind of wasted as a regular melee fighter, but you can't say no to a pinch!

On the far right, it's a question of which outmatched unit will fall first--the Standard Bearers or the Militia.  Advantage me, though, as the Battleaxemen are in the Halfblood Levies' front arc, but not vice-versa.






Too Slow

Left to right:

Blakely rues the slowness of her Dwarf arny, as her victorious Dwarves on the left start to slowly plod forward in the hope of eventually finding new victims.

Highblood Duskblades are getting the better of the flanked Dwarved Spearmen--my dice helped--but the Dwarves are hanging on.  If only help could arrive sooner!

Dwarf Spearmen go down to the pinch.

The Dwarf Militia run away with one red box left after free attacks!  (Blakely had 4 rout checks that turn.  Ironically she made both of the ones that had no help, and blew one of the two rune-assisted checks.)  Battleaxemen are pinched, mauled into the red, rout and pop.



White Flag

Dwarves on the left plod slowly forward.  I'm planning to rally the Coven and make a total pest of it.

Highblood Duskblades finish off the Dwarf Spearmen, all of whom fall facing forward (well, sideways).

Blakely conceded the game at this point.  My turn was coming up, and I'd be lashing the Healer Mages into the Highblood Duskblades, then killing the Militia with one shot.  At that point the battle would be six-on-two--hopeless odds even though her two units would be essentially pristine.


---------------------

Victory to the Dark Elves!

As we discussed afterward, the game was effectively over (barring a miracle) once I set up that Longbeard pinch.  Had Blakely spotted the danger kept the Longbeards further back and let the game be a straight grind-fest, I'd have almost certainly lost.  I also feel like I got lousy use out of the Coven.  I used Witching Hour a couple of times, but then they turned into slighlly-less-good light cavalry.  Though they'd have been a royal pain in the ass had we played on.

Heroes of the Game

Dark Elves:  The Lashmistress of course.  She caused that fatal pinch of the Longbeards, pinched another excellent Dwarf unit out of existence, and would've totally owned the end game.

Dwarves:  I'll give it to Spearmen who one-shotted my Halfblood Levies, then held on a pretty long time vs. my flanking Highblood Duskblades.  If only help were nearer by. Honorable mention to the Militia who routed Coven on the high ground while taking zero damage back.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 05:55:15 PM by Kevin »
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

RushAss

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 11:02:58 AM »
Nice report!  I never like seeing Dark Elves as a dwarven player, even with hills.  Good use of the Lashmistress really helped win the center.  This is a classic example of Dwarves being hurt by theri slower speed near the endgame.  While it didn't mean much here, it's also a classic case of being helped out by a failed rout where the Coven was concerned.
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gornhorror

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 11:23:21 AM »
Is Blakely becoming like Tim?  Dwarves with Healer Mages?  Sheesh......

Anyhoo, thanks for posting this Kevin.....good read.

You and Blakely were missed at Council.

I also think that the Lashmistress ability is still broken, even though it was nerfed.  I would make a way to negate being pulled forward, if you could redo the ability.

Perhaps, a point of damage to stop it? or have the affected unit have an automatic close order on the last mistress for the next turn, unless a command action is used to change the orders...

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GoIndy

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 12:33:40 PM »
1)  I've resigned that I'll go to my grave not understanding how that unit was priced.
2)  Healer mages with dwarves is just pure genius.  (Healer mages with <whatever> is pretty genius)
3)  The fact that lash mistress can make a unit go warp 11 is kind of funny.  What I mean is, the unit goes it's full distance, and then they get smashed in the face so they come towards the whip at double speed.  I should be able to make all my guys go double speed if thats how it works.
4)  Dwarves routing even with the courage boosters.....that has happened so many times to so many different people it's funny.  (Maybe not funny to the person it is happening to)

gornhorror

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2017, 01:16:30 PM »
Quote
4)  Dwarves routing even with the courage boosters.....that has happened so many times to so many different people it's funny.  (Maybe not funny to the person it is happening to)
Quote


With their numerous stackable courage cards, I find it absolutely hilarious when Dwarves rout...... ;D
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RushAss

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 01:44:51 PM »
Brook laughs a lot when we play
"We are young wandering the face of the Earth
Wondering what our dreams might be worth
Learning that we're only immortal for a limited time"
-Rush, Dreamline

Kevin

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2017, 03:11:27 PM »
Thanks, guys!

In theory Dwarf courage cards are stackable; in practice even with 10 cards you can run out.  Blakely had to make 4 rout checks that turn and had 2 courage-boosters.  Double-stacking them and leaving 3 units with nothing would've been highly unusual.

Worth noting that in this game we used the "Championship" price of 325 rather than 313 for the LM, but that didn't really matter.  At 313 one of my Standard Bearers would've had an irrelevant Pain Touch.

One subtle thing that helped me is the convex arc formation.  On the right, it meant my Halfblood Levies could pinch the turn after they broke through but didn't have to fear the same.  In the center, it meant my Duskblades would both pinch and get their flank protected from a counter-pinch.

My feeling is that the Lashmistress is fairly balanced ...IF the opponent knows how it works and exactly what to be on guard for.  But if someone isn't fully up to speed on what the LM can do it gets seriously ugly.  That said, I recall at the 2nd Championship Tournament Seth (who won with Dark Elves) would take 3 Lashmistresses vs. Ravenwood stand-and-shoot which had been the Dark Elves' Achilles Heel and go through it like butter.  That's the one time I ever saw 3 of those on the map and I'd be curious to see that more often before definitely declaring it balanced or not.

« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 03:47:45 PM by Kevin »
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

gornhorror

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2017, 03:58:29 PM »
Quote
In theory Dwarf courage cards are stackable; in practice even with 10 cards you can run out.  Blakely had to make 4 rout checks that turn and had 2 courage-boosters.  Double-stacking them and leaving 3 units with nothing would've been highly unusual.
Quote

They still got more courage help than most factions....so I don't feel sorry for them when they run away with their short stumpy legs...

I feel like Blakely is a traitor.....she used to play High Elves......:( (just kidding)


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Kevin

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2017, 04:53:56 PM »
Hey, the first two times she played in a tournament (once as a "substitute," then as a real player) she played Dwarves.  Including this time in 2014 when she scared Marcus silly:D
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

gornhorror

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2017, 08:09:15 AM »
Hey, the first two times she played in a tournament (once as a "substitute," then as a real player) she played Dwarves.  Including this time in 2014 when she scared Marcus silly:D

Oh, so she's been the enemy from the beginning? :)
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gornhorror

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 08:20:49 AM »
Quote
In theory Dwarf courage cards are stackable; in practice even with 10 cards you can run out.  Blakely had to make 4 rout checks that turn and had 2 courage-boosters.  Double-stacking them and leaving 3 units with nothing would've been highly unusual.
Quote

We'll it must be nice to worry about running out of courage cards as opposed to hoping to draw one when you need it during the course of a game.

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RushAss

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2017, 09:33:23 AM »
We'll it must be nice to worry about running out of courage cards as opposed to hoping to draw one when you need it during the course of a game.

A big reason I played Wuxing at Council right there  ;D

And yes to everything Kevin said about the convex formation.  It's tougher to get away with against factions with a lot of zippy units, but it's ideal against Dwarves.

Yeah, Blakely played a really solid game against my Umenzi that year.  I recall I made a small movement blunder and she almost made me pay for it dearly.  I love Dwarves, I love Umenzi.  So many dead on the field that day.  It was... horrible...
"We are young wandering the face of the Earth
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Learning that we're only immortal for a limited time"
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gornhorror

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 12:47:07 PM »
Quote
A big reason I played Wuxing at Council right there  ;D
Quote

Well, Wuxing is like the Undead in that regard.  If you don't want to have to make rout checks play either of those factions.  I'm talking about factions that need to make rout checks. For example, every rout check you take with High Elves is mission critical because of the quality and number of units.  Having such a shitty, non-reactive courage card like Oathbound makes no sense to me in that faction.  Put that card in a faction that also has an array of cheaper units that it's not totally horrendous when one of them fails a rout check and dies... Like the historicals, umenzi and dark elves, to name a few.


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sullivus

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2017, 04:16:10 PM »
My feeling is that the Lashmistress is fairly balanced ...IF the opponent knows how it works and exactly what to be on guard for.  But if someone isn't fully up to speed on what the LM can do it gets seriously ugly.  That said, I recall at the 2nd Championship Tournament Seth (who won with Dark Elves) would take 3 Lashmistresses vs. Ravenwood stand-and-shoot which had been the Dark Elves' Achilles Heel and go through it like butter.  That's the one time I ever saw 3 of those on the map and I'd be curious to see that more often before definitely declaring it balanced or not.

Yes, that was a painful example of how bad the Lashmistress was.  Other than that one teeny tiny move I feel like I win.

Also, both Dwarves and High Elves are great.  Except that Dwarves suck in the end game if you need to try to get your units moving to fights on 10 inches away while High Elves are amazing at that point.  What we need is some type of combo Dwarf / High Elf army.......

Hannibal

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Re: Dark Elves - Dwarves 2000 Terrain, Total Warfare
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2017, 12:52:30 PM »
Wow, this report is awesome!  It shows off so many little aspects of the game. 

This is a classic example of Dwarves being hurt by theri slower speed near the endgame. 

This is why I keep talking to you about including some amount of speed in the Dwarven list.  When I play them I feel like I have to include Antonians in order to be able to capitalize on their victories.  And that is a steep tax to pay (and also makes army building very monotonous).

Their immobility is something Chad & co recognized and tried to rectify with Sprint, but even in it's errata'd form I feel it falls flat.  I'd like to see some form of "Forced March" to replace sprint.  Something like "Spend a CA to mark the Forced March box.  While it is marked the unit gets +1 MC when it suffers an MC penalty from Maneuvers.  If unengaged you may mark 1 damage box and erase the Forced March box after Final Rush movement to make the unit MC 5" this turn."


I also think that the Lashmistress ability is still broken, even though it was nerfed.  I would make a way to negate being pulled forward, if you could redo the ability.

Perhaps, a point of damage to stop it? or have the affected unit have an automatic close order on the last mistress for the next turn, unless a command action is used to change the orders...

If you make it optional, then you might as well take the ability away.  Because I will absolutely take a point of damage or spend a CA to not have my unit pinched. 

That being said, the way they work right now is terrible and Lashmistresses (as they are currently written) are near the top of my Burn List.  I think having out-of-turn movement like that is simply poor execution and can feel frustrating because the opposing player can do almost nothing about it.  When they get redone I think a more elegant solution is to give the opposing unit an "Auto-close w/Lashmistresses as target" on the next turn.  I'm up in the air about letting the person spend 3 CAs to control the unit.


1)  I've resigned that I'll go to my grave not understanding how that unit was priced.
2)  Healer mages with dwarves is just pure genius.  (Healer mages with <whatever> is pretty genius)

I actually think that Healer Mages are a trap unit.  Maybe in long drawn out Total Warfare games they're worth it, but in most cases I'd rather have the 200pts on my line.  For example, in this case Blakely could have dropped them and a few other things for Antonians, which would have been much more useful I think.  For example if she turns the Battleaxemen & one of the Spearmen into regular Axemen, then she has points to turn the Healer Mages into Antonians.


In theory Dwarf courage cards are stackable; in practice even with 10 cards you can run out.  Blakely had to make 4 rout checks that turn and had 2 courage-boosters.  Double-stacking them and leaving 3 units with nothing would've been highly unusual.

Yeah and the returns for double stacking are really not worth it.  One card boosts a Cge 12 Yellow check from 63% to 90% chance of passing.  Double stacking boosts that one unit to 99% pass, for sure, but you're better off boosting two units to only failing 1 time in 10.

And hey, sometimes you whiff on both.  It's a dice game, and stuff like that happens.  Blakely absolutely played it right and shouldn't second guess herself there.


Quote
One subtle thing that helped me is the convex arc formation.  On the right, it meant my Halfblood Levies could pinch the turn after they broke through but didn't have to fear the same.  In the center, it meant my Duskblades would both pinch and get their flank protected from a counter-pinch.

The other thing that this game showed is the shenanigans you can pull off with units on Hold w/objective.  That extra turn of maneuvering (and in fact, being able to maneuver at all once you hit your objective) is like an extra CA (or two!) for each one of those units.  Kevin demonstrated how much better it is to do that than get the Charge bonus for being on Close.  A free turn or two to maneuver so you can A) get the pinch bonus and/or B) deny him the pinch bonus for at least is way better than 2 measly dice.  Kudos to you, sir.