Author Topic: Vlachold vs High Elves: Ticking Clock, 2000 pts  (Read 742 times)

Hannibal

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Vlachold vs High Elves: Ticking Clock, 2000 pts
« on: April 04, 2013, 01:49:07 AM »
Although we've already played a pair of High Elves vs Vlachold games, I felt that they weren't good indicators of what a typical matchup would be, so we set up another game.  The mission was Ticking Clock on Map 5D.

High Elf build:  3 Battle Squads, 2 Elder Blade Swordsmen, 1 Elder Blade Rangers, 1 HE Knights

Vlachold build:  2 Voynik Swordsmen, 2 Voynik Spearmen, 2 Voynik Thralls, 2 Voivoide Knights

Units for reference:

Voynik Swordsmen - Core - 195 pts
O:(5)5/5  D:2/2  Rge:-  Cge: 12  Mv: 3.5"  3G/5Y/2R
The Voynich are free peasants who own their lands.  As part of their emancipation, they serve as levied soldiers defending their home.

Voynik Spearmen - Core - 217 pts
O:(6*)5*/5*  D:2/2  Rge:-  Cge: 12  Mv: 3.5"  3G/5Y/2R
O:(-1) -0/-0 when charging. O:(+0) +1/+0 vs. cavalry or large units. O:(+0) +0/+2 when holding vs. charging cavalry or large.
Although only commoners, a lifetime of battle has honed them into able warriors.

Voynik Thralls - Standard - 144 pts
O:(5)4/5  D:2/2  Rge:-  Cge: 10*  Mv: 3.5"  3G/2Y/5R
+3 Cge if within Drain range of a non-routing unit with Drain.
When faced with madness, one either is consumed by it or embraces it.

Voivoide Knights - Elite - 436 pts
O:(6)6/5*  D:3*/3  Rge:-  Cge: 11  Mv: 6"  3G/2Y/2R
Cavalry. O:(+0)+0/+2 and D:+1/+0 when charging.  Drain: 6" range.  Blood Powers:  Blood is Life, Inhuman Frenzy, Unholy Aura.  (Note: they have 3 Blood Point boxes)
The 'Great Princes' are the mightiest  of their kind, and their hunger for the souls of mortals the greatest as well.

We decided to try out the modified Unholy Aura power.  For 1 Blood Point a Tepes Lord or Voivoide Knight unit would become fearsome and force a check on any enemy unit within 3.5" (measure from the unit's front center point to the Tepes Lord/Voivoide Knight's front center point).

Also, we tweaked the Desperation card to make it:
Desperation:  Play during during an engaged attack against a non-routing unit, before you roll to hit.  Your unit gets ?O: (+3)+0/+1 this attack.  If it is still engaged at the end of the current Phase it takes a point of damage.  This can cause rout checks.


Deployment


Vlachold (it's easier to describe it vertically):
Left pillar:  Spearmen (in front of) Thralls (in front of) Voivoide Knights.
Middle T:  Swordsmen & Swordsmen (in front of) Voivoide Knights (in front of) Thralls
Right:  Voynik Spearmen

High Elves (L-> R):  Battles Squad & Battle Squad in front of a Battle Squad, EB Swordsmen, EB Swordsmen, [gap], Knights in front of EB Rangers


Redeployment


I had the zero-turn, which I used to load up on Blood Points.  One of my Thralls units Disrupted right there and would sit out most of the action.  The rest of my army moved into position, using the superior speed of my Voivoide Knights to get the matchups I wanted.

His plan was much simpler:  run up and stab me.


Closing In

(Damn fluorescent lights  >:()

The High Elves try to get their Knights on my Knights, but I change the orders of my Spearmen and Swordsmen on the flank to change positions.  Now instead of holding the right flank, the Spearmen would come inside to stand against his Knights.

Elsewhere, I lined up my Voivoide Knights and prepared for some violence.  

(The red die in the lake was supposed to be the turn die, but you can ignore it.  We lost track of turns and had to go back through the digital camera to figure it out.  Suffice to say we got it right, but the die isn't correct until very late in the game, so ignore it).


First Blood


His Battle Squad and Elder Balde Swordsmen charge my Voyniks.  In the center, the Elder Blade Swordsmen and Voynik Spearmen combine to throw 14 dice and do 1 pt between the two of them.  But on the left, his Battle Squad with its 4 dice?  Yeah he does 3 wounds.  Could be a short game right here, but I pass.


Charge of the Voivoide Knights


Both of my Voivoide Knights smash into the High Elves.  On the left, I figure the Knights won't be slugging it out with the Battle squad and so the +2 dice are more helpful than healing.  I top it off by playing the new Desperation, rolling a total of 13 dice.  Scott doesn't play a card, opting to use Roll with the Blow on the theory that I'd roll a number of 3s (or 5s on the to-wound) with 13 dice.  He manages to roll 3 wounds, making his rout check a more manageable Yellow check (which he passes).  Since there was no way the HEs would be gone, I took a point automatically.

The yellow dice on the HE cards are fear checks.  I erased the last Blood Point on the Knights there to use Unholy Aura.  All 3 units passed their checks.

On the right, the other Voivoide Knights charged and after cards, I ended up doing 3 points of damage.  Here I opted to save the Blood Points for healing as i figured this would be a long fight.  His attacks went better and he did 3 points, but I managed to roll them to zero points.


Charge of the High Elf Knights


Seeing no better options, the HE Knights charge the Holding Voynik Spearmen.  Out comes to Parry card and I sadly lack a good card in response.  The Spearmen do 2 pts, not enough for a check, and take 3 points in return.  The Voyniks blow the rout check and are cut down by the Free Strikes. Things are looking quite grim for the Vlachold.

On the left, the Battle Squad fighting the Voivoide Knights play Subtle Mastery meaning they'll definitely do 1 pt and force a rout check this turn.  I play Fatalism in response, auto-passing the check.  The Knights manage to do 1 pt despite Mettle but the Battle Squad pass their check.


Vlachold Collapse


On the High Elves' next turn, the HE Knights pinch the Voivoide Knights, who pass their pinch check but are cut down from the weight of attacks.  The Voivoide Knights manage to put the HE Knights in the Yellow and they promptly fail their rout check, going to Disrupted.

To their left, the Voynik Swordsmen are ground down into the Red and fail their rout check as well.  The HE Swordsmen cut down the Voyniks in the Free Strikes, leaving a giant gaping hole in the center of the line.

On the left, the Voynik Spearmen are being humiliated by the Battle Squad, but manage to pass every check they are forced to take.  The Voivoide Knights on the left kill off the Battle Squad they are facing but the back up squad steps forward to keep the Voivoide Knights pinned down.


Charge of the Thralls!


On the right the plucky Thralls charge the Disrupted Knights, forcing a Red check but the Knights pass their check thanks to Oathbound.  At this point, I'm just trying to score as many points as I can before I get beat down.


Mopping Up


The High Elves pinch left and right, and the Vlachold simply vanish.  On the left, the Voynik Swordsmen are slapped silly by the Battle Squad.  To their right, the Voivoide Knights are pinched and destroyed in combat.  On the right, the Thralls fail their pinch check and are destroyed in Free Strikes.  On the far right, the Voynik Swordsmen are destroyed by the Elder Blade Rangers.

At this point, it's my turn 6 and all I have left on the table is one Disrupted Voynik Thralls.


Endgame


My Thralls go on a suicide run against the High Elf Swordsmen which ends in them getting pinched, routed, and cut down.  In retrospect, I might have done enough damage to force a 4-2, but when you're tabled you lose 5-1.  Either way, it was a butt kicking.


Post Game Wrapup:  In retrospect, I'm not really sure I did anything wrong.  I mean, the only thing I would change is to not roll a 16 on that courage check with the Voynik Spearmen vs the High Elf Knights.   ;)

The big thing is that Scott never failed a rout check and he managed to blunt my Voivoide Knights, bogging them down until he could flank them.  In the end, his bend-don't-break strategy worked in part due to luck (not failing any checks) and in part due to very good card discipline (he reserved cards for that nasty charge turn).


Vlachold Thoughts:

--Voivoide Knights:  At this point, I'm ready to declare the Voivoide Knights as fine.  They're a good unit without being broken.  The issue with the Knights wasn't actually their statline, it was the powers surrounding them, which I'll go through individually next.

--Blood Powers:  with the change to Blood Powers, being a fixed pool that you replenish on a 1:1 by damaging your guys, there's a couple of things that bring them in line.  First, requiring 3 boxes to heal 1 Voivoide Knight box feels about right.  That's a very steep price.  It's one you'll ultimately pay, but its not something where you can't whittle the Knights down.

Second, by making it a flat pool from which you erase points, the result is that a player basically has to choose whether to use Inhuman frenzy or Blood is Life.  Either extra dice or a heal.  You simply don't have the boxes for both.  I like that because it fixes the frustration some folks had with them being able to do both.  Even if it did cost 5 damage boxes to do both, it was unfun to see them heal and get +2 dice.  Now you have to choose between healing or going on the offensive, which was always the idea.


--Drain:  The 1:1 damage is definitely the winner.  Its elegant and simple.

One thing I'm going to put back in is having vampires replenish Blood Points when they make Free Strikes.  That just feels cool.  It will need to be a separate special rule to help people remember.  I thinking of keeping it simple:  if this unit makes Free Strikes against a routing unit, it gains 1 Blood Point.


--Desperation:  I returned it to a Red card and played it on the Voivoide Knights, along with Inhuman Frenzy.  It's freaking scary thing to see the guy roll 16 dice, but the drawback to it is nasty.  If you don't wipe the guy out, you take an automatic point.  This is a pretty big drawback for a faction with a bunch of Cge 11 vampires.  I think this very much balances the card.


--Unholy Aura:  I like it.  I used it twice in this game and although he passed all six checks he had to take (::)), it felt like a good power to have.  Because while the D:3/3 Voivoide Knights don't really need the Fearsome bonus, and spending 1 blood point on fearsome is great for them, it can actually really help the guys around him.  Essentially, the Unholy Aura becomes a protective bubble for his flank protectors, and in that it serves a very good role.  This is because anyone who plays the Vlachold enough will quickly figure out to contain the Big Bad and then pinch him after you destroy the Voyniks around him.  So a power that help protect his minions actually synergizes well to somewhat cover their weakness.  Not totally, but enough that the Vlachold have a fighting chance.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 01:00:24 PM by Hannibal »