Author Topic: Greeks vs Dark Elves: Ticking Clock, 2000 pts  (Read 698 times)

Hannibal

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Greeks vs Dark Elves: Ticking Clock, 2000 pts
« on: January 05, 2014, 03:07:43 AM »
For second game of the night (catch the first one here), we decided to go with a matchup that was bad for the Greeks:  Dark Elves.  Flying units and Lashmmistresses on Ponderous units?  No bueno por los Griegos.

After vetoing scenarios, we arrived at Ticking Clock on Map 6E.  The terrain had some advantages, namely that the giant honking forest in the center would block any Lashmistresses from pulling my units every which way across the board.  But the downside was that there was a giant honking forest in the middle of the board.  Phalanxes tend not to like giant honking forests.  Still, worst case, I have to give up an attack die and an impact hit.  Not ideal (obviously, Corey ::)), but a phalanx in a forest was still a spear unit with 6 Green boxes.  So if I had to go in, I would.

Dark Elves:  2 Slavetakers, 2 Highblood Blades, 1 Lashmistresses, 1 Dusk Lances, 1 Pureblood Coven, Premeditation 4.

Greeks:  4 Helots, 2 Bithnyian Peltasts, 1 Boeotian Cavalry, 2 Spartiates, 2 Theban Sacred Band.

Yes...I took zero phalanxes for my Core choices and loaded up entirely on the good stuff.   ;D  With the Sixth Draft, we moved Helots to the Core selection and one of the things this let players do was fill their Core choices with incredibly cheap options.  This opened up the chance for a player to do exactly what I did.  So I wanted to see if it was broken.  After all, Hawkshold can do the same thing.  As can Undead, Dark Elves, and Umenzi, just to name a few.

The other thing I did was to take the peltasts purely to minimize the Lashmistresses.  I was really leery of having to expend the CAs to keep my units from getting pulled out of position.


Greek units for reference: 

Helots – Core- 81 pts
O:(5)4/4  D:1/1  Rge:-  Cge: 9*  Mv: 3.5"  3G/3Y/3R
+4 Cge if a center point is within 5" of a center point of a Spartiate unit.

Bithnyian Peltasts – Standard - 80 pts
O:(3)5/4  D:1*/0  Rge:5”  Cge: 11  Mv: 5"  3G/1Y/2R
Skirmisher, Javelins, Impulsive (At the start of any turn Bithnyian Peltasts are within 7" of an enemy unit's center point, its orders change to Close).  No Lock Shields box.  D: +2/+0 vs ranged attacks.

Boeotian Cavalry – Standard - 198 pts
O:(4)5/5  D:2*/2  Rge: 3.5”  Cge: 12  Mv: 6"  3G/2Y/1R
Cavalry, Javelins.  No Lock Shields box.  D: +1/+0 when charging.

Spartiates  - Elite - 333 pts
O:(7*)6*/5*  D:2/2  Rge:-  Cge: 14  Mv: 3.5"  6G/2Y/3R
Phalanx.

Theban Sacred Band - Elite - 321 pts
O:(7*)5*/5*  D:3/2  Rge:-  Cge: 13  Mv: 3.5"  6G/2Y/3R
Phalanx, Ponderous.  If this unit marks a Green box from Deep Ranks, choose one Core unit with a Lock Shields box marked due to Deep Ranks.  That unit gets +1 Cge for the game.


Deployment


Greeks (L->R):
1st row:  Helots, Spartiates, Helots, Bithnyian Peltasts, Bithnyian Peltasts.
2nd row:  Helots, Spartiates, Helots
3rd row:  Boeotians, Sacred Band, Sacred Band

Dark Elves (L->R):
1st row:  Highblood Blades, Highblood Blades, [forest-sized space], Lashmistresses, Slavetakers
2nd row:  Slavetakers, Lasmistresses
3rd row:  Dusk Lances

Children, this is what is known as an "overloaded flank."   :) 

The skirmishers on the right's job was to do what skirmishers do:  slow down the enemy and keep him out of the fight.  Since this was Ticking Clock, I felt they had a pretty good chance of doing that.  Still, I gave them objectives (on to move right and the other to go after the Purebloods), knowing that them being Impulsive would end up getting pulled forward.

In the center, I gave the Helots an order to go left and the front Spartiates to follow.  I had a plan to use Indirect Path and order of operation to get guys to go where I want.  The Helots on the right were move capped to keep them from rushing off.

Scott's plan was more simple:  have the Slavetakers on the left move to the yellow die in the center and in general advance.  The Lashmistresses got an Close (Objective) so my skirmishers didn't pull them out of position.  That die is inbetween my two peltasts.


Armies Unfold


The Dark Elves advance, with a little bit of maneuver:  the Dusk Lances slide sideways while the other Dark Elves on the left advance, creating a space for the Slavetakers to sidestep.  On the right, the two Dark Elf units advance, with the Lasmistress pulling the Bithnyians in towards them.

The Greeks meanwhile also unfold.  Unfortunately, I made a mistake and had the Boeotians slide to the left.  I should have had them stay in place so that next turn, the Boeotians could step forward and clear the path for the Sacred Band.  The Boeotians were supposed to wind their way through the mass of marching Greeks to come out on the left to deal with the Slavetakers.  I'd still have time, but oy, not a good move. 


Skirmishers Delay


The Boeotians move into the position they should, and now there is a clear path to my right flank, but the miscue has held up my Sacred Band who need to get over to the Helots.  Those poor plucky slaves are going to fold like a dry clean crew on meth against those Dusk Lances.  I really needed the Sacred Band over their to contain them.

On the far right, the two skirmishers close in on the Lashmistresses and Slavetakers, ready to eat a charge.  Because the peltast in the forest are slowed down, the Lashmistresses will do 2 pts.  And then there's the faster-than-you Slavetakers...  Its not gonna be pretty.


Skirmishers Rally


Two charged skirmishers, two passed rout checks, two rallied skirmishers ready to delay some more.   ;D


Skirmishers Destroyed


Two charged skirmishers, two filled-up damage boxes, two destroyed skirmishers who have admirably served their purpose.   8)

On the left, one of the Highblood Blades move forward while the other is DC'd to hold back.  If the left Blades had gone forward, they would have been pinched by the Helots (and you'd better believe I'd take that trade!), so he held them back and dared me to pinch with my Spartiates.  Worst case, Scott was trading a CA for a CA (and you'd better believe I wasn't letting my Spartiates get flanked!).

I would end up having to DC my Helots as well, because the Sacred Band was too far behind.  So in truth, Scott picked up a command card on me here.  But, I was finally in place and feeling very good about my matchups.


Spartan Disgrace (Part the First)


Finally, some damn fighting!  Charge!  Spartans!  Prepare for Glory!   

Or...you know, not.

While the Spartiates on the right put the Highbloods into the Yellow, the other unit does 1 pt.  8 Dice, plus an impact, plus Accuracy.  One.  Point.  The Helots in the forest see the fine example their owners are providing and promptly turn tail and run, failing a Yellow check on Courage 13.


Charge of the Dusk Lances


On the left, the Dusk Lances charge and do some absolute murder to the Helots (which you'd expect).  The Spartiates on the left continue their suckage and are doing 1 point a turn with 7 dice, needing 3s and 4s.  To the right, the Spartiates have managed to kill the Highblood Blades, but have taken 8 wounds in the process. 

Since the Blades are backed up by the Pureblood Coven, they step forward into contact.  Meaning if the Sprtiates fail their rout check, the Coven will get free strikes.  Thankfully they pass their rout check.

On the right something funny happens:  the Lashmistresses hit the Boeotians, causing them to charge.  Since the Slavetakers are in the way, they Boeotians charge them.  The Slavetakers whiff, are put into the Yellow, blow their rout check, and are cut down. 

Okay, it was funny for me.  For Scott, not so much.


Spartan Disgrace (Part the Second)


Another turn, another chance for the Spartiates on the left to get their candy @$$es handed to them by a unit that is 80 pts cheaper!  Both units are taking a Yellow check, except that the Spartiates have 6 Green boxes vs the Blades 4!  Both sides pass.

To the right, the Spartiates take a single point from the Coven, but do enough to cause a check.  A Courage 14 unit and a Courage 13 unit?  Both fail and decide they've had enough.

In the forest, the Helots (who have surprisingly put the Slavetakers in the Yellow) are put into the Red...and fail a Courage 13 check.  That's not crazy that they fail, but it comes at the end of my turn, which means those Slavetakers can take advantage of it immediately.


Spartan Disgrace (Part the Third)


On the left, the Helots take a boatload of damage from the Dusk Lancers, but pass their check.  The 'never miss an opportunity to under-perform" Spartiates fighting the Blades fail to put them in the Red and also fail their own rout check (Cge 14, mind you) and are just cut down.

On the right side of the forest, the Lashmistresses attack the Sacred Band and pull them in.  The spell does 2 points and the charging Sacred Band do 2 pts in return.


Detente


At this point, we're each playing the scenario a bit.  After expending the effort to get the Sacred Band to back up the Helots on the left, I don't want them to go in.  This is because Scott has 1 more turn for Ticking Clock.  If my Sacred Band goes in, they'll be flanked.  So I spend the 2 CAs to change their order to Hold.  I also rally the fleeing Spartiates.

On his turn, Scott starts doing the math as well.  Since all my units are on Hold, there's a very good chance that him charging with the Dusk Lances will result in him giving up more points than I do (400 pt unit vs a 300 pt one).  Also, those Slavetakers are leery of charging the Holding Spartiates.  So Scott opts to spend 3 CAs to pull his units back.

The only fighting is on the right side of the forest, between the Lashmistresses and the Sacred Band.  On my turn, I move the Boeotians up to pinch on the last turn of the game.  On this turn, they two sides force a check:  red check on the Lashmistresses and Yellow check on the Sacred Band.

Both fail.  Cge 13 for both units.  Okay its bad luck that Scott failed, but this is the second check he took.  The Thebans?  Failed their Yellow check?  Seriously?  Can a Griego get a break here?


Endgame


On my turn, basically nothing happens.  My Boeotians move up, but that's it.  If I could spend CAs for another javelin shot, I definitely would, but those rules aren't in use. 

So all that's left is to tally the score and do work out the ratio.  Dark Elves killed more Greeks, by a ratio of 1.27 to 1, meaning they juuust squeak into a 4-2 win (1.25 ratio is the cut off).


Post-Game Thoughts:  Basically, my dice sucked.  No two ways about it.  I whiffed dice rolls, I blew checks left and right.  Just about everything bad that could happen, did.

That being said, I also didn't play as best I could with getting my units lined up, and it cost me a few CAs.  Those extra cards Scott had made a difference, I'm willing to bet.

But still, if I'd have made that last check (just that last one) and my Boeotians pinched the Lasmistresses, it would have been a tie.   ::)


As for the faction, what did we learn?  Well, the first thing is that just as Monsters & Mercs are not just chum against the Greeks, the Greeks do have answers against the Dark Elves pulling them out of position or getting flyers to chase them.  Those answers do cost points, which will most likely be sacrificed, but its not "Greeks just lose to Dark Elves."  Which makes me rather happy.

Having tried out the Helot swarm to fulfill my Core, I don't know if its broken.  Certainly it didn't feel that way, but then again I failed a bunch of rolls.  Of course, that's the thing about them:  their D:1/1 is terrible, and with the dice charge these guys are going to fold even quicker.  I certainly wouldn't take them without Spartiates, except maybe I had 80 pts and needed to fill a Core slot and was planning on using them as backup.  Maybe.

At this point, we're feeling very good with how Greeks are doing, and may actually call this faction done.  We've put up 23 games with this faction as either allies or a stand-alone faction.  When you count games that we haven't taken pictures, we're closing in on 30 games with these guys.  So while there's not a Hawkshold vs Greeks or a Dwarves vs Greeks battle, that's because both Scott and I know what build the Hawkshold/Dwarf player would do:  some grind fest where the Dwarf/Hawkshold player has the advantage in either Skill or Power (i.e. Greatswords or Battleaxemen/Longbeards).  The question would be: which side can break through first?  At that point, the game is essentially a coin-flip.  (If anything, its going to favor the Dwarves/Hawkshold).

One game I may try out is Wuxing vs Greeks.  I'd be interested in seeing how they do against a pseudo-zombie faction like the Wuxing.


On a side note, I think the Rules Team needs to take a serious look at the Dark Elf nerfs.  I think folks got massively carried away with the "fixes" to them.  The Witching Hour costing a CA makes that a "never use it" spell and the Lasmistresses spell is much less good when 1) you have to cast it and 2) it costs you your engaged attacks (meaning you essentially don't get the charge bonus).  Those two units have been hit so hard with such clunky nerfs that I don't think they're worth their points anymore.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 12:02:03 PM by Hannibal »