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Battle Report: Wood Elves vs Lizardmen @2500 pts

This is my first battle report (finally!) after discovering some local Warhammer players and getting together for a few regular games. Given the amount of effort involved in creating these reports, I can see that I really need to write some more code for Herald to make this job much easier! This was a 2500pt battle, and I was playing with my Wood Elf army.

Wood Elf army

Lords: 625

General (Spellweaver): Dispel Scroll; Level 4 Wizard; Lore of Beasts.
Treeman Ancient: An Annoyance of Netlings.

Heroes: 318

BSB (Noble): Asyendi’s Bane; Hail of Doom Arrow; Dragonhelm; Battle Standard; light armour.
Noble: Potion of Foolhardiness; Armour of Fortune; Dragonbane Gem; Great Eagle; spear; light armour; shield.

Core: 766

10 Glade Guard: Lord’s Bowman; Musician; Standard Bearer; Banner of Eternal Flame.
10 Glade Guard: Lord’s Bowman; Musician; Standard Bearer.
10 Glade Guard: Musician; Standard Bearer.
10 Glade Guard: Musician; Standard Bearer.
8 Dryads
8 Dryads

Special: 402

6 Tree Kin: Tree Kin Elder.

Rare: 385

Treeman
Great Eagle
Great Eagle

Lizardmen Army

Lords: 380

GENERAL: Slann (Sotarkesh): Lore of High Magic
Magic Items: Channeling Staff
Disciplines of the Old Ones: Harmonic Convergence and Focus of Mystery

Heroes: 339

BATTLE STANDARD BEARER: Scar-Veteran (Kai’Que):) BSB, great weapon and Light Armor
Mount: Cold One; suffers from Stupidity.
Magic Items: Stegadon Helm of Itza, luckstone, and Ironcurse Icon

Hero: Saurus Scar-Veteran (Kro’Qua): Great Weapon
Mount: Cold One; suffers from Stupidity.
Magic Items: Gambler’s Armor, dawnstone, and Potion of foolhardiness

Core: 625

30 Saurus Warriors with full command.
30 Skinks; javelin and shield with musician.
15 Skink skirmishers with blowpipes.

Special: 592

6 Chameleon skinks.
3 ripperdactyl riders.
26 temple guard with full command.

Rare: 564

1 Salamander with 4 skink crew
Ancient Stegadon with unstoppable stampede
Ancient Stegadon with unstoppable stampede

Deployment

The terrain in this game was set up by an independent player, who I think took pity on me and put two Forests on the board. I won the roll-off for choosing board side and took the side with the Forest on it, and deployed a third Forest in my deployment zone. There was a Watchtower on my side also, worth 100 VPs, and the statue on my right flank was a Sinister Statue that shot beams out of its eyes at anything within 6″.

Before deploying, I made a bit of mental checklist on what I wanted to do:

  1. Whittle down his slow combat blocks with shooting
  2. Try to get his units in or near forests as much as possible
  3. Keep the Ripperdactyls away from my General
  4. Use my Treekin and Treemen to hold up his Stegadons, and use my Eagle Noble to provide support
  5. Hold the Watchtower

10156117614_1cf5f6de8f.jpg
Deployment by godswearhats, on Flickr

I popped the Dryads in the Watchtower, the other unit over on the far flank, and deployed Eagles and Treeman behind the center Forest, all while waiting to see which flank my opponent would deploy his big combat blocks. Knowing his army ahead of time really helped me here, because I knew it would take him a long time to reach me with slow moving Saurus. When put his Saurus and TG blocks down, I set up my Glade Guard down a narrow channel, with my Treekin, forcing his large blocks to either go through the forest or down a narrow channel where I’d be able to shoot at them as they advanced.

It’s worth pointing out that we were a good two hours behind schedule at this point, so the game went into the wee hours of the morning. A lot of that was my unfamiliarity with the rules and taking too long to make decisions. If I’m going to compete at the tournament this weekend, I’ll need to be much faster at these things. This also explains why some of my memories are a little muddied.

Rolling for spells I got Transformation of Kadon, Savage Beast of Horros, Flock of Doom and Amber Spear. I traded Flock for Wildform. His Slann was rocking High Magic again, so got all those spells. The Ripperdactyls have a special toad which got placed on my Treekin unit (this gives them extra buffs against the Treekin).

Turn 1

My opponent won the roll for first turn and the bulk of his army pushed forward. The Ripperdactyls came down on the left flank, poised to charge into either the Treekin or my vulnerable Glade Guard bunkers, and inviting a charge from my Eagle Noble. The winds of magic came up as box cars (12), and my opponent cast a few High Magic spells. His buffs went off, but anything directed against me was either dispelled or ineffective. (This was probably the best roll my opponent got all night: after that, his dice luck went downhill.) The Chamelon Skinks killed one of my eagles with their poisonous blowpipes and his Stegadon had a bow up on top that shot and missed my archers.

In my turn the noble charged into the front of the Rippers, quaffing his Potion of Foolhardiness. The Treekin pushed forward, ready to meet the charge of whatever the Lizards were prepared to throw at them, while the Glade Guard took good positions for archery. The Winds of Magic weren’t blowing too hard, but enough to help the two Treemen kill four of the six Chameleons with a combination of Treesinging and Strangleroot. The Glade Guard shot at the leading Saurus unit, but at long distance only managed to pick off one. The Noble and Ripperdactyls managed to pull off the world’s most accurate pillow-fight, with neither side wounding the other. This caused the ‘dactyls to lose their frenzy and thus any bonus they might have had for fighting the Treekin.

10156293176_db2545009a.jpg
Turn 1 by godswearhats, on Flickr

Turn 2

The Saurus Hero (I think he was a Scar Veteran) charged out of the unit of Saurus on his Cold One, and into the Treekin, joined shortly thereafter by the Stegadon. (Oh, just realized that the Stegadon didn’t get the +1 combat resolution for charging down the hill … not sure how much of a difference that would make, but worth remembering!) The right flank of the Lizardmen pushed up and in, with the skink horde slightly overlapping the central forest, and the skink skirmishers almost entirely in it. The chameleons ducked through the two Treemen and took a few blowpipe shots as they went, causing a wound on the Ancient. The magic winds blew cold (3) this turn, but warm enough to give his Stegadon a Hand of Glory bonus to his weapon skill. The Salamander spat at my Dryads, landing right on target across four of them, but failing to wound at all. Close combat saw a couple of wounds on the Treekin and one on the Stegadon, with the Treekin standing fast in the onslaught. The pillowfight ended with the Noble doing a couple of wounds and taking none back, the ‘dactyls breaking and fleeing the battlefield.

In my turn I charged his Skink horde with the Ancient (he stood and shot, doing one wound) and the Dryads (he fled). I had nowhere to redirect to and no way to redirect the Ancient so no successful charges on my part. In hindsight, charging with the Dryads or Treeman would have been sufficient – not sure what I was thinking at the time (maybe I was looking for an aggressive overrun?). I repositioned my Eagle and Eagle Noble. The sinister statue decided now was a good time to take a pot shot at the Salamander, doing a wound. This magic phase I think saw a Wyssan’s get dispelled, but some Treesinging take out half of the skink skirmishers, and the remainder decimated by Strangleroots. The Glade Guard finally had the Saurus in close range and rolled amazingly well, taking out about ten warriors. My dice rolling from this point onward is probably what contributed most to my side of the game. The Treekin matchup continued with I think a wound or so on either side and everyone staying put.

10156347923_c69420507f.jpg
Turn 2 by godswearhats, on Flickr

Turn 3

Top of the third saw the Saurus unit fail to charge (double 1s!) and the Skinks in the forest charge my Treeman, to enable the Stegadon on the right flank charge into my Ancient – both Treemen misfired with their stand and shoot! I was a bit disappointed by this because the charges were in a Forest so the Strangleroot would have been at S5, but such is life. The statue shot one of the Salamander’s handlers, which obviously upset the beast enough to cause it to miss doing any damage to the Dryads. The Skink horde rallied and headed toward my Eagle Noble. The winds of magic were medium, but my opponent miscast and wiped out some of his own Temple Guard. However, I believe he got a Hand of Glory off on his left Stegadon, boosting it’s Weapon Skill which helped it do some more wounds to my Treekin – in that round I think I took four wounds, which was the best result for the Lizardmen so far. Thankfully the Treekin stood their ground. On the other side of the table, the Skinks were wiped out by the Treeman (no surprise), and the Stegadon’s impact hits were low (I think he rolled a 1) and shrugged off by the Ancient. The ensuing combat saw a wound or two on either side, with my Stubborn Treeman holding his ground at the end.

This turn was definitely when the tide of the battle changed. I brought my Noble back down to be ready to charge the flank of the Stegadon/Hero/Treekin combat, and charged the Treeman in to help his Ancient buddy versus the Stegadon. The magic phase backfired as I tried to cast Wyssan’s on the Treekin – it succeeded irresistibly, and my Wizard and the bunker took a S10 hit, wiping out half the unit. Not put off by this, the Glade Guard then let loose another deadly volley of Asrai archery on the stumbling Saurus, whittling them down to ten Warriors. The Wildformed Treekin put the hurting on the Stegadon, killing it outright – unfortunately that didn’t phase the cold-blooded Hero who stood his ground. The Treemen, not to be outdone by the Treekin whippersnappers, beat the Stegadon to a bloody pulp.

10156116834_215076e822.jpg
Turn 3 by godswearhats, on Flickr

Turn 4

The statue now took a shot at my Dryads, but thankfully missed. The Saurus failed to charge (again!), the Skink horde pushed up the hill and Temple Guard (who now had enough room behind the Saurus) attempted to charge into the Treekin – after we took a second look at it, it felt like the angle wasn’t there to allow them to do that so they instead pushed up toward the Watchtower. Things get a little hazy here as it was now quite late. I think his BSB may have been able to make the charge out of the unit of TG and he came into the combat with the Treekin (apologies, I only took one photo for every two turns which is why there’s not a turn-by-turn image of the battlefield). The salamander spat at the Dryads, killing one, and the Treekin took a wound in the close combat but stayed put.

During the Wood Elf turn, the Treemen repositioned to ensure the Saurus never reached the Glade Guard. They weren’t quite swift enough to prevent the Temple Guard from sweeping by though, so the Eagle Noble came in to help out there. The Treekin rallied and turned around to get back in the fight. A good magic phase allowed the Spellweaver to cast a boosted Amber Spear through the flank of the Temple Guard, wiping out six of them. Glade Guard shooting then combined to whittle them down to just two ranks. Strangleroots from the Treeman got the Saurus down to just five models (rolled an 8 on the artillery dice) and finished off the Salamander (either that or the Dryads charged and killed it – I can’t remember).

10156209315_cff0e6d3ee.jpg
Turn 4 by godswearhats, on Flickr

Wrap up

The final turns saw all but a couple of the Saurus and Temple Guard killed through close combat, the Hero die to Treesinging / Strangleroot and me lose about another five Glade Guard to the close combat with the Temple Guard. At that point we called it a day, as it was now two in the morning and it was clear that the Wood Elves had won.

So, reflections on this battle (some of which were graciously pointed out by my opponent):

  • Having a mental checklist at the start of the battle is good
  • Concentrated Glade Guard fire is very effective
  • My dryads did nothing all game – need to figure out how to use them more effectively
  • Watchtower could have been manned by Glade Guard instead
  • Don’t deploy Eagles so far up the line – they have lots of move and can fly over my front ranks
  • Expect to go second, as I have a lot of unit drops
  • Go quicker – I think I might try having a cheat sheet ready to remind to do certain things
  • Make a few notes as I go for battle reports

I made the battle report using Herald. I discovered (and squished) a few more annoying bugs, and now that I have an hour bus-ride in the morning, I should be able to do some active development work on the project.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Score one for the Asrai!

Cloak Tutorial

This tutorial was originally written by me for The Leaf on Asrai.org, but I’ve reproduced it here as a starting point for my new blog.

Tutorial for Cloaks

The main core unit that seems to be used in every Wood Elf army list is the Glade Guard, and about a third of that model’s visible surface is the cloak. I’ll be using a Glade Guard cloak for the photos and painting it to look like leather, but this same technique can be used for any type of cloak or folded cloth, and virtually any color scheme. I assume that you are starting with a prepared and primed cloak. You may not want to go to this level of detail for every miniature, but the painting is the relaxing and creative part of the hobby for me. Painting a cloak like this will probably take 2-3 hours once you’ve practiced it. (In the example, I also base-coated and shaded the musician and it took me 4 hours – I estimate 50-75% of that time was on the cloak).

This technique works best with a wet palette. If you don’t know what that is, take a look at this excellent article. It will make you a better painter.

Stage 1 – Basecoat

First paint a base coat on your miniature. I’ve used Privateer Press’ Bootstrap Leather, but that’s only because it was what was available from my local game store. Here’s the miniature, with the cloak beside it (yes, I paint the cloaks separately). Make sure you thin the paint at roughly 50/50 with water. The paint should be thick enough just to cover the white primer with one brush stroke, and no more.


Glade Guard Musician Basecoat by godswearhats, on Flickr

Stage 2 – Wash

Mix some darker brown with a roughly 1:3 or 1:4 ratio with water. In this case, I’ve used Rhinox Hide from Citadel. There should be enough liquid that it flows into the cracks, but not so much that it forms in pools. If you make a pool, dry your brush on a paper towel and then absorb the pool with the brush. Cover the whole cloak. You can see I’ve accidentally painted a part on the cloak brown that should be green – don’t worry, I fix that up shortly. Note that in the image, the deeper crevices look darker and the most raised parts are lighter, which is exactly what you’re looking for.


Glade Guard Cloak – Stage 2 by godswearhats, on Flickr

Stage 3 – Layer

Go back to your original leather color, with the same mix (if you’ve got a wet palette, you’ll just be able to use what you already mixed) and paint over all the raised surfaces. This brings the leather color back, but leaves you with some depth in the crevices. Also, because your wash from above is thin and your paint here is reasonably thin, you’ll get a nice blending without having to wet-blend. (And look, I noticed my mistake and painted the left edges green).


Glade Guard Cloak – Stage 3 by godswearhats, on Flickr

Stage 4 – Highlights

Mix your original leather color with some white, keeping it nice and thin – usually at a 1:1 mix with water, maybe a little thinner depending on your white (some whites are quite thick). Your actual mix may be 1 part leather, 1 part white, 2 to 3 parts water. Put some of this paint on your brush and let your brush rest on the paper towel so that the excess flows off and is absorbed. This stage is going to use a pretty light touch.

Take the side of your brush point (not the tip) and run it along the ridges. In particular, you want to focus on those areas that stick up a lot or are very straight edged. I’ve put some arrows on this one so you can see what I’m talking about. The trick here is to mimic the areas that are really going to catch the light and those are the stiff folds and very high areas.


Glade Guard Cloak – Highlights by godswearhats, on Flickr

And here it is without the arrows.


Glade Guard Cloak – Stage 4 by godswearhats, on Flickr

Stage 5 – Depth

This is the final stage and for me it’s what makes a good cloak look great. Take some black, and really thin it down to the point where it’s almost like dirty water. I’d estimate that to be something along the lines of 1:8 ratio. You then paint that into the deepest areas of the cloak – you can see I’ve indicated those with the blue arrows.


Depth by godswearhats, on Flickr

As you can see in the final thing, this gives a three-dimensional richness. You can paint along those lines several times with your “dirty water” mix until you’re happy with the depth – for the rightmost crevice here, I probably painted it four or five times.

Here’s a key point – if you find that you’ve painted a line with your black, or that the paint has dried in a line, you can easily just take some of your original (stage 1) leather paint and paint over the line with it. Just take care not to paint over your highlights or down into your crevice or you’ll have to do it all again. Once you’ve done that, you can just put your very thin black over it again and it will blend nicely as show.


Glade Guard Cloak – Stage 5 by godswearhats, on Flickr

And that’s it! Hope you found this helpful.