Quite a large game of WHFB

After a  number of years of collecting my Daemons of Chaos, I finally got around to getting almost all of them painted. To celebrate this, I challenged Dave Leahy to organise a High Elf army to face my Daemons and thankfully he agreed to provide the opposition.

As I have quite a few Daemons – over 12,000 points in fact – we needed to combine a few High Elf armies together so Dave asked Derek Owens, Eoin Lennon and Fergus Finch to join his side – along with borrowing some models from Ugo Greevy, Lloyd Courtney and some from my own High Elf collection.

I wasn’t alone however, and was ably assisted by Jarvis Mitchell, Elliot Purtill-Quin and Matthieu Parmantier. Ian in the Hobby Shack was our gracious host and we set the tables and terrain up the day before our game (as well as choosing spells and so on). Armies were deployed secretly, using maps prepared by Dave Leahy.

I split my army into four main portions – one for each of the Chaos Gods. I took Tzeentch while Jarvis took Nurgle, Elliot took Khorne and Matt used my Slaanesh. Each element came to around 3k points and consisted of the below:

  • Exalted Keeper of Secrets;
  • Lord of Change;
  • Great Unclean One;
  • Bloodthirster;
  • Three Heralds of Khorne;
  • Two Heralds of Nurgle (one on Palanquin);
  • Two Heralds of Slaanesh;
  • Three Heralds of Tzeentch;
  • 24 Bloodletters;
  • 24 Bloodletters;
  • 14 Bloodletters;
  • 32 Plaguebearers;
  • 32 Plaguebearers;
  • 20 Daemonettes;
  • 20 Daemonettes;
  • 20 Daemonettes;
  • 10 Horrors;
  • 10 Horrors;
  • 32 Horrors;
  • 10 Fleshounds;
  • 8 Bloodcrushers;
  • 2 Skullcannon;
  • 4 Nurglings;
  • 1 Beast;
  • 6 Beasts;
  • 6 Plague Drones;
  • 3 Fiends;
  • 6 Fiends;
  • 5 Seekers;
  • 5 Seekers;
  • Exalted Seeker Chariot;
  • 6 Flamers;
  • 6 Flamers;
  • 7 Screamers;
  • 2 Burning Chariots of Tzeentch.

 

Table setup

Table setup

The High Elf lists were split into sections of Caledor, Saphery, Lothern and a bit of mixture of Chrace/Tiranoc and Elyrrion. Here’s how the HE looked:

  • Prince;
  • Prince on Stardragon;
  • Prince on Stardragon;
  • 3 Archmages;
  • 2 Mages;
  • Dragon Mage;
  • Anointed of Asuryan on Flamespyre Phoenix;
  • Noble Battle Standard Bearer;
  • 2 Lothern Sea Helms;
  • 30 Archers;
  • 30 Archers;
  • 30 Archers;
  • 29 Lothern Sea Guard;
  • 29 Lothern Sea Guard;
  • 6 Ellyrion Reavers;
  • 6 Ellyrion Reavers;
  • 6 Ellyrion Reavers;
  • 6 Ellyrion Reavers;
  • 18 Silver Helms;
  • 40 Spear Elves;
  • 2 Lothern Sea Cutters;
  • 30 White Lions;
  • 39 Phoenix Guard;
  • 29 Phoenix Guard;
  • 4 Lion Chariots;
  • 18 Dragon Princes;
  • 10 Dragon Princes;
  • 30 Swordmasters;
  • 7 Repeater Bolt Throwers;
  • 4 Eagles;
  • Flamespyre Phoenix;
  • 2 Frostheart Phoenixes.

In order to make the game work, we made some small changes to the core rules. Firstly, we set up using deployment maps. This was to allow us to plan our deployments and implement them the day before we played, and to do it simultaneously to reduce the time taken. As a result, setup took only a couple of hours, and that included rolling for Spells and Daemonic Gifts and arranging terrain.

Western Daemons

Khornate Daemons

Central Daemons

Central Daemons

 

Eastern Daemons...Jarvis learns about his army

Eastern Daemons…Jarvis learns about his army

 

 

Secondly, we amended the magic rules. We would roll 4d6 for the winds of magic with the defending team taking the sum of the two higher dice. We then rolled separately 2d6 for the Reign of Chaos. We found this worked pretty well. Magic items could not be duplicated either.

Setup and ready to go!

Setup and ready to go!

 

Dave took great delight in revealing to me that he had the Banner of the World Dragon on his Dragon Prince bus (the one where his characters went in) and that he also had a Council of Light. Oh joy…that would surely spell the end of my poor Greater Daemons! I did have one little trick up my sleeve though – I brought the Chromatic Tome which would allow me to reroll the winds of magic, and also the Reign of Chaos roll.

The early game showed Dave’s tactical nous – all of his fast Caledor flyers immediately vacated the Eastern Flank (where they faced my Tzeentch) and moved in support of the hill bunker on the centre of the South edge. His BotW bus piled forward, meaning that the Nurgle contingent were facing almost half of the High Elves alone. Magic and shooting took its toll on the Daemons – especially the Khorne and Slaanesh Daemons who were particularly vulnerable. I managed to roll snake eyes for the Reign of Chaos on turn one, and was very relieved to re-roll it and get a seven! I pushed my Tzeentch from the Eastern flank to threaten the combined Caledor/Saphery section and try support the Nurgle side of the table. The Khorne and Slaanesh Daemons piled forward, braving the hail of missile fire.

Not looking good for the Nurglitch force!

Not looking good for the Nurglitch force!

 

The Nurgle Daemons looked horribly exposed – facing the Dragon Prince bus and two Princes on Star Dragons. Dave left the Phoenixes to the Eastern Flank to harry the Tzeentch forces who tried to shoot (and magic them) to little bits. The High Elves in the centre piled through the Nurgle Daemons…none of them stood a chance. The Plaguebearers were mauled and then removed due to Instability while the High Elves lined up the next unit in their sights.

 

The Phoenixes caused some minor damage to the Tzeentch Daemons, and took some wounds in return. In the centre, the Khorne force came close to contact with the enemy, but if the Nurgle force was destroyed then the Khornate horde would have its flanks horribly exposed. The Tzeentch Daemons would struggle to make an impact here while the Slaaneshi force was getting smashed by shooting. It looked rather ominous for the Daemons.

Tzeentch Daemons rush to support Nurgle...but it's too late!

Tzeentch Daemons rush to support Nurgle…but it’s too late!

 

As the game progressed, the Nurgle Daemons were eventually decimated and utterly destroyed. The High Elves turned their attention to the Khorne forces, but were still wary of the Tzeentch threat (which had managed to account for both Phoenixes). Meantime, the surviving Khorne and Slaanesh elements had finally reached the enemy in combat, but would still have to face large units of Phoenix Guard and White Lions. However, at least the Daemons were beginning to cause some casualties.

 

Fiends grab themselves a chariot

Fiends grab themselves a chariot

 

Sadly for the Daemons, combat was going horribly wrong and the Elves were losing very little indeed. Unless things changed hugely, the Daemons were going to get very badly mauled. Some of the Slaaneshi elements did manage to get into combat with some of the softer Elf elements and began causing some problems. The Khornate horde was doing okay, accounting for plenty of Elves – but the Elves had plenty of numbers available. Around this time, the importance of BSBs came into focus. As the table was 18′ wide, it was simply impossible for the HE BSB to be everywhere, and the HE were starting to fail some Fear checks. Daemonic magic was taking some toll too, but nothing could stand in the way of the HE bus and Dragons.

The bus

If the chariot wasn’t Mindrazored, it was in trouble. Spell failed…chariot died

 

As we entered the end of the game, the Daemons managed to make decent gains on the Slaanesh and Tzeentch sides, destroying lighter Elven units. The remaining Greater Daemons (excepting the Great Unclean One) were still alive and causing problems for the Elves. As combat was joined, the Elven magic and shooting was restricted and clever use of chaff restricted the counter-attacks.

All quiet on the Western front

All quiet on the Western front

 

As night fell and the game drew to a close, it looked like the Elves had the field. The defensive line had held solid and the Daemons looked mauled. The Elves had taken damage too, of course, but their main units were still alive. We decided that we would consider anything within 900 VPs to be a draw using our usual 20-0 scoring system which we use for 2k games multiplied by six. So, 900-1800 VP difference would be an 11-9 and so on. The High Elves had accounted for all of the Nurgle force and had taken substantial chunks out of both the Khornate and Slaaneshi forces. However, the Tzeentch Daemons had taken down two Pheonixes (though one came back to life!) and quite a lot of smaller High Elf units. The Khornate and Slaaneshi armies had damaged a lot of High Elves in return. When we counted the Daemonic casualties, we found that just over 6,000 points of Daemons had been destroyed. The High Elves had lost 5,500 points of units, so the game ended a draw!

In truth, the High Elves had caused a LOT more damage. A number of Daemonic units were below half strength and the Greater Daemons only had a handful of wounds left between them. If the game had continued, there’s no doubt that the High Elves would have won the day. Having said that, with a little extra luck, we’d have accounted for another Phoenix, and I doubt Daemons would face a tougher opponent than High Elves with a Dragon Prince bus and a Light Council too…plus the amount of shooting that was put out was frankly horrific!

Did we enjoy it? All I’ll say is that the first words I heard after we announced the draw was “okay, so when’s the rematch?”

"My army does whatnow?"

“My army does whatnow?”

It was all going well for the Nurgle Daemons (on turn one anyway!)

It was all going well for the Nurgle Daemons (on turn one anyway!)

 

Many thanks as always to Ian at the Hobby Shack for taking care of us, and for everyone who allowed me to indulge my entire army. It was great fun!

 

 

 

2 Responses to Quite a large game of WHFB

  1. Epic achievement Nigel, well done sir! The game looked super fun.

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