[Archive] Battle report: Chaos Dwarfs vs. Wood Elves (pictures and maps!)

Thommy H:

Bright sunlight filtered through the foliage overhead, casting dappled light across the clearing. There was a wide, open glade between the towering trunks of the ancient trees, carpeted by a soft layer of grass. The Nobles, Highborns and Spellsingers of the Telemnar Kinband were gathered, some of them sitting cross-legged on the ground in a rough circle, others standing with their personal retinues on the edge of the clearing and still others watched from the trees, not willing to commit themselves to such an unusual gathering of leaders.

�?oYou all know why we have come together here,�?� a tall, blonde Elf began, assuming control over the council as he stepped forward, �?oour Scouts bring word that an army of invaders are sweeping down from the foothills.�?�

�?oDwarfs,�?� a Noble spat from the other side of the clearing.

�?oYes, Dwarfs. And, with them, Greenskins riding fierce wolves.�?�

There was a low rumble of dissent from the council. Such a thing seemed bizarre �?" impossible, even.

�?oI have heard tell of such things,�?� an elderly Spellsinger said. Grey hair hung below his waist. �?oIn the east, far beyond the Empire of Men and the towering mountains is a great desert where many Goblins and Orcs roam. Their masters are Dwarfs, corrupted by the power of Chaos.�?�

The contemptuous Noble shook his head. �?oDwarfs…they are as weak as Men…�?�

�?oWhere they come from is of no concern to us,�?� the leader said with a raised hand, �?owhat matters is only where they go �?" there can be no doubt that they intend to enter the forest and attack the sacred glades with their vile axes.�?�

�?oSo what should we do?�?� The Noble asked.

�?oWhat can we do? Our numbers are too few to stand against a force of this size. We must retreat further into Athel Loren and await reinforcements. A messenger has already been dispatched to Orion�?Ts court.�?�

There was another rumble of dissent, but already some of the council members were starting to slink away, apparently satisfied with the decision.

�?oNo!�?�

A young Spellsinger stood up. She had not been sitting in the inner circle with the older leaders. Everyone looked at her, astonished that one so young and inexperienced would speak up.

�?oYou have something to say, Gilraen?�?� The leader asked.

�?oThese Dwarfs and Greenskins cannot be allowed to corrupt the forest with their presence �?" if they even enter, it will be a blasphemy against nature.�?�

�?oBut what choice do we have?�?�

�?oThe Dryads already march against these invaders �?" they know the danger presented. Will we let them stand alone?�?�

�?oGilraen, we do not have the strength to stop them…the Drayds will only delay them…�?�

She tossed her head to one side. �?oI do not need your permission to defend my own glades, uncle. I will take my own retinue to face these interlopers and join the Dryads.�?�

No one said anything as she stalked away, her Glade Guard filing in behind her.

                        

Karrthak Daemonbane cast a baleful eye across the meadow before them. It sloped gently down from the foothills before meeting the trees of the mighty forest that dominated the horizon. Already, strange shapes flitted through the silvery trunks. There was a low growl as a pale shape padded up beside him. Azhan Khan looked down from his mount at his commander.

�?oAny orderz, boss?�?�

Karrthak considered carefully. He was not an experienced general �?" he had been given command of this vanguard by Lord Zhurduz, but now he was starting to have doubts. �?oI bow to your superior tactical acumen,�?� he told the Chieftain gracefully.

�?oI�?Tll take da ladz in first den,�?� he replied, frowning at the edge of the forest, �?ogo up one ov da flankz so�?Tz dey can�?Tt bring dere full force ta bear. All right?�?�

�?oFine. We�?Tll deploy in the foothills with the bolt throwers and pick off any that try to outflank us.�?�

Azhan nodded and dug his knees into his wolf�?Ts flanks, driving it forward. His bodyguard of wolf riders followed him, flowing seamlessly into formation around him as they rode down towards the meadow. Karrthak jerked his head at the mob of Sneaky Gitz that waited impatiently to his rear. �?oSkabgit �?" you follow him in.�?�

�?oRight yoo are, boss…�?�

Karrthak nodded with satisfaction as the vanguard took up positions. Shapes began to emerge from the tree line: strange grey creatures that seemed to be part of the forest itself. He snorted with derision as he hefted his helmet �?" such things were just Daemons by another name, and he had nothing to fear from creatures like that.


This battle pits a Chaos Dwarf army against a Wood Elf army in a pitched battle. The armies are about 1,000 points (slightly less, because the Wood Elf army is using all the models it has to make up points, and maxes out at 964 pts). There are no special rules �?" it�?Ts just a straight fight. The Chaos Dwarfs are commanded by me, Thommy H, and the Wood Elves are commanded by my fiancée and erstwhile opponent, Emma. First, a disclaimer: Emma is a very inexperienced player. She�?Ts only played a handful of battles. Also, her army is based on the models she has, with magic items and upgrades she liked the look of. Neither army is tailored for its enemy, and we don�?Tt play competitively. This battle report will not provide you with any tactical advice, I�?Tm afraid! But hopefully it will be a little bit entertaining.

The Armies

Gilraen�?Ts Woody Host

Heroes:
- Gilraen Telemnar: Level 2 Spellsinger with longbow, A Pageant of Shrikes and Arcane Bodkins. She has the spells �?~Fury of the Forest�?T and �?~Tree Singing�?T.
- Frachsinus: Branchwraith upgraded to a Level 1 wizard with a Murder of Spites and a Cluster of Radiants.

Core Units:
- 10 Glade Guard with full command and the Banner of Springtide.
- 6 Scouts
- 8 Dryads with a Branch Nymph
- 8 Dryads with a Branch Nymph

Special Units:
- 5 Wardancers with a musician and a Bladesinger.

Points: 964

Daemonbane�?Ts Vanguard

Heroes:
- Karrthak Daemonbane: Level 2 Sorcerer with Dispel Scroll. He uses the Lore of Fire, and his spells are �?~Fireball�?T and �?~Conflagration of Doom�?T.
- Azhan Khan: Hobgoblin Hero with heavy armour, Sword of Battle, Enchanted Shield and riding a wolf.

Core Units:
- Immortals: 10 Chaos Dwarf Warriors with full command.
- Strombringers: 19 Chaos Dwarf Blunderbusses with full command.
- Riderz: 10 Hobgoblin Wolf Riders with bows, light armour and shields and full command.

Special Units:
- 2 Hobgoblin Bolt Throwers.
- Gitz: 20 Sneaky Gitz with full command.

Points: 974

This army was chosen because I wanted to use my new Hobgoblin Hero and my Sneaky Gitz (which I�?Td never tried before). I went Hobbo-heavy and then just filled up the rest of my points allocation with usual stuff. I wanted at least one wizard, of course. The Bolt Throwers are useless against a mostly-skirmisher army, but I had nothing better to spend 60 points on, so I went with them.

The Battlfield



Yes, we�?Tre playing on the floor. At some point (in the vague future time period when I have a job) we�?Tre going to get a proper table and paint it up nicely, but for now the floor of the spare room is sufficient. We placed D3+2 pieces of terrain (getting four in this instance) and simply alternated placing it wherever we wanted. I put the hill down in the deployment zone nearest to where I was sitting. We don�?Tt give the Wood Elves their free forest because we almost always use two woods anyway. Emma won the roll off to pick sides and chose the one without the hill, almost certainly because it meant she didn�?Tt have to move to the other side of the room :stuck_out_tongue:

Deployment



The map should be fairly self-explanatory. The Branchwraith was in the first Dryad unit (on the left) and Gilraen was with the Glade Guard. I deployed Karrthak with the Blunderbusses and Azhan of course set up with his Wolf Riders. My plan was very simple: I would split up my army with the Wolf Riders and Sneaky Gitz on one side to distract the Wood Elves. If they didn�?Tt take the bait and came at my firebase in force, I could just swing the riders around and mess them up from the flank. If they went after the Hobgoblins, then I had nothing to worry about: my Dwarfs and bolt throwers would just sit there not being killed and wait for the Elves to come.

As it happened, Emma spread her army out across the board, responding to my deployment. This was a mistake.

Emma won the roll-off for turns, and elected to go first.

Wood Elf Turn 1

Here�?Ts things at the start:



And a map of where she moved:



Everything moved forward, the Drayds racing down the flanks and the whole army covering no-man�?Ts land with astonishing speed. Gilaraen considered casting one of her spells, but none of the foul enemy were close enough. Nonetheless, she and the Glade Guard let fly with their longbows and, while some made contact with the Wolf Riders, none scored any wounds. The Scouts in the wood attempted to thin out the ranks of the Blunderbusses, but only two of them were close enough to trace a line of sight, and their shooting had no effect. With no combat, the turn was over.

Chaos Dwarf Turn 1



Azhan raced his wolves forward and ordered them to change formation so as to bring to bear the maximum amount of firepower. The Sneaky Gitz marched in formation behind, wheeling slightly to face the advancing Dryads and their Branchwraith. On the other flank, the Blunderbusses took a few steps forward, ensuring that the Scouts in the forest would bear the full brunt of their blast. Karrthak waved his mailed hands, summoning up the dread power of Hashut and sent a bolt of incandescent fire at the Scouts. The wood erupted in flame and three of the Scouts fell from their perches, leaving broken corpses smouldering in the undergrowth. Intending to follow up on their general�?Ts display of power, the Blunderbusses levelled their weapons and let out a mighty blast. The trees were thoroughly defoliated, but only one more Scout fell. Through all this, the brave Scouts held their ground, refusing to flee from the onslaught, despite their sorry state afterwards:



Both bolt throwers missed their intended target, the distant Glade Guard, but one of their number was felled by a wolf rider and that ended the turn.

Wood Elf Turn 2

The state of play at the start of turn 2:





The Wardancers sprang and leapt forward, ignoring the Wolf Riders and instead heading straight into the teeth of the Blunderbusses. The Dryads on the right flank continued to head towards the Chaos Dwarf firebase. Gilraen drew deeply from the Winds of Magic, attempting to cast Fury of the Forest on the Wolf Riders, but couldn�?Tt control the magical energies and the spell fizzled into nothingness. Instead, she settled for awakening the spirits of the nearby trees, raising her voice in eldritch song. Responding to her call, the forest moved in front of her unit, threatening to block the Wolf Riders in future turns. Once again, the Glade Guard fired at the Wolf Riders and this time brought one squealing Hobgoblin down. Gilraen then sent her Pageant of Shrikes after Azhan Khan, but her aim was off and they missed him wildly. The two remaining Scouts shot at the Blunderbusses that had mauled them so badly in turn 1, but had no effect.

Chaos Dwarf Turn 2



With a snarling war cry, Azhan Khan drove his Wolf Riders forward, charging into the Glade Guard. The Wood Elves responded with bowfire, felling one of them on the charge, but it wasn�?Tt enough to prevent them crashing headlong into them. The Blunderbusses moved up, making sure the whirling Wardancers would be in range as the Sneaky Gitz edged closer to the Drayds, daring them into a charge and the Immortals did likewise on the other flank. Karrthak attempted to cast another fireball, but he lost control of the magical energy and it backfired, allowing the Wood Elves the opportunity to cast a spell of their own �?" alas, neither Gilraen or the Branchwraith were in position to do anything useful, so they let the chance slide.

The Bolt Throwers fired, one killing a Wardancer and the other taking out a member of the closest unit of Dryads. The Blunderbusses unleashed their full fury again, blasting another Scout from his tree, but the wily Wardancers were somehow able to dodge, and none of them were hit!



Azhan Khan raised his sword, halting the Wolf Riders in their tracks. The Glade Guard held their breaths, wondering why the Hobgoblins had paused in their assault, but their question was answered by a bellowed challenge from the Hobgoblin Chieftain. The Lord�?Ts Bowman stepped forward ahead of Gilraen, prepared to meet the challenge, but he had barely reached his enemy before being cleaved in two by his enchanted blade. Such was the ferocity of Azhan�?Ts attack the Glade Guard were momentarily taken aback, but they surged forward, prepared to avenge the death of their leader. The Wolf Riders were unable to follow up on Azhan�?Ts success, but the Glade Guard cut one of them down and Azhan himself was hit, but deflected the blow with his shield and magical wolf pelt. The Glade Guard, demoralised by the slaughter of the Lord�?Ts Bowman wavered, but Gilraen�?Ts courageous leadership kept them in place and they held their ground.

Wood Elf Turn 3

The state of play at the start of the turn:





Both units of Dryads charged against their respective foes, but despite their terrifying aspect, both the Sneaky Gitz and the Immortals held their ground. The Wardancers pirouetted towards the Blunderbusses, having survived their last blast and adopted the Shadow Dance stance, creating a web of steel with their blades. The lone Scout, emboldened by the Wardanders�?T example, charged out of the forest to fight the Blunderbusses too. With everything in combat, the only magic was the Branchwraith attempting to cast Ariel�?Ts Blessing, but without success and there was no shooting.

On the left flank, the Drayds led by their Branchwraith lashed out with their clawed hands, carving apart the entire front rank of Sneaky Gitz! Unable to respond, the battered Gitz quailed, but their fellows surging from behind, their weight of numbers and their banner (which had been taken up after the original bearer had fallen) evened the score and a rousing blast from their musician�?Ts horn suddenly caused the Dryads to rethink their attack despite slaughtering so many Sneaky Gitz! They held their ground, however, and the combat would continue.

In the centre, the Glade Guard brought down a Wolf Rider, and the Wolf Riders responded by killing four of the brave Elves. Thoroughly beaten, the Glade Guard and Gilraen turned tail, but couldn�?Tt escape the swift wolves who ran off the battlefield after them.

The Wardancers easily sliced apart the Blunderbusses, repeating the performance of the Dryads by slaughtering the entire front rank but didn�?Tt elect to attack Karrthak. The Scout did nothing. Since Karrthak hadn�?Tt been targeted, he was able to fight back and somehow managed to kill one of the Wardancers! This was enough to swing the balance in the Chaos Dwarfs�?T favour and the three surviving Wardancers broke, stumbling only a short distance away. The Blunderbusses prepared to pursue, but the lone Scout bravely held his ground, holding up his foes and saving the Wardancers from an ignominious death.

On the right, the Drayds killed a single Immortal, but two of their number were killed in return, and the combat was strongly in favour of the Chaos Dwarfs. The Drayds kept fighting though, unwilling to give up the increasingly desperate-looking fight.

Chaos Dwarf Turn 3



Azhan led his Wolf Riders back onto the battlefield, but, for the first time, the petty squabbling of the Greenskin races reared its ugly head and they descended into an arguing mass, unable to make a difference to the battle until they composed themselves. Karrthak attempted to cast another fireball on the fleeing Wardancers but failed. In desperation, he tried the Conflagration of Doom, but again it fizzled out embarrassingly. The bolt throwers, determined to succeed where their general had failed aimed at the Wardancers too, but both missed.

The combats continued, with the Dryads killing two more Sneaky Gitz, sustaining no losses in return. Though the Sneaky Gitz had sustained more casualties, their ranks, banner and numbers overwhelmed their foes, but the Dryads didn�?Tt run.

There were no casualties in the fight between the single Scout and the Blunderbusses, but, being vastly outnumbered, he had no choice but to run. He escaped the Chaos Dwarfs�?T dogged pursuit, but they crashed into the fleeing Wardancers and forced them to flee even further.

The Immortals killed a Dryad and caused them to flee �?" the Dryads ran almost as far as possible and surely thought themselves out of reach of the Chaos Dwarfs, but the stunties let out a great war cry and somehow chased them down, cleaving the fleeing Dryads apart with their wicked axes.


* Just to explain this: the Dryads rolled 11 for their flee distance and the Immortals, since they could only catch them by rolling 12, I assumed had no chance. How wrong I was �?" double 6!

Wood Elf Turn 4

The state of play (warning - depressing for Wood Elf fans):





The Wardancers attempted to rally, but they had no luck and continued to run headlong across the battlefield. Futilely, the lone Scout, back to sheltering in the smouldering wood, shot at the Blunderbusses but didn�?Tt wound. The Dryads on the left kept fighting the Sneaky Gitz, killing three for nothing in return, but it wasn�?Tt enough against the weight of Hobgoblins bearing down on them (and their musician) and they broke and fled. The Gitz pursued and killed them all.

With only a terrified Scout and the Wardancers rapidly diminishing into the distance left on the table, Emma had little choice but to concede, handing the Chaos Dwarfs a Massacre.



Analysis

So what went right? Everything.

Firstly, the plan worked better than I thought. Emma showed her inexperience by spreading her highly fragile army across the whole board and coming at me one unit at a time. Her close combat units are quite formidable, but they just can�?Tt stand up to a fully ranked up unit with command �?" she hasn�?Tt yet learned to use them in concert to coordinate flank attacks and deal with rank bonuses. So even though her Dryads and Wardancers were incredibly effective each round (they slaughtered their way through the front ranks of two units in one close combat phase), the ranks, numbers, banners and, on two occasions, musicians, swung the balance in my favour. It was amazing how effective static combat resolution was against skirmishers and this was the first time in any game of Warhammer that I�?Tve seen musicians have any effect whatsoever. 10 points well spent there.

The Sneaky Gitz were amazing against the Dryads but, truth be told, would have been just as effective if they were naked hobbos. They didn�?Tt kill a single model in return, and only survived because they had full command and ranks. I was amazingly lucky a couple of times, like when the Immortals ran down the Dryads and my first fireball which virtually wiped out the Scouts.

Emma, despite her mistakes, did at least one smart thing by charging the Scout in which saved the Wardancers�?T bacon, but this didn�?Tt affect the outcome of the battle really as they never rallied.

All in all, a battle I won almost solely because of my opponent�?Ts inexperience. No real tactical lessons, except that musicians might be worth it after all and always put your faith in solid units.

Karrthak surveyed the ruins of the battlefield. Broken Elven bodies lay across the meadow which was now rapidly turning to mud as rain sleeted down from the leaden sky. Azhan�?Ts wolves scavenged on some of the corpses and the Chieftain raised his notched blade in salute to the general from across the battlefield. Most of the Drayds had been able to spirit themselves away before they could be killed, escaping into the depths of the forest, and the she-Elf witch had also avoided capture or death in the fracas. No slaves would be taken today, but the way was clear for the rest of the Black Host to enter Athel Loren and wreak havoc amongst the ancient trees. Karrthak hoped that none of the survivors of the battle would carry word to the other Wood Elves, warning them of what was coming �?" surely they had left them too battered to mount a counter attack in the future…

wizuriel:

so the real question now is do wood elves make good slaves??? :stuck_out_tongue:

your list surprised me with the sneaky gitz and bows on the wolf riders. Didn’t seem to add to much after skimming the report. :cheers

Thommy H:

I always put bows on Wolf Riders. Why would you not put bows on them? It gives you fast cavalry with 24" range. Since they’re not tough enough to stand up to determined opposition (it took my riders two turns to break a unit of ten Glade Guard, even with a Hero leading them…) it’s no good gearing them for close combat. That’s just a waste of a good unit.

Also, my army (and Emma’s) is dictated almost entirely by the models we have. The main reason I gave them bows is because that’s what the models have, and the reason they have them is what I just said above - my Wolf Rider unit has bows because that’s the most useful configuration in general, although it may not have been for this battle.

w3rm:

Nice BATREP Tommy H and congratz on the win. I plan to play a 500 point CD warband when my bro gets home and im gonna do a BATREP myself! Oh and if anybudy wants my list

500 Point Chaos Dwarf Warband

Hero

Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer-100

Gear- Level 2

Core

10x Chaos Dwarf Blunderbussiers-110

10x Chaos Dwarf Blunderbussiers- 110

10x Hobgoblins Archers- 50

10x Hobgoblins Archers- 50

10x Hobgoblins with Shields and Light armor- 40

10x Hobgoblins with Shields and Light armor- 40