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Lost colony in 9th age - 2500 vs. VC 
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We have the weakest book of them all of course. ;)

Truth is, we have to seek some new tricks. Or at least I have. I was used to field three pegasus riders in a competitive setting who would have solved quite a few of my problems here (hellcannon, chariots of any kind, rear-charging a necromancer bunker, pinning down some skirmishers, maybe even going after fighty lords with enough support). Right now I am not sure what to use to control the battlefield with countercharge threats instead of them. Bolt throwers are not always enough. Medusas will be nice I guess; some pegasus heroes might actually be worth it still; dark art apprentices should help, too. And if everything else fails, deathstars should be playable. We have some interesting foot hero builds after all.

And don't worry, I had an excellent time. :) Except in the dwarf game. That was, you know, a game against dwarfs.

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Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:40 pm
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Lost Colony vs. Dwarfs (2500)

Lost Colony

lord of darkness, fleet commander, heavy armour, executioner axe, talisman of regeneration, dragonhelm: 273
lvl4 fire, talisman of 4++, dispel scroll: 310

cult of blood priestess BSB, whip of subversion, blood armour: 170
lvl2 beasts, tome of arcane lore: 120

20 spearmen, heavy armour, FCG: 230
10 blood maidens, FCG, flaming banner: 160
2x 5 shadow riders, crossbows, shields, musician: 2x 120

3x 10 executioners, standard, musician: 3x 150
5 shadow stalkers, ahw, poison: 90
2 bolt throwers, multishot: 2x 75
bolt thrower: 55
5 harpies: 70

3 medusas: 180

A nice MSU force to play something I know better. I am not sure what could I do about tough fliers but otherwise, I think I have all threats covered. Fire magic is very nice here as it provides an answer both to small avoidance units and big hordes. Executioners and heroes should hopefully be enough in the anti-armour department.

My opponent decided to go full experimental:

Dwarfs
1x runemaster, general, shield, Rune of Spell-Disrupting, Rune of Resolve, Rune of True Grit, Rune of Reckoning, Rune of the Forge, Rune of Shielding - 125
1x deamonslayer - 140, fury 15, might 20, haste 20, fear 20, raging 40
2x runestmih, shield, Rune of Spell-Devouring, Rune of Metal, Rune of Resolve, Rune of Oaths Kept - 2x 65
1x bsb - shield, Runic Banner of Shielding - 90

25x longbeards, fcg 380 - Gleaming Icon​ - 5
25x longbeards, fcg 380 - Banner of Cleansing Fire 20
30x ironbreakers, fcg 510 - Banner of Courage​ - 5
15x slayers, fcg, skirmish 210 - Banner of Speed​ - 15
1x copter 80
1x copter 80

So, three blocks of normal dwarfs, each with its designated runesmith that provides armour piercing (1) and can cast some nice spells, plus a skirmishing unit ITP of guys that strike when killed, together with a rather killy hero.

The battle was very classical, the big dwarf blocks were running forwards as fast as they could (which is not much) and I was running circles around them. In the end, I only lost three small units that redirected and killed everything besides the big block of ironbrakers with general and BSB.

Gyrocopters: shot down T1 due to incredible rolling on my part, adding to the one-dimensional feel of the game.

Slayers: the fact that the make an attack out of initiative order when dying means I was basically unwilling to fight them, except maybe with sacrificial blood maidens. Due to skirmish and T4, however, they absorbed 3 or 4 turns of full magic and shooting from 2x riders, 2x bolt thrower (the multishot models), shades and a fire mage. I had to redirect with witches - the demon slayer alone killed 8, the two remaining ones put a wound on him and then died. Then I finally killed the unit but had to redirect the demon slayer once more; turn 4, I was finally able to bring him down with one more round of all the shooting at my disposal (except medusas).

Veterans: one unit got flank charged by medusas. After this, they immediately reformed to face them despite aura of despair. The combat dragged on for a long time (at least 4 combat phases, maybe even 6) with both sides hitting on 5s; in the end, the unit was killed to a man at the cost of one medusa. Stomps were really strong here, doing almost as many hits as normal attacks.

The other unit was charged in the front by one unit of execs plus general and BSB and got terribly beaten by the two heroes. BSB caused 7 wounds in two phases, general did 6 wounds to a runesmith in the first (bad target allocation on my part) and killed three stunties in the second round, execs added a few kills themselves. In return, only two execs died per phase as 10 S4 attacks hitting on 4+ are not that many. At the end of the second phase, the veterans got reduced below two ranks, fled and were destroyed on the run.

Ironbreakers: Had a long way to go to my position, were redirected with a bolt thrower turn 5, did nothing else.

Runesmithes: The ability to buy exactly the spells one needs seems quite strong. And we are speaking about some really useful spells - reroll armour, -1 to be wounded, rerolls to hit, stubborn. On the other hand, it might be hard to predict what spells one actually needs. I don't feel they are too strong; on the other hand, the thought of a block of some GW toughies rerolling to hit, or of some 2+ anvilmen rerolling armours, scares me a bit.

Demon slayer: From the insufficient data I have, he seems a model that is really fun but really hard to balance. I know the intention is that he charges in, does some damage and then dies. However, with T5 and 5++ ward (and 3 wounds), he is actually not that easy to kill. One would need something like 40 attacks from spearmen, 18 from witch elves, 12 from executioners. So yes, if he charges a horde under the cauldron's blessing head on, he will die (unless it's a horde of spearmen). If the unit is depleted, however, or if he manages to go in the flank, he can bring it down singlehandedly. Furthermore, if the I10 variant is still possible, he turns in a difficult foe for elf heroes a well, striking before them with many high strength attacks. It narrows down the ways to contain him considerably. For example, in my list, my general should defeat him even in the I10 version but otherwise, I am stuck with magic and shooting. On the other hand, as long as he is without grinding attacks and has to hit normally, he is probably fine as there are ways to shift the odds.

Dark riders: very useful here as I was able to get them to the flanks of my enemy T1, meaning that starting with T2, the dwarven ability to march 3x their movement if no enemy is within 8 inches was nulified.

Medusas: finally, after nine games, I was able to kill something with them. I am still convinced they should have lightning reflexes though. They are a glass cannon unit as any elf, they need to go through their enemies really fast.

Whip of subversion: This is a weird item. It proved really strong this game but ranked infantry is the ideal opponent. On the other hand, it is only S5 so using it against monsters is somewhat dicey (it *should* do at least one wound to a hydra for example but one good regeneration roll and the hero suffers a considerable number of return attacks). And it's even more unpredictable against enemy heroes. Hard to say after just one game though.

Executioner axe: hard to say. Once hitting on 4s, it becomes unpredictable. In addition, I am not sure how would my lord fare against some ridden monster as thunderstomp is a pain. Will test some more.

Executioners: I just want to say that charging at S8 felt really good even though it was a total waste (S6 base + beast within + thunderous charge thanks to my BSB inside the unit). I am still wondering if a thunderous charge not tied to a character being in the unit would be too much. I think it would be nice for executioners but maybe too strong for maidens so hard to decide.

All in all, a nice tactical exercise but not much of a game. My opponent is already revising his list with the intention to add some more board control so when we meet again (hopefully it won't take too long) the battle should be a bit more interesting.

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Sun Nov 29, 2015 3:16 pm
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Thanks for the report.
DE not so weak after all?

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Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:01 am
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Nice report again. Looking forward to the rematch report.

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Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:17 am
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Lost Colony vs. Dwarfs: 2500 rematch!

Lost Colony

lord of darkness, fleet commander, heavy armour, executioner axe, talisman of regeneration, dragonhelm: 273
lvl4 fire, talisman of 4++, dispel scroll: 310

cult of blood priestess BSB, whip of subversion, blood armour: 170
lvl2 beasts, tome of arcane lore: 120

20 spearmen, heavy armour, FCG: 230
10 blood maidens, FCG, flaming banner: 160
2x 5 shadow riders, crossbows, shields, musician: 2x 120

3x 10 executioners, standard, musician: 3x 150
5 shadow stalkers, ahw, poison: 90
2 bolt throwers, multishot: 2x 75
bolt thrower: 55
5 harpies: 70

3 medusas: 180

Dwarfs

master runesmith, 2x scroll, 5++ ward

2x runesmith, some spells
engineer with 2d3 irondrake-like shots
engineer with s8 d3 wounds torpedo

2x 20 warriors, FCG, shields
18 warriors, FCG, ambush
2x 5 slayers
2x copter
20 ironbreakers, FCG, movement banner
18 irondrakes, FCG, vanguard banner
2x bolt thrower

My opponent has some very nice tools here. From the last time, his combat ability dropped significanty; still, the ironbreakers can hold the ground for a long time and probably kill quite a few doing that.

Not sure what can he do against high toughness / high armour, though, other than shooting with irondrakes and bolt throwers. The list is probably not ideal stil.

As we were both quite careful, there was not much fighting going on - I deployed to the opposite corner to first deal with slayers and irondrakes and the dwarf blocks were distracted by the medusas too much. Still, in the end, there was a big combat in the middle that went to my favour as my bigger experience with infantry fighting lists showed.

End result: approximately a 14:6 victory to DE

Slayers - This time they did nothing besides absorbing some shooting. They were played quite defensively, though.

Copters - Only did a little - were played defensively and shot down eventually.

Irondrakes - the big bad unit of this list, capable of deleting any of my units each turn. I could have blocked their vanguard but they would have shot my scouts down and marched in the centre anyway; thus, I allowed them to vanguard to the centre so that I could destroy them before tackling the other dwarf blocks. They managed to shoot twice: first shot, range made longer with engineer, 5 dead witches; second shot, +1 to hit from engineer, 9 dead executioners. Then they got flank charged by medusas and eventually destroyed. (If they reformed to face the medusas, they would have faced a flank charge from my execs instead.) So, a unit that can really kill a lot and is quite hard to handle if the dwarf player protects its flanks.

Dwarf balistas - shot down nothing as I have no good targets and BS3 is not that good to start with. They proved quite formidable in close combat, though. Someone should do some number crunching of dark riders (or pistoliers or something) fighting a warmachine crew - I think if a fast cavalry unit manages to get through to the warmachine without being shot down or blocked, it should make short work with it. But maybe the odds are actually this way and I was just expecting too much when I was hoping to kill the WM in one turn (then again, stubborn? Why?)

Ironbreakers - no real data. I charged them with 10 execs + general in the last turn to see what happens and it turned out it would have gone in the favour of dwarfs which is probably a good thing, given they were twice as numerous. My general killed the opposing BSB though (and if I wasn't lousy and directed some attacks on the master runesmith, I would have probably killed him, too).

General feeling - the dwarf army seems extremely durable and reliable. Each cannon having Ld9 stubborn is quite cool. It makes them very hard to affect in any way. Fighting to the last dwarf is quite fluffy I guess; for elves it means a higher danger of return attacks.

DE magic - of limited impact here as my main problem, the irondrakes, are fireborn. Thus, fireball was usually dispelled and other spells were not of a big consequence. Still, it helped to clear the slayers. Given how many points I am paying for it, though, the effect was rather weak.

Medusas - after the last game, my opponent has far more respect for them. They disrupted his advance very well as he was trying to prevent them flank or rear charging any of his units. What is more, he tried to help his irondrakes by charging his warriors in the rear of medusas and it was still not enough as he only did a single wound to them (I think he won that fight but both my general and BSB were near so no problem). Then I finished off the irondrakes with witches + BSB and the medusas started crunching warriors - and given enough time, they would have killed them as well. So, they are really strong if facing the right target it seems. On the other hand, they still need considerable time to do that. Given their fragility, it seems they might be more or less balanced.

Blood maidens - not convinced they are really that strong. They killed 4 drakes or so but that was the ideal situation, rear charging with a hero inside the unit. While 10 maidens defeat 10 dwarf warriors in straight combat, it is not by much and the dwarfs are far more durable. Sure, maidens can be made stronger by including a character for example but that narrows down their uses.

Execs - They have a low number of high quality attacks. Hitting on 5s hurts them a lot. It would be very nice to have access to some buff giving +1 to hit. Maybe I should explore metal magic... Otherwise, they were in no combat besides the funny last turn charge. They could probably be used with good effect to snipe some weaker characters out of units.

Overall feeling - Still not sure about my character choices. BSB is cool against infantry which might be good as execs struggle to inflict many wounds; problem is, many heroes attack before execs so saying their task is to kill characters is problematic.
Furthermore, fire magic might be better on a lvl2.

On top of that, I feel that in many combats, I need to buff myself somehow but I am not sure magic is enough in this regard. It can be dispelled easily and only helps one unit (or against one unit). Maybe including a cauldron? For it, however, it is not easy to hop between units so not sure here. Also, I feel it is better when it gives additional attacks to another unit than its own because it fills up so much space in the first rank.

The list I am playing is fun but it would most likely struggle against the hardest tournament builds.

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Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:12 pm
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Marchosias wrote:
Dwarf balistas - shot down nothing as I have no good targets and BS3 is not that good to start with. They proved quite formidable in close combat, though. Someone should do some number crunching of dark riders (or pistoliers or something) fighting a warmachine crew - I think if a fast cavalry unit manages to get through to the warmachine without being shot down or blocked, it should make short work with it. But maybe the odds are actually this way and I was just expecting too much when I was hoping to kill the WM in one turn (then again, stubborn? Why?)


I haven't read up on their rules, so I can't summon the numbers out of my hat. But I'll get on it. Still... Stubborn doesn't seem like such a big deal. One can win at most by.. 2 or so? Unless the rules changed more than I know.

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Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:18 am
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You can have two wounds, charge and banner as far as I know. Not that I would understand why a fast cavalry unit would carry a banner. :) But silver helms could for example. Plus there is a light magic buff that adds +2 to combat resolution. :D

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Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:02 pm
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I confess, I never charged in a Silver Helm bus with a banner in a Cannon before. Although, I think I did charge a 10+ COK unit with BSB into a warmachine once... But that was 6th edition. And it was in my way as I trampled through my opponent's army.

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"I move unseen. I hide in light and shadow. I move faster than a bird. No plate of armour ever stopped me. I strike recruits and veterans with equal ease. And all shiver at my coldest of whispers."
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Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:07 am
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I have often seen units of 5 silver helms as chaff. Giving them a banner is hardly an auto-choice but it could help with blood and glory and having +1 to combat res might be nice as well from time to time. If you have spare points in core you have no better use for...

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Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:23 pm
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This is my last game under the 0.9.x version of the rules.

Lost Colony

lord of darkness, fleet commander, heavy armour, executioner axe, talisman of regeneration, dragonhelm: 273
lvl4 fire, talisman of 4++, dispel scroll: 310

cult of blood priestess BSB, whip of subversion, blood armour: 170
lvl2 beasts, tome of arcane lore: 120

20 spearmen, heavy armour, FCG: 230
10 blood maidens, FCG, flaming banner: 160
2x 5 shadow riders, crossbows, shields, musician: 2x 120

3x 10 executioners, standard, musician: 3x 150
5 shadow stalkers, ahw, poison: 90
2 bolt throwers, multishot: 2x 75
bolt thrower: 55
5 harpies: 70

3 medusas: 180


Vampires

vampire lord von Castelstein, lvl3 death, flying mount, 4++ ward, beastbane halberd, 2++ vs fire
vampire BSB von Castelstein, lvl2 death, 4++ ward

4x 5 dire wolves, champion
3x 14 ghouls, champion, skirmish, vanguard
3x vargbeast / varkolak, vanguard
3x 3 vampiric monstrosities, champion

EDIT: mistakes in the VC list corrected. Also, the list was illegal as ghouls can only buy vanguard if a vampire of the Strigoi bloodline is leading them (or something).

So... crap! An undead army that is more manoeuverable than me? Where is the world going? :D I really like this VC list. It is fast, hits hard, can adjust deployment easily, is very well able to get to the flanks or make combined charges. Both general and BSB have a range of 24 inches (large target + von Castelstein ability). The list is also very difficult to shoot at: the general provides blurry in his inspiring presence range and most things are skirmish or have high tougness + regen.

I am really sad I forgot my camera and am therefore unable to reproduce what exactly was happening. :(

Here I deployed everything right away, to get a chance to adjust my positioning after his vanguards. I would have been unable to lure his deploment out of him anyway - 3x wolves, 3x ghouls, centrally placed monstrosities and my battleplan is obvious anyway. The reason is I am convinced I have to keep my units close together in this matchup; this way, I am hopefully able to prevent flank charges or nasty things landing behind my back.

Despite the defensive deployment, however, I immediately advanced to project some threat. My opponent didn't fear me and so I was charging T2. Initially I was successful in some fights at least; then, however, a varghulf ran through half of my army, the vampiric BSB killed my lord and everything fell apart.

End result: 0:20 in the favour of vampires most likely. I killed 700 or 800 points but lost everything except a unit of dark riders.

Vampire characters - it is terrifying how many break test modifiers they can accumulate. Fear: -1 Ld. Each death spell further -1, one will probably go through at least. Von Castelstein: +1 to each combat result. This means that if two heroes are facing each other, no one scores a wound but the vampire has charged or is a BSB, the opponent is already testing on Ld6 and that only if he was starting on Ld10. This is how my general perished: she managed to roll that break test on Ld6 or what once but not for a second time.
On the other hand, as large targets they are vulnerable to shooting and if they have bodyguards, they can be leaked combat resolution that way so they are paying a price for that strong combo.

varghulfs - well, everyone knows they are extremely good so I will keep it short. The problem is this thing has it all - durable with T5 regen and 3+ hunger, hard-hitting with 5 S6 attacks at WS5 with hatred, fast being a single model with M8. They are faster than many cavalry units! I actually managed to destroy two of them early (I will get to this) but the third killed 10 blood maidens with BSB, then charged 10 executioners with both sorceresses, killed the small sorc first round together with 3 execs, survived when the execs got buffed with frenzy and flaming sword (not at the same time of course) and emerged from all this bloodshed without a single wound as everything I got through got healed.

vargheists (vampiric monstrosities)- they did not see much action in this battle. From the almost nonexistent data I have, they seem fine when it comes to balance - fast and hard hitting but vulnerable. It might be somewhat a problem that they are so fast - there won't be that many things that don't mind gettingcharged by them in the flank. One unit can be destroyed by a nice round of shooting but facingthree together with some knights for example could press the enemy quite hard. After all, this is exacty what had happened to me here.
On the other hand, their fragility is not to be underestimated - see the entry for spearmen.

ghouls - It is funny but in a way, they were the units that were bothering me the most. They are too cheap and weak to concentrate too much effort on them but on the other hand, they can't be ignored. I can't allow them to flank charge me. I should have probably tried to kill them first with some charges that would have as a result broken me out of encirclement but that is easier said than done. They were very useful in pinning things down or finishing them off.

Whip of subversion - The item was lackluster here. It proved it is indeed very dicey. When the varghulf charged my BSB I needed to do one single wound to completely neutralize him. Out of 5 attacks, I scored 3 hits on 2+, 1 wound on 4+ and that was saved on 4+ regen. This is an unlucky result for me but not an extremely unlikely one. In return, my BSB was killed easily with 4 attacks allocated on her. So... as said, I am not sure how much is the rule with negating enemy's attacks worth. It can be amazing one game and completely useless another.
O.10 update: funny thing is, it is called whip of Yema now but I see it as most useful on a Nabh character because of hatred and poison.

Executioner axe - Another useless item. :D The enemy was seriously scared of it which is a good thing. The bad thing is that it did no damage. In the combat against the enemy BSB, two attacks failed to hit and the remaining two were warded. Unlucky for sure but again, this item has a high volatility, doing nothing is very well possible. I could buy holy attacks I guess but that would mean no 4++ ward.
0.10 update: hatred could make a big difference here. I am planning to test as soon as possible.
One more thing that worries me: if there is a flying lord on the table, it will be difficult to get my lord to fight him and even if I succeed, the mount's attacks and especially stomps could potentially swing the combat in my opponent's favour. Even the vampire BSB has four attacks more + stomp thanks to the mount and while they are not of high quality they can produce some wounds anyway. It's just a feeling unsupported by real arguments but I feel the executioner axe lord might need some support to be truly effective. Caudron for +1 attack for example. As I have said, though, hatred is a considerable boost.

Blood maidens - They did nothing to a varghulf and died. Is this really surprising? They would have been good against ghouls and vampiric monstrosities I guess.

Executioners - one unit got weakened by ghouls getting in its flank and killed by vampire characters. My mistake. Second unit was fighting a varghulf without success; it was constantly failing fear tests and my opponent was rolling regens well. The remaining one charged some vampiric monstrosities, fought to a stalemate and then got destroyed by a countercharge.

DE magic - it was in this battle I noticed the wilderness magic frenzy spell has an aura version cast on 9+. Giving half of an army ITP and +1 attack is very strong. One more reason to like this lore.
In general, my magic was useful but I am not sure it is worth the points I am spending on it.

Spearmen - Buffed by the frenzy spell, they charged a unit of monstrosities to hold them down for a while and protect my sorceresses. To my big surprise, they actually managed to crumble the unit in one single phase! Then they overran in another unit o monstrosities... and won again. Unbelievable. In hindsight, however, it is actually not that unlikely - they have a decent chance of doing six wounds, leaving only one monstrosity fighting which won't kill enough. And even if they wound slightly worse and two monstrosities survive, the warriors should hold their ground. It shows the fragility of the monstrosities very well.

Medusas - The best thing last. I put the girls at the spearhead of my forces to project their threat arc as far forwards as possible. My opponent did not fear them at all and placed two varghulfs in front of them; it was done in such a way that I had to charge both because I was unable to fit there (alternatively, I could have connected with some monstrosities, too). So I took the charge, got off flaming sword and killed a varghulf with my attacks. The other one then fluffed big time, scored no wounds and crumbled. This was some lucky rolling for me but the varghulf was hitting on 5+ which is not that awesome even with a reroll. Even with normal rolling, though, he should have been be unable to kill a whole medusa which would have seen him destroyed in the following combat phase most likely.
Too bad the medusas died right after that in combat against both the heroes who were both attacking before them. One should also note that they were aided by probably the best possible buff in the whole game given their situation. Still, they did some serious work this battle.

All in all, this was a really good battle. I felt I was pressed hard right from the beginning but at the same time I don't think I was without chances - just that I needed a flawless play to prevail. The vargulf killing two units, my BSB and both sorceresses was the deciding moment and I am not sure what could have I done to prevent that; on the other hand, I did did some mistakes and I was lucky in other instances so I am not saying I have lost unjustly.

Overall, I feel my army needs a more reliable source of buffs than magic because my units can't take on that many things one on one and combined charges are quite hard to get in some instances, this battle being a good example. It might help once we start playing with secondary objectives (this undead army can never win one for example). Otherwise, an altar might be a possibility, the newly allowed hatred for executioners could help as well. I will have to throw something out of the army to explore this. A long journey of exploring lies ahead!

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Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:05 pm
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