Dark Elves vs Bretonnians 1500 pts (Warhammer Renaissance ruleset)

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Bobba Looba
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Dark Elves vs Bretonnians 1500 pts (Warhammer Renaissance ruleset)

Post by Bobba Looba »

Today I plalyed a battle vs Bretonnians. We played a 1500 points battle of Warhammer Renaissance, which is a homebrew ruleset which combines rules from 4th, 5th and 8th. Some standout rules are
- free musician and banner bearer (for units of a decent size)
- All units can take magic banners
- It does have the step-up rule and units always have supporting attacks from the second rank, but enemy models touching corner to corner are not considered in base contact and cannot fight each other.
- The magic system is that of 5th, including Magic Cards.
- To prevent herohammer, magic items are not as powerful as in other editions

My list:
- Dreadlord on Dark Pegasus with Deathsword (S10) and Parrying shield (all models in base contact have -1 attack)
- Lvl 3 sorcerer with Sacrificial Dagger, Dispel scroll and Staff of Stealing (Steal your opponents magic cards, one use only) (the sorcerer is bunkered in the unit of warriors). He also had a warrior familiar with him, who protects the wizard when he gets in melee combat
- Assassin with Gromril Blade (No armour save allowed), placed in the unit of warriors
- A champion with a Parrying Blade (all models in base contact have -1 attack)

- 18 Executioners
- 25 Warriors with swords, light armour and shields and a banner which allows +4 rank bonus
- 2 units of 5 Dark Riders
- 5 shades
- 1 Repeater Bolt Thrower

Bretonnians list
- Lord with Virtue of Knightly Temper (double attacks on the charge)
- Lvl 3 damsel wizard with the Knight errants. 2 dispel scrolls

- 1 unit of 9 Knights of the realm with the Lord
- 1 unit of 9 knights o the realm with a champion
- 1 unit of 8 Knight Errants with champion and the wizard

- 3 units of archers (1 of 16 and two smaller ones of 8 archers)

My main strategy was to hold back and let him advance as slow as possible and have a solution for each of his units of knights.

A unit of warriors was to serve as an anvil with the executioners as the hammer. Using narrow (4 models wide) but deep units I wanted to prevent double charges, limit the amount of models in base contact and win match-ups by having more ranks. I figured it's no use giving the warriors any equipment, as they won't do much damage against 2+ armour. So I'd better go with higher numbers and a banner that gives extra rank bonus. The anvil was reinforced with the assassin, a champion to reduce the number of knights that can attack and the warrior familiar, which has an impressive stat line and Always Strike First for 10 points. The unit of executioners was placed a little further to the back. I left just enough space between the warriors and the RBT for the exectutioners to pass, but not enough for the knights to pass, so it couldn;t be reached for a charge.
The Dreadlord was kitted out so it could handle a unit of knights on his own (or so I thought, but more on that later).
By concentrating all magic and the RBT on another unit of knights, I planned on weakening/ taking out a third unit of knights.
The Dark Riders and Shades were to eliminate his archers and other chaff and eventually turn back and attack any remaining knights in the rear.

Fool proof strategy right? Well... maybe in theory, but in practice not so much.

- The Dark Riders and Shades did basically nothing. They failed to take out even a single unit of archers and were slowly taken out themselves. I like to think it was mostly due to bad luck (they did not hit anything firing 30 shots in total in the first turn). But maybe I should have concentrated their fire and charges more. Despite this, I never thought 5 dark riders would be unable to take out 8 simple archers.

- The dreadlord did ok, but we had a discussion about the rules here. With the Parrying Shield I anticipated none of his knights (except the champion) nor their horses would be able to hit the lord at all, since it reduces the attack of all enemies in base contact by one. With the lance formation, only knights on the sides of the lance formation are in base contact and can attack). However my opponent believed all knights in the lance formation are able to fight since he believes the knights in the middle form a second rank. Also he thought his horses were able to fight. He argued each model loses one attack and the knight and the horse form one model together. We played at his house, so I did not press it too much, but I still believe he misinterpreted the rules here. Anyway, the lord managed to kill off 7 of the 10 knights before being slain in the second round of melee. (Ofcourse it was one mere horse that dealt the final blow). The remaining three knights continued to charge and kill my RBT.

- I was absolutely abysmal with magic. Despite setting of all his dispel scrolls in the first turn, I was only able to cast one spell, Arnzipal's Black Horror, but it stopped half an inch before his Lord. Here we made a rule error as he side-stepped his unit and by-passed the horror in his next movement turn. It was only after reading the rules again after the battle, that we discovered that a lance formation is not able to do so. To be fair, his magic wasn't too succesful either, as he only managed to set of one spell in the entire battle, with which he killed my wizard in one of the last turns. Magic in this edition is strong, but fairly easy to counter.

- The only succesful part of my strategy was the anvil/ hammer tactic. The warriors easily held the knights up and I was able to countercharge with the executioners and destroyed the knights. However in a stroke of bad luck, when rolling to pursue, I rolled double one. This placed my exectioners right between my own warriors and his third unit of knights, which had been held up by the Arnzipal horror. In his next turn, he was able to make shish-kebab of both my remaining units. First he charged the executioners in the flank, destroyed them and continued the charge into the warriors, destroying those too.

- The assassin did not specifically impress me, but he did his job. He managed to kill three knights and was actually the last one of my army standing on the table. With 60 points and a magic weapon, he did not make up for his point cost directly, but since he was the only one doing damage, he did participate in keeping the anvil from breaking.

So, all in all, I console myself that I had some bad luck, but that's part of the game. We made some errors with the rules, but we are both 'beginners'. I have only a handful of battles, and for him, this was his first time playing bretonnians. Either way, I'll need to rethink my strategy for the next battle. I am impressed by the versatility of the Dark Elves and I think I should be able to find other strategies and tactics. I'd love to hear some other thoughts on how to tackle those brets. We decided I could try and get even in our next battle for 2000 points.
Vulcan
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Re: Dark Elves vs Bretonnians 1500 pts (Warhammer Renaissance ruleset)

Post by Vulcan »

First off, what I'm about to say is all predicated on WFB: 6 (for the Brets) and 7-8 (for the DE). I have no idea how the changes in your house rules affect this.

What's the point level of the game? DE seem fairly low point while Brets seem pretty high.

Next. Shades and Dark Riders will smash Bret archers in close combat. Shades are WS 5; Dark Riders WS 4... and Bret archers WS 2. Charge in, wreck them, and move on. DO NOT try and exchange fire with them; you don't have the bodies for that.

HOWEVER, Dark Riders might be more valuable being used to divert and delay the three blocks of knights so your hammer and anvil can deal with them one at a time. There are plenty of articles on this, go check them out.
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Bobba Looba
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Re: Dark Elves vs Bretonnians 1500 pts (Warhammer Renaissance ruleset)

Post by Bobba Looba »

Having an unofficial ruleset has some drawbacks indeed. My opponent is persisting that regular ruleset have neer been balanced, because of powercreep and he refuses to play the official rules. I'm happy to have found an opponent in this day and age, so I don't argue with it.

I had to check, but you are right. In this ruleset both Shades and Dark Riders have WS4 and Bretonnian archers have WS3. I hadn't realised that until you mentioned it. But that is worthy of a second look at these rules. I did engage in close combat as soon as possible, but with these stats and a little bad luck, they were just unable to make a dent.

Can you elaborate on the Dark Riders and how to divert the knights?
I could see how I could try and position them in front of them (at an angle away from the rest of my troops) and hope he will charge them, so I can flee?
Vulcan
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Re: Dark Elves vs Bretonnians 1500 pts (Warhammer Renaissance ruleset)

Post by Vulcan »

Just noticed. Bretonnian armies traditionally REQUIRE a Paladin BSB. No mention of one on his list. Part of the Renaissance changes, I presume?

I'd like to see these rules. It sounds like Bretonnia got a much-needed buff - and perhaps a bit more - while Dark Elves got heavily nerfed down from their moderately overstrength 8E level.

Of course, your army really doesn't play much to DE strengths against a heavy Knight force. I'd consider four units of Dark Riders to run interference, give the Dark Peggy to the sorceress with a ward save and let her go find cover and firing opportunities for Lore of Metal (cheese against knights, but under the circumstances...), keep the shades, and buff the Executioners as large as you can. Black Guard with the ASF or AP banner might be a better replacement.

But it's hard to make really good recommendations without seeing the rules.
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Bobba Looba
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Re: Dark Elves vs Bretonnians 1500 pts (Warhammer Renaissance ruleset)

Post by Bobba Looba »

I think I can post the rules on the forum, since they're freely available. I'll post them in a seperate post later today and on a better location on the forum, if I can find how to upload documents.

In short: Warhammer Renaissance is made and distributed by a (I believe danish) guy. In his own words:
WHR is a fanmade set of rules that combines the clarity of rules of 6th and 7th edition with the narrative and epicness of 4th and 5th edition, with just a dash of 8th edition for balance.



The rules indeed don't require a BSB for Bretonnia.
DE definitely got a nerf from 8th. The rules for DE are much more like they were in 4th/ 5th: they don't have ASF, no Murderous Prowess, etc. I'm not too sure on Black Guard as they aren't as good as in 8th. They have +1S over the +2S of the executioners and although they don't have the executioners' Always Strike Last rule, this is less relevant as there is the Step up rule.

I find Dark Riders pretty expensive here, as they have the same cost as Bretonnian knights (both 26 points), but are obviously no match against them. I find it difficult to use their potential. There is a post somewhere on the forum about Dark Riders, but since it misses the images, it's difficult to understand.

I have the return match on the 4th of september, so I'd love to hear more suggestions!
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Bobba Looba
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Re: Dark Elves vs Bretonnians 1500 pts (Warhammer Renaissance ruleset)

Post by Bobba Looba »

It looks like I can't post documents on the forum.

The guy who wrote the rules makes them available through a Facebook group page (request to join):
https://www.facebook.com/groups/229862157776959/

Once there, you'll find he is in the process of updating the rules to a 2022 version, but we've played the 2021 version up to now.

In the mean time, I'll try and find a way to upload the rules and provide you with a link.
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