Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Lord Sechnaill's Crusade: Back in the Saddle

Lord Sechnaill surveyed what previously had been a peaceful, craggy valley where he and his men were marching towards battle.  These were grave times, with Bretonnia under constant attack from undead forces, and fell stirrings in the north.  Rumours of a great Daemon army enough to have any Errant dreaming of Glory and every Questing Knight sharpening his blade and praying for the Lady's guidance.  War had returned to Bretonnia and Lord Sechnaill was going to see to it that his lance drove deep into the heart of the beast.

The route he was to take, however, had been overrun with the sudden appearance of dark forests, bristling with poisonous bracken.  Something had stirred up the forces of Loren and he had the unfortunate suspicion that they blamed him.  Raising his sword, he bellowed to his troops to form up and get the Pilgrims to stop drinking.  Time to march.

So it's been a while since I took the Bretonnians out for a battle, and my FLGS campaign has just switched over to using The End Times.  With a tournament coming up where I'll be fielding the noble knights I figured it was time that Lord Sechnaill rejoined the fray.

My opponent this week was Josh with his Wood Elves, running a much less flighty army than I would normally face with the Asrai, but with a fair bit more staying power in the Treemen.

Apologies, but I did not take any pictures this game so I wasn't able to do my usual Battle Chronicler diagrams.

Lord Sechnaill's Forces:
Lord (Virtue of Heroism, Warhorse, Shield, Knight's Vow, Gromril Great Helm, Sword of Swift Slaying)
The Green Knight

Paladin (Battle Standard Bearer, Warhorse, Sword of Might, Charmed Shield, Dawn Stone)
Paladin (Questing Vow, Greatsword, Morningstar, Dragonhelm, Luckstone, Virtue of the Impetuous Knight)
Damsel (L2, Beasts, Warhorse w/ Barding (had spare points), Dispel Scroll)

12 Knights of the Realm (Full Command w/ Standard of Discipline)
13 Knights Errant (Full Command w/ War Banner)

3 Pegasus Knights (Full Command)
Grail Relique (17 Battle Pilgrims. All ornery and underfed)

6 Grail Knights (Full Command, Gleaming Penant)
Field Trebuchet
Field Trebuchet

The Wood Elf Forces:
Treeman Ancient (L2 life)
Spellweaver (L3 Heavens, Acorn)

Glade Captain (BSB)
Twins on Dragon

10 Glade Guard (True Flights)
10 Glade Guard (True Flights)
10 Glade Guard (True Flights)
10 Glade Guard (True Flights)
10 Glade Guard (True Flights)

Treeman w/ Strangleroots

So the table already had 1 forest on it, he's then added another 3. So 4 forests, 1 of which was a Fungal Forest, the rest were Venom Thickets (of course). Graciously I allowed him first turn, after having deployed my Trebuchets out to the flanks, my larger lances of Knights to me left flank, and the Reliquae and smaller Realm Knight lance to the right. Pegasus Knights vanguarded right up into his Wizard bunker's grill.

On his first turn, he shot up a couple of Knights from the small realm lance, but didn't manage much magically. On my first turn I charged my (now considerably) smaller Knights of the Realm lance into his Treeman Ancient, my Knights Errant into one of his Treemen.  Lord Sechnaill, backed up by his ever impetuous Questing Knight assistant failed to get his lance into combat against the Treemen.

This went as you might expect, with the Knights Errant hitting the Treeman and staying there for the next 4 turns, the Knights of the Realm hit the Ancient and slowly got crushed one by one. The twins dodged treb shot after treb shot and the Pegasus Knights had skewered his L3 by the end of his Turn 2, and the survivor was turning around to rejoin the fray. The Green Knight popped on straight away and started hacking his way through the Wood Elf Archers, running down in total 3 units of Archers before the game ended.

Field Trebs accomplished absolutely nothing this game, but apparently it was a horrible day for War Machines all around at my FLGS, with the Empire player having his Steam tank misfire every single turn and his cannon blew up turn 1. The Dwarf didn't even have much luck with War Machines, but made up for it by crushing his opponent with Ironbreakers.

The fights against the treemen turned into grind fests, with my Knights of the Realm lance getting in to support the Knights Errant (with Damsel) on turn 3 (after having to advance to get a flank charge), the smaller Knights of the Realm unit was doing ok, until the Ancient got off Shield of Thorns and wiped them out in a single turn. Shield of Thorns also proved devastating against my other 2 Knight Lances, as all 3 Treemen joined the combat and the pointy spell finished off the Knights Errant unit and the Damsel. After a support charge from The Green Knight into the rear of the Ancient (and the death of their BSB at the hands of Lord Sechnaill himself), the stubborn giant trees finally decided to look for battle elsewhere, with the Green Knight running down the Ancient and the characters (for the Knights of the Realm were all dead) of the other lance failing to catch the other Treeman (the third was dead, courtesy of a Wyssan's Horse Kick to the Face).

The valiant Battle Pilgrims wore the brunt of the shooting, as the elf player realised that he could actually pin cushion those (despite my rolling an inordinate number of ward saves). I eventually attempted to throw the Reliquae (as that's all that was left at this point) into the fight with the Knights of the Realm and Knights Errant, but failed the charge, exposing its flank to the Treeman Ancient (though it did hold him up for 1 turn while he dealt with them and kept him away from the Knights of the Realm)

In the end, the game was a draw. In the Bretonnian corner we still had: Lord, Green Knight, BSB and Questadin. Over in the Wood Elf corner we had a Tree Man, 2 units of 10 Glade Guard and the Twins (who had spent most of the game trying to shoot off my trebs before giving up and just charging them). So courtesy of getting the bonus 100 for taking out his BSB.

My learnings from this: Treemen are tough. I was a little overconfident in my Knights because they'd done so well against the Dwarfs, I think that had I thought it through and taken the combo charges I could have brought the Treemen down. If it wasn't so devastating for us, I'd even consider running the Other Trickster's Shard. Grail Reliquae did about as well as expected (not overly) though it did draw 4 turns of shooting away from my more valuable units.

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