I took the opportunity this weekend to bring my Bretonnians to a 2000 point AoS "narrative" day held at the local G-Dub. We'd been warned in advance that the scenarios would be from the narrative campaign sections of the various books, rather than the matched play scenarios (which presumably are designed to be a little more balanced). I had to scramble a bit, as the Brets have changed a little since the release of the General's compendium, but ended up running the following list:
Battle Trait: Defiant Avengers
Hero: Louen de Leoncour
Hero: Damsel on Pegasus
Hero: Bretonnian Lord on Steed
- Arcane Relic: Obstinate Blade (+1 Rend stat)
Hero: Damsel on Steed
Hero: Paladin Standard Bearer
Battleline: 16 Knights of the Realm (Gallant, Banner, Trumpeter)
Battleline: 10 Freeguild Archers (Marksman)
Battleline: 10 Freeguild Archers (Marksman)
Artillery: 1 Field Trebuchet
5 Mounted Yeomen (Warden, Trumpeter)
3 Pegasus Knights (Gallant, Banner, Trumpeter)
Game one was against Stormcast, using a battlescroll that I think the Cub used in our most recent game. It basically allows the army (or at least most of it) to deepstrike. He had a mix of Liberators, Judicators, Prosecuters, Retributers, and the Paladins with the big swords (which I think look cool, but of which I never remember the name. For heros he had the Knight Azyros (super-sniper / assassin), the other winged hero with the lantern (which lets him control the deepstrike to a greater degree), a Lord Celestant on foot, one other that I can't recall, and a Hurricanum.
|Had to borrow Puddin's camera for the day, but couldn't figure out how to make it focus.|
The scenario had us struggling to move a boundary back and forth. It moved randomly once a turn, and if you damaged or killed the opposing general. It also offered benefits if you were fighting in your territory, but as we both forgot to use them, it was moot. Having learned about the potential awfulness of a Stormcast unit (or army, in this case) showing up in your backyard, I bubbled up, with a ring of scruffy peasants around my shiny knights.
It was a good thing, too, as turn one, my opponent dropped a metric crapton of stormcast in my rear. The peasant bubble meant that he'd have to charge my chaff units, hopefully giving my harder-hitting knights time to regroup, and get in a charge.
Initially, the plan worked fairly well, especially as my opponent couldn't seem to roll to save his life. Never seen so many bad rolls in one place at one time.
I manged to break away, but sent the regular Lord back on a suicide run to hold up the stormies until I could regroup. Ordinarily, he's pretty choppy, but evidently the bad roll disease was catching, and rather than laying waste to a unit of stormcast (which he's done pretty reliably in the past), he ended up whiffing.
Of course, they couldn't kill me either ;)
Things were looking pretty good, until I managed a turn where two key charges (Louen into his backfield and my knight block into his flank) both flubbed, despite a reroll. This left my Banner Paladin high and dry (and quickly dead), and gave him the chance to fly in his Prosecutors, tying up my knights (who again, couldn't roll to save their lives). He bought enough time to swing his army up, concentrated his shooting on Louen, and ground me down. First loss.
Game two was against Seraphon / Lizardmen. The scenario had my opponent start with only a third of his army on the table, with the rest to come on turn 2 from a predetermined (but secret to me) table edge. My goal was to eliminate his starting units, his was to stop me. He began with a unit of Temple guard, some kind of Saurus hero, and a Dread Saurian (super-giant dino beasty) on the table.
I ringed him, with my peasants as a screen, in case he took the first turn (which he did). Turns out, his Saurian moved quicker than I had expected, and he managed to move out past my archer screen, then charge in behind it at my knights.
He tore them up some, but in the meantime, I sat my two damsels about 17 inches from his Temple Guard, and poured Arcane Bolts (and my horse Lord) into the unit. The Guard are able to get pretty ridiculous armour saves (basically 1+ with a couple of buffs in effect), and ignore lower levels of rend. The Mortal Wounds inflicted by Arcane Bolt get around this, and my Lord habitually carries a magic sword that boosts his rend stat to 2. In the meantime, the rest of my army poured damage into the Dread Saurian. Over two turns, it was enough to eliminate both before his reserves poured on to the table.
His reserves consisted of a mass of Sauraus and Skinks, along with a hero on a carnosaur, but at that point, I just needed to kill the hero left from his original forces, which I did at the top of turn 3. My game.
Game 4 was against a monster-heavy Sylvaneth list. I flat out played this wrong. The scenario was a variation on the ritual - one of my models was being sacrifices, and I had essentially as many turns as that model had wounds to stop them (by killing the model running the sacrifice - in this case, Alarielle). I gave my opponent a peg knight, as otherwise I'd be losing a hero, and figured I'd need them all. What I should have done in this game is used the treb and my damsels to pound Alarielle from turn 1. Instead, I let myself get drawn into a broader tactical fight, using the aforementioned units to try and clear a road for the rest of my army.
|My army swoops in to save their fellow knight.|
This was a bit of a mistake, as in addition to two fairly big units of treekin, he had two of the big treemen (including the special character Durthu), and Alarielle herself, who's a top-tier SC and a complete bad-ass. The big treemen ended up posing a real problem, as they operated under armour saves comparable to the Templeguard, and healed to boot.
|Against the woodsy castle.|
This turned into an attrition fight between me and a bunch of stuff I didn't have the tools to kill. That would have been okay if I'd concentrated my ranged ability on the target, but I was distracted. This one I was just straight up outplayed.
|Turns out, he has a thing that kills my guys and turns them into a forest that kills me. Yikes!|
On the plus side, his paintjobs, and especially his basing, were fantastic. The bigger models had pools, moss, flowers, little spiders, all kinds of crazy details. Just lovely stuff.
Overall it was a fun day. I found gauging the charge distance trickier than I'd expected, although the basic plan worked pretty well. The use of chaff screens, in the first game especially, was key, but I found myself a little underwhelmed by how the knights worked. My Lords seemed to underperform, my knights, while decent, never really got off the mass charge that would make them shine. Part of the issue was that they need to be a large unit to get the extra attack, but getting a large unit completely stuck in turns out to be fairly difficult. They are decent, but they aren't chaos knights, and the relative lack of buffing synergy is an issue.
On the other hand, it was great to get my Brets on the table. I might bit the bullet and try out some lists that go all-in on knights. There's a formation that costs something like 1300 points, but it leaves room for some wizards and trebs, so maybe we'll give it a shot.