From the link provided: https://tidesofdestruction.blogspot....nto-woods.html
Episode 15: Do. Not. Go. Into. The. Woods. (Destruction vs. Sylvaneth 2000 Points)
Today was the mid-point in my League and I was paired down as one of three undefeated players. As luck would have it I was matched against Jared and his Sylvaneth, someone I've played before and know going back to my Warmachine days. Jared is a dead solid player and experienced in many games so I knew I'd have to be on point. Sylvaneth is an army I want a lot more reps in against because they're very slippery and very powerful, even without spamming Kurnoth Hunters.
Scenario | Blood and Glory
Frostlord on Stonehorn w/ Battle Brew
Huskard on Thundertusk
Huskard on Thundertusk w/ Battle Brew
Savage Orruk Big Boss
10 Savage Orruks
10 Savage Orruks
10 Savage Orruks
40 Savage Orruk Arrowboys
1 Kunnin' Rukk
Spirit of Durthu w/ Briarsheath
Treelord Ancient w/ Briarsheath (General w/ Gnarled Warrior)
Branchwych w/ Acorn of the Ages
Loremaster of Hoeth
3 Kurnoth Hunters w/ Scythes
3 Kurnoth Hunters w/ Bows
3 Kurnoth Hunters w/ Bows
1 Gnarlroot Wargrove
Edit: It's come to my attention that Jared's list was 20 Points over and doesn't include the required Household Battalion. I didn't know this at the time and don't think it was done intentionally. Just worth including as part of the Battle Report.
This is almost a carbon copy of a list I've played before, only the High Elf Hero differs and I think Hand of Glory is a lot better spell for this list. Jared has good Scenario presence with the teleporting around, a good ranged game and quite a melee force that I need to keep off my guys.
I think I'm quite advantaged in the ranged game and have a lot more alpha strike potential, Jared could grind me down in certain situations though. My priority targets list to list would be his Heroes followed by the Kurnoths, limiting his ability to bring back models via the Battalion Spell is important. I can also lose the decision to go First or Second in the Battle Round because of the two Battalions, so I need to deploy appropriately and probably expect losses into my Arrowboys from the Kurnoth.
Terrain and Deployment
Terrain from the Building close to camera and going clock-wise: Mystical, Inspiring, Damned, Arcane, Deadly, Arcane, Arcane, and Mystical.
I feel that I deployed very poorly this game and that goes to me being a reactionary player. I typically work off of what my opponent is showing, initially, and then get ahead from there. This approach doesn't work against Sylvaneth because of all their movement abilities, I cannot dictate matchups through deployment. I also took the Damned Terrain with my Arrowboys but this put them hard onto a flank, meaning they may struggle to get into the game. I also did this to protect the Big Boss as Kurnoth Hunters have the range to get to him. Jared kept both Hunter with Bows units in "Reserves" meaning he could deploy them in the Wildwoods and get LoS. Again, this is something I should have foreseen and just went hard for the center and a soft flank.
I ended up deciding who got first turn and gave it to Jared, still not realizing my mistake with the Big Boss. The goal was to get more of my shooting into the game than he'd be able to and then possibly get a double turn.
Sylvaneth Battle Round 1
Jared started by putting Inspiring Presence on the Dryads as well as Mystic Shield and Hand of Glory on Durthu. A new Wildwood went down on my left courtesy of the Branchwych's Artefact but the Treelord failed to make another. All the other Spells had no targets and Jared declined to use his Battalion movement.
In Movement both Kurnoth Hunters with Bows came down, getting four models on the Big Boss. Durthu and the Ancient backed away as did the Loremaster, both units of Revenants moved to secure the friendly Objectives. Kurnoth with Scythes move up a bit but not too much. Shooting saw me lose my Big Boss as he took 9 Wounds, the remaining shots went into my Blue Thundertusk who didn't take any damage. Sylvaneth had no Charges and passed the turn.
Objective Control | 2-0 for Sylvaneth
The Big Boss is no more.
Hunters deploy aggressively into the Wildwoods, most of the army backs them up.
Durthu backs off to hold the Objective with the Revenants.
Destruction Battle Round 1
Losing the Big Boss is a huge blow but I still have plenty of strong units left, with that I used my Battle Brews, put Inspiring Presence and Bellowing Tyrant on the Arrowboys, and failed both my Winter's Strength rolls onto the Frostlord. Rampaging Destroyer had me move up, shifting to the right, and the far-right Orruks failed their Mystical check.
In Movement I parked the Frosrlord within 3" of both Kurnoth units and continued to shift right while fanning my Orruks out as a screen. Some Arrowboy shots went into the Hunters to soften them up while the Blood Ravens and Frost-wreathed Ice went into the Dryads and Hunters equally. My goal was to remove both Kurnoth units in one turn to prevent them coming back or fleeing to another Wildwood and then tank what was left with my Frostlord.
The Frostlord made his Charge, wiping out one Kurnoth unit with Earth-shattering Charge but doing almost nothing to the other with some very poor rolls and the re-rollable Armor Saves from the Kurnoth. There were no Battleshock tests to make and I won the Initiative, taking the turn.
Objective Control | 2-2 Tied
Frostlord powerslides into what's left of the Kurnoth.
Arrowboys trying to stream to the center and get into the game.
State of the Board at the end of Round 1.
Destruction Battle Round 2
Winning the Turn gave me another shot at the Kurnoth and I began my Hero Phase with all the same buffs as last turn. I was able to heal the single Wound from the Frostlord and allow him to re-roll 1's to Wound which would have come in enormously useful last turn. I pushed all my screens up and got my Arrowboys into the game with Rampaging Destroyer but I neglected to get the Damned bonus. No failed Mystical checks this time.
Movement pushed the screens and Arrowboys over some more, getting in range of the Kurnoths. In Shooting I killed off one of the Kurnoth with Scythes, brought the Dryads down to 10 and scattered a few Wounds on other targets. I declined any further Charges and unfortunately my Frostlord still couldn't finish off the Bow Kurnoth, reducing them down to a wounded Champion. Once again there were no Battleshocks to be made.
Objective Control | 2-2 Tied
Sylvaneth Battle Round 2
Jared through up his same buffs on the same units and went into a heavy series of casting, resurrecting the Scythe Kurnoth and attempting to awaken the Wildwoods as much as possible. All in all he did so three times plus getting off the spell that does so directly, putting a ton of Wounds on the Frostlord and killing several of my Orruks. No Mystical checks were failed and the Scythe Kurnoth moved up with their Battalion as did Durthu.
The last Bow Kurnoth tried to teleport away but failed with a 1, the Dryads and other Kurnoth moved up for a Charge on the Frostlord. Both Wizards moved back a bit while Durthu and the Treelord advanced into shooting range. Durthu took 3 Wounds to power up his shooting into the Arrowboys, killing a few, while the Kurnoth chipped in for another, and finally the Treelord put a few Wounds into the Frostlord.
Dryads made their Charge into the Frostlord but the Kurnoth fail on a 3, Jared nominates the Bow Kurnoth and leaves me on one Wound. I put all my attacks into the Dryads, removing the unit, and then the Frostlord dies to a Stomp. A few Orruks run since they got beaten on by the Wildwoods.
Jared wins the Initiative roll and takes the turn.
Objective Control | 2-2 Tied
Kurnoth and Dryads gear up for a Charge (Jared moved his Bow Kurnoth without remembering he had to roll, we put it back).
Overview of the Battlefield.
The Frostlord dies, opening up a big hole on the right side.
Sylvaneth Battle Round 3
Heed the Spirit-Song goes on the Scythe Kurnoth but most Spells are out of range or have no target, Mystic Shield fails to go on the Kurnoth. Both Durthu and the Kurnoth advance again due to Freespirits Battalion and the Tree-Revenants once again pass their Mystical check.
The last bow Kurnoth manages to teleport away and the Treelord also pops up on the left side to reinforce Durthu. The remaining Wizards move toward the flanks to help with Objectives while the Kurnoth move up into my Arrowboys and other units. The Revenants on my right move towards my Objective.
Shooting sees everything go into the Arrowboys, removing quite a few of them, and the Kurnoth make their Charge into my Red Thundertusk, Arrowboys, and two units of Orruks. They put all their attacks into the Arrowboys leaving me with just over 20 models. I do a few Wounds with the Thundertusk but decline to Pile In with anything else. Yet again there are no Battleshock tests to be made.
Objective Control | 2-2 Tied
Destruction Battle Round 3
My usual Hero Phase buffs go up on the same targets and I use Rampaging Destroyer to retreat all but my Arrowboys and the Red Thundertusk towards Jared's Objectives. In Movement I run everything but the Red Thundertusk and Arrowboys, getting onto the left Objective but being less than an inch out of the right one.
Shooting puts a few Wounds on the Kurnoth and has the Arrowboys removing Durthu. In Combat I go down to 2 Wounds remaining on the Red Thundertusk and lose a handful more Arrowboys but don't inflict any damage back. Again, Battleshock has no relevant tests.
I won the roll for Initiative at which point we called the game since I would trivially walk onto the remaining Objective and win the game on Scenario.
Objective Control | 3-1 for Destruction
Savage Orruks aggressively take the left Objective.
Overview of the Combat, Kurnoths are a bit obscured by the Thundertusk.
Another angle of the Combat.
Thundertusk and Savage Orruks come up just short of the Objective behind the Building while the dead Frostlord looks on.
Major Victory for Destruction!
This was the hardest game I've played of Age of Sigmar so far and I spent all evening thinking about. I made a huge, huge amount of mistakes this game and was only able to win because Jared made some crucial ones in return.
Off the bat I screwed up my Deployment, as I mentioned earlier. It's not possible to dictate matchups against Sylvaneth, they can redeploy too easily and it only gets worse the longer the game goes since they make more and more Wildwoods. I should have setup very centrally, bunkered up, and played my game. As it happened I played Jared's game and got very little work out of my Arrowboys this game.
In hindsight I should have also taken the first turn. Jared was deployed up a bit and was almost guaranteed to get the kill on my Big Boss with the Kurnoth Hunters. If I'd gone first I could have put all the Arrowboys into Durthu, killing him with the Damned bonus on even slightly sub-par rolls, and brutalized the Dryads with my remaining guns to force a big Battleshock test. Then the Sylvaneth would have to kill the Big Boss, as they did, but I'd be free to put my remaining shooting into other targets. There's also the possibility I could have put the Frostlord forward to deny the Kurnoth landing zones in the Wildwoods, possibly preserving the Big Boss. This would have swung the momentum of the game wildly into my favor where I could chase off the remaining Heroes with shooting and roll over the Scenario with superior numbers.
Charging the Frostlord into the Kurnoth Hunters was a gross overestimation of his abilities. I did roll poorly on the initial Combat but re-rolled 4/5's for Armor Saves against my best attacks is pretty potent and I got bogged down. Having the Frostlord free to go claim the left Objective, or act as a zoning piece in the center of the board would have been more effective. He had targets in the game, I just chose the wrong ones.
Jared's big mistake was not making an earlier play for my Objectives and not holding his own as securely as he could have. Even if I didn't win the Round 4 Initiative I still feel I was favored to win on Scenario, my Blue Thundertusk could easily wipe out a unit of Revenants and I could retreat with what was left of the Arrowboys to regain my left Objective. Durthu did die so that leaves Jared without the needed firepower to bring down all my Orruks on his left Objective, and I had another half unit that would have made it over.
I'm very disappointed with how I played this game as it shouldn't have been as close as it was. In the future I'm going to try and keep the Frostlord back until at least Battle Round 2, he's very tough but he's also very vulnerable when I just toss him out there like that. Sylvaneth is great against him, Kurnoth and Dryads are excellent counters, so I could have just used him as a huge intimidation piece until I dealt with some of those. The Frostlord also works much better when the Orruks can screen for him, unfortunately I threw him too far out.
I think Jared's list is very powerful and will probably become the defacto build for competitive Sylvaneth once Kurnoth Hunters get a price increase in the next General's Handbook. So many Spells, resurrecting models, lots of Scenario presence and a good mix of melee/shooting. I told Jared I'd love to play him again since I need more games in against Sylvaneth, they're one of the best armies in the game.
Hopefully this game illustrates the intricacies of the game and how you can win even when behind. I made a lot of mistakes but I was able to correctly identify a path to winning the game, that's probably the sole thing I'm proud of. Originally my plan was to hold a single Objective until I could win the war of attrition, then spread out and grab the rest over the last two turns. Rampaging Destroyer is great for that, an extra d6" of movement a turn really adds up.
That's me for this week, I'm unlikely to get another game in until next week's League assignment. This week I started playing in a Blood Bowl League and will probably post the games here, just for fun. Stay tuned and a big thank you to everyone who reads my Battle Reports!