In Part 1 of this article we created our attack army at our Home terrain, and decided that, as we were basing the whole force on Coral Elves, we would make the most of the Colours of the terrain to allow Coastal Dodge and Defensive Volley to be used. This meant that we went for the Coastland terrain and, hence, we decided to go for a missile army, as this type of terrain favours missile units. We then introduced a couple of Magicians in the form of mercenary Firewalkers, who also have a racial ability tied in to the Air Element. The Firewalker racial ability of Air Flight allows them to move freely between terrains with the Air element included in them, as long as we already have at least one Firewalker unit at the terrain. With this in mind, I have decided to use another Firewalker and Air terrain to the army.
The Campaign Army – The Midfield
The ‘Midfield’ nomenclature has been used deliberately because I tend to think of the Frontier (where, in a 2 player game, at least, the ‘midfield’ start the battle) and the reserves (except when facing Swampstalkers) as the link between the ‘Attack’ (normally the Home Army) and ‘Defence’ (any army trying to stop an enemy from reaching face 8). If we can force a favourable ‘Midfield terrain’, namely one with colours that help us and the configuration of faces that help us, we can get another advantage.
I have chosen, therefore, a Coastland Grove as my suggested Frontier die.
Although the 8th Face is very handy, especially for bringing buried units back to life and for being able to reuse Minor Terrains, it is the faces that matter more here. The faces are:
The 50% chance of getting a Magic action face means that my little 2 health Campaign army will have a chance of survival to at least the second round, as they might not be targeted as easy cannon fodder because 2 health is possibly not worth attacking and also, any magic generated by the enemy is most likely to be used defensively on the first round.
The colour elements are also very important. The blue (Air) element means that, my firewalkers’ Air Flight ability allows them to move freely between this terrain and the home terrain without passing through the reserves. I can hopefully use this area as my ‘hospital’, especially if I can introduce the Water element into the terrain where my Horde army is marching.
The Water element will also assist my Sharpshooters to defend themselves using Coastal Dodge, should they find themselves at the Frontier, possibly as a result of a Ferry or two.
The Campaign Army therefore, appears to have almost chosen itself. A Sunburst, to allow the firewalkers free movement between Frontier and Home terrains, and an Eldarim Warder to protect him and also to recruit a dragonkin for added protection.
Dragons and Dragonkin
My selection of Dragons is also designed to add to the defensive nature of my army. I have picked a Drake and Wyrm Water/Air Hybrids, because the two dragon breaths that they can generate reduce the damage that can be done to our army. Poisonous Cloud (Green/Water breath) halves missile results, Lightning Bolt (Blue/Air breath) halves melee results.
The Dragonkin that we are going to use are also going to support our main attack namely, missile.
As stated before, the army’s main attack is missile, thanks to the Sharpshooters, Trebuchet and Heartseeker. Everything else is there to support this attack and to keep them safe and in use. The Eldarim at the Home terrain already allows us to bring in a staged 3 health of Dragonkin and, as the terrain is coastland, these should be of both Air and Water varieties. The function of these is twofold. Firstly to add their automatic saves and, secondly, to assist in keeping the terrain at a missile action face to allow the attack to carry out their work. This means that we use a mixture of dragonkin cavalry units in Blue and Green.
Most important and, sadly lacking in my collection, are the minor terrains. I have had to use those that I have currently available to me, but the thinking is as follows:-
The Horde army needs to introduce the Air element as soon as possible to allow the free movement of the Firewalker mages between all three terrains. The horde is designed to defend, not attack, so Bridges (manoeuvre) and Woods (saves) should be used in preference to Knolls (missile) and Villages (melee). Examples are Flatland Bridge, Wasteland Woods, Coastland Woods etc.
In addition, using a Knoll with one of the colours of the Home terrain, such as a Swampland (Green and Yellow) will give us another opportunity to use missile fire from the home terrain, should the set up roll not give us the missile action.
This subject is far too broad to be able to discuss in full here, but I will offer a few, almost random thoughts and invite you to submit your own.
Use your hospital.
We have gone to the bother of setting up a frontier with a Firewalker mage and 5 health more of magic units split between the home army and horde. Make certain that you use air flight to bring these units together, but always leave one behind so that you can return (no firewalker at a terrain means that you can’t use this ability – that is why I put in 2 units at home and in the horde). If things go badly, use the reserves to carry out resurrections.
The 6 health of Firewalker mages means that, in addition to all the manoeuvres that you are adding from the Dragonkin cavalry units, you can easily send the enemy back to reserves and, hence, stop them from manoeuvring. Use this as necessary to keep those missile units on faces 2 to 5.
Use the Gorgon.
The Gorgon is very fast and, as he is also a Firewalker, can easily move using Air Flight as long as you keep this highway open to him. If you are facing a horde of Skeletal Steeds at your home terrain, then this, combined with Dragonkin, combined with Wind Walk etc., should get you to that missile action.
Don’t forget to recruit Dragonkin.
Always easy to forget is the fact that Eldarim can recruit and promote Dragonkin at the start of the turn, after Dragon Attacks. Get into the habit of thinking “Can I recruit or promote?” when it is your turn, or you have just had an army decimated by a White Dragon.
Take it one step at a time.
The missile army that you have can do a lot of damage, especially as it has the ability to bypass regular save rolls. Concentrate on using these to attack, and use your fast horde army to keep the enemy on a terrain face that they can’t use effectively. Magical support, in the form of Wind Walk can be used, even if they ‘turtle’ at their home terrain.
Once you have cleared the way to get to the 8th face at Home, remember that you still have to pass through faces 6 and 7, both melee faces, so you need to ensure that you clear the path first.
Have fun using the Ferry.
With approximately a 1 in 3 chance of getting a Ferry icon if the two Gryphons stay together, try to roll the dice as often as possible so that you can have a chance of ferrying units to where they are needed. This is especially useful if you find Swampstalkers in any of the enemy armies!
I could continue all day coming out with ideas as to how to use this army, but I think that it might now be a good idea to stop and let you discover clever ideas for yourself. One pointer that you might enjoy is called the Mirage Move, and was discovered by our mutual fried Kaelrich whilst out on his adventures. Jeff Denmon has catalogued his findings here – enjoy!!