Beating High Elves a lot easier with skaven?Well yes, quite a lot easier. A few days ago I re-battled the same high elf army (with some minor tweaks as he knew he’d be fighting skaven) and the result was a whole world of difference. The lists were 3k each side and 6 turns. My list had 2 units of clanrats, 2 units of slaves, unit of plaguemonks, unit of stormvermin, 2 units of 2 globadiers, grey seer with screaming bell, plague priest with bands of power, warlock engineer with all the trimmings, battle standard bearer, 5 swarm bases, 2 tunnelling teams, 10 jezzails, 2 packs of giant rats, 8 plague censor bearers and a warp lighting cannon. The stormvermin and 2 units of clanrats shared 2 ratling guns and a warpfire thrower between them.
The high elf army had a unit of phoenix guard, white lions, swordmasters, lothern guard, 2 units of spearmen, 2 bolt throwers, lion chariot a splattering of characters and teclis.
I got the first turn and moved everything up. The grey seer was of range (as the elves had deployed about 10 inches off the front line so I was 34 inches away at the start). I also moved the jezzails off their nice safe hill and towards the ruins on the left flank and the warp lightning cannon into the big tree line in the middle. The high elves had their turn which proved to be pretty ineffective. I think I lost the warpfire thrower to a lucky magic missile.
My second turn all of my skirmishers moved further into the wood, my main units on the right flank moved up and I rolled 2 lucky 4’s to get both my tunnelling teams onto the bolt throwers. I move the jezzails into the ruins for hard cover. His turn 2 he moved up close enough to charge me in the next turn if I move, but out of range of my charge. His magic is a bit stornger this turn but I manage to burn a dispel scroll and all is ok. Shooting is now at a minimal as the tunnelling teams are fighting the bolt throwers. His character and the archers all shot at my remaining 2 weapons teams. Both die.
I start turn 3 a little more cautious. I move the 1st unit of slaves about an inch in front of the white lions and set my plague monks and clanrats with screaming bell ready to hit the flanks once the slaves flee as a charge reaction. I also charge my rat swarms into the spearmen protecting the hill. They flee ok, but now the phoenix guards flank is exposed. Magic is ok, I get a warplighting off on the chariot dropping a wound off of it. Shooting is non-existent as the weapons teams are all gone and I’ve moved my WL cannon to the edge of the tree line. The jezzails take pit shots at the only thing in line of sight, the archers on the hill, killing 3. Next turn will be more bloody.
The white lions charge the slaves who flee. He rolls very high and cuts them down. Its at this point a possible game changing decision took place. He could have chosen to redirect into the plaguemonks flank (he could just see it) or cut down the slaves, but by charging the plaguemonks flank he would have exposed his rear to the clanrats with the screaming bell and he would have lost them before the phoenix guard could intervene. By some fortune he also got a charge off from his spearmen unit into my second clanrat unit. He also charges the 3 rats still fighting the bolt thrower team on the extreme right flank with his chariot. Crucially he moves teclis out of the phoenix guard to protect him in the next turn.
His magic again bounces off me, but i burn the last 2 dispel scrolls absorbing it. The stormvermin on the very left flank take the archers shots quite well, only losing a few to the massed hill shooting. Combat goes well, the clanrats hold against the spearmen ready for the plague monks to perform a flanking action. The chariot wipes out the 3 man tunnelling team and overruns into the globadier team who stand and shoot dropping 2 more wounds. They both get horribly cut down. Its now the plan is unveiled as the high elf opponent realises he needs to test to restrain or he will hit the wall behind taking D6 strength 6 hits. The chariot rolls high for ld and smacks into the wall killing itself.
Turn 4 starts with lots of charges, the plague monks charge into the clanrat combat breaking the spearmen easily and running them down. Thankfully his mage was in the unit so he is now 1 dispel dice down. The stormvermin and rat swarms charge the second spearmen unit (who I forgot to mention had rallied the previous turn) and the plague censor bearers charge the phoenix guard in a frenzy. I go highly aggressive in the magic phase and try warp lightning from the warlock engineer into teclis. He manages to dispel it and I recast the same spell from the grey seer. It goes off with an irresistible force, causing 11 wounds on teclis. All that remains is a charred body. Now I have magic superiority.
The jezzails again shoot the archers on the hill, dropping 2 of them and 1 blows himself up. The warplightning cannon goes straight through the phoenix guard killing 2 of them and knocking 2 wounds off my rat swarm. Combat time again and the stormvermin (with plaguepriest) and the rat swarms easily break the spearmen in the centre by killing 9 of them for 2 rat swarm wounds in return. The spearmen flee a few inches straight into the tunnelling team who have just recently dispatched the bolt thrower crew and all die horrible deaths.
The plague censor bearers don’t fare so well and easily lose combat (stupid phoenix guard ward saves) due to a really bad combat result. This brings them into combat with the wood and they stop dead.By now its pretty much game over and I spend a turn or two mopping up the remains. The white lions get warp lightninged to death and have 2 men remaining, the phoenix guard get shot by the warp lighting cannon and lose 4 more. My jezzails take pot shots at the swordmasters on the left flank who have been chasing giant rats all battle.
The battle ends, I have lost about 500 points, he has a unit of swordmasters and some phoenix guard left. As borat would say, “very nice”.
I think my opponent was right not to charge the flank of the plague monks and to run down the slaves as this took them out of immediate danger and allowed them to stall my advance as I needed to deal with them. He should also have abandoned the extreme right bolt thrower and moved his chariot into a more aggressive position, possibly threatening my clanrats. The swordmasters were also too far out on a limb. He was trying to meet my giant rats and kill them quickly to protect the flank and come across my flank (into my stormvermin) but I managed to get out of line of sight for one crucial turn and therefore harass him and take him out the game. This wasn’t purely his fault though, it was just bad luck that he lost line of sight when he needed it most.