19 Dreadspears, full command
Reaper Bolt Thrower
Cold One Knights
6 Knights, full command
My opponent was playing Empire and had an Engineer, a regiment and a detachment of riflemen, 3 griffin knights, a cannon and a Steam Tank.
This was my third ever game of fantasy and my first with Dark Elves so I made some awful mistakes but my opponent was fairly new to it too so he did likewise. In the end I won, but it was close.
The game started with him putting a cannon ball through my Cold Ones, killing half of them within 5 minutes, they then panicked and I spent 2 turns getting them to calm down and get back to where they started. My two units of darkshards marched up the flanks and my spearmen/Sorceres combo unit waded up the middle with my Kharibdyss. The darkshards on the left had a Mexican standoff with his riflemen, no one making the decisive step forward to get in range but take a turn of enemy shooting. I eventually got in range after my sorceress caused them to break with bladewind, I whittled them down to 5 from 20 in a magic and shooting phase, they then ran off the board.
In the second turn my Kharibdyss took a cannon ball to the chest and lost 4/5 wounds. It lumbered around some terrain and was all lined up to charge the flanks of the griffin knights (who had been fighting my spearmen for 3 turns) when they broke and fled with 1 guy left! No one could quite believe it but it happened!
The following turn saw my charge my knights and Kharibdyss into his Steam Tank. This was where I made my big mistake. The Khrydiss has a rule called field of bones where if all your attacks are directed against a single model you get a bonus d6 s7 attacks. I forgot this and in turn 6 (the third round of combat) he managed to kill my sea monster despite only having 1 wound left on his tank. His tank also squished my knights at the close of the game and used his turret to kill 6/8 of my remaining spearmen, thankfully I passed my look out sir! roll and my general was saved.
Whilst all this was going on my reaper bolt thrower was having fun, in the end it took out about 12 riflemen and the last griffin knight before peppering a couple of wounds from the steam tank.
All he had left was a canon and a very wobbly tank whilst I had my Sorceres, a technically functioning unit of spearmen (can 2 guys be a unit?), 2 trays of darkshards and my bolt thrower.
I learned a lot from this game and have started making some changes to the list based on what went well and what didn't.
Big blob of spearmen held their own but ALWAYS remember when you've cast the augment spell. If I'd done that in the first round of CC with the knights I'd have put another 4 wounds on them.
Bolt thrower - best 70 points in the list, bring 2 next time.
Dark Magic is good - bladewind is a cool spell but you need to aim it at the right target...
Darkshards are great at thinning the ground but be decisive, even if you have to take a turn of unopposed shooting, it will pay off.
Kharibdyss - remember the special rules and avoid the canon fire, all will be well. This is a monster hunter and should be treated as such!
Cold One Knights, granted I lined them up for the canon ball shot in turn 1 but they achieved sod all and were simply wasted points. I know they can be effective but they just weren't today. I'll leave them at home next time.
Know the sequence of events and remember the special rules! These were rookie mistakes and happened on both sides so balanced each other out in the end.
Trading in 2 units of 10 darkshards for 1x15 is a good place to start, this way they can take some casualties and still be monstrously effective sooner on in the game
Bring an extra bolt thrower - for the price of the lost darkshards this is a good investment, also, stick it in a tower if possible.
Switch out the knights for a squad of dark riders and another sorceress to join the darkshards. These fast cavalry could have raced down the board and dealt with the enemy artillery by turn 3 and saved my Dreadspears from being picked off over the closing turns.