Last night Scott and I played a very close game of WHFB with our new armies. We managed 1800pts which is a pretty good start. It allowed me to field everything except the lord on hippogriff, who I think does not match up against Daemons very well anyway.
My left wing comprised full lances of 9 Knights of the Realm (KOTR), 8 Questing Knights with Damsel (QK) and 7 Grail Knights with general and standard (GK). Key to the battle was the General and his wargear. Knowing Scott was fielding a kick-ass Skulltaker with S5 flaming attacks, I tooled up with fire-resistance and vows that allow re-rolls against stronger characters. So if I drew him into a duel, he could not hurt me while I could make Daemon kebabs at my leisure.
My right wing comprised 2 regiments of 20 peasant longbow, the trebuchet and a unit of 20 men-at-arms with a paladin on foot to stiffen morale and melee.
Scott moved first. On my left wing he advanced a unit of flesh hounds with Karanak along the board edge. I underestimated this unit and it almost cost me the game. On my left I was more worried about his flying Daemon Prince (followed the hounds then hid behind a tower out of trebuchet sight on the first turn) and unit of flamers (very scary, 6d6 S4 flaming attacks). The flamers advanced quickly towards my knights, perhaps too quickly. In his centre was a big unit of 25 Bloodthirsters with the Skulltaker. They advanced towards my GKs.
On the right, he advanced a unit of 25 horrors which look like lumps of pink chewing gum but churn out offensive spells, and on the right board edge was another unit of flamers that advanced towards my bows and trebuchet.
On the left, I retreated the KOTR and pivoted to face his flesh hounds, hoping to hold them off long enough to win in other quarters. I hit them in the flank with a good missile spell, but they have highly respectable magic resistance (Doh!). They eventually got the charge on my KOTR and ground them to bits and ended the game in a position to sweep across my back edge.
However, my QKs managed to make a charge onto his flamers and pulped them badly. Following this, they were charged frontally by the Daemon Prince who eventually defeated them.
The key to my plan was the GK unit. After hitting his bloodletters with the trebuchet to soften them up (crunch!) I got a charge in. The GKs did a heap of damage, and his Skulltaker was forced to use a nerf sword in a hopeless challenge against my lord. Eventually combat resolution (ranks, plus banners) and my armour/ward saves carried the day and the bloodletters were no more. The GK then turned to face the Daemon Prince. In this encounter, I challenged the Daemon to a duel with one GK every turn to minimize his damage and let combat resolution (ranks + banners + rear) grind him down.
On the right wing, his horrors twice miscast and suffered from bows and trebuchet fire, and were basically whittled away to nothing. The second flamer unit advanced along the right board edge and dueled the other bow unit until I managed a charge with the men at arms. Again, combat resolution (ranks + banner) carried the day and they were snuffed out.
We called the game with his flesh hounds poised to charge my bows and men at arms, but the GK unit was largely intact and would have handled them okay. Call is Bretonnian narrow win.
Grades for performance on my side:
KOTR: "F" they were pulped, might have managed one hit. Lesson learned: Knights must charge, and ideally multiple units in mutual support.
QK: "B" they steamrolled the flamers and held off the Daemon Prince just long enough.
GK: "A" Rock hard, 2 lance attacks each, ability to challenge, basically a unit full of champions.
General: "A" the game, basically. Next time I will need new tricks...
BSB: "A" essential to combat resolution, and CR is how to beat Daemons. Their weakness is their lack of numbers, so they can be beaten even if they kill us 2:1 if we have numbers and support in the right place at the right time.
Bows: "B" they were effective at drawing his fire and causing attrition. Range 30" is really useful.
Trebuchet: "A" I came very close to bagging a major character or two. The high S hits are great against daemons.
Overall: About a B-. I need to make better use of KOTR. The weakness of this army (among others) is the large flanks of the mounted units.
Flesh hounds: "A" they kicked my ass, I underestimated these guys, fast, hard hitting and resilient.
Karanak: "A" he kicked special ass...
Daemon Prince: "B" formidable but on his own is doomed.
Flamers: "F" I was worried about the number of shots these guys can put out, but the S4 flaming attacks are easily saved by knights, badly outranged by bows, and they are easy meat in melee since the units are small and lack ranks & standards.
Bloodletters: "B" these guys can hit hard, must reduce their ranks before charging in. Fortunately their toughness 3 and lack of armour makes them vulnerable to missiles.
Skulltaker: "F" this time, he got trapped. Next time I might not be so lucky....he's a killer.
Horrors "C" never really felt threatened by these guys, only level 2 and their spell ranges are short.
Overall GPA: about a C-plus. But I think this was partly situational, and partly a learning experience for Scott. I won't get away with sneaky tricks next time, maybe...