The best games are the ones you lose, have fun, and learn a lot. Last night mi_whplayers of the Great Lakes Warhammer League was kind enough to proxy a horrendous Dark Elf list with 3 Hydras, Cauldron of Blood, a level 4 and a level 2 Dark mage, Lord on cold one, BSB on cold one with ASF banner, a giant cold one deathstar, 2 units of shades, 2 units of spearmen, and 2 units of crossbowmen. It would be a good practice before 'Ard Boyz coming up. I have to say, while intimidating as the list sounds, my list did have answers for everything he had... I just made enough mistakes by a small margin that I lost my chances to really capitalize.
First mistake, I was really looking forward to Crack's Calling a Hydra. I decided to drop Crack's Call when I rolled it with my General to give it to the Power Scroll wielding Grey Seer. I should have kept it on my General and do what I normally do by rolling 4 Plague Spells with the second Grey Seer. Not having Plague was the biggest mistake I made, denying myself the tool I needed to deal with the cold one deathstar. I really thought my deployment was excellent, and how much it helped me in the beginning (until I started screwing things up for myself) is showing experience of a lot of 8th Edition games in that regard.
My cannon was great until it blew up second shot. That's why we roll the dice though. Then my second Grey Seer miscast and instantly died. Damn, that one hurt, as I had power dice left, my power scroll left, and hadn't cast any of those nasty spells! Also first turn, my Hell Pit ran a whopping 16 inches (!) right into my own Gutter Runners, killing an entire unit. I had to laugh at that one, because they were exactly 16 inches away from it. After that I was a bit too timid with the Abominations, when I should have just ran them down the Dark Elves' throats.
I did use some good tactics to kill one Hydra in combat with Storm Vermin and an Assassin with flaming attacks, and sneaking my Brass Orb Warlock in between 2 Hydras to kill another. The Slave buses were great in their role of holding up the cold ones for most of the game, until the very end when they broke through and tore up the last of my army.
The only thing I regretted was not putting my Assassin in with a unit of Gutter Runners and Infiltrating to go after the Cauldron. The Assassin had The Other Trickster's Shard, which would have had the Cauldron rerolling ALL of its ward saves vs the poison wielding Assassin and Gutter Runners.
The game was a Major Loss, but a major learning experience and a great look at a truly 'Ard Boyz Dark Elf list. Now I know what to expect and how to counter things I didn't do well against, and what did work. I'm going to try to get a game in against Kairos Daemons next week, and I think I will be ready.
I made some more revisions to my list as well. No Assassin after this game. I gave him a try but he isn't for me in this format. I added more Plague Monks and the Furnace back as well. I really needed another strong hammer to really kill stuff. As for a ranged hammer, I dropped the Doomwheel for another Warp Lightning Cannon. The WLC is almost as good for killing monsters, but is much much MUCH better at killing any sort of infantry as well.