So I played my first game of Dark Age against a friend who's played for the first time as well. It was his Dragyri Ice Caste against my St. Mary Forsaken. I fielded two Clergy Ann; 1 Warwind; 2 Strikes; and three firestorm with leader. He had a Soul Warden; Ice Elemental; Death's Device; some spearslaves; some slingslaves; and... Some other... Type of slaves... Anyways it was 500 points.
I dropped his Soul Warden with spearslaves with a few turns of carefully placed shots from the Clergy Ann (the Soul Warden dropped in 1 turn!). My Strikes ate up a squad of spear slaves on the right flank only to get into combat with the Ice elemental and some more spearslaves. They managed to survive and even do a couple wounds to the elemental before my Warwind came in and dropped the Ice Elemental to one wound.
Before they could finish it off a Death's Device came in and minced the Strikes, and the Ice Elemental finished off the Warwind. Then, all that stuff made it over to the Clergy Ann-dominated left flank and ate them up. My Clergy Ann made the Death's Device roll alot of dice, but alas it only took one wound before slicing the Clergy Ann to ribbons.
And what of the Firestorm? Well... They killed one slingslave, then blew themselves up.
What I learned from the game is that Clergy Ann and Warwinds kick ass. Strikes are bad ass too, I'd like to have more of them, but at 70 points a pop they're something I'll invest in in a bigger points game. I have to say that I'm not at all happy with the Firestorm. I'm not saying I used them to their potential, or that my dice rolling for them wasn't the suck; but I'm gonna try my next few games with coils. Besides, the same amount of coils brings me to 495 points instead of the 486 that I was at with the Firestorm.
And the Dragyri? I found out their slaves are meat shields. I was worrying that my 8 man (or rather, woman, as I used all female sculpts) army would get done in my the slaves alone, but the only casualties I suffered (when they weren't from myself blowing up my Firestorm) were from his Death's Device, and Ice Elemental. Coincidentally the Ice Elemental's downright frightening, and the Death's Device is nothing to laugh at either. I thought I'd be able to kill it with it's paltry 3 HP but it's AR 20 is very hard to get by, even if you make him roll ridiculous amounts of dice.
All in all, I love this game. I've been playing everything GW put out for over ten years now, and lately I've been gaming nothing but non-GW games and I have to say how refreshing it is to try something new. I've played Warzone and Chronopia so some things about this system were familiar; but Dark Age is far superior in my books. I'm really looking forward to all my friends finishing their armies and us having bigger games, or just more games (don't want to bite off more than I can chew). And despite my horrible loss, I'm really impressed with how my St. Mary force performed ('cept those damned Firestorm); and am looking forward to testing my mettle in more games.