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This past weekend was the second round of the Fantasy 'Ard Boyz tournament. I did pretty well in the opening round and was hoping to do better this time. I was planning on using Skaven in the opening round, what I've been playing for close to two years now, but decided on using my new Vampire Counts instead once I saw the crazy missions they had. Now I had only played the VC's 3 or 4 times before the 'Ard Boyz and nothing at the 3,500 point level, so it was a definite learning experience. I had a blast using them, though, and decided to stick with the VC's for the second round, too.
I came away from there realizing that in the high point value games, being able to do the charging was huge since so many people had the big bad units that they always wanted and couldn't afford in normal games. Charging often meant the difference against them. So I dropped the grave guard, the foot slogging vampires, and all of the non-required slow elements and went for speed. As a result, I also decided to not go magic heavy at all with the VC's and focus almost exclusively on fighting instead.
What I ended up with was the following:
Vampire Lord (General), Red Fury, Infinite Hatred, Walking Death
- Flayed Hauberk, Balefire Spike, Crown of the Damned, Dispel Scroll
Vampire Lord, Red Fury, Dark Acolyte
- Dreadlance, Wristbands of Black Gold
Zombie Dragon (for general)
Zombie Dragon (for other lord)
Vampire, Dread Knight, Infinite Hatred, Blood Drinker
Wight King, BSB, Barded Skel Steed, Drakenhoff Banner, Lance
5 Fell Bats
6 Black Knights, Barding, Full Command, Banner of the Barrows
6 Black Knights, Barding, Full Command, Royal Standard of Strigos
5 Blood Knights, Musician, Banner, Flag of the Blood Keep
20 Zombie Horde
20 Zombie Horde
10 Skeleton Warriors
10 Skeleton Warriors
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves
I had the requisite 4 core choices (2 zombies, 2 skel's) which I planned to do nothing with but site in my DZ out of my way and potentially hold / contest my two table quarters. I had the dogs to screen the blood knights, and the bats to warmachine hunt. Everything else was meant to fight the bulk of my opponent's army. The Blood Knights and both lords could take units in the front. The Black Knights could, too, if they were weaker opponents - but I wouldn't throw them in unsupported against my enemy's elites. The varghulfs could help quite a bit with that, typically able to get 3 kills on the charge alone.
My only concession to the little voice thinking of the gigantic amount of power dice my skaven have is the addition of Dark Acolyte on my vampire lord to get an extra dispel die. An extra spell & power die, too, but I don't figure to get many (if any) spells off during my games.
From the Atlanta area, the closest semi-final location was the Borderlands store in Greenville, SC. It's a 2 hour drive, so not that bad. I was very disappointed, though, to find out the field was only 8 strong?? It was one of the only semi locations in the southeast, very odd.
The field had:
- 3!! VC players. The other two were Mannfred magic heavy lists, though.
- 2 Empires. One that I was dreading having to face that was being played by the other Atlanta player in attendance.
- 1 Orc & Goblin list. Conglomeration of stuff. Detailed below.
- 1 Lizardman list. Slaan, temple guard, terradons, salamanders, etc. Typical lizards, but only 1 slaan instead of 2 at 3,500.
- 1 Dwarf list. Never really got a good look at it, but had some blocks of infantry, some warmachines, but no Thorek. Odd.
My first opponent was one of the other VC players (this is from memory, so might be a little bit off):
(General) Mannfred - Skull Staff & Staff of Damnation
Vampire Lord - Scout, Fly, Forbidden Lore, level 3, flayed hauberk (I think?), Hand of Dust
Wight King BSB - Drakenhoff Banner
Vampire - Avatar of Death (HW/Sh), Dark Acolyte, Rod of Flaming Death
Necromancer on a Corpse Cart (Balefire) - Book of Arkhan
Necromancer - Scroll?
Corpse Cart (Balefire) - this is in addition to the one with the necro
10 ghouls w/ champ
10 skel's w/ FC (?)
10 skel's w/ FC (?)
10 ghouls w/ champ
5 Dire Wolves
5 Dire Wolves
18 Grave Guard w/ FC, Great Weapons, Banner of the Barrows
18 Grave Guard w/ FC, Sceaming Banner
4 Fell bats
4 Spirit Hosts
3 Cairn Wraiths (one was a banshee upgrade)
Basically he decided on the exact opposite strategy that I did. He went really magic heavy, with a total of 15 power dice and 6 bound spells. There's no way I can stop that much magic, so I'll just have to let him raise in the first few turns and then attempt to blow through it later and kill some of his mages. Not going to be that easy with the drakenhoff banner sitting around, though. It'll be a test of fighting vs. defensive VC's in a head-to-head showdown right off the bat.
The mission was interesting, and it looks like it could have been entertaining if we played it like GW wanted to, but we both kind of mutually said "ah, screw that flanking stuff". Basically, you picked 2 units before deployment to start off the board. They automatically come in on turn 3 from anywhere on your board edge, or either of the sides, as if they pursued an enemy off the table. Setting up flanks with that would be great, except that the units wouldn't be able to charge until turn 4 at the earliest. I decided to dump both zombie units off the board and keep all my fighty units around from the get go. My opponent did similar by sticking a ghoul and a skeleton unit in reserve.
Terrain wasn't of much consequence. He had nothing in the center of his DZ, and that's where all the action took place.
Deployment saw me put the Blood Knights right in the center (just behind the two units of wolves), one black knight unit just to their right, the other black knight and both varghulfs off to the right flank. The bats and my general's dragon were on the left, my other dragon was in the center-right. Wight king went with one black knight unit, dread vamp with the blood knights. My skeletons are each on opposite sides out of the way.
He puts most everything in the center of his DZ. Ghouls on the left with bats right behind them, followed by both grave guard units, then skeletons. Corpse Carts are behind the grave guard. Spirit hosts are right in front of the grave guard. He's got some units on my right flank, though - the banshees, varghulf, and two dog units. Vamp & foot necro join the left GG, Mannfred & BSB join the right one. The scouting vampire goes off on my left flank. I'm unconcerned about him.
I get the +1 and win the roll to go first, electing to take it.
** Note that with the number of units on both sides, this isn't going to be quite as detailed as my normal batreps!
My Turn 1:
I advance. It's pretty obvious that I have to charge fast to kill his vampires and necromancers and stop his silly magic. :p The dogs run forward, staying just out of 12" of the spirit hosts opposite them, the blood knights stay out of sight behind them. Both black knights advance, as do the varghulfs. The dragons jump forward, ready to charge.
His Turn 1:
He has no charges and runs his spirit hosts 12" forward to sit in front of my dogs. He runs up his banshee and gets ready to howl, his varghulf sits back and waits. The dogs move into positions where they'll be looking at the flank of my army (I'm more concerned about them running in front of me to stumble my charge arcs). Most of his other stuff stands around waiting for an increase in size, too. The GG stay back away from my long charge ranges. Magic sees his skeletons grow pretty large, I'm unconcerned about those, so I let it go off. He wastes some magic casting things that are of little consequence. One thing he does do, though, is get off a magic missile that kills a couple of dogs and shows the spirit hosts to the blood knights.
The banshee screams at one of the varghulfs and rolls an 11, causing 9 wounds! (out of general's ld bubble) It kills the poor beast.
My Turn 2:
My little dogs, who are still in front of the blood knights declare a suicide charge on a GG unit so that they can get out of the way and not auto-cause a failed charge for the frenzy guys. I'd rather charge than be charged. Both black knights decide to charge the banshees (I'm hoping that the Wight King's unit is inside S&S range). A varghulf charges one of his dog units. Blood knights have to charge the spirit hosts. All charges are in range.. and unfortunately, my Wight King's unit is 7.25" away and he stands and shoots at the other (who have no special save), rolling boxcars and wiping out the unit. Ouch! I wasn't happy with my dragons' positions, so I decide to wait one more turn so I can double charge Mannfred's unit - they fly right behind the Blood Knights. My second dogs move out of march block range from the spirit hosts. My bats move past the blood knights into the empty area in between, just trying to clog up his movement lanes and put a block on any VHD's he might try to use to get position on my blood knights.
I don't even try to cast a spell against his 9 dispel dice, +1 to dispel, and -2 to cast from balefire, so we fight.
Varghulf trounces dogs and has to overrun because of hatred. Wight King and unit blow down the banshees with their magical blades, overrunning into his other dog unit. My only magic weapon in the blood knight unit is on the vampire who causes 3 wounds. I also have a banner and win by 4. Since my vampire was on the far right, he pulls that one and takes my vamp out of the fight for his turn. Doh!
His Turn 2:
He counter charges my remaining Black Knight unit (with the regen BS in the flank with a varghulf even though I've overrun into a unit of 5 dire wolves. That's not going to go well for him. His bats charge my bats.
He also charges my blood knights with his flying scouting vampire. Now he's on the left flank (but not US5, obviously), so my magic weapon vampire still can't fight, but it's something I can hurt. His vampire lord does have the hand of dust and he's taken the lore of beasts, so I know he's planning on trying to hand of dust me, and then use the bear's anger to try and become a fighting monster to wipe them out, so I just make a note to save dice for it. His skeletons on the right inch forward a bit, looking like they want to get a flank on anything that approaches Mannfred's unit.
He adds some more skeletons, I let him because I don't care about the unit. When that doesn't pull dispel dice, he heals up a wound on the spirit hosts - I let him to save dice for the important stuff (he's got 3 hosts, one having 2 wounds off now). Rod of Flaming Death fails to hurt my general. He does a magic missile at my general and does a wound on the dragon. Mannfred raises his bats unit up to 6. Then I stuff both the hand of dust and the bear's anger.
Combat sees the vampire lord and spirit hosts do nothing. He has mass, I have a banner + musician. He has a BSB nearby so doesn't care. His bats kill my bats. The Varghulf does 1 wound, I kill all of the dogs. I have 4 extra wounds, mass, banner, BSB. He fails 3 of the regen saves to crumbling checks and is left with 1 wound.
My Turn 3:
I briefly contemplate double charging the L2 vamp + Necro GG unit, but decide to go for blood and double charge Mannfred instead with both dragons. The wolves, now free to march, run in front of the skeletons on their right and angle in such a way that an overrun wouldn't hit my zombie dragons if he charged them. My varghulf, which was in his back corner after overrunning from dogs, runs over to look at Mannfred's unit. The zombies from reserve come on and sit in a table quarter. The vampire in the BK unit moves to touch a spirit host.
No magic, no shooting - I feel like I'm playing a Khorne list. :p
I figured he was going to be issuing a challenge with his unit champ, so I made sure my general (with his flaming lance) was touching mannfred when the dreadlance guy would accept a challenge from a unit champ - hoping to kill Mannfred with some average rolling. He doesn't, though, which makes me wish I put my flaming lance touching the BSB (he was on the opposite corner) and then my dreadlance could have punked Mannfred after I killed off the regen. Oh well!
He's striking first from the corpse carts. He puts 2 wounds on my dreadlance vamp and 1 on my general. My general flubs up some rolls and only puts 3 wounds on Mannfred, but my dreadlance vamp outright kills the Wight King BSB after some bad regen saves on his part. His extra attacks now don't have any regen to worry about and kills off the champ + 1. Dragons kill a couple, too. After all is said and done through combat res, Mannfred has 3 wounds on him, Wight King was killed, and the 18 GG are down to 8.
His vamp lord fails to hurt a blood knight, my vampire puts three wounds on the spirit hosts and I wound his vampire lord. I've now caused 4 wounds, have mass, and a banner. Vamp explodes and it's also just enough to finish off the spirit hosts. His Varghulf dies to static combat res from the wight king black knight unit.
His Turn 3:
He's got to save Mannfred, and the only unit that has a chance to counter charge are his other GG unit. His Fell Bats are in the way, though, so he has to charge them first, and picks the Blood Knights hoping to keep them locked for a turn. He then moves his GG in for a counter charge. He tries like a fiend to raise more Grave Guard back in Mannfred's unit and rolls very badly. In the end, he only gets up something like 4, but does heal a wound back to Mannfred at the same time.
In a very amusing moment, he uses the staff of damnation and I flub my roll to dispel it. He has a necromancer touching my dreadlance vampire with only 1 wound left. He needs a 6 to hit and a 6 to wound, proceeds to roll just that and punches him off his dragon. :p
The dogs are crushed by the static res of the skeletons. The bats actually kill a blood knight after they hit with 11 of their 12 attacks and cause 5 wounds! Blood knights, though, are still blood knights and stomp them into the ground, freeing themselves of the combat (the one dead one coming back from Blood Drinker). I issue a challenge with my general and he accepts with the unit champ of the freshly charged grave guard. He manages to kill off the now riderless dragon but fails to hurt my general. I get max challenge overkill of 6. He has 3 ranks, flank, mass, banner, and 3 wounds off the other dragon. I have 6 + walking death and my general's dragon takes 2 wounds. It has 2 left.
My Turn 4:
Varghulf charges Mannfred's unit, Blood Knights charge the flank of the unit that flanked my general. My wight king's unit moves to set up a charge on some skeletons in the rear.
We fight again, my general issuing another challenge. The unit champ of Mannfred's GG unit, having been raised on his turn, decides to take (another) one for the team. He's still striking first and puts a wound on my Varghulf. His L2 vampire wounds my vampire. His grave guard kill a blood knight. My vamp obliterates his unit champ with max challenge res. Varghulf kills 3 grave guard in Mannfred's unit. My vampire kills his vampire, bringing back my dead BK. My blood knights then proceed to kill 9 grave guard. Both of his units explode from the ensuing combat res and he conceeds.
He surrendered that I'd be able to finish off his two corpse carts, his small ghoul unit, and the skeletons that were in the thick of things considering what I had around plus the crumble checks. He rolled crumble checks for the two "reserves" units he had since they were in the middle of nowhere and it gave a bonus point if both died. His ghoul unit survived with but a single ghoul left. :p
Points were just enough for a massacre - he killed around 1500 points of my army, I killed around 3460 plus his general, 3 quarters, 2 banners. I ended up with a 23/24.
I made a couple of minor mistakes, but nothing too big. My opponent really didn't make use of his magic superiority. He charged a few times when he really shouldn't have... and those blood knights that won the game should never have been able to do anything but fight small units of raised zombies all game. Instead, though, he tried to do silly magic missiles and such when he could have been raising units in front of my knights. In fact, he didn't once try to cast raise dead. If he spammed it, especially with Mannfred, I wouldn't have been able to stop it. Nor did he even try to use VHD for anything but rerolls on units already in combat. He should have been using it to get flank charges with his big blocks and the like. His mistakes, though... so while I walked all over this one, I have a feeling that it would have been a much tougher game in the hands of a stronger opponent.
Now unfortunately, the other ATL player also got a massacre with a 22. And wouldn't you know it, nobody else got above a 19. So for the third week in a row, I'm paired up against another ATL player in the 2nd round of an out of town tournament. This is getting annoying! :p Worse, the person I'm playing has a very strong list and is just as strong a player. Now I consider myself a good player. Not the best by any means, I know I make mistakes, but I try to learn from them and not repeat them... Unfortunately, I feel that my next opponent is better than me. It's going to be a rough game!
(General) Karl Franz on dragon w/ Ghal Maraz
Captain with a lance, full plate, shield, on a peg with the steal spell thing. Maybe other stuff?
Captain BSB (Imperial Banner) on a barded warhorse
Battle Wizard (level 1) - 2xScrolls
Battle Wizard (level 1) - Rod of Power
10 handgunners w/hochland marksman
10 handgunners w/hochland marksman
10 handgunners w/hochland marksman
10 Free Company
9 Knights of the Inner Circle, FC, MR 2 banner
20 Greatswords, FC
Helblaster Volley Gun
Two steam tanks, ugh. I hate those things so much. On top of that, he's got Karl Franz on a dragon with Ghal Maraz, and Kurt Helborg. Then the Imperial Banner BSB is going to make sure he doesn't fail any regular tests. So I figure in order to win, I need to take down those Knights while sticking junk units in front of the steam tanks. Hopefully I'll be able to pin down the Emperor at some point, too. With some average rolling, I can kill him on the charge before he can attack with his super hammer. It's not going to be an easy game, though.
The mission had a "haunted" terrain piece in the dead center of the board. It caused terror and did 2d6 str3 hits to any immune to psych unit that came within 6" of it. The judges ruled that even though regular troops only need 1 terror test and at the normal time (start of turn if within 6" of the tree), any immune to psych unit will take 2d6 str3 hits as soon as they enter 6" anywhere in the movement phase, and then take the hits at the start of every turn that they're within 6". Kinda sucks for the core troops, but shouldn't really affect any of my important stuff.
Other than that, there's a small piece of woods on my left and a small piece of woods on my right. There's a big hill on the left, a smallish hill on the right, and a small woods in the center of my opponent's deployment zone.
For deployment, I say screw the silly haunted hill and deploy most everything on the right flank. I've got a unit of skeletons sitting on the left, but that's it. My opponent has the pistoliers, one handgunner unit, and one cannon on the left. 2 handgunner units on the right hill, the helblaster and other cannon in the center woods but within 2" of the edge. His greatswords are just to the left of the woods, the knights are on the right of the woods with the free company next to them. The Stanks also flank the woods. Karl Franz goes behind the hill on my right. So I'm virtually completely on the right side, he's mostly in the center, with a heavier focus on the right side.
I can't remember if I won the roll and took first turn or if he gave it to me (there wouldn't have been much he could have done on turn 1), but I went first.
My Turn 1:
I run forward, as we do. I have a Varghulf run up next to the haunted hill (2d6 str 3 vs. t5 w/ regen isn't a problem). Two black knights are in the center of the right flank, and the blood knights are on the far right. I've got my second varghulf on the right, too. The dragons move up some, too. Not that far, though, I don't want to send them in completely unsupported against Karl and all the artillery. I'll need to make my charges on turn 3 instead of 2.
His Turn 1:
He moves the Stank on the left around the woods heading in the direction of my forces. The greatswords over there follow suit. The other stank moves up slightly and dares me to come closer. Karl hangs back, too, as do his knights. The pistoliers haul up 16" or so to try and run around the tree and get behind me.
His shooting completely fails him. One cannon can only see a blood knight who makes his ward save. The hand gunners fail to do anything but put a single wound on my general's dragon, the other cannon duds, and the helblaster misfires with a jam for this turn & next. On top of all of that, one stank decides to shoot (he was making comments on how he hates shooting with them, not worth the risk... but decides to try and shoot at my general on the dragon) - misfire, 2 wounds taken.
My Turn 2:
I do have 2 charges with the varghulfs at soft targets, one charges his militia where a pursuit would hit Kurt's unit of knights, and the other charges a unit of handgunners on the right hill who flee. They don't go off the board, but are out of charge range.
I move up my black knights so that they're in charge range of his knights, and his greatswords should he continue to move at me. The blood knights hang back slightly, as a counter charge if karl franz jumps forward at me. My dragons both get ready to take a cannon or two and stare down his army. The dire wolves run forward to get in the way of a stank charging me.
My ideal situation would be if the Varghulf breaks the militia (very likely) and overruns into Kurt's unit.... Then on my turn, double charge kurt and his knights with my dragon lords, kill kurt, and then break the unit and go off the board. It'd be very likely as long as I can keep both dragons alive. Once I've killed them, my big threat is the emperor charging a vampire lord, and of course the stanks... but if I can just throw units in front of them, I should be able to stem their damage while I work on the rest.
Magic phase sees a scroll get used to block something, I can't remember what... just that one was used.
In combat, the Varghulf does as expected and breaks the militia. I overrun into Kurt's unit. Unfortunately, I have to touch him to maximize!
His Turn 2:
Handgunners rally. He slows with the greatswords to not get them charged by Knights. The stanks each generate a few steam points but neither charge the trash units around them. Karl Franz flies over to the right edge and looks towards the center of the field. He's out of charge arc of my dragon lords. Neither of us wants the other to charge them.
He prepares to shoot and I cross my fingers. Both cannons aim at my general. First one rolls a 10 for extra distance and lands just behind him. The other duds right in front of me. Yes! Then he one handgunner unit that can shoot (other just rallied and the third was way off to the left) shoots at my general's dragon - just out of close range, so needing 4's to hit, 1-4 to dragon, 5+ to lord, then 5's to wound. 10 shots finish off the last 4 wounds of the dragon, putting the lord on foot. Uh, doh!
In combat, the Varghulf causes three wounds to Kurt but fails to get past his armor. He gets killed in return - Kurt has a nasty sword!
My Turn 3:
Well, one dragon was killed, which was a problem, but I felt I could recover by throwing a unit of black knights (with BS and a dragon at Kurts unit instead of 2 dragons. Unfortunately, the dogs in front of the stank weren't shot, so they were kinda blocking my charges a bit. As a result, I must charge both dogs at a stank to get them out of the way before charging the rest. First dogs make it to the stank, but the second unit can't get past the first with the wheel and fails charge. The first one did get out of my way, though, so the black knights make the charge as does my vamp lord. Unfortunately, my vamp lord can't get in contact with Kurt while maximizing the black knights. My fell bats run in front of his second stank block any potential charges it might have at the end of my turn.
The vamp lord looks around and sees only zombies nearby, so no R&F to hide in. He goes and joins the blood knights, even though he's on foot.. Only slows them down 1" as it was.
My zombies do run up at Karl, though. They are within 8" of Karl and 12" of my general, who rolled VHD. Hm, that could be good! I do fear Karl charging my blood knights, though, and killing my vamp lord. So I have to hold back one unit of black knights to counter charge if I fail to VHD and Karl comes forward at the Blood knights. As it turned out, this was a mistake and I shouldn't have slowed my advance, but live and learn!
In the magic phase, he's able to successfully stop my VHD's. Darn!
In combat, he has a champion, so I don't bother issuing a challenge with my vamp lord since it wouldn't get Kurt. So instead I hope for a lucky KB from my strigos banner black knights / wight king. The Wight King is, unfortunately, in contact with Kurt, too. So if I don't kill him, it's going to hurt. My vampire kills only 2 guys, my regular guys kill the champ, and I put just 1 wound on Kurt. Kurt hits back and causes 3 wounds on my wight king, which would double to 6 for combat res purposes but I make 2 of my regen saves thankfully. This both keeps me alive and doesn't crush my CR.
So I have 4 wounds to his 1 (counts as 2), each have a banner, I have BSB & mass. I then find out that Kurt makes the unit of knights both immune to psych (doesn't care about mass) and stubborn (at 9, with his BSB nearby). Uh, that's a problem! He sticks, obviously. Wow was that a mistake. The two dragons would have been okay to charge in there, I feel, since I would have killed Kurt and then broken the unit... but this way failed tremendously.
Varghulf kills 4 gunners but fails to break them since they had a rank, mass, and karl was nearby.
His Turn 3:
He looks at the field and sees that the unit of dogs that failed charge on the stank are lined up perfectly to overrun into my dreadlance vamp lord. He charges in there, which is going to be an even bigger problem than I realized with Kurt holding. When he makes that charge, I honestly believe the game to be over... The second stank charges the bats (the other one is in combat with dogs). There's not much to shoot with most of my stuff in combat or things in the way blocking sight. His captain on a peg runs over to the blood knights and tries to steal VHD off of my general but gets invocation instead.
My varghulf finishes off his handgunners, overrun isn't very far - I can see one of his mages that was hiding behind the hill to charge next turn.
Karl kills only 1 dog, giving me false hope before his dragon kills 3 and combat res takes out the rest. His overrun is more than enough to hit my dread lance vamp. He decides to go after the most combat res and attacks the dragon. At WS6, he needed 5's to hit as the dragon was also 6 and had the cloud of flies. He didn't get a single 5+! The dragon then wounded my dragon once, but that was all. Kurt failed to kill my Wight King! He did get 2 wounds on my unit, though, 1 getting past regen. Very lucky My vampire tries to take the emperor off of his dragon with his dreadlance - I cause two wounds after all is said and done. I also put a second wound on Kurt, but still no KB. Our regular guys both do nothing.
So he's got 2 wounds (counts as 3), banner, flank, mass. I've got 3 wounds, banner, bsb. I lose by 1 but have the BSB around, so take nothing. Huh, my vamp lord goes first next turn, I can do this still!
My Turn 4:
Varghulf chases a mage off of the board. My Blood Knights are forced to charge his captain on a pegasus, who gets away with his flee move. My black knights, who had stalled their advance to counter karl are now looking at nothing and spend a turn repositioning themselves. Big mistake there.
The all important combat sees my dread lance vamp go first and fail to cause a wound on the emperor. Kurt and Karl go next. Kurt kills off my Wight King BSB, Karl causes a 3 wounds to my dragon. Nothing else of consequence happens and I crumble to death with both from the combat res.
Remainder of the game:
At this point, it's effectively over. He's still got the full power of his list, I've lost virtually all of mine... he just goes on clean up duty and is able to kill my general on the bottom of 5.
I ended up with a varghulf left alive and that was it. I only killed around ~1000 worth of his army. He got the full points for a massacre.
Well, I had a chance. In the first two turns, his artillery rolled very badly, though his handgunners dropping a dragon kinda made up for that. But against a helblaster, 2 great cannons, and 2 stank cannons, I expected one dragon to fall to that. The big reason I lost is that I didn't know my opponent's army as well as I needed to - my ignorance really hurt me. Not realizing the Kurt made his unit both stubborn and immune to psych was what killed me. I fully expected to win the combat with mass (which I did) and break the unit on anything but insane courage. Big mistake! Still, his dice then tried to give the game back to me when Karl and his dragon only caused a single wound on the charge. I just couldn't take advantage of it.
Ah well - it's dropped me out of contention for 1st, but with the small field, I can come in second if I have a big third game.
(General) Black Orc Warboss on a Boar - Heavy Armor, Shaga's Screamin' Sword, maybe something else
Black Orc Warboss on a Wyvern - Heavy Armor, Enchanted Shield, Akk'rit Axe, Iron Gnashes, Best Big Boss's 'At
Goblin Big Boss on a wolf with the One Hit Wunda
Goblin Big Boss on a chariot with Triksy Trinket
Goblin Shaman - (level 2) 2xScrolls
Night Goblin Shaman - (level 1) Staff of Sneaky Stealin'
30 'Arrer Boyz
10 'Arrer Boyz
30 Night Goblins, Spears, 2 fanatics
30 Night Goblins, 2 fanatics
30 Orc Boyz - FC, Shield
30 Orc Boyz - FC, Shield
10 Boar Boyz, FC
10 Boar Boyz, FC
9 Squig Hoppers
Someone had the banner to give dispel dice for rank bonuses, and maybe some extra magic items here and there, but that's the basics. The doomdiver could hurt my black knights, but otherwise shouldn't do much. The Giants and his Wyvern boss would be run over by my dragon lords or blood knights. I have enough fast stuff to pull out the fanatics before I have to charge into them. Basic orcs are push overs to my real fighters... and the boar boyz aren't savage, so they're not that great fighters and suffer from psychology.
Now the mission had the general get a token worth 500 VP's. It can be captured like a banner, as well. While the general has the token, he can reroll any (and every) failed roll to hit, to wound, save, or leadership check. Wow.. my general already has infinite hatred, but now rerolls his lance wounds, his 2+/4+, and the stupidity check should he fail. His lord doesn't have much in terms of armor, and I think had a 5+ ward? I dunno, can't remember.. so he won't be much harder to kill, but he's potentially really deadly with that sword.
If you do manage to capture the token from the enemy general, the *entire unit* gets the benefits of it. So uh, don't lose it.
My opponent stated that he had already played one of the other VC players as we started to deploy... I think that might have thrown him off a bit. Both other lists were Mannfred lists with lots of magic. Mine played quite differently, and I don't think he realized that until too late.
There was very little terrain on the board. 2 hills on his side, one on each corner, and a small piece of woods in the center of my DZ.
He put one spear chucka on the right, the other warmachines on the left. Then going from left to right, had:
10 arrer boyz, night goblins, night goblins, goblin shaman chariot, giant, orc boyz, orc boyz, 30 arrer boyz, squig hoppers, giant, boar boyz, wyvern, boar boyz. He was spread out across the table, with his general going in the right most orc boyz unit, along with the goblin boss on a wolf. Most of his fighters were on the right flank.
I deployed my dragons on the right flank, out of sight of his rock lobba, doom diver, and 1 spear chucka. I had both units of black knights on the right half of the board, too, with both Varghulfs there. Then in the center of the board I had the blood knights, being screened by both of the wolves. The left side saw my crappy core blocks out of the way. I decided, since the blood knights were alone in the center to put the wight king with them (in addition to the dread knight vampire). This would give them a little extra CR but also much more survivability... especially since they were likely to be warmachine targets on turn 1.
After looking at the deployment, I figured my fighty stuff could run over his and then turn the flank and go down the line while the blood knights just brute forced up the middle.
He wins the roll for first turn and takes it.
As a side note, nobody cast a single spell the entire game, so I am going to skip magic phases completely.
His Turn 1:
His animosity rolls are crazy. Literally 6 of his 9 units that must roll get either a 1 or a 6. Unfortunately for him, it's 2 boar boyz and a NG unit that get a 1 and both arrer boyz and a NG unit that get a 6.
He runs his squig hoppers up and they go 12". They're just in sight of my general's dragon and in range, too. The Wyvern & right Giant hang back some, afraid to go forward without the boars. The infantry blocks & left Giant all run forward. Shooting sees him target the blood knights with the three machines on the left, which I'm happy about with their saves... and even better, he misses with the spear chucka and both other shots scatter off. So he'll be making the same mistake next turn, too.
My Turn 1:
I charged the immune to psych squig hoppers and was able to touch the closest skirmisher so that my pursuit would go straight towards the big arrer boyz squad. Blood knights move forward about 6" and the wolf screen separates, as he's got nothing I wouldn't care to charge around me. One wolf squad breaks for the Giant, but I just underestimate the distance the NG that didn't squabble moved, and am barely out of 8". I was hoping to pull the fanatics out with the giant in between us. The bats also move up some and get in front of the goblin chariot. I'm not concerned about warmachine hunting, I'm throwing them in front to try and get him to charge and overrun where I want him.
My right dogs move up about 3" in front of his general's unit, angling so that their overrun would hit nothing. Blood knights are staring at where they're going to be. I take one of my black knight units (barrows) and turn them a bit towards the center, too, with his animosity rolls stumbling the right side of his army.
One Varghulf follows them up, facing towards his boars, the other runs forward to get the wyvern to charge him with my dreadlance vamp around 15" behind him ready to counter charge.
Fighting sees the general break the squig hopper unit and overrun into the arrer boyz. They hold, passing their terror check.
His Turn 2:
Both boar boyz squabble again. He's a good sport, not complaining about it really, but I'm actually not happy that it happened. I personally would have rather them come forward and just get the fights over with sooner than later. His wyvern boss charges my varghulf. His general's unit charges the dogs, the goblin shaman charges the bats, and the giant charges the left dogs. Squig hoppers, who got away, rally. Other stuff mill around some.
Shooting sees both guess range weapons land of the blood knights and do nothing. He realizes now that they aren't a great shooting target and switches off of them with the spear chucka shots, but does nothing appreciable to anything else.
Combat sees my general only beat the 'arrer boyz by 1, with the dragon completely missing his attacks. He holds. The wyvern boss just kills the varghulf with combat res and overruns an amazing 16" to hit my dreadlance vamp - doh! He wipes out both dogs and the bats. Unfortunately, his giant didn't go as far as I wanted, so he's still out of charge range of the blood knights.
Amazingly, though, he overruns with his general's unit. This now means that, while he was going to be in charge range of the blood knights anyway, the black knights that turned to the center are now looking at his flank..
My Turn 2:
I charge his general's unit in the front with blood knights and flank with black knights. He holds, and actually seems to be pleased by the combat - I think he believes he's going to win that fight. Uh? The other Varghulf runs forward 16" to stand just out of charge arc of the closest boar boyz, but within 6" of them and the right spear chucka. The second black knight unit moves to counter charge anywhere boar boyz try to advance.
Now we fight. I start with the combat that will probably go bad for me - the orc warboss charging my armorless vampire lord. He goes first, with 4 WS7 attacks at Str 6 rerolling to hit from the axe with killing blow. Needing a 5 to hit from the dragon, he gets 2 hits with the rerolls and causes a single wound. Average is 5/9 hit and 2/3 wound, so 10/27, around 1/3 to get a wound... with 4 attacks, that's right around average - maybe a little bit below. The Wyvern also needs 5's to hit and whiffs. Really, with average rolling he should have caused 2 wounds, but got a little unlucky and only caused 1. My attacks back with the dreadlance and dragon kill his Wyvern outright. He then needs courage, since he no longer causes terror and breaks.
The fight against his general sees the black knights kill 3, the blood drinker vampire kills his goblin big boss with the one hit wunda, and the blood knights / wight king all attack his unit. I kill the champion and around 8 regular guys.
All said and done, I had a flank, mass (now), banner, bsb, and 14 wounds. He attacks back with his general, who has +3 A and +3 S from the sword (my general, vampire, and wight king were within 12"). He gets 5 wounds on the blood knights. I get no save vs. the strength, ward is only to shooting, but I make a stupid 4 of 5 regen saves... I retain mass and he breaks. I still would have won the combat soundly if I only made 2... since I had ~17 CR w/o mass, and he was looking at a banner + 3-4 kills, and maybe mass. Either way, it was just demoralizing for him.
My blood knight unit pursued and captured his token. They are now the uber unit of doom, with a 2+ save, 4+ ward vs ranged, and 4+ regen that can all be rerolled... then all those WS5 Str5 lance attacks with rerolls, etc. Nothing can touch them now.
My general breaks through the arrer boyz and overruns into the rallied squig hoppers.
His Turn 3:
The left giant charges my blood knights in the flank, touching my wight king. The right giant counter charges my general on a dragon. One boar boy squabbles again... the other (the one near the varghulf) rolls a 6 and moves forward 2". Then it, along with the spear chucka, promptly fail terror and run off of the board.
Fighting sees my general, who also counts as charging and goes at I7, kill the giant that charged him. Dragon kills a few squigs and they break.
The giant charging my blood knights tries to pick up the wight king, but he pushes him off... then causes another 3 wounds with regular attacks. Those rerolls are amazing.
He then conceeds.
He killed around 400 points, getting the bats, both dire wolves, a zombie unit that sprung and sat on some fanatics, and a varghulf. A massacre in my favor.
He had some bad rolls, but I honestly don't think it would have mattered much. Even if he killed my dreadlance vampire on the charge, my dragon still did 3 wounds back to his wyvern and would have only lost by mass... It would have locked him there and potentially killed the warboss' mount in the end. And the boar boyz coming forward instead of sitting still would have only gotten them charged by black knights / varghulfs.
His big mistake was overrunning with the general's unit into a flank charge by the black knights. If he didn't do that, he may have had a chance. Though I think I still would have won the combat even without the flank and black knight attacks.
In the end, the ATL empire player massacred his last opponent completely (he got a 22, 24, and 24 out of a possible 24 each round - damn!). He easily took 1st place. I ended up in 2nd with a 23, 1 (ouch!), and 24, with the lizardman player in 3rd. Top 3 qualify for the finals in Chicago, so I'm eligible, but haven't decided if I'm gonna go or not... it's just one week after the Big Waaagh in Memphis, which I'm planning on attending. It's also the same week as Cleveland, TN's Maul in the Mall, which I wanted to attend... as long as that's going to be doing 4th edition and not 5th. We'll see, I guess!
Surprisingly, there were absolutely no prizes. I had heard that the 40k 'Ard Boyz had some nice prize support in the second round, but I wasn't playing in it so don't know for sure... Oh well.
Nice report there, a whole lot to get my head around - but it seems that your Vampires are working quite well.
You went into a tournament with only three VC (under the new rules) battles under your belt, though? That's pretty... well, I don't know. Not something I'd try!
Yeah, only a few games experience with the VC going into the opening round, but it gave me a feel for how the undead play... and I had played some other fighty army types before, so I felt fairly comfortable with 'em. Plus, vampires are just strong - they sure do scale well.
And thanks, DavidVC04 - glad to hear that they can be more useful than just entertainment.
One of the best battle reports I have read in a long time. I had a really clear picture of what was going on the whole time.
The greatest thing to me was how you have dispelled all the "OMG, you need more magic mate! VC need magic to win!" arguments. Congratulations on your wins, sorry for your loss, and I'll definately keep this thread in mind shouls I decide to make a close combat army.
(Hmm, close combat VC, sounds like a good tactics thread.)
I am heading off to the Peace Corps. It is bery likely I will not be back. Good luck to all of you endeavors.
"- 1 Lizardman list. Slaan, temple guard, terradons, salamanders, etc. Typical lizards,"
lizards are so typical
Hello! I have to say, some of the Battle Reports on this site are amazing. I think it was this one - I'm at work and haven't got time to re-check, but I'm pretty sure it was this one that had me enthralled to the very last sentence. It's because of reports like this that I signed up here - I had to show appreciation for your effort. More please. Especially the epic ones like this (they make great reading when in the office.)
In the battle against the VC in the first round you should have tried casting spells versus nothing. Use 2 dice hoping for Iressitible Force or him flubbing his dispel rolls.
Otherwise, good report!
40K: Tyranid, Necron, Space Wolves
Fantasy: Dark Elves, Lizardmen, Orcs & Goblins, Dwarves