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This tournament was the culminating event of a cycle run in 2008. 18 people participated.
My army: 1 singer with 2 scrolls, 2 alter nobles, 1 highborn on eagle, 30 glade guard, 3 units of 8 dryads, 1 unit of 3 warhawks, 2 units of 6 wardancers, 10 waywatchers, 1 treeman.
Paul - Tomb Kings
David - Empire
Greg - Daemons of Chaos
Justin - Vampire Counts
Andy - High Elves
David - Wood Elves
Peter - Tomb Kings
Ben - Warriors of Chaos
David - Dark Elves
Jesse - Empire
Eric - Daemons of Chaos
Richard - Dwarfs
Matt Hurtado - Warriors of Chaos
Alexander - Warriors of Chaos
Mark - Ogre Kingdoms
Michael - Empire
For my first game, I was paired with Eric. This guy, for all his intelligence, isn't the best general. I knew if he was running his orcs, I'd mop him up. I've dealt with his warriors army, too. Instead, he had taken Daemons. Lousy first draw.
Eric ran three units of flesh hounds, 2 units of 10 bloodletters, 1 unit of 10 horrors, 2 units of 6 flamers, a caster on a disc, and three khorne heralds availed themselves of their juggernauts by joining the flesh hounds. My first thought was, "Crap, Eric. That's one way to go about spoiling someone's day." My second thought was, "Well, I bet he doesn't know that army too well yet." He also had proxied almost everything. He was calling it a Brettonian chaos army or some such. I bucked up and went about my business.
Eric is notoriously slow. I can't begin to tell you how slow he is, but I will try anyway. He was coming to my house one day for a campaign game. I invited him to come at noon but told him I had to be done by 5 pm, emphasizing the word 'had.' He arrived at noon and by 5 pm we were not done. He's that slow. But I knew he could be pushed to speed up his play, so push I did. After all, Wood Elves need turns 5 and 6 to try and win the game.
I had good terrain, a forest partially in my deployment zone, a hill, my free forest and lots of wide open spaces to shoot from.
I deployed back with the archers ready to start on the flamers and then work the hounds. Dryads went left, left-center, and right. Wardancers went left and right. The Treeman went right. The waywatchers deployed in my zone, afraid of the flamers. Hawks went left.
He set his lawnmowers up in front, with his letters behind them. The horrors went left. Flamers went left-center and right-center. I won first turn and took it, desperate to start shooting. Flesh hounds and flamers are damned tough, but if enough arrows start falling, they do take wounds. I killed two, maybe three models, this turn, and it took everything I had. I knew it was going to be tough, but I knew that 40 archers, 10 of them waywatchers, would work their magic over the long haul. Everything else held back.
I had kept far enough back that he couldn't do much with his flamers besides march them up.
On turn two, I went for marchblocking by my flyers and struck out. He wasn't sure how to respond to this and foundered a bit with his flamers. I don't think he knew just how menacing two units of those buggers really were. My archers did start to lay some wounds on the hounds, though I'd only kill two flamers the entire game. Knocking off some hounds led him to exit a herald from the emaciated unit and join another unit, making for 5 hounds and two heralds. Damned scary stuff that was.
I'd play bait and run with him for a bit. I would eventually kill only one and a half units of hounds, but he caught so discombobulated pursuing my mobile units that he'd run both heralds out in the open. I pounced with my general's arcane bodkins and the waywatchers. I get one on a killing blow but got the other only to half. The arcane bodkins just weren't wounding this game.
My warhawks had pestered him so badly that he ran both flamers at it, again not aware just how big his guns were. He even resolved his two units' shots at one time instead of doing each one separately, so one units flames just fell to the earth, sizzling the already-dead warhawk riders' remains.
I got lucky shooting at his disc rider and took him out early. I snagged two table quarters and had killed his general. And then Eric announced that he didn't even have his printed army list, just his hand-written one, so he didn't know the point values. What went through my head was this, "Uh, then I win, right?" But I bit my tongue, confident that I'd earned enough VPs to win. A bit of quick totaling, and indeed I had. I'd won my first match and that one against Chaos Daemons. On the other hand, he was an inexperienced DoC player and had used that list only once before. What's more, he inevitably makes some poor decisions during the course of a game, so it was a bit of a Pyhrric victory.
Richard, Mark, and I ate lunch together at the Back Porch Tavern. Burping my way back into the store, bad news conked me over the head. Next up, Vampire Counts with Justin. I like Justin a lot but he's a smart general who runs tough lists. This was the last armies I wanted to play.
He packed his guys into the middle, a bunker if there ever was one. He had two units of 20 zombies arranged in 10x2 formations and serving as screens for skeleton units 15 each, one grave guard of 20, and about 23 ghouls. No wolves, no bats, just infantry. His general, who was in the center, took the lore of vampires with forbidden lore, but he was a caster lord, with only a 4+ armor save and a 5+ ward. I wanted a go at him if I could get it. He had a mounted Wight Lord BSB that gave a 4+ ward versus shooting. To the right, he had used a hill to guard a flank, butting himself right up against it. And I almost forgot, a corpse cart and a black coach in the back of the army.
I knew I needed to reduce his magic phase and determined to bore my way through the zombies and have at his two lesser vamps that had joined the ghouls. The lord was in a unit of skellies and the wight king was in the grave guard unit.
I was on the same exact table and set up my archers the very same way, but this time, I could use my waywatchers' special rules and deploy just over the crest of that hill he'd bunkered up against. I had his beefiest unit marchblocked before the game began. Otherwise, I spread my units out in the usual wood elf way, dispersed but with pockets of choppy units. My strategy was to shred his screeners and pour everything I had onto his zombies on turn one. If I could eliminate one of those two screens, I'd open up his skeleton units to shooting. I wasn't at all interested in shooting at or engaging his grave guard, though of necessity it did happen in the end.
I won first turn, lingered back with central units but spread out fast for both flanks. My waywatchers strode up the hill and marchblocked his three infantry units to my right, the GG, skeletons, and zombies. Knowing how soft zombies are, I dumped all 30 glade guard onto them and really tore into them. Justin seemed surprised when my waywatchers ignored both his grave guard and skeletons, opting instead of the zombies. Sure enough, I killed every last one of them and had exposed all the units I'd just marchblocked. A plan seemed well made so far. Warhawks darted out but stayed out of range, just shooting at some zombies on the other side.
Here, Justin surprised me and rolled for Summon Undead Horde, the spell all the usual VC players bypass. He plumped out four or five dice and I had to scroll it. I had opted for very little magic defense, a risk that I knew from experience could bite me in the ass. I stopped it, but then he simply used raise dead, started a unit and proceeded to cast IoN on it multiple times. However, he didn't get back to 20, maybe 15. His skeletons reformed to face my waywatchers, and his units to the left kept a tidy battle line.
Turns two and three: With the small unit of skeletons visible, I poured my shooting into them, killing every last one of the bony bastard. I knocked a few more zombies off the restarted unit. I had destroyed two ranked units in two turns. Even though one had reappeared and was now worth only 50 victory points, I had still earned 220 points so far and knew I had superior mobility for claiming table quarters and the like. My warhawks marchblocked his other three units, the ghouls, zombies and second unit skeletons, the one that contained his general. My treeman, a unit of dryads, and a unit of wardancers were lining up to make a run on his other zombie screen. I knew I could dish out some serious hurt with them. Critically, I moved my general behind the grave guard unit, hoping to lend support to the waywatchers once they fled a charge. It also gave continued the marchblocking.
He backed his units up, turned his grave guard to face me, moved his general into the grave guard unit, turned his two vamps in the ghoul block to face my warhawks, spread his corpse cart and black coach a bit apart and unleashed his rage in the magic phase.
He went nuts on Vanhel's. I'd forgotten that he could cast it multiple times as it was a Necromancy spell. He pushed it through on his black coach and charged my general on his eagle, who promptly rolled three dice and fled about 5 inches. Dead, just like that. I subsequently took a terror test with my waywatchers who failed on a 10. They would have passed if the general were alive and not fleeing, which is the only reason he was over there. Big, big, big mistake. The waywatchers would fail to rally on my next turn and run off the table. 530 points, 630 as the highborn was the general, and all I could hear was the sound of the toilet flushing the big turd I'd laid right down the drain.
At this point, I knew I had to go for points in the casters. Matt, who I'd had lunch with, played VC for a short time, so I got a fair amount of practice against the new book. He ran a compact, tough army, too, and I'd learned to snipe characters, taking in whatever hard hitters I could, expecting to lose combat but kill a character.
Turns four to six: I still had my treeman, two alters, both units of wardancers, and all the dryads. My losses were steep, but my force was still substantial. But Vanhel's struck again and the warhawk riders went down to the ghouls. And the coach caught a good charge and would smear a bloody swipe across the battlefield. He cast wind of undeath and brought up two spirit host models, but my dryads tore through them, even though the host charged them.
I made a suicide run on the vamp lord with wardancers and dryads, but the dice bottomed out. In fact, the dice bottomed out often, unless it was a critical moment, in which case the dice bottomed out without fail.
I conceded at the end of turn 5 and went to read the new lizardmen list. Justin's always a good sport and I enjoy our games, but this spanking still hurt. At least I got the scenario points. Now I had 24 battle points going into the last match.
I was hoping for a decent matchup and got one with Mark's Ogre Kingdom. He was new, had never gamed with us before, but Brett had someone cancel on his slot for the tourney so he offered it to Mark.
Mark's a very nice guy, a 1st edition warhammer player and a Brit who lives about 50 minutes from me. He was running three butchers, a tyrant, two units of iron guts, 2 units of bulls, a unit of 3 yhettes, 2 units of 2 leadbelchers. A scraplauncher. Trappers.
I won first turn again, three times today, though I deployed last every game. I took it at went to work on his unit of bulls to the right-center. I killed all but one and then went to work on the leadbelchers. The HoDA and warhawks took care of one unit but the other would escape a turn. I feinted towards his yhetees but faded back, leaving them lingering in the woods. For the first two turns, he just had to weather the storm, though his magic phase would cause problems. Bonecruncher is a spell I can't afford to let through. Braingobbler got me a couple of times and cost me a unit of archers who'd fail to rally.
Eventually, I jumped his yhetees, got them, took out the remaining lead belcher, avoided his scraplauncher but hadn't cracked his iron guts. The toughness 5 characters were hard to get past, and I forgot to dispel some of his RiP spells during my casting phase. The trappers were terrorized off the table, and the treeman never saw combat. In the end he had his Iron guts, all his characters, his scrap launcher but nothing else. He got to my spellsinger, which I'd left exposed, another dumb mistake. His single bow shot, although it caused a wound, wasn't worth risking his 140 points. I killed one gorger and got half points on the other.
In the end we each killed about 930 points of each other models, about 20 or 30 points away from a perfect draw. I usually do well against Ogres, but he played a smart game, keeping me off his flanks, protecting his main units, neutralizing my shooting, and exploiting his magic. I could only claim one quarter. I never got a good flank charge. He won scenario points, though, so I had 8 more tourney points for the draw, not enough for anything significant, 32 total. Mark was an interesting guy, a smart gamer, and there to have a good time, so it was an enjoyable match.
Dave's Dark Elves would win the tournament. He's zaos77 on here and on druchii.net. He's built a smart army that's really tough in combat. Pansy elves, my rear end. Plus, strong shooting support. He's going to do well at the next GT with that. Plus, he's been repainting them, so they look a lot nicer. He knows that army very well, so always a tough game.
Greg won best general for getting all the scenario points. I won player's choice for painting and appearance. Andy won sportsmanship and Jesse won a big prize, too. I forget what it was, though.
I bought a box of the new Chaos Knights with my winnings, and a nurgle sorceror on foot, too. More crap for the closet, I suppose.
Nice write up, thanks for sharing!
And you know, that Eric sounds a lot like me!
PLAN CLAN MAN!!
He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man- S. Johnson
Sounds like a fun tournament, and a pretty nice spread of armies participating!
Kinda makes me wish we had more players around here that play for fun. Sadly, any of the normal tournament events here just attracts the obnoxius competitive type it seems =p
Good stuff, hope to hear more tales of the exploits of your tree lovers ^^
Your fluffraping hurts my eyes. - TehDarkPredator