'Ard Boyz semis in Greenville, SC--Daemons vs. Skaven, Dark Elves, Dwarfs - Warhammer 40K Fantasy

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    'Ard Boyz semis in Greenville, SC--Daemons vs. Skaven, Dark Elves, Dwarfs

    This is a tournament report from the ‘Ard Boyz semifinals held at Borderlands in Greenville, SC. My prelim report can be found at http://www.librarium-online.com/foru...rs-dwarfs.html. I qualified at Borderlands, in 3rd place playing Daemons. 1st went to a VC player, and 2nd was another Daemon army. However, the second place player couldn’t make it to the semis, so the 4th place player got to go, also running Daemons.

    There were 14 players in attendance, with the field being a predictable mix other than one big surprise (at least to me): there was not 1, not 2, but 3 Skaven armies. I have literally not seen Skaven on a table in probably over a year, so to see 3 there was unusual to me.

    The field:
    3x Daemons
    3x Skaven
    2x Vampire Counts
    Dark Elves
    Warriors of Chaos
    Orcs and Goblins

    The list I played in prelims was mono-Tzeentch, super magic heavy. I had wanted a Great Unclean One in place of the Lord of Change I played, but couldn’t get one in time. After the prelims, I started tinkering with various building that incorporated a heavier close combat element. In the prelims, you needed a margin of victory of 1200 VPs to not draw, and a margin of 2600 (in a 3k game) to get a massacre. I thought wiping units out in close combat would be a way to rack up points faster, and the ability to capture banners would help too. After a good bit of playtesting, everything from Keeper of Secrets with Ld shenanigans to a Bear’s Angered Skulltaker being launched out of a unit with Steed of Shadows, along with Bloodcrushers and Flesh Hounds, and a Khornate BSB, I ended up pretty much right back where I started. For one thing, I looked in advance at the missions posted, and the margins of victory were much smaller. 450 was the draw threshold, and it was 1800 VPs for a massacre. Much more manageable for my Tzeentch Daemons, whose main plan is to kill some stuff and play VP denial with flying wizards. I also realized during playtesting that I’m not particularly great with the decisions and maneuvering needed to play a fighty army. I learned WFB playing Dwarf gunline and then switched to magic-heavy Tzeentch Daemons, so I’m not really experienced with dedicated combat units, and didn’t want to wing it at ‘Ard Boyz.

    So the list I ended up with:
    Kairos Fateweaver (mvp of all 3 rounds in the prelims)
    Great Unclean One, Level 4 with Noxious Vapors and Balesword
    4x Herald of Tzeentch, Flying Chariot, Master of Sorcery
    1 Herald was the BSB with the Banner of Hellfire, the other 3 had 1 Scroll each
    4x10 Pink Horrors
    6 Flamers with a Pyrocaster

    Not much to the army. It’s all about blasting. 22 PD plus a nasty bound item, 14 DD plus 3 scrolls. Everything other than the GUO (and cheap horrors) can fly and stay out of harm’s way, and the GUO can punk most things that don’t have much static CR. He can’t deal with ranked up blocks, but he sure can take on a big nasty. He was also a great example of the benefits of familiarity with other army books. I explained all the gifts and abilities in my army at the beginning of every game, (because even people familiar with Daemons may not know exactly what all of it does), including Balesword, and yet Balesword still surprised my opponents in all three rounds. (For those unfamiliar, it makes all hits from the GUO wound automatically, and much more importantly, converts any unsaved wounds into D6 wounds.) Surveying the field, I feel that I have a strong chance against most of the field. A couple things do worry me, however. The Dwarf army has Thorek, 4 Bolt Throwers, 2 Cannons, and an Organ Gun. One of the Skaven has 3 Warp Lightning Cannons. The Dark Elves may have a Ring of Hotek (always trouble). And for whatever reason, I can never tell what a Vampire Army can do just by looking at it. Unless there are obvious things (like a Dragon, or a unit of Knights), I can’t tell looking at it whether it’s a strong army or not. I do see multiple Black Coaches in each, which could be irritating.

    Round 1:

    Anyway, on to the tournament. My first round opponent was one of the Skaven armies. It was a huge horde army. I’ve literally never played against Skaven that weren’t magic-heavy blaster lists. His list (roughly):

    2 Skaven Lords with various things (Warpstone Amulet, Warp-something armor, Desolate Blade, forget what all they had)
    Skaven hero BSB
    3 units of Slaves
    3 units of Clanrats (really big ones, like 30ish), 2 with Ratling Guns, 1 with Warpfire Launcher
    3 small units of Poison Wind Globadiers
    2 units of Gutter Runners (maybe? the ones that pop up on my side)
    2 units of 5 Night Runners with 2hw
    2 Warp Lightning Cannons
    A block of some frenzied T4 rats with a Hero in it
    8 of some frenzied skirmishers with flails
    2 units of 5 Jezzails
    2 Warplock Engineers with 2 scrolls each, no casting ability

    The mission involved nominating a character, other than your general, to be an “offending character” that has ticked off the other general. During the game, if one general can see the other side’s offending character, he (and the unit he’s in) must charge and issue a challenge. My general was the GUO (I knew this one was coming and didn’t want Kairos forced to charge) and Kairos was the offending character. I didn’t have any good characters to use as a forced charge lure, so I just put it on him, since I wasn’t planning on letting him be charged. My opponent nominated one Lord to be the general and the other to be the offending character.

    The GUO got Miasma, Stream of Corruption, Visitation, and Plague Wind. Kairos picked a flare spell for each head, Steal Soul, Doom and Darkness, Comet, and some missiles. All the Heralds took Lore of Death.

    Deployment: My deployment finishes ages before my opponents’. I have my 4 core, one other deploy, and characters. I basically always have the +1 to go first. This board had several big blocks of ruined-ish buildings. They looked like they’d make great area terrain for 40k, but were a little unwieldy for Fantasy. We just played them as an entire area of difficult terrain. One was in my DZ, one in his, and one off to the side marking the edge of the playing field (we were only using 6’ of an 8’ table). There was also a hill on each side. My deployment was basically clustered up in the center: 2 Horror units with space in between for the GUO, a 3rd a little to the right, the 4th behind the gap between the first 2, and the flamers in terrain to the left. The GUO front and center and all the fliers behind. He set up with alternating blocks of Clan Rats and Slaves, with a Warp Lightning Cannon on each side, both units of Jezzails off to the right, and both frenzied units off to the left. The Night Runners were near the right Cannon and Jezzails, and both Gutter Runners were in my DZ. One hero went in the frenzied unit, both Engineers hid behind a hill, and both lords and the BSB went in one giant unit of Clanrats (with the BSB in the back).

    I won the roll for first turn and took it.

    Turn 1:
    Everything on my right side marched forward to get 18” range on the right Cannon and Jezzails. The GUO marched forward about 8” or so, and the leftmost Horrors marched up a little less (the guys on the left side had M6 apparently). The Flamers stayed in their cover to wait for the rats to march forward.

    My magic phase didn’t actually take much off the table, but very significantly, it drew out all 4 of his scrolls. He scrolled a couple missiles going at his Jezzails, a big one at his Cannon, and a Plague Wind at his Death Star. Kairos got off a Tzeentch’s Firestorm at a unit of Slaves, and managed to kill 3, enough to spawn a single Pink Horror behind his lines, march-blocking his big unit and several other things.

    His turn, everything that could march forward did (other than the Jezzails and Cannons, of course). He left back one unit of Night Runners near the Jezzails, sending the other up the right flank. Everything else moved forward, except for one Ratling Gun that stayed back to play rear defense. His unit of T4 frenzied guys were way to the left, so even with their first turn march, they weren’t in 2nd turn charge range. Neither were his frenzied skirmishers, since they were also pretty far to the left and I didn’t advance my left side as much. He had really been hamstrung on deployment fitting his entire army into his DZ. One Warp Lightning Cannon targeted Kairos (on a line that would hit a chariot and some Horrors) but rolled a 2 for strength and did nothing. The other fired at the GUO and put 3 wounds on him. Kairos shrugged the Jezzail shooting. One Ratling Gun mowed down the lone march-blocking Pink Horror.

    Turn 2:
    The GUO was in charge range of his offending character and charged in. I knew he’d be beat by combat rez if I leave it as is, so the rest of the army flies in for backup. Two chariots land behind him, at angles covering his flanks so the adjacent blocks can’t flank charge him (they’ll hit the front of chariots instead). The BSB chariot flies into formation between them, making a little flying-V. Kairos and the last chariot come in near too. The Pink Horrors wheel and maneuver slightly to get good sight lines.

    What happens next is one of the most brutal magic phases ever. He blocked Miasma on the GUO, but was otherwise powerless to stop anything. Even the Pink Horrors were crazed…one Horror unit obliterated the Night Runners, one wiped out 4 of the 8 frenzied skirmishers, a couple others did some damage to various blocks of units. Then he got hit by 2 Drain Lifes, a Cleaning Flare, a Gift of Chaos, and the Banner of Hellfire, each of which had range on 8-10 of his units. His massive block got hit by a Doom and Darkness. Some units got wiped out entirely, others broke and ran. Most had lost all but 1 point of rank bonus, and the general’s base Ld had been dropped to 4. Things ran all over the place, those that hadn’t been wiped out all together. All total, he lost 2 units of Slaves and the 3rd broke, 1 unit of Clan Rats and the 2nd held but was down to about 6 models, all the Poison Wind Globadiers, one Ratling Gun and one Warpfire launcher, and his giant Clan Rat unit was down to less than 20, so only a rank bonus of 2. The Flamers shot down 3 of the skirmishers in the shooting phase.

    In combat, the GUO was forced to challenge, and his general accepted. Here comes the first person to be very surprised by Balesword. Two hits from the GUO, 2 automatic wounds at -5 to armor (he has a flail), and he failed both of his ward saves. He didn’t think things were so bad, until those 2 unsaved wounds turned into 9. I got 8 CR for his 3 wounds and the overkill max. It turns out his unit was designed to crush things with CR: 3 ranks, a banner, a BSB, outnumber, and magic banners that gave him an additional +1 CR and one that gave him a +1 bonus to the outnumber bonus. The unit was a GUO’s nightmare, with a static CR of 8. However, since it had lost down to only having a rank bonus of 2 in the magic phase, his CR was only 7 to my 8, so he lost by one. After applying his 2 rank bonuses, the loss by 1, and Doom and Darkness, he was testing on a 5, and failed both break checks. The GUO ran him down, having killed two lords, a BSB, and a giant unit, and capturing 2 banners, in one round of combat. I had no idea I was walking into a unit with such a huge CR, so I was lucky that he had no idea what the GUO was capable of in a challenge. I would have been crunched in that combat if he had declined the challenge (he wasn’t required to accept by the rules).

    After that, the fight was pretty much out of his army. He couldn’t do anything to stop my magic, and his only strengths were pretty much in the two Cannons and 2 Jezzail units. His two frenzied units needed another turn of moving before reaching combat, and in the meantime got pasted by the flare-bomb again. He lost the skirmishing unit entirely, the last of his Clan Rats were cleaned up, the ranked up frenzied unit was reduced below 10, and one of his cannons bought it. I hit the ranked up unit with Plague Wind too, making a couple Nurgling units.

    His turn 3, the remnants of his frenzied block charged my flamers, dealt some damage and lost a few casualties. Then the Flamers rolled boxcars on the Instability Test and popped. He blasted away at the GUO and put some wounds on him with the last Cannon, and his Jezzails tried to chew up Pink Horrors, but weren’t doing all that much damage very quickly. One unit of Gutter Runners got a misfire result that ended up with them not taking part in the battle. Apparently they had heard what was happening above the surface.

    Kairos and most of my guys headed toward his last little stronghold of Cannon and Jezzails, although magic on the way was fairly weak. I reduced the ranked up frenzied unit to a single hero and the banner bearer. They separated to be skirmishers. The hero ended up charging a unit of Pink Horrors at one point, and for 2 straight turns killed one to make combat a draw (I outnumbered). His last cannon exploded to a misfire. Toward the very end of the game, he ran the remaining banner bearer into the combat too. However, in that round, he failed to kill anything, I killed the banner bearer, and thus won combat by 2. Having lost the frenzy, the hero was outnumbered by Fear-causers and ran (and was run down). The Pink Horrors, for the first and maybe last time ever, captured a banner. The next turn, the Nurglings randomly charged an Engineer who had been trying to hide out, and he failed his Fear test, being forced to flee from the outnumbering Nurglings, and ran off the board. Kairos obliterated the last remaining Jezzails and the Heralds took out the one unit of Gutter Runners that finally showed on turn 5, completing the tabling. All in all, with 3 banners, dead general, and 3 table quarters, it was 3700 points minus however much for the 5 Gutter Runners who never showed. He took out the Flamers, reduced a Horror unit below half, took out one Herald (Cannon shot) and a destroyed a couple chariots out from under Heralds.

    Final result: Massacre with full bonus. 24 points.

    A much stronger start than the draw-fest I started with last time, but then these games would be much easier to get massacres in than round 1, so I’m sure I would need the points to stay competitive.

    Around the tournament, there were 5 massacres and 2 draws. Besides me, the Dark Elves and one VC player (Borderlands’ round 1 winner) had 24 points. The other Vampire army got 23, and the Daemon player who wasn’t from the Borderlands prelim got 22. The other Daemon player drew with the Dwarves (11 each).

    Round 2:

    I get paired against the Dark Elves. The two VC armies get matched up and the Daemon army with the massacre was paired with the Daemon army that drew with Dwarfs in round 1.

    His list, roughly from memory:
    Unkillable lord, 2+ armor, Pendant of Kaleth, Regen, some magic lance, on a Cold One
    Crone Hellebron
    Master with Ring of Hotek, not sure what all else (think he was the BSB too)
    2 Sorceresses, 2 scrolls each
    2 Assassins, both with Rune of Khaine and Manbane, one with Rending Stars and one with some weapon
    4 units of 10 repeater crossbowmen (Assassin with Rending Stars hid here)
    4 Repeater Bolthrowers
    5 Shades, repeater crossbows
    5 Cold One Knights, FC (I think), Lord went here
    10-12 Executioners (one of the Assassins was hidden here)
    10-12 Blackguard, Command, Champ had a magic weapon making him S6, Crone Hellebron and the Master with Ring of Hotek went into this unit
    War Hydra

    We figured out before the lunch break that I’d be paired up against this list, so I gave it some thought and decided I would just try to circumvent the Ring of Hotek, go after anything that wasn’t protected by it, and try to keep my expensive units alive. Go for at least a minor victory if not higher. It seemed like a solid plan, and it probably would have worked pretty well if I had stuck with it the entire time. Instead, I went dumb for about 1.5 turns during the game and gave up at the very least a minor victory, possibly more.

    In addition to trouble from the Ring of Hotek, the mission involved all spells miscasting on double 1’s and 2’s, IF on double 5’s and 6’s. So there might be quite a few miscasts today.

    In this round, Kairos’s left head picked Cleansing Flare, Forked Lightning (for hunting war machine crews), Commandment of Brass, and Howler Wind to protect my stuff from his crossbows and the repeater option on his bolt throwers. The right head picked Doom and Darkness, Steal Soul, Drain Life, and Wind of Death (the Lore of Death is really strong). All the Heralds picked Lore of Death. It has two 24” missiles to go after the Bolt Thrower crews, Doom and Darkness for Ld shenanigans (particularly for attempting to make his general’s unit fail their Stupidity tests), and Steal Soul for assassination and for reclaiming a lost wound to get back ½ VPs. Irritatingly, the GUO didn’t get Rancid Visitation or Plague Wind, the two heavyweights against an army that is entirely T3. Oh well.

    There were a lot of woods on this table, two around the middle of my DZ, one toward the back of his DZ on the right and one right at the front on the left. There was another off to the side, and the middle was very open. His first deploy was the Hydra to the left of his left woods, pretty far over. I put a Pink Horror unit about in the center. He deployed the Cold Ones further to the left, on the other side of the Hydra, so I decided I’d probably be concentrating on his right flank, unless the Ring of Hotek ended up over there. However, since my main units are so maneuverable, I decided not to tip my hand, and continued deploying clustered up in the center. I ended with GUO dead center, with 1 Horror unit to the left, 2 to the right, and one behind. The Flamers started in the right woods, and the fliers started behind the front lines. Importantly, none of his Bolt Throwers had any line of sight to any of my Heralds (no hills anywhere).

    He deployed all 4 Crossbow units in one rank each, one beside the other, from almost the right edge of the board running over to a little left of center. The Bolt Throwers went behind this line, one on the far right, one on the left, and two looking through gaps between. He made one critical mistake with his deployment: his Blackguard and Executioners, not having much room on the front lines anywhere else, deployed in the left woods, with the Executioners behind the Blackguard. This would have put them in a good position on the battlefield, except that they were so deep in they wouldn’t be able to get out in one move, so it really slowed down his deployment. I think my opponent forgot about movement penalties when he initially deployed them. In either case, Crone Hellebron and the Ring of Hotek were in the unit of Blackguard. His Sorceresses joined Crossbow units. Finally, he scouted his shades way at the back of my DZ, to the side and 10” away from the Flamers.

    I won the roll to go first and took it.

    Turn 1:
    With all his power on the left flank, I completely ignored it. The GUO went forward about 4” and as far to the right as possible, facing his gunline. Everyone who could fly went straight right, pretty much. A couple Heralds moved forward slightly to get range on the right end of the gunline, a couple faced the shades, and Kairos faced forward but was in flare range of the shades. I was initially worried there was an assassin in them, but it turns out they were just there as a march-blocking and harassment attempt if he had gone first. The Flamers and Horrors waited for things to come. Everyone ended within 12” of Kairos for protection with Howler Wind.

    Magic phase saw the end of the Shades, and the far right Bolt Thrower lost one of the two crewmen. I also drew out 2 dispel scrolls. One was on the Nurgle spell that causes a model to take a T test or suffer D6 wounds. I fired it at a Sorceress with 2 scrolls, so of course that got one of them. The other was at a big magic missile aimed at a Bolt Thrower. Not a whole lot accomplished, but a start. Kairos ended by casting Howler Wind to protect from shooting, rolled double 1’s, and the reroll was a 1. Irritatingly, the miscast was an 11…lost Howler Wind and now his left head is only level 3. Of all the spells to lose, and it wasn’t even a miscast caused by the mission rules or the Ring. Oh well.

    His first turn, I realized that he had indeed forgotten he couldn’t march his blocks out of the woods, so his Blackguard creep forward as fast as possible (which isn’t enough to get them out of the woods this turn) and the Executioners follow. His Hydra blitzes forward toward the closest Horrors, but doesn’t reach charge range because of the distances between them. The Cold Ones move forward too, wheeling slightly but pretty much staying way over on the left flank. Nothing on my left is threatened by turn 2 action.

    Magic does nothing. In shooting, 4 Bolt Throwers take aim at the GUO (he rolls them all together to speed it up). All 4 hit, but only 1 wounds, and he makes his ward save. Bullet dodged there. Then his rightmost Crossbowmen proceed to take aim at my closest Herald (the BSB ), manage to get two hits on him despite needing 6’s to allocate to him, and gun him right off his chariot. That’s a pain, and I’m now down 265 points and a wizard, plus my flare banner. Oh well. Other shooting doesn’t do anything.

    Turn 2:
    The flying circus advances up the far right flank, well clear of any action he has going on. The GUO stays somewhat centered, moving forward some but facing to the left to watch where the hard hitters will decide to go. The Flamers follow the fliers out. Magic sees the Pink Horrors fail to hurt the Hydra, and Kairos uses his right head (as per the Daemon FAQ, the heads are separate wizards for purposes of miscasts and wizard levels, so it’s still level 4). He pulls another scroll on Gift of Chaos, then casts a very unimpressive Drain Life. It whittled down some Crossbowmen a bit, but nothing else. Probably would have been better off using the other head for Cleansing Flare. The last scroll is pulled by a Herald attempting to Steal Soul on the last crewman of the rightmost Bolt Thrower. Another Herald fails to cast, and the last hits some Crossbowmen with D6 magic missiles. The GUO, with nothing much else to do, hits a Crossbow unit with Pit of Slime but they pass the S test.

    On his turn, the Hydra advanced to directly in front of the leftmost Horrors, and the Cold Ones wheel and advance toward my Horror block. The Blackguard get free of the terrain, but still don’t get very far thanks to no marching and half speed movement. The Executioners don’t quite get out. One of his Crossbow units breaks to a Terror test.

    Magic sees one Sorceress get IF on Blade Wind (I think…it was the 3D6 attacks spell). However, because she was within the range of the Ring of Hotek, it was also a miscast. She lost her only wizard level and her only spell. The spell did a total of 4 wounds to a unit of Pink Horrors, but surprisingly they made all 4 ward saves. Just as well that the spell didn’t do anything, as I realized about a half turn later that his level 1 had rolled 3 dice…neither of us caught it at the time.

    In the shooting phase, his assassin reveals himself from a nearby Crossbow unit, and stays attached to them at the end, to throw Rending Stars at things. One Bolt Thrower puts 2 wounds on the GUO, a few shoot at Kairos and he shrugs them with his 3+ ward with a reroll. The Crossbowmen and Assassin shoot at a Herald, putting a wound on the chariot. His Hydra flames the Pink Horrors but only 1 dies.

    Turn 3:
    The circus starts flying left down his front lines, with Kairos landing to maximize Terror tests and flare targets. The GUO moves left along the middle of the board, lined to up threaten the Blackguard if they march at max distance, the side of the Hydra if it doesn’t wipe out the Pink Horrors, or possible the Knights depending on where they decide to go next turn. The Flamers advanced to have easy shots on whatever magic might miss.

    The Pink Horrors then decide they want nothing to do with the Hydra and burn it to the ground. Seven S7 flaming hits was enough to get it done. They also kill a few Crossbowmen. The rest of the magic phase is slightly more underwhelming. Kairos manages to miscast on Drain Life, despite the reroll, and loses that spell and a wizard level. Now each head is down to a level 3. Lame. To follow that up, the GUO miscasts on double 1’s, although it’s only a S2 hit on him, so he ignores it. Still, not good. The Heralds do some damage to a Crossbowmen unit, finish off the crew from one Bolt Thrower, and kill one crewman from another. Shooting sees the Flamers light into a Crossbowmen squad, wiping it out. He makes the comment that maybe he should have been shooting at those a little more.

    His turn 3, his Hydra handlers charge the nearest unit of Horrors, as does the general’s Knight unit (now that the Hydra is out of the way, they can make the charge). The Blackguard advances somewhat, angled to get a flank charge on the GUO if it flank charges the general’s unit. The Executioners get out of the woods. Shooting has the Crossbowmen put a wound on Kairos (I don’t reroll because the Bolt Throwers haven’t fired yet). The Bolt Throwers put 2 more wounds on the GUO. In combat, the general’s unit obliterates the Pink Horrors and overrun into another unit behind it. I had tried to separate the Horrors enough to avoid that, but with both the Hydra and Knights threatening the previous turn, I couldn’t turn the Horrors enough to avoid it without giving one of the two a flank charge and an option to hit other units, so I just went with it. It jammed up the Knights enough to give the GUO an option of a rear charge.

    Turn 4:
    Now this is where I lost some major ground on what could have still been a good chance at a win. After deliberating with the GUO some, I decided to charge the Blackguard. My reasoning involved a couple of things: first, a rear charge against the Knights would probably have ended with a challenge against a character I couldn’t hurt, and he’d be ground down (and maybe killed eventually) by combat rez, particularly when the Blackguard rear charge him. Second, jamming the Ring of Hotek in place would mean I would have at least a turn with the Knight unit out of protection range, and could cast freely at them. So the GUO slammed into the Blackguard. May not have been the best idea imaginable (he would have been better served pulping war machines or something), but I made up for one play mistake by making another. They cancel out, right?

    After positioning everyone else to send maximum damage at all the war machines and Crossbowmen, with the Flamers advancing on the Executioners, I went to the magic phase and made a rookie mistake. After the remaining Pink Horrors cast, the GUO attempted Miasma. Yes, right there in base contact with the Ring of Hotek. I wanted him covered by it, so I threw multiple dice at it. Double 3, miscast. The miscast roll: 9. End the magic phase. Well hell. Both of Kairos’s heads make mental notes to fire the GUO. With fire.

    The Flamers shot down 3 or 4 Executioners, but all in all it was a very wasted turn.

    The only highlight came when the GUO challenged and Crone Hellebron accepted. A second person to be surprised by the Balesword. He wanted Crone to be able to throw all those S10 attacks at the GUO, and wasn’t expecting to take 8 wounds for the trouble. The stubborn ItP Blackguard held, however. The Knights unsurprisingly destroyed the 2nd Horror unit and overran toward the table edge, but shorted it by about an inch.

    On his turn 4, the Executioners didn’t have LoS to the GUO, so they wheeled around a little to threaten his flank. The Knight unit reformed to face back up the battlefield. He had a Bolt Thrower crew and a depleted Crossbow crew with Sorceress both fail Terror tests. Shooting added to the number of wounds on various chariots but didn’t destroy anything. It also took off an extra wound a Herald had gained with Steal Soul. In combat he declined the challenge and I put away the champion with a S6 magic weapon. The GUO crunched a couple dudes, lost combat by 1, but didn’t care.

    Turn 5:
    This went much better than turn 4. The GUO didn’t cast anything but a one-die attempt at Miasma (dispelled). Kairos and the Heralds finished off the crew on all the other Bolt Throwers and finished off two units of Crossbowmen (one of which had a Sorceress…they had fled from a Terror test but then regrouped). He was left at this point with 1 Bolt Thrower crew running, one Crossbow unit running (with a Sorceress), and one Crossbow unit reduced to 3 plus an Assassin. I also hit the general’s unit with a Doom and Darkness from a Herald. Kairos attempted it and got double 2’s (the first time the mission rules have come into effect). This miscast result did nothing (I think it maybe let him cast a spell but he didn’t have any non-fleeing wizards). However, it meant the general’s Ld was at 7 instead of 4. Big difference. I crossed my fingers and hoped he would fail the Stupidity check. The Flamers moved up toward the Executioners, stopping far enough away that I figured they were out of charge range. They shot the Executioners down to about 7 or 8. The GUO crunched another couple of Blackguard. However, the remaining ones put a wound on him, and with the two banners he lost by one, and managed to roll a 10, failing by 2 and going up to 7 wounds.

    His turn 5, his general passed the Stupidity check and charged a unit of Pink Horrors (all they had been able to do was reform to take it on the front and try to angle the unit away from the GUO. His Bolt Thrower crewmen regroup, his running Crossbow unit doesn’t and keeps running (but stays on the board). He has no real shooting at this point, other than the assassin with the Manbane Rending Stars killed a Herald’s chariot. Ouch. The GUO pasted a couple more dudes in combat and still stayed stuck in, and the Knights obliterated the Horrors. Their overrun took them into the last unit of Horrors (I had tilted the unit to try to make it so that the Knights wouldn’t be able to charge the GUO or Flamers on the last turn, which ended up with them hitting the other Horrors). Looking back I could have done more with maneuvering the Horrors to steer the overruns, but as it was, even a below average overrun would almost certainly take them past the point they could see the GUO or Flamers, particularly since the Flamers would get to move again.

    Turn 6:
    The Flamers moved up to right in front of the Executioners, trying to get clear of the area the general’s unit might be able to see after an overrun. The fliers all moved far to the left or right, making sure a big overrun from the Knights wouldn’t put them in charge range 6th turn. This put Kairos near the Ring, unfortunately. In magic I killed the last Bolt Thrower unit and the Crossbow unit, wounding the Assassin but failing to kill him. I whiffed on a whole lot of casts that turn, partially due to holding back a bit for fear of the Ring of Hotek costing me the game with an untimely death of a lord. The Flamers whittled the Executioners down to about 4 or 5 (below half at least). The GUO fluffed his combat but passed his test. The Knights wipe out the last unit of Horrors, but their overrun is only 5”. While they’re not facing the right way to charge the GUO, they still manage to have the Flamers in their peripheral vision. Not good. Only a couple more inches and they’d have been stranded.

    His turn 6, he charged the Flamers with the remaining Executioners and the Knights. His last depleted Crossbowmen unit (with a Sorceress) rallied. In shooting the Assassin brought a Herald below half with those stupid stars. In combat the GUO pasted a guy or two but didn’t accomplish anything. The Executioners killed 2 Flamers (one with a KB ), the Knights killed 3, and the last Flamer didn’t do much and popped to the 11 wounds he took from his Instability Test.

    Overall, a scene of mass carnage. I got (more or less, going from memory):
    4 Bolt Throwers
    3 ½ Crossbowmen
    ½ of an Assassin
    ½ Blackguard
    ½ Executioners
    Crone Hellebron

    He got:
    4 Pink Horrors
    1 ½ Heralds (their chariots lived though, but one was the BSB )
    ½ GUO
    1 Chariot

    When taking table quarters into account, the difference came out with me ahead by 436 VPs; a draw, 14 points short of the cutoff for a minor victory. We each got one bonus point, for a total of 11-11. Seeing that 14 point difference really highlighted some of the mistakes I made. Running in the GUO was a mistake, because although he got 300 from smacking down Hellebron, he gave up 335 when he got reduced below half. Maybe that would have happened anyway, but maybe not. And I got very lucky that he accepted the challenge. Also, the Flamers should have stayed far back, just cleaning up the right flank with everyone else, and I should have just let him have all the Horrors and not gone anywhere near midfield. When it was all said and done, I don’t think my foray into the strong part of his army got me as many points as it got him, and it took some of my focus off eliminating his other units, some of which lived and continued to do damage. Being only 14 points off a minor, I’m pretty sure that had I stuck to my original plan of VP-denial and taking out the weak parts of his army, I could certainly have come off with at least a minor victory.

    Around the room, the Daemon army with the massacre from round 1 also massacred the other Daemon army (the one with a first-round draw). The Dwarfs got a 24 point massacre (not sure over whom though). The VC game ended up with a major victory in the favor of the one with 23-point first round, 19-4. After that round, the standings were
    Daemons 44
    VC 41
    Daemons (me) 35
    Dwarfs 35
    Dark Elves 35
    VC 28

    So I was in a three-way tie for 3rd, but my only hope in winning lay with a full-point massacre with some help: I needed the top 2 game to either end as a draw or a VC minor victory to even have a hope, and I would need a 24-point massacre. (This is all assuming everyone gets all possible bonus battle points for the 3rd round).

    Round 3 would see me play the Dwarfs and the DE play the lower ranked VC (and of course the top 2 played).

    Round 3:
    His list is classic Thorek gunline. It’s very similar to what I played in round 3 of the prelims, only with a couple more war machines and slightly fewer blocks of dudes.

    His list:
    Dwarf Lord on Shieldbearers, 1+ armor, Reroll armor save, 4+ ward, with a great weapon that doubles his strength against targets of T5 or higher (sorry, don’t remember the names of any of those runes)…very significantly, he was lacking the rune that limits the S of attacks directed at him to 5
    Thane BSB, 5+ ward against ranged attacks to everyone within 6”, personal 5+ ward, +2 to dispel attempts
    2 Runesmiths, one with Rune of Balance and a scroll, one with +1 Dispel and a scroll
    10 Thunderers
    10 Thunderers
    10 Quarrelers
    20 Warriors (Painted like Santa Claus with holly on their shields, interestingly)
    18 Ironbreakers
    2 Cannons with rerolls to artillery die (and one flaming)
    4 Bolt Throwers, all S7, with various other runes (1 had Flakkson’s Rune of Seeking)
    1 Organ Gun

    Fairly brutal. He has 6 different war machines that do D3 wounds and are strong enough to pop chariots. He also has 10 DD with a whopping +3 to dispels (and steals one PD), with 2 scrolls. Going to be rough. Like I said, I drew a similar list in the last round, and it wasn’t this shooty or anti-magic. I’m going to need a blessing from Tzeentch to even pull out a win here, and I see no way of getting the 24-point massacre. Oh well, maybe Thorek will blow up round 1. And all his guns. You never know.

    The GUO gets Miasma, Pit of Slime, Rancid Visitation, Plague Wind, the Heralds all take Death (I went back and forth, but I liked Death with the option to potentially Terror-bomb the Dwarf Lord’s unit with Doom and Darkness spam), and Kairos takes a variety of missiles to try to take out the war machine crews (including Forked Lightning for long-range), Commandment of Brass, Cleansing Flare, Drain Life, and Steal Soul. I contemplated Howler Wind to shut off the Thunderers and Quarrelers, and Rain Lord to try to slow down the artillery, but ended up not taking either.

    He’s slightly amazed to find an army that will finish deploying before him (I have 6 deploys to his 7). My DZ has a woods on the right side, his has a decent sized woods right in the center, and there is a fairly large body of water right of center in the board. I do the usual deployment, Horrors in front, GUO front and center, fliers behind. Just like last round, he doesn’t have a hill so none of his weapons can get sight to my chariots. Obviously, he can hit them with cannons of course, but at least the Bolt Throwers can’t shoot them down before I can move.

    He has both Thunderers to the right of the woods with the Warriors behind them, just to the side of the woods. The Ironbreakers are buried in the woods, with the Organ Gun to the left, also in the woods. Left of the woods are the Quarrelers. Finally, there were two Bolt Throwers and one Cannon on each side, behind the lines, with Thorek right behind the forest (being guarded by both blocks of Dwarves) and the Shieldbearer Lord in the Ironbreakers. The left war machines are all far enough to the side of the Quarrelers that they can pretty much see everything, but the right ones have slightly less sight. They’ll probably be targeting mostly large targets.

    I win the roll for first turn and take it.

    I’m not going to do a turn-by-turn analysis here, as most of the turns were very similar and it’s a little hard to remember exactly what happened each turn. He really didn’t move anything for the most part, and once I got to his end it was mostly just shuffling on my part. Most of my magic was dispelled at any given turn, but I got enough through every turn to get some stuff done. All scrolls were gone after turn one, and he just didn’t have enough dice to dispel all the spells.

    First turn, I advanced slightly with the Pink Horrors and shifted everything else to the right and slightly forward. The magic that got through killed off a couple crewmen from war machines here and there (every one had an engineer but the organ gun, so 4 on each). The GUO got off Plague Wind with IF on two turns (turn 1 and maybe 3), doing a lot of damage to the Ironbreakers.

    His turn one was really a make-or-break for both of us. One cannon shot at Kairos, hitting him and a chariot, but rolled a 2 to wound Kairos (not enough thanks to Daemonic Robes) and a 1 to wound the chariot. The other cannon hit Kairos and a chariot, but Kairos saved and the chariot managed the 5+ ward to keep from being shattered. Two Bolt Throwers dinked off Kairos thanks to a reroll, and the other two managed to get one tag on the GUO, for 3 wounds. Thorek hit up Wrath and Ruin of course, but got only one unit, so hit Kairos with it. This was big, as my chariots only have a ground movement of 1, whereas Kairos’s is 8.

    After surviving his first round of shooting, I blitzed forward into his right flank. Some of my magic that got through was somewhat unimpressive (in particular a Drain Life that did about nothing…I should have used Cleansing Flare, but I wanted the right head for Steal Soul attempts on the Runesmiths). However, in the ensuing couple turns, I whittled down his two units of Thunderers and his war machine crews, and he largely bounced off Kairos’s 3+ ward. He did do a bit more damage to the GUO, but I was maneuvering it so that the woods in the center kept him out of LoS from the left war machines on turn 2. In subsequent turns, Thorek grounded some of my fliers, so we just camped on his right flank a bit. Meanwhile, the Horrors and Flamers went after his Organ Gun and left flank. On turn 3 (I think) the GUO crashed into one unit of Thunderers and broke them (outnumbering Terror causer), and the overrun took him into the Warriors. He was right on the line of being front or side, to the point where we rolled for it. I was torn, as the flank charge would give me much better odds of actually accomplishing something, but a front charge would make a pursuit path run right into Thorek. It ended up being a flank charge.

    The next turn he reformed the remaining Shieldbearers and Thorek launched them into the GUO’s flank. The GUO challenged and the Lord accepted. Two hits on the Lord automatically wounded at S8, leaving him only a 6+ armor save. Even with rerolls, he failed both, then failed both the 4+ ward saves. And here comes the 3rd person to be surprised by Balesword, as the Lord gets pasted for 8 wounds and the GUO wins combat. Everyone stuck though.

    The next couple turns involved picking off all the war machine crews on the right, and a lot of flares into the combat. Meanwhile, the Pink Horrors finished off the Organ Gun’s crew and the Flamers lit up the Quarrelers and started working on the left war machines. The GUO wrecked one Runesmith (he was touching him), crunched his way through the last few Ironbreakers, then directed his attacks at the BSB, brutally murdering him. Eventually, the Warriors failed a break test at the top of turn 6 and the GUO ran them down. By that point, Kairos and the Heralds had taken out the crews to all war machines on the right, and the Thunderers. The Flamers charged the last couple war machine crews, wiping one out on turn 5, one on the top of turn 6 and overrunning into the last one for the bottom of 6. When the Warriors broke, my opponent went ahead and called it. It actually surprised me when he did that, because it had been so difficult getting spells through and I had been so worried about the war machines offing characters that I didn’t immediately realize the game status. At his turn on the bottom of 6, he had killed one Pink Horror unit and reduced another below half, had destroyed one chariot, and reduced the GUO below half. Everyone else was fine. Less than 600 VP. On the other hand, he had Thorek and one Anvil Guard alive on the anvil, and a war machine crew in combat with Flamers. He didn’t roll particularly badly as a whole, but there were some key 1’s to wound with war machines, and I made some clutch 5+ ward saves at important times (and Kairos just about refused to fail a save, not for the first time). Also, a couple important Steal Souls on the Heralds had kept them from being killed at a couple junctions. It was a pretty brutal game, one that if a couple rolls had gone differently could have gone just about as badly for me as it did for him. However, when it was all said and done, I got my 24 point massacre.

    My game finished with about an hour to spare (none of our turns took all that long), and most other games were quick, but the Daemons vs. Vampires took forever. The Dark Elves drew the other Vampires, 12-12. I had no idea who was winning in the other game…no one seemed to have much on the table and most of it wasn’t painted, and it was in a big mass in the center, so I just waited to see what would end up happening. There was some contention about a point toward the end of the game, and it was suggested they add the points up “to see if it matters.” That didn’t bode well. However, when all was said and done, the VP difference was less than 100, easily a draw no matter the result of the contentious point. 14-10 in favor of the Daemons.

    The final standings (top 6 anyway):
    Me – 59
    Daemons – 58
    Vampires – 52
    Dark Elves – 47
    Vampires – 40
    Dwarfs – 35

    I was bowled over when I first heard them announce the draw, but I was still holding my breath until the TO officially announced it. It was quite a tournament. I felt that I drew two of the worst match-ups for my army in rounds 2 and 3, so I’m glad that the third round went as well as it did. I would really have liked a chance to take on the other Daemon army, but it wasn’t to be. Luckily, Tzeentch smiled on me during round 3, from the horrifying face in his torso, and I came away #1 by the smallest of margins.

    All in all, it was a great tournament. I love 3k+ games of Fantasy. This was my first experience with ‘Ard Boyz (of any flavor), and I’m definitely hooked. Looking forward to the War of the Ring ‘Ard Boyz, and I’m going to be considering the new ‘Nid codex in January for next year’s 40k ‘Ard Boyz.

    Thanks for taking the time to read, and feel free to leave feedback!

    Last edited by sirisaacnuton; October 29th, 2009 at 18:15.

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  3. #2
    LO Zealot
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    Awesome job - what army are you picking? Btw, Nov 21st has a 3k pt RTT at Dicehead if you're interested. We've got I think 3 planning on going (including me and 40ke). Kinda far from where you're at now, but thought I'd mention it.

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    Vampires. I went back and forth, but I like Vampires, and with it being a random assortment, there's very little in the Vampire book that I just would never care to have or use. Unlike, say, WoC, which I like a good bit of but there's a chunk of the models that I would never care to own or use.

    Sounds good, I may have to try to make it to that. I'm not entirely sure how long it would take to get there from here, but I'll look into it. May have another one or possibly two interested in coming too.

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    Senior Member Ridell's Avatar
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    The Dark Elf Sorceress rolling three dice despite being level one is perfectly valid. The DE have a special rule that lets them roll as many dice as they please (and dare).

    Congratulations for the victory =)

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