The idea of a long weekend is always so attractive. Until it actually happens, and there are places you have to go, people you have to see. And spending money on gifts! Even chocolate eggs. Aargh!
Most of my weekend was spend firmly entrenched in these things. Much to me ire. Not that I don’t like my family, but time to spend painting can be so hard to find.
I did trek into the city on Sunday, though, and team up with Brad in a Warmachine tournament. It was a veterans and noobs tournament, so I was the noob to Brad’s veteran. This gave me a chance to try out my new Cryx and see how they perform on the tabletop. My counterpart decided to go with Khador.
We didn’t do too badly, coming out with a loss, a win and a draw. I’m starting to get the hang of what I am supposed to be doing, even if I am not completely across how to do it. Like Warhammer it is a game about manoeuvering. Not of your troops though, but of your abilities and attacks. Like I said, I can see what the game is asking of me, I just have yet to understand how to deliver what it wants.
Border Princes Teaparty was yesterday. And I didn’t do well. Ha! That’s an understatment. I did shockingly.
My first battle was against Ben and his lizardmen. I decided to weight my left flank, as this area of the board was more open than the rest, allowing me some more maneuverability. My right flank was left pretty much to a single unit of 25 slaves. It must be said, they did fantastically, protecting the flank from Skinks, Razordons and Terradons.
I think I did fairly well in this game. Though I ended up losing, it wasn’t by much. The Skinks and swarms were no problems, but breaking though the units of Temple Guard and Saurases proved almost impossible. The Globadiers occupied the central building quite early, and this gave them three turns of uninterrupted shooting, during which they wiped out a skink unit trying to flank me.
Really, I wouldn’t change much from this game. What let me down were important dice rolls. On more than one occasion my Warplightning Cannon landed a shot right on top of the Slann, only to roll no strength for the shot. The Jezzails also let me down, having two turns of close range shooting on the Stegadon and failing to take it out. Overall, though, it was a good game that was really fun to play.
My next game was against Jason and his Beastmen amy. The objective in this game was to be holding the building in the last turn of the game. Our battle field had a river through the centre, with woods on either side near the middle. This meant that the centre area was difficult to get through, and I only committed the Giant Rats unit to the entire centres defence. On the right flank I put the Jezzails and slaves, facing off against a Chariot, Minotaurs and Hounds.
The Beastmen had me on the defencive from the start, with two units showing up in my deployment zone in the first turn. This proved difficult for my right flank, but a shot from a Warpfire Thrower kept the one on the left at bay. By the second turn Jason had occupied the building with a sizable Gor herd. I had placed my Clanrat unit with the Screaming Bell across the only ford in the river, making it difficult for Jason to shift me.
For most of the battle we just sat on the river, constantly in melee combat. My Globadier tried to remove the Gors from the building with shooting, instead managing to destroy themselves with a disastrous shot of a Death Globe. My Stormvermin fared little better as they tried to beat back a single chariot and assault the building.
Jason was pretty much primed for a win, the house being worth 300 points, but on the last turn I managed to roll the building destroying bell toll. The Screaming Bell was only just within 18 inches, and it took the building down in a shower of rubble. This event not only deprived Jason of the 300 points, but gave me half points for the Gor unit inside the building along with his Battle Standard Bearer.
So it was a win for me, but really only by the luckiest of events.
My third game was against Andrew and his Warriors of Chaos. And yes, in typical fashion I totally forgot to take a picture.
His army was mainly cavalry, backed up by two medium sized blocks of warriors and three mounted sorcerers. In this game, I got totally thrashed. I managed to miscast in the first turn, giving Andrew a free spell. He cast some terrible thing on the Screaming Bell, managing to make all the hits against the carriage and destroying it totally. From here things went from bad to worse. Using Pandemonium he cut off my spell casting ability and quickly closed on my army. Without it’s Unbreakable centre, and thanks to some appalling rolling, the Skaven line quickly become overrun.
In fact, I did almost as much damage to myself as Andrew did, with multiple Ratling Gun misfires culling whole units of my own troops and things generally exploding at every opportunity. This really was the eye of the storm for everything going wrong.
So in the end, my meager middle-of-the-road placing became second from the bottom thanks to one terrible game. But that is what the Skaven army is for, self-destruction and chaos.
I did have fun, and got to play some good armies and players. This also gave me an idea on what I should be adding to my army, or using less of. Surely no one would have a problem with two Doomwheels?
It has been a few days since I declared it ‘finished’, so I thought letting you see how the Screaming Bell turned out would be a nice treat. So here it is, accompanied by a unit of 30 Clanrats. Making a movement tray for this unit is on my list of things to do.
I have started on the other Clanrats now. This is as far as I got today before I was rudely interrupted. I will have to pick up on this tomorrow evening.
Since the Border Princes Teaparty is this weekend I had to write up and submit my list. Here it is, for your perusal.
2500 point Skaven army
– Screaming Bell
– Dispel Scroll
– Power Stone
– Battle Standard Bearer
– Grand Banner of Clan Superiority
– Pipes of Piebald
– Tail Weapon
– Additional hand weapon
– Level 2
– Warp-energy Condenser
– Command group
– Warpfire Thrower
– Command group
– Ratling Gun
25 Plague Monks
– Command group
– Command group
– Fangleader poison attacks
– War Banner
15 Giant Rats
6 Warplock Jezzails
– Death Globe
Just a quick one today. My mind is elsewhere, so constructing the usual gripping and informative Warhammer piece is going to be difficult. We have put offers in on two houses. It is quite nerve-wracking, saying you will spend so much money.
So Dogs Breakfast went well. Went well, as in, I arrived, played and left in good order. Not went well as in, placed well. In fact, I placed 24th of 26 places.
I am happy with that result, though. It seems fair enough given I hadn’t really used the new army at all and had no idea what units would work well against what enemies. Certainly a learning experience.
The Doomwheels performance was exceptional. I was kind of expecting it to be all style and no substance, but it really held its own. The warplightning bolts it fires are pathetic against infantry, but deadly against monsters, machines and chariots. In fact, against Warriors of Chaos, the Doomwheel managed to destroy three chariots in a single shooting phase.
It also has to be said, slaves are as surprising as ever. One unit of 25 slaves held up two giants for three turns, while in another game 25 slaves broke a giant and ran it down. Ouch!
The basic impression I have been left with now is that I need more troops. The units of 25 Plague Monks and Stormvermin needs to be a minimum of 30, maybe even 35. I was having real trouble against large ranked units, especially when facing off against the Tomb Kings. They just keep coming back!
As for Dogs Breakfast itself, I can’t fault it. It was run smoothly and without fuss, and was really fun. What more can you ask for, really?
Tomorrow is Dogs Breakfast, and I almost reached my goal. Almost.
Slaves are finished. Clanrats are painted to a bare tabletop standard. Giant Rats are painted. Doomwheel is also painted to a bare minimum.
Nine Globadiers have been converted but are unpainted. Five Jezzails are unpainted also. At least these have base coats on them. The new plastic Screaming Bell hasn’t been released yet, and I have had to temporarily glue my old metal bell together. Bare metal. Shocking.
I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I don’t think I’ll get best painted army.
Brad stayed around last night, as it was easier than him driving down from a world away to get to Border Princes Teaparty, so I helped him finish painting some High Elf White Lions and Spearelves to a tabletop standard. It was interesting, I’ve never really painted elves before. But on to the tournament!
My first battle was against Aubruy and his Vampire Counts. I think in any other circumstance I could have given him a closer run for his money, but the terrain layout on the board we got hamstrung me a bit. The placement of the castle terrain meant that is was almost impossible for me to get in any kind of flanking force. With the large blocks of ghouls he had, I really needed to get a flank attack in there to bring down his static combat resolution and help me destroy his units quicker.
As it was, inability to maneuver, plus Aubruy’s small quickfire Invocation casts and multiple Van Hels undid me pretty quickly. When on more open ground my knights easily destroyed a unit of wolves and skeletons in almost a single turn.
Don’t get me wrong, he was a good general. Raising in the right units, not waisting troops needlessly. But I think on a more open battlefield he would have had a much harder time. As it was, he managed to beat me quite convincingly. Until next time!
Next up was Andrew and his High Elf force. I’m pretty familiar with High Elves, as I have played against Brad’s. But Andrew’s army was a lot different to what Brad usually takes.
Like Brad, he has archers, spearelves, Silver Helms, Swordmasters and an eagle. All these familiar troops I had no problem with. He also has 2 Lion Chariots and Phoenix Guard, troops I have not faced before. It’s interesting facing elves with Fear causing troops. To top it all off, he also had two Bolt Throwers. And he managed to hit with both more often than not!
Basically, in this battle, I was absolutely trounced. Bad rolling on my part played a big party, but Andrew did have a good handle on what his army was good at. He used the eagle to redirecting perfection, and like most, assumed that his massed blocks of Always Strike First Spearelves could stand up to a combined charge of Knights of the Realm and Questing Knights. Two mid sized knight units in a combined is my signature move buddy. No one stands before that. No one.
Somehow his two Bolt Throwers managed to wipe out all my Grail Knights in the first two turns. What the hell! Brad obviously needs to go back to Bolt Thrower firing school, as this guy was just making hits like it was no big deal. I tried to use Assault of Stone to take care of them, but the elven magic was far too strong and just blocked me at every attempt.
So yes, in the end I lost by a lot. I didn’t really make many mistakes in this battle, there was just a lot of unlucky occurrences on my end that I had to deal with.
Last game was against Jason and his Warriors of Chaos. I believe Jason is Andrew’s father too. There you go.
Where as everything was going wrong in the last couple of games, everything just went right in this one. I was able to choose my deployment side, opting for the side with a hill to put my archers on. The battlefield was basically a river down the centre with three bridges to cross. I set up the Grail Pilgrims to guard on bridge, the Men-at-arms with the Damsel to defend another, and sent the majority of my cavalry over the third.
My plan was to divide Jason’s army up, as I doubted I could withstand progressive charges by blocks of Chaos Knights and Warriors. He took the bait, sending three units to deal with the Men-at-arms and Pilgrims, while lining the rest of his army up to accept multiple knight charges. With combined charge after combined charge his force just folded like a cheap lawn chair.
He had the right idea, baiting my knights with Marauder Horsemen, but put his Chaos Knights way too close behind them. When the Marauders fled a charge, the two units of knight could just redirect straight into the Chaos Knights. Personally, I think Jason’s main problem was that he has what I like to call ‘Craig Syndrome’. Like my brother Craig, he largely believes that Warhammer is a game of moving guys into combat and hitting stuff, rather than it being a game of movement. This misunderstanding of the game, and movement rules, led to a lot of his woes I think.
If he keeps at it, I think he’ll eventually get the hang of it and start to do better in a competitive environment.
As it was, I have no idea how well I did overall at the tournament. I went home with one of the consolation prizes, so “particularly poorly” comes to mind. I did get a blister pack of Dark Elf Executioners. I wasn’t too sure what I would do with them, but I showed them to Linda and she wants to paint them. So that seems fair enough, methinks.
So for the last few weeks I have been sitting around, safe in the knowledge that I am prepared for Border Princes Teaparty. A conversation with Brad led me to looking at the tournament pack again, which reveals I need 3 extra models to use as ‘messengers’ as well as one to use as an extra standard.
This was all fine, I thought. I have a man-at-arms banner bearer I’m not using, I can use that. Except I realise today also, the army I am intending to field is 2200 points, and not the 2500 the tournament requires. Dammit!
One army list rewrite later, and I am still down one standard bearer. I think I can pull a swifty and use the standard bearer/icon guy I put together (but never use) for the Peasant Bowmen unit. Probably put him into one of the Men-at-arms units or something.
So here is the new list.
Bretonnian Lord: Virtue of the Joust, Heartwood Lance
Paladin Battle Standard Bearer: Virtue of Discipline, War Banner
Paladin: Great Weapon, Questing Vow, Virtue of Knightly Temper
Damsel of the Lady: Magic Level 2, Dispel Scroll, Icon of Quenelles
5 Grail Knights: Standard, Musician
8 Questing Knights: Standard, Musician
3 Pegasus Knights
7 Knights of the Realm: Standard, Musician
9 Knights of the Realm: Standard, Musician
6 Knights Errant: Standard, Musician
20 Battle Pilgrims
19 Men-at-Arms: Standard, Musician
20 Men-at-Arms: Standard, Musician
5 Mounted Yeomen
10 Peasant Bowmen Skirmishers
10 Peasant Bowmen
I was thinking about wedging the Hippogryph into there, but decided against it. I haven’t really had much practise with the thing, and I would like to avoid throwing around something so large and scary. Especially when I am so unfamiliar with how it works.
Oh, and the list comes to exactly 2500 points. Nice.
So Gobbocon was yesterday. I’ll give you the clipped note version, then expand on it a bit. Four battles, around 2 and a half hours each, 1750 points. Each battle had a ‘hook’, like one random character that was frenzied, stuff like that.
My first battle was against Brad. Figures! $40, and I end up playing the guy I normally do.
He was running his High Elves today, probably because they are the ones mostly painted. The game hook was that one randomly chosen character on each side was subject to Frenzy and Stupidity. His Elf Hero was effected, while it was the Damsel for me.
While this didn’t really effect me much during the game, Brad’s frenzied character was forced to charge the Grail Knights. He subsequently lost and fled, was caught, and destroyed. There went his major hitter. The rest of the battle was really close, I only managed to win by a couple of hundred points. Honestly, I think this has been one of our better games.
The next battle was against Greg N. and his ‘forest’ themed Ogre Kingdom army. It was a really interesting army, with the Ogre Bulls converted to have hair all over their bodies, and the Yetis looked a lot like Bigfoots. The hook from this game was that you could take any one item from your opponent and use it as your own. I took Greg’s Jade Charm (is that what it’s called? It rerolls Psychology tests), which meant that his General couldn’t reroll his Stupidity tests. He decided to take my War Banner. Personally, I would have taken my Lance of Artois or Icon, though the lance didn’t really effect his Ogre units, so I can see why he didn’t choose this. As it were, he took my War Banner, but he already had a War Banner in his list. This rendered the second War Banner useless, so essentially he had lost one whole Magic Item choice.
This was a good game too. The first three turns were very tenuous, with no charges and lots of micro-moving of units. We were both testing to see who would dive in first. I’m pretty sure he was wary of my charge range and power, and I was wary of his Fear. In the end, he declared the first charge, which fell short, and soon it was on. My knights broke through the left and right flank, but I had real trouble with the Rhinox Rider, as well as the Yeti units. Because of the Yetis -1 to hit, they were proving just a little too tough to hit at high numbers.
The whole game basically came down to the last combat on the last turn, with multiple units involved in an elaborate flank-charge-fest. I managed to scrape through and kill enough guys to secure a win.
I think one of Greg’s problems was that he didn’t use his Gnoblars to bait the Knights very well. They seemed to stick way too close to the Bulls. I would have had them come out a lot more, fleeing from the Knights charges and leaving them well within the Ogre Bulls charge ranges. As it was, he let me charge into combat and over run into fresh units, giving me a hefty advantage.
Also, he had some Trappers that set up just behind my lines. The Mounted Yeomen turned around to deal with them, and after killing a couple the Trappers just cowered behind the rocky outcrop and took no further part in the battle. If he had of sacrificed his Trappers and gotten them closer to my rear units, march-blocking or even getting into combat and tieing up some Knights, then I think the game would have been very different. I came away with a very convincing victory.
Third game was against Mark H. and his Dark Elves. This was a difficult game from the beginning, as I am still trying to get a handle on how the Dark Elves operate. The game hook for this battle was that the building in the centre of the battlefield contained the Goblin who had been causing all the previous trouble. You got 100 VPs for being the closest to it at the end of the game, 200 for having a unit inside, and 300 for having the character that was Frenzied in the first battle inside.
This game was enjoyable, though Mark did wipe the floor with me. His army was very compact, and centred mainly around the Couldron of Blood and the sizable Black Guard unit he was fielding. I managed to force his army into a bottleneck between the central building and a forest, but that didn’t seem to help at all. His Black Guard basically stood firm the entire time, hitting me with rerollable attacks until most of my Knightly units were paste. It didn’t matter if I got the charge off or not, the Black Guard had Always Strike First.
I did manage to get my Pegasus Knights around his rear and wipe out the Cauldron of Blood crew, which took out a little of his power. But the Black Guard just kept on keeping on. His Spearmen stood firm in another flank, using a revealed Assassin to wipe out slews of Knights. His Repeater Crossbowmen even managed to wipe out the Mounted Yeomen in one round of shooting.
Mark’s battle plan and army composition can’t be faulted. He had a good mix of units, the army was intelligently built, and he knew what unit he needed where. I think I need to sit down and look closer at the Dark Elf book, and get some more games in against them. They are a hard army, but I can see clearly where their weaknesses lye.
The fourth and last battle was against Peter C. and his Beastman army. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of this, because I clearly cannot be trusted to follow anything through.
The hook for this game was that your opponent rolled all your dice for you.
Basically, I think this won me the game.
Peter is a new tournament player. I’m not too sure how long he has been playing Warhammer, but he has a pretty good command of the rules. He used his army smartly, though he was a little meek in some of his assaults. His major downfall though was that I was rolling for him, and was doing a shocking job. While he made above average attacks and impossible saves and Leadership tests, I couldn’t even manage to pass Drunkard tests for his Centigor.
It was a really, really enjoyable game, one of the best all day, but I can’t really assess Peter’s generalship from it. I do look forward to facing him in the future, though.
Gobbocon saw me in 5th place, not that far removed from Wind of Magic. I even won myself an Old Blood on Carnosaur. What I will do with an Old Blood on Carnosaur, I do not know.
Luckily I am a god of print design and finished up what HWR had for me well into the second day. So I spent today finessing my army for Gobbocon tomorrow. As you can see, the Mountain Man/Damsel is now painted, though when things are in less of a rush I might come back and just spend a little bit more time on the highlights.
The two characters are based too. Look at them go!
Here’s the army that I am taking to Gobbocon. After a bit of thinking I’ve swapped out the 6 Questing Knights for 20 Battle Pilgrims. The Pilgrims cost a little over what the Questing Knights did, I only had to trim the Peasant Bowmen back down to 10 and it all fell back into 1750 points.
5 Core, 3 Special and 1 Rare. I think this is a fair army composition, especially since a third of the army is on foot. Something that is hard to achieve with Bretonnians. I just hope I don’t have to endure players crying about Pegasus Knights and Ward Saves. Man up, bitches!
Now that the Bretonnians are nearing a finished state, I’ve been looking for somewhere to keep them. At the moment, this seems like the best solution, given that I have a budget of zero. It’s an old bathroom cabinet that I used to keep my Skaven in. It has been up on the wall of my parents shed for quite a while now, so I just took it down and brought it home. For now it is sitting in front of my Optimus Prime collection, but eventually I’ll have to move some stuff around and get it up off the floor.
Somehow I don’t think foot level and glass doors mix.
Back from the tournament. And man, what a weekend. A weekend that I need another weekend to just recover.
So the main details.
I came 4th overall, just getting pipped at the post by Bega and his Lizardmen for 3rd place. Still, it is a ‘top tier’ ranking, and I did have a lot of fun. Which is the main thing.
The tournament was using a modified magic system, where you could add power dice to a spell after casting it. It was an interesting idea, but I only ended up attempting to use it once the entire tournament. And it didn’t work. The spell was still dispelled. But I do like the idea of including small rules changes to make a tournament more interesting, rather than just playing a bunch of the same old games over and over again. All props go to Ash for running it!
My first game was against Meg and her Vampire Counts. I am pretty sure this was her first tournament. She did pretty well, placing 5th, so definitely is one to watch out for.
The army consisted of 1 Vampire, 2 Necromancers, 2 packs of five Dire Wolves, 2 units of three Spirit Hosts, 2 units of fourty Zombies, 2 units of five Blood Knights, 3 Fell Bats and 20 Skeletons. The Vampire was getting about in one of the units of Blood Knights.
Of all the army, the Spirit Host was the thing that worried me the most, as they could only be hit by magic weapons. Only one of my characters carried a magic weapon, and my Grail Knights count as having magical weapons, so I was a little worried about how to deal with them. Combat resolution may have destroyed the Spirit Host in a couple of turns against a mundane foe, but only if the Spirit Host didn’t luck out and kill enough enemies to either make the combat resolution loss negligible or win the round outright, causing the unit to flee.
However, it turned out I didn’t need to worry. The Spirit Hosts were placed quite far apart, and in relatively open areas, so they were easy for my faster knight units to get around.
My battle plan ran very smoothly. A unit of 10 Peasant Archers on the left flank kept the unit of 20 Skeletons busy the entire game, meaning the Vampire Counts were down one important unit. The bulk of my army hung back to beginning with, to see where the Vampire Counts were headed. Since the Vampire Counts are a slower army who depend on outlasting enemies in combat, they had to move towards me from the first turn. My higher movement meant I could hang back a little and wait and see what eventuated.
The main problem Meg had was that she gave me a clear and accelerated run straight at her Vampire count. In her first turn she raised a unit of 5 Zombies to screen her first unit of Blood Knights. They were raised, though, in the charge range of the Knight Errant, who made very short work of the feeble undead. If she had of raised the Zombies in the same spot, but placed them at an angle to the Blood Knights rather than parallel, the Knight Errant would have over run away from the Blood Knights and towards the Spirit Host. As it was, the Knight Errant over ran into the Blood Knights, gaining the first round of combat in the Vampire Counts second turn and wiping them out. After this, they over ran into the second Blood Knight unit, the one with the Vampire, and destroyed that unit as well. After this, the undead horde fell apart in a matter of turns.
This is the only thing I could fault Meg on. Her use of her Spirit Host could have been better, and she could have protected her Necromancers with a unit of wolves or something (as Pegasus Knight hunted both casters down), but overall she has a good understanding of her army and what it can do. I think she just needs some more practise in predicting the implications of the placement and effectiveness of units. But that can be learnt in time.
My second battle was against Bega and his Lizardmen, who whipped me so bad that even photos of the battle came out smeared with blood. Actually, I forgot to take any pictures, but I’ll see if I can track one down.
His army was pretty solid, Old Blood on Carnosaur, Skink Priest on Engine of the Gods, 9 Saurus’ on Cold Ones, 2 lots of fifteen or so Skinks, 3 Salamanders, around 20 Sauras Warriors, 3 Jungle Swarms and 3 Terradons. I haven’t even read the new Lizardman book, let alone played against it, so I was slightly worried.
Overall, my army performed pretty much as I had hoped it would. I was Massacred, but it performed as I expected!
The core troops of the army I pretty much tore through. Knights Errant chewed up the Cold One cavalry, Skinks and Saurus warriors were no match for charges that yielded heavy loses and lost combats. Where I fell apart was against the Carnosaur and the Engine of the Gods. In a matter of two turns the Engine had reduced my Questing Knights to a fine dust, though they did manage to wound the Skink Priest. Meanwhile the Carnosaur made three or four units run in Terror. While I had managed to destroy the bulk of Bega’s blocked infantry, the Engine and the Carnosaur were just too great of opponents and managed to squish all my expensive troops. My only real consolation was that the Salamanders ate all their handlers bar one.
Third battle was against Corey and his greenskins.I found this army slightly odd, as it only contained 6 units. My army had that many on one side of the battlefield! He was running Grimgor, 1 Goblin Shaman, 2 Orc Hero’s, 20 Black Orcs, 20 Big Uns, 20 Boyz and 10 Boar Boyz.
I feel slightly bad for Corey, I steamrolled him pretty harshly. As you can see, I weighted my left flank pretty badly when I realised he had only 6 units, and Goblins were the only thing on his right flank. The first turn my left flank swung around, while the centre and right held fast. I think he used Waaaagh! prematurely, as the extra movement forward didn’t bring him into charge range of anything.
All it did was bring the Goblins in close enough for the Yeomen to gallop out in front of them and release their Fanatics onto a completely throw away unit. The Fanatics kept the main section of the Orc and Goblin battle line from moving forward, which gave my left flank time to come around and charge the Goblins with three Lance formations of varying knights at one time.
The Goblins pretty much disintegrated, bringing all three lances into contact with the unit of Black Orcs. Grimgor was in this unit, but I hadn’t realised that Grimgor was actually in the army! I issued a challenge with my Lord, only to have Grimgor answer. He always strikes first, and it a pretty heavy hitter, but only managed to bring my Lord down to 1 wound. In return my Lord took 1 wound from Grimgor. The knights mad a mess of the Black Orcs, but they didn’t flee. The next round of combat saw Grimgor finish off my Lord, but the knights continued to cut swathes through the Black Orcs, causing them to flee and be destroyed.
In the meantime the Boar Boyz had charged the Battle Pilgrims, who beat the mounted orcs in combat and subsequently they fled off of the board. The Battle Pilgrims continued to stand fast, 300 Spartans style, in their little rocky canyon.
I think Corey had a solid list, he just didn’t react to the changing events of the game very quickly. He could see the left flank of three lances coming around, but not one of his units was employed to stop them. Letting me get off the flank charges pretty much guaranteed my success in combat. Personally I would not have placed the Goblins on the end of the right flank by themselves. It might have been beneficial to deploy the Boyz with them. As it was, the Battle Pilgrims tied up the Boar Boyz and the Boyz simply by standing in some terrain and looking imposing. The Boar Boyz could easily have been used elsewhere, like against the Mounted Yeomen or the Grail Knights.
Again, with some practise of predictive tactics Corey could come to be quite good a general.
My fourth battle was against Stanley and his Dwarfs. Dwarfs! Raargh! I’ve always had trouble against Dwarfs with my Bretonnians. Their freakishly high leadership means they just hardly ever run away.
While being hard as a goddamn rock, Stanley’s army was interesting in that it contained no ranked shooting units. His army consisted of a Dwarf Lord, Battle Standard Bearer, 2 Slayers of some description, 1 unit of (I want to say) Ironbreakers(?), 2 units of Longbeards, 2 units of Warriors, a unit of Giant Slayers, 2 Flame Cannons and a Cannon.
My overall plan was to avoid his this unit of Ironbreakers with the Lord and BSB in it, as well as his Giant Slayers containing the two Slayer characters. Some dastardly (and illegal) unit reforming on Stanley’s part meant that I ended up smacking right into the Slayers with my generals unit. This, coupled with a disastrous combat from my Questing Knights, the early annihilation of my Pegasus Knights and my Knights Errant’s inability to either kill three cannon crewmen or make them run meant that any plan I devised fell flat. Small mercies like askew dice and pedantic clipping behaviour were little help in my totally annihilation.
So it has to be said, Stanley had a killer list. I can’t fault him for that. I have a sneaky suspicion he wasn’t playing the army quite to the letter of the rules, but I don’t know the dwarfs well enough to call him on it. Not that I should have too. But there was some stuff that I realised later I should have called, like the unit reform, but this is just stuff you take in and learn from.
Stanley would be a really, really good general if he dialed it down three notches. I hadn’t even managed to get a unit deployed onto the board before he started throwing the trash talk. Actually, now I think about it, he was trash talking me while I was setting up the scenery. The scenery! I don’t mind a bit of rhetoric during play, but dude, I just woke up and carried suitcases all around a fucking hotel. At least let me deploy terrain in a civil manner!
After my rib cracking beating at the hands of Stanley I was fully shifted into rules lawyering mode. I wasn’t going into this battle, by fifth and last one, half cocked.
I was up against Scott B with an Empire army. Elector Count, Master Engineer in Steamtank, 2 wizards, Helblaster, 3 units of ten knights, 10 Crossbowmen and 10 Hunters.
Not having faced a Steam Tank before I enquired as to it’s general playing rules. After Scott had come back from a smoke, he ran me through the rules, which seemed to make sense enough. It generates steam points that it then uses to move and attack. Ok, simple enough.
I deployed in a slight variation to how I did against Corey, waiting the left and middle while leaving the right in the hand of the Battle Pilgrims and skirmishing Bowmen. The battle basically ran in three ‘zones’. On the left my Knight Errant and Questing Knights faced off against 10 Knights and the Elector Count. They fought it out the whole battle to a standstill between the Empire Knights who were flank charged by the Knight Errant, but refused to break. Combat drew on and on for a couple of turns, but largely all that was traded was angry glares and phone numbers.
The centre faked out the Steam Tank, getting the macine into combat with a unit of 6 Knights of the Realm and thus freeing up the General and BSB with the other 7 Knights of the Realm, and the Grail Knights, to attack the second unit of Empire Knights. A couple of turns of wheeling and feinting around a hill resulted in the Empire Knights charging the Knights of the Realm, but subsequently being charged in the flank by the Grail Knights. This flank charge cleaned up 6 Empire Knights, and pushed the unit into fleeing and destruction.
In the meantime the skirmishing Bowmen lured the third unit of Empire Knights into charging them, thereby exposing their flank to the Battle Pilgrims. I made sure Scott was desperate to get his knights into combat by holding them up with Beast Cowers for a coupe of turns. Their flank charge left them ready for a subsequent charge from my Generals unit, which was coming in from destroying the second Empire Knights unit.
His wizards largely did nothing, spending most of their time either out of line of sight, or running for their lives from Pegasus Knights.
Scott is not a bad player. He needs to read his rules a little bit thoroughly, as the Steam Tank wasn’t exactly operating to the letter of the law, but he has a good grasp on what is happening in general game terms. The major problem I faced, though, was the ponderous way in which he played the game. I did contribute to the length of the game by insisting we adhere to the correct rules, but while everyone had finished their battles we were still on turn three! I ended up speeding this along by basically agreeing to Scotts false applications of a vast slew of rules. By this stage I knew I had him, so I was just trying to get the game to come to some kind of a conclusion.
Much like Corey, Scott fell into the trap of exposing his flanks to charges from my knights. He was either under estimating the staying power of my knights when charged, or over estimating his knights. Either way, his units were held in combats they couldn’t win long enough for my units to lend assistance. At one point he had my Knights Errant on the ropes, after destroying the remainder of my Questing Knights in the same combat. But he subsequently charged his Huntsmen into the combat. It seems like a good idea, lending more troops to a battle, but the Huntsmen were absolutely no match for a knight. Rather than helping him win the combat, their inability to kill any of my troops only hindered him as my knights killed half a dozen of them, thus bolstering my combat resolution and giving me the combat. This meant that his unit couldn’t reform, and he was left with only two knight able to battle my three. His 4 attacks against my 7. Again, a little more practise, and learning to predict how combats will eventuate, will help him become a better player.
So overall it was a good tournament. I got to fight the new Lizarmen, as well as face quite a few armies I haven’t in quite a while. I learnt that I am going to have to look into some harder hitters in my army, especially for against things like Steam Tanks, Stegadons and Carnosaurs. The Steam Tank I understand that I have to just get it down a few wounds to make the likely hood of Steam Points generation causing damage, but I just have to figure out how to get through it’s Toughness of 6. I guess getting a charge off on it would help, but what about subsequent combats?
And Dwarfs… the Lady flood the Holds they came from!