Sunday, 16 December 2012

NZ 2013 ETC Team announced

This weekend has seen the NZ ETC team be announced for 2013 in Serbia August 8-12

Chris Willcox (non playing cap)
Mal Patel
Tim Joss
Simon Turner
Michael Stewart
James Humphries
Mark Audley
Haig Mclisky

Dave Meachen
Mark Skilton (team tech)

This will be Chris's first outing as team captain replacing Dave Grant and it looks like he has a strong line up (and no its not cause I am on the team!) with several caps returning. I'm happy to have been selected for the team!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

ETC 2013

Another tournament season has come to a close and its time to start thinking about 2013.

I've thrown my name into the hat for Team NZ 2013 in Novi Sad, Serbia. The team is going to be selected on the Friday 14th December so there is still plenty of opportunity to put your name forward if your keen. ETC is held in or around August traditionally.

Best way is to contact "archer" (Chris Willcox) on The Warhammer Forum as he is the Team Captain for 2013, and I can also pass your details onto him.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Conquest 2012 - Battle Reports

Game 1 – Bretonnians – Basil Moskivis
Scenario: Dawn Attack

Basil and I meet again. Happens any time we attend the same tourney! This time he turned up with his Bretonnians. 2 Trebuchet, 3 blocks of knights, some skirmishers, yeomen, archers and Pegasus Knights made up his field. The scenario was a variant of Dawn attack.

We rolled for deployment which resulted in me being able to make a castle on my right, and Basil on my left. My casket was left out to dry by itself, but attracted a lot of deployment attention which worked out well in the end. I formed my priority target list as usual, which was basically Pegasus knights, the chaff protecting his left flank, and the trebuchets. I could see Basil was eyeing up the casket all jelly and such.

The game started with me pushing the right flank with horse archers all the while shooting the peggys Scatterpults tried for some trebby kills accounting for 3 wounds on one. Basil pushed my left with the knights making a barrel line straight for the casket with two units! The sole unit of 10 skittles will have some work cut out for them…

The mid game consisted of skittle horse archers being charged by yeomen and the likes and ‘winning’ combat! This secured me the left flank and allowed me to roll forward and commit the Tomb Guard. The Stalkers popped up turn 3 and gave the wounded trebby a funny look. They then proceeded to GTFO so the counter fire from archers wouldn’t send them back into the ground. Basils 2 knight blocks double flanked the casket. My poor lil skittles guarding it could only redirect one of them. Big meany horse boys… It goes boom and kills a few knights for lol’s. Battlelines are drawn and the game looks like we are playing battle for the pass now.

In the closing stages of the game I try to force Basil into a combat with my Tomb Guard, but hes having none of it. Canny ol’ Basil is all learned on my rocks vs his scissors. I go on a fishing trip but can’t catch anything. I drop some knights down to 3 or 4 ponies, but to little to late.

Game ends in a draw. Again. There is 24 vp in it. Bloody Basil and his draws.

Game 2 – Chaos Warriors – Jordan Rees
Scenario: Objective

Its an odd thing. At the beginning of the year I dreaded fighting Chaos Warriors. These days I look forward to the match ups. I actually think they are a good matchup, at least with the local meta. Jordan’s got a few warrior blocks, backed up with characters, a unit of Knights, some puppies and crazy men on ponies. The scenario is a variation of battleline with a single objective in the middle which may or may not have a big nasty in it!

There’s a bloody big river of light going through the centre of the table (in fact it went through 2 or 3 tables!). I start to build Hadrian’s wall on my side, whilst Jordan does some dark rituals or whatever he does that constitutes a battleplan. I really don’t know what I am doing here. I figure I will wing it. His only real threat is the Knights and gateway.

Go. I do my pew pew thing, kill some pups and pony boys, take a chunk out of the Knights, and other such nonsense. In response, Chaos does what Chaos does. Looks at me all menacing like. Game starts well for me shutting down Gateway first turn and getting rid of chaff. Like flies to rotten meet (a distant fond memory for my fella’s) we all start converging on the objective.

The mid game was um, eventful… I continue to do what I do best, and shoot stuff. I throw 2 dice at smiting and roll a double 6. Heh. Not uncommon, but I declare to Jordan that since I rolled double 6 on only 2 dice that I will follow it up with a double 1. God damn it curse my luck I double 1 the result. Yeah. You know whats coming. I follow it up with a failed “fall in the hole roll” and my Hierophant goes off visiting his nana. S**t starts falling apart, but thanks to my super strategic plan of winging it, most is near the general and tests on Ld 9. I loose a scatterpult and some horsy archers. Some other stuff happens during the mid game but I hang in there consolidating on my general.

In the closing parts of the game Jordan is unable to capitalise on GW’s poor book writing skills. I feed him some chaff when he makes a push into my mobile fortress. I’ve made a tidy house and cleaned most of the board of all his crap. He’s got 2 blocks of infantry left. I decide to throw a hail mary and make the move into the objective to fight the possibly maybe it’s a big nasty dragon… We open the envelope and I can only laugh when it says it is empty, the only empty one out of a dozen or so tables.

Game is wrapped up with a convincing win to me despite loosing my glue stick.

Game 3 – Ogres – Graham Robb
Scenario: Castle… erm… I mean meeting engagement…

Lets get one thing clear to start with. I hate Ogres… Worst matchup ever. Between the ‘I’m immune to your killing blow crap’ to underpriced ‘look at my lil’ donkey’ riders there is nothing fun about it. Let us not even mention anything about the ‘best cannon in the game’… Stupid Ogres.

So we do the setup thing and I start pulling some shenanigans. I pull out all my lego bricks and build me a castle! Yay for tactics. Graham builds a battleline typical of ‘push em forward and bash em’ tactics Ogres play so well into to. I manage to reserve my Tomb Guard, not good. Graham looses a unit or two to reserves as well, a Giant I think, but nothing important.

Graham goes first and surges forward. He manages to break his uber cannon first turn. So a good start for me TK. I spend the first turn trying to take care of his chaff and moving my TG into a manageable position. I throw a lot of shooting into his maneaters. I am facing a block of Ogres to my right, supported by a Giant and Maneaters, firebelly + Ogres in the centre, with Ironguts BSB, General and Ironblaster to my right. There is some donkeys running around as well.

With his maneaters reduced to two, I execute a carpe diem and throw my chariots into them. They destroy the Ogres on impact and overrun into the Giant who subsequently gets annihilated in the following combat phase allowing my Chariots to reform towards the rear of the 9 Ogre Bulls. With the aid of smiting I reduce the Bulls down to 3 in one phase. Then in my next turn turn the chariots charge the remaining bulls and overrun into the firebelly unit. I still havn’t lost one wound! All the while I am refusing my left flank.

So the closing stages of the match see me break the firebelly unit on the charge, but they manage to run away and rally. On my second charge I manage to kill him and the unit and line up the rear of the next unit, a rather menacing unit of iron Guts full of hitty characters that has lined up my TG. I soften it up a little with shooting but it makes it into me near full strength. A lil magic and some fruitful rolling by Graham and my TG are below half strength. As Scooby would say, rot roll… last turns magic phase I roll low, but thanks to the casket I get about 7 dice to 2. I draw out the dispel dice and proceed to 1 and 2 dice buff the TG and regenerate the ranks by 12 or so models. The chariots have made it in the rear and I cut down the to a man(ogre). It cuts and runs, is caught and games done.

MVP are 3 bloody chariots. Who would have thought! They where responsible for about 2000 vp’s! 20-0 vs ogres and I damn well beat them in combat! Still. I hate Ogres. Silly silly Ogres…

Game 4 – Lizardmen – Mal Patel
Scenario: Battleline – Objectives 3/2

Death by a thousand paper cuts… It is Mal’s war cry. An army full of skinks, but its still a favourable matchup for me at any rate. This game proved to be amusing for all the wrong reasons.

Deployment sees us castle up in opposite corners. Mal sacrificed a couple of units on my left to gain some deployment advantage, where as I committed to one corner early knowing full well my strength vs the skink hoard was concentration of firepower. I had to make it that if Mal wanted any VP’s he had to come get them, and by doing so realise he would loose whatever unit he chose to get them. There are three objectives deployed along the centreline of the table, with one randomly disappearing mid game. Each is worth 400 vp.

The initial phases of the game consisted of me exchanging my superior ranged firepower with Mal’s magical onslaught. When I say magic onslaught I mean meteor bombardment! I clean up a razordon and a skink unit he sacrificed with chariots and shooting in the early phases.

In the middle stages I try getting the casket to chain up some units, and catapults start finding some good ranges. I am rewarded with sending a few units of terradons to their graves and pushing Mal further into the corner. It’s still raining. Raining meteors… I’m finding this match very amusing. I defiantly feel I am in control of it and Mal seams to only be reacting with the few tools he can. Both of us realise any commitment will see a bloody mess of dead skinks. We roll up to see which of the three objectives disappears and its (predictably) the one in my corner…

Not much to say really. I pick off a Saurus Scar vet and some more terradons. I’ve started pushing the centre to hold the objective. I have no chance of the one on the far side to me. Mal throws a lot of dice at final transmutation? to try and kill off my TG. I respond by pumping them to heal them back up. We end the game with one objective each and a decent victory to me by 500 odd vps. Oh yeah, Ive lost nothing. Chalk up another victory for the Tomb kings

Game 5 – Daemons – Mark Otley
Scenario: Battle for the Pass

I find myself in a familiar spot again at the top of the table, but this time playing battle for the pass! Iv’e never played this scenario in a tournament before. I hear it’s favourable. Upon seeing Marks list, a very fast Slaaneshii dominated list including a ‘my little pony!’, its about the best setup I could think of. TK match up daemons very well and the scenario gives me the range advantage I need.

So I build my castle deep inside my half, whilst mark sets up as close as he can. I figure turn 3 or 4 for combats. I aim to push it out to turn 5.

We start by Mark moving up in controlled fashion, and me letting loose with anything and everything in range. I snatch a chariot for my troubles. A skirmish war is held on my left flank between the horse archers and flamers. A little help from the chariots cleans them up. Mark has Horrors anchored on an Arcane ruin helping him generate a butt load of dice.

With the Daemonic blob within striking range now, I finally manage a good hit on the Keeper of secrets killing him with a catapult. I smite volley a unit of daemonettes into oblivion leaving me horrors and the other deamonettes to deal with. Yeah, shooty TK love to play daemons!

Moving into the late stages of the game the horrors pick off my chariots with magic missiles, whilst I clean up the other daemonettes unit with my Tomb Guard. My Stalkers finally decide to pop up and I pick a spot behind the Horrors. The stare at the Horrors but Tzeentch must have been extra tricksy that day as they managed to roll up 2 misfires and a 6. The 4+ ward save lets them shrug it off. However the last laugh is mine, as turn six I charge the horrors with the two remaining stalkers and in Marks last turn they manage to kill the Tzeentch herald.

Damn close to tabling the Daemons, and as everyone knows, that’s a damn good feeling. Only topped by tabling Skaven with all their toys… So this win secures me top step on the podium. Chalk up another Tournament victory to Tomb Kings.

What am I doing wrong? The Interwebs tells me Tomb Kings are rubbish. I must not be using them right…

So next up is the Masters in December. An invitation only event for the top 12 players in the country in a no holds barred shoot out for top spot. The one positive thing I have going into this event is there will be no bloody Ogres!

Even Hermy is coming up for a spin…

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Forgeworld New Releases

I just received a very interesting email detailing new packs from Forgeworld

30 Mk IV Power Armour with the 'late' model back packs and Tigrus Bolters. Unfortunatley they have not included any of the original poses so you will have to put up with the mismatch of shoulder pads and studded armour plates. The 30 man packs offer a saving of 20 squid, or approx $46 NZ inc shipping. This equates to a price of about $370, which is conveniently under the GST thresh hold for NZ

Mk II Crusade Armour Umbra X10 pattern Bolters and command upgrade

Mk III Iron Armour with Phobos pattern Bolters and command upgrade

Cataphracti Terminators with either Power fists or Power Axes. Nice. 176 squid also saves you  20, so $46 NZ. This comes in at $405 so may not squeeze past the customs charges...

Contemptor Dreadnought Talons! For those Marine Captains that need a little more than too much firepower! (is there such a thing?) Another 20 squid saved here, and $275 for the trio

I'm going to be so poor this summer...

Friday, 23 November 2012

NZ Masters 2012

Its that time of year again. All the best nerdymen in the world (NZ) gather for the rumble down under to decide the undisputed champion for another year! Talking it up? Yeah maybe.

Last year I had earned a spot at the 2011 masters but regretfully did not attend due to the timing of the event. This year however my calendar was clear for a spot in the 12.

So I have packed my bags and bundled up my old bones for Tomb Kings to attempt to bury everyone in the sands of time! The 12 top players head to the Shire (Wellington) for a good ol' 6 rounds of beat down. Its fair to say the smack talk has been colourful. 
This years list is:

L4 Hierophant with dispel scroll and ruby ring
Tomb Prince with armour of silvered steel and great weapon
2 units of 20 skittle archers
3 units of 5 skittle horse archers
2 units of 10 skittle archers
A unit of 6 Necroknights
40 Tomb guard
2 scatterpults
A casket of souls
and Hermy! the Necroshpinx

All the list can be found here

Here is a quick rundown of my army vs theirs (and to add some more smack to the mix)... And some BIG calls made...

Beastmen (Ray) A flying bull! Pretty darn close to a flying pig if you ask me. Chop the head off the beast and the army will die. hello Hermy! I have a job for you... In all seriousness this army has to much for me to shoot, even though they have no armour. But T4 may cause some issues.

Vampires (Rory) What no Terrorgiest? I can't wait to get my TG into this Knights! Hoards of skittles with screaming b***ths in them could be interesting for my grind. This game will probably end in a draw aye Basil?

Daemons (Tom) Tom's just going to play hide the fatty behind a rock again. Grow some balls boy. Just take the hit and write off a Bloodletter unit to my archers. I even bought Hermy to play with Billy, yet Billy to scared! Interesting times...

Lizards (Mike) Snorus breeding grounds in overtime! thats alota core fighty. Hermy might actually survive a fight against the lizzys for a change. Dag nam it, now I've cursed him... If Mike can avoid tripping over himself to get into combat this will be a good showdown...

Tomb Kings (Tim) If I'm Lucky enough to draw this fight, its a shore win for me!

Orcs & Gobbos (Sam) Sorry Sam a Savage Orc and Night Goblin army just aint right without the lil un's. Hey Mr Sams forgotten to pick the runts. You know the PC brigade are gona bag you for that one. Instead we have over 9000 points in characters. I'm rather happy I took another fighty unit this time. Lots of targets for Hermy to kill and die to die to... Can Sam shake off his day two jitters!

Empire (Joel) No. Just No. Go away you big meany... To many damn chickens. The Chochobo brigade has arrived in style. THIS IS MY WORST MATCHUP! The numbers are in and I am going down 7-13 or worse

Skaven (Locky) Who is this guy? Rumours have it that he once played warhammer time a long long time ago... Numbers say he knows what hes doing! But then again he does use stink'n cheat'n rattys. This is the more favourable skaven list for me however with Locky at the helm I dont fancy my chances. To many damn toys...

High Elves (Peter) If there ever was a guy who can turn a turd into chocolate this is the guy. With only 15 White lions I don't think he has the staying power of some of the other lists, but the snobby elves have the movement to pick the fights. this will be down to the wire but no doubt Peter will find a way to kill my Hiero and crumble me to dust.

Bretonnians (Antony) Hmm. hmmmm.... hmmmmmmmmmm.... I dunno. I never like fighting brets, but they are the traditional foe. Massed attachs and killing blow is the way to go here and, oh wait! I have massed attacks and killing blow. Who would have thought...

Skaven (Pete) NO FATTIES!!!!! yay for me (I'm doing a happy dance). But then again, more stink'n no good dirty cheat'n ratties. Petes got everything to loose here. Hes had his spies out (one got caught by a cat) and bribed 'Baddice' podcast into backing him (how much warpstone did it cost you?). Pete has everything to loose and nothing to gain since everyone is picking him to be on the top. I can here ringing in my ears already. At least I bought my bellboy Hermy to assist. Don't fancy my chances here...

Warriors (Neil) The 'displeased with you card' (Pete said no wildcard) entry to round out numbers to 12. Double Hellcannon and some angry donkeys. Lots of viable targets for the archers to pick at if we every get past turn one. Time will tell (yeah there is a pun there...)

So what's my predictions?

1st is Pete "No Fatties" Dunn from skaveblight
2nd goes to Joel "Farmer Brown" from Tau Tau chicken battery
3rd is for Antony mr "No peasant" and his quest for the holy gravy

Me you ask. 5th! no pressure aye. I think I made a few list mistakes for the field. Only next weekend will tell...

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

December Releases

GW have put up a teaser video and its rather easy to work out December will be the Hobbit release. 

You can find the link here if your interested.

Hopefully WD will bring us some other non Hobbit goodness...

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Tale of X Gamers - The Heresy Edition

Over at Fields of Blood Pete has put out the idea of a tale of 'X' gamers based on the new Horus Heresy books from Forgeworld.

I was already interested in starting a 'Legion' army so this sounded like a perfect excuse. 

I've decided I want to do a loyalist legion, based near the beginning/before the Heresy really kicked off. The armour of choice will be MKIV Maximus type and Tigrus pattern Bolters as these are my favourite designs. I may slip in some MKV Heresy armour for good measure, and at least one squad will carry Umbra Ferrox X10 Bolters. I will build it around one company within one legion chapter so I can build a story around them and make up some characters.

My main problem is what Legion to make. Having already decided to go the loyalist route, I can already discount Blood Angels, Space Wolves, and Ultramarines. We see enough of these already. 

So that leaves me with Imperial Fists, Salamanders, Raven Guard, Iron Hands, Dark Angels, and White Scars. Unfortunately the best resource for these options will be in the books yet to be released...

Any suggestions?

Thursday, 25 October 2012

November White Dwarf Update

Further to my previous post here, I can now confirm that New Zealand's (and thus Australia's) White Dwarf does not come with the new Chaos Warrior inserts depicting the new rules.

A PDF has been created and provided to LGS for them to distribute to their customers that purchase a White Dwarf. The insert is to be distributed in our territories with the December issue apparently.

GW won't be making the PDF available for download from their website either. 

Tomb Kings and the new FAQ's

Now that the dust has settled a little bit its time to step back and have a look at how the new FAQ's and erratas affect our beloved legions.

Sorry this post might be a bit wordy as I ramble on.....

The first one to look at is the new "Entombed beneath the Sands" errata

"Page 29 – Army Special Rules, Entombed Beneath the Sands
Add “A unit with the Entombed Beneath the Sands special
rule may choose to deploy normally along with the rest of the
army if the owning player wishes. In this case, the owning
player must clearly state this to their opponent before either
player begins deploying their army."

My first reaction was wow! I did not see this coming. The introduction of flexibility into the force is the greatest strength here. We now have the option of changing our deployment strategy to suit our opponents. If we both have 8 drops in deployment and you lose the roll off, then entomb them and get +1 for first turn roll off. Playing against fanatics and don't want to lose them? deploy them normally. Or in a situation I have versus Lizardmen in the weekend, facing 100 skinks? Deploy them normally. Some people did not like the random nature of the entombment or the fact that you could lose your unit 1/18 times. Personally I think this was/is still the greatest strength of the Sepultural Stalkers. The ability to drop them in behind enemy lines and vapourise a unit, something that your opponent cannot ignore. But the real strength of the new entombment rules is in the form of scorpions and swarms. Coupled with the FAQ on overruning we now have a plethora of options for bump stops or assassinations. A T5 W3 model can be very difficult to deal with. Having the option to deploy them normally means they can now fulfil rolls of flank guard or warmachine protection, counter charge as well as assassination attempts. This rule heralds the return of the scorpion

I give this an A+

"Q: Does the e ect of Djaf’s Incantation of Cursed Blades apply to
Impact Hits? (p61).
A: Yes"

An expected clarification. Most played it like this anyway but nice to see it in black and white.

"Q: If a friendly unit is locked in close combat within 12" of the caster
when Khsar’s Incantation of the Desert Wind is cast, does it still gain
the e ects of the Restless Dead lore attribute? (p61)
A: No."

Once again expected. Although I would have personally liked it to have gone the other way, it was reasonably clear that this was going to be the case. GW missed an opportunity to make dual use of this spell by giving a benefit to a unit in combat like ASF or re-rolls to hit

"Q: Can a Tomb King be your army’s Hierophant if he has the
Wizarding Hat? (p28).
A: No."

"Q: When exactly do I have to decide which model in my army is the
Hierophant? (p28).
A: You must choose which model will be your Hierophant
when picking your army and record this clearly on your army

"Q: If a Tomb King has the Fencers Blades, does the My Will Be
Done special rule mean that he makes his unit Weapon Skill 10?
A: No; use the Tomb King’s unmodified Weapon Skill of 6,
not his modified value of 10."

A bunch of useless FAQ's that nobody was even asking. The book is clear enough in these areas not to leave any room for interpretation.

Ok, so that covers the new stuff in the Tomb Kings section. And now on to a big one:

"Q: If a unit charges into combat and, on the turn it charges, the last
of the enemy unit it is fighting are removed as casualties due to
Daemonic Instability, the Unstable special rule, Cornered Rats or as
a result of a War Machine failing its Break test, does the charging
unit get to make an Overrun move? (p58).
A: No."

Not wanting to gloat but this is exactly how it is written in the rulebook. Now there has been a lively debate in the past about this but the GW FAQ has finally cleared this up. We now have established clear steps in the close combat phase which is a change from 7th edition. Also note it is a FAQ, not an errata. 
But as for the effect it has, to be fair, from a Tomb King perspective it dosn't change a lot. To take advantage of this rule we need to look to take slightly larger units, so that we will have some left over after we lose combat, but not too much as that crumble effects will still destroy the unit. There are still questions with regards as to if a unit can still reform after a unit crumbles from it in combat (I personally think you can), which leave us at what can we really achieve with this clarification to the rules?
It dosn't really change a lot for Tomb Kings. the army dosn't work well on huge units like Vampire Counts can as we don't have the ability to restore unit strength as efficiently. Neither  can we slap huge cheap units on the field like skaven can. We do however have a lot of small mobile units (what! mobility in the Tomb King book?) in the form of scorpions, horse archers, entombed units, carrion etc to name a few. The key thing for us I think is being compact, and redirecting.
Redirecting with Tomb kings is a bit of an art, and generally tries to achieve a different goal that the traditional redirect. Normally you would park a unit in front of a bus and flee from the charge, but we don't have this option, so we throw a unit under the bus and sacrifice it instead. There are often times where overrun is preferable, as is the case with leading a frenzied unit around. This is where horse archers have a great strength with free reforms. Set them up on odd angles  in single file if you want to stall a unit, or set them up wide as possible if you wish to draw out an overrun. having the option to do this is one strength few other armies can achieve that this FAQ reinforces. 

So what am I looking to try?
My 2 units of 10 archers and 1 unit of 20 may evolve into 3 units of 16, which will then need musicians.
More chariots? The ability to stall a unit and then countercharge with dozens of impact hits looks fun.
More shooting! just when you thought the 100 shot army was enough, now we can stop you dead at optimal range, and a timely smiting will see that unit disappear!
Carrion kill teams. They become more versatile now
Scorpions, also infinitely more versatile

So the result is that it may encourage some changes in Tomb King builds, however the effect is IMO is somewhat less than what many believe it may be. I need to get some play testing in to really try out some of my theories. There are still a few doomsayers out there still and I even had the privilege of someone telling me this weekend that "it wasn't in the spirit of the game" and "the FAQ is wrong". Some people are still stuck in 7th edition...

Solid B rating for this FAQ

"Q: Do units that are deployed as Scouts count toward determining
who finished deploying their army first? (p79)
A: No."

Most people played it like this anyway, but nice to have it set in stone


"Page 107 – The Battle Standard Bearer.
Add “If a Battle Standard Bearer is in a unit that Refuses a
Challenge and is subsequently moved to the rear of its unit, it
loses the Hold Your Ground rule until the end of the turn.
Note, however, that if the Battle Standard Bearer has a magic
standard its effects continue to apply as normal (it cannot be
‘switched on or off’)”."

I can see some options of challenging out a BSB to gain the advantage in combat. 

So i think these are the key FAQ's that affect the Tomb Kings to some degree, but not by any means all of them. These FAQ's have given a lot of enthusiasm to the regulars (and haters) on the Khemri forums, but I don't think they will have that profound an effect on Tomb Kings as some believe, well at least in the way I play them.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

White Dwarf Stuff up!

Rumours are floating about that this months WD will apparently not include the Chaos Warriors insert with the new rules and errata to the army book for the new units (like the Daemons insert) as it did not arrive in time to be despatched with the WD.

Now this should only affect WD in Australia/NZ, not UK, Europe, and USA. 

From what I have been told we won't see the insert in Australasia until Decembers WD is released! If this is true, thats pretty poor GW...

I hope this is all not true, but if so, I hope GW post up a PDF to download from their website ASAP!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Guardcon 2012 - Battle Reports Day 2

Its day 2 and I arrive early (those that know me would realize what a feat this is) and hang around talking till the round starts.

As mentioned this is a custom scenario that the tournament organiser has developed. I presume it has arisen from some sort of hate towards the watchtower, and this has come to be some sort of intermediate. Seriously the watchtower isn’t that bad guys. Can’t move the unit in the watchtower? Just ignore it and apply your superior numbers to wipe out the rest of the opposition!

Now the basis of King of the Hill is there is a hill in the centre of the board, and then it is basically like watchtower, ie you need to hold/capture the hill. It is worth 400vp at the end of the game so significant enough to swing a game. Now the problem comes is that the scenario favours a few armies far more than others, and several problems came about such as charging off the hill first turn, something you cannot do in watchtower. IMO this makes the scenario very unbalanced and I don’t think it has any place in the tournament scene in its current form. Just use the book scenarios guys. There not that bad! At least everyone knows what to expect… /end rant =)

Game 4 – Ogres – Simon Kwok
Scenario: King of the Hill

Now, onto the game… Simon’s Ogres consisted of a large unit of 9 Ironguts that get loaded with characters, 6 bulls, an 8 man unit of Maneaters also with an assortment of characters, 2 units of Mournfang, a single Ironblaster, and the standard 3x1 Sabretusk’s. Now, Orges are a hard matchup at the best of times, and drawing the worst scenario to face them against is pretty much icing on the cake. Having not rolled Purple Sun on my death mage, I went into the game very conservatively, and would be relying on the first few turns magic/ranged fire to decide the outcome.

Simon won the roll off and gained the hill. He deployed the 6 Bulls on the hill. He then deployed the rest of his army single file, trying to mitigate any advantage I might gain from my catapults. His Mournfang went to either flank and everything deployed 6” or more apart. I could see this was going to be a very ‘gamey’ game. I deployed centre left with the Tomb Guard closest to the hill, and the rest of my forces staggered and trailing of to a castled deployment. I refused the right flank except for the chariots, which would provide a delaying action or simply finish off any loose ends out on the flank, then support the TG with a flank charge.

So I automatically get first turn, and started by correcting some angles in my movement phase, and positioning horse archers to be as annoying as possible. Having an inherently defensive build my greatest chance would happen in the magic and shooting phase. With low dice I pushed light of death, with one making it through, however thanks to Ld 9 with rerolls it had little effect. My catapults also missed the intended target of the Ironblaster, and my archers failed to make much of an impact on the bulls on the hill. Not a good start. Simon moved all his forces up including the bulls on the hill. He didn’t attempt a charge with them however. The Maneaters made for the hill and the Mournfang ran up my right flank. Simon attempted to fire his Ironblaster which justifiably misfired. The cannon then blew it self up as a result! Huh! Take that most broken cannon in the game. Except the only thing that happens is the thing cant fire for the rest of the game…. Yeah. Broken…

So turn two is more of the same. I get a unit of horse archers in the way of the Ironguts, and that is about all the movement I make. I have another rather unsuccessful magic phase, but manage a few wounds on a Mournfang unit near the centre this time. Shooting is rubbish, however the great bows put a few more wounds on the same Mounrfang the caskets targeted. The 6 man (now 5) Ogre Bulls are still pretty much unscathed. Simon charges into the horse archers with the Ironguts wiping them out, but thanks to some angling reforms instead of overrunning as intended. The Maneaters are now firmly on the hill and almost still at full strength. I’m gauging to see if I can tackle them in a heads up fight.

By the beginning of turn three I’ve decided, mainly thanks to the advancing Ironguts and the position of my army that I am heading towards a major loss, and need to try something to bring the game back in my favour. I commit the Tomb Guard into the Maneaters figuring I can grind them with some luck and magic. I have worked out that a clever placement of horse archers will not only redirect the Ironguts, it will also cause them to be unable to charge my Tomb Guard flank for another turn, and help save my entire left flank from being wrecked. I make it in comfortably and then move the chariots into position to give me a flank charge on the Maneaters if required in turn 4. I manage a smiting on the Tomb Guard but little else. Shooting sees one catapult manages a few wounds on the Ironblaster, and I manage to finish off the Mournfang unit that was damaged earlier with the Ushabti. Close combat was not as rewarding however. I manage to kill a few and receive a lump of casualties back against the Maneaters. It is enough to force a break test on them, but thanks to them being stubborn, they don’t shift. In Simons turn he issues a charge on the Horse Archers with the Ironguts. They get wiped out and he declares an overrun as I had anticipated. As the flank of the Tomb Guard is in front it becomes a declared charge. I then point out it is a failed charge, as Simon has his Ironguts 10 wide, they cannot fit through the gap as they will hit one of my casket of Souls when trying to close the door on the Tomb Guard, or before he even makes contact with them depending on how he try’s to move the Ironguts in. I had pre-measured this in my turn as it is what I had planned. Simon however doesn’t agree, and try’s to demon-straight that he can by repeatedly moving/wheeling the unit. I can’t help but observe that each time he wheels the unit, it moves a little further back and opens a gap to the casket… This may have not been intentional on his behalf, but the result is same. Simon calls the TO over, and he rules to ignore the casket and that Simon can charge. I’m not going to go into this, but this is a very poor call! The resulting combat is decisive and I loose a large proportion of the unit to crumble. It isn’t wiped out yet though.

So turn four starts and I am none to happy. A bad call can ruin a weekend for anyone. I get on with it and try salvage what I can. I try put as much firepower into the Bulls to pick up some extra vp. Simon had gotten a Sbaretusk in the way of my chariot charge into the flank of the Maneaters, essentially cornering them to be wiped out by the Mournfang on the flank. Another disappointing magic phase means I get shut down from regenerating the Tomb Guard unit. All the time I have managed to run my Ushabti out wide on the left flank and they are now hiding in a building. My Hierophant and his unit have moved up behind them in an attempt to save giving away as much vp as I can. I target the Ironblaster with the catapults and Ushabti but luck out. Combat sees the Tomb Guard wiped out allowing reforms all around. The Maneaters remain on the hill with two left, plus the army BSB. Simon charges his Bulls into a 10 man archer unit and wipes them out, overrunning towards a catapult. The Ironguts cannot charge as they are blocked by his own unit. At the end of the turn it looks like a big victory to Simon unless I can finish a few things off…

So turn five starts as the last turn of the game. With nothing on my right flank, the hill firmly in Simons hands, and some Ogre Bulls running through my archery line, things are grim indeed. Idrop out of the building with the Ushabti and move the archers with my Hierophant in instead to safeguard them from any last turn charge. With nothing else to move I try get some magic mojo happening. Light of Death targets the Ironblaster with little success, however I manage to get smiting off on the Ushabti. In my shooting phase I finally get a decent hit! I have targeted the Maneaters and BSB as it’s the most vp that I can gain. The hit kills the BSB outright and causes a further wound on the last two Maneaters, not to mention stripping regeneration off the unit that Simon cast last turn. The champion and standard are each left with one wound, which I promptly strip off with the Ushabti. Success finally! This also has the effect of freeing up the hill. Simon cannot get the Ironguts back onto the hill in his last turn meaning nobody captures it. The final actions of the day are Simon charging the Orge Bulls into a catapult collecting a few more vp for his tally.

Result 9-11 to Simon

Well what can I say? I didn’t enjoy this game from the get go. It was ‘gamey’ starting from deployment, based on a modified scenario that IMO is not balanced, and to top it off, a bad call at a critical moment in the game (IMO) pretty much ruined it for me. Best to forget this one I think. It was always going to be an uphill battle for me, so to come out with 9 points is a rather good result in the end.

Game 5 – Vampire Counts –  Russ
Scenario: Meeting Engagement

Russ turned up with what is looking like a typical VC list in these parts. A Black Knight Bus filled with Vampires, some direwolves, spirit hosts and zombies for chaff, a skittle bunker for a necromancer and a Terrorgiest. I was fairly confident coming into this match. To win the game I knew I had to break the back of the knight bus, but before I could do this I needed to kill the terrorgiest before it rolled a flank. Having formed a rudimentary plan I figured the best option for me would be to set up at maximum distance and let him come to me, giving me the opportunity to manage the size of his army and channel the combats into situations that advantaged me. The end goal being to get a combat between his knight bus and my TG hoard.

Russ deployed his army as far forward as possible but on his hard left. It looked to me to be an attempt at a flanking move aiming to channel everything down my right with the Knights/Terrorgiest leading the way. I deployed in my corner, using some impassable terrain to my advantage to hold a flank. The Tomb Guard where deployed in the centre of my castles front line with the intention of redirecting the knight bus into the front of them. I had my chariots to the north to protect the flank, and artillery in the back.

Turn one starts with me pushing north with most of my horse archers and shooting Russ’s wolfs. I hold most stuff back and target his high value units with my ranged firepower. Caskets target the Knight bus, and catapults target the Terrorgiest with little success. Russ moves his puppies about to try get some use out of them before they die to my bow fire. His knights and terrorgiest move up conservatively and he keeps them in formation with his infantry blocks. A very quick first turn from both sides.

Turn to is more of the same. I shoot stuff, caskets hit the knights and catapults target the terrorgiest, this time casing a few wounds. Horse archers clean up the pups and my chariots swing around to start threatening the flanks. Russ cautiously moves up again. His spirit hosts hold his flank and threaten my horse archers, while he moves forward. He uses his magic to restore some of the knights he has lost. The Terrorgiest moves up and within strike distance next turn.

Turn three begins with me moving a horse archer unit in the way of his knights, angled back towards my Tomb Guard and potentiality setting up a nice flank. It is an obvious trap, but I am playing off Russ being overconfident with them. Catapults target the terrorgiest again, but the damn thing survives a direct hit that causes 1 wound. It has one left now. Russ charges the horse archers with the knights, and his Terrorgiest charges a 10 man archer unit that will redirect off the board. A small error on my behalf, as it predictably cleans up and overruns off the board, denying my catapults a target next turn. The Knights wipe out the horse archers, but refrain from overrunning. This pretty much leaves us in a stalemate centre board.

Turn four sees me looking at alternatives. I figure that all my shooting will do squat to his Ghoul or skeleton blocks, and this leaves his knights bus. Typically strength 3 shots into a 2+ armour save T4 unit isn’t the best option, however I decide to add the firepower to the catapults and Bowshabti. The catapults fire first, collecting 2 between them. Then I fire about 50 bows at the unit. As I fire each unit, and pick up a wound here or there, Russ manages to find every single 1 he can on his dice, resulting in me practically wiping out the knights with strength 3 shooting… I don’t think he is to impressed with his dice and predict some fun with a sledge hammer later that night. There is a champion and standard left in the unit plus a bunch of characters when my bowshabti let off their double shots thanks to smiting. The -3 save has a good impact finishing off the unit and spreading some wounds around the characters. Fun times. This sees Russ split up the characters in his movement phase as they break for cover. Russ chooses to start withdrawing his skeletons with his level 4 necromancer out of harms way. The terrorgiest appears and moves straight towards my artillery, and with a bunch of bravado it screams like the good wife and a catapult falls to bits on me.

Now its turn five and I’m hunting for VP’s. Most of the characters in the knight bus have found cover behind some rocks, limiting my ranged fire. My chariots execute charge into the Ghouls, cutting the numbers down. Movement is spent getting the firing arcs for the death mage and bow fire, but first I need to take care of some business. My remaining catapult hits the Terrorgiest finishing the last wound and removing the threat. I had backed it up with plenty of bowfire as there was nothing else they could shoot. Caskets failed to find their mark vs the closely grouped characters as did my shooting, which only netted the low level necromancer. Russ continues his flight with the skeletons and level 4 necro. I don’t remember exactly how but Russ manages to pick off my Death Priest. The Ghouls crumble some more to the chariots.

Last turn and it is clear I have a victory. It’s a fast turn for me as I only move what archers can shoot at the characters. All my magic is pumped into the characters netting me a few wounds off some, but no kills yet. Bowfire is pitiful and the catapult is wide of the mark. The Chariots finish off the Ghouls however which pretty much ends the game. Russ’s turn is also short as there is not a lot he can do.
The game ends with a win for me.

14-6 to my legions of the dead.

This was a good game for me overall. Russ was a pleasure to play and had turned up with a tidy VC list using the typical Deathstar/Knight bus. The highlights for me were Russ’s Terrorgiest weathering a hell of a lot of firepower, and the strength 3 massacre of the Knight Bus. Once again I struggled to clean up at the end of the game despite the ranged attacks I had. I have always found the new VC book to be a good match for my army. The result puts me back on the top of the table leading into the last game of the tourney.

Game 6 – (Savage) Orcs & (Night) Goblins – Sam Whitt
Scenario: Battleline

Once again we meet in the top table. Sam had turned up with a list very similar to the one he had at Call to Arms. When played right Orc’s and Goblins can be an extremely competitive army, and Sam for certain knows how his works. With a build similar to the one I ran last year I also knew its strengths and weaknesses. Night Goblins with nets, Troll block and Savage Orc Hoard backed by characters, chariots and plenty of war machines, not to mention the manglers. His list would always be a hard match up for mine. I knew I needed to control the early game and remove as many threats as possible. I did not want to get into combat with a full strength Savage Orc bus, so I formed a battle plan around this. Destroy the catapults, doom divers and chariots first, then weaken the Savage Orcs for a late game combat. To do this I would need to isolate the trolls as I couldn’t deal with both at the same time.

With this in mind I deployed in the corner. In a castle. Behind a river. At max range. Heh. I was playing to my strengths as I thought I could out shoot him, and play the late game combat if possible. Ok so I really was reserved about fighting the Savage Orc Hoard. Full strength it has over 50 strength 5 attacks! Sam deployed in a broad battleline as I chose to deploy my horse archers normally, and combined with the small archer units I had enough cheap drops to not give away my deployment. His Savage Orcs took centre stage, flanked by Night Goblins and trolls to either side. Chariots and mangles filled in the gaps with artillery at the rear.

I started turn one after winning the roll off. I spent the turn withdrawing the horse archers back top my lines and nudging a few archers into range of threats like mangers and chariots. My catapults targeted his artillery with mixed success, and both caskets got dispelled. Sam responded with the anticipated forward thrust. I was almost fully deployed on the right corner with a river in between myself and the Orc hoard. The return fire from Sam’s artillery found its mark but failed to take out my scatterpults, instead reducing the number of archers my Hierophant could use as a dead shield. All in all an uneventful first turn all around.

Turn two was much of the same for me. Perseverance is a trait needed with my Tomb King build. Whilst consolidating behind my best friend the river, I edged forward my horse archers and chariots to get some more bow fire in range. My magic phase seen me get through a light of death taking out a doom diver and bouncing along Sam’s battleline causing a few more wounds. Shooting resulted in some similar success, with my archers finishing off a mangler in the centre, and one of my catapults managed to take out one of Sam’s, the other preferring to misfire… Under the hail of fire Sam continued to advance, although it did tend to be conservative. With the banter going back and forth I figured Sam was not that keen to find himself in a combat with my Tomb Guard. I had them deployed so that Sam would have no ranks because of fighting in a river, although it was a river of light! Return fire took two wounds of a catapult after a direct hit by Sam. However a buffed Foot of Gork got through in his magic phase and managed to stomp on my Hierophant. However my skittles had been train well in the arts of protecting their masters and I was saved from the worst of it. Sam stomped me twice before rolling a 1, allowing me to stomp him instead. I tried for a rock lobber catching a wound.

Turn three turned out to be an amusing one. I decided to try and push the limits and get some mileage from my chariots. They where in the centre on my table side and there was the threat of loosing them without contributing. I declared a charge on Sam’s Night Goblins forgetting about the effects of nets. The rest of my army held back as I launched a hail Mary. The charge was successful in making contact and aligned to overrun into a pump wagon whilst avoiding a counter charge from Sam’s Boar chariot. I had to clip a forest on the way in resulting in me loosing a chariot, and Sams fanatic managed to account for another. One made contact but if I was unlucky in my dangerous terrain, so was Sam in netting himself! The resulting impacts killed a bunch of goblins and the charioteers managed to kill his shaman. The horses even got in on the action. In return I lost nothing. Sam was still steadfast but was out of BSB and General range. They fled and pursuit caught the goblins then overran into the pump wagon which was cleaned up in the next combat round. Chariots overran out of harms way but close to a mangler! This charge overshadowed the rest of the turns shenanigans. More artillery exchanged fire, and I believe I had to weather another foot of Gork!

So at the beginning of turn four things are set up to maybe commit to a turn five charge/combat. Taking stock I am down a horse archer unit and a catapult at this point. My Hierophant has a wound from a miscast and a few units are below strength. Sam’s missing most of his artillery, a chariot, a mangler, his night goblins and a shaman. I move my Tomb Guard up to temp Sam to commit to a charge. I have some horse archers on a flank to redirect if needed. I continue to target the last remaining artillery of Sam’s with the caskets finally starting to work their magic now that Sam’s general is to far away. Sam is hesitant about committing to a combat with the Tomb Guard. Sam chases the last chariot with his own, and the mangler randomly wandering about near it. The board is set with my castle still pretty much intact and Sam poised to close in with his trolls and Savage Orc Hoard, however the game is late.

Turn five rolls around and I decide to not overextend. I start pulling back the Tomb Guard and attempt to not give away any more vp’s. With this in mind I refrain from my lone chariot charging as it only had one wound left, instead pushing it out to max charge range of the boar chariot and equally as far away from the mangler. I target the Board chariot with both light of death spells and get one through picking up the kill. Sam’s last piece of artillery (a rock lobber) gets taken out by my lone scatterpult. Sam’s army is moved poised to a last turn charge if he wants. We are both in two minds about this, but I figure he cant wipe me out in one round, but there is the opportunity to pick up some character kills with killing blow.

So turn six is rather uneventful. We both know the game has been won by me, as even if Sam managed to clean up my Tomb Guard I was still largely ahead. With this in mind the chariots continues to hide from the mangler, and I spend my magic phase buffing the Tomb Guard with smiting and protection spells. Sam shuts down both casket attempts on the lone mangler. Sam’s turn is equally quick with him deciding on the more conservative route of not engaging the Tomb Guard, his decision helped by the buffs active on them. We call the game and tally the score

15-5 to my dusk raiders…

An eventful game overall for me. We played staring completions with our main combat blocks for the entire game whilst our artillery and ranged forces exchanging blows. This phase of the game was won by me pretty much deciding the match. Ultimately the casket of souls tipped the scales in my favour getting some early kills here. Sam and I talked about the potential outcome of his Savage Orcs vs my Tomb Guard. He was not feeling confident in engaging them heads up and had hoped to bring them down to a more manageable size before committing. I actually thought he had the upper hand in the combat here but I think Sam was more worried about loosing 6 or 700 points of characters to killing blow attacks. Fair enough to, as a lucky KB can swing the game in many ways. A good game for me, and I think we both enjoyed the challenge, but ultimately the ranged factors swung in favour of me, but not forgetting the chariots decisive charge!

With all results in the Tournament was won by my Tomb Kings, with Simons Ogres coming in second place, Russ taking the last podium with his VC, and Sam’s Orcs just getting piped from third place. Although the field was a lot smaller than originally forecast, there was still a lot of stiff competition about (apparently we had 40 signed up with another dozen or so on the waiting list, but 24+ people pulled out last minute!). I get to take home the rather large shield to babysit for a year!