Thursday, 31 May 2012

Apple Crumble

Can you have your pie, and eat it to?

Unbreakable. On the face of it a great rule. The lads wont ever run! 'Whats the catch?' you then ask... Oh yeah when you loose combat you crumble. And not the good stuff. This crumble stinks of vinegar. Or does it?

A question that has been trending recently on many Warhammer forums is 'Do you get an overrun from a unit that is wiped out due to crumbling?' To say the least it has been a hotly debated rule and wildly disputed. From what I can see the conclusions can be separated into two groups. The "I played 7th edition, this is how we did it in 7th edition, therefore I am right! GW just stuffed up the wording" camp, and the "I never played 7th edition, the rules say you don't get it, what the hell are you old crazy codgers talking about" camp

Now up until now, I've played it as you do get an overrun. Not from any hangovers from 7th edition as I never played 'that' game, but more from what people just did to me at the end of combat. I've never bothered to read that part of the rule book that thoroughly, and just assumed people I was playing against knew the rules better. This comes alot from me learning the rules by playing at tourneys (oddly enough Southcon 2011 was my first 'modern era' tourney I attended). However, are we playing this right?

Now the first myth to bust is 7th edition. Anyone who references 7th edition to justify a rule needs their head checked by the closest Nordland amputee specialist. 7th edition rules need not apply!

Now the first part of the rule:
page 53 on wipeout:
If a wipeout occurred, overrun can follow. however, it is in the 'determine combat result' step of combat that it is checked if a wipeout occurred. the exact words are:

'if one side has been completely wiped out in the fight, the other side is automatically the winner. (...) if the unit charged this turn, it can choose to overrun"

Nice and easy. If you wipe out your opponents on the charge, you can overrun. But what is wiping out? Easy you say. Its killing all the baddies in a combat. Well not entirely true....

Wipeout triggers at the 'whos the winner step' however 'crumble' triggers in the next step, 'breaktests'

On page 58:
overrun happens when a charging units enemies are completely destroyed at the end of that round of close combat.
On pages 48 through to 51 GW clearly defines a round of close combat as the first step. Go have a read. Its very different to what a round of close combat was interpreted as in 7th I'm told.

So in summary. Crumbling is a result of a round of close combat, just as break tests are. It is preformed the step after overrun is calculated. Therefore the only conclusion from this is no, you do not get an overrun for wiping out an unbreakable unit from crumbling. These are the rules as written. I have been playing it wrong, and it now makes my little 10 man skittle block all the more annoying! This is more enlightening than when I discovered that you must re-roll leadership tests if you fail then when you have a BSB within 12" (very important with light of death bouncing around...)

Apparently, rules as written > 7th edition hangovers. Go figure!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Southcon 2012/Comp rant

Southcon 2012 is on this Queens Birthday weekend in Dunedin, and once again I've managed to leave everything to the last minute... Thank Ptra most of my army is painted already

Having won Southcon last year with my greenskins, I've submitted my list last week for the title defence:

Prince with great weapon and armour of protection
L4 Hierophant Liche Priest with dispel scroll
L2 Death priest
38 Tomb Guard
2 units of 20 archers
3 units of 10 archers
2 units of 5 horse archers
6 Necroknights

Nothing green this year bar the bar the orb on my Liche

SouthCon will be a 6 round 2400 point tournament with scenarios, and has hard caps in place of max 12 PD in a phase and 0-1 of any rare selection over 70 points, on top of 450 points/50 model limit to any unit. Max 4 war machines and some other hard caps... the field is 20 strong this time up from 16 last year.

Warning! Ranting and whining to follow:

Some will say cry me a river, but why do people insist on trying to "fix" things with blanket comp. Clue. It doesn't work! 0-1 rares? oh yay no double hydras and other wot not. But then armies like Tomb Kings get stiffed by only 1 war machine, where empire will still bring cannons and rockets and volley guns gallour... And I'm sure goblins have a thing or two to say about unit size cap. Points cap is enough! 8th edition changed the playing field away from MSU, but unfortunately there are still some out there that want to play Warhammer 7.5.

And then there is the horrible b*****d child that is the comp system for Conquest in Christchurch (October)... All rares 0-1, all specials 0-2... someone get a clue and stop trying to wreck this game. What is trying to be achieved here? Nobody knows, but these two little gems of the south are swimming against the current and introducing harder and harder comp, where every other tourney is starting to embrace 8th and relaxing it. There is a point of no return coming up and the comp will just start spiralling out of control very soon. Safe to say I might just enter my first 40k comp ever instead at Conquest, where there is no comp to be seen! should be a bloody affair as it will probably be the very first event in NZ to be held under 6th edition. I've played the guy who is organising it before and hes a top bloke! (Hi Wes)

Am I bitter cause I cant take my toys? Hell yes! (To be fair, the only thing that my normal list cant take is the second catapult, and other than that its just the poorly implemented restrictions on the magic phase that hurt)

/end rant

Oh and about that last minute stuff. Apparently someone (me) didn't bother to make a Necrosphinx, so now I have 2 evenings to complete said Necrosphinx, and that's on top of the half dozen wraiths and triarch stalker that I promised to a friend to borrow for the event....

Sleep.. Whats that?

Friday, 11 May 2012

Horned Rat V - Part 3: Battle Reports

Game 4 – Wood Elves, Gavin Stewart
Scenario: Blood and Glory

I was fairly confident going into this battle, having played another Wood Elf player the day before. Gavin had bought along a more combat orientated force consisting of just 4 units of 10 Glade Guard, 2 units of 8 Dryads, 6 Treekin, a Treeman, 3 Warhawk Riders, some Waywatchers and a great eagle. A Spellweaver lead his force and a BSB joined one of his Glaud Guard units. Unfortunately for Gavin he hadn’t read the player pack properly as he only had 3 break points, which meant his army was broken before the game begun. For this scenario the first army broken awards 600 vp to their opponent.

My battleplan was simple. I had more archers, so I would deploy my archers as far forward as possible to ensure they where in range, and bunker my wizards in the Tomb Guard as I felt Gavin had nothing that could threaten them, and he didn’t have enough firepower to remove them that way. I would wage the shooting war and win by attrition, and concentrate my magic on regenerating my losses.

Gavin deployed his army with his archers in the back near his table edge, Treeman and Treekin to the centre, with dryads on either flank. His eagle and Warhawks deployed opposite my artillery. My deployment was a similar battle line, with my Necroknights to the centre left, all archers as far forward as possible, catapult and casket to the rear, and the Tomb guard acting as bunker was deployed on opposite side to Gavins Treekin where there would be zero threat. I also deployed a 20 man archer unit faceing a building that was 3” from my deployment. This would give them great range and fields of fire, whilest only having to deal with 1 dryad unit.

Gavin won first turn and immediately moved his eagle and Warhawks up my flank to threaten my artillery. He advanced his Treekin and Treeman and lined them up so that iff I charged either one of them, they would both make combat. In the magic phase he buffed his Treekin making them strength 6 and toughness 6. I let this spell through. I had surveyed the battlefield and his initial movements realising that Gavin had moved his Spellweaver into a 6 man unit of Waywatchers, which would be in range of about 35 archers in my turn. There was little reason for me to commit to combat on the first turn as I had flaming catapults that would make a mess of his Trees. In my turn I advance all archers up into range (with the aid of desert wind) and back up the Necroknights 4” to put them out of charge range of Gavins trees. I also try light of death which only kills one or two Glade Guard. Gavin dispels banishment which I had targeted at his Waywatcher unit with his mage in it. In the shooting phase I land a direct hit of Gavins Treeman killing it outright thanks for flaming, and fire all my archers in range at his mage/Waywatchers, destroying the unit and killing his general and L4 mage.

Second turn sees Gavin move his treekin slightly forward. His Eagle and Warhawks withdraw as they where shot up pretty bad first turn. Gavin rearranges his Dryads for a third turn charge on the building with my archers in. He has no magic now and starts his shooting. He targets my archers as he had in first turn, but dosnt manage to remove enough to kill a whole unit thanks to me bunkering in a wood. In my phase I regen back all my caualties and shoot off his Dryads on the right. I also weaken his Dryads on the left and drop some catapults on his treekin, causing a few wounds. I remove the rest of his Warhawks with shooting and advance my entire battle line forward to maintain pressure

Gavin starts his third turn with a charge from his Dryads into my archers in the building. The rest of his army withdraws as much as they can with the Treekin front and centre. Gavin targets my Tomb Guard block and kills about 10. The fight for the building is uneventful with each side loosing a few models. Gavin didn’t have the numbers and even a full strength Dryad unit would have had troubles here. I start my turn with a charge on the Treekin. The rest of my army advances again. Magic sees me throw a buff on the Knights and light of death on his archers. I have been dominating the magic phase thanks to Gavin loosing his caster and the caskets bonus D3. My archers shoot off the remaining dryads, a unit of Glaud guard, and I finish off the eagle. My Necroknights predictably monster his Treekin.

In the forth turn Gavin continues to retreat to his right and away from my advance, but he is quickly running out of room. He continues to shoot at the Tomb Guard. I execute a charge with the Necroknights on his centre Glade Guard unit splitting his withdrawal. At this point Gavin only has the three left. I shoot off his other one with his BSB in it. I use my magic to regenerate my Tomb Guard. Gavin is now left with a unit of Glade Guard that is under half strength, and I have effectively lost nothing thanks to “the restless dead’ lore attribute

Gavin calls it as there is noting he can do, and his last unit is just going to be shot off. The game ends with a victory to me

20-0 to the undying legion of Amonakhom

Post game we talk about the match up. My army was pretty much the complete hard counter to Gavins. With him going in already broken making me effectively 600vp up from the get go, it was always going to be a struggle.

The win in round 4 brings me back into contention for a podium after the mothering Sam gave me. However the next round would be a much harder match up for me, and I wouldn’t have a bonus 600vp going in.

Game 5 – Daemons – Tom Dunn
Scenario: Battleline

Tom’s Daemons presented themselves as a very hard challenge. Tom had been doing very well throughout the weekend notching up three strong wins, and only going down to his old man Pete (I smell shenanigans!) His list consisted of Billy the Bloodthirster, 2 units of 30 odd Bloodletters with a herald Icon in one, 2 units of 1 fiends, 2 units of 1 bloodcrushers, 2 units of 5 screamers, 2 units of 5 flamers, and a unit of horrors with a herald of Tzeentch using lore of Light. The combination of 9 units with 18” + moves was daunting to say the least.

We drew the desert table with two huge Sphinx statues across the middle. Surely a good sign! Unfortunately for me they where more than big enough to hide Billy behind…

Deployment had tom set up his two bloodletter units in the centre making for the large gap between the statues. Billy hid behind one and the horrors held the rare of the bloodletters. The two screamers where on my right with a bloodcrusher, and the other crusher along with both fiends went to my left flank. I castled up on the only hill which was on my right side corner (I had won roll off to choose sides), placing my casket and catapults behind, archers on top with Necroknights and Tomb Guard to the front. My horse archers went hard right with my three 10 man archer units in the centre right. I deployed my horse archers to try draw out as much as I could so my deployment was beneficial.

Going into the game I try keep my stratergy simple. I shoot his chaff off, then whittle down his bloodletters and combo charge the remains. Catapults target the Bloodthirster and then throw chaff at it if it gets to close. I had deployed my bunker with this in mind, as to not allow any openings for his flyers to charge past my combat blocks. If it come down to it I would grind him down on combat res.

Tom won first turn and proceeded to move his flankers down my left and flamers into range of my horse archers. His infantry blocks moved up the centre and Billy stayed hiding. Tom tried a fee spells with little effect but managed to remove a unit of horse archers with his flamers. In my turn I responded in kind by nudging forward 4” with everything to get most of my archers in range. I angled the 10 man archers so his fiends wouldn’t get overruns. I threw some dice at light of death which got through, but had no real effect on Toms units. I shot off one flamer unit and reduced the other to 1 guy. My remaining shots went into his lead bloodletter unit as di my catapults to start reducing the numbers.

Turn two and Tom moves his bloodletters up some more. He is off centre with my army so needs to take some time to reposition as to not expose his flanks. His screamer withdraws and his fiends/bloodcrushers move up. Magic has little effect again with me dispelling his missles. With no shooting in range I start my turn. I now angle my Knights to threaten a flank if his Bloodletters try charging my Tomb Guard. I move up a little more with some archers to gain range on some of his chaff. I shoot the fiends putting 2 wounds on one, and put a wound on the bloodcrusher to my right. I drop a skull from my catapults on the other crusher who gets banished back to the neither. Light of Death goes off again, but this time I get some success. Both units of screamers are wiped out and some bloodletters die as well.

Turn three and I can see how this game is panning out. Tom has opted to resign his Bloodthirster from view as a few catapult shots will kill it. With this in mind it frees up my Necroknights somewhat. Tom charges in with his 2 fiends on the first 10 man archer unit, and withdraws his wounded bloodcrusher. Magic plays little impact again and his fiends failed to wipe oout my 10 man archers. Booo now I don’t get to shoot him in my turn. He realigns his bloodletters but is unwilling to commit as he can see my trap. I reposition the archers again on my left to ensure no overruns. My horse archers take som pot shots at the last flamer. I try for some opportunistic scatters from my catapults as Tom has his caster, bloodthirster, and bloodcrusher all close to each other. I nab a few horros but that’s all. Light of death takes 2 wounds of Billy and my archers keep working on the bloodletters. The fiends finish up the archers in my turn and reform to face the next unit

Turn four sees Tom charge the next archer unit and romp through them this time. He elects to overrun off the board as I still have 55-110 shots left in my army (yay! smiting) Billy is still hiding but Tom starts spacing his stuff out of the 6” jump range from light of death. In my turn I wheel the Necroknights right around to close the distance as it appears Tom is reluctant to get to grips with my army. I sneakily move my last unit of 10 archers to the board edge where Toms fiends went off, denying him the ability to come back on the board and effectively destroying them. I then pump every shot I have into the closest unit of bloodletters to prep them for a charge in turn 5. Magic is ineffective with light of death bouncing around harmlessly and both my catapults scatter from indirect fire on the Billy.

In turn five Tom spends some time positioning his units to avoid getting double teamed. He moves his bloodletter unit that is under half strength  up to my Tomb Guard and angles his other to minimise any overrun from a potential Necroknights charge. Billy still hides as does the last flamer and bloodcrusher. Magic plays little roll and we work out combat. My turn rolls around and I execute the charge from the Necroknights into his flank of the bloodletters and my Tomb Guard into the front. I shoot what I can into his other bloodletter unit and throw a few magic missles and light of death for minimal effect. In close combat his Bloodletter champion attacks my Tomb Prince to no affect, and a couple of Tomb Guard die from the bloodletters. In return my hoard sends a half dozen or so back to the warp. The Knights the smash the rest and Tom looses the rest to instability. I overrun 5” with my Tomb Guard and reform the Knights to allow the best chance for a charge.

Turn six starts with Tom pulling back all that he can to gain distance from my combat blocks. Billy remains hiding as does the flamer and bloodcrusher. He bails the hearld out of his horrors and hides it behind the sphinx monument where billy has been cowering all game. With limited view from his caster magic plays no part again. The fiends remain off the board awarding vp to me. In my last turn I execute 2 charges. The Tomb Guard charge the other bloodletter unit to make room for the knights to hit the horrors. Both make it in. My archers do basically nothing as there are no targets left for them. The horse archer unit finally manages to kill the last flamer. Magic sees me buff my combat units a little and cast light of death one last time, which is dispelled. My 2 catapults target billy to get the last 3 wounds. The first one misses but the second scores a direct hit! But since it is indirect fire it scatters on the little arrow, - my BS skill. I roll a 2 one the misfire dice (yes it is a misfire dice!) and the hole is centred nicely over Billy. I roll to wound and I roll a 1… typical. The Tomb Guard win the combat vs the bloodletters but don’t kill them off. This was never going to happen as there was to many left, but charging in here allowed me the opportunity to kill his icon hearld and open up the charge on the horrors. Tom just removed the Horros as he had seen what the Necroknights could do earlier. We called it game with a resounding win to me.

15-5 to my Tomb Kings

I was surprised at first how Tom used his bloodthirster. All weekend I had heard these horror stories how Billy had carried the games. In hindsight I think he made the right decision as Billy wouldn’t have faired that well against my combat blocks and exposing himself to 4 catapult shots minimum with a 1/3 chance of hitting each time was not favourable odds. I have always thought that Tomb Kings where a good hard counter to Demons and Tom agreed with this sentiment. The number of missile fire I can pump out vs T3 with a 5+ save is no different to me shooting an empire swordsman. I think maybe I should have made my move turn 4 instead of turn 5 to allow an extra 2 rounds of combat with the second bloodletter unit, giving more opportunity to kill them off.

I finished 4th overall, only 1 BP off 3rd place! This is especially annoying considering the simple dice roll that I forgot to do game 3 which would have netted me at least 5 more BP. But I guess the same can be said about rolling a one to kill the Bloodthirster instead of a 2+.
What I did find interesting is that not once did I find myself wanting for a Sphinx! I did not miss them at all. A Necrosphinx may have been nice vs Sam and Mathew, and a warsphinx would have made its mark vs Tom, but against the woodies they would have been a liability. Next tournament I may try a Necroshpinx as the player pack restricts all rares to 0-1 each.

In conclusion I liked the way my army preformed. Having the second large combat unit really helped and I think this was what was really missing from my previous builds. I’m not 100% sold on the second level 4 mage. Over the course of the 5 battles I found I was only wanting the use of one or two spells selectively. Its only real use was aiding to get Briona’s Timewarp, although Pha’s protection was worth its weight against Wood Elves. I might try a Death mage out as adding a few more magic missiles would help against ethereal armies and Sam’s destroyer! And would compliment the aggressive defensive style I play.

Next stop is Southcon in June, less than 3 weeks away. It is a six round 2400 point tourney with hard caps of 0-1 for all rare’s, and 450 points max unit size. I’m back to defend my title as I won this event last year with my Orc’s and Goblins. Stay tuned!

Pete's Orge's trying to finish off Sam's Chaos Dwarfs. Theres a Stubborn Castellen in there somewhere...

Also a huge thanks to Pete Dunn for putting me up (or putting up with me) for the weekend. Hes a great host, not to mention he put up all the terrain for the weekend!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Horned Rat V - Part 2: Battle Reports

Game 1 – Chaos Dwarfs – Legion of Azgorh, Sam Whitt
Scenario: Watchtower

Sam bought along his excellent Chaos Dwarfs army using the new legion of Azgorh list from Forgeworld. He had some nice conversions like his Bull Centaurs which where made of Juggernaughts with Black Orc bodies along with a bunch of nicely painted Forgeworld minis.

His list consisted of a Sorcerer Lord, Castellen BSB, and a level 1 Demonsmith, 2 units of 20 Hobgoblins, a unit of 30 Infernal Guard, a Dreadquake mortar, a Death Rocket, Flame canon, 6 Bull Centaurs and a Ka’daai Destroyer… The Tower was worth an additional 600 VP.

Sam had been making a bit of noise with his unstoppable Ka’daai, and the matchup was not good for me. I had little in my army that could hurt it, thanks to its practical immunity to fire and -1 to wound

Sam won the roll off to take the tower and put in a unit of hobgoblins. He deployed his artillery, Bull Centaurs and Infernal Guard to my right, other hobgoblins centre left and the ka’daai directly behind the building. I had my Tomb Guard opposite the building, archers behind centre right and Necroknights to my right opposite his bunker. My catapults where hard left and casket behind the archers. My plan was to contest the tower early gaining a foothold, and use my magic to regenerate and hold it to the end of the game. In this scenario I get first turn

Turn one and I immediately assault the tower with the Tomb Guard, beating the hobgoblins and taking control. The catapults aim for his artillery but miss, and most of the archers are out of range so they just move about. I cast light of death on the ka’daai but fail to damage. My Necroknights move up to threaten his bunker. If I can get a charge off I should be able to grind them down over a few turns. Sam immediately counters my capture of the tower by assaulting it with the Ka’daai, who causes about 16 casualties after crumble. I have seriously underestimated its capability, and my unit cannot hurt him bar my prince due to the -1 to wound for non magical weapons. His hobgoblins rally and Sam moves his Bull centaurs up my right flank. Sam gets off Ash Storm on my Necroknights which I let through, as I feel I don’t need to move them next turn and want to save my dice for his magic missles. He then irresistible force’s his direct damage spell and proceeds to kill 2 of my knights, suffering no ill effects from the miscast. Sam then fires the flame cannon taking another 2 knights. He then gets a direct hit with his mortar on my casket, but fails to wound it thanks to T10.

Turn two sees me withdraw my Tomb Guard out of the tower as I cannot survive 5 more rounds vs his Ka’daai. I am forced to withdraw my remaining 2 Knights as this Bull Centaurs can easily charge them. I move my archers up and shoot off his flame cannon. Light of Death gets cast on the ka’daai and takes two wounds off this time. Only one catapults finds the mark and causes a single wound on Sams Bull Centaurs. Sam moves his ka’daai to the left hand side of the building and angles it so that he may charge either the building or my TG. His Bull centaurs charge into a unit of horse archers I had put in the way to protect my casket, and he shoots off the other one with his hobgoblins.

Its now turn three and I am playing a reactive game. A bad position to be in at the best of times… I re-occupy the tower with the Tomb Guard. My archers can only shoot some Infernal Guard and kill one or two. I use the magic phase to buff up my Necroknights for the inevitable charge from the Bull centaurs. Sam saved his dice for Light of Death which I saved to last and only threw 2 dice at. I get a direct hit from a catapult and take 5 wounds off his mortar! I bail out both my Liche into the Tomb Guard in the building, and I use my archers to shoot the remaining wound off Sam’s mortar. In Sam’s turn he charges into the building again with the Ka’daai, and charges my knights with his Bull Centaurs. Thanks to the buffs I kill 2 Bull Centaurs and win the combat, but Sam holds as he is steadfast. With little else to shoot at he launches a rocket at some archers. Sam also advances up with his Infernal guard to get within charge range of some archers. The Ka’daai inevitably takes another chunk out of my Tomb Guard.

Turn four becomes a turning point and once again I am reacting. Archers move to delay his Infernal Guard by blocking their advance on the tower, and I place continue to sneak up a 10 man archer unit towards his Ka’daai. I am forced to use my dice regenerating my Tomb Guard and thus have to abandon the Knights to their fate. Sam mops up the knights over his and my next combat phases. The ka’daai continues its onslaught and takes more chunks out of my Tomb Guard. Sam’s Infernal Guard delete a 20 man archer block and run into the other which I have given him a flank that’s 2 wide as to delay him for several turns. I loose a catapult to one of Sam’s spells.

As turn five comes I have only 5 Tomb Guard left in addition to my Prince and 2 Liche. I bail out of the Tower towards Sam’s table edge and infront of his Hobgoblins to stop them tacking the tower in an attempt to deny both of us the tower. I move my 10 man archer unit up and pin his Ka’daai against the building. It now cant pivot or charge my exposed Tomb Guard and can only move backwards or sideways. Sam throws a unit of hobgoblins into my Tomb Guard to attempt to pin them outside of the tower to try deny me any chance of capturing it. I roll up 8 dice for me and throw 2 at cursed blades with the intention of regening up my Tomb Guard, but a double 1 thwarts any attempt at that! I get Light of Death off on 6 dice and take a further 2 wounds off his Ka’daai however. At this point it has 1 wound left. Sam uses his Bull Centaurs to charge the rear of my archers that are pinning his Infernal Guard in place, and the combined assault removes the entire unit freeing his Guard to capture the tower last turn if he wishes. The hobgoblins predictably cause no wounds and get slaughtered by my Tomb Guard. They break and I try to restrain, but fail! I however I only roll a 3” pursuit, which is still enough to put me out of movement range to get into the building. I will have to rely on spells to get me back in last turn.

The final turn, and most people have finished their games and many are watching our table. I only have my casket, a catapult, my Tomb Guard and characters, and a single 10 skittle archer unit left. Oh I also have 1 horse archer hiding over by my catapult! I move my Tomb Guard unit backwards towards the tower, and try and move the archers to block the Ka’daai, however they do not have enough movement to block him. In turn the archers get charged by the Bull Centaurs and deleted. My catapult misses the Rocket Battery in the shooting phase. The most critical magic phase of the game and I roll low! All is not lost as I roll up more dice with the casket. Its 5 vs 2 dice so I decide to throw 3 at Desert wind to put me in the building and and save 2 for the casket to attempt to kill the Ka’daai. Sam try’s to dispel Desert wind but fails! allowing my Tomb Guard back into the building. This is where I forget a critical dice roll in the game, more on that later. I get off Light of Death but it fails to find the last wound on the Ka’daai… Sam then charges into the building with the Ka’daai. I was half expecting him to use is Infernal Guard but he elected to forgo capturing and try to wipe me out instead. His Bull Centaurs charge the 10 archers and delete them. The Ka’daai kills the remain 5 Tomb Guard, and causes a some additional wounds on my characters. Crumble kicks in and takes care of the rest of the wounds and I loose the tower. I suffer no I’ll effects on my remaining units from the hierophant dieing. The game all done and dusted we work out the scores and it is an obvious loss to me. Nobody captures the tower.

19-1 to Sam’s Chaos Dwarfs

I think I stuck to my plan well however in reflection I should not have made a play for the tower so early. I should have spent more time delaying his Ka’daai with chaff. I was worried about his Ka’daai getting into contact with my Tomb Guard outside of the building, and also of allowing him to capture it with his bunker unit. Sam got an excellent combo off on my Necroknights practically destroying the offence I had on my right flank and opening it up to his Bull Centaurs and allowing his bunker to advance up unthreatened. I had some very unlucky dice rolls go against me at several critical times in the game which did not help. I threw enough magic at the Ka’daai to kill it twice over, but Sam managed to uncannily make leadership tests on 3 dice no sweat! I’m pretty sure I didn’t make 1 parry save the entire game, even though I probably roll 50 of them… However the biggest mistake I made was forgetting to roll for restless dead lore attribute in my last turn after casting desert wind! At minimum I would have held the tower, and not lost my hierophant and Tomb Prince. At best I would have had 1 Tomb guard and my Light Wizard alive as well. Forgetting this dice roll gave away between 1091 and 1775 vp and the game!!!!

Lessons learnt the hard way I guess. Oh well. Sam was a great opponent to play against with an awesome looking army, and I look forward to fighting the rematch!

2012 Release Predictions

We are almost half way through the year and there is alot of talk on the interwebs of whats to come.
I thought I would post my predictions here so I can look back and see how close they where at the end of the year

  • June: Fantasy release, either High Elves or Dwarfs book. (Personaly I want to see a Fantasy wave that includes the Collosus and Hierotitan, but its not likley) - pre orders up on May 26th/June 2nd
  • July: 40k 6th Edition Hardback book - pre orders up on June 30th
  • August: Fantasy Warriors of Chaos book - pre orders up on July 28th
  • September: 40k 6th Edition box set - pre orders up on August 25th/September 1st
  • October: Mystery box! Could be Blood Bowl but more likley a 40k orientated release (possibly swaped with November)
  • November: Hobit/LOTR release (possibly swaped with October)
  • December: nothing of note, some finecast conversions and army deals

So thats it. Thats right no 40k Codex until January/Feburary IMO. 2 new Warhammer Fantasy books and a focus on 40k 6th Edition. If we are lucky we could see some new kits come out alongside the 6th edition release in July (the fliers everyone is talking about), however I think it is unlikley we will see anything else in September.

As for the first 6th Codex's, vanila Space Marines followed by Chaos Legions... in 2013!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Horned Rat V - Part 1: Battle Reports

The list I took to Horned Rat V is as follows:

Tomb Prince, Armour of destiny, Great Weapon, Shield, General
39 Tomb Guard, Standard, Champion, Sword & Board
Hierophant Liche Priest, L4, Earthing Rod
High Liche Priest, L4, Dispel Scroll, Light magic
2 units of 20 Archers, Standard, Musician
3 units of 10 Archers
2 units of 5 Horse Archers
6 Necropolis Knights, Champion, Musician
2 Screaming Skull Catapults
2400 points

Game 1 – Wood Elves, Joel van de Ven-Long
Scenario: Dawn Attack

First game of the day was dawn attack vs Joels Wood Elves. Deployment was rather uneventful with the only critical thing being Joels bunker with mage/general and BS having to set up in the same side as my Necro Knights.
Joel had bought along almost 100 shots a turn with 6 units of 10 and one unit of 20 Glade Guard, and 2 units of 5 way watchers + some characters. He had 4 small units of dryads and  2 wildrider units, + an eagle. This match was going to be all about who could get the upper hand in the ranged warfare.
I was lucky enough to draw “Pha’s” protection and “Smiting” spells.

Turn one quickly revealed Joels hand in throwing as much chaff in the way of my Knights to slow there advance and attacking my smaller archer and horse archer units. He managed to remove a horse archer unit early on and started working down my shots. I advanced everything into range and loosened off a volley taking out his eagle and whittling down some archer units. My catapults aimed at his bunker as it was set up on the table edge. One failed panic roll and he would loose over 900 vp’s. The knights moved up as did the TG block which I had deployed centre right of the table. I got Phas off which would help reduce my casualties.

Turn two and again Joel was throwing chaff towards my knights. I lost a 10 man archer squad and the other horse archers to his bow fire. His dryads moved across to threaten my flanks and provide some speed bumps for his archers. I shot some wild riders and dryads up, along with several more of his glad guard. A catapult found its target but Joel made his panic check with ease. The knights steamrolled some dryads and got redirected towards the table edge, so made a combat reform to position them the right way. The TG block moved up with the aid of desert wind. A good magic phase seen Phas go off again and light of death, which bounced about 5 times taking out both waywatcher units and a bunch of glade guard, not to mention a dryad or two.

Turn three would see the deciding movements of the game. My Necroknights charged the other dryads in the way, and had to combat reform to face the right way again. I used this to my advantage and faced off his bunker. My catapults force a look out sir, which was passed, along with the panic check. Joel moved a small glade guard unit of 2 and 2 wild riders up to block the now flank charge I had on his bunker. Joel then made a critical mistake and shot a necroknight off which in turn reduced my width of unit, allowing me to make the gap that he had left. I had 4 left at this point I believe. Joel opened up at close range with most of his archers and removed about 15 odd TG! Magic was fairly ineffectual for both as I remember with maybe a smiting going off for me on one 20 man unit.

Turn four and I get my charge into his bunker which sees it off the board, including his general/mage and BSB. I reform as an overrun would see me off the board aswell. I shoot off some units with few models remaining. Both my catapults misfired iirc and I got another light off death off to try clean up some more units. Joel starts withdrawing as many units as possible to save some VP’s. My TG connect with some glade guard and delete them, the necros sort out another.

Turn five and its all about Joel saving his remaining units and me trying to shoot them off as the Necroknights and TG have nothing to charge. The game ends due to time with a resounding victory to Prince Amonakhom.

In summary I won the early game deployment getting an ideal situation for the knights which Joel had to spend a lot of resources trying to delay. The shooting war was probably decided by mid game with me being able to heal, and reducing his shots to 5+ to hit for two early rounds. This was a very difficult match up for Joel and I think he played well considering his less than ideal deployment. His list just didn’t have the answers to my combination of shooting and fast hard hitters.

Result 19-1 to me

Game 2 – High Elves, Mathew Collett
Meeting Engagement

I’ve never had that much luck against High Elves, even though on paper, they should be one of the better match ups for the Tomb Kings. It must be the funny smell Elves have…

Mathew bought along a Calador themed list. He even went as far as using drakes for eagles. I do like his approach to army building and his army will look great when he manages to finish it all off.  He had a Dragon Mage as well as a Lord on Star Dragon, 2 units of Dragon Princes, 2 drakes (eagles), 2 blocks of spearmen, a battle standard and a small archer unit

Mathew won the roll off for first turn, and proceeded to roll to see who was held in reserve. All was going well until his BSB came up. Into reserve he goes along with the spearman block he lived in. And then he rolled for his general on star dragon… Ok so Mathew didn’t get the best deployment scenario with both his General, and BSB off the board. He deploys his forces as far forward as he can in a neat battleline, with his drakes and dragon princes on the flanks.

I then deploy my forces. Seeing an opportunity I deploy my Necroknights opposite his spearmen block, and anchor its flank towards the centre with my Tomb Guard. My archers form a defensive square behind these two with my squishy mages in the centre. Catapults go to the rare as far as they can go and horse archers in the flanks. I only loose 1 10 man archer block to reserves.

So the plan is to put pressure on his core units early, shoot off the drakes, magic off the dragon princes, and catapults hit the dragons. I have no real answer for the Star dragon as the rider has Dragon armour giving him and his mount immunity to fire. Mathew’s army is very mobile and will be able to out flank me easily with all his fast hard hitting units. I then tell Mathew I will be rolling a six to steal first turn and charge his spearmen…

I roll a six…

Turn one. Charge! Necroknights thunder towards the spearmen who are only 12” away. They elect to flee and escape, and the knights move 5” forward. I advance the Tomb Guard and archers forward to cover the knights flank. I get a light of Death off which bounces around killing a dragon prince and causing a few wounds on some other stuff. I also irresistible force Shem’s and drop 2 levels on my light mage. My archers shoot one of his drakes to my left, and pepper the archers in his centre. Mathew moves his reserves on (I had forgotten to move on my one unit) putting his General on dragon to my right flank setting up some charge opportunities and his spearmen block with BSB comes on opposite my knights.

Turn two, and after not making contact with the first spearmen unit (who subsequently rallies) the Knights lined up the second spear unit with BSB. All that Mathew can do is hold as if he fled he would be off the board. This I think is where Mathew made a huge mistake. He had moved them on into a forest, therefore gaining no steadfast for out ranking me. He then proceeded to fluff all his attacks. Looking for double ones with a reroll his unit fled off the table and I chose to reform to face the other spear block I had charge first turn. Meanwhile I was not willing to commit my TG into combat as it would open up my archer bunker to a charge from his dragon lord. I spend a long time getting angles right and covering my flanks with my small archer units and horsemen to redirect any charges from the dragons deployed either side of me and move my Hierophant into my TG. Magic was uneventful with Mathew dispelling light of death. I fire a heap of arrows into his dragon mage killing the rider and putting a wound or two on the dragon, causing a monster reaction test. He gets a 5 and it becomes unbreakable. Great. I then fire my catapults at it and kill it! Mathew charges me on my left with some dragon princes and on the right with his dragon lord. He wipes out the chaff and overruns with his dragon princes and reforms his dragon lord.

Turn three sees the heat turn up a bit. I reform my Tomb Guard to face the Star dragon threat, and throw some chaff into the path of the dragon princes. I Light of death the second dragon prince unit to 1 man, and shoot the archers down to 2. Both catapults misfire! Mathew moves the full strength dragon prince unit to threaten my catapults along with his remaining drake/eagle, and withdraws the other. I advance my Knights to gain a fourth turn charge on his other spearmen block who has reformed to face them. I had finally remembered to move on my reserved archer unit which went to the defence of the artillery. I shoot the drake/eagle with everything I can but only score 2 wounds on it. Mathew charges his dragon lord into my archer bunker for the light mage and kills a bunch but the unit still remains.

It is now turn four and I move my Necroknights execute a charge against the second spearmen block and cause serious damage. Mathew manages to fail his stubborn test and flees 2”. I catch him and overrun into the withdrawing 2 man archers and single dragon prince. They clean them up and get a free reform to face the other way in Mathews turn.
Mathew charges his dragon lord into my tomb guard unit with all my remaining characters in it. I issue a challenge with my champion and win the combat by one thanks to ranks, but Mathew passes his break test. I loose both catapults to Mathews dragon princes bit I shoot his drake/eagle dead with my archers. The archers move to redirect them away from the casket

Turn five sees Mathews down to his Dragon Lord and 1 unit of Dragon Princes. However the dice gods do not favour me… With little to do I move the necroknights back into play threatening the flank of his dragon for turn 6. I fire my remaining two units of archers at the dragon prince hoping for a lucky shot but get none. Magic phase sees me roll up eight, so first things first I cast cursed blades on my TG unit to get my champion back. I roll a double 1… crap.  With no other caster I throw six dice at light of death and take a few dragon princes off. Combat sees me issuing a challenge with my Prince as my hierophant is in base contact with his dragon. My prince causes a wound to his lord but dies to his dragon. The curse then causes a wound to his dragon upon the untimely death of my general. In his turn there is nothing stopping him killing my hierophant. Mathew uses his breath weapon and I manage to cause a further wound on his lord. I pass all my crumble tests on and take a few casualties to combat res…

Turn six and we both know it is very close. I declare a successful charge with my Necroknights into the flank of Mathew’s dragon lord. Mathews 2 remain Dragon princes clean up my 10 man archer squad. I loose a few archers from the 20 man unit remain to crumble but I am otherwise unaffected. Magic has no effect and we move to rolling some dice for the main combat. Mathew directs his lord and dragon onto my knights, and I split my Snakes attacks all onto the dragon, and riders onto his lord. I get a few poisons off and the dragon takes a further 2 wounds. I think at this point it has 2 remaining. My riders cause a couple of wounds but both are saved by his lord. After Mathew stomps the combat is a loss to him but he manages to pass a break test on a 5. In Mathews last and final turn there is nothing left to do but fight the good fight. Mathews lord goes first, and manages a wound on a TG. My riders on my Necroknights then strike the lord for two wounds, which Mathew fails to save. His dragon then takes its monster reaction test which results in it staying in the fight. The snakes cause a further wound on the Dragon leaving one left to be done by the Tomb guard. Sensing the Death of their Prince and feeling the weakening link with reality the Tomb Guard all strike out for the dragon, finding the final chink in its armour and bringing the foul beast down.

With their Prince avenged his royal guard turn and start the march back to the liege’s tomb with body in toe. The priests of the mortuary cult will need to perform their rituals’ once again so that Prince Amonakhom may rise again

Result: 16-4 to me

Mathew fought a very hard game. Although he was unlucky having both BSB and general off the first turn, I could not take advantage of this. I was lucky to steal the first turn and upon reflection it could have gone completely the opposite way if I had not. In retrospect I deployed to deep allowing Mathew to gain both my flanks early on in the game, requiring me to play reactively from turn two to the threats he had on either side. The game was a bloodbath (or bonefield) I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was down to the wire right to the last turn. I look forward to playing Mathew again in the future!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Results for Horned Rat V

Its all over for another year now and the results are in from Horned Rat V in Wellington

Very close results throughout the field, but with a clear winner! I placed 4th overall, 1 BP off 3rd place.

1Pete Dunn93.70
2Peter Williamson84.60
3Hagen Kerr80.40
4Tim Joss79.70
5Rory Finnermore78.30
6Tom Dunn78.30
7Mal Patel74.10
8Mike King72.70
9Bo Patterson69.90
10Locky Reid69.90
11Sam Whitt69.20
12Glen Burfield67.10
13Ben Wadsworth65.70
14James Millington63.60
15Hugh Dixon62.90
16Stuart Robinson62.90
17Hamish Gordon60.80
18Dave Appleby59.20
19Gavin Stewart58.00
20Matthew Hassall58.00
21Ryan Lister57.90
22Mathew Collett57.00
23Josh Kennedy54.30
24Joel van de Ven-Long51.70
25Neil Williamson51.70
26Alex Abernethy48.90
27Simon Switzer47.30
28John Murie45.40
29Kent Jackson45.20
30Nicholas Jebson44.60

I'll be putting up some battle reports soon with some reflections on the latest variation of my list

A call out for Raymond for being TO of the event. It was great event and well run. Thanks for giving up your weekend!

Also a special thanks to Pete Dunn for putting me up (or putting up with me) for a few nights! I recon his house must focus the inner chi (or in my case bind my bones to my will better) as 4 out of the top 6 where staying at his place over the weekend!