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!