Friday, 8 June 2012

Southcon 2012 - Day 1 Battle Reports

Southcon 2012 was a 6 round 2400 point tournament with restrictions of 0-1 any rare and a cap of 450points/50 models max per unit (excluding characters)

Here is the list I took to Southcon:

38 Tomb Guard, Sword and Board, Banner of Swiftness, Standard and Champion
Tomb Prince, Great Weapon, Armour of Protection
Liche Priest, Level 2, Death magic
19 Archers, Full Command
Hierophant Liche Priest, level 4, Dispel Scroll
20 Archers, Standard and Musician
10 Archers
10 Archers
10 Archers
5 Horse Archers
5 Horse Archers
6 Necropolis Knights, Musician and Champion
1 Catapult
1 Casket of Souls
Hermy, the Nercoshpinx

I wanted to try something different this time, namely Death magic and a Necrosphinx to give me some options. The rest of my list is pretty standard to what I normally take. My reasoning here is you shouldn’t change too much in your list, as you will never be able to gauge its performance based on what you have already developed. The main driver behind the change up was not being allowed to take a second catapult. So I’m out of my comfort zone and in goes Hermy, and a L2 Death priest. As usual I don’t take many magic items, but I did include the banner of swiftness, as I had observed my Tomb Guard not being able to position itself fast enough sometimes. I also did no playtesting with this build.

Game 1 – Ogres – Kharn Edwards
Scenario: Battleline

Kharn was one of three ogre players attending. He had bought along both a Tyrant and Slaughtermaster, as well as a Bruiser BSB. He had one unit of 4 Mournfang, a big block of Ironguts, some Leadbelchers which he had his Slaughtermaster in, and a few units of ogre warriors. To round it off he had a gorger and an Ironblaster for good measure. Seeing his army, I quickly formulated a battleplan. I figured if I could tie up his single Mournfang unit, and get rid of the Ironblaster early on, I can concentrate on killing off the softer Ogre Bull and Irongut units with a combination of shooting and close combat. I noted he deployed his mage in a unit of 4 leadbealchers, so if given the opportunity these would be a primary target

Deployment was fairly standard, with me forming a battleline, archers and at the back, with Tomb Guard and Knights to the front. I castled up the artillery ensuring there where no gaps Kharns Gorger could enter from behind my lines. Kharn made a typical Ogre battleline, with Mournfang on one flank and his main Irongut unit flanked by Bulls, and used one of his Orge Bull units to also cover the leadbealchers, who had inadvertently deployed in a fungus forest. Kharn won first turn

Turn one saw Kharn move everything forward in a steady battleline. His leadbelchers fired some shots into a horse archer unit and he aimed the Ironblaster at the Necrosphinx, only to roll up a 2 followed by a 2 on the bounce. Hermy survives turn one! I shuffled around my battleline reacting to the movements of Kharns Ogres. I redeployed Hermy over to cover the right flank and proceeded to shoot everything I could. The catapult missed but I managed a few wounds with light of death on the Ironblaster.

After a fairly uneventful turn one Kharn closed the gap even further with all his forces in Turn 2. His Gorger arrived on my right flank and lined itself up for a turn three charge. Once again Kharn managed to fluff his Ironblaster and rolled a 4 for bounce but rerolled it into a misfire. His leadbelchers cleaned off the first unit of horse archers. He tried a large Maw spell which I scrolled. In my turn I charged his Orge bull unit the was in between his Irongut bus with his Tyrant in and his Mournfang which had started closing the flank on me. 6 Necroknights vs 6 Bulls I wagered wound roll over them and punch through his lines setting up a turn 4 rear charge on his gutstar. I shot up as much as I could and put 2 wounds on the gorger. In close combat I killed 4/6 bulls for 1 wound in return, winning the combat by 12. To my amazement however, Kharn threw the double 1’s on the break test and remained firmly in place, setting up my Knights for a flank charge on both sides! Just to top it all off, my catapult misfired and took a wound, and wouldn’t be able to shoot until turn 4

As expected, turn three saw my knights get flanked by both the gutstar and the Mournfang. Once again luck was not on the Ironblasters side, however it did manage 1 wound on Hermy this turn. In Kharns close combat phase I immediately issued a challenge. The Gutstar had landed in my flank (I was deployed 1x6) with only 3 of the 4 in his front rank tounching my base. I had moved my Champion to the left side touching his gutstar at the end of combat last turn with a combat reform anticipating the charge from the Ironguts, meaning that all he could kill was the champion, limiting my damage to a max of 3 wounds due to initiative step order. Kharn declined the challenge so I moved his BSB out of combat. My knights got 6 easy wound off the 2 remaining Ogres to the front, and put a single wound on the Mournfang. Only 2 Mournfang had made base contact and prodceded to fluff a most of their attacks. Kharn killed my champion and the result was 9-7 to me! Kharn made the steadfast test on the gutstar but failed it on the Mournfang, which proceeded to flee off the table! I reform to face the unit with my remaining Knights. In my turn I charge in With Hermy and boost up the Knights with magic, including casting the killing blow spell on Hermy for some 5+ HKB action. Hermy makes base contact with the Tyrant. Shooting is rather ineffectual and my turn three combat rolls around. The Knights strike first killing several Ironguts. Next comes Hermy. I direct my HBK attack against his Tyrant, scoring the crucial HKB on him and getting a magic 5. Kharn however makes his ward save. I loose a few Knights to the combat and Hermy takes a wound. We both hold

Turn 4 and theres not much to do. Kharn looses his Ironblaster to a combination of light of death and my catapult and trys for a few spells which I shut down. Combat ensues and I kill off another few ironguts before they strike and direct my HKB against his tyrant again. This time I roll a six (still requiring a 5+) and Kharn fails his ward save. Nomnomnomnom. His gutstar broken it flees and I pursue, catching it and sealing the game. In my turn I charge his bulls which are covering his leadbelchers which flee, and I redirect against his leadbelchers which also flee. The gorger takes another wound reducing it to one.

Turn 5 sees Kharn rally his troops. He cast some defensive spells and forms up near his table edge. Not a lot happens in my turn either as I am a little far away to get in any charges so I look to set up in turn 6. I conclude that I should back off as the Knights are well under strength now, out of range of my level 4 and it is likely the Ogres may draw or win combat. I finish off the Gorger and the game is pretty much over. Time is up so we call it.

Result: 17-3 to me

The game was a tough one for both of us, with some inopportune rolls going the wrong way on both sides. I think Kharn preformed well in this match, especially considering he is a newer player. I learnt a lot about the ogres and how to target them, which would help me later on in the event. A fun game and a good start to the weekend.

Game 2 – Vampire Counts – Basil Moskovis
Scenario: Meeting Engagement

Basil and I have had many games before. Most finishing with a solid 10 all draw or there about. I recon Basil still has fond memories of last Southcon fighting my Orc and Goblin hoard where my Level 4 Savage Orc Great Shaman managed a big Foot of Gork, stomping his army 7 times, killing his VC general and generally ruining his day. He did get me back as his Black Coach went ethereal and flanked my Savage Orc hoard, won the combat by 1 which I subsequently broke and fled after the BSB re-rolls… Good times. Fortunately for Basil, no Foot of Gork for him this time. That still didn’t stop him focusing on where my casters where!
Basils army incorporated 2 Zombie blocks, and Skittle block, and a Black Knight bus complete with White BSB and 2 Vampires. He had another necromancer in one of the zombie blocks, and to provide some chaff the numbers where made up with a few units of ghosts, some doggies and some bats. It was easy to see Basils tactics where to bog down anything he didn’t want to fight with zombie hoards, and go for the throat with the Knight Bus.

I knew from Basils build, that everything was focused around his Knight Bus. The zombies would tie up anything he didn’t want to face and he would try dominate with his cav. My plan was a bit craftier. All I wanted to do was direct his Knight bus into my Tomb Guard. If needed I would try flank with my Knights but I didn’t think it was needed. Some 5+ KB action should be enough

Setup was diagonally as per the scenario. Basil got to choose sides and promptly choose to run the diagonal so that I couldn’t take up the two buildings on one side. There was however a river through the other side with two fords and a bridge in the center, not that it would effect two undead armies all that much. I castled up behind the river as far away from Basil as I could, whilst he formed a battleline through the middle. Deployment was kind to both of us with basil dropping an ethereal diverter and me dropping only the casket.

Basil got first turn and advanced all his forces forward, with his ethereals deployed directly across from my chosen table corner on my right. He appeared keen to get to grips with me and avoid my shooting. Magic was uneventful and so was my turn. I tried hitting his ethereal cav with the catapult with no luck, but shot off his doggies. I rearranged my units a little to react to the aggressive advance. I try for a cheaky curse but get dispelled with a scroll.

Turn two seen Basil hit the bridge in his advance. He charged his ethereal cav into a small unit of archers and killed them off. I fired light of death off at them but it was dispelled. I placed a unit of horse archers an inch away from his Knight bus and angled as to direct the bus away from my knights but directly into my Tomb Guard. Everything was gearing up towards a penultimate turn three. The one highlight of turn two was Hermy charging into the zombies on my right with a Necromancer in them. He KB the necromancer and stoped his way through to a victory, however did receive 3 lucky wounds from the zombie hoard for his efforts. Never mind. I finished odd shooting his bats.

In turn three Basil took the bait and made the charge on the horse archers. He also tried a charge with the skittles on my left but failed. His ethereal cav moved over my units into a turn 4 charge position. Basil wiped out my horse archers as expected and reformed as not to show his flanks to either of my Knights or Tomb Guard. I continued to march block his zombies on my left and executed a charge with my Tomb Guard into the front of his Knight Bus. I buff the Tomb Guard with magic. I first try protection in the form of a 5+ ward which Basil dosnt let threw. I throw 2 dice at the casket and target the ethereal cav trying to draw dice out. Basil throws three dice at it and dispels it. I then try smiting, which Basil fails to dispel and is left with no dice. Now I throw 3 dice to ensure cursed blades and the fun begins with my +1 attack WS5 TG with 5+ KB…. The ensuing combat is bloody with me KB his baby vamp and his BSB. His unit takes a heavy toll and is reduced down to about 4 guys. I receive a several casualties in return but nothing that bothers a unit of 40. Hermy is grinding away at zombies still.

Turn 4 and Basil is looking a bit pail. He knows he can’t win the combat and he hasn’t picked up very many VPs anywhere else yet. Basil charges into my TG with his single ghost and makes contact with my Death Liche Priest. He also charges the flank of my Tomb Guard with his skeleton unit to try swing the combat with some combat res. In the ensuing combat phase I wipe out the Black Knights and get three killing blows against his Vampire Lord. Basil makes 2 5+ ward saves and fails the last one. His little ghost unit however gets some vengeance and kills my Death Liche before crumbling to dust. Skeletons fail to do anything but give away wounds. The resulting crumble takes out the other ghost unit, his ethereal cav, and a bunch of zombies and skeletons. In my turn 4 I start moving up to mop up the rest of his army, with Hermy finishing off the last of the zombies after averaging 7 kills a round and the Tomb Guard getting some assistance from a skeleton archer unit into the flank of his skeletons. This finishes them off.

Turn 5 starts with Basil taking further crumble tests as I had killed all Vampire Lore casters. There is not alot Basil can do with a few zombies and skeletons but we decide to see through the 5th turn. I charge his remaining zombies with anything and everything and we call it a game.

Result 20-0 to my Tomb Kings

Victory is mine! Vengeance for the sound thumping Basil gave me at Conquest last year (vs my OnG). Basil and I spoke at lunch over the game. Basil concluded he had committed to early and should have shored up his battleline better before launching an assault. He also weighed up the option of just sitting back and not attacking. I pointed out that with all my shooting, it would probably have been a narrow victory for me if he had done the latter. I all fairness I had aimed to get the Tomb Guard vs Black knight matchup and was happy that I got it. I knew with a little buffing he would last 3 rounds at most. The fact I managed to draw out his dispel scroll early was great, as was forcing him to use his dispel dice on turn 3 to dispel my 5+ ward, opening up me to 2dice both cursed blades and smiting on the Tomb Guard. I think basil should have tried to tie up my Tomb Guard and Knights with his zombies, and worked on my archers and artillery. I had deployed with this in mind to try and avoid those matchups. I ended up scoring over 3200vp vs his 200, however it could have been a lot different had that combat gone south for me. My next match would not be so glorious as to banishing Nagash’s minions back to the darkness

Game 3 – Lizardmen – Mal Patel
Scenario: Dawn Attack

Mal turned up with his ETC list Lizardman army, complete with way to much poison and very limited capacity to get points out of. Mal was the former no. 1 in New Zealand for a while there, however his list is more geared to drawing or narrow wins rather than big victories. That’s not to say he can’t get them however, as he is quite fond of proving! This was always going to be a hard match, and with the scenario being the worst one for my army.… Nevermind, these are the cards we are dealt.
His list was made up of three units of Terradons, multiple units of skink skirmishers, 3 blocks of skink infantry, two units of chameleons, two scar vets on cold ones complete with 1+ saves, and a smattering of Razadons and Salamanders. All of this led by a 2+ ward save (vs shooting) Slann Mage with Metal magic.

I was pretty tiered by this game. I had got up at 5am to drive up for the tournament. I knew Mals list was going to be difficult to get any points out of, but it all really boiled down to who got first turn. I deployed poorly against his list, not realizing how the terradons worked. If I managed to get first turn Mal could kiss goodby most of his terradons and chameleons. This wasn’t to be however. I formed a two stage battleline with my 20 man archer units at the rear, and fighting formations to the front, as these could weather a lot of poison fire better than my archers, who I would be relying on to counter all the skirmishers. The scenario was kind to me and I managed almost all my forces on to my right flank with my Hierophant in the center of them. Mals deployment was a little more spread out, but he had the advantage of far more flexible movement. I ended up deploying some of my 10 man archer units a little to far forward for the off chance of some first turn shenanigans. Mal punished me for my optimism

Turn one started with Mal terradon bombing my lines and getting a 7, 9, and 9 for number of hits. This wiped out a horse archer unit and reduced 2 of 3 archer units to 3 men. He proceeded to shoot up the third halving its number. Mal knew that he would be at a disadvantage if he didn’t reduce my shooting capacity quickly. Unfortunately for me 2 of those units where out of healing range. Mal advanced on the right flank to pressure my war machines for some easy points. Mals deployment allowed him to outnumber me on the left with both points and shooting. In my turn I reacted to the threat on the right and reformed to shoot it off and charge what was left. I tried to move as many archers into healing range whilst still getting some shots off. Magic was ineffectual with a little lore attribute happening but shooting had its moments. I removed a unit of chameleons and terradons on my right, securing my war machines for the moment. Hermy looked on in horror.

Turn two Mal started to finish off the archer on my left. He charge one depleted unit wiping it out and tried to shoot off another. His Scar vets where up in my face as obvious bait to put me out of position. I think Mal tried a transformation on my Tomb Guard with reduced their number by 9 or 10. I tried responding to my left by reforming archers but couldn’t bring enough numbers to bear. I managed to reduce both terradons and the chameleons down in size which reduced their threats. I reformed the Tomb Guard to face a skink warrior block on my right and Hermy got a little impatient and made a long charge in the flank of a scar vet. He went on to killing blow him a few times but I opted not to overrun.

Turn three and I’m half asleep by now. Mal pushed forward his other scar vet and moved a bunch of razordons and salamanders to threaten the right again. The Salamanders had my flank and used their breath weapons on the Tomb Guard. I charged the Skinks and slaughtered them with my Tomb Guard, however they held thanks to steadfast. Mal tried some magic on Hermy but I dispelled it. I got a big magic phase (12 dice) and started with a buff spell to heal some units, Mal dispelled it and then used one of his Slanns dirty tricks and ended my magic phase. Hermy charged at a few skinks to try do something before his inevitable death. The all fled.

It’s now turn four, someone wake me up. Mal shoots Hermy and he goes down to about 50 billion poison shots, cause, you know, poison trumps stone any day. Mal starts withdrawing all his depleted units out of shooting range and far from charge distance. At this point I think mal concluded it would be hard to get any more points out of me without conceding any, and at this point there was about 9 vp in it. Knowing this I finish of the skinks, and reform my Tomb Guard. I cast some defensive spells and bring my Tomb guard back up to strength.

Turn five was uneventful. Mal withdraws even more, trys to magic off some Tomb Guard and shoots me with whatever is still in range. I respond by throwing out some charges in the off chance off catch something, but Mal flees everything. Magic plays little part and I think I manage to shoot off a razordon.

Turn six, much of the same. I’m pretty much fast asleep by now, content for a draw and just wanting the game to end. I don’t try anything rash nor does Mal. We shake hands and day one ends

The result, a 10-10 draw

I have to say this was a boring game. Mals list is built for ETC and to get draws/minor wins and for points denial. I maybe had the best army on the day to counter his but could not press any advantage as the scenario was the worst for me. I made some small deployment errors with the archers, but it really did not effect the outcome of the game. If I had had first turn, I believe the game could have played out a little differently. Mals early reduction in my shooting capacity reduced my ability to shoot off all his crap.

So day one ended with me on the top of the table, with a score of 47, and well clear of any other competitor. Tomorrows first game would be vs Empire and a fight for the watchtower. Definitely a strong scenario for my army. I worked out I was likely to fight Darrens Ogres, and either Chaos Warriors or another Empire list for my last games depending on how the matchups panned out. Day two would be tough. I went and visited my friends playing in the doubles 40k event. My Necrons had been performing well (Jamahl and Peter had borrowed them for the weekend) with them being the top Xenos team, and Royce/Steve with their Plague Marines backing up the result.

Battle reports continue with day two here

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