Day two started early again, but this time I had had a good night sleep, and travel time was a much shorter 10 minutes as opposed to the 2.5 hours in the wee hours of the morning with little sleep prior (Stupid D3). We had been given the draw last night before we left so I took the opportunity to revise some rules relating to the watchtower which was the next scenario. I was playing Raymond and his Empire list, complete with cannon, steamtank and a bunch of knights.
Game 4 – Empire – Raymond Wallace
I was in two minds going into the first match of day two. Raymond is a good player, but I only had experience playing him with his Skaven. The watchtower scenario is one of my favorites, as Tomb Kings has a lot of answers to taking and holding the tower. I was, however not expecting Hermy to survive this game. Raymond had a single cannon, a Steam tank, two units of Knights, one of which was inner circle, a large block of halberdiers with two small detachments, two units of crossbowmen, a War Alter, BSB, level 4 mage and a monk. Raymond won the roll off for the tower, which I was happy enough with as It game me first turn and a chance to hide Hermy and put some wounds on his steamtank.
My plan was simple (simple plans work better!). Shoot out the unit in the tower, capture it with my Tomb Guard, and target his artillery early. I would then pick off his chaff and work on the knights with magic.
Deployment was a little interesting. There was a second building in on the table in my deployment zone, roughly 12” away from the watchtower. Raymond set up mainly on his right flank, with both units of knights off to the extreme right, flanked only by a canon that was trying to get line of sight to my casket and Hermy. A large block of halberdiers made up his centre and the steam tank centre left. I deployed 20 archers with my hiero in the building in my deployment, and the Tomb Guard smack bang in the middle ready to assault the tower. They where followed up behind by the Necroknights, and flanked to my left by 2 small archer units. I hid the casket and catapult from the canon on my left, but didn’t bother trying to hide from the steam tank since it could reposition. Hermy sat behind the building and my scouts set up behind another building close to the canon. I got first turn due to the scenario.
My turn one started with advancing the Tomb Guard to within a few inches of the watchtower. Hermy pushed out keeping the watchtower between him and the canon, but exposing himself to the steamtank. My Knights moved across behind the Tomb Guard to protect the flank. Magic achieved my goals of putting a couple of wounds on the Steam tank, however my catapult missed. I shot all the men out from the watchtower without effort and moved the archers I had on my right flank around. My horse archers managed to put a single wound on the cannon. Raymond responded by misfiring his steam tank, and putting 2 more wounds on it. He advanced his knights up to try counter my horse archers. His magic phase seen him target Hermy with some fireballs and banishment, but only achieved a single wound. His canon got a shot off on my Knights killing one.
Turn two sees my Tomb Guard take the tower. Raymond will have to put a huge effort into moving these guys, however I had expected him to move the halberdiers up to counter. Still plenty of turns left in the game. My horse archers put a further wound on the canon and Hermy sets himself up for a third turn charge on the steamtank, Magic took a few more wounds off the steam tank however the catapult misfired and took a wound. It would miss next turns shooting. Raymond managed a charge on one of the horse archers removing it from the board. Once again he didn’t advance his halberdiers up and I concluded that he had resigned himself to capturing the watchtower. In his magic phase Raymond directed a fireball and banishment on Hermy inflicting a further two wounds. His canon fell short of my knights, however his steamtank was on target vs Hermy removing the final two wounds. Bye bye Hermy =(
Its now turn three, and after analyzing the situation I’m starting to realize I will need to change my battle plan if I want a big win. For the moment I leave the Tomb Guard in the tower as I need to remove the steamtank from the game or I would allow Raymond to effectively block the Tomb Guard achieving anything. I advance some archers up and shoot his crossbowmen up. Raymond passes his Ld test for Light of death thanks to his 18” range generals leadership. The horse archers shoot the cannon to try take the last wound but that last lucky six is nowhere to be seen. Raymonds turn sees his knights move up the left flank with his BSB in, and the steam tank powers up with 4 points which he uses to move it into position. He cleans up the other horse archer unit with the other knights. His steam tank fires and catches two necroknights in the flank, and his other canon takes off a further one. His magic phase does little but send a few Tomb Guard back to their graves. With my Knights depleted I make the decision to abandon the tower with the Tomb Guard
So Turn four starts with my Tomb Guard leaving the tower, and I move 20 archers up to take it again next turn. My knights reposition to protect the tower as they are still a threat to Raymond. I heal up the Tomb Guard and Knights with some magic. I try for a light of death on the Steam tank but it gets dispelled this time. My catapult however lands a direct hit on the tank and takes off the remaining 4 wounds. Raymond reforms his unit of knights that are deep into my left flank to face off the necroknights. His halberdiers reform off on an odd angle as Raymond places one of his detachments between my Tomb Guard and him. Raymond throws some magic at the Tomb Guard but I dispel it all. His canon misses its shot.
With two turns to go I am hoping I have not waited to long to make my move. I press forward with some archers to try pick off the last wound on the cannon, and charge his chaff unit in my way. I withdraw the Necroknights as I do not want to give up their points. Catapult does little (I think it misfired again) but I get a light of death off on his closest knights block reducing them to 4 + the BSB. The Tomb Guard predictably massacre the chaff unit and I elect to reform to face the halberdiers. Raymond responds by his BSB bailing out of the knight unit and heading for the safety of the other one. His halberdiers now pinned with no way out, Raymond moves his General into BSB range. Raymonds cannon now has no shot, so he moves it back to keep out of archer range. In the magic phase I get the double again of fireball and banishment, however I let the fireball go through as it was only 2D6 (as opposed to 3D6 for banishment) as I only had enough dice for one. I suffer a couple more wounds and I am left with 2 knights.
Its now the last turn, and there is still a chance Raymond can manage a draw or a narrow win if everything went right for him. I reoccupy the tower with a 20 man archer unit. Hopefully I have enough bodies to absorb a fireball and banishment. My necroknights continue to fall back to my deployment zone out of harms way and my Tomb Guard charge into the halberdiers, leaving me with only two rounds of combat to break them and make a decisive win out of the match in my favour. My archers edge up but I only manage to get one unit in range to shoot the cannon. These guys manage the lucky six required to take the last wound. My catapult has nothing to shoot at so I attempt a sneaky shot at his larger knight unit to see if I can cause a casualty and make them run. No success here however my magic phase was a little better, if not a double edged sword. I needed to get the timing right to draw out Raymonds dispel dice, along with making sure I got 3 spells off in a 9/5 dice round. I bluffed first with a 5+ ward which was dispelled, taking 2 dice off him. Sweet! I next try a 3 dice smiting as this was the least important of the 3 spells I wanted to work. Raymond throws his 3 dice and fails the dispel. Nice. I now throw 2 dice at the -3 Ld Death spell on the halberdiers, knowing that they would be steadfast on 9. Steadfast on 6 sounded much better, however the dice gods where not smiling on me at this point and I fail to cast!. I knew I should have thrown 3 at this and 2 at smiting. Oh well. I chuck the last 2 dice at light of death an remove the last 4 knights on my left flank gaining some extra vp’s. Combat ensues and I predictably win by a large degree but the halberdiers hold thanks to Ld9 steadfast. Raymond has very little he can do bar magic. I was expecting a fireball and banishment into the tower to kill the skittles inside but it never happened, in part due to a fickle magic roll. Raymonds knights cleaned up my archers that had killed his cannon, and we moved on to the last combat. There was a good chance I could break Raymonds steadfast on the Halberdiers Raymond challenges off my champion and the tomb Guard lash our. Thanks to smiting, the mass of attacks and my WS5 create another slaughter. The halberdiers take close to 10 casualties which importantly removes their steadfast rank. They need double ones to live. The dice gods favour turns towards me as Raymond makes a 3, then re-rolls thanks to his BSB to a 9! They flee off the board and I hold fast as the empire turncoats run rather than be cut down.
Watchtower result: 16-4
Victory! All in all this was an enjoyable game for me, as I managed to control the table from turn one. With no attempt being made by Raymond to re-capture the tower I had to re-evaluate my troop priorities. The Tomb Guard in hindsight should have bailed the tower a turn earlier to give me more opportunity to execute the humans. This may have afforded me and additional combat vs Raymonds general or second knight unit. I am happy to take this victory where both Hermy and the knights failed to achieve anything! Star players where the casket, responsible for about 600 victory points alone and the horse archers, who managed to take a few wounds of the cannon, but more importantly tie up both knight units for the first half of the game. The 500 vp for holding the watchtower certainly helped. My next match wouldn’t be so ideal, facing the party train of Ogres again…
Game 5 – Ogres – Darren Urquhart
Scenario: Blood and Glory
I was not looking forward to this matchup. Darren was running something a little closer to the trending net lists. I’ve had a bad run vs Ogres up until the game against Kharn and I find them a very difficult matchup vs Tomb Kings. It would be very interesting to see how the few minor changes would work out against this list. Darren had a Tyrant, but no Slauhtermaster. Instead he had a Bruiser BSB and a single L1 Firebelly. All of these where in a block of 9 Ironguts, supported by three units of 2 mournfang, and 2 units of 6 Bulls. A unit of maneaters with scout and ItP rounded out the units, accompanied by 2 single Sabretusks, and the current orge standard issue Ironblaster.
It was a fairly typical deployment, with me favouring a refused right flank and castled left. Darren made a standard Ogre battleline with his main block of ironguts in the middle, flanked on either side by Mournfang, ogre bulls, and an ironblaster plus unit of Mournfang opposite my left. There was a river running from table edge to table edge on the left, hence why I had favoured it. Darren scouted his Maneaters on my right as I had predicted, whilst I placed mine both near my hieros unit as they would become handy if he got close. I was fortunate enough to draw Black Sun for my Death Priest. I only had a loose plan but essentially I would try and use my shooting superiority to reduce the numbers I faced before committing to picking off his infantry blocks with dual charges from the Knights and Tomb Guard. I would use my magic to remove as many Mournfang as possible early on. Plans change however
I won first turn and there was opportunity for me to charge the maneaters straight away. I had run some basic numbers and it was a fairly even fight, but only if I charged. I committed this early as I really had no answer to the maneaters and I couldn’t let them just roll my flank. I held back with everything else near my table edge and proceeded to manipulate to get Light of death off. I managed a few wounds on the Ironblaster and it jumped and took a couple off the Mournfang beside it. Darren had made the mistake of setting these up outside of BSB and Generals range. I landed a direct hit on his ironblaster followed by the quote “take it off!” Close combat was not favourable to me. I executed the charge and proceeded to kill 3 maneaters straight up. The flurry of attacks back however made themselves felt as my number was also reduced substantially. I won the combat and force a -2 break test on Darren, who passed. Critically he did not reform combat, which would prove crucial in later phases. Darren spent his turn moving up as fast as he could but kept a solid battleline. With only a single level 1 his magic was ineffective. Now comes close combat and Darren realises his mistake as I get to make all my attacks and he responds with half of what he could. This manages to Draw the combat of what would have been a heavy loss for me as Darrens Maneaters fumble around causing little damage. This time he combat reforms bringing all bodies into the fight, but crucially for me a few extra lumps down!
Turn two swings around fast and all I see is a solid battleline bearing down on me with little answer on my side. I execute a charge into the Mournfang to the right of Darrens Ironguts with Hermy. My thoughts here are opportunistic. By sacrificing hermy in this fashion, I may get a lucky HKB off and win the combat, but at worst I would tie up the battleline for another turn pushing main combat deep into 4th turn territory. It would also require a response from Darren as the small 2 man Mournfang would not be easily able to overcome Hermy. At worst I tie Darren up for an extra round, upsetting his attack plan, at best I kill a unit of mournfang. My catapult misses the mark this tunr and light of death manages only to score another wound on the mournfang on my left. In the close combat phase Hermy manages to only receive 1 wound from a mournfang rider, which I fix with a cheaky 6+ save. In return I cause 2 wounds and win the combat, however Darren passes the break test with a re-roll. Over on the right the Maneaters bash away at the Knights and manage to bring another down, and I return the favour with another few wounds. I loose combat once again and crumble a further wound. In Darrens turn he responds to the hail Mary that hermy did by charging both flanks with Mournfang and Ironguts. He cannot wheel enough to make full contact so only manages 1 mournfang on my right and 2 Ogres to my left. The rest of his battleline edges forward bar his Mournfang on my left which advance right up. Magic? What magic… In the combat phase we exchange blows once again between the maneaters and my necroknights. This results in Darren left with 2 mnaeaters, and me with 2 Knights. Combat result looses me a further wound. Hermy, now surrounded by ogres is in the fight for his unlife. The total combined attacks are enourmous, however Darren manages only 3 wounds to the T8, of which I get another cheaky 6! I return the favour by dispatching a Mournfang. I loose the combat due to charge and rank bonuses, and loose a further 2 wounds. Only 1 left…
Its now turn three, and I need to think of something else here. It is likely that Hermy will die, freeing up his battleline to manuver for 4th turn charges. The fight on the right flank is desperate, but even if the Knights die, 1 or 2 wounded maneaters are easy enough to shoot off. Charge the single mournfang on my left with the Tomb Guard, which flees. Now comes the magic phase and I see my opening. The charge I made resulted in my Death Priest being at a very nice angle to the ironguts. I roll above average and thanks to the casket generate enough dice. I throw only a few dice at the casket first targeting the single Mournfang that is fleeing. Darren falls for the bait and uses a few dispel dice to get rid of it. I then throw 6 dice at the small Purple Sun aiming directly for the Ironguts and clipping a mournfang on the way. I don’t get total power, however Darren had already used his dispel scroll earlier so had to throw the 5 dice he had left, and subsequently failed the dispel! I rolled up 8 on the artillery dice and moved the template 24” straight through the ironguts clipping all but 1, and on through the single Mournfang! Darren then managed 2 of the 3 lookout sir’s, failing only his Firebelly. Eight Ironguts where then sucked into the vortex as it passed through, along with the single Mournfang. Darren then checked for panic, rolling an 11! That’s ok as he re-rolls the dice thanks to the BSB, and then berries his face in his hands as he follows it up with a double six… He then has to flee directly away from the cause of the attack, which pusehes him straight back through the vortex again! No look out sir’s this time and his BSB lucks out and goes down the hole!!! Oh but its not over yet… With nothing left to shoot at I fire everything into the 6 orges and leave one behind with 2 wounds. We now fight the close combat with Hermy, now only facing 2 mournfang. They fail their fear test and don’t cause any wounds, but Hermy pulls a HBK out to win the combat, and the mournfang gets run down after failing the break test. The other combat between the Maneaters and Necroknights results in me loosing the combat again, however we now have his maneater champion with great weapon vs my Knight champion, each with 1 wound remaining! Darren gets a turn now and manages to rally his Tyrant and the irongut standard bearer. He also rallies the lone mournfang out on my left. In his magic phase the vortex randomly moved…. Directly over the top of his Tyrant and last Irongut, gobbling up them in the process…. We fight the Champions dual between his maneater and my necroknight, but with mine striking first thanks to his great weapon, I take the last wound off and win the grind! His remaining unit of Ogres had charged into a skittle unit, and we strike simultaneously. Darren manages 2 wounds but the 8 skittles manage to take the last two off him wiping out the unit. The only thing Darren has left is a single mournfang, which I magic off with light of death in my next turn.
Ok so one spell decided the game, but helps me discover a way to combat the Ogre Gutstar! I scored a massive 3260 vps vs 70. Darren was gracious in his defeat and took it like a champ. Now I know there are a lot of haters out there over how powerful magic can be, but the counter to that is don’t build death stars. I’m not going to get into this, that’s for an entirely different discussion. I had tried to set up this scenario right from the beginning, and was half the reason I charge Hermy into the mix. But breaking his battleline up I managed to get the right angle to use Purple Sun most effectively, and was one reason I deployed my Tomb Guard over to a flank. There was no way I could have won a combined charge from Darren’s battleline, however the whole preamble of my list modifications was to respond to the changing meta of multi wound High armour units that are now more prevalent in the game. This was the second test in as many days, so gives me something more to think about. I can defanantly see Death magic making further appearances.
Game 6 – Chaos Warriors – Damon Quaid
Coming off a 20-0 vs Darren set me up very good for the last game. I knew I did not need to make any rash moves or push for victory points. Mal was over 10 battlepoints behind me so a conservative plan was all that was needed. Damon had an all Chaos Warrior list with a knight bus at its core. Two units of Tzeentch Warriors and the Knights rounded out his main blocks, supported by two chariots, a small unit of doggies, and a Hellcannon. One warrior unit was accompanied by a level 1 and a level 2 Sorcerer, including the eye of Tzeentch and the Puppet… His Knights had a Lord and a BSB leading them, and was kitted out with all sorts of goodies like 4+ MR etc
The terrain was a desert map, rather open except for some impassable rock formations on the left side of the table. I won the roll off to pick sides and chose the side that was closest to these. I planned to anchor a defensive formation on these using them to cover a flank. I would create a charge trap and a kill zone making it that if he wanted to engage me he would expose his flank to my Necroknights, as he would not be able to break the back of my Tomb Guard in a single round of combat.
With the plan formulated, deployment went smoothly. I set up with a refused right flank, and Knights in the centre left on the table edge. Tomb Guard where deployed offset facing the opposite table corner and having their flank protected by the rock formations. Some archers covered the gap in the rocks and Hermy sat back ready to counter charge or block any aggressors. Damon had his two chariots on my left as they where the only things that could fit through the gap. His centre was made up with his Knight bus, flanked by the two Warrior units. A unit of doggies ran on my far right with the Helcannon filling the gap in between the chariots and his warriors. I managed to win first turn.
In my turn one I did very little moving. I made some angles more agreeable or possible redirects and moved my horse archers forward within range of Damons doggies. They proceeded to shoot them off. I lobbed some skulls at the Helcannon and managed a couple of wounds, one of which was taken by the crew. Light of death failed to make an impact on the cannon and didn’t bounce either. Damon spent his turn advancing and pushed a chariot up towards the gap. He tried a fireball from his ring at Hermy who was trying to hide behind the rocks, along with a boosted fireball, but they failed to have any impact. His Helcannon moved up to try get a shot off on my catapult or casket in his next turn.
Turn two started with me moving my horse archers to try march block some of his units. Hermy looked to set himself up for a third turn charge on a chariot. I shuffled some archers and the Tomb guard around to get a better angle and within range of curse. The catapult misfired taking a wound, but light of death did manage to cause another wound on the Helcannon. Damon withdrew his Chariots from charge range of Hermy, possibly in an attempt to draw him out from cover. He advanced up his warriors and knights towards the centre and started forming a charge trap of his own based around the rock formations. The helcannon, flanked by the rocks threatened my flank if I attempted any charge out from the rocks. His magic phase was spent casting fireballs at Hermy and managed to cause a wound
Turn three was much of the same. I pulled Hermy back a little and faced the other way in case Damon fancied a charge with his knights. I made some minor adjustments to the angles once again and moved the horse archers up to march block again. I managed to cause a single wound on one of Damons level 2 wizards, but more importantly Light of Death found its mark on the Helcannon removing it from the game. I also managed to heal the wound on both the catapult and Hermy. Damon now filled the gap left by the Helcannon with a block of warriors. He swept around with his knights so that he had front facing to both my knights and Tomb Guard, basically making it that if I tried to charge, Only one would be successful. He moved one of his chariots back up but still out of charge angle to Hermy. More fireworks ensued but to little advantage.
Turn four started with no charges. Damon and I both recognised the stalemate we had created. I moved a unit of horse archers into the path of Damons knights to force a redirect, however I stuffed up the angle and ended up showing a flank instead. An obvious mistake once recognised! I move some archers up to protect the Tomb Guard from the chariot. Magic had no real effect with light of death being dispelled. My catapult misfires again after loosing a turn of shooting and is removed from play. Damon charges the horse archers and deletes them, and thanks to my poor angle has the opportunity to overrun into my Knights. He declines this and takes the reform instead. His warriors move into position to close the charge trap.
Turn five swings around I decline once again to charge. Its suicide as I will just get hit in the flank by warriors. I move my other horse archers to redirect his warriors out on my right flank, purely to protect my Knights. I try to curse his wizard off but get dispelled. I now throw a lot of buff spells out. 5+ ward save on the Knights and 5+ KB and smiting on my Tomb Guard, purely as defensive gestures. If Damon wants to get VP out of me, he is going to have to come to me. I had also bail out my death mage from the main block and hide it behind the rocks. My direct damage spell dosn’t need los so no need to give away free vp if combat ensues. Damon declines to make the charge, but instead charges his chariot into my small archer unit that is protecting my Tomb Guard flank. It redirects him so he ops for a reform after combat. His warrior block on my right makes short work of the archers, and reforms to suit form the redirect. In addition Damon bails out his wizards from the warrior block on my left. He’s recognised a hole in his trap. Lucky for him
Last turn, in what has been a challenging game of move and counter move, I declare a charge on the Warriors on the left as this whole time I have had a good angle on them for los. I then wheel my Knights around to block any rare charge on the Tomb Guard. I push forward a unit of archers to protect the flank of the knights once again to stop any possible flanking shenanigans from his other warriors. I draw out Damons pd by threatening his wizards and score the Chariot that is within the rock formations with light of death. I buff the TG with smiting but fail to get off cursed blades. I also try -3 leadership on the Warriors and succeed in that attempt. We make combat between my Tomb Guard and Damons Warriors and I easily break him. I pursue but unfortunately do not catch him. The charge was opportunistic to try break the stalemate of a draw and this was down to a roll off for flee vs pursue. Nevermind. Damon rallies his warriors in his turn, but does not charge the Knights fearing a lucky KB on one of his characters. His other warriors clean off another archer unit and one of his wizards sneaks around the rocks for some line of sight to cast fireball killing my Death Priest. That ends the game, one that has been very tactful to say the least
So a solid draw to finish off the day. Infact there was maybe 10 vp between us in the end. Damon played a great game recognising my traps for what they where and countered them well.
I finish the competition ahead by 12 points with a total of 139. the next step down is 127 for both second and third place, so a convincing win. This marks the first tournament that Tomb Kings have won for me, and awards me back to back titles of 1st place at SouthCon! With 4 wins and 2 draws I managed to not even drop one game. I very happy with the result and the army I took preformed well within the environment. I will follow up with a post tournament analysis of how the units in my army preformed and what changes, if any I will be making as I try and develop an even better list for the ever changing meta. My next tournament is in August, and uses the SCGT comp pack which allows special characters…..