Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Call to Arms - Battle Reports Day 2 - Games 4 & 5

Game 4 – Chaos Warrior’s – Hamish Gordon
Scenario: Watchtower

Day two started with me facing another Chaos Warriors army. The draw had gone up the previous day so we all had the night to prepare for the second days first match. The scenario being watchtower, one of my armies favorites.

Hamish’s force consisted of two large units of Chaos Knights. These will be enemy no.1. If these things got into my lines it would ruin my party. They where backed up by a block of Khorne Warriors, a block of Tzeentch Warriors, A Sorcerer Lord on Disc, BSB, Hellcanon, and Festus. Interesting. Although the list lacked the usual War Altars, it did have an interesting combo with Festus passing on his 5+ regeneration roll. The Disc lord was taking Tzeentch lore, and Hamish rolled Gateway… A spell that I did not want to see.
Hamish won the roll off and occupied the watchtower with his Khorne Warriors, something I was hoping for. I could easily shoot these guys out within a few turns and take the tower in the later stages of the game. The rest of Hamish’s force was split up on either flank of the tower, with both knight units on my left, and his Tzeentch block to my right. The Hellcanon went centre with the Lord, presumably trying to hide from my catapults.
I deployed my forces to hard counter the tower, as it was worth 600vp for this game. Khalidas archers went centre with catapults and caskets to the rear. My knights held my right flank and the horse archers went left to get in the way of the Chaos Knights, and knowing I automatically had first turn, I deployed one unit 12” away from both of them.

A plan? Shootem of course! I would start with Khalida shooting the tower, caskets and Ushabti target the Knights, catapults hit the Helcannon or tower, and Knights hold the right threatening the Tzeentch warriors flank if they advanced into the tower. The horse archers would simply get in the way as they should. I decided on some priomary targets and secondary targets for all units to maximize the potential impact. I liked the plan, as long as I could contain and deal with the Chao Knights.

Turn one starts well. I predominantly hold back as I only need to make centre table which I can do in the later stages of the game. My Necroknights angle it up and I show Hamish my hand early with them as I want him to consider the threat to his flank. Magic. Well. I roll up a good number of dice and 2 dice an irresistible light of death, which targets his knights, killing 4. It then bounces to the other unit and takes three of them. Hamish shuts down the next casket, but not before smiting goes off on the Ushabti. Khalidas archers remove a bunch of Chaos Warriors from the tower. The Ushabti add their weight to the turkey shoot, targeting his Lord on Disc. They chip off two wounds and the catapults manage 3 wounds on the Hellcannon. One is not in LOS so he drops a rock on the Disc Lord. I get a direct hit but Hamish saves the wound with his 3+ ward. Good Start!. Hamish charges into his first turn and hits the horse archers who where so conveniently angled infront of his Knights. There killed and he overruns out to the far right thanks to my redirect. His tower lads cant do squat this turn thanks to the scenario, but the Tzeentch boys shuffle over towards the tower. His Disc Lord goes and hides behind the tower, but remains 24” from my Necroknights. Hmm, wonder what he is planning… Yup. Gateway on the Necroknights. But I am having none of this, and throw all my dice at it and dispel it easily. His Helcannon then manages to put 2 wounds on one of my catapults.

After a great turn one start I feel I am in a good position. I stick to my plan and move another horse archer unit into assume a redirect position. I get the angle happening on my Knights a little by moving them half an inch backwards, just to force Hamish to expose his Disc Lord. I move the Ushabti up towards the tower as I plan on them occupying it after Hamish looses it. Yes I am that confident at this point. A 6 dice vs 2 magic phase sees me get another casket off on the Knights, reducing one unit down to one model, then bouncing to the other and leaving three in it. The other casket targets the tower, whilst Hamish try’s shutting down smiting without success. In my shooting phase Khalida targets the tower this turn with smiting in effect, and with the help of a catapult, leaves 1 warrior behind. The Ushabti target the 3 Knights and kill two, leaving Hamish with 2 units of 1 knight. The other catapult misfires and cant shoot this turn. Hamish now bails from the tower, presumable trying to save VP’s. I believe he will try and take the tower later in the game with his Tzeentch warriors. He also pulls back his now one man Knight units to attempt to get them out of range of the caskets. His lord dosnt take the bait but gets himself well out of LOS. In his magic phase he targets my other catapult with a nurgly spell (I forget which one) and targets my full health catapult. It’s a stonethower type shot and manages to clip and put two wounds on the other catapult. His Hellcannon misses however.

As turn three rolls around I take the tower with the Ushabti. This I believe was a mistake, as I have a tendency to enter the tower too early, however there was so many tempting targets and I wanted to deny the Tzeentch Warriors the opportunity.  Khalidas band moved up into range of the Tzeentch duders, as my Knights failed their charge into his flank. In my magic phase I try my hand at caskets again. Hamish shuts down the first but the second goes off. Ive targeted the knights again but this time he makes his Ld test. I get a smiting off on the Ushabti which then turn Hamishes Disc Lord into a pin cushion. Heh. These guys are great! Khalida makes a small mark on the Tzeentch warriors but both catapults miss their mark this time. Hamish now charges the building with Festus and his Tzeentch Warriors. His knights run away some more and the Hellcannon stays put. In his magic phase he double6’s on two dice the stone thrower spell again but it scatters wide. The miscast has no I’ll effect on him however as regeneration saves the wound. His Helcannon has better luck and kills a catapult. The Tzeentch Warriors now make their mark, accounting for a couple of Ushabti, with me loosing a further one from Combat res.

Turn 4 starts with the realization that I may have committed to the tower to early, as is usual for me. I figure they can hold for one more turn then I will swap them out for Khalidas Archers. I will also position the Knights in a batter place to regain the flank as a backup plan to pin the Tzeentch Knights and deny him the watchtower. My horse archers are off chasing the Chaos Knights and the last Khorne warrior who had run and hid behind the Helcannon.  The Ushabti Kill one of the Chaos Knight units off and Khalidas archers take there toll on the Tzeentch warriors. Hamish then charges into the tower again and rolls very well. He takes 3 Ushabti out with the last two crumbling after they fluff most of their attacks. Hmm. Not good. Hamish has just managed a 1000 vp swing in his favour and likely tying up the game at this point.

So turn 5 sees me reassessing the situation. I was not expecting the Tzeentch Warriors to gain the tower on turn 5. My Necroknights where now of no use in this fight so then plowed on ahead to tackle the Helcannon, as if I couldn’t remove the Warriors out of the tower, I would need all that I can get. I used a casket to pick off the last Chaos Knight and try for smiting, which is dispelled. The other casket makes itself felt on the watchtower. My last catapult targets the tower causing a few casualties, and thanks to flaming, negates his regeneration. Khalida then maks a big hole in the warriors and reduces the number down. Hamish still holds the tower and its going to be down to the wire on turn six. Theres not a lot Hamish can do in his turn, with the helcannon missing the Necroknights and magic being of no I’ll effect.

Last turn! By my figures the game is sitting on a narrow win for me based on vp’s as the tower is worth 600 in this scenario. However, I know I need a big win to keep me in contention at the top of the table, and keep any chance of a podium finish. With this in mind I did not believe a charge by the Necroknights would wipe out the Warriors in the tower. I had to rely on magic and shooting, meaning I could not capture the tower for my own. Instead the Knights charged the Hellcannon. I rolled up a respectable number of dice and threw everything I had at the tower. Khalidas staff, 2 caskets and a smiting all got through making a serious dent into them. Shooting had me use the horse archers to clean up the last Khorne Warrior netting me much needed vp’s. I shot the catapult first netting me some kills, and more importantly no regeneration. The 10 man unit was next and managed to snag a warrior, reducing the number to less than 5 rank’n file. Khalida was up next, and thanks to smiting, easily accounted for about 24 wounds, enough to wipe out the unit. The game then ended when the Necroknights finished off the Helcannon in combat with a plethora of poison hits. Hamish finished the game tabled but nobody held the watchtower.

17-3 to Khalidas Archers!

This game really showed how well Khalida could perform in the right situation. It is a stark contrast to the game against Basils VC where she accomplished nothing. Skittle of the match defiantly goes to the Casket of Souls! They accounted for both Knight units (with a little help from the Ushabti) and caused a ton of damage to units occupying the watchtower. Hamish’s Ld 8 did not help him in this respect. The Ushabti once again bagged themselves another Chaos Disc Sorcerer, proving their worth and gaining them a honorable mention. I did make the mistake again committing to early to the watchtower. This cost me a 20-0 win and lost me the Ushabti. I was to worried about Festus and his unit gaining a foothold into the tower and completely forgot that my catapults (I only had one left at this point) where flaming and would essentially ignore him. Still I gained another Disc Sorcerer scalp so it wasn’t a total loss. Hamish’s list I think was the stronger of the two vs mine based on the greater speed and higher armour overall. The lack of War Alters didn’t seam to be missed at all with his force. The win was enough to put me into 2nd overall and a face off with current board leader Sam Whitt! He had just narrowly beaten Tom Dunn’s Daemons this round in a very tooth and nail fight. It was boiling down to being a fight between us three for the top step.

Game 5 – Orc’s and Goblin’s – Sam Whitt
Scenario: Battleline

Sam had forgotten something this tournament. He had forgotten his Chaos Dwarfs! I was so looking forward to Khalida turning his K’daai into the biggest pincushion in the old world! Alas, Sam had changed it up and bought along his other love, (Savage) Orc’s and (Night) Goblin’s, complete with Big’Un Bus and more chaff than most could handle. Some people really underestimate how well an OnG list can perform with the right hands at the helm. I know this first hand as I campaigned last year with a similar list to what Sam had made and got a 1st, 3rd and 5th with them at tournaments.
Worst case scenario his Savage Orc Big un’s make contact with Khalida. Best case I get 3 turns of roasting them with poisoned archers.
Sam had 2 Wolf chariots, a Boar chariot, a lone troll and another mob of 8, 2 manglers, a pump wagon, 2 rock lobbers, 2 doom divers, 3 bolt throwers, a large mob o Night Goblins and or course his Savage Orc Bus, or SOB. He complimented this all with an Orc Warboss, Savage Orc Shaman (L4), Night goblin shaman and Black Orc BSB. Damn that’s a lot.

Sam won the roll off for sides and chose the one with the big building half in the deployment zone. There goes that idea. I liked the thought of Khalidas archers holing up in there if things got rough. It was big enough that I probably could have got 25-30 shots per turn. After deployment the table looked favourable. His SOB was behind the building in the centre right, with trolls on the right. He had most of his chaff on the left and opposite most of my stuff. I held the centre with my Necroknights, and deployed Khalida and her archers, the Ushabti and the 10 man archer unit on my left. Both of us deployed artillery to the rear with Sam taking care to set up his Doom Divers out of range of my Catapults. My horse archers had deployed normally to try and get a more favourable deployment. I win roll off for first turn and we get underway.

My first turn started with little in range of Khalida and her archers. I shuffled the Necroknights more towards my right envisaging Sam sweeping through the middle of the board with his trolls and SOB. This way I would be able to threaten his flank meaning he would need to deal with the threat, hopefully giving my archers more time to work their magic. I ran 2 of my horse archers up my right to threaten the doom divers for a turn 2 charge. I used a casket to try zap a doom diver, and the other to chain up his chaff which is mostly out of generals Ld range but both got shut down. Smiting went off on the Ushabti, which in turn shot a mangler off the table. Sam informs me that his manglers have not made it to the enemy all weekend. I was determined not to be the first. I also shoot up a snotling pump wagon and land a direct hit on a rock lobber killing it and ending my turn. Sam moves his SOB into the building, and pushes all his chaff forward. This is a target rich environment! The trolls bumble forward to the right flank of the building along with his boar chariot. Sam rolls up a few dice and in great Orcy fasion, declares a BIG Foot of Gork! With only 2 dispel dice I use my scroll early to stop it. Sams doom divers and a bolt thrower account for one of the horse archer units, whilst his rock lobber misses.

Turn two sees me with plenty of targets. My only real moves are to charge a bolt thrower with my remaining horse archer unit on my right, and another bolt thrower on my left with the other unit. The Knights shuffle over more close to the table edge. Magic rolls low and I only get off Khalidas staff, zapping the other mangler. Khalidas unit takes care of a lone troll and the Ushabti make little impact this turn. I do land another direct hit on the other Rock lobber. That’s 2 for 2! The horse archers take care of their bolt throwers and line up a doom diver on my right, and overrun into a wolf chariot on my left. Sam charges his night goblins forward into my 10 man unit of archers that I had pushed to far forward. They get wiped out in combat. Sam then drops his SOB out of the building bringing it into range of Khalidas archers. I figure I can get 3 turns of shooting into it then finish it off with the knights all going to plan. Magic rolls low again. Sam throws all his dice at Hand of Gork and gets enough, requiring me to roll an 11 on 3 dice. So I roll a 9… and the SOB moves across the board 13” infront of khalidas archers. Ok so maybe one turn of shooting… Sam has some fun with the shooting phase using his DD’s take care of the other horse archer unit. The trolls move up supported by the Orc chariot.

Oh crap. I am in trouble. I start turn three with that heavy sinking feeling. I need to pull one out of the bag and quick. I play around with reforming and moving back but in the end it would just be delaying the inevitable and denying me a chance to shoot. I reform into a wider formation and move 2” back forcing an 11” roll for the SOB. My Ushabti cut across and cover my right flank from the night goblins, and my Hierophant bails out the left side. I toy with the idea of charging the rear of the SOB with my last horse archer unit, but Sam points that since I can’t flee he won’t need to pursue. I get 12 dice in the magic phase vs 6. I cast light of death on one of the Doom Divers to try bait out some dice. I get two, so I cast the other and get some more, but this light of death gets through and I take out one of the Doom Divers. I then get off smiting on the archers but Sam slams it with a scroll. Desiccation also gets shut down which was targeted at the SOB. In my shooting phase I manage to get both catapults on target, both scattering slightly but remaining true. Khalida opens up and all of a sudden Sam is left with 15 Savage Orcs + characters. I have to hope for a failed charge and another round of shooting will see me right. Its now Sams turn and he declares his charges, and the dawn of realisation washes over me as I see the huge mistake I made… Khalidas archers are indeed 15” away from his SOB, however he only needs an 8 to make contact with the Ushabti, and the ensuing overrun will hit my archers. Crap. He rolls the 8 required and brings in the Night Goblins for some netting goodness. The trolls are moved up as is the Boar chariot. Sam works with a few dice and gets Hand of Gork off to move the trolls over. The Ushabti are crushed in combat and crumble allowing the overrun from the SOB into Khalida. The Night Goblins hold and reform.

Turn 4 comes about with a tense situation. The archers could still hold out for the rest of the game. I look at ways to see how I could flank the SOB with the Necroknights, but Sam has placed the Night Goblins well enough to prevent this. I instead charge them. There is little other movement to be made so we move onto magic. I roll a respectable number of dice and start casting with light of death on the other Doom Diver. Sam lets it through so I cast smiting on the archers again with Sam also letting this through. He dispels desiccation on his SOB though. I get the 5+ ward happening to even up the field. My catapults launch into shooting taking out the boar chariot. The other one misfires and destroys itself. We move onto combat with Khalida going first. The combat is slightly skewed with Sam only having 8 models in contact thanks to the overrun. I use my champion to challenge which Sam accepts with his. We both fail to kill each other with me not wounding, and me saving the only wound inflicted on him. Khalida kills 3 or 4 Savage Orcs, and in return Sams characters make short work of several skeletons. The Savage Orcs and Skittles then strike simultaneously with my 5+ ward really coming into itself. I end up inflicting 8 or 9 wounds which Sam only manages to save 2, whilst I saved over half with some tinny rolling much to Sams disappointment. I end up winning the combat by a few but thanks to the crown Sam is stubborn on 9’s. I reform to a deeper formation and so that all of Sams orcs are in combat. Oh yeah, the Necroknights steamroll the Night goblins but they hold. So Sams turn 4 starts with little fanfare, as he only has trolls free to move, everything else is either dead or in combat. We move onto magic where Sam gets through itchy nuisance on my skittles reducing me to I1. My Necroknights destroy the Night Goblins which flee. I elect to pursue which will lead me into combat with the trolls. I need the VP and risk the combat to catch the Goblins, which I do. We move on to the main combat where Khalida makes herself known again and smacks over a bunch more Savage Orcs. Having the frenzy beaten out helps a lot, with the volume of attacks greatly down as is the strength. His characters make up for what the unit was lacking including the champion besting mine in the dual, but I reply with over 40 attacks! Sam is left with a wound on both his BSB and L4 Shaman, and only 2 or 3 Savage Orcs remaining.

Turn 5 would be our last, as time was running out. We both have no movement at all as we where locked in combat, so magic first up. Another ok phase dice wise. This time however Sam is on the money with his dispels. He shuts down everything bar smiting on my archers. We roll around combat in which Khalida finishes off the last few Savage Orcs. Once again Sam bashes a bunch of skittles into powder but cant with the combat. The trolls have more success vomiting on my Knights. He gets 4 wounds and I loose the combat taking another wound. Not so bad, but I would have preferred some magic buffs. In the last turn there is not much to do. Sam has 6 trolls and his 3 Orc characters left, two of which are wounded. His magic phase was low and was easily shut down, as Sam had only one spell that he could cast. I move Khalida over to face off his Savage Orc Shaman which had been wounded. With lightning speed Khalida dispatches her rival with little effort. The rest of the skittles have little effect on Sams characters, but once again Sam makes his stubborn check. The trolls have more success killing another Knight, and forcing enough combat result to crumble another. The game ends with a victory in my favour.

15-5 to Tomb Kings

Now this was a hard fought battle. I really thought Sam had me on Turn three. He managed to shut down the right spells at the right time and push through the ones he needed. Baiting out my scroll first turn was a good move. I made several mistakes in this game. The first was using my horse archers offensively to attack Sams artillery. I did this thinking that Khalidas archers would be able to deal with Sams SOB over the 3 turns he would need to cover the gap. I didn’t count on Sam getting a Hand of Gork off! Lesson learnt, stick to the plan. The horse archers primary role is to get in the way of threats to Khalida, and I needed to stick to that. My next big mistake was moving the Ushabti forward to block the Night Goblins. I didn’t need to do this and it very nearly cost me the game. In fact I will go as far as saying this move cost me an 18+ victory. I know at the time I was ensuring covering Khalida from the night gobos, but did not see the obvious until it was too late. Skelly of the match is a hard one. The catapults did great this match, accounting for much artillery and a chariot. The caskets had a good hand in drawing out dispel dice which allowed me to get though the right spells, and Khalida pretty much saved the day by killing a bunch of Savage Orcs and Sams Shaman. So it goes to Khalida, even though I only got one real round of shooting off. This game marked the first time I had used the archers in combat, and it turn out ok. But only just

With the 15-5 result that put me on the top step, shared with Tom Dunn and His Daemons. We both finished with 74 battle points, 25/25 for sports and full marks for painting. Tom had a great final game finishing with a 20-0 win to share top honors. Sam finshed 2nd, after holding the limelight for most of the weekend, and almost putting to bed the day to jitters he suffers.

Thanks to Wellington Warlords for hosting the event and Peter Dunn for Umpiring. Good weekend by all and even the news channels turned up. (Like the good little wargamers we are, we all went and hid from the cameras whilst volunteering an unsuspecting fellow gamer for an interview!)

Monday, 27 August 2012

Taking Stock - Tomb Kings

I spent some time over the weekend sorting through my Tomb Kings army with what I have and what I still have to actually build. I did not realize how much I have actually amassed so far! Ive split them into three catagories: Painted, for those models who are at least at tabletop standard and based; Assembled, for those that have been cleaned and built; and the biggest pile: Unassembled....

100 Skeleton Archers
2 Warsphinx
1 Necrosphinx
6 Necropolis Knights
2 Casket of Souls
2 Screaming Skull Catapults
2 Liche Priests
1 Tomb King
1 Khalida
40 Tomb Guard with Sword and Shield
15 Horse Archers
8 Ushabti with Great Bows

1 Warsphinx
1 Necrosphinx
3 Sepultural Stalkers
4 Necropolis Knights
6 Chariots
1 Tomb Scorpion
1 Carrion
3 Ushabti with Great Weapons
10 Tomb Guard with Sword and Shield
2 Tomb Kings
5 Horse Archers

21 Chariots
3 Sepultural Stalkers
2 Necropolis Knights
5 Carrion
1 Ushabti with Great Bow
3 Ushabti with Great Weapons
120 Skeleton Warriors with Scimitars
120 Skeleton Warriors with Spears
100 Skeleton Archers
50 Tomb Guard with Halberds
3 Tomb Kings
3 Liche Priests
10 Horse Archers
18 Skeleton Horsemen

And then there is the want list:
6 Necropolis Knights
3 carrion
2 Tomb Scorpions
1 Arkan on Chariot 
1 Settra on Chariot
1 Ramhotep
1 Apophis
1 Khatep
7 Ushabti with Great bows
12 Ushabti with Great Weapons
2 Colossus
2 Hierotitans
3 Necrotechs
1 Icon Bearer

All in all approximation 15,000 points of Tomb Kings before magic items. no doubt the list may grow a little as well....
I'm not addicted, no. I can stop any time! Now to plan the next army....

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Call to Arms - Battle Reports - Game's 2 & 3

Game 2 – Vampire Count’s – Basil Moskovis
Scenario:  Dawn Attack

Basil and I meet again! This time Count Wassil faces off against Khalida. For those who have followed my previous battlereports, you would know Basil and I faced off at Southcon. I that match up I took my more regular list and 20-0 him. This time would be a bit different as Basil had learnt a trick or two with his army since then. Basil bought along his usual list of Black knight bus, 2 zombie and 1 skittle block, plus associated chaff. In this match I knew the only way to get a win out of him was to target the Black Knights, or else we would end up a close draw. Khalida would be rather useless in this situation so avoiding combat with the Black Knight bus was my biggest worry. It would all be down to the catapults, casket and Ushabti this round, not to mention lady luck!

The scenario was dawn attack, so random deployment gremlins got thrown in the thick of it as well. This is the worst scenario for my list and easily one of the worst list match ups as well. I managed to roll a six for Khalida and got favourable rolls for most of my stuff setting up mainly on my centre right. One catapult and the Necronknights got left out to dry on my left, so I deployed the knights 2 wide facing right with the intention of moving them back to my battleline. I had a building half in my deployment and decided that I would use this to bail my archers into if Basil’s knights came close. Basil got a reasonable deployment as well, however it was on his right. His hex Wraiths managed to set up on my right and offered an early threat to my artillery.

Basil then proceeded to roll a six and steal first turn…

Turn one started with basil moving his bus forward but towards my left flank. I was lucky enough that he had not rolled the movement spell so at least this was one saving grace. His Hex Wraiths moved up as far as they could. He positioned all his blocks of zombies and skeletons out of missile range however. I could immediately see Basil was playing a far more conservative game than last time, as I thought he might. I identified that he may try and roll up the flank of me where I couldn’t get as many shots off, and collect up some of my chaff and artillery for a small win. In my turn I held my archers back from moving just to see what Basil might do in the next few turns before committing them forward. My Ushabti took up position in the building offering them excellent fields of fire and my knights abandoned the left flank. I used casket of souls on his hex wraiths leaving one behind, and smiting on the Ushabti which shot the knights. Catapults missed and my horse archers shot up the bats and started to get in the way of his knights.

Turn two Basil charged into my horse archers and overran out of position near the left table edge. His ghosts failed a long charge on another horse archer unit and his hex wraith moved in even closer. A tried to shut down his regen spells but one got through healing up the bats and some knights. I continued to pull my knights off my left flank and angled my archers slightly, though still made sure they could bail into the building. I got one Casket of souls off targeting the Black knights and killing a few, and a catapult clipped them taking another. The other catapult managed some wounds on some ghosts. I pulled the horse archers back as to counter his bats who where threatening my catapult.

In turn three Basil made a charge into my catapult with his remaining bats. He moved the Knight bus down deeper into my left flank and behind a hill. Some more regen spells make it through and he heals the knights back to full strength. His knights are now out of range of the Bowshabti so they make a swap with Khalidas archers. This gives Khalida a chance to use her bound spell to kill the last hex wraith, but basil stops this easily. Basil cast curse of years on my Knights which I let through planning to dispel it in my next magic phase, however I forget to do so! The Bowshabti miss their mark this turn and one casket makes it through to take a few more knights off. Somewhere in the mix of things I kill Basils wolves with a bouncing casket, and a few extra arrows.

Turn four Basil charges my catapult with his bats, and my casket with his last remaining hex wraiths. He moves his Knight bus further around and is now in my left deployment area. My catapult crew put up a valiant defence and make two wounds, where Basils bats fluff everything. He crumbles to one bat. The Hex wraiths have better luck and cause a wound on the casket. It then crumbles and goes BOOM! Taking out the hex wraiths and putting a wound on the catapult beside. My Ushabti take aim at his black knights again but miss the mark. I fire a few shots into some zombies but its futile as they are nearer 50+ now. I know I am behind in VP and figure I need about 150 to get a draw. My catapult continues to hold fats with both sides fluffing attacks. Basils Black knights are basically at full strength still, however I do remember to dispel curse of years this time, but only after loosing a knight or two.

Turn five is pretty uneventful. Basils bats get regenerated up to full strength again as does his knights and ghosts. He does the zombie shuffle and pulls them back a little to my left. I counter this by abandoning the building and firing a round of shots into some zombies, but with little impact on a hoard that size. My catapult crumbles to Basils bats this turn and then die to combined missile fire from me. The ghost’s clear out my last horse archer unit and line up my knights. I have a poor magic phase as does Basil.

Last turn Basil charges into my knights with his ghosts to save me rolling into his skeletons. I have no chance of killing his knight bus now so I weigh my options on Khalidas unit charging into a unit of Basils zombies or just shooting them. In hindsight charging would have been the better option but my original plan was to have the knight go into the skeletons and then roll into the flank of the zombies. Magic played little part in the last turn with Basil keeping the knight bus in the corner and my knights tied up in combat. The game ends and we total up victory points

9-11 to Count Wassil

All in all it was a very close game. I failed to make an impact by turn three against his knight bus which effectively sealed the game into a chaff run. Basil had cannily removed his bus from play. Post game I discovered he feared putting them into combat with my skeleton archers and Khalida, as I had retained the KB spell (evil laugh). Fair enough to, as a few lucky 6’s from 40+ attacks isn’t that hard to gain. A little bit extra luck on the winds of magic would have seen me with some more dice to throw at the caskets, which may well have saved the one that died. Basil played a good game, having learnt the limits of his build since our last game and playing a very sound strategy. Till next time Basil!

Game 3 – Chaos Warrior’s – Alistair Dennison
Scenario: Meeting Engagement
Yeah, the diagonal one. After the first two games cleared out the worst scenario (Dawn Attack) and two very strong lists, I now draw Chaos Warriors. Alistair had bought along 20 Nurgle Warriors, 20 Tzeentch Warriors, 2 War alters, Hellcannon, Tzeentch Lord on a Disk, and some Tzeentch knights. Great. An army full of high toughness, high armour, close combat experts… Going into this match I knew I had to prioritise targets. Ushabti would concentrate on Knights and disc lord, bowmen on warriors and caskets on the knights. The catapults would work the Hellcannon and war alters over. Simple really, I hoped. Chaos warriors always a tough match, if not the worst unless lady luck smiles my war, I just had to hope everything of mine turned up….

I won the roll off to choose sides and deploy first, also giving me first turn. I was happy that almost everything did turn up, bar one catapult. Not to bad. Alitsair failed to get his Nurgle warriors and Hellcannon on first turn. The game didn’t get much kinder to him either. I deployed deep into my corner, warmachines to the rear, Khalida in front, Knights on my right and Ushabti on my left. In contrast the Chaos Warriors established themselves solidly on the 6” mark. I had Chaos Knights on my left, and Tzeentch Warriors in front, flanked by war alters. The disk lord bought up his rear.

I begin first turn by bringing in the second catapult. The horse archers had scouted their way into suitably annoying positions to hold up the Knights, and I held back everything else. Magic was straight forward with me targeting smiting at the Ushabti, and both caskets at the knights. I got one through taking 3 or 4 to their graves. The catapult that could fire hit the war alter but it made its ward save. The Ushabti let off a salvo  of shots at the disc lord, wounding him twice for their effort. Alistair brings on both his missing units in his turn on my right flank. He charges into the horse archers with his knights killing them and redirecting him to my left. I manage to shut down his magic phase after he rolled low. Alistair used his war alters to provide +1 armour save and +1 attack to his Tzeentch Warriors. They would be a tough nut to crack.

In my turn two I pretty much rinse and repeat what I did first turn. No movement of any concern except more horse archers getting in the way of things. Khalida was now in range of an alter and the Tzeentch warriors. I cast casket of souls on his knights again. He dispelled the first attempt but the second got through. Alistair rolled horribly high and being out of BSB range removed all but one of the knights from the game. I didn’t get smiting off on the Ushabti this time but went on to get the final knight. I got a hit on a Hell cannon with my catapult killing it, and causing a bunch of panic tests. All Alistairs luck disappeared at this point as he failed both re-rollable panic tests on his War Altar and Nurgle Warriors. They both proceeded to flee off the table! I managed to kill 3 or 4 Tzeentch warriors with Khalidas archers. My other archers tried their luck on the other war alter.
Alistair had basically lost ½ his army and had not even started turn 2 yet. Having only a war altar, Tzeentch lord Tzeentch warriors left he moved them up as best he could. There was nowhere for him to hide and the game was pretty much already decided at this point.

From turn three onwards, the game went quickly. There was no need to make any risks so I refrained from combat. My Ushabti got buffed with smiting and shot the last wound off of his Disc Lord. I then concentrated all my firepower of the Tzeentch Warriors whilst the remaining horse archers harassed his war altar.

On turn four it was all but over. A smiting on Khalidas archers and the concentrated firepower of caskets, catapult and Ushabti finished off the Warriors, and the war alter died to a catapult shot as well. The game was called with a major victory for the Tomb Kings, having tabled the Chaos Warriors and losing only some horse archers.

20-0 to Khalidas Tomb kings

Looking back at the game there was one deciding factor of the match. Alistair could not make a Ld based test for the life of him! He lost about half of his army to Ld tests and the rest couldn’t weather the hail of arrows. From my perspective the scenario and army match up was very favourable. Alistair simply didn’t have the speed to threaten my battleline giving me ample time time to shoot him off the board. With what he had he played well, and the loss was more to do with bad dice rolls than anything else. The caskets did exactly what they where included for, ie killing the fast moving high armoured threats. Skittle of the match is a tough one, but I think the catapults take it as they where responsible for the big swing second turn, followed by the Ushabti getting a bunch of cheeky wounds and killing the Disc Lord. I’ll take the win but have no illusions that the match would have been a lot closer if Alistair could make a panic check. Makes you wonder if skulls of the foe would be worth it…

So ended day 1. I finished on 47 points out of a possible 60. An average of 15.7 so not bad at all. I had played three of the harder list at the tournament so far and was placed 3rd overall going into day 2, with Sam's Orc and Goblins leading the way with three big wins, followed closely by Tom and his Deamons. Win or loose, chances are I was going to play one of these guys tomorrow for the last game. I fancied my chances vs Tom more than Sam. The draw went up before we left and I was matched vs another Chaos Warrior list first up. the match would be watchtower, and I fancied my chances. The major worry would be the two units of Chaos Knights upsetting my day...

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Call to Arms - Battle Reports - Intro & Game 1

So I attended Call to Arms Tournament over this past weekend. This was the first one I had attended on the back of seeing good numbers from last year. 24 contenders turned up this time around. I was expecting more since there where almost no restrictions and special characters could be included, however the field still represented half a dozen top ranked competitors and some stiff competition!

My list was as follows:
High Liche Priest, L4, Dispel Scroll, Hierophant
50 Archers full command
10 Archers
3x 5 Horse archers
8 Ushabti with Great Bows
5 Necropolis Knights, Champion & Standard
2x Casket of Souls
2x Screaming Skull Catapults

6 drops, 2 lords, 3 scouts and a not so subtle amount of shots…

Tournament restrictions where based on the SCGT (from the motherland son), them being max 450 points per unit (no restriction on characters) and PD capped at 12 per phase. So basically nothing! Teclis was banned and Khalida was restricted to a unit of 50 archers max.

The lists where out a few days before the tournament started so we all got a chance to have a look at the field. I didn’t fancy a draw against Mathew’s Double Dragon High Elves or Joel’s Double White Lions + Dragon list, nor was I looking forward to Neil’s Bretonnians. I also spotted a few VC lists that would cause some bother (looking at you Basil). Most of the rest of the field looked like fair match ups in my favour. Always a good start! Going into the tournament I had only managed one practice game with my Khalida list, and that was the first time I had ever used Khalida as well. Trial by fire and all that.

Game 1 – Vampire Count’s – Raymond Dick
Scenario: Battleline

Raymond was sporting two big combat blocks, 40 Gouls and 30 Grave Guard topped up by all the vampires in Sylvania. To support them he had some 20 strong zombie units and a half dozen crypt horrors along with the usual assortment of Hex Wraiths, bats and ghosts. I thought this to be a relatively good match up as all I needed to do to break his back was wipe out the Grave Guard, and keep the gouls at bay until I could deal with them. I set up with this in mind placing my archers on my left as far back as possible behind some impassible terrain with the Ushabti in front right after winning the roll off. I anchored my centre right with the Knights, and set up my artillery on my table edge.  Raymond stacked his right opposite my archers with his Gouls and grave Guard and the rest of his army deployed centre right. My horse archers scouted in the centre of the table but out of charge range. I win first turn.

Turn one got off with essentially no movement from me. My caskets targeted his hex wraiths with one getting through and causing 4 wounds. My Ushabti knocked off a couple of Grave guard however I left Khalida and here archers out of range. My catapults became scatterpults only clipping a few units but the horse archers managed to drop the bats down to one wound. Raymond marched everything on up that he could trying to close the gap as fast as possible. I had placed some horse archers right infront of his Gouls and Grave guard which he charged, and wiped out. This redirected him and limited his moves. He tried to raise the dead but I shut it down not wanting him to regen all the damage I had done so quickly.

After a quick turn one Khalida was now in range. I shuffled the knights over a bit to threaten the flank of anything trying to engage my Ushabti and stuck some more horse archers in the way. His bats got finished off and I killed off his ghosts with magic but didn’t snag the last hex wraith. I did however get smiting off =). Khalidas unit proceeded to send over a dozen grave guard back to their graves, and I used the catapults to take regen off the crypt horrors and then shot them with the Ushabti. Raymond charged in and removed the horse archers, once again redirecting him and buying me atleast 2 turns. He got a regen spell off and put his hex wraiths back up to full strength. It also pulled some grave guard back and started buffing the zombies.

At the start of turn three I knew exactly what needed to be done. I continued to follow through on my plan and threw everything at the grave Guard. Caskets, Ushabti and Khalidas finest put the number down to less than 10, even a catapult helped. I still held back my knights and placed the last horse archer unit in to redirect the crypt horrors. Raymond pressed on and moved the gouls around the outside of the impassable terrain hoping to get a flank on the archers late game. I was ok with this, as it was likely he would only get one round of combat which was not enough to destroy them. Raymond again managed to get regen off and fixed his Grave Guard up a bit, along with some more hex wraiths (as I had managed to snag a few more). The crypt horrors charged into the last horse archers sending them back to the desert. It looked like turn four would be crunch time.

My turn four was the last chance to remove the grave guard, so once again Khalida made her mark. This left Raymond with about 5 Grave Guard. The Ushabti then made there mark as the high strength hits got distributed amongst characters. Those Hex wraiths once again managed to survive a torrent of magic attacks. At this point one of my catapults misfired. I moved the Knights into a good charge range of the Crypt horrors flank.

The game was pritty much decided on turn 5. I shot the rest of his characters and caused crumble across the board. My Necroknights got the charge off on the crypt horrors and proceeded to inflict heavy casualties. I finally managed to remove the hex wraiths thanks to crumble, and the large goul block was out of position and would only be able to make a charge on the sixth turn. Turn six was much the same, with the knights finishing off the crypt horrors, and rolling over into some zombies. There was no point in shooting anything else or for Raymond to charge his gouls so the game was called.

Result 18-2

In conclusion the game came down to one thing, the delaying actions of my horse archers on Raymonds gouls, grave guard and crypt horrors. It basically bought me 2 more turns for Khalida and her archers to concentrate on Raymonds deathstar where most of his points where tied up in. The caskets and catapults played very little rolls in this fight. Skelleton of the match goes to the horse archers units. They basically won the game for me.

Monday, 20 August 2012

WHFB ETC Results

ETC is over for another year and the results are out

12UNITED STATES1415490494 
20NEW ZEALAND-2009465474 
21UNITED NATION-7715444465 
29NORTHERN IRELAND-10165429442 

So team Kiwi managed to beat the Aussies in round four. That's all that counts to be honest! 
I am looking forward to some bat reps from our team, especially how our Ogre player managed to turn a 20-0 win into an 18-2 loss???

I have been really disappointed by the coverage this year however. Last year we got some good coverage from RHQ on youtube, several forums had running commentaries, a few podcasters when hitting the airwaves and twitter was singing a happy tune. This year RHQ continues to ignore the largest user group of its ranking system, and TWF had one short thread. I don't know about twitter as I dont subscribe to the birdies. Baddice came to the party with some podcasting love but I cant shake the feeling things could have been better. Hopefully there will be some good post tourney summaries for us to tune into.

Did I mention Team Kiwi bet the Aussies?