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...

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