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
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
Raymond was sporting two big combat blocks, 40 Gouls and 30 Grave Guard topped up by all the vampires in
. 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. Sylvania
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.
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.