Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Birdy, birdy, birdy (AKA my Axemaster list)

My, how time flies. I still hadn't finished writing up my report of Rumble in the Bronx when I realised that I had to submit a list for Axemaster. The tournaments are only 3 weeks apart this year, which is a very short turn-around. I was a bit burnt out after my mad rush to prepare for Rumble, and I came faily close to deciding that I wasn't going to enter Axemaster at all.

It didn't help that I'm not at all convinced by the player pack being used this time around. It's using the SCGT pack, which doesn't include comp to directly affect scores per se. Instead a higher comp score gives a player a better chance to win roll-offs to determine deployment, first turn, etc. It's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure if it will make enough of a difference, and I'm also not convinced by the "hard" and "soft" choices identified for each army.

Anyway, in the end I decided that I could handle what might turn out to be a flawed pack, and that I really should enter what is basically our main local tournament (given it's run by Hampton). So I sat down and started making a sensible list that exploited the player pack the way most of the competitive sorts will be doing. Then I got bored, scrapped it all, and started making a list packed with Griffons instead. The flying Tyrant at Rumble had gotten me hooked on flying models, and I wanted some in my list - despite knowing what would likely happen to them.
Like the old saying goes, 2 wrongs make a right. I'm sure that's how it went...

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 6

This post is a continuation of my account of the recent tournament, Rumble in the Bronx. You can find the previous game here.

Game 6: Battleline
Nathan Goodchild, Daemons of Chaos
My Boast: Hold Out (keep enemy units out of my deployment zone)
  • Demon Prince of Nurgle (Level 3, Lore of Nurgle) with Flight, Chaos Armour, Exalted Gift (chose something that lets him re-roll Winds of Magic)
  • Herald of Tzeentch (Level 2, Lore of Tzeentch)
  • Herald of Nurgle BSB (Level 1, Lore of Nurgle) with Greater Locus of Fecundity, Greater Gift (chose Fencer's Blades)
  • 10 Horrors with Standard
  • 25 Plaguebearers with Full Command, Banner of Swiftness
  • 3 Screamers of Tzeentch
  • 3 Screamers of Tzeentch
  • 1 Beast of Nurgle
  • 1 Beast of Nurgle
  • Soulgrinder of Nurgle with Daemonbone Claw, Harvester Cannon
Comp score: 5

After the debacle of the game against Chris, I figured I would drop back into the pack a bit. Apparently this wasn't really the case as there were a group of us milling about on very similar scores, with just Chris running off with things courtesy of the springboard I had provided. My final opponent was to be Nathan Goodchild, who had travelled all the way down from Queensland for the event. I had never played him before, so was looking forward to it. I could only lament how much tougher my draw had gotten in the latter stages of the event, however. My final 4 opponents had all either been ranked no 1 in the country or won the Masters in relatively recent memory. No wailing upon inexperienced tournament players for me, it seemed.

Nathan was running a borrowed Daemon army for the event, as his Skaven had been unable to make the trip with him. The borrowed army was not really holding him back, however. If his dice had been a little better in the previous game, he would have been well ahead of me instead of barely in front.

I confess I was slightly concerned about the match-up. The big block of Plaguebearers looked nigh-on impregnable for my army, and the Soulgrinder was not exactly a push-over. I was at a big disadvantage in the magic phase, and then there was the Nurgle Daemon Prince. Oh well, at least he wasn't the 1+ armour save, unbreakable, self-healing Warriors of Chaos version. Still, I would need a good contribution from my Ironblaster to help soften the big stuff.
During the Ogres' first turn, because once again I got distracted and missed the deployment photos. That big rock thing adds +1 to any attempts to wound things within 6". Same thing as was on the table in game 3.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 5

This post is a continuation of my account of the recent tournament, Rumble in the Bronx. You can find the previous game here.

Game 5: Watchtower
Chris Cousens, Lizardmen
My Boast: Contain Power (kill the most expensive non-character unit, in this case the Saurus block)
  • Oldblood on Arabyan Carpet with Armour of Destiny, Great Weapon, Shield
  • Oldblood on Cold One with Dragonhelm, Talisman of Preservation, Great Weapon
  • Tetto-Ekko
  • Scar Veteran BSB on Cold One with Charmed Shield, Dawnstone, Sword of Might, Light Armour
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
  • 10 Skinks with Musician
  • 10 Skinks with Musician
  • 23 Saurus with Full Command
  • 5 Cold One Riders with Musician, Spears
  • 5 Chameleon Skinks
  • Salamander
  • Ancient Stegadon with Engine of the Gods
Comp score: 5

I had emerged from my game with Dave with my score more or less intact, and now I found myself playing the old Egg himself, Chris Cousens. This was the man responsible for my Tyrant flying about on a magic carpet, having issued a challenge to all and sundry before the event to include a model on a flying rug (only a couple of us were silly enough to accept). He was also leading the tournament. Apparently I really was at the pointy end of things.
Watchtower deployment, after Chris has moved his Vanguard forces up between the building and the magical rock that lets things within 6" re-roll failed charges.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 4

This post is a continuation of my account of the recent tournament, Rumble in the Bronx. You can find the previous game here.

Game 4: Battle for the Pass
Dave Duriesmith, Ogre Kingdoms
My Boast: Reconnoitre (control the most table quarters at game's end)
  • Tyrant with Great Weapon, Crown of Command, Dragonbane Gem, Armour of Destiny
  • Bruiser BSB with Great Weapon, Luckstone, Armour of Silvered Steel
  • Firebelly (Level 2, Lore of Fire) with Talisman of Preservation, Great Weapon
  • 11 Ironguts with Full Command
  • 6 Leadbelchers with Musician, Champion
  • 1 Sabretusk
  • 1 Sabretusk
  • 1 Sabretusk
  • Gorger
  • Gorger
  • Gorger
  • Ironblaster
Comp score: 3

I had been hoping to avoid Dave's list, because the stubborn Gutstar was something I simply would not be able to crack. Never mind, I'd just have to make the best of it. At least I was guaranteed at least 4 points because of our comp scores...

To his credit, Dave didn't deploy all his characters in the Irongut unit. The BSB went in there, but the Firebelly and Tyrant decided it would be cooler to hang with the Leadbelchers. Or maybe it wasn't really to his credit because he realised he didn't need all that stuff in one place in order to take on my units...
You'd think by now I would remember to take photos before the game kicked off. Hey, it was first thing in the morning. This was during my first turn.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 3

This post is a continuation of my account of the recent tournament, Rumble in the Bronx. You can find the previous game here.

Game 3: Meeting Engagement
Ben Leopold, High Elves
My Boast: Bodyguard (keep my general alive)
  • Archmage (Level 4, High Magic) on Sun Dragon with Talisman of Preservation
  • Noble BSB on Griffon with Swift Sense, Swooping Strike, Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance, Lion Cloak, Banner of the World Dragon
  • Mage (Level 1, Lore of Metal) with Ruby Ring of Ruin, Dispel Scroll
  • 10 Archers with Standard, Musician
  • 10 Archers with Standard, Musician
  • 6 Silver Helms with Shields, Full Command
  • 5 Ellyrian Reavers with Standard, Musician
  • Repeater Bolt Thrower
  • Repeater Bolt Thrower
  • Repeater Bolt Thrower
  • Frostheart Phoenix
  • Great Eagle
Comp score: 3

After playing two people I had never met before, I was suddenly faced with someone far more familiar. In fact, some of the models were very familiar too, since they were mine. I might have been involved in the idiot planning that saw Ben enter a list with a Banner of the World Dragon floating about on a Griffon, but despite the obvious dangers, he seemed to be enjoying it.

We would be playing Meeting Engagement (the one with the crazy diagonal deployment), and we found ourselves on a weird and slightly dreadful table with incredibly rough sand and an enormous rocky thing cutting the table in half. I won the roll-off for sides, and decided to try to take the big rock out of the equation by taking a corner that put most of it in my deployment zone. With an enormous ruined building next to it, that basically ensured that we were playing on a 4'x4' board. I then placed my army, with my regular Ogre Bulls and Sabretusks starting in reserve because they rolled 1s.
I deploy aggressively on the slightly weird table.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 2

This post is part 2 of my account of a recent tournament. You can find part 1 here.

Game 2: Blood and Glory
Corey Leslie, Lizardmen
My Boast: Breakthrough (have a unit into the enemy's deployment zone at game's end)
  • Slann Mage Priest (Level 4, High Magic) with Focus of Mystery, Becalming Cogitation, BSB, Standard of Discipline
  • Saurus Oldblood with Crown of Command, Light Armour, Great Weapon
  • 40 Saurus Warriors with Spears, Full Command
  • 26 Temple Guard with Full Command
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
  • 3 Kroxigor
  • Bastiladon with Solar Engine
  • 5 Chameleons
  • 5 Chameleons
Comp score: 5

This match-up worried me slightly with the magical prowess of the Slann, and at least one unit I couldn't face. With the Oldblood at their head, those Saurus could take my entire army...
This is me almost remembering to take photos before the game began...

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 1

Rumble in the Bronx is over, and despite being exhausted for the entire weekend (too much late night painting and modelling will do that to you), I had a great time. Despite my doubts, I did manage to get my entire army ready in time for the tournament, so apart from not getting anywhere near enough sleep, I was all prepared for the event.

I've shown my list before, but here it is again for convenience:
  • Tyrant
    • General; Great Weapon; Heavy Armour
    • Arabyan Carpet (He can FLY!!)
    • Talisman of Preservation
    • Enchanted Shield
  • Bruiser
    • Great Weapon; Battle Standard
    • Armour of Fortune
  • Firebelly
    • Magic Level 1; Lore of Fire
    • Ruby Ring of Ruin
  • Hunter
    • Great Weapon; Light Armour; Great Throwing Spear
    • Longstrider
  • 6 Ironguts
    • Great Weapon; Heavy Armour; Standard; Musician; Gutlord
  • 6 Ogres
    • Iron Fist; Light Armour; Standard; Musician; Crusher
  • 3 Mournfang Cavalry
    • Great Weapon; Heavy Armour; Standard; Musician
    • Gleaming Pendant
  • 4 Sabretusk Pack
  • 4 Leadbelchers
    • Light Armour; Musician
  • 1 Ironblaster
Total Army Cost: 1999pts

I ended up getting a 7 out of 10 for composition, meaning the panel had deemed my list to be pretty rubbish. The reasons for this were that I wasn't really using any of the generally acknowledged strengths of the Ogre list, apart from an Ironblaster. My flying Tyrant and Hunter meant I couldn't pour all my characters into a single “Gutstar” unit. I had little magic and no dispel scroll. All my Sabretusks were in a single unit rather than running around separately as dirt cheap annoyances. And my Mournfangs had great weapons, meaning they were not very well protected. All good reasons to doubt my army could do the business, but I was pretty happy with the high comp score anyway.
My 2000 point empire-themed Ogre army.
Rumble used an unusual scoring system. Instead of the 20-0 system which is most common in this part of the world, the score range was 16-0 (with 8-8 being a draw). In addition to this however, both players had to choose a “boast” at the start of each game. Achieving your stated boast got you an additional 2 battle points, whilst denying your opponent their boast got you another 2. You couldn't use the same boast twice in the event – you had to use all 6 once. So the total possible score was still 20, before comp. Unusually, comp modifiers could push you above 20 points for the round, although you couldn't get less than 0.

Here is my account of the event. As usual, most army lists will be from memory, so forgive me if they're not entirely correct. I've got 130 photos to post all told, so I'll be splitting the games up into separate posts to help make the pages load OK. The venue was quite dark, so you'll have to forgive my amateurish efforts to take photos under the conditions.