Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Convic 2012 Aftermath: Day 2

Comet? What comet?
This report follows on from a previous post, which covered day 1 of the 2 day event that was Convic 2012...

Despite not having much voice and probably not being entirely well, the Saturday night involved the usual Halo and pizza with the guys. I think we pulled the plug around 1am, but at least I had the common sense not to head off to karaoke with many of the others. Not that anyone could have heard me trying to sing anyway...

It occurs to me that I neglected to say in the previous post what comp score I received. I got a 2 out of 5, which makes it tough but not unreasonable. I figure that's probably appropriate, so was OK with the score. It's probably the first time that I've had a harder than average comp score with Empire, but then this was not my normal sort of list.

Anyway, I woke up on the Sunday feeling adequate and with about as much voice as I had at the start of Saturday - which is far more than I had had by the time I went to bed. All set, then.

Game 4: Battle for the Pass
Greg Greenfield, Dwarfs

Rune Lord on Anvil with Master Rune of Balance, runes of Spellbreaking, Shielding
BSB with Master Rune of Challenge, runes of Resistance and Stone
Dragon Slayer with runes of Cleaving, Fire
25 Longbeards with shields, command, Master Rune of Grugni
25 Warriors with great weapons, command
25 Warriors with great weapons, command
29 Slayers
Grudge Thrower with runes of Accuracy, 2 x Penetrating
Cannon with Rune of Forging (and maybe Burning)
Organ Gun

Comp score: 3 (I think)

At first glance for this game I may have groaned a little bit. Another Dwarf army with plenty of war machines and an Anvil of Doom to slow me down, in Battle for the Pass. However, at second glance things were not so bad. There were no missile troops to back the machines up, and there was only a single Organ Gun. By Dwarf standards, Greg was taking it easy on the shooting. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all.

I deployed with my Demigryphs stacked  in 2 rows on the right flank, with the main Inner Circle bus next to them. The Volley Guns went in the centre, with the Steam Tank to their left and the 2 small units of Knights on the far left. The Cannon found a hill further back, and the Engineer decided that this was the game to tamper with the Cannon rather than a Volley Gun.

Greg deployed the Organ Gun on my right, with the un-runed Cannon nearby. He had a large hill running along the front of his deployment zone and The Slayers were the first to enjoy the view normally reserved for the less vertically-challenged. The Grudge Thrower went behind them, and next to them were the Longbeards led by the BSB. The blocks of Warriors continued the line, and then there was a big gap to the runed up Cannon, which was in the very back corner, showing off its 48" range. The Anvil deployed behind the hill, as Anvils are wont to do.

The Dwarfs got the first turn and the Slayers stepped forward to meet the enemy whilst the rest of the Dwarfs scowled at such reckless behaviour. The runed Cannon shot the Steam Tank and blew a bloody great hole in it for 6 wounds, which was a little sad (actually, this may have happened turn 2. He may have rolled a 1 to wound here. Regardless, it happened at some point early on). Oh well, it still had 4 left... The Grudge Thrower killed a couple of Inner Circle Knights, but the unruned Cannon did little. It might have misfired. It spent most of the game misfiring. No wonder they didn't bother putting runes on that one.

In my turn I advanced as fast as I could, but in the case of the Demigryphs that wasn't overly fast; the front unit had drawn the attention of the Anvil and been slowed to half speed, which of course slowed the unit behind. This was my fault and I should have seen it coming. Oh well. Stupid Anvil. The Steam Tank drove toward the Organ Gun and fired a shot, but failed to make the distance. My Cannon tried to shoot the Organ Gun as well, bit misfired. Fortunately my Engineer was there to ensure that the misfire was indeed a misfire. I'm pretty sure he's never actually managed to stop a Cannon or Mortar misfiring. I don't think he knows how they work at all. The result was that it missed the next turn of shooting. The Volley Gun crews began a long, slow slog as they hauled their weapons across the field toward the enemy lines. They only ever got to fire once in the game, and did little. The Knights on my left headed straight towards the distant Cannon in the corner. They had a long way to go.

The Dwarf turn saw the Slayers wander up in front of my main Knight bus before being propelled into combat by the Anvil. The Cannon shot at the Steam Tank again but didn't hurt it (or did after not hurting it the previous turn - not sure). The Organ Gun made a rather lame attempt to hurt the front row of Demigryphs, and might have done a single wound. Its performance for the game was definitely a disappointment (although not so much from where my Demigryphs were standing). In combat the Slayers didn't achieve much except commencing the assassination of my Wizard Lord, who was displeased to see so many great weapons waved in her face. I killed a lot of Dwarfs and won the combat, not that they cared.

In my turn the front unit of Demigryphs wheeled about and crashed into the flank of the Slayers, looking to disengage my main unit as quickly as possible. The other unit performed a swift reform to adopt a 2x2 formation and moved up alongside through the narrow gap between the tail end of the now-engaged unit and the table edge, heading for the Organ Gun. The Steam Tank turned and attempted self defence against the runed Cannon in the corner, but it was a lame attempt and the cannonball didn't make the distance. My Knights on the left continued their flat-out advance toward that Cannon, but they knew they were going to be too late... The combat saw my Wizard Lord brutally finished off by Slayer axes, but also the demise of the Dragon Slayer at the hands of my Arch Lector, and many of his Slayer brethren.

In the Dwarf turn the Slayers were wiped out, freeing up my main unit and the Demigryphs, although the latter were facing the wrong way and had no real room to reform. The Dwarf Warriors on the far left of my line wheeled toward the nearest of my Knight units, even as my other unit scooted along near the table edge and made for the Cannon. The Organ Gun disappointed Greg again, managing a mighty 4 shots or some such. It may have wounded a Demigryph, but didn't kill one. The Grudge Thrower misfired, I believe. Or maybe it just didn't hit. The un-runed Cannon next to it definitely misfired, this time fatally. Truly it was a useless machine. On the bright side, the main Cannon finished off the Steam Tank with some precision shooting. Oh well, it had its chance to protect itself and failed, so it got what it deserved.

In my turn I tried a long-distance charge on the Cannon with my Knights on the left, but they didn't make the distance - but they almost certainly would the next turn. I charged the Organ Gun with the Demigryphs on the right, whilst my main unit charged the Longbeards on the hill. We'd be looking at a likely flank charge from the Warriors next to them, but I had to commit somehow. I hoped I would at least hold things up, and maybe take out the BSB. The non-charging Demigryphs wheeled and lined up the Grudge Thrower. My remaining Knight unit ignored the Warriors that were heading for them and looked toward the main central combat. My Cannon killed a couple of Grudge Thrower crew - I figured my Knights had the Cannon under control (or would soon). The Demigryphs on the right dealt with the Organ Gun and overran, but the combat with my Inner Circle Knights didn't go as well. The Dwarf BSB was not overly well protected, however he had a habit of passing 5+ and 6+ rerollable saves, and so I was only able to wound him - not kill him. In fact I killed very little, but so did the Longbeards (1+ saves will do that). I won marginally and as expected, the Dwarfs didn't care.

The end run of my Knights on the left flank came to a premature end when the Warriors who had been watching my other unit suddenly wheeled about and used the Anvil to plunge into my flank. It was a sad end to a good gallop, and saw the Knights off the field. As expected, the other Warrior block charged my Inner Circle Knights in the flank and waved their great weapons enthusiastically. The Dwarf shooting did little (with the exception of the demise of the Steam Tank, it was a recurring theme), but the main combat was interesting. I allocated everything I could to that BSB, but couldn't manage to drag him down. The Dwarfs poured attacks onto my Knights but found it difficult to make any real headway thanks to all the armour (and me actually passing a good number of saves). Nevertheless the Dwarfs had a flank, charge, 3 ranks... It was bad. I needed double 1s. On the bright side, I got to take the test on 3D6 thanks to the Captain, and pulled out the double 1 I required. Not sure I'd ever taken a break test of 3D6 before - this cold blooded business is da bomb...

That test was pivotal. My remaining Knights on the left were 14" from the rear of the Warriors attacking the flank of my Inner Circle Knights and I made the charge.That would swing the combat resolution in my favour. The Demigryphs declared their charge on the Grudge Thrower, fully intending to wheel through and smack into the flank of the Longbeards in the same turn. Unfortunately I couldn't make the 13" required and the charge failed, which meant the combat would be pretty dicey. The other Demigryphs headed toward the Anvil, which they now had a clear path to. My Cannon fired up that turn and, seeing that my Knight run had failed to deal with the enemy Cannon, lined it up and blew it off the table. Success!

The central combat was a close-run thing. My Knights arriving in the rear had the usual rubber lance syndrome and killed perhaps 1 Dwarf. My ongoing efforts to kill the BSB proved fruitless once more, but I did kill a couple of Longbeards. The Dwarfs dragged down a couple of Knights, but not enough to save the combat. Of course, they were Steadfast with a BSB reroll. They couldn't fail, right? Well, the Warriors didn't. They held, keeping both of my units in place. However, the Longbeards and the BSB managed to botch their rerollable Ld 9 test and fled - which meant the BSB managed to top himself after all the effort I had put into trying to drag him down. Ah well, I guess he should have been dead by then - but it was still pretty harsh.

The fifth Dwarf turn saw the cowardly Longbeards realise the error of their ways and rally, only to be flung back into the flank of my Inner Circle Knights, who had performed a combat reform to face the Warriors. The Grudge Thrower failed to protect itself from the incoming Demigryph Knights, so it was on to the main combat. My BSB commenced a series of impressive rounds of combat in which he cut down 2-3 Warriors a turn, and my Arch Lector did pretty well for himself too. Unfortunately I lost a number of Knights and lost the combat fairly marginally, but the Inner Circle Knights held. The few remaining Knights in the rear of the Warriors were less brave and headed for the hills. There went my rear bonus...

In my turn the Demigryphs all made their charges - one unit into the Grudge Thrower and the other unit into the Runelord on his Anvil. I think the fleeing Knights failed to rally, and fled to within 1" of the table edge, which cunningly put them out of sight of the Warrior block that had so easily dispatched their sister unit. The combats went as planned, and not so much. The Demigryphs fighting the Anvil killed both the guards but didn't dent the Runelord himself. He did the odd wound in return, and the two remained locked in combat for the rest of the game. The Demigryphs fighting the Grudge Thrower demonstrated their impressive prowess by inflicting only a single wound, which meant there was a crewman remaining, even after the earlier cannonball claiming 2 of them. This meant I wouldn't be able to hit the flank of the Longbeards, and my main (now much depleted) unit would be in real trouble. However, Greg picked up the dice and failed the stubborn Ld 9 test, removing the remaining crewman and his machine - and allowing me to overrun. For the second time in 2 turns I had failed to kill something with all the forces at my disposal, only to have Greg fail a break test we both expected him to pass. This behaviour was very noble from my perspective, but very frustrating from his.

The Demigryphs hit the Longbeards very hard as expected, and culled their numbers rapidly. The combat I had been losing became one I was winning handily, and the Longbeards turned and fled only to be run down by the Demigryphs. The other Warrior unit held due to steadfast, and did so again in the final rounds when it was just them and the few remaining Inner Circle Knights duking it out. To add insult to injury I rallied the fleeing Knight unit right on the table edge, saving their points as well.

Result: 13-7

Game 5: Meeting Engagement
Chris Penwarden, Orcs and Goblins

Orc Warboss with Sword of Antiheroes, Talisman of Protection, Other Trickster's Shard
Orc Great Shaman L4 with ward save or magic res, I can't remember which.
Black Orc BSB with Armour of Destiny
Night Goblin Shaman L2 with dispel scroll, maybe?
30 Big'Uns with shields, command, Standard of Discipline
30 Orcs with shields, command
5 Wolf Riders
10 Arrer Boys
20 Black Orcs with shields, command
3 x 1 Trolls
2 x Giants
Rock Lobber

Comp score: 4

Chris has a habit of floating around the upper reaches of tournaments with armies that most people would say had no business being there. This is testament to how well he uses his army, but it also helps when you have bunnies boosting his score into the stratosphere. Today, I was to be that bunny...

When I realised I would be fighting an Orc army with no Doom Divers, I was delighted. This was a match-up I really should be able to win. The scenario called for us both to roll to see what forces would start the game off the board. I was lucky and only lost a unit of Demigryphs. Chris lost Wolf Riders, a Troll and his Big'Uns. He also had to set up first, allowing me to respond to his deployment.

Chris deployed his Rock Lobber on my left flank, in the narrow section of his deployment zone. Then came the Black Orcs, followed by a gap for his Big'Uns to arrive into, then the other Orcs, the Arrer Boys and the 2 Giants over on the right. The Arrer Boys were right in front of the obligatory building in the centre of the table, about to walk inside. Most of these units were back a fair bit, with a couple of Trolls out front. I responded with a stacked left flank, with Demigyryphs on the far left with Knights behind them, Inner Circle Knights beside them, and both Volley Guns and the Engineer in a forest near the line. The Steam Tank was on the right of the forest, and the second unit of  Knights deployed next to it, looking right at the sneaky Arrer Boys. At this point I stole the first turn and things were looking positively rosey. Then they started to go wrong.

I had planned to control the game with the Steam Tank - something only the Giants could realistically handle, and they were quite a long way away. Unfortunately I started the game by misfiring and losing all of my steam points. So I just sat there. Of all the results I could have rolled, this was the only one that was going to pin me in place. Oh well, I was still close. The Demigryphs entered at the back of the table and moved in as fast as possible, looking to face off with the Giants. My other unit of Demigryphs decided to try a charge on the Rock Lobber, which required a 10. I failed, but it would have been worth it for the dead machine and the potential overrun into the flank of the Black Orcs. My Knights on the right declared a charge on the Arrer Boys who fled, 2 of them running into some form of spiky, poisonous tree as they passed through a forest behind them. My shooting saw the Cannon target a Giant, misfire and miss 2 turns, which was not helpful. The Volley Guns ended up splitting their fire in a great display of indecision from me. I shot a single wound off the Rock Lobber and a few Black Orcs. Nothing too great.

In the Orc turn the Giants saw the approaching Demigryphs and decided that chicken was not their preferred flavour. They turned and moved behind the building toward the main Orc lines. The Orcs in reserve arrived, putting a Troll right in front of my Demigryphs on the left, Wolf Riders behind and the Big'Uns in the centre where they belonged. Another Troll stepped across and blocked the advance of the Knights who had charged at the Arrer Boys, and the Arrer Boys themselves rallied. Gork tried to stomp on my army, but I used a dispel scroll to prevent it. The Rock Lobber knocked a few wounds off the Steam Tank, improving the chances that it would misfire in the future.

My Steam Tank managed to move in turn 2, and headed for the Rock Lobber, lined up a shot, and knocked 1 more wound off it. The Demigryphs on my left charged the Troll immediately in front of them, as did the Knights on my right, whilst the rest of my stuff fapped about not doing much. I was trying to clear the lines again to line up the enemy's flank. The Volley Guns managed to kill the Rock Lobber (just - 4 hits from 20 shots made rolling a 6 to wound a bit shaky), and cull a few more Black Orcs. My Demigryphs discovered that Trolls who pass 5 out of 6 regeneration rolls are annoying, and couldn't afford to chase it when it fled - it would put them right in front of the main lines. The Knights on the other side also managed to inflict a single wound on their Troll, even as it puked on one of them and dissolved him. This Troll was within range of the general, so didn't break.

The Black Orcs turned to face my main units, whilst the rest of the Orcs fidgeted and waited for the Trolls to annoy me to death. The Giants kept heading for the Steam Tank, the Wolf Riders tried to edge their way around the back of my Knights, and the fleeing Troll rallied. The Orc magic phase was an exercise in frustration, as I let 2 pointless Goblin spells through only to lose 2 dispel dice to Sneaky Stealin', and was thus unable to block Foot of Gork. Thankfully it didn't actually hurt anyone when it came down, but that didn't stop Chris nearly wetting himself with laughter at my frustration over the stolen dice.

In my third turn the Steam Tank misfired again, losing all its steam points (again). The Cannon misfired (again), missing another turn. The Demigryphs moved to receive a charge from the Black Orcs, but to angle it favourably for a counter from the main Knight unit. Any possibility of getting to the main lines was blocked by the useless Steam Tank - it was hindering me more than anything at this point. The Knights trapped behind my lines on the left turned to face the annoying Wolf Riders, simply because there was nothing better for them to do. The late-arriving Demigryphs were finally getting close to helping my army, which was something - they were on the right of the Steam Tank and might actually be able to contribute. The Volley Guns opened up on one of the Giants and managed to drop it, which was something to cheer about. The Knights and Troll next to the building kept duking it out, but he refused to break no matter how hard my musician blew his trumpet.

In the Orc turn the Black Orcs charged my Demigryphs as expected and the surviving Giant charged the Steam Tank, whilst the rest of the Orcs largely sat back and cheered (partly blocked by the Troll fighting the Knights next to the building). The Wolf Riders decided Chris was being too timid in his orders and took matters into their own hands, animosity sending them straight into the Knights who were suddenly glad they had turned to face them. A Troll moved to block my reinforcing Demigryphs near the middle. They were everywhere, and I couldn't kill them...

I think the Goblin Shaman died this turn due to a nasty mushroom and an miscast from his superior (doing a Strength 6 hit to each, which the Orc shrugged off). The spell was Foot of Gork, and it killed a few Inner Circle Knights before fizzling out. In combat the Wolf Riders lost 2 models, killed a Knight and draw the combat. The Giant smashed the Steam Tank down to a few wounds his enormous club (I failed the initiative test to dodge), but the Black Orcs found the Demigryphs to be pretty tough, especially needing 5s to hit  them because of Iceshard Blizzard. The Black Orcs killed one, but lost the combat. They held and watched the Inner Circle Knights approaching their flank.

My fourth turn saw the Steam Tank misfire and lose all of its steam points again, lest it run over the Giant and survive. The Knights charged the flank of the Black Orcs, whilst the Demigryphs in the centre attacked the Troll in their path. Magic saw me cast an irresistible Harmonic Convergence, which removed several Knights and my wizard along with them. Awesome. The Volley Guns opened up on... something. I don't remember what, and it doesn't matter. The first one rolled 2 misfires and blew up, which panicked the Engineer. That meant he wasn't there to stop the other one also rolling 2 misfires, but at least it just didn't fire. At this point Chris decided I wasn't allowed to use my own artillery dice anymore, but I think the damage was done. I finally got to shoot my Cannon, but I don't think it had a decent target. It might have killed a few Orcs.

In combat, the Demigryphs and Knights made short work of the remaining Black Orcs and tried to turn to face what they knew was coming. The Giant didn't finish off the Steam Tank that turn, but I don't remember why. Maybe he headbutted it. The Demigryphs in the centre once again showed that Trolls are a force of nature and not to be trifled with - they lost a wound, didn't get any through its defences and failed to break it. Aww yeah. Nearby, I think the Troll vomited on the second-last Knight, but the last man hung about and kept blowing his trumpet as if it was going to make any difference.

The Warboss in his Big'Uns charged the flank of the Steam Tank alongside the Giant and prepared to slingshot off it with an overrun, into my Inner Circle Knights. The details get a bit messed in my head at this point. The Giant killed the Steam Tank, allowing the Big'Uns to hit my Knights in the flank. The Demigryphs would have counter-charged in the flank, but a Troll was of course in the way. Because of course I was yet to kill one of them. That was about to change, though. The other Demigryphs actually dropped the one they were fighting and charged the flank of the Giant, right next to the flank of the Big'Uns. If they could kill the Giant in a single round, they could save the battle. The Troll fighting the one remaining Knight failed to vomit on him - maybe he was out of ammo. This meant I won by musician, and with the Warboss off laying waste to my army, the Troll had no leadership. My Knight triumphantly rode him down, but ran half an inch into a forest, found a tree and killed himself on it.

The Demigryphs fighting the Giant did better than I expected, with 4 wounds coming from the mounts before the riders attacked. 3 Knights needed to do 2 wounds, but could only manage 1. That meant the Big'Uns were free to attack my Inner Circle Knights with impunity. The Arch Lector and BSB stepped across to fight, and I had given the unit a 5+ ward save with an irresistible prayer that turn in preparation. The Arch Lector issued a challenge and found himself facing a Warboss with 6 attacks and Strength 8, but managed to only take 1 wound. The BSB was less lucky however, and couldn't fend off regular Orcs with his saves. I lost combat by 8, dropping me to Leadership 2. I rolled a 3. I got away, but the Orcs charged me again the next turn and ran me down.

The Demigryphs that had charged the Troll protecting the Orcs had to take a panic test at this, and of course fled straight off the table. The unit fighting the one-wound Giant were charged by the remaining block of Orcs led by the BSB and Great Shaman, who cast 'Ere We Go and Fists of Gork to ensure there were no survivors. The Demigryphs did take the Giant down before they went, but it was too little, too late. I lost the Volley Gun to the same unit in the last turn (I shot at the unit rather than move out of sight, because I was in a vindictive mood by now), and the game was over. I had gone down 16-4, but comp made it even worse.

Result: 2-18

Game 6: Battleline
Sean Davis (aka Nasher), Warriors of Chaos

Sorcerer Lord of Nurgle L4 with Charmed Shield, Power Familiar, Nectrotic Phylactery, barded steed
Slaanesh BSB with Book of Secrets, Steed of Slaanesh, Conjoined Haemonculus, Enchanted Shield (maybe?)
40 Marauders of Slaanesh with great weapons, command
40 Marauders of Slaanesh with great weapons, command
20 Chaos Warriors of Slaanesh with halberds, command
3x5 Chaos Knights of Slaanesh with musicians
2 x Chariots
6 Marauder Horsemen of Slaanesh
2 x 5 Warhounds

Comp score: 2

Going into my previous game I knew I as doing pretty well and could have been in for a shot at a place, but my abyssmal performance there ensured that any chance of a distinguished finish was gone. This left Nasher and me fighting it out for maybe a top-10 finish, but that wasn't important. What was important was that we kiiiill each other. So we set about doing that.

The table had a hill in the middle of my deployment zone (with a fine view of the obligatory tower in the centre of the board), a forest on my right and a swamp out in no man's land to the left. I deployed the units of Knights wide on each flank, with a unit of Demigryphs behind the forest, ready to swing around to the right of the tower. The Steam Tank was on the ground next to the hill in the centre. Next to it (on the hill) were the Cannon, Volley Gun and Engineer, followed by my main Knight unit, the other Volley Gun, and off the left side of the hill were the other Demigryphs.

Nasher deployed his 3 Knight units on my right, with the Chariots near the tower. The Warrior block was deployed to advanced immediately to my left of the tower. One unit of Marauders deployed in horde formation just to the left of that, with the Warhounds in front. The Marauder horsemen were behind them, with both characters in the unit. The remaining Marauders were on the left, deployed in a deep formation 5 wide. Nasher got the first turn and off we went.

The Knights swept forward on the right, disdaining whatever threat my little Knight unit might pose (and far enough away to make a Demigryph charge risky). A Chariot lurked behind the tower, looking around for a target. On the other side the army advanced en masse, matching the speed of the infantry. Nasher rolled 12 power dice for the magic phase (apparently he'd been doing this sort of thing all tournament). The BSB threw a 2D6 Fireball at one of my Volley Guns, and I let it through with an eye to his more dangerous spells - thankfully only 1 wound from 10 hits. I also allowed Magnificent Buboes through, doing a wound to my Wizard Lord. This was all in the interest of dispelling Cloying Quagmire on my main unit, which I just barely managed to do.

My turn saw the Steam Tank roll forward and fire a shot at the Chariot slightly to the left of the tower, doing 3 wounds to it. The main Cannon finished it off. I swept along the flanks with both Knight units, in the case of the unit on the right sailing right past the nearest Chaos Knight unit to get out of their sight. The rest of my lines remained static. In the magic phase I cast Comet of Cassandora in front of the centre of the Chaos lines, and Nasher decided to let it through (a move he later regreted). One of the Volley Guns opened up on a unit of Warhounds and killed 1 whole dog (yes! Insert fist pump here). The other killed a row of the Chaos Warriors, which was much better.

The Chaos lines kept rolling forward. A unit of Chaos Knights charged the flank of the Steam Tank in the hope of holding it up and denting it a little. The others advanced behind them. One unit of Warhounds leapt up in front of the Volley Gun on my left, trying to block its shots. The Sorcerer Lord left the Marauder horsemen and moved behind the tower, leaving them free to move rapidly left  behind the lines with the BSB (who was fast cavalry, unlike the Sorcerer). The magic phase was less impressive than the previous turn, and the Comet did not arrive yet. The Chaos Warriors received regeneration from Fleshy Abundance, and I was forced to allow another boosted Fireball through against my wounded Volley Gun, but this time he rolled 2 hits and no wounds. The Chaos Knights clanged into the side of the Steam Tank, but made no progress in terms of damage.

In my turn I agonised briefly about charging the Chaos Warriors with the Knight bus when the Comet of Cassandora was coming down so nearby, but decided it was worth it. If it was big enough to hit me, it was going to hit a lot of Nasher's stuff too. So I charged them. The Demigryphs on the left charged the Warhounds in front of the Volley Gun, whilst the other Demigryph unit charged the flank of the Chaos Knights fighting the Steam Tank. The Knights on my left flank attempted to charge the flank of the Marauder horsemen with the BSB, but failed by a tiny fraction of an inch. The Knights on the other flank swift reformed to follow close on the heels of the nearest unit of Chaos Knights. And then the magic phase began, and the Comet came down...

I rolled 9" for the blast radius of the spell, which meant it hit the Marauder horsemen, both units of Marauder infantry, a unit of Warhounds, the Chaos Warriors and my Knight bus. By this point it was doing 2D6 +2 Strength 6 hits on each target, and the damage was considerable. I killed 12 Marauders from one unit, 11 from the other, all the Marauder horsemen (leaving the BSB alone), all the Warhounds, and 4 Chaos Warriors (4 more passed regeneration rolls). I also killed one of my Knights - I rolled far fewer hits on the unit and passed most of my saves. Nasher was very pleased, as you can imagine. I then cast a boosted Harmonic Convergence, which affected almost everything in my army. Not bad at all. Unfortunately in the combat phase the Wizard Lord was cut down by a couple of Chaos Warriors, so her fun was at an end. But the unit (which now consisted of 5 models) was wiped out by the Knights, BSB and Arch Lector, and I reformed to face the nearby Marauders. The Demigryphs on the left made short work of the Warhounds and also turned to face the Marauders. The other unit hit the Chaos Knights hard but only managed to kill 1. They broke anyway and fled through the tower, killing another 2 of them. In the shooting phase the Chaos BSB had a close encounter with a Cannonball, but lived to tell the tale. One Volley Gun tried a pot shot through a combat at the BSB as well, but for no damage. The other fired upon the Marauder horde, killing more of their number.

In their third turn, the Chaos army charged in earnest. The big Marauder bus charged the Demigryphs in front of the Volley Gun, and were supported by the BSB, who was showing off just how fast a Steed of Slaanesh could go. The Marauder horde (now much depleted) charged my waiting Knight bus. The fleeing Chaos Knights rallied behind the tower, whilst the 2 other units charged my victorious Demigryphs from the front and side (the unit in the side traveled through a forest and one of them was claimed by a tree and some careless riding). The chariot tried to assist, but failed its very easy charge roll (it needed a 4 or 5 with Swiftstride). In the magic phase the Chaos Sorcerer discovered he had undisputed magical supremacy and dropped my Steam Tank in a Cloying Quagmire, killing it. He also gave the Marauder horde regeneration.

The combat phase did not proceed as the Chaos Gods would have hoped. The Demigryphs on the left shrugged off the attentions of the Chaos BSB (only Strength 5, you say? Hah!) and laid waste to the Marauders, killing something like 14 of them. They fought back feebly, realising they were hopelessly outclassed. They did hold thanks to Steadfast, but the BSB was by himself and enjoyed no such protection. He broke and died, presumably falling on his own spiky banner pole. The other Marauders fared little better, despite their regeneration. They did no damage after many of them were cut down before they could strike. Without Steadfast, they were doomed and were ridden down without mercy. To the right, the Demigryphs found themselves facing 9 Chaos Knights from 2 different directions. They fought valiantly (still having Harmonic Convergence helped), and after inflicting 2 wounds without loss, ultimately the combat was a draw.

In my turn the Knights on my right flank charged the rear of the Chaos Knights flanking my Demigryphs, however I think I lost 2 to dangerous terrain and was lucky they didn't panic on the way in. I had no other charges as the few remaining targets were skulking behind the tower. I began a process of trying to herd the survivors into a position where I could charge them, but it was ultimately fruitless. My Volley Gun on the right fired at the 2 Chaos Knights who had rallied far away (just in range) and cut them to shreds. In combat, the Demigryphs on the left slaughtered what was left of the Marauder bus, running down the survivors. The other unit found the going tougher, but managed to kill all but 1 of the Chaos Knights to their front. He fled, heading for the trees on the other side of the table that would ultimately claim his life. The other unit held on Ld 6, despite facing Demigryphs in the front and Knights in the rear (not that they had hurt anyone).

The fourth turn saw Nasher with a Sorcerer Lord, Chariot, and 4 Chaos Knights. From that point on however, I wasn't able to kill another model. The Chariot repeated its charge from the previous turn and made it, resulting in the untimely demise of my Demigryphs. The Knights in the rear were wiped out by Rot, Glorious Rot. The loss of their rear bonus contributed heavily to the lost combat. Between magic and charges, Nasher managed to clean up one of the Volley Guns, the Cannon and the Engineer. I lost most of the Inner Circle Knights, and only kept my Arch Lector thanks to a failed 1+ armour save after I failed my Initiative test against Cloying Quagmire. I failed to bring my forces to bear the way I needed to, and the Sorcerer hugging the tower drove me insane. He did have to negotiate one cannonball, however his Charmed Shield carried the day. The Chariot also managed to pass a 6+ armour save against a shot from the remaining Volley Gun to preserve its last wound. My efforts at the clean-up were poor and focused too heavily on my growing frustration with the Sorceror. Ah well, these things happen.

Result: 13-7

In the end I had 70 battle points after comp, with 4 wins and 2 losses. This put me in 12th place, with the usual traffic jam of close scores immediately above me. Obviously a couple of the games could have gone better, but that's not unusual. The army did a reasonable job against a variety of opposition and felt like it competed in most areas of the game.

Final results can be seen here.

The Steam Tank literally misfired about 80% of the time all tournament, however most results allow it to keep on trucking, albeit in a slightly reduced (or damaged) capacity. It was only in game 5 where it really imploded, and that probably cost me the game - my great advantage became a serious headache. In the other games it was tough, dangerous, and provided me with the extra cannon the army needed. It probably did about 20 wounds to itself over the tournament through misfires (either steam overloads or cannon malfunctions), but it only finished itself off once and lived through 2 of the games.

The Demigryphs are great. They're quick, dangerous, and very tough. If you can get a spell like Harmonic Convergence off on them, they will shrug off a lot of damage and make the enemy pay. They were particularly good in the games against the Dwarfs, where it felt like they couldn't really be stopped by the shooting and would do the job no matter how few got there in the end.

The new Volley Gun rules are good. They're reasonably reliable, especially with an Engineer to watch over them. They scare people and help you to control the table, which is not something the armies that I tend to make can normally do.

All in all, it was a decent outing with the new Empire book and a reasonable confidence boost ahead of the ETC - this list (or something very similar) should be able to compete. Thanks to Dale for running the event, and anyone else behind the scenes, and thanks to all of my opponents for some interesting games.


  1. Great write up, I enjoyed reading it.

    Your army is the sort of list that keeps my Tomb Kings up at night. Dealing with that much heavy armour is just not posible with the tools at my disposal, and the Tomb Kings magic lore(s) don't bring anything to the table in that regard either.

    Have you considered a ruby ring? Probably would have justified it's inclusion for the tournament in that OnG game alone.

  2. Yeah, the all-armour list does pose certain armies a lot of problems.

    I don't normally rate the ruby ring that highly. You're right that it might have been nice to wave it at the trolls, but given it's not being backed up by heavily offensive magic, you're generally looking at the damage from the ring itself - assuming you can even manage a wound against the troll. Not something I've ever bothered including. Maybe my domination-by-troll is my due punishment, although the real killer in that game was my own steam tank.