Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Book of Grudges 2012 Aftermath - Day 2

This is the second and final part of my report for Book of Grudges 2012. You can find part 1 here.

So day 1 had gone remarkably well, and I arrived at the start of day 2 prepared to duke it out for the lead with the current frontrunner, Aaron Graham. However, someone else had other plans. Enter: Hieu Lam!
Dazzled by Hieu's charismatic posing, I was unable to take a steady photo...

Round 4: Battle for the Pass

Hieu Lam - Skaven

Warlord - Fellblade, shield
Grey Seer - Talisman of Preservation
Warlord (General) - 5+ ward save 
Chieftain - Battle Standard, Shrieking Blade, Dragonhelm, 5+ ward
Warlock Engineer - Doomrocket
Warlock Engineer (Level 1) - Dispel Scroll
30 Slaves - musician
30 Slaves - musician
28 Clanrats - full command
30 Stormvermin - full command, Storm Banner, Warpfire Thrower
7 Gutter Runners - poison, slings
10 Rat Ogres
Warp Lightning Cannon 
Hellpit Abomination

Comp score: 3 (I think)

Hieu grudged me in last year's Book of Grudges and the game ended up pretty one-sided when his Skaven lined up 12" away from my army and got rolled by my all-cavalry Empire. Having decided he hated me forever as a result of this (I think he told me a few times during the game), I was somewhat surprised when he figured he'd have another go at me, this time halfway through the tournament...
The table for round 4 looked something like this, with me on the left and Hieu on the right.  We were separated by the 2 central columns on the grid.
The scenario was Battle for the Pass, so we would be playing lengthways down the table. The terrain looked something like the rough map above. I deployed on the left, and Hieu's Skaven were on the right. I put my Demigryphs at the bottom of the line, then had the main Halberdier block, the detachment, and the Steam Tank in the forest. The Volley Gun deployed just off the hill behind the Demigryphs, whilst the Cannon was on the hill behind the Crossbowmen and wizards.

Hieu deployed his Stormvermin on the bottom of the line, led by his crazy Fellblade-wielding nutter of a Warlord and the BSB. Next to them was a Slave regiment with both Warlocks in the unit. Behind them was the Warp Lightning Cannon. Next to the Slaves (and off the hill, I think) was the large Rat Ogre unit, 3 models wide. Next to them was the Hellpit Abomination, sitting a bit back from the line of deployment. The other Slave unit led by the Grey Seer sat behind the forest, and next to them was the Clanrat unit with the Warlord who was leading the army. The Gutter Runners scouted behind my lines, just over 12" away from the Cannon, near the ruined building.
The Empire battle line.

I had +1 for the roll-off for the first turn, however I lost anyway and Hieu got to move first. His Abomination moved up to  be at the front of the line and the Gutter Runners headed for the Cannon, moving up to short range on the hill. Their shooting was useless and they didn't hurt anything. The Warp Lightning Cannon shot at the Volley Gun, scoring a direct hit... that misfired when determining Strength.
The Abomination steps forth!
I moved forward a lot more than the Skaven did, with the Demigryphs sweeping around relatively cautiously, eyeing off the crazy Warlord with the Fellblade which might as well have been made to wipe them out. Fortunately he was more interested in talking to his own sword and stabbing himself with it (he took a wound in turn 1) than he was in the enemy. Thank goodness. The Halberd wall advanced at a good pace, and the Steam Tank headed out slightly in front despite misfiring and only having 2 steam points (otherwise it was considering going and running over the Gutter Runners). My Cannon wounded the Warp Lightning Cannon, but left it on 1 wound. My Volley Gun opened up on the Gutter Runners, and with the help of the Engineer, wiped them out. This prompted Hieu to tell me he hated me, so my suspicions were confirmed. I also took 2 wounds off the Abomination with a boosted Shem's Burning Gaze, so it wouldn't be coming back to life if and when it died, thank goodness.

I had left the Demigryphs within 15" of Hieu's crazy Warlord, and in a show of great ambition he decided this was easily worth a crack and promptly rolled double 1 - which was not enough. The unit staggered 1" forward. Some of the other units might have advanced a little, but I don't really think so. Magic and the Warp Lightning Cannon didn't do much again, so it was my turn.

In my turn I decided the Abomination had come close enough, and charged it in the front with my main Halberdier unit, and in the side with the Steam Tank. Hieu hated me, but that was to be expected. The detachment moved up alongside the parent unit, looking into the forest at the Slaves with the Grey Seer, and looking to protect the flank of the Steam Tank (not that it needed a lot of that). The Demigryphs moved backwards, deciding they they couldn't at this point contribute in any useful way and that the Fellblade was super scary. Hieu was suitably disdainful of such cowardice, which is fair enough really. The Steam Tank killed the Abomination outright on the charge with its impact hits, so the Halberdiers didn't need to do anything but cheer. They decided to reform so that they were now in column formation, facing the direction of the crazy Warlord and the Rat Ogres.

In Hieu's turn the crazy Warlord discovered that the Demigryphs were still in charge range (they only had to roll a 12) so naturally they had a go - and rolled a 3. The Rat Ogres decided sitting still was for chumps, and they charged the front of the Steam Tank (they failed their Frenzy test). The Grey Seer and Slaves charged the flank in a move that completely baffled me at the time. It turned out Hieu had forgotten that the Steam Tank was Unbreakable, so was looking for combat res. Ah. When I pointed it out, Hieu made a noise that indicated he should have known better and was a silly person. The Rat Ogres did 1 or 2 wounds to the Steam Tank. The Slaves did not. The Steam Tank stayed where it was, as dictated by the rules, and I got ready to counter-charge.

My turn saw only one charge, in the detachment hitting the flank of the Slaves with the Grey Seer. I considered charging the flank of the Rat Ogres with my now 10 model-long bus of Halberdiers, but decided I didn't need them because the detachment had the Steadfast situation sorted (or would do after wounds). My Warrior Priest managed to give my main unit (and more importantly, the detachment) rerolls to wound, which would go well with their rerolls to hit. I think they might have scored WS10 as well - I can't remember. But I'm pretty sure it was the rerolls to wound that made Hieu remind me that he hated me.

The Witch Hunter stepped out of his parent unit and aimed his pistols at the Warlord with the Fellblade, however the one hit he rolled didn't manage to wound, so there were no glorious celebrations to be had.

The combat was ugly. The Halberdiers killed something like a dozen Slaves, then the Strength 4 breath weapon of the Steam Tank killed 1 more (aww yeah!). The Rat Ogres bounced off the Steam Tank, the Slaves bounced off everything, and then they exploded (along with the Grey Seer) whilst the Rat Ogres ran away. Fortunately for Hieu I couldn't chase the Rat Ogres (only the Steam Tank was in contact), but the damage was done anyway.

Hieu's turn brought more charges. The Clanrats led by the army general charged the Detachment, however they had reformed to face them and were still within range of the parent unit, so it was not going to be an easy fight. The Slaves with the Warlocks charged my Demigryphs in order to clear a path for the Stormvermin to charge my feisty/stupid Witch Hunter. Of course, this being the same unit that had rolled a 3 and a 2 for their previous charges, this time they rolled... another 2. They probably needed a 4. It was truly impressive rolling on their part, and the Fellblade Warlord was well and truly frustrated by now. On the bright side, it was such a poor roll that the unit didn't expose its flank to the Demigryphs. That's something, right? Speaking of which, the Demigryphs made exceedingly short work of the Slaves that had charged them in the front. They killed both Warlocks and a whole pile of Slaves, and the unit's Leadership dropped through the floor and they popped with no harm to anyone. The combat between the Halberdier detachment and the Clanrats went pretty well for me because I still had the augment spells in play, and the Clanrats were outmatched, even with a Warlord leading them. I don't recall who won combat (I think it was me) but I held. The Rat Ogres did rally this turn, but in a place where I wasn't going to get to them with the Demigryphs. Good luck to them - they would live this day.

In my final turn (we ran out of time after this), the Steam Tank turned around and smashed into the side of the Clanrats fighting the detachment. I won combat by an enormous amount and the Skaven fled, however they fled fast-fast (12") and my detachment couldn't keep up. The general was fleeing, but I wouldn't get to finish him off. My Cannon did manage to finish off the Warp Lightning Cannon before the end, but the game was over.

Result: 19-1 (19.5-0.5 after comp?)

Well I can't say as this ended up being the most even game in the world. Hieu didn't actually get to kill anything, whereas my forces had cut the heart from his army. He made a few mistakes, most notably in thinking that he could break the Steam Tank, but he also didn't have ideal luck with the Fellblade's unit being truly attrocious at rolling charges (even when they should have made it). Hieu's magic didn't get to do much either, so he was left without the ability to really hurt me. All in all, I suspect he still hates me. If he comes for me in the night with a knife, let's hope it's a Weeping Blade. If he takes a Fellblade he's liable to fall on it and hurt himself. There's something wrong with that thing...

Round 5: Blood and Glory

James Brett - Orcs and Goblins

Savage Orc Warboss (General) - Basha's Axe of Stunty Bashin' (+1 S, +1 A, armour piercing), Trickster's Helm, Shield
Savage Orc Great Shaman (Level 4) - Fencer's Blades, Lucky Shrunken Head
Black Orc Big Boss - Battle Standard, shield, Banner of the Eternal Flame
Night Goblin Shaman (Level 2) - Sivejir's Hex Scroll
3 Goblin Big Bosses on Wolves with light armour, spears, shields, and a variety of cheap trinket items
24 Savage Orc Big'Uns - Full command, 2 choppas, Big Stabba
42 Night Goblins - Full command, Netters, 1 Fanatic
5 Spider Riders
Wolf Chariot
Wolf Chariot
8 Trolls
Arachnarok Spider
Doom Diver
Mangler Squig

Comp score: 5

Going into this game I was still in clear 2nd place, and figured I would be playing the leader for sure. Instead, I found myself playing James who was in 7th (I think) because everyone else in the top 6 was fighting in grudges. You see how this is not your average tournament? It's all rather funny.

I've played James only once before, and he was using Empire back then - so this list was a definite departure from that one. The scenario was Blood and Glory, which was not really ideal in this match-up. Normally I look at Orc lists and decide I will largely leave the tooled up Savage Orc block alone. However for this scenario I had to attack it if I wanted to break the army. Oh well, we would see what I could do.
The table for round 5, with the building kind of cutting it in half
I'm afraid I took no photos at all of this game - not even of James or his army. You'll just have to use your imagination. We were back on the same table as I had played on for game 1, however the building had been moved into the table centre for Watchtower and nobody had bothered to move it back. Looking around I saw this was the case for a lot of tables, so apparently leaving it to the players to shift things back didn't work very well.

I deployed along the bottom of the map, with most of my forces concentrated on the right of the building (which really divided the table in half due to its size). On the left I put the Demigryphs and the BSB, as they really didn't fit on the right. The Volley Gun and Engineer went on my far right, in the forest. I put the Crossbowmen up on the hill with the wizards in the unit and the Cannon behind. The Steam Tank went on the ground between the hill and the forest. The main unit went on the ground to the left of the hill, planning to go between the building and the hill. The detachment went on the ground in front of the hill. My deployment was the first thing I did wrong in this game, but I'll come back to that.

James deployed a Wolf Chariot immediately opposite the Volley Gun, and another behind his lines a bit. the Spider Riders went in the forest in front of my main lines, whilst the Arachnarok went into the other forest, behind the building. The map may be a bit off, because I think the Savage Orcs managed to go on the ground between the forests and move past the building without a hitch. The Night Goblins were behind the Spiders, in the forest again. The Trolls were to the right, between the Spider Riders in the forest and the Chariot hard on the flank. The Doom Diver went back on the table edge, and the left flank consisted only of the Mangler Squig and the 3 Wolf Rider characters, none of them in units. They all then Vanguarded forward (as did the Spiders) but out of sight, intent on causing mischief. 

Again I got the +1 for finishing deployment first, but still lost the roll for the first turn. Not what I was hoping for. The Wolf Chariot realised that this being Blood and Glory, we were only 18" apart instead of 24" as would normally be the case. This meant the Volley Gun was only 19" away - it only needed to roll a 10 to get me before I could shoot. Thankfully this did not eventuate, but it could have been bad. The lines all moved up, with the Wolf Riders swinging around the flank of my Demigryphs and the Mangler hop-spin-running towards them. The Arachnarok moved up hard behind the building. On the right of the building, the Savage Orcs moved forward at best speed toward my main unit, clearly seeing their best opportunity for a good win. The Trolls were alongside, however the Spider Rider unit was in between and in front a bit. The Doom Diver managed to miss this turn, however the magic phase was substantial and saw me allowing Eadbutt on my Wizard Lord because I didn't have the dice to stop everything. He wounded me on a 4+, but thankfully I passed my ward save.

In my turn I decided that the left flank was looking unpleasant, and it was time to try my luck. I charged the Demigryphs straight through the Mangler Squig, around the building and into the flank of the Arachnarok behind it. It looked impressive, but it was actually an easy charge to make. Running through the Mangler meant it would die and clean up the flank a bit (rather than letting it dictate terms), but it also meant copping 3D6 S6 hits with armour piercing - a preposterous amount of damage. I decided that on average I would only lose 2 Demigryphs, which would still allow them to do the job. James rolled 10 hits (about average) and 10 wounds (slightly better than average). Then I failed 9 out of 10 armour saves on 5+. That was not average. It was pitiful. So 3 Demigryphs keeled over with a pitiful wail and only 2 arrived in the flank of the massive spider, with the BSB in tow.

Over on the right, the Steam Tank was going to be important to controlling the advancing lines of Trolls and Savage Orcs. It was only natural then that I would misfire and lose all of my steam points. Damn it. My detachment stepped forward to block the advance of the Trolls, whilst the parent unit had to advance to stay within 3" of them and give them the boosts they needed. The Volley Gun opened up on the Wolf Chariot that had so nearly claimed it, but even with the aid of the Engineer, it only managed 7 shots. Thankfully this was just enough for the 3 wounds it needed to inflict, but it was a close thing. The Crossbowmen fired at short range on the Spider Riders in between our lines, but despite a ton of hits, could only manage 4 wounds. The remaining Spider ended up skittering away and hiding for the remainder of the game. My magic phase was a disappointment, and about the best I could manage was an unboosted Pha's Protection on my Halberdier block. I didn't even have Speed of Light, which would have been a real boost. Hopefully what I did have would slow down the Savage Orcs a bit. The Demigryph charge against the Arachnarok was underwhelming - I did 1 wound. That meant it had 7 left. It wasn't going anywhere.

In James' turn the Savage Orcs crashed into my main unit as expected. The Trolls went into the detachment. The second Wolf Chariot moved around to a similar position to the first one, looking at the Volley Gun. The Night Goblins turned in their forest to face the Arachnarok and moved up so that if I got through, I would have a Fanatic to contend with. 2 of the Wolf Rider heroes swung around the building and into a position to charge my vulnerable backline, whilst the other had squeezed along the right hand side of the building and actually tried a charge on my Cannon, but didn't make it. Magic saw me gathering my defences to block 'Ere We Go at all costs. It meant I let through 'Eadbutt again, this time at Strength 5, and it took 2 wounds off my Wizard Lord. Not good, especially with the Hex Scroll floating about. Then James cast 'Ere We Go on 3 dice, rolling a triple 6. Great. So much for my Dispel Scroll. Now he would reroll hits with the Savage Orcs, which more than cancelled my Pha's Protection. He rolled Dimensional Cascade on the miscast table, but avoided any ill-effects with the Great Shaman, killed only 4 Savage Orcs, and smashed 9 Halberdiers with the template. Awesome. I was in real trouble now.

In the combat phase, the Halberdier detachment managed to kill a single Troll before they could strike. It was not enough, and the unit got creamed in return. They got smashed badly enough that the casualties resulted in the back of the unit no longer being within 3" of the parent unit - so I lost Stubborn and Hold The Line!... and the unit was testing on double 1s. I didn't even come close, and they got run down as the Trolls carried on into the flank of the main block. I have to admit partial guilt here - I probably stepped too far forward toward the Trolls when they were probably going to come after my main units anyway. I had been hoping for a more substantial magic phase with which to ensure both combats went better, and I had nothing to show for it.

The combat with the main unit went poorly. The Savage Orcs and Trolls killed a lot of Halberdiers - at least 20 I think, maybe more. I did manage to beat down the Black Orc BSB in return and wound the Great Shaman, but it was a minor consolation. I held because I was Stubborn, but the combat was not going to last as long as I had hoped. Meanwhile the Demigryphs and Arachnarok did nothing to each other.

In my turn the Steam Tank woke up and realised it was missing the party. It crashed into the back of the Trolls, hoping to rack up some major combat resolution - maybe enough to win a round of combat and knock the Frenzy out of the Savage Orcs now that their Choppa bonus was gone. My small Wizard left the Crossbowmen and looked across at the approaching Wolf Rider heroes. He threw an unboosted Shem's Burning Gaze at one of them, but only managed a single wound with 5 hits. Then the Cannon fired grapeshot at the same target, managing 10 shots, but 1 hit and no wounds. The Crossbowmen fired at the one to the front, however even at short range they could only manage 1 wound. So all 3 were still in action. This was not going well. At least the Volley Gun did a more convincing job against the second Wolf Chariot, killing it several times over.

The combat was all going to come down to the damage the Steam Tank could do. On D6 + 3D3 Impact Hits, it managed a grand total of 6. That was very poor. I think it killed a single Troll. It was nowhere near enough. The Halberdiers did manage to finish off the Great Shaman, however the rest of the combat went terribly. By the time the Savage Orcs and Trolls were finished, I had just my Empire General and Witch Hunter left. They held, but the end was nigh. The Demigryphs lost one of their number to a Venom Surge from the Arachnarok, but did maybe 1 wound in return and still won combat, however the Arachnarok was stubborn on the general's leadership, and didn't care.

In James' 3rd turn it was all over. 2 Wolf Rider heroes charged my Cannon and another hit the flank of the Crossbowmen. The Demigryphs finally fired up and did 3 more wounds to the Arachnarok, which held. This didn't matter however, as in the combat that counted, the Savage Orc Warboss finally caught up with my Empire General. He made me take 4 saves and I failed 3 of them and died. That was it - my army had broken and it was game over.

Result: 2-18 (1.5-18.5 after comp)

Well that could certainly have gone better. The dice were unforgiving in several critical places, however I also made some major mistakes. My first was assuming that the best way for me to approach the game was to crack the main Savage Orc bunker and break the army. This was a mistake because I knew that they were too tough for me in a straight up fight. I should have sat well back instead of well forward and pounded the unit with magic and shooting if I wanted to engage it. Better yet, I should have planned not to try to break the Orcs at all, and just settled for killing the elements I could, and treating it as a normal game. Instead I made 2 poor decisions by focusing on the unit and by letting them into combat in turn 2. I also messed up with the detachment, putting them in a position where they lost their bonuses from the parent unit once they were being killed. That was stupid.

I also forgot just how close you get to each other in Blood and Glory. I nearly lost the Volley Gun as a result, and it contributed to the very early charges. Of course, I had deployed hoping to get the first turn. And I would have liked Speed of Light and a bigger magic phase. And for the Steam Tank to actually move. And for the Demigryphs not to have choked on the Mangler Squig. And for those damn Wolf Rider characters to have died when hit with significant firepower. And... And...

Dice aside, James played the game right and I did not. The dice made it worse, but they just prevented me from covering fundamental mistakes early on.

Round 6: Battleline

Chris Sedgman - Lizardmen

Saurus Oldblood on Carnosaur - Light Armour, Shield, Dragonhelm, Talisman of Endurance, Sword of Might
Saurus Scar-Veteran on Cold One - Battle Standard, Great Weapon, Armour of Destiny
Saurus Scar-Veteran (General) on Cold One - Light Armour, Shield, Burning Blade of Chotec, Glyph Necklace
10 Skink Skirmishers
10 Skink Skirmishers
10 Skink Skirmishers
24 Skinks - Standard, Musician, 3 Kroxigors
11 Skinks - 1 Kroxigor
6 Cold One Cavalry - Standard bearer
3 Terradon Riders
3 Terradon Riders
Ancient Stegadon

Comp score: 6

And so we came to the final round. The previous one had seen Dave Duriesmith use his Golden Grudge (from winning a previous eligible event) to hunt down Aaron (who was still the leader) and beat him soundly, which had dragged him back just as I had been pegged back by my thrashing to James. Basically the top of the tables was a massive traffic jam, with a whole pile of people sitting on about 70 points. Anything could happen.

It was at this point that Brad (Grand High Poobah of Book of Grudges) pulled Chris Sedgman and me aside and told us that we were the players in contention to win the Grudge Master award, for the most won grudge matches (3 apiece). We were basically on the same score, so he wanted us to play it out for the title. We both agreed before looking at each other's lists, then Sedgey groaned when he heard I had an Empire army with Cannons. His monster-heavy army with no magic whatsoever was not best pleased. I would have the advantage.
The table for round 6, with me deploying at the bottom again.
The final round was a straight up Battleline, so things would be nice and simple. Once again people had left a building in the centre of the table. I knew this, because we were back on the same table I played on for round 2, and it had been altered. Oh well, the building was nothing like as big as the one in the previous game. I would cope.

I got to choose table sides and took the same one as I had on my previous visit. I deployed with the Cannon on the hill near my centre, with the Volley Gun in front of it, and the Crossbowmen and Wizards to the right. The Steam Tank was alone on the left flank, covering the gap past the building. My main block went next to the Crossbowmen in the centre, with the detachment to their right and the Demigryphs opposite the gap between the oasis and the house in the centre. This was all done in ignorance of Sedgey's setup, as all he was placing was Skinks whilst I was committing my whole army.

Once I was done, Sedgy was able to place the rest of his army. The Skink Skirmishers, Salamander, Terradons and the small unit of Skinks with the Kroxigor were all spread between the left and the centre, facing my army. Then way over on the hill was the stuff he actually cared about - a line of Stegadons and the Carnosaur, the Saurus cavalry with 2 characters in the unit, and the main Skink unit was just off the hill toward the centre. He had placed things in such a way that the Cannon  would have to go through the Ancient Stegadon if it wanted to hit the Carnosaur - the Ancient was on catching duty. Such mistreatment of a stately old dinosaur.

This time I managed to win the roll-off for the first turn thanks to the +1, however first Sedgey used Vanguard with his Terradons and moved up behind the centre building with one unit, and about 13" out in front of the Steam Tank with the other. This got me excited, and with a toot-toot the Steam Tank set off, looking for a charge. Unfortunately 3D6 was only good for 7" of movement, which wasn't scaring anyone. The Demigryphs had better luck, swinging around and engaging the Terradons behind the house. We weren't really sure how the fudging of the charge was meant to work since I was in range, in the front, and could contact him easily, but his hugging the house meant most of the front was blocked. We compromised and angled both units diagonally - meeting in the middle. This put my flank right in front of the main body of the Lizardman army, but I figured an overrun would solve the problem.

I think it was a spell that left the Terradon unit in front of the Steam Tank with 1 wound remaining, and the remaining model panicked and fled, however it rallied right on the table edge in Sedgey's turn. It left my shooting with no great targets, however the Cannon had a crack at the Ancient and killed all but 1 of the Skink crew, and took 2 wounds off the beast. The Demigryphs made short work of the Terradons in the centre and overran, however they didn't go as far as I had hoped (7" with Swiftstride), meaning the Lizardman army would be close behind me, although at least I was out of their arc for immediate charges.

The main combat line of the Lizardman army saw my Demigryphs and decided they were an opportunity, so wheeled about and headed straight for them. I ended up with a line of the Skink block, both Stegadons and the Carnosaur all close behind my unit. Not good. Bet they wished they had overrun faster now, hey? The Saurus cavalry headed straight toward the oasis and my infantry beyond - the detachment was directly in their path, but a fair way away. Some of the Skinks kept coming around the gap on the left toward the Steam Tank, whilst the rest of them crowded up behind the larger building, with those close enough for the Demigryphs to realistically charge being out of their arc. The Skinks managed to do a wound to the Steam Tank with their shooting (yay for 1+ armour), but that was about it.

In my turn the Demigryphs took evasive action, with a swift reform and a backward move to put a bit more distance between them and the oncoming monsters (and Skinks). The main unit walked up close to the central building to lend the general's leadership to the Demigryphs, whilst the detachment moved up alongside, with their flank to the building, preparing to receive the charge of the oncoming cavalry. The Steam Tank ignored the Skinks in front of it and turned toward the Ancient Stegadon, which it could see  between the buildings. The little Wizard had left the Crossbowmen and joined the main Halberdier unit in order to get closer to the action, as he had rolled Speed of Light after the Wizard Lord failed again to get it. 

Speaking of magic, the power roll was a big one with 10 or 11 dice. This enabled me to force both Speed of Light and Pha's Protection through onto the Demigryphs, who were suddenly feeling a lot better about the oncoming enemy. The combined firepower of the Cannon and Steam Tank were enough to bring down the Ancient Stegadon, which further improved the situation. I don't think my other shooting did a lot. 

In the Lizardman turn, the Carnosaur, remaining Stegadon and Skink unit all declared charges on the Demigryphs, however the Carnosaur failed his roll (he might have need a 6 or 7, but doesn't have Swiftstride). The Saurus cavalry also charged my detachment, but rolled terribly and went nowhere fast. A Skink Skirmisher unit tried to sneak around behind the Steam Tank whilst the remaining Terradon came up alongside and used it as cover. Another unit of Skinks advanced through the central gap right next to my main Halberdier unit, whilst the smaller unit of ranked up Skinks followed them. I think the remaining unit of Skinks entered the larger building.

The Skink shooting didn't achieve much - I think the Cannon took a wound from the Skinks on the left. That meant it was combat time. The Stegadon did something like 5 or 6 Impact Hits and managed to kill a Demigryph (yay saving throws), however everything needed a 6 to hit me due to the spells in play, so there was no other real damage. My Demigryphs fought back and wounded the Stegadon a couple of times as well as killing a lot of Skinks. I won combat, but everyone was Stubborn or Steadfast, so nobody cared. 

In my turn 3 the detachment waited patiently for the Saurus cavalry to get their act into gear and charge them, whilst the parent unit reformed to face the Skinks trying to sneak past them on the left. The Steam Tank spun around and charged the Skinks on the flank (we were unsure whether to allow this - I still have ETC hangovers regarding such rules, so we rolled a 4+ and I made the charge). Magic was good again, however I wasted some of it trying to wound the Saurus cavalry, which was a complete waste of time. Stength 5 Banishment is a joke, apparently. My Demigryphs still benefited from Speed of Light and Birona's Timewarp, however Sedgey managed to pool all his resources to stop Pha's Protection.

My shooting removed the Skink Skirmisher unit right in front of my lines, and I think this panicked the unit in the building and sent it fleeing for Sedgey's table edge. The Steam Tank made short work of the Skinks it had charged, although 1 Skink survived to flee from the table, I think. The Demigryphs failed to finish off the Stegadon, but they broke the Skink unit because they savaged it to the point that there were as many Kroxigor as Skinks remaining. The unit fled and needed double 1s to rally, which it never managed and headed from the table.
The Skinks depart as the failed chargers prepare for another go.
The Carnosaur arrived late to the party against the Demigryphs, but it did arrive - which is more than can be said for the Saurus cavalry, who failed again to make the charge on the detachment. The Skink unit between the buildings tried to charge something (I think my Wizard Lord had left the Crossbowman unit and was off by himself), but failed. That left them with the main Halberdier block right next to their flank - not good. The Terradon charged over the Steam Tank and into the Volley Gun.

In combat the Demigryphs finished off the Stegadon, however they did only a few wounds to the Carnosaur with many, many attacks. They took little damage in return, and both parties held their ground. The Terradon and Volley Gun crew did no damage to each other, and I managed to pass the break test.

In my turn 4 the main Halberdier block charged the Skinks right next to them , and they chose to hold. The Steam Tank spun and arrived to rescue the Volley Gun, crashing into the back of the Terradon. My Wizard Lord headed into the central building, having had enough close encounters whilst in the open. I think my magic fizzled a bit this turn, because my Demigryphs didn't end up with the protection they wanted. The Carnosaur then challenged out my BSB (I think), and cut him down in a single round, for only a single wound in return. This meant I lost combat by 2, failed my break test without the reroll, and got run down. Bother. 

In the centre, the Halberdiers culled the Skinks to the point where the Kroxigor could reach sideways and swing, so he smashed the little Wizard to a pulp. The Lizards fled and would need double 1 to rally (which they didn't), so I restrained and reformed in a ridiculously wide formation in order to ensure the detachment would have the boosts it needed if the Saurus cavalry ever arrived.
Who needs ranks when you can be 20 models wide?
In Sedgey's turn the Saurus cavalry did indeed finally manage to make their charge. The Carnosaur rushed up behind the larger building and took cover from my Cannons. The fleeing Skink Skirmishers rallied far away, with no chance of doing much else in the game. The combat between the detachment and the Saurus cavalry went as expected - I managed to cut down 1 Saurus whilst a number of Halberdiers died, but Stubborn saw them hold position.

In my 5th turn the Halberdiers reformed again. The Carnosaur may have been lurking behind the building as cover, but it was looking right at my unit. I decided I had to reform 3 models wide in order to retain my depth and keep the detachment within 3". This was a fateful decision, but I was scarred from the previous game. My Steam Tank moved up to within a handful of inches, and would be in a position to charge the flank of the Carnosaur if he went in. My magic was a let down and I didn't get much of anything off. The detachment took more damage but held its ground. They would fight to the last.

Sedgey decided to gamble and charge my long, skinny Halberdier unit with the Carnosaur. Then came the fateful combat. My Witch Hunter shouldered his way forward and issued a challenge, managing 2 wounds on the Carnosaur - enough to kill it. Unfortunately Sedgey passed both saves and cut him down with no overkill. Nevertheless, it was enough to win combat. I had Leadership 9 with cold-blooded (Hold the The Line!) and rolled 6, 6, 4. I had failed. I broke, fled 4" and was run down by the Carnosaur, who went 7" and was still right in front of my line and within 6" of the Steam Tank. The detachment was also wiped out this turn, meaning I had wasted my time trying to give them bonuses from the parent unit (although a decent magic phase would have seen them toughen up and take fewer wounds). 
Sedgey realises that I suck at Warhammer, and am about to propel him to glory
It was time for my turn 6. Except that there was no time for turn 6. We got a 5 minute warning and had to pull the plug, with the wounded Carnosaur, 3 Saurus cavalry and 2 characters right in front of my Wizard Lord, Steam Tank, Cannon, Volley Gun, and Crossbowmen. Arrgh! Worse, it turned out the failed break test had cost me about 900 points, and lost me the game - by 98 Victory Points.

Result: 9-11 (8-12 after comp)

In Sedgey's defence, he looked rather guilty when I failed that break test. I think he was slightly surprised to find that he had won as a result, and was probably even more surprised when he found himself in 3rd place overall when the trophies were handed out. He had walked away with the Grudgemaster trophy as well. Curse you, Chris Sedgman! More grudges for you, methinks! Vengeance will be miiine (maybe)!!

In the final standings I was 7th, only 3 points behind Sedgey in 3rd place, and 4 points behind Dave in 2nd. Aaron Graham had recovered from his 5th round hiccup against Dave and pulled away to finish well clear in 1st. So I had blown 2nd place with that last test and then running out of time. Ah well, I will get it all right one day. The rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate!
Ah, if only my mastery of the game of war didn't resemble that of Zapp Brannigan so often...


  1. That was a great two day read in what looks like an awesome tournament format...

    I`d fear I`d be grudging Dwarfs all day though, it`s a racial thing ;)

  2. Thanks Tomsche, yeah the format is something a bit different, and can lead to some pretty funny antics. The eventual leader was head-hunted twice during the event - once by the guy who came 2nd, and once by a guy way down the tables with delusions of grandeur (in truth he was a normally competitive player having a horrid tournament with an unfamiliar army). Taking the lead in this event paints a big target on your head...