Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Axemaster 2012 Aftermath - Day 1

Axemaster is over for another year, and now that I've had a day to recover, it's probably time for me to start writing a report before I completely forget what happened...
The tournament about to kick off
I've posted my list before, but I'll repeat it here for convenience. I received a 12/20 for comp (scores for everything were doubled in the event in order to avoid rounding and decimals, so you'll find the games were out of 40 instead of 20, and the comp scores out of 20 instead of 10). Axemaster used comp-battle, where you take the difference between the two comp scores, halve it, and apply it as a modified to both battle scores (so higher comp adds half, lower comp subtracts half). Overall scores for the round were capped at 0 and 40.

Arch Lector on War Altar
     General; Prayers of Sigmar; Great Weapon; Light Armour; 
     Talisman of Preservation
     Van Horstman's Speculum

Wizard Lord of the Light Order
     Magic Level 4; 
     White Cloak of Ulric
     Fencer's Blades

Captain of the Empire
     Barding; Full Plate Armor; Battle Standard; Warhorse
     Charmed Shield
     Talisman of Endurance
     Biting Blade

51 Halberdiers
     Standard; Musician; Sergeant
     Detachment - 6 Archers

9 Knights of the Inner Circle
    Standard; Musician; Barding; Shields; Lances
     Banner of the Eternal Flame

28 Flagellants

4 Demigryph Knights 
     Standard; Musician; Barding; Shields; Lances

Great Cannon

Celestial Hurricanum

Steam Tank

TOTAL: 2498 points

If 12/20 seems like a pretty high comp score, that is because everyone across the field was slightly higher than you might expect. I felt my list was fairly strong, with good synergies and answers for most things. It was competitive. I haven't taken a photo of my army yet, but I'll make sure there's one on the report for day 2.

Round 1 - Glood and Glory
David Lowe (High Elves)

Archmage (L4 Shadow) with Folariath's Robe, Talisman of Saphery
Noble (BSB) with Armour of Caledor, Dawnstone, Great Weapon, Longbow
Mage (L2 Life) with Annulian Crystal
32 Sea Guard with Full Command
10 Archers with Musician
10 Archers with Musician
20 Phoenix Guard with Full Command, Razor Standard
20 Phoenix Guard with Full Command, Banner of Arcane Protection
5 Dragon Princes with Standard, Musician, Banner of Swiftness
5 Dragon Princes with Standard, Musician

Comp Score: 16/20

When determining scenarios, Axemaster uses the approach suggested by Games Workshop (ie roll each game) with a slight twist. A single dice is used to determine what will be played on every table, which is only fair. The TOs also reserve the right to reroll the result if the same thing keeps coming up each round. Anyway, the first round turned out to be Blood and Glory. David had a relatively soft High Elf army, with no Banner of Sorcery, no Eagles, and no White Lions or Swordmasters. His comp score reflected this, but it meant he was in danger of being outmuscled by my army.
The game underway, with the High Elves responding to my aggressive opening turn
David deployed with his Phoenix Guard units on my right behind a hill, with some Dragon Princes behind them. The Sea Guard with the BSB went in the centre, with a unit of Archers to either side. The archers to my right contained the lesser Mage, whilst the Archmage took the other unit behind a forest. Next to them (and anchoring the left flank) were the remaining Dragon Princes, also behind the forest.

My deployment put the Steam Tank on my left, with the main Halberdier block next to it, led by my Wizard Lord. Next to them was their detachment of Archers in a forest, behind whom went the Hurricanum, with the War Altar next to it.  On the right of the forest went the Demigryphs, with the Flagellants behind them. The BSB went with the Inner Circle Knights on my right flank, looking at the hill. It was not the best place for the BSB, but I figured he could close with the rest of my lines when things got serious. My Cannon was well behind me lines, off to the left. With no Eagles David was unlikely to threaten it, so it didn't really need a guard.

I managed to get the first turn and the Steam Tank rolled towards the Dragon Princes on the left and shot one with its cannon. The main Cannon shot diagonally across the table into the flank of the other Dragon Princes and killed 2. The rest of my forces advanced, with the "buff wagons" (the War Altar and Hurricanum) staying in range of everything except the Knights, who were too far out on the flank and advanced up behind the hill. I believed they were out of sight there, but David felt otherwise. I conceded the point because I wasn't fussed enough to argue. 
The Phoenix Guard launch themselves at my Knights
This then saw them charged by the Phoenix Guard with the Razor Standard, whilst the other Phoenix Guard and the Sea Guard both tried and failed to make it to my Demigryphs. Probably for the best really, given I had +1 to hit and hatred on the unit thanks to the buff wagons. The Dragon Princes on my right moved up next to the engaged Phoenix Guard on the crest of the hill. The other unit on the left moved forward to the edge of the forest in front of them. David cast the Enfeebling Foe against my Knights, dropping their Strength by 2. He also cast Shield of Thorns on the Phoenix Guard they were fighting, however it never hurt anyone. The first 10 archers managed to shoot and kill a Demigryph outright (he had forgotten his armour, obviously). The rest did far less, thankfully. In combat my Knights lost 2 models and managed to kill 4 Phoenix Guard in return (their ward saves were unimpressive). I lost, but not by enough to break.

In my second turn the Flagellants charged the exposed flank of the Phoenix Guard on the hill, whilst the Demigryphs (depleted though they were) went straight into the Sea Guard. I tried to send the Halberdiers in too, but they fell short. The Steam Tank smacked straight into the Dragon Princes on the left and wiped them out with impact hits. The buff wagons advanced to a position where they affected both the Flagellants and the Demigryphs, and then in the magic phase I cast Birona's Timewarp on the Demigryphs, as well as Pha's Protection on the Flagellants. 
The Flagellants arrive in the flank of the Phoenix Guard
The Wolfygryphs bound forward to show the Elf BSB some puppy love
So many spells in play
In the combat phase the poor Sea Guard didn't know what hit them. The BSB got absolutely mauled by 2 Demigryphs with +1 attack, ASF, +1 to hit and hatred. He died twice over. The rest of the unit fared little better - I think I killed 10 of the Sea Guard. Steadfast held them in place, but they were not enjoying themselves. The Phoenix Guard continued hacking at my Knights and managed to kill another 3 of them, but the Flagellants in the flank hammered them in return, won the combat and broke them off the table. Fortunately for the Dragon Princes who were right behind, the Flagellants were too busy picking bits of dead Phoenix Guard off their flails to pursue very far, so they remained unengaged with their flank facing the remaining block of Phoenix Guard.

In his second turn David clearly decided aggression was the order of the day. The Phoenix Guard hit the Flagellants in the flank, whilst the Dragon Princes swung around and charged my Knights in their flank as well. The Archers to the right got feisty and charged the Demigryphs in the flank as they concentrated on eating all the Sea Guard. The only ones that didn't charge were the Archmage's Archers - so at least someone was being sensible...
The...ahem... fearsome count-charge of the High Elf Archers and Mage. Maybe they just like dargs.
Almost all the High Elves get in on the counter-charge act
The Archmage managed to cast The Withering on my poor old Knights, who seemed to cop all of that mage's attention. This dropped them to Toughness 1, but that was OK - armour saves were the key here. The Dragon Princes sharpened their pointy sticks and got ready to kill my weakened Knights, but the BSB cried "Make way!" and stepped across to absorb their best efforts. The unit then reformed to face their assailants and suddenly the advantage was all mine.

The Demigryph combat went predictably poorly for the Elves. The Demigryph on the end turned and focused all of his attentions on the Mage in the Archer unit and swallowed him whole. The remaining attacks killed about half of the remaining Sea Guard, doing just enough damage to ensure they were not Steadfast. Consequently they ran, however the Demigryphs were unable to pursue because the Archers bravely (stupidly) held their group on snake eyes. Oh well, their funeral. The Phoenix Guard made little progress with the Flagellants and lost a couple of their number to the return attacks. The Flagellants then reformed to face them, negating most of their combat bonuses.

In my third turn I charged the War Altar into the flank of the brave and foolish Archers. The Halberdiers declared a charge on the Archmage's Archers, who decided sticking around would be a mistake. They turned and fled almost off the table (rolled an 11 or something).  The Steam Tank rumbled after them, but they looked like getting away.
The Elves' Archmage heads for the hills
Whilst the remainder find their opponents turning to face them
At this point I was within 1 fortitude point of breaking David's Elves and winning the game, and my main hope was the Dragon Princes fighting my Knights. However, we each killed 1 model and the Elves held their ground, so I found no joy there. The Flagellants and Phoenix Guard looked like being stuck in combat for the rest of the game unless someone intervened, however that all became irrelevant when David failed to rally his Archmage and she fled from the table. The army was broken. Game over.

Result: 40-0 (38-2 after comp)

It wasn't really a fair game, this one. My army had a whole lot more punch than the Elves, which meant David was the one who would have to do all the work. He rushed to get into combat when he probably didn't need to, and things went downhill from there. Had he moved to protect the flank of his Phoenix Guard attacking my Knights rather than going for a long-range charge on the Demigryphs, things may have gone better. Oh well. In the end David didn't get any points out of my army, so the margin was pretty much the maximum possible.

Round 2 - Watchtower
Adrian Stakula (Orcs and Goblins)

Azhag the Slaughterer
Goblin Big Boss (BSB) on Gigantic Spider with Armour of Destiny, Shield, Spear
Night Goblin Shaman (L2) with Dispel Scroll
Night Goblin Shaman (L1) with Feedback Scroll
5 Wolf Riders with Standard
5 Wolf Riders
5 Spider Riders
5 Spider Riders
35 Savage Orc biguns FC, additional choppaz
53 Squig Herd (39 squigs, 14 herders)
Wolf Chariot
7 Trolls

Comp Score: 12/20

I believe the last time I played Staks' "Gobwarts"-themed Orcs and Goblins was at Axemaster last year, where it looked like I was going to utterly roll him, and then the dice intervened. His list was a bit different this time around, with Azhag flapping about on his overgrown lizard. Unfortunately the scenario rolled up was Watchtower, which promised to spoil the game a bit. Neither of us had a Core unit that we could deploy in the tower if we won the roll-off for control, and we both had units that could prove extremely difficult to dislodge once they got in there. Here it was worth 1000pts rather than outright victory, however - so loss of the tower was not the end of the world. I "won" the roll-off, which meant in reality I lost. I controlled an empty tower whilst Staks chose the table side and automatically got the first turn, and therefore got to the tower first.

The table was a bit of an odd one, with a river running right up the centre. The Watchtower was actually a boat, with a bridge on one side and a ford on the other. How the boat got there is anyone's guess - poor sailing, one would imagine. I deployed my Steam Tank to the left of the river, intending to tangle things on that side of the tower. My Flagellants dipped a toe in the river and discovered it was a Necrotic Ooze, meaning the whole unit would have poison attacks so long as a couple of them didn't mind trying not to drown each turn as they swam through it. Behind them were the buff wagons, whilst to their right were the Halberdiers and Wizard Lord. On the end of the line were the Demigryphs up on a hill, with the BSB leading the Knights behind them. The Cannon was behind the Halberdiers, as was the detachment - they suspected they would be on Wolf Rider duty.
Staks' Savage Orcs are all brutish thugs from the house of Slytherin
Staks had far more deployments than me, so was able to respond reasonably well to my setup. The Trolls went opposite my Steam Tank, and were already patting their bellies to get the vomitous juices flowing. Azhag was right behind them, with the Arachnarok and the BSB to the right, almost in the river. On the other side of the river went the Savage Orcs, eager to get into the boat/building/tower/thingy. Behind them was the Squig Herd. There were fasy cavalry units on both flanks, and the Wolf Chariot was on the far right. The greater Goblin Shaman joined the Savage Orcs - the lesser one deployed way off by himself, behind a hill. Staks didn't have big plans for that guy's spell, whereas he was positively gleeful when Azhag got Purple Sun of Xereus and Soulblight. Bummer.

After using Vanguard to close the gap, in the first turn Staks sent a Wolf Rider unit right round my right flank, getting a look at the Cannon.  The other unit went well around the left, behind a forest next to the river. The Spider units were more circumspect and skittered around near the deployment zone. The Trolls advanced at a decent speed toward the Steam Tank, with Azhag right behind, looking to use them as a shield from incoming Cannon shots.  The Arachnarok moved up next to them, behind the tower. The Savage Orcs made best speed toward it, intent on taking it and making it their own.
The big stuff advances. That's Azhag there on the Buckbeak
Staks started the first magic phase by rolling triple 6 for his channeling (he did this twice during the game, jammy power-mad git), and knocked 3 wounds off the Steam Tank with Spirit Leech. I think his Night Goblin Shaman tried to cast Curse of da Bad Moon, but rolled a 1 on his mushroom dice and so failed automatically. He did this twice, and I think it was the sum total of what went wrong for Staks in the game (he passed every Animosity, Stupidity and Frenzy test all game, and nearly every saving throw)...
The "Wolf Riders" whiz around the flank on their brooms  
The forces close on one another
In my turn the Steam Tank trundled forward and fired its cannon at Azhag, but a Troll caught it and passed his regeneration roll. The Cannon also fired, but the same Troll caught that one too and added it to his collection (or maybe ate it). My detachment turned around and fired at the Wolf Riders, however Staks began a procession of passed armour saves that ensured he didn't have to take a panic test. The Flagellants moved toward the building, already knowing that they would be too late to do anything more than assault it once it was occupied. The Demigryphs wheeled well around from the flank, with the Knights following them. I tried to use Banishment on Azhag (and possibly Shem's Burning Gaze on the Trolls), but Staks stopped it.
The hand of Gork itself descends to intercept my advance
The Trolls eye off my Steam Tank whilst Azhag hides manfully behind them
Turn 2 saw the Savage Orcs take the tower, whilst the Trolls charged the Steam Tank and commenced puking bombardment. Before the Savage Orcs arrived, the Arachnarok skittered over the boat and charged my Flagellants. The Wolf Riders behind my lines charged the Archer detachment (who had blocked the path to the Cannon), but Staks passed his armour saves against the stand and shoot reaction, so no panic again.
We're on a boat!
Stupid invincible Wolf Riders...
In the magic phase Azhag cast boosted Soulblight with irresistible force, but only wounded himself and his pet Wyvern with the miscast result. So the Flagellants and Steam Tank found themselves in worse positions than expected. The Trolls knocked a wound off the Steam Tank, but it wasn't going anywhere yet. The Arachnarok found itself fighting Flagellants with +1 to hit, hatred, rerolled wounds and poison. It was very glad they had lost a Strength thanks to Soulblight. As it was they did 5 wounds to the thing, but it wasn't enough to win combat as it Thunderstomped a number of them and knocked the Frenzy out of them. This effectively ended any chance I would have of taking the tower back from the Savage Orcs. The Wolf Riders and Archers fought each other to a stand-still
Quick, get the fly spray
When Trolls attack...
In my turn we concluded that I couldn't hit the Arachnarok in the flank with the Halberdiers - the gap between the Flagellants and Demigryphs (who had just charged and were about to kill a blocking unit of Spider Riders) was wider than the unit, but didn't leave room for them to wheel. That was annoying. It didn't really matter, as the Flagellants killed the Arachnarok big-time with a lot more poison rolls the second time around (8 unsaved wounds). My remaining units wheeled a bit further around toward the tower, and the Squigs who no longer had a Savage Orc screen to hide behind. I cast a boosted Birona's Timewarp which may have contributed to the success of the Flagellants. It also boosted the Archer detachment, who peppered the Wolf Riders with attacks but still couldn't make real progress through their armour - I think he passed 4 from 5 saves or something.

In Turn 3 Staks charged his Wolf Chariot through a forest and into the flank of my Demigryphs. I confess I was not overly worried. The Wolf Riders over on the left swept around and blocked the advance of my Flagellants, taking the place of the Arachnarok. The Spider Riders over that side also moved around behind the Steam Tank. Azhag celebrated having Soulblight by casting the boosted version irresistably again, wounding his Wyvern a second time. 
Fluffy (who had been demoted from Giant to Chariot for this tournament) charges the flank of my Demigryphs
Azhag, the original Nasty Skulker
The second unit of Wolf Riders sell their lives for the Greener Good
The Chariot in the flank of the Demigryphs did little, however I figured that with Timewarp on him the Demigryph on the end would have it under control. Then I managed to do no wounds. Oops. Thankfully the unit didn't break, but it hadn't gone the way it should have. The Archer detachment did finally kill the Wolf Riders, thanks to a second round of combat under the influence of Timewarp. That had been waaay harder than it should have been.

My memory of the game becomes a bit vague at this point. I managed to hit Azhag with a Strength 5 Banishment the next turn, however I only managed to kill the Wyvern and do a wound to the Orc himself. This put him on foot, which prompted him to climb onto the boat and celebrate his newfound safety with his Savage Orc mates. The Flagellants charged and killed the Wolf Riders, however before they could move on to something more useful, the Spider Riders stepped in their way. I then spent the rest of the game failing to kill them - the final Spider passed a break test on snake eyes, then passed 2 armour saves the next turn, and was still there at the end. Yay.

The Night Goblin Shaman cast Curse of da Bad Moon through my Halberdiers, killing about 15 of them. This meant they were somewhat depleted for the combat to come. The Demigryph awoke from his stupor and killed the Wolf Chariot, then the unit braced as the Squig Herd arrived. Unfortunately I ended up losing 2 Demigryphs and the combat by 2, and failed my rerollable break test before failing to rally and heading off the table. The Squigs reformed to face my lines and copped a combined charge from the Inner Circle Knights and Halberdiers, with the Hurricanum close behind, giving them +1 to hit. The combat was brutal, and in the end I managed to save the last Halberdier by charging the Hurricanum itself in and killing the remaining Squigs with impact hits. That was close.

Over on the left the Trolls eventually killed the Steam Tank and found themselves facing the War Altar, which had moved across to shield the Cannon. The War Altar didn't exactly cover itself with glory and eventually succumbed and was run down. I think that Troll caught another cannonball along the way too. He was good at that.

The game ended with the wounded-but-alive Azhag leading the Savage Orcs in renditions of the Pirates of Penzance on their glorious 1000 Victory Point boat. I had lost the Steam Tank, the War Altar and the useless Demigryphs. Staks had lost the Arachnarok, the Squig Herd, the Wolf Chariot and 3 of the small cavalry units (damn that last Spider!). I had lost narrowly, however the margin became a lot more pronounced once you counted the Watchtower.

Result: 10-30 (equal comp)

Realistically that game was decided by the roll-off for the Watchtower. From there it was just a question of whether I could claw back points or would end up handing over more. Things didn't really go according to plan, but nor did they go as badly as they could have. Had I rolled a few more hits with Banishment against Azhag, and held or rallied with the Demigryphs, I would have been looking pretty good apart from the tower. Of course, I came within 1 model of coughing up the points for all 50 Halberdiers, so things were a bit tight elsewhere. Oh well, I'll get you next time, Stakula! Maybe.

Round 3 - Blood and Glory
Aaron Harrison (Warriors of Chaos)

Sorceror Lord (L4) on Disc of Tzeentch with Mark of Tzeentch, Infernal Puppet, Talisman of Preservation
Throgg the Troll King (hail to the king, baby)
Exalted Champion (BSB) with Mark of Slaanesh, Biting Blade, Shield, Steed of Slaanesh, Dragonhelm, Crown of Command
17 Chaos Trolls (yes that's right, seventeeeeen)
14 Chaos Marauders with Full Command, Mark of Khorne, Flails
5 Marauder Horsemen with Mark of Slaanesh, Spears, Throwing Spears,  Musician.
5 Marauder Horsemen with Mark of Slaanesh, Flails, Light Armour, Musician.
5 Warhounds
5 Warhounds
3 Dragon Ogres with Great Weapons
Chaos Hellcannon
Chaos Warshrine

Comp Score: 8/20

The dice dictated that we would be playing Blood and Glory for the second time in one day. At this point it was agreed that it would be the last time we accepted that result, as twice in one tournament was enough. Anyway, it was what we had for this round. My opponent this time was Aaron Harrison, and he had brought all the Trolls. 17 of them, with Throgg at their head (he makes Chaos Trolls core, which is the only way you're ever going to see this work). Between that and a Tzeentch Sorcerer Lord with the Infernal Puppet, his comp score was on the harder side.
He looks so nice and unassuming, doesn't he? But inside he is a cold, hard, Throgg-powered Troll Horde Fielder. Shut up, that is totally a thing!
I'll be honest here, the scenario saved me. I had no real answers for a Troll unit of that size -not with a character of the potency of Throgg leading them. I had a few things that I could have pumped up with magic and sent in, but they would only have damaged the unit and then been destroyed. I also didn't have a lot of disposable delaying units, so I was unlikely to keep the unit out of the game for long enough. Blood and Glory changed all that - the unit was worthless from that perspective, given it had no banner and Throgg was not the general. The fortitude lay elsewhere, and there was not a lot of it. In fact, he had only 4 - the Sorcerer Lord (2) and the BSB and Marauder standard (1 each). If I killed any of these, the game would end. So his army was exceedingly brittle in this scenario. Unlucky for him it had come up twice in 3 games, although I believe he won the first time round...
Throgg and friends
The left, with the Marauders hiding with their valuable standard
The table had 3 buildings on it, including a tower in the centre that kind of looked like a hangover from the previous game. Aaron deployed his Marauder infantry (the unit I had earmarked as key to my winning the game) on my far left, behind one of the buildings. One of the Marauder horseman units went next to them but used Vanguard to sweep in towards the centre before the game started. On the other side of the building went the Dragon Ogres, with a screen of Warhounds in front and the Warshrine next to them. In the centre of the line was Throgg and his mates, with their admirable 24x12cm footprint taking up a fair amount of the deployment zone. The other Warhounds were in front of them on the hill, whilst the Sorcerer Lord skulked behind it. Next to the him were the remaining Marauder horsemen with the BSB (actually I think they deployed wider and then Vanguarded backwards), and finally the Hellcannon.
Blinding sunlight seeks to devour any models unfortunate enough to be made from Citadel Finecast
My deployment was clustered around the middle-right of the table. The Steam Tank was almost directly on the centre line, with the War Altar behind it. The Halberdiers were to the right of the Steam Tank, with the Hurricanum and detachment behind. Then there were the Flagellants, sitting in front of a hill that was occupied by the Demigryphs with the Knights and BSB behind, and the Cannon beside the Knights at the back, with a good view of the field.

We both rolled terribly for magic, however it was probably more crippling for Aaron, who managed not to roll either Pandemonium or Infernal Gateway (which he set a record with by successfully casting it 7 times against me in a game a few years ago in a 7th edition tournament). I didn't get Banishment (although the War Altar could still cast it), nor did I get Birona's Timewarp (further ensuring I couldn't stand up to the Trolls).

I got the first turn and advanced on the left of the central tower with the Steam Tank, which also managed to shoot one of the Dragon Ogres dead. The War Altar swung to the left and wiped out the Marauder Horsemen with Banishment. My main lines advanced, with the Demigryphs going fastest toward the Hellcannon, despite having to enter a forest on the march.  The Cannon fired at the Hellcannon, but failed to hurt it.

Aaron moved the Warhounds in front of the Dragon Ogres right up in front of the Steam Tank, blocking its path. The other hounds moved right in front of the Flagellants, trying to force them to charge and carry on toward the Trolls, who wheeled about a bit to face the oncoming infantry. The Hellcannon missed its target and magic was uneventful, so it was back to me already.

In Turn 2 I charged the Steam Tank and the War Altar both into the Warhounds, figuring with a big overrun the Altar might make it to the damaged Dragon Ogres. The Flagellants gave the Warhounds what they were asking for and charged them. The Demigryphs edged a bit closer to the Hellcannon, but were too far for a realistic charge. They turned a bit in case an opportunity regarding the Trolls arose as well. In the magic phase I cast boosted Speed of Light, giving the Flagellants and Halberdiers WS and Initiative 10. This wasn't so much for my turn as for what would follow. I also killed a Marauder horseman with a scattered blast from the Hurricanum. This would prove pivotal. The Cannon failed to hurt the Hellcannon once more.

Both Warhound units died with a whimper, and the Flagellants overran to within an inch of the waiting Trolls. The War Altar managed to roll a 12 for its overrun, and slammed into the Dragon Ogres (I can't remember what it needed, but I think it was at least a 10). Things were going pretty well.
The forces of Chaos engage
In Aaron's turn the Trolls lurched into the Flagellants right in front of them. Aaron was hoping to wipe them out in a single round, allowing him to overrun past into the Halberdiers, who had just been charged by the Warshrine. This was optimistic given my boosted Weapon Skill, but still possible. The Marauders on the far left swung around the house and started marching toward the flank of my engaged War Altar. I think the Hellcannon charged my Demigryphs this turn too.

The Troll vs Flagellant combat was ugly. I think the Flagellants did about 10 wounds after saves, but they got savaged in return, losing around 20 models. This was not enough to wipe them out, but they wouldn't be there for much longer. The Warshrine found itself fighting the Halberdiers alone, and broke and fled from combat, only to be caught. The Halberdiers halted their pursuit just short of the Trolls - they were not ready for that yet. The War Altar did little damage on the charge against the Dragon Ogres, although the Arch Lector did a wound or two. He took one in return, but was alive and still in combat.

In Turn 3 I charged the Steam Tank in alongside the War Altar, intent on rescuing my general. In hindsight this was probably a mistake when I should have been after the Marauders, but it didn't end up mattering. Things were not going well with the Trolls and I could see that the game might go downhill badly. I wimped out and took the easy option - I shot the BSB off his steed with my Cannon, given that he only had 4 Marauder horsemen for cover (insufficient for Look Out Sir!). Without a ward save, he had no hope and with his demise I broke the Chaos army.

We kept playing for a while after this, given it hadn't been much of a game. We actually called it quits when I killed the Hellcannon with a flank charge from my Inner Circle Knights, carried into the Sorcerer Lord who had floated behind it, and broke him in a couple of rounds of combat. However, by this point the Marauders had arrived in the flank of the War Altar and killed my general, and the Trolls had mopped up the Flagellants, turned around and ploughed into the flank of my Steam Tank. This they killed with a couple of rounds of impressive vomit, then turned and were about to chase down my Halberdiers, who had spent some time hiding in the tower, but had re-emerged in the hope of pulling off a rear charge on the Trolls before they suddenly finished the Tank and reformed. Had I lost the Halberdiers I would have been broken too, so things were getting much closer. And it was true - I couldn't stop the Trolls.

Anyway, all of that was academic because the game had actually stopped when I killed the Chaos BSB with the Cannon, and had yet to concede any points of my own.

Result: 38-2 (40-0 after comp)

I felt a bit bad about the way the game had ended, although slightly better when it looked like I would still have come out on top (albeit far less convincingly) when we kept playing. Obviously I did the right thing from a competitive perspective, but I suspect it had killed the game a bit in terms of my opponent's enjoyment. Sorry, Aaron.

So at the end of the first day I was on 88 of a possible 120 points. Not a whole lot, but enough to put be within reach of the top. At this point the one rampaging away with the tournament was Chris Cousens, who was running Kholek Suneater (most hilarious and terrifying of Dragon Ogre Shaggoths) at my suggestion. He was undefeated at the head of the field, and I was beginning to think I had created a monster. No doubt that would come back to haunt me tomorrow...
Kholek Suneater, despoiler of hopes, dreams and rankings points

1 comment:

  1. Actually, Chris assures me that Kholek was in fact in second place at the end of the first day. It was only the next morning where he really started to pound down the rest of the field...