Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Cancon 2014 Aftermath: Part 3

This is the third part of my account of my tournament experience at Cancon 2014. You can find the previous game here.

Game 3 – Meeting Engagement
Jonathon Walker – Dwarfs
  • Dwarf Lord on Shieldbearers with 1+ rerollable armour save, 4+ ward, great weapon
  • Thane (BSB) with 1+ rerollable armour save, Master Rune of Challenge (I think it was on this guy...)
  • Runesmith with Master Rune of Balance, Rune of Spellbreaking, great weapon
  • 24 Longbeards with great weapons, full command, Rune of Slowness
  • 15 Warriors with shields, full command
  • 10 Quarrellers
  • 10 Quarrellers
  • 10 Thunderers
  • 10 Thunderers
  • 20 Hammerers with full command
  • Grudge Thrower with 2 Runes of Pentrating, Rune of Accuracy, Engineer
  • Bolt Thrower with Engineer, Rune of Burning
  • Bolt Thrower with Engineer
  • Organ Gun
The list above does not actually total 2400 points, but it's what I can remember. It's close enough. The scenario was Meeting Engagement, which is the one where you deploy diagonally, with deployment zones only 12” apart. So that is good for an army with no shooting against a Dwarf army with 4 pieces of artillery and 40 missile troops, right? Well, it turns out it's not necessarily any better than a normal battle...
Ahoy, there! We're waaay back here!! I think that shiny gem in the middle of the dice is actually the front of the Dwarfs' deployment zone...
The table had a river that ran along one corner, and of course Jonathon won he roll-off for table sides and chose to deploy right back against the corner, behind this river. So I was going to have to wade through it, and his forces were probably a good 30” from the majority of my table edge. Oh well.

In this scenario you also have to roll to see who doesn't turn up for the start of the game, and Jonathon lost a Bolt Thrower and some Quarrellers, whilst I lost my smaller unit of Flagellants and my Hurricanum. Not ideal, as these were 2 of the slowest things in my army, and they would have a long slog ahead of them. I failed to steal the first turn with a 6, and the game began.
The entirety of our lines before the start of the game. Those Flagellants below the Coke bottle are in reserve.
The Flagellants and Knights were to be my flanking force - the elements closest to the enemy line.
I had looked to get some forces closer to some of the Dwarfs by putting my larger Flagellant unit and the small unit of Knights over on my left, in the deep part of my deployment zone. They were effectively flanking the enemy, but then in his first turn Jonathon walked his reserves onto the table, to the left of my units. Now the end of the line was in the wrong direction. Curses. Shooting was relatively painless, unless you count the Grudge Thrower landing a direct hit on the Flagellants and killing 17 of them. So I only had 11 left. In a single blow they went from formidable to questionable at best. Bummer. That flank had been looking so good...
Look, more Dwarfs! Who invited them?
In my turn, the Flagellants compounded my woes by failing their Frenzy test and wasting a turn charging nowhere fast toward the newly arrived Quarrellers. This got a few more of them shot, and put them little closer to the enemy. The Knights wheeled past them, but were likely to be doing things by themselves. The rest of my forces advanced as quickly as possible, which rapidly closed the gap but would still leave me with some middling charges the next turn.
The Flagellants' enthusiasm gets the better of them, basically wasting a turn.
The rest of my forces move forward quickly, although the late arrivals have a long way to travel.
The Dwarfs really didn't move very much, although the Hammerers stepped forward and discovered that the river was a River of Light. I think they copped Net of Amyntok, but didn't really seem to care. The Grudge Thrower decided it had done enough to the Flagellants and focused on the War Altar instead, but managed to roll poorly and did no damage. The other shooting knocked off an Inner Circle Knight and a couple of models from the small Knight unit on my left, but generally was unimpressive. I was getting off relatively lightly.
A couple of failed charges up front slow my advance somewhat.
In my turn Jonathon used his Master Rune of Challenge to force my Demigryphs to charge, although the Rune of Slowness ensured they were never a realistic chance to make it. They staggered forward and sat on an inconvenient fence in front of them. My Inner Circle Knights tried for a charge against the nearest Dwarfs (the Thunderers on my right flank), but rolled poorly and didn't make it. The small unit of Knights on my left fared better and charged the Bolt Thrower, but then set about demonstrating how useless they could be. They charged in turn 2, and were still fighting the same war machine at the end of the game. Boo yeah!
The Flagellants continue to goof around, but at least the Knights made it in.
Little did I know that this was a fight that could not be won... The Knights would be bogged for the rest of the game, and even refused to budge when eventually flanked by the Quarrellers. Stalemate of boringness.
The Flagellants declared a charge as well, but they failed their roll again and staggered forward once more. They were not having the best game. They would lose a couple more models the following turn before finally making a charge against the Quarrellers. Unfortunately by the time they did this (and wore another round of Stand and Shoot), only 2 models remained. These guys fired up and actually won a round of combat by killing 3 Dwarfs, but then they fell and the Quarrellers reformed and flanked the Knights, joining the Combat That Cannot End. It was epic and awesome, in all the wrong ways. Here endeth the tale of misery that was my left flank. I lost my most expensive unit of Flagellants, and got 0 victory points in return.
Charged by Dwarfs. The shame! The outrage! The remarkably good outcome!
At least the Warriors didn't make it as well. That would have been too much.
In their third turn, the Dwarfs got uppity and declared not one, but two charges! One of them failed, which was the Warriors trying to get to my Inner Circle Knights before they could make another attempt at the Thunderers. The other charge was successful, however; the Lord and his Hammerers charged into the front of my Demigryphs as they tried to disentangle themselves from the fence. Impressively the Demigryphs demonstrated that they had things well in-hand, and despite losing one of their number, they thrashed the Dwarfs in combat. I then sent the Arch Lector in alongside for support, and the last Hammerer fell in that second round of the combat. The Dwarf Lord may have been unkillable, but he was alone and had lost combat by about a million. He fled and was run down, although it meant my units were pursuing along at an angle in front of the waiting Longbeards.
The arrival of the War Altar is enough to see the last Hammerers die and the Lord break and get run down.
Of course, there is someone watching my pursuit with interest...
The Dwarf shooting continued to be fairly unimpressive, with the Organ Gun misfiring and missing a turn. The armour of my Knights allowed them to shrug off the worst of the damage from the other shots.

With the Dwarf Warriors having failed to intercept them, my Inner Circle Knights made it into the Thunderers the following turn, although my unit was somewhat depleted by dangerous terrain tests and the river casting Banishment on them. Thanks, river! The Knights carried on and cleaned up the Grudge Thrower in the corner. The White Wolf Knights declared a charge on the Warriors, but they elected to flee rather than provide my unit with a slingshot into the artillery. Unfortunately they fled rather quickly by rolling a 12, and even with the -1 for having stumpy little legs, they managed to make it off the table.
My Knights finally manage to make the charge, which begins a minor rampage accounting for multiple war machines and the Thunderers.
The Longbeards seemed to have taken exception to the butchery of the Hammerers and their general, and declared a charge on the Demigryphs right in front of them. I fled, and then ran again with the War Altar when they redirected. Both of my units escaped, although they did so in a slightly unconvincing fashion. They also both rallied, but the lack of distance I had put between us meant the Demigryphs got charged again the following turn (although I was at least facing them this time).
Run! Can't get charged twice by Dwarfs in a single game... Actually we can. Just not this turn.
Over a couple of rounds of combat my Demigryphs perished to the great weapons of the Dwarfs, but they did their job – they held them in place long enough for my remaining Flagellant unit to swing around behind the Longbeards and charge into their rear. At this point I was keen to make sure they finished the job, so the White Wolf Knights (who had been mopping up the remaining artillery and a unit of Thunderers, the latter of whom actually managed to kill off my Beast Wizard), rushed back across the river to put my Wizard Lord within Banishment range of the Flagellants. The principle was sound, because I didn't want the Wizard to cop a Banishment or Shem's Burning Gaze from the river without an armoured bodyguard to protect her. I was right to be worried, because as soon as they entered the water, sure enough they found themselves the target of Banishment (it was a very hostile River of Light – none of these nice friendly Augment spells for it). The spell was rather unforgiving and killed all 3 or 4 of my remaining Knights, giving Jonathon their points as a bonus. It was pointed out to me later that the point where the unit crossed the river was actually a ford (it was not obvious), so the Wizard could have just ridden across alone and unmolested. Le sigh.

Anyway, I did indeed manage to cast Birona's Timewarp on the Flagellants, and they did terrible, terrible things to the Longbeards and they, the Runesmith and BSB perished as the game ended.

In the end I had killed everything but that invincible Bolt Thrower on my left, and both of the Quarreller units. I had lost the larger Flagellant unit, the Demigryphs, the Beast Wizard and the White Wolf Knights. I think that put the score at something like:

Result: 17-3 (16.3-3.7 after comp)

So after only a few weeks, I have finally covered the games of my first day. After a slightly demoralising start, I was actually travelling OK at this point on about 34 battle points out of 60. The question would be whether I could continue my upward climb...

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