This post is a continuation of my account of the recent tournament, Axemaster 2014. You can find the previous part of the report here.
Steve Tuck, Ogre Kingdoms
- Tyrant with Armour of Protection, Great Weapon
- Slaughtermaster (Level 4, Lore of the Great Maw) with Talisman of Preservation, Dispel Scroll
- Bruiser BSB with Armour of Silvered Steel, Great Weapon
- Butcher (Level 1, Lore of Beasts) with Hellheart
- 8 Ironguts with Full Command
- 9 Ogres with Full Command, Light Armour, Ironfists
- 10 Leadbelchers with Musician, Champion
- 10 Gnoblars
- 10 Gnoblars
- 1 Sabretusk
- 1 Sabretusk
From an Ogre army with no Ironblasters to one with a pair of them, Steve's list represented much of what my Griffons had been hoping (admittedly optimistically) to avoid. This game was particularly notable as I think it contained the only roll-off I lost for the tournament (Steve won the roll-off to choose the deployment rules despite my +2 modifier, and went for Battle for the Pass).
|So I'm completely done deploying, and he's put down what? Anything..?|
With 2 Sabretusks and 2 units of Gnoblars, I had basically finished deploying before Steve put anything meaningful down. I was a little torn about how to approach things, as the wall of 10 Leadbelchers was almost as much of a concern for my big birdies as the Ironblasters. In the end I put each one wide in the deployment zone, gave them each some cover in case Steve stole the first turn from me, and basically just decided to play aggressively and hope for the best. I had rolled (and kept) Amber Spear on my Beast Wizard, so I could only hope to do some damage to the Ironblasters before they obliterated my beautiful birdies...
|Here is my deployment. One Griffon is hiding behind a building, whilst the other is trusting Demigryphs to try to catch cannon balls.|
|The Ogre deployment with the big unit of Leadbelchers in the centre.|
|Steve's dynamically posed Rhinogre Tyrant|
|I'm told this is what happens to Ironblasters when you leave the Gnoblars in charge.|
|After the Empire 1st turn. Advancing responsibly.|
|Sooo many Leadbelchers...|
|Sooo many shooty dice|
|My remaining Griffon attacks the house full of Gnoblars.|
|Pushed back, but it's hard for cannons to shoot him there.|
|Just after the end of Empire turn 2.|
|Steve's Gnoblars launch a glorious assault upon my Steam Tank.|
|The Ogres start to press forward as they continue to shoot.|
In my turn I had a decision to make. I was within range of the Leadbelchers, but my Knights were down to 8 models, the unit contained 2 characters with great weapons, and Wildform was boosting the whole unit. In the end I decided that backing off with the Knights wouldn't save them, and this was my best chance to swing things in my favour. I charged into the flank of the unit with the Griffon and Pegasus BSB, whilst the Knights went straight into the front, managing to contact both the Tyrant and Slaughtermaster (preventing them from using Make Way to go and cause my flanking forces issues).
|Things really start to happen in the middle.|
|The gamble. If this one goes south, I won't have much of an army left.|
|Stupid Sabretusks. Get dead. Note my Beast Wizard and Archers, moving up to get into my own way.|
On the bright side, the annoying positioning of the Beast Wizard was not in vain. On his third attempt he finally managed to get Amber Spear through Steve's magical defences, and shot off the unwounded Ironblaster with a single throw! Huzzah!
Amber Spear was not my only effort in that magic phase, however. I had rolled up a big phase with 11 power dice, and figured this was my best chance to swing the pivotal combat with the Leadbelchers. I started by throwing 6 dice at a boosted version of Speed of Light, and rolled so abysmally that I didn't even make the casting value (I needed a 14 on the dice). This meant my Knights, Griffon and Pegasus would not benefit, and because the Light Wizard had goofed up, I also could not cast Birona's Timewarp (which would also have hit them all). Amber Spear was a consolation prize, and it's surprising I got it through (it might have been irresistible).
|Things start dying in the centre.|
|I do just enough damage to knock off the second rank of Ogres, and they do just enough damage not to reduce me to below 5 models.|
|The Leadbelchers break and are run down, and my pursuing units are out of the arc of the Ogre regiment nearby.|
Well that was a massive swing. In a single turn I'd cleaned up the main unit in the army, both Lord-level characters and one of the Ironblasters. Suddenly I was winning!
Steve was reeling slightly from this sudden turn of events, and in an effort to reclaim some of the lost ground, his wounded Ironblaster charged into the 4 Knights who were just emerging from the palm trees, giddy with excitement over their unexpected triumph. With what happened the previous turn, we should have seen what was coming. The Ironblaster did a moderate number of impact hits which the Knights completely shrugged off, then was felled by their return attacks (despite me needing 6s to wound). Admittedly it was coming into the combat with only one wound left, but it was still pretty lucky for me. The Knights reformed to look at the rear of the remaining Ogre units.
|The remaining Ogres advance. You can see the doomed charged of the Ironblaster in the background.|
|I moved a detachment into a building in case Steve had chosen the "hold more buildings" extra mission (they were worth 100 bonus VPs, and Steve still had 2 Gnoblars in the other building)|
|The Ironguts fail the charge, and Steve casts Curse of Anraheir on the Steam Tank in case it gets any ideas.|
|Dangerous terrain does not concern me, general|
|The Empire forces start to encircle the Ogres.|
I should mention that I think it was in this turn that Steve's Butcher used his Hellheart, and rolled a 1 for the distance, meaning it had no effect. He probably needed a 3. Just one of those games, I guess.
|The Demigryphs brace for impact in a combat that could go either way, as the Ogres try to break out of the trap.|
|Ow, that hurt.|
|The Ogres are getting away...|
|Reinforcements arrive, using overwhelming force to save the Steam Tank.|
|The Demigryphs apparently don't know what's good for them, and rally to face another charge.|
|The Ogres go in again to finish the job.|
|Once more, with feeling!|
It had been a dramatic game with a couple of major swings. Early on I thought I was done for, and then suddenly it looked like I was going to wipe Steve's army out. The heroic last stand of the Ogre unit had helped to salvage some respectability for their side, but it was still a pretty solid win for me.