Thursday, 4 September 2014

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 3

This post is a continuation of my account of the recent tournament, Rumble in the Bronx. You can find the previous game here.

Game 3: Meeting Engagement
Ben Leopold, High Elves
My Boast: Bodyguard (keep my general alive)
  • Archmage (Level 4, High Magic) on Sun Dragon with Talisman of Preservation
  • Noble BSB on Griffon with Swift Sense, Swooping Strike, Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance, Lion Cloak, Banner of the World Dragon
  • Mage (Level 1, Lore of Metal) with Ruby Ring of Ruin, Dispel Scroll
  • 10 Archers with Standard, Musician
  • 10 Archers with Standard, Musician
  • 6 Silver Helms with Shields, Full Command
  • 5 Ellyrian Reavers with Standard, Musician
  • Repeater Bolt Thrower
  • Repeater Bolt Thrower
  • Repeater Bolt Thrower
  • Frostheart Phoenix
  • Great Eagle
Comp score: 3

After playing two people I had never met before, I was suddenly faced with someone far more familiar. In fact, some of the models were very familiar too, since they were mine. I might have been involved in the idiot planning that saw Ben enter a list with a Banner of the World Dragon floating about on a Griffon, but despite the obvious dangers, he seemed to be enjoying it.

We would be playing Meeting Engagement (the one with the crazy diagonal deployment), and we found ourselves on a weird and slightly dreadful table with incredibly rough sand and an enormous rocky thing cutting the table in half. I won the roll-off for sides, and decided to try to take the big rock out of the equation by taking a corner that put most of it in my deployment zone. With an enormous ruined building next to it, that basically ensured that we were playing on a 4'x4' board. I then placed my army, with my regular Ogre Bulls and Sabretusks starting in reserve because they rolled 1s.
I deploy aggressively on the slightly weird table.
The Rock of Doooom that effectively cut 2 feet off our table. Could be worse. Pity the guy that had to deploy for Battle for the Pass up that end (I feel your pain, Nathan Goodchild)...
That obelisk in the centre meant wound rolls against anything within 6" of it would be +1 to wound. In other words, don't stand next to it. Some of my stuff spent most of the game next to it. Oh well...
Ben had a Bolt Thrower, some of his Archers and his Archmage starting off the table. Given that I was likely to have the first turn, he was actually delighted by this last one. Of course, I would have other targets for the Ironblaster so wasn't too fussed. He put his Frostheart immediately across from the Ironblaster, with the Reavers and Eagle in support. The rest of his forces went far away, with the Bolt Throwers back near his corner, some Archers and his Mage a bit further forward, and his Silver Helms and BSB on Griffon going hard to my left, out of range of the Mournfangs.

I was a bit unsure how to approach things, but in the end I went aggressive. The Ironblaster ignored its cannon and charged straight into the Phoenix. I figured I could hold it in place, and maybe break it if I got lucky. This didn't work out as planned when Ben rolled 3 wounds in the first round to my none. Thankfully I held thanks to the nearby Tyrant, and I would have reinforcements soon enough from the newly arrived Ogres.
Aggression! The Ironblaster charges the Phoenix, the Leadbelcher get rid of the Reavers, and my latecomers arrive.
 The Leadbelchers wheeled about and blasted 4 of the Reavers away, and thankfully the survivor fled. My Ironguts and Tyrant advanced through the centre of the field, heading for Ben's weak back lines. The Firebelly got excited and sent off a boosted Fireball irresistibly, culling 7 Archers. The Firebelly himself and 2 of his friends were wounded in return, and the Archers declined to panic. Silly brave Elves.
My centre moves up, with the Mournfangs guarding the flank of the Ironguts. The wound counters are what comes from aggressive use of power dice.
Many Archers are gone, but some remain. The Mage decides it's time to leave.
In Ben's turn the missing Archers and Archmage appeared in the centre of his lines, whilst the remaining Bolt Thrower slunk onto the corner with its friends. The Eagle abandoned its larger cousin in the Phoenix and flew over to block the advance of the Mournfangs whilst his Silver Helms and Griffon moved up to a better position to charge. The Mage left the depleted Archer unit and stood near the newly arrived ones instead, being unable to make it all the way into their unit. He then knocked a couple of wounds off my flying Tyrant with Searing Doom.
There's an Eagle in our face!
The combined fire from the Archers and Bolt Throwers did several wounds to the Ironguts, but not enough for a panic test. The Phoenix was obvious tired after its efforts the previous turn and did no further damage to the Ironblaster, and they remained locked in combat.
The Pheonix shifts across to put more distance between it and the Ogres.
In my turn the Ogre Bulls swung around into the flank of the Frostheart Phoenix, inflicted a couple of wounds and broke it before running it down alongside the Ironblaster. The Mournfangs charged the Eagle rudely blocking their path to anything more exciting, bulldozing through it with ease. The Tyrant flew across and blocked the advance of the Silver Helms whilst the Ironguts continued to advance. The Leadbelchers moved around and fired at the damaged Archers, leaving a single model who still refused to panic.
It's a rescue mission! Kill the birdie!
My Tyrant lands somewhere he is guaranteed to get some attention. He loves the spotlight.
One Archer left. He's got no friends, and no common sense either. He stays right there.
The defiant behaviour of the Tyrant forced Ben to make decisions, and in the end he decided to charge with the Silver Helms alone whilst the Griffon flew on and attacked the Mournfangs by himself. The Archmage moved up next to the Ironguts and his Dragon breathed on them, whilst the lone Archer stepped up to block their progress.
The BSB decides he and his Griffon can handle the Mournfangs on their own.
The Silver Helms decide the Tyrant's insolence must be dealt with.
The lone Archer does annoying things. Like not being dead, and getting in my way.
Ben cast Hand of Glory on the Silver Helms, increasing their WS to slow down the Tyrant. The champion of the unit challenged and the exchange was short and ugly, with the Tyrant emerging triumphant. He narrowly lost combat, but held with the BSB nearby.

The BSB and his Griffon crashed into the Mournfangs with remarkable fury, and between them they inflicted 7 wounds, killing 2 of the brutes before they could swing. This was not enough, however. The remaining Mournfang leapt up and removed the Elf from his saddle whilst the rider hacked his great weapon into the Griffon for 2 more wounds. I lost the combat, but not convincingly and the remaining Mournfang held his ground.
Well that was messy. Between them, these 2 models inflicted 11 unsaved wounds in a round. My Mournfangs are sad, but they're still more alive than the Elf BSB...
In my turn the Ironguts charged and removed the remaining Archer before turning to face the Dragon that was looming over them. The Dragon was looming alone however, as the Ironblaster turned and blew the Archmage off the top, despite his 3+ ward save (good rolling, Mr Leopold!) I also did a single wound to the Dragon as a bonus. The Tyrant cut down 2 more Silver Helms, although he got tickled by a Strength 3 Elf and took a wound in return. This meant I lost by musician, but the BSB was still in range and everything was safe. The same could not be said for my remaining Mournfang, alas. Before he could attack again and finish off the nasty Griffon, it tore him to shreds in a merciless display, turning its back on him in a show of disdain as he collapsed.
The table at the end of  my 3rd turn.
The Griffon had turned its beady eyes to the Ironblaster, and in Ben's turn it charged. I decided to flee, and I think I either went off the table or failed to rally and then went off the table. The Griffon redirected onto the Ogre Bulls who had decided to flee from the Dragon charging them in the flank. They were torn to pieces as the Griffon descended upon them, but the Dragon's efforts failed and it stopped right in front of the Ironguts.
The Griffon has its way with my fleeing Ogres Bulls.
My Ironguts were shot to hell that turn, and soon I had only the BSB and Firebelly clinging to each other as arrows and bolts sailed around them. The Tyrant finished off the Silver Helms and turned to face the flank of the Dragon.
Where did our unit and wounds go? Who put that Dragon there?
In my turn the BSB left the Firebelly behind and charged the Dragon, as did the Tyrant. All 3 characters were at least half-dead, but I wanted the points. The Firebelly scampered backwards and joined the relative safety of the Leadbelchers, who spent the next couple of turns pivoting on the spot and firing at the Griffon as it flew back and forth over their heads, trying to get away. Eventually they brought it down, but it took a couple of good Swift Reform rolls.
Kill the lizard! My slightly less dead characters move in to deal with the wounded Dragon.
The Leadbelchers took multiple turns of spinning and firing to eventually bring down the Griffon. I like to think the one with the volley gun was firing constantly the whole time, whilst the rest ducked.
The Sabretusks and Hunter had been advancing hard on my right flank, and it was at about this point when they actually started to reach the Bolt Throwers, working their way through 2 of them.
The closing stages, with most of the Elves now cleaned off.
The Tyrant and BSB brought the Dragon down, but then had to weather a turn of shooting and magic from the remaining Elf Mage and the shooting (dwindling though it was). The BSB was left on a single wound when he made for the relative cover of some of the rocks, and narrowly avoided being finished off by magic. The Tyrant was OK and flew on to kill the remaining Bolt Thrower before turning and charging the Archers. They tickled him with Strength 3 again, and I ended up having to pass a ward save to keep him (and my Bodyguard boast) alive. My Firebelly eventually managed to get a bead on the retreating Elf Mage, and the game was finally over.
The Tyrant gambles one last time and is nearly tickled to death for his troubles.
I was left with the Sabretusks and Hunter, the Leadbelchers, and 3 more characters on 1 wound each. Ben had nothing. Victory! I got all the boast points again, which turned a 12-4 win into an 16-4 before comp. It had been a bloody game with both sides playing aggressively, and this time I had come out on top.

Result: 16-4 (20-0 after comp)

I should say that I think comp was a bit harsh on Ben's list. A 20-0 didn't feel like a true reflection of the game. Of course, if a few of my mostly-dead characters had keeled over, things would have been different.

Somehow at the end of day 1, I was sitting on 56.5 points and within touching distance of the overall lead. It seemed too good to be true, and I wondered what day 2 would bring.

You can read about game 4 here.

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