Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Rumble in the Bronx 2014 - Part 6

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

Game 6: Battleline
Nathan Goodchild, Daemons of Chaos
My Boast: Hold Out (keep enemy units out of my deployment zone)
  • Demon Prince of Nurgle (Level 3, Lore of Nurgle) with Flight, Chaos Armour, Exalted Gift (chose something that lets him re-roll Winds of Magic)
  • Herald of Tzeentch (Level 2, Lore of Tzeentch)
  • Herald of Nurgle BSB (Level 1, Lore of Nurgle) with Greater Locus of Fecundity, Greater Gift (chose Fencer's Blades)
  • 10 Horrors with Standard
  • 25 Plaguebearers with Full Command, Banner of Swiftness
  • 3 Screamers of Tzeentch
  • 3 Screamers of Tzeentch
  • 1 Beast of Nurgle
  • 1 Beast of Nurgle
  • Soulgrinder of Nurgle with Daemonbone Claw, Harvester Cannon
Comp score: 5

After the debacle of the game against Chris, I figured I would drop back into the pack a bit. Apparently this wasn't really the case as there were a group of us milling about on very similar scores, with just Chris running off with things courtesy of the springboard I had provided. My final opponent was to be Nathan Goodchild, who had travelled all the way down from Queensland for the event. I had never played him before, so was looking forward to it. I could only lament how much tougher my draw had gotten in the latter stages of the event, however. My final 4 opponents had all either been ranked no 1 in the country or won the Masters in relatively recent memory. No wailing upon inexperienced tournament players for me, it seemed.

Nathan was running a borrowed Daemon army for the event, as his Skaven had been unable to make the trip with him. The borrowed army was not really holding him back, however. If his dice had been a little better in the previous game, he would have been well ahead of me instead of barely in front.

I confess I was slightly concerned about the match-up. The big block of Plaguebearers looked nigh-on impregnable for my army, and the Soulgrinder was not exactly a push-over. I was at a big disadvantage in the magic phase, and then there was the Nurgle Daemon Prince. Oh well, at least he wasn't the 1+ armour save, unbreakable, self-healing Warriors of Chaos version. Still, I would need a good contribution from my Ironblaster to help soften the big stuff.
During the Ogres' first turn, because once again I got distracted and missed the deployment photos. That big rock thing adds +1 to any attempts to wound things within 6". Same thing as was on the table in game 3.
You can imagine my disappointment then when I started by misfiring and blowing the cannon off the back of the Ironblaster, leaving it just an Ogre driving a Rhinox chariot. Bummer. Plan B, then. Was there a Plan B?

The rest of my army had moved up fairly aggressively. The Sabretusks went round on the left flank, threatening the Horrors and the Tzeentch Herald hiding therein. The Tyrant went for the right flank instead, looking to work his way around and maybe clean off some of the smaller stuff like Screamers or individual Beasts of Nurgle. My regular Ogres moved up into a forest and discovered it was a Mushroom Forest, so they'd be taking a stupidity test the following turn. The Leadbelchers stepped up beside them and knocked a wound off a Beast of Nurgle. Not exactly a devastating opening, given the cannon was now gone.

Nathan responded by moving his Plaguebearers up aggressively, using their whole 10" of movement thanks to their Banner of Swiftness. The Soulgrinder shot across the lines and stopped in front of my Sabretusks - apparently letting them eat the Horrors was not part of the plan. Screamers flew over my Tyrant and wounded him, before landing out of his sight. The other unit landed behind the Sabretusks, wounding them in the process. The Beasts of Nurgle moved up aggressively, whilst the Daemon Prince lurked behind the lines and bided his time. I don't recall taking any real damage from the Daemon magic, and Reign of Chaos did maybe its only damage of the game when it took a wound off the Leadbelchers. After all the dire things I've heard of it doing, I was braced for far worse. I got lucky there.
The way is shut. Guess we'll have to go the long way around!
My Tyrant gets slashed for a wound by the Screamers. They're kind of annoying, those things.
The Plaguebearers and Herald shoot forward 10"
With how quickly the Plaguebearers were advancing and how little ranged potential I had left, I decided I would have to play aggressively if I wanted to take anything from the game. This was now Plan B. My Ironguts went into the Plaguebearers. The Hunter left his Sabretusks behind to block the Soulgrinder, and charged into the flank of the Plaguebearers. The Mournfangs charged into the advanced Beast of Nurgle, but that was just to help my Tyrant who shot across into its flank, then when it fell apart from combat resolution (unbelievably I couldn't kill it outright with 3D3 Strength 5 impact hits and 19 attacks ranging from Strength 5 to 7), he used his overrun to slingshot into the other flank of the Plaguebearers. I had bitten the bullet and charged them from 3 directions at once, including all of my characters. You might consider it a gamble. The combat was to occur right next to yet another strange piece of magical terrain - the one where everything within 6" was wounded more easily with a +1. This would count both for and against me, but it should ensure things died.
All in. Well, I am committed now.
The Daemon Prince watches proceedings with interest.
My Ogre Bulls failed their Stupidity test and shambled most of the way out of the forest they were standing in, but I refused to learn from this and swung my Leadbelchers about and walked into the same forest with them. Sure, they'd be testing for Stupidity. But it got the trees out of the way so they could shoot at the Screamers. I shot one of them to death, and the rest decided to retreat the following turn, skulking in the back corner of the table for the rest of the game.
Stupid Ogres. They made sure to shamble a good 6" to ensure the flank was well and truly open.
The main combat was suitably messy. The breath weapon of the Firebelly only managed to do a single wound to the Plaguebearers (despite the +1 to wound), but that was enough to negate their Regeneration for a turn. The Herald declared a challenge and I ended up deciding to accept with the Irongut unit champion, as at WS 10 and -1 to hit, none of my guys were going to make great progress against him. As it was, the Herald hacked him down in a single round before he could swing. I think the Plaguebearers killed another Irongut, but my combined forces did more wounds in return. Steadfast meant none of the Daemons perished due to the combat result, but that was to be expected.

Nathan responded to my aggression by charging the Daemon Prince into the flank of my Tyrant. The Soulgrinder charged the Sabretusks, killed 2 of them and broke them, and they spent the next couple of turns fleeing before making it off the table whilst the Soulgrinder reformed and looked for better things to do. The remaining Beast of Nurgle charged the flank of my stupid Ogres, but couldn't make much headway because of their Steadfast.
My beautiful doggy-cat sabretusk wolf things! The Soulgrinder sends them on their way with casual ease.
I managed to fend off the worst of the enemy magic (I think Nathan might have failed to cast Infernal Gateway with a pretty poor roll which helped), so we got on to combat. I asked if there were any challenges, and Nathan had a brain fart and completely forgot what he had been planning to do. He challenged with the Herald again, and my Tyrant immediately accepted. The Nurgle Daemon Prince (who was only in contact with the Tyrant) was left face-palming and contributing little to the combat. Nathan immediately realised his mistake and was pretty stroppy with himself, but it was too late. The Herald fought well, spending a long time shrugging off the attentions of the Tyrant, and made me take about as many saves as the Daemon Prince would have (admittedly thanks to some pretty good poison and wound rolls). The difference was that the Daemon Prince didn't get to attack anything, whereas the Herald could have. The rest of the combat was a bit of a disaster for the Daemons. The Firebelly managed to land a wound with his regular attacks, which meant Regeneration was not a factor again. I rolled better for damage now than I had the previous round, and Nathan rolled poorly for saves. I ended up winning the combat by 6, and the Daemon Prince promptly exploded due to instability, without having had a chance to swing his weapon in anger.
The combat grinds on. You will note the absence of any Daemon Princes. He had already been and gone. Missed the photo moment because important things were happening.
The Ogres recover from their earlier stupor and reform to face the attacking Beast of Nurgle.
The loss of the Daemon Prince was a massive swing in my favour, but I knew I was going to struggle to finish off what was left. The Soulgrinder looked pretty much impregnable, the Plaguebearers were still going to take some shifting, and I could see myself struggling to pin down the remaining elements. My suspicions grew when I declared a charge with the Mournfangs on the Screamers lurking behind the Plaguebearers, who would really have just provided a springboard into the Horrors. It was an easy charge, and I stuffed it up with an abysmal roll. Not good at all.
In my turn the Plaguebearers continued to dwindle.
My Leadbelchers predictably failed their Stupidity test (Ld 9 notwithstanding) and staggered along in the wrong direction. That whole flank was a bit of a disgrace. The Ogres fighting the Beast of Nurgle reformed to face it after the first round of combat and started swinging at it in earnest for a few rounds. They made little progress, but eventually the Screamers (who had been granted a new lease on life when the Mournfangs failed to deal with them) came around the flank and broke my unit when I failed a Steadfast test. They fled badly, the Beast ran them down and crashed into the flank of the Leadbelchers, and broke and ran them down as well (no Steadfast for them in their stupid Mushroom Forest). The Beast emerged victorious near my table edge and capered about happily in my deployment zone, taking my Boast points away and contributing to Nathan getting his (he was after table quarters).
OK, so this happened a little later on, but I just described it and it didn't affect anything else. Here my Ogres were just starting to get the Beast's measure, and the Screamers arrived.
The Screamers ensured I lost combat again, and this time I failed my Steadfast test, fled feebly and was cut down. Now it was the Leadbelchers' turn to suffer.
They didn't last long. That Beast of Nurgle had a lot to answer for. That whole flank was totally his fault.
Oh dear. My Hunter may be in trouble.
On the other flank, the Soulgrinder charged into the rear of the Hunter as he was minding his own business, hacking away at the Plaguebearers. He was accounted for pretty quickly, and the enormous monstrosity ended up in the flank of the Ironguts. After his earlier disaster when the Daemon Prince was around, Nathan rolled a whole lot better with the saves on the Plaguebearers, and I was struggling to whittle them down. For the second game in a row I forgot to reform my unit across to increase my fighting models (the challenge was reducing my attacks). Silly mistake, really. I actually lost combat by 4 in one round (just wasn't doing any damage), but somehow both my Tyrant and Ironguts held their ground by each rolling a 3 without even needing a re-roll. So I had dodged a bullet there.
My Mournfangs discover that Infernal Gateway does not agree with them.
My Mournfangs were not so fortunate. Immediately after failing their charge against the Screamers, they found themselves the target of Infernal Gateway, which blasted 2 of them to pieces. The remaining model held his ground, but copped the same spell the following turn, which struck with 3D6 Strength 10 hits. There were no survivors.
The Herald holds out after the Plaguebearers are all gone. Man that guy is stubborn.
Once again my game had pretty much been reduced to a single multi-unit grind. The Soulgrinder threatened to tip things fatally against me, so I gambled and charged the cannon-less Ironblaster through a forest and into the flank of the Soulgrinder. There was every chance the thing would turn and crush it with its claw, but I needed the combat resolution. Somewhat hilariously, I did no damage with the impact hits but the Gnoblar crewman bravely clambered up and poked the thing in the eye! Bonus combat res! The Soulgrinder repeatedly failed to catch my models with Initiative tests, and generally didn't roll all that much damage. After a couple of rounds, it collapsed due to instability, despite the Horrors having charged my Tyrant in the flank to try to swing things back in Nathan's favour.
Both sides reinforce the combat in the hopes of swinging it in their favour. The Herald finally died, eventually breaking things into 2 separate combats.
This game was actually the first one where my opponent and I ran out of time. We had to call it quits after 5 turns. In the closing phases I had finally finished off the Nurgle BSB (I think he crumbled in the end, after my Tyrant repeatedly refused to hurt him), and then the Horrors tickled my Tyrant to death with their fearsome Strength 3 attacks. He was the last thing to fall, and the game was over.
How things ended. We should have had one more turn, but we ran out of time just as the Tyrant and Soulgrinder perished. What a mess.
In the end I had killed the Daemon Prince, Soulgrinder, Plaguebearers, Nurgle BSB and a Beast of Nurgle (my Tyrant may have also killed the Tzeentch Herald in their opening exchanges - I don't recall). I had lost my Hunter and Sabretusks, Tyrant, Ogre Bulls, Leadbelchers and Mournfangs. It came out as a very marginal 9-7 win to me, which became a 9-11 loss before comp because of the Boasts...

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

So comp had carried the day, and turned 2 losses into a draw and a small victory. Hooray for dreadful list composition!

Somewhat surprisingly given my second day, I finished the event in 4th place out of 62 players. Not bad at all. Mr Cousens did indeed win the event, thanks largely to having farmed me for a million points in our game. Shameless exploitation of my Ogres, it was. All in all it had been a very enjoyable event, and I'm glad I made the trip.

Thanks for reading!

5 comments:

  1. Great stuff.

    What was your final take on the boasts before each game- worth flowing on to other tournaments?

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    1. The boasts were really good. They gave a slightly different focus to each game, and being forced to use a different one each round meant that there was a planning aspect that I largely ignored. As a result, I had used my 3 easiest ones on day 1, and struggled to achieve any of them on day - and paid for it in battle points. Was great to achieve my boast in the one game where I was actually wiped out and the Watchtower bonus cancelled all the damage I had done - made it feel like I had still achieved something.

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  2. Good read. I'm glad i'm not the only one who struggles horribly against over performing Beasts.

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  3. Wonderful battle reports and fantastic blog. A massive inspiration to create a blog of our own. If we can achieve half of the epic-ness that you have here we'll be very happy! - PTG (early days)

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    1. Thanks! Good luck with the new blog!

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