Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Warhammer World Series 2013 Aftermath – Part 2

This is the second part of my account of the Warhammer World Series tournament held on the weekend. You can find the first part here.

Game 3 – David Lowe
Table 16 – Super Sub-Optimal
Scenario – Battleline

  • Saurus Oldblood
    • General; Cold One; Great Weapon; Light Armour
    • Luckstone
  • Skink Chief on Ancient Stegadon
    • Spear; Light Armour; Battle Standard
    • Enchanted Shield
    • 2 Giant Blow Pipes
    • 4 Skink Crew
  • Skink Priest
    • Magic Level 1; Lore of Beasts
  • 20 Saurus Warriors
    • Shield; Standard; Musician; Spawn Leader
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
    • Lustrian Javelin & Shield; Shield
  • 10 Skink Skirmishers
    • Lustrian Javelin & Shield; Shield
  • 2 Jungle Swarms
  • 3 Kroxigors
    • Great Weapon
  • 1 Razordon Hunting Pack
    • 3 Skink Handlers
  • 1 Razordon Hunting Pack
    • 3 Skink Handlers
  • Troglodon

David's army:
  • Beastlord
    • General; Shield
    • Sword of Swift Slaying
    • Armour of Destiny
  • Gorebull
    • Frenzy; Heavy Armour; Battle Standard
    • Brass Cleaver
    • Charmed Shield
    • Gnarled Hide
  • Bray Shaman
    • Lore of Beasts; Magic Level 1; Braystaff
    • Ruby Ring of Ruin
  • 24 Gor Herd
    • Shield; Standard; Musician; Foe-Render
  • 9 Ungor Raiders
    • Short Bow; Musician
  • Tuskgor Chariot
  • Tuskgor Chariot
  • 10 Chaos Warhounds
  • 1 Razorgor
  • 1 Razorgor
  • Jabberslythe
  • Spawn of Chaos
After a strong start, my game against Hieu had dropped me back into the middle of the pack. My next opponent would be David Lowe. After looking at the lists, David chose the Beastmen because he was more familiar with them. As it happens, this was another questionable choice – the Lizardmen definitely had the upper hand on this table throughout the tournament.

This game started late because I was chasing a couple of things from a TO perspective, and the game itself didn't exactly move like greased lightning. We didn't get to the end, but enough things happened to get a result. I didn't get a ton of photos because I was a little distracted.
That Carnosaur is really a Troglodon. As if anyone in their right mind has the proper model. Poor, useless sod...
I got the first turn and advanced fairly aggressively, looking to draw some charges and get things moving. David obliged by trying to charge with both chariots, but they both fell well short. The Jabberslythe flew into the midst of my lines, looking to sow craziness with its Aura of Madness. Unfortunately this achieved little, as cold-blooded Lizardmen with a general's leadership and BSB re-roll are pretty good at leadership tests.
Both chariots and the Hounds fail attempted charges in the opening stages.
I declared a swathe of charges in my turn, however only about half of them worked. My Skink BSB on his fancy Stegadon charged and killed a chariot before overrunning into a Razorgor. He was meant to have help in both combats, but my Old Blood, Troglodon and Kroxigor all failed to reach their targets. I wasn't really ready to charge the Saurus into the Gor unit (led as they were by the Beastlord), but they had closed the gap rapidly and were going to charge if I didn't. So in they went. I then managed to cast Wyssan's Wildform on the unit, which probably should have been enough to scythe through the Beastmen, but my rolling was rather disappointing and the combat continued. I did manage to wound the Shaman, so that was something I guess.
My charges were little more successful than David's
Around on the right flank, one of my Skink units was showing the Chaos Hounds how good they were with their javelins. The first volley panicked the unit, although they then rallied. Of course, this just got them shot again, and they ended up leaving the table.
My Saurus get bogged, counter-charged and ultimately out-fought
In David's turn the unengaged Razorgor charged into the Saurus alongside his Gor, whilst the Gorebull BSB wheeled about and flanked the Stegadon. The Spawn shambled into the Jungle Swarms I had parked right in front of them and only managed to inflict a few wounds. Then my Razordon charged in to assist the Swarms, and eventually they brought down the Spawn together.

The clash of the BSBs was slightly odd. The Razorgor got trampled by the Stegadon and the Gorebull was wounded, but my poor little Skink got cleaned off the back of his dinosaur. Both parties held, which necessitated a rescue mission by the Old Blood and Troglodon. Their arrival in the flank was the end of the Minotaur, especially once the Old Blood found himself boosted by Wildform.

The combat between the Saurus and Gor went less well. David responded to my having Wildform from the previous turn by casting it irresistibly on his own unit. This saw the end of the Shaman (who took a second wound from the miscast) and a wound on the Razorgor next to him as well as a few dead Saurus and Gor. But it was enough (combined with my continued disappointing rolling) to win the combat for the Beastmen. Without my BSB's calming influence the Saurus broke and ran, and were hacked down as they fled. Bummer. Silly lizards.

The Skinks close to my centre had strayed too close to the remaining chariot and got themselves charged. The clumsy crew managed to take a couple of wounds on a tree on the way into combat, but shrugged off the shots from my unit and summarily ran them over.

At this point the game was looking rather like a stalemate, but the Jabberslythe had other ideas. With a squawk of ill-advised belligerence, it swept down and charged the Old Blood as he reformed after hacking down the Gorebull. The same Old Blood that still had Wildform on him. In short, it was pretty much the definition of a bad idea. The Jabberslythe barrelled in heroically and was more or less cut in half in a single round of combat. It was a bad end for a rather silly monster.

We were out of time and had to stop there, only 3 or 4 turns in. I had lost the Saurus unit, a unit of Skinks and the bonus points for my BSB. In return I had killed a chariot, a Razorgor, the Spawn, Chaos Hounds, the Gorebull BSB and the Shaman. Oh, and the overzealous Jabberslythe.

Result: 13-7

Game 4 – George Spiridonos
Table 2 – Wild Woods
Scenario – Battleline

My army:
Wood Elves
  • Treeman Ancient
    • General
  • Spellsinger
    • Glamourweave; Magic Level 2; Lore of Athel Loren; Longbow
    • Unicorn
  • 11 Dryads
  • 11 Dryads
  • 11 Dryads
  • 6 Treekin
  • 6 Wild Riders
    • Spear; Light Armour; Standard; Musician
    • Gleaming Pendant
George's army:
  • Doombull
    • General; Frenzy; 2ndWeapon; Heavy Armour
    • Gnarled Hide
    • Ram Horn Helm
  • Bray Shaman
    • Lore of the Wild; Magic Level 2; Braystaff
  • Wargor
    • Heavy Armour; Shield; Battle Standard
    • Dragonhelm
    • Sword of Battle
    • Dawn Stone
  • 23 Gor Herd
    • Shield; Standard; Musician; Foe-Render
  • 20 Gor Herd
    • 2ndWeapon; Standard; Musician; Foe-Render
  • 6 Minotaurs
    • 2ndWeapon; Light Armour; Standard; Musician
  • Tuskgor Chariot
  • Tuskgor Chariot
At the start of this game, George eyed off both the lists and declared that the Beastmen were the obvious choice, handing me the Wood Elf roster. I wasn't sure I shared his assessment, and the final results had the Wood Elves well on top for the table. Just goes to show how much trouble people were having choosing the “better” side in these games. I guess that's the next-best thing after genuinely close match-ups...
The Beastmen arrayed. Sorry, should have taken a closer photo.
I was delighted to roll up Call of the Hunt and Ariel's Blessing for my spells, whilst George rolled some far less ideal ones in Viletide and Bestial Surge. So we both had movement spells, but mine was far more dangerous... As George discovered early on.
The Wild Riders sneak around the flank and prepare to cause mischief
I deployed my Wild Riders hard on the left flank and then swept around using their vanguard move. George then got the first turn and fanged toward me at best speed with everything he had. He then pushed even further forward with his Minotaurs and the Gor herd containing the Shaman and BSB using Bestial Surge, which I didn't even bother trying to dispel – I figured this was the best way to try to get him to over-extend and get around the terror that was that Doombull at the front of the Minotaurs.

My opening turn was unexpectedly devastating. I declared a charge on the chariot to my left with the Wild Riders, which sensibly fled. I failed the redirect (and completely forgot about the Gleaming Pendant), so the Wild Riders pulled up short and watched the show.

In my centre, the Treekin declared a charge across the front of the Minotaurs and into the Shaman's unit of Gor. They were rather close now, and it was an easy charge. George decided he wasn't keen, and fled the charge. I considered having another go at them with Dryads to push them further from the game, but decided on a different tactic and marched after them instead. For their part, the Treekin decided they would try the only other option that would allow them to escape an absolute shellacking by the Minotaurs – they redirected onto the second Gor herd – the one sitting back on my left, a good 16” away (meaning my unit would need an 11 on the dice). In an astounding display of good luck, they made the charge. The Minotaurs were left scratching their heads and wondering where their lunch had gone (much good it would do them to eat magically animated piles of wood, but Frenzy will do that to you).
My forces elude the clutches of the slightly terrifying Minotaur unit.
In the magic phase, a bad start to the game got much worse for the Beastmen. I rolled up enough dice to cast a convincing Call of the Hunt, and George failed to stop it. The Dryads were all of about 4” behind the fleeing unit with the Shaman and BSB. Shockingly I didn't mess up the roll, and the unit was summarily destroyed (you can't flee from the magical charge). I don't think the full enormity of the situation was clear to George until I explained that the unit was dead, which I felt a little bad about. I guess it explained the lack of apparent concern on his face as I set the move up.
Where the Gor herd used to be...
Bogus Treekin charges are the way of the future.
We then moved to the combat phase, where the Treekin demonstrated how futile Strength 3 attacks were against them. Without losing a wound, they easily knocked Steadfast off the Gor and left them testing on double 1s – which they failed. To add insult to injury, the Treekin ran them down with a 10” pursuit which was enough to also clean up the fleeing chariot behind them. Oh man. Now I definitely felt bad. It was turn 1 and the Beastmen were left with 1 unit, a character and a chariot...
Wheee, Turn 1 and we're in their deployment zone.
From this point George did what he could, but it was a real rearguard effort. The remaining chariot charged a unit of Dryads, barely survived the combat and failed to break them, then got rear-charged by another unit and smashed into kindling. The Doombull left his unit in order to give George some more options, but all they could really do between them was growl at things and wave their axes menacingly. I was patient enough to wait until the chariot was out of the way, then charged the Minotaurs with 3 units at once from 3 different directions, ending them on the spot.
Surrounded. I even Stranglerooted 2 Minotaurs dead, just to prove I could roll well on the artillery dice as well.
They're behind you!
The final stages saw the Doombull charge the Treeman Ancient (who had been unable to fit into the Minotaur combat) and over 3 turns, drag him down to a single wound (he had Ariel's Blessing on him the whole time to try to slow the angry bull down a bit). Then a rear charge by Dryads gave me the combat resolution I needed, and the Doombull broke and failed to escape. It was over.

Result: 20-0

Game 5 – Ivan Diaz
Table 7 – Witch Hunt
Scenario – Battleline

My army:
Vampire Counts
  • Master Necromancer
    • General; Master of the Dead; Magic Level 3; Lore of Vampires
    • Talisman of Preservation
    • Master of the Dead
  • Necromancer
    • Magic Level 1; Lore of Vampires
    • Book of Arkhan
    • Ironcurse Icon
  • Wight King
    • Battle Standard Bearer; Great Weapon
    • Armour of Silvered Steel
  • 30 Skeleton Warriors
    • Light Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Skeleton Champion
    • Screaming Banner
  • 25 Zombies
    • Standard; Musician
  • 25 Zombies
    • Standard; Musician
  • Corpse Cart
  • 10 Black Knights
    • Barding; Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Hell Knight
  • 20 Grave Guard
    • Great Weapon; Heavy Armour; Standard; Musician
Ivan's army:
  • Arch Lector
    • General; Barding; Prayers of Sigmar; Great Weapon; Heavy Amour; Warhorse
    • Helm of the Skavenslayer
  • Captain of the Empire
    • Barding; Full Plate Armor; Shield; Battle Standard; Warhorse
    • Sword of Might
  • Warrior Priest
    • Prayers of Sigmar; Great Weapon; Heavy Armour
    • Opal Amulet
  • Witch Hunter
    • Brace of Pistols; Light Armour
  • Witch Hunter
    • Brace of Pistols; Light Armour
  • 30 Halberdiers
    • Halberd; Light Armour; Standard; Musician; Sergeant
  • 14 Crossbowmen
    • Standard
  • 5 Pistoliers
    • Brace of Pistols; Light Armour; Musician; Warhorse
    • Outrider with Repeater Pistol
  • 20 Flagellants
    • Frenzy; Flail
  • Mortar
  • 8 Knights of the Inner Circle
    • Barding; Lance; Full Plate Armor; Shield; Standard; Musician; Warhorse
By this point we were back for day 2 of the tournament, and we were all more or less refreshed after some sleep. I found myself at the table with the fangless Vampires against the magically-challenged Empire. Ivan decided the Empire were the way to go, so I would be using the necromantic horde. I rolled up Vanhel's Danse Macabre, Invocation of Nehek (twice), and Gaze of Nagash. In hindsight this last one (which I chose thanks to rolling a double) would have been better replaced with Raise Dead, but that didn't occur to me until afterwards. Ivan didn't get to roll any spells. Ha ha, sucker...
The undead shuffle forwards
All except the Black Knights, who decide to move sideways instead, so they might better show off their ethereal movement.
I started off rather cautiously, trying to shift things around in a way where I could use the Zombies not packed full of important Necromancers to buy me time and angle enemy units for flank charges. The Black Knights went wide when I suddenly remembered they could move through buildings. Hooray for rules and stuff! I managed to raise a whole ton of guys in my first turn with a boosted Invocation. I think I got 8 Skeletons and 28 Zombies across the 3 units. Not bad, although I still had the army's owner sitting at the end of the table, daring me to use all the spare models he had packed. Sadly I didn't manage it.
The Empire respond
Those Pistoliers - they are boorish and rude, and will have to be dealt with.
In his turn Ivan stuck the Pistoliers right up in the face of my Grave Guard and shot a couple of them, which was insolent behaviour and not to be encouraged. His infantry advanced quickly behind them, but the Knights were a little more circumspect, given they really wanted the charge.

Enraged by the rudeness of the Pistoliers, I charged them with the Grave Guard and they (unsurprisingly) fled. Amusingly they then failed twice to rally, and eventually ran off the table through the Mortar (not that anyone else seemed to care). My Grave Guard were now in danger of getting charged every which way, so I put my trust in Vanhel's and started shoving units around the table. I positioned the Grave Guard so only one unit could charge them out of the Flagellants and Halberdiers, and the Necromancer-less Zombies surged up to block the advance of the Knights, who suddenly had Black Knights breathing down their flank. Well, maybe not breathing. But I'm sure they were leering mockingly at them.
Vanhel's, baby!
I think the Empire Knights had been confident up until now.
It's worth noting that the Vanhel's had also triggered the Corpse Cart, so most of my units were getting Always Strikes First for a turn (except the Grave Guard who were simply losing their Always Strikes Last rule for their great weapons, and the Black Knights who were out of range), as well as re-rolling failed hits. Not bad. Pity most of my units were Zombies...
The Empire scrambles to respond to the power of Vanhel's
At this point Ivan was starting to look concerned. Eventually he decided to take evasive action. The Arch Lector launched himself from his unit and into the flank of my Necromancers' Zombie unit behind the front line (there was a convenient Arhc-Lector-sized gap for him to ride through). The BSB couldn't charge, but followed through the same direction and offered moral support. The Knights backed off, getting the Black Knights out of their flank. Wimps. On the other flank, the Flagellants decided that they would have a go at the Grave Guard, which meant the Halberdiers would miss out. Not to be completely denied however, a feisty little Witch Hunter charged alone from the unit and into the flank of the Zombies who would have been charging the back-pedalling Knights. The irritating little man would spend the rest of the game fighting that unit, refusing to even take a wound when I had reformed the unit to face him, in horde formation. Light armour my butt! As if that ever makes a difference.
Filthy abominations! I shall take you all on... Ow, my eye!
The Flagellants find the Grave Guard a slightly challenging prospect.
The Empire Mortar knocked a couple of Black Knights off my unit, which was slightly saddening, but it was the first and last thing it did for the game – generally it couldn't find a target.

The Flagellants only managed to give themselves Hatred in the first round, which was not really what Ivan was looking for. The Grave Guard struck back simultaneously and thanks to the re-rolls from Vanhel's, hacked down a goodly number of the frothing loonies. This knocked out their Frenzy, and after another round (and a supporting charge from the Corpse Cart), I had wiped them out. Unfortunately this barely gave my unit time to reform before the Halberdier horde crashed into them, and they succumbed rapidly in the face of their Hatred and re-rolled wounds from the Warrior Priest's prayers. The Halberdiers carried on into the Corpse Cart, and accounted for it too before the game was up.
My Grave Guard are besieged. The enemy re-rolls were the death of them.
The Arch Lector started to question his decision to go it alone after the 3 Zombies that could reach him managed to paw a wound off him in the first round. Fortunately he held, and when my unit reformed to face him (my head filled with glorious images of my Zombies actually slapping him to death, rather than just ignoring him and hoping he would break), the BSB charged in alongside him.
My Knights charge, do nothing, then get charged in return. Not quite according to plan...
Denied the support of the Zombie unit nearby (stupid Witch Hunter), my Black Knights decided to charge the Empire Knights without assistance. They impressed nobody with their rubber lances, but then they didn't take much damage in return either. The Crossbowmen decided it was up to them to stage a rescue with a flank charge, but they ended up losing enough models that their arrival made little difference. In the third round of combat I managed to cast Vanhel's on the Black Knights, and suddenly things swung. The Knights started getting beheaded, Ivan started failing 2+ armour saves and the Crossbowmen died in droves. The Knights broke (though they rallied on the table edge), and the Crossbowmen were run down. I chose to go after them for a reason, which shall be explained shortly.

The combat between the Arch Lector, BSB and Zombies was not really one about which the minstrels would compose epic ballads. The BSB had arrived to have a swing at the Necromancers, who I had exposed when I reformed to face the Arch Lector. In response I issued a challenge with the Master Necromancer, choosing to trust in his ward save and superior Toughness to keep him alive. Or undead, anyway. The Arch Lector accepted and made little progress with his unimpressive tally of 2 attacks. The BSB tried and failed to kill the normal Necromancer (I don't remember why – I think Ivan rolled badly, though I did take 1 wound which I promptly healed), and copped a wound when the Master miscast getting off that Vanhel's on the Black Knights. I think Ivan was a bit put-out by this – but not nearly as put-out as he was when one of my Zombies put out the BSB's eye and he dropped from his horse, dead. This proved too much for the Arch Lector, who finally failed his break test and fled. He eluded my pursuit, but his timing was bad. It was at this point that the Black Knights broke their opponents and chose to chase the Crossbowmen – straight into the fleeing Arch Lector.

To add insult to injury, I think the stupid Witch Hunter might finally have broken against my Zombies and gotten run down at this final juncture. Anyway, thanks to a disastrous last turn for Ivan, I had come out on top.

Result: 12-8

We were now 5 games into the tournament, and Baron von Gumby had amassed a solid tally of 4 wins and 1 loss. Fear the might of the bye-breaker! In my next post I'll cover the final 2 games of the event. Stay tuned...

You can find part 3 of my account here.

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