Thursday, 21 November 2013

Warhammer World Series 2013 Aftermath – Part 3

This is the third and final part of my account of the Warhammer World Series tournament held on the weekend. Below are the links to the first 2 parts:

Game 6 – Rowan Keating
Table 8 – Aerial Duel
Scenario – Battleline

My army:
  • Bretonnian Lord
    • General; Heavy Armour; Questing Vow
    • Virtue of Heroism
    • Sword of Strife
    • Enchanted Shield
    • Royal Pegasus
  • Paladin Battle Standard Bearer
    • Heavy Armour; Battle Standard Bearer; Questing Vow
    • Sword of Might
    • Gromril Great Helm
    • Warhorse
  • Damsel of the Lady
    • Magic Level 1; Lore of Beasts
    • Warhorse
  • 8 Knights of the Realm
    • Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Gallant; Barding; Knightly Vow
  • 6 Knights of the Realm
    • Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Gallant; Barding; Knightly Vow
  • 4 Pegasus Knights
    • Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Gallant; Knightly Vow
  • 4 Pegasus Knights
    • Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Gallant; Knightly Vow
  • 5 Mounted Yeomen
    • Spear; Bow; Fast Cavalry
  • 5 Mounted Yeomen
    • Spear; Bow; Fast Cavalry
Rowan's army:
Vampire Counts
  • Vampire Lord
    • General; Lore of Vampires; Lance; Heavy armour; Magic Level 1
    • Enchanted Shield
    • Dawn Stone
    • Quickblood
    • Hellsteed
  • Vampire
    • Battle Standard Bearer; Magic Level 2; Lance; Heavy armour; Shield
    • Nightshroud
    • Hellsteed
  • 5 Dire Wolves
  • 5 Dire Wolves
  • 27 Zombies
    • Standard; Musician
  • 20 Crypt Ghouls
    • Ghast
  • 4 Vargheists
  • 4 Vargheists
  • 6 Black Knights
    • Barding; Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician
This table was one of those constructed with a particular theme. In this case, it was as close as we could get to a workable “aerial duel” type of game. Rowan chose the Vampires and away we went.
After deployment and vanguard moves.
The Vargheists lurk cautiously up the back
In practice this table didn't play out quite the way I had hoped. If neither player wanted to be completely reckless, the whole thing turned into decidedly cagey circling and re-deploying, waiting for an opening. This game had a lot of that, despite the fact that I am normally pretty aggressive. Anyway, here is how things panned out.
My Pegasus Knights vanguard forward on the right.
We both had a ton of vanguarding units, with Rowan's Wolves pushing forward. The Yeomen on my left swung around to use the tower as a shield and look across the lines. The others moved up to threaten the Wolves in the centre, but frankly I had forgotten I was no chance to get the first turn due to praying, so it was wasted effort. The Pegasus Knights on my right moved forward so that the Black Knights and BSB couldn't safely advance, and with a view to landing in their flank arc.

In Rowan's opening turn the Wolves on my left advanced out of the arc of the Yeomen and my main lines, sitting safely in my flank. The other unit retreated, waiting for a better time to advance. The infantry to my left moved up, albeit slowly. Other things moved around, but well out of any realistic charge range.
The sneaky Wolves keep out of my units' sight.
I was still looking good to get the Pegasus Knights around the flank of the Black Knights, until I failed to stop Rowan casting Raise Dead. With my dice wasted there, I could also not stop the unit growing further with Invocation of Nehek. Suddenly there were 21 Zombies in the spot where my unit had been wanting to go – Enough to absorb any charge and leave me stuck out of position. Curse them!

I declared one or two optimistic charges in my turn, however none of them came close. Oh well, I declared them knowing I wouldn't be out of position as a result. I couldn't really bait the Vargheists because Rowan carefully kept them within control of the Vampire Lord, so I settled for chasing the Wolves on my left with the Yeomen and shooting a couple. My Lord flew up into a position to threaten the Black Knights, where only the Vargheists could see him (and they didn't want to chance his Heroic Killing Blow).
My Lord flies forward on his Pegasus, intent on fighting something.
Things continue to shuffle around on the left flank.
Realising that the Black Knights were going to get charged, the Vampire BSB decided to leave and fly towards my lines, into a blind spot between my units. The Black Knights moved back a little, and a unit of Vargheists dropped in behind the forest to look at anything that went after the Knights. The Ghouls on the left entered the tower, looking for a way to speed up their advance a little. The Wolves continued to evade my units and tried to keep the attention of my Yeomen.
Ghouls in da house!
In my turn I charged the Lord into the Black Knights, and tried to send in the Pegasus Knights as support. Unfortunately they rolled abysmally (both this turn and the next), and failed to move much of anywhere. The combat was unexciting and over the first 2 rounds I think I killed a total of 1 Black Knight. Oh well, at least I didn't break. The Yeomen on my right were given the unenviable task of sitting right in front of the raised Zombie unit, in order to keep them from charging my fool Pegasus Knights. Nothing else significant happened in my turn.
My Lord goes in alone, whilst the Yeomen take one for the team.
The Vampire BSB lurking behind my lines.
Rowan's efforts were far more dramatic. The Zombies charged the Yeomen right in front of them who failed their Fear test, got thrashed, broke and were run down. Aww yeah. The Vampire Lord took to the skies and landed near where the BSB was lurking, out of the arc of my main Knight bus. With maniacal glee, Rowan cast the only spell the Lord had up his sleeve – Wind of Death. And then, instead of doing the decent thing and rolling a misfire, he sent it 18” through my main unit, the smaller Realm Knight unit next to it, and the Pegasus Knights next to them. The latter 2 units emerged relatively unscathed, taking a wound each. The main bus was far less fortunate. 7 Knights died and the unit was rendered completely useless. Actually, all that was left was the 2 characters and the unit champion. Oh, the humanity. Suddenly the Vargheists and Vampires were looking very hungry...
Why is this image sideways? Anyway, the Vampire Lord is bottom right. His Fart of Death ended up top left, behind the Pegasus Knights.
My turn saw the Bretonnians scrambling to recover. All 3 models in the crippled unit ended up travelling in different directions. The Damsel shot off toward my Lord and cast Wyssan's Wildform on him in an attempt to finally make some progress. The BSB ended up nearby, as it seemed about the safest place to be (nobody could see them there). The Knight champion went the other direction, swinging around behind the forest in my deployment zone and looking to preserve the victory points of his unit.
Finally! My general deals with the Black Knights and is free to pretend to contribute elsewhere.
My Pegasus Knights on the right were still busy failing charges, so didn't achieve anything other than looking stupid. The other Pegasus Knights decided I had to do something and charged the Zombies, as nothing was watching them for a counter-charge. Surely over a few rounds they could grind their way through a few Zombies and get me some points. Surely...
The Pegasus Knights on my right try to contribute.
The smaller (now larger) Knight unit wheeled about to face the Vampire characters who were still lurking near my forest. If they wanted to take their chances with my modest static combat resolution, well I wasn't going to give them a flank charge.

At this point my Lord finally woke up and started fighting properly, presumably excited at being Strength 5 thanks to Wildform. He cut through the Black Knights and reformed to face the Vampire characters who were still lurking near my forest.

With my most vulnerable targets still keeping out of range of the most dangerous chargers, Rowan had to content himself with trying to trap the retreating Knight champion and positioning himself for the end game. His hesitation in allowing the Vargheists to be dragged into combat saw both units facing table edges in a shameful attempt to avoid frenzy baiting. Disgraceful. I ended up feeding one of the units with my remaining Yeomen, in the interest of dragging them completely out of the game.
Shame, shame, shame. Vargheists facing the tower on the edge of the table rather than looking into the battlefield where all the enemies are...
My optimism regarding the Pegasus Knights fighting the Zombies proved ill-founded, especially after some of the Zombies got back up due to Invocation of Nehek. In fact, he raised more than I killed in the second round, and then in the fourth round the Ghouls arrived in my flank. It was not good. On the bright side, I escaped their pursuit. I ended up joining the BSB and Lord together as a unit and standing them right behind the Pegasus Knights when they rallied. It meant the Ghouls redirected onto my characters when the Knights fled the charge, but that was fine – it meant they got away. I even managed to flank the Ghouls in the last turn with the small Knight unit, but between them my units couldn't do enough damage to knock off the whole unit.
Rowan's characters try to chase the shattered remnants of my army around the table.
You'll never catch me!!! Even raising new units couldn't capture Rowan the prize of my last Knight of the Realm.
I try to squeeze some last points from the Ghoul unit.
None of this was the main event, however. I had spent a turn regathering my forces in order to prevent the game falling apart. The characters were now lurking in Rowan's deployment zone prior to the charge-blocking mentioned above. My idiot Pegasus Knights (who had by now failed 3 charges, not once rolling more than 5”) had pulled back into my own deployment zone behind the forest, whilst the Knight champion moved along behind them, heading merrily for the back corner of the table.

I'm not sure how much of what followed was an intentional risk to try to force something to commit, or whether it was just Rowan being hell-bent on trying to trap and kill the escaping Knight champion. He ended up landing his Vampire Lord just within the arc of those idiot Pegasus Knights. Worse, he had done it within 12”. That meant that even they couldn't fail the charge! It was a gamble, but the Vampire was relying on his lance to be terrifying. So this was my chance. I charged him, accepted a challenge with my champion, magnanimously allowed Rowan to roll very poorly, and then saved the few wounds he inflicted. Wow, this Bretonnian thing is so easy! I had won combat by the charge and standard, and suddenly the undead general was on 1 wound!

In his turn Rowan tried to cast Wind of Death to steal back a wound on the Lord, but I managed to prevent it and then managed to shrug off his attacks again in the combat phase, and he fell over. Woo, points!
Die, evil Vampire BSB thing!
At that point the Pegasus Knights reformed and spotted the BSB lurking a little too nearby. Emboldened by their success against the Lord, they managed to make the 15” charge and everything! I then cast Wildform on the unit, and a Pegasus punted the Vampire to death with its mighty Strength 5 hooves.

At the end of the game, I had lost both of my Yeoman units... And nothing else. My remaining Knight of the Realm had managed to elude Rowan's best efforts to pin him down, and the Pegasus Knights that had been chased by the Zombies and Ghouls had gotten away and yielded no victory points. For my part, I had killed both Vampire characters, the Black Knights, and both units of Dire Wolves (they had gotten underfoot and killed as we scrambled toward the end). Couldn't help but feel lucky with that game. Against a less aggressive opponent, the whole game could have been something of a non-event. Definitely a flawed (if potentially amusing) match-up.

Result: 15-5

Game 7 – Chris Cousens
Table 17 – Desert Raiders
Scenario – Battleline

My army:
Dark Elves
  • Supreme Sorceress
    • General; Magic Level 3; Lore of Shadow
  • Master
    • Dark Steed; Great Weapon; Heavy Armour; Sea Dragon Cloak; Battle Standard
    • Dragonhelm
    • Luckstone
  • 20 Black Ark Corsairs
    • 2ndWeapon; Light Armour; Sea Dragon Cloak; Standard; Musician; Reaver
  • 20 Dreadspears
    • Spear; Light Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician; Lordling
  • 5 Dark Riders
    • Spear; Rptr Crossbow; Light Armour
  • 5 Harpies
  • 6 Cold One Knights
    • Lance; Heavy Armour; Shield; Standard; Musician
  • 10 Darkshards
    • Rptr Crossbow; Light Armour
  • Reaper Bolt Thrower
  • Kharibdyss
Chris' army:
Tomb Kings
  • Liche High Priest
    • Hierophant; Lore of Nehekhara; Magic Level 3
  • Tomb Prince
    • General; Great Weapon
    • Armour of Silvered Steel
    • Luckstone
  • 40 Skeleton Warriors
    • Shield; Standard; Musician; Master of Arms
  • 20 Skeleton Archers
    • Normal Bow; Standard; Musician
  • 5 Skeleton Horse Archers
    • Normal Bow
  • 3 Skeleton Chariots
    • Standard; Musician
  • 3 Skeleton Chariots
    • Standard; Musician
  • Necrolith Colossus
    • Bow of the Desert
  • Khemrian Warsphinx
For the final round, Baron von Gumby's surprising good fortune had seen him end up on the second-top table, playing off with the reigning Australian Master, Chris Cousens. That old egg (as some fools insist on calling him) had been right up the pointy-end of the tournament, but I think he had fallen short in the previous round and was now fighting to stay on the podium.

Chris chose the Tomb Kings, which is probably the army I would have gone for as well. Ironically the Tomb Kings did worse on the table throughout the tournament, so apparently we're both bad selectors...
Oh good, a house for him to hide in.
The roll-off for table sides also gave Chris the building, which was really not what I wanted to see. 40 Skeletons shielding the High Priest in a building? That was going to be difficult to shift. It was not the best start. I got The Withering, Pit of Shades and Mindrazor for my spells. Yay, Mindrazor. Was I willing to be that sort of Dark Elf player? Chris got Incantation of the Desert Wind, Righteous Smiting and Desiccation.

I optimistically vanguarded my Dark Riders onto the hill in front of me to put them in a good position to shoot, and was punished by losing the first turn roll-off. Serves me right, really. So they got shot, and then they were gone. I dislike fighting Tomb Kings – I keep formulating plans of how I am going to shield one unit behind another or use the cover of the terrain, and then remember that there is no point. I hate that. Armies that choose not to use the rules irritate me. Not that this was a major factor in the demise of the Dark Riders – that was all down to me wanting the first turn...

Chris moved some of his units forward a bit, but the main speed came from the things to my left – the Warsphinx, Colossus and Chariots, which were all more or less unopposed on that flank. He also cast Righteous Smiting on his 20 Archers, which might have contributed to the demise of the Dark Riders. Poor guys.
The Dark Elves advance
In my first turn, I moved the Kharibdyss up on the right flank, looking to try to approach the Tomb King lines without getting turned into a pincushion. My other units advanced as well, although the Cold One Knights were a little circumspect because they didn't want to be fighting a Toughness 8 monster. I managed to shoot a Chariot off the unit in front of the Kharibdyss, however they demonstrated their remarkable agility by passing a couple of Initiative 2 tests when a Pit of Shades landed slightly off-centre on them. Curse them. The Bolt Thrower took 2 wounds off the Chariot unit on the other flank, but at that rate it was going to be in trouble when they reached its position in the forest.
How dare they charge my big, impressive beastie?

I had moved the Harpies up to block the Chariots on my right from charging my monster, however when I shot one of the Chariots, they were free to go in. I figured this was OK. If it couldn't take a couple of Strength 4 Chariots, there was little help for it. Of course, this calculation went out the window when Chris cast Righteous Smiting on the unit, which not only allowed them to spawn tons of extra attacks, but brought back the missing Chariot. I had forgotten about this little side-effect. Maybe the Kharibdyss was in trouble after all...

Further along the line, the Warsphinx tried its luck with a charge on my Cold One Knights, but it was a long shot and didn't make it. The other unit of Chariots kept heading for my Bolt Thrower.
Nice try: The Warsphinx fails to charge my Cold Ones.
The combat with the Kharibdyss was going to be touch and go, before Chris picked up the dice and rolled the impact hits...
Oh dear. How many impact hits?
Actually, he only did a few wounds with those. And the beastie then fought back and smashed up one of the Chariots in return. Alas, this was not enough and the magically multiplied attacks of the crew and horses were enough to bring down the monster. This was bad. I had big plans for him.

In my turn I tried to cheer myself up by charging the Chariots with my Crossbowmen (or whatever they're called nowadays), but they couldn't manage the 5 I needed them to roll, so they got themselves run over instead. Ah well, they brought it on themselves. The Harpies charged the light cavalry lurking on Chris' back-line, failed their fear test and got rolled in combat. I guess that was their own silly fault too. None of this was my fault, obviously...

One thing did go right that turn, though. I charged the Warsphinx with the Cold One Knights and Corsairs, then went for the ultimate “pro strat” - with an idiot roar, I cast Mindrazor on the Corsairs. I'm pretty sure the Warsphinx fainted in horror at my noobness, but regardless, it counted as dead and was removed after I rolled a few Strength 9 attacks. Unfortunately the Cold Ones failed to overrun the 8” they needed to hit the Colossus, and the Corsairs failed to travel the 4 or 5” they needed to reach the Archers. Well, that could have gone better. At least I had killed something.

In Chris' turn the Colossus stepped around beside the Cold Ones and the Archers side-stepped out of the arc of the Corsairs (I think he used magical movement to complete this particular manoeuvre and get fully out of sight). The Chariots did indeed charge and kill my Bolt Thrower, passing their dangerous terrain tests on the way in. I had shot one the previous turn, so I guess that was something.

(I'm just going to come right out and apologise. I am trying to write this whilst Sharknado is on the TV, and to be honest I think I am considerably more stupid now than I was before the movie started. There you go, now maybe you'll understand why what I'm writing is making no sense...)

Umm, where was I? Ah, yes. After Chris had dodged my overrunning units and shot at me a little, I tried to charge the Archers with the Spearmen, who were following in the wake of the Corsairs. It was a pretty easy charge, so naturally I failed to make the distance. Don't say I'm not consistent. My Cold Ones turned around to try to make their way back into the battle, but then failed their Stupidity test the following round, so spent their time shambling along uncontrollably instead.

Having failed to charge and deal with the Archers, my Spearmen then got charged by them instead. Unfortunately there were also a couple of Chariots crashing into the unit's rear. As bad as this sounds (my Supreme Sorceress was also in this unit), it was actually OK. The Chariots did not roll 150 thousand impact hits, and the Spearmen did considerable damage to the Archers. The important thing was that my unit was still Steadfast, and held its ground. The Corsairs then arrived in the rear of the Archers and they (and the Chariots) were removed after combat resolution. I had killed something else! Don't call it a comeback!
Sometime much, much later... Sorry, my camera got distracted or something.
Chris clearly decided I had made a comeback, because he started looking nervous and then decided to gamble. I guess he wanted a win to try to force his way up the scoreboard again. Anyway, the Colossus and remaining Chariot unit (which had returned from its mission to destroy my Bolt Thrower) charged into the flank of my stupid Cold One unit. Unfortunately for them, my BSB was sitting on that end of the unit and as such, he'd be absorbing the attacks. When the Chariots failed to make a real impression with their impact hits, Chris was already starting to look sad. Then my BSB shrugged off most of the damage (he took one wound) and carved a hole in a Chariot. My unit reformed to face their assailants, and within another round or two the Tomb King units were gone.
Chris gambles...
Gamble failed.
By this point Chris only had the Skeletons, High Priest and Tomb Prince cowering in the building. I did the manly thing and charged them with the Corsairs (with another bellow of “Mindrazor” for good measure). I thrashed them in combat, but not enough to wipe the unit out, and they did the sensible thing and left through the back door before I could have another go. The game was over. I still had my characters, the Cold Ones, the Spearmen and the Corsairs. Chris' efforts to recover his early lead had been been a disaster. Another lucky win for Baron von Gumby!

Result: 13-7

So by the end of the tournament, I had emerged with 6 wins from my 7 games. It would have been enough for a podium place, but that's not really where the gumby army belongs. We save those spots for paying entrants. So Baron von Gumby was demoted to equal 4th place. It was fun to actually try out some of the match-ups we had made, and I had some entertaining games.

We tracked the performance of the armies on each table this time, and I'll put together another post analysing how all the match-ups went at a later date. Sometime when Sharknado is not on TV (and believe me, it will never be on my TV again)...


  1. Considering that you seemingly rolled fairly poorly throughout, 6-1 is an amazing record to have when you're not overly familiar with any of the armies beforehand.

    1. To be fair, there is a reason why I was writing so many of the army lists before the event. My knowledge of all of the armies is very good - my game knowledge is one of the main strengths of my game. So a system like this plays into my hands somewhat,

  2. In that case I retract my compliment entirely.

    Also thank you for the wonderful write up.