Monday, 24 February 2014

Cancon 2014 Aftermath: Part 5

This is the fifth part of my series of posts covering my time playing Warhammer at Cancon 2014. You can find the previous game here.

Well the last game had dropped me back to a record of 2 wins and 2 losses, which was still acceptable. I could still achieve all my fairly modest goals from here...

Game 5, Blood and Glory
Jack Blanche, Ogre Kingdoms

I'm not going to lie to you. It's now about a month since I played these games, and some details are going to completely escape me. Now I think about Jack's list, I am extremely vague about the details. I'll do what I can, but bear in mind that what follows is probably mostly wrong...
  • Tyrant with Armour of Destiny, Great Weapon (maybe)
  • Bruiser (BSB) with Talisman of Preservation, Enchanted Shield (I think?)
  • Firebelly (Level 2) with maybe a Dispel Scroll. He had something, I know it...
  • Hunter with Sword of Striking, Longstrider, probably some other stuff
  • 6 Ironguts with full command, maybe a Banner of Disipline or Swiftness
  • 3 Ogres with 2 hand weapons
  • 3 Ogres with 2 hand weapons
  • 40 Gnoblar Trappers
  • 5 Sabretusks
  • 4 Maneaters with Scout, Immune to Psychology, Ogre Pistol, full command, Banner of Eternal Flame
  • Ironblaster
  • Scraplauncher
  • Scraplauncher
Well that doesn't reach 2400 points, so I have clearly missed some gear on the characters. This is roughly what the list looked like. I'd like to point out that Jack is a real man who puts a Hunter into a proper unit of Sabretusks, rather than doing the typical Ogre thing of fielding multiple units of 1. It's possible Swedish comp was to blame, but I like it anyway.
How deployment looked.
Scouting Maneaters off to my left.
The Ogre centre, with a long, thin line of Gnoblars at the front.
Blurry, sneaky Ogres over to my right. I recall them being less blurry in real life.
The table was a bit of a mess for this game, with a couple of buildings pretty close together, and a sizeable forest and a small lake adding to the congestion in the centre of the table. It would have been less of a problem for people with less cavalry, but it meant my advance was going to be somewhat restricted. Jack deployed his 3 characters in the Ironguts near the back of his deployment zone, possibly in reaction to my aggressive deployment pushing to the front of my 15” allowance. His Gnoblars went 20 wide in front, with the 3 war machine-toting Rhinoxen all around. Some Ogres went wide to my right, around the end building. More stuff went to my left, with the scouting Maneaters lurking off my flank behind yet another house, and the Hunter leading his Sabretusks in a pretty tame vanguard move toward my Flagellants. It was like he didn't want them charged or something. Since when have charging Flagellants hurt anyone?

Anyway, I think I went first and had a crack at an enormous charge with the Flagellants against the Sabretusks (might have needed a 10 or 11 on the dice). I didn't even come close, and they staggered forward about 2”. This was probably better than them going 6”, which might have exposed too much of their flank to the Maneaters around the building. The rest of my lines pushed forward, and my Wizard Lord commenced a series of boosting Speed of Light with irresistible force. Don't know what was with her that game, but she was seriously keen.
My White Wolves head at best speed for the enemy lines, whilst sneaky Ogres come around behind them.
My Flagellants failed a charge off the bat, but failed so badly that they gave the Maneaters little space to respond.
The centre during the Ogres' first turn.
The Ogres disrespect my fearsome doggies, probably just looking to buy things some time.
In Jack's turn he charged a unit of Ogres into the front of my Demigryphs, before advancing behind them with the long, thin wall of Gnoblars. The Maneaters and Sabretusks decided against charging the Flagellants now that they were WS and Initiative 10. This was possibly a mistake on the part of the Maneaters, as pinning the unit and dropping their flail bonus with a flank charge (and maybe even knocking off Frenzy) would have basically nullified their effectiveness in the game. The second unit of Ogres swung around the tower on my right flank, looking at my White Wolf Knights as they headed for the gap between the buildings. One of the Scraplaunchers wandered out in line with the White Wolves and knocked a few off with an accurate shot (and some predictably poor saves from me).

The charging Ogres got soundly thrashed by my buffed unit of Demigryphs and were wiped out. This left me free to charge the Gnoblars in my turn, which I decided to do. The White Wolves charged the Scraplauncher that had shot them and made the distance, effectively eluding the flanking Ogres in the process. I pushed forward with the Inner Circle Knights past the Demigryphs, despite the fact that it presented a flank to the Sabretusks. I figured they would almost certainly hold against such a charge, and the Flagellants had shifted their angle to ensure they would be nearby for a rescue, and to make sure any charge from the Maneaters would be in their front (ie pretty much suicidal). Once again the Wizard threw an irresistible boosted Speed of Light, meaning my units were super speedy and skilful for another turn.
The Demigryphs charge the Gnoblars
The depleted White Wolves hit the Scraplauncher. Very gently.
The Flagellants act a little more responsibly, and ensure they are not offering a flank charge whilst covering the flank of the Knights.
So things were pretty much under control at this point. Unfortunately the White Wolves embarrassed themselves against the Scraplauncher and couldn't land a telling blow. For about 4 or 5 rounds of combat. Such mad skillz. Happily they were able to pass break tests, because they were testing just about every turn. Brave but useless.

The Demigryphs were predictably brutal against the Gnoblars, but somewhat unexpectedly (read: stupidly freakishly), the Gnoblars killed one of my monstrous cavalry outright in return! That's 3 wounds, hitting on 5+, wounding on 6+, against a 1+ armour save. I think on average it should take 108 such attacks to inflict a single wound. He had more like a dozen attacks and did 3. Sigh. So I lost a quarter of my unit, and was no longer so convinced that things were well in hand when I pursued and caught the Gnoblars, carrying on into the flank of the Gutstar.
I have flanked the Gutstar! Seemed like a better idea when I had more doggies...
Jack responded by charging the second Scraplauncher into the flank of the Demigryphs, and the Ironblaster into the rear. His Firebelly then went berserk and blew himself up casting (I think) Flame Cage on my White Wolves. He killed an Irongut and wounded another as he went, although he also did 2 wounds to the Demigryphs, which was not ideal. The Gorger arrived and looked pointedly at the flank of the White Wolves. His contribution would eventually ensure that my unit broke and fled. Eventually. It was a combat made of fail, really.
It was such a nice plan before it all went wrong...
A Gorger! Where did he come from?
The Sabretusks did indeed charge into the flank of my Inner Circle Knights, however my unit held easily and turned to face. The Maneaters decided they wanted nothing to do with my Flagellants and instead walked into the house behind them.
The Sabretusks take the bait and flank my Knights, but I hold my ground.
The Demigryph combat went poorly. I think I lost the wounded guy to impact hits, then with only 2 Demigryphs to fight, they couldn't do enough damage to threaten anyone or even hold their position. They were destroyed, and my centre was suddenly faced with numerous pursuing Rhinoxen and Ogres.

In my third turn the Flagellants executed their plan pretty well, crashing into the flank of the Sabretusks and killing the lot of them. The Hunter was left testing on snake eyes and ran off, getting run down by both of my units.
The Flagellants complete their rescue. I don't actually remember how my little Knight unit managed to overtake the Inner Circle Knights - I'm sure they were to their right a minute ago...
At this point my photos become few and far between, which means we're down to my memory. So it all gets a little vague. The Hurricanum was destroyed by a charge from the Scraplauncher (I think), and this panicked my idiot Arch Lector despite him being within range of my BSB. So instead of orchestrating a counter-charge, he was busy rallying in the forest and getting rear-charged by the Maneaters who had emerged from the building. He didn't last long, as his -1 to hit and 2+ ward vs flaming attacks proved no protection from the unit champion (Jack even split his attacks in a clear show of contempt for my ability to pass saves – arrogant, yet eerily accurate). Without its rider I think the War Altar held for a turn before dying. The Maneaters then carried on into the flank of my Flagellants as they looked to re-enter the contest. They got done in pretty spectacular fashion.
The Scraplauncher made short work of the Hurricanum.
The Flagellants got flanked when the War Altar finished embarrassing itself even faster than expected.
My Wizards had ended up leaving their little bodyguard unit of Knights, and at some point a panic test hit the Beast Wizard. He fled off to the right of the field (all alone), and failed multiple rally tests before departing the field. Or maybe he drowned in the lake. Whatever it was, he was gone.
The table in the late stages. The Flagellants are already gone - they were to the right of that building (which is full of Ogres).
The Gutstar moved into the building in the centre as my units started to recover from dealing with the Sabretusks, and I wound up charging them with my second unit of Flagellants. They put in an impressive performance and killed the unit champion and half-killed the Tyrant. Unfortunately the Ogres held due to Stubborn, so my unit was pushed back – right as my White Wolves finally broke and were destroyed by the Scraplauncher and Gorger. This freed up the Ogre units for a charge on one flank of the disengaged Flagellants, whilst the flanking Ogre unit swung around into their other flank. With a fairly impressive display of impact hits and stomping, I lost the entire unit to the charge.

I think I killed at least one of the Scraplaunchers with Shem's Burning Gaze before my Wizard Lord finally killed herself with miscasts (she did all 3 wounds to herself over time), but then the Maneaters finished off the Flagellants and caught up with the Inner Circle Knights, and the game was over. I think all I had left was the remnants of the little Knight unit, huddling over on the left flank.

The game had been a bit of a disaster. I had killed a few things, including the Hunter and his Sabretusks, the Gnoblars, one or two Scraplaunchers, some Ogres and the Firebelly, but the Blood and Glory bonuses ensured the result was one to forget...

Result: 0-20

That game had been rather depressing. Things had fallen apart in a number of small ways that had taken me from a promising position to a disastrous one. At least my Wizard Lord had been enthusiastic throughout – fatally so. Jack instructed me to go and buy new dice before the next round, and so did someone else who had been watching – so I went and found some nice purple and white dice to match my army. Surely now the mojo would be all mine! Time would tell...

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