Monday, 16 February 2015

Cancon 2015 Report - Part 1

It’s been a few weeks now, but I may finally have time to do a Cancon report. Better late than never, right?

It was a long time ago that I posted my list, so here it is again to refresh your memory:

  • Keeper of Secrets (Level 4, Lore of Shadow) with 2 Greater Gifts
  • Herald of Slaanesh with Battle Standard; Greater Locus of Swiftness, Lesser Gift
  • 23 Daemonettes of Slaanesh with Full Command
  • 18 Bloodletters of Khorne with Full Command, Banner of Swiftness
  • 10 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (Level 1, Lore of Tzeentch)
  • 5 Seekers of Slaanesh
  • 6 Fiends of Slaanesh
  • 2 Beasts of Nurgle (in 1 unit)
  • Soul Grinder of Slaanesh with Daemonbone Claw, Phlegm Bombardment

Swedish Comp: 14.7

Daemons are really not my thing, but it was something different and I felt like I could throw in whatever I liked without Swedish Comp taking a huge steaming dump on my hopes and dreams, so I was happy enough.

I’m afraid I forgot my camera on day 1, so had to make do with my mobile phone. Sorry for the rubbish photos...

Game 1 - Dawn Attack
Nathan Goodchild, Vampire Counts

  • Vampire Lord (Level 1, Lore of Vampires) on Zombie Dragon with Charmed Shield, Talisman of Preservation, Ogre Blade, Potion of Foolhardiness, Quickblood, heavy armour
  • Necromancer (Level 2, Lore of Vampires) with Dispel Scroll
  • Necromancer (Level 1, Lore of Vampires) with Scroll of Shielding, Ruby Ring of Ruin
  • Tomb Banshee
  • 5 Dire Wolves with Doom Wolf
  • 5 Dire Wolves with Doom Wolf
  • 5 Dire Wolves with Doom Wolf
  • 30 Crypt Ghouls with Crypt Ghast
  • 20 Zombies with musician, standard bearer
  • 20 Zombies with musician, standard bearer
  • 8 Hexwraiths
  • 2 Fell Bats
  • 2 Fell Bats
  • Varghulf
  • Varghulf
  • Terrorgheist

Swedish Comp: 15.5

The first game was a grudge match, with Nathan looking for revenge after my narrow escape in the final round of Rumble in the Bronx. Both of us were using completely different lists here, with Nathan bravely fielding a zombie dragon in a good show of contempt for conventional wisdom.

It would be fair to say that I didn’t really know what I was doing going into this game. I had played a single practice game with my list, and it had given me a slightly narrow view of how to use my army. Of course, Nathan was using a borrowed army too (he was using Roy Diprose’s beautiful undead orcs). So no excuses.
Most of Nathan's deployment, with the zombie dragon on the wrong side from the rest of the army. The arachnarok is a terrorgheist. The long row of ghostly blue dogs is the hexwraiths.
There were some dire wolves way out on the flank.
The number of magnets involved in Roy's army defeated Nathan's attempts to put wings on the zombie dragon. Alas.
My keeper ended up with +2 Attacks and +2 Strength, so was slightly terrifying with 8 Strength 8 Attacks. Sounded suitable for chasing a zombie dragon around the table. Random deployment really didn’t punish me at all - I rolled a fistful of sixes and got to choose where I was placing nearly everything. Nathan had things a bit tougher, and ended up with a bit of a traffic jam on my right of the table.
My deployment. Just about everything landed in the middle or rolled a six and let me choose (mostly the latter, really).
All lined up and ready to go!
Hexwraiths vanguarding forward. That's a varghulf next to them, on a questionable base. The multi-purposeness of the army raises some difficulties.
This is the most pimp dire wolf unit ever seen. Don't ask me which one is the doom wolf champion - I honestly can't tell you.
For want of a better plan, I pushed forward pretty aggressively. I hoped to clear away the dire wolves and bats fairly promptly in order to bring the game more under control. To this end I left the keeper open to a flank charge from the wolves, and they took it. The inevitable challenge saw me fail to do enough overkill to wipe them out, so I got bogged for a turn.
Blurry shot of my first turn move.
Slightly better shot of the centre. Observe how the keeper makes itself a tempting target for the dire wolves.
It was an aggressive opening. I was hoping to force some chaff into the grinder early on to clear my path.
The dire wolves take the bait, trusting me not to roll enough damage with my 8 attacks.
They judged it well, apparently.
I think I tried to kill the terrorgheist with the soul grinder’s stone thrower, but was unsuccessful. I did land a shot on the vampire lord a little later, but the charmed shield did its work.

With the dire wolves holding up my keeper, Nathan landed some bats in the way of both the bloodletters and fiends (clearly I should have kept them a bit further apart to force him to use 2 units) whilst other elements flew around to the side and rear.
We're surrounded!
On the left flank I had placed the horrors in a building and they basically sat there all game. The seekers of slaanesh were staring down the hexwraiths, with him not wanting the combat and me not wanting to give him the free slash attacks. That side of the table was cagey.
Block my units, will you? I will teach you, silly bats! Oh, looks like I cleaned up the back unit with the soul grinder. I suspect Nathan was expecting me to shoot at things rather than charge with it at this point, but I wanted to prevent the bats from delaying me for another turn.
On the other side, the bloodletters and fiends both charged and overran through the bats. The bloodletters were then charged by a zombie tar pit whilst the fiends were charged by a varghulf in the front and the terrorgheist in the flank. It was not ideal. The bloodletters did a reasonable job of culling some of the zombies, but the fiends were hopeless and achieved nothing - they lost combat repeatedly without ever doing a wound.
Something shapely and barbecue-flavoured appears to help balance the bloodletters as they overrun.
My overrunning units get counter-charged
The daemonettes charge the ghouls.
For want of a better plan, I decided to charge my daemonettes into the horde of ghouls. With spells like Withering and Mindrazor, I figured I could turn an unfavourable combat into a good one and punch through the only real combat unit in Nathan’s army. Unfortunately I rolled a rubbish magic phase, which meant I was unable to force any spells through. Actually, I think my best phase for the game gave me 6 dice. Anyway, I had gambled and I lost. The ghouls beat me considerably worse than I expected (I passed something like 2 out of the 20 saves the daemonettes had to take over a couple of rounds), and when a varghulf arrived in the rear to help the ghouls out, my unit vanished.
After the first round. Well that didn't go so well.
A varghulf decides to compound my misery.
My soul grinder lurks behind the lines as I try to push on with the keeper.
Nathan moved his zombie dragon around behind the combat with the fiends, and I decided my best chance to trap it with the keeper was to flank the zombies fighting the bloodletters, wipe them out, and overrun into the vampire lord. This plan almost worked. I fluffed slightly and left 3 whole zombies bogging both my units. Nathan then returned the favour by leaving both the terrorgheist and varghulf bogged against the fiends, where had a single wound remaining. I think we were both slightly bemused at our inability to break free of the combats.
The keeper flanks the zombies whilst the beasts tie up the vargulf. Or at least they try to. They got dealt with pretty quickly (with help from the ghouls to clean up the second one).
So close... 3 zombies and a single wound on a fiend hold up 4 other units.
The zombie dragon flew out behind my lines as the zombies and fiends finally died, and I was free to reform the bloodletters and keeper, and charged them both into the vampire. I was still unable to get a spell off, but I didn’t think it would matter. Turns out I was wrong. In the challenge between our two lords, I only landed 3 hits and wounds on the zombie dragon, and took a couple in return from the vampire. All added up, I won combat by just enough to leave both the vampire and the dragon on a single wound each.
The zombie dragon gets further dismantled to the point where he's just an empty base. And my keeper finds balancing on the hill a little challenging.
The varghulfs flung themselves into the combat to try to rescue their general, but I thought I could still kill him before combat resolution kicked in. I hadn’t factored in the banshee however, which ran up behind the varghulfs and shrieked at the keeper, rolling an 11. I took 4 wounds, saved 2, and was then finished off by the ASF vampire before I could strike. The varghulf fighting the bloodletters went berserk and murdered most of the unit, and the rest collapsed due to being thrashed in combat.
The varghulfs leap into the fray whilst the soul grinder and terrorgheist duke it out, and the banshee sneaks up by herself.
Whilst this was going on, my soul grinder had caught up with the terrorgheist. I figured this was a pretty good result, but I hadn’t realised how ridiculously awesome 6+ regeneration was. It came to the thing’s rescue multiple times, including in the first round when I landed the D6 wound “snip” attack with the daemonbone claw. I got the terrorgheist down to a single wound at one point, but the vampire (having escaped the keeper) healed it up a bit and we were still in combat at game’s end.

My seekers eventually found an opportunity to charge, going past the hexwraiths and into the front of the zombie bus with 2 necromancers in the front. I managed to kill one, but got done by the zombies in the first round of combat and popped. It was less than glorious. And the horrors did nothing all game until they finally forced through their Blue Fire of Tzeentch, rolling really well and culling all but one of the hexwraiths (I needed another wound from Warpflame). Close, but no cigar and/or points.

That was all largely irrelevant however. The game had been decided by the duel between our lord characters (with a timely intervention from the banshee). Had I killed the lord, I would most likely have won the game. Instead things fell apart and I lost badly. Mr Goodchild had his revenge!

Result: 1-19 (after comp)

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