Monday, 23 February 2015

Cancon 2015 Report - Part 5

This is a continuation of my Cancon report. You can find the previous game here.

Game 6 - Battle Line
Alex Thompson, Dwarfs

  • Runesmith with Gromril Armour, Shield, Rune of Stone, 2 Runes of Spellbreaking
  • Runesmith with Gromril Armour, Shield, Rune of Stone, 2 Runes of Spellbreaking, Rune of the Furnace
  • Thane BSB with Gromril Armour, Shield, Master Rune of Grungni, 2 Runes of Slowness
  • Master Engineer
  • 28 Longbeards with Standard, Old Guard, Rune of Stoicism
  • 13 Quarrellers with Great Weapons
  • 23 Hammerers with Standard, Keeper of the Gate
  • Cannon with Rune of Forging
  • Grudge Thrower with Rune of Accuracy, Rune of Forging
  • Gyrocopter with Steam Gun
  • Gyrocopter with Brimstone Gun
  • 18 Irondrakes with Full Command, 2 Runes of Slowness
  • Organ Gun with Rune of Accuracy

Swedish Comp: 13.8

Dwarfs! Everyone loves dwarfs! Well actually, it seems like dwarfs love dwarfs and nobody else does. Anyway, this looked like a pretty traditional dwarf list with multiple runed-up war machines, a lot of anti-magic and Runes of Slowness galore to buy a bit more time for shooting before the combat blocks engaged.

With our respective lists, this game was always going to be a question of whether I could rush the line before the artillery cleaned me up. I had some small hope of improving matters with the soul grinder’s stone thrower and Pit of Shades, but with Alex having the equivalent of two Destroy Scrolls up his sleeve, it was unlikely I would get a chance with anything less than irresistible force.
Dwarf deployment, with another gyrocopter off to the right out of picture.
My deployment, after vanguards.
I could have sworn that keeper was behind the soul grinder. Maybe I knew I was going to get the first turn? Must have moved up behind it in turn 1.
Vanguard and then a move puts the mounted daemonettes well in the flank of the irondrakes. Enough to make them move.
Given that I actually don’t play all that often, this was my first game against the new Dwarf book. I used the army at Convic last year, but it was a very different list. The Runes of Slowness messed with my head a bit and I probably didn’t play some parts of the game as well as I could have.

I deployed the keeper behind the soul grinder to try to catch cannon balls and organ gun shots, but then I was greedy and wanted to fire the stone thrower so I couldn’t march in the first turn. Naturally this turned out to be a waste of time as the stone thrower missed, and I was now 8” further from the dwarf line than I could have been. I forced through at least one Pit of Shades, but it scattered off the organ gun and I achieved nothing.
See, now I'm hiding.
The fiends engage the quarrellers. I hadn't though about the need to pursue them when I devised this plan, but they would totally have stayed on if I let them go.
The fiends rushed the quarrellers because they looked like an achievable target and swept them off the table in a turn. I had to pursue because I didn’t trust the dwarfs to leave the field, which meant my unit was exposed the following turn when it re-entered play. The hammerers had turned to face them, and charged them before bludgeoning them to death over a couple of rounds.
The fiends re-enter play and find a welcoming committee waiting for them.
I might have rescued the fiends with the keeper, but realised that there was a good chance I wouldn’t make it because of the Slowness runes. I couldn’t afford a completely wasted turn as the soul grinder had been removed by the very first shot from the grudge thrower, so instead I had to leave the fiends to their fate in order to move into a position to rush the war machines with the beasts and keeper the following turn.
The keeper was moving up, but too far away to support. I think the beasts may have missed a charge on the organ gun. Just couldn't get rid of it.
Unfortunately the keeper didn’t make it. I actually passed a couple of ward saves against cannon balls before the organ gun opened up and obliterated it. The beasts went in on their own, but somehow couldn’t even deal with an organ gun on the charge. They did kill it, but they took long enough that the hammerers had reformed and charged them in the rear. That went badly.
Horrors charging into combat! It was such a good plan...
So my left flank had been a bit of a disaster. Closer to the centre, one of the gyrocopters flew up to try to hassle my daemonettes, but got itself rear-charged by the horrors. I was delighted by this outcome, but then failed to break the thing on about Ld 4 in the first round, and suddenly things didn’t look so good. It turned around, started killing my horrors, and I actually lost combat multiple times against it. Ironically I was right on the brink of losing the unit when the 2 or 3 remaining horrors suddenly fired up, wounded the gyrocopter and broke it before running it down. 
The plan was looking less good as I lost over and over. Fortunately it improved later.
My right flank advanced strongly in the first turn.
Second turn saw some careless exposing of daemonette flanks. 
The daemonettes had hurried off and I think they tried to charge the flank of the irondrakes as they turned to deal with my mounted daemonettes that were trying to sneak around behind them. Unfortunately Slowness was involved again and I failed the charge (or maybe decided not to declare it), and then got shown up by the longbeards, who instead wheeled about and charged me in the flank. This seemed disastrous, but it was not as bad as expected. The herald fired up and started hacking at the dwarfs, including cutting down the “general” (ie: the regular runesmith who was somehow in charge of the whole thing). Alex must have rolled fairly poorly, because I barely lost combat and then reformed to face them. I then beat them a couple of times before they unexpectedly failed a stubborn break test (the BSB was off with the hammerers, out of range) and I ran them down. It was all quite amazing.
Apparently daemonettes can take stubborn longbeards. Who knew?
Argh! So close!
The daemonettes then turned around to face the rear of the irondrakes. The bloodletters had seen off the second gyrocopter (but failed to kill it), and were just about to charge the front of the irondrakes. They gave a surprisingly good account of themselves (I think I passed a lot of saves), and meant I was well-positioned for the daemonettes to come in and break things up. Again the Runes of Slowness kicked in however, and a pretty average charge roll coupled with the runes meant I failed to make the charge (I was only maybe 7” away, so effectively rolled a 0).
Bloodletters charge and break the gyrocopter, but it gets away.
The net that was closing in.
Bloodletter saves! Amazeballs.
I expected this to be the disaster that lost me any chance in the game, but the bloodletters somehow held on for another 2 rounds of combat. The hammerers also failed a middling charge to hit the flank of the daemonettes (it was maybe 10”). This time I couldn’t fail my charge and the daemonettes hit the irondrakes in the rear, I won combat well, and the dwarfs broke… And outran both of my pursuing units when I didn’t have another turn to chase them. 
No, no, no! They're getting away!!!
It was probably about 600 points that had escaped me - it would have been enough to win me the game narrowly. Instead I lost. So close. Outrun by dwarfs. Oh, the shame.

In truth, I had been lucky in places and unlucky elsewhere. It was just a pity that I seemed to be playing every game without the keeper. That was no doubt the difference. If I'd hurried more in the first turn rather than dawdling to fire the stone thrower on the soul grinder or remembered to allow for the Slowness runes earlier, I might have actually made it. Oh well.
Sorry Alex, I don't remember what this roll was for. I remember it being very helpful to my cause, however. 

Result: 7-13 (after comp)

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