Monday, 15 June 2015

Moonstruck Aftermath - Part 5

This is part 5 of my account of the recent tournament, Moonstruck. You can find the previous part here.

Game 5 - Battleline
Matt Sellick, Ogre Kingdoms

  • Slaughtermaster - lvl 4 Great maw. Sword of anti heros, d/scroll & tali of pres
  • Slaughtermaster Gen- lvl 4 heavens. Great wep, Hell heart, Armour of destiny
  • Hunter on Stonehorn - Sword of striking, dragonhelm, giantbreaker, harpoon launcher, ironfist,
  • Bruiser BSB: Death cheater, Rune Maw, heavy armour,great wep.
  • 11 ogres. F/C iron fists
  • 8 ogres. F/C iron fists
  • 1 sabretusk
  • 1 sabretusk
  • 4 maneaters: standard, Dragonhide banner (scout/swiftstride)
  • Ironblaster

Comp Score: 4

Ogres again! What was it with Ogres? After losing my previous game, I kind of assumed that I would be pushed properly off the top tables and fade safely into anonymity in the middle of the room. Turns out that wasn't quite right. There were a lot of people who had won 3 games at this point, but I seemed to be on top of them, presumably thanks to losing no points due to comp and taking the odd table quarter. So I plummeted all the way from Table 1, back down to Table 4.

Matt's army was a bit different from the previous two Ogre armies. There was not an Irongut in sight, and there was an actual Hunter on a Stonehorn! Truly ruly! I mean, I know you can put a Hunter on a Stonehorn, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone actually do it. This match-up looked pretty good for me, really. Apart from the Stonehorn, the army lacked a real number of high-strength attacks. And the magic lores were not those that were likely to lash out and kill my stuff. I wasn't sure I could crack the gutstar (bullstar? Ogrestar? How about Ogstar?), but in this win-loss-draw system, I probably wouldn't need to.
Back on Table 4 again.
Matt's deployment, after the fashionably late arrival of the Maneaters.
There is a Sabretusk lurking behind that tower, like a lurky lurkmonster.
Matt deployed most of his forces a fair way back in the corner to my left. I put my Dryads on that flank with the intention of basically annoying the Ogstar from a different angle, but this plan was altered a bit when the scouting Maneaters appeared in between us. 

I got the first turn (somewhat fortuitously, since he had fewer deployments), and advanced at walking speed with my main battle line. This allowed my bows and Bolt Throwers to have a crack at a few targets. The Sabretusk next to the Stonehorn fell, and so did 2 of the Ogres in the unit toward the centre (this may have been from casting the Dwellers Below or something. I don't quite recall). The unit panicked and fled through the Ironblaster, but unfortunately for me it passed its own test and the Ogres rallied immediately, so I didn't gain much.
Yeah, you better run.
The Dragon Princes decide the Bolt Thrower is safe from the lurking Sabretusk and head for the other enemy forces.
My forces move up, Turn 1.
The Maneaters charged straight into the Dryads, and rolled over a 10 to get themselves a ton of gut charge hits. The damage savaged the back rank because I didn't roll a lot of regeneration saves, but that was where the Maneaters' luck ended. Between their normal attacks and stomps, I had to take a whole pile more saves - and made just about every single one of them. With Iceshard Blizzard on my unit, I did practically no damage in return, but it didn't matter. Matt knew he needed to break my steadfast to get through and menace my lines, but I had passed too many saves and the unit held.
The Dryads brace for impact. After the impact hit wounds the thing looked like a done deal. Then regeneration saves happened.
What are you lookin' at? Don't point that thing at me!
The Ironblaster achieved something that the previous ones had not, and actually managed to wound Durthu. Thankfully he only rolled 2 wounds, which were of course healed by Alarielle in the following turn.
During my movement phase, Turn 2.
Having failed to break through the line, the Maneaters pay the price.
With the Dryads holding them in place, there was nothing the Maneaters could do about a flank charge from the Treekin. Probably unnecessarily, I cast Wyssan's Wildform on the unit as well. Matt was busy dispelling Flesh to Stone on Durthu, as apparently him being Toughness 10 would have been completely unacceptable. Anyway, the Strength 5 Treekin did a fair number on the Maneaters and left the sole survivor to run for the table edge whilst I reformed. Durthu had moved up aggressively, inviting the enemy to attack him. The Dragon Princes had continued a sweep around from my right flank, and were menacing the flank of the rallied Ogres.
The last Maneater heads for the hills. Glad he didn't roll a double 1 and rally - he might have gotten away.
The Dragon Princes move up out of sight of the rallied Ogres.
Durthu attracts the attention of... Just about everyone, really.
Matt decided to accept Durthu's invitation to charge him, and did so with everything that could - the Stonehorn, the Ironblaster and the Ogres. Unfortunately for him, there was a fence in the path of the Ironblaster. A very dangerous fence. The sort of fence that is constructed of carefully concealed tank traps and land mines, that can do 5 wounds to a charging chariot... The Ironblaster didn't live to complete its charge. Everyone else made it, but the loss of the chariot charge would definitely help me.
The Fence of Truth...
Durthu stands alone against half the enemy army.
The magic phase was an arm-wrestle over this pivotal combat, with Matt waving about a ton of augment and hex spells that could help to shift things in his favour. In the end he managed to get Trollguts off on the Stonehorn, and the Hunter on top bellowed a challenge as the thing crashed into combat and inflicted a pile of impact hits. Durthu wore the damage reasonably well thanks to regeneration, but then could only inflict a single wound on the Hunter in return, for the same reason - regeneration. I lost the combat, but held. Matt's remaining Sabretusk had been lurking behind the tower to my right to avoid being shot, but this time it had charged into the rear of the Dragon Princes in a desperate attempt to prevent them from rear-charging the Ogres fighting Durthu. The plan failed when the Elves turned in their saddles and cut the Sabretusk into itty bitty pieces. But the idea was sound.
The ill-fated Sabretusk delaying mission.
The Great Durthu Trap had been sprung, and now it was time to punish the victims. Well, that was the plan anyway. The Maiden Guard regiment that did not contain Alarielle charged into the Ogres alonside Durthu, whilst the Dragon Princes lined up an easy charge on the Ogres... and failed by rolling triple 1s. Because I have skills. Whatever - I figured it probably wasn't important. I didn't manage to affect the combat with magic, partly because I spent some of my efforts on raising a unit of Skeletons to block the charge of the Ogstar against my main units.
The Maiden Guard arrive to help Durthu.
Nothing like some free Skeletons to buy time and annoy opponents.
Durthu again inflicted a single wound on the Hunter and took moderate damage in return. The Ogres obligingly failed their Fear test for fighting Durthu (despite him pointedly ignoring them. Perhaps they found his aloofness intimidating), and this made things safer for the Maiden Guard who were fighting them. I think the Ogres broke and were run down by the Maiden Guard, but the Stonehorn held its ground.

The Ogstar charged and destroyed the Skeletons whilst the other combat continued. This time I think I managed to block Trollguts, but Bullgorger got through. The result was a little savage. Durthu smashed the Hunter to pieces, then got pulverised by the Stonehorn in return. This was enough to panic the Maiden Guard who had dealt with the Ogres, and then fled back toward my lines.
The Dryads do their best to distract the Ogstar whilst the Stonehorn rallies after outrunning Alarielle's regiment.
In my turn I charged the now-unridden Stonehorn with Alarielle's unit, whilst my Dryads volunteered to move up and delay the Ogstar. I beat and broke the Stonehorn, but it escaped pursuit and rallied near Matt's board edge. My magic phase was a bit of a non-event because Matt used his Hellheart to force both of my mages to miscast. The both rolled a 10+ and lost a spell. Alarielle lost Flesh to Stone (the only spell I really wanted to keep, and much to Matt's delight as he plucked the right card at random), and my Unicorn mage lost her ability to use magic completely. The Ogstar hit the Dryads and killed a modest number of them, but more than enough to break them. They didn't bother to pursue, and reformed facing where the Stonehorn would be making its last stand. It also managed to benefit from Trollguts again, so would take some serious killing.
The Dryads take one for the team whilst the mage watches on.
C'mon, it's just one Stonehorn. We can take him!
In my turn I was really worried about the ramifications if I didn't deal with the Stonehorn in a single round. The Ogstar would be facing my flank, and this time there was not really a unit to get in the way and divert them. I tried for a long charge into the rear of the unit with the Treekin, but they failed to make it in. In the end the now-powerless Unicorn mage decided to make herself useful and blocked their charge whilst Alarielle's unit charged the Stonehorn in the front and the Dragon Princes went into the flank. The combat went far better than I could have hoped - I did quite a few wounds, and Matt very generously failed nearly every one of his regeneration saves. I killed the Stonehorn outright, and my units reformed to face the Ogstar.
I really didn't think this combat would go quite so well. Probably because it shouldn't have. I was at best hoping to break him.
You think you can sweep me aside? You got NOTHING!!
Things got a little farcical toward the end when the Ogstar charged my "diverting" mage on Unicorn. I say "diverting" with the quotes because she didn't divert at all. She stopped the enemy in their tracks for the last 3 combat phases of the game. I challenged, and Matt decided to accept with the Slaughtermaster with the Sword of Anti-heroes. A reasonable choice, but I would have gone for the BSB with his extra WS and Strength. Anyway, the Slaughtermaster could make little to no headway against the mage, who held her ground with Alarielle nearby, offering leadership, regeneration and healing. I did try to charge in to "rescue" her in my final turn, but clearly my troops felt that was unnecessary because everything failed to make the distance. That was how the game ended and it felt a little silly.

In the end I had only lost Durthu, but in driving towards Matt's corner, I hadn't left much behind that was eligible to claim table quarters. Only the Maiden Guard who had fled and rallied were in a position to claim one uncontested.

Result: Win (15-0) +1 Table Quarter = 16

You can find the final part of the report here.

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