Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Axemaster 2015 Aftermath - Part 2

This is part 2 of my tournament report. You can find part 1 here.

Game 2
Julian Jaksch, Goblins

  • Skarsnik and Gobbla
  • Night Goblin Great Shaman (Level 4, Little Waagh)
  • Night Goblin Shaman (Level 2, Little Waagh)
  • Night Goblin Big Boss with Battle Standard
  • Night Goblin Big Boss
  • 40 Night Goblins with Spears, Netters
  • 35 Night Goblins with Spears, Netters
  • 22 Night Goblins with Short Bows
  • 20 Night Goblins with Short Bows
  • Squig Herd with 21 Squigs, 7 Handlers
  • Goblin Wolf Chariot
  • Goblin Wolf Chariot
  • Goblin Spear Chukka
  • Goblin Spear Chukka
  • Troll
  • Pump Wagon with Spiky Roller, Exploding Spores
  • Pump Wagon with Spiky Roller
  • Doom Diver
  • Rock Lobber with Bully
  • Arachnarok

Comp Score: 6
Julian's very nicely painted Goblin army. The Colossal Squig was being used as an Arachnarok.
My Mission: Kill the general
Julian's Mission: Capture the flag

After an ignominious start, I joined Julian's all-goblin army down on the lower tables. I figured this was probably where my army belonged, so I wasn't too bothered being thrashed first up. Julian and I had never actually played before, despite attending many of the same events over the years. This promised to be fun.
The Squignarok.
All those Fanatics are hiding somewhere in the list. Stupid closed lists. Julian's list actually had all the details on it, but I tried to ignore the things I wasn't meant to see.
The army's centre, with the Great Shaman in Skarsnik's unit and the BSB and Shaman in the unit to the left.
Yep, that's my whole army deployed right there. Everyone else was late.
Deployment started with Skarsnik delaying my troops with Squigs or donuts or something, resulting in each unit starting in reserve on the roll of a 6. Because I have great natural skill and a mastery of dice, this resulted in most of my army starting off the field. All 3 units of Orcs and my secondary Wyvern started in reserve, which meant my Great Shaman found himself deploying without a unit, trying to hide behind a building. 
What the hell, guys? Come on, we need you!
Oh well, at least I would get the +2 bonus to get the first turn (because of a better comp score and finishing deploying first - by about a week in this case). No wait, I lost the roll-off anyway. Julian took the first turn.

He moved forward selectively whilst his shooting cut loose at my monsters. The Arachnarok in the centre took 3 wounds and my general took 1 whilst his Wyvern also copped 3. Much of the damage came from Skarsnik's Prodder, which had zapped me pretty nastily. The Arachnarok was also slowed to Movement 1 by Itchy Nuisance. Poor spider.
Yay, my army has finally arrived!
Having finished off whatever tasty snacks Skarsnik had so cunningly delayed them with, the remainder of my army arrived in my first turn. I put the Wyvern and horde of Orcs on the right flank to help deal with the Arachnarok and hopefully swing round the flank. My general was feeling rather nervous after both he and his mount had taken damage, and he decided to try to find relative safety in combat. He declared a charge on the advancing Pump Wagon, then rolled terribly and went nowhere fast. In hindsight it might have been for the best, as a successful charge probably would have drawn out Fanatics which would most likely have been the end of him.
Poor crippled Spider. The Wyvern's looking a little shaky too.
My Arachnarok fails to reach Julian's Arachnarok.
My Arachnarok on the right flank had failed a longish charge to reach Julian's, but his had no such problems and launched itself past mine and into the newly arrived Wyvern. This was not really what I had been hoping for, but it turned out OK as the monsters set about drawing combat with fairly minimal damage on both sides.

My general's Wyvern was less lucky and perished to the enemy shooting. This left my Warboss scrambling for cover, which he found in the nearby regiment of Orcs. The Arachnarok charged and killed the Pump Wagon, whilst the other one flanked Julian's and helped my remaining Wyvern win the combat. Julian's Arachnarok failed its break test and fled, escaping pursuit but failing to rally before getting caught when my Arachnarok had another go at it. My now heavily wounded Wyvern was fended off by a plucky Wolf Chariot on that flank which charged and forced me to flee to safety before rallying.
The Arachnarok getting close to the enemy lines with Fanatics starting to whirl. My Warboss has scrambled backwards on foot into the unit whose standard you can see at the bottom right.
I don't know how Julian was planning to kill my Arachnarok, but the decision was made for him when Skarsnik and his boys failed animosity and surged straight at it, charging in as they released their Fanatics in a manner that ensured they would not interfere with the charge. The Troll decided to accompany Skarsnik in the charge. It was actually the first time it has passed its Stupidity, so it was obviously excited.
Skarsnik and his ladz lose their cool and surge towards the Arachnarok.
It's on!
I was not at all disappointed to find Skarsnik fighting the Arachnarok. I was trying to kill the enemy general, after all. As it turned out the damage the spider had taken before the combat was enough the Gobbla managed to kill it, but at the same initiative as the Spider itself fought. Skarsnik took 2 wounds from the Arachnarok and I wounded with the venom surge. I excitedly rolled the dice and it came up with 3 more wounds. I had done 5 in total, but Skarsnik has 6! Still, he was very close to dead and I had a plan.
The Wolf Chariot seeks to at least pin my second wave in place.
The block of Orcs that had been following the Arachnarok in had been flanked by another feisty Goblin Chariot. I had allowed it the flank charge so that I could properly threaten Skarsnik's unit, and thankfully Julian rolled poorly for the impact hits. I did a wound or two, won combat thanks to my ranks, and the Chariot ran off. I ignored it so that I could attempt a potentially suicidal charge on Skarsnik and his lads.
The spider is gone, but the Orcs are ready to finish the job. Julian forgot to use or mention his Night Goblin netters in the first combat, so I would have felt a lot less confident about this backup plan if I had realised the nets were waiting for me...
How things stood before my third turn. My Arachnarok had not yet flanked Julian's. Note that I had made both the Chariot and Night Goblin archers flee the previous turn with terror tests. The Chariot rallied. I don't think the archers did.
Yeah, you better run. This Chariot rallied immediately too. Apparently Ld 6 is da bomb.
The Orcs went in and promptly got netted by the Night Goblins, but it was not enough to stop my Boss from cutting up Skarsnik. My mission accomplished, my unit didn't hold long before turning and fleeing from the combat, but they got away. It was the perfect hit-and-run attack. The Night Goblins decided to let them go the following turn in order to have a go at the Orcs containing my Great Shaman and my now-walking Warboss. 

This looked like a perfectly acceptable combat to me, until the Great Shaman in Julian's unit cast boosted Curse of Da Bad Moon with irresistible force. It surged along my line, culling most of my unit as well as most of my Wolf Riders before the explosion from the miscasting Shaman did even more damage to both sides in the combat. I wound up losing the combat marginally and holding, and trying desperately to find a way to rescue my exceedingly important regiment.
Oh, the huge manatee. What happened to all my Orcs? You Shamans are monsters!
A carefully constructed image of where Da Curse of Da Bad Moon went. Through my stuff, basically.
My Orc horde charged the Troll that was shielding the flank of the key combat. I did no damage whatsoever, but with no moral support at all my numbers were enough and it broke and fled. Unfortunately I couldn't line the combat in a way to make use of the pursuit roll, so had to settle for reforming to face the approaching Squig Herd.

With my rescue bid having failed, it was left to my Orcs to look after themselves in combat against the net-flinging Night Goblins. The outcome was further cast into doubt when my own Great Shaman miscast and vanished down a hole, taking most of my remaining Orcs with him. Fortunately my Warboss took this as his queue to fire up and he hacked into the enemy, swinging things in my favour. The Night Goblins were steadfast, but only on Ld 5. They broke and I ran them down with my Warboss and the unit Boss - all that was left of my once proud Orc regiment.

The spell my Shaman had given his life (and those of his neighbours) was Foot of Gork, which I dropped on the remaining block of Night Goblins containing the enemy BSB and their backup Shaman. I did enough damage for them to panic, they fled and failed to rally, and they promptly left the field. Not a bad return for a single spell, and a cruel reminder of the perils of taking a whole army with dreadful Leadership.
Brace for biting!
My Orc horde had allowed the Squig Herd to charge them which felt slightly dicey, but turned out to be OK. I kind of expected to lose the combat to the ferocity of the Squigs, but the extra attacks from the horde formation meant things fell my way and the Squigs promptly exploded. It turned out this was Julian's cunning plan all along, as the Warboss and his mate were really not all that far away. Thankfully the explosion was tiny and my Warboss lived to see the end of the game.
Behold my Warboss and unit champion, alone in the middle of the table. Lucky? No, they were not lucky. It's not like Julian had Pump Wagons, artillery and exploding Squigs with which to kill me... OK, maybe we were a little lucky. That Pump Wagon in particular rolled pretty poorly when it mattered. The BSB that was by now behind the building had been pretty lucky too. After its first turn, Julian's artillery had been useless.
I had killed Skarsnik, had narrowly prevented Julian from capturing too many standards (one of the ones I lost had been blown up by my miscast), and had somehow held the army together. It ended up being a big win, which didn't really indicate how close it had all come to falling apart.

Result: 20-0

Game 3
Johannes Scherpenhuizen, Beastmen

  • Beastlord
  • Great Bray Shaman (Level 4, Lore of Beasts)
  • Bray Shaman (Level 1, Lore of Death)
  • Wargor with Battle Standard
  • Doom Bull of Tzeentch (sporting a suspicious-looking pair of wings)
  • 40 Bestigor of Nurgle
  • 15 Gor
  • 40 Ungor
  • 5 Ungor Skirmishers
  • 5 Ungor Skirmishers
  • Tuskgor Chariot of Slaanesh
  • Tuskgor Chariot of Slaanesh
  • Razorgor

Comp Score: 6

My Mission: Kill the most special and rare choices
Hannes' Mission: Honestly, I don't remember. I am going to stop trying to list my opponents' missions...

I started this game by choosing the wrong mission. I couldn't really see an obvious choice when looking at Hannes' list, but the one I chose was definitely a poor decision. He had almost no special and rare choices. Oh well.

Despite having a +1 bonus I lost the roll for choosing how we would deploy, and Hannes decided to go for the Battle for the Pass lengthwise approach. That was OK. I mainly just didn't want to deploy diagonally because it's annoying. Umm I mean it would be tactically bad, of course. I would never make major decisions based on whether I could be bothered or not. That would be lazy...
Battle for the Pass deployment.
All lined up and ready to go.
The Gor unit at the back has the Beastlord, BSB and both Bray Shamans in it. Also the Banner of Discipline, as it turned out. The regiment would spend most of the game in that building.
I didn't really know how I wanted to play this game. I had to choose between Hand of Gork and Foot of Gork when selecting spells, and I went with Hand. Because frankly, I kind of despise Foot of Gork and the way some people win games with it by giggling and rolling 4+ repeatedly. I decided Hand would be more my style. I got the first turn and promptly used Hand of Gork in a tactically questionable fashion (that will show all those nay-sayers, eh) by picking up one of my blocks of Orcs and flinging them within spitting distance of the enemy deployment zone. By putting them so close, I got out of the arc of the Ungor. I gave my flank to a Tuskgor Chariot in order to look across the lines and potentially threaten other regiments. I figured without the ranks of the Ungor, the Chariot would be doing reasonably well to beat my unit.
Turn 1 movement.
Yep, this is a great idea. Completely bereft of support...
I was a whole lot more circumspect with most of my stuff. I left Hannes with a few long charges to think about. Oh, and I murdered nearly all of my Wolf Riders. Or rather, my Black Orc BSB did. You see, there was an argument in the unit. I don't know what it was about, but the BSB didn't like it and killed 5 out of the 6 of them. At that point the unit standard bearer decided he no longer wished to travel with the BSB and left, moving around to hide behind the small building in my deployment zone.
You call that "restoring order"? Stuff this, I'm leaving. Oh, and I am totally a unit standard bearer. You just can't tell because of reasons. We're Goblins. We have very low standards. So low you might miss them. My invisible banner becomes relevant later.
Hannes went for a few charges in his turn. The Bestigor lunged at one of the Arachnaroks and failed to make the distance, but the Doombull had no such issues and flew into the other one. I figured this was not the worst scenario. Of all the stuff in my army, the spider had the best chance of confronting the Doombull with his Mark of Tzeentch suggesting a good ward save, and getting some damage through. And it could hold him in place until help arrived. Of course, that help was going to have to be a Wyvern, which was not ideal. I had stuffed up my arcs with the horde of Orcs, and left the Doombull just out of their sight. It was laziness - I had intended to cover it and didn't check properly.
7 wounds?!? Outrageous!
Being annoyed at myself about my careless movement ended up not being terribly relevant, however. The Doombull crashed in and did a wound with his impact hits, then hit and wounded with all 6 of his attacks, leaving my poor Arachnarok on one wound. This was apparently a traumatic experience because it failed its Stubborn Ld 9 break test with a re-roll and fled. So much for holding the line.

My crazy flying Orc unit fared better. The Chariot did indeed charge them in the flank by itself, but it did plenty of damage, took none in return, and beat me in combat. That was unfortunate, given they were outside of range of my general and BSB. Ironically they held bravely, in stark contrast to the Arachnarok.

I'm a little bit vague about what happened next. I'm pretty sure at least one of my Wyverns stuffed up a charge on a Tuskgor Chariot. I had kind of hoped it would panic from terror, having forgotten it had the mark of Slaanesh. I was going to redirect into the flank of the Bestigor. Instead I got stranded. My fleeing Arachnarok rallied, whilst the other moved up to try to angle the Bestigor for flank and rear charges if they decided to take the bait.
The Arachnarok rallies as my forces move into position to try to trap the Bestigor.
My Wyverns flap about, failing to achieve whatever their mission was.
The Bestigor did indeed charged my Arachnarok and despite me managing to fend off any buff spells on the combat they went to town on my poor spider and did 7 wounds. Yet again I was left with a mostly dead Arachnarok, and yet again it failed its Stubborn Ld 9 break test with a re-roll... This time it was caught, and the Bestigor managed to run into my Great Shaman's block of Orcs that had been behind it.
Oh, that was definitely not meant to happen. My BSB is about to leave the area to offer moral support from a less suicidal position.
The Chariot that I had failed to charge decided to flank charge my other Wyvern and did a little damage. It was then somewhat fortunate in that I didn't kill it in return, and it held its position. This meant my Wyvern was unable to charge into the rear of the Bestigor as they prepared to devour my Shaman.

In the end my best hope was my reckless Orc regiment, which had turned to face the Chariot that charged it and now got rid of it. They reformed to face the rear of the Bestigor. There wasn't that much they could do to save the Shaman, but they might be able to help win the combat. Although the Wyvern would have gone a long way to helping that.

Any remaining hopes of staging a rescue were then dashed when the un-engaged Orcs failed animosity and spotted the corner of the Ungor unit, just in their forward arc. They were closer than the Bestigor, so my unit spun around and charged them in the flank. Then got held there due to Steadfast. Curses!
The "rescue Orcs" get distracted by Ungor, and any hopes remaining for my Shaman fade.
We're all alone. And there is no hope. :-(

With no help forthcoming, my poor Shaman did what he could. He cast Fists of Gork with irresistible force, killed more Orcs and Bestigor with the explosion, then missed with all his mighty Strength 8 attacks. That'll show 'em! My unit got murdered, then the Bestigor swept about and charged my remaining crippled Arachnarok. It took a bit of a toll on them before they just barely managed to kill it (They failed their Primal Fury; not sure about their Fear test). 
Nooo my other beautiful spider! You monsters!
What else had been going on? My secondary Wyvern wound up flying up the flank and killing the Ungor skirmishers who couldn't scamper back quickly enough to get out of range. The Razorgor was dancing around me whilst I tried to work out what to do about it (it was a special choice after all), when the Beastman Shaman fixed the problem for me by killing the Wyvern with an Amber Spear. At that point my Warboss began the long, slow walk back to my own lines. Amber Spear also claimed my BSB, who was riding across the table to try to meet up with my remaining forces.
The Doombull ignores the tempting target of my Warboss. Hannes took my refusal to even face him as a clear sign I was going to flee. Look, he wasn't wrong...
My general on his Wyvern finished off the Tuskgor Chariot in the second round of combat and made a show of turning his back on the Doombull, who was looking that way. I had managed to shift the horde of Orcs out of his arc, so the Wyvern was the only real target. For the second turn in a row he passed his frenzy test and moved to a more advantageous position. My Wyvern did the same, and ended up with a charge on the Bestigor. After fighting and killing 2 Arachnaroks and trying to swim through a swamp, they had taken a lot of casualties and were now down to less than 20 models. It was a slightly risky charge for me, but I needed something. I declared the charge, hoping Hannes would actually fail a leadership test for a change due to terror. He did, and my Wyvern gobbled them up as they ran.

The Doombull wound up fighting my Orc horde in the end (although I don't remember who charged), and the Orcs reformed to go deep and buy time. The funny thing was, the more rounds of combat the Doombull won and the more attacks he got for doing so, the worse he rolled. Eventually he rolled so badly (with maybe 9 attacks) that he lost combat. All the extra attacks were lost, and suddenly he looked vulnerable - right as I lined him up with my Wyvern and the other now-walking Warboss. The Wyvern went into the rear, the Warboss into the flank, my general challenged and survived, and the Doombull broke and was run down right at the end of the game.
With shadows lengthening across the field, I send everything I have at the Doombull. The Wyvern escapes on a single wound.
Hannes' final turn saw him looking for revenge. The Gor unit containing all his characters had emerged from the hiding place in a building and were within a long charge of the rear of my Orc horde, which was still celebrating its unexpected victory by dancing on the corpse of the Doombull. Fortunately for me, Hannes rolled terribly for the charge. So terribly in fact (I think he rolled snake eyes) that in the magic phase the Shaman found himself 1" out of range of my Wyvern so he couldn't even throw an Amber Spear at me.

So, at the end of the game we started adding things up and realised they were much closer than expected. I had spent all game losing, but the killing of the Bestigor and Doombull at the end had improved things dramatically. The fact that both of my Warbosses were still alive (even if one had to walk) meant I still had a lot of points on the table. We did the maths, and Hannes ended up winning by something like 212 victory points (with 200 being a draw). Ah well.

It was only at this point that we both remembered the Wolf Rider standard bearer hiding behind the building in my deployment zone, too. Which meant I was actually not broken in terms of fortitude. That ended up being the only points I walked off with for the game - for keeping my fortitude intact. Ah well, better than nothing.

If any one thing had lost me this game, it was the second Arachnarok breaking and exposing my Great Shaman's unit. I decided I was going to have to have some words with my spiders about their Stubborn break tests before day 2.

Result: 4-16

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