Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Axemaster 2015 Aftermath - Part 4

This is the 4th and final part of my tournament report. You can find part 3 here.

Game 5
Stuart Murray, Warriors of Chaos

  • Chaos Lord of Khorne on Manticore
  • Throgg the Troll King
  • Festus
  • Exalted Hero of Nurgle on Daemon Steed with Battle Standard
  • Mounted Sorcerer (Level 2, Lore of Metal)
  • Sorcerer (Level 2, Lore of Slaanesh)
  • 15 Chaos Warriors of Nurgle with Shields
  • 15 Marauders of Slaanesh
  • 5 Marauder Horsemen of Tzeentch
  • Chimera

Comp Score: 3

My Mission: Control table quarters

It was game 5 and I would be playing someone else I had never played before. Stuart's army looked like something that had escaped a previous edition of Warhammer - a Chaos army laden with characters and with almost no models. Looking at it, my main hope was to knock off the units and hopefully minimize the damage the Chaos Lord could do (as he and his beast promised too much punch at high speed for me to handle).
Such the tiny army. The BSB is on a daemon steed on the end of the Chaos Warrior unit in the centre. Festus is on the other end, and there are Sorcerers in each of the units in the second row.
Despite having a +2 on the roll-off, I lost the decision on how to deploy and I was once again punished by having to use diagonal deployment. I then set about deploying aggressively, based upon a foolish assumption. I had it in my head that I would almost certainly get the first turn, when in actual fact I would only get +1 on the roll-off because Stuart's army had so few deployments. My error was highlighted when I lost the roll-off and suddenly I was getting charged in the first turn instead of doing the charging.
Throgg and his friends fail to roll a 7, but the Manticore goes it alone.
Ow, it's chewing on our faces!
The Chimera carves a bloody swathe through my biggest unit. In truth I was glad to see it use the breath weapon now...
Throgg and his friends failed a charge, but the Chimera went into my horde of Orcs whilst the Manticore failed his frenzy test and charged the block of Orcs on my right flank. The Chimera went berserk, using its breath weapon to inflict maximum damage on my big unit. I think it killed about 14 models. The Manticore Lord was less convincing, tearing up my unit champion, losing combat and the rider's natural frenzy. This didn't really matter however, as Hysterical Frenzy had been cast on it and so both rider and beast retained a level of craziness.
Chaaaarge! Arachnarok and Wyvern flank the Chimera, Wyvern into Festus and friends, and the other Arachnarok into Throgg.
In my turn I tried to get back on the offensive. I put the Arachnarok on my left into the flank of the Chimera, whilst one of the Wyverns went into its other flank. The went over the combat with my other Wyverns, into Festus' block of Chaos Warriors which also included the BSB. The plan was to cripple the Chimera and break it, using the pursuit to put the second Wyvern into the Festus combat. I also charged Throgg's unit with the other Arachnarok, after deciding that the Manticore and its rider would probably maul me if I went in there. In hindsight this was potentially the wrong call - the Lord turned out to be fairly lightly equipped, and the Arachnarok could have worn a round of attacks and then had a go at mauling the Manticore. Oh well.

None of the combats went the way I planned. I did 2 or 3 wounds to the Chimera, but it had a party at the expense of my Orcs. I think I beat it anyway, but I didn't realise Throgg's crown let him hand out Ld 8 to monsters 18" away (I'm sure he only handed out a 12" re-roll in the previous book), and this meant the Chimera was brave enough to hold when I expected it to fold if beaten on its natural Ld of 5.

Without the expected help arriving, my general and his Wyvern had to fight the Nurgle regiment alone. This started wonderfully with the Warboss losing a strength roll-off with Festus and taking 2 wounds from some vile potion. This emboldened the enemy BSB to challenge me, and he killed the Warboss without breaking a sweat. Nurgle was apparently impressed, because he promptly ascended the BSB to daemonhood. Oh good, a bonus Nurgle Daemon Prince to worry about...

My Wyvern was apparently very obstinate and went unbreakable once he realised his master was dead. So that was something, given I looked like losing that combat pretty badly.

My Arachnarok gave Throgg a scare with its venom surge, but he passed his regeneration against it, only took a couple of wounds from the other attacks, used his breath weapon and pummelled the spider a bit, and between him and his friends, left it on a single wound. In keeping with how my Arachnaroks always seem to act in this situation, it failed its stubborn re-rollable Ld 9 test and fled, getting run down in the process. Yay.
The new Daemon Prince arrives in the background as my Warboss keeps trying to chop up the Chimera
So I was already down an Arachnarok and a general, whilst Stuart was down an Exalted Hero and up a Daemon Prince. Not ideal. It got better that turn when Final Transmutation turned my Great Shaman into a magnificent golden statue, along with a fair chunk of his unit. The Daemon Prince went into the flank of the remaining Arachnarok as it sought to kill the Chimera. The Chimera did indeed die to the combined efforts of my units, but this didn't stop the Arachnarok losing combat and fleeing (I was only on Ld 6 this time). The Daemon Prince chased it down as it went.

The one thing that went right at this point was Throgg and his lads failing stupidity because the BSB was out of range. It helped my Orcs buy a bit more time before finally succumbing to the Manticore Lord. This didn't really end up mattering, though. Festus and his friends killed the first Wyvern, then killed off the second one. The Orc horde (or what was left of it) suffered a similar fate. I wound up with my single remaining regiment including my BSB getting hit by multiple enemies at once, and it was all over. 
For my feeble efforts I was awarded the Drumstick of Sadness. Mmm, ice cream!
It had not taken very long - maybe 3 or 4 turns. What a disaster.

Result: 0-20

Game 6
David Lowe, Host of the Eternity King

  • Mounted High Elf Prince
  • High Elf Archmage (Level 3, Lore of Life)
  • Dark Elf Supreme Sorceress (Level 3, Lore of Dark Magic)
  • Mounted High Elf Noble with Battle Standard
  • 23 High Elf Sea Guard
  • 15 High Elf Archers
  • 15 High Elf Archers
  • 20 High Elf Swordmasters
  • 10 High Elf Dragon Princes

Comp Score: 2

My Mission: Control the hill

Well there was only one game left and I was hopeful that I might actually salvage some points on day 2 (because up to this point I had nothing to show for my efforts). My final opponent was David Lowe, who was propping up the bottom tables. Clearly I was not covering myself in glory if I was playing the man in last place. Oh well.

I confess I looked at David's list and was somewhat dismayed at how little he had to show for his abysmal comp score. It turns out this is just what you get when you take pretty much no soft choices and a few things considered hard (like the Book of Hoeth and a Prince with a Giant Blade, both of which I guessed). 
A slightly stacked left flank.
During deployment it became clear just how little there was in this Elf army that actually concerned me. His shooting was weak, his offensive magic was lacking with him having opted not to take Doombolt, and only the Dragon Princes with the mounted characters offered any real threat of dropping the Arachnaroks quickly. I got the first turn and dared David to try killing the Arachnarok in a single turn my rushing forward to threaten the Supreme Sorceress in her regiment of Sea Guard. I pushed both Wyverns up wide on that flank to menace the same unit. The rest of my movement was largely irrelevant - this was the main event.
My first turn movement.
The Arachnarok moving up to dare the Dragon Princes to respond. If they did, and failed to kill it, they were going to get pounded something awful...
David ummed and ahhed for a bit about how to respond and then, much to my shock, rode right past the Arachnarok and out of its arc. I guess he did indeed avoid that particular spider, but in so doing he put the other one in his flank, and stopped right in front of my infantry! The Sea Guard then decided to defy me by walking towards my Arachnarok before failing to hurt it with shooting.
What? Where are you going? Points for moxy, I guess - given they were kind of just ignoring my whole army apart from the red Arachnarok...
Word of Pain reduced the offensive capabilities of my BSB's regiment of Orcs to 1, but given they were in the flank of his Dragon Princes and carried 3 ranks and 2 banners, they were always going to go in anyway. I don't think David quite understood where their real threat in this situation came from.
I just want them for their bodies: The Orc regiment added 5 to my combat resolution just by being there. Whether they actually hurt anyone was not really all that relevant.
The Arachnarok steals all the focus. For those of you not familiar with Warhammer: this is not what you want to happen to your infantry unit.
My turn came, and it was with a certain glee that I moved my chargers. Wyvern into the flank of the Sea Guard, Arachnarok and other Wyvern into the front. Arachnarok into one flank of the Dragon Princes, Word of Pained Orcs into the other flank. I then capped it off by casting Eadbutt on David's Archmage and killed her outright (she failed her 4+ ward save). It was really just preparing him for the misery of the combat phase, though...

The Sea Guard tried vainly to inflict a bit of damage with their Strength 3 spears against my monsters before I attacked. And then I attacked, and there were no more Sea Guard. 3 thunderstomps go a long way. The Sorceress fled and was run down, and my beasties were all thundering toward the flank of the Swordmasters.
Swordmasters: "Do you hear that rumbling noise in our flank?"
The Dragon Princes did better, relatively. The Prince did a couple of wounds to the Arachnarok and the BSB might have done a wound to an Orc on the other side. Then the spider started eating Dragon Princes, and I ended up winning by 5. It was not actually as much as I would have liked - Ld 5 with a re-roll is quite achievable. Thankfully they failed anyway and got run down as well. In a single turn I had killed all of the characters in the army and 2 of the main regiments.
It's looking a little grim for the Elf survivors at the start of their second turn.
To the pain!
All that was really left was the Swordmasters, and they charged my regiment of Orcs, beat them and broke them. I think they even caught them, but they did not get far enough away from the Arachnarok approaching their rear. I think they failed their terror test in the end, but regardless they fled and were caught and eaten. The 2 Wyverns spent the last few turns playing leap-frog and smashing through the Elf Archers. By the end of the game there was nothing left of the Elves. 
The swordmasters claim the Orcs, but are left in a pretty grim situation against the Arachnarok.
The clean-up in full swing.
My army had salvaged some pride on the final day, but still came out of the game looking a bit like flat track bullies. Happy to produce when they're not really threatened, but brittle and underwhelming when properly challenged.

Result: 20-0

In the end I came away with 48 of a possible 120 battle points. Not really a lot and a long way from breaking even, but then I got to use 2 Arachnaroks and 2 Wyverns, so I guess the mission was accomplished. 

And thus ends another tournament report. Thanks for reading!


  1. Go Orks!

    Which can be abbreviated to G'Orks, which probably says something profound.

  2. I feel that the elven army had too much points on lord choices and thus there aren't enough points for good troops.

    1. I think each of the lords was fully loaded in terms of magic items, so yes. They were definitely swallowing a lot of points to the detriment of the army as a whole.