Sunday, 5 February 2017

Cancon 2017 Aftermath - Part 1

Cancon is over for another year, and despite being a bit under the weather during the trip, I survived. As usual I will offer a bit of a summary of my experiences at the tournament. Rather than distract myself with a proper camera, I only took my phone with me this time. So the photos may not be that great, or that numerous. Maybe it will help me talk less this time...

My army was Ogres. I was unsure what to take, but a friend convinced me that Ogres would be compact to transport and move from game to game, so they were a practical choice for a road trip like this one. I decided to take an army with very few magic items (even ignoring obvious ones like +1 to hit on the Shooters) in order to keep things simple and stuff in as many Ogres as I could.
  • Horde of Ogre Warriors
  • Regiment of Ogre Warriors
  • Horde of Siege Breakers
  • Horde of Siege Breakers
  • Regiment of Hunters
  • Horde of Shooters
  • Horde of Boomers
  • Regiment of Chariots
  • Warlord
  • Army Standard with the Boomstick
  • Warlock with Inspiring Talisman
Game 1 - Pillage!
Andrew Old - Basileans
  • Horde of Crossbowmen with Brew of Keen-eyeness
  • Regiment of Foot Guard
  • Regiment of Foot Guard
  • Regiment of Foot Guard
  • Regiment of Foot Guard
  • Horde of Elohi with Brew of Haste
  • Horde of Elohi with Pipes of Terror
  • High Paladin on Dragon with Medallion of Life
  • Phoenix
Andrew's army was comprised of Stormcast Eternals, or Sigmarines, or whatever they are actually called. It was pretty cool. Lots of flyers, though...
Honestly I wasn't sure how to approach this game. I've never played against Basileans before, and Elohi seem extremely powerful. Between them and the Dragon, I expected to cop a hammering in combined long-ranged charges, and the Crossbowmen had enough fire power to keep up with my Shooters. 
Not knowing what to do, I decided to go aggressive. I would likely get charged, but only by the flyers. And it would allow me to close the gap with the Crossbowmen.

My effort at flanking/capturing forces was effectively negated by a single group of Movement 11 Elohi. I was not at all convinced either of my regiments would be able to weather a single charge from them.
Andrew spent his turn moving very little. A couple of the flyers managed to move forward slightly without actually coming within charge range of my units, but otherwise he was content to sit and shoot at me.
The enemy shooting did little in the first round, but it ramped up with the rolling after that, leaving me determined to silence it. For my part, I shot a regiment of Foot Guard to death over on the right, but then ran into other concerns.
The Elohi on my flank managed to use their speed and the terrain to get in alongside my lines, so some of my focus was on getting out of either their range or their arc with my forces that would otherwise be flanked.
My lack of practice playing Kings of War was exposed when Andrew declined to combo-charge any of my stuff, and instead flew everything over and behind my lines. Moving at the double meant he had to turn to face along the lines rather than right back at my units, but that was cold comfort when I had plenty of targets over on my right flank that had no chance of escape. Basically I felt like an idiot. I probably would have seen it coming more clearly if I hadn't been convinced that his stuff could go straight through some of my units from the front anyway...

I did my best to respond. My Shooters had the choice of helping the Boomer remove the remaining Foot Guard on the right (leaving  Phoenix all alone on that side of the tower), and accepting a flank charge from the Elohi and/or the Dragon, or they could give up shooting, turn to face the Elohi, hope to weather the charge and then be able to counter. I went with the latter. It didn't work. The Elohi did maybe 8 or 9 wounds and wavered me, leaving me stuck without any hope of assistance. Andrew had hoped to rout them outright, which admittedly would have been lucky for him given I think I had Inspiring from the Army Standard. So in the end we were both disappointed.

Without the assistance from the Shooters, the Boomers' best hope was to charge the Foot Guard, rout them and then reform to face the Dragon behind them. They rolled abysmally and didn't even waver them, so their rear was left exposed. They were counter-charged by the Foot Guard, who rolled like fiends and didn't even need the Dragon arriving in my rear... My flank was gone.
You will note the lack of Ogre stuff. My Chariots got into the Crossbowmen to shut them up, and then somehow managed to survive a flank charge from the regiments of Foot Guard, thanks partly to rolling and partly the Hindered Charges from the silly fields we were fighting in.
In the centre I ended up losing the horde of Warriors to a savage second volley from the Crossbowmen, whilst one of my Siegebreaker units found itself doomed to a flank charge from one flying thing or another. I had to settle for letting the Elohi that had come around from my left hit them and kill them, with the consolation that I could then charge them in return with my remaining Siegebreakers. Try to buy back some breathing space. This went sort of OK. I did moderate damage to the Elohi, and thanks to the Clash rules, they had little choice but to charge me back. Without Thunderous Charge, this was an attack I could take easily. Or so I thought...
This really hurt. Needing 5+ to wound, the Elohi only inflicted 4 wounds on the Siegebreakers. Then they rolled double 6 and wavered them, meaning I couldn't counter-charge them to finish them off, and leaving my rear open to the other flyers who had just finished off my Shooters and Boomers. It was really, really bad. 
With the now-inevitable demise of the Siegebreakers, all that was left was for me to try to clean up Andrew's back lines of infantry. The Chariots eventually succumbed, but my Warlord managed to get a couple of flank charges because of them whilst the Hunters came into the enemy's rear. Hopes of cleaning them up and also turning to face the oncoming Elohi were somewhat shattered when I rolled my first double 1 to rout the last group of Foot Guard, stalling both of my units. Andrew would have caught up with me in the end anyway, though. The game was lost.

Result: 1-19

Game 2 - Dominate!
Christo Marais-van Vuuren - Empire of Dust
  • Regiment of Mummies with Casket of the Damned
  • Regiment of Mummies with Casket of the Damned
  • Regiment of Mummies
  • Regiment of Mummies
  • Enslaved Guardians with Casket of the Damned
  • Enslaved Guardians with Casket of the Damned
  • Enslaved Guardian Archers with Casket of the Damned
  • Enslaved Guardian Archers with Casket of the Damned
  • Cursed High Priest with Heal
  • Cursed High Priest with Heal
After a less than glorious opening, it was time to try to redeem myself a little. Christo's Empire of Dust army was a strange one. If you don't like Mummies or Enslaved Guardians, you won't find much to like here... I'm slightly vague on whether there were any magic items in the army and where the Caskets went - many of my opponents' lists were available online when I was writing this, but Christo's was not. Still, this is about right...
I moved up fairly aggressively, trying to make sure I would have responses available if things got all "Surge-y" in Christo's turn. Up the top left of the picture you can see one of the Enslaves Guardian  Archer hordes, which set up in the forest. I put the Chariots over that side to distract and delay them with the expectation that the rest of my army would  be safely behind the house by the time the Chariots were dead. It was Dominate, after all. Those Archers couldn't see the key areas of the field.
Christo manfully ignored the forest and advanced into charge range of my forces. I didn't think this was a great idea, but it was very brave. Those Enslaved Guardians under his hand moved up and then Surged twice to hit my Warlord. I think Christo under-estimated how tough he was, though. They bounced off and then got flank charged by my Warrior horde... It wasn't pretty.
With the first Enslaved Guardian horde dealt with, my Siegebreakers and Hunters combined charges to wallop one of the Mummy regiments in the forest. They could have taken either charge, but both was too much. I also charge the Mummies nearest the building on the left with my other Siegebreakers. I broke straight through because the unit had been shot at the previous turn and sustained a number of wounds.
My Siegebreakers on the left ended up casualties of a combined charge as the Mummies walked around beside them and used Surge to hit them in the flank, but otherwise things were going very well. Christo's remaining units formed a new line of battle as they tried to hit back at my stuff, but they lacked the muscle, especially with a number of hindered charges. And they were outnumbered. Which led to this...
Oh man. This is not pretty. The Warlord had the luxury of going around the side and hunting the Cursed Priests, because his underlings assured him they would "handle" the rest.
That charge above went about as well for the undead as you might imagine. Soon I was left exchanging fire with the Enslaved Guardian Archers on my far left flank (a firefight I eventually won thanks to adding lightning bolts to the equation), and hunting the remaining characters. I ended up wiping out Christo's army before the end. It was a bit demoralising, but I think Matt (the tournament organiser) might have given him some form of consolation toys for getting "tabled". So yay for winning even when you're losing! 

Result: 19-1

To be continued...

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