Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Convic 2018 Aftermath - Part 6

This is a continuation of my report of the recent Kings of War tournament at Convic 2018. You can find the previous part here.

Game 6 (2150 points) - Control

Rohan Dowd - Night Stalkers (The Butcher's Block)
  • Legion of Blood Worms with Brew of Strength
  • Horde of Butchers
  • Horde of Butchers
  • Regiment of Reapers
  • Regiment of Reapers
  • Horde of Fiends (maybe with Caterpillar?)
  • Shadow-Hulk
  • Void Lurker with Darklord's Onyx Ring
  • Void Lurker
Right. So we had completed 5 games, and I had won a grand total of 1 of them. Titan of the KoW battlefield that I am. But there were still 2 games to go. Still some time to salvage something approaching respectability. First up I would need to beat Rohan with his Night Stalkers. An army I had never played before, but at least I knew of them. That counts as preparation, right?

Rohan's entire army was Alien-themed. These evil twins are the Void Lurkers. They're basically dragons, but let's just assume they are good at jumping rather than needing wings. They were lurking on my right flank.
The big Alien on the left is the Shadow-Hulk. Basically a Giant. The hill on the side is level 4 impassable terrain, so made a good place for things to hide. The icy pillar things are a forest.
Another impassable hiding spot hard on my right flank. Good for sneaky Warlord Chariots. Honestly the pair of Void Lurkers concerned me. They were key to this game.
I believe I gave Rohan the first turn, knowing that being able to respond to which table segments he moved to claim at the end could be key (if we had anything left by then). The Void Lurkers shot up on my flank, ensuring nothing could see and reach them.
A number of Rohan's units were Shambling, and his list was without Surge. My hope was to try to deal with some of the quicker elements before the shamblers caught up. But those things behind the forest are Fiends. Those are really quick.
At the start on the left I decided I could be a bit cagey. With some of the enemy lagging behind, I had enough units to control the tempo. The hiding spot for the Chariot was very handy.
I did what I could to try to respond to the Void Lurkers. My units stopped where an enemy charge would see them landing on the obstacle, and the Warlord could respond with a flank charge.
Rohan was a bit impatient on the left and decided to fling his Fiends into my Warrior horde. Wavering me was a realistic possibility, but breaking me would not be easy. With the Warlord watching their flank, this is not a charge I would have gone for.
On the right, so I had carefully placed my front line of Ogres. But I honestly had failed to account for just how far 20" is. I subconsciously assumed the Siegebreakers behind my front line were out of range. No such luck. One Void Lurker to the front (which was acceptable), and another in the flank (most unacceptable)...
On the bright side, I did have things that could respond provided that Rohan duffed the combat. Meanwhile a unit of Butchers was closing in, with Reapers sneaking along behind them.
On the left, with the Fiends getting excited and grabbing all the attention, the Blood Worms were advancing at best speed whilst the shamblers did their best to keep up.
Any hopes I had of the Siegebreakers surviving proved forlorn. They got properly eaten, and the Void Lurkers set about trying to decide which way to face. So many targets, and quite a few threats...
As expected, the Warrior horde fended off the Fiends, and they did it without wavering. This was not good news for Rohan's unit.
At least at this point the Void Lurkers had committed. That was better than having them floating around on the fringes, waiting to pounce. This is how I decided to respond. My Warlord charged the one that was within range of him, whilst I turned the Boomers and Boomer Sergeant to face the other (which the Shooters could already see)...
On the left, the Warriors counter-charged the Fiends with the Warlord coming into the flank for support. The Siegebreakers decided they might as well start work on the Blood Worms, as they were not really in a position to back off to buy another turn.
The combat went according to script and the Fiends routed. Nearby the Giant had moved up so that he could now see (and be seen) through the forest.
On the right, the sheer weight of shooting proved too much for the unengaged Void Lurker and he vanished. The Warlord did minimal damage to the one he was fighting, but the important thing was that he trapped it on the ground for a turn.
You can see a careless mistake in this picture. I got distracted with something or other on the left (photos I think), and forgot to reform the Warlord after the Fiends were gone. That might cost me...
Man, that is a big Alien. Good thing I managed the 1 wound I needed (would have been pretty bad rolling otherwise).
At this point the Butchers rolled in, charging my Boomers despite having their flank watched. The Reapers held back, no doubt watching the flank of my unit that was watching the flank of the Butchers.
The Siegebreakers made a reasonable start on the Blood Worms, but then Rohan unsportingly sent in another unit in the shape of the second Reaper unit. That's hardly cricket.
Look at them, mocking my Warlord and the fact that I didn't fix his facing. They're so mean. The Giant could have gone in alone, but he would almost certainly get flanked for his efforts, and that would likely be the end of him.
The Siegebreakers took 10 damage, which was probably more than I had hoped for given their massive defence. Fortunately they stuck around. Unfortunately they wavered.
Likewise the Boomers survived their charge, but also wavered. Well, the important thing was they were still there. That meant the flank charge was on (and maybe the flank charge of the flank charge)!
In we go! I sent in the Boomer Sergeant for good measure. He's not completely inept in terms of combat. Should be good for a couple of wounds, which is important when you really need to rout the enemy and the Warriors were hindered thanks to clipping the wall.
Wasn't much I could do on the left. Back off with the Warlord to try to reset his flanking position, step back out of the forest with the Giant to avoid getting multi-charged. Everything felt poised over there.
The right flank was actually going pretty well. My units did enough to rout the Butchers, which meant the Warriors were free to turn and face the oncoming Reapers.
In the meantime, my Shooters were trying to whittle away at the Blood Worms. So much Nerve...
Despite the right flank feeling under control, I had made another mistake. I had backed up with the wavered Boomers, but in so doing I had moved into line of sight of the Void Lurker. It then executed a "corkscrew charge" by pivoting 90 degrees and charging them in the flank. That was most uncool. Of course, if the Void Lurker somehow stuffed this up, I would get a flank with the Warlord...
The standoff on the far left continued, but the Reapers and Blood Worms felt no such hesitation in having a second crack at the Siegebreakers. As you would expect, this was too much for them and they routed this time.
The flanking Void Lurker made short work of the Boomers, however the Reapers had to settle for attacking the Warriors in the front and did relatively modest amounts of damage.
With the Siegebreakers gone, the Blood Worms press on toward my Shooters whilst the Reapers turn into the forest.
Given the damage the Blood Worms had already taken, I decided to charge them with the Shooters rather than standing my ground and firing at them. In the forest, I decided it was time to try to take control and charged the Reapers with the horde of Warriors and the Giant. The Warriors were hindered, but it was a lot of attacks. And I had the Warlord Chariot still lurking on the flank for reinforcements.
On the right flank, my Warriors counter-charged the Reapers whilst the Boomer Sergeant charged into the flank again. I think he was developing a taste for clubbing things from the side with his big gun. The Void Lurker had turned back to face my Warlord, who promptly charged into it yet again. He wasn't really making progress, but at least he was keeping it pinned in one place...
...or was he? This time I rolled so badly with the Warlord that I didn't do a wound at all. This meant the Void Lurker would be free to fly off the following turn. Seriously man, you had one job... At least the Reapers crumbled to my combined charge. That was obviously better rolling.
Right, so you know how I decided the forest charge was a calculated risk worth taking? Well... I inflicted 2 wounds on the Reapers. Combined. From both the Warriors and the Giant. It was utterly abysmal rolling. And now my flank and rear (and front) were all exposed...So much for trying to take control of the left flank.
Rohan put the Butchers into the flank of the Warriors, and sent the Shadow-Hulk into the rear of the Giant whilst the Reapers went into the front. As you can see, it was too much for both units. Which meant I hadn't even bought my Warlord a solid charge target with the loss of my units - everything had turned to face him. I think I might have wavered the Blood Worms the previous turn, because nothing untoward seems to have happened to the Shooters here. 
Freed from the shackles of the Warlord, the Void Lurker re-positioned itself in search of better prey. This is what I had been working all game to avoid - a flying monster threatening every flank within 20".
It was my turn 5, and it was at about this point that the scenario really started to kick in for both of us. We needed to control the 6 segments of the table, and got double points if we controlled our opponent's central segment. At this point my Warriors gave up trying to have any further influence on combats and instead headed to a position from which they could claim or challenge Rohan's central section. I ended up charging the Warlord into the flank of the Blood Worms as well as going in again with the Shooters. It was the neatest way to have things in the right position and give them the reform to ensure the Void Lurker couldn't do something unpleasant. It was risk, however. If I rolled double 1s on the nerve test I'd have been boned. Thankfully I didn't.
The left flank devolved into a bit of a game of cat-and-mouse. I refused to give Rohan a favourable charge, and the remaining units danced around each other as they decided which table segment they needed to be in. The key here was that even my Army Standard and Boomer Sergeant could claim table segments. Rohan realised that he had a serious issue as a result, and that a gamble was needed.
And this was the gamble. The Warlord in the centre was my key to taking control of the central segments, so he needed to go. And Rohan needed a turn 7. So a few things needed to go his way. A risky charge for the Void Lurker with the Shooters watching its flank was an indication that it was now all about the scenario.
The Butchers scrambled back into Rohan's central zone whilst the other units edged around. The Shadow-Hulk cancelled my Warlord's control of my left zone, but the Army Standard was free to float around and swing things as was convenient. Going second in a scenario like this is a huge advantage, so long as you still have units to move around.
The Void Lurker charge had been a risk, and it didn't pay off. The Warlord didn't even waver (or if he did, he shrugged it off with Headstrong), so he was free to head into Rohan's half of the table to help me claim the centre there. The Shooters went into the flank of the Void Lurker and removed it from the equation.
With the Void Lurker gone and me having an even greater advantage in terms of units at this point, whether the game went to a 7th turn didn't really matter. As it happened, the game ended after 6 turns. I think the scoring ended up 5-1 or something in terms of table control. It had been an entertaining, up-and-down game. 

Result: 17-4 win

You can find the next part of the report here.

1 comment:

  1. You got to play the Aliens! This is one of my favorite KOW armies, watched it come together over on Wargamerau. So extra thrilled to see it in action.

    Also you won! So many gambles in this game, nice to see one go your way. Props to you both for sticking your necks out and keeping the carnage up.

    And man do I hate void lurkers, such an amazing monster. Rank it #2 just under the Varangrr king on chimera. Coincidentally a clubmate of mine runs both a king and a lurker in his list, so I face the gruesome twosome quite often :'(