Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Cancon 2019 Aftermath - Part 3

This is the third part of my tournament report from Cancon 2019. You can find the previous part here.

Game 3 - Dominate
Spoon - Forces of the Abyss
Fire Legion (Formation)
  • Archfiend of the Abyss with Wings, Lightning
  • Mau'ti-bu-su
  • Horde of Abyssal Despoilers
  • Horde of Tortured Souls
  • Regiment of Abyssal Horsemen (probably with Potion of the Caterpillar)
  • Abyssal Temptress (may have had Wings and Banechant)
  • Regiment of Succubi
  • Regiment of Succubi
  • Troop of Succubi
  • Troop of Succubi
  • Troop of Gargoyles
  • Efreet with Heart-Seeking Chant
Apologies for how much I'm struggling to get these lists accurate. The further out we get from the event, the harder it is to remember. Honestly this whole game is a bit of a haze for me. It was 40 degrees and the humidity was to the point where I felt like I was in danger of dripping sweat onto the table. Guzzling water will only get you so far. I was really struggling; I didn't really want to be trying to focus on a game at this point. But hey, I survived. So that's something, eh?

Well that's a blurry photo. Anyway, I set up with the intention of using that impassable terrain behind the forest as something of an anchor for my flank. The speed and threat range of the cavalry and Tortured Souls on that flank worried me, so I wanted to see if I could keep them out of the game for a while.

There they are. They're quick. We don't like them. Mau'ti-bu-su is also over there, hiding between the units.
In the centre Spoon set up his Archfiend along with the Despoilers and half of his Succubi.
And the rest was over on my left flank. It included both of the individuals and the Gargoyles. His deployment was in 3 very distinct, tight groups. It was interesting, though no doubt partly dictated by the terrain.
Spoon took the first turn and moved forward relatively carefully, looking to threaten me when I pushed forward rather than trying to make the running himself.
Man those daemons are blurry. I assure you. they're somewhere over there in the attractive blur of tourquoise and purple...
There was no real point in me hanging back. What little shooting Spoon had hit me with in the first turn was still more than I could manage in return. I set about trying to make things happen. Preferrably good things, but we'll see. I held back a little with the knights to give the muppets a chance to get to the front. I hadn't really managed to use them to absorb that many charges yet. Maybe this game...
The Abyssal Hunt were trailing on the left flank. I didn't really want to send them around the left of the house, so they wasted time changing course. Again I was having ideas about using the house to shield my other flank.
Well I successfully got the flanking forces turning in before the impassable terrain. Of course, they were still on the flank for now. The threat was not exactly removed. The only charge over here came from the Succubi troop into the Order of Redemption, who had kind of invited it. I realised what I had done wrong here, however. The horde behind them should have been in contact. That way if the regiment wavered or I wanted it out of the way given it had lost its Thunderous Charge, it could have backed all the way through the horde. But with a gap between them, any reversing would not make it clear of the other unit. Oh well.
The other Succubi troop decided to charge the horde on my left, whilst the Efreet slunk around my flank out of sight, and hosed my Abyssal Hunt with piercing fiery death. There was not a lot I would be able to do about this. I was basically committing my forces toward pushing the centre, and didn't have anything sufficiently quick and agile to remove the threat of the Efreet. This is the sort of situation where you really wish you had included the odd Individual on a horse.
Both my units were steady, but 5 wounds on the poorly armoured Abyssal Hunt served to highlight their plight. Also, 8 wounds from the Succubi troop was probably more than I had expected. They might have had Bane Chant...? Maybe it was just the Vicious re-rolls.
Another blurry photo. I was struggling with the fact that the lighting was putting shadows from my hands in the shot, and I apparently failed to hold my hands as still as I needed to. Anyway, given I couldn't get the Order of Redemption out of the way, they had to settle for a combo charge with the pathfinding horde of the Order of the Brotherhood. That was not the main event in this photo, however...
This is what you call a gamble. Spoon had given me a flank on the Despoilers, but failure to knock them out would result in my Exemplar Forsaker getting flanked in return. I decided I had to go all in, and threw Elmo and the other flyer into the front. Normally this would surely be enough muscle, but we were in a forest... Cookie Monster engaged the Archfiend in an effort to ensure it would be stuck fighting him instead of flying into something more important.
Displeased at having been whacked around a bit by the Succubi, the horde of knights counter-charged.
The Abyssal Hunt were also unhappy, and did their best to try to scare off the Efreet given they were stuck behind a combat anyway. This was not an ideal situation.
Well, it didn't work. I had gambled, but the Despoilers were still there (and about to Regenerate), and now I had most of my more agile units stuck where they really didn't want to be. I did get rid of the Succubi troop. That's something, right?
Cookie Monster had held up his end of the bargain, but I foresaw bad things in his immediate future. Poor guy.
The Succubi were disposed of and I reformed to try to reduce the hiding places for the Efreet and cover what was likely about to happen to my birdie.
A fair bit of reforming was going on. I knew the next turn wouldn't be great but maybe I would have enough forces ready to reclaim the advantage.
It was at about this point that Spoon was going to charge those Abyssal Horsemen into the front of my horde, however for all that there was more than 5" between Cookie Monster and the impassable terrain, there would have been no room for him to align at all. We assumed this meant that the charge didn't work. As it turns out, I believe this has been FAQed and under these circumstances as a last resort my knights would have aligned to his unit. But we didn't realise this until later, and this same situation would arise again to haunt us...
Anyway, having established that the other charge wouldn't work, Spoon changed plans and sent the Tortured Souls into the flank of Cookie Monster in order to assist the Archfiend. Regiments of Succubi were in the flank of each of my Exemplar Forsakers, so they both got flank charged. The one on the left also copped the counter-charge from the Despoilers, so he was obviously in real trouble.
Any hopes I had to effectively counter-charging with this horde of knights were squashed by a charge from the Gargoyles. Pretty inevitable really, but still disappointing. Obviously I needed to give them something better to do, like offer them a rear charge on something. The Efreet apparently didn't rate my Order of the Abyssal Hunt at all, because he looks perfectly chargeable there.
Very bad things are about to happen. You can feel it.
Ah, there we go. All my stuff is gone. Well, not all of it. But both Exemplar Forsakers and Cookie Monster are gone. Elmo is feeling a little lonely there all by himself.
And this is the point where the whole "no room to align" thing came back to haunt us. There was no room for my horde to charge, despite the Tortured Souls being right in front of them. It was infuriating. Elmo consoled himself with a flank charge on the Succubi, but just having to sit there with the knight horde was incredibly frustrating. It should be noted that shortly after this, a friend located the FAQ. Spoon offered to go back and let me charge, which was very sporting. But given that the exact same thing had happened to his cavalry the previous turn, I figured it was only fair to stick with it.
Insult to injury, Mau-ti-bu-su had landed behind the horde. Not to block them, but because it was a safe approach. The effect however, was that I couldn't even back up.I don't recall why I wanted to back up. I think it might have been necessary if I wanted to charge the Succubi on the left with the horde here at the back. Instead I sent in the Order of Redemption but a frontal hindered charge from them was never likely to rout them in a single round.
Of course my other horde charged the Gargoyles, but they had done their bit by buying their friends a turn.
Gargoyles are gone, but so is something else. What else is missing? My Order of the Abyssal Hunt. I think the Efreet's second shot simply removed them. No wonder he was clowning around in my line of sight. Didn't rate me at all.
Everybody's dead, Dave. Well maybe not everybody. But an awful lot of my troops are. Elmo and the Order of Redemption failed to survive the counter-charge from the Succubi regiments. The Despoilers were certainly involved, but I don't recall who they flanked - only that there were no survivors. Oh and the horde on the right is gone too, thanks to the combined efforts of the Tortured Souls, Archfiend and Mau-ti-bu-su. It was not a great game for that unit.
My last hurrah. I finally got clear charges on the Archfiend and the Succubi.
They did not survive.
Then again, neither did my units. I was wiped out in the following turn.

Well that was a less than glorious game. Not a lot went right. My decision to try to anchor both my flanks sounded good in theory, but with how unwieldy my hordes are, I didn't leave myself enough room to move. Granted it would have been less bad had we known all the rules, but that was not really where I lost the game. I lost when I committed 3 quarters of my most agile units to a single gambled charge, and it failed to pay off. Honestly I got sucked into a flank charge (so sweet. So juicy. So... irresistible), but then had to send in more muscle to try to ensure I didn't get punished for it. Which meant when I did get punished for it, the price was a lot higher. And having committed and lost those elements, I was left with no way to shield my hordes - they were left vulnerable to minor distractions and nasty fire-belching Efreets.

I did not play well, and for my efforts I got completely wiped out. I didn't win, either. Just in case you hadn't figured that bit out.

Result: 2-19 Loss

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