Monday, 11 February 2019

Cancon 2019 Aftermath - Part 4

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

Game 4 - Raze
Kate Price - Basileans
Holy Lancers (Formation) (I think) (more brackets)
  • High Paladin on Elder Dragon
  • High Paladin on Griffon
  • Horde of Ogre Palace Guard
  • Horde of Elohi
  • Horde of Elohi
  • Gnaeus Sallustis
  • Regiment of Paladin Knights with Potion of the Caterpillar
  • Regiment of Paladin Knights
  • Troop of Sisterhood Panther Lancers
  • Heavy Arbalest
I had made it to day 2. The weather had improved a bit, and I was somewhat recovered. The same could not be said of my score in the tournament, however. Of a possible 63 points I had accumulated the princely total of 7. Clearly I was poised to strike. I had one hand on the wooden spoon already!

I have never played the Raze scenario before. I'll be honest, I liked it on paper. Although getting the first turn seemed important if someone had enough fast stuff to pounce on the objectives across the table.

The terrain on my right flank was pretty open, which boded well for large units of cavalry. Kate put her Griffon, Gnaeus, and her Paladin Knight regiments over there to keep the Arbalest company.

A centre that could very quickly become a vacant area, populated entirely with flying units.
The Elder Dragon liked to think he was invisible over there behind his house, but I knew he was there. Those Ogre Palace Guard seem like a more than handy addition to the Basilean list.
For my part, 2 of the hordes took the centre and then I started filling in the flanks in response to what I was seeing across the field.
Flyers and muppets on the extreme ends of the line.
I got the first turn, which was a bit of a relief. Half of my first turn was moving up to ensure that no sneaky flyer could dart across and burn my objectives right off the bat. It would probably be a suicidal maneuver, but I could see someone deciding that some measure of sacrifice might be worth it for the guaranteed points.
Staying out of charge range for the first turn was the general plan, but squeezing the opposition to make them respond.
I didn't stay out of charge range entirely. I gave Kate the option of sending all the Elohi into the nearest horde. One unit would be hindered, but the other would be clear. I was developing a pattern of trying to invite charges from enemy flyers in an effort to get them to commit.
The hill made things interesting on the left. The cavalry couldn't see over it, but everyone else could. And the horde with pathfinder lurking in the wings would make things interesting - they could see around the hill, but would have more range issues.
Kate found her first turn surprisingly difficult, I think. She was presented with an immediate threat all along the line. It wasn't quite an all-out sweeping advance, but it was clear she would be out of time very quickly. This flank was interesting. We had a similar number of units to work with, but the strength of the horde was clearly playing on her mind.
The Elohi declined to charge, and instead they sort of... dithered. One unit slunk up behind the forest, whilst the other shuffled across. I think they were trying to keep options open on my left flank, but they had not managed to get out of charge range of that horde on the right (although obviously any charge would be hindered). On my left, the Panthers moved up to shield the Ogres and took a shot at my Exemplar Forsaker with some shooty item they had purchased, for negligible damage. The Dragon shuffled out from behind his house and tried to look nonchalant.  
Right, my turn 2. CHAAAAAARGEE!!! Ahem. I mean I carefully considered my options and generally did lots of sensible and restrained things. Then pretty much everything that could charge, did charge. The horde of knights on the right went into the Paladin Knights, with Elmo for company.
Kate had inadvertently left the Exemplar Forsaker with a flank charge on the other unit, so I gratefully accepted the invitation with the Order of Redemption going straight in the front.
As I say, I was trying to trap the Elohi in place by baiting them into a charge. Given they had declined the charge but left me with one, I was always going to accept - hindered or not. Of course I was in danger of being flanked by the other unit if I bounced back.
In order to try to counter that threat, and because it got him out of sight of the Dragon and within range of the objective, the Exemplar Forsaker flew over near the building to keep an eye on the Elohi. The horde also shifted around a bit to ensure they could see. They also ensured their centre was in the forest. I had pathfinder, but the Dragon did not. Cookie Monster went into the Panthers. Another opportunity to pin down a fast element in the enemy force.
Rather unsurprisingly, the Paladin Knight regiment was no match for what had slammed into it. To celebrate, Elmo decided to turn and moon the enemy Griffon. As you do. What I was actually doing was shielding the objective that was now behind my lines. Sending the Griffon over my head, out of danger, and onto an objective would have been a complete no-brainer. Instead Kate was now left with a couple of options: Head for the objective, but get rear-charged by Elmo; or rear-charge Elmo and hope to clear him out and overrun out of the arc of the Knight horde...
OK, well this happened. Rather unexpectedly, my hindered Order of the Brotherhood were still able to rout the Elohi on the first attempt. I rolled above average, doing maybe 11 wounds instead of 8. And then I rolled solidly for the nerve test as well. It was a novel experience, but it felt a bit harsh on Kate. I don't seem to have a photo of it, but the Paladin Knights facing my Order of Redemption and Exemplar Forsaker also collapsed. That was less surprising than this, however.
Over on the flank, Cookie Monster did his thing. Did a few wounds, held up the Panthers. Didn't waver them or anything, but that was OK. What can you expect from a single muppet, really? They're pack animals at heart.
Well... What's it going to be? Muppet butt, or muppet in the butt?
Well done, Elmo. We will remember you fondly.
I admit, this is not what I would have done with Gnaeus. He would have been better served buying a little time for the Griffon by sitting in front of the horde, or charging it. His own prospects of survival were better this way, but it was not the team play...
The remaining Elohi decided that their position had suddenly looked rather awful, and flew over my lines to burn an objective marker. Sensible, really. They were doomed where they were.
The Dragon emerged from hiding, although the Order of the Abyssal Hunt had remained just out of charge range. Kate's main concern was that the horde couldn't see her flank, which is fair enough. Cookie Monster put up a heroic defence and held his ground against the combined efforts of the Ogres and Panthers. He wavered, but that was more than fair from my perspective. It turns out muppets were made of sterner stuff after all. In fact, giggling could be heard from over the other side of the field...
That tickles!! Somehow Elmo's buns of steel (or maybe his thick, fluffy muppet pelt) deflected the worst off the attentions of the Griffon, and he not only survived, but didn't even waver! What a hero!
In my turn, Cookie Monster focused on healing with his regeneration, whilst his friends got to work. The horde swept in and disposed of the Panther Lancers, whilst the Order of the Abyssal Hunt finally got to show what they could do against a Monster (they get vicious). 13 wounds. That was more than handy. That was, in fact, a great roll. More was to come, as the Elder Dragon clearly panicked and routed on the spot! I admit, I was feeling a little dirty now. So this was what it felt like when all the rolls went your way...
No more Griffon over on the flank. The knight horde in his flank was kind of on the fatal side. The Order of Redemption traded charges and blows with Gnaeus, whilst my Exemplar Forsaker moved around to focus on the Elohi.
Yes, the Exemplar Forsaker was offering the Elohi a charge. Of course, the exposed flank of the Order of Redemption was more of a concern. But that's OK, I had reinforcements on the way.
I admit, I slowed down with the camera as the game gained pace at the end. The Ogre Palace Guard failed for a second time to kill Cookie Monster, which meant they got flanked by a horde of knights. Game over for them. Elmo eventually got to the Arbalest and "handled" it (it should be noted that the thing never hit a target all game. It was just one of those games for Kate, and single artillery pieces are so rewarding to use). The Elohi for some reason declined the flank on the Order of Redemption (I think perhaps they actually killed Gnaeus and reformed - I can't clearly recall), and pulled back to at least keep all my units in their front. In this they succeeded, however once the Exemplar Forsaker arrived to knock off their flight, they were clearly doomed...
And when you have enough forces on hand, a front charge is all you really need.

In the end, it was a complete whitewash in terms of models - I hadn't lost any, and Kate had none left. The match-up had been a struggle for her, and the dice were rather unkind. However she had taken her chance to grab one of the objectives, so she was still on the scoreboard.

And speaking of scoreboards, I had actually won a game. Please try to conceal your confusion. It's not nice to stare...

Result: 20-1 Win (yes, a win. Really!)


  1. Strong start to Day 2! Ominously so, as I'm guessing your army bounced back up the rankings a bit after this smashup. I've certainly had tournies like this, with a rough, alcohol-soothed first day made up by a violent second day in the bottom half ...

    1. Yeah, the classic "submarine" maneuver. Drop like a rock and then work your way back up again. Of course it's not meant to take half the tournament before your dropping stops. This was next level submarining...