Monday, 3 February 2020

Cancon 2020 Aftermath - Part 2

This is a continuation of my report of the recent Clash of Kings Australia tournament that was held as part of Cancon. You can find the previous part of the report here.

Game 2 - Raze
Brent Rabid - Dwarfs
  • Horde of Ironclad with Throwing Mastiff, Hammer of Measured Force
  • Regiment of Shieldbreakers with Throwing Mastiff
  • Regiment of Shieldbreakers with Throwing Mastiff
  • Horde of Earth Elementals
  • Horde of Earth Elementals
  • Regiment of Berserker Brock Riders with Brew of Sharpness
  • Regiment of Mastiff Hunting Pack
  • Dwarf Lord on Large Beast
  • Berserker Lord on Brock with Blade of the Beast Slayer
  • Steel Juggernaut
  • Steel Juggernaut
  • Stone Priest with Bane Chant
Brent's army was not what you normally expect to see in Dwarf force. No artillery. There was only a small amount of mobile shooting. And no Herneas. I'm so glad he's been retired off to a separate list...

Anyway, I liked Brent's list, but based on my own limited experience I was worried he would suffer for a lack of control over the engagements without much shooting or foot speed. I guess we would see...

That is a pretty compact deployment.

The Berserkers lurk behind the solid wall of Earth Elementals.
The pair of Steel Juggernauts sit behind the Ironclad, whilst the Shieldbreakers hold the flank in the forest.
For Raze, you need to control an objective on the other side of the table unopposed in order to burn it and claim the points at the end of the turn, whilst you try to keep the enemy from doing the same to the ones on your side. I ended up stacking both the flyers on the right. The Halflings would take care of the centre of the field, as they were clearly my most powerful unit.
My line stretched a lot further to the left than Brent's did, which was interesting given the scenario. It did kind of feel like I would have no trouble burning that objective just past the building.
I got the first turn, and set off across the field. You can't burn the markers in the first turn, but it was going to be hard to get me off the left one now... Mammoth went through the forest, as all good Mammoths do.
I was pretty aggressive with the birbs, but stayed outside of charge range of the Shieldbreakers. Poor Dwarfs with their stumpy little legs...
Predictably, the Halflings control the centre of the field. Their dominance was assured.
Brent responded as best he could, but the disparity in speed meant he couldn't really race me to the objectives. The Shieldbreakers hard on the end did manage to get within 3" of the one near the forest, so they would have to be moved if I wanted to burn it.
The Berserker Lord swam out in the sea of dice to sit harder on the flank, whilst the other units started to turn to face the approaching lines. You can see a mistake here, though. Those Honour Guard on the right are within 14" of the Brock Riders, and in their flank... It kinda looks like about 20" here. Might have looked that way to Brent, too. 
The Throwing Mastiffs and at least one of the Steel Juggernauts had a go at my Knights, but they took a handful of wounds and shook it off.
It was then my turn. I had a lot of charges on offer, and I took them. I felt I had to engage the Shieldbreakers, so sent a birb after them whilst the other one had spotted the flank of a Steel Juggernaut and went over the lines to get him. The Knights were likely to get flanked, but the Ironclad would take a pounding on this initial charge and probably keel over even without Thunderous Charge the following round. And the Shieldbreakers would be hindered... Might be OK (probably not).
The Halflings move onto a Raze marker and prepare to dispose of all those Earth Elementals, and the Honour Guard gleefully accept the flank charge on the Brock Riders. They would cop charges from elsewhere, but they can take a charge better than nearly everything else in my list and it was too good to pass up.
I sent the Baron into the front as well, just to be sure. And to move some Inspiring into a relevant location, and threaten more units at once. The Knights also decided to soften up the Berserker Lord, leaving the second unit of Honour Guard to clean up the Raze token and form the second wave with the Mammoth.
So this went pretty well, all told. The Knights went straight through the Ironclad with decent rolling. I don't really know why I decided to reform the ones on the right instead of carrying on. I think maybe they were going to be stopped by the Steel Juggernaut and still be visible for a flank charge. Or I might have thought my birb was about to be flanked, and wanted a chance for retaliation. If so, I needn't have worried. The birb was out of the arc of the Shieldbreakers. I think I fell victim to thinking I'd bounce back an inch and clearly into sight, as per 2nd edition. As it was, I was just out of their arc. I guess Brent had also misjudged it. My other birb clanged into the side of the Steel Juggernaut and did maybe 6 wounds. This was not enough. Those dudes are made of stern stuff.
The Berserker cavalry got obliterated, which was pretty much as expected. What was more surprising was that the Berserker Lord routed on the first attempt as well! That flank was indeed looking promising!
There was a feeling of obscene luxury, having 2 powerful units sitting in reserve and right at that moment, feeling like they were not really needed...
In Brent's turn, the Steel Juggernaut ignored the efforts of my birb and smacked into the flank of the Knights instead. That was mighty unsporting. His stats were starting to look a little menacing in the flank...
The other Knights were also busy, charged by the second Steel Juggernaut and the unengaged Shieldbreakers, who were consoling themselves after the disappointment of finding they couldn't quite see my birb's flank. 
There was some hot Bear-on-Doggy action over on the left, as the Lord on Large Beast engaged my Baron on his faithful Aralez. I'm afraid the bear is more on par with the flying doggies than this lesser one, but maybe I could hold my ground and call in some help...
The Honour Guard were forced to ensure a combined charge from one of the Earth Elemental hordes, and the pack of grumpy Dwarf Dogs (Mastiff hunting pack). Seemed a manageable situation, really.
Meanwhile the other Earth Elementals had turned toward the Knights, and the Stone Priest hiding behind the pond cast Surge and then Bane Chant on them once they made it into combat...
Ouch! Actually, they almost didn't get me. It was only because of Brutal. Anyway, the Steel Juggernaut turned toward the flank, and the Elementals spun about and faced back across the field.
The Honour Guard fared much better than the Knights, and even the Baron fended off the Bear relatively successfully. Iron Resolve helps both these combats look more comfortable.
My other Knights stuck around, but wavered thanks to the steadily accumulating damage.
The birb copped a pretty solid round of hits, but fortunately didn't waver and so was free to counter-charge the Shieldbreakers.
At this point I started calling in my second wave (the bits that would fit, anyway), as the Mammoth arrived to help the Honour Guard fight the Earth Elementals. The birb decided he would try to be clever and use the Stone Priest as a springboard into the rear of the Elementals. Nothing could go wrong with this plan. Nothing!
Actually, turns out Stone Priests are tougher than I wanted to give them credit for (or rather, 7 attacks is really just not that many to sweep individuals out of the way). In fact, I didn't break through anywhere. Even the Dwarf King on his bear, who was now receiving the charge from a regiment of Knights as well as the Baron's counter-charge, held his ground dourly. That's no fun...
Over on the right I had failed once more to break through with the birb, and I think the Knights had failed their Headstrong test. I was bogged all over the place.
But in the hour of need came the Halflings! This was important, as they were deliberately intercepting the second Earth Elemental horde before they could get involved in any of the combats that were clearly not going as well as I had hoped...
As if the Knights were not in enough trouble, the second Steel Juggernaut joined in. Yeah, they're doomed.
In the main traffic jam, the Dwarf King decided to keep working on the Baron, and the Honour Guard found themselves fighting both the Earth Elementals and the Mastiffs.
True to their word, the Halflings showed themselves to be a more than capable speed-bump for the other Elementals. Great job, guys!
Sadly the Knights were no longer with us, having been hacked to pieces by those nasty Juggernauts. Well, they had lasted as long as they could.
Rather more disappointingly, the Honour Guard were devoured savagely by the tiny Mastiffs (the Elementals probably helped). I had assumed they had that particular situation under control, really. I was wrong.
You know, it started so well but I felt like I no longer had control over large parts of the field...
And then we went back in time, to when photos were all black and white. And verily did mine dog birb smite the naughty Shieldbreakers for the umpteenth time, and yea, it was their time to pop in like manner to the cork. Huzzah, gloated the birb, as it produced a match from somewhere hitherto unseen, and set the now unprotected objective ablaze.
I... don't know why these photos went black and white. Google is messing with me. Anyway, the fresh Honour Guard unit went in to finish off the Elementals. The Baron cheekily declined to continue his duel with the bear, spinning and charging the hungry Mastiffs instead. He was able to do this because the Knights were now in the flank of the Dwarf King, and even Defence 6 was not going to save him now...
Most of that went pretty well. The King did indeed perish, as did the badly battered Elementals. The Mastiffs held their ground for now, and somehow that Stone Priest continued to defy my birb. To think that I had the hubris to imagine I could go through him in a turn!

In Brent's turn, the Steel Juggernaut had witnessed the fate of the Shieldbreakers and decided to avenge them.
The Mastiffs continued to impress, counter-charging and wavering the Baron. Unfortunately the Halflings had an appointment elsewhere, and seeing that they had already fulfilled their objective by delaying the second unit of Elementals, they left in an orderly fashion.
Things were moving every which way over on the right. The second Juggernaut headed back from my army, whilst the Shieldbreakers had spotted an objective within reach and headed right for it.
By now it was my 5th turn. I set about engaging the remaining Elementals, hoping they would prove easier to move than their friends. I also sent the Knights into the flank of the Mastiffs. They were crazy and had to be dealt with. As for the Stone Priest... Yes, I charged him for the third time with the birb. If he stuffed it up again, he was going to get a Steel Juggernaut up the backside...
OK as graphic as that sounded, we don't need to worry. The Stone Priest finally departed, and the Mastiffs were humanely destroyed. The Elementals, though... I think that's 12 wounds there. That wasn't enough.
Brent's turn went about as you would expect. Most of my targets were fresh, and his forces were spread thin. The Juggernaut hit the birb (in the front, thankfully), the Elementals went after the Honour Guard...
And the Steel Juggernaut in the corner had a second go at my other birb. They were just taking it in turns hitting each other over the head. Nothing happened. They were both still there at the end. Let's just not talk about them anymore. The Shieldbreakers made it to their objective and burned it to a crisp.
My 6th turn saw the demise of everything in the middle, as I brought more forces to bear.
Which meant by the end of the game, it was just the Shieldbreakers and Juggernaut remaining. There was no 7th turn.

In the end I hadn't won as convincingly as it looked like I might. The start had been very promising, but I got bogged against high defence and suffered a bit once I lost my momentum and Thunderous Charge. Nevertheless it was a pretty solid result. I was up 3 objectives to 1 and was almost a thousand points up in terms of damage (1710-730). 

Brent had introduced himself and proclaimed that he came to the tournament to learn, and I had been concerned about the army's lack of speed. However, I caught up with him during game 5 and discovered that this had been the only game he had lost to that point, so either he was learning very quickly, or not quite as green as I might have been led to believe. Anyway, I was pleased to see he was making the list work.

Result: 19-2

You can find the next part of my report here.

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