Sunday, 9 March 2014

NZTC Report: Game 3

Sorry this segment has come so long after the last one, has been a busy couple of days but thanks to a public holiday I now have time to write up game 3.

Round 3 presented us with our toughest round for the day against the Wolfpack. Their team contained a number of high ranking NZ players, ETC experience and some pretty nicely written armies. We were up against a herald based daemon list, Skaven with both a bell and a furnace, a solid WoC army with Throgg and a lot of trolls backed up by a couple of tzeentch characters, a hellcannon and some crushers. A fairly standard empire list rounded out their set.

Wolfpack assemble!

Personally this wasn't a team I really wanted to face. The Daemons were a bad one for me, the empire utterly awful. I could handle the WoC and the Skaven but both of them had an artillery piece that could make the game delicate so I would have to play well. Again I took a risk in the match up process by leading myself out, the initial plan had been to lead with Sam on the basis that they were likely to lead Empire, however I had a last minute hunch that it would be the Daemons coming out first, so at the last minute I went out with my HE. This was vindicated when their Daemons popped up, although this late change of plan did get things a little bit muddled. I can't really remember how the rest of the process went down, I know at one point I'd decided that I'd screwed things up royally, but in the end we got away with it. The games this round were:

Greg: Dark Elves vs Daemons
Sam: Daemons vs WoC
James: Empire vs Empire
Myself: High Elves vs Skaven

We came out of it with a decent set of games, Greg was tasked with a minor win/blocking role against the DoC as was James in the Empire mirror match. Sam had a good match up with his combination of death magic and flaming cannons, and I had a delicate if advantageous game against Skaven.

Game 3 vs Locky Reid (Skaven)
Grey Seer: Screaming Bell, Fencers Blades, Earthing Rod, Dragonbane Gem
Plague Priest: Plague Furnace, Dispel Scroll
Chieftan: BSB
Assassin: Weeping Blades, Potion of Strength

Warlock Engineer: Doomrocket

39 Stormvermin: FC, Storm Banner
41 Slaves
41 Slaves

41 Slaves
29 Plague Monks: FC, Plague Banner
Hellpit Abomination
Warp Lightning Cannon

Locky was running an interesting Skaven list, it had a bunch of the standard toys but differed from the standard build by having a plague monk unit with a furnace. To be entirely honest I don't rate the furnace. It is a seriously unreliable unit in a very reliable list and I intended to to use the furnace as my way into the game.

For spells I rolled up hand of glory and tempest, usually the two worst spells in the deck. I've actually taken quite a liking to tempest since I started using it with my lizardmen, and both spells had the potential to be useful in this game so I kept them. Locky had Plague, Warp Lightning, Vermintide and Crack's call on his Seer with the Plague Priest swapping for Pestilent Breath.

My deployment was fairly spread, both Pheonixes were behind hills on either side of the table, the cavalry were in the middle along with the dragon. The reaver units were split onto each flank to protect the monsters from doomwheel shooting and to try and get to the WLC if possible. Locky deployed middling, favouring my right hand side of the table. The furnace was on my left with the HPA while the doomwheel and the bell were on the right hand side.

I won first turn but decided not to do a whole lot with it. The dragon remained in the centre behind a building, and the pheonixes stayed on their respective flanks. The cavalry pushed forward somewhat, but not particularly aggressively.

In Locky's first was pretty cagey as well. The Doomwheel moved up towards the pheonix on my right, and the bell pushed forward along with some slaves while the furnace and HPA stayed back to look after the WLC. Magic and shooting accounted for 6 or 7 silver helms (the doomrocket dropped a touch short) and 4 of the 5 reavers on my right flank.

Turn two I had a look around the tables to see how things were shaping up. Greg hadn't started well, and the Empire mirror match wasn't going anywhere for anyone. Sam knocked out the Hellcannon early, so had started relatively promisingly. I decided not to push too hard and see how the game developed. I moved my reavers on the left up into position to bait/pull the furnace, and swung my line to the left. The dragon joined the pheonix behind the hill, and the right hand pheonix occupied the dragons previous hiding place behind the building, putting some distance between itself and the scary doomwheel. Magic this turn was crucial, I started small with a hand of glory on a pheonix, boosting its movement to 5.  This was crucial to keep its movement up if Locky used his storm banner next turn. I then forced through a tempest onto the slave block in front of his WLC and rolled a hit. This killed 20 or so slaves, meaning they wouldn't be able to tarpit my units nearly as effectively. This would be my way into the game.

At the end of my turn two the battlefield looked like this:
The lone reaver spent the turn distracting the doom wheel that is out of shot to the right.
Locky didn't really have a response to what had just happened. He pretty much kept his line intact although he did try and lock down the dragon princes with a long charge from the bell which was unsuccessful. To be fair there weren't a whole heap of options available to Locky, however I think there may have been some merit in pushing the engineer and slaves forward as far as possible to prevent the overrun into the cannon. Potentially separating the engineer out could have held me up for even longer.

Locky's magic was disappointing and the cannon lacked viable targets. Overall Locky didn't really achieve much this turn, which I was totally ok with.

My third and the game was starting to get going. I debated whether to charge the depleted slaves with the silver helms or the dragon princes. The DP's were further away and would be in a bad position if they failed, but Locky's lack of reaction to the damage I'd done to the slaves left a nagging thought that perhaps there was an assassin in the unit. Eventually I went with the Silver Helms, and this proved the correct decision as no assassin was forthcoming. The reavers moved into position to block/bait the furnace, with the rest of my army moving into position for an assault on the furnace. With magic I kept the movement up on the important pheonix, not sure if i cast anything beyond that. In combat I broke through the slaves easily and got a nice overrun into the WLC.

The gap was open and I was into the back field, never a good thing for a Skaven player.
Locky charged the reavers with the HPA and the furnace given he didn't really have a whole lot of choice in the matter. The bell tried another long charge to block the dragon princes but was again unsuccessful and ended up blocking the slaves from helping out. I'd have considered a swift reform with the slaves (that you can see above) in order to block the DP's, although this would likely only prolong the inevitable. Magic was again ineffective as a Crack's call failed to reach a pheonix. The Silver Helms butchered the WLC in the close combat phase and reformed to face the furnace which had narrowly failed to overrun into the dragon princes.

This was the turn where I really pushed for the big win. The dragon went into the HPA along with a pheonix as the dragon princes and silver helms combo charged into the furnace unit. The remaining pheonix landed in front of the bell to ensure it couldn't interfere, and then it was pretty much straight onto combat. The dragon and pheonix were unfortunate not to kill the HPA, but fortunately it failed its break test and ran off anyway. This let the dragon pursue into the furnace combat. This went about as badly as possible for the plague monks with the furnace and character being killed outright and the monks reduced to about 10 guys who broke and were run down by the silver helms. An expensive turn for Locky, with no casualties suffered by me.

There was a lot still on the table, but at this stage the game was basically done.
Locky decided at this stage to preserve what he could. He didn't risk charging the pheonix with the bell as he would potentially get bogged and surrounded. Instead the bell did an about face and started casting Crack's Call backwards which the pheonix managed to dodge.

In the remaining turns my cavalry eliminated one of the slave units while my monsters flapped away from the bell, which suited Locky fine as the bell ran off into the opposite corner.

Final Result: 16-4 win.

As for the team result; James' game went for about half an hour and finished 11-9 to James, Greg managed to battle back from some early losses and held the DoC to a 10-10 and Sam came through with a big result once again, his game finishing 15-5.

Sam's opponent liked the matchup because of the supposed invincibility of his Tzeentch Disk Lord. Turns out doom and darkness and losing combat can't be stopped with a 3+ ward...

Team Result: 52-28.

Another great win by the team, with each of us doing our jobs really well. Sam and I might get all the glory for our big wins, but Greg and James took the tough armies out of the equation and gave us a great platform to base the result on.

Our victorian friends (in the garish purple shirts) crumbled in the face of stiffer opposition, going down to team Shirts Off Warhammer.
Some other results went out way, which meant at the end of day one the leaderboard looked like this:
10 of the 12 players in these three teams are based in Melbourne. Turns out we can play warhammer afterall!
Stay tuned for the first game of day two against the Shirts Off Warhammer team.

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