After a good nights sleep at a local hostel, we had breakfast and wandered over to the school where the tournament was being held. We had been doing the numbers the night before and realized that the top five armies after the first day were Warriors of Chaos (1st, clubmate), Daemons of Chaos (2nd), Lizardmen (3rd, clubmate), Orcs & Goblins (4th, me) and Dark Elves (5th, previous opponent). It was shaping up for quite a few exciting matchups for the two remaining games.
Game 4: Lizardmen - Johan Hagner
My first match of the second day was against my clubmate Johan, who was ahead of me by a couple of points and had been doing very well in his first three matches. His army was a gorgeous red, infantry heavy Lizardmen horde, led by a Slann AND an Old Blood. He had two large blocks of Saurus, one big block of Temple Guards, a six strong unit of Kroxigors, a Stegadon, two Salamander Packs and three Terradon Riders. I had faced this army before and defeated it, but that was with the Slann using Lore of Life, and for this tournament he had decided to use Lore of Shadows. It was going to be interesting to see what difference it made.
The scenario focused on controlling two points of the middle of the map, while trying to take out the enemy wizards. Killing a Slann in the middle of a Temple Guard unit is hard enough, but when he also found a building in range of the objective to barricade himself within, it became even harder. On the other hand, by hiding his strongest unit in a building from turn one, he left his already outnumbered weakened against my greenskins. One Saurus unit on the western side of the field was up against a unit of boyz lead by the BSB, the night goblin bowmen and a boar chariot, while on the other side his Old Blood and his Saurus were looking across the Warboss and his boyz, flanked by a Squig Herd, a Wolf Chariot and a unit of Black Orcs. In the middle, the Kroxigors were staring straight across my unit of Trolls. With their regeneration, I knew they were up for the task at hand. The Stegadon was moving into position as well, but got hit by a stray projectile from the spear chukka that inflicted three wounds on the big beastie.
I moved my army in position, outflanking his troops when possible, then tossed all my power dice at getting the Waaagh! spell through to end the battle early. To my surprise, he'd actually brought a dispel scroll with his Slann and used it to cancel my charge. Instead, my trolls were combo-charged by the kroxigors and the stegadon, but took the impact hits with the chest and regenerated the damage, then chopped up the lizards while taking little damage in return and allowed them to hold the line for another turn, before the Warboss and the boyz could outflank and break them, while the night goblin shaman (so far having done nothing in the tournament aside from channeling and stealing power dice) rolled up a Mork Wants Ya and a large, green fist reached down and squeezed the Stegadon to death. The boyz reformed just in time to receive the charge alongside the Squig Herd, from the Saurus with the Old Blood. It was not to be for the lizards however, as the Squigs ate up 10 saurus warriors before they even got to strike and sent the rest running to be chased down and killed. To the west, the BSB and his boyz charged the front of the lone saurus unit, while the night goblins and the boar chariot got the flank. The sheer force of that impact was enough to break even the most cold-blooded of lizards, and by the end of turn 4, everything but the Temple Guard and the Slann, still barracading the building, had been chased off while everything in my army remained intact. I was looking at a comfortable 18-2 win, but by then we ran out of time. Sadly, that meant we were forced to split the remaining victory points, resulting in a more balanced scoreboard by the end.
Result: WIN 12-8
Game 5: Daemons of Chaos - David Wessling
The victory propelled me ahead of Johan's Lizardmen, and surprisingly the Warriors of Chaos army lost the matchup against the 2nd placed Daemons, meaning the Daemons were actually in the lead, I was in 3rd place, one point behind the Warriors and three points ahead of the Lizardmen going into the final round, which ended up being against the Daemons of Chaos, currently ahead of the Warriors by two points and me by three points. It meant that I had to defeat them by at least 12-8 to tie and have a chance at 1st place. It also required that the Warriors were not to win against the Lizards by the same score (or more) than me, or they would win it. IF, that is, I could actually defeat the Daemons at all.
The Daemons consisted of two blocks of 30 Bloodletters, one of them led by the Herald general making them hateful. Between them stood a massive block of 40 Horrors filled with three(!) heralds, one of them carrying the Battle Standard and one of them schooled in the lore of life. They were flanked by dual units of two fiends, and dual units of six flamers. I really had no idea how to defeat them.
In the end, I resorted to the kind of cheap tactics that would make even a goblin proud: when matched up against large, superior combat units that you will have little chance of defeating in a fair fight, outdeploy the bastard and make him waste the battle slaughtering your cheap units. I dropped my snotlings and wolf riders on the eastern flank, joined by the night goblins, the chariots and even the war machines. I gladly resorted to such dirty tactics as placing my army book on the far west flank, as if that space of the board was so uninteresting that I might as well use it as storage. I even went so far as to start fake pre-measuring between my cheap units as if I was planning how to fit in my big blocks in between them. Then, once he had matched my deployment by placing one of the bloodletter units, the dual units of flamers and one of the fiends unit to match up against my snotlings and other crap, I removed the army book and deployed the rest of my army (two blocks of boyz, black orcs, trolls, squig herd and all my orc characters) far to the west, against the other bloodletter unit, the horrors and a pair of fiends. The map had an impassable pillar in the middle, nicely splitting the battlefield into two parts. On the eastern side, he had about 1000 points of daemons fighting about 300 points of mine, while to the west I had about 2200 points fighting his 1500. I was feeling a bit better by then.
He started out by marching his army forward as is the daemonic way, and managed to burn my trolls with a few of his magics. I realized he had so much magical fire at his disposal, it'd be better off letting him hurt my trolls a bit while dispelling his lore of life spells. The dual flamer units wasted a few rounds shooting at my night goblin boss on the squig with the shield of ptolos, as well as my spear chukkas. Then my Warboss called the Waaaagh! on turn 1, and my BSB, Great Shaman and the boyz immediately charged into Horrors, which got the Shaman in the mood throw the Waaaaagh! spell, bringing battle to the daemons. Two units of snotlings combo charged both flanks of the eastern fiends and actually destroyed them, while my black orcs (having waaaghed forward, then marched, then waaaghed by spell into the eastern fiends), destroyed their opponents and overran, bringing them all the way into the daemonic deployment zone by the end of turn 1. In total, they travelled around 32" inches in the first round, which has to be some kind of a record for an infantry unit. The 40 strong horrors were obviously not going anywhere, even after losing their combat, and remained steadfast for longer than I had hoped. I really should have focused more effort on taking out the heralds in the unit. Both my shamans had rolled up a Foot of Gork spell (D6 S6 anywhere on the table) and proceeded to smash one of the flamer units into the oblivion from whence they came.
Unfortunately, I was unable to get my Warboss and his boyz, along with the squig herd into combat, as terrain and units made it impossible to stay 1" away from each other. And so, the boyz were forced to take the charge of the bloodletters, along with an herald to spurr them on, instead of charging them while the Waaaagh! was active. This is where the new 6+ parry save really shined however, as even though I took quite a few wounds, I was lucky to roll enough 6's to ward away those S5's and killing blows. On the other hand, the Warboss finally got some use out of The Other Trickster's Shard which he'd brought to battle, forcing all daemons to re-roll their succesful ward saves while focusing my attacks on those in base contact with him. Slowly, the line of daemons was growing thinner.
In the east, the other unit of flamers, fed up with firing at T7 war machines or worthless snotlings, charged a wolf chariot but failed to catch it as it fled. Instead, they were counter-charged by the squig hopping boss, who got their flank and racked up enough kills to force the rest to succumb to daemonic instability.
I hesitated a moment then, seeing an opening to flank charge the horrors with my trolls far out on the western flank, but also remembering the flaming attacks of the horrors. In the end, I figured their 5-6 S3 attacks would be outweighted by my 18 S5 attacks plus the stomp, and so in they went. Another successful Waaagh! spell and the Horrors were being wounded in heaps, but there were simply so many heralds in the unit giving them 4+ ward save, that I wasn't killing enough. Favourable instability checks, thanks to their BSB, had at least 25 of them still standing halfway into the game. Things were not looking so good for the bloodletters in battle with my Warboss and the boyz. A double 6 on their instability check saw their ranks dwindle to less than two ranks standing, and I was feeling hopefull with over 20 boyz still fighting.
To the east, the second bloodletter unit charged into my night goblins, defeated and broke them in combat, but failed to catch them. Instead they rallied, reformed away from them, then ran out of sight with yet another Waaaaagh! spell. As it turned out, the Bloodletters were the only unit still standing on the right side of the battlefield after magic and shooting had taken out both flamer units, a fiend unit, while I had only lost two snotling units and a wolf chariot in the defense of that side. It was clearly an exchange I was willing to make. To the west, the horrors kept dying but not quickly enough, even with the boyz and the BSB in the front and the trolls in the side, and as time ran out they would retain their points even though some of the heralds had been killed. However, in the battle nearby of the Warboss' boyz and their daemonic opponent, the bloodletters were wiped to only the champion remaining next to the herald. The instability check saw him roll '3' where a '2' would do it, and he decided to distribute that wound on the herald, meaning the bloodletters retained their entire point cost as well. I felt a bit strange about it, but trusted in that he knew his own army rules. Afterwards, I learned that daemons have to distribute all the wounds on the unit first, before characters, so he got away with not losing those 400 points of bloodletters.
Still, with both the fiends and the flamers dead, alongside a few tzeentch heralds, I had more victory points than those yielded by the snotlings and the wolf chariot. Aside from that, my black orcs standing in his deployment zone earned me another 4 points as the scenario objective, meaning my Orcs had actually defeated his Daemons.
Result: WIN 14-6
In the second top finals game, my two clubmates Johan (Lizardmen) and Robin (Warriors of Chaos) had actually fought one another to a tie 10-10, which turned out being the best possible outcome as far as I was concerned. As I had then defeated the Daemons by more than 4 points, and received more than 2 points more than Robin who was ahead of me by a single point going in, I actually ended up winning the tournament, after also being the only player that scored a win in all five of the games. Even though I'd managed to win the 1000 point tournament earlier this summer, I really did not expect to do very well on higher points and against lists that were, in 4 out of 5 games, really nasty and difficult to face. Still, I was very pleased with how things had turned out, and was also happy to share the top spots with my clubmates, as Robin and Johan finished 3rd and 4th overall (the Bloodletters not dying saved the 2nd place for the Daemon player). With all said and done, it was a successful tournament and everyone who attended seemed to have had a great time.