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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tournament report: O&G 2500 pts, SoH, first day

Last weekend, my clubmates and I got into a few cars and drove four hours south to a place called Härnösand in order to attend a 2500 point tournament, one of the first high point tournaments in Sweden for 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy. I've posted an early version of my list that I recommend glancing at if you haven't before reading the battle reports.

Ready? Here's a recap from the first day, along with some pictures. I apologize for the poor quality on some of them, it seems my camera was stuck on macro at times when it shouldn't have been.

Game 1: Orcs & Goblins - Niclas Ledin

First game ended up being against a clubmate whom I hadn't actually faced before. Niclas had brought a goblin-heavy army with two blocks of 45, two smaller ones, three fast cavalry units, 12 black orcs, 3 trolls, a giant, two chariots, 10 squig hoppers and 2 spear chukkas. They were lead by a Black Orc Warboss on a boar for the leadership, but had a goblin BSB and a goblin great shaman. I felt confident going in, mainly because I think a lot of his choices aren't going to be as effective in this edition, such as the giant and the squig hoppers. But I had heard Niclas was a good player who enjoyed turning "poor" unit choices into solid options, so the game was bound to be interesting.

The eastern flank saw both our black orcs unit matched up against one another, with each one bringing a boar chariot to assist. Luckily, I focused my artillery on taking out his chariot in the first turn, giving me the advantage there. After stomping him with a foot of gork, he was up with 10 black orcs against 12 of mine plus a chariot, which my troops took care of without too much trouble. Meanwhile, in the centre my Warboss and his unit, along with the troll unit, made short work of his fast cavalry and small troll unit. But the key matchup happened on the western flank, where his giant, alongside the squig hoppers, a wolf chariot and some night goblins were up against my BSB's unit. A nice trick of his was bringing his Giant into my Wolf Chariot using a Hand of Gork spell, stomping it down and overrunning into my Rock Lobber, while my big block of orcs charged into his Squig Hoppers. I won that combat decisively, but with only three hoppers remaining and losing combat by at least 7, they held on with insane courage. That allowed his Warboss and the large block of night goblins to charge into the Orc's flank. I lost that combat by a lot, but matched his luck by rolling a 3 for my own break test, holding on for another round. This in turn allowed my 6 trolls to hit the night goblins in the rear, while my General charged into the second night goblin block just as my black orcs and chariot hit them in the flank. In my own deployment zone, my night goblin big boss on a squig boooiiinged into his giant. To add insult to injury, my Great Shaman threw 6 dice at the Waaaaaaagh! spell, hit Irrestible Force, and that helped destroy just about everything that remained of his army. Even so, Niclas was a joy to matchup against and took everything in stride, good or bad.

Result: WIN 18-2

Game 2: Dwarfs - Fredrik Back
In my second game I was pitted against a local Dwarf player who had just defeated a Skaven army with the same numbers as I had. Fredrik was a true gentleman who was a joy to play against. We had to look up a couple of things in the rulebook after a few quite strange situations, but the game was smooth and lots of fun. He bad brought an elite list (even for Dwarfs) that was just plain hard, I knew this one was going to hurt. He had three big blocks (20+) of Hammerers (with Dwarf Lord), Ironbreakers (with Runesmith) and Longbeards (with BSB), flanked by two small units of Quarrelers and Thunderers. They were backed up by an Organ Gun, a Canon (with flaming attacks) and two Grudgethrowers (S5) with a Master Engineerer.

While regular stonethrowers rarely bother my T4 blocks, runed up Grudgethrowers certainly did! With his artillery dice continously showing a 'Hit!' whenever he fired, I was losing heaps of orcs in a hurry and had to force into combat instead of spending my time setting up favourable charges. His canon kept shooting flaming balls into my trolls, so I had to scramble to get into combat, which Fredrik welcomed gladly. To the right side, the BSB, joined by the Great Shaman and his unit took a charge from the Ironbreakers who failed to break them in one round, resulting in them being counter-charged in both the rear by a boar chariot and in the flank by a hating, overly eager Squig Herd, both spurred on by a Waaaagh! spell. The resulting slaughter left few dwarfs standing, and even with that rune that allows a breaktest taken on a single die, the dwarfs broke and were chased down.

To the left and middle, a large scrap broke out putting the Warboss and his boyz against the Hammerers joined by the Dwarf Lord, with Night Goblins in the flank and Thunderers(!) in their flank. Meanwhile, the Longbeards and the BSB were taking on the trolls, who regenerated an ungodly amount of wounds throughout the battle, while the Black Orcs were doing the flanking. Things were still looking grim for the greenskins, until the Shaman challenged to Runesmith to duel and subsequently beat him down before his unit broke, easing up the spell casting tremendously. Another Waaaaagh! spell turned the tide, as Hammerers fell by the score around the Dwarf Lord, but not before they chopped up the Warboss and sent his unit running. In the end, too many Troll barfs proved too much for both the BSB and the Lord (whom both were without ward saves) and they fell in a pool of chewed up troll innards. By then, my Wolf Riders and Squig Herd had taken out the dwarven artillery, cleared any buildings of Quarrelers and claimed all objectives. Still, none of my unit had more than 10 bodies still standing after the hard-fought battles.

Result: WIN 14-6

Game 3: Dark Elves - Jonas Ivarsson

My next opponent was another local player that was infamous amongst my club mates, notorius for consistently trying to bend the rules to his favour. Even though I tried to keep an open mind about it, he certainly made it hard not to adapt the mindset of my fellow club mates. Thunderstomps that he wanted to aim against specific characters in a unit (apparently he tried to get that rule interpretation in against most of his opponents), forbidding me to move a unit after my hand had released it after my first move (wtf?) and counting his fast cavalry as scoring units even though (I later learned) the rules clearly said they were not, was among the things I had to endure in this match.

He had brought a filthy list, even by Dark Elf standards. Both his Dreadlord and his Master BSB were flying around on Dark Pegasuses, with 1+ armor saves and invulnerable ward saves, while he had a Level 4 and a level 2 Sorceresses in a unit of Spearelves, wielding (you guessed it) Lore of Shadow and Death. Furthermore, he fielded dual hydras, dual Reaper Bolt Throwers, dual Shade units and dual blocks of Crossbowmen. Yes, the only things that actually wanted to fight were the underpriced monsters with regeneration. To add to that, most of the army were just primed black even though the rules clearly stated that armies should be painted.

Things were looking grim early on, as I ended up in combat with my Black Orcs against his invulnerable Dreadlord, who broke them after a few turns. The double hydras, along with the flying BSB, charged into my BSB and his boyz, completely decimating them. Meanwhile, a Pit of Shades slipped through my magic defense and took out 4 of my 6 trolls. But I managed to fight back, as my Night Goblins charged into a group of Shades and killed them, and my Boar Chariot did the same to the second group out on my flank. On the right side, my Warboss, Great Shaman and their boyz declared a charge against the Sorceress standing beside the Spearelves. She fled, so I redirected into the Spearelves with the Supreme Sorceress, who also fled, leaving me stranded. Luckily, my shaman sent out the Waaaaagh! spell with irresistible force, enabling me to declare a third charge against a nearby unit of crossbow elves. Completely decimating them, I then overran into the fleeing sorceress and the spear elves, chasing them off the board.

With no magic defense, things started to look a little better. The Warboss' unit reformed and turned towards the centre, where what remained of my trolls and night goblins were fighting hydras and dreadlords. Joining the fray, the Warboss immediately killed off one of the big beasties, overran into the second one, then through might and combat resolution managed to break the second one as well, while the last troll puked into the face of the Master BSB which pushed him off his pegasus and down into the ground. With the new combat reforms, I could effectively take the Dreadlord's charge in the front and even though I failed to wound him overmuch, the boyz still won the combat and chased down the flying elf. The dice gods were certainly with me the last couple of turns, but more than anything it was the lack of proper magic defense (with both sorceresses dead or fled) that allowed most of my spells to go through.

I was happy to be done with this battle, for several reasons, and even more pleased with walking away with the narrow victory.

Result: WIN 11-9

That was it for the first day of the tournament. I was pleased and exhausted from three quite difficult matches and happy to learn my score from the first day had me close to the top 5 players in the tournament. Tired from driving most of the morning, followed by wargaming most of the day, my clubmates and I still ended up at one of the local pubs for a few pints and nachos. It turned out to be a brilliant ending to a fun-packed day, and got us ready for the next day of competition.

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