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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fanatic 2011 - 5th battle vs Dark Elves

For the final game of the tournament I was slotted against a second consecutive Dark Elf player, but luckily this time I was up against a non-local player called Markus (nothing against my loveable local players, it's just good to face new opponents). Markus had only one Wizard, a Supreme Sorceress with the spells of Shadow, with a Cauldron BSB like my last enemy, but two Masters flying around on Pegasi. A unit of 40 Spearmen made for a steadfast regiment and a second one of 20 elves deployed behind the first one made for a bunker for his Sorceress. 20 Crossbowmen and two units of 7 Shades made for plenty of crossbow shots, while a Hydra, 20 Black Guards and 6 Cold One Riders together created the fighty units. The scenario was called Assassination and awarded two victory points for the first couple of characters killed in the game.

I was not in the mood for playing cautiously going into the final game, so I pushed forward early with most of my mobs. Early on he placed the Cauldron's blessing of a ward save on his Cold Ones for reasons beyond my understanding, but I didn't mind as my Great Shaman tried to 'Eadbutt the Sorceress which forced out his dispel dice, so I went for a Foot of Gork that took out 16 of the Black Guards, effectively ruining his best fighting regiment. But then Gork slipped and stomped the Black Orcs as well, killing off more than a rank of the brutes which ruined my own best chance for taking out the Hydra. A breath attack from the beasty took out several more, forcing me to hurry into combat in order to accomplish anything with my flaming weapons. It wasn't enough as the Hydra stomped them into bloody pulps, but not before losing three wounds to their choppas, and overran into the Savages Orcs and hoping to assassinate my Great Shaman as well. That didn't happen and the BSB cut down the beasty before it got to stomp.

On the other side of the battlefield, the Trolls had taken about a 100 crossbow bolts without flinching, only losing a troll or two before the Cold Ones charged in, flaming lances and all. With the extra attacks from the Cauldron of Blood, the nobles on their steeds took out two more trolls - an impressive feat to be certain - but the stupid brutes didn't care much and just vomited all over them, killing off every single one. Another 50 bolts took out the last of the Trolls though, but that was fine, since by then they had taken back their own points in victims killed and soaked up the entire missile fire of the dark elven army. When my Mangler Squig took out a Pegasus Master that strayed too close to the back of my lines for the first of the assassination points I was feeling confident.

After losing the last of their Black Guards to the Boar Chariot charging in, the Dark Elves bunkered up in the center, and so to get at them my Great Shaman urged Gork to pick up his unit and pluck the Savage Orcs down on the other side of the battlefield. That prompted the second Master to charge in ontop of his steed and focus all his attacks on the Great Shaman, which sadly killed him, granting him the second assassination. But the Savages beat him down and chased him off, even though he was sitting on 1+ re-rollable armor save. Despite that, I was a bit worried that without my Great Shaman I would lose out on the later magic phases, just like the previous game against the elves, but fortunately for Gork's smelliest, the Sorceress went for a Mindrazor and got a miscast, which blew up her Spearmen regiment and herself to boot.

The few remaining rounds came down to what regiments he could prevent me from taking out, as he really had nothing left that would cause me trouble. The Elves aimed their crossbolts against my Wyvern without hurting it, and the Warboss responded by declaring the Waaaagh! and charge the 40 strong Spearelf unit. The roar from Yaisog proved too much for the elves to handle, and they failed their terror test and ran away, and with the Night Gobbos declaring a new charge against them, sent the elves off the field. This in turn prompted the decimated unit of Spearelves to run away as well, with their kindred fleeing through them, sending both regiments away from the battle. The Crossbows elected as well to flee from a flank charge from the remaining rank of Savages Orcs, and so the Warboss on his Wyvern  redirected his charge into them and sent them scrambling for cover as well. So suddenly, only the Cauldron and the recently rallied Master was left standing, with the rest of the army running for their lives and the Pump Wagon charging in and taking out the Shades. The Boar Chariot wanted to change that, so the crew directed their boars to charge into the Master and hammered in the last wound that was keeping him standing and effectively ended the game.

Result: Greenskins win their final game 16-4

A slightly unclimactic ending to an otherwise fairly exciting game. Not entirely sure why he elected to flee, I guess he didn't want to give up those extra points for claiming his banners and he was in a poor mood from losing his Sorceress after his underpriced monster had taken out 5 times its own cost and giving him the early magical advantage. That being said, losing his Black Guards early, especially after electing to protect his Cold Ones instead, was sure to hurt, but did mean that I lost my best way of handling his Hydra as well. He had invested a lot of points into his shooting phase, but found out the hard way how little you accomplish by firing S3 bolts into hordes of 'ard boyz or Trolls, as my army was more than able to withstand the bolts. It was also good to see my 8 Trolls prevail against even flaming attacks from S6 cavalry. This would not have happened if I'd brought only 6 of them.

So that did it for Fantasia Fanatic 2011. I ended up 6th in battle points (7th overall since a Beastmen army got better painting scores) which was in the top 10%. It was my best showing in Fanatic of the three times I've attended, after starting out with Warhammer little more than a year ago, so I suppose I ought to be pleased with that. However, I did say before the tournament that I was aiming for the top 5 and I didn't quite make that, so I'm a bit torn on how I feel about my performance. If only I hadn't messed up that game against Daniel and his Dark Elf I would have reached my goal, I believe. That being said, I had a great time playing against plenty of skilled opponents. Sadly, I didn't get to face Skaven, Tomb Kings, Empire and more Warriors of Chaos which I had tailored my list to do well against, and instead had to face three elven lists and a Bloodthirster - matchups where I don't like my chances as much. In fact, Björn from the second game, with his Bloodthirster army, actually ended up winning the tournament by a slight margin, while Niclas of the Warpstoned blog placed second. Congratulations to both of you guys, well played!

More thoughts on my list and how it performed will follow in a later post. I'll also get around to replying to your comments once things calm down. Until then, thanks for reading!