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Monday, December 31, 2012

Rogue Trader Club Championship 2012

The club championship at Rogue Trader was a tournament played over the course of a day, with three games set at 2000 points. I brought an Orc-led Goblin army outlined in a previous post and was eager to put it to the test against some of Stockholm's finest generals.

Game 1: Dark Elves

My first game was against a Dark Elf force consisting of a Dreadlord riding a dark steed and backed up by a Dark Magic-wielding Sorceress at level 2 and a Cauldron of Blood with the Battle Standard. Two fairly large units of Executioners made up the main combat units. who were in turn supported by two large units of Corsairs with two hand weapons and a Cold One Chariot and some Dark Riders without their crossbows.

Bowgobbos deploy by the building, flanked by Wolf Chariots and Shieldgobbos on each side

Things of note:
  • Executioners: My opponent deployed his largest unit of Executioners in the middle, while ordering his second unit on a flank. As fate would have it, I had a building close to where I was deploying, straight across from the main Executioner unit. That proved a perfect vantage point for my Night Goblins with bows, who quickly seized the building along with the Shamans and began firing magically poisonous arrows at the elves, who fell by the numbers despite a ward save from their Cauldron of Blood, as they made their way across the field.

    With the Wolf Chariots threatening from the left side of the building, the Executioners charged the Night Gobbos, who threw open the door and sent out two fanatics before closing it again. What remained of the Executioners had no chance of forcing the gobbos out of the building, and were promptly killed off by the three Wolf Chariots after being forced back out the door. Not sure what my opponent could have done differently here, he was taking heavy losses from my bows and had Wolf Chariots with their superior speed daring him to move closer. 
  • Giant: My Snotlings were marching forward obliviously, fronting my Common Goblins, when suddenly a Cold One Chariot charged into the Snots. While they were decimated without much effort, the Chariot was then stranded and flanked by a roaring Giant. A timely spell of Itchy Nuisance made dodging clubs a chore, leading to the quick destruction of the elven chariot.

    The Giant then marched close to the Corsairs on the right, who had been joined by the Dreadlord on horse. Due to their different footprint, however, the Dreadlord was unable to "Make Way!" and the Giant had positioned himself so that only Corsairs would be able to fight him. That prompted a solo charge of the Dreadlord alone, riding valiantly into a duel with the Giant. His Sword of Might wounded the Giant three times, and things were looking good for the Dark Elf. Then the Giant started jumping up and down. Again. And again. And even though the Dreadlord had a 2+ re-rollable armor save and a 4+ ward save, the Giant kept jumping until both horse and elf were splattered.  
  • Squig Herd: To the left, the smaller unit of Executioners unveiled a Banner of Swiftness only to find that the forest in front of them was a venom thicket. Careful of each wounded soldier, the elves were hesitant to move further. The Squig Herd, on the other hand, had no such concerns - especially not after failing an animosity and being forced to charge. They crashed through the forest without losing many, then smashed into the flank of the Corsairs and ate them alive, only to reform into the flank of the Executioners. That prompted a charge, but there was little to do against so many balls of teeth, and the second unit of Executioners died right there in the venom thicket. 
After that there was little else but mop up what remained of the elves. The Sorceress was pulled into the warp, the Dark Riders were plinked down by the Wolf Riders and their bows, and the Net Goblins with the Orc leaders killed off the Cauldron of Blood before destroying the remaining Corsairs.

Result: Greenskins win 20-0.

Game 2: Beastmen

For my second match of the tournament I was pitted against a combat-heavy Beastmen army, consisting of a huge horde of Gors, joined by a Wargor with the Beastbanner (+1S). Next to them marched 30 Bestigors with the Flaming Banner, joined by the Beastlord general and a Bray-Shaman of the Lore of Beasts. They also had a large unit of Ungors with spears, two Ungor Raids, an Ungor Chariot, a pack of Warhounds and three Razorgors. I was expecting combat early.

Things of note:
  • Warhounds: Weirdly enough, combat did not come early, other than a few skirmishes when the Wolf Riders got charged 16" by a Razorgor and were destroyed, and the Snotlings beat up a pack of Ungor Raiders. My opponent struggled a little bit to get both his Bestigors and the Gor Horde around a nasty cliff face, which prompted him to sacrifice both his Razorgors and the Warhounds to redirect my Trolls, Giant and Night Goblin Horde.

    What he did not expect, I think, was that I was only too happy to leave them there in my way since on my right flank I had my Squig Herd and Wolf Chariots up against his Ungor Chariot and the Ungors, which would not end well for the Beastmen. They were both quickly disposed of, which put me in the lead and with in two rounds of outflanking his remaining forces.
  • Night Goblins: I commited a strange mistake, however, when I deployed my Shamans outside of their unit to start the game, since my opponent had no damaging spells and only a few short bows. What I failed consider though was that Beastmen can ambush and end up entering the back of your deployment zone from round 1, and that is exactly what a unit of Ungor Raiders ended up doing, appearing right behind the back of my Shamans. Things were looking grim, but one of the Raiders appeared within 8" of my Night Goblins who threw out their fanatics that killed most of the Ungors and forced the rest to flee. The Shamans were once again safe, but that was weird and must be some kind of a record. Has anyone ever killed off an enemy unit BEFORE the first movement phase of the game?

     Ungors appear behind my line to threaten the Shamans, but takes two Fanatics to the face
    Either way, the Night Goblins then took aim for a house in the middle of the field, from where they could plink away with poisonous arrows on the Ungor Horde who was slowly moving into position. That hurt them, but it was not enough to force them into the same mistake as the Dark Elves by charging in and giving up their flank if they fail to force the gobbos out of the building. It was time to apply more force. So my Shamans first stopped the Bestigors in their tracks with some Itchy Nuisance, then summoned consecutive Curses of the Bad Moon through both the Gors and the Bestigors - with one of the spells being empowered, allowing me to choose the characteristic test. Suffice to say, there was much mayhem as many Beastmen fell to the ground. 
  • Trolls: That prompted a myriad of actions from my opponent, who sacrificed all his redirecters to charge to their deaths to allow my Bestigors with their flaming weapons and their Beastlord to charge into the Trolls. They stomped their feet and roared to the skies, but the charge roll failed, leaving them stranded. And so the Trolls could charge them instead, joined by the Wolf Chariots from the right flank. Although a Troll died from the flames, less than rank of Bestigors remained after one round of combat, and was promptly chased down by the Wolf Chariots. The Trolls then reformed to prepare for their next opponent, the Gors, who once were a glorious horde of bodies but had since been reduced to less than 20. Although they were augmented by the Shaman for both additional strength and toughness, they were no match for the remaining six Trolls who stomped them to death and with that, stomped what remained of the Beastmen into the ground. 
Even with flaming weapons, this is an uncomfortable situation for the Bestigors

Result: Greenskins win 20-0.

Game 3: Dark Elves
With two games played and one to go, my two straight 20-0 games had put me in the lead of the entire tournament. So it was only fair that for my final game I went up against possibly the worst matchup imaginable for the army I had brought. Let me explain. The best way to counter a Squig Herd is by a high-strength breath weapon. The best way to counter trolls is with flaming ranged attacks. The best way to counter a giant is with bolt throwers (not cannons, as some might think). The Dark Elf army standing opposite me was ranked 2nd in the tournament and had brought a Dreadlord on a Black Dragon, a Sorceress wielding the Lore of Fire, two Bolt Throwers, two units of Dark Riders, two Cold One Chariots, a large unit of Black Guards and an even larger unit of Corsairs with two hand weapons. This was going to get ugly.

The Dark Elves deploy far back, with the Black Dragon hiding behind a rock pillar

Things of note:
  • Black Dragon: My opponent deployed his Dreadlord with his pet behind a large pillar on the left side of the battlefield, after which it flew up along a flank towards the side of my Squig Herd. As it landed in my deployment zone, my Spear Chukka and bowgobbos took out the Dreadlord with a well placed bolt, but the Dragon passed its Monster Reaction test and proceeded to blow fire all over my Squigs, leaving less than a rank of them still standing. After disposing of them in close combat, all my gobbos everywhere tried in vain to shoot down the giant beasty with both arrow and bolt, but managed only to inflict two wounds on the flying terror. 
  • Bolt Throwers: The elves managing the war machines in the back proved to be a lot more effective than their goblin counter-parts across the field, as the bolt throwers ended up hitting almost everything early on. They took out the Wolf Chariots in the first couple of rounds, and while the Giant managed to hide from one of the war machines, the other one caused four wounds on the big guy with a single volley, and the Sorceress brought him down later on with a well-placed Fireball, before he had the time to bash the Dragon over the head with his club. The Dragon, instead, charged into the rear of the Trolls alongside a Cold One Chariot, after the Bolt Throwers and the Sorceress had brought the Trolls down to a mere 4 models. Still, the Trolls killed off the Chariot before being chased down by the Dragon. 
  • Snotlings: After beating the crap out of a group of Ungor Raiders the last battle, the Snots were feeling frisky and ran across the field. A unit of five Dark Riders felt intent to put an end to their miserable lives, but the Snotlings threw gunk at them as a stand and shoot reaction, feeling two of the riders on just two attacks, then proceeded to beat the hell out of the remaining three in close combat. Once that was done, they took vengeance on their Giant friend by swarming over one of the Bolt Throwers as well, killing its crew. Who said Snotlings were useless?
  • Night Goblins: At the end of the day, however, it was going to come down to the Orc leaders and their Night Goblin entourage. The Dragon was hesitant to attack them, with only four wounds remaining, Nets and two Orcs with high strength. The Black Guard, similarly hesitant, placed themselves in a forest so that if the Goblins charged and lost, they would not be steadfast. Feeling the pressure of three destroyed units and my tournament chances slipping away, I took my chances and charged into the forest. The Black Guards unleashed their hatred on the gobbos, ignoring their leaders, wounding 10. With nets and parries, however, only five gobbos died, and the Orc leaders together with the gobbos killed 8 Black Guards in return. And so it continued, over four rounds of combat, with no more than 5 gobbos dying each round, until the very last of the stubborn Black Guards was cut down by the great weapons of my Orc Big Boss at the end of the battle.
At the end of the day, it's all about the Gobbos

With the Black Guards dead, both Chariots and both Dark Riders killed, as well as a Bolt Thrower and a bonus for slaying the Dreadlord while not getting the Black Dragon "unit", only the Corsairs and a Bolt Thrower was still standing alongside the great beast. Meanwhile, I had lost my Squig Herd, my Giant and my Trolls, my Spear Chukka, my Wolf Chariots and the Wolf Riders and a Shaman who blew himself up. This battle was a tie, with less than 100 points separating us. Suffice to say, I was really happy to have come out of this game alive, with practically all of my hard-hitters dying before they got to see combat, I did not expect to have clawed back to a tie game.

Result: Greenskins and Dark Elves tie, 10-10

So with all being said and done, did I win the tournament? Coming into the final game, I was leading my opponent by two points and therefore I had earned more points than him. However, a third place coming into the final game was another Dark Elf player, sitting at 36 points compared to my 40. For his final game he managed to score a critical 20-0 and thus he ended up at 56 points, with me coming in at 2nd place at 50 (my opponent in the final game came in 3rd at 48). So I didn't win it, but 2nd place is not too shabby and more importantly I got to meet a bunch of friendly players, play an amazing final game that will probably go down as one of the most intense and exciting games of my Warhammer career to date, and overall have a great day at the Rogue Trader Club Championship.

With that, I call an end to my Warhammer year of 2012 (albeit I've only been active for the last couple of months). Look for a lot more in January.

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year! Waaaaaaagh!!!