Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Skitterleap - The Aftermath.

For those of you who don't know over this long weekend Peter Dunn held his annual Skitterleap fantasy event (2400 points), as always it was well run, organised and judged.

For the first time this year I ran my old favourites  - Warriors of Chaos, list below:

Daemon Prince - Chaos Armour, Scaled Skin, Charmed Shield, Swords of Striking, Dragonbane Gem, Flaming Breathe, Soulfeeder, Wings, Mark of Nurgle, Level 4 Mage on Lore of Death

Exalted Hero - Chaos Armour, Enchanted Shield, Talisman of Preservation, Mark of Tzeentch, Third-eye of Tzeentch, Great Weapon, Demonic Mount

Throgg the Troll King

11 Chaos Trolls

11 Chaos Trolls

5 Chaos Warhounds

5 Chaos Warhounds

4 Skullcrushers of Khorne with Musician, Banner bearer and enscrolled weapons.

3 Skullcrushers of Khorne with Musician, Banner bearer  with Banner of Eternal Flame and enscrolled weapons.

Tournament, Day 1:

Round 1: Dawn Attack: James Milner,  High Elves.

Draw : 10 - 10

This was not my ideal match-up Rd 1 as the Banner of the World Dragon basically mean I would struggle to get any points out of the Cavalry Bus which held almost 1400 points unless I could somehow lock it down and get a unit of trolls into it... James's list however featured enough chaff to possibly divert and tie me up long enough let his Death Mage go to work, the only weakness I could see was the lack of "Sisters of Avenlore", however the bolt throwers could put my Daemon Prince at risk.

Basically this game saw both of us being split at opposite ends of the table, one of my troll units was lucky enough to be in the centre however the remainder of my army was basically all left except for 1 unit of S.Crushers, James was also centre left.

In the end I took off the bulk of James's army leaving basically the bus while he managed to pin one of my troll units and purple sun it off over several turns, the end result was I was up by 186 battle points by not enough for small victory.

Round 2, Blood and Glory: Ryan Lister, Warriors of Chaos.

Win: 11-9

Another strong army list, Ryan's was your basic WoC list with a few tweeks, he'd gone for a DP of Slannesh (other tricksters shard, C.Shield & D.Gem) a small unit of Dragon Orges and some Warriors with MoS and Halberds... my biggest worry was his BSB on disc which had all the usual toys plus burning body which didn't bowed well for my trolls. I thought I had massive advantage in this match-up as I felt my list overall was much stronger than his plus I had fortitude 5 vs his @ 4.
I deployed dead centre with my skullcrushers flanking each side. Ryan deployed centre left with his Chimera and DP in behind and his BSB centre, his chariots and dogs covered his flanks and provided redirectors.
My game plan was to go after Ryan's WoC unit to break him then clean up from there. Ryan's only real mistake in this game I felt was vanguarding his units of dogs across to cover his unit of Slanessh WoC. I understood why he did this but I felt he was better off letting me move forward T1 and redirect my units for T2 and then pick his combats. his choice left me with 2 options charge and try to overrun or back-up. I took the charge @ his dogs with my Skullcrushers which fled, I then redirected into his WoC which held as I need an 11" and I also charged with my DP, again he held needing 11". Unfortunately for Ryan he could not flee as he had another unit in behind the WoC which would have bounced them off the board, of course I rolled an 11 on the S.crushers, the DP failed its charge. In the magic phase I threw all my dice @ Doom and Darkness reducing his leadership to 5, I then easily won combat and he unfortunately for Ryan he failed his re-rollable 5's and fled off the board giving me the game. I thought from here I would be able to clean up however Ryan sensibly backed up and moved his forces around my flanks to make things awkward, his Slannesh DP C.Choired and acqueiscesd'ed my units and the BSB ran interference.    

My biggest mistake was underestimating the Lore of Slannesh as Ryan's DP charged both my Nurgle DP and BSB over the last few turns... all I have to say is damn... C.Choir plus the "Others Tricksters Shard" is super good and super annoying together! It's safe to say my DP didn't even get to fight in combat and the BSB exploded as well before combat failing 3 out of 8 saves... A technical win as I broke Ryan first but really more like a 13-7 / 14-6 victory to Ryan... and I know have ALOT more respect for C.Chior...

Round 3, Watch Tower: Rory Finnemore, Vampire Counts.

Win: 20-0

 Rory was running the more traditional Blood Knight bus list with a pair of Vargulf in support. I felt good about this match up as my BSB "should" be able to take on his blender lord or my Trolls could just vomit the unit away.... on top of that death magic can run havoc on the VC lists... T2 I put a unit of trolls into the Watch tower which held it the whole game. The game for Rory came down to wat would happen T3 where he charged his Bus and Blender Lord into my DP and  his Vargulf into my big unit of S.Crushers. My S.Crushers carved up the Vargulf over 2 turns while his Blender Lord failed to kill my DP doing only 1 wounds when it had re-rolls to hit and only 2 wounds when it had re-rolls to hit and wound... to be honest his vampire should have gutted me... Str 7 with red fury ASF, initiative 10 etc etc... Luckily the DP didn't fluff his attacks in either round of combat killing the lord outright, Once the general was gone it was pretty much over as his army just crumbled away.

Day 2 ended with me on 41 points - not the ideal start I wanted but I was middle of the pack and still in with a good chance depending on my performance in rd4-5.

 Day 2:

 Round 4, Battle for the Pass: Peter Williams, High Elves.

Win 13 - 7

 This was probably the worst scenario I could have asked for vs Peter (in my opinion). Peters list was his usual styled point's denial list with lots of small units to divert and shot backed up by 3 bolt throwers and some monsters. He also had 2 units of "Sisters" backed up by a Level 4, Lore of Heavens. My Game plan was to spread my troll units wide to absorb the shooting, BSB between the 2 units since he's nigh unkillable, a unit of Skull Crushers in behind each with the dogs covering my rare to stop his shadow warriors getting in behind my lines with scout. The DP was positioned behind Throgg to give him cover against the 3 bolt throwers, unfortunately he also had 2 Skycutters...

Peter surprisingly put a large number of his units forward on the 24" line, T1 I pushed all my units forward as there was little point giving him a free round of shooting and I was happy to take combo charge vs the phoenix on the left as the trolls vomits and regen would help secure that plus steadfast. I rolled 7 but only managed to kill a single Sister as my death spells failed to hit their mark.Pete's T1 and as predicted Pete combo charged the left unit of trolls with the Skycutter, T.Chariot, Phoenix, 5 Silver Helms and the Noble on Eagle with the Star Lance. I personally think this is where he went wrong as he should have moved back and shot before trying to attack but meh I could be wrong. Shooting and magic from peter took its toll as I let a Thunderbolt through and he of course rolled a 6 and did 5 wounds to me... I then proceeded to fluff my ar and wards putting the DP to 1 wound.... SHIT.. I thought at max I'd take 1 wound between my 1+ar and 5+ward...
Shooting began and the remaining skycutter was able to get LoS and took out my 530 point DP... ouch! The trolls got whittled down a couple of models on the right.
Combat he killed a couple trolls, I vomited and put 3 wounds on the silver helms, 2 on chariot and 2 on a skycutter. Rolled steadfast and held.
The game from here went back and forth over the next 5 turns but the trolls took their toll eventually breaking and running from another chariots put into the combat but as planned the S.crushers then killed everything that pursued the trolls.. The BSB got into a chariot then the prince, archer unit and the general. The highlight for me however was one big fail, I charged the shadow warriors with my unit of 3 S.Crushers which ran off the table, I chose to continue the pursuit and needed a 4 to get off the table to protect the unit of course fate killed me low and hard... I rolled a 3 setting my unit up for 3 Str 7 bolt shots of course the unit was wiped.. ;(

Overall a good game that went back and forth for ages, hats off to Pete who is always a worthy opponent!

Round 5, Battle Line: Sam Campbell (my nemesis), Khorne themed Daemons of Chaos.
Win 20-0


This game was never going to be easy for Sam as his army is only T3 (go trolls)... he had no magic plus we played a test game the previous week and I tabled him.
Sam however got the best start he could rolling the multiple wounds 2 and taking the obsidian blade with his other (no armour saves allowed) on the Blood Thirster which was going to be a right pain.... he also won the roll on 6... (hate your dice so much Sam!)
Sam had a ton more drops then me so I positioned my trolls centre flanked by a unit of S.Crushers, dogs forward to divert and the DP & BSB almost dead Centre between the unit of trolls. Sam positioned the bulk of his army left with his S.Cannons far left and right to try for some dirty flank shots. T1 he didn't move a thing except for Billy left then sat back and shot... basically Sam planned to delay combat as long as possible allowing his S.Cannons and Rain of Chaos to whittle my trolls and S.Crushers units... He then played Orge and backed up for consecutive turns...bastard!
His only real mistake was to push Billy up towards my S.Crushers on the left unfortunately he left just enough space for me to march out of his charge arch... he then put Billy in behind me and rare charged my BSB of course he did no wounds and I held on re-rollable 7's... my BSB then gutted Billy over the next 2 combat rounds...
Once my units were in combat they did what Trolls, DP and S.Crushers do best and smashed through his units.... the highlight of my game was the DP flame breathe... dble 6's then 11 wounds, 10 dead Bloodletters, unit wiped **YES** *Fist pump* ;)
Sam was tabled by T4 but was very gracious in defeat and to be honest this was probably the worst match-up he could have had all tournament. Pete Dunn then chased Sam around tickling his stomach which highly assumed me and I'm sure mentally damaged Sam lol! For those of you who don't know Pete suggested on Twitter that Sam was going to roll over and let me rub his belly to get me into masters if we played!

This tournament really showed me that where WoC is concerned the Lore of Death's best spell by a mile is actually the buffed "Soulblight". -1 Toughness -1 Strength to all enemy units in 24" not the sniper spells or purple sun.

So after 2 days of very enjoyable gaming and a surprising paint score of 30 (Thanks Sam W) I ended up on 74 BP's and 80.83 total giving me 2nd and finally a place in the top 11 and qualification to masters.

I'd just like say a big thanks to all my opponents for being such good sports all weekend and thank you to Sam for Judging and Pete D for putting together yet another great tournament with great Terrain!  Now I'm looking forward to Masters in December (assuming no last minute reshuffle in rankings) then the 4k event in January which I'm really really looking forward too! :)