Monday, 1 April 2013

NATCON 2013 Tournament Report (Day 2)

Game 4 vs. Sam Whitt (Dark Elves, Eventual Placing = 1st) Meeting Engagement

Sam was currently in first place so was my first game for the morning. I knew if I could isolate his knight bus I would have a shot but that would depend largely on the rolls at the beginning of the game.

Dreadlord - Dark Pegasus, Heavy Armour, Shield, Sea Dragon Cloak, Giant Blade, Pendant of Khaleth
Dreadlord - Cold One, Shield, Sea Dragon Cloak, Whip of Agony, Crown of Command, Armour of Eternal Servitude, Dragonbane Gem, General

Cauldron of Blood - Death Hag
Master - Lance, Heavy Armour, Shield, Sea Dragon Cloak, Cold One, BSB, Hydra Banner
Master - Lance, Heavy Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Cold One, Charmed Shield, 3x Null Talisman,

7 Dark Riders - Muso
6 Dark Riders - Muso
6 Dark Riders - Muso
20 Repeater Xbow - Muso

9 Cold One Knights - FCG, Banner of Hag Graef, Ring of Hotek


All aboard the knight bus!

Sam won the roll to pick table sides and then proceeded to roll a huge amount of 1's meaning his knight bus, both lords and repeater crossbowmen would be starting out in reserve. This was a huge break for me and meant that the pressure would come a turn or two later. He deployed most of his army very conservatively in his corner, clearly intending to bring the bus on as close to my deployment zone as possible. I deployed to receive his bus and zulu dawn the thing should it have a go at me.

As predicted the bus came on right near me and plunged forward, I reacted by hitting it with salamanders, magic and as much shooting as I could muster while my Scar Vet charged into the Pegasus Lord to try and buy some time. My shooting was effective and by the time the dust settled over half the bus was dead and a few characters had suffered wounds. The next turn saw the bus charge forward but I fleed again and then finished off all of the rank and file and took all the characters down to one wound. Meanwhile the Saurus smashed into the Crossbows and broke them off the table.

In a desperate act Sam's BSB charged out on his own to engage the metal slann's unit but was killed by skinks, the two other characters either failed charges due to flees or smashed into a redirecting skink priest. At this point the game was wrapped up as poison and metal magic rained down on his characters finishing them off, my Scar Vet was killed by the Pegasus lord who in turn fluffed his attacks and was run down by the Saurus. Sam had probably been too conservative with his hydras and they never really came into the game,

Result: 18-2 Win

Thoughts: Sam was unfortunate with the dice throughout the game, starting with many units in reserve and fluffing vital attacks and saves. That said I made the most of circumstances and was happy with my play.

Game 5 vs James Millington (WoC, Eventual Placing 11th) Blood and Glory

This was always going to be a difficult scenario for me as if I lost either my Slann or the Saurus I would break and give away 10 tournament points. What I did not realise though is that if neither army broke then the game would be played out of 10! This meant I played cautiously looking for a 12-14 point win when in fact I was shooting myself in the foot. James was using:

Sorcerer Lord - L4, Metal, Ironcurse Icon, Enchanted Shield

Exalted Hero - Chaos Steed, MoT,BSB, Talisman of Endurance, Sword of Striking, Charmed Shield, Third Eye
Sorcerer - L1, Fire, Skull of Kataan

18 Warriors - Khorne, Shields, Halberds, FCG
10 Warriors - Tzeentch, Shields, FCG, Standard of Discipline
5 Hounds
5 Hounds

8 Knights - Tzeentch, Enscrolled Weapons, FCG
4 Dragon Ogres - Shartak, Great Weapons
1 Warshrine

3 Skullcrushers - Champ, Enscrolled Weapons
1 Spawn - Tz
1 Spawn - Tz

James won the roll to go first and placed most of his heavy hitters on his left flank, with his general and the unit of 10 warriors in a building and all his chaff and the drogres on the other side of the table. I deployed with my Saurus and General well away from his main units and set up to take off his chaff quickly to give more space to run into if he chased my fortitude.

The game saw me claim all of his chaff, the Dragon Ogres and his heros with very little loss as I moved away from him to stop him getting near myself as I was worried about breaking. I did however reduce his Tz unit to 2 men and put a wound on the Lord with salamanders burning the building they were in. The reason I played this way was because I thought the points was out of 20 with the 10 bonus points only occuring if someone broke. As such I felt no need to risk anything by going for the throat. This was a massive mistake and cost me dearly.

Result: 6-4 Win

Thoughts: I was furious with myself for dropping the ball and not fully understanding the mission. I thought I'd done enough for a 14/15 point win but instead while still winning easily was punished in terms of overall tournament points. The troubling thing is that I could have pushed and broken James if I had known what was at stake. This result really messed with my head and I'd argue put me off for my next game. What was worse was all the other top contenders had easily won their games this round meaning I was now even further behind.

Game 6 vs Samuel Campbell (DoC (7th ed Book), Eventual Placing: 3rd) Battle for the Pass

I had never played DoC before and my confidence was already shattered by my screwing up the previous round and my angst at never having played Lizards in Battle for the Pass before. Samuel was giving the Daemons a last hurrah using:

Herald of Tzeentch - L2, Master of Sorcery, Spellbreaker, Light
Herald of Khorne - BSB, Armour of Khorne
Herald of Khorne - Firestorm Blade, Armour of Khorne
Herald of Tzeentch - L2, Master of Sorcery, Winged Horror, Death

37 Bloodletters- FCG, Icon of Endless War
39 Bloofletters - FCG
19 Pink Horrors - Muso+Standard
5 Chaos Furies

3 Screamers
3 Screamers

1 Bloodcrusher
1 Bloodcrusher
1 Fiend
1 Fiend 
1 Beast

Sam picked the table edge and we both deployed right up with my thought being it would give me more space to run away. In retrospect this was a mistake as I should have sent only the Terradons up to buy some time with their lives.

The game was a disaster with my Metal Slann dimensional cascading and dying on the first cast of the game, myself screwing up numerous flee angles and Sam refusing to fail saves with his Bloodcrushers who ended up destroying half my army. I think on one turn I forced 10+ saves on a Bloodcrusher with one wound  (some due to spirit leech) and he still lived. Ultimately I couldn't get anything going as there was no room to manuever, he had so much strong chaff which could take beatings due to regen and ward saves and a whole army that was ITP meant that even when I dealt out huge blows with magic it didnt' achieve any results.

Result: 4-16

Thoughts: I was exhausted by the end of the game and frankly had been saved by the bell from an even worse result. I had never played DoC before and I feel that against that army with that scenario I would have had to do something pretty special to do any better than a draw. Everything that could go wrong did, but the problem was amplified by own inexperience and Sam's consistently good decision-making.

I went home with none of the excitement of the first day and I was pretty dissapointed with my  performance. The oversight during Blood and Glory and a lacklustre performance meant that I was now sitting in 4th due to the other contenders getting consistently big wins now that they'd played eachother. I was 5-1 but nobody was rolling over and giving me 20 points and I was probably playing too conservatively. I resolved that my goal for the next day would be 24 points and that should be enough to make the top 5.


  1. Great Writeup, it was a hell of a game and I was surprised my Bloodcrushers performed so very well. In the end the scenario was very definately in my favour.

    I didn't realise you had beaten both Sam and Mal in your games, so Kudos for that. You fared better than me in that respect, I'd only gotten 6-14 against Sam and 7-13 against Mal, my only 2 losses.

    Can't wait to see your third day report.

  2. Yeah mate, I am pretty happy with my weekend on the whole, I got a good placing and collected some noteworthy scalps. The issue is that I am still inexperienced having only played Fantasy for a year. This really showed against yourself where I was playing with an army I'd barely used against an army I'd never played against. I can honestly say I had no real plan in our game and hoped to look for mistakes/opportunities as they came up. Unfortunately for me you never gave me the in I was hoping for and I got drubbed as a result.

    If I could go back in time I'd deploy further back, suicide my terradons to hopefully turn your bloodletters in weird directions, and focus fire on your flank chaff instead of trying to six dice nukes against your blocks. I failed to really appreciate that the threats in your army for me weren't the bloodletters.

    Fail to plan, plan to fail.