Well Day 1 had gone well for me and I was sitting in second place but with 9 points behind the leader, Ross, who had swept all before him on day one with a solid run.
Game 4 vs. Warriors of Chaos (Ross H. Jones/Eventual Placing:4th) Blood and Glory
Daemon Prince - L4, Nurgle, 1+/5++,2++Flaming ward, wings, soul feeder
BSB - MoTzntch, Disc, 1+/3++, 3rd eye of Tzeentch
Festus the Leechlord
5 Chaos Hounds
5 Chaos Marauders
22 Chaos Warriors - FCG, Shields, Mark of Nurgle
Chimera - Regen
This was a big game for me and I knew that I had to win big if I wanted to keep in contention for 1st place. Ross won the roll for table side but I still had access to a building where I figured I could keep my Slann safe indefinitely and that my Saurus would be able to escape from to preserve my fortitude. I knew that I only needed to kill 1 banner to break him and identified the Daemon Prince as the main target.
Ross won first turn and move his army aggressively up with his DP casting a 30" IF Plaguewind Vortex down my entire line, decimating many of my units but not actually killing any of them. The next turn saw me position a Scar Vet into his DP to hold him up while my other Scar Vet got around to set himself up for a flank charge on the Skullcrushers and the rest of his army got clogged up on my skinks. I cast Final Trans on his DP but it didn't go. The next turn he continued to get clogged up, charged one unit of terradons off the board with his chimera and killed a Scar vet with his DP. In my turn 2 I managed to Final Trans the DP off the board (he was letting these go), magic and shoot down the Chimera, and shoot off the rest of his Hellcannon crew (Camo Skinks had been on it since turn 1. From this stage it was just collecting points and the salamanders decimated the Warrior block while my Scar Vet flank charged the Skullcrushers and ran them down after a turn or two of combat. We called it at turn 4 as I was unlikely to be able to grab the last few points due to the situation on the board but was unlikely to give any up either.
Result: 19-1 Win
Thoughts: This game had gone very well for me, forcing the decision between dispelling Final Trans or allowing me to kill a unit a turn with Searing Doom and Hounds continued to pay off and I got the DP on my second try. I don't feel that Ross had enough units to deal with my army and by Turn 3 I had managed to secure a safe jump if I needed it to a new building regardless of whether I got the DP or not. The new WoC showed again that they can use breath attacks and magic to kill large parts of units but have no effective means of finishing those units outside of a L2 with fire. The good result combined with James Brown only getting a draw put me well clear of the field and I only needed 6 points in the next game to secure the gold.
Game 6 vs. Empire (Blair Garatt/Eventual Placing: 5th) Battleline
Blair was the local running the tournament and had done pretty well with an Empire Bus list with Karl Franz in it.
Karl Franz - Horse
Grand Master - Horse
Battle Wizard - L2 Heavens, Horse
Battle Wizard - L2 Heavens, Horse
Warrior Priest - Horse
Captain - BSB, Horse, 4++
13? Inner Circle Knights
Blair deployed his army spread out across the table with the Stank in a corner and created two large buses with his two units of knights. I scouted and vanguarded aggressively (avoiding his Stank) and resolved to throw my army away if necessary to protect the Slann and Metal his buses away, starting with the one not protected by Karl Franz's magic resistance. That bus instead would catch a Final Trans every turn until they died.
I won the roll for first turn and cleared out the pistoliers with rocks and set up all the necessary double flees while getting 18" away from the Stank. I used my skink priests to push a searing doom through onto the normal knights, killing 5, but then failed to cast a 3 dice Hounds, ending my magic phase. He then charged the chickens into a Scar Vet who held up just fine and from there the game moved very quickly. I railroaded his Stank with Terradons and began unleashing on the knights with Metal Magic and Salamanders, quickly decimating his non Karl Franz bus, while the Scar Vets took apart the chickens, a Salamander wiped out the cannon in combat and Karl Franz's unit copped 2 Final Transmutations leaving only a few rank and file and a wizard left. In turn 4 I finished the now fleeing inner circle knights with metal and shooting and Blair conceded the 20-0 with only the Steam Tank left on the table.
Thoughts: This was a fantastic match-up for my army and it could only really have gone one way. With so few units Blair was pretty much unable to leave his deployment zone to collect any points at all and I was free to cast Metal magic at will. Blair was a great opponent and actually discovered a friend of my Mom's and said he actually enjoyed the game as he learnt a lot about the movement phase and got ideas on how his own play could be enhanced.
And the final result after sports and painting was added in was...... 1st Place! with Ant Kitson in 2nd and James Brown beating Ross to 3rd place as he won their match-up 11-9 in the last round. Also a shout-out to James Cardno who was voted Best Sport and Bruce Balfour who received Best Army for his Nurgle Daemons. I was very happy with this result as it's my first tournament win ever. I felt I played well over the course of the weekend and that my consistency and caution in my play paid dividends. I have to acknowledge that the army I took was a very hard army that took advantage of the lack of comp, but at the same time I would classify 4/6 of the armies I played as being within a similar bracket and only Blair's army faced an auto-lose situation against myself. It was also satisfying to be able to have played 3rd,4th and 5th place on my way to the top (I missed playing Ant Kitson due to his submariner HKB antics). This result has now pushed me into #11 on the NZ rankings and thus into masters contention which was more than I had hoped for when I started playing tournaments this year. It's too early to say if I've done enough to stay there though but I'm still happy with my progress in the game.
The tournament itself was well run and an enjoyable affair. The venue was great with a cash-bar on site and it was nice to enjoy a beer with my warhammer. The rounds tended to run overtime but I didn't feel this was too bad and enjoyed the casual atmosphere. The terrain was excellent though I do have to mention that all of the terrain on the table was mysterious or magical. This was an interesting change from most tournaments, but I felt it did slow down play and have some big effects on several games. It was fun to play this way once but I wouldn't want it done this way every tournament. Prize support was provided by the local gaming shop, Gateway, in tauranga and I picked a GW Watchtower as my prize. While it was nice to get something I could use as a prize I think I actually would have preferred a trophy or a medal of some sort. It has occurred to me though that I could just spray paint the watchtower Gold and set it on my mantle as a perfect representation of how I spammed Final Transmutation and messed around with buildings to get it.
Thanks for reading. Jeff