Saturday, December 20, 2008

2008 Australian Masters - Wood Elves

Over the weekend I took my Woodies to the Australian Masters in Sydney.

The list I used was as follows:

Treeman Ancient - normal kit
Lvl 2 - Scroll, Staff
Lvl 2 - Scroll Heartsone
Noble - HoD & Magic Bow

2x 12 Glade Guard
1x 10 Glade Guard
3x 8 Dryads
2x 7 wardancers
2x 6 Wild riders (one with War Banner)
1x Great Eagle

I had dropped my Noble on Eagle for a second Mage and in the end I think this was a good decision (Thanks Nic Buckby for the suggestion). My army scored -1 average for Comp, giving it a 2.5 average. I thought that was a fair score and more adequately reflected the list than the 2.0 average I got at Orktoberfest.

Game 1 - Steve Gibb - Vampire Counts

Three things stood out for me in this game. Rolling 17 on the Hail of doom and killing most of Steve's wraiths, the Treeman standing up to the Black Knights for most of the game unable to kill them off. And my 14 Dryad attacks and 4 KB attacks on Steve's Lord resulting in him having to make one save. I eventually (Turn 5) got Steve's lord and was able to grind out a solid win.

This was my first game against Steve and he was an excellent opponent.


Game 2 - Jeff Galea - Warriors of Chaos

When I walked into the hall on Saturday Jeff told me he had beaten my army on Friday, so when we matched up round two I wanted to see whether I could do better than Ken Ferris.

We were both playing a cagey game, Jeff hid his light stuff, I advanced through woods. The key to the battle was two miscasts. One by me that allowed Jeff to cast Gateway (cost me a scroll) and the second by Jeff sent it off with IF. That spell sent the Treeman into the warp.

This came was close, competitive and most of all fun. The 475 points I lost with the Treeman was the difference between us. If I had to choose an opponent to play every week Jeff would be the man. He is such a good general and fun to play.


Game 3 - Gavin Clarke - Dark Elves

More than any game, this was the one I wanted to do well in. Gavin has been the benchmark for the past 18 months.

Suffice to say I didn't play well. In fact, I played awfully. I got myself in a hole on Turn One and Gav being a frontrower squirrel gripped me for 6 turns. I was extremely disappointed I didn't do better and provide Gavin with more of a contest. My dryads snagged some points at the end - but too little too late.

As expected Gav was an excellent opponent.


Game 4 - Chris Wilcox - Dwarfs

Chris's army had a lot of shooting both from dwarfs and bolt throwers. I thought I played the game well in that I made sure that Chris only had limited shots and none against my Treeman. Throughout the game Chris' bolt throwers were cursed with poor luck (they must have been saving themselves for the big tree).

I eventually got some wild riders into his lines and with a number of failed break, panic and terror tests I was able to grind out a win. Certainly the terrain and dice favoured the Woodies in this game.

Chris was another great opponent.


Game 5 - Chris Cousens - Tomb Kings

When I looked at Chris deployment (castled around a hill) I knew I was in for a tough battle. Similarly I knew he had to come through three woods to get me. I worked out where I could get points and set about trying to snag him.

In the end the game was very tight. I took out Chris supports and he got his King's unit into some of my softer units. Luck across the table was fairly even though I managed to survive what could have been a costly panic at the end. I felt that Chris deserved more from this game as he made most of the Turn 5/6 running.

Continuing the theme, another excellent opponent. Competitive but both extremely fun and reasonable. Always be keen to clash again.


Game 6 - Aaron Thompson - Daemons

I fancied this matchup all weekend. Aaron army was very small and I thought I could make quick inroads. In an effort to remove a unit of Seekers I split my BSB from my Treeman.

First turn saw me put a couple of wounds on the KoS, wipe out some seekers and really hurt the Fiend. Aaron tossed up whether to venture the KoS out or keep it hidden. He chose the former and was able to siren in some dryads. Next door daemonettes charged the Treeman and this combat was to continue for a few turns until the KoS joined. The Treeman survived a stubborn check on 7 (three dice) to prolong the combat but I couldn't get strikes on the KoS. Eventually she broke and was run down. I doubt whether the presence of the BSB would have helped given the 3D/-2 combo.

However liked my chances in the centre where a unit of Guard had held up his BSB's daemonettes (Insane Courage). Into the flank go two units of Wild Riders (one regenerating) and do nothing for two turns. A combination of above average wounds coupled with no saves from the Riders (over two turns) saw them joined by the KoS and break.

On the last turn I got a wound on the KoS with shooting to drop it to half points.

Another great opponent and game....we laughed, we cried, we cursed each other's luck etc.


Wrap Up

So in the end I finished on 58 battle points, 2 below par (10th out of 16). I was extremely happy with that, having set myself a target of 50. With my comp I was jumped by two players and I jumped two back to finish on 10th Overall.

The only change I'd make to my list is to drop a unit of Dryads and beef up the Wardancers both to 9 and spend the rest on extra Glade Guard.

So what did I get out of the weekend? Everything I hoped for and more. I played 6 great opponents and played five tight and competitive games (sorry I wasn't more of a fight for Gav). The event was a fantastic experience and one I am glad (and proud) to have been a part of.

To get to Locky's on Sunday night and see the net interest that it generated was fantastic. Well done Nasher, Dru and Prox on enriching the experience.

Special thanks to Marc and Conrad for giving up their weekend so that I could play toy soldiers. As a TO myself I know it can sometimes be a thankless task. Thanks to all the spectators that called in and said hello and to the guys from Podhammer for their efforts.

Finally thanks to Irresistible Force (especially Andrew Galea), the sponsor, my opponents and other participants for letting me experience a pretty special weekend.

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