Saturday, December 20, 2008

2008 Orktoberfest - Wood Elves

A couple of months ago I took my Wood Elves to Call to Arms. I had just finished painting the Ultraforge Treelady to use as my Treeman Ancient. Over the five games I managed to incur 29 wounds on her – that’s no way to treat a lady!!!!

Both Skitterleap and Fields of Blood saw her fortunes improve – don’t mention the incident at Fields where after killing a Tomb King she went from unscathed to dead by failing the Curse – so I was hopeful at Orktoberfest she reach her full potential.

My list (which scored 12/30 for Comp) was:

Treelady Ancient – Netlings, Radiants, Murder
BSB – Light Armour, Moonstone
Noble – Eagle, Helm, Spear, Light Armour, Shield, Hail of Doom
Mage – Lvl 2, 2x Scrolls
3x 12 Glade Guard with Musician
2x 8 Dryads
1x 9 Wardancers with Muso
1x 7 Wardancers with Muso
2x 6 Wild Riders with Std (one with War Banner)

Now I always thought Australia was a dry country, especially in Queensland where parched is a way of life. But I was to discover different. Armed with my trusty free wood I ventured out into the amphitheatre which was Orktoberfest.

Game One v. Sean Davis (nasher) with Orcs & Goblins

Level of Forestation – Four (+ 1 free wood)

Sean was a great guy to play, a barrel of laughs through the game – including doing tricks like exploding two cans of V in his bag as he reached for his rulebook!

For me the real threats in his army were the two Giants and the two units of Squigg Hoppers. I managed to neutralise the first unit of hoppers through a HoD arrow and a Wild Rider charge. The second unit was left short of its intended target by a poor Gork/Mork movement roll which meant they were charged (and destroyed) by a unit of Dryads. Sean accounted for two units of Glade Guard, the first in a lone charge by his BSB and the second when the Big Uns rumbled up and over a hill (and my poor unit). Wardancers extracted revenge on the BSB a turn later.

My Treelady caused the Warboss’s unit to flee after she stranglerooted them but then finished the game by playing Hide and Seek with Pa Giant. Ma Giant took a stroll once too often in front of my archers.

Really fun game where the Woodies prevailed by neutralising the key threats. I thought Sean played very well given it wasn’t a great matchup for him.

Win 14-6

Treelady Character Count – scared the bejesus out of the Orc Warboss causing him to run away

Game Two v. Nick Corkett (crazzyroo) with Dark Elves

Level of Forestation – Three (+1 free wood)

Nick had recently started playing DE and was almost finished painting his army. He had a very fair list with the key threats being the Hydra and the single Repeater bolt thrower.

During deployment I stretched Nick’s army out and was able to use the Wood Elves’ greater mobility to roll one flank up (taking with it a Mage, Corsairs, Archers and the RBT). On the other flank Nick charged the Treelady with his Lord and Cold One Knights. I was able to challenge and hold. Over subsequent turns I was able to bring Wild Riders into the Lord’s flank to add CR to the combat. With the Treelady killing the Lord the COKs broke and fled the table.

I was able to spend the last few turns killing the remaining DE units. The Hydra was subjected to the full WE bow output and went down before it could make contact.

Another fun game against a very nice opponent. The game also witnessed the greatest hail storm I have ever seen. Someone up there had clearly emptied their chully bun.

Win 20-0

Treelady Character Count – Dreadlord on Cold One

Game Three v. Clinton Kenn (gelf) – Nurgle Daemons

Level of Forestation – Four (+1 free wood)

Very difficult army to get points out of. Three blocks of Plaguebearers each with a Herald, two beast units, two nurgling and two fury units.

Decided early on that my best hope was to try and get one block of Plaguebearers plus supporting troops. In the end it cost me a unit of Wild Riders but I managed to kill one unit of Furies, one and a half Nurglings, one of Beasts and half a Plaguebearer unit. The Treelady also managed to kill half the Nurgle General.

Clinton was excellent to play and it was a tense and tactical battle. In the end I was happy to walk away with a small win.

Treelady Character Count - 50% of the Nurgle herald on Palaquin

Win 12-8

Game Four v. Haig McLiskey – Empire

Level of Forestation – Three (+1 free wood)

Haig’s army was a tough matchup for me. He had a Stank, two cannons, a Hellblaster, a big unit of ICK led by Grandmaster, a smaller Knight unit and a Hero on Peg with the Stealy Casket.

Decision time. To Stank or not to Stank. I decided not to use the Treelady to fight the vehicle as getting points is never easy AND I had nothing else to fight the ICK.

I deployed by placing 3x archers and a unit of Dryads up against the Stank, a cannon, pistoliers, warrior priest and archers. Helping them out was the eagle noble who proceeded to roll 18 for HoD. I wiped out the Pistoliers but not the priest. Over the rest of the game the Priest and tank took out that whole flank.

First bit of luck was one of Haig’s cannons blowing up in Turn One. He then ran his Peg Hero up to stop me moving woods. I stranglerooted his Peg but the Hero jumped into the woods, stole regeneration and then charged Wardancers with BSB. Neither of us challenged and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when my BSB survived. The Wardancers were able to kill the hero.

Next turn the ICK charged the Treelady. She challenged and the Grandmaster refused going to the second rank (boo hiss). I was able to hold and on the next turn get the GM into a challenge. This went on until I was able to bring in two supporting Wardancer units who with the Treelady killing the GM were able to break the unit. They got away but were re-charged after they rallied and I was just able to win that.

In the last couple of turns, Haig pulled some back by using the other unit of knights to kill a unit of Wild Riders (not happy) and then a unit of Dryads. However the biggest surprise was a half unit of sword and a mage beating up a unit of Wardancers.

When we added things up we each had 300 bonus points and had additionally both killed exactly 1375 points. So the closest of draws and a fantastic game against a great opponent (Haig got my Best Sport vote).

Treelady Character Court – a reticent Grand Master

Draw 10-10

Game Five v. Evan Ferris (Doombull) – Bretonnians

Level of Forestation – Four (+1 free wood)

Evan had four lances of knights (including one of Grail) plus a unit of Pegasus Knights and 3 blocks of MAA.
I was able to get ahead early in this game before Evan’s greater skill and experience started to pull things back for him.

A critical error in the last turn by me – I moved my BSB away from an important combat where I eventually lost by 1 – cost me the draw. As a result of the error I lost 2 units of Glade Guard and a Mage.

However my Treelady again excelled herself. After three/four losing rounds of combat she killed the Bretonnian Lord who had charged her with KotR. I taunted Evan by failing my first break test in three of the rounds but the lurking BSB always gave me a successful re-roll.

Another very enjoyable game against a great opponent who I had been keen to play. It was no surprise when Evan came 3rd.

Treelady Character Count – Bretonnian Lord

Loss 8-12

Game Six v. Ant Mallett (mightymouse) – Vampire Counts

Level of Forestation – Two (+1 free wood)

Ant had one of the nicest Vamp armies I’ve seen. I mean that both in terms of painting and comp. Presentation wise a lot of love had been spent on the army and it really showed. It got my vote for nicest army on show and I wasn’t surprised to see it podium in Players’ Choice. Comp wise it was really well balanced with 3 Vamps, 2 units of Knights, a Coach and a Varghulf being the main hitters.

The game was very tactical. I thought Ant out-deployed me and then pressed that advantage home. I lost my BSB and a unit of Wardancers early to poor play on my part. Over time I clawed some points back and the game was on a knife-edge.
Ant put a unit of Skellies with flaming attacks into my Treelady. In the front rank were his BSB and Vamp Lord. I was able to kill the BSB in a challenge and then managed to get a unit of wild riders into the flank of the skellie block. The Treelady then managed to kill his Vampire Lord in challenge and the VCs started to crumble.

In the centre Ant’s Knights and coach took out a unit of Wild Riders, my Eagle Noble and a unit of Glade Guard. We had to call the game at the end of Turn 5 and I was ahead (and I suspect the crumble would have helped me Turn 6). Ant had been ahead much of the game until the Treelady saw to the demise of his characters.

Treelady Character Count – Vampire BSB, Vampire Lord

Win 13-7

Wrap Up

So overall I finished on 77 Battle Points which was 5th highest. I didn’t drop points in Sports and Presentation but suffered in Comp. My overall result was 11th which I was really happy with having set myself a Top 20 target.

In reflection it was a typical Pete Dunn tournament result – majority of wins but lacking the big points to really push ahead.
What I was happy with was the use of the Treelady. I felt I used her far more proficiently than I had recently. She participated in all the big combats and I was able to make her the anvil to neutralise enemy characters. Her headcount was impressive given she only went to half points once and never ran away.

Game One – Nil (thought the Pansy Warboss was forced to flee)
Game Two – Dreadlord
Game Three – 50% of Nurgle herald on Palaquin
Game Four – Reticent Grandmaster
Game Five – Bretonnian Lord
Game Six – Vamp BSB, Vampire Lord

So 4.5 of the six Lords faced….not a bad day in the glade.

The sheer number of forests on the tables I played was extraordinary – 20 (+ my six free ones) in six games. Welcome to the lush rainforests of Queensland.

I had a great time over the weekend. My opponents were excellent to play and the armies I faced ranged from very fair to very solid. Thanks to Carwyn and his crew for a great tournament (and the lift to the venue) and to all the Australians for making me feel welcome.

That’s the end of the road for me and the Woodies. I’ve played them solidly for the past year and now I need a change. The next cabs off the rank for me are my recently finished Skaven and a nearly painted Vamp army. I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing with ranked units for a change.

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