Wednesday, July 6, 2011


After a stunning first day that saw the Dark Alliance go 9/9 wins, we were back on Sunday to see if we could keep up the trend. However, with us being the clear leaders in number of tiles on the map, everyone else was out to get us and started using the ‘Disaster’ event to collapse our buildings, castles and mines. Not fair I tell you! ;)

Game 4 – Raymond Dick (Lizards)

So far, we’d been quite indifferent to the Lizards, who bordered us on the south, but when the matchups for this round were announced it was clear there was a bit of bad blood between us after all. Raymond had a Carnosaur Lord, BSB and normal Vet on Cold One, a Priest, 20 Saurus, 2 medium Skrox units, an Ancient Steg, 2 Salamanders and 5 Chameleon Skinks.

We got Meeting Engagement, and Raymond won the roll to set up first, which was fantastic for me! He set up all his stuff to one side of a central forest, with the Salamanders stuck in reserve. I then deployed on the other flank to him, to maximise my shooting’s impact, with the Black Guard holding the centre to fight off what made it through. The large Spearmen were in reserve, and the Shades scouted amongst my position to aid the shooters already there. The Chameleon Skinks went down in the corner behind me to try and force something to turn around to deal with them.

In his first turn, Raymond brought on the Salamanders opposite a unit of Shades and kill 7 of them, as they were a few inches too close to the board edge (they were about 22-24” away from the edge, but I really underestimated the Salamanders’ range: 1.5” base width, 6” move, 8” template, means a roll of 6-10 will be a hit). I started shooting bits and pieces, doing a couple of wounds to the Carnie, one to the Steg, and Lifetaker narrowly missed killing the Priest who was hiding at the back. I cast Pit on the Carnosaur, which scattered and killed both Krox from a Skink unit.

I brought on the large Spears behind the Steg and Skrox who were advancing along my long board edge, with the aim of buying some time for 190 points. Raymond turned around those units, as well as the Saurus and 2 Cold One characters to deal with them, which was probably too much in hindsight. The Spears charged the Skrox, and killed just enough to cancel steadfast and break them, which let me pursue away from all the other units. Phew!

The Carnosaur charged a unit of Crossbowmen, who fled, leaving him the option of failing charge in front of the Black Guard or redirecting into the Black Guard, neither of which was ideal for Raymond. He went into the BG, who killed the Carnosaur immediately, and eventually got a Killing Blow on the Lord. I was then able to charge the BSB next turn, who is unable to flee. One KB later and I had an overrun into the other character. I was flanked by the Saurus, and then failed to KB the Vet, which meant I couldn’t combat reform to face the Saurus. The Hydra came in next turn with KB, and the Level 4 blew herself up casting MINDRAZOR! on the BG, which finished off the Vet, and the Saurus and Steg (who had flanked me at this stage) in the next combat phase.

The heroes of the game

This resulted in me killing all but a Salamander with one wound left and half a Skrox unit at the cost of 20 Crossbows and my Level 4, so it was another big win to me (5-1). Tim and Tom again each got wins, so we were on track to getting 15/15.

MINDRAZOR! count: 1

Game 5 – Hagen Kerr (Dwarfs)

In the last round I got to (or rather had to) play Hagen and his Dwarfs. We played at Runefang, and although his list is still very ‘7th edition’, it was stronger than last time, with an Anvil, BSB, Engineer and Thane leading 20 Longbeards, 20 Hammerers, 15 and 10 GW Warriors, 10 Thunderers, 10 Quarreller Rangers, Cannon, Bolt Thrower and Organ Gun.

We played Blood and Glory, and we both set up centrally. I then stacked the flank without the Organ Gun with 20 Shades and a Hydra, with the goal of rolling up there quickly and wrapping around into the flank of Hagen’s battleline. This seemed to work initially, with the Shades killing the Rangers that scouted opposite them. In Hagen’s first turn though, the Bolt Thrower put two wounds on the Hydra, and then two more came from the Thunderers on the stand and shoot in my turn. Finally, the Hydra fluffed its attacks, killing only 2 and dying to the return attacks. That was 5 from 5 failed regen saves, ouch! On the other side, the Organ Gun wiped a full strength unit of Crossbows in one shot. Double ouch! It wasn’t all bad though, since the Organ Gun blew up in the next turn, and my Bolt Thrower and Lifetaker were able to snipe the Cannon over 2 rounds of shooting.

Shadow Magic is awesome

I’d been throwing all my dice at Pit every turn on first the Organ Gun and then the Anvil, and finally got it off in my turn four, after two 5 dice and two 11 dice castings (but still no IF!). Hagen wasn’t happy to learn that Pit + Anvil = Dead, a pain I know all too well from using a Cauldron. After this, I was able to start getting off a lot of magic, and killed the Hammerers (at toughness 2) using the Black Guard, and the GW warriors using the large Spearmen with MINDRAZOR!

With this mass carnage, and the extra points for breaking his army, I was able to get another 5-1 win. It was a great way to finish the weekend, and was the bloodiest game of the five, with Hagen killing the largest amount of my army out of all my opponents.

MINDRAZOR! count: 1

So in the final campaign phase, the Dark Alliance, now with 15/15 wins for the weekend, were able to force the Dwarfs back into one tile in the top corner of the map and expand our empire elsewhere. We finished with 23 tiles, and the next highest was the Skaven team on 9. Luckily, the Realm of Man had not been wiped out (they’d been pretty close all weekend and were now hiding in the south on the very edge of the map) and we were still next to them, as well as controlling the northern mountains, so we achieved our objective.

It was a great weekend, and all five games were relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable, which was fantastic. It was good fun to play as part of a team again, and this adds something special to the event you don’t get at a tournament. I would definitely recommend an event of this style to anyone looking for a nice and relaxed weekend of gaming with their mates.

Thoughts on the list

I completely underestimated how vicious the list was when looking at it on paper. Having 20 shades that go down after all other deployment is amazing, and lets you easily stack one flank with an absurd amount of shooting.

Shadow magic was very good, as it is just so versatile. I only cast MINDRAZOR! three times over the weekend, which shows the strength of the rest of the deck (I did roll it up in every game too, so I was casting other things by choice). Like when I used Shadow at the Masters, I found it very limited in what it can do in the early turns, although this time I had the Ring to give me a fireball to help with that. At 2400, I would definitely have a Level 1 or 2 with Fire to fix this problem. The dagger wasn’t as good as I’d thought it would be. I only used it a few times in each game, and probably would have rather had a scroll.

It’s also difficult to rely on one unit of 20 Black Guard to do all your fighting, and I can see why people have moved towards 2x20 and including the Corsairs as core, which greatly boosts the number of combat units in the army.

No comments:

Post a Comment