Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Skaven at NZ Masters - Day One

So I was lucky to get a wildcard to the 5th NZ Masters over the weekend. I’m not a big fan of wildcards but the words “gift horse” and “mouth” sprung to mind and I had had to forgo the first two Masters as I was umpiring, so……

I took a small but aggressive Skaven list as my intention from the outset was to win the event – having finished second last year – and I have the view at the Masters that 1st is everything!

It was a good weekend to catch up with Jack and also a lot of the friends I’ve made through the years in the hobby. However I did my best in the weeks leading up to the event to alienate most of the 40k gamers by declaring their lists “Baby Seals” who would spend the weekend being clubbed by the Orcas – specifically Jack, Charlie and Doug.

Hagen and I travelled up on the Friday night and were bright and bushy on Saturday morning. Reviewing the lists prior to the event I flagged two lists I’d have trouble winning against – Joe’s WoC and Antony’s Ogres. However I had a plan for each.

Game 1 – Basil Moskovis (Vampires)

Basil had the standard VC list with big Ghoul blocks and VC-led Grave Guard with Drakenhoff. I knew that 12/13 points was the most I could expect from this game and so set out with that target. My rats danced around, fled when they needed and pulled all sorts of ratty tricks. I managed to isolate and destroy two ghoul bunkers, a black coach, cairn wraith and corpse cart. Against that I lost a unit of slaves and a unit of gutter runners.

Win 12-8

Game 2 – James Page (Dark Elves)

James was very confident going into this game but likewise I have fought Dark Elves a lot with Skaven and view it as a good matchup for me. With the first shot of the game my WLC hit the Hydra and killed it. From there the result was heavily influenced by James failing a Leadership 10 test with a re-roll but I’ll contend that he put himself in such a position by giving me a Doomrocket shot that gave a target area of 12” – he turned horde formation corsairs flank on and had them anchored on his spearmen. Very juicy.

Once I was a few points up I initially maintained distance working over the Executioners with Scorch and Warp Lightning. James failed a 16” charge and a 14” charge which meant by the time they got to my lines they were severely depleted. I lost a unit of Gutter Runners while he had his archers, cauldron and a unit of Shades left.

Win 20-0

Game 3 - Dan Butler (Daemons)

Dan is a member of next year’s NZ ETC team and has been this year’s “Bright Young Thing”. He had a very strong list headed by a Bloodthirster backed up by usual suspects.

This game was won at deployment. A lot of people say that but here it really was true. I had the view going in that Dan would be happy with a 10-10 so I knew I had to throw out a tasty morsel. Enter Strategy “Tethered Goat”.

Early in the deployment phase I realised that Dan might bunker down so I deployed the Hell Pit Abomination away from his army to see if I could draw out his Flamers (which for me are a key target). And Dan bit! Down went the Flamers opposite and from there he effectively split his army with one flank having the flamers, three fiends, a unit of furies and the Tzeentch Herald. He also made a mistake by deploying his Nurglings rather than scouting which gave me the +1 to first turn roll.

Knowing I had +1 to go first, I scouted with my two units of Gutter Runners 12” from the Furies and the Herald. In my first turn I killed all but one Fury and the Herald. In the second the Flamers became rats and the HPA landed an inch from the Fiends. They were forced to charge and were wiped out in two rounds.

Dan pulled his army back while I didn’t fancy the chances of running across to fight him piecemeal. We totalled up the points and it was a good win to me.

Win 14-6

Day One Wrap

At the end of the day I had three wins and was on top of the table with 46/60 BPs. I was happy with the way I was travelling and felt I was playing well. However I hadn’t played either of the armies I feared.


  1. Mmm, delicious tethered HPA goat, nom nom nom....eeep. I need more tourneytime against several armies, I'm still inexperienced in a couple areas. I played like a bright young muppet and deserved what I got. I probably shouldn't be having learning experiences at Masters, but I certainly had a couple. Ah well, was nice to meet you Mr Dunn, and look forward to more lessons in future!

  2. It was great to play you Dan. I was pretty comfortable with the matchup - except for your BT as I haven't really had much experience. As I said I thought you may settle for draw and I was worried if you did that because you had the opportunity to win other games big - as you showed.

    Fantastic result getting 2nd. Love to play you again.


  3. dont forget the 12 inch charge i also failed after the other 2 pete :-P, i really needed the charge so needed to make a long distance charge cause if i just moved forwards it woulda been 2 lots of impact hits from hpa and furnace or possible flame template etc.

    i wasnt confident going into the game, knew it was a bad match up for me but if i came at you and your skaven luck stuff dosnt go off it was easy combats for me, risks didnt pay off couple with bad luck losing both my 2 mages turn 2 and hydra 1 shoted turn 1 lead to my only loss of the tourney which im happy with. You get unlucky some games its just how it rolls. Probally make my mage immune to pyscology next time.

    cheers james-

  4. Cheers Pete, we'll cross swords/claws again for sure. Working on getting to Runefang, but even if you're unable to play due to organising we can wrangle up a game after.


  5. @James

    I'm not sure why you think Executioners vs. Plague Furnace and Monks is an easy combat for you. My view is that as soon as you go under 20 models you don't have sufficient attacks to win the grind. I agree the longer it takes for you to get in the worse it is for you - however 16" charges are high risk endeavours. If you had just failed you'd have got hit big time by HPA and Plague Furnace.

    Anyway I enjoyed the game - I was happy when your Corsairs ran off after the slaves - and hopefully we'll have chance to try out our respective strategies again.

    Nice to meet you


  6. In game 3, you made some comments about scout deployment. Was this a specific ruling for the Masters, or just how you played it? Under 8th edition scouts count as a deployment drop as they are deployed in the deployment phase, and there is no special rules stating otherwise. In this case you should have forfieted the +1 to Dan. Hangover from 7th maybe? I do know ETC has specifically changed the rule to the 7th version.

  7. ETC ruling for this was used at event