Friday, March 16, 2012

Empire at Runefang V

So a couple of weeks ago we had Runefang V (I seem to operate on a delayed timescale when it comes to blogging).  I took along the Empire because I'm still not really too keen to use the Dark Elves at the moment, although talking to Andy over the weekend gave me some ideas.

I've posted my list earlier, but in a nutshell I had:

War Altar
L4 Shadow, L1 Metal
Mounted BSB
Peg Captain

11 Knights
37 Swords
10 Xbows
3x5 Free Company
2x5 Flagellants with Champ
2 Cannons

It's a very small force on the table, but is very good at holding people up and fighting in a few select places.

Game 1: Kent Jackson (VC)

My first game against the new Vamps (I still haven't read the book).  Kent had a Lord, a Coven Throne, Necromancer, 3 blocks of Skeletons, 1 of Grave Guard, 5 Hexwraiths and 5 normal Wraiths.

I was lucky enough to get a cannonball straight through the Coven Throne with the first shot of the game, and finished of the Vamp with the other cannon.  From there, my Knight bus went on a long sweep of the table, starting on one side of the board, and ending up on the other.  With a bit of help from the Tank, the Knights killed all three Skellie blocks and Necro, the Grave Guard and Lord, and the Hexwraiths.  There was a bit of Mindrazor love used to help with the Grave Guard (the only time I used it the whole Tourney I think).  A few crumble tests saw the War Altar finally finish off the Wraiths after being in combat since turn 3.

Win 20-0

Game 2: Henry Poor (Brets)

Henry had quite a different Bret list to what we usually see.  It basically revolved around a big lance with 4 (?) Paladins and the Level 4 inside.  The trick was that they had the re-roll charge banner, along with +D6" on the first charge, and the +1M Banner.  Henry told me that this gives them a very good chance of making 20"+ on the first charge.  Supporting this were a Lord on Peg with HKB, 2x4 Peg Knights, 2 Lances, Bowmen and the obligatory Treb.

This looked very tough for me on paper, but what I didn't count on was Henry's abysmal dice rolling.  It started with both Peg units running off the table due to panic.  Then I tried to charge the Altar into a lance that was hiding the Lord from the Cannons.  It was an 18 or 19" charge, so no real chance of getting in, but Henry failed the Terror test with a re-roll, and that left the Cannons free to snipe the Lord.  After that, there was no real threat to either the Altar or the Tank, so it was just a matter of trying to catch and shoot the remaining knights.  Henry played very well and made sure I couldn't get everything, by running all of his characters in different directions, leaving the lance to die, since with 5+ wards on everyone, a cannon shot does not mean dead.  In the end, I got everything bar a unit of Knights, a Paladin, and the Level 4.

Win 19-1

Game 3: Andy Potter (Dark Elves)

So a top of the table clash against my own filthy Dark Elves. And to be honest, I've seen better painting (that's one for Locky and Mal :D).  Andy was using what I thought was a slightly unusual variation on the standard DE army.  He had a Dreadlord on foot, Level 4 Dark, Level 2 Shadow, Cauldron BSB, 2x20 Spears, 2x10 Xbows, 5 Dark Riders, 2x5 Harpies, 16 Black Guard, 2x5 Shades and a Hydra.

We were playing Watchtower, and I wasn't smart enough to figure out that firing cannons at a building is a good thing for me, so I decided that I wouldn't focus on the building, and try to pick up points elsewhere.  For the first few turns, the game swung dramatically back and forth.  Andy managed to get his Dark Riders into a hole in my line, only for the Stank to swing around and kill them all with the steam gun and pistol.  I dropped the Cauldron down  pit in the second turn, but had cannons bounce off the Hydra. The defining moment came when the Hydra weaved it's way through my lines and breath on the swordsmen, who had about 15 models left.  He killed every single one, leaving both Wizards looking very silly standing in front of a crossbowmen unit.  After they went down, Andy had control of the game, and the rest was just us each picking off points from each other where possible.

We ended up on almost the same VPs, with the extra 600 from the building giving Andy the win.

Loss 13-7

Game 4: Dave Appleby (Skaven)

Dropping back down the tables, I get the joy of playing Skaven.  Dave had a interesting variation on the typical list, with a Seer, Warlord, Engineers, Furnace and Monks, 2 big blocks each of Clanrats and Slaves, Abom, Cannon and Gutter Runners.  Importantly, there was no Brass Orb!  Dave also decided not to take Cracks Call, which I think was a mistake, as it gave him very little that could deal to the Tank.

I set up towards a corner away from the furnace, with my detachments and Flagellants strung out to block the Gutter Runners from getting to the Cannons.  I had the knights push up the opposite side of Dave's army to the Furnace and Abom, with the Tank and Altar ready on the other flank to block stuff up.  The knights hit a unit of Clanrats early on, and took a couple of turns to clear them out, but when they did, the combat reform gave them the chance to flank the Seer's unit, which I don't think Dave saw coming.  I kept Skitterleap shut down, and over the remainder of the game was able to grind out the unit and get the Seer.

On the other flank, the Tank got a charge off on the Abom, and through some fluffed regen rolls, managed to kill the Abom in the second round of grinding.  It then blocked up on of the other blocks to ease the pressure on my army.  The Altar got rid of the Gutter Runners when they came on, and spent the rest of the game dancing away from the Plague Monks.  The cannons took 4 or 5 turns of shooting at the WLC to actually kill it, but redeemed themselves by making sort work of the Furnace soon after.

I ended up not losing very much at all, and had managed to take out a big chunk of Dave's army, giving me the win.

Win 16-4 (I think?)

Game 5: Pete Dunn (Skaven)

More rats. Again no brass orb though.  Dad's list can be found elsewhere on the blog, but as we know it's a pretty typical rat list with dual Seers.  The defining moment of the game was the first Skaven turn where the General Seer using Ruin managed to break his Earthing Rod and get sucked into the warp.  From here, I took full adavantage of the lack of leadership, and used panic to flee slave units off the board and the Knights to punch a hole straight towards the unit with the characters.  I was lucky enough to kill off the WLC in the first turn and the Abom in the second, so Dad had very little left to deal with the Knights.

Except super rats!

No doubt spurred on by their grim situation, the Clanrats in the bunker became vicious killing machines, and started to cut down the knights.  After passing a few shaky Stubborn break tests, and some sneaky Light of Battle to keep them in their, the BSB alone survived and managed to cut down the unit in Turn 6 with the help of a timely War Altar charge.

Dad played very well to bring the game back after a horrible start (now he knows how it feels!), and managed to get a lot of points off me.

Win 15-5 (Again I think?)

That put me on 77/100 points, which was enough to take 1st place after Tom and Andy had a close fought game on Table 1 in the last game.

In terms of my list, the standout disappointment was the Flagellant units.  They didn't achieve a single thing all weekend, and almost anything else would be better.  The 'standard' list has 2 Mortars in the place of these guys, and I can see how that would be fantastic.

Another disappointment was Shadow magic.  I only cast a couple of spells from that wizard all weekend, and relied more on the bound spells.  Fire or Light would be better I think to give some more magic missiles to throw around.  Although, with mortars, Withering become very nasty.

The knight bus was great in all games, and along with the Tank, Altar and characters, gives a large chunk of points that are very hard to give up.  A standout choice for sure.

Off to Equinox this weekend for some 40-hammer action! Painting is done, and I'm ready to smash face (or have my face smashed :D


  1. Nice run down and Congrats on another win with the Empire!

    Your experiences with Shadow/magic have mirrored mine rather closely. I have swapped my lvl4 back to light for more magic missiles. Empire as an army dont rely rely on volume of attacks to get VPs (flagellants aside), so most of the shadow spells are a little useless. I've been trying a unit of 5 flagellants with prophet since seeing your list and I agree that a mortar would be more useful...though they do provide a chaff drop during tit for tat deployment.

    Joel V

  2. Thanks for the write up and thanks for the game. Congratulations again on the win.

    Andy P