Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Skaven Holiday in the Tron

Over the weekend, Jack, Tom and I attended Natcon in Hamilton. Tom and I flew up to Auckland and met Jack and Dave Foster who drove us south to the Waikato. We had booked a unit with Phil Comins and Hamish Forbes for the three day event.

I published my Skaven list on Thursday - Bell unit, Slaves, Gutter Runners, HPA, WLC - and fell that it would be quite competitive given it was 2000 points. It lacks combat punch but is strong in magic and shooting, and importantly is very miserly in giving up points.

Day One was not Swiss Chess. The umpire had matched up people to ensure those from the same locale did not play one another. Days Two and Three (Rounds 4 to 8) were all seeded on battle points.

Rather than go through an exhaustive game by game breakdown I thought I'd post my results and then make some observations about the games.
Game 1 - Reid Pittams (Dark Elves) - Battleline 20-0

Game 2 - Bobby Grinrod (Warriors of Chaos) - Battleline variant 15-5

Game 3 - Phil Comins (Wood Elves) - Meeting Engagement 17-3

Game 4 - Tom Dunn (Daemons of Chaos) - Dawn Attack 12-8

Game 5 - Tony Vodanovich (Vampire Counts) - Blood & Glory 7-13

Game 6 - Mike King (Lizardmen) - Battle for the Pass 13-7

Game 7 - Hamish Forbes (Orcs & Goblins) - Watchtower 20-0

Game 8 - Dory Fisher (Daemons of Chaos) - Battleline 17-3

Key Observations
  • First game vs. Reid, pretty much all went right for the rats.
  • Bobby beat up my Gutter Runners with a very depleted Marauder unit, running them down and scaring their sister unit off the board. He suffered a disastrous miscast which cost him one of his Warrior units just when he was getting on top. This allowed me to recover and win the game.
  • Concentrated my magic on Phil's Glade Guard unit with Flaming Banner and managed to panic them off the board. This let my HPA into the game and in conjunction with magic and shooting I was able to grind the Woodies down. 
  • Tom received awful deployment rolls 6 units in the far corner including two units of Bloodletters and a unit of Flamers. He was crammed on top of a wood that made him stupid, further delaying progress. I picked off his smaller units until he pulled back to conserve points.
  • Tony rushed my lines and had all the initiative. My magic was ineffectual and he chewed through my Slaves as I tried to get back in game. Charged his Crypt Horrors with my HPA (part of an overrun) and stopped reroll to wound spell but couldn't stop rerolls to hit. He wounded with 11 out of 18 attacks and I took my HPA off. I then withdrew my Bell unit to lock in a minor loss. Basically outplayed. 
  • The game versus Mike was the best game I've had this year. I made mistake in the scouting of my Gutter Runners which cost me dear and then lost second unit when it failed to rally after fleeing a Stegadon. The game swung throughout and Mike was left with a single Saurus that failed to rally in one unit and I got the other with combination HPA and Bell charge on Turn 6. In between Mike had a Scar-Vet kill the Seer before being run down by the Bell and I had a unit of Slaves with two Engineers (worth 300+ points) rally on "Snake Eyes" an inch from the board edge. The win was unfair, 10-10 was a better reflection.
  • My Gutter Runners took care of Hamish's warmachines by the second turn and then the rats started a magic assault on his army. This culminated in the Dreaded 13th removing a unit of 18 Black Orcs including Warboss and Shaman.
  • Last game was against Dory's Nurgle Daemons (with Flamer/Fury backing). I was able to remove the Flamers early and then it was a grindfest between his GUO and Plaguebearers versus my Slaves. With my ability to shoot and magic into combat I wore down his Plagubearers and at the end the GUO had 4 wounds left.
I was very happy with how the army went over the weekend. No one unit stood out as MVP over the weekend but one was a constant disappointment. I think that my WLC only saw Turn 6 twice (Reid and Phil) and in most games blew up on Turn 1 or 2. It really had a nightmare. Apart from Phil's Treemen I can't think of anything (other than my Slaves) that it killed.

The results left me on 119/160 Battle Points which was 8 clear of Vod. When painting and sports were taken into account this increased to 13 points. Vod was Second (only losing to Tom) and Tom was Third.

I had a really enjoyable weekend. Thanks to my opponents and to the Umpire, Carl Templeton.


  1. Good work old rat, I for one wasn't surprised when you took off the WLC, not even sure why you rolled the dice, there were only 1's and 2's on it :)

  2. Yeah thats my WLC usually, but every now and then it really does the job when you need it and all is forgiven :)

    Congrats on yet another win, I'm toying with a more defensive (than my usual close combat heavy) list for Horned Rat, with a Bell but I'm still undecided.


  3. Weekend reaffirmed my view 8th is a better game at 2000 pts, I had 2 of the best games I've had off 8th against Vod and Pete and my games against Tom and Phil where also great.


  4. Like Mike I think the game really works well at 2000 points, as you have to make choices around character fitout and toys.

    My only real niggle is that some armies - Dark Elves, Daemons, Lizards and Skaven - seem to lose less than other armies. I think that this might be worthy of a post of its own and blog discussion.

  5. Had an absolute ball against all my opponents, particularly the games against Reid & Bobby. Actually would go as far to say the most enjoyable tournament I've had in the last 5 years. Great fun weekend all told.

    In regards to the 2k vs 2.4k... I like a variation in tournaments. At this point I'd have to say I prefer the 2k option - if for no other reason than at least the lack of "time pressure" that often happens using 2.4k pts.

    1. I concur with variation is good thing in tournament scene.


  6. Congrats Pete. Sounds like a good weekend.

  7. well done on the win Pete, I enjoyed our game and had a good time in most of the games that I played.
    Was very happy with how the new VC list plays although I often regretted having the flaming banner on the GGs rather than taking the banner of barrows like I should have.

    I was happy with the 2000pts level as it focus's the mind a bit more in the list creation phase and means that you leave out some of the "fun" toys which aren't always required anyway.
    Having said that I'd love to run a list with a pair of terrorgheists...

    I'd be interested in your thoughts on the Natcon event as a whole, for myself i was pretty underwhelmed and didn't think it came anywhere near to natcons in days gone by. Rosey glasses perhaps?