Over the weekend NiCon was held at the City Guard in Auckland. I took my Skaven with the following list:
Seer on Bell in 39 Clanrats
2 Level 1 Enginners
3x 40 Slaves
2x 5 Giant Rats & Packmaster
2x 9 Gutter Runners
Hell Pit Abomination
Game 1 – Al Raynor (Wood Elves) – Dawn Attack
I was happy with the draw and thought that I could get a good start. The scenario was kind to me and my army deployed in a coherent manner. As we move through the early turns I picked up Al’s Waywatchers, some Dryads and an archer block. Al was whittling down my clanrats and putting wounds on the HPA.
I managed to charge into the flank of the depleted Wild Riders, killing them but failed a dangerous terrain test on my overrun. This proved critical as it stopped me rolling up another archer block and the BSB. This saved his other archer block which included the Level 4 general. They were then able to beat the Stormvermin unit with the help of the Treeman. By my reckoning failing the Dangerous Terrain with the Doomwheel turned a 16-17 point win into a draw. Such are the vagaries of life.
Game 2 – Graeme Fry (High Elves) – Battle for the Pass
Again arriving at the table I looked at Graeme’s list and thought if I could play the right game I could pick up a lot of points. Graeme had a Star Dragon, largish White Lion unit, big block of spears and a large Dragon Prince bus. This was backed up by two units of archers, some Silver Helms and Eagles.
I made a couple of key mistakes in this game, both centring around deployment. I took an unnecessary risk in the deployment of my Gutter Runners. I didn’t suffer for it but I could have. I also deployed my Doomwheel on the wrong side of the table which meant I need to spend 2-3 turns getting it to where it was required.
In the end I picked up the Silver Helms, White Lions (13th), Dragon Princes, both Eagles and archers. In doing so I lost my HPA, warmachines and a unit of Slaves. I felt I made much harder work of this than I should have which I’ll put down to Graeme’s play and my own incompetence.
Graeme’s army was painted in an Avelorn theme and was very pretty. I gave him my Best Painted vote and was pleased he won the painting prize.
Game 3 – Thomas van Roekel (Dwarfs) – Watchtower
Thomas is NZ’s Dwarf player for the ETC and I had recently played him at Equinox with my Ogres. He was using essentially the same list – large Hammerer block, two large Quarreller with Great Weapons blocks, small Hammerer and Miner units with Gyrocoptor, two Grudgethrowers and an Organ gun.
There were three/four key events in this game. Thomas destroyed my WLC first turn giving him strong artillery dominance. I responded by inflicting crippling damage on his Hammerer and a Quarreller block through magic, Ratapult and Doomrocket, also in the first turn. Both units were under half strength and unlikely to be able to take then hold the vacant watchtower. Thomas worked to redeploy his characters and concentrated fire on my Bell unit. I failed a ward save on my Seer from a direct hit from the Grudge Thrower and breathed a sigh of release when Thomas rolled a “1” for wounds. My Gutter Runners arrived and killed his Organ gun and a Grudge Thrower. I was also able to turn the depleted Hammerer block into Clanrats, while shooting finished the last of the damaged Quarrellers. Thomas invoked the Rune of Challenge forcing a unit of Gutter Runners to charge him in the rear. This resulted in the quick demise of the rats.
When we totalled up the points and included the 500 points for the watchtower that the Stormvermin had occupied, the result was a big win to the Skaven. However, I felt that the margin flattered me. Certainly I was happy to get 17 points out of Dwarfs
So at the end of Day One I was on 40 points. I didn’t think I had played particularly well and was probably at least 6-7 points light of where I would have liked to be (given draw). In particular, I had continued a recent poor run with my warmachines and some of my tactical choices were less than optimal.
The upside was that the leader was on 47 points so no-one had got too big a break on the field. I was drawn against Hamish Forbes’ Orcs & Goblins in the morning – a matchup I had hoped to avoid.