Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Skaven - Day Two at Nicon

Onto Day Two at NiCon and the field was very bunched with approximately a dozen people within 10 points of the leader. As noted in the previous post they had released the draw overnight and I knew that I had….

Game Four – Hamish Forbes (Orcs & Goblins) – Meeting Engagement

Now this was a matchup that I didn’t want. Firstly, because Hamish’s list had the tools to really hurt my list – 6 Fanatics, two Manglers, Big Waagh Magic, two Doom Divers and a Rock Lobber. With these he can pick points off my list and there is not much I can do about it. Secondly, I had played Hamish at NatCon and I had beaten him 20-0. He was terrorised by my Gutter Runners and so I knew that he would likely castle up to avoid a repeat. This meant getting the big win I needed was going to be difficult.

Deployment didn’t hurt either of us. I managed to rush a rat dart forward to trigger his first lot of Fanatics which dropped in front of his Night Goblins. I then centred my magic and shooting on his Squig Herd trying to wear down the number of herders. I stopped Hamish’s Hand of Gork reform Fanatic bomb but lost my WLC again in the first turn to a Doom Diver.

On the second turn my Gutter Runners came on and killed a Mangler and the Rock Lobber while the rest of magic and shooting continued to target the Squig Herd. The herd couldn’t charge as the Night Goblins were parked in front leaving them exposed. Unluckily for me a Fanatic went back through one of my Gutter Runners who panicked off the board.

Hamish then made a very shrewd choice. He used his Doom Divers to target the remaining Gutter Runners reducing them to two models. I used them to charge the single Night Goblin forcing him to run in front of the Savage Orc block so they could not charge. I finished off the Squig Herd and Hamish finished off the lone Gutter Runner. This put me just over 100 points in front.

Draw 10-10

Game Five – Glen Tibbles (Warriors of Chaos) – Blood & Glory
So now about 10 points off the pace and I draw Glen’s three block WoC army in Round 5. His army is backed up by three units of Marauder Horse, a Warshrine and four characters (two on disk).

Glen’s Chosen are stupid! However turn one he gets 3+ Ward Save and Stubborn on them. His army moves slowly forward with the Marauder Horse out in front. I realise that apart from the combat potential, Glen’s biggest danger to me is Pandemonium. As a result I’m aware I’ll have to wear some Gateways to ensure it never gets off. Glen does get it through twice on IF but I quickly dispel it both times at the start of my magic phase. By Turn Two I have cleared out all the Horse – one hit by HPA, the second fled from Slaves and fail to rally, number three after charging the Doomwheel in the rear – while the Khorne Warriors are down to below half strength.

The Sorcerer on Disk destroys my Ratapult forcing my Stormvermin to flee. They rally but are charged in the rear by the Chaos Lord. The Stormvermin are beaten (previously depleted by Gateway) and run, carrying my two Enginers with them. Here I get lucky as they avoid being caught by the Disk Lord and rally the other side of the Chosen.

The Chosen. One minute you see them, the next minute they are gone – just leaving their BSB! I explained to Glen that it was a bit like Gateway. My Doomwheel finishes off the Khorne warriors, leaving him precipitously placed. Seeing their Chosen gone, the Tzeentch Warriors flee through some slaves (towards my lines) before rallying. They are lucky to survive a flank charge by the HPA who is worn down over three combat phases.

In the centre, the Disklord is charged by Slaves and survives to reform. His BSB then flank charges in support. My Doomwheel hits the BSB killing him and breaking Glen’s Fortitude. It reforms to face the flank of the Warshrine that has hit a unit of Slaves.

The Disklord is charged by more slaves so he is now fighting to flank and front and breaks but gets away. In my last turn he is shot by the WLC and falls. The Warshrine is destroyed by the combined attentions of Doomwheel and Slaves. When we count up the points with the 500 point bonus for the scenario, I have a big win.

Glen takes it well and calls me names.

Win 19-1

Game Six – John Willenbruch (Bretonnians) – Battleline
The big win has propelled me up the table as apart from John all around us have drawn. He is four points in front of me going into the last round – Tom, who has played is between us – so I know that I need a 13-7 to pass him.

In the first turn I move forward my Slaves – both sides of a building to block access to my Bell unit – John’s Lord had Heroic Killing Blow and there was no way I wanted him into my Seer’s unit. My magic and shooting concentrates on his Lord’s unit reducing it by 2-3 knights. I’m pretty aghast when the Lord’s Errants and the twin Paladin unit make longish charges to hit my slave units, which are Steadfast in combat. Again I lose my WLC in the first turn, this time to the Treb.

At this point I make a decision to Plague the combat with 30 Slaves and 12 Brets in it. I’m thinking that I’ll get 4 Brets and still stay Steadfast second round whereby I can bring my HPA into the side. Not happy when one Bret and 16 slaves go down. I break and the unscathed lance has three targets it can reform to. John chooses the HPA – I was hoping he would choose the flank of the Bell unit, no such luck. The HPA goes down over three rounds. There are three other fights going on.

On the Bret baseline, my Gutter Runners have arrived and due to luck and an unfortunate rules error (Peasants don’t panic Peg knights) they clean out Yeomen, the Trebuchet and archers. Over on my right John’s third Lance is busy killing Rat Darts before belatedly moving to the centre.

The big battle though is Slaves versus the Lord’s Lance. They have held the charge Turn One and manage to fight their way through to the top of Turn 5 when in conjunction with initially magic and shooting, and then the Doomwheel they win out. John has brought his twin Paladin lance around to help the Lord, arriving just two late. However he charges the Doomwheel and “Disaster” – for John. His Level 4 miscasts and wipes out most of the unit. The remaining Paladin wins combat causing the Doomwheel to flee and then charges it again and it flees off the board.

This was a very brutal game that swung from one side to the other throughout. I was very happy on deployment but things looked dire by Turn 2. It then swung my way as I eventually won a war of attrition. When we added up the points it was a win to me but the score was very flattering. Certainly the most enjoyable game I’ve had this year.

Win 15-5
On the table next to us Dan Butler’s Skaven had beaten Tom’s Daemons 15-5, so I knew that the 15 points I had got, taking me to 84 points, was probably enough.

Wrap Up
Scoring 44 points on Day Two, 34 points in the last two games was enough to have me finish 1st on 84 points. Dan Butler was 2nd with Skaven and Paul Dalton was 3rd with Ogres. Tom did really well to finish 5th, just behind John with regular opponent Mike King and Hamish finishing 6th and 7th.

I played six different armies over the weekend allowing me to test the army against a wide variety of builds. I also got to play two new opponents and two guys I hadn’t played in the last two years.

There were some very nice armies on show though the one that caused the most comment was the Ogre bottle army. On Sunday afternoon “Bottle-gate” erupted resulting in its replacement by another army for the second day. I can understand people not wanting to play an army so out there and Antony acknowledged that he had made a mistake in allowing it to be used. Good call. Hopefully other TOs will draw a line as to what is an acceptable proxy or not.

Thanks to all my opponents for the games and to the organisers for all their efforts.

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