Monday, March 6, 2017

Battle Report - The Herd vs. Abyss in Control

Locally we have a tournament coming up in two weeks time. WSS-Summer is the first of the four event Warlord Super Series put on here in Wellington, aimed at growing the player base.

At this event I'll be using my Herd army. Throughout last year I played Ratkin and this time around wanted a complete change. My army is made up of figures from different manufacturers but the key distinguishing feature is that it has absolutely no ranged attack. I built it this way to make it as different from Ratkin as possible. No matter what genre of game I have always gravitated to a combined arms approach that softens the enemy up at range before engaging in the mid to late game. I wanted something that preformed differently, hence my Herd army.

Lliam and I are both playing at Summer so wanted to roadtest under tournament conditions. We decided to play Control with 55 minutes each on the clock including deployment.

You can see my deployment above. The piece of impassable terrain in my deployment zone was a challenge. It splits my army up and I felt I deployed badly as a result. I need to work on formulating a more coordinated plan in future.

Lliam's deployment was far better. He'd worked his army into coordinated battle groups providing mutual support. In addition, he had worked the terrain to his advantage where he was using the building to guard a flank and allow his mobile elements to sweep into my half.

On my left I only had a Beast Pack and Harpies to slow his advance. I was happy I could chaff him up but had forgotten that the Greater Abyssal had Lightning Bolt. This removed the Beast Pack Turn One.

In the centre Lliam moved forward. I was happy with this as my plan was to rush the centre and get through before his flanking force made it around. On my right I advanced and started to push Lliam back.

With the left crumbling, I directed another Beast Pack over to buy time. The Harpies were wavered by the Lightning Bolt which meant they couldn't be used.

The next picture shows where I made one of the crucial errors in the game. I should have placed the Chimera over the centre line in the lee of the forest. He wouldn't have been a charge target and then in my next turn he could have jumped behind Lliam's lines giving him a real problem to deal with. You can just see the nose of the Beast Pack I pushed up on my right.

With a series of charges set up, I ran into trouble Lliam wavered my Lycans on a "10" which meant they sat there doing nothing. This compounded the error in placement of the Chimera.

Here you can see the developing standoff on my right. With the Chimera behind Lliam's lines I think I could have forced 'tis situation earlier. The Beast Pack is drawing the Efreet's shooting.

Now I have the charges set up again. The Spiritwalkers have cleared a unit of Gargoyles, Stampede is ready to roll, Chimera will now make amends in the centre and the Lycans have recovered all their wounds. Ready, set...

Lliam's Flamebearers do two wounds to the Lycans and roll box cars to waver them again. Gosh how we laughed.

On my left Lliam had cleared things out and I had been hoping to really push the centre but that Waver took away a lot of my firepower. It meant that a number of combats I felt I could burst through were now dodgy.

Change of plan. The Spiritwalkers turn to face the approaching hordes while the other units (sans Lycans) charged in. The Stampede removed the Lower Abyssals while the Chimera bounced from the Flamebearers.

On the right the standoff continued though the Efreet disposed of the Beast Pack.

The Morlocks charged the Stampede and wavered it while the Flamebearers chose not to countercharge so the Chimera could be shot.

In Lliam's fourth turn he multicharged the Spiritwalkers and they were routed.

However unfortunately for Lliam, although he had got himself into a strong position he timed out midway through the 4th Turn giving me the win. We continued to play the game through - although I didn't take any further photos - and at the end of the sixth turn we each held two sectors. I rolled for a 7th turn and in that Lliam was able to bring his numbers to bear to give him a 4-2 advantage.

Here in Wellington we play on a Death Clock basis - so if you run out of time you lose. I'll be writing a blog post on different approaches to timed games later this week.

This was a very good game. I thought Lliam's deployment was vastly superior to mine ( even though I used 2-3 minutes more). From there I had to try and put Lliam on the back foot which I struggled to do. Where I was successful was in creating time pressure on him - particularly in Turns 3 and 4 - forcing him to make decisions. We spoke about this after the game. He felt the Herd was hard to play against given that it really only has a Movement phase. There is no extended Shooting/Magic phase when an opponent can survey his options. If I play fast in my Movement and there is no combat, Lliam had little time outside his own allocation to think about his next moves.


  1. Outrageous slander! I timed out in turn 5.

    Turn 4, however, was where I burned through all my time. You really put pressure on in your turn 3 and, despite the fact that I ended up not doing much, it took me much longer than it should've to decide that. Your turn 3 is also where the strength of your army in putting time pressure on your opponent was obvious. You created several threats, then had no shooting and no combat. I remember distinctly that turn being the one where I felt I wasn't ready to start my turn. Going into my 4 I was ok for time, then upon finishing realised I had about 6 minutes left for at least two more turns.

    Other thoughts - going first was definitely the right decision for me, as it allowed me to get my flankers around in time to be useful.

    Moving forward in the centre may not have been optimal, but the goal was to prevent you coming too far forward. I wanted your flanks to be roughly facing my cavalry, which is more or less how it worked out.

    Unit strength is going to take a little getting used to. In my 6, I looked at your lycan horde and was convinced they were only worth 2, so moved my hellhounds out of your centre 6th. You then made more or less the same mistake with respect to my cavalry regiment.

    A key mistake I made on my left was pissing about too long with the succubi. I really should've just parked them behind the obstacle and left it at that.

  2. Man that sounds intense! Easily half - 60% of the game won in list and deployment against a good player.

    Keep up the content Pete I am not keeping up this week it's great!

  3. It's great to get the feedback from the other opponent too, so thanks for lliam in doing that