Monday, May 22, 2017

KOW - The Herd at WSS Autumn

Over the weekend we had WSS Autumn here in Wellington. It was four rounds, 2000 point armies with 55 minutes each on the clock.

I took the Herd, the army I have been playing with most recently, keen to give it another tournament run. My list was as follows:
  • Spiritwalkers Horde
  • Lycan Horde - Healing Brew
  • Lycan Horde - Helm of the Ram
  • 4x Beast Pack Troops (including The Little Beast Pack Who Could)
  • Stampede - Blood of Kittens
  • Stampede - Brew of Sharpness
  • Chimera - Wings
  • Shaman - Heal
  • Tribal Totem Bearer - Lute of Insatiable Darkness
The key thing with the list is that it is a glass cannon. It hits hard but only the Chimera is more than De 4+. There are only two sources of Inspiring which means you need to play very tight and methodically, and in particular be careful where units will end up after combat. The other quirk/weakness in the list is that there is no Ranged Attack- magic or shooting - in the list which means that you must commit to Melee to cause every wound.

I played a practice game during the week and I lost a Stampede as it was un-Inspired so it was a good lesson going into the event.

Game One - Kent Jackson (Undead) - Dominate

A couple of months ago I played Kent's Undead and lost when a series of combats went against me. This was largely due to my piecemeal attack where I went in unsupported. In this game I chose the side of the table with the unimpeded path into the centre of the circle.

My dice were good in this game - consistently rolling up - and that helped my supported attack plan. Pretty much every combat had at least two units as I used my superior mobility and speed to engineer advantageous melees. Chimera, Stampede and Beasts (in flank) took out Zombie Legion, Stampede and Stampede (in flank) removed Revenants, two Lycan Hordes (one in flank) got Wights etc. Throughout I ensured I was pretty much removing a unit if I charged it.

On the flanks my Beast Packs held off the Werewolves Kent had until late in the game. However even then they only made Hindered charges and I was able to deal with them in the subsequent turn.

At the end of the game Kent had only a Liche King and Standard left (270) while I had much of my army still intact (1670).

Win 15-1

Game Two - Neil Williamson (Varangur) - Invade

In started with a significant Unit Strength advantage in this game; 19-13. Neil's army is all-Nimble with four Regiments of Horse Archers, three Devourers, Fallen, two Magos with LB and Bloodboil plus a Standard Bearer.

My plan here was to sacrifice my Beast Packs to get the bulk of my army into Neil's Far corner. I knew his Devourers needed to get into charge range of my hard hitters to inflict damage so if he didn't attack straight away they would prove ineffectual. My biggest concern were the Horse Archers and LBs causing damage enough for Bloodboil to come into play.

I felt I played really well in this game. Pretty much every shot Neil got, I had cover and I used my Shaman to heal where necessary. I caught one unit of Horse Archers that Neil had deployed by themselves on a flank and sacrificed three Beast Packs to delay any aggressive intentions Neil had. The game was very tactical but once I reached his board edge I could turn my Lycans and Chimera to control the distance between us.

At the end Neil had 1820 points left and I had 1790.

Win 12-4

Game Three - Peter Williamson (Forces of Nature) - Push

Williamson the Younger is an excellent player and was attending with a gap of six plus months since his last games of KoW. His FoN had two Hordes of Ensnarers, a flying Beast, Unicorn, Druid, Water Elementals, Tree Herder, Naid Wrymrider Horde, Regiment of Centaurs and Hunters of the Wild Troop.

This is the game where "The Little Beast Pack Who Could" did! [See yesterday's blog]. It held up the centre while battle raged around it. Peter put his Loot counters on his two Ensnarers while I put both mine on my Spiritwalkers, who I then placed on a flank. My plan was to remove the BoN and Unicorn which would make it had for Peter to get flanks on my Spiritwalker Horde. On Turn 1 I grabbed the central objective with the Beast Pack and left a Lycan Horde as bait for the BoN. Peter charged it, it survived and then I hit it with two Lycans killing it. I also got a sly flank charge by the Chimera into the Unicorn but failed to break or Waver it. However it retreated to the side of the board away from my Spiritwalkers.

In the centre a Stampede removed the Tree Herder but was in turn jumped on by a Horde of Naiads and it broke. I charged the other Naiads with two Lycans and a Chimera (in the rear) but after inflicting 30+ wounds rolled Snake Eyes on the re-roll. I couldn't complain though as I was benefiting from the Beast Pack's heroics. The Naiads removed one Lycan Horde before dying next turn. The second Stampede had to take a charge from the Centaurs but held and destroyed them next turn.

Going into the last turns my Chimera was charged by the Wyrmriders but held. He countercharged with flank support from Lycans while the remaining Stampede followed up its defeat of the Centaurs by breaking the other Ensnarer Horde - I rolled 3-4 more wounds than expected.

On Turn 6 the Spiritwalkers routed the Hunters of the Wild, leaving Peter with just his Druid and the Unicorn. I caught these on Turn 7 removing the last of his models. My army had 1125 points remaining. Although on paper this was a big win, it was far tighter than the score showed. I had the better of the luck - Beast Pack and Stampede into Ensnarers - although the Double 1 on the other Ensnarers balanced it somewhat.

Win 15-1

Game Four - Bye - Scavenge

We had had a withdrawal on the morning of the event - Spider bite - ouch! This had left us with a bye which is never great when people are paying to enter an event.

Looking at the scores at this point, the gap between me and the second placed person after Round Three was such that unless I was beaten by over 1000 points in the last round or timed out, nobody could catch me.

I spoke with the players and offered to take the bye so everybody else got a game in the last round. Everybody was happy with this given the gap. This also meant that the other top four players were playing each other giving the final round some further excitement.

The bye was worth 13 points in the event - 12 for the win, one bonus.

As TO I thought this was the best outcome and was glad all the players agreed. I hate telling people they've got the bye reducing their enjoyment and gaming opportunity.


So I won my three games and as noted above I felt luck was with me on the day.

I felt though that I had played pretty well especially with regards to the right plan in each game and then its execution. What I was particularly happy about over the course of the three games there were only two instances where I did not have a re-roll on a Nerve check for my Stampedes, Lycans, Spiritwalkers and Chimera. Both happened in my game versus Peter - once on the Chimera (charge by Wrymriders) and once on Stampede (charge by Centaurs). I was very happy with this as given I only had two sources of Inspiring- both on foot - it was testimony to good, well thought out placement.

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