Last Saturday, I attended the 1600 point tournament that I previously posted a list for. I was my first tournament for about two years, so I was really looking forward to it. It was well run, with plenty of prize support and I had a really good time. We ended up having 12 players at the tournament with a decent variety of armies.
From memory, the list breakdown was something like this:
2 Warriors of Chaos, Vampire Counts, Ogres, Skaven
1 High Elf, Empire, Beastmen, Tomb Kings
Looking around before the tournament, it was nice to see that there weren’t many cannons. That was one thing that I was worrying about for my Dragon Mage. I forgot to take any notes of the games, so I will be going purely from memory here, so there might be some minor inaccuracies, particularly on the opponent’s lists.
Game 1: High Elves vs. Ogres
- Slaughtermaster, Grut’s Sickle
- 6 Ogres
- 6 Ironguts
- 2 Mournfang
- 4 Leadbelchers
- 3 Maneaters, poison, sniper
Scenario: Kill the opponent’s characters
My Spells (4 Shadow, 3 Fire): Pit of Shades, Pendulum, Enfeebling Foe, Miasma; Flaming Sword, Firestorm, Burning Head
I missed out on Mindrazor, but rolled the Pit, which can be huge against Ogres. So, all that I have to do in this game is kill the Slaughtermaster, while protecting my Archmage & Dragon Mage and I score a Massacre. Should be fairly easy, right?
There was a decent sized forest right in the middle of my deployment zone. I put my Dragon Princes, an Eagle & the Dragon Mage on the left flank, which he countered with his Mournfang. The Archmage went in the Spearmen unit, with the Archers and another Eagle on the right. His Sabretusks faced off against these units, while the Ogre units were fairly centrally deployed.
I think that the only eventful thing in the first turn was when my archers killed one of the Mournfang. This actually won me the “First Blood” prize which provided me with a drink and some candy (to which my 6-year old son who was with me, greatly appreciated). The Leadbelchers fled after seeing the poor Sabretusk shot down by the elves (eventually running off of the board in later turns).
My Eagle on the left flank ended up fleeing off of the board after being Braingobbled (?). I was able to stop the Bonecruncha (?) on my Dragon Princes throughout the game. The Dragon Princes and the Mournfang on the left half of the board, mostly just stared at each other all game. The Maneaters managed to snipe two wounds off of my Archmage. He charged my spear unit with his Ogre block, winning the combat. I managed to fail my Leadership 9, steadfast test, losing my Archmage & Spearmen.
For the final round, I did a multicharge of one Dragon Prince unit charging the front of the Ogres with the Slaughtermaster and the Dragon Mage flank charging. The Dragon Princes had Flaming Sword on them, and the dragon unleashed its breath (the massive Strength 2!), but he ended up killing the mage off the top of the dragon to win the scenario conditions.
Massacre to my opponent.
Thoughts: Well, there are a lot of things that I did wrong in this game. Probably the safest choice to try and win would have been to sit back and just throw boosted Pit of Shades at him. My archmage was protected from the first miscast, so I could have at least tried that until that was used up. Aside from that, I possibly could have won in the final round if I would have directed the Dragon Price, Dragon Mage, and Sun Dragons attacks against the Slaughtermaster, but I forgot to. Also worth mentioning is that I seem to have a big problem stopping Ogre magic. In this game, I focused on stopping the Bonecruncha (?) which would have torn through the Dragon Princes and maybe one other spell, but with the +6 or +7 to cast, it was generally difficult to stop his magic. Overall, it was a fun game and it was good to get back to playing again.
After this game, we had a little bit of time, and my son seemed very concerned that I didn’t have the “good” models, so he went and found some for me. It seems that he had determined what I needed to get to win, and it turned out to be a Battleforce of Ultramarines. I took him over to the High Elf area, and he didn’t seem to be too impressed by what options I had.
Game 2: High Elves vs. Empire
- Luther Huss
- Wizard (Beasts)
- 9 Knights
- 20 Hand Gunners
- 20 Spearmen
- 20 Swordsmen
- Great Cannon
Scenario: Dawn Attack deployment. Irresistible Force is on double 6 & double X (where X is the current turn number)
My Spells (4 Shadow, 3 Fire): Pit of Shades, Mindrazor, Miasma, ?; Flaming Sword, ?, ?
My opponent deployed first, using the Dawn Attack rules (roll to see where units deploy). His hand gunners ended up in a building, with the cannon on my left flank. The Hellblaster, Spearmen, and Witch Hunter ended up on a hill in the middle of the board, with the knights & Luther to next to them. His wizard & swordsmen ended up on my right flank.
My right flank consisted of: 1 Eagle, Dragon Princes, and Archers. The Dragon Mage ended up in the central zone, but luckily behind a large hill (the Temple of Skulls terrain). The Spearmen & Archmage faced off against the Empire spearmen, with the other Dragon Princes & Eagle on the left flank.
On his first turn, he managed to drop an Irresistible Curse of Anraheir on the Dragon Mage (double 1), which caused his wizard to lose all of his spells. He then proceeded to misfire with his cannon (keeping it from firing next turn). My turn was was slightly more spectacular, managing to double 6 the my 3 dice casting of Flaming Sword on the archers. The Dragon Mage then managed to disappear off of the table as he was sucked into the beyond (this was a common theme for players in this round).
The rest of the battle managed to go poorly for me. The Dragon Princes and Eagle on the left were shot to pieces. In the middle, the spear block held out for a while. I managed to break his spears, but couldn’t catch them, leaving me open to a flank charge from the knights. I failed a 5 dice Mindrazor (by 1) in one turn and then he scroll my 30+ casting value of it the next round. Eventually the spears were worn down. I think it was this game where I rolled a 12 for my flee distance only to have my opponent roll one for pursuit. On the right flank, the Dragon Princes and Eagle hit the swordsmen. Eventually, the Dragon Princes broke only to rally and be charged and broken again until they finally ran off the table. The one shining light for me was in the final round my archers managed to kill 4 of the Swordsmen, causing a panic test on the Swordsmen, which my opponent managed to fail both of his Leadership rolls to run off the board.
Massacre to my opponent.
Thoughts: I’m not really sure about this game. Losing my Dragon Mage turn 1 clearly didn’t help, but things just didn’t go well. I couldn’t get the Pit off on his war machines. Also, Mindrazor was my only chance to kill the knights, but it wasn’t happening. HIs shooting tears right through me and there was just too much low Strength in my army to get through his armour. It was still an enjoyable game, but unfortunate that the two “Good” armies in the tournament had to fight each other.
Game 3: High Elves vs. Warriors of Chaos
- Daemon Prince – Level 2 (Metal)
- Khorne Chariot
- Khorne Chariot
- 20+ Forsaken
- 20+ Forsaken
- 10 Warhounds
Scenario: Battle Line. You could call a Last Stand once per game to make any one unit of your pass a Leadership test. Bonus points were awarded for not using it or killing the opponent’s unit that did use it.
My Spells (4 Shadow, 3 Fire): Miasma, Withering, Mindrazor, Pit; Flaming Sword, Flame Cage, Cascading Fire Cloak
Well, I pretty much managed to get all of the spells that I wanted in this game, so I can’t complain about that. One unit of Forsaken went on each flank, with the rest bringing up the middle. On my right flank, I placed my Archers and an Eagle. The Spears and a unit of Dragon Princes were on the left side of the center, with the Dragon Mage and a unit of Dragon Princes on the far left flank.
He got first turn despite my +2 to go first. Everything pushed forward, with the Daemon Prince rusting the Dragon Princes armour. I managed to get Flame Cage on the Forsaken, which they ended up moving through and taking some hits. Over the course of the game, I managed to Wither them which actually made the Sun Dragons breath decent (Strength 2 vs Toughness 2). The Dragon Princes and Dragon Mage charged the Forsaken. After the dust had settled, the Dragon and 1 or 2 princes were killed, but the Forsaken were killed.
In the meantime, the Daemon Prince was stuck on my other Dragon Prince unit for many rounds of combat. We managed to forget to roll for Terror each round in this combat. Eventually, after cleaning them up, he managed to wipe out the other Dragon Princes and the Dragon Mage.
The spear block ended up fighting a Khorne Chariot for most of the game. He chewed through a large chunk of the spears before I managed to get a Mindrazor off and finish it off. During that fight, one Eagle rear charged the chariot, and the dogs then flank charged the Eagle, managing to kill it. By the time the first chariot died, the other chariot and the dogs hit the the spear block and eventually ground it down. I think that I managed to get off my 2nd Mindrazor of the tournament with less than 10 spearmen left, which didn’t make much of a difference.
The archers were smashed by the Forsaken on the far side of the field.
Massacre to my opponent.
Thoughts: Khorne chariots are ridiculous. Ok, maybe not, but with my build they were a huge problem. He effectively mopped up my army without using 25% of his (the Forsaken on the far flank were too far away to do anything but kill the archers). One nice thing about this game was that I actually managed to roll a decent amount of magic dice to be able to use the magic phase, unlike my previous games. Still enjoyable, but yet another loss for me.
Well, what can I say? I thought that the tournament was excellent, but my performance was lousy? All of my opponents were great to play against. I had a lot of fun and the TO kept things running smoothly. The scenarios were interesting and a nice twist from just a standard battle. They definitely shook up how things went in Round 2. Unfortunately, I had to leave before the awards were handed out, but I did manage to land the Best Sportsman, scoring me the trophy and $25 of store credit! This was a nice bonus since it was really about the only award that I thought I had a shot at going in, and I try to be a nice guy.
From a list design perspective… I knew going into the tournament that my army was going to suffer with its low Strength attacks, and was probably relying too heavily on Mindrazor counter that. I wanted to take a Dragon and try out the Dragon Mage, so I got to do that, but he clearly is a weaker choice. Its stats are so poor and the Strength 2 breath is almost useless. Occasionally his free magic dice per spell helped out, but those extra dice could have come much cheaper through other choices. I will admit that I did like having two mages, though. There were many times throughout the tournament when I rolled below average on spells and it was nice to have another mage to use the dice when the other had broken his concentration. The Dragon Princes do alright the first round of combat, but in round 2 and on, they end up losing to ranks and standards. Ideally, they would perform a combo charge with another block, but when it really gets down to it, my opponents can all field the same amount of block as me that are almost as effective for cheaper. For example, I think that the Forsaken and my spear block run about the same price. I think that we all know who wins a straight up fight in that. Even a lone Khorne chariot would kill the entire spear block if it was unaided. It really is too bad, because I love the Dragon Prince models, but when it really comes down to it, 10 Sword Masters or White Lions are more effective, possibly even 10 Phoenix Guard…
There is supposed to be another tournament in May that I will try to make it to. Maybe I will try to make a more competitive list. Even if I do that, I make plenty of mistakes on my own, but it might be more forgiving. Only time will tell on what I do.