Followers of this blog might know by now how much I hate facing the Vermin Swarm. It doesn’t help that our resident Vermin Swarm player is one of the best Belgian players of all time, one who consistently ends up in the top3 of tournaments, from the 7th edition Warhammer days until now. Having played against him several times I’ve learned that elves hate the Vermin, but on the other hand I had a secret hope that not all vermin swarm players would be as talented as Valmir when playing the army. Said hope was shattered when I saw who the player I’d be facing for our last game was: Thibault @ANKOR , also known as the French Mercenary, is a well known face in the European tournament circuit, as the former captain of team France ETC and a very able general.
He had brought the following Vermin Swarm list:
Vermin Daemon, general
Plague Priest on Pendulum, Plague Flail, Putrid Plate, Occultism Adept
Chieftain BSB, Warplock Pistol, Binding Scroll
2 x 10 Footpads, musician
10 Footpads, musician, Vanguard
2 x 20 Giant Rats
25 Plague Brotherhood, Full Command
6 Vermin Hulks, Champion
8 Plague Disciples
2 x Dreadmill
2 x Plague Catapult
So your run of the mill Vermin Swarm tournament list, with all the tricks: Vermin Daemon for reliable Discipline bubble, Divination magic and an almost unkillable general, the Pendulum unit to keep things honest, two Dreadmills to get points from the big targets, two catapults for whittling down the R3 elves, and a smattering of scoring and chaff. The objective for this round was Secure Target, and we got Counterthrust deployment.
For spells, I went with the usual Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue and Grave Calls/Breath of Corruption, while my opponent picked the VS hereditary, Fate’s Judgment, Unerring Strike, Scrying and Stars Align for the Vermin Daemon. The Plague priest took Pentagram of Pain and Hand of Glory.
Going into the game I knew that coordination of the attack was key to standing a chance: if I allowed the dreadmills and the magic users enough time to kill my big targets one by one I’d go down fast. I won the roll for sides and gave my opponent the side with the impassable terrain, placing my Secure Target token to the far left: that side of the board had enough covering terrain to ensure that if my adversary wanted to go for it he’d have to give me a lot of hiding spots. Thibaut countered this by placing his token diametrically opposite, right next to the eastern table edge.
We started alternating deployment drops: the vermin swarm used the Disciples and the vanguarding footpads to deny me space in the left and the center respectively. I used my medusas and dark riders to bide my time, not revealing my intentions. The vermin did the same, but then I noticed an opening: the Plague Disciples had been deployed facing towards my opponent’s table edge to avoid getting frenzy baited on the first turn. Due to the scenario this meant that I was able to deploy my Yema Acolytes at exactly 20” away, giving me a 10+ first turn charge and an opportunity to take out a very annoying combat element. So I went for it, dropping the entire army in the process:
I placed one Blade unit on either side, careful to prevent any easy firing lanes to the catapults (they had been placed already). The krakens and manticore went off-center to the left, and the general with Corsairs deployed dead center so as to be able to threaten either side of the board. My opponent replied to this by completely abandoning the left flank, and deployed in a denied flank using the impassable terrain to protect his flank.
This approach meant that I was all but guaranteed a draw objective-wise as long as I managed to deal with the disciples early on. But storming the Vermin battle line and winning the secondary would be a totally different story. Predictably, the Footpads vanguarded forward to block my prince’s vanguard, and I moved up with both fast cavalry units.
TURN 1 – Dread Elves
My first action of the game was to declare that Dark Acolyte charge against the Disciples: they made it in, while a Kraken forced the central footpads to flee due to Terror. With the disciples locked in combat my army pushed up aggressively, careful to stay 26” away from the rightmost dreadmill. The dark raiders to the right spotted a mistake in the vermin deployment and moved… [Read More]