SmithF's 9th Age Battle Reports 62

MSU battle reports, as first seen in TWF.

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  • So, after a very big win on round 1 and a couple of hot dogs kindly offered by Pink Horde's BBQ, I moved up the tables to find Gregory @Gregus and his Empire of Sonnstahl!
    He had brought a fairly static gunline, clearly inspired by the German ETC list of this year and geared towards team play: he and some of his mates will be attending team tournaments and his role is the defensive one!

    Gregus wrote:

    Marshall, General
    Marshall ,Shield, BSB, Talisman of the Void
    Wizard Master (Divination), Binding Scroll, Magical Heirloom
    Wizard Adept (Pyromancy), Book of Arcane Mastery
    Wizard Adept (Alchemy), Binding Scroll
    Artificer, Repeater Gun

    21 Heavy Iinfantry, Standard, Musician, Household Standard
    21 Heavy Infantry w/ Spears
    17 Light Infantry w/crossbows
    18 Light Infantry w/crossbows
    18 Light Infantry w/crossbows

    10 Reiters w/Repeater Guns
    10 Reiters w/Repeater Guns

    30 Flagellants
    Steam Tank
    So a true gunline with around 120 S4 shots, two cannons and backed up by no less than three mages, with a total of 9 spells!
    The objective was Hold the Center and the deployment type was Refused Flank.
    Going into this game, I knew that I was at a disadvantage due to the deployment type, that would allow my opponent to put more space between the two battle lines. On the flip side, this allows one to predict more or less where the bunk of the enemy forces will be sitting, due to space limitations.

    So when I won the roll for sides, I opted for the configuration that a) placed a forest right in the middle of the table, great cover against cannons and small arms fire, b) had an impassable terrain limiting enemy deployment even further. My opponent didn't elect to deploy his entire army in one go, which gave me the opportunity to drop all for the first turn!

    I went for a central deployment with the 3 monsters tightly packed and heading for that forest, the right flank held by the dancers of yema and some legionnaires while the left flank had all the fast troops and my remaining scorers. The reasoning behind this was to put pressure early on, keeping the enemy away from the center and forcing him to split his shooting while I advanced. My adversary deployed his shooting troops literally hugging the table edge, using the Steam Tank to protect his left flank and the flagellants to anchor the right.

    [/image<br /> ][image=20956,'large']

    For spells, I got Pentagram of Pain/Grave Calls and Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue, while my opponent got Altered Sight, Unerring Strike, Stars Align and Scrying for the Divination wizard, Fireball and Molten Copper for the Alchemy wizard and Quicksilver Lash and Flaming Swords for the Pyromancy wizard.

    TURN 1 - DE

    All three monsters rushed to the forest's cover, both krakens combining their footprints to keep the Dragon Safe from either cannon. The dark raiders spotted a blind spot next to the leftmost reiters and moved there threatening to charge on the following turn. The legionnaires both advanced cautiously: these didn't need to move too aggressively, as I was going to need them for scoring early objective points. To the right, the Dancers of Yema were assigned to Steam Tank duty: these would have to keep the tank busy from turns 2 to 4, while the rest of the army pounced on the relatively soft shooting battery.

    In magic I attempted to cast magic on both the cannon and the Reiters to the right who were too far away from the general and bsb, but no wounds were caused.

    TURN 1 - EoS

    My opponent responded to my baits by simply ignoring them: the flagellants moved up to intercept my monsters, the tank just pivoted to get good firing lanes to the krakens and the leftmost reiters retreated behind the Flagellants to a spot where all of their possible assailants would have to suffer a stand and shoot reaction if they wanted to get into combat.

    In the magic phase I had to let through Altered Sight on the cannon, as well as a Fireball on the kraken that dealt a single wound, so as to dispel the Unerring strike that inevitably targeted a kraken. In the shooting phase the cannon hit my left kraken and did maximum damage, killing it outright! The steam tank thankfully failed to hit the second kraken, and the rest of the shooting amounted to 4 dead legionnaires from the right unit, as well as a couple of dead dark raiders.

    TURN 2 - DE

    The casualties were mounting fast, but I was still too far to declare any significant charges against the gunline. So I sent the dancers of yema charging into the Steam Tank, to hold it in place for a couple of turns. Now free from the threat of the Steam Cannon, I was able to push the Kraken and Dragon forward, still staying within the safety of the forest but inching closer to the enemy. Both Medusas and a unit of Dark Riders moved into positions from where they'd be able to charge on turn 3, and the same… [Read More]
  • Challenge 13: A Dread Elf tale

    Greetings, fellow gamers! I’m just back from one of Belgium’s biggest singles tournaments,run by no other than Pink Horde and @IHDarklord, and thought I’d share my experience with you:

    Pink Horde is a gaming club near the French border of Belgium, who has been very active in promoting T9A amongst other games. Their yearly fantasy gaming event has been going on for more than 10 years, and last year's echoes from friends were so positive that I just had to attend: I wasn't disappointed, since the tournament was a blast! The venue was big and very bright with huge windows on every side allowing us to witness the rare sight of Belgian late-September sun rays, the tables all equipped with battle mats and a combination of 2D and 3D terrain for maximum gaming comfort and immersion, and most of the armies were beautifully painted!

    The tournament managed to gather a crowd of 32 people, including fellow ETC team mates but also an array of players of all levels from all over Belgium. For my first game, I got to play a Pink Horde member, Tino, @badman341980 who is a fantasy wargaming veteran, dusting off his WoDG:

    badman341980 wrote:

    Sorcerer Master (Evocation), General, Veil Walker, Destiny's Call, Magical Heirloom
    Chosen Lord BSB, Sloth, Halberd, Master of Destruction, Blessed Inscriptions, Talisman of Shielding
    Barbarian Chief on Wasteland Behemoth, Paired Weapons (Touch of Greatness), Wyrd Stone

    2 x 5 Fallen
    16 Warriors of Sloth, Full Command, Flaming Standard, Great Weapons

    2 x 6 Wrath Chosen w/Great Weapon

    Marauding Giant, Giant Club
    Marauding Giant, Monstrous Familiar
    So a monster mash list that can be deceptively hard-hitting, especially when one underestimates the hitting power of Agility 6+ chosen with Great Weapons.
    My opponent chose Whispers of the Veil, Hasten the Hour, Ancestral Aid and Touch of the Reaper for his spells, and the magic giant got Breath of Corruption.
    In return, I picked Breath of Corruption/Grave Calls and Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue for my acolytes.

    We played Counterthrust and Capture the Flags.
    We exchanged a few drops and then my opponent placed his entire army for the first turn. My opponent split his army into two squads: each had a unit of fallen, a giant and a unit of chosen. On the left flank they were supported by the Behemoth whereas on the right/center they were accompanied by the Sloth Warriors. I replied by weighing my right flank and the center, leaving only a unit of acolytes, a dark raider unit, a Medusa and a Kraken to keep things honest and prevent my opponent from performing a pincer maneuver early on.

    TURN 1 - WoDG

    Wary of my Kraken on the left, Tino approached cautiously, careful not to give me an easy charge. The middle also inched forward, using the impassable terrain as a flank anchor. In the magic phase the Sorcerer target the Dancers of Yema with a boosted Hasten the Hour, killing 3 of them. The Hellfire was dispelled and I let through the Breath of Corruption on the giant.

    TURN 1 - DE

    The Dancers of Yema, on top of the hill, declared a long charge into the left unit of Fallen: if they made it in, that unit would probably be dealt with and they'd be deep within enemy lines to case all kinds of trouble. They failed, despite the reroll. On my left flank I used the dark Raiders to block the advance of both monsters and the chosen of wrath, which allowed me to move the spears and the kraken at the 12" mark from the redirectors. The Acolytes of Yema outflanked the monster contingent, while in the center the Kraken and Dragon moved closer to the big block.

    In magic I only managed to cast the Breath of Corruption, dealing one wound on the left giant. The Medusa cast Deceptive Glamour on the right Fallen, giving the Dragon movement 9.

    TURN 2 - WoDG

    The chosen of wrath charged myredirectors, and killed them to an elf easily. Not willing to get flanked by poisoned Acolytes, the Behemoth moved backwards towards the hill, while the giant moved past their arc of sight and threatened the flank of my Kraken. In the center the Sloth Warriors moved up a bit, keeping both the Giant and the Wrath chosen in close support.
    Magic was once again focused on the Dancers of Yema: a boosted Hellfire managed to drop 9 more, leaving only 5 of them remaining! Then the Hasten the Hour killed three Dread Knights, relegating them to redirector duty!

    TURN 2 - DE

    I spotted an opening and took it: the Sloth Warriors were in such a position that if I charged with my monsters, only the Giant could countercharge them on the following turn: I combo charged with the Dancers of Yema and both the Kraken and the Dragon, but only the monsters made it in. The right Legionnaires declared a charge on the fallen but failed, while the left kraken and Legionnaires combo charged the left fallen. Only the… [Read More]
  • So with the first September rains, this blog is back in action!

    Since the ETC,my gaming focus has changed. Some of you may have followed my list building thread for Dread Elves (link here), where I try to explore how to best put some of the cool concepts of DE to use. So 2019 will probably the year of the Dread Elf, since it will allow me to use a nicely painted army that I acquired a while back!
    This first report is from a game I played against our local Vermin Swarm expert and fellow ETC Belgium team mate @valmir. It turned out to be such a great game, that I decided to make diagrams on UB and share it with you!

    Our lists:

    SmithF wrote:

    Prince of Yema, General, Dragon, Repeater Crossbow, Paired Weapons (Hero's Heart), Beastmaster's Lash, Lucky Charm (860)

    2 x 22 Dread Legionnaires w/spears, Full Command, Rending Banner (405)
    2 x 5 Dark Raiders (160)

    17 Dancers of Yema, Musician, Standard, Banner of Speed (444)
    2 x Medusa, Halberd (150)

    5 Dread Knights (255)
    5 Yema Dark Acolytes, Champion (375)
    5 Dark Acolytes, Champion (355)

    2 x Kraken (390)
    You can find the reasoning behind the choices in the list-building blog, but the main idea is to make use of fast and hard hitting elements in the Dread Elf book. The list doesn't have any shooting, focusing instead on maneuverability and the ability to focus close combat force in a small frontage. The Acolytes and Medusas provide something to do with the dice in the magic phase, and often they end up helping a bit.

    Valmir wrote:

    Vermin daemon (general), divination: 800
    Chief, bsb, binding scroll, ratlock pistol, shield :230
    Magister, thaumaturgy, binding scroll : 255
    Rakachit Machinist, ratlock pistol, scurrying veil : 230

    45 rats at arms, standard, musician, legion standard : 445
    25 rats at arms, standard, musician, champion : 280
    10 footpad 120

    20 giant rat : 140
    20 giant rat : 140
    5 jezzail: 190
    4 jezzail: 150
    Dreadmill: 290
    Dreadmill: 290
    Meat grinder: 150
    Rat swarm: 90

    13 plague disciple: 255
    6 vermin hulk :445
    So looking at the lists, two things were clear: I couldn't win this game from afar, and I would have to be very careful of my movement due to the Dreadmills.
    We got to play Counterthrust and Capture the Flags. After exchanging some drops, I decided to grab the first turn and put some pressure on the vermin early on.

    For magic, my yema acolytes got Pentagram of Pain and Grave Calls, the non-marked acolytes got Crippling Fatigue and Ice and Fire, while my adversary picked an array of close combat buffs (Scrying, Stars Align, Smite the Unbeliever) and magic missiles (Vermin Hereditary, Hand of Heaven, Fate's Judgment and Unerring Strike).

    Our deployment ended up looking like that:

    Vermin deployment, left to right: Dreadmill, Jezzails, Giant Rats, Vermin Daemon, Rat Swarms, Rats-at-arms with Meat Grinder and Machinist, Rats-at-arms with BSB and Magister, Jezzails, Dreadmill, Vemin Hulks, Giant Rats, Footpads (back), Plague Disciples (front)
    Dread Elf deployment, left to right: Medusa, Yema Acolytes, Dancers of Yema, Dragon, Dark Acolytes, Raptor Knights, Dark Raiders, Legionnaires, Kraken, Dark Raiders, Kraken, Dread Legionnaires, Medusa

    Not knowing where my opponent would deploy the bulk of his forces, I opted for a central deployment, putting my fast units in a position where they'd be able to rapidly relocate if the vermin abandoned the left flank. The piece of impassable terrain and the house close to my opponent's zone acted as flank guards for his units, but also gave me a unique opportunity to box in the rats from turn 1. So in vanguard I pushed both my raider units forward.

    TURN 1 - DE

    Normally I'm averse to sacrificing redirectors early on, but the long range potential of the vermin meant that I had to be aggressive. So both dark raider units moved up, effectively blocking the entire vermin battle line and leaving no room for redirectors to cross the cavalry line and redirect my hard hitters. The kraken both took cover in the woods, to make the most out of their Hard Target rule: now Jezzails and the Dreadmill would need 6's to hit. With the center pinned down, I pushed the entire army aggressively, relocating the Prince on Dragon towards the center.

    In the magic phase I managed to cast the Pentagram of pain on the left jezzails, killing one.

    TURN 1 - VS

    My adversary responded to my screening tactics by charging! The Vermin Hulks charged into the right Dark Raiders and the Meat Grinder solo-charged out of the Rats-at-arms unit and hit the flank of the second unit (this was something that I could have avoided, by placing my Dark Raiders closer to the rats!). The Disciples took the Medusa bait, and the giant rats closeby turned tail and moved back into the vermin deployment zone and too far from my units for second turn charge purposes. The vermin daemon[Read More]
  • Hello folks!

    I'm just back from the Zagreb ETC 2018, where I participated with DH as part of the Belgian team. The event can only be described as a great wargaming and social experience!
    With very few pictures taken (broken phone cam) and time constraints, full battle reports may take a while to get posted, if ever. So here's a recap of my six games of the ETC, and how the team did.

    Game 1 - Switzerland (EoS)

    The Swiss have made a habit of beating us in tournaments, they have a very good set of players and a coach with deep understanding of the game. Their lists were well constructed and had few weaknesses. I had estimated that playing against the Empire would allow me to score a good chunk of points (15+) since it had practically no threats for my king: Cosmology master, 18" Ld bubble/BSB combo, 4x10 Militia, 2x Sun Griffon Knights, Steam Tank, Cannon, 3x small swordsmen and a Knight Commander on a Young griffon with S7 ap3 and 1+ rerollable save.

    The scenario was Secure Target and I managed to keep both objectives close to each other: The game was focused on one side of the board, with my Seekers vanguarding towards the steam tank and a unit of Griffon Knights, the two units of crossbowmen facing the smaller, halberd-totting, Griffon knights and my Hold Guardians and Warriors between the two and in proximity for supporting either side.

    Highlights of the game:
    - the EoS took first turn and the starting volley and magic dropped an impressive 8 seekers. The seekers then succeeded a 10+ charge into the tank, but despite hatred and S7 ap4 only managed to do one wound to it. They'd subsequently get ground down without putting as much as a dent into the hated contraption.
    - The king's unit had to mow through four units of militia chaff, masterfully positioned for double flee shenanigans. By turn 3 I got the big break as one of the flee moves fell short and allowed me to go behind lines and then charge into a protracted Tank-Seeker-Sun Griffon combat. It ended with the KotSG fleeing off the table, the last seekers dying and the king then pursuing into the steam tank. This fight would go on for a while, at first because some swordsmen charged into my flank and denied my king his make way move, then because it took 4 rounds of combat to bring the steam tank to one wound. In the end, I didn't even manage to kill it!
    - The Knight Commander relocated towards my shooting units and then got stuck in a protracted combat against my rangers. He beat them with the help of the second KoTSG and sent them fleeing.
    - With so many combats/magic/shooting going on we were runing late, so we agreed not to play a rushed sixth turn: on turn 5 a couple of things happened that really cost me. The Marshall and some swordsmen charged into my Marksmen, and proceeded to kill 8 dwarfs despite -1 to hit on the unit. I fluffed in return, and failed my LD test, getting run down. This gave my opponent one of the secure target markers. The other one was snatched from right under my nose by a unit of 5 fleeing swordsmen: they rallied with the Coldblooded Order, allowing them to march normally: boosted by a second order (+4" march) they ended up exactly within 6" of the second counter.
    Add to that the fact that the king couldn't finish the steam tank to reform and charge them off the objective, and the game saw a 7+ point swing!

    In the end, DH lost 6-14 in a very good, strategic game.
    Our team didn't fare better (they had less favorable matchups than mine) and we lost the round 64-96.

    Game 2 - Latvia (KoE)

    The scenario here was Hold the Centre and the deployment was Refused Flank. My opponent had brought an MSU-ish KoE force spearheaded by a big Pegasus knight unit accompanied by a killer Duke (virtue of Renown, Blessed inscriptions for 4 s6 attacks rerolling to wound, with lethal strikes dealing D3w), a Divination master Inside a 10-strong questing knight unit, the Green Knight and two trébuchets.

    It became apparent in deployment that my adversary was planning on softening my units up for a turn 6 charge, since he deployed very deep and abandoned the central objective. I managed to vanguard my seekers out of sight of the trébuchets, then used them to control the approach of the lances and the landing zones for the Pegasus knights. The combined efforts of crossbows and flame cannons managed to make 3 units of Aspirants or Realm knights flee off the board, giving me the edge point-Wise. Not needing more points since the team was winning, and with the opponent reluctant to commit, we ended the game on a 15-5 win for the Dwarves.

    The team managed very good results overall, getting a maximum tournament point score of 100-60.

    Game 3 - Belarus (VC)

    On the second day of the tournament, we got paired against Belarus! The team included several ETC vétérans from Russia and France. As luck would have it, I got to play @benj and his Vampire Covenant army. Benji was part of last year's France ETC team and is well known in tournament circles… [Read More]
  • On the fourth game of the weekend, we got to play another Belgian team, Les Rieurs Sangliers (you could translate it as “the merry boars”). They are essentially the second half of the Belgian ETC team for this year, and they’d done quite well for themselves thus far.

    I got paired against Loick, on the basis that nobody else wanted to play my list. Some of you may remember Loick from last year’s tournament reports; he is a very experienced tournament player, but so far we’ve had some very one-sided games due -in part- to his dice. There always seems to be an occurrence of bad luck when he least needs it, and the game goes downhill from there.

    Loick had brought the following KoE list:

    So essentially three big lances, mobile scoring and chaff, a Shamanism master and a duke that can take on my hold guardians on his own. We got to play Marching Columns and Breakthrough. I went for a central deployment, while my adversary opted for a weighted flank to my left, with only some chaff and a small scoring unit of realm knights to my right. The KoE won the roll for the first turn.

    TURN 1
    My adversary moved up cautiously, keeping his chaff hidden behind his lines. In the magic phase, a 4-dice casting of the Totemic Summon was cast with triple 6’s: the Damsel took 3 unsaved wounds from the backlash and died instantly, denying the Equitaine forces their magic support!
    The totemic beast appeared right behind my lines and in range of the anvil.

    Turn 1’s miscast meant that I now had the upper hand: I turned the Hold Guardians around to help deal with the totemic beast, and suffled the rest of my forces to deter any aggressive movement from the knights. The marksmen charged a unit of yeomen right in front of them, and caught them in pursuit when they fled. The flame cannons and crossbows all opened fire and dealt considerable damage to the knights: four questing knights, a grail knight and three realm knights from the rightmost unit died.

    TURN 2

    The totemic beast tried to kill the anvil but failed, and would get killed on the following turn by the Hold Guardians. The Duke joined the outflanking realm knights, ready to charge the flame cannon on the following turn. The main bulk of the knights remained hidden behind a yeoman screen.
    On my turn I used said screen to advance aggressively towards the main knight units, safe from charges. Shooting still put some wounds on the knights, but not as many as on the previous turn.

    TURN 3

    Loick went in point conservation mode here: he silenced one flame cannon with the lord and realm knights, pushed the yeomen screen right on top of my troops and performed a swift reform with the Grail Knights and the Questing Knights that allowed him to move past my charge arcs and in safety.
    The big realm unit was not that lucky, though: by combo charging the yeoman conga line I created a favorable overrun path for my Rangers, boxing them in. A failed march test on the following turn would seal their fate.

    TURN 4 - Endgame

    The Handgunners got charged by the small realm knight unit and managed to not only hold their ground, but also grind the knights down. The Rangers charged the Realm Knights and forced them to flee out of the table. The Seekers and Warriors reformed to threaten the Duke and his retinue.
    The two big knight units moved into my deployment zone and out of charge range of my units, conserving their points.

    The Duke went solo and would charge the Hold Guardians in the closing steps of the game: several S6 D3w hits later, the Hold Guardians disappeared in a single round of combat! The Seekers took revenge of sorts by killing the three remaining knights from the small Realm unit.
    By the end of the game, both of my shooting units and the king’s warriors were sitting into the deployment zone, giving me the objective and a solid 16-4 win.


    True to tradition, Loick managed to make this easy for me by blowing up his mage on turn 1. The game was a favorable matchup to begin with (turns out that knights do not like Flame Cannons, and the same applies for Seekers), so it is understandable why he’d try to conserve points once he lost the Damsel. While I applaud the elven sneaky tactics employed to save the lances, I can’t help but think that the yeoman screen was a mistake that gave me the necessary cover for pushing against… [Read More]
  • Time passes fast, and with it memory of games played 4 months ago fades. With hobby time currently at a minimum, I decided to give you *something* instead of making you wait for complete reports that may never see the light of day.

    So what will follow is a short picture-report of the last three games of the Luxembourg Bash Masters.
    Disclaimer: this game's photos are remarkably bad due to bad lighting, and remarkably few due to rushing to play the last few turns of the game. So apologies for that!

    For game 3 we faced Team Switzerland and I got to play Victor Rossier and his Vampire Counts. Victor is the captain of the team, and usually plays Sylvan Elves. But due to the unexpected absence of the Swiss Vamp player he had to assume his role and play the undead:

    Victor wrote:

    Going into the game, I felt confident since there was no killer vampire to speak of, meaning that my king would be able to grind whatever he came across, as long as it wasn’t a unit of 60 zombies. We got Spoils of War as our scenario and the deployment was Encircle. I got the big center, and the vampires got to play first. My opponent went for a balanced deployment with a unit of Vampire Knights and a Dark Coach on each flank, with the centre occupied by the main blocks.

    I decided to play for the two rightmost scenario points, and deployed accordingly: I used the Seekers to keep my enemy’s right flank occupied, placed both my flame cannons to threaten the advance of the main units towards the objectives and placed the Hold Guardians and King in the middle, with the two shooting units on the right flank.

    TURN 1

    The menace of the Flame Cannons and the seekers kept the vampires at bay: the flanking forces repositioned slightly, and only the Ghasts moved up more aggressively towards the center. Magic was aimed at my seekers, and a magic missile managed to drop 5 of them in one go.

    On the right flank, the Vampire Knights were in a position where they could charge the Marksmen and potentially break through my lines. So I used the Relentless banner to push my king’s unit right into their path,essentially making them a 2000-point redirector! (this trend would continue). So that left only the Dark Coach to threaten my shooters. The units angledthemselves in such a way such as to support each other, and on the left the Hold Guardians moved up a bit to threaten the Ghasts. My shooting was ineffectiveagainst the Dark Coach to the right, and it would continue to be on the following turns.

    TURN 2

    The Vampires shied from any charges, and started pulling off some Elven tricks: the vampire knights to the right had barely enough move to perform a swift reform and move past my king’s arc of sight! The Coaches both repositioned along the flanks. The Bats flew right in front of my Hold Guardians’ path, which allowed the Ghasts to push up more aggressively. This turn the magic was focused on summoning zombies, and both units were bolstered to around 50-strong.

    I spotted a mistake in my opponent’s plan: by pushing the ghasts forward, he had taken them to within 12” of the Flame Cannon. So the Hold Guardians charged in, and the cannons prepared to whittle down the vampiric creatures. The Seekers continued the cat and mouse dance with the Vampire Knights and the Coach: I kept them at a distance where a combo charge was risky business, meaning that no vampire scoring unit would come close to the objective. The king’s unit once more repositioned, getting again right into the path of the Vampire Knights. In shooting disaster struck: the s5 Flame Cannon misfired, and the s4 counterpart only dealt a single wound, meaning that the Ghasts would get in combat intact. The Hold Guardians killed the bats and, augmented by Rune of Gleaming, prepared for the Ghasts.

    TURN 3

    The Ghasts charged into the Hold Guardians and the Coach charged into the Rangers. The big unit of zombies redirected my king’s unit, while the Vampire knights moved to threaten the Warriors’ flank. Magic saw the Ghasts get bonus AP and rerolls to wound from the Alchemy/Glory of Gold combo, and some pretty good rolls from my opponent meant that three dwarven constructs were killed. They killed a single Ghast in return, and a lucky break test meant that they held their ground. This was actually bad news for me, since this denied me the opportunity to flame the undead with 2 S5 D3w flame cannon shots, while postponing the inevitable for the Hold Guardians. The Dark Coach killed some Rangers and got two wounds in return. The rangers failed their steadfast Ld 10 check… [Read More]
  • After the success in round 1, we moved up the tables to find our next opponents: the Old WiseMen (Vieux Sages), comprised of french tournament veterans. As luck would have it, I’d get to fight another very experienced player, @humblr , who was part of the very successful 2016 ETC team France.

    He had brought a Daemon Legion list that frankly nobody wanted to face:

    humblr wrote:

    So basically a list revolving around a Blight Fly unit and the Scourge of Wrath.The latter is really bad news if you haven’t got cannons, and I was worried that he could take on the Warrior block and come out on top. Our scenario would be King of the Hill, which was a small consolation; I would have hated to play breakthrough against this.
    Going into the game, my objective was to try and deal with the scourge by throwing my Seekers at it, and I knew that the Rune of Storms would be very important for that. The Blight flies also worried me, and I made a note of trying to achieve two things: prevent the flies from outflanking and try to isolate them from the Scourge.

    The deployment type was Encircle, and my adversary picked the defender role,getting a big central deployment zone. I elected to protect the forest that was right in the middle ofthe board, while the Daemons had to protect the hill to my right. The way this was playing out,I thought I could try and win the objective with my vanguarding units and scouts: I started by placing warmachines, placing both cannons in range of the forest that the daemons were supposed to desecrate. One of the flame cannons was placed at the 15” mark of the left flank, which prompted my opponent to drop his entire force to get that charge off.

    We ended with the Scourge of Wrath and furies ready to charge the flame cannon, with Seekers waiting right across them, the Flies and BSB in the center squaring off against the King and Hold Guardians, and two small scoring contingents on each daemonic flank. I responded by weighing my right flank with the Marksmen and Rangers, confident that the two fighter/shooting hybrid units could easily take on anything the daemons had to throw at them on that side of the board, and score the objective.

    For spells,the Evocation Harbinger took Spectral Blades, and I picked twice the runes of Resilience, Gleaming and Oaths. The Hold Guardians took yet again +1S/+1AP, andI nominated the Scourge, Flies and Crushers as the targets for my Ancestral Grudges.

    TURN 1 – DaemonicLegion

    The Scourge drank his potion of souls, and combo-charged the Flame Cannon with the Furies. Both units made it in, unfortunately: had only the scourge succeeded, theSeekers would have had a very nice countercharge into the greater daemon. Withthe scourge threatening the left flank, the Flies relocated towards the right flank to prevent my rangers and marksmen from overrunning it. The scorers advanced slowly towards the central forest.
    In the magic phase, a Hand of Heaven killed four marksmen, but I managed to stop the same spell cast on the seekers. Shooting was ineffective.
    The Scourge predictably made short work of the Flame Cannon, and elected to pivot to threaten both the Seekers and the Hold Guardians. Since the furies also made it in, they were able to overrun right into the seekers, preventing them from countercharging.

    TURN 1 –Dwarven Holds

    The first Daemon turn had put me in a defensive position: I couldn’t advance aggressively with the King’s block as long as the Flies were threatening to outflank me and the Scourge could easily countercharge. So I advanced cautiously with them,making sure that the Flies hiding behind the impassable terrain had no space to land out of sight. The Hold Guardians angled themselves to threaten the Scourge if he charged the Seekers, and the marksmen/rangers stay put for fear of getting charged by the flies.
    Magic saw me put -1 to wound on the Seekers, to help in a potential fight against the scourge. In the shooting phase, the Flame Cannon, Marksmen and Rangers opened fire at the Blight Flies and managed to kill one of the daemonic elite.
    The seekers swiftly dealt with the charging furies and angled themselves to try and trap the Scourge while also supporting the Hold Guardians.

    TURN 2 –Daemonic legions

    At the start of the DL turn, the king used his Rune of Storms to ground the Scourge:my opponent debated whether to charge, and in the end passed his march test and settled for a small fly move to the left of the seekers and out of LoS (it wasa very… [Read More]
  • LBM was using trying to imitate this year’s rules for the ETC when it came to secondary objectives. In short, in each round every participant would get to play the same secondary objective, which was predefined in the rulespack. For round 1 the objective was to be Hold The Ground.

    I got to play Frederick’s Beasts, a list similar to what he’d brought last year to the ETC with team Australia:

    So overall a very fast list with decent shooting potential, Ld-lowering spells and abilities, several auto-hitting abilities (breath weapons/impac thits) and five Stomp (D6) monsters to cap it all off. One might say that not bringing cannons was a mistake, but on the contrary I wouldn’t know what to target first in such a list. One thing became obvious, though: the Seekers had to get stuck in ASAP, as they wouldn’t be able to withstand a couple of turns of pounding from 3 catapults.

    We rolled the Counterthrust deployment, and my opponent won the roll for picking sides: he kindly gave me the side with a considerable impassable terrain breaking up my deployment. Since the objective was to hold the center, I went for a central deployment with the warriors right opposite the central hill and in position to threaten the bulk of the Beast Herds army. The Hold Guardians supported the king’s unit, while the Handgunners went wide to the left, where a Jabberwock was already deployed. When I saw the Wildhorn herd deploy right on the 20” mark I grabbed the opportunity and dropped everything to get that first flame cannon volley off.

    In the end, the BH performed a semi-circle deployment around the King’s unit, with the two chariots zoning my Seekers and one Jabberwock on each flank. The Rangers had to deploy on the far left, to make sure that the Jabberwock wouldn’t be able to fly past them and go for the warmachines on turn 1.

    For spells, I picked double rune of Resilience, Revocation and Gleaming. The Soothsayer picked Spectral Blades, Hasten the Hour, Whispers of the Veil and Touch of the Reaper, while the Beast Chieftain got Know thy Enemy from Divination. With so many monsters in the opposing army, the Hold Guardians picked +1S/+1AP and the king nominated the three cyclops for the Grudges. The Beast Chieftain used the Seed of the Dark forest to summon a forest right next to the hill and exactly where I had planned to push my Warriors on turn 1.

    The Beast general invoked a Dark Rain, and battle was joined!

    TURN 1 – Dwarven Holds

    With the shooting weapons almost useless, I decided that my marksmen would be of more use if they actively hunted the Jabberwock instead! They vanguarded up, then moved within march-blocking range of the left Jabber. The King and Co. scaled the hill, using their Banner of Relentless company: the faster they got stuck in, the less risk I was running of losing characters to Evocation Snipes and/or failing a terror-bomb Ld test. Additionally, with the newly-conjured forest where it was, I knew that reinforcements and redirectors were coming, and had to make sure I cleared the forest on time. So I made sure that all Cyclops and both Chariots were in my front arc, and that the Jabberwocks were too far away to charge my flanks. On the right side, the Seekers moved up to threaten the advance of the Wildhorn Herd.

    In magic I managed to push through the rune of Gleaming on the Warriors, as well as the Rune of Resilience on the Seekers. The Flame cannons both opened fire at the Wildhorn herd, killing 10 Wildhorns in one go!

    TURN 1 – Beast Herds

    My king used the Rune of Storms on the rightmost Jabberwock, rendering it incapable of flanking the warrior block or affecting it with its aura. My adversary took a look around, and saw that the rest of the games were very dicey. So after a lot of thought, he took the Warrior bait: all 3 cyclops and the two chariots went into the block. With one cyclops failing, the warriors braced for impact.

    The left Jabberwock charge the marksmen, who took a wound off with their stand and shoot. The right Jabberwock spied the corner of the seekers and flanked them to pin them down. The mongrel herd lacked the necessary movement to redirect my Hold Guardians, thankfully. A couple of Briar Beasts appeared inthe edge of the forest, ready to silence my cannons. Finally, the Wildhorn herd moved up towards the seekers.

    In magic, I put all of my dispel… [Read More]
  • Greetings, one and all!

    This is the tale of my Dwarven Holds’ adventures during one of the biggest team tournaments of 2018, the Luxembourg Bash Masters. For those who have never heard of it, this was the second edition of a team tournament in (surprise) Luxembourg: 18 teams of 5 players each had signed up, including international players from France, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland and, of course, Belgium.

    In the context of our preparation for the ETC, our captain had suggested that Belgium participate “en force” in the LBM, and so we sent two teams. He then proceeded to abandon us due to RL commitments, meaning that we couldn’t bring the Lille lineup (see previous series of Battle Reports).

    So instead, we went for the following players/armies.

    @PrinceCharming with his Saurian Ancients ( @Blonde Beer keeps insisting that we’re forcing him to play this, but in reality he has such a beautiful army that he cannot stop himself from going Coldblooded).
    @Arthur with his Highborn Elves. Ancient Dragon + FlameWarden/MoCT block
    @IHDarklord with whatever was his latest attempt to break the UD book. See his thread right here, always worth reading! IHDarklord's 2.0 experiences
    Merlijn, our trusted driver and Sylvan Elf player with the manliest SE list in the entire tournament. (fun fact: during our pairings I’d keep forgetting that he was playing such an aggressive list, and I’d suggest that he take on X or Y by shooting at it. He repeatedly looked at me, puzzled, and pointed out that his only shooting was the Treefathers…)

    And, finally, yours truly with Dwarven Holds: after the latest hotfix, I was obliged to change the list due to the Forge Warden incident. So after a lot of thought, I decided to try and address a couple of small issues that I’d noticed in the Lille and Benelux tournaments as well.

    Here is what I came up with:

    SmithF wrote:

    Dwarf King on Warthrone, General, Holdstone, Shield, Rune of Might x2,Rune of Destruction, Rune of Storms
    Thane BSB, shield
    Runic Smith, Shield, 3 Battle Runes
    Anvil of Power

    20 Clan Marksmen, Great Weapons, Handguns, Musician, Standard, Runic Banner of Swiftness
    35 Clan Warriors, Full Command, Banner of Relentless Company

    6 Hold Guardians, Musician
    18 Rangers, Crossbows, Great Weapons, Musician
    24 Seekers, Vanguard, Musician, Champion

    2x 1 Rune Crafted Flame Cannon

    The idea behind all of my DH lists so far has been to have the ranged support units double as close combat support units. Which is why Forge Wardenswere so nice, with their 4+ save and S4 attacks. Trying to replace them, I opted for a unit of 20 Marksmen with Great Weapons, Vanguard and Handguns. I called them “poor man’s Forge Wardens”, but I figured that their extra Strength and extra range in shooting may come in handy. With my core points already covered, I upgraded the Crossbowmen unit to Rangers with Great Weapons, giving me a Scouting unit to either grab an objective or reinforce a flank after deployment was done.

    Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting either unit to have a great impact onthe game with their shooting: but having 38 long ranged shots means that you can try to play the ranged game as well, especially against avoidance lists.

    The final change was the addition of the Rune of the Storms on my King. It simply adds so many tactical options against flyers, be it to prevent a flying redirector from landing where he wants to, to keeping an Ancient Dragon honest for a turn. It turns out I was right about it, as it ended up helping a lot in several games.

    With the lists sorted out, all we had to do was reach the snowed-in Luxembourg on a Saturday morning. And when I say morning, I mean 5:00 in the morning. On a Saturday.
    American readers will probably consider this trivial, but in Brussels we consider that Liege is very far away. That’s a 60 minute drive. So imagine the energy required to wake up, grab a cab, go to the train station, get the 5:56 train to Liege, arrive just on time for the pickup car, then drive another 2 hours to Luxembourg center. When we entered the (spacious and very well organized) gaming hall at 8:45, I felt already exhausted. And the day was just beginning!

    For the first round we’d get to fight team TGH: these guys are all either current or former ETC Germany members, counting amongst their number Yannick (who has already featured in two of my reports, beating me each time) and @Frederick. You may recognize the latter for his involvement in T9A, but also as a tournament organizer ofthe best Team event that I know of: Herford WTC.

    As it turns out, Frederick and his Beast Herds would be my first opponent of the day! Already relieved that I wouldn’t get to face Yannick’s avoidance Dread Elves, I was even more glad to finally get to play Frederick after all of these discussions in the forums!

    Stay tuned for game 1!

    Smith [Read More]
  • So there we are, game 3 and we get to play against Team Portugal. Team Portugal is far from being a new-comer to the scene: most of the players are actually active French players (some with a double nationality), with previous ETC and other international experience. They had beaten both of their previous adversaries soundly, meaning that the result of the round would determine the winner of the Benelux Cup!

    I got to play against Jose Paulo and his Daemonic Legions:

    Paulo wrote:

    Harbingerof Pestilence on Blight Fly, General, Apprentice (Divination), Halberd, BloatedPutrefaction, Nauseating Aura
    Harbingerof Pestilence on Blight Fly, BSB, Apprentice (Evocation), Halberd,Contamination, Veil of Shadows

    10 Horrors,Musician, Champion
    10 Horrors,Musician, Champion
    18Slaughterers, Musician, Champion

    2 x 5Crusher Cavalry, Musician, Champion
    5 BlightFlies, Full Command, Rending Banner
    2 x5 Furies of Pestilence

    Having played against daemons a lot, I knew that the Blight Fly star would be impossible to pin down and very hard to deal with. We got Secure Target as secondary objective and Dawn Attack for deployment. My plan here was to stall the flies, using the King to prevent them from landing anywhere near my other, more vulnerable units.
    For those who haven’t come across the Blight Star, it has Toughness 5, 4+ Regeneration, -1 tobe hit from afar, and has Poison (5+). With the banner of Rending, the amount of AP3 hits makes even my Dwarf king a bit wary of them.

    We exchanged some drops, and in the end I opted for the first turn so as to limit the fly movement. I placed my Secure Target token far to the left, where the Marksmen would be able to easily get it. My opponent went for the far right side, where my scoring was weaker.

    The Hold Guardians took +1S/+1AP, and I chose rune of Resolve/Resilience/Gleaming twice for my battle runes. The Seekers and Forge Wardens in the middle vanguarded forward to put some pressure on the daemonic troops.

    TURN 1 -Dwarven Holds

    The seekers and forge wardens pushed up the middle, while on the right flank the warriors and hold guardians angled themselves to prevent the flies from moving around my flank. Magic succeeded in putting rune of Resilience on the Seekers. Shooting didn’t amount to much, only dropping a single horror from the leftmost unit.

    TURN 1 –Daemonic Legion
    The Crusher Cavalry behind the hill could see the Forge Wardens, so they declared a (long) charge on them. A unit of furies had to flank the seekers to make this happen, but in the end the crushers failed their charge. The Blight flies repositioneda bit further to the right, and the Crusher cavalry on the right moved up aggressively towards the right objective.
    In magic a Hand of Heaven went off on the Forge Wardens, killing three of them.
    The seekers made short work of the charging furies, and prepared to charge the Crusher cavalry that had stumbled on the hill.

    TURN 2-Dwarven Holds

    The seekers went into the crusher cavalry. They were probably going to die in the process, but in this way they were protecting my flank quite effectively. In the middle the dance between the Warriors, Hold Guardians and the Flies continued. Unfortunately, I was careless when I moved the warriors and I didn’t make sure that the Seekers were in range for the Smith’s spells. It turns out they weren’t, so my opponent was happy to dispel the two augments from the Anvil onthem, letting the rune of Gleaming go off on my warriors.
    Shooting was aimed at the Slaughterers, who had stepped into a Field in the meanwhile: when the two Flame Cannons and the Forge Wardens were done shooting, 10 daemons had died, reducing the unit from a combat block to chaff!
    In combat the Seekers gave as good as they got: they dealt 9 wounds to the Crushers, taking 10 wounds back. The Dwarves won by 1 but the daemons passed their instability check.

    TURN 2 –Daemonic Legion
    The rightmost Crusher cavalry moved up into the dwarven backline, safely behind the building. The depleted Slaughterers moved aggressively against my Forge Wardens, while the Flies held their ground, defending the wall.
    In magic I let through both Hands of Heaven, but my opponent rolled very low for them and failed to put a dent on the Forge Wardens. Shooting was also ineffective.

    In combat, the seekers and crushers continued to exchange wounds: the seekers lost 5 of their number, dealing 3 wounds back.

    TURN 3 –Dwarven Holds

    I decided not to charge the Forge Wardens into the Slaughterers, since failing to breakthrough them would allow the flies a way out of the corner. Instead, they shuffled a bit backwards and took aim at the daemons. The king and the HG both moved up a bit, still locked in a Mexican standoff against the flies. Magic saw me put Distracting on the Seekers and Resilience on the Forge wardens.
    In shooting, the combined efforts of the left Flame Cannon and the [Read More]