SmithF's 9th Age Battle Reports 3

MSU battle reports, as first seen in TWF.

Articles Tagged with “TEAM EVENT”

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  • So after a good first round, we moved up on the ladder and ended up facing a team from Paris, comprised in part by members of last year’s ETC team. Their lists were fine-tuned, and they had obviously had good results in their first games. The scenarios were «hold the centre» and «capture the flags», and in the end I got paired against Sylvain and his Sylvan Elves:


    HEROES:
    Druid (general), Wizard master, 4 spells (shamanism), tree singing, crown of autocracy, dispel scroll 590
    chief, BSB, longbow, hawthorn arrows, hail shot 290



    CORE:


    2x 11 sylvan archers Musician

    12 sylvan archers Musician

    8 dryads skirmish, Champion



    SPECIAL:
    1 forest eagle
    1 forest eagle



    FLEET OF FOOT
    3 kestrels knights with shield
    3 kestrels knights with shield
    8 blade dancers
    8 blade dancers
    5 briar maidens
    5 briar maidens



    UNSEEN ARROWS:
    10 sylvan sentinels
    10 sylvan sentinels

    So overall a pure MSU list with a very good shooting base, better magic, an abundance of redirectors and still decent counter-chargers in the form of the Kestrels and the Bladedancers. Not exactly the list I was looking forward to facing, especially given that the scenario was «capture the flags».

    Before the game, I figured that I’d have to win the deployment game, use the superior shooting of the pathfinders to win the shoot-out and push hard with the Treefathers to get the soft scoring units late-game. Easier said than done; with more deployment drops, Sylvain dropped fast unit after fast unit, cleverly keeping his scorers for last.


    The deployment was a game in itself, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed: I started off with the Treefathers centrally (the deployment type was flank attack, and I was given the role of the defender), since that meant that they wouldn’t be left stranded on a flank no matter what happened. The kestrels were sent as a decoy to the west, and my opponent replied with some dryads right across. Then came a critical moment where I had to start dropping scoring units: once I’d dropped a couple of archer units (inside forests, behind a dryad screen and a good 30 inches from any potential shooters), my opponent grabbed the initiative and deployed his entire army to get the first turn. With a +3 advantage, he had a good shot at getting that precious first volley off.


    In the end, the deployment favoured heavily my east flank, and I replied by keeping my bladedancers and the remaining archer unit centrally, safe from first turn volleys and in a position where they’d be able to retaliate. Good deployment on my opponents’ part meant that the pathfinders were better off deep within my zone, where their truemark arrows would allow them to whittle down T3 elves with impunity.




    For magic I got once more the Master of Earth and the Entwined Roots, while my opponent got Awaken the Beast, Swarm of Insects, Break the Spirit and Totemic Summon.

    Looking at the board after deployment, and knowing I’d probably play second, I figured the game would be an uphill struggle for the first few turns. With 6 flyers/light cavalry to throw between my treefathers and the archer line, my opponent wouldn’t be hard pressed to engage.

    So I took two gambles: I vanguarded my kestrels in a position where they’d give a flank charge to his kestrels, inside a forest, and I picked the three archer units as my targets for the secondary objective. The first one was crucial to unlocking the enemy battleline: it would draw one of the (expensive) redirectors closer to my lines, where they’d be able to get charged and potentially provide a nice overrun move for my treefathers. The second would free up the bladedancers to run interference, but running interference in this case would mean engaging in combat. I’d rather fight in combat than just have my opponent run in circles around me all game long.


    Sylvain won the roll for the first turn, picked two of my archer units and a unit of dancers as his targets and the game was on!


    TURN 1 – Shooty Elves


    As predicted, my opponent hesitated a bit then took the kestrel bait. The rest of the army moved around a bit, with half the shooting base moving past the building and gaining hard cover in the process. Sylvain would exploit this to the maximum over that game, moving the Skirmishers and light troops back and forth through the building to afford them that -2 to be hit all game long.


    The opening magic phase was a 12-dice phase, and I quickly noticed a flaw in my plan: I hadn’t read my opponents’ list attentively, so I failed to notice the Treesinging upgrade for the Druid (who buys this anyway!?). So when my opponent opened his magic with a 5-dice casting of Treesinging on the forest containing 2 units of archers, a unit of dryads and a treefather, I kind of felt obliged to dispel it with my dice. This allowed my opponent to cast the Totemic Summon, bringing a Totemic Beast right behind my lines.

    The shooting was painful: while the archers were relatively safe from… [Read More]
  • GAME 1 : Gandarin’s Daemonic Legions


    For the first round, we were to play against “Clan de la Geule” (liberally translated: Bunch of Grumblers), a team which had brought no less than 7 cannons (or cannon-like contraptions) between them. In the end, I got paired against Michel @Gandarin, a staff member of T9A, ESC 2016 veteran and a UB regular. His list was as follows:


    Daemonic Legions
    HEROES:

    Harbringer of pestilence: BSB, Wizard Apprentice, Divination, 2 Learned Spells, Bloated Putrefaction, Halberd, Rending Banner 590
    Harbringer of pestilence: General, Contamination, Neauseating Aura, Halberd 450

    CORE
    12 Horrors: Musician, Champion 376
    29 Tallymen: FCG, Speed Banner 786

    SPECIAL:
    3 crusher cavalery: Musician, Standard 380
    2x 3 crusher cavalery: Musician 360
    1 Blood chariot 330
    2x 2 Clawed Fiends 220
    3x 5 Furies of pestilence 140


    Essentially a Tallymen Deathstar surrounded by MSU elements, a decent amount of redirectors and some good answers to monsters in the form of the Blood Chariot and the combination of Divination and Thaumaturgy.

    The deployment was diagonal (Refused Flank) and the secondary scenario was Secure Target (Double objectives).


    PREGAME:


    When I checked the lists before attending the tournament, this one hit me as a pretty cool mix of fast units and durable elements. It is an army that I’d consider playing myself, and can definitely cause a lot of problems in terms of objectives (Hold the Ground against a list like this is absolutely horrible). So I was pretty happy about the double objective scenario, since it would allow me to force the daemons to split their attention.


    The plan overall was to either isolate the Tallymen and deal with the fast but fragile MSU elements, or play the scenario card and soften everything from afar before going in for a killing blow. The deployment phase reflected that; I chose to set up my objective marker on the top right corner of the battlefield, outside of the daemons’ deployment zone, and at a position where I’d be able to threaten the advance of the scorers towards it either with shooting or with the fast support.


    Michel replied by placing his marker centrally and as close as possible to his lines and the second objective: the game would be played in roughly 50% of the battlefield.

    We traded some deployment drops, and then I opted for a denied flank with a heavy shooting presence to the east , treefathers in the middle and close to terrain for cannon protection, with the Wild huntsmen threatening the advance to the rightmost objective and the Kestrels in position to fly behind enemy lines turn 1. The daemons deployed centrally with Tallymen as close to the leftmost objective as possible, flanked by Crushers. The cannon, horrors and furies formed the second line, with the Fiends as flank guards.


    The Kestrels vanguarded up the left flank, while the Pathfinders scouted near the topmost objective, in a position where they’d be able to cause the most damage on the fast daemonic units.




    Rolling for magic, the Dryad Matriarch got Entwining Roots and Master of Earth, while the Harbinger of Pestilence got Scrying and Fate’s Judgment.

    Having deployed the remainder of my army first, I took the first turn in order to soften the Daemons before the inevitable impact.


    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves


    Both Treefathers and the Shapeshifter scurried behind cover, while the Kestrels and Wild Huntsmen both performed flanking maneuvers. The rest of the army kept their distance from the daemons; Time was on my side, after all.

    Magic resulted in a single wound on the middle crushers from a Master of Stone. In the shooting phase the combined efforts of the Pathfinders and a unit of Archers killed the rightmost fiends outright, while the rest of the shooting took a wound off a crusher unit and the Tallymen.




    TURN 1 – Daemonic Legion


    The Kestrels did their job: with their positioning, the crushers couldn’t advance without exposing their flank to a charge, and the cannon couldn’t risk a flank charge either. So the entire left flank reformed so as to threaten the advance/flight of the kestrels. The Tallymen moved forward aggressively, and so did the rightmost crushers.

    Magic was uneventful: a D6 SD6 magic missile resulted in 4 s1 hits on the kestrels, which failed to hurt the fast cavalry. The Scrying on the rightmost crushers was dispelled. The cannon failed to hit the kestrels.




    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves


    Turn 2 and still no charges, although I did briefly consider charging the wild huntsmen against the right crushers. In the end, I didn’t trust my dice enough to rush things, so I opted for the shooting approach. The Kestrels flied over the enemy units and in a position where they’d be even more annoying should my opponent choose to ignore them. At the same time, dryads, Treefathers and Bladedancers maneuvered so as to increase the threat zones and keep my archers protected.

    In the magic phase both Treesingings were… [Read More]
  • Greetings dear readers !

    It has been a while since my last blog post, or practically since anything vaguely related to the hobby happened. Real life takes precedence, but from time to time we all need to blow some steam and play a couple of 9th age games. Last summer I went to the ETC with the Belgian team, and we kind of clicked in terms of player mentality and fun; so I agreed when they proposed that we send a team to a new 4-player team tournament that was being organized just across the Belgian border, near Lille.

    Team Myreille is a small but dedicated group that hosts regular local tournaments, and decided to get invested in the team event side of all things T9A: during the entire weekend, they managed to keep 12 teams of 4 players happy, fed, sufficiently hydrated and provide an excellent background for a perfect gaming weekend. So big props for them right off the bat!

    Our team, the Belgian Chocolates, comprised of Vermin Swarm led by François ( @Jaina ), Geoffrey’s @gregor Daemonic Legions, Thibaut’s Vampire Covenant ( @bolard ) and yours truly with Sylvan Elves.
    The pairings were done in a scaled-down ETC manner, meaning that each team had to shove one army forward for the enemy to face, and the teams then responded by proposing two armies out of their “hand” for that match. The remaining choices faced one another, so the degree of freedom in pairings was more limited than what you’d usually see in tournaments with teams of 8.

    The list:

    With two games played since the ETC, and one major rules update in between, I guess the correct term for the army selection would be « playing it by ear »: I’ve been struggling to build a list that’s close to what I played last year, since there are more restrictions now, and we’re all playing with 500 points less than what I’m used to.
    So I decided to try a list including elements considered generally weak, and see what happened. Reading the forum posts, some things appeared more often than not: Treefathers, Kestrels, Pathfinders and Shapeshifter kindred.

    Enter my 4500 point list:

    SmithF wrote:

    HEROES:
    Dryad Matriarch (general), level 2 Druidism, Toxic Spores
    Shapeshifter Chieftain BSB, Greater Shielding, Helm of the Wild Hunt, LA, Shield, Elven Cloak, Great Weapon


    CORE:
    3 x 10 Sylvan Archers, Musician
    12 Dryads, Skirmish, Champion


    FLEET OF FOOT:
    2 x 8 Bladedancers, musicians
    5 Wild Huntsmen
    3 Kestrel Knights, Shields


    UNSEEN ARROWS:
    10 Pathfinders


    FOREST GIANTS:
    2 x Treefather


    Total: 4500 points
    You can find parts of the list building discussion here, but ultimately I took the aforementioned elements, and then tried to build a list around them.
    A couple of Bladedancer units provided some mobile scoring and combat support, the Wild Huntsmen for a second fast support unit and more shooting than I’ve ever played since 6th edition. The mandatory dryad general plus dryad retinue rounded off the list, with a finishing touch of Toxic Spores for some more ranged support.
    In terms of magic, I went for Druidism for the obvious combinations with the Treefathers and the Shapeshifter. With 2 learned spells, I’d have 3 spells to cast with my Matriarch, plus 2 Treesinging bound spells from the treefathers, not that bad for a small investment.

    THE PLAN:
    There wasn’t really one, since the list was new to me: I imagined playing it in the same way that people did back in 6th edition: use the Treefathers to block stuff, win the shoot-out, flank the blocked enemies with my fast support. Easier said than done, especially if you factor in that I completely blanked out and ignored Geoffrey's suggestions of adding some disposable units as chaff, or a couple more spells in the form of a Briar Maiden unit.

    THE NO-CHAFF SCENARIO:
    That last bit was in part voluntary, since this tournament was all about testing stuff. I have long had the idea that two Eagles are one too many, and that generally we invest far too many points in disposable units. They end up being useful because we plan our strategies factoring them in, but I am not certain that they are needed if you plan ahead a couple of turns.Usually, these are points that the opponent can score easily and that only participate in the battle by acting as roadblocks. While I appreciate the occasional roadblock between the DeathStar and my units, I figured that correct zoning could play the same role for free.

    Over the course of the tournament, I’d play 5 games and come to regret some of the choices above. But more on that later on, stay tuned for game 1 against Daemonic Legions!

    Smith [Read More]