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For the second round of the tournament we were to face the other half of the team Belgium, who had performed admirably in the first round! While it was a bit sad to have to play against our frequent sparring partners, this has proven to be inevitable for the past three years: their results are usually as good as ours, so we end up having a civil war of sorts!
The Rieurs Sangliers (laughing boars in French) had lined up EoS, VC, KoE and Vermin Swarm, and it was the latter that I would have to play against. Their commanding general was @valmir , whom you may remember from an earlier battlereport against the Dread Elves: as is customary, he had stomped all over my elves with the help of his Dreadmills and Vermin Daemon. This was a game that I wasn’t too optimistic about, as I feel that Vermin often have all the tools at their disposal to deal with all kinds of elves. However, team strategy required me to get this relatively bad matchup so as for others to get more favorable ones.
Here is what he had brought to the tournament:
Chief, BSB, Scepter of Verminous Valour, Binding Scroll
Magister, Adept (Thaumaturgy), Binding Scroll
Rakachit Machinist, Scurrying Veil, Warp Pistols
2 x 36 Rats-at-arms, Full Command
2 x 10 Footpads, musician
2 x 20 Giant Rats
2 x 4 Jezzails
2 x 12 Plague Disciples
2 x 1 Meat Grinder
2 x 1 Dreadmill
So a lot of the usual suspects: Vermin Daemon, Dreadmills, Plague Disciples, but also his personal touch of the meat grinder R@A blocks and the Machinist for unlimited breath weapon shenanigans.
We would be playing Breakthrough, and the deployment type was Marching Columns: this last piece of news was particularly good, since it meant that I might be able to put pressure on the parts of the vermin swarm army that would be left without support!
Wealternated deployment for a while, since getting the right matchups was way more important than getting the first turn. Unfortunately, the rats had far more deployment drops, so once I had a vague idea of where the scoring units would be going I deployed my remaining regiments and got first turn.
For spells I selected Forest Embrace, BeastAwakens, Swarm of Insects, Chilling Howl and Totemic Summon. Valmir took Handof Heaven and Smite the Unbeliever for his Magister and Unerring Strike, Fate’s Judgment, Awakened Swarm, Know thy Enemy and The Stars Align for his Vermin Daemon.
Going into the game, I decided to play for the scenario by using my fast units to prevent the enemy scorers from penetrating into my deployment zone, creating pressure all over the board and then finally cheekily moving a unit of dryads inside the vermin swarm zone. Valmir countered this quite nicely by employing his dreadmills and disciples near his flanks, trying to funnel my forces to the center where his combat blocks and the Vermin Daemon were waiting.
TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves
All of the flyers moved up behind terrain, within charge range of the scorers and keeping an eye out for the Dreadmills: if they peeked from out of cover I’d be able to charge them I return, hopefully ridding myself of that menace and gaining some more maneuver space. The archers stayed safely in the back, still within range for some light shooting.
In the magic phase I was able to push through a Totemic Summon, and the beast appeared right next to the Jezzails! Its breath weapon only dealt a single wounds to the vermin shooters, though. The archers took pot shots at the Vermin Daemon and managed to inflict a wound!
TURN 1 – Vermin Swarm
The vermin chose to go on the offensive: one unit of Giant Rats charged into the middle Forest Eagles. The second unit with the machinist moved up towards the right kestrels, within range for the machinist’s breath. Both units of Rats-at-arms moved up a bit, and the left Dreadmill had to backpedal to deal with the totemic summon. The flank forces shuffled to create bigger threat zones and prevent my birds from flying over their lines.
In magic the Hand of Heaven was dispelled, allowing the Magister to curse the Forest Eagles in combat with Smite the Unbeliever, giving them -1 Strength. The worst part of shooting was avoided thanks to a combination of Hard Target and Cover penalties, and the rest underperformed: the Dreadmill failed to wound the Totemic Beast, the Jezzails wounded my Prince once and the Machinist only put awound on the kestrels with his breathweapon.
Combat saw the eagles and rats fight to a stalemate, and the battle of the chaff raged on!
TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves
I was now faced with a difficult decision: with the Totemic Summon ready to flank one unit of jezzails and overrun into the other, I figured that the safest place to be with my fast units was in combat. The two Rat-at-Arms units were close enough to the Kestrels, and the support units… [Read More]