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So we’re now in the third game of the day, and now the weariness is setting in: we’ve been awake since 5am, who said that tournaments are not an endurance sport! What made things easier was the news that we’d get to play against our friends and neighbors from Luxembourg! We’ve met them a couple of times now on the battlefield, but we often travel to the same tournaments and it’s always a pleasure to get together and share a drink, exchanging war stories.
They had lined up Vampires, Vermin Swarm, Sylvan Elves and Daemon Legions, and I got one of the more favorable matchups against @zlatanlux ‘s vampires. This time the scenario was Hold the Ground, and the deployment type was to be Frontline Clash once more.
The vampiric list was one of the most magic-heavy lists I’d seen all tournament:
Vampire Count of Lamia, General, Adept (Witchcraft), Commandment, LA, Paired Weapons,Destiny’s Call, Obsidian Rock, Touch of Greatness
Necromancer Master (Evocation), Necromantic Staff, Talisman of the Void
Necromancer Adept (Alchemy), Book of Arcane Mastery
32 Skeletons, Halberds, Full Command, Banner of Speed
28 Skeletons, Spear
2 x 2 Bat Swarms
Court of the Damned, Lamia Blood Ties
9 Ghasts, Champion
1 x 2 Great Bats
So all in all a relatively compact vampire force with a good amount of redirectors, an unkillable anvil in the form of 9 Ghasts with 4++ regeneration save, and a magic phase with enough raising ability to ensure that both skeleton units would be 60-strong in no time!
When doing the estimation for this match I hadn’t taken into account the secondary objective: hold the ground is one of the easiest ones for vampires due to their big, immoveable units. So I had to get creative about how to approach this game! One thing was for certain: engaging the big units to the front was a very bad idea!
For magic,I got Forest Embrace, Beast Awakens, Insect Swarm, Totemic Summon and Break the Spirit. My opponent got three times the hereditary spell, then went for Raven’sWing, Glory of Gold, Spectral Blades, Danse Macabre and Touch of the Reaper for his other spells.
My opponent chose sides, and I then gave him the first drop: against vampires playing second is usually a good idea, especially when playing the central objective. So I was kind of relieved when he dropped his entire army to get the first turn. He went for a central deployment, weighing one flank with the Ghasts and the Varkolak. I responded by pushing both kestrels and the two eagle units up the flanks, keeping only the bladedancers in the middle, with the scorers a good distance away from any undead unit but still in a position where they’d be able to start contesting the objective from turn 3 onwards.
TURN 1 –Vampire Covenant
As is customary for the vampires, the entire army surged forward, the varkolak making use of his movement + vanguard to come close to my lines. In the magic phase I was reminded how difficult it is to contain a magic phase when your opponent channels 5 veil tokens per turn! My priority here was dispelling the movement spells, meaning that the hereditary spell was cast thrice in the 6” aura version: a good chunk of skeletons were raised, bringing the units to around 45-strong each.
TURN 1 –Sylvan Elves
While I knew I’d have to try and deal with the magic in an aggressive manner relatively fast, the previous magic phase made it clear that I should really make it a priority: all of the flying units moved up both flanks, within charge range ofthe zombie bunkers. The Eagle Prince spotted a 4” gap between the Ghasts and the big skeleton block, and landed there, with the necromancers’ unit in his sights. The slower parts of the army maneuvered, trying to keep a healthy distance from the Varkolak.
The magic phase started with a Treesinging that put a forest right in front of the big skeleton block. The Insect Swarm was then dispelled, meaning that the Totemic Beast could be cast! Shooting was aimed at the Varkolak, putting three wounds on the beast despite its regeneration.
TURN 2 –Vampire Covenant
With a single wound remaining, the Varkolak didn’t dare declare a charge; the Cadaver Wagon solo-charged into the Eagle Prince, though, threatening to pin him in place long enough for the Ghasts and the Varkolak to come to the rescue. Both of the aforementioned vampire elites maneuvered to get clear charge lanes on my prince in the following turn. The big skeleton block moved up, and the other units consolidated their positions a bit, in an attempt to contain the flying threat.
In the magic phase I used my Binding scroll on the Spectral Blades, since it was the only way that the cadaver wagon would be able to punch through the Prince’s defenses. I let through a couple more raises, which offset whatever losses the big block had suffered by marching through the… [Read More]
Jack and Jordan are rejoined by Hristo to talk about the Masters 2018 and the side event.
Outro: "Electrifying" ► The Rock 24th Theme Song
The definitive 9th Age tournament hub and rankings page: the9thagerankings.com
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]