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  • 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:

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

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

    2 x 8 Bladedancers, musicians
    5 Wild Huntsmen
    3 Kestrel Knights, Shields

    10 Pathfinders

    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.

    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.

    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!


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