2.0 BETA Games- Infernal Zoo Game 3

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  • So after two games I was sitting at the top of the pack and landed on Table 1 for a game against a good friend and his nasty ETC Dread Elf List. Hugo is one of the better players in our region and we have very consistently close games, so I was looking forward to it.

    Here’s his list for reference:

    Dread Elf Chariot/Hydra Spam:
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    Dread Prince on Raptor Chariot- Basalt Infusion, Midnight Cloak, Transcendence, Lance
    Cult Priest BSB on Divine Altar- 2+, Moraec’s Reaping, Fireborn
    Oracle Adept, Cosmo- Heirloom, Lightning Vambraces
    3x15 Dread Legionnaires w Spears and Champs
    3x5 Dark Riders
    3x Raptor Chariots
    2x Hydra
    5 Raptor Riders

    Sea Dragon Host:
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    High Prince General, LA- Destiny’s Call, Spear- Blazing Dawn

    MoCT BSB, HA- Alchemist Alloy, Shield- Willow’s Ward, Spear, Void Talisman

    Wizard Master on Dragon, Essence of a Free Mind (Div/Pyro)

    22 Spears, FC-Rending
    23 Spears, FC- Rending
    2x5 Reavers

    21 Flame Wardens FC- Rending
    5 Knights of Ryma, Muso

    Sky Sloop

    2x SGR

    Thoughts on the Match up:

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    I honestly can’t believe that all of this fits into 4500 pts, Raptor Chariots and Divine Altar are clearly underpriced in their current entry.
    His General and BSB load outs are optimized and really keep my Dragon constrained as either of them are capable of killing my dragon in a single round of combat.
    That being said, his ranged damage is fairly minimal, magic is pretty predictable and his 4 scoring units are pretty weak.

    Scenario/Deployment/Special Objectives:
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    Deployment was Battle Line
    Scenario was Flags, which I thought gave me the advantage
    For Special Objectives I chose killing his Tower Presence Monsters and Having my Tower Presence models do damage to his

    Spell Selection:
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    Pyro Dragon Mage: Scorching Salvo, Flaming Swords, Pyrochastic Flow, Hereditary
    MoCT: Ravenswing, Awaken the Beast, Lash
    Oracle: Truth of Time, Ice and Fire, Hereditary

    Terrain and Deployment:
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    From left to right the terrain was: Impassable rocks on bottom, field up top, Ruins up top, central small hill, forest at bottom, water feature up top, Impassable wizard tower, impassable stairs upper right, small ruins central right

    I dropped everything to go first, from left to right I had: Reavers (out of pic), Ryma Knights, Sloop, Green Spears, Dragon Mage, Wardens w BSB/Spear Prince, both bolt throwers at back line behind, Blue Spears, Reavers
    He had from left to right: Dark Riders, Raptor Knights, Legionnaires w Oracle, Raptor Chariot, Raptor Chariot, Dark Riders, Legionnaires with BSB, Prince on Chariot, Dark Riders, Legionnaires, Hydra, Raptor Chariot, Hydra

    After Vanguards

    Sea Dragon Host- Turn 1:

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    So my initial plan was to try to slow his advance as much as possible and pick on his scoring units. With the way our scoring was built, there was no reason why I shouldn’t handily win the objective
    I charged his Dark Riders on the left with my Reavers and they fled
    The rest of my battle line shuffled forward to zone and bring me into range for magic/open up shooting lines
    I moved my Spear Prince over to the Blue Spears to threaten his advance there

    Magic: Nothing went right in this phase, I think I failed my first two casting attempts and the only spell I got off was a Scorching Salvo which did a wound here and there to hydras/chariots/legionnaires on my right and cleaned up one of the dark rider units (where I put the blaze attribute)
    Shooting: I had a mixed shooting phase-
    The sloop shot off two Raptor Knights and panicked them, they came just short of fleeing off the board
    My SGRs had a terrible round of shooting and managed to leave one Dark Rider left from the central unit (the unit was already depleted by Salvo and I should kill 4 on average)

    Dread Elf Chariot/Hydra Spam- Turn 1:
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    My opponent rallied both the Dark Riders and Raptor Knights
    Overall, he moved up fairly conservatively, but was able to bring his BSB/Legionnaires up aggressively as he chaffed my Wardens with his remaining Dark Rider
    He also started pulling his central hydra to the left (from my perspective) of the impassable in the middle

    Magic/Shooting: He focused everything he had on the Wardens and Sloop and managed to do a couple of wounds to both

    Sea Dragon Host- Turn 2:

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    I saw a mistake from my opponent, he’d left me an 11 inch charge (on dice) onto his leftmost Raptor Chariot with my Ryma Knights with no countercharges in place if I failed, so I took it and made it!
    The rest of my line backed up following my plan. I wanted to delay combat as long as possible and keep punishing his advance.

    Magic: This was also a bummer of a phase, I managed 2 wounds on the unengaged raptor chariot near my Ryma Knights with a Lash.
    Shooting: I managed to kill off the remaining dark rider and get another wound on the chariot I’d damaged with the lash
    Combat: I killed the chariot and overran into the next one (after some shocking rolling from me I only barely managed to kill it with a horse kick after my knights only did 3 wounds)

    Dread Elf Chariot/Hydra Spam- Turn 2:
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    My opponent countercharged my Ryma Knights with his Legionnaires/Oracle
    Everything else he had pushed up aggressively, especially his two Hydras, one of which set itself right in front of my Wardens

    Magic/Shooting: With half his spells useless in combat his Oracle just tried to push through Truth of Time on the Legionnaires/Oracle, and I failed to dispel it in a dice off. Shooting managed little.
    Combat: My Ryma Knights managed to kill the damaged chariot, but failed to assassinate the Oracle (4 attacks hitting and wounding on 2s had a good shot, but some bad rolling saw me do no wounds!)

    Sea Dragon Host- Turn 3:
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    Up until this point I felt like I’d played a pretty tight game. Bad shooting/magic rolls had probably been balanced out by the lucky charge from the Ryma Knights.
    I think I made two key mistake this turn and got unlucky, let’s walk through it:

    Blue Spears/Spear Prince charge hydra, which holds. Dragon Mage charges hydra, which flees. I shouldn’t have charged the hydra with the Dragon Mage, that was a mistake. If I hadn’t, the Blue Spears and Spear Prince could have probably killed the hydra in two-three rounds of combat (it had already taken a wound). The hydra successfully flees.

    Wardens charge the Hydra in front of them, the hydra was wounded and with a 5 overrun from breaking or killing it I could overrun out of arc of the divine altar.

    I move the Green Spears up to block off the Divine Altar charge into the Wardens. My reasoning was that if it charged I could kill over half the Legionnaires before they could swing, meaning I’d be steadfast and I could tie it up for a couple rounds. This was another mistake as I’d left another makeable charge into the Green Spears which I’ll talk about later. I should have used the Sky Sloop to chaff or the Reavers should have been more centrally located so they could chaff.

    Magic: I really wanted bubble flaming swords, but my opponent knew this so he let through Awaken the Beast on the Wardens and stopped swords.

    Shooting: I cleared off the Dark Riders. I really should have been sticking to my strategy of picking off his scoring units.

    Combat: My Wardens really sucked it up this turn and managed a single wound on the Hydra…yes, the math says I should do about 3 wounds. Needless to say, I did not break/kill the Hydra and I reformed into ranks to face the inevitable.

    Dread Elf Chariot/Hydra Spam- Turn 3:

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    My opponent charges the Chariot Prince into the Wardens
    The Divine Altar/Legionnaires charge the Green Spears and the charge I didn’t see was a 10 inch (on the dice) charge into the flank of the Green Spears by the Oracle/Legionnaires…which they made…ugh!
    The hydra on my right rallied
    My opponent withdrew his Raptor Knights, as they were down to 3 they wouldn’t have much impact and were a critical swing scoring unit for my SGRs to pick up

    Magic: Another disastrous phase, I saved my dice to dispel the hereditary on my Green Spears and failed. My opponent also got truth of time off on his Oracle’s unit giving them a very reliable overrun into my Wardens flank.

    My opponent did the Altar/Oracle/Green Spears combat first. My only chance was some out of the box rolling from my spears gutting the Legionnaires to their front. Unfortunately, the opposite occurred and I fluffed, killing only 5, I even failed to kill the champ from the Oracle’s unit. I got torn apart in return and the Oracle’s unit overran into my Warden’s flank.
    This overrun not only ruined my chance of holding steadfast but also prevented me from challenging out the Chariot Prince. My Wardens tried vainly to do the only two things that would matter, trying to kill the Oracle and the Hydra. They failed to do either and got broken and run down. The Oracle’s unit managed another overrun into the Reavers I had positioned behind my Wardens.

    Rest of the Game:
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    After the disaster that was Turn 3 the rest of the game was relatively uneventful.
    I refocused on my strategy and fell just a couple wounds short of tying up the objective, picking up 2 of the 3 Legionnaire units.
    My opponent ended up getting my wounded sloop and Reaver unit.

    Results and Thoughts on the Game:
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    I was really disappointed in the outcome of this game, for two reasons:
    1. I was 3 wounds short of picking up both hydras and the last chariot (all finished the game on 1 wound each). And I was just a couple wounds short of tying the objective (last depleted Legionnaire unit). This means that a handful of wounds stood between me and a 5 battle point swing. More disciplined target selection and a little better luck would have made this a tie game.
    2. My charges/movement in Turn 3 were stupid. The Dragon Mage and Wardens shouldn’t have charged and I should have used the sloop or had reavers in better position to chaff up the altar. I honestly think I would have won this game if I hadn’t made the above mistakes.
    At the end of the day my opponent made few mistakes and got lucky when he needed it. It ended up a 15-5 to my opponent and we both managed one special objective point making it a 6-16.
    Disappointing result for the Sea Dragon Host, but this was always going to be one of the tougher match ups at the tourney. I’ll get you next time Hugo!

    With a medium + loss I was heading down to table four and hoping to get a more favorable match up…stay tuned to see how it goes!

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