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  • New

    Intro:
    So I was fortunate enough to get an invite to the North American masters based on my player ranking, I was ranked 11thoverall mainly on the strength of my performance at Buckeye and Infernal Zoo where I came in tied for 7th/96 and 4th/36 respectively.
    I was excited to bring the Sea Dragon host to such a prestigious battleground and face some great opponents, unfortunately, the Masters decided to use 2.05 and due to the timing of the release with the holidays and other commitments I ended up submitting a list I had never played before (gasp!). Due to this I took something that was relatively similar to my Buckeye list but tried to address the gaps that list had and took some advantage of the recent points drops from 2.05, here’s what I ended up with:


    The Sea Dragon Host:
    High Prince on a Griffon (General)- Shield, Dragon Armor- Demon Hunters, Diadem of Protection, Lance- Nova Flare
    Order of the Fiery Heart Adept on a Young Dragon(Pyro)- Shield, Heavy Armor- Basalt Infusion, Talisman of Shielding
    Master of the Canreig Tower (BSB)- Shield, Heavy Armor, Void Talisman

    24x Spears, Champ/Std- Relentless
    24x Spears, Champ/Std- Relentless
    2x5 Elein Reavers

    20 Flame Wardens FC- Rending
    5 Ryma Knights
    2x5 Queens Guard
    2 SGRs

    Thoughts on the list’s playstyle:
    I’ll do an AAR once I finish the bat reps, but a quick thought on what I was going for here. I really wanted to increase my overall shooting output from Buckeye and I needed to have better answers for demon legions, as I knew there’d be at least 4 at the tourney.

    So, pyro and the nova lance were my answers for demons, the 2x5 QG and 2 SGRs vs 3 SGRs make a more flexible shooting phase that can be more mobile and puts out more damage against low res/armor targets.

    It also is fairly mobile as most of the infantry have relentless company and the fliers and Knights are great for zoning and flanks.
    Meta: Important to talk about the meta at this tourney, there ended up being 28 (originally planned to be 32, but some last minute drops due to travel issues). See below:
    VS, DL: 4
    O&G, HBE: 3
    UD, OK, DE, SE, SA: 2
    VC, DH, BH, EoS: 1
    0 KoE, WotDG, ID

    I do think that the changes I made to my list help stabilize the DL/VS match up, but I still think they are not great. The VS list with vermin demon, double dreadmill, plague pendulum deathstar, lightning rod my list just really struggles with. Really I think any HBE list that has any significant points spent in fliers can only hope for a small win at best against this build and probably averages a medium loss. Of course, all 4 of the VS players took very slight variations of this exact list. My pairings ended up being almost a perfect representation of the spread and I was happy to see no ID.
    So without further adieu, let’s get onto Game 1…

    Game 1: vs Chris Mince’s Vampire Counts

    So, randomly paired against the top ranked player in the country and long running Team USA ETC captain. I had looked at his list quite a bit and I wasn’t too worried about the match up, he had:

    Vampire Count (general): Wizard Master- Occultism, Night’s Crown, Destiny’s Call, Halberd- Blessed Inscriptions
    Wight King (BSB): 1+ Rerollable, Hero’s Heart
    Necromancer: Wizard Master- Evocation, Necromantic Staff

    40ish Skellies, Sword and Board, FC- Flaming Std
    35ish Zombies
    20ish Zombies

    3 Ghasts
    6 Vargheists- Champ
    5 Spectral Hunters
    4 Spirit Hosts
    Dark Coach- Extended Chassis
    8 Dire Wolves

    Thoughts on the Match Up:
    There’s pros and cons here, he has a ton of snipe spells, basically 4 that I care about to varying degrees, in order from caring most to least (Marked for Doom, Touch of the Reaper, Breath of Corruption, Hasten the Hour) which will really keep my fliers honest.
    But he’s also generally fairly slow with his key damage dealer a move 4 infantry model and pyro really helps with the ethereal and vargheist match up.
    Also, our mission was breakthrough and the volume of scoring combined with ravens wing make my list a threat in that objective.
    My battle plan was to avoid his Vampire Count and Skellie block and try to pick up the ethereals and Vargheists and breakthrough shooting for a 10-13 hopefully (I think winning big is hard bc I don’t have a good way to get the Vampire) and I’d have to feed him some things to hold him back. Let’s see how it goes.

    Deployment/Objective:
    Dawn Assault/Breakthrough
    He won the roll to choose sides and took the side with the big hill (mainly to keep my shooting base off of it I believe) and chose the side that would prevent me from deploying behind a piece of impassable
    We alternated for a few and then he dropped everything for first turn.

    Spell Selection:
    Chris' spells were fairly predictable, see pic below:


    I took:
    Flaming Swords, Pyro Flow
    Ravenswing, Awaken the Beast, Lash


    Turns 1-3:
    He advances full steam ahead with his infantry, coach and BSB in the center and on my right and he keeps the Vargheists hovering around the hill.


    After my turn 1 movement

    I manage to take… [Read More]
  • New

    Right after wrapping up the first day of the tournament, Kiri and friends had organized dinner and drinks in the center of Luxembourg: so the following morning we weren’t exactly fresh! It certainly didn’t help that our opponents were some of the best players in Europe: TG Play is the team of Frederick and friends, bringing together three of Germany’s best players along with two of team Switzerland’s best players!


    As you may imagine, our predictions for that round were quite pessimistic as all the usual suspects were present: full shooting/magic Vermin Swarm, an EoS gunline, full construct UD, Frederick’s 16-unit WDG MSU army and, finally, Kingdom of Equitaine led by the usual Might Duke. It was the latter that I’d have to face, in a round where the secondary objective was Breakthrough!

    @Xavier had brought the following list:

    Xavier wrote:


    Duke, Barded Warhorse, General, Questing Oath, Virtue of Might, Shield, Lance , Divine
    Judgement, Basalt Infusion, Potion of Swiftness, Fortress of Faith
    Paladin, Barded Warhorse, BSB, Questing Oath, Shield, Alchemist Alloy, Crown of the Wizard King
    Damsel, Barded Warhorse, Wizard Master, Divination, Storm Clarion

    12 Knights Aspirants, Musician, Standard, Banner of the Last Charge
    9 Knights of the Realm, FCG, Flaming Banner
    2x5 Yeomen Outriders

    Green Knight
    11 Questing Knights, FCG, Aether Icon
    2x3 Pegasus Knights, Vanguard, Loose Formation

    The deployment we got was Encircle, which is always tricky against KoE: luckily, I won the roll for sides and elected to give the big flanks to the knights, kind of forcing them to pick a side instead of plonking everything right in the middle of the board.

    Spell selection was the usual for me (Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue and Breath of Corruption/Grave Calls) while my opponent got Evocation for his Crown of the Wizard King (= Spectral Blades) and a mix of buffs and damage spells from Divination (Scrying/Know thy Enemy/Fate’s Judgment/Unerring Strike).

    I think that the most challenging part of this battle was deployment: my DE army is designed to rush the enemy and break through the lines with superior force concentration, before the adversary’s support elements can move into position to help out. But that’s exactly what KoE excel at doing, too! The main difference was that the knights had enough staying power to ensure that my Krakens wouldn’t be able to punch through before the support (Read: Might Duke and Green Knight) could come to the lances’ aid.
    As a plus, the Questing Knights and the Duke both projected a huge threat zone thanks to the Questing Oath. Simply put, if I allowed Xavier to kill my redirectors early on I’d be in trouble. If I committed my units in the fight and failed to break the knights, I’d be in serious trouble. Finally, I had 3 scoring units that could simply not fight 2+/6++ knights, could be frenzy-baited into said fights and had little to no armor. With all this facts in mind, I elected to not place my entire army when my opponent gave me the opportunity, but to play the deployment game instead:


    The knights had four units that could rapidly redeploy, and placed them one after the other near the middle, so as to avoid giving away too much information. I replied with my fast support, with the same plan in mind. At that point my opponent dropped all 3 of his lances to my right flank and elected to force me to play first. And that’s where things got complicated for me: normally, getting the first turn with an army as fast as mine is a boon since I’m able to close the distance and can assure that my chaff won’t be killed before they redirect. But here I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to directly confront the KoE, since it would give them a lot of time to reposition and get my softer units if they won the initial fight. On the flipside, giving the first turn to cavalry that can move 16” means risking getting charged on turn 2, which can be worse.
    So I did what I thought was best: I took my time-out (in team tournaments you’re entitled to a 3-minute discussion with a teammate/coach once per game) and let someone else decide for me! :D I ended up deploying in a cautious manner, one would say against my nature:






    So the scoring units as far away from the action as possible, the Manticore BSB nearby to keep the Pegasus knights honest, then my redirectors and heavy hitters in the center to try to prevent the knights from relocating towards the scorers.
    The knights prayed, meaning that the first turn would depend on a dice roll. I won the roll, and forced the KoE to play first!

    TURN 1 – Kingdom of Equitaine

    The knights didn’t take the fast cavalry baits that I had set up for them, opting instead to push up my right flank, and keeping the Yeomen close to the general and far from my units, to my disappointment: as long as the fast cavalry was in range to redirect my kraken, I would have a hard time committing.… [Read More]
  • New

    By the time round 3 started it was 5PM and we had already been awake for 12 hours. Who said that wargaming isn’t an endurance sport? Luckily, we got to face the friendliest guys ever: Team Hambo’s from the Netherlands. My opponent was to be Bas @bas_2312 with his wonderful Halfling Empire army. I’d admired his models online before, and some of you may have also seen his gaming club’s Minihammer exploits, too. Here’s a link to his Instagram, where you will find among other stuff his take on the Steam Tank: a giant morphin’ robot!

    The halfling list he had brought was the following:

    bas_2312 wrote:

    Marshall, General, Paired Weapons, Imperial Seal, Lucky Charm
    Marshall, BSB, Shield, Death Warrant, Blacksteel
    Prelate, Plate Armour, Shield, Hammer of Witches
    Wizard, Adept, Pyromancy, Magical Heirloom

    42x Heavy Infantry, Halberd, M, C, S
    20x Light Infantry, Handgun, S, Marksman's Pennant
    10x State Milita, Irregulars
    5x Electoral Cavalry, Lance, Shield, S

    24 x Imperial Guard, M, C, S
    Arcane Engine, Arcane Shield
    6x Imperial Rangers
    2x5 Reiters, Heavy Armour, Brace of Pistols, M, C, Repeater Pistol

    Artillery, Mortar
    24x Flaggelants, C
    Steam Tank

    So a good mix of magic/shooting and staying combat power, along with good scoring. A good recipe for a challenging fight! This round the scenario was Spoils of War, and the deployment type was once again Marching Columns. My adversary won the roll for sides and picked the side with the hill and the least amount of blocking terrain. This meant that I could grab first turn though, always welcome against a list with considerable shooting power.
    For spells I went with the usual Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue and Grave Calls/Breath of Corruption combo, while the pyro wizard got Fireball, Pyroclastic Flow and the Flaming Swords.

    Going into the game I decided that I’d keep my scoring units near the center, use the fast elements to control the flanks and ram the imperial battle line with my monsters. If all went according to plan, it would create enough of a diversion for the small scorers to grab the loot and run with it!



    TURN 1 – Dread Elves

    First turns in such games are all about controlling battlefield space, and this one was no different: the medusae pushed forward to threaten the mortar and prevent the cavalry from outflanking me. To the right, the yema acolytes and a single kraken would try to keep the Steam Tank, Flagellants and Reiters honest. The Pegasus Prince saw an opening between the Flagellants and the Halberdiers and used his movement to land there, threatening the Arcane Engine and potentially the Handgunners. Finally, the two kraken pushed forward using the forest as cover. To avoid the Halberds/Imperial guard charging headlong into my monsters, I had to sacrifice my Dark Raiders: while infantry is not a bad target for stomping krakens, you want to be charging and not the other way around!
    In the magic phase the Breath of Corruption went off, killing four Reiters from the rightmost unit, but the last survivor didn’t panic.








    TURN 1 – Empire of Sonnstahl

    The halfling didn’t take the bait, and elected to maneuver instead of charging into the dark raiders. The steam tank moved up slowly, and the two reiter units pushed forward to open fire against my fast support. Magic started with a miscast Flaming Swords on the Handgunners: the result of the miscast being Amnesia, I elected to let it through so as to get rid of the spell. A small fireball killed three of the right Dark Raiders and put a wound with Blaze on the paired weapon Medusa.
    Shooting started with a volley from the left reiters that put another wound on the Medusa, while to the right the Steam Tank and the lone Reiter failed to wound the kraken. The Mortar hit my corsairs killing six of them and the Handgunners couldn’t hit the Kraken thanks to the forest’s cover.



    TURN 2 – Dread Elves

    The bulk of the army charged: the middle Kraken went into the Handgunners, its mate failing to charge into the Imperial Guard. The wounded medusa charged into the Imperial Rangers and the second one fell upon the Electoral Cavalry inside the water feature. The Pegasus Prince charged the Arcane Engine, and the left Blades of Nabh went for the Reiters but failed. Finally, the Kraken to the right charged into the Steam Tank, and the Acolytes of Yema right behind took advantage of that to charge into the lone surviving Reiter.
    The corsairs now picked up the middle Spoils of War token and started their way back into my deployment zone. The Manticore maneuvered in a position where it would grant the Beastmaster rerolls to the kraken fighting the Steam Tank. The depleted dark raider unit stepped in front of the Flagellants to direct them away from said manticore, but while fiddling around with positioning I actually repositioned the manticore right into the flagellants’ overrun path! Oops!
    Magic… [Read More]
  • New

    Hi guys,

    So its been a while since I've had some time to do blog stuff and so this comes a little bit later than i had hoped but the first in a series about the recent ART of War tournament in Bristol. Not only did we attend in good spirits, but we actually got invited to 'cover' the event by way of our channel. We would still do the Battle reports and tournament review as usual, but we would also be getting the opportunity to do a bit more to promote the event and to show how awesome going to events is for war gamers, and how fun it can be. With this in mind our vision for the tournament coverage was to provide:
    • List Reviews
    • Draw sneak peek
    • Table #1 Livestream
    • Short (& Friendly) Player Interviews
    • Bat Reps
    • Mid-Tournament (& Saturday evening shenanigans) Videos and Snippets
    We were very excited about this and want to share with you everything we managed to get up to. As you might expect, with playing in the tournament as well we had very little time to actually do the rest, but still managed a fair amount so hopefully we have done the tournament some sort of justice! Thanks once again to Callum (@'cm284') & Shane @The golden dwarf) for giving us the opportunity to help out, and for running a truly superb event. I don't think we've received any negative feedback on it and i know that everyone had a great time and especially commented on how good the atmosphere was which i think is a testament to them both! Great people, Nice prizes, and good times had by all - and 80 players, meaning it was officially the biggest singles tourney in the UK!

    Anyway, the main thing we wanted to get across to people was how easy going this tournament was - especially to new players, which we were this time last year. We attended simply as players last year and it was our first tournament. Not knowing what to expect, we turned up very anxious (and also excited), but this quickly changed and we had a great time. Big shout out to @Fthunder who was my first opponent back then, gave me a proper schooling in my first ever tournament game (20-0) but then sat with me and talked the game and some other tactics through, making me feel very welcome and not just upset that I couldn't hack it at tourneys. This I think helped me to just relax and play the rest of my games in the right spirit - and i think that was not a special case at this event, in either years. So yeah, good job in organising an event that is suitable for noobs (like we were last year), gamer's, average players and elite players alike.

    So, first up from our point of view were the list 'review' and revealing the draw to the public! Here are the videos for those of you that missed it...




    Apologies for the echo sound on this one, first time we have used skype so bare with us lol

    Plenty more to come from this event too, but we'll leave you with that for now! :thumbup: [Read More]
  • New

    So for Game 5 I was paired against the Orc traitor "Pretty Boy" from the Green Dragons who was playing Dwarves.
    He has not posted the report on his site yet but when he does be sure to check it out and see if he has any excuse for this betrayal

    I felt it was my duty to the Orcs to have a good showing, lets see what happens


    Game 5 at Colonial Carnage
    Orcs and Goblins
    vs
    Dwarven Holds (Green Dragons Pretty Boy)

    [Read More]