SmithF's 9th Age Battle Reports 4

MSU battle reports, as first seen in TWF.

Articles Tagged with “ETC2016”

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  • Game 6 – Australia (Orcs and Goblins, Breakthrough)

    Right, final round of the ETC, and everyone is TIRED! Turns out that even 2 games per day can be taxing, since these are not your usual 2,5h games, but rather 4h+ deals: from pairing, to deployment, to playing the game, to the aftermath.

    We were playing against Australia, and I was looking forward to the game since their fame as fun players preceded them. I got paired against Orcs and Goblins, a matchup I that I was reluctant to take because of the double Gargantula spiders. However, when I figured out that the alternative would be getting to fight a mirror match vs shooty Sylvan Elves, I decided to presserve my sanity and play the fighty Orcs and Goblins instead.

    My opponent was Jack, also known as Darkassassin in the interwebs: a veteran of 8th and very active 9th Age player, he brought an Orcs and Goblins list that turned out to be more shooty than fighty:

    Jack wrote:

    Iron Orc warlord: General, plate armour, hardened shield, king slayer, talisman of supreme shielding, divine icon, 260
    Feral Orc big shaman: Lv4, big green gods/wilderness, obsidian nullstone, essence of a free mind, razor blade, 300
    Feral Orc chief: BSB, Mithril Mail, lucky charm, flaming standard, 130
    Common Goblin shaman: Lv2, little green gods, tome of arcane lore, gem of fortune, 125
    Common Orc shaman: Lv1, wilderness, dispel scroll, 100
    1 x 50 feral orcs: FCG, spears, bows, banner of discipline, 475
    2 x 5 common orc boar riders: standard, 80
    2 x splatterer: 90
    3 x 5 Gnasher dashers: 60
    3 x skewerer: 45
    2 x gargantula: 225


    So 5 warmachines, 8 spells, 50 bows and 16 shortbows, it was no wonder that Jack dropped everything to get the first turn, deploying as close to the table edge as possible and in a denied flank so as to get the most out of the ranged potential of the list.

    Looking at the opposing army, I knew that touching the Feral Orcs was out of the question, but I figured that I could take the rest of the points, while preserving mine, then win the objective. Jack was counting on the Orc Boar riders to score for him, which is why I deployed the Wild Huntsmen, Sylvan Archers and the two units of Bladedancers as deterrents. Since I had the last turn of the game, chances were that I’d be able to stop the small units from scoring and possibly pull the big block out of position by exploiting frenzy.

    In the end, I used terrain to keep the Forest Guard and Archers safe from first turn Splatterer shots, while the Heath Riders and Thicket beasts both stayed out of the maximal range of the warmachines. My opponent exclaimed that he wasn’t thrilled we’d be having a corner hammer battle, to which I replied that he’d be surprised by the actual game.

    The Druid got Luminous Bolts and Cataclysm, while the Dryad Matriarch got Beast Within and Inner Rage. The Orc Great Shaman went for Big Green Gods and got At’em Lads, Oi!no Dying, Headbutt and The big Stomp, with the small shamans going Evil Eye, Sneaky Slicing, Blessing of the Spider Mother and Beast Within.

    TURN 1 – Orcs and Goblins

    The first movement of the orcs was consevative, with Gnashers moving slightly backwards, the Gargantulas angling to provide some zoning against the Kestrels and the Feral Orcs moving up 4 inches so as to be in range for spells and shooting.

    In the magic phase I let the Evil Eye through on the Kestrels, who weathered the hits without receiving any damage. The Big Stomp was then dispelled using dice.

    Shooting started off with a direct hit on the Sylvan Archers behind the hill, which dropped 4 archers. The Skewerers failed to wound (shooting at long range, through forests, at skirmishing Kestrels), and the Feral Orcs also had no luck in hitting the Sylvan flying cavalry.

    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves

    Contrary to what Jack believed, I wasn’t planning on saying in my corner; Having survived the first turn barrage with little casualties, the western part of the army moved up. The Briar Maidens took a risk by closing the distance to the Gnasher Dashers in the ruins, but I needed them gone so that I’d be able to maneuver freely. Kestrels and Wild Huntsmen moved up to threaten the advance of the Gargantulas.

    Magic started with a successful Luminous Bolts on the rightmost Gnasher Dashers, resulting in a dead unit. The Cataclysm on the Feral Orcs failed to cast.

    Shooting had no targets, with the Gnashers dead; The sylvan archers hadn’t scaled the hill, since in doing so they’d be exposing themselves to a volley by the feral orcs. Their role was to threaten the scoring Boar riders when/if they came close.

    TURN 2 – Orcs and Goblins

    The rightmost Gargantula declared a charge on the Kestrel Knights up the middle, but failed to roll high enough, stumbling forward towards the Wild Huntsmen. The feral orcs moved up some more, followed by the Boar Riders and gnashers.

    In the magic phase, a low roll meant that the… [Read More]
  • Game 5 - Greece (Beast Herds, Breakthrough)

    For the fifth round of the ETC, we were paired against Greece. While the greek Warhammer tournament scene had never been that big, during the 8th edition a solid tournament player base had been formed, and these players went on to win Bronze in the 2014 ETC. The team we were facing now consisted of the same players, but with very little 9th Age experience and not exactly in the mood for competitive gaming.

    I got paired against Kostas, who is a Dread Elf veteran player, but was playing Beast Herds this time: to cut a long story short, he offered me the 10-10 from the get-go, to which I declined with the reasoning that I had just travelled 3000km to play 6 games of T9A, and I was getting my 6 games! However, he was very tired (he’s a doctor, too, and had to work until after midnight the night before) and in the end after deployment we agreed on a 13-7 win for the Sylvans* and went on to play a relaxed, yet tactical game. So a win-win for me, I would have hated to sit in the sidelines for this round.

    *Looking at his army list, that’s exactly what I was predicting I’d get: we’d exchange combat units in a chess-like match, then I’d score the Breakthrough scenario for a small win.


    I got Luminous Bolts and Phoenix Rises for my Druid and Insect swarm and Beast within for my Matriarch.

    We traded deployments for a while, then I dropped everything to force my opponent to get the first turn: that is perfect against vanguarding chariots, since it denies first turn charges to the Beasts player, plus the Dark Rain would have a smaller effect on my shooting.

    I won’t be doing a turn-by-turn since I have no pictures of this match, but I did some diagrams and will comment on them so that you see how it went.


    Turn 1 the Beast Herds pushed forward in force, and Kostas surprised me with the Briar Beasts appearing inside the forest on his turn 1 (I thought it was from turn 2 onwards). Bad start for me, since these 3 were too close to the Sylvan Archers for my liking.

    I got some early charges off: Wild Huntsmen and Bladedancers to the left into the Centaurs with a centaur character, resulting in a dead unit of centaurs, a dead unit of wild huntsmen and 4 victorious bladedancers pursuing. The Kestrels also went into one of the chariots, killed it and overran into a second one.

    Unfortunately, the shooting and magic phase were not that effective, and all 3 briar beasts were alive on turn 2. They went into the Sylvan Archers, killed them with ease and overran over to the left side of the board, where they’d spend all game. (One was killed later on by some Bladedancers though)

    During the early game, my magic managed to soften up the rightmost unit of centaurs, enough for my Wild Huntsmen to blow through them. They did get a chariot in the face for their trouble, though, and died.


    A big moment was around turn 4, when the two minotaurs were close to my Thicket Beasts and Forest Guard. I sacrificed the Briar Maidens (bait and flee off the table) to get the regenerating minotaur warlord to charge my Flaming Thicket beasts, but my plans were thwarted when the remaining centaurs with BSB and general managed to land a charge into the Thickets’ flank from 19 inches away. The ensuing combat saw the thicket beasts quickly lose some models (the centaurs had Thunderous charge and the +1 Attack/AP totem) but the survivors held, and with the help of some rear charging Kestrels the result was a bloodbath: all of the thicket beasts died, the thicket shepherd had 2 wounds remaining and the kestrels died too. But in return, the enemy centaurs, bsb and general were all gone!

    In the closing steps of the game, I fed my druid to one of the minotaur warlords, and the thicket shepherd took one for the team and got charged by the regenerating minotaur. In the end, this allowed my Dryad Matriarch to finish off the Regenerating Warlord with a couple of Insect swarms.

    When the dust cleared, the only things left alive were a wounded Minotaur Warlord, a chariot and 2 Briar Beasts for the Beast Herds, versus the Forest Guard, the Dryads, the Matriarch and the unit of scoring Heath Riders, conveniently placed inside my opponent’s deployment zone.

    With around 2000 points lost per side, the game ended up a draw, and the Sylvan Elves held the secondary objective, for the final result of 13-7.

    Sylvan Elf victory!


    This was by far the most fun game of the ETC for me. Kostas is a very good general, and he played his army cleverly. With the ‘official score’ out of the way, we were both more relaxed and shoved models into combat as we’d do in a friendly game. But he still taught me a couple of things, and his movement was flawless.

    A pity that the Greek team’s soul wasn’t into this, but that’s to be expected after several years of «hardcore» tournament gaming by the same people. They did give us good games, and are great guys all around.

    We… [Read More]
  • GAME 4 – Turkey ( Kingdom of Equitaine, Hold the Ground)

    Kingdom of Equitaine is another faction that I consider to be relatively easy to deal with with my Sylvan Elves: My fast contingent is faster than the knights, a lot of my troops get armour piercing and high initiative attacks, not to mention that there are no good targets for the usual KoE suspects (Virtue of Might, Quest vow).

    However, with 2 trebuchets and access to Heavens magic, the ranged potential of the KoE was better than mine, and the secondary objective was not as good as getting Breakthrough or Capture the flags.

    My opponent’s list was based around 3 big units of knights, 3 pegasus riders with devastating charge, and 2 trebuchets. So not too many «easy» points lying around, which is more than can be said for my army.

    Emre wrote:

    Token of King
    Duke on Barded Horse: General, GW, Shield, Questing Oath, Virtue of Audacity, Crusader's Helm 245
    Grail Damsel on Barded Horse: Level 4, Heavens, Dispel Scroll 250
    Paladin on Barded Horse: BSB, GW, Questing Oath, Hardened Shield, Lucky Charm 129
    2x 12 Knights of Realm: Full Command 322
    15 Questing Knight: Full Command, Banner of Discipline 425
    3x 3 Pegasus Knight: Barding, Devastating Charge 181
    Trebuchet 130
    Trebuchet 130

    Pregame: The grail damsel got Blizzard, Stars Align, Thunderbolt and Lightning Storm, the Matriarch got Insect swarm and Redwood Shaft, while the Druid got Luminous Bolts and Phoenix Rises.

    In deployment we traded a couple of deployments, then my opponent deployed everything in an effort to get the first turn. He adopted a denied flank formation, that gave away his plan to magic and shoot my units for the first few turns, before moving in for the kill (and the objective). I resisted the urge to deploy everything across the knights and rush in, and put my Thicket Beasts behind the hill’s protection and the Forest Guard outside Trebuchet range: the plan was to have more scoring units near the centre by the end of the game, thus winning the objective.

    I won the roll-off and chose to play first, eager to put some pressure on the KoE warmachines.

    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves

    The fast contingent on the right flank moved up behind the hill, while the Bladedancers in the middle moved forward to tempt some first turn charges across the forest with the knights/pegasi. The Thickets and Forest guard scaled the hill in close proximity.

    Magic saw a successful cast of the Insect Swarm on the Trebuchet, killing it instantly. The rest of the spells were dispelled.

    TURN 1 – Kingdom of Equitaine

    The Pegasus knights to the left took the bait and charged into the dancers, making it into combat. The rest of the knights edged forward reluctantly.

    Magic started with an irresistibly cast lightning bolt on the bottom right Wild Huntsmen: given that my opponent had used 5 dice to cast this, I jumped on the opportunity to neuter his magic phase and potentially harm his Realm Knights and let the spell through.

    6 s6 hits later, the Wild huntsmen were no more, and the Briar Maidens failed their Ld9 Panic and fled off the board! To rub some salt on my wounds, the Damsel only suffered a s6 hit from the miscast.

    The Trebuchet,trying to hit the Thicket Beasts, veered off target.

    In close combat, the Bladedancers and Pegasus knights exchanged some wounds, and the elven elite passed their break test thanks to the BSB reroll.

    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves

    Right, turn 2 and I’m 400 points down, having lost two good spells on top of that. So some extreme measures were needed: Thicket Beasts flank charged down the hill on the Pegasus/Dancer combat, and the far left contingent moved up to support them. I also used the Dryads as bait for a second unit of pegasus knights, with the Wild Huntsmen ready to countercharge if need be.

    Magic saw me put +1 Strength with the Phoenix Rises on the Thicket beasts, while the Redwood shaft and the Insect swarm were dispelled. The sylvan archers dropped a single Realm knight from the rightmost unit.

    The thicket beasts made short work of the pegasus knights, and reformed to face the entire KoE battleline, tempting the knights to charge: being inside a forest, shifting them would be a difficult task.

    TURN 2 – Kingdom of Equitaine

    The knights declined my invitation to a central grindfest, and chose to sidestep a bit. The rightmost pegasus knights saw an opening and charged the dryads inside the forest, making it into combat.

    Magic started with a thunderbolt on the Thicket beasts, which I let through, losing a Thicket Beast in the process. Then my opponent powered through a 5-dice Lightning Storm on the rightmost Kestrels, with Irresistible force. After some deliberation, I let the spell through: one unit of Kestrels was instantly wiped out, and the other Kestrels suffered some wounds, lost panic and fled off the board (at that point Nico who was playing next to me looked first at my… [Read More]
  • The Athens ETC chronicles: A Sylvan Elf MSU report

    Greetings again! The biggest T9A event in the entire world is done, it was a great experience that pictures and text can only begin to explain. The whole «community» feeling that the Ninth Age forums have helped cultivate was pretty much present in the ETC venue, so at a lot of times it felt just like hanging out with old friends.

    Going to a team event is definitely something different than playing a singles tournament, as definitions of what is a good or a bad performance change. Winning is not always the goal, and losing can be fine as long as the team is picking up the slack.

    The way the pairings of the 8-player teams are done is a game inside the game itself, adding a few layers of strategic thinking as the coaches needed to account for the scenarios, deployment types, and the matchups themselves. A thankless task, and one I was glad not to be doing!

    In this series I’ll be recounting my six games of the ETC, against some of the best T9A players and often with stunningly beautiful armies.

    Here is the list I took to this year's ETC:

    SmithF wrote:

    Dryad Matriarch: General, Lv2, Wilderness, Oaken Crown, 105
    Thicket Shepherd, BSB , Flaming Standard, Entwined Roots,180
    Druid White Magic , level 2, Dispel Scroll, 130
    18 Sylvan Archers, Black Arrows Standard, Musician, 246
    28 Forest Guard: FCG, Gleaming Icon, 257
    8 Dryads: Skirmishers, 110
    5 Heath Riders: Elven Cloaks, Standard, 110
    5 Thicket Beasts: FCG, Entwined Roots, 285
    2x 7 Blade Dancers: 105
    2x 5 Wild Huntsmen: 145
    2x 3 Kestrel Knights: Skirmish, Light Armour, Swap Longbow for Shield, 153
    10 Briar Maidens: Champion, 270

    GAME 1 – Denmark (Empire of Sonnstahl, capture the flags)

    For those of you who haven’t followed the ETC in the past years, it’s worth noting that Denmark is one of the better teams: they have won the ETC once, and they regularly get good results in team tournaments. This year’s ETC warm-up in Denmark was also won by the hosts, so the team was still very dangerous. Things became even more complicated since El Rey, one of the RT members and ETC veteran was the non-playing coach of the team.

    Looking at the Danish lists, we quickly understood that we were in a weaker position: the Danish had made a good job of finding synergies and pushing the army books to their limits, which is more than can be said for Belgian lists!

    Mikael wrote:

    Prelate on Altar of Battle: General, Hardened Shield, Heavy Armour, Barding, 280
    Captain: BSB, Plate Armour, Shield, 97
    Captain on Pegasus: Dusk Stone, Dragonscale Healm, Flaming Lance, Plate Armour, Shield, 177
    Wizard: Level 2, Light, Tome of Arcane Lore, 105
    Wizard: Level 2, Light, Dispel Scroll, 125
    50 Heavy Infantry Spearmen: FCG, Spear, light Armour, Shield, 285
    20 Heavy Infantry Swordsmen: Standard, Musician, Light Armour, hand weapon, shield, 100
    2 x 5 Electoral Cavalry: Banner, Musician, Lance, Shield, Plate armour, Barding, 120
    2 x 30 Flaggelants: 260
    2 x Artillery – Cannons: 100
    Arcane Engine of Foreseeing: 140
    Steam Tank: 230
    Total: 2499

    My opponent, Mikael, is an 8th edition veteran player, returning to the 9th age. From previous experience, I knew that the Empire was a bad game for me, mainly due to the presence of 3 cannons, Steam Tank, double Banishment and double Burning Brightness. The empire wins the war of attrition, and it all boils down to whether I can move into position and do some damage on the turn I will use my scroll.


    The scenario we got was capture the flags, and we had 4 banners to pick from each: I selected the two electoral knight units and the big Spearmen block, while Mikael shunned the Thicket Beasts in favor of the Archers, Heath Riders and Forest Guard.

    The White Druid got Luminous Bolts and the Hidden Path, Dryad Matriarch got the Redwood Shaft and the Curse of the Wildwood. Mikael’s Light Mages failed to get the Banishment, ending up with the Burning Brightness twice, then Shield of Protection, Net and Timewarp.

    I got to pick sides, and opted for the one with the small hill to hide my thicket beasts behind.


    Deployment was diagonal, and we traded some deployments before my opponent opted for a full army drop in order to get the first turn. He anchored his right flank with the Steam Tank and a unit of Flagellants, put the two buff wagons and the two Heavy infantry up the middle, along with the Pegasus captain, then a unit of knights and the second unit of Flagellants on his left flank. I deployed in a fast units on both flanks (Briar Maidens and Wild Huntsmen on my left, Wild Huntsmen and two units of Kestrels on my right) and made sure to keep the scoring units at a greater distance and with options for rapidly redeploying if need be. Practically everything was too far away for first turn unboosted magic missiles.

    TURN 1 – Empire[Read More]