SmithF's 9th Age Battle Reports 2

MSU battle reports, as first seen in TWF.

Articles Tagged with “ETC 2016”

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  • The next day: ETC impressions, highlights and list evaluation

    So, the ETC 2016 came to a close: The Italians got the title, following an almost flawless showing, the French managed to fight their way to the podium, and Belgium did not finish last! We actually ended up at 19th place, one spot ahead from the Netherlands (which is apparently a big deal and gives us bragging rights for a year *) without ever getting wrecked. We faced two of the big teams (Sweden and Denmark), two upcoming teams (Australia and Turkey) and another two that were about our level of commitment (Serbia and Greece). All of my games were enjoyable, some more tense than others, and my opponents were all good guys and perfect sportsmen.

    *a running joke is that the Dutch come to our tournaments to steal our prizes (and for a good part of 8th edition it was true!), so it was about time that the tables turned.

    The Athens 2016 ETC was a first for me, so going in I had a lot of «a priori»; I was pleasantly surprised, and left with the best impressions.

    Top 6 things at this year’s ETC:

    • Amazing, fully painted armies: with stories such as the 2015 insect daemon army and with the TunaSloops issue flooding the social media, one could easily assume that the painting and modelling standard of the ETC is low. On the contrary, I saw a lot of beautiful models, themed armies and amazing conversions. It is a pity that I didn’t have more time to roam the hall and take pictures, but I’m sure others did.
    • Friendly, fun opponents: Barring a (very) small incident with my Swedish opponent, all my games were fun and the people I got to meet were perfect gentlemen. No «win at all costs» attitude, but rather a sportsman’s approach of wanting to give the person across a challenging, high level game.
    • The overall atmosphere: 24 countries, people passionate for this hobby engaging in conversation right and left, the tension of the draw/pairings and the sense of camaraderie that we were left with after each round: In following rounds, you’d cross paths with opponents from previous rounds, discuss their other games, wish them good luck (and mean it!).
    • The Belgian Team: my intro post in this blog doesn’t do these guys justice. Not only great players and hobbyists, but also with a positive outlook, and the right mindset that meant that we never had an issue (even when things went bad for us). We all enjoyed our games, smiled with our wins while also whining about dice, pairings and lists when we lost. A pack of fine gentlemen! One can only hope that the team will stay the same for next year.
    • The venue: ETC is the biggest wargaming tournament I know of, and the venue reflected this. An Olympic Stadium, a few meters from the sea, with a veritable arena in which we fought our battles. I hope that T9A will continue growing, and we’ll get to play in ever bigger venues, with more teams!
    • Getting to meet a lot of the staff members of T9A. After working alongside them for a year, it’s good to be able to put some faces to the names. Shout out to @tiny (tireless T9A reporter extraordinaire) @el rey (We’ll get you next time! We just need to quit our day jobs and practice 24/7 to get to your level of play!) @Groefte (had the matchup down as a -1, in hindsight I should have put it as a +2 so we’d get to play a battle!) @Maelstorm (same deal as above, and shame on you for not defending the honour of the forest! :) ) @Stampede (most british-sounding Swedish guy I’ve ever met, and brutally effective Sylvan Elf player) @Herminard (Well deserved sportsman award, a pleasure to have finally met you! Next year we’ll get our pre-ETC match in, I’ll make sure!) @kgkid (FIghtiest dwarf army, and fighting in a kilt in honour of the Irish! A true dwarf!) @Warboss Tooth and @blonde beer (their videos do capture part of the ETC’s charm) @KeyserSoze @Giladis and @Lagerlof for the thankless task of refereeing and the many more that I forgot. T9A is a community project, and it certainly felt so at the ETC!

    Setting the social part of the event aside for a while, let’s look at the gaming aspect:

    The games at the ETC were less open than what I like. When your decisions have an impact on 7 more players, you tend to risk less and play more conservatively. However, each of the games had its moments, and I always got my maneuver fix, even against corner hammer armies.

    As some of the blog readers have pointed out, had my opponents played a more aggressive game I would have probably been able to get more points because the more you move, the easier it is to make a mistake. Against an MSU SE list, one opening is enough to tip the battle to the elves’ favor.

    In the end, I managed to win 5 out of 6 games, only losing by a small margin against the Swedish Vermin Swarm, and gathering a total of 83 tournament points. I was very happy about the result, especially since two out of 6 matchups I had marked as «can go either way» and one of them as a loss.

    Before the ETC, we had a discussion about secondary… [Read More]

  • Game 3 - Serbia (Beast Herds, Breakthrough)

    For the third round, we got paired against Serbia! My teammates had already told me stories about how cool and nice guys the Serbs are, and they were all pretty thrilled we’d be getting to play fun opponents.

    I got paired against @operatkovic ‘s Beast Herds, a matchup which I had rated as “good”. Beast herds lack long range support to threaten my combat units, and every match where my squishy elves get into combat unscathed is a good match in my book!

    We’d be playing Breakthrough, a scenario which can go either way against Beast Herds due to their Ambushers.

    operatkovic wrote:

    Looking at Djordje’s list, he had a decent firebase with 2 Stone Throwers, the Impaler, and 23 throwing axe Centaurs (s4). He also had the ubiquitous Dark Rain and a couple of heavily armoured Minotaur Warlords.


    My matriarch got Beast Within and Transformation, while the Druid got Luminous Bolts and Phoenix Rises. (I would have liked having either the Unforging or the Redwood shaft)

    After trading a couple of deployments, my opponent dropped his entire army and forced me to go first, securing the last turn for scoring purposes as well as ensuring that my shooting would have a -2 penalty due to the Dark Rain.

    The prime targets here were the Cyclops and the scoring centaurs. The overall plan was to kill the scorers, and keep some units in my backline to deal with the ambushers when
    they arrive. Minotaurs would have to be redirected.

    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves

    Knowing I’d get the first turn, I vanguarded my Kestrels forward, giving my left unit the possibility to get into the backline out of sight of the cyclops to the left. The right kestrels took advantage of the Gargoyles’ positioning in front of the minotaur Warlord to advance and get into position to threaten the scoring units on the following turn.

    The Briar Maidens did an outflanking maneuver, getting in range to pepper the cyclops with poisoned darts. Finally, the dancers and Thicket beasts moved forward, to limit the options of the minotaurs and the centaurs.

    In the magic phase the Luminous bolts were dispelled, leaving an opening for the Curse of the Wild on the Sober Centaurs. The briar maidens put three wounds on the cyclops, despite the Dark Rain, while the Sylvan Archers managed to kill 2 centaurs from the sober unit! A good start for the Sylvans!

    TURN 1 – Beast Herds

    With no charges available, the beastmen redeployed. Gargoyles went in front of the thicket beasts, for some double flee antics, while the drunk centaurs scaled the hill, in close support of their sober brethren. One of the minotaur lords joined the sober centaurs, while the other moved up near the thicket beasts. The Mino BSB stayed near the hill, within range of the entire army, practically.

    Magic saw the +d3 movement totem cast on the sober centaurs, the rest getting dispelled.

    In the shooting phase the cyclops didn’t hit anything, but the Impaler made up for it, killing 4 Bladedancers from the right unit with a flank shot (who knew that bolt throwers can now penetrate ranks of skirmishers?).

    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves

    Following my battle plan, I declared charges on the scoring centaurs: the leftmost kestrels rear charged the centaurs on the hill, while the right ones frontally charged the unit next to the field. The rightmost bladedancers fell upon the first harpy unit, which held. But this didn’t give a solution to the minotaur/sober centaur issue, which is why I shoved the Forest Guard forward, with the rest of the army adopting a crescent-like formation around them; if the Beasts charged, they’d have to weather some countercharges.

    I got a big magic phase, which allowed me to cast Luminous bolts twice on the Sober centaurs, pulling out the scroll. This left me with enough dice to cast Curse of the Wild on them again!

    Two more wounds went through on the Cyclops to the left, leaving him with a single wound left. The Sylvan Archers shot at the other cyclops and managed to wound him once.

    Close combat was a mixed bag: the left kestrels beat the drunk centaurs on the hill without getting any damage back, and ran them down in pursuit.… [Read More]