Articles in Category “Battle Reports” 1,435

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  • New

    Day 3 of the ETC, and for the first time in team Belgium’s ETC history we’re sitting at three wins in four games. So, inevitably, we’d be facing another big team. This time it would be team Germany, who (spoilers!) would go on to win the entire event!

    Contrary to our day 2 opponents, we know the Germans quite well by now: we’ve been meeting them and facing them in various tournaments over the past 3 years: Luxembourg Bash, Herford, while some of them even made the trip to Belgium for one of our tournaments a couple of years back! They are good opponents and have -more often than not- gotten the best of us in team play.

    Their lists were what you’d expect from a top team, stable and tried builds overall, but they had an advantage when it came to game practice: their preparation was excellent, with several training weekends in the months leading to the ETC. And that would show…
    My adversary for this round ended up being Yannic : those of you who have been following this blog might remember him from my reports against his EoS and Peasant KoE from a couple of years back. He is one of the best german players, a good vision of the game and a very tactical approach with few -if any- risks.

    He had brought a Kingdom of Equitaine list that was causing trouble to a lot of our players: having played the game twice (once against Xavier from team Switzerland and once against Wales’ Hugh ), I knew it would be a complicated chess game!

    (And yes, this was the Lego Army that everyone has been talking about. To set things straight, this army looked way better than many others that I’ve seen over the years in the tournament circuit. A lot of work went into it, and I personally didn’t think that it influenced my immersion in the fantasy world or my enjoyment of the game!)



    Yannic wrote:

    CHARACTERS:
    Questing Duke on Pegasus, Genera, Shield, Lance, Virtue of Might, Divine Judgment, Fortress of Faith, Basalt Infusion, Potion of Swiftness
    Questing Paladin BSB on Warhorse, Shield, Bastard Sword, Alchemist’s Alloy
    Damsel on Unicorn, Wizard Master (Druidism), Storm Clarion

    CORE:
    15 Knights of the Realm, Full Command, Banner of the Last Charge
    6 Knights of the Realm, Musician

    SPECIAL:
    13 Knights of the Quest, Full Command, Flaming Standard
    6 Knights of the Quest
    2 x 5 Yeoman Outriders, LA, Shields
    5 Pegasus Knights, Loose Formation, Champion, Standard, Banner of Roland

    So what has been dubbed as “the Italian List”: Three big threatening units, one housing the Might/Judgment Duke on a Pegasus, supported by Druidism magic and some small units for scoring and redirection.

    Our secondary objective for this round was to be Breakthrough, and the deployment was Frontline Clash.

    Going into the game I knew it would be hard to get the scenario: my scoring units were small and footslogging, while the KoE had fast units who could be in my deployment zone by turn 2. The Pegasus duke was a big issue, since he can single handedly kill any of the models/units in my list on the charge. Even worse, the Storm Clarion can ground my two expensive characters for a crucial turn, potentially exposing them to enemy charges.

    So my approach was the following:
    1. Try to outdeploy my opponent so as to get the best matchups possible for my krakens, and protect my scoring units as much as possible.
    2. Zone the Knights and claim battlefield space as soon as possible, therefore denying Yannic the opportunity to push very aggressively early on.
    3. Try to take advantage of the “no bonus for the first turn roll if you pray” clause of the KoE to potentially force him to waste a turn of magic by making him play first.

    Once more, my opponent won the roll for picking sides and picked the one with a hill in the deployment zone. He placed 6 Questing knights there, who would be able to zone my krakens’ advance on that flank quite effectively. We alternated drops until Yannic had almost ran out of options, at which point he finally placed his Pegasus unit and declared that he wanted me to start the game. Bythat time I had practically only a couple of monsters and the scoring units left, so I benefitted by the KoE’s central deployment to gain an advantage for the scenario: The scoring units all went huddled up in the left corner, where only a unit of Realm Knights could stop their advance: with a kraken and my Prince in a position where they’d threaten said Realm unit, I felt confident about at least drawing the scenario since the only other unit that could get to the blades (notoriously bad against 2+ save knights) was the Pegasus Knights. I was hoping to keep these otherwise occupied, anyway…



    While Yannic would force me to play first, I was still hoping I’d be able to make him waste his first turn if I won the roll. For that reason, I didn’t vanguard too aggressively with my Dark Raiders, wary of giving the knights turn 1 charges.The Yeomen to the right moved up a bit, repositioning towards the… [Read More]
  • New

    Hello!

    So after that crushing defeat in Game 2 it saw me slip down the tables. For Game 3 I was drawn against another British player, Luke Tranter, who this year was a Mercenary for Team Slovenia. Luke has been playing tournaments longer than me I believe, I started back in 2012 and I remember Luke being around then in the days of 8th edition. Despite Luke and me playing at several of the same tournaments over the years we have never played against each in 7 years, so at least this is a new opponent for me. Luke is the king of the Beast Herds and I never known him to play any other army so he is going to know exactly what he’s doing with this army and will make for a tough match up, I’m hoping I’ve learnt from the mistakes I made in Game 2 but I’m gonna be honest, I was pretty drunk by Game 3 and I only really have vague recollections of this game, luckily I was making notes and taking pictures so I’ve been able to piece it all back together.

    Anyway, Luke’s list:

    575 - Beast Lord, General, Razortusk Chariot, Heavy Armour, Shield, Beast Axe, Fatal Folly, Death Cheater, Crown of Horns, Eye of Dominance

    475 - Minotaur Chieftain, Battle Standard, Greater Totem Bearer, Great Weapon, Aaghor’s Affliction

    520 - Soothsayer, Wizard Master, Druidism, Dark Rain, Seed of the Dark Forest

    104 - 8x Feral Hounds

    115 - 10x Mongrel Raiders, Scout & Ambush

    330 - 3x Raiding Chariot

    378 - 36x Mongrel Herd, Standard, Musician, Champion, Spears, Banner of the Wild Herd

    150 - 5x Gargoyles, Scout

    165 - 10x Longhorn Herd, Ambush, Halberds

    560 - 6x Minotaurs, Champion, Musician, Totem Bearer, Black Wing Totem, Shields

    465 - 10x Centaurs, Champion, Musician, Totem Bearer, Black Wing Totem, Lances, Throwing Weapons

    330 - Beast Giant, Giant Club

    330 - Beast Giant, Giant Club



    You can see my list in my pre ESC write up here

    So after a quick glance at his list there’s 2 things that scare me. The first is the unit of 10 Centaurs and the second is the Minotaurs. The Centaurs are crazy fast and will be difficult to pin down, they have 2 attacks each with Strength 7 on the charge (If drunk, which they were all game), that unit can pack a serious punch and if I let them get around me then they can smash off any of my units. They are definitely going to be the number one target for the spells of my Exalted Herald.

    The Minotaurs are Minotaurs and after Game 2 they need no further explanation. All of my units are sh!tting themselves at the idea of having to fight those guys again!

    Giants don’t particularly scare me that me that much. With my high defensive skill on all my units they are only hitting me on 4s so it definitely limits there damage output. The only really pose a threat to the Warriors and that’s if they can get a flank or rear charge on them.

    I like the Core set up that Luke is using. The Chariot block is a good choice and 3D6 impact hits at Strength 5 is enough to make any unit think twice. Once they are in though if they haven’t broken me they are going to die!

    I know everyone is loving the big Mongrel blocks over the Wildhorn, and I totally get the reasons why, but for me that big unit of Mongrels is just easy combat res. Any of my units is going to chew them up if it comes to a 1 on 1 fight.

    Character wise, the Shaman is nothing unusual, Druidism is a good lore for Beasts that have big blocks, so will be key to keeping the Minos, Centaurs and Mongrels in the fight. There’s the obligatory Seed of the Dark Forest which is to be expected and Dark Rain too, which is wasted against me. Shaman is tagged onto the end of the Mongrel block.

    The Minotaur BSB is a good build. Res 6, 4+ Fortitude and a Great Weapon, can take a beating and dish it out too. He is sat in the Mongrel block to give them some damage output. He’s a scary beast but I’m hoping my Chosen Lord can get at him and kill him quickly with the Burning Portent.

    The Beast Lord on the Chariot is a good choice if you ask me. “+ Armour Save and a 4+ Fortitude save makes him very survivable and he’s got a decent damage output too, nothing compared to the Minotaur Warlord from the last game but it’s still a good build. The Beast Lord goes in with the other Chariots to make a big unit of 4 (nothing compared to UD)

    The rest of the army is chaff really. The ambushing Longhorn don’t worry me too much as I’ve had 10 of them flank charge my Warriors before and just bounce off so I think I’m good.

    For this game the deployment is Frontline Clash (the perfect deployment when you’re drunk!) and the scenario is Capture the Flags which is an excellent scenario for me. I’m never going to get those Longhorns so I have to kill the Centaurs, Minotaurs and Mongrels and try and keep all my units alive.

    For my manifestations I take the Sorcerer Immortal and Brand of the Dragon because I absolutely need to be darting behind his units and blasting them off with magic, especially those Centaurs. For his spells I take The Grave Calls, Marked for Doom and Hellfire. Marked for… [Read More]
  • New

    Game 4 – Team Russia

    I’ve mentioned if before, but one of the great things about attending the ETC is that you get to face players that come from a different gaming culture, and whose local tournament scene is nothing like your own. In the same way that fighting against the USA gave us some insight about how things are done across the pond, the next round would give as a peek at the way the game is played in the Eastern European countries. Contrary to, say, German or French players, we rarely get to play the Russians, since travelling that far to play a game of toy soldiers is usually a once-per-year experience for all of us.

    Whenever I get the chance to look at Russian (And Belarussian, by extension) lists, I am left puzzled: some choices don’t make sense to me, some of the obvious combos are not there. And then the tournament results come in, and the armies in question end up in the top spots. That says something about the players first and foremost, but also that they train in an environment where things are done differently and where things such as a Quatl with Protean magic might be considered a competitive choice.
    To give some more context, team Russia is comprised of eight VERY competent players. Four of them travelled back in early 2019 to Poland’s team championship and became the first ever foreign team to win a Polish championship. So we knew we were in serious trouble when we found out we’d be playing them.
    One of these veteran players would be my next opponent: Kirill @SpeLLie and his Warriors of the Dark Gods. He had brought a rather compact WDG list, full of tricks and potent combos:


    SpeLLie wrote:

    CHARACTERS:
    Chosen Lord on War Dais, General, Envy, Idol of Spite, Trophy Rack, Dusk Forged, Burning Portent, Potion of Swiftness
    Sorcerer, Wizard Master (Alchemy), Veil Walker, Binding Scroll
    Sorcerer, Wizard Adept (Evocation)

    CORE:
    20 Warriors of Greed, Full Command, Zealot’s banner
    19 Barbarians, Shields, Musician

    SPECIAL:
    9 Chosen of Envy, Halberds, Full Command, Banner of Speed
    5 Chosen Knights of Pride, Full Command, Flaming Standard
    2 x 5 Warhounds
    Hellmaw, Two Ominous Gateways


    So a three-block list, with considerable point denial potential and the flaming/flammable synergy from Alchemy. The Veil Walker makes Hellfire and the other Alchemy spells particularly threatening, while Evocation brings some rerolls to hit in the mix to counter the only weakness that the non-envy units might have.
    Our objective for this round would be spoils of war and the deployment type was Counterthrust.

    I had originally rated the game as a positive matchup for my Dread Elves, but upon closer inspection the ranged pressure from the Alchemy magic and the high agility attacks of all the units meant that I would have to be very careful when choosing my fights. My estimation changed when I saw how Kirill used his Gateways before deployment: he placed one near each of the flank Spoils of War tokens, and it suddenly became apparent that he was planning to use the Hellmaw to pick up tokens with his beefy units and teleport back into the fray. He won the roll for sides, and picked the one with the hill inside the deployment zone. This allowed me to claim the center with my fast cavalry and deploy pretty much on the 16” line with my monsters. After seeing where his Warrior unit would go, I dropped the entire army pretty much opposite, positioning the three scoring units in such a way that would allow me to potentially pick up all 3 of the spoils over the course of the game.

    The Warriors replied with a Refused Flank deployment that curiously saw both heavy hitters on the same flank and the Hellmaw rather exposed in the middle.
    For magic, the Alchemy Mage had Hellfire, Corruption of Tin, Quicksilver Lash and Silver Spike while the Evocation Mage took Spectral Blades and Ancestral Aid. My combo remained the same: Grave Calls/Breath of Corruption and Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue.



    The battle plan here was simple: Hunt the Hellmaw with my Acolytes, push my monsters right in the face of the Warrior battleline and try to get stuck in favorable combats as soon as possible. That meant that I would be taking less hits from the magic missiles, but also giving my scoring units time to claim the objective marker while the monsters and characters kept the enemy occupied.

    TURN 1 – Dread Elves

    Both Dark Raider units rushed forward, blocking the entire Warrior line, with the krakens positioned to assault the Chosen Knights as soon as possible. I went to great lengths to block the enemy chaff and also ensure that the Chosen Lord wouldn’t be able to charge my redirectors: if he wanted them gone, the chosen knights would have to charge them. In the middle the Acolytes approached the Hellmaw, trying to stay out of Terror range. The middle Blades moved on top of the Spoils of War token, ready to pick it up on turn 2.
    In the magic phase the Grave Calls… [Read More]


  • A report of my 5 games at Games of Westeroes, with my Orcs and Goblins.

    My results in short:
    vs Vermin Swarm 4-16
    vs Highborn Elves 7-13
    vs Vampire Covenatn 6-14
    vs Dwarven Holds 19-1
    vs Vampire Covenant 13-7

    Total: 49 BP

    My list:
    Feral Orc Shaman on Wyven: Wizard Master (Shamanism), Shady Shankin’ Paired Weapons, Magical Hierloom, Pan of Protection Pinchin’ @660
    Cave Goblin King: General, War Cry!, Paired Weapon, Bow, Crown of Autocracy @240
    Forest Goblin King on Huntsmen Spider: Lance, Bow, Shield, Basalt Infused Heavy Armour, Lucky Charm, Crown of the Wizard King @295
    Cave Goblin Chief: BSB, Bow, Crown of the Cavern King @215
    Goblin Witch Doctor on Wolf Chariot: Wizard Apprentice (Witchcraft), Alchemist’s Alloy @160
    20 Cave Goblins: Bows, Standard, Musician, Banner of Discipline @235
    15 Feral Orc ‘Eadbashers: Paired Weapons, FC, Banner of Speed @430
    50 Cave Goblins: Nets, FC @460
    1 Scrap Wagon @85
    32 Gnashers @276
    2x1 Wrecking Team @140 each
    6 Cave Trolls @474
    1 Splatterer: Orc Overseer @190
    1 Git Launcher @185
    1 Giant: Giant Club @315
    Total: 4500 [Read More]
  • GAME 3 – USA

    The second day of the ETC 2019 we woke up with high spirits, and were really looking forward to facing our round 3 opponents: the USA! What is impressive about the 9th age community is that thanks to Youtube, the T9A forum, twitter and the such we feel like we have a better idea of what the US gaming scene looks like than, say, the Austrian or the Spanish one. So it was exciting to get to play against the guys that we so often hear about in the Wargaming from the Balcony podcast and the such! To top it off, the US players have a reputation of being fun, fair and also very competent generals: reading this report you’ll find that they didn’t disappoint!

    The gaming scene over at the US is quite different than ours, with a lot less MSU elements way chunkier units. That said, there were the exceptions to the rule (for example Ryan Capps’ Ogre Khans monster mash). Nevertheless, my Dread Elves were looking at some very juicy targets in all possible games, with relatively little room for counterplay. Out of the eight possible matches the only one that I wasn’t looking forward to facing was the Vermin Swarm, due to the fact that it would be a match depending on how well my opponent rolled for his shooting more than anything else.

    So I let our pairing master do his magic, and in the end I got to play against none other than the all-time top scorer of team USA, Chris @eggsPR . Now, for the uninitiated, Chris has the reputation of being a very strong player, and the list of his T9A-related accolades is so long that it would probably require a separate blog post to enumerate them. He has been playing Vampires for a long time and has attended several (all?) of the past ETCs. So going into the game I was looking forward to a hard-fought game. What I wasn’t expecting was what a fun and jovial opponent Chris would be. If I had to describe his player demeanor I’d say that you could get massacred by his army and would still be happy to have played him anyway! In any other tournament he’d get my “best opponent” vote, but here he’ll have to share it with another 3 players; that’s how lucky I was at this year’s ETC!

    Chris had brought a Vampire list with several of the usual suspects, but also a very personal touch:


    The most important parts of the list were the character duo, and namely their magic combination: Just like the first game opponent, the combination of Evocation and Occultism with extra range meant that the VC were not hard pressed at all to get into combat. His was a very stable list that could take its time, position the units correctly, claim objectives and gain points by sniping single models, small heavily-armoured units and expensive characters. Could you guess what I had brought in abundance?

    The secondary objective for this round was Hold the Ground, which provided a challenge in itself: if I allowed the vampires to march onto the center of the board I’d have a really hard time getting them off the objective marker. The map we played on was Frontline Clash, and my adversary won the roll off for table sides and promptly picked the side with the hill right in the middle. That decision influenced my plan even further: if that swiftstride barrow unit got on top of the hill, it could easily zone a huge part of my list while sniping monsters away.

    So I deployed my entire army to claim the initiative, with the Kraken at a central position, my general with corsairs a bit off to the one flank along with the Yema Acolytes and the other acolytes guarding the right flank with some help from the Blades of Nabh. The plan was to push forward aggressively, deny space to the vampires while also trying to perform an enveloping maneuver in the flanks. Chris replied to this by deploying centrally and deep: he used his Vampire Spawn wisely to cover one flank, and anchored the other with his Barrow Guard. In between, his Ghouls, Vampire Knights and chaff were ready to pop out of their hiding spot to threaten my monsters.






    For magic, the Occultism Vampire took Hand of Glory, Breath of Corruption, Marked for Doom and the Grave Calls, while the Evocation wizard went for Touch of the Reaper, Spectral Blades, Whispers of the Veil and the Hereditary. I took my usual mix of Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue and Breath of Corruption/Grave Calls.
    With the first turn secured, I rushed all of… [Read More]
  • GAME 2 – Austria

    After the success of the first round we found out that we’d be facing team Austria! That was great news, as in last year’s ETC we faced them in a very memorable round. The Austrians are not only great guys to play with, but they often come up with very personal and “against the current” lists. Fighting against such armies is refreshing and challenging at the same time.

    This year it seems that real life had an impact on the roster of their team, with @Sir_Joker and @Clef being notable absences. While I was a bit sad that I wouldn’t get to chat about all things elves with the aforementioned gentlemen, we were more than compensated by the Norse Mercenaries (or should I say Varangian guard?) that brought even more craziness when it came to list building: a glimmering host of no less than 300 Highborn Elves and a battle-crazed mass of OnG (or Norse raiders as you’ll see) featuring almost 100 Gnashers, 100 Orcs and some change!

    Who would be the mastermind behind these lists, you ask? Well, none other than @Herminard, of former Balance team fame and a Battleline enthusiast. The wonder of the internet is such that I've been actually chatting and playing with Hermund almost for a decade before actually meeting him at the 2016 Athens ETC. So getting to play against him (and share drinks afterwards) was like meeting an old friend. This was to be our first battle on a real tabletop, and I was looking forward to it. On a sidenote, his list and his mate’s Hallvard’s were so outside the box that none of my teammates actually wanted to face them.

    Hermund lined up the following list:

    Herminard wrote:

    CHARACTERS:
    Common Orc Shaman, General, War Cry, Shamanism Master, Crown of Autocracy, Skull Fetish
    Forest Goblin Witch Doctor, Thaumaturgy Master
    Common Orc Chief BSB, Aether Icon, Banner of Discipline, Obsidian Rock
    5 x Forest Goblin Chief on Huntsmen Spider

    CORE:
    3 x 20 Common Orcs, Spears, Musican
    2 x 20 Common Orcs, Spears

    SPECIAL:
    3 x 24 Gnasher Herd
    1 x 23 Gnasher Herd

    2 x Git Launcher
    1 x Skewerer

    I had rated this game as Neutral, meaning that it could go either way, with a good probability of ending up in a draw. The reason for that is double: the magic and shooting of the Orcs was considerable and could easily drop a kraken per turn if dice went their way. Secondly, the entire army was potentially Swiftstride with a movement of 5 or more. Meaning that the Krakens lost their range advantage and could end up in very precarious positions if I wasn’t careful. So I expected to bleed points while grinding the enemy units down.

    The scenario for this round was King of the Hill, and the deployment on table we got to play was Counterthrust. My adversary picked sides, getting the one with the hill in the middle of the deployment zone. That would make things more difficult for me when it came to assaulting the Viking lines. In spell selection the Shamanism Master took Awaken the Beast, Swarm of Insects, Break the Spirit and Bring the Pain while the Thaumaturgy Master took Hand of Heaven, Smite the Unbeliever, Cleansing Fire and Trial of Faith. My acolytes took the usual Grave Calls/Breath of Corruption and Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue combo.

    I must say I was relieved when Hermund didn’t pick the Comet, as it was the one spell that I couldn’t afford to let through: a well placed comet can influence the army’s movement far too much, making me lose momentum. That’s not something that you want to do with an angry mob staring at you.
    For the scenario purposes we did not get much of a choice: the Forest in the middle of the table was the only eligible terrain for both of us, which turned the game in a modified version of Hold the Ground, essentially.

    We alternated deployment drops as dictated by the scenario, and once three units were down * (Hermund placed his centrally, so as to not reveal his deployment plans), I placed the rest to grab the first turn: against such a list I needed to be the one selecting the fights and I also needed to keep the enemy scorers into their deployment zone for secondary objective purposes.

    *Here I should mention that I accidentally misled Herminard: he started by deploying a warmachine, but I pointed out that the first three drops couldn’t be characters or warmachines. It turns out that the warmachine restriction only applies to Marching Columns for some reason, so I’ll use this space to apologize once more for the misplay!

    The Viking Orcs (Vikorcs? Orkkings?) went for a denied flank approach: using the hill as an anchor (with a big gnasher unit on top to make sure I didn’t get too close too fast) they extended to my left up to the board edge, with the Git Launchers safely behind the lines. The empty space to my right was then occupied by three goblin chiefs on spiders, making sure that I wouldn’t be able to vanguard past them to threaten the infantry’s flank.






    TURN 1 – [Read More]
  • Game 1 – Team UN

    For the first round we got to play team UN which, as I mentioned before, had several players from our Belgian tournament scene. Some of them had participated in our pre-ETC training weekend, so we were a bit worried that we’d get some rematches: that can be good (you know what you did wrong) but also can be bad (your opponent knows what he did wrong/right). In any case, I was lucky enough to play one of the non-Belgian players of team UN: Marcos, a very friendly Spanish player from Madrid.
    We got around chatting a bit and it turns out that he plays in the same clubs and events as the players from team Spain and Argentina, so I made a point of not underestimating him!

    He had brought the following Vampire Covenant list:


    Marcos wrote:


    So all in all a well-rounded vampire list based on a very powerful magic combination, with several single models that could cause headaches to my army. Our deployment was Frontline Clash and the first scenario was to be Capture the Flags, which meant that I’d have to try and go behind enemy lines to reach the zombie units that would probably hang out in the back.

    Going into the game, I had estimated this match as favorable for my Dread Elves: with no shooting and a vampire lord that is not a particularly good fighter, all I had to worry about was the magic. When I saw the spells that my opponent chose I kind of reconsidered my initial optimistic outlook: He had all the snipes (Touch of the Reaper, Hasten the Hour, Marked for Doom), and then Grave Calls, Pentagram of Pain, Breath of Corruption and Spectral Blades! The only upside was that the dreaded Necromantic staff was nowhere to be seen, so I’d only have to worry about two invocations.

    We rolled for sides and I won, opting for the side that had a small hill just outside the deployment zone. I figured that it would be a decent place to park a Kraken or a flying monster and threaten the advance of the varkolaks and the such.Marcos seized the opportunity to drop everything for first turn. This gave me a lot of options in counter-deploying, and I organized my battle line with two things in mind:

    a) I had to keep the Barrow King away from my Blades of Nabh. I had faced this build in a tournament before and he managed to munch through all of my core infantry without so much as a scratch. With the scenario being flags, I’d have to try and avoid that at all costs.
    b) I needed to avoid the Varkolaks going behind my lines with their 28” initial move.

    So this is what I came up with.






    TURN 1 – Vampire Covenant

    My vanguard move managed to bring the middle dark raiders within range for frenzy-baiting the Vampire spawn. These were turned sideways and too far away from the generals Ld, but they still managed to pass the test on their own. Then the Barrow King declared a charge on the offending fast cavalry. Not willing to draw him near my lines that fast, they fled and got away.On the flanks the varkolaks maneuvered carefully, staying out of charge range of my fast support. The vampire’s unit surged forward, with the Vampire Spawn in close support. The Dire Wolves moved up and redirected my two central krakens.
    In the magic phase I had to use all of my dice to stop the Grave Calls on the Kraken. This allowed my opponent to get off a boosted Hasten the Hour on my corsairs, but the Pegasus prince saved the wound allocated on him. Finally, the vampire raised a new unit of zombies and then raised around 10 skeletons from his unit.




    TURN 1 – Dread Elves

    One of the krakens took the dire wolf bait, while the rest of the army maneuvered into position. The fleeing Dark Raiders rallied and moved up to block the Barrow King and the Vampire’s unit. I then set up a trap using my Manticore as bait; I moved him forward towards the Vampire Spawn, but keeping the Blades of Nabh in a position where he’d only get 10 attacks from the spawn due to the unit’s alignment. On the flanks I continued denying the varkolaks any space, while the remaining krakens moved up, one occupying the hill, thus zoning the Dark Coach.Finally, the Prince relocated towards the center and the corsairs did an about turn and moved backwards towards my deployment zone.
    In the magic phase I only managed to get a Deceptive Glamour on the vampiric spawn, lowering their agility. The kraken predictably killed all of the wolves.




    TURN 2 – Vampire Covenant

    The [Read More]
  • Hello again!

    Let’s get started with Game 2 of the ESC shall we? So after a nice win in Game 1 I was climbing up the tables and for this round I was Drawn against the Captain of Montenegro (Aleksander Vilotic, no idea what’s his handle on here is though) and his Beast Herds. Alek’s list:

    705 - Minotaur Warlord, General, Great Weapon, Blessed Inscriptions, Trickster’s Cunning, Crown of

    Horns, Talisman of Shielding

    475 - Minotaur Chieftain, Battle Standard, Great Weapon, Aaghor’s Affliction, Greater Totem Bearer

    440 - Soothsayer, Druidism, Seed of the Dark Forest, Wizard Master

    165 - Soothsayer, The Shamanism, Potion of Strength, Wizard Apprentice

    150 - 2x 15x Wildhorn Herd

    220 - 2x 15x Wildhorn Herd, Throwing Weapons, Musician, Ambush

    170 - 17x Wildhorn Herd

    783 - 8x Minotaurs, Shield, Standard bearer, Musician, Champion, Totem Bearer, Black Wing Totem, Flaming Standard

    748 - 8x Minotaurs, Shield, Standard bearer, Musician, Champion, Totem Bearer, Black Wing Totem

    135 – 2x 5x Gargoyles


    The first thing that jumped out at me when I saw the list was the 2 great big units of Minotaurs, ouch! I’ve fought against Minotaurs before but never 2 units that size along with 2 tooled up Minotaur characters. I’m not sure I have an answer to both of them, one of them I could kill with magic and combat, but two is going to be difficult. I’ve never fought them with Shields before either, it limits their damage output which is good with me but giving them parry makes them much more annoying for my army, especially my Chosen Lord who is perfect for killing Minotaurs. I would be hoping to get some flank charges on the Minos but then the second thing about the list jumped out at me, 5 units of Wildhorns! Although they are garbage, that is a lot of garbage to get through. Combined with the 2 units of Gargoyles, this list is packing a lot of chaff which should help keep the Minotaurs safe from any unwanted charges.

    Character wise both Mino characters are not to be sniffed at, the BSB is the weaker of the two but they’re both wielding Great Weapons so they are incredibly high strength with a lot of attacks. The General is giving every one in 12” re rolls to hit every turn thanks to the Crown of Horns so that just makes the Minos even more deadly.

    With a Wizard Master, a Wizard Adept, a Greater Totem and two Black Wing Totems there is a ridiculous number of spells that this army has access to, I’m going to find it difficult to know what spells to prioritise dispelling.

    The Deployment type was Dawn Assault and the secondary Objective was Spoils of War, not a great objective for me in this battle as my opponent has 7 scoring units and I have 3 so it’s going to be diffciult to stop all those units from getting two of the objectives.

    I win the roll for sides and I make my opponent take the side with the building in the deployment zone and make him take the ¾ with the building in so that his army is bunched up together. I wanted them contained so that I knew where they were.

    For my Manifestations on my Exalted Herald I picked Sorcerer Immortal and Brand of the Dragon so that I had Veil Walker for those increased ranges and the other benefits and the Exalted Herald could now fly. As the Beast Herds have no shooting and will be limited on Magic Missiles my Exalted Herald will basically have free range to do what he wants here. For his spells I picked The Grave Calls, Marked for Doom and Hellfire for some truly offensive magic, I don’t plan on getting him near combat with those Minotaurs so I’m happy for him to just fly around blasting magic at beasts.

    The Sorcerer on Alchemy picked Word of Iron and Glory of Gold as the damage spells from alchemy are useless against Beast Herds.

    My opponents Druidism Shaman picked Oaken Throne, Healing Waters, Entwining Roots, Summer Growth and Stone Skin. The Shamanism Shaman took Awaken the Beast and Swarm of Insects. Some excellent defensive buffs and a good offensive buff with Awaken the Beast, add all the totems in and it’s a dangerous magic phase the Beasts have.

    The Beast Herds put their Dark Forest slap bang in the middle of the table.

    Onto deployment and we took it in turns dropping our units but with my opponent deciding not to ambush his Wildhorn on, and instead deploying them as normal, it meant he had 7 chaff drops before the Minos went down. So after a couple of initial drops I decided to drop everything and go for the first turn.

    The Chosen Knights were on the left with the aim of getting one of the objectives. The Feldrak Elder was next to them. Warriors and Feldraks in the centre alongside the Warhounds and Fallen whop are there to do their chaffing duties and the Herald was on the right flank.

    My opponent dropped it all in the centre, the Minos each hiding behind a unit of Wildhorn whilst the other units of Wildhorn were on the left to cover that side. The Minotaur Warlord was in the 1st Mino unit (Flaming Standard) nearest the centre to make optimum use of his… [Read More]
  • Greetings, dear reader !

    The biggest T9A gaming event of the year has come and gone, and everyone who attended will tell you we had a wonderful time. In the following blog posts I will try to take you on the same journey, by recounting the tales of the Belgian ETC team, and my Dark Elves’ exploits in particular.

    For those of you who do not follow the tournament circuit that closely, the ETC stands for European Team Championship, and it is a yearly get-together of some of the most competent generals from all over the world. The tournament lasts 6 rounds, and these are fought between teams of 8 people representing a nation. The scores of all the games are added each round and this gives a total team score between 0 and 160. To prevent any team from escaping too far by crushing weaker opposition, each round’s score is “capped” at 100 points, meaningthat the worst result a team can get is 60 and the best is 100 points. Now that the T9A rules have been stable for some time the level of competition hasn’t stopped rising: all of the teams had very well constructed lists, and several players from each team have been consistently scoring well in local and international tournaments.

    This year 36 teams participated in the event, for a grand total of 288 players! The level of painting and modelling was also very high, I suggest that you take a look at the photos the Lens Viking took while walking around the venue.

    As far as team Belgium is concerned we aligned the crème de la crème of our gaming scene, players who had distinguished themselves in team and single events over the 2018-2019 season. These were as follows:

    @gregor , our trusted captain and multiple ETC veteran, aligning an army of fast Daemonic Legions based on Fiends and Succubi with poisoned attacks.
    @PrinceCharming with aggressive Ogre Khans: Double hunters, double Aurochs, triple Kin-Eater, plus change.
    @IHDarklord with Undying Dynasties. He played a list similar to everyone else’s but at least he can claim he was on the bandwagon waaay before anyone else noticed it!
    @Mallak with an infantry-based Orc and Goblin list aligning no less than 72 Gnashers, 28 Feral Orc Eadbashers, 25 Iron orcs, along with double Git Launchers and Pyro magic.
    @valmir and his Vermin Swarms. Fun fact: Valmir tested the entire year a list with Vermin Daemon, double Dreadmills and the such, then 2 months before the event decided that people had adapted to the netlist and went to the drawing board once more! He probably gets the prize for the most innovative VS list, although the competition was not exactly stiff.
    @Artur , our resident Highborn Elf player. He lined up a list with some very heavy shooting and magic capability, designed to take on difficult matches and not yield too many points or even come out on top.
    @strauss , a new addition to the team and the best Infernal Dwarf player in Belgium (on a totally unrelated note, he also happens to be the only one :) ). His list combined all of the usual ID suspects: Kadims, Titan, Onyx Core, Pyromancy with the Icon of the Inferno. His personal touch was the Rocket Battery as well as a block of Sword and Board Citadel Guard.

    And, finally, yours truly with the Dread Elves that I’ve been using for the better part of this year. You’ll find the list discussions that led to my final list here, but essentially the list evolved from a double kraken/Dragon list towards a variant that favored speed and force concentration over more traditional choices.


    SmithF wrote:

    CHARACTERS:
    Dread Prince on Pegasus, Fleet Commander, HA, Shield, Lance, Basalt Infusion, Transcendence, Midnight cloak
    Captain on Manticore, BSB, Beastmaster, HA, Shield, Lance, Alchemist's Alloy, Talisman of Shielding, Dragonfire Gem


    CORE:
    2 x 13 Blades of Nabh, Musician, Champion
    10 Corsairs, Paired Weapons, Vanguard, Musician
    2 x 5 Dark Raiders


    SPECIAL:
    5 Dark Acolytes, Champion
    5 Dark Acolytes, Yema, Champion
    1 Medusa, Haberd
    1 Medusa, Paired Weapons


    MENAGERIE:
    3 x 1 Kraken
    Before the tournament we spent a certain amount of time theorizing and estimating how our armies would fare against the opposition. Doing so for 280 lists is a daunting task, but it was made easier by the fact that most factions were represented by one or two list archetypes.
    For example, most Ogre Khans lists involved double Mammoth Hunters, double Aurochs and a deathstar with BSB and the ubiquitous Shaman Master. All of the KoE lists were almost identical (Pegasus Duke with Might/Judgment combo, Druidism support, some questing knights and variable core) .
    When doing estimations one thing became apparent: where my team mates were estimating a potential score (for example, against X I can score 10 points minimum), I found that I could only give an estimation of the probability of winning. (ex. Against Y I have an 60% chance of winning). Thus became apparent what we called the Unstable condition: with such an aggressive… [Read More]