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Game 6 – Orcs and Goblins (Team Mexico)
The big loss against Germany saw us plummet to the mid-field, but our Top10 finish was still within sight! Between us and our goal we would find another team we had never faced: Mexico!
Team Mexico is the labour of love of @Warboss Tooth, who has been putting together teams and leading them to battle as their captain for the past 3 years. Most players are from the USA (But of Mexican descent), with a few mercenaries to fill out the roster. They have been steadily improving for the past two years, and in this year’s tournament they had already had a very decent run, with wins against Australia, Norway and Argentina.
Curiously, they were one of the teams that had posed me the most problems in terms of matchup evaluation: with an avoidance Sylvan Elf list, Second Awakening/Double Dreadmill Vermins, Triple Hydra/quadruple chariot DE, Double Cannon ogres, and Infernal Dwarves with an Onyx Core lord on Great Bull, my pairing matrix was a sad one. Funnily enough, James would let on afterwards that nobody was very keen on facing my list; I do believe that it was pure intimidation, since any of the above would give my Krakens a run for their money.
So our pairing master used me as an opening drop in the pairings: it would give me the pick between two options, and the ones presented to me were the Ogre Khans and Orcs and Goblins. Whenever I try to think of what Ogres can do, I picture our own Ogre player @PrinceCharming guiding them: having played this game during one of our trainings, we pretty much figured it was up to who gets the first turn. The OK were bringing double cannons, which are not the most effective tool against Krakens or the Midnight Cloak prince, but they would give my opponent a chance to win the game on a single die roll, no matter what the tactics involved were.
The second option was none other than Cap’n Mexico, Warboss Tooth with his Orcs and Goblins! We had previously gotten a training game with our lists on UB, which had ended in disaster for me: so he was willing to give it a go again, and challenged me to a rematch. So I picked up the gauntlet, and prepared to do better than the last time!
He had brought the following:
Iron Orc Warlord, General, Paired Weapons, Destiny’s Call, Touch of Greatness
Forest Goblin Chief BSB, Bow, Maza’s Zapping, Banner of Discipline
Forest Goblin Witch Doctor, Wizard Master (Pyromancy), Binding Scroll, Magical Heirloom
Forest Goblin King on Gargantula, Paired Weapons, Shieldbreaker, Dragon Staff
20 Common Goblins, Bows, Shields, Musician
20 Forest Goblin Skirmishers, Bows, Throwing Weapons, Standard, Banner of the Relentless Company
27 Feral Orc Eadbashers, Mammoth Stabber, Paired Weapons, Full Command, Green Tide Banner
23 Gnasher Herd
5 Common Goblin Raiders
3 Goblin Chariots
23 Iron Orcs, Standard, Champion, Mikinok’s Totem
2 x Skewerer
For this game we had the Secure target secondary objective, and the deployment was Frontline Clash. James placed his objective marker near the impassable in the middle, and I opted for the far right side of the board.
The reason for that was to tempt the orcs to split their forces: all of the orc units have a considerable footprint, which means that keeping units within the general and BSB bubble would be a challenge for the greenskins. By having the objective markers more than 30” away from each other, I made the bet that the units trying to contest one of the two wouldn’t have good discipline support: in contrast, my scorers are Fearless or have good leadership on their own, and would be able to function independently while I focused my forces wherever needed.
Yet again my adversary won sides and picked the one with the hill, which allowed me to drop my army for the first turn: with the hill giving a huge threat range to the movement 9 wolf chariots, I couldn’t risk losing my chaff to shooting and magic before they could do their first turn work. My deployment was fairly straightforward, keeping one unit of blades near each objective, the krakens centrally and one flying character on either side of the battleline, ready to move wherever they were needed most. The orcs countered by claiming the hill with the Savages and chariots (impact hits galore!), and then the flaw that I was hoping for: the Iron orcs off to one side, near my secure target marker, and the goblins with BSB and Pyro mage to the other, next to the Gnashers and the goblin archers. Finally, the gargantula went next to the BSB’s unit to dissuade any of my monsters from rushing the goblins.
I then used my vanguards to move as far forward as possible with all 3 of my units, while the wolves repositioned a bit on the right flank.
For magic I went for the usual Crippling Fatigue/Ice and Fire and Grave Calls/Breath of Corruption combination. The pyromancer got… [Read More]
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!)
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
15 Knights of the Realm, Full Command, Banner of the Last Charge
6 Knights of the Realm, Musician
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]
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]
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:
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)
20 Warriors of Greed, Full Command, Zealot’s banner
19 Barbarians, Shields, Musician
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
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]