The Salamanca ETC Chronicles: Game 5

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  • For the fifth round we were drawn against Australia: the guys from down under have a reputation of being fun but also quite capable generals. We had the pleasure of facing them in Athens during the 2016 ETC, and they gave us a good spanking on the last round of the tournament sending us down to the bottom half of the results table.

    This year the Australian team didn’t only bring the usual suspects, but they enlisted the help of former German team captain @Frederick (of T9A fame). So the chances of winning the round were pretty slim, but we had to try and make it work.

    One list that caused a lot of issues was the dreaded Peasant Army, led by none other than Mr Akhter Khan. In the end I got to face him, and I was very glad to do so as our vampire count player couldn’t stop rambling last year about how awesome their game was and how fun a player Akhter is. (this would also prove to be true in our game, facing Mr Foodmonster was a pleasure)

    He'd brought:

    Foodmonster wrote:

    And we got to play Capture the Flags with a Flank Attack scenario.

    Having played this matchup before against Yannick from team Germany, I knew that the key to even have a chance was to rush forward with the treefathers, dodge every single projective the KoE threw their way and get into combat. The rest of the list is practically free points for the peasants if I ever engage, so the trees would have to do the heavy lifting.

    For magic I got Awaken the Beast, Insect Swarm, Howling Wind and Totemic Summon on my Druid, while the Matriarch took Oaken Throne, Spirits of the Wood and Entwined Roots. The Damsel failed to get Stars Align, and had to settle for Scrying, Know Thy Enemy, Fate’s Judgment and Unerring Strike. The Duke with the Wizard’s Hood got Druidism and rolled Healing Waters and Spirits of the Wood.

    Akhter picked a corner and deployed his army in a very compact manner, making sure to not leave any space for a totemic summon to threaten his trebuchets. I responded by putting the trees centrally and far enough to rush the KoE lines, with dancers and kestrels in support. The juicy targets for Trebuchets stayed hidden behind the hill and building. My opponent won the first turn roll and started the game.

    TURN 1 – KoE

    With no considerable movement, we went straight into magic: The Unerring Strike was dispelled, then the Fate’s Judgment went through irresistibly on the closest kestrels. The spell was lost, and a single kestrel fell to the spell’s damage. The massed shooting managed to deal a further 2 wounds on the kestrels despite needing 7’s to hit. The Trebuchets failed to hit the Treefathers.

    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves

    The wounded kestrels moved back to safety, right behind the building. They’d stay there all game long. The archers also spent a good amount of time hiding behind that building, wary of any stray trebuchet rocks. In the middle, the Treefathers rushed forward, with the wardancers close behind and inside the forest’s protection. The Forest Guard reformed 2-deep and moved up to give my Druid line of sight to the warmachines.

    In the magic phase the Insect swarm went through, dealing 3 wounds to one of the Trebuchets.

    TURN 2 – KoE

    The Peasant line angled to face my treefathers, the far left unit wheeling to threaten with countercharges. Magic saw a bubble scrying go off, but the Unerring strike was dispelled yet again. Shooting was focused on the Treefathers now, and a couple of wounds went through on one tree.

    TURN 2 - Sylvan Elves

    Yet again, things were straightforward: the trees moved up aggressively, just making sure that the peasants wouldn’t be able to charge out of LoS of either of them. Kestrels moved up to the flank of the peasant line, and the dryads and bladedancers stayed in support of the trees.

    In combat I managed to heal one of the wounds on the Treefather. My opponent stopped the totemic summon, and the insect swarm failed to cast. Shooting with the tree roots dropped a couple of peasants.

    TURN 3 – KoE

    The peasant levy declined the charge, and instead decided to try and kill the treefather from afar. In the magic phase I stopped the Unerring Strike once more, and the scrying bubble went off. The shooting was ineffective, thankfully: only a couple of wounds were suffered, in a combination of bad rolls for Akhter and spectacular saves for the forest giants.

    TURN 3 – Sylvan Elves

    Both treefathers went into the rightmost peasants, and the general and BSB made sure to be within 12in case things went wrong. The Kestrels stood their ground, since the peasants hadn’t left them any good spots to land.

    In the magic phase my opponent wisely dispelled the Oaken Throne (which would have allowed me to cast Spirits of the Woods on the peasant spearmen and break their steadfast) but at least that meant I could get Entwined Roots off and heal a wound off the left tree (the one that was more likely to get fllank charged).

    In the combat phase the treefathers suffered a wound each and dropped 10 peasants between their attacks and stomps. The peasants passed their steadfast test.

    TURNS 4-6

    From here on things were pretty straightforward: The Tree/Peasant fight continued, each turn the treefathers suffering a wound or two, which I’d get to heal in my magic phase. The peasants were getting whittled down slowly, and on turn 5 a second peasant unit flanked my left treefather.

    On my turn 5 the small bladedancer unit that had been performing an outflanking maneuver charged to the rescue and managed to drop the right peasant unit below the steadfast threshold: they broke, and the treefather caught them and fell into the peasant bowmen right behind. He didn’t have enough rounds of combat available to him to drop them below 25%, and they held on stubborn rolls thanks to the Reliquae.

    The Kestrels failed a 9+ charge twice on the Trebuchets, but at least dodged every single missile that came their way. In the end, the final tree/peasant combat ended in a stalemate, the peasants being unable to wound the beast.

    In the end, I had conserved all of my points, had taken a peasant unit back and had won the secondary objective in doing so. So the game ended 14-6 in my favor, which was a very good result!


    This was a tough game, which was decided by dice more than anything else; Had the peasants been able to kill one of the treefathers before he got in combat, I wouldn’t have been able to kill the peasants fast enough to win Capture the Flags. In that respect, the fact that the damsel didn’t roll Stars Align also helped a lot: Treefathers are not particularly fond of Divine Attacks with rerolls to hit. Lucky 6’s tend to happen quite often, and it’s up to armour/ward to make sure that they stay alive.

    The result could have been a better one (an insect swarm failed to do the last couple of wounds on the trebuchet, which would have pushed the result into 15-5 territory) but given that I had rated the match as draw-ish I was very happy.

    The rest of the team had more difficult games:

    Our HE player was stomped by Frederick’s Beasts, and our Ogres had a major setback, going from a big win to a small loss. In the end we lost the round 74-86, which is definitely an improvement compared to the 2016 result!

    For the last round of the tournament we got to face Latvia. Stay tuned for the final game, and feel free to comment below!


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