Articles Tagged with “Sylvan Elves”

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The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is here! You can read all about it in the news.

  • For the final round of the tournament, we would have to fight the Hot n’ Bash team! They are all tournament veterans, and frequent contenders for the ETC team qualification. They had lined up gunline EoS led by our dear friend and former teammate @Luthor Huss , fighty Orcs, minotaur-heavy Beast Herds and, finally, pyromancy-totting Infernal Dwarves!

    Team strategy required that I take on the chaotic stunties, allowing other, better matches for my teammates. Pierre @Kerathop , my opponent, had brought the following:



    So the dreaded Pyro/Infernal Icon combo, plus an Alchemy adept, decent shooting, and three good counter-push elements in the form of the Kadims, Tauruk and theEngine. Our deployment type was Dawn Attack and the objective was Secure Target.

    Going into the game, I knew that just avoiding and playing safe would probably see me take a medium loss, as the ranged output of the Pyromancy Prophet is simply too great, and my opponent had numerous scoring units with which to contest or claim the objectives during the last few turns.
    So I’d have to be aggressive in my approach, for two reasons: first to limit the number of turns that my heavy hitters would be exposed to pyromancy magic, and second to try and keep the ID away from the objective markers, while my scorers advanced towards them.

    To help in this regard I’d need as many magic tricks as possible, so I took Forest Embrace, Awaken the Beast, Chilling Howl, Totemic Summon and Break the Spirit as my spells. The Alchemy Prophet chose the Quicksilver Lash and Word of Iron, and the Pyromancy Prophet got Haze of Magnesia, Fireball, Cascading Fire,Pyroclastic Flow and Scorching Salvo, for a grand total of 5 damage-dealing spells!

    My opponent won the roll for picking sides and he placed his objective marker 12” from his deployment zone, near the “gap” of my deployment. Then I spotted an opening: My right-hand corner (the one where I couldn’t deploy troops) had a point that respected the secure target requirements of being more than 12” from my deployment zone and at least 24” from my enemy’s marker. So I chose that spot, since I had a hill to protect my scorers until the last minute, as well as being able to keep all the scoring units packed instead of pitting a single isolated dryad unit against a unit of Flintlocks in the far flank.






    Then, for the first time after a long time playing Sylvan Elves, I elected to drop my entire army to begin he game! We ended up, predictably, with a very heavily weighed right flank: I didn’t mind the 18” gap in my deployment, since my units had the mobility to cover that distance and keep the enemy from outflanking me.

    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves

    The big eagle unit with the Prince flew forward and took cover behind the obstacle inthe middle of the board. With their height and footprint they’d provide a shield from pyromancy for the first ID turn, allowing my weaker units to advance unscathed. To the left, the Kestrels performed an outflanking maneuver, still staying out of sight/range of the pyromancy wizard. Finally, the right kestrels moved back (my opponent had done a great job of blocking every possible landing zone for them) , and the second unit of Eagles was shoved forward to provoke a Frenzy check on the Kadims. My scoring dryads started the long slog towards the secure target points, and both the Druid’s retinue and the BSB’s Dancers stayed behind the relative safety of the hill.

    In magic my opponent used his binding scroll on the Chilling Howl, then dispelled the Totemic Summon. This left me just enough dice to put Break the Spirit on the Orc Slaves right in front of the Eagles. Shooting destroyed the leftmost unit of wolf riders, and the ball was in the ID court!





    TURN 1 – Infernal Dwarves

    The Kadims passed their frenzy check, and no charges were declared. Dwarven movement was cautious, only the Kadims moving forward with the Tauruks close behind. My adversary took great care at preventing any of my flyers from flying over his lines, but this meant that he’d need to stay relatively static.

    In the magic phase I used the Binding Scroll on the Blaze Attribute, ensuring that I’d only be getting a single extra D3 S4 hits and not two per spell cast! Magic opened with a high roll of Haze of Magnesia on the Eagles with Prince, and I used all of my dispel dice to make sure that this didn’t go through: the 2d3 s4 and the rerolls to all future… [Read More]
  • After a good night’s sleep, we headed back to the venue on Sunday morning, where we would find our round 4 opponents waiting for us: They are tournament regulars in the region, and most of them ETC veterans with either team France or team Portugal (UN). They were lining up Carnosaur Saurians, Full monstrous inf/cav UD, Double Rock Aurochs OK and shooting-heavy SE with double treefathers and Elk lord. I got paired against the Undying Dynasties, a matchup that I considered relatively favorable due to my list’s mobility: Renato ( @Kermit ) had brought the following list:

    Kermit wrote:

    Death Cult Hierarch, Hierophant, wizard Adept, Evocation
    Death Cult Hierarch, General, Binding Scroll, wizard Master, Soul Conduit ,Divination
    2 x Tomb architect

    6vskeleton chariots, M, C, Legion charioteers
    2 x 5bskeleton scouts
    20 Skeletons, M, S, C, Banner of the Relentless Company

    2 x 6 Tomb Cataphracts, M, C
    8 Shabtis Archers , M, S, C, Rending Banner
    3 x 1 Sand Scorpion

    So a no-nonsense undying dynasties list based around the reliability of the 3+/5++ Cataphracts and the help of a very potent magic phase. The scenario was Spoils of War, and the deployment we rolled was once more Marching Columns. Going into the game I knew that I had an advantage when it came to objectives: my opponent had lots of scoring units, but all of them were his main line units. So if I played my cards right, I’d be able to face at least one less unit while it grabbed the spoils of war token and then maneuvered back into place.

    For magic my druid got Forest Embrace, Beast Awakens, Savage Fury, Totemic Summon and Break the Spirit: with a lot of combat phases ahead of us, I figured that I’d be better off with a good mix of augment spells that would help tip the combat in my favor. My opponent opted for the Spectral Blades and Hasten the hour for his hierophant, while the Master took Scrying, Know thy Enemy, Stars Align and Unerring Strike.

    My adversary started deploying his units from his right corner towards the center, and once we had both placed 3 units took the opportunity to start the game, keeping two of his Scorpions in reserve. This allowed me to counter his deployment, keeping my scoring units far from his battle line and creating a fast but hard hitting center with the Kestrels, Prince, Dancers and the Eagles.






    TURN 1 – UD

    My opponent was cautious with his first turn of movement, maneuvering into a slightly oblique line, and unwilling to advance far: the placement of my kestrels meant that if he moved up too far he’d have to deal with flyers behind his lines. So instead, both of his cataphracts maneuvered to zone my kestrels and eagles, while the shabtis moved into a better shooting position.
    Magic started off with a boosted Hasten the hour on the left kestrels, which I dispelled with my dice, leaving the Stars Align to go off on the Shabtis: these took aim at my Eagles protecting the Prince, dealing a couple of wounds.



    TURN 1 – SE

    The first order of business for the sylvans was to put pressure on the UD, so as to force the Scorpions to appear near the enemy battleline and not behind my lines; to do so, I advanced the big line of Forest Eagles to block both cataphract units, and in a position where ignoring them would give the eagles a turn 2 charge on the hierophant bunker. This way a unit of cataphracts would have to charge, and risk a failed restrain pursuit test that would put the enemy scorers within combo-charge range from the bladedancers, kestrels and the Prince. The rightmost part of the army advanced to provide cover fire and claim the right-handside objective marker. I then used my second eagle unit and the small bladedancers to create no-go zones for tunneling scorpions.

    Magic was a complete failure this turn: the totemic summon was dispelled, but at least I kept some Veil Tokens for the next phase. Shooting proved to be more effective, killing a Shabti and putting two wounds to the scorpion in the enemy backline.






    TURN 2 – UD

    The leftmost Cataphracts charged into the eagles, and both Scorpions appeared: oneright next to the left-hand impassable feature, trying to flush out the kestrels hiding behind and preventing the chariots’ and shabtis’ advance, and another right behind the building to keep my second kestrel unit under control.
    Magic started with a high casting of Unerring Strike on my Eagle Prince: I let it through, and suffered two wounds for my troubles despite the 3+/4++ save. This allowed me to dispel the buffs on the Cataphracts, making them easier to deal with if I charged: the shooting bounced off the Prince’s armour harmlessly, which was a relief. In combat, the cataphracts dealt 5 wounds to the eagles, suffered one back and forced the birds to flee through my lines, where they’d rally on the following turn. Unfortunately, the Cataphracts’ restrain pursuit test was… [Read More]
  • So we’re now in the third game of the day, and now the weariness is setting in: we’ve been awake since 5am, who said that tournaments are not an endurance sport! What made things easier was the news that we’d get to play against our friends and neighbors from Luxembourg! We’ve met them a couple of times now on the battlefield, but we often travel to the same tournaments and it’s always a pleasure to get together and share a drink, exchanging war stories.

    They had lined up Vampires, Vermin Swarm, Sylvan Elves and Daemon Legions, and I got one of the more favorable matchups against @zlatanlux ‘s vampires. This time the scenario was Hold the Ground, and the deployment type was to be Frontline Clash once more.

    The vampiric list was one of the most magic-heavy lists I’d seen all tournament:


    Characters:
    Vampire Count of Lamia, General, Adept (Witchcraft), Commandment, LA, Paired Weapons,Destiny’s Call, Obsidian Rock, Touch of Greatness
    Necromancer Master (Evocation), Necromantic Staff, Talisman of the Void
    Necromancer Adept (Alchemy), Book of Arcane Mastery

    Core:
    32 Skeletons, Halberds, Full Command, Banner of Speed
    28 Skeletons, Spear
    23 Zombies
    20 Zombies
    2 x 2 Bat Swarms

    Special:
    Cadaver Wagon
    Court of the Damned, Lamia Blood Ties
    9 Ghasts, Champion
    1 x 2 Great Bats

    Varkolak


    So all in all a relatively compact vampire force with a good amount of redirectors, an unkillable anvil in the form of 9 Ghasts with 4++ regeneration save, and a magic phase with enough raising ability to ensure that both skeleton units would be 60-strong in no time!

    When doing the estimation for this match I hadn’t taken into account the secondary objective: hold the ground is one of the easiest ones for vampires due to their big, immoveable units. So I had to get creative about how to approach this game! One thing was for certain: engaging the big units to the front was a very bad idea!
    For magic,I got Forest Embrace, Beast Awakens, Insect Swarm, Totemic Summon and Break the Spirit. My opponent got three times the hereditary spell, then went for Raven’sWing, Glory of Gold, Spectral Blades, Danse Macabre and Touch of the Reaper for his other spells.

    My opponent chose sides, and I then gave him the first drop: against vampires playing second is usually a good idea, especially when playing the central objective. So I was kind of relieved when he dropped his entire army to get the first turn. He went for a central deployment, weighing one flank with the Ghasts and the Varkolak. I responded by pushing both kestrels and the two eagle units up the flanks, keeping only the bladedancers in the middle, with the scorers a good distance away from any undead unit but still in a position where they’d be able to start contesting the objective from turn 3 onwards.






    TURN 1 –Vampire Covenant


    As is customary for the vampires, the entire army surged forward, the varkolak making use of his movement + vanguard to come close to my lines. In the magic phase I was reminded how difficult it is to contain a magic phase when your opponent channels 5 veil tokens per turn! My priority here was dispelling the movement spells, meaning that the hereditary spell was cast thrice in the 6” aura version: a good chunk of skeletons were raised, bringing the units to around 45-strong each.





    TURN 1 –Sylvan Elves

    While I knew I’d have to try and deal with the magic in an aggressive manner relatively fast, the previous magic phase made it clear that I should really make it a priority: all of the flying units moved up both flanks, within charge range ofthe zombie bunkers. The Eagle Prince spotted a 4” gap between the Ghasts and the big skeleton block, and landed there, with the necromancers’ unit in his sights. The slower parts of the army maneuvered, trying to keep a healthy distance from the Varkolak.
    The magic phase started with a Treesinging that put a forest right in front of the big skeleton block. The Insect Swarm was then dispelled, meaning that the Totemic Beast could be cast! Shooting was aimed at the Varkolak, putting three wounds on the beast despite its regeneration.






    TURN 2 –Vampire Covenant

    With a single wound remaining, the Varkolak didn’t dare declare a charge; the Cadaver Wagon solo-charged into the Eagle Prince, though, threatening to pin him in place long enough for the Ghasts and the Varkolak to come to the rescue. Both of the aforementioned vampire elites maneuvered to get clear charge lanes on my prince in the following turn. The big skeleton block moved up, and the other units consolidated their positions a bit, in an attempt to contain the flying threat.
    In the magic phase I used my Binding scroll on the Spectral Blades, since it was the only way that the cadaver wagon would be able to punch through the Prince’s defenses. I let through a couple more raises, which offset whatever losses the big block had suffered by marching through the… [Read More]
  • For the second round of the tournament we were to face the other half of the team Belgium, who had performed admirably in the first round! While it was a bit sad to have to play against our frequent sparring partners, this has proven to be inevitable for the past three years: their results are usually as good as ours, so we end up having a civil war of sorts!

    The Rieurs Sangliers (laughing boars in French) had lined up EoS, VC, KoE and Vermin Swarm, and it was the latter that I would have to play against. Their commanding general was @valmir , whom you may remember from an earlier battlereport against the Dread Elves: as is customary, he had stomped all over my elves with the help of his Dreadmills and Vermin Daemon. This was a game that I wasn’t too optimistic about, as I feel that Vermin often have all the tools at their disposal to deal with all kinds of elves. However, team strategy required me to get this relatively bad matchup so as for others to get more favorable ones.

    Here is what he had brought to the tournament:


    Valmir wrote:

    Characters:
    Vermin Daemon
    Chief, BSB, Scepter of Verminous Valour, Binding Scroll
    Magister, Adept (Thaumaturgy), Binding Scroll
    Rakachit Machinist, Scurrying Veil, Warp Pistols

    Core:
    2 x 36 Rats-at-arms, Full Command
    2 x 10 Footpads, musician
    2 x 20 Giant Rats

    Special:
    2 x 4 Jezzails
    2 x 12 Plague Disciples
    2 x 1 Meat Grinder
    2 x 1 Dreadmill


    So a lot of the usual suspects: Vermin Daemon, Dreadmills, Plague Disciples, but also his personal touch of the meat grinder R@A blocks and the Machinist for unlimited breath weapon shenanigans.
    We would be playing Breakthrough, and the deployment type was Marching Columns: this last piece of news was particularly good, since it meant that I might be able to put pressure on the parts of the vermin swarm army that would be left without support!

    Wealternated deployment for a while, since getting the right matchups was way more important than getting the first turn. Unfortunately, the rats had far more deployment drops, so once I had a vague idea of where the scoring units would be going I deployed my remaining regiments and got first turn.





    For spells I selected Forest Embrace, BeastAwakens, Swarm of Insects, Chilling Howl and Totemic Summon. Valmir took Handof Heaven and Smite the Unbeliever for his Magister and Unerring Strike, Fate’s Judgment, Awakened Swarm, Know thy Enemy and The Stars Align for his Vermin Daemon.

    Going into the game, I decided to play for the scenario by using my fast units to prevent the enemy scorers from penetrating into my deployment zone, creating pressure all over the board and then finally cheekily moving a unit of dryads inside the vermin swarm zone. Valmir countered this quite nicely by employing his dreadmills and disciples near his flanks, trying to funnel my forces to the center where his combat blocks and the Vermin Daemon were waiting.

    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves

    All of the flyers moved up behind terrain, within charge range of the scorers and keeping an eye out for the Dreadmills: if they peeked from out of cover I’d be able to charge them I return, hopefully ridding myself of that menace and gaining some more maneuver space. The archers stayed safely in the back, still within range for some light shooting.

    In the magic phase I was able to push through a Totemic Summon, and the beast appeared right next to the Jezzails! Its breath weapon only dealt a single wounds to the vermin shooters, though. The archers took pot shots at the Vermin Daemon and managed to inflict a wound!





    TURN 1 – Vermin Swarm

    The vermin chose to go on the offensive: one unit of Giant Rats charged into the middle Forest Eagles. The second unit with the machinist moved up towards the right kestrels, within range for the machinist’s breath. Both units of Rats-at-arms moved up a bit, and the left Dreadmill had to backpedal to deal with the totemic summon. The flank forces shuffled to create bigger threat zones and prevent my birds from flying over their lines.

    In magic the Hand of Heaven was dispelled, allowing the Magister to curse the Forest Eagles in combat with Smite the Unbeliever, giving them -1 Strength. The worst part of shooting was avoided thanks to a combination of Hard Target and Cover penalties, and the rest underperformed: the Dreadmill failed to wound the Totemic Beast, the Jezzails wounded my Prince once and the Machinist only put awound on the kestrels with his breathweapon.

    Combat saw the eagles and rats fight to a stalemate, and the battle of the chaff raged on!





    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves

    I was now faced with a difficult decision: with the Totemic Summon ready to flank one unit of jezzails and overrun into the other, I figured that the safest place to be with my fast units was in combat. The two Rat-at-Arms units were close enough to the Kestrels, and the support units… [Read More]
  • Myreille Strategic Tournament: A team tournament in Lille

    Greetings, one and all!
    It has been too long, but the 2019 tournament season has started at last! For yours truly and the rest of the team Belgium our first stop was to be the Myreille Strategic Team tournament in nearby Lille, France. Those of you who have followed this blog in the past few years will remember that name,since it is a tournament that we’ve been attending since its conception in2017. Tanguy ( @Tartignolle ) is the main driving force of the event, and he never fails to deliver a very enjoyable weekend: an array of great opponents from the north of France, Belgium and Luxembourg, getting together to share quality beer, local food -and local liquor- in the backdrop of competitive games of T9A!

    This year the event was bigger than ever: a total of 14 teams of 4 players managed to make it, with another 6 in a waiting list! This is not surprising, given the quality of the event and the hospitality of our friends from Lille. Our team comprised of @gregor with his Daemonic Legions, @PrinceCharming with his Ogre Khans, the Undying Dynasties of @IHDarklord and, finally, my Tolkein-themed Sylvan Elves. Why the mention of dear old J.R.R. , you ask? Well, because I was looking for an excuse to bring as many Forest Eagles as possible and “the Eagles are coming!” was the best catchphrase I could think of! ;)

    Here is the list that I brought:


    SmithF wrote:

    HEROES:
    Sylvan Prince on Eagle King, LA, Shield, Cloak, Sylvan Lance, Death Cheater, Titanic Might
    Bladedancer Chieftain BSB, Spear, Hunter's Honour, Aether Icon
    Druid Master (Shamanism), Sylvan Bow, Binding Scroll, Magical Heirloom

    CORE:
    2 x 8 Dryads
    15 Sylvan Archers, musician
    16 Sylvan Archers, musician

    SPECIAL:
    13 Bladedancers, Champion, Standard, Aether Icon
    7 Bladedancers
    2 x 4 Kestrel Knights (Hard Target/Shield), Champion
    2 x 5 Forest Eagles

    So overall a good mix of close combat power and maneuverability, with a splash of shooting and magic to keep my opponents relatively honest. One of my goals was to test whether the SE without Forest Spirits are as vulnerable to magic and autohits as the internet makes them out to be.
    The tournament field contained all kinds of lists, with all of the 16 armies being represented: about half of the lists had at least a Pyromancy or a Divination master, with a handful bringing other magic missile-heavy paths such as Thaumaturgy.
    In my quest to prove that Sylvans can face such opposition, the forest Eagles were my secret weapon.

    For our first game we were paired against a team of local players, hastily put together after several of the initial team members dropped out for various reasons. They were all great guys, and I got to play their Dwarven Holds general: he was returning to the hobby after an 8-month hiatus, and had brought a beautiful army, entirely painted with non-metallic metal details. His list was as follows:

    HEROES:
    Dwarf King on Warthrone, Shield, Rune of Might, Rune of Destruction, Rune ofReturning, Holdstone
    Thane BSB, Shield, 3x Rune of Lightning
    Runic Smith, Rune of Dragon’s Breath, 3 Runic Spells
    Anvil of Power

    CORE:
    29 Greybeards,Shields, Full Command, Runic Banner of Swiftness
    10 Handgunners,Shields, Musician
    12 Warriors, Shields, Vanguard

    SPECIAL:
    21 Seekers, Vanguard, Full Command
    7 Hold Guardians, Full Command
    2 x 1 Attack Copter
    1 Vengeance Seeker

    So a rather aggressive dwarven list, not unlike the one that I played last year.With four potential vanguards, it could pose some problems to the more static parts of my army. The scenario we got was Capture the Flags, and deployment was Frontline Clash.

    After a couple of drops (gyrocopters) my adversary went for a full drop, and to my surprise he decided to castle in one of the corners, using a piece of impassable terrain to hide his Anvil. In response, I put my dryads far away from danger, both units of Archers right across the Seekers and loaded up the middle with the Dancers, kestrels and Eagles.






    TURN 1

    The dwarves inched forward cautiously, getting in range for shooting with the gyrocopters; these failed to hit my kestrels thanks to the Hard Target rule. Magic saw the Seekers get the rune of Gleaming cast on them.
    The sylvans were a bit more aggressive: they spotted the flank of the left gyrocopter and declared charges on it, but failed to connect. The middle force moved up to threaten the dwarven advance, careful to stay outside of the charge range of the seekers. The Eagle King moved aggressively past the unbreakable dwarves, with several charge possibilities for the following turn. In the magic phase I was able to cast a Totemic Summon, and the Totemic Beast appeared right behind the dwarven lines. Its breath weapon caused two wounds to the vengeance seeker,while the archers dealt a couple of wounds to the seekers.





    TURN 2
    [Read More]
  • In the last round of the tournament we’d get to face Latvia: these guys are relative newcomers to the ETC scene, but they had a couple of Russian mecenaries with past tournament experience. At this point everyone was getting tired, so memory of the game might be a bit hazy.

    I got to play a gentleman named Roman and his Vampire army:


    Roman wrote:


    Going into the game, a couple of mates from other countries warned me that the team was notorious for playing slowly. So during the entire game, I kept nudging Roman to play a bit faster, as he was taking a lot of time for each move. After the game, he revealed that he was actually a replacement player, and that he didn’t have much experience with the army, which is why he took so much time. I kind of felt bad, since my pressure may have lessened his enjoyment of the game, so I’ll use this space to apologize once more to him (in case he’s reading).

    We got to play Flank Attack and Secure Target (that makes what? 5/6 games?) and my adversary won the roll for choosing sides. He promptly parked his Shrieking Horrors behind the immense impassable terrain in the middle, with his troops guarding either side and properly covered by the Altars of Undeath.

    I opted to put my objective on the top left corner, as far away from his deployment zone as possibble. That meant that he’d have to deviate one scoring unit from his battleline to claim it, making my chances of killing it with something fast (kestrels, BD) substantial.

    For spells, my opponent got both Evocation snipes, the Spectral Blades and the Evocation trait. I got Awaken the Beast, Insect Swarm, Break the Spirit and Totemic Summon, while the Matriarch got Master of Stone and Entwining Roots.

    After alternating deployments for a while, I forced my opponent to go first by dropping my entire army. I pushed the kestrels to the left forward, within range of the Shrieking Horrors’ scream. I wanted to bait them out of hiding to be able to deal with them swiftly. As long as they hid behind that impassable I couldn’t really dare to press the attack.



    TURN 1

    The Vampires aren’t pressed: movement is minimal on their side. The Kestrel bait was unfortunately refused, and in the magic phase a huge amount of zombies and skeletons were raised.
    On my turn, I began hatching a plan: even at 60-strong, the spearmen will fall to a combo-charge from the BSB’s retinue and the treefather. So the plan was to storm the right flank with them, while trying to keep the left flank at bay with minimal casualties.
    With 3 magic missiles, I tried to whittle down the wraiths to the left: only the Insect swarm went through, and it failed to cause any wounds. My shooting didn’t have any good targets, so they took some potshots at the skeletons.



    TURN 2


    Again, movement for the vampires was minimal. A good magic phase saw my opponent raise the right skeletons and the zombies to full strength, and then he even managed to conjure a free zombie unit on the left flank.
    In response, both Kestrel Knight units performed outflanking maneuvers: on the right I wanted to pull the shrieking horror out of position, while on the left the target was the vampire knights. In the middle, the treefather and dancers both advanced a bit towards the skeleton spearmen.
    Magic was uneventful, as was shooting.



    TURN 3

    The vampire knights took the bait but failed to get in. The 60-strong spear block advanced towards my bladedancers on the right. Magic was now focused on raising the other skeleton block, and they too reached the maximum level.


    This turn I sent my right treefather in the skeletons, making it in. The bladedancers bid their time: still enough turns for them to commit, but I’d rather not risk losing the scoring unit to lucky skeleton rolls. On the left flank I couldn’t declare a legal charge on the vampire knights, which kind of ruined my plans for the kestrels.
    I moved my left treefather within the Shrieking Horror’s threat range, making sure that he’d have to land on the ruins to be able to scream at me. The Kestrels, small Bladedancers and Forest Guard all moved in support. To the right, I gave up my other kestrels to the shrieking horror to pull him out of position: I didn’t want the beastie to set up any flank charges onthe treefather.
    All of my magic was aimed at the left Shrieking Horror, but failed to wound the monster.
    In combat the treefather took a wound, but… [Read More]
  • 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… [Read More]
  • Game 4 – Ukraine


    Our fourth opponent at ETC was to be Ukraine: some of my teammates had already met and played them at the Herford warm-up, so we knew we were up for good and fun games. I got to play Andrii, with his very Dwarf-y Dwarven Holds army:


    Andrii wrote:


    HEROES:
    King ,Shield, Rune of Smashing, 2xIron, Crushing, 2xShielding
    Thane BSB, Shield, 2xIron, Shielding, Forge
    Runic Smith, Shield, Iron, Denial, Dragon’s Breath, Battle Runes: Recknoing, Resilience, Gleaming
    Engineer, Shield

    CORE:
    10 Guild Handguners, Shields, Musician
    27 Greybeards, GW, Shield, Full Command, Banner of Speed

    SPECIAL:
    28 King’s Guard, Full Command, Runic Standard of Shielding
    10 Miners, Pistols
    2x Steam Attack Copter
    Organ Gun, Rune Crafted
    Catapult, Rune Crafted



    So a list very different from what I’d faced before: two big sturdy blocks, good redirectors, a very potent counter to my Treefathers in the form of the S10 King, a mobile scorer and a healthy dose of accurate artillery.


    We got to play Secure Target and deployment was Flank Attack. I won the roll for sides and opted to pick the big centre and the side with decent terrain to hide my troops behind. The two objectives went on the two flanks.


    For spells, my Druid got the Beast Awakens, Pounding Drumbeat, Break the Spirit and Totemic Summon while the Matriarch had to settle for Spirits of the Wood and Entwined Roots.
    My opponent chose to deploy in a careful manner, essentially castling around the left corner and near one of the objectives. He then gave me the first turn.






    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves


    The dwarven Organ Gun was deployed a tad too forward, giving my kestrels a very juicy second turn charge target. Both units of kestrels moved inside the protection of the sylvan forest, and they were looking at a 7+ and 8+ charge to silence the warmachine on the following turn. The Forest Guard to the right slowly began moving towards the right hand objective.

    The Treefathers moved up cautiously, with the fragile elves staying far behind and protected from all kinds of cover.

    Magic and Shooting were of no consequence this turn, although my opponent had to use his Rune of Denial to stop the Totemic Summon from getting cast.





    TURN 1 – Dwarven Holds


    The Kingsguard performed a 90 degree turn to threaten the kestrels should they charge the Organ Gun, while the Greybeards moved up aggressively towards the flyers. The steam copters relocated and the entire dwarven shooting was focused on the sylvan fast support:

    The Organ Gun failed to hit (needing 8’s), the Steam Copters put a wound on the right unit and it was the catapult that managed to kill another bird with a lucky shot.




    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves


    Both Kestrels charged into the Organ Gun, and the Treefather right behind charged into the Steam Copter, forcing it to flee. Unfortunately, all units failed to make it in! That really put a damper on my plans for a quick win, as now both units stumbled out of cover and right in front of the greybeards!

    In the magic phase I tried my best to mitigate the situation: the totemic summon was dispelled, which allowed me to cast Treesinging on my forest and move it right under the kestrels once more! Then I unfortunately failed to cast Break the Spirit on the Greybeards.






    TURN 2 – Dwarven Holds


    The Greybeards flank charged into the right kestrel unit. The Kingsguard turned to face the sylvan force once more, while the miners popped up and, to my surprise, appeared behind my Bladedancers (I was expecting them to try and contest the right objective instead). The fleeing steam bomber rallied, and the second one chaffed my Treefather next to the building.

    Runic magic bestowed rerolls to hit on the Greybeards, the other runes getting stopped. Shooting was directed at the left Treefather, causing a wound. The grudge thrower missed the right Treefather, and the Miners killed 3 dancers with pistol shots. In combat, the Greybeards made short work of the kestrels and overran into the second unit. They took a couple of wounds from dangerous terrain, though!




    TURN 3 – Sylvan Elves


    In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say: with the Kestrels engaged, the Treefather to the left and the BSB’s Bladedancer retinue went into the greybeards’ flank. The right treefather charged into the steam copter blocking his path. The big dancers moved around the miners and the Sylvan Archers reformed to take shots at the ambushers.

    The magic phase was brutally effective: some very good rolls saw me put Break the Spirit on the Greybeards, and Awaken the Beast on the flanking Bladedancers. Shooting dropped four miners.

    The treefather made short work of the steam copter, and the big combat was an impressive show of force by the S5 Bladedancers: when everything was said and done, out of the 23 greybeards initially in the unit, only four remained! They retaliated by… [Read More]
  • On round 3 we were paired up against Switzerland: with a very good showing last year, they’d come up with lists that were relatively out of the box, and quite dangerous. Looking at them, I had several medium to good matchups, but there were two lists that I definitely wanted to avoid: The Pyromancy/Bowline OnG and the MSU Dwarves of @polux.


    In the end, I had to settle for a match against Filip and his Saurian ancients, in Secure target and Refused Flank.


    Filip wrote:


    HEROES:
    Cuatl BSB, Ancient knowledge, Wellspring of power, Ring of fire, Dispel Scroll, Divination magic
    Skink priest, 1 spell Druidism
    Skink Priest, 1 spell Druidism

    CORE:
    2x 20 Braves with 2 Caimans and musician
    20 Braves with 1 Caiman and musician

    SPECIAL:
    2x 2 Spearbacks
    1x 2 Salamanders

    THUNDER LIZARDS
    2x Taurosaur
    1x Engine of the Gods




    So a pretty straightforward list: 3 stubborn roadblocks backed by druidism for healing, a decent amount of shooting in the form of the spearbacks/salamanders and a Pathmaster of Divination to keep my big targets honest.

    The good news were that without any cowboys my units “only” had to deal with the three taurosaurs before getting to the soft part of the army.

    For magic I got Beast Awakens, Insect Swarm,Break the Spirit and Howling wind in Shamanism, the Matriarch got Regrowth and Forest Spirits. The Quatl got Unerring strike, Scrying, Judgment and Stars Align while the Skink priests got Healing Waters and Stoneskin.


    We traded deployment drops for a while, then my opponent forced me to go first by dropping the rest of his army. I ended up with a weighed left flank, the two treefathers relatively central and a unit of Kestrels and the small BD looking over the rightmost objective. The Saurians were squaring off against the treefathers and the small elven contingent, with the three Taurosaurs covering the left flank.






    Turn 1 – Sylvan Elves


    Having played against this kind of list before, I knew that I had to pull the taurosaurs out of position; as long as they stay within 12” of the quatl charging them is a bad idea, and the same applies if they can support each other.So I decided to sacrifice one unit of kestrels for a chance to open up the saurian lines.

    The kestrels moved up within charging range of the leftmost taurosaur, tempting the charge, while the BD with BSB moved into position for countercharge. In the middle, the treefathers moved up a bit to threaten the enemy advance: All I had to do to win was to delay the scorers long enough to the right while securing the objective on the top left.

    Magic started with an insect swarm on the closest taurosaur, which bounced off without effect thanks to the engine’s ward save. The ring of fire was dispelled. The archers opened fire at the closest spearbacks, dealing 2 wounds at long range.





    TURN 1 – Saurian Ancients


    Filip proved to be too smart for my tricks: instead of charging my kestrels, he moved two taurosaurs in range for some blowpipe shots. The salamanders also moved up to shoot at them. In the middle, the spearbacks had a clear shot at the treefather, so moved up to take it. The rest of the army advanced cautiously, the cuatl getting in range for some spells.

    Magic started with a miscast Fate’s Judgment on the right treefather: I let it through, my armour saving the wounds caused. The spell was lost in return, so definitely a good tradeoff! The Unerring Strike was then dispelled with dice.

    Shooting was a bit more effective: the combined efforts of the blowpipes and the salamanders dropped two kestrels, effectively taking them out of the game. The right treefather shrugged off all of the spearbacks’ shots thanks to his armour and ward.





    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves


    With the original trap avoided, I figured that I had to put some pressure on the saurians: the kestrel moved back, and I offered a long charge on the BSB’s bladedancer retinue to the taurosaurs. Both treefathers advanced to be able to shoot some roots at the wounded spearbacks. The Forest Guard shuffled a bit towards the objective marker, and would keep on doing that all game long.

    Magic started yet again with a successful insect swarm, this time dealing a single wound to the closest taurosaur. The rest was dispelled by the quatl with ease. Shooting was focused on the spearbacks, and between the two treefathers’ shots and the 20 sylvan archers, I managed to kill the unit and get some points!




    TURN 2 – Saurian Ancients


    After some deliberation, my opponent decided not to take the long charge on the bladedancers. He shuffled the taurosaurs around, careful to keep all of them within the Engine bubble. The quatl and braimans stayed relatively put.

    In the magic phase I had to let a bubble Scrying go off to try and dispel the Unerring strike: my adversary was kind enough to fail his casting attempt for the latter, though, so the magic phase ended… [Read More]
  • The second round saw us get paired against team Bulgaria, who also scored a very convincing win on round 1. I was to play none other than Hristo, AKA @Fnarrr, team captain and ETC veteran with his dwarves.


    Hristo brought a list that I didn’t really get at first, but the more I looked at it the more it became clear that it was very well constructed:


    Fnarrr wrote:


    King, General, Shield, Runes of Destruction, Smashing, Fury, Runes of Iron, Iron, Bronze
    Thane, BSB, Shield, Runes of Iron, Iron
    Runic Smith, Shield, Rune of Iron, Rune of Denial, Runes of Resilience, Gleaming, Resolve
    Dragon Seeker, Monster Seeker, Runes of Precision, Might, Fury
    Anvil of Power, Runes of Shattering, Storms, Resolve
    25 Marksmen, GWs, M,S,C, Banner of Swiftness
    10 Warriors, Shields, TWs, Vanguard
    10 Warriors, Shields, TWs
    10 Miners, Pistols
    5 Rangers, Crossbows, Shields
    2 x Steam Bomber
    10 Seekers, Vanguard, Skirmish, C
    2 x Cannon – 2


    With the potential to move forward aggressively if need be, four hard counters for my monsters and enough firepower to take small points here and there, I knew I was in for a good scrap.

    We got to play Counterthrust and Secure Target.




    I unfortunately won the roll to pick sides, meaning that I had to drop my secondary objective counter first: I did so right in front of a forest deep inside the dwarven deployment zone, while my opponent put his near my center. Hristo got to deploy first, and we alternated deployments as per the counterthrust scenario. He used his gyrobombers to claim big deployment zones around the building on the right hand side, and I in return used the Kestrels to limit the deployment possibilities on the flanks. In the end, he had to give me a cannon-free lane for my treefathers right behind the building, and chose to play first.



    post vanguards:




    For magic, I failed to get either magic missile: the Druid got beast awakens, howling wind, break the spirit and totemic summon, while the Matriarch got entwining roots and healing waters. This made everything a bit harder, as I was counting on the missiles to put some pressure on the warmachines early on.

    Vanguards saw the marksmen move up on the right side, the seekers stood their ground to deter any aggressive movement from my kestrels. My flyers redeployed a bit behind the building, ready to threaten the warmachines on turn 2.


    TURN 1 – Dwarves



    The dwarves didn’t really have to push, so only the seekers redeployed slightly towards the building. One gyrobomber managed to drop some bombs on the right hand kestrels, wounding once. The second flying contraption moved closer to the rest of the dwarven forces.

    In the magic phase my opponent got a low roll and I channeled, leading to an equal amount of dice. It became clear that he had a very potent magic combination, though: he opted for two casting attempts to move the gyrobomber so as to drop bombs once more on my kestrels, then followed with the rune of Shattering and rune of Storms. Fortunately, between bad casting rolls and decent dispelling on my part I stopped everything.

    Shooting was largely ineffective due to the absence of good targets for the cannons and the fact that my entire army was either in soft or in hard cover.


    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves


    From my opponent’s first turn I gathered two things: He had ranged supremacy in both magic and shooting, and he wasn’t going to push anytime soon. The way I saw it, the Kestrels were going to die to shooting and magic if they didn’t commit, so I opted for an aggressive opening turn. They both flew over the building and landed right in front of the warmachine battery. The treefathers advanced cautiously, staying behind the cover of the building. The rest of the army moved up a bit to deter any moves from the two monster hunters.

    In the magic phase, I got a 10/5 pool, which was perfect for what I had planned: my adversary had left the anvil, the cannon and a unit of warriors inside the forest, and both my treefathers were in range for treesinging. So I started with a totemic summon on 4 dice, to draw the enemy dispel dice, but I unfortunately failed to meet the casting cost! So much for my perfect plan! One treesinging was dispelled but the other dealt 3 wounds on the cannon at least.

    The Sylvan archers’ arrows were aimed at the closest gyrobomber for lack of a better target, but failed to wound the dwarven flyer.


    TURN 2 – Dwarven Holds



    The entire dwarven battleline was reorganized to face the incoming threat: the miners arrived on my opponent’s table edge, gyrobombers moved up to bomb the flyers and all the thrown weapon infantry reformed to face them as well. The seekers moved up towards the treefathers. The bombing runs managed to drop a couple of kestrels from one unit, failing to panic the elven elite.

    For yet another time the dwarven magic phase was underwhelming: a couple of failed single-die casts meant that my kestrel[Read More]
  • Greetings, dear reader!


    Another ETC has come and gone, and what a blast it has been! I’ll try to do these write ups before memory fades, and I promise it will be a treat: 6 great games with good, fun opponents in the world’s premier T9A team tournament!


    For those who haven’t been following the ETC scene very closely, I was invited for the second year in a row to play for team Belgium (where I currently reside). The belgian team is a bunch of very nice guys, and it made for some very nice moments during the weekend. During the entire year, I’ve been struggling to find a list that I enjoy playing and can perform well enough totake to an event of this magnitude. In the end, I opted for a combination of blunt combat force, magic support and mobile shock troops (some of my teammates would call them Beast Herds in disguise).


    SmithF wrote:


    HEROES:
    Dryad Matriarch, general, 2 spells Druidism
    Druid Master, 4 spells Shamanism, Ring of Fire
    Bladedancer BSB, Spear of Cadaron

    CORE:
    20 Sylvan Archers, musician
    27 Forest Guard, Full Command, Gleaming Icon
    8 Dryads, Skirmish

    FLEET OF FOOT:
    2x 3 Kestrel Knights, light armour
    8 Bladedancers
    12 Bladedancers, Champion, Standard

    FOREST GIANTS:
    2x Treefather



    Game 1 – New Zealand




    For our first game we were to play the kiwis, whose reputation as a fun team preceded them. Last year they couldn’t make it, so we were all looking forward to meeting and playing with the people that covered the most distance to be at the ETC!


    Since the pairing was known ahead of time, we had the possibility to prepare our predictions for the matches beforehand: one list that proved to be a problem for everyone was the Ogre Khans, since it combined very good shooting elements, a very potent counter to any big monsters and MSU for scoring purposes. After a lot of deliberation, I gave the green light to my captain to throw me under the bus, if it would help out in the rest of the matches. This was to my opponent’s delight, who had put the match down as a very favorable one.


    Thankfully, the scenario was Secure Target and not Breakthrough, which meant that I had a decent chance of tying the secondary objective.

    Simon was the friendliest guy, and we started off the game with some dice and T-shirt exchanges, as is customary at the ETC. He even gave me some custom-made objective markers that came in very handy during the entire tournament (I would end up playing Secure Target another 4 times).


    His list was a lot less friendly for Sylvan Elves everywhere:

    Mr T-800 wrote:




    We got Frontline Clash as our deployment type, and I picked the side with a big hill to act as cover for my units for the first few turns. The two markers went down 24” apart from each other on the left flank. I chose to place mine deep into my opponent’s zone, as I find that this forces him to keep some units in reserve: ogre units are prone to panic outside of the general’s bubble, so with the help of Totemic Beasts I can hope to panic the scorers off my enemy’s objective and claim a cheeky win.

    We alternated deployment drops for a while, then my opponent dropped everthing and gave me the first turn: with all of his shooting safely tucked away in forests/ruins, my opening volley would not have that much of an impact.




    For magic, I got Awaken the Beast, Insect Swarm, Pounding Drumbeat and Totemic Summon with my Druid. The matriarch got Throne, Spirits of the Woods and Stone Skin. The Ogre Shaman took Immolation, Scorching Salvo, Pyroclastic Flow and Enveloping Embers.


    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves


    The way we had deployed , the two kestrel units were squaring off against two units of bruisers and a unit of bombardiers: I knew from previous matches that kestrels can take these on the charge one-on-one, so I moved them up aggressively, trying to make it happen. On the left, movement was far more conservative: both trees hugged the hill, as did the forest guard. The archers and dancers hid inside my forest: I wanted to force as many penalties for shooting as possible, thus limiting early casualties.

    Magic failed to have an impact this turn, and a volley shot from the archers into the left bombardiers only caused a single wound.






    TURN 1 – Ogre Khans


    On the right side, the bruiser conga spotted an opening and moved past the arc of sight of both… [Read More]
  • Game 3 – Saurian Ancients


    After two wins in two games, I found myself on table 2, playing against @PrinceCharming and his Saurian Ancients. Nico doesn’t need a big introduction, so I’ll just repeat what I mentioned on my blog last year: he can play any given army and get results. He is one of the best players in our tournament scene, and my only saving grace was that he was coming out of a 6-month gaming hiatus.

    Another important thing to know about my opponent is that we have a history: being an ETC teammate, we did get some practice games last year. The games always ended in me winning due to whacky dice rolls, despite Nico’s better strategies and efforts! So we’d have to see if this streak of luck continued.


    His list was the following:




    Three taurosaurs with druidism support, two Warlord cowboys and cheap resilient scoring core. To make matters worse, we got Capture the Flags and Refused flank as scenario!

    We traded deployment drops for a bit, then I opted for a full drop to be able to use the kestrels aggressively. My opponent deployed his saurian warriors hugging the table edge, making it clear that it would be the Taurosaurs that would do the heavy lifting.

    For magic, I got Awaken the Beast, Insect Swarm, Break the Spirit and Totemic Summon for the druid, while the matriarch got Healing waters and Master of Stone. The skink priest took Master of Stone, Summer Regrowth and Entwining Roots.




    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves


    With the first turn guaranteed, I moved up my kestrels to threaten the backline: the right unit stayed behind the impassable terrain up the middle, reforming 2-wide and eyeing that shaman-bsb bunker. In the middle I decided to bide my time, still using the trees and dancers to prevent any too-aggressive movement on Nico’s part.

    Magic started with a lowroll, which allowed me to cast a totemic summon behind the enemy lines. Shooting put a single wound on the left Ramphodons, their 3+ armour save proving too hard for the black arrows.


    TURN 1 – Saurian Ancients



    All of the saurian warriors wheeled to face my incoming kestrels, the left Taurosaur and the Ramphodons moved up to shoot my left kestrels. The two cowboys and the remaining two taurosaurs moved up. The shaman jumped ship to a safer bunker.

    The combined efforts of magic and shooting didn’t amount for much, since I made 4+ saves like crazy on the leftmost kestrels!




    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves



    Both kestrel units charged: the left ones went for the closest saurian block, aided by the recently summoned totemic beast, while the right ones went straight for the BSB bunker. Both made it in.

    The rest of the line stayed put, with the exception of the leftmost treefather, who moved out of the charge arc of the cowboy.

    In the magic phase, my opponent had to let the master of stone and the ring of fire on the ramphodons to the left: two of the beasts were killed. With 4 dice remaining against my opponent’s 5, I opted for a totemic beast summon: getting 5,5,5 and a 6 meant that even with 5 dice it was very difficult to dispel! A second totemic beast appeared right in the backfield.




    In combat, the kestrels and totemic beast killed 7 saurian warriors for no casualties back. The saurians were caught in pursuit, and the kestrels slammed into the flank of the bsb/saurian/kestrel fight. This resulted in a dead BSB, and four more dead saurians. Still being steadfast, the saurians held.



    TURN 2 – Saurian Ancients



    The turn started with a failed stupidity test on the enemy general! Things had taken a turn for the worst for my opponent, so he went on the offensive: he sent a unit of saurian warriors into the flank of my kestrels, moved up his cowboy on the left and the three taurosaurs for turn 3 charges.

    In the magic phase I managed to stop both regrowth and the Jade staff, ensuring an easy fight for the Kestrels.

    In combat, the kestrels rolled almost perfectly, killing the entire (depleted) saurian unit as well as dealing a couple of casualties to the flank. Against all odds, the saurians lost but held their ground.


    TURN 3 – Sylvan Elves



    In an attempt to open the game, Nico gave me a flank charge on the Engine Taurosaur with my big dancers, and the second taurosaur lined up for an overrun charge too. After some deliberation, I took the bait: the dancers went in, and so did the treefather: Needing a 4 for the treefather, I proceeded to roll snake eyes and fail horribly. The big guy also took a stand-and-shoot wound for his trouble. This was bad news, as the… [Read More]
  • GAME 2 – Kingdom of Equitaine


    The win put me in the big boys’ league, and I’d find myself playing against ETC teammate and KoE veteran Loick. We had played once before last year, in a game was full of freak occurences that ended in a big win for me.

    This time he was bringing a more optimized list, (no more Forlorn nonsense!) which packed quite a punch:


    Logick wrote:

    Token of the King

    HEROES:

    Duke on barded warhorse, questing vow, virtue of audacity, crusader helm, Divine Icon, GW, shield

    Paladin BSB, grail vow, barded warhorse, hardened shield, lance,

    Damsel Mistress, barded warhorse, 4 spells (shamanism), ring of fire, book of arcane power


    CORE:

    10 Knights of the Realm, Standard, Musician

    3 x 5 Aspirants


    SPECIAL:

    8 Grail Knights, Full Command, Stalker’s Standard

    5 Mounted Yeomen

    2 x 10 Brigands

    2 x Trebuchet




    We were to play frontline clash and Hold the Centre, which is at least better than breakthrough against KoE! Going into the game, I knew that I’d have to silence the trebs fast enough so that the treefathers could come out and play... but even then the Realm Knight unit is practically untouchable by the treefathers thanks to the Audacity/Questing combo on the Duke.




    We traded deployment drops for a while, then I opted to grab the first turn. We ended up with a heavily weighted left flank for him, and a central deployment for me. I had to put one of the trees close to his units, so as to pull the lord to that flank instead of the centre, where he’d be able to cause an enormous amount of trouble.

    For magic I got Awaken the Beast, Swarm of Insects, Howling Wind and Totemic Summon on my Druid, while the Matriarchgot Master of Stone and Healing Waters. The Damsel rolled Awaken the Beast, Insect Swarm, Howling wind and Break the Spirit (no doubles meant no option for totemic summon!).


    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves


    Both Kestrels found blind spots in the enemy deployment and moved up: the ones on the left had a clear charge path for the trebuchets while on the right a lot of juicy flank charges were opened up. On the left I advanced cautiously with the dancers and treefather: sometimes the best way to keep someone away is to just threaten his advance path. Up the middle the other dancers and dryads got all snuggly in the forest, and the archers turned –for lack of better target- to deal with the scouting brigands.

    Magic was largely ineffective, only the insect swarm went through on the top brigands, killing enough to force a panic: the peasants held their ground though. Shooting caused 4 casualties on the rightmost brigands, but they also refused to panic.


    TURN 1 – KoE


    My Kestrel antics began to upset the enemy lines: the damsel left her unit to be able to target the left fliers, while the knights all angled themselves for the upcoming charges. The two big blocks advanced a bit but still stayed a healthy 16-17 inches away from my bladedancers.

    In the magic phase I had to let the Insect Swarm through into the left Kestrels and it dealt a massive 4 unsaved wounds. I then stopped the fireball into them.

    Shooting started with two direct trebuchet hits on my sylvan archers: nine died and the rest failed their panic and fled, landing 1 inch away from the table edge. The brigands’ shooting was largely ineffective.




    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves

    The trebuchets had single handedly silenced my long-range threat in one turn: the kestrels went on the offensive, charging the trebuchet on the left and the aspirant knights on the right. The archers failed their rally check, legging it and giving my opponent a 500+ point present!

    Now that at least one warmachine was silenced, the spearelves could come out and play. The bulk of my army advanced slightly, always staying 20-something inches away from the big blocks.

    In the magic phase I started off with a ring of fire on the lone damsel, which was promptly dispelled. An insect swarm went through on her and caused a single wound. Finally, I got a good roll for the Totemic Beast and managed to bring it next to the second trebuchet. Its Breath weapon would fail to wound the damsel, but it was in a perfect place for the following turn.

    The Treefather’s roots panicked the brigands up top: they’d fail their rally check on the following turn and flee off the table.

    In combat the lone kestrel rider did well and broke the trebuchet, reforming to face the second one. The right kestrel knights went to town onthe aspirants, killing 4 of them for no casualties back. Their positioning meant that I was able to pursue into the flank of the second unit of aspirants, although I only managed to get one kestrel in contact.


    TURN 2 – KoE


    With Kestrels and Totemic Beast all threatening his backline, my opponent had to turn his realm knights around and join the damsel once more. The grail knights advanced a bit reluctantly once more.

    In the magic phase I had to stop the Ring of Fire as… [Read More]
  • Greetings, dear readers


    Last weekend I went to the Conquest tournament in Dendermonde, Belgium. It is the annual tournament of the Knights of Bayard, run by two of my former ETC teammates @kiwii @Timon and it gathers a good crowd! This year 26 people showed up, including ETC players from Luxembourg, Belgium as well as very good local tournament players.
    The way the tournament was set up, we'd have 2,5h per battle; while this is enough for some, I thought that I wouldn't have enough time for pictures. So we go back to diagrams made on UB2! (they may be a bit off, I'll let you know in the text if that's the case)


    The list I brought was tweaked compared to the last tournament:



    SmithF wrote:


    HEROES:

    Dryad Matriarch, general, 2 spells Druidism
    Druid Master, 4 spells Shamanism, Ring of Fire
    Chieftain, Bladedancer Kindred, BSB, Spear of Cadaron

    CORE:
    20 Sylvan Archers, musician
    27 Forest Guard, Full Command, Gleaming Icon
    8 Dryads, Skirmish

    FLEET OF FOOT:
    3 Kestrel Knights, light armour
    3 Kestrel Knights, light armour
    8 Bladedancers
    12 Bladedancers, Champion, Standard

    FOREST GIANTS:
    Treefather
    Treefather
    Game 1 vs Daemonic Legions


    I got to play against Sebastien, one of the Tour d’Ebene players (the biggest gaming club in Belgium, to my knowledge). He brought MSU polytheist daemons:


    Seb wrote:




    We got Frontline Clash and as a secondary objective we got Secure Target. I used my objective marker to divide his army, placing it very far from its counterpart: my opponent would have to divide his forces to claim the objective.


    For magic, my Druid got Awaken the Beast, Insect Swarm, Break the Spirit and Savage Fury, while the Matriarch got Healing Waters and Master of Stone. My opponent rolled The Wheel Turns, Will o’ the Wisp and Twisted Effigy for his spells.


    After alternating deployments for a while, my adversary dropped everything to get the first turn. The end result was two clusters of deamons near each of the objective markers, each protected by a blight fly unit. I knew right off the bat that engaging the Flies was to be avoided as long as they were at full strength, so my plan was to weaken them for the first few turns. I loaded my left flank, keeping the treefathers centrally and kestrels ready to fly over the enemy lines on turn 1.




    My opponent won the roll for the first turn, and battle was joined.


    TURN 1 – Daemonic Legions

    The enemy army advanced rather cautiously across the table, my treefather and bladedancers effectively zoning the blight flies. In magic I let go the Wheel Turns and stopped will ‘o the wisp and twisted effigy.


    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves

    On the left side the Kestrels found a blind spot where they could land, threaten the enemy scorers and be safe from enemy charges due to the huge footprint of the blight flies. Their counterparts on the right outflanked the hellhounds, ready for a turn 2 charge. In the middle, the two treefathers and the small bladedancers angled themselves to deter any fly moves over the building and right into my back yard by the flies.

    In the magic phase the ring of fire was stopped, but the insect swarm managed to deal a couple of wounds on the leftmost blight flies. Then, I put Break the Spirit on the right flies, so as to be sure they wouldn’t move aggressively. Shooting only managed a single wound on the left hellhounds.




    TURN 2 – Daemonic Legions

    My opponent briefly considered combo-charging the right treefather with both hellhounds (the picture is wrong, one of them could get into the flank), but some quick math and the realization that he’d be able to thunderstomp them deterred him. Disaster struck in remaining moves, as unit after unit of daemons failed their Ld7/ Ld8 march tests and were reduced to a crawl reminiscent of 6th edition Warhammer. One unit of Furies flew right in front of my archers, threatening my mage, while on the right flank the hellhounds moved up aggressively, finding blind corners where neither treefather nor bladedancer could touch them.

    The magic phase proved to be uneventful, since a combination of channel and good rolls for dispel shut down the entire phase.


    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves

    The only charge I had this turn was the Kestrels into the rear of the rightmost Hellhound unit: this would give my bladedancers time to move up and support the kestrels on my turn 3. I needed to stop the [Read More]
  • GAME 3 - Highborn Elves


    For the last game I got to face Tom and his Highborn Elves. Mind you, this game was a long time ago and I don’t have pictures of it, so the list might be a bit off.




    HEROES:
    Prince, Lion Guard, Lion Chariot, GW, Bluffer’s Helm, Sprout of Rebirth, Divine Icon
    Prince, Lion Guard, Lion Chariot, GW, Crown of Scorn, Daemonhunter Helm, Dusk Stone
    CORE:
    2x 17 Archers, musician
    2x 5 Highborn Lancers
    SPECIAL:
    2 x 5 Swordmasters
    7 Knights of Ryma, Full Command, Aether Icon
    10 Queensguard
    Skysloop
    ANCIENT ALLIES:
    Fire Phoenix
    Great Eagle


    We played flank attack, with Capture the flags as a secondary objective.

    The fact that the enemy list didn't have any magic and the small scoring units made me optimistic about the result. The fact that I have nothing to threaten the two chariot princes was more alarming, though. Here’s a picture of the deployment (the only one I’ve got, actually).




    EARLY GAME:

    I stalled the princes by deploying deep in the centre (where I had the biggest deployment zone) and pushed the flanks (where my zones were smaller). During the first two turns I focused my shooting on the small swordmasters, managing to kill one unit and panic the other. The Dancers to the left trapped the highborn lancers and forced them to charge (no musician so no way to get away), getting another flag for me. To the right, I pushed my dancer unit aggressively, supported by kestrels.


    MID GAME:



    Over the course of three turns, I had to sacrifice a unit of Kestrels, the Briar Maidens and the Dryads to keep the Lion princes honest. In return, I managed to kill both units of Lancers, get an overrun on the Ryma Knights with the big Bladedancers and panic the Queensguard with a root attack.

    Disaster struck on turn 4: having dealt with the Ryma Knights, the bladedancers were ready to pounce on the 17-strong archer unit next to the hill. However, a combination of their shooting and the stand and shoot reaction managed to kill all 11 Bladedancers, leaving my BSB to fend off for himself. He went into the archer block all alone, failed to even wound once and got cut down by archers for his trouble!


    LATE GAME:


    In the late game I'd get the phoenix, the second small swordmasters and the queensguard, while my opponent would get a treefather, half of the spearelves and the Kestrels (again, all sacrificed to the Lion Princes).

    The end result was a draw, but I did manage to preserve all of my scoring units, thus getting the secondary objective: 13-7 win for the Sylvan Elves!

    AFTERMATH:


    It is no secret that sylvan Elves hate Lion Chariot princes. Short of a lucky Crush attack, there’s next to nothing one can do to kill the damned thing, all the while having to sacrifice heaps of units to keep them at bay. My opponent’s list was far from optimized, but the two princes caused enormous amounts of trouble. However, the MVP should go to the archers: they single-handedly dealt with the BD and BSB, for a 1000+ point swing. That’s my chance at a podium finish right there!

    When the dust settled, I had scored a total of 40/60 battle points. With so many good players in the tournament and a total of around 40 players, not a lot of the games ended in a 20-0, which meant that I was 6th for battle scores. The soft scores (painting/sports) and a nomination for best painted catapulted me all the way up to 4th place, for a very respectable finish!


    Overall, the tournament was a very positive experience: great terrain/themed tables, smoothly run event, no big rules issues, and a high quality of painting for the most part! All players commented on the lack of time for the second round, but it was a minor hiccup. All in all, great job by the Connectr’ team, I’ll definitely be back next year for the 17th edition!

    As far as the list is concerned, this tourney helped me decide on some more changes: More magic was definitely welcome, but I lacked a second magic missile to make sure that I have some long-range potential. The small Heath Riders are also something that I'll be leaving home, since they can be easily killed and rarely participate in the battle in any meaningful way other than objectives. But more on that in the next installment, recounting my adventures at the Conquest tournament!

    Take care,

    Smith [Read More]