Articles Tagged with “MSU”

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

  • So, after a very big win on round 1 and a couple of hot dogs kindly offered by Pink Horde's BBQ, I moved up the tables to find Gregory @Gregus and his Empire of Sonnstahl!
    He had brought a fairly static gunline, clearly inspired by the German ETC list of this year and geared towards team play: he and some of his mates will be attending team tournaments and his role is the defensive one!


    Gregus wrote:

    HEROES:
    Marshall, General
    Marshall ,Shield, BSB, Talisman of the Void
    Wizard Master (Divination), Binding Scroll, Magical Heirloom
    Wizard Adept (Pyromancy), Book of Arcane Mastery
    Wizard Adept (Alchemy), Binding Scroll
    Artificer, Repeater Gun


    CORE:
    21 Heavy Iinfantry, Standard, Musician, Household Standard
    21 Heavy Infantry w/ Spears
    17 Light Infantry w/crossbows
    18 Light Infantry w/crossbows
    18 Light Infantry w/crossbows


    SPECIAL:
    10 Reiters w/Repeater Guns
    10 Reiters w/Repeater Guns
    Cannon


    SUNNA'S FURY
    30 Flagellants
    Steam Tank
    So a true gunline with around 120 S4 shots, two cannons and backed up by no less than three mages, with a total of 9 spells!
    The objective was Hold the Center and the deployment type was Refused Flank.
    Going into this game, I knew that I was at a disadvantage due to the deployment type, that would allow my opponent to put more space between the two battle lines. On the flip side, this allows one to predict more or less where the bunk of the enemy forces will be sitting, due to space limitations.

    So when I won the roll for sides, I opted for the configuration that a) placed a forest right in the middle of the table, great cover against cannons and small arms fire, b) had an impassable terrain limiting enemy deployment even further. My opponent didn't elect to deploy his entire army in one go, which gave me the opportunity to drop all for the first turn!

    I went for a central deployment with the 3 monsters tightly packed and heading for that forest, the right flank held by the dancers of yema and some legionnaires while the left flank had all the fast troops and my remaining scorers. The reasoning behind this was to put pressure early on, keeping the enemy away from the center and forcing him to split his shooting while I advanced. My adversary deployed his shooting troops literally hugging the table edge, using the Steam Tank to protect his left flank and the flagellants to anchor the right.



    [/image<br /> ][image=20956,'large']




    For spells, I got Pentagram of Pain/Grave Calls and Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue, while my opponent got Altered Sight, Unerring Strike, Stars Align and Scrying for the Divination wizard, Fireball and Molten Copper for the Alchemy wizard and Quicksilver Lash and Flaming Swords for the Pyromancy wizard.

    TURN 1 - DE

    All three monsters rushed to the forest's cover, both krakens combining their footprints to keep the Dragon Safe from either cannon. The dark raiders spotted a blind spot next to the leftmost reiters and moved there threatening to charge on the following turn. The legionnaires both advanced cautiously: these didn't need to move too aggressively, as I was going to need them for scoring early objective points. To the right, the Dancers of Yema were assigned to Steam Tank duty: these would have to keep the tank busy from turns 2 to 4, while the rest of the army pounced on the relatively soft shooting battery.

    In magic I attempted to cast magic on both the cannon and the Reiters to the right who were too far away from the general and bsb, but no wounds were caused.




    TURN 1 - EoS

    My opponent responded to my baits by simply ignoring them: the flagellants moved up to intercept my monsters, the tank just pivoted to get good firing lanes to the krakens and the leftmost reiters retreated behind the Flagellants to a spot where all of their possible assailants would have to suffer a stand and shoot reaction if they wanted to get into combat.

    In the magic phase I had to let through Altered Sight on the cannon, as well as a Fireball on the kraken that dealt a single wound, so as to dispel the Unerring strike that inevitably targeted a kraken. In the shooting phase the cannon hit my left kraken and did maximum damage, killing it outright! The steam tank thankfully failed to hit the second kraken, and the rest of the shooting amounted to 4 dead legionnaires from the right unit, as well as a couple of dead dark raiders.


    TURN 2 - DE

    The casualties were mounting fast, but I was still too far to declare any significant charges against the gunline. So I sent the dancers of yema charging into the Steam Tank, to hold it in place for a couple of turns. Now free from the threat of the Steam Cannon, I was able to push the Kraken and Dragon forward, still staying within the safety of the forest but inching closer to the enemy. Both Medusas and a unit of Dark Riders moved into positions from where they'd be able to charge on turn 3, and the same… [Read More]
  • So with the first September rains, this blog is back in action!

    Since the ETC,my gaming focus has changed. Some of you may have followed my list building thread for Dread Elves (link here), where I try to explore how to best put some of the cool concepts of DE to use. So 2019 will probably the year of the Dread Elf, since it will allow me to use a nicely painted army that I acquired a while back!
    This first report is from a game I played against our local Vermin Swarm expert and fellow ETC Belgium team mate @valmir. It turned out to be such a great game, that I decided to make diagrams on UB and share it with you!

    Our lists:


    SmithF wrote:

    Prince of Yema, General, Dragon, Repeater Crossbow, Paired Weapons (Hero's Heart), Beastmaster's Lash, Lucky Charm (860)

    2 x 22 Dread Legionnaires w/spears, Full Command, Rending Banner (405)
    2 x 5 Dark Raiders (160)

    17 Dancers of Yema, Musician, Standard, Banner of Speed (444)
    2 x Medusa, Halberd (150)

    5 Dread Knights (255)
    5 Yema Dark Acolytes, Champion (375)
    5 Dark Acolytes, Champion (355)

    2 x Kraken (390)
    You can find the reasoning behind the choices in the list-building blog, but the main idea is to make use of fast and hard hitting elements in the Dread Elf book. The list doesn't have any shooting, focusing instead on maneuverability and the ability to focus close combat force in a small frontage. The Acolytes and Medusas provide something to do with the dice in the magic phase, and often they end up helping a bit.

    Valmir wrote:

    Vermin daemon (general), divination: 800
    Chief, bsb, binding scroll, ratlock pistol, shield :230
    Magister, thaumaturgy, binding scroll : 255
    Rakachit Machinist, ratlock pistol, scurrying veil : 230

    45 rats at arms, standard, musician, legion standard : 445
    25 rats at arms, standard, musician, champion : 280
    10 footpad 120

    20 giant rat : 140
    20 giant rat : 140
    5 jezzail: 190
    4 jezzail: 150
    Dreadmill: 290
    Dreadmill: 290
    Meat grinder: 150
    Rat swarm: 90

    13 plague disciple: 255
    6 vermin hulk :445
    So looking at the lists, two things were clear: I couldn't win this game from afar, and I would have to be very careful of my movement due to the Dreadmills.
    We got to play Counterthrust and Capture the Flags. After exchanging some drops, I decided to grab the first turn and put some pressure on the vermin early on.

    For magic, my yema acolytes got Pentagram of Pain and Grave Calls, the non-marked acolytes got Crippling Fatigue and Ice and Fire, while my adversary picked an array of close combat buffs (Scrying, Stars Align, Smite the Unbeliever) and magic missiles (Vermin Hereditary, Hand of Heaven, Fate's Judgment and Unerring Strike).

    Our deployment ended up looking like that:



    Legend:
    Vermin deployment, left to right: Dreadmill, Jezzails, Giant Rats, Vermin Daemon, Rat Swarms, Rats-at-arms with Meat Grinder and Machinist, Rats-at-arms with BSB and Magister, Jezzails, Dreadmill, Vemin Hulks, Giant Rats, Footpads (back), Plague Disciples (front)
    Dread Elf deployment, left to right: Medusa, Yema Acolytes, Dancers of Yema, Dragon, Dark Acolytes, Raptor Knights, Dark Raiders, Legionnaires, Kraken, Dark Raiders, Kraken, Dread Legionnaires, Medusa

    Not knowing where my opponent would deploy the bulk of his forces, I opted for a central deployment, putting my fast units in a position where they'd be able to rapidly relocate if the vermin abandoned the left flank. The piece of impassable terrain and the house close to my opponent's zone acted as flank guards for his units, but also gave me a unique opportunity to box in the rats from turn 1. So in vanguard I pushed both my raider units forward.



    TURN 1 - DE

    Normally I'm averse to sacrificing redirectors early on, but the long range potential of the vermin meant that I had to be aggressive. So both dark raider units moved up, effectively blocking the entire vermin battle line and leaving no room for redirectors to cross the cavalry line and redirect my hard hitters. The kraken both took cover in the woods, to make the most out of their Hard Target rule: now Jezzails and the Dreadmill would need 6's to hit. With the center pinned down, I pushed the entire army aggressively, relocating the Prince on Dragon towards the center.

    In the magic phase I managed to cast the Pentagram of pain on the left jezzails, killing one.



    TURN 1 - VS

    My adversary responded to my screening tactics by charging! The Vermin Hulks charged into the right Dark Raiders and the Meat Grinder solo-charged out of the Rats-at-arms unit and hit the flank of the second unit (this was something that I could have avoided, by placing my Dark Raiders closer to the rats!). The Disciples took the Medusa bait, and the giant rats closeby turned tail and moved back into the vermin deployment zone and too far from my units for second turn charge purposes. The vermin daemon[Read More]
  • Game 5


    After the considerable morale boost of actually winning a game, I was ready for the last round. Having played the other top 5 teams so far, we had a final challenging opponent team to face: the second Belgian delegation, featuring the crème de la creme of the Tour D’Ebene gaming club (the biggest gaming club in Belgium, to my knowledge).

    Francois had sworn off the booze for this last game, so he managed to get pretty good pairings for us :D : Our vermin swarm against Empire of Sonnstahl, our Vampire Covenant against Vermin Swarm, the Daemons against Dwarven Holds and, finally, myself against Vampire Covenant.


    Edouard, the Vampire player, is an experienced VC general. Back in early 9th age, we had faced each other in a tournament, where we ended up with a draw after I played like a muppet and wouldn’t engage his big units nor the varkolaks. Mind you, I was running a Shapeshifter and a Wild Huntsman Prince, so I really don’t know what I was thinking... Bottom line, he knows his stuff and had given me a serious headache last time we played.


    His list was as follows:


    Edouard wrote:


    An interesting approach, with four fast hard hitters, a couple of anvils and a healthy amount of magic to keep all that alive. The game is now quite hazy (it has been a month!) so I’ll be brief and let the photos do the talking.

    Our scenario was Hold the Centre and the deployment was counterthrust. Against vampires the Centre scenario is not ideal, but my strategy was to move the trees aggressively towards the enemy, pin the scorers down away from the objective while my fast units and the shooting deal with the flankers.


    The counterthrust deployment helped a lot: I got the first drop, and secured the 18” central deployment. The final deployment saw the vampires pushed into their deployment zone (12”) and a couple of march moves away from the central objective. As a plus, the amount of redirectors Edouard had brought meant that I also managed to secure the first turn with a +3 advantage.





    For spells, I got Throne, Regrowth and Master of Stone, while my opponent got the entire Evocation path more or less.


    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves


    With the first turn secure, I had been quite aggressive in my vanguards and scouting. The kestrels moved up to threaten the enemy mage bunker (while it was still small) and the redirectors. In the middle, the treefather advanced to hinder the approach of the undead infanty, while to the right the Wild Huntsmen, Bladedancers and Treefather set a trap for the varkolak, while making sure that he wouldn’t be able to rush past them and behind my lines.


    Magic started with a dispelled Throne, which allowed me to hit the Wraiths with the master of stone; one wraith died to the magic missile. Shooting was more effective: the left treefather and a unit of Sylvan archers killed a Vampire Spawn, while the other two archer units, the Treefather to the right and the pathfinders dealt two wounds to the varkolak.





    TURN 1 – Vampire Counts


    After much deliberation, my opponent took the bladedancer bait: it is true that they were too far away from the BSB, so I’d be only getting one steadfast Ld test. The Vampire spawn to the right also went in, hoping to whittle down the bladedancers fast enough. The middle of the vampire army advanced in a coherent manner, with the second unit of vampire spawn performing a flanking maneuver to my left.


    In the magic phase the ring of fire killed five dryads, and then I failed to dispel the Whispers of the Veil on the Blaedancers in combat. A wraith also rose from the grave.

    In combat, the dancers went for the 3+ ward save, and they did manage some wounds on the Vampire Spawn. They lost 3 of their number to the enemy attacks, but held their ground on a Ld8 steadfast!


    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves


    The Treefather to the right and the Wild Huntsmen fell on both flanks of the bladedancer combat, while the middle Treefather charged the Barrow Guard, to keep them from advancing on top of the objective. The kestrels maneuvered some more, as did the shooting part of the army. The dryads moved up to be in range for some toxic spore shooting.


    Magic was uneventful, but shooting killed yet another Vampire Spawn to the left, and four wraiths from the big unit to the right.

    In combat the charging wild huntsmen and Treefather predictably made short work of the Vampire spawn and the Varkolak. In the treefather/barrow combat, the barrow guard failed… [Read More]
  • The second day of the tournament started with our team in the middle of the pack, after having played 3 pretty difficult rounds. For the fourth round, we were paired against the home team, comprised of players who do rather well in the french inter-regional tournaments.


    The pairings didn’t go that well, and I got once more a Breakthrough objective, this time against Sylvan Elves! Julien, or Falanirm as he’s known on the net, had brought a list that definitely had more maneuverability,faster scoring and better shooting/magic potential than mine:


    Falanirm wrote:

    Treefather ancient (480) : General, wizard master (150), Divination, 4 Learned Spells (150), Dispel scroll (100) 880
    Chieftain (150) : BSB (50), Pathfinder (75), longbow (4), light armour (0), sylvan blades (10), icon of the relentless company (30), ring of fire (50) 359

    16 sylvan archers (404) : Musician (20) 424
    5 heath riders (180) : Musician (20) 200
    2x Dryads (170) : Skirmish (0) 170
    8 Dryads 170

    8 Blade Dancers 320
    2x 1 forest eagle 100

    5 briar maidens (210) : Champion (120), 330
    2x 3 Kestrels Knights (295) : swap bows for shields (12), 307
    9 Pathfinders 390
    6 Pathfinders 270

    For magic, the treeefather Ancient got Scrying, Fate’s Judment, Stars Align and Unerring Strike, while the Matriarch got Throne, Master of Stone and Entwining Roots.

    In deployment, we alternated with some fast drops (eagles, kestrels, wild huntsmen).


    Having already played against SE on the 2nd round, I knew it was imperative that I get the jump on the opponent’s firebase if I was to even the odds. So as soon as my opponent dropped his Sylvan Archers , I seized the initiative and deployed everything so as to get the first turn.






    The plan was simple: advance rapidly towards the enemy shooting, using the relatively hard to kill dryads and the treefathers as a battering ram while the dancers scored the objective. The Kestrels and Huntsmen to the right were there to keep the enemy fast units honest.


    TURN 1 – Smith Sylvan Elves

    On the left, the dancers and the Shapeshifter BSB performed a flanking maneuver, keeping their distance from the centrally-placed enemy pathfinder units. The middle advanced full steam ahead, with the entire bowline getting within range for an opening volley on the enemy Sylvan Archers. On the right hand, the Kestrels and Wild huntsmen maneuvered a bit; their role was to act as a deterrent for enemy scorers.


    Magic was uneventful, but then the first shooting phase came: 30 Sylvan Archer shots amounted for 8 dead enemy Sylvan Archers, and the Pathfinders, using Truemark Arrows, dropped no less than 7 enemy Pathfinders from the BSB’s unit! Talk about counter-battery fire!






    TURN 1 – Falanirm’s SE


    After the initial shock of losing half his shooting on the first turn, my opponent attempted to retaliate: on the right, Bladedancers , Kestrels and dryads advanced quite aggressively, followd by the Treefather Ancient and the skirmishing dryads. The BSB jumped ship into the second unit of Pathfinders and on the left the kestrels did the same thing my fast contingent was doing on the right: hug the edge of the board and scare things from coming inside the deployment zone.


    In the magic phase a failed to cast boosted Unerring Strike on my central Treefather meant that I could easily contain the first magic barrage. Shooting aimed at the righmost sylvan archers, killed 6 and panicked panicked the rest. They’d rally on the following turn. The depleted pathfinders aimed at my unit of master archers, but they failed to wound them.


    TURN 2 – Smith SE


    The Shapeshifter BSB spotted the dryads inside the forest and declared a charge against them. The rest of the army moved in an aggressive fashion: bladedancers towards the deployment zone, the two treefathers towards the enemy archers and dryads in the middle. The kestrels and wild huntsmen still held their ground.

    Magic started with a dispelled Master of Stone on the Kestrels near the building, and then Falanirm’s mistake from last turn became apparent: in the process of switching places of the BSB from one unit to the other, both Pathfinder units found themselves inside the forest. Two successful treesinging spells later, both units lay dead, and the Treefather Ancient had suffered a wound!


    The pathfinders focused their shooting on the now lone BSB, and they managed to kill him with a single volley (go Truemark Shots!). The Sylvan Archers and leftmost treefather killed four more Sylvan Archers, leaving just 5 alive. Finally, the dryads killed a single dryad with their Toxic Spores and the second Treefather felled a Briar Maiden with his roots.


    In combat, the Shapeshifter chopped 3 dryads down for no wounds back, but they held on their steadfast roll.





    TURN 2 – Falanirm’s SE


    With the shooting advantage gone, my opponent tried to press the advantage on the right flank, with Kestrels and Bladedancers… [Read More]
  • Right, last game of the first day, and the previous match has drained a good part of my energy! I was hoping for a laid-back third game, but then the news hit me: having won 2/2 rounds, we were paired against the current leaders, none other than the second half of the ETC team France!


    Our leader, jaina, worked his magic (read: shoved me under the bus to get some other favorable matchups) and I ended up facing the captain of the ETC team, Ankor, and his shooty Highborn Elves. In all fairness, the other armies were also quite scary: 2-organ gun dwarves, Magic heavy 2-EDC WoDG and Dread Elves with good magic (alchemy) and full shooting + 2 big blocks with Altar.


    The list Thibaut had brought was a variation of a “Furion“ list, featuring the following:


    High prince, General, Royal Huntsman, lion chariot, HA, GW, Talisman of Supreme Shielding, Bluffer Helm 726
    Mage , Divination, 4 learned spell, Wizard master, Asfad Scholar, Book of Meladys 590
    Commander, BSB, Queen’s Companion, Great bow 310

    5 Highborn Lancer 250
    5 Highborn Lancer 250
    30 archers, Banner, Musician, banner of speed 630

    Skysloop 240
    Skysloop 240

    10 Sisters, Musician 300

    Eagle 100
    Eagle 100
    Fire Phoenix 380
    Fire Phoenix 380



    So better mobility, more shooting, and two hard counters for the treefathers in the form of Divination magic and the Royal Huntsman Prince. The deployment type was counterthrust this time, with the secondary objective being Breakthrough. Both of these were bad news: the counterthrust meant that the alternate deployment denied the option of grabbing the first turn, and the breakthrough was bad because of the two scoring cavalry units.

    Overall, the plan was to neutralize the Phoenixes and the Skysloops with my shooting, stall and keep the lion prince occupied while the treefathers pushed for the Archer bunker. Easier said than done.


    Thibaut gave me the first drop, meaning that by the end of our deployment he still hadn’t dropped his archers. In the end, he went for a denied flank with the archers right opposite my –relatively- empty flank, but also safe from harm. Knowing I’d get a +2 to play first, I gambled deploying in a position where I’d be able to kill one of the cavalry units by concentrating sylvan archer and pathfinder shots, then focus on the chariots.






    For magic, I got Spirits of the Wood and Summer Growth while my opponent got Scrying, Fate’s Judgment, Stars Align and Unerring Strike.


    Rolling for the first turn, I failed once more to seize the initiative.

    Crap...


    TURN 1 – Highborn Elves.


    The phoenixes and chariot prince pushed forward, while the Skysloops and the cavalry to the left maneuvered behind the hill, leaving me horribly out of position in terms of shooting. On the right flank, the archers moved a bit closer to my lines and the second unit of highborn lancers started a slow advance towards my deployment zone.

    In the magic phase the Unerring Strike on one of my Treefathers was dispelled, permitting the Wizard Master to cast the Stars Align on the archer block. Shooting was focused on the Wild Huntsmen, wiping them out with ease. The skysloops failed to impress, being out of range from the juicier targets.


    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves




    With the chariot prince 2 turns away from my lines, I figured that I needed to focus my energy on killing the birds and on weakening the prince a bit: at 2 wounds or so, I could hope to kill him with a bladedancer charge, and he’d definitely become more cautious.

    So the treefathers moved up a bit, threatening the advance of the chariot prince, the bladedancers on the left played chicken with the phoenix and chariot while the archers readied their arrows for their –now- only targets.

    In magic the Throne went up. The sylvan archer shooting was aimed at the Phoenix on the far left, only managing a single wound on the beast. The pathfinders managed to put a wound on the chariot prince using perforating shots, and the rightmost archers took a wound off the closest skysloop.


    TURN 2 – Highborn Elves

    i1271.photobucket.com/albums/jj634/SmithF/g3t2.jpg

    The phoenix on the left advanced a bit towards the bladedancers, the Prince sped forward towards my lines and in the middle the second phoenix scaled the hill ready to charge on the following turn. The archers and skysloops edged a bit forward too, while the highborn lancers continued their long path towards my deployment zone on the far right.

    Magic was one of the same: unerring strike dispelled, allowing the stars align to be cast on the archer unit. Shooting didn’t do much this turn due to the fact that the only eligible targets were the treefathers at long range, behind a forest.


    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves


    So, here is where I miscalculated things a bit: I figured that I’d be able to put a second wound on the prince with the pathfinders, while the combination of the treefather’s roots, 30 sylvan archers and some dryad toxic spores would be able to kill the phoenix on… [Read More]
  • GAME 1 : Gandarin’s Daemonic Legions


    For the first round, we were to play against “Clan de la Geule” (liberally translated: Bunch of Grumblers), a team which had brought no less than 7 cannons (or cannon-like contraptions) between them. In the end, I got paired against Michel @Gandarin, a staff member of T9A, ESC 2016 veteran and a UB regular. His list was as follows:


    Daemonic Legions
    HEROES:

    Harbringer of pestilence: BSB, Wizard Apprentice, Divination, 2 Learned Spells, Bloated Putrefaction, Halberd, Rending Banner 590
    Harbringer of pestilence: General, Contamination, Neauseating Aura, Halberd 450

    CORE
    12 Horrors: Musician, Champion 376
    29 Tallymen: FCG, Speed Banner 786

    SPECIAL:
    3 crusher cavalery: Musician, Standard 380
    2x 3 crusher cavalery: Musician 360
    1 Blood chariot 330
    2x 2 Clawed Fiends 220
    3x 5 Furies of pestilence 140


    Essentially a Tallymen Deathstar surrounded by MSU elements, a decent amount of redirectors and some good answers to monsters in the form of the Blood Chariot and the combination of Divination and Thaumaturgy.

    The deployment was diagonal (Refused Flank) and the secondary scenario was Secure Target (Double objectives).


    PREGAME:


    When I checked the lists before attending the tournament, this one hit me as a pretty cool mix of fast units and durable elements. It is an army that I’d consider playing myself, and can definitely cause a lot of problems in terms of objectives (Hold the Ground against a list like this is absolutely horrible). So I was pretty happy about the double objective scenario, since it would allow me to force the daemons to split their attention.


    The plan overall was to either isolate the Tallymen and deal with the fast but fragile MSU elements, or play the scenario card and soften everything from afar before going in for a killing blow. The deployment phase reflected that; I chose to set up my objective marker on the top right corner of the battlefield, outside of the daemons’ deployment zone, and at a position where I’d be able to threaten the advance of the scorers towards it either with shooting or with the fast support.


    Michel replied by placing his marker centrally and as close as possible to his lines and the second objective: the game would be played in roughly 50% of the battlefield.

    We traded some deployment drops, and then I opted for a denied flank with a heavy shooting presence to the east , treefathers in the middle and close to terrain for cannon protection, with the Wild huntsmen threatening the advance to the rightmost objective and the Kestrels in position to fly behind enemy lines turn 1. The daemons deployed centrally with Tallymen as close to the leftmost objective as possible, flanked by Crushers. The cannon, horrors and furies formed the second line, with the Fiends as flank guards.


    The Kestrels vanguarded up the left flank, while the Pathfinders scouted near the topmost objective, in a position where they’d be able to cause the most damage on the fast daemonic units.




    Rolling for magic, the Dryad Matriarch got Entwining Roots and Master of Earth, while the Harbinger of Pestilence got Scrying and Fate’s Judgment.

    Having deployed the remainder of my army first, I took the first turn in order to soften the Daemons before the inevitable impact.


    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves


    Both Treefathers and the Shapeshifter scurried behind cover, while the Kestrels and Wild Huntsmen both performed flanking maneuvers. The rest of the army kept their distance from the daemons; Time was on my side, after all.

    Magic resulted in a single wound on the middle crushers from a Master of Stone. In the shooting phase the combined efforts of the Pathfinders and a unit of Archers killed the rightmost fiends outright, while the rest of the shooting took a wound off a crusher unit and the Tallymen.




    TURN 1 – Daemonic Legion


    The Kestrels did their job: with their positioning, the crushers couldn’t advance without exposing their flank to a charge, and the cannon couldn’t risk a flank charge either. So the entire left flank reformed so as to threaten the advance/flight of the kestrels. The Tallymen moved forward aggressively, and so did the rightmost crushers.

    Magic was uneventful: a D6 SD6 magic missile resulted in 4 s1 hits on the kestrels, which failed to hurt the fast cavalry. The Scrying on the rightmost crushers was dispelled. The cannon failed to hit the kestrels.




    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves


    Turn 2 and still no charges, although I did briefly consider charging the wild huntsmen against the right crushers. In the end, I didn’t trust my dice enough to rush things, so I opted for the shooting approach. The Kestrels flied over the enemy units and in a position where they’d be even more annoying should my opponent choose to ignore them. At the same time, dryads, Treefathers and Bladedancers maneuvered so as to increase the threat zones and keep my archers protected.

    In the magic phase both Treesingings were… [Read More]
  • Game 6 – Australia (Orcs and Goblins, Breakthrough)


    Right, final round of the ETC, and everyone is TIRED! Turns out that even 2 games per day can be taxing, since these are not your usual 2,5h games, but rather 4h+ deals: from pairing, to deployment, to playing the game, to the aftermath.


    We were playing against Australia, and I was looking forward to the game since their fame as fun players preceded them. I got paired against Orcs and Goblins, a matchup I that I was reluctant to take because of the double Gargantula spiders. However, when I figured out that the alternative would be getting to fight a mirror match vs shooty Sylvan Elves, I decided to presserve my sanity and play the fighty Orcs and Goblins instead.

    My opponent was Jack, also known as Darkassassin in the interwebs: a veteran of 8th and very active 9th Age player, he brought an Orcs and Goblins list that turned out to be more shooty than fighty:



    Jack wrote:


    Iron Orc warlord: General, plate armour, hardened shield, king slayer, talisman of supreme shielding, divine icon, 260
    Feral Orc big shaman: Lv4, big green gods/wilderness, obsidian nullstone, essence of a free mind, razor blade, 300
    Feral Orc chief: BSB, Mithril Mail, lucky charm, flaming standard, 130
    Common Goblin shaman: Lv2, little green gods, tome of arcane lore, gem of fortune, 125
    Common Orc shaman: Lv1, wilderness, dispel scroll, 100
    1 x 50 feral orcs: FCG, spears, bows, banner of discipline, 475
    2 x 5 common orc boar riders: standard, 80
    2 x splatterer: 90
    3 x 5 Gnasher dashers: 60
    3 x skewerer: 45
    2 x gargantula: 225


    Pregame:


    So 5 warmachines, 8 spells, 50 bows and 16 shortbows, it was no wonder that Jack dropped everything to get the first turn, deploying as close to the table edge as possible and in a denied flank so as to get the most out of the ranged potential of the list.

    Looking at the opposing army, I knew that touching the Feral Orcs was out of the question, but I figured that I could take the rest of the points, while preserving mine, then win the objective. Jack was counting on the Orc Boar riders to score for him, which is why I deployed the Wild Huntsmen, Sylvan Archers and the two units of Bladedancers as deterrents. Since I had the last turn of the game, chances were that I’d be able to stop the small units from scoring and possibly pull the big block out of position by exploiting frenzy.


    In the end, I used terrain to keep the Forest Guard and Archers safe from first turn Splatterer shots, while the Heath Riders and Thicket beasts both stayed out of the maximal range of the warmachines. My opponent exclaimed that he wasn’t thrilled we’d be having a corner hammer battle, to which I replied that he’d be surprised by the actual game.








    The Druid got Luminous Bolts and Cataclysm, while the Dryad Matriarch got Beast Within and Inner Rage. The Orc Great Shaman went for Big Green Gods and got At’em Lads, Oi!no Dying, Headbutt and The big Stomp, with the small shamans going Evil Eye, Sneaky Slicing, Blessing of the Spider Mother and Beast Within.


    TURN 1 – Orcs and Goblins



    The first movement of the orcs was consevative, with Gnashers moving slightly backwards, the Gargantulas angling to provide some zoning against the Kestrels and the Feral Orcs moving up 4 inches so as to be in range for spells and shooting.

    In the magic phase I let the Evil Eye through on the Kestrels, who weathered the hits without receiving any damage. The Big Stomp was then dispelled using dice.

    Shooting started off with a direct hit on the Sylvan Archers behind the hill, which dropped 4 archers. The Skewerers failed to wound (shooting at long range, through forests, at skirmishing Kestrels), and the Feral Orcs also had no luck in hitting the Sylvan flying cavalry.


    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves



    Contrary to what Jack believed, I wasn’t planning on saying in my corner; Having survived the first turn barrage with little casualties, the western part of the army moved up. The Briar Maidens took a risk by closing the distance to the Gnasher Dashers in the ruins, but I needed them gone so that I’d be able to maneuver freely. Kestrels and Wild Huntsmen moved up to threaten the advance of the Gargantulas.

    Magic started with a successful Luminous Bolts on the rightmost Gnasher Dashers, resulting in a dead unit. The Cataclysm on the Feral Orcs failed to cast.

    Shooting had no targets, with the Gnashers dead; The sylvan archers hadn’t scaled the hill, since in doing so they’d be exposing themselves to a volley by the feral orcs. Their role was to threaten the scoring Boar riders when/if they came close.







    TURN 2 – Orcs and Goblins



    The rightmost Gargantula declared a charge on the Kestrel Knights up the middle, but failed to roll high enough, stumbling forward towards the Wild Huntsmen. The feral orcs moved up some more, followed by the Boar Riders and gnashers.

    In the magic phase, a low roll meant that the… [Read More]
  • Game 5 - Greece (Beast Herds, Breakthrough)

    For the fifth round of the ETC, we were paired against Greece. While the greek Warhammer tournament scene had never been that big, during the 8th edition a solid tournament player base had been formed, and these players went on to win Bronze in the 2014 ETC. The team we were facing now consisted of the same players, but with very little 9th Age experience and not exactly in the mood for competitive gaming.


    I got paired against Kostas, who is a Dread Elf veteran player, but was playing Beast Herds this time: to cut a long story short, he offered me the 10-10 from the get-go, to which I declined with the reasoning that I had just travelled 3000km to play 6 games of T9A, and I was getting my 6 games! However, he was very tired (he’s a doctor, too, and had to work until after midnight the night before) and in the end after deployment we agreed on a 13-7 win for the Sylvans* and went on to play a relaxed, yet tactical game. So a win-win for me, I would have hated to sit in the sidelines for this round.


    *Looking at his army list, that’s exactly what I was predicting I’d get: we’d exchange combat units in a chess-like match, then I’d score the Breakthrough scenario for a small win.

    Pre-game:


    I got Luminous Bolts and Phoenix Rises for my Druid and Insect swarm and Beast within for my Matriarch.

    We traded deployments for a while, then I dropped everything to force my opponent to get the first turn: that is perfect against vanguarding chariots, since it denies first turn charges to the Beasts player, plus the Dark Rain would have a smaller effect on my shooting.






    I won’t be doing a turn-by-turn since I have no pictures of this match, but I did some diagrams and will comment on them so that you see how it went.

    EARLY GAME


    Turn 1 the Beast Herds pushed forward in force, and Kostas surprised me with the Briar Beasts appearing inside the forest on his turn 1 (I thought it was from turn 2 onwards). Bad start for me, since these 3 were too close to the Sylvan Archers for my liking.


    I got some early charges off: Wild Huntsmen and Bladedancers to the left into the Centaurs with a centaur character, resulting in a dead unit of centaurs, a dead unit of wild huntsmen and 4 victorious bladedancers pursuing. The Kestrels also went into one of the chariots, killed it and overran into a second one.

    Unfortunately, the shooting and magic phase were not that effective, and all 3 briar beasts were alive on turn 2. They went into the Sylvan Archers, killed them with ease and overran over to the left side of the board, where they’d spend all game. (One was killed later on by some Bladedancers though)



    During the early game, my magic managed to soften up the rightmost unit of centaurs, enough for my Wild Huntsmen to blow through them. They did get a chariot in the face for their trouble, though, and died.


    LATE GAME


    A big moment was around turn 4, when the two minotaurs were close to my Thicket Beasts and Forest Guard. I sacrificed the Briar Maidens (bait and flee off the table) to get the regenerating minotaur warlord to charge my Flaming Thicket beasts, but my plans were thwarted when the remaining centaurs with BSB and general managed to land a charge into the Thickets’ flank from 19 inches away. The ensuing combat saw the thicket beasts quickly lose some models (the centaurs had Thunderous charge and the +1 Attack/AP totem) but the survivors held, and with the help of some rear charging Kestrels the result was a bloodbath: all of the thicket beasts died, the thicket shepherd had 2 wounds remaining and the kestrels died too. But in return, the enemy centaurs, bsb and general were all gone!


    In the closing steps of the game, I fed my druid to one of the minotaur warlords, and the thicket shepherd took one for the team and got charged by the regenerating minotaur. In the end, this allowed my Dryad Matriarch to finish off the Regenerating Warlord with a couple of Insect swarms.

    When the dust cleared, the only things left alive were a wounded Minotaur Warlord, a chariot and 2 Briar Beasts for the Beast Herds, versus the Forest Guard, the Dryads, the Matriarch and the unit of scoring Heath Riders, conveniently placed inside my opponent’s deployment zone.



    With around 2000 points lost per side, the game ended up a draw, and the Sylvan Elves held the secondary objective, for the final result of 13-7.


    Sylvan Elf victory!


    Aftermath:



    This was by far the most fun game of the ETC for me. Kostas is a very good general, and he played his army cleverly. With the ‘official score’ out of the way, we were both more relaxed and shoved models into combat as we’d do in a friendly game. But he still taught me a couple of things, and his movement was flawless.

    A pity that the Greek team’s soul wasn’t into this, but that’s to be expected after several years of «hardcore» tournament gaming by the same people. They did give us good games, and are great guys all around.


    We… [Read More]
  • GAME 4 – Turkey ( Kingdom of Equitaine, Hold the Ground)


    Kingdom of Equitaine is another faction that I consider to be relatively easy to deal with with my Sylvan Elves: My fast contingent is faster than the knights, a lot of my troops get armour piercing and high initiative attacks, not to mention that there are no good targets for the usual KoE suspects (Virtue of Might, Quest vow).

    However, with 2 trebuchets and access to Heavens magic, the ranged potential of the KoE was better than mine, and the secondary objective was not as good as getting Breakthrough or Capture the flags.


    My opponent’s list was based around 3 big units of knights, 3 pegasus riders with devastating charge, and 2 trebuchets. So not too many «easy» points lying around, which is more than can be said for my army.


    Emre wrote:


    Token of King
    Duke on Barded Horse: General, GW, Shield, Questing Oath, Virtue of Audacity, Crusader's Helm 245
    Grail Damsel on Barded Horse: Level 4, Heavens, Dispel Scroll 250
    Paladin on Barded Horse: BSB, GW, Questing Oath, Hardened Shield, Lucky Charm 129
    2x 12 Knights of Realm: Full Command 322
    15 Questing Knight: Full Command, Banner of Discipline 425
    3x 3 Pegasus Knight: Barding, Devastating Charge 181
    Trebuchet 130
    Trebuchet 130

    Pregame: The grail damsel got Blizzard, Stars Align, Thunderbolt and Lightning Storm, the Matriarch got Insect swarm and Redwood Shaft, while the Druid got Luminous Bolts and Phoenix Rises.


    In deployment we traded a couple of deployments, then my opponent deployed everything in an effort to get the first turn. He adopted a denied flank formation, that gave away his plan to magic and shoot my units for the first few turns, before moving in for the kill (and the objective). I resisted the urge to deploy everything across the knights and rush in, and put my Thicket Beasts behind the hill’s protection and the Forest Guard outside Trebuchet range: the plan was to have more scoring units near the centre by the end of the game, thus winning the objective.







    I won the roll-off and chose to play first, eager to put some pressure on the KoE warmachines.


    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves



    The fast contingent on the right flank moved up behind the hill, while the Bladedancers in the middle moved forward to tempt some first turn charges across the forest with the knights/pegasi. The Thickets and Forest guard scaled the hill in close proximity.

    Magic saw a successful cast of the Insect Swarm on the Trebuchet, killing it instantly. The rest of the spells were dispelled.



    TURN 1 – Kingdom of Equitaine



    The Pegasus knights to the left took the bait and charged into the dancers, making it into combat. The rest of the knights edged forward reluctantly.

    Magic started with an irresistibly cast lightning bolt on the bottom right Wild Huntsmen: given that my opponent had used 5 dice to cast this, I jumped on the opportunity to neuter his magic phase and potentially harm his Realm Knights and let the spell through.

    6 s6 hits later, the Wild huntsmen were no more, and the Briar Maidens failed their Ld9 Panic and fled off the board! To rub some salt on my wounds, the Damsel only suffered a s6 hit from the miscast.

    The Trebuchet,trying to hit the Thicket Beasts, veered off target.

    In close combat, the Bladedancers and Pegasus knights exchanged some wounds, and the elven elite passed their break test thanks to the BSB reroll.






    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves


    Right, turn 2 and I’m 400 points down, having lost two good spells on top of that. So some extreme measures were needed: Thicket Beasts flank charged down the hill on the Pegasus/Dancer combat, and the far left contingent moved up to support them. I also used the Dryads as bait for a second unit of pegasus knights, with the Wild Huntsmen ready to countercharge if need be.


    Magic saw me put +1 Strength with the Phoenix Rises on the Thicket beasts, while the Redwood shaft and the Insect swarm were dispelled. The sylvan archers dropped a single Realm knight from the rightmost unit.


    The thicket beasts made short work of the pegasus knights, and reformed to face the entire KoE battleline, tempting the knights to charge: being inside a forest, shifting them would be a difficult task.




    TURN 2 – Kingdom of Equitaine


    The knights declined my invitation to a central grindfest, and chose to sidestep a bit. The rightmost pegasus knights saw an opening and charged the dryads inside the forest, making it into combat.

    Magic started with a thunderbolt on the Thicket beasts, which I let through, losing a Thicket Beast in the process. Then my opponent powered through a 5-dice Lightning Storm on the rightmost Kestrels, with Irresistible force. After some deliberation, I let the spell through: one unit of Kestrels was instantly wiped out, and the other Kestrels suffered some wounds, lost panic and fled off the board (at that point Nico who was playing next to me looked first at my… [Read More]
  • GAME 3 – Undying Dynasties

    The last game of the tourney was against Serge, a veteran gamer who brought a small yet very efficient list:

    Serge wrote:

    LORDS/HEROES:


    Pharaoh, Commander of Terracotta army, Vanquisher Eternal, Mask of Teput

    Death Cult Hierarch, Level 3 Path of Sands, Book of the Dead, Soul Conduit

    Death Cult Acolyte, Level 1 Path of Sands, Dispel Scroll

    Tomb Harbinger, BSB, War Banner

    Tomb Architect


    CORE:

    6 Chariots, Full Command, Flaming Banner

    4 Chariots, Full Command


    SPECIAL:

    Battle Sphinx, Breath Weapon

    Battle Sphinx, Breath Weapon

    27 Necropolis Guard, Halberds, Full Command, Stalker’s Standard



    I had never faced a Terracotta Necropolis Guard Deathstar (TNGD for short), but I’d heard enough stories to know that this unit cannot be underestimated. It didn’t help that the last game of the day would be played without a secondary objective, meaning that I’d have to actually kill some undead to get points!

    The good news were that the TNGD is slow, and that there were only 20 bow shots in the army. So the battle plan was simple: outdeploy, outmaneuver, kill everything around the deathstar and then (eventually) move in for the kill. That last part is where I expected my plan to blow up in my face, as has happened countless times before. An important detail of the plan was to isolate units, and pull them out of formation. The only way I’d be able to commit would be by making sure that the NG wouldn’t be able to countercharge me in return.


    Magic: Dryad Matriarch got 0,3 (Wilderness), Druid got 0,1 (White), Hierarch got 4,5,6 (Sands) and Acolyte got 1 (Sands)


    So the good news was that there were no movement spells for the UD: redirecting the deathstar becomes a lot more difficult when you’ve got two movement spells to dispel per turn.




    Deployment resulted in me outdeploying the UD, which pitted two units of Kestrels and the Forest Guard against the small chariot unit, the Briar Maidens, Heath Riders and Wild Huntsmen against the two sphinx and the NG, while in the centre the Thicket Beasts squared off against the chariots, with all the small and squishy units more than 32” away from the chariot shooting. My opponent decided to take the first turn, and battle was joined!



    TURN 1 – Undying Dynasties


    The undead battle line moved up in unison, no surprises there. Magic started with a particularly high casting roll of boosted divine judgment on the Briar Maidens. I used up all my dice to dispel that, letting everything else through, including Shifting Sands on the Briar Maidens. Shooting put a wound on the leftmost Kestrels.



    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves


    The left flank redeployed a bit, with the Briar Maidens staying more than 18” away from the sphinx (for fear of the Breath Weapon), and the Wild Huntsmen relocating more centrally. The Kestrels moved up towards the small chariot unit, as did the Forest Guard. The Thicket Beasts entered the charge zone of the big chariots, tempting them to charge.


    Magic opened with the phoenix rises healing the wound off the kestrels and putting a White token on the Thicket Beasts, then all my attempts to hurt the big chariots from afar were ineffective (Redwood shaft failed to cast and the Curse of the wildwood was dispelled). Shooting proved to be equally ineffective, not a single wound was scored by the Sylvan Archers.




    TURN 2 – Undying Dynasties


    The chariots took the bait and fell into the Thicket Beasts, while the sphinx and NG continued their slog towards my lines. The small chariots tried to swift reform, but failed its Ld and reformed instead, keeping the kestrels in their front arc. Magic saw me use my scroll to stop yet another Divine Judgment, then I used my dice to stop the Ancient Glory, letting through the Cursed Blades on the chariots.


    The impact hits of the chariots proved to be quite ineffective: 9 of them were dealt, but between rolls to wound, armour and ward saves, all of them were ignored. In retaliation, the thicket beasts dealt 11 wounds on the chariots and received a single wound back. The chariots were disintegrated, allowing my Thicket Beasts to pivot to face the sphinx’s flank.



    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves


    Seizing the opportunity, thicket beasts and a unit of Wild Huntsmen tag-teamed on the rightmost sphinx. The Kestrels and the second unit of Wild Huntsmen moved into position to flank the smaller chariot unit on the following turn, with the Forest Guard offering themselves as bait. The Briar Maidens spotted a blind corner in the sphinx’s charge arc, so moved in for some poisoned shots. Finally, the skirmishing part of the army moved about to create threatening situations, while the Heath Riders were shoved right in front of the Sphinx and NG to stall them a bit.


    Magic was yet again ineffective, but shooting succeeded in putting two wounds on the unengaged sphinx!

    In combat the combined efforts of the Wild Huntsmen and the Thicket beasts made… [Read More]
  • GAME 2 – Kingdom of Equitaine


    Loik is the resident KoE general of the Tour d’Ebene club, and a veteran of many tournaments. We talked a bit about the new KoE rules (long story short: he isn’t too happy about them, and will be writing a long letter to Tulmir explaining why :D ) and then he went on to explain his army:

    Loïk wrote:



    LORDS/HEROES:


    Duke on Warhorse, Grail Oath, Virtue of Renown, Crusader’s Helm, Shield, Blade of Strife, Token of the King

    Paladin BSB on Warhorse, Questing Oath, Great Weapon, stuff (possibly the Orriflame?)

    Grail Damsel on warhorse, level 4 path of Heavens, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Ruin

    Damsel on foot, level 1 wilderness


    CORE:

    10 Knights of the Realm, Full Command

    11 Knights of the Realm, Full Command

    10 Peasant Bowmen, Skirmish

    10 Peasant Bowmen, Skirmish


    SPECIAL:

    10 Knights Forlorn, Hedge Knights, Skirmish

    10 Knights Forlorn, Hedge Knights, Skirmish

    3 Pegasus Knights, Devastating Charge, Skirmish


    RARE:

    8 Knights of the Grail, Full Command

    8 Knights of the Grail, Full Command


    This time the scenario was Secure Target, with regular deployment. I picked side, opting for the one with the buildings (always a good thing against knights). We exchanged deployments, with me outdeploying Loik by a fair amount: in the end he went with a central deployment, with forlorn knights on either flank and peasant bowmen deployed as a screen in front of the knights.




    Magic: Grail Damsel got 0,1,4,5 from Heavens, the Wilderness Damsel got the signature, Dryad Matriarch got 0,6 from Wilderness and the Druid 2,5 from White Magic.

    I won the roll for the first turn, and went first. Letting KoE play first is never a good idea, all the more time for them to put you in a tough place.


    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves


    The Archers entered the house on the left, the wild huntsmen stayed relatively wide and out of range of the peasant bowmen. By placing his bowmen as a screen, my opponent had involuntarily given me a turn of protection against charges, so I tried to make the most out of it: the centre of my force inched forward, with the forest guard pushing more aggressively towards the two Realm Knight blocks. The Briar maidens moved full speed ahead, entering the forest occupied by the Forlorn, and tempting them to charge. The rest of the fast contingent stayed relatively back, but in close support.


    Magic opened with a successful guiding hand raising the Forest Guards’ movement to an impressive 8. The rest was easily dispelled. Shooting was directed at the two forlorn units: the left one suffered 3 casualties by the archers’ volley, failed its panic test and fled. On the right, the Briar Maidens dropped another 3 Forlorn, but these stood their ground.



    TURN 1 – Kingdom of Equitaine


    Not being ones to shy from a challenge, the Forlorn Knights charged into the Briar Maidens, aided by the Pegasus Knights. The Maidens took potshots at the KoE skirmishers while they moved in, killing two. In remaining moves, the Knights of the grail approached my lines, one scaling the hill and edging slightly to threaten my wild huntsmens’ advance. The fleeing forlorn rallied, while the two Realm Knight units were kept at bay by the threat of the movement 8 Forest Guard.


    In the magic phase Loik spotted my plan’s weakness: I needed the kestrels to live to be able to countercharge once the maidens were dealt with. So he directed first a Lightning Bolt, then a Fireball and finally a Lightning Storm at the rightmost unit, which forced me to use my dispel scroll to be able to weather it all. I was reluctant to use the scroll so fast, but losing a unit (or potentially two) would mean that the Pegasus knights would crush that flank with ease. Shooting cost me a Bladedancer from the rightmost unit.

    In combat the Briar Maidens hit first, killing three forlorn knights. The return attacks (2 forlorn, one Pegasus knight) all missed or failed to wound. This meant that, unexpectedly, the Briar Maidens won combat! Both units passed their Steadfast Ld test, but interestingly the Pegasus Knights failed their test to combat reform!




    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves


    Last turn’s good luck gave me an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up: the Kestrels fell into the Pegasus knights, while the Forest Guard flanked the two remaining Forlorn. To pull this off, I had to declare long charges on the screening bowmen, to cause them to contract and create some space. The Thicket Beasts and Dryads both failed their respective charges. In remaining moves I moved the second Kestrel unit in a sacrificial position, to prevent the Realm Knights from charging the Forest Guard on the following turn. This would also force the Grail Damsel to forego any magic missile spell for the following turn, since she’d be engaged in combat.


    Magic proved to be uneventful this turn, starting with a failed casting of the Curse of the Wildwood on the Damsel’s Knights. Shooting was aimed at the Knights[Read More]
  • Introduction:


    For people who are not familiar with the Belgian tournament scene, here’s some information: Back in 7th edition warhammer, I’m told that tournaments with 100+ participants were organized and that players from France and the Netherlands would often participate. The first tournaments I saw in 8th edition were small, 20-30 player tourneys with the occasional bigger event (40-ish or so people). The last few months of Warhammer took a particularly heavy toll on our small community, and many people stopped attending events altogether.



    With the coming of the 9th age, a lot of casual players were reluctant to join the bandwagon, but nevertheless the first T9A tournament gathered around 30 people and was deemed a success, based on the waning number of players of the late 8th edition period. So imagine my surprise when I learned that the semi-annual tournament of the Ebon Tower (Tour d’Ebène, Ath), their first in T9A format, sold out so fast that the organizers had to find a way to up the places available to 40 from the original 30 and still had to refuse 12 players from participating!


    What is even better in my opinion is that a certain number of these gamers are returning after a long break during the 8th edition, because they find T9A –and I quote- “more fun”. A second interesting part is that T9A has managed to bring together the Walloon and the Flemish players, with gamers travelling more than an hour (that’s like, going to the edge of the known world for Belgians) to participate!


    As for me, I was looking forward to this 3-game event as it would be the first time in 2 months that I’d get my Sylvans out of their army case!


    Here is the list that I took:

    SmithF wrote:

    HEROES:- Dryad Matriarch, Oaken Crown, Level 2 Wilderness
    - Thicket Shepherd BSB, Entwined Roots, Flaming Standard
    - Druid, Level 2 White Magic, Dispel Scroll

    CORE:
    - 28 Forest Guardians, Full Command, Gleaming Icon
    - 18 Sylvan Archers, Black Arrows, Standard, Musician
    - 8 Dryads, Skirmishers
    - 5 Heath Riders, Elven Cloaks, Standard

    SPECIAL:
    - 5 Thicket Beasts, Entwined Roots, Full Command
    - 5 Wild Huntsmen
    - 5 Wild Huntsmen
    - 3 Kestrel Knights, Light Armour, Shield, Skirmishers
    - 3 Kestrel Knights, Light Armour, Shield, Skirmishers
    - 7 Bladedancers
    - 7 Bladedancers

    RARE:

    - 10 Briar Maidens, Champion



    For this list, I wanted to minimize the character cost so that I’d be able to get as many combat units as possible. In the end, I opted for the 415 point configuration that gave me access to a sturdy BSB, 6 levels of magic and a dispel scroll.

    As for the rest of the list, it was built with secondary objectives in mind: most of the combat units are expendable, hopefully helping keep the scoring units alive while killing the opponent’s scorers. I ended up with a hybrid MSU fighting force aided by 2 anvils (Forest Guard and Thicket Beasts).


    Having 13 drops means that I can outdeploy my opponents even if they do not opt for a full army drop, and this is essential when it comes to playing MSU. The combination of White and Wilderness magic has worked well for me before, offering a mix of decent offensive spells and spells to help out in combat.


    Concerning the field, all of the armies except for Infernal Dwarves were represented, while the most popular ones were the Orcs and Goblins, the Warriors of the Dark Gods and the Undying Dynasties.



    GAME 1 – Dread Elves


    For my first game I was paired against Jerome and his Dread Elves. He was a returning 7th edition/early 8th player, and this was his first tournament in a long time. The list he brought was well thought-out, with a balance of shooting, magic and close combat potential (from memory)


    Jerome wrote:

    LORDS/HEROES:Exalted Oracle on Pegasus, Level 4 Black Magic, Dispel Scroll, Talisman of Supreme Shielding
    Captain BSB, Halberd, stuff


    CORE:
    2 x 11 Repeater Auxiliaries, Standard, Musician
    3 x 5 Dark Riders, Shields


    SPECIAL:

    29 Dancers of Yema, Full Command, Stalker’s Standard
    30 Tower Guard, Full Command, Bloody Banner
    Altar of Yema

    RARE:

    3x Dread Reapers, Repeating Shot

    The deployment we got was diagonal, with the secondary objective of holding the centre. We exchanged deployments for a while, up until my opponent placed his Dancers of Yema, giving away his battle plan: shoot at me while I advanced, mop up with the big blocks.


    With that in mind, I opted for a full drop and got a +4 to the roll to start, securing the first turn.



    *Magic: Black 0,1,5,6 for Exalted oracle, Wilderness 0,1 for Matriarch, White 0,5 for Druid



    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves


    Securing the hill near the middle was vital for my battleplan to work: it would be a natural speedbump for the initiative 6 big blocks, provide with cover against half the enemy shooting and force the Dread Elves to be exposed to missile fire and potential charges if they wanted to… [Read More]