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    Greetings once more, dear reader!


    I promised a proper ending for the Ocho series, so I guess that even a very late article will do! When I last updated this blog we were in the process of fighting an against-the-odds battle versus none other than the Danish team, boasting a roster of ETC veterans and tournament winners. As mentioned before, the team went into the “get creative” mode, an approach that could also be translated into “anything can happen”. And happen it did: right after I finished my game, we sat on a 51-49 score with three games remaining.


    Our Dread Elves (chariot-star list) faced a double Duke KoE army and won 13-7 in a bloody game that saw the elves bounce off armour everywhere, but still manage to give as good as they got, on top of scoring the objective. We were ahead: Undying Dynasties then faced an aggressive flying Vampire Covenant army, and proceeded to kill vampire after vampire in a mix of shooting, magic, and exploding caskets. We learned that a charging Colossus is more than a match for 40 Ghouls and that if you throw enough s3 arrows at a Shrieking Horror it will eventually curl up and die (again). A 16-4 win brought us at the 80-point mark, with a single game to go. No way we’d get beaten now, so our Saurian Ancients player could play without any pressure, knowing he’d have to fight Wilhelm of RT and ETC fame. SA clashed with Warriors of the Dark Gods, in a game that was too weird to watch and could have gone wrong numerous times. Only it didn’t: @bolard stuck to his guns and managed an impressive 18-2 win, bringing the round to an unbelievable 98-62 win!


    So when the smoke cleared we had won two rounds convincingly, suffered a near-cap defeat at the hands of the French, and fought three draw-ish rounds. As is the case in team tournaments, consistency is key: the 500 points we were able to score were just enough to push us past teams such as England, Canada and Australia for a final 8th place out of 30!

    The undisputed champions of the Ocho were the Swiss, last year’s Bronze medalists: they bested the Spanish, the French, the English and then capped our host, team USA, to get the first place. The only ones that were able to keep the well-oiled swiss clock in control were their Italian neighbors, who came second after having to fight behemoths such as Russia, Switzerland and Germany; it turns out pizza and pasta IS the breakfast of champions! Well done lads! The podium was completed by team Russia, to nobody’s surprise; Russians know their T9A, and are always top3 contenders. One can only hope to achieve their level of consistency, one day…


    I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the performance of our hosts, the amiable Team USA: they not only opened their Discord server to the international community and made the international UB tournaments a reality, but spent a great deal of time on the top tables, only to be toppled down in the end by the Swiss. Their final placing was 5th, commendable although I can understand their disappointment for not bringing the trophy home. A huge thanks to them, and to the tournament organizer, @Sergrum for making this 200+ player, 6-week event a success! Alex runs a Youtube channel where he discusses tactics and muses on about Warriors of the Dark Gods, Tactics and chicken wings. I’d listen to him if I were you, because not only is he a very competent general, but his Discord/Messenger contact list is littered with past and present tournament winners; if you consistently win tournaments and there’s a nugget of T9A wisdom in your head, chances are that Sergrum has managed to squeeze it out of you in after-midnight talks. So when he rambles on while munching on fried bird extremities, you should listen.


    To get back to Team Belgium, we were very happy with the final result: we entered the event with several off-the-wall lists, and still managed to finish in a respectable position. That’s a testament to the hard work that my fellow team members have put into the preparation for this year’s (cancelled) ETC, and a bright beacon for the years to come. So kudos to them, and a particular shout-out to @Arthur for his impressive 92/120 points that put him just shy of the top10 scorer list for the tournament.


    But what about the Beasts? I’d say that for an “outdated book” they did quite well: team tournament considerations notwithstanding , the Beast Herds were only barely knocked off the top position for average score! With 6 players representing them , and zero “Spanish lists” to be found, I take this as a positive sign for the beasts as a whole: perhaps more generals can be persuaded to take a walk on the wild side.


    Regarding the SmithF beasts in particular… that’s a more complex question: the list did well overall, ending up with 85 points. But it did nothing to help the pairings for our team, meaning that it was difficult to try and get into a good game: So the positive thing is possibly that the beasts held their own in what I considered… [Read More]
  • New

    Warning - Kev's technical Gremlins have rendered his mic super quiet - for this we apologise, a new mic is on it's way...

    The lads are joined by Jack Chapman from the Thundercocks Podcast to preview the UK and Rep of Ireland's First UB Ranking Tournament - The Lockdown Brawl. Selected lists and first round prediction goodness is joyously spread before like some sort of T9a Smorgasbord, much of which is ill informed gibberish but fun none-the -less.

    The guys also cover Jack's Thunderknock(out) UB tournament whilst Matt tries to recall his Shakespeare from many, many years ago. Jack derails the Paired Weapons podcast to talk about his HBE list all the while Kev tries to make himself heard with his dodgy mic. Just as well he couldn't get a word in edge-ways!

    Enjoy!

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    Matt and Kev bring you another all-action pod covering the thrills and spills of the group stages in CC2. Can Matt get the Feldraks going? Can Kev rediscover the KOE after his Beast Herd escapades? All is revealed in the latest ear candy from the Paired Weapons Podcast.

    In other news the lads both put new microphones on their birthday lists as the sound-gremlins reemerge for which they are terribly sorry and hope it doesn't spoil your fun! Matt apologises for a mistake no one's noticed and Kev signs up for the Thundercocks Knock Out tournament with a surprising list...

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  • With the Celtic Cup 2 now fully underway the lads attempt to review all 16 armies in an hour, one from each faction in the Ninth Age. Having given themselves 60 minutes they then waste a bunch of time talking about other things such as book recommendations (Matt gets the author's name wrong), painting updates and Kev's unwarranted and irrational prejudice against bases.

    If you want to have a look at the lists then here they are in all their glory!

    docs.google.com/document/d/12wJRo…/edit?usp=sharing

    In other news Matt paints lots of walls and Kev is unfaithful to the Paired Weapons Podcast and listens to another pod, whose name we shall not deign to mention…

    [Read More]
  • Jack is joined by Hristo and Colin to discuss how to go about doing predictions and pairing for team tournaments.

    Link Dump
    Outro: Throne - Bring Me the Horizon

    Contact us
    Email: thundercockpodcast@gmail.com
    Twitter: @TheThundercocks
    Forum: @Gelmarus

    The Show!
    iTunes: itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/th…po…d1059243331?mt=2

    soundcloud.com/jack-chapman-36…edictions-for-team-events [Read More]
  • What can one say for the Danish? When it comes to the international wargaming scene, they are up there with the Polish, Italians and the Spanish: they’ve been around since the beginning of the international team tournaments in the legacy game, they are one of a handful teams to have won the coveted ETC gold, and they count among their ranks many wargaming veterans. In recent years we’ve had the pleasure of facing them twice, the last time in 2018 in a very tight round that saw the Belgian team snatch victory from the jaws of defeat: that year that victory earned us the 4th spot, and allowed us to jump ahead of the Danish. But the Top 5 is where the Danes naturally reside, as they’ve proven time and time again.

    So if anyone was looking forward to an easy round for the closing of the tournament, he’d be very disappointed! Their lists were all very well built, with a clear monster-mash orientation that made us a bit nervous. It was no surprise that our pairing matrix ended up looking like a sunset: loads of oranges and reds everywhere. After the pairing process was done, we ended up with a projected score that was close to the 60-point cap; that wouldn’t do, clearly. We’ve faced this problem before in team tournaments: that’s where our captain says “get creative”. By that he means trying to win games that you would normally be struggling to not lose by much. I have to say that I enjoy this mode, because it’s very close to my usual approach; I’d never go into a game trying to not lose, but rather consider the enemy army as a puzzle or challenge that I have to overcome. For this round my puzzle would be Jens’ @Myggen88 Sylvan Elves.


    Myggen88 wrote:


    So that’s practically one bow short of the maximum amount of bows one can field in a Sylvan Elf army, accompanied by a couple of Treefathers, some scorers and Druidism magic to keep these archers operational for as long as possible.
    The army is also deceptively hard to crack for Beasts, because despite their squishy nature the elite archers have fangs: every skirmishing unit can pump out around 15 high-quality attacks that almost hit automatically, which is kind of the perfect counter for my MSU elements.

    So I’d have to (you guessed it) get creative. First order of business was to stack the odds in my favor for the one thing that I could control: the secondary objective. That was Secure Target for this round, and this meant that at least I’d get to decide in part where the action would happen. This is really welcome when fighting against such a maneuverable enemy that has no intention of engaging unless it’s on their own terms. Our deployment would be Counterthrust, which again helped by ensuring that I’d know the positioning of the enemy scorers prior to deploying mine. I won the roll for sides and picked the side with the hill: while it had less cover, it also meant that my opponent wouldn’t be able to dance around the hill, denying me crucial charges on the turn that I finally got close enough to his squishy elves. I also placed my objective marker to the top left, thus forcing the SE to commit at least some forces into that corner, and thus allowing some of my units to take advantage of the cover of the impassable.

    For magic we both chose Master of Earth, Stoneskin and Summer Growth, with the only difference being that I opted for Healing Waters for my last spell whereas my opponent picked Entwining Roots.

    When fighting Sylvans with such ranged potential and 360 degree movement, it is important to somehow control the flow of the battle. In my case, that would happen by targeting the elements that were least maneuverable, namely the Dryads and the Treefathers. After exchanging the mandatory three deployments (for my opponent these proved to be the two treefathers and a unit of Sylvan Archers, my adversary dropped all that remained to get a chance at that opening volley, Dark Rain or not. That was a justified decision, because the alternative would be starting the game with the beasts too close to the SE lines for the elves’ comfort.

    I countered with a deployment that covered the entire zone, both to protect against scouts, but also to force the SE to spread out as well or risk a mid-game enveloping maneuver. This time the Minotaurs decided to forego their usual conga formation… [Read More]
  • Every team in sports has a “rivalry” with someone, for reasons usually nobody understands: Bulls vs Pistons, Manchester United vs Liverpool, Real Madrid vs Barcelona, Red Sox vs Yankees (I admit that I googled that). It turns out the Belgians also have this, with no other than our neighbors: yes, we and the friendly Dutch have had many a fight in T9A and before that, quite often with a pint of good old beer (and not the piss that is Heineken). I remember when I got recruited in the team back in 2016, and asked what our goals were for the year, our then-captain said without hesitating: “we need to beat the Dutch”.

    Now, reader, don’t criticize us just yet: it’s not that we dislike our border friends, nor that we are threatened by their abnormal height or the fact that they combine savory pancakes with syrup. Nor that they call it Stroop instead of syrup, like a normal person would. It’s just good to have something of a healthy competition. Back in the Warhammer days, the Dutch would come across the border and “healthy competition” the poor Belgian scene, steal their pride and their prizes along with it. Long before I even stepped my foot in the land of chocolate, compromise and overall political indifference (who else could go on without a government for 2 years??), Belgian wargamers devised a plan called “soft scores” to keep the Dutch away. Then the Dutch went ahead and became some of the best painters in Europe, just to spite their neighbors. I could go on, but it should be clear to you by now that we’re in the right and they are in the wrong and that we should win for reasons.

    Or at least that’s how my then captain explained it to me. So when we got paired against the Dutch for our game 5, it suddenly became clear that our objective for the tournament had changed: we just couldn’t lose against the Dutch.

    My opponent, Niek, @Wurzaq was an embodiment of all the virtues that spite the Belgians: super-nice and fun to play against, was Dutch and probably drank Heineken and mispronounced the word “syrup”. That’s all I needed to know, and reason enough to do battle with imaginary toy soldiers!
    It was a good thing that the objective for the round was King of the Hill, but a bit worse that my enemy was bringing more speed, better armour and better fighting characters than me!

    Wurzaq wrote:




    So reading the list I noticed something that gave me a glimmer of hope: my adversary had skimped on the command model options, so as to get more models in his list! While I’m not the one to talk about ignoring command models, it is slightly riskier for a big lance of knights with a huge footprint, compared to a small minotaur conga. So going back to my Sylvan Elf roots, I decided that the way to win this was by taking advantage of the superior maneuverability of my army, or at least part of it: all of the centaurs would begin the game sober, giving me three vanguarding units that could be either used as late-game redirectors or simply threaten the knight busses with flank charges and the such.

    I also resolved to make King of the Hill harder for my the knights by splitting the terrain pieces diagonally. With fewer units than me and with no possibility for sneaky swift reforms, I was confident that at the very least I could keep the knights away from my terrain piece or land a foot into theirs.

    For spells, the Damsel got Awaken the Beast, Swarm of Insects, Totemic Summon and Break the Spirit, while the Soothsayer went with Healing Waters, Entwining Roots, Summer Regrowth and Stoneskin.

    We alternated deployments (it was Frontline Clash) all the way till the end, with me keeping my big blocks for until after the KoE had dropped their entire force. My opponent went for the side with the hill, and used his lances to make sure that I wouldn’t be able to infiltrate my vanguarding centaurs past his arc of sight if I got first turn. This left him with a weighed left flank, with only a single unit of aspirants threatening to move past my forces and cheekily score the objective. To counter this, I placed my GW centaurs on the right hand side of the board: they’d have to first deal with the aspirants, then move back towards the center where the action would happen. The rest of my army went across from the knights,… [Read More]
  • So moving past the halftime of the Ocho, we’d face Guardia Varega, a Spanish team comprised of seasoned tournament players. My opponent for the round would be Gonzalo @gundizalbo , of former Balance Team glory, and of ETC Australia fame. His build of Saurian Ancients seems to have defined the SA meta Down Under, and he’s had a great run with it in the past years’ ETCs.


    To me, this was a very nostalgic kind of list, taking me back to the first games of 5th edition when all I had was a bunch of skinks with bows, a big block of monopose Saurus Warriors and my precious Slann mage-priest carried to battle inside a huge Temple Guard unit. Only difference is that back then my Temple guard used to be called in jest “Proxy Guard” (because what student had enough $$ to buy a full pewter unit using blisters of 2 figurines!), and they tended to ran away from Fear-causing skeletons. Ah, the joys of mid-hammer!


    So taking a closer look, the list has a very impressive magic phase, with loads of spells that are easily cast on 2-dice with a +2 to cast bonus. It also has some ranged support as well as the dreaded Ramphodons to hunt my squishy centaurs. Nevertheless, I had this down as a good game, possibly because of the Breakthrough Scenario: the odds of Beast Herds losing Breakthrough are low, unless you really mess things up. So first order of business was to make sure I wouldn’t mess up that badly!


    Our deployment was Refused Flank. I had the choice of the side, and decided to deny the hill to the saurus blocks: they’d be hard to shift from there. Gonzalo seized the initiative and went for a drop for the first turn. That in turn meant that I could counterdeploy and the first thing to do was make sure that the Ramphodons couldn’t fly behind my lines.


    We ended up with weighed flanks for me, my big blocks facing each a unit of ramphodons and a unit of Caimans. In the center, I kept as many chaff-like units, to try and block the saurian infantry from pushing outwards and crushing my big blocks while the Ramphodons and Caimans kept them occupied. The Lance centaurs were drunk, and the big unit sober.




    For magic, the Skink Priest picked Awaken the Beast and Insect Swarm, while the Quatl went with Fireball, Healing Waters, Quickilver Lash, Spectral Blades, Know thy Enemy and Spark of Life. My soothsayer opted for Healing Waters, Master of Earth, Stoneskin and Summer Growth.The gargoyles found a cozy place 18” away from all enemies behind their lines and scouted there. The Ramphodons unsurprisingly marked my big centaurs and the wildhorns. The Chameleons scouted inside the forest opposite my wildhorns, and the battle horns were sounded!



    TURN 1 – Saurian Ancients


    First turn movement was cautious from the SA: the ramphodons found a spot out of the wildhorn’s arc of sight to the right, while the chameleons and spearbacks moved up to pepper the centaurs with arrows. In the middle the Warriors and Temple Guard both moved up, while the ramphodons to the left backed away from my centaurs.

    In magic I witnessed first-hand the effectiveness of the SA magic phase, even on the card “1”. Swarm of Insects and Spark of creation both went off, putting two wounds to my minotaurs to the left and killing a feral hound respectively. Shooting was greatly hampered by the Dark Rain, still a Centaur died to poisoned blowpipe shots to the right, and two feral hounds died to the skink chief’s magical bow: they passed their leadership with the general’s help.




    TURN 1 – Beast Herds


    The fact that my feral hounds were still alive enabled me to make a push for the flanks: the left centaurs spotted the Ramphodons 19” away and declared that long charge, making it in. The rightmost centaurs fell upon the chameleons, since the Saurians had truly trapped them: I figured that taking the 160 points of the chameleons would be a fair trade!


    Gaining momentum from the successful centaur charge to the left, the Centaurs + BSB were now able to push forward aggressively, past the Saurian Warriorsarc of sight and in front of the Caimans, hoping to collapse that flank on the following turn. The Feral Hounds jumped in front of the Temple Guard to keep them occupied while the wildhorns and gargoyles both… [Read More]
  • Boom! We're back!

    Rumours of our demise are shown to have been much exaggerated as the Podcasting Paired Weapons burst back into the podoshpere and down your ear holes with Episode 20! Broadcast directly from Matt's new house (which nearly killed him and others moving into)Kev graces Matt with his presence and the lads record Face to Face, in a truly weird experience for all concerned.
    Covering the Final of Celtic Cup 1 and the newly set up Celtic Cup 2 (The Revenge of the Fras)the lads both look backwards and forwards to more UB Tournaments whilst pondering many-a-thing.In other news Matt and Kev battle it out for Paired Weapons supremacy on the UB field, Kev sells some things on eBay, Matt tells tales of fisticuffs and then gets the year of the American Revolution wrong by nearly 20 years! At least he got the right Century!

    [Read More]

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