Articles by Vespacian 36

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  • As an extra treat for fans of the blog, Chihammer and I got a practice game in the night before Masters with our lists and he’s made a video bat rep out of it, check it out here:

    Now onto game 3...For those who have been following the blog for a while, Micah delivered me a disappointing loss in Infernal Zoo 2 years ago, so I was looking forward to some payback, he brought:

    Scourge of Wrath (General): Eternal Sword, Black Orb, Shackles of Reality
    Harbinger of Change: Disk, Witchcraft Apprentice, Fates Judgment Bound, Something like a Sceptre of Power

    6 Plague Beasts
    25ish Slaughterers, FC- Rending Banner
    2x10 Slaughterers, Onslaught
    3 Sky Serpents
    2x6 Furies of Wrath
    3 Crushers
    2x2 Nurglings

    Sea Dragon Host:
    High Prince on a Griffon (General)- Shield, Dragon Armor- Demon Hunters, Diadem of Protection, Lance- Nova Flare
    Order of the Fiery Heart Adept on a Young Dragon(Pyro)- Shield, Heavy Armor- Basalt Infusion, Talisman of Shielding
    Master of the Canreig Tower (BSB)- Shield, Heavy Armor, Void Talisman

    24x Spears, Champ/Std- Relentless
    24x Spears, Champ/Std- Relentless
    2x5 Elein Reavers

    20 Flame Wardens FC- Rending
    5 Ryma Knights
    2x5 Queens Guard
    2 SGRs

    Thoughts on the match:
    Damn Scourge of Wrath…even with Black Orb/Shackles I wish I had Divination. However, my fire base with flaming swords has a very good shot at downing him.
    The fliers would be really key to my strategy in this game as the pyro should be good picking up his little units as well and the Nova Lance could really be impactful.

    Deployment/Objective: Marching Columns and Hold the Center
    I didn’t love hold the center in this match up as the plague beasts and big slaughterer block were more than a match for any of my units 1-1.
    I dropped for first turn because I wanted to threaten the objective and let my shooting have an impact, there was a large hill in my opponents deployment zone so I was happy to let him hide his Scourge there all game if he wanted to

    I dropped away from the hill with my infantry units set up centrally with the green spears guarding my left flank. My fire base/fliers were centrally located to stay flexible and the Rymas were set to zone units that came out from around the hill.
    He set up his Scourge, crushers, harbinger and sky serpents around the hill with his big infantry blocks staring down the center objective

    Turns 1:
    I closed on the objective and moved my Rymas up a bit on my right to threaten all his arcs around the hill, as well as sending the Griff Prince up my left flank, I managed to pull a couple of slaughterers off of the big unit with my shooting

    With his advance on my right threatened he brought his Scourge out to play and moved up his units sheltering around the Scourge

    Turns 2:
    I swung my griff prince around on my left and adjusted the infantry units around while backing the Rymas off from the Scourge. If he wanted to waste Turns 2 and 3 catching them and tying up his advance I was comfortable with that trade off. I repositioned my fire base to shoot at the Scourge.

    I managed bubble flaming swords with the dragon mage covering half my fire base and unloaded on the Scourge. I did 3 wounds (about average) and my opponent saved 2 with his - or 6+/5++...

    In his turn Micah charged the Ryma knights with the Scourge who fled and outdistanced the beast. He brings his furies and sky serpents around on my far right flank planning an end run on my shooting base.

    Turn 3:
    I rally the Rymas and continue to jockey for position in the center with my Griff Prince and infantry units. The dragon mage repositions to threaten the center but cover my entire fire base with flaming swords.
    I take a risk and 5 dice flaming swords bubble and my opponent fails to stop it…
    My fire base unloads on the Scourge again, this time half of it was within short range and all of it was covered with flaming swords. I did 7 wounds and my opponent saved 6 of them with a - or 6+/5++…

    With an extremely healthy Scourge and clear line of sight into my back lines Micah made a couple of mistakes (IMO) in this movement phase and moved his plague toads up to take the objective and charged his Scourge into my Ryma Knights
    His Slaughterers moved up to threaten counter charges if I charged the plague beasts and his fast movers closed in on my fire base. They would be able to charge next turn. He goes up one on the objective.
    The Ryma Knights die.

    Turns 4:
    I was able to charge the plague beasts in the front with the Wardens/Dragon Mage and in the flank with the Griff Prince. I did the quick math on this and on average, with no spell support and no lethal strikes from the prince, I pop the unit. I chaff his slaughterers with my reavers on the left.

    In the magic phase, I made a minor mistake here, I should have split my dice between bubble flaming swords and boosted pyro flow. Instead I split between bubble flaming swords and the hereditary. He stopped flaming swords.
    So, I underperform, and he overperforms, I don’t pop… [Read More]
  • Game 2: Ben Kerr’s Dread Elves

    So after a disappointing loss I was facing Ben in Round 2 with an interesting dread elf list:

    Oracle Master (General)- Cosmology, Magical Heirloom
    Cult Priest (BSB)- 2+, Moraec’s Reaping, Divine Altar
    Assassin- Killy Stuff

    2x 25ish Dread Legionnaires, FC-Rending
    10 Repeater Crossbows, Std- Academy Banner

    2 Krakens
    28 Tower Guard, FC- Some Killy Banner
    5 Yema Acolytes w Champ

    For convenience, The Sea Dragon Host:
    High Prince on a Griffon (General)- Shield, Dragon Armor- Demon Hunters, Diadem of Protection, Lance- Nova Flare
    Order of the Fiery Heart Adept on a Young Dragon(Pyro)- Shield, Heavy Armor- Basalt Infusion, Talisman of Shielding
    Master of the Canreig Tower (BSB)- Shield, Heavy Armor, Void Talisman

    24x Spears, Champ/Std- Relentless
    24x Spears, Champ/Std- Relentless
    2x5 Elein Reavers

    20 Flame Wardens FC- Rending
    5 Ryma Knights
    2x5 Queens Guard
    2 SGRs

    Thoughts on the Matchup:

    I really liked this match up, he was pretty slow moving and had virtually no shooting. Additionally, his magic doesn’t really threaten the fliers and pyro was going to have a field day.
    One risk, was that we had capture the flags and my QG units are a real liability in that mission.

    Deployment/Objective: Frontline Clash/Capture the Flags
    He chose sides and I dropped everything for first turn
    A brief apology for the lack of pictures

    Turns 1-3:

    Pic after my turn 1 move

    I spent the first 3 turns getting my dragon mage/Ryma around his left flank (my right) and my griffon prince around his right flank (my left) and taking off his acolytes/repeater crossbows.

    Unfortunately for Ben with these hard hitters in his flank his spear units were really not in a good place and he’d been quite cautious with his heavy hitters as he was worried about the potential multi-charges

    Turns 4-6:

    The dragon mage and Ryma Knights combined with the blue spears manage to take out the two spear blocks on my right.

    Despite trying all game, Ben failed to take off either QG unit, between bad casting/wounding rolls and my hereditary he just couldn’t get wounds through.
    Ben had some bad luck he really didn’t need when 4 single bolts from by bolt throwers all hit (admittedly in half range) all wounded and he failed all his ward saves to lose the altar BSB in Turn 5.

    I had some bad luck to help ben out and my green spears on my left failed a terror check from a kraken charge and fled off the board, then the Flame Wardens counter charge failed to kill the kraken in 3 rounds of combat (it had only 4 wounds left at the beginning of combat, so this should have happened).

    Results/Thoughts on the Game:

    Ben’s tower guard and krakens were untouched, which was a lot of points, but he’d only managed to get one spear unit and one reaver unit so I was up big with the objective for a 17-3 for the Sea Dragon Host.

    Getting the altar was really lucky and some better rolls from Ben could have seen a tie on the objective if he’d grabbed a QG unit. But ultimately, I think this was a bad match up for Ben. This was the kind of win I needed to put me back into the running and I found myself facing off against a familiar face who had travelled out from Cali with me… [Read More]
  • Intro:
    So I was fortunate enough to get an invite to the North American masters based on my player ranking, I was ranked 11thoverall mainly on the strength of my performance at Buckeye and Infernal Zoo where I came in tied for 7th/96 and 4th/36 respectively.
    I was excited to bring the Sea Dragon host to such a prestigious battleground and face some great opponents, unfortunately, the Masters decided to use 2.05 and due to the timing of the release with the holidays and other commitments I ended up submitting a list I had never played before (gasp!). Due to this I took something that was relatively similar to my Buckeye list but tried to address the gaps that list had and took some advantage of the recent points drops from 2.05, here’s what I ended up with:

    The Sea Dragon Host:
    High Prince on a Griffon (General)- Shield, Dragon Armor- Demon Hunters, Diadem of Protection, Lance- Nova Flare
    Order of the Fiery Heart Adept on a Young Dragon(Pyro)- Shield, Heavy Armor- Basalt Infusion, Talisman of Shielding
    Master of the Canreig Tower (BSB)- Shield, Heavy Armor, Void Talisman

    24x Spears, Champ/Std- Relentless
    24x Spears, Champ/Std- Relentless
    2x5 Elein Reavers

    20 Flame Wardens FC- Rending
    5 Ryma Knights
    2x5 Queens Guard
    2 SGRs

    Thoughts on the list’s playstyle:
    I’ll do an AAR once I finish the bat reps, but a quick thought on what I was going for here. I really wanted to increase my overall shooting output from Buckeye and I needed to have better answers for demon legions, as I knew there’d be at least 4 at the tourney.

    So, pyro and the nova lance were my answers for demons, the 2x5 QG and 2 SGRs vs 3 SGRs make a more flexible shooting phase that can be more mobile and puts out more damage against low res/armor targets.

    It also is fairly mobile as most of the infantry have relentless company and the fliers and Knights are great for zoning and flanks.
    Meta: Important to talk about the meta at this tourney, there ended up being 28 (originally planned to be 32, but some last minute drops due to travel issues). See below:
    VS, DL: 4
    O&G, HBE: 3
    UD, OK, DE, SE, SA: 2
    VC, DH, BH, EoS: 1
    0 KoE, WotDG, ID

    I do think that the changes I made to my list help stabilize the DL/VS match up, but I still think they are not great. The VS list with vermin demon, double dreadmill, plague pendulum deathstar, lightning rod my list just really struggles with. Really I think any HBE list that has any significant points spent in fliers can only hope for a small win at best against this build and probably averages a medium loss. Of course, all 4 of the VS players took very slight variations of this exact list. My pairings ended up being almost a perfect representation of the spread and I was happy to see no ID.
    So without further adieu, let’s get onto Game 1…

    Game 1: vs Chris Mince’s Vampire Counts

    So, randomly paired against the top ranked player in the country and long running Team USA ETC captain. I had looked at his list quite a bit and I wasn’t too worried about the match up, he had:

    Vampire Count (general): Wizard Master- Occultism, Night’s Crown, Destiny’s Call, Halberd- Blessed Inscriptions
    Wight King (BSB): 1+ Rerollable, Hero’s Heart
    Necromancer: Wizard Master- Evocation, Necromantic Staff

    40ish Skellies, Sword and Board, FC- Flaming Std
    35ish Zombies
    20ish Zombies

    3 Ghasts
    6 Vargheists- Champ
    5 Spectral Hunters
    4 Spirit Hosts
    Dark Coach- Extended Chassis
    8 Dire Wolves

    Thoughts on the Match Up:
    There’s pros and cons here, he has a ton of snipe spells, basically 4 that I care about to varying degrees, in order from caring most to least (Marked for Doom, Touch of the Reaper, Breath of Corruption, Hasten the Hour) which will really keep my fliers honest.
    But he’s also generally fairly slow with his key damage dealer a move 4 infantry model and pyro really helps with the ethereal and vargheist match up.
    Also, our mission was breakthrough and the volume of scoring combined with ravens wing make my list a threat in that objective.
    My battle plan was to avoid his Vampire Count and Skellie block and try to pick up the ethereals and Vargheists and breakthrough shooting for a 10-13 hopefully (I think winning big is hard bc I don’t have a good way to get the Vampire) and I’d have to feed him some things to hold him back. Let’s see how it goes.

    Dawn Assault/Breakthrough
    He won the roll to choose sides and took the side with the big hill (mainly to keep my shooting base off of it I believe) and chose the side that would prevent me from deploying behind a piece of impassable
    We alternated for a few and then he dropped everything for first turn.

    Spell Selection:
    Chris' spells were fairly predictable, see pic below:

    I took:
    Flaming Swords, Pyro Flow
    Ravenswing, Awaken the Beast, Lash

    Turns 1-3:
    He advances full steam ahead with his infantry, coach and BSB in the center and on my right and he keeps the Vargheists hovering around the hill.

    After my turn 1 movement

    I manage to take… [Read More]
  • So after a long day of gaming, I got home and got a good night’s sleep and woke up feeling even worse. I actually tried to see if the TO could find a ringer, but none was forthcoming so I dragged myself to the venue and pumped myself full of a sufficient amount of drugs and caffeine to operate.

    This team was full of top caliber players and were just off a win against the team which had capped us in Round 1, so we knew we were up for a tough round. I didn’t have two reds so we put me up first and I got the Sylvan and Dread Elves. My team mate wanted the game against the SE player so I took the Dread Elves for the team.

    Josh Stuart’s Dread Elves:
    So another Dread Elf (for those counting that’s 5 DE out of my last 7 GT games). I actually liked the match ups here

    Cult Priest, BSB on Divine Altar, Shield
    Dread Prince, General, Raptor, HA- Alchemist Alloy, Paired Weapons- Heros Heart, Lucky Charm, Midnight Cloak
    Oracle, Cosmology Master, Amulet of Spite

    31 Legionnaires, Spears, FC- Academy Banner
    2x15 Legionnaires, Spears, Champ/Std- Academy Banner

    12 Dread Knights, FC- Banner of Blood
    5 Dark Acolytes, Champ
    5 Dark Acolytes
    5 Harpies
    2x Dread Reapers

    Sea Dragon Host (for convenience):

    Thoughts on the match up:
    I really liked the acolytes and dread knights as targets for my magic and Ryma Knights respectively.
    The Wardens really swing the infantry match ups as they strike simo on 2s/3s, as long as they don’t have to deal with protracted combats with the altar.

    We got spoils of war and attacker defender. I believe I chose sides and big center, which allowed him to drop everything for first turn.

    I ended up deploying symmetrically with Evana on the left and Breag on the right. My infantry blocks squared off against his.

    …Evana knew that the captives had been left as bait. Each of them hung from the stakes limply, she couldn’t even tell if they were alive. She knew each of them by name which made the choice she was about to make even more difficult.

    The elf staked on their right flank, he bore the message she’d been sent to retrieve. With a fresh host of her dread cousins undoubtedly hidden within the town ahead she knew she would have to prioritize the messenger for rescue.

    To make good on her feint, she herself led the assault on the left flank, hopeful her deadly magics and household cavalry could delay the cream of the dread cavalry while Breag led the right flank’s true rescue mission. As Nellenor took to the skies and she gathered her magics she regretted the tactical constraints this group venture had placed upon her decisions…

    I organize a trap on the left with my reavers, hoping to lure the raptor knights into a multi-charge

    Ryma knight charge depletes the raptors, but loses to the raptor prince’s counter charge

    Nellenor back-winged and made for their infantry lines, a frustrated bellow erupting from her maw. Evana couldn’t help but agree with her mount’s assessment. Their glorious assault on the left had failed to break their dread cousins and her magic had been ineffective in ridding them of the cult riders.

    Fortunately, her ruse had worked and her remaining household cavalry had retrieved the messenger and made good their escape. Her brothers Wardens covered their escape as they withdrew in good order. She hated herself for leaving the remaining captives to their fate, but her force and the news it carried were needed elsewhere…

    Results and Thoughts on the Game:
    By the end my opponent had a minor points advantage for a 12-8 turning into a 15-5 due to objective.

    Ultimately, my gamble on the left didn’t pay off. I’d hoped to break the raptor knights and scurry off with that objective token. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to break his rank and he broke mine meaning he held. I’d heavily debated bringing my griffon into that combat, as I almost certainly break them. However, the counter charge from the dread prince was too risky. Looking back, I think I should have taken this risk as it might have won me the objective.

    We lost this round, but did not get capped, preventing our opponents from winning overall.

    I’m looking forward to a rematch against Josh in the future.

    With that my Pacific Rim experience came to an end. The opponents for the next round happened to have had a drop out and the TO offered to let me go home. Which I gladly accepted.

    Overall Standings/Thoughts:
    I believe we came in 3rdor 4thout of 10 teams, a fairly respectable showing. Getting capped in round 1 really hurt our chances as we actually performed fairly well in Rounds 2-4.

    If I had it all to do over again, I think our list building plan was rubbish. Using HBE as a ‘shield’ list is a misuse and in some cases allowed our opponents to present obvious choices to my pairing. Additionally, our WoDG build had so many red match ups (VS, DE, DH) that we spent too much energy trying to protect his match ups rather than engineer positive ones for our… [Read More]
  • So it’s been a couple of months since this tournament and I already have bat reps stacked up for the US Masters event so I’m going to push out bat reps 3 and 4 pretty quickly here from Pacific Rim tournament.

    Well start out with game 3 and we were up against the team who flew out from Colorado. There was really only one red match up for me (Karen’s Dwarves) so we dropped me first and I got the dwarves and Mike’s VC.

    We clearly chose for me to play against Mike. I’d met Mike a number of times at tournaments over the years and am a huge fan of his channel, so I was really looking forward to this game.

    Thoughts on the match up:
    His list was primarily built around points preservation and trying to goad opponents into his big ghoulstar, so I knew big points would be difficult in this game. From his side of the table, my divination and quicksilver lash would prevent him getting too aggressive with the punchy quick moving elements of his list.

    Mike Lies Mountain Vampires:
    BotD Vampire Count on Court of the Damned, Plate- Legend of the Black King, Occultism Adept, GW, Necromantic Staff

    BotD Vampire Count on Skeletal Steed, Monster Hunter, Occultism Adept, Shield, Plate, GW, Lance, Eternity Gem, Night’s Crown

    39 Ghouls Champ
    40 Zombies, Std/Muso
    3 Bat Swarms
    8 Direwolves, Champ

    2x2 Great Bats
    7 Wraiths

    6 Vamp Knights, Bloodties, FC- Flaming Std

    Sea Dragon Host (for convenience)

    Objective: Breakthrough

    Deployment and Terrain:

    We both deployed fairly evenly spread across, with me concentrating my shooting around a central hill
    After a few cagey drops, I dropped everything for first turn wanting to zone his advance to prevent him from pushing into the mid table uncontested.

    …Evana knew to be cautious around the living dead. The teeming masses of uncoordinated zombies and ghouls before her may look like easy prey for her disciplined troops but the necromantic magics of the two vampires leading them could greatly enhance their combat prowess.

    Fortunately, today would not be won solely by strength of arms. The undead were merely in her way, she needed to slip her forces past them. With the bulk of the undead strength dedicated centrally she needed to distract the undead and slip her forces steadily around their flanks…

    …her plan was working perfectly, the bulk of her forces were holding the undead center and monsters at bay. In the meanwhile her right flank were using the cover of the tower to surround a unit of vampire cavalry and effect the breakthrough she needed.

    She and Breag had been keeping the vampire count on skeletal steed occupied while picking off the fast moving bats and other chaff that could slow her advance…

    …the leader of her Watchers signaled once and then withdrew a dozen paces as the horde of ghouls scrambled closer. As the first rank of the slavering cannibals hit the traps they simply disappeared, deep into pits or staked ditches, the second rank were shredded by a hail of razor thin metal disks.

    Watching his horde dissolve the vampire leading them from the gilded throne slitted eyes narrowed and the hulking varkolak surged forward unnatural will urging the monstrosity to break the line. Evans gathered her magics and unleashed a hail of energy bolts, dealing several mortal wounds and staggering the beast.

    As she bent her will against the vampire magic users, focusing all her energy at vaporizing the varkolak her brother gathered his magics to spirit the spears on her right flank through the vampire lines. Evana raised her left hand and signaled, she and Breag covered the infantry line as it shifted and moved past the encumbered ghouls and vampire. Songs would not be sung of this victory, but they’d achieved their goal and outmaneuvered the hordes of undead

    Results and Thoughts on the Game:
    This was a very close game, a 10-10 on points led to a 13-7 to me after objective.
    The team overall had a fairly good showing, with a big win and a couple of small wins, we weren’t quite at cap, but close.

    This game was a very tactical one, neither of us wanted to give the other the advantage and go down with a big loss. I think my opponent could have been more aggressive with his ghoul horde, while I should have been more aggressive on my right flank. Only a cheeky ravenswing in the bottom of the turn got me that objective.

    However, we only made it to turn 4, had we managed to play it out things would have been interesting as I’d pincered his cowboy/vamp knights with the frosty, sloop and blue spears and my green spears had almost chewed through the big zombie brick while his varko was nearly re-dead. I could have potentially cleaned up his entire army but the ghoul star if I’d had the remaining two turns.

    With that we were up against another team with ETC players and another familiar face from Southern California into round 4… [Read More]
  • Game 2: Alan and the Joes- Joe’s Dark Elves

    Coming into this pairing we felt pretty confident because Joel’s Demon Legions had two red match ups. As it happened, they dropped the demons, which allowed us to pair what we saw as two red match ups for it, EoS and me. He chose EoS, my pairing ended up being a random coin flip between Dread Elves and Warriors and I ended up with Dread Elves. **The TO has suggested that next year we would push for 5 person teams in order to experience the second round pairing mechanic**

    Joe’s DE list was strangely similar to the last one I faced, with a few important differences:

    Sea Dragon Host (for convenience):

    Thoughts on the Match up:
    It’s a lot of shooting and some significant counter-charge punchiness. He doesn’t have the fully tooled up Raptor Prince, but that brick of raptor knights hits harder than any one unit in my army.

    I was more mobile than him, so I planned to push up hard and hit his flanks. The Ryma Knights could take opportunistic charges and try to break up his lines while I tried to break through to the soft underbelly of auxiliaries.

    We had refused flank and capture the flags. His Auxiliaries would prove an Achilles heel in this scenario as I believe he typically uses them as chaff of last resort and doesn’t expect them to live through most battles.

    We alternated drops for some time until he dropped the raptor unit then I dropped everything for a +4 to go first and won it.

    …as much as she took satisfaction from thwarting the plots and schemes of their dread cousins, Evana had grown weary of seeing their dark pennants fluttering on the horizon. Having been driven back by the last group of dread elves at the border of their colony Evana had chosen another border crossing at a more isolated corner of the territory.

    This location had not been her first choice as it was defended by an established garrison from the nearby fortress, as her forces marched forward she could see the well established defensive lines the disciplined dark-armored warriors had set up. There was nothing for it, she needed to break through somewhere and at least this force did not benefit from the strong magical support of the cult priestesses and their acolytes.

    Knowing their mobility was their key advantage her forces stormed forward taking advantage of the crypt hill to their left to break the dread elves force’s ability to cover their angles of assault. Even as they prepared for the charge the first volley of defensive fire whistled out, picking a small handful of infantry off. Evana gave a small smile, her cousin’s healing magics easily repaired the ranged damage from arrows, small blessings…the crack-crack of two bolt throwers releasing their deadly payload drew her her head around.

    Breag had landed just at the edge of a plowed field and was readying for a leap into the air when the two bolts crashed home into his shoulder and chest. The needle fine edge of the bolts easily cut through the frost dragon’s mundane protection and its protective wards flared fitfully unable to stop the blows. With a great bellow Breag staggered backward with the force of the blows and trying to catch wing, failed as his injured shoulder cracked ominously. Unable to fly, the blue dragon gave a defiant grumble and awkwardly dragged itself back to the artillery emplacements. Well, thought Evana, looks like the right flank was going to need some help…

    …As Nellenor gave an ear-shattering roar she folded her wings and stooped into a dive, their target, the oracle’s bodyguard of auxiliaries had nowhere to run and braced themselves. As she drew her sword she heard the same ominous crack-crack again and whirled the words of her race’s hereditary protective magic spilling from her lips. Even as she felt the tingling embrace of the spell envelope her, the alarm which tightened her chest a moment ago changed to relief.

    The damned raptor unit had survived a flank charge from a unit of her household cavalry and had been enveloped by one of the units of her marines and had yet survived with one lone raptor knight and the two lordlings. Having just fought free of the remains of her troops the leaders of the garrison had turned to smash into the flank of her cousin’s bodyguard of Wardens…and that had been where their fight had ended. The two dread lords lay where they had been spitted, transfixed together by a single bolt with the signature royal blue fletching of the Sea Dragon Host.

    Evana turned back to her quarry, a smile growing on her face, it had been a hard fought battle, but the fear in the Oracle’s eyes as Nellenor slammed into her bodyguard confirmed what she knew already…the day was theirs…

    Results and Thoughts on the game:

    The early game was mixed, losing the frosty to single bolts on the bottom of one was a real impediment, with him alive I’m into the fire base one turn earlier on my right flank.

    However, my opponent gave me a charge into his [Read More]
  • I attended a 5 game 4 person team tournament the second weekend of December put on by a our very own clubmate Kenyon. This tournament was really well done, good venue, food provided on site, near to primary transit routes, great terrain/tables.

    I have to caveat my games by saying that I came down with a nasty cold which hit me the morning of Saturday and Day 1. I really hope I didn’t get anyone sick, because I ended up taking a day off work as a result. But I did get in 4 games, it worked out that our round 5 pairing had a player drop and I graciously accepted to bow out of the 5thround and go home and rest.

    This was my very first team tournament as well and so the list development/pairing logic part was new and very theoretical to me and my team mates. I will recap my thoughts on how we did, but in retrospect I think:
    • my role as the pseudo shield list (I was thrown out first in 3 of 4 rounds) was not a great strategy.
    • Additionally, one of my team mates picked up WotDG on our request to try to have a hitty option and ended up with so many red match ups we were constantly trying to protect him from

    All that being said, I had a blast playing some of the best players in the country including tournament winners and ETC players and I’m looking forward to getting some reports out there. Given how I was feeling the photos are sparse, so I’m going to try to pull off a more narrative feel with a before and after thoughts on each game. So watch this space, I’ll try to do them in batches if possible:

    Game 1: Team MFM- Jake MFM Himself

    Those who have followed the blog for a couple years will know that I’ve played Jake before at Adepticon in 2017 and that I ended with a disappointing loss. I was keen to take another crack at Jake and had scored the match as a yellow/green hoping for a draw/small win. We’d thrown me out first and it had been a choice between Jake and the VS player and I had that as a red match up, so Jake it was. Jake had the first of an eerie trend of Dread Elf lists:

    Sea Dragon Host:

    Thoughts on the Match up and My List:

    My list was built around two primary goals:
    • Take as many things that got point drops in .205 as possible
    • Play a shield list that stacks Divination/Frosty synergies to make it hard to get points off of

    My army and Jake’s are somewhat similar with three infantry blocks and a few big hitty pieces with moderate shooting. I liked the Wardens and Frosty a lot in this match up and wanted to get that combo charge off on one of his big spear blocks.

    I decided to drop everything for first turn as it was spoils of war scenario and I knew how I wanted my units lined up to contest the objectives.

    Jake counterdeployed and corner castled around a water feature and a piece of impassable. This essentially neutralized my shooting from having much of an impact on this game as one of my bolt throwers was out of range.

    Unto the Breach Dear Friends!

    Evana bent low over the green scales of her dragon’s neck as they cleared the top of the ruined tower and banked low into an attack run on the female gladiators. Joined by her elite house cavalry, the gleaming ranks of citizen spears and a sky sloop they massacred the elite warriors leaving a paltry few to flee before their onslaught.

    That brief moment in time, the decision point on what to do would forever remain in her memory…watching the retreating survivors she judged it extremely unlikely they would make it far enough to clear the next rank of dread elf reserves protecting the bolt thrower emplacements. Those reserves would likely be fouled up with the retreating gladiators and unable to react to her forces sudden breakthrough.

    Just like that… time returned to normal pace and she ordered her troops forward. Even as her shock cavalry fell just short of making it to safety at the edge of the battlefield she saw the gladiators chaotic retreat turn into a savage sprint as they hurdled over the gun emplacements to safety. Strung out of a cohesive battle line by their burgeoning pursuit her forces were caught completely surrounded by the dread elves reserves.

    As she watched the counter-charges smash the sky sloop to the ground and chase her house cavalry off the battlefield she knew she had failed. She signaled to her cousin and retook the skies. Even as she retreated, the infernal altar of sacrifice gave chase, the priestess deliberating over its cauldron had her eyes fixed on Evana’s. The timely intervention of her cousin and his Wardens broke off the war engine’s pursuit, the priestess’ eyes smoldered in hatred as their dancing green blades drove her followers off.

    Results and Thoughts on the Game:

    This ended as a 15-5 to Jake, a disappointing result. The story above covers the critical moment of the battle. I had all but wiped out his dancers unit taking minimal damage in return and had bubble scrying up from my griffon mage.
    If his dancers roll a 10 or less they land right in front of his flaming [Read More]
  • Another great Infernal Zoo in Davis, CA. Kudos to Alex for throwing a consistently great tournament. I really liked that we had a pairings video to get the hype going an with the strongest turnout since the death of the game that was our local community feels like we have a lot of momentum. So, how did the intrepid egg hunters do?

    Final Results:
    ·I finished with 64 battle points in core rules terms, but did quite well on the special objectives bringing me up to a total of 78
    ·This placed me at 4th overall with 3rd best battle out of 36 players
    ·My goal was to podium overall, so I fell just short. Looking back at Turn 5 of Game 5, I left the points on the table right there to achieve my goal.

    Thoughts on the List:
    MoCT BSB, Shield- Willow’s Ward, Heavy Armor- Alchemist Alloy, Talisman of the Void, Spear
    Rating: A-
    He did the job I needed him to do and I actually really like the build being able to fit in a 2+ and the Talisman. In contrast to my Buckeye list, his role as a magic user was much more subdued with the Master on Div/Pyro hogging most of the dice.

    High Prince, Destiny’s Call, Spear- Blazing Dawn
    Rating: B
    I actually think this is a pretty points efficient complement to the list and I liked that he turned the Wardens into a real blender unit. However, he suffers from being infantry and is actually not that well defended. I don’t think I made a single 4++ save all tourney with him, but he only died once. I’m not sure you’ll see him again, but combining him with the MoCT prince seems fairly cost efficient.

    Master Mage, Dragon, Essence of a Free Mind (Pyro/Divination)
    Rating: B+
    I liked this model a lot, I haven’t played much with Pyro or Divination and they were huge in many games. I took Pyro 4 times and Divination once.
    However, the combat ability of the dragon did not play a huge role (did not see combat in 3/5 games). I think I can achieve the same role for almost 200 pts less by putting him on a YD w Death Cheater.

    Core Set Up:
    ·22 Spears, Champ/Std-Rending
    ·23 Spears, Champ/Std- Rending
    ·2x5 Reavers
    Rating: A-
    I’m giving this core set up an A- because I found it to be extremely points efficient, good scoring, plenty of bodies, the chaff I needed…I liked it a lot. Backed with flaming swords/awaken combo and rending banner they have the flexibility to fight up and down the spectrum of opponents and deliver solid output.

    5 Ryma Knights- Musician
    Rating: A
    I was really impressed with these guys. They took on some tough opponents and ended up killing two demigryphs, a blood chariot, two raptor chariots, two gyrocopters, a unit of marksmen and a kraken and I only lost them once. I will likely go for 2 units of these in future lists when able to.

    Shooting Set up:
    ·2 SGRs
    ·Sky Sloop
    Rating: B
    A relatively good set up, it ended up feeling a bit light as compared to 3 SGRs and its more expensive by 85 points. I liked the sloop, but it’s fairly fragile and (partially due to poor rolling) I felt it’s combat/zoning threat is more of a bluff than anything else and it died frequently.
    That being said these units did crucial damage against the Empire artillery/Knight Commander on YG, Scourge and DP of Wrath, Dread Knights, Chariots and elf fast cav which were their intended target. I’m thinking about changing the sloop out for Grey Watchers/Queens Guard

    20 Flame Wardens, FC- Rending Banner
    Rating: A
    What can I say, I feel this unit is a fixture in my lists. Synergizes great with my magic, loved the addition of the Spear Prince to dial their damage output up. I really wish they synergized better with the hereditary, but it’s a small price to pay for their durability.

    Rating: B+
    I really liked this as a step in the evolution of the OotFH list I’d been playing for the first 9 months of the year. Not all of the new elements are must-haves for me and I’ve already moved onto a new list that I’ve been working on. I’m not upset with the overall outcome, my strength of schedule was very high, after the first game all 4 of my remaining opponents ended up in the top 8 and more importantly I got 5 great games in against some high quality opposition.

    However, I’m really excited about the .205 updates for the HBE book, I haven’t gotten a game in yet, will likely wait a couple weeks to finish out the last of the .204 games I have planned. I’ve built a couple of lists and I’m seeing some really cool core and character set ups that I want to take for a spin, should be a fun holiday season of gaming (fortunately my wife doesn’t read this!).

    As an aside, feedback is always welcome if you have anything you'd like to see in the blog going forward, feel free to reply here or PM me. [Read More]
  • With a medium win in Game 4 I was within striking distance of the top spots and with a feeling of déjà vu stepped up to the same table from Game 4 fighting an army that was virtually identical to the one I faced in Game 3 generaled by my clubmate Drew.

    Chariot/Kraken Spam:
    Oracle Adept- Alchemy (General)
    Cult Priest BSB on Divine Altar, Basalt Infusion, Moraec's Reaping

    10 Blades of Nabh
    11 Blades of Nabh
    10 Corsairs
    2x6 Dark Riders- crossbows

    2x5 Acolytes of Yema
    2 Medusas
    3 Chariots
    2 Kraken

    Sea Dragon Host:

    Thoughts on the match up:
    I felt like I had the tools to deal with this list, pyro was going to be huge as there was circa 1k points in 25 wounds of low save fast cav.
    However, the kraken and Divine Altar BSB were a real threat to my dragon along with the acolytes breath weapon so he had the tools to deal with some of my critical elements. I felt like this was a yellow/green match up for me.

    Objective and Deployment:
    We got refused flank and secure target. I can’t remember exactly what my special objectives were

    Spell Selection:
    MoCT: Healing Waters, Lash, Ravenswing
    Pyro Master: Scorching Salvo, Pyro Flow, Hereditary, Cascading Fire

    Alchemy Adept: Glory of Gold and Lash
    He took the magic missiles on his acolyte units

    Terrain and Deployment:
    Hill on the left, Forest upper left (Krakens are behind it, hard to see), Tower impassable centrally, Forest center right, hill at the top corner and bottom right corner

    Looking at the board and how I could use the impassable in the center I decided to drop everything for first turn (from my left to right I had):
    Reavers, Ryma Knights and SGRs on the hill, Green Spears, Dragon Mage, Wardens w Spear Prince and MoCT, Blue Spears to the right of the tower, Reavers and Sloop (the sloop suffered a terrible blow between Game 4 and 5)

    His deployment from my left to right:
    Dark Riders, Acolytes, Kraken, Kraken, Medusa, Medusa, Chariot, Chariot, Chariot, Corsairs with Adept Mage behind, Divine Altar, Witches, Witches, Acolytes, Dark Riders barely in shot on the right

    Sea Dragon Host Turn 1:

    Movement: I saw no reason to be aggressive, I had a good defensive position I moved up slightly on both flanks and threatened charges.

    Magic/Shooting: I manage to kill off the left acolytes and damage a medusa and dark rider unit

    Chariot/Kraken Spam Turn 1:

    Movement: My opponent moves up giving me long charges, trying to tempt me out of my defensive position.
    He brings his dark raiders up on the right and left to threaten my shooters

    Magic/Shooting: He pings a wound off the sloop and the Ryma Knights

    Sea Dragon Host- Turn 2:

    I make a charge into the dark riders on my right with the sloop
    My dragon mage swings around the tower to support my right flank
    Green Spears move up into my line setting up combo charges with the Ryma Knights

    Magic/Shooting: I get the hereditary up and kill the dark riders on my left in addition to pinging wounds on the chariots, acolytes and krakens

    Combat: My sloop kills a few dark riders who flee off the board and reforms to face the center

    Looking back I had set myself up for a really bad time on the right of the tower with my movement here

    Chariot/Kraken Spam- Turn 2:

    He announced charges with the witches, two chariots and the altar and made all but one chariot into the Blue Spears, I think I didn’t think of the likelihood of getting all of these at once
    The rest of his line consolidated in the center threatening plenty of countercharges for my units

    Magic/Shooting: He managed to vaporize the sloop with the acolytes

    Combat: Hereditary helped the Blue Spears stand up to a heck of a beating but took 12 wounds, but did enough wounds to the witches to keep their steadfast

    Sea Dragon Host- Turn 3:

    I take the dragon mage into the Witches on the right
    I use a unit of reavers to chaff up the kraken on the left so I can make an aggressive move forward with my Flame Wardens

    Magic/Shooting: I continue to ping wounds off his acolytes, chariots and krakens finishing off one chariot

    Combat: The spears get beat up pretty bad, but the dragon beats the witches up badly killing almost all of them and we win this one sending the chariot running

    Chariot/Kraken Spam- Turn 3:

    The second unit of witches charges the dragon mage
    A medusa chaffs up my Wardens
    The krakens back off

    The dragon kills about half the witches from the fresh unit and the spears kill the last witches from the first unit before getting wiped out by the Divine Altar. The combat is split now and the Altar doesn’t have much flexibility to reform

    Sea Dragon Host- Turn 4:

    Wardens charge medusa
    Reavers chaff the divine altar on the right
    Ryma Knights swing out wide to start penning in the kraken with the help of the Green Spears

    I’ve been trying to take down the acolyte champion and am again unsuccessful.
    I start picking on… [Read More]
  • Yvraine felt the customary shivers run up and down her spine as Eingana swept through the Veil, banking they circled the clearing at the base of the mountain as her troops continued to pass through the Veil and form up into defensive posture.

    With all in order and a moment to collect her thoughts Yvraine reflected on the events of the past three days. Their easy victory over the humans had allowed her forces to arrive at the nest before any other corporeal egg hunters…but not before the scions of Vanaadra. The Wrath demons had absconded with the precious eggs and were already withdrawing their forces with their prize when the Sea Dragon Host arrived.

    Deep in the volcanic underbelly of the mountain her forces had matched blades with the hellish hosts. Her magics had carried the day blasting a fearsome Scourge from the sky as her bolt throwers skewered a foul winged Prince. Leaderless, the hordes of Wrath had lost their advantage giving Yvraine time to effect a withdrawl, the dragon eggs safely in her saddle bags.

    As the last of her Spearelves emerged from the Veil a dust plume on the horizon caught her eye, with an unspoken word Eingana strove higher into the air, eyes narrowed on the growing cloud. The sun glinted off wickedly curved scythes as a squadron of chariots crested the rise…Dread Elves! Yvraine examined her options and crystalized a plan as she guided Eingana back to the mountainside, she knew her forces could not face a third army in as many days.

    They would have to withdraw into the mountain and take their chances with whatever inhabitants it held, after quick council with her brother they agreed. Yvraine would wipe out the fast moving elements of the Dread Elf force while her forces withdrew into the rock. Her brother and his Wardens would hold the tunnel entrance while she scorched the Dread Elves and cover her escape into the mountain. At that point the entrance would be collapsed to protect their retreat.

    Eingana took to the sky again with a massive down sweep of her wings, Yvraine could already feeling the flames returning to her, in the back of her mind a distant memory floated up of the dwarves who inhabited these mountains millennia ago…a problem for tomorrow…

    Game 4:
    Alright, so after two big wins and a stinging loss on Day 1, I had dropped down the tables to table 4/5 and was hoping for a bit of an easier match up. Originally, I had been matched against a very similar EoS list to my first opponent, but when Day 2 dawned it turned out I was up against Joe and his Dwarven Holds.

    Double Organ Gun Dwarves:
    Rune Smith (General): 2 runes of Lightning, Rune of Devouring, 1+ armor
    Thane (BSB): 1xMight and 1xLightning, Rending Banner, Shield Bearers,1+ armor
    2x Engineers w Crossbows
    2x10 Clan Marksmen with Crossbows and Shields
    28 Grey Beards, HW/Shield, FC- Rending Banner
    16 Deep Watch, FC- Standard of Shielding
    8 Hold Guardians, FC
    2x Steam Copters (in one unit)
    2x Rune Crafted Organ Guns (both were entrenched)

    Sea Dragon Host:

    Thoughts on the Match Up:
    Whew, double entrenched rune crafted organ guns with Engineers. These machines were going to be almost impossible to kill from ranged with my shooting and could give pretty much any unit in my army a really bad time.
    Fortunately, they make up almost 25% of his army so the rest is not super scary, the Deep Watch block is small, there is no killer King, etc. Though the 8 Hold Guardians outmatch my combat units/dragon, they are slow and hard to maneuver.
    I needed to decide at the deployment phase whether I was going to push and try to take down the organ guns…after looking at the terrain and the scenario, I decided to push.

    Deployment/Scenario/Special Objectives:
    Attacker Defender
    I got points if my monsters came within one inch of the tallest terrain feature
    I got points if I killed all my opponents towering presence creatures, in this case, he didn’t have any so I got these points automatically (intended to incentivize people to bring monsters)

    Spell Selection:
    Pyro Master: Pyrochastic Flow, Hereditary, Flaming Swords, Scorching Salvo
    MoCT BSB: Ravenswing, Awaken the Beast, Healing Waters
    Runesmith: Shattering, Gleaming and -1 to Wound

    Terrain and Deployment:
    Terrain from my left to right was: Hill in the middle, impassable tower, forest, hard to see behind the tower, forest bottom right, and hills in top and bottom right corners

    He let me drop first and I dropped everything for first turn, I had from my left to right:
    Ryma Knights, Dragon Mage, Reavers behind tower, Green Spears, Wardens w MoCT and Spear Prince, Sky Sloop, Blue Spears, SGRs along the back line, the second is out of shot on the right on the hill

    He had from my left to right:
    Steam Copters, Hold Guardians, Crossbows, Engineer, Organ Gun, Crossbows, Engineer, Organ Gun, Deep Watch w BSB and Runesmith, Greybeards

    Sea Dragon Host- Turn 1:
    So, after seeing the centrally located forest and tower and how my opponent… [Read More]