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A report of my 5 games at Games of Westeroes, with my Orcs and Goblins.
My results in short:
vs Vermin Swarm 4-16
vs Highborn Elves 7-13
vs Vampire Covenatn 6-14
vs Dwarven Holds 19-1
vs Vampire Covenant 13-7
Total: 49 BP
Feral Orc Shaman on Wyven: Wizard Master (Shamanism), Shady Shankin’ Paired Weapons, Magical Hierloom, Pan of Protection Pinchin’ @660
Cave Goblin King: General, War Cry!, Paired Weapon, Bow, Crown of Autocracy @240
Forest Goblin King on Huntsmen Spider: Lance, Bow, Shield, Basalt Infused Heavy Armour, Lucky Charm, Crown of the Wizard King @295
Cave Goblin Chief: BSB, Bow, Crown of the Cavern King @215
Goblin Witch Doctor on Wolf Chariot: Wizard Apprentice (Witchcraft), Alchemist’s Alloy @160
20 Cave Goblins: Bows, Standard, Musician, Banner of Discipline @235
15 Feral Orc ‘Eadbashers: Paired Weapons, FC, Banner of Speed @430
50 Cave Goblins: Nets, FC @460
1 Scrap Wagon @85
32 Gnashers @276
2x1 Wrecking Team @140 each
6 Cave Trolls @474
1 Splatterer: Orc Overseer @190
1 Git Launcher @185
1 Giant: Giant Club @315
Total: 4500 [Read More]
GAME 3 – USA
The second day of the ETC 2019 we woke up with high spirits, and were really looking forward to facing our round 3 opponents: the USA! What is impressive about the 9th age community is that thanks to Youtube, the T9A forum, twitter and the such we feel like we have a better idea of what the US gaming scene looks like than, say, the Austrian or the Spanish one. So it was exciting to get to play against the guys that we so often hear about in the Wargaming from the Balcony podcast and the such! To top it off, the US players have a reputation of being fun, fair and also very competent generals: reading this report you’ll find that they didn’t disappoint!
The gaming scene over at the US is quite different than ours, with a lot less MSU elements way chunkier units. That said, there were the exceptions to the rule (for example Ryan Capps’ Ogre Khans monster mash). Nevertheless, my Dread Elves were looking at some very juicy targets in all possible games, with relatively little room for counterplay. Out of the eight possible matches the only one that I wasn’t looking forward to facing was the Vermin Swarm, due to the fact that it would be a match depending on how well my opponent rolled for his shooting more than anything else.
So I let our pairing master do his magic, and in the end I got to play against none other than the all-time top scorer of team USA, Chris @eggsPR . Now, for the uninitiated, Chris has the reputation of being a very strong player, and the list of his T9A-related accolades is so long that it would probably require a separate blog post to enumerate them. He has been playing Vampires for a long time and has attended several (all?) of the past ETCs. So going into the game I was looking forward to a hard-fought game. What I wasn’t expecting was what a fun and jovial opponent Chris would be. If I had to describe his player demeanor I’d say that you could get massacred by his army and would still be happy to have played him anyway! In any other tournament he’d get my “best opponent” vote, but here he’ll have to share it with another 3 players; that’s how lucky I was at this year’s ETC!
Chris had brought a Vampire list with several of the usual suspects, but also a very personal touch:
Vampire Count, General, Wizard Master (Evocation), Hour of the Wolf ,HA, Shield, Willow’s Ward, Legend of the Black King, True Thirst, Dragonfire Gem
Vampire Count, Wizard Master (Occultism), Arcane Knowledge, Paired Weapons, Destiny’s Call, Touch of Greatness, Necromantic Staff
38 Ghouls, Champion
23 Zombies, Musician
3 Bat Swarms
31 Barrow Guard, Shields, Full Command, Black Standard of Zagvozd
2 Great Bats
2 x 5 Dire Wolves
SWIFT DEATH :
8 Vampire Spawn, Champion
3 Vampire Knights, Musician
The secondary objective for this round was Hold the Ground, which provided a challenge in itself: if I allowed the vampires to march onto the center of the board I’d have a really hard time getting them off the objective marker. The map we played on was Frontline Clash, and my adversary won the roll off for table sides and promptly picked the side with the hill right in the middle. That decision influenced my plan even further: if that swiftstride barrow unit got on top of the hill, it could easily zone a huge part of my list while sniping monsters away.
So I deployed my entire army to claim the initiative, with the Kraken at a central position, my general with corsairs a bit off to the one flank along with the Yema Acolytes and the other acolytes guarding the right flank with some help from the Blades of Nabh. The plan was to push forward aggressively, deny space to the vampires while also trying to perform an enveloping maneuver in the flanks. Chris replied to this by deploying centrally and deep: he used his Vampire Spawn wisely to cover one flank, and anchored the other with his Barrow Guard. In between, his Ghouls, Vampire Knights and chaff were ready to pop out of their hiding spot to threaten my monsters.
For magic, the Occultism Vampire took Hand of Glory, Breath of Corruption, Marked for Doom and the Grave Calls, while the Evocation wizard went for Touch of the Reaper, Spectral Blades, Whispers of the Veil and the Hereditary. I took my usual mix of Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue and Breath of Corruption/Grave Calls.
With the first turn secured, I rushed all of… [Read More]
GAME 2 – Austria
After the success of the first round we found out that we’d be facing team Austria! That was great news, as in last year’s ETC we faced them in a very memorable round. The Austrians are not only great guys to play with, but they often come up with very personal and “against the current” lists. Fighting against such armies is refreshing and challenging at the same time.
This year it seems that real life had an impact on the roster of their team, with @Sir_Joker and @Clef being notable absences. While I was a bit sad that I wouldn’t get to chat about all things elves with the aforementioned gentlemen, we were more than compensated by the Norse Mercenaries (or should I say Varangian guard?) that brought even more craziness when it came to list building: a glimmering host of no less than 300 Highborn Elves and a battle-crazed mass of OnG (or Norse raiders as you’ll see) featuring almost 100 Gnashers, 100 Orcs and some change!
Who would be the mastermind behind these lists, you ask? Well, none other than @Herminard, of former Balance team fame and a Battleline enthusiast. The wonder of the internet is such that I've been actually chatting and playing with Hermund almost for a decade before actually meeting him at the 2016 Athens ETC. So getting to play against him (and share drinks afterwards) was like meeting an old friend. This was to be our first battle on a real tabletop, and I was looking forward to it. On a sidenote, his list and his mate’s Hallvard’s were so outside the box that none of my teammates actually wanted to face them.
Hermund lined up the following list:
Common Orc Shaman, General, War Cry, Shamanism Master, Crown of Autocracy, Skull Fetish
Forest Goblin Witch Doctor, Thaumaturgy Master
Common Orc Chief BSB, Aether Icon, Banner of Discipline, Obsidian Rock
5 x Forest Goblin Chief on Huntsmen Spider
3 x 20 Common Orcs, Spears, Musican
2 x 20 Common Orcs, Spears
3 x 24 Gnasher Herd
1 x 23 Gnasher Herd
2 x Git Launcher
1 x Skewerer
I had rated this game as Neutral, meaning that it could go either way, with a good probability of ending up in a draw. The reason for that is double: the magic and shooting of the Orcs was considerable and could easily drop a kraken per turn if dice went their way. Secondly, the entire army was potentially Swiftstride with a movement of 5 or more. Meaning that the Krakens lost their range advantage and could end up in very precarious positions if I wasn’t careful. So I expected to bleed points while grinding the enemy units down.
The scenario for this round was King of the Hill, and the deployment on table we got to play was Counterthrust. My adversary picked sides, getting the one with the hill in the middle of the deployment zone. That would make things more difficult for me when it came to assaulting the Viking lines. In spell selection the Shamanism Master took Awaken the Beast, Swarm of Insects, Break the Spirit and Bring the Pain while the Thaumaturgy Master took Hand of Heaven, Smite the Unbeliever, Cleansing Fire and Trial of Faith. My acolytes took the usual Grave Calls/Breath of Corruption and Ice and Fire/Crippling Fatigue combo.
I must say I was relieved when Hermund didn’t pick the Comet, as it was the one spell that I couldn’t afford to let through: a well placed comet can influence the army’s movement far too much, making me lose momentum. That’s not something that you want to do with an angry mob staring at you.
For the scenario purposes we did not get much of a choice: the Forest in the middle of the table was the only eligible terrain for both of us, which turned the game in a modified version of Hold the Ground, essentially.
We alternated deployment drops as dictated by the scenario, and once three units were down * (Hermund placed his centrally, so as to not reveal his deployment plans), I placed the rest to grab the first turn: against such a list I needed to be the one selecting the fights and I also needed to keep the enemy scorers into their deployment zone for secondary objective purposes.
*Here I should mention that I accidentally misled Herminard: he started by deploying a warmachine, but I pointed out that the first three drops couldn’t be characters or warmachines. It turns out that the warmachine restriction only applies to Marching Columns for some reason, so I’ll use this space to apologize once more for the misplay!
The Viking Orcs (Vikorcs? Orkkings?) went for a denied flank approach: using the hill as an anchor (with a big gnasher unit on top to make sure I didn’t get too close too fast) they extended to my left up to the board edge, with the Git Launchers safely behind the lines. The empty space to my right was then occupied by three goblin chiefs on spiders, making sure that I wouldn’t be able to vanguard past them to threaten the infantry’s flank.
TURN 1 – … [Read More]
Game 1 – Team UN
For the first round we got to play team UN which, as I mentioned before, had several players from our Belgian tournament scene. Some of them had participated in our pre-ETC training weekend, so we were a bit worried that we’d get some rematches: that can be good (you know what you did wrong) but also can be bad (your opponent knows what he did wrong/right). In any case, I was lucky enough to play one of the non-Belgian players of team UN: Marcos, a very friendly Spanish player from Madrid.
We got around chatting a bit and it turns out that he plays in the same clubs and events as the players from team Spain and Argentina, so I made a point of not underestimating him!
He had brought the following Vampire Covenant list:
Vampire Count on Skeletal Steed, General, Wizard Master (Occultism),Arcane Knowledge, HA, Shield, Paired Weapons, Death Cheater, Eternity Gem
Necromancer, Master (Evocation), Binding Scroll
Barrow King BSB, Skeletal Steed, Dusk Forged, Hero’s Heart, Basalt Infusion
38 Skeletons w/Shields, Full Command, Banner of the Relentless Company
2 Bat Swarms
10 Dire Wolves
2 x 20 Zombies
1 Dark Coach
2 Great Bats
7 Vampire Spawn, Champion
2 x 1 Varkolak
So all in all a well-rounded vampire list based on a very powerful magic combination, with several single models that could cause headaches to my army. Our deployment was Frontline Clash and the first scenario was to be Capture the Flags, which meant that I’d have to try and go behind enemy lines to reach the zombie units that would probably hang out in the back.
Going into the game, I had estimated this match as favorable for my Dread Elves: with no shooting and a vampire lord that is not a particularly good fighter, all I had to worry about was the magic. When I saw the spells that my opponent chose I kind of reconsidered my initial optimistic outlook: He had all the snipes (Touch of the Reaper, Hasten the Hour, Marked for Doom), and then Grave Calls, Pentagram of Pain, Breath of Corruption and Spectral Blades! The only upside was that the dreaded Necromantic staff was nowhere to be seen, so I’d only have to worry about two invocations.
We rolled for sides and I won, opting for the side that had a small hill just outside the deployment zone. I figured that it would be a decent place to park a Kraken or a flying monster and threaten the advance of the varkolaks and the such.Marcos seized the opportunity to drop everything for first turn. This gave me a lot of options in counter-deploying, and I organized my battle line with two things in mind:
a) I had to keep the Barrow King away from my Blades of Nabh. I had faced this build in a tournament before and he managed to munch through all of my core infantry without so much as a scratch. With the scenario being flags, I’d have to try and avoid that at all costs.
b) I needed to avoid the Varkolaks going behind my lines with their 28” initial move.
So this is what I came up with.
TURN 1 – Vampire Covenant
My vanguard move managed to bring the middle dark raiders within range for frenzy-baiting the Vampire spawn. These were turned sideways and too far away from the generals Ld, but they still managed to pass the test on their own. Then the Barrow King declared a charge on the offending fast cavalry. Not willing to draw him near my lines that fast, they fled and got away.On the flanks the varkolaks maneuvered carefully, staying out of charge range of my fast support. The vampire’s unit surged forward, with the Vampire Spawn in close support. The Dire Wolves moved up and redirected my two central krakens.
In the magic phase I had to use all of my dice to stop the Grave Calls on the Kraken. This allowed my opponent to get off a boosted Hasten the Hour on my corsairs, but the Pegasus prince saved the wound allocated on him. Finally, the vampire raised a new unit of zombies and then raised around 10 skeletons from his unit.
TURN 1 – Dread Elves
One of the krakens took the dire wolf bait, while the rest of the army maneuvered into position. The fleeing Dark Raiders rallied and moved up to block the Barrow King and the Vampire’s unit. I then set up a trap using my Manticore as bait; I moved him forward towards the Vampire Spawn, but keeping the Blades of Nabh in a position where he’d only get 10 attacks from the spawn due to the unit’s alignment. On the flanks I continued denying the varkolaks any space, while the remaining krakens moved up, one occupying the hill, thus zoning the Dark Coach.Finally, the Prince relocated towards the center and the corsairs did an about turn and moved backwards towards my deployment zone.
In the magic phase I only managed to get a Deceptive Glamour on the vampiric spawn, lowering their agility. The kraken predictably killed all of the wolves.
TURN 2 – Vampire Covenant
The … [Read More]
Let’s get started with Game 2 of the ESC shall we? So after a nice win in Game 1 I was climbing up the tables and for this round I was Drawn against the Captain of Montenegro (Aleksander Vilotic, no idea what’s his handle on here is though) and his Beast Herds. Alek’s list:
705 - Minotaur Warlord, General, Great Weapon, Blessed Inscriptions, Trickster’s Cunning, Crown of
Horns, Talisman of Shielding
475 - Minotaur Chieftain, Battle Standard, Great Weapon, Aaghor’s Affliction, Greater Totem Bearer
440 - Soothsayer, Druidism, Seed of the Dark Forest, Wizard Master
165 - Soothsayer, The Shamanism, Potion of Strength, Wizard Apprentice
150 - 2x 15x Wildhorn Herd
220 - 2x 15x Wildhorn Herd, Throwing Weapons, Musician, Ambush
170 - 17x Wildhorn Herd
783 - 8x Minotaurs, Shield, Standard bearer, Musician, Champion, Totem Bearer, Black Wing Totem, Flaming Standard
748 - 8x Minotaurs, Shield, Standard bearer, Musician, Champion, Totem Bearer, Black Wing Totem
135 – 2x 5x Gargoyles
The first thing that jumped out at me when I saw the list was the 2 great big units of Minotaurs, ouch! I’ve fought against Minotaurs before but never 2 units that size along with 2 tooled up Minotaur characters. I’m not sure I have an answer to both of them, one of them I could kill with magic and combat, but two is going to be difficult. I’ve never fought them with Shields before either, it limits their damage output which is good with me but giving them parry makes them much more annoying for my army, especially my Chosen Lord who is perfect for killing Minotaurs. I would be hoping to get some flank charges on the Minos but then the second thing about the list jumped out at me, 5 units of Wildhorns! Although they are garbage, that is a lot of garbage to get through. Combined with the 2 units of Gargoyles, this list is packing a lot of chaff which should help keep the Minotaurs safe from any unwanted charges.
Character wise both Mino characters are not to be sniffed at, the BSB is the weaker of the two but they’re both wielding Great Weapons so they are incredibly high strength with a lot of attacks. The General is giving every one in 12” re rolls to hit every turn thanks to the Crown of Horns so that just makes the Minos even more deadly.
With a Wizard Master, a Wizard Adept, a Greater Totem and two Black Wing Totems there is a ridiculous number of spells that this army has access to, I’m going to find it difficult to know what spells to prioritise dispelling.
The Deployment type was Dawn Assault and the secondary Objective was Spoils of War, not a great objective for me in this battle as my opponent has 7 scoring units and I have 3 so it’s going to be diffciult to stop all those units from getting two of the objectives.
I win the roll for sides and I make my opponent take the side with the building in the deployment zone and make him take the ¾ with the building in so that his army is bunched up together. I wanted them contained so that I knew where they were.
For my Manifestations on my Exalted Herald I picked Sorcerer Immortal and Brand of the Dragon so that I had Veil Walker for those increased ranges and the other benefits and the Exalted Herald could now fly. As the Beast Herds have no shooting and will be limited on Magic Missiles my Exalted Herald will basically have free range to do what he wants here. For his spells I picked The Grave Calls, Marked for Doom and Hellfire for some truly offensive magic, I don’t plan on getting him near combat with those Minotaurs so I’m happy for him to just fly around blasting magic at beasts.
The Sorcerer on Alchemy picked Word of Iron and Glory of Gold as the damage spells from alchemy are useless against Beast Herds.
My opponents Druidism Shaman picked Oaken Throne, Healing Waters, Entwining Roots, Summer Growth and Stone Skin. The Shamanism Shaman took Awaken the Beast and Swarm of Insects. Some excellent defensive buffs and a good offensive buff with Awaken the Beast, add all the totems in and it’s a dangerous magic phase the Beasts have.
The Beast Herds put their Dark Forest slap bang in the middle of the table.
Onto deployment and we took it in turns dropping our units but with my opponent deciding not to ambush his Wildhorn on, and instead deploying them as normal, it meant he had 7 chaff drops before the Minos went down. So after a couple of initial drops I decided to drop everything and go for the first turn.
The Chosen Knights were on the left with the aim of getting one of the objectives. The Feldrak Elder was next to them. Warriors and Feldraks in the centre alongside the Warhounds and Fallen whop are there to do their chaffing duties and the Herald was on the right flank.
My opponent dropped it all in the centre, the Minos each hiding behind a unit of Wildhorn whilst the other units of Wildhorn were on the left to cover that side. The Minotaur Warlord was in the 1st Mino unit (Flaming Standard) nearest the centre to make optimum use of his… [Read More]
Greetings, dear reader !
The biggest T9A gaming event of the year has come and gone, and everyone who attended will tell you we had a wonderful time. In the following blog posts I will try to take you on the same journey, by recounting the tales of the Belgian ETC team, and my Dark Elves’ exploits in particular.
For those of you who do not follow the tournament circuit that closely, the ETC stands for European Team Championship, and it is a yearly get-together of some of the most competent generals from all over the world. The tournament lasts 6 rounds, and these are fought between teams of 8 people representing a nation. The scores of all the games are added each round and this gives a total team score between 0 and 160. To prevent any team from escaping too far by crushing weaker opposition, each round’s score is “capped” at 100 points, meaningthat the worst result a team can get is 60 and the best is 100 points. Now that the T9A rules have been stable for some time the level of competition hasn’t stopped rising: all of the teams had very well constructed lists, and several players from each team have been consistently scoring well in local and international tournaments.
This year 36 teams participated in the event, for a grand total of 288 players! The level of painting and modelling was also very high, I suggest that you take a look at the photos the Lens Viking took while walking around the venue.
As far as team Belgium is concerned we aligned the crème de la crème of our gaming scene, players who had distinguished themselves in team and single events over the 2018-2019 season. These were as follows:
@gregor , our trusted captain and multiple ETC veteran, aligning an army of fast Daemonic Legions based on Fiends and Succubi with poisoned attacks.
@PrinceCharming with aggressive Ogre Khans: Double hunters, double Aurochs, triple Kin-Eater, plus change.
@IHDarklord with Undying Dynasties. He played a list similar to everyone else’s but at least he can claim he was on the bandwagon waaay before anyone else noticed it!
@Mallak with an infantry-based Orc and Goblin list aligning no less than 72 Gnashers, 28 Feral Orc Eadbashers, 25 Iron orcs, along with double Git Launchers and Pyro magic.
@valmir and his Vermin Swarms. Fun fact: Valmir tested the entire year a list with Vermin Daemon, double Dreadmills and the such, then 2 months before the event decided that people had adapted to the netlist and went to the drawing board once more! He probably gets the prize for the most innovative VS list, although the competition was not exactly stiff.
@Artur , our resident Highborn Elf player. He lined up a list with some very heavy shooting and magic capability, designed to take on difficult matches and not yield too many points or even come out on top.
@strauss , a new addition to the team and the best Infernal Dwarf player in Belgium (on a totally unrelated note, he also happens to be the only one ). His list combined all of the usual ID suspects: Kadims, Titan, Onyx Core, Pyromancy with the Icon of the Inferno. His personal touch was the Rocket Battery as well as a block of Sword and Board Citadel Guard.
And, finally, yours truly with the Dread Elves that I’ve been using for the better part of this year. You’ll find the list discussions that led to my final list here, but essentially the list evolved from a double kraken/Dragon list towards a variant that favored speed and force concentration over more traditional choices.
Dread Prince on Pegasus, Fleet Commander, HA, Shield, Lance, Basalt Infusion, Transcendence, Midnight cloak
Captain on Manticore, BSB, Beastmaster, HA, Shield, Lance, Alchemist's Alloy, Talisman of Shielding, Dragonfire Gem
2 x 13 Blades of Nabh, Musician, Champion
10 Corsairs, Paired Weapons, Vanguard, Musician
2 x 5 Dark Raiders
5 Dark Acolytes, Champion
5 Dark Acolytes, Yema, Champion
1 Medusa, Haberd
1 Medusa, Paired Weapons
3 x 1 Kraken
For example, most Ogre Khans lists involved double Mammoth Hunters, double Aurochs and a deathstar with BSB and the ubiquitous Shaman Master. All of the KoE lists were almost identical (Pegasus Duke with Might/Judgment combo, Druidism support, some questing knights and variable core) .
When doing estimations one thing became apparent: where my team mates were estimating a potential score (for example, against X I can score 10 points minimum), I found that I could only give an estimation of the probability of winning. (ex. Against Y I have an 60% chance of winning). Thus became apparent what we called the Unstable condition: with such an aggressive… [Read More]
So just a quick one, as I've been a bit caught up with things and have a tourney next weekend that i'm prepping for so haven't had much time to crack on with this as much as i'd have liked to (tsch family and other hobbies tsch!). But still some progress has been made so here we go. Overarching aim for most of this is to create things that are tabletop standard (or at least appear to be) and that don't require you to go out and spend the big bucks!
First we start off with the Terrain building. A tutorial will follow so wont go into too much detail now, but here are some pics for your viewing pleasure.
As a reminder here is what I am (very optimistically) aiming for:
Here is the 'ingredients' for my upcoming *cough* triumph
Here is phase 1
Next up, are the objective markers. Here you will see my true artistic talents starting to blossom...
Check this link for the previous blog, highlighting the main concept and ideas:
So here are the first 3 steps I have done towards it. All early stages again but you can see where i'm going with it at least:
So like I said, nothing to write home about but at least its a start ay!
If you haven't already - go and check out the amazing work and hobby fun we are all (like 40 of us!) are getting involved with. Fluff, models, bat reps and so much more! Link below:
the-ninth-age.com/community/in…for-avras-a-fun-campaign/ [Read More]