March to War IV: Round 5

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  • The moment you’ve all been waiting for, the last installment of the March to War IV tournament in which our intrepid heroes, the Sea Dragon Host, look to expand their power and influence in a new trading zone. Apologies for how long it has taken me to complete this!

    As a quick recap, I was sitting on 51 points with two big wins, a draw and a loss going into round 5 and I came up against Josh and his Beast Herds. Josh is a staple in the West Coast tournament scene and has been taking a fairly similar BH list for the past couple of years with little variation. As a quick reminder, here’s my list…

    Sea Dragon Host:

    Josh’s List:
    Soothsayer (Druidism Master) on Raiding Chariot: Trickster’s Cunning, Ancestral Carvings, Talisman of the Void, Potion of Strength
    Beast Lord on Razortusk Chariot: Throwing Weapons, Aghor’s Affliction, PW- Touch of Greatness, Crown of Horns
    Minotaur Chieftain BSB: Wild Form, PW- Super Dex
    3x Raiding Chariots
    3x Raiding Chariots
    15 Feral Hounds
    8 Feral Hounds
    7 Minotaurs: PW, Champ/Std- Rending Banner, Blackwing Totem
    7 Minotaurs: PW, FC
    5 Minotaurs: PW
    5 Gargoyles
    5 Gargoyles

    Deployment/Objective: Frontline Clash/Hold the Ground

    Thoughts on the Match up:
    I had this rated as an orange for me as it’s just a lot of beef to get through and my hitting units can’t be everywhere at once. With 3 minotaur units, 2 chariot units and two tough chariot characters there was a real risk of getting rushed/overwhelmed. Fortunately, there were no ambushers!
    Hold the ground was not great as I’d likely be giving up at least Turn 2 and potentially Turn 3 to my opponent as he raced across the table towards my lines.
    I needed to figure out a way to give my shooting time to have an impact and to try to cut his force into pieces so I could defeat them in isolated engagements.
    The terrain was a bit odd for this objective because there was a huge impassable tower right next to the center of the table. This would help in my goal to split his force apart but would complicate the objective substantially.

    MoCT: Awaken, Healing Waters, Ravenswing
    Cosmo Master: Hereditary, Altered Sight, InF, Perception of Strength
    Druid Master: Stone Skin, Healing Waters, Summer Growth, Entwining Roots

    I won the roll for picking sides and I had a dilemma. I really didn’t like taking the top because it would give my opponent a water feature on my side of the board for healing waters and give him a hill to zone about half the board. However, you can see from the pic below that the center objective was just slightly on the upper side of the table relative to the tower, which meant it would be harder for me to get to it if I took the bottom. I decided to take the bottom ultimately, as I knew I’d already have a disadvantage on the objective and didn’t want to introduce additional risk to the rest of the battle. My opponent dropped everything for first

    BH Deployment (from left to right): Raiding Chariots, 7 non rending minos, 8 hounds, Gargoyles, 5 Minos, Soothsayer, 7 Rending Minos w BSB, Beast Lord, Raiding Chariots, Gargoyles behind, 15 hounds

    Sea Dragon Host Deployment (from left to right): QG on hill, GE behind hill, Spears w MoCT BSB and Cosmo Master, 2 SGRs, AD, GE, Lancers, SGR toed into forest, Lions
    I felt pretty good about my deployment here, an aggressive advance by my opponent would open up a lot of charge opportunities to take advantage of any mistakes and I could hopefully use my QG/SGR to clean up an entire flank.

    Josh’s BH Turn 1:
    Movement: My opponent essentially just rushed forward across the board as far as he could go with one cautious move to pull his BSB back into the 5 man mino unit and keep this unit as sort of a reserve behind the tower it seemed.
    He also chaffed both the spears and my lancers with his hounds and brought the gargoyles up for chaff positioning in Turn 2.

    Magic had little impact as typical with Turn 1 Druidism and there was no shooting.

    Sea Dragon Host Turn 1:

    I charged the hounds chaffing the lancers and they stood
    I backed up the QG slightly, wheeled the spears to face the left and backed them up a bit to keep them out of mino charge range. I backed the lions up a bit and used the GE on the right to chaff the Rending Minos in the middle. I needed one more turn to clear his chaff so that I could set up the charges I wanted in Turn 2.

    My main goal was chaff clearing, my opponent stopped Altered Sight on the QG and let through Ravenswing on the Spears, this let me back them up further and killed 4 hounds with the sweep which caused a panic. We had an even dice on InF on the gargoyles behind the tower which I won and with a lucky roll wiped the gargoyles out. Very successful phase.

    All was not roses as my shooting underwhelmed, I failed to do any damage to the gargoyles on the right and did a combined total of 7 wounds on the Minos on the left with the QG and 2 SGR which felt underwhelming given the SGR were in short range
    Combat: The Lancers wipe out the dogs and stay put

    Josh’s BH Turn 2:

    The minos in the center charge the GE
    My opponent continues his advance on the left and moves up a bit more cautiously in the center/right as he’s preparing countercharges if I go into the Rending Minos. His gargoyles move up on the right for chaffing/charging my SGR in future turns

    I can’t exactly remember the result of this magic phase, but I believe some poor rolls on my opponents part meant he only got one defensive buff off on the Minos either low level healing waters or low level stone skin as I believe he failed Oaken Throne.

    The Rending Minos kill the GE, choose to overrun and overrun 11 inches!

    Sea Dragon Host Turn 2:

    That overrun changed the landscape quite a bit!

    I charged the Rending Minos in the front with the lancers and flank with the AD
    I charged his gargoyles with my lions as I had a potential overrun into the chariots/would be happy to have the gargoyles out of the picture for the next turn. He chose to flee and I stumbled forward a small amount.
    I further withdrew the Spears, I couldn’t fully get out of the left Minos charge range, but I was able to make it a long charge. I dropped my second GE down in front of the left chariots to chaff them

    My opponent chose to prioritize stopping my two strength buffs and had to let through Oaken Throne/Healing Waters on the Lancers and Hereditary.

    My shooting on the left really showed up and wiped out the Minos

    This combat was a little disappointing, I did about 7/8 wounds but despite being able to stop 2 wounds with the hereditary and having a 5+/4++ the Lancers took 3 wounds and the AD took one as well. Bloody minotaurs. We all stuck.

    Josh’s BH Turn 3:

    We found out at the top of Turn 3 that we only had 30 minutes left. I honestly have no idea how that happened, my opponent was a bit slow on his deployment and first couple turns movement, but honestly I thought we still had plenty of time. As it was the last round there was no flexibility to go longer so unfortunately we had to settle on only finishing Turn 3.

    Given the time constraints my opponent chose a more conservative approach to movement ensuring there were no overruns and charging the chaffing GE

    I used my binding scroll to block stone skin and prioritized stopping healing waters on the Rending minos, I had to let off summer growth on them.

    The GE was killed and my opponent pivoted
    I triggered nova flare, blew the breath weapon and absolutely went to town on the undefended minos bringing them down to 5 wounds left with minimal casualties on my side. They autobroke, I chose to pursue with both and two swiftstride pursuits failed to catch them.

    Sea Dragon Host Turn 3:

    Due to my miserable pursuit moves from both the AD/Lancers my charges with the Lancers weren’t a guarantee into his main units. The biggest potential outcome was that I charge and break his BSB’s unit as it would tie the objective and net me a lot of points, probably a 5 point swing. Unfortunately, due to his units positioning I couldn’t get both the AD and the Lancers in, since the AD would just get challenged out I had to determine if I thought the Lancers could manage the job themselves. I decided to err on the side of caution as the lancers had been depleted by the rending minos and I didn’t want to give up a ton of points in Turn 3, so far this tournament minos had been a serious thorn in my side!
    So I took the Lancers into the chariots on the right

    Magic/Shooting: I managed to destroy the chariots on the left with my shooting/magic

    My Lancers managed to break the chariots and catch them, also running over the fleeing gargoyles in the process.
    And with that we ended the game.

    Results and Thoughts on the Game:
    I felt like I played this game really well and got a big swing in my favor when the rending minos ran forward unsupported. Unfortunately, we ran out of time for me to fully capitalize on this good fortune. Had the game gone to full 6 turns I think I would have had a good shot at a 16+ as I could have shifted the spears to the objective and potentially tied/won it to supplement my comfortable points advantage.
    As it was I was up big on points, having only lost 2 GE in exchange for both chariot units, all the chaff and both large Mino units. Unfortunately, I had lost the objective so this ended up a 13-7 to me.
    This put me at 64 points for the event, approximately a 13 point average which I was relatively happy with especially after the rough start in Games 1 and 2. I’ll try to do a quick wrap up write up after this reviewing my list and the outcomes.

    216 times read

Comments 4

  • BondageGoatZombie -

    Thanks for the reports. Finishing at turn 3 is a bummer though

    • Vespacian -

      Glad you enjoyed!

      Ugh! Tell me about it, I was legitimately shocked when I heard.

      Just made it worse that the game was going so well.

  • falanor -

    Hey! Thanks for the report... I do not understand one thing: Why did the Rending Minos test to restrain? If you kill your enemy, there is no need for a restrain test... even if Frenzy

    • Vespacian -

      You’re right of course, it may just be my memory. I remember my opponent being really disappointed, maybe his reaction was in reference to the overrun roll.

      Glad you liked it!