The Beast Herds go to The Ocho - Game 2

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  • On the second round of the tournament we came across the Relentless Company. This name might not ring any bells to you, but it’s an alias for the Enfants du Sud team, of French ETC glory. We’ve faced Benji and his mates multiple times in international tournaments, they are always contenders for the podium and offer us great and challenging rounds of T9A. Now they have expanded their project to encompass the whole of France instead of just the southern parts, and they are the favorites in the race for the 2021 French team nomination.

    The Beasts had some good matchups and some bad matchups, but we decided as an overall strategy to not protect them, in order to get good games elsewhere. So I ended up fighting @damsetoi and his Daemon Legions:

    damsetoi wrote:

    950 - Vanadra's Scourge, Wizard (Wizard Adept, evocation), Living Shield, centiped legs, Brimstone Secretions, Whipcrack Tail
    850 - Omen 490, général 40, WM 225 taumaturgy, brimestone sécrétion 25, bronze backbone 30, hammer hand 40
    295 - 10 Succubi, Smothering Coils, Champion
    295 - 10 Succubi, Smothering Coils, Champion
    295 - 10 Succubi, Smothering Coils, Champion
    270 - 10 lemures, unatural roots, Banner, musician
    300 - Blazing Glory, Cloven Hooves
    300 - Blazing Glory, Cloven Hooves
    200 - 5 Sirens, Centipede Legs
    195 - 5 Sirens
    175 - 2 Mageblight Gremlins
    375 - 3 Veil Serpents, Champion

    So essentially a list that can be broken up in three separate parts: the single models (fast, hard hitting, can take my units or characters one-on-one), the fast support (chaff but also capable of hurting my smaller units with their higher agility) and then the scoring core. I find facing such an army interesting, because on paper nothing’s in the beasts’ favor, yet there is almost always a way to get the upper hand, if you play your cards right.

    The secondary objective here would be Capture the Flags, and our deployment was Counterthrust. The Soothsayer picked Healing Waters, Master of Earth, Summer Growth and Stoneskin, and the Daemons ended up with Spectral Blades/Whispers of the Veil on the Scourge, Hand of Heaven, Smite the Unbeliever, Cleansing Fire and Wrath of God for the Omen, while the Veil Serpents picked Deceptive Glamour and Twisted Effigy.

    Keeping my scorers safe against the daemons would be a challenge, and for that reason I opted for mobility over hitting power for the centaurs: they all would start the game sober, hopefully helping out in controlling the single models of the daemons.

    We exchanged the typical three drops of Counterthrust, then my opponent dropped his entire army to get the first turn. I was happy that he did so, as counterdeploying was essential to my plan. The daemonic positioning gave me two options: either go for the scorers head-on, and give the Scourge and Blazing Glories the room to maneuver and come crushing into my flank, or focus on the single monsters while keeping the scoring occupied.

    I opted for the latter, and ended up with a refused flank deployment, with the chariot Beastlord and a single Centaur unit occupying the weak flank. The abundance of terrain on the table meant that I could keep my Soothsayer in the middle, away from the action, and still be able to cast spells. I couldn’t risk having Mageblight Gremlins in my backfield right at the moment when I’d be initiating my attack.

    TURN 1 – Daemon Legions

    My opponent found a position out of the chariots’ arc of sight to land the Scourge, and went for an aggressive position from which he could see most of my army. The Blazing Glories stayed on either side of the building, to keep the centaurs from outflanking the daemons. The rest of the DL army maneuvered cautiously, the Omen relocating towards the right side of the board, to threaten my Beastlord.

    The first magic phase was a preview of what the full force of the DL magic can do; I had to dispel the boosted Hand of heaven on my centaurs, unwilling to give up a scoring unit that early in the game. This allowed the Omen to cast Wrath of God in the middle of my units, and also to put a boosted Twisted Effigy on my Soothsayer.

    TURN 1 – Beast Herds

    Starting turn 1 with a comet about to drop and a Scourge about to charge is bad news, but I figured I needed to stick to the plan: Both centaur units on the left pushed forward, away from the comet and in a position to threaten the Blazing Glories. The Wildhorns and minotaurs maneuvered to create a trap for the Scourge, and the dogs stepped in front of him to lower his threat range by 1”. I then split my Soothsayer from his unit, and used the chariots and Gargoyles to create a Gremlin-free zone around him. On the right hand side, the Beastlord moved up towards the scorers all alone, and the centaurs moved back to avoid any more magic missiles coming their way.

    In magic I only managed to cast the Oaken Throne, the rest of my spells failing or getting dispelled. The comet didn’t drop, creating an interesting situation for the Daemons and Beasts alike!

    TURN 2 – Daemon Legions

    At the start of the DL turn the GW centaurs drank their looted booze, thus making the Blazing Glory charge ill-advised due to their newly-found steadfast. After some deliberation, the Scourge charged my minotaur bait standing at the foothill, but the rest of the daemons declined the charges. Both Blazing Glories turned around to cover the centaurs’ advance, and the sirens to the right redirected the Beastlord. The Gremlins didn’t appear this turn.

    In the magic phase I put all my dice to stop Spectral Blades on the Scourge, meaning that I had to take the rest to the chin: another Wrath of God was cast near my centaurs’ position, the boosted Twisted Effigy yet again went off on my Soothsayer and a boosted Hand of Glory was cast on my Beastlord on chariot, thankfully causing no wounds. The comet near my lines yet again failed to drop.

    The only combat of the round was a very important one: the scourge swung first with his 5 attacks and killed a single minotaur. In retaliation, the minotaurs dealt 2 unsaved wounds, lost combat by 2 and held their ground thanks to the general’s presence.

    TURN 2 -Beast Herds

    With the scourge pinned, it was time for the counterattack. The daemons’ positioning had left me with a couple of very interesting opportunities. My hounds spotted the rear of the blazing glory, and went in, while my Wildhorns fell upon the Scourge. The minotaurs next to them unfortunately failed their frenzy check and also had to charge into the scourge. Finally, the raiding chariots spotted the veil serpents past the hill, a 10+ charge away. This charge declaration allowed my soothsayer to also conditionally charge, into the Scourge’s rear. Even if the chariots failed, a 5” failed charge would allow the Soothsayer to charge past them, giving me a guaranteed +8 to CR, and making popping the Greater Daemon a trivial matter.

    As luck would have it, the Chariots failed and stumbled forward just 3”, thus leaving my Soothsayer stuck in place. The rest of the charges succeeded, creating a very interesting situation: odds were that the scourge would pop this turn, allowing my General to pivot and grant his Discipline bonus to the Feral Hounds fighting the Blazing Glory. That gave them in turn a very decent chance of holding it in place for a turn. With that in mind, I pushed my small lance centaurs in front of the blazing glories: if all went according to plan, my opponent would have to either abandon the engaged Glory to the centaurs, or charge them with he second glory, thus opening the charge for the GW centaurs. In preparation for such a charge, the BSB moved out of his unit, to threaten the succubi nearby.

    On the right flank, the Beastlord on chariot was happy to keep playing chicken with the Omen, effectively pinning down half the DL army. One of my ambushers arrived this turn in the middle of my long table edge, and I used them to prevent any gremlin surprises on the following turn.

    Magic went relatively well, despite the card no2 coming up to almost ruin my plans. I had just enough dice to push through Stoneskin on the Wildhorns, which would be hopefully enough. This time the topmost comet came down, and blasted things in a 13” radius! My Lance centaurs took the worst of it, losing 4 of their number and panicking towards the table edge. The GW centaurs and the Blazing Glory in combat both suffered 2 unsaved wounds.

    In combat the Scourge issued a challenge, and my Beastlord took it. Despite the Beast Lord’s R7, the Scourge got a greatset of rolls and dealt no less than 10 wounds between the stomps and his attacks. Hoping for a miracle, I rolled my aegis saves and got 6 of them, meaning that my general was dead: he struck before dying, and dealt two wounds to the Scourge: the greater daemon had lost combat by 5, but managed to roll a “4” for his break test and stay alive!

    The feral hounds were now left to their own devices, bu they still managed to pass fear and only suffer 3 wounds from the Blazing Glories’ attacks, resulting in a tied combat; a pity that there were no more Centaur Lancers to take advantage of that!

    TURN 3 – Daemon Legions

    With one of my scoring units about to flee off the board, the daemons started to withdraw: the Blazing Glories stayed out of arc of sight of my units, the sirens kept on redirecting my beastlord and all of the central units moved back to put some distance between them and the beasts. The Gremlins yet again didn’t show up.

    In magic I decided that I’d had enough comets for one game, and dispelled the Wrath of God. To do so, I had to let the Hand of Heaven through on my Beastlord on Chariot. 7 S5 hits later, he was down to 2 wounds remaining. The comet we’d been waiting from turn 1 finally dropped, and enveloped half my army and the Scourge in flames: when the dust cleared, both my minotaur units were down to a single model remaining, the scourge had suffered 2 more wounds and some centaurs from the big unit were also missing.

    In combat the Scourge got challenged out by the Wildhorns’ champion, lost combat by 1 and failed his (overdue) break test, and returning to whence it came. The Blazing Glories killed all of my remaining feral hounds and broke free from combat.

    TURN 3 – Beast Herds

    While the Scourge dying was a good thing, it was instantly offset by the last lance centaur fleeing off the board to the left. With one scoring unit in the bag, my hope now was to be able to orchestrate a turn 5-6 assault on the middle succubis to get a draw on the objective, while also keeping all of my other scoring alive. But first order of business was to drop the Blazing Glories down to a more manageable size.

    With no general to give the wildhorns a fighting boost, and the two scoring minotaurs down to 3w each, I had to settle for a very tame approach: the Centaur chieftain relocated towards the center, and the rest of the units edged forward trying to stay far from the Blazing Glory threat range.

    In magic I succeeded in casting the Master of Earth on the unharmed Blazing Glory, dealing 2 wounds. The Soothsayer then also managed to cast Summer Growth on one unit if minotaurs, raising one beast and helping keep the scoring alive. In an amazing show of marksmanship the Mongrels scored 3 unsaved wounds on the Veil Serpents!

    TURN 4 – Daemon Legions

    With the objective in the pocked, the daemons kept playing it safe: the blazing glories maneuvered so as to deny me any charges, and the rest of the daemons formed semi-circles away from my Centaur BSB and my wounded Beastlord. The Gremlins arrived and were also positioned in a safe spot away from any of my units.

    In magic I once more made it my priority to dispel the Wrath of God, letting through the Twisted Effigy on my BSB and the Hand of Heaven on my Beastlord (he suffered another wound, dropping down to 1 wound remaining).

    TURN 4 – Beast Herds

    I needed a plan to push up the middle without risking too much, since losing another scoring unit would make any attempts to claw back VPs pointless. So I pushed the wildhorns forward, and joined my Centaur BSB to them, increasing their Discipline and creating a much-needed battering ram in that part of the battlefield. The rest of the army also moved up, careful not to give the succubi any easy way out in the form of a charge past the wildhorns’ arc.

    In magic I yet again managed to cast Master of Earth, this time boosted by the Throne: this was enough to kill the Blazing Glory still near the house, and raise my Wildhorns’ Champion in the process.

    TURN 5 – Daemon Legions

    The daemons now went for an all-out tactical retreat: The weakest link was of course the succubi, still a long charge away from my chariots and wildhorns. The omen yet again focused on my Beastlord on chariot: I figured that at this point having a comet cast in the middle of my forces would end the game, so took yet another Hand of Heaven and the Twisted Effigy and stopped the Wrath of God; following the previous turns’ trend, the Hand of Heaven dealt a healthy amount of s6 hits and resulted in a dead Beastlord.

    TURN 5 – Beast Herds

    I had to try the long charges, so the wildhorns went for the Succubi but fell short. The chariots couldn’t really charge, since failing would expose their flank to the advance 12 sirens… So I had to settle for a push that could potentially give me a turn 6 charge instead.

    TURN 6

    Nothing exciting happened still: the two siren units comfortably redirected my entire army, hiding the Succubi from sight of the gargoyles and denying any possibility for a turn 6 charge into the scoring daemons.

    After an uneventful magic phase, my only play was to claim the two siren units and call the game there. Due to the objective loss, the game ended a 7-13 loss for the Beasts.


    So I guess that after reading what must be the most anticlimactic 4 turns ever reported in this blog, I’d better make things interesting by analyzing the game and what went right or wrong.

    Going into the game, I knew that the DL had the tools to dismantle my army, and that the objective was going to be difficult to claim. So I designed a plan to a) get points b) potentially allow me to claim the objective in the late game. Part of the planning was accounting for the overconfident Scourge play : Dragon/Scourge players often become reckless when there are no visible threats to their beatstick, and that’s something that Beasts can easily punish.

    I couldn’t allow the scourge to combo charge with the Blazing Glories, since the damage output of the two combined is too much for my units to handle, and consequently I couldn’t allow the Blazing Glories to outflank my army for the same reason. The initial positioning of the Centaurs helped control that, pinning the Glories in place at the risk of letting my Centaurs outflank the daemons instead.

    Another point that I was really happy about was the use of the Beastlord on chariot: his positioning sealed the Scourge’s fate by keeping the Omen too far away from the action, and unable to boost the crucial combats. I had calculated that on average the Hand of Heaven would deal a wound per turn, but the initial3 wounds dealt crippled the BL and relegated him to an expensive decoy. I was ok with getting charged by the omen if at full health (odds are the Beastlord wins the fight), but once 3w were dealt, he couldn’t possibly take the Omen.

    Using the Master of Earth to drop the Blazing Glories to a more manageable amount of wounds was part of the initial plan, and it worked quite well, eventually netting me one of them. By that time though the Centaurs were too delayed to be able to participate in the late game.

    So what went wrong? Magic damage apart, I cannot complain: the Beastlord dying against the Scourge when he did was unfortunate but not entirely improbable; keeping him alive at that point would have tipped the balance in my favor, allowing the Wildhorns to push aggressively up the middle of the board.

    The late game was a different matter: my opponent used his blazing glories and sirens expertly to make my push more difficult and riskier, and I was not ready to take the risk of cascading daemon charges in my backfield (for example, Sirens charging the Chariots would probably not cause enough wounds to break them on the charge, but would pin them in place for an extra round while also running the risk of actually breaking them and claiming other parts of my army in the process.

    With very little risk-taking on my side, and a well-coordinated (if boring) negative play on my opponent’s part from turn 3 onwards, it was no surprise that I failed to punch through the DL defenses on time. If I had to pinpoint a moment where the game could have gone my way bigtime, I’d say it was the BH turn 2: the failed chariot charge vs the veil serpents denied me a risk-free way of dealing with the scourge, and the big comet blast radius meant that I lost the scoring Centaurs without getting anything in return.

    The rest of the team had mixed results, including a couple of unpredicted losses – that turned the tide against us and allowed the Relentless Company to win the round with a convincing 61 – 99. Still, good games were had and lessons were learned!

    Our next opponent wouldn’t be pushovers, either: Team Ukraine!

    1,167 times read

Comments 2

  • skrak -

    Good read as always. The charges on turn 2 were beautiful.

  • Xarlie -

    awesome game mate!! i wish to read some more...!! good luck next games!!