The Beast Herds go to The Ocho - Game 5

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is available! You can read all about it in the news.

  • Every team in sports has a “rivalry” with someone, for reasons usually nobody understands: Bulls vs Pistons, Manchester United vs Liverpool, Real Madrid vs Barcelona, Red Sox vs Yankees (I admit that I googled that). It turns out the Belgians also have this, with no other than our neighbors: yes, we and the friendly Dutch have had many a fight in T9A and before that, quite often with a pint of good old beer (and not the piss that is Heineken). I remember when I got recruited in the team back in 2016, and asked what our goals were for the year, our then-captain said without hesitating: “we need to beat the Dutch”.

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

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

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

    Wurzaq wrote:




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

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

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

    We alternated deployments (it was Frontline Clash) all the way till the end, with me keeping my big blocks for until after the KoE had dropped their entire force. My opponent went for the side with the hill, and used his lances to make sure that I wouldn’t be able to infiltrate my vanguarding centaurs past his arc of sight if I got first turn. This left him with a weighed left flank, with only a single unit of aspirants threatening to move past my forces and cheekily score the objective. To counter this, I placed my GW centaurs on the right hand side of the board: they’d have to first deal with the aspirants, then move back towards the center where the action would happen. The rest of my army went across from the knights, and I hoped that my movement tricks would be enough to give me the upper hand against the equitainian tin-cans.



    Faced with such a mighty horde, the knights had no other option than pray to the lady. This allowed me to steal the initiative by winning the roll-off, and win I did!

    TURN 1 – Beast Herds

    Playing first against Druidism magic and in a King of the Hill scenario kind of makes one feel bad, but the alternative was, you know, to play second against KoE. Every time I’ve tried it it seemed like a good idea at first, and then if backfired. So I rejoiced at the opportunity to control the pace of the game.

    That meant pushing my centaurs and BSB as far forward towards the aspirants as possible, moving the centaur blocks to provide generally bad-idea charges to the knights and overall be annoying, and otherwise be very cautious in my approach. After all, there was a Hippogriph Duke on a hill to worry about.

    Magic was pretty uneventful, but I did get the Throne off and kept 3 tokens, so I’ll consider that a win.



    TURN 1- Kingdom of Equitaine

    With the impending ambush at the back of his head, the KoE general pressed forward: the small Aspirants to the left charged into my feral hounds, and I held: one unit of knights baited into the jaws of my army is one less unit that can flank me later on, after all. The rest of the knights maneuvered, keeping their distance and zoning, while the BSB let his unit to make sure that the longhorns wouldn’t get the jump on the knights. The yeomen blocked my middle centaurs’ charge, and the Hippogriph relocated to the middle of the board, right opposite my chariot lord and my wildhorn block.

    In magic, I let Awaken the Beast on the aspirants, for an extra point of resilience, then begrudgingly let through Swarm of Insects om the furthest unit of centaurs: 3 models died, and the remaining two panicked off the board, removing one redirector from that side. I was then able to dispel Totemic Summon, keeping my backline safe.

    The Aspirants killed 5 hounds on the charge for no wounds back, and elected to not pursue.



    TURN 2 – Beast Herds

    The rightmost unit of minotaurs was frenzy-baited into the aspirants, who held their ground. The BSB’s unit charged their aspirant unit, who elected to flee off the board. And then I saw an opening: the Wildhorns spotted the flank of the Yeomen, with an easy overrun into the questing knights behind. My gargoyles charged said questing knights, ensuring that we’d get to resolve that overrun fight on the same turn.

    All of the charges were successful, leaving me with just some units to reposition slightly and consolidate. The fleeing warhounds rallied on their own leadership, to my surprise. The middle centaurs marched in front of the Realm Knights, blocking the unit’s charge into my wildhorns on the following turn. Finaly, a unit of ambushing longhorns appeared right behind the questing knights, hoping to force the knights off the board on a flee roll of 6 or more.

    In magic the plan was to boost my Wildhorns. Getting card no 1 didn’t help, but at least I managed to get a non-boosted Stone Skin off on them.

    The Wildhorns and general predictably killed the yeomen and overran into the questing knights right behind. Things took a turn for the worse then: the minotaurs dealt four wounds to the Aspirants, failed their test not to pursue and moved 11” forward, enough to expose their flank to the Grail Knights and allow them a rather catastrophic -for the beasts- series of overruns…

    In the final fight, things didn’t go as planned either: the gargoyles killed two questing dudes, which was definitely welcome, but then the knights and horses went berserk: in total four Gargoyles and five (Resilience 6!) wildhorns died! The beastlord dropped two knights with his attacks, just enough for the wildhorns to win combat: the Questing knights passed their Ld8 test and held, leaving my general’s block in a somewhat precarious position. Faced with a combo-charge of gigantic proportions, I reformed my Wildhorns to give the Questing Knights the flank: this way, I’d ensure that my Beastlord could strike at the questers and stay out of Hipogriff/Grail-related trouble.



    TURN 2 – Kingdom of Equitaine

    So while I was busy trying to figure out how the game went from a solid start to a disaster in a single combat phase, my opponent went in for the kill! The Realm Knights charged into my Centaurs blocking them, the Hippogriff charged into my wildhorns, and the Grails fell upon the over-eager minotaurs’ flank. The BSB moved closer to where the fighting was, and the aspirants edged closer to the chariots to prevent them from supporting the wildhorn fight.

    Magic started with the Damsel casting Awaken the Beast on the questing knights for +1 resilience, then I used all of my dice to dispel Break the Spirit on the wildhorn block.

    The melee phase kicked off with a devastating charge of the grails into the Minotaurs, that resulted in a dead unit for me and a 5+ overrun into the flank of my centaurs for the Grails. That fight didn’t exactly go great for the beasts, either, with the centaurs evaporating instantly due to the Might Duke’s attacks. So that left the Grails with another overrun, this time a 7+ to get into my wildhorns. Niek rolled the dice: 1-2-2. I exhaled in relief as the elite knights stumbled forward, winded and about to receive a flank charge of epic proportions.

    In the main fight, my champion was thrust forward as a sacrifice to the Renown Duke, and then the questing knights attacked: this time they rolled closer to what I’d expected them to do in their previous turn, which meant that luckily my flanking Gargoyle survived, and only a single wildhorn was killed. The Beastlord retaliated and killed 3 questing knights in return this time, forcing a couple of (successful) break tests on the Knights.



    TURN 3 – Beast Herds

    How can the tables turn in a single phase! That failed grail pursuit opened up so many alternatives for me. After some thought, I pulled the trigger on the grails: the Raiding chariots, Minotaurs and Beast Lord on chariot all charged in, and only the raiding chariots failed to reach the knights. The Longhorns rear-charged what remained of the Questing block, and the BSB’s unit, still sober, now moved back towards the middle of the board. The second ambushing unit appeared right behind the big Aspirant Block, as a sort of a deterrent for the next turn charge into the raiding chariots.

    Magic had a single goal: heal the Wildhorn champion: a high-cast Oaken throne on card 8 meant that my opponent had no say in the matter: he dispelled the Blooded Horn that I attempted to cast on my charging Beastlord, plus the Healing Waters on the Minotaurs. But then I managed to cast entwining roots on the questing knights, getting that wildhorn champion back finally.

    The charging Minotaurs and Beastlord went to town on the Grails: when the smoke cleared, only two knights remained: these fled automatically, were caught in pursuit and both of my units overran into the Realm Knights awaiting behind. In the Hippogriff/Questing fight, the champion was thrusted forward once more in a Duel, keeping the Hippogriff away from my general. In return, the combination of the Longhorns and the beastlord was enough to kill the remaining questing knights. Having lost combat by a ton, the Hippogriff ran and got cut down in pursuit by the Wildhorns!



    TURN 3 – Kingdom of Equitaine

    The knights tried to retaliate: the Aspirants declared a charge into my chariots’ flank,but I politely declined and fled. The BSB relocated to help out the aspirants who stumbled forward and were about to get rear charged by the longhorns.

    In combat the Beastlord killed the unit champion, while the minotaurs dropped a couple of knights for a wound back. The knights held on steadfast, for now.

    TURN 4 – Beast Herds

    My general charged out of the unit and into the flank of the engaged realm unit. The Longhorns charged into the rear of the aspirants.

    In magic the Longhorns got boosted with Stoneskin, making them R7 and increasing my hopes of actually breaking steadfast against the Aspirants.
    That hope was very short-lived though. The longhorns killed three knights, but the combination of the knights’ and horses’ attacks was enough to drop two R7 longhorns in return. Still steadfast, the aspirants succeeded their break and reform checks.

    The Realm Knights were not as fortunate though: now left without a champion, the Might Duke had to take the Chariot Lord’s challenge, suffering two wounds in the process. The combination of the minotaurs with the charging lord was enough to kill the rest of the Realm Knights, leaving just the wounded duke alive. My units all pursued, catching and killing the duke.



    With the objective in my hands, and two more turns to mop up if I wanted, my adversary decided to call the game there, for a 20-0 Beast Herd victory!


    AFTERMATH:

    What an emotional rollercoaster that -very fast- game was! The plan worked well enough initially, then the super-knights came back with a vengeance, only to run out of steam at the worst possible moment!
    What I was afraid of initially was that my opponent would use his characters as individual maneuver elements, thus doubling his board presence and making me sacrifice my redirectors to prevent the characters from swarming my units and killing them one by one. The yeomen redirection blunder gave me the stepping stone needed to break the standoff and force the KoE to be reactive instead.

    Even losing the Wildhorns against the Hippogriff/Grail charge could have been somewhat mitigated by countercharges, although it would have made my life a lot more difficult and I won’t hide that.

    So who won the lower countries’ derby? Thanks to an impressive performance by our Dread Elf player, we managed to offset a couple of defeats, and the rest of the games got draw-ish results. So in the end, the Belgians had won 84-76, gaining another victory against our neighbors, just so that they’ll keep coming for revenge, a real beer, salty food that is not doused in syrup and a good time! ;)

    One more round to go, this time against ETC royalty: the Danish!

    507 times read

Comments 5

  • daruk_el_rojo -

    the intro remember me this.
    youtube.com/watch?v=zcUs5X9glCc

  • nantuko -

    Great battle report as usual! Luckily your opponent made a couple of huge mistakes (characters not acting solo and the flank charge on his chaff) making the game easier but you exploited both of them as a master ;)

  • falanor -

    I think this sums up nicely KOE... a small hiccup in an overrun / charge and boom!

    Thanks for the report, it was a real pleasure. Now I am waiting for Arthur's, Lord Drakon's and IHDarklord's to have a better picture of this round :D

  • Lord Drakon -

    I do not easily encounter introductions that make my heart beat faster, leads to bursts of smiles, or create a longing for revenge, but when I do, SmithF is talking! I hoped to face you in the field this time, until next time. Revenge is sweet grr... I will not rest before I I have restored honour and put those soft-spoken, waffle eating brethren back in their place!

    They do understand beer though :)

  • Arthur -

    <3