Axel Vicious and The Beastly Boys at the UK Masters 2021

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  • Hello and welcome to my Battle Report for Game 1 of the UK Masters (I know, I don’t know how I made it either).
    So the tournament is the standard 4500 points format and all 6 deployments and all 6 secondary objectives will be used for each round. Interestingly round 4 will be an army swap round where you swap armies with your opponent, I’m dreading that one, fingers crossed for some ID filth that round!
    So for this event there was only one army I was going to take, the Beast Herds! I was tempted to take my Warriors as I think they’re a better army but I’ve only made it to the Masters because of my Beast Herds so I owe them this one. The Minotaur Warlord would never forgive me if I didn’t take him.

    So here’s my List:
    705 - Minotaur Warlord, General, Light Armour (Destiny's Call), Paired Weapons (Blessed
    Inscriptions), Obsidian Rock, Crown of Horns
    570 - Soothsayer, Wizard Master, Shamanism, Light Armour (Trickster's Cunning), Hand
    Weapon (Ancestral Carvings), Seed of the Dark Forest
    475 - Minotaur Chieftain, Greater Totem Bearer, Battle Standard Bearer, Light Armour
    (Aaghor's Affliction), Great Weapon
    325 - 3 Raiding Chariots
    303 - 29 Wildhorn Herd, Shield, Standard Bearer (Legion Standard), Musician, Champion
    (Totem Bearer (Gnarled Hide))
    273 - 18 Wildhorn Herd, Paired Weapons and Throwing Weapons , Ambush, Musician
    642 - 6 Minotaurs, Shield, Standard Bearer (Banner of Speed), Musician, Champion (Totem
    Bearer (Black Wing))
    240 - Razortusk Chariot
    170 - 10 Longhorn Herd, Ambush, Halberd, Musician
    160 - 10 Longhorn Herd, Ambush, Halberd
    150 - 5 Gargoyles, Scout
    140 - 5 Gargoyles
    115 - Raiding Chariots
    115 - Raiding Chariots
    115 - Raiding Chariots

    Fairly standard to what I’ve been using most of the year except the Minotaur Warlord bought himself some new armour for the occasion and is strutting around in his shiny new Destiny’s Call which means I’ve saved points and can take the Obsidian Rock too for that extra magic protection. The Minotaur Chieftain is now rocking the Aaghor’s Affliction, because who doesn’t love being Res 6 with a 4++ Fortitude save?

    The Soothsayer with the Trickster’s Cunning and on Shamanism should make him pretty hard to kill, especially in combat. He’s also carrying around the Ancestral Carvings so he can dish out some damage too. He will mostly be sitting in the unit of 29 Wildhorn with Shields, Legion Standard and the Gnarled Hide Totem. They can be a pretty hard unit to shift and with so much static combat res they can hold their own against most things. I’d like more Wildhorn in the unit but I ran out of points.
    I’ve got 3 ambushing units, 2 Longhorn with Halberds and 18 Wildhorn with Paired Weapons and Throwing Weapons. I do think the Paired Weapons on the Wildhorn are a little expensive but if you can get them in the right match up (ambush helps with this) they can really surprise people.

    There is a lot of Chariots because they are just so good for their points, 115 points each and they have huge spike potential and zoning threat. I think they’re incredibly gamey and I don’t like taking them but if you can’t bring bent filth to the Masters when can you? I also have a unit of 3 Raiding Chariots because 3 are even better than 1 and a Razor Tusk Chariot to give me even more threat range.

    Then its 6 Minotaurs with Shields to baby sit the characters when they need to, and they also hit like a ton of bricks. Thanks to the change to command group they got even cheaper for me, yippee!

    Lastly it’s Gargoyles chaff because there ain’t no chaff like flying chaff. Only one with Scout though because I always have one unit hiding behind the Minotaurs to protect them from counter charges and failed charges so there’s little point taking scout on them.

    So, enough talk about my list, round 1 was Marching Columns and Hold The Ground, not a bad objective for me but there are better ones. My opponent was randomly drawn and I was drawn against a colossal of the UK Ninth Age scene, Adam “Tanka” Jones, @Tanka. I’ve played Tanka a couple of times before and he’s 20’d me both times but I like to think I learnt from them (I learnt nothing!), so I was ready. This tournie though Tanka decided to randomly determine what army he was going to be bringing by rolling a D16 and going through the armies alphabetically, he rolled an 8 and it was KoE. An army I know very well and have little success with but an army that Tanka hasn’t used in the best part of a decade. After I’m sure much scouring of the KoE book Tanka settled on this list:
    560 - Duke, General, Barded Warhorse, Shield, Bastard Sword (Blessed Inscriptions),
    Crusader's Salvation, Dragon Staff, Renown, Questing Oath and Bastard Sword
    540 - Duke, Barded Warhorse, Shield (Fortress of Faith), Lance (Supernatural Dexterity),
    Bastard Sword, Basalt Infusion, Might, Questing Oath and Bastard Sword
    385 - Damsel, Barded Warhorse, Wizard Master, Druidism
    305 - Paladin, Barded Warhorse, Shield, Battle Standard Bearer (Aether Icon, Aether Icon),
    Lance (Wyrmwood Core), Lucky Charm
    695 - 15 Knights Aspirant, Standard Bearer (Banner of the Last Charge), Musician,
    225 - 5 Knights Aspirant
    225 - 5 Knights Aspirant
    675 - 8 Knights of the Grail, Standard Bearer (Flaming Standard), Musician, Champion
    630 - 12 Knights of the Quest, Standard Bearer (Stalker's Standard), Musician, Champion
    130 - 5 Yeoman Outriders, Bow
    130 - 5 Yeoman Outriders, Bow

    Tanka is well known for spamming units and running MSU style armies, and he has great success with it so this army is a complete departure from that. 3 big fat lances of death and some assorted chaff. The Characters are the usual tough to kill and hard hitting Duke’s that you would expect and may prove a challenge even for my Mino Lord. This must be the first time that the Fortress of Faith’s ability to negate Divine Attacks has ever actually come into effect, it will really hamper my MIno Lord from killing that Duke. I’ve taken that item many a time and that ability has never come up. The list has 2 Breath Weapons, which is a theme you will see in lots of other lists, people were expecting Dread Elves to make an appearance at the tournie so a lot of lists are geared towards killing elves, except mine. Fortunately no one has taken any DE to this event, I guess they’re too new for people to risk running at the Masters.

    So after seeing the draw I was happy that I had KoE because I knew the army, then I did some maths on certain possible fights that might occur and I started to change my mind. If all the Characters go in one unit then there is absolutely nothing I can do to that unit. Even the Mino Lord can’t fight three characters at once and due to the small frontage of 3, I would only be able to allocate hits onto the Characters, the odds of me killing even one of them in a single round is slim at best, meanwhile my Minotaurs would be getting absolutely destroyed and I’d end up breaking form combat. Because of that I have to run my characters solo, to preserve point and to draw the attention of KoE away from the rest of my army. I think zoning is going to be important in this one and I absolutely have to make sure that I don’t let anything get past me, with the huge foot prints of the lances of Knights it would be difficult but there’s nothing to stop the Duke’s going solo and darting around my flanks. Luckily Tanka is on Druidism so his offensive magic is minimal so all the damage is going to be done at close range.

    I have decided that i need to play my army wide, try and take up the whole board as Tanka only has 3 threats and the flanks on those units are huge so if he presses at me I need to have multiple threats ready to smash into the flanks of those units and take them off.
    Going into this match up I am not overly optimistic, the Deployment is a pain for me, I find Marching Columns to be real headache at times but I have so many drops that I won’t be revealing anything by my first three drops. I need to aim for first turn ideally so that I can push onto the objective and zone the enemy. It is really in the interest of the KoE to go first and sit on the objective because there just won’t be very much can do about it early on. I will need to sit back and wait for my units to get round the side of the table before I can pounce. That’s the plan anyway, I have no doubt that I will throw it out the window turn 2 and do stupid things.


    Onto the game, we roll off for table sides and i picked the bottom of the table as i knew that stupid house in the middle of the top deployment would reall mess with the KoE’s plan. We do spells and i have to pick first, i go for Awaken the Beast, Totemic Summon, Break the Spirit and, get ready for it, Echoes of the Dark Forest! that’s right, the worst Hereditary spell in the game (apparently) is going to the Masters! The reason i took it despite the KoE having two units that don’t care about fear (one of which even does better when fighting against fear!) was for the potential chances for some terror bombs on the Aspirants or Mounted Yeoman, plus the -1 Discipline in combat could really help me break steadfast if units are away from the BSB and General. Also i just don’t think the other Shamanism spells would be any use at all in this game.

    Tanka took Healing Waters (not one i usually take with KoE due to their existing Aegis save), Stone Skin, Summer Growth and Entwining Roots. Nothing too surprising really, it will all be about stopping Oaken Throne as much as possible to limit the effects of those spells.

    Tanka drops first and picks the left hand board side, I take the right. I decide not to ambush with the Longhorn and not to scout with the Gargoyles. I need chaff drops so that i don’t have to reveal my hand too early. We exchanged the first three drops and then Tanka dropped the lot to go first despite the fact he wouldn’t get the bonus, so it was to be a dice off. We end up like this:

    So nothing really surprising with the KoE deployment, it was pretty obvious but at least with Tanka dropping first there were no surprises. I thought that the Questing Knights would be behind the hill on the left so i put my Minotaurs on the far left, the reasons are two fold, one to cover the left side of the board and stopping the Questing Knights from pushing up too fast to begin with. Two, so that if the Questing Knights come for the Minotaurs then it is taking them further away from the action in the centre. I had a bit of a conundrum with what to do with the Minotaur characters, i didn’t want to leave them in the Minotaur unit as they would just be easy points for the KoE if it came to a Questing Knight Bunker v Minotaurs. KoE are really poor at dealing with lone Characters unless they have Scorpions or Div magic, so i don’t think i have much to worry about running my characters solo. I went solo with them in the end and I put the Minotaur Warlord nice and far away from the Dukes and hopefully get him round the flanks of the Knights. This is probably one of the few armies where the Mino Lord cannot just go charging headlong into a unit and guarantee a win due to the high armour and static combat res. He definitely can’t take a charge either from the lances as they all have an answer to him whether that’s Divine Attacks, Characters or a shed load of Impact Hits. The Minotaur Chieftain was hanging out at the back of the army to give as much coverage for the Rally Round the Flag as possible and also to have lots of targets for the Totems.

    I probably should have put the Longhorn more near the centre to help contest the objective but I was worried that if they are too close to the centre then they’ll just be quickly targeted and taken out. Also putting them out on the flanks will hopefully give them the chance to get a nice flank charge on a unit. Wildhorn sat in the centre so that could potentially push on the objective, the Soothsayer left his buddies for once and went solo in the ruins. If he went in the Wildhorn he would just end up getting charged at some point and breaking from combat. Chariots are interspersed throughout the army to stop the Yeomen from getting too close and to help whittle down Knight blocks if they fancy it. The Gargoyles are going to be mostly chaff but are also my target for Echoes of the Forest, with advance 9 they have a big charge range and get to do some long terror bombs to clear out the Mounted Yeomen.
    I put the Seed of the Dark Forest in front of my Wildhorn to give my opponent some dangerous terrain checks if the Knights want to charge them. If i can get my Soothsayer or BSB in there, all the better but i don’t think it’s a must. The Yeoman do their vanguard move to move forward a bit but nothing extravagant.

    That’s enough waffle, onto the game, Tanka won the roll off for the first turn and so off we go.

    Turn 1 - KoE
    Display Spoiler

    The Mounted Yeomen on the left move to be 14” in front of the Minotaurs, which means i’ll have to take a frenzy check next turn. The Might Duke leaves the Questing Knights and faces the Minos, if i fail that Frenzy check then the Minotaurs are going to be in trouble. The rest of the units move towards the centre, the big unit of Aspirants move within 6” of the Objective. The Yeoman and little Aspirants sit back.

    In Magic the 7 Flux Card comes out which is fine for a Turn Druidism magic phase. Flesh to Stone goes off on the Last Charge Aspirants. Shooting does nothing so it’s over to me.

    BH 1
    Display Spoiler

    I have to start off with the Frenzy check on the Minotaur unit, which i pass thankfully. I charge the Raiding Chariot on the left at the Mounted Yeomen and they flee, so a failed charge for me but at least they’re out of the way.

    Other movement and everything on the right swings round to start threatening the centre. The Wildhorn walk back a bit. The Minotaurs turn ont the spot and walk back. I move the Longhorn on to the Wall for some free distracting, i then move the Gargoyles behind them. The plan I have is if a unit charges the Longhorn i hold, they will most likely break the Longhorn who will flee, if they pursue they will go into the Gargoyles, i will then have a flank charge in my turn with the Minotaurs and BSB. This will require the Gargoyles passing a panic but they are within 12 of the BSB so they should be good.

    In my magic phase i get the 2 Flux Card and start off with a small Totemic Summon behind the fleeing Mounted Yeomen but it is dispelled. I then cast Black Wing Totem on the unit of 3 Raiding Chariots and i try to one dice Echoes of the Dark Forest on the Gargoyles in the ruins, i need a 4 but only roll a 2.

    KoE 2
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    The Might Duke declares a charge against the Raiding Chariot and I flee off the table. He then passes his redirect test and charges the Longhorn. I thought if he went in solo I would either hold with the Longhorn and then counter with the Minotaurs or Chieftain or he would overrun into the Gargoyles and I could counter there. I positioned my units poorly though and the Might Duke could squeeze into the Longhorns and out of sight of both units. So I had to flee with the Longhorns too. IN retrospect I should have just taken the charge on the Chariot and countered with the Minotaurs if he didn’t overrun, if he did then he would have been out of the game for a turn at least. In the end the Might Duke does the failed charge against the Longhorn.

    In other movement the rest of the army moves forward a bit, The Mounted Yeomen rally whilst the other unit chaff up the unit of Raiding Chariots.

    Magic is a 6 Flux Card. I have to let Oaken Throne off as it was cast on a 10, too high. I dispel Stone Skin on the Last Charge Aspirants but Healing Waters is cast on them instead.

    Shooting with the Yeomen does 2 wounds on the Raiding Chariots, which is not ideal.

    BH 2
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    I charge the Raiding Chariots into the Mounted Yeomen so i’m at least clearing out some chaff. The ambushing Wildhorn come on this turn and I put them in the KoE deployment and push them at the other Yeomen, ready to throw their weapons at them. The Longhorn rally.

    The Minotaurs can now easily get out of charge arc of the Might Duke and Questing Knights so they swing round the left. The Mino Lord runs up the field to face the flank of the Aspirants. I chaff both the Grail Knights and the Aspirants with the Gargoyles so that the Raiding Chariots are safe from a counter charge. The Wildhorn walk back as the Questing Knights are now in charge range, the best i could do was a 11 on the dice (I could have turned around and walked away safely but i still wanted to threaten the middle.
    All the Chariots on the left move towards the centre and we are getting close to some action now.

    In Magic I get the 1 card and I'm able to get Break the Spirit on the Grail Knights, which will slow them down a bit.

    The Wildhorn do their shooting and wipe out the Mounted Yeomen! That’s what you get for not taking Light Armour and/or Shields on them!

    The Raiding Chariots run over the Yeomen and i turn to face the Aspirant block whilst trying to maximise the distance between themselves and the little Aspirant block.

    KoE 3
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    It’s time for some combat at last now! The Questing Knights declare a long bomb charge on the Wildhorn block. The Last Charge Aspirants declare a charge on the Gargoyles and the little 5 Aspirants declare a charge on the Raiding Chariots, needing a 9 on the dice. The 5 Aspirants fail their charge on the Raiding Chariots despite their rerolls, phew. The Last Charge Aspirants go in (obviously. The Questing Knights fail their charge, but they have a reroll from the hill, and they make it, DAMN!

    The Damsel bails out of the Grail Knights now and the Grails turn around to face the Wildhorn, really picking fights equal to their stature. Might Duke fails his march check and moves towards the right. The little Aspirants on the left chaff up the Minos and Tanka does some shenanigans so that only a single Mino can make contact, boo!

    It’s the magic Phase and the 8 card comes out, i use one dice to dispel the existing Oaken Throne so Tanka casts it again and gets an 11 on 2 dice, that’s too high for me to stop without using up most of my dice so i have to let it go. Next is Stone Skin on the Aspirants, fine, i can let that one go. Lastly it’s Healing Waters on the Aspirants and i need to stop this one, It’s Tankas 4 dice to my 6 so naturally i fail to dispel this one. This is huge BTW, i could let Stone Skin go off because i was planning on charging the Mino Lord in there, even with Res 6 he’s still wounding on 6 with a reroll, that should be fine. The Healing Waters though is a real pain as I have DIvine Attacks so I could at least make him reroll his Aegis saves but not those Fortitude saves.

    The Aspirants wipe out the Gargoyles and pivot to so that the front is facing the Mino Lord and the Raiding Chariots. The Questing Knights go next and the Renown Duke uses his Bastard Sword as a Light Lance and uses his Breath Weapon too, he kills 4 which is enough to break Steadfast already. 6 more Wildhorn die before the end, they break and run off the board, i pass all my panic checks luckily. The Questing Knights don’t pursue and instead pivot to face the Minotaur Lord. This may seem odd but it’s all about keeping the unit out of the arc of sight of the Longhorn, and even though it gives the Minotaur Chieftain the rear it does ensure that the Renown Duke gets to fight the Chariots which is what he wants.

    BH 3
    Display Spoiler

    It’s time to unleash the Beasts! The Minotaurs charge the Aspirants on the left. The Raiding Chariots charge little Aspirants at the top. Despite my discussion around the magic phase last turn i still go for the charge with the Minotaur Lord into the Aspirants. I only need to kill 3 Aspirants to draw combat and i think with 6 attacks with all the rerolls he should be able to do it. Maybe I’m mad, only the combat phase will reveal if I’ve made a terrible mistake or I’m an utter genius! I decide to throw the world at the Questing Knights, charging the BSB into the rear, the Razortusk Chariot and Raiding Chariot into the flank alongside the Soothsayer (he’s pretty nifty in combat so it’s not totally mad). I decide to go for a long bomb charge with the Longhorn into the Might Duke, it’s an 11 but if I pull it off it will be big.

    The Longhorn charge fails but I make all my other charges thankfully. The Raiding Chariots into the Aspirants was an 8 on the dice so that was iffy, luckily they pulled it off. I have to position the chariots into the Questing Knights against the Renown Duke or I would have to go through the Ruins and I don't want to take those Dangerous Terrain checks. I’ll take my chances against the Duke rather than the ruins.

    The only other movement I do is move the Longhorns up so that next turn they can march onto the objective and start to claim it from turn 4, provided I’ve cleared off these units. The Gargoyles move to chaff up the Might Duke so he can’t charge the Minotaur Chieftain. The Wildhorn push up on the Grail Knights to shoot them in the shooting phase (They do and it does nothing).

    For my Magic I get the 3 Flux Card (For those keeping count i’ve had the 1, 2 and 3 cards but Tanka has had the 6, 7 and 8!). I cast Awaken the Beast on my Minotaur Lord to increase his strength and AP. I try for Break the Spirit on the Questing Knights but forget about the double Aether Icons and fail to cast. I try for the Blooded Horn Totem on the Lord but it is easily dispelled.

    Onto combat then, the Minotaurs kill one Aspirant and take no wounds in return, Aspirants break but i fail to catch them, even worse there only an inch in front of the Minos so they can do stupid chaffing shenanigans next turn if they rally.

    Next I do the Questing Knight combat. The Paladin BSB issues a challenge, after a bit of deliberation i accept with my Minotaur Chieftain BSB. The Soothsayer could have taken the duel and would be unlikely to die but would also be unlikely to kill the Paladin. We do the duel first and it is then that I remember that the Paladin still has his Breath Weapon to use, his S5 flaming breath weapon! I only have a fortitude save for protection so it is scary times. The Breath Weapon from the lance does 2 wounds and the Paladin does 1 wound too, the Minotaur Chieftain is alive but she is not in a good place right now, I’ve made a terrible mistake. She can come good though, it’s not that unlikely that she kills the Paladin in one go, with 4 S7 attacks but alas, she only does 1 wound to the BSB.

    In the rest of the Questing Knight combat the Chariots and Soothsayer kill 6 Questing Knights not too shabby. The Renown Duke puts 2 attacks on to each Chariot and does one wound to each. After that brutal round of combat the Questing Knights lost but they are steadfast with a reroll from the BSB and they pass the discipline test.

    Next is the big man himself, the Mino Lord, his impact hits do nothing, fine, that's OK. I just need to kill 3 Knights to draw combat. He hits with all 6 attacks but I roll no 6s for Battle Focus. I wound with 5 of them, which is not ideal, the Aspirants have a 6+ Armour and 4++ Fortitude, i end up only killing 1 aspirant and that is abysmal. The Aspirants hit back with their 12 attacks, hitting on 4s, wounding on 6s and i have the Destiny’s Call, so it is unlikely that I’ll take any wounds from all these S3 attacks. So i obviously take 2 wounds from the Aspirants! I lose combat by 4 so I need a 5 on the Break Test, my BSB is one knight short of giving the Lord a reroll too. I fail the Break test (roll a 10) and run, the Aspirants pursue, they can’t turn down those points, and they catch him. I’m absolutely gobsmacked! Should i have been? Am I an idiot for doing that charge? Please leave a comment and let me know if that was a dumb decision. I mean it obviously was because of how it ended for me.

    Lastly I do the Raiding Chariots, which was a good move because if i did this combat first then i would have had to take a panic test for the Lord dying. The Chariots murder the Aspirants, they pivot to face the Grail Knights and flank of the Last Charge Aspirants.

    KoE 4
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    Things are looking pretty bleak for me now, I’m not gonna lie. The loss of the killing machine that is the Minotaur Lord to Knights Aspirants, the crappiest of Knights, really hurts. The Minotaur Chieftain is wheezing her last breath and I’m running out of units.

    Enough of being morose, on with the game. The Last Charge Aspirants charge the Longhorn and i hold because they are too close to flee safely really. There goes any chance I had of getting or drawing the objective though. The Might Duke charges the Longhorn too, I hold because if I flee I'm most likely to be off the table and at least by fighting them he’s far away from the action. The Grail Knights charge the Wildhorn and I happily flee that charge and run off the board. Now the Grail Knights flank is nice and ripe for the charging by the Raiding Chariots.

    The fleeing Aspirants rally. The Damsel fails her march check meaning she can only go 8”. There is no way that she can get within 12“ of the BSB to heal that wound without getting charged by the Gargoyles, so instead he opts for the safe option and moves the Damsel away from the Questing Knights and to the side of the Gargoyles.

    It’s the 2 Card for the Magic phase and I dispel Oaken Throne so that no Questing Knights can come back to life. He casts Stone Skin on the Questing Knights, which is expected but at least it is only +2 Res.

    In combat the Might Duke wipes out the Longhorn before they can even swing back, he pivots to face the Minotaur Chieftain. The Last Charge Aspirants wipe out the Longhorn too and pivot so that the Raiding Chariot would be in front if i charge.

    Onto the big combat I can’t see a way out of this fight, things aren’t looking good, let’s face it, we all know what’s going to happen here. We do the Duel first and the Minotaur Chieftain is having none of this!

    The Paladin fails to do any wounds to the Mino Chieftain, he is wounding on 6s after all. Mrs Mino strikes back with her Great Weapon and does the last two wounds, killing the Paladin! With the Chariots and the Soothsayer I'm only able to kill 1 more Questing Knight, this is a real grind and not one I'm sure I can win. The Questing Knights do no wounds but the Renown Duke finally rolls some 6s to wound and does 3 wounds to the Raiding Chariot (killing it) and 2 to the Razortusk Chariot. Thanks to some lucky rolls from the Duke the combat is now a draw and the fight continues.

    Choosing not move the Damsel into range of the BSB for the heal has proven fatal here and given me a sliver of hope!

    BH 4
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    Let’s try and salvage something from this mess! The Raiding Chariots charge the flank of the Grail Knights. The Minotaurs charge the Aspirants, again, i can only fit one Minotaur into base to base with the unit. The Chariot next to the Aspirants just moves around to the side of them. I move the Gargoyles out of arc of sight of the Duke and chaff the Damsel (Don’t worry, I have a plan).

    Onto Magic and it’s finally time for a big phase, i get the 5 card. I cast the Blooded Horn Totem on the Soothsayer but it’s dispelled. I then cast Break the Spirit on the Questing Knights which Tanka tries to dispel but fails! I then reveal my cunning and incredibly risky plan. I cast a big Totemic Summon so that it is chaffing the Might Duke but is also within 6” of the Damsel so it can use it’s Breath Weapon on her. I roll 12 on 3 dice and get the spell off and it can’t be dispelled.

    The Breath Weapon from the Totemic Beast does 5 wounds to the Damsel but she saves 3 of them sadly! So close to taking her out, argh! If that had killed her it would have been glorious.

    In combat the Minotaurs kill 3 Aspirants and the lone guy breaks from combat and I fail to catch him again. The Raiding Chariots kill 3 Grail Knights with Impact Hits and the Longhorn on top kill another one. The Grail Knights fail to do any wounds to the Chariots. I win combat but the Grails are still steadfast and stick but fail their reform test.

    Big combat time again and this time the Questing Knight champion issues a Duel, after much umming and ahhing i decide to take it with the Soothsayer this time, my reasoning being that at least the Mino Chieftain gets to swing whilst she dies from the Questing Knights. The Duel is a pointless affair with no one wounding. The horses can’t wound the Minotaur Chieftain and the Razortusk takes down a Questing Knight. The Renown Duke does nothing to the Razortusk Chariot and the Questing Knights fail to even hit the Minotaur Chieftain, so she lives to fight another day. She still has her attacks to do and she goes absolutely bonkers this round and kills 3 Questing Knights thanks to some Battle Focus hits. This now means that the Questing Knights aren’t steadfast. The unit (Champ and the Duke) loses combat by 7 and fails it’s break test, thus fleeing from combat. I have them run from the Chieftain and I pursue with everything, the Razortusk catches them netting me some huge points there! The Razortusk also runs into the side of the Aspirant block but the Chieftain and Soothsayer fall short. Aspirants pass their panic check.

    Well, well, well, what a turn around this last turn has been!

    KoE 5
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    So we are rapidly running out of units on both sides now. Tanka’s movement phase is rapid with the Might Duke charging the Totemic Beast. The Damsel moves to be within 12” of the Aspirants to try and buff them. The lowly fleeing Knights Aspirant fails to rally and flees off the table.

    It’s the 3 Magic card this round and Oaken Throne goes up with another high roll from 2D6. Next he tries to cast Healing Waters on the Aspirants but i dispel it then Tanka tries to cast Sumer Growth on the Grail Knights, sneaky, but he fails it.

    In combat the Duke easily kills the Totemic Beast and just pivots rather than overrun. The Grail Knights get to strike first against the Raiding Chariots and fail to cause any wounds (Equitaine’s finest Knights apparently, lol). The Longhorn on the Chariots kill 2 Grail Knights and win me the combat. The Grail Knights fail their break test and flee, i really wanted to restrain with the Chariots so i could turn around and charge the Damsel next turn but i can’t risk the Grail Knights staying on the table and rallying so i pursue and catch the Grail Knights.

    Just one combat left and the Razortusk goes barrelling into the Knights Aspirant and kills 2 of them which is enough to at least draw combat. I fail to do any wounds with the riders and Razortusk piggy but drawing is enough. There’s 6 S3 attacks back on me and they manage to do one wound! These aspirants have done more wounds than the Grail Knights now! So I lose combat by 1 and break from combat despite being Discipline 7 and being next to the BSB. I flee and get caught by the Aspirants and to make matters worse they pursue into Mrs Mino!

    BH 5
    Display Spoiler

    What a difference a turn makes, I've gone from king of the world to despair again in the blink of an eye. My movement is pretty obvious really, I charge the Aspirants with the Soothsayer and the Raiding Chariot in the flank. I figure i might as well because all the impact hits are going on the BSB and she only has 1 wound left so hopefully i can rack up more combat res from my 2 chargers. The Minotaurs and Raiding Chariots just move towards the centre and the Gargoyles chaff up the Might Duke.

    Magic is the 8 card for me and I start off by casting the Blooded Horn totem on the Raiding Chariot with 3 dice, it’s dispelled. I then cast Awaken the Beast onto the Raiding Chariot to increase it’s Strength and Tanka fails to dispel it. I use 2 dice to cast the Gnarled Hide Totem on the Minotaur Chieftain, just in case she survives the Impact Hits then it makes the Aspirants job harder. Lastly I cast Echoes of the Dark Forest onto the Soothsayer so that if i win combat then the Aspirants will be on a Discipline 6 Break Test.

    So onto the only combat and let’s face it, I was hoping she would survive but given how often this unit rolls 6s to wound, she’s gonna die. After 12 impact hits not a single 6 is rolled and she’s alive, for now. I kill a couple of Aspirants with the Chariot and one more with the Soothsayer. The Aspirants that can attack the Minotaur Chieftain do and despite all their attacks (10 or so) and fail to cause a single wound! There’s just no stopping Mrs Mino, she’s obviously furious about the loss of her husband so she’s going all out! She attacks back and kills a couple more Aspirants. The Aspirants lose combat but they are still steadfast, on Dis 6, they roll a double 6 and flee! I decide to pursue with all the units because I'm just not taking any chances with my units getting in combat with the Might Duke now, even if I charge. Also it’s KoEs turn next so the Damsel can easily get out of charge range. The Aspirants only flee 6 inches or so i should easily catch them, I roll the Chariot first and roll 1,1,1, *sigh*, how upsetting, it’s ok i have 2 more units to go, I’m sure they’ll do it. The Soothsayer rolls 1,1. I am absolutely raging now! WTF! Just Mrs Mino to go and she does it, rolls 4,4. Phew, if anyone was going to do it was going to be The Minotaur Chieftain, it was fated.

    Turn 6
    Display Spoiler

    Not much happens in turn 6, the Duke kills the Gargoyles and that’s it. Game Over.

    We tote up the points and I have wiped out everything except the Damsel and Might Duke, netting me 3975 points. I haven’t lost too much, a lot of chaff and the Wildhorns, plus the Mino Lord obviously, so it is 2809 from me. That makes it a 13-7 on points to me and a 10 - 10 overall because i lost the objective.

    So there it is, one of the bloodiest draws I’ve ever fought. I definitely made a couple of mistakes which cost me but i think Tanka played a pretty tight game really with very few mistakes. The biggest mistake I made was charging the Mino Lord into the Aspirants, it was a foolish move that probably would have paid off if Healing Waters hadn’t been cast but I should have changed my plan once it had been. I think the Gargoyles were out of chaffing range but I should have taken a leaf from Tankas book and chaffed the Aspirants with the Mino Lord in such a way that he could only charge me with one file. If the Mino Lord charged had paid off and he held the unit, I could have scored the objective with the Longhorn and would have stood a very good chance of winning the objective, it all could have been so different.
    Taking the challenge from the BSB with my BSB could have been a massive mistake on my part but I was lucky after that initial combat and it paid off. I definitely wanted to kill the BSB as fast as possible to increase the chances of the unit breaking but it was too big of a risk for the BSB to take that challenge. The Soothsayer should have done it.
    In turn 2 when the Might Duke charged the Raiding Chariot I should have held the charge, i would have countered him with the Minotaurs and if the Might Duke doesn’t charge he’s pretty useless.

    I was lucky with the Totemic Summon that chaffed the Might Duke, trying to cast the boosted version on 3 dice is incredibly risky and if that didn’t go off my BSB was in trouble as I think he was only 18” away. You’ve got to take those chances though and it’s still not as lucky as casting a spell on 4 dice v 6.
    The only mistake Tanka made was not moving the Damsel next to within range of the BSB to heal that wound, that error was huge and Tankas loss all spiraled from that decision. He could have put the Damsel in a position so that she could only be charged by one Gargoyle so would most likely be alive.

    The MVP for the game is clearly the Minotaur Chieftain and I believe the reason she did so well was because I actually finished painting her on the day of the game! Everyone knows painted models do better and she was sat next to my monitor cheering me on.

    ("Charge me over there, i'm gonna smash me some knights!")

    The LVP is the Mino Lord who just gave away a load of points and let me down, but really taht’sa ll my own fault so i can’t really expect him to kill too many of a unit that’s Res 6, with a 2+ Armour Save and a 4+ Fortitude save!

    All in all I’m absolutely delighted with the result and if Tanka offered me a 10 - 10 at the start i would have snapped his hand off. I haven’t lost a Masters game yet so I’m already doing better than I hoped.

    That Bat rep went on much longer than i planned but it was such a good battle i had to give it the full treatment. See you for Game 2.

    1,428 times read

Comments 9

  • Wijkert -

    Hi Kev, great writeup mate, very well done!

    "Please leave a comment and let me know if that was a dumb decision. I mean it obviously was because of how it ended for me."

    I am not convinced the charge is a definite mistake. On average you draw combat, I think? Didn't do the math though, but should be close to a draw. If you stick, he has to divide his buffs and probably prioritize the other big combat, so that would make it easier to win the grind. Not being within BSB range made it riskier though.

    Anyway, the main point I want to make is following. Based on the quoted comment above, you seem to be suffering from a serious case of result oriented thinking. It basically means that after the fact people have a unhelpful tendency of concluding that something was a bad move because it didn't turn out well. If the choice was correct before you knew the the result, than it is correct afterwards as well, not matter what the result turned out to be. I am a fan of you guys podcast and have heard some result oriented thinking on several occasions. If you want to get better (and based the year you had and what you said on the pod you clearly do) I would advice you to work on this issue as much as you can.

    • AxelVicious -

      Thanks for the feedback, especially about results orientated thinking. I spent a longtime afterwards going over that decision with the Mino Lord and I do think the odds were in my favour, taking 2 wounds on the Lord just made it seem like a worse decision than it was. I'm not sure if the reward was worth the risk though.

      I doubt it will change my play style too much though. I'll still be making decisions based off rushed maths and gut feeling

    • Wijkert -

      Even though I hardly play any Magic, I still like to listen to the Limited Resources podcast. The ones that tackle certain subject like result oriented thinking (or Rotty as they like to call it) are a great listen for any gamer that wants to improve.

  • Crease -

    This has to be one of my favourite reports, so much detail and great to hear the thinking and reflection, reminded me of the wd batreps of yore! Many thanks for writing this up. Will be closely following the next games and trust they will be as or more entertaining - when is your next fine duel?

    • AxelVicious -

      Glad you like the battle reports. My next game is tomorrow against Orcs & Goblins. Should be a good scrap.

  • falanor -

    Hey! Welcome back, very happy to read your reports again! Hard fought battle! The mino lord into the aspirants is a big risk but it could work... I think the BSB/BSB duel was a bigger mistake (concept-wise). Also why did you keep pursuing those aspirants with the minos? Would it not have been better to turn around and move towards the center?

    • AxelVicious -

      The Minos kept failing their restrain test because of the maximised test. I kept trying to hold them back they just kept failing sadly.

      You're right about the bsb duel. It was a big error accepting with my bsb as he had a flaming S5 breath weapon which I forgot about. I wast bothered about his S4 flaming attacks but the breath weapon could have easily killed the Mino Chieftain.

    • falanor -

      ah, it makes sense then... It looked weird seeing those minos moving away from the action :D Btw I like your list, plenty of tools in it!

  • PTG-Lucky-Sixes -

    Great report mate! Very detailed and well done to get the 10-10 in the end!