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First "Big" Tournament Experience - Games 1 & 2

posted Mar 13, 2012 02:00:10 by KevinSpear
So, as many of you know, last Saturday was the the one-day Warhammer Fantasy tournament run by the Unplugged Gamers. To my understanding (this was my first major tournament), it had a pretty traditional format. Three 2,000 point games based around scenarios taken from the BRB (Big Red/Rule Book) and additional objectives thrown into the mix. The scoring system was based around the points differential at the end of the game or when time was called. I was a tad bit nervous as I had not run my finalized list prior to the tournament. Though I must thank greg and madmojo for their help with updating my previous list. Without that experience I probably would have had a much worse showing at the tournament. I learned (as my knights were killed to a man) how vital it was to be able to break units with high numbers of ranks early... especially when you only have high strength attacks on the first turn. If it weren't for that lesson, my Men-at-Arms would have been left home and never contributed substantially in my first two tournament games. All-in-all, it was a great time that allowed me to spend time with my brother (a life long O&G player), fellow dorks, and enjoy THREE games of warhammer.* So without further prompt, heres my list and how I did at The Unplugged Gamer's Tournament.

*Thats more than I've played in the past 6 months! hah.

My List:

257 Bretonnian Lord (Gen):
V. of Confidence (re-roll hits and wounds in duels)
Sword of Lady's Champion (Str is always 1 higher than opponents T)
Mantle of Damsel Elena (Immune to Poison and Killing Blow)
Gauntlet of the Duel (Opponent cannot decline challenges)
B. Warhorse, HA, shield, Grail Vow (immune to Psych)

221 Bretonnian Lord:
Virtue of Heroism (Heroic Killing Blow)
Heartwood Lance (re-roll failed to wounds)
Dragonhelm (+1 armour and 2+ ward against fire)
Potion of Foolhardiness (+1 Attack and immune to Psych - one use)
B. Warhorse, HA, Knights Vow (immune to panic from peasants)

121 Paladin (BSB is free upgrade)
Crown of Command (Unit is stubborn)
Shrieking Blade (the bearer causes fear)
B. Warhorse, HA, Shield

140 Damsel (lvl 2, Life)
Ruby Ring of Ruin (Fireball Bound Level 3)

240 Knights of the Realm x 9 w/ FC
195 Men-At Arms x 36 w/ SB & musc
161 Knights Errant x 6 w/ FC & Errantry Banner (+1 str on charge, -2 ld on impetus tests)
70 Peasant Bowmen x 10 w/ skirmish

165 Pegasus Knights x 3

248 Grail Knights x 6 w/ SB
90 Field Trebuchet
90 Field Trebuchet

Overview of List: Comp. Score of 6. The army is based around a bus of knights of the realm, which held the General, BSB, and (at times) the Damsel for magic protection. It's main purpose was to head for a unit that contained key characters (wizards, generals, or BSBs), destroy said characters with the lord, add additional CR on the charge with the knights/BSB, and break through in typical Bretonnian fashion. If things went awry, my BSB held the command crown to allow my support units (GK's, PK's, and M@A's) time to come to their rescue. The Treb's were there to soften up horde units or targets of opportunity while my knights errant with HKB lord hunted larger prey. My original purpose for the peasant bowmen and damsel were to hunt lone spell casters. But, unfortunately, that nevered happened! So the peasants turned out to be great delayers/nuisances while the damsel did a little magic in game one, hid from shooting game two, and provided spell protection game three.

Game 1: Blood and Glory
Army: Orcs and Goblins
Comp: 5 (I gain +1 to score for having a softer list)

Army List
Warboss on a wyvern
NG Bigboss BSB
NG Shaman Lvl 2
NG Shaman Lvl 1
50 Big Uns w. FC
50 Night Goblins with 2 fanatics w. FC
~30 man squig herd
5 trolls
10 wolf riders w. FC
10 wolf riders w. FC

When I first met Jose, I found him already getting ready for the game at our table. As we had a little time, we chatted for a bit and looked at each others models. He was a great guy with a solidly painted army. Still, it was hard not to have my jaw drop when he passed me his list and showed off a 50 Big Uns with Full Command and Additional Choppas unit. "Oh, great" I remember thinking, "Another horde army!"

When deploying, I try my best to mask my true intentions. I put a lot of low points troops and even artillery pieces down in an attempt to disrupt my opponents ability to figure out my true intentions. Especially, as Jose had an infantry based army, the more distance I could put the big blocks of infantry from my knights the better. It would allow me to maneuver into positions where I could destroy his army piece-by-piece while his footsloggers struggled to catch up. I believe it worked, as Jose put his two largest units (the Big Un's and Night Goblins) on my far right flank. These faced off against my Grail Knights, Pegasus Knights, Peasant Bowmen, and Trebuchet (all of which were the first units I put down). My two primary lances (Knights Errants and Knights of the Realm), accompanied by a host of Men-at-arms waited patiently at the centre of the board, looking across at the Squigherd, wolf riders, and trolls with the warboss on wyvern behind them.

Before the game began, we both vanguarded our fast cav. His wolf riders came right out to tempt my primary lances while my Pegasus knights made for the Night Goblins and Big Un's. I set these up behind a wall. If Jose chose to go first, it would trigger the fanatics and force him to throw these lil no armor save bugger at something besides my flying knights.

Even after praying and giving him the choice, Jose gave me the first turn. I made a strong move with the center of my battle line. My Knights Errant declared a charge on one of the wolf riders, who immediately fled. I then successfully redirected my charge to the other wolf rider unit. These held, making my knights run through woods (they all passed their DT) and sticking themselves out into the center of the board. To support the reckless youths, my Knights of the Realm Bus moved up to counter charge anything that went after my Knights Errant. I then moved my PK, which triggered the fanatics (who flew out and left the board in Jose turn) before finishing their move nearly behind Jose's battle line. My magic played its only major role of the game by casting Thorns Shield on my KE. However, my trebuchets (as they would in each game) made an instant impact when they hit the wyvern with a str 10 boulder, killing it instantly. Battle was obviously one sided, my KE w/ lord beat the wolf riders and reformed, making certain that any counter chargers would hit them in the front arc.

The counter charges did come quickly, with the trolls and squig herd rushing into my knight errants, while the Big Un's and Night Goblins began their long sweeping advance to the center of the field. Jose's magic was pretty ineffectual as well (more on the dice than anything) and he had little shooting that I believe caused no wounds throughout the game. So, combat came fast and furious. Passing his fear check, my lord KB'd a troll and caused another wound on the unit while my knights killed another 2 Squigs. The three trolls in combat chose to vomit on my knights (gross!), killing one, while the Squigs could only bring down another knight. I love being hit with str. 5 attacks, I get a decent armor save (4+) and it triggers my improved ward save (5+). I ended up winning the combat by 1, both his units pass, setting up a charge by my Knights of the Realm Bus.

With a cry to the Lady and King, my lance went rushing into combat top Turn 2, hitting the Squigs in their front, while my Men-at-arms frantically tried to catch up (marched them up to support in next turn if needed). My peasant bowmen rushed forward to try and provoke a charge from the night goblins and/or orcs. The only other major move was my Pegasus Knights flying behind the Warboss, waiting for the next turn to pounce on him. My shooting came up spades again, a boulder landed dead on the Night Goblin unit (they were out of warboss' LD bubble). It killed 18 and Jose passed his panic with the re-roll. The battle in the center of the board was brutally one sided. The squig's failed their fear check (BSB's shrieking blade), which reduced their WS to 1. This provided key as all my units could now hit them on 3's instead of 4's. I killed all the squigs except for 2 and my lord wounded another troll with only the loss of a single Knights Errant. The resulting break tests saw the squigs run rampant and kill my HKB lord, a Knight Errant, and a KotR. In a bid to keep the now 2-man knight errant unit out of harms way, I had them chase down the remaining trolls.

With his flank crumbling, Jose did the best he could, reforming his Big Un's to the KotR, putting the Warboss into the Big Un's unit, and trying to charge my bowmen. I took the top of turn three to marshal my own troops. The KotR bus wiggled back a bit to make charging nearly impossible (10 or 11?), sending my PK's behind the Big Un's unit and the GK (who had been hiding behind a forest until now) to its flank. I then softened the Big Un's up with a few boulders, killing ~15 of them.

To Jose's credit, he tried declaring charges, his Big Un's trying for my KotR and Night Goblins on my Treb, but both failed. Jose conceded after knights and peasants crashed into three sides of his orc unit.

Result: Kevin - 20 Jose - 2
Battle Ranking: 1 out of 28

Reaction: It was a resounding victory for the Bretonnians and this game really helped shake off my nerves. I love how my army played in this game, fast and in concert. Each unit brought something different to the table that supported the army as a whole. The KE's were inexpensive and offensive powerhouses, the Pegasus Knights got around enemy battleline, forcing my opponent to make some tough decisions, and the trebuchets really showed off their true overpoweredness, killing a wyvern, 15 orcs, and 25 night goblins. Although I felt kind of bad for how one-sided the match was, it was really exciting to sit at the top of the tournament for at least one round!

Game 2: Meeting Engagement
Opponent: Mike
Army: Dwarfs
Comp: 5

Army List:
Thane with BSB (had a rune of challenge)
~30 Dwarf Warriors with FC and GWs
~30 Quarrelers with FC and GWs
~28 Hammerers with FC
6 miners
Grudgethrower w/ str 3 shots
Grudgethrower w/ str 4 shots

My second opponent, Mike Rossi, received my vote for best painted army and best opponent to play against. He was always upbeat in the face of horrendous dice rolling and had a fair mind for strategy. He pushed me to keep up the pressure, even when the game was already decided. Definitely an honorable opponent and a pleasure to game with.

So there we were, an odd pair of opponents competing at table 1. Brets and Dwarfs facing off. The scenario was meeting engagement with a +400 victory point bonus for having an uncontested/non-character unit on the hill at games end. The table was otherwise lightly covered; a pair of forests in each deployment zone, a tower and hill in mine, and a marsh in his.

Mike won the roll off to deploy first. I believe his deployment was aggressive in this scenario for a Dwarf army; he created a tiered battle line that stretched across the middle of his deployment zone (roughly a foot from the hill) with his artillery stretched across the back edge of the table. From my right to left, he ran his hammerers, warriors, then quarrelers seven across (the quarrelers were slightly behind the other two... maybe to get more shooting in?). A gyrocopter sat on the far right flank while the miners waited in reserve. The runelord jumped into the quarrelers unit and the thane w/ the rune of challenge went into the warriors unit.

I countered by making sure the only units that saw the warrior unit with the thane were ones that would inevitably charge them. I lined up at the center of my deployment line from right to left (behind the central hill) my Peasant bowmen, my Men-at-Arms, and KotR. On my left flank lay my flanking force of Pegasus Knights, Knights errant, and Grail Knights. My own trebuchets took position at the back of my table edge.

As my Knights prayed, Mike began the game with the typical Dwarf first turn; reposition his battle line, send the gyrocopter steaming forward, and fire the artillery. To be frank, Dwarf shooting was abysmal this turn and throughout the game. At the top of turn 1, the cannon ball lodged in the ground two inches in front of my KotR bus, a grudge thrower squarely hit a treb but failed to wound on a 2+ and I made the ward save on the Pegasus Knight who was hit by the other grudge thrower. Rough.

Fearing that my luck was already spent, I swept my flanking force up the left flank; The Pegasus Knights flew towards the nearest war machine, while my errants and grails made a bead towards the quarrelers and rune lord. To win the center, I knew I had to isolate and defeat the warrior unit before concentrating my forces on the hammerers. So, I positioned my bowmen to intercept any counter charge from the king's personal guard, while my kotr bus and men-at-arms blocked off the warriors. In essence, I gave myself a single, valuable turn to defeat the warriors while the hammerers reformed. Shooting proved devastating again when a boulder landed amongst the quarrelers, killing 16.

Realizing how close his battleline was to being overran, Mike took action. His miners made it quickly onto the field, showing up right beside a trebuchet. He also declared charges with his warriors onto my kotr (to stop from being charged), gyrocopter into a trebuchet, and the hammerers into the peasant bowmen. Unfortunately, luck proved again it wasnt with the bearded folk. Although the hammerers and gyrocopter made it easily to their targets, Mike rolled a paltry 4 on his charge roll to the kotr (needing a 5!). His runelord also bailed out of the quarreler unit, fearing for his life (and points). Shooting continued to fail Mike, with only the quarrelers able to kill anything (a single Grail Knight). Combat was understandably one-sided, the dwarfs easily outmatching the peasants in both cases.

With the strategy unfolding precisely as planned (thats a first!), I charged in, pennon's flying. My Men-At-Arms and KotR auto made their charges against the dwarf warriors while only the Knights Errant unit rushed the Dwarf warriors. Although there was a slight risk I would not make the charge (needed 6) or fluff my rolls, I felt that the Grails did not need to waste their lives in the Quarrelers stand-and-shoot reaction (Mike had chosen to "Hold" when I declared a charge with the Knights Errant) or the corresponding combat against GWs. The PKs also made a charge against the first grudgethrower.* The dwarfs paid in blood for their aggressive deployment during the ensuing combat. In total nearly 20 dwarfs were killed between the fights, breaking both the warrior and quarrelers units before being run down by their respective knight units.

* No magic was ever used in this game, the Damsel hid in the KotR bus and I didnt want to risk throwing a lot of dice to try and overcome the dwarfs natural resistance to magic/ the runelord .

Still, Mike had a very hard unit with his hammerers in prime position to flank my forces. He did so immediately, hitting the flank of my Men-At-Arms. Swearing oaths of vengeance, the hammerers killed 13 Men-at-arms in a single combat out of 15 attacks! This was just enough (by ONE kill!) to knock my peasants out of their steadfast rule and break them. Now was the moment of battle where all was decided, if Mike could roll higher than a 4, he would hit my KotR bus in the flank, spelling possible doom for the Bretonnians. Yet, the hammerer's passions must have been spent on the peasants as they could only muster a paltry 3 on their pursuit roll. This allowed my Kotr bus to gallop out of their front arch and reposition for a counter change.

Honorably (and what turned out to be very fluffy), the hammerers fought to the last on top of the center hill as they were assaulted from every quarter in the last couple of turns. Pegasus Knights, Knights of the Realm, and Grail knights were all needed in order to bring these fiesty bearded folk down. In the end, only the miners and a runelord who was running off the field remained of the dwarfen expeditionary force.

Result: Kevin - 16 Jose - 4
Battle Ranking: 1 out of 28

Reaction: This was positively the best game I had in a while. It had some great scenes (hammerers fighting back to back against all odds on top of a hill? yes please!), exciting moments (beating two units of dwarfs in a single round of combat!), and some VERY dicey spots when the dice could have made it VERY bad for my knights. It says a lot about Mike's character to fight to the last, as each time a moment came in which he could have made a game out of it, the dice went against him. This was an absolute blast to play and the reason why I want to go to more of these tournaments!

I'll post my other battle report as time allows.

[Last edited Mar 14, 2012 19:55:54]
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4 replies
Greg2thePerson said Mar 13, 2012 10:16:54
Thanks for the report, Kevin! Sounds like an awesome game! I was hoping to read that you got the Wyvern with Heroic Killing Blow, but I suppose the Trebuchet is a much less risky way to take it out!
The slightly less beautiful host.
KevinSpear said Mar 13, 2012 13:32:01
Yeah, big monsters have a tendency to run away from my HKB Lord. Normally, he just spends his time chopping up ogre sized models or characters. Just the name of the game I suppose. Still, just wait until I get around to writing Game Three and you'll see some large target fun!
Greg2thePerson said Mar 14, 2012 01:56:24
Mike is a top notch opponent and all around great guy. I faced off against him at a GT in September. The battle report (which he wrote) is posted in the News blog if you go back a ways.

Those Brettonians were running rampant in the first two rounds! Nicely done! :-)
The slightly less beautiful host.
noah.nathanson said Mar 16, 2012 23:33:50
Sounds like two great games, curious as to what happened game three! Bring it on!
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