Saturday, November 29, 2014

How to suck your Slann into a hole

Well, Well, Well look who is back!  Much has happened in the last 5 months, all worthy of their own posts. Leadership 2 traveled to the North East and took Best Overall at the Bragging Rights Team Tournament.  Team play is very different and is a great change of pace from normal tournament play.  I ran a little (103 player) Tournament called the Quake City Rumble and had intended on discussing the army breakdowns.  I then returned to the North East and soloed Crossroads in upstate New York, representing the California well with much alcohol consumed and a 9th place finish.  Finally, Leadership 2  did its annual pilgrimage to the Alamo in Texas.  Always a blast and just barely missing a out on the big prize, though 2nd place and Best general is nothing to sneeze at.

While all worthy of posts, there has been a seismic shift in the Warhammer World.

Nearly to biblical levels!

To much gnashing of teeth, twitter trolling, Fan Boy excitement, and salivating over amazing models, the End of Times has arrived  (see Hinge's Ramblings #1).

However I will save my thoughts on the changes for another day.

Since the year is winding down, I would to talk about the Lizardmen list I have been running as my primary tournament list.  I ran variations at WCGT (8th) in SoCal, SAWS (4th) in NoCal, Crossroads (9th) in NY, and Alamo (2nd) in Texas.  The list went 14-3-3 in tournament play with only 1 loss being major, the other 2 being minor.  Dark Elves were its bane, going 1-2-1 (VC the other loss).

I very much enjoyed playing the list, feeling it gave me the tools to compete against every potential adversary I would run across.  I will do a quick rundown of the list and the major variation (see Hinge's Ramblings #2) then give my thoughts on the choices I made and how they performed.

Slann, Focus of Mystery, Harmonic Convergence, Channeling Staff
Old Blood, CO, LA, GW, ToP, OTS
Scar vet, BSB, CO, GW, BSB, Armor of Destiny
Scar vet, CO, LA,  SH, Biting Blade, Dawnstone, DB Helm, IC Icon

Option 1 
Skink Priest, L2, heavens, Scroll
Skink Chief, terradon, LA, Charmed Shield, DB Gem, Warrior Bane
Option 2

23 Suarus Warriors, FC
3x10 Skink Skrimishers, Javelins and Shields, patrol leader
2x10 skink cohort, Mus, Std
2x5 Chameleon Skinks
2x jungle swarms
3 Terradons
6 Cold One Cav, Mus, Std
2x1 Salamanders

When I sat down to design the list, I had several concepts I wanted to advance.  The first, minimize cannon targets! So no Carno's, no Stegs, no Basilidons.  

This would be a major departure from my Thundering Herd Monster Mash but the proliferation of warmachines meant I either double down on the concept or move in another direction.  I decided to focus on Cowboys since this is one of the strongest elements of the Lizardmen book. I wanted maximum flexibility with the my Magic, so at long last, the Slann would be in a  tournament list.  . Finally, I wanted to control the movement phase but still have one hammer unit, hence loads of skinks.

Slann:  Yes the big toad.  The Channel Staff/Harmonic is nothing original and I found it to be hit or miss.  However, a couple times it lead to a big advantage in dice.  When it did, I wanted lots of spells to cast. This lead to a choice between Wandering Deliberations and Focus.  I have been playing with the Loremaster of Hoeth on the High elfs I have been painting.  I love the tool kit nature and redundancy of having all sig spells.  However I was searching for a different experience and gave High Magic a try.

I fell in Love!
(see Hinge's Rambling's #3)

It is also a utility lore, with lots of flexibility.  It can also be used to mess with your opponents plans in ways most Magic Lores can not.  The lack of Miscast protection is a big disadvantage and would cost me several times.  Oddly, the 3 times he sucked himself into a hole (and the once he was dweller-ed off) I was a 2-1-1, leading me to believe he is not the most critical piece of the army.  He was taken out in combat once but that was the tabling I received from the VC.

 Lets Break down the Lore:

Drain Magic:  A bit of a get out of jail free card.  It is always best to engage in combat on your turn/terms so you have the magic support to tip a combat.  This spell allows you to pull any annoying hexes and buffs off units and is almost always overlooked by opponents.  

Soul Quench:  Cheap and powerful Magic Missile.  Down side is its short range.  This is offset by the ability to cast through a skink priest.  With the abundance of elves in today's meta, a must have.

Hand of Glory:  Reverse Miasma.  This goes a long way to addressing some of the shortcomings of Suarus.  When facing Purple Sun/Pit I look to always keep the Initiative buff up on the combat blocks.  Cast early in the phase, opponents usually let it through.  The shift in WS is also a big plus.  It can turn getting hit on 3's to hitting on 3's.  A big swing indeed.

Apotheosis:  The least likely to be cast spell.  Usually when the OB is getting beaten up.

Walk between Worlds:  One of the best spells in the lore.  Getting Salamanders into prime frying position, units into the back field to warmachine hunt, and most importantly, getting the Slann and/or the Suarus block out of danger.  You can almost always surprises an opponent with a clever walk early and it keeps them thinking about it all game, altering the positioning of their units.

Tempest:  The least useful spell in the deck.  I almost always cast early to switch it out for something more useful.  Once again, while getting switched out it can hurt those pesky elves and their shooting.

Arcane Unforging:  This spell is the biggest reason I take this lore.  Its what I call "kicking the crutch" out from an opponent.  It is amazing how WoC players will freak out when you pull the 3+ ward off their character!  The Cloak Master becomes much less scary! Licking your chomps with the Sword of Anti Heroes?  Not so fast.  Ogre Blades, pfft, Eternal Blades, please.  Sure you want to risk miscasts when the Banner of the World Dragon is broken?  Taking out the item/combos that many players depend on puts pressure on them to adjust there game plan and puts them in an uncomfortable position. (see hinge's Ramblings #4)

Fiery Convocation:  Awesome against large formations of troops.  As a RIP, it will often kill my opponents next magic phase.  I have seen some players just write off the unit it has been cast on.  Particularly nasty v. those Nurgle blocks.

Lore attribute.  I have found I rarely exchange more then 1 spell and never more then 2.  With Tetto, even 1 becomes tough (see below).  However they are always a key spell for the situation.   Wysan's, Savage Beasts, Searing Doom, Ice Shard, and Fireball. Except the one time I kept Savage (oh boy did that work out well!) they are all signature spells, keeping to a low risk approach in making sure you get something useful.  Wysan's is excellent in buffing the Suarus and Cold Ones (not to mention Cowboys), Searing Doom for those high AS targets, Ice Shard is always worth it, and Fireball once again for pesky elves.

I am sure this is how my Lizards saw themselves

Old Blood:  The first of the Three Amigos is my favorite model in the army.  A powerful combat lord that can go toe-toe with most anything in the game, especially when getting buffed.  Frankly I project my self into this guy.  Fierce, a leader, prone to the occasional stupidity, ancient and enjoys locking horns with the best warhammer generals in the country.  My friends will look at my beer gut and tell me the Slann is closer.  Far to cold and calculating for my tastes!  Give me Predatory Fighter and a ghizzilion ST 7 attacks. All but one game I lost,  he was killed (the last he sat on his horsey lizard and did not earn any points).  While I would love to put him on a Carnosuar, the sad fact is he is much more powerful running around on a simple Cold One.  Depending on threats, he would start in the Cold one unit or running around on his own.

Scar-Vet BSB:  This Amigo is also critical.  It is shocking how frequently I fail Cold Blooded Leadership test, so the re-roll is much needed.  Will usually start in the Suarus block, and stays near the Slann.

Dawnstone Cowboy:  The most likely Amigo to find himself in trouble!  He eats low ST infantry and  chariots for breakfast.  He is also kitted out to deal with nasty etheral units, who started to disappear when the Wood Elves came out but I suspect will be back in force with the Lore of Undeath.  Will usually start attached to a skink cohort unit until he can shoot out unless cannons are present.

Skink Priest:  Simple scroll caddy and arcane vassal.  The occasional timely Iceshard is also useful.

Skink Chief:  A fun choice if not optimal.  The Egg can be ace against elves since it is popped before combat but its variable effect is always a crap shoot.  He is also useful in locking up a K'Dai, charge chariots in the flank, and dealing with opposing chaff.  The inability to go into a Terradon unit makes him very vulnerable to shooting.  I have hopped him from skink cohort to skink cohort when facing heavy BS shooting.  He is also easy to keep close to Suarus to prevent forced overruns due to Predatory Fighter.

Tetto:  I broke my long time personal ban on Special Characters and took him to the Alamo instead of the Priest/chief.  Frankly he is amazing and gives my lists 15 spells to choose from (see hinge's Rambling's #5)!  First the down sides.  I give up the Dispel Scroll.  Not inconsiderable and a very uncomfortable feeling! I also tended to keep him back which takes away the arcane vassal and forces my Slann forward to get many of his spells off.  Finally, with so many options, I always felt I was starved for power dice.  I was rarely able to toss a high magic spell just to change it out.

However his benefits far out weigh these negatives.  Access to Loremaster Heavens and re-rolling when the comet hits is worth it on his own.  Throw in Vanguarding several units and re-rolling 1's the magic phase and he is over the top.  The re-rolling 1"s allowed me be much more efficient in the use of my dice.

3 x Skink Skirmishers:  Always a great choice. The shield gives them a 5+ AS and makes them marginally survivable.  I have had thoughts of casting Wysan's and/or Hand of Glory on the unit but their small size just never made it seem worthwhile.  The Patrol Leader is my twist.  It allows them to take a charge from a mean character and only suffer the one wound and hopefully give my opponent a tough choice of chasing the unit down and facing a bad counter charge or letting the points go.  For 10 points it seems like often I get to use the unit twice.  There are conga line shenanigans available, often times coupled with baiting Frenzy/Predatory Fighter troops.  Finally I have managed charges with a conga, down hill, and into a flank.  They kill the Champ but I win by charge, flank, down hill.  Sometimes it is just worth seeing if they can make a steadfast test.  The Patrol Leader gives me additional optionality with the unit, however, you have to really think a turn or 2 ahead to take advantage of it.  Finally some tourneys will allow a unit that can not take a banner to take another command model and count for fortitude or some other scenario objective.

2x Skink Cohort:  Mostly Fortitude purposes.  However, they are also another real good parking place for the Three Amigos (mounted characters can not go in skirmishers).  They are not as useful and harder to use.  However one is worthwhile just to be able to bury a scar vet in.

Jungle Swarm:  These are included simply because I ran out of skinks!  They are an infoerior choice to another unit of skink skirmishers, which is the same price.  However, there is some hidden attributes.  The biggest is there LD 10 and ItP.  This makes them an amazingly dependable piece of chaff, one I can deploy outside the IP bubble and know it will still be there.  Surprisingly they make a good warmachine hunter.  They tend to get over looked and with MV 6 are decently fast.  I have never been able to get them engaged while the big boys are also engaged with the same target.  Poison and Predatory Fighter sounds so delicious.

Suarus:  Sigh.  I really wish these guys were better.  They will under perform when left to their own devices.  However, buffed, they start getting real good really fast.  They bring some beef to the list as well as providing a focal point.  That focal point may be what my opponent focus's on, which I can plan for.  Or maybe I just creating a battering ram with chaf swirling around it.  Start packing cowboys in this unit and it gets scary real fast.  Wysan's and Hand are the single 2 best buff spells.  Yes, Light Magic certainly makes them awesome but the other 2 do it as well or better.

2 x Cham Skinks:  What can you say.  Excellent scout unit.  Part of the double threat on opposing warmachines.  I think they shine when you can also bring terradons.

Terradon's:  I think an amazing and underrated unit.  When combined with the Cham Skinks, they bring a multi-dimensional threat to war machines.  Many times I keep behind cover then roll them out to drop rocks.  A gentlemen by the by name of Grrn has been playing several Terradon/ripper units with skink chiefs on terradons to good effect.  I really want to try this out!

Cold Ones:  This unit is a delivery system, pure and simple.  The three amigos often can be found in this unit, especially when cannons are in abundance.  Thye rarely do anything on their own, unless they have Wysan's up!

Salamanders:  What can you say.  They are awesome but cheap enough to sacrifice if needed.  the 2 ST 5 attacks catches the occasional person by surprise.

Deployment:  I have 2 basic deployment strategies.  The first is spread out with the Three Amigos sprinkled in.  I do this when I anticipate a movement intensive game, think I can take advantage of my more numerous deployables, and want to project threats from multiple avenues.  The other strategy is what I call the Battering Ram.  This is much more compact, centered around the Suarus block and with the chaff swirling around it.  WoC is probably when I use this strategy the most but there are other times based on my gut when I pull it out.  Probably loads of double flees, so keeping those skinks in the IP bubble to help with rallies is important.

It has been a build I have enjoyed immensely and will be my go to standard build.  Frankly, with the exception of Crossroads, I was in excellent position to win every tournament.  This is all you can ask for!

Up Next week:  You have how many power dice!


Hinge's Ramblings #1:  I freely admit I am one of those freaking out about End Times.  While the Fan boy in me loves advancing the fluff, I feel very strongly that there is some lazy rules writing.

Hinge's Ramblings#2: slight variations for comp pack, such as combining the salamanders   The Tetto variant is much more powerful.

Hinge's Ramblings #3:  I apologize, Sinead O' Conner was playing on Spotify when I came up with that meme.  It always seemed Sinead or the Cranberries were playing in the background when I was "getting lucky" in the early years of my life, so I have a soft spot for them.  As an aside, I was hitch hiking through Ireland when Sinead ripped the picture of the Pope up on SNL.  Holy Crap!  Literally.  Catholic countries were not happy.

Oh, and yes they had radio when I was young! Rumors aside, I am not one of the Old Ones!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The death of chaff? Say it ain't so....

I thought I would move away from the relentless pace of tourney reports (I only have one more before I am caught up) and share some thoughts on chaff tactics in the evolving meta.

These musings started when I read a thread on the Da Warpath that Goblin Wolf Rider units were now useless.  This statement was made with the introduction of Wood Elves and the increase in BS based shooting.  With HE, DE, and now WE, BS based shooting has come roaring back into the meta.  The comments I read is that wolf riders are now just free points.

So I had a great Sarah Palin meme set up but could not resist the Internet cat.
Plus mine is an all black cat named Shadow, so there you go.  Hinge's rambling's #`1

I believe strongly that wolf riders and fast cav in general are an important element of the game.  Much of what I talk about with fast cav can be used with other forms of chaff but I decided to focus on fast cav in particular since it was thinking about Wolf Riders that started this whole post!

I came across a Battle Report recently that I thought I would use as a case study (HE MSU v Cav Prince).  This is one of Sword Masters reports on Ulthuan Forum.  If you do not read Sword Master’s Bat reps, you should.  He is a master at MSU, which is a style of play I love (Hinge’s Ramblings #2).

This game interested me in that both sides had Fast cav, used them a bit differently and will work well in illustrating my thoughts.  Look over the deployment and vanguards.  My understanding were that the Reavers were some of the earliest drops. 

MSU v Cav Prince link

I think starting with a review of the most common roles of Fast Cav would be useful (Hinge's Ramblins #3)..

  • Control movement.  This is by far the most important role in my mind.  Unless you have other units that can also fulfill this role, conserving your fast cav here is paramount. 
  • Anti Chaff.  Often times the best or most efficient way to clear enemy chaff is to send your chaff after it.  Even the lowly wolf riders can take a Dark Rider unit if they charge it in the flank!
  • Warmachine hunters.  This is often sited as a chief job of Fast Cav.  However I feel that unless your opponent spends little effort in protecting his warmachines, this can be fairly hard to accomplish. Cannons and stone throwers will often be deployed behind enemy units, with either no way or a difficult and long trek around one flank to get to them.  RBTs are more then capable of shooting off the approaching fast cav.  
  • Warmachine guards.  A role I rarely see them used in but if enemy chaff is hunting your warmachines, it goes that Fast Cav would be excellent would make excellent guards.  They will need to be dealt with, allowing your warmachines more time to shoot and earn points.
  • "Decoy Drop".  I see this all the time.  Heck, I even do it...sometimes.  It makes sense since Fast Cav get a vanguard and are fast (says so in the title!), hence can re-position easily.  However, this is where I see people making the biggest mistake in today's meta!
  • "Escort".  A great use, your big gnarly hammer unit just charged something and your opponent was smart enough to flee.  However, with the long charge ranges of Fast cav (20"-21"), they are often in range to declare there own charge, which that fleeing enemy must declare a flee reaction to (Hinge's Ramblings #4).  The fast cav push the fleeing unit back towards big nasty, off the board, through other units for panic tests, or simply further out of position.  
  • Bait.  Whether trying to get a frenzy unit to charge or pull enemy fanatics, your deliberately sacrificing them.  
  • Extreme flee off the table.  You charge their big point sink and feel you can win the combat.  However, if they break but get away, all can be for naught.  Lining up a fast cav unit behind the combat can bounce that unit off the table!

Before I go any further, I have to acknowledge and recommend KillerK's thread on the Druchii forum regarding some great fast cav tactics.  In fact, if you have not read, read it now, I can wait.  

All I can say is the post is brilliant, I have used all those tactics at least once, and they work.  

So lets look over the deployment up above.  

Violet/fucia/northern forces

ER 1-  I suspect an early drop to draw out Sword Master.  However, the unit used its vanguard to move forward.  This is the single biggest mistake I see opposing players make.  I give you Hinge's Fast Cav rule #1.

I am hoping  sexy Picard will help you remember this!

ER 1 was vangaurded (?) forward into the combined fire power of Sisters, Reavers, and Seaguard. Needless to say it was shot off to no gain.  It would have been better to vanguard behind the hill, where it then could either be used to protect RBTs or spend a couple turns moving to the other flank.  

Another problem I see is the idea that the unit could be used as a Decoy Drop.  The drop count was 9 to 14, giving the MSU army an advantage in deployment.  I do think it is a good unit to lead with, but rather it should have been deployed in the middle.  This way it could vanguard to either flank once Darth determined which he would push.  (Hinge's Ramblings #5)

ER2-This unit was likely deployed in a similar manner as ER1.  However it had a great target to go after, Sword Master's RBT.  The problem here is it used its vanguard to move right into the combined fire power of that RBT, another Reaver unit and an Archer unit.  Its chance of actually reaching that RBT was very slim. See rule #1.  

Instead, he should have moved the unit behind the White Lions to gain hardcover.  This would have given him a unit to counter Sword Master's ER1.  I also ask you, what Darth could have done if he had a Reaver unit alive on turn 2 or 3 near the White Lions (Hinge's Ramblings #6).  This also leads to Hinge's Fast Cav rule #2.

Crazy idea!

Often times it is better to sit on Fast cav.  You may want to wait until they drop their warmachines so you can be in the best position.  Or perhaps you are so out deployed, you might as well deploy your main units then deploy the Fast cav in the best place to interfere with your opponents reactions.  

In this case, Darth could have waited until he decided where his Schwerpunkt was going to be, then deployed the second fast cav unit.  

I also ask, if ER 1 had deployed center then joined that flank with vanguard, would not the combined efforts of both Reaver units going after the RBT increase the odds of success?

Lets look at Sword Master's use of Fast Cav.  

ER1- Sword Master opted not to vanguard.  This gave him the option to charge the opposing Reavers. Personally I feel he should have forgone that option and moved the fast cav behind the archers.  However, I feel Sword Master did an excellent job of moving this unit after.  He used it to march block, limit the wheel of the Cav bus, and got it into a tough place for opposing shooting to find it, all while advancing to the enemy rear, where he would get a flank charge onto some archers. He was even in a position to race back if Darth had pushed harder on turn 2.  

ER 2 - Sword Master also did not vanguard this unit.  This was an interesting choice but it seems he decided to use the Reavers as a shield to protect the more valuable Dragon Princes.  A role I had not listed above, mobile hard cover!  However, the tactic comes with risk, as the destruction of the Reavers would cause panic tests.  Sword Master certainly is aware of this and had his BSB close by.  If you follow the report, the Reaver unit would dance around with the opposing Reaver to no real effect.  The opposing Reaver unit was not in a threatening position, I feel Sword Master should have advanced ER 2 with the Dragon Princes on the RBTs or moved back center to help distract the bus.  The opposing Reaver unit could easily be dealt with by shooting.  

The lesson to draw from this Bat Rep when faced with a strong BS shooting phase are:

  • A forward vanguard move is not always the best solution.
  • Use units and terrain to create cover.
  • The number one role for Fast Cav remains controlling movement, they need to be alive to do so. Protect them!
  • Consider deploying Fast Cav later.  

Trueflight does not invalidate any of the comments I have made.  Woodies will bring more high quality ST 3 shots then any other army, but the basic tactics in keeping your fast cav alive remain.  Yes, hiding the fast cav becomes more difficult.  This actually may mean that the last point above is more important, deploy them last so they can keep the range open from the shooting.  LOS blocking terrain can be used. Also realize it takes 22 Trueflight shots to kill a 5 man wolf rider unit!  That is the effort of 330 points (more likely 450) to kill a single 60 point unit.  In the mean time what is the rest of your army doing?  What else is he not killing, like warmachines! Also, it only takes 1 wolf rider to redirect a Wild Rider unit, therefore he must kill it to a man before it stops being useful.  In this match, keeping the wolfs close to home is important.  More capable Fast cav means they are worth shooting at, however, pressure can be put on those woodies as often time they can take on those small Glade Guard units.  Finally, sending one unit very wide and behind cover to get behind the Woodies is worth the effort so you can punish double flees.  

I do not view the rise of BS based armies as the death of Fast cav, but rather a challenge to evolve tactics to deal with them.  Fast cav are far to useful to leave home.  

I will be doing a little Bragging next post.  

Hinge's Ramblings #1
Don't worry right wingers, I had a Nancy Pelosi meme lined up.  In the end I decided to keep politics out of a Warhammer blog.  

Hinge's Ramblings #2
MSU stands for Multiple Small Units.  It is a concept that gives up fewer larger but more powerful and durable units for more but smaller and fragile units.  The style is fairly unforgiving in play but puts a premium on generalship and the movement phase.  

Hinge's Ramblings #3
There are several roles I am leaving out that are becoming common.  These are combat units in there own right, combat character delivery, and a wizard bunker.  Dark Riders, Warlocks, Sisters of the Thorn, and Wild Riders are all commonly used in these roles. Why I did not include them in the above, though they can all perform in those roles as well, is their cost starts to increase as unit sizes get bigger and characters are included.  They move out of the realm of chaff at that point.  

Hinge's Ramblings #4
Ok, that sentence just looks odd!  

Hinge's Ramblings #5
I beat up Darth a bit on the Fast cav but his overloading a flank deployment was fundamentally sound and gave him a real good shot of winning the game.  

Hinge's Ramblings #6

I suggest Darth could have used his Fast cav to set this situation if he had protected the unit from first turn shooting by turn 2, turn 3 latest.  This would have forced Sword Master to expend resources to protect his elite units.  Also note the Frost Heart was also nearby as well, not to mention an eagle.  If the ER 1 unit had set up center, Darth could have repeated and Sword Master would not have had an answer.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014


I seem to be suffering from a case of the bloggy wobbles, with 3 blog posts, all half done.  Decided to wrap up the SAWS tournament report this weekend before I destroy some more brain cells and I forget what happened completely.

No, not the hand tools.
Sacramento Area Warhammer Society

SAWS was held in mid-May in Sacramento and has to be one of the longest running indy GT’s in the country (14 years now).  The format is 2,500 W/L/D.  Win by 100 VP with bonus points for winning by more than 300 VP.  The packet uses a home grown comp rubric to assign a comp score.  Frankly it is out of date, has plenty of loopholes, favors some armies over others and really needs to be redone or the event should adopt Swedish comp, which does what they are trying to do but better.  Comp is added to your final score.  Except for one concession, I ignored the comp rubric and took what I wanted to play, which was my WCGT list.  This of course guaranteed me scoring poorly on comp, which I accepted. 

One mechanic I really like is you are handed a list of objectives at the beginning of the tourney.  Prior to every game, you choose one of the objectives.  You can only choose an objective once in the tournament.  While some of these objectives should be updated, it is a fun element.

The List:

Slann, Channeling Staff, Harmonic Convergence, Focus of Mystery
Saurus Oldblood, Cold One, LA, GW, ToP, OTS
Saurus Scar vet, CO, GW, Armor of Destiny, BSB
Saurus Scar Vet, CO,, LA, Biting Blade, Dragon Helm, Dawnstone, IC Icon
Skink Priest, Heavens, Scroll
Skink Chief, Terradon, LA, Relic Sword, Charmed Shield, DB Gem, Egg of Quango

23 Saurus Warriors, FC
5x10 Skink skirmishers
2x5 Chameleon skinks
6 Cold One Riders, Mus, STd, Spears
2 Salamanders –Comp concession to avoid double rare. 
2 Jungle Swarms

Observant readers will notice I dropped the cohorts in favor of more skrimishers.  None of the scenarios require banners and in fact, bonus objectives punish you for taking standards as one of them is capture more standards then you lose.  I should have left all standards other than the BSB at home.  You will also notice I have a second magic weapon in the army.  Momma did not raise a fool and I was looking forward to a rematch with Ivan.  Plus, there are three people playing Hexwraith heavy lists on the West Coast that I can think of. 

The last two years saw Leadership 2 get totally out of control Friday night, two years ago I brought a BBQ and grilled at the hotel pool and last year we did a Kangaroo court.  Massive hangovers Saturday morning has been a feature of this tourney.  

Bet you thought I would post an image of the Hangover movies.
The Friday night drunk shenanigans the last couple years puts that movie to shame.  

This year was actually quite tame and I started this years title (hinge's ramblings #1) defense with a strange sensation....feeling good.

Game 1 Michael Dark Elves Battle for the Pass

Dreadlord, Dark Steed, 1+/4++, OTS Ogre Blade
Cloak of Twilight peg Master
Master, BSB, Ring, Dark Steed
Sorc, L2, Beasts, Scroll
28 Corsairs, FC
10 Dark Riders, shields, RXBow, Mus
5 Dark Riders, shields, RXB
2x5 shades
5 harpies
28 Executioners, Banner of Swiftness
3 RBTs
9 Warlocks

Fast and hard hitting with a solid block of troops.  I choose having more units in his deployment zone then he had in mine as a scenario objective figuring I need to push.  

This game ended up being a movement intensive match.  The right saw terradons and skinks dueling with fast cav.  I would pull the cloak of twilight with Arcane unforging (thank you skink vassel) making that guy alot less scary.  The back field saw my chameleon skinks hunting RBTs while trying to avoid the other unit of shades.  The left saw me contrive a charge with the Old Blood and skink chief into the flank of the execs while also clipping with the cold ones.  The idea was to pin in place and the next turn the Suarus block would be able to charge in.  Alas I was undone when the single exec touching the Old blood hit, followed buy a killing blow and failed ward save.  The skink chief was also killed with two hits.  I needed one of those characters to survive, he was able to then reform to bring his entire unit in contact with the Cold ones and scarvet and destroy them in a fury of additional KBs.  The Suaurus block and BSB, not wanting to take the Execs on alone, turned and mouse trapped the Corsairs, taking them out and escaping.  

In the end we only got through 4 turns.  I ended with a minor loss with objective.  Michael felt that if we had played one more turn, the win would have gone my way as his fast cav was down to single models and surrounded by skinks backed by the Suarus.  It really hammers home a lesson about tournament play. Michael and I were having a great game that had alot going on, especially in the movement phase, and we just lost track of time.  This is something to always be aware of, especially since I tend to win my games late but give up points early.  

Game 2- Larry - Woc

My reward for losing was to play a multiple Best Overall winner in NoCal tourney's, Larry and his great looking Spartan themed WoC.

L4, Shadow, Stuff
BSB, Daemonic Mount, GW, 1+ Armor, 3++ ward re-rolling 1's.  Yeah that dude.

Huge block of Tzeetch Warriors
2 units of hounds
4 chariots
2 units of fast cav
2 Gorebeast chariots

I choose control Table quarters as my secret objective.

There was a pond and house in the middle of the table that was acting as a channel for my suarus.  The old blood and BSB went in there to face off his wall of chariots and block of Warriors.

We both slowly push towards each other.  On the first turn, I get IF Arcane unforging and pull the 3++ ward off the BSB.  Sadly, my Slann sucks himself into the warp, immediately giving Larry magic dominance.  I go into draw mode and start backing off while looking to get my objective.  My skinks clean up the hounds and fast cav.  The Terradon chief works his way around and slams into the flank of a chariot, killing it out right with the Egg, going into the next, which he would break and slam into a third that would finish him off.

Meanwhile on the other flank, the Dawnstone Scarvet took a double chariot charge to the face after failing stupidity test.  They bounced and I ran one down, the other ran through his Gore beast chariots and panicked them both (BSB was out of range).  Next turn I declare lots of charges to herd them until they got run down.  His BSB, pissed at the wreckage brought on by the Scar vet charges him and is destroyed in two turns.  Meanwhile, I am throwing chaff out in front of the Warrior Block because Pit of Shades is killing Suarus in droves and I do not fancy tangling with that anvil with only 6 Suaurus.  I end up pulling a narrow win with objectives.

Larry is one of the best players in NoCal, a multiple Best Overall (hinges ramblings #2) winner with two different armies. If he traveled, he would climb to the ranks of one of the best in the country.  Despite this, the effect on him when he lost the 3++ ward on the BSB made him very tentative.  On the other hand, I have lost the Slann on the first turn several times and pushed to victory.  The difference in confidence is what brought victory.  Arcane Unforging is my favorite spell in the game!

Round 3- Andre -Bretts

It seems like a tradition now that I face Andre in turn 3 at SAWS as this has to be the third year.  He always has heavily themed armies.  I choose capture more standards then my opponent as my objective.

Lord on HippoGrif
BSB on Peg
2 x L2 Beasts, Silver mirror and scroll

2 x mega lances
2 x smaller lance
Grail knights
Block of men at arms
10 bowman
Peg Knights
Grail Knights

I have a lot of respect for Bretts as I feel they are underrated.  However, the Hippogrif lord is certainly sub optimal and the gamer in me that insists on taking Carnosuaurs (hinges ramblings #3) approves.

On my left, the flying characters and a small lance spend several turns chasing skinks of various variety unitl my terradons sneak behind and take out the trebs.  There was a couple of nervous moments when both the BSB and the Old Blood had to make 4+ ward saves after having a rock dropped on them.  The OB was running around by himself since I did not want the Suaurus unit being a prime target.

On the right, the CO cav and Dawnstone cowboy go through the other small lance, Peg Knightrs and into the Grail Knights.  Theyget stuck there for a while (thanks to wysans) until the skink chief hurtles into the rear and the Egg tips the combat in the reptiles favor.

Finally in the middle, the Old blood charges one of the mega lances and the long grind begins.  The Peg hero, who had been hunting the Slann succumbs to a searing doom as he closed in on his goal.  The Lord charges the flank of the OB, who shrugs off the hits and slays the Hippogrif in a awesome display of predatory fighter.  With that and me circling for more charges, Andre concedes.

It was actually a much closer game then the description provides.  I felt I owned the movement phase but also got lucky several times that allowed me to really get on top of the match.

Game-4 Dark Elves

This is not how you should approach warhammer

I am not going into this game.  My opponent hands me his list, I point out he is playing with an extra RBT and he gets on aggro on me, then spends 5 minutes examining the list I hand back and announces this is not the list he submitted to the TO.  The game goes down hill from there.  His method for every rules dispute was to get hyper aggro and try and intimidate me, the rules judge had to park himself at the table.  In the end, I table him pretty hard but it was one of those crappy games you run into in the tourney scene.

Game 5 Fred -DoC

Last episode, you met the dynamic duo of Fred and Bill and West Coast Hammer Time and WCGT fame. For the final battle, Fred and I square off.  You can listen to Fred's version of the Battle on his most excellent podcast.

Herald of Khorne-BSB

Block of Blood Letters
4x10 horror units
2 solo beasts
6 Beasts of Nurgle
4 Nurglings
Skull Cannon

Pretty soft list and I knew we both wanted to get into it.  A lot of dancing occurs early.  I send the Terradon into the SkullCannon, pop the egg but get no wounds.  He is promptly Killing blowed.  Fred is pressing me and has engineered the match ups in his favor so I decide to charge the CO bus with the Dawnstone vet and OB into the Bloodletters.  Not happy about it but it was going to happen anyways.  Through several rounds and a couple of warded KB wounds on the OB, I grind the unit out at the expense of the CO unit.  I turn around and flank charge the Blood Thirster who was locked up with the Saurus/BSB unit.  I get apotheosis off and heal him back up followed by a Savage Beasts of Horrors!  The BT bashes the OB around but I take a single wound.  I hit and wound him 8 times (thank you predatory fighter).  Fred promptly makes 5 ward saves to keep his thirster alive on a single wound.  I then point out I have the OTS.  Fred don't care and hits all five re-rolls!  Alas, I win by 9 (flank, charge, 3 ranks, 2 standards and up 2 wounds) and he pops.  The rest was the slann dodging Beasts of Nurgle and me cleaning points up.  It was a super fun game and a great way to end a tourney.

I would wind up in 4th place.  I pulled three Best Game votes, which I am proud of but also had an opponent tank my scores, costing me either first or second overall.  Ah well.

Until next time,


Hinge's Ramblings #1

I have been on a roll at SAWS, with 2 Best Overalls and a second place the last three years.

Hinge's Ramblings #2

Larry just won the Quake City Rumble held last weekend.  I feel even better about my win now!

Hinge's Ramblings #3

I am hopelessly in love with big dinosaurs eating other people!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

West Coast GT

I thought about interrupting the drum beat of Tournament debriefs for an insightful article on army building philosophy but I am far to busy pretending to practice for the Bragging Rights Team Tournament (see Hinge's Ramblings #1).  So a discussion of WCGT it is.

The West Coast GT is in its second year and is located in Los Angeles, CA (see Hinge's Ramblings #2). It is run by Bill and Fred, the very excellent hosts of that bodacious podcast, West Coast Hammertime.

Bill and Fred welcoming participants this year.
The event hit 53 participants this year and hopefully it continues to grow.  The WCGT is one of those tournaments that I feel have a "soul" (see hinge's ramblings #3).   It is clear Bill and Fred put a lot of effort, creativity, and hard work into the event.  They treat every participant as a guest and take their hosting responsibilities seriously.  For me, it is now a must attend tourney.

Before getting into the games, a quick sidetrack on the social side.  The event is held in a Elks club. The staff there is amazingly friendly (it helps that we are a hard drinking group of players and we are a boon to there bar revenue).  The TO's make sure to set up things for participants to do.  The Hall stays open for those who are glutton for more games, there was karoke in the bar Friday night, and bowling Saturday night with in walking distance.  The Drunken shenanigans were amazing this year and I will leave it at that.  The best part, they even reserve a parking spot for me!

I did not have the heart to tell them I flew down

The format was 2,500 pts, 5 rounds.  They used  a modified 20-nil scoring system (unusual here on the West Coast).  The scale was 16-4 with 4 bonus points per round achievable through objectives.  I liked it as it was different then the other two large California events but held onto the bonus points that is common out here.  Scenarios were wonky, creative, different and characterful with out dominating the match to much.  Finally, they scored every list using Swedish comp for match up purposes only.  I believe even this lasted only 2 rounds.

I decided to take Lizardmen this tournament.  I even double downed and took a Slann for the first time to a major GT!

Slann, Channeling Staff, Harmonic Convergence, Focus of Mystery
Saurus Oldblood, Cold One, LA, GW, ToP, OTS
Saurus Scar vet, CO, GW, Armor of Destiny, BSB
Saurus Scar Vet, CO, GW, LA, Dragon Helm, Dawnstone, IC Icon
Skink Priest, Heavens, Scroll
Skink Chief, Terradon, LA, Biting Blade, Charmed Shield, DB Gem, Egg of Quango

25 Saurus Warriors, FC
3x10 Skink skrimishers, Champ
2x10 skink cohorts, FC
5 Chameleon skinks
6 Cold One Riders, Mus, STd, Spears
2x1 Salamanders
2 Jungle Swarms

Very character heavy, but those characters are amazing!  My hope was the Channel Slann would give me dominance in the magic phase while switching out spells to those that fit the match up.  The cowboys would do the killing while every thing else acted as a delivery or got in the enemies way.  I also tried to minimize any tempting cannon targets, though the LoS the Cold ones provided could be short lived.  Noting a couple of oddities.  Champs in the skrimishers due to bonus objectives often requiring units with command models.  Jungle swarms simply because I ran out of painted skinks!  They used Swedish comp for pairing purposes and my scored a 9.2.

Rd1 v. Kyle- Lizardmen (9) –Mickey Mouse Scenario

Well the sun rises and I crawl out to warm my self when I see an opposing Lizardmen army sitting on my favorite sunning rock! This can not be allowed to happen! The scenario also put a Mickey Mouse in between the two armies. The Mickey shoots at closest units and bonus points were earned by interacting with it. However, if Mickey did not die, no one got Bonus points.

Kyle is new to tournament warhammer and seemed it bit nervous. I am sure it had everything to do with my towering reputation as a god amongst warhammer players (Hinge’s Ramblings #4). All kidding aside, Kyle was a great opponent and I had a chance to eat breakfast with him and his crew Sunday morning. I hope they become regulars in the West Coast Tournament scene. Kyle brought his own version of lizards (from memory)

Slann, Channel, harmonic, Life
Old Blood, CO, Stuff
40 Suarus Warriors, FC
2 units of skirmish skinks
large unit of Temple Guard
8 Cold Ones
2 x 3 Ripperdactyles
Ancient w/ Sharpened horns

So 2 big blocks flanked by a steg and hard hitting CO bus, the skink skirmishers and Rippers went out wide. I had my suarus block also on center but chaff scattered every where. My game plan was to win the chaff war, take out the steg, and educate Kyle on why you should have skink characters (Predatory Fighter can be a liability) to turn a flank. I get first turn unload skink javelins at the Mickey but find I seem to have left the poison back at the hotel. Kyle shows his warhammer skills by six dicing Dwellers and gets IF. Yes, you guessed it; my Slann is pulled down to a turn 1 death. The good news is the resulting explosion halved the TG unit (hinge’s ramblings #5). However, the game plan is still intact. I take down the Steg (who had charged Mickey and finished him off) and chaff while staying back. I finally contrive a charge with the Suarus that find only the cowboys in contact with the Temple Guard while the remaining Suarus stayed safely out of combat for at least one turn. All chaff at this point was being used to keep the CO Bus and Big Suarus block off of me. My CO bus with Old blood would eventually get into the TG flank and I would grind them out. The enemy slann would make a Insane courage roll to keep me from getting out of harms way, so had to expend a little more chaff then I wanted. In the end it was enough points to claim a 15-5 victory.

Rd 2. –Marco Dark elves (10.2) Real Housewives

In this scenario, you got an extra model who was a bad ass in combat and had a one use bound item that would destroy an opposing magic item.

L4 Dark, Steed, other stuff
BSB, Steed, stuff
Peg Hero, Cloak dude
L2 Death, scroll
20 Darkshards, FC
10 Darkriders, Std, Mus, shields and RBT
5 DarkRiders Mus, Rxb/Sh
20 Witches, FC, BoETF
20 Execs, FC
3 RBTs
8 Warlocks

I am finding that my matches against Dark Elfs are maneuvering intensive. Imagine a swirl of double flees, working flanks and gaps, failed panics, and units ending up in opposing deployment zones.

The cham skinks went after the RBT’s hard and would eventually take them all out. I pulled the Cloak of Twilight off as well for a bonus point-Arcane Unforging plus Bound spell ftw!. On the right, the double Sallies get one shot off on the witches followed up by the Skink chief going in grinding the survivors out. They would then turn there attention to the Execs and do the same. Once the RBTs were down, the Old blood went and hunted down Darkshards but were not able to pick them up. I lost some chaff.

15-5 win for the Lizards

Rd-3 Alex Chaos Dwarfs (6) Bleach Blanket

This match was an objective based scenario; there were 3 blankets in the middle. You won by holding more objectives then your opponent. To claim an objective, you need a unit with fortitude/command model. Bonus points were awarded for breaking opponent’s fortitude and killing general/bsb.

Alex brought

Sorc Prophet, Death
BSB, stuff
L2 Metal
Bull Centaur Taurus 1+ AS, CoC
Big unit of Infernal guard,
2 units of Hobgoblins,
4 Fireborn
3 Bull Centaurs
Magma Cannon
Death Shrieker
Iron Daemon
Wolf riders

I deployed spread out, with all units a single model wide to minimize the warmachine damage. On the left, one of the scar vets with the 2+ v. Fire escorted several skink units past the Fireborn. Eventually the Iron daemon got over and killed it with the cannon but by then the Fiireborn were dead and the skinks were peppering the warmachines. A skink cohort was parked on a blanket and would be unmolested though the Magma cannon would force some very nervous panic tests.

I sent the Skink Chief into the flank of the K’Dai and he would hold it up for a critical amount of time. The CO bus and Oldblood/Scarvet chewed up the Bullcentuars and would pin down one of the hobgoblin units. The other Hobgoblin unit could not get around the blocked k’dai. In desperation, Alex’s general charged into the skink chief to kill him but then I promptly found a way to kill the general (can not recall how). To late, Alex realized he had no scoring units close enough to get onto objectives. A desperation charge by the K’dai and Iron Daemon to chase off the Suaurus sitting on an objective was thwarted through steadfast.

20-4 win.

Rd 4 Donovan-WoC (-1.8) Froggy

Straight up Battleline accept for one unit received a Hex scroll that could only be used on a spell cast on the unit. Bonus points awarded around the use of magic and casters.

Donovan was "that guy" and had brought a negative scoring WoC list of uber nastiness.

Slaanesh Demon Prince, Full Kit, Lore of Slaanesh
BSB on demonic mount MoT-yeah the 3++ ward dude
MoT L1 on disc, scroll
2x Maurader Horse
2xChaos hounds
2x Nurgle Gorebeast chariot
2xSkull crusher units.

Hard hitting, fast, and movement control spells, ugh

I weight my left flank heavily and immediately spray out skinks to take down his chaff, plink wounds off chariots, and be annoying.  I get an early IF arcane unforging and pull the BSB's ward save.  About this time, Donovan sends the DP into my CO Bus with Scarvet.  Frankly not looking good.  However, my Old Blood is staring down the BSB with his inscrutable cold blooded stare and licking his chops.  To try and keep the BSB alive, Donovan casts Acquiescence on the Suarus block with the OldBlood.  This is the unit with the frog scroll.  I spend an agonizing second trying to decide if I should let the spell off for a 1 in 3 chance to turn the DP into a Frog at the expense of an easy charge on the BSB.  By this time Bill had wandered over since Donovan and I had been making large amounts of noise in our match.  I decide to go for it and sure enough the DP is now a Slaanesh Frog!  The shouts coming from Donovan, Bill, and I were so loud, the entire hall stopped what they are doing to see what happened. Turns out it is a pretty tough frog and it takes all my scar vets attack to kill it.

The cowboys step out of there units and go hunting while the Slann slings Searing Doom around at will...and Skull Crushers, and BSB's and etc.

I take the match 20-4.  Despite bringing a broken list, Donovan was a blast to play, narrowly clipping Kyle for my Best Game vote.  He would go on to win Best Sports.

Rd 5 Ivan-VC (5.3) Center Stage arch enemy...the destroyer of my dreams.  Anybody but him.

If he had the decency to look like her, it would not be so bad.  

I find myself on Table 2 facing club mate and bane of my Warhammer career Ivan.  I have destroyed Ivan in every match on Thursday night.  However, when the lights are bright he has clubbed me like a baby seal, and I can not recall ever beating him in a tournament game.  To top it off, I feel Ivan is playing the best warhammer I have seen him play.  Being on Table 2 and seeing who was on table 1, I felt a big win would win me the tourney.

Ivan the Terrible's list:

VC Lord, ToP, flying
master Necro
L2 on death, scroll

625 of core
2x10 Hexwraiths
2 spirit hosts
Mortis engine

An observant reader will notice I have only 1 magic weapon!

I set up 29 inches away but rather aggressively.  After deployment, I look at my lines and think 'What the hell was I thinking"  Ivan gets first turn and immediately shows the many errors in my deployment.  By turn 3, my line is in tatters and Ivan sends a Purple Sun through it, finishing off any hopes I may have.  In desperation, I get a cheeky charge with the BSB into the vamp lord.  The BSB has heroic killing blow due to scenario rules.  Alas, Ivan wards the one killing blow I get off and my BSB can not even hold on a cold blooded 7!

I loose 4-20.

Turns out a small win or a draw with objectives would have been enough for me to take first due to soft scores.  While my poor deployment put me on my heels, Ivan completely out played me.  He was inside my decision loop as I tried to pull things together and only made a single mistake (allowing a scarvet with KB to charge the vamp lord).

The bad loss at the end dropped me to a 8th place finish.  Hey back in teh top 10, which is always my goal at a tourney.

Hinge's Rambling #1

By the time I get around to finishing this blog post, I am sure Bragging Rights will be over.  I am sure all the pretending to practice will do me well.

Hinge's Rambling #2

I think officially it is in Mission Viejo, but being from Northern California, any thing south of Fresno is Los Angeles to me.

Hinge's Ramblings #3

I feel the best tournaments are those that put in maximum effort to put together a unique tournament experience.  Venue, sense of feeling welcome, scenarios, and fostering a friendly atmosphere go a long way.

Hinge's Ramblings #4

This is where Mrs. Hinge and /or my various club mates remind me my last two blog posts shows me getting my head kicked in.  Sigh.... my ego is such a fragile thing.

Hinge's Ramblings #5

While I love the stat line of Temple Guard, the tendency of Slann's to destroy its own guard make them a liability in my mind.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lonewolf, WoC and Irish punk

Well looky here… a second blog post in a month. Now we are rolling.

The next stop in the Hinge’s Warhammer tour finds our hero traveling to the Lone Star state for Lonewolf. I packed my shit kicker boots, practiced my "Y’alls" and "Howdy", and grabbed Tres Chic as a travel companion.
Lonewolf is a long running tourney in Dallas, Texas. The tourney took a year off last year but is back under a new TO (and my first round opponent at the Masters), Mark Cox. It is a 2,500 point, straight out of the rule book warhammer.

I decided to take WoC again but a totally different list. After all, playing the same list more then 5 times is sooo boring. Plus playing the same list over and over until you get good at it might be considered practice, and who wants to do that?

I just watched that press conference again
still cracks me up!

The list
Chaos Lord of Tzeetch, Shield, Biting Blade, Armor of Destiny, Dawnstone, OTS, Scaled Skin, Soul feeder, Third Eye
Sorc of Slaanesh-L2, Steed of Slaanesh, Enchanted Shield, Chaos Familiar, Lore of Slaanesh
Sorc of Slaanesh-L2, Steed of Slaanesh, Charmed Shield, Skull of Katam, Lore of Slaneesh
Exalted of Tzeetch, BSB, Chaos Steed, Dragon Helm, Halberd, Tal of Endurance, IC Icon, Burning Body
Chariot of Slaanesh
Chariot of Slaanesh
Chaos Warhounds
9 Marauder Horse of Slaanesh, Spear, Shield, Throwing ax
5 Maruader Horse of Slaanesh, Flail, Throwing Axe
14 Chaos Warriors of Slaanesh, FC, Banner of Swiftness
Gorebeast Chariot of Slaanesh
5 Knights of Tzeetch, Mus, Std, Blasted Standard
Hell Cannon
Yes, a very heavy Slaanesh theme. Back in march, the Brolock star was the new hotness and I expected to be running into large units of these. I figured anything to pull ward saves would be useful. You can guess how that worked out.  The skull of Katam was a new item for me and I looked forward to seeing what it would do.
Round 1- Cody-Skaven

Cody had challenged me to a match and needless to say, there was plenty of chirping going on prior to the tourney. Cody had 3 gigantic units of Gutter runners, something like a 1000 night runners in a single unit with a warp grinder, and assorted characters (who deployed in the night runners). So no units started on the table.
For the first time in my Warhammer career I deployed in a hard, with the entire army in a 12"x12" box in the corner.

My opponent gets first turn and not much happens. On the second turn, his Night runner unit pops up. A hush descends on the venue as Cody rolls his artillery die. MISFIRE! Uh oh. The silence is now palatable and Cody rolls a 1, destroying the unit and all the characters. The hall busts into laughter at Cody’s misfortune and he concedes. We slam a couple of drinks, re-wrack and play the game. I would end up clearing off all 3 Gutter runner units while only losing a single unit of fast cav to two miscasts caused when my Hell Cannon misfired!

Win with objective.

Round 2 –Wood Elves

2 blocks of eternal guard, large block of glade guard, 2 units of dryads, unit of wardancers, treeman, eagles, Life wizard lord, lord and bsb.

Feeling the Uzo I had pounded with Cody, I spend the first two turn’s pussy footing around while my HC rampaged towards the line. I went all in on turn three. Everything failed short charges accept for two chariots. The bad news is they blew themselves up on the edge of a forest. After that, I was never able to engage anything but one unit at a time. My opponent would IF Throne followed by IF Flesh every turn from turn 3 on. T7 elves are no joke! I cleaned up everything but the characters and Eternal Guard blocks but it would not be enough.

Loss with no objectives.

Round 3 – Dwarfs

Super good guy and fun to play. Hard Dwarf lord, bsb, and ruin smith. 2 blocks quarrelers with GW, huge block of hammerers with stubborn banner, 2 gyro, cannon, organ gun.

I used Slanesh magic and double flees with fast cav to control the Hammerers while I took out the rest of the army. Pretty straight forward.

Win with objectives.

Saturday night turned out to be the best part of the tourney. A bunch of us went out to see Flogging Molly. Holy cow, they are awesome live and I can not recommend it enough. I got so fired up I ended up finding myself in the mosh pit throwing guys half my age around. It was a blast!

I realize I am to old to be jumping into a mosh pit
but I really could not help myself
Round 4 – Tomb King

Another super fun opponent. Alas, he was playing TK. This is the only match I was able to Caco bomb. I shot the L2 with the spell out into the middle of his artillery/casket and blew them all up. It was a matter of taking off the rest of his army until his tomb king was the only one left. I decided to swing my lord in and challenge. In an epic 2 turn duel, I was finally able to beat him down.

win with objectives

Round 5-Empire

Despite the bad loss, a win here likely gets me into the running for second or third best general and a likely top 10 finish.

My opponent was rocking 17 IC knights, Life wizard, Warrior Priest, BSB three units of Demis and double steam tank.  Nasty business. 

He sets up on the back of the board.  I survive a round of dwellers and a couple of cannon balls.  I sneak Phantasmagoria on the big block and land a Hell Cannon round on the Knight bus.  My opponent looks pretty worried but makes his test.  I would force a leadership test at least once a round, almost always with -1 or Phanta up (though never both again) but was never able to get him even close to failing.  My dice on teh other hand went sour.  BSB gets Dwellered off, Chaos Lord bounces off Chickens then gets cannon balled off.  At one point my opponent apologizes for the way the dice are showing.  I take off the big Chicken unit but loss the fast cav, chariots, and characters for a sizable loss.  I was able to deny a couple of objective points but that was about it.

With the loss I drop down to the middle of the pack once again and one of the poorer showings I have had in some time. 

Despite that, I really liked the way the list played and could see busting it out again.  However, this is the second tourney with WoC and I will retire them for the rest of the year. 

Lonewolf was a blast and I will likely attend again next year. 

Up next, a trek down south, the most Interesting Man, 70 year old Cougars, and Karoke.  Stay Tuned

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Holy smokes Batman! Hinge is back!

Wow, it has been two and half months since I lasted posted.  Damn that thing called Real Life and a job.  It has seriously cut into my hobby time, with next to no painting, no non tournament games, no posting on forums, and no blog posting.  It is out right depressing and has surely contributed to the massive amount of drinking I have been doing.  Though come to think of it, I drink a lot when I play a lot.  I guess it’s just the Irish in me.

However, I have not let life stop my tournament schedule.  In March I attended Lonewolf in Texas and in April, the West Coast GT in SoCal.  This upcoming weekend I will be attending SAWS where I am sure it will be a thousand and twelve degrees.

Preview of the SAWS Venue.
Prepare for Gamer funk and ass crack sweat galore!

So sitting here in the pre-SAWS heat wave, I have loaded up the blender with Pina Colada’s and decided to start catching up on the life and times of a demented warhammer tournament player.

We left this sad tale with our hero (that would be me) preparing to lock horns with the best of the best of those willing to show up at the first ever US Masters.  I gave my over view of the event and my army in the last blog post. How the hell did the our hero do.  

Round 1 Mark-Skaven

I hate Skaven with the burning passion of 10,000 white hot suns.  The good news is Mark is one the Texans I have gotten to know well and have even travelled to Texas to visit for non-warhammer reasons.  I had also played him before and thoroughly enjoyed the game, which is shocking since he plays nothing but Skaven.  His list was reasonably soft and most importantly, Mark seemed to forget that every Skaven list needs a Grey Seer!

I felt I controlled the game and got the combats I wanted.  However, Mark has a singularly superior skill, the ability to roll low leadership tests.  Through the use of Treason of Tzeetch, getting into flanks to disrupt, and widening the battle to keep the BSB out of range I quickly forced Mark to make a slew of Leadership 5 and 7 rolls without the benefit of a re-roll.  Mark hit his first five leadership 5 checks in a row and never failed a Ld 7 roll.  Despite killing 2,453of his models, I decided that since Mark is the TO at the next event I was attending, that it would be best to declare a draw.  Because That is the kind of guy I am.  

10-10 Draw

Round 2 Ryan – Empire

Ryan was packing a Light Council Empire list backed by two units of Demis, Steam Tank and two huge blocks of halberds.  Feeling pressure due to a draw in the first round, I drive straight at him, playing into his army perfectly.  By round 4 I was headed towards a 20-nil loss when the Chaos lord decided enough was enough.  He quickly finished the Stank, demolished the Arch lector and his war alter, and hunted down the opposing BSB which had foolishly left a unit.  There was a bit of hankiness with Ryan at the end with his L4, which magically was not part of a small skirmish unit he was sitting a half inch away and in perfect formation with when it was found out I could charge around his peg captain and make contact with the unit.  Of course being part of the unit is handy when I was slinging magic missiles around!  In the end, I let it go as I was a little pissed at my play.

6-14 Loss

At this point I decided to hold a inspirational “half time” pep talk for the West Coasters, who were getting crushed.

The chair still has not returned from orbit
Though I believe the West went 8-2 that round!

Round 3 Brandon – HE

Brandon was rocking an anointed on a Frosty, 2 Flame Phoenixes, Death and Metal Magic, nothing but Cav and Skycutters.  Fast and hard hitting in the right situations.  Additionally, there where objective markers to grab.  However, I was able to bait Brandon it bad charges, grab the objectives and clean up his force.  Half way through, one of my unit champs turned into a demon prince and really hemed in the rest of his force.  With the Chaos Lord and DP running amuck and forcing his cav into my infantry where I could pin them, I earned a win that started to salve my bruised ego.

20-0 win

Round 4 – Ben-HE

Ben is a good guy and regularly travels cross country to attend QCR.  This would be my firstchance to play him.  A heavy shooty army backed up by shadow.  This can be very scary for my force and I decided to play conservative.  I got Treason off on his big character bunker and killed a nearby Eagle.  Ben rolled his panic test, one die rolled a six while the other skidded off the table.  The tension built as he picked up the die to re-roll.  it was now a 50-50 shot that I win the game right there since he would have gone off the table!  Alas he did not panic and Ben quickly made sure I could not pull that off again, Mostly by sending a eagle hero in to assassinate the Tzeetch mage!  I would clean up his chaff, chariots, and RBTs while losing my chaff.  My Chosen would get shot down to a single model but I always kept the shrine between the survivor and his shooting to provide a mobile hard cover platform.  Embarrassingly, Ben charged a unit of Reavers into the flank of my Knights and was able to get a boosted Mindrazor off!  Oh well.  I eaked out the smallest of wins.

12-8 to the good..err.bad guys.

Round 5 – Brian –WoC

Brian clearly made only a few concessions for comp and had a kitted out Slanesh DP and a horde of tolls waiting for me.  To add insult to injury, one of his unit champs ascended to deamonhood and I was faced with two DP.  I sent the Chaos Lord at the free DP with the idea that I would Gateway the general off the board.  Alas this would be a mistake as Winds were piss poor the entire game for me.  It became a race to see who would kill more, his DP or my Lord.  I finally got gateway off the final turn but Brian made just enough Saves to have a single wound left!

12-8 win

With the two minor wins at the end, I was safely ensconced in the middle of the pack for the finish.  With the exception of game 2, I felt I generally played well, set up the conditions for wins without exposing myself to defeat.  However, those conditions required either a bit of bad luck or a mistake on my opponents part and neither happened all weekend.  My list was fundamentally flawed in that I could not push a little harder to pick up more points.

My younger self is not happy!

Up next, a friendless Lupus and Black Friday Rules!

Stay tuned, same Bat time, same Bat channel.  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

US Masters debrief #1

Well I am back from the US Masters.  I have to say I had a blast.  The games were fun and socializing with players from different regions was top notch.  I ended up hanging out with the SoCal boys Thursday night, the Texans Friday night, the Midwesterners Saturday night and even amazed the North Easterners with a bottle of rum and tales of Carnosuar glory on Sunday night.

If you think one Carnosuar is good, wait until I bring 3!!!!!!!

The vibe I got was that everyone was having a great time.  I had no rules issues what so ever and game play was at a high standard.  I witnessed a couple of episodes of bad play but really it was no more or less from any other tournament I attended. 

Unfortunately there has been a fair amount of negative posts on various forums.  I can only subscribe this to:

I find it funny that much of the negativity is from people who were not there.

Well on to the list I brought.  The event used Swedish comp, allowing a victory point bonus to the “softer” list.  I ended up dusting off the WoC and bringing them.  The list would score a 13.4, making one of the softer lists in the tournament, allowing me to start anywhere from 100 to 500 points up. 

Chaos Lord, MoT, Disc, Sword of Might, Armor of Fortune, Dawnstone, Thirdeye, scaled skin, soul feeder, shield.    Fast, mobile, and durable. 

Exalted, BSB, chaos steed, ToP, Burning body, halberd

Sorc, L2, MoN, Enchanted Shield, Chalice, Scroll, Lore of Nurgle-  The Chalice was a mistake

Sorc, L2, Steed, MoT, Lore of Tzeetch, Chaos Familiar, DB Gem

14 Warriors, MoN, FC, Banner of Swiftness, Halberds
2x Chariot, MoS
2 x War Hounds
2 x Marauder Horse, Flails
12 Chosen, MoT, FC, Razor Standard, Shields
5 Choas Knights, Gleaming Pendant, Std, Mus, MoT

The Lord was amazing and I wish I had kept the same set up for Lonewolf (I had to submit my list before the masters).  I also really liked my magic phase as it had an excellent mix of long range damage with hex/buffing.  The down side is the list is slow and it was tough to push for a big win. 

Next up, run down of the games.