Monday, March 9, 2015

ND Open VII - Nick's perspective - Day 1

Hey lads and lasses,

Nick here from 1 Plus Armour and I wanted to give my perspective on the ND Open VII, a Warhammer fantasy tournament in Quebec City, Quebec that the crew and I recently attended. In this article I will go over my thoughts of the tournament, and also break down the games I had and what I learned from the experience. Let’s get started!

To battle!

First off, let me give you a rundown of the list I brought to ND open.

Nick’s SuperMcAwesome Lizardmen

Lords

Slann Mage priest – MR(2)- harmonic convergence – channeling staff – Becalming cogitation
Saurus Oldblood mounted on Cold-one – Crown of Command – Great Weapon – Armour of Fortune – dawnstone

Heroes

Scar vet on cold-one – enchanted shield- sword of striking – dragonbane gem
Scar vet on cold-one – dragonhelm – great weapon – light armour

Core

10 skink skirmishers
10 skink skirmishers
10 skink skirmishers
10 skink skirmishers
10 skink skirmishers
20 Saurus warriors – Full command

Special

5 Cold-one riders – banner
25 temple Guard – razor banner
3 terradon riders- champion
3 ripperdactyl riders – champion

Here are the games!

Day 1


Game 1 – Lizards vs Fast-cav Dark Elves


Everyone hopes to have a decent first game when walking into a tournament. When I walked up to the table to meet my very cheerful and smiling opponent I thought “what a great start!” Of course, this was until I saw his army… fast cav dark elves. My opponent brought a pretty mean looking list consisting of the following (roughly from memory):
- Master on Pegasus
- Lvl 2 sorceress on death
- BSB
- 4 units of dark riders
- 2 units of crossbowmen
- 20-30 executioners
- 2 units of 6 warlocks
- 4 bolt throwers
… yay…

The scenario was standard battleline deployment 12 inches from the board. The tournament ran a 20-nil system where you needed 2400+ points to get the full 20, so it was difficult. For this game the secondary objectives were to kill the highest cost unit, and to have more scoring units in the enemy deployment zone and these awarded an additional 10 points. Therefore the sum of the scores between the two players had to equal 30 at the end of the game. Knowing the objectives and seeing his army I knew I didn’t stand much chance scoring the objective points… and it wasn’t going to any easier racking up the VPs.

The game basically went as you would have imagined. I was pushing forward and he was going around. Despite me having many skink skirmishers, without magic missiles it was hard to get those fast units. Early game I pushed my cold-one cavalry with my characters near the middle of the board but along the right flank. My plan was to hit his crossbowmen units, containing his wizard, and make my way into the side of the executioners roughly around the same time my Temple Guard would reach them. Unfortunately, my cunning opponent managed to kill enough cold-riders that resulted in them being outside BSB range and, of course, at one of the most crucial points in the game I failed my stupidity test. There you have it folks, 800 points of my army slowly walking D6 up, staring at the daisies, while he takes this opportunity to re-arrange some units effectively ensuring I won’t be killing too much with them until later in the game. I did manage to break away the old-blood and some scar-vets to do some minor hunting, but not enough to really bring it home. It’s worth noting that we only managed to get to turn 4. I know some of the other 1Plus team played the same guy and, similarly, did not make it past turn 4. This is both likely a result of the short round times (2h15m), and the number of moves and shots the dark elves have to take every turn. To this end, my only suggestion for people with similar armies is that you need to work hard to move the army and shoot as fast as possible. You really can’t spend too much time nudging, and double/triple checking distances because both players are going to run out of time. In basementhammer this is fine, but in tournaments this can mean quite the difference when the later turns are important for armies like Lizardmen that only effectively engage mid-late game. Of course, I ran 50 skinks so the onus isn’t completely on my opponent, and I really don’t think this was done in malice, but simply that he was newer to the game. As well, I don’t think it was a tremendous problem, perhaps ending early only served to mitigate my loss haha! Altogether the game was super enjoyable, despite the slower nature of it, and would love to have a game with my opponent again over a couple of beers.

The Lizards went for 13, and the filthy Elves took 17 points this game. Next time!

Game 2 – Lizards vs… Lizards?


Still licking my wounds, I walk up to the next table and notice something funny… Lizardmen?! By Sotek and Spaceship Pyramids! Lizards can’t fight lizards, that’s perverse! Of course, we both agreed that his were the bad lizards (since I’m writing the post I get to tell the story how I want-Nick), and reconciled this obvious matching issue. Here’s a rundown of his army.

- Slann on Light
- Gor-Rok
- 2 terradon chiefs
- 3 units of skink skirmishers
- 30-35 man saurus block with command
- 24 temple guard
- 10 Chameleon skinks
- 2 salamanders
- Ancient Stegadon with engine of the gods

His list wasn’t too dissimilar to mine, except he went for more blocks, while mine is more chaff. I’ll give to him for taking a stegadon to a tournament since they tend to eat cannon balls all day. Since he had his big saurus block with Gor-Rok I knew immediately I didn’t want to meet him in the middle, he would probably just overrun me. As well he was pretty smart putting his stegadon between them to support either, and I definitely knew I didn’t want that thing thunderstomping the shit out of my precious temple guard. Of course, my ace-in-the-hole old-blood was available to hold one of them up… but which one?

The game started and I moved up cautiously, while he was more than happy to push. The skinks on both sides did their skinky thing and basically participated in what one could only imagine be the Lizardmen equivalent to a slap fight on the flanks, trying to grab objectives. He kept a solid battleline so it was really tricky trying to break him apart, so I thought I would set up a trap. Similar to him I deployed my TG and saurus block next to each other but my old-blood between them. My units were staggered and slightly offset from his, in other words my battleline from my perspective was to the right of his. On my left I moved up a units of skinks well within charge distance from him. I was hoping he would assume I would just flee with them if he charged with his templeguard, rather than my actual plan of holding for it as sacrifice to the Old Ones (poor little skink bastards). Because his skink chiefs were causing mayhem in my deployment zone (more on that later) I knew that after combat if the skinks fled or were vaporized he would have to overrun, likely within a juicy charge from my templeguard into his flank. He took the bait, and it worked perfectly! To ensure that the Stegadon didn’t counter charge my Templeguard in the flank, I charged it with my stubborn S7 old-blood. I then moved up the saurus, whom likely were to meet a gritty end against his and Gor-rok. Luckily my old-blood killed the stegaon in two turns and went in to help my saurus while my templeguard finished up his and went in for the rescue as well. To sum it up, my dirty trap worked and allowed me to kill all his bocks and the stegadon. Of course, my opponent didn’t give up and slightly outdid me on the objectives. As well, he surprised me with his flying skink chiefs because they had a 4+ ward save, and tied up some of my stuff unexpectedly. We only made it to turn 4-5 this game as well, so likely we were, again, both a little slow on the turns.

In the end the good lizards (mine) took home 19 points, while the ones that needed to be removed from the spawning grounds preserved 11. I’m happy so far with my progress.

Game 3 – Lizards vs Canhammer Empire


I walk up to game 3 and, lo and behold, I meet Canhammers John Franklin. John is a good friend of the 1Plus team and he and I played just the weekend before at a local store tournament in Ottawa. In Ottawa, I managed to wipe his Orcs and Goblins (with a bit of cheating), but this time he brought one scary-ass empire list.. at least from a Lizards point of view. Here are the deets:

- Light mage level 4
- Arch-lector on war altar
- Level 1 light mage
- Level 1 light mage
- BSB of sorts
- 5 Knights
- 5 Knights
- 5 Knights
- 5 Knights
- Skirmishing archers
- 3-4 demigryph knights
- Great cannon
- Great cannon
- Hellblaster
- Steam Tank

I’m going to be honest and say that I thought it was John’s turn to table me. With all his artillery I didn’t think it would take too much time for me to lose all my scar vets and the old-blood. My templeguard were also going to take quite the beating making it over to his side of the table. The objectives were how many units you could get across the center line and something else that I can’t recall.

My basic strategy here was to get to him asap, but he was effectively using his knight units as chaff to prevent this ingenious plan of mine. Early in the game John had misfired with his cannon to my right and I took that opportunity to hide my old-blood to side of a building outside the LOS of the other cannon on the far left. My cold-ones were an inch to the old-blood’s right with a scar-vet and took a charge from the demigryph knights early. Come combat the demigryph knights underperformed and I was able to hold ground allowing the old-blood to get in a make short work of them. This turned the game for me allowing to rack up some points on the right flank. In the middle of the board the skinks and saurus did a great job of taking care of most of the knight units while the templeguard hurried toward the hellblaster. On my left a group of knights broke through to grab the centerline objective.

Late game, my old-blood unfortunately finally fell to a cannon shot while my scar-vet somehow got into the war altar and arch-lector. They traded slaps for the remainder of the game. The temple guard eventually got the hellblaster but then john surprised me and pulled a dirty trick. I should have seen it coming. Just when I thought I was going to get his character bunker, all of them in with the archers, he chaffed the temple guard with his level 1 mages preventing contact between my big unit and his expensive one. Finally he charged his steam tank, whom was busy earlier in the game running over skinks, into the templeguard to hold them there until the end of the game. The game ended with units stuck in futile combats and we counted it up. There’s was less than a 30 victory point difference and we shared the objectives.

The Lizards took 15 points, and graciously allowed the empire to take 15 with them. Awesome game, I really enjoy playing John again.

Game 4 – Lizards vs Combined Elf List


My next opponent was none other than Steve Gagné, co-host of the tournament, Norther Defender and regular on Geeks of the North Podcast. We were both excited to play this game and it didn’t disappoint. Just one amazing game. Of course, Steve brought a dirty combined elf list. Here it is:

- Level 4 mage on metal
- Loremaster of Hoeth with Book of Hoeth
- NO BSB – what a crazy SOB
- 10-15 glade guard with trueflight
- 10-15 glade guard with trueflight
- 10-15 glade guard with hagbane
- 6 Wild Riders
- 6 Wild Riders
- 10 waywatchers
- 7-10 wardancers
- Frostheart Phoenix
- 2 bolt throwers

This scenario was a 15” deployment zone save for 9” inches from the side. It was a modified blood and glory where reducing your opponents fortitude to 2 resulted in winning the secondary objectives. I believe there were other secondary objective but I can’t recall.

With the glade guard to punish my poor T2 skinks and the bolt throwers and waywatchers to hunt my precious 1/2+ save characters and cavalry I wanted to get to his side ASAP. Of course, I couldn’t be careless because he had wild riders and a bird waiting for just the occasion. To be honest, not a lot of thought went into this and the game was full of laughs and just a shit-show.

Essentially the game started with Steve raining arrows and magic to my side of the board with what one can only describe as an excellent first turn for him. He managed to significantly reduce my skink units and punish my temple guard. He knew that if the temple guard made it to his side it would mean game over. To the end, he very strategically “6 diced” final transmutation on them and I lost probably 8-10 lizards in that unit, ouch! My turn came and I scrambled. The skink cloud on my left flank started to move and re-deploy to the right to avoid the hail of arrows they were suffering through (again, poor little bastards). The temple guard nodded to the recently dead and pushed forward to get my frog into strategic positioning. My cavalry moved up and the scar vets broke off from the unit. I was hoping that Steve would take the bait and that they would soak up some metal magic for a turn with their 2+ wards vs flaming. The old-blood took his lads up, but it would be their doom. The magic phase came and I returned the favour by 6 dicing dwellers below. I didn’t miscast and Steve brought out his scroll.

Steve's next turn was similar, but his luck started to fade, and this would echo throughout the remainder of the game for him. His Wild riders started their hunt and found some victims, luckily they were only 70 point skinks. His magic phase came and using a strategy that has passed the test of time 6-diced final transmutation again. It wasn’t a miscast but somehow the Slann dropped the ball and didn’t manage to outdo the Wood Elf Spellweaver. 5 more templeguard paid the price. My turn came and the old-blood made it into the waywatchers. They had a chance to kill him but their arrows did not find their mark. At this point, I thought I should start keeping a kill count for him, because he is just awesome. In the next few moments of the game, admittedly, luck played a part here. My templeguard were within a reasonable charge range of his gladeguard and level 4 that were hiding in a forest. I declared several charges, including that one. He elected to flee with them and rolled well. At the time that was a foregone plan, but without other targets I had no choice but to pursue. I resolved my other, futile charges and then it came time to roll the dice for the templeguard who would find themselves helpless on the edge of the forest with an army of elves pointing towards them, except I rolled double 6’s and managed to catch his unit and his level 4. This was a good turn. My next turn I was able to reform them and dwellers off the other caster unit and his loremaster. It looked like Steve’s luck defected to my side mid-game. The remainder of the game my old-blood spent dodging bolt throwers, while the phoenix charged the temple guard in the forest. The phoenix wiped them out, but luckily the Slann lived and was stubborn being an infantry character in the forest, effectively preventing his demise (well the 4+ ward helped too). Interestingly, one of the scar-vets whom dodged some of the searing dooms made his way into some glade guard mid-late game. I got lucky and made short work of the archer units that were cornered by in his deployment zone. What swung the game at the end was the scar-vet was able to break the remaining archers last turn and run them down. He had no BSB!

The game ended and Steve and I had a great time.  It was a bloody affair on both sides. Ultimately the Lizards took home a very minor win with 16 points versus Steve’s 14 points. This was my very pathetic retaliation for the effective trouncing Steve gave me during capital city bloodbath in August 2014. Great game and a decent finish for day 1.

The lads and I celebrated a great day of gaming out at a nice restaurant, recounting our battles and singing the songs of our people. At this point in the tournament Dany was crushing face, Logan wasn’t far behind him, while I was stagnating mid-pack. Day 2 would change everything. Stay tuned!



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