Thursday, March 12, 2015

ND Open VII - Nick's perspective - End of Day 2 and Wrap Up

I won't lie and say I wasn't a little down leaving game 5 and going into the final game of tournament. There was no chance of me winning the tournament or winning the little internal competition that Logan, Dany and myself were having. I can't remember exactly where everyone was going into game 6 by I do know that I was trailing behind them.

Game 6 - Lizards vs Undead Legions

Still, I decided I was going to have fun and walked up to the next table. My next opponent was extremely polite and cheerful... unlike his army. Walking up and seeing his army I thought, hands down, I will get massacred. He was running Undead Legions, here's a run down of his list:

- Manfred Mortarch from the End Times: Nagash book
- Strigoi Ghoul King
- Vampire hero
- 30-40 zombie block
- 20 zombie block
- 2-3 units of dire wolves
- 10 Skeleton Archers
- 10 Skeleton Archers
- 2 terrorgheists
- Casket of Souls

The reason I thought I was going to be massacred was that I did not have too much to deal with the terrorgheists, particularly since they can follow Mannfred around and reliably march 20 inches a turn screaming away all my important characters. Without long range shooting, or good magic missiles this was going to be difficult, never mind taking care of Mannfred and the handful of other vampires in the list. Oh well, let's get 'er done.

My basic deployment strategy was to keep a tight deployment so that everyone's benefits from the Slann's leadership but also spread out enough so he may feel threatened by the poison and be somewhat timid with his terrorgheists. It worked somewhat. He ended deploying a heavy flank with his vamp bunker, Mannfred, one terrorgheist to my right, while the smaller zombie unit, some dogs, the casket and the other terrorgheist to my left. Up until this point in the tournament my ripperdactyls have been significantly under performing and I didn't expect that to change this game. I didn't quite know yet what I wanted to threaten with them so I placed them roughly mid-board so that I could maximize my options. Once deployment was finished I threw a toad on the terrorgheist to my left, explained what it did to my opponent, and hoped that this would scare him and make him timid with him. We made a couple of vanguards including moving my Ripperdactyls up and my terradons, shook hands and rolled for turn 1.

My opponent got the first turn. To my right he was eager to get in, start screaming and death magic the crap out of me. To my left, and my surprise, he moved his second terrorgheist back slightly concerned about the ripperdactyls. I guess my plan worked. The remainder of his turn was a little uneventful and we continued on. My turn 1 came and I measured the distance between my Ripperdactyls and his terrorgheist. No charge there. I inched them up slightly but made sure to keep some skinks around just in case he decided to spring forward and engage. My scar-vet on my far left flank moved up and it was his turn to clear some chaff. Seeing as this was the last game in the tournament, I had the "go big or go home" mentality and pushed the Temple Guard as far as I could towards his vamp bunker with the saurus not far behind and the cavalry right next to them on the right. Magic did not accomplish much for me.

Turn 2, Mannfred and Terrorgheist were doing a good job of murdering skinks and a scar-vet on my right. I had thrown him out far to the right to at least keep Mannfred and the Terrorgheist away for a bit. Magic came and gone without much to remember. The skeleton archers brought down one my Rippers, damn. My turn 2 came and I measured the distance between the Ripperdactyls and the Terrorgheist to my left. It's now or never. I needed a 10 or 11 inches and rolled it! The Ripperdactyls made it in. I pushed my scar vet on my left forward so that if the Rippers don't succeed in killing the Terrogheist, he'll be able to charge next turn. I continued to push my blocks and what was left of my cav and my old-blood towards the vampires unit (Old-blood wasn't a part of the cav unit... I have no idea why in hindsight). I totally anticipated a charge from his vamp bus into my Temple Guard. Magic came and went, nothing too memorable. I casted some spells to return wounds on characters. In the combat phase I was lucky enough to rull just enough wounds on the Terrogheist, and for him to miss all of his attacks to pop it in one turn! My rippers over-ran off the table.

His turn 3 he surprised me and charged his vamp bus into the cold-one unit. They are going to have a baaaaad time I thought. I thought though if for some reason the Old-Ones grace me and allow the cav to live I could counter-charge with the templeguard and old-blood into the flank of the bus. Combat came and luckily 2 saurus cold-one riders lived and passed their break test. Mannfred and Terrorgheist made short work of the scar-vet to my right, and were clearing skinks away, whom were desperately trying to poison Mannfred.

The big turning point in the game was the counter charge of the temple guard and the old-blood into the vamp bus unit. The Strigoi had the potion of strength that my opponent later on realized he forgot to use, which meant my Old-blood was able to kill the vampire fairly easily. With the vampire gone it didn't take long for the unit to be wiped. This also meant that when I destroyed the rest of the unit in his next turn I could reform and charge my temple guard into the terrogheist (whom had flown nearby to attempt to scream the old-blood) and the Old-Blood into Mannfred who fluffed his attacks and got stuck with a unit of skinks he charged a turn earlier. While all this is happening the casket manages to wipe my last scar-vet but the returning ripperdactyls destroyed the casket and blowing themselves up haha!

After all was said and done the Lizards took home 26 points and the Undead Legions 4. My no-holds barred pushed towards him paid off, but my opponent did suffer some poor luck near the end. Particularly when Mannfred did not succeed in breaking a unit of skinks that needed a leadership test on 4. Logan pointed out afterwards that with the BSB nearby the chances of succeeding that are 58%, so I guess it wasn't totally unrealistic.

I finished my last game with 26 points and the tournament with 102. Overall I was 21/58, and in battle I was 15-16/58. Logan and Dany had some bad luck in their last games which meant I was able to squeak to the top of our group beating them out by about 1-1.5 points, yay haha!

ND Open VII Review 

The ND Open was a fantasic event. If they had pre-registration that day for the one in a year from now I would have definitely ponied up the money. The prize support was outstanding, the organization was impeccable, location fantastic, etc. Ultimately, the boyz and I had a ton of fun! These are same guys that run Chaos Ludik every year and they hit it out of the park every time. A big thanks to Dom and Steve, and the rest of their crew for a fantastic event. I don't have any major gripes but here would be my suggestions for improvement, that in no way prevented me from having a fantastic time:

Areas for improvement:

1. The gaming room was a little tight. There was some empty space in adjacent areas that could have been used for a couple of tables, which might have reduced a bit of the congestion that occurred at times between rounds. 

2. Too many announcements. With all the people the room was already loud enough, and I spent the better part of the tournament at tables that were right next to the speakers in the room. Often announcements would blare through the speakers and in a tournament like this you are already battling headaches in the later rounds. Most of these announcements were for time, or to call people over. Perhaps a timer on the projector, and manually looking for individuals would be better since the noise pollution is already high. This may not be an issue for most, but I'm particularly sensitive to noise (I'm a wimp, ha!).

3. The food was delicious day 1 with a club and fried. Day 2 was pizza and a pile of more fries. Most gamers may not have any complaints about this, but a something green wouldn't have hurt, especially for people who traveled their and may have had their fill of road food.

4. The scenarios were excellent, except, for me, the one I mentioned in game 5 where an opponent can steal the initiative and be granted a major advantage before the game even starts. With this type I would suggest either to move to alternate deployment, or just remove the chance to steal the first turn. 

As you can see I don't have much ill to say about the ND Open. It was a fantastic tournament all around. I will be definitely going back next year. This time; however, my eye will be on #1!

Thanks for reading,

Nick

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