Blood & Glory 2014!

Hello once again my Pretties to another Warhammer tournament round up!

This time we have the inaugural Melbourne tournament Blood & Glory (B&G) up for dissection. B&G was run by an excitable fellow by the name of Alan who, with the aid of a few local businesses, aims to conduct regular, well-funded Melbourne wargaming tournaments. B&G in particular was aimed at the hobbyists and gamers who are unfamiliar with the tournament scene. I was quite surprised with the turnout and the amount of new faces was quite promising. Hopefully anyone who attended B&G as their first (or first in a long time) enjoyed themselves enough to attend some more tourneys.

This particular event was held at The Celtic Club in the Melbourne CBD, a charming pub on the ground floor and large event space on the second. As an added bonus there was also a bar on the second floor which allowed easy access to libation (this may or may not have been a good thing :p).

The games were set at 2000 points, with a little sway for army composition (between 0 and 40 points, judged by a panel) and the usual painting and sportsmanship scores mixed in.

Seeing as it was a fairly generous comp I decided to attend with my Squigs once more, this time adding a few spices to make it a little more competitive than my showing at Rumble earlier this year. The mistake I made though was that this tournament was not Rumble and didn’t have an emphasis on fun, fluffy armies. Instead it attracted a slew of hard-as-nails, kick-you-while-you’re-down, spit-on-your-corpse-and-insult-your-mother type of army lists, SO while my army was a notch more solid, the opposition was several notches harder. *le sigh*

Anyways, with little sleep the Friday night before the tournament (staying up attempting to complete the finishing touches on the army) I arrived groggy and nervous. The venue was well packed with little room to move and this was without chairs getting in the way. That being said the tables were all the Games Workshop Realm of Battle boards… yep, those expensive modular tiles, all painted and with Games Workshop scenery sitting atop. Purdy!

Up for grabs amongst the usual prize support and trophies was a handmade warhammer, the Emperors weapon of choice. This beauty would go to the best general… the player with the highest battle points at the end of the tournament but didn’t place. It was an item I sorely wanted but would have no chance of obtaining. Such is life… let’s have some fun.

trophies

As I mentioned earlier I was playing Squigs at this event. Well technically its Orcs and Goblins but it was Squig in theme and flavour.

My list consisted of :

Skarsnik and Gobbla, my General and Squig themed leader.

An Orc Shaman, level 3. Okay, so not Squig themed but I could use the powerful spells that an Orc shaman brought. It has a lot more punch than the Goblin lore of magic and the spell ‘Hand of Gork’ I could use to deliver a payload of Fanatics into my opponents face.

A Night Goblin Shaman, lvl 1 with a dispel scroll. Nice and cheap.

A Night goblin big boss on a Great Cave Squig. This fella sits with my Squig hoppers

A Goblin Big Boss on wolf; set up defensively I was hoping for this guy to run at the enemy war machines, or defend mine.

A Black Orc BSB, again not Squig themed but he was holding a Squig banner which I painted up so I say that counts… >.>

3 units of night goblins each with varying amounts of goblins and fanatics

A unit of Squigs (of course)

A unit of Squig hoppers

2 Mangler Squigs

A doom diver (converted to a Squig launcher)

A rock lobber (Squig Gobba)

The red horde. Ready to fight, run and fail every test they're forced to take...

The red horde. Ready to fight, run and fail every test they’re forced to take…

So what was I afraid of with this army? Well honestly almost everything. A great match up would be a highly armoured, elite army like Warriors of Chaos or dwarves. After my initial impact with the fanatics and manglers I don’t have much punch, so I’d need to protect my war machines and hope magic doesn’t fail. Hmmm… not things that are noted to be reliable unless the army was designed specifically for either of those two aspects. Oh well… I had Squigs and that’s all I’d need surely?

Round One. Battle line vs Ogre Kingdoms.

First up on the chopping block was a regular gaming buddy of mine, Matt, using his familiar ice themed ogres. I knew the ogres well and how to tackle them so I started off fairly confident. I’d just need to avoid his large combat block and try to whittle away everything else. Easy, right?

game 1

The game started with a spark when Matt took an opportunity to exploit a mistake I made during deployment. I stupidly left enough room beside my lines for a unit of Matt’s scouting Maneater Ogres to appear. Whoops. Not to worry, I’d just shuffle about to release the least amount of fanatics but enough to damage and hopefully panic them off the board.

With a mangler squig nearby Matt was a little wary of getting those boys close, in the off chance it wanted to take them on.
I shuffled about as noted above, the fanatics did their job and splatted an ogre. I followed up by turning to face the remaining ogres and peppered them with arrows until the ogres had had their fill and fled. Score 1 for the little guys!

Other conflicts of note were:

* my lone goblin wolf rider being tackled by 2 Sabertusks and coming out on top!

* my unit of goblins with 3 fanatics failing to do anything when approached by a vanguard of 6 ogres.

* never mind, my Squig unit chomping through them in response and bounced along to later take out an Ironblaster

* my rock lobber taking 4 turns to put the Thundertusk to sleep.

A delicious ogre sandwich: 2 regiments of wild, organic Night goblin with a juicy fillet of ripe Ogre in between.

A delicious ogre sandwich: 2 regiments of wild, organic Night goblins with a juicy fillet of ripe Ogre in between.

The game finished a small win to me. A good start to the day, and I hoped it would continue.

Round Two. Dawn attack vs Tomb Kings.

Righto, my first undead army for the tournament. I honestly thought I’d be playing Vampires, Tomb Kings and Undead Legions for all 5 games seeing as this tournament allowed the Undead Legion list. For those not in the know, The Undead Legions is a creation from the very popular ‘End Times’ series of Warhammer books, in particular End Times: Nagash. Essentially Undead Legions allows a player to take anything from either the Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings books and run them in an amalgamated army, also with their own magic lore to raise undead units.  In theory it could be very powerful.

So I was pleasantly surprised to see I was facing an all Tomb Kings army with no additives or artificial flavourings of Vampire.

I wasn’t too afraid of the army across the board from me as it looked like a fairly standard TK list: A block of skellies with a prince to give the unit an increased weapon skill, a unit of chariots, snake riders, a catapult, a Casket of Souls, a Tomb guard block, archers and a Sphinx with flame roar. It was standard to my eyes and something I’ve played a bunch of times.

game 2 deployment

This game sailed along fairly quickly and with much drama. The main things to note in this game were:

·         Snake riders running through my Squig hoppers and lining up a charge on one of my war machines only to be wiped off by fanatics.

·         Me spending 4 – 5 turns trying to smash the chariots with fanatics, shooting, spells and war machines only for them to be crushed by a mighty mangler.

·         The mighty mangler, as mentioned above, made a hefty random move through the sphinx, skeletons and chariots, shattering the sphinx and destroying chariots. (though it took a bite or two from my Squig unit to finish the sphinx)

The final fanatic flaunts its fungus fumed faith.

The final fanatic flaunts its fungus fumed faith.

The latter half of the game devolved into me shuffling back out of charge range from the skeleton horde. That was something that I didn’t really want to face in combat and with no more chariots or sphinx which had the speed and hitting power I feared, there was no reason for me to initiate a fight I probably couldn’t win.

The game ended with a comfortable 10 – 10 draw.

Round Three. Meeting Engagement vs Vampire counts.

So having Skarsnik in my army meant that my opponent for the Meeting Engagement scenario would have two, one-in-six chances per unit for it to start off the board. Well that didn’t really happen. My opponent rolled well and everything that was useful was starting as normal, whereas my orc shaman and a mangler Squig decided not to show up for breakfast. This is how this game started on a low note and just got worse.

Not only was my opposition rocking a tough list which included a Black Knight bus with Blender Vamp (an affectionate term referring to the vampires ability, when equipped just right, to mince or blend anything it gets into contact with. Having lots of high strength attacks which re-roll to hit, sometimes to wound and generate more attacks for every wound caused, it is a monster in combat. Best to be avoided if one cannot magic or shoot it off the table), a Terrorgeist, hexwraiths and buses of zombies and skeletons, undead dogs and a Vargulf for fun.

The beginning of the end...

The beginning of the end…

The game was over very quick. My magic failed to do anything useful, my war machines followed suit. The Terrorgeist did what it did best and used its piercing scream to shatter my war machines and damage my units.

The killer of this game though was a first turn spell cast by the Undead to raise a small unit of zombies right in the middle of my lines which promptly forced the release of all 6 of my fanatics. So, from the first turn my lines were a mess and I could barely climb out of the hole I found myself in.

Even in the final combat between my largest goblin block and a large skeleton block I was unable to claw any points back. I failed to wound the very last skeleton before games end and therefore no points were given. >.< I could only take solace that my large goblin block was alive, including characters to prevent a total annihilation.

.. and another one gone, another one gone. Another one fights a bus!

.. and another one gone, another one gone. Another one fights a bus!

So this smashing of mine ended me with only a couple of points in the 3 – 17 score.

Day 1 down. Time to head home, rest and regroup…

Day 2. Gee, that was quick!

Another day, another couple of games. This time my fourth round opponent was yet another regular gaming buddy, playing Daemons of Tzeentch.

I always have a good game vs Matt (yep, another Matt) and relaxed as we smashed it out over the Battle for the Pass scenario.

This time, Skarsnik did what he was supposed to do and I rolled extremely well, forcing poor Matt to start the game with only half of his army. Adding to his troubles was that those missing units would have to start on the very furthest edge and would spend all game trudging up the field to see any sort of action by the final turn.

is it just me or is this picture a little bottom heavy?

Is it just me or is this picture a little bottom heavy?

Being Tzeentchian daemons, I was fairly confident that he didn’t want his units in combat as that’s not what they’re designed for. Magic was their forte. If I could take out his General and Main spell caster I’d be sitting pretty.

So I held back for the most part and sent the Squigs and manglers forward. My doom diver exploded yet again (it hadn’t done much all weekend, only being relevant in the Tomb Kings game).

Matt played a good game, avoiding the big threats, getting lucky with my rock lobber misses and Foot of Gork spell but as the game wore on he had forgotten about my fanatics.

He had set up a combat so that my large character bunker was sitting behind a small goblin unit. The bunker was also forced to use its lowest leadership (instead of its highest) due to a spell. Matt cleverly arranged it so that when his main caster and combat daemon charged in to the small goblin unit, it would wipe out the block and force the large bunker to panic in terror (a good chance of that happening as goblin leadership is quite poor).

The sight of the daemon was enough to bring up breakfast

The sight of the daemon was enough to bring up breakfast

The spanner in the works was that the bunker was housing 2 fanatics which flung out when the daemon made contact with the small goblin unit and snatched the remaining wounds off the daemon.

After that Matt just cleaned up what he could, and attempted to catch my squigs in a pincer attack. Between a block of Horrors and a trio of Screamers he had thought it was a sure victory. He was wrong. Both of his units bounced off the squigs causing minimal damage while in return the beasts chomped back a good portion of daemon.

Fanatic photobomb of the year

Fanatic photobomb of the year

That final flurry brought the end of the game and Matt took the loss like a gentleman. 12 -8 win to me.

The grand finale approached….

Sitting on 2 wins, a loss and a draw I was doing okay. Not great by any stretch of the imagination but not bad.

Then the Blood and Glory scenario arrived, as did my Wood Elf opponent Cal. My luck also decided to run out of the venue and not tell me, the jerk.

*deep breath*

What can I say about this game? Hmm… well first off I thought it was a bad matchup. Wood elves are shooty enough to take off my threats before they make contact and fast enough to evade bad charges.

Cal was rocking 3 units of Trueflight archers… this allowed him to shoot at a 30 inch range without penalties for anything, meaning he needed 3’s or better on a die to hit, which is insane.

He also had a smaller unit of Waywatchers to take out any armour (which I didn’t have) or shoot 2 arrows instead of one (bugger).

Adding to the brew was a fast but hard hitting unit of wild riders, a block of combat elves, a mighty treeman and an eagle.

game 5 blues

The green mile. Or perhaps in this case, grey mile.

So what went wrong? For starters my war machines did squat for the entire game. The doom diver blew up first turn… again… and my catapult misfired 4 times. My goblins failed animosity and my manglers didn’t make contact with what they needed to.

My saving grace was using the spell ‘Hand of Gork’ to pick up a unit of goblins with 3 fanatics inside, move it to Cal’s back line and fling the fanatics across, damaging some units as they went. So that sounds like a win for me yeah? Well I was able to plunge those same goblins and my big boss on great cave Squig into combat against a unit of archers and mage. So far so good. Being Orc and Goblins though I forgot to factor in how the army likes to screw itself over sometimes. A fanatic decided to randomly move straight through the combat mentioned above but only hit my units, killing the Big boss and a handful of goblins and leaving the elves unscathed. So in that one random move a favourable fight my way turned a complete 180. Poop!

In the end I was able to take out the treeman with a lucky fanatic strike, which saved some of my pride, as well as the archer unit with mage (the goblins eventually won) and an eagle. When you factor in the bonus points for the Blood and Glory scenario the scales were so far in Cal’s favour that there was no way I was coming away with anything but a complete and total thumping.

The final clash… err… umm… elves are rubbish!

0-20 loss to me. It may have been a whitewash but it was a fantastic game and I would like to have a rematch against Cal. Good times had by all.

So there you go, Blood and Glory over in a weekend. Obviously I didn’t win any prizes, coming 44th out of 66, and the top spots went to tournament regulars.

Alan announced that the next tournament being held by House of War (the group organising things) will be in March at the same venue, The Celtic Club Melbourne. The points will be upped to 2400 this time and a similar pack will be released.

For those wanting to join in on the action you can either jump on WargamerAu.com and visit the forums to sign up, or pop on over to  the Facebook Page ‘House of War‘ where you can do the same there.

If you have any ideas on how I can play better, roll dice better or even suggestions on improving the Squig themed army, leave a comment below. Suggestions are always welcome.

Until next time,

-Bensome

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