Thursday, September 6, 2012

NoVA Open 2012 - Part 2 - Game Reports


The Fantasy GT was originally scheduled to be six games but, because some folks dropped out and no-showed (I assume), only the five games were necessary.

I ran my Skaven (which I think we all knew was happening, right?).  It was my usual list, further tweaked a little bit to (hopefully) better handle Ogres.
Lords
Warlord (General) - War-Litter, Weeping Blade, Enchanted Shield, Luckstone
Grey Seer - Talisman of Preservation

Heroes
Chieftain (BSB) - Shield, Armor of Destiny
Plague Priest - Plague Furnace, Flail, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon
Warlock Engineer - Doomrocket
Warlock Engineer - Death Globe, Ruby Ring of Ruin

Core
Clanrats x30 - Full Command, Shields
- Warpfire Thrower
Skavenslaves x44 - Champion, Musician, Shields
Stormvermin x20 - Full Command, Storm Banner
- Warpfire Thrower

Special
Gutter Runners x6 - Poison, Slings
Gutter Runners x6 - Poison, Slings
Plague Monks x31 - Full Command, Plague Banner

Rare
Hellpit Abomination
Warp Lightning Cannon
Warp Lightning Cannon
No surprises there, right?

The Weeping Blade never really came up, but it never felt like a waste.  The second cannon worked out brilliantly.  The second Engineer with the globes and ruby ring was crap.  I might have gotten more use out of the ring (maybe), but the globes were a waste.  I'd have gotten far more mileage out of a ward save on my Priest.

Anyway, as I said the other day, "Five games total, three really great games, four really fun games, and one game that wasn't all that great (but hey, could have been a lot worse)."  With five games, you're bound to have at least a bad game or two, my low this weekend was "Not great but not bad."

Plus, given that the field was something like 60% Ogre Kingdoms: only one game against them is pretty shocking/fortunate.  High fives all around.

Unfortunately, while I've got everyone's army lists, I failed to note VPs or even game results.  I can't seem to find the results/standings anywhere, so I'm going from memory here on those.

Game 1 - Michael Shaefer's Lizardmen


Lords
Slann (General, BSB) - Becalming Cogitation, Focused Rumination, Cupped Hands,

Heroes
Skink Priest - Blood Statuette of Spite, Dispel Scroll

Core
Saurus Warriors x40 - Full Command, Spears
Skink Skirmishers x10
Skink Skirmishers x10
Skink Skirmishers x10

Special
Chameleon Skinks x8
Kroxigor x5 - Champion
Temple Guard x20 - Full Command, Glittering Scales (Champion)

Rare
Razordons x2 - Skinks x8
Salamanders x2 - Skinks x8
Salamanders x2 - Skinks x7

During the pre-tournament milling about and army-gazing, I stopped by Michael's army and chatted the longest by far.  It's gorgeous; I wasn't surprised at all when he won one of the painting contest awards (Best Diorama) or when he won Best in Show.  He's an extremely talented painter.



I did remark on how many Salamanders & Razordons he had: "I hope I don't have to play you!"  So, of course I did, first round.

Michael's a local guy that I hadn't really met before.

It was a great way to start the tournament.  I've got a high opinion of my army's appearance, and two great lookin' armies throwing down is our hobby at its best

The game was kind of slow paced. While it's nice to know that I've gotten faster at playing (I know it's a problem I've had), it does make me much more aware of when my opponent has to take a lot of time to think things through.

A couple of stand out moments:
  • Plague Monks smacking into the Temple Guard and just about obliterating them.  Man, those rats hit hard when they want to.

  • Michael getting a mite too clever in trying to pin down the Abomination (by keeping him from changing his facing), but ensuring his Salamanders overshot him with their fiery breath
It was a good, fun game against a really nice guy with a gorgeous army.  What's not to love?

In the end, although it looked like I'd just about tabled him, between not being able to (fully) take out his Saurus Warriors and the pretty severe casualties he'd inflicted on me, it was much closer than I'd have expected.  Still,

Game 2 - Eric McKee's Orcs & Goblins

Lords
Orc Warboss (General) - Wyvern, Charmed Shield, Dragonbane Gem, Potion of Strength, Sword of Bloodshed

Heroes
Black Orc Big Boss - Armor of Silvered Steel
Goblin Big Boss (BSB) - Gigantic Spider, Light Armour, Enchanted Shield, Sword of Striking
Night Goblin Big Boss - Great Cave Squig, Great Weapon, Light Armour, Dragonhelm
Orc Shaman - War Boar, Dispel Scroll

Core
Forest Goblin Spider Riders x5 - Musician
Forest Goblin Spider Riders x5 - Musician
Goblin Wolf Riders x5 - Musician, Shields
Goblin Wolf Riders x5 - Musician, Shields
Night Goblins x30 - Full Command, Netters
- Fanatics x3
Orc Boyz x30 - Full Command, Shields

Special 
Goblin Spear Chukka
Goblin Spear Chukka
Night Goblin Squig Herd x13 - Herders x7
Night Goblin Squig Hoppers x5
Orc Boar Chariot
Savage Orc Boar Boyz - Musician, Standard, Big 'Uns, Spear, Shield,
Snotlings x2
Trolls x3

Rare
Giant
Mangler Squig

Eric's a fellow CGL'er (even if he doesn't make it out to play all that much), and we've played more than a few times before.  He's got a really cool Orc & Goblin army that's all-squig.  Dang near everything's converted up to be squig-like.  It works really well, I think.

Unfortunately, his army's still optimized for 7th edition with MSU units out of the wazoo.  Between an unreasonable number of failed Stupidity checks and a couple of lucky rounds of shooting on my part, and the game's outcome was pretty clear early on.

We plugged along through the game anyway, though, and he ended up doing better than he expected.  Even though he lost, he managed to make up a lot of points and close the gap quite a bit.

It was a good, fun game and, despite the beating he took, I think Eric had an alright time, too.  If there'd been a sportsmanship vote, he'd have gotten mine.

Game 3 - Ken Stubbs' Warriors of Chaos

Lords
Sorcerer Lord (General) - Lvl 4, Death, Chaos Steed, Crown of Command, Spellshield, Talisman of Preservation

Heroes
Chaos Sorceror - Lvl 2, Death, Chaos Steed, Charmed Shield, Dragonbane Gem, Favor of the Gods, Infernal Puppet, Third Eye of Tzeentch
Exalted Hero (BSB) - Tzeentch, Chaos Steed, Shield, Biting Blade, Bronze Armour of Zhrakk, Dawnstone, Ironcurse Icon
Exalted Hero - Tzeentch, Chaos Steed, Halberd, Book of Secrets, Power Familiar

Core
Chaos Warhounds x5
Chaos Warhounds x5
Chaos Warriors x22 - Khorne, Full Command, Halberd, Shield, Rapturous Standard
Marauder Horsemen x5 - Slaanesh, Musician, Standard Bearer, Flails, Throwing Axes
Marauder Horsemen x5 - Slaanesh, Musician, Standard Bearer, Flails, Throwing Axes

Special
Chaos Knights x8 - Tzeentch, Full Command, Standard of Discipline

Rare
Chaos Warshrine - Tzeentch
Chaos Warshrine - Tzeentch
So, that happened.  IIRC, Ken went undefeated over the weekend.

I could ramble, I think, about how he brought a dickish, unfun army meant to winwinWIN... but I actually really enjoyed my game against him.  It was a tremendously unfun army to play against, yes, but he was a great guy to have across the table and we had a great time.  That's a lot more important, yes?

Also, the more I've thought about this game, the more convinced I am that if it hadn't have been the last game of the day, I'd have done much better.  I was seriously fried by the end of the day, and made a lot of pretty bad calls.  I'm not saying I'd have won, mind you, but it'd have been a lot closer (and maybe, just maybe it'd have been possible).

Ken'd come up with several Cobra Kai folks from North Carolina. (They're running Southern Assault in about a month, and there's a chance I'll make it down to to that.)

Anyway, out of the gate, he got some solid rolls from the Warshrines: giving his death star unit Stubborn and 4+ (3+ because of Tzeentch) and +1 Toughness from the get-go.

IIRC, I managed to kill everything save the death star cavalry unit and the two Warshrines.  (Warshrines make me lament Warp Lightning Cannons' variable strength.  If I didn't have to worry about maybe being Strength 2 or 4 or whatever, I'd just hammer away and look to an eventual failed ward save.)  He, of course, got most of my stuff.

The stand out moment, to me, was after he'd Purple Sun'd my Stormvermin down to the Warlord, Greyseer, and command.  Then, using Third Eye of Tzeentch, stole Curse of the Horned Rat and turned the unit into (his) Clanrats.  Very well played.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure this was a Major Loss for me.  He beat the crap out of me, but I still really enjoyed the game.  That says a lot about him, I think.

Game 4 - Brad Close's Daemons of Chaos

Lords
Bloodthirster (General) - Armour of Khorne, Firestorm Blade, Immortal Fury, Spell Breaker

Heroes
Herald of Khorne (BSB) - Armour of Khorne, Banner of Unholy Victory, Firestorm Blade
Herald of Slaanesh - Siren Song
Herald of Tzeentch - Flames of Tzeentch, Master of Sorcery (Life)

Core
Bloodletters x38 - Full Command, Icon of Endless War
Daemonettes x20 - Full Command, Banner of Ecstasy
Furies x5

Special 
Flamers of Tzeentch x6

Rare
Fiends of Slaanesh x6
Fiend of Slaanesh x1
Somehow, I failed to get a picture of Brad's army.

Brad quibbled about the rules, kind of a lot.  Unfortunately, that's something I respond to (and I respond to it by quibbling even more) and I'm sure that's something he responded to, resulting even more quibbling.  Quibblepocalypse.  So, there were kind of a lot of rules arguments during the game, and I hate that.

But hey, I've played in some bad games, and this was not one of them.  It was just argumentative and a little exhausting.  Those happen, and it was probably as much my fault as it was his.

Anyway, according to fellow club member Joey, Brad's a local guy who shows up at local RTT's occasionally.

The Abomination got into it with his block of fiends before the end of Turn 1 (they failed a Frenzy check) kept him safe from the Flamers (which were the old Flamers, not the new ones if you're wondering why numbers don't add up), which made a big difference.

Plague Monks killed the bejesus out of the horde of Bloodletters (like, for serious), which made me feel pretty good about myself.

Unfortunately, I was never able to kill the Bloodthirster.  The Herald of Tzeentch, of course, spent every turn healing him, which meant that I needed 5 wounds through his Toughness 6, 3+ Armour, 5+ Ward in a single round... and that just didn't happen.  I did manage to shut down the spell occasionally (including a very lucky double-6 dispel roll on three dice), but never for long enough to put him down.

I think this was just a Minor Loss.  He didn't have much on the table besides the Bloodthirster and the Daemonettes by the end, but it wasn't enough by a long shot.

Game 5 - Wesley Cogdal's Ogre Kingdoms

Lords
Slaughtermaster (General) - Lvl 4, Fencer's Blades, Glittering Scales, Dispel Scroll

Heroes
Bruiser (BSB) - Heavy Armour, Ironfist, Crown of Command, Dragonhelm
Firebelly - Hellheart

Core
Ironguts x9 - Standard Bearer, Lookout Gnoblar
Ogres x9 - Standard Bearer, Musician, Ironfist, Lookout Gnoblar

Special
Leadbelchers x8 - Musician
Mournfangs x3 - Standard Bearer, Musician, Heavy Armour, Ironfist
Sabretusk x1
Sabretusk x1

Rare
Ironblaster
Stonehorn
What a great way to end the tournament, huh?  I started the tournament playing against a great guy with a gorgeous army and ended it playing against a great guy with a gorgeous army.

Wesley's the guy behind Stiff Neck Studio, and he and his crew'd flown out from the Pacific Northwest to sponsor the NoVA.  I'm quite confident that that's why he didn't win best army: as a sponsor, he couldn't.


I mean, just look at that.

We had a great game.  It was low-key, relaxed, and friendly.  There was a lot of back and forth: it was a very close game.

Yes, it was an Ogre Kingdoms list, but it was a relatively soft one.  Only three Mournfangs, for example.  A Stonehorn (which isn't bad, but I'm not used to seeing them).  Just one Ironblaster.  No. Horde. Of. Ogres.

At the end of the game, I got very tactical and tricksy in terms of whittling him down and denying him points. For example, in my final turn, the Grey Seer went all in on a Skitterleap to get across the board and to safety: yes, he miscast, but at that point, there was no rat around him to care.

Unfortunately, during all of that over-thinking, I made a pretty big mistake.  It got down to his Stonehorn charging my Clanrats.  After a lot of deliberation, I fled with the Clanrats.  Huge mistake.  They ran farther than average, which put them through an Engineer-less Slave unit and off the table.  The Slaves panicked, and were off the table.  The Stornhorn shrugged and redirected into a Cannon, which it unsurprisingly obliterated.  So, rather than giving up 155 points from the Clanrats (which, furthermore, probably would have died, but dice are dice and you never know), I gave up those 155 points, plus 116 for the slaves and 90 for the cannon.


I lost by 196 points.  (If I'd chosen correctly, I'd have won by 10 points.)  That's an insanely close game.

A great opponent running a gorgeous army in a win-by-the-nose game: perfect.

Even though I didn't do nearly as well this year (2/3/0) as I did last year (4/1/0, Best Overall), I had an excellent time.  I'm pretty sure I enjoyed more of my games and more this year.

The rest of the weekend:
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