First, for those other Canucks out there in the aethertubes, happy Thanksgiving!
|You're going to do what to me?|
I managed (at the last minute, thanks to the Beloved) to get down to the G-Dub this morning to participate in a 1500 point tournament for Age of Sigmar. It wasn't huge, with only 8 of us playing, but it was an excuse to get out, and get in some games with my developing force. I ran the same list as last time, with the minor addition of actually taking a couple abilities for which I was eligible, but hadn't know about, last time. One of them, the Command Trait "Cunning Deceiver" (which imposes a -1 penalty to hit on opponents in the first turn), made a huge difference, and has joined my list of new favorite things.
|Battle one. Khorne vs. Slaanesh.|
I went in the the tournament with the main goal of actually remembering everything my army does. The list I've been building / running depends heavily on synergy around a couple of keywords (Khorne, and Mortal). It means I have the potential to get a lot of little buffs, that in the aggregate, turn my decent-for-the-points, but not outstanding models into powerhouses. By and large, I managed to do this (barring a couple of slips), and it paid off. As it worked out, I ended up with best overall. In a field of 8, it's not like I'll be tearing up the international tournament circuit, but I'll admit, I was pretty chuffed.
|The battlefield from Lord Vahkos' point of view.|
|Seekers crash into the line. Bloodreavers die well.|
Game one was against a Slannesh Demons list. It's the first time I've played against this, and while I'd been warned about the speed it brought to the table, seeing it in person was a different thing altogether. My opponent ran a large unit of Seekers, one of the really big chariots, several Daemonette clouds, and assorted heroes (including a Forgeworld Keeper of Secrets). Turn one was a revelation, when the Seeker unit moved a total of 25" across the board to charge my front line (Slaanesh demons start with high Move, can run and charge in the same turn, and she was running a formation that added move bonuses). This was the first point where the Cunning Deceiver ability kicked in, blunting my opponent's ability to damage me before I had a chance to fight back.
|The hard part was they kept coming back.|
|On the other hand, my knights are in a good position to flank and sweep. Which they did.|
This was actually why I'd taken it in the first place. My list thrives when I get to choose the conditions for combat, and on the attack. First turn alpha strikes make for a bad time (which I learned the hard way last time I played in a tourney). Having a little insurance went a long way.
It mattered, as it turns out, a bunch of demonic cavalry up in my grill turned out to be something of a handful (especially after rolling a "1" for morale twice, which allowed them to restore lost models). I eventually ground them down, and was able to pick my fights pretty effectively, using my knights (hands down the killiest part of my force) to good effect, and even took out the Keeper of Secrets.
We spent most of the game operating under a misunderstanding about how the victory conditions would be determined (we thought the Major victory was an all or nothing proposition, and that our game would be settled by kill points, but this proved incorrect. It was possible to win a partial, Minor victory on scenario, and when our game was called for time, my opponent was ahead on Objectives. This game me a minor loss in the opening round.
|This doesn't end well for the chariot.|
|Or the Keeper of Secrets.|
We broke for lunch, after which I set up for game two. This was against another Chaos opponent, who ran a bit of a mixed bag - some Slaanesh, a couple of chaos Dwarf cannon, and notably, a War Mammoth (using Forge World rules, but subbing in a Mumak from the LotR range). This was probably the game where I played best, remembered most of my rules (even remembered to have the Chaos knights' mounts get in their attacks, something I somehow manage to forget, despite playing Bretonnians).
|Against mixed Chaos. Note the Chaos War Mumak.|
This was a game notable for the sportsmanship shown by my opponent. He went ahead on objective points early, using his speed (again, the Slaanesh elements) to seize objectives and rack up some early points. The scenario had a premium, however, for controlling objectives in the opposing deployment zone - and by turn 4 or five, I was in a dominant position, and rapidly catching up. My opponent could have very easily stalled the game, but instead, made a point of playing efficiently, so that we got in a full five turns (the only game I played where this occurred). As a result, I not only caught up, but won a major victory on scenario.
|Vahkos considers his options. That's a pretty nice skull for the Skull Throne lumbering towards him.|
MVPs this game were the Slaughterpriests. As well as offering one of the few ways to do damage at a distance in my army, the 'priests can also force enemy models to move towards me. In this game, I used the ability to taunt the War Mammoth forward, away from its supporting unit.
|We're going to need more BBQ sauce.|
This let me pile in most of my really killy stuff into the Mammoth, and get in a couple of good turns on it before the rest of his army piled in to help. The Mammoth is a crazy piece. It has Forge World rules (i.e., is ridiculously powerful) and made up about a third of his army points. Losing it (it was finally dealt the death blow by my Khorne Lord, Vahkos, in a rather cinematic finish), meant he didn't really have much else that could compete for attrition.
|That's pretty much every killy thing in my army packed around one model.|
I cleaned up the units he'd piled in, which amounted to most of what he had left, swept up the table, and took the objectives, especially the one in his deployment zone (worth by far the most points). By turn 5, I'd pretty much tabled him, had all four points well under control, and was ahead on victory points. Major victory.
|Vahkos turns his attention to mopping up.|
Game three was against the same opponent I'd played Game 1 last time. He, like me, is a GW Oldboy, and I've found our games are both fun in themselves, and offer plenty of opportunity for nostalgia. He ran much the same list of Beastclaw Raiders (Ogre cavalry, mammoths and mournfangs) as last time, aside from a few little tweaks to items, and had a much better handle on how to deal with my Khorne boys. In many ways, this was almost a mirror of the first game - I was badly mauled, but was so far ahead on scenario it didn't matter.
|We meet again.|
The scenario we played is pretty close to perfect for my list. I'm running a Khorne Mortal formation that has a rather nifty ability - whenever one of my heroes dies, a non-heroic model in my army can become a hero, splitting off from it's parent unit, and picking up a few bonuses. Add in the fact that I have 5 heroes to start, including my commander, that objectives in the game can only be scored by heroes, and that heroes remain in control of objectives until an enemy hero claims them, and you start to see why this one was weighted in my favour.
|Run Bloodstoker, run!|
This game was pretty tense. I sent most of my army in again his two strongest units (two other, mammoth-like creatures). I took them out in the end, but paid a heavy price, losing most of my infantry, and taking a pretty hard hit to my knights as well. Even Vahkos went down under the hooves of the Mournfang, but he bought valuable time. Taking out the Stonehorn (pseudo-mammoth) and rider meant my opponent no longer had any characters, and my lads' heroic last stand gave me time to take control of all three objectives. The final turns saw the rather un-Khorne-like sight of several Khorne heroes, (including some newly minted ones) running pell-mell from what was left of his mournfangs. In the end though, I had the objectives, he didn't, and that was another Major Victory.
|Slaughterpriests, about to be slaughtered.|
|A newly minted Khorne hero, with eyes on the prize.|
Three solid, fun games. Three great opponents. Two major wins, one minor loss. I was feeling pretty good when Puddin' and the Beloved stopped in to pick me up. Then results were announced. My turn two opponent won a well-deserved Best Sport, the shop painting guru took Best Appearance, a likable younger fellow with Seraphon (Lizards) won Best General, and yours truly won Best Overall. Huzzah!
I'm thoroughly stoked to paint these guys some more. Not sure that I'll make it to finished for Armies on Parade, but on the other hand, I've made waaaay more progress than I would have without the commitment. I'm going to try and get as much done as I can, and keep getting these on the table.
I've also been toying with the idea of getting a few more models. One viable option would be the Khorne starter box. That gives me another 10 Blood Warriors, 3 juggernaught riders, and a hero (another Slaughterpriest, but he's readily convertible). Another option is either warriors, marauders, or Marauder riders - a little more speed might work. I'm leaning towards some combo with Juggernaughts, as they're probably my favorite Khorne models, but I'm open to suggestions if people have any good ideas.