Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gleam of victory, at end of day.


Whew!  Finished up the 1000 point End Times tourney I've been yapping about lately.  4 games, lost three, won my last one, and got "Best Sportsman".  I ran the following list:

General: Damsel L1 (Beasts), Warhorse, dispel scroll
ASB: Paladin, Barded Warhorse, Enchanted Shield, Dawnstone, Sword of Striking
C1: 10 Knights of the Realm, Full Command, Standard of Discipline
C2: 20 Peasant Bowmen, musician, standard, braziers
S1: 4 Peg Knights, musician
S2: 5 Mounted Yeomen, shields, musician
R1: Trebuchet

Generally speaking, I was pretty happy with the list.  The knights were stellar, and even the mounted Yeomen helped out, distracting and otherwise occupying the attention of potential threats.  I even got the Puddin' to help roll dice ;)

Game one was against Woodelves.  He had a biggish unit of archers, two of the deer-riders (one Gladeriders, one the other ones), some skirmishing bow with nasty, armour-ignoring arrows, and some Dryads.



Early in the game, he was able to tear up my redirectors, damaging (and driving back) the Pegasus Knights, and tearing up the mounted Yeomen.  He charged the rump of the latter, wiping them out - I got a few lessons in how to re-direct the hard way ;)


My knights charged back, and smashed his glade riders, but it cost them, and left them damaged and exposed to a flank charge by the dryads, who broke the unit, despite the presence of my general and the Battle Standard.


Highlights of the game for me included a perfect Trebuchet shot that gutted his unit of archers, and an epic, multi-turn battle between the remnants of the dryads and my Pegasus knights. I lost this one, but learned a couple of useful lessons.


Game two was against skaven.  He had two huge slave units, a bumker of, I think, plague rats, two warp lightning cannons, a Grey Seer, tooled-up gutter runners, and assorted skaven shooting weirdness.


This game taught me an important lesson about getting stuck in.  He had two turns of shooting on me before I managed to get my knights in, and thanks to a failed charge with my Peg knights, that meant four shots with his warp lightning cannons.  That did enough damage to take the steam out of the Bretonnian charge.


Another issue I ran into was the scenario, Dawn Attack.  This randomizes deployment, and the upshot was that I kind of fought against him piecemeal.  This was entirely on me (I should have used terrain etc to hid until I could coordinate), but the upshot was that when I did charge, it was into his tarpit unit, which held me until he got in a flank charge.  Even with some luck on my side ( a plague spell that rebounded back onto his units, doing far more damage to him than me etc.), the hardest hitting part of my force was whittled down bit by bit, and never really got its mojo going.


So far, lessons learned were to use the rest of my army to deliver the knights, and to commit decisively with the knights themselves.  Pick a target, strike home, and use the rest of my army to support.

Third game was against Undead, which had a few advantages, given we were using the End Times rules.  He had a unit of ethereal knights, 3 big beasty Vargeists, a big unit of skellies, another big one of zombies, a corpse cart, and a necromancer.  The scenario was Meeting Engagement, with diagonal deployment, and I set up as following (my Pegs ended up being randomly selected for delayed deployment).


This one did not start auspiciously.  His vargeists charged my Mounted Yeomen, who failed their Terror check and fled (note to self to be more mindful of deployment!), and seeing his ethereal knights charge THROUGH my archers, killing four in the process, then having them run off in terror.  This left me with my knights, Pegs (when I finally remembered to bring them on!), and Trebuchet.  The latter got in a decent shot, but the necromancer grew back his (un)dead, and it eventually fell to the Vargeists.


In the mean time, my knights went straight for the necromancer, beginning several turns of grinding.  While they steadily chewed through the skellies, the rest of his army whittled me down.  The ethereal knights proved to be a struggle for me, as the only thing in my army that could damage them was the Paladin with his magic sword.  In addition to the archers, they eventually did for the Pegasus knights as well.



The last turn saw my knights surrounded by, and in combat with, vargeists, the corpse cart, zombies, and skeletons.  The game actually hung by a thread.  I killed his necromancer in the last round of combat, but the damage done by the charging Vargeists meant I still lost the round.  I had two chances to make a 6+ roll on two dice.  If I held, I'd pull out a marginal win, but the knights finally broke and ran, giving my gracious opponent the win.


I learned some important lessons about mutually reinforcing deployment, and also the importance of decisive commitment.  It was also educational in terms of Magic dynamics.  While my Damsel was able to blunt the worst of the necromancers' magic, I don't think she got off a spell all game.  Lvl 1 vs. Lvl 4 is no contest.

Final game was against Lizardmen, and this was where things came together for me.  He had two big blocks of Saurus, some skimishing skinks, a big dinosaur that launched spells, a spellcaster, and a BSB.  I put the archers in an elevated position coving the right side of the table, and piled everyone else on the left, trying to support each other.



This meant I'd basically split his forces.  In the first turn, he reacted by trying to swing sideways, but it kind of stacked his units up, and he had to deal with the kind of piecemeal coordination problem I had in my earlier games.


It also meant he'd advanced the Saurus with his BSB forward far enough that I had a shot at it with both my undamaged knight block, and the Pegasus knights (down one flier from his magic / shooty dinosaur).


I charged, got in, and challenged.  My BSB cut his down, my knights crashed through his Lizards, and I won combat dramatically enough that he failed his Ld roll, and broke.  My Pegasus knights pursued, caught, and destroyed him.  Best first turn all day ;)

Turn two saw him wheel his second Saurus unit, and advance through the woods to engage.



This one wasn't as decisive as the first combat, and actually turned into a bit of a grind.  In the mean time, my trebuchet did decent, if undramatic work, putting a wound on his dinosaur and skink sorcerer, while my archers got some shots in on the skinks.


In the end, however, Bretonnian armour and leadership held out, along with some help from the Damsel.  This was the only game where her active spellcasting really helped, probably because she was only up against a level 2.  There were a few rounds of combat where Wyssan's Wildform (a buff) made the difference, and I was able to grind the Sauraus down turn-by-turn until they broke.


End game saw my knights and the remaining Peg take out the dinosaur thing, and I came away with a pretty significant win.  Felt good to end the tournament like that.  It was the first game where it really felt like I got things working together properly.

I had a grand time.  Four terrific opponents, all of whom were very patient with a rusty player, and I learned tons.  It'll likely be a little while before I'm out to game again, but I'm looking forward to it, and to getting some more Brets painted up.



  1. Your knights shine in every picture, if not in every melee! Nice to finish with a win in a fun tournament. Thanks for sharing Marcus.

  2. You army looks good in the pictures. I'm glad to hear you got in a good day of gaming here and ended on a victory to boot.