So, I brought the evil stunties up to the Crossroads this weekend and did very respectably for myself. I met my win/loss goal, and had I actually had the time to bring the rest of the army up to a painting standard I would’ve been happy with, and had a little bit of luck, I would’ve placed even higher.
Comp Score: 7
I really thought the army was softer than this, unfortunately it hit a lot of buzz words and about half the judges didn’t really know the new book. I had a lot of magic-a level 4 and 5 bounds, two blocks of Annihilators, 4 bolt throwers, and 2 clips of Bull Centaurs. The guys who knew the book generally rated it a 9, the guys who didn’t were throwing 4s and 5s at it, and you see where I wound up. I’m probably going to tweak it a bit up in comp next year, who knows.
Honestly, I don’t think I deserved a score even this high. My ‘centerpiece’ models-the Golems, the Bull Centaurs, and my characters-look great. They’re all converted, painted pretty well, and have character. The rest of my army looks like crap, and indeed I wound up borrowing a friend’s wolf riders for the tourney. Needless to say, this is definitely a score that can only go up next year, because I’ve got plenty of time to work on the army and bring the rest of the army to the point I’m happy with it. I’ll likely bring these guys to the Colonial, which gives me a solid 6 or 7 months to work on them.
I’m going to break this down game by game.
Game 1: vs. Scott Carlton’s Vampire Counts.
Scott brought out a fairly standard VC army, featuring Manfred. He had 12ish power dice, few blocks of skellies, token regiment of zombies, a couple units of fast crap-dogs and bats-and a unit of black knights.
I deployed somewhat heavy on my left, forcing him to bring two of his blocks around in order to get anything really worthwhile. Hashut was smiling on my dice, as a couple of early magic missiles imploded the Black Knights, most of the dogs, and my bolt throwers thinned out his bunker unit. To his credit, Scott ran his guys into it, trusting his magic regen to keep his units up to snuff. Unfortunately for him, his turn 3 magic phase ended on the first spell, leaving me in a position to annihilate half of his depleted blocks. Literally, between the blunderbusses and the bolt throwers. He got a few units-blew away a unit of rabble, half of one of the Annihilator units, little bits here and there-but I had killed far more by the end of 6. His vamps were still alive, but all I needed was 300 points for the victory. I feel safe to say it was his dice-he had a black coach, which ate literally 0 dice the entire game. Between the miscast and generally mathematically improbably single-dice casting problems-failing Invoc five out of six times multiple turns-I pulled out the win.
Game 2: Larry Mottola’s Vampire Counts
So, going into game 2, I was feeling pretty good. I’d won my first game pretty handily, and while a lot of that was Scott’s dice, I think I might’ve had him even if he’d rolled average. I knew I’d get a hard opponent in round 2, but my comp was too high to draw any Demon players.
So instead, I drew literally the best Warhammer player in the US last year-Larry Mottola. His vamp army actually was sort of similar to Scott’s, except he had an extra full-size block and no zombies. Regular Lord instead of the special character. The game was really fairly indecisive for the majority of the game-I traded a bolt thrower and wolf riders for units of wolves and some other periphery stuff while he marched forward. Once I’d realized who I was playing, I knew it’d be much safer to go for the draw. I also probably psych’d myself out a bit knowing who I was playing, but I worked pretty hard to not let it bother me. I was actually set up to do really well on the bottom of the 4th, with three units in position to blow up one of his grave guard blocks. Two units of rabble, both within the General’s leadership would’ve charged into its front, with a unit of Bull Centaurs flanking.
Instead, I roll 10, 10, 9 on my fear checks and stand there. Without that added pressure on his line-if I’d rolled a bit above average, I would’ve actually had the chance to explode the unit through combat resolution and tie up the majority of his killing ability for the last two turns-he rocked into my blocks on his Fifth and mopped up over 1200 points through static combat/outnumbered by a fear causer.
It was a good game, I learned a few things, and I got beat by literally one of the best players around. Not feeling bad about it at all, and besides, now that that’s out of the way, I should probably draw an average player round 3, right?
Round 3: Ed Maule’s Empire
So while all this was going on, one of my Turn 7 teammates, Larry Bender, Slann’d the crap out of Ed Maule’s Empire. Ed is the guy who pioneered the walter/2 stank list, as far as I’m aware. Anyway, this dropped Ed into the 1-1 bracket, and into my lap. Another top notch player going up against someone at his second GT. Oops.
That said, I made mistakes and Ed capitalized on them. Ed’s army was much softer than last year, no double stank, just one. I got tied up mid-board with the war alter for the entire game with my BSB in a challenge. I should’ve declined the challenge and just nibbled him to death, but I was an idiot. I also made a mistake with my Inferno Golems, which led to them getting exploded by the Stank. Oye. This one was the only game I got thumped in, pretty badly. Sure, I lost my game 2, but it was MUCH closer than the final battle score made it seem.
So with that, Turn 7 set their dudes aside and headed out for dinner. I was DD and dinner awaited. Fun and games persisted through the night, and far too early, I was lining up against…
Game 4: Gary No’s Warriors of Chaos
This was by far my favorite game of the GT. Gary and I were similar levels of incoherent that morning, having both gone to the same Outback and watched the same football games with the rest of our respective clubs. Gary’s army was extremely soft for Warriors of Chaos-no knights, no marauders. He did have Valkia, but I don’t think that’s a particularly broken SC, by any means.
I deployed with a refused flank, my bull centaurs and wolf riders all alone on the right side of my line. He won first turn, and pushed up towards the main part of my army. He had two blocks of puppies and a unit of Chaos Ogres opposing my right side, and was cautious, as he wasn’t sure how tough the Centaurs would be in combat. This was also an objective mission, with bonus points awarded for battle points depending on who controlled what objectives. My wolf riders parked themselves out of line of sight on the right side objective, the Bull Centaurs moving to mid-board basically daring the Ogres to come out and play. My main force stuck together, moving up a bit to bring my casters into better position. His forsaken and puppys were blasted with magic the first two turns, taking them out of the game. He hid his giant from bolt throwers, leaving them to fire on the blocks of chaos warriors and the ogres. I took a couple warriors out and put two wounds into the ogres, who would charge the bull centaurs in turn 3 along with a depleted unit of puppies.
I went sword and board in the combat, and Gary completely whiffed. Dropping as many attacks as I could into the puppies, I won combat and ran down the ogres and let the last dog just run off the table. The bull centaurs were now in the backfield, where they could play. At this point, with the Giant under threat of a rear charge by a bunch of bull centaurs, he exposed it to fire at the same time as Valkia, basically forcing me to make choice between the two right as the two main forces were joined. I declined to magic at Valkia, putting four wounds into the Giant with magic missiles and then banner-waving my block of warriors into combat with the Giant. The bolt throwers thinned out the blocks of warriors, as I knew I couldn’t kill Valkia and it was more important to force static res in my favor.
The two armies clashed through turns 4 and 5. My BSB with a great weapon completely whiffed on the giant, although his attempt to pick the angry flag man up resulted in a wound. This allowed him to flank charge the dwarfs with a depleted unit of warriors, tying down my big choppy block and eventually killing them off when I failed a ld8 test with a reroll. I did ultimately kill the giant, who proceeded to just fall on my dwarfs and kill even more. It was those wounds that lost me that combat, much to my chagrin. The two units of bull centaurs raced to the rescue, one unit bouncing on the depleted unit I had been tied up with while the second absolutely annihilated his third block which had been thus far untouched. Textbook example of the dice changing the game, as otherwise the situations were identical.
Turn 6 was honestly quiet, as both sides didn’t want to risk the few guys they had left in what was without a doubt a close game. I had all three objectives, but Gary knew he was up on points-barely-and thought he’d have the win, which would make those 3 extra battle points irrelevant if I bolt-throwered Valkia and pulled out a win. We added up the points and…
A 299 point Draw, in Gary’s favor. My last turn I Steal Soul’d one of his scroll caddies and landed the extra 75 odd points for him, and managed the draw.
Again, a fantastic game, and it gave me a real chance at getting to my goal-a .500 record in games. Which brings me to…
Game 5: Jim Sidelinger’s Dark Elves
Jim’s army was again pretty soft, no Ring and minimal magic. He did have a Hydra, which I think he made a mistake in placement and I took advantage of. This game was honestly a bit ho-hum, through no fault of Jim’s. My dice got hot and his got cold, and the outcome in my mind wasn’t really in doubt. I did get a little sloppy towards the end, which got him some points back, but blunderbuss+magic missiles is really painful for elves, especially for low magic defense elves.
This got me to my goal of a .500 record, and although Allan beat me in battle points and won the Chaos Dwarf Challenge, I felt really good about how I did.