[Archive] Sparkle Party Death Match 3

Billy Ocean:

Hey Guys

Last weekend (Sunday 13th April) I played in Sparkle Party Death Match 3, a 30-man tournament in Seattle. The Sparkle Party series is a lot of fun - each event has a strong theme with creative scenarios, its very sociable (played in game store with a bar) and is attended by both competitive and casual gamers.

I ended up winning all three of my games comfortably and getting 2nd best general. I slipped down to 7th or 8th in the overall rankings because I was ineligible for paint points - you have to every model fully painted and based to get any paint-points at all.

Over the next couple of posts, I’ll give a little roundup of the tournament.


This tournament was subtitled Fee-Fi-Fo-Fun and was focused on giants! Each player gets to add a “Sparkle Giant” to their army for no additional points cost. Its a giant with a 3+ ward save and immunity to Heroic Killing Blow and Multiple Wounds (suffers just one wound from those attacks). Games were scored on the 20-0 system, but each scenario has special tasks for the giant to accomplish to win bonus points.

Everyone was expected to bring a giant model themed towards their army. I spent the week before the tournament painting mine up and will post pictures soon in my painting blog.


I brought a list that I have quite a lot of experience with, but with a couple of small modifications. Its a hybrid shooting-combat list that can hang back and shoot, or march across to engage the foe, depending on what is required.


Sorcerer Prophet, Lvl 4 Hashut, Talisman of Preservation, Enchanted Shield, Power Stone


Dark Castellan, BSB, shield, Dragonhelm, Talisman of Endurance

Demonsmith, Lvl 1 Fire, Scroll

Taur’ruk, blackshard armor, Sword of Might, Charmed Shield, Dawnstone

Khan, wolf, light armor


23 Infernal Guard, full command, hand weapon & shield <----- SP & DC go here

21 Infernal Guard, banner & musician, great weapons


3 Bull Centaurs, full command, great weapons, Gleaming Pennant <----- Taur’ruk goes here

Magma Cannon




K’daai Destroyer

5 Wolf Raiders, bows

Billy Ocean:

Game 1

Theme: Some magical “Sparkle Stone” meteorites have crashed down to Earth, and your general wants them! Knowing that their awesome power would corrupt any free-thinking creature, he has enlisted the help of a dimwitted giant to collect the stones for him.

Scenario: Battleline with bonuses. Two pieces of sparkle stone are placed in each deployment zone. Only giants can pick up the stones, by ending their movement phase on top of it. Otherwise its impassable. You get three bonus points (on top of 20-0 scoring) if your giant can collect a piece from your opponent’s zone and bring it back to your deployment zone. You get 2 bonus points if your opponent doesn’t touch either piece of stone in your deployment zone.

Opponent: I played against a pretty powerful and versatile Dark Elf list. Something like this:

Lvl 4 death

Hellebron (on foot, in one unit of executioners)

Master BSB on foot in executioners

Master on Dark Steed with Twilight Cloak

30 witchelves with Razor Banner

28 executioners

28 executioners

5 dark riders

5 dark riders

5 warlocks

4 bolt throwers

Deployment: He stacks the left side of the table (my left) with both units of executioners, some dark riders, and his giant. Obviously these guys were gonna try to bust through my defenses and pick up some sparkle stone. I had the destroyer, bull centaurs and my giant on this side of the table. My 2 IG units and warmachines were were on the right side, which he matched with the witchelves and fast cav.

Pre-game thoughts: I need to keep Hellebron out of this game. She will cut through any of my units, probably even the destroyer. I think between my chaff and ashstorm I can keep her well contained. Apart from that, I just need to bring the witches down to size before my IG fight them, and get the destroyer into some executioners.

Game summary: He gets pretty bold with his vanguards and moves the dark riders up in my face on the left. I do nothing with my vanguards - need to save my chaff for later in the game.

I get turn 1 and declare the charge with Bull Centaurs on the vanguard Dark Riders, 14" away. They flee, and run a really long way - back into his deployment zone. The bulls fail the charge and stumble up a bit. He has no chaff left on this side of table so I feel confident moving the Destroyer up a bit, but still out of charge range for Hellebron’s unit. The IG hold their ground in the center. In shooting, I kill about 8 executioners (in the non-Hellebron unit) with the magma cannon, and get a direct hit with one deathshrieker on the witch elves, killing a bunch (the other misses entirely). In his turn 1, he marches up the field, pouring fast cav down one flank towards my warmachines. Magic and shooting don’t do much.

In turn 2, I decide I want to do a little more damage with shooting before engaging. K’daai passes test not to charge and moves back toward my line a bit. My giant and bull centaurs move full speed up towards a piece of sparkle stone. I set a Khan in front of Hellebron’s executioners to prevent them charging anything else. No major magic, although I manage to fireball a unit of darkriders off the table. Shooting sees more damage to executioners and witches. In his turn 2, hellebron’s unit charges the Khan, kills it, and has to overrun in a wonky direction due to frenzy. Other executioners turn and move towards my IG, and the BSB leaves the unit to stand straight in front of my destroyer - obviously he has 2+ versus fire. Fast cav get in position to charge my warmachines next turn. I decide to let it go - by then my warmachines will have done their job. He gets off an IF purple sun towards my IG with Lvl 4 and BSB. They pass their look out sir, but the unit gets decimated. Will need to keep them out of combat now.

In my turn 3, I charge the K’daai into the BSB and my wolfriders into the non-Hellebron executioners. K’daai kills the BSB despite 2+ ward due to Breath of Hatred helping him land lots of hits, and thunderstomp which is not flaming. He overruns into the executioners and gets to fight again because they are in combat with the wolfriders (see - there was method behind the madness!). My opponent has made a big mistake and left his Lvl 4 in this executioner unit (I think he meant to move her to safety before combat started). She is in base contact with the K’daai, who annihilates her. I’m starting to feel good about this game. In his turn 3, the witch elfs charge my IG with great weapons. Luckily I had killed enough with shooting, and my IG held the day and the witches fled. He charged two of my warmachines with fast cav. Goodbye warmachines!

The rest of the game sees the destroyer finish off the executioners, IG chase the witch elves off the board, and bull centaurs romping through his back field killing off all the bolt throwers. I use my giant to kill his warlocks instead of picking up sparkle stone, because I don’t have time to carry it back to my side of the table. With his Lvl 4, I just keep ash-storming Hellebrons unit and she goes nowhere for the rest of the game.

Result 15-5 win to the chaos dwarfs! We both get 2 bonus points (because we didnt touch each other’s sparkle stone) for a total of 17-7 win.

Final Thoughts: A pretty scary list, but the game went to plan and Hellebron was neutralized. The mistake he made with his Lvl 4 was probably a decisive moment, but I think things would have gone in my favor anyway.

Billy Ocean:

Game 2

Theme: After collecting some sparkle stone, its time to get home with it to start harnessing its power! While traveling through the mountains, you meet another army in a narrow pass - can you get your sparkle stone to safety??

Scenario: Battle For The Pass with bonuses (played along the length of the table). You start with your giant in base contact with the short table edge in your deployment zone, and get 1 bonus point per full 12" your giant moves towards the opposite short edge (for a maximum of 5 points).

Opponent: My opponent was a pretty casual player, with a soft-ish dwarf list:

Belegar (in longbeards)

Thane BSB (in hammerers)

Runesmith (in longbeards)

Bugman + 10 rangers

20 hammerers

25 warriors with GW

25 longbeards, HW+Sh


grudge thrower

organ gun


Deployment: He puts all three infantry units on the right side of the table (my right), with his warmachines behind them. I line up my destroyer and Bull Centaurs opposite them, and my IG towards the center with my guns. He scouts Bugman and the rangers into a watchtower right in the center of the battlefield.

Pre-game thoughts: I think he outguns me, especially seeing as I have large high-point models that can be removed. So I’m not gonna hang around. Chances are that either the GT or cannon has flaming rune, so hopefully the destroyer doesn’t have too much to worry about. The infantry all looks pretty soft, just need to take on each unit separately.

Game summary: He vanguards the gyro up the table, I only do very small vanguard moves to keep my chaff at long range for Bugman’s Rangers. I get first turn and advance full speed. Destroyer and Bull Centaurs bee-line for the hammerers. In magic phase, Flames of Azgorh is dispelled by rune of spellbreaking and I lose it for the rest of the game. I fireball some of the rangers in the tower. In shooting, Magma cannon kills some hammerers and I target the Organ gun with both deathshriekers - I don’t like the thought of what it will do to my bull centaurs! Manage to kill it thanks to demonsmith rerolls. In his turn he stays put and takes aim with warmachines. Cannon has the flaming rune so he shoots at bull centaurs, targeting the Taur’ruk who takes it on his Charmed shield, phew! GT hits the K’daai but he makes his wardsave.

In my turn 2, Destroyer charges the hammerers and Taur’ruk charges out of the BCs to join him (he can handle the hammerers with his 1+ rerollable, the other BCs probably can’t). Khan and wolfriders each move into position to redirect his two other infantry units. In magic, I fireball more rangers and get breath of hatred on the destroyer. In shooting, the magma cannon and one deathshrieker both blow up despite rerolls, haha. The other one kills some dwarfs. In combat the destroyer and Taur’ruk ruin the hammerers, who hold due to stubborn. In his turn 2, he charges my chaff and kills it easily. His cannon blows up despite reroll. Dwarf war machines are not doing well this game!! His GT kills my last deathshrieker and his gyro flames a couple of IG. I finish off the hammerers and the Destroyer & Taur’ruk reform to charge next turn. Also in this turn, our giants (who had both been moving up the other table edge, away from all the action) end up in combat with each other, where they remain for the rest of the game. Their 3+ ward saves make it impossible for them to hurt each other!

In my turn 3, the great weapon IG charge the tower and finish off Bugman and his rangers. Destroyer and Taur’ruk charge his warriors, and my BCs charge the grudge thrower, killing it. I use Ashstorm to make sure Belegar and his longbeards can’t come to help the warriors next round.

Over the next few turns, my Taur’ruk and Destoyer finish the warriors, and then get into Belegar and the longbeards, grinding them down by the end of the game. Belegar might be awesome against infantry, but he’s out of his element against stuff like the Taur’ruk with big armor saves.

Result 20-0 win to the chaos dwarfs! We both get 2 bonus points (for each moving our giants 24") for a total of 22-2 win.

Final Thoughts: Quite a one-sided game. I got into combat fast enough to avoid his warmachines, and then the Destroyer and Taur’ruk just blended through each of the infantry units in turn. They make an incredible team!

At this stage I’ve had two big wins, and am heading to one of the top tables for my last game!

Billy Ocean:

Game 3

Theme: A bit of a weird one! You have delivered the sparkle stone to your scientists/engineers, but before they have time to turn it into an awesome weapon you get attacked! You do however, have the sack that the giant was carrying the sparkle stone in - its covered in sparkle residue so has some pretty nifty powers!

Scenario: Kind of Blood and Glory, except you just get 3 bonus points for breaking fortitude rather than auto-win. You can either give the nifty sparkle-cloth to the giant, who can wear it as a cape and gets the Fly and Impact Hits rules. Or you can give it to a unit to use as a banner (replacing whatever magical banner they already have), in which case you get three random abilities rolled off tables (there are some very powerful abilities in there!) Either way, you can get 2 bonus points by capturing your opponent’s sparkle cloth.

Opponent: O&G savage orc list. Looks a bit weird, but this is a top class player (winner of Sparkle Party Death Match 2), who has annihilated his last two opponents.

Lvl 4 savage orc shaman on boar with shrunken head

6 savage orc heroes on boars, with a collection of different magic items

5 savage orc board boys (joined by the shaman and 6 heroes to form a crazy powerful unit)

50 savage orc big-uns

2 aracknoroks

Bonus Item: we both decide to use the cloth sack as a banner. He gives it to the 50 savage orc big-uns, who get Terror, +1Toughness and Armor piercing. This unit is now terrifying. I give mine to the BCs, who get +1Attack, Immune to Psychology, and 5+ ward. Cool!

Deployment: He has very drops, which proves to be his undoing. I lay down my chaff and fast stuff (BCs, wolfriders, destroyer) first, while I see how he deploys. I then castle up my IG and warmachines in the opposite corner to the Big-Uns, and directly opposite his small (but still scary) boarboy unit.

Pre-game thoughts: He has two scary units, but at least it looks like I can take them on one at a time. I’ll hit the boarboys first with my ranged attacks, and then the destroyer, before regrouping to take on the Big-Uns, who I can waylay for a few turns.

Game summary: He gets first turn, and rolls the boarboyz and both Araks right towards my line. Big Uns move up too, but they’re far from the action. Magic does nothing. Things are closing in pretty quickly already so I need to take decisive action. I charge the BCs into one Arak, move my Khan to redirect his boarboyz, and move the destroyer into position to get a countercharge off on them next turn. He has to burn his scroll to shut down Flames of Azgorh. I hit the boarboyz with the magma cannon, killing off a hero and a couple of boyz. Deathshriekers put a couple of wounds on the unengaged Arak, whereas the BCs (with their extra attacks from the banner) leave their Arak with just 1 wound left.

In his turn 2, he gets the second Arak in with the BCs, and the boarboyz charge my Khan, killing him and overrunning maximum distance off at an angle. Big-Uns continue their long slog towards the action. In my turn 2, my plan for the K’daai has been scuppered because the long overrun put the boarboyz out of his front arc. He just repositions for later. My wolfriders get into position to redirect the Big-Uns another turn while I deal with the boars. Magic is huge for me this turn. I 5-dice flames of Azgorh on the boarboyz, and with his scroll gone he can’t dispel it. 3 of the heroes and his Lvl 4 shaman all die to the spell, putting me in a great position. Magma cannon blows itself up and deathshriekers target his Big-Uns doing nothing because of their +1T. The BCs finish off one of their Araks, their 5+ ward helping them take minimal damage in return.

The rest of the game sees the boarboyz making it into combat with my GW IG. Despite losing most of the heroes, the unit still has a lot of punch, but the IG hang in just long enough for the destroyer to countercharge and finish off the boarboyz. Towards the end of the game, the Big-Uns finally make it to my battleline. Rather than being a big jerk and just Ashstorm-ing them until the end of the game, I decide to hit them with everything and give my opponent the big combat he wants. The Destroyer, my BCs, and my Sparkle Giant all charge them and grind it out for the rest of the game. I lose the BCs (but not the Taur’ruk), and the Big-Uns are reduced from 50 to 12 by the end of the game, but I can’t finish them off.

Result I’ve done just enough to score a 20-0 win (he has only the Big-Uns left, worth 625pts; I lost only the magma cannon, wolfriders, and BCs, worth around 400pts). I score 3 bonus points for breaking fortitude, putting me at a 23-0 win.

Final Thoughts: Without that big Flames of Azgorh, this could have been a very close game. But it was really the deployment that won it for me. I was able to deal with the boarboyz and big-uns in turn thanks to his lack of drops. Still, this was an incredibly fun game and my opponent fought tooth and nail until the bitter end.

Billy Ocean:

End of Tournament Thoughts

I ended up 2nd with 62 battle points out of a possible 75, whereas the top score was 64. I was really happy with the list overall - it felt pretty darned powerful. I can hang back and whittle my enemy when I feel I have the ranged advantage, or press the dual-hammer of BCs and destroyer against shootier opponents. The 21 IG with GW are great for mopping up units that have been damaged by artillery, and for receiving cav charges. The HW-Sh IG provide essential ranks for breaking steadfast late in the game, but some of the time I don’t even need them at all, which is nice. Why put my Lvl 4 and BSB at risk when I don’t need to?? My only wish is that I could fit some more chaff into the list - another Khan or something. But I don’t know where I’d get the points from.

With my list performing well, I really just need to focus on painting now so I can move up in the overall rankings.


This was a very nice read. Thank you BIlly O. And congrats on all the victories.

A tournament with special scenarios are a great thing. Seems a bit cartoonish with all the sparkle. But a great way to lighten up the mood. Would have been so dark with warpstone.

Are the pictures somewhere on the net? I would like to see that boar boys unit!

Billy Ocean:

Here is a picture of the Savage Orc army on the flicker stream of the tournament organizer. You can see a few of the boarboyz to the left, his orc giant in the center, and a CrabNorak to the right :o


You can flick through his pics to see other photos from the day, but none of my army - he focused on fully painted armies only. I’ll be there soon!!

Also, you can now check out pics of my Sparkle Giant in my painting diary!!


p.s. Yes I know all the Sparkle stuff is a bit silly. But on the plus side, it helps remind everyone that this really is just a game and we should have fun and be nice to everyone. The Sparkle Party series has the best sportsmanship of any tournaments I’ve been to - nobody being a jerk.