August 22, 2014

Day 2 @ CtA - Ogres capture 10th Place

Call to Arms Day 2 and time to get some decent results to push myself up the leader board.  After Day 1's opening round loss to Joel I needed to win both games on the final day to snag a Top 10 finish. The fourth round draw was emailed out the night before and I was up against friend and club mate Adam and his Dwarf gunline.
Doom Doom Doom Doom Doom Doom Doom Doom Doom
Game 4 - Blood n Glory
vs. Dwarfs (Adam Richards)

Now you would think that as a Dwarf player I would know how to beat a Dwarf list but playing Dwarfs is one thing playing against them is something else and holy crap is it difficult.  First up the scenario was Blood n Glory and I was at a major disadvantage as my Fortitude was only 5 (2 for General + BSB and 2 standards).  As I had a Gut Star list all Adam had to do was kill the Ironguts and he would break my army.

Adam had a pretty strong list two units of Irondrakes, 2 Bolt-Throwers, a Cannon, 3 Gyros, 2 units of Quarrellers and a block of HWS Longbeards.  As the game progressed I realised that I had stuffed up from the beginning and deployed badly.  Oh and did I mention that Adam rolled for army wide hatred on Ancestral Grudge at the start of the game!!!
Deployment - all of my stuff in the centre and Adam castled in one corner, except for a unit of Quarrellers which moved into the tower on my left and the 3 Gyro's which were sitting behind that tower.
With my Gut Star being the prime target I should have realised that Adams best bet was to castle in a corner and shoot me to pieces before I could hit him.  Given that Irondrakes have flaming attacks my main protection against shooting the 4+ Regen bubble would be less useful and I would have to rely on boosted Toughness to save me on the advance.  My initial thinking was deploy in the centre so I could head for either corner if he castled.  What I should have done was deploy hard up against one short board edge. This would have minimised his shooting time, reduced the time taken to reach him (a straight line is better than a diagonal) and forced him to move his units before shooting them making it slightly more difficult.
The advance goes in - on the left Gyros have blocked in one unit of Mournfang and taken out the Gnoblars and I am still 1 more turn away from being able to safely declare a charge on Adams Dwarfs.
 Big problems I can't get any magic off - Adam eats my +1 Toughness Spell and Regen isn't going to help against flaming attacks.  He has the Rune of Slowness on his Irondrakes and to hit either unit I have to first get shot at by his Bolt-Throwers and Cannon.  Without +1 T or Regen its not looking good.
Gyros hit the left flank Mournfang - this combat would go on for a while
Turns 2-3 Mournfang go in against the Longbeards who must hold while the Gut Star fails its charge on the same unit 
Turn 2 and I'm in serious trouble as Adam has out thought me.  My Gut Star is now less reduced below 50%, my Slaughtermaster has taken wounds and my Ironblasters have done nothing except kill off a single Gyro and wound another.  But at least now the Mournfang have been able to charge but those damn Irondrakes are just murdering me.  First round of combat I begin venting my dislike of the nasty new Dwarf book which gives his Longbeards a 5+ Parry Save on the turn they're charged and S4 AP attacks from the Runesmith so no armour save for my Bulls or Ironguts and a 4+ not 2+ for my Mournfang.
The Mournfang are dead but now I get both blocks the Guts and the Bulls into his Longbeards  - I get very lucky when Adams Irondrakes are lined up slightly behind his Longbeards meaning I don't hit them in combat.
 Turn 4 now I think and the game comes down to one combat the Gut Star or rather the 2 remaining Ironguts and my characters + the Bulls against his Longbeards.  I have to kill the unit and wipe it out before his two units of Irondrakes hit me one in the front and one in the rear.
Well that didn't work?  
 The Longbeards die and run but I can't catch them and the Bulls overrun into the Irondrakes.  The 2nd unit of Drakes hits their rear and they are now toast.  The Gut Star has to reform to face that combat as the Bulls are going to lose.  Meanwhile those damn warmachines are still shooting me to bits and the position of the combats means I can't fire my Ironblasters at anything.
 Game over Adam wins it after he not only breaks me but also tables me - only my Gnoblars are still alive.  To celebrate he dons his full Dwarf regalia complete with our clubs traditional horned helm of victory (we all have one) and I am forced to sing the traditional Manawatu Warhammer Song of "Doom Doom Doom... Doom Doom Doom... Doom Doom Doom."  I get lucky in that Adam's Longbeard's and General fled off the table giving me some points

Result 6-14 loss

Game 5 - Battleline
vs. Beastmen (Mike King)

I like playing Beastmen because I think they're a pretty cool army that and Mike's consisted of all of the old school metal miniatures which just look great on the tabletop.  He had the standard Gor Horde with 3 Mages in it, a big block of Minotaurs with Character a few chariots and some spam/chaff.  Mike was playing as the bye for the event taking the place of Sam Whitt who had to withdraw.  Basically he gave you a choice take the bye and get a 20-0 or play it out and see what happens I much preferred to play it out.

As was my usual pattern Game 5 the last game of the tournament was the game I played the smartest and with the fewest mistakes.  Battleline evened things out but in terms of lists mine was the stronger of the two particularly if I could deal to the Minotaurs early.
Deployment - both Ironblasters on a hill my blocks on the right opposite the Minotaurs and Gor horde and chaff on the left.  I kept everything grouped as Mike didn't have shooting, the Comet or Purple Sun.
 First turn I just edge forward slightly with only my chaff marching up their full allowance.  The plan was to position units to support each-other if charged while letting the Ironblasters and magic take care of Mikes Units.  The two Ironblasters shot at the Minotaurs quickly taking down half the unit and I spammed the Regen bubble early just in case.
My turn 1 - Regen bubble down, chaff fully forward waiting for the Beastman advance
Mikes opening moves
This I think is where I played things smart - Mike pushed his Minotaur bus straight at me with his Gor horde still in the background.  While I had shot away half of the unit it was still very dangerous.  So I had a choice in my turn charge it with the Mournfang and the Gutstar - the Bulls wouldnt be able to fit and try to kill it or back off shot it some more and feed it something difficult to kill off?

I opted to back off.  The Gut Star and Bulls both edged back slightly while I pushed the Mournfang up to a position where Mike's Mino bus could only charge them + any overrun would take them past my Gut star allowing me to either (a) hit the Minotaurs from the flank or (b) ignore them and go for the Gor horde instead.  At the same I chucked +1 Toughness down on the Mournfang making them much harder for the Mino's to wound and banked on their 2+ AS to protect them.

Meanwhile on the left?
On the other side of the table I don't know why but I charged the Gnoblars at something - they lost - while the 2nd unit of Mournfang opted not to charge anything but positioned itself annoyingly while an Ironblaster went for the Chariots.
The Mournfang did charge and kill one lot of chaff but then stayed put which allowed a chariot and a beast of some sort to hit them. 
What was happening on the left was largely incidental the big story was on the right.  It was now Mike's turn and he took the bait charging the Mino's the 2 that were left and his Mino BSB at the Mournfang.  2 units of Chaff and his Gor horde also moved forward.... in his magic phase

DOWN CAME THE HELLHEART!!

I love this item - I rolled a 4 meaning every one of his mages within 20" had to take mis-cast with all 3 of them in his horde it would not be pretty.  The first guy blew up was sucked down a hole and vapourised 1/4 of the horde along with himself.  The 2nd guy power drained himself and the 3rd killed more of the unit and hurt himself and the 2nd guy in the process.  Magic phase over 1 dead mage, the 2 surviving mages on 1 wound each and one of those now at Level 0.

Unfortunately for Mike things didn't get better when his Minotaurs couldn't finish off the Mournfang and he lost more models and very nearly the combat as well.

Turn 3 my charges go in...
 With the Mino-bus held up I charged the Gut Star straight at his chaff wiping that out with all of my units now under the 4+ Regen bubble.  Unfortunately for Mike when I killed his chaff unit it caused his Gor horde to take and fail a panic check.  They ran away but not very far.
Gut Star kills the chaff and reforms to face the fleeing Gor horde
Another turn rolls round and the Mino bus still can't kill off the Mournfang, although on the left Mike is having better luck against the other Mournfang unit. My next turn rolls round and the Gut Star charges the fleeing Gor herd.  They flee again but not very far the Guts roll for their charge catch them and wipe them out.
Gut Star charges and captures the Fleeing Gors - the Bulls meanwhile opt not to charge and after measuring it out I march them forward out of the Minotaurs front arc and into safety (passing the march block test first)
Meanwhile on the left
The rest of the battle consisted of me shooting away the surviving Minotaur and Mikes BSB, Mike's chaff cleaning up the left flank Mournfang and killing one Ironblaster and my two buses just hanging around looking pretty.

I made a couple of little errors with how how used my units on the left but overall the game went my way from pretty early on and the Hellhearts impact on Mikes army was huge.

Result 15-5 Win

The Final Result - 10th place
So after 5 games my final tally for the event was 53/100 points, 3 wins and 2 losses and I managed to avoid getting a 20-0 pantsing for the first time in a while albiet only because my Gnoblars got me that crucial 1 point off Joel.

With a max painting and sports score I ended up 10th continuing my good run of form so very happy.

Club wise the event was an even bigger success with Club mates Jeffrey Kent finishing 1st with his Dark Elves, McCrae Louden 3rd with his Chaos Dwarfs and Regan Ridge getting his best result ever finishing 7th with his Vampires. Adam Richards also came in slightly behind me in 11th place.

So 5 Manawatu Duellists went to CtA and out of a field of 26 we secured 4 top 10 finishes, everyone ended up in the top half of the table and 2 people got on the podium so not bad at all.

The results also had a massive impact on the overall WHFB rankings for the country as well and the upcoming Masters.

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