March 10, 2015

New Zealand Team Championship 2015 - Intro and Round one

The first ever post by new Blog contributor Gratnuk Ironfist


So NZTC 2015 has been played, it was tough play, and we won (7th place). So now we can get onto the battle reports. I will also include the results from the rest of the team, speaking of which they were: Captain Jeff (Talent coach and manager of the stars) running his danger girl group of grim quick death Dark Elves; McCrae the steadfast, but ever ready to put the hammer unit down and break enemy armies, was running his Chaos Dwarfs; Caleb our cunning WoC general, standing in for a 11th hour team change was cleaving heads with WoC. Then me (a.k.a. Gratnuk Ironfist) entering into the tournament hoping for big results (which I guess I got in a sense) was marching in with the trusty dwarfs of Karak-Hirn:
  • Thane/BSB + SH + Mro Grungi (Gungun Shield) + Ro Slowness x2 (a strong attempt to get the charge on others) 
  • Runesmith + SH + Ro Stone + Ro Fire (flaming attacks) + Ro Furnace (2+WS vs.flaming) + Ro of Spellbreaking x2 (Dispells spell, eats spell on 4+) 2
  • 9 Longbeards + GW + Full Command + Ro Stoicism (Stubborn) 
  • 10 Quarrellers + SH + Musician 
  • Cannon + Ro Forging (re-roll misfire on artillery dice) 
  • Grudge Thrower + Ro Accuracy (re-roll scatter dice) + Ro Forging + RoBurning 
  • Grudge Thrower + Ro Accuracy + Ro Forging 
  • Gyrocopter x2 
  • Hammerers + Full Command x2
  • Organ Gun + Ro Accuracy (+1 BS) 
  • Organ Gun + Ro Accuracy + Burning
Round one – Bucketheads vs. Team Nice

We were up against The Nice Team (Tane, Bo, David, and James), with me getting set against David Appleby’s Skaven army, a top gamer and gentleman. David’s skaven scavengers were:

  • Grey Seer, General, Warpstone Tokens, Power Scroll & Talisman of Preservation. 
  • Chieftan, BSB, Halberd, Armour of Silvered Steel & Luckstone. 
  • Plague Priest, Level 1, Plague Censer, Foul Pendant & The Other Tricksters Shard.
  • Warlock, Level 1, Dispel scroll. 
  • Assassin, Weeping Blades & Potion of Strength 
  • Assassin, Tail Weapon.
  • 40 Clanrats, Full command, Light Armour, HW & Shield 
  • 25 Night Runners with Night Leader & Warp Grinder weapon team. 
  • 40 Slaves, Musician 
  • 39 Slaves, Musician 
  • 9 Gutter Runners, Slings, 2xHW & Poisoned Attacks.
  • 9 Gutter Runners, Slings, 2xHW & Poisoned Attacks. 
  • Warp Lightning Cannon x2 
  • Doomwheel x2
David takes turn one and gets a good roll for both Doom wheels who zoom towards the opposite side of the table, while the rest of the army move up to hopefully capitalise on whatever openings the night runners can give them. Magic gave David 9 PD, with Death Frenzy getting through to the closest gyro, and killing it outright at the end of the turn. The loss of the gyro was a real knock as I was hoping to use it to handle the night runners when they turned up. In the shooting phase the WLC on my left takes out the remaining gyro behind the hill, although it did fail to wound my cannon which was also in the shot.

Deployment Before David swipes turn 1, on the hill in David's deployment zone is one of his two WLC. 
My turn one response is to face the far right hammerers towards the doom wheel threatening the quarrellers, while getting the centre hammerers with Runesmith closer to the slave unit escorting the Lvl2 plague priest. A successful charge into them would allow me to block the Seer clanrats as well as taking a bit of bite out of the skaven magic phase. Come the dwarven shooting phase and in what appeared to be an omen for the rest of the tournament, my quarrellers on the far right failed to wound the Doom Wheel grinding towards them. The ranged gunpowder pack did a little better with my cannon on the hill counting for David’s WLC in the centre of the board, but with the stone throwers missing or failing to wound the remaining WLC on the left hill and organs achieving nothing really significant in killing mere slaves. In hindsight I should have focused the organ guns onto the clanrat unit with the Greyseer and BSB to try and keep the 24” range spells away from me and force David to risk a miscast if he wanted to use boosted spell distances.

In a surprising show of skaven prudence the night runners turn up turn two, and as expected go straight into my cannon crew. They would then go on to murder the honest organ gun crew on my left before an stalled attempt to finish the slaughter with the organ gun on the right of the centre hill. The Doom wheel on the far left continues to head to the stone thrower in the far left corner (out of shot) and successfully gets into range with to shoot it later on. This stellar effort was not echoed by his battlefield buddy on the far right. In the centre, the slaves escorting the plague priest decided that greater numbers really were all they need to defeat a puny unit of hammerers. This must have left the Seer and his clanrats feeling left out as they also moved their full distance, this time to threaten the Longbeards with the BSB. The gutter runners moved up to plug gaps between the three main black around them.

Magic gets the Seer 6PD, but with Cloud of Corruption failing to be cast, and Frenzy on the right organ gun being dispelled, the frustration must have got to the Seer a little bit with him failing to cast Scorch on the Longbeards by one. Shooting saw little improvement with the remaining WLC exploding, although each of the gutter runners taking a wound off the organ gun crew opposite them, and the quarrellers refusing to panic after losing three of their comrades to the Doom Wheel.

A dwarf army charging turn 2? Yep, I see your slaves and raise you two units of hammerers.

Well there aint no need to be afraid of some skaven, especially if your whole army hates them in the first place, so in went both hammerers into the unit of slaves with the plaguebearer. I knew this was leaving the ST and quarrellers to the nasty attention of the Doom Wheel, but I was reluctant to split up my combat blocks with the realistic chance for a combo charge with my combat blocks. Unfortunately, the Longbeards felt they could catch up in their own time, so failed to make the charge into the gutter runners in the centre of the board, and even lose one Longbeard to the stand and shoot by the gutter runners. Shooting once again fails to see the quarrellers damage the Doom Wheel, while the combined effort of both stone thowers on the Seer’s clan rats takes out nine of the dirty sneaks. The remaining organ gun fails to get the gutter runners panic. In combat, the higher initiative of the skaven as well as the toughness tests from the plague censor is the death of three hammerers. However, now limbered up after their dual charge the hammerers squash the plague priest and kill 11 slaves into the bargain. The slaves are able to hold this turn though.

Nope, not interested in buying skaven flavoured doomed at the moment, but if you hang around I will catch you later. 

The start of turn three for the Skaven reveals an attempted assassination of my runesmith. Unfortunately the assassin must have mispronounced his twisted reikspiel, because he ended up in a challenge with the Hammerer unit champion, whom he promptly dispatched getting the maximum for overkill. The night runners after cleaning up the left organ gun the previous turn and doing a combat reform, charge into the remaining organ gun. Only the Doom Wheel on the far left got the roll it needed to make it into the Stone thrower it was aiming for, while its partner in crime falls short of its target.

The winds of magic cut the seer a break, with 12PD (and the Seer then channelling an extra PD to make 13PD). This was enough to cast Scorch and kill 9 Longbeards; as well as have them go down to T3 after an irresistibly cast of wither. The miscast resulted in the seer losing both the spell and a power level, which seemed to make things desperate enough for the Seer to then irresistibly cast the Dreaded 13th on the Longbeards. This act of desperation cast 11 veteran longbeards their lives in exchange for 5 dead slaves from the magical feedback. Not a trade I was fond of. In the shooting phase each Doomwheel succeeded in killing off their respective stone throwers, while the gutter runners take out another two Longbeards.

In combat I enjoy the opportunity to show real dwarf mettle after losing their champion to the assassin’s blades, the hammers crush 10 slaves to a pulp. This proved too much for the remaining slaves who promptly exploded, leaving the assassin to break from combat. The assassin was duly run down by vengeful hammerers, and led by their furious Runesmith straight into the unit of Clanrats with the Seer and BSB. The remaining organ gun crew refusing to lose their treasured warmachine held out against all odds to defy the devious unit of night runners an easy fight.

The brave defence of their machine gave the Longbeards the time they need to charge into the night runners in support of the organ gun crew. Unfortunately their example was not echoed by the unengaged hammerers who were unable to reach the flank of the Seer’s clanrat unit. With no shooting to speak of it’s straight into combat phase for dwarf turn three, as the skaven BSB not intent on sharing the fate of the failed assassin, kills three hammerers by himself. However, the hammerers unstoppable reprisal ends with the BSB mutilated, and even the Seer wounded although. Yet, it was not enough to win combat. In amongst the disorganised brawl by the last organ gun, the remaining assassin reveals himself and proceeds to kill 5 Longbeards, while the rest of the night runners were unable to kill the remaining organ gun crewman once again. With the BSB in their midst the Longbeards and Organ Gun crew both held their ground.

Now at this point in the game we were warned by the TO that there was only 15min left, with both David and I knowing that we were taking a big risk to try and finish another round. In the end we took the chance that 15min would be enough for us both to get a last turn in.

Final turn where time proved to be the results decider.

So with full steam David and I barrel into turn 4, with the gutter runners on the left charging the flank of the hammerers led by the Runesmith, and the right Doom Wheel connecting with the quarrellers in the far right corner. The magic phase with an already desperate Grey Seer is witness to another irresistibly cast Dreaded13th into combat claiming the lives of 12 hammerers, but this was not enough to swing things in their favour for combat; as a well-timed challenge by the Runesmith is able to keep the gutter runners out of the fight. This freed up the remaining hammerers to deal to the clanrats guarding the seer. The clanrat unit champion is grimly smeared across the battlefield, and several slaves die, but both the clan rats and gutter runners hold their nerve. The remaining longbeards are killed by the assassin, with the night runners finally killing the heroic organ gun crewman, but with the loss of the longbeards the BSB was no longer stubborn. The failed break test saw his doom.

Talk about desperation, and the most upsetting thing is that the miscast did nothing to the seer or his unit. 

As we pull out of the end of the fourth Skaven turn, and race into dwarf turn four, the second unit of full strength hammerers make it into the flank of the Grey Seer’s clanrats. Another challenge by the Runesmith is declined by the Seer, who promptly retreats to the rear. However, just as the hammerers are poised to bring about swift hate fuelled justice the call for “Dice down” is heard.

End Result: 3-17 loss.

The rest of the team fared a lot better with an 11-9 and 18-2 win by Caleb and McCrae respectively while Jeff is restricted wrestled into a 9-11 loss. So 41 points from round one.

In reviewing the game, I should have been a lot more aggressive with the Longbeards, to make the most of a unit that was stubborn, Immu. to psych, and had plenty of punch to handle mere skaven. This would have increased the chances of getting the Hammerers into the action earlier. I should also have made a better effort to read up on the skaven rules before the tournament, and be better prepared to handle the night runners and skaven magic phase.


Gratnuk Ironfist said...

It's a bit wordy, but I'll keep working on that. The aim is to eventually have similar easy to read, free flowing reports like at the Hoodlings Hole and Fields of Blood.

Tane said...

Good on you for doing it mate. It reads OK, and practice will help you make it more concise.

Neil said...

If you have 12 power dice you can't channel a 13th as you can only have 12 dice in your pool at one time, (unless this was modified in the tournament pack).
So we'll say you won - congratulations.