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Battelmasters 2018

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  • Battelmasters 2018

    PART 1

    BACKGROUND



    Battlemasters is a 2,500 point kings of War tournament run in Loughborough by Sharda Vora. No turn 7.


    PREPARATION


    I went into preparations for the tournament on the back of some disappointing tournament results. In the South West Clash, I timed out in my last 2 games – on turn 4; and here I was having an extra 500 points of models to contend with. At Let Slip the Dogs of War, in my opening game, Nick Williams tabled me and I killed less than 200 points of his army. I was also aware that careless errors were creeping into my game, Nick told me several times that his flying arch fiend had the brew of haste but I very carefully measured to ensure that all of my units were at least 20.1 inches away from it. At the end of that tournament, my fellow Moonrakers issued me with a warning yellow cared to improve my performances.

    And so I went into heavy practise mode. They say you learn more from your defeats than from your victories – and I learnt a lot. I initially planned on taking a Brotherhood list - I played the list against the Fox – I decided not to take Brotherhood. I moved on to a flier heavy list and in another trial against the Fox’s Nightstalkers, flew 2 dragons into the open just in front of 3 Mind Screeches. I spent the remaining 5 turns playing with a 1,900 point list against Paul’s 2,500 points. Perhaps it was this early disaster preying on my mind that led me to bane chant my horde that was equipped with the hammer of measured force. I was equally impetuous against Andy’s Undead, losing Dragons early on for little gain but at least pulling out a win after he charged 4 units into one of my mine on turn 5 and double 1d it – and then did exactly the same in turn 6. Well, if you can’t be good, be lucky.

    After much debate, I finally decided to take a Twilight Kin army. Here is the army, although a couple of characters seem to have crept out of frame.



    THE PRE-TOURNAMENT DRINKING COMPETITON

    I was in charge of booking a hotel for the night before the event and cunningly booked one a £16 taxi ride form both the venue and the pub. Good skills.

    Anyway, we had a pleasant evening, baling out before the serious drinkers got onto shots and karaoke.




    ARRIVAL

    Saturday saw us up bright and bushy-tailed. Arriving at the venue early, we went for breakfast at a local café. Not sure this is necessary as Sharad, that jewel amongst TOs, supported by a great team, brings you tea and toast at your table while playing your games.

    Garry Sharp was also present taking photos and most of those in this article are stolen shamelessly from him.


    GAME 1 – INVADE Vs JANICE’S HERD


    I rocked up to table 8 to face Janice and her Herd. I used to play Herd and did not rate stampedes; after all only Defence 4, relying on thunderous charge and a large footprint that can easily be chaffed – not really my thing. Things looked different on turn 3 of this game when I had lost my chaff and was facing down 2 stampedes. OK, knock off the thunderous – so ‘only’ 30 attacks with ‘only’ crushing 1. Well then, start chipping away at their weak defence – except nerve of 2 gazillion and they still stick around. Janice out-deployed me and got a beast pack around both of my flanks, perhaps I was not as alert as I thought I was first thing in the morning. The game was pretty much in the balance until the end of turn 4 and then I had a really lucky turn 5 and took off several of her units setting me up for the win.

    Is this overkill against the lycans? But watch out for that flank if they don't break.

    Chimera and stampede against horde of infantry. This will end badly for someone.


    GAME 2 – TAKE AND HOLD Vs RUSTY’S DWARFS


    Rusty as imagined by Garry Sharp.

    Not take and hold from CoK 18 but a variant of pillage where each player places 3 tokens in the opponent’s table half. Tokens you hold at the end of the game in your opponent’s half are worth 2 points and those in your half are worth 1. I was facing Rusty with his Dwarf horde including living legends steel behemoth and earth elemental, regiment of brocks, lots of stunty infantry (I have no idea what they all are, they all look the same to me) and 2 bombards.

    There was a massive piece of blocking terrain on the left hand side of the board in Rusty’s table half and we placed 4 tokens near that with one more or less central and one on the right. The game was largely fought near the blocking terrain and we ended up in a huge traffic jam in that area with melees swirling this way and that. I eventually got the better on that side when I got 2 dragons into the flank of Rusty’s living legend steel behemoth and took it off in one go.

    Dragons vs steel behemoth.

    Scrap metal walking.

    On the other side of the board, Rusty had a regiment of Rangers with the crystal pendant. I have a history of forgetting which of my opponents’ unit have the pendant and combo-charging them and so I now take a token with me to tournaments and ask my opponents to place it on the appropriate unit. Rusty kindly did this – and on turn 3, I promptly combo-charged the unit with a horde of chariots and a mounted character. Bizarrely, but fortunately, I failed to rout the unit and so lived to fight another turn, when the chariots were promptly wavered and then killed in a counter-charge (or by sharpshooter shooting?).

    Remind me again what that marker I asked you to put on your unit means.

    Rusty’s bombards were having an off-day and had little impact on the battle. I eventually cleaned them out on turns 4 and 5.

    As the game came to an end, I was sitting on more tokens and carried the day.


  • #2
    PART 2

    GAME 3 – ELIMINATE Vs GEORGE’S NIGHTSTALKERS


    Friday had been a long day with a late night and I dozed off over lunchtime and had a nightmare that a space hulk had crashed and an army of tyranids had disembarked and over-run my army. And then I realised it was not a dream, it was a waking nightmare and I was facing George’s nightstalkers modelled using tyranids .




    George's Nightstalkers (pictures not from our game).





    George explained his list, which was a bit depressing.

    “This is a big gribbly monster with lots of attacks. This is a different big gribbly monster with lots of attacks. This is yet another big gribbly monster with lots of attacks, and it flies.”

    On the bright side, I had the speed advantage over him - except for the 2 hordes of speed 8 fiends and the 4 flying units. Make that, George also had the speed advantage over me.

    I did hope that his generally low defence value might be a weakness I could exploit, although units seemed to have high nerve.

    We started off with a bit of a standoff on the left and I was able to chip off the odd wound from shooting, even despite the nightstalkers stealthy rule. On the right, George tried to get his big flying gribblies around my flank but I was able to ground one with a mounted fighty character and eventually charge it with a horde, first eliminate points to me. The situation was quickly balanced when George took an eliminate token off one of my hordes.

    The battle swung this was and that but I eventually had a great turn on turn 4 or 5 which set me up for a last turn victory.


    GAME 4 – KILL THE GENERAL Vs DAN’s UNDEAD (OR VARANGUR?)


    Kill the general is invade with bonus points for killing the enemy general.

    In the pub on Friday night, Dan had shown me his army list; 6 cheap(ish) regiments, 3 vampires on dragons, 3 kings on flying undead wyrms. I was surprised therefore when he arrived at the table with a somewhat more conventionally balanced Varangur list with 2 kings on chimera, 2 hordes of fallen, regiment of mounted sons, troop of tundra wolfs, regiment of horse archers, 3 magus conclaves, the herja replacement/lookalike and 3 regiments of thralls.

    One of Dan's chimera.





    One of the games at Southwest Clash in which I timed out was against Dan and I was keen not to do so again. Right, concentrate.


    Dan relaxing from the rigours of the day.





    The key terrain piece on the table was a height 4 blocking piece about a third of the way in from the right hand edge in Dan’s table half. My original plan was to fight the battle on the more open side of the board, but Dan started loading units into the congested area (chimera, 2 fallen hordes, 2 regiments of thralls) and I had to counter this or run the risk of him steamrollering unit strength into my half and getting some hard hitting nimble units around my flank.

    The battle effectively was fought in 2 parts. On the left we had a bit of a traffic jam caused by difficult terrain and obstacles. I threw away a regiment of knights to little advantage and when my crushing 2 hydra charged Dan’s defence 3 tundra wolfs and caused … no wounds, it was looking grim. But I was later able to rout the mounted sons and get a horde of infantry, horde of large cav and the hydra into Dan’s table half while he got a regiment of thralls into mine.

    Our hero, in the Moonrakers 2018 away strip, examines the left hand side of the battelfield.





    On the right, we had a bit of a standoff. This suited me as I was able to start chipping wounds off one of the fallen hordes with shooting. After lots of cagey manoeuvring we both came to the conclusion that we were going to have to commit to battle and I was able to fortunately get the upper hand and kill all of the ground units while the chimera headed off to assist in killing my large cav on the other side of the battlefield.

    Come the final reckoning we had some debate about whether my large cav horde on the right was across the half way line. In fact it did not matter in the end as I had a horde of infantry, the hydra and a dragon in Dan’s half while he had a regiment of thralls and 2 chimera in mine. He also scored an additional 3 tournament points for killing my general.
    Last edited by Koshtra Belorn; 02-09-2018, 11:06 AM.

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    • #3
      CONCLUSION

      PARTING TACTICAL THOUGHTS


      I think I was lucky in cutting out most of my careless errors. However, this does mean having to concentrate hard throughout all the games. I think the tournament scene has moved on from 2 years ago when it was a bit like the early stages of the Champions League where you expected walk-over victories in the early rounds with a tough game in round 4; there are no ‘easy’ game any more. Each of my games at this tournie were close and well-balanced and it was one lucky turn for me, or one unlucky turn for my opponent, that decided the outcome.


      THE PAINTING COMPETITION


      Having had some good reviews of my recent painting tutorial video, I was hoping for a win in the painting competition and I can only put it down to jealousy that I was pipped to the prize. Congratulations to Rusty and Rich who shared the top spot (but I think they could both benefit from following some of my tips).


      THE ARMY LIST/BACKGROUND FLUFF CONTEST


      Sharad runs a competition for the background fluff supporting your army list. Having had near misses in the previous 2 years I was keen to do better and so prepared a ‘newspaper’ to support my list with an opening page reporting on the road to war and the back page with some other features.



      The Sarum Gazette, supporting our lads at the front.





      THANKS

      Thanks to Sharad and his team for organising a great tournie. Thanks to all my opponents and to everyone else who attended – KoW is a great social scene, with the added benefit of a wargame and drinking contest attached.

      Thanks as well to my fellow Moonrakers for their help and support while preparing for the tournie.
      Last edited by Koshtra Belorn; 02-09-2018, 10:29 AM.

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      • #4
        Excellent report Jon! Enjoyed our game despite my carelessness with my behemoth.

        One small error though, the painting award was shared between me and rich miles though. Bob got the wooden spoon

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        • #5
          Thanks Rusty. I've amended the report.

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          • #6
            Thanks for all the info and background

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            • #7
              I have just heard that Mantic has very kindly awarded me a free ticket to CoK 2019 as an additional prize. Many thanks to Mantic for that generous gesture.

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              • #8
                That's a great prize Jon!

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                • #9
                  Sorry for the obvious question, but... What was your list? :P.
                  I can see "clearly" a horde of infantry (but IDK what infantry :P), a gargoles troop, 2 dragons, 2 dragon breaths and a horde of chariots. The cavalry is more confusing. And Idk if you have fielded allies.

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                  • #10
                    I'm bored at work, so here's my guess on the list. He labeled his items on the models, so while I don't know what the missing items are, we know where they are:

                    Gargoyles Troop
                    Lower Abyssals Horde
                    Dark Knights Regiment - Brew of Haste
                    Abyssal Riders Horde - Brew of Strength
                    Abyssal Riders Horde - [ITEM: Cat Potion?]
                    Darkscythe Chariots Horde - Wine of Elvenkind
                    Twilight Dragon Breath
                    Twilight Dragon Breath
                    Hydra
                    Dark Lord on Horse
                    Dark Lord on Black Dragon - Blade of Slashing
                    Dark Lord on Black Dragon
                    Army Standard Bearer on Horse - [ITEM: Banner of the Griffin?]
                    -----------
                    2455

                    My item guesses bring it to an even 2500 and are the meta choices
                    BLOODFIRE :: Salamander Battle Reports
                    NURGLEKIN :: Ratkin Battle Reports
                    INSTAGRAM :: boss_salvage

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                    • #11
                      Sorry, I've been away. List shown above by Boss Salvage is on the money. However, caution should be used. I have just crashed and burned at Cok18 using the 2,000 point version of this list.

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