Tuesday, 31 January 2017

A Stampede on your houses! (Heavy hitter comparison)

Following on from Nick’s article’s revealing what goes on behind the curtain, and linking to the article in the upcoming Clash of Kings book on unit design, I thought I would delve deep into the heavy hitters focusing on Stampede’s, and the question are they broken? 

(you can scroll down to the Overall TLDR at the bottom if you want to skip the in depth analysis)




First up let’s look at where the unit came from, all units originally stem from Kingdoms of Men, they are our baseline units. Then after that we have the core armies, every army that is in main book. Now Stampedes being in Uncharted Empires we’re balanced vs both the baseline units and through ours and public playtesting.

Stampede’s were based around Ogre Warrior Chariots, combined with Berserker Brock riders. They hit hard, have a great nerve but also low defence, and unlike Berserker Brocks they have a large waver value. (representing animals panicking) Being a Herd unit of large animals they also have Strider and Pathfinder. (nothing is getting in their way!)





Damage under normal conditions

Ok now let’s delve into some damage comparisons. Initially assuming each unit keeps its TC (where it has it)

Stampedes hit like a truck, but so do all the similarly designed units, Stampedes are very consistent however and with the TC do the same across the board. Ogre Warrior chariots do more against everything bar Def 6, and have Brutal so are more likely to rout units. (bar Def 6 as mentioned)

Fight Wagons are amazing vs Def 3 or 4, and still solid vs Def 5, Def 6 being their weaker point. Direfangs excel against Def 3 or 4 matching a Stampede but tail off slightly against Def 5, and more against Def 6. Soul Reavers are a good all rounder, they will mince anything pretty well, even vs Def 6 is reasonable.

Damage while Hindered

Next up Hindered (due to Difficult terrain/Obstacles)


 Here clearly the Stampede/Direfangs have the advantage, Fihgt Wagons however are still excellent very Def 3 and 4, and the others still put out some reasonable damage, Def 6 is the main difference here Stampede really excel at killing Def 6 enemies in  difficult terrain!



Damage while Disordered

Ok now let’s see what happens when they lose TC due to being disordered.

Interestingly now Stampedes become one of the worst damaging units, Only Soul Reavers drop more. Fight Wagons and Direriders don’t care at all, being all CS, they remain very high damaging. The chariots drop in damage but are still higher than Stampedes. (and have Brutal)

Damage Overall

Direfang Riders are the most consistent they will always do the same damage, they are excellent against Def 3,4,5 and still do a decent amount vs Def 6. Fight Wagons are also one of the most consistent, and will chop Def 3 or 4 up in basically any condition. Soul Reavers are high damage dealers but really feel the loss of their TC, (like many Cav) Macc wars potion is popular choice on this unit! Ogre Warrior chariots do immense damage and with Brutal are very likely to rout enemies. Stampede do amazing damage unless Disordered so unfortunately they tend to spend a lot of the time this way! (pesky opposing chaff…)

Defensive qualities

Course damage isn’t the only factor. Stampedes have a low Defense of 4 this means they will consistently take a lot of damage, 18/22 however means your opponent needs to focus on them, if they do, they will rout, even basic arrows and similar are a danger. Soul Reavers on the other hand have an amazing Defence 6, if you are unable to get a flank or very high CS/Piercing they are a menace, and then they have Lifeleech 2 as well! Played well they will not die.

The other 3 are Def 5 which is significantly better at stopping incidental damage, of course they also have lower nerves, the Fight Wagons especially being the lowest(it was a tad too low, Fury helps balance this)

The differing Nerves/Defense are a good counterplay, and means they can effectively take similar amounts of damage before routing. Lets take a little look at some numbers to confirm this.


Elf Bowmen do the Stampede takes 3 times as much damage as Soul Reavers and 50% more than even the Defence 5 units take.
So what does this mean? Well lets look at mass fire and see how close we are to routing. The table shows the average damage if 3 of each unit shot. (without cover etc)

The Stampede would be routing on a 6 or 7, but wavering on a double 1.

The Fight wagons will rout on a 4 or 5, wavering on a anything bar a double 1.

The Direfangs would be routing on a 6 or 7, Waver on a 4 or 5

Ogre Warrior chariots, rout on a 5 or 6, waver on a 3 or 4.

Soul Reavers rout on 11 or 12, and waver on 9 or 10.

So Soul Reavers can laugh off basic shooting all day long, espcially with Lifeleech, Direfangs are next best off they may be ok or only waver. (not forgetting they could have Headstrong and Fury from Guise of the Deceiver)

Ogre Warrior Chariots are middle of the road, Stampedes are 2nd to last, they may not rout but they are almost certain to waver. Fight Wagons have it worst, however with the recent addition of Fury in the CoK tweaks they are now much more likely to keep on going once they get stuck in.

The more piercing the closer it gets but short of Piercing 3 or 4 the Stampede will always take more.

Speed

Here Soul Reavers are the clear winners speed 8, Direfang being the worst at a solid speed 6. Speed is of course huge and increasing the chance of getting the first strike, something Soul Reavers want to do to keep TC. Direfang riders don’t care as much being CS(2) with no TC.



Overall (TLDR)

Ok so which is better? Well every unit is in different ways!

Stampede excel in difficult terrain but Disorder them and the damage drops down, suddenly high defence units become a huge problem for them. This is why I will give mine Elite/Vicious and follow them with a Shaman, they need the extra damage, and BC/Heal to keep them running and ensure they rout enemies in one go. (Kill/disorder the Shaman) Note this unit is Irregular which makes builds featuring too many of them tricky.

Soul Reavers are the fastest of this style of unit and can take the most damage and heal it back, they are amazing all rounders, difficult terrain hurts them so expect Maccwars potion. They are the only Height 2 unit of the lot, this is both good and bad in different ways. This unit cost the most, balancing them out.

Ogre Warrior Chariots do the most overall damage and with Brutal will rout units far easier than any of the others, the large foot print makes avoiding terrain difficult so Maccwars potion is a perfect match.

Fight Wagons, ah these beauties are a joy to behold, they will chop up Def 3/4 better than anything else, and remain consistent when Disordered. Back these with a Wardrum and Godspeaker and they will work wonders. Again the large foot print makes avoiding terrain difficult so Maccwars potion is a ideal.

Direfang Riders, ah the Swiss army knife, hard to damage/rout, you can’t Hinder them, Disordering does nothing to them! And on top of that they have the Gift of Korgaan making them very versatile. Brew of Haste is my pick for these, but honestly something like Brew of Sharpness has to be a popular choice too.

I’m very happy with the balancing of all of these, I think the Fight Wagons needed a slight nudge but with Fury balance really well. :)

Daniel.




Thursday, 19 January 2017

Altibash 3 - Tournie Report

Last weekend was Altibash 3, a local tournie for me, it’s pleasant being able to get to a tournie in just 40 mins, as most involve a fair bit more travel. I went along with Jez, he had his Goblins and I had my Herd. Amusing mention should go to Walter a friend of mine who was supposed to be coming along but instead slept in… :p

My list is the latest variant ready for the UK Masters, I figured it would be an ideal chance to really give it a good practice right before the event. (Masters is the 21st/22nd of Jan) I haven’t changed much, just swapped out the Avatar for a Chimera and a Centaur Chief with Blade of Slashing. This list is just a little bit more versatile vs shooters which I quite likely expect to be common! (I’ve seen the lists now)



Here's the new Lion Centaur which was finished the night before! I've been working on my blending and highlighting techniques and I feel I'm starting to get somewhere.





We arrived bright and early, as I’m being healthier I’d eaten rice crispies, everyone else enjoyed bacon butties… Still I was pleased to note the guys had provided a big bowl of fruit, nice one!

This event was closed lists and we had a once a game lucky dice reroll. (up to 2 dice from one roll)

Game 1 - Hal Eccles – Nature - Invade


Hal had a lovely painted army, I especially liked the Naiad Wyrmriders on crabs!


I advanced fast on the right using chaff to prevent too many charges, I lost the chaff but it enabled me to then kill everything else there so a fair trade. ;-)

On my left I went to the centre line keeping a distance from the Shamblers, no way they can charge me, over to George. He reveals Brew of Haste and gets one unit into a Stampede... And then with Surge 15 tries to get a 2nd in, he needs 8 successes and gets 7! (phew) Thankfully my Stampede takes one charge fine, two would have been unpleasant!



In the centre, The Green Lady prevents me flanking the Shamblers with my Spirit Walkers but thankfully they are able to get into the flank of Naiad Wyrmriders, and combined with a Stampede they are routed quickly. It takes me a few turns to chew through the Green Lady of course.


Over the next turn I delayed Hal’s units just long enough to rout everything but a couple of units on the left, though I lose some too.


Eventually I also kill the last couple for a big win.


Game 2 – Andy Sharp – Goblins – Loot.


Interestingly Goblins were in 3 of the top 4 spots at this point having all won their first games!

Last time I played Andy the game was a relatively easy win, not so much this time! I went first and sped towards the green line! Andy revealed more shooting surprises than you can shake a stick at!


On the left my Chimera, Centaur Chief and the Spirit Walkers faced off vs two Goblin Rabble reg, a War Trombone and a Goblin ASB with a surprise Diadem of Dragon-kind. I thought I would kill this easily, not so much! Andy managed to waver my Chieftain on his first turn and then killed it the next. The Spirit Walkers killed the War Trombone then got stuck into a combat with Goblin Rabble that would last several turn before being losing to them!

The Chimera fought the Goblin Regiment, in retrospect I should have kept it further back instead of allowing the charge. The Chimera was able to kill the goblins eventually however it took damage and had to flee the ASB who was slowly breathing it to death! While the Chimera was then able to take a Mincer in the rear, the ASB still chased it down and finally killed it…

On the right flank my Lycans were getting shot up, but the damage wasn’t sufficient on either unit so between regen and Heal they were ok. I eventually killed all the goblins there by a tricksy Lightning Bolt 5 Wiz who just kept running away!

In the Centre Andy very nearly took out my Stampede but it just survived a combination of the Mincers and Trolls + Bruiser, mostly thanks to fancy maneuvering and Yellow Bellied!

Right at the end I had two Loot markers to Andy’s one, he had an amazing turn of shooting and rolled to rout the Stampede, a success would turn the game back into a draw. He rolled 11 to rout! Inspiring! Just ok… Phew!

This ended as a big win to me, though it was much closer than I had initially expected!


Game 3 - George Kirke - Nightstalkers + Ogres - Control


Aha this was a game I was hoping for, George will also be at the Masters and was using his Masters army, so this would be a great practice game for both of us! I was keen to see if my tweaks would make beating this sort of build easier.

I won table sides and happily took the side with plenty of terrain on it, this was useful. George won the first turn roll off and decided to take it. I was very happy with this! He peppered my Lycans with his Ogre shooters, but it didn’t do enough to worry me between Heal/Regen. The rest of his army mostly stayed back awaiting my advance, which didn’t happen… ;-)


Advancing into Mind-screech is unpleasant so I decided to push forward on the flank with my Lycans and simply wait for George to advance closer. This worked pretty well, as they were then unable to do anything until turn 3, (range 18 + speed 5”, and we were 24”+ apart. ) When they did advance they were penalized and while they still routed my Spirit Walkers at least nothing else was harmed as well. This gave me some needed time to advance on the flank, and while it took me a few turns by turn 4 I’d wiped it out and was able to refocus my Lycans and Chimera towards the centre.

The Screeches concentrated on a Stampede but thanks to cover and some luck they were fine and then rear charge the remaining Fiends… Giving me the right. At this point on Turn 5 it just left me the three Mind-screech to deal with!


By the end of the game I’d tabled George for another win. Excellent game and it was lovely to have the practice pre masters! Course he now knows my tactics against him so who knows what will happen if we face again! ;-)


Game 4 - David Crabtree - Abyssals + Nightstalkers - Dominate



Ah Dave had an amazing army, practically scratch built and fueled by nightmares… Took me a little to figure out what was what but Dave was patient with me. :p

The army in all its disturbing glory...

On the right I threw the Chimera forward into a forest luring his flyers, this was a little risky and he did get wavered, the sacrifice worked though, it gave me the time to wipe the units out one by one.


Eventually the Chimera died and the Well of Souls bugged out and got a sneaky flank charge into my Stampede fortunately not enough to waver it! I then managed to take down the Tortured Souls.

On the left I sneaked some Lycans behind the building and used chaff to delay, this worked well and over the next few turns I was able to rout the remaining units for a win. Really fun game, and it felt much closer than the last time I played Dave, next time we play I think it'll be closer still!


Results

I was the only person to have won all 4 games on maximum points so I was crowned The King of War! (rather apt being the name of my blog) And got a lovely pint glass as below! Also rather awesome was my friend Jez came 3rd. :) Hal won Best painted and Dave won the Facebook painting award, well done guys!




1. Daniel King – Herd
2. Antony Bond – Varangur
3. Jez Gurney - Goblins
4. David Crabtree - Abyssals + Nightstalkers
5. George Kirke - Nightstalkers + Ogres
6. Andrew Sharp – Goblins
7. Jonathan Faulkes – Varangur
8. Andy Ransome - Goblins
9. Hal Eccles – Nature
10. Sam Barker – Orcs
11. Ross Diggle - Rhordia
12. James Darcy – Salamanders
13. Roger Campá Alcaraz - Goblins + Orcs
14. Michael Roberts - KOM + Varangur
15. Charles Budworth - Herd + Varangur

16. Richard Middleshaw – Ogres

Overall

All in all a great event, I enjoyed catching up with so many friends, and had 4 great games of Kings of War! I would highly recommend the Altibash events to everyone, the fact they even provided healthy options for us also was amazing, great work guys! Looking forward to the next one.

EDIT - Kev asked me to make people aware that he spent ages slaving over a hot oven baking scones, and while I resisted due to being healthy, they looked delicious!

Daniel.



Friday, 25 November 2016

Aire Conflict - Hobby Tastic!

I recently attended a tournament over in Leeds .(by the river Aire hence the name) This was a little different to most being 1200 points, with 5 games and Max 1 rules for Hero's, War Engines and Monsters. It also had a once a game lucky die. (reroll any one die)

The biggest difference though was you got additional points for hobby and sports, now to those over in the US this is the norm, not so for us in the UK. Personally I was happy to give it a go and have been putting more and more effort into my army to try and improve myself.



My list is below, I basically dropped a few units from my 2K army, but otherwise kept things as is, apart from adding an ASB. (max 1 prevented me taking a 2nd Shaman, or I would have preferred to take another) I did start looking into freehanding the banner design but didn't get it done, so stuck with an older model, maybe next time. (thanks for all the tips guys!)


Game 1 - Chris Silkstone - Orcs, Push.

Going from memory his army comprised of,

Orc Krudger on chariot with Ensorcelled Armor
Skulks with Elite
Ax Horde with Helm of Confidence
Morax with Brew of Sharpness
Morax with Brew of Strength
Goblin Spitters regiment

Chris had only played a few times before, so he was never going to have an easy time of it, I think by the end of the game he had picked up some tips and tricks though so that's good!

He ran his chariot forward and let me charge it with my Stampede, not recommnended and an easy rout. My Lycans progressed round the right flank while chaff delayed his horde on the left flank. The Morax kept turnning to face the Lycans who happily ran around to the flank and then the rear before finally charging something else leaving the mor-ax looking at nothing.

Over the next few turns I routed everything for a big win.

Game 2 - Steven Pearson - Goblins - Dominate

I've played against Steve several times before and they've always been great close close games, this time he had Goblins rater than his usual TK.

As you can see below, his army was huge compared to mine!



Steve maneuvered carefully on my left, but on the right allowed me to zoom forward my Lycans, he then made a fatal mistake (actually pictured doing it below!) He placed Trolls giving me a Nimble flank charge with My Lycans into them, This proved terrible and his flank collapsed.



In the centre My Stampede was held up by first Fleabags and then the King on Chariot and Giant, but with a bit f healing they held out, till everything else was dead, giving me a big win.


Game 3 - Elliot Morrish - Control

Ah Elliot, in our last game he well and truly trounced me! Now was my chance for payback. ;)

He had,

2 Regiments of Centaur Bray Striders

1 Regiment of Hunters of the Wild

Winged Unicorn with Lightning Bolt

Beast of Nature with Fly and Lightning Bolt

Tree Herder - Medallion of Life

As you can see below we both took a corner and edged towards each other slowly, his Tree herder was hidden behind the ruins at the top, and he and some Luycans and a Beast pack spent most of the game duking it out!



Meanwhile in the centre I was able to perform the clasic chaff block, using a chaff beast pack to block the charges of two units, this meant I was able to concentrate on his units one at a time with my Stampede. They did take some heavy damage from the Hunters of the Wild, but it wasn't enough and as the dust settled I'd routed pretty much everything for a 3rd big win!


Game 4 - Nick Williams - Pillage

Ah Nick, the TO and a good friend of mine, he'd been doing really well despite taking a relatively fluffy list! He was getting worried that he would win his own event, I was happy to help knock him down. :p As you can see below he had a nice mix of units. His armies strength was the high nerve of all the hordes, trouble is my army has an extreme damage output, pretty much the counter to his army.


The face off below, Nick was determined to hold the pillage marker in the difficult terrain, He offered me some front charges with my Lycans, but I declined to take them, I swung round behind instead with my bottom Lycans. If I had he may have been able to counterattack and start getting an advantage.



On Nicks turn he was now in a tough spot, he turned the Spears towards the Lycans, but my Stampede came into the flank instead and left them a crushed mess. The revenants did get a chance to charge my Stampede then, but with the difficult terrain they were unable to do much damage. net turn I wiped out the remainder of the centre.


Now in the distance my Chaff was dancing with the Werewolves, this delayed them just long enough that they were unable to do anything worthwhile allowing me to concentrate on the centre. After this Nick had a slight chance of routing something of mine, but decided rather more sensibly to run away!

Props to his Revenant King who ended up killing my chaff all by himself!

As the dust settled I had a decent win, but only killed around 700 pts worth or so.

Game 5 - Walter Simpson - Invade

Ah Waltz, I've known him for years, we used to go Warhammer tournies together back in the day. (7th ed) Walter has beaten me just the once so far, but every game has been close, typically though we meet up at a tournie and I ruin his dreams of reaching the podium. He wears a Kingslayer t shirt at nearly every event. :p

We'd discussed lists at length in the run up, and we had similar armies, despite his being Undead and mine Herd. He'd been doing really well with it, and if he could get a big win in this game would win the event, so it was all to play for!



And the face off begins! I advanced somewhat giving his Dragon a charge into my Stampede or Lycans expecting if he did to be able to flank and kill it, except I made a mistake and re-angled the position of the Stampede, meaning the Vampire on Dragon could charge it and be relatively safe...


Walter spotted this and took full advantage! Charging the Dragon straight in, bother!



It was ok though, the Stampede didn't waver and my countercharge damaged the Dragon too, I then maneuvered the rest of the army hoping to kill it next time. Meanwhile the Werewolves came in to the Stampede comboing with the Dragon, but with amazing luck my Stampede still didn''t rout! This meant I was able to flank the Dragon and take it down, and also rout some annoying Wraiths, that had charged my Lycans.

Back to Walter, he finally killed the Stampede, but then I managed to kill his other Werwolves! He was now down to just a single Werewolf Horde! It bravely charged an undamaged Lycan horde and popped it!

I was down to just the units you see below, now it was really close! My Lycans tried to take it out and failed!


It was now my final turn, I decided to go for it, and use my characters to win the Invade, I need to kill the Werewolves to succeed! And I did, giving me a win, but certainly not a big one! Really great tactical game!

Results

And that was it, I came 1st, full results below! Richard Heath won best painted with his lovely Nature army.


It had been a great day, and Nick really excelled himself, the gifts we received were amazing just look at the gift bag we all got!


The trophies were great, I got a glass pint mug and a shot glass for best general too! I even won vouchers for the shop! Crazy! The terrain espcially was amazing, all made specially by Nick himself. I particularly liked Dragon mountain!


Playing smaller games made a nice change too, can't wait for the next Aire Conflict!

Daniel.








Friday, 4 November 2016

The biggest CoK so far!

I recently attended the Clash of Kings UK, this was the culmination of this years time and effort spent on my cat themed Herd army, I'd given it plenty of playtesting and felt ready to try for the CoK crown, as 4 times national champ I felt vaguelly confident, but you never know what will happen!

My fully touched up Pussies!


It was a late start so I was able to saunter up about 9:30 or so, which was nice. On arrival I met a friend of min Walter who present me with a bottle of Prosecco which I happily helped him finish off. This started the day nicely! We also started supping Mead.

Here's my list, I took the same one I'd used at Black Dragon recently.



Game 1 vs Jesus Santiago – Basileans – Pillage





On my right I put my Avatar forward by the hedges, allowing the Elohi Horde opposite to charge figuring it wouldn’t take too much damage, but actually took 10! (Iron resolve down to 9) It then ran off as fast as could, then mostly pottered about until the end of the game, trying for rear charges.

On my left a Nimble charge past Sisterhood Panther chaff, give me an early dominating position, later allowing a triple charge into his Knight Horde, both Lycan Hordes and a Stampede too, pop goes the horde.  Lost my Stampede on the right to the really well rolling Elohi, but then I got a Stampede into them with Spirit walker too, and they routed. 19-1 win to me. Jesus was a nice guy with a gorgeous looking army, I loved his water effects! I found out after the game he is the Spanish No 2 player! Nice tough start to the tournie.

Time for more Mead!

Some of Jesus's army, photo taken after the game.

Game 2 vs Darren Parkes – Elves – Push






Darren already! I had expected to play Darren at some point but not necessarily so early on! Daren’s army was both fast and shooty, if not quite as manoeuvrable as mine. I out deployed him meaning I could get my Avatar onto his flank safely without any fear of being charged, if I won first turn, which I didn’t. Ah well! Darren’s first turn saw all the shooting piled into one Stampede and wavered it! Not an auspicious start… On my turn I went full throttle and advanced everything else up, with chaff in front, preventing the chariots on my left from charging.

On my right I happily advanced both of the Lycan hordes into difficult terrain daring Darren to charge them with his Drakons, and surprisingly he did, this didn’t even waver my unit so the Lycans teamed up front and flank and took the Drakons out.



In the centre his dragon advanced cautiously to flame my Shaman, this then gave me a charge with my Spirit walkers who took his flight away.


The massed shooting volleyed again and took out my damaged Stampede, and my chaff packs. This was fortunate as it allowed me to charge the Chariots with my Stampede (a waver would have been troublesome) routing them. My Avatar snuck behind Darren’s line.

The archers decided to get away from the Avatar ASAP by charging the Stampede, an unexpected move which delayed my Stampede for a couple of turns and removing most of the charge options for my Avatar. I decided to go after a Mage but rolled poorly and failed to kill it, leaving me flankable by his Dragon…

On the right my Lycans took out the Seaguard Horde.

Darren’s Dragon charged in and routed my Avatar in one go… However despite his efforts this left the Dragon vulnerable to my Lycans! Which happily charged him for a waver followed by a rout the turn after. (The Dragon had two of the push tokens)

The game ended turn 6, giving me a decent win 17-3. And Mead time!

Game 3 vs Alan Thompson – Undead – Invade



Alan is ranked second only to myself in the UK so I knew this would be a tough game, and it was!



Alan has a habit of playing refused flank, recalling this from last time we’d played, I placed everything bar my Lycans with Shaman on the same flank, my right. This meant my Lycans could get up and round the left fairly quickly although obstacles would slow them somewhat. Here's the setup photo's.





Sadly Alan went first and started storming forward. (in Invade I prefer to go first to get closer to their deployment area) I set my Avatar up for lots of flanks hidden behind some chaff, Alan responded by throwing his fast units, Wraith, Dragon, Vampire  and Lycans into my Stampedes and Spirit Walkers, but rather than rout one unit he spread them thin one per unit. Luckily for Alan he Wavered a Stampede with his Dragon with a high roll, but the other units were fine.


Now it was my turn to fight back the Avatar took on some pesky Wraiths routing them. The Stampede went into the Vampire, wavering it. Over the next few turns I would waver it twice more and double 1 it too, finally killing it with a Shaman on turn 5! Failing to kill it was bad as my other Stampede then got flanked by Wraiths and wavered then finally killed.

On the bright side the Werewolves killed my Spirit Walkers and turned away from the other Stampede with the Dragon, we’d discussed it and I’d told him I could I could charge their rear if he turned them away, but he chanced it anyhow, and this time the Dragon fluffed his rout roll and the Stampede went into the rear of the Werewolves! 90 attacks later they were dead. :P

The Dragon was then out of sight of anything worthwhile so simply turned to threaten other units. Meanwhile on Alans side of the table my Lycan had been flanked by annoying Wraiths, still they survived it, and I took the chance to get my Avatar into his Revenant King, disordering him and removing Surge from the equation. I also used my Lycans to take out the flanking Wraiths and then the Revenant Horde.

At this point I was in Alan's half and he was in mine, some quick calculation meant that if left as is I would win, so Alan had to come back in! Wraith troop and Dragon take on an undamaged Lycan horde, average damage is about 8, however Alan rolls high and takes it out in one go! (damn) All I can get into them is a Beast pack and a shaman, the shaman fails to damage the Wraiths, but the Beast pack does exactly 1 damage to the Dragon thanks to Vicious! As it lose fly that means it’s stuck as I’ve placed my Avatar right behind it. My surviving Lycans take on the damage Revenant King and finish him off then turn back towards the Dragon and Wraiths.

Alan’s turn 6 he kills the beast pack with the Dragon. And foolishly I’ve given his Zombie horde a flank into my Lycans through difficult terrain so on 6’s at least. The Wraiths join the Zombies and together do 13 damage! Then they roll a double 1, on my turn I roll to regen and get 11 damage back out of 13 on 5’s! Alan is somewhat dismayed by this. ;-) On the final turn I fail to take out the Dragon, but do rout the Wraiths giving me a 16-4 win. (phew!)

And now it was time for even more Mead, I was starting to get more than a little drunk at this point. ;-) Walter and I headed off to our room continuing to drink Mead polishing off around 2 and half bottle in all!

Arrival at the pub saw us rather drunk and then Nick bought me 3 sambucas which I downed… Don't remember much after that... Thanks to Walter though we got an early night and I felt okish Sunday morning. ;)

Game 4 vs Paul Fox – Nightstalkers – Loot

His list was,

2 Mind-Screech, 
2 Screamers, 
Troop of Phantoms, 
Horde Butchers, 
3 Hordes of Fiends (one with Brew of Sharpness),
Allies
Horde of Trolls, 
War trombone

I’d had quite a bit to drink the day before but despite that I felt ready to roll! The army was VERY shooty but also had fast elements in the Fiends which hit hard, it’s a very tough list.

On the left I advanced my Lycans ready to receive a charge from the Phantoms but out of the range of the Fiends. The Phantoms did charge in but did little, the Fiends stayed back but within charge range of the left most unit of Lycans. ;)


In the centre/right the rest of my force advanced from behind a hill and most of it behind hedges, this slowed down my advance slightly but most importantly penalised the enemies shooting. My Avatar slowly sneaked up from the flank hoping to get up behind everything and into the shooters. 


Paul did take some pot shots but it didn't do that much due to the cover, just weakening the right most Stampede.

On my next turn my Lycans nimble charged past the Phantoms into the left most Fiends, and I blocked the other with a chaff pack. My Avatar moved behind the building out of LoS of everything and threatening the Screechers and Screamers.

I was able to get the right Stampede into the War Trombone taking it out.


Here I perhaps made a mistake, I pointed out his Butchers could charge my left Stampede, he'd gone straight to shooting so I probably should have kept quiet. :p His shooting fired again and finished off the Stampede in the open. (ouch) The other Stampede was damaged but ok.

On my left the Fiends took the bait and killed the chaff having little else they could do, I then charged them with both units of Lycans taking them out too. The Phantoms flew off out of charge range.

Avatar and charged a Screamer, annoying though I only wavered it. I also charged those Butchers with the Stampede but failed to waver them by 1...



At this point after pretty much taking the flank I felt pretty confident, even if I lost a chunk more in the centre surely the Lycans would swing round and save the day?

More units were routed by shooting the Spirit Walkers were obliterated! By the time my Lycans turned up from the flank, a lot of my centre was lost, I had a wavered Stampede, my Avatar and a shaman left. I perhaps foolishly tried to salvage it by bringing in the Lycans, in retrospect I could have run off at this point grabbed the loot tokens and stayed away from those Mind-screeches. The next couple of turns saw the undamaged Lycan hordes routed by shooting despite Paul needing to roll rather well to do this... His Trolls come and pick up a token.

I did kill the Butchers but then the remaining Fiends arrived and wavered my Stampede. Next turn the annoying Phantoms rejoined the game too and charged my Stampede, and I perhaps made a further mistake pointing out Paul could pick upo the loot token, thereby making it impossible for me to win... (why do I do these things!)

At this point I had one loot marker with my Avatar and he had the other two, if I had a turn 7 I could charge my Avatar into the rear of his Phantoms (who had that token) and at least claw back a draw, (I would have to drop the token to make the charge making it 1 token each) but it wasn’t to be, as the game ended. 4-16. Next time I would make damn sure to silence those Mind-screeches!

Game 5 vs Walter Simpson – Undead – Dominate




The man himself!



The battlefield had a several obstacles spread all over the centre, I took the side that would let me advance as close to centre as possible while still keep the obstacles between myself and Walter. This worked quite well throughout the game. I also got first turn, this was handy as it allowed me to blunt many of the incoming attacks. Note the Avatar placed to get all sorts of flank possibilities.


While I saw the potential I didn’t expect Walter to go so extreme first turn, he charged in both Dragons and a Lycan horde into a Stampede, I wasn't certain they would even fit, but they did! He need a really good roll to rout it but fortunately only managed a waver. Wraiths charged my Stampede on my left doing some chunky damage but not wavering it.


The failure to break the centre meant next turn I was able to get my Spirit Walkers in the flank of Rev King on Dragon, and managed to waver it, routing it a turn later. I protected their flank from oncoming Zombie Trolls with a beast pack. On the right Lycans watched Werewolves and I advanced to take on the centre with one of the Lycan hordes (protecting it with a chaff pack)

My Avatar also took advantage taking the Werewolves in the flank and routing them instantly. This left him taking an unpleasant Zombie Troll charge, but he withstood this, and the two faced off until close to the end of the game!

The Vamp on Dragon decided to take out the previously wavered Stampede.



This turned out in my opinion to be a mistake, because although he wiped it out easily enough he was then surrounded by my units unable to escape a flank or possibly a charge, he decided to go for getting as far away as possible, this avoid a flank but gave a rear to my Spirit Walkers which I happily took with Bane-chant as well. 60 attacks later I wavered the Dragon. (I’ll take it) It did turn round the turn after but still died to the follow up attack.



On my left my Stampede took out the Wraiths, but then got charged by another troop of them, this also did above average damage and wavered them… This delay being critical, as it took me two more turns to wipe them out. 

The Lycans and Werewolves both got stuck in at this point, fortunately the obstacle helped again here.

We had to pick up that hedge but it was basically underneath everything in the middle.

On turn 5 things came to a head, Walter now had his Zombie Trolls in combat with my left Stampede and it had now taken 20 damage and he needed anything but to rout it. He didn’t... However I had inspiring, reroll... Double 1! I was jubilant at this point Walter less so. :p

However as an aside here’s a perfect example of a double one being a critical roll, (hence memorable) when actually it should never have been a factor in the first place. If not for extremely good luck the Stampede wouldn’t even have been wavered in the 2nd combat with the Wraiths, with average luck I would have killed that 2nd Wraith unit 2 turns earlier giving me the opportunity to charge the Zombie Trolls likely wiping them out before the double 1 ever happened! Still at least the randomness of dice evened out. ;-)


Ok next combat Lycanis and Zombie Trolls into the Avatar, rout result, inspiring reroll… DOUBLE 1! Yes two combats on the row! Ok this one was lucky. :p

After these two failures I was able to table Walter completely and got a 19-1 result.

Game 6 vs Dominic Stoveacre – Nightstalkers – Control


Table behind us, sorry for the lack of extra photo's!


His list was,

3 Mind-Screech,
Screamer,
Troop of Spectres,
Horde Butchers,
3 Hordes of Fiends (one with caterpillar),
Allies
Horde of Trolls,
War trombone

Dominic had been beaten by Paul at a previous event, and decided he liked the list so basically copied it, he’d tweaked it slightly though.

I knew from the earlier game with Paul that the Mind-Screeches HAD to die ASAP. I won the roll and let Dominic go first (so he couldn’t shoot me) He advanced slowly, then on my turn I threw nearly my entire army at those Screeches, with the Lycans on the left flank. (behind the church in the photo above)

The Lycans were able to combo charge a Horde of Fiend instantly routing it, meanwhile the nearby Butchers were stuck behind an obstacle with a Beast pack in front so declined to charge. This was handy as I was able to reroute the beast pack the next turn then combo charge the Butchers taking them out too. Flank to me! (yeah this happened last time too…)

In the centre I was throwing my stampedes into the nasty shooting, but due to placement I could only get one Mind-Screech a turn, I killed one, then the remainder obliterated a Stampede, then I killed another, I sent my Shaman after the War Trombone, anything to dent the shooting! (it killed it too!) Meanwhile the Fiends and Trolls were stumbling forward on my right flank, and I was feeding them with anything and everything to occupy/delay them!

Eventually I took out the final Mind-Screech but this cost me my 2nd Stampede which then died to Fiends. I’d already lost my chaff packs and my Spirit Walkers, I had t throw my foot Shaman in front of the other Fiends to slow them down…

Ok my turn 5 and all I have left are the Lycans and a mounted Shaman, I retreated out of range and awaited Dominics move. All he had left was a Horde of Fiends, the Trolls and some Troop of Spectres, due to my retreat he was stuck now, with Lycans either side of his fiends, he was able to pivot just enough so it’s be a front for both.

My turn 6, I charge one Lycan horde past and into the Trolls on my table side, killing them was irrelevant I just need to stop them holding the area, and thankfully there was no turn 7 so that was sufficient to hold his and my table sections giving me 3 VP to his 0. 17-3 to me.

And that was it! I knew I had no chance at winning the event, but was hoping for maybe top 5. And I did, coming away with 3rd place. J

What did I learn?

All in all a great weekend, I remembered my scenarios better, (shout out to Jez for his excellent Scenario cards) and my army performed well. I don’t really feel the need to change anything about my list, although a fast individual or two for taking on Mind-Screeches would be nice.

In retrospect I should have played at least one game vs Nightstalkers first, I knew they we're big down south. The Mind-Screeches proved better then I’d expected. Also in retrospect I could have won the game vs Paul if I’d simply disengaged and left some of my units for dead, I typically like to fight on and get big wins though. In some situations I guess exceptions should be made. Still if averages had been with me I would have succeeded so I'm happy enough with the plan I chose.

Overall

Congrats to Tom Robinson for 1st place, Darren Parkes for 2nd, and Jesus Santiago and Chris Walsh for Best Mantic army and Best painted! This meant I was no longer the nation CoK champion, still after winning 3 CoK’s and 1 national championships I could rest easy knowing it would take some doing to beat at least. ;-) Also thanks to my high placing I remain the UK no 1 ranked player so that’s cool. :)

The turn out was great, and the venue was ideal for me, I actually like it to be a little chilled. 

Mantic ran things well, and I cannot wait to next years event, where the Americans will be joining us! :D

Lastly I’m glad I went the extra hobby mile for this event, I got lots of compliments on my army, and the army board was well worth doing! I don’t know if I will ever reach the likes of Chris Walsh etc, but any improvement is good.

Daniel.

Tom's List