Thursday, April 21, 2011

'Ard Boyz Fantasy Prelims Battle Report (with lots of pictures!)

So... my friend lent me a hydra the day of the tournament.  He'd painted it years ago, and had apparently lost the base.  This necessitated the creation of my own.  Like it? 
Hey there folks, how's it going?  Last weekend I went to the local 'Ard Boyz Prelims for Fantasy.  As many of you already know, I don't really play Fantasy a whole lot, the more accurate word is likely 'dabble'.  That being said, I've had a little bit of success in the past, and I certainly don't mind spending the day playing a few fun (competitive) games for the chance to get free prize support!

So, I showed up on Saturday, as did a whopping five other contestants.  Wow, underwhelming turnout.

Here's my list:

 Supreme Sorceress
-Lifetaker (S4 bow 3x shot, always hits on 2+)
-Sacrificial Dagger (kills guys for extra power dice)
-Talisman of Protection (4+ ward save)
-Lore of Shadow

-Crimson Death (always hits on S6)
-Armor of Darkness (1+ save)
-Pendent of Khaleth (Reverse Ward Save)
-Ironcurse Icon (unit has 6+ ward vs. Warmachines)

Death Hag
-Cauldron of Blood

30x Warriors
-Fullish command (no lordling)
-Banner of Flaming Awesomeness (flaming attacks)

10x Crossbowmen
10x Crossbowmen
10x Crossbowmen
5x Dark Riders w/ crossbows w/ Musician
5x Dark Riders w/ crossbows w/ Musician
5x Dark Riders w/ crossbows (no Musician)

20x Black Guard
-Banner of Murder (Armor Piercing)

Cold One Chariot
Cold One Chariot
Cold One Chariot
Cold One Chariot

War Hydra
War Hydra
War Hydra

If you want my rationale for what I added, here's the link.  Really, it's not rocket science.  Mostly, I wanted to take models I already owned- why buy $100 worth of models to get ready for an event where the cap prize support is $60, and the models will never be used outside of an 'Ard Boyz setting?

Other armies there were:

Tomb Kings (with a huge unit of chariots?)
Skaven (with a ton of HPA/warmachine things in units)
Empire (horde-style)
High Elves (with Teclic the douche)

So, on to the first round, eh?

Game 1:  Dark Elves vs.  .... a bye?

That's right, after about three years of 'serious' competitive gaming, this was my first ever bye.  I think Sherman (the TO) decided to give me 20/24 points... which was fine enough with me.  I'll take a massacre for no work.  It's not like I paid to get in or anything!

After a period of watching basketball at home (playoffs on Saturday ftw!), I came back, and got ready for my first challenge.

Game 2:  Dark Elves vs. Hated Empire

His list (sorry, I saved it, but for the life of me now can't find it):

General on a horse, with lots of nasty wargear
Level 4 Wizard with Lore of Death, Power Scroll

Captain on a horse
Warrior Priest dude, with his big blocks of guys
Level 2 Wizard with Lore of Death
BSB character on foot

14 or so Heavy Cavalry (general and captain went in here)

50x Spearmen
50x Halberdiers
20x Muskateers (lol, they had S4 AP guns, not sure what they're called)

Organ-gun looking thing
Hellfire missile platform
Great Cannon

Steam Tank

So, lots and lots of troop guys.  His big 'Horsestar' could be a pain as well- the plan was to get Ockam's Mind razor off on one of my infantry squads.  Otherwise, hydra/chariot his blocks to death, and use the black guard as well as possible.  Pretty standard stuff.  Also, use Dark Riders to kill warmachines.


It was 'standard deployment'.  The main thing about his mission was that each player got to pick one core unit, and each model in that unit got +1 Strength and Attack.  You wanted to kill the enemy unit with the 'bloody choppa', for battle points.

We took turns deploying.  Here's how it turned out, after I made my Dark Rider Vanguard moves:

So... you'll see the sorceress w/ spearmen are on the right flank, to both confront the horsies (with the Mindrazor) and to nuke his Steamtank with Pit of Shades.
 I won the roll to go first, and took it!  Hadn't gotten that roll to go for a long time!

Dark Elves Turn 1:

I moved my Dark Riders up right in front of his warmachines on the hill, and everything else kind of shuffled up as well.  Nothing too crazy.

In magic, I was able to nuke his steamtank.  Miscast from this ended the magic phase, but it was worth it!

Shooting ended a fair number of gunner-dudes, and a single guy on the cannon.  Not sure what the point was of shooting the cannon, honestly.

Oh yeah, his halberdier unit in the middle has his own 'Bloody Choppa'

Hated Empire Turn 1:

He marched his horsies up toward me, but (wisely) decided not to charge.  Everything else of his just kind of sat there.

In magic, we had a heckofatime figuring things out, but eventually, he was able to Purple Sun two of my hydras off the board.  Lol, I had completely forgotten about Purple Sun being in Death.  The miscast didn't do much damage, either (he used the power scroll).  Well, live and learn, right?  Funny thing is, I even remembered about the Pit of Shades shenanigans from Adepticon, and still used the Hydras this way.  /pathetic

His shooting was brutal, and he killed all but three dark riders, who stayed where they were.  It also vaporized one of my crossbow units (they failed panic and fled 11" off the board).  Yikes.  One cool thing I hadn't foreseen happening was one of his guns misfired, shot 30 shots at one of my Dark Riders squads (who evaporated) and exploded itself!  Woo!
Wow, poor Hydras.  They need a better general.

Dark Elves Turn 2:

I knew I needed to thin out his Halberdiers if I could at all- S5 A2 dudes in a block of 50 wasn't exactly exciting prospects for me to deal with!  So, the lone hydra moved up, ready to flamer them.  The Dark Riders charged his Missile battery.  Otherwise, the Black Guard (w/ General) moved forward, as did the chariots.

Magic went as well as possible- I cast the Mindrazor on the spearmen, and -3 movement, initiative, and Weapon Skill on the Horsestar.

Shooting was alright- I killed lots more of the rifle dudes (think he had 6 left?)  The flaming Hydra killed like 20 of the halberdiers.  Much more doable now!

In combat, the Dark Riders killed the Rocket Crew, and overran off the board.

At this point, I just hoped my debuff of his horsie movement would force them to charge the S8 spears.
Empire Turn 2:

He took the bait, and charged the spears.  It would be an interesting battle indeed.  The spearmen on the far left charged the lone hydra, who licked his lips.

Magic didn't do a whole lot, actually.  I don't really remember anything from it, honestly.

Shooting put 3 wounds on a chariot from the cannon, but that was about it!

Time for combat!  The hydra killed a ton of spearmen, who lost combat but stayed because they were near the BSB.  The spearmen lost a few of their number to the captain having ASF, but then they butchered the horsies, who were all WS1, and I had S8 + Hatred.  The general died, plus a huge huge number of horsies.  He failed leadership, and ran, though I failed to chase him down.

Gotta love the horses dying to spearmen!
Dark Elves Turn 3:

I charged the reformed halberdiers (that's what they did next turn- make a more compact block) with the Black Guard, and got a few chariots into the flank and front of the spearmen block.  The spearmen charged the horsies, and they continued to flee.

Magic didn't do a whole lot, to be honest.

With shooting, I did... next to nothing.

Combat!  I broke both blocks- the hydra combat + chariots killed so many spearmen.  Seriously disgusting.  He broke and I ran him down.  The Black Guard lost a few of their number, but were able to kill enough characters and other guys, that the halberdiers no longer had stubborn, and I ran them down as well.  It should be noted that the Cauldron of Blood had given the Black Guard +1 Attack that phase.

It should also be pointed out that the mortar was sitting in between his two big blocks of infantry.  It stayed there, lol
 Rest of the Game:

He failed to rally with his Ld. 8 horsies, and ran off the table.  At that, he decided that he couldn't win, and we called it.

It was a fun game, my opponent was a really nice guy, and I had a lot of fun playing against Empire, which is rare for me!  Very cool game, especially since sportsmanship isn't scored here.  We both enjoyed it though I think.  :)  His army had a whole bunch of fluff behind it, which is cool.  He had obviously spent a lot of time with this army, and it showed.  Again, great game!

Results:  Win for the Dark Elves, 24/24 total battle points!

(Wo)Man of the Match:  

Gotta give this one to the Supreme Sorceress!  She killed the Steam Tank singlehandedly (2/2 so far!) and then proceeded to cast the Mindrazor on her squad, enabling them to kill all off the Horsestar.  She did work this game, certainly!  She must have killed off about 10 of her own guys with the Sac dagger.  :-p 

Game 3:  Dark Elves vs. Tomb Kings!

Now, it should be noted that the High Elf player had dropped after the first game, which let to odd matchups.  The two players with the highest in battle points (me and the skaven guy) would have played, but the other two guys had already played.  This necessitated different matchups than what the battle points would have normally allowed for.  That was okay- I like James, and his Tomb Kings are fully painted and look awesome!

His list (also from memory):

Heirophant w/ stuff
Other HQ with The Casket of Souls
King on a Chariot

Huge unit of Skellys
20x Tomb Guard
9x Scout Chariots (it was a unit!)

Bone Giant
Bone Giant


The mission:

This mission sucked balls.  Seriously, it was ridiculous.  It started alright- we had to control a portal at the end of the game- whoever had a character touching it at the end of the game got an extra 500 VP.  Then the stupid came in.  You rolled at the start of each turn on a chart.  The table did a wide range of things, most notably, if you roll a '2', every unit on the table takes D6 wounds with no saves of any kind allowed.  So... had to hope we didn't roll any 2's.  This mission is the sole reason I wouldn't have played the tournament had I had to pay for it.

I won the roll (again!) but let him go first.  Here's our battle line:

Heh, just warning you- this isn't much of a Batrep
Tomb Kings Turn 1:

We forgot to roll on the table the first turn.  He declared some charges on my vanguard-moving scouts on the left with his Giant and Scorpion, and I fled.  The giant was alright with that, but the Scorp redirected into some crossbowmen (needed a 10), got it, and I took a wound off it with Stand and Shoot!  Awesome!

His magic all got dispelled.

Shooting killed a ton of spear elves with his catapult.  Yikes!

In combat, both sides whiffed, and it was my turn!

The crushed Dew can was our portal.  We decided we could move through it- not sure if that's what the rules say, but we decided it, lol.

Dark Elves Turn 1:

Two Hydras charged his Bone Giant.  Otherwise, everything else moved up.

In magic, I was able to debuff the bone giant's Toughness, though he scrolled everything else.

Shooting did almost nothing. He saved both sniping attempts I made on his 'flying solo' heirophant.

In combat, the crossbows actually caused a wound to the scorp for one in return, win combat, but he held.  I forgot to use the banner bonus, lol.  The hydras crushed the bone giant, and overran.  Time for some killing next turn!

Get ready for the stupid to begin.
Tomb Kings Turn 2:

First, we rolled on the table.  I said, before I rolled it 'as long as it isn't a 2'.  Guess what it was?  heh... my bad?

I lost... a hydra,  a chariot, all my Dark Riders, lots of crossbows, and lots of guys in each block.  Each other chariot had a single wound left, and the hydras had a single wound left each as well.  He lost both scorpions, his heirophant, the catapult, lots of blocked guys, and 3 wounds on the casket.  Not so bad.  Still playable, right?  That heirophant dying was a big deal though- lots of crumbling rolls to make, but he passed them all.

He moved some guys forward.  Nothing too crazy.

His shooting and magic weren't anything crazy, nor was his combat phase.

This is post-stupid turn.

Not much has changed since post-stupid part of the turn.
 Dark Elves Turn 2:

I did what I could with what I had.  I failed both charges with Hydras into his Tomb Guard.  Everything else just kind of shuffled around.

Shooting and magic didn't do much.  Boring game so far, right?

Woot for failing on 4's for the Hydras to charge.
 Tomb Kings Turn 3:

We rolled on the table and another dumb result:  our movement was cut in half, and charges were made on a single D6 instead of 2d6.

So, he didn't charge.  He just magiced and shot, both of which did nothing.

Yay for a silly game.
Dark Elves Turn 3:

I managed a single Hydra into his Tomb Guard.  Otherwise, no charges.

Everything went into killing the bone giant, and I finally did.  I also killed all the Tomb Guard with the Hydra, somehow.

Tomb Kings Turn 4:

We rolled on the table again, and... another '2'.  This killed of mine:  EVERYTHING except for my two blocks and a single crossbowman.

He lost far less, and had his two blocks as well- chariots + skellys.

He charged the spearmen, and killed them.  We rolled to see if the game ended (on a 3+ it ended on turn 4.  seriously?) and it did.  Thank God.

This wasn't the end of the game- I ended it with the dreadlord touching the can.  It's after the 2nd awesome roll of a '2'
Results:  Draw for the Dark Elves, 11/24 total points possible

It was lucky I had the objective, otherwise he'd have won handily.  Not that either of us were able to do hardly anything to eachother the whole game.  Seriously, I lost 3 hydras, 4 chariots, 15 Dark Riders, 29 crossbowmen, the cauldron of blood, and a ton of my ranked dudes from the scenario alone.

Man of the Match:

Gotta be the Dreadlord. He didn't do much at all, but he gave me the extra VPs necessary to draw the game.

Final Results:  2nd place for the Dark Elves!

The other game was just as silly- they kept getting the movement obstructed one, but the Skaven guy pulled it out, and won the whole thing.  Tomb King player got 3rd.

Final Thoughts:

Seriously... fire the guy who wrote that mission.  It turned what would have been an extremely enjoyable game into a stupid, stupid, stupid one.  Opponent was great, but as he said it "We aren't playing against each other, we're playing against the roll of a '2'."

If you have questions of comments, feel free!  Stay tuned for next month's Semi-finals, which as of right now I will be attending.

Stay classy, San Diego.


Frank said...

That last game was ridiculous. Its a shame because I was excited to get another chance to play you. I figured Id get my ass handed to me, but playing against you is a good time. We will have to do TK vs DE sometime without the silly scenario.

And the name is Frank, not James. :)

RhydPedr said...

Good first battle! shame about the silly second scenario.
The thing that really killed you with the second battle was the amount of monsters/chariots in your army, basically you had an army full of guys who could quite easily die in one turn, all because of one roll.
well done in the first one though - especially with killing the big unit of heavy cav :)

Ulven said...

Great reports as usual Xaereth. Some scary lists there...I've got to get thinking of an equally scary list that Beastmen could field...

Been watching the Playoffs? How embarassing...

Xaereth said...

Frank: Heh, I knew that was your name, actually. Not sure at all why I called you James. Sorry about that :(

Ulven: Yeah, didn't think anything could ruin my growler of O'dell's IPA, but being down 30-10 in the first quarter did it for me. Instead of watching the rest of the game after halftime, I went and rented Karate Kid III (the old one) and watched that instead :-p

dzer0 said...

Good luck to you in round 2, any revamps to the list?

I couldn't make it this year with my Dark Elves, I run a similar list save the dreadlord and chariots. 3 Hydras are simply too good to pass up, although I completely feel your pain by scattering pit of shades onto two of my own Hydras at last years Ard Boyz the turn before that oh so important charge!

Xaereth said...


Heh, nope, zero tweaks. It would likely be wise, but honestly I don't care enough to go through a lot of trouble to tweak the list. It did well enough for me in the first round, and I think I have the elements to do well in the 2nd round. Guess we'll see. Wish I had the $$ for another hydra- 4 would be ideal :-p