Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tournament Report: Xaereth takes Dark Elves to 2014 Bugeater GT Fantasy (lots of pictures!)

My Dark Elves!
What's up, folks! This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 4th annual Bugeater GT in Omaha, Nebraska. I've been to this event every year it has been run, and I've loved it every time! This year was a little different, as I didn't really feel like playing 6th edition 40k since 7th is already out.

So, instead of playing a game that no longer exists, I decided to touch up my Dark Elves and take them to the Fantasy GT! I've been to a couple other Fantasy GTs in the past (Adepticon a couple different years), but this was the first one I've been to in favor of attending a 40k GT.

In the past couple years, I've played about 6 games leading up to this tournament (you can find the batreps for those games elsewhere on this blog), and so was extremely rusty. Still, I figured I'd have fun at the very least :)

For those of you who are curious, here are my previous years' Bugeater reports:

Bugeater 2013 - Grey Knights
Bugeater 2012 - Grey Knights
Bugeater 2011 - Dark Eldar

My List (2500 Points of Dark Elves):

Supreme Sorceress
-Level 4 Upgrade
-Sacrificial Dagger
-Talisman of Preservation (4++ Ward)
-Lore of Shadow

-Dawnstone (reroll armor saves)
-Sword of Might
-1+ Armor Save

27x Dreadspears w/ Musician, Standard, Gleaming Pennant
5x Dark Riders w/ Shields, Musician, Crossbows
10x Darkshards w/ Shields, Musician, Standard
10x Darkshards w/ Shields, Musician, Standard

20x Black Guard w/ Standard, Musician, Razor Standard
20x Executioners w/ Standard, Musician, Champion, Flaming Standard
Cold One Chariot
Cold One Chariot
Cold One Chariot
Reaper Bolt Thrower
Reaper Bolt Thrower
Reaper Bolt Thrower
Reaper Bolt Thrower

5x Doomfire Warlocks

On my old, old display board

When we got there, another guy set up his display next to mine. It looked as if my army was marshaling, and his had gotten a flank charge on me without warning:

Just kind of made me laugh, heh. Poor Dark Elves! We actually ended up playing next to each other in Game 5 as well. Madness :)

Before the tournament started:

We got to our Hotel, and Tim had already posted up pairings on the Facebook website! I would be matched against Warriors of Chaos, but I had no idea what would be in his army.

Game 1: Dark Elves vs. Adam Bateman's Warriors of Chaos!!

His list:

We wrote on it, apparently, haha

The Mission:

We got to deploy 12", but there was a twist: we each got to pick a unit to hold our "Relic". If we ended a game turn inside one of the two 12" circles you'll eventually see, we got an extra 50 or 100 victory points (I don't quite remember) OR we could choose to give that unit a +1 to the current Ward Save. This would give his Warriors a 4++ ward in combat (due to shields) and his BSB a 3++ ward. His Lord already had a 3++ and couldn't get it higher.

I won the roll to go first, and took it.

Concerning Adam:

First, and this is worth noting: I've played against an "Adam" the first round of every single Bugeater I've been to. I'm not complaining, but I think that by now it's obvious that I will be paired against an Adam every time if one is available. I don't want to spoiler anything for those of you who want the suspense of how I did (I hate spoilers in Batreps - give me some foreshadowing, but PLEASE don't spoil them!), but one guy named Adam (not this opponent) ended up doing extremely well, placing in the tournament. And, while this Adam was no scrub, he did not place as high. I probably got lucky avoiding the other Adam.

(and, if you're curious and don't know - my name is also Adam)

Moving on!

Pregame thoughts:

I hadn't played against the Hellcannon before, or the Hellstriders. I knew that the scenario was going to be rough for me if I let my opponent dictate who controlled the board - his Warriors were the obvious candidate for the Relic, and he would deploy in a way which allowed him to use the Relic every turn.

As such, I needed to throw his gameplan off. I knew that I could beat the Warrior block if I needed to, but also knew that they would be really difficult to shift. Instead, I figured I would prefer to just delay them, kill most of their supporting units first, then get a huge multi-assault on them.

Meanwhile, I would need to deal with the Hellcannon and chaff as best I could. I figured that my Warlocks would give me a good chance to earn me points away from his "strong" side, since most of my opponent's efforts would be going into messing with my left side of the board.

I figured that in the end, I'd have a much better shot at winning if I could kill everything of his besides the main block, and usually, that's the approach that works. Let's see how it pans on for me :-p

Deployment before Vanguard:

I had no idea that Hellstriders had Vanguard moves, haha!
Deployment after Vanguard:

Also, I had no idea that Hellstriders were Slannesh, which TOTALLY BONES my Doomfire Warlocks' ward saves (vs. Slannesh, they don't get ward saves at all)

Dark Elves Turn 1:

I moved forward aggressively with the Spears to get in range of his Hellcannon with Pit of Shades.

The rest of my army shuffled around a bit, getting a good vantage on his fast chaff units.

In magic, I got Miasma off on the Hellcannon, dropping its Initiative to 1. Then, I got Pit of Shades off, miscasting. It only scatted 3" and clipped the Hellcannon. He needed a "1" to survive, any other result being that he would be removed from play. He got...


...A ONE!! Ah man, pretty bummed about that actually :-/

For my miscast, I lost a wizard level and Pit of Shades. Doh!

Not sure why this picture... maybe because of his awesome roll vs. Pit of Shades?
Shooting was much better for me. I was able to kill off two squads of dogs and the leftmost squad of Hellstriders. I also managed to do three wounds to the Hellcannon with a random Bolt Thrower shot, but it was randomized and killed a Dwarf instead. Heh.

And then, it was his turn. I was a little sad at my lack of output, but figured I'd be able to get something going next turn at least. I wasn't afraid of his chaff - hopefully the Hellcannon wouldn't do too much to me though.

His army looks basically unscathed. Hopefully I can do something about that next turn...

A closer look at his army? I think I got a little picture-happy this game.

Warriors of Chaos Turn 1:

My opponent moved forward cautiously. He did declare a charge on my Dark Riders with his Chariot, and I held for it, knowing the Chariot would be out of position after he killed the Dark Riders, and that I'd be able to shoot him down easy enough.

In magic, he cast some spells on me, messing with my Darkshards and making things unpleasant. For his final spell, I decided to use the card that I had taken. First, I should explain.

At the start of the tournament, we were given 5 "cards" to use. We had to pick one for each game, and only use each card once in the tournament. Some of them gave you objectives to accomplish, which gave you an extra 300 victory points. Or, you could use their one-time abilities to gain things like power dice, combat resolution, etc.

In this game, I got to select a single spell he was going to cast, which made it so that if he got any doubles at all, he would miscast. He cast something big and nasty on a Chariot of mine, killing it.

However, his miscast result was as follows:

A 2-4 is the worst result possible for a miscast. He now has a 50% chance that his Wizard dies with no saves of any kind allowed.

The result was the best possible (for me), and his 400-point Wizard exploded, killing a few Warriors of Chaos as well.

Not sure what this picture is denoting - maybe my luck? You can see the Chariot destroyed the Dark Riders.

In combat, the Dark Riders were killed to a man due to 7 impact hits, and the Chariot hung out there, waiting for my gunline to shoot at it.

Well, that turn was much better for me than for him. Not sure what the spell was he got off on my Spearmen. I think it killed a few of them though.
Dark Elves Turn 2:

I decided that I wanted to charge my Chariots at his Warriors this turn. This would do a couple things for me:

1) It would kill a bunch of Warriors, especially if I could get a Toughness debuff off on them.
2) Tie the Warriors up. I figured that the turn I charged, I would be able to kill enough that I would win combat, or close enough that my Chariots would stick. His hitting power wasn't such that he could kill both outright, and would therefore need more turns. Don't get me wrong, I knew they would eventually lose. Just not the first turn of combat.
3) Tying them up may lead to impatience for my opponent to kill meaningful stuff. He might decide to flank-charge my Chariots in his own turn with the Dragon Ogres, giving my Executioners and/or Black Guard a flank in turn and opening up the possibility of charging his Skullcrushers as well.
4) Even if he won and chased down both Chariots, my Executioners wouldn't really mind fighting that weakened unit for a turn or two, giving me the opportunity to flank charge them and get all the points.

Essentially, the Chariots were a gambit to allow my opponent to make as many mistakes as he wanted, while presenting him with as few good options as possible.

So, the Chariots charged, and I moved up aggressively, presenting my Black Guard to the Dragon Ogres, who I knew the Black Guard would mulch if given the opportunity.

Warlocks also ran up and got into the circle, giving me a bonus 100 victory points because of the Relic they carried.

Magic didn't do much - the Warriors were debuffed a bit, but not substantially.

In shooting, I killed his chariot and put 2 wounds on the spawn.

In combat, he rolled hot on his saves and the Chariots only killed a couple Chariots. He only caused a few wounds back though, and I lost by one or two. One Chariot failed his break check and ran away, but the other stuck. Good result for me, IMO.

Now my opponent will need to make some difficult decisions...

Chaos Turn 2:

My opponent decided to get all crazy and assault everywhere.

First, his Strider unit charged my Warlocks, so I held. I decided I wasn't worried about them, since they didn't really have saves and I had 10 re-rollable S4 poison attacks. He also charged his dogs in at me, but didn't get the flank.

His Dragon Ogres charged ... my executioners?? I wasn't really expecting that at all, but that's what he did.

Finally, his Skullcrushers charged my Black Guard, which was a turn earlier than I had predicted. I was still mostly fine with it though.

Gonna be a crazy turn of combat!
He didn't really have any other spells to cast, and his shot with the Cannon misfired and moved forward a few inches.

In combat, the Warlocks somewhat predictably killed all 5 Hellstriders before they could strike. The dogs caused a wound, and I won combat, making them flee. I attempted to restrain, and succeeded.

The Spawn actually survived a lot of shooting last turn, but is on its final wound.

The Chaos Warriors actually failed to kill my Chariot, who still lost combat and fled through my Executioners. Warriors pursued but failed to catch him, coming up just behind the Dragon Ogres.

Black Guard were able to cause 5 wounds to the Skullcrushers (Razor Standard + S4 with a ton of attacks does some work!), won combat by a bunch, and made the Skullcrushers flee. The standard died from fleeing, and the final model had a single wound remaining. Black Guard restrained in order to get a flank charge on the Dragon Ogres next turn.

I made a mistake with my Executioners: I accepted a challenge against his Champion in an effort to minimize the amount of damage the Champion could do to me (since I would almost certainly be steadfast). This hurt me however, because it meant that I got far fewer attacks on the unit, as the Champion was the only guy in reach for a lot of my Executioners.

In the end, I failed to even kill a single Dragon Ogre, I lost half my unit, but held on Ld. 9 Steadfast (with a reroll available should I need it.

Overall, not a terrible turn for me. I killed Hellstriders, most of the Skullcrushers, and my Chariot fled and survived instead of dying like it might have, saving me points.
Dark Elves Turn 3:

This was the turn for a massive assault if ever there was one. I could hit both flanks of the big Warrior unit, who had used the Relic to score points instead of adding to the Ward save. I could kill enough with the Black Guard that my Dreadspears would take away his Steadfast, and I could break them and win the game.

So, I charged with both units, and he decided to flee. I was able to redirect the Black Guard into the Dragon Ogres, and his unit bounced through the house to the other side of the board, way out of my area of influence.

Oh, the Warlocks charged the Spawn.

I'm actually curious as to whether or not the Warlocks would have been allowed to charge the suddenly-available Warriors. I'm still a little fuzzy on the order things are done. If I had been allowed to, I'd have been able to wipe that unit out, probably. Ah well :)

Shooting helped me put more wounds on his Hellcannon, and finished off the fleeing Skullcrusher.

In combat, the Black Guard and Executioners combined to murder all of the Dragon Ogres. Both units reformed.

Warlocks butchered the hapless Spawn.

Oh yeah, both Chariots regrouped :)

Notice how his Warriors are running away. Heh. Maybe I did end up charging the Warriors with some Crossbows or something. Not sure why he would be turned that direction otherwise.

He has a wounded Hellcannon, his big unit of Warriors (less his General/Level 4), and 5 fleeing hounds. I have most of my army remaining...
Chaos Turn 3:

His big block almost kept fleeing, but rallied on the reroll from the BSB. It occurs to me now: was he allowed to use the BSB reroll if the BSB is fleeing?

Ah well (again) :)

The Hellcannon failed its leadership test to restrain and moved forward to be really close to my Spears.

And... that was basically it.

Warlocks earned me a bunch of points just with the Relic this game... but they were now facing the threat of a billion Warriors on the hill...
Dark Elves Turn 4:

I decided that I wanted more time to kill the Hellcannon, since I was within its minimum range anyways. As such, I did not charge anything. Instead, I positioned my troops so that the Hellcannon would not be able to pivot and charge any different units than the Spears.

Warlocks moved to the edge of the zone (not being allowed to score in the other one), waiting to flee the Warriors' charge.

Shooting and Magic combined to take more wounds off the Hellcannon, but didn't do much.

How did I manage to kill all that stuff? Just doesn't seem like that actually happened...

Hellcannon is not really TOO hurt, but is in a bad position.
Warriors Turn 4:

His Warriors charged my Warlocks, who fled and got away.

Hellcannon chose to stay where he was and shoot at a Bolt Thrower, missing.

Silly Hellcannon, not charging my Warriors and trying to kill my Wizard :)

Dark Elves Turn 5:

I decided to just run the Warlocks away from the Warriors, since they wouldn't be in any position to charge me on either turn.

I managed to get a Chariot and the Dreadspears into the Cannon's front arc, and the Black Guard into the flank.

I think he's unbreakable, unfortunately.

I cast Okkam's Mindrazor on the Black Guard.

Black Guard shredded the Hellcannon, no questions asked.

Poor guy, a man can almost feel sorry for the Cannon.

My opponent, with literally nothing he could do with the Warriors, conceded.

Results: 20-0 win for the Dark Elves!!

Post-game thoughts:

Well, it was a crazy game, but I managed to do pretty much what I intended. I had enough shooting that I could remove his chaff before they got too annoying, and I mostly got the matchups I wanted.

I was surprised by his choice to get the Dragon Ogres into my Executioners, as I didn't realize a unit who wasn't initially capable of charging my units could actually declare a charge in the first place (as was the case with the Skullcrushers).

However, the Black Guard do some crazy things to models with T4 and high armor, and this was no exception. Once he was into the Black Guard, I knew I could handle 3 'crushers in a turn or two - 6 Crushers would have been a different story entirely, but 3? I had a great chance to kill that many without assistance (maths tell me that my unit should cause around 4-5 wounds to that unit every turn).

I did get very lucky with his Sorcerer exploding, though I was proud of myself for causing the miscast with my card option. Who really knows what would have happened had he kept the Wizard alive - you'll get a chance later to see what a Warriors of Chaos Wizard who refuses to die can do to my army :)

Game 2: Dark Elves vs. Vampire Counts

His List:

I'm guessing you can enlarge this to the point of being able to see it well. 

Really don't feel like typing up everything all my opponents took for this report. Sorry for the laziness, this batrep will have taken hours to write by the time I'm done with it :)

The Mission:

It was the weird valley mission with narrow table edges as deployment zones. Nothing too special for scenario, though I took this opportunity to take the card where I needed to kill more enemy models than my opponent in order to get +300 VPs.

**I won the roll to go first, and decided to take it.

Pre-game thoughts:

Well, I was happy to be going first, but was sad because I literally knew nothing about the new Vampire Counts. For instance, I had no idea he could shoot into combat. I had no idea what kind of damage a killy Vampire could do. I just really had no notion of how the army worked at all. All I knew was that I should try to kill the Terrorgheist before it screamed at me.

No notion that the Vamp Lord and Hero could scream as well :-o

My idea was to kill the Terrorgeist and the Mortis Engine with shooting, while distracting the Hexwraiths on the far right. I was confident in my ability to blender the units of Zombies, and even the Skeletons didn't daunt me too much. I used to play against Vamp Counts back in the old days, where the Lords weren't really all that amazing in combat - I figured if he got into combat with me, that would actually be a good thing.

Let's see how true that was :)


His blocks are pretty intimidating. Also, the base for the Terrorgeist is SO BIG!
Deployment after Vanguard:

Figured I should start setting up flank charges as soon as possible. Also, I figured the Warlocks would be good targets for his Terrorgeist if it survived my shooting, since I'd get Ward saves against the scream.
Dark Elves Turn 1:

I marched forward boldly. As I said before, I figured combat would be a good thing for me.

Magic did a whole lot of nothing - he shut me down almost entirely with fewer dice than me. Kind of happened a lot this tournament, actually.

In shooting, I managed to miss every single shot that I took. As in, I didn't even get to roll to wound. I figured that at least I'd have one more round of shooting though.

I should note that I targeted the Terrorgeist with my shooting, which I feel (after knowing more) was a mistake. I should have shot at the Mortis Engine and tried to stop it from giving out all the awesome buffs that it hands out. It even had less toughness, so I would have been more likely to hurt it. Not that I actually hit with anything anyways, but I feel that it's worth pointing out :)

I figured that if he got into me with any of his blocks, I'd be able to flank charge him with the Executioners/Black Guard (whichever got hit)
Vamp Counts Turn 1:

First, he tried to restrain his Frenzied Vampire and failed on an "11". Then, he attempted to charge me, and found out he needed a "12" to get there. He rolled it, and suddenly, Matt had a Turn 1 Charge with his General, all his Necromancers, and his lesser Vampire on my BSB + Black Guard.

I was actually excited for this, as it wasn't likely at all for him to kill all the Black Guard in the unit, who would then stick on Stubborn 9 re-rollable, then get an excellent flank-charge with the Executioners, and the two would explode the unit immediately.

See? It's not that hard!
He then marched his Zombies up to support the Skeletons, applying a ton of pressure. I would no longer be able to get to the Skeleton unit flank. I was still confident, however.

Then shooting happened. The Vamps shot, the Banshees shot, the Mortis Engine shot, and suddenly I only had about 7 Black Guard left. His Vamp Count then went with ASF and killed 6, and his Skeletons killed the rest of them. My Black Guard killed 8 Skeletons in return. BSB was alone and suddenly not stubborn. He fled and was caught as the Skeletons crashed into my General's unit behind the Black Guard.

Did you have any notion that Vamp Counts could shoot REALLY STRONG shots into combat? Neither did I. Hard lesson to learn!

Yikes, I really wasn't sure what I could do. Oh yeah, his Terrorgeist killed two Warlocks, who stuck around.
Dark Elves Turn 2:

I had very few options to support my General's unit, but I was determined to try! As such, first I charged the leftmost Zombies with the Executioners, a both Chariots (one of which needed a "4" with swiftstride and failed to make it), and the remaining Doomfire Warlocks.

That freed up enough room for one of my Chariots to get into combat with the Skeletons.

In magic, I attempted to get Okkam's Mindrazor off on the Skeletons, but failed.

Shooting AGAIN did zero damage, and this time at closer range! I targeted the Mortis Engine this time, but to no avail.

In combat, I killed an ASSLOAD of zombies, which in turn killed off even more of them, leaving around 15 or so remaining.

The general's unit managed to kill enough skeletons that I only needed a 5 or 6 to stick around after the
Vamp Lord managed to kill a ton of spearmen on his own. I barely passed the check, and had a decent number of guys remaining. Still, I was in a rough position, and next turn he would be able to shoot me again...

Oh yeah, my Crossbows in the top corner there got shot at last turn, losing a bunch of dudes and fleeing. They failed to rally in my turn, haha.
Vampires Turn 2:

He moved up some, but didn't charge with anything.

Magic regrew a bunch of zombies everywhere, and I couldn't stop it.

Shooting killed another boatload of my Spears.

In combat, I managed to kill the Zombies down to a single rank (forgetting that he shouldn't get Regen vs. the Executioners, doh!), but the spears broke, as well as the Chariot, who both got away.

This was less of a big deal than I previously thought, since the Spears were under 25% and would struggle to regroup (needing snakeyes).

We decided that the Warlocks were out of combat, and thus could do what they wanted in my own turn.

Dark Elves Turn 3:

My General's unit failed to regroup, and ran away. Crossbows managed to regroup.

Tired of failing this game, I decided to just do crazy things in an attempt to get some points. So, I charged my two remaining Warlocks into the flank of his Corpse Cart.

In shooting, I managed to JUST BARELY kill the Mortis Engine, getting a "lucky" 3-wound shot from one of my (up until now) useless Bolt Throwers.

In combat, the Warlocks caused a few wounds with poison, lost one of their number, but won combat and crumbled the Cart to death. I overran into the healthy Zombie unit, attempting to keep the Banshee from being able to scream at anything of value.

Executioners and Chariot managed to bring the final Banshee and Zombies down, reforming.

Well, I enjoyed that turn! I managed to kill the Zombies, Banshee, Corpse Cart, and Mortis Engine! Looks like I also put a wound on the Terrorgeist!

Despite having lost about 1200 points in the first turn and a half, I still have some staying power.

Vampires Turn 3:

Matt charged my fleeing general's unit, making them run farther, then redirected into my Bolt Throwers. I was proud of myself, as I had staggered them so that no single charge would be able to wipe them out in a line. He would kill it, but be unable to get into my next Bolt Thrower.

Magic failed him this turn, mostly due to rolling a low number if I remember right.

Terrorgeist one-shotted one of my Chariots with an amazing roll.

In combat, the Bolt Thrower crew managed to finish off the "little" vampire, who I had wounded earlier with one of my (now gone) units, then got destroyed. The Vampire was Frenzied and so had to overrun, not hitting anything due to my awesome deployment :)

The Warlock killed a Zombie or two, lost combat, and fled, not being caught, but also not able to Rally (under 25%).

All things considered, not an awful turn for me. Sure, I lost points, but I also killed a Vampire and gained one more turn to try and rally my General's unit. I think the most demoralizing part of the turn was the Chariot going from 4 wounds to 0 from one awesome roll of the Terrorgeist. Madness.

Dark Elves Turn 4:

I failed to rally the General's unit, who continued to run small amounts.

May as well keep plugging along against his "backfield". Executioners and a Chariot managed to get into the front arc of the Zombies.

Shooting managed to take another wound off of his Terrorgeist, which (I was told) was good because he had to subtract his number of wounds from his rolls or something. It would do less damage, in other words.

Combat saw me kill another metric ton of Zombies with the Executioners, but stick into combat.

Who knew Zombies died so easily to Executioners??

Warlock there is actually pointed the other direction, just turned awkwardly.

Vampire Counts Turn 4:

Matt did the same thing as last turn: he charged my General's unit, then redirected into another Bolt Thrower.

His Terrorgeist tried to hurt one of my Chariots, but failed to.

In combat, I managed to kill a Necromancer with the Bolt Thrower crew. Heh, ASF rerolls to hit + Murderous Prowess is such a fun mechanic! Needed 3's to hit with a reroll, then 5's to wound, with no armor saves on the Necros.

Executioners blendered the rest of the Zombies, and they and the Chariot reformed to face the Terrorgeist.

Like so.

I have one last chance to rally my General's unit. Can I do it?

Will they rally? Is it possible that I can get lucky once??

Dark Elves Turn 5:

I rolled to rally my General's unit one final time, needing snakeyes, and..



I failed, and they ran off the board. :(

Matt wasn't facing the right direction with his big unit to charge anything else, so reformed and regrew a couple Skeletons.

During all of this, the Crossbows in the far backfield got butchered by the Hex Wraiths. Heh, took a while though at least, and they even won combat once, causing one of the Wraiths to crumble. This was important, not for this game, but I realized that Crossbows are actually not 100% awful in combat. People underestimate them to their own peril. You'll see!

At any rate,

I charged the Executioners at the Terrorgeist, but was unable to get through the fleeing Warlock with my Chariot.

Shooting killed some Skeletons from the unit, but didn't do much. I was more concerned with denying Matt another charge at my Bolt Throwers with the big unit. I felt that I had a chance to actually earn some points in this mission rather than being zeroed.

In combat, the Executioners butchered the Terrorgeist, leaving my opponent with a single unit of Skeletons (with his General) and the Hexwraiths remaining.

Before he exploded from S6 Flaming attacks. Asshole.
Vampires Turn 5:

Matt reformed his Skeletons, grew a couple back with magic, and got ready to charge my Bolt Thrower next turn.

None of my stuff even died this turn!
Dark Elves Turn 6:

I moved the Bolt Thrower to the side of his big unit to avoid the charge, and kept everything away from him in order to avoid his one offensive spell. I didn't even bother to shoot.

Vampires Turn 6:

A spell killed all but one of my Crossbowmen, but didn't panic them or anything.

His Vampire shouted into my Bolt Thrower, barely killing it.

The game ended...

Neither of us have too much left! I actually felt like maybe I won the game, since he was so depleted...

Results: 6-14 loss for the Dark Elves!!

Post-Game Thoughts:

Wow, this game had its ups and downs. I rolled really poorly for the majority of the game, and he rolled perfectly in some instances. Since I did almost zero damage to him with my two strongest units, I'm shocked I was able to come back at all.

Still, once we tallied our points, I noticed his Skeletons and General together are like 1k points. I had no real hope of winning, though I was very glad to get any points at all after my catastrophic start.

I learned a lot this game, and my next game against Vampires will be played much better I believe. Lots of things that I didn't know before, but it was fun. My opponent was a really cool guy, and though he didn't go easy on me, he was sympathetic at least haha.

Oddly enough, this was probably my favorite game of the tournament. I lost, and usually that's enough to make it so that I don't like the game as much as others, but in this case, I loved that I was able to come back from the brink of total collapse and kill my way back into getting a few points.

Next game would see me play against another army I'd never before faced...

Game 3: Dark Elves vs. High Elves!!

His List:

Page 1

Page 2

The Mission:

This was the one where one person deploys everything, then the other person deploys. After deployment, the player who deploys 2nd gets to try to "seize the initiative" to go first. If he fails (he needs a "6"), then the person who deployed first gets to go first.

We also got to deploy 6" from the center diagonal line, meaning first turn charges were very possible.

**I won the roll to go first, and took it. Seems like first turn is nearly always the best option in Fantasy.

Pre-game Thoughts:

I wasn't really sure what to think. I'd heard of MSU High Elves, and I wasn't actually sure if this exactly qualified as such. While he definitely did have a lot of units, I felt like his three big fancy units kind of excluded him from that distinction. But I suppose that's more a quibble than anything.

He had a lot of tools to work with - he had way more chaff than I had, which meant if I wasn't careful, he would be the one choosing the charges available. He also had a lot of shooting in the form of Bolt Throwers to help get rid of my own chaff.

Since I was likely going first, my goal was to simply shoot up his little units as quick as possible, then worry about the bigger units. I was confident that any of my own "big" units (i.e. Black Guard and Executioners) could take on any of his big units 1v1, but he did have 3 units to my 2, which meant I would need to be clever if I wanted to get an advantage.

I also had zero experience with how the Lore of Life worked, or the character mage/general. As such, I had no notion going into this game just how big of a pain in my ass they could be...

Here's an awkward sideways deployment picture. Not sure why my camera decides to do that sometimes, heh.
**He failed to seize the initiative, and I got to go first.

Dark Elves Turn 1:

I started by declaring a charge at his Sisters unit with my Dark Riders. He seemed a little taken aback, since he had been expecting me to Vanguard with the Dark Riders, but since he was so close to the board edge with the Sisters, he would just have fled off the table. So, he stood and shot, killing one Dark Rider.

On the left, the Warlocks charged one unit of Reavers, who fled. The Warlocks redirected to the Eagle on the left, who also fled, and Warlocks failed their charge, moving up 6".

Magic had almost zero dice, so I settled for a quick Toughness debuff on a unit of Reavers, and called it good.

Shooting saw me murder the rightmost Eagle and the center and right-hand Reaver units to a man.

In combat, the Dark Riders lost another man but butchered the Sisters of Avelorn, overrunning off the table.

You can't really tell here, but all his Fast Cav/Chaff units are either dead or fleeing.

Dead Sisters of Avelorn in this picture - the models in the middle are the dead ones heh :-p

And here you can see that I was also aggressive with my blocks. I felt that I should tempt the chaff to charge me or charge-block me if he wanted. Not a big deal, either way.

High Elves Turn 1:

Ethan took losing 4 of his units in stride, and didn't seem concerned about it. That made me nervous, as I felt like my turn had been a pretty good one. I felt like a little bit of whining was warranted.

Instead, Ethan decided to charge my Black Guard with his Silver Helms, who were conveniently available to charge, as their Reaver screen had been destroyed by my shooting. He needed something like a "9", which is very doable with swiftstride, and made the charge.

His remaining Reavers rallied, as did his Eagle.

Other units mostly stayed where they were, advancing slightly.

In magic, his first spell was Dwellers Below, which went off irresistibly on my General's unit. I got lucky, and passed the Toughness check (or is Dwellers a Strength check?) on my General, and my rolls were actually (happily) low in general. Still, I lost a lot of good power dice Dreadspears to the spell.

The miscast made him lose 2 wizard levels, along with two spells. He lost Throne of Vines and Dwellers, which I was okay with. Still, he had Flesh to Stone, which wasn't my favorite thing ever. :-p

Hurrah for him losing some spells!

Hurrah for my Dreadspears still being around after the Dwellers decided to drag a few of them down!

Shooting finished off my Doomfire Warlocks. Poor blighters, lol.

In combat, the Black Guard did some disgusting things to the Silver Helms, killing them down to two models. However, the Silver Helms also killed a bunch of Black Guard and stuck in combat. Maybe he even won combat there? I don't really remember :-/

Black Guard, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

His army is looking pretty small at this point.
Dark Elves Turn 2:

I hemmed and hawed for a while, finally coming to the realization that his Swordmasters would eventually probably get a Toughness buff soon since Dwellers was no longer available. As such, I needed to start killing them in droves ASAP. So, I charged with all three Chariots, all of them making it in (needing 5's or 6's, which is pretty likely with swiftstride).

Chariots are SO FUN to play with :)
Magic didn't do too much for me. He kind of just stopped everything of value aside from my Melkoth's, which ended up only reducing the Swordmasters down to WS 5, which helped a little, but not terribly much.

Shooting helped me reduce his Reavers to a single model remaining, and also got rid of a Bolt Thrower.

In combat, the Chariots rolled somewhat poorly, only killing about 10 Swordmasters (who got a 5++ Ward from the General). In return, the General swung with one attack, and that one attack ended up killing an entire Chariot with a "6" on Heroic Killing Blow. Yikes :-/ Other attacks killed another Chariot, but the remaining Chariot stuck around.

In other combat, the Black Guard lost a couple more of their number but managed to finish off the Reavers and reform.

Black Guard are also really fun. Bummer everyone thinks they suck.

Bummer about my one Chariot getting Killing Blow'd on a single attempt :-/

It's looking good for me currently, though I was under the impression that my Chariots would cause more damage. Ah well, that unit is a pretty tough one...

High Elves Turn 2:

He wasted no time charging his Phoenix Guard into my Executioners, who held.

I wasn't sure what to think of this combat - I had more guys that could strike, but he had a 4+ Ward to help him.
The remaining Eagle swooped in and landed in front of my Black Guard so that they would be unable to charge the Swordmasters in my own turn.

His shooting was almost entirely devoted to shooting at my Spearmen/Sorceress, killing quite a few and making me quite nervous.

In combat, the Chariot miraculously only took one wound but fled. The Swordmasters restrained. The Executioners managed to kill an assload of Phoenix Guard, and whoever won the combat held.

Oh yeah, he got Flesh to Stone off on the Swordmasters, despite being a Level 2 vs. my Level 4.

Note the General's unit, which is extremely depleted. Other pictures above probably show that better.

Dark Elves Turn 3:

Black Guard said "what the hell" and charged the Eagle, who stuck.

I then decided that I wanted more combat res against the Phoenix Guard, and charged their flank with my Darkshards.

At some point around now (this or next turn), my Sorceress miscast and also lost two Wizard levels, keeping Okkam's and the Withering.

Shooting was a little sad - I failed to do much of anything. I believe I caused a single wound to a Bolt Thrower.

Combat went well - the Eagle died immediately, and the Crossbows gave me a flank, a charge, and several wounds, breaking the Phoenix Guard steadfast and making them run. The Crossbows pursued but failed to catch them, while the Executioners restrained and reformed for the bigger combat about to ensue.

Crossbows breaking Phoenix Guard? Not really unlikely - he hardly even swung at me since the Executioners were a little easier to kill (no parry save like the Crossbows had)

High Elf Turn 3:

His Phoenix Guard failed to rally (being under 25%), as did his fleeing Reaver.

He charged my Black Guard with his Swordmasters, and I held.

Magic didn't do much - I think this was one of the few times I actually stopped Flesh to Stone.

His shooting managed to bring my Dreadspears + General unit to two total models. Yikes!

In combat, I managed to kill a few more Swordmasters, but he had started rolling really well on his 5+ Ward, and I wasn't killing enough of the unit. In return, he killed my Black Guard down to a model + the BSB.

What a crazy unit that is! Also, his World Dragon banner was making my Masters' sword crappy, giving him a 2+ Ward against it. Does a magic weapon count as magic attacks? Hm...

Dark Elves Turn 4:

I charged the Executioners into his Swordmaster flank.

The Crossbows charged his Phoenix Guard who had to run farther, then redirected into his nearest Bolt Thrower crew, making the 6" charge.

Shooting managed to finish off his wounded Bolt Thrower for me.

In combat, the Crossbows actually failed to do anything with 8 attacks to the Bolt Thrower crew, won combat by 3, but he rolled low and didn't break. Odd.

My Executioners managed to kill a Swordmaster, but otherwise failed to hurt him much. My Master took a wound, and I foolishly continued to not declare a challenge to hide him there.

Will his unit ever die? I think he has 3 Swordmasters and 4 Characters in his front line, lol.

High Elves Turn 4:

He was able to get Flesh of Stone off on his Swordmasters for the rest of the game.

His Reavers and Phoenix Guard never rallied and ran off the table either this turn or next.

In combat, we managed to draw, neither causing much damage. His BSB was the one closest to the Executioners, and I was struggling to kill him.

The Crossbows finally managed to finish off his Bolt Thrower and reformed to face the final Bolt Thrower.

At least my Crossbows are having some fun killing his... Bolt Throwers?

Dark Elves Turn 5:

We actually thought this was the last turn for some reason. Whoops :-/

Seeking to break his Steadfast with the Swordmasters, I charged my Crossbows into combat alongside the Master.

My other Crossbows charged his final remaining Bolt Thrower.

The Executioners managed to kill his BSB, but he managed to kill my own BSB and one Crossbow. I won combat, but I then realized that he had the Crown of Command and was permanently stubborn.

Other Crossbows killed his final Bolt Thrower. Ethan was down to just one unit and 6 models, which contained his General, 2 other characters, and 3 Swordmasters. Lots and lots and lots of points tied up in that unit. Could I break them in his own turn?

At some point, I also charged in my remaining Chariot, but it was quickly dispatched after doing 2 Impact hits and dying instantly.

High Elves Turn 5:

Remember, we thought this was the final round of the game.

The Executioners managed to kill his under-mage, bringing Ethan down to 5 total models. He actually won the combat, but both of my units stuck.

The game ended... (prematurely)

His General, Noble w/ Crown of Command, and 3 Swordmasters are all he has left.

Results: 13-7 Win for the Dark Elves!!

Post-game thoughts:

Well, I wasn't sure how to feel about this game. Kind of upsetting that I couldn't kill his big awesome unit, especially with everything I threw at it. He was initially rolling poorly with his saves, but after a while he couldn't stop rolling awesome saves, and there wasn't much I could do to stop him.

I actually feel like I played a very tactically sound game. I was able to kill the little gnawing units right away, allowing me to support my own army in the way I wanted. The shooting in my army struggles to kill big stuff (as you've already seen, and will see soon as well), but it can kill the small stuff like crazy. In the end, I've decided that's what matters - the big stuff I (mostly) have answers to already.

Special notice goes to my Crossbows, who again proved themselves worthy additions to the army, but not for reasons I had foreseen. One unit of Crossbows was responsible for breaking the Phoenix Guard, chasing a Reaver off the table (after shooting the unit down to a single man and breaking him), then charging and destroying two Bolt Throwers! They also provided an excellent piece of insurance against his Swordmaster unit, keeping them locked in combat and unable to reform and pummel my squishy Executioners.

In the end, if I had an extra full turn to play (as I should have, we thought we played a full game, so not at all a knock on my opponent or the tournament), I think I'd have won more convincingly. I had 6 Executioners striking his Swordmasters, and it would be surprising if they didn't kill them in two turns. They may have even been able to get a chance to take a swing at his Noble with the Crown of Command on the last turn. Who knows? That is absolutely my own fault though. I need to pay better attention.

Overall, I was disappointed, but I'll play it better next time :)

Game 4: Dark Elves vs. Riley's Warriors of Chaos!!

His List:  (from memory)

 Sorcerer Lord w/ Disk of Tz, 5 Spells, 1+ Save, 3+ Ward Save, lots of other neat upgrades I'm sure

BSB w/ 5+ Ward Save, Mark of Tz, lots of other neat upgrades
Another Hero-level Character w/ Crown of Command

30 or so Warriors of Chaos w/ Mark of Tz, Hand Weapon, Shield
5x Hounds
5x Hounds
5x Marauders w/ Spears and Javelins
5x Marauders w/ Flails

 Gorebeast Chariot

4x Skullcrushers w/ Banner

The Mission:

We had the standard 12" deployment, but with a twist: we had a box in the middle of the table that would help us to accumulate extra victory points. At the end of each game turn, the side with the most banners in the box would get an additional 100 VPs, to a maximum of 500.

**He won the roll to go first, and took it

Pre-game Thoughts:

First, I think it's wise to point out that my opponent had far more Victory Points than me at this point in the tournament. My group had made use of unreliable data regarding the start times of the event, and we arrived 30 minutes late. The opponent I faced actually got there at the same time as myself, but had about 12 more VPs than me (I had 39, he had 51), which is actually a big gap, given the possible total scores. Essentially, this meant that I'd be facing someone near the top of the tournament.

Well, I wasn't thrilled to be playing against another Hellcannon, or another huge ridiculous group of Warriors I couldn't kill. This time, his General was floating around, unkillable on the Disc of Tz (1+ save w/ 3+ Ward, rerolling 1's). More Chariots than my previous opponents as well - it would be far more difficult to get points off of him.

As such, I thought that it would be a good idea to play the scenario. I've always been a scenario guy, and this was no exception. I had gotten Okkam's Mindrazor, and I figured this would be a good opportunity to put it to use. If that failed, I would still put some major hurt on his big Khorne unit with multi-assaults and flank charges.

Of course, said flank charges would also require me to get rid of his chaff. And, said flank charges would only work if my own flank was secure, which was not a sure thing at all.

My army looks impressive in this deployment. Love the hill :)

Warriors of Chaos Turn 1:

He moved forward with his stuff to threaten me, leaning hard on the right flank. He moved some Marauders over close to my Warlocks, hoping to prevent the Warlocks from chaffing up his Skullcrushers.

Shooting caused a single wound from the Hellcannon on my leftmost Chariot.

Magic caused minimal damage to my Warlock unit - he actually miscast once and the damage it caused was unimpressive. I got lucky with the Warlocks, not giving away one of their spells via Glean Magic, but to be honest - I didn't once in the whole tournament cast a single spell with them. As such, I didn't care about that particular spell.

His miscast DID cause a wound to his General though. My opponent said that that was the first wound he had taken all tournament. Madness :)

Good turn for me, all things considered.
Dark Elves Turn 1:

I charged his Marauders with my Warlocks, and he held.

Otherwise, the Dark Riders decided not to care about the Dogs, and instead marched to an awkward position next to one of his Chariots.

Because we gained points at the end of the game turn, I marched my Black Guard onto the very edge of the square to claim my +100 VPs, keeping out of easy charge distance, but also supporting them should the need arise.

In magic, I got off Melkoth's on the Chaos Warriors, dropping their Initiative by 2. Then, I got Pit of Shades off, which he declined to dispel scroll. I then proceeded to scatter the blast 6" away, hitting his Chariot instead of the 16 Warriors I could have gotten (which would have killed half of them, statistically).

Luckily, he rolled a "6" on the Gorebeast Chariot, and it was sucked into the pit. Not sure how I felt about it. Better than nothing, certainly. This was the one time Pit of Shades actually did anything for me this tournament, lol.

Shooting managed to put another wound on the Lord (he got unlucky then lucky, as he rolled a "2" for his save vs. a Bolt Thrower, then I in turn rolled a "2" for damage, only causing a single wound rather than killing him outright) and put a couple wounds on his Skullcrushers with one Bolt Thrower who couldn't really see the General.

In combat, the Warlocks easily killed the Marauders, overrunning into the Skullcrushers.

Chaos Turn 2:

Riley decided to do something that surprised me: he backed his Warriors unit up rather than engage my Black Guard, which suited me just fine, since that meant that I could get another 100 easy VPs.

His other guys just moved around, the General getting a good bead on my hill.

His magic managed to kill a couple Crossbows, but that was just about it. He was afraid to lose his last wound to a miscast, I think.

His Cannon hit a Chariot of mine and exploded it. I was honestly just glad he wasn't targeting my infantry units with the damn thing, lol.

In combat, my Warlocks managed to cause a single wound to the Skullcrushers, finishing off one of them, but lost combat and fled. They were easily chased down, and I was suddenly without much support for my hill on my right flank.

Right flank: exposed

Center of the board is kind of under my control here. Not really sure what to think, honestly. Note that the Bolt Thrower crew on the left hit all 6 times vs. the Dogs, then only killed 1. Bolt Throwers fail me so much it seems like!

Dark Elves Turn 2:

I looked at my situation for a long while. I decided that I wasn't under too much threat. I had again positioned my Bolt Throwers to maximum effect, making it difficult for any charges to crash into a second Bolt Thrower. In this case, the General would either charge my close Bolt Thrower and overrun into nothing, where I'd get another turn to shoot, or charge my middle Bolt Thrower, overrunning into my Crossbows. Knowing what weapons he had, I was fairly sure the Crossbows would stick around for a while.

Further, his General would need to charge if the Skullcrushers wanted to get into combat. As it was, they couldn't charge if he simply moved. I could actually negate the Skullcrusher charge with one move anyways: charge with my Crossbows into his Dogs.

So, that's what I did. I charged the Crossbows into his dogs, who fled and got away, while I moved outside the forward arc of the Skullcrushers. Perfect :)

Otherwise, I just positioned to shoot at his General again.

All my shots went into him, and he passed all his Ward saves. Bolt Thrower on the left shot at and (again!) only killed one Dog. This broke the unit though, and I don't believe they ever regrouped.

I again earned another 100 bonus victory points for being in the square. Really helps to have something like this against an army that denies points so well.

Here's a closeup of the situation. We actually thought that the Skullcrushers couldn't declare a charge at all since the General was in the way. Not sure if that's correct or not - we were trying to hurry.

Chaos Turn 3:

After a moment of hemming and hawing, Riley decided to charge my center Bolt Thrower with the General.

Again, his Warriors hung out in his backfield, not wanting to commit.

Magic and shooting were subdued - he couldn't cast many of his spells out of combat, and his Cannon scattered wide.

In combat, the General killed the Bolt Thrower crew easily and overran into my Crossbows, who were actually okay with that.

The Sorcerer Lord is kind of pillow-fisted. The Crossbows will probably be Steadfast, and if not, they'll probably be okay regardless. Probably :)

Again, he left the zone to my own tender care and another 100 VPs.
Dark Elves Turn 3:

We had been dancing around with his Chariot, my Dark Riders, and the Flail Marauders on the top left corner of the table for a few turns now. I mostly just wanted to distract his guys from messing with my own Chariots, but he presented me with too good a trade: I was able to charge the Marauders with the Dark Riders and likely take a charge from his Chariot in return. So, Dark Riders charged.

Executioners swift-reformed to charge the Sorcerer Lord next turn, even if he overran or chased my Crossbows, so long as it wasn't in my own turn. Otherwise, I continued to shuffle around and stare at the Warriors.

My shooting did far less damage to the Skullcrushers than I had hoped, but I supposed at that point, that was to be expected.

In combat, the Dark Riders killed most of the Marauders, chasing the rest of them down.

The General took some swings at my Crossbows and only managed to kill two of them, leaving them at Steadfast. At any rate, they would have passed their leadership regardless (we checked), since they did have a banner and all :)

Dark Riders prevail! I still prefer Doomfires though :-/

Sorcerer is halted by my Crossbows! HA!

I'm slowly getting rid of the supporting units, and I'm also gaining a huge edge from the scenario. Up to 300 free VPs this game.

Chaos Turn 4:

His Skullcrushers charged my Bolt Thrower on the hill.

His Chariot charged my Dark Riders, who fled and got away. The Chariot was stuck in the Swamp, and at some point I shot some stuff into it and finished it off (I kind of did a wound per turn to it).

Warriors finally decided to commit to the middle, but couldn't reliably charge my Black Guard. So, they marched into the zone to contest me.

Hellcannon hit the Black Guard, and killed about 10 of them. And that was a LUCKY roll for me. Ouch.

In combat, the Sorcerer killed a Crossbow, but actually lost combat due to my Banner + Musician. He luckily passed his leadership. If he hadn't, I would have been able to charge the General off the table with my other Crossbow unit, who had turned around.

Skullcrushers obviously won and overran but couldn't get to anything because they were blocked by the General.

Finally, the Warriors commit! 

Dark Elves Turn 4:

Executioners charged his Sorcerer.

My Spear unit moved into the zone to support the suddenly very nervous Black Guard, and to keep gaining me more Victory Points.

I managed to get the Toughness debuff off on the Warriors, who were reduced to a single Toughness.

Shooting killed off another Skullcrusher, as well as a TON of Warriors, who were only T1.

In combat, the Executioners easily dispatched the Sorcerer Lord, but struggled to reform due to the Crossbows being in their way.


Warriors of Chaos Turn 5:

Due to time constraints, this would be our last turn.

He decided to go for glory, and charged my Executioners with the Crushers. He also charged my Black Guard with the Warriors.

My opponent got a huge Winds of Magic roll and dispelled my toughness debuff. Doh!

Hellcannon, who had been a nuisance all game, decided it was a good time to misfire and explode. So, it did just that.

The Warriors did some serious damage to my Black Guard, but the Guard killed some back, and we stuck in combat.

Executioners utterly destroyed the Skullcrushers, as was foreseeable.

Dark Elves Turn 5:

Again, my opponent only had a single unit remaining on the board. Could I finally wipe the unit?

I felt that yes, I very well could.

So, I charged my Spears into the Warriors to get rid of their Steadfast. I also charged my two Chariots into the flank of the Warriors.

I killed a ton of the Warriors. I killed them down to 10 remaining, and won combat by a ton. They managed to finish off my final Black Guard, but would be testing on snakeeyes.

I was excited... until he told me he had the Crown of Command and would be testing on an "8" with the BSB reroll. Then, he passed his leadership, and the game ended anticlimactically.

And here I thought I was so clever, charging in to remove his Steadfast...

Results: 19-1 Win for the Dark Elves!!

Post-game thoughts:

Hm, the scenario was really helpful to me, giving me an extra 400 VPs. I'm not sure why he refused to commit with the Warriors. I feel like my shooting gives me a huge edge over the damage the Cannon can do, and if I can just shoot and magic all game while also getting hundreds of free victory points while I'm at it, I will.

Again, the Crossbows carried the day by fighting his Sorcerer in combat until help arrived. In the end, I lost one Chariot, three Bolt Throwers, the Warlocks, and the Black Guard, in exchange for nearly tabling him. He was a good player and a fun opponent - I just felt like his caution was his undoing. At the same time, I don't know that committing earlier would have gotten him anything but a killed Warrior unit. Not really sure what he could have done differently. I'll let those of you who are actually good at this game tell me :)

At any rate, I was able to get nearly full points in this game, which meant I would be close to the top in Victory Points. As things so happened, I was in 5th going into Game 5, and was (unfortunately) paired down, as I was tied with someone else (who I suppose is technically 4th).

If I could get full points, could I place at a tournament I had no business being in contention to win?

Game 5: Dark Elves vs. Warriors of Chaos

His List:

Page 1
Page 2

The Mission:

This one was the one where you have to "break" your opponent. If you did, the game continued, but you got an extra 500 VPs for having done so.

**He won the roll to go first, and took it.

Pre-game thoughts:

Wow, I feel like I know the Warriors of Chaos book really well by now. This list featured some stuff I hadn't seen this tournament though: Trolls, Throgg, and a Demon Prince w/ Nurgle. Also, he had three Chariots and an assload of Skullcrushers, as well as an "unkillable" BSB on a Disc. Also, a Chimera. So much madness!

He had deployed very aggressively, so my Vanguard moves were to help me avoid being charged first turn. Specifically, I moved my Warlocks to face my lines, since I figured his Chimera want to mess with me.

Overall, my plan revolved around using Pit of Shades on the huge ridiculous Troll unit, shoot the DP with Bolt Throwers, and kill the rest of his stuff in my usual fashion, one thing at a time, forcing him into poor decisions.

At least, that was the plan.

Here we go. Look at my Warlocks. I'm a genius :)

Chaos Turn 1:

He moved very aggressively, and was in my grill immediately. Generally, I appreciate aggression. I figured I'd have a good chance to wipe out a ton of his stuff in my turn, if I could survive the magic phase.

THEN, he debuffed my Executioners' Toughness. I knew what he was trying to do, so I threw every single dice I had at it (5?) and though he only used 3 dice to cast it, it still went off. Executioners down to 2 Toughness.

THEN he cast Rancid Visitations on the Executioners. They then proceeded to be unable to roll a single 1 or 2, and the entire effing unit died to a spell.

This was extremely demoralizing. I had planned to charge the rightmost Skullcrushers with them and probably win, crashing into the unkillable BSB and putting me in a position to flank charge his own counter-charge.

Here's the final three sad Executioners before Rancid Visitations Visitated them :(

Not sure how to recover from that, honestly.

You can see there the Chimera is in the Forest waiting for my units to charge them.

Dark Elves Turn 1:

I was very demoralized by my unlucky start to the game. Not much a man can do if he can't roll well against something like that. Even just average would have shut him down.

As it was, I still had most of my units, and I wasn't going to give up.

So, the Chariots charged Skullcrushers (one charged the Dogs closest, then redirected into the Crushers).

My Crossbows were in the way of my Black Guard charging his Chimera, so I had them charge his Skullcrushers, then got the Black Guard and Warlocks into the Chimera.

Dark Riders went forward to redirect both of his Chariots.

In Magic, I failed to do much. I tried really hard to get debuffs on his exposed Demon Prince, but it didn't work. Too few dice, too good of rolling on his part. I did manage to get Pit of Shades off on the Trolls, but it scattered 6" off. Again.

Shooting then went entirely into the Demon Prince, and I missed all my shots. Every single one. You'll see - this was a trend this game. Really, really poor rolling on my part.

Still, I wasn't about to give up.

Chariots killed two Skullcrushers on the charge, won combat by a landslide, and overran into his fleeing Dogs.

And now my Chariots are out of the charge arc of his own Chariots...
On the right, my Warlocks and Black Guard easily killed the Chimera, and the Warlocks overran into his Skullcrushers on the right while the Black Guard reformed to face the music. The Warlocks and Crossbows (with rerolls to hit and rerolling 1's to wound) managed to get lucky and kill a full Skullcrusher. The remaining Skullcrushers killed a bunch of Crossbows, and I lost combat. However, I only needed 6's (I had a charge, flank, standard, 3 kills, while he killed 8 models and had a standard), and with the BSB's help, both units stuck in combat.

Sorry for the blur, but it's still kind of cool.

In the end, I was happy enough with my board position. Still *very* sad about the Executioners, but I was happy to have killed his Skullcrushers with the Chariots so easily.

Chaos Turn 2:

His Chariot and Demon Prince both tried to get into the Black Guard, but the DP failed his charge due to awkward placement from his Chariot and the combat behind them prohibiting the interaction. Probably lucky for the Demon Prince, all things considered - Okkams would let the Black Guard kill him in a turn, even only hitting on 5's.

At any rate, his Chariots both charged my Dark Riders, and he was surprised that I held. Heh.

His BSB also charged my Doomfire Warlocks' flank.

Magic didn't do much of anything the rest of the game - he got a miscast and went down to Level 1, leaving him with mostly useless spells.

In combat, his Chariots killed the Dark Riders easily. My own Chariots killed the Dogs easily and two of them reformed to face his Chariots.

His BSB whiffed most of his attacks (and the Warlocks made a lot of 4+ Wards), while one of his Skullcrushers was unable to swing at my Crossbowmen. His stomp killed a single Crossbow, leaving all my units intact. In fact, the Warlocks were steadfast. I stuck in combat.

The Chariot got 7 impact hits on my Black Guard, and the Black Guard caused a couple wounds back. Not really their best showing.

One Chariot killed 9 Black Guard. Wish I could get a Ward on that unit somehow (other than Cauldron!)

Prime position to flank his Chariots :)

Dark Elves Turn 2:

Chariots charged his closest Chariot.

Everything else shifted around.

I had a small magic phase, but got off both the reduced toughness spell (on the Demon Prince, which he dispelled with like 3 dice), then Pit of Shades on his Trolls, which went off. It scattered 6". *sigh*

Shooting managed to put two wounds on his Demon Prince, but didn't do much else.

In combat, the Chariots destroyed the Chaos Chariot, and overran into the 2nd Chariot.

Black Guard killed their Chariot and reformed.

Crushers + BSB killed all of the Warlocks + Crossbowmen and reformed.

Black Guard are um... well. They aren't exactly happy to be in that position...

For 8 Bolt Thrower shots at his DP, most of them at ideal range, I feel like 2 wounds is a little bit low. Ah well.

Chaos Turn 3:

His Crushers and BSB charged my Black Guard. Demon Prince charged my Dreadspears.

No magic or shooting from him, for the rest of the game basically, lol.

His Demon Prince put all his attacks into my Sorceress, who failed a couple saves. He had a power that allowed him to roll a dice for each wound he caused, and on a "6" he regrew the wounds. He threw 2 dice and got boxcars, putting the DP back to full health.

I passed leadership, and stuck.

Black Guard were able to kill off another Skullcrusher and put some wounds on the last one. My BSB went into a challenge with his BSB, the better to keep my Black Guard alive.

Also, his final Crusher kind of whiffed. Not gonna feel bad for him though :)
My own Chariots also destroyed his Chariot. No more Chariots remaining!

Not too bad for my Chariots this game...

Awkward side-shot! Poor Spearmen fighting the DP, hitting on 6's without rerolls, haha!
Dark Elves Turn 3:

I didn't have much left to do. I needed to start working on the Trolls if I could, but my Chariots weren't in a good position for that at all.

In magic, I got Okkam's mindrazor off, but once again his dispel dice proved to be far better than my own, and he got rid of it, despite being a Level 1 wizard vs. Level 4.

I managed to get Pit of Shades off on the Trolls one last time, and AGAIN scattered, this time 5", clipping one Troll, who died.

In combat, the Black Guard killed the final Crusher, breaking my opponent for an extra 500 Victory Points. They reformed to get a rank against the BSB, who was having trouble hurting my own BSB (because I had a rerollable armor save). Combat res was my only real hope to kill the guy, though if he kept failing to wound, I'd win by 2 each combat.

His Demon Prince killed my Sorceress, but the Spears were still Steadfast, and I passed leadership with my 10 remaining Spears.

Poor Spearmen - death by dagger, or death by Thunderstomp? Not the most appealing set of choices haha

Black Guard reformed to keep the Trolls from getting into combat with me.

Chaos Turn 4:

The Trolls just stood there, not really sure how they could help.

In combat, my Master managed to cause a wound to his BSB, who failed two Ld. checks on a 5 and fled. Black Guard pursued and caught him.

The Demon Prince killed a couple Spears, and I was actually still steadfast. However, I failed my Ld. 8, and though I did have my Gleaming Pennant available to me, I opted to flee so that I would be able to shoot the Demon Prince in my own turn.

Can my Bolt Throwers kill the Demon Prince? They'll have 2 turns to do it, minimum.

Dark Elves Turn 4:

I marched my Black Guard toward the top right corner of the board, not wishing to deal with the big Troll block, which I knew would smush me immediately, even with Chariot support. Looking back, perhaps I was wrong, I'd have caused a ton of wounds to the Trolls with impact hits and stuff. I just...

I knew that if I could shoot his Demon Prince down with my 4 Bolt Throwers over the course of my final 3 turns, I'd have enough points to get max points this game. I didn't want to risk it. Maybe this was a little dumb of me, but that's what I figured.

Shooting didn't do much at all. In fact, I failed to hurt the Demon Prince at all. :-/

Silly Demon Prince.

Chaos Turn 5:

He moved his Demon Prince up some so that he could charge a Chariot or something in his final turn.

He also tried a long charge on a Bolt Thrower with the Trolls but failed it.

Dark Elves Turn 5:

One of my Chariots went stupid, and so couldn't hide behind the house like I wanted, inviting a charge from his DP.

Shooting went as usual, and I failed to do much to the DP. I did cause a single wound. Fail.

Chaos Turn 6:

His DP charged my Chariot, who had no choice but to hold.

His Trolls, desperate for some sort of showing, split up and charged two separate Bolt Throwers (his character on the mount charged one, while his Trolls charged the other).

Both needed fairly high rolls, and failed :)

Failed Charges FTW.
His DP caused a wound to my Chariot, who needed a "6" to stick around. He did, and I got a little sad, since then I wouldn't be able to shoot the DP in my final turn.

The other Chariots are just kind of relieved that it wasn't them.

My Crossbow unit is safe inside the house. Heh.

Dark Elves Turn 6:

First, he asked if I was going to charge with my Chariots at the Trolls. I actually thought he was joking, and I laughed out loud.

Then I realized that Peyton was serious and ... I said, "um, no".

So then I shot his character, who was no longer part of the Troll block.

In exchange, my Chariot actually saved one of his saves, lost combat by 1, and needed an 8 to stick around. He failed, and the Demon Prince caught him.

The game ended...

Silly things that won't die :)
Results: 15-5 win for the Dark Elves!!

Post-game thoughts:

Well, this game had all the elements of an impending blowout for him. My Executioners got extremely unlucky to die to a single relatively minor spell. His Demon Prince refused to take any sort of damage from my stuff that I statistically should have killed two or three Demon Princes with. I scattered over 4" three times in a row with Pit of Shades, killing only one Troll.

All that being said, I was happy with how I played the game. Peyton got a little too aggressive with his stuff, and I was able to get some charges off with what army I had left. My Chariots did some good work, killing two of his own Chariots, while also killing an entire unit of Skullcrushers. It was disappointing to see one of them die to a poor Stupidity roll, but that's just how it goes.

Black Guard were also really clutch, killing off the Chimera, Chariot, Skullcrushers, and then the "unkillable" BSB. People say they suck... I just have to chuckle at that assertion. At least, in the context of this game.

I had won, but not gotten a convincing enough win that I was secure in winning an award. I simply didn't know. I did know that I had not gotten very many painting points - I felt a little snubbed, as my army was as nice as most (not all, mind you, some were much nicer) of the armies who had made the "finals" for painting. Not sure what went wrong - lots of people told me they were shocked I didn't get in.

At any rate, I knew that my painting would screw me for a Best Overall award, so I had to hope that my meager 15 was enough to get me a Best General of Best Sportsmanship award.

Tournament Results:

I ended up placing 5th overall, my painting score really being the story of the day. I think I also finished 5th in Battle Points.

I was actually pretty disappointed - I thought that with two solid wins on Day 2 that I'd have gotten some sort of award, but I was just outside of winning anything. I had half convinced myself that I'd win something, so when it didn't happen, I was kind of sad.

Post-Tournament Thoughts:

I had a lot of fun! After my initial disappointment of not winning anything (no raffle prizes, no awards of any kind), I decided that I was very glad that I had played in Fantasy instead of 40k. 6th edition 40k is something I was/am still very sick of, and will be happy to try anything else rather than play it again. And honestly, Fantasy was a lot of fun!

I did much better than most people expected of me - I hadn't played many games up until now, and I was pretty rusty. Making a run at placing at a big tournament like this was much better than expected - I went 4-1, and my one loss was oddly enough one to be proud of. Who knows what would have happened?

After the tournament, I kept replaying my final game, thinking of things I could have had happen. For instance, had I even hit once with Pit of Shades against those Trolls, I could have killed the full unit soon after, getting me the full 20 points and placing in the tournament. Same with the Demon Prince - had I killed him, I would have gotten the full points and probably placed.

It's tough not to do that, but I decided that the same sort of opportunities were probably missed by other people who still managed to place in the tournament. Hate those mind games, but it's hard to avoid :)

In the future, I'm going to try another lore of magic - Shadow was good, but I had too many rounds of failure to cast what I needed. I think Dark Magic will be a good start, as the casting values are lower and my Sorceress will get a +1 to all casting attempts.

Other stuff in store as well, but I'll save that for another day.

In the end, Bugeater was a great event as always. Tim does an excellent job, and my only true regret was that he didn't give out objective poker chips like he always did. For a guy who collects them, I was a little sad about that. Still, we got a "free" cube of dice, and a patch we can iron on to something. And, I had a blast. Love the atmosphere, love what the tournament is trying to do. Keep up the good work, Tim!

I fully intend to attend the Bugeater next year, though it remains in question whether or not I will play 40k or Fantasy - time will tell. By then, maybe there will be a new edition of Fantasy, and I'll play Warmachine exclusively :)

Thanks for reading this ridiculously long report, everyone! Let me know what your thoughts are!

No comments: