LWGA Battle Report
2003 FANTASY CHAMPIONSHIP
Chris Nye's Tomb Kings (8-0-1)
Aaron Dohoney's Khorne Chaos (6-1-2)
Chris Nye's Overview
Well here we are! The 2003 Fantasy Championship! Things always get exciting for the league during the post season, and the championship game is the climax of about 6 months of gaming. I have a lot to back up coming into this game. For one, I have never lost a game to chaos in 6th edition... and it was I who handed Aaron his one and only loss during the season.
Second... I have played an undead army 3 years out of the 5 that we have been in existence and out of 3 years with the undead I have only lost one league or tournament game with them and that was to John Holman's Bretonnian army last year in the playoffs (knocking me out in the first round I might add after going 9-0 during the regular season!)
Last, I only lost my general one time this year and that was to my wife's high elf army. I was hoping that I could end the season on a high note for the Rock... and have him claim his long lost kingdom after a successful season of slowly taking back land one parcel at a time. A lot of people were on their knees praying to see the mighty tomb kings fall at last, but I do my best to keep my general alive! I take pride in not losing my general very often.
I am quite pleased with my performance, as this year was the first time I had EVER run a tomb kings army. I am more of a traditional vampire counts player. The tomb kings taught me a lot about warhammer in general, and I really got to improve on a facet of the game that I had hardly ever used in the past... the art of a defensive counter-charge army.
To be here in the championship game is a bit lucky for me. You see, it is hard for me to win a playoff game it seems. This year was no different. Todd's vampire count army had me on the ropes and spitting blood from every orifice in my body. With a great move that I hadn't foreseen he had killed my heirophant and my army was crumbling. Desperate... I charged my tomb king toward his blood dragon lord on a dragon. The dragon and vamp charged my tomb king on foot... surely this would be the end? Todd rolled like crap and my tomb king survived 2 whole turns before finally my reinforcements got in and killed the vampire! Talk about your luck? How often do you see a lonely character on foot get charged by a BLOOD DRAGON LORD on a dragon and win?
Now, after I have made you sick to your stomach with my ego, let me say that the only army I really really fear going up against with the undead is chaos. The main thing I have going for me is the fact that I cause fear and never break. Chaos does a good job at negating that first bit.
Luckily I am also an avid follower of the Blood God and have had quite a bit of success with them as well and know them inside and out. Also I have played Aaron quite a bit and have watched a lot of his games and kind of have some idea as to what to expect. With that in mind, I set about creating my army list an hour before the match... (procrastination will be the death of me)
Throughout the year I had basically used the same list over and over with some minor variations. I had really gotten quite comfortable with how my army operated, mainly with 3 lines of archers, a block of infantry, a unit of chariots led by the Tomb King and some submerged scorpions and swarms that come out to play with artillery. Today I was going to do something totally different... I was going to field an all infantry skeleton army and the bulk of my army was going to be the standard "crap" skeleton.
"INSANE!!!" You say? Skeletons make the best tar pits. I will absorb nasty charges with them and then use a counter charge force of tomb guard or a bone giant to pulp the unit that hits me. The key is to make those skeleton units BIG. I have gotten comfortable with about 24 for most infantry blocks for most of my armies (except chaos which I field at 20). 24 gives me six models across (and for spearmen that means 13 attacks with champion).
I would also forego any chariots at all, because I had a feeling I would be seeing a large amount of great weapons floating around. The way I see it... one shot to a chariot = dead chariot = a lot of points. One shot to a skeleton = dead skeleton = go ahead and take those 10 points.
Also, I can credit the Casket of Souls doing a big number on Aaron's chaos army when last we met. I would expect him to keep that item in mind and perhaps take something to deal with it... perhaps a large flock of furies? There would be no casket in my army this time... and furies wouldn't do much to ranked infantry... that might be a bonus in my favor as well.
We started off with taking "The Rock"... my tomb king general. I have used "The Rock" in all but one game and I find that the Tomb King provides the fighting power needed. Tomb King magic is not destructive in and of itself (except for the mighty one magic missile that does D6 S4 hits) so I think a high liche is a waste of points in 2000 points. I gave the Rock a Flail of Skulls so that he could do double wounds with his attacks and the Golden Ankhra for a nice 4+ ward. I didn't bother with light armor as I don't think there will be any S3 attacks coming at me and light armor would be a waste.
My other two characters were my two liches. I outfitted my heirophant with the Cloak of Dunes so she could fly and the Hieratic Jar so that I could surprise my opponent with a free spell. The other liche priest was naked with no items.
The Rock would march with 19 tomb guard with full command and the Icon of the Sacred Eye, which gave my unit a +1 to hit on the first turn of every combat. This would prove useful as I would be hitting on 3s instead of 4s and my tomb king would even benefit from hitting on 2s if he attacked the normal rank and file.
Next were two blocks of infantry. I took a unit of 21 warriors with spear and shield, light armor, and command with the banner of the Undying Legion. This would allow me a bound spell that would replenish lost skeletons. I wanted more skeletons in this unit but ran out of points.
The second block was 24 skeleton warriors with light armor and shield and full command. Rounding out my skeletons were three units of 10 archers each. You may think archers are feces but I find them very useful... especially against the marauder horsemen I know are coming. They may not be able to drop knights but the meat screens can go.
A tomb swarm would remain hidden under the ground to perhaps slow marching and get a rear charge. Last I had a catapult with the upgraded ammunition and Windmill the Angry bone giant. All in all I had 99 models in my army. All infantry. Mostly skeletons. Would this be suicide or would this be a glorious end to a great season? Time would tell...
What was I thinking?
Well, my 1st battle didn't go so well. I generally detest playing in games where you know who you're playing for starters. I more enjoy designing armies to 'take on all comers' than anything else. But, I gave it my all and had an enjoyable battle. Barring semi-unfavorable terrain, I think I did well 1st time round...and as an optimist, I knew the 1st battle could have been far worse.
So, what did I learn? Losers do often need to learn something or they'll keep losing. Well, that's the idea. In practice, I don't see what more I could have done.
But, I did note a few things that could alter the play off game game.
1) Having as few units as possible (while still maintaining comp) gives a slight advantage in getting to go 1st.
2) While detestable, having something that can shoot can help a little if you get stuck and can't move OR if your opponent is wily enough to dodge all your assaults.
3) TK magic is a BITCH. I barely managed to shut it down in the 1st few rnds before attrition took it;s toll and I lost some of my dispell dice.
4) TK missile fire is deceptively effecient. Being able to move and shoot at long range and STILL hitting on 5+'s (even if you're skirmishing) is nasty. Vs light armored T3 units, it's devastating. My prefered unit is the marauder horsemen. T3 and a measly 6 sv...doesn't cut getting shot at.
5) Chris discovered how the TKs fight best. Counter assault after whittling your opponent down. Being able to automatically cast spells (unless dispell efforts are made) means 2x the shooting and the ability to move out of harms way. So, even though they don't march move, they are a maneuverable army. Once the enemy is softened up some, you can reform your units and charge out. Typically, you'll outnumber your opponent and all you need to do is win by 1 to auto-break an enemy unit.
This is SOME good. It's also how I like to play when given the chance.
6) Chris has played Chaos far more than I have and knows many of the tricks. What he hasn't learned personally, he's read on the net. This being 'MAYBE' my 15th battle with chaos and still learning the 6th ed army list, still puts me at a disadvantage. 13yrs of GW chaos gaming experience aside, new rules change the nature of the game. I'm also not a big fan of fantasy currently. I feel 'aged' and don't often get in the mood to push large units of hundreds of figs around the table...been there, done that. This has noting to do with rules, just mindset. It's also a reason I chose Chaos for the league. I figured I could paint a new army up quick and not have to worry about a lot of figs.
Ok, all my background and ramblings aside, I tried to stick with some personal rules this league.
1) NO CHOSEN. Not worth it and often garner unneeded calls of 'cheese'.
2) NO Uber-LORD tooling around on a dragon bedecked in magic spendor. See above. I don't believe any of my chars ever had max pts in magic items. I made extensive use of Exhaulted champs and tossed in the Banebeast who isn't that much different than an Ex. Champ to offer support for my army. My army NEVER had a LD above 8 (excepting the DoDrake)
3) Stick to a theme when designing an army. All of the army follows 1 god. No ugly mix and matching and Try to avoid chaos undivided as a mark.
4) No foot Warriors of Chaos. The figs are UGLY. I have ~24 on my desk from the start of the league...covered in dust and 1/2 assembled. These things are crap.
I do however have about 50 old 3rd edition era figs in all their LEAD splendor. however, they aren't painted to look uniform and I prefer the painting aspect of the hobby. While it's all fine to clomp a few figs together for a game, I don't want to be pressured (in the middle of a league) to paint figs I'm not in the mood to paint.
5) Make progress on painting the army so that at leagues end, I'll have something nice to use later.
6) Try not to 'abuse' more than 1 thing at a time. IMO, Beastmen are kind of broken as they stand. For me, using more than 1 unit (as specials) pushes the limits. So does taking more than 1 DoDrake. I did it once in the league against a dwarf player whom I assumed was going to use around 5 artillery pieces. I wanted 1 to survive to reach the lines. Turned out that that was uneccessary and I felt bad afterwards. I haven't repeated it and haven't always used a DoDrake either.
My characters for the finals were pretty straight forward.
2 guys on chaos steeds with GWs to take on any TK chariots (which I really didn't expect to see) and to bolster the knights.
2 Beastmen chars (even though the Wargor is, IMO, one of the weakest 'Chaos' heros there is, he does assist in repeated challenges and has a decent # of attacks...and is the only char with M5 who can keep up with Beastigors.
The chariots are dispell batteries. I think the models are cool looking but have NOT had any luck using these things all league long. They usually don't get into battle, get in the way or do miserable dmg once they are fighting. But, are needed vs the TKs.
I LOVE marauder horse. Their flexability is unmatched. They may be fragile but can get potential flank charges and claim table quarters towards the end of the battle.
I took 2 this time since they are not immune to fear but are better than warhounds.
The knights are mostly a red herring. People LOVE to target these guys thinking they're game winners. Maybe they are but not for me. No luck here. They're too expensive to take in large numbers and although fast, they aren't maneuverable IMO. Maybe I just need more experience with them. Frenzy is a mixed blessing.
The Beastigors were a VERY last miniute addition. Normally, I was going to take 33 FRENZIED DoW Norsemen but felt that they were too fragile to TK missle weapons and the unit size had 'HIT ME WITH 2x CATAPULTS' written all over it. They also provided me with an extra dispell die and kept more to the Khorne theme of the army.
They were also faster that the Norsemen and that's MUCH needed when facing an enemy who sits back and shoots.
The cannons...Well, the cannons were also a substitute. I originally was going to take 2 units of Fleshhounds but kept worring over their crappy T3 and small unit size.
I knew Chris was going to dance all over the place and I needed something to hammer him while my own army closed range. They would hopefully errode some of the numbers his skeleton units would have and eliminate a rank bonus here and there. All stuff that helps to win when combat is eventually engaged in.
They could also fill in as counter battery fire and to pick on lone chars.
They didn't fit the theme at all (Khorne and missle weapons? WTF?) But, it could have been worse.
The cannos were the only thing I was uncomfortable about but, hey, it's finals. I kept to nearly all of my own rules and the little power gamer in me was screaming too hard to resist. I've also NEVER had any use or experience with guess range weaponry. My distance judging skills are the worst imaginable!
Albrecht Gorechild (Al Gore for short)
Exhaulted Champ 100 MoKhorne 35 *General* (goes with knights to start)
GW 4, Chaos Steed 16
Gaze of the Gods 30
Exhaulted Champ 100 MoKhorne 35 (goes with knights to start)
GW 4, Chaos Steed 16
Banebeast 95 MoKhorne 40 (goes with beastigors)
Dark Heart 25, Crimson Armor 20
Wargor 60 MoKhorne 35
GW 4, Hvy Armor 4, Shield 2
Hero Pts = 556 Magic Items Pts= 75
5 Marauder Horsemen 13 ea Musician +6 = 71pts
5 Marauder Horsemen 13 ea Musician +6 = 71pts
Chaos Chariot 120 MoKhorne +30 = 150pts
Chaos Chariot 120 MoKhorne +30 = 150pts
Chaos Chariot 120 MoKhorne +30 = 150pts
6 Chaos Knights 33ea MoKhorne +45, Champion +20 = 263
Core = 855pts
25 Beastigors 11 ea MoKhorne +45, Foe Render +12, Stansdard +12 = 322
(during set up, I only placed 23 forgetting the other 2 I had in the unit DOH *shrugs* Sometimes it don't pay to play with unpainted figs.
Special = 344pts
1 Lt DoW Cannon 85pts
1 Lt DoW Cannon 85pts
Rare = 170pts
2,000pt army, 26 comp: 2 power dice, 11 dispell dice.
Above is the set up for the finals battle. The terrain was quite sparse. On my side of the table were two sets of walls and a hill. I placed a unit of archers on the hill (ARCH3) and behind placed my skull chucka with a crewman on the hill for line of sight (CAT). Behind the hill were a unit of spearmen (SPEARS) and the bone giant (BG) anchoring my right flank. My center (and in essence my left flank) was held by my skeleton warriors (WAR) and my tomb guard led by The Rock (TG). The yellow dot is my heirophant, and the blue is the other liche.
Looking at the chaos deployment, there were basically two real strong lances coming at me... the center was the big unit of frenzied beastmen with a bane beast and another beast character escorted by 2 characters. On the right was the chaos general and his henchmen leading khorne knights and a third chariot. The goal was to get my spearmen into combat by absorbing the charge and having Windmill the angry bone giant hit the flank. I placed the tomb guard in the center because I felt they were more than a match for beastmen. My plan was to team up the skeleton warriors with the giant and tomb guard, NOT putting the giant with the Tomb Guard. Why? Because that is overkill. A bone giant with Tomb Guard is unnecessary... while two units of skeleton warriors with no characters is as good as fecal matter. I was surprised at seeing dogs of war cannons across from me, but would rather face 2 cannons which can blow themselves up.. then having to face 2 dragon ogre drakes (which in their current incarnation are very powerful and 2 would be very difficult to tangle with...)
Aaron deployed his chaos army as follows: A unit of 5 marauder horsemen took up position by the bridge (MAR1). The cannons are also deployed by the stream (DW). The center was very powerful... a meat screen of horsemen (MAR2) shielded a very large unit of 25 khorne marked beastmen with great weapons led by a bane beast and a lesser beast hero (BEAST). Two chariots flanked them (CH1 & CH2). Over on the right was the unit of 6 chaos knights led by 2 exalted champions of khorne (for a total of 8.. .marked KNIGHT)
Aaron won the roll off to go first and gladly took it to negate my skull chucka. Here we go...
The Rock and his Tomb Guard challenge the chaos commander for a second battle...
Chaos Turn 1
The entire chaos army chugged forward. The first unit of marauders on the left galloped across the bridge, while the chariots in the center pulled forward with the large block of beastmen staying in the center. The marauders in front of the beastmen spurred toward the stone wall in the center of the field. Over on the right, the chariot and knights moved forward toward the undead army. While little blood could be shed... there would be many skulls taken for the skull throne.
The twin dogs of war cannons fired off at the skull chucka catapult. The first cannonball sailed high over the undead machine, but the second ball plowed through two of the skeletons with a dry snap, before the ball hit the machine and bounced off of it (rolled a 1 to wound). With only one crew member, the machine would be hard pressed to fire and would be firing at a rate of once per every other turn.
The damage to the catapult had been made and with that, chaos conceded their turn.
Tomb Kings Turn 1
The damage to the catapult would cost me, I knew. Also, with Chaos going first I was going to possibly be hit in turn 2. Sticking with the game plan, the undead army had little to move. I reformed my line of archers on the hill to 2 ranks. I could still fire in 2 ranks due to the hill, but now I had a rank bonus plus I had the hill bonus to CR. Not that it mattered against Khorne, but the dice can betray anyone and the extra +2 CR might come in handy. The Rock gripped the handle of his Flail of Skulls, loving the thrill of battle as he once did when he was alive. He raised his eyebrow, and dust fell to the ground as his silent minions looked on with empty eye sockets.
This was going to be funny I knew. Aaron had 11 dispel dice and if I got any spells off at all I would be surprised. Luckily, The Rock's incantation of smiting went off as Aaron rolled underneath my roll and the skull chucka fired off a flaming pile of beast skulls that landed in their midst and killed 2 of the 30 mutants.
The remaining spells were all dispelled but I had also struck!
I tried to fire at the beastmen again, but this time the flaming skulls rolled off of the platform and my lone crew member was unable to fire this turn (damn misfire). My archers were luckier. The Rock held his arm up in the air and as one the archers all raised their bows to the sky. The Rock held his arm in the air for a short time before dropping it, and the twang of dozens of ancient bows was heard as their black ammunition soared through the sky.
The marauder unit on the left took four casualties out of five models, leaving just one horsemen who made his panic check. The central archers dropped two more beastmen, leaving 21 (chipping away at that rank bonus!). Finally, the marauders behind the wall tried to take cover but the arrows twisted in mid air and plummeted as if controlled by an outside source... killing three of the horsemen and leaving two (who passed their panic check).
Most of the marauders were taken care of. While the chaos dead-pile was larger, it was filled with marauder horsemen. The real threat was heading my way...
Chaos Turn 2
The red dot on the left represents the lone marauder horsemen. The two behind the wall are all that is left of the second marauder unit.
The lone horsemen tried to spur enough courage to charge the first line of skeleton archers, but could not find the faith in his patron to do so (he failed his fear check). The other two behind the wall decided to withdraw back toward the chaos deployment zone.
The center unit of 21 beastmen continued their march toward the wall with the chariots in tow. The second chariot had to maneuver behind the beast unit due to space limitations, so only chariot 1 (CH1) was still beside the beastmen when they cleared the wall (CH2 was behind the unit).
To the right, the knights crept forward, wary of the bone giant getting a charge off on them. They held at the wall and prepared to charge next turn. The chariot was also behind the knights here.
With the advance of the beastmen, the cannons line of sight was blocked off from much. The first cannon tried to fire at the block of skeleton warriors next to the tomb guard. However, a huge plume of smoke erupted from the barrel of the cannon. The marauder crewmen cursed in their northern tongue as they were unfamiliar with such contraptions. The ball had partially fused with the interior and the crew had to spend this turn and next dislodging it before the cannon could fire again.
The second cannon had nothing else to fire at but ARCH1, and I happily plucked one dead archer out of the unit as the cannon crushed it's ancient body. Cannons destroying an 8 point skeleton archer bother me not.
Tomb Kings Turn 2
Here comes the hoard of chaos! My movement was pretty slim. The Rock issued a command, and as one the archers on the hill and bone giant took a step back, while the spearmen nudged forward. The idea was that I knew that if the archers on the hill were going to get charged by khorne chaos knights that they were going to wave bye bye and that the knights would over run into the spearmen. I just wanted to make sure Windmill would get a good flank charge with his unit strength 6 bad ass self. The Tomb King army was designed with counter-charge in mind...
The two liches also backed up a bit. I didn't want to risk them getting overran into... kiss the trophy good bye if that happened.
The tomb king magic phase was entirely shut down this turn.
With my catapult's crew gone, the lone skeleton was busy priming the machine and setting a sweet beastmen skull on the platform. He couldn't fire this turn.
The Rock commanded another volley of arrows. I focused on the beastmen this time as they were the most vulnerable target I had. Knights would laugh at my archers, and the lone marauder was not much of a threat. The volley of 30 arrows came down and three more beastmen dropped... putting their number at 18 (and removing a rank!). My bows were doing what they were designed to do... not wipe out enemy regiments but whittle them down enough where I would have the advantage in combat.
Chaos Turn 3
This is where the stuff hit the fan. The beastmen had an item that gave them D3" extra charge. Aaron gambled and declared a charge at my skeleton warriors and rolled 3 extra inches... just enough to make the charge. The frenzied beastmen came crashing into a silent and unmoving wall of bones. If they couldn't hack through 24 skeletons through combat and CR they would get counter charged by the tomb guard...
The lone horsemen tried to charge the archers and this time was successful.
Aaron mulled for a while on his left flank... finally deciding to break his two characters out of the knight unit and branching them off while inching the knights further up (they had been out of range to charge my archers by an inch). The chariot also inched forward. I saw that my bone giant had 12" on the knights and anxiously waited for my turn to get Windmill into combat.
The chariots on the left moved forward and prepared to surge forward... one over my archers... the other centering to support the beastmen.
With one of the cannons almost primed and ready to shoot after last turns misfire, the other cannon opened fire on the tomb guard and smashed two of the king's guard with a well placed cannon shot.
The horsemen coming in at the archers screamed a war cry and leveled his spear. The skeleton side stepped and the marauder thundered past. Wheeling around, the archer screamed in fury, but the single skeleton he had missed shot an arrow into the surprised man's face... embedding the arrow into his brain and killing him. Bye bye horsemen unit. The skeletons made their over run move forward, putting them within charge distance of the chariot. Better to charge a chariot, even with archers... then to be charged by one.
The beastmen were more fortunate. Led by a powerful bane beast (the lord choice of the beastmen) and a hero, the frenzied great weapon wielding beasts tore apart 8 of the 24 skeletons with their savage fury. Another 12 died due to CR, leaving 4 skeletons left. This is why you take more than 20 skeletons in a unit... the beastmen were held up and my tomb guard were preparing to charge...
Tomb Kings Turn 3
The Rock signaled the counter charge. The archers surged forward into the chariot, and from underground burst forth a sweet pestilence of tomb beetles which also charged the chariot from behind. The frenzied drivers were immune to fear so far... hopefully we could change that!
The Tomb Guard with The Rock charged into the flank of the beastmen as well. Their frenzy made sure they didn't have to take a panic check, but the prospect of having an angry tomb guard unit smashing your flank with an even angrier tomb king in it was not fun.
Finally, Windmill charged the knights with an inch and a half to spare. His frontage put him in contact with three knights, and those three knights had to die!
Last, I turned my spearmen to face the two exalted champions. I was confident that the knights would be taken care of and I didn't want the exalted champions in my spearmen's flank.
The countercharge had begun, this was an all important turn!
Once again the tomb king magic phase was shut down.
With combat broiling everywhere there was little for the archers to shoot at. Some pot shots at the chariots and the chaos general were made but the thick chaos armor protected both targets.
The beetle swarm crawled all over the frenzied northmen in their chariot... doing 2 wounds! The skeleton archers were unable to do anything, and a chaos horse smashed one of their numbers but it was not enough. Frightened and having the frenzy beaten out of them, the chariot fled with the skeletons and swarm chasing!
In the center, a tomb guard slew a beastmen while The Rock's flail bloodied itself and crushed FOUR beastmen skulls (considering the Rock only has 4 attacks that was some nice rolling). The beastmen were able to kill 2 more skeletons in front of them but it was not enough (leaving 2 skeletons in the unit left "alive")... the beastmen fled! Unfortunately again I was unable to catch my fleeing opponent and my unit grabbed the beastmen's banner and moved forward, but the beastmen escaped my wrath.
Finally over on the right, Windmill smashed headlong into the chaos knights. His huge blades smashed three of the knights, leaving none to attack back. The three remaining knights fled, but Windmill caught them and destroyed them, moving past the chariot's arc of sight past the wall.
Relieved, I had countered the majority of the chaos offense with huge success. However, there were still 2 chariots running around, the beastmen were NOT yet destroyed and the two chaos champions were running around. The game was far from over, but the scales were tipped heavily in my favor.
Chaos Turn 4
The beastmen and the fleeing chariot both rallied (as denoted by the graphic). The followers of Khorne then went ahead and charged into the archer unit on the hill with a chariot from behind, another chariot in the flank, and the exalted henchmen of khorne hit them from the front!
The chaos general spurred his horse into a gallop and trotted over behind the bone giant to reinforce the center.
The cannons opened fire, both being extremely effective again. The first cannonball shot hit the bone giant and nailed it for 2 wounds. The second took out four more tomb guard! Only 14 remained and I knew that I had to raise some more back or I would be in for a bad day!
What do two khorne chariots plus an exalted champion versus 10 skeleton archers equal? Let's just say the impact hits alone were enough to kill the whole unit... the first chariot from behind (CH2) thundered off to the right flank... the second chariot (CH3) hit my spearmen in the flank!!!... and the exalted champion angered me by rolling 16" on his overrun which was exactly what he needed to catch my tomb guard in the flank.
While the exalted champion wasn't enough to scare me, he did stop me from recharging the beastmen, which meant I was going to be charged by the beastmen in Chaos Turn 5... I did not want to be charged by them... even if they weren't frenzied anymore.
Tomb Kings Turn 4
My swarm charged into the chariot again. It is always better to be charging a chariot than to be charged by one! Other then that I had no charges, thanks to that damn exalted champion in my flank! The Rock took his movement phase to get into the flank of his unit and show this chaos puke who the real warrior was on this field.
Windmill the angry bone giant turned around and faced the chaos general... if only I could get him to charge!!! I flew my Heirophant over by the chariots on the hill... I estimated that she was in range and indeed she was within the range for the spell when I went to cast it...
My heirophant was able to get Windmill to charge the chaos general! With a roar the angry Windmill thundered into the exalted general of Khorne.
Using the Hieratic jar after Aaron had burned all of his dispel dice, I was able to get my Heirophant to cast another spell and she healed the tomb guard by raising 3 more back from the dead.
There wasn't much shooting this phase. My skull chucka was silenced due to it's one crew doing the job of 3... but my archers who had chased the chariot up the field opened fire on the cannon crew and dropped one of them!
The chariot slammed into the flank of my skeletons from on top of the hill, rolling through them like wheat and a lawn mower. All in all 15 of my skeletons died through CR and the chariot, leaving just 6! This from a chariot! Well it was my fault for leaving my spearmen's flank exposed...
Over ahead, Windmill came in and needed 5s to hit, scoring a massive no hits! The chaos general lashed out with his great weapon and did two more wounds to windmill, and CR claimed my giant...
He had fought well, knocking off a unit of khorne knights... but this was bad! My whole right flank was falling to hell! I had 6 spearmen left and they were probably not going to make it fighting the chariot! Once they were gone I would have nothing on my right and The Rock would be vulnerable...
Speaking of the Rock... he challenged the exalted champion. The chaos champion had 5 attacks and did 5 wounds to the Rock with his great weapon, plus his horse wounded the mummy as well! (6 attacks for 6 wounds on a T5 creature is good... great weapons help though)... the Golden Ankhra kicked in and The Rock saved 4 of the 6 wounds! Raising his eyebrow, the Rock smashed the uppity chaos champion with his flail. However, the beastmen were thundering in ... the champion had done his job by tying up the tomb guard!
Up by the stream, the swarm and the chariot fought to a draw with the chariot scoring a wound but the swarm having a higher Unit Strength.
It was at this point as Aaron started his 5th turn that an onlooker said "Well Chris, it's over for you. You aren't going to be able to pull something out of your ass this time." I had to agree... things had come very close but the dice were not with me and now I was being counter charged!
Chaos Turn 5
Chaos had a full head of steam going into this turn, and it looked good that they could pull out the victory! The two remaining marauder horsemen charged into the side of the swarm to help the chariot out, and the beastmen thundered into the tomb guard!
The first cannon opened up on the archers, dropping a second archer with a cannon ball. The second cannon took a pot shot at my heirophant (the yellow dot by the hill) but the cannonball sailed over her head.
The marauder horsemen crunched the tomb swarm with the help of the chariot, eliminating it entirely. The beastmen's savage fury destroyed 10 tomb guard and left just 7 remaining. The Rock had to make his way back to the front rank next turn or it was really too late.
Over on the right, the chariot whiffed on all it's attacks and my six glorious skeleton spearmen broke the infernal machine! It fled toward the wall with the skeletons behind! Could this be the beginning of a come back?
Tomb Kings Turn 5
Let's do a little recap. I had 7 tomb guard remaining fighting about 12 or so beastmen... 6 spearmen chasing after a chariot... and that was it as far as combat units go. My 8 archers by the stream were going to be charged by a nasty chariot or 2 horsemen... and my heirophant was being shot at by cannons.
I had to deal the death blow to the beastmen this turn or I was through. That was the bottom line. The odds of it being done were not good but I had to pull a miracle.
The Rock made his way back to the front of the unit in his movement phase. There was little else to do except move my heirophant up to where the skeleton spearmen were (in my daze I forgot cannons don't follow normal targetting rules... she was slightly behind the spear unit by the wall)
The skeleton spearmen charged the fleeing chariot over the wall... causing it to inflict 2 wounds to itself as it vaulted over the wall. My 2 warriors in the center stood there, denying victory points for their loss.
I was able to get the Incantation of Smiting off, and my Tomb King's flail crushed the beastmen hero! I was also able to heal my Tomb Guard up and bring them back to 11... and finally the catapult was also magically charged. The crewman pulled the lever and the flaming skulls flew high in the air and landed smack down on the chaos general. Looking up, the chaos champion shook his fist at the magical screaming skulls as they crushed him. The pendulum was once again swinging back in my favor... if I could break the beastmen it would be over.
No shooting of note occurred for me.
The Rock made another challenge. He had already slain the mortal champion and beast champion... it was time to take out the Bane Beast. The Bane Beast's great weapon made it go last... and that was just what the doctor ordered. The flail of skulls whipped about and inflicted 6 sweet wounds which were not saved. Those 6 wounds would do a number on CR. The tomb guard champion also dispatched two more beastmen... giving the Tomb Kings 8 for wounds. The beastmen turned and fled as their champions were dispatched, and this time the TG were able to FINALLY catch the beastmen and run them through....
TURN 6 Notes
With the demise of the beastmen and the chaos general in turn 5, there was not much left for Aaron to do. He charged his chariot into my tomb guard to try and pull off a counter-miracle but it ended up not doing much and was run off.
However, the cannon skipped a cannonball through a spearmen by the wall and through my heirophant...killing her in the last turn! I lamented as my catapult, my two remaining swordsmen, and a few archers crumbled to the ground dead.
My magic phase saw my banner boost the spearmen back up a bit and the final chariot being chased into the stream where the difficult terrain did it in.
That concluded the game... a tight game worthy of a championship title.
Tomb Kings: 1934
Tomb Kings are declared the 2003 champions!
Aaron's Post Game Thoughts
Well, it's over. I lost.
I did however have an enjoyable game. No rules disputes worth mentioning. no heated voices or B!tching (although I do say Sonofab!tch when playing a nice game and have to actually think about what I'm doing).
I made a few minor mistakes but, nothing game altering.
I hated my Knights. I almost always do. They were easily countered by Chris's Windmill.
My Beastigor (1st time I used them) were nice. They did a lot of damage. Were forced away from Their 1st attack, managed to rally later and recharge a 2nd time.
My Marauder horsemen were as fragile as expected. At least they took some fire off my main units and 2 guys managed to help eliminate some scarab swarms.
My chariots were awsome!!! They actually did something. It was pretty pathetic when one broke in the middle of the game and fled off. The skeletons pursued and that took them out of range for my next turn charge with a 2nd chariot.
One chariot did flee through the stream near the end of the game. I think it might have technically fled around the stream but it didn't really matter nor alter who was going to win the game at that point.
My cannons were awsome. 1 misfire all game. My targeting was short but due to the extra 2-10" distance and bouncing, they were almost always ontarget and effective...except for a few 1's to wound *sigh*. In the very last turn, I sniped at Chris's heirophant hidding behind a unit of skeletons. I really hate this kind or 'lining up shots'. I purposefully avoided shooting at chars in units (his TK) early in the game because of this unrealistic rule. But, it was last turn and was merely a spiteful thing. It brought a few extra VPs but was a moot point seeing as the game was already in the bag for Chris. Now, if I would have done it earlier like turn 1-4 or even 5, then it would have been sweet.
This type of thing is one of the aspects I'd definatly change about fantasty and I see it as something that would put people off to the game. It's definatly legal but, so is targeting chars in units with catapult shots.
Anyway. Leagues over. 6-7 more months til next one.
Maybe empire. I love flagellants and now I love CANNONS too!
Although Skaven and Undead are beaconing to me.
It wuld be ironic if I were to play TKs next season since Chris is planning on picking up his chaos army again...
But, then there's to consider that I already have a painted chaos army, so maybe I'll take the lazy mans way out and stick with that.
LWGA 2003 Fantasy Awards
Overall Winner: Chris Nye (Tomb Kings)
Best Army: Jesse Copeland (Empire)
Best Painted: Dave Gardner (Dwarves... see below)
Best Sport: John Fortune (Dwarves)
Dave Gardner's Best Painted Dwarves