LWGA Battle Report

01/12/2003

Chris Nye's Tomb Kings (0-0)

vs

Todd Bell's Blood Dragon Counts (0-0)


'ave you ever seen the dead fighting the dead?  I 'ave I tell ye.  Damn scary too.  Legions of silent warriors clashing.  No screams.  No battle cries.  Only the sound of metal on metal and the crunchy sound of bones being crushed.  And that smell.  That cursed smell of rot and spice.  I'll ne'er forget it."

~ Pike Sergeant Strevel Stockton with Captain Arshlager's legion

Pre Game

Chris Nye - Tomb Kings

This is the first year we have decided to use composition scores, and while it is true some armies have really good core choices that can do well in the game as well as score a high comp score, the Tomb Kings are not one of those armies.  Coming into this game, this will be the fifth game I have played using the Tomb Kings (not counting the handful of games I have played against them using my chaos legion). 

The name of the game against a powerful army such as the Blood Dragon vampire counts is simple... kill the Vampire Count.  You kill the Vampire Count, you win the game.  Easier said then done.  I have played using the Blood Dragon vampire counts for 3 years now, doing quite well with them.  I know their tactics backwards and forwards.  I have also had the pleasure of playing against Todd several times and can anticipate some of the items he may bring.

For one, I would be surprised if he chose a lord instead of a count, though it will be a pleasant surprise if he does.  What you say?  Am I insane?  No not at all.  He's worth a lot of points for an extra wound and a meaningless extra point of weaponskill (meaningless in that he hits everything I have on 3s anyway and most of my stuff hits him on 5s... the difference between a 9 and a 10 WS is not that great). 

There is a good chance that Todd will mount him on a winged nightmare to give him more mobility.  If he chooses to do this I will target my skull chucker shots at him accordingly.  Otherwise all of my artillery and all of my minions will attack that VC to try and get him to fall.  Having his BD on a winged nightmare will make my time of killing him a bit easier but I can only pray to the dark gods that he does this.

A mounted VC army is deadly.  Very deadly.  I know this.  I have played with this force before.  I will have 2 turns of shooting before I'm nailed, so I will have to make sure that I get the first turn and get those shooty spells off.  If I fail then I will have to mount a successful counter attack. 

I expect two units of Black Knights heading my way.  Anything less and I will have an easier time, as my  missile troops will be able to focus more on his expensive elites that he cannot raise back.  More than two and Todd will be sacrificing composition score, but will make things very hard on me as I only have one real unit to slow him down.  The rest of my units are there for counter strike or to try and get the charge in through my incantations. 

Key note here: My #1 priority is to prevent him from charging me.  Good luck on that one!  That will be tough but I have enough road blocks to hopefully force a poor over-run roll and get a decisive charge off with my chariots.

To go Vampire Hunting I will need some power.  A liche high priest just takes a lot of the combat out of the Tomb Kings.  The Tomb King will be my general... and aptly he will be named "The Rock", complete with raised eyebrow and all!  I gave him the Flail of Skulls, so that every wound I would inflict would count as 2.  Also he had the Chariot of Fire which would do D6+1 S4 impact hits should I be so lucky as to charge him. 

Now that is not enough.  The Rock has three skeleton chariots with him but he will also need some help.  Todd likes the Cursed Book which makes me suffer -1 to hit.  My Tomb King hitting on 5s would be very bad indeed.  So a Tomb Prince with the Amulet of Psa Stah will be next to him, negating all enchanted items and talismans, which will not only negate the Cursed Book, but any ward save the count might have.  The first turn of combat, The Rock will be S7!  He will wound on 2s and the VC will get a 5+ save after strength modifiers.  I only need to smack him twice with the flail to kill him! 

Amophte, the Liche Priest, will be my third and final character... he of course holds the army up.  I gave him a Hieratic Jar to give him one extra spell during the game.  It might come in handy after Todd burns his dispel dice.  Keeping him alive is pivotal... so I will keep him in a unit of archers or spearmen until the charge is about to come.  Then he will slip off and hide....

My core will consist of 3 units of 10 archers.  Skeleton archers hit on 5s all the time which is kind of cool.  Their S3 missile weapons mean that against Black Knights they won't do much.  However against the dire wolf screen they will be most effective as well as to any fell bats coming my way. 

My solid block of infantry will be a unit of 23 spear with armor and full command.  They will be hit hard.  Their job is to stop whatever is going to hit them in their tracks so I can get a counter charge off. 

I have 3 chariots which the TP and TK will ride with (making them 5 all told) that have full command and the banner of the Legion to pump up their numbers once they start taking wounds.  This is my hammer and I will need to countercharge with them.  By themselves, this unit is OK, but I am not risking running out like Ben-Hur by myself. 

The last of my cores will be two tomb swarms to hold off a charge by the vicious Vampire Count so I can get a flank.

My special choices were 3 Ushabti which replaced a second unit of 20 spearmen.  Their hitting power will be needed.  I also took a tomb scorpion which I am praying will not MISFIRE and not crawl out of the sand.  I need his killing blow to potentially drop that damn VC.

Finally I took a skull chucka for rock lobbing fun and a Bone Giant for more hard hitting attacks.  All in all a small force definitely against the grain of what I am used to playing.  I look forward to the challenge!


Todd Bell - Vampire Counts

Todd's game plan centered around coming in and smashing up my chariots.  Without the tomb kings and chariots, the Vampire Counts would have had an easy time picking the TK apart.  He figured there would be two skull chuckas lobbing S4 no save skulls at him, so he made sure to take ward saves against magical shooting.  Mounting his Count on a winged nightmare was tricky but it would give his count mobility and enable him to get behind the TK lines and cause some havoc there while his black knights came in and carved up the chariots.  To defend against the nasty incantations, he also brought along a necromancer.


For the first time in a long time I won all three rolls to determine which side of the table I was on, who deployed first, and who went first.  I chose to go first.

Tomb King Turn 1

The terrain was definitely unkind.  We rolled a total of 10 pieces of 12 possible... and many were marshes and woods.  The Tomb Kings are on the bottom of the screen, the VC on the top.  The upper corner held a marsh, a woods, and another marsh.  The center of the board had a wood, a marsh, and more woods with a wall blocking the foul forces of evil from the village on the far right.  The bottom of the screen you can see a hill with a clock tower on top of it.  As Captain Ass Kicker would point out later when he showed up to watch, you could tell by the placement of the terrain that a league game was going on (the terrain was not set up to look good, rather to hinder the enemy)

There was only a couple real avenues of approach for the VC (the last piece of terrain was the wall which I put out to block the other avenue of approach... tactical genius I might add) so I compacted my army in the left corner to meet the enemy.  I was correct about the winged nightmare showing up, but was surprised with only one unit of black knights.  The rest of the army would slog it across the board and there was only really two hard hitting units I had to worry about, the Black Knights and the Winged Vamp.  The ghouls might annoy me, so I placed the Ushabti on my right flank to hold it... the ghouls I didn't think had a chance of breaking through that nastiness.

My tomb king's unit was on the left flank, prepared to hold it against the Black Knight rush.  I placed my liche priest behind the spearmen unit next to the skull chucka and kept the skull chucka behind the spears to prevent it from being raped by the winged vamp.  Two crewmen stood on the hill to see the enemy.  On the hill were two units of archers as well as the Giant, as I did not know if I might need help on the left or right... so having him in the center gave me the chance to react as needed (the Tomb Kings seem to be a counter-attack army and reaction is important)

In front of this were another unit of archers and the tomb swarm. 

Across from me was the VC line.  It would be tough going for them as they were slowed down.  If I could get some good shots off with the skull chucka I would take that VC out before it got to me!  I knew he was coming for the SC and rip up my rear lines so I placed high priority in killing him quickly.  His mobility meant it would be hard getting a charge off where I needed... an advantage to flying around on a monster. 

His wolves lined up with his Black Knights behind him.  Two large units of skeletons were holding the center, with their "detachment" of zombies next to them.  Finally the ghouls would harass my right flank.  It was time to get ugly.

Todd rolled up Curse of Years and the Invocation for his count, and his necro got Invocation and Hellish vigor. 

Movement

I moved the swarm up and the giant to the left as it seemed that the left side of the table would see some action.  The swarm could bottle up the skeleton infantry when it finally got to me.  My bone giant could hopefully do some damage to the knights as they emerged from the left flank.

Magic - VC 4 dispel dice

I realized that my chariot unit was out of range for The Rock to help out the skull chucka in firing in the shooting phase, so my Tomb Prince started off by using the Incantation for movement.  He rolled a 1 and it was dispelled.  The Rock has two incantations, and he used the same incantation and rolled a sweet 2, and it too was dispelled.  The Rock was angry and raised his eyebrow and tried it a second time, rolling a 3.  Todd only had 2 dice left so he let the chariots move closer to the battle line.  The Liche Priest tried to allow the skull chucka to shoot and on 2 dice rolled a sweet 3.  Todd easily dispelled it with his 2 dice remaining.  Sweet magic phase.

Shooting

The skull chucka launched a pile of skulls at the vampire count, hitting great by partially hitting zombies, wolves, and the count.  Unfortunately a string of ones later and I managed to kill a zombie and a wolf. 

Only one unit of archers could shoot anything, so my 10 archers on the right side of the hill (2) opened fire at a unit of 12 zombies, hitting 3 times and not managing to do any damage.  Awesome shooting phase.


Vampire Counts Turn 1

Todd did the only thing he could do, he moved his entire army forward.  The Blood Dragon count took to the air and landed next to the woods.  His wolves screened him, and the left flank was being charged upon by a unit of wolves and the Black Knights.  The Rock raised his eyebrow at the left flank.  It had to be shut down quickly or there would be sweet hell to pay.

The slow infantry in the center began shambling forward, the cracking of their bones like sweet music. 

Magic - 5 power dice to 3 dispel

Todd tried to immediately raise the dead in front of me and block some archers, but I dispelled that crap.  His second effort was not wasted, however, as he had 2 dice left to my none.  He bolstered his necromancer's unit up from 25 to 35.  The Rock pounded his skeletal chest in challenge from across the battlefield but the necromancer ignored him.


Tomb Kings Turn 2

The move for turn 2 began with disaster.  My arm brushed against the large pewter clock tower, and it fell north west, smashing through units of skeletons and the Nagash model I was using for the bone giant.  The carnage was awful... it also brought tears to my eyes.

Above you can see the carnage, though I had picked up the clock tower.  Skeleton parts, flock, and Nagash lay in many many pieces.  Amazingly the new archers I had just painted at the base of the tower were not damaged. 

The Rock stared in anger as the clock tower fell on top of his minions.  The Bone Giant moved forward to face off against the Dire Wolves.  I hoped that I could get the movement incantation off to get a charge into the dire wolves, as I felt the giant could crush the dire wolves and over run into that sweet sweet vampire count...

The chariots reformed to face the dire wolves coming in on my left flank.  I didn't want to charge my chariots off over the edge of the table as it would take them out of the game for a while so I prayed that my archers could handle them.

The Liche Priest stood behind the spearmen and moved closer to the spearmen in case he needed to jump into the unit.  With the Blood Dragon flying around on the winged nightmare, the unit would be a target for him and I didn't want him to step forward and lay waste to my heirophant.  So he cowered behind his spearmen.  Those wolves coming around the flank however worried me...

Magic

Here we go.  The Tomb Prince tried to move his chariot unit (a bluff on my part, I would have done some minor movement but I wanted to try and burn some of those dispel dice), and he rolled a 2.  Todd fell for the bait and dispelled me, leaving him with 3 dice left.

The Rock arched his eyebrows and tried two times to move the giant.  Todd dispelled one as I rolled a 1, and then the second attempt on the giant the Rock had a 6.  Todd chose to burn his dispel scroll.  This left 2 dice to 2 dice as the liche priest cast the invocation.  Luckily it went off as I rolled a 9 to Todd's 7 and the Giant thundered into the six dire wolves.

Shooting

The skull chucka went for the knights, and the skulls were on target but scattered to fall short.  The flaming skulls set some branches on fire but that was it. Curses.

The archers on the ground (3) opened up on the dire wolves, hitting 2 of 10 and dropping 2 of the 6 beasts.  The archers on the hill (1) opened fire as well... hitting a sweet 7 of 12 times but only dropping 2 more of the creatures.  This left 2 wolves.

The archers on the right side of the hill rained down on one of the zombie units and managed to do a wound. 

HTH

The Bone Giant came in hard.  He hit 3 of the wolves and crushed them, gaining three more attacks.  These next three attacks all hit and crushed the remaining 3 wolves.  The giant was able to over run into the Vampire Count and count as charging next turn (thank you sweet jesus) and thus the giant was given the nickname "Windmill".

Captain Ass Kicker: "Yeah that's pretty balanced.  How in the hell are you supposed to stop that thing? 


Vampire Counts Turn 2

The two wolves on the left flank moved forward and around my chariots to face my liche priest who was all alone behind the spearmen.  Thank god there was no Vanhels on the board.  The rest of the army continued to shamble forward as depicted in the diagram.  The knights chose to do a right face and enter the woods.

Magic

The necromancer once again tried to raise more zombies up into a new unit, but the Liche priest was able to dispel him.  Having no power dice left, the Blood Dragon Count had Hellish Vigor cast on him.  My face drained of blood as we realized the Vamp and his nightmare would get to attack first and would get to re-roll any misses.  My giant was in trouble.

HTH

The winged nightmare lashed out at the giant with it's 3 attacks but was unable to do any damage.  The count swung his sword of battle at the giant, hitting all 6 times but only wounding 3 times.  The giant was able to save against one of those wounds and two deep wounds cut into the creature, leaving 4 remaining.

The giant howled in fury as it's huge twin blades cut down into the winged nightmare (easier to kill the monster I say... and a vamp on foot is going to be a fleeing vamp on foot).  The giant carved into the nightmare easily inflicting 3 wounds and crushing the beast.  As the giant counted as charging due to the overrun he got his unstoppable assault rule and had 3 more attacks.  His swords beat down on the vampire, inflicting 2 more wounds.  No more hits were scored but the vampire had suffered 2 wounds and only had one left.  Due to Combat Resolution, the vampire crumbled into dust and lay smouldering on the ground. 

All around the vampire count army cries of anguish were heard as the undead began to crumble without the will of their master driving them.  The Black Knights were fine.  The first unit of zombies lost 5, the skeletons in the center with the necromancer lost 4 of their number, the other skeletons behind lost 4 of their number, and the zombies on the right of the skeletons lost half their numbers. 

Off in the distance the funeral bells began to chime.  I had achieved my mission in slaying the vampire count and it was just a matter of time before the rest of the army crumbled.


Tomb Kings Turn 3

I had achieved my mission and killed the vampire count.  Now it was only a matter of time.  My next priority was to end the vampire magic, and so the tomb swarm charged the necromancer and his unit, aiming to try and poison the foul necromancer to his doom.

My chariots turned around to face the Dire Wolves behind them.  The Liche Priest joined the skeletons in case the wolves weren't dealt with and the unit turned to face the wolves.  The left unit of archers on the hill moved so that they could see and fire at the wolves in case the chariots couldn't get their movement incantation off.

The ushabti lumbered forward to get closer to the ghouls, and the giant moved forward where I thought he was out of charge range of the knights.  Little did I know (I forgot) that they would have the distance to get to me.

Magic

The Tomb Prince was able to get his incantation off to move the chariots into the dire wolves.  The Tomb King tried to get the skull chucka to fire but both incantations were dispelled by the necromancer.  The Liche Priest was able to use his incantation to get the skull chucker to fire as Todd had no dice left.  The skull chucka fired off and hit the knights dead on, but once again it scattered off harmlessly.

Shooting

The skull chucka tried again and managed another hit on the knights, scattering a little bit but hitting two of the knights.  Two wounds were inflicted but their banner that gave them a 5+ ward save against missiles kicked in and saved one of them.  As of yet I was not impressed with my skull chucka.

The archers in the front (3) opened fire on the unit of zombies in front of them, dropping 2 of the flesh bags and reducing them to 5.  The archers on the right side of the hill tried to kill some ghouls but hit once of 10 and no wounds. 

Hand to Hand

The swarm came in.  I directed one base to attack the necromancer exclusively and the other base attacked the skeletons.  One skeleton dropped, and the necromancer took an auto poison wound and a normal wound, dropping him dead as well.  Three skeletons struck back and crunched two of the beetles.  The swarm lost combat and only one base remained with 4 wounds left, but the VC were now without magic.  A good trade off.


Vampire Counts Turn 3

More undead crashed to the ground as their magic dissipated.  Both units of zombies crashed to the ground dead, the big unit of skeletons lost 2, and the unit behind lost 9 (leaving 12 left).  The knights were fine.

The Black Knights charged hells bells into my bone giant, and the ghouls moved toward the Ushabti, into their charge range.

HTH

The skeleton warriors were unable to hit a single tomb swarm, and the swarm itself killed 2 more of the skeletons.  Due to CR the swarm was taken down to one wound remaining.

The Black Knights and Thrall hit the giant hard.  The thrall came in with his great weapon and carved 2 more wounds from the construct.  The knights and their horses were unable to inflict a wound.

"Windmill" struck back, hitting 3 times and wounding 3 times, crushing three of the black knights into bone powder.  The giant lost combat by 2 but due to it's special rule only took another wound.  It was down to a single wound and would more than likely fall next turn.


Tomb Kings Turn 4

The Ushabti charged into the ghouls.  The archers on the hill turned to face the center of the field again, as did the spearmen.  The archers on the right part of the hill moved to the right to claim that table quarter.  The chariots rolled forward to try to get some action in.

Magic

The Tomb Prince reformed his chariots to shorten the frontage.  The Rock tried to move his chariots forward but both of his incantations were dispelled.  This left the liche priest to do what he wanted, and his incantation allowed the skull chucka to fly forth at the skeleton unit behind the main skeleton unit in the hopes that more casualties would speed it's demise.  Flaming skulls landed in the midst of the walking dead and four more of their numbers fell to the ground, leaving 9 remaining.

Shooting

The skull chucka targetted the skeletons again, and again hit dead on, dropping five more of the skeletons to the ground and leaving four.  The archers on the hill shot out at the skeletons behind the main unit but were unable to do anything.

HTH

Over on the left, the Thrall took the Bone Giant's head off and the construct crashed to the ground with a mighty thud.  It's work had been done and the blessings of the ancient priests had been potent. 

The skeletons battling the swarm finally managed to kill the last beetle, leaving themselves open to move about freely.

The Ushabti came into the ghouls, their massive weapons slaying three of the foul ghouls.  The ghouls struck back, and two poisoned attacks were able to penetrate the construct's magic.  Due to outnumbering it was a draw.


Vampire Counts Turn 4

The skeleton unit behind the main skeletons crashed to the ground dead as they finished crumbling.  An eerie mist hung over the battlefield as the necromantic link was severed.  The Black Knights and Skeletons lost none (rolling snake eyes for the skeletons). 

The skeletons charged into my unit of archers (3), and the Black Knights moved into the center of the table behind the marsh.

HTH

The Ushabti continued hacking into the ghouls, slaying 5 more of their numbers and splatting the ground with their black blood.  The ghouls turned around and fled as the terrifying constructs waded through them, ghoul heads and arms flying everywhere.  The Ushabti moved a sweet 12 inches and contested the table quarter.

The skeleton warriors attacked my archers, and hacked two of the 10 to the ground.  The archers in unison drew weapons and one of the vampire count skeletons dropped.  The tomb king archers lost combat by a whole lot and many began crumbling, leaving two.


Tomb Kings Turn 5

The Rock moved toward the skeleton warriors flank.  There were still over 25 of the damned things but their numbers would soon deteriorate due to the VC dying as well as The Rock kicking their candy ass all over the table.

The skeleton archers from the hill continued to move into the right table quarter and safely contested it.  The scorpion actually burrowed out of the ground that turn and scattered 10 inches to where my chariots had been in the beginning of the game.  It scuttled forward to join it's master. 

Magic

The Tomb Prince cast his will upon the chariots, moving them into the skeletons flank hard.  The Tomb King's first try at letting his men fight a turn of combat in the magic phase was dispelled, but his second was not.  Out of 10 attacks total (6 horses, 2 skeletons, 1 Tomb Prince, 1 Tomb King) three skeletons were destroyed. 

The Liche Priest cast a deadly incantation on the skull chucka again, and magical skulls were thrown at the black knights, hitting but not doing any damage.

Shooting

The skull chucka fired off again at the knights, but the scatter dice were evil and the skulls landed off their mark after scattering another 10 inches.

The archers on the hill fired at the knights but as you might guess, S3 bows did nothing to the knights.

HTH

A total of 6 Impact Hits were rolled from two light chariots and the chariot of fire, killing four of the skeletons.  The chariot horses did nothing and the skeletons with spears impaled one more.  The tomb prince wounded 3 of 3 attacks, and The Rock laid the smack down on a single skeleton, all in all killing a total of 9 skeletons.

The VC skeletons attacked the two archers remaining and killed one of them.  After such huge casualties, losing their rank bonus and getting hit in the flank, 11 more skeletons dropped to the ground leaving one single VC skeleton.


Vampire Counts Turn 5

Two units remained and the lone skeleton crumbled, leaving just the black knights on the table.  The black knights moved forward and The Rock prepared to beat down the last VC unit.


Tomb Kings Turn 6

The Rock and his men wheeled into position to charge the black knights.  The thrall hissed at the mummy, but knew it was about to have it's ass kicked hard.  The scorpion also scuttled forward and was hoping for some magic to get it over the marsh and into the black knights flank.

Magic

With only two dispel dice, Todd had no choice but to watch the Rock and the scorpion charge the Black Knights.

HTH

The Thrall stepped forward to challenge The Rock.  It would be the final stand of the Thrall and his 5 remaining Black Knights.  Seven impact hits were inflicted into the unit, but only 2 wounded and both were saved.

The Scorpion's stinging tail poisoned (that still amazes me... undead getting poisoned) two of the black knights who failed their save, and the Tomb Prince Dalamar was able to carve into two more knights.

The lone black knight who could strike back hit into Dalamar's chariot but the blow was deflected by the ancient carriage.

The Rock swung his Flail of Skulls over his head and crunched into the thrall three times, inflicting two wounds (which were 4) and dropping the thrall's crushed body to the ground dead.  The final black knight moaned as green mist escaped it's skeletal body and it collapsed to the ground.

The entire Vampire Counts army had been destroyed.  Piles of bones lay everywhere, and where the Vampire Count had fallen, only a black mark remained.  It had been a sweet sweet tactical victory for the Tomb Kings.

FINAL SCORE

Tomb Kings: 2,696    Vampire Counts: 350


POST GAME

Ouch.  My plan worked to a T.  The VC was taken out in Turn 2, which enabled a quick victory for my forces.  When fighting the undead it is paramount to destroy the key to the army... the Vampire Count or the Heirophant.  Without that character, the rest of the army has such poor leadership that it quickly dissolves, as did Todd's forces that lay on the ground bleaching in the sun.

The Rock and his forces look towards Week 2 where they will battle the ever eager Melissa and her High Elves.  Todd will take on Aaron and his rock hard Chaos army.

CAPTAIN ASS KICKER'S THOUGHTS

Truly a classic example of Power Gaming.  The Tomb Kings army was definitely a sight to behold, maxing out all of the high powered monsters to kill the Vampire Count.  Bravo!  The terrain was also inspirational, bringing tears to my eyes.  Just look at how everything was put in the middle of the table just so the VC would be slowed down.  I don't know which army I hate more now, Cheese-Os, Vampire Counts, or the Cheese Kings.  I'll post more later...

The battle between Chris Nye's Tomb Kings and Todd's Vampire Counts was a classic example of the difference between friendly games and competitive games. Let me start out by saying what I have always said, there are two different philosophies of play, friendly and competitive gaming. Competitive gaming is the realm of power gamers and there is nothing inherently wrong with that. Those people who share that philosophy have fun in highly competitive gaming and more power to them. If playing that way makes them happy, great. Its just when you mix the types that trouble starts. Friendly type gamers want to play more realistic armies, use realistic terrain setups, use armies with minimal elite and hero type units, etc. For friendly gamers sticking to the fluff is more important than manipulating army lists to come up with killer combos. Competitive gamers are more interested in the game aspect while friendly gamers are more interested in the background of the game in general.

Now lately there has been an effort on the part of some of the more bitter power gamers in the league, who didn't like this or that,  to discredit the friendly gamer faction by saying that we just screw off and don't play to win. This is a fabrication created to discredit the friendly gamer philosophy and legitimize thier way as the correct way. Friendly gamers do play to win, don't doubt that for a second. Nobody in the league plays this game to lose and anyone who says otherwise is either a liar with an agenda or an idiot who doesn't think before they speak. We just play according to a different code of honor so to speak. Competitive gamers play with a code of honor also, but it is different. For competitive gamers it is honorable to max out your army list to win as long as you don't cheat, and that is fine. For friendly gamers there are more rules, terrain is used to enhance a games aesthetic apeal not to screw your opponent over, armies should be constructed like a real army would be with maximum standard troops and minimal elite and hero type units, you don't use obvious loop holes in the rules to get an advantage by doing something ridiculous or unrealistic just because "its legal", etc.  Friendly gamers try to make armies effective and competitive but follow more rules in their construction on what is, or is not, acceptable. Friendly gamers tend to use common sense to settle rules disputes while competitive gamers tend to use the letter of the law.

Anyway, getting back to the battle on Sunday, at the beggining of the game you could immediately tell what kind of game it was going to be just by looking at the terrain. Normally when I play I try to set the table up in a manner that looks realistic and then let my opponent choose sides since I am trying to make a table that looks good and is fair to both sides instead of making a table that gives me an advantage. By looking at the table it was apparent that, what I like to call, the "cock-block" method of terrain placement had been used. There was a hill on one side with a building placed on top of it to prevent it being used by ranged units. By examining the rest of the table I think I can deduce the chain of events that occured after that. After seeing his attempt to place a hill to enhance his shooting "cock-blocked" by the building being place on top of it, Chris decided to change tactics to screw his opponent over by hindering his movement by placing a marsh or woods in the middle of the table. This was followed by retatiatory "cock-blocking" by Todd, and so on back and forth until, in the end, the table had a line of marshes, woods, walls, and buildings all the way from one end of the table to the other right down the center. Does it look good? Nope. Is it fun to play on? Not unless you like trudging through woods or marsh, stumbling over walls, or funneling your troops into kill zones.

Next was the army selection. I have to say the armies there were not bad at all. Todd's army was composed of mostly core troops with one unit of black knights and some supporting heroes(villains?). Chris's army wasn't too bad either, it definitely had variety. A few units of core skeletons, catapult, Bone giant, chariot unit, Ushtabi(undead ogres basically) and supporting characters. It was a little heavy on elite type units but in a masterstroke of strategic genius he added the three units of ten bowmen to boost his comp score(excellent job!) However Chris's army was designed with one purpose, to win, specifically to kill Todd's vampire and make his army disintigrate. Well by turn two his mission was accomplished, the "cheese" giant steam rollered a unit of wolves, the winged nightmare and its rider, Todd's vampire general. I think everyone knows how powerful a vampire lord is so I think it says alot that the bone giant made the vampire lord his bitch and didn't even break a sweat. After that it was just a matter of letting sweet unstability take its toll and mop up the remainder of Todd's army. Congratulations, mission accomplished! Through strategic genius and army selection Chris had bagged a victory by turn two, not just a victory, a massacre, and in doing so he firmly established his manhood as one of the big dogs, a true alpha male,  in the league.

By using terrain placement and knowing his enemies weaknesses, Chris had scored a quick and easy victory. Was it fun for Chris? Probably. For Todd? Mabybe, but I doubt it. Is there anything really wrong with this type of play? Not really but it does serve as an example as a true competitive type game. Not my cup of tea, but to each his own. I will have to say that both armies were pretty well balanced and both players were friendly and cooperative which is great and also serves as an example that competitive style play can be good natured and enjoyable as well