I had borrowed my parents’ car (after all - the carprices (and gas-prices) are rediculous in DK), and had written a notice on the Danish forum saying that I could pick someone else up if needed. One of the other participants in the tournament, Martin (Skummelkrat), needed a ride, especially since he had borrowed a Bretonnian army that was a bit difficult to carry around. He works close to where I live and I know him from other Warhammer arrangements (actually he participated in one of my Flash Battle Reports), so I picked him up and we headed off, talking tactics and exchanging warhammer stories on the way. Martin is a very active tournament player these days, so he updated me on the latest happenings in the Warhammer community.
When we got there (we only took 1 wrong turn), it was 2 hours to tournament-start,
so we sat in the bar and talked a bit to some of the other players. Unfortunately
the bar was closed (they had actually placed a big lock on the beer tap!) ,
but soon some members of ‘Illuminati’ brought a case of beers, so
that got us started. Or rather – got them started. I was driving, remember?
I also had the privilege of meeting several of the regular posters, both from the Danish Goblins Lair board and the English WPS (or rather – the replacement board) board.
This included many old friends, but also some (for me) new faces, including the tournament organiser Kragh with his Tomb King army and White Dwarf celebrity Asger (from the new Tales of Four Gamers) who was entering with his Sylvanian army. And not his famous 'Asgers Pegasus army', in case you were wondering.
First game – Friday Evening
One of the Organizers got on the stage and yelled out pairings for the first round. I was fairly certain that I had never played against Karl-Johan and I wasn’t sure whether I had met him before, but I was sure that I knew him from somewhere (I am the worst person in the world at remembering faces). I couldn’t put my finger on it, but fortunately he eased my embarrassment, by remembering that he had helped me (via e-mail) working out some things for my Flash Battle Reports about a year ago.
Anyway, he is a great guy, and I could tell from the beginning that the game would be a pleasant one. He played with his own Bretonnia army that included
- A lord on a Hippogryph.
- A Mage lord and 2 lvl 2 mages – all on horses.
- 3 heroes – one of them was the battle standard.
- 2 x 7 Knights of the Realm and 2 x 8 Errand knights.
- 5 Grail Knights, 5 mounted Yeomen and 4 Pegasus Knights.
- A regiment of 35 (!) archers in a single regiment – they are skirmish, so all of them can shoot!
His army was painted in a red
and black color scheme that worked really well, with the grail knights purple
(so they stood out) and some conversion on the characters, especially two of
the mages (one was modelled on a warhawk).
I thought his army looked a bit small, but considering the number of characters, it was probably as it should be.
We started by rolling the ‘attacker-defender’ – roll. First
we both rolled a ‘1’. Then both another ‘1’ and finally
he rolled a ‘2’ while I rolled my 3rd ‘1’. Oh dear.
We needn’t have bothered, though, because he chose to pray, so I got to choose! Against fast armies I always chose to be the attacker – gives me another turn of shooting, with anything that panics going off the board.
I set up my army in one half of my deployment zone – Infantry towards the center and cavalry/chariots on the flank – the Bone Giant would guard the infantry’s unprotected flank. The Scorpions deployed normally, ready for some redirection action.
He set up directly across my army – Archers on a central hill and his knights lined up, Pegasus knights behind a forest. He placed his Sorceress Lord and the 3 heroes in the Grail Knight regiment, in the middle of the strong flank!
As for spells, he chose heavens for his lord, and rolled 1-2-3-4 – fortunately he didn’t get the comet. The two others got life spells, only the Howler wind really a threat.
Rather than a turn-for-turn account, I’ll note the highlights.
The first two turns was played cautiously – he tried to bait
me with his mounted yeomen but only dragged out a scorpion that was then
magically moved to a suitable place.
His general on a hippo charged my bone giant – he only caused 1 wound on the charge, and in the second round my Bone giant managed to put 4 wounds on his Hippo, none of them was saved and his general was run down by the big fellow – the Bone giant then took several wounds from his archers (putting it down to 1 wound!) before it ran back to mommy (or rather – the high lich which healed it).
A tomb Scorpion behind a defended obstacle held a charge from 8 Errand long enough for the King , leading the Guards, to sort things out with his flail.
Then my 25 skellies held the other Errands and a KoTR regiment, allowing my 16 cavalry to slam into his flank, autobreaking both, but only wiping one of them.
Those 16 heavy horses then managed to get to his Archers, but he kept fleeing with his knight-unit that contained wizards, and despite breaking them 3 times, they kept outrunning me.
The Scorpion that had held off the Errands managed to charge the Pegasus Knights magically, and after a string of Killing Blows, they were run down.
I had to use my chariots to hold off his Grail Knights with the 4 characters, but they were out of the game until turn 6 where he could charge the (now healed) bone giant that had just seen off a full KoTR regiment with a sorceress that failed a terror test.
Also, his 3 heroes left the grail knights and charged the archers in the last turn – the liches had left the unit, kind of like rats jumping from a sinking boat, but 1 archer managed to survive the onslaught, denying him the full VP’s.
19-11 win to me – a difference of just under 1000 points.
Only 1 game was played Friday night and I felt pretty good at winning that – always a nice start to any tournament. A bit more luck on my SSC and it would have been bigger, but if his lord hadn’t fluffed his attacks on the BG it would (definitely) have been closer.
Being the first night of the tournament, there was quite a large number of non-participants, who had showed up to help / cheer their friends on and so. They had a pretty clever idea, which I'll definately recommend for non-participants. It's based on 'NFL Picks', a gimmick from the danish TV2, who are showing the NFL games every sunday night (that's American Football, if you were wondering). On their website, you can guess the outcome of the games in each round (win/lose) and then 'rank them' from 1-12 (or whatever) points. You get points if you are correct in guessing the winner according to the 'rank' each game has been awarded - so the match you gave '12' will give you 12 points if your favorite wins - so obviously you'll use your '12' for the game you are most confident in and the '1' for the one you are really in doubt about - since you'll only 'miss' 1 point if you guess incorrectly.
So, a lot of guesses were made, and the happy winner, Jesper 'Thunderus' Hansen had chosen me as his 'best pick', giving him 12 points (or whatever the maximum was). I'm glad I came through for him, especially since only one other 'guesser' had chosen me as the winner of the first round - and even that guy had ranked me as the last one.
A little after midnight we started the car again and drove home.
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