Doctor does WTC 5 - Warhammer Team Challenge 5.

- A SETTRA Tournament Report.

Here follows an (absolutely!) true account of my exploits at WTC 5, a tournament held in Denmark in August 2005.

THE CALL

Let me tell you the story
'Bout the call that changed my destiny
Me and my boys went out
Just to end up in misery....

Hang on - this is supposed to be a tournament report, not a Backstreet Boys song, but the words seems true enough at the time. So, sorry to disappoint all you BB groupies, this is hardcore Warhammer!

A couple of months ago I got a call from an old friend, Jeppe. He invited me to join his team for 'Warhammer Team Challenge 5', a tournament in August.
It would be held in Elsinore, a small town 30 kilometers north of Copenhagen (in the Rotten State of Denmark) and span a weekend, though only Friday and Saturday would be game-days, with Sunday being 'clean-up' (and probably 'hang-over') day.
Never one to pass on a chance for Warhammer and beer, I accepted, without knowing much about the tournament - I didn't know anything actually.

Had I known what I know now, I may have answered differently...

THE TOURNAMENT

WTC is not a normal tournament - it's a team tournament! Each team is 4 players (actually our team ended up being five - we had to get an advantage somehow!), and part of the concept is to have a relaxed tournament atmosphere, without too much at stake - but with plenty of alcohol to be consumed.

As the name suggests, the tournament had been held 4 times before, and since the same 8 teams compete each year (but with some substitutions in the ranks of course), there was a handicap system, so theoretically any army could be made, but the team had a set of restrictions to abide by. Our team (apparently) finished 5th last year, and could therefore bring (split between us, in our 2000p armies):

3 Lords
13 total characters
13 Special Choices
6 Rare choices
7 Dispel Scrolls
14 Power levels.

Also, only 1 player could play any 1 army list/book and only 1 player could play one of the power armies:

Vampires, Brets, Skaven, Lizardmen - and maybe something else? I can't remember. - Dwarves perhaps?.

Only 125 points could be spent on magic items, not including the army standard - I thought it was 'not including banners', but I'll get back to that.

BUNKEREN ALLSTARS!

Well, our glorious team called 'Bunkeren Allstars' - Jeppe's basement is a gaming room called 'the bunker' (or 'bunkeren' in danish) and the other guys regularly played there, so hence the teamname.

The other team members were:
Captain Jeppe - old-timers will know him because of his magnificently painted Lizardman army (if you don't know it, check out Warhammer Chronicles 2003, page 24-27). He played his Dark Elves though, a cavalry army with (off the top of my head) 2 units of cold one knights, 3 units of dark riders, a manticore-lord, a pegasus-hero, 2 repeaters, a chariot and a regiment of spearmen.
Friis - also an old-timer in the warhammer scene, he used Jeppe's Lizardmen - he had a fairly typical (dirty) army with a Slann, skink priest, nike-saurus, skinks, Kroxigors and saurus - but we'll get back to that army later! (foreshadowing...!)
Woody and Christian - 2 guys playing an empire army - noone complained about
that, since they managed to do it in a very friendly way. I had never met them before, but before the weekend was over, I had borrowed Christians bike and everything! The army was fairly typical, though a bit 'gun-linish' with 2 cannons, hellblaster, 3 knight units, handgunners and some infantry.

THE ARMY!

I decided to bring my Tomb Kings, as no other player on the team was playing them and they usually do fairly well in restriction-heavy tournaments. I got my hands on a lord choice, 2 extra heroes, 2 special choices (which ended up being 3!) and 2 rare choices. I also got to take 2 scrolls and was quick put my grubby hands on the War Banner

Well, to get the cheese over with, I decided early on to use both my rare choices on Screaming Skull Catapults - yeah, yeah, I know, in a friendly-type tournament that's probably over the top - but because of the usual restrictions for Danish tournaments, I never get to use them - so I did. There. I've said it. Now get over yourself! It's just a game!

I brought them, although on the way to the tournament, I could imagine myself being the biggest whiner (whinger?) if someone had brought 2 Hellblasters or 6 Salamanders - but I'd just have to close my eyes and think of Denmark.

Double-'Pult means playing defensively, so I decided to take two blocks of skeletons (20 each) and a regiment of Archers (16) - those archers always end up being hiding-place for the liches, and I honestly can't remember having ever shot anything important - but I always have big plans for them - 'I'll put them on a hill next to the catapult and WHAM - 2 x 16 arrows, in your face!

Character-wise, I didn't have the option to go really magic-heavy (magic heavy and 2 catapults - I was really going for Mrs. Popularity, eh?) so I went all-round - I chose a Tomb king and two liches.

Now, a Tomb King is always tricky to equip. I could write books on the many things to think about when equipping a Tomb King, but I always come down to the same item - Flail of Skulls. It's simply so versatile and so good for dealing with the stuff that TK's traditionally have a tough time against - Giants, big characters, even swarms, not to mention laying the smackdown on a unit champion for +6 combat result to tip the combat in my favor.

The 125 points restriction meant that he'd just have to trust his 4 wounds and toughness 5 for protection. The 2 liches were more straight-forward - I had decided I would include 2 dispel scrolls, and the Hieretic Jar is pretty much a no-brainer - much better than Cloak of Dunes, especially since my Hierophant always seems to fly into more trouble than he was already in.

So, for some faster troops, I got 3 Chariots (with Standard of the Cursing Word - a very overlooked item). Placed on a chariot, with some 'careful' manouvering during the charge (some would say dodgy...) it's often possible to get into contact with 3-4 guys and kill enough to have the outnumber, maybe an important champion, stuff like that. The chariot were backed by 12 heavy 'hose-men' with the War Banner - crack troops, plenty to take on a regiment head on (as long as it doesn't include nastry characters) and an absolute nightmare to get in the flank. After playing a lot with those, I've found that 12 seems like the right number, 16 is just too cumbersome and 8 is just bad.

Now, no Tomb King general leaves his pyramid without his Scorpions - and neither did I - I had two special choices and decided to go Scorpion/Scorpion rather than Scorpion/Carrions (or Ushabti/Tomb Guard, haha). Scorpions are just that good, and although Carrions are nice for some things, it's not really a contest.

Finally a Tomb Swarm dug itself into the ground and joined my army (2 bases) taking a bit of the pressure from the Scorpions. (Meaning = hunting warmachines, so the scorpions can kill more exiting stuff.)

The Army List

Talk is Talk, here are the hard facts

Tomb King, Flail of Skulls
Lich - hieretic jar, Dispel Scroll
Lich - Dispel Scroll
20 Skeleton
20 Skeleton
16 Skeleton - bows
12 Heavy Horsemen - War Banner
3 Chariots - Standard of Cursing Word
2 Tomb Scorpions
2 Screaming Skull Catapults - Skulls of the Foe!

The Embarrasment!

Well that was supposed to be the army - but in game 1 against Wilhelm, when I unfurled my Standard of the Cursing Word, he looked a bit puzzled and said 'how much did that cost'. I said '25', and started explaining why I thought it was a good item, and he said, 'oh, then you have 100 points left'.

After some erm...ooops, we worked it out, so I kept my army as it was for game 1 (and I told Wilhelm all my magic items as a penalty) and I changed my army for the rest of the game - scrapping the 2 magic banners and some odd skeletons / equipment, and getting 3 carrions instead. Because of some misunderstanding, our team actually had an unused Special choice. And some eagle riders played carrion-duty all weekend, as I hadn't brought my carrions...

Proceed to Friday Afternoon!