Jack of Herts 2
Fresh back from the Jack of Herts 2 here’s my account of events...
The usual chaos ensued with snow hitting the South East of England on the couple of days before JoH2 leading to Mat and Paul fearful if anyone would actually make the event. In the end it was smooth sailing for all with only a little bit of crunchy snow underfoot on the untreated road approaching the venue. As usual when we got in and warmed up there was the usual amazing array of scenery on 7 6x4 tables but this was added to by some amazing 3x3 vanguard tables. The effort that had been gone to was amazing. Pleasantries were exchanged and free cups of tea sourced. How very British.
Game 1 Invade
The pairings were announced and although there had been the chance to issue challenges i don’t think anyone took them up so the random draw lead me to be facing Rusty Shackleford’s dwarven horde. It was big blocks of infantry with some scouting rangers, two bombards and a Craggoth. First off, as always the painting is lovely from Rusty. The army composition is fantastic. Even more so given it is yellow, well known for being fiendish to get a consistent finish. Deployment went as expected with him hugging the table edge and castling up with the LL Behemoth loitering behind them. The bombards hung back and the Craggoth and rangers held more of the centre. I deployed in kind with my gigas on the extreme flank followed by my Thuul and Coral Giant lurking in the woods. Having more drops my knucker then had free reign to hang out on the uncontested flank.
Both forces advanced to the centre and thankfully the bombards helped out by stealthy targets hit nothing. Ecktor was teleported back behind the dwarven lines only to be surge charged by Craggoth. Despite it not being in the front to uffer from ensnare he wasn’t taken down. This proved to be crucial as Craggoth was then exposed to the rear charge of a coral giant and flank of a knucker. After some to and fro the big pile of rocks went down and the knucker sped off to deal with the artillery.
Due to a bottle neck created by a rocky outcrop the dwarves couldn’t bring their whole force to bear on the gigas and they slowly began to wear each other down until the giant crabs broke through for the loss of one unit to a behemoth charge. Not wanting the charge the crystal pendant wielding rangers with my pricy gigas I threw a knucker into their rear with a death wish. By this time there were few dwarves left but the Behemoth was still standing. The siren dragged the big brute towards her, crucially into base contact with the ranger unit. The knucker rolled well and lit the blue touch paper on the rangers. The result was 3 wounds on the knucker and 7 on Golloch for the ensuing explosion. Being disordered and out of arc to charge anything he was promptly set upon by the Thuul with the hammer of measured force and suicide knucker. Despite piling on the wounds there was a double 1 on the nerve and the miughty Golloch stood firm for another fight! Another turn and the dwarves finally succumbed allowing me to race over the line in turn 7.
Final score 8-0
I think a lot pivoted on Craggoth going down and the bombards not hitting anything really of any note. Without this I would not have been able to concentrate my efforts on the infantry and whittle them down. As always a great opponent though and will look forward to the next clash!
Game 2 Plunder
A late addition to the tournament was Dom Staveacre and his orcs. He had a huge amount of nerve to chew through, a winged slasher and some boar boys to back them up. before deploymet, he chose to flip one of the objectives on less exposed side so i did the same and chose the one next to it.
Deployment led to a wall of trolls facing the pricey objectives, the hordes of orcs blocking up the centre and the fast stuff and some cheeky orclings on the other flank. I played off in the same way piling all of my units onto the side with the 2VP markers with my knuckers surveying the faster stuff to keep them in check.
The orc lines advanced with the trolls racing up and grabbing the tokens and the slasher coming in to be able to charge the knucker but not be charged. The fishmen countered and slowly advanced to force the trolls to either drop the loot and charge or be charged. Meanwhile Eckter got flung behind enemy lines and along with the siren win blasted the war drum round corners and out into the front line. The trolls took the option to charge but bounced against the gigas and were slowly ground down. The inspiring shaman and war drum also got removed and their demise removed their buffs from the trolls’ nerve checks helping their demise. In the centre the orcs were slaughtering thull but struggling to manoeuvre. Meanwhile the winged slasher kept advancing and the knucker retreating in some weird Strictly Come Dancing parade of death. Under the cover of all this the orclings crept in and stole the loot.
The gigas and hidden ones nipped in and picked up the two expansive loot tokens the trolls had lost. And hung onto them. Meanwhile the Krudger on a slasher had finally seen off the knucker it was facing, the boar boyz had chomped into the second and they both headed for the main fight. Realising they needed to ground the winged slasher and box him in the gigas tore through the boar mounted Krudger and accompanied by Eckter disordered and boxed in the hero on his leathery beast. The remaining horde tried to clear out Eckter but the hindered charge and de6 stopped them in their tracks. With little to do on my T7 I went for attrition points but stupidly had not realised I had an open flank on the horde with the loot token from my Thuul.
Final Score 4-3
I think my strategy was sound of hoping i could crack the trolls and stall everything else while I grabbed the expensive loot. Eckter and the siren did a great double act again and the knuckers were great and just being annoying. Dom admitted he probably spent too much time facing off his expensive flier and it was a new scenario to him so I think I got away with an off game from him. A good fun game again and played in great spirit.
Game 3 Control
Ben Hart-Shea’s Pathfinder TC wielding herd were up next. Fearless spirit walkers made up the bulk of the force and they were backed up with some heavy hitters like stampede and avatar of the fallen and buffed by a pair of shamans.
Ben split his deployment into to battle groups with the brutes and some spirit walkers towards one side and the avatar, stampede and the remaining infantry to his right. I lumped all of my infantry in the centre hiding in some woods and behind a wall and my knuckers lurking on the extreme left flank.
With no shooting on either side the herd slowly advanced towards the fish men lines. It was cagey to start with as I did the same. The brutes moved up to threaten the thuul’s flank and the rest of the line cautiously advanced. Eckter got flung behind the beast men lines and pushed away the shaman into some rough ground wounding him. A knucker had made it into the centre and broke cover to hit a unit of spirit walkers in the flank. This set off a chain of events over the subsequent rounds. The stampede saw their chance and double teamed the hapless knucker slaughtering it. This in turn opened up a charge from the coral giant pinning the stampede in place and stripping their TC. To and fro this went with Ensnare de5 and Iron Resolve on my side against a blunted stampede.
Meanwhile I got two huge slices of luck pie with extra cream. My tidal swarm and Thuul saw off the brutes rolling something like a 10 on the nerve check and my knucker steamed into the rear of the Avatar managing again a 10+ twice on the nerve check. This gave me the numerical advantage and opened up a lot of rears and flanks. The shamans were being harassed by the wind blasters and the last two regiments of walkers made a spirited last stand with a double 1 allowing them to claim my centre table sector. With nothing threatening them my army sprinted in all directions to claim sectors. There was no turn 7.
Final Score 4-2
I got pretty lucky by popping the brutes and the Avatar and this changed things up a lot. The stampede and all of the pathfinder made my usual trick of hiding in cover void. I Think the game would have been very different if the stampede had brought its attacks to bear on units like my gigas. This is shown as they managed to waver the coral giant despite the ensnare and de5. A lovely paint job on the herd army too is worth noting and Ben secured second place in the army competition with it.
Game 4 Loot
By this stage i was siting on 3 wins which to be honest I was a bit surprised about. This led to me facing off against Jon Gunn’s Abyssals. Two units of the new super heavy cavalry and a big block of abyssal nerve backed up with the new helequins and some supporting characters and gargoyles. I sadly have no photos of this game as it was late in the day and my mind was really burning out just concentrating on the games.
I deployed in a block to the centre with some Thuul and the tidal swarm facing off against the abyssal cavalry on my right I flank. The Horde of lower abyssals took the centre and his gargoyles took his right flank opposite my pair of knuckers. A cagey couple of turns led to some repositioning and one of my knuckers grabbing the loot. It then spent the rest of the game being chased around by the gargoyles until a unit of despoilers rammed into its rear and grabbed the loot.
The Siren had given up with wind blast shenanigans and instead chased the mounted abyssal champion, drain lifing and wavering it for what seemed like every turn. Meanwhile back in the centre the gigas were doing their best to hold the centre with the the Thuul but they didn’t have the attacks to chew through the regen lower abyssals. Eckter was doing sterling work holding up the second horde of despoilers while the hidden ones cleared out the hellequins with a flank charge. They then teamed up on the despoilers that had hit the placoderm road block by flank charge charging them. In the final stages the coral giant couldn’t break the lower abyssals in the centre for the loot while the hidden ones clung onto theirs. Finally the lower abyssals dropped their loot and the gargoyles picked it up just in case there was a T7. There wasn’t and the game ended.
Final Score 1-2
Jon was a great opponent stoically asking “does that have ensnare too?” Before every combat and putting up with some below average nerve rolls. He played the flanking knuckers well and was cunning with his loot movement. I think both of us made late in the day mistakes and the flank charge he had offered with the giant and hidden ones could have proved decisive.
All this meant I wound up finishing 3rd. Amusingly the points I turned down the chance of against Dom in the second game meant despite beating Ben I finished below him on scenario points. I managed highest attrition score by a fair amount and as a bonus picked up 3rd place in best army too. There’s more I want to finish off on the paint and basing but ran out of time a little so I’ll keep pushing on for the next time. I was really pleasantly pleased with the way my army played too and thought it complemented itself well. MVP had o be Eckter who did a great job of holding stuff up and blasting stuff out of the way.
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