Erit Bellum I

Another Day of Battle!



Fresh of the back of the Doubles even frying my brain the singles started back at Darksphere. Same drill as before but it felt a lot more people and I'm not sure why but a faint air of hushed competitiveness. 4 games, two of 1500 at 40mins and 2 of 2000 at 50mins.

Lists

More units that the doubles for me so here's a more detailed look at them.

 



Game 1 Ratkin 1500, Dominate

With their high US against my elitish build with barely any ranged attacks ratkin or goblins were probably the list I feared most. On the plus side the last minute switch out of my thuul to have pathfinder rather than the Hammer of Measured Force was lucky. Marcin had:

  • Two shooty death engines
  • Horde of tunnel runners with pathfinder
  • A Slaves Regiment
  • Two Shock Troop hordes, one +1 To hit, 1 +1 Crushing Strength
  • A Swarm Crier with Bane Chant
  • Two Weapons Teams


As the plan was to get into the middle that's what we both deployed to do! with all the infantry facing off against each other, my knuckers were on the left flank opposite his death engines and tunnel runners.



I got Turn one and advanced up with the knuckers speeding off to the flank to force the death engines to turn and shoot them making them at least be on 6s. IT also kept the tunnel runners occupied. The Envoy teleported Eckter and he set up camp off to the side of the Ratkin lines ready to cause mayhem out of charge arcs with his Krakenmaw. He started well by blasting one of the weapons teams. The Rats retaliated and tried to shoot the threatening knuckers to no avail while also advancing and throwing their slaves in front to jam up the works.




The death engines danced around and were harried by the knuckers until turn 5 when they were finally free by which time the tunnel runners had zoomed into the tidal swarm but took a couple of turns to chew through the mass of otters and frogs. In the centre the gigas took a charge from the bane chanted horde of shock troops but survived. They then counter charged and despite being helped out by the Hidden ones and neighboring crabs manged to double 1 the nerve roll on the second attempt after a whopping 21 wounds. This left the shock troops and slaves free to skill off the heavily wounded gigas before the shock troops finally fell. Meanwhile behind them the siren had beached the other Shock troops on the building so they were left to sidle sideways and get hit by the thuul. Sadly the thuul couldn't damage them enough and the resulting counter charge annihilated them. Eckter had got stuck in distracting and dispatching the remaining weapons team.



As turn 5 progressed all the rerolling for elite and viscous on a horde attacks had eaten into the clock and Marcin timed out just as he finished off the dregs of the Trident Realm force. I took my turn 6 and wiped out the shock troops. There was no turn 7, if there had been I may have been able to push the slaves out of 12". I really shouldn't have won as all he had to do in his turn 6 was move his tunnel runners and two death engines into range to gain the advantage. Looks like it didn't dent the rest of his day too badly as he had a strong finish.


Final Score -TR 5 - 2 Ratkin

Game 2 Basliea Occupy 1500

Hot on the heels of a horde army a flying circus army is the next on the dread list. I have very little speed and although I can survive things it's mainly only in the front, get round the flanks and it's game over. Coupled with the fact that I would have to be move up to kill things my opponent could probably have just sat a unit in each corner and said "come and get me". 

Jon Quayle had....
The Elohi Formation
The Lancers Formation
so, 
two hordes of elohi, one with elite, one with extra speed
an Ur elohi with the blade of slashing
Gneaus
Two regiments of Knights.

He spread his force nicely across the board and I plonked my infantry in the centre with my knuckers and swarm on one flank. I took the first turn and cautiously advanced.I left the tidal swarm in the near right sector to hopefully claim it while the battle raged elsewhere.



The elohi promptly ran for the flanks and faced in with the knights advancing in the centre on my lines. The best chance I had was to keep the fliers pinned down and finish them in a couple of rounds of combat after taking a charge. I teleported Eckter in front of the knights to at least try and slow them down to concentrate elsewhere. The Thuul got a charge off on the left flank and were then hit in return. meanwhile the knuckers tried to set up flanks on the right but with the mobility of the fliers and nimble characters it was hard work made harder by the er elohi jumping behind my line of gigas. although I had a reasonable line I daftly decided to pull knights straight towards my gigas hoping to force them to charge and be able to get the charge back onto them with the gigas. This opened up the flank of the hidden ones  and the vanished in a puff of octopus ink.

The two units of gigas got their revenge and took the knights down but crucially instead of using the siren to ground the flanking elohi I managed a pointless drain life which left the winged monsters free to hop over the thuul they had been facing and slam into the unprotected flank of the gigas in the centre. The knuckers were slowly going down in the far centre and far right but occupying the knights and Gneaus.

I was fast running out of unit strength so the Thuul ran off to claim a table quarter accompanied by the siren for inspiring support to tro and hold out against the Ur elohi chasing them. The remaining knucker shot round the back out of arcs and out of trouble to claim whichever segment John didn't. In an outstanding act of heroism the Naiad Envoy threw herself at the rampaging Elohi horde in the centre wounding and grounding them which stranded them.



All that was left at the end was for the forces of basilea to spread out and claim, they held my near centre, their home centre and the far right. My Swarm had hid all game and claimed the near right and my thuul claimed the far left against the Ur elohi. The knucker had shot forward to claim the left. thankfully there was no T7 as there was a fair chance of it getting worse.

Having so few drops and unit strength in my 1500 really came home to bite and needlessly giving up a couple of flanks didn't help! John played well and short of a surprise assault by my gigas on the knights didn't lose a unit.

Final Score TR 2 - Basilea 4

Game 3 Dwarves 2K Ransack

A wall of Iron and a smile greeted me with Rusty's lovely full model count, full mantic dwarf army. it appeared other than a regiment of rangers and a horde of ironguard the whole of his army was de6. He had:
3 regiments of ironclad
1 Horde of Ironguard
Craggoth
A stone priest
2 BSB, one with bance chant, one with Rallying
A steel Behmoth
2 Bombards
A Regiment of Crystal pendant armed rangers
A regiment of Bulwarkers

Despite all the high de there was relatively little CS in the list other than the artillery and monsters so I felt if I could get into a grind I could jam things up and let my knuckers flank.



We flipped the two tokens nearest to the left of the board over to be the higher VP ones and promptly set up our battle lines opposite each other with his Bombards to the rear able to see my Coral Giant. His flank was anchored by the behmoth and he had his bulwarkers out on their own to force me to deal with them else I would have just swept up all the objectives.

The Rangers and Craggoth Vangaurded straight up to sit near the objectives.



The first couple of turns were mildly uneventful. my swarm moved over to the far left to sit on an objective all game and my knuckers circled the unit of Bulwarkers setting up a rear charge. the lines advanced and clashed in the centre with my thuul, coral giant and two blocks of gigas going toe to toe with a the stout dwarf shield wall. The rangers in centre took a couple of turns to die but by using the boomers and Eckter I pushed them back and detonated their pendant while they were in contact with the horde of ironguard, sadly only doing 4 wounds.



The Bombards kept lobbing shots at my coral giant and thankfully mostly missing allowing the siren to heal with drain life. The thuul dealt with craggoth and the Gigas eventually chewed through the ironguard. the other de6 units were taking an age for me to get through and the behmoth had been going to and fro with a knucker and the Hidden ones over the central 3pt objective. The other knucker had started to speed round the back to try and silence the guns but had to make a hasty U-Turn when a couple of combats swung the other way in the centre.



With a lucky roll of 10+ twice the gigas holding the expensive objective in the centre were toast and it began to hold in the balance with the behmoth camped in the centre shooting off the knucker camping on the adjacent token. A final flank charge from the remaining knucker tore into the massive beast and took it down while the siren silenced the guns and the remaining fishmen lined up just in case there was a turn 7.


Final Score TR 6 - 2 Dwarves

Game 4 Empire of Death 2k Kill

Another Game against an army I have never faced and a new face! Raul was a great bloke, so friendly and took so much time to talk through things in his list while playing and always giving me the benefit of the doubt. Going into the game I felt reasonably ok as I should have the speed and with a lot of units hitting on 4s my ensnare and high de should come into play.

The restless dead comprised:
2 Bone Giants
The Mum formation
The LL skeletons with blast attacks
A Horde of Revenants with the Hammer of Measured Force
A Horde of Guardians
The Stealthy LL priest
2 normal priests
1 regiment of Carrion

Deployment led to two long lines with his revenants and a bone giant anchoring one end and the Guardians and second Bone Giant on the other. the fearsome Surge 30's worth of characters were spread behind the back lines. The Scavengers were loitering behind the lines. I had strung out my line similarly with my ogres and tidal swarm on the right, the knuckers and Giant on the left and the remaining infantry between them.



The first few turns were very cagey. I launched Eckter behind the lines to try and deal with the scavengers and start to target the surge casters while the swarm headed off to take on the revanent horde, hoping to hold them up as they were in terrain and would actually be disadvantaged by their artefact. 

Then all hell broke lose.



In trying to arrange a solid line for the undead to bounce off I had left my unit of thuul 10mm further forward allowing a flank charge from a unit of mummies. While the tidal swarm were still thankfully holding up the revenants the thuul were predictably wiped out. Meanwhile on the right flank the scavengers charged the coral giant and instead of sticking with my original plan to flank with the knuckers I threw them into to try and jam things up. the plan was to try and wipe out the mummies in the centre then round on the left flank with my higher speed hoping the revenants were out of the game. I was now massively on the back foot and trying to plug holes.



The slow and inevitable grind occurred with each of our units in the centre slowly going down but not quick enough for me to isolate the units on the undead flanks. I was fighting a battle constantly obsessed with trying to disorder the casters to prevent surge but ran out of units. Once again the Coral giant was amazing, holding off the guardians and bone giant on the left. The ogres boomers hadn't managed to be the hero assassins I had hoped for and they were lost trying to pull more units away from the main fight.

Raul played excellently and in a great sporting way, stopping the clock to explain things I had missed and pointing out what my moves had allowed him to do. He always gave me the benefit of the doubt and despite my constant anxiety about covering angles from surge never looked smug when he managed to get a sneaky move off.

As the game wore to a close it felt pretty even and the coral giant surviving while I got a couple of lucky rolls on killing off the bone giant gave me hope it may be a draw. Totting up the scores and the difference in kills was 205 points. With the 10% threshold at 200 this meant by the narrowest of possible margins I had a loss rather than a draw. I do think a loss was a fairer result as I was outplayed for the majority of the game and hadn't stuck to my original plans.

Final Score TR 630 - 835 EoD

Conclusions

I was mentally exhausted by the end of the day. It had been a massive step up for me compared to the other couple of tournaments I had played with far fewer participants. When I was playing a familiar army and opponent I felt relaxed but my lack of exposure to all the opponents available showed. I was constantly worried about surge and out maneuvered by fliers. In the games I did manage to win one was by time out and the other I got far too cocky with and nearly let it all collapse! One thing I did learn from my previous events is that if there are more points available, go for them. A win may be a win but getting extra kills or VPs can be the decisive tie breaker.

If I get the opportunity I'll certainly attend another event like this and am looking forward to Clash of Kings 2019 up North where I'll hope to learn from my mistakes. I am still determined to make Trident Realm work for me and it's clearly possible as they placed 4th at the tournament. Regarding the units I took here's how I felt they performed:

Envoy
The extra rally and mobile inspiring was great. She even pitched in to ground some elohi.

Siren
Reaching out to disorder fliers and casters was invaluable I just need to remember to do it better! Drain life in the end game to heal the gigas and Giant were also great.

Eckter
At times useful and the teleport gimmick was nice. Krakenmaw is always hand and the extra couple of guaranteed woulds when you throw him into combat is great. Of the three heroes he is possibly the one I would drop.

Thuul / Hidden ones
do great at clearing chaff and hordes and I managed to be lucky to have pathfinder when I needed it in Games 1/2 and the hammer in the later games. Just good all round units. I think pathfinder may be the better option in the future to allow both units to benefit from the ensnare/hindered combo

Gigas
Just do great for their ability to put wounds on anything. Even hindered, with elite it can help massively.

Coral Giant
Man of the match. Just stands there and takes it, I wish I had put him in the 1500 as he'd have added a bit more speed and a blocking anvil against the fliers.

Knuckers
When I remember how to use them they are great. Generally getting in the way and tying up shooters. They have to get round the sides and rear though else they are just thrown away, something I forget when the pressure is on.

Tidal Swarm
Close behind the giant. Their ability to clog up units and actually cause some damage is amazing. 15a on 5s is still 5 hits on average and with some luck you can usually put wounds on something.

Boomers
A little disappointing but I don't think I used them very well. Their ability to cope in combat and shoot over the Gigas I am hoping to exploit.

Ogre BSB
Did his job, inspired, was chaff and got a handy flank charge to add brutal so like giving an extra wound for free. (I spent ages painting him so I won't be cutting him any time soon).

The future

I still want to carry on with my TR as they'll be the first army I have ever finished. The allies I have made I have poured a lot more effort into so I am already planning to expand them into an Ogre army in their own right. I'm still trying to avoid using the Depth Horrors and Naiads that seem to be go to for a lot of lists and see if it's a valid option without them. The giga formation and the envoy spell access makes this a lot easier. Having used her a bit now I definitly  want to consider using Nak-Ushi as her regen and speed make her a great means of holding people up.

Depending on what I get finished I will at least have an army with options for CoK19 so I can take my time painting my next force.









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