Vanugard GT Part I

Amazingly the stars have aligned and I've attended the Vanguard GT. Here's my first part of the write up for the weekend. 

First up, here's a review of the cobbled together army of fishmen. With the time pressures on getting everything painted in time I have had to use what I had and more importantly what I could transport easily. 

The plan is pretty simple. To hold the centre with the ensnare and de6 units and try to get flanks off with the speedy things while playing havoc with the characters. the boomers hang around at the back and try to target any fast moving threats, clear out chaff or target characters where I can.Taking so many Large infantry units is handy for practical reasons as it means they take less space in the case. I had the majority of the units painted but did a rushed job on the Depth Horrors to get them on the table with a fair amount of dry brushing. 

A final thing to add is that the tournament scoring was a combination of soft and battle scores. I have never been to an event where it is combined like this before and although there were some rushed jobs I was proud of my ogre allies and had even invested some time in a travel display board to try and boost my chances. 


I got a lift from the station from Chris (for more info on how I met Chris see here) and we headed to Mike's house which was the tournament venue. From this point onwards nothing was too much trouble. We were fed and watered amazingly by Mike and Robin and provided with all we could need. They laid out all the food options and were up each morning cooking breakfast as well as running the event. It really was a treat. The tables were all laid pout ready, each with a beautiful selection of themed terrain ready for the morning along with maps for each round. I spent the evening meeting most of the other protagonists for the weekend all of whom were amazingly welcoming and happy to share beers, stories and tactics until I rolled off to sleep at around 2am. At some point after this two guys decided to play their first round game in the wee small hours with the cunning plan that it would mean more of a lay in. Reports of there being more flanks left open than front charges in a game I think sets the scene for how it went. 

Kick Off!

Not only was everything on the periphery provided at the tournament there was also the chance of a huge pile of swag for spot prizes and even the award of some dollars for those who had travelled the furthest to help with gas etc. The briefing was given and players set off on their way to find tables and opponents. The mood was very relaxed and everyone (other than the pair who had played their game at about 3am) started killing each other. If you want an excellent, humour filled round up of the lists and match ups for Round 1 I recommend you watch the big reveal video.

Game 1

Dominate - James Crawford - Undead

Having recently played against undead I am still worried about surge tactics. It being dominate the oh so cunning plan was to just put all the infantry in the middle, anchored by the Giant on one flank and the faster stuff on the other. James had not one but two formations and the blocks of nerve and vampire infantry were going to be hard to shift. He lined up in a similar fashion with the infantry spread across the centre and the knights and wyrm off to the side.

Not a great deal happened in the opening turn with both armies moving up and my Knuckers and Nak off bombing up to turn in on a flank. Going into Turn 2 the undead horsemen turned to face and were surged into one of the Knuckers. The hordes still pushed towards each other not wishing to engage.

The cavalry failed to route the Knucker and in response the unengaged Knucker went into their flank while nak and the first Knucker hit the flank of the great wyrm. Worth pointing out that James had completely forgotten to use the breath attack to clear my swarm chaff out of the way which proved costly. Eckter was thrown up in front of the reaver infantry in cover hoping that de6, ensnare, hindered would let him live. Combat was brutal and the Skeleton Cavalry and the wyrm destroyed. This left my left flank with 3 fast pieces to threaten with.

Meanwhile in the centre I had foolishly left an exposed flank on the Hidden ones which a skeleton horde crashed into aided by the soul reaver infantry into the front. Unsurprisingly the thuul exploded on impact however it left the skeleton horde exposed to a flank and rear from the Gigas. THe other skeleton horde fared less well. Hindered and affected by ensnare from the tidal swarm they halved their attacks and didn't even manage a hit! This then left them in danger of attack from the waiting Knuckers.

Both Skeleton Hordes went down and Eckter went off to try and deal with the Necromancer. one unit of revers charged into a unit of Gigas and the other went off into the Depth Horrors and giants along with the wraiths. It was the last throw of the dice for the undead and for them it didn't go as needed. The soul revers bounced on both accounts. This left counters, flanks and nonsense all over the place.despite a double 1 and some heroics from Lady Ilona the game wound up with just the good lady stranded amongst the decaying corpse of her coven and the fish men running for the centre.


TR 21 - 2 Undead (6-0)

Game 2

Elves Sean McCormally

Elves with Bows, elves on dragons and elves in Chariots awaited me accompanied by the green lady and her regenerating cronies. The scenario meant that I could try and spread out the tokens a little to the corners and try and swoop on them with my Knuckers, pick them up and turn into the centre. That was the plan anyway...

we set up with our infantry blocks facing each other, my nak and Knucker on the right flank, a Knucker and the depth horrors on the left. He had his dragon on my left flank and all his firepower on the right. If I could weather the storm and get in to disorder the shooters with my wyrms I thought I stood a chance.

The opening turns everything slowly advanced towards the centre and my speedy units on the right advanced and steeled themselves. The shooting was ferocious and unfortunately Nak went down but thankfully not the Knucker. The dragon was dancing around with the Knucker on the left flank so Eckter and the depth horrors went over to try and help out.

More shooting in their subsequent turns whittled down the Hidden ones but the giant took over stalling duties and went into the archers whiled the Knucker left to deal with the chariots. Tying up each over for the first half of the game by disordering each other the Dragon took out Eckter but finally succumbed, unfortunately leaving the Depth horrors out of the end game. Combat finally erupted in the centre and the palace guard and spears met the ogres, Gigas and Hidden ones. While all this was happening the siren spent several turns just disordering a Dragon breath and the Ogre BSB and Knucker finally saw of the chariots to claim the token under them.

At the last knockings the battle in the centre resulted in only the Gigas surviving and the centre and an additional raise token being claimed. This lead to me failing to complete my objective of having a unit in all four quarters but I did squeak by on Objective points with Sean taking the centre and a raise token next to it, while I had raised the two tokens I put on the flanks.


TR 4 - 3 Elves

Game 3

Push - French Ray Shields

I've never played a historical army and I was met with a pretty terrifying array of knights and infantry. 5(!) regiments of rock hard elite knights baked up with peasants and some fliers meant I was out dropped and my frontage ended up looking ridiculously narrow. I decided my best bet was to split my forces with a strongish centre to move for that objective, a distraction very light force on the left and some Gigas accompanied by bodyguards on the right. Ray spread his knights across the field with his infantry horde on his right and heavy foot units in the centre.

The usual slow advance for the opening turns was interrupted by a brave flying knight breaking ranks to sit on the centre objective. My Gigas waddled up to get over the centre line and face off against some knights while a Knucker and nak tried to threaten flanks. The Knucker, swarm and siren on the left did their job well. occupying units and generally being a massive nuisance pulling blocks of knights about and nimbly moving out of the way.

Disaster in the centre as i placed my inspiring source right behind my charging Gigas. The Gigas and giant had rampaged into a unit of foot guard each, wavering one and slightly denting the other. However, when they bounced the envoy behind the Gigas meant the bounces were not inline and exposed their flank. This was made worse by the fact the Joan of arc galloped and yelled at their wavered yellow bellies in fury allowing them to charge.

The knights slowly ground down my left and the centre started to collapse but crucially the boomers had nipped in and roasted the brave Pegasus night who had picked up the token earlier, it spent several turns being kicked about in the grass before the coral giant wandered over to pick it up. The Gigas had also decided their offensive input was more important and dropped their loot allowing Nak to pick it up.

Retreating more and more into the woods the last 4 units I had hung on to their tokens leaving the French the majority of the field and their token in my half. It was a very tactically challenging game with so many units to deal with and the knights threatening to blow away a unit a turn.


TR 3 - 2 French


Day 1 finished off with great food, beer, beer tasting, rum, gin and other quite nice drinks. Some card and board games thrown in and offers from some people to play each other at 3am. I had squeaked through with 3 wins an no losses meaning that first thing Sunday :I was playing another undead list.

The atmosphere was always amazingly laid back and sociable with people milling about chatting, discussing armies and never feeling too much pressure to run about and squeeze games in due to the schedule. I did manage also to get a chance to take a look at all the other armies but for some unknown reason only took a couple of pictures. More pictures can be seen on the GT site here and here (for day 2).


  1. Finally got around to reading this ��. You drew some tough day one opponents!

    1. Cheers! one day I'll write up the second half :)


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