Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waaagh Aeries VI: DoW vs. Lizardmen Battle Report (Round 1)

With the coming of the new year, the Coin Collectors found themselves traveling south across snowy lands. The journey was long, but the old paymaster had taken the bait of a young rival who had lured him in with declarations of providence superiority. The paymaster simply could not allow anyone to tarnish the name of his homeland, so he challenged the young general to a meeting on the battlefield. Little did the paymaster know that his opponent was not what he was expecting.

Last Saturday, I participated in Waaagh Aeries VI, a tournament put on by the guys from the Waaagh Cast blog and TOed by my friend Chuck. For the first round of the tournament, I challenged Brandon to a grudge match as a response to his comments regarding my post about a tournament in Wisconsin on the Illinois forums. Brandon brought to the table a cool lizardmen army that brought some fun unit choices that would challenge recently formed game plan.

The Scenario
The scenario was Battlelines w/ a special rule for earning objective points via a messenger model. The messenger was written down on a piece of paper at the start of the game and remains a secret until the end. The goal was to get the messenger into your opponent’s deployment zone by the end of the game.

While not an official round of the game, I want to spend a moment talking about the deployment phase of the game. I started my deployment phase by placing the Marksmen on one side of the table, directly across from the first unit deployed by Brandon. As we continued to deploy, I also placed Vespero and Voland on that side, though I positioned Voland slightly closer to where I truly wished to deploy my forces. As the deployment phase wrapped up, I finished deploying my forces as far away from Brandon’s army as possible. I concluded the phase by using cunning to move both Vespero and the Marksmen to the opposite end of my deployment zone.

Early Turns
The early turns of the game saw a couple of interesting events. I lost my Lore of Life mage (Mr. Madness) to a skink miscast/cup combo. This was a hard lose for my army as it not only defined me of the ability to bring my models back via Regrowth, Mr. Madness was also my messenger model which meant I would now lose out on some objective points. It was a well played combo by Brandon and one that put me behind early in the game.

The other big event of the early turns was Voland and company being dissolved by concentrated salamander spit. While Voland himself was able to avoid death and redeem himself later in the game, I do admit feeling like I may have wasted the unit. I completely underestimated the ability of salamanders to march and spit. Having forgotten my lessons from last year’s Adepticon, I placed Voland’s unit to close to where Brandon’s army had set-up and thus given him a choice target to start the game.


Middle Turns
The middle of the game is where I was able to bring the full power of the Marksmen to bare on the table. Dropping two or three Kroxigors per turn was a nice change of pace, and suddenly put my ogre units into a position that they could charge and actually have a chance at surviving. It also meant that I was starting to do enough damage that I was causing enemy units to take panic checks.

It was also during the middle turns that I began to throw units into close combat. I focused on the salamander units as they were the most immediate threat to my army and were beginning to get close enough to my lines that I had to focus on them. To this end, the ogres and maneaters were able to charge the two units of salamanders and help to remove some of them from the battle.


Late Turns
The late turns of the game involved Brandon’s general failing a panic check while along the board edge and fleeing of the table. I must admit that while I did not expect it to happen (rerollable LD 9), it did make for an exciting turn of events in my favor. It also put me over when it came to victory points for the game. Outside of that, the Marksmen continued to rain death on the Kroxigors

“Pride in one’s homelands is a waste of emotions. Pride should truly be reserved for the bonds we forge and the trials we share together,” the Paymaster spoke as he walked the reforming battle-lines. ”Today we faced a worthy foe, and though it took tricky and luck to defeat them, there is no shame in what we have accomplished,” he continued.

“Does that absolution from shame also apply to the celebrating we plan to do over this victory,” questioned Chase.

Shaking his head in disgust, the Paymaster simply responded, “Leave it to you to ruin a moment.”

I do need to admit that I felt uncomfortable during the tournament for fielding what I considered a gimmick army. I don’t know really why, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on all of the tricks that I had in my army. In particular, I decided to make Mr. Madness the messenger when I could have made the leader of any of the RoR units the messenger as they are considered characters per the RoR rules. Considering that the Cursed Company just sat in place, it would have been an easy choice to make the march across the board and get the points.
When it came to how I played, one mistake I made was how I deployed Voland’s Venators. I should have moved them over further to my right and kept them out of range of the salamanders. I should have also done a better job deploying the Cursed Company as they simply sat for the whole game.

While I had won the game by a reasonable victory point difference, I think luck played a large part in that victory. Brandon losing his general on an engine of the gods was just too random of an occurrence to claim that it happening had anything to do with my battle plans or gameplay. My strategy for the Marksmen seemed to work very well, but I also believe that if Brandon had used his giant unit of skinks as the tip of his spearhead, my crossbowmen wouldn’t have done as much damage.

Lesson’s Learned
1. If I am going to bring a trick, I need to use it.
2. I really need to stop throwing away points when I don’t need to. This was actually a theme for me over the weekend.

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