Tag Archives: tournaments

NoVA Open 2012 – Part 2 – Game Reports

The Fantasy GT was originally scheduled to be six games but, because some folks dropped out and no-showed (I assume), only the five games were necessary.

I ran my Skaven (which I think we all knew was happening, right?).  It was my usual list, further tweaked a little bit to (hopefully) better handle Ogres.

Warlord (General) – War-Litter, Weeping Blade, Enchanted Shield, Luckstone
Grey Seer – Talisman of Preservation

Chieftain (BSB) – Shield, Armor of Destiny
Plague Priest – Plague Furnace, Flail, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon
Warlock Engineer – Doomrocket
Warlock Engineer – Death Globe, Ruby Ring of Ruin

Clanrats x30 – Full Command, Shields
– Warpfire Thrower
Skavenslaves x44 – Champion, Musician, Shields
Stormvermin x20 – Full Command, Storm Banner
– Warpfire Thrower

Gutter Runners x6 – Poison, Slings
Gutter Runners x6 – Poison, Slings
Plague Monks x31 – Full Command, Plague Banner

Hellpit Abomination
Warp Lightning Cannon
Warp Lightning Cannon

No surprises there, right?

The Weeping Blade never really came up, but it never felt like a waste.  The second cannon worked out brilliantly.  The second Engineer with the globes and ruby ring was crap.  I might have gotten more use out of the ring (maybe), but the globes were a waste.  I’d have gotten far more mileage out of a ward save on my Priest.

Anyway, as I said the other day, “Five games total, three really great games, four really fun games, and one game that wasn’t all that great (but hey, could have been a lot worse).”  With five games, you’re bound to have at least a bad game or two, my low this weekend was “Not great but not bad.”

Plus, given that the field was something like 60% Ogre Kingdoms: only one game against them is pretty shocking/fortunate.  High fives all around.

Unfortunately, while I’ve got everyone’s army lists, I failed to note VPs or even game results.  I can’t seem to find the results/standings anywhere, so I’m going from memory here on those.

Game 1 – Michael Shaefer’s Lizardmen

Slann (General, BSB) – Becalming Cogitation, Focused Rumination, Cupped Hands,

Skink Priest – Blood Statuette of Spite, Dispel Scroll

Saurus Warriors x40 – Full Command, Spears
Skink Skirmishers x10
Skink Skirmishers x10
Skink Skirmishers x10

Chameleon Skinks x8
Kroxigor x5 – Champion
Temple Guard x20 – Full Command, Glittering Scales (Champion)

Razordons x2 – Skinks x8
Salamanders x2 – Skinks x8
Salamanders x2 – Skinks x7

During the pre-tournament milling about and army-gazing, I stopped by Michael’s army and chatted the longest by far.  It’s gorgeous; I wasn’t surprised at all when he won one of the painting contest awards (Best Diorama) or when he won Best in Show.  He’s an extremely talented painter.

I did remark on how many Salamanders & Razordons he had: “I hope I don’t have to play you!”  So, of course I did, first round.

Michael’s a local guy that I hadn’t really met before.

It was a great way to start the tournament.  I’ve got a high opinion of my army’s appearance, and two great lookin’ armies throwing down is our hobby at its best

The game was kind of slow paced. While it’s nice to know that I’ve gotten faster at playing (I know it’s a problem I’ve had), it does make me much more aware of when my opponent has to take a lot of time to think things through.

A couple of stand out moments:

  • Plague Monks smacking into the Temple Guard and just about obliterating them.  Man, those rats hit hard when they want to.
  • Michael getting a mite too clever in trying to pin down the Abomination (by keeping him from changing his facing), but ensuring his Salamanders overshot him with their fiery breath

It was a good, fun game against a really nice guy with a gorgeous army.  What’s not to love?

In the end, although it looked like I’d just about tabled him, between not being able to (fully) take out his Saurus Warriors and the pretty severe casualties he’d inflicted on me, it was much closer than I’d have expected.  Still,

Game 2 – Eric McKee’s Orcs & Goblins

Orc Warboss (General) – Wyvern, Charmed Shield, Dragonbane Gem, Potion of Strength, Sword of Bloodshed

Black Orc Big Boss – Armor of Silvered Steel
Goblin Big Boss (BSB) – Gigantic Spider, Light Armour, Enchanted Shield, Sword of Striking
Night Goblin Big Boss – Great Cave Squig, Great Weapon, Light Armour, Dragonhelm
Orc Shaman – War Boar, Dispel Scroll

Forest Goblin Spider Riders x5 – Musician
Forest Goblin Spider Riders x5 – Musician
Goblin Wolf Riders x5 – Musician, Shields
Goblin Wolf Riders x5 – Musician, Shields
Night Goblins x30 – Full Command, Netters
– Fanatics x3
Orc Boyz x30 – Full Command, Shields

Goblin Spear Chukka
Goblin Spear Chukka
Night Goblin Squig Herd x13 – Herders x7
Night Goblin Squig Hoppers x5
Orc Boar Chariot
Savage Orc Boar Boyz – Musician, Standard, Big ‘Uns, Spear, Shield,
Snotlings x2
Trolls x3

Mangler Squig

Eric’s a fellow CGL’er (even if he doesn’t make it out to play all that much), and we’ve played more than a few times before.  He’s got a really cool Orc & Goblin army that’s all-squig.  Dang near everything’s converted up to be squig-like.  It works really well, I think.

Unfortunately, his army’s still optimized for 7th edition with MSU units out of the wazoo.  Between an unreasonable number of failed Stupidity checks and a couple of lucky rounds of shooting on my part, and the game’s outcome was pretty clear early on.

We plugged along through the game anyway, though, and he ended up doing better than he expected.  Even though he lost, he managed to make up a lot of points and close the gap quite a bit.

It was a good, fun game and, despite the beating he took, I think Eric had an alright time, too.  If there’d been a sportsmanship vote, he’d have gotten mine.

Game 3 – Ken Stubbs’ Warriors of Chaos

Sorcerer Lord (General) – Lvl 4, Death, Chaos Steed, Crown of Command, Spellshield, Talisman of Preservation

Chaos Sorceror – Lvl 2, Death, Chaos Steed, Charmed Shield, Dragonbane Gem, Favor of the Gods, Infernal Puppet, Third Eye of Tzeentch
Exalted Hero (BSB) – Tzeentch, Chaos Steed, Shield, Biting Blade, Bronze Armour of Zhrakk, Dawnstone, Ironcurse Icon
Exalted Hero – Tzeentch, Chaos Steed, Halberd, Book of Secrets, Power Familiar

Chaos Warhounds x5
Chaos Warhounds x5
Chaos Warriors x22 – Khorne, Full Command, Halberd, Shield, Rapturous Standard
Marauder Horsemen x5 – Slaanesh, Musician, Standard Bearer, Flails, Throwing Axes
Marauder Horsemen x5 – Slaanesh, Musician, Standard Bearer, Flails, Throwing Axes

Chaos Knights x8 – Tzeentch, Full Command, Standard of Discipline

Chaos Warshrine – Tzeentch
Chaos Warshrine – Tzeentch

So, that happened.  IIRC, Ken went undefeated over the weekend.

I could ramble, I think, about how he brought a dickish, unfun army meant to winwinWIN… but I actually really enjoyed my game against him.  It was a tremendously unfun army to play against, yes, but he was a great guy to have across the table and we had a great time.  That’s a lot more important, yes?

Also, the more I’ve thought about this game, the more convinced I am that if it hadn’t have been the last game of the day, I’d have done much better.  I was seriously fried by the end of the day, and made a lot of pretty bad calls.  I’m not saying I’d have won, mind you, but it’d have been a lot closer (and maybe, just maybe it’d have been possible).

Ken’d come up with several Cobra Kai folks from North Carolina. (They’re running Southern Assault in about a month, and there’s a chance I’ll make it down to to that.)

Anyway, out of the gate, he got some solid rolls from the Warshrines: giving his death star unit Stubborn and 4+ (3+ because of Tzeentch) and +1 Toughness from the get-go.

IIRC, I managed to kill everything save the death star cavalry unit and the two Warshrines.  (Warshrines make me lament Warp Lightning Cannons’ variable strength.  If I didn’t have to worry about maybe being Strength 2 or 4 or whatever, I’d just hammer away and look to an eventual failed ward save.)  He, of course, got most of my stuff.

The stand out moment, to me, was after he’d Purple Sun’d my Stormvermin down to the Warlord, Greyseer, and command.  Then, using Third Eye of Tzeentch, stole Curse of the Horned Rat and turned the unit into (his) Clanrats.  Very well played.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure this was a Major Loss for me.  He beat the crap out of me, but I still really enjoyed the game.  That says a lot about him, I think.

Game 4 – Brad Close’s Daemons of Chaos

Bloodthirster (General) – Armour of Khorne, Firestorm Blade, Immortal Fury, Spell Breaker

Herald of Khorne (BSB) – Armour of Khorne, Banner of Unholy Victory, Firestorm Blade
Herald of Slaanesh – Siren Song
Herald of Tzeentch – Flames of Tzeentch, Master of Sorcery (Life)

Bloodletters x38 – Full Command, Icon of Endless War
Daemonettes x20 – Full Command, Banner of Ecstasy
Furies x5

Flamers of Tzeentch x6

Fiends of Slaanesh x6
Fiend of Slaanesh x1

Somehow, I failed to get a picture of Brad’s army.

Brad quibbled about the rules, kind of a lot.  Unfortunately, that’s something I respond to (and I respond to it by quibbling even more) and I’m sure that’s something he responded to, resulting even more quibbling.  Quibblepocalypse.  So, there were kind of a lot of rules arguments during the game, and I hate that.

But hey, I’ve played in some bad games, and this was not one of them.  It was just argumentative and a little exhausting.  Those happen, and it was probably as much my fault as it was his.

Anyway, according to fellow club member Joey, Brad’s a local guy who shows up at local RTT’s occasionally.

The Abomination got into it with his block of fiends before the end of Turn 1 (they failed a Frenzy check) kept him safe from the Flamers (which were the old Flamers, not the new ones if you’re wondering why numbers don’t add up), which made a big difference.

Plague Monks killed the bejesus out of the horde of Bloodletters (like, for serious), which made me feel pretty good about myself.

Unfortunately, I was never able to kill the Bloodthirster.  The Herald of Tzeentch, of course, spent every turn healing him, which meant that I needed 5 wounds through his Toughness 6, 3+ Armour, 5+ Ward in a single round… and that just didn’t happen.  I did manage to shut down the spell occasionally (including a very lucky double-6 dispel roll on three dice), but never for long enough to put him down.

I think this was just a Minor Loss.  He didn’t have much on the table besides the Bloodthirster and the Daemonettes by the end, but it wasn’t enough by a long shot.

Game 5 – Wesley Cogdal’s Ogre Kingdoms

Slaughtermaster (General) – Lvl 4, Fencer’s Blades, Glittering Scales, Dispel Scroll

Bruiser (BSB) – Heavy Armour, Ironfist, Crown of Command, Dragonhelm
Firebelly – Hellheart

Ironguts x9 – Standard Bearer, Lookout Gnoblar
Ogres x9 – Standard Bearer, Musician, Ironfist, Lookout Gnoblar

Leadbelchers x8 – Musician
Mournfangs x3 – Standard Bearer, Musician, Heavy Armour, Ironfist
Sabretusk x1
Sabretusk x1


What a great way to end the tournament, huh?  I started the tournament playing against a great guy with a gorgeous army and ended it playing against a great guy with a gorgeous army.

Wesley’s the guy behind Stiff Neck Studio, and he and his crew’d flown out from the Pacific Northwest to sponsor the NoVA.  I’m quite confident that that’s why he didn’t win best army: as a sponsor, he couldn’t.

I mean, just look at that.

We had a great game.  It was low-key, relaxed, and friendly.  There was a lot of back and forth: it was a very close game.

Yes, it was an Ogre Kingdoms list, but it was a relatively soft one.  Only three Mournfangs, for example.  A Stonehorn (which isn’t bad, but I’m not used to seeing them).  Just one Ironblaster.  No. Horde. Of. Ogres.

At the end of the game, I got very tactical and tricksy in terms of whittling him down and denying him points. For example, in my final turn, the Grey Seer went all in on a Skitterleap to get across the board and to safety: yes, he miscast, but at that point, there was no rat around him to care.

Unfortunately, during all of that over-thinking, I made a pretty big mistake.  It got down to his Stonehorn charging my Clanrats.  After a lot of deliberation, I fled with the Clanrats.  Huge mistake.  They ran farther than average, which put them through an Engineer-less Slave unit and off the table.  The Slaves panicked, and were off the table.  The Stornhorn shrugged and redirected into a Cannon, which it unsurprisingly obliterated.  So, rather than giving up 155 points from the Clanrats (which, furthermore, probably would have died, but dice are dice and you never know), I gave up those 155 points, plus 116 for the slaves and 90 for the cannon.

I lost by 196 points.  (If I’d chosen correctly, I’d have won by 10 points.)  That’s an insanely close game.

A great opponent running a gorgeous army in a win-by-the-nose game: perfect.

Even though I didn’t do nearly as well this year (2/3/0) as I did last year (4/1/0, Best Overall), I had an excellent time.  I’m pretty sure I enjoyed more of my games and more this year.

The rest of the weekend:

NoVA Open 2012 – Part 1 – Overview

I had a great time this weekend at the NoVA.  As expected, I was unable to repeat last year’s ridiculously successful showing, but I still did okay for myself and– more importantly– had a really great time.

Seeing as how I’ve got a lot to write about, I’m going to break things up into a few posts: an overview of the weekend today (obviously), followed by the usual game-by-game breakdown (actual pictures in that post, I swear!), and then finally a post where I’ll look at how what needed improvement from last year’s convention shook out, plus some comments about what did and didn’t work with this year’s.


I had nothing going on on Friday save two hobby seminars run by MisterJustin from Secret Weapon Miniatures.  They were (relatively) early in the morning; ideally, I’d have done the other sessions, but there was just no time: these were basically the only slots that didn’t have me up at the middle of the night or conflict with the GT.  Fortunately, traffic (and an unhelpful GPS) made me only 10 minutes late on the drive in from Manassas.

Anyway, Justin ran three seminars: airbrushing, weathering powders and basing.

The airbrushing seminar was very, very inspiring. I’ve needed something along these lines for a while: getting into airbrushing is hard, and while YouTube helps, it doesn’t quite compare to having someone three feet away from you walking you through what they’re doing and why.  I’m going to do more airbrushing, now.  It’s gonna happen.  I think I’m going to start with some Dark Vengeance minis.

The weathering powders seminar was interesting, but exciting to me.  It doesn’t help that I’m simply not all that nuts about having things super-weathered… or that I just had a lot of trouble getting the powders to behave the way I wanted them to.  Still, it’s a neat technique, and nothing compares with having an expert walk you through what he’s doing from feet away.  I wish I’d had a project that was ready for weathering; I’d have gotten a lot of mileage out of bringing it with me, I think.

What was far more interesting was the realization that doing decent weathering requires a holistic comprehension of the reality you’re trying to replicate on the model.  Since the preceding example was probably barely English, the example he brought up a couple of times was: you need to understand that mud dries differently on the the hull of a tank (inside-out because the vehicle’s engine makes the hull hot) than on the treads/wheels (outside-in because, hey, that’s how mud dries).  Weathering requires far more thinking than just drybrushing Calthan Brown on your models’ feet and calling it a day.

I passed on the basing seminar.  On reflection, I think I’d have gotten more value out of it than I would have from the weathering seminar.  I certainly had nothing keeping me from doing it.


This was the first year NoVA did a full-on, big deal painting contest.  At the last minute (Thursday night), I’d remembered this, so I read the rules (more on that later), grabbed some entries (my Dark Heresy character and a D&D antagonist that I’m really proud of).  As usual, nothing painted specifically for competition, just a, “Hey, there’s a painting contest, I have no excuse not to enter something.”

Although I couldn’t tell you who won four out of the six categories (see: feedback, later), it was plain that there were a good couple of fistfuls of stronger entries than mine.  No shame in losing to competition that fierce.

The Tournament

I’ll do a detailed breakdown of my games in my next post, but the short version is: I went 2/3/0.

I started the tournament on a great foot, and ended it on a great foot.  Five games total, three really great games, four really fun games, and one game that wasn’t all that great (but hey, could have been a lot worse).  That’s fabulous for a GT.

I won best fantasy single mini with my Ruby Ring of Ruin Warlock Engineer, which I was quite pleased with. As with the standalone painting contest, there was some really amazing competition.


I got to catch up with a good handful of IFL guys that I haven’t seen since probably last year’s NoVA.  That was nice (even if it did have me up until stupid late on Saturday night).  Also saw a mess of other folks, like Bob that are great to hang out with that I only ever see at things like NoVA.

Between that, and meeting some new folks at the gaming table has really motivated me (as did the last tournament I played in) to get out and play with a wider selection of folks.  I’ve very much settled into a rut over the past year where I really only play against a small handful of people: I really need to change that.

The rest of the weekend:

20120714 CGL RTT

Have I seriously not posted about the tournament last weekend? Time to fix that!

Last weekend was a CGL RTT: one of our members was going in for hip replacement a couple of days later (I had mentioned that our club is generally a somewhat older crowd, right?), so the goal was to cram in a bunch of games before he had to be off his feet for several months.

It as a 2,800 point tournament, and folks could spend up to 25% of their points on Scrolls of Binding. While I didn’t do this (the only thing I could really do with that would be to run the Fimir, and I’ve found him to be a disappointment), several folks did: I saw some stuff from both Storm of Magic and Monstrous Arcanum on tables. I reallylike this in the context of a local RTT: it gives space for folks to play with goofy, neat stuff like that and really doesn’t seem to be all that unbalancing.

This was a week ago, so details will likely be a smidge fuzzy.

I waffled about whether or not to take Empire or Skaven: I’m playing the former, but the latter is fully painted. In the end, I decided to run the Skaven: a tournament’s a tournament after all. It was, I think, the right choice.

2,800 – Skaven RTT List

Warlord (General) – War-Litter, Shield
Grey Seer – Ruin, Dispel Scroll, Talisman of Endurance
Grey Seer – Plague, Foul Pendant

Chieftain (BSB) – Shield, Armour of Destiny
Plague Priest – Flail, Plague Furnace
Warlock Engineer – Doomrocket

Clanrats x32 – Full Command, Shields
– Warpfire Thrower
Skavenslaves – Champion, Musician, Shields
Stormvermin x27 – Full Command, Stormbanner
– Warpfire Thrower

Plague Monks x26 – Full Command, Plague Banner
Gutter Runners x6 – Slings, Poison
Gutter Runners x6 – Slings, Poison

Hell Pit Abomination – Warpstone Spikes
Plagueclaw Catapult
Warp Lightning Cannon
Warp Lightning Cannon

So, nothing terribly unusual for me, save for the second Grey Seer, the Catapult, and the swapping of Mortars for Warpfire Throwers (and I’ve already talked about those).

Game 1

Minor Loss vs. Phil’s Tomb Kings

Phil, as it turns out, lives nearby: on the other side of Manassas (in NoVA terms, that’s effectively next door). Given that we had a great game, I probably should try to roll dice with him more often. (This is a theme for the day).

He was running a monster-heavy list (Tombzilla? Sphinxilla?), and with so many enormously big bastards and such high Toughness scores… I just couldn’t break through it all.

2,800 – Phil’s Tomb Kings

Khatep (General)

Liche Priest – Lvl 2, Dispel Scroll

Archers x22 – Standard
Chariots x3
Chariots x7 – Standard

Tomb Guard x37 – Champion, Standard, Halberds
Warsphinx – Breath Weapon

Caset of Souls

Neither of us play very quickly, so we wrapped at Turn 3. It’s tough to say where the game would have been had we pushed on through Turn 4.

The key turning point in the game was when my Hellpit Abomination had rolled into his Tomb Guard to the front and stuck around; one of his Warsphinxes moved forward and stood on their flank… exposing its flank to the Plague Monks. The Monks charged it and, if they’d been able to beat it in combat, they’d have rolled forward into the Tomb Guard, gotten two combats in with their Plague Banner, and put Khatep in base-to-base combat with the Plague Priest. If I’d won that combat, man, I’d have gotten a very solid win.

It wasn’t to be: I don’t care how many attacks, rerolling to hit and wound… if you’re not able to successfully cast Bless with Filth on ’em, you’re going to have some trouble getting through T8. In hindsight, I should have gone for the Irresistible Force on it; that’s how key it was. Instead of blowing through the Spinx, the Plague Monks did some damage… but then took flank and rear charges from the two units of Chariots.

Game 2

Massacre vs. Bill’s High Elves

2,800 – Bill’s High Elves


Noble (BSB) – Great Weapon, Armour of Destiny

Archers x14 – Musician
Lothern Sea Guard x40 – Full Command, Shields, Banner of Eternal Flame

Phoenix Guard x30 – Full Command, Warrior Bane, Banner of Sorcery
Swordmasters of Hoeth x25 – Full Command, Ironcurse Icon, Gleaming Pennant

Great Eagle
Great Eagle

Scrolls of Binding
Great Dragon

Second game was against the Man of the Hour… and I felt pretty bad about it.

I went first and, before he had the chance to do anything, I’d Gutter Runner’d his Eagles to bits and used both Warp-Lighting Cannons to pop his Dragon. It goes without saying that this was a big deal. IIRC, due to deployment, I was actually even able to kill something like half of his Swordmasters with Warpfire Throwers, as well.

The scenario was a variant of The Watchtower, and although Bill started in control of it, I was able to (on a number of occasions), Curse of the Horned Rat the Elves occupying it… eventually converting Teclis into a loathsome ratman.

Bills only real defense was to spam Final Transmutation, which was effective in killing a lot of models (but not units) and making me really nervous about my characters (though he only managed to tag my Warlord after several tries).

In the end, I tabled him… and even though nobody likes getting tabled, I’m reasonably certain I made the process as pleasant as possible.

Game 3

Minor Win vs. Cody’s Orc’s & Goblins

I don’t have a copy of Cody’s list to post… and I was a bit preoccupied through the game, so I can’t recreate his list. It was a fairly standard O&G list: deep units of Night Goblins with Fanatics, some Mangler Squigs, a bunch of Doom Divers and Bolt Throwers; he also ran three Snotling Pump Wagons and an Ettin from Monstrous Arcanum.

Before the game started, I started to feel bad. GPC has some serious air conditioning issues over by the mini gaming tables; they have for years, and it’s persisted even after they fixed their AC system. The main source of this problem isn’t a bunch of gamers: it’s that there’s a kitchen restauant on the other side of the wall on the far side of the tables… the wall I stood next to all day long.

At first, I thought it might have been something from lunch… but in hindsight, I’m quite convinced it was heat exhaution: vertigo, nausea, headache, and a mad dash to the bathroom. Mark, who’s both a gentleman and a scholar, ran out to K-Mart to game some Pepto for me. It was not cool.

I figured I’d worked through most everything, came out and threw down.

Despite feeling pretty terrible, and worrying through the whole game about whether or not I’d have to run back to the bathroom, I didhave a good game; I’m not sure if I’ve played Cody before, and that’s a shame. There was a lot of back-and-forth but, by the end of things, I pulled out a Minor Win. Had we pushed on a bit farther, I think I was positioned to widen that lead, but there weren’t any huge, drastic events. (Like I said, I was preoccupied.)


Overall, despite getting sick near the end (which also knocked me out for Sunday), I had a great time! I had three fun games against folks I don’t normally get to play against, and that’s always a good thing. It’s something I really need to make of point of doing more of: it’s a big group ’round these parts, but I end up just playing against the same handful of folks… I need to broaden my horizons.

Anyway, between the VPs from tabling Bill and points from Players’ Choice votes (thanks, folks!), I ended up coming in second place overall (woot!).

Here are some other pictures of some of the really great armies I didn’t get to play against:

The Doldrums of Magic

As a follow-on to yesterday’s post about Storm of Magic:

We’ve got one local player, Arromanche (who maintains the Army Builder 2.2 WHFB files), who doesn’t normally play in tournaments any more, but he always stops by to help out and play ringer if one’s needed.  He really hates magic in 8th edition… and Storm of Magic is a bridge too far.

Early in the planning, he offered “I’ll help out but I am NOT playing. The very word MAGIC means no way.”

Totally reasonable, and the help’s always appreciated (he knows the rules and books better than I do, better than you do, and better than both of us combined)… but I thought this was funny, so:

The Very Word MAGIC Mans ‘No Way’

Practitioners of the Arcane Arts are well familiar with a phenomenon known as the “Arromanchic Doldrums,” when furious Winds of Magic inexplicably and unexpectedly (inexplectably!) ebb– even during the most tempestuous of magical storms.

During any Magic Phase Arromanche observes the beginning of, instead of using the Wild Magic rules, use the following rules:

  • Roll 3D6 to determine Winds of Magic
  • The dispelling player receives the sum of the two highest rolls as dispel dice, treating the second highest roll as a d3 rather than a d6. If the two highest rolls are doubles, treat both as d6s.
  • The limit of power and dispel die pools is 18.

I’m proposing using this rule at the tournament. So far one participant and one non-particpant have said they think it should be used… nobody’s said it shouldn’t. I’m still debating whether I should use it or not.

Storm of Magic Test Game

I might have mentioned that I’m running a Storm of Magic tournament in January: more to motivate folks to give the dang format a try.  The book came out, folks (myself included) bought the book, the cards, Arcane Fulcrum kits… and then never did anything with them.

So, between that, my actually painting some Fulcra, and Eric McK making the call to let folks spend 25% of their points on random Forgeworld & Storm of Magic choices at the (very successful, non-Storm of Magic) Toys for Tots tournament earlier this month: I decided to go ahead and get something on the schedule.

Key is trying to make accessible to folks who felt like paying who weren’t chumps who’d bought the book or felt like playing with the Scrolls of Binding and such.  I’m a fan of inclusive.  So, the format’s 2,500 points: percentages are based off of that (so, 625 minimum Core, 625 maximum rare, etc), and lists can spend up to 500 points on SoM choices (because in SoM you get an extra 25% to spend on those things, we can pretend you’re running a 2,000 point army).  Those SoM choices are totally optional: if someone wanted to show up with their usual 2,500 point army… they’d be fine.

I finally got the chance to get a game in last night: when SoM first came out, I pushed miniatures around the table with Sean for a few hours while we had the book open nearby, but I don’t think that counts.  So, my game with Casey was my first serious attempt at a SoM game.

I ran my usual Skaven list (the Empire’s still being assembled), with two Grey Seers instead of the Seer and the Warlord, and with two Warp-Lightning Cannons as my Rare choices (no Doomwheel, no Hellpit) and just one unit of Gutter Runners.  I spent my M&M budget on a Lvl 3 Fimir Banelord and a Chimera.

Casey ran a normal 2,500 point list: two units of Mournfangs, a horde of Bulls, a Slaughtermaster and a Firebelly.

I won’t do a turn-by-turn battle report, but I will do a braindump of impressions from the game… and that’s actually why I’m writing this post:

  • We didn’t finish.  We didn’t really come close to finishing.  In just over three hours, we got in three full turns.  Now, a lot of that is because we chatted: with each other, with other folks… but decision paralysis from having a bajillion magic dice and an extra 8 (him) to 18 (me, if you count Lore of Shadow) spells to spend them on.
  • The Scrolls of Binding didn’t seem to break anything.  They offered me a lot more choices (a flying monster, a Shadow caster), but I don’t think they turned the tide of anything, really.
  • Did I mention the decision paralysis?  With so many dice and so many spells, it was kind of a lot of work to get through a Magic phase.  That shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is something to keep in mind when approaching the tournament.  Know your spells, try to have a plan.
  • We did not have a single dang miscast.  Not one.  Several double-sixes for dispelling, but never for casting.  Huge bummer.
  • We didn’t do anything with Cantrips.  My heart tells me that that means we were doing it wrong.
  • On paper, it looks like the only thing that matters are the casters on the fulcra, and that everything else is just getting pushed around for the heck of it.  That wasn’t my experience at all: the units on the ground are how you supplement your caster’s attempts to push guys off of Fulcra.  
  • Feast of the Fallen makes me sad.  Wow.

I’d definitely like to see us (locally, at the very least) adopt Eric’s 25% “random stuff” budget.  Cataclysm spells and Fulcrums aside, it’ll breathe some new life into armies that are starting to feel stale to their owners, open the door to clever and interesting conversions… and not be too bad, really.

Battle of Blob’s Park Blow-by-Blow

My List

As I’d mentioned, the 2,800 point size was problematic enough for me to not bother trying to bring a Good 2,800 point list; just as good of a “2,500 point list that I have, plus 300 points” as I could manage.

Ratputin Rampages – Blob’s Park
2,800 points

Warlord – General, War-Litter, Sword of Might, Enchanted Shield
Grey Seer – Lvl 4 (Plague 2, Ruin 2), Talisman of Protection

Chieftain – BSB, Shield, Armor of Destiny
Plague Priest – Lvl 1 (Plague), Plague Furnace, Flail, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon
Warlock Engineer – Doomrocket
Warlock Engineer – Ruby Ring of Ruin

Clanrats x30 – Full Command, Shields
– Poisoned Wind Mortar
Skavenslaves x50 – Champion, Musician, Shields
Stormvermin x30 – Full Command, Storm Banner
– Poisoned Wind Mortar

Gutter Runners x6 – Poison, Slings
Gutter Runners x6 – Poison, Slings
Plague Monks x31 – Full Command, Plague Banner

Hellpit Abomination – Warpstone Spikes
Plagueclaw Catapult
Warp-Lightning Cannon
Warp-Lightning Cannon

Changes between this and my NoVA list boil down to:

  • Sword of s/Anti-Heroes/Might/
  • + Ironcurse Icon
  • + 10 Stormvermin
  • + Warlock w/ Ruby Ring of Ruin
  • + Warp-Lightning Cannon
  • + Plagueclaw Catapult

Dropping the Sword of Anti-Heroes was something I’d meant to do for NoVA.  No problem there.  Ironcurse Icon… did nothing, but cost next to nothing, and could have been useful.  The Warlock was useless.  Clever idea, a waste of points.  The Catapult, similarly, was useless.  It never delivered anything, but cost 10 points more than the Cannon… which was actually a good pick.  If I could have taken three more of them, I would have.

Really, I don’t think it’s possible to overstate my disappointment with the Plagueclaw Catapult.  Blech.

Game 1 vs. Warriors of Chaos
Josh A.

This was probably my best game of the day.  We were both in great moods and there was a lot of back-and-forth through the game.

Really, I think I was only able to pull out any sort of win due to two seriously bullshit rolls:

– I popped his Manticore on the first turn with the WLC.  It was a weak (S 2) bounce that just barely clipped him due to the blast template.  That S 2 hit wounded the Manticore on a 6 and then did 4 wounds.  Yowza.

– We had a big old scrum between my Monks, a horde of his Marauders and a unit of his Chaos Warriors.  He chomped through the Furnace and killed a bajillion Monks.  They were sure to break… but instead rolled double ones: holding everyone in place for a flank charges from the Doomwheel and the Clanrats.

It was a really good game that I feel I easily could have (and probably should have) lost.

Game 2 vs. Daemons of Chaos
Quentin B.

This game was rough.  He seemed convinced that I was going to steamroll over him and take his lunch money… things very much didn’t work out that way.

I probably deployed badly: I probably should have just kept all of my warmachines in the middle of my deployment zone, protected by everything I had, rather than leaving them on the corners where their protectors could be Siren Song’d into oblivion.

He killed the crap out of me, but it wasn’t a bad game.  Things got a little frustrating because of noise (we had trouble hearing each other over the din) and, near the end, his margaritas started catching up with him.. but otherwise, it really was a fun game.  Definitely makes me consider trying to conflate a visit to Manly with an appearance at the Quake City Rumble.

Game 3 vs. Chaos Dwarves
Eric. McK.

Between losing a game and playing a fellow club member, I was able to relax and just focus on enjoying the game.  This was a brutal, ugly fight.  We probably killed something like 50%-75% of each other’s models… but neither of us were really able to seal the deal on that many units.  In the end, we had something like 500VP (him) and 300VP (me); a lot of noise but not much payoff for either of us.

Anyway, yeah, it was a good game that took forever.  I don’t think we made it to Turn 4.

Game 4 vs. Empire
Thomas J.

This was probably the worst game I’ve played in a very, very long time.  It was kind of a dick list (~30x Knights, ~30x Outriders, 3x Cannons, 2x Steam Tanks), but that really wasn’t the problem.  His attitude at the table was terrible.  I could enumerate all of the shitty little things but: he apologized after the game for being a jerk (probably because I lost my temper over something).  So, I won’t.  (I’ll probably revisit some of them outside of the context of my opponent in a Miss Manners-style post at some point, though.)

It was a rough game that I think I played about as well as I could have, given what I was going up against.  I ended up losing by 50VP.

One great game, two good games, and one lousy game isn’t that bad for a tournament.

Battle at Blob’s Park – Overview

Overall, the day was okay.  Of four games, I had two good ones, one okay one, and one really terrible one.  That’s… not bad for a GT, really.

I’m not in love with the venue.  I know it’s something other people like, but the fact that they sold beer didn’t compensate for the temperature, the humidity, or the concrete.  I brought the chef’s mat to stand on (and I’m glad I did; I wouldn’t have been able to finish the day without it) and a folding chair (but it was rarely practical to sit in it.), but they weren’t enough to keep me from hurting at the end of it.

It was a long, long, long day… but that’s because they allowed for very long rounds.  That’s great.

The acoustics of the pavilion were terrible.  It was loud.  So loud, I’m still hoarse, days later, from shouting so the person across the table could hear me.

I think the venue’s going to keep me from coming back next year, but I get that it’s something a lot of other folks enjoy.

The only thing that I found unacceptable was the paint judging.  It pissed me off and, as I said, was unacceptable.  Mike Clarke has a checklist that he uses; it’s more subjective that it might originally look, but it’s still fairly objective.  He didn’t recognize me, so he gave me a breakdown & disclaimer about how he scores things.  That’s good: context never hurts.  My score wasn’t bad (16/20), and the places where he dinged me were, for the most part, reasonable*.

What’s got me pissed is that he did the paint judged me while I was playing a game.  I asked him if he could wait and do it when I’d put things on my board and he said, no, this was how he was doing everybody’s.  He was processing game results and that meant that he couldn’t do that and paint judge at the same time. (Wait for it.)

Now, I’m skeptical that everybody’s army was evaluated mid-game, and that he didn’t look at any armies when they were on their boards… but I’ll take him at his word, because that’s not the critical problem here.

If he can’t process results and paint judge at the same time: he shouldn’t be doing both.  Micromanage less, or pick the support activity you prefer more, whatever.  I don’t care.  I didn’t lug that enormous, awkward thing to and fro just to have it ignored.  (Yes, he asked “Do you have a display board” and then looked at it, but it’s very much different.)  People who put a lot of effort into their army appearance deserve to have it evaluated as a whole, the way they want to present it… not over the shoulder, while they’re shoved together into casualty piles or hiding behind terrain.

Really: if I learn he’s involved in a tournament I’m planning to attend, I’m going to find out if they plan on judging this way again**.  If they are: I will pass on it.  If they aren’t, and they end up doing it anyway, I’m going to pitch a fit.

I’ll try to touch on my games in the next couple of days.

* I’ll pop out here and say that his checklist is biased towards small armies.  When items speak to heavily customized bases throughout an army, or every miniature in an army being customized: an army with fewer minis is always going to do better than an army with more minis.  An Ogre army will always score better than a Skaven army on his checklist.

Furthermore, it makes the poor assumption that a good conversion is an obvious one.  I very much disagree.  An obvious conversion is a less skillful one: little of Ron‘s work leaps out as having been converted, though it quite thoroughly has.

** If this sounds like hatin’ on Clarke; it’s not.  He’s a nice enough guy: I just find his in media res approach to paint judging unacceptable.

EDIT:  It looks like I’m being unfair to Mike here.  I’m sorry about that.  The mid-game judging isn’t standard procedure for his tournaments; it was just something that was driven by a lack of staff.

I’m leaving the original post as-is ’cause I dislike making phantom edits, but although I remain frustrated by the judging, I understand it’s not something Mike could control. I apologize for singling him out for it.

Blob’s Park!

I’m going to be playing Fantasy at Blob’s Park this weekend!

I’m mostly ready for the tournament: I need another Warlock Engineer, and have an exciting conversion for him mostly done… but it looks like the last few bitz I need to finish him aren’t going to show up until Friday afternoon, which isn’t going to give me enough time to paint the thing.  Instead, I’ll just use this guy and call him a Warlock Engineer.  I don’t think anyone will complain.  The larger undertaking, a Plagueclaw Catapult, is done: I’ll be varnishing and photographing it this afternoon.

This’ll be my first year there: I’m a little apprehensive about the site.  I know it’s outside and at a biergarten and, while that sounds cool on paper, all I can do is worry about logistics: will I be able to sit, will there be enough water, etc.  So, just to be safe, I’ll be loading up a folding chair and several liters of water.  It’s probably a safe bet that I won’t need (or be able to) bring a cooler of beer.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to it!

40K Tournament

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks between wrestling with an intractable problem at work, a vacation (yay!), and something of a house crisis… but things are back on track, now.

In the two weeks post-NoVA, I had to finish a half-painted unit of Blood Horrors for a CGL 40K tournament.

These actually aren’t the ones I painted: these are the ones I’ve had painted (note the big guy who’s The Changeling) but have, apparently, never posted here.  I haven’t taken photos of the squad I just painted; that’s probably how this stuff happens.

They’re just Ungor archers with Cadian grenade launchers stuck on their arms and a bit of greenstuff for gap-filling.

Mike ran the tournament.  Turnout wasn’t bad (9 folks) and army distribution was weird.  Three Daemon players (myself included), two Imperial Guard, two Chaos Space Marines (including Mike’s ringer army), one Ork, one Blood Angel and one Tyranid army. It was a great day, stuck to its schedule, and was a lot of fun.

I had three really good games: my first was against Ashley’s Slaaneshi Daemons (which was pretty close), my second against Casey‘s Tyranids (I got tabled) and my third was against Jeff’s Orks (which looked like it was going to end in my getting tabled, but ended very close to me tabling him).

I’m not going to get into too much detail about the games, though, because I fucked up pretty big time.  I tried a new list (one that had two squads of Blood Horrors) and to make things work, I only could take three Blood Crushers.  I knew that this would be a tough thing to remember (I always take four), so I’d highlighted the 3 on my army list when I printed it off a couple of weeks ago.  Game time, though, without even thinking, I ran four.  I didn’t catch it until we were counting VP after my game with Jeff.  “That is weird that my Flamers cost more than my Blood Crushers… oh, shit.”  So, yeah: I played three games 42 points over.

I immediately told Mike I mark my two wins as losses and apologized to folks.  Everyone seemed okay with it (I could have had 20 Bloodcrushers in my third game and it wouldn’t have changed things, the extra ‘Crusher didn’t keep me from getting tabled in my second… and I don’t think it would have made a difference in my first, but can’t be entirely sure), and all three were good, fun games regardless.  But it really bothers me, and cast a pall over the entire day for me.

NoVA Blow-by-Blow

The Fantasy tournament was three rounds on Saturday, two rounds on Sunday.

I showed up on Friday to check in with two different lists printed out: one without Power Scroll (as it had been previously banned) and one with it (as it has been re-allowed shortly after it was FAQ’d). I decided, as I checked in, to use the one without Power Scroll.  I think that was probably the right move (and my performance backs that up).

Ratputin Rampages!

Grey Seer – Ruin x2, Plague x2 Talisman of Preservation
Warlord – General, War-Litter, Sword of Anti-Heroes, Enchanted Shield

Chieftain – BSB, Shield, Armor of Destiny
Plague Priest – Lvl 1, Plague Furnace, Dispel Scroll, Talisman of Protection
Warlock Engineer – Doomrocket

Clanrats x29 – Full Command, Shields
– Poisoned Wind Mortar
Skavenslaves x51 – Musician, Shields
Stormvermin x20 – Full Command, Storm Banner
– Poisoned Wind Mortar

Plague Monks x31 – Full Command, Plague Banner
Gutter Runners x6 – Poison, Slings
Gutter Runners x6 – Poison, Slings

Hell Pit Abomination
Warp-Lightning Cannon

Of course, it wasn’t until Game 1 that I realized I’d left the Sword of Anti-Heroes on the Warlord.  I’ve been dissatisfied with it (because he’s never in base with an enemy hero!), and had thought I’d replaced it with a simple, always-on Sword of Might… but not so.  Fortunately, I think it ended up actually making a difference in my 4th game, so I can’t complain.

Spell-wise, I didn’t rely on 13th nearly as much as I normally do: thanks to Power Scroll’s absence.  I think this actually made my game better.  It did really help out a lot in one case (hello, Grimgor), but otherwise, the few times I got it off, it didn’t do a whole lot.  That also meant that I miscast all of once all weekend.  The only spell that stood out was, when I rolled it, Wither.  That thing made a huge difference.

The Seer continued going the Slave unit: I need to break that habit so I can become more aggressive with them.  The Warlock Engineer continued going in the Clanrat unit (though, in the last game, I put him in the Plague Monk unit.. he hopped out mid-game and won me the game).  The Warlord obviously ran with the Stormvermin and, in most games, so did the BSB.  I’m not really comfortable with so much of my Leadership relying on a single (relatively small, at 20) unit… but it’s the only arrangement that really seemed to make sense in most games and it really worked out when I did it.

The Storm Banner wasn’t useful in every game (two games had zero shooting), but it really made a difference when it was.

It’s interesting to note that, out of five games, four were open lists.  I am ideologically opposed to closed lists. They are stupid.  Real games of strategy, like go and chess don’t depend on tricking your opponent: they depend on you having a stronger game.  Until Fantasy ditches this idea of using “gotchas” as a strategy, it will never be as good a game as 40k.

Anyway, the only game with the closed list was the one I lost. This has nothing to do with my ability to process my opponents’ lists: I started the weekend wholly unfamiliar with the Lizardman book and really only familiarity with the boring bullshit the one High Elf player I’ve played uses as a crutch (Phoenix Guard deathstar).  My knee-jerk reaction is to find the correlation in deception: we’ve got a local player who uses a closed list to cheat, shifting banners and characters around to best effect because his opponents aren’t able to know any better, and the game that I lost (which I’ll get to) felt off enough that I wouldn’t have surprised me… but on reviewing his list (handed over post-game), I don’t think that’s the case at all.  I think it’s just coincidence.

Game 1 vs. High Elves
Christian G.

Archmage – Lvl 4,  Shadow, Book of Hoeth
Prince – General, Great Weapon, Armor of Caledor, Vambraces of Defense

Mage – Lvl 2, High Magic, Trickster’s Pendant
Mage – Lvl 2, High Magic, Dispel Scroll, Skeinsilver
Noble – BSB, Dragon Armor, Shield, Banner of the World Dragon

Spearmen x24 – Full Command, War Banner
Spearmen x20 – Full Command
Spearmen x19 – Full Command

Dragon Princes x5 – Standard, Banner of Sorcery
White Lions x29 – Full Command, Amulet of Light, Banner of Eternal Flame

This was probably the best game I had all weekend.  Christian was a fun guy to have across the table.  Clearly, he outclassed my magic, but it never hurt too bad.  I dodged most of the nasty stuff except a Flames of the Phoenix on my Skavenslaves (17 dead slaves?  whatevs!) and then on my Plague Monks.

At the end of the game, I’d managed to get everything he had off the table save for two Spearmen and his Prince… netting a Major Victory.

Game 2 vs Orcs and Goblins
Frank W.

Grimgor Ironhide – General
Savage Orc Great Shaman – Lvl 4, Lucky Shrunken Head, Sword of Striking

Black Orc Big Boss – BSB, Armor of Destiny
Night Goblin Shaman – Lvl 2

Night Goblins x49 – Full Command, Spears, Netters
Night Goblins x20 – Musician, Bows
– Fanatics x2
Night Goblins x20 – Musician, Bows
– Fanatics x2
Savage Orc Big Uns x38 – Standard, Musician, Extra Hand Weapon

Black Orcs x36 – Full Command, Banner of Discipline

Doom Diver
Rock Lobber
Mangler Squig

Frank’s a good kid who’s relatively local: he and his father both played in the tournament I ran last month.  I’ve never played against Orcs & Goblins before.

As you can see, he dropped a lot of hordes on the table, and I was a little worried.  All of those Fanatics and the Squig were clearly supposed to worry me, but they didn’t.  From the get-go, he Hand of Gork’d the Mangler right in front of my Stormvermin, so I marched their Mortar over it.  My slaves sucked up his Fanatics.

From Turn 1, I whittled away at his Black Orcs with everything I had: 13th, the Cannon, and the remaining Mortar.  The turning point of the game went down with his Savage Orcs fleeing from Plague Banner-charged Monks who were then charged in the flank by severely whittled-down Black Orcs.  They didn’t break (obviously), though I don’t recall why I forgot to reform them, but they did kill enough Black Orcs to get the unit down to Grimgor and two other Orcs.  Before the next round of combat could go down, I was able to 13th the unit into oblivion.

Ended up with  Major Victory.

Game 3 vs. Lizardmen
Erik B.

Slaan – General, BSB, Light, Cupped Hands, Obsidian Amulet, Focus of Mystery, Becalming Cogitation, Focused Rumination

Skink Priest – Lvl 2, Ancient Stegadon, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon

Saurus x25 – Standard, Musician
Saurus x25 – Standard, Musician
Skink Skirmishers x10
Skink Skirmishers x10

Cold Ones x10 – Full Command, Huanichi’s Blessed Totem
Temple Guard x16 – Full Command

Salamander – Skinks x4
Salamander – Skinks x4

This was easily the worst game I had all weekend.  (Not hard, given that all of the other games were pretty good, but still.) It started off on the wrong foot when he said he wanted to play closed lists (see above).  His wife (who was actually very nice) sat and watched the game the whole, but that meant he pretty much ignored me, quietly muttering to her when he wasn’t doing something in the game.  And every time I killed one of his models he did a whole “this is bullshit, I’m losing the game to this guy with this bullshit list” thing.  I get being disappointed/frustrated when things don’t go your way (see below: my Stupid Abomination), but I’m not exaggerating about this being an every time thing.

And then there was the cheating.  “Cheating” might be a strong word; I don’t know.  Maybe it was a lot of innocent mistakes, but I can’t help but feel like it wasn’t.  His Skinks were about 5mm apart when the correct formation (.5″ would have put him in serious danger of the Abomination.  He totally pulled the “I cast Speed of Light on these Saurus.  17″, so everyone in 12″ gets the benefit.”  He rolled, and took Harmonic Convergence and Curse of the Midnight Wind.  I know this, because I opened my box, rifled through the stack of cards, and pull those two out.  You can imagine my surprise when he said he’d taken Iceshard Blizzard.  Since I couldn’t prove that he hadn’t muttered such at some point before the game started, I let him get away with that last one, but called him on the rest.

Now, I’m self-aware enough to know that some of my peevishness about this mess is probably driven by sour grapes: I’d won two games, was doing well, and then I lost to this guy.  But he really was pulling stuff that wasn’t kosher, and if I caught him on the stuff above, what didn’t I catch him doing?  At the very least, even if it wasn’t deliberate cheating, it was full of stuff unacceptable and uncool in any game, much less a GT.

Anyway, the game was a slugfest.  The Iceshard Blizzard thing certainly made some sort of difference.  I forget if it was a Minor or Major Loss for me.

Game 4 vs. Vampire Counts
Douglas C.

Vampire Lord – General, Lvl 4, Lore of Vampires, Sword of Battle, Gambler’s Armor, Black Periapt, Talisman of Preservation, Dark Acolyte, Walking Death, Summon Ghouls, Beguile

Vampire – Lvl 2, BSB, Lore of Vampires, Dark Acolyte, Avatar of Death, Drakenhof Banner
Vampire – Death, Forbidden Lore, Enchanted Shield, Dispel Scroll
Vampire – Light, Forbidden Lore, Cadaverous Cuirass

Corpse Cart – Balefire
Crypt Ghouls x39 – Champion
Skeletons x29 – Full Command, War Banner
Zombies x40 – Standard, Musician

Grave Guard x40 – Full Command, Royal Standard of Strigos

Douglas, as it turns out, is another relatively local kid who’s folks work not too far from where I live: it’s a very small world.  It was a good game that the scenario tried really, really hard to ruin for me.

Looking at the list, I’m sure you can imagine how things worked out.  I just dumped everything I had into his hordes and tried to wipe them out.  I was pretty lucky in being able to stymie his regeneration and do enough wounds to really keep ahead of what I couldn’t stop.

My Monks charged his Zombies and, not being willing to risk being stuck, popped the Plague Banner and tore through them: killing all but one (who decided to collapse).  I rolled into his Grave Guard where I tied them up for the rest of the game.  I challenged with my Priest, he accepted with his Lord: who killed the Priest pretty quickly, but wasn’t able to do more than a wound or so a round against the Furnace.

The scenario was this: give three units “Liquid Courage”: Stupidity and Frenzy.  Units with Liquid Courage get a secondary objective every time they kill a unit.  I gave it to my Abomination, who couldn’t really benefit in any way by Frenzy, but I figured he’d get some kills in, right?  Wrong.  He failed every. single. Stupidity. test. Even with BSB rerolls.  I had to count to ten and apologize; Douglas understood and let me be furious at the Abomination.

Fortunately, it didn’t actually make a difference: I killed everything he had… save his Grave Guard deathstar.  With the General and BSB in there, I only eeked out a Minor Victory, despite giving up something like 540 VP.

Game 5 vs. Lizardmen
vs. Luke W.

Slaan – General, BSB, Shadow, Cupped Hands, Dragonbane Gem, Crown of Command, Banner of Eternal Flame, Becalming Cogitation, Focus of Mystery, Focused Rumination, Higher State of Consciousness

Scar-Veteran – Light Armor, Shield, Biting Blade, Dragonhelm, Dawnstone
Scar-Veteran – Light Armor, Shield, Cold One, Warrior Bane, Talisman of Preservation
Skink Priest – Heavens, Dispel Scroll

Saurus x42 – Full Command, Spears
Skink Skirmishers x10
Skink Skirmishers x10

Cold Ones x5 – Standard
Chameleon Skinks x6
Chameleon Skinks x6
Terradon Riders x3

Salamander – Skinks x3
Salamander x2 – Skinks x6

Luke’s army was gorgeous.  Easily the best army I went up against.  The colors were subtle, popped out and were extremely clean.  I loved it.

I was less in love with that big ass block of Saurus.  The Slaan, the Skink, and the one Scar-Vet all hopped into it: I knew I needed to kill that unit if I stood a chance… and I probably wasn’t going to be able to.  Becalming Cogitation locked down 13th pretty completely.

However, my artillery rolls were some serious bullshit.  Like, so perfect, I felt bad for them.

I went first (which had to happen at least once out of five games, right?) and dropped a S 10 Warp Lightning blast down the flank into the middle of the unit, netting 19 hits.  I threw the Abom at them immediately (despite the flaming banner) to do what he could while I maneuvered up my Plague Monks.  The Abom held in way longer than it had any right to, but that kept the Monks from getting in.  It racked up a respectable body count, including the Scar-Vet, before getting cut down.

The Abom and all of my shooting whittled the Saurus down to the point where the Slaan hopped out and ducked for cover and he moved the Saurus away to try to get them away from the Slaves and Stormvermin who were closing in.

It looked like it was going to come down to whether or not I’d be able to catch the Saurus… and then my Warlock, who’d hopped out of the Monks two turns before they caught the Stegadon in the flank moved off and popped off the Doomrocket I’d never had a good target for.  19″.  Just. on. top. of. the. unit.  Killed every single one of the Saurus, leaving the Skink Priest… who failed his Panic check and ran off the table.

This was my hardest fought, closest game.  It was completely down to the wire: if a few more rolls had gone his way or a few fewer had gone my way, it’d have definitely gone the other way.  As it is, I pulled out the most Minor of Victories.  Great stuff!

In the end, I went 4-1.  Four out of five really great games is nothing I would ever dream of complaining about.  It’s probably the best I’ll ever do at a GT, I’m quite sure.