Sunday, 25 November 2012

Skaven Sabotaged at Local Tournament!

Someone loaded my dice, I swear!


Seriously though, I finally got to compete in my first tournament with my Skaven. It was a great day. Ten players went along, payed $10 each and got three games with first and second place splitting the money in Games Workshop vouchers.

It was played at 1500 points, and there was a few different armies around. There was, however, a good 3 or 4 Warriors of Chaos armies. One of them was played by a guy who had only just started Fantasy about a week earlier, but he still did surprisingly well considering his experience. He placed 4th overall with a completely unpainted army.

Anyway, from what I could gather, you could score a maximum of 30 points for painting, something like 15 points for sportsmanship and... Uh... Well I honestly don't know about the games. I know that winning is good though, and that's what counts, right?

Let's get down to it. Here's the army list I brought along:
Lords - 240pts.
Grey Seer - 240pts.

Heroes - 169pts.
Warlock Engineer - Doomrocket - 45pts.
Chieftain - BSB, Storm Banner, Great Weapon - 124pts.

Core - 384pts.
20 Clanrats - Shields, Full Command - 110pts.
20 Clanrats - Shields, Full Command - 110pts.
40 Skavenslaves - Musician - 82pts.
40 Skavenslaves - Musician - 82pts.

Special - 407pts.
32 Plague Monks - Full Command, Plague Banner - 279pts.
8 Plague Censer Bearers - 128pts.

Rare - 300pts.
Doomwheel - 150pts.
Doomwheel - 150pts.

TOTAL - 1500pts.

So there were some issues with it that only really became apparent after playing in a tournament setting like this against a number of army lists that varied from what I'd previously faced, but we'll get into that more at the end. Unfortunately the army type didn't vary a whole bunch, as you might expect in a 3 game tournament, but I ended up facing Dwarfs, Warriors of Chaos and Warriors of Chaos again. Fortunately the WoC armies were pretty different from each other, so it's not such an issue.

Game 1: Skaven vs Dwarfs
Game one was a tough one for me honestly. I've only ever faced Dwarfs once with this specific army list and won that, although I've faced them plenty of other times at different points and whatnot and lost all of them. In short, I hate Dwarfs.

The game was Battleline. His army consisted of an Organ Gun, a Grudge Thrower, a Cannon, 40 Long Beards with Great Weapons joined by a Thane and another smaller unit of Warriors with Great Weapons joined by a Rune Priest.

Apologies in advance for my not-completely-painted army. I can't speak for everyone else, but as far as I can see they're trying!

Dwarf deployment.

Skaven deployment.

Unfortunately my significantly larger amount of guys and the initial placement of some Slaves seriously screwed over my deployment. I couldn't react properly and it was really going to be a tremendous effort for me to make it to him. I think a better deployment would've helped me far more in this game, but I really don't think I could do too much considering the size and number of my units.

Dwarfs got first turn.

The first couple of turns went as pretty much anyone could predict: I moved forward and he sat back and shot me. His Cannon smashed my Doomwheel and his Grudge Thrower did a number on my units. The Storm Banner didn't stop anything and then ended on my first turn. My magic also did nothing at all ever all game, so I won't even bother mentioning it anymore.

By the end of turn two we had this:

Notice the zero Dwarf casulties...

From there it was pretty downhill. There's no breaking those Warrior units and with one unit of Slaves gone, the other way too far away to do anything and a Doomwheel that would die next turn, leaving me with no real hard-hitting units, there wasn't a whole lot I could do. The Plague Monks even failed a 10" charge on the War Machines by an inch.

The rest of my army was pretty much just shot to bits, my Grey Seer and his Clanrats fled and failed their leadership 7 rally test twice to run off the table and the BSB's unit was massacred by the Long Beards.

Luckily my opponent was a decent guy though, but apparently has some reputation, seeing as when I told one of the other players that I lost he was all like "What, how did... Oh, you were facing Peter B."

I still need to work out how to beat those damn Dwarfs...

Game 2: Skaven vs Warriors of Chaos
This was the game against the new guy, and arguably the most enjoyable game I had all day. Unfortunately it was Dawn Attack, so deployment ended up getting seriously spastic...

His army was a unit of Mark of Tzeentch Shield Warriors, Mark of Khorne Shield Warriors (might have been Chosen?) and a unit of the new Juggernought-riding-guys, an Exalted Champion on a Juggernought and Festus with the Tzeentch Warriors.

He ended up having to deploy the Juggers and Khorne Warriors in the middle and the Tzeentch Warriors on his right flank.
Warriors of Chaos deployment.
 As you can see, my deployment was just a little but more spastic with all my units. From left to right we've got a unit of Slaves on my left flank (the guy out the front is where they're actually meant to be, but they'd have fallen over if I placed them that far forward on the hill), both Doomwheels had to be deployed in the middle (they were also the last things placed, leaving them with very little room) with the Grey Seer and Clanrats just behind them, followed by the other Slaves, Plague Censer Bearers and then the Plague Monks, Clanrats and BSB on the right flank.

My apologies for the blurry picture, I had to hold the camera above my head to get the shot.

Skaven deployment
 We both just moved forward with my Doomwheels moving away from each other so I didn't lose them to their own Zzzap!'s and the Slaves moving to tarpit some Warriors. I Dreaded 13th'd the unit of Khorne Warriors and then finished them off with a Doomwheel.

I did have a few unfortunate accidents though. Mainly the Doomrocket. I threw four dice at it, and ended up with three 1's, followed by another 1 on the Misfire chart. The result was, well, lots of dead Slaves. Meanwhile the other Slave unit failed their leadership 10 test, were out of range of my BSB who was on the other side of the board and exploded. The Doomwheel involved in that fight also fled, but luckily it was towards my opponents own table edge. I also tried to charge the Juggers with both my Plague Monks and Plague Censer Bearers. It would've gone a lot better if my Monks had made it so that my Censer Bearers actually lived to cause some damage, but alas the Monks moved up 3" while the Censer Bearers charged headlong into the beasts of Khorne...

On my second attempt to cast the Dreaded 13th I had Vorrik eat all 3 of his Warpstone Tokens, and rolled two ones with them as well as failing my attempt to cast, so he was down to one wound :sadface:

His Juggers overran into and then thoroughly mutilated my Plague Monks.

By the end of turn 2 we had this:

The Warriors in the top left are dead.

After this he did some wheeling with the Juggers and Warriors, I tried to do some manoeuvring with my Clanrats to get out of the path of those Knights-on-steroids. I charged the Warriors with my remaining Slaves as well as both of my Doomwheels. Unfortunately this didn't go quite as I was expecting, but oh well...
I honestly thought I had this one...

After that horrid combat ended, the Juggers massacred my BSB and co. and then my Grey Seer miscast Death Frenzy on 4 dice, rolled a 4 on the miscast table and then died horribly, taking 11 Clanrats with him and causing them to lose their shit and bail.

That's pretty much that. Those Khornate Super Knights are pretty insane.

Game 3: Skaven vs Warriors of Chaos (again)
The last game was that diagonal deployment one (I honestly have no idea what it's called) where you have to roll a die for every unit to see if it goes into reserves or not. My opponent deployed first and didn't have any issues with the reserves. I also wasn't having any troubles. That is, until I rolled for my Grey Seer...

His army consisted of 2 units of Warhounds, 2-3 WoC units, a unit of Knights, 2 Sorcerers and a couple of Spawn.

Seriously, of all models, not having my Lord on the table was slightly annoying, but what can you do?

My opponent decided to give me first turn. The Doomwheels killed both the Spawn and I moved everything else up in a way that would hopefully prevent him from making any charges I didn't want, i.e. I placed my Slaves about an inch or two from his Knights and my Plague Monks about the same distance from the Warhounds who were shielding a small unit of Warriors. I also totally forgot to fire my Doomrocket, even though that was exactly why I left that unit of Slaves so far back.

He cast Treason of Tzeentch on my Censer Bearers, which hurt a bit, but it wasn't too bad. The Knights caused my Slaves to explode, but then my Doomwheel pwned the Knights.

My other Doomwheel took on some Warriors and another unit of Hounds by itself for a turn or two before the Censer Bearers could make it. They then quickly finished the Hounds and caused the Warriors to flee, who then rallied and then turned back around, only to get flattened again and chased off the table. My Grey Seer also entered the field turn two, but didn't do a whole lot.

Plague Censer Bearers to the rescue!

His Khorne Warriors then did a number on my Plague Monks, but were positioned right near everything else in my army. He conceded at that point, as my Doomwheels were poised to cause serious damage and my Grey Seer had a couple of Warpstone Tokens to use for a Dreaded 13th.

The Plague Monks honestly did nothing all tournament.

So the last game was a victory to Skaven! Huzzah!
8th place overall out of 10, although it would've been 4th if my army was painted...

I'm not complaining though, seeing as it was my first Fantasy tournament. I'm just disappointed in myself for not getting off my ass and painting my army completely.

Anyway, I've been thinking about what went wrong, and there are a few things. First of all, the dice didn't entirely go my way, and Skaven are a very random army that rely on that a bit more than other armies on luck, however I'm not going to blame my losses on luck alone. If I were good enough I should've been able to play my way out of it.

The other issue was my inability to deal with enemies from a distance or get to them fast enough, which meant that Dwarfs were always going to cave my head in and taking on those Juggers was going to be a very difficult feat.

Deployment wasn't exactly fantastic, although in the first two games I don't really know how I could've changed that a whole lot, especially in the second game. I'll just have to work on that I guess.

Last of all, the Plague Monks take a huge chunk of points out of my army and their efforts really were quite pathetic. They're good for pushing a Plague Furnace (which hit like nothing else), but unless I'm taking a Furnace I don't think I'm going to bother with the Monks anymore.

So what to do? Well, I'm going to be trying out taking 2 Warp Lightning Cannons instead of 2 Doomwheels (or maybe even just one Doomwheel and the 2 Cannons...? We'll see) and I'm going to try pretty hard to get myself some Gutter Runners just to deal with those Dwarfs.

Some other things I've been contemplating are taking another Engineer at Level 2 with a Dispel Scroll, dropping the Grey Seer and taking my Warlord on Rat Ogre Bonebreaker with a 2+ rerollable save that causes S4 hits on the unit that causes the wound for every save passed. I used to play with him before I had my Grey Seer, and he was tremendous fun. Whether I actually use him in my next tournament or not is to be seen, but I'm definitely going to start using him again in some friendly games and see how he works out!

Does anyone else have any ideas? I was even thinking about a unit of Rat Ogres, or even just breaking out the Plague Furnace...

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