Monday, May 23, 2011

Midwest Rampage 6 Wrap Up

Historically, I've not been much of a tournament player as I've always preferred to focus on the "soft" side of they hobby.  I think this is because I'm a fairly creative person who enjoys the social aspect of Warhammer Fantasy, especially when it is played cooperatively or narratively (I love scenario driven mega battles).  However, this year I've decided to try to improve my average gaming ability by jumping in with both feet and attending a few out of state tournaments.  This gives me the opportunity to play some of the better players outside of my area and learn something about where my game stands in the process.  It also gives me the chance to meet some amazingly talented people and gain some new lifelong friends in the process.

This past weekend I had the fortune of attending the 6th annual Midwest Rampage (MWR6) put on by Jim Emerick.  MWR6 was a 3000 point (no Grand Army Rules), 5 game event spread of two days held at Gryfalia's Aerie in Bloomington/Normal, IL.  While some of the playing areas cramped I really enjoyed the venue as it made for a much more intimate playing experience.   Overall I'm happy to report that it was one hell of a tournament which is very fortunate for me as I had a 7 hour drive from Memphis to get there.

Pre-Tournament Expectations
Going into the tournament my goal was to finish in the top half.  I realize that it's a really large target, but, do the subjectivity of the soft scores and the luck of drawing the right match ups I just never really know how I will place.  I usually get  respectable soft scores, but if I get the wrong draws my day could take a turn from 15th place to 25th place in the blink of any eye.     

In the run up to the the tournament I struggled to finalize what to take in my army as I was unable to get in any practice games (I was busy painting).   Since all I had to go on way Theory-hammer I decided to go conservative and take big blocks of skeletons.  I also had to include my new conversions recently painted up for the tournament (War Sphinx and Necropolis Knights).  Finally I went back and forth between the Golden Mask and the Destroyer of Eternities on the Tomb King.  Here is the 3000 point list I finally settled on and ran at MWR6.

Tomb King  
Great Weapon
Armour of Fortune  
Dragonbane Gem  
Golden Death Mask of Kharnut
Ironcurse Icon
Tomb Herald
Armour of Silvered Steel
Tomb Guard x22
Full Command
Banner of the Undying Legion
Liche High Priest
Level 4 Nehekharan
Talisman of Preservation
Forbidden Rod
Skeleton Warriors x39
Full Command
Tomb Prince  
Great Weapon
Talisman of Endurance
Dragonhelm  Armour
Skeleton Warriors x39
Full Comman
Liche Priest
Level 2 Death
Dispel Scroll
Tomb Prince
Great Weapon
Armour of Destiny
Skeleton Chariots x5  
Full Command
Eternal Flame
Fiery Roar attacks  
Necropolis Knights x3
Skeleton Horse Archers x5
Screaming Skull Catapult
Casket of Souls
Overall, I'm quite pleased with how the army played.  I found being a long time TK player did help as many elements of the army still functioned the same as it did under the 6th edition book.  I was also happy that there were only a few instances where one of the new items / units really caught the opponent off guard.  This really says something about the preparedness and quality of my opponents.
The star of the tournament has to be the Necrotect.  I can not overstate how much of an impact hatred on the Tomb Guard unit was.  It literally was a buzz saw as long as I chose the appropriate target.  There were also a couple of situations that the Golden Death Mask really pulled me out of the fire.  Finally, I can't stress enough how important the TK magic phase is.  If your opponent can shut it down then the TK will have a really hard time.  In both my losses that is exactly what happened, once against an extremely tooled up Slann and the other against an extremely tooled up Rune Lord with Anvil.
Game 1 - Dawn Attack
Jim Livers - Orcs and Goblins
Jim's personality has the largest gravitational pull of any gamer I've ever met.  He was bigger than life and made for an amazing opponent.  Props to Jim for being the first OnG army I've played without Black Orcs.  It was a pretty straight forward game except that the amount of terrain was a real hindrance for him to deploy his horde army effectively.  It also made moving of of my chariots very difficult.  As the game developed I smashed his stuff on the right flank and he eventually ground down the chariots on the left flank.  The game turned in my favor when I got off the Light of Death from the casket with total power.  That spell managed to finish off the big spider and a Wyvern, which gave me the points needed for the win.   

Game 2 - Meeting Engagement
Ray Lambert - Dark Elves
Dark Elves have always been a difficult match up for me and I was real worried about the match up.  But once I saw the army I took a sigh of relief.  While the army did have double Hydras Ray didn't take any of the other toys that would have take the army over the top.  And as it turns out I had just enough flaming attacks to handle the Hydras.  I got a good start in the game as I was able to kill the rider off the Manticore and put some wounds on the Hydra.  Mid game I was able to break his center held by his general and corsairs with the Tomb Guard and big block skeleton unit.  This was all made possible because his Cold One knights failed stupidity early in the game delaying them for the one extra turn I needed.  In the lead I then made the predictable bonehead by getting the heirophant killed.  In retrospect I should have move the heriophant out of the unit skeleton unit and let them square off with the DE unit for the remaining 2 turns.  In the end the heriophant dieing was really a non-issue as the War Sphinx was able to run down fleeing Cold One Knights. 

Game 3 - Watchtower
Alex Gonzalez - Dwarfs
Not much to say about this.  I always lose on watchtower, so it didn't come as a surprise how this was going to end.  Still had fun even though I got my face smashed in.  Getting Iron breakers with a BSB and Dwarf Lord out of a building is very difficult.  I should have used more magic and shooting against the building to soften up the unit prior to the first assault.  Remembering the ward save against war machines on the Tomb Guard would also help next time.  It was a moral victory that I actually got more victory points off Alex because he blew up his anvil.  

Game 4 - Battleline
Marty Gaska - Lizardmen
Never having met Marty it was real pleasure to meet someone who lives up to the hype that precedes him.  I've never had so much fun getting my teeth kicked in.  The game broke open when I overextended myself and got my Tomb Guard unit obliterated from 3 sides.  So much from playing conservative.  It would also help to remember to bring up the Necropolis Knights.  It was really great to play against Marty who really pointed out a few things about the new TK that I hadn't considered (worried about getting the necrotect killed and losing hatred - take 2 or 3 of them!)

Game 5 - Blood and Glory
Dave Kulis - Wood Elves
Really love Dave's Avatar themed army.  The bulk of his army was sculpted by him from scratch, really impressive stuff.  It is already difficult enough for WE to win this scenario, it's doubly hard when they are playing a large, resilient infantry army like Tomb Kings.  I had 7 fortitude to his 5 fortitude so it was going to be very difficult for Dave to win this.  Especially considering I had enough flaming attacks to deal with the treemen.  Dave used the woods to teleport his big unit to setup the heirophant assignation attempt in the bottom of turn 1.  Tomb Guard and War Sphinx in the flank of the unit ended the game in the top of turn 2.   


Spanky_100 said...

Great tournament report! How do you recall all those details??

Domus said...

Lifelong? Really? Crap. Now I'm gonna take crap from you forever? What did I get myself into here?

Nice report I don't see any pics. Slacker! You may have gotten yours out quick but mine has the pretty pics (excepting the pic of us of course)!

Looking forward to more events.


retroalias said...

That's funny. After reading Domus's MWR6 report I felt that I had cut out a lot of the details!

Lifelong - yep.

You both better make it to Wapacca!

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