Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waaaghpaca 2013 - A Tomb Kings Experience

If there is any event that you can afford to bring a non cookie cutter army list and make it work its Waaaghpaca.  I was excited to get back to my beloved Tomb Kings and eager to build a very different and more aggressive Tomb King list than I’ve ever played in the past.  I decided to base the army around the War Sphinx and the unit of 6 Necro Knights that I’ve already modeled up with the Rasetra theme.  From there I decided to go with an all mounted (and therefore non-stompable) army which meant I would have to paint up some new chariots.  That left me with the question of what to do with the Hierophant.  In the past I’ve tried to put him on a horse and stick him in a unit of cavalry.  But ultimately it was a waste of points because you couldn’t afford to get the unit into combat.  Then it dawned on me that Special Characters were allowed and Arkhan was my savior (yes it's ironic) for a number of reasons.  First, he allows easier and more reliable access to the lore of death which really has a great synergy with the Casket of Souls and Screaming Skull Catapults (I listened to Bad Dice’s Lore of Death review 10 times).  Second, by mounting him on a chariot in a large unit of chariots he was reasonably protected from cannons.  Plus he would be very mobile and the unit would pack a serious punch when the time came to charge into combat.  Third, he gives me the benefits of a Tomb Prince without the added cost.  Essentially, Arkhan let me combine the best traits of a Hierophant and Tomb King into a single character, thereby saving points.

With the 3 main combat units set (War Sphinx, Necro Knights and Chariots) I rounded out the list to include a unit of Horse Archers (who doesn’t love scouting cav units), Tomb Scorpion (now that entombing is an option I love these guys), 3 Carrion (honestly I just didn’t have the points for a second Tomb Scorpion), Casket of Souls and 2 Screaming Skulls Catapults.  The basic idea of the army was to spread out the army in deployment and use my “quickness” to out maneuver the opposition all while softening them up with magic and shooting.  Then at the correct moment I would charge in and overwhelm them with impact hits and stomps. Here is my final list for Waaaghpaca:
  • Arkhan the Black in Chariot
  • 7 Chariots with Full Command and Banner of Swiftness
  • 5 Horse Archers
  • 6 Necropolis Knights with Standard
  • War Sphinx
  • 3 Carrion
  • Tomb Scorpion
  • 2 Screaming Skull Catapults
  • Casket of Souls

Overall I got some favorable matchups, didn’t face a ton of cannons and managed to come home with a 4-1 record.  While Arkhan did die in several games (usually to my stupidity and not miscasts) the toughness of my Undead Constructs saw me through.  Also, the lack of a dispel scroll was never an issue and I really felt that each part of the army played a key role in each game (even if it was just letting the Carrion be a speed bump).  Decent battle score combined with excellent soft scores saw me land in 4th place overall and the highest finishing Tomb Kings player at the event (out of 5 Tomb Kings players).  Below I’ve put together a quick snapshot for each game covering the highlights (and sometimes low lights).

Game 1
Greg Dupuis
Demons of Chaos
  • Papa Nurgle
  • Tzeentch Herald with Lore Master of Life
  • Herald of Nurgle with 23 Plague Bearers
  • 5 Horrors
  • 3 Beasts of Nurgle
  • 4 Screamers
  • 4 Flamers

Having played Greg before and seeing his list I knew I was in for a very tough game.  Fortunately, after an excellent Light of Death spell Papa was down to 5 wounds in turn 1 (ironically I probably had to put 14-15 wounds on Big Papa to finally drop him).  The Tomb Scorpion charged the flamers and was able to wipe them out and eventually get into the Tzeentch herald and take him out.  I was able to hit the Beasts of Nurgle and Papa with the Chariots with all units involved being tied up for the entire game.  The Necro Knights and War Sphinx charged into the Plague Bearers and were charged by the Screamers in the following turn.  Over the course of several rounds of combat the Demons eventually were destroyed and the War Sphinx and Necro Knights (down to 2 models) turned their attention to the fight in the middle.  Greg’s Horror unit got into the fray by ambushing (part of the scenario) and charging into the rear of the chariots.  Fortunately, Arkhan’s magical weapon (each wound caused heals his unit) kept the chariot unit alive long enough for help to arrive.  In the end I tabled the Demons and got a big win plus the objective by getting my units into 2 of Greg’s deployment zones (left, right and center). 

Game 2
Mike “Bloody” Gerold
Warriors of Chaos

Winning big in round 1 meant I had the pleasure to finally play the “Bloody” master himself and the eventually Waaaghpaca Champion in round 2.  The result of the game went exactly as it should when a top player of his skill squares off against an average player that doesn’t play enough games.  In other words I was tabled in under an hour.  Mike simply beat me in the deployment and movement phases of the game.  Looking back on it I spread out my army a little too thin which let Mike pick off my units piece meal.  I also charged my chariots prematurely into a hopeless combat instead of holding back and trying to soften him up more with Death magic and shooting.  In the end all I managed to score was the Skull Crushers and came away with 0 points.

Game 3
Matt Herbald
Chaos Dwarfs
  • Level 4 Sorcerer-Prophet
  • Battle Standard Bearer
  • Infernal Guard
  • Hobgoblins
  • K’daai Destroyer
  • K’daai Fireborn
  • Iron Demon
  • Magma Cannon

Game 3 was a real treat for me as it was my first time playing Chaos Dwarfs and Matt had a beautifully painted Forge World CD army.  Given the scenario was meeting engagement and there was a fair amount of war machines on the table I was not entirely sure how the game would go.  As Matt was likely to go first (he setup first) I conservatively castled the bulk of my army in the left corner and placed the Necro Knights and War Sphinx on the right flank.   After taking some damage from the Magma Cannon the Necro Knights were able to destroy the Fireborn.  My magic underwhelmed for most of the game given that his Chalice of Darkness and poor Winds of Magic rolls meant I didn’t have the dice to feed Arkhan.  Fortunately, Matt’s magic was also underwhelming as he failed to cast Ash Storm on every attempt.  I harassed the Iron Demon and Destroyer with the Carrion for a couple of turns while charging the Necro Knights and the War Sphinx into his Infernal Guard.  During combat I was able to Killing Blow both characters in the unit, break the unit from combat and run them down.  Around this time his Magma Cannon misfired and blew itself apart.  Having secured max points (kill > 1200 points of opponent’s army) I turned my attention to the Destroyer and charged Arkhan and his chariot into the K’ddai Destroyer.  Over the course of several turns I simply had no answer for this beast once Arkhan and his magical attacks were gone.  The K’ddai wiped the chariots and eventually got into the war machines.  At the end of the game both armies were bloodied though I was able to secure the win and the major objective.   


Game 4
Jeff Nath
  • 3 Demigryph Knights
  • Halbidiers with Warrior Priest
  • 20 Great Swords with BSB
  • Spearmen unit with Level 4 Heavens
  • Hurricannium
  • General on Horse with 7 Inner Circle knights
  • Captain on Pegasus

Easily the bloodiest game of the weekend and the best game that showcased what I love about 8th edition.  You are never completely out of 8th!  In the early game Jeff was able to force a comet through which eventually took out a Screaming Skull catapult and he dispelled Doom and Darkness every time it came up.  His Demigryph Knights wiped the Carrion on the left flank and were subsequently slaughtered by the Necro Knights with the help of some terrible rolling by Jeff.  By turn 3 Arkhan had sniped out his Level 4 and his BSB and I was sitting up in points.  However, Jeff managed to setup a nasty potential charge with the Inner Circle knights on the flank of Arkhan and the chariots.  Knowing what would have happen if his General got into combat with Arkhan I opted to charge the chariots into the Great Swords.  While 4D6 S5 impact did major damage I somehow managed to leave just the standard bearer alive.  After passing his stubborn break test Jeff proceeded to hit the chariots with the other 2 blocks of infantry.  With the help of the Hurricannium (+1 to Hit) and Warrior Priest (Hatred and +1 to wound) he was able to wipe out the chariots in short order.  Now significantly down in points I had to go for broke.  I got the Necro Knights and the War Sphinx into his battle line.  Over the course of several turns I wiped the Halberdiers, the Great swords and the Pegasus rider.  I also managed to break the Hurricannium combat with the Tomb Scorpion (poison attacks rock).  At the bottom of 6 I had 1 Necro Knight and the War Sphinx in combat with 5-7 spearmen and the fully intact Inner Circle knights (who were only engaged with the T8 War Sphinx).  I was able to get enough combat res from the spear men to break both units (no steadfast for the 4 wide Inner Circle knights).  Opting to chase the knights with both of my units I ran them down to secure the 190 point victory.  However I failed to score the Major Objective as in chasing down the knights took my remaining fortitude (Necro Knight standard) outside of 12” from the center line.    


Game 5
Matt Mundsack
  • Dwarf Lord
  • Thane BSB
  • Rune Smith
  • 28 Iron Breakers (5x6)
  • 30 Long Beards w/ GW (10x3)
  • 10 Thunderers
  • Cannon
  • 2 Organ Guns
  • 5 Slayers with two Giant Slayers

I was extremely happy to find out that I was playing Dwarfs in game 5 as there is no army that I understand how to play against better than Dwarfs.  My plan was to lay back and use magic and shooting to soften up the Dwarf line while waiting for the disposable units in my army to take care of the cannon.  Matt got the first turn and was deadly accurate with the cannon and took out a Screaming Skull Catapult on turn 1 followed by the Casket on turn 2.  The loss of the casket coupled with the Rune of Balance meant I was struggling for power dice to feed Arkhan in the early game.  Fortunately, things started to change on the left flank when I was able to get the horse archers and Carrion into the cannon on subsequent turns 2 and 3.  In the center of the battle line I pushed the Necro Knights to their deaths (pun intended) by charging them into the Slayers which inevitably saw them charged in the front and both flanks by Iron Breakers, Long Beards and the Thunderers.  Fortunately, the 400 point ruse worked as I was able to Killing Blow his Dwarf Lord and BSB (with the help of some lucky dice rolls), all while pinning his units long enough for Arkhan to get in position on the right flank for the kill shot.  One Purple Sun later and both Organ Guns, most of the thunders and 13 Iron Breakers were off the table.  Finally, I rounded out the game with the Tomb Scorpion landing a Killing Blow on the Rune Smith.  It ended up as a decent sized win for me but I couldn’t get the Major Objective as Long Beards (who had the Man of Intrigue Model) were on the opposite end of the table from my army at the end of the game. Looking back on the game one thing I should have done was push the War Sphinx at the Organ Gun early on rather than holding back.  The chances of it being taken out were low given it needed 6’s to wound and it would have given Matt another viable target for the cannon which may have saved the Casket of Souls.  In any event it was an extremely fun game and I will hopefully get a chance to play Matt again in the future.

I will be back in the near future with a overall review of the Waaaghpaca experience.  In the interim you can hear my quick audio account of my games and the Waaaghpaca experience check out Ohiohammer Xtra Points Episode 10.


Mr Saturday said...

Beautiful army, great display board.

Ryan said...

Great work Rob. Loved the beard and was great to see you. Appreciate you being the musician of the Twisted Troop! Next year I guess you're the Champion.

retroalias said...

Thanks for the kind words.

Yeah - it was awesome hanging out with the Twisted Troop. Maybe next year you will bring a tougher list! :)

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