Monday, May 27, 2013

Great Lakes Warhammer League Championships

Every year in Michigan, we run a state-wide Warhammer league, with counties split up to be the divisions, and often have 60-100 players in total participating. At the end of the season, we have a championship tournament for the finals bracket and another stand alone GT-style scoring 3 game event. This year I wasn't competing for a League Championship spot, so I went all in to win the Tournament Championship. This is how it all unfolded.

My first opponent Eric Hanson also won Best Army

Game 1 was against Dark Elves. The list was written with the championship bracket in mind, but a goof up in his list meant he was bumped out and onto my table. The Ogres I was meant to face got pushed into the League final bracket.

A monster heavy list with the league restrictions in min of no double Rare choices (unless both are 100 pts of less), The list had 2 manticores and a hydra, flying Dark magic L4, 2 units of Black Guard and 2 Bolt Throwers.

This was the first time I tried a few things in my Warriors list. A manticore, and additional combat disc hero, and trolls without Trogg. My opponent more or less set up to defend against one side of the battlefield and I wanted to sweep around that same side while trying to get my Skullcrushers to the opposite flank and threaten. I did just that on my first turn when I made an 11" charge with the Crushers to get them in right away and save an extra turn of reforming later.
Because this tournament was open list, my mine focus moving forward was lining up the trolls away from the flaming Blackguard and focusing on the rest of the army. An unexpected turn as the DE archers then charged into my trolls to free up space but my trolls just ate them and went where they wanted. One Manticore rider did manage to get into a flanking chariot and break it, leaving me with less punch where I needed it on that side. After overrunning from their combat, the bolt throwers managed to also take out a couple of Skullcrushers with their lined up flank.

As the turns progressed I chaffed the flaming blackguard up and picked my targets. My combat disc hero was excellent in this match, flying along the back row taking out archers and bolt throwers. In the middle my Daemon Prince stopped fiddling around the rear and decided to get in the thick of it, then misfired the purple sun he had lined up on the hydra. My Warriors faced off against the other Blackguard unit head to head and made short work of them thanks to some hot dice.

To end the game with the solid victory I was able to get into the Black Guard I had waited until now to tackle and the points put me in solid standings for round 2. Win.

In round 2 I faced the mirror match on table 1, another solid Warriors list. This time it was against blocks of Warriors though, supported by Chosen and a Warshrine (trying to pop a DP), and a Tzeentch Daemon Prince trying to Gateway me off.

Being able to out deploy my opponents combat blocks, I decide to flank left and go for Warriors and leave the Chosen alone (who rolled +1 Toughness). There was a gigantic river of Light running down the center of the table, and both my opponent and I were hesitant to commit to the center, while I moved up the left flank positioning to charge.

Magic was a nonfactor the first few turns as my opponent and I both rolled low and then flubbed rolls to no effect. I wanted to get into the Warrior block on that side fast so I pushed my chariots forward aggressively on the bridge to that side and moved up fully with the Daemon Prince this game as opposed to last time holding back.

In the next turns everything started crashing together as the chariots and Daemon Prince took on the Tzeentch Warriors and their supporting Shaggoth, while in the center my Trolls and BSB tackled the Tz DP and the Warshrine. A well timed amazing magic phase left my opponent debuffed and ripe for the picking. Both Doom & Darkness on the Warriors and a bubbled Soulblight led to the destruction and running down of both the shaggoth and the warriors. Unfortunately another turn of grinding led to my trolls and bsb being run down, but not after killing the Warshrine.

The game was a draw down to the last roll of the game. My opponent's 3+ ward rerolling 1's BSB was locked into combat with my last remaining Skullcrusher and got rear charged by my combat hero. I took his last remaining wound on the last roll to win the game and snatch a win from a draw and move on.

Game three was against my team mate Neil and his well played Beastmen. Neil loves chaff and usually outdeploys me, which he did this time as well. Surveying the board and being on the final table and game of the tournament, I decided to focus on getting ahead early and getting points.

With all the chaff on the board and his wizards loaded up near the herdstone, I wanted to use his own chaff against him, ignore it, and push after the herdstone. His main unit had all the big pointsthough, an ungor "missile" with 2 tooled up Minotaur Lords up front and a BSB with the Beast Banner on the side with his non matching profile.

The Skullcrushers charged out early and got through some units, but were left vulnerable to a flank charge as I moved the Manticore off to my right and pushed the trolls forward. The Warriors circled to support where the fighting was, as they are a bit slower. They mainly wanted to threaten the monster in my rear.

The Manticore poised to go after my opponent's wizards, the unit of Gore they were in made an aggressive charge to try to take the game on his terms. The Beastmen wizards charge with their unit after the manticore, hoping to take it out with a strong magic phase and all the characters getting a bubbled +3 Str and +3 attacks!
 But the spell didn't go off on double 6's like my opponent had hoped, and the manticore proceeded to eat the unit. I give him credit thought, it was an aggressive move I may have tried myself. But now with no magic support the Minotaur bunker needed to gofor broke. They charged into the flank of a frenzied and overrunning Skullcrusher unit, but then themselves overran into a precarious position. The next turn led me to bringing everything possible, going after all the remaining eggs as they sat in their basket.

The trolls and bsb in their front, a Daemon Prince in their flank, and a Soulblight dropping their effectiveness. I was able to whittle down a LOT of Ungor and break my opponent's steadfast by the second round. The BSB reroll didn't save him then and I was able to run down a solid 800+ points of unit and characters to finish off my opponent and get the win.

In the end I was one point short of a perfect 60 battle points and there was another Ogre player on full points. But solid sports scored and a superior painting score paid off in the end and I won my second GLWL Season Tournament Championship.

After the tournament I reflected on a few things going forward with my new Warriors of Chaos army. I really liked the support characters in the list, but they are expensive. I will have to try and balance them into my list in the future. Even harder to balance is that this tournament was 2500 points, and generally the points played in my area. It can sometimes be hard to prepare for the many tournaments we travel to that are set at 2400 points when all local events are slightly different.

Another point I noted with 2 events coming up that do not allow special characters (namely Throgg) is that I still believe Trolls are worth taking in a Warriors list. They are another tough combat block in my list rather than just putting in more chariots. It is also a tough choice based on speed, but I would rather have 7 trolls than a flying regenerating Chimera. They also help in the meta with there vomit vs the reemergence of heavy armor everywhere, but still churn out the attacks vs hordes.

We'll see how all off this adds up to help me this year at Blood in the Sun and Buckeye Battles Thanks for reading!



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