Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Another BitS Recap (Nabroleon Style)

So I know I'm a bit late with this, but work has put me a bit behind schedule for the blogging bit (not that you broners care).  In late June, Ruins and I drove down to Illinois once again for the 3rd Blood in the Sun event (you can check Ruins' post here: http://www.youmagnificentbastards.com/2013/06/the-flock-of-doom-goes-to-bits.html).  As usual, Grant and his crew put on a great show and much fun was had.

I'll get right into it:
My goal for BitS was to do well (4-1ish) with moderate wins. Ruins can attest--I told him on the drive down that I wasn't feeling my best games of Warhammer coming up.  But either way, I was excited to play some new people and try out my shiny, new lvl 1 Fire mage.  I had thrown together a pretty tough list for the event, and while it didn't include every WoC toy (no DP, Chimeras, or chariot-spam), it was still damn hard.

The List:
Sorcerer Lord lvl 4 [Death], Mark of Nurgle, Dragonhelm, Talisman of Endurance, Crown of Command, Scaled Skin, Chaos Familiar--400pts
(1+/5+, stubborn, w/5 spells on Death--nasty! Being able to stay in the unit offers maximum protection against most things. And while giving stubborn to the unit is huge, I've learned there are times that you need to abandon your unit and protect the magic!)

Exalted hero BSB, Mark of Tz, Great Weapon, shield, Talisman of Preservation, Soul Feeder, 3rd Eye of Tz, Daemonic mount, barding--269pts
(1+/2+ armor, 3+ ward re-rolling 1s, gains wounds back, strength 7. Pretty much unkillable--and yes, he survived every game. Basically a one-man flank destroyer).

Sorcerer lvl 1 [Fire], Charmed shield, Dispel Scroll, Daemonic mount--175pts
(2+ armor chaff-killer expert that also helped manipulate the movement phase. Got my MVP of the tournament)

5 Chaos Hounds--30pts
5 Chaos Hounds--30pts
5 Chaos Hounds--30pts
(Diverters, drops, general pains in the ass for my opponent. Prone to running away and never looking back).

Chaos Chariot w/Mark of Slaanesh--115
Chaos Chariot w/Mark of Slaanesh--115
(Chaff killers. Also, remarkably hard to take down for small-arms fire. Marked Slaanesh 'cause panic checks suck)

18 Chaos Warriors w/Mark of Nurgle, halberds, shields, Full Command, Standard of Discipline--405
(The anchor. Keeps my opponent facing forward while the rest of the army circles around. Can't really ignore these guys!)

Gorebeast Chariot w/Mark of Slaanesh--135
(Underpriced death-machine. For when I need some extra punch without giving up wounds)

5 Hellstriders of Slaanesh with Hellscourges, Standard--110
(Super-fast chaff/warmachine killers. Also money for pushing fleeing troops off the board. The more I play with these guys, the more I love them).

4 Skullcrushers of Khorne w/Ensorcelled Weapons, Standard, Musician--332
3 Skullcrushers of Khorne w/Ensorcelled Weapons, Standard, Musician--254
(Assholes of the Warhammer world. Maximum damage output. Try to run around to flanks, but most of the time just end up shoved down my opponent's gullet).

Nasty! Basically relies on massive amounts of armor and toughness to conserve points. Doesn't help that it also hits like a honey badger all hopped up on Mountain Dew.

Anyway, Ruins and I roll up Friday night and while I was getting a quick game in against Alex Gonzalez (thanks for the great game dude!), the 1st-round pairings went up online. I immediately had 2-3 people come up to me and ask "Oh dude, have you seen who you're playing yet?" in various tones of disbelief and glee.  That could only mean one thing: Muthafuckin' Rodge.

Game 1: Rodge's DoC
So hot--want to touch the heiny!
While the talk of Round 1 was that our table was the Game 5 Top Table bout right from the start, I was just excited to play my old buddy from the great, snowy forests of Wisconsin (where the beer flows and the bears make butter).  Also helped that his army was beautiful (puts mine to complete shame).  Seriously, if you haven't seen it yet, find it at the next event you both are at.

Not gonna lie, I was nervous about those Skull Cannons. I knew I had the advantage of deployment (it was Meeting Engagement, diagonal-style, so he couldn't get those cannons on the flanks as well), but they could still put a huge dent in the army. My fears were calmed, however, when his first shot with his first cannon resulted in a misfire/explosion, removing one from the table. Skillzcannon indeed.

From that point on, I was able to run up on him with the BSB while putting steady pressure from magic and the Skullcrushers.  When we finally came to blows (Turn 3 or so?), I got off an army-wide Soulblight that left his units flaccid and shrivelled. Cost me my lvl 4 (the first of many Dimensional Cascades for the tournament), but it basically crushed his ability to take on my armor.

*Note, I did get to pull some movement shenanigans with my lvl 1 mage that I will likely be detailing in a later blog. Keep your eyes peeled--that shit can win you games!

Win 18-2 (with 4 Objective Points)

Game 2: Andrew Sherman's Empire
And the terrible camera skills begin to show...
Next up was Andrew Sherman of Ohiohammer fame.  Never having played him before, I was excited to see his take on Empire (I have heard good things!). Andrew also quickly revealed to me that he had a bet with a friend to see who could kill the most with their Helstrom Rocket Batteries. Badass.

Immediately upon seeing his army, I knew I was going to need to weather the storm of shots.  I out-deployed him on drops fairly well (love those hounds!) and had fast units across from his cannons.  Early turns didn't see too much damage from shooting (a chariot was blasted to pieces from a cannon and the hellblaster started tanking chaff), but he hardly needed it. In turn 4ish, his hellblaster finally drew an unobstructed view of my Nurgle Warriors (still over 12" range though) and blew away 13! of them. Yep, 13. At the time, I was left with 2 warriors and my lvl4. Ouch.

Thus, my middle was in rough shape. But a couple key moments swung the game for me. On the left flank, a knight unit had hit a skullcrusher unit in the flank (after I failed my restrain test and killed his witch hunter, exposing their flank). But his sacrifice was in vain, as the crushers showed why I put so much faith into them (losing combat by 1, they passed, reformed, and crushed the knights in the next round). On the right flank, Andrew charged his Demis forward, hoping I'd flee with my hounds and clear some chaff. I held instead and forced them to come out of hiding. When the hounds inevitably died, the Demis received a charge from 4 Skullcrushers, my BSB, a chaos chariot, and my nurgle warriors. Needless to say, they popped. This put my 4-man Crusher pack in a rough spot (they got charged by his Captain on a Peg in the flank), but they won combat and eventually ground him down).  My BSB was later able to hit his other knight unit and start grinding, while the chaos chariot and the gorebeast chariot hit the War Altar, luckily managing to break him (and causing panic in the halbadiers).  With most of his army in tatters or running, Andrew didn't have many options left and my faster units mopped up.

Win 20-0 (with 5 Objective Points)

Game 3: Lenny Szatkowski's Empire
And at this point, I'm burned out and lazy. Forgot to get a pic while it was all set up nicely!
My last game of the day was against Lenny, a solid chap that I had played at last year's BitS. While he said he didn't have much hope for himself in this match, he was out for revenge. Also, for those of you that don't know, Lenny is fucking awesome. Super-cool bro. If you get matched up against him, give him a high-five for me.

Once again, I got to deploy how I wanted (he had very few drops), but I knew it was going to be a tough fight with that artillery and those Demis.  First turn I almost fled his lvl 4 off the table (Doom and Darkness on unit, then Caress off a nearby Engineer), but he passed his leader 6 check.  Good work dude!

Moving my fast hound units up quickly, I forced him to make some tough calls with his Helblaster (2 hound units within easy charge range makes choices hard). He blasted one off the face of the planet, and while the other hound unit passed their panic, the nearby Nurgle Warrior (w/my lvl 4) unit didn't! Whoops! Thus my middle collapsed backwards for a turn, and while I was able to get my other hound unit into his blaster, I knew I was gonna have a long trek back to the lines with my Nurgle bros.

On the right flank, my BSB and the Gorebeast Chariot managed to cut down one unit of Demis. His Steamtank attempted to enter the fray, but hit some dangerous terrain and caused 5 wounds to itself (Lenny called it before the roll too!). When the Gorebeast tried to hit his lvl4's unit across a forest, he followed suit, failing his DT test and killing himself! What are they making these trees out of?! The BSB hit the steamtank though, and through a couple rounds, ground him out. On the other flank, his other Demi unit made short work of my 3-man crusher pack, but got thrown way out of position to do so. My lvl1 started cutting down cannons and detachments, while my 4-man crusher unit went to work on the big halbadier block, eventually grinding/running it down. At some point, my lvl 4 Dimensional Cascaded again (to get off the Doom and Darkness that finally saw the halbs running) and once again died. I'm beginning to see a pattern...

Win 18-2 (with 3 Objective Points)

Game 4: Mike Norton's Dark Elves
I promise, I'll be better with the camera next time (although, can you blame me? I was shaking from the chills)
If you listen to the Skull Bros Awesome Podcast (http://www.skullbrosawesome.com/), you'll know that my Saturday night was spent in the bathroom due to food poisoning. After catching about 2 hours of sleep and trying my best not to throw up, I went on with game 4 against Mike's Dark Elves.

I liked Mike's list a lot, and hearing of the Shadow lvl 4 in the bunker, knew that my Lvl4 Death caster was going to be money this game.  On turn 2, Mike flew a master on pegasus forward right next to my lvl4, and while I knew he likely had the Ring of Hotek, I was determined to not let him rain on my parade. I turned my unit and began 2-dicing spells at him to reduce the chance of rolling doubles. He dispelled both Spirit Leech and Caress, using up all his dice. Figuring that I could take a miscast just fine, I picked up my last 5 dice and threw them at Fate of Bjuna. Rolling a slew of 6s, I took a straight up miscast. Luckily, I popped the character (pretty sure the 6s continued as I rolled 12 hits). Once again, my dice rolled up a 4 on the miscast chart (where the hell is my Puppet from 7th ed!), and once again, my Lvl 4 shot herself into the warp.  Fiddlefuck.

Considering that the majority of my strategy had relied on Deathing out his characters, I knew I was in trouble. All thoughts of needing to throw up and poop myself flew out of my head and I went to work. Knowing that he now dominated the magic phase, I began throwing overwhelming force into combats. A 4-man crusher unit and a chariot smashed into his 36-man corsair block (unexpectedly--he was expecting me to hit his crossbows), dropping them down to below 10 models and allowing my crushers to overrun into his lvl4's bunker. The lvl1 Fire mage began wrecking chaff, shooting down a harpy unit with Fireball and throwing himself into combat with a small 7-lady witch pack (eventually grinding them out). My BSB and a chariot blasted into the Blackguard (who spent most of the game with a 5+ ward). The chariot didn't last too long, but the BSB held strong, and with the help of the lvl1 mage on the flank, ground out the whole unit.

One particular interesting bit (and one that will be the subject of a future tactics article) is that I managed to run off his 20-man crossbow unit with a lvl2 Death mage inside using a combination of charges. After having fled from losing combat to the BSB/Chariot combo (also fighting with the Blackguard), I charged the crossbows with a chariot, pushing them back. The Hellstriders (who had been sitting out all game, fearing a unit of Shades), charged them back through the Blackguard and into the backfield. Finally, my lvl1 Fire mage, who had just finished off the witches previously, charged, pushing them through his Cauldron and spears and finally off the table. Not bad for no loss!

After enduring a Mindrazor (which completely housed the 4-man skullcrusher unit in with the spears in 1! turn), I was able to grind down his units through sheer toughness and heavy-hitting. Finally, all that remained on the table for him was his Shade block, and although my units were all bloodied badly, most of them remained on the table.

Win 18-2 (With 1 Objective Point)

*Note--at this point, I had downed a half-bottle of Pepto. Ouch.

Game 5: David Faught's WoC

(No picture for this one, since there was quite the rumblin' in my tummy).

Ended up on Table 1 for the last round.  I had never seen David at an event before and he was running an unconventional WoC list (Chaos Lord on disc, tough BSB, 23ish Nurgle Warriors w/lvl2 of Death, Hellcannon, Chimera, some chariots, and a block of 7 or 8 Nurgle knights-cool!), so I was excited to throw down with him.

Looking at our armies, I knew that I could eek out a fairly easy 12-8 win unless I fucked up badly (helped to have a lot tougher units and a lot more range).  I think he realized it too when Turn 1 I blasted 2 wounds off his Chimera with a Fireball.  From that point on, he went Operation: Grill. Throwing his lord, BSB, and Chimera forward, he essentially attempted to create a situation where my Lvl4 would be stuck fighting his Lord in a challenge. To answer, I backed up my units, popped a Soulblight, charged my BSB into his wounded Chimera, and charged my 3-pack of Skullcrushers into his BSB. His BSB flopped hard and the Skullcrushers ended up killing him within 2 rounds. My BSB flopped equally hard (or really, his Chimera couldn't fail a regen save for a solid 3 rounds), and while he eventually ground it out, it took much longer than I hoped for.

Because my BSB ended up stuck in with the Chimera, Dave did get his Lord into combat with the Nurgle Warriors. Unfortunately for Dave, he murdered my Chaos Champion, but still lost combat. With the Stubborn crown, he was looking at a single roll at a 9 (his BSB was dead at this point). He failed it.  The Nurgle warriors ended up about 6 inches behind him.  Next turn, I charged him with the unit. He rolled an 8, landing 14 inches away (meaning I'd need a 10 to catch him). What do you think I rolled? Yep, double-Wiscos on those Pointhammered dice. I'm a bastard.

From then on, it was pretty much mop-up. His Chaos Warriors died to the 4-man Skullcrusher pack and a chariot (after a Soul Blight, bringing his toughness down to 3--pretty sure he had like 4 of his 23ish warriors left after my hits were done), his chariots were run down by my chariots (did I mention I like to use tricky charge maneuvers to push things off the table?), and his Hellcannon was toasted by my 3-man Skullcrusher unit. Oh, and the Gorebeast chariot ended up hitting the Nurgle Knights in the flank. Yep, they don't appreciate Killing-blow flavored Impact Hits too much. Ran them down too.

*Note--Dave is an excellent player that you should fear at tournaments. He got some seriously horse-shit luck in our game if you didn't get that memo.

Win 20-0 (with 5 Objective Points).

Thus, I ended 5-0 with 112 Battle Points.  Overall, I ended up taking 1st with 228 points (a full 21 points ahead of the next player--dang!!).  Very different from my first time winning BitS, where I edged out the Bastard by 1! point.

I had a lot of luck along the way (with my fair share of shit luck too--out of 6-7 miscasts total in the event, 3 were Dimensional Cascades and all 3 killed my lvl4) and 5 great opponents.  While the small room (with the top 9 tables) was sadly quiet and quite serious for most of the time, I was happy that I was able to play dudes that I could BS with, high-five, brofist, and make stupid sound effects with (yep, I'm turning into "That Guy").  

Also, a big thank-you needs to go out to Grant, Chris, and all the rest of the BitS crew.  I had a great time and definitely recommend the event for anyone in the area who want to play some fun Warhammer.

That's about it for now. As always, I'm totally open to spilling my Nabroleon secrets and tactics so feel free to comment or email me at mikeg1590@gmail.com if you want any thoughts on WoC lists or tactics.  Again, I'll be writing some tactics articles in the coming weeks too, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Smell ya later.


Michael Butcher said...

Great write up Mike

Hinge said...

Congrats Mike

Dennis G said...

Love the vomitting label :)Congratulations Mike.

Rogers said...

Great post, bro! Looking forward to our next game!

Nabroleon said...

Thanks boys! Glad you enjoyed it!

And Rodge--definitely looking forward to that game. Don't think I'll get so lucky next time though!

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