Thursday, March 31, 2011

King of the Gnoblars 2011 - Game 1

So the weekend of March 19th-20th held the first ever (and hopefully annual) King of the Gnoblars tournament down in Cork. With the toughest field of any Irish tournament to date (I think 13 of the then top 16 in Ireland attended) and one of the last ranking events before the ETC team selection, the heat was on the determine who would be crowned the true village idiot, the King of the Gnob(lar)s.

After he abyssmal display I put on with my Empire at Warpcon and with it the coupled realisation that I needed to practice them a lot more before taking them out to play again, I cracked open the old Chaos army lying dorment since Conclave II last October. I ran with a similar list to the one I ran back then with some small changes, but as a recap I have posted the list below.

Sorcerer Lord [ Level 4 ]
Lore of Shadow, Armour of Morrslieb, Infernal Puppet, Necrotic Phylactery, Ironcurse Icon, Third Eye of Tzeentch

Exalted Hero
BSB, Mark of Tzeentch, Enchanted Shield, Talisman of Endurance

10x Chaos Knights
Banner of Rage, Standard, Musician

14x Chosen
Full Command, Halberds, Favour of the Gods, Wailing Banner

14x Chaos Warriors
Mark of Tzeentch, Full Command, Shields, Standard of Discipline

40x Marauders
Mark of Khorne, Standard, Musician, Great Weapons

5x Marauder Horsemen
Flails, Throwing Axes


War Shrine

Mark of Tzeentch

I think that's right anyway, I may be forgetting something/mixing something up. Anyway, on with the show. The list is a basic enough Chaos set-up with the exception being smaller Warrior/Chosen sizes and the addition of Knights (gotta love the Knights). My aim was to make for Warpcon by hitting the top 10 and hopefully getting some form of prize in the end.

So we arrived to Cork Friday night and promptly hit the pub. After a night of banter, drink and Barry telling us all he was going to win, we were forced to retire early as the pub closed and the bouncers wouldn't let us into the hotel bar where some of the other lads were staying. So bright and (way too) early Saturday morning we hit the hall after breakfast.

Scenarios were randomly determined for this one and the first match of the morning came out as Battleline. The random draw was done up and was paired against John John of HoLD and his Lizardmen. John John was only in the game about 6 months but had made a name for himself with some high tournament standings (and is now likely making his way to the ETC), so I did not underestimate his skill for this one.

His Lizardmen was roughly as follows give or take items/gifts/etc.

Slann Mage-Priest
Lore of Life, BSB, Crown of Command, Becalming Cogitation, Focused Rumination, Higher State of Consciousness, Focus of Mystery, Dispel Scroll

10x Chameleon Skinks

10x Chameleon Skinks

~24x Saurus

Standard, Musician

~24x Saurus
Standard, Musician

~24x Saurus
Standard, Musician

10x Skink Skirmishers

10x Skink Skirmishers

10x Skink Skirmishers

3x Salamanders


Ancient Stegadon

As you can see it is a very fast moving, avoidance style list, and that's exactly as John John played it until he couldn't. The amount of Skinks was going to be a problem and I knew I would need to be using his spells more than my own for the first few trns until I hit combat as no doubt he would hold back and let me come to him.

For spells I rolled up Miasma, The Withering, Pendulum and Pit of Shades. He obviously rolled nothing as he knew his whole lore. The Chosen rolled dice for a long time until boxcars finally came out. Deployment went as follows (diagram below); I forgot to vanguard as usual.


Turn 1

He got first turn and things got underway. His Skinks and Salamanders moved up into shooting positions while the Saurus blocks hung back. The ancient Stegadon didn't move much either. Magic worked to a non-result with little going on due to spells being out of range or pointless at this early stage.

Shooting proved misfortunate for the Lizardmen as both Salamander units suffered misfires, and the remaining two Salamanders in the 3 beast unit failing to hit anything. The Chameleons also only managed to take down ~4 Marauders.

The Chaos turn started off rocky too with the Hellcannon rampaging. The Marauders tried a charge on the Chameleons who were close within 11" and so even an average roll would have done it. However they fled but thankfully managed to panic a unit of Skinks that it ran through. In magic the Lord managed to take two wounds and the last crew from the lone Salamander with a stolen Awakening of the Wood after a successful Throne of Vines. However the finishing Flesh to Stone on the Marauders was dispelled. The Chosen picked up +1 Ld in the shooting phase and the Hellcannon couldn't shoot handing the turn back to John John.


Turn 2

The turn started off slightly awry again for the Lizardmen with the Chameleons failing to rally; the normal Skinks rallied however. The Ancient advanced and the Skinks and Salamanders ever so slighty repositioned.

The Slann started up the magic phase with an IF Throne of Vines with the obligatory negation of the miscast, and then followed up with an IF Dwellers that killed 18 Marauders. The Salamanders added to that and killed a few more. The lone Salamander got off a nice follow up shot and took down 2 Warriors and 3 Knights with it, with the Skinks killing another Knight.

In my turn I charged across the board with Marauders, Chosen and Knights, each respectively at the Salamanders, Chameleon Skinks, and the western most Skinks. The Salamanders held, the Chameleons fled and almost panicked the Slann (unfortunately he passed on the re-roll), and the Skinks fled with the Knight redirecting and catching the central Skinks who fled a mere 2"; the Knights then reformed to face the charge of the Saurus. The Warriors turned so as to stay out of the now more forward Slann's Becalming range while also being able to target the Salamander with another missile. The War Shrine manuvered for a flank charge on the larger Salamander unit should the Marauders fail to get the job done, and the Horsemen moved up to redirect the Stegadon should it wish to get into the action.

In magic I put up Throne of Vines again, and got off another Awakening of the Wood wiping out the lone Salamander, put yet again he dispelled the Flesh to Stone I attempted on the Marauders. Shooting was good as the Chosen got +1 A which I intended to keep for the game and the Hellcannon flattened the big bad dino. In combat the Marauder took out a Salamander and did two wounds to another, losing a few men in the process but winning the combat. However the beasts held.


Turn 3

John John chose the only charge the Knight with two units of Saurus, one in the front and one in the flank, and leave his Slann's unit out of it for now. All other units rallied or repositioned.

Dice were scarce for magic; I stopped Shield of Thorns on the Salamanders but he got of Throne of Vines and Flesh to Stone on the Saurus, healing the Salamander's two wounds in the process. The only shooting was by the eastern Skinks but the totally wiped out the Horsemen

Combat was eventful. The Saurus struggled to break the Knights' armour but managed two wounds, with the Knight getting 3 back, 1 of the T8 unit to the front and 2 to the lighter unit at the side. Despite the odds being stacked against them, the Knights managed to hold on thanks to the proximity of the BSB which was just long enough. The Salamanders fluffed and only killed a handful of Marauders while the Marauders killed two handlers, however they stuck around again.

In the Chaos turn the Shrine flanked the Salamanders and the Chosen flanked the Saurus who were in the Knights' flank; would it be game over? In magic the Sorcerer Lord Miasma'ed the Saurus the Chosen had flanked and tried to reduce the toughness of the T8 one's, however the Slann scrolled it. At this point I was planning to dispel his ToV but somehow forgot :cry: The Hellcannon then misfired causing the Slann and my Lord to miscast. The Slann negated his with the Throne of Vines I forgot to dispel (rolling a 3 followed by a 1 for sh!ts and giggles; dead Slann) and I rolled a 7 killing two Warriors.

The combat phase cheers me up however, as even though the Knights were beaten down to a man, the Chosen cut a bloody swathe in the flanking Saurus, breaking the steadfast of that unit (the other one already has it gone) and broke both units; they then joined the lone Knight in running both units down. The other combat went well also, and even though the Salamanders killed the last 3 Marauders, the Shrine did 2 wounds back winning the combat and breaking the Salamanders; the Shrine reformed as it would not have been able to catch them without pretty much screwing itself.


Turn 4

The Lizardmen promptly rallied all of their units that were fleeing and put the rest on the move. Everything moved to maximise shootig potential.

A combo of Dwellers and Skinks killed ~6 Warriors and the Chameleons at the back shot down the last Knight.

The Chosen reformed to face the Lizardmen army and the Shrine marched past the Slann's unit the try for the Chameleons next turn (as if they'd still be there). The Hellcannon popped 6 Saurus with a nice shot after magic failed to do anything.


Turn 5

The eastern Chameleons moved out of sight of the Shrine while the others marched the backfield to shoot the Chosen. The eastern Skinks moved toward the Hellcannon on a fool's errand and the others continued to harass the Warriors. The Slann marched to try get away from the Chosen. The Salamanders also moved to get back in the game.

For good measure the Slann put up Flesh to Stone on his unit to try and deter the Hellcannon. Shooting managed to kill one Chosen, one Warriors and wound the Shrine once.

For my turn I marched up the Chosen to stop his Slann's escape route and used the Shrine to block him in for a final turn charge (be it double flank, or front/rear). My Warriors continued to ignore the Skinks and focus on the Slann, however thanks to Becalming Cogitation the Lord couldn't get off many spells.


Turn 6

The Slann made no attempt to escape knowing that he couldn't, and instead ordered the rest of the army nearby to shoot up the Chosen with the hopes of panicking them. His joint magic and Skink shooting killed the Warrior musician and champion leaving just the standard bearer and the Wizard Lord.

I knew at this point that all that was left was to try and break the Slann. I knew he was Ethereal and I would have to challenge meaning I would get no attacks from the Chosen since the Slann took up the whole flank, however it was the only shot I had so charged in the Chosen and the Shrine on either flank. Since there would be no more Lizardmen turns and to avoid a miscast giving John John the points for the Warriors, the Lord left the unit to try and get some last points.

Both he and the Hellcannon had a shot at the Salamanders but both failed (due to Becalming Cogitation and scatter).

The big combat then came. The Shrine did a wound for none in return the Slann failed to wound my BSB, so I was up by 3; he needed to get a re-rollable 6 to stay, or so I thought. He then reveals the Crown of Command and easily makes the Ld9 test and that was game.



Well that was quite the opener. After totting up scores the game was a 10-10 draw, which I was happy with, though the forgetting to dispel the ToV that stopped the Slann from dying in the end did sting a bit. Looking back at the game, remembering to hit up that spell was the only thing I really would have done differently as everything pretty much worked out in the end. The Crown of Command really caught me off guard, as otherwise I would have sent the Shrine and Chosen after some other unit which would have either have to fight them and flee, and since this tournament's rulespack gives VP for fleeing units, I would have netted an 11-9 at least.

To finish up here are some pictures I took during the game (the only pictures I remembered to take all weekend, as usual).


So that draw kicked me up to table 5 for the Watchtower against one of Northern Ireland's top player Ivan McGowan and his Dark Elves. I was told they would be full of cheese, but I wasn't smelling it...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Painting progress...

So just a quick update; finally got batteries for the camera and got some shots of the Chosen unit filler and the WIP War Shrine, which is about 94% done. Anyway, enjoy, comment, all that jazz.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The final steps

Only 5 days left until King of the Gnoblars. Who will be crowned the village idiot?

Painting is going fantastic; only 3 Chosen and the finishing touches to the Shrine left to do. So the good news is I will definitely have the army done for the tournament; the bad news is that I still haven't gotten batteries for the camera so still no picture updates. Money justs seems to be too scarce to get batteries; might have something to do with constantly spending it :/

On a more positive front however I've been gettingt plenty of practice in. In a breath of fresh air I didn't have to face Kevin and his White Lions this week (relying on magic to win combats is embarassing for Chaos), and instead got two games against Gag's Lizardmen and Butler's Dwarfs; two great games (probably due to the lack of pointy-eared albino jungle cats).

I've stuck to the same list now that I've been using for awhile and the results have been fairly balanced, which is good enough for me. Gag's Lizardmen consisted of a Slann, Chief on Ancient with the War-Spear, Scar Vet with the Crown of Command, 19 Temple Guard, 39 Saurus, 14 Skinks, 10 Chameleons, two single Salamanders, and a normal Stegadon. We rolled up Battleline on the chart. The Chosen rolled up the +1 Attack benefit, and the Wizard Lord got Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, Withering, and Mindrazor. Deployment is below; I couldn't Vanguard because of the Chameleon's scout deployment.

First turn went to the Lizardmen who moved up across the board. I saw Dwellers coming at the Marauders but opted to chance a trade off knowing Gag doesn't carry Cupped Hands, and so dispelled Throne of Vines instead. The Dwellers indeed went off irresistably and Gag rolled a 5 for miscast which I moved down to 4, however the Slann rolled a 5 and so suffered a S10 hit instead of being sucked into the warp. 11 Temple Guard blew up also, but they got Regrown in turn 2. 18 Marauders died to the spell. Both Salamanders misfired, the one on the left eating 2 crew and the other eating all three, failing Ld, and becoming Frenzied and getting Hatred.

In my turn the Knight charged the Salamander and everything else moved back to avoid getting charged by the Stegadons. The Wizard Lord took the Slann's spells and used some twigs to beat up 5 of the Chameleons, while having Dwellers dispelled. The Hellcannon spat at the Ancient but missed. The War Shrine gave the Chosen MR(3). The Knights easily butchered the Salamander in combat and overran 11" away from the Lizardmen.

In the Lizardmen turn the Frenzied Salamander failed his charge on the Warriors in the building, and the Temple Guard/Slann entered the centre building. The Ancient failed a charge on the Marauders and the Skinks moved up to spit wet toilet paper at the Marauders. The Stegadon and Saurus advanced.

In magic the Slann Regrew 7 Temple Guard and did some other stuff. The Skinks killed a few Marauders.

The Marauders charged the Skinks who fled, and the Marauders failed to catch the Ancient in the redirect. The Knights turned around the get back in the battle. The Chosen et all once again backed off from the Stegadons.

The Sorcerer got off Mindrazor on his unit in the magic phase as a deterent from a Saurus horde charge, and the Hellcannon misfired, eating two crew. The Shrine gave the Chosen +1 Ld.

The Salamander managed to charge the building this time. The Ancient failed the charge the Marauders leaving the normal Steg to go in alone. Skinks rallied and faced the Knights. The Slann made the Ancient T10 after getting off Throne of Vines and cast Shield of Thorns on the other Stegadon to kill off a few Marauders before combat. The Warriors ate up the Salamander and belched out fire. The Stegadon lost all its crew but squished just enough Marauders that they were no longer Steadfast and ran them down.

In retaliation the Chosen, Hellcannon, and Shrine all charged the Stegadon for good measure and the Shrine then later managed to bestow a ward save and stubborn combo on the Chosen. The Knights charged the Skinks and failed to redirect when they fled as well as not catching them. The Sorcerer managed to Wither the Stegadon down to T4 for an easy kill for the Chosen et all. The Hellcannon overran on front of the Ancient wiping out the Skinks on the way, while the Chosen and Shrine reformed to face the Saurus horde.

The Ancient hit the Hellcannon like a tonne of bricks but only did two wounds with Impact Hits. The Slann made the Ancient T10 again after the Saurus charged the Chosen. The Hellcannon took only a single wound from the Ancient and crew but also did none in return. The Chosen lost three of their number surprisingly but not before killing ~9 Saurus. The Saurus held over the Crown and the Chosen reformed to be wider.

The Shrine counter charged the Saurus and the Knights crashed into the Ancient's flank. Now out of the building the Sorcerer Lord tried to Wither the Ancient and Mindrazor the Knights but failed both spells. The Knights and Hellcannon managed to collectively kill the Skink crew and the Hellcannon took another wound. The Chosen and Shrine collectively fluffed their attacks this turn and only killed 4 Saurus.

The Slann's unit left the building to threaten the Knights' flank. The Slann cast a bunch of spells but did not get Flesh to Stone off on the Ancient thankfully (however he Regrew 7 Saurus). The Knights and Hellcannon managed to take down the Ancient however the Hellcannon also fell. The lone Chief managed to pass his break test. The Saurus lost some more models and the Chosen lost one but the Saurus held again.

Chaos turn 5 now, and the Knights somehow managed to fail to kill the Skink Chief and he held again. The Saurus were brought down to 18 models by the Chosen and the Warriors regretted not charging in (they opted not to so as to give the Lord a chance to Dwellers the Slann but the Winds of Magic only gave me 3 dice).

Last Lizardmen turn and the Slann's unit charged the Knights' flank before the Slann proceeded to turn the Saurus' Flesh to Stone and cast Earth Blood on his unit. The Knights as a result killed only one Temple Guard, though they killed the Chief. They broke however and were caught by the Temple Guard. The Saurus and Chosen fought on as always but the Flesh to Stone stopped the Chosen doing much damage.

In the last turn the Warriors opted not to bother with the Saurus as there was an incredibly small chance they would break them. Instead the Lord used Awakening of the Wood on the remianing Chameleons, panicking them off the board, but failed a Dwellers on the Slann's unit.

Counting up there were 56pts in the difference, yielding a satisfying 10-10 draw after a great game.

This game has shown me some of the serious downfalls to the Eye of the Gods rules, such as the constant challenges allowing his character to go to the back, meaning I could not get rid of his Crown of Command to break the Saurus (unit Champion was killed every time he Regrew).

Second game of the evening was against Butler's Dwarfs. He had a Lord, BSB, Runesmith with Spellbreaker and Rune of Balance (steal my power dice), 30 Hammerers, 25 Ironbreakers, 20 Warriors, 20 Quarrellers, 10 Thunderers, a Cannon, a Grudge Thrower, and 2 Organ Guns. We rolled Meeting Engagement with me deploying first. I got +1T on the Chosen's roll, and Miasma, Enfeebling Foe, Withering, and Pit of Shades for spells. Deloyment below (Vanguarded up the left flank).

Dave failed to steal back the first turn so I got it. Knight and Chosen advanced full pace around the east of the centre building, and the Marauders and Shrine around the West. The Horsemen zoomed past the Dwarf Warriors to threaten the Thunderers' flank. The badly placed Chaos Warriors (*facepalm*) left the building and advanced. The Lord has only one spell he could cast and so irresistably Miasma'ed the Thunderers, reducing WS, BS, I, and M all to 1; two Warriors blew up in the magical feedback.

The Hellcannon got a good shot and took out an Organ Gun while the Shrine gave the Chosen +1AS and the Horsemen failed to kill any Thunderers with their axes.

The Dwarfs shuffled and started shooting. The Horsemen were wiped out by the Quarrellers, while the Organ Gun killed a Knight. The Thunderers killed a Marauder, but the Cannon failed to damage the War Shrine. The Grudge Thrower misfired but was fine.

The Marauders charged the Thunderers who fled leaving the Marauders hanging low; they failed to redirect into the Ironbreakers. Everything else advanced. The Wizard tried to Miasma the Quarrellers but it was dispelled. The Hellcannon killed a few Ironbreakers and the Shrine did something useless.

The Dwarfs repeated the attempts of the previous turn. A bunch of Marauders were killed as well as a Knight and a Chaos Dwarf.

The Knights charged the Hammerers expecting a magical backing. The Marauders charged the Thunderers again I think, but they must have failed because they weren't in combat. The Shrine failed a charge on the remaining Organ Gun. The Hellcannon got a shot on the Warriors now threatening the Marauders' flank and panicked them. The Shrine gave the Chosen +1A. Magic failed miserably leaving the Knights in a bad spot. Though they killed 7 Hammerers they were beaten back to just the command group, but managed to hold.

The Ironbreakers charged the remaining Marauders (about 27 at this rate). The Warriors and Thunderers rallied. Shooting did 3 wounds to the Shrine and killed a few Chosen more. The Marauders were beaten and broken in combat (and then caught by stunties) though they wounded the Runesmith and killed some Ironbreakers first. The Knights were killed outright, though they killed 6 Hammerers first.

The Shrine charged the Thunderers and the Chosen swung into the Organ Gun. Magic failed as usual but the Hellcannon managed to kill 7 Ironbreakers. In combat the Chosen killed the Organ Gun and overran into the Hammerers. The Shrine and Thunderers did no damage and tied the combat.

The Ironbreakers reformed in the Dwarf turn and the Warriors moved back in toward the action. Shooting did its worst to the Warriors but yielded only 1 wound. The Chosen Champion was killed by the Dwarf Lord but the Hammerers lost a lot of models, killing a few Chosen in return (~3). The Shrine fought the Thunderers to another stalemate.

The Hellcannon rampaged but didn't reach the Ironbreakers' rear. The Warriors continued their trek and failed magicking attempts. The Shrine continued to hold out against the Thunderers as neither side did wounds. The Chosen brought the Hammerers to 5 men as the Dwarf Lord and Chaos BSB fought to a stalemate.

The Ironbreakers hit the rear of the Shrine. Shooting continued on the Warriors with no kills. The Shrine was brought to its last wound but held on double 1's. The Chosen killed the rest of the Hammerers as the Dwarf Lord managed to slay the Chaos BSB, but the Lord broke.

The Hellcannon rear charged the Ironbreakers and the Chosen ran off the board after the Dwarf Lord. The Warriors stood back as their Lord opened a pit under the Cannons swallowing it up. In combat the Shrine killed the Runesmith and the Hellcannon's Thudnerstomp killed off the Ironbreakers. The BSB died defending his banner but the Thunderers held.

In the last acts of the game the Warriors charged and broke the Shrine, and the Grudge Thrower/Quarreller combo failed to kill or panic the Warriors.

This yielded a 14-6 victory to the Warriors of Chaos, a win I was incredibly happy with considering how bad my luck was (and how good Dave's was) in the early game.

I am happy with the list and won't change it just yet. It can be tough to do well against certain armies over having such small units, however they are also hard for opponents to take point from. I think the main armies I need to hope to avoid are Skaven, White Lion based High Elves, Khorne Daemons, and certain builds of Empire. Everything else is manageable, though there will be a lot of challenges. I look forward to the weekend and hope I can get a better result than Warpcon. Maybe I should buy new dice...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

If it's not Brocon then don't fix it

Before I get to what the title of this post refers to I'll give you a quick update on my Chaos army.

Things are going well. It doesn't look like the Jugger-Knights will be finished in time for King of the Gnoblars (only 17 days away now) as two of the Juggernauts have yet to arrive though more importantly the Knights, who are needed before assembling to make sure they rank up, have not even arrived at Maelstrom yet, not to mind at my house. Still I reckon they will be getting them along with my Orcs and Goblins magic cards on Saturday, so hopefully I'll have them next week. The other problem this raises is that I need three of the lances from that box set to kit out the last 3 Chosen before I paint them. In the meantime I have the Chosen's unit filler and the War Shrine to finish. The filler is in his final stages; loving how he turned out and could be used as a character on Daemonic Steed also. Pics to follow once I have batteries. And who knows, maybe with the waiting time I can push onto doing the Warriors cloak change, and even more ambitiously, the Marauders' highlights.

Now, regarding the topic title; Brocon 2011. The event has been announced and I am heading up the wargaming once again. Luckily this year I have follow LDC member James Carey running the 40k so I don't have to wing it again (hard to run a game whose rules you barely know). Fantasy I am looking forward to and I really hope to top the numbers from last year considerably. It will likely be the second ranking event of the '11/'12 season after Conclave.

Anyway, details for now (rulespacks to be finished yet) can be found at the link below: