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
BSB, Mark of Tzeentch, Enchanted Shield, Talisman of Endurance
10x Chaos Knights
Banner of Rage, Standard, Musician
Full Command, Halberds, Favour of the Gods, Wailing Banner
14x Chaos Warriors
Mark of Tzeentch, Full Command, Shields, Standard of Discipline
Mark of Khorne, Standard, Musician, Great Weapons
5x Marauder Horsemen
Flails, Throwing Axes
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.
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
10x Skink Skirmishers
10x Skink Skirmishers
10x Skink Skirmishers
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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...