Friday, June 28, 2013

King of the Castle - Conclave Game 1

So we come to it at last, the Conclave report. Saturday started early as I prepared for the long walk to Thomond Park. 5 minutes in the cries of nerd grab my attention and I manage to grab a lift with the lads from Cork. We arrived at Thomond Park 90mins before the tournament was scheduled to begin where I met Tony and Gearoid, my fellow club members. There was a lot of wandering around to be had as we waited for time, and I spent a lot of the time setting up the army I had been up until 5am painting, and gazing at the wonderful terrain. For those who may have missed it, my list can be found here.

Come 10am we finally got the call for round 1, which was to be the Watchtower. The game would go for a set 6 turns and the winner of the tower would get a bonus 500VPs. For round 1 I got Mark Moloney's High Elves. Sparky, as he had become known to me on the forums, had a not-so-typical list, with plenty of threats but not the usual uber-magic to back them up.

Barded Elven Steed, Giant Blade, Dragon Armour, Enchanted Shield, Dawnstone

Barded Elven Steed, Ogre Blade, Talisman of Preservation, Shield, Dragonhelm, Heavy Armour

Battle Standard Bearer, Barded Elven Steed, Charmed Shield, Golden Crown of Antwyr, Star Lance, Dragon Armour, Shield

Level 2 High, Dispel Scroll

10x Silver Helms
Full Command, Shields

15x Archers

15x Archers

15x Archers

12x Swordmasters of Hoeth
Full Command, Banner of Eternal Flame

8x Dragon Princes
Full Command, Sword of Anti-heroes, Banner of the World Dragon

Reaper Bolt Thrower
Reaper Bolt Thrower

Great Eagle
Great Eagle

Frosthearth Phoenix

Note as always that I may have some of the item combinations wrong. He had the usual Prince bunker with the Banner so he was basically immune to my Daemon Prince, Skullcrushers and Warriors. I planned to gauge early what his plan for the tower was and decide then whether the 500VPs was worth going for or if it would cost too much to take it. Not getting the tower in the roll-off helped in this matter as I would get to see right from the start how he planned to handle the scenario having only small infantry blocks.

For spells Mark rolled up Hand of Glory and Apotheosis, while I got Spirit Leech, Doom and Darkness, Fate of Bjuna and Purple Sun on the Daemon Prince, and Miasma on the Shadow Level 1. Mark chose not to put a unit in the tower starting out, and deployed rather spread out with all of the flyers hidden and ready to pounce. The Giant Blade General and the BSB went with the Princes while the other Prince went with the Helms. The Mage bunkered up in a unit of Archers. This was all topped off with a statement that we will fight in turn 5, a statement I intended to challenge. I stayed relatively close to the centre and decided to send Throgg and the Trolls at the tower since the flaming Swordmasters were so far away. It also looked to me like Mark was not going to go for the bonus VPs so this made them mine for the taking if so. The BSB and Sorcerer went with the Warriors.

Turn 1

I surged forward to open up the game. The Hounds went full throttle to try and draw out the Prince bunker and the Trolls went right toward the tower. The Warriors and Crushers held back to anticipate the High Elves' opening move and the Chimera joined them since Throgg was close by and it could get plenty of cover. On the other flank I used the Chariots to give the Daemon Prince cover from the Bolt Thrower and prepared for magic. Rolling up only 4 dice I decided just to throw them all at Purple Sun, which managed to draw out Sparky's Scroll early on. Not a bad turn considering.

Sparky's reaction to my turn wasn't too abrupt for the most part, with most of the army staying still. On the left flank the Silver Helms and Phoenix swung out a bit, but the only big move was the Dragon Princes swinging around the tower, presumably to try and tackle the Daemon Prince before he got free reign of the battlefield. However this was a huge mistake for Mark as you will see soon enough.

Magic was unsurprisingly uneventful, and shooting saw off 12 Hounds and 2 wounds on a Chariot, though nobody panicked in the intended checks.

Turn 2

I declared no charges this turn as I had my plan set for me. Throgg entered the building with his Trolls and looked outside. The remaining Hounds made a beeline for the Bolt Throwers on the off chance they survived another round. The Chimera and Crushers moved more aggressively on the right flank, but everything else
just shuffled and continued to wait.

In magic the Daemon Prince managed a Spirit Leech on the Phoenix however the creature's will proved to be too strong, and Purple Sun was stopped by the enemy Mage. Doom and Darkness managed to go off on the Prince bunker however. In shooting things were not so good for the High Elves. Sparky's mistake became very apparent to him when Throgg stuck his head out the window of the building and spewed all over the Dragon Princes, killing 6 of them. Unfortunately they didn't panic away however.

After their shocking losses the Dragon Princes retreated back toward the other flank, trying to bait the flaming Warriors into a charge while still confident that a Giant Blade would cut down the Chimera if he tried.
One of the Eagles broke cover and moved to intercept the oncoming Juggernauts. On the opposite flank the Helms and Phoenix continued to move out slowly under cover of the woods, ready to break at their own pace. Magic, like every round this game for the High Elves, was non-existent, however Mark forgot to dispel Doom and Darkness. In shooting the Hounds were wiped and a bolt pierced the Chimera but the wound regenerated. On the other side of the field the charm on the Prince's shield was used up and he suffered a wound following.

Turn 3

I finally declared some charges this turn, starting with the Crushers going into the Eagle. I knew they would be redirected, but there was no other way of getting them through to the Archers. More importantly the Chimera charged the Prince bunker who failed their re-rollable Panic check thanks to Doom and Darkness, and to add insult to injury, only ran away 3" and were caught by the charging Chimera. On the other flank the Daemon Prince flew to the flank of the Helms while the Chariots backed off the try and over-prepare a charge. The Warriors began to back away, as they would essentially have no role to play now in this fight.

Magic was in the air for sure this turn as Chaos released a barrage of spells. Starting with Spirit Leech and Fate of Bjuna on the nearby Prince, the Mage was forced to stop them, however this allowed the Daemon Prince the send a Purple Sun down the left flank where 1 Silver Helm and the Phoneix were sucked in. The damage caused gave the Daemon Prince back two dice which he used to Doom and Darkness the Silver Helms. In combat the Eagle was wiped and the Crusher ran 10" through the graveyard, taking a wound along the way.

Caught in a bad spot the Silver Helms moved just enough to stay out of the Daemon Prince's charge arc but also to stay as far away from the Chariots as possible. The only other movement was from the other Eagle who broke cover. Shooting saw a wound on a Crusher and a wound on the Chimera but nothing much of consequence. Seemingly the High Elves were fighting the long defeat.

Turn 4

At this point I knew I had the tower and a lot of points and so resolved to take the Warriors out of the fight all together as all they could do now was get shot, so they reformed and moved behind the building. Similarly Throgg and co' sat comfortably as they were not needed. As for charges, the Chimera swung into the Mage bunker while the Chariots both charged the Silver Helms despite one of them needing a maximum charge. The Daemon Prince also glided across the flank in other to get stuck in next turn.

For magic I just bombarded the Eagle until it was dead. Combat was completely one-sided as the Chariots swept all of the Helms and then ran down the lone Prince for only two wounds in return, and the Chimera easily disposed of the Mage bunker. Unfortunately nothing nearby panicked.

The High Elves had little they could do but try and hold out, so there wasn't much movement. The Swordmasters retreated back from the incomnig Daemon Prince and the Archers on the right turned to face the Crushers, while their brethren nearby marched out of the overrun path. Sparky finally got a bit of a break this turn as he killed the Chimera with a single bolt. It was shot lived however as he aimed to second one at the Chariots and missed.

Turn 5

At this point there wasn't much left to do. The Daemon Prince charged the Swordmasters and the Crushers charged the Archers. Meanwhile everything else I had retreated away from any change of being shot. In magic nothing happened in combat the Archers and 6 Swordmasters were wiped out.

In the High Elf turn the Archers continued to run while the Bolt Throwers turned and managed to fell a Skullcrusher. In combat the rest of the Swordmasters were killed and the Daemon Prince regained his lost wound.

Turn 6

To finish out the game I realized I couldn't get the Archers so I simply charged a Bolt Thrower with the Daemon Prince and then Purple Sunned both of them to death. Game.


I won't lie, I got very lucky when Mark forgot about Throgg's breath weapon and when the Chimera ran down his Prince bunker. I think Mark played a little too defensively, and some earlier Eagle support or a Swordmaster flank charge might have saved him some grief in the later stages of the game. Other than that, he had horrible dice, and contrary to what I was expecting coming into the tournament, his army didn't match up very well to mine.

Due to SCALE differences (1 in his favour) this was a 19-1 victory to me, putting me up to table 1 for the second game against Beastmen. Stay tuned.

Friday, June 21, 2013

When the Dust Clears

So Conclave has come and gone and I realize I still haven't posted up the rest of the army pics as promised. Unfortunately I was painting a lot more than I thought I would be and so never got time before the con to take the pics. Then in true me fashion, I forgot to take all the pictures I wanted to take during the con, and now after it is all said and done I left my army at the club house and so have no access to the models to take the pictures now. In essence, it will happen, just not yet.

In the meantime I am writing up the report for what was an epic weekend and will bring you the first one soon. For now though I just thought I'd share the few pics I did remember to take, this year at Conclave 2013.

Round 1 - Table 3 - Me vs High Elves


A piece of digital artwork to be given to the winner

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Miscast of Epic Proportions

I know I haven't done a battle report in a long time; they take time to produce and write, and then more time to publish, and with being busy with various things I either haven't had time or just couldn't be bothered. However, with Conclave coming up a tournament report will likely be immanent so I figure I should get back to speed with things and do up a report. I've chosen my latest game to report, as it was well-fought with a close finish and was on of the most fun games I've had in awhile, and I've had a lot of great games lately.

This game was a 2500pts practice game with Dave Russell; me practicing for Conclave and he for Brocon. The rules for both tournaments are similar enough, but for the purposes of this report I will focus on Conclave as that it the tournament I am attending (as I run Brocon). Dave was back once again with his Daemons and he has been working hard as of late the get to grips with the new book. The game seemed to me almost like the Daemon Prince tried to summon a Daemon army to fight with him and botched the spell so they are out to tear him apart, even more so when you see the scenario. My list can be seen in the last post and Dave's list is below..

Great Unclean One
Level 4 Nurgle, 2x Greater Gifts

20x Plaguebearers
Full Command

20x Daemonettes
Full Command

10x Horrors
Standard Bearer

10x Horrors
Standard Bearer

3x Beasts of Nurgle

3x Bloodcrushers
Full Command

2x Nurglings

Exalted Chariot of Slaanesh

Skull Cannon of Khorne

Soul Grinder
Mark of Nurgle, Daemonbone Claw

This is the latest iteration of Dave's list, and to be honest it scared me a lot more than his previous attempts, as I had nothing solid to deal with a Great Unclean One. To make matters worse, for his Gifts he rolled up +1 wound and +2 attacks. To top it all off we were playing Blood and Glory, and as I mentioned in my previous post, that scenario is my army's biggest weakness.

For spells Dave rolled up Miasma of Pestilence, Rancid Visitations, Fleshy Abundance, and Plaguewind. His Horror units also got Bolt of Change and Glean Magic respectively. My Daemon Prince rolled up Spirit Leech, Soul Blight, Fate of Bjuna, and Purple Sun of Xereus, while my Sorcerer got Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma. I got the pick sides and deploy first, and decided to do a tight deployment working around the terrain near the centre of the board as he only needed to kill my Daemon Prince or infantry block with BSB to win the game. Unsupported these elements were vulnerable, and the terrain could potentially allow me to bottleneck him in theory. Dave won the roll-off to go first. Deployment can be seen below, after Scouts.

Turn 1

The Daemons surged forward with a heavy Nurgle presence on the right flank. The Soul Grinder was particularly aggressive and tore up the centre of the board. The Great Unclean One unleashed some magic, killing a unit of Hounds and producing another set of Nurglings as his reward. The Horrors also Bolted a Chariot, doing two wounds and granting the Chariot a 6+ regeneration save. Dave said it was no biggie, I disagreed; let's see who was right. The Cannon shot at the Chimera but misfired and got jammed.

Since the Soul Grinder had been so aggressive, i responded in kind by hitting it with both Chariots. With the Cannon unable to shoot next turn the Chimera swung around the right flank, staying in range of Throgg. The Daemon Prince that was beside it went the opposite direction, swinging in behind the building to get a charge at the Cannon next turn. One unit of Hounds moved out west to try and bait the Bloodcrushers to my Skullcrushers, while the other unit moved east just to get out of the way. Throgg and co' backed up a bit so as not to be charged by the Great Unclean One, and the Warrior block went into the building because they had nothing else to do.

All of my magic had been shut down bar a Miasma on the Soul Grinder, reducing its Weapon Skill to 1. With no shooting we hit combat quick where Impact Hits did two wounds to the Grinder. The crew and Gorebeasts did no further damage but despite needing 6's to hit the Grinder wounded a Chariot. Despite losing the combat, the Grinder took no further damage. However this was alright as I really just needed to hold it up.

Daemons' current fortitude: 7
Warriors' current fortitude: 5

Turn 2

Not wanting to fall into a stand-off, and banking that they wouldn't be forced into a Pursuit, the Bloodcrushers charged the Hounds. The Nurglings moved to screen the advancing Beasts and Plaguebearers, while the GUO and Chariot moved aggressively to support the Grinder.

Magic was successful for the Daemons as the Great Unclean One managed to great off both Rancid Visitations and Plaguewind, though collectively they only did two wounds to a Skullcrusher and killed 5 Warriors. The Cannon was still jammed from the following turn and so didn't fire. In combat the Hounds were wiped out and the Crushers reformed to face my Crushers. The Grinder wasn't hurt by the Chariots, and despite failing an Initiative check and being hit automatically by the Daemonbone Claw, my Chariot made the 6+ regeneration save that nobody expected it would ever make. Not only did it make the save, it made a habit too.

For my turn the Warriors launched a bunch of charges. The Crushers hit their Daemonic counterparts, the Daemon Prince pounced on the Cannon, and the Chimera swooped down to the flank of the Beasts, admittedly forgetting that they had no flank due to their Slime Trail. Unfortunately also, Throgg and co' failed their stupidity check and shambled forward. Because of this I moved the Hounds up to block off the GUO and in order to apply pressure elsewhere I had the Warriors leave the building the threaten the rear of the Daemonettes.

I had a pretty paltry Magic phase as the GUO stopped all of my spells, and so we were on to combat. Starting on the left flank, my Crushers killed two of his through attacks and combat resolution while taking no casualties in return. The Daemon Prince dealt a mighty 3 wounds to the Cannon but it saved all of them, while the Chimera and Beasts did 1 wound each. Overall a rather poor combat phase.

Daemons' current fortitude: 6
Warriors' current fortitude: 5

Turn 3

Hoping to outrun the Warriors and get a banner in the process, the Daemonettes charged the Crushers in the flank; meanwhile the GUO charged the blocking Hounds. The Chariot turned to charge the Daemon Prince next turn, hopeful that the Impact Hits could do a few wounds. Elsewhere the Plaguebearers prepared a turn 4 charge on the Chimera while the Nurglings moved up to block the Trolls. In the backfield the Horrors began to retreat.

In the magic phase nothing died however the GUO did irresistible a Fleshy Abundance on three dice at the Beasts, giving them 3+ regeneration for a turn. He suffered a wound for his troubles. He decided to take it out on the Hounds in combat and utterly annihilated them, reforming then to charge either the Chariot or the Trolls. The Deamon Prince managed two wounds on the Cannon this time but it passed its Leadership test. The Daemonettes also managed to break the Crushers despite not killing any, though the last Bloodcrusher was killed in the process.

Despite their efforts the Daemonettes didn't get far enough away and the Warriors managed a long charge into their rear while the Crushers rallied next to them. On the other side of the battlefield Throgg let his Trolls into the Nurglings, hoping to overrun into the Plaguebearers.

Almost all magic was stopped except for a boosted Soul Blight which the Daemon Prince cast with irresistible force, suffering a wound but effecting the entire Daemon army. With toughness reduced across the board the Cannon, the Nurglings and 12 Daemonettes were slaughtered for only two Warriors in return. The Chimera fared less well however due to Fleshy Abundance and took a wound.

Daemons' current fortitude: 6
Warriors' current fortitude: 4

Turn 4

The Daemon finally managed to launch some counter charges with the GUO going into the Chariot, the Exalted Chariot going into the Daemon Prince, and the Plaguebearers going into the back of the Chimera. In magic the GUO managed to get off another Plaguewind, killing another few Warriors. In combat then the GUO successfully killed one Chariot and broke the other, though not before it dealt a 5th wound to the Soul Grinder. The Plaguebearers managed to kill the Chimera and overrun out of the Trolls' charge arc, though not before losing a few of their number, and though the Chariot did a wound to the DP, he in return dealt 3, with the Chariot suffering 2 more to resolution. Elsewhere the Daemonettes were down to their last 4 models.

For the first time in the game the Warriors of Chaos had no charges to launch. The Trolls reformed to the Plaguebearers' flank with additional sight on the Horrors. The Chariot rallied and the Crushers marched around the building toward the Grinder. Magic was unsuccessful and so combat was the change to make up for an otherwise lacklustre turn. Chaos did not disappoint, and both the Daemonettes and the Chariot were wiped out.

Daemons' current fortitude: 5
Warriors' current fortitude: 4

Turn 5

In an uncharacteristic display of speed the Plaguebearers made a 16" charge the dual attack the Daemon Prince with the Beasts of Nurgle. In the south the GUO also charged the now rallied Chariot. Magic was uneventful, and in combat 6 Plaguebearers died while doing a wound to the Prince. The GUO also managed 4 wounds on the Chariot and broke it, choosing not to pursue thinking it would not survive, but it didn't run far enough to leave the field.

With time running out Chaos needed to pick up the pace or risk losing it all. While the Trolls and Crushers charged the Horrors and Grinder respectively, the Chariot rallied and the Warriors made a beeline to help the Prince out. In magic the Prince let it all out, irresistibly casting Purple Sun, killing 12 Plaguebearers, 2 Beasts and the Grinder, and only losing a magic level in return. Would his luck maintain until the end however?

The Combat phase could decide it all. The Trolls easily went through the Horrors and overran into the next bundle bringing the Daemons' fortitude down to 4. If the Daemon Prince could kill 3 more Plaguebearers or survive one more turn so the Trolls could kill the rest of the Horrors, the Warriors of Chaos would win. Coming to the deciding combat the Daemon Prince did 4 wounds to the Plaguebearers however they saved two, leaving the banner and champion standing. In return thanks to poison the two Plaguebearers and lone Beast managed two wounds on the Prince, and he failed one save, dying, and giving the game to the Daemons of Chaos.

Daemons' final fortitude: 4
Warriors' final fortitude: 2


What a great game! There were a lot of bullshit dice on both sides of the tables and lots of WTF moments and laughs to go around. Of all the models in the game, I would nominate the Gorebeast Chariot that died as man of the match, just for passing almost every 6+ regeneration save it was forced to make and really sticking it to Tzeentch. Just goes to show how awful Warpflame is.

I think the game was very well fought on both sides on the table. I do acknowledge in hindsight that charging the Beasts with the Chimera was probably a mistake, as though he held them up for ages, anchoring the right flank, it was a move that lost sight of the objective and I might have won in the long run had I sent him further around the flank and went after the Horrors. It was certainly a nail-biting finish and as close as you will ever get. Soul Feeder didn't work once in the game over the 16 or so wounds the Daemon Prince dealt, and that certainly didn't help. But I won't blame dice as it was a awesome game, and no shame to lose.

Under the Conclave rules winning Blood and Glory is a bonus 500 victory points on top of the usual scores. After totting up the points Dave had an 12-8 win, which was not altered by SCALE as both lists had one Nasty point.

One thing I did learn from the game is that whereas 5 fortitude is a definite weakness for my army, it is a weakness it can handle, as it was turn 5 and only few models away from a win before I finally lost, and with the consequences only being 500pts conceded, I think I can manage to mitigate more damage from that than I would by dropping something useful for the sake of another banner. So a lesson well learned.

Anyway C&C welcome. Cheers all.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Reign of Iron

Continuing on from my last post, I'm going to talk a bit about my list while also giving you a painting update. As I mentioned in my last post, I've been messing around with my list a lot since the new book came out, but have finally settled on one that I really like and plays very well on the tabletop.

Daemon Prince
Daemon of Nurgle, Chaos Armour, Daemonic Flight, Level 4 Death, Sword of Striking, Charmed Shield, Dragonbane Gem, Soul Feeder, Scaled Skin

Exalted Hero
Battle Standard Bearer, Mark of Tzeentch, Shield, Talisman of Preservation

Level 1 Shadow, Dispel Scroll, Ruby Ring of Ruin


16x Chaos Warriors
Mark of Tzeentch, Full Command, Mark of Tzeentch, Banner of Eternal Flame

7x Trolls

5x Hounds
5x Hounds
5x Hounds

Gorebeast Chariot
Mark of Nurgle

Gorebeast Chariot
Mark of Nurgle

Flaming Breath, Regenerating Flesh

3x Skullcrushers of Khorne
Standard Bearer, Musician, Ensorcelled Weapons

This list under the SCALE for Conclave comes in at 1 nasty point (Throgg), and is basically an amalgamation of all the things I liked about the other lists I tried out up until this point.

As I mentioned before I really felt the Daemon Prince is the clear winner in the new book, but in this list I think every piece has potential. Chaff is often said to be one of the biggest hinderances to Warriors of Chaos, so I have plenty of ways dealing with such units, as well as having plenty of my own to throw about. The Warriors and Trolls form solid blocks that are difficult for most enemies to shift, while the Chariots and Crushers form the spearhead of the army. The Chariots also work well at delaying tactics, as their hefty damage output paired with their 5W at T6 really help it hold up in situations where other chariots wouldn't, especially since it is now -1 to hit them.

One point to note is that the list has only 5 fortitude and I had considered carefully about making some point for 10 Marauders with a banner to flesh that out and hide behind a rock. I ultimately went against that idea as the penalty for losing Blood and Glory at this event is that you opponent gets 500 bonus victory points; with 150 point increments in the scoring I felt that the army should be tough enough to mitigate that bonus with kills, and that's if an opponent can actually kill the point holders (Daemon Prince, BSB, Warriors, Crushers).

As for painting, I've still been at it consistently and am closing in on the finish line. I have 5 more Hounds and Chariot on the table at the moment just about to be finished, and I finished my BSB just the other day (pics of him below to sign off). I cannot finish my Trolls or Chimera until I get my new paint on Thursday, so until then I have two Crushers to keep me busy.

Fingers crossed I can get it all done in two weeks.