Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Yummy Rats and the curious case of the moustache

So Masters huh?

Well. First off on the day Warhammer was the winner as I had 6 very enjoyable games against some quality opponents.

I forgot to take pics 90% of the time, so I wont do "proper" battle reports sorry :(

SO my list was the list in the last post. It wasnt tested before submitting (time restraints), and after Vermintide I have a much clearer idea of how I like to operate Empire...and it wasnt what I submitted!

My first game was vs Locky's Skaven-random deployment. The game went as I expected it to. My cannons kill stuff, the Demigryphs destroy stuff in combat, and my knights pretty much avoid the action and look important. 15-5 to me.

Game 2 was also vs Skaven-though this time it was vs the rat master himself, Pete D. Now for all the crap he gives Dwarf players, I want to document on the internetz his deployment (please note this was blood and glory-hence the 9 inch gap to table edge)

Yes, you are correct, that is the very definition of castling in the corner-the Dwarf tactic of choice. And as soon as he could, the bell moved into the corner. This game was going to be a big challenge for me, however I had the Demigryph combat chomp, and a few lucky storm banner rolls. My first target was the doomwheel (Dead turn 1), then the HPA with wizards, while I worked my way through the rats. Turn 3 I managed to kill the Seer giving me a huge advantage (+ a couple of insane courage break tests...) allowed me to clean up what I could for a 16-4 win to me, and in the NZ world, an achievement unlocked.

 Game 3: So sitting nicely in 2nd place I came up vs Rory's Vamps, but more importantly, I came up against Rory's moustache.

With that staring at me from across the table, I was bound to find myself distracted! Rory pushed forward aggressively turn 1 (went first). I saw an opportunity in his chaffing for an overrun from Fell bats into flank of skele unit with wraiths with my ICKS. So naturally I also put the unit of 5 demigryphs in too...meaning my ICKS didnt get to align for my advantage....overrun was 1 inch short as a result, meaning my Captasus who had valiantly charged the front, found himself stranded with a Vamp lord, vamp hero and the last remaining black knight (searing doom kills 9...grr) staring at his flank. On the topic of Black Knights, you know a game isnt going well when you kill 23 in a game when the list only had 10....yeah. 0-20 to Rory...

Game 4: Vs Ant's Brets. Antony is a real great guy to play, and I love the fact that his banners are labels from cheese labels. We were playing watch tower, and this is the 2nd time I have lost it to Brets. I was always going to struggle in this game as I had no true anvil that could hold up his units, so it was a case of him grinding me down, and using his narrow units + terrain very well vs my considerably wider units. 0-20 to Ant.

Game 5: Vs Pete W's High Elves. So the internet thought the list was crap...all I saw was 3 bolt throwers + curse of arrow attraction + 2 decent magic missiles = I cant sit back and weather the storm = I have to move forward + my magic range threat is minimal vs his defence.  I deployed first (diagonal mission) and picked a corner that would give me a good central position to work from...so naturally my ICKS dont turn up = have to move my line to keep BSB/general bubble (vs all that ranged threat!) to not a desirable location. Despite losing both chariots turn 1, Pete held on, my lances were made of rubber, his shield of sapphery was borrowed from a demon player and my army disappeared. HOWEVER I would like to point out that Pete pulled a game winning move turn 1 so it was his tactics that beat me. I didnt see it due to calv + forest + range, but Pete took his changes, charged flank of some vanilla knights with reavers through a forest, broke them and they fled across my line and ruined my already sub optimal battle line. Fantastic move that made me re-assess how I interact with terrain. 0-20 to Pete (seeing a theme???)

Game 6: vs Sam W's OnG. Last game and I get Sam's can opener list. Well guess what? some cans got opened. However, I did manage to epic charge, break and run down his trolls (yeah!) and also killed both his wizards with a single Final Transmutation (first time in 13 games with lvl4 metal that I have killed a character). This game was the perfect representation of why my list was wrong. No steadfast, no anvil, no real ranged threat and of the spells my lvl4 had, literally the only one that was useful was final transmutation. This game swung from a 10-10 to a 4-16 to Sam in turn 6.

End result: So despite being 2nd on the table, three 0-20's really hurt me and I came last. Oh well, I had lots of fun and it was an event where submarining really wasnt an option! Congrats to Tom D for winning,  thanks to Pete for organising it,  and a big thanks to the refs for doing what refs do.

Thoughts on list:

Having seen what hurricanum + hatred/prayered up halberds can do, I have to say the Knight heavy Empire is a poor man's choice of list-especially when you have to play missions. I had no answer in the watch tower, and nothing that could happily grind away. Lore of metal was a poor choice given the lack of armour that was there, especially when Empire really need to be able to sit back for a bit and pick their battles. On sitting back-I now appreciate what a Hellblaster brings to the army-not killing power (though it has that), but board denial. My opponents were free to roam whereever they pleased because I had no way of dis-incentivising their movement. What worked? Demigryphs did when they a) had the space to play, and b) had the upper hand-something a hurricanum provides, and so does the lore of light.

I have been frantically drafting lists, and with a weekend of nerdom ahead, I'll post up my Post-Master's list thoughts, and also there is a 40k campaign that I will be taking part in.

Till next time...


  1. Helblaster....never leave home without it Joel. Good luck for next years Empire icon hunt and I'm glad you enjoyed my mustache as much as my girlfriend did!

  2. G'day Joel,

    Firstly, thanks heaps for the photo of Pete's deployment. I'm going to print it, laminate it and bring it out every time he starts squeeling about Dwarves being too defensive and boring and ultra-safe and.....

    Secondly, congratulations on getting to the Masters in the first place. I'm jealous for one. Last isn't what you wanted, but I seem to remember you saying you were hoping to make it in next year, so a year early is pretty damn good.

    Not much I can say on the games. Glad to hear you enjoyed them. Anyone can have fun when they're giving a beating. It's the real men who can take the beating with a grin. At least you've got an idea of what worked for you, and how you'd do better next time.

  3. that is an excellent mustache photo. and well done nonetheless. you beat pete, surely theres a plaque for that?

  4. You had the magic to take care of both the Knight buses so I can see some pretty bad yahtzees to come out 0 points from those two games. Really enjoyed you turning Rats into KFR (kentucky fried R..) as I was following it on twitters.

    1. The list just fell apart. Vs Rory I took a gamble turn 1 and it missed by an inch (and killed 9 out of 10 black knights with searing doom, then cannon failed to hit vamp lord...).

      Vs Ant impassible terrain + big Welly building foot print in middle + my units were very wide = no room to move = picked apart (and really, really, really crap magic phases).

      I could have played more defensively, but I was pushing for points and it didnt work :( Next time...