Sunday, May 22, 2011

Warhammer Ard Boyz 2011 Semi-Finals, May 21st 2011

Today I had the opportunity to play in the Semi-finals for the Warhammer Ard Boyz tournament with my Wood Elves.  Now I know all over the net people have ranked Wood Elves at the bottom of the barrel in terms of power but honestly it really boils down to the player.  The Semi-finals took place at Borderlands in Salem, OR and we had a pretty decent turn out.  There were thirteen contestants from the various gaming stores that could make it from all over Oregon, Southern Washington and Northern California.  There were three rather interesting  scenarios that I think were a bit tamer than the first rounds missions.  I'm not going to go into too much detail about the missions since all three were available on Games Workshop's website.

My original tweet was incorrect about what armies had shown up, apparently some folks who were just there to play brought their fantasy armies not realizing it was Ard Boyz.  Nonetheless we had some pretty beastly lists brought to the table.

Armies Present:
3 Dwarf armies (2 Thorek lists, 1 pure gunline)
2 Skaven
3 Lizardmen
1 Empire
1 Dark Elves
1 Tomb Kings
1 Orcs and Goblins
1 Wood Elf (hi!)

What surprised me the most was that there were no Daemons, Warriors of Chaos or Teclis High Elf lists.  Nor were there any Vampire Counts.  From what I understand from talking with the other contestants, the Daemon and Warriors of Chaos armies were crushed by Skaven and Dwarf gun line armies in the first round.  I was rather surprised since the power levels of Chaos are ridiculous.  Anyway...

I normally would post a full battle report but instead I'm going to lay out the list I played and a brief summary of the battle.  I'll also throw some pictures (ones that were not blurry  - sigh) of the armies present, many in their unpainted splendor.

The list I brought to Ard Boyz is The Great Hunt, War Host of Athel Loren .  I personally did not like this list since it caused me to put a lot of eggs in one basket and made me spend a lot of points in augmenting a single unit of Eternal Guard (my least favorite unit in the entire book).

Game 1 - The Changer of Ways:  The Great Hunt vs. Dwarven Gunline

My first game was extremely difficult for me.  While my opponent Phil was a super nice guy, the list he brought made me almost concede the game after the third turn.  I'm all about playing hard armies and testing myself but being absolutely helpless the entire first half of the game was enough to make me say fuck it and leave.  I'll go into more detail after I post his list.

Dwarven Gunline List:

Master Engineer, Rune of Stone, Handgun, Shield
Master Engineer, Rune of Stone, Handgun, Shield
Master Engineer, Rune of Stone, Handgun, Shield

Rune Smith, Shield, x3 Rune of Spell Breaking

Thunderers x10, Mus. Std Bearer
Thunderers x10, Mus. Std Bearer
Thunderers x10, Mus. Std Bearer
Quarrellers x10, Mus, Std Bearer
Quarrellers x10, Mus, Std Bearer
Quarrellers x10, Mus, Std Bearer

Cannon, Rune of Burning

Bolt Thrower, Rune of Penetration, Rune of Burning
Bolt Thrower, Master Rune of Immolation
Bolt Thrower

Grudge Thrower, x2 Rune of Penetration, Rune of Accuracy
Grudge Thrower, Rune of Penetration, Rune of Accuracy, Rune of Burning
Grudge Thrower, Rune of Penetrating, Rune of Accuracy
Grudge Thrower, Rune of Burning, Rune of Accuracy

Organ Gun
Organ Gun
Organ Gun
Organ Gun

I did not enjoy this game at all, I finally hit his line on turn four with 10 models left in the army after being shot and templated over and over and over again.  Granted I killed a third of his army in 1 turn but I literally could do nothing as I failed 3 charges in the 3rd turn which would have guaranteed victory and I was not aware that Organ Guns do not need to roll to hit - which is bullshit.  GW needs to FAQ/Errata that immediately.  That and he only had 1 Misfire the entire game.  Anyway - to sum up the game. I managed to kill enough things in the last three turns to score a Minor Loss against the Dwarves.  I think the turning point is when I asked my opponent to let me step outside after turn 3 to have a smoke and relax a moment.  He joined me and we were able to just hang out and talk for the five minutes which really changed the entire complexion of our game.  It became more friendly and we had fun towards the end.

Game Two - The Crazed Fanatic:  The Great Hunt vs. Armies of the Witch King (Dark Elves)

After my brutal defeat at the hands of the Dwarves I took on a Dark Elf player named Mike.  He had a really beefy list that when I looked at it I thought to myself - there is no way I can survive these massive blocks without support.  My dice apparently were seeking my forgiveness for their abyssmal showing in game 1 and came back full force.

The Dark Elf Army:
Malekith the Witch King
Noble BSB w/ Banner of Hag Graef
Hag Queen w/ Cauldron of Blood
Repeater Crossbowmen x14
Repeater Crossbowmen x14
Corsairs x40 w/ full command
War Hydra w/ Beastmaster's Scourge
Executioners x40, full command, Lichebone Pennant
Witch Elves x40, full command, Banner of Murder
Assassin w/ Touch of Death

My opponent set up first however I rolled a 6 and stole the first turn from him.  The fanatic was charged by the Dryads and obtained (only to be lost the next turn).  I immediately shifted my entire army to the right while moving forward with the Treekin.  My opponent suffered casualties to his Corsairs and Repeater Crossbowmen and attempted to wipe out my units with his Dark Magic.

I managed to pass almost every single characteristic test every turn with like 1-2 casualties.  I could tell my opponent was getting frustrated.  The second turn rolled in and that resulted in his Hydra getting crushed by my Treekin and Dryads while his Corsairs again suffered massive casualties.  It boiled down to his entire unit of Corsairs were wiped out by my Eternal Guard.  His Witch Elves never made contact with anyone and died to a man (woman) including the hidden assassin.  One of his Crossbow units were slain by eagles.  His Cauldron got crunched by Treekin while all his executioners were killed by the Eternal Guard except Malekith and his BSB.

Game 2 resulted in a Major Victory but I did not get the 5 extra points for the fanatic since I did not hold on to him until the end of the game - that cost me second place overall.  Oh well.

Game 3 - We uz something in Orc - The Great Hunt vs. Ard Boyz of Gorbad!

This was my definite favorite game of the evening.  I played against Dennis and his absolutely awesome Orcs and Goblins army.  My dice were again very, very hot but this game was so much fun.  We both agreed to let the river bisecting the map be mysterious (big mistake since it became a Boiling Flood) and essentially just smashed into each other right off the bat.

Here is the Ard Boyz of Gorbad!

Gorbad Ironclaw on Gnarla
Savage Orc Great Shaman w/ Lucky Shrunken Head and Obsidian Lodestone
Night Goblin Warboss w/ Relic Sword, Enchanted Shield and Ironcurse Icon
Black Orc Big Boss w/ Potion of Strength
Goblin Big Boss on Wolf Chariot w/ Terrifying Mask of Eee!
Savage Orcs x34 w/ full command and additional hand weapons
Night Goblin x69 w/ full command
Goblin Mob x37 w/ full command and 2 Nasty Skulkers
Wolf Riders x5 w/ Mus.
Savage Boar Boyz x12, Big Uns, Lichebone Pennant, Full Command
Trolls x10
Orc Boar Chariot
Goblin Wolf Chariot
Goblin Spear Chukka
Goblin Spear Chukka
Giant w/ Warpaint.

I had such a great time against this army.  Orcs are generally the bane of my existence so doing well against them is amazing in any regard.  The Highlight of this game was my Highborn challenging his Savage Orcs and Gorbad accepting.  Gorbad died which really turned the tide for me but it was such an epic fight.  I was really rolling well and my opponent was surprised that I moved my entire line sans archers up to charge range in the first turn.  I was fully ready to get into combat - that's right I had crazy eyes.  To make a long story short, my opponent conceded at the bottom of turn 4 because he had been reduced to 2 units really.  I scored max points for the Massacre victory and also reaching all the criteria for the mission.

In the end I placed 5th - which is not bad considering I got beaten in the first round.  I was really challenged this event and two of the guys above me declined to go to Sacramento for the Finals so it fell to me.  Sacramento HO!

In closing = I don't care who you talk to.  Wood Elves definitely don't suck!