Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Havoc - 3k Tournament for Toys for Tots

This past Saturday I participated in the Holiday Havoc Toys for Tots tournament at Dice Age Games in Vancouver, WA.  It was a small tournament only having ten players, I would have liked to have seen more but I think due to scheduling and the holiday season that we could only get what we could.  The tournament was based off the holidays and so each scenario was designed with a holiday theme associated with it.  The tournament organizer Jim, did an excellent job of setting up the tables and pre-labeling the Mysterious Terrain.

The tournament had the following qualifications/restrictions/features:
1. Closed list - I rarely play against someone and not exchange lists before hand so this was a tad bit weird for me.  It didn't matter however since all my opponents and I exchanged lists anyway out of habit.
2.  Pre-determined mysterious terrain.  Each table had the terrain already established and a key was placed on each table.
3.  3000 points, no Grand Army Rules.  (Perhaps my favorite feature of the entire tournament)
4.  Everyone needed to bring a Christmas themed model to be their Santa's Helper.  I had a Snoopy wearing a Santa hat for mine. He was righteous.
5.  Everyone had to pay $20 in the form of a toy for Toys for Tots or you could buy one of the predetermined Toys at the store as well.

The other big thing I wanted to establish was that this was termed a "Friendly tournament" where we are grading Sportsmanship as an important factor. The prize support was entirely based off raffle tickets rather than "so and so won all his games so he gets the prize".  It really helped create a more friendly atmosphere for the tournament in general.

Since the tournament was a "Closed List" tournament, I was not able to obtain my opponent's lists.  That makes it hard when I'm attempting to recreate the lists in Battle Chronicler so I'll have to do a shoddy summary for all three games.  If my opponents send me their lists via the Ordo website then I'll do another report where I  show some battle scenes.  I realize it would be 1000x easier to do this if I took pictures but my god damn SD card got fried on my phone and SanDisk is slower than hell getting me a replacement. grrr.....

All three scenarios can be seen here since Raindog managed to obtain 3 copies of the scenarios and posted them on the Ordo.  They can be found here along with some pictures taken.

Game 1: Wood Elves vs. Lizardmen

This scenario was "Battle for the Pass".
The Special Rules: Each player had a Santa Statue in their deployment zone.  You needed to capture your opponents while still maintaining control of yours.

Lizardmen are a tough army against opponents with high strength.  They are exceptionally difficult for Wood Elves to defeat when they have big blocks of models and lots of monsters.  My opponent Mike and I had a great time, it was a really close game til the last turn where he managed to turn the tide with his general.

This game I set up with all my flying units and fast cavalry on the left flank and the rest of my army near the right center. When it became my turn I shifted all my army to the right side and decided to overpower and dominate his flank.  This tactic was working out very well and I was confident of a victory until my opponent got Throne of Vines off and then Flesh to Stone at +4 Toughness two turns in a row on a unit of Saurus Warriors.  My plan had been to blow through that unit, reform and hit his Temple Guard in the rear with Treekin/Eagles and hopefully wipe out the left and center flank.  Sadly, my Treekin were not able to break the unit until the last turn.   My Eternal Guard, Treeman and Dryads were grinding against one of his Ancient Stegadons and his general on a carnosaur.  Mike secured victory in the last turn by killing the last Eternal Guard at the top of turn 6 and his General using the Blade of Realities slaying my toughness 10 Treeman by scoring a single wound.

I lost this game because of 3 major factors:
1.  I did not want to annihilate my sportsmanship score by shooting his General off his carnosaur turn 1.  I should have done this because the Blade of Realities was perhaps the most deciding factor of our game.  Oh well =).
2.  I wasn't able to prevent Throne of Vines and Flesh to Stone from being cast 2 consecutive times in a row which was absolutely brutal.  I can't complain much because this is the same tactic I use on my Treekin to make them Toughness 9.  Huge, huge help to my opponent getting those spells off.
3.  I should have maneuvered my Wild Riders into a better position because I threw a 296 point unit into a block of Temple Guard unsupported due to overrun.

Overall, it was a few errors in judgement but a great game nonetheless.

Wood Elves lost 16-5 by a 400 point victory margin.

Game 2: Wood Elves vs. Orcs and Goblins

The scenario was "Watchtower".
The Special Rules:  The watchtower was Santa's sleigh and if you controlled it you were able to have it attack for you.  Those reindeer don't mess around.  The sleigh functions as both the Watchtower and an Oathstone.

I have a love/hate relationship with Orcs and Goblins.  I either completely annihilate them or I get thrashed.  I played against Matt who brought a rather impressively balanced Orcs and Goblins army.  He brought 2 Giants and 2 units of Black Orcs in it.

I once again set up on the left side and had the intention of dominating a flank and getting behind my opponent's lines.  This game I was playing rather aggressively but I made so many errors in judgement and had some pretty monumentally bad rolls that cost my the utilization of 1/4th my army for most of the game.  I started out pretty well on his left side, killing one unit and causing panic for a few others and having them run off the board.  I unfortunately didn't read the table rules about the special terrain and ended up losing half my unit of Waywatchers to a Sinister statue, that was a huge issue.  That was my first of three big mistakes in the first turn which haunted my the rest of the game.  The second came when I flew my Spellweaver over and she attempted to Dwellers Below his unit of Night Goblins.  I failed the casting attempt and ended up taking 2 wounds from a Spear Chukka and she died the next round from a Doom Diver.  The third and final error was misunderstanding where the Flaming Banner was and charging the unit with his general and 20 black orcs with flaming attacks with my Treekin.    Matt was able to get a lot of good charges off and his Night Goblins were dynamite at holding up my Wild Riders for 4 turns.
I also learned a new rule - you get +1 combat ress for holding the higher ground!
My archers also decided to almost all run off the table in the same turn, was rather sad =(.

I was doing very well in the beginning and it was beginning to look like I might break his army along one of the flanks until a few major errors in judgement happened.  In the end I lost, he still had his unit of 50 boys, an orc chariot, a unit of Night Goblins and other unit of Black Orcs on the board while I only had my Treeman, 2 eagles, 14 Glade Guard and my Wood elf hero on an eagle on the table.  Substantial victory to Matt and I had a great game.  Matt displayed a LOT of great sportsmanship and received my favored opponent choice.

I lost this game due to these factors:
1. I am always preaching about "Never single charge a unit, always combo charge, know what you are charging into, etc..".  Well... you have to practice what you preach.  Charging my Treekin unsupported into that unit of Flaming bannered Black Orcs was very ill advised.  It cost my a 390 point unit at the bottom of the second round and I was backpedaling in the center after that the entire game.
2.  I did not read the table terrain rules, I really regret doing that since I would have played a bit better on the flank and probably had more success on his flank than I did.
3.  I failed 3 crucial LD10 tests in a row.  This cost me 2 units of Glade Guard and my Waywatchers/General.  I was able to salvage one Glade Guard unit at the end but losing my ability to shoot for 3 turns crippled my army.
4.  I was too aggressive on the right flank and center.  I should have held off another turn before making my decision to control the center of the board.  Had I been able to slink around the back and get the appropriate placement I wanted I would have done a lot better.

Wood Elves lost again 18 to 7.

Game 3: Wood Elves vs. Empire.

The scenario was: "Blood and Glory".
Special Rules:  None

I played against my friend Roy's Empire army.  Roy had bunkered himself in behind a couple of fences and had spread out his army pretty well.  I decided to attack his flank when he began to Mortar the hell out of my army.  Three turns of him not rolling anything but "HIT" on the scatter die was a bit frustrating.  It was looking like I might lose the game before I even hit his line because he had reduced 4 units, 3 of which contained 6 Fortitude points down below 25%.  I was actually fleeing with my General.  The game was looking to be in Roy's favor and the Wood Elves were looking to go 0 and 3 for the first time ever in a tournament, (Hell me going 0 and 2 was a first!) until the top of turn 3 when I performed the following actions that turned the tide.
1. I discovered the Wyrding Well and began to replenish my depleted units.
2. My general rallied on a 2.
3.  I charged his 50 man block with his general and a banner with my Treeman.  He rolled 10, 10, 12 for his two leadership tests and his distance and runs off the table.
4. Treekin/Eagles/Eternal Guard defeat 2 units and cause Roy to fall below his fortitude and I win.

Wood Elves win 19-5.

Roy, Mike and I ended up winning the Raffle at the end of the tournament and I picked up this bad boy:



The tournament was an awesome and fun time, I bend my cap to Jim for running it.  I also wanted to thank Dice Age Games for hosting the tournament.  They had quite a selection and an excellent gaming space.

It was also a great mental check for me.  It was good to see that even with some really big mistakes that I shouldn't have made but I did, my army is still able to hold up pretty well even when things are not going my way.  Now I can say "I made this mistake and that mistake" etc... but that should in no way diminish my opponent's win.  They did well and I can't complain that I didn't have a good time.  I did not play my army the way I normally do and because of it I lost 2 games and almost lost a 3rd.

I'll be hopefully providing Battle Chronicler reports when my opponents send me their lists and I can show you the highlights.

I'll be going over all of these again on our podcast The Deployment Zone and thanks for reading!