I'm going to use this post to give a quick run-down of my games. I'm not going to do a blow-by-blow report, but I will share some of what I learned from each. For those that might not have read last week's post, I attended Southern Assault at Parker, Banner, Kent, and Wayne in Cornelius, NC. It is a two-day GT style event, and there were 38 players in attendance.
I posted my list last week, and it's pretty close to what I've been playing in the tournaments that score paint. As I pointed out, there are some flaws in the list, and this infantry heavy set-up has not been nearly as successful as my dragon lists.
Game 1: We left the house at 5AM, so I was a bit tired and grumpy for the first game. Luckily, I drew a pleasant opponent whom was playing a Bloodthirster led Daemon army. This was my first matchup against a Thirster, and they absolutely wreck stuff. HEs can be vulnerable to big monsters, especially those with ward saves. Magic probably gives us the best chance of dealing with things like hydras and Thirsters, but Lore of Life is a bit limited in that respect. Outside of the big daemon, my army had the advantage in combat. I wanted to use the PG to bog it down, but its fly let him pick his combat. He really wanted to go get my Archmage's bunker, but I managed to maneuver them an inch behind the white lions, so he contended himself with eating that unit. It took him several turns to massacre them which gave me enough time to pick up some points elsewhere, and the game ended in a 45 point draw.
The key moment in the game came in the last round when he moved his screamers, whom had been whittled away by archers, to apparent safety. Unfortunately, he didn't notice that if the PG won their combat that they could potentially charge them in my my half of the turn. The scenario played out in my favor, and I was able to grab some much needed victory points. The MVP unit for this game was probably the archers, who destroyed some flamers and forced the screamers into a tight spot. I'm thinking I definitely need more ranged power in future tournament lists.
Game 2: With my draw and a decent collection of battle points, I moved up a few tables and found myself playing a Dark Elf player. I've been to enough tournaments to know most of the local players, but this was my second game against a new player. I like meeting and playing new folks, and this guy seemed to be a very astute player. He did not have the Sacrificial Dagger in his list, which was a nice change of pace from typical DE lists; however, he did have the Pendant, which really gave me fits. He had the Pendant on a Pegasus hero so he was able to fly him right into my white lions, neutralizing my best unit for the whole game. As you can see, the ability of flying heroes to pick their spots is recurring them of this tournament.
This game really demonstrated the random nature of 8th edition. Some people hate this aspect of the game; I actually like it. The uncertainty of pulling off charges and the calculation of risk is where some of the most enjoyable strategy lies. Anyway, we went through about two rounds where no one could land a charge or overrun. I thought I had picked up the early advantage when I got two units into his corsairs. He only rolled a 6 for his break roll, so I figured with two units (one of them being swiftstrider!) I had that unit. I rolled 5 1s. That's not exaggeration. This set him up for a combined charge with his blackguard going into my unit's front and a hydra into the side. The hydra needed a four on its roll to complete the charge. He got a 3. That was pretty much the whole game. Ultimately, the game came down to whether his Pendant pegasus could eat my whole unit of white lions. Thanks to some judicious use of Regrowth he came up one model short (my least favorite part of 8th -- you kill that many white lions and you deserve some points), and the game ended in a 27 point draw. This made my archmage the MVP for this game. In the end, this was a really fun game which featured lots of maneuvering (more fun than just meeting in the middle); a fun opponent and a close ending made this my favorite game at the tournament.
Game 3: In a game that has made it difficult to draw, I now had two. The tournament gave draws a 10-10 split in battle points which meant that given some decent battle point scores, I was moving slowly up the tables. For the third game, I found myself up against a TK army that was at 2-0. I'm pretty well acquainted with TK since they are my backup army. His list was set up around a Tomb Guard deathstar that contained a Destroyer of Eternity's king, a necrotect, a BSB, and his hierophant. Needless to say, killing that unit was not going to be easy.
I generally don't fear armies that lean on a single unit. I can use eagles to hold them up while I kill the rest of the army. However, during this game, I got some early luck and managed to take down his support units quickly. I also had the chance to combine charge the Tomb Guard, so I took it. Please note for future reference that even under optimal circumstances that TG deathstar is a hard nut to crack. Eventually, it broke every thing I threw at it. Luckily, I got all the TG, but the King lived to plot his revenge. There's not much to say about this game; I took a lot of points without giving many away. The MVP was my noble on great eagle who hopped from fight to fight wreaking havoc. Having that flying hero along with a life mage to heal him really helped the cause.
So that's day one. All in all, I felt pretty good at 1-0-2. I knew I wasn't in contention for any of the generalship prizes, but I figured that I'd be in line for some challenging games at the top table.
Now, back to the hobby side of things, my phoenix guard into spearmen conversion continues. I have several mostly completed now. Last time I suggested clipping the hand of the spear and pinning it back together. Don't do that. It makes the spear too short. I didn't think anyone would notice, but it looks silly. Instead, it's possible to shave the hand off and then file it flat. I think that works far better. I thought I was going to use silver helm bits for the shield arm, but they don't fit. Therefore, I went with regular spearman arms which seemed to work just fine. Here's what I have so far.
Looks like a couple need a little more file work, but they look fine to the naked eye. Any thoughts or suggestions?