To finish my tournament report, I came into the second round at 1-0-2, which was good enough to be on table 6. I knew that the two draws meant I didn't have any shot at any generalship awards, but I thought with a victory or two that I might crack the top ten. It turns out that I didn't need to worry about cracking the top ten.
Game 4 (Lizardmen): I originally thought I was up against another daemon player (which I was looking forward to); however, when I saw Lizardmen, I knew I was in trouble. For some reason, I always struggle against Lizards; I personally think they are one of the more powerful 8th edition armies. This list was a little atypical in that it featured four units of skinks; however, he was using the slann with all of the bells and whistles. In the end, this game showed the power of augmentations in 8th edition. He primarily focused on the ward save spell, the shield of thorns, and the toughness spell, using dwellers primarily as a bluff. The extra slann dice meant that I couldn't hope to stop everything, and he was typically able to get off two of the three spells with no problem. The swordmasters did manage to sneak around and get a rear charge off on the exposed slann, but they did no damage. My opponent had some bad luck with leadership tests early but his skill at manipulating the magic phase ensured him a perfect victory. Only my archmage survived at the end. The archers were my best unit here again, further cementing my plans to use a more archer heavy force next time.
Game 5 (Beastmen): For the final game, I ended up in the middle of the pack against a veteran player's beastman army. My opponent was a lot of fun and as often happens at the end of tournaments like this, neither of us took the game as completely as serious as we might have. One thing that impressed me in his play was his use of Transformation of Khadon as magic defense. He would cast it at the end of every round, leaving me with the decision of whether to use 4 of my power dice to dispel it or whether to allow a dragon to charge the next turn. In hindsight, I probably should have just let the dragon go. I don't know that he would have actually used it, and if he had, it's possible that I could have dispelled it and killed the mage during my phase. I was worried about him flying into my BSB though, so I kept throwing dice at it. This was really a close game, and I actually thought we were heading for my third draw. However, after I moved a chariot to block a charge from his largest unit, we found that he was still able to nick my unit as it wheeled in. It was close, bu this brought my archmage's bunker into a fight they couldn't win. After that, I ended up retreating away to maintain narrow defeat. The white lions were my best unit this game, but my opponent did an excellent job of using magic (the difficult terrain spell) and redirectors to keep them out of combat. I think we ended up about two hundred points a part, making this my third really close game of the tournament (which is fine by me).
In the end, this was my least successful tournament this year with a 1-2-2 record; however, because the games were so close, I had a lot of fun. My soft scores were good which was enough to put me right in the middle of the pack overall. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised to have been awarded the "Player's Choice Award" for best army. I understand that the voting was very close. Honestly, I'd rather win awards like that than generalship awards as it shows that people appreciated the hard work I've put into my army.
I also finished tied for second (with about five players) for best painted army. Both voting results were also interesting to me because my technical skills are not up to some of the other players. However, I noticed that many of the best technically painted armies had limited conversions or a very basic display board. On the other hand, I have several notable conversions and a fairly elaborate (if still unfinished) display board. As I move forward with this army, I plan to add more extras like that in hopes of augmenting my painting (I also think my painting is getting better, so eliminating some of my older miniatures should help as well). I think the lesson here is that the extras help an army stand out during voting, so they are worth the time (I also think that some armies stand out more than others, but that is a topic for another time).
That's one reason that I am converting these spearmen. I'm hoping that this unit will stand out on the table, and they will definitely look better than my current
spears which were both my first fantasy unit and speed painted. I have
the models finished; here's how the unit turned out:
As you can see, there are only nine. This is because the Phoenix Guard kit is rather annoying in that certain bodies only connect with certain arms. My tenth figure's arm wouldn't fit. Hopefully, I'll be able to correct that out of the next box. I've been alternating between modeling these guys and painting a unit of TK chariots. Hopefully, I can get a test model painted before next week's post.