View Full Version : Tom goes to Impfest IV Game 1

11-04-2011, 19:40
So, this weekend past saw the fourth tournament run by the North London Imps- the creatively but aptly named Impfest IV. Excellent venue, I believe they have a gaming club there some nights of the week so I'd recommend checking them out if they're local to you. The turnout was pretty miminal unfortunately, with only 10 people. 3 games under the 20-0 system inside, glorious sunshine outside.

This tournament was run under the South Coast Grand Tournament comp pack, details of which can be found here: http://warhammer.org.uk/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=82109

My (Dark Elf) list was as follows:

Shadow Level 4, Stabby Dagger, Lifetaker, Pendant

Cauldron BSB

3x10 xbows, standard bearers, musicians, shields

15 warriors, standard bearer, musician, Standard of Discipline

40 Warriors, full command, Gleaming Pennant

5 dark riders, musician, xbows

5 harpies

20 Black Guard, full command, banner of murder

36 Witches, full command, Banner of the Eternal Flame

War Hydra

The plan of the list is very simple- Okkams Skillrazor for the win. Tactics are, in my opinion, second to risk management in 8th edition and so I wanted a list with a simple game plan that I can stick to. The gameplan for the weekend was very simple- Witches up the centre with the blocks either side, xbows either behind or on the flanks shooting inwards with the hydra and dark riders going where they were needed.

Game 1, vs Rob Ritchie's Dwarfs. He had a Runelord with a rune of spellbreaking, Master Rune of Balane and probably a ward save, a BSB with a 1+ re-rollable save and immune to KB and poison, 30-something warriors with full command and great weapons, 30-something Hammerers, 30-something warror rangers with full command and great weapons, 2 organ guns, 2 grudge throwers and a cannon with a Master Engineer.

He castled up around a building on one flank as expected (warriors and runelord on his right, guns in the middle clustered around the ME), hammerers and BSB on the other side), and I decided to run the guns and try and engage. With Okkams, I was confident that any one of my combat blocks could roll his army. I deployed opposite him with my warriors on my far left opposite his warriors, my witches opposite his hammerers and my black guard in between ready to swing towards whichever needed killing most urgently. My hydra, dark riders and harpies stayed out on my right flank in order to swing in to get his guns, or for the hydra to go after and scouts that tried to come in from that side I tried to keep a small fence in between my hydra and his cannon, as I expected it to be flaming (I used to play Dwarfs for a long time, and so I know the army fairly well). My cauldron and small warrior unit with level 4 went behind my line, and the xbows dotted around- one on my left flank, one on my right and one on the far right hand side of the board in a building in order to control some board space, and maybe bait his rangers into going after the perceived easy points. His rangers scouted on my right flank opposite the hydra, and I Vanguarded my Dark Riders to be 24.1" from his closest organ gun.

For my spells, I ended up with Okkams, Pit, Withering and Miasma. Basically, exactly what I wanted.

Despite the plus one, I got the first turn. 5+ ward on the Witches. Everything ran forwards at full speed, except on my right where the harpies and dark riders minced around, the hydra ran towards the cover of the fence and I made sure my level 4 was in 24" of the cannon. In my magic phase I got an IF Pit off onto his cannon, which hit and auto-killed it. To Robs credit, he had deployed well enough that the Pit could only get one war machine at a time unless I went for the big one, which I have yet to try. The miscast killed a couple of warriors, nothing I couldn't handle. My shooting was fairly lacklustre, Lifetaker picked a wound off the Master Engineer but overall not doing owt.

His first turn was very static, a bit of repositioning and the rangers tried a charge on my xbow block. He needed an 8 to get in, but I instead chose to flee. The failed charge left him in a very nice position for a hydra march and breath weapon next turn.

His shooting phases over the game were fairly special one way or the other- wihtout the cannon, he first fired a stone thrower at the hydra... which turned out to be flaming... which hit... which rolled a 1 to wound. Success! His first organ tried to shoot the dark riders, but blew up. Skill! However, the other stone thrower turned out to be S5, which promptly landed on and killed 15/20 Black Guard (I'd misdeployed the units I wanted to be either side of them so I had to go narrower than 10 wide). The other organ gun promptly took off the remaining 5 Black Guard. So, going into my 2nd turn, I was a bit worried- without being able to back off any more (being down by a couple of hundred points) I had to really go for it.

My turn 2 saw the slog forwards continue, ending up with everything around 11" from him. The hydra marched forwards and torched the rangers, who he had deployed 5 wide, killing around 17. My magic was largely ineffective, a Pit of Shades on his warrior block being removed by his rune of spellbreaking. My shooting, apart from the hydra, was also largely ineffective. His second turn saw him fail a couple of charges, notably the hammerers failing a charge on the witches, and the rangers failing a charge against some xbows and being unable to get out of the hydras arc of sight (he elected not to charge the hydra, instead wanting to shoot it). However, the failed hammerer charge blocked my dark riders from getting into his war machines this turn. His shooting was fairly ordinary, a couple of misfires, a few dead warriors and 3 wounds gone from the hydra.

My turn 3 saw the first real action. An extra attack onto the Witches saw them go into his hammerers and BSB, the warriors went into his runelord bunker and the hydra went into the flank of the rangers. The dark riders and harpies go around the building in his deployment zone in order to set up some charges on his war machines. I tried for a Mindrazor on my warriors fighting his runelord, but he dispelled it. Had this gone off, the game would've been vastly different... however, as it was, in the combat phase my elves did a couple of wounds and suffered 3-4 times as many back- warriors with great weapons hit rather hard... I broke and fled, but managed to escape. The witch elves kill 10-12 hammerers, and lost 5-6 in return. With just one attack, the higher weapons skill and strength of the hammerers is just not enough to keep them in them in the fight for long. The hydra nommed on several rangers, and took a wound in return. Having a rank left, he passed his steadfast test. In his turn 3, his warriors charged my fleeing warriors, but didn't catch them. His master engineer puts himself between the war machines and my dark riders so that I can't kill/engage both stone throwers in a phase. The witch elves reduced the hammerers to 5-6 left and the hydra reduce the rangers down to 6. H failed to wound me with his 2 attacks back, and the Thunderstomp took off 3 models to leave him with no ranks. Pursued and killed.

Turn 4. The hydra runs behind the building he castled around and hides out of sight of the stone throwers, the warriors rally and turn to face the Runelords bunker. The dark riders go into his master engineer, and the harpies fail a few inches forwards. My magic phase was an amusing non-event- after rolling a double, we were on a similar number of dice (instead of him having more than me...) so I tried for a one dice power of darkness, and rolled a one. Stabbed a spearman for another dice, and rolled a one. Magic phase over. In combat, the witches kill the remaining hammerers for a couple of casualties from his BSB (I ignored his BSB on the ground that once the hammerers are dead, he is no longer stubborn. he auto-dies when he flees, so I can combat reform to face the rest of his army). However, with his re-roll, he passes his 4+ break test. With a 1+ re-rollable save, this guy proved to be too much for the witches to handle The dark riders kill the ME and over-run into his first grudge thrower. His turn 4 saw his warriors advance on my left flank, and his stone thrower scattered off the hydra. The BSB chips away a couple more witches for no loss, and holds his break test. The dark riders fail to kill the stone thrower- I thought that cavalry could attack with 6 models vs a war machine, and that only monstrous cav were limited to 3. However, rather than argue the point in a so far very enjoyable game, I conceded on the ground that the rules seemed to support him and I couldn't find an amendment in any FAQ. Definitely one I need to look into for next time however,

Turn 5, and I decide to go for killing blow on the Witches (at this point, I had directed no attacks against him and so didn't know what he had. I had nothing else in combat, nothing valuable about to be charged and I needed 6s to wound him anyway). I used the remaining 3 xbows to redirect his warriors away from me, and he dispelled a pit of shades on that same unit. The fight in the centre continued, this time the witches lost combat (he was of course immune to the killing blow...) but held their ground. Without frenzy, they lost a lot of attacks in following rounds. In his turn 5, Rob killed the redirectors and killed the hydra with an indirect stone thrower shot.

Turn 6. At this point, with the warriors bearing down on me, I had 2 choices- either go for an extra attack on my warriors and engage and hope for the Okkams, or use the Cauldron to redirect. I elected to use the Cauldron as a buffer, reasoning that on average dice his 6 warriors wouldn't kill the Cauldron in one phase (as that's all the time that was left in the game). The dark riders killed the stone thrower, rather unfortunately. I attempted an Okkams on the Witches, but it was dispelled. Just as well I didn't engage with my warrior block (which at this point contained my general, after being shelled her sacrificial block had been abandoned and were running for the hills). In his turn 6 he charged the Cauldron but it didn't die, the Witches and BSB both scratched away at each other to no effect and the organ gun took of my dark riders.

After totalling up the VPs, I won by around 500pts, putting me on a 13-7 victory. All in all, I think I played the game the right way. Forcing the Black Guard into 3 ranks was an unfortunate error, as it made them easier to kill. They also need a ward save more than the witches in the early game in this sort of match-up. Rob had some very unlucky artillery rolls, but also some pretty good ones, so overall I don't think dice were particularly important in the result. Certainly, had Rob got the first turn, the hydra would likely have died, which would've meant his rangers would've tied up my harpies and dark riders. However, I suspect I would've had enough chaff to keep them from being a problem.

Game 2 will be coming up shortly.

12-04-2011, 02:02
6 Fast Cav bases vs Warmachines :wtf:???
Where did you hear that lol.
Other then that good game and grats on the win!

12-04-2011, 02:42
This is the passage I was after, I was sure I'd seen it somewhere. From pg 7of the rulebook FAQ:

Q: Where there are references to monstrous infantry/cavalry/beasts
does this mean just monstrous infantry, monstrous cavalry and
monstrous beasts (and not ‘ordinary’ cavalry and beasts)? (various)
A: Yes

So up to 6 'ordinary' cav vs war machines.

12-04-2011, 06:09
Tactics are, in my opinion, second to risk management in 8th edition...

This is an interesting statement. I wonder if you would elaborate a little more sir?

12-04-2011, 13:07
I've found in the past that it's far better (by which I mean successful) to take army listts that rely on very very simple tactics- I've taken lists which have been orientated around tricksy charges, multiple-mage magic phases or gimmicky characters, and while they can work well, due to the more random nature of 8th edition these can end up going very badly wrong- for example, failing a sitter of a charge, or ending up with a rubbish winds of magic roll that I can't use for my plans.

So, I prefer to play in a very simple fashion. Over the course of the 3 battle reports I've mentioned that I've baited some charges and redirected others. While I'd still class these as tactics (along with my basic gameplan of a reactionary deployment phase, then Skillrazor for the win), they're fairly simple, and aren't game-breaking. Essentially, my approach to 8th edition is that if you put yourself in a position where you need the dice to work even on averages, then you're taking an unecessary risk that might pay off, but quite often won't.

In contrast, sticking to a very simple gameplan that doesn't need the dice to go well is, in my experience, more successful. However, I'm finding this incredibly boring. I think that SCGT will either be my last 6 games of fantasy for a while, or will certainly be my last 6 games with Shadow.

12-04-2011, 15:07
Nicely summed up sir!
As far as boring...well it is Shadow, the OTHER broken lore :p

13-04-2011, 06:24
Thanks for taking the time to explain that. If you smell anything burning, that is my head as I furiously consider your words.

Thanks for the battle reports as well, very easy to follow and generally great.

13-04-2011, 12:52
Thanks :)

Let me know if you have any suggestions on a better format, I'm hoping to take some pictures this weekend or m next one.

Golden Lion
13-04-2011, 18:34
Nice report and tactical analysis, thanks for posting. I usually do prefer pictures but I found your report easy to follow without. Still, they could only improve.

14-04-2011, 02:42
I'll be taking a camera to Portsmouth this weekend, so there'll be some pictures in m next set of reports. No close ups until my army is done though!