Monday, 27 February 2017

Cancon 2017 Aftermath - Part 3

This is a (rather late) conclusion of my report of my experiences of the Kings of War tournament at Cancon 2017. You can find the previous part here.

Game 6 - Control!
Kort T - Abyssals
  • Regiment of Flamebearers
  • Regiment of Flamebearers
  • Regiment of Flamebearers
  • Regiment of Lower Abyssals
  • Horde of Lower Abyssals
  • Horde of Tortured Souls
  • Horde of Tortured Souls
  • Troop of Hellhounds
  • Troop of Hellhounds
  • Troop of Hellhounds
  • Efreet with Inspiring Talisman
  • Archfiend of the Abyss
  • Abyssal Harbinger with the Bangstick
This list above is not correct. It can't be, because it adds up to too many points. I'm probably getting something confused, but the things I've listed above do align OK with what things were doing to me during the game...

This game was another where I found myself being out-deployed because I didn't have enough units. The Tortured Souls were my main concern, but I didn't know where they would be until it was too late for my deployment. They wound up well to my left, where I would have trouble responding properly. The field also had a couple of large fields in the middle, which would slow my movement and hinder my charges. 

I was worried about being out-shot by the combined fire of the Flamebearers and the lightning from the characters, and this influenced my opening moves. I advanced fairly aggressively around the fields, whilst I shot at (and routed) one of the Flamebearer regiments. That was surprisingly easy. Unfortunately I was never going to be able to close the gap with the enemy without letting the Tortured Souls have a go at me, and they predictably caused me issues.
The one unit I left within range of the Tortured Souls but without immediate support was the horde of Warriors. I figured this was OK. They should not be in real danger from a frontal charge, so could counter-charge and would quickly be on the front foot. Unfortunately Kort rolled fairly well and then wavered them. So that pretty well stuffed that plan. I was never going to be able to rescue them in time now.
On the right flank, I had things under control. I killed off one troop of Hellhounds and then braced for the charge of the other 2 with the Hunters. The Hellhounds would hit them on 5s, so they should be fine too. Naturally they also wavered, and I could not for the life of me get the Chariots past them. I did still kill off both units fairly quickly, but lost a turn or so due to getting bogged in my own wavering traffic jam.
In the centre, I stuffed this up. I was pushing up as aggressively as I could with the Siegebreakers, but had failed to spot the second unit of Tortured Souls being in their flank at extreme range. Well, I saw it once I was done moving. I chose to hope that hindered charges would keep me in the fight, but it really didn't help. The lack of armour in my flank was my downfall.
I found myself relying on character charges to try to pin the flyers down.
So in some ways, it felt like I was stuffing up all over the shop. In other ways, things were going OK. I did manage to remove all the Flamebearer units with my own shooting, and was generally weathering the lightning fairly well with my troops. The Tortured Souls were a massive issue, however. I was never in a great position to hit back at them, having pushed up aggressively and allowing them in amongst my lines. I would be lying if I said I felt like I was winning.
Towards the end, I had at least reduced Kort's supply of units. He was down to the horde of Lower Abyssals, one horde of Tortured Souls, and an array of characters. I was about to lose the Boomers to lightning, but the Warlord held firm against the Tortured Souls.
The end of the game was a mess. You can see below what I had left. Kort had the Lower Abyssals in the centre, and swung past my lines to the central zone on my side with the Archfiend (or whatever it was). It was apparent that Kort thought he had done enough, but then I discovered where things had gone wrong. He hadn't realised that Individuals didn't count for capturing the zones (apparently that sort of rule comes and goes in such scenarios). I had seen it at the start of the game, but assumed he knew what was going on. As it turned out, my characters (which, being fat Ogres, are not Individuals) saved the day. The Warlord and Warlock were expensive enough to outscore the Lower Abyssals, and my last minute scramble with my Army Standard and Chariots was enough to give me a 1 point advantage.

I felt dirty about the whole thing, because it came as a shock to Kort, and I feel certain he had the resources to at least make it a draw if not a win, had he used his remaining stuff differently in the final turn. I actually offered to go back and do the last turn again, but Kort wore it like a gentleman and pointed out he only had 1 minute left on his clock anyway. So somehow I escaped with the win, although lost a point because I was down on kills.

Result: 14-6

Game 7 - Kill and Pillage!
Liam Joslin-Tuck - Elves
  • Elven Mage with Bane Chant and Inspiring Talisman
  • Elven King on Horse with Blade of the Beast Slayer
  • Drakon Rider Lord with Brew of Haste
  • Army Standard Bearer
  • Horde of Kindred Archers with Brew of Keen-eyeness
  • Horde of Therennian Seaguard
  • Horde of Drakon Riders with Chant of Hate
  • Regiment of Stormwind Cavalry with Maccwar's Potion of the Caterpillar
  • Regiment of Palace Guard with Dwarven Ale
  • Regiment of Palace Guard
  • Dragon Breath
So unexpectedly I now found myself coming into game 7 with a 3-3 record! I could even end up with a positive win-loss ratio by the end, which doesn't normally seem to happen for me in KoW events...

Liam had a slightly confusing Elf army. Normally I would expect to see slightly more firepower in the form of Bolt Throwers, and maybe a Dragon in place of the Drakon. It was nice facing off against an Elf list that didn't feel like it was squeezing for optimal effectiveness. Having said all that, I was still not sure how I was going to go against the list. It was a lot faster than me, and the fast elements all ended up facing my right flank. I tried to counter this by deploying a lot of stuff around the forest, given that most of what was coming at me had Thunderous Charge that I might hope to negate. I also opened the shooting by routing the Stormwind Cavalry, whose Potion of the Caterpillar would have nicely sidestepped my cunning tree-hugging plan.
The Stormwind Cavalry had died on that hill as they prepared to charge me. I did my best to prepare for the oncoming Drakons by relying on combinations of denied line of sight, hindered charges and general mess. In the end I messed myself up just as much (or even more than) Liam. Things were too close together.
One of my Siegebreaker units took maybe 5 wounds from the opening round of shots from the Elves, and wavered before they could even move. I figured that didn't bode well, but the rest of my stuff pressed up because I realised there was not an overwhelming combat presence on this end of the Elf lines - most of the punch was riding toward my right flank.
I kept pressing forward, despite knowing that ultimately I was going to have to wear a charge from the Elves (who were at least as fast as my own troops). The Warriors were "volunteered" as bait, and Liam obliged by hitting them as hard as he could. Honestly I'm not even sure he got them, but the follow-up charges from my other units were pretty savage. Eventually the Sea Guard got involved, but struggled to make an impact against Siegebreakers and they were eventually bludgeoned as well.
The right flank ended up a mass of repeated to-and-fro charges. The mounted Elven King eventually fell to the Boomers in close combat, having made a nuisance of himself all game. I'm pretty sure I also got rid of the Drakon Rider Lord, but couldn't quite mop up the Drakon Riders. Or maybe it was the other way around. I just recall wrapping around one of the units with 3 of mine, and Liam ending up having to accept a rear charge from the Warlord. Twice.
By the end of the game, Liam had his Mage and one Drakon-mounted unit left. I had the shame of actually running out of time. I timed out before I could take my final turn, I think. Might have got everything with the extra turn, but I couldn't complain. Things had gone fairly well.

Result: 18-2

In the final standings I ended up doing better than expected. I think finished 22nd out of 62 players. Not too bad given I had lost 3/4 games on Day 1. And I'd enjoyed myself. Matt did an outstanding job as Tournament Organiser. In fact, if only he had been equipped with a megaphone or a voice with 3x the power (it was very hard to hear during the announcements), he would have been the perfect TO. Thanks to Matt, and to everyone I played during the event!


  1. Thanks for the rundown Hoods! Congrats on a pretty decent finish too!

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  3. Great report but I can't help but to ask if you are going to return to WHFB?

    1. That is a fair question. I don't know what I am doing right now. I find myself looking in half a dozen different directions at once. Hopefully I can firm up some plans soon.

    2. that is very tricky situation. for while it is great in a way, enjoying several games, it is also great in another way if more players share and play the same game.

      for me, I always found player more than one game confusing, i end up mixing rules up between games and that causes some really weird situations.

    3. I was always happy to focus on a single game, with the occasional flurry of games of something a bit different (like Blood Bowl or Battletech). I'd happily focus on a single game now too, if only I could settle on something that offered me exactly what I was looking for. I'm... not convinced there really is such a thing at the moment.