So the ETC done and dusted less than a week ago (I promise you the report is coming) and it's time for another tournament! Maelstrom's Autumn Incursion was the first 8th edition event in the UK, and my first 8th tournament.
Sadly I was stuck with the only army I had with me, my ETC Tomb kings... Theory hammer informed me that they were in fact now massively suck. Magic was still good but the units are so weak and easy to kill that with steadfast, supporting attacks and other newfangled shenanigans I knew I’d be struggling, but figured I’d use it as a test run tournament and see how 8th worked anyway, without worrying too much about how I did. Those who know me will realise the idiocy of this plan, since I have been know to attack small children while teaching them to play if they are beating me.
Just kidding. Small children never beat me.
Anyway, further theory hammer suggested that the units that got the biggest boost and were probably best suited to the new edition would be Ushabti and Bone Giants, with double shooting, no partial Screaming Skullapults also good. With these things in mind I submitted this list:
Liche High Priest – Hieratic Jar, Cloak of the Dunes = 290
Tomb King – Flail of Skulls, Collar of Shapesh = 250
Tomb Prince – Brooch of the Great Desert, great weapon, Dragonsbane Gem = 136
Liche Priest – Dispel Scroll, Ruby Ring of Ruin = 165
26 Archers – Standard, musician, Banner of Eternal Flame = 233
25 Archers – Standard, musician = 215
10 Archers – Champion = 90
3 Chariots = 120
3 Chariots = 120
3 Chariots = 120
Tomb Swarm = 45
20 Tomb Guard – Full command, Banner of the Undying Legion = 295
Tomb Scorpion = 85
Tomb Scorpion = 85
As you can see baggage restrictions prevented me from actually bringing any decent units for 8th from New Zealand. So this is what I was left with, plenty of shooting, plenty of magic (to give me more shooting...). Scorpions seem to be made of even more win than last edition, and Tomb Guard give me a solid combat unit (ish...).
(Before we begin I must apologise for the crappiness of the picture coverage, on the few occasions I did remember to take pictures at the start of the games I got so excited (or depressed... Usually depressed) as we were playing the game I didn’t take any more. Plus my camera is embarrassingly purple. But since none of my previous reports had pictures anyway just be grateful for what you get. Gimps.)
(Rest assured my Cardiff Carnage coverage (CCC yo) will blow your mind).
Game 1 – Waaaght?
He (yet again opponent’s names escape me) had Orcs. Frenzied Orcs.
Warboss – Akkrit Sacks (hur hur), Some Ward Save
Orc Great Shaman – Level 4
Big Boss – BSB
Orc Crappy Shaman – Level 2
25 Savage Big Un’s – Bazillions of Attacks, Command
25 Savage Boyz – Also Bazillions of Attacks, Also Command
20 Savage Archers
9 Squig Hoppers - Suck
6 Stoner Trolls – Hallucinogenic substances
So he didn’t have many units. What he did have was Waaagh! and a buttload of dudes in his not many units. And it scared me.
As you can see.
To start with he moved towards me, then I shot him some. The Chariots on the right sensed a unit of ItP skirmishers (which are not actually exploitable anymore, but they didn’t know that. Neither did I...) and magically charged them to death. The other Chariots played chicken with the Boyz in the corner my army wasn’t in. Next turn he moved some more, swore at some animosity rolls, and I shot him some. The King and Tomb Guard went ninjaing (what the f@ck Word spell check, ninjaing is so a word) out to charge the Archer Boyz, and bashed them. But they got away. But now I was in a sweet position next to the Warboss’ unit, he could turn to face me if he wanted, but would cop a fully ranked Skellie unit in return.
In his turn he turned the Warboss and friends to face the Tomb Guard. He also turned his Trolls to face the Chariots that had killed the Squigs and were now behind him. Which baffled me a little. Until he double 6ed Waaagh! and took out both units. Then I was just pissed. The Tomb King slapped the Warboss over for 6 wounds before being combat res-d to dust. I was then berated for my amazing luck because apparently the Warboss had a 4+ ward save, and had failed them all.
I was deeply sympathetic.
For the rest of the game I shot him some. The Chariots on my left flanked the Savage Boyz down there and killed them, and in the last turn I ran a Scorpion at his BSB’s now very depleted unit of Big Un’s to divert them off to the side (since they had to overrun from frenzy). I then flanked them with a unit of Archers and killed them. In the end I was up by a good margin, just shy of maximum points (I killed everything but the Trolls and Great Shaman, for the loss of the Tomb Guard...). Game 1 down and I already hate 8th edition. Yay!
Game 2 – You Can’t Shoot Them All...
Game 2 and I was up against a Skaven army which would have scared the crap out of my 7th ed Tomb Kings.
And that army was actually good.
Warlord – Litter, Ench Shield, Killing Apparatus
Warlock – Rocket Launcher and Dice Generatorator
BSB – BS
25 Clanrats (x3ish)
25 Slaves (x2)
17 Giant Rats – Free hero and 2 x Packman (x2)
6 Rat Ogres
2 Warplightning Cannons
2 Doom Wheels
The silver lining was being informed Doom Wheels now work how they should have last edition (meaning they are now just a little bit good). Yay!
Assuring myself I would get an army I could actually shoot next game I set up on the board edge again (miraculously there are no pictures of this game, but it’s pretty much the same as last time but in the other corner). He started by throwing everything straight down the middle at me, which seemed like a solid tactic. A Scorpion and the Swarm appeared on turn 2, so his Cannons were out of action, I also managed to charge both Wheels with Chariots, breaking 1 and running it down.
After 97 trillion arrow shots over the first 2 turns I had reduced the Rat Ogres in the middle to 4 wounds. The only problem with that was I had done nothing to the rest of the army.
Oh, and I had my Hierophant sitting happily unaware in an Archer unit right in front of the Rat Ogres (ok so it wasn’t right in front of them, there was the King’s unit in the way, which they could just wheel around, and they did need to roll something like 9 on the 2D6 to charge, but that does nothing to reduce the blatant retardation required to make such a mistake). So naturally the Hierophant died. The valiant Archers beat the Ogres away and ran them down, but I couldn’t help but feel this one was going the same way as my poor Hierophant.
Maddened by grief the Tomb Guard and King went on the attack, realising 2 crucial problems just as they occurred.
1. The Scorpion ready to pursue some Slaves into the Seer’s unit, thus killing the Seer and preventing the unit from flanking the overrunning Tomb Guard, who would kill the Skaven BSB and his unit, could not in fact pursue, since you can’t pursue exploding Slaves. And 2. It is friggin easy to change the direction you are facing in 8th edition. Especially if you are a Warlord and Clanrat unit wiping out a unit of Skeletons directly behind the Tomb Guard, and it’s your turn next.
So, for the first time in a long time, I found myself sitting at a tournament at the end of turn 6 with no men left. It was not a happy feeling.
Game 3 – Scenarios Are For Chumps
I arrived at the table for game 3 faced with another Skaven army, and not only was this one bigger than the previous one, but I also had to negotiate a scenario involving killing a certain number of unit standards/generals to win. For my opponent that number was 2. For me it was 4. Which didn’t particularly stack up with me since his banners were actually harder to kill than mine. Oh well.
3 Warlords – Assorted Gubbins
2 Warlocks – Doom Rocket delivery system
25 Clanrats (x2)
21 Slaves (x3)
Lots of Giant Rats (x2)
10 Plague Monks
20 Night Runners – Tunnelling, Sat Nav programmed with Hierophant coordinates
5 Gutter Runners – Slings (x3)
Yet again the table edge was my friend, and yet again his units were in charge range of my entire army by turn 2, my Archers having accounted for several Giant Rats, which left only several remaining. So now I was faced with a perilous situation, charge or be charged. Or charge and then be charged by tunnelers. So with a fist full of magic dice I charged into the horde of gribblies.
The Scorpion charged the Wheel and killed it, the King in his Tomb Guard and some Chariots charged some Slaves in front of the Skaven general’s unit, some Archers and a Priest charged some Slaves, and the Prince, Hierophant (in possibly his first charging action ever) and other Skellie unit charged the flank of some Clanrats with 2 Warlords in.
Sadly the Warlord on Litter shuffled across and slapped the Hierophant over, which I consoled myself by saying would have happened anyway, the rest of the combat went better though and I won by something. Apparently though there is some rule in 8th where if you have more ranks than your opponent you are stubborn. Apparently this rule still applies if you are hit in the flank by a big unit of Skeletons and have no ranks. Oh well, still a leadership 7 break test with no re-roll.
Passed. I hate this game.
Elsewhere things also went swimmingly with the first Slave unit with 3 attacks on my Priest killing him dead. The remaining Slaves killed approximately 57 Skeletons. Which was 55 more than I expected.
The other unit of Slaves was no match for my Tomb Guard and Chariots though, disintegrating before my fury. The blundering Tomb Guard and King proceeded to roll 4” for their overrun move, stopping precisely half a gnat’s whisker in front of the Skaven general and BSB’s unit and leaving the Chariots to go in alone.
The offending gnat was squashed for his insolence.
Next turn the Night Runners decided it would be a good time to arrive, galloping into the rear of my Skellies and Prince fighting the flank of the Clanrats. Some Skeletons died.
Elsewhere my Chariots bounced off the front of the enemy general, leaving the King and his unit to move in in my turn. You’re late chaps.
At this point things were looking rather grim. I had precisely one unit of Tomb Guard, a Tomb King, a Tomb Swarm, some Skeletons being slowly annihilated by Slaves and a Scorpion on 1 wound left on the board.
He had lots of things.
In desperation I turned to a great and terrible evil.
I re-read the scenario.
It was fascinating.
Apparently there were 3 ways the game could end: If we reached 6 turns, someone’s (mine) army was wiped out, or if the certain number of banners/generals was reached. After a quick count I realised that if I destroyed the Skaven general’s unit the game would end immediately and I would win! Sudden realisation of my salvation hit me and I scrambled to get my units in position to achieve this new goal. Surely if I could get the Tomb Guard, my best combat unit, into combat with the Skaven general I had the best chance of achieving victory, so all I had to do was...
Oh wait. They’re already there.
In the subsequent combat I tried extra hard to roll lots of 6s, and was able to win the combat (no thanks to the fool Scorpion in the rear who was killed by a Clanrat and cost me about 5 points of combat res). Thankfully though for Mr Scorpion the Clanrat (feat. General and BSB - see I’m down with the lingo yo) broke and were run down (on the second attempt) and the game ended IMMEDIATELY.
So I won. Heh.
Game 4 – Mud At a Wall
So onto day 2 and I was doing ok, 2 wins and a loss put me on table 8. During breakfast I was informed I was playing a Warriors of Chaos army. “Yes he has a unit of 30 Warriors”, I was reliably told.
The walk to the venue was a little sombre that morning.
Sorcerer – GAETWEH 4 THA WIN!
Sorcerer – PURPUL SUN 4 THA WIN!
(Naturally all Gateway/Purple Sun users write in capitals and can’t spell.)
Exalted – BSB, 4+ Ward Save, Tzeentch Brand Ward Save Enhancer
30 Warriors – Shields, Ward Save against shooting banner, Tzeentch Brand Ward Save Enhancer
12 Chosen – Frenzy Banner, Halberds, Tzeentch Brand Ward Save Enhancer
7 Knights – Mark of Angry and KoRn t-shirts
The plan going into turn 1 was to shoot the Warriors all game, they had a 3+ save, sure, but throw enough mud at a wall and I’d get some points, right? Apparently though this particular wall also got a 4+ ward save against shooting.
So how about that army I can shoot then?
I really didn’t think I had any hope in this game, as far as I could see he was going to shove everything straight at me and I had no chance of beating any of it in combat. Strangely though his deployment didn’t completely gel with this idea, with the Chosen and Knights a long way from my fragile Skellies and Priests (granted the scenario deployment rules accounted for the Chosen, but the Knights could have been opposite me).
Perhaps he was giving me a chance!
Things started ok with a Scorpion coming up into the flank of the Knights, with a decent chance of breaking them if he could do a wound.
Which he couldn’t. (*^*@%
Regardless it held them up for a while, which was what I was after. Meanwhile both units of Archers pumped shots into the Warriors and Shrine opposite them, which they did for the entire game, netting me precisely zero points (2 Warriors off half points...). Otherwise it was the standard 2” backward styles, my opponent surprising me by being slightly hesitant with his Warriors, who I was also able to hold up for a turn with a suicide Chariot charge.
Around turn 4 I decided I had an opportunity, I parked the Tomb Swarm in front of the Chosen with BSB, figuring they would have to charge or get nowhere for the rest of the game. They would then be forced to overrun from frenzy, which should put them just close enough to the King and Tomb Guard for me to do a quick reform and magically charge in the flank.
Which is exactly what happened. Boo yah.
So in I went with the Tomb Guard in the flank of the Chosen, the way the charge was aligned meant that only 1 Chosen (the champion) of the 2 in the flank could fight, and it would have to be on my King. Not only that, but the pursuit move should take me into the flank of the Knights next to them.
Onto combat and the Chosen champion was forced to challenge, failing to hurt the King, who readied his Flail of Skulls for some overkill combat res ownage. 2 hits, 2s to wound.
Ok. Still winning the combat by 4, so a leadership 5 break test.
Needless to say I was a little upset.
Next turn the Knights charged in, and by the end of the game the Tomb Guard and King were wiped out, taking the BSB with them for a small (I mean really small) consolation. And that was about the end, I had also killed a Warshrine, the other one having escaped a 10” pursuit from a Scorpion with an 11”... So in the washup I was down by about 400 points, which I would have been very happy with at the start of the game, but couldn’t help feeling I should have had a big win with the position I got myself in.
Told you I can’t take things casually.
Game 5 – Massive Frog
So 2 wins, 2 losses and mid-table, time for a late charge up the leaderboard... (Keep telling yourself that Harry...)
Slann – Know All Lore (life), Extra Dice, Cupped Hands, BSB, Party Hat and Balloons
Scar Vet (x3)
19 Saurus (x2)
11 Skinks (x4)
16 Temple Guard
He took first turn, moved towards me a bit and rolled some magic. The Frog’s Throne of Vines protective miscast prevention system now in place he picked up his trusty bucket and filled it with dice. Predictably up came several 6s.
At this point I’m feeling more than slightly apprehensive, as are my Skeletons, who begin to shuffle away from the Hierophant, who remains cheerfully unaware of his impending doom.
“Ok so I have Cupped Hands”, seemed an unnecessary statement, since I’d already been quietly praying for a 1 for the last minute.
It wasn’t a 1.
He then rolled for just what terrible affliction afflicted my Hierophant. It was a 4.
“So, my turn 1 then...”
From here I knew it’d be pushing faecal matter uphill, so the plan was just to sit back and shoot (wait, that was the plan for the last 4 games too...). My opponent made this task easier by parking his Temple Guard in a building in the middle of the table, and by turn 5 I had managed to shoot them all down, as well as some Skinks and both Salamanders (my apologies for skipping straight to turn 5, but really there’s nothing particularly exciting about firing 110 arrow shots at a unit each turn while shuffling backwards 2”). The one moment of excitement I did have was finally having a use for the flaming banner on the archers.
Stick that in your 4+ magical regeneration save Mr Frog.
This just left me to magically charge the King, Prince and some Skellies into the Slann now stranded in the building wondering why all his mates were lying on the floor with arrows sticking out of them.
Sadly though over 2 rounds of combat (plus a Smiting) the Slann managed to ward-save all 6 of the King’s wounding hits, and 2 from the Prince in the last turn, leaving him on 1 wound at the end of the game...
And me approximately the points for half a Slann, the general and BSB off a big win...
Game 6 – Look Out Sir! ...Sir?
As I joined the general nerd shuffle towards the draw on the wall I was pleased to see Dark Elves opposite my name – finally an army I can shoot!
Accordingly I was a little depressed to arrive at the table to find a Dwarf army opposite me. “We’ve been swapped”, declared my new opponent cheerfully.
Runelord and Anvil of Dooooooooooom
Lord – Scouting and Runes of uber killing and Rune of Challenge
30 Crossbowdwarfs – Scoutingness and great weapons
This game I planned to try out the new war machine rules by shooting the crap out of them. I figured there was very little I could do about the inevitable Miners and Anvil rear charge funtimes so decided to forget about them and deal with it later. I was also quite impressed by the scouting Crossbows who parked up just in front of my army and prepared to own me (the Miners in the picture aren't deployed yet...).
Damn why didn’t my army get anything cool in the new edition? Do I sound a little bitter? Could it be game 6? No...
So I began the general advance away from the not so friendly table edge (now harbouring Miners), the Chariots beside the Crossbow bunker of doom were Rune of Challenged in, turning out to be in the flank, which I found interesting, some decent rolls and I could be forcing a seriously shaky break test on turn 1 (granted it would be leadership 10, but still...). Sadly though my rolls were not quite decent enough and the combat was a draw, which left the Chariots to die next turn.
Speaking of Chariots my unit in the middle cranked a nice vanguard move and set up for a turn 1 charge, weathering the entirety of the Dwarf shooting until the Anvil decided they could only move at half speed, thankyou very much. The archers discovered that the new war machines weren’t quite as shootable as anticipated and that was me done.
Skipping straight to shooting, yet again the Chariots in the middle bore the brunt, the Cannon starting off with a good overshot. Yay!
“Oh, doesn’t that get your Hierophant in the Archers?”
Why yes, yes it did.
“Look out sir!” Crackled a Skeleton.
“No,” replied the Hierophant.
Oh not again...
My first Scorpion misfiring as it came up didn’t do much to improve things. The Archers finally managed to kill the Organ Gun though, which was good since it was stuck on 10 shots, and my now very sad magic phase bounced off the obscene amount of dispel dice the Dwarfs generate. So it was only 50 shots a turn now. Depressing.
Then the Miners showed up and I remembered I hadn’t decided how to deal with them yet. From there the game was me frantically shooting as much as I could while the Miners rolled around killing all my dudes. I came 1 crewman short of killing all the war machines, and in a last ditch effort the Scorpion charged the Anvil, figuring he would probably have some ridiculous armour save and immune to killing blow stuff, but it was worth a go anyway.
Also apparently you can’t attack the Runelord specifically anymore...
So Mr. Scorpion goes in, 2 wounds.
“Ok what’s the save then?”
“Oh, just a 6 against strength 5.”
Of course he then rolled a double 6.
Still, the Scorpion soldiered on, eventually killing both guards and leaving the Runelord in the last turn of combat with 2 wounds left. Up came 2 wounds.
“Saving on a 6 then.”
Damn those 6s.
It was approximately 5 hours too late when I realised I hadn’t rolled a single Stomp attack with the Scorpions all tournament...
So a loss to finish, I was reasonably happy I was able to claw a few points back and avoid a big loss, almost managing to pull it back to a minor loss (damn Anvil saves...).
That left me on 3 wins and 3 losses, and 30th place, which I was quite disappointed with honestly (here comes the not taking it too seriously...).
I don’t like to whinge about dice.
But they were sh!t...
Tomb Kings in 8th seem very hard to play, you cannot afford any mistakes, and while the magic is good it is hard to take advantage of it with so few units capable of breaking the big blocks.
But that’s ok because next tournament I’m playing High Elves...
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,