Monday, November 16, 2015

From the inside

If you haven't noticed by now, I really like Mantic Games Kings of War.  I teach it at conventions, I run events for it, and I am a Mantic Pathfinder as well.  

One thing I don't get to do as much however is play.  In fact, since I started playing Kings of War, I have run twenty-one (yes, I went back and counted over the past three years) tournaments.  While I did have the ringer army in some of them, it isn't quite like playing for real.

Up until the last few months, there were only a couple of US tournaments I did not run - the first tournament at Adepticon (and I so wanted to play in it - long story) and one in Chicago last thanksgiving weekend.  In the last few months however, with the huge influx of former WFB players swelling the ranks, tournaments are starting to pop up everywhere, and not just the ones I'm running.
(In fact, I've started maintaining a page just to list the upcoming tournaments right here on the blog - check the link to the right).

So this past weekend I did something I have never before done - I went to a Kings of War tournament as just a player.  This was run by Jason Turner in Indianapolis (about a two hour drive for me).   Originally it was to be part of a larger WFB GT (with the KoW tournament Saturday night), but then IndyWarCon was cancelled due to lack of registration.  Not to let a little thing like not having a place to play stop him, Jason recruited one of his friends (Johnny McGinnis) to open up his house to a bunch of gamers - and the small tournament was on!

So my son Jon and I set out about 8 am for the drive to Indianapolis.  Unfortunately Kara, Amy and Dave weren't able to make it like they planned, but it did not deter us.  The navigator on my phone said that I-70 had construction going on that was really slowing it down, so we went down by Cincinnati and up I-74 instead - only taking a few minutes longer than the more direct route.

We weren't the last ones there, nor did we travel the furthest at Mike Muller, a fellow pathfinder from the Chicago area, had also made it down.  Johnny and Jason had four tables set up (though they could have made room for two more if need be), however we only had six players so it was more than enough.

I helped Jason set up warscore (and if you aren't using warscore to run your tournaments - why not?  It is free, uses java so runs on both PC and Mac, and the associated web site allows both TOs and players to track their events as well as automatically provides rankings.

This was a smaller, 1500 pt tournament.  I made up a quick list for my Abyssal Dwarfs (Jason wasn't allowing beta lists - nor are my Ratkin finished yet)

2 Regiments of Immortal Guard
Troop of Gargoyles
2 Hordes of Lesser Obsidian Golems (never leave home with them!)
2 Dragon Fire-Team
2 Katsuchan Rocket Launcher
Abyssal Halfbreed Champion
Iron-caster w/ surge(8)
Greater Obsidian Golem

My first game was against Bryan Mitchel and his dwarfs in a "Kill" scenario.  While this was an open tournament, no everyone had extra copies of their lists.  Bryan did however, so I faced

Regiment of Bulwarkers w/Throwing Mastiff
2 Regiments of Ironclad
2 Troops of IronWatch Rifles
Regiment of Rangers w/ War-bow of Kaba
Regiment of Berserker Brock Riders w/ Brew of Strength
3 Ironbelcher Cannons
Army Standard Bearer
Warsmith

Bryan had not been playing long, and did not realize that he could not use the rangers normal ranged attack AND the war-bow at the same time (so, unfortunately, the war bow was wasted).  We both put our war engines on hills (I picked the higher one) but neither side was remarkable for them (In this edition I much prefer organ guns over cannons for dwarfs, especially when using a war smith).

I moved my gargoyles up flank, out of range and LOS of his cannons - and then his Bulwarkers moved up and released the mastiff.  I had tried the abyssal version of this in the prior edition and was never impressed with it - but boy was it effective here.  While Bryan failed to hit on three of his five attacks - the then continued to hit and wound with the other two dice - eventually causing 8 wounds tot the gargoyles and seeing them off as the first causality of the day.
Girding my loins for the charge.
 I took a defensive setup, with immortal guard in the ruins and obsidian golems behind the fence - so that he would be hindered if he charged them (and I would not be charging back).  He chose only to charge the immortal guard however.  The held, and I ended up charging his brock riders with both units of golems (taking the hindered penalty) - the 36 attacks and CS2 still took out the brock riders, while the center combat was more evenly matched.  Meanwhile on the flank my dragon fire teams kept roasting the rangers until they finally routed after a few turns, followed by the bulwarkers for whom they did the same thing.
Roasted dwarf, it's what's for dinner.
Even rolling snake-eyes for the nerve test on a cannon charged by my halfbreed champion did not help him out - and the only thing he had left at the end of the 7th turn was one cannon - again due to rolling snake-eyes once more.  I think I only lost the gargoyles and a unit of Immortal Guard - ending in a 19 - 1 victory for me.

We all headed to taco-bell for lunch, then the next game was on.  This was an "Invade" scenario, and I faced off against Johnny McGinnis and his Basilean force.

I didn't get a copy of his full list, but he did have
Basilean Lord on Dragon w/ brew of haste
2 Regiments of Elohi
Regiment of Men at Arms
Regiment of Penitents
Regiment of Sisters
Regiment of Knights
Ur-Elohi

While I had hoped I would be able to handle some flyers with my champion and surge - it was not to be.  The dragon and angels came around one flank where they first wiped out a unit of immortal guard before using their speed to just leap over my champion (M8 v M10 (M11 for the dragon with the brew of haste)).
I hoped I would be able to knock out the angels - but it was not to be.
I did ok against all the ground units, killing the knights, penintents, men @ arms and sisters, but with the flying units healing after I shot them due to every unit having Iron Resolve (heal a wound each time they get a steady result for a nerve check).  I did make a mistake near the end, but it honestly did not make enough of a difference.
Good defense and strength helped to fight the ground troops - the flyers however...
 At the end of the game, I had one immortal guard regiment across the line - while he had all of his flying units on my side.  Points wise we weren't that far apart however and I was slightly ahead, so ended up 7 - 13 points.

For the final game - it turned to me vs. my son.  He was playing his undead, and we fought a standard "Pillage" scenario, rolling 6 objectives.   He had won both his prior games 20-0, so I knew I had a challenge (and lately I have been losing to him a LOT).

His undead list:
Troop of Wraiths
Regiment of Mummies
2 Legions of Zombies
Horde of Werewolves w/ brew of Strength
Regiment of Revenant Cavalry
Vampire on Undead Dragon w/ Ensorcelled Armor

We were back on the same table I'd played game one on, but I was on the other side.  I put one horde of golems and the greater golem on one flank, near an objective facing his cavalry, mummies and one of the zombies legions (on an objective).  In the center was the dragon and other zombies, while on the other flank was the werewolves and wraiths.

The fast werewolves and wraiths quickly took a dragon fire-team and both the rocket launchers.  However he over committed his vampire on dragon, charging it into my gargoyles (which did not even put up a fight (CS 3 vs DE 3+ ). but left him vulnerable to my halfbreed champion charging him on the flank, while I was able to maneuver my horde of golems so that the iron-caster only needed one success on his surge(8) to push them also into the flank of the vampire.   I thought I was pretty much done for when they failed to rout him on the first hit - he counter charged the golems but with only 10 attacks and did not get good rolls, so they held, and on the second charge took him out.

The werewolves took out a unit of immortal guard, then charged the golems along with the wraiths.   But he was not able to rout them, and the other unit of immortal guard and golems took them out eventually.  However they weren't able to even reach the center zombies sitting on the objective.

At the end of the game, the immortal guard held and objective on the hill, and the zombies held another.

Meanwhile the golems on the flank managed to take out the cavalry, and then combined with the greater golem fought the mummies for two turns before they were able to finally rout those regenerating nasties.  Meanwhile the remaining dragon fire team kept pouring flames onto the legion of zombies, but never did enough to break them.  The golems were just out of reach after turn 6, and we did not get a turn seven, so I wasn't able to get the zombies off their objective, while the greater golem held one.
Missed charging the zombies by this much
 The game ended in a tie, but I had taken out all of Jon's expensive units, so final score was 12-8.

In the end, Jon took first place, Bryan took best painted and Todd Dunn took Best Sportsman.  Everyone walked away with some type of prize
Jason and Jon (with yet another tournament win)
Final results (you can see more information including player rankings on the event page on warscore)

NameOpponentsBattle
Jon CarterTodd Dunn, Mike Muller, Mike Carter48
Johnny McGinnisMike Muller, Mike Carter, Bryan Mitchell35
Mike CarterBryan Mitchell, Johnny McGinnis, Jon Carter34
Mike MullerJohnny McGinnis, Jon Carter, Todd Dunn25
Bryan MitchellMike Carter, Todd Dunn, Johnny McGinnis22
Todd DunnJon Carter, Bryan Mitchell, Mike Muller16
It was a great time even though it was a small event.  I think everyone had fun, and we are hoping to be able to grow the player base in this area.

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