Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Age of Sigmar Michigan GT Battle Report

I recently went to the Michigan GT and played in the Age of Sigmar tournament. It was a ton of fun, and since I made it to table one for the last game I figured I would turn this into more of a classic battle report, while also covering the GT in general.

I arrived on Saturday night and managed to get a practice game in against one of my friend's Seraphon. It was a fun game and I was able to pretty soundly beat him. To be fair though, he was really just testing out his Lizards in Matched Play to see if he wanted to keep them or not. Either way, it was a nice start and let me test out my new army list for my Tomb Kings. I took a list extremely similar to this to a local tournament in August and lost all three of my games. I decided to swap out Khalida and the Carrion for a newly painted Tomb Scorpion and my Stalkers to give my army some good distractor units.

The next day was the GT proper. First thing I did was enter their painting competition, which was apparently new for this year. This was my first year going to the GT. I entered my Chaos Lord I had painted for the Golden Demon back in 2013 but had never won anything into the single figure category, my Retributors into the unit category, and Angron into the large model category. With that settled it was time to move onto the tournament.

My first opponent was Branden, who had a Chaos army of Tzeentch and Slaanesh. He said this was his first game of AoS ever, but he had been watching lost of battle reports online, and actually knew of me from Warhammer Weekly. I told him I would help with throughout the game and point out some stuff he could do. We played Take and Hold. It started off really well for me, with my chariots sweeping along the left flank while the rest of my army started either shooting off his army or advancing up the center. He had put all of his characters, including Kairos, in the right hand corner, out of range of my catapult. It came down to the start of turn three with my chariots and Settra poised to take control of his objective and potentially win the game. I won the dice roll, but reminded him that he could use Kairos' ability to change one dice roll per game, so he did and took the initiative. I was never able to get ahold of his objective and when the game ended due to time I had won a minor victory, barely. I was ahead by only 20 points. 

My second game was against Josh and his Skaven. First off, this force is beautiful, painted with mostly only washes, and painted in less then 7 days. It was fairly impressive. The mission was Three Places of Power. Man, this was a brutal game. In the first few turns I was doing fairly well, and apologized to him for how many dice I was rolling per unit when they attacked since he just had to sit there while I worked out 40 arrow shots, or 90 spear attacks. The tables were quickly turned on me though once he started winning the initiative, and his Hell Pit Abomination and Vermin Lord chewed through my chariots, Settra, the Liche Priest, and the Herald. I had managed to get my Tomb King on foot onto the rightmost objective though on my turn one and he hadn't been able to dislodge him. Plus he had the ring of immortality on even if he did die. He had no combat units close enough to challenge him and if he shot him he would just pop right back up on the objective since no one else was there to claim it. Our TO ruled that if that happened then I would still count as having been in control of the objective for however many turns had happened. In the end I won a major victory by two victory points, but all I had left was my King on foot, my Tomb Guard, and half my Catapult. It was probably the most brutal and bloody victory I have gotten. Also, I had apparently forgotten to ever bring my Tomb Scorpion and Stalkers on the table, so there's that.

For the last game I found myself up on table one facing off against Donnie and his Beastclaw Raiders. Both people who had faced him so far told me they pretty much just bounced off his army and they are both really good players too. I was pretty skeptical about my chances going into this game, especially since I had never fought a monster heavy army like his before. If I could win this I had a chance of winning the tournament though, a position I didn't imagine happening this weekend, so on I went. The scenario was Blood and Glory, the one where there are four objectives, one in the center of each corner. You just have to have more models near it at the end of your turn to claim it, then you can move off of it and it stays yours until the enemy claims it. For a Major Victory you have to claim all four by the end of turn five, or if you can't, then it comes down to kill points for a Minor Victory. Luckily I took enough pictures of the game that I was able to put together a pretty detailed battle report in the style of the old White Dwarf ones with maps and arrows. Enjoy!

The Armies and Pre-Battle Thoughts

(S) King Pharakh (Settra The Imperishable) (360)
- General
(K) Tomb King (100)
- Dynastic Blade & Shield
(H) Tomb Herald (100)
(L) Liche Priest (120)
- Artefact: Black Amulet
(N) Necrotect (100)

Skeleton Chariots x 3 (140)
(C2) Skeleton Chariots x 3 (140)
(SP) Skeleton Warriors x 30 (240)
- Ancient Spear & Crypt or Tomb Shield
(TG) Tomb Guard x 10 (160)
- Bronze Halberd
(ST) Sepulchral Stalkers x 3 (140)
(TS) Tomb Scorpions x 1 (80)
(A) Skeleton Archers x 20 (200)

War Machines
Screaming Skull Catapult (120)

Total: 2000/2000

Like I said, I was pretty skeptical about my chances here. I figured my best bet would be to concentrate on one monster at a time instead of spreading my forces thin. My plan was to use my archers and catapult to hopefully kill or mortally wound one of them before they ever hit my lines, and then use Settra and the Chariots to finish them off. My Scorpion and Stalkers were going to be my objective grabbers, popping up behind him to take his objectives from him while I fought his army in the mid-field. With the loose plan in mind I started deploying...

Donnie's Beastclaw Raiders
Frostlord on Stonehorn (460)
- General
(H) Huskard on Thundertusk (340)

(M) Mournfang Pack x 4 (400)
(Y) Icefall Yhetees x 3 (120)

(SH) Stonehorn Beastriders (360)
(TT) Thundertusk Beastriders (320)

Total: 2000/2000

Donnie: I built my list being a smash and grab kind of list. I knew with taking Beastclaw Raiders that my options were limited. I had no options for magic and very little options for magic defense. The same goes for shooting. In my previous game versus a Death army I tried to eliminate his casters before they could start raising stuff. When I looked at your army I was thinking the same think until I realized that you didn’t have a summoning pool. So I wasn’t sure what to do as my plan of attack. With this being my first time playing against a full Tomb King death army I wasn’t sure where the strengths and weaknesses were. As I look over the army I saw the Catapult and the large unit of archers being the main threats. The rest of it didn’t look too threatening other than Settra. I thought I could focus on the shooting units first and clean up from there. At least that was the plan… So I took the first turn and ran across the battlefield.



My first two deployments were choosing to put my Sepulchral Stalkers and Tomb Scorpion beneath the sands, so I got to see how he was going to deploy a bit before any of my models went down. Like in my previous two games I decided to deploy my chariots all along one flank, with my ranged units anchoring the center. I would have bunkered up completely on one side, but I needed to make sure I had a unit on the objective on the right, so put my spearmen over there. My Tomb Guard stayed in the center, ready to move to whichever side needed them. 

The most challenging thing was making sure all of my heroes were within range of any possible unit they may need to buff. Settra had to be within 18" of the Tomb King so he could allow that character's command ability to be used, but also within 18" of the rest of the army for his own buff. At the same time I wanted him over on the left flank with the other chariots. My deployment phase consisted of a lot of measuring before I placed anything. Since Donnie finished deploying long before me, he got to choose who took the first turn, which he took.

Beastclaw Raiders Turn 1

Beastclaw Raiders Turn 1

He rolled for his Everwinter ability and got a free 3" move in his hero phase, promptly moving everything forward. He hung his Mournfang and Yhetees back a bit though since they had to be within 6" of their objectives at the end of the turn to claim them. In his shooting phase he quickly targeted my Screaming Skull Catapult, easily destroying it with one of the Thundertusk's Blast of Frost-Wreathed Breath.

He then killed my Necrotect with both of his Harpoon Launchers. I believe he also took out a few of my archers in the shooting phase, but it doesn't really matter since he charged his Stonehorn in and completely demolished the unit in close combat. Three of my 20 archers actually survived the combat, but there was no way for them to make their battleshock test and they were taken off the table. One of them did manage to take one wound off the beast though before crumbling.

Tomb Kings Turn 1

Tomb Kings Turn 1

Well that put a little bit of a damper on my plans. My archers had been so useful in my previous games at pretty much deleting enemy units, which is what I had planned to do here. Now with no significant ranged fire to speak of I decided I just needed to throw everything into combat that I could. Settra popped his command ability which gives all Death units within 18" +1 to hit in combat, and all Deathrattle units also get +1 to wound. I used my Tomb King's My Will Be Done ability on the Tomb Guard, giving them a further +1 to hit, and also cast Righteous Smiting on them from my Liche Priest, which makes any sixes to hit generate additional attacks. I also use Settra's Incantation of the Desert Wind on the leftmost unit of Chariots, doubling their movement and making them fly. 

In my movement phase I advanced Settra, the Tomb Guard, Tomb King, and Spearmen towards the Stonehorn that had demolished my archers. I figured my best bet was to concentrate everything on one beast at a time. Both of my chariot units sped towards the Huskard on Thundertusk, while my Sepulchral Stalkers and Tomb Scorpion popped up behind the nice soft Yhetees. I ran the Herald over towards the left objective along with the catapult crew and made sure to string my spearmen out so a few were still within range of the right objective. In my shooting phase the bows from the Chariots managed to inflict a wound on the Yhetees, while the Sepulchral Stalkers also peeled a few wounds off of the Huskard with their mortal wound shooting attack.

On to the combat phase I charged everything I had and only failed with the Tomb Scorpion. I decided to attack with the Tomb Guard first to make sure I got all of their attacks in. With all of their buffs they were hitting on twos, wounding on twos, generating additional attacks on to hits rolls of four, and doing double damage on to wound rolls of five. They were pretty killy. I believe after all of the dice were rolled the Stonehorn only had two wounds left. 

Next Donnie decided to attack with his regular Thundertusk and killed one of the Chariots in the first unit. Not wanting to lose too much fighting power I attacked with my second unit of chariots. They have double attacks on the charge and were plus one to hit and wound thanks to Settra, but the Thundertusks made them minus one to wound making them hitting on fours and wounding on threes. In true Warhammer fashion the horses did more damage than the charioteers. 

Deciding to take a shot at Settra before he went done the Stonehorn attacked next, but with all of Settra's saves only one wound went through. He has a three plus normal save, then a five up save against any damage that gets through thanks to his Brooch of Usirian, and finally a six up save due to the Death allegiance ability against anything that gets through that. The King of Kings easily finished off the Stonehorn in reply. His Huskard took a few wounds off the chariots, but couldn't kill any. The Stalkers killed on Yhetee and the other Chariot unit managed to bring the Huskard down to one wound. This was a crucial initiative roll, and after the dice settled it went to the Tomb Kings!

Tomb Kings Turn 2

Tomb Kings Turn 2

This was a pretty important turn for me to get, otherwise he may have easily overwhelmed me with all of his monsters ganging up on me. In my hero phase I used all of the same buffs since it worked so well for me last time and advanced everything forward. The chariot unit that had suffered a casualty was back up to full strength this turn as well thanks to their banner.The units that had killed the Stonehorn moved towards the Frost Lord next. I also used Settra's fly ability on the Tomb Herald and ran him to get him as close to Settra as possible. If a Tomb Herald is within 3" of a Death hero they can take any wounds on themselves that would have gone on the hero. I figured I might need the insurance going up against the army general. 

In the shooting phase my chariots shot into the Yhetees a bit more but did nothing. The Stalkers though managed to kill the Huskard, turning her to a pillar of sand to be blown away on the wind. With the chariots now freed up I charged them into the Thundertusk. The Tomb Scorpion charged the Yhetees, and Settra, the Tomb Guard, and Spearmen charged the Frost Lord.

I went with the Tomb Guard first again, and although they didn't do quite as good as they had last turn, they still managed to take a bunch of wounds off.  Wanting to try and kill Settra, the Frost Lord put all of his attacks on the Imperishable One. He did a bunch of wounds, but only managed to kill the Herald since any unsaved wounds went on him instead. When it came back to me I attacked with my spearmen. Being 30 strong they each get three attacks, and with a 2" range they can effectively fight three ranks deep. This meant I got around 75 attacks, hitting on threes and wounding on threes due to all of the buffs. Suffice to say, the Frost Lord didn't survive. There's nothing like a monumental amount of normal attacks to bring down anything you want. His Thundertusk then smashed up my first unit of chariots, taking out two of them. 

With no enemy left to fight, and being within 3" of the Thundertusk Settra piled in over there and finished off the last big beast.In the combat in the corner I managed to kill one more Yhetee while he killed on Stalker in return. My Tomb Scorpion did nothing at all, which is pretty much what he's done ever since I painted him. Curse of the new model.

Beastclaw Raiders Turn 2

Beastclaw Raider Turn 2

In his second turn Donnie rolled for the Everwinter and got the extra 3" move again. Without much else to do he advanced his Mournfang and charged into the spearmen. Though they can dish out the attacks, the skeleton warriors are pretty much a glass cannon, and they completely crumpled under their attacks, losing all 30 of them. In the other combat the Yhetees and Stalkers failed to kill each other, while my Scorpion continued to look on and provide moral support.

With combat done it came time for another initiative roll and...

Tomb Kings Turn 3

Tomb Kings Turn 3

The Tomb Kings won it. I charged Settra, the Tomb Guard, the Tomb King, and the second Chariot unit into the Mournfang, while the depleted chariots went to go help the Stalkers and give the Tomb Scorpion an encouraging pat on the back. The Tomb Guard were super buffed again and managed to do a whole bunch of wounds but didn't kill the Mournfang. In return they took out two of their number, before the Tomb King on foot managed to take out the remaining models. On the other side of the table the Stalkers killed the Yhetees, removing all Beastclaw Raiders from the table and netting me a win. Donnie and I both agreed on tabling being a Major Victory, but when we looked it up later the scenario doesn't end until turn five, not when an army is killed, so my chariots would have been able to grab his last objective and net a Major Victory anyway.

Tomb Kings Final

Post-Game Thoughts

Tyler: This was a real surprise win for me. I went into this game expecting to get pulverized and at the best maybe pull out a super bloody victory while losing most of my army. My original plan to focus fire on one beast at a time went out the window pretty early on when all my major ranged units were killed turn one. The ability to essentially throw half of my army at one beast, and the other half at the other was a big help. I knew I had to overwhelm the ogors and stack the deck in my favor as much as I could. This is the first game where my Tomb Guard have preformed this well. They usually act as my back up unit, but in this game they really showed their worth. I would say they are my unit of the match for sure. Winning the initiative roll for the second turn was huge and who knows what would have happened had Donnie won. My army would be a lot more beaten up, that's for sure. It was a super fun game and a true challenge. I'm pleased that my strategy of putting all my chariots on one flank and sweeping from one side to the other worked so well for me in all of my games. It's a real world strategy that translates well to the table. Now that everyone can read how my army works though I will have to switch it up a bit for Adepticon. Donnie was a great guy to play and I definitely look forward to a rematch against his ogors in the future.

Donnie: Well, Tyler had a much bigger surprise in his list than I thought, Settra! I knew he would be a little tough but didn’t realize the synergies that he has. With all of the buffs and bonus, just wow! Just 10 Tomb Guard managed to put out 22 attacks hitting on 2+ and extra attacks on 4+, while wounding on a 2+ with double damage on a 5+. That resulted in 25 wounds a turn, didn’t see that coming. Not to mention the 90 attacks put out by the skeleton spearmen.

Looking back at the game I would have taken the bottom of turn 1 instead of taking the top. Let you move up and take a 1st round of shooting and then counter charge with my things double teaming yours instead of the other way around. Tyler played a great game with a well-balanced list. Can wait for the rematch.

I managed to win Best Death General as well as Best Overall at the AoS tournament which was awesome, and my first tournament trophy ever! In the painting competition my Chaos Lord also managed to win Best Single Figure and Best Overall. I ended the weekend with four awards, three trophies, a big Mierce dragon model, a Nagash model, and a Sotar airbrush for winning Best Overall in painting. To say I was happy is a bit of an understatement! I want to give a big thank you to Brad, aka Rhellion, as well for running the tournament.

I'm eagerly looking forward to the next tournament and hopefully I can do just as well at Adepticon this year.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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