Last weekend I went to the Age of Santa Age of Sigmar tournament, held at Firestorm Games in Cardiff. This was a two day five game event using the Generals Handbook.
I decided to take my Slaaneshi Daemons, which last got an outing in April at the South Coast GT. My list was a bit different to what I took to the SCGT, mainly as since then the General Handbook had been released and my force now weighed in at 2600+ points. So out went the Soul Grinders and in came The Masque of Slaanesh..
I’d only had one practice game with this new set up, which was a Border Patrol 36-35 loss to Elliot’s Ogres the Wednesday before. How would things go?
A quick apology for opponents names that I’ll forget through this report, and any other inaccuracies.
Day 1, Game 1: Take and Hold
My first game was against Sam Pearson and his Order army, which consisted of a mixture of Free People, Duardin, Fireslayers and an Aelf. I’d heard a bit about the Hurricanum, but not much, and so the list of all its crazy rules was a bit of an early wake up call.
I chose to take first turn, to reduce the potential number of casualties I’d take if I went second and planned to try and get a first turn charge off with my Seekers, to get rid of a cannon or two, but even with a 14” move, a 2D6 run and a 2D6 charge I still failed, resulting in the Seekers getting blasted to pieces in the first turn.
I’ve never had any luck against a gun line and this didn’t change in this game. With my speed I did manage to get most of my army across to my opponents side of the battlefield, but was unable to oust them from their objective. Every time my attacks bounced off the Free Guild troopers, their missile troops would just whittle down my numbers, making if harder and harder on each of the following turns.
Eventually my numbers were reduced to none, and a 4+ on a run roll meant that the Major victory was theirs, as the archers made it on to my objective.
A great hard fought game to start the weekend but a major loss none the less.
Day 1, Game 2: Border War
My second game was against a Nurgle Alliance. A mixture of Daemons and Mortals. I knew what most of this did, as I have a Nurgle force of my own.
I again got to choose if I would go first or second, a trend you’ll find in all my games, and once again chose to go first and start building up my points early on.
On my right flank I moved as far up the battlefield as I could, charging the Blight Kings with my Seekers and moved up my Daemonnettes and the Masque to capture that sides objective. The Masque would prove to be very useful here, as he special ability meant that the Plaguebearers could only move 2” and thus keep them away from the objective as a I built up points.
I was a bit more conservative on the left flank, but still managed to get 5 points from the outset.
The game split into two mini fights, one on each flank, as battle for the two ‘2 point’ objectives went on for a number of turns.
The battle on my left flank, although manned by less models, was very bloody, with fully buffed Plague Flys being able to put out a lot of damage, before having their numbers severely reduced by a very killy Keeper of Secrets. The KoS would eventually die to a Great Unclean one, and this flank's objective would eventually fall, but not without a good fight from the small number of Daemonnettes.
The Right flank was more drawn out as the Masque managed to tank 20 Plaguebearers for ages, thanks to her special ability of rolling a dice, and that number counting as misses against her, before being eventually being crushed under weight of numbers.
As it turned out the whole game came down to the priority roll for turn five. If I could get it I would be able to claim the Nurgle's home objective and my own, giving me 5 vital points. If I lost it, then the Nurgle would be able to wipe me out and claim maximum points.
I lost the dice roll, and the lead in VPs that I had held for four turns was over turned and I lost 15-16 or was it 14-15, I can’t remember. And to rub salt in the wound, I score no VPs either.
Two games, two major losses. It was not looking good.
Day 1, Game 3: Three places of Power
Onto game three, and not quite on the bottom table for me! This time against another Order army, this time it was William Philpott and his High Aelves led by Eltharion.
With my army covering the whole length of the battlefield, my opponent favoured his right flank, leaving the right hand objective alone for me to take. I took first turn and ran forward as far as I could to be able to claim all three objectives early on. In the end I managed to grab the far left one with a Herald, the middle one with The Masque, but failed to run far enough on my uncontested right flank, so only grabbed two out of the three.
Having won the roll off to pick sides, I had chosen to switch, in order to avoid 2 pieces of Mystical Terrain that would have been in my deployment zone. As my army was super quick, I could have probably avoided them, but felt they would be more of a hindrance for my opponent; little did I know how much.
Over the course of the four turns we got in, his White Lions failed 3 out of their 4 rolls, and a couple more units failed once or twice each, meaning that one of the better combat units, did nothing for the whole game. I did fail once with my Fiends, but by the time that happened the game was over.
Eltharion managed to take my left most objective in turn 1, and held it for a number of turns before my Keeper of Secrets who was on +1 (and at times +2) to hit, and Attacking twice, ripped him to pieces. The Masque managed to hold on to her objective for the whole game, amounting maximum points, despite being shot at a lot. The 3+ save for being in cover, helped keep her alive. The right hand objective was never contested and I managed to sit on it from turn 2 onwards.
Although the result never seemed in doubt from turn 3, it was still a bloody affair, with plenty of Daemons being slain, but not before a unit of Fiends took out a 40 ‘man’ unit of spear Aelves in one round of combat. Being able to attack twice helped, along with the +1 to hit and the wound rerolls from Mystical.
Helped by the Aelves inability to move away from Mystical, I managed a 20-2 ( I think) victory, giving me my first Major Victory of the event, a positive end to day 3.
Day 2, Game 4: Gifts from the Heavens
First game on day two was against Ian Gilmore's beautiful Nurgle force. He would win best painted at this event, and rightfully so, it was lovely.
I got to choose if I went first or second again, and this time chose to let Ian have first turn. My plan was to wait until I knew where the meteors fell and then, using my speed, rush the objective and hope to stop him from scoring for at least one round, while I totted up the points on my objective. This ultimately is what happened.
I gave Ian the first turn in Battle Round 2 and his meteor landed in the middle of his deployment zone, when mine landed it was on my left flank. Leaving one unit of Daemonnettes and a Herald to hold my objective, I ran the rest of my force right at the heart of the Nurgle force. The Masque helped slow Ian’s forces down, and with my superior numbers I was able to swamp his objective with bodies, to fulfill my plan of stopping him scoring for at least one turn so I couldn’t be caught.
Once again Mystical terrain played a major part in this game, with some Beastmen failing their roll each time for the first 3 turns. This aided my victory as they were the only unit that really had a chance of stopping me holding my meteor. When they finally did escape the clutches of the Mystical wall, they were jumped on my the Keeper of Secrets to wiped them out in one round of fighting.
So for once, my plan went perfectly, granted it was aided by the help of the dice, not only Mystical terrain but a double 1 charge from The Glottkin in turn 3, which helped me keep the numbers up. Talking of the Glottkin, his vomiting ability was immense, killing 11 Daemonnettes in one round, and the Masque in another, and with all the buffs he was able to out out, he is one scary mother!
Final result was a 15-7 win for me. A second Major victory, with one game to go.
Day 2, Game 5: Blood and Glory
So the final game of the weekend was upon us, and after a little confusion with who was playing who, I eventually faced Steven Phillips' Khorne Bloodbound force. I had only ever faced these guys once, at the hands of Russ Veal so had an idea of what they did, although this army differed with the inclusion of a couple of Cannons.
My plan for this one was to try and hold off my advance until turn 3 and then rush my opponents two objectives and try and get the auto win. This was going to be hard, as although I had the numbers, I knew the cannons would be able to whittle me down before I got there.
I took the first turn, in an attempt to charge and kill the cannons before they could shoot, however, another failed charge and they didn’t make it. I managed to survive their shooting though and winning the 2nd turn priority, finally managed to get in combat with them, with the Fiends and The Masque. In the centre my Daemon Prince and Seekers charged too.
The fiends didn’t manage to survive the cannons attacks and the following shooting, but the Seekers did managed to burst through the Khorne centre. On my right, I slowly advanced, trying not to get within the charge rand of the blood thirsty warriors, and lining up the 3rd turn all-out assault for the win.
I needed the 3rd turn priority win to be able to try and claim the victory, a loss would have put a serious dent in my numbers and made the auto win very difficult. I managed to win the roll 6-5 and started to formulate my winning plan.
The seekers managed to get a 25” move, quickly followed by the Daemon Price to hopefully make enough of a dent to claim the left hand objective, these were backed up by a unit of Daemonnetes who ran their hearts out to get the charge and get some more bodies within 6”.
On my right, I thought I’d made a mistake, I thought I wasn’t close enough, as with even the 6” run I got, I thought I wouldn’t be close enough, however, with a quick rethink, I remembered I could run and charge ( don’t know how Id managed to forget this in the final game of the weekend, I’d used it so much in the last four games!)
Reinvigorated, the Daemonnetes and the Keeper of Secrets hit the Blood Warriors, being careful to engage as little as possible and keep out of the Deadly Trees. Having both units of Daemonnettes immune to battleshock also helped, knowing that any casualties would be removed from the models outside 6” and that no more would die after combat.
A carefully planned out combat phase saw minimal Blood Warriors attacked, to stop them from getting their attack back when they died, and much careful positioning meant that no rogue Khorne units could get pulled into combat, thus not being able to reduce my numbers either.
As the dust settled after all the combats, models were counted and measured to, and I had done enough to claim both objectives and therefore get the auto win at the end of my turn 3. Not much had died, and the VPs would be low, but I’d grabbed another Major Victory.
And so 5 games were over, and what had started with 2 crushing major defeats, had ended with 3 major victories. The final games ended and we gathered for the results.
Although I didn’t manage to pick up any awards I was very pleased to finish 6th, especially after the start I had, a perfect bit of Submarining! There were thoughts back to losing initiative in game 2, which would have given me the win, but that would have meant I’d have played different people, and maybe not got the wins on day 2.
It was a great weekend overall, I had five great games, with five great opponents, all of who I had not played before. Everyone, not just the people I played, was great to talk to and special thanks to Chris and Paddy for putting on a very smooth event.
Roll on the next event, which will be ‘Partners in Chaos’ in February.