This past weekend I attended Blackout ran by Chris Tomlin from The Black Sun podcast, held at Firestorm Games in Cardiff. This was the first UK tournament to use the General's Handbook 2017, which had come out a week previous.
I have been using my Bonesplitterz in the last few tournaments I have attended, but with the changes to their allegiance in the new handbook, this time I took my Slaanesh. The last time I used this army was at Age of Santa last December, which was also at Firestorm Games, where I came 6th.
Game 1: Total Conquest vs Paul Buckler's Kharadron Overlords
For my first game I had a grudge against Paul's Overlords. I have never played these before, so didn't know what to expect apart from a lot of shooting. Total Conquest is about controlling four objectives, but with the added twist that if you are able to take an objective off your opponent you score 2 vps instead of 1.
We set up, with my army making sure that the Overlords were not able to unleash their firepower in the first turn. Paul gave me the first turn though, and I used this to push up on my right flank where I was still able to stay our of range of his guns. Notice the Gryph hound hiding in the top right hand corner of the board.
With the Duardin's second turn they sent their balloon laden troops towards me doing plenty of damage to my Hellflayers and one unit of Daemonnettes. Seeing that these were the main threat on my objectives I made them the target of my turn 2 attacks with my Keeper of Secrets making light work of one unit whilst the other unit was chipped away at before they failed a Battleshock test which saw them removed from play.
In my second turn I sent everything forward as fast as possible managing to roll an 11, 11, 12 and 12 for my charges. With each of these charges having +2" from the Slaaneshi allegiance ability, I was easily able to hit the Kharadron lines and inflict lots of damage.
Unfortunately I lost the roll off for turn three priority, and found out first first hand how good my opponent's shooting really was, loosing the majority of my units in one turn.
The Daemonnnettes holding the objective on the left of the picture below were reduced to their final member, the banner bearer, and were about to lose the objective, when I popped a 1 for battleshock and saw 6 daemons return to the battlefield and thus hold on to their objective.
After this roll, I was still ahead in the scenario points, and with the Kharadron's having lost their main base of mobility, I was able to retreat and hold on to the lead. Game one ended in a major win for me, in a really fun game, that I have to thank a timely 1 for.
Game 2: Duality of Death vs Nicholas Nunn's Chaos
My second game was against a mixed Chaos army, consisting of mainly Skaven with some Plaguebearers in the mix. He had a three behemoths that could cause me some problems, as well as 6 Stormfiends who were ready to pop up at any time to take out my characters.
In the first turn I spread out as much as I could in order to restrict where the Stormfiends could deploy, but in my cautiousness didn't manage to tag any of the objectives. Both armies got closer together in turn two with my Seekers crashing into the Skaven Clanrats, wiping them out in one combat, and then hanging about in their deployment zone giving them something to think about.
A unit of Daemonnettes got into combat with the Abomination, managing to get it down to 1 wound with their double pile in an attack, killing it in the next turn, only to see it raise from the grave, waiting to be killed again.
In the centre, the Hellflayers and Plaguebearers showed off their inability to do any damage, taking each other on for the whole of the battle.
I managed to tag both of the objectives from turn two, and with no real threats they managed to rick up the victory points whilst the rest of my army, kept the Skaven and Nurgle busy.
The Stormfiends took up residency on my right flank but the Daemonnettes that were fed to them managed to hold them up long enough, with the help of the Hellstriders, to allow me to get an unassailable lead.
By the time that Thanquol finally managed to make his way to the objective shown above, I was already 16-0 up, finally winning the game 16-1. With two wins, it was a great start to the weekend.
Game 3: Battle for the pass vs Donal Taylor's Beastclaw Raiders
The final game of day one was against an army that was so small in number that I almost had more drops than Donal had models! Battle for the Pass is essentially Border War from the General's Handbook 1 but done sown the length of the board instead of the traditional set up.
Having had chance to think about this game, I know I played this all wrong tactically. I set up quite conservatively, knowing that if I went second I would get charged, and if I went first I could sneak forward and get the usual first turn five points. I was given first turn and did just that, grabbing the early five points, but giving the Beastclaw a chance to charge me in the first turn, which they did. What I should have done was let Donal come towards me, and then use my speed to get round him and swamp his objective and control the central ones from behind him.
Good play and great dice from Donal, combined with a suicidal first turn charge with my Seekers and horrendous dice for both attacks and the priority meant that I was never going to win this game.
It was close until turn four with both of us scoring 5 points in each of the previous three turns, but eventually my numbers began to dwindle and with the fifth turn to come I threw in the towel and my winning streak had come to an end. Good play by an experienced player and stupid mistakes on my part gave Donal his third win.
Game 4: Scorched Earth vs Joel Smith's Nurgle
The first game of Sunday was against Joel's Nurgle, which was a mix of Daemons, Mortals and Skaven. I had taken more pictures, but they were a bit blurry.
The objective in this scenario is to control the 6 objectives, and if you control an opponents objective you can 'burn' it to gain an instant D3 victory points or take 1 for each turn you hold it.
The Nurgle force had three units of 30 plaguebearers, one on each objective, so I knew it would be hard work to break them down, therefore I decided to overwhelm the right hand objective as I looked and try and hold on to mine for as long as possible.
I gave the Nurgle the first turn, so I could get the chance of a double turn to increase the chances of sending a god portion of my army into the right hand, as I looked, of Joel's objectives.
This could have gone terribly wrong as both the Plagueclaw catapults hit one of my units of Daemonettes, but Joel was unlucky to roll two double ones to inflict only 4 deaths instead of an average of 14. In turn two he had similar luck, failing to wound with one shot and only causing 4 damage on a double two with the second.
I managed to hit one objective hard and took control of it after one round of combat, but due to my increased numbers held of burning it straight away. As the Nurgle slithered forward, I managed to exploit a hole in his defenses and using the Seekers superior speed rand 27 inches from through his lines to take control of the left objective too, burning it straight way. As the game went on, the Nurgle numbers began to drop and the amount of attacks the Slaanesh troops were able to put out alongside the debuffs to hit that affected the Nurgle's ability to cause damage. Once the Verminlord had dropped, the game swung in the Slaaneshi's favour and in the last turn, the final two objectives were burnt for six points to give me an unassailable lead. I had my third win of the weekend.
Game 5: Starstrike vs Michael Vernon's Death
My last game was against a skeleton horde. With three units of 40 skeletons, this was going to be a hard slog, although I knew I had a major speed advantage so if I played this smart I had a very good chance to get my fourth win.
The two battle-lines had a lot of infantry ready to rip into each other, my battle line had a few kinks in it to avoid the mystical terrain, I couldn't afford to standing about while the shambling warriors made their way towards my half of the board.
Michael had first turn and shambled forwards, hoping to form a defensive line so that he could grab his meteor and hope his large amount of numbers could swamp the eventual central objective. I had other ideas and charged almost my entire force into his lines, with only the Hell Striders holding back so to only debuff the skeleton attacks and leave themselves open to redeployment once the objectives turned up.
On my left hand side I used the Damned terrain to buff my Daemonnettes, and they managed to kill 21 skeletons in one round of combat, ridding them of their useful size buffs. Elsewhere I managed to cut down the Undead numbers, whilst using my Seekers to slip through hole Michael had left in his lines.
As turn two began the first meteor landed on my right hand side, which was my weakest at present, but winning priority meant I could bolster the numbers and take the first vps of the game. the rest of my force kept whittling down the skeleton warriors, whilst slowly taking out some Black Knights at the same time. The Undead's ability to bring warriors back meant that they too got two vps in their second turn to level it up.
Both of the remaining meteors landed in their central locations which was bad for the Undead as I was already standing waiting for the one that landed in my deployment zone, and winning priority again meant that I could swamp the one in the middle of Michael's deployment zone. Thinning the numbers meant that I scored the maximum 9 points in my turn three, and with the Undead's numbers down to minimal levels it was looking bleak.
A cheeky Necromancer killing the last of the Hellflayers with a 6 to hit, wound and then generate the damage couldn't turn the tide, and with time running out, the game was over and I got my fourth win. Michael had done nothing wrong, and losing every priority didn't help his cause. A double turn for him in any of the turns would have changed the course of the game and made it a lot harder.
So all the games were over and I had managed to get those four wins that had eluded me in so many tournament. I have come away with 3 wins so many times it was amazing to finally do it, even if I had been very lucky to miss the all the Khorne and Tzeentch forces in attendance that weekend.
As the prizes were given out I was over the moon to find out that I had finished 6th. Thanks to a single sporting vote, I had jumped from 11th up to my second sixth place finish at Firestorm Games.
I had a thoroughly great weekend and had five great games of Age of Sigmar against five great people, met up with tournament buddies, and met some new people too. Many thanks to Chris Tomlin for another great event, cant wait for your next one, presumably sometime next year.
I really enjoyed using the Slaanesh, their speed was unbelievable, and caught all my opponents by surprise, I'm sure as they're seen more and more on the battlefield people will learn what to do to counter them.
I don't have any more tournament lined up this year now, but if there is something in December or even late November, I may be able to get out to one of them. Failing that I'm sure there will be plenty of things on in the new year, and fingers crossed my Fimir will be ready for South Coast 2018 in some guise or another.
Talking of Fimir, hopefully my next blog post will have an update on their progress, as the forty Lesser Fimir I have finished get to stand on their own bases.