This weekend I was at Bristol Smash, a 2000 point Age of Sigmar matched play tournament, held at Bristol Independent Gaming.
Not having played any games of AoS since The South Cast GT, I had a couple of practive games the week before to get my eye in, but with Seraphon, and not with the Bonesplitterz I eventually took.
My list, as seen below, was Identical to the one I took to SCGT, which in turn was only slightly different to the list I took to Tomorrow Burns, where I had two units of 30 boyz instead of the three units of 20 I took this time.
Game 1: Blood and Glory vs Phil Ashley's Stormcast
For my first game I was on the bottom table, which was placed inside the boxing ring (who knew it would be so hard to climb in) against Phil's Stormcast. I had played Phil and his Stormcast at SCGT16 where we had a really great game, so was looking forward to this one.
Phil had a Hammerstrike force, with plenty of Paladins, which all hid in the sky, waiting to drop down and kick some Orruk ass. I took first turn and attempted to take out the Azyros before it had chance to take out my Big Boss and neutralise my Kunnin Rukk. The charge worked, but they weren't able to take him out, and he managed to do the deed in Phil's first turn.
The Hammerstrike landed turn one, and charged into the left hand side of my army, and there they would stay for the whole game, as both sides slowly grinded each other down. The Big Stabbas doing the most damage once their dice came good.
The game was all Phil's for the first couple of turns, but changed as soon as he rolled seven 2's when trying to hit with his Lord Celestant on Drakoth; he was the killed when my Wardokk used his Wurrgog Mask to kill him in the following hero phase.
In the last turn I managed to secure one of Phil's objectives while holding mine and grabbed a minor victory. Another great game, and I hope to play Phil again soon.
Game 2: Gift from the Heavens vs James Box's Mixed Destruction
James's mixed destruction had Thundertusks, Bonesplitterz, Ironjawz, and Moonclan! Knowing how tough these guys could be, I sat back as far as I could, so not to lose all of my army early on, and also to wait for the comets to land and react the best I could.
I was handed the first go in turn two, and my comet landed in the middle of my side, which was probably the worst place for it to be. James's comet landed on his left hand side, which was on the opposite side to his Ironjawz but was behind a screen of Thundertusks.
I thought I was in trouble as James's force converged on my objective, but after the Big Stabbas put 15 wounds into the Stonehorn, and my Shamen managed to kill the Megaboss, things looked a little more rosey.
In the end the scores were level going into turn five, which I got to go first in. I got my Maniak Boarboyz, onto his objective to score, and managed to deny James from scoring on mine in his turn, to take a major win in what was a very close and tense game.
Game 3: Three places of Power vs Matt Arnold's Mixed Chaos
I've got to know Matt from attending a lot of tournaments that he's been at over the last year, but never played him, so this was going to be fun.
Matt normally has pure Skaven, but had swapped in 3o Bloodletters and Sayl the Faithless instead.
I took first turn and managed to get two of my heros on to objectives, knowing that getting an early lead would be a good thing, however I knew they'd struggle to survive the first turn, which they didn't.
Matt met me in the middle of the board on the left hand side of the battlefield in mass combat, where as the right hand side of the board was pretty empty, except for my Wardokk and some Boyz. His characters hung back, which was a surprise to me, and which would in the end cost him the game.
As the game carried on the combat on the left dragged on, and because of the masses of bodies, no characters could get anywhere near the objectives. Meanwhile on the right, my Wardokk jumped on the objective and totted up the points.
Eventually as the game came to an end, I was well ahead on VPs and had managed to grab my third victory of the day. Another great game, full of banter and an offer to buy my Bonesplitterz off me.
So day one was over, I had one minor and two major victories, and would be on table three the next day. I was very surprised to be this high, as at the start of the weekend thought it would be a struggle after seeing some of the armies on show.
Game 4: Escalation vs Ben Harper's Sylvaneth
During my three wins, I hadn't scored a great deal of kill points, so was at the lower end of the undefeated players, so managed to avoid the masses of Sky Fires.
I'd played Sylvaneth a few times before and knew how annoying they could be, but having over one hundred bodies on the board compared to Ben's 30 odd, I thought I would have a good chance in this scenario.
Ben went first and after a few added woods, and some movement shenanigans managed to take out my Big Boss and therefore neutralise my Kunnin Rukk. I wasn't too bothered about this, as it meant that the six Kurnoth Hunters hadn't whittled down my scoring units.
I managed to take a 4-0 lead at the end of turn 3, but losing priority for turn 4 (I lost every priority roll in this game) the game turned as finally the mass punching power of the Sylvaneth took its toll and my numbers began to dwindle.
In the end the game was lost as my ability to score became harder and harder, my first loss of the weekend, maybe I had peaked too soon!
Game 5: Ghoul Patrol vs Ricky Mee's Death
I was hoping to draw an easy game for game five and get that illusive fourth win, but instead met Ricky and his beautiful Death army.
I managed to fail to cast Hand of Gork three times in the game, which really cost me the game. I did manage to get the usual 5 points on turn one, and so did Ricky, and on turn 2 we exchanged points again.
I needed to win priority on turn three to have a chance of scraping a win, and after three tied rolls, lost on a 5 vs 6 result. Bloody Black Sun dice, the bane of my life!
With this result Ricky's army managed to do the damage it needed to turn the game in his favour, and so my hopes of a 4th victory slipped away.
The final highlight of the weekend was the Wardokk and his mask as he took out 3 (or maybe 4) Blood knights after a string of about 10 D3 mortal wounds until succoming to that inevitable 1 or 2 to kill himself.
I really enjoyed playing Ricky and will hopefully get to get my revenge at an event in the future.
So after three victories on day one, I had two defeats on day two and finished in 22nd place. If I had been offered three wins at the start of the weekend I would have taken it, but after tasting the chance of a top 10 finish and even a trophy it ended on a bit of a downer.
A great event though, and being home by 5pm on the Sunday was a pleasant change as its usually gone 9 by the time I get back.
After a bit of a break from the tournament scene, my next event is Chris Tomlin's Blackout in September. The Bonesplitterz may make another appearance then, but with the Generals Handbook 2 potentially out by then, some of the points may have changed, so we'll see.