Episode 18: Age of Scenarios

Hello again, sorry for the lack of Battle Reports lately. I did get a game in last week for my League, playing against pure Sylvaneth with a Hurricanum thanks to the Wargrove, and managed to get a Major Victory. I didn't report the game because it was very one-sided, my opponent made some major mistakes due to unfamiliarity with my army and I won on Turn 3 because of the Scenario. The game did get me thinking, as most do, about just how important Scenarios are and how much they get neglected with the current competitive theory-crafting. So let's take a look at Scenarios!

Anyone with the General's Handbook should have a passing familiarity with the six Scenarios for Matched Play. Typically players treat Scenarios as a backdrop to the game, their focus is on removing opposing models and keeping their important pieces in play. If you come from a Warhammer background this is to be expected, 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy didn't even have Scenarios and 40K hasn't used them for much of its history and in recent times the game revolves around who's deathstar or big synergy piece dies first. Playing for a goal other than killing off the opposing army is something Games Workshop is coming around on but has been a big part of other games like Warmachine for years, Being a dabbler in all things miniatures I have a lot of experience with keeping Objectives in mind, or even playing for them as the primary focus and that's extremely helpful in Age of Sigmar.

While the Scenarios in the General's Handbook are all reasonably different, they ask the same questions of any army:

Can You Take Ground?
Can You Hold Ground?
Can You Leave Units Back?
Do You Have Numbers?

Let's break these down one by one.


Can You Take Ground?

Taking ground is the most straight forward thing to do is any Scenario, you simply move your models up the board and control as much of it as you can. As your army advances you make it harder for for your opponent to put models on the board space behind you. Without Flying this would require moving around your units or going through them, even with Flying their units will be caught between your entire army! I think of this like Risk, once I've gone over a portion of the board it's "mine" until my opponent can punch through my army. Typically in Risk you don't leave much of your army back, you defend and expand your borders. This is exactly the same in Age of Sigmar and many other games, as you eat up more table space your opponent has fewer maneuvering options and is relegated to a smaller area.

Every Scenario is predicated on taking ground. If you can't get to the part of the board where the Objectives are then you can't score, and if you can't score you can't win. To make things more interesting Scenarios are typically placed in the center of the board, at least partially, so sitting back is not an option. This makes speed an important part of any army, if you arrive to the Objective after your opponent then you have to eat into his territory and fight on his terms.

Armies that take ground well are typically his Movement, don't mind Running, can bring models into play up the board (i.e. Stormcast Eternals), and/or have access to Flying. Every army can do this in some form whether it be through Battalions, Allegiance abilities, Summoning, and so on. However not every army can do this and many lists will trade the ability to take ground for the ability to inflict casualties, either by being hard hitting and slow or by staying back and shooting. These lists have to ask themselves if there's enough time to take control of the Objectives after they likely give the opposition first crack.


Can You Hold Ground?

What use is taking ground if you can't hold it? Once you're at the Objective and in the driver's seat on Scenario your opponent isn't likely to let you stay there. This is typically a problem for models that are great at taking ground, they come in small numbers or are very fragile. Cavalry are the most obvious example, these units rarely number more than five models and fall quickly to dedicated attacks but excel at getting up the table ahead of most armies.

Holding ground is a problem with various solutions, for example some armies are just naturally fast. Armies with the Destruction Allegiance are an example of this, every unit has the potential to move an extra d6" per turn. Elves are another example as they have higher Movement values than many other models. Other armies will employ a vanguard approach, units like Cavalry lead the charge and take ground while the remainder of the army catches up and arrives to hold it. Yet another approach is to just kill everything and leave no opposition to contest you, this is what many gunline armies attempt to do.

Typically slower units are more proficient at holding ground, they bring both the numbers and the durability to do the job. This job is often the responsibility of the Battleline in an army, these units aren't usually the best fighters or the most durable but they are relatively cheap in terms of Points and won't be missed from the main battle. Dedicating only a portion of your army to hold ground can be risky though as removing five Liberators, ten Savage Orruks, ten Marauders, etc. is a simple task for many armies and will leave the owning player without a unit on the Objective.


Can You Leave Units Back?

Now we're getting into the nitty gritty of Scenarios. Take and Hold, Escalation, Borderwar, and Gift from the Heavens all have unique Objective placement that diverts away from the center of the board, or can in the case of Gift from the Heavens. Most of the action in a game takes place within 24" of the table center, particularly Combats, meaning the bulk of your army may not be around the Objectives.

Even in a shooting vs. shooting engagement most armies rely heavily on synergy and don't split well. This means they have trouble being in more than one place a time which leaves Objectives open for the opponent to take. The requirement of leaving units back is often filled by two types of units: Ranged and Chaff. Ranged units are comfortable getting to one area of the board and staying there since they can attack and hold the Objective at the same time. Chaff are typically very cheap and weak units such as Chaos Marauders, these don't often contribute to the armies offense much and can comfortably sit on an area of the board. Armies that lack either of these types of units can find themselves struggling to be relevant on Scenario, particularly if they're melee focused. Ironjawz are an example of an army that struggles with leaving units back, all their units are expensive and meant to fight in Combat. Leaving even one back weakens the army greatly and not leaving one back risks an opponent going around, over, or through and stealing the game away.


Do You Have Numbers?

Borderwar, Escalation, Blood and Glory and to a lesser extend Take and Hold all demand model count as a way to control Objectives. It doesn't matter if you have Archaon on your Objective, when five Grots walk up the Objective is theirs. These Scenarios are punishing for elite armies who not only have a problem with model count but also don't usually split up well.

To give a personal example: my game last weak was Blood and Glory against Sylvaneth. My opponent had three units of Kurnoth Hunters, four Heroes, and three minimum sized Batteline units. I knew that with such a numbers advantage all I had to do was push forward and prevent anything getting into my backlines and that's exactly what happened. The Sylvaneth player was powerless to stop my advance in totality while leaving enough models near his Objectives and he couldn't get around my army without taking far too much damage. This led to a prompt Turn 3 victory.

In Age of Sigmar high model count isn't very common. Battleshock makes big units weak to dedicated attacks and it's usually more fun to take a flashy Hero than a unit of ten ditch diggers. This trend continues to the competitive scene, none of the top tier armies save one (mine) runs more than about 40-60 models, sometimes less than that! They also bring extremely vulnerable models for most of the body count, take a look at Skyfire armies with 30 Marauders which are 1 Wound, Bravery 5 and a 6+ Armor Save. Sylvaneth typically brings 15 Tree-Revenants, 1 Wound and a 5+ Armor Save.

Having a proper model count isn't as sexy as taking all the Monsters or shooting you can but it wins games and is often neglected. It also creates a natural balancing element to the game where taking too much of a good thing often leaves the player unable to play for Scenario much and instead rely on winning through attrition.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My mind got onto this topic through a combination of my game this week and thinking about how I can counter some of the other top dogs in the competitive meta. Let's break down my army really quick and see how it stacks up in Scenario:

3x Huskard on Thundertusk
1x Big Boss
1x Wardokk/Grot Shaman

30x Savage Orruks
40x Arrowboys

So right off the bat my model count is 75, quite a bit higher than most armies. The bulk of my model count is also in 2 Wound models which grants them decent durability to compensate for their flimsy Armor Save.

Playing Destruction I'm among the best armies in the game at taking ground because everything can move an extra d6". Much of my army doesn't mind Running, the Wizard, Big Boss, and Savage Orruks spend most turns Running or Charging. I even have some speed with the Kunnin' Rukk Movement on my Arrowboys, should I need it, and Movement 8 on the Thundertusks when they're on their best profile.

Because my army has consistent speed I can also hold ground, it requires punching through nearly my whole army to get to an Objective once I've secured it. I can also get units to reinforce certain parts of the board if needed because everything has a little speed.

Splitting isn't as much of a problem for me as it is for many armies, my synergies have decent range to them and are less army wide and more packaged. The Big Boss goes with the Arrowboys and the Thundertusks want to be within 18" of each other, ideally, but those two parts of the army can split up. Even the Savage Orruks can go where they please. I have chaff to sit on Objectives and I also have plenty of shooting to camp on them as well.

With all that you'd think my army is unbeatable on Scenario! Well, it has weaknesses like any other. Escalation is particularly cruel as my important units have to be deployed deep in my own territory and can struggle to get in the game early. Gift of the Heavens also requires very careful deployment as getting from one side of the table to the other is a big ask for my lower Movement whereas I'm better at pushing up the table which is a shorter distance.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So what is the big takeaway from this article? Scenario is something you have to build your army for. Each Scenario is different and asks different questions and being weak in one or more can be a real issue. A popular list from last year was Warrior Brotherhood which only took two Heroes meaning it almost auto-lost in Three Places of Power, particularly because the entire army was built on putting the Heroes upfront to deliver everything else! The army was extremely powerful in other Scenarios but at a tournament one loss is enough to deny from the top tables.

Scenarios are the first thing I think about when I put an army together. If I can't win on Scenario then it doesn't matter how good my matchups are or how cool my trick is, I won't win as many games as I should. My own army has gone through several iterations over the last few months specifically for this reason, sometimes I will make a concession on Scenario to try adding something to take on a specific problem. This is alright to do when you feel very strong on Scenario but weak in other areas, as with everything else it's a balancing act.

Think about an army with 27 Skyfires, which is a list that was taken to the recent SCGT Tournament in England. What if that list ran into 60, or 90 Plaguebearers? It's primary goal of shooting the opponent off the board would be taken away and it wouldn't have the numbers to capture Objectives in some Scenarios. While the goal of the person taking so many Plaguebearers is obviously to counter shooting, their real win condition is Scenario. I hope to see armies that focus on Scenario to win and punish players without well-rounded armies who give Scenarios the respect they're due. In fact I'm working on one now, so stayed tuned for that.

Episode 17.4: Personal Musings About Destruction in the Competitive Meta and My Ongoing List Efforts

Been a bit quiet for me on the Age of Sigmar front since my last tournament, I've been enjoying the break though. Generally when I don't play for a week or so my brain is able to take a step back and look at the game a bit clearer.

Over the last few weeks I've been trying to find a way for Destruction to compete with the big boys in the competitive meta. I brewed many lists, talked them over with people I know and people I don't know, but nothing was clicking the way I wanted it to. Initially I thought that Double Kunnin' Rukk was the only way forward but even that list has its problems. It's actually great how many things there are to consider in Age of Sigmar, even in the youth of its competitive meta. People are catching onto the shooting game and either bringing their own guns or going hard on bunkering up. Mirror Shields for everyone!

With so many threats out there, both known and unknown, I don't think Double Kunnin' Rukk is in a good spot. Not having the required access to Mortal Wounds is just too scary against Sylvaneth, Stormcast Eternals, Chaos, etc. There's a lot of penalties to Hit out there, a lot of good Armor Saves as well. The reason my existing army has done so well up until and including now is it's a take on all comers, there's no one phase nor one Scenario it's weak in. Double Kunnin' Rukk is much more specialist, it does what it does well but if you ask anything else of the army...it won't go as hoped.

Oddly enough after considering many Double Kunnin' Rukk lists, trying to make Beastclaw Raiders work (4 Huskards on Thundertusk!), and all other crazy combinations I ended up right back where I started. Here's the current brew:

Moonclan Grot Shaman
Savage Orruk Big Boss
Huskard on Thundertusk w/ Talisman of Protection
Huskard on Thundertusk w/ Talisman of Protection
Huskard on Thundertusk w/ Talisman of Protection

10 Savage Orruks
10 Savage Orruks
10 Savage Orruks
40 Savage Orruk Arrowboys (General w/ Bellowing Tyrant)

1 Kunnin' Rukk
1 Bonegrinz Warclan

That probably looks super weird, why the Warclan?! Well let's start from the top. I think this list, which is very similar to my old list minus the Battleline shuffled around and a Shaman added, is great into any unknown quantity in the game. What I was struggling with was the known, powerful armies. I've talked about them before - Skyfires, Kurnoth Hunters, Longstrikes, the whole crew.

My hesitancy with the old list was I couldn't keep the Thundertusks alive. All the above units put out a lot of Wounds and can easily snipe a Thundertusk or even two! Worst still they can do it from really far away, guaranteeing the Alpha Strike.

The biggest change I've made is equipping all the Huskards with Talisman of Protection. This gives me great game against Skyfires and Longstrikes, two units who are typically stacked to roll as many 6's as possible and thus pump out Mortal Wounds. It turns out a 4+ Save is a lot better than a 5/6+. Being able to keep a Thundertusk up, or lose one at the most, really changes the complexion of the game against those two armies. Previously I used Battle Brew, but with the Prayers available to the Huskards and the already solid melee profile of the mount it just isn't that necessary. Also this build is a bit lighter on the screens so the Huskards will be pressed into duty more often, making the Talisman more valuable.

Getting the Artefacts is why I had to take the Warclan, leaving one Huskard without a Mortal Wound save is an easy target for Skyfires and Longstrikes. I also have to be up the board, claiming Objectives and getting work out of my guns. Any weak link in the chain could break me against those units.

That left me with 80pts and there's not much better you can do, for Destruction, in that bracket than a Moonclan Grot Shaman. A cheap Hero with a really powerful (potentially) spell who can also give out Mystic Shield to a Huskard that has to get into melee. 3+ Armor, 4+ Mortal Wound, -1 to Hit and can heal? Yes please! The Shaman's spell works particularly well against MSU and Aetherstrike who love to castle up and be close to each other.

I also chose to go with full Orruks for my Battleline instead of any Grots. Having as few Deployments as possible is extremely important against Aetherstrike and I wish I could have snuck a Weirdnob in instead of the Grot Shaman. In total I have 5 Deployments, which is very low and equals or beats many Aetherstrike builds. It won't be low enough for the purist version but people are starting to figure out that Liberators and more Hero support is required to claim Objectives and get the needed damage from the Longstrikes.

With these few tweaks I feel much more competitive against Aetherstike and Skyfires, all that's left is Kurnoth Hunters. Unfortunately I believe Kurnoth Hunters are the most powerful unit in the game, inside of an Allegiance that's the best in the game top to bottom. Sylvaneth spamming Kurnoth Hunters is just brutal. My hope for that is to just not play against it or get some nice dice. No point in pulling my hair out about a matchup I can't counter, or pursuing counters that weaken me against many other things. Every game has a top dog and Kurnoth Hunters, right now, are the top dog. It is what it is.

The above list is what I will be rolling with for at least a few games, it works on paper so now I need table time. Luckily I have a local who is getting into Aetherstrike and several Sylvaneth players, I just need to find someone with 18-27 Skyfires!

Episode 17: Super Awesome Mega Long Tournament Battle Report! (2000 Points)

Today was another Tournament at my local Games Workshop store, it's about a 30 minute drive but the games are fun and the entry fee is reasonable so I decided to make the trek yet again. The same as last event we were allotted 2000 Points with a 500 Point Sideboard. I took the following army list:


Savage Orruk Big Boss
Huskard on Thundertusk
Huskard on Thundertusk w/ Battle Brew
Huskard on Thundertusk w/ Battle Brew

10 Savage Orruks
40 Savage Orruk Arrowboys (General w/ Bellowing Tyrant)
20 Moonclan Grots w/ Spears & Shields
20 Moonclan Grots w/ Spears & Shields

1 Fanatic
1 Fanatic

1 Kunnin' Rukk Battalion

Sideboard
Frostlord on Stonehorn w/ Battle Brew


This is my standard 2000 Point army list. I decided not to go with some of the changes I discussed back in my Deep Dive post, I haven't had the testing time and don't own some of the models. The addition of the Sideboard also removes most of my problematic matchups, I can remove the Kunnin' Rukk and Arrowboys to bring in the Frostlord and have a pretty typical Beastclaw Raiders build which is great against Chaos Dwarves and some Tzeentch builds.

We played three rounds with eight attendees, fixed Scenarios per round with fixed tables that were assigned properties game to game. My first game was against a new face, George, and his Stormcast Eternals. He was running the following:


Scenario | Gift from the Heavens

Knight-Azyros w/ The Lantern that Makes you Re-roll 6's
Knight-Venator w/ Luckstone
Lord-Relictor w/ Blessed Weapons
Lord-Relictor w/ Blessed Weapons

3 Knight-Palladors
3 Aetherwings
3 Aetherwings
6 Vanguard-Raptors w/ Longstrike Crossbows
6 Vanguard-Raptors w/ Longstrike Crossbows
5 Judicators w/ Skybolt Bows
5 Judicators w/ Skybolt Bows
5 Judicators w/ Skybolt Bows


This is quickly becoming a standard built for Stormcast, although George's wasn't quite optimized. George was a bit disappointed that this list is a known quantity but happy that he came up with a pretty competitive build as he's new to the game but a veteran of Warhammer 40k. When optimized I think this list is 60/40 against me but this build I felt was 50/50 at worst.

Terrain and Deployment

Stormcast bunker up in the corner.

Wider view of the Battlefield with me a bit spread out.

Side view of the Battlefield. Terrain starting from the Fence and going clockwise: Sinister, Damned, Arcane, Damned, Deadly.
Deployment was heavily in my favor, George's army is mostly his Battalion and I started with my chaff. By the time I got around to the Thundertusks and Arrowboys I was able to counter his deployment with my own. Because the Vanguards were a bit far back I knew I could setup aggressively, if I got the first turn I'd be in range to do damage and if I go second I can shoot what I need while receiving very little punishment. Win/win!

George had me take the first turn after I explained my ranges and various movement abilities.


Destruction Battle Round 1

Inspiring Presence and Bellowing Tyrant went on the Arrowboys and everyone moved up thanks to Rampaging Destroyer. With some decent rolls I managed to get the Thundertusks in shooting range after their Movement and had the Arrowboys move in the Hero Phase with Kunnin' Rukk. My Grots headed for the right side of the board, in case the Objective dropped there and the remaining chaff headed up the center to contest there if possible.

Shooting saw me remove one unit of Longstrikes, the Palladors and one units of Judicators with the exception of the Champion. The "revenge" shots from the Battalion doesn't go out as both of us forget. Both Relictors also took Wounds from errant Blood Raven shots. My Green Thundertusk was able to get into the Judicators, killing a few three with awesome rolls.

In Battleshock the remaining two Judicators ran but the other Champion held fast.

Rampaging Destroyer helps me get up the board.

Big Boss is still hiding behind the tower, preventing the Longstrikes from drawing a bead.

Grots up the right flank, ready to capture the Army Book.

Casualties are many.

And another unit of Judicators bites it.


Stormcast Eternals Battle Round 1

George started with Blessed Weapons on the remaining Longstrikes and failing to heal the damaged Relictors. The Aetherwing units moved towards the center-left and the remaining Judicators get towards the same area along with the Relictors. This formed a new castle along the Terrain piece that the Stormcast had access to.

Shooting put the Longstrikes and Venator into the Thundertusks, bringing Green to 1 Wound remaining and Blue to 3, while the Judicators picked off a few Arrowboys with some bad rolls. With no Charges to be made and no Battleshocks we went to Initiative which George won and took.

Stormcast try to get castled up again.

Shooting takes a toll of the Green Thundertusk.

The Blue Thundertusk takes damage as well.


Stormcast Battle Round 2

Both Relictors heal themselves up but fail to put Blessed Weapons on the Longstrikes due to a failed roll and being too far away. Movement is mostly just shuffling around although one of the units of Aetherwings starts heading for the Objective.

Shooting removes the Green Thundertusk and a few more Arrowboys but generally is ineffective with some key misses. Again there are no Charges and with no Battleshocks to make I take my turn.

The "Comet" comes down on the right.

The wall is built.

Destruction Battle Round 2

My Objective comes down on the far left but I decide to keep shoving up with my army since I feel very far ahead. The Thundertusks and Arrowboys cross the midfield and get into Stormcast territory, allowing me to try and pin the army between my shooting and my screening units. I try to make a go for my Objective with the Red Grots as well. My Blue Thundertusk heals a few Wounds but is still in bad shape.

In Movement I capture George's Objective, get my Orruks into Charge range on the Aetherwings, and make a Run for my own Objective which comes up just short. I continue pressing forward with the goal of removing most of the remaining army and cementing the Scenario win. My shooting removes the remaining Longstrikes, kills three out of five Judicators and removes the Aetherwings near my army.

Charges get my Orruks into the remaining Aetherwings, killing one in exchange for a Wound. I get the Blue Thundertusk into the damaged Relictor but bounce off an take some damage for my trouble. Unfortunately my Red Thundertusk failed the combo-charge. Nothing happens with Battleshock and I score for George's Objective.

Score | 2-0 for Destruction

Pushing up the board as aggressively as I can.

Objective captured!

Slap fight between the Thundertusk and the Relictor.

Time to punch some birds.

Not the most effective combat.

Remaining Rounds

From here the Stormcast couldn't make any Scenario plays other than a Retreat with the Aetherwings who I bludgeoned with a Grot and Orruk Charge on my next turn. The remaining Heroes got into my Arrowboys but didn't do much and got swiftly shot down. At this point George called the game giving me a Major Victory and full army points for tie-breakers.

Major Victory for Destruction!

The Relictor and remaining stragglers hold out but for how long?

Orruk on Hero Combat.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tournament Round 2

This Round I was up against Jared and his Sylvaneth, someone who frequents my same store and I've played a few times. He was running the same list since we last met, minus a Battalion correction I brought to his attention:

Branchwych w/ Acorn of the Ages
Spirit of Durthu w/ Briarsheath
Treelord Ancient w/ Briarsheath & Gnaarled Warrior
Loremaster

20 Dryads
5 Tree-Revanants
5 Tree-Revenants

3 Kurnoth Hunters w/ Scythes
3 Kurnoth Hunters w/ Bows
3 Kurnoth Hunters w/ Bows

1 Household Battalion
1 Gnarlroot Wargrove

Scenario | Borderwar

I feel very comfortable with this matchup, it's nearly impossible for Durthu and the Scythe Kurnoth to get into me and my Mortal Wounds are pretty brutal on the actual threats. First order of business is to remove the Heroes I can, then pivot to the Bow Kurnoth.

Terrain and Deployment

Chaff ready to make a play for the left Objective. The Tower is Damned, Ruins are Mystical, and the Eagle Ruins are Inspiring.

Shooting units ready to chop down some trees. Crater is Inspiring and the Fence is Damned.

Again my opponent put their army down with one big deployment and I was able to get the matchups that I want for the Arrowboys and Thundertusks. Unfortunately I was going to have some issues unpacking my list but nothing that a few Rampaging Destroyer and Run rolls can't solve. Jared gave me the first turn, which again was fine with me.


Destruction Battle Round 1

My typical buffs went up and I got into range of the Spirit of Durthu and Branchwych with some fantastic Rampaging Destroyer rolls, nothing in the army rolled less than a 4! I used the Movement ability from Kunnin' Rukk to get all my Arrowboys in range of Durthu, moving everything further up in Movement. I hoped to block the lone Wyldwood off to prevent the Kurnoth Hunters from deploying in them but wasn't able to get the coverage I wanted with a single Grot unit. I was able to take both flank Objectives, one with Orruks in the tower and one with a Grot unit.

Shooting was pretty brutal, killing off Durthu, the Branchwych, along with a few Dryads and Revenants. There were no Charges to be done and a few more Dryads took off due to Battleshock.

Dryads get chewed up.

The mystery of the missing Durthu and Branchwych.

Sylvaneth Battle Round 1

Reeling from the casualties Jared started by failing all of his Spells with the Ancient, who also didn't feel like making a Wyldwood. To top it all off the Ancient failed his Mystical check. The Dryads pushed up and both Kurnoth Bow units came down while the Scythe Kurnoth ran towards the tower. Both Tree-Revenants teleported to the left to reinforce that Objective.

Shooting put some damage on the Thundertusks but overall there's little shooting left to be done. Jared Charged both the Dryads and one Bow Kurnoth unit into my Grots after a Fanatic failed to pin the Dryads. Combat was pretty ineffective thanks to Netters and my own bad rolling but a few Dryads do die as do a few Grots, who then have a few runners. I did manage to take Jared's Objective with the Fanatic as he had nothing defending it, Jared takes the left flank Objective.

I win Initiative and take the turn.

Treeple on the march.

Orruks take the tower, and the Objective.

The Grots take a comb-Charge.

After Combat.

The Ancient fails his Mystical Check.

Combat casualties.

Destruction Battle Round 2

My hope was to put the game away this turn as I have a firm grip on the right flank Objective and a reasonable hold on my own and the Sylvaneth. Rampaging Destroyer pushed the Arrowboys and Thundertusks left along with my remaining chaff. At this point I've contained Jared to the left side of the table, there's no Wyldwoods to teleport to and it will be all but impossible to punch through my blockade. I again move with Kunnin' Rukk to try and get in range of new targets and throw my normal buffs up. Healing brings my Thundertusk nearly back to his full profile.

Movement has me spread out for more containment and get into range with more units. The Savage Orruks ditch the tower, moving into position for a charge on the Kurnoth in my Grots if necessary. My shooting kills off the Dryads and Kurnoth Bow unit while tossing a few Wounds on the Revenants from Blood Ravens. With no Charges to be done and Battleshock yielding no results I passed the turn.

Score | 7-0 for Destruction

Walling off the Sylvaneth army while the dead pile watches in the background.

Abandon the tower!

Sylvaneth Battle Round 2

The Ancient again fails to make a Forest but does kill a few Grots by awakening the Wyldwoods. Movement has the Scythe Kurnoth run towards the tower and the Ancient get out of range of the Mystical Terrain. Other than that it's just holding onto the one Objective for dear life.

Shooting does very little as Jared attempts to finish off the Grot unit for the points but fails with bad rolls. Once more there's no Charges since the Kurnoth ran and my Grots stick around in Battleshock.

Score | 7-2 for Destruction

Surrounding the Objective.

Wydlwood casualties.

All that remains of the Blue Grots.

Remaining Rounds

With the wall of models up and running Jared had no opportunity to capture additional ground. The game ended up going to Round 5 as I ground down the remaining models. Jared was able to kill my Savage Orruks down to two models before they were shot off the table and I fled them and the Grots away to preserve their points.

My loose Fanatic went into the Loremaster and got cut down, other than that my Thundertusks removed a unit a turn and I took no damage in return. At the end of the game I'd tabled Jared and lost 30 Points for a Fanatic, putting me on the top table for Round 3.

Kurnoth get into the Orruks, ending their long journey to get into melee.

It turns out Kurnoth Hunters hurt.

Thundertusks take the lead while my damaged units flee the scene.
 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tournament Round 3

Time for a rematch against Troy, the Tournament Organizer and the other undefeated from my last Games Workshop tournament. We played this exact matchup last time and I came away with the win in a weird game.

Kairos Fateweaver
Lord of Change
Lord of Change
Lord of Change

10 Pink Horrors
10 Pink Horrors
10 Pink Horrors

1 Omniscient Oracles

Scenario | Three Places of Power

Going into this game I didn't think Troy had anyway to win this game. The Scenario is as bad as possible, he either keeps back and gets no Points, making sure I can play for the alpha, or he just gives me the alpha and I brutalize his Heroes. I can even totally ignore the Pink Horrors and make the Blues/Brimstones irrelevant which was what most of my energy went to in our last meeting.

Troy finished deploying first and decided to take the first turn. Unfortunately I was a bit worn down by now and forgot to snap some pictures of the deployment.

Disciples of Tzeentch Battle Round 1

Mystic Shield went on the yellow LoC (Big Bird) and with no other relevant Spells everything moved up. The Pink Horrors ran while the demons captured all three Objectives, then put some Wounds onto my Green Thundertusk with shooting.

Score | 3-0 for Disciples of Tzeentch

The Winged Horde captures the center.

Right side of the board, slightly more under control by Tzeentch.

Destruction Battle Round 1

Buffs go up and I move everything up as far as I can with Rampaging Destroyer, getting a bulk of my Arrowboys in range of the left LoC. Kunnin' Rukk shots too the LoC down to 3 Wounds. Movement got my Thundertusks and Arrowboys nearly to midfield, getting me in range of the middle Objective.

Shooting removed the Yellow and Red LoC, allowing me to take the middle Objective. I was in range for a few Charges but declined as I'd rather keep the shooting game going. I win the roll for Initiative and take the turn.

Score | 3-1 for Disciples of Tzeentch


Destruction Battle Round 2

Second verse, same as the first. I put my buffs back up and remove the unpainted LoC with my Kunnin' Rukk shots. Movement completes my screen on the right with the Grots while the Red unit mills around and does nothing much. I move my Blue Thundertusk on the right Objective and Big Green takes the center.

Shooting kills Kairos and quite a few Pink Horrors, again I decline my available Charges.

Score | 3-3 Tied

Well.....

Left side of the board.

Remaining Rounds

From here Troy wanted to play it out so I ended up tabling him in return for my Fanatics. For the first time ever I got my Big Boss into combat where he cut down a unit of Blues and then a unit of Brimstones while surviving on one Wound.

Unfortunately Troy just had no chance this game outside of me rolling almost impossibly bad and the game went exactly as expected. It was also kind of a boring game, there just wasn't much to be done and it was point and click. Generally I dislike Three Places of Power for this reason, it's a race to kill the enemy Heroes and the rest of the board doesn't matter. Unless it's Combat vs. Combat army this is probably the most boring Scenario.

Orruks vs. the Demonic Remnants.

Holding the center and shooting the flanks.

Big Boss finally gets his axe dirty!

A unit of Brimstone Horrors appears!

Overview of the right side of the table.

Overview of the left side of the table.

Grots vs. Brimstones, truly a battle for the ages.

Big Boss taking on all comers! As long as they are bad in Combat. And the game is over.

Post-Tournament Thoughts

Well, that was a tournament. This was probably the least challenging road I've had of the small amount of tournaments I've gone to so far but it was still very fun and I always enjoy meeting and talking to players I don't know. The best part of the day was talking the games over with my first two opponents afterwards and getting lunch with everyone during the downtime.

If you don't play in my area it probably looks like I just roll most people over, which is true to an extent. However quite a few players are getting more competitive with the game and those are the people I'm gravitating towards more. George, who I played Round 1, is on the road to an extremely strong build and another gentleman is copying my exact list to build and play with. I don't know whether that's good or bad overall but month after month I see new faces and a lot of people trying to get better. I've also been told by at least a few people that I'm setting a sort of example that they're trying to match in terms of competitive drive, which I assume is a compliment of sorts.

Some brief conclusion thoughts on my games:

Round 1
This game came down to Deployment and/or Turn order mistakes. With the Deployment George used I should not have been given first turn, he underestimated my speed and lost way too many models for it. If he hadn't gotten the double turn the game would have been even more of a blowout with me losing nothing and that's quite a gamble to take.

When we talked about it afterwards I told George he should have deployed aggressively and taken the first turn, or much better yet he should he deployed completely defensively, given me Turn 1, and been totally out of my shooting range. From here if I move up he can get a lot of shooting in and maybe double turn me, or if I don't move up into range he has decisions as to what he wants to do.

Overall the list was not optimized for what it's supposed to do but I stand by my argument that I put forth on the TGA forums that it isn't the best list in the game and I don't think it beats mine now that I've seen it and know how to attack it. Not killing any of the units fully really works the army over since they then don't get the extra shots and the big units of Longstrikes are vulnerable to Battleshock if the Stormcast player lets them be. Once you whittle everything away, which my army and some other builds can do, the list falls apart and becomes a lot more glass than cannon. I look forward to playing against it more in the future.

Round 2
Again, this game was lost on Deployment and Turn order. Jared put his models too far forward and wanted to double turn me which didn't end up working out. I was able to remove a ton of offensive potential from his army on Turn 1 and just take the board in a Scenario where Sylvaneth are pretty bad overall.

If his models had been put back a bit more he would have given up the Scenario but he'd have things to fight back with. I wouldn't have been able to grab his Objective but I'd take the other three, from there Jared would have at least had the option of putting some Wyldwoods down and making decisions. Making me army go first is almost always correct but the Deployment has to be done correctly as well.

Round 3
Unfortunately this wasn't really a game and Troy had no chance once the Scenario was revealed. The only opportunity would have been to hold back and try for a Turn 4-5 Objective grab or to double turn me and snipe a few Thundertusks. Going into the game I knew that though and wasn't going to open myself to a double turn unless it meant I could brutalize his army first, which is what happened. It does bum me out a bit to see how bad offensive Spells are against shooting, it's just too easy to stay outside of their ranges while your own units get to move and then shoot.

------------------------------------

My next few events are the Tournament to conclude my six week League and another Games Workshop Tournament in May, which I might attend. Currently I'm looking at another army to begin if I can scrape some more prize money together but the uncertainty of the next General's Handbook has me wary. I'd like to test a few lists over the coming weeks and may focus on that in my Battle Reports, I have my Kunnin' Rukk army pretty well down so unless someone is bringing a build I want experience against I'd rather test other things.

Thanks for reading!