Going to the Squigs event was an entertaining challenge with some interesting composition restrictions to break up the usual tournament lists.
It was: 1999 points, not 2000pts. So no lord, only 3 characters, 2 core, 3 special and only one rare choice. Lastly you could not use models with more then 5 wounds.
Losing a rare, special, and character choice ended up freeing ALOT of points for my Skaven army. After filling up all the other slots in the list already I basically had no option, but to stuff the remaining points into core. Seems like a great idea at first.. right, more core means more rats and that spells trouble for my opponents. However I had one big problem with that idea......the sheer amount of models that I would have needed to buy/build/paint in order to just participate was more then my student budget could ever possibly afford. So I came from another angle and upgraded my units more then I would normally would. In the end I had a model count around 200, which against some opponents allowed me to outnumber them 3:1.
184pts Plague Priest: Flail, Poisoned attacks, Foul Pendant, Level 2
150pts Warlock Engineer: 2 Dispel Scrolls, Level 2
150pts Warlock Engineer: Doom Rocket, Warp-Energy Condenser, Level 2
3 units of Skavenslaves: with Slings, Spears and Musicians. 62pts for each unit of 20
145pts Clanrats: with Shields, Spears, and full command. Size: 25
70pts Warp-Fire Thrower
375pts Stormvermin: Shields and full command, The Shroud of Dripping Death. Size: 40!
65pts Poisoned Wind Mortar
75pts Giant Rats: 17 rats, 3 handlers Size: 20
250pts Plague Monks: Full command, Stormbanner Size: 25
96pts Plague Censer Bearers Size: 6
100pts Jezzails: Size 5
Rare: 150pts Doomwheel.
Characters: The Plague Priest turned out to be a fantastic general, he has Ld 9(with ranks), had 4 attacks at Str 6(Flail) which were also poisoned. To top it all off he had Toughness 5 and I gave him a 5+ ward save, plus also theres the wizard element. The Engineers performed their roles rather well, raining both electric and flaming death upon their foes. The doom rocket was random, but by using only 5 dice to shoot the rocket, it landed right where it was needed most of the time.
Core Choices: Initially I needed to spend points badly to just to make it to the tournament, so as a result all the slaves got upgraded. Looking back now I made the right choice upgrading them, the slings added a much needed range element to the army. They killed everything from Grail Knights to Chaos Knights! When rushing a fortified hill that has a hellblaster and 4 units of crossbowmen, suddenly 60 sling shots are looking pretty good. Spears added a much needed combat element to each unit make them great for scattering weaker support units.
Stormvermin.....I admit I normally don't play with these guys, because they are way too expensive in a normal game. But the magic banner was an attractive option instead of more clanrats, so thats ultimately why I picked them. The idea that I used with this unit was that it would perform the role as a anvil (3+ armour is nice) and hopefully the banner of Dripping Death would kill most of the enemies front rank, leaving me the chance to hold for at least one turn so that my other units could flank charge. It worked for most of the games and even in the game that the unit actually failed their break test, the enemy unit was crippled by the banner when they chased(does D6+2 Str3 with no armour saves). It was a good choice in the end.
All the other core did what you'd guess they'd do....so now on to the
Plague Monks, always always take Plague Monks!!! The Stormbanner plus the fighty nature of the plague priest made this unit a serious threat on the table top.
The Plague Censer Bearers and the Jezzails were very important, because they allowed me to fight certain threats like knights that would otherwise run my list down. When they weren't killing knights they could kill just about anything, my only regret is not using Jezzails often because I would sometimes get all caught up in the moment and forget to shoot them.....
Rare Choices: Ah the doomwheel, what a great addition to the army! Its amazing movement, shooting and combat ablilties make it almost a must have in all Skaven armies. Not being able to take the Hellpit to the tournament was a bit of a bummer(had a pretty cool model for it) but I figured with these restrictions and having a doomwheel, that the hellpit wasn't needed at all.
The list was great to use and had enough interesting elements inside that it could face most lists and do reasonably well.
Game 1: My one friend and I have this theory, that regardless of the eventual tournament outcome, that we will face each other at least once in any given tournament. This theory was proven right again as we ended up facing each other in the first round :) . Donald's Bretts were quite a challenge for several reasons: A) His whole army moves faster then mine, B) 95% of his units have a armour save better then 3+, and C) I have limited options to pin his units in place. For the most part the game was back and forth, one moment I'd blast his giant unit of Battle Pilgrims to a single rank, the next he'd break a critical unit. In the end we both had 4 units between the two of us including characters, it wasn't until we calculated the victory points that it was a massacre loss for me :( .
Game 2: Next game was against Davey, the resident Lizardmen player and the mission was to capture the arcane monolith at the center of the board. Looking at Davey's army he only had 2 Saurus blocks, 1 temple guard unit, one unit of skinks and the engine of the gods. I really outnumbered him, and had the opportunity to surround his army and smash home with the doomwheel. I managed to achieve a solid victory only because I didn't have enough turns to finish off his general's unit.
Game 3: Now in this game I played against a great guy, Chris Nowell. He had a rather impressive High Elve army with alot of variety, magic, combat and of course shooting. All I can really say about this game is that the Doomwheel single handedly prevented a unit of knights and Swordmasters at bay, simply by staying out of arms reach. Not having enough movement to reach the doomwheel and fearing a massive counter charge from it, Chris had to concentrate elsewhere. The Stormbanner helped alittle bit for one turn at least, and finally the best part of the game, a unit of slaves exploding and taking a lion chariot with them....Classic! The game was a Massacre win for me.
At the end of the day things were looking good, until we had to change a flat tire, but hey you can't win them all. ;)
With a fixed tire and high spirits, we move on into the next day!
Game 4: GUNS, lots and lots of GUNS! My friend and fellow Empire player Tyrell, brought the heat and man it was a tough battle. Having a massive infantry army as well as over 40 crossbows and a hellblaster volley gun on hill....I had my work cut out for me. The mission was sabotage(humm sounds like my kind of mission) before the game starts each player moves 4 of the opponents units D6 inches in any direction, but they still have to face the original direction. The mission didn't really help either of us and had really no real effect on the game as a whole. The Storm banner only worked for one turn of the game and I was starting to worry. But then 2 things happened that changed the pace of the game. The Slaves managed to get into range with their slings and pelted the hill with an amazing amount of rocks and actually cause several panic tests. Next the doomwheel did what it does best and took out one infantry unit after another before storming the hill to win me the otherwise bleak game. Massarce Win to me!
Game 5: By far the best game of the whole weekend! I got to play off against Troy, a Warriors of Chaos player that had stormed his way to the top, winning 4 massarces!...... I was nervous to say the least because I knew my army was going to have issues with this army. But as you can tell from the pictures I had the weight of numbers to counter this. The small green slab in the middle was a hill(we really didn't want to deal with sliding models on a slope, so thats why its small, lol) because the mission was King of the Hill, and it was worth at least 200 victory points! When the smoke finally settled I had 4 units left with only one on the hill and Troy only had 2 characters and a chaos knight. Now in order to claim the hill the unit has to be on the hill at the end, so Troy blasted the giant rat unit with all the Tzeentch magic he could muster! In the end I needed to make a Ld 5 test.....I rolled a 3 and then just like that......a one!!! Meaning I held and claimed the hill.
In the end it was a Minor Victory to me, but Troy ended up winning the tournament still having the highest win ratio. Troy was a great opponent and I would enjoy facing off against him again, because even in the thick of the game when everyone watched the last crucial dice roll, he never lost his polite attitude. I might not have won the tournament, but having won that game made everything all the more sweeter!
The final results are as follows if you haven't seen them already:
1) Troy, Warriors of Chaos
2) Chris. K, Warriors of Chaos
3) Jeremy, Warriors of Chaos(Special Trolls List!)
4) Adam, Skaven
5) Donald, Brettonia
6) Darren, Dark Elves
7) Brent, High Elves
8) John Moutray, Ogres
9) Steven, Orcs and Goblins
10) Tyrel, Empire
11) Mike, Warriors of Chaos
12) Lee, High Elves
13) Darcy, Vampire Counts
14) Ryan, Warriors of Chaos
15) Davey, Lizardmen
16) Chris N, High Elves
I had a great time and can't wait till the next tournament, thanks again to all the tournament organizers who made it possible and of course to all the competitors for being great sports and gamers.
See all you next time!