Saturday, July 16, 2011

War and More: "Ard" We Ready For This?

Note:"This particular Ard Boyz tournament was at a Canadian event, in Alberta, but is apart of the North American Ard Boyz Overall Tournament"

Preliminaries on August 28th
Semifinals on September 25th
Finals on October
23rd

Here we are, at the onset of the 2010 Warhammer 'Ard Boyz Season and the question still stands, "Who is the best Warhammer player in North America?" Thousands of people raised their hand last year, thinking they had the marbles, but only one player remained standing after the dust settled.

Think you can take the prize? Once again, you'll have to PROVE IT!'Ard Boyz Tournaments are a three-part, competitive series of events hosted by Independant Retailers across North America. Unlike the traditional tournament format you may be familiar with, that takes into consideration your painting and sportsmanship, the 'Ard Boyz Tournaments focus on one thing and one thing only; how well you play the game! These tournaments are the place to field that nasty list you felt guilty about playing, or that massive horde army you couldn't hope to paint it in time.

Fight your way through the locals in the Preliminaries on August 28th. This round will be held at Independent Retailers all over the country.

Players who end up in the top three will be invited to the Semifinals held in select locations on September 25th. The winner of the Semifinal will get a 3,000 point army of the race of their choice and the 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive generous online vouchers for our Web Store. These top three Semifinalists will be eligible to attend the Finals, which will be held on October 23rd at the Chicago Battle Bunker.

At the main event, players will compete for buckets of prizes, but more importantly, they will fight for the right to call themselves 'Ard Boys. So who will be the best this year? Can you marshall your forces to claim the title of 'ARD BOY?

FantasyArdBoyzRules.pdf (0.46 MB)
USWHArdBoyz2010Scenarios (0.86 MB)
 

Skaven Ard Boyz 3000pts
Characters, Lords 723pts/750pts

495 pts Grey Seer.
- Skalm, Dispel Scroll, Level 4 (Lore of Ruin).
- Screaming Bell.

228 pts Warlord.

- Fellblade, Heavy Armour, Shield, Warlitter

Characters, Heroes 314pts/750pts

99 pts Chieftain.

-Shield, Halberd, Battle Standard
-Banner of the Under-Empire

150 pts Warlock Engineer.

- Warp-Energy Condenser, Doom Rocket
- Level 2 (Lore of Ruin)

65 pts Warlock Engineer.

- The Terrifying Mask of EEE! Death Globe

Core  910pts>750pts

202 pts Clanrats.

- Shields, Spears, Standard, Musician
- Size: 38

335 pts Stormvermin.

- Shields, Standard, Musician, FangLeader
- Size: 35

70 pts Warp-Fire Thrower. – Size: 1   

65 pts Poisoned Wind Mortar. – Size: 1

77 pts Skaven Slaves.

- Slings, Spears, Musician- Size: 25

77 pts Skaven Slaves.

- Slings, Spears, Musician- Size: 25

84 pts Giant Rats.

- Size: 20 giant rats, 3 Handlers

Special  562pts/1500pts

250 pts Plague Monks.

- Champion, Standard, Musician, Storm Banner
- Size: 25

96 pts Plague Censer Bearers.

- Size: 6

108 pts Gutter Runners.

-Size: 6 –Poisoned Attacks, Slings

108 pts Gutter Runners.

-Size: 6 –Poisoned Attacks, Slings

Rare  490pts/750pts

250 pts Hellpit Abomination.

-Warp-Stone Spikes

150 pts DoomWheel.

90 pts Warp-Lightning Cannon.

Total 2999pts/3000pts

My thoughts:At first I found it very difficult to come up with a 3000pts list for Skaven, since you can always run into the issue of creating a list with more models then you own. Also with it being a new edition I thought it would be fun to experiment and try out some otherwise uncommon lists.

Characters:
Now most skaven players took the grey seer last edition for his amazing Ld and magical fire power, even more so in this edition where magic can destroy whole blocks off the table. lots of skaven players don't tend to run the grey seer on the bell because it decreases his survivability, since the bell can be sniped by cannons and massed shooting. The part about the bell that I love the most is that it has a 4+ ward save and most of the time my opponents are too distracted by the bell to shoot at my other nastier monsters or support elements. 50% of the shots won't damage the bell let alone hit the grey seer who needs a 6+ to be targeted. Plus since most armies tend to carry templates around and target the unit carrying the bell its hard for them to maximize the number of models when most of the template is on the bell. Everything else the bell adds is icing on the cake, with magic resistance 2, fear, impact hits and unbreakable to the unit. Also against shooting armies you can "pop" their warmachines when you roll the 11-12 result with the bell...always a nice feature ;)

Now the Warlord was added for some much needed combat punch and by far the best equipment option in various match ups is using the fellblade. Sure he can't challenge really, but he can tear up enemy models fairly easily and is murder towards multiwound models since he does D6 wounds at Str 10. Plus having High Ld makes him very valuable too.

The Heroes are pretty straight forward since they are rather simplistic in use. The chieftain was the auto-include BSB, with a magic banner to add more attacks for the stormvermin unit. The Warlock Level 2 had the energy condenser to give him more power dice and the doom rocket for some large template Str 5 goodness! The last character was mostly for fun, but he actually made a differnce, by allowing my stormvermin unit to become a force to be reckoned with, the death globe doing massive damage against armoured units and the terrifiying mask of EEE allowing me to force fear checks and prevent fear against the unit.

Core:
Nothing too special here just the usual clanrats, slaves, and giant rats. I love slings this edition since they can always fire 2 shots. So with one of my units I just camped in front of the bell and went 2 ranks wide and "blackened the sky" with rocks, fantastic fun! The Stormvermin were the hammer unit to flank charge the enemy line once the anvil units redircted the main force into ideal postions.

Special: 
Gutter Runners for the Win! Not only did the trigger the forests and turned them into blood forests, but they can kill hellcannons(Looked in the errata and didn't see them as warmachines, but I could be wrong) Poison Rocks!! ;). Plague censer bearers can be great speed bump units now, because they have the tools to take lots of troops out with them. The Plague monks added some much needed punch to the list in addition to the stormvermin unit.

Rare:

The easiest section by far, take one of everything at least since they can all be useful in most games. The doomwheel...is amazing as it ever was, the hellpit can still reck face with any unit it comes into contact with. Finally the Warp-lightning cannon is a 2 in one warmachine that is cheap and with a little luck can be extremely accurate and dangerous to most monsters and giant blocks of infantry alike.

Overview:
Overall I had little time to come up with a list, since I worked 6 days a week (school doesn't pay for its self after all) and next to no experience with 8th edition, I did have the chance to read the new ruleset a month before though.

No I did show up on the right day, and thankfully didn't sleep in (It was a pretty close call though, lol). Actually once I got to the event, it was extremely quiet? Not a good sign as I walked towards the gaming boards, only to find 3 other players and the TO talking. As it turned out most of the players were no shows and the tournament was cancelled! :( The TO told us that torwards the end of the summer it was usually very difficult to get people into tournaments since most have families and are on hoildays until the beginning of september. If you recall the requirements of the ard boy'z tournament on page one, it also becomes very obvious why very few people could even go to the event, let alone participate.

The players that showed up were all members of our gaming club that are the most vocal and arguably the best of the local players around the community. Mike Sweetman, who most of the RHQ readers will have noticed his comments from time to time on the site, who brought his well painted warriors of chaos army that had just about every model in the army book. Troy Glowasky, who is a big man with an even bigger heart for all things wargaming and the most consistent winner at local tournaments with his wall of Iron, chaos warrior army. Finally the last player was Darren Pera with his Dark elves, that happened to have brought many sharp pointy sticks, hydras and bolt throwers as they could carry to the tournament.

Thoughts on WoC:

Now my experience with warriors of chaos this edition has been very limited, but a couple of choices my opponents made in their lists I found very interesting. Chaos Knights have taken a hit this edition, but are no less useful in this edition then 7th. Because they can still inflict large amounts of damage over several turns even if they don't have support. Now don't expect them to win large battles un-supported, but if you throw another unit of infantry to add more volume to the attack they should be able to mow down most things. Chosen Chaos Warriors are probably the go to troop choice this edition since they can just have so many buffs from warshrines and can pump out alot of pain over a small frontage. Thats not to say you should take large units of Chosen, since they can be singled out very easy with powerful magic spells of DOOM. The regular Warriors of Chaos are still cheaper and with the right mark can be the quick core you need in your army. Khorne seems to be the best mark since frenzy can be managed better now and has next to no downsides this time around, except for decreased armour saves. Since they can't use a parry save and will try to go for volume with Additional HW or power/speed with halberds. Finally the Hellcannons are amazing and like many other choices this edition are must haves in armies now.
Ok so Ard Boyz was a bust for me unfortunately, so instead I introduce the........

I guess all that evil needs to win is to not have good not show up!So instead of wasting our day that we booked off for weeks, we decided to have the Slavers vs the Hordes of Iron, the Mega battle of 6000pts doubles game! After destroying an empire town all hell breaks loose and the fragile ties that held the mighty force together broke as all 4 hordes scrambled to face off and show their dominance by capturing the standards of the opposing force!

The game lasted a whole epic 3 turns! So much bloodshed that khorne and Khaine would be hosting a feast. Troy had several large blocks of 30 warriors in horde formation, backed up with various chaos knight blocks of 10 strong, with fast cav backing them up. Mike had Chaos ogres, in the bucket loads, backed up with knights, hellcannons, marauders, and wardogs!
I used the list on page 2, while darren had giant blocks of 50 spearmen, 2 war hydras, 4 boltthrowers, and fast cav support. Both sides had 2 level 4 wizards, chaos taking Tzeentch magic, I took the lore of ruin (added the 13th spell, of course), darren took the lore of metal?(He didn't cheat, he had it in his list already lol).

Key Points of the Game-Magic was largely ineffective, the only spells that did anything was the infernal gateway on darren's mage and my casting of the dreaded 13th which destroyed a whole unit of chaos warriors.
-HEAR COMES THE DOOMWHEEL!!! ok this machine of beautiful destruction killed a whole unit of chaos ogres in one turn, 2 units of dogs and forsaken in another, and three more ogres on the 3rd. D6 wounds hurts and always will. Not to mention that it ran into a woods took no wounds, then ran out and only took 1....lucky, but hey these things happen.
-A unit of Chaos knights, Ogres, fast cav and Hellcannon charge the stormvermin on all sides in a forest. 3 knights die because of terrain, the warlord with the fellblade cuts up another 4. The combat is drawn and I win by 1(thanks musician :) ) The chaos hold, but they are stuck there all game! Thanks 8th Edition!
-Slings on slaves are too great, they can really add flexability to an otherwise static skaven battle line, once the opponent gets close rank up and use spears to continue tarpiting the enemy. Plus its really funny when 5 chaos warriors die to 40 rocks.
-2 War hydras defeated a unit of 30 marauders with great weapons, and took only 4 wounds....war hydras amazing.....Yup.
-50 dark elve spearmen taking on 30 warriors of chaos(Khorne), both in horde formation....amazing and a sight for the eyes...even more so when the dark elve spearmen win.
-Staying 1 inch apart really makes a difference, even on large tables with lots of room. It allows critical charge lanes to be blocked and can slow down an otherwise powerful army.

As you can tell I really enjoyed this game and so did the other players at the table. Regardless of all the positive and negative things that can be said about 8th edition, remember that it ultimately comes down to your experiences during the game that truly matter. Don't listen to the hype or complaints, play a game, make it fun, organize it the way you want if your the competitive type, and remember your reasons for playing! As for the game my team won, because the mission was Blood and Glory, and we had enough standards to win in another turn.
Now what are your thoughts? Do you believe that its too soon for a 3000pts tournament that has limited experience with a ruleset and FAQ that is less then 2 months old? I'm a firm believer that it is too soon, but it all depends on the time of year and gaming club environment.

What do you think?

Also special thanks to Mike who took all the pictures and all the players that were able to make it. Also thanks to the TO/storeowner for trying to reduce the points costs for the tournament and allowed the entrance fee to be free, even before the tournament was cancelled.

There should be more events in the near future, but until then thanks for reading and see you guys next time! Hope you've enjoyed the article.

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