Big Hats, Great Adventure

Matt's Chaos Dwarves invade the Baltimore GT

By  Matt

Generally, I had a BETTER time than I thought I would, even though I lost more than I won. 4 things really stood out in my mind;

Generalship: As I've ranted on before, Fantasy is a more strategic game than 40k. I thought I knew what I was doing pretty well- I usually win pretty easily. I was WRONG. I played 2-3 guys who really knew what they were doing, and they SMOKED me. One guy just had rats. An army of rats. The worst possible army you could take. He ran RINGS around me. I learned more playing him in one game than in 3 YEARS of playing.

Painting: I knew I was good, but some of these armies were ART. About a dozen armies were so ridiculously well painted and modeled that they put 'Eavy Metal painters to shame. No shit.

Army Selection: I was used to playing and beating smaller, powerful armies. Unfortunately, NO ONE had those. NO chariots, NO monsters, NO knights, NO war machines in ANY game I played. Just troops and more troops, heading my way to kick my ass. And they did! I am used to outnumbering my opponent, but here I was outnumbered at least 2-1 and sometimes more by every army I faced. Most of my army was wasted points, as war machines and cavalry had no real targets to go after.

Sportsmanship: The friendliest games I've ever seen played, not 1 argument during the whole tournament- in any game played by ANYONE. As a whole, the GT guys said there had never been better sportsmanship scores overall in any GT ever. Cool!

Nidal and Matt transporting Nidal's army inside a giant earthshaker shell. These boys need help...serious help.

Here's how it went down:


Once we got the 5 foot Earthshaker shell in to back of Nidal's car, the drive was smooth as silk. We both thought to clean up at the tournament, and do it in style with our big red hats and black beards. Little did WE know.


Walked right smack into a long line of average looking guys with multiple black gun cases. Warhammer players or anti-government extremists, ready to blow up Washington D.C.? I'm sure the other hotel guests had concerns...


Awww, yeah. Nothing's better than a few cold one's after a long car ride. We met some cool guys right off. EVERYONE there was very friendly- can't say that enough. Really great people all around, with no exceptions. After knocking a few back, we headed over for some action. The geeky kind.

Matt squares off against one of his many Vampire Count opponents


Still confident in my ass-kicking ability- I am 15-1 since the new rules came out- I went against an unlucky Beastman player who I just had a drink with. I should have rolled him up, what with beastmen being as lame as they are, but I just managed a win on the last turn. Portent of things to come?

Next I found another drinking buddy with an awesome Nurgle Demon army. Everyone said Demon armies were incredibly over powerful, and here was my first chance to find out. With 12 casting dice to my 3 dispel dice, he rocked my in the magic phase. BUT, my cunning Chaos Dwarf generalship (not to mention 60 blunderbusses) balanced out his ridiculous magic, and I managed a tie.

Still feeling ok about the tournament (and a LITTLE worried- I never tie!) I got some sleep....


...but not enough apparently. After a hideous breakfast including 6 (6!) cups of coffee and some greasy instant eggs, I drew a Vampire player (the first of FOUR!) for my first game. I had played these guys recently, and ran them off the table- plus we were playing on a Dwarven Hall Games Day table with no cover anywhere. I set up my 6 war machines with complete confidence...

...then lost them all on turn 1! Gah! Sneaky, evil, trickery! He summoned a new unit of 12 skeletons with 1 spell, raised 7 more with spell 2, then made them charge with spell 3- into the Earthshaker! After 5 failed panic tests, my 6 unmanned war machines were looking pretty lonely. And it only got worse after that. I don't know how I managed it, but I only took a Minor Loss (remember special victory conditions always! very important- see round 4!).


20 cents a gram? I'll take 500 grams, please. Here come the Chaos Squats!

Nidal in all his bearded, big-hatted glory


So much for cleaning up- I was already 0-1. Next came Dwarves. Now, I've played 6 or 7 games in the last 2 years against my natural nemesis, with crushing victories for myself every time. Certainly this should be no different? (oh, of course)

REALLY nice guy, very friendly right off. He brought on just plain dwarves...just dwarves... 9 units of 20 Dwarves! We played in a fog, so no shooting over 20 inches- great for blunderbusses, right? By turn 3 I had reduced his 180 dwarf army to about 90- but it was enough! In an awesome hand to hand struggle that covered the whole length of the field, I held him off for almost 3 turns with a combination of lucky rolling and.... more lucky rolling! Unfortunately, on the last turn I was finally swamped by numbers to the extreme, and took a Solid Loss. Two games down, and I was definitely taking a beating.


Oh and two. Oh and two. That's not good! And I thought I'd win 6 of 6! Next came Skaven, easily the most ravaged army with their new rules- surely I could beat them? Surely NOT! I ended up playing an absolute MASTER of warhammer, a guy from England who's been playing a tournament a month for TEN YEARS. Practice pays off, and I learned more playing him for 1 game than playing the previous 50. If not for his horrid army stats, he'd have absolutely crushed me. As it was, I managed to lose by only 250 points- technically a tie, but now I was Oh and Three!!!



Never try to get in a McDonalds run in half an hour. I don't care WHAT they call it, but it is NOT fast food.

The infamous (and useless) deathrocket


My head hurt. OK- Vampires again, here we go. Newly armed with insightful info on these guys, I thought I had a good shot this go. He had no spell casters, too, which means I only had to deal with what I could see. The scenario also let us use all 2,500 points- but the reserve 1000 would come in on a roll of 5 from your table edge, a roll of 6 from either short edge. My hurting head obviously did not register the second part of this information.


Nasty Vampire trick #251- deepstriking Ghouls! On my earthshaker! Why do you all hate it so?

Nasty Vampire trick # 594- He remembered the special rules! My flank became covered with bat swarms, Ethereal swarms, Banshees, wolves, and worse!

Once I regained my higher brain function (no more Guinness between bouts for me), I managed to come back, and only took a Minor Loss.


Order beer. Drink. Repeat.


Undead game Take 3. All right, after losing 2 games to Undead, I now had a better handle on what they do to my army. I grabbed a guy I was drinking with, who's had a bad day as well, and headed off for a third go. At 2,500 points I was able to field everything- all 4 blunderbuss blocks. I countered his attempts to take out the Earthshaker, then proceeded to unleash Blunderbuss volley after Blunderbuss volley on 2 and 3 units at a time, catching them all in crossfire, while Earthshaking them as well. THIS was how it was supposed to go all day! It was a friendly game, so I held back, and ended up with a Minor Victory.


I skipped the restaurant (good move, that) and settled for 7 cups of coffee.


Who do I end up playing? The same guy from last night! It was vuja day all over again. With my wits regained from yesterdays horrendous losses, I got my tactical shit together. I covered half the field in difficult terrain, then set up in the clear with all 4 blunderbuss blocks. His 6 - 30 man units of skellies and zombies lined up against them. Turn 2 Hthaark ( Bull Centaur Lord) ran in and killed his general. The whole army started to shrink by 3-4 models a unit per turn after that (they roll vs. leadership and lose that many models at the start of each turn) That, combined with my awesome setup, meant the game was over. A Massacre! 20 points! Now we're talking.


Having resolved to the need for an additional 100 Hobgoblins, I headed off to see exactly how many grams each weighs... overall, I saved more than 50%! Only $1 a point, instead of $2- neat! (Also got Wilson and Jim their stuff.)


If I could pull this out, I would be almost .500 for the wekend - almost respectable. I drew a Lizardmen player- the scenario gave us all 2,500 pts. - we started only 12" apart- let's rock! This was the best game all weekend, really back and forth, great tactics all round. It boiled down to Magic vs. Blunderbusses and Bull Centaurs and Hobgoblins, with my side winning out. The Centaurs were solely responsible for 1500 victory points in my favour! They wiped out 2-20 man units of saurus (plus standards), 2 units of Kroxigors, and made it off the table edge (twice their value in VP's). The blunderbusses took the rest of his army down to manageable bite sized bits, and then I finished him off. The highlight was the unlikely victory of the Sneaky Gitz against a Slann Mage Lord. He charged in the flank, but only killed one Git. With 8 attacks back, they managed SIX auto wounds, which he promptly failed his saves on! With the final score an astounding 3,200 - 165 in my favour, the game was actually really close for most of the game, and my opponent a blast to play against.


We scooped a prize for 'Best Imitation of a Chaos Dwarf Artillery Crew'. My final scores wee better than I thought- 71 for games, a pleasant 110 for sportsmanship (I failed to reach Best Sport runner up by only 2!), a surprising 30 for comp (I maxed out on rare, Specials, and Characters, and the Blunderbusses were ridiculous- sometimes), and an even more surprising- and disappointing - 39 on painting. I thought I had been in the mid forties easily, but I suspect the super crowded display case cost me HUGE. You just couldn't see any unit or individual model- won't make the same mistake next time.


For next year I've got some work cut out for me. By dropping all the cavalry and Bull Centaur Lord and War Machines (bar Earthshaker) I can field another 70 Hobbos, 20 Gobbos, and 20 Orcs. I also need to get better painting scores, so cool coversions are a must- I will never be able to out paint these guys, but could maybe out model them. Never too soon to start!

Created by: ZiggyQubert. Last Modification: Sunday 25 of January, 2009 02:31:39 PM EST by ZiggyQubert.

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