The Cult of Change

'Mad' Matt Birdoff's monthly chronicle of how he will build a fully converted Warhammer Fantasy army for the 2004 tournament season.

Part 6: Baltimore GT

GT Placing: 8th out of 160 Fantasy players,
2nd of Player's Choice Fantasy armies, Baltimore 2004 GT

The Cult of Change came into town ready to show off their tasty paint jobs and hopefully win a few games in the process. I had a Tzeentch Daemon prince with blade of ether, master of mortals, and a dispel, Tzeentch Exalted on a steed with a GW, 2 ranked marauder units, 1 unit of chosen warriors on foot with halberds, 2 small beast herds, 2 chariots, 2 spawn, 5 screamers and some centigors!

Game 1- Randy Atchman, Empire, Desert table
Randy had brought the Boris Todbringer Special; nasty units of Empire cav backed up with characters mixed with fast cav dog units. As a backup, 2 cannon and some infantry. The desert table was good and bad for me, as all the hills protected me from his cannon for most of the game, but my beast units didn't have any difficult terrain to take advantage of. Randy knew what he was doing, and set up in 2 main detachments to prove it, with a cannon and flanking cav units to the left and right. I went for a refused flank, protecting my ass with a marauder unit, a herd and a chariot, with the rest of my army making up the head of the attack. Basically, my refused flank got severely outplayed when Randy's cav pulled off a combo charge on my Herd, overrunning into the marauders. Unfortunately for Randy, he started rolling what seemed to be an unending string of 1's and 2's- the marauders ended up breaking his big cav unit, running them down. Flank refused, indeed!

The head of my attack went off without a hitch when Randy bit on the bait I laid for him- namely my screamers- with a 2nd cav unit and the big man himself, Boris. A combo counter charge from my Daemon Prince and exalted then saw them both off, with the rest of his army following close behind. In the end it was a massacre and no doubt, but if he'd broken through my rearguard (as he should have!) it would have been a tight game indeed!

Game 2- Erik Frye, Empire � Chaos Wastes table
I've known Erik for a few years, but this was our first game � and what a game! He'd brought a very well rounded army, with 2 heavy cav, 1 pistoliers, 2 cannon, a hellblaster, flagellants, Great Swords, Griffon Standard unit, and some detachments. He set up in 3 parts; 1 heavy cav and the pistoliers on my left, infantry in the middle, flagellants and the other knights on my right. I went for a refused flank toward his flagellants, mainly to avoid the hellblaster for a turn while I dealt with at least 1 cannon. I got the first turn and went right to it! Sending the Daemon Prince, centigors, a herd, and the screamers off to get the cannon before it got me. On his turn we had a bit of a rules dispute- I mistakenly thought that cannon needed to draw LOS through a unit it was legally allowed to target, as opposed to a single character on foot within 5" of a unit. I felt bad when I realized I had been in the wrong for the past year! It didn't matter in the end, as the Daemon Prince's ward save managed to stave off what would be the first of many attempts on his life.

A few combined charges on the left saw off Erik's entire right flanking force, while his left flankers got caught between a spawn and some marauders and were sent packing. Over the next few turns I picked apart most of the support units, leaving mainly just his Griffon Standard unit and Great Swords standing unit at the end of the game. Erik was a tough opponent though, and we clearly need a rematch in Philly to see if he can get me back!

Game 3 � Allen Blessing, Skaven- Empire table
Two good wins for a start, but when I saw Allen's army list I knew my shot at 5-0 was gone. This was clearly an impossible game for me to win. Allen had the shooting to do for my Daemon Prince with ease (625 VP by himself!) and then the numbers to beat off any frontal attack I could muster. It was a fair army, however, and Allen was a fun and pleasant opponent, even after I introduced myself saying "Well, it'll be my pleasure losing to you!" Sadly, I was indeed correct.

Knowing I'd lose ahead of time was actually a bit relaxing, so I just went for it and hoped for some bad luck on Allen's part. The DP and screamers aimed for a jezzail line screened by some swarms on a hill, with a warp fire cannon and the rest of his guns in echelon to the right. The rest of my army pulled right around some woods, hoping to avoid being enveloped by Allen's superior numbers. It all started off well, with the screamers and Terror of the Daemon Prince doing in the first jezzail unit, some gutter runners, and a ratling gun. A second ratling gun did 3 wounds on the DP, with his swarms (of all things!) finishing him off. The rest of the game went as expected as well, with Skaven proving once again that they own me!

Game 4 � Herman Higgins, Orcs, Empire table
Herman was a noob, and a real competitive one as well. He had a big orc army with a wyvern, ranked boar boyz with chariot, Black Orcs, some arrer boyz and bolt throwers, 2 infantry blocks, and 3 level 2 mages to top it off. He set up his fast units on my left, which I countered with the main part of my army; Daemon Prince, screamers, centigors, chosen and a chariot. His center had all the infantry, backed by the wyvern, which I faced off with my marauder units, spawn and a chariot. My right had his arrer boyz and wolfriders against a herd and a spawn.

We both moved up cautiously in the first turn, but then his wyvern took the bait of a spawn with marauder infantry and chariot as countercharge units behind it. (No real idea what he was thinking here � maybe that I'd fail some terror tests?) The marauders sent him running off, with my screamers chasing him off the board edge next turn. On my left, the Daemon Prince and centigors went through his boar boyz, while my screamers went mage and chariot hunting (Herman had accidentally left them exposed). On the right the spawn ran the table, killing everything on that side of the board. The Daemon Prince, chosen, chariot, and exalted jumped on his big black orc unit, and that was that � or so I thought!

With the game clearly over, I decided for some fun and went into the remaining orc units with my marauders and a chariot in what was clearly a meaningless but hopefully fun end to the game. I lost them all, but was clearly ahead by over 1000 points or more, so didn't care. I pointed all this out, but Herman still wanted to add it all up. Thankfully he attempted no shenanigans � but then went on to dock my soft scores, dropping me in PAINTING of all things! I thought to say something, but in the end decided that while I was annoyed, I didn't really care all that much. Herman, if you're reading this, I'd love an explanation.

Game 5 � Lou Valenti, Chaos � Ice table
Lou had a hard army indeed, consisting of lord on a daemon steed, aspiring champ in with ranked Chosen knights, aspiring champ with ranked normal knights, marauder horse, 3 Dragon Ogres and a Shaggoth. No holds barred! I set up with retreat in mind, hiding my ranked units and chariots behind an impassible ice lake, while the fast stuff went round his back. Lou came at me full speed ahead! My centigors killed his marauders, running off into a corner not to be seen from again, while my Daemon Prince and screamers went round his back. His Lord ran out in range of my marauders, which I clearly had to charge in on the chance they'd win(they tied), while my Daemon Prince, screamers, exalted, and a chariot combined on his non-chosen knights, killing them to a man, with the exalted and screamers overrunning into his Lord. Lou countered with his Shaggoth into the flank of the marauder unit, breaking them all with just my exalted escaping. I then went into the Dragon Ogres' flank with my DP for a few turns of tzeentch-infused ether blade cuttiness, while his Shaggoth ran through the rest of my army, doing in my Chosen. It was a rear charge into the Shaggoth with a beast herd (of all things!) that eventually enacted revenge for the their death. Meanwhile my Daemon Prince took too long killing the Dragon Ogres, enabling his Chosen Knights to get in a rear charge! I assumed I was toast, but after Lou whiffed and I did 5 wounds back, I managed my instability test and proceeded to kill the remainder of the unit. Lou's Daemon Steed-less lord (the marauders killed it) hid in the woods to avoid what would have been 4 magic missile attacks to end the game, but my Daemon Prince managed to walk into the woods and got off a lucky fire spell to finish him. Probably the most exciting game of the GT for me, but I think I was a bit too pumped up for Lou who looked ready for a nap. My shouts of CHAOS ROCKS!!!!OMG!!!1!1!!WTF!11! didn't seem to go over very well, but I was a bit in the moment.

The awards came around, and I either won 2nd place Player's Choice, or lost 1st place Player's Choice, depending on your point of view. If anybody but Chis Walton's TK army had won it, I'd have been upset, but I was merely disappointed. Chis had an awesome army, and his win was well deserved! Painting scores were, as all knew, completely arbitrary with barely painted armies finishing ahead of beautiful ones. GW was clearly correct in that their judges, while not perfect, at least have a .950 batting average. This system felt more like .250. No sour grapes on my part at all, as the 4 points I 'lost' didn't matter once Allen's Skaven did me in.

My 4-1 record brought me an astounding 8th place (!) with a very average army containing a 600-point sink that will die to pretty much everything. I think this was my best overall showing, as with 160 participants the top ten is hard to break into. Gives me hope for the next one!

Created by: system. Last Modification: Monday 26 of January, 2009 12:10:54 AM EST by ZiggyQubert.

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