Crossroads Spring Break Battle Rpt: where did I go wrong?

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Crossroads Spring Break Battle Rpt: where did I go wrong?

Postby teddet » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:14 pm

Okay, this is a quick summary of my games from the most recent crossroads tournament -- if you want pics of my guys, they're in the painting part of the forum. Full results for the tournament are here: http://crossroads-gt.com/files/Spring_Break_Results.htm

Big themes:

Chaff: I think i need more chaff in my list. Pegs are too expensive for chaff, but too good not to have in the list.

Magic: Lore of life was good, but you struggle to have 4 useful spells. The most useful spell by far was dwellers. The games I didn't use it well were the games I lost (and the first game, where I was just trying to understand stuff). BUT, there's not much else in the lore. Toughness is helpful, and I used that a couple times, and the shield of thorns is awesome v. elves but less so v. warriors/empire.

Armies: There was a ton of warriors, a ton of DoC, and quite a few empire and VC armies. The lowest table I played on for the entire tournament was table 7 (by fluke I was on table 1 first game), and all i had around me were empire, warriors, vc and daemons (except for the chaos dwarf guy). There were no other bretonnians at the tournament, NO SKAVEN at all, and only one lizardmen army. (6 tomb kings though). Nobody at the top tables was playing ogres (which I didn't expect).

Games: I'll try to keep this short with key decisions. One thing to keep in mind is that every table had a "marsh" on it that counted as khemri quicksand (dangerous terrain for everything, cav/chariots fail on 1 or 2, and monsters, monstrous cav that fail get sucked in entirely with no saves of any kind). Also, all the tables had at least 2 pieces of terrain that you could hide something big behind.

Game 1: High Elves. Final Score 11:1

He had a MSU/MMU helf army with lots and lots of magic (and magic stealing stuff). I didn't get to cast on my "normal" casting values until I'd killed his mages.

Key moments. He had nominated my bsb and his unit as a "target of opportunity" which got him extra points. I think i still pushed the bsb up into "long charge" range for his unit of 14 white lions with mage and bsb. (I'd softened them up with treb fire a bit before). He thought he was going to smash and break me, but I figured I could hold. As it was, I got extremely lucky and only lost one guy. I was able to send in another unit and grind it down to just the bsb. Even though he flanked me with a lion chariot, I got the points for everything in the end. I had assumed that I would lose a couple guys, maybe even a couple ranks, but that I would be steadfast with the bsb (so re-rollable 9s).

Later in the game, I charged my lord and 9 kotr into 14 swordmasters, took a lot of wounds and whiffed all my attacks. I held b/c it was the "gleaming pennant" unit, so rerollable 9s (stubborn hero). Lord also got lucky. Lesson -- don't get greedy, and make sure you can keep the lord from low leadership checks.

Game 2: playing Empire (1st time I've played against the new book). Final score 3:9 (this is the blood and glory scenario)

He has, giant block of halberdiers with 2 detachments: 10 crossbows, and a big block of militia where he sticks his wizard. There was also a big block of greatswords, about 10-15 inner circle knights, steam tank, hurricanum, 5 pistoliers. For characters, he has a warrior priest to give hatred to all his units, a L4 on light, a L2 on heavens, a general and a bsb.

One other thing to note: I didn't realize I had the charmed shield on my general until late in the game, so played too conservatively with him all game, especially against a stank only list.

Key decision moment:

His halberdier block is behind the marsh, so I don't want to charge it with my knights (and lose 1/3). I've also lost the fast-cav off with the pistoliers on one side, so one bus of knights is getting shot up from behind by pistoliers, and from in front by xbows. So, i decide to make a long charge into the x-bows. I lose a couple more guys on the way in, BUT, b/c I charged with the knights, it's now safe to charge with a unit of peg knights that's been lurking behind the marsh, trying to make him come after me. So, knights (6-7 incl. bsb) and 3 pegs into the x-bows. IF i break through them, then my knights are set up to overrun into his unit of militia that has his L4. X-Bows have a 5+ ward from the warrior priest on them.

Of course, because I'm not remembering my empire list, I forget that he will be steadfast no matter what (b/c i don't have more ranks than the nearby parent unit. I kill 9/10, but he passes (3d6 with a reroll b/c of bsb/"hold the line!").

My depleted knight bus gets flanked by the horde of halberdiers, I fail a bunch of saves and break. This turns my flank, and when my stubborn hero decides to fail his 3+ saves too, my whole flank goes.

I mopped up a few points, but this was a 6:2 that became 9:3 after objectives.

I think that it was the right charge to make, but I should have been more aware of what was likely to happen. I also should have been more careful to block the pistoliers from getting around me and my peg knights.

Game Three: Final Score, 9:3

Another empire player, this time with a huge bus of inner circle knights, Stank, the other magic chariot (with the s7 bolt), a biggish block of halberdiers with a cannon and witch-hunter in them (he nominated my general); four demigryphs and a cannon. He had a general with a runefang (all hits wound automatically with no armour save) and -1 to hit, warrior priests for everything, and a light level 4.

This time, the scenario was grabbing the objectives and moving them off the table edges. He set his objectives weirdly close to mine, and I went with my original plan -- min distance from each corner, and one 6 inches in from that.

Two key decision moments here:

1) I decided to go with the plan, move up my peg knights and hold the objectives on turn 1. I did angle my peg knights as best as possible to make sure they ran off the side of the board if I fled (he was threatening with both demigryphs, stank, and knight bus), but decided that I would risk losing them entirely to get those points. I also tried to use the terrain to my advantage, sticking my pegs in front of impassible terrain (b/c I would bounce through on fleeing, while he would auto fail the charge). He did charge those pegs, and I fled. (And rallied the next turn and moved the objective off the board). The decision to stick with the plan and grab the objectives at all costs meant that I won in the end -- it was +800 vp, and turned a tie into a big win for me.

2) around turn 3, he was threatening with the demigryphs AND the big block of knights. I needed to do something about it but wasn't sure what. So i decided to charge into the block of knights with 2 lances of knights. The other question was whether to throw in my general. His general was on the right (my right) side of the block, and the unit of halberdiers with the KB witch hunter was on the other. So, if I go after the general and whiff, I lose my general to the attacks back (I'd have to get really lucky preventing his attacks back). On the other hand, there's a chance he could flank me with the killing blow witch hunter if I go to my left. However, the warrior priest for his knight block was on the far left, so this cinched it for me -- I figured, if I could kill the warrior priest at the ASF step, then I'm effectively reducing the hits I'll take by about 1/3. Also, I chose NOT to challenge on the theory that if he DID flank me with the halberdiers, I could kill the witch hunter before he killed me and my two big blocks would avoid being flanked (he couldn't flank one block and the general).

However, I didn't count on whiffing on most of my attacks, or the fact that every swing by his general was 4 dead knights. Everything stayed around, but he immediately flanked me with the halberdier block, and wisely chose to go after my knights instead of my general. I did a bit of blocking with a champ, but it was not enough and all three units broke. Thankfully, i got lucky on my rolls and salvaged both blocks and the general. (The general would later die to the khemrian quicksand, but not before doing the 'rally', recieve charge, break, rally, recieve charge, break dance for a couple turns, saving the rest of my stuff.

I was also able to use regrowth to good effect to raise my unit back about 25% and salvage points.

On the whole, i think it was the right decision to go in. His stank meant that I couldn't block well with my peg knights (without losing them), and so I was going to get charged if i didn't do anything (and charging just the demigryphs to get past the knights was not an option). But, there might have been some way to plan it better...

Game 4: Final score 9:3

Warriors of Chaos: Tzeentch L4 (metal) on a disc with a 3+ ward, rerolling 1s. 2 chimeras with regen, 2 blocks of 18 tz sword and shield warriors, 1 unit of 4 trolls with AHWs, 2 units of 5 warhounds, a bsb on daemonic mount, and a L2 shadow on daemonic mount.

This was the "take and hold" scenario where you got VPs and battle points for holding three fixed objectives (most wounds) at the end of the game. Warriors was about the worst army I thought i could face, and I wasn't sure what to do with the Tz caster. Apparently the answer was, wait until he sucks himself into the warp casting final transmutation on me for the 4th time! I dealt with one chimera on turn one with a judicious application of flaming bowshots and treb. The second chimera died to treb eventually (my HKB lord jockeyed for position with him for most of the game, keeping him from getting too close (same for Tz disc guy)).

Key decision points: I didn't charge into combat until the bottom of turn 4. I knew I couldn't take a block of warriors to the side of a lance, but I had to kill one of the three blocks to get through -- otherwise he still had more wounds than me. I spent a lot of time weathering magic and waiting for the right time to charge. When I did charge i was able to blast through the trolls/bsb and get all my units to safety. His central tz block never saw combat the whole game.

Other key decision point was bottom of six when I was trying to take all the objectives. I had enough wounds on the middle objective to hold it, despite his 18 warriors, but he had ~14 wounds on the other objective, and I could only get 12 there (lord, 2 heroes and the 4 survivors of a double transmutation). But, I moved the L4 out of the unit, and prepared to dwellers my way to victory. Then rolled snake-eyes for magic :D. A magic missile did nothing, and two treb shots scattered (one even cost me a couple wounds). So I couldn't take the final objective to turn a 9:3 into a 12:0, but I still felt like this was my best and most tactical game of the tournament.

Game 5: Final Score 3:9

Chaos Dwarves. He had K'Dai, 3 bull centaurs, big block of infernal guard, big block of hobgoblins, lone bull centaur tauruk, lone hobgoblin on wolf, l4 death, l2 metal, 2 death rockets and a hell cannon.

This was straight up battleline. He set everything up in the corner to my left (from left to right it was hobgoblins, death rockets, infernal guard, hell cannon, tauruk, k'dai, wolf-goblin, bull centaurs.

I set up one lance in the center and two on the right (I was hoping to come around a marsh in the middle and sweep through his flank).

I think there were 2 key turning points in this game:

1) vanguard moves: I moved a unit of peg knights up so that they were in easy charge range of his death rockets. I left him a 10 inch charge with his tauruk, which he made on the bottom of turn one, killed my guys, and overran into my backfield. I also didn't appropriately block off his wolf rider, which permitted him to get behind my archers on turn one and take out my war machines (slowly).

2) Bottom of 2: I'd moved my general up to threaten the k'dai, and my wizard out to take on the wolf rider. Unfortunately, I lost the general to a unstoppable, max-distance death snipe (leadership 10 +6 on a d6, v. L9 plus 4 and no ward saves), and then I lost the wizard to a hell cannon shot that hit, got through her ward save, and did more than 3 wounds.

After that, it was trying to even out the score, but it was too far to climb back up hill.

I'd really like the game to do over, because I think it was emminently winnable. BUT, I'm still happy that i put myself in contention for top 5 placement by the end of game 4, so still my "best" tournament overall I think

Overall, I placed 13th at the tournament. I was 11th on battle points, and a win of any size in the last game would likely have gotten me into the top 10. (I think a 12 would have had me tied for 5th). There's always September...
teddet
 
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Re: Crossroads Spring Break Battle Rpt: where did I go wrong

Postby Lanceocletian » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:24 pm

Would you mind posting your list, it would be easier to give advice seeing what you brought.
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Re: Crossroads Spring Break Battle Rpt: where did I go wrong

Postby teddet » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:51 pm

Good point:

Lord on Peg, HKB, ASF sword, charmed shield, and the bret item that forces you to accept challenges

L4 on Life (dispel scroll, mounted)

BSB, 1+ rerollable save, lance (per the rules of the tournament)

Hero, morning star, stubborn helm

3 x 11 KOTR (1 with gleaming pennant, one with leadership banner)

3 x 3 peg knights (musician and champ in each)

1 x 10 archers with flaming arrows

2 x treb.
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Re: Crossroads Spring Break Battle Rpt: where did I go wrong

Postby Lanceocletian » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:43 pm

My initial thoughts:

You're expressing a lot of hesitancy about the nature of some of the combats against other good combat units. In particular, whether you thought you would win, hold, survive, etc once the knight block got stuck and engaged. Generally, it worked out for you, but there were some instances where it didn't go as planned such as against that Empire list. My thoughts might be to further clarify the combat of each of your main knight units-You already have one unit well designed for holding with a bsb, stubborn helm, and life mage, but I would suggest a 'hittier' combat unit. Perhaps drop one of the pegasus units to pick-up a couple of combat heroes with good magic items or simply double-handed weapons for protracted combats.

Additionally, you did really well overall, it sounds like minor list adjustments, Moreover, you're recognizing deployment and movement mistakes, which is usually corrected from simply playing more and gaining the gaming equivalent of 'muscle memory.'
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Re: Crossroads Spring Break Battle Rpt: where did I go wrong

Postby teddet » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:08 pm

Interesting -- i hadn't thought of that. I play with one of my mounted characters in each lance -- i.e., one stubborn lance with the gleaming pennant, one lance with bsb and L9, and one with the mage (and nothing else, so it hurts less if she blows up). I agree that I live and die by the charge, but hadn't thought of trying to get more killing power on my characters.

My main thought after the tournament was to reform the list as follows (and this includes bumping it back up to the "standard" 2500) --

Keep KOTR/Lord/Characters, drop 1 unit of pegs for 3 min units of yeomen and 10 more archers with flaming shots. I figured this gave me more throwaway drops, and actual cheap redirectors (rather than using peg units). I'd have to see what I could get for 75 points (cost of yeoman unit). Maybe I could throw in a punchier character? I just tend to find that brets, like empire, have to fight with whole units. Maybe a tooled up lord on horse could do it, but then I'm out of points for the L4 and the HKB lord.
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Re: Crossroads Spring Break Battle Rpt: where did I go wrong

Postby Anger Worm » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:09 pm

Why wouldn't the Level 4 hold the crown? She can sit in the middle of a unit perfectly safe and keep them stubborn and scroll. Then your Paladin turns into a 70-something point utility redirector, or you dump him and add a damsel on beasts with the silver mirror for some double scroll hotness. Dump the gleaming pennant too as it has to be used on their first leadership test - almost useless. You've got points in that 3rd KOTR unit, which you could instead turn into a 6 pack for lighter jobs and add another pali. Don't drop any pegasus knights as they're mint.
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Re: Crossroads Spring Break Battle Rpt: where did I go wrong

Postby teddet » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:32 pm

All the recent bret comps have said no stubborn crown on a wizard, otherwise I would have.

I will have to try the smaller lance. I want to try with more yeomen first, but maybe that's the way to go -- keep the peg knights, and make one of the lances smaller.
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Re: Crossroads Spring Break Battle Rpt: where did I go wrong

Postby Anger Worm » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:26 am

Ah, I see the crown thing on the xroads site. That's random. Double scroll is a great option.
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