Thursday, April 5, 2018

AAR - Standoff SNAFU

Well, well, well... Spring has arrived in full force!  And with the warm breeze has come, for the first time... the information for the 6th Annual Japan Open Team Tournament!  We are officially getting underway, and here, in a Duty Log exclusive, is all the information you need to join us! That's right, it's almost time for the Crash at the Castle... the Rumble 'round the Ramparts...
We wanna join the tourney!
Japan Open Team Tournament:
     Date:  Sunday, October 7th, 2018
     Location:  Fukuyama Civic Center, behind Fukuyama Castle
     Time:  Doors open at 9, Registration at 9:15, First round begins at 10:00
     Players:  8 teams of 3 players each (24 participants total) will battle it out for the Championship.

     Cost:  4500 yen per team (1500 per person)  This amount will include the fee for renting the room, all mats, terrain and zones that will be used in the tournament (provided by the Fukuyama Gaming Club), as well as prizes and trophies.  After the tournament there will be a dinner party for those who wish to attend, more details on that to follow!  Also, there will be an open gaming day the day after the tournament at the same location (October 8th), which will cost 500 yen per person (you absolutely do not HAVE to come to the open day, but we'd love to see you there!).

     Armies:  This tournament will be played according to the 2018 Steamroller rules, so make sure you check that on the Privateer Press site to see what requirements for army creation are.  EACH PLAYER must bring 2 75 point lists from their corresponding Factions (team members do not need to field the same faction, but both lists for every player must be from the same faction).  These lists MUST be submitted by email to the Tournament Organizer by Midnight, Monday October 3rd, and each player must bring a written or printed list to be made avaliable for your opponents.  ALL MODELS IN BOTH LISTS MUST MUST MUST BE PAINTED AND BASED WITH FRONT ARCS MARKED AS PER THE HARDCORE RULE SET.  There will be no exceptions, unpainted models will forfeit the match, so PAINT YOUR MODELS!!!

     Teams:  This is a team tournament.  Teams will consist of 3 player.  Teams may assemble themselves, or, if a person needs help finding a team, we can assist them in finding teammates.  If you would like to participate and need help being place on a team, contact the tournament organizer.  There will be no geographical restrictions on teams so a team can include a player from Tokyo and a player from Fukuoka (for example).   TEAMMATES MAY NOT ASSIST EACH OTHER OR OFFER ADVICE WHILE BATTLES ARE IN PROGRESS.

     Prizes:  Trophies/medals will be awarded to each member of the top three teams, as determined by Steamroller 2018 criteria.  There will be additional prizes for "Best Painted" and "Best Sportsmanship", as well as a special prize for our most unlucky team.

     Contact: To register or make any inquiries, please contact the following people...
          Eric Perez - Tournament Organizer
          Daniel McCartney - English Coordinator -

Working Hard or Hardly Working:
I am pleased to announce that finally... FINALLY... Sovereign Tristan and the remaining 4 Deliverer Skyhammers are FINISHED!  And because I wanted to be done DONE with Deliverers, I also finished the Delieverer Arms Master and the 2 grunts for my unfinished Deliverer Sunburst Crew, leaving the actual Sunburst itself as the final Deliverer model left for me to paint!
     Working Hard:  Sovereign Tristan Durant and 4 Deliverer Skyhammers

And with that, both of my warcasters for this year are complete!  Now, just a few solos left to have 2 fully painted lists.  With the Skyhammers finished, the Testament of Menoth's list is only a few models from completion!  The Champion of the Wall (mounted and unmounted), a Paladin solo, and 2 Choir members are all that's left to reach full paint!

The Fukuyama Gaming Club is meeting next on May 20!
Also, our buddies down at the Saijo Gaming Club in Hiroshima City will be meeting April 15.
But even more important, get your teams together and register for the 6th annual Japan Open!

The Winter Witch is come!
And with that, let's take a look at one of the epic battles that we had at the March meeting of the Fukuyama Gaming Club.  This month we had a standoff between one of the newest Trollblood warlocks, Kolgrima Stonetruth, the winter witch, and Sovereign Tristan Durant, who recently became a fully fledged warcaster for the Protectorate.  I had really high hopes for this battle...I'm super interested in all the new Northkin stuff that's coming out for the Trollbloods, so I was really happy to face this army, which also included the new Lookout models!  Tristan is also one of my favorite of the Protectorate warcasters as far as story goes... that whole "good guy trying to save as many as he can in a bad situation" kind of thing really calls to me.  Unfortunately...this was definitely not one of my great battles.  Not by a long shot.  As DTB said, "You were your own worst enemy."  Yeah, it was really.... not pretty... Well, you'll see.  We ended up with the Standoff scenario, and sadly, since DTB gets to add +1 to his starting roll due to his theme force, he won the starting roll and chose to go second.... NOOOO!!!  I like going second!  Dang!

Army List, Protectorate of Menoth:
Tristan's Guardians of the Temple
     Warcaster - Sovereign Tristan Durant
         Reckoner X 2
         Temple Flameguard (Maximum)
           - Officer and Standard Bearer
         Daughers of the Flame
         Choir Of Menoth (Minimum)
         Phyrrus, Flameguard Hero

Okay, so first of all, we noticed after the game was completed that this is actually not a valid list... too many points... oops!  Not that it helped me, haha!  Phyrrus is floating in there for no good reason.  He just tagged along with the rest of the Flameguard.  Any-hoo, so this is a Guardians of the Temple theme list, it will give me Ambush for the Daughters of the Flame (who also have Acrobatics and Anatomical Precision, which will make them devestating in the backfield, especially against Trollkin since they can't make Tough rolls!).  Also, my Temple Flameguard will get Tough and cannot be knocked down in B2B.

Army List, Trollblood:
Kolgrima's Kriel Company
     Warlock - Kolgrima Stonetruth, the Winter Witch 
          Glacier King
          Pyre Troll
          Scattergunners (Maximum)
            - Officer and Standard Bearer
           Pyg Lookouts (Maximum)
           Bushwackers (Maximum)
             - Officer and Moarter
           Sluggers (Minimum) X 2
           Pummler Crew
           Thumper Crew

Ahhh, nostalgia... this is a list that reminds me of a lot of DTB's old Mk. 2 lists (and my old lists, to be honest), which means LOTS OF DUDES!!!  This is a Kriel Company theme force, which gives DTB a +1 to his starting roll, and all of his warrior models can see through other friendly warrior models to draw line of sight and he can shoot through them and all kinds of stuff... something about being unable to accidentally shoot his own models, or something that sounds a bit cheatery to me...

Setup, Protectorate:
We fear no Witch!
I started by placing a skirmish line of the Temple Flameguard (and the illegal Phyrrus model) as far forward as they could go, with the Revenger on the right side of them to try and get my arc node as far into the field as it could go.  Behind the Flameguard were the three heavy 'jacks, the two remaining light 'jacks, Tristan next to the Vanquisher, and the Choir mixed in to get as much coverage as possible while still maintaining formation.

Setup, Trollblood:
Trolls are ready to go!
DTB started by banging down a GARGANTUAN right in the middle of the board... ugh!  In front of them went the Scattergunners in a skirmish line, with the Pummeler Crew on the right flank, and one unit of Sluggers between the heavy gun and the Gargantuan.  On the other side of the Scattergunners, Kolgrima set up next to her Pyre Troll and Trollsus.  Left of the flaming troll was the second set of Sluggers, and finally the Thumper Crew.

Advanced Deployment, Protectorate:
My Daughters of the Flame have advanced deployment, but since the theme force grants them Ambush, instead of normal deployement, you can choose to have them come onto the board from any table edge (except your opponent's deployment zone), in any of your maintainence phases.  So, I'll keep them back for now!

Advanced Deployment, Trollblood:
Pygs are speedy!
The Lookouts went right in front of the ice wall near the central rectangular zone, while the Bushwackers hid behind the forest on the left.  Mighty Pygs, out in front!  Have I mentioned lately that I love the new Lookout models?  They are DELIGHTFUL!  How can I actually try and take out that dude hanging out in the snowman?  Privateer Press really does a good job on their models...

Our Story:
The Northern Crusade has ended.  Tristan, in his new role as Sovereign, was sent to escort several unis of Flameguard from Lael back to the heart of the Protectorate.  As he and his forces passed through the last of a winter storm, they were ambushed by the Winter Witch, on one of her many patrols to protect her fellow Northkin and their territory.  As the standoff between the two leaders intensified, a skimrish between the two was the only possible outcome.

Round 1, Protectorate:
Get to the zone!
The Flameguard ran toward the edge of the zone and broke into 3 groups in B2B.  Phyrrus, ignorant of the fact that he shouldn't be there, ran to join the far right group.  The Revenger ran into the fog.  All of the other 'jacks ran to the edge of the zone, except the Vanquisher, who is S.L.O.W. and wasn't able to keep up, though he ran as far as he could.  The Choir moved up behind them and put passage on the Revenger, the Vanquisher, and both of the Reckoners.  Tristan moved up behind the Vanquisher and cast Inviolable Resolve on the Flameguard through the arc node on the Revenger.

Round 1, Trollblood:
Curse those troublesome Menites!
The Bushwackers took the lead by moving into the zone and taking 2 combined ranged attacks into the Revenger for 13 damage... Yikes!  Not a good start for me!  The Lookouts moved into the forest in the middle zone, while the Sluggers on the right ran forward.  The Pummeler Crew moved up and took a shot at the Flameguard, but missed... they were awfully far away!  The Scattergunners ran into the zone, and the second set of Sluggers also ran, as did the Thumper Crew.  Trollsus moved behind the wall, and put Harmonious Exaltation on Kolgrima.  The Glacier King used his Frozen Ground animus before charging the Vanquisher, which of course failed... the big frozen dummy!  Kolgrima cast Freezing Mist twice to make two cloud effects that would block line of sight to her troops and cause a -2 to attack rolls from living models that enter the cloud.  Cause it's cold... then she moved up behind the wall, before casting Vanish, letting her move in front of the wall before ending her turn.

Round 2, Protectorate:
Ohhhh, the horror... THE HORROR
Okay, this is where my defeat of myself began.  Turn one was a standard, strong turn.  Turn two is more of a ... well... you'll see.  The Temple Flameguard moved up a little and got into two large shield walls, and Phyrrus joined them.  Tristan moved forward and cast Manifest Destiny, giving an additional die on melee and damage rolls, drop the lowest die, to his whole battle group.  Then... FEAT!!!  Immediately, all his 'jacks gain 1 focus, and Tristan gets one focus from each of his 'jacks!  Yowza!  Using that extra focus, he cast Hand of the Creator on the Revenger to heal it for 3 points, and then cast Cleansing Fire at the Bushwackers, but missed.  The Choir moved up and put Battle on the Vanquisher, Redeemer, and both Reckoners.  Okay, so far, so good, right?  Well, this is where it all goes wrong...The Revenger moved to the edge of the zone... my poor sacrificial lamb... The Repenter used all three shots, and managed to knock down 1 Scattergunner and killed a Slugger... but I completely forgot about Manifest Destiny, and could have done so much more!  The Repenter flamed another Scattergunner, but even though it caught fire, it was tough and so was just knocked down.  The Vanquisher missed his shot against the Scattergunners because I forgot about Manifest Destiny again, while the Reckoner on the left did 10 damage on a shot to the Glacier King (again forgetting Manifest Destiny, so it could have been even better), and the right Reckoner completely pasted a poor little Pyg Bushwacker.  So, round 2, I paid for Manifest Destiny but didn't use it even a single time in six activations, didn't do anything useful with the Revenger except leave it out in the open to die, and FORGOT TO AMBUSH WITH THE DAUGHTERS!!!!  Nice!

Round 2, Trollblood:

The beatdown begins!
Okay!  So, there is a guy on fire, he's knocked down, and therefore cannot make a tough roll...all I need is a 3 or better to kill him off...DOUBLE ONES!  Haha, of course.
The Thumper Crew scooted up and took a shot at the Flameguard, killing two by pushing one through another before slamming into the Repenter.  But wait... if only I remembered my own rules!  And I quote "Inviolable Resolve - target model (ie, my Flameguard) cannot be moved by a push or a slam."  Wow.  So that's two spells that I spent the focus for but didn't remember to get any of the benefits for.  Sometimes I disappoint myself!  Oh well... I didn't remember at the time, so to the Creator of Man those two boys go!  The Scattergunners moved into the zone and opened fire!  They failed to kill the Standard Bearer, but did put 7 damage on the Redeemer.  The Glacier King aimed at the Repenter and did 6 damage, then reloaded and did another 10!  whaaa!  That's not good!  The Lookouts moved up to the very edge of the forest and opened fire, somehow managing to miss absolutely everything!
Look at this guy!
Yes!  Luck may be swinging my way!  The right Sluggers got three shots each and loaded them into the Revenger, but came away doing only about 4 damage!  The Bushwackers did 2 more CRA's (those are dangerous!), leaving 1 single damage point on the Revenger!  The Pyre Troll moved into the zone and finished off the poor Revenger that I sent off die for no appreciable gain.  At least he kept those guys busy instead of harrassing my other models.  The Pummeler took a shot at the left Reckoner, and missed!  It's an AOE, so it deviated back onto one of the left Sluggers and killed him!  Woot!  Kolgrima moved forward to the front edge of the zone and cast Freezing Mist two more times, trying to block line of sight and keep my guys from charging into her troops.  Then, she reached way down deep inside herself and FEAT!  In this feat she gets to push all enemy models in her control area 2" back and cannot make ranged attacks for one round (marked in this game by the lovely snowflake tokens DTB used!)  Trollsus and the other Sluggers moved forward, and that's 2 CP's to DTB!

Round 3, Protectorate:
No ranged attack for me this turn!
Okay...I'm not going to lie... last round, on both of our turns, I made a LOT of mistakes.  But that's okay!  Never give up!  I'm going to turn this game around, starting NOW!!!  First thing, Daughters Ambush onto the table!  I've got them staring down the backs of the Thumper Crew... not wanting to leave those poor Trolls any chance to notice their danger, they took the first activation.  One girl got into the backs of the Thumper Crew, and the others spread out into the Scattergunners.  Both Thumper grunts died horrible deaths (each Daughter gets 2 attacks), and 6 Scattergunners also fell.
Hey, did you hear something behind us?
The Flameguard charged, doing amazing work and dispatching the other 2 left Sluggers, 3 more Scattergunners, and one of the Lookouts (not the snowman, thank Menoth!).  Phyrrus walked into the Frozen Mist, for he fears no witchcraft, and killed another Lookout.  The Repenter brutally mauled another Scattergunner, while the Redeemer ran into the zone... gotta disrupt those zones or DTB will simply win on scenerio!  The Choir moved up and put Battle on the Vanquisher and the Reckoners.  The Right Reckoner FINALLY REMEMBERED THAT TRISTAN'S BATTLE GROUP CAN SEE THROUGH CLOUDS and charged the right Sluggers, taking out one and putting 10 damage on the Pyre Troll.  The other Reckoner watched his buddy go, remembered that he, too, can see through the clouds and followed his lead, charging another Slugger and putting 10 more damage on the Pyre Troll.  And.... BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP!  Game Over!

Victory for the Trollkin!
Though his forces were finally hitting their stride, Tristan had his Vanquisher vent a blast of steam, calling his forces back from the fighting.  He had no desire to risk any more of his troops to Kolgrima's magic.  His mission lay to the south, and he would gladly leave the north to its native kin.

Okay... so my main missteps -
     1) Spending lots of focus on spells and then not using the benefits of those spells
     2) Sacrificing my Revenger for no return
     3) Forgetting to Ambush with my murderous Daughters
     4) Most damning of all... spending all of the game staring at Kolgrima's Frozen Mist clouds thinking, aww, I can't shoot anything, I can't charge anything, what am I going to do when in reality, ALL of Tristan's battle group has True Sight, which ignores clouds for LOS and also ignores Stealth.
I roll my eyes at myself.  The good thing is, I learned a lot, and I mean, a LOT this game.  Next time I use Tristan, I guarentee I'll correct the problems and have a well oiled killing machine of an army, hungry for a win!

Thanks for the game, DTB!  Sorry you had to put up with my bumbling, but next time, I'll give you a run for your money!

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