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Throne of Skulls... Heat 1

Munkey

Grave Guard
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
257
#1
Hi everyone!

My name is Munkey & I have jumped from Asrai.org to let you guys know how I did in the Throne of Skulls Tournement - Heat 1, this weekend. I have been a long time reader but this is my first post. I appologise in advance if it is a little long but here goes...

I was originally going to take Woodies but my brain couldn't cope with 6 chess matches of 'hide & seek', especially with those nasty Daemons lurking around every corner. Recently my GF has got into Warhammer and has been bitten by the Vamps!

Having faced her too many times I came to realise how tactically flexible the VC army list could be. Any army that can end a game with more troops/units than it started with has got to be worth a go... especially with the new tournement rules.

I bought my army about 4 weeks before the event & got busy with the glue, snips and paints. I hadn't completely decided on my list until I wrote it very early on Saturday morning!

Count Mannfred + Barded Steed + Book Arkhan & Crimson Gem... The CG could be used to sneak a couple of dice out to get an all important Danse off when needed & DD have all been used.

Wight King + Barded Skeletal Steed + BsB + Banner Drakenhof... To faithfully provide a regen save to which ever unit he joins & challenge anyone giving Mannfred the 'eye'.

Vampire + Dark Acolyte + Lord of the Dead + Helm of Commandment + Black Periapt... Hang back, give a little Nehek here or there. Lend his WS out when required.

Only 3 heroes, 2 of which can cast. 10 PD... 11 with Periapt and maybe more if Mannfred gets stuck in!

10 Skeletons + Full Command

10 Skeletons + Full Command

20 'mighty' zombies... people questioned starting with 20 zombies when they can be easily raised but having a portable defensive shield against range 30" missile fire is comforting + PD might be needed elsewhere!

17 Grave Guard + Great Weapons + Champion + Standard... No Banner of Barrows, was taken out to accomodate rare choice...

5 BloodKnights + Champion + Standard + Flag of the Bloood Keep... One thing I have witnessed through many years of gaming is that tough hard hitting units/titans/terminator squads not only survive but tend to maul opponents and win battles. Somes times, when it comes to the crunch (yes i've been there... more than once) having a solid unit, that scares the enemy & has a good chance to survive, will only do. I was aware of the potential for this unit to be led a merry dance around the battlefield BUT... If containing Mannfred + BsB, it can survive most attacks, magically blast any fast cavalry & use Danse to charge 22" or change facing - if led away (more on this later).

Mannfred & the BsB could also lurk in the GG unit & let the BK run rampant, if the right opponant showed up! I will give a brief outline of what happened in each game. I would love to go more in-depth but alas time is too important for note taking in a 2 hour game with special missions to aim at.

Game 1 - Capture table 1/4s... Mine worth 1 pt, his worth 3. Opponant Daemons of Chaos inc a KoS... oh dear. I place Mannfred & the BsB in the BKs. No 'flee-ers' in the daemons list so no being led away - apart from the deadly Siren! I raise my units to decent sizes and wait for the Daemons to run me over. He advances the KoS alongside a unit of Daemonettes inc the BsB of Sundering (he didn't like that Nehek was un-sunderable!). The BsB then, to my amazment, sirened my BK + BsB + Mannfred unit into the damonettes + KoS... ok? Well, following a very brief combat phase, my unit over-runs into a unit of horrors, who had a "dear lord what was that KoS thinking" look about them. Following the demise of his KoS it was all down hill from then. I had More PD than he could cope with. Insult being added when a unit of WS 6 Zombie ninja's finished off a second Daemonette unit. I had my table quarters & denied his 2x 5 furies capturing his.

Result Victory to VC 2 - 0 2000+ vps to VC - 0 to Daemons!

Game 2 - Capture the Flag... Each player places 2 tokens. Amry holding the most tokens at end wins. Enemy = Dark Elves. This scenario is un lossable for VC, in my oppinion. Simply place 1 token in 1 corner. Place second 12" away along the side board edge. Sit 1 unit skellies on token 1, advance unit zombies/skellies on token 2. Keep rest of force nearby to deal with anyone coming to capture your tokens. By not going for their tokens 100 % of my force faces less than 100% of his as he's having to guard each token with atleast 2 x units of 5 models. 1 good Wind of Undeath and he has 0 tokens! You simply Nehek the guarding units big & prevent them getting near. My opponant was a good friend, who I face every week & who new he had no chance of budging me. We had a game of how many zombies can a DE army kill in 6 turns... result 126!
Game result = draw. (we had asked both adjoining tables to swap & both had refused).

Game 3 - Total Annhilation - Each unit is woth points (not VPs) Core = 1, Special = 2 etc. Winner is army with most points at the end. If you have an army of lots of small units & several special ones, then you will not enjoy this game. Opponant Wood Elf MSU army... Ha ha ha! Again this is a scenario that, I think, can play right into VC hands. Constant Neheking and good use of terrain can work wonders here. They cannot get any points if units are kept hidden. This forces the opponent to come to you - into magic missile/Curse/BKs range. I played a very nice Italian player who managed, following a couple of turns of kiss chase, to lure my BKs + BsB & Mannfred out into the open. However the Mannfred I use has the potential to cast Danse a whooping 5 times... then use the book to do it anyway. This turns the facing of my unit, opening up a plethora of targets for the frenzied mob. However the BK's are facing a classic combines charge of Wardancers + Dryads & Wild Riders (his first mistake. By putting three units into the BKs, with the WR in the middle, he could only get 1 WD in base contact with Mannfred. Had he held back the WR he would have had 3 WD in contact, tripling his chances). The WD swings his sword. Mannfred blocks 2 with his sword. Strength 4 vs toughness 5. Before I could stop my self I hear myself say "anything but a 6... " Several crumble tests later I find myself left with the GG, 1 unit of Skellies & a unit of BKs who have just run down the WDs + WRs & the Dryads. The Italian guy sundenly realises his army is strung out in a nice line in front of a large unit of BKs who are a tad angry at losing their general! Incidentally you've never seen an individual vamp work so hard at neheking a crumbling army. It reminded me of those 'plate-spinning' acts of times gone by.
Result - Victory to the VCs. 14 - 7

Game 4 - Annhilation - again versus Wood Elves. This game was a complete chess match of manouvring, charge arcs & Mannfred nervously eyeing anything that looks remotely like a Wardancer! This was a fantastic game, best of the weekend for me. Completely swung back & forth &, come the end, I felt like I had gone 12 rounds with Konrad! My opponent was a fellow Asrai.org member who had a nicely balanced force that only contained 2 heroes - both lvl 1 mages. Come the last 2 turns, despite Mannfred's best attempts to NOT cast anything, I gained the upper hand. Realisng the strategy of 'Come & Get me' seemed to work well, I bravely hid my entire force behind a large hill in my left hand corner & spent 2 turns making my skeletons units nice and big. The BsB & Mannfred joined the GG unit on top of the hill, ready to step backwards into a bunker unit when the WDs started getting closer. Everything was pretty level until a WR unit was moved to a postion where the BKs could see it, as well as the Glade Riders unit assigned to pull it away. I charged the BKs into the flank and destroyed the WRs... however, as is usual in Warhammer, things didn't stay in my favour. A flank charge by the second WR unit slowly destroyed the BKs until they were gone. Mannfred's inability to roll a single 4 on a number of dice, still haunts me. The GG eventually turned to face the remaining WRs and Mannfred finally got some magic off - Toasting a glade riders unit & draining enough life from a Glade Guard unit to make them run away - dragging a spell singer with them. They failed to rally and the GG with Mannfred powered through another couple of units.
Result - Victory to VC... narrowly. I lost the BKs for the first time. Perhapes I had been a little too cautious with them? Having played with Wood Elves for a while I am aware that moving forward & exposing flanks/rears should be done with extreme caution. Holding ground and castling up is a very strong technique for Vampires in this type of game against manouvrable foe.

Game 5 - Capture the Flag - Opponant Dark Elves. With 3 Wins & 1 Draw (last years qualification minimum) I thought another draw would be enough. I slung 1 token into my far left corner & the second 12" in front - just out of my deployment zone. My opponants force was nicely mixed with a lvl 4, a level 2 and a BsB. 3 blocks of Spearmen, a Hydra, a chariot & a unit of Cold-One Knights & finally some harpies and shades. I stepped a unit zombies onto the 2nd token and advanced my line in kind. He left 1 unit spearmen & the Shades + Harpies to guard his tokens. The rest of his army came straight across at me. I advanced, then introduced him to the concept of Multiple Danses. His Hydra fled - rather than face the BKs and his Cold Ones fled from my great weapon weilding GGs. Mannfred was with the GG. The Hydra rallied - only to flee from the next charges + Danses. The Cold Ones failed to rally and promptly departed. His chariot slammed into the zombies and, after about 6 rounds of combat, was seen off by the mighty zombies! Eventually he rallied his Hydra (after narrowly dispelling Doom & Darkness) which came back and ripped the GG unit apart - popping Mannfred in the process. However this was on turn 6 & too late for me to lose my tokens. In my last turn I could have won it. My level 2 vamp attempted a Wind of Undeath but failed to cast. This spell could be a sneaky way of reducing unit strength below 5 - thus preventing small skirmishing units holding tokens!
Result - Draw

Game 6 Total Annihilation. Aware of the number of drawn results from cautious players, the event organisers moved the goal posts and changed the game type from table 1/4s to Annhilation. I was drawn against the same DE player. I wouldn't have minded hiding from his force & letting the BKs + BsB & Mannfred do the damage but he wanted a change. We swapped and "oh the joy" my new opponant was Daemons inc Bloodthirster, Flamers, Scribes, Horrors, Bloodletters and Plague Bearers. Depsite his horrible army (that had amazingly faced 5 Wood Elf armies previously!) he was a top bloke and a good laugh. Basically the game went something like this. I neheked, he marched forwards, I neheked, he marched forwards... Then turn three! Spotting a gap in his line between a big, Herald-led, unit of Plague Bearers & some flamers... my BKs + BsB surged forwards. 1 good Danse & I could be rolling up his line & avoiding the BloodThirster for a while longer! He saw what I was planning and got his DD ready. I rolled... double 6 first attempt!!! Out cam the tape measure. The gap between the end of the tape & his unit was the same as between the next two letters I I - about 1/8th of an inch. A failed charge... but so gloriously close. Into my flank slammed the ranked unit of Plagebearers, into the front slammed an agry looking BloodThirster...
Result Victory to the Daemons.

Overall result 3 Wins, 2 Draws, 1 Lose & 1 Ticket to the finals!!! I qualified with 111 points. Minimun this year was 102 + good victory points.

I thoroughly enjoyed the event. Admitidly I was a little peturbed by the amount of Daemon lists there -7 of the top 10 were Daemons. They seem to have replaced Twin Stank armies (17 at heat 3 last year). I would advise anyone attending the final to possibly tailor towards Daemons BUT... Today I had a brief flick through the Warriors of Chaos book. If you think Tzeench are tough in Daemon form... think again. Try using Mannfred when your opponant has the option of causing you an automatic miscast... then altering your miscast result by D3 - up or down the table!

My first thoughts were to drop the GG & Crimson Gem and add in the Skull Staff and another caster + more zombies but having glimpsed at that book I may well think again.

Right, a bit long for a first post? Maybe! If anyone want a list of the top 45 qualifiers, please let me know & I will post.

Regards

Munkey
 

Caerdrath

Grave Guard
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
290
#3
Yeah well done lad, where there many VC?

And what is this '' when your opponant has the option of causing you an automatic miscast... then altering your miscast result by D3'' ??

Autsj!


Caer
 

Munkey

Grave Guard
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
257
#4
I played the new Warriors of Chaos tonight... Archaenon is a beast but do-able with bloodknights.

They have access to a magic item that can force ANY failed casting attempt (including rolling a 1 or 2 for Nehek) into a miscast! Called "The Black Tonge". Then they have an item called "Puppet Master" which, when the enemy miscasts, you roll a D3 and can alter the miscast result accordingly!
 

Voltaire

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
2,763
#5
They sure do - its a sure fire Vampire killer. This is a great thing in my opinion.
 

Mikael.K

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
2,643
#7
Is that black tonge item a one use only item? I sure hope so. Greatly enjoyed reading your report. :D
 

Munkey

Grave Guard
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
257
#8
Yup, one use only but when the miscast result can be altered, by up to 3, who wants to miscast even once? You can be forced to miscast even when you are using one dice!

This had a major impact on the game on Tuesday. Having to commit 2 dice to each Nehek/raise my magic phase was halved! The average on 2 dice is 7... This means your opponant can garuantee to stop your magic phase nearly every time!

The Puppet Master can also alter friendly miscasts too! Don't punch the air too quickly when Archeon rolls a double 1 on the miscast table!
 

N.I.B

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
Messages
2,370
#9
Good report!
The Crimson Gem of Lahmia - I'd like to hear how it worked for you.
 

Munkey

Grave Guard
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
257
#10
Hmmm, was worth it if just to see the Italian's face... I quote " Do you have any power dice left?" (following me trying to use the Book to Danse the Bloodnights into combat) "No, no power dice left" (I answer honestly. He rolls both his remaining dice, confident that more than 3 will be the result... which it is) "Right, Mannfred pokes himself with the Crimson Gem twice to gain 2 more power dice..." "HUH? It does what now?" (It does what now? - my favourite phrase in the entire warhammer universe).

I found it quite useful early on in the games. Had to keep remembering to heal myself - save give 50% points away. With 6 PD for himself and a further 3 from the pool, the ability to 'add' a free dice was invaluable in certain circumstances. With 9 dice i can try Danse with 3 per casting and get it 3 times... With 10 dice I can try 5 times... then use the book!

I wouldn't use it with any other character - as Arcane items are limited. I wanted a cheap Mannfred who would be in a unit of knights that would concentrate on manouverability. I am planning on dropping it from my final list as I failed so many Neheks on zombie units with 3s!
 

dictator

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
Feb 22, 2008
Messages
1,078
#11
Very clever indeed on how you get those extra PD. I've tried other ways to get the few extra PD and it definitely doesn't work as well as your method. What will take in the Book's place?
 

Munkey

Grave Guard
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
257
#12
The book is staying, it is too usefull to leave out. The Bloodknights need the mobility that a potential 5 danses can give them.

The crimson gem is being dropped in my list. It was handy but I found that I missed the +1 to cast roll with the SKull Staff. Too many neheks missed on 3s!

Please see the two new battle reports from last nights GW vets night.
 

ProperGoffic

Bringing Sixy Back
True Blood
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
1,158
#13
Munkey said:
The crimson gem is being dropped in my list. It was handy but I found that I missed the +1 to cast roll with the SKull Staff. Too many neheks missed on 3s!
My thoughts exactly. I tried out a Crimson Gem/Black Periapt build last week and, well, you've never seen so many spells miss by one pip.


Nice report. Not cool with the moving of goalposts mid-event at all. If the players are more cautious than you'd like, then they're more cautious than you like - take note and redesign the scenarios to encourage aggression. Changing the premises on which people paid money to enter isn't kosher at all in my book.
 
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