Sunday, 20 November 2016

Hobby Update November: Towards a New Year

With the excitement from a great weekend away at Invitationals still running through my veins (along with some much needed caffeine and nicotine!), I thought it was a great time to talk about what is next.

The tournament scene has now come to an end for me for the year, and I am expecting to come back to the tables in February for Over the Top in Hamilton.
However, my Beast Herds will not be making it to the tables for this event, as I have my sight on a new project...

Well, actually three.

Firstly, as I have mentioned before, I am creating  Cthulu themed Dread Elves collection, and I am slowly getting together all of the items and units I need to convert and paint the first list I plan to run with them. However, this army is a long term plan, and I have no intention to rush it. It also took a hit this weekend, as yet again 50% of players bought out Elves, and I really don't wish to join an already high statistic on the tournament scene.
Secondly, I am heading into more Elves. My best friend and I created a brutal Highborn Elves list the other day, and were talking about it on the way to Auckland on Friday. We have decided that this will be a joint project between us, with him sourcing the miniatures and I taking them from the dulls of plastic grey into a warstricken and ragtagged elven host. This project will also be a slow to work project, however, certain aspects of it will need to be table-top ready come OTT in Feb.
Finally, I am after another Icon. I currently hold the Beast Herds Icon, with no intention of letting that go, but am out to grab the Empire of Sonnstahl icon as well. OTT will see my first opportunity to put my Empire onto the table, and so I need to get them table-top ready as well. It shouldn't take long to do so, as there is minimal conversion work in the army, and the colours are easy ones to work with. The time consuming aspect for them will without a doubt be the display board, which alongside the basing on the miniatures, is what I expect will make this army pop the most.

With all of this said and done, I haven't left my Beast Herds to the dust. After returning home last night I made a few changes to my list.
Firstly, I dropped my Centaur chieftain. I like this guy and I love the idea of what he does and can do. He just doesn't do it enough. And although he poses a threat that people do not like, he is generally taken off the board very early game. My list also has enough other more durable threats, so he is taking the cut.
I have also take out my giants. These guys are some of my favourite in my army lists, give me a little bit of fluffy randomness. The only reason I am dropping them, is I need the points to make the changes I want.
Replacing my giants, we shall see a second Gortach. These monsters are brutal and scare the living daylights out of my opponents, just with the sheer volume of attacks at high strength, with the ability to do multiple wounds and heal himself in the process. One is great, two is devestating.
I am also bringing out a second razortusk as chaff. The one thing I noticed is I didn't have enough drops to make me happy, but playing the one razortusk I had, he worked really well, as both chaff and anti chaff. I am looking to see where I can shave points for a third.
Finally, the biggest change of them all. I am dropping my unit of minotaurs from eight to six, but am bringing out a second unit the same. My minotaurs are my powerhouse unit, and eight works really well when I have another solid infantry killing unit on the board. But without one, they get targetted out too easily. Taking them in two units of six I feel will be more beneficial.
Yes, the changes have turned my list into a Frenzy Fiasco, but I like frenzy, and Beasts often get bored with their prey and wander off anyways....

Anyways, time to move house. Until next time,


Invitationals: Enthusiasm, Disappointment & Goats

Home is an amazing place to come back to after a great weekend. Except when its half packed with boxes, and instead of packing the rest of the boxes, you decide to blog. Procrastination is the key to life....

Anyways, what a weekend. After the long drive home from Invitationals 2016, the tournament that has ended the T9A competitive year, I have already written my new Beast Herds list. I find this rather funny, as I have every intention of shelving this army for a while after playing it competitively all year. But who knows.

So, here is a brief breakdown of the games:

Game One (Dread Elves - Failed from the Get Go):
Game One saw me face off against a local guy and his Dread Elves. This gent was actually the person I had faced just days before in my final practice game, and I didn't have high hopes of a victory. My expectations were met.
I misdeployed my army, and opted to keep my Wildhorns on the table instead of ambushing them. As you know, major deployment failures are often a game breaking mistake. Although I didn't expect to win the game, I had planned to try and keep the loss as minimal. However, as I watched MSU witch elves tear my army apart, my hopes were dashed.
It was a 14/6 loss before objectives, a loss I could have been happy with, but with some lucky last turn shooting from him killing my only scoring unit left, and some unlucky failed charges from me, leaving his 2 man scoring unit left on the board, objectives went in his favour, ending the game on a 17/3 victory to my opponent.

Game Two (Saurian Ancients - Hunger has its Price):
Game Two saw me face off against one of the Umpires, a guy who I had played just two months ago at GuardCon. In that match I took a major victory against him, and he was out for revenge.
Due to the terrain, I was able to force my opponent to split his army, making his infantry go to one side and his monsters to the other. I countered with most of my power stacking the flank of his infantry, and leaving a few units to hold up his monsters.
It didn't take long for me to clear the infantry flank, and by turn 4, I was sitting in a prime position.
This is where I made my biggest mistake of the tournament. This mistake cost me a 17/3 or better victory.
I got hungry, and over stretched. Had I planted my still at full force Minotaurs onto the objective, and moved everything else of mine away from his last three units (being 2 monsters, and a unit of 4 remaining warriors), I would have been fine. But I over extended. I didn't get my minotaurs where I needed them. I threw my BSB at his general with high expectations of killing it, and flubbed my rolls, and then watched his general destroy a unit of wildhorns that were contesting the Saurus warriors on the objective (2 rounds of throwing weapons and a round of close combat attacks from the Wildhorns failed to even bring the general down the single wound I needed to get half points for him).
With the additional points he gained, plus claiming the objective, my opponent took a 13/7 win over me. At this point, I was pretty down, and really f&%ked off with myself to say the least.

Game Three (Highborn Elves - The Beasts Favourite)
After a very very short break between to sort myself out, I was matched up against Highborn Elves. This match up with prime for me, because I build lists always thinking of how to kill elves, as majority of competitive players bring elves (50% at Invitationals). And I especially, have a knack for killing Highborn Elves.
My opponent bunkered down in a corner, with the intention to maximise his very shooty army. This was in my favour, as with so much hard and fast hitting units, I was able to get many multi-charges off into the right places, which meant his units were unsupported. The momentum was in my favour come the beginning of turn 2, and by the start of turn 4, it was all over for the Highborn, with only one unit left on the board. I spent the next two turns running all of my very chicken-filled beasts away from that unit, as I knew I already had max points, and wasn't in a position to ensure I could knock the whole unit out in a Round 6 combat.

Game Four (Highborn Elves - More Chicken)
Gleefully, my Beasts were matched up against another HE player at the start of day two. This list was a much more combat focused list, with a very killy lord in a unit of Ryma knights, anda brick of White Lions. But I was confident.
And I was sloppy.
I made one mistake which cost me my minotaurs early on, where I believed I had chaffed my opponent's White Lions in a way they couldnt get the charge against them at the same time as the knights (I had set up an easy charge for the knights purposefully, as I wanted them to charge and I knew my minotaurs could weather it). But, even though I had the movement spare, I put my chaff just milimetres in out from ensuring my opponent couldn't make that charge. Bye bye minos.
However, my sloppyness didn't carry out on the rest of my plan, as I had encircled the combat area with 3 monsters and 4 chariots, and after my opponent made a poor overrun, everything went in. One round of combat saw both of his killing units destroyed, and his characters dead.
At this point it was just clean up, and ensuring that I held the objective. I walked a way with an 18/2 Victory, which was fantastic. Had I not been sloppy, I feel it could have been a 20/0 easily, however, it is hard to say and I am very happy with the result.

Game Five (Dread Elves - Shattered Dreams)
Game Five was the most devastating game in a long time. As the points stood, I was lined up to face yet another Highborn Elves list, a list that although the player is one of the best HE players in NZ, I knew I could take out. Winning that game well, could have landed me in 3rd place. I was hopeful.
However, by this stage, all of the top table players had faced each other, so a rejig had to occur, which saw me instead face off against one of the most brutal lists I have seen on the table in a long time.
There isn't much to say about this game, it was a complete and utter whitewash, with me conceding to the 20/0 loss by top of turn 3. My opponent, the guy who out of all my great opponents, I gave my sports vote to, was extremely humble in his victory. He is a great guy and a fantastic player, and his placing second only went to prove how solid his list was.
It is hard to say that I was the most gracious in this defeat, as it took away any chances of seeing a podium, or even top 5. In saying that, I don't think I have ever had more fun while watching my army melt away to the quick slashes of corsair blades......

Over all, I took 7th place. A mid-pack standing at my first masters level tournament isn't something to be unhappy with. But me being me, and seeing the costly mistakes I made, I know it could have been better, and that I didn't deserve to place as I did after all was said and done. Although most of the time there was little moves I could fault, the mistakes I made cost me too much, and were stupid mistakes.

The guys who ran the event did a fantastic job, and although it was the highest level tournament in the year, in my opinion it was also the most relaxed one I have attended.

I am going to leave it there. I planned on writing about the changes to my list, and what army I plan to bring to the table for my first tournament next year, but its midnight, and I have bee up since 6, played two games, then endured the drive home. And I move tomorrow. So maybe it is time for some shuteye.
I will try and get another post up in a few days, and talk about the things above, along with the year as a whole and some hobby things.

To all the guys at Invitationals, you guys are all amazing and all did a great job. It was a fun weekend, and what made it fun was the awesome calibre of players, both on the gaming table and around the table of beers. Thanks for a blast!

With that,

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Invitationals 2016: 5 Days to Go and the Earth is Shaking

Good morning!

It is 1am, the ground has just been shaking with 6.6 magnitude earthquakes and I am writing a blogpost. It must be a ground breaking phenomenal post!

Well, probably not really....

Anyways, we are now just a handful of days out from the first ever New Zealand Invitational tournament. This event will become the most prestigious tournament in the year, and is hosting an open 40k tournament alongside the masters-style 9th Age tournament, with the top 12 players from across the year alongside 2 additional wildcard players, receiving invites.

As was the consensus, we are competing under the new updated V1.2 rules for 9th Age, and are using the new recommended points limit of 4500.

All of the lists are in and being reviewed as we speak, but I decided I wanted to jump the gun and throw my list out there myself (even though knowing my luck it will be sent back tomorrow to say I need to fix things...). After all, its my list, my Blood Hunt, my "PRESSSSSSSIOUSSSSS".....

So here it is:

The Blood Hunt
-Beast Lord (Razortusk Chariot, Lucky Shield, Blessed Sword, ToSS, Heavy Armour, Crown of  Horns)
-Beast Chieftain (Hunting Chariot, BSB, Heavy Armour, Dusk Stone, Shield, Beast Axe)
-Centaur "Philly" Chieftain (The Impaler, Heavy Armour, Hardened Shield)

-10 Raiders (Scout/Ambush)
-10 Raiders (Scout/Ambush)
-20 Wildhorns (Banner, Musician, Paired Weapons, Throwing Weapons, Ambush)
-20 Wildhorns (Musician, Paired Weapons, Throwing Weapons, Ambush)

-8 Minotaurs (Banner, Musician, Paired Weapons)
-1 Raiding Chariot
-1 Raiding Chariot
-1 Razortusk
-5 Gargoyles (Scout)

-1 Gortach
-1 Beast Giant
-1 Beast Giant


Although I shall refrain from talking about the playstyle and method of using this list until after my competitors have to face it on the tables, I will note that as you can see, there is no magic in this list whatsoever! I have even left my very beloved Totems at home. To top that off, two of my favourite Magic Items are staying at home, with Dark Rain and The Pillager Icon not making the list.

The list looks impressive on the table and has been for the most part enjoyable to play with. However, I need to paint! I am currently short a handful of Wildhorns, the Razortusk, and a BSB on Chariot conversion. I am currently re-converting my Razortusk Chariot to become my Lord's chariot, as I am still waiting on my other OOP Chaos Chariot that I use to make Razortusk Chariots to arrive in the mail!
It may not seem like a lot to paint, but I am madly attempting to pack my house between crazy work hours, as the day after Invitationals, I move! That coupled with the fact I haven't painted in 2 months and so feel out of wack, has lead to serious lack of motivation and major procrastination! Let us hope that I can pull this off!
I am really looking forward to the event, and a weekend away. To top it off, I will be doing video 'interviews' with some of the key contenders for the Cup, along with a few hobby and T9A team interviews. Once compiled, I will have these available on my YouTube channel and on the Facebook page.

Anyways, time for a few hours shuteye before the madness begins again.