Attended our last tournament at Southern Wargamers for the year. This was the first tournament since the Generals Handbook 2017 has dropped, and I was looking to try out my Free Peoples. Since I am 99% sure I'm going to be attending Cancon next year (Australia's largest tournament), I made some last minute changes to my list so that it was more similar to what I think my final form will be. This meant assembling, undercoating and getting a base coat on 13 more miniatures one day before the tournament!
Ultimately, my list for the tournament looked like this:
Freeguild General - Sigmarite Weapon, Shield, Stately War Banner - General - Indomitable
Freeguild General on Griffon - Greathammer and Shield, Armour of Meteoric Iron
20x Freeguild Guard
30x Freeguild Crossbowmen
10x Freeguild Handgunners
20x Freeguild Guard
10x Freeguild Handgunners
10x Freeguild Greatswords
5x Freeguild Pistoliers
3x Demigryph Knights
Hellblaster Volley Gun
So the changeup from my previous lists are the addition of 20 Freeguild Guard, a Gunmaster and Hellblaster, changing the 20 Handgunners into 2 lots of 10, and dropping a Freeguild General and a Cannon. This allows for another tanky unit, which also gets the benefits of a great company. It means I can afford to be more aggressive with one if need be.
We did not know the scenarios before the tournament, they were rolled for each round.
Game 1 - Sylvaneth - Scorched Earth
I started the tournament up against a Sylvaneth list. He had the extremely tanky Treelord Ancient, Branchwych, 30x Dryads, 2x5 Tree Revenants, 2x3 Kurnoth Hunters with bow and 6x Kurnoth Hunters with Scythes and a Household battalion. The game started fairly well, he managed to teleport his Ancient and Treelord forwards but the Ancient failed the charge. The Treelord went in and was quickly felled by my shooting.
The big trees teleport close to the Free Peoples lines
Sadly, this was followed up with a lot of whiffing on my left flank. The cannon failed to dent the Treelord, the Freeguild General on Griffon went into him and whiffed completely. Something he would continue to do in the next few combat phases. Ultimately, the game was decided when I failed to keep someone on my centre objective. My opponent managed to summon more Wyldwoods near the board edge, which allowed his Scythe Hunters to teleport in as well as the Tree-Revenants. Because of this, I started migrating some of my units towards that section to hopefully give some relief and stall them out one turn before burning my objective. I moved my unit off, then moved my Freeguild General off as well.
So it basically came down to losing by 1 point later on. He left his right objective really weak as the Tree-Revenants disappeared to provide additional support (and ultimately burn my left objective). My army eventually made it across the board, and stole his objective for 1 turn, and then burnt it in the 4th turn. We were only going to get 4 turns in the game, and sadly I didn't manage to roll high enough to draw on the objective points.
Ultimately my Griffon also fell, after whiffing for like 3 combat phases straight, he got a miracle phase where he dealy like 10 wounds all at once, but the rest of the army failed to finish off the Ancient over 2 turns.
So a bit disappointing start to the tournament. Definitely a learning experience, and I still haven't quite worked out how I'm going to play Scorched Earth. I think one poor thing I did was put all my fast stuff on one flank. It meant when that flank fell into trouble, I didn't have anything mobile to quickly scoot over and help.
Game 2 - Death with Nagash - Duality Of Death
This game was against a majority Deathrattle army led by Nagash. He had a 40 Skeleton unit, 2x20 Skeletons, 20 Grave Guard, Nagash, a Necromancer and 2x Wight King (1 with banner).
I felt I had the advantage in this matchup as my Griffon can take the objective turn 1. Especially if I kept him away from Nagash who could potentially one-shot him. Since I had more drops, this didn't end up being too much trouble.
The Free Peoples line prepare for battle
As it so happened, the game was a bit of a non event. He got the first turn and moved up as fast as he could. Sadly for him, his Wight King was not close enough to the objective so would not be scoring turn 1. In my follow up turn, my Griffon General took the objective closest to him. The rest of the line moved up, and I scored the first point of the game.
Immediately after, I got the double turn which basically secured the game. The line moved further up, and started shooting the enemy units. The Demigryphs managed to get a charge into his Wight King and Skeletons near his objective. This ultimately decided the game, as the Demigryph's for the first time managed to do 2 things! The first was actually kill the Wight King in a single go, that was pretty amazing and not expected (Only just I might add), and that was only with 2 of them too boot! The third one attacked the Skeleton unit (Which had Danse Macabre on them) and killed 3 Skeletons which prevented them getting the +1 attack.
In his turn, there was not enough room for Nagash to get close enough to the objective. The army slowly moved around, but basically, the Death just couldn't get to objectives fast enough.
Nagash wipes out the Demigryphs and moves onto the Swordsmen
The rest of the game the Death basically marched towards their deaths. I had moved up far enough that my Crossbows and Handguns were in range, and I could just hold the line with them now. So the Skeletons just marched and marched, but got shot and shot. Nagash did wade through a chunk of the army after he knew he couldn't catch up, but that was game as he couldn't catch me after 3 turns of scoring to his zero.
Game 3 - Order - Knife to the Heart
The last game was against a mixed Order army. Mainly Free Peoples with a few random extras. His list was composed of a Freeguild General with Stately War Banner, Freeguild General on Griffon, Bretonnian Lord, 30x Freeguild Guard with Halberds, 2x10 Freeguild Handgunners, 20x Freeguild Greatswords, 5x Freeguild Outriders, 5x Grail Knights, Steam Tank, Hellstorm Rocket Battery.
The game started off a bit concerningly. His Hellstorm took out my cannon crew, his Griffon took out the Pistoliers and his Brettonian Lord took down the Demigryph Knights. In retaliation
my shooting managed to make a huge dent in his Freeguild General on Griffon and mine took out his Outriders. I then won the initiative roll, and my Freeguild General went after his backline which was extremely fragile. I took out his Griffon, and did a few wounds to the Steam Tank. I initially thought I might be able to auto-win by taking on the Handgunners, but reading that it only came into effect from turn 1, I went after the Hellstorm instead and finished it off.
At this point, my opponent knew he was in trouble with a rampaging Griffon in his backline and his own Griffon downed. He kinda threw caution to the wind, and charged everything into the line which ultimately did not go well for him.
Now you see a Steam Tank... soon you won't...
He quickly doubled back his Freeguild Guard (Slowed down by the deadly terrain), while his Greatswords engaged my Freeguild Guard. They both slowly whittled each other down, while my other Freeguild Guard and Crossbows gave chase across the board to the enemy objective. At the end of the day, the Freeguild General on Griffon managed to kill all 30 Freeguild Guard, before being joined by the infantry to claim the objective on turn 5. The long slog had paid off, and I had tabled my opponent apart from his Freeguild General.
I do feel sad for my opponent. I outranged his army, so ultimately he had to engage me. And engaging a line of Freeguild Guard which has extra shooting phases is just nasty. Even if he had won the initiative for turn 2, I think the only difference would've been a Minor rather than a major.
So that was it for the day, I managed to come in fourth place out of 12 players. I'm happy with the result, but feel that I probably got off a bit easy on my matchups after losing the first game. The 2nd game was almost an automatic win. I think if I had played against Stormcast or Tzeentch I would've been in a bit of trouble.
Overall I like how the army played, but definitely need to get a bit more prepared for moving and having my army out and ready to go. I was comfortable with the amount of models I was moving around (even if I was sloppy sometimes), but the army setup in round 1 took a lot of time (and is the only game we didn't finish).
That being said, I am considering changes. Two things I'm currently considering are getting more heroes. The current thought is to swap out the Gunmaster + Hellblaster Volley gun for a Warrior Priest and a Battlemage. The cannon could be a stronger piece also, but it's easy to transport (Which will be important going interstate).
Hopefully I get more games done in the next 2 months, as I'm going to need a lot of practice for Cancon.