Seeds of Hope
The aptly named Seeds of Hope took place on the Sunday after the AOS Open Day at WHW.
3 Games, each themed around each of the 3 cities on the S.o.W campaign map. 3 Places of Power (The Living City), Gift From the Heavens (Greywater Fastness) & Take and Hold (Phoenicium)
1000pts, 1.5 hrs a game,
each game contributed somehow to the results of the Season of War campaign directly via campaign points, so whether it was via a favorite game vote or a major/minor victory, it all meant something, and they were even registering painted warscrolls. It was really well worked out logistically, with loads of stats coming at the end for who controlled what and which factions did well in what areas, the events team did a really nice job of creating a live powerpoint presentation on the fly and presenting awards. There are loads of better pics of the event here
and a full final results spreadsheet here
The day started pretty bad for me , OK in-fact that is an understatement. I had one of THE WORST experiences of my life. Why's that you ask?
Well I had spent the night in the Holiday Inn around the corner, and had brought all my paints with me for a nice peaceful uninterrupted painting session, to try and get some more stuff done to my Pestilens army before it made its first official WHW bow the next day. Later on in the night I managed to spill a pot of Moot Green from the desk onto the cream carpet, and whatever I did to try and get rid of it made it worse and spread the stain out larger and larger. It was like something out of a ****** horror movie for me. I should've phoned reception at the time and got a cleaning team up there to help me, but stupid muggins here just tried to clean it up with some flannels and towels, which just made it worse and worse.
I think I spent about 2 hours in total trying to deal with it and get all the paint out. It turned into an absolute nightmare. In the morning I sheepishly informed reception of my foolishness and left, in the full knowledge I had fully defiled that beautiful room, and Clan Pestilens had left behind their mark of filth. I am still waiting for the cleaning bill on my credit card to see how much they charged me, wondering if the whole carpet would need to be replaced or not. So far no news is good news at least.....So there you have it, if any of you are ever lucky enough stay in Room 137 at The Holiday Inn Marina Park and notice a vile putrid green stain on the carpet by the desk, it's not vomit, it's just the mark left behind by a demented patron of the TGA.community!
So after a quick cup of tea on arrival at Bugmans to wash away the bitter taste of shame and dread I felt building up at the back of my throat, it was time to get it on and shed all fear of my previous indiscretions and concentrate on murdering some Order Factions with my Fanatical Warrior Monks.
My list was
4 Heroes, 2 Behemoths, 2 Battleline, 0 Artillery
240 pts Verminlord Corruptor, Dark Avenger, Crown of Conquest,
220 pts Plague Furnace, Crown of Conquest
100 pts Lord Skrolk
80 pts Plague Priest with Warpstone Tipped Staff
20 Plague Monks, foetid blades
20 Plague Monks, woe staves
Congregation of Filth Formation
Having two units of 20 monks at 1000pts is a bit of a luxury or too much, but I wanted to overload on them at the cost of taking a Plagueclaw. What I didn't realise at the time what this meant was that it was imperative to cover ground as quickly as possible and not slowly advance, because with no ranged support, I would get shot off the table. In hindsight on the day I kept missing the Plagueclaw, but I think I could've made it work if I had been faster with my moves and more shrewd/clued up with the weaknesses of my list.
At 2k points I would probably take 2 Plagueclaws and shoot the hell out of those big blocks of archers, but at 1k points I valued having objective scoring units and heroes more than artillery and had to think more about what was important to me.
Looking back now I would probably tweak the list to include one Plagueclaw, at the cost of downgrading Skrolk to a regular priest, and loosing 10 monks.
One thing that worked great in every game was that I got to dictate the first turn by deploying all my Congregation of Filth formation in one drop. But in this instance I squandered it by not moving up fast enough to break ground. I think I had a maximum of 4 drops per deployment.
Game 1 - 3 Places of Power, The Defence of the Living City
Game one for me was against @Penddraig , or Darren as he was known to me. Unbeknownst to me at the time, he is friends with @RuneBrush and we played the entire game without realising we were literally six degrees from separation via the TGA forum! He was rocking some beautiful compendium W.Elves which were a real mix through the ages. He had a big block of 30 Glade Guard to unlock those extra bonuses, some Wild Riders, A Lord on foot, some Eternal Guard, another smaller block of Glade Guard and a hero guy on foot and a BSB.
The game was played out on one of the new R.o.B boards which was nice to finally see in the flesh!
So the first thing to say is I screwed this game up for myself before I had even started by getting my deployment wrong.
I also had the wrong idea about how to play the scenario, and should have really studied it in more detail beforehand. I figured I could overwhelm on 2 out of the 3 objectives to win, which seemed sound in logic, so left one totally uncontested (the one on my left flank) and biased my forces onto the right side of the table. But because the points accumulate based on the turn number (ie 5 points for turn 5) I left myself fighting an uphill struggle when I failed to take my 2 objectives fast enough, and was out of range to contest the one on my left, and also lost my center one after turn 2, and was left unable to catch up at around 6-2 by turn 3.
But anyway deployment for me was also messed up because of the quandry I had over using my movement trays, and not wanting to employ a tactic I use for my Plague Furnace sometimes. Instead of setting up the maximum amount of Plague Monks around my Plague Furnace on Turn 1, which is 33 Monks, giving it an extra 11" on its move, I opted for a smaller number of Monks within 1" which meant the Furnace moved a lot slower and couldn't cover enough ground fast enough to reach the Elf units in the first turn, and got caught in no mans land and shot to pieces. The Monks also didn't move up fast enough to support it, rolling poorly for their run moves so it was isolated and lost after one turn, which then meant all the formation synergies were lost too, effectively ending the game for me.
So I had instead opted to set my monks up in the smaller movement trays of 10 which were more spread out, so I lost access to that first turn charge or objective grab, and which would make moving them faster physically in the long run, and give me less pressure in game and hopefully more time to play. That was my biggest mistake, because it then meant although it was easier to push my Monks around, they didn't cover the ground quick enough, and just got shot off the table by the Arcane Bodkins in one turn. I should've been less worried about finishing the game in under an 1.5hrs, and concentrated more on crossing as much ground as quickly as possible. But C'est La Vie. I made a late rally with my Verminlord Corruptor on turn 4 and when the Plague Monks finally got into combat they made mincemeat of the block of Glade Guard, but by then it was too late and the Major Victory went to Darren about 10-2 points.
You can see above the movement trays I opted to use meant I couldn't fit the bases of my monks flush against the base of the Plague Furnace, meaning instead of fitting 30 or so within 1" of it , I had more like 10 within 1". Sure I found it easier to move the monks with the trays later on down the line and it saved some time, this mistake proved fatal as I couldn't cover enough ground quickly enough and got shot to pieces in turn 2. What I should have done was crowd 33 Monks around it to get the 11" movement bonus, (it gets +1 inch for every 3 monks nearby within an inch) and moved it a total of 15" , which would have got me over the centre line and within charge range on turn 1. The Monks would've had to run up behind it to keep pace, and wouldn't have arrived until turn 2 , but they would have then been the hammer to my Furnace anvil.
But anyway I digress. I think the Plague Furnace moved up about 7" forward with one unit of Monks keeping pace with it, slowly ambling toward the center objective, and the other unit began to split off and run around the scenery to get to the other objective on the right, but because of the diversion around the Dragonfate Dais, and some low run rolls, they didn't make it over there until turn 3 or 4 or so which was a massive ball ache. You can see the Wood Elf Character on the LHS table side supported by the Wild Riders move up to grab that Objective on turn 1 totally uncontested.
Then by turn 3 the Wood Elves shoot the ****** out of my stuff in the center with their Arcane Bodkins in their turn, putting 6 wounds into the Plague Furnace and killing a bunch of Monks. I stumbled slowly right into that one and was just a sitting duck by not covering ground fast enough. I think on turn 2 my Plague Furnace had only moved about 5" because it's movement had been reduced as less Monks were around it, so I just rolled it onto the center objective where it came to a creaking halt.
A single round of shooting on my Furnace and Pmonks in the center made heavy casualties, at this point they were just sitting ducks and got wiped out easily by the pew pew pew of the Wood Elves. And another poor roll for my run for the guys on the right hand side kept them out of the game. For me at this point the game was more or less over. My poor movement and deployment had cost me dearly.
I made a late rally on the right hand side and finally got some charges off and killed off those Glade Guard, and by this point I had 2 characters by objectives and was in the ascendency, but it was too little too late for Clan Pestilens and they skulked off the battlefield to go lick their wounds and go eat a Bugmans burger.
Game 2 - Gift from Heavens, Assault on Greywater Fastness,
This game was after lunch. My Bugmans burger arrived super late at 1.25pm, which left me late for the next game. I had 5 minutes to eat it, and rush into the toilets to try and clean the delicious taste of it out of my dental braces. As I rushed to get rid of the last remaining traces of my enviable lunchtime snack from my train tracks using my trusty dental brush, I managed to jab my gum with the metal part of it and tear a portion of it open, so that it began to spurt blood out everywhere. I looked as if I had just been punched in the mouth, and was somewhat worried about what my next opponent would think when I turned up with a 'bloody smile' grinning as if I had just been drinking an ounce of blood for lunch out round the back of the building with the other Flesh Eaters. Doing my best to stem the flow of my bleeding gums (if anybody saw me bleeding profusely from the mouth in the toilets that day, then yes that was me!) with some cold bottled water, I fled onwards to find my next opponent waiting for me at table 1, right down at the front stood with the event organiser John.
My opponents name was Jack, here he is placing his Sylvaneth Wildwood in the center of the table. It was only his 2nd ever game of AOS and we chatted quite a lot into our game time time about rules and set up, so we were playing catch up from the off. I did my best to coach him and teach him how to play the Scenerio because I had played it once before already. We only managed to get to turn 2, in 1.5 hours and the game was a bit of a right off. I still enjoyed it as I got to murder some tree fairies and get a few charges off, and it came down to the last combat of the game so was mega close, but the game was chaotic and under a lot of pressure from the time constraints, and made me late for the next game, and the people playing on our table next were late to set up also, so it was a bit chaotic and stressful.
The guy also got a bit funny with me when I said 2 ranks could attack with a 1" reach, as if he thought I was cheating, because the bases weren't moved flush in my pile in ( I could have moved them flush but opted to just move them all roughly into place as I had inches left over) , which I felt was a little bit inexperienced of him. It was only his 2nd game as I said and I did my best to coach him and teach him the rules but this was one thing he didn't feel comfortable with accepting. I could've piled in flush with the bases, but with 2 units of 20 Plague Monks, if my opponent is worried about every millimeter, I am soon going to run out of time as I indiscriminately measure out every single pile in down to 1/10th of an inch. So I had hoped he would be a sportsman and allow that minor discrepancy but it caused a bit of friction and is probably why I didn't get a favorite game vote for that game as I insisted on getting those attacks off and murdered his Spite Revenants in one turn.
I dont know the names of everything this guy had but I think it was something like 20 dryads, 5 spite revenants, 5 Tree Revenants, 3 Kurnoth Hunters, 1 Branchwych, 1 Hamadreth
Again I dropped my formation in one go, so I dictated the first turn and allowed him to move first in the hope he would fall within charge range but he was quite conservative with his movement in the knowledge the asteroids would arrive on turn 2. I stupidly didn't set Skrolk up in cover, which I regretted later on as he took hits from the Flutterflies attack on the Hamadreth. I still didn't maximise the number of Monks around my Furnace, again opting for the lazy approach of using the 10 man trays, but I made sure I had enough around it this time to give it a healthier move.
The asteroids arrived, mine is marked by the blue marker on the left and his fell in the center of his deployment and is marked by the yellow marker. I split my Monks off to the left accordingly. I think his Tree Revenants which were at the back of the forest on the LHS blew some panpipe thing that made them transcend into the ether and the vanished off the table ready to re-appear somewhere later on. His Spite Revenants moved up and his Hamadreth on my LHS. The Hamadreth made its shooting attack that took 2 wounds off Skrolk and he cursed himself for not hiding out of harms way in cover, the Furnace looses a couple wounds to some shooting from the Kurnoth Hunters and some magic from the Branchwych
I think he shot some Monks up or the Furnace with his Kurnoth Hunters, but they didn't do too much to be honest, they were kind of underwhelming.
Then I got off a really lucky charge with my Plague Furnace and decent one with my Plague Monks on the LHS, but Skrolk rolled a 1 for his Prayer and killed himself by accident. I attacked first with the monks on the LHS and killed the Spite Revenants, if we had time to play on, I'm pretty sure they would've killed the Hamadreth next turn who already had a few wounds off. I have no clue what the Tree Revs were doing ontop of the Arcane Ruins, he said something about Panpipes and how they were floating in the air ready to make a teleport attack next turn.
This was more or less where we reached the time limit. We added up the scores and were drawing with 100pts each, so I suggested he attacked the Furnace in combat next with his Branchwych, which only had a wound or two left on it, and if he managed to kill it , he would win the game, which was pretty sporting of me I thought, but he then went to speak to the tournament organiser John who came over and said we could play on for the full 30 minute break period and not worry about rushing too much. I didn't really want to as I was concious of needing that break between games to let my brain refocus and decompress and get a drink of water, but he seemed keen to try and play on so I went along with it.
This proved fatal for him however. First of all he got the kill on my Plague Furnace and ran off to report the victory to the TO, but then when he got back I asked how many points the dryads were worth, which was 240 I think compared to the 220 points for my Furnace.
So with that I chose the next combat and murdered his dryads in one round of combat, making mincemeat of them and chopping them up into tiny little wood chippings and won the game by 20 points. I would have preferred to stop it earlier and just give him the win and get the break between games, but as it was, Clan Pestilens had claimed a narrow 20 point victory and their only win for the day.
Game 3 Take and Hold , The Battle of Phoenicium
Having had no break between games, I arrived at this one a bit flustered and again worried about time constraints, so again I flunked my deployment in favor of a faster swifter more pragmatic approach. Instead of maximising my plague furnace's movement profile, I again opted for the 10 man movement trays and set up in much a similar way to the other battles. This was almost a repeat of Game 1, I couldn't cover ground quickly enough and got shot to pieces trying to slowly advance headlong into the face of overwhelming fire.
My game 3 Opponent was running the following
My biggest mistake was not crowding the maximum amount of Monks around the furnace to get the 15" move on turn one.
Not having the break between games cost me and I stupidly decided to take the first turn myself and walked up slowly straight into range of all his guns setting him up for a devastating turn 1 barrage.
After his first round of shooting I had one wound remaining on my Furnace. He had moved up his dwarf warriors on the left within charge range so I charged them and took them out in one turn, and his second unit of warriors promptly turned back and ran back to Thorgrim and the Quarellers.
After one more round of shooting that was it. I think he got about 60 shots off with his Quarellers and 4 Barrels of his Organ Gun and just killed anything that moved. He also backed away out of charge range and I couldn't get close. Once he saw what my Monks could do in one turn of combat he just didn't want any of it
I moved up ready to make a last gasp charge of the light brigade with my Corruptor , through the archway headlong into his Quarrelers to try and score some points, and Skrolk moved toward the Organ Gun to use his brutal Prayer from the Liber Bubonicus that causes d6 mortal wounds and managed to kill it in turn 5. The Monks on the RHS failed their charge and got shot off the table next turn. The Corruptor made it into combat with one wound remaining after getting shot to pieces as he advanced. The final combat came down to Thorgrim vs my Corruptor and I got tabled in the end. Biggest mistakes I made were giving him a free round of shooting in turn 1, and not covering the distance fast enough. This guy got my favorite game vote, it was a toss up between game 1 and game 3, but the guy came around to collect the tickets so I just scribbled down this guys player number as otherwise I would've missed the vote altogether. He did also look like a Dwarf which was kind of cool man!
Enjoyed the game but made some horrible mistakes, most of which I attribute to brain drain and not having a break between games 2 and 3 which was brutal.
So that was it, learned a lot this time around, and got to meet @RuneBrush and @Penddraig who are both really cool dudes! We had a turnout of over 50 players for this and it was a really fun day and left feeling like I'd had an awesome weekend.
and the Important things I learned not to do in future -
DONT paint in my hotel room the night before the event,
DONT eat a burger last minute in Bugmans as it takes agessssss to make,
DON'T sacrifice your movement in favor of pragmatism
DONT clean your braces in a hurry
DONT play on into your break no matter what your opponent wants to do, because it will ruin your next game fo sho.