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Archaon does a submarine at Heat 2

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Nico

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It was with great excitement that 7 Legionaries stormed the battlements of Warhammer World. Ben Raven (Quad Flappies) and James Grant (Kroaknado) had brought the infamous Battle Wagon to stay in.... Rob brought Dronestrike and a pounding hangover from a football game/beerfest the day before. Hugh had Griffon Spam Freeguild. Max had his well painted Nurgle and jumped on the Livestream game one. Tom brought some Mixed Order filth. That leaves Archaon:
 

The List - Archaon Fatesworn

After a year of experimentation with Mortal Tzeentch and much contemptuous laughter towards my use of Chariots from Rob, I had integrated Archaon into Fatesworn. 

The basic idea was that Archaon with Infusion Arcanum was pretty choppy (and autokilled big heroes) and also very tanky with Mystic Shield, Shield of Fate and Eye of Ed Sheeran. I filled the 10 Units in the Battalion with chaff - who also benefit significantly from the rend provided by the Battalion - Maras and Chaos Spawn. Any Daemons Summoner with Command Abilities would also have success to their command abilities - Double Pile in on Archaon or +1 to cast and unbind.
 
An early prototype tanked at Heat One (terrible dice throughout), but the list benefitted from some tweaks particularly the addition of a second Gaunt Summoner for redundancy/more magic. In this form, the list carried me to a first place trophy (and a first ever trophy) at Winter Waagh after a hard fought game vs John’s Khorne (also using a Gaunt).
 
Final tweaks were made by adding a fourth Chaos Spawn to bulk the summoning pool up to 580 (enough to summon the Chicken and the Keeper!). With some reluctance I dropped the Chaos Sorc Lord - even though his rerolls Spell makes Archaon vaguely reliable rather than derptastic, his 160 cost is brutal.
 
Archaon (Infusion)
Gaunt (Shield of Fate, Wellspring)
Gaunt (Glimpse, Soul Draught)
 
3 x 10 Maras
4 X 1 Spawn
 
580 reinforcements pool
 
Wellspring is particularly useful for guaranteeing spells and saving on DD. Typically I would use (say) a 3 DD to cast Mystic Shield - adding one from the Gaunt’s Blot and then rolling the other casting dice and rerolling a 1. If it was a 1 I would usually burn a 2 or another 3. The 9” bubble usually catches Archaon and the other Gaunt.
 
The default summoning option would be the Balewind, Chicken, backed by 10 Pinks splitting into 10 Blues for 570.
 
Game 1: Chris’s Ironjawz - Starstrike
Chris had opted to max out his allies choices with 4 Rock Lobbas (which I’d also considered in the past). These posed a major threat to the Gaunt Summoners, which forced me to go first with some reluctance - as against a more melee oriented list I could have played for the double.
 
I deployed Archaon slightly off to the left. Chris’s army was heavy on Ardboyz and Pigs and lacked a cabbage. He cleverly deployed away from Archaon.
 
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Battleround 1
Fixating on the bonanza available from sniping off low bravery crew, I made a painful error by miscalculating my summons in turn one. Having brought on the LoC, Herald and Pinks - I lacked the points for the Balewind. This cost me the chance to deplete the Ardboyz before they engaged and to lob in a cheeky Battalion Arcane Bolt.
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Things got rapidly worse as the LoC failed the Gateway casting roll, which would have threatened the Megaboss. My spells killed one crew outright, but only chipped off the odd crewmen from the others. 
 
Archaon went left - my thinking being that he could mop up the low damage Pigs and secure the entire left flank before turning inwards.
 
I advanced a line of Maras, who shielded the punchier Spawns.
 
Shooting failed to kill any more crewmen. I had just enough DD to charge the LoC (fortified with Mystic Shield and Shield of Fate) into the Megaboss. He bounced pitifully - doing 2 wounds. In response, the Megaboss derped his own attacks.
All the Battleshock tests were passed and I was in a grim mood already.
 
Chris responded by throwing his Ardboyz forward, advancing the Pigs on my left.
 
Shooting chipped wounds off one of the Gaunts.
 
The Chicken clung on. 
 
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The Ardboyz split their attacks too thinly so the Pinks survived. The Chicken survived the Megaboss’s attacks and was able to hit back - dropping him to 2 wounds. The Pigs cleared up elsewhere, the Maras melted wholesale. Battleshock returned some Pinks.
 
The comet landed by the left Pigs. Chris won the initiative, which cost me a round of spells with the Chicken. Things went bad to worse. The Ardboyz were delayed by the Pinks, but the Pigs rammed into my centre clearing out the Marauders and a Gaunt Summoner.
 
Chris scored 2 points.
 
My remaining Gaunt Summoner blasted the Ardboyz. Meanwhile Archaon managed to get in combat with both units of Pigs and wiped them both out including Battleshock, which was enough to score back 2 points. 
 
The other comets dropped - my one central and Chris’s one in the far right. Chris won the initiative again. This cut off my last chance as Chris mopped up my remnants. A Major loss to start against Ironjawz. Truly grim!
 
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With hindsight I should probably have just lobbed in Archaon with the double pile in and outfought/tanked the Ironjawz in the centre. Chris lacked rend other than the Catapults. The failure to allow points for the Balewind had been costly and I wouldn’t allow that to happen again.
 
My club mates had had mixed fortunes. Max had been robbed by the constellations on the livestream - the stars landing on the Toads of the talented painter Adam Elford. Rob had also lost - not helped by his booming hangover. Hugh didn’t start well either. Ben, Tom and James had fared better.
 

 

 

 

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Nice write up.  It's always tough to resist getting spooked by enemy artillery or snipers.  I think you're correct in your assessment that a buffed up, battering ram Archaeon would have produced a better result.  Even if all your summoners had done was get off a couple spells and then soak up some fire from the lobbers I think it would have been a fairly even use of points.

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Game 2 v Chris Mills: Stormcast

Game Two was against another Chris - this time of Battleline Gaming Podcast fame and a seriously good painter, who had won best army previously.

He had the Les Martin TM build (with some Hunters for appearance sake - the army looked fantastic) of Stormcast, which suited my list. The Battleplan was Scorched Earth.

I made sure Chris knew what Archaon could do with his sword....

Answer: very little with these junk Destiny Dice: 

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4 sodding twos!

Before rolling these Chris plonked down the Drake on one flank on the 12” line. 

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I responded by putting Archaon opposite. The other flank held the 2 Fulminators and the bulk of Chris’s army.

Battleround 1

I chose to go first - I summoned on a Herald who fluffed his 3D6 cast of a 9 to leave my left flank vulnerable. I held back with just Spawn lobbed forward.

I summoned Pinks into the middle and curved them into the Judicators. They failed their charge.

I used what little DD I had to rig the charge in for Archaon and zap dead a Longstrike Raptor. Archaon largely bounced, the Drake chipped off a few wounds. Battleshock claimed another Raptor. I scored 3.

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Chris elected not to retreat the Stardrake bizarrely. He healed the Drake back a few wounds. His Hunters came in and smashed a Spawn. The Herald died to Judicators.

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Archaon continued to shed wounds.

Chris scored 3 and won the initiative. His Liberators made lengthy charges and smashed up my Marauders on my left. The Fulminators also surged forward menacingly. My left was faltering. The Pinks stood up well thanks to 1s for Battleshock.

In response I used the Glimpse spell to get a DD back and it was a 5. Archaon got rebuffed.

I summoned another Herald who made up for his brother’s ineptitude by zapping the Fulminstors stone cold dead.

The Pinks swarmed the Judicators and began a truly drawn out and inconclusive grind for the middle objective.

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The moment of truth arose - at the fourth attempt Archaon got his two 5+ to wound (one rigged and one rolled).  Chris had his two main threats destroyed in one turn.

Battleround 3

Chris won the initiative And kept going - his Liberators burnt my central and left objectives. Conversely his middle objective fell to the Horrors (so I could take it next turn). 

In response, Archaon munched the two heroes on the far right objective - a close run thing - killed the second one with Vomit. This sealed the major victory for me.

Not a classic game truth be told and I get the feeling that Chris hates Tzeentch. We seemed to get on across the table.

So 1 Major and 1 Loss after two games.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nico
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Game 3 vs Chris Lewis: Slaanesh

Game 3 is always tough at the end of the day and Knife the Heart was particularly badly timed. 

My opponent (a third Chris in a row - what are the odds?) was playing Slaanesh - an interesting option. He was pushing MSU to the max with seemingly endless units of Cavalry as well as two 30 Blocks of Daemonettes and a unit of Fiends. He had a regular Keeper of Secrets.

Deployment

Noting the total lack of shooting against me, I deployed so as to give Chris turn one. I screened Archaon with 10 Maras, thinking he could dent any unit fast enough to hit my line between its first and second pile in.

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Archaocam

Battleround 1

Chris sent one of his 30 Blocks Of Daemonettes along the right board edge. He didn’t advance significantly otherwise.

In response, noting it was Knife - I reckoned I had to YOLO it to an extent. I buffed up Archaon and lobbed him into the 3 relatively insignificant units in front of him. I keep most of my summoning pool back other than putting a Gaunt onto the Balewind and a screen of 10 Pinks on my left to protect the other Gaunt Summoner and chaff. The Gaunt proceeded to melt all but 8 of the 30 Daemonettes.

Archaon rolled well and smashed up Chris’s front line - I was reliant on his 2+, rerolling one’s and twos against the 30 Block of Daemonettes in a possible Chris double turn.

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Chris responded by double piling in the Keeper and lobbing in the 30 Daemonettes. Knowing the damage output of the Keeper from using my own one, I was pleased when the Keeper attacked first and did mediocre damage to Archaon. In response Archaon blended 20 Daemonettes. The Keeper went in again, but Archaon shrugged off most of the damage.

Elsewhere, the Fiends outflanked the Pinks wisely and smashed into the Marauder Screen around my second Gaunt. My counterpunch was pitiful against the -1 to hit debuff of the Fiends.

Battleround 2

Chris won the initiative, his Fiends continued to blend my left flank. Meanwhile his 10 Seekers managed to roll a 12” Run on top of movement 14” and charged into 10 of the Maras guarding the Balewind.

The Keeper dented Archaon again before being torn asunder.

In response, I summoned the Chicken who started zapping the models on the home objective. I rigged his charge, but his damage was feeble against -1 to hit. 

The Pinks advanced on Chris’s home objective. I retreated most of my remaining right flank from the Fiends and spread out.

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Archaon moved down towards the Fiends hoping for an 8” Charge. Lacking the DD, I failed the charge.

Chris proceeded to dance his forces about making it hard for me to win the Major. It took a full five turns before the Chicken finally cleaned out the objective and Split Blues supplied the necessary 5 models.

 

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2 Majors where quite a few players would have only gotten a Major and a Minor put me in good shape for day 2.

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The evening was spent at the quiz in Bugman’s. We weren’t able to continue the run of 2nd and 3rd Place results, but had a sweet time!

 

Edited by Nico
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Game 4 vs Rob’s Sylvaneth - Duality of Derp

Unlike Heat One, when Duality wasn’t played, this time my best Battleplan came up. It combined with Sylvaneth - the classic good match up for Tzeentch. 

I lost the initial roll, so I knew Rob would be going first. The downside was that my Gaunt Summoners were at risk from the Kurnoth bows.

I deployed conservatively, but lacked any line of sight blocking terrain. Destiny Dice were junk again!

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Battleround 1

Rob did indeed go first and swamped the middle. His pew pew took out 1 Gaunt and nearly dropped the second. The Tree Revenants pummelled some Marauders. The Scythe Hunters failed their charge.

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The TLA and Branchwraith were on the objective but couldn’t move to score.

In response, I summoned on the LoC and a Herald and 10 Pinks (walking off the Kurnoths). They proceeded to zap off the TLA (I rolled well). Archaon got his buffs off and flapped onto the left objective. 

The Chicken failed its charge (as I lacked the DD). This left it at some risk from the Kurnoths.

Battleround 2

Rob won the initiative and moved his Branchwraith onto the right objective. Shooting took some wounds off the LoC. The Kurnoths moved up and rolled an 11” Charge. Rob could probably have been more aggressive and near killed the Chicken. Instead - he blended the Pinks and the Herald. The Chicken rolled poorly for its attacks in return.

Back to me and I zapped off the Branchwraith and charged into the Bow Hunters with the LoC. That was pretty much that. Rob conceded. I have him some generous kill points as he would have blended my Chicken and chaff over 5 turns.

3 Majors and a Loss. Another win and I might podium. What would game 5 bring?

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Great seeing @Thanatos Ares on the livestream! Sounds like he got robbed by Mystical Terrain trolling his general. The game looked cinematic and great to see Slaanesh out in force.

13127432-72CF-4727-9661-E0388E6140FD.jpeg.cddbb5c10f7796bcf607e9addcbef13a.jpeg 

 

Edited by Nico

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Game 5 vs Ricky Mee and Nagash - Battle for the Pass

Game 5 was my first against Ricky (who was a gent and a strong player) and against Nagash.

Nagash himself wasn’t too worrying as in a battle between the Slayer of Kings and Hand of Dust, the former was at a big advantage due to the latter’s short range and the Everchosen 4+ vs spells.

However Ricky won the roll off for sides and picked the side with Damned Terrain on it. His 12 Spirit Hosts were the main threat with Vanhels.

Deployment

Ricky deployed 20 Dire Wolves across the entire width of the table. One unit of 6 Spirit Hosts deployed by the Damned, while the other went into the grave.

I deployed Archaon opposite Nagash (obviously....). 

Battleround 1

My DD were good this time. I picked up Sinister on Archaon for a net +3 to Battleshock tests. I nudged him forward with the Balewind Vortex.

D80B14CC-6425-434C-BE5B-992EE11242ED.jpeg.b88a1b9594a86cfb10aca17f2a1a019c.jpegI cast Infernal Flames hitting about 18 Dogs, but the great tide of 6s from Ricky began. I did little damage. I summoned on a Keeper on the left and 10 Pinks on the right. At this point I realised that I had used all the good wizards to cast spells already and so the Keeper had to cast Mystic Shield, which he duly failed. Disaster! Eye of Ed Sheeran was also poor. Not looking good. The Keeper pumped up Archaon with double pile in.

The Pinks failed their shooting and their charge.

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Archaon went in on full derp, killing a few dogs. The Dogs chipped two wounds off ominously. Archaon attacked again and this time there were fewer 6s. I spanked a DD on the Damage from the Claw. In the event, this was key. The Battleshock roll was   Crucial, with 13 dead and plus 3 to the roll, 7 were guaranteed to flee. Had they clung on, Nagash could have brought most of them back.

I scored 5 points.

Ricky was very complimentary about my first turn. 

Ricky unleashed a barrage of spells and Debuffs into Archaon - taking off about 6 Wounds and debuffing him. Thankfully I unbound the reduce attacks spell.

At the end of the movement phase, Ricky reloaded by bringing on the other 6 Hosts where the first 6 had started.

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Ricky forgot to take the Damned buff until some way into the movement phase. I let him take it back so he got his 5+ mortals up. 

He charged in both the Spirits and Nagash.  Arguably overkill (but with bad rolls he might lose the Spirits and then have me win the initiative and pop Nagash too.

He attacked with Nagash first as he might get lucky and kill Archaon. He didn’t manage it and Archaon managed to roll the one 5+ I needed to slay the Great Necbromancer. I also killed a Spirit Host. In response, the Hosts annihilated Archaon in a flurry of sixes.

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Nothing but dust

Battleround 2

The double kill kept me in a strong position.  I was able to win the initiative and use the Keeper and Infernal Flames to take out the 10 Skeletons on the far right, while the Pinks went into the Spirit Hosts to chaff them up. While I lacked the models to Steal the 4 points, the Blues were able to tie up both units. Ricky made clear at this point that after witnessing my turn one he had been impressed and didn’t have the mental energy to try to win it back. 

Nevertheless, Ricky didn’t concede and proceeded to double turn me, clearing out the Horrors and then making it into the Marauders on the left middle and the Keeper on the right. He took out much of my army and for a while it looked like he might steal my home objective for the win, but it wasn’t to be. Major win to Archaon!

 

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Edited by Nico

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Conclusion

With 4 Majors and hopefully some decent soft scores, the question was whether I could sneak third place. Gary had 4 Majors and a Minor, so it wasn’t to be. I came 4th in the end. My best result at a large event and coming swift on the heels of the 1st place at Winter Waagh with a similar list.

I was chuffed when Ben Johnson made a point of congratulating me on my soft scores, which was a nice touch! Cheers! 

Congrats to @Leonardas and @Thanatos Ares who finished with big wins to make the top 20.

Nurgle look very dominant now with Martin winning with a soft variant of Dronestrike and more recently Darren Watson doing very well at SCGT and London GT. No doubt AoS 2 will shuffle the pack. The change to Mystic Shield (assuming Castellant is likewise) May mean that Nurgke’s anti-armour is actually less valuable than before. However command ability Spam will likely help Nurgle a great deal. I hope you cannot use the Harbinger buff twice in one turn.

The biggest problem I had with it was the need for Rerolls on Archaon from the Chaos Sorceror Lord, but him also costing too much.

Archaon is getting a rewrite - hopefully picking up rend -2 on his Claws and a buff/clarification to his heads. The Mystic Shield Change is bad news for him. The summoning changes kill my list, but it was fun while it lasted.

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Edited by Nico
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