Wanderers of the Wythel Glade attend Heat 1
So I attended Heat 1 last week with my Wanderers, having played them extensively since AoS was released, they are the army I love from a model and fluff background and the addition of the allegiance abilities, traits and items from GHB 2017 gave them a distinct playstyle. I took the list below having used the Waystone Pathfinders battalion at a previous tournament, which is a very shooty list but doesn't fight in the combat phase.. The core of the army remained the same but the addition of the phoenix and rangers were purely to add some combat punch and survivability. 10 drops meant that I would ant really be choosing to go first or second but being able to deploy in the corner and move around the table edges made up for this. Also with 40pts remaining I knew that I would get a triumph in most games and rerolling hits or wounds could be crucial.
I arrived on the Friday and had a game against Nico and his Tzeentch Fatesworn led by Archaon himself. The mission was Duality of Death. I buffed up the phoenix with mystic shield and shield of thorns and used it to sit on one objective whilst I tried to shift Archaon off the other. The Glade Guard with the -3 rend bodkins did the damage and helped take him off but in the end Nico managed to roll the 4+ needed to run a hero onto an objective and win the game by one point. A very close game with lots of lessons learned.
Game 1 -Total Conquest v Chaos
Day 1 and I found myself on table 1 playing Timothy and his chaos list which contained Archaon, 3 Bloodthirsters in the council of blood formation and 3 units of marauders as battle line. He gave me first turn and because he had cunning deceiver which is -1 to hit in the first battle round and a run and charge command ability from his blood thirst general which affected all his monsters!
I decided to buff the phoenix up with mystic shield and shield of thorns, at which point it had 2+ save rerolling and bouncing mortal wounds back on a 3+ and pushed it slightly forward. I then redeployed the rest of the army into my bottom left corner. In his turn he barrelled all his monsters forward but failed charges with 2 bloodthirsters on the phoenix so Archaon was the only one to make it into combat. Fortunately Archaon missed with his attacks and the phoenix was able to cause a couple of wounds to him.
I won the roll off for turn 2 and with cunning deceiver no longer in effect I used my -3 rend bodkins to shoot off Archoan (that's twice now in less then 24 hours) I also moved my rangers to the top right of the board to start going after his marauders on the objective whilst 2 waywatchers went for the top left objective. Over the next few turns I was able to whittle away at the bloodthirsters and kill 2 whilst the rangers dealt with the marauders and claim the objectives.
Result: Major Victory
A good opening game facing an unusual list but I was happy with the way I had played it. The first turn monster charge was very scary but the phoenix did its job. I could have used the wildwood rangers to attack the bloodthirsters with their d3 damage but I needed to get bodies onto the top objectives and fight my way through them so felt this was the better option.
Game 2 -Scorched Earth v Wanderers
So Game 2 was a surprise, I found myself facing Nicky and his Wanderers! Nicky is a top bonesplitterz player and had attended the UK masters the week before where he had taken the same wanderers list he was running, the waystone pathfinders. However the event organisers had ruled that the Stalker of Hidden Paths rule was a set up therefore units could set up in combat like Vanguard Wing. I know there has been a debate about this and it will be FAQ'd in the future but for the purposes of the tournament this was how it could be played.
He was running the battalion with 30,20 and 10 glade guard with the Nomad Prince as his general.
I deployed and in hindsight I should have deployed the army in a clump in the corner with no gaps for the enemy to exploit. I didn't and Nicky set up most of his army in combat with mine, photo below.
He targeted my general and only just managed to kill him, the -1 to hit and -1 wound debuff from the phoenix was frustrating for him. In my turn I took out his the nomad prince and began attacking the glade guard in order to whittle them down. However his eternal guard had been buffed with mystic shield and shield of thorns and I was unable to do any damage to them with the phoenix. The game then turned into my army moving up the sides in an attempt to grab his objectives but he was able to hold onto my objective and held off burning it until the final turns. Nicky in turn was able to kill off my ranged threats and was able to hold multiple objectives to rack up the points and win a major victory.
Result -Major Loss
An interesting game with both armies playing different rules Nicky was a great guy to play and I was left with a gamers conundrum, do I play the rules as I had been or do I play it as it had been ruled. after speaking to various people I decided to play it has I had been previously. Losing the general early on really hampered my manoeuvrability but if I had deployed in a clump I think I could have won this game.
Game 3 - Knife to the Heart
I was up against Tom and his Ironjawz , his list was Boss on Mawcrusha, Troll Hag, 2 warchanters, 10 Brutes, 5 Brutes, 10 Ardbouz and 2x3 Gore Gruntas
I went first and alpha striked the 10 brutes with the Glade Guard. My plan was to concentrate on the troops as the scenario required 5 or more models to claim my objective. I also hoped that due to their low bravery I could kill half and see the reaming runoff due to battleshock. I killed 4 brutes and he lost another to battleshock. The phoenix had been buffed and pushed into the middle of the battlefield.
In his turn he pushed most of the army forward but left the ardboyz on his objective. He was able to kill off my 2 units of Glade Guard but my hero were able to stay out of range and move around the board. With the troll hag and mawcrusha bearing down on my line I buffed up the wildwood rangers with shield of thorns and mystic shield and sent them into the 2 monsters and the 2 units of brutes. The d3 damage to monsters proved crucial and they were able to kill the hag and mawcrusha. Over the next 2 turns the rangers died to the combined onslaught of brutes and gore gruntas but the damage had been done.
In my turn 4 I buffed up the eternal guard and moved to the back table edge to attack his home objective I managed to whittle down the arsboyz to one model but it wasn't enough to get the major victory.
Result -Minor victory
A good game where the wildwood rangers proved their worth, the damage output especially against the monsters was great. So iended day 1 with 2 wins and a loss, I was pleased with how things had gone and was looking forward to day 2.
Game 4 -Starstrike
I found myself playing Martin Orlando who had travelled fromt he US to attend. He was running stormcast with allies, Lord Celestant, relictor, heraldor, Castellant, Runesmiter on Magmadroth, 4 Fulminators, 2 units of liberators, unit of judicators 10 Retributors and an organ gun.
For this mission I decided to target the faster moving elements of his army, the glade guard moved across to the top left and used the bodkins to cause 8 wounds to the fulminators, I also shot off the magamadroth.
Martin responded by charging the fulminators into the glade guard and wiped them out. His retributors moved up ready to claim an objective if it fell nearby. I won the roll for the 2nd turn and the objective fell close to his retributors on the far right of the board. I pushed the phoenix up into the fulminators but he was able to pile in with the retributors and kill it.
Turn 3 and my meteor fell in the bottom left corner near the eternal guard and Martins objective fell in his left side. I pushed he rangers up to claim the middle objective and attack his liberators. In his turn he charged the fulminators into the buffed up eternal guard who were able to hold out. I won the turn 4 roll which proved crucial as the fulminators whiffed their attacks and the eternal guard were able to hang and so I was able to hold all 3 meteors.
Martin realised that the only way he could win the game was to get all 3 objectives in the final turn he managed to kill off the eternal guard with the fulminators and claim this objectives and his retributors were able to claim the second objective. It went down to the final objective held by my general and his general was the only unit in range. He managed to charge but my general survived with one wound remaining thereby denying Marin the win!
Result - Major Win
Such a close game and one I probably should have lost. In hindsight I committed too early and should have kept units for the later rounds as more points are available. Martin was a gent and had been considering conceding at turn 4 but after discussing with him he decided to continue and nearly won the game.
Game 5-Battle for the Pass
My aim for the weekend was 3 wins which should be enough to qualify for the final. Going into game 5 I found myself playing Shaun and his Tzeentch army. His list was a Gaunt Summoner, Shaman, Changeling, Lord of Change, 6 skyfires, 20 Tzaangoor 2 units of 10 pink horrors and a summoning pool of balewind, Blue horrors and brimstones.
I knew it was going to be a tough game, the mortal wound output from the army could destroy me quickly and the secanrio required big units to capture objectives which would then be in range of the gaunt summoner on the balewind!
Shaun made me go first and I was able to kill of some of the skyfires but then things went horribly wrong. He double turned me and with the summoner on the balewindwith treacherous bond cast on the Tzangoor I didn't really have a chance of getting to him. In my turn 2 I gambled on getting the double turn and pushed the wild wood rangers onto his left flank so they could push forward and kill his general and move into his line. Unfortunately this didn't work and his gaunt summoner and magic wiped out the rangers.
Shaun was able to get all his dead skyfires back and pushed into my home objective and that was game really.
Result -Major Loss
It was a bad match up for my army, the mortal wound output from the army is so strong whilst my mortal wound output comes from arcane bolt and nothing else. Shaun was a good guy and played the game well. I have thought about how I could have played the game differently to try and win it but with my army it was never an easy task.
So I finished in 34th place which I was very happy with. I also received 3 favourite game votes which definitely made my weekend. People have been asking me about list builds and tactics. I think playing wanderers is a challenge but very rewarding. The army is a glass cannon with no real mortal wound output you may struggle to take out your enemy's key pieces. Some key point below:
You cant go wrong with waywatchers, they are great for sniping characters and thinning down units.
The phoenix was really useful as diverter piece and because you can make it resilient to damage it can hang around and annoy your opponent.
Wildwood rangers whilst overcosted were really useful as a combat threat, the 2" range and 2 attacks are great, the low armour save isn't.
Glade Guard, again overcosted but the -3 rend really helps having at least 2 units of 20/30 is a must in my opinion.
Deploy in the corners out of range of the enemy, because you can move around the board you can feign one way and go another.
Keep units within 6" of the board edge to allow them to move away if they are in danger.
Play to the scenario, its easy to get caught up in trying to kill the enemy but sometimes its best to hold back and use your superior movement to claim objectives and win the game.