On 30 November, three brave Moonrakers braved the elements to attend Christmas Carnage in Bristol, a 4 game, 1,995 tournament using 2nd edition rules, organised by Matt James. There were 5 Masters players amongst the assembled masses.
The Fox took his Christmas themed Tree list with hordes and regiments of Forest Shamblers, Treeman, 2 Tree Herders, Centaur Chief with Pendant of Blowing-Uppiness (note to self, remember this if we play) and Elf allies with 2 more Forest shamble units, mounted Elf Prince and another character.
Moonraker Andy recycled the cotton wool from Paul’s old Air Elementals to use as basing for his Nightstalker flying circus.
I took my Abyssals for a final run out before having to drop the Despoilers in the bin in 3rd Edition (“Oi, Mantic, give us back our Despoilers!”).
Game 1 was Pillage and I faced Eddy’s Ratkin.
Eddy deployed centrally and I managed to get round the flanks where I combo-charged, front and flank, his leading horde of Rats, mangled them and then double 1d. Oh dear. Death of my 2 stranded units as they were flank charged by some enraged monsters and killed. The hjorde had however bene heavily depleted and in the next turn I confidently charge in a horde of Despoilers, only needing one wound to force another nerve test – and that’s exactly what I got with my 18 attacks, one hit and one wound. I spent the rest of the game having to play catch-up. On my final turn, Eddy was sitting on 3 tokens and I owned one. One of his was out of reach but there was a chance I could get to the other 2. I flew my Twisted Victims off the token they owned into the flank of a Night Terror holding a token, and killed it. Two – one to Eddy. And in the final throw of the dice, I hindered-charged my Hellequins into his Horde sitting on another Token and managed to kill it for a 16:4 win. A really tight game which went right down to the wire.
Elsewhere, Paul beat Rich’s Undead by 19:1 and Andy beat Dangerous Dave’s Abyssals by 16:4
Game 2 saw me facing Bob’s Brocks and Glocks (Dwarfs) in a Dominate scenario. I deployed as far as possible out of sight of Bob’;s Glocks and aimed to kill the Brocks before swinging into the centre.
The Universe restored Karma in this game as Bob double 1d a nerve test against a troop of Gargoyles allowing me to flank charge multiple units of Brocks while Basusu and other fliers sorted out the Glocks. I eventually owned the Dominate zone for another 16:4 win.
Paul beat Nick’s Varangur by 17:3 but Andy unfortunately lost to Chris’ Trident Realm by 6:14.
After lunch, I had to face the Fox and his Christmas Tree list in a Plunder scenario. By now, the intense cold in the venue was getting to me and I forgot to take any pictures of this game, so here’s another one of the army.
I aimed to go for the 3 tokens on the right of the board, including one worth 2 points, and allow The Fox to have the other 2, and that’s exactly what happened. Paul was unable to do enough damage to one-shot my powerful, units and I was able to regen wounds and kill stuff in counter-charges. In this game, I remembered the Crystal Pendant on the Centaur Chief. I wavered the Chief in melee and then took it out with an uncannily well-directed Fire Bolt. Paul was not helped in this game by his dice. I’m not sure if they were rusty after their protracted lay-off from competitive gaming or if they did not appreciate being disturbed form their long nap; in any event, Paul’s dice were my most valuable asset in the game. A 18:2 win to me.
Elsewhere, Andy beat Steve’s wonderfully painted Halfling army by 17:3.
On to the final game with hypothermia setting in. This was Invade against Nick’s Varangur, another beautifully painted army. Nick deployed his big hitters on my right, Chimera, Mounted Sons with a troop of Hounds, Frost Giant and chaff in the centre and everything else on the left, Fallen, Magnilde, Horse Raiders, Hounds, Cavern Dweller. I deployed heavily on my left with Basusu and some Gargoyles charged with holding up the Chimera and Mounted Sons.
On the right, my delaying tactics worked. The Gargoyles wavered the hounds early on, bottling up the Sons behind them. In the next turn, I wavered them again, more frustration for Nick. Basusu caused 3 wounds on the Chimera before being turned into a smear of bloody pulp. But their sacrifice had not been in vain as it had allowed me to combo charge and kill the Frost Giant with Despoilers and Twisted Victims. On the left we traded units and I managed to kill the Horse Raiders with my Tortured Souls but Nick got into a really good position and was able to combo charge my Hellequins with the Fallen and Magnilde. Heavy wounds resulted and needing only a nerve roll of 4 or 5, Nick failed. Hurrah. If I withdrew my Hellequins, I now had a flank on Magnilde and the Fallen with my other horde of Despoilers. Into Magnilde, cause a shed load of wounds and then overrun into the flank of the Fallen, doubling my attacks for a tasty victory. Easy. Except for, you guessed it, a double 1 on the heavily wounded Magnilde. Boo. Karma works very quickly these days. Given a reprieve, Magnilde charged into my heavily wounded Hellequins and finished them off while the Fallen got the charge into my Despoilers. How a good plan can fall apart very quickly. However, the final few moves went my way. The Mounted Sons finally got into the action, killing my blocking Gargoyles and then dealing with the Despoilers that had been injured by the Frost Giant. This however, left my Twisted victims free to kill the already-wounded Hounds and get into the end zone out of arc of the Mounted Sons. Seeing Magnilde heavily wounded, I repeated the trick from the last game and took her out with another uncannily accurate Fire Bolt while the Despoilers regenerated their wounds and over 2 rounds of combat killed the Fallen. I eventually ran out the winner by 17:3 but the game seemed a lot closer than that, we had both spent a lot of time in calculating charge arcs and angles.
Paul finished the tournament with an 18:2 win against Chris’ Trident Realm and Andy beat Bob’s Brocks and Glocks by 14:6.
And so on to the awards ceremony. Matt set a new standard with the awards at this event and you can see the full ceremony here: AWARDS CEREMONY
Final results were:
Moonraker Andy was 4th.
The Fox finished 3rd.
Matt used his Aura of TOing to good effect to snurgle into second place without having had to face any of the other Masters players.
I finished top. Hurrah!
A few final thoughts.
. There are no easy games anymore. Every game required a lot of thought.
. Double 1s played a big part in several of my games and did/potentially could have, been game changing. I’ll say no more.
. The standard of army painting and themes has gone up enormously since I started playing KoW. Some beautiful armies on dispaly.
Many thanks to Matt for organising the tournament and to all my opponents. See you in the 3rd.