Moonrakers at FRANTICON

The Moonrakers decided that a trip to the big city was in order and so Moonraker Andy and I signed up for the FRANTICON doubles and singles. Never having partnered in a tournament before, we got down to some serious number crunching while working out a combined army list for MMC (the Mantic Moonraker Club) and ended up with Andy’s fast Varangur outflanking wing with my infantry-heavy objective holding force. The army comprised 2 X 1,000 point lists.

Andy had:
Lord on Chimera
2 Hordes Fallen
Regiment of Draugr

I ran:
Standard Bearer
2 Regiments Halfling Knights
Horde of Dogs of War
Horde of Spear Phalanx

We had time for 2 practise games where we swapped roles with one of us fighting our combined list while the other made a scratch doubles list with whatever spare troops were on hand at the time. Alarm bells started ringing when in both games, the scratch list beat our official combined army. Unfortunately, we had already submitted our list to the TO and so we couldn’t change and were committed. B****r!

We drove up to London on Friday afternoon to drop off some extra terrain for the event and then went back to our hotel at Hanger Lane before returning for evening drinks and meal. Nick and Elliot were staying at the same hotel and we had a long discussion about their Scarecrow heavy list of doom with lots of Scarecrows and Orc Morax, and pitied whoever would have to play against them next day.

We arrived bright and early at the venue and had to wait for Wetherspoons to open for breakfast.

While waiting, I took a picture of Andy and me and posted it on the KoW site. The photo got more than 30 likes, compared with 11 for the pictures I had posted of my army. I think this says something about the site, I’m just not sure what.

The event was well laid out and very well organised.

We were quickly registered and assigned to our opponents. We got … Nick and Elliot’s Scarecrows of Doom in a Raze scenario. Shock horror.

We had a poor first turn and it went downhill from there. It was not helped by our dice – 16 attacks, 9 hits, 5 X 1s.

We lost. And cried.

Anyway, fortified by the excellent lunch arranged by the TOs, we headed off for game 2, Control against Holy Shrek, a combination of Basilea and Ogres piloted by David and Sven. Our fortunes reversed in this game and almost everything went our way. My Wizard performed miracles with her Lightning Bolts. In the first turn, she wavered a mounted Basilean, in the second turn wavered the same character, in the third turn, wavered a damaged Ogre Warrior horde and in the fourth turn routed the Ogres. We were completely on top in the centre and left of the table and Andy had bottled up the mobile Basilean units behind blocking terrain in one table quarter on the right.

And then, disaster struck. Andy Double 1d a nerve test and in the next turn, double 1d again. This allowed the Basileans to counter charge and escape from the terrain to grab table sections. We had pulled a draw from the teeth of an easy victory.

For the final game of the day we faced a combined Goblin and Abyssal Dwarf list in a Loot scenario. Nick Williams had, at great personal effort, transcribed all of the army lists for those attending into Easy Army so that teams could print them off, with unit statistics, for the event. Here’s our opponents’ list.

We were still kicking ourselves for throwing away the win in our previous game and we had lost concentration. Another double 1 didn’t help. We played like deranged Gnoblars and lost.

Oh dear, 3 games, one draw and 2 losses. Not the resounding success we envisaged when planning to attend. Anyway, things were bound to pick up in the singles tournament on Sunday and in the meantime there was a curry and many drinks to consume.

Sunday morning saw us back at Wetherspoons for breakfast before heading back to the tournament. Four games today at 1650 points. I was running Rhordia again with:
Horde of Dogs of War
Horde of Honour Guard
2 Regiments of Pole Arms
Battle Shrine
Duke with Winged Aralez
Standard Bearer
Baron on Horse

For game 1 I was to face Gavin’s Nightstalkers in Smoke and Mirrors. I deployed the bulk of my force on the centre/right with a regiment of Pole Arms, Baron and Mammoth to look after the tokens on the right – it later transpired that Gavin had put all of this tokens in this area.

My Lord flew off to take out Gavin’s Mindscreech and then assisted the rest of my army by charging the rear of Gavin’s troops that were held up by my Dogs of War. On the right my Mammoth and Baron were facing off against Gavin’s Shadowhounds and Phantoms. I got really bogged down and it took 3 turns for the Mammoth to kill the Shadowhounds which allowed the Phantoms to waver the Duke and fly behind the Mammoth to secure a 2 point token in this area. Ion a tight game, Gavin ran out the winner on turn 7 by one point. Well played sir!

On to game 2 where I faced a Basilean list in a Plunder scenario. Lots of stuff died but I emerged victorious at the end of the game.

And then we rolled a turn 7 and my only hope was the pretty unlikely chance that my Wizard could lightning bolt off a horde of injured Palace Guard Ogres to stop them walking backwards onto a token. About to roll the lightning bolts when my opponent was convinced that my height 2 wizard standing on a height 3 hill had her line of sight to his Palace Guard regiment blocked by the other height 3 Palace Guard regiment. It was a pretty unlikely chance that it would happen anyway so I didn’t argue the toss and I chalked up another loss.

I’m afraid that I stopped taking photographs at this point but Game 3 was Push against George’s Nighstalkers. I deployed my Dogs of War on one flank with all of my tokens and marched them across the board, killing a regiment of Fiends en route. The rest of my army simply had to stop George’s forces form crossing the half way line. I anchored my line with a Mammoth positioned in difficult terrain where his De 5 and Fearless 18 nerve would easily allow him to survive a hindered charge and he could charge out unhindered using his Strider ability. George charged the Mammoth with a regiment of Reapers and one-shotted it. Stupid Mammoth. Elsewhere, however, the plan worked and at the end of the game, George had got no tokens across the half way line and I emerged with the victory. And then we rolled a turn 7 and George got 4 tokens across to win by 4 tokens to 3. Lightning strikes again on the 7th turn dice. Well played George.

My final game was Dominate against Jack’s Nightstalkers. Yes, 3 of my 4 games were against Nightstalkers – no wonder I have nightmares. Jack advanced his Bloodworm Legion and Scarecrow Horde in the middle with Shadowhounds on each flank and a Mindscreech and 2 regiments of Spectres providing fire support. I had seriously underestimated the Bloodworms and got bogged down in difficult terrain trying to kill them. This allowed Jack to shoot into my massed units – and had his dice not seriously let him down in the ranged phases, he could have done some very serious damage. Eventually I killed the Bloodworms and Scarecrows and was able to secure the Dominate zone for a win – the first one of the weekend.

So, a less than stellar performance for the Moonrakers. Paul and Leo are apparently looking for replacements even as I type this. However, a great tournament that was really well organised – thanks to all of those involved, it must have taken a great effort and it is very much appreciated.

What would I change in my list?

Firstly, drop the Polearms. At this points level they cannot add much to the battle and are simply points given away to the enemy.

Secondly, obliterate the Mammoth. This model found new ways to let me down in each battle. What a useless piece of plastic and a waste of more than 200 points.

Thirdly, play Goblins instead.

Thanks again to the TOs and my opponents. See you at a tournament in the future. Now, what temperature do I set the oven for Mammoth steaks?