Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Axemaster Report

Bright, but not the scary...
Axemaster is done for another year. I ran the event last year, so it was nice to play this time. Axemaster is the longest continuously running event in Melbourne, and it usually plays in a very simple style. Very few bells and whistles.
After enjoying their performance at the World Series, I asked Greg if I could borrow his Wood Elves. There's something about how squishy they look; they just don't look threatening!

Put together, they didn't come across as intimidating. It could have been Greg's lurid paint job, but I suspect it was simply the thin line of unarmoured elves that made up my army.

After a night of cooking cupcakes, I was rearing to go!

Game One
Opponent: Mark Audley
Army: Bretonnians
Scenario: Blood and Glory
Admittedly, it was my aforementioned small army that influenced this grudge match. I really wasn't sure how things would go, so I reasoned that another 6th ed list would help. I forgot about this report during this game, naturally; so the pictures are minimal. I used a lop-sided deployment, putting the archer-line on the left, treemen in the middle and treekin on the right with a dryad unit on each end. I faced off against an MSU style knight army; three unit standards, BSB and general on pegasus. This also afforded Mark two units of pegasi.
The game progressed in two theatres, due to the river through the field. On the right, the treekin, over the course of the game, received four charges from knights. One included the BSB, but it was the final charge, from knights errant, that saw them broken. They escaped, but were later cut down by a combined charge from the same knights errant and pegasi.
The treemen narrowly avoided being charged by the grail knights, with their magic lances, and counter-charged. Their combined efforts failed to win combat, which saw one break. The other took a knight charge in the flank but was able to hold for much of the game with a few casts of Regrowth. He even managed to whittle the flankers down to two models but eventually, the grail knights bested him.
My final turn saw the other treeman charge the beat-up knight unit, eager to finish what his mate started. The two knights and prophetess fled, denying me the standard. I responded by teleporting my HQ bunker next to the fleeing knights. 16 archers at close range and a Hail of doom drew to kill two knights with the final fortitude point. Alas, the standard survived and both sides held.
Result: 20-20 draw, +1 for comp.

Game Two
Advancing on the tower
Opponent: Chris Wilcox
Army: Vampire Counts
Scenario: The Watchtower
Chris was sporting a massed infantry force, with 10 levels of magic (including Heimlich Kemmler) and no grave guard. His only elites were seven hex wraiths and he had no fighting characters. He won the tower, and put in the only unit capable of holding it: 20 skeletons. I set up on one flank, with the treemen and dryads in front of the tower. The treekin were on the extreme right flank. Chris spread out, sitting well back and committing nothing else. The hex wraiths cowered behind a hill, nervous of my Hail of Doom.
Treemen make a perimeter
I charged in, and took the building in two turns. The treemen created a barrier against the oncoming infantry, deciding that any chaff was welcome to try and shift the dryads from the building. The infantry never advanced, and Chris merely tried to shift the trees with magic. He reduced the first unit to one model over time, but there was a second unit to replace them. And casualties to bow fire were easily replaced.
The tower is mine!
I got bored and decided to go hunting (many will tell you this is out of character), moving the BSB to spot the hex wraiths. Sadly, the game ended before I could spot them.
Nothing was lost on either side, but I was victor in the rather flaccid fight for the tower.
Result: 30-10 win, +2 for comp
Total BP: 53/240

Game Three
Opponent: Greg Greenfield
Army: Tomb Kings
Scenario: Blood & Glory
Greg was an unknown quantity to me; I hadn't played him before and he had no reputation. His army had 5 levels of magic, a King leading a big unit of chariots, three more chariots, two warsphinxes, 20
I managed to get Greg to face my HQ bunker on the extreme left, leaving plenty of room to escape on the right. A treeman went over the right to protect his general in than situation, but the rest of the army went left.
Stalkers attack!
Greg advanced, raining death on me. I couldn't get it through my head that cover wouldn't help! Even still, with Regrowth, neither side had many shooting casualties that weren't reversed.
The sepulchral stalkers popped up behind my treeman on the left, taking 4 wounds with their magic shooting. The rest of the undead were outside of charge range, so I turned around and took them out with multiple volleys
The HQ escape
The treekin faced the chariots of fire for a few turns, from behind a forest, daring them to charge. Greg moved a warsphinx up to try and block me, so I hit it with the treekin and treeman, taking it out. I overran, leaving the treekin out in front of the chariots and treeman in front of the archers with hierophant. Fortunately, the treekin had an active boosted Flesh to Stone in play, so the chariots backed off.
I charged treekin into chariots and the treeman into the hierophant, which Greg had declined to move. Suffice to say, the archers'  shooting was ineffective. My HQ bunkers had executed operation Make like a Tree, so magic would help no more.
Treeman whacks the Hierophant...
...but the chariots are too much
The avalanche of flaming strength 3 attacks took their toll on the treekin, and after two turns I was defeated. The treeman was unable to end the hierophant before it took its own life with a miscast, and the skeletons even managed to kill the treeman before he could wipe them out.
The game was over. I hadn't managed to break Greg, nor he I. He was s little bit ahead on points, however.
Result: 16-24 loss, no bonus.
Total BP: 69/240

Game Four
Opponent: Mitch Wragg
Army: High Elves  
Scenario: Battle Line
Mitch had brought an army consisting of a hard-as nails general on star dragon, two level 2 mages, BSB on eagle, 30 white lions, some dragon princes and two units of archers. The dragon commenced the game by landing 12" or so from both treemen. Everything else shuffled forward. I put both treemen in, but only one made the distance. The HQ bunker hopped into a building, to protect themselves from dragon princes. My dryads moved up to block the white lions' advance. In combat, treeman and prince exchanged wounds for a stalemate.
The Dragon princes charged my HQ bunker in the building (but didn't make the distance) and the white lions charged into my dryads. Magic saw little happen, so combat began. Somehow, the dryads managed to hold, and the treeman manged to kill the dragon he was fighting, but died in the process. This left me with a conundum in my next turn; charge the now-on-foot lord with my other treeman, or charge the BSB (who had been positioned to protect the white lion flank). I opted for the BSB, who fled, allowing me access to the while lion flank. Meanwhile the other dryad unit hit the dragon princes in their now-exposed flank.
The treeman destroyed many white lions, and managed to win combt. As the BSB was fleeing, they were unable to pass their break test, bagging me a unit of white lions! The dryads flapped ineffectively against the dragon princes and fled, allowing the knights to hit the treekin in the flank.
After a few more combats, the treekin were surrounded my knights, seamen and lord. After a few casts of Regrowth and Flesh to Stone (Mitch neglected to dispell Throne of Vines until the last turn), the treekin had the dragon princes and seamen.
At the end of the game, only the lord was left alive, along with a fleeing dragon prince champion. In return, I had lost a treeman, one unit of archers and the eagle.

Result: 30-10 Win, +1 for comp.
Total BP: 100/240

Game Five
Opponent: Andrew Goodman
Army: Daemons
Scenario: Dawn Attack
Andrew Goodman is a veteran of the game, and a great player. He had been out of the game for two years, due to not liking 8th ed, but absence had made the heart grow fonder so he decided to have a go at Axemaster.
Early problems
Andrew had a mean looking daemon army, with a bloodthrister, horde of bloodletters, units of horros and daemonettes, heralds for all of his units, another Khorne herald on chariot and plenty of chaff.
I used my normal setup, with treemen and treekin poised for aggressive play and archers well back.
Cornered in a house
The treekin had an early charge against bloodletters, which only held them up for a turn. Hardly the roadblock I had hoped for. A treeman charged into an small unit of (10) bloodletters, but was broken in two turns of combat. Not good! Mass bowfire only managed to take down a handful of bloodletters, and the bloodthirster was bowling down my flank in turn two. On the far right, the other treeman was eating his way through furies and daemonettes.
Victory on the right
At the last minute, my HQ bunker teleported as far from the bloodthirster as it could get, appearing on the other side of a house with an angry bloodthirster, chariot, bloodcrusher and horde of bloodletters on the other side. Through casting of various buffs (including a boosted Flesh to Stone), I managed to hold out until the final turn, but the HQ was eventually surrounded by the Blood God's minions and torn to shreds.
I didn't expect this to end well, but in hindsight I could have probably lasted longer if I had put my forest at the other end of the table, and made a much bigger teleport move. Oh well!

Result: 6-34 Loss, +5 for comp.
Total BP: 111/240

Game Six
Opponent: James Brett
Army: Orcs and Goblins
Scenario: Battle Line
Skirmish on the left flank
James was apparently in Masters' conterndership, so told me he was going to be agressive today.
Scary stuff in the midle!
His army consisted of a solid core of savage orc big 'uns (with general, BSB and shaman lord), 8 trolls and an arachnoroc. This was surrounded by layers of spider riders, chariots, and goblin heros on wolves and one on a gigantic spider. In support were a few war machines and a mangler.
Dealing with chaff
I didn't mix things up with my deployment, and got ready to bate and flee with the HQ bunker. I managed to take out most of the chaff with shooting and magic fairly early on, and the trolls were drawn away from the general with a unit of dryads, effectively removing them from the game.  The eagle was able to keep the mangler on the back line.
A lone treeman drew the savage orcs out, and was broken after two rounds. Whilst that was happening, the other treeman and treekin charged the arachnoroc, and tore it apart over two turns. This allowed them to turn and charge the savage orc block in the flank and front respectively. The HQ bunker teleported as far as possible to watch the fight.
I managed to cast Wyssan's Wildform on the treekin, meaning they could slaughter orcs as effectively as the treeman. Over two turns, three treekin and half the treeman were killed, but they managed to kill the black orc BSB and plenty of orcs. The orcs were beaten, and without the BSB, they failed their steadfast 9 test to flee the field. I had broken the orc core at the expense of one treeman and nine dryads!

Result:  36-4 Win, +1 for comp.
Total BP: 148/240 (74/120 in a normal event)

The Spread
I ended up coming 9th after everything was calculated. This is much better than I had hoped for, and considering how little faith I had in my army, I think it was pretty good. Aside from Andrew's Daemons, I had a pretty good run of comp, which definately helped. Whilst I know that the new Wood Elf Orc list won't play this way, the success here has definately made me excited to get things done!
Leopold failing...

The weekend ran really well, and the buffet of bribes was very welcome. There were some delicious things on offer, but the highlights for me were Elliot Yung's truffles and James Brett's bacon and maple cupcakes.

Thanks to all my opponents, and thanks to all who contributed to the organisation.

Eagerly awaiting results

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