Time to start a new series of posts that I will continue writing regularly: Tournament recaps! I'll ramble on about two dayers and what interesting have gone through. We'll review the venue, organisation, my list and the games themselves, with photos, bad puns and the usual faff. So with that said, let's dive into the Sigmar Spice Rack, a two-dayer in Cardiff's glorious Firestorm.
Event: Sigmar Spice Rack, a semi-competitive event
Players count: 32
Venue: Firestorm, Cardiff
If you haven't been, I cannot recommend it enough. It's spacious, with a well-stocked bar, sensible coffee machine, few vending machines if you don't want to stand in the bar/kitchen queue for a cold drink, plenty of toilets, table space and an absolute mass of play area. On the day besides our event there was an 8th edition Fantasy Battle tournament going on and a Yu-gi-oh something, and still, the place didn't feel too crowded. The prices for drinks are a bit high, and there is a complete ban on outside stuff, but it's what it is, and pretty typical for most venues.
Organisation and rules
I need to give a shout to Off The Shelf Hobby for organizing the event. It was organized extremely well, the few issues that arose were handled masterfully and their dedication to fun and fairness to everyone in the event is nothing short of godly. For example, when it was raised that due to one player not showing up for day 2 there was a possible unfair pairing (essentially a very new player from the bottom of the standings was paired against someone way higher in the ladder) they made sure that both players were fine with it, and at the same time prepared a possibility of breaking another game to reshuffle it a bit to make it a bit fairer to everyone. Ultimately it was not needed, but seeing this type of dedication just shows the length they went to make sure the event was fun and fair, and it definitely felt this way.
The one gripe I could possibly have is the partial ban on books - you were only allowed on faction Battle Tactics, and no book Grand Strategies at all. While I understand the reasoning for wanting fairness along the event, and how it may seem to even things out, the truth is that the viability of new BT greatly varies from one army to another, as does the viability of Galetian Champions. So I hope that going forward this ban will be lifted.
The only other point of content, and this is for tournaments in a broader sense as this certainly wasn't the first event I saw this happen, would be to provide and enforce the use of scoring sheets as you play. There were quite a few tables that only figured out scoring after the game, with a lot of "umm", questions and mistakes happening. I did step in with a few to help score things, but by not keeping an accurate log of scoring each turn, problems happen.
And quickly on what I've brought as an avid Nurgle player, who loves the fact that bounty hunters are gone, decided to bring a variation of Flies because... Well, I just think this is the strongest list in the book right now.
- Army Faction: Maggotkin of Nurgle
- Subfaction: Drowned Men
- Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
- Triumph: Inspired
Orghotts Daemonspew (320)
Bloab Rotspawned (320)*
- Spells: Gift of Disease
Lord of Afflictions (230)*
- Command Traits: Overpowering Stench
- Dolorous Tocsin
- Artefacts of Power: The Splithorn Helm
Pusgoyle Blightlords (500)*
Pusgoyle Blightlords (250)*
Pusgoyle Blightlords (250)*
TOTAL POINTS: 1970/2000
Created with Warhammer Age of Sigmar: The App
The twist from usual fly spam would be an introduction of Mr Orghotts Daemonspew, further known as simply Oggy. While it brings the army to a second drop, at 320 points it is an insane model to include, with high damage, high resiliency, great utility being a Warmaster and issuing a free command every turn.
As a separate drop, he fills the role of a wildcard when needed and can be deployed together with the death ball, but against opponents with no clear ability to remove them, or for which it's problematic enough, he can be safely put on the far side of the map and sent on a one monster journey to wreck and ruin.
The only other mention are the Nurglings, which allow me to easily entrench in enemy territory, or if needed leave behind to sit on my own in scenarios where it's unlikely I'll be leaving anything behind (position over power comes to mind). I tested the list with creeds, and their value for points is excellent, the lack of a deep strike option makes the nurglings win, usually guaranteeing to do desecrate without needing to over-expose my position.
That's what You (the non-existing reader) are here for so let's get to it. Those were all 3-hour rounds of GHB 2023 season 2 AOS.
Game 1: Ironjaws on In the presence of Idols
I've made the mistake of neglecting Opp teleport + tunnel master on Mega Boss, as the bottom 2 flies should've been behind my main formation, preventing a direct drop onto the big boys, but ideally enabling me to then swing back at them in the same combat turn. It was a mistake that Opp happily exploited when I let him go first, and after two charges were made the backline became high traffic area, with Megaboss and Godrak wanting to have a word with Oggy.
Luckily for me, I am not entirely inept, and they were both within 7' from both LoA and Bloab, substantially cutting down on their possible attack power, and ensuring that Oggrost survived Godrak swings relatively unbothered. In response, he outright murdered Godrak in one go, brutal. At the front some pigs and Cabbage barged into the front blocker of 4 flies, not causing anything significant and lifting just one model. By the miracle of rolls, Oggie survived attacks from Megaboss with just 1 wound left, eep.
My turn started with Oggie healing 2 damage with help of the wheel and popping his best day before Megaboss, once again, fails to assassinate him by dealing only 2 damage - back to 1 wound we go, but alive.
With that fate of the dice over, I sent my flies on full-on the counterattack with clear intent to remove Cabbage before he gets a chance to fight, which will only leave me with pigs to clear off the map after. The northmost flies charged in so did LoA and Bloab causing tons of damage on impact, and then Bloab with his activation removed the remaining wounds, and Oggie cleared Megaboss towards the end of the fight (Fight last after hero fighting is fun), but himself dying to fight on death.,
After that there really isn't much to say, next 2 rounds were spent chasing down the remaining Orks while scoring max every turn, with Opp struggling for any points and BTs. Firm 20-0 on the differential for me, and an absolute blast of a game as we both kept the mood light, breezy and full of joking and banter. Exactly how the games should be, A+.
The one big mistake was leaving my back open, especially as I could've easily just used the bottom lane flies to do it with no loss of value, all they did there was to provide a threat to the far-out objective, which honestly I shouldn't care about and focus Top left and Middle instead for max scoring. Besides that, I just think it was a very tough matchup for IJ and without extraordinary dice, it probably will end in a similar result most of the time. There was hope when the Orks charged Oggie from the teleports, but sadly there is just not enough damage output there to reliably remove him in a single go, especially without the use of commands, and his backswing is absolutely devastating.
Game 2: Skaven (Rat Ogors with Thanquol) on Only The Worthy
It's always fun to run into less common list concepts... said the guy playing Nurgle flies, and in game 2 you cannot get less common than Rat Ogor spam!
My plan for the game was to keep nurglings as babysitters and score me the 3/4 summoning points for my terrain. Oggrost and 2 flies will start far and clear the east side of the map, boxing the rats into the northwest corner along the way. The big blob will simply sit there, fight over the west objective and try to not kill any Rat Ogor units along the way while removing Thanquol and possibly some other GCs. I've made it a kind of the point of honour to not have to fight the Rats twice, and if everything is tied up into that neat battle on the west side, at any point I can retreat/autorun LoA past them, disable the GCs (or at least few of them, so there is a limited amount of returns) and mop up the rest. And we got to the brawl, with me letting the rats go first.
From that point on the game very much fell into the plan. Skaven just didn't have the power to fight on all sides, or realistically punch through the mass of flies and Bloab, and even though one unit of Rat Ogors returned, and the big one rolled to return with 5 wounds, they just were unable to break through, but after Thanquol died, and some flies retreated they did finish up Bloab.
This was a point where I think Skaven could've done better by putting more of his army into the maw and jumping on the far side (we did discuss it after, and he did realize it but a turn later, by which I've already put babysitters on that objective). But as it is, the plan continued as, well, planned, LoA pressed forward together with 2 flies and Oggie, removing or disabling almost all of the remaining GCs.
And from that, we resolved the big blob fight, managed to prevent any substantial scoring (there was one theft with a retreat, but that's the joy of the game) and even Oggie got back into the fight to help clear things up. Solid 18-2 for Nurgle on the differential.
I am not sure if I have left enough forces on the west side, to begin with, I think leaving Oggie entirely alone on the east side would've been more than enough, and the 2 flies would help to eliminate the Rats easier, possibly saving bloab. But overall, I am happy with the gameplay I came up with on the spot, as I was correct in identifying that once they are tied into the fight, there is just nothing they can do about the creeping doom from the east, not even able to properly protect the GCs it so desperately needs to summon dead units back in.
Game 3: Lumineth Realm-lords (Cow, Teclis + Stoneguard spam) on Position over Power
With the cow unprotected, and clearly ready to rumble the plan was quite simple: draw it out, surround with everything I have and chip it to death. In the end, tons of chip damage is its weakness, and also what Nurgle excels at. This would also force the opponent to either just sit on his objective, do nothing and let the cow die, or march them into the open field, where once the cow collapses they can be very easily mopped up by flies, Maggoth Lords etc. I can't see any problem removing them.
With that I let LRL take the first, and it, once again, goes exactly to plan, as I redeploy the flies to pull the cow even closer to Oggie on the side and make more space around it.
The cow attacks, instantly lifting both flies (eesh), and besides that, not much else happens besides the mage teleporting to capture the flank objective and score 2 more points.
Then it comes to Nurgle, rolling a bit lucky to dispel the Rune of Petrification (apparently the first person who has ever managed to do it for the Opp), and then follow with the plan as promised.
And this is where the entire game collapsed and I'll provide an abridged version of what has happened. While everything followed my assumed plan, I was able to lure out the Stomeguard, side flies cleared up the northwest side and pinned Teclis to the top objective, the cow simply refused to die for 7 battle turns, which is insane. There may have been some rule mistakes that also influenced this outcome (for example it having a mystic shield despite not being WW 12 off any caster, which made it save on 2+ instead of 3+) but those are the joys of game 3 when everyone is dead tired.
But just to display the hilarity of the situation, this is the expected damage of what started hitting the cow:
Those are just the weapon profiles going in, -1 to hit is already accounted for, assuming no AoA/finest hour for simplicity - calculating the worst possible scenario (and this makes up for some stuff dying along the way). With that amount of attacks, you are also looking at 3.5 Mortal Wounds from diseases every turn. After 5+ ward that means at least 10 wounds every turn before the wards, taking it down to ~6.5 after accounting for it. When it starts at 5 wounds from impact charges, that gives it at most 2 more turns of life left even when rolling a bit below average, 3 when rolling absolutely abysmal.
It lived for 7 more turns.
My army collapsed around it, I lost the ability to score, even keep my home objective, and that's really was it, a 0-20.
I was honestly gutted, confident that I'd made a massive mistake and thrown the game away. But when I returned home and did the math, I am reassured that it was the right play. An alternative would be to keep fighting the Stoneguards while they are on objective while getting pummeled by the Cow along the way, at the max tier of damage. Because of how tight that scenario was, there simply was no way of avoiding it, it had to die. And it should've died, but dice decided to say no, and that's what it is. The little I knew, this was not my worst dice rolling on this weekend, but more on that in a recap of day 2.
One mistake I did misplay the side fly, where I thought I captured the flank objective - I didn't, and only realized it too late (the joys of game 3 fatigue). It goes onto my long list of things to fix about my deployment game, which is by far my weakest side.
But that's all for today, we end day one on a 2-1 record, with two big wins, and one crushing defeat. What will day 2 bring? You'll find out soon enough, and if you enjoyed reading this, do leave a comment, heck, leave one if you didn't, tell me what to do better.
The recap of Day 2 is also available, have a read!