Last weekend I participated in the Austrian Team for the European Team Championship in Warhammer Fantasy Battles (the closest thing to a World Championship that exists, since teams all over the world participate).
I played Vampire Counts:
Vampire Lord: General, Magic Level 1, Lore of the Vampires, Aura of Dark Majesty, Great Weapon, Talisman of Preservation, Glittering Scales, Scroll of Shielding, 340
Master Necromancer: Magic Level 4, Lore of Death, Obsidian Lodestone, Sceptre of Stability, 260
Necromancer: Magic Level 2, Lore of the Vampires, The Book of Arkhan, 125
Necromancer: Magic Level 1, Lore of the Vampires, Dispel Scroll, 90
Tomb Banshee: 95
Tomb Banshee: 95
2 x 28 Zombies: Standard Bearer, Musician, 94
20 Zombies: Standard Bearer, Musician, 70
36 Skeleton Warriors: FCG, Banner of Swiftness, 225
3 x 5 Dire Wolves: 40
8 Crypt Horrors: Champion, 314
2 Fell Bats: 32
Mortis Engine: 220
Game 1: Denmark – Rasmus Budde, Vampire Counts
He played a fighter Vampire Count, Level 4 Death, BSB+Necromancer Level 2, 2 Banshees, Ghouls, Crypt Horrors and Vargheists. I rated the game as a minor Victory for me, which was a bit optimistic. The lists still favour me, since my units were tougher through the Mortis Engine and I had more screams and should be able to prevent the Vampire Count to kill me in close combat. Still if my opponent doesn’t make any mistake (which he was unlikely to do, Denmark usually plays for the ETC title), I could not score any victory points.
We started fighting each other in one third of the table. I made the first big move by charging the ghouls with my crypt horrors and killing them in the second combat phase, which would give me a reform in my opponent’s turn, which is always very good.
My opponent tried to prevent that by charging my redirector bats, whose would give him either an overrun direction to my Terrorgeist or in the Flank of my Crypt Horrors, depending on how I decide to remove my models from the ongoing Ghoul combat.
It was a tough decision, but I let him go into the Horrors. I think I even won the first round of Combat (regeneration 4+ is good against the Shard Vampire and Horrors do a lot of damage in Zombies). I placed my Skeletons and my Mortis Engine, so they could counter charge in my next round and I moved my Terrorgheist behind enemy lines, so it could reduce the Vargeists, and charge the Zombies next round.
I somehow didn’t realize, that the enemy Crypt Horrors would get a reform in my round and thus were able to charge and kill the Terrorgheist. Though in the end this was not so bad for me, because the other direction was my skeleton unit, where I definitely didn’t want the Horrors to be.
So the Horrors killed the Terrorgheist and were taken out of the game with my last unit of wolfes. Also as expected the Vargheists charged my Horrors in the Flank. This was still a combat that was ok for me. At least that’s what I thought before one Banshee scream took out two Crypt Horror Models (sic!). One hit point remained in my Horrors after close combat and I charged.
No I charged. The Mortis Engine dealed exactly 1 Wound to the Vargheists (including screams, impact hits and close combat). I blocked the opponents Vampire Count with my Banshee. In sum it was a draw and the Combats split.
Next round my Mortis Engine died doing lots of damage. With a daring Zombie Charge, I managed to take one wound from the Vargheists to score half points. Another Zombie units helped my Skeletes, which were taking serious damage, because I was not allowed to reform (LD 10 …) and the opponents Vampire hit hard.
Finally it was over and I scored 7:13. It was a really great game, that had several exciting moments, that could have changed the result in all directions. Also thank you to Rasmus for the nice gift (a custom made miniature, see at the end of the article).
Team Score: 61:99
Game 2: Croatia – Velimir Marovi, Warriors of Chaos
He played a flying Deamon Prince, BSB on Daemonic Steed, Chimera, Hellcannon, Nurgle Warriors, 3 Crushers and Chariots. I rated the matchup as balanced, which it really is, with possibility of extreme outcomes.
Since I started deploying, I had to deploy my Terrorgheist before the Daemon Prince and my opponent still got +1 for the first round, which he won. And he really used it. So when I started, I had a Deamon Prince and a Chimera to my flank, well outside of Terrortheist distance.
Unless I did something really quick, I was doomed to be uverrun in Round 3, latest. Fortunately my opponent let a spot for my Banhsee, so she charged the Chimera and managed to roll the 5. My only chance to geht the Daemon Prince was with my Terrorgheist. Since my opponent didnot have a dispel scroll, i decided to take the risk, move my Terrorgheist in the open and roll as many dice as possible for my two Vanhel Dances.
It worked out well and I also got lucky with my screams, so the Deamon Prince died in my first round and thus also the Chimera. My banshee was not able to pursue over the table edge, so she got a charge from wolves into the flank and died. Fair exchange.
The BSB got an overrun into my Terrorgheist. They fought a bit, but in the end, the Gheist died. Warriors and Chariots charged my Crypt Horrors. Both did a lot of damage, but the counter charges killed the chariots and scared away the warriors (from the table in the end). The Crushers were redirected first, and screamed to death later. The BSB was killed by the Engines sorround damage.
There was still one scary moment for me, as the Hellcannon missed the Mortis Engine, but hit my general instead. I rolled a one for look out … as did my opponent for wounding.
20:0 win for me, and a 100:60 cap for the team. Back on the track.
Game 3: USA – Alex Schmid, Dark Elves
4 Pegasi, Level4 Heaven, Darkshards, Witchelves with flaming banner, 2 units of Warlocks and 4 Bolt Throwers. I rated it as a minor defeat. This is a cautious estimate, one could also say it is balanced, if you count a 9:11 as balanced.
I took my stand a bit right to the centre, where I had a comfortably impassable peace of terrain and a ruin. Since my opponents only magic weapon was on his lord, that had no ward save (which is insta-death against screams), I played my banshees aggressively. So they managed to kill a unit of light cavalry in round one, and get a unit of Warlocks in round 2 due to an error of my opponent.
I redirected the Witchelves (including 2 Pegasi) with Bats. Due to a fleeing light cavalry model (that was broken by my Crypt Horrors) I had to align the bats and the frencying elves with flaming banner and 400 attacks had an overrun distence of 10 into my Horrors.
Fortunately the Witchelves killed one non kainite Pegasus in exactly this round and the overrun ended after 9 inch, giving me the flank charge. The Witchelves died instantaneously and the Pegasus fled. I got him in the last round with all of my screams (that were hiding behind hard cover the entire game). My opponent got the easy points: Redirectors, 2xZombies and a Banshee. It was a 12:8 for me (6 Victory points short of the 13th)
Team result: 70:90
Game 4: Finland – Olli Mikkanen, Wood Elves
Level 4 Death, 10+10 Hagbane +7 Starfire Glade Riders, Sisters, 7 + 8 (flaming) Wild Riders, Scounts, 2×8 Waywatchers. I rated it as balanced, which it isn’t. I probably can’t score any points, where my opponent kills some small things and can possible screw me over with the purple sun. Which he fortunately didn’t get. So it was balanced at the end.
I stayed in my corner and tried to keep my opponent out of it, quite successfully. After a movement phase that took my opponent about an hour, he positioned his Glade riders in my flank, trying to shoot my Terrorgheist. It took 2 wounds (that were recovered quickly) and my banshees killed 9 out of the riders. The last remaining tried to run away and got shot by a magic missile in the end.
In the last but one round, my opponent made a small mistake. He blocked my Zombie konga poorly, so that I managed to get a clipping charge into the flaming Wild riders on a roll of 4, freeing the way to get a save overrun with my Crypt Horrors into the second Wild riders on a roll of 7.
The Zombies got in, but my opponent made the necessary 3 wounds to win the combat, thus getting my Zombies in the end. I also didn’t manage to overrun into the Wild riders with my Horrors. Afterwards my opponent ran away with everything and ended the game 10:10 after round 5.
Although nothing really happened in the game and we didn’t even finish it, it was the most fun game on the tournament (not meaning, the others were not!). We joked around the entire game, giving the opponent „good“ advice and I even exchanged one of my shirts with him at the end of the tournament.
Team score: 79:81
Game 5: France – Thomas Huglo, Wood Elves
Wood Elves again. He played 15 units of 5 (mix of Glade Riders, Scouts, Wild Riders and Waywatchers) and a Sisters carrier with BSB and Level 4 Heaven. This match up is really balanced. He will kill some small things from me and I can score some points with magic missiles and screams.
I was quite surprised, that I got the first round. After short consideration i decided to play aggressively. My Crypt Horrors moved forward, bringing the Banshees in range for screaming at a Scout unit. This unit loses 3 models, flees and is shot by a magic missile next round.
My Doom and Darkness on the Wild Riders outside BSB draws the dispel scroll. This was in vain, because, they had to charge my Horrors anyway and died a painful death.
In round two in decided to move further, keeping Terrorgheist and Engine in the back, expecting the arrival of the Glade Riders.
And since they all arrived simultaneously, there were no surprises any more afterwards. I focused my magic missiles on the starfire Glade Riders and killed them in two rounds.
I screamed away a Glade Rider unit, Magic Missile panicked another one and broke an eagle, that tried to fight my Terrorgheist in the flank. I even managed to overrun into savety over the table edge.
There was not much my opponent could do (since he didn’t get the crucial Comet of Cassandora), so he ran away and tried to focus his shots on the Crypt Horrors, the only unit he was really unlikely to kill.
I get 12 points out of this game, helping the team cap France 100:60.
Game 6: Ireland – Alan Woods-Conway, Wood Elves
Oh look, Wood Elves! Level 4 High and Shadow, 4x Glade Guards, Sisters, 2x Wild Riders (one flaming) and 2×10 Waywatchers. I rated it as balance, but realized, that it is clearly not in my favour. At least he didn’t get one of the 3 spells that destroy me instantaneaously (Toughness debuff).
He split up his army, which I really don’t understand. Again I got first round, allowing my (non vanguarding) Wolves to charge Waywatchers in the flank. This forces my opponent to dispel Doom and Darkness and I was able to kill 6 Glade Guards with my magic missile.
The Wild Riders decided to run away (they didn’t face me the entire game) and I moved forward, killing the remaining 4 Glade Guards with my Terrorgheist scream.
I used my Scroll of shielding against the S4 hits on each model in my Skeleton unit, feeling comfortable with my 2+ Ward save until there wer only about 20 models left and I dispelled it in one of my magic phases.
The Shadow Mage in Glade Guards with BSB made a short trip into a nearby forest, until he realized I had 3 Death Snipes and he had no save against those. So the unit teleported back.
I got all the slow Elves units with screams, close combat and magic missiles and my opponent was forced to the far corner of the battlefield. Only my Terrorgheist had to flee backwards, after he got 5 wounds out of one shot from Waywatchers.
In my last round I could not do a lot, since I was just to slow to reach my enemy, so I tried hard charges. A Zombie konga charge two remaining Glade Guards, who fled into line of sight of my Crypt Horrors. Those charged as well, driving the Elves from the table through the Sisters with General. BSB was far off, and my opponent was too cheap for the banner of discipline. So the Sisters ran away as well as the eagle behind. I redirected into the Glade Guard with the other level 4. They fled because of the terror test (the BSB was out of range due to a strange shadow charakter switch bluff from the last round).
So the 13:7 switched to a 20:0. Not the way you really want to win a game. But I’m pretty sure my opponent enjoyed the game (and the 4 beers we had) as much as I did at least until that point. I’m not sure how much he will enjoy the switch of shirts, since mine will fit quite tightly on his body.
So for the team this result changed a slight defeat into a minor victory of 84:76.
As a team we placed 13th with 494 points (with me as top scorer with 81 points). We didn’t reach our goal of top 10, but at least I am highly motivated for next year!
Here are my gifts/exchanges I gathered during the tournament, and the two guys I exchanged Shirts with, you may guess who is the Irish and who the Finish one.