And then the moment arrived for which this serial was made. After 8 years of not playing, and 3 weeks of insane painting speeds, the TSA Club Championship Fun Tournament was upon us. As 14 armies gathered in our clubhouse, the forces of the Dawi Zharr stood ready to take on the opposition, with one goal in mind: Do not become the last one in the ranking. Ending higher then my archnemesis Guy was a bonus...
But first, let`s have a look at all the armies gathered for a grace to the title... as we walk along the tables when the armies for the first round have been set up.
Mike`s Skink army and Yannick`s Dwarves
Tom`s Chaos Warriors vs Patrick`s (from the Nelson`s Revenge blog - see TSA sidebar) Nurgle Deamon Force
Tournament favorite Kristof`s High Elves vs Sven (from the Mechaniak blog, again, see sidebar) and his Night Goblins. Sven will proudly march on to win the best painted awards as well, and very rightly so
Arch Nemesis Guy`s Beastmen horde vs Jelle`s Tomb Kings
Wim`s MASSIVE zombie horde vs Sven the Organiser`s Bretonnians
Hannes`s Nippon vs Heiki`s Goblin Horde. heiki won the `special prize` for most bonuspoints in army selection (a tourney thing, basically, the less specials and rare, the better).
and finally `guest attendee` Wim, the only non TSA member in the bunch and his Araby force, versus some old farts Chaos Dwarfs. Don`t go looking for his link in the sidebar though, your already reading his blog.
Battle 1: we battle the sons of the Sand
So the tournament is a go, and I start with facing off a horde of Arabians with a lot of fast cavalry, a massive elephant and blocks of spearmen. For the tournament, we had to choose in this scenario a `trophy` model at the opposing side, which would grant additional bonuspoints if killed or captured. He selected my Sorcerer Prophet, I one of his Iman`s (it`s an Antwerp thing, no need to explain why that one especcially though).
Now, I loved the table we where assigned to. Two rivers counting as dangerous terrain caused half his horses to drown before he got to my compact force, and a Transmutation of Lead in turn one turned half a block of spearmen, a lvl 2 caliph and my trophy into gold. Still think I should have gotten even more bonuspoints, at least my trophy was already gilded and polished now. The other spearmen unit literally spat apart when an earthshaker shell crashed into it.
The battle was over before it had began in all earnest...
The rest saw the elephant dying when under the effects of an Ash Storm, making it flammable, and the hero then wounding it with the Black Hammer of Hashut, causing the general to start his long run back to the baseline and ending the battle in a Massacre for the Chaos Dwarfs.
Hero of the match though was the level 2 Hellsmith, who managed to throw back two units of fast cavalry and a depleted unit of flying carpet riders who wanted to get past him and attack the Earthshaker.
Battle 2: oh crap, those Hogh Elves
The massive amount of points I raked in caused me to be on the top of the mountain at that moment, and so my opponent was Kristof and his High Elves. I feared this force even from before the tournament, with so many units versus my way to compact line. A special rule for the scenario resulted in me having to deploy my entire army before his, so I had no other option then to bunk in.
80 High Elf spearmen / sea guard led by a Battle Standard and level 4 wizard, and supported by two eagles and flying hero set out towards my line and in this battle the K`daai for the first (and only) time excelled. They managed to hold up and defeat a block of spearmen and the two eagles, before finally going under vs the hero, whom I could keep from charging with the help of an Ash Cloud. I had the luck that I had magical superiority, because on the second spell his level 4 casted he ended up in the realms of Chaos never to be seen again.
It was not to be though. I had to take a gamble and charge one of the spearmen blocks, in order to hopefully break them and get past the other two blocks in front of my warriors. However, thanks to the bsb they held on (justly) and the other two units piled in. It still took three rounds of combat before my warriors (at that point, a standard, champion and the sorcerer prophet) broke and where run down, and as a result (and good tradition) the blunderbusses and cannon crew decided to leg it as well.
Still, a good fight from the Dawi Zharr, for only eleven elves of the massive force that marched to my line lived to tell the tale...
Man of the match here is a tie between the K`daai onehand for tying up the flank, and the Earthshaker on the other hand for blasting about 60 elves apart...
Battle 3: Hashut be praised
At this moment, both me and my nemesis where on a 1 - 1 record... and the lords be praised, we had to fight each other. This meant that I would have complete control of wether or not I could achieve my secondary objective.
His horde, with a very nasty unit of hero led Minotaurs, deployed in line against my small force standing on and around a hill. The Earthshaker did his duty, decimating blocks of infantry, but he managed to strike home a battered assault, including one big nasty Gorgon, in the end. The Dwarfs, albiet pressured, did manage to hold on by the flesh of their teeth, and the battle would have been a jiffy... if the blunderbusses and cannon crew didn`t do their usual thing. Move over Usain Bolt, these fully plated dwarfs run the 100m way faster then you! I really will be glad when my force is more to my liking once painting can start in earnest on them again...
Still, I managed a minor victory and the warriors are getting the man of the match title for my side, refusing to break off assaulted on all sides.
So we ended with a 2 - 1 result, and bith objectives achieved, but where did we end after 8 years of not playing Warhammer?
Here is the result, the painting points where seperate from the playing points, otherwise I would have even be close to the person before me...
1: Kristof (High Elves)251 pt
2: Sven (Bretonnia) 220 pt
3: Tomsche (Legion of Azgorh) 183 pt
4: Tom (Chaos Warriors) 178 pt
5: Hannes (Nippon) 170 pt
6: Yannick (Dwarfs) 165 pt
7: Mike (Lizardmen) 160 pt
8: Patrick (Nurgle Deamons) 159 pt
9: Guy (Beastmen) 138 pt
10: Wim (Vampire Counts) 137 pt
11: Jelle (Tomb Kings) 129 pt
12: Heiki (Goblins) 124 pt
13: Sven (Goblins) 113 pt
14: Wim (Araby) 83 pt
Third place. We managed an unbelievable, podium place! Okay, an old fox seems to still know his tricks then WOOT WOOT.
What did we learn this tournament?
* Earthshaker. Definitly the unit of the tourney for me, blasting apart about 200 models now that they are laserguided with the all measuring allowed and the Hellsmith re-roll special rule. Sure, at 240 points for the gun and 170 for the Hellsmith this is mighty expensive as hell, but the blast AND the dangerous terrain aftermath of the quake make her a monstrosity. Downside is, unless your opponent has many blocks of troops, it`ll be hard to get the points back for this one, and it certainly isn`t viable to take 2 or such for them...
* Drop those K`daai. On the 5 battles I played this weekend, only once where they worth it. As soon as they are painted up, they will be replaced with Hobgoblins and more rank and file dwarfs.
So what now?
Well, the paint jobs for the Lead Painter`s League are now primarily my concern, as are those for the Brushslave League.
Second then is to paint up at least 1000 points of my Cathay force, but after that, it`s back to the Dawi. The blunderbusses have to get back to their old 20 man, full command status, if only to prevent the one or two casualties, panic and then run off that ran strife through the force the past days.
Hobgoblins will be added in blocks of at least 20 as well, to protect the flanks of the warrior unit and `flop in` if needed, while the warriors themself will grow to 40 to become a horde.
All in all, a fun tournament, and next year I`ll be back... with the followers of the Celestial Dragon peasant army then!