Woehammer has asked me to write a few Blog posts for tournaments I go to to give their readers an idea of what tournaments are like in the UK.
TL:DR; They are great fun; take the plunge and buy a ticket for one wherever you are based
Who am I?
That’s all very well, but why should Woehammer ask me – I wasn’t sure either, but I have been attending tournaments for Warhammer Fantasy and AOS since my first Bristol Brawl in 2002. I find the gaming fun, and the preparation of army lists interesting, but the main draw for me is meeting new gamers, and having fun over the table. The tournament scene has given me friends all over the UK; and there are friendly faces at each event.
This isn’t to say its insular and unwelcoming – new players are welcomed into the tournament scene and given help and advice by those of us a little longer in the tooth. Just let the organiser and your opponents know that it’s your first event and they’ll look after you.
THWG – Barbarians Brawl 2 (One Day; Three Games)
For my first event of any new edition I always take my Glooomspite Gitz. I’ve been playing Goblins forever since the Elves invaded the Goblin mountains in 4th Edition; and they are always my go to army.
I did have something a little different though, because the new Kragnos book had given Gloomspite new allegiance abilities and I had been painting a lot of Squigs … so Jaws of Mork (Gloomspite) it was.
I will admit to being concerned about the army as it was ranked in the lower tiers by most players since AOS3, and I knew it would be an uphill struggle, but I wanted to give the new toys an outing.
Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
– Option: Jaws of Mork
– Mortal Realm: Ghur
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs: Inspired
Loonboss on Mangler Squigs (310) in Warlord
– Command Trait: Envoy of the Overbounder
– Artefact: Amulet of Destiny (Universal Artefact)
Loonboss on Giant Cave Squig (110) in Vanguard
– Artefact: Syari Screamersquig
Fungoid Cave-Shaman (95) in Warlord
– Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork
Fungoid Cave-Shaman (95) in Warlord
– Lore of the Moonclans: Itchy Nuisance
36 x Squig Herd (480) in Hunters of the Heartlands
– Reinforced x 2
20 x Squig Hoppers (360) in Hunters of the Heartlands
– Reinforced x 1
10 x Squig Hoppers (180) in Vanguard
10 x Boingrot Bounderz (210) in Hunters of the Heartlands
– Reinforced x 1
6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75) in Warlord
6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75) in Warlord
Hunters of the Heartlands
Total: 1990 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
There wasn’t a big plan for this; just to see how the new game worked, and whether I could bring the Gitz to a longer format tournament. I really like one dayer tournaments for this as it gives an opportunity to try out new things without waking up on Sunday morning 0-3 down and seeing 2 more games looming ahead.
My biggest concern was with the Squig Hoppers as their mortal wound damage (for moving over units), now only worked on normal moves. So, so run or retreat over units.
Game 1 v Nighthaunt
Nighthaunt are in a similar position to Gloomspite so this was going to be close. My opponent (Chris) had a nice list led by Olynder with Chainrasps and lots of other ghosts. Very thematic.
We both advanced on the objectives, and in the second turn I gave Chris the turn as he was far enough away to do limited damage – he charged the large squig herd and we both did damage to each other. I then set my Mangler Squig Boss on His Finest Hour and went to clear an objective setting him 3″ away. I rolled double 1; command point; rolled double 1 again!
This meant I had to take the third turn, allowed Chris to remove the objective my Mangler was (supposed) to be fighting on. My Hoppers moved onto the middle objective, and bounced onto a support character killing him, but I should have charged Olynder and I was too worried about losing the squigs.
This meant I was the first to drop points as I only held one objective, and the Chris came smashing back making a 10 inch charge roll with his ghosts (allowing an immediate round of combat), and taking back the central objective.
Once behind it was difficult to get back and I couldn’t achieve a fifth battle tactic, leading to the loss. Chris played really well, and I learnt a lot about the new game – lots of time at the beginning of each turn choosing battle tactic and making sure to leave one for the end!
|Round||Priority||Declan (BT)||Chris (BT)||Points|
|1||C/D||Expansion (Y)||Advance (Y)||5-5|
|2||D/C||Conquer (Y)||Expansion (Y)||10-10|
|3||D/D||Broken Ranks (Y)||Conquer (Y)||13-15|
|4||D/D||Advance (Y)||Bring it Down (Y)||16-21|
|5||C/C||None possible||Spearhead (Y)||16-26|
|END||Hold the Line (Y)||Hold the Line (Y)||19-29|
Game 2 v Soulblight Gravelords
Greg’s army is unashamedly top tier – Nagash, Vengorian Lord, Manfred, 3 x 10 Zombies… ouch! I was in some trouble here but I started with an advance and send off my Boingrots towards some Zombies. I was in a defensive formation around the Shrine with the hope of weathering the storm and then striking with the Hopper’s mortal wound output.
Greg took the objective I had a toe on, won priority turn 2 and charged with everything. My screen was hit badly but with 72 wounds in the unit it weathered it well, and the Shrine ensured no battleshock. I now needed to get out.
I decided that I needed to kill one of the big things, and with Manfred’s ability to disappear and the Vengorian Lord to my right I went for Nagash. Despite retreating the Squig Herd couldn’t leave enough space for my hoppers who only did 2 mortal wounds to Nagash due to space constraints. The Mangler again did Finest Hour, charged Nagash and Manfred (with Sneaky Snufflers on as well), and did no wounds to Nagash…! The 2+ save rerolling 1s was very good.
My gamble over, Greg proceeded to take the Gloomspite apart. We chatted afterwards… perhaps after a little cursing at the different strengths of the books, and struggled to see how I could win!
|Round||Priority||Declan (BT)||Greg (BT)||Points|
|1||G/D||Advance (Y)||Conquer (Y)||5-5|
|2||G/G||Bring it Down (N)||M. Takeover (Y)||6-10|
|3||G/G||Conquer (N)||Slay Warlord (Y)||6-17|
|END||Hold the Line (N)||Beast Master (Y)||6-32|
Game 3 v Skaventide
Skaventide have been making headlines for the Stormfield build, but George had brought a superb moulder army with 2 Hellpits, 2 Rat Ogre units of 6 and lots (and lots) of battle line Giant Rats… Hold the Line was going to be difficult to stop.
Due to the number of rats, I got to ask George to go first and he moved onto the central objective. I moved my Squig Herd forward, killed a few Giant Rats, and took the objective back. In the second turn George tried to kill the large Squig Herd with his Hell Pit Abominations for Broken Ranks. I don’t think he realised how many wounds they have and the unit survived, and smashed one of the Hell Pits down to a few wounds allowed me to pick up Bring it Down in my turn and go slightly ahead.
I then got the priority roll and a double turn allows my Mangler to kill some more rats (Broken Ranks was easy!), whilst my Boingrots killed most of one of the Rat Ogre units on my right. The smash back killed the Mangler (mostly through shooting), and started to reduce the Hoppers. The Squig Herd also died at this stage.
With little left my Boingrots went after a Master Moulder and got into the Grey Seer killing him and gaining savage spearhead with the Loonboss in turn 5, but on my left the Squig Hoppers (my last battleline) were trying to run away from the undamaged Rat Ogres… unfortunately, they were caught in George’s turn 5 and he stopped my Grand Strategy; giving him the game
|Round||Priority||Declan (BT)||George (BT)||Points|
|1||D/G||Conquer (Y)||Advance (Y)||3-5|
|2||G/G||Bring it Down (Y)||Broken Ranks (N)||9-8|
|3||D/D||Broken Ranks (Y)||Slay Warlord (Y)||12-13|
|4||D/D||Advance (Y)||Conquer (Y)||17-16|
|5||D/D||Spearhead (Y)||Spearhead (Y)||20-20|
|END||Hold the Line (N)||Hold the Line (Y)||20-23|
What did I Learn?
Not a very destruction concept, but what did I learn?
- Battle Tactics are very important and you need a plan about which ones you’ll do when.
- Monster heroes are very good… when the Mangler charged he wiped out what he was fighting (except Nagash) and the finest hour made him great fun. Unfortunately the other armies have better ones – Manfred, Nagash & Arkhan who I played. The ability to do damage at range with these characters is very powerful
- There’s book keeping – I used the AOS score sheet from thehonestwargamer.com which was essential for keeping track for both me and my opponent
- Try to kill a monster a turn. I killed both Hell-Pits in the same turn; normally really good, but I could have grabbed an extra point if I’d managed to engineer them dying in different rounds. Difficult to do, but worth watching out for.
After the enforced COVID break, it was great to be back rolling dice, but the Gloomspite just didn’t cut it. I had very close games against Nighthaunt & Skaven but they weren’t top tier armies, and the only game against top tier was a demolition. In 5 game tournaments I like to aim for 3-2 and I couldn’t see how this was possible with the Squigs! Unfortunately the Gloomspite WhatsApp group didn’t provide much solace and so I made the decision to play Sons of Behemat… as luck would have it there was a team tournament the next day at the same venue, so I would be back!