Last night I was lucky enough to get in another game of AOS, this time against a Freeguild army being commanded by Ryan. With all the fire power facing me, this was going to be a great test to see if the the Tomb Kings could weather the storm before making it into combat.
Since my last game earlier in the week I wasn't convinced at the low points level that Ushabti were a good choice. In my mind they need a Tomb Herald in order to mitigate the casualties they take and I simply couldn't afford one at this points. I settled on the following:
Tomb King - Master of the Black Arts, Cursed Book
20 Skeleton Legionnaires
3 Skeleton Chariots
6 Necropolis Knights
Ryan was running 90+ models in the following force:
General on Griffon
2 x 30 Handgunners
2 x Helblaster Volley Guns
So much fire power and with the detachment rules I had to really pick my approach carefully. Out of simplicity we picked the same mission I played previously and set the objectives. Ryan won the roll off and put down a unit of Halberdiers.
My basic idea was to always go through the scenery piece on the right and flank Ryan's force that way. It wasn't going to me a simple task however with his artillery and a unit of Handgunners happily waiting for me to advance. Now, there was two ways of playing this game, moving my heroes up to camp nearby the objectives or take the fight to the enemy. Option B, always being the preference for me.
Order of deployment is listed in the photo above. I was happy for Ryan to have a large piece of terrain breaking up his deployment and it would also prevent some of his detachment shenanigans from kicking in granting extra bonuses against my charging units. The Necropolis Knights ended up in the perfect position in my mind and with the nearby Necrotect, they would have the movement capability to scale the terrain and begin their crusade of annoyance.
I gave initiative to Ryan so he wouldn't get a double turn. He activated his command ability and his battle line stood defiant. His General swooped down with his Griffon however in order to capture an early objective. Cheeky bastard! There would be none of that happening. The Necrotect buffs the Snakes as does the Tomb King with his command ability.
The Necropolis Knights move up 11" to get nice and personal with the Griffon general and then charge in the relevant phase. I pile-in, roll 21 dice and Ryan removes his Griffon.
So like any amateur gamer trying to document his adventures, I've missed a turn, but allow me to bring you up to speed! I won the initiative grab and rather than get the crap shot out of me for not benefit I decided to take it and keep the fight happening. The Necropolis Knights eventually would charge the Handgunners taking horrific casualties in their stand and shoot reaction (I lost around 3 snakes). I killed 10 in the following combat however and between the Helblasters and Handgunners in Ryan's turn they had a single snake left on 3 wounds and his unit was looking rather unhappy.
Like the annoying person I am, we rolled off for initiative and again I had the option of taking it. It would be silly not to and I grabbed it healing a snake in the hero phase right away. All my forces slowly wandered up with Mystic Shield and the Necrotect's buff both augmenting the Warsphinx.
The Warsphinx is just within range of its fiery breath and a roll of 6 for damage takes the Necropolis Knights out of combat with the unit. This frees up the Knights to charge and get into contact with both of the Helblaster Volley Guns and thanks to the Necroserpent's D3 damage, they're easily overwhelmed and destroyed. Battleshock takes care of the remaining Handgunners.
Ryan brought his Halberdiers into the fight, charging my Skeleton Chariots. He swung in combat, and I was about to take 5 wounds and remove a model when the Tomb Kings allegiance ability was in range and kicked in negating 2 wounds. I did a few wounds back and brought in units to counter-charge.
The Tomb King's command ability went onto the Warsphinx as did the Necrotect's. The Necropolis Knights healed another model and moved well out of range to lick their stone wounds. The Tomb King led the charge (Cursed Book helping the combat in my favour!) into the Halberdiers backed up with the Skeleton Legionnaires and the Warsphinx. The super-steriod 'warkitty' killed 3 with its 'Thundercrush' ability before mincing around 12 in the combat phase. Ryan swung back putting a few more wounds into the Skeleton Chariots but then the Tomb King stepped in and swung with his world-stopper, killing 9 Halberdiers. After the melee had finished, battle shock reduced the unit to ash.
Ryan threw down some late game lead at the Warsphinx putting down a hearty 7-8 wounds onto the Warkitty. At this point with only a single hero facing off against 1200+ points still facing off against him, me controlling the objectives, Ryan conceded.
I certainly learnt a few new things in this game. Firstly, I need to make a concerted effort in reading up on my opponents Warscrolls. I could believe the sheer amount of fire-power that the Handgunners produced, what amazed me was it was on a 2+ at one stage. I need to ask way more questions during the game rather than get caught in terrible situations like that. However, lucky for me I survived it and lived to tell the tale.
Secondly, playing to win isn't always the right way to play. For example, I think in this game it favoured my force immediately over Ryan's. His army is very static in nature and loses a lot of its advantages if it moves. I simply could have camped on the objectives and hung back forcing him to move his units of Handgunners in order to have any impact on the game whatsoever. Honestly, I get pissed off when people do this to me, so I wasn't going to do it to Ryan.
I was hoping to convince myself about the Warsphinx and its capability but to be honest, I'm still sitting on the fence about it. I do like the fact it is a single based model and able to move into positions that 6 Ushabti simply cannot. Having some extra shooting is nice as well and being a large model it immediately paints itself with a target and Ryan did manage to ping some wounds off it late game.
Thanks for reading!