Friday, 4 November 2016

The biggest CoK so far!

I recently attended the Clash of Kings UK, this was the culmination of this years time and effort spent on my cat themed Herd army, I'd given it plenty of playtesting and felt ready to try for the CoK crown, as 4 times national champ I felt vaguelly confident, but you never know what will happen!

My fully touched up Pussies!

It was a late start so I was able to saunter up about 9:30 or so, which was nice. On arrival I met a friend of min Walter who present me with a bottle of Prosecco which I happily helped him finish off. This started the day nicely! We also started supping Mead.

Here's my list, I took the same one I'd used at Black Dragon recently.

Game 1 vs Jesus Santiago – Basileans – Pillage

On my right I put my Avatar forward by the hedges, allowing the Elohi Horde opposite to charge figuring it wouldn’t take too much damage, but actually took 10! (Iron resolve down to 9) It then ran off as fast as could, then mostly pottered about until the end of the game, trying for rear charges.

On my left a Nimble charge past Sisterhood Panther chaff, give me an early dominating position, later allowing a triple charge into his Knight Horde, both Lycan Hordes and a Stampede too, pop goes the horde.  Lost my Stampede on the right to the really well rolling Elohi, but then I got a Stampede into them with Spirit walker too, and they routed. 19-1 win to me. Jesus was a nice guy with a gorgeous looking army, I loved his water effects! I found out after the game he is the Spanish No 2 player! Nice tough start to the tournie.

Time for more Mead!

Some of Jesus's army, photo taken after the game.

Game 2 vs Darren Parkes – Elves – Push

Darren already! I had expected to play Darren at some point but not necessarily so early on! Daren’s army was both fast and shooty, if not quite as manoeuvrable as mine. I out deployed him meaning I could get my Avatar onto his flank safely without any fear of being charged, if I won first turn, which I didn’t. Ah well! Darren’s first turn saw all the shooting piled into one Stampede and wavered it! Not an auspicious start… On my turn I went full throttle and advanced everything else up, with chaff in front, preventing the chariots on my left from charging.

On my right I happily advanced both of the Lycan hordes into difficult terrain daring Darren to charge them with his Drakons, and surprisingly he did, this didn’t even waver my unit so the Lycans teamed up front and flank and took the Drakons out.

In the centre his dragon advanced cautiously to flame my Shaman, this then gave me a charge with my Spirit walkers who took his flight away.

The massed shooting volleyed again and took out my damaged Stampede, and my chaff packs. This was fortunate as it allowed me to charge the Chariots with my Stampede (a waver would have been troublesome) routing them. My Avatar snuck behind Darren’s line.

The archers decided to get away from the Avatar ASAP by charging the Stampede, an unexpected move which delayed my Stampede for a couple of turns and removing most of the charge options for my Avatar. I decided to go after a Mage but rolled poorly and failed to kill it, leaving me flankable by his Dragon…

On the right my Lycans took out the Seaguard Horde.

Darren’s Dragon charged in and routed my Avatar in one go… However despite his efforts this left the Dragon vulnerable to my Lycans! Which happily charged him for a waver followed by a rout the turn after. (The Dragon had two of the push tokens)

The game ended turn 6, giving me a decent win 17-3. And Mead time!

Game 3 vs Alan Thompson – Undead – Invade

Alan is ranked second only to myself in the UK so I knew this would be a tough game, and it was!

Alan has a habit of playing refused flank, recalling this from last time we’d played, I placed everything bar my Lycans with Shaman on the same flank, my right. This meant my Lycans could get up and round the left fairly quickly although obstacles would slow them somewhat. Here's the setup photo's.

Sadly Alan went first and started storming forward. (in Invade I prefer to go first to get closer to their deployment area) I set my Avatar up for lots of flanks hidden behind some chaff, Alan responded by throwing his fast units, Wraith, Dragon, Vampire  and Lycans into my Stampedes and Spirit Walkers, but rather than rout one unit he spread them thin one per unit. Luckily for Alan he Wavered a Stampede with his Dragon with a high roll, but the other units were fine.

Now it was my turn to fight back the Avatar took on some pesky Wraiths routing them. The Stampede went into the Vampire, wavering it. Over the next few turns I would waver it twice more and double 1 it too, finally killing it with a Shaman on turn 5! Failing to kill it was bad as my other Stampede then got flanked by Wraiths and wavered then finally killed.

On the bright side the Werewolves killed my Spirit Walkers and turned away from the other Stampede with the Dragon, we’d discussed it and I’d told him I could I could charge their rear if he turned them away, but he chanced it anyhow, and this time the Dragon fluffed his rout roll and the Stampede went into the rear of the Werewolves! 90 attacks later they were dead. :P

The Dragon was then out of sight of anything worthwhile so simply turned to threaten other units. Meanwhile on Alans side of the table my Lycan had been flanked by annoying Wraiths, still they survived it, and I took the chance to get my Avatar into his Revenant King, disordering him and removing Surge from the equation. I also used my Lycans to take out the flanking Wraiths and then the Revenant Horde.

At this point I was in Alan's half and he was in mine, some quick calculation meant that if left as is I would win, so Alan had to come back in! Wraith troop and Dragon take on an undamaged Lycan horde, average damage is about 8, however Alan rolls high and takes it out in one go! (damn) All I can get into them is a Beast pack and a shaman, the shaman fails to damage the Wraiths, but the Beast pack does exactly 1 damage to the Dragon thanks to Vicious! As it lose fly that means it’s stuck as I’ve placed my Avatar right behind it. My surviving Lycans take on the damage Revenant King and finish him off then turn back towards the Dragon and Wraiths.

Alan’s turn 6 he kills the beast pack with the Dragon. And foolishly I’ve given his Zombie horde a flank into my Lycans through difficult terrain so on 6’s at least. The Wraiths join the Zombies and together do 13 damage! Then they roll a double 1, on my turn I roll to regen and get 11 damage back out of 13 on 5’s! Alan is somewhat dismayed by this. ;-) On the final turn I fail to take out the Dragon, but do rout the Wraiths giving me a 16-4 win. (phew!)

And now it was time for even more Mead, I was starting to get more than a little drunk at this point. ;-) Walter and I headed off to our room continuing to drink Mead polishing off around 2 and half bottle in all!

Arrival at the pub saw us rather drunk and then Nick bought me 3 sambucas which I downed… Don't remember much after that... Thanks to Walter though we got an early night and I felt okish Sunday morning. ;)

Game 4 vs Paul Fox – Nightstalkers – Loot

His list was,

2 Mind-Screech, 
2 Screamers, 
Troop of Phantoms, 
Horde Butchers, 
3 Hordes of Fiends (one with Brew of Sharpness),
Horde of Trolls, 
War trombone

I’d had quite a bit to drink the day before but despite that I felt ready to roll! The army was VERY shooty but also had fast elements in the Fiends which hit hard, it’s a very tough list.

On the left I advanced my Lycans ready to receive a charge from the Phantoms but out of the range of the Fiends. The Phantoms did charge in but did little, the Fiends stayed back but within charge range of the left most unit of Lycans. ;)

In the centre/right the rest of my force advanced from behind a hill and most of it behind hedges, this slowed down my advance slightly but most importantly penalised the enemies shooting. My Avatar slowly sneaked up from the flank hoping to get up behind everything and into the shooters. 

Paul did take some pot shots but it didn't do that much due to the cover, just weakening the right most Stampede.

On my next turn my Lycans nimble charged past the Phantoms into the left most Fiends, and I blocked the other with a chaff pack. My Avatar moved behind the building out of LoS of everything and threatening the Screechers and Screamers.

I was able to get the right Stampede into the War Trombone taking it out.

Here I perhaps made a mistake, I pointed out his Butchers could charge my left Stampede, he'd gone straight to shooting so I probably should have kept quiet. :p His shooting fired again and finished off the Stampede in the open. (ouch) The other Stampede was damaged but ok.

On my left the Fiends took the bait and killed the chaff having little else they could do, I then charged them with both units of Lycans taking them out too. The Phantoms flew off out of charge range.

Avatar and charged a Screamer, annoying though I only wavered it. I also charged those Butchers with the Stampede but failed to waver them by 1...

At this point after pretty much taking the flank I felt pretty confident, even if I lost a chunk more in the centre surely the Lycans would swing round and save the day?

More units were routed by shooting the Spirit Walkers were obliterated! By the time my Lycans turned up from the flank, a lot of my centre was lost, I had a wavered Stampede, my Avatar and a shaman left. I perhaps foolishly tried to salvage it by bringing in the Lycans, in retrospect I could have run off at this point grabbed the loot tokens and stayed away from those Mind-screeches. The next couple of turns saw the undamaged Lycan hordes routed by shooting despite Paul needing to roll rather well to do this... His Trolls come and pick up a token.

I did kill the Butchers but then the remaining Fiends arrived and wavered my Stampede. Next turn the annoying Phantoms rejoined the game too and charged my Stampede, and I perhaps made a further mistake pointing out Paul could pick upo the loot token, thereby making it impossible for me to win... (why do I do these things!)

At this point I had one loot marker with my Avatar and he had the other two, if I had a turn 7 I could charge my Avatar into the rear of his Phantoms (who had that token) and at least claw back a draw, (I would have to drop the token to make the charge making it 1 token each) but it wasn’t to be, as the game ended. 4-16. Next time I would make damn sure to silence those Mind-screeches!

Game 5 vs Walter Simpson – Undead – Dominate

The man himself!

The battlefield had a several obstacles spread all over the centre, I took the side that would let me advance as close to centre as possible while still keep the obstacles between myself and Walter. This worked quite well throughout the game. I also got first turn, this was handy as it allowed me to blunt many of the incoming attacks. Note the Avatar placed to get all sorts of flank possibilities.

While I saw the potential I didn’t expect Walter to go so extreme first turn, he charged in both Dragons and a Lycan horde into a Stampede, I wasn't certain they would even fit, but they did! He need a really good roll to rout it but fortunately only managed a waver. Wraiths charged my Stampede on my left doing some chunky damage but not wavering it.

The failure to break the centre meant next turn I was able to get my Spirit Walkers in the flank of Rev King on Dragon, and managed to waver it, routing it a turn later. I protected their flank from oncoming Zombie Trolls with a beast pack. On the right Lycans watched Werewolves and I advanced to take on the centre with one of the Lycan hordes (protecting it with a chaff pack)

My Avatar also took advantage taking the Werewolves in the flank and routing them instantly. This left him taking an unpleasant Zombie Troll charge, but he withstood this, and the two faced off until close to the end of the game!

The Vamp on Dragon decided to take out the previously wavered Stampede.

This turned out in my opinion to be a mistake, because although he wiped it out easily enough he was then surrounded by my units unable to escape a flank or possibly a charge, he decided to go for getting as far away as possible, this avoid a flank but gave a rear to my Spirit Walkers which I happily took with Bane-chant as well. 60 attacks later I wavered the Dragon. (I’ll take it) It did turn round the turn after but still died to the follow up attack.

On my left my Stampede took out the Wraiths, but then got charged by another troop of them, this also did above average damage and wavered them… This delay being critical, as it took me two more turns to wipe them out. 

The Lycans and Werewolves both got stuck in at this point, fortunately the obstacle helped again here.

We had to pick up that hedge but it was basically underneath everything in the middle.

On turn 5 things came to a head, Walter now had his Zombie Trolls in combat with my left Stampede and it had now taken 20 damage and he needed anything but to rout it. He didn’t... However I had inspiring, reroll... Double 1! I was jubilant at this point Walter less so. :p

However as an aside here’s a perfect example of a double one being a critical roll, (hence memorable) when actually it should never have been a factor in the first place. If not for extremely good luck the Stampede wouldn’t even have been wavered in the 2nd combat with the Wraiths, with average luck I would have killed that 2nd Wraith unit 2 turns earlier giving me the opportunity to charge the Zombie Trolls likely wiping them out before the double 1 ever happened! Still at least the randomness of dice evened out. ;-)

Ok next combat Lycanis and Zombie Trolls into the Avatar, rout result, inspiring reroll… DOUBLE 1! Yes two combats on the row! Ok this one was lucky. :p

After these two failures I was able to table Walter completely and got a 19-1 result.

Game 6 vs Dominic Stoveacre – Nightstalkers – Control

Table behind us, sorry for the lack of extra photo's!

His list was,

3 Mind-Screech,
Troop of Spectres,
Horde Butchers,
3 Hordes of Fiends (one with caterpillar),
Horde of Trolls,
War trombone

Dominic had been beaten by Paul at a previous event, and decided he liked the list so basically copied it, he’d tweaked it slightly though.

I knew from the earlier game with Paul that the Mind-Screeches HAD to die ASAP. I won the roll and let Dominic go first (so he couldn’t shoot me) He advanced slowly, then on my turn I threw nearly my entire army at those Screeches, with the Lycans on the left flank. (behind the church in the photo above)

The Lycans were able to combo charge a Horde of Fiend instantly routing it, meanwhile the nearby Butchers were stuck behind an obstacle with a Beast pack in front so declined to charge. This was handy as I was able to reroute the beast pack the next turn then combo charge the Butchers taking them out too. Flank to me! (yeah this happened last time too…)

In the centre I was throwing my stampedes into the nasty shooting, but due to placement I could only get one Mind-Screech a turn, I killed one, then the remainder obliterated a Stampede, then I killed another, I sent my Shaman after the War Trombone, anything to dent the shooting! (it killed it too!) Meanwhile the Fiends and Trolls were stumbling forward on my right flank, and I was feeding them with anything and everything to occupy/delay them!

Eventually I took out the final Mind-Screech but this cost me my 2nd Stampede which then died to Fiends. I’d already lost my chaff packs and my Spirit Walkers, I had t throw my foot Shaman in front of the other Fiends to slow them down…

Ok my turn 5 and all I have left are the Lycans and a mounted Shaman, I retreated out of range and awaited Dominics move. All he had left was a Horde of Fiends, the Trolls and some Troop of Spectres, due to my retreat he was stuck now, with Lycans either side of his fiends, he was able to pivot just enough so it’s be a front for both.

My turn 6, I charge one Lycan horde past and into the Trolls on my table side, killing them was irrelevant I just need to stop them holding the area, and thankfully there was no turn 7 so that was sufficient to hold his and my table sections giving me 3 VP to his 0. 17-3 to me.

And that was it! I knew I had no chance at winning the event, but was hoping for maybe top 5. And I did, coming away with 3rd place. J

What did I learn?

All in all a great weekend, I remembered my scenarios better, (shout out to Jez for his excellent Scenario cards) and my army performed well. I don’t really feel the need to change anything about my list, although a fast individual or two for taking on Mind-Screeches would be nice.

In retrospect I should have played at least one game vs Nightstalkers first, I knew they we're big down south. The Mind-Screeches proved better then I’d expected. Also in retrospect I could have won the game vs Paul if I’d simply disengaged and left some of my units for dead, I typically like to fight on and get big wins though. In some situations I guess exceptions should be made. Still if averages had been with me I would have succeeded so I'm happy enough with the plan I chose.


Congrats to Tom Robinson for 1st place, Darren Parkes for 2nd, and Jesus Santiago and Chris Walsh for Best Mantic army and Best painted! This meant I was no longer the nation CoK champion, still after winning 3 CoK’s and 1 national championships I could rest easy knowing it would take some doing to beat at least. ;-) Also thanks to my high placing I remain the UK no 1 ranked player so that’s cool. :)

The turn out was great, and the venue was ideal for me, I actually like it to be a little chilled. 

Mantic ran things well, and I cannot wait to next years event, where the Americans will be joining us! :D

Lastly I’m glad I went the extra hobby mile for this event, I got lots of compliments on my army, and the army board was well worth doing! I don’t know if I will ever reach the likes of Chris Walsh etc, but any improvement is good.


Tom's List

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