09 November 2008

Recess Rumble

Recess Rumble

This weekend was Recess Rumble, right in my back yard. Well, more like the other side of town. But still Cleveland-ish. I was going to bring a variation on my Marienburg list, but didn't think of it until too late and didn't have time to paint the figures I wanted to use. I think I'm going to continue playing the army for a full year, which means Marienburgers at BASHcon. But after that, I think they're on a shelf for a while.

Back to the two day Recess Rumble. It was the first year for the event, so it was fairly small. It ended up being a 12 player tourney, with half the players representing the local Team BREWS and the other half representing Columbus' Team SLACKER. All the scenarios were story driven, almsot like a linear campaign. Some of the scenario rules were a bit funky, which threw a twist on the usual games. I appreciated this, since it was something different than usual and IMHO it's the sort of thing that takes the edge off of competition. (Not that either Team really had any win-at-all-costs type players.)

Game 1
vs. Dark Elves

Her list was mainly infantry, with two units of spearelves, two units of black guard, some dark riders, a hydra and a pair of bolt shooters. 4 heroes on foot (mostly in the black guard), 2 assassins and no spellcasters. There were two craters from which we had to sit units and a character in order to mine "magic rocks."

I'm usually pretty good with ranging artillery shots, and I had some good dice on my rockets early on and managed to get both units of black guard down to 1 figure + heroes by about the second turn. I managed to nail the hydra with 6 cannon shots, but it regenerated 5 of them and took only 3 wounds from the one that it didn't. My pistoliers did fairly well for a change, and managed to take out the dark riders and a few spearelves before falling victim to one of the scenario rules (which let the spearelves unexpectedly skirmish and charge them!)

I ended up with a solid victory, but my opponent had almost as many battle points as me by virtue of her following the scenario objectives better than I did and mining more rocks.

I've got to give my Team mates a hard time -- I was the only one to win in the first round. ;)

Game 2
vs. Orccs & Goblins

Out of six SLACKERS players, three had Orcs & Goblins. I guess their showing at Marauders Mayhem made an impression! (The overall winner from Marauders was, in fact, one of the SLACKERS.

This was a fairly typical looking O&G horde army. Low magic again, which was good, since I have minimal magic and enjoyed that aspect of the first game. The scenario was again a rock mining quest, this time with a single crater in the center of the table, a river bisecting the table lengthwise, and two 6" fords on either side of the crater. This created an interesting bottleneck.

I set up with all my shooting in the center, right across from the bottleneck. Infantry was on either side, and cavalry on the flanks. The bulk of his infantry was aimed at the center. My artillery did OK, but not as good as last time. Miraculously my 10 handgunners, who are usually more a liability than a benefit, became infamous orc killers over the course of the game. The knights managed to quickly cross the river by charging goblins as they were crossing and then pursuing/overrunning the rest of the way. Combined with some key failed animosity tests, this meant I had two units of knights with warrior priests running around in the backfield. One unit took out a unit of night goblins, two bolt throwers, a doom diver and a unit of orc arrer boys! In the meantime, I was able to isolate and deal with Orc units individually. First a couple of wolf rider units, then a unit of savage orcs, then the boys themselves.

It ended up a massacre for me, thanks in part to orc animosity.

Game 3
vs. Orcs & Goblins

This was the same army that beat me at the Bookery RTT about a year or so ago (vs. my Skaven) and then beat me again at Buckeye Battles this summer. Again, another horde army.

The scenario was the wierdest and most difficult of the set. The deployment zones were lowlands covered in fog (only see 2" like in woods) and the rest of the battlefield was uphill to a ridge that ran lengthwise along the center of the table. Again there was a magic crater in the center. Anyone in the center crater could only see out to the edge of the crater, and the only way to see units in the crater was to be on the edge (or inside it as well, obviously.) Various special rules came up due to the mining of the "magic rocks," the most important one ended up being large numbers of orcs going ethereal. 8O

My shooting was limited, and there was just a lot of strange interaction between the two armies due to limited lines of sight. In the center and on my right flank, however, the Orcs managed to push straight through and just pound out everything I had. Everything that went well with the previous game went wrong in this game, especially my inability to isolate and pick apart units. My opponent really made good use of his advantage of numbers.

The game ended up as a loss for me.

Game 4
vs. Orcs & Goblins

I ended up with the green hat trick. This was the overall winner at Marauders Mayhem. Again, a horde army, but a bit heavier on the chariots plus a giant and a lord on a wyvern.

My normal artillery skill left me. I managed to miss every cannon shot. I put 3 wounds on the wyvern with the pistoliers, but that was it. All the fast moving stuff was on my instantly, wrapping around both flanks. By the time I was engaged in the center, everyone was getting hit in the flanks. Even when I thought I was making good decisions (like hitting a chariot in a flank) it would turn sour (like rolling 2" for overrun which let the unit get hit in the flank by orcs...)

By about turn 4 the game was a hopeless massacre. We played through to the end anyway. I had a few figures left by the end.

Game 5
vs. Warriors of Chaos

Last game was against a fellow BREWS player. Strange scenario in which we deployed in opposite corners, on cliffsides overlooking a valley in which there was a central objective zone in which we had to bring two objects in order to gain battle points and certain benefits/curses.

This will sound a bit odd, but by the time we hit turns 4 & 5, each of our armies effectively counted as "undead" with all of their rules (unbreakable, crumble, fear, etc.) Our spellcasters all got IoN, but we each had a single weak spellcaster.

Admittedly, the terrain favored my empire, with 4 artillery pieces & a unit of 10 handgunners.

It started off fairly slowly, though. Other than sniping a couple of chaos knights withe cannons, I didn't do much with the shooting. What it really came down to was a couple grinding match in which I beat his giant but lost my knights and more importantly a freak cannon shot. A unit of chaos warriors had beaten a speedbump unit of archers in combat, exposing their flank to a cannon shot. The unit was about 6 figures wide, with two warriors in a second rank. On the far side of the front rank were the BSB and general. I thought I was under-guessing, in order to guarentee getting at least a couple of the warriors. (I had been overshooting a bit earlier in the game.) They're close, so I guess 4" range. I roll a 10 on the artillery die. This lands the cannonball on the BSB's head and carries through into the general. I figure, "well, at least I get two warriors" since he's got enough to be covered by the "Look Out Sir!" rule. He rolls 1's for both of them, and I max out on wounds, killing them both. Including the bonus for killing the general, that turns the game about 700 points or so further in my favor.

Both sides lost all their heavy knights, but all of his infantry were below half strength, mine were above half. His fast cav & hounds were gone, my pistoliers survived untouched. His warriors who should have cut through my greatswords, but multiple turns of crappy rolling turned that fight in my favor. Massacre for me.


So in the end I was 3-2. Not too bad. I did poorly in scenario objectives (I had -5 battle points in Game 4!) I ended up in the middle of the pack in terms of overall scores. I did manage to squeek by with best painted, which was judged on a 100 point itemized scoring system -- only 2 points ahead of my nearest competitor, who got overall 2nd place anyway. (A very nice army - it got one of my votes for best army at Buckeye!)

So that was the first Recess Rumble. I've been busy and distracted lately, so I took this tournament off in terms of photos & detailed battle reports. It was a good first year for the tournament.

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