Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Chillcon & Chills of War 2017

Now that I have a moment, I thought I'd reflect on my trip south to Chillcon and their Kings of War tournament that I played in. Long story short, it was great. I had a blast in the tourney, got to pick up some nifty stuff at the convention, and even got a slice of cake at the end of the day. I definitely plan on attending next year, and will recommend that others do too.

I figured it'd be good to reflect on how the tournament went, so I'll give some thoughts. My memory won't allow for anything approaching detailed battle reports, and I didn't manage to snap any pics (other than the cake above), so I've pulled the following from the Chillcon facebook events page.

The tournament was 3 games at 1500pts. My list was:

Horde of Blight w. Caterpillar Potion
Horde of Brutes w. Brew of Courage
Horde of Shock Troops
Horde of Warriors
Horde of Spear Warriors w. Healing Brew
Horde of Vermintide
Weapon Team
Death Engine w. Vile Sorcery
Swarm Crier w. Healing Charm
Swarm Crier w. Lute of Insatiable Darkness

Hooooordes! The basic plan for this list was to eschew chaff and massed shooting for overwhelmingly high nerve, moving in tight formation and layered. The warrior horde would be front and centre, their demise inevitable, with the shock troops behind for counter punch.

Game 1: Undead
Game 1 was Push, and against an interesting (and great looking) undead list. I don't have any of my opponents' lists, but from what I can remember David's list included:

Horde of Revenants w. Hammer of Measured Force
Horde of Werewolves w. Helm of the Ram
Regiment of Soul Reaver Cavalry w. Wine of Elvenkind
Troop of Revenant Cavalry
2 Troops of Wraiths
Mounted Revenant King
Mounted Necromancer

This is the only in-game pic available, and it looks like the end of turn 1 I believe. You can see the formation that would be essentially the same in my 3 games, varying only slightly in response to my opponents drops. David put his token on his Soul Reaver cavalry, forgetting that it would drop their speed and nimble, so was forced to abandon it early. I was able to maintain my formation, 'push' the two tokens onto his side of the board and stay there. I think I played this well, but must admit the dice were pretty hot for me in this game. This was my first game against undead, although given how popular an army it is in youtube battle reports etc. it didn't feel that way - despite this David was still able to catch me with a few wraith-to-flank surges, ouch! Lesson learned. David was a great opponent and, as with everyone I played, I hope to run into him again.

Game 2: Ratkin

It's a rat-off! As far as I remember, Ian's list included:

Horde of Spear Warriors
Horde of Brutes
Mutant Rat-Fiend
Death Engine w. Vile Sorcery
2x Scurrier Troops
Weapon Team w. Storm of Lead

Quite a different list (gotta love that Kings balance) that went for the Ratkin's great shooting potential while still packing a punch. Game 2 was scour, and we rolled up 6 tokens. This was a close game, possibly the closest game I've played. Aside from the odd error, we were both playing a tight game. Ian caught me with a corkscrew charge from his demonspawn on my brutes that took them out early. From here we traded pieces, and by the end of turn 6 it was draw, with both of us holding 2 objectives and 1 being contested. We rolled for turn 7, and yes, there would be one final turn. I had won the 1st turn dice off and elected to go second, and so with his turn 7 Ian nabbed the uncontested objective. I had a dilemma, my blight were very likely going to finish off his spear warriors and claim the contested objective, which would put us back to a draw. I could charge my own spear warriors off of an objective into the flank of his Death Engine and, if I beat it, hope not to roll a 1 on the overrun in order to take that objective and win. If they didn't kill it, or if I rolled that 1, it would be a loss. Throwing caution to the wind I went for it - the blight cleared out the spear warriors, the swarm crier threw a bane chant on the spear warriors, and they overwhelmed the death engine. Now for the overrun... a 2. Phew! Thanks for the close game, Ian.

Game 3: Rhordia

Tom's list included:

Horde of Dogs of War w. Brew of Strength (I think)
Horde of City Militia w. Healing Brew
Horde of Honour Guard w. Caterpillar Potion
Regiment of Halfling Knights w. Holy Hand Grenade
2x Halfling Volley Gun
2x Halfling Sorceror w. Soul Drain (1 mounted, 1 w. Griffon Banner I believe)
Duke on Winged Aralez

So at this point in the day, the hall was boiling, and I was pretty drained from how close game 2 was, so even after the lunch break I had no idea how to think of Tom's list, and I just started doing my thing. The game was Control, but with the board in quarters instead of sixths, so the plan I had worked on involved pushing up the centre with my killers looking to take the two point square on the right and my 'blockers' just holding up the left. This immediately began to fall apart: my positioning was sloppy in the extreme, whereas Tom was playing an effortlessly tight game. As I began to make major errors, such as forgetting to move key units, my frustration (with myself) grew, and my grasp of the rules slipped, revealed by my bizarre questions to Tom ("Can I touch that obstacle to gain cover?" among others haha). By the end of his turn 3 it was clear that it was over, so I decided to just enjoy the pasting and see what I could learn. I believe I was wiped in turn 5, it may have been 6 but either way it was a total rout, the worst defeat I've thus far received and a lesson in humility! I felt bad that I hadn't even presented a challenge in this game, however I later learned that (as of writing) Tom is the no.1 ranked UK player. Fair enough!

By the end of the day, the table was as follows:

So 3rd place! Not too shabby methinks for my second ever singles tournament, and the second time taking 3rd too. Clearly there is much for me to learn in this game, but if the learning is always as fun as it was at Chillcon then that's no bad thing.

Thanks to Hal for running the event, which despite starting late due to folk getting delayed in arriving still ended ahead of schedule. All the armies looked great, and thanks again to my opponents for the games.

See you next year, Chillcon!

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