Thursday, November 1, 2007

Mighty Empires concludes!

A Mighty Empires Campaign, 10/30 @ Games Workshop, Oak Park.

Dwarf deployment (from Empire vs Dwarfs Recap below)

The end of the Empire line, seen from my last piece of artillery on my right edge of the board, note the dwarfs- all the way in far corner.

The Campaign concluded tonight with the final scores as follows

Vampire Counts 12 -winner!
Empire- 9
Orc and Goblins- 8
Wood Elves-3

The last rounds games were-

Vampire Counts massacred the Orcs and Goblins
Lizardmen massacred the Wood Elves
The Empire had a solid victory over the Dwarfs

An Empire Overview

I was suprised to come in second place with an overall 3-2 record. My wins were all solid victories and my losses were a massacre by the Vampire Counts and marginal victory held by the Orcs and Goblins. fortunately my campaign strategy event of "land grab" fell on a losing week so it allowed me to get an extra territory, and when I had the "building boom" strategy event I managed to win that week giving me a free city upgrade while I used my 4 points to grab two more territories. Without those two events I would have ended up with only 6 points. This was the first time I had gotten a chance to play many of the armies here, like the Lizardmen and the Vampire Counts so I learned a ton about the practical pro's and con's of the Empire and what works for men and what doesn't seem too. I will continue to tweak my lists for the upcoming campaign as this is great practice for Adepticon.

Campaign Overview-

I enjoyed the campaign thoroughly, all the games seems hard fought well played. The Mighty Empires rules are good guideline for something more elaborate that I hope we move onto with our next Campaign. I'd like to seet better more useful strategic events, other building purchasable that resource points and more use of resources in general. Basing your weekly army points you can field on you available resources is a cool way to go it makes the game more
strategic and interesting. I am going to lay out some thoughts see what we can agree on as group for the next round.

Battle Recap- Round 5- Empire vs Dwarfs 2000 pts.

My last match was versus the Dwarf army and I had the "elite army" campaign strategy which allowed to field a list that I certainly never would normally run, containing 6 special units and 2 rares. My list was the standard with the exception of I am now using Greatswords. I also had 3 cannons, Pistoliers, 2 Hellblasters, and upgraded my knights to "inner circle" making them a special unit. One the reasons I don't like "Elite Army" is it breaks the standard force organization chart and thereby giving you a large advantage over your opponent. I like the idea of campaign strategy events giving each side some kind of strategic bonus on the map, but this one gives you a direct effect on your match and really unbalanced one at that. Having said that, I had expected my opponent Billy to be maxing out his specials and rares as a result (and he been running 4 cannons and an organ gun in several past rounds) so I didn't feel "too dirty" running this list. The kicker was Billy ran an army completely opposite of what I had expected but it was almost the identical army I had just played on thursday against another local guy the previous thursday. What people call the "Strollaz's Squeeze", using the Strollaz's rune on big blocks of troops with Dwavern miners in reserve. This gave his army a free move before turn one with the miners popping up behind your deployment zone in turn 2 and putting you in a deadly squeeze quick. Its is very effective and the guy that ran it against me thursday massacred me with it. In effect I was ready for the standard Dwarf gunline army, but mentally prepared for the Strollaz's Squeeze in any case.

The Dwarf army was essentially a blocks of warriors, rangers , Ironbreakers and a unit of Slayers with a group of Thunderers in the backfield and the Miners in reserve. with a Thane , a Runelord and tons of upgrades for all. Billy deployed all the way in his right corner as tightly as possible while I was forced to deploy all the way across my edge of the table. This was good and bad. It was bad in that my Handgunners, 1/2 my artillery, flagellants, and my crossbows, weren't going to see much in the way of action but it was good in the fact I was sure they were going to survive the game and I was going to claim that table quarter. So I had about 500 points of units and 100 VP that headed my way at the end of the game, they just werent going to have much effect on the match. I'll break the game overall into reviewing each phase from memory as I didn't take notes this game, I wanted to concentrate on playing.

Movement Phase- Billy had first turn and with use of the "Strollaz rune" his unit where already in my face a mere 12" from my deployment line. I held back any movement as long as possible in order maximize shooting and positioned my guys to charge when the time came. The Miners dropped in as expected coming behind my two cannons on the side of the field where the action was. My Pistoliers got squeezed Knights fled and rallied coming back and getting killed without doing much. there wasn't a hell of alot movement in this game..the biggest issue move wise was the overuns and pursuits of breaking units setting up other units for flank charges (which helped me alot)

Magic Phase- If you played Dwarfs before you realize the magic phase is joke, my wizard was beyond useless, and this was one time I should replaced with an engineer hero who could have helped some of my crappy artillery rolls in the game. Magic was a non issue, I did get on spell off 3 times but Billy had 3 dispel runes.

Shooting Phase- As I had mentioned 1/2 my artillery was useless on Hellblaster never fired the whole game as it was clearly out of range while the other was shooting over a short wall given everything it target hard cover so I needed 6's to hit, I rollled a ton of shots without the thing blowing up probably close to 50. and then couldnt roll a 6 to save my life...coming up with maybe 8 hits and a couple wounds the whole game...I dont remember whether the hellblaster
even killed a dwarf or not, it was that bad. The only cannon that was working for me was the one that was way on the far right side of table so I had to guess really tough distances like 40+ did manage to take out maybe 10 dwarfs throughout the game. my other cannons staring him the face missed, I flubbed the grape shot roll when they got challenged by the miners and the guns were overrun and spiked. Both his Thunderers and my Handgunners
never had much in the way of a target all game. in retrospect I should have started marching my handgunners turn 1.

Close Combat- What it all came down to. As I said my Pistoliers got squeezed, my Knights broke, rallied- charged again versus his Dwarf Warrior brick wall, broke again and fled off the table. My swordsmen polished off the Dwarf Rangers and captured their standard but when in combat with his slayers and Ironbreakers, broke and got overrun by dwarfs!!, overun by dwarfs??? weak I know.
Anyway all these pursuits set up a huge flank charge for my greatswords and General who with the warrior priest in the unit gave had "hate" and "stubborn" as effects. I managed to whittle down the slayers, win combat and break the ironbreakers during his turn that was the top of 6, meaning he had no chance to rally and I got the points for the whole unit even thou they had taken a couple of causulties. That unit with the hero was worth close to 500 points, bad time to break for the dwarfs. My Greatswords never took a causualty and General came up with some big saves avoiding any damage from numerous attacks im the game. when the smoke had cleared with all the other unused stuff on the table I was up +751 points and a solid victory.

Overall- I think this was my toughest game yet, mentally as well as the back and forth that went on. When my swordsmen broke and where overran I lost both a battlestandard, my normal standard, and the captured standard I had. They werebasically a full unit and my main block so I thought the game was lost right there. Thankfully positioning was key for the Greatswords to take advantage and allowed my General to join in. Take those fleeing Ironbreakers at the end of game out of the score it and it was a marginal victory at best . tight, tight match regardless of score. Good game to Billy.



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