Kings of War: Day 2 at Clash of Kings Australia 2022

G’Day Goonhammer readers! It’s time for the rest of our blow-by-blow coverage of our performance at Day 2 of the Kings of War Clash of Kings 2022 Australia tournament in Canberra. We have discussed our lists, and have covered the winning lists, as well as our first day of battles.

At this point we have both won two games thus far. We need only win one more to break even. Can we do it? Read on!

Urr’s Day Two

Round 4

Scenario: Invade

Urr vs Antony’s Empire of Dust

After dinner on the Saturday night, the pairings for Sunday went up, and I was set to play Antony. Antony was another player from Team Shed, and another one of the guys who we were staying with. I’d also played Antony’s beautiful Empire of Dust before, once as my very first game of Kings of War with a borrowed army, and once more as I was building up my Nightstalkers, so I was looking to finally get a win against him.

This scenario was Invade, which suited me just fine, as I want to be getting up close and engaging as quickly as I can. However, going into the game, I knew it was going to be a tricky one. I want to be one-shoting every unit I hit, because if I don’t, I will be ground down into the dust.

A Horde of Skeleton Spearmen

Antony deployed his large hordes in the middle of the table, with support from the Monolith and Sebekh-Rei, a weak flank on my left, just the Revenant Cavalry and Skeleton Archers, and a strong right flank consisting of the Mummies, the Pharaoh and Chariots on my right.

I had the Void Lurker, Phantoms and Soul Flayers on my left, ready to out-speed the Revenant Cavalry and turn that flank, while Scarecrows covered for Reapers in the middle and on my right flank. The rest of the support pieces went in the middle, to cover whatever was needed.

End of my first move

I won first turn and took advantage of that by moving everything up. I kept the Revenant Cavalry in my charge range but stayed out of theirs, and shot a few Lightning Bolts, but they were never going to do much, and they didn’t. Antony also spent his first turn moving up, and threw a few pot shots from the Skeleton Archers down field, but again, nothing much came of it. He did back up his Revenant Cavalry to keep out of Soul Flayer or Void Lurker range. He also moved up his Chariots and Mummies, heading through the forest on my right.

I continued to move up on turn two, throwing the Phantoms into the Skeleton Archers to hopefully bait the Revenant Cavalry into getting charged by the Soul Flayers, while everything else just positioned forward. This is where Mindscreech’s get real good. I just used Wind Blast, and pushed both the Chariots and one Mummy regiment back out of the forest. Now they were back where they started, out of line of sight and charge range of anything. This would keep happening to the Chariots until I had dealt with the center and could set my own charge up on them, at which point they just died without accomplishing anything.

Right side brawl

Antony spent his second turn moving up on the right, double charging and destroying my Scarecrows in the center with his Skeleton Spearmen and Revenants, and killing the Phantoms on my left with the Revenant Cavalry and Archers. Esenyshra had also been rocketed forward at this point, into what I thought was a safe spot between the Revenants and the Spearmen, but as they charged, it opened room for Shobik to move up, get surged into her and take her off in one go.

I countered, sending the Soul Flayers into the Revenant Cavalry, the Void Lurker into Sebekh-Rei, one lot of Reapers into the Spearmen, and Reapers and the Planar Apparition into the Revenants, while the remaining Scarecrows on my right prepare to eat a charge from some Mummies, as all the Wind Blast had to go into the Chariots to keep them at bay. With some solid dice, Sebekh-Rei and the Revenants were killed, while the Spears and Revenant Cavalry took a chunk of damage, yet lived. Killing Sebekh-Rei was a big deal, letting the Void Lurker turn to face Shobik, to not get hit in the flank. Killing the Revenant infantry also let the Reapers and Planar Apparition set up towards the Chariots and Mummies.

To counter, Shobik moved up and gets surged into the front of the Void Lurker, the archers prepare for a rear charge into it, but since the loss of the Sebekh-Rei, there’s no surge, so they have to wait a turn. The Revenant Cavalry hit back into Soul Flayers, while the Chariots moved up. One regiment of Mummies charged the Scarecrows while the other moved up to help next turn. The Spearmen also counter charged the Reapers. There’s not a lot of success for Antony here. Mummies don’t have the dice to kill the Scarecrows, especially through a forest. The Spears don’t do enough to waver the Reapers. Shobik hits hard, but doesn’t kill or waver the Lurker, and the Revenant Cavalry can’t manage their job either.

Left side fight

From here it’s really just a mop up operation for me. Soul Flayers go into the rear of the Archers and kill them. The Void Lurker hits Shobik back, but really just keeps him locked in place. The Reapers destroy the Spearmen, preparing for a charge into Shobik, and the other unit takes out the Chariots, with the help of the Planar. The Scarecrows just prepare to be hit by both Mummies, just moving to make sure they both have a hindered charge through the forest. A few Lightning Bolts softened up the Revenant Cavalry a bit more, and that was my turn.

On his turn, Antony only wavers the Void Lurker, though he kills the Soul Flayers and Scarecrows. As the Void Lurker was only wavered, Shobik cops a Reaper unit in the flank and dies. One unit of Mummies gets reaped as well, and the Revenant Cavalry tries to play the scenario to run off and score, but Lightning Bolts finally take them off. Antony can’t hit back here, but we get another turn for me to finish killing almost everything and get my scoring units across the board, leaving only the Pharaoh alive, and giving me a big win.

Mopping up the last of the EoD

I think the win here came down to Wind Blast. Keeping that whole right flank out of the game until I was ready for it was a huge deal, that forest there helped me so much. I did misplay Esenyshra again, but that was a Surge issue, I just haven’t played enough against it to remember how good it is.

The Soul Flayers probably should have focused on killing the Revenant Cavalry as well, the Archers were probably not that scary, but then again, a couple of extra wounds would have killed the Void Lurker instead of wavering, and then Shobik could have rampaged through my lines. Overall, I am happy with how I played this one.

Round 5

Scenario: Fools Gold

Urr vs Age’s Trident Realms of Neritica

After my big win against Antony, I was paired into Age, also coming off of a big win.

Age was taking advantage of the Clash of Kings expansion by taking a list almost entirely made up of Thuul. He also had my favourite list name of the weekend, “I pity the thuul that didn’t take a Kraken!”

We got started a little late, due to neither of us playing the opposing faction before, so we needed to talk about basically everything the armies could do.

After looking at his list, I knew I was in trouble. Having so many fast, hard hitting infantry units was going to be tricky for me to handle. I technically had the speed advantage, but that was only on a couple of units, while the majority of my army was just a little bit slower than his, and that was going to give me issues.   


The picture above is from our deployment. We’ve both set up to contest the middle and left part of the board, but off to the right are my Phantoms and Void Lurker, and Age’s two Knuckers.

The first few turns are pretty cagey from the both of us. Age goes first and moves up, I barely move, throwing a few Lightning Bolts around. Age moves up again, and I back off a little. He hexes my Mindscreech, I don’t care and cast more Lightning Bolts. I take quite a bit of damage and heal some of it back. On the right, the Knuckers are fighting the Phantoms, Void Lurker, and Esenyshra, and this fight goes on for a while, Ensnare is real good. 

One dead Tidal Swarm where the blue dice lies

Age keeps moving up, and we repeat. I’m not getting enough damage to take out any Thuul, and the pressure is getting to me. I throw the Soul Flayers away, trying to get a kill, but can’t manage it, again forgetting to account for Ensnare, so they are destroyed next turn. I’m trying to get into a good position to hit back, but don’t have the speed now. The Scarecrow hordes just get multicharged, and the Reapers eventually get some kills in, but they just get destroyed after. Esenyshra has to stop fighting the surviving Knucker to block the Coral Giant, and is killed in one go after that. The Mindscreeches are charged by the Mythicans, because I forgot they are little combat characters as well as casters, and because they had so much damage on them thanks to Hex, the Mindscreeches both died. 

Basically, my entire army gets dismantled. At the end of turn 6 I have the Void Lurker and a unit of Reapers left, but we roll a turn 7 and they both get wiped off.

Preparing to fight the Knuckers

Age played a very tight game here, and definitely deserved the win. I made a lot of mistakes, some through not knowing how Trident Realms works, and some just through stupidity. Looking back, I was two aggressive, throwing away the Soul Flayers for nothing. I needed to hold everything back for an extra turn, I had the ranged damage advantage, and even getting one more unit off could have made a big difference. I also probably shouldn’t have engaged the Knuckers, the Void Lurker is such a threat to the rest of the army, that tying it up for the game with those two is worth it. Holding back for a turn might even have gotten both the Knuckers killed, instead of just one, and properly freed up the Lurker after. Maybe the Planar Apparition could have held one off? Who knows.

After the game, I also realised I could have squeaked out some extra tournament points right at the end with some better positioning; still being able to hold one point and not getting killed is the better way to go.

We played right until time, and as we got started late, it was quickly off to grab some lunch before heading straight into the next game, in fact we had to start deploying before I got my burrito.

Round 6

Scenario: Loot

Urr vs Craig’s Salamanders

The last game of the weekend for me was against Craig’s Salamanders. Like I said above, I finished my last game late, so I was in a rush, grabbing food and finding the table, so I once again forgot to take any pictures, except for at the very end, so you’ll have to forgive me for that. I’ll do better next time.

I asked Craig about his list, because it’s not too often that you see allies in our local meta, but it was just because he didn’t have the required amount of points, if you were wondering if Stormwind Cavalry were the new hot meta pick. Anyway, his list is mostly big, hard hitting dinos, so I needed to get the first hits in or I would get squished. I’ve got the speed for it, and the ranged advantage, so let’s see how it went.

We deployed our loot tokens on my left side of the board, and ignored the right half all game.

I set up in my familiar way, Scarecrows in front, in line to grab tokens, and Reapers behind. Support monsters in the middle, but I matched Craig’s right (my left) flank speed for speed. My Void Lurker, Phantoms and Soul Flayers faced off against the Rhinosaurs, Battle Captain and Fire Drake, with Tyrants in the middle, and Scorchwings, Rakawas and the Elves on my right.   

I got the first turn, and moved everything up, aiming to grab tokens with the Scarecrows. I pushed up to threaten charges with the fast wing, and shoot a bit of lightning, managing to waver one of the Scorchwings, blocking the Stormwind Cavalry from charging my rightmost Scarecrows.  

Craig moved up as well, shooting a few fireballs at things, but nothing came of it.

Second turn, I threw the fast wing into the fight. With the way Craig has deployed, I could only get one unit with a double charge of the Lurker and Flayers, so I commit to the leftmost unit of Rhinosaur Cavalry, with the Phantoms into the Fire Drake that’s right next to it, so if I failed to kill the Rhinos, I’ll be protected from any of the other units flanking my good stuff. I did manage the kill though, so I repositioned to prepare for the next turn.

In the middle, I just kept moving up, and on the right I realised that it’s a bad idea to have the Scarecrows pick up the objective, when they’ll just get charged, so they continued moving past it and a Mindscreech moves to grab it. I also charged Esenyshra into the Stormwind Cavalry, and managed a waver there too, along with Lightning Bolt finishing off the injured Schorchwings. Things are coming up Millhouse.   

On Craig’s turn, he hit the right side Scarecrows with Rakawas and the Elf King, and pushed up in the middle. On the left, he killed the Phantoms and put a few wounds on the Void Lurker.

I should say now, there were some very swingy things happening in this game. It started out well for me, with the two wavers early game, but about turn four it flipped back to Craig’s side. 

The speedy flank had been grinding, leaving us with a dead Void Lurker, dead Tyrants, and the Soul Flayers set up for a rear charge into the injured Fire Drake. They went in and killed it, but roll a 1 on their follow up move. Anything but that 1 would have left them out of sight of a Tyrant horde, so instead they are hit from behind and eliminated. This was a big swing, as the Tyrants had been Wind Blasted back and would need two turns to have any further impact on the game. Instead, they took out the Soul Flayers, and are now set up to head right back into the brawl for the middle token. This was also when Esenyshra failed to wound the Stormwind Cavalry, and they kill her, overrun and line up a charge against some Reapers, who are controlling the middle, and couldn’t escape the Elves. This would have been covered by the Soul Flayers, but alas, I was in trouble.

At this point, I had control of the rightmost Loot token, attached to a Mindscreech floating backwards, Blasting back at anything that approached. The Scarecrows in front of it had done a remarkable job covering, killing the Elf King, and holding up Rakawas, but they were dead now. I also have control of the middle Loot token, on the Planar Apparition, after wasting some position time working out who it should go on. He was moving back, trying to get over a wall as the rest of my army died. 

On turn 6, I had 3 units left, The Mindscreech on the right with the token, completely safe, and trying to Lightning off any weak thing that came near it, the Planar with the other token, walking backwards to make sure anything that hit him is Ensnared, and a Horror, who bravely went to hit the Tyrants to hold them up a turn. He hit with his one attack and he wounded! Rakawas struggled to kill the Planar, as he’ll be Ensnared and Hindered, thanks to that wall, so I think I’ve got the win. Rakawas doesn’t do much and I’m safe, and then we roll up one more turn. 

It was a very quick turn, with 2 units left for me (the Horror didn’t make it), and 3 for Craig. I did nothing, but disengaged the Planar Apparition, and positioned so that anything that came in will stay Ensnared, and regenerated some wounds. Rakawas has to move out of the way so the Tyrants can see the Planar Apparition, and they and the Battle Captain engaged. It’s all come down to these last rolls. The Tyrants are hitting on 6’s and the Captain on 4’s, and they roll a little under. Even without Mindthirst, the Planar lived! And that’s game to me. What a ride!

It’s Alive!

This game had some wind swings of dice, but I think I could have made it much easier on myself by just not setting up the objective where I did. If I had spread them out across the whole board, I’d have the speed to grab two at the start and ignore the other, and then just delay, delay, delay. As it was, it probably would have been smarter to have a plan regarding who should actually get the tokens, too. I really should have ran some of the faster monsters up to grab them ASAP, instead of changing who was going to carry them around turns two and three.

All in all, a great game though, and a great end to an awesome weekend.

Urr’s Wrap Up

In the end I came in 15th out of 49, and if I had got 4 more points, like if I had remember to try to get some in the game against Age, I would have got up to 11th, so I am absolutely stoked with how I went. I’ll definitely be back next year, so come along and say hi.

A big shout-out to Matt Croger for running such a great event too, as well as everyone who placed (you can check out our review of the top three lists here).

Cytoplasm’s Day 2

Round 4

Scenario: Invade

Cytoplasm vs Huw’s Ratkin

The army of filthy Ratkin being fielded by Huw (of the Direct Misfire podcast) had some tricks up its sleeve. Tricks I was not cognitively prepared for. Most of the list is made up of solid units; Shock Troop hordes, Mutant Rat-fiends and Tunnel Runners. Nothing too crazy there. 

The trickery comes in the form of the formation Smoke, Mirrors and Death as well as the Scrying Gem on one of the Shock Troop hordes. The formation contains three units; two Shredders and a Death Engine Spitter. Not only do these get improved by the formation, but they can each be redeployed after deployment has finished. 

Add to this the effects of the Scrying Gem, which forces me to deploy D3+1 units at once, and I end up having to deploy up to 7 units before a single rat was committed to the field. 

How did I face such a situation? With tact and grace? 


I did not.

Deploying the Buffet

When faced with such a crazy situation as putting down 7 units without knowing where the opponents army should go, the recommended course of action would be to deploy the entire army in a compact manner. “Castle up” is the term. Give no weaknesses and have every unit be looked after, since you just can’t know where the opponent will go.

Deployment against Huw’s Ratkin did not go as planned, except for the medium latte, that was perfectly positioned.

I instead approached this game with similar deployment plans to that employed in previous games on Day 1. Have the core infantry (Lower Abyssals) with their support (Chroneas, Abyssal Warlock and Despoiler Champion) on one side, and the faster hard hitting units (Abyssal Horsemen, Manifestation of Ba’el) on the other to put pressure on the flanks.

This might be acceptable were deployment typical, but in this atypical situation I was offering up my most expensive and powerful unit as dessert, complete with cherry.

The Jaws Shut

The Abyssal Horsemen are dead, they just don’t know it yet.

In the end, the Abyssal Horsemen with Gargoyles for companions were facing down a horrendous lineup; the Death Engine Shredder, the horde of Tunnel Runners, two Mutant Rat-fiends, a horde of Shock Troops and a regiment of Warriors. These wasted no time pushing forwards, giving my Abyssal Horsemen nowhere to run.

But run I did. Or tried.

The Abyssal Horsemen did attempt to regroup with the rest of my forces on the other side, sacrificing the Gargoyles, then the Abyssal Champion, then the Manifestation of Ba’el in vain. The Horsemen were eventually snapped up by the Mutant-Rat Fiends, and with that the entire left flank for the Abyssals ceased to exist.

A Valiant Effort

Not far from the aforementioned disaster, the Lower Abyssals were trying their best to play the objective. At least in this game I am keeping the objective in mind the whole time; get my units across the middle to win! 

I had my Lower Abyssal horde lined up to walk behind some blocked terrain, and trundle up the side of the battlefield to give me a solid 4 Unit Strength. Huw anticipated this with his other horde of Shock Troops, and so in order to clear a path for my Lower Abyssals. 

I sent in the Tortured Souls and Despoiler Champion into the horde of Shock Troops to get the job done. Unfortunately, we didn’t break the rats on the charge, and the Tortured Souls only survived the countercharge thanks to lucky double 1’s on the Nerve test! The horde of Shock Troops were removed and the way was made clear for the Lower Abyssal horde. Huzzah!

Love it or hate it, the double ones saved my Tortured Souls from Bane Chanted Shock Troops!

Now, what about the rest of my Lower Abyssals; the regiment. Their plan was to walk up the other side of the blocking terrain, with a forest on one side shielding them from the carnage of the left flank. The Shredders, however, were in perfect position to tear apart the poor Defense 3+ unit and soon all that remained was a demonic smear.

Not having had their fill, the Shredders turned their sights on the Tortured Souls, who, finally free of the Shock Troops, were riddled with rat-bullets(?).

The Dust Settles

By the end of Turn 4, the only large unit remaining were the Lower Abyssals, with the remainder of my unit strength spread out among the monsters. Huw still had his second horde of Shock Troops, the Tunnel Runners and a few of his other monsters. I had the satisfaction of flattening his Shredders, but it was more of a consolation prize.

Huw was a fantastic opponent that used his powers of redeployment to great effect. Despite the dire situation of my army right from the start, I still had a great time, and learnt a lot. Definitely would play against the rats again.

Round 5

Scenario: Fools Gold

Cytoplasm vs Dave’s Northern Alliance

It’s Round 5, I have won 2 and lost 2 thus far; to hit my goal I need only win a single more game. Will it be this one? Well, Dave brought a very solid Northern Alliance list that presented with pairs of everything. Pairs of Ice-kin Hunter regiments, pairs of Snow Troll hordes, two Lords on Frostfangs, two regiments of Snow Foxes and two regiments of Dwarf Clansmen. The only exception to the rule was Hrimm (obviously) and an Ice-Queen.

It was a good looking army with a vibrant, tundra theme and colour palette; very Northern Alliance. But I wasn’t going to be distracted by the nice paint job, oh no. 

Last time I fought Northern Alliance, I completely forgot about the Wild Charge 1 of the Snow Trolls and let them flank a main unit in my army. This time I started the game wary of their slightly fast nature.

Central Deployment

Deploying against the sheer might of Dave’s Northern Alliance.

Coming off my last game against Huw, I decided I needed to solidify my forces and concentrate my efforts. With Fool’s Gold this can work rather well; placing the valuable tokens opposite your main force directly helps your efforts. The downside is that it can be all too obvious where the good stuff is. I placed the 2 Victory Point bluff token opposite my Lower Abyssal horde, which I would say is a kinda good move. I then placed the 1 Victory Point bluff tokens either side of this one, so that the rest of my army could go get them; also kinda good.

Dave, however, did the very smart move of dedicating his two Dwarf Clansmen regiments to babysitting duty. While one was stuck on a 0 Victory Point objective (just as planned) the other was perfectly content on the 1 Victory Point I had placed in the back right corner. Hence, the main force was deployed all together for the main tokens, and the Tortured Souls were deployed opposite those pesky Dwarf Clansmen!

Once again, though, Dave’s outdid my by placing a Lord of Frostfang near those Dwarf Clansmen. If there’s one thing I am afraid of, it’s those Lords on Frostfang. What to do?

Testing the Boundaries

The game began with the Ice-kin Hunters scouting into range. I took this as an offense and upon taking first turn decided to plummet my Abyssal Champion into the nearest of them to stop them shooting. The rest of my army just moved up cautiously, including my Tortured Souls, who were hoping that the Lord on Frostfang might forget about those Dwarf Clansmen.

Quite overconfident with the Abyssal Champion perhaps..

Dave’s Northern Alliance were equally cautious, although the Snow Foxes immediately pounced on my Chroneas and Abyssal Fiend, hoping to prevent any multicharges as the bulk of his forces came into range of charging next turn. A combination of Blizzard and Icy Breath removed the regiment of Lower Abyssals; the second time these poor chaps fell to shooting today.

As expected the Dwarf Clansmen remained behind. When it came my turn, I had to face reality; could the Tortured Souls feasibly take out the Dwarf Clansmen on the charge? Probably not. The math said average 6 damage, which meant I would end up getting countercharged by the Dwarfs and flanked by the Lord on Frostfang. No thanks. The Tortured Souls had to abandon that bluff token, and instead come help the rest of my forces deal with these Trolls and Hrimm.

Jumping the Gun

Go forth, Lower Abyssals! Attempt to kill those Snow Trolls… oh.

Unlike with the Tortured Souls, I decided to do something quite silly. The Lower Abyssal horde had range on some Snow Trolls, and I decided I would rather be the aggressor, so threw them in along with the Despoiler Champion. To do this, I had to disengage the Chroneas from the Snow Foxes (who did no damage), so that the Despoiler Champion could complete his charge in two pivots. Unfortunately this resulted in me not killing those Snow Foxes, and sending my Lower Abyssals and Despoiler Champion into a fight they can’t hope to win. 

One would surmise from my conservative use of Tortured Souls I would perhaps have waited a turn, and indeed I should have. But I was so emotionally-scarred by Snow Trolls I was hellbent on getting the jump on them! 

The Gargoyles were sent to shut down the Ice-Queen, seeing how nasty Blizzard was. The Abyssal Champion, satisfied with the damage dealt to the Ice-kin Hunters, went to block the Lord of Frostfang nearby. The idea was the shooting from the Manifestation of Ba’el would be sufficient to remove the Ice-kin Hunters on the hill, but alas, no. The Gargoyles, however, did manage to waver the Ice-Queen, so good on them!

The Despoiler Champion of Champions

The adequate punishment to my quick charge with the Despoiler Champion was to get countercharged by the Snow Trolls and flank charged by Hrimm! Not only did Hrimm benefit from the luxury of the double attacks, but he got to use his Slayer, too! The Despoiler Champion received a solid 22 damage, and that was that? No! The Dread Double Ones saved the day, and he managed to regenerate 9 wounds the next turn! 

Again, double ones saves the day! This time on a Despoiler Champion!

Absolutely ridiculous! 

Sorry Dave.

The Chroneas took the nice flank charge on Hrimm and soon the damage was piling up on the legendary giant. The Snow Trolls, however, were in much better condition. One horde removed the Gargoyles, and the other eventually grinded through the Lower Abyssals over two turns (finished off with the help of the Lord on Frostfang). 

The trolls were not fast enough to help Hrimm, however, who ultimately collapsed in response to flanking Tortured Souls, who really took their own time getting engaged (everything was blocking their entry to combat!). Unfortunately the Tortured Souls could not withstand a single front charge from Snow Trolls, and they were soon no more.

Getting the Last Word

Anyone would be rightly miffed at such inopportune Double Ones, by Dave played on like a true general and kept his cool. The somehow-not-dead Ice-kin Hunters charged off the hill into my Abyssal Horsemen, to put a little damage on them, but ultimately they died to the countercharge. But it was enough, for when the other Lord on Frostfang, free of the Abyssal Champion, charged my Horsemen, he removed them! Very suddenly the only real unit strength I had on the battlefield were my various monsters. 

Why is it always my monsters that survive and nothing else? 

It can’t be my own tactics, certainly not…

At this point Dave did a very smart thing. He pulled his Trolls back onto the 2 Victory Point objective and then set about stopping me from getting any others. This meant removing what monsters I had left while not giving up any objectives. 

In the end the Manifestation of Ba’el managed to get one token, because he really just does whatever he wants. But the Dwarf Clansmen in the corner and the Snow Trolls were all that was needed to secure the win for Dave.

A great game with fantastic models to look at, and Dave was a great opponent that kept his cool even when the dice got silly. Would definitely play again!

Round 6

Scenario: Loot

Cytoplasm vs Rob’s Salamanders

The final opponent of the day was Rob, a fellow Victorian (the Australian state, not the time period) who brought his Salamanders to crush his opponents. I had faced him before at one of the Melbourne-based tournaments, and was familiar with what he liked in his Salamanders; a big block of heavy infantry (Ceremonial Guard horde), giant nasty lizard-ogres (two hordes of Tyrants), and most importantly, two no-nonsense dragons (Clan Lords on Fire Drakes). This meant I had to contend with one of the most solid blocks of reptiles in the game while also watching my back for Drakes.

The final game; deployment against the implacable Salamanders.

Confidence Abounds

Seeing the army before me, I thought I understood how it was all going to work. Rob tentatively moved his whole army up, the Fire Drakes on the flank getting range for charges against my Tortured Souls. Keen to shut that down, I responded with an Abyssal Champion into one of the Drakes and the Tortured Souls moved up nice and close. Why did I do this? Only the Dice Gods know.

Half of this plan worked, the Abyssal Champion managed to shut down the Fire Drake long enough for both my Abyssal Fiend and the Manifestation of Ba’el to get stuck in, while the Tortured Souls ended up grinding through some Ghekkotah Warriors. 

This unfortunately let the other Fire Drake completely jump over the Tortured Souls to set up and eventually attack the rear of my army, but more about that later…

Attempting to lock down some Fire Drakes.

A More Tentative Approach

When it came to approaching the main army, including the Tyrants and Ceremonial Guard, I was a bit more reserved. These units were flanked by Battle Captains on Rhinosaurs, which I knew to pack quite the punch, and it was from these I wanted to begin chipping away at the army. 

First round I attempted to shoot off the Ancients, who were acting as thicc chaff. I was hoping for some luck but unfortunately the Ancients worried not about my Lightning Bolts and Firebolts.

Second round I knew I needed to turn up the heat, and I wanted to start breaking the army from the side. So I sent my Abyssal Horsemen with their Brew of Sharpness and a Bane Chant to boot into the left-most Rhinosaur. Simultaneously I sent the Chroneas and Despoiler Champion into the Ancients.

The Chroneas and Despoiler Champion promptly retired the Ancients, and the Despoiler Champion moved forward in an attempt to block the Tyrants from charging, however this gave the Ceremonial Guard horde a tasty flank on the aforementioned Champion. Worse yet, the Abyssal Horsemen failed to break the Rhinosaur. What resulted was a counterpunch that would flatten a bulldozer.

On the right flank, I had sent my Gargoyles to obtain the Loot token there, hoping that the other Battle Captain would choose to engage my main forces rather than deal with some pesky Gargoyles. I was, unfortunately, incorrect in such an assumption, but it was the Scorchwings that proved to be the demise of the Gargoyles. The Battle Captain on Rhinosaur then happily claimed the Loot token and wandered into a nearby forest to hibernate (or sunbathe?).

The Pain Train

Hitting with pool noodles instead of lances, the Abyssal Horsemen are about to experience Tyrants in the flank.

With Abyssal Horsemen sitting there like infernal ducks, they got flanked by a horde of Tyrants (literally the worst place to have Tyrants!). Meanwhile, even though I had chaffed up the other Tyrants with the Despoiler Champion, they were more than content to hit him in the flank (another flank! Why do I do this to myself!?). To add insult to injury, the Ceremonial Guard took the other flank attack. The liquidation of the Abyssal Horsemen and Despoiler Champion left both Tyrant hordes, the Rhinosaur and the Ceremonial Guard free to abuse the rest of my army.

I was not out for the count yet, however. My Chroneas, Lower Abyssal horde and Lower Abyssal regiment all charged into the Ceremonial Guard, taking advantage of that massive frontage. Thanks to the lack of Inspiring, they were readily removed from the battlefield, leaving only the Tyrants to contend with.

All the Lower Abyssals are in! First time all tournament.

Reinforcements Required

The Tortured Souls, Ba’el and Abyssal Fiend (who had a Loot token now) had finished up their meal and were needed back at the front lines, however Rob was quick to redirect his Battle Captain on Rhinosaur to stymie my tactical efforts. 

It was at this moment the Fire Drake and Tyrants struck, crushing the horde of Lower Abyssal between them. The Scorchwing regiment flanked my Lower Abyssal regiment, who by this time were a little worse for wear, and hence died quite quickly, too. 

It was into this dismal situation that my Tortured Souls and Manifestation of Ba’el finally arrived.

Their sole mission: kill the Tyrants holding the third Loot token, the token that would decide who won the game. 

The pair performed admirably, slaying the first horde of Tyrants with ease, then moving on to the Fire Drake and Scorchwings. The Tyrants with the Loot token decided that fighting was no longer an option and began a not-so-hasty retreat. But they got fair enough that my forces could no longer catch them. 

Ba’el and the Tortured Souls come, albeit too late to save anyone.

I had one Loot token, and Rob had two. The game was his.

We laughed, we cried, we did the awkward COVID elbow bump. It was a great game, even if it wasn’t the result I wanted. Would play him again and since he’s in Victoria, I probably will!

Cytoplasm’s Wrap Up

The plan was to win half my games. This did not happen and at first I was a bit disappointed, but then I realized this had actually been a fantastic weekend. I had played the more games of any wargame in a single weekend than I ever had, and I got to play against a whole range of new people and new armies. I didn’t have a single bad game and the armies before me were always glorious to look at.

I might not have won as many games as I would have liked, but the rest of the experience was as top notch as it could be. Which is good. I can always work on my tactics, it is down to me after all, but the rest is what sets events apart from each other.

As Urr already said, thanks Matt Croger for an awesome weekend.

We’ll be back.