The amount of effort for very little reward in hosting a tourney is considerable, so my thanks to Phil and the folks at Devonport (Henry etc) for making it all happen. Pete too for kicking the whole thing off four years ago. I am not sure who else to thank, but thanks.
Having thought about an Ogre army for a couple of years, and never having bought into the story about them being rubbish, even in 7th. Certainly the old book in 8th was competitive as demonstrated by Daniel Blomfled. I kicked off my own army when I found the “right” models, a few months before the 8th edition ogre book was published (see Here). With the application of a bit of pressure from Phil, I was able to finish the Buddha Kingdoms army to table top standard for the tourney. I had at least been able to play with them for a couple of months, so was probably more familiar with them than anyone else at the tourney.
I had to make a few concessions in the army to accommodate the comp restrictions for the ETC style pack. Most significant was dropping the size of my Guts to nine models to fit under the 450 point unit size cap. This meant for me adding another character and swapping a Giant for an Iron Blaster (several days trouble converting) and dropping a Mournfang. This made up the points and made the big “gutstar” and “bullstar” units up to 12 models strong when characters were included. None of the changes were too bad as it turned out.
The army that I took had speed, chaff, shooting, magic, stickiness (anvil) and combat (hammer). Kind of like big smiling chubby elves, loads of, and good at, everything.
My army consisted of a Level 4 Slaughtermaster with Fencers Blades, Glittering Scales, Dragonbane Gem, +d6 to a single dispel and Potion of Strength (a kitchen sink character). BSB Dragonhelm and 5+ ward. Hero with str 6. Firebelly with scroll. 11 Bulls FC, 9 Ironguts FC +1 leadership banner, 2 x 3 Leadbelchers, Gorger, 3 x single Sabretusks, 2 Mourfang Cav, Ironblaster.
Game 1 of the Masters I played against Tims Empire. Loads of artillery, Popemobile, level 4 shadow, Stank, horde of Halberds and Flagellants, fast cavalry, crossbows and swordsmen. The game was characterised by an early panic test for half of the artillery battery helping the Buddhas get across the pitch, the Pope being shot in turn one by the Ironblaster and the Bulls beating the Stank down to 1 wound over most of the game.
Game 2 was vs Joe and his Chaos knights. I had though that this was one of the weaker lists in the tourney, simply because it had just three units, two 10 strong knights, and a block of warriors (sand people) and a couple of fast cav. There was nothing in the army to deal with support units/chaff. Of course you don’t need to deal with enemy chaff when your stubborn, flying 3+ ward save lord ties up 50% of the other army. Joes boss held on despite terrible odds, and he fought on to a close win.
Game 3, against James and his Delves. 6 levels of shadow magic, Cauldron, horde of ASF flaming Executioners, loads of shades, horde of Corsairs and Hydra. This game finished in a blood bath and draw, but showed that the Gut star could take a charge to the face by mindrazored corsairs and win, much to James’s disappointment.
End of day 1, middling results, a few points up, but in the meat of the table.
Game 4 was played against Toms Dwarves. Three artillery pieces, Hammerers, Longbeards, Warriors, Slayer characters … Much sledging and a little mistake saw the Dwarven artillery battery and the Longbeards eaten, but the Hammerers left well alone. Good fun.
Game 5: Vamps driven by Basil. Choppy VC, regen Wight BSB, Necromancer, Corpse Cart, horde of Ghouls, two blocks of Ghouls, horde of Graveguard, sprit hosts, coach and wraith character. Deployment of my chaff allowed me to deploy my single magic weapon on the side of the sprit host. Hopefully meaning that I wasn’t going to have one of my key units tied up too long. As it turned out they were kept out of the game by the Spirithost. In the mean time, my Bulls and BSB (Bullstar), with Mournfangs were able to turn the most of the rest of the VC army to dust.
Last game vs Pete and his rats. Not having any real idea of how the standings were, but knowing Pete was top of the pops on day 1 and not likely to losing too many games on day 2, I knew that this was really the “danger” zone. Good stuff. Pete had beaten me pretty convincingly with his Skaven in the two (three??) other tourney encounters that we had played. Without going into too fine a detail what was in his army, it composed of a Grey Seer, BSB (+1 ld), some Warlocks with toys, Furnace and Monks, two proper Skaven blocks, three Slave blocks, two Gutter Runner packs, A Bomb and Cannon.
On one flank my Mornfangs killed the Cannon, and the A Bomb killed my Leadbelchers. On the other flank the Bullstar was tied up by slaves.
The decisive moment of the game occurred in the centre when Petes’ Seer failed to Teleport out of his bunker that was in charge range of the Gutstar and without anywhere to run. This lead to the loss of the Seer and an overrun charge into the Skaven BSB bunker. Having boosted the Gutstars toughness they were also pretty invulnerable to the subsequent flank charge from the furnace, which lead to the eventual loss of that too. The eventual exchange of points was heavily in my favour.
I didn’t play exceptional warhammer in the tourney. There were very few particular “
Champaign” moments where I thought to myself “that was a clever
move”, at least on my part, mostly it was workmanlike play. In fact on at least
one game I played pretty poorly. Having said that I was fully engaged in every
game and had immense fun. My best play was probably against Basil, where I was
able to tie his key unit up with Sabretusks, to hold them off for long enough
to buy some time (is that really good play?).
Not realising that I was in the running for a podium until game six, and having dismissed early speculation by Pete that I would be, the last game proved to be decisive and I leapfrogged my ahead of everyone else.