Showing posts with label tournament. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tournament. Show all posts

Monday, 3 October 2016

MOAB 2016 - The HOTT Tournament

Today was the annual HOTT tournament at MOAB. It was part of the international GBnU HOTT enterprise organised by Terry Webb, with a theme of historical armies. Most people went at least part of the way down that route. I didn't, fielding Cthulhu Rising, a mashup of my old 24AP Pendraken Fishmen with a few new elements to bulk it out to 36AP - including Cthulhu himself (or, at least, a smaller, designated representative).

The Army consisted of:

Cthulhu (Behemoth General)
6 x Spears
4 x Shooters
1 x Lurker
1 x Artillery
2 x Warband

So not a fast, mobile army, but one with a bit of firepower and staying power, and a few elements to allow for some punch. Here it is, ready for its first game.

And here's three of the boards, ready for the off.

In my first game I played against John, who was using a Welsh/Celtic army with lots of warbands, some riders a magician and some allied tree-people (behemoths and more warband).

He set up a board with a very sense wooded terrain, which messed up command and control for both sides, and left the battle being fought in the gaps between the trees. Here the Fishman line, supported by their general, advances on the tree-people.

On the other side of the field, a group of Welsh warband moved towards the Fishman shooters and their artillery.

This really became the main action, with the shooters and artillery cutting up the warband quite badly, whilst supporting elements skirmished in the woods on the flank. Cthulhu was obliged to come across in support.

The battle dragged on for a while, and we were close to timing out, so I threw my spears and magician in on the other flank, hoping to get some risky kills against the warband there. The warband were seriously down in terms of factors, but only needed a winning score in order to destroy my double-ranked spears. A single bad combat roll could have seen everything go wrong.

John decided to concede, rather than hold out for the draw, giving me a rather hollow victory.

I had another army in play as well; one player didn't have a suitable force, so borrowed my Elves (yes, also not historical). Apparently they behaved well, being a nice simple army to use; riders, spears and shooters mostly.

My second game saw me up against Peter's Greeks, masquerading at Alexander the Great's army, but with a trio of allied behemoth monsters.

This was a quick game. Alexander was a hero general, he got pushed up in the front line to within range of my magician, was ensorcelled and that was the battle over.

With lots of time in hand we carried on playing as a friendly, assuming Alexander hadn't been lost. On my left flank my shooters and artillery did good work keeping the disorganised Greeks off-balance, but my attack on the right, led by Cthulhu, stalled, and Cthulhu was routed off the edge of the world by Alexander's body-double.

This was Caesar's army. It started off as something conventionally medieval, with a bit of dragon action, but he ended up with a core of knights supported by two artillery and six beasts. This was a terribly bold choice, was lots of fun to play (apparently) and died horribly in pretty well all of its games.

Caesar did manage this glorious moment, though; a Welsh tree-man ally surrounded on four sides by dogs. Probably a wet, smelly end for the tree ...

My third game - Geoff. Geoff was using a medieval army of blades, knights and shooters, with a couple of riders and a protective paladin as the only fantasy concession.

A stalemate in the centre ensued, with me unwilling to shift my spears off a hill to face his blades in the open, and Geoff unwilling to commit to a frontal assault, since his flanks would be compromised.

After my shooters weren't up to the job of holding off Geoff's knights, Cthulhu had to step in and so the job himself, pretty much wiping them out.

Geoff brought his reserve across - the paladin and some riders, and created a strong line which I faced with spears, Cthulhu and my magician.

We fought. My magician died...

... and eventually the paladin rode down some spears to give Geoff a well-deserved win.

The final game. Mathematically it was impossible for me to get first place (I think), but a win could give me a solid second place.

I faced Martin - the Might Martin - who was using Ancient Egyptians with a whole load of stuff in them - blades, riders, a hero, shooters, behemoths (behemoths were very popular) and a magician.

We got stuck in fairly quickly, although with so many different elements in play there was a lot of line shuffling and blocking in order to sort out good match-ups and avoid bad ones.

I made my main attack on my left, where my warband were opposite the Egyptian's blade general. However I wasn't willing to throw them in for the instant kill until I had some support on the flanks, and try as I might I couldn't achieve that.

In fact I ended up in the position. On the right my shooters and artillery had pretty much eliminated the Egyptian missile troops, but Martin threw in chariot riders on both flanks, destroying some of my elements and turning both flanks.

I actually stabilised the situation, driving off the chariots on the right, allowing me to advance my shooters onto his flank. However I had taken quite a few losses, and my army was wavering and close to breaking (as was Martin's, it has to be said). I threw in my warband, hoping to get a kill on the enemy general, but rolled very, very badly and lost them. Along with another loss this but me on 17AP lost - 18AP would see the game lost. Victor called time, and I scraped a lucky draw.

With two wins, a loss and a draw I was, oddly enough, equal with Martin, but we had a strange, card-based tie-break system as well, and I won that, putting me in second place behind Geoff, whose no-nonsense medievals had carried the day to give him three wins and a draw.

Thanks to Victor for organising another great tournament.

And that's MOAB over for another year.

Monday, 5 October 2015

MOAB 2015 - The HOTT Tournament

(It's only a model)
I have returned from the final day of MOAB, having played in the HOTT tournament there. I bring pictures and accompanying wordage!

There were eight of us taking part, using 15mm armies built to 36AP. To compensate for the larger armies we used boards that were the correct width but which, at 80cm wide, were 25% wider than normal. We'd actually used normal 2' x 2' boards for our practice games, but other groups had found the battlefield width too restrictive. These boards certainly gave plenty of room for maneuver, as well as plenty of chances to move troops out of command.

I took my Sumerian mythological Spawn of Tiamat army, expanded to 36AP with a couple of ringers from Asag's stone allies (some rockman hordes), a new knight element, a couple more beasts and a behemoth.

The final army was: Magician General (Tiamat), Hero (Qingu, her consort), Dragon, Behemoth, 3 x Knights, 4 x Beasts, 6 x Hordes. The Dragon was a waste of time; n all of my practice games and all four tournament games I didn't deploy it once. Generally this army is too starved of PIPs to be able to squander a '6' on the Dragon.

My first game saw me up against Greg, who I'd played last year. He was using a beautiful Arthurian army - my choice for best army of the event - and defended.

He placed his paladin and some knights far out on one flank. I made them my primary target.

Arthur, Lancelot and Merlin were on the other flank. This made his command and control tricky.

The lines approached, with my behemoth tasked with engaging and destroying Sir Galahad.

The armies engaged all along the line. Slowly I ground the Knights of Camelot down.

In the centre my beasts - a varied crew - mauled Arthur's archers. At the other end of the combat, however, Qingu, my hero, found himself outflanked and surrounded by men at arms. Against the odds he held them off for several bounds, whilst the rest of Tiamat's army racked up the casualties. The battle finished when Lancelot strayed too close to Tiamat herself, and was magically seduced. That Lancelot is such a pushover. His loss was enough to break the army, and give me a win.

My second game saw me facing Geoff, who was also using a medieval army, although not one with a specific theme. I'd beaten this army on Thursday - twice - so was feeling confident.

I shouldn't have done. Geoff wiped me out pretty efficiently, killing both the behemoth and Qingu. Although I had a plan which could have seen me rack up a load of kills in the last bound or so I didn't get the PIPs to implement it, and Geoff polished off my army not long afterwards.

At the halfway mark I was sitting halfway down the table. Geoff and Caesar - the other Wollongong players - were riding high, with two wins each.

After lunch I faced a very nice Greek mythological army, commanded by Mark, who is experienced in DBA but new to HOTT.

Look at those lovely hoplites!

He pushed his cyclops behemoth forward to menace my beasts whilst they were still in the open. The cyclops was supported by his general, who looks like a spear element but was in fact a hero. I saw an opportunity. The behemoth had an open flank. I swung Tiamat through her own troops onto the behemoth's flank, then broke contact with the beast fighting it to the front. This forced it to turn to face and, when it lost the combat, its initial recoil took it over the hero general, squashng him. The first casualty of the game was the winner.

 My final game was against the front-runner, Caesar. If I beat him, it would leave us equal on points, but I would gain the tie-break advantage, and win on that basis. There was everything to play for.

Unfortunately Caesar's army wasn't one I was thrilled to face, consisting of a core of four - yes, four - behemoths.

He massed them on one flank, opposite my rather vulnerable knights.

I moved Quigu over from the centre to support them. For a couple of bounds I was surprised to survive the combats, although one of my knights seemed to be incapable of riding down some supporting warband either.

In the centre Caesar's warband faced my esoteric collection of beasts. Who would have won? We'll never know ...

... because the battle was won and lost back with the behemoths. Caesar's general was riding in his beautiful wooden horse. Qingu faced him directly and, in one lucky round, got an overlap on each flank. Caesar rolled a '1' in the combat. If I could roll a '5' or '6' in response then I would destroy him, and win the game.

Sometimes, when you need a good roll, you get it. A '6' saw the wooden horse destroyed, the Greek general killed and the rest of the army fleeing the battlefield in panic. It was the first casualty of the battle, again.

This gave me three wins, putting me equal with Caesar and Geoff. But I had the best of the tie-break, so took first place, with Caesar in second and Geoff in third. A clean sweep of the prizes by the Wollongong contingent. 

The event is part of the international 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' tournament as well. This is assessed on the first three rounds, so Caesar was our local winner there.

I can't deny that it's great to win MOAB for a second year in a row, but I feel a bit bad for Caesar losing on such an unlucky roll so early in the game. There's no doubt that in the normal run of things he would have defeated my army with little difficulty; I had no real advantage anywhere, and was very much on the back-foot. But that's how HOTT pans out sometimes. 

Here's a few pictures of some of the other armies. 

Another shot of Camelot.

Geoff and Greg finished their day with an almost historical looking medieval clash. Apparently victory was achieved when Geoff's paladin cut down Merlin (or, at least, forced him to flee into his cave for safety).

Here Victor's Carthaginians face a lovely undead army. I would have enjoyed facing both of these, just because they looked so nice. But you can't play against everyone, sadly.

Thanks to Victor and the other Southern Battlegamers for organising another great HOTT tournament, and another great MOAB generally.

Monday, 6 October 2014


Once again there was a HOTT tournament at MOAB, although interest, and therefore numbers, was well down from previous years.

Once again it was a matched-pair tournament, which I have to say is becoming a favourite format of mine, as it allows for the use of interesting army combinations that you wouldn't see in an 'open' event, where your army has to be constructed to face any possible combination of opposing forces.

It was also a leg of the global 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' (GBnU) meta-tournament being organised by Terry Webb from the US. I still don't entirely understand how it works, but I do know that we had to track the first three games we played in terms of another scoring system to that being used in the main tournament. Filling out a piece of paper according to instructions is something I can do, so I was OK. Sorting out how they are used is someone else's problem

Anyway, as posted about on the blog before, I took a pair of Barsoomian (Martian) armies. I did adopt a slightly gamey approach to my choice, deliberately choosing two armies with Airboats on the hope that other players would find them hard to use. The fact that I'm no genius when it comes to their deployment sort of cancelled out any advantage I might be gaining, though.

The armies were:

The Heroic Forces Of Helium

1 x Hero General (John Carter)
5 x Blades (Heliumitic Warriors)
1 x Riders (Heliumitic Warriors on Thoats)
1 x Flyer (Small Flyers)
2 x Airboats (Mighty Warships)

The Insidious Zodangan/Warhoon Alliance

1 x Blade General (The Jeddak of Zodanga)
4 x Blades (Perfidious Zodangan Warriors)
3 x Knights (Green Martian Allies)
1 x Flyer (Small Flyers)
2 x Airboats (Mighty Warships)

Basically only 6AP of the armies were different, plus the choice of which element was the general.

In my first game I face Martin, and we used my pair. To my surprise he chose the Zodangans - I had assumed that John Carter would be the attractive option given the choice, but the Knights obviously proved a greater draw. I defended, and proceeded to screen half of my army from the general using a hill.

The Zodangans and Warhoon attacked together, and my brave warriors lined up ready to resist them.

Cunning use of my Flyer behind the Zodangan lines saw their aerial navy taken down, before their own Flyer was surrounded and eliminated.

The Zodangan general fought bravely on the other side of the field, but the rest of his army had had enough. Victory for Helium!

On another table a couple of Dark Ages or Late Roman armies fought it out. This was the only picture I took of the other games. Sorry. There were Teddy Bears, Daleks and Napoleonics in use at various times. And I'm sure that there will be pictures by others elsewhere.

On to my second game, against new HOTT player Greg. Again he went for the Zodangans (do people really dislike John Carter that much?) and again I defended.

We started with an aerial skirmish in the middle.

This escalated into a full-blown fight.

Meanwhile John Carter got distratced, trying to prevent a flank-march on Helium by the Zodangan's Warhoon allies. In this picture some Green Martian learned that you don't mess with John Carter.

The Zodangan navy, or what was left of it, came over to help. They nearly took out John Carter, but luck was with him and he survived.

Meanwhile Helium's navy had been pinned by the Zodangan warriors, and it took them some time to extricate themselves. When they did so they found the Zodangan general isolated in some bad going, and took advantage of this to bomb him to oblivion, giving me a second victory.

This second game was much close then the first - or a new player Greg handled his army very well, and the battle could have gone either way. Having his general caught in bad going was really the only mistake he made, and I was lucky to get the PIPs and combat roll to exploit it for the win.

My third opponent was Victor, who had an interesting Rohan vs Orcs matched-pair - Rohan was mostly Knights, whilst the Orcs were mostly Hordes. On paper the Knights would seem to have the advantage, but they are heavily outnumbered and their pursuit can leave them terribly exposed.

I opted for Rohan. The Knights were supported by a Hero general and a Magician, whilst a couple of Lurkers waited in the wings.

The fourteen Orc Hordes were supported by a Knight general and a couple of troll Behemoths. These were very dangerous to my Knights indeed.

Victor's Orcs were split into two groups by a couple of small marshes, and I hit both groups before they could clear them and use their numbers to extend their flanks and overlap mine. In the centre the Orcs died in droves, but this exposed the Behemoths. Before I could get Gandalf into action one of them rushed out and clubbed him to death. The centre developed into a bit of a stalemate.

On the flank my Knights attacked, but failed to make much headway. However Victor swung his general into the marsh to support the flanks of his line...

... and was jumped by the Lurkers. He survived the first round of combat, but not the second.

With the Orc general gone Rohan only needed to destroy another Horse to win. And did.

This left me with a good score for the GBnU meta-tournament, but we'll have to see how that actually pans out over the next couple of months as the other legs are played.

My final game saw me playing Steve and his Clan Wars pair - beautifully painted I must say.

One army was a mixed bag of Shooters and Blades, with a Behemoth, Magician and Beast in support. The other was mostly Warband (samurai rats, no less). I decided that simplicity was best and went for the Warband. I lumped my whole army on one flank, aiming to concentrate it on one end of his line before he could bring the other up in support.

The Samurai set up.


At this point the pictures dried up, as I forgot to take any in the heat of the action. Steve took a risk and attacked my Magician with his, ensorcelling him and removing my main defence against his Behemoth general. I lost a pair of Warband early on as well, leaving me very vulnerable to a quick defeat. However I inflicted plenty of casualties on his army with the survivors, and broke through his line to threaten his rather un-Japanese stronghold.

We fought on, and after twice failing to assault his stronghold I lost another Warband to his general. However I was able to kill more of his troops to clinch a very narrow victory indeed  - 12 points to 10.

Four wins in four games was enough to give me first place in the tournament. Newcomer Greg, with three wins, took second prize.

Thanks to Victor and the other SBG members for arranging the event once again, and Steve for organising the Australian leg of the GBnU tournament.
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