First practice game was a 35pt affair vs eAbby. This was going to be a refamiliarisation exercise rather than a competitive game, so I took Gunny and what is pretty much my old sub-par list with Dygmies + Fellcaller, Scattergunners + UA, Bomber and Impaler. I used to take two Bombers, but as I have a semi-painted and built Dozer and Smigg they made the list instead. It was probably a tier 2 list with minor benefits I didn’t take, but I’m not too worried about that at this stage. The eventual plan is to upgrade to 50 via max Highwaymen and a Blitzer but I’m keeping it small and familiar to begin with. The Scattergunners should probably go too, possibly replaced by a War Wagon or 2nd Blitzer, I may even try the Mountain King with Gunny ….. but I digress.
eAbby was accompanied by a Carnivean, Scythean, Raek, Shredder, Swordsmen, 2 x Shepard and 2 x Deathwatcher. I’ve played these models before and always found them troublesome, especially the heavy beasts. However we rolled a scenario that favoured a backfield shooty Warlock which at least meant I didn’t need to worry about this aspect. I got first turn and deployed as seen below.
I’ve learnt that it is best to have a rough strategy rather than just ‘going for it’ and improvising. With this list there are basically three waves of attack. The Dygmies go in first with the intention of occuyping the middle ground early and posing a fairly credible threat to anything centre board turn 2. If they can hang in there for a turn or two the Scattergunners can get in and start spraying without fear of hurting the Pygs via their UA. It is likely they will get get tied up too turn 3. However, by now Gunny and the Heavies should be in a good position to start laying down the big blast templates and with the help of Gunnies feat they should enjoy protection from blast damage in turn 3 or 4. Finally, all being well, it should be possible for Gunny and his Heavies to find the gap needed in the mid to late game to knock out the opponent’s warlock.
The game itself roughly followed this plan but could have gone either way. The burrowing Pygs failed miserably to made any headway in attacking the Legion heavies but I did at least learn a new trick of giving them Snipe via Gunny to give them the range needed to attempt this. Thankfully they did do a reasonable job of jamming the centre ground allowing the Scattergunners and Fellcaller to get some reasonable sprays in.
At this stage Abby popped feat and the Legion beasts gained Flight. The Carnivean came down one flank and the Scythean straight at my Battlegroup putting Dozer and Smigg down to a single box. This was now the Trolls moment to try and punch a hole through to Abby and assassinate her. Gunny managed to knock her down with Critical Devastation, although she was carrying enough transfers to probably keep her safe. Nonetheless the remaining Scattergunners and Pygs did their best to finish her and a cheeky Arcing Fire shot from Dozer and Smigg put some hurt on her. The Bomber bravely stepped away from the Scythean, riding out the free-strike, but even his two boosted bombs were not quite enough.
Unfortunately I had left Gunny dangerously close to the Scythean and I must say I thought this meant game over. Somehow Gunny survived the onslaught giving him another bite at the cherry with the heavily wounded Abby crouched in a wood. The Trolls firstly attacked Abby’s beasts that were transfer targets successfully removing the Raek but leaving a badly injured Shredder.
Gunny just needed to escape the Scythean…..
Earlier in the game we had been disussing how the Bomber might do this and realised a friendly Push power attack would do exactly this and stop free-strikes to boot. The Impaler circled behind Gunnbjorn and did the deed freeing him up to have a go at Abby. I’m pleased to say he had a superb hit roll followed by a decent damage roll and Abby was a goner.
Dead chuffed to win, especially against arguably the best Warmahordes player presently at my club. Having said that we did do a lot of mutual coaching and the 35pt game took a good three hours to get through. Clearly there is no way the games at SMOGCON are going to be like this so regular practice including timed turns will be essential. I’m not looking to achieve a placing at SMOGCON but I would like to be a credible opponent.
So, main three learning points:
1) Dozer and Smigg are very nice. The Arcing fire is a nice addition to the Gunnbjorn assassination gunline tactic.
2) Don’t forget the option to push a model out of melee: friendly model or foe!
3) Snipe works on units as well as beasts. This is potentially good with Pygs and will be even better with Highwaymen.
Lets hope its onwards and upwards for Gunny and co. from here! :)