Thursday, 12 November 2015
Conquest 2015 done and dusted
Well I'd hoped to have some further updates leading up to Conquest but as normal work and painting schedule have been so busy that I've not had much of a chance to add anything to the blog. Now the event has passed I'm finally able to take a bit of time to write about how things went.
My painting wasn't finished in time unfortunately. Long hours at work cut into the time I had hoped to spend painting and I was faced with the decision of whether I rush the paint job to meet the deadline or if I just take unfinished models. One thing I'm not good at is settling for a half-finished job so ultimately it wasn't really a decision at all for me. I kept plodding along, doing as much as I could until I had to go and catch my flight down to Christchurch. This is how my Longbeards ended up:
It's mostly the metal and leather that's finished with a purple basecoat just to add a bit more colour before I had to pack them away for the trip. They're a bit dark at the moment but once the beards are all painted white there will be a much better colour contrast. Additionally their shields will be painted purple to help bring a bit more of the primary colour into the models which is a bit lacking right now.
So with my half painted Longbeards and the rest of my Dwarfs packed into my luggage I hitched a ride to Wellington airport and headed due South for the weekend.
A friend in Christchurch was kind enough to pick me and another gamer up from the airport and provide us with somewhere to stay. So after a late flight, a few beers and a bit of food we crashed out to get up early the next morning for the gaming.
After a 7am rise and a hot cup of coffee we were on our way down to the St Albans/Shirley Working Men's Club; the home of the Cavaliers gaming club. It was great to see some familiar faces again after being away for 6 months. What amused me the most was the number of people who hadn't even realised I had moved. More than once I was asked where I've been over the past few months and when I explained that I had moved up to Wellington the response was one of earnest surprise. We had about 20 minutes before the games started so I made the most of this and said hi to as many people as possible before Umpire Alan got things underway.
Here was my army for the event:
- Lord on Shieldbearers with a bunch of Combat Runes
- Battle Standard Bearer
- 2 Runesmiths with Spellbreaking Runes
- 30 Warriors with Shields
- 10 Thunderers with Shields
- 30 Longbeards with Shields
- 15 Miners
- 15 Miners
- 2 Cannons with Rune of Forging
- Grudge Thrower with Rune of Accuracy and Penetrating
- Organ Gun with Rune of Accuracy
I must admit I was pretty slack with the photos for this event as I only remembered to grab two. None the less here's my attempt at a recap of day one:
It was great to catch up with Rhys again. I've played him a few times in Christchurch and our games are always good fun. Rhys is an avid tournament gamer so the games tend to be pretty one sided but he's one of the best sportsmen I've ever met which always makes the bruising easier to bear.
This game was no exception to the rule; Rhys had a combat heavy army with a Steam Tank and two units of Demi-Gryphs supported by a lot of magic and two big blocks of Halberdiers. My only chance was to try and pummel his Demi-Gryphs before he could reach me and then turn the cannons and Organ Gun onto other targets. I rolled a lot of 2's and 10's with the Cannons and then 1's and 2's for wounds which ultimately meant my cannon shots tended to drop short or over shoot and when they did hit they only did a couple of wounds to the Gryphs at best. The only exception to this was the Steam Tank whom I knocked 5 wounds off in the first turn which effectively disabled it for the game. Anyway long story short I barely scratched Rhys' Demi-Gryphs who hit my line full strength and rolled me up. I damaged a few units but only fully wiped out one unit of archers worth 35 points while Rhys almost tabled me.
End result: 2-18 loss
Game 2 - Mike: Empire
Another Empire army but this one vastly different. Mike had one big unit of Inner Circle Knights, one big unit of Greatswords, one big unit of Spearmen, a unit of Crossbowmen and two cannons. It was a pretty small army but if any unit hit me at full strength I was going to be in trouble. In the end this game really came down to a duel between our generals. Mike knocked mine down to one wound before a couple of lucky rolls allowed me knock the last wound off his general. From there Mike's big knight unit fled and were run down by my Longbeards and the rest of his army was rolled up by my artillery and combat.
End result: 15-5 win
That's not actually a picture of Peter...
This has to be the most ridiculous game I have played in a long time. Peter's army consisted of a Hydra, a Kharibdyss, a Cauldron of Blood with a big unit of Witch Elves, a big spear unit, a crossbow unit, two units of Dark Riders, a unit of Warlocks, a Sorceress and a Battle Standard on a Pegasus. My artillery failed a lot in the first few turns of this game which made things difficult. I managed to get rid of the Pegasus and Kharibdyss before Pete's army hit my lines and then it got really crazy. Pete's magic went nuts and his Witch Elf unit, not really needing any help in the first place, just obliterated my Longbeards. However I got immensely lucky with flee and pursuit rolls; without fail every time Peter tried to pursue my units he would end up between 1 and 3 inches short. In comparison my plucky little Dwarfs had no trouble running down Pete's Hydra when he fled from a charge. This played out for the last few turns as Peter's units brutalised my Dwarfs only for me to flee an inch or more outside his pursuit rolls and then rally for another charge. Finally the sixth turn ticked over and we tallied up the casualties to find that with all the crazy running around we had reached a draw. A fitting end to one of the most bizarre games I have played in a long time.
End result: 10-10 draw
Game 4 - Chris: Empire
Game 4 was against an old flatmate of mine and an army I was pretty familiar with. Chris' army was vastly different from the other two Imperial armies I had played, he had one unit of Demi-Gryphs, a big unit of swordsmen, a medium-sized unit of Greatswords, a unit of Handgunners, a unit of Pistoliers, a unit of Knights, a Cannon, a Helblaster and a level 3 Wizard. With my army being a pretty boring Dwarf gun line the game was going to progress similar to the game with Rhys in that either I was going to hit with my artillery and whittle down Chris' troops before he could reach me or I was going to fail at shooting and he was going to roll me up. With the exception of the first turn where both of our cannon shots rolled 1's for wounding my guns finally picked their game up. The cannons and the Grudge Thrower especially did a stellar job of knocking out Chris' artillery and punching holes in his heavy cavalry. Add to this some terrible dice rolls for Chris' troops at critical points in the game and it turned a bit one-sided. Games aren't as much fun when dice tend to go one way but it was still good to catch up with Chris.
End result: 19-1 win
Game 5 - Matt: Dwarfs
Last game of the weekend and it was a bit of Dwarf on Dwarf action. It certainly wasn't a mirror match though as our armies were vastly different. Where I had built a gun line Matt had ignored artillery completely in favour of more boots on the ground. Matt had one large unit of Hammerers and one small, one large unit of Ironbreakers and one small, three large units of Warriors, two Runesmiths and a Battle Standard. There was no way I could take that many Dwarfs head on so I was going to have to whittle his units down before they could reach me. I decimated his big unit of Hammerers first and knocked out one of his Warrior units while Matt took down one of my Miner units in response. Once the combat started it turned into a complete mess. I didn't realise Matt's Ironbreakers had a banner making them stubborn so they held the centre while the rest of his units began to surround me. After some nervous break tests the combat in the middle settled and it just became a giant cluster*#%k that had no chance of reaching a resolution before the game came to a close. While I had damaged a number of Matt's units I hadn't completely wiped out many at all and being stuck in combat stopped me from chasing them while Matt hid the remnants behind a hill where I couldn't shoot them. So when the points were all tallied up at the end the game came out effectively as a draw. A fitting end to a Dwarf vs. Dwarf match.
End result: 11-9 win (draw)
So that's Conquest for another year. I really enjoyed playing Fantasy again and it makes me realise how much I will miss this game. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it, so much so that there was talk of running Fantasy next year despite it being an unsupported game.
I hope to make it back to Conquest at some point in the near future but I'm going to have to wait and see how far the pennies stretch for next year's gaming. I've set my sights on Natcon in Dunedin during the Easter break and the Blood Bowl Team Champs in Christchurch sometime around November. If I can find a bit of cash to get to one other tourny during 2016 it may very well be Conquest.
In the meantime I've started on painting for Natcon. I have a pretty bad track record for getting my armies painted in time for tournaments so I'm hoping that if I start early my might be able to break the cycle. Assuming the game system is on offer I'm hoping to play Dystopian Wars and as luck would have it I have a pile of unpainted models that I would like to paint in time for the event (who would have thought). First on the painting table is the Hachiman Dreadnought which has been base coated for about a year or two with no further progress. My aim is to have it fully painted by the end of this week which is pretty ambitious for me but I've been chipping away at it since I took this photo and I'm actually not that far off.
Anyway that's enough typing for one day I think. Check back in next week and hopefully I'll have shiny new photos!