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Ratputin Marches - Winter 2009 Escalation League - Week 1

Page history last edited by Rushputin 12 years, 11 months ago

Winter 2009 Fantasy Escalation League



Week 1: The Chittering Horde Stirs




I've finished painting an Assassin:


Assassin 1.JPG Asassin 2.JPG


Also, 10 Plague Censer Bearers, which are likely to show up next week:


Plague Censer Bearers 1.JPG Plague Censer Bearers 2.JPG



Army List (roster file)


Lords & Heroes

Chieftan - Heavy Armour, Shield, Halberd

Warlock Engineer - Condenser, Warp-Blades, Dispel Scroll x2


Clanrats x24 - Full Command, Ratling Gun

Clanrats x24 - Full Command, Ratling Gun

Giant Rats x6

Giant Rats x6

Night Runners x5

Night Runners x5


Plague Monks x24 - Full Command, Umbranner

Warplock Jezzails x5


1,000 points, 3 Casting Dice, 3 Dispell Dice, 105 models

Roster - Ratputin Marches - Week 1



Battle Notes


The first two games of the league did not go well.   In each case, the dice were actively working against me early in the game.


Game 1: vs. The War Host of Athel Loren


Sean scored a Massacre against me.


What Worked:


Night Runners did a good job of screening what they needed to screen. 


Giant Rats also did a good job of screening.  That's all that six rats are going to be able to do, though.


Plague Monks killed the bejesus out of some Wardancers and then killed the bejesus out of some Glade Guard.


The Clanrats that didn't run like bitches at the start of the game did well enough.  They eventually collapsed when assaulted by Wardancers and flanked by Dryads, but that's really not surprising.


What Didn't Work:


Dice.  Fuck 'em.


Before my first turn, the Clanrat unit containing my Warlock Engineer took 18 casualties to Glade Guard shooting.  The Warlock Engineer and his few remaining Clanrats decided that this battle wasn't going to turn out well, and immediately ran off the board.


Of the four times my Ratling Guns fired, I misfired three times and successfully shot once.  One of the misfires was fortunately into a nearby terrain feature instead of the nearby, sole remaining Clanrat unit.  The other two destroyed the Ratling Guns.


Jezzails accomplished nothing, but that's not really their fault.  Their only targets were Glade Guard (who weren't as useful to shoot at) and Wardancers or Dryads (who weren't feasible to shoot at thanks to the Jezzails' poor mediocre BS and a combination of long range, skirmishing and soft cover penalties).  I wasn't very upset by this.



Game 2: vs. Blades of Khorne


Jay scored a Solid Victory against me.


What Worked:


Jezzails did exactly what they're there to do: kill heavily armored infantry.  It'd have been nice if I'd been able to take some shots at the Chaos Knights, but given that they shot away something like half of the Chaos Warriors, I'd say they did their part.


Night Runners and Giant Rats did an even better job in this game, march-blocking and forcing frenzied troops to peel off and make some failed charges in the wrong direction.


Plague Monks, despite losing combat (and Frenzy) against the Chariot early on, managed to hold and chase the Chariot off.


What Didn't Work:


Dice.  Fuck 'em.


The Warlock Engineer.  The best target for Warp-Lightning on the first turn was the unit of Chaos Warriors and the Hero.  I wanted to make sure I could get past the Magic Resistance, so I pumped up the cast with a nugget of Warpstone... which rolled a 1.   Thanks to that 1, I also miscast the spell (11) and fried myself.  Oh, and the spell was dispelled anyway.


Ratling Guns.  At least in the first game they got a shot off.  Both rolled double sixes the first time they tried to shoot.



Game 3: vs. Spawnings of the Army of Tepeyollotl


John scored a Massacre against me.


This was a pretty good game.  I didn't feel like my dice (which were sometimes good and sometimes bad) were really working against me, and the interplay of units was fun and interesting.


What Worked:


Nothing really stood out as an MVP or anything, but not a whole lot underperformed, either.


I had a lot of luck beating and chasing off the Skink unit with his caster.  The Priest eventually rallied just before running off the table, but having him occupied was very fortunate.


What Didn't Work:



Managed to blow up another Ratling Gun.  I don't care what the odds are: if I roll a 6 on the first roll, I'm stopping.  Anyone who suggests I roll a third die is an inconsiderate ass.  


A full unit of Clanrats to the front and a full unit of Plague Monks to the flank weren't able to beat a unit of Saurus Warriors.  The Warriors overran into the Clanrats, and the Plague Monks hopped in... but couldn't out kill the Warriors.  This surprised me.


I had a lousy pursuit roll, at one point.  The Clanrats with my Chieftan charged some skinks, beat the tar out of them and chased them off... but not far enough.  If they'd chased them another 2"-3", I'd have been safe from getting flanked by a unit of Kroxigors.  Doh!


Game 4: vs. Jeremy's Pink Sock


Jeremy scored a Massacre against me.


This is what I get for bringing a slightly pointed stick to a gunfight.  The game was over before it even started.


What Worked:


Nothing.  Even if it had, it wouldn't have been enough to make a difference.


What Didn't Work:


Nothing really underperformed, I guess.  My army was just totally outclassed.


The Warlock Engineer miscast himself into losing his Wizard level, but it really wasn't a big deal.  The odds of him getting Warp-Lightning past all those dispell dice were tiny and at that that point, he only had one Dispell Scroll left.  It wouldn't have made a difference.


Game 5: vs. Tower of Blessed Dread


I Massacred Mike.


This was a good game, and I'm not just saying that because I tabled Mike.  The interplay between units was interesting, maneuvering was a big deal, and there were some close calls.  Mostly, I was just happy to see that the way Skaven are supposed to succeed (ranks and static CR leavened with the occasional kill) finally actually work.


What Worked:


A lot. Everything that could have come together for me came together for me.


Early in the game, I ran a unit of Giant Rats up.  These pulled the Frenzied Corsairs into a failed charge (as the Rats ran) that opened them up to getting charged in the flank by a unit of Clanrats and the front by a unit of Plague Monks.  The Corsairs broke, fled, and were chased down... as both Skaven units pursued out of line of sight of the Cold One Riders.


The Warlock Engineer passed on blasting at Spearmen and chose, instead, to cast Warp-Lightning at the Reaper Bolt Thrower.  This obliterated the crew and destroyed the weapon.  This was a big deal.


The (sole, remaining) Ratling Gun did very well just firing into the eventual Plague Monk / Cold One Rider melee, killing three times more Cold One Riders than the Plague Monks (as in, they killed 3 and the Monks failed to kill any). 


What Didn't Work:


Jezzails didn't accomplish much this game, but that's because Mike held off deploying his knights to the very bitter end, and placed them where they were quite safe.  They killed two Dark Riders before being chased off the table, but that's not a great feat.


Thoughts so Far:



The first two games of the league have been extremely discouraging.  I don't mind losing, bad dice rolls, or some of my units killing themselves.  When everything that could possibly go wrong goes as wrong as it possibly could, though, is when I lose patience.  Unfortunately, there's nothing I can do to avoid this, except not take Ratling Guns or Engineers, which really doesn't seem to be much of a problem.  If only I could get them to not kill themselves 50% of the time, I think I'd be okay with that.


I need to figure out how to deal with units that throw out a lot of killing.  With the exception of my Plague Monks, I don't expect anything I have on the table to kill anything in close combat, which means I need to rely on static combat resolution.  Assuming I come to the fight with a pristine unit, I've got 5 combat resolution.  Six if I can manage a flank.  Against the armies I've been playing against (Chaos Mortals, Dark Elves, Wood Elves), they often easily exceed that number in kills with their dedicated assault troops.  I've got to figure out how to cope with that.



I think I'm going to have to be picky with who I play.  Warhammer Fantasy is wildly out of balance, and there are some armies and builds out there that I just don't stand a chance against.  I don't need or want to win every game I play, but having a chance at winning doesn't seem like an unreasonable expectation.  I expect that, if I'm going to make it through to the end of the league, I'm going to have to avoid games that are doomed to be nothing but an hour or two of complete and utter frustration.  'Cause the only thing those sorts of games are going to achieve is making me drop the game.

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