FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

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FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby FriedTaterExplosion » 04 Jun 2014, 20:29

Went to the Unplugged with a friend of mine and my brother. We rolled into Windsor Locks, CT around 5ish, and after buying some beer and dropping our stuff in our room, immediately went down to the game hall to check it out.

The first thing that I noticed was (once again!) the Unplugged Gamers did an absolutely fantastic job with the terrain. The tables were diverse, but with nice unique themes on all of them.

After catching up with some of the NE tourney regulars, my buddy Josh and I found a another group of gamers and arranged some pre-GT practice matches.

The games were all based on the 20-nil system- with bonused for accomplishing objectives. Max BPs per game was 24.

My list for the Unplugged:
Spellweaver (Level 4 Shadow) with Acorn
BSB on steed (moonstone, enchanted shield, dragonbane gem)
Beast Singer (Level 1)

25 Eternal Guard (full command)
10 Glade Guard (true flight and musician)
10 Glade Guard (true flight and musician)

3 Warhawks
7 Wild Riders with shields
7 Wild Riders with shields
10 Wild Riders with shields, and banner of eternal flame

Eagle
10 Waywatchers
10 Waywatchers

Yeah, I went Wild Rider heavy.


Friday Practice Match
Vs. Derek and his Warriors


Derek was attending his first GT- but was not by any stretch an unexperienced general. He brought a very solid WOC list. Off the top of my head he had the following:

Nurgle Daemon Prince (charmed shield. 1+ AS, and other goodies.)
BSB on Daemonic Steed (with 1+/3++)

Chariots for core
2 Chimeras with regen

Two units of 4 Skullcrushers

In summary, the highlights of this practice match was casting the Withering on his Daemon Prince in turn 1. I then proceeded to kill the Daemon Prince with the Waywatchers in turn 1.

I moonstoned a unit of Wild Riders to his backfield (the one with the flaming banner) and proceeded to go through his Chimeras.

The other Wild Riders took out his crushers- and things overall went very well. Honestly, I was already fairly drunk at this point- and I can’t remember the exact details after killing his big scary stuff. I do remember shooting his BSB turn after turn with the WWs, but it still had a wound at the end of the game.

I felt pretty good after winning against a pretty optimized WoC list. Derek mentioned that he had only lost a couple of times with this list- and I don’t doubt it. It was very solid.

Derek was a great opponent- and went on to do really well at the GT. Hope to give him a chance for revenge at another event. Honestly, dropping the Daemon Prince in turn 1 was kind of unprecedented in my experience.

Day 1

My first match was against Pat, who I had grudged for this GT (following an intense and epic game at the Unplugged primer event a few weeks earlier.)

Pat had a Dark Elf list with the following:

Sorceress
BSB with Corsairs

Two units of Dark Riders
Big Block of Corsairs

Big Block of Executioners
Big Block of CoK

Two Repeaters
Two Units of Warlocks

The game utilized the Blood and Glory scenario, with an army being broken only resulting in additional battle points earned at the end of the game.

Overall, it was a very fluid game. I concentrated my WW fire on his CoK, and was able to eliminate them, but only after they had gotten across the board.

Pat came back and was able to break me around turn 4 or 5. I did not have lots of fortitude in my army, and I believe my general died, and with that my fortitude.

I do know that in the end, by VPs, Pat had an 11-9 minor win. He also scored 3 bonus points for breaking my army, and started the GT with 14 BPs. I did not score any additional BPs, so had to settle for the 9 BPs.

Had a great game, hope to someday etch out a win vs. Pat. And heck, I wasn’t massacred, so it wasn’t all that bad!

Game 2

My second game was against Craig and his Orcs and Goblins.


Craig’s list had:

Savage Orc Great Shaman
Black Orc BSB
Black Orc Warboss(?)
Night Goblin Shaman

A Big Block of Night Goblin archers with fanatics and nets
Big Block of Savage Orc Big ‘uns

Unit of 8 Trolls
2 Rock Lobbers
2 Goblin Chariots

2 Mangler Squigs
2 Doom Divers
Snotling Pump Wagon

In this game I determined to use my shooting to eliminate in priority, 1.) the manglers, and then 2.) the warmachines.

I concentrated my missle fire on eliminating the Mangler near my bigger unit of Wild Riders (which I moved forward for a potential charge on his trolls.) I shot both units of waywatchers, and my glade guard at it- but only managed one wound! I felt pretty hosed after that. Seizing the opportunity, Craig directed his mangler at my Wild Riders…. and… killed only 2 of my 10 Wild Riders ( I was able to subsequently mop up the Mangler with shooting the next round.)

I had my Wild Riders work up the flanks, first busting through a warmachine and then taking out a chariot on one flank- and going through the trolls and overrunning into the flank of the Savage Orc Horde.

One thing that I remember was charging my Warhawks (who had lost a model) at the front of the Savage Orcs. I did this with the ideathat after the Wild Riders chopped up the trolls they would get to fight again in concert with the War hawks against the Savages.

It went really well, as I managed to kill the Savage Orc Shaman Lord with the Warhawks (he had suffered a miscast wound earlier) and the WRs did enough wounds in the flank to have the Savages lose combat. I believe that I also miasma’d the Savages so that they needed 5s to hit my wild Riders. The Savages held due to Steadfast, but the Wild Riders grinded out that combat for a few turns.

My eternal guard and smaller Wild Rider unit combo charged and eliminated the Night Goblins.

In the end, I scored all 20 BPs based on VPs, plus an additional 3 VPs for killing my target of opportunity (which were his Savages.)

Again, Craig was a great opponent. We had some horrible luck both ways- me failing to kill a Mangler with overwhelming amount of WWs and Trueflight shots- and him with only managing to kill 2 WRs with a Mangler.

So after two games I was at 32 BPs. Much better! Felt like I was right back in the mix of things!

Game 3

Jake and his Brettonians


The last game in my first day of the GT was against Jake and his Brets.

He had a very impressive army- and a very strong theme arranged within it of being an Errantry army- with lots and lots of Knight Errant. He also had several very cool conversions and some top notch painting (Loved the old pewter Men at Arms and converted Mounted Yeoman.)

Jake’s List:

Bret Lord- Heroic Killing Blow- some defense stuff
Prophetess level 4 with Heavens
Damsel with Beasts and Prayer Icon
BSB with 1+/rerollable
Paladin with combat kit

6(?) units of 6 Knights Errant
1 bigger unit of Knights Errant with Errantry banner
1 Unit of KoR
Horde of 50 Men at Arms

Mounted Yeoman

Two Trebs

I lucked out in this draw and got a table with about 3 forests. I then rolled another two with my acorn- so I had quite a few forests on the board.

The game went pretty much as I hoped it would.

This was my first time facing Brets with the new book. Let me say, we have a friggin’ sweet set-up against them. Toughness 3 models with a 2+ AS fall pretty quickly, even to simply the True Flight arrows. The game basically went with me shooting off a unit of Knights Errant every turn, using my warhawks to kill a Treb and some peasants, and using my Wild Riders to sweep up a flank and plow through his Men at Arms and Character bus.

I honestly feel like MSU Brets (which I would classify Jake’s list as) would rock in a lot of match-ups, but unfortunately not against a MSU wood elf army.

Again, a great opponent. Hope to catch up and play against Jake again.

Would like to mention that Jake has a podcast that he is part of.

[url]Aroundthegeek.com[/url]

Seems pretty cool. They talk about video games, comic books, and movies, mostly. Jake is going to be sharing his WHFB hobby on there as well.

So, after round 3, I garnered a massive 24 additional BPs. Brought me to a total of 56 BPs through the first three rounds.

When standings for the day were posted, I found that I was actually fourth overall in BPs (out of 70 players!) Got me pretty amped up.

Day 2

Round 4
Rasmus and his Dark Elves


Well, I went to table 2 on the second day and I immediately saw that I was going to be in for a heck of a game. My opponent (Rasmus) has been the coach for the Danish ETC team- and had travelled pretty much all over the world to attend GTs.

He had an absolutely terrifying Dark Elf list:

Dreadlord on Dark Pegasus (1+ AS/cloak of Twilight/Dragonbane gem)
Supreme Sorceress on Shadows

2 Masters on Dark Pegasus (1+ ASs/ward saves)
BSB on Dark Pegasus (1+ rerollable?)

Three units of Dark Riders
Two units of Crossbows

Four Repeater Bolt Throwers
Two units of Warlocks

Deployment was the diagonal deployment (but without reserves.) Rasmus won the roll to deploy first, and lined his army up against the line.

I counter deployed placing my wild riders and eternal guard across from his crossbow bunker holding his Dreadlord and Sorceress. I hoped to charge through with at least one of them- and through CR break a large part of his army.

I failed to grab the first turn- and so Rasmus went first. He was able to charge one Master at a unit of Wild Riders- but his other failed the a charge. But his shooting, heavily decimated my Wild Riders that I would have liked to charge in at the mage/Dreadlord bunker.

In my turn I decided to charge my solo, remaining Wild Rider (from the decimated unit) at his Master in the open (and then overrun into the crossbows- locking them in place for his turn.) To try to make it stick, I also charged my eagle in. Magic went my way, and I was able to cast Mind Razor on my remaining WR. Now, I figured, if I lucked out and landed two wound on his Master with my WR- the Eagle would overrun into the cross bows.

This is where I really screwed up.

I decided, as one unit of my glade guard did not have a whole lot to shoot at, to shoot at the crossbow bunker. I ended up killing some of his crossbows….. but by doing so I killed enough of them that my eagle would NOT overrun into them. Ouch.

CC saw me drop the Master with the WR (who died from the Master’s attacks.) The eagle simply overran into his backfield.

See kids, sometimes you don’t want to shoot your enemy…

Long story short, I made a few mistakes. Rasmus absolutely did not.

Very good, cerebral battle. Talked with him a bit about the European scene and I gained some ideas of how to tackle MSU Dark Elves going forward. But in the end, Rasmus was able to claim 24 BPs against me.

I remained at 56 BPs.

Game Five

Joe and his Dark Elves


For the third time at the GT, I was facing a Dark Elf army. That being said, all three of the Dark Elves fielded different builds. Joe’s was the only one with the Cauldron in it.

His List:

Supreme Sorceress
Master BSB on Cold One
Death Hag on Cauldron

Two units of Dark Riders
Block of 40 or so Witch Elves

Two Units of Shades

Two Repeater Bolt Throwers
Two units of 9 CoK.

The game was pure battleline, with a bonus based on destroying a unit nominated before the game. The bigger (point-wise) the unit nominated- the more bonus BPs were rewarded.

I was able to deploy both units of Waywatchers near some of his fast cav. I ran my Wild Riders up the flank. The first few turns saw me using my shooting and magic to get his shooting out of the game. He did charge a unit of Warlocks right at a unit of my Wild Riders. The Wild Riders eliminated the Warlocks real quick.

By mid- game I had whittled him down to his two units of CoKs and his big block of Witch Elves. I shot one unit of CoK to death with my waywatchers and comb-charged the other unti with two units of my Wild Riders. I also used a flank charge from my warhawks to distract the witch elves- after all, I figured that once they fled, the witch elves would have to pursue them away from the rest of my army. Funny thing was, my warhawks actually held! Still accomplished what I wanted.

Game ended at the bottom of five as we ran out of time. I delayed the Witch Elves with my eternal guard- and they held at the bottom of five to keep the witch elves in place.

I ended up winning by over 1500 VPs, and garnering 20 more BPs. I did not get any of the bonuses, as the witch elves were my target for bonuses.

Joe was a little unfamiliar with the new wood elves, and I believe that it cost him a bit. He was a bit amazed at what Wild Riders could do- and wasn’t aware that eternal guard were stubborn.

Finish

On I finished with 76 BPs. I felt pretty good getting three big wins, one minor loss and one major loss. I ended up finishing 14th overall (out of I believe 69 who ended up participating.) So overall, not a bad showing. My only big loss was against the gentleman (Rasmus) who ended up winning overall, so that’s cool.

My buddies and I had a blast at the Unplugged. Can’t wait for next year.
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby godswearhats » 04 Jun 2014, 20:56

Nice write ups!
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby Mollesvinet » 05 Jun 2014, 06:20

Thanks for sharing! What a nasty list of dark elves!
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby bjoernuhlig » 05 Jun 2014, 10:31

Thx for writing this up so nicely.

"I gained some ideas of how to tackle MSU Dark Elves"

I would definitely urge you to share you very valid insights
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby MarkM » 05 Jun 2014, 11:37

Great write up, thanks for sharing.

Did the EG do anything other than act as a bunker? Would you use them again?
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby FriedTaterExplosion » 05 Jun 2014, 12:17

bjoernuhlig wrote:Thx for writing this up so nicely.

"I gained some ideas of how to tackle MSU Dark Elves"

I would definitely urge you to share you very valid insights


I think that one of our MSU lists is actually well-equipped to tackle a DE MSU/Flying Circus List. I noticed that for all the 1+ AS and ward save Peg characters, that they weren't exceptionally killy. Against us, they lose their ASF rerolls. CR can break them.

Waywatchers are key, as they can create "No-Fly" zones for the peg characters. I found him well-aware of that, and for the most part he kept his Peg characters within his units unit they could charge. Thing is, if they are in a bunker of repeating crossbows- that unit can be charged by a unit of wild riders head on. You should do an overwhelming amount of CR and break them.

That was my plan. He managed to chaff me good well in the first few turns.

That game was probably the most tactically intense game that I've had in quite some time.
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby FriedTaterExplosion » 05 Jun 2014, 12:42

MarkM wrote:Great write up, thanks for sharing.

Did the EG do anything other than act as a bunker? Would you use them again?


Later today, I'm going to go over my army list and how it's going to evolve going forward.

The eternal guard were useful- but I'm not sold on them versus another couple of units of glade guard.

Here's what they did game by game:

1.) Up against Pat's Dark Elves- I believe they fluffed a rerollable panic check and fled in the early game. I think they might have failed their first rally attempt as well. They recovered, but were largely out of the game. Probably not the fairest assessment of them, as they should not have fled like that.

2.) Against Craig's Orcs & Goblins- They helped break steadfast against a horde of night goblins.

3.) Jake and his Brets- They pinned a knight lance with characters for a turn so that the Wild Riders could swoop in for a flank charge the following turn.

4.) Rasmus and his Dark Elves- They attempted a charge (needing an 8) against a unit of repeater crossbows with the Supreme Sorceress in it. They were subsequently shot off the table.

5.) Joe and his Dark Elves- They held the Shadow Weaver for the first few rounds and advanced up the battlefield. My Weaver jumped ship, and they then moved up to potentially delay/hold the witch elf horde for a bit. They took a charge from the witch elves (with cauldron) at the bottom of the last turn. The witch elves failed to kill them to the man, and they held (having ASF really helps against witch elves- as they don't get the rerolls to hit against us like they used to.)

So, after reflecting, they overall did their job well. I'm just not sure on having them versus having an additional 2 units of glade guard.

But geez, after writing out how they performed, I'm even more torn about removing them from the list.
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby FriedTaterExplosion » 05 Jun 2014, 17:09

Evaluation of my Unit Selections

First things, first: I’m dropping the acorn and the moonstone.

My intention was to use the moonstone to teleport my wild riders around the board.

Honestly didn’t need to all that much- the wild riders are perfectly capable of getting around the lines themselves.

Dropping the moonstone and acorn also opens up a lot of points to play around with. I can get more of what I really like!

Magic Items

Acorn

Overall Grade: B –

Moonstone

Overall Grade: B –

And I know other players would rate these items as “A”s, but in the context of my play style, I don’t think they worked great for the cost.

Characters

Spellweaver

She will be a staple in my lists going forward. Shadow magic has everything that I need. I’m going to keep her at a level four- but I’m dropping the acorn and moving the dispel scroll to her.

Overall Grade: A+

BSB on Elven Steed

I enjoy having the mobility granted by the elven steed for my BSB. I was able to routinely move him away from potential trouble and move him to where the BSB would be the most useful. As mentioned, I’m going to drop the moonstone that he was carrying. I’m going to give him the Hail of Doom Arrow in place of that. Still, even with his minimal defensive kit-out (enchanted shield and dragonbane gem) he did great.

Overall Grade: A

Spellsinger

My original idea going into this tournament was to bring a support mage for Wyssan’s and to hold the dispel scroll. He did his job as a scroll caddy, but I really didn’t need to cast Wyssan’s all that much with my list. I’m actually fairly happy with the buffs that Shadow alone provides. During the course of the tournament he just seemed kind of redundant.

Overall Grade: C

Core Units

Glade Guard

Trueflight arrows rock. Throughout the GT, they eliminated chaff and harassment units (man, they just love erasing DE shades!) Might add a unit or two.

Overall Grade: A

Eternal Guard

As described in my previous post, the Eternal Guard did what I wanted of them. But the points cost of the unit was a little high for that utility. I think I might get better returns from adding more glade guard.

Overall Grade: B

Special

War Hawk Riders

From adding combat res to a combat, warmachine hunting, and mage assassination- these guys were great utility players. They’re staying in.

Overall Grade: A

Wild Riders

These guys validated my initial impression of them throughout the tournament. They hit like a ton of bricks every time they charged. I’m going to keep taking three units of these bad boys

Overall Grade: A ++++++++++++++

Rare

Great Eagle

Did what he was supposed to. Redirected, did some warmachine hunting. At a very efficient cost.

Overall Grade: B

Waywatchers

These guys were rightly feared in about all games. Besides destroying 1+/2+ cavalry throughout the GT, I was pleasantly surprised by how useful the multi-shot ability was in games against poorly armored infantry.

Overall Grade: A




So, you can see I was overly very happy with my list. Dropping the level 1 mage, the acorn, and the moonstone will open up some possibilities. I’m leaning towards adding a unit of Deepwood Scouts, the Hail of Doom Arrow and another eagle.

Time will tell if the eternal guard should stay. But I think that they acquitted themselves well-enough to deserve more time in my list.
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby ScottyDo » 05 Jun 2014, 17:50

With some of your new points, I would suggest a unit of sisters to act as a backup mage. If you lose the Weaver early (miscast or what have you), it sucks having to forfeit the magic phase. A small unit of sisters can give you that +2 to dispel, gives you access to a couple useful spells, and happens to be a nice fast cav unit to boot.
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby FriedTaterExplosion » 05 Jun 2014, 21:59

ScottyDo wrote:With some of your new points, I would suggest a unit of sisters to act as a backup mage. If you lose the Weaver early (miscast or what have you), it sucks having to forfeit the magic phase. A small unit of sisters can give you that +2 to dispel, gives you access to a couple useful spells, and happens to be a nice fast cav unit to boot.


I kind of see the sisters as not essential to my list. They serve as a great bunker- but honestly I don't think my mage was ever really all that threatened by sitting back with either the glade guard or the waywatchers. Shadow's spells all have decent ranges, so I didn't really need to worry about getting her close to the enemy.

I hypothesize that the sisters would be needed more if you're going to use a lore with lesser ranges- like Beasts or Death. For Shadow, I don't think that they're needed as a bunker.
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby Beithir Seun » 05 Jun 2014, 23:23

Nice write ups FTE!

On the topic of Eternal Guard:

FriedTaterExplosion wrote:Eternal Guard

As described in my previous post, the Eternal Guard did what I wanted of them. But the points cost of the unit was a little high for that utility. I think I might get better returns from adding more glade guard.

Overall Grade: B


I'd like to pose the question of how you think your games would have differed if the Eternal Guard hadn't been in your list?

Game #1 - Not really a fair assessment, as you mentioned, due to dice. Would extra Glade Guard have fared differently, or would they have run as well (instead of the EG)?

Game #2 - Wild Riders on their own against steadfast Night Goblins; would the unit still have broken, or would the Wild Riders have been held up? Would that have mattered?

Game #3 - Would you still have had the opportunity for the Wild Rider flank charge? Would extra Glade Guard have been enough to take out the knight lance instead?

Game #4 - Would extra Glade Guard shooting have been able to better deal with the crossbows at a distance, rather than having to make the charge with the EG?

Game #5 - How would you have handled the big Witch Elf block instead? Would extra shooting have enabled you to deal with it?


Although I'll happily admit that I'm biased in this regard (I love Eternal Guard, and have for some time...), I think part of the lack of appeal with EG is their apparent "unglamorous" role in the army. They're not super-killy like Wild Riders, they're not dead-eye knight-slayers like Waywatchers, but they do the dirty jobs that no-one else wants, like holding up a massive block of Witch Elves while the rest of your army deals with the rest of the enemy for example. There aren't many (if any) units in the Wood Elf army that could do that job...
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby Drstrangelove » 06 Jun 2014, 00:31

Love it! Thanks for the write up!

The huge number of WR I'm painting up is feeling like the best move I ever made. 3 x 12 WR here I come!
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby godswearhats » 06 Jun 2014, 01:08

Thanks for the write up on the evolution. I think our lists are evolving along similar lines.

The one reason I rate the Sisters as a bunker for the Wizard is that it prevents the Glade Guard at the back from being such a target, and helps keep that MSU feel strong in the list.

Interestingly, I'm currently considering reducing my Glade Guard count and adding Eternal Guard :-) However, with the Shadow Wizard, 10 Glade Guard can be a killing machine. I also don't have Eternal Guard models (I have 20 Mantic elf spearmen which I use, but they're awful models. It may be that the pros and cons balance out which means either choice is good depending on maybe comp or play style.

Wild Riders are also the backbone of my army. 3 units of 6, with shields. They are ridiculously killy.
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby FriedTaterExplosion » 06 Jun 2014, 01:32

Beithir Seun wrote:Nice write ups FTE!

On the topic of Eternal Guard:

FriedTaterExplosion wrote:Eternal Guard

As described in my previous post, the Eternal Guard did what I wanted of them. But the points cost of the unit was a little high for that utility. I think I might get better returns from adding more glade guard.

Overall Grade: B


I'd like to pose the question of how you think your games would have differed if the Eternal Guard hadn't been in your list?

Game #1 - Not really a fair assessment, as you mentioned, due to dice. Would extra Glade Guard have fared differently, or would they have run as well (instead of the EG)?

Game #2 - Wild Riders on their own against steadfast Night Goblins; would the unit still have broken, or would the Wild Riders have been held up? Would that have mattered?

Game #3 - Would you still have had the opportunity for the Wild Rider flank charge? Would extra Glade Guard have been enough to take out the knight lance instead?

Game #4 - Would extra Glade Guard shooting have been able to better deal with the crossbows at a distance, rather than having to make the charge with the EG?

Game #5 - How would you have handled the big Witch Elf block instead? Would extra shooting have enabled you to deal with it?


Although I'll happily admit that I'm biased in this regard (I love Eternal Guard, and have for some time...), I think part of the lack of appeal with EG is their apparent "unglamorous" role in the army. They're not super-killy like Wild Riders, they're not dead-eye knight-slayers like Waywatchers, but they do the dirty jobs that no-one else wants, like holding up a massive block of Witch Elves while the rest of your army deals with the rest of the enemy for example. There aren't many (if any) units in the Wood Elf army that could do that job...


Very true.

Going to add some scouts first, I think, simply by dropping the level 1 and the acorn. I have been liking the EG in the context of this list more and more, upon reflection. The EG do give me some good options.
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Re: FTE's Report from the 2014 Unplugged GT

Postby Tamodan » 08 Jun 2014, 16:31

The classic conundrum with units like EG is that they do indeed have their role, which they are reasonably good at, but that it's a role you simply don't need filled in an army like WE, where the best choices (shooting, WR) invalidate the choice of EG. So either you build an army 'round them, which will probably fare less good as it doesn't utilize the best core elements for building a list, or you use them in a fashion that by definition is suboptimal. IMHO, unless comps forbids you from taking all GG, there is very little reason to include more than 10 EG+champion in an optimized list.
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