Sooiepalooza 2010 - The Aftermath

Oh man. What a weekend. There was a foot of snow on the ground, the roads were horrible, and holy sweetness was it cold. But over fifty (insane) people turned out for Sooiepalooza down at the Cosmopolitan in Fayetteville.

This was my first Warhammer Fantasy Tournament since the Dallas GT way back in 2001. I wasn't going into this tournament with a huge expectation to win - I did bring Ogres after all. I was going to have fun. And let me tell you - I had an absolute blast at this tournament.

Game one was against a Chaos Warriors army that is very similar to what Jester has fielded the few times we have played so I had a pretty good idea of what was going on. This ended up being my closest game of the whole weekend. In the end it came down to 360 points - I only narrowly lost a draw (a draw is if you are within three hundred points.) From here it went downhill pretty quickly.

Game two saw me up against a very hard Skaven list. My opponent had two Hellpit Abominations. I have about half a Skaven army but reading about it on paper just doesn't prepare you for the hurt that these units can dish out. I had put my three Butchers and Tyrant in my unit of Maneaters. This lets them get across the board with immune to psychology and stubborn 8 leadership. This usually works really good. On turn one I run them forward, and then on turn two I split them up and they go on their merry little way.

This plan didn't work out so well for me this game. I had the first turn and I moved up. He then rolled 15 inches of movement on 3d6 and the Abomination shot forward into my uber-squad. I took a huge amount of wounds from impact hits and then the Abomination pummelled me in hand to hand rolling the 3d6 attacks option. When the smoke cleared I had dealt a few wounds to the creature but I was loosing about a ton since I had taken around 8 wounds. I wasn't worried. I was stubborn 8 with a re-roll on failed break tests from my Fistful of Laurels. I rolled, 11. No worries. Rolled again, nine. Crap.

The abomination then proceeded to run down my three Butchers, Tyrant, and two Maneaters. On turn one. At this point my heart sank. But you know what? I didn't let it get my down. I was going to punish his army with what was left of mine as best as I could.

A few turns later pretty much all of my army was either destroyed or fleeing off the table. Oh well, you can't win em all - but I sure did give them rats hell for what little time I had left.

My last game of the day was against a very balanced and fluffy Empire list. He had no wizards, three war machines, and three close combat heroes. He also had a beefy lord on a pegasus that I was looking forward to Tenderizing!

This game would prove to be one of my best of the whole tournament. There was lots of jockeying for position and some clever charges set up on both sides. The biggest combat ended up containg a unit of spearmen, my big command unit of Maneaters with Tyrant, another unit of bulls, a detachment, and the uber-hero on Pegasus. This battle raged on for four or five rounds of combat due to the bulls and the maneaters having stubborn. Both side wore each other down. The turning point came when the Pegasus-mounted lord crashed into the Maneaters and issued a challenge. I knew it was a trap, but the Tyrant accepted - becuase that is what the Tyrant would do.

It turns out my suspicions were correct. The Empire hero had a magic item that swapped stats in a challenge. Two rounds of combat later and my Tyrant was no more - I did manage to get a few hits in on my way out though! After this my forces slowly started to crumble.

At the end of day one I was 0-3.

The next morning my first opponent was a solid Skaven force. There was a Grey Seer on Screaming Bell, Plague Furnace in a big unit of monks, a Warp Lightning cannon and several other units running around. Much like my game against the Empire this would be one of my most tactical games. Since the Screaming Bell was being pushed by a unit of Storm Vermin there was no way I could weather a frontal assault against it. In the middle of the board was a building so I hid my units behind it in such a manner that if the bell advanced I would be able to charge it in the flank and front - this stalemate lasted the entire game. On the other side of the board I advanced on the unit of Plague Monks with the Furnace with my Man Eaters and Tyrant. I sent the Yhetees around the side to wipe out a unit of slaves to keep them from flank charging me and then sacrificed them to a unit of Plague Censer Bearers to keep them out of the mix.

Over the next several turns my forces slowly crumbled. The Yhetees were destroyed by the Plague Censer Bearers, the stalemate in the middle of the table collapsed when a unit of Ogres fled through my carefully laid trap, and my unit of Maneaters with the Tyrant dwindled down to a single Tyrant. My Tyrant beat and beat upon the Plague Furnace and finally wrecked it. Over the next few turns as his minions were put to the blade and ran down he fought against the remaining Plague Monks, slowly wearing them down. Even though I was outwounding the unit three to one or better, I was still loosing combat by one a turn. I held up longer than I thought I would but eventually I failed and broke. It ended up being another crushing defeat but was the most fun game that I had all weekend.

After lunch was the last game of the tournament. I was matched up against Orcs and Goblins and I was in for a really fun game. He had a really balanced list. Orks, Night Goblines, Wolf Riders, Boar Boys, Snotling Pump Wagon, and some Trolls for good measure. He had a few Goblin Shamans hiding about and a Black Orc standard bearer. And then there was his lord - a big ole Orc riding a Wyvern. I was excited.

The first few turns went in my favor. I crashed into his left flank with my Yhetees and Maneaters wtih Tyrant. Due to some really good dice rolls I rolled through his Boar Boys and a Unit of Trolls. I didn't wipe the Trolls out so I pursued them. When I did so I sprung his trap - Night Goblin Fanatics shot out of two units of Gobbos and headed for my unit of Maneaters with my Tyrant. Luckily in the previous magic phase I saw fit to cast the spell that gives me Regenration and MR2 on my unit of Maneaters - this is the only thing that saved them from whirling death. None of the Fanatics managed to hit my unit when they popped out. But! When I finished my pursuit move I had ran through all four fanatics.

As my unit plowed through the swirling death they shrugged off hit after hit due to regeneration. At one point I made 5/5 regeneration saving throws. After it was all said and done I had lost one Maneater and the Tyrant had taken one wound. Both my opponent and I were just amazed at the beating that unit lived through. After plowing through the Fanatics they hit a pair of Bolt Throwers and murdered the crew. Sadly this would be the last impact they would have on the game as they were really strung out away from the rest of the forces.

About this time is when things went down hill for me. I had positioned my forces to where I would have a massive charge on the next turn, bringing most of my forces to bear. My opponent then called the Waaagh and stole my thunder as he crashed into my forces. I weathered the storm pretty well on the first wave of assaults - I had gotten off the spell that makes my units stubborn on quite a few units. Sadly I just wasn't able to weather all the attacks. I slowly started to crumble, but held for the most part, losing only a few units. During this initial assualt my opponent also moved his Orc on Wyvern into place to run down my flank.

And run down my flank he did on the next turn. It was beautiful. The ork and wyvern hit a unit of Ogres in the side and broke them. They then ran through a unit and panicked them. The Wyvern then overran into a wizard. On the next turn the Wizard was destroyed and the wyvern hit a unit of stubborn boys that then became locked in with a unit of Orcs that overran. On my turn I charged the Wyvern with my remaining Butcher hoping to at least wound it but that would not be the case as I lost the massive battle in the middle.

At this point I could not make a come back and couldn't complete any of the mission objectives so we called it. It was an amazingly fun game and both of us had a grand time playing it.

Needless to say I didn't come home with any awards but I had an absolute blast. I had two really big things going against me going into this tournament that just compounded each other. I am a very weak Warhammer Fantasy Battle player. There were some world class people at this event and everyone brought their A game. I had played about 5 or 6 games of Fantasy in the last nine years before the tournament. I also brough Ogres. Ogres are currently at the bottom of the power curve in Fantasy. I know it sounds like a weak excuse saying that my army is weak, but in Fantasy there is a very stratified difference in power between the armies. You don't run into this as much in 40k, but it is very visible in Fantasy.

I am already planning on going back to Sooiepalooza next year. I do think I am going to take break from the Ogres for a while. I just don't think that I will be able to improve myself very much playing such a weak army. Right now I am going through all my models at home and trying to finish up all of my outstanding projects. After that I am planning on starting up a new Fantasy army that will have some teeth and then try my hand at becoming a stronger player.

And don't worry! I didn't forget. Here are the pictures I promised -