Friday 13th April: Bretonnians vs Dwarves (2000)
Friday the Thirteenth was a bad day to fight my first battle for 14
months – and I certainly felt jittery as I drove down to the Model
World, Galway. There’s nothing worse for the warhammer general than
nerves: they lead to deployment screw-ups; sudden and
incomprehensible changes of tactics and that humiliating feeling as
your last unit on the table is finally surrounded and destroyed.
I was up against an old sparing partner: we had met a couple of
times with the same armies and I’d beaten Morgan both times. But
Morgan was new to Warhammer then, and now I felt the situation was
reversed: I hadn’t played under the new rules and Morgan had been
playing regularly for all that time.
His army was small: with 20 longbeards, 20 warriors, 20 hammerers,
ten thunderers, two canons, a couple of thanes and heading it all –
or rather running the show from the rear was uber-runelord: Thorek
I had 4 lances of 5 knights errant, 7 knights of the realm, 5 grail
knights, 2 units of 5 mounted yeomen, 30 men at arms, and 15
skirmishing archers, bsb, paladin on Pegasus and, of course: Edmund
Morgan had a hill, on which he put his canons and thunderers, with
longbeards and hammerers in front of those, with the anvil to the
side protected by the warriors.
There was a wood to either side of the table, and I lined up half my
knights in the gap between, with yeomen and Pegasus on my right and
my general, bsb and grail knights on the left. My plan was simply to
avoid his hammerers completely, and veer my entire army to the left,
so that it was hitting his longbeards and warriors with most of my
I took the blessing, of course and Morgan used the Rune of Wrath and
Ruin to force my general’s unit to move at half speed. His warriors
moved a little to face towards my flanking knights on my left, which
gave him something of a problem as readjusting exposed his flank to
my lances coming through the centre. The rest of his units came
forward, but his units stayed a little away from each other, meaning
my lances could veer left and hit them in the side. I was happily
imagining that the battle would be over in about two rounds, when
Morgan hit the Rune of Oath and Honour, and got to move two units
forward: his hammerers and longbeards successfully charging two of
my lances in the middle.
I lost both combats, and fled, and his units charged forward. I
kept moving forward, and hit his warriors with my bsb’s lance:
breaking them and overrunning into his anvil. My grail knights
moved up to charge the anvil, and my general’s unit moved to
threaten the centre.
The next few rounds were tied up with Morgan’s hammerers and
Longbeards wreaking ruin through my centre, Thorek Ironbrow’s
fellow-dwarves falling quickly around him, but him starting to pick
off my grail knights one by one. My Pegasus knight took out the
first canon and overran into the second, (the canons killed one
knight in the first round and then managed to be almost entirely
useless) while my yeomen took two rounds to remove the thunderers.
I had to deal with Thorek, whose 1+ save was far too much for my
knights after they had wasted their charges. I was thinking victory
points, and one more grail knight dead would give him half points
for that unit, so I charged my Pegasus knight into the combat,
hoping his high strength attacks would get through Thorek’s armour.
The Pegasus knight did the trick, killing Thorek in two rounds,
while my centre regrouped, and combined with my general’s lance
coming in from the side took out the longbeards, leaving only the
hammerers left. There was an oath-stone bearing thane in there, and
I charged his unit with my yeomen and my general’s lance: and had
quite a struggle to kill the thane, even with my lord’s virtue of
confidence, allowing him to reroll failed to hits and wounds in a
The battle ended with 1700VP to me, and 450VP to Morgan: a very
pleasing massacre, which is how my Bretonnians seem to win, when
they do win, of course!
12-13 May Hong Kong
There’s quite a warhammer scene in Hong Kong, and at
their height, there were four GW stores here (Hong Kong also
operated as a translation and supply hub here) but the last of these
closed down in 2004 and a bunch of gamers took over the last
remaining GW store, stock included, and has become the hub of
wargaming in Hong Kong. To quote the
Fun Atelier website
‘In March 2004, Games Workshop
announced her plan to end her Asia Pacific operation and to close
down all retail stores in Hong Kong and Singapore. The closure of
the Hong Kong stores will meant all local gamers will have to resort
to mail orders from aboard, thus leaving a lot of kids (and fanatic
adults) stranded and did not know what to do with their ongoing
Games Workshop (GW) collections… After much thought and
encouragement from clients and fans, Fun Atelier decided to pick up
their operation where Games Workshop had left off in Hong Kong. As a
GW distributor, we are now one of the (if not the only) major fully
stocked hobby centers selling miniatures to gamers and collectors
alike for the territory.’
Started off hung over – which seems almost compulsory for the first
day of a GT - and then cursing myself as I sat down for the first
game and found I had forgotten my lists. Someone marked me down for
not having a roster, and lost me 4 points over the event – the only
ding on my soft scores.
I’d only played one game of warhammer in 15 months – a cake walk
against some dwarves -and so I was fairly unfamiliar with the new
rules: something that also let me down on the first day, as with the
customary panic with painting an army – I hadn’t had time to gloss
up. New to a small and isolated group of players, I expected a
couple of odd rules interpretations, and decided I was going to go
pretty easy on them, as I was new (and as I turned up at 8-45 to the
Queen Elizabeth Stadium – the only non-Chinese person there!) and
didn’t understand (barely) a word of Cantonese.
There were 30 tickets, of which 29 sold, and the 29th boy, a dwarf
gunline newbie, dropped out after game two, after being soundly
massacred twice. It was great to see Chris Harbor (GW’s Export
Manager) there for both days and also to present the prizes. And
even though the event was conducted in Cantonese, I felt really
welcome, had most of the rules translated for me, and was taken out
to lunch both days by some of the local players.
All terrain was prefixed, with a small piece of impassable terrain
for each player to place anywhere in their own half. Scenery was not
great, half the tables had table mats, other half were just boards
painted green. Hills were also just single levels of cut out hard
board painted brown – which didn’t really spoil the event – but
having seen the 40K terrain the guys at Fun Atelier have put
together (pretty awesome) it was a little disappointing – but
nothing to spoil the event.
My List: 2500
Edmund FitzLacy, the Black Prince: Lord: Virtue of Confidence,
gromril Great helm
BSB: Virtue of the Impetuous Knight, Banner of Defence
Sir Percival: Pegasus, grail virtue, virtue of heroism
2x girls with scrolls
8 K. of the Realm FC War Banner
6 Grail Knights – Twilight Banner FC
4 x 6 Errants, FC
1 x 5 Knights Errant.
2x 20 M@A FC
14 Skirmishing Archers
2x 5 yeomen, musician
– Tony Lee with Orcs and Goblins
Grimgor in 19 savage orcs with Goblin big boss with tricksy trinket
and a couple of other magic items that didn’t really affect the game
Black orc Bsb on a boar with killing blow in 19 orcs
20 black orcs
Gobo shamen with pipes of doom in one of the two units of night
goblins with fanatics
9 squig hoppers
2 x rock lobber
2 x doom diver
2 x 5 wolf riders
Tony crammed his war machines on the two hills in his deployment
zone, and put Grimgor and the savage orcs on the right of that (his
right) with the bsb and the orcs and the two units of night gobos on
either side of them.
To the left of the hills were the black orcs and the other orc unit
with the squig hoppers. The wolf riders were on either flank.
I lined up opposite him, with my grail knights and knights of the
realm opposite the black orcs. I wanted to avoid Grimgor for as long
as possible, and hopefully take his unit from behind (in a manner of
speaking). The pipes of doom caused a little stir among my mounted
army – but only one unit of errants failed their panic test – and
went off table. Tony caused quite a lot of damage on my knights with
his war machines: basically lots of no armour saves and the dice did
not favour me with the ward saves.
My Yeomen went forward to flush out the fanatics,
and everything was going nicely by round 2 and I had set up all my
charges that I was planning to make, when Tony called a Waugh! –
what’s that? Waugh! he said and I vaguely remembered the Waugh rule
and cursed myself for forgetting about Waugh.
The Waugh was pretty disastrous, with Grimgor and the savage orcs
and black orcs all charging forward into battle. I lost those
combats, and watched as unit after unit crumbled. I managed to
charge my grail knights into the flank of his black orcs, who
promptly failed their ld role and I was running free along his line.
I still had a large pile of dead, and had switched into minimize the
scale of the loss mode, when I managed to get a rear charge into his
bsb’s unit of orcs. He moved his bsb to face the charge, which I was
pretty sure was still illegal, and because I didn’t think it would
make much of a difference – but he took out three of my knights,
after they flunked their attacks and I lost the combat and fled.
The game moved to an end with my knights being massacred, and I
kicked myself for being lazy on the rules control front, especially
when I worked out I could have turned the massacre into a draw by
taking out his bsb unit. And, of course, for forgetting about Waugh.
But Tony was a really nice guy to play against, and I wasn’t going
to beat myself up too much. I was here for the fun!
Simon Au with Lizards
Dropping down tables at the beginning of a tournament is a fairly
depressing feeling, but I remember Crafty Birdoff telling me that it
often helped to lose the first game, putting you down in the ranks
of softer opponents.
Simon had two big units of 10 Saurus riders with an Oldblood in one
with a warbanner, another unit of 5 saurus riders, 10 saurus
warriors, a couple of skink priests, terradons, a couple of
salamander hunting packs and a couple of skink skirmishers.
There was a lake and a wood in Simon’s deployment
zone, and Simon lined up his two big cavalry units there with a
skink skirmish line; the saurus warriors on his left, and the rest
of his terradons and salamanders on his right.
My main units were opposite his centre, with two units of errants
facing the saurus warriors, and my yeomen and some more errants
facing the rest of the army on the right.
I blocked the unit of 5 saurus knights with my yeomen and thought
I’d done rather well to charge them next turn with my errants, and
then kicked myself again as Simon wheeled around the yeomen and
charged, and I learnt my second lesson in how to read the new rule
book before entering an event. His 5 saurus cav then cleared my left
flank, before I cleared them off in turn and made short work of the
On the other flank I thought I’d take out his saurus warriors with
two units of errants and then swing round behind the lake to take
his saurus cavalry while charging from the front. The battle did not
go to plan, as my two units of errants charged in round 2 and failed
to break the saurus warriors until the beginning of round 6. Simon
set up his two big saurus cavalry units so that if I charged either
then I would be counter charged by the other. I managed to get
charges in with three units, hitting both units at the same time,
with my grail knights using their twilight banner to go through the
wood (which I later read up on and found out was an illegal move –
mea culpa). The grail knights with my general took out one unit of
saurus cav; while the bsb and the knights of the realm and errant
six pack failed to break the saurus oldblood’s unit.
The game remained fairly static but very tense, as
Simon’s units lost the next 4 rounds of combats – and passed all
their ld tests. Round five the saurus warriors finally failing their
ld and fled off table, and round six began with me firmly in front.
The grail knights with Edmund, The Black Prince, reformed to charge
the oldblood’s unit in round six, and survived the flame bath from
the salamanders in tact.
Round six started with me well in front and feeling better after my
first game drubbing. But this time the grail knights took a roasting
from the salamanders and lost 4 men. I made the mistake of letting
my bsb take a challenge from his oldblood, whose Blade of Revered
Tzunki negated armour saves – and who was promptly cut into 5 small
pieces – losing me the war banner and the battle standard bonuses to
my combat resolution. This was the first combat I lost, and I lost
quite badly and both units fled: losing their banners in the
process. The steamrolling charge I had been looking forward to: of
my grail knight unit into the flank of the oldblood’s unit now (with
only two knights and my general left) looked more like a suicidal
charge, and I decided not to charge after all. My two units of
fleeing knights rallied, but still – with the banners and my bsb I’d
lost over 500 points in round six, tipping what would have been a
massacre to me to a draw, with the VP tallying out at 1163 for Simon
to 1167 to me.
Kicking myself for wasting a great lead like that – although
subsequently – after finding my army lists that evening I read how
the Twilight banner does not allow you to charge through woods I
felt I’d got away with one there, and apologized to Simon the next
day: who took it very well. But again – Simon was great to play
against and a fun game.
Alan Leung with Beasty/Demonic Chaos
I’d slipped now to the second to bottom table and I was starting to
wake up a little, and started to sharpen my generally fairly blunt
killer instinct. I don’t think I’ve ever come out of a GT ahead on
wins (best event was my team won the Battle for the South Gate
Campaign Weekend at Warhammer World, at the finale of the Storm of
Chaos) – and the only time I played brets in a tournament – Conflict
Galway – I went down two losses to one win.
I was determined that I wouldn’t end this tournament having been
successively wupped, and one of the advantages of being with the
bottom four, is that you should be up against easy opponents, and so
I was hoping for a massacre here.
Alan’s army was a mix of knorned up minotaurs and bloodletters, with
3 juggernauts of khonre, some furies and some hounds as core and
then led by bloodthirster and I think a demon prince. They were big
and nasty fliers – and I don’t have his list with me, I’m afraid.
It was beautifully painted, and Alan was another
really fun guy to play against. We both moved forward, and he hid
his bloodthirster the other side of the wood my Pegasus knight was
hiding behind, hoping to get a charge in and try and use his killing
On round two I managed to get a charge in with my errant knights,
who could just draw los to the bloodthirster, and charged them in –
expecting them to lose and thereby draw his bloodthirster out into a
place where my Pegasus knight could charge. The errants won combat
by one and Alan rolled 12 for his ld, sucking a cool 650 points back
into the warp.
He took it really well, and the game soon ended up
into a gridlock of overlapping units charging, winning combat and
overrunning. Alan’s str 5 and 6 attacks should have made mincemeat
of my knights, but nidal’s dice came out for me at last and started
smoking. Thanks to the lady I cleared the board by round 5, only
losing my general to killing blow.
Ended up in a massacre to me, which was a good way to end the first
day. Alan was the most fun opponent I’d played that day, taking the
loss of 1/5th his army in round two and all my ward saves with great
humour. Gave him full sportsmanship points.
End of Day One:
I was really impressed with the event so far: all the players being
fun and fairly relaxed. There was no rules lawyering and a really
great spirit to the games. A lot of nicely painted armies, although
there were almost no conversions. (I was told that bitz ordering has
been impossible as they had been supplied via GW Oz, which also has
limited bitz supplies). I checked out the top tables which were
dominated by dwarves and greenskins, which was quite interesting,
with all the dwarves kitted out with anvils.
I went home looking forward to day two: keen that I should stay
focused, not take two games to warm up again, and try and win my
next two battles for a good final placement.
Found my massacre had jumped me from table 13 to table 6, which felt
great to be up next to the top tables.
I was up against George Yow and his Forest Spirit army.
George’s list included Drycha, two lvl 2 spellsingers caddies, a
wood elf noble with spear of twilight, 4 units of 8 dryads, 3
treekin, 2 treemen and three units of wild riders.
As I’ve said the terrain was pre-set and table six happened to have
two woods about 10’’ apart in the middle of the table. George set
his own wood in the middle, creating a wall of woods down the centre
of the table. Now I’ve only faced wood elves once, and was not
really sure how to deal with them, so as George deployed behind the
length of the woods, I set up a few units opposite his, and then the
rest of my army on the far right, which had the largest amount of
George studied my list pretty thoroughly and was quite alarmed by
the fact my Pegasus knight had killing blow against large creatures.
The game revolved around the woods moving forward,
George’s wild riders charging down my left flank, while my right
flank tried to find a good charge onto his troops.
George kept his treemen in the woods almost the whole game, fearful
of my killing blow, which gave me quite an advantage.
The first couple of rounds nothing much happened, except my unit of
5 knights errant were chased off table, while my yeomen took the
wild rider’s charge, defeated them and then ran them down.
In round four, I think, I just got a charge in onto
a unit of dryads in a wood, and overran into Drycha. His dryads
forming up drew them out into the open, and his rear was wide open
for a charge from my grail knights and knights of the realm. He drew
up hiw wuild riders to cover their rear and divert them from drycha,
who in two rounds of combat did 10 wounds on my errant champ – who
saved and blessinged the first 9, dying only at the last. I ran down
his wild riders, he ran down my knights, and a suicide mission of
dryads killed the damsel who was standing in my unit of m@arms. In
the last round some knights errant defeated a treeman who fled, and
then the game was over.
George was a great pleasure to play against. And
this was my favourite game of the tournament: it’s hard to describe
because nothing much happened – it was more a tactical game, both of
us all trying to get the advantage over the other. All the charges
were in by fractions of an inch; there was something fey in the air
as far as the dice rolls were concerned; and rather fittingly it
ended in a draw. With 1054 points to me and 879 to George.
Dropped down one table, and up against Lang-tung Lee and his high
elves. Lang’s list revolved around Teclis and two other mages, three
units of 2+ save silver helms, 5 dragon princes, 15 sword masters,
three chariots and four repeated bolt throwers.
He hid teclis in the corner of the table with the sword masters,
behind a lake and a piece of impassable terrain. I lined up my grail
knights opposite him, with the rest of my army facing his cavalry
and chariots in the centre.
Lang took metal lores with Teclis and started the
game by melting my bsb’s armour and wounding him. I surived the
magic of round one and was seriously sweating it until the magic
round of round two, when teclis miscast and then rolled another
double one and promptly blew himself up with three of the
swordmasters, and handed me 630 points on a platter.
The rest of the game I managed to lock down Lang’s magic phase; but
the game was far from over. His units could out-charge me, but with
the virtue of the impetuous knight on my bsb I gambled a charge on
his chariots – and missed by about ¼ of an inch. The knights of the
realm survived a three chariot charge, broke the enemy and ran them
Lang got flank charges in on my knights and there was quite a
frantic struggle which could have gone either way, but which went my
way in the end, thanks to some great ward saves and greater integral
CR – and I cleared the table by the end of round 5. We didn’t bother
calculating VPs, a clear massacre for me.
Lang again was a great opponent, and was cheerful and fun to play
against him despite the fact his game was over when Teclis went up
I went over to watch the game on the top table, where a tense game
between brets and dwarves ended in a draw, allowing one of the
players on table two to sneak through with the overall win.
Had a good chat with Chris Harbor of GW, and felt
good with my tally of 2 massacres, two draws and a massacre against
me. As I had barely played the new edition, I was very satisfied. I
was not in the running for best painted, as there were a number of
much better painted armies than mine, the winner being Sunny Lee’s
I was delighted to place 5th overall
(of 28), ahead of all
the people I played against, and also to win the Best Newcomer
award: which seemed a pretty good start to my wargaming in Hong
Kong. Overall a great event – the first time I’ve had five great
games with no rules lawyering etc. Well done to the staff at Fun
Atelier, and I thought it was great that Chris Harbor from GW was in
attendance as well.
There are a number of changes i'd make to this army. The yeomen as
Todd predicted were fairly useless, and easily replaced by errants.
I'd also take less banners and another larger lance, as i found that
i had to group my characters too much in order to break some of the
tougher units. I'd also get my other damsel a horse, and stick her
in another unit to pad it out a bit.
GP: 60 VP: 8504
Sp: 20 Av: 36 Weighted: 103.6 74%
5th Overall: Best Newcomer