Sunday, August 28, 2011

A little side project

My friend JC sent my a Jabberwock by Reaper so I painted it up for fun. I don't have a specific use for it, but it's already come in handy as a stand-in for other monsters in Storm of Magic and plus it's a pretty cool model.

Mega Storm of Miscasts!

Yesterday, Game Kastle attempted to have a Storm of Magic tournament. What actually happened was a Storm of Magic mega game with a $10 fee. Only 5 people showed up, which is actually pretty good for a casual game day but not enough to really call it a tournament. Fortunately, the store had a plan B for this contingency so instead we just played a 3 on 2 mega battle.

We took about an hour longer to get started than expected, because we had to figure out how to do the sides. Order versus Destruction was the way the store intended for us to do it, and that would have worked out fine with an even number of people since one of the armies was Ogres and could fill either role. We finally ended up with High Elves, Brets, and Ogres on one side and my Dark Elves and two Chaos Warrior armies played by one guy. We were lucky that he brought both his WoC and WoC Trolls and monsters lists otherwise I don't know what we would have done to even things out other than frantically calling people or running home to get another 1000 points of models.

Before we got started with the game, there was a little painting competition. It being SoM, the categories were Monster, Spellcaster, and Arcane Fulcrum. I'd sent some time over the previous week painting one of the Fulcrums I bought and I'm happy to report that my Eternity Stair won the category.

The prize was that I got an extra 200 points to buy SoM Mythic Artifacts. With my 200, I bought the Living Deadwood Staff. This might seem like an odd choice, but the scenario we were going to play was the one with the Mad Mage and the only terrain on the table was forests are Arcane Fulcrums. The Living Deadwood Staff would turn about 10 forests into Blood Forests and let me move them around the table. Plus they would all do more damage than a normal Blood Forest depending on how many Fulcrums we controlled. So there was potential for some really destructive combos.

We finally started the game. I lined up on the left flank opposite the High Elves and about half the Ogres. The WoC lined up in the Center opposite the rest of the Ogres and all their warmachines. The WoC Trolls lines up on the right flank opposite the Brets. As you would expect for a Storm of Magic mega game, the magic phase dominated every turn. There was some combat over on the right flank, but other than that it was pretty much all monsters smashing into each other and big spells flying around. The actual army units barely moved in the center and or left flank since ... well, it almost always would have been a bad idea. For example, my Corsairs had Flame Cage cast on the for the first four turns in a row.

So let me see if I can boil down what actually happened on my end of the table into something readable. Some highlights if you will....

Turn 1:
I hit a unit of Trolls with Pit of Shades and they all die. Bottom of Turn 1 a Life Mage casts one of their Cataclysm Spells and brings it right back to life. I hit a unit of Ogre Ironguts with a Purple Sun, killing half of them and blowing up my Death Mage. Bottom of Turn 1 a Life Mage brings them back as well. My line moves up to be ready to charge anything that moves forward.

Turn 2:
A Comet starts heading towards my far left. I Pit of Shades the Trolls again, and kill all but two causing them to Flee. My Chimera charges a Wyvern, kills it, and overruns into some High Elf Archers. I move some Forests around and we cast every little targeted spell we can across the whole table to do as much damage as possible with the Living Deadwood Staff. Our Giant charges into some enemy Skirmishers in the center and kills them all by the start of our next turn. A couple of enemy Mages turn themselves into Monsters.

After Turn 2, we break for lunch.

Turn 3:
My Dragon and Our Giant combo charge a small unit of High Elf Swordmasters, which opts to flee. The Giant redirects into some High Elf Spearmen and I redirect the Dragon into some High Elf Seaguard who fail their Terror check and flee. At this point I've got the far left under control, so long as I can get out of the way of the Comet. An enemy Mage casts one of the big Fire spells at my Mage on a Fulcrum and toasts him. The comet comes down and kills about half of what I had on the far left. I become aware that things are happening on the other side of the table as a unit of Grail Knights charges into the flank of the WoC unit on my right. Seems that the WoC Trolls had killed pretty much all the rest of the Bretts, so the last unit turned and headed towards the center.

Turn 4:
I summon a Level 1 Empire Wizard to replace the Mage I lost the previous turn. I Duel an enemy Mage off his Fulcrum with my Level 4 Sorceress. My Dragon charges the High Elf spears who finished off the Giant.

A big old miscast causes the entire game to change. Up until this point we'd been hammering on each other and ignoring the Mad Mage, even though claiming his Fulcrum meant victory. Well, we managed to get the miscast where you remove every Mage on a Fulcrum and then randomly redistribute them. Turns out that the Mad Mage dies instantly as soon as he's removed from his Fulcrum. So everyone gets redistributed but I don't think anyone ended up on the objective Fulcrum. The unit of Grail Knights hits my Corsairs in the side and I manage to roll a 10 and 11 for my Leadership test after losing combat by 1, so they break and get run down after sitting there in a Flame Cage for the entire game.

Turn 5:
This is the turn where I set myself up to win the game. First, my summoned Empire Wizard occupies my Fulcrum, giving us Dominance. I move forests around, so they are touching most of the remaining enemy units and then cast the Dominance Shadow Spell which targets every enemy unit on the table. So I reduce a bunch of stats 1 with the spell, but then the Living Deadwood Staff does 4d6 Strength 7 hits to all the units touched by a forest. After I'm done rolling all the dice, I've wiped out about half of what the enemy had left on the field. With my remaining power dice, I teleport my Level 4 Sorceress onto the main Fulcrum and get ready to fend off challengers. I felt pretty darn cool after that.

Unfortunately, in the bottom of turn 5 I manage to roll a big fat 2 to defend the Fulcrum and get bumped off it.

Turn 6:
Basically all that happens is that I fail to retake the main Fulcrum by losing a duel by a grand total of 1. So the forces of Destruction fall to the forces of Order even though I think we had more Victory points.

It's been a long time since I played a Warhammer mega battle. It was fun, but definitely not something I'd want to do often. I think that Storm of Magic actually worked pretty well for a mega battle. It took us a while to work out who should get to dispell what casting attempts and whatnot so I would want to think that stuff through and have it written down before we start next time around. But, I think the big spells, weird miscast effects, and lots of monsters made for a more fun mega battle than the standard rules would have.