Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Historicon 2021: Inner (and Outer) Daemons - Warmaster Revolutions AAR

After my first two games on Thursday, I was ready for a full day of gaming with the Warmaster tournament. My Daemons were fully painted and raring to go.

We had six players; definitely less than previous years, but with no conventions and some attendee issues over mask requirements, I wasn't surprised. 

My first game was against John and his Bretonnians. It was my first time facing the Arthurian/French-inspired, knight heavy faction in Warmaster. Like Nippon (which I have faced before), the Bretonnians have a special army rule that affect their breakpoint. Only their heavy mounted knights actually count. Chaff units like Peasants and Squires don't count against the army's breakpoint; both for and against. 

This meant that John's breakpoint was only 5 compared to my army's 9. But I had to get through his heavily-armored mounted knights to force him to break.

The scenario was Take and Hold. Both sides had two objectives to place at the start of the game. One was closer to their backline, and the other closer to the center of the table. To control an objective, a side needed to been the only one with a unit within 5cm. Units like flyers could contest objectives, but not control them. 

Since this was my first outing with the Daemons, I was far more cautious then I should have been, especially against an army that outmatched with the amount of cavalry it could bring. Even with the restrictions to commands in the Revolution version of Warmaster, cavalry is still arguably the kind of the battlefield. 

John used his Squires to disrupt my Chariot brigade, which left it vulnerable to his own brigade of Knights and Grail Knights. This shattered my right flank. While I was able to wipe out his Peasant brigade, that kept one of my infantry brigades from moving further up. 

Eventually John was able to grind enough of my units beneath the hooves of his cavalry and broke my army in turn 6. Adding up the objectives we controlled (and a bonus to John for breaking my army), it was a 2-5 loss for the Daemons. 

My second game was against Liddick and his new army, Lizardmen. Their main gimmick is that their Slann "general" can't actually command any units. However it can give a bonus to Skink character's Command stat and can relay spells through Slann Shamans with an unlimited range!

I didn't manage to catch the name of the second scenario, but it involved placing two objectives in the centerline of the table. Starting on turn 3 the objectives activated, and when a side controlled both objectives by being on top of them at the start of their turn the game would end and bonus points would be scored.

I tried compensating for my lack of aggression in the previous game by being too aggressive during this match. Both cavalry brigades ended up worse for wear; my Chariots couldn't handle the Cold One Riders and the mixed brigade tried attacking Kroxigors in terrain. Not an ideal matchup!

With my Daemon Chariots and Cavalry spent, Liddick marched his infantry out into the open and onto the objectives, and the Daemons couldn't push them off. It was another loss for the Daemons, 565 victory points to 945 victory points. 

My final matchup was against Kal, who was commanding a ragtag Dogs of War force. Finally, a familiar enemy!

The final scenario was Battle for the Tower, with both sides fighting to control the central (Chessex dice) tower. 

After a couple turns of failed command rolls and a potentially devastating blunder (which put my Chariot brigade in range of Kal's Ogres and Dwarfs), I thought that the game was all but over. 

Things turned around somewhat when the Chariots did better than expected and managed to mangle the Ogres without losing too many stands. My other cavalry brigade ended up mostly pinned up on the massive block of Pikemen, but reduced their numbers greatly. And they even took out a Giant!

What really saved me was finally getting the Daemonic Hordes into Kal's Crossbowmen and Handgunners. The unarmored, ranged troops were easy targets for the hordes of Bloodletters, Plaguebearers, Horrors, and Daemonettes, which pushed Kal over the breaking point. I had also managed to drop a couple units of Hordes to control the Tower. In their last games, the Daemons managed a 5-0 win. 

So, how were the Daemons? They're definitely an aggressive army. I felt the hurt that I had no ranged units or artillery to interfere with approaching enemy brigades. And I'd probably try to drop the Daemon Swarms, since they only got in the way of the Hordes on the attack. But having Command 8 Wizards, and three Wizard characters, is definitely nice.

The toughest part of the army is dealing with the Daemonic Instability rule. It's a 2/3 chance that something bad is going to happen to any Daemon unit that has lost a stand; either charging uncontrollably, becoming confused, or losing another stand (or disappearing entirely!). The only offset is that the "Summon Daemons" spell in a 4+ to cast and the army can take three Wizards. Without those two conditions, the entire faction might be unplayable. 

Still, I was happy to be able to play Warmaster at a convention again. And now I can get working on a new army!

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