The local league is coming to an end, and the SALAMANDERS ARE ON THE TOP! The league now turns into a play-off style for the last two games, so we were divided into two groups at the start of the league and the top two players of those groups will now have to play a semifinal and the winners face in a big Final. As I've said I ended first on the table, both in attrition AND Victory points and I'm now facing my arch-nemesis, the Abyssal player that is currently undefeated in the league and that I lost to in the last tournament and thus ending second. This game for me is THE FINAL, I don't really care what happens after if I win, but beating this player is very important to me. We are now playing Control, and he is taking the exact same list that gave him the Tournament: - Horde of Molochs with Elite - Horde of Lower Abyssals with Sharpness and Two-Handed Weapons - Horde of Larvae - Horde of Tortured Souls with Strength - Regiment of Horsemen with Courage - BSB with Heal - Archfiend with Blade of Slashing For my list, specially playing against him I always feel the Ancients aren't really worth the points, his defence is usually low and they always feel like overkill. Another problem I always have is CONTROL, it's an scenario I always do badly in because I don't have enough US or Scoring units. So I decided to take them out and split their points for some much needed Durability and Scoring capability. This is what I took: - Horde of Tyrants - Horde of Fire Elementals with Nimble - Horde of Ghekkotah Warriors with Strength - Horde of Skyriders with Jar - 2 Lekelidons - Skylord with Blade of the Beast Slayer - Mounted Battle-Captain - Mage-Priest with Inspiring, Surge, Martyr's Prayer and Bane-Chant DEPLOYMENT We roll for first turn and I win it, that is sooo good for me because that means I can make the last move of the game! I'm so happy. My idea was to hold the centre as hard as possible while the Ghekottah take the weak right flank and the Skyriders cause havoc. His deployment is layered as is usual with him, he place3d his Archfiend hidden behind a house on the left flank. TURN 1 He moves hard but cautiously, facing both his flyers to my Skyriders. He tries to shoot my Skyriders with his Archfiend but only does one wound. My turn was very simple too. I move outside of his range but into mine for the most part. I know my Tyrants are going to be charged so I position them behind the Obstacles I prepare a stand off in the forest against his Lower Abyssals, try to bait his Archfiend with the Fire Elementals and try to win a flank on his Larvae or Mollochs with the Skylord. I have a ton of shooting and it is terrible, really bad luck with my dice this turn. Skyraiders shoot the Tortured Souls and Lekelidons the Mollochs to little or no effect. ABYSSALS TURN 2 He does a tactical redeployment, seeing that my flyers can make him dance all game while shooting he moves both the Archfiend and TS to the middle of the board. His knights move into striking position on my Tyrants The Molochs and Larvae stay almost still, he knows I have a flank against the Molochs with my Skylord but I think he is trying to bait me into a charge so he can take him out with his Larvae next turn. Again his little shooting is of no use. SALAMANDERS TURN 2 I move the Skyriders on top of the hill and bait his Archfiend with my FE again, I then move my Lekelidons forwards to shoot at better targets and the Mage-Priest behind one of them to keep him safe from the Tortured Souls while being behind the forest keeps him safe from everything else (I make a crucial mistake here that you will see later on, I should really read the league pack more often). I know he is going to multicharge my Tyrants next turn with two units, Knights and TS, so I sidestep them to the right so they at least have a chance to hold against two hindered charges. I know the exposed flank on the Molochs is a bait, but they have some damage on them and I need them distracted for turn or two, so I charge with my Skylord and for my Battle-Captain I decide that some extra damage on them is better than chaffing up the knights, also I couldn't charge the Knights so it would be a worthless sacrifice and I might need him on the late game, so I charge the Molochs too with him. I don't want the Larvae to be able to charge my Skylord so I have to commit the Warriors into the Larvae. I realised I made a big mistake on deployment as I forgot they have Ensnare, and that completely kills the Warriors damage output and performance. So, that unit is trapped in there for the rest of the game if I'm lucky and killed if I'm not, not a great start. Shooting is again really not great, with both lekelidons shooting the Knights but failing to do any damage and the Skyriders doing little damage to the Archfiend. My Mage though, he must have been really pissed because a great Fireball put about 4 damage on the Lower Abyssals even in cover. Combats go well considering the odds, My Skylord and Battle-Captain do quite well as expected and manage to waver the Molochs, not that it matters much as they have Fury but that means he has to devote one turn to kill one of the two characters instead of something juicier. Warriors do quite well too putting more wounds than expected on the Larvae but still far way from the point of even having to roll Nerve. NOTE: In the picture both the Skylord and Battle-Captain are not actually in their real position in the flanks of the Molochs but we just couldn't get them to stand in there. ABYSSALS TURN 3 I know how he plays, I know this turn he is going to unleash his alpha strike on my centre and the result will determine the outcome of the game. I've done all I could to resist it but I can loose the game this turn and I know it. He starts by ending the stand-off in the forest by moving his Lower Abyssals into it giving me the charge. As predicted he charges my Tyrants with both the TS and Knights, the Molochs counter the Skylord and now for the biggest mistake I made ever, in our League forests are Height 3... You see where this is going? well my poor Mage-Priest didn't but his Archfiend very much did. What can I say, reading is clearly Overpowered. He makes a mistake too, and it could be a very big one, in his eagerness he starts with the big combat, but my Mage is in Inspiring range! I make my calculations again, and being hindered in average I should expect between 8-9 wounds, and within Inspiring and having Fury that is a very good chance of surviving. He rolls for his Knights, and he rolls out of the box, doing like 7 wounds, at this point I'm already studying damage control and guerrilla tactics for the late game. Then he rolls for the TS, ALL PRAISE THE DIVINE SOTEK, he only does ONE, yes ONE wound! Maths gods to the rescue! He realises now he should have started with the Mages combat but it's too late now, he rolls for nerve and Inspiring is not even needed, they only get wavered but this is why I love Tyrants, Fury! The Arch-Fiend kills the Mage-Priest, but only because he has Brutal (among the other 1000 special rules they seem to have) and the Moloch chew up the poor Skylord with ease, then he decides to leave them facing that way to kill my Warriors and freeing up the Larvae. SALAMANDERS TURN 3 The game is looking better than I was expecting right now, my Tyrants holding the centre is massive, I will miss my Skylord but his sacrifice has been really worth it, more than I was expecting to be honest because those Molochs in their blood lust for my poor warriors have exposed their BACK to my two Lekelidons! They are not the best combat units, but a rear charge is a rear charge, 30 attacks on 5s with CS(1) on a wounded units is going to hurt. I have a very tough choice to make in the middle, charging the Knights or the TS with my Tyrants, being Hindered really hurts the TS and their Nerve is higher so I decide to try and take down those knights, I charge the Battle-Captain in as well for good measure. My FE charge the Lower Abyssals (wasn't sure that was the right thing to do, they are a very powerfull units with that magic item but I think my FE can hold one turn of combat and then kill them in the next one) and my Sktriders move into the centre to shoot the TS, which goes quite well. It's combat time and I start with the Lekelidons, those beautiful things go into the Molochs with a blaze of scales and fire killing them, even with a re-roll!! I reform one to face the Arch-Fiend and the other looking at the Larvae. My Warriors bounce off again as predicted. My FE manage to waver the little demons but again, with Fury that is irrelevant. Tyrants do SO well I actually forget to roll the attacks for my Battle-Captain! they weren't needed and the knights get smashed into a very fine pulp, I reform to face the TS and Arch-Fiend. I Know that damn thing is going to charge into something next turn and kill it, the exposed flank on the warriors is my best bet. Game is not looking bad but having no inspiring left can be VERY dangerous . ABYSSALS TURN 4 Loosing the Molochs has radically changed the shape of the right flank and he really has to deal with the Warriors now, so as I would have done he charges the Arch-Fiend into the Flank. He charges the rest into the obvious choices and proceeds to roll dice. He starts with the Warriors, and just thanks to that damn thing having Brutal kills them, just rolling high enough, just. DAMN. then he moves into the TS and again that unit is really not in a good shape, being hindered and a bad roll meant he only did ONE wound again, he rolls badly and they don't even get wavered! GO TYRANTS! In the forest though, his dice decide to overcompensate and he obliterates the poor FE.