My Convic Report

I Came, I Saw, I Ran Away Like a Big Blubbering Girl…

(Or, My Convic 2007 Report) 

Due to the demands of certain individuals who shall remain nameless, this is a report of how my time at Convic went.


This was my first year at Convic, having been overseas or otherwise engaged for the previous 2 years. It was exciting to be going into a tournament with so many players (this was the largest tournament I have ever attended), and the additional interest of the club challenge meant there was a lot to look forward to.

 The Army

In a departure from my normal armies, I borrowed Ben’s Daemons and took an Undivided Legion, with equal parts Khorne, Nurgle and Slaanesh. I wanted a competitive list, but not one of the standard Khorne and Nurgle stuff that you tend to see rolling around. I was toying with an all-Slaaneshi list for a while, however as blindingly fast as the army was, it was a little one-dimensional and lacked punch. So Undivided won out in the end. The list is below:

 The Characters

Daemon Prince with Mark of Chaos Undivided, Level 3 Sorcerer, Blade of the Ether, Diabolic Splendour, Soul Hunger (510 pts)

Daemonic Herald with Mark of Khorne, Battle Standard, Might of Khorne, riding a Juggernaut of Khorne (250pts)

 The Khorny Stuff

10 Bloodletters with Standard Bearer and Musician

3 Bloodcrushers

5 Flesh Hounds

 The Nurgly Stuff

10 Plaguebearers with Standard Bearer and Musician

3 Plagueriders

2 Nurglings

 The Slaaneshi Stuff

10 Daemonettes with Standard Bearer and Musician

3 Pleasureseekers

5 Mounted Daemonettes


The list had more variety than most of the Daemonic Legions I’ve encountered, and felt interesting enough to play. Being Undivided meant I couldn’t take a Greater Daemon, but hopefully the strength of some of the units would compensate for a very expensive (and relatively fragile) general.

 A Freight Train of Destruction 

The Restless Dead…

Most players are well aware of how brutally effective a Daemonic Legion can be, so it came as little surprise to me the way the tournament started out. My first opponent was Luke Van Kuyk, one of 9 Queenslanders who made their way down for the Convic. His army was a little different from most of the Tomb Kings forces I have faced, in that it was quite heavily combat-oriented. A Tomb King and 2 Tomb Princes (one of whom was in a chariot) complimented the obligatory Hierophant, and led a force comprising of 3 units of chariots, 2 blocks of skeletons with bows, 2 tomb scorpions, a bone giant, 3 carrion, 5 light cavalry and a screaming skull catapult.


Fearing for the safety of my general, I elected to play the Fog scenario card (sight is restricted to 4x an artillery dice inches per turn, with a misfire being full vision), while Luke played Personal Vendetta (the generals hate everything and are worth double victory points if killed). His choice made me doubly worried for my general, who was now worth a rather appalling 1110 victory points…


The Fog started thickly (Luke rolled a 2) and saved me from a round of shooting, but then played little part in the rest of the game. We both advanced, and on the right flank a unit of 3 chariots cleaned up my Flesh Hounds, only to be avenged by the Nurglings in the flank and the Mounted Daemonettes in the rear.


In the centre of the table, I ended up receiving a charge from a unit of 4 chariots with the War Banner, plus the Prince in his Chariot of Fire into my Bloodletters. My unit was suitably pounded and he then overran into my general, who was ill-advisedly standing right behind. Before he could attack however, my Plaguebearers charged him in his flank, so my poor Daemon Prince didn’t have to fight all alone. Unfortunately he still took 3 wounds from the Prince’s impact hits, but managed to pass a save against the Prince himself, and so survived. This combat then ground on for the rest of the game, with the Prince and eventually his unit succumbing to the attentions of my forces.


My Bloodcrushers were drawn into a charge and smashed the remaining unit of chariots, however their compulsory overrun saw them crash into a block of skeletons led by the Tomb King, and promptly flanked by the remaining unit of skeletons and the other Prince. I then lost combat repeatedly, however the unit’s demise was slowed by their continual demolition of skeletons each turn.


On the left flank, my Daemonettes managed to charge and tear apart the Carrion, who had taken it upon themselves to slow them down. The Bone Giant and both Tomb Scorpions charged into my Plagueriders, only to have an errant Screaming Skull scatter into the combat, land directly on a Plaguerider (doing only 1 wound), but splash, wound and kill a Scorpion outright! The remaining Scorpion and the Bone Giant were ineffective against the Plagueriders, who then nearly killed the Giant in return. This combat then settled into a protracted fight (despite the arrival of the Pleasureseekers in the flank), until a round of unexpectedly good rolling found both of my units unengaged. The Plagueriders crashed into the flank of the skeletons that were in turn flanking my Bloodcrushers. This swung the combat massively in my favour, and it wasn’t long before both units and their commanders were dead (again). The last surviving Bloodcrusher was claimed by the Mummy’s Curse, however the Plagueriders survived.


The Pleasureseekers were also able to exploit the sudden evaporation of the Bone Giant and Scorpion, and caught the Hierophant and his entourage of light cavalry with their pants down. This signalled the end of the game – everything was now dead or doomed. The result was 20-0, but could very easily have been different.

 Big Hats and Bigger Noses…

Due to an administrative bungle, in the second round I found myself playing someone who had in fact lost his first game. Given that the round had already been re-drawn once, we decided it was easiest to just play it out. My opponent was Brad Morin, who had somehow inherited the US GW Studio Chaos Dwarf army (apparently he had brought it over with him; presumably he is a wanted fugitive over there now).


Brad is a 40K specialist, and was playing only his third game of Fantasy. Given that I have probably played more than 1000 games over the years, this was always going to be a bit of a mismatch. The game was as much an educational experience for Brad as anything, especially since the forces themselves were not ideally matched either. His army consisted of a Bull Centaur hero, Battle Standard Bearer and 2 Sorcerers, leading 2 blocks of 20 Chaos Dwarf warriors, a block of 20 Blunderbusses, 10 Bull Centaurs, 20 Black Orcs, 20 Sneaky Gits, 20 Hobgoblins, 10 Hobgoblin Wolf Riders, an Earthshaker, Death Rocket and a Bolt Thrower. A balanced army, but one that was going to struggle a little to fend off the Daemons in front of them.


Brad deployed his army in a solid line, with the artillery perched on the top floor of a ruined building, enabling them to see over his forces. The Earthshaker misfired in the first turn, but then proceeded to slow (but not really harm) my left flank which contained my Daemonettes, Mounted Daemonettes and Plagueriders. The Death Rocket was also ineffective, however on the right flank the Bolt Thrower did manage to skewer a Bloodcrusher before it was claimed by my Pleasureseekers. The Bull Centaurs rode straight past the Pleasureseekers and dealt with my Flesh Hounds and Nurglings, but were then much too far behind my army to have an impact on the game. The depleted Bloodcrushers continued on their merry way and charged a block of Chaos Dwarfs and gradually wore them down to nothing.


The Wolf Riders were tied down by animosity and were destroyed by the Mounted Daemonettes, while the Plagueriders charged the Black Orcs and bounced off their remarkably resilient armour saves. However I retaliated by rolling well for instability, and we were stuck there for a while.


The Daemon Prince swung around and charged the artillery in the ruins, before carrying through and hitting the already engaged Black Orcs in the rear, while the Daemonettes arrived from the left flank. Carnage ensued and the Black Orcs duly folded. Meanwhile the Bloodcrushers and Pleasureseekers were coming in from the right, and the poor Chaos Dwarfs were caught in the middle. The game was a bit of a whitewash, with the remaining forces collapsing in a heap. 20-0 again, but hopefully Brad (who’s a fantastic guy – hopefully I’ll get to play him again sometime) got a more even match-up in the next round.

 Still Not Dead…

After such a flying start it was inevitable that I would face someone who was going well, and in the third round my opponent was Alex Kin-Wilde; the man who hung the bunny sign around Chris Cousens’ neck. He was fielding a Strigoi Vampire Counts army with the following: Vampire Count, flying Thrall, 2 Necromancers, 2 regiments of Skeletons, a unit of Zombies, 10 Black Knights, 3 units of Ghouls, 2 unit of Dire Wolves, 4 Vampire Bats, 2 Banshees and a Spirit Host.


I chose to play Magic is Fickle in the hope of interfering with Alex’s magic phase (power and dispel dice pools are rolled each phase, with 1s being removed and 6s gaining an extra dice), however this backfired rather badly, with Alex getting as many as 4 extra dice a turn and me normally having fewer dice than I started with. He in turn played Fog again to restrict the effective charge range of some of my faster units.


I rather stupidly placed a hedge in the middle of the table (I should have just shoved it out of the way) and Alex then planted a large forest nearby, effectively cutting the table in half. He then turtled the majority of his army in one corner after his vast number of deployments and the Meeting Engagement scenario forced me to commit my deployment before he needed to place anything important. I should have expected this, given that the Undead are unlikely to fare well in a toe-to-toe fight with Daemons, but I managed to dig a hole for myself with my deployment.


In a definite man-of-the-match performance, Alex’s Vampire Thrall managed to march block all 3 units of Daemonic cavalry, BSB, Bloodletters and Plaguebearers for pretty much the entire game, ensuring none of them could cover the vast distance required to reach the body of his forces. Despite some bizarre manoeuvring (including my Daemonettes turning around in a single line to run off some summoned Ghouls), there was little I could do to prevent this and so I had to basically play the game with a fraction of my army.


On the bright side for me, Alex did make one major mistake. A unit of skeletons containing the Vampire Count moved to within charge range of my Flesh Hounds and Daemon Prince, obviously hoping to lure me into a fatal charge. However, he failed to notice the fact that the mounted Daemonettes (while admittedly the better part of 20 inches away) had a line of sight to his flank. Seeing my only chance to avoid a rather depressing draw, I charged all 3 units into the combat and despite taking 2 rounds and the other unit of skeletons flanking the mounted Daemonettes in a rescue attempt (as well as some Ghouls in the flank of the Flesh Hounds), I managed to win the combat by 1 and wipe out the Vampire and his skeletons. Special mention must go to my Flesh Hounds, the last of whom chowed down on the remaining 2 skeletons standing with the Vampire and ensured his final destruction.


With the Vampire gone, the vast number of peripheral units in the army started to crumble. My Daemon Prince managed to fry a Necromancer with Dark Hand of Death and survived an assassination attempt by a group of Ghouls who figured they could roll more 6s than he could (and they were right – they left him on 1 wound!). The Flesh Hounds, Nurglings and mounted Daemonettes gave their unnatural lives for the cause, but ultimately the gradual toll of leadership tests was telling on the Undead and I managed to scrounge a 14-6 win. Huzzah, another victory for audacity over common sense and good play!!

 …and the Wheels Come Off 

Hanky-Waving Tin Men…

At the start of the second day I was looking pretty good on 54 battle points from my 3 games – enough to put me 1 point behind the leader. This meant I then had to play that leader, who was the eventual tournament winner Marcelo Rouco with his Bretonnians. It was my chance to head the field and run away with the tournament…


Marcelo’s army fairly closely resembled the sort of force I would make if I wanted a competitive Bretonnian list. It had the following: Bretonnian Lord, Battle Standard Bearer and 3 mounted Level 1 Damsels, 10 Knights Errant, 9 Knights Errant, 8 Knights of the Realm, 8 Grail Knights, 4 Pegasus Knights, 2 units of 10 Peasant Bowmen, 2 units of mounted Squires and a Trebuchet.


I knew the game was going to be tough, and again the scenario of Heavy Hitters first, combined with my own paranoia of a stone landing on my general’s head (he can’t hide within units) played on my mind. There was a hill in either deployment zone, so I placed a large forest smack in the middle of the table to give my Daemon Prince something to hide behind. I also started my deployments with my best units facing the hill, as I assumed this was where the Trebuchet and its friends would set up. Of course, Marcelo wasn’t going to do this once I planted all these monsters where I had, so he deployed most of his force at the other end of the table. I had dug myself a hole without any help from him.


For the second game in a row, I tried to play without the aid of my best units. The key lay in my Daemon Prince’s ability to ignore armour saves and his mate the BSB, whose 4 strength 6 attacks should have been good for a little knight-bashing. Unfortunately when I charged the 2 of them into the Knights of the Realm, I only managed to kill a modest 4 models (Marcelo passed 3 ward saves on his champion to survive a challenge with my Herald). It was enough to win, but he didn’t break. His general’s unit then counter-charged, and my Herald’s inability to save, coupled with my Daemon Prince doing no wounds, resulted in me losing both models.


From there the downhill slide was guaranteed. The Grail Knights ploughed clean through the Plagueriders, then the Plaguebearers, then the Bloodletters, who were march-blocked and harried by the mounted Squires. The Pleasureseekers (who had charged the units of Knights Errant to support my general’s charge) did no wounds and popped from combat resolution. The Bloodcrushers were march-blocked, had to walk over hedges, had Mistress of the Marsh cost upon them, and then were forced to repeatedly charge another unattainable unit of mounted Squires, and played no part in the game.


The one shining light was again my beautiful Flesh Hounds, who managed to draw combat with the charging Pegasus Knights and hold them up until the Daemonettes could get there to deliver the coup de grace.


All in all the game was a disaster and I was firmly pounded into the ground, 20-0.

 Chameleon Skinks Are An Abomination And Must Be Destroyed…

After my abysmal performance in the previous game, it was a little bit of a relief that I was playing someone from the club in the next game. Unfortunately that player was Sam Webster, who was another of our 4 “scoring players”. This meant that no matter the result, we could not add more than 20 battle points between us to the team challenge total. It was a little disheartening, but it meant that we could relax a bit and just play for the hell of it. I no longer felt I was a chance to win anything, and the result made no difference to the club score.


Sam’s army contained the following: Scar Veteran on a Cold One, BSB Scar Veteran on a Cold One, Jaguar Saurus, Skink scroll caddy, 2 blocks of Saurus warriors, 2 units of 3 Kroxigor, 3 Terradons, 3 Salamanders, 6 Chameleon Skinks, 2 units of 10 scouting Skinks, 10 other skinks and a Stegadon.


Unfortunately my state of relaxation was destroyed by the news that nowadays Chameleon skinks can just plant themselves directly behind your lines and march block and shoot you for the rest of the game. Given my lack of skirmishers or shooting attacks, this left me at a bit of a loss as to how I was going to deal with them. The table was also plastered in hedges and had a large forest in the middle (which would soon be crawling with skinks), so that wasn’t going to help either.


My game started by trying to deal with these Chameleons. I landed my Daemon Prince right behind them and threw a Wind of Death at them, however Sam used a scroll. He also passed his Terror test and calmly walked them behind me, so there was really nothing further I could do. They then spent the rest of the game slowing and shooting my lines. Then there were the Skinks in the forest and the Terradons, who spent the game slowing and shooting me. At least the Salamanders didn’t bother trying to slow me – they just shot me.


On my right flank, the mounted Slaanesh units charged a unit of Kroxigor which fled and rallied half an inch from the table edge. The failed charge left my units exposed, and they were both torn apart by a Saurus block led by 2 characters.


On the left flank, the Bloodletters spent the entire game being slowly lured towards Kroxigor (who simply pulled back) because it was impossible for them to reach anything else due to the terrain. The Bloodcrushers killed some Skinks and then overran into the middle of the hedges and stopped, thereby rendered useless for the rest of the game. The Daemonettes started slowly sweeping through the forest, but its sheer size meant their mission was a futile one.


In centre there was some relief. My Plagueriders (having lost one of the number to Salamanders) were charged by the second block of Saurus led by the BSB, however they survived relatively unscathed. The counter-charge from Plaguebearers and Nurglings resulted in the unit being smashed and run down, however the pursuit roll of 3 from the Plagueriders left them doomed to being shot for the rest of the game.


My Daemon Prince charged the Stegadon and was joined by the pursuing Nurglings. Together they managed to wipe out the Skinks and send the great brute running, and carried on their pursuit into the rallied Kroxigor. My general then managed only 2 wounds, the Nurglings did none, received 2 in return and lost a base meaning I was outnumbered and losing the combat by one. The Daemon Prince rolled a 12 and popped outright. Sadly this was the game where I had chosen to use Personal Vendetta (I had to use it sometime), and so Sam garnered a generous 1110 victory points from my uselessness.


The game then degenerated into everything I had left being shot to pieces, and the result was sealed. I had lost 17-3.


Having ensured I was now no chance to feature anywhere near the top of the rankings in the tournament, I was somewhat amused to discover that now I would be playing another regular opponent: Peter Spiller. Rather ironically, Pete was also one of our scoring 4 players, so somehow the fates had conspired to ensure that Hampton was little chance to score well in the club challenge.


Pete’s Sylvanian army contained the following: Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon, mounted Thrall Battle Standard Bearer, 2 blocks of Sylvanian Zombies, 10 Black Knights, 25 Grave Guard, 2 units of Dire Wolves, 4 Vampire Bats and a Banshee. This was an army I had played against with my Daemons before at the club, and the result had been heading towards a draw until I got overly ambitious and tried to take down the Vampire with my Daemon Prince. Given that the stakes were low in this game and I don’t normally like draws, I decided to take a slightly different approach.


For starters, I took spells from the Lore of Shadow, where I had previously been persisting with Lore of Death. I promptly rolled the 3 best spells I could, including Unseen Lurker and Pit of Shades. I deployed with the full intention of getting my best units into combat as quickly as possible and tearing the enemy regiments apart. I moved ahead at full speed and managed to kill 8 Grave Guard with Pit of Shades.


Pete retaliated by sending his dragon behind my quickly advancing lines and forcing my frenzied Khorne units into some unfortunate charges against his Dire Wolves, leaving the Bloodcrushers with their flank to the Zombies. The Flesh Hounds charged the Grave Guard, and in a fit of madness and optimism, I used Unseen Lurker to charge my Daemon Prince into their flank. With a few good rolls I could cripple one of his best units and start rolling up the flank. Unfortunately I decided not to roll a few good rolls, and my general popped again (this time on an 11 – I’m getting better!)


The Black Knights smashed straight through the front of the Plagueriders, inflicting 5 wounds (of which I saved none). I then retaliated with none, crumbled through combat resolution, and left his best units free to savage what remained of my army. The Bloodcrushers bravely stood their ground against the zombies in their flank, and I managed to get the Pleasureseekers (well, one of them anyway) into the flank of the zombies and beat them in combat. The Bloodcrushers turned and the combat was going well (even if they were extended in a huge Congo line across the table).


Unfortunately, while this was happening the Vampire Count was showing off and pulverised my Nurglings, Bloodletters and Plaguebearers (1 round of combat each), and overran into what was now the rear of the Bloodcrushers. From here the remainder of my force was gradually mopped up, although most elements hung in admirably. The Daemonettes were fighting the second unit of Zombies (and their mounted sisters were in the flank), and managed to beat the odds and wipe the unit out before they succumbed to the reinforcements arriving inexorably in their respective rears.


Ultimately it was all a forlorn effort anyway, given that Pete was raising 30-40 Zombies per turn through his grave markers and Vampire, and I had no way to stop them. My heroic last stand was over and I had lost again, 20-0.

 The Aftermath

Well, what can I say? I played OK on the first day but made more mistakes on the second. I made poor use of the ability to place terrain, was too scared of stone throwers landing on my general and did not adequately protect myself from march blockers getting in the way of my best units. I chose the wrong magic lore for the majority of the tournament (I should have been using the Lore of Shadow throughout, having seen how ludicrously good Unseen Lurker is now).


I should also try not to care what my opponents think of my tactics and deploy in a way that protects my interests at the possible expense of a spectacular game, if I want to do well in the overall standings (my aggressive play and unwillingness pool my resources in a location and move from there hurt me a couple of times, and I allowed an opponent to goad me into spreading my forces in response to his own deployment, where I should have done the same as him). I should roll better when it matters, too. That might help.

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