Tuesday 16 May 2023

Skirmish in the North 3 - aka Learning Age of Sigmar Part Four


This past weekend I went to the Skirmish in the North 3 event, a 1000 point Age of Sigmar tournament run by Hull's Angels wargaming club (in Hull, obviously). I was not expecting to do well (my last AoS game seems to have been back in April last year) and with five smaller games on the day I was going in looking for a fun and educational time, literally doubling the number of AoS games I have ever played - and one of those was in first edition before they had points costs.

As it happens, that's exactly what I got, coming away with a much better understanding of how the game works and, spoilers, the last place award. I was running the current/old Seraphon book with a fairly basic selection of Koatl's Claw Saurus units and no magic to keep it simple; two units each of Saurus Warriors and Knights, a unit of Skinks to get in the way, led by an Oldblood on Carnosaur, a foot Oldblood and a Sunblood. As usual with these tournament reports, I'm just going to run through a very brief summary of each game and then some final thoughts. Here goes.

First game was Morgan, who had Magotkin of Nurgle. Some cultist types, a couple of characters and a big blob of Blightkings. Nurgle does nurgle stuff, so I was expecting tough units and a sprinkling of mortal wounds, which is what I got.

I had a good go at killing off the various units and scoring some points, but ultimately I had no answer to the Blightkings, after the Carnosaur killed three of them, then got easily cut down in return. 26-15 to Nurgle.

Second game was against Ryan and his Gloomspite Gits. Lots of squigs and lots of Trolls.

Unfortunately the Gits had some fun mushrooms that meant a unit of squigs charged and ate my general in turn one, which was not an ideal start. Elsewhere I found out that Troggoths hit hard and are really tough, so the rest of my forces struggled to make a dent. Particular disappointment were the Saurus Warriors who charged the Cave Squigs and only managed to kill two of them, and then obviously got slaughtered in return. 28-8 to the Squgs.

Game three was against Rob and his cool alternative Idoneth Deepkin. A couple of blobs of thralls plus two units of angler fish-eels and a big boss riding a rather scary eel. Wasn't sure what to expect from these guys other than fast and elf stuff.

This felt like a close game with a lot of back and forth action on a central objective that then split into two. However I was foiled by consistently failing to kill stuff. Saurus Warriors with character support failed to finish off a unit of Thralls, Carnosaur failed to finish off some eels, and finally the two generals met and did about one wound between them. Close until it wasn't - 24-9 to the fish elves.

Game four was a lizard-off against Lee and his also Koatl's Claw Seraphon. He didn't have a big dinosaur, but he did have two reinforced blocks of Saurus Warriors and magic Skinks to buff them. He also had, amusingly, brought the Sunblood to get some use out of it having unique rules before the new book turns it into a generic Oldblood.

The main story of this game was the Carnosaur getting taken out by Skinks. A little unit of ten got buffed to dish out mortal wounds on sixes and between that and some awful saves they took 6 wounds off the dinosaur in melee! Much reduced it struggled to eat them and finally got taken out by the lizard wizard on the pyramid. Ouch. My foot heroes did a lot better, each taking a beating before they finally fell, (and my Sunblood was winning the duel until he got swarmed by Saurus Warriors instead) but I didn't really have an answer for those big blobs. 28-12 to the blue Seraphon.

Final game was against Conner and his Gloomspite Gits. Having faced them before I was wary of the damage squig units could put out and the survivability of the Troggoths. Luckily he didn't take a Cave Squig missile, instead opting for a big unit of gobbos to hold his home objective.

This game was a real close one with a lot of back and forth, and the general finally got to do proper big dinosaur things as he chomped through a load of squigs and trolls through the game. Conner was a few points ahead of me all game, pulled away a little at the end, but thanks to having last turn I was able to stop his grand strategy (have something in my territory at the end) and complete mine (no enemies in my territory) which left the game agonisingly close, but wasn't quite enough to grab one win from the event. 23-21 to the Gits.

So with that, I went 0-5, and into last place, but I did pick up the favourite player award, which is nice. I do genuinely try to make my games enjoyable for my opponent, as it tends to mean the game is more enjoyable for me as well, so it is appreciated that apparently I wasn't seen as a salty loser or anything. And importantly I did have fun - four of the five games felt like I was at least in with a shout, and I feel like I got most of my rules correct once I'd gotten going. 

I'm starting to understand now a little better how you are 'supposed' to play AoS - how to work around the various rules that differ from 40k, such as the 3 inch engagement range, the double turn, and chargers not auto-striking first. I've also learned that some of these old Seraphon units are massively outperformed by equivalents in other armies. If only they had an up to date Battletome...

Anyway, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed, and stay safe out there!

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