Saturday, 13 September 2014

Wizards' Cup Semi-Final 2: Merlin's Beard

We now come to the second of the Wizards' Cup semi-finals.

In the qualifying heats, the Shadow Wizard lost his spells and his army, but still managed to impale the Life Wizard against the run of play.

Meanwhile, in a high noon gunfight, the Light Wizard's burning wrath proved more than a match for the searing spells of the Gold Wizard.

Who wins? You decide...

Disclaimer: you don't get to decide.


Same routine as before: 1,000pt mirror Empire armies, with Lv4 Wizard Lords (both on foot - more to stick with the models than for any tactical nous) with 50pt magic item allowance.

1 x Battle Standard Bearer - Hand Weapon. Full Plate Armour
20 x Spearmen - Spears, Light Armour, Full Command
   5 x Free Company - Two Hand Weapons (detachment)
10 x Crossbowmen - Crossbows
10 x Knights - Lances, Shields, Full Plate Armour. Barded Warhorse. Full Command
5 x Pistoliers - Brace of Pistols, Light Armour. Musician

Semi-Final 2: Light vs Shadow

White Wizard (Kraken): with Channelling Staff and Crown of Command
Spells: Pha’s Protection, Net of Amyntok, Banishment, Birona’s Timewarp

Grey Wizard (Stylus): with Feedback Scroll
Spells: Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma, The Withering, Pit of Shades, Okkam’s Mindrazor

The Lore of Light is meant to be one of the strongest out there (I speak with the wisdom of the Internet), whereas Lore of Shadows is one I've had a bit of practice with (mostly Withering things for my Wood Elves), so it should be an interesting contest.

We reversed the battlefield, so this time, I got the end with the tower. I huddled together on the left flank, putting Pistoliers on the edge, Crossbows (with Grey Wizard) behind the tower, Knights on the road, Halberdiers and Free Company on the right wing.

Kraken was more spread out in his deploymentL Pistoliers on his extreme right, Free Company and Halberdiers (with Light Wizard) on the road, Crossbows behind the fence and Knights on the left wing.

Kraken vanguards his Pistoliers forward. I choose to hold steady (having cramped them against the table edge with nowhere to go).

Turn 1 - White

As in chess, White goes first. Kraken issues a general advance from the Free Company, Halberdiers and Knights. Having already closed the gap, the White Pistoliers then move even closer to their opposite numbers.

In the magic phase, Pha's Protection is cast on the White Halberdiers with Irresistible Force, resulting in the Light Wizard dropping a level and then forgetting the spell. (although we assumed the current cast would last until it expired in the next magic phase).

In the shooting phase, the White Crossbows do little, and the White Pistoliers shoot down one of their rival horseman.

Turn 1 - Grey

In an eerie mirror of the last game, the Grey Knights declare a charge against the White Halberdiers, who flee back down the road. The Grey Pistoliers declare a charge against the White Pistoliers, somehow forgetting they will be running into 10 pistol shots as a Stand and Shoot reaction. Another Pistoler tumbles from the saddle as a reminder.

The White Halberdiers and Free Company advance in support of the Knights. The Crossbows occupy the tower with the Grey Wizard (where I plan to stay, lobbing out Pit of Shades from the safety of the tower and protected by the unit).

In the magic phase, there's nothing urgent, and I'm starting to feel guilty that I've sent my Pistoliers into an outnumbered combat, so I throw a few things to tip the scales: Miasma is dispelled, but I manage to case Okkam’s Mindrazor... with Irresistible Force.

I roll another Calamitous Detonation that wipes out the entire company of Crossbows and takes a wound off the Shadow Wizard, now alone in his tower.

True Story Bro

In the combat, the now-Mindrazored Pistoliers kill three of their opponents (their horses - who I deduce are also Mindrazored, albeit at Ld5, fail to connect), but get wiped out in return.

As a mark of respect for all the missile troops I just got killed, there is no shooting phase.

(this would have been a good moment to remember my Lore Attribute and switched the Grey Wizard with the BSB, and headed for the safety of the Halberdiers. I really struggled to remember the lore attributes this time around - there was no excuse as, in this SkypeBoot, I was on the book)

Turn 2 - White

The White Free Company, which always seemed a useless appendage in the army list, now looks quite dangerous as they charge into the tower to assault my lone, wounded, wizard.

On the other side of the field, my hopes are further dashed when the White Halberdiers and the Light Wizard manage to rally (although they needed the musician to do it). The White Knights loop around the flank to threaten the Halberdiers.

Rolling a hefty 10 power dice for Winds of Magic, the Light Wizard begins conservatively, and casts Net of Amyntok on the White Knights with four dice. I take my chance to allow this through, then read my Feedback Scroll, which lets me wound the casting wizard on a 5+ for every dice he's just used. It's a bit of a long shot, as I have to knock off three wounds, but I may not be around by his magic phase to use it.

I use the scroll, and for his wounds, I roll a 4 ... and three 6s. The Light Wizard explodes as the feedback of magical energy melts his brain.

Some people just can't take feedback.
All is not lost, however - if the assaulting Free Company can kill the Shadow Wizard in the tower, then we'll be looking at a tie, with victory points as the decider (and Kraken's already two units in credit).

The peasant warriors hack away, but can only inflict a single wound on the Wizard Lord, who swats down one of them for their insolence.

The Grey Wizard smiles, as if this was all planned, then fades into the shadows.

Constructive Feedback

I'll come clean: I have totally stuffed up using Lore of Shadows for the past two games running. And yet, with dirty tricks and a bit of luck, I appear to have swung a win each time.

Indeed, a Feedback Scroll seems like a very Shadow Wizard thing to take, and I chiefly grabbed it for the characterfullness (although having seen what it can do, it makes a great deterrent against six-dicing a spell).

Had it not paid off, I was in serious trouble, facing a fresh assault from the Free Company and the Pistoliers in my rear.

(although knowing my luck with Shadow magic, I would probably have been able to drop an improbable Pit of Shades on the Light Wizard and won that way).

So the Lore of Light is cheated of their spot in the final, and Lore of Shadows march forward, giving me a couple of weeks to get my act together against the tournament favourite: Death.

New lore attribute: if you successfully cast a Shadow spell, you can immediately switch places with a general who knows what he's doing.

We'll play the final in a fortnight - and this time the wizards will bring their apprentices, so that's six spells apiece flying around the board (or, to put it another way, more miscasts waiting to happen).

Who will win the Wizards' Cup?

1 comment:

  1. Well, that's why the feedback scroll costs 50 points. Vicious item to take, totally worth it!

    I'd been hoping to use all those lovely Light buff spells along with my stubborn halberds to swing the fight from up close. But in hindsight, I'd probably have just lost the wizard in the process as I did with the Life Wizard. I'm just too used to WoC, where a wizard is perfectly capable against Empire troopers.