So, I'm going to split up the tourney into three posts. First, that way, I can try to do each battle on its own. Second, it's a blatant attempt to pad my post count. Third, this way I can get something out, instead of sitting here, with 95% of an unfinished batrep, and having it stay that way for days.
So, Round 1, of the 50pt SR at Dragon's Refuge, in Peotone, IL.
Opponent: Ben Lang, playing Skorne
6 Paingiver Beast Handlers
10 Praetorian Swordsmen, plus Officer & Std Bearer
10 Venator slingers
Reinforcements: Tyrant Rhadeim
x2 Venator Flayer
My army: Thornfall
Sturm & Drang
x2 Road Hogs
x3 War Hogs
4 Bone Grinders
Reinforcements: Rorsch & Brine
Scenario: Outflank, Outfight, Outlast.
(NB - always take the opposing army and scenario with a grain of salt. I forgot to write those down on Saturday, so it's only as good as my memory. )
Setup was fairly standard. We both deployed most of our armies toward the middle, but more toward one table edge. (MISTAKE!) Turn 1 was fairly uneventful, as we both hurried toward the middle to start contesting control zones.
Turn 2 was where things started to go south. We were closer to his reinforcement edge, and out popped the two flayers, which turned the brigands into swiss cheese. Without fearless & tough, they would have all died. As it was, they just became ineffective, which was not much better. Molik runs up, and thanks to Black Spot (and him being Molik Karn), smacks around the slaughterhousers. (This pic is before he does that.)
The swordsmen have run up and based a lot of things, but not attacked. They're blocking charge lanes, mainly, I think.
On my turn, I try to clear some things up, and contest the zones. Rorsch & Brine appear, and I manage to get a charge off on Molik, but fail to kill him. The remaining slaughterhousers don't seal the deal either. I start trying to move my stuff out of the way of the flayers, but at the end of the turn, it isn't much better.
I think I popped my feat at the end of turn 2. S&Ds feat is basically a "screw you!" to Hordes armies - it reduces FURY to 1, warjacks can only get 1 focus, and no enemy channeling spells.
IIRC, Ben used his third turn to eliminate Brine, some slaughterhousers, and consolidate his position. My third turn was an attempt to kill as much as possible, because the game was over - I was pretty weakened, and almost all of my beasts were dead. I looked for an assassination vector, and did not see it. I think the end of my turn 3 looked about like this:
Long story made short - he tabled me. I had nothing left at the end. Wiped it clean (except for one beast), and then went for the caster kill.
This is the most important part of the post-mortem. If I don't learn from the mistakes, I will repeat them. Avoiding stupid mistakes will help me be a better player.
Mistake #1 - pay attention to the reinforcements and where they will be popping up. I had him set up first, and I could have put a lot of my stuff on my right. It would have made his reinforcements a lot less effective - I would have been able to avoid the artillery, instead of running right up to it, and turning that flank into a turkey shoot.
Mistake #2 - Remember power attacks. I think a trample would have helped clear out the swordsmen, and made my life a lot easier.
Mistake #3 - Know your models! I had just picked up the road hogs, and I wanted to use them. Ditto for Rorsch & Brine. I don't regret either choice, but I wasn't as familiar with them or their capabilities. I did not realize until earlier today that a road hog has an effective threat of 20" with the spray. Oops. Should have charged something far off, and sprayed it.
Mistake #3b - In addition to being careful with new models, make sure you are aware of the old ones. I wasn't thinking, and chose the wrong personality of S&D at the beginning of the game. Completely my fault.
Final thoughts - yes, I would love to blame my dice for this one. I had some terrible damage rolls, and Ben had some truly phenomenal ones. But the reality is that excuse will only carry to much water - I got outplayed here, pure and simple. It was a great game, and I had a lot of fun, even though I lost. I'm hoping that I learned something from it, however.