|Kajutaijuq - Big stompy evil spirit|
The idea is that when a game is drawn, the players use the pair provided by one of them. The other player chooses which of the two armies they will use. So you have to provide a pair where you are prepared to use either army, based on the choice of your opponent. Thus in half of your games you will be using one of your own armies against another of your own armies, based on your opponent's choice. And in the other half of your games you will be using someone else's army from a choice of two. In that way you are being tested not only on your ability to use an army of your own choice and construction, but potentially any army that's possible under the rules. You are being challenged to play HOTT, not just play HOTT with one particular army.
Anyway, whilst there were a range of interesting army possibilities that I wouldn't normally get to use in a tournament environment, such as my 6mm ancient armies, or Epic 40K forces, I have decided, for now, to use one of my more conventional 15mm pairs - the Inuit and their opponents, the mysterious Inland Dwellers of Etah.
|The Arctic equivalent of a light chariot|
In the first game I took the Inland Dwellers, whilst Caesar played the Inuit. I defended. One of the nice things about a matched pair is that it's possible to create terrain and a board which suits both armies. I have a range of icy hills, glaciers, ice spires, rocks and ice-floes to give the battlefield that authentic story-book Arctic feel.
Caesar formed up in two columns to bypass the bad going he was forced to deploy in, whilst I tried to push my army forward to catch him before he could deploy. I even got my God on early.
And here he is. Long-term WH40K players should recognise the figure.
He zipped across and destroyed an Inuit sled. But then he got bored and went away. Not a good start.
A series of bad PIP rolls on my part saw Caesar get his archers into a line before my assorted arctic beasties could ride them down and defeat them in detail.
Here are the Inuit archers, looking every bit as effective as they were in the game.
I lost - my God ran away and my Beasts were shot down in droves.
We swapped sides for the next game, but the Inland Dwellers defended again.
Caesar brought on the God early in the game, and swept him in behind my army. At MOAB this year we are trying out a variant rule which allows Clerics to contact Gods. They are one of the three element types which can drive a God from the battlefield, but the only one which can't actually engage the God directly. This seemed a bit odd, and adding in the ability to contact doesn't seem to be a major game-breaker. On that basis I turned the Inuit Cleric (a powerful shaman) to face the God, and was engaged in combat. Sadly he lost.
The Inuit advanced slowly and steadily, despite an enemy God in their rear.
I didn't get any photos of the next stage, which involved teh Inland Dwellers' beasts charging my archers and sweeping through them. The God switched flanks and attacked the sleds, destroying them as well. Things were not looking good for the Inuit.
However there was a gap in the Inland Dwellers' line, so I slipped my Sneaker through.
Meanwhile the shape-shifting shaman (Behemoth) attacked Kajutaijuq (also a Behemoth).
The evil sorcerer in charge of the Inland Dwellers barely moved from his position behind his hordes of minions.
So, I managed to use both components of my matched pair, and lose with them. Obviously they are correctly balanced.