Monday, 3 October 2016

MOAB 2016 - The HOTT Tournament

Today was the annual HOTT tournament at MOAB. It was part of the international GBnU HOTT enterprise organised by Terry Webb, with a theme of historical armies. Most people went at least part of the way down that route. I didn't, fielding Cthulhu Rising, a mashup of my old 24AP Pendraken Fishmen with a few new elements to bulk it out to 36AP - including Cthulhu himself (or, at least, a smaller, designated representative).

The Army consisted of:

Cthulhu (Behemoth General)
6 x Spears
4 x Shooters
1 x Lurker
1 x Artillery
2 x Warband

So not a fast, mobile army, but one with a bit of firepower and staying power, and a few elements to allow for some punch. Here it is, ready for its first game.

And here's three of the boards, ready for the off.

In my first game I played against John, who was using a Welsh/Celtic army with lots of warbands, some riders a magician and some allied tree-people (behemoths and more warband).

He set up a board with a very sense wooded terrain, which messed up command and control for both sides, and left the battle being fought in the gaps between the trees. Here the Fishman line, supported by their general, advances on the tree-people.

On the other side of the field, a group of Welsh warband moved towards the Fishman shooters and their artillery.

This really became the main action, with the shooters and artillery cutting up the warband quite badly, whilst supporting elements skirmished in the woods on the flank. Cthulhu was obliged to come across in support.

The battle dragged on for a while, and we were close to timing out, so I threw my spears and magician in on the other flank, hoping to get some risky kills against the warband there. The warband were seriously down in terms of factors, but only needed a winning score in order to destroy my double-ranked spears. A single bad combat roll could have seen everything go wrong.

John decided to concede, rather than hold out for the draw, giving me a rather hollow victory.

I had another army in play as well; one player didn't have a suitable force, so borrowed my Elves (yes, also not historical). Apparently they behaved well, being a nice simple army to use; riders, spears and shooters mostly.

My second game saw me up against Peter's Greeks, masquerading at Alexander the Great's army, but with a trio of allied behemoth monsters.

This was a quick game. Alexander was a hero general, he got pushed up in the front line to within range of my magician, was ensorcelled and that was the battle over.

With lots of time in hand we carried on playing as a friendly, assuming Alexander hadn't been lost. On my left flank my shooters and artillery did good work keeping the disorganised Greeks off-balance, but my attack on the right, led by Cthulhu, stalled, and Cthulhu was routed off the edge of the world by Alexander's body-double.

This was Caesar's army. It started off as something conventionally medieval, with a bit of dragon action, but he ended up with a core of knights supported by two artillery and six beasts. This was a terribly bold choice, was lots of fun to play (apparently) and died horribly in pretty well all of its games.

Caesar did manage this glorious moment, though; a Welsh tree-man ally surrounded on four sides by dogs. Probably a wet, smelly end for the tree ...

My third game - Geoff. Geoff was using a medieval army of blades, knights and shooters, with a couple of riders and a protective paladin as the only fantasy concession.

A stalemate in the centre ensued, with me unwilling to shift my spears off a hill to face his blades in the open, and Geoff unwilling to commit to a frontal assault, since his flanks would be compromised.

After my shooters weren't up to the job of holding off Geoff's knights, Cthulhu had to step in and so the job himself, pretty much wiping them out.

Geoff brought his reserve across - the paladin and some riders, and created a strong line which I faced with spears, Cthulhu and my magician.

We fought. My magician died...

... and eventually the paladin rode down some spears to give Geoff a well-deserved win.

The final game. Mathematically it was impossible for me to get first place (I think), but a win could give me a solid second place.

I faced Martin - the Mighty Martin - who was using Ancient Egyptians with a whole load of stuff in them - blades, riders, a hero, shooters, behemoths (behemoths were very popular) and a magician.

We got stuck in fairly quickly, although with so many different elements in play there was a lot of line shuffling and blocking in order to sort out good match-ups and avoid bad ones.

I made my main attack on my left, where my warband were opposite the Egyptian's blade general. However I wasn't willing to throw them in for the instant kill until I had some support on the flanks, and try as I might I couldn't achieve that.

In fact I ended up in the position. On the right my shooters and artillery had pretty much eliminated the Egyptian missile troops, but Martin threw in chariot riders on both flanks, destroying some of my elements and turning both flanks.

I actually stabilised the situation, driving off the chariots on the right, allowing me to advance my shooters onto his flank. However I had taken quite a few losses, and my army was wavering and close to breaking (as was Martin's, it has to be said). I threw in my warband, hoping to get a kill on the enemy general, but rolled very, very badly and lost them. Along with another loss this but me on 17AP lost - 18AP would see the game lost. Victor called time, and I scraped a lucky draw.

With two wins, a loss and a draw I was, oddly enough, equal with Martin, but we had a strange, card-based tie-break system as well, and I won that, putting me in second place behind Geoff, whose no-nonsense medievals had carried the day to give him three wins and a draw.

Thanks to Victor for organising another great tournament.

And that's MOAB over for another year.


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun and some great photos - the one photo showing the row of game boards looks like a fantasy-themed DBA tournament. My group has similar fun with Dragon Rampant, in that you can thrown down almost any pre-gunpowder army you like, with whatever fantasy elements you like, and have a simple and fast moving game. Love your fishy army, BTW.

  2. Great write-ups and pictures.

  3. Thanks for sharing. Pity so far away otherwise I'd come along and join in.


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