Saturday, March 25, 2017

WotS Batrep 16 - Stryker2 vs. Denny3

A break from con stuff to bring you some hawt Stryker2 action fighting some gross Cryxies!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Tourney Recap - ATC 2017

2017 has ushered in several firsts for the great nation of America; including the first time the Oscar awards have admitted there aren't just white people that act in movies, the first time weird fake hipster money was valued more than actual gold and the first election of a racist pumpkin to public office.  Despite all these important advancements, the obviously most crucial development of the burgeoning new year is the epic conclusion of the first installment of the US' new most important Warmachine team event; the Americas Team Tournament (or ATC for the acronymically inclined).

For those who don't know about this new and exciting mini-convention, the ATC is part of a new initiative to make the US WTC team selection more fun, exciting, transparent and accessible.  It's a WTC-style 5-man team tournament using basically all the WTC rules.  The winning team of the event automatically qualifies as a team (with up to one trade-out) to be one of 3 US WTC teams.  This year, alongside the team event was a depressingly underpopulated solo masters that qualified the single winning player for one of the other WTC teams.  I joined the aptly (if longwinded) named team "Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow" along with fellow evil geniuses Jay "Grumpy Cat" Larsen, Michael "King of Ios" Ireland, Dan "That Dude Who Played Mohsar" Yount and Brian "insert nickname here" Marino to rek some nerdz and herald in a better tomorrow.  I played the following crappy Cygnar stuff:

Major Victoria Haley [+25]
 - Dynamo [18]
 - Stormclad [18]
 - Thorn [13]
 - Squire [5]
Journeyman Warcaster [4]
 - Firefly [8]
Major Katherine Laddermore [8]
Storm Lances (max) [20]
Gobber Tinker [2]
Ragman [4]

Captain Kara Sloan [+28]
 - Stormwall [39]
 - Hunter [11]
 - Hunter [11]
 - Hunter [11]
 - Hunter [11]
Journeyman Warcaster [4]
 - Sentinel [8
 - Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator [4]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [4]

List Thought Time!
Honestly I kinda hated my lists.  The Haley one is great, but it was designed for a pre-errata, pre-theme force meta.  I submitted it mostly because it's the list that I had the most practice with and didn't want to drop some jank garbage when I would be potentially expected to play into some not-great matchups.  Mostly it's there to vaporize heavy armor bricks like Karchev.  Too bad nobody plays Karchev anymore.

The Kara list is... not good.  Nominally it's there to scare people to get good matchups and play into Thornwall Storm Division, which I think it does fine.  Unfortunately I submitted it without play it first, and had I done that I'd probably drop a Hunter for some solos.  Maybe 2 GMCAs to put lots of assassination pressure on the table or 1 GMCA and some mechanic bros for the Stormwall.  The plan was never to play it and just ride Future Sight Dynamo to victory all day.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. But Trevyyyyy!!!!  Your Haley2 list is almost in Theme!  Why not play it in Storm Division; you could be 9 pts up!?
Because Ragsy+Dynamo is worth 9 extra points.  Also Gobber Tinkers are great.
In reality, Thornwall Storm Division has a wider range of good matchups than this list; but IMO this one houses its good matchups more than Thornwall does, is more fun to play and is probably way better than any non-Thornwall Storm Division Haley2 builds.

2. But TTRRREEEVVVYYY!!!  Your Kara list is basically in theme!  Why not play it in Heavy Metal and play it approximately 500,000 points upppppp!?
Idk, ask Travis Marg.

Game Time!
A bit of an intro; the table setups at this event were really cool and skewed to the point of being probably not ideal for a standard event.  I'm talking buildings covering zones, chains of forests across the table and enormous rubble patches in opportune positions; the kind of shit that ruins tournaments for people.  But fortunately ATC is no normal, boring format!  Having skewy tables makes the roll to take first very important, because the second team choosing the tables matches are played one becomes super important.
I mention this because we lost the roll to take first.  Every.  Single.  Round.

Round 1 vs. Fort from 2na and Spam

Our first round opponents were the stalwart travelers from the lost kingdom of Virginia ready to wreak some terrible vengeance on the two NOVA winners on our team.  I got the pleasure of playing vs. Mr. Fort, who's rapscallious exploits can be found consistently on the Advanced Maneuvers YouTube channel.  Fort and I have only shared one game from the Redcap WMWI Qualifier... where he soundly stomped me.  Unfortunately I got this matchup because my teammates shared precisely the same thoughts on the matchup that I did (which is to say; "please god no") and my hopes for a sweet comeback were far fetched.  With those happy thoughts in mind, we sat down for a nice game of Haley2 vs. Makeda2 on Outflank.

I won the roll to go first, which was pretty clutch.  Fort deployed heavily favoring the left zone so I figured I'd push for the right and try to squeeze out a scenario win before all my shit was dead, because I figured my chances of actually killing anything were precisely 0%.  Also there was a forest between the zones that made things more interesting.  Fort put lots of shit in the left zone, Makeda running and camping everything to hide in a rubble pile and keep all the kitties next to her.

Illustrated by this godawful picture!  Who let me have a camera?
I decided to go in with my battlegroup and try to clear as many Ferox as possible.  Since the Skorne army had set up so heavily on the left side I swung right with the Lances and kept them back to survive as long as possible and kill anything that contested the right zone.  Haley Shifts and the heavies pumped lots of hot lightning and stabby swording into the Ferox.  Dynamo rolled pretty well, but some sadtimes misses with the Stormclad leaves one Ferox dead when the dust clears.  The Firefly does roll a super clutch hit through like 3 Intuition re-rolls from Karn and double Lightning Generator to kill Orin, so that was sweet.

Stuff durdles under Haley's feat and a Ferox makes it into the right zone to contest but Fort can't quite clear the left with Shift effing everything up.  The subsequent turn I'm able to TK the Ferox on the left out of range for Stay Death and murder it with a Storm Lance and Dominate for 2 CPs.  On the other side the Firefly and Thorn jammed into the zone to stop contesting.

Unfortunately, with how scary the Ferox are for unshielded Lances I had Arc Shield on them, which meant the stuff contesting wasn't protected.  With that in mind, Makeda feated and the Legends kicked the crap out of Thorn and killed the Firefly so she could Dominate as well.  Zaadesh's Gladiator buddy rips the Stormclad in half and Radheim and 2 Ferox jump into my zone and poke some Lances to death.

So I'm quickly running out of models, but can clear my zone and set up 2 more contests on the left one and hope I don't get murdered/jammed out next turn.  Unfortunately I have to TK one Storm Lance into position to contest (I had Jr waiting in the wings on the way far left to contest the next turn) and TK Radheim and 2 other Ferox to clear the zone.  To make matters worse, I miss one of the TKs and have to boost it to clear the zone, which leaves me on 0 camp.  I kill the two Ferox but can't get Radheim out of Stay Death range so he gets Storm Ragered, jumps in and stabs Haley to death with his giant pokey stick, sending her would-be scenario push to the grave. :(

A great game with Mr. Fort, who is always a pleasure to play against!  Fortunately my team doesn't squander my noble sacrifice and we win 3-2, advancing on to the next round very happy to have snuck out a win vs a very strong team.

Round 2 vs. Daniel Munsen from Cobra Kai

Game 2 was against the indomitable Trollbloods under the command of team captain Dan Munsen on the Pit!  Daniel was bringing two very heavy armor bricks with Borka1 and Borka2.  We lost the matchup roll and got to pick tables again, so I picked one with a huge building covering the entrance to the zone on one side, mostly to dissuade Dan from dropping his Borka1 list, which featured a Mountain King that ran the risk of getting stuck behind it.  Dan drops his Borka2 Rage of Dhunia list:

Borka, Vengeance of the Rimeshaws [+29]
 - Dire Troll Mauler [15]
 - Dire Troll Mauler [15]
 - Earthborn Dire Troll [15]
 - Earthborn Dire Troll [15]
 - Rok [21]
 - Troll Axer [10]
Northkin Shaman [4]
Northkin Shaman [4]
Troll Whelps [4]
Troll Whelps [4]
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (max) [9]
 - Stone Scribe Elder [3]

I lose the roll to go first and choose the side with the giant building.  Both sides have amazing terrain for EBDTs; either the building for +2 ARM or some rubble patches for +2 SPD.  I decide to take the building to give me the opportunity to wall off my flag and stop the trolls from anchoring off it and just bricking up on the other side of the zone.

Dan starts by running up pretty conservatively, mostly hiding in the rubble piles.  I stay out of the EBDT's honestly ludicrous threat range and toe into the zone so I don't get jammed out.  Arc Shield goes onto the Stormclad.  The EBDTs respond jamming in SUPER far, one engaging Dynamo and the other on the Stormclad, both next to the building for that sweet +2 ARM.  Borka feats and hides behind the Shaman cloudwall and the rest of the beasts fall in behind the EBDTs.

There's a lot of Dire Troll meat in my face (delicious), but fortunately Haley loves having lots of meat in her face.  Delicious.  TKs move a Mauler into position for Dynamo to light him up with Acceleration and although he doesn't roll very well a couple Storm Lance shots help out finishing it off.  Haley Shifts and dominates her flag to start scoring.

Stuff durdles under Shift.  Borka goes to his flag and scores 1 CP.  One of the Earthborns squeaks by Dynamo to contest my flag.  Time for stabbing!  Haley allocates a bunch of FOC, TKs the EBDT away and Borka off his flag to stop him scoring.  Ragman turns on his patented "aura of kill all the things" and the stabbening begins.  The EBDT by my flag goes down and the other is crippled by repeated stabs from the Stormclad.  Stuff jams the rest of the heavies.

I lose some stuff to Warbeasts banging on it.  The Stormclad tanks like a bauss but gets a little mangled and the Firefly and some Lances go down.  A couple missed attacks let Thorn scoot out of danger and he lives to fight another day.  Unfortunately the jam is real and my opponent can't get anything around to contest, so Borka goes back to Dominating his flag and we go to 3-2.

The stabbening continues with some more stuff getting stabbed.  I contest Borka's flag and jam some more, going to 4 CPs.  A thin blue line of Storm Lances stops the Trolls from getting to my flag and I dominate for my 5th point!

A good game, but unfortunately the combination of the matchup (Haley is pretty good into armor bricks, as it turns out) and terrain gave me a big leg up.  My team has similar success and we advance 4-1!

Round 3 vs. Tom Guan from Team Friendship!

I love all the folks on Team Friendship... but I don't lie when I say that we weren't super happy to get paired with them in the final round of day 1.  During our prep we were well aware that they were one of (if not the single) strongest teams in contention for the tournament, boasting a great lineup of powerful lists and all-star players.  Matchups go down and I get paired against the infamous world traveler Tom Guan!  The matchup ended up as Haley vs. Tree on Recon.

Wurmwood, Tree of Fate [+27]
 - Cassius the Oathkeeper
 - Loki [19]
 - Ghetorix [21]
 - Pureblood Warpwolf [17]
 - Gorax Rager [7]
Shifting Stones [3]
Shifting Stones [3]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]
Wolves of Orboros (min) [7]
Gatorman Bokor & Bog Trog Swamp Shamblers [11]
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress [4]

This is an interesting matchup because Tom isn't bringing a more "modern" Circle list with lots of guns.  Like me, the one and only TomGuanimo is a creature of habit and our matchup almost looked like something from the 2016 WTC.  I won the roll to go first, which was legit.

First off, Thorn got Arc Shield and blitzed up the table to behind a sweet wall in the middle.  I tried to Arc Bolt a Shifting Stone to death but came up short. :(  The rest of my army moved up pretty conservatively, sticking to a hill to make Strangleholds a little tougher.

I realized after I passed clock that I put my Storm Lances in the perfect formation to eat a ton of free damage from a nice Hellmouth, but since it was the first turn and Tree had no extra Fury from souls. Tom settled for just Cursing them after porting the Tree up and feating.  Cassius got ported back and Thorn ate a couple points of damage from sprays for his insolence.

If I'm being honest... I definitely wasn't expecting a bottom of 1 feat, but I wasn't about to look a gift forest in the hellmouth.  Fortunately, Cassius ported to a pretty aggressive location in front of the tree to keep on spellslinging under the inevitable counter-feat.  Unfortunately, that position was close enough for Thorn to run in and get LoS to him.  So, that happened and 2 Arc Bolts later Tree had lost his sock puppet.  Shift went down and Thorn was barely able to TK+Reaction Drive back to his hidey hole behind the wall.

Stuff durdled under Shift.  It was great.  Loki hid in some rubble on the far left, Tree teleported away and Thorn ate a couple more sprays from stuff, losing his arms.  To punish the silly furries, Thorn threw some TKs out to set up Loki getting dragged into aiming range of Dynamo and vaporized while the Firefly broke the set of stones Tree was in by finishing off the one I'd damaged on the first turn.

Tom came back with some #pureaggro.  Lanyssa Marked my objective, which let a Primaled Ghetorix charge into it and total both Thorn and Dynamo who were chilling nearby.  The Bokor stabbed to death the Firefly and the Pureblood Assaulted forward to spray a pair of Storm Lances but rolled sort of bad and only killed one.

With all the wolfies committed I was feeling pretty good.  I'd kept my Stormclad and Lances pretty far back to make any random damage or cheeky Strangleholds hard, but it was time for them to come in and get work done.  Ragman did his thing, the Stormclad got filled up and rolled like a got made flesh, killing the Pureblood behind the wall without needing any help from his buddies.  That let the Lances do stuff all by themselves and when the dust cleared the Bokor, a Sentry and Ghetorix were also dead.

At that point I started angling for some sweet scenario points, but Tom and I talked over the matchup a bit.  With a stranded Tree and just a Gorax and a single Sentry facing down an unmolested Stormclad, Laddermore, most of a Lance unit and Haley herself we decided to call it.

In a SUPER close match, my team was able to pull out a 3-2 victory and advance on to day 2!  That let us breath a bit of a sight of relief since one of our toughest opponents was behind us... but there were still tough times to come!

Round 4 vs. Josh Maxson from Muse on Minis

Going into the second day there were 3 undefeated teams; ourselves, Florida Meta and Lone Star.  We got the pair down and had the opportunity to play against one of the scariest X-1 teams so far; Muse on Minis, whose only loss had been a close game to Team Friendship on the first day.  Still a very tough game!

I was paired against Josh and his Mercenaries and dropped Haley2 into his Shae.

Captain Phinneus Shae [+28]
 - Buccaneer [6]
 - Freebooter [9]
 - Freebooter [9]
 - Freebooter [9]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Bloody Bradigan [3]
Bosun Grogspar [4]
Doc Killingsworth [4]
First Mate Hawk [4]
Lord Rockbottom [4]
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt [8]
Press Gangers (max) [12]
Press Gangers (max) [12]
The Commodore Cannon & Crew [7]
The Devil's Shadow Mutineers [8]

I wasn't super happy about the matchup; Doc's ministrations made most of the infantry pretty resilient to lightning and with their long threat ranges/movement shenanigans they could bag my Lances pretty easily.  Freebooter's aren't the most amazing 'jacks in the world but if they can get my stuff knocked down (which is pretty easy with the Commodore on the table) they can mince crappy Cygnar heavies no problem.  Womp womp.

Fortunately, Anastasia was no help for Josh and I won the initiative roll and took the first turn.  I Arc Bolted a couple PGs away and pushed my battlegroup as far up as could.  Josh had a pretty conservative turn; PGs got Phantasm and danced around the Lances threat range.  Some guns took a couple shots at Thorn behind a wall and missed.  Good stuff.  Fortunately for me, Shae Storm Rager'd Bradigan and walked a couple inches forward...

...into Dynamo's threat range. :(  There was an assassination there that wasn't super great, but feeling as bad about the matchup as I did I decided to go for it anyway.  Shae decided it was a good time to take a 2" stroll forward and turn around, Dynamo got Accelerated and blasted away with laz0r bEemz.  By the end of the Multi Fire Shae looked like Pirate Booty.

Not sure how the game would've played out in the long run; Josh had positioned well to deny me an alpha strike and force me to either eat a charge that'd kill all my pretty ponies or cede scenario.  It wasn't great, but Haley being Haley maybe she could've pulled some jank out.  In any case; our team had another very close round and squeaked it out 3-2!

Finals vs. Brandon Andrews from Florida Meta

On to the final tournament of the day!  I got paired up vs. Brandon and his trixy Cryxies.  Brandon's lists were great for the team format because they were so weird and skewey we didn't have a great answer for them.  The big question mark was Skarre1 with Wraith Engines and a bunch of Incorporeal duders 👻 ; I though Kara maybe had a game into it but wasn't super confident; still, I got dropped in.

Pirate Queen Skarre [+28]
 - Inflictor [13]
 - Inflictor [13]
 - Scavenger [7]
 - Skarlock Thrall [4]
Darragh Wrathe [9]
Machine Wraith [2]
Machine Wraith [2]
Machine Wraith [2]
Necrotech [2]
Scrap Thrall [2]
Blackbane's Ghost Raiders (max) [17]
Wraith Engine [15]
Wraith Engine [15]

There were other versions of this list running around with a Kraken, but this one felt scarier to me; the double Shield Guards really fouled up killing the Wraith Engines and all the little solos running around were problematic.  I won the initiative roll and took the first turn; Brandon chose a site with a sweet forest to hide Skarre behind.  Scenario was Take and Hold.
Fortunately this game was basically pretty quick.

Stuff ran up, the Engines pushing really far forward.  I stuck Arc Shield on the Sentinel and ran it up to my flag; Brandon had deployed very heavily across from it so I was expecting significant scenario pressure, and I figured that if he committed to the Stormwall I'd just fix it and probably kill all the stuff that punched it.  Top of 2 I feated and started laying into one of the Engines with Kara and the Stormwall.  It had only been left in Shield Guard range of one Inflictor so it got sniped.

Skarre came back and feated the other Engine, a Machine Wraith and a couple Ghost Raiders.  The Engine was able to get in on the Stormwall so that's where it went...

...and did 33 damage.  Hrrk! 😱

Then 3 Ghost Raiders (2 w/ the feat) killed it.  3.51% chance to do it, according to Oddsmachine.  There were lots of 6s involved.

So that was basically that.  We played the game out for giggles; Kara eventually killed the other Engine with a sweet Dust to Dust and the Scavenger in melee, but paid for her arrogance by being impaled by an Inflictor.  Sad times. #whywedontplayKara

Not sure how the game would've gone had the Stormwall not died like a little whiny bitch.  If it had been able to kill the second Engine in retaliation it still had 2 Inflictors to deal with, but with constant repairs and Arc Shield that's probably playable, especially since it could then put its e-leaps and pods to use freeing up Hunters to shoot those guys as well.  Not saying I would've won outright, but it's still a very playable game.

Fortunately, my team had my back.  Jay missed a crucial roll that would've put him in a dominating position in his game and ended up losing, but Brian, Dan and Mike all pulled out EXTREMELY close games against their opponents, putting us up 3-2 and winning us the event!  Yay!

Quick shoutout to the ATC crew; the event was freaking awesome.  The terrain and tables were great and super well set up, it was run smoothly and everything went without a hitch!  Highly recommended for next year; even if you don't have a team there was still a solo event and I'm sure other events would be considered if the size of the tournament grows.  Also quick shoutout to teams Muse, Florida and Lone Star, since they agreed to get up early on Sunday morning to help us get our games done faster since the time of Jay's departing flight had been pushed up and he was in danger of missing the finals.

So all in all, a great weekend and some very tough games.  I was super proud of my team for running through what might've been the toughest gauntlet of opponents at the event and still coming out on top.  Now on to Belgium! :D