Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tourney Recap - East Coast Rumble Masters

Having won my qualifier pod I was in the ECR Masters; battling tooth and nail with 16 other players from hardcore and the other pods for the coveted WMW Invitational spot! I played essentially the same lists that I had in the qualifiers, with a small change from Viktor to Madelyn in Stryker’s list.

Round 1

Everyone gets amped up for the first round and pairings are called; it’s me vs. the man, the myth, the legend himself, Mr. Andrew Lericos. Again! Having just played in the finals of the qualifier pod, we sighed and threw down Stryker2 vs. Grissel1 again. This time we lucked out and didn’t play Incursion, though.

Scenario was Outflank and Andrew won the roll to go first. He placed his Fennblades behind a forest on the right, Kriel Warriors on the left and Warders n’ stuff in the middle. I countered with my Lances across from the Fenns, Forge Guard towards the left and Pistoleers and Battlegroup in the middle.

Andrew went first and blitzed forward, Hoot It’ing the Kriel Warriors who pushed up very far on the left side. The Fennblades stayed way back in the forest and cowered from the threat of Stryker’s mean words. I was able to pop a couple shots off onto the Kriel Warriors on my turn and killed 2-3 with Gun Mages and Finns gun. Rebukes went down on the Kriel Warriors and Warders to stem the tide of angry Troll flesh.

Thoroughly Rebuked, the Trollkin meandered forward again. Iirc Grissel Feated to counter the Rebukes with Hoof It and a couple No Quarter’d Fennblades with Flaming Fists killed one Storm Lance. His Kriel Warriors had extended pretty far into the zone and Andrew was positioning very defensively with the Krielstone (no random Stormcalls for me this time around!), so only a couple of them were protected by its aura. I decided to try and go for a couple early CPs, even though it would cost me a more effective Rolling Thunder later on. The Pistoleers, Stryker’s gun and a couple Stormcallers killed a bunch of the Kriel Warriors while a Rebuke went down on the closest Warder unit. A couple charging Forge Guard finished off the rest of the Kriels in the zone and the rest of the dwarves hid in the back and waited for Stryker to feat. I Dominated the left zone for 2 CPs.

Andrew responded by doing the same thing on the right; Fennblades and Warders were able to finish off the Storm Lance toeing the zone (I think there was just one actually in there) and Grissel Dominated for 2 CPs of her own. The Rebuked Warders and remaining Kriel Warriors wandered into the zone; but weren’t able to get very far in. The Kriels got Heroic Ballad to kill off the Forge Guard that had charged them and Andrew passed the turn.

I wasted no time trying to continue the scenario plan; Thunderbolts, Finn’s Slugger and Stryker’s Magnum killed/pushed most of the Kriel Warriors and Rolling Thunder was called! I tried to get a Stormcaller onto the Krielstone, but he couldn’t roll the 6 to force a Tough check, so the Forge Guard had to go in raw. Madelyn Seduced one Warder out of the zone and the Forge Guard charged in and killed off the other two that had toed it. The Storm Lances contested Grissel’s zone again and killed a bunch of Fennblades with Ride By’s. The follow-up under the Feat cleared the left zone and scored my 4th CP.

Look a picture!

I had left the Lancer and a couple solos to try and body-block the zone and prevent Warders from getting in; in the end 2 of them managed to toe in. The Bouncer got into the zone as well and cleared out 3 more Forge Guard. By the end of his turn, Andrew had been able to contest with 2 Warders, the Bouncer, one Kriel Warrior and the Stonescribe Chronicler. Fennblades and Warders finished off the Storm Lances and Andrew scored up to 4 CPs as well!

A neck-and-neck game and we were down to the wire! I was finally able to tag the Krielstone with a Stormcaller to drop its aura; Finn finished off the remaining Kriel Warriors but weren’t able to kill off the Chronicler. The Forge Guard Assaulted; Murdoch finishing off he Chronicler and the two remaining dwarves dealing massive damage to the Bouncer with some decent dice. In the end, it was all down to Stryker. He Overloaded for 2D6 for a respectable strength buff (7 or 8, IIRC), charged one of the Warders so that he could Reach all 3 models remaining in the zone and forced Tough checks on both Warders; they both passed. Scary! A third attack killed the Bouncer and two more swings into the Warders finally saw them finished off. A Pistoleer ran into the right zone to stop Grissel Dominating and the game ended with a scenario victory to me!

A close game that ended 5-4 on scenario; Outflank is a much more balanced scenario than Incursion (the scenario Andrew and I had played both time we’ve played previously) and it showed in this game. Stryker having to get his hands dirty and clearing the zone by himself was impressive and one of my favorite parts of his playstyle. Andrew played a great game as always that could easily have gone either way. 1-0, it’s on to Round 2!

Round 2

This game I was paired vs. Charlie Michealson and his Retribution of Scyrah. This game was actually streamed by Chris and the NJ WM/H crew so I won’t go into blow-by-blow detail about it; you can just watch the video (Note: the stream archive has since been removed from Twitch, so unfortunately the recording has been lost to the ether)!

Charlie was playing an ADR pair; Vyros1 and Rahn. I figured that Rahn wasn’t a likely prospect given that I had a Stormwall so I ended up dropping Haley into Vyros1. Charlie’s Vyros1 list was interesting; it was a Tier 2 Legions of the Dawn theme force with a bevy of light Warjacks with massive threat ranges that could easily reach out and touch my important solos.

Dawnlord Vyros (*6pts)
* Aspis (4pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
Dawnguard Sentinels (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
* Griffon (4pts)
* Griffon (4pts)
* Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard (0pts)
* Soulless Escort (1pts)
Dawnguard Sentinels (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
* Griffon (4pts)
* Griffon (4pts)
* Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard (2pts)
* Soulless Escort (1pts)
Arcanist (1pts)
Arcanist (1pts)

The scenario was Recon and Charlie ended up going first and ran forward very far; I decided that with the insane threat ranges on his Warjacks, my safest bet was to play the game carefully and castle up around the right flag, using the obstruction on Charlie’s side of the board to bottleneck his guys. It worked until Round 2 when I forgot to Feat with Haley and Aiyana missed a Kiss of Imperatus to let me shoot him off the board with guns. Backup plan I still tried to kill Imperatus but it didn’t work too well; I knocked his shields out but wasn’t able to accomplish any lasting damage.

Fortunately, I kept getting excited and had forgotten to move Haley outside of her place in my deployment zone every turn so far, so forgetting to Feat didn’t put her in mortal danger. Instead, I paid for my mistake by getting Eiryss shanked by a Griffon, Alexia Beat Backed out of the zone by the Aspis and my objective killed for 3 CP. Danger zone! There were too many templates and things for the Sentinels to get a ton of work done (although they tried for Thorn and Aiyana and failed miserably).

With this pretty swing in board state I had to play down from a pretty severe scenario disadvantage. Fortunately, I still had Shift in the bank and a perfectly healthy Stormwall; I was able to take Imperatus off the board (with guns and things iirc, I don’t really remember) and feat on the rest of the army. This shifted the board state enough that I was able to get significantly up on attrition and power out to a scenario win with a couple minutes left on my clock.

We realized after we'd cleaned up that we'd both completely forgotten about Charlie's objective that still sitting cheekily in his zone. We'd scored the game as if it didn't exist but he agreed that I had enough time and attacks (most of my army ended up running around on the last couple of turns and not doing anything important) to take it out so the end result wasn't really affected. Whoopsies! :/

Talking about the game with my opponent afterwards we agreed that he should have made his way over to the flag on the left side and begun scoring after my Feat turn. That would have put pressure on me to commit my Stormwall earlier and I might not have been able to get him over to the flag, which would have been super dangerous. Obviously remembering to Feat when I was supposed to would have been nice too, but we can’t always play a perfect game. Charlie was another awesome and gracious opponent and I had a sweet time playing against him.

Round 3

This game was recorded by NJ WM/H, I think, so it’s probably going to be up on their YouTube channel at some point. The tail end of the game was streamed because it went long and the game on the streamed table ended quickly, so some folks might have seen it. Again, I’ll just quickly summarize the key points rather than giving a blow-by-blow.

This game was against Jake Hoffman and his Cryx; running Skarre1 and someone else I don’t remember. He dropped Skarre and I dropped Haley2; I had played this matchup once before over the weekend, so I had some idea of which to expect, which was good.

Pirate Queen Skarre (*6pts)
* Cankerworm (5pts)
* Skarlock Thrall (2pts)
Bane Knights (Leader and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
Bane Knights (Leader and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls (2pts)
Revenant Crew (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
Satyxis Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Satyxis Raider Sea Witch (2pts)
General Gerlak Slaughterborn (3pts)
Satyxis Raider Captain (2pts)

(there’s 2 more points in there that I totally forgot, whoopsie)

Jake went first and ran at me with his guys. I responded by moving up more conservatively and dropping Covering Fire with the Stormwall to prevent getting locked out of my zone by Satyxis Raiders. Jake ran again.

My second turn I went for a very strong assassination on Skarre that Jake had presented; she was about 6” out of her zone (prime walk-to-Dominate territory), camping 7 or 8 Focus. Fortunately, she was within range TK range to get tagged in the butt by Eiryss (hawt), which meant that she would eat two boosted cannon shots off the Stormwall and four Snipes from the Black 13th (averaging ~20ish damage assuming Eiryss hits). I went for it, but Jake had been very smart and blocked the Stormwall’s landing spot with the Cankerworm, meaning that I’d need to waste a boosted TK to get him out of the way. This meant that I didn’t have the Focus to Deadeye Eiryss and the Stormwall would only be getting 2. Thorn got up in there and both TKs landed; Thorn then all-but died to free-strikes getting out of Eiryss’s way so the elf could make the shot. She missed the 5 she needed because she is a miserable twat.  Fortunately, I remembered to feat this game, so it wasn’t over immediately.

I switched gears and killed a bunch of Bane Knights and Satyxis as well as just about all the Blackbanes, but I lost Thorn and Eiryss for no appreciable gain. I pulled the Stormwall back the turn afterwards and lost Gastonne to cede 2 CPs and keep my Colossal, and Jake was forced to Feat defensively. At this point he was out of models that could reasonably threaten the Stormwall, but was up on scenario pretty convincingly, and without Eiryss I had no way to break Skarre’s camp. I ended up giving up another point from Jake’s zone to give him a 3-0 lead.

At this point I was scrambling to contest my opponent’s zone; Holt and Alexia ended up getting in there. Cankerworm (despite being left alive on like 3 boxes by multiple gunshots and attacks from the stormwall) was able to kill my objective giving my opponent 4 CPs. Skarre then set about clearing her zone, but spent her Focus inefficiently and was only able to kill Holt and knock Alexia down. It was up to two Bane Knight charges to kill her (she was camping on a couple Souls at the time; in hindsight she should have been Arc Shielded), but they left her on one measly box. With those being my opponent’s only models, it was up to the Stormwall to punch Skarre to death, which he did.

I wasn’t particularly happy with winning by such a slim margin (the final Bane Knight needed a 14 on 4D6 to win the game and rolled a 13), but it was still a great game and Jake is always a fun opponent. We joked after the game that we hit the entire bell curve of dice results over the course of the game; from missing Eiryss' shot early on to Cankerworm not getting pulverized by the Stormwall and the Bane Knight failing to kill Alexia (I'm pretty sure I box-car'd a Skarlock on Skarre's Feat turn to kill it with a lightning pod too). Those rascally dice.

Round 4

In the finals! This round was also streamed by NJ WM/H, so it’s another video you can watch at your leisure. This game was against Mr. Michael Klinger, another Cryx player who I also had the previous pleasure of playing against in the Dark Omen Invitational semi-finals. Michael was playing Deneghra1 and Terminus; the last time we played he dropped Terminus into Stryker2 and I was pretty sure that he wasn’t ready to repeat that experience. In any case, I felt that Haley2 had the answers regardless of which list he dropped, so I put her on the table once again. He chose Deneghra1.

Warwitch Deneghra (*5pts)
* Deathripper (4pts)
* Defiler (5pts)
* Skarlock Thrall (2pts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Bane Thrall Officer & Standard (3pts)
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
Press Gangers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (4pts)
The Withershadow Combine (5pts)
Bane Lord Tartarus (4pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
Lord Rockbottom (2pts)
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile (2pts)
Warwitch Siren (2pts)
Warwitch Siren (2pts)

Scenario was Two Fronts and I won the roll to go first and decided to take the first turn; getting stuck with the table edge that had a huge forest in front of my zone. Stuff ran on the first turn; I Arcane Shielded Thorn (although the token got moved around later by accident so I played like he didn’t have it) and booked my ‘jacks up the table super far. The Cryx army did the same thing; the Bane Thralls spreading out in front of the Stormwall and the Nyss across from my zone, some of them hiding in an annoying trench. Deneghra got up the table a reasonable distance and I considered getting Thorn close enough for a TK in the Temp Accel’d Stormwall’s gun range, but decided against it.

Instead, I pushed forward cautiously under Decel; Thorn got up close to the Nyss to Arcane Bolt Cylena out and I forgot to take my Reaction Drive move to get him out of range of charges. Whoops. Alexia moved up behind him and collected a couple souls from some Nyss that the Black 13th killed and I passed turn. Not super duper exciting.

Michael mentioned that he’d expected a Turn 2 Shift from Haley and was a little confused that I didn’t take it. While Shifting early would have alleviated some of the threat from the Nyss, the Stormwall was quite safe under Covering Fire and I didn’t feel it necessary. Michael decided to capitalize on my mistake with Thorn and try to take him out; Deneghra moved up and Feated, catching Haley and the Stormwall but leaving a couple of my solos free (Holt, Gastonne and Ryan escaped, iirc). She tried to cast a Crippling Grasp into Thorn but it got Vortexed by Alexia so he tried again to strip all the souls off of her. Two Nyss got into Thorn and did serious damage but didn’t kill him iirc; Alexia took a bunch of damage from sprays and Dougal mini-feated so Gorman could get a Black Oil onto the Stormwall.

At this point Deneghra was very far up the field (on a hill around 22” up the board) on a very low camp; Black Oil and Withering would save her from most of my big hitters but I was fairly sure I could set up for a reasonable assassination next turn. With that in mind, I got Thorn killed with free-strikes so he would get out of everyone’s way, Deadeye’d the B13 and Gorman and pushed Gorman 2” forward with a TK. At only SPD 4, Gorman was far out of range of Blinding Deneghra without help, so the Stormwall sacrificed its action to walk towards her and drop a pod in front of her, which got subsequently Black Oil’d. I shot the pod with Eiryss to get it out of the way, the B13 killed a couple Nyss and Gorman to give Alexia 2 souls and she wandered forward to make 2 Thrall Warriors that charged Deneghra. Swinging at DEF 12 they needed 6s to hit and both missed, but I wasn’t particularly worried because a Blind, Shifted Denny wasn’t going anywhere.

Michael spent his turn durdling around under Shift; Deneghra camped the full 7 and the Skarlock hilariously Parasited her objective for an additional +1 ARM. Zira killed off Gorman so he wouldn’t be bugging Denny anymore and the turn was passed. At that point it was only a matter of the Stormwall activating and putting Deneghra in a shallow grave; I went about it a little inefficiently, boosting attack rolls on her rather than just Power Striking a Thrall into her to knock her down, but the end result was the same. Alexia was waiting in the wings to get a Mage Killer charge on her if the Stormwall decided to suck, but in the end the big guy finished it up all by himself.

The big circle thing is a Stormwall.  Spoiler alert.

Another fun game; Michael admitted that he’d never gotten this far in a Masters-level event before and was a little nervous. He played very aggressively and I was able to capitalize on it. Even so, it was a fun game and Michael is another cool guy who’s great to play against!

So with that, I end the event with a 4-0 record and get a ticket for Warmachine Weekend! I ended up also going 6-0 and winning the Hardcore event that ran on the Friday and Saturday, but putting me at a grand total record of 14-0 for the weekend, which is my personal best. All my games were against some super cool guys and every single one of them was very enjoyable! The event was well run; there was one scheduling snafu with Hardcore on the Friday but the remainder of the event ran surprisingly smoothly. The crew made pairings printouts every round for the qualifier pods that diagramed the tables players were playing on that were super helpful. I highly recommend the event to anyone looking for some fun games of Warmachine in an awesome atmosphere!

Thanks for reading!

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