Monday, May 11, 2015

Tourney Recap - East Coast Rumble Qualifier

Hey all! I just finished up a report of my games from the East Coast Rumble Masters qualifier pods!   For those who don’t know, East Coast Rumble is a (previously) small Warmachine/Hordes event run in New Jersey every year. In past years it was focused on the social aspect of the game, offering camaraderie and alcohol in addition to good games of Warmachine and the occasional ticket to a local con (like the late Dark Omen Invitational or CaptainCon). This year, however, it was awarded a WMWI qualifier spot and almost instantly doubled in size, with over 110 players arriving from across the country to compete for the coveted qualification.

Step one of the mad scramble to the top of the pile were the Qualifer pods; first or second in one of the six 16-man Steamrollers would get you a place in Masters as would top 4 in the Hardcore that was running throughout the weekend. I had planned out an all-comers pairing that would give me a solid chance in most matchups, but decided to audible out and change my lists for a couple reasons; A. there was a TON of Cryx (I don’t have numbers, but it was roughly 20-25%; ironically none were in my pod) for which I was entirely unprepared and B. the list I had built for Hardcore was super fun and currently 4-0, so I wanted to stick with it. That meant gutting Stryker2 to get the characters out, but I tried to make an acceptable compromise:

Major Victoria Haley (*5pts)
* Thorn (8pts)
* Stormwall (Bond) (19pts)
* Squire (2pts)
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team (4pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire (4pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Gastone Crosse (3pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
Journeyman Warcaster (3pts)
Ragman (2pts)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)

This list looks a little eclectic, but served me well over the weekend. Originally I designed it for Hardcore on a whim to activate quickly and be able to compete in a variety of different matchups and had so much fun playing it that I decided to continue.

Lord Commander Stryker (*6pts)
* Lancer (Bond) (6pts)
* Squire (2pts)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2pts)
Horgenhold Forge Guard (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Captain Jonas Murdoch (2pts)
Storm Lances (Leader and 4 Grunts) (11pts)
Archduke Alain Runewood (3pts)
Captain Maxwell Finn (3pts)
Journeyman Warcaster (3pts)
Professor Victor Pendrake (2pts)
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1pts)
Stormblade Captain (2pts)
Stormblade Captain (2pts)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)

Stryker got hit pretty hard by the changes to Haley’s list; he normally chills with Aiyana and the B13, but that particular Haley list doesn’t really function without those models, so he had to make due. I scrounged up some solos to take their place as best I could, but I’m not particularly happy with the final product. Fortunately there was no Divide and Conquer in play, so I wouldn’t have to actually play this list at all.


Round 1

Vs. Kevin Bashford (a.k.a TaoDark) and his Trollbloods on Close Quarters. Kevin was running Runes and Hunters Grim iirc and ostensibly chose Runes. I wasn’t sure what to take; normally I am very comfortable taking Stryker2 into Runes, but without the B13 and AnH I wasn’t confident in my ability to kill Runeshapers and force the Beasts into me (which is normally my plan), so I dropped Haley instead. I’ve played the Haley/Thornwall matchup into Runes before, albeit with a very suite of support infantry and it was a little tough, but playable. Thorn makes it so much harder for Mulg to ever be effective that the Stormwall gets to play in the sprinkler most of the game.

I believe I took the first turn and Kevin chose side. There was very little defensive terrain in the center of the table, just some obstructions and forests off to the side, which made advancing for the Trolls pretty difficult. I booked it forward first turn and forced Doomy to play a little cautiously early on; camping a couple Transfers to avoid death-by-Stormwall guns. I picked off Janissa with and a couple Stonescribes early Stormwall shooting, which made it that much harder for the heavies to gain board presence. Eventually, close range shooting from the Stormwall, B13, Holt and Alexia killed/broke most of the Runeshapers and Mulg was forced forwards; once that happened a TK’d Gorman Blinded him and the Earthborn, Shift went down and the Stormwall killed Mulg. Next turn Gorman min-drifted a Black Oil onto Doomy and lots of guns killed him.

A bit of a perfect-storm of little things contributed to the match going in my favor; the Killbox scenario forcing Doomshaper forward and the lack of terrain between the CC flags which made it tough for the big Troll beasts to move up and put pressure on the Stormwall. The massive assassination threat of the list also stopped Doomy from trying to cap his flag as well; even with Banishing Ward a drifted Time Bomb could spell the end for the old troll with the number of high quality shots Haley’s list puts out.

Round 2

Vs. Paul Rogers and his grizzled Mercenaries in Fire Support! Paul was playing a cool looking Ashlynn theme force with a Galleon and lots of Gun Mages paired with a crazy Damiano list with two Nomads, Rorsch and Brine, Nyss and a boatload of Steelheads. I honestly had no idea what I was going on in the pairing but Paul seemed like a pretty capable player so I dropped Haley just in case.

Paul played his interesting Damiano list; a good choice since it has a lot of credible threats to the Stormwall. Damiano has always been a bit of a bugbear of mine, but being in Mercenaries means that he needs to hold his Feat to kill the Stormwall with his relatively pillowfisted models.

Captain Damiano (*6pts)
* Nomad (6pts)
* Nomad (6pts)
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Steelhead Halberdiers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (2pts)
Rorsh & Brine (9pts)

Paul’s list was interesting; it provided enough fast heavy hitters with Warpath that an alpha on the Feat turn was not only possible but potentially devastating, as well as having enough guns to skirmish with Deadeye before contact was made. I was wary of the matchup.

Paul won the roll to go first and chose to take it; I chose a side with a nice wall to hide behind and get shot by Nyss Hunters. Paul’s Steelhead boat deployed on my left across from my flag, the Nyss and RnB on my right and the Battlegroup in the center; I counter deployed Gastonne and Alexia across from the Steelheads, the B13 and Eiryss in a forest across from the Nyss and Haley and Thorn in the middle.

The game began with Paul running his guys at me; Eiryss took position in a trench smack-dab in the center of the board and waggled her tongue at me and everything else booked it full tilt up the table. In my turn, I Accelerated the Stormwall to get a pod in the Trench with Eiryss so a TK’d Ryan could Mage Storm it (and obviously deal 4 damage to Eiryss and leave her alive) and take some pot-shots at one of the Nomads. Everything else just repositioned a bit and hung back under Decel.

Paul Deadeye’d his Nyss and moved everything forward a little more cautiously this turn; he took out Ryan for her impudence with Nyss shots and attempted to hit Ragman, who hilariously sac-pawn’d to ARM 18 Haley like a the giant **** that he is. Eiryss hobbled over to the Stormwall and Thorn, waggled her tongue at them and mumbled something about Warjacks being dumb. The Steelheads advanced cautiously as well, the Cavalry clustering around a Surefoot Nomad while the Halberdiers jammed the Stormwall to keep it from getting to my flag.

Haley had a boatload of Focus to play with in my turn, courtesy of Eiryss who died very quickly to an Acid bomb from Gorman. She used some of it to get an Arcane Bolt into Cylena to stop CRAs off the Nyss, sat on Decel and Shifted. The Stormwall aimed and killed a couple Steelheads, giving souls to Alexia who made some Warrior Thralls that promptly failed to kill any more. Some more Nyss died to guns.

Paul’s follow-up was unimpressive because of Shift; stiff durdled around and Ragman got shot some more but passed it off to Haley. The next turn I got a Time Bomb on the Surefooted Nomad that caught most of the Cav and Damiano’s BG (they were all clustered together to block LoS to Damiano). The Stormwall killed a couple more Steelheads and Alexia’s Warrior Thralls continued to be unimpressive. Haley camped a couple and went off to hide in the woods.

With most of his army mitigated by the Time Bomb and Decel consequently not cast, Paul decided that this was the turn to go for the throat; Deadeye went down on Holt and Rorsch and Damiano Feated for good measure. Unfortunately, Haley’s DEF 18 in the forest was too much for the Mercenary gunners, and while Rorsch hit and dealt some damage, Holt missed. A couple follow-up Nyss failed as well and Paul passed the turn. There were Nomads and heavy cav in between Damiano and the Stormwall, so a Kiss and some boosted gunshots from Gastonne cleared a path. Rhupert was trying to block the Stormwall’s landing zone with his base and a flag, but there ended up being just enough room for the big guy to get there and pulverize Damiano.

A close game; Paul and I spoke about it afterwards and we agreed that pushing my flag with the BG AND Steelheads was a bit much; Damiano hung around behind his Warjacks for most of the game near my flag, while spreading out not only mitigates Time Bomb but also puts scenario pressure on me by scoring on his flag.



Round 3
Vs. Keith (not Christianson) w/ Cygnar in Two Fronts. Keith was bringing a Haley2 “Oceans” style list (a la Keith yes Christianson) and Siege with a bunch of guns. I drop Haley because she tends to be very strong in the Cygnar mirror, especially with a Stormwall.

Major Victoria Haley (*5pts)
* Thorn (8pts)
* Centurion (9pts)
* Squire (2pts)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2pts)
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (Boomhowler and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire (4pts)
Anastasia di Bray (2pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
Journeyman Warcaster (3pts)
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1pts)

Keith wins the roll to go first with Anastasia and chooses to take it; I pre-deploy the Stormwall across from his zone, he puts the Centurion and Boomhowlers across from mine with Gun Mages, Thorn and a bunch of solos across from his zone. Confident that the models matched up against it can’t actually remove a Stormwall without significant moving parts, I deployed the majority of my guns across from my zone with the intention of shooting all the Boomhowlers to death and scoring. There was a nice forest in the center between the two zones, which was going to significantly hamper Keith’s Pathfinder-light list.

Essentially, that plan went well. We both ran up the table early; Arcane Shield went on Haley so she didn’t randomly get Arcane Bolted to death. Keith Shifted on his second turn to stuff up the Stormwall getting into his zone with Gun Mages, but I continuously Blinded it so his Gorman wasn’t able to. Still, I was able to get a Lightning Pod over Eiryss and zap her, counter-shift with Haley and try really hard to clear out as many Boomhowlers as possible in my zone. Despite Eiryss missing one to knock off Arcane Shield, I still cleared the Boomhowlers out and Dominated the Centurion out of my zone to score 1 point.

From there the game was pretty straightforward; the Stormwall camped my opponent’s zone and disrupted Thorn with lightning pods while I slowly chewed through the Boomhowlers and Centurion on my side. Eventually I ate the Blind on the Stormwall so my Gorman could blind Alexia, who had been running around the table edge to get at my support, and that enabled me to pod Gorman.

Eventually I’d eliminated all the contesting models in my zone and began scoring more quickly, destroying my opponent’s objective as well. Keith’s Haley eventually gave up and decided to charge into the Stormwall; she scratched the paint a little before she was squashed for her trouble.

With a big forest in the middle, the terrain really hurt my opponent in this game. Interestingly, I think it’s one of the few times that Haley wants to go 2nd; without a lot of Pathfinder in his list Keith was unable to redeploy his models to get more favorable matchups and let me counter deploy very effectively. Anyhoo, 3-0 and on to the final round!

Round 4

Finals! No pressure. I get paired up vs. Andrew Lericos and his Trollbloods in Incursion! The irony is that Andrew and I played the exact same scenario in the finals of the Dark Omen Invitational, so we were up for a rematch! Andrew was bringing Grissel1 and Grim; I liked my chances with Stryker2 vs. either list, so I dropped him and Andrew chose Grissel1.

Grissel Bloodsong (*5pts)
* Pyre Troll (5pts)
* Troll Bouncer (5pts)
Kriel Warriors (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
* 2 Kriel Warrior Caber Thrower (2pts)
* Kriel Warrior Standard Bearer & Piper (2pts)
Krielstone Bearer and 5 Stone Scribes (4pts)
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder (1pts)
Trollkin Fennblades (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer (2pts)
Trollkin Warders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8pts)
Trollkin Warders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8pts)
Saxon Orrik (2pts)
Stone Scribe Chronicler (2pts)

I won the roll to go first and chose to take it; my side ended up having a wall in the center of the table (about 6” off the center flag) a house in front of the left flag and a forest in front of the right one. I positioned my Storm Lances behind the forest, where they could take advantage of the Stormblade Captain’s Relentless Charge to operate independently. The Pistoleers and Lancer went in the middle with the Forge Guard on the left.

Andrew placed his Fennblades across from my Storm Lances on the right, both Warder units in the center and the Kriel Warriors in a forest on the left. With the benefit of the first turn, I ran lots of stuff very far forward; Arc Shield went down on the Storm Lances and they took position in the forest. The Lancer ranged out very far forward for some turn 2 Rebukes and the rest of the army followed up behind. Andrew did much the same thing; stuff ran forward. It was all very exciting.

Turn 2 I got Rebukes in on the Fennblades and Kriel Warriors and started killing them. A few Pistoleer shots and RBAs from the Storm Lances killed off several Fennblades and triggered Vengeance while Finn’s slugger and Stormcalls took out a couple Kriel Warriors. Stryker took a commanding position in the center of the table behind the wall.

Andrew wasted no time in countering the Rebukes with an early Feat. He Calamity’d the Lancer and cast Flaming Fists on a Warder, using a Push from the Bouncer to get it in charge range of the little ‘jack. Even with all that effort, the Warder missed its charge attack and dealt nominal damage with its second. Hoof Its from the Feat pushed the mass of angry trolls up the table, gaining ground despite the double Rebuke while Grissel meandered a little towards the flag on the left.

There was a brief, shining moment that I thought that Stryker was just outside of 12” of Grissel, meaning I could reach her with a single Velocity and end the game early, but her no-spell bubble meant that I’d need to actually play the game out. With that in mind, I filled up the Lancer with FOC and Positive Charge, called upon the power of ROLLIN’ THUNDAH! and set about slaughtering Trollkin. By the end of the turn I’d killed 8 Fennblades, 6 Warders and the majority of the Kriel Warriors (although they had Hero’s Tragedy active, which made it tough to kill too many of them). I was able to get a Stormcaller over to the right-most flag and score 1 point.

Andrew was left with less than half an army to swing back at me, which he used effectively, clearing off the left flag with Grissel and remaining Kriel Warriors. The Bouncer dirted the Lancer and the Warders in the center made a valiant effort to clear the middle flag but left a single Stormcaller alive with some bad dice.

In response, Stryker decided to get his hands dirty, Overloading to try and axe the Bouncer, but didn’t roll particularly well and wasn’t able to finish off the Troll before needing to Velocity back to the safety of his wall. Storm Lance assaults and SBC charges jammed up the center flag and killed off a couple Warders.

The remaining Troll models at that point were unable to be a credible threat to the might of the remaining Cygnarans; Grissel cleared the left flag again and contested the right, but it was soon cleared and the Storm Lances killed off the Bouncer in the center, forming a wall of steel between the Trollkin on the left flag and the Stormcaller cheekily scoring on the right. I scored 2 points up to 4 and Andrew was left with no way to contest the right flag; he cleared the left flag for tiebreakers and passed turn, winning me the game on scenario!

Andrew is always a pleasure to play against and we had a great game; I was able to tag his Krielstone with a Stormcaller before Rolling Thunder, and that let the Forge Guard wreak havoc on the Warders, which brought me up very high on attrition. Combined with the spread scenario, which can turn bad very quickly should one flank buckle for the slower Trollbloods that attrition lead was enough to win me the game. Some bad dice on Andrew’s part also helped contribute; missing the Lancer early on with his Warder to cripple its systems and not clearing the center flag on the follow-up were both rough and might have swung the game if they’d gone perfectly. Still a great game with a great opponent!

4-0 in the pod automatically qualified me for the Masters event, so stay tuned for another report covering my games in ECR WMWI qualifier Masters!

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