Friday, September 4, 2015

Tourney Recap - Erratapocalypse!!!

What’s up folks!?  This past weekend I took a little trip to a local game store to get some games in with my now apparently awful and competitively pointless swans!  The Nova Open is in less than a week so it’s crunch time for lists, so I was excited at the opportunity to try out some of the changes that I’ve made to my list pairing to cope with the recent errata.

That said; here are the lists as they stand:

Major Victoria Haley (*5pts)
* Thorn (8pts)
* Stormwall (19pts)
* Squire (2pts)
Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team (4pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Tactical Arcanist Corps (4pts)
Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire (4pts)
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios (3pts)
Gastone Crosse (3pts)
Journeyman Warcaster (3pts)
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1pts)

Haley’s Heroes v2.0; I was going to write a whole article about how sweet this list is but the errata made me hold off and get some more up-to-date experience before making a final judgment.  We’ll see how I feel after a whole convention.

Ragman and Gorman were taken out for Arcanist Corps; Ragman was on his way out and Gorman was relegated to mostly cloud duty anyway, so the TAC felt like a no brainer because they do the cloud thing better.

Commander Coleman Stryker (*6pts)
* Stormwall (19pts)
* Stormwall (19pts)
* Squire (2pts)
Storm Lances (Leader and 4 Grunts) (11pts)
Journeyman Warcaster (3pts)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)
Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)

Haley’s Heroes has some trouble with super hard ARM skews, so Stryker’s in there to save the day!  He can also pseudo-replicate her Feat via Invincible Stormwalls, so he can play into a lot of matchups that she used to cover; i.e. ranged alpha strikes like Ossyan, Ravyn or Lylyth2.  The Lances are in there to help a little in the Ret matchup; they’re hard for MHSF to kill and they can jam and leap stuff to death with the best of them.  They’re also legitimately difficult to remove while Invinciblility.

Ragman migrated over to this list for a bit, which is strong against a lot of melee power like Brad or MMM, but the utility of the Stormcallers is a pretty significant strength so I put them back in.

Anyway, enough boring list talk, let’s get into some games!

Round 1

Vs. Dan (a.k.a PG_Bergerfett) and his Retribution.  Berger was bringing two jack-spam ARM skews in Vyros2 and Force Wall, so Stryker got windmill-slammed on the table.  Berger dropped Force Wall at Tier 4 on the off chance I threw down Haley.  Scenario was Outflank, which I’m not a huge fan of with double Colossal, but oh well.

Kaelyssa, Night's Whisper (*7pts)
* Griffon (4pts)
* Griffon (4pts)
* Manticore (8pts)
* Manticore (8pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
* Phoenix (10pts)
House Shyeel Battle Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
Arcanist (1pts)

Arcanist (1pts)

Arcanist (1pts)

Arcanist (1pts)

Arcanist (1pts)

Arcanist (1pts)

Arcanist (1pts)
House Shyeel Artificer (3pts)
House Shyeel Magister (2pts)
House Shyeel Magister (2pts)

Spammy as eff.  The Magisters are freaking tech in that list, BTdubs.

I won the initiative roll and chose to take the first turn so as not to get jammed out too hard.  Berger took the side with a nice wall and gave me a sweet obstruction in front of my left zone for the Stormwalls to get stuck behind.  Joy.

I deployed the Stormwalls relatively centrally and the Lances on my right side.  Berger deployed his Griffons and Manticores across from the left zone, Battle Mages and Phoenix on the right.

Turn 1, nothing ran because Theme Forces are fun for everyone.  I Arc Shielded the Lances and the left Stormwall, the right one got Snipe to hopefully pressure Kaelyssa into an early Feat.

The angry elves exercise their right to move their full distance on the first turn and run up pretty far.  Kaelyssa Feats to stop shooting and leaps from killing dudes.

Now that I can run, I do so!  The left Stormwall trampled into the zone; in threat range of 2 Griffons but I decide that I don’t really care very much and pods one of them to disrupt it.  The right Stormwall advanced a little as well, making sure to keep out of the Whip Snap threat of a Phoenix on that side.  Another pod goes down to allow a Triangulation that disrupts the other Griffon and Storm Lances run into the zone and be annoying.

Without a Stormwall in the right zone, my opponent can score pretty easily; Mages pushed 3 Lances out of the zone and a Phoenix waltzed up to kill the other one handily.  The Griffons get Focused by Arcanists and Fleet-Run to jam up both Stormwalls.  I’m a scrub and made a bit of a mistake on the right side, putting a Lance in front of the Stormwall, which limited its movement pretty severely.  The Manticores advanced towards the left Stormwall threateningly and menaced.  Berger goes to 1 CP.


The Phoenix that moved up to kill the Storm Lance is in a pretty exposed position, so I decided to try and take it before going Invincible to hopefully hold out on Scenario for another turn.  Unfortunately jamming my own Stormwall on the right meant that it won’t be getting very close to the zone this turn, which could cause issues.  I allocate each Stormwall 3, move the left one as far up the table as I can (not very far with the stupid obstruction in the way) and pulverize the Griffon in front of him.  The right Stormwall spun up all its guns on the Phoenix and… didn’t do very well.  One shot hit and spiked really high, and all the others either miss or deal 0 damage, even after boosting.  It was a little depressing.  I sent the Storm Lances in but unfortunately one of them is just out of charge range; again one of them got a good roll but the others are unexciting and I leave the Phoenix on about 4 boxes.  Stryker goes Invincible and I pass the turn.

With 4 Invincible Lances in the zone, Berger decided not to try too hard to score again this turn.  One manticore moves over and punches and Storm Lance to death while the other one backs up behind a wall.  The undamaged Phoenix stabs another Lance and the crippled one does his flame bursty thing to set the remaining Lances on fire, but also ends up killing his own Magister.  He passes the turn back.

Now it’s time for the Stormwalls to start getting actual work done; there are two heavies in my face on the right zone and the left is relatively undefended, so I go for a cheeky CP grab, kill the other Magister and 2 Arcanists and run Stryker to score 2 CPs.  The right Stormwall moved up to the Phoenix and Manticore on the right; with the Phoenix so heavily damaged, I decide to get ultra super duper cute and double-handed throw the Manticore into the Phoenix.  Unfortunately, I miss the Phoenix (who has only its movement left, of course) and the Manticore deviated out of range for the Stormwall to buy an attack on it and finish it off.  Regardless, both ‘jacks are knocked down and lightning disrupts them both.  The last remaining Storm Lance tries to finish off the hapless Phoenix but doesn’t break armor with his pokey stick because he is the worst.  I go to 2 CPs.

With only a Storm Lance contesting the zone, Berger tries again to clear it and starts putting shots into the lonely guy.  Unfortunately, as lonely as he is, the Storm Lance (in melee and on a hill) turns out to be pretty agile and dodges shots from Kaelyssa and a Phoenix as well as couple swings from the remaining Griffon and two charging Battle Mages (it was super impressive) before an aiming Manticore steps up to the plate and blows the poor dude off the table.  Unfortunately, putting all those resources into killing the Storm Lance meant that there is precious little to contest the right zone, so the Artificer has to do it himself.  Berger goes to 3 CPs.

I’m feeling up on this point, despite having actually killed 0 heavies out of the four still on the table.  With that in mind, Stryker runs out of the zone to hide in case someone tries to kill him.  The Stormwall on the left punches the Artificer to death while the one on the right wades into the zone, finally finishing off the Phoenix and Manticore he’d knocked together the previous turn and electrocuting a bunch of Battle Mages for good measure.  I go to 3 CPs as well.

With one Manticore behind a wall and unable to charge, my opponent is out of models to clear the right zone and Dominate for the win.  A Phoenix gets charged up and charges into the right Stormwall but just scuffs its armor and some other attacks going into it fail to cripple any systems.  On my turn, the left zone gets cleared, Stryker runs into it and I win on scenario.

An intense grind of a game and a much more difficult round 1 than I was hoping for; Berger played a great game and did a good job keeping the right zone open for Kaelyssa to dominate.  The biggest weaknesses of dual Colossal lists are live scenarios, and he did a great job exploiting that.  On to round 2!

Round 2

I get paired with Shane (known about the internetz as JestorCT), who was very vocal earlier in the day about not having brought his Cygnar answer to the tournament and was hoping to dodge me.  He failed.

Shane was bringing Convergence with a Carrier Group list featuring two Prime Axioms and a TEP paired with Sustained Assault.  Theme forces 4 dayz.  I threw down Haley2 and Shane dropped Iron Mother into Two Fronts.

Iron Mother Directrix & Exponent Servitors (*4pts)
* Corollary (3pts)
* Prime Axiom (19pts)
* Prime Axiom (19pts)
Transinfinite Emergence Projector & Permutation Servitors (9pts)
Optifex Directive (Leader and 2 Grunts) (2pts)
Optifex Directive (Leader and 2 Grunts) (2pts)

I won the roll to go first again and chose to take it.  Shane chose the table edge with the super convenient hill and saddled me with a bunch of rough terrain.  Sadness.

I ran my stuff on the first turn; since there were just about no souls for Alexia to steal she booked it as far as she could up the left flank to try and get at those juicy Optifex.  Shane did largely the same thing; the TEP ran along my right flank and mom cast Tactical Supremacy on it to give it 3 more inches while the colossals bunkered up in the middle.

The Convergence, being masters of camouflage and subterfuge, have disguised their Prime Axioms as wreck markers

The TEP got very close and I knew that it could wreak havoc on my solos if I let it run wild, so I resolved to get rid out it as soon as possible.  I took some pot shots at it with solos, Kissed it and charged in with the Stormwall, who dirted it without an issue.  I dropped a pod between the two Axioms and Thorn walked up so Haley could Bomb both of them to avoid retaliation and save Shift to deal with the heavier armor.  Decel and clouds went down to protect the most important stuff and I passed the turn.

With no Shift going down this turn, Shane started by putting some significant pressure on poor Haley.  Iron Mother Imperiled the Stormwall, feated and Backlashed it, putting a boosted gun shot into it.  Once the Axioms activated and finished waddling in front of her, Haley had taken 8 damage from Backlashes and was looking significantly less smug.  Unfortunately, Iron Mother didn’t move far enough up the table and ended up killboxing herself, giving me 2 CPs.

I spent a long time considering my options; I didn’t feel that playing defensively and healing would be productive in the long run, so mom could just keep plinking damage through the Stormwall onto Haley, and I wasn’t sure I could play a long game even if I killed one Axiom and Shifted, so I went after Iron Mother herself.  Aiyana Kissed the objective in Shane’s zone and Holt, Gastonne and a wizard dorf killed it off to clear the Stormwall’s way.   Haley Accelerated and Deadeyed the big guy and moved up to Dominate my zone just in case, still hiding behind clouds and Shifting.  With Acceleration, the Stormwall was able to walk around the side of the right Axiom and get LoS to mom; lightning her up with two cannon shots and finishing her off with a lucky metal storm.  2-0!

In hindsight, I might have had another play available; Dominating my zone and destroying Shane’s objective meant that I would go to 4 CPs and if I pulled the Stormwall back away from the Axioms, Decel+Shift and a couple focus worth of healing would have kept Haley safe from death-by-Backlash.  That would’ve forced my opponent to put an Axiom in each zone or lose on scenario, letting the Stormwall kill off a Colossal on my own terms and theoretically win on scenario.  Obviously if mom hadn’t Killboxed herself that wouldn’t have been on the table, but as it stood I’m not sure which play was better.  Regardless, Shane played a good game and really put me in a really awkward position.  Round 3 hooooo!

Round 3

Vs. Wade, a local player with his Skorne.  Like a champ, Wade was playing the indomitable Faction Morghoul, running Morghoul1 and Hit Squad.  The scenario was Incursion, which didn’t bone well for poor Morghoul unfortunately.  I dropped Haley2 into Morghoul1.

Master Tormentor Morghoul (*7pts)
* Basilisk Krea (4pts)
* Cyclops Brute (5pts)
* Aradus Sentinel (8pts)
* Bronzeback Titan (10pts)
* Molik Karn (11pts)
* Titan Gladiator (8pts)
* Aptimus Marketh (3pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Agonizer (2pts)
Mortitheurge Willbreaker (2pts)

I wasn’t super excited about the matchup; with mah boi Stryker2 I usually have no problem fighting Skorne any day of the week, but it is sort of a bugbear for my pairing.  Morghoul1 especially can stack his feat and an Agonizer bubble for multiple turns of dicking over my Stormwalls and most Skorne forces tend to be pretty resilient to all the solos.  Haley generally needs to pull more than her weight in the matchup to make ends meet.

I won the initiative roll again (which was awesome) and deployed pretty centrally.  I was pretty sure that the speed and MSU-style of my list would go a long way towards a scenario win if I could keep the beasts contained in the middle for long enough.  With that in mind, I Shielded Thorn and ran him and the Stormwall pretty far up the table on the first turn.  Wade ran his stuff up similarly aggressive, popping a Paralytic Aura and putting Karn in front of it on a hill in the middle.

With a fairly ludicrous threat range and the ability to mangle the Stormwall super hard, I wanted Karn dead as soon as possible so I tried really hard to make that happen this turn.  He’d run pretty far up and I was confident that the Stormwall could get into range to punch him first.  Following that plan, I TK’d Karn around out of the Krea aura, Accelerated the Stormwall and Shifted.  Aiyana landed a Kiss on him and I took a couple pot-shots with some solos.   Then Stormwall went in and took the angry Cyclops off the table.  Yay!  Alexia also ran to the left flag and I passed turn.

The Skorne army durdled for a turn under Haley’s apparently-now-garbage time magic.  Crucially, Morghoul moved up, filled the Agonizer and feated.  The Agonizer then moaned something about having been forced to watch the Fantastic Four remake and waddled forward to annoy Thorn.  Wade wasn’t able to get anything over to the left flag, but the Sentinel did walk up and pop an Ancillary at a wizard dorf that deviated onto Haley and dealt 1 damage.

With 1 CP under my belt and the opportunity to score many more, I didn’t feel too bad about having both my Warjacks rendered useless.  I did need to kill that annoying Agonizer, though; he was an astoundingly poor critic of awful superhero movie remakes.  Despite a Hellfire from Alexia, two aimed shots from Gastonne and a fireball from a TAC member, it looked like the annoying little elephant would survive.  Fortunately Ryan came to the rescue, deviating a Mage Storm on top of the poor guy’s head and dealing the 1 damage needed to finish him off!  That freed up Thorn to arc, which he did gleefully, putting a Time Bomb onto the Gladiator and TK’ing the Bronzeback further away from the left flag.  Haley then began her long odyssey to her summer home on the table edge, behind an Arcanist Corps cloud.  The Stormwall then displayed his aptitude for the better part of valor and backed off to the right flag, scoring me 2 more CPs.

With a bunch of effectively SPD 2 Warbeasts and no good way to contest flags, my opponent decided that it was time to kill my Warcaster, a plan that I was wholeheartedly against.  Between a Rush, Abuse and Push from the Bronzeback, the Sentinel walked effectively 8” around the edge of the Arcanist Corps cloud protecting Haley and got LoS to her; fortunately, the angle at which he had to walk at to get LoS put him out of range by a sliver and both the Sentinel’s shot and follow-up Ancillary deviated away from her.  Way to go wizard dorfs!

Without a way to contest the right flag, I scored on both my opponent’s turn and my next one, winning the game on scenario.

Somebody call an exterminator!  These bugs are annoying!

Whew!  That was close.  If the Sentinel hits the 11 to tag Haley with its spitball, there’s a significant chance that she keels over, especially since she’d taken damage previously.  I’d written off the Sentinel as too slow to get at any of my super important pieces, and tried to protect the solos too far up the table with TAC clouds, but with all of Morghoul’s speed buffs in play the threat range of the little bug was impressive and very nearly caught me!  I’ll have to be more careful next time.  To the finals!!!!!

Round 4

Vs. Mr. Andrew Briggs and his Trollbloods!  Briggs has been on a Faction Grissel kick recently and is rocking Grissel1 with a bunch of multiwound infantry alongside Grissel2… with a bunch of multiwound infantry.  I hadn’t had the pleasure of playing the matchup previously but Stryker I built to deal with lists such as the dreaded Miserable Meat Mountain so he got dropped down vs. Grissel2 in Destruction.

Grissel Bloodsong, Marshal of the Kriels (*6pts)
* Troll Impaler (5pts)
* Mulg the Ancient (12pts)
Krielstone Bearer and 5 Stone Scribes (4pts)
* Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder (1pts)
Trollkin Champions (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10pts)
Trollkin Warders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8pts)
Trollkin Warders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8pts)
Fell Caller Hero (3pts)
Fell Caller Hero (3pts)
Stone Scribe Chronicler (2pts)

For the fourth game in a row I won the roll to take the first turn and gleefully chose to take it.  Briggs chose the table edge that featured a gorgeous wall to hide Grissel behind while I got saddled with a hill and a trench.

Round 1 was pretty uneventful; I ran all my stuff forward super far; the Lances on the right with Arc Shield, the Stormwall on the right getting Snipe and the other taking Stryker’s Shield.  The Stormcallers fanned out to get at the juicy support in the back.  Some Trolls ran forward too and Grissel cast Inhospitable Ground to slow up the Lances.  It was super exciting

I knew I needed to get rid of the Stonescribe Chronicler first thing to take Charge of the Trolls off the table, so the Sniped Stormwall  toed onto the hill and took some shots at him, but the little guy Toughed.  The other Stormwall took out a Fell Caller and a Stormcaller forced a second tough check on the SSC.  Pods went down and Lances charged in to jam stuff up.  When the dust clears, 2 Champions are dead as well.

The troll brick trundles up the table; swinging at Storm Lances and Lightning Pods.  They’re a little jammed up a little so not many models get into the zone, but 2 of the 3 Storm Lances I’d charged in get dirted.  Grissel fills up the Krielstone with most of her Fury and hides behind the wall like the brave Trollkin leader that she is.

Only a few infantry had gotten into the zone on my opponent’s turn so while normally I’d try to squeeze in one more round of shooting before charging in, I saw an opportunity to score in a big way.  Both Stormwalls got filled up and one charged into my opponent’s objective squishing it and knocking out the Stone with a lightning pod before beating 2 more Warders to death.  The other Stormwall was in an awkward position behind my objective, so had to charge at an odd angle to make melee and kill another Warder.  The zone clear, Stryker went Invincible and charged into it and the Storm Lances jammed some more, putting me at 3 CPs.

The odd angle that the left Stormwall had been forced to charge at meant that the Stormwall’s couldn’t get base to base to hide Stryker, which was unfortunate but I wasn’t super worried given that his feat was active.  Briggs decided that the long game wasn’t looking great for him, so with that in mind the sea of Warders parted and Grissel moved up to take shots at the poor Commander.  Unfortunately, she missed her knockdown attack which made the assassination run significantly less likely.  She managed average damage with the other two attacks, but the Impaler missed its shot as well and Stryker survived.

With that, it was simple enough to Earthquake Grissel and shoot her up with Stormwalls for the win!  With Invincibility up, I was surprised that my opponent chose to go for Stryker instead of flooding the zone and setting up to send Mulg into a Stormwall and mangle it pretty hard.  Still, it was a decent assassination run; if all the shots hit Grissel needs a little above-average nice to kill Stryker but it’s banking pretty hard on that boosted 10 to hit the knockdown shot.  I just need to be better at positioning my Stormwalls so they can move freely to block assassinations like that.

Overall, a great day was had.  The effects of the recent errata weren’t felt in the games that I played, which illustrates that that the changes will only really affect a small subset of her matchups.  The lists performed well; most of the issues in individual games were just me being stupid and putting models in Front of my Stormwalls.  I just need to stop doing dumb stuff like that!

Anyhoo, hope you enjoyed the recap; I’m off to give the new errata a field test at the NOVA Open, so stay tuned for some recaps from there!

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