Thursday, December 29, 2016

WM Tactics Let's Play Pt. 3 - Erratapocalypse Edition!!!

Holiday edition of WM Tactics, featuring festive hats, celebration of the birth of Victoria Haley and some talk about the first Mk3 balance errata!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Erratapocalypse 2016 - The End of the World As We Know It?

It happened.  Christmas came early and the big jolly red fellow brought with him a bag of gifts for everyone who doesn't play Skorne or Mad Dogs.  Cygnar only saw a handful of changes; a lot fewer than I was steeling myself for and seeing that made my whole day!  Let's talk about what the big changes mean for our mighty Faction!

These never get old
Caine2 (assuming Empowered Shot works how everyone thinks it works) - Dude's gotta pay full-price for his rune shots.
I was already not a huge fan of this 'caster; he does a lot of work himself... but only because he doesn't actually help his army do any of it.  This change cuts his personal damage output down significantly.  Knocks his number of attacks in half if he actually wants to trick shot, significantly reduces the overall power of his feat turn if he wants to Grevious Wounds, etc.  Overnight he's gone from one of Cygnar's most popular and powerful 'casters to probably the bottom 1/3 of the Faction, if not worse.
Does this change our overall matchups significantly?  Not particularly; Caine was good at being an all-rounder with decent Menoth and Retribution matchups and without him one of our other strong options will just have to rise to the occasion.
Is this sad and depressing?  Absolutely; Caine is a cool character and one of the popular favorites with a great model and awesome theme.  In my opinion the negative press he received because of his Mk3 reinvention is what really did him in, and he was caught in the crossfire of PP's new NPE witch hunt.  Hopefully he'll still see some table time in his upcoming third incarnation.

She's looking a lot less happy now

Haley1 - Barrier's SPD reduction debuff isn't worth the paper bag I now have to put over Haley's head.
Another casualty of the crusade against NPE (but one that's arguably better deserved) is the ball-bustingiest of Captain Haley's ball-busting spell list.  Haley wasn't exactly tearing up the meta in the same way that people thought Caine2 was for some reason, but she was still occasionally unfun to play against and phenomenal in some matchups.  Overall, the meta of high ARM, hyper-gunlines and lack of Haley's favorite food (low ARM infantry swarms) curbed her inclusion in many pairings... which was why a kneecapping by the croquet mallet of justice was so flabbergasting.  Another wild swing of the mallet resulted in a broken pinky tow and -1 WJP, ostensibly because losing any more meant that people might've made the mistake of thinking she still had good rules.
That said; she's not quite as bad as I initially knee-jerked towards.  Barrier still reduces DEF and Haley boasts one of the strongest support spell-lists in the Faction, especially against high-model count lists that suffer against her feat.  All these strengths she can take time to consider during her lonely vigil on the shelf, waiting for the fabled end times when her new position as poster child for "solves problems we don't have" is needed most.

No silly emote heads for this lovely lady

Haley2 - Long live the queen!
Everyone knew (or at least should have known) another Haley2 nerf was coming.  I played about 2 months assuming Haley2 would be reduced to a mass of non-complementary game mechanics in preparation... so having her survive relatively untouched is like getting a whole new 'caster added to the stable!
Losing Deflection is the biggest change and does hurt quite a bit; it removes Haley's protection for moderately-high DEF 'jacks and solos that I generally built my lists around and forces her towards a slightly more heavily armored build; no huge deal.  While it's not nearly as useful, Force Field is no joke of a spell and will keep Haley safe from a lot of last-ditch or unexpected assassination runs while not being vital enough to represent an actual drain on resources. 
The Time Bomb change isn't nearly as relevant as many folks are making it out to be; it obviously removes the possibility of debuffing spell-immune models or catching multiple enemies with its effects... but since the edition change allowed models to charge under it I found the spell to be not particularly useful to begin with.  Since the start of Mk3 I've only cast it a handful of times, mostly as a DEF debuff to ensure an assassination or the death of a particularly tough heavy... all of which it still does just fine.
All told; Haley certainly dropped a couple of pegs losing almost all her defence against enemy gunlines, but those were never the matchups in which she shined anyhow.

So alongside some core rules changes and minor buff to the Minuteman (wooo...), that's the errata for Cygnar; just 3 major hits.  Seems like a lot of strikes from that croquet mallet; but how did the Faction make out in the grand scheme of things?


I can't express how excited I am about these changes without the criminally excessive use of emojis which I will demonstrate now.

Thank you for your patience.  Here's a monkey:

Haley2 survived still playable, Khador (and Karchev especially) took the mallet of justice so many times to the bollocks that they don't even know which Warjacks to take; Ossyan, while still strong, is slightly less of a threat (although his absence may bring other, equally unfun Ret matchups to the table but we'll see) and Wurmwood can no longer hide behind his wussy forest to deny the SWEET LIGHTNING VENGEANCE THAT WILL BE WREAKED UPON HIM!!!!11!!!1!!

I'm excited to see how the meta develops from here, but it looks to be a strong start for the new year.  I'm interested to put models on the table and see how things shake out in the end, but in my opinion the worthless lives of two mediocre 'casters and a drop of blood from the finger of one of our greats is a small sacrifice to the great dev gods of Immoren for the blessing of better matchups across the board.  So say we all or whatever.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

WM: Tactics Let's Play pt. 2

This past week's live stream, including lots of epic Trencher action, name calling Brickhouse, talking about the new and exciting spoilers that we got this week and playing the same mission twice.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Rampant Speculation - Change We Can Believe In!

Warmachine is in a weird place right now.  With the errata looming over the heads of the congregated masses like a proverbial and infinitely less intimidating sword of Damocles, designing list pairings or practicing for next year's 4circuit is more difficult than ever.  This period of uncertainty has lead many players (myself included!) to bury our heads so deep in the jank tank that we've forgotten what the sun looks like.  In the downtime before we drown; let's play a little game and try to predict what the post-errata game will look like for the mighty nation of Cygnar!

First some ground rules; no kissing on the mouth and even if you get tagged on the arm it still counts.  Let's pretend that the top 'casters in our Faction got bumped on the head so hard by the nerf bat that they can't remember their own first names.  I think it's reasonable to expect that Haley2, Caine2 for getting arguably the most negative publicity out of any Cygnar 'caster, Kara and Haley3 might see some changes.  I can't speculate on what those changes are or whether they're even going to happen but for this thought exercise we can make believe that they've left the realm of competitive viability and live in the squalor of Blaize's little hovel on the outskirts of things people care about.

Let's also pretend that big-game metabenders got whacked along the way; so no (or reduced) Tree, Karchev+Mad Dog spam, Reclaimer and Madrak2.  I'd like to include Ossyan in that lot, but I'm fairly certain that Retribution is one of the designer's shiny new toys and they'll do they're best to make sure it doesn't get any dirt on it.  With the impending Hellmouth nerf that has to happen, I doubt any Legion 'casters, even prevalent ones like Lylyth3 are uber enough to deserve a hit... and who even knows what Skorne is going to look like after its lobotomy?


So what starts to rise to the top after a healthy paradigm shift?  The archetypes that are currently seen are still going to pop up; e.g. super heavy 'jack spams and hyper gunlines.  Within the faction of Cygnar the Strykers immediately come to mind.  Stryker1 can ARM buff to deliver his models through hails of bullets and both Stryker2 and 3 powder heavily armored bricks.  One of the biggest arguments against an infantry-heavy approach is the possibility of hitting Wurmwood and having infantry stuck in a forest and scooped up by Hellmouths; but if that becomes less of an issue, infantry-centric builds with these 'casters could see a resurgence, perhaps bringing along previously unused units like Sword Knights.  Other Warcasters that could see an uptick are Darius, who brings another answer to gunlines in heavy armor and repair as well as Nemo1, who can play a similar control game to Haley2 against Warjack bricks and pump his own 'jacks to very respectable threat ranges.

What will be our toughest opponent's if this fever dream of a future should come to pass!?  Retribution will always be a tough counter, bringing lots of ranged superiority tech to the table.  Circle's latest releases promise to be very strong; even without Tree on their side, Una2 and Kaya3 as well as old staples like Baldur2 ask questions that are difficult but not overpowering.  Menoth and Khador Warjack bricks will also always be a contender and with less tough matchups for infantry like Tree, Caine2 or Karchev we could even see a resurgence in oldschool infantry swarms, going back to the Mk2 archetype of heavily armored troops like Dawnguard, Forge Guard and Iron Fangs.

This fantasy scenario seems pretty far fetched and I honestly don't think things will get shaken up to the extent that I'm painting here, but if these errata documents do end up being nearly as impactful as PP would have us believe, we'll have to be ready for a significant shift once or twice a year.  One little PSA; let's keep our lids on about this whole thing and not go crazy ape-shit bonkers over the changes to our Faction.  It's so easy to focus on sweet stuff that we don't get anymore to the point that we forget that other people don't get their sweet stuff anymore or that we still have sweet stuff.

I for one, am as excited for this document as a toddler on Christmas eve; I'm even filling my spare time jumping up and down in my reindeer onsie and forgetting to go to sleep.  My fingers are crossed for some fun changes to our bottom tier 'casters but at the very least a brand new metagame to wake up to will be an exciting time.  Now excuse me as a go put out milk and cookies for the overweight burglar about to break into my home.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

WM: Tactics Let's Play pt. 1

This weekend I decided to try something new and do a sweet live-streamed Q&A sesh with a twist; an exciting Warmachine Tactics let's play!  This time we level up Bandit, name our tiny Trencher friends and talk lots of Cygnar tech.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

WotS Batrep 6 - NOVA Open Finals

Time for another sweet batrep!  This time it's my finals game from the NOVA Open Masters.  Huge thanks to Advanced Maneuvers for recording the games and letting me muck about with their footage!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

WotS Batrep 5 - NOVA Open Quarter Finals

It's that time of the month!  Time for another sweet batrep that is; this time it's my game from the 2nd round of the NOVA Open Masters.  Huge thanks to the folks from Advanced Maneuvers for giving me the footage and making this all possible!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

WotS Dice Giveway

Thanks to my awesome Patreon patrons I was able to get a couple sets of custom dice Way of the Swan dice made that I'm giving out to two lucky subscribers! Here's how you can win:

-Visit and hit subscribe
-Head on over to
and hit like
-Share the post there titled "FREE DICE GIVEAWAY" (should be pinned near the top) to your timeline or a WM related group/page
-Scroll down to the comments section and post your YouTube username (or just let me know it's your real name if you're using that) and any thoughts about what you'd like to see on Way of the Swan in the future.

On November 2nd I'll draw two random commenters; one will win a set of 4 blue and 1 red translucent dice featuring a Wots Cygnus on the '6' position and the other will win a set of 4 red and 1 blue dice. I'll contact the winners via Facebook and the dice will be shipped to you free of charge!
Enjoy, and thanks to everyone for your support!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Tourney Recap - WTC 2016

Arguably the most crucial competitive weekend of the year is now over and now that the dust has cleared on the 2016 World Team Championship it’s time to take stock of the aftermath!

Let me start by first saying that this was my first WTC and it was an incredible experience, far beyond my expectations in all honesty.  The event was run so smoothly it was occasionally terrifying; when we arrived neatly organized team folders containing our printed lists complete with country and faction logos emblazed on the header were handed to us; all the games were recorded super quickly for the website and all the rounds started on time.  The judges and volunteers that made the whole thing run so smoothly were absolute champs all weekend and the amount of preparation that into making the event so incredible was immense as well.  All in all, a fucking great weekend.

With that aside; let’s talk about some crunchier stuff.  I was paced on the USA Team White during our selection process; it was an inauspicious posting; teams Red and Blue were meant to be made up of the country’s heavy hitters and White was really only there to fill out the rest of our 15 spots.  Players for the other teams were picked first, so White was made up of the dregs that were left over at the end.  We called ourselves “the fat kids in gym class” since we were picked last.  That all sounds depressing but it’ll get better as the narrative continues, believe me.

Our team composition was made up of one Skorne, mostly in there to ask some tough questions and potentially bait out some good draws, one Circle bringing Wurmwood to scare people, play into gunlines and fight other Wurmwoods, one Legion with Lylyth3 to fight even more Wurmwoods as well as opposing gunlines, Retribution as one of our heavier hitters, a solid all-round counter, more specifically to Cygnar and then myself with Haley2 to fight Madrak and heavy spam sort of lists.  The lists I played are identical to the Haley and Sloan lists I’ve been playing recently, but I’ll go over them super quickly for everyone who may have missed it.

Major Victoria Haley [+25]
- Thorn [13]
 - Stormclad [18]
 - Dynamo [18]
 - Squire [5]
Journeyman Warcaster [4]
 - Firefly [8]
Arcane Tempest Rifleman [4]
Arcane Tempest Rifleman [4]
Gun Mage Captain Adept [5]
Black 13th Strike Force [10]
Ragman [4]
Alten Ashley [5]
Gobber Tinker [2]

Haley is mostly an all-rounder; the basic idea is that most of the troopers can pull double-duty killing heavies or infantry.  Dynamo and the Stormclad blow up heavy armor and with the feat it can hopefully get enough work done to cripple an opposing force.

Captain Kara Sloan [+28]
- Stormwall [13]
 - Cyclone [18]
 - Cyclone [18]
 - Hunter [11]
 - Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator [4]
Journeyman Warcaster [4]
 - Sentinel [8]
Gun Mage Captain Adept [5]
Captain Arlan Strangeways [4]
Gobber Tinker [2]

This one was designed to be an all-rounder that focuses a little more on shooting infantry than the Haley list; especially Stealth infantry that the Haley list falls down to a little.  In hindsight a little skewier of a gunline might have been a better call just to force matchups for the pairing process but unfortunately I realized my mistake a little too late.

Caveat; the event was 6 rounds so this is gonna be a long one.  Also; I forgot to take pictures over the course of the event.  My bad. :(

Round 1 – Norway Blue

In the first round we’re paired against the legendary Norway Blue.  They brought a Madrak2 player to the table, so we tried out best to get me paired with them… and succeeded!  So I sat down to my first round of the day against the lovely Mats Aubell and dropped Haley2 into Madrak on Incursion.

Madrak Ironhide, World Ender    [ arcane wonder ]
*Madrak Ironhide, World Ender - WB: +28
- Mulg the Ancient - PC: 19 (Battlegroup Points Used: 19)
- Troll Axer - PC: 10 (Battlegroup Points Used: 9)
Fell Caller Hero - PC: 5
Troll Whelps - 5 Whelps: 4
Fell Caller Hero - PC: 5
Stone Scribe Chronicler - PC: 4
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress - PC: 3
Swamp Gobber Chef - PC: 1
Trollkin Fennblades - Leader & 9 Grunts: 15
- Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer - Officer & Drummer: 5
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes - Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
- Stone Scribe Elder - PC: 3
Trollkin Fennblades - Leader & 9 Grunts: 15
- Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer - Officer & Drummer: 5

 I was a little worried about the mass of Fennblades in my opponent’s list; in most scenarios it wouldn’t be too much of a problem but their long threat range and ability to jam on a scenario as live as Incursion scared me a bit.  Fortunately, I got to go first.

My opponent skewed his deployment very heavily to my left, where the flag was in a forest and Madrak could be relatively safe while controlling it.  The BG and one unit of Fennblades went there while only one Fennblade unit was opposite the right flag.  With the right as light as it was, I felt like my best bet was to pressure that side really hard and try to grab some cheeky CPs.

With that in mind, I moved my ‘jacks toward the left and send a lot of my anti-dudeguy firepower to the right, including the B13 and Firefly.  The mass of Trolls inched forward a bit, staying out aiming range of my guns; the Fennblades on the left running up behind the forest.

Round 2 the guns began to sound; Haley Accelerated the Firefly and 2 shots from that little bugger along with a bunch of other sweet guns and a few well-placed Arcane Bolts put down 10 Fennblades from the right unit, including the Officer.  Alten moved up and took a pot-shot at Mulg, getting lucky and putting 8 damage on him before contesting the left flag to make my opponent have to commit some stuff to clear it.

Moving Alten up may have been a mistake, since for the most part my army was still out of range and I wouldn’t have received any other casualties this turn.  I’d make a little mistake misjudged Mulg’s threat range with Lanyssa, putting the Stormclad just within it to kill off a couple Fennblades with his cool lightning gun.  Fortunately, I got Lady Luck out of this real sticky situation in South America one time and she still owed me one.  Lanyssa missed her Hunter’s Mark and the Stormclad got to survive unpummelled.  Better lucky than good!

Also; the situation would’ve been contained pretty neatly if I hadn’t put Alten on the flag, as I don’t think there were any other targets close enough to trigger Warpath off of.  Even if Mulg had killed off the Stormclad the game wouldn’t have changed significantly (spoilers!); Dynamo was in position to kill Mulg in return and didn’t actually end up accomplishing anything the next turn anyway.  If that had happened the line of engagement would’ve pushed farther towards my table edge and made it more difficult to contest the left flag, but who knows if that would change the actual outcome of the game?

Regardless, Madrak gets on the left flag and scores a CP.  In response the Stormclad gets bulleted in to contest the left flag and cripple Mulg.  I clear the center and right flags and Shift, going to 2 CPs.  From there the game wraps up with solos scoring the two right flags again, forcing Madrak to do something drastic.  He’d already axed the Stormclad so as a last-ditch effort he feats and spins through a bunch of solos, getting as close to Haley as he can (she’d backed up quite a ways after Shift).  He gets there with enough Fury to throw an Eruption her way, which deviates onto her but fails to kill.  She’d been on a 0 camp from allocating out to stuff but easily could’ve been on 1 from kicking the squire’s last point, which I’d been saving in case she needed to boost a TK on the las turn.  Hindight being what it is she should’ve camped 1 and turned that particular assassination off, but I guess I’ll settle for incredibly unlikely.

I go to 5 CPs at the end of Trollblood turn and the first game is mine!  Two of my team mates win their games and we take down the first round 3-2.

Round 2 – China Eggroll

Team Eggroll not only made me hungry but also brought a Madrak2 player that I was paired with, this time on Recon.  So I sat down vs. He Jiang and his slightly more traditional Madrak2 list:

Madrak Ironhide, World Ender    [ effigy of valor ]
*Madrak Ironhide, World Ender - WB: +28
- Mulg the Ancient - PC: 19 (Battlegroup Points Used: 19)
- Troll Bouncer - PC: 9 (Battlegroup Points Used: 9)
Fell Caller Hero - PC: 5
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress - PC: 3
Stone Scribe Chronicler - PC: 4
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes - Leader & 3 Grunts: 6
- Stone Scribe Elder - PC: 3
Trollkin Fennblades - Leader & 9 Grunts: 15
- Trollkin Fennblade Officer & Drummer - Officer & Drummer: 5
Trollkin Warders - Leader & 4 Grunts: 17
Trollkin Warders - Leader & 4 Grunts: 17

I won the roll to go first and chose to take the first turn; in hindsight I’m not sure this was the right choice as going second lets me control where the Fennblades are early game a little more, but first is fine.  My opponent deployed with his Fenns in a line in front of the Warders to spread out shield guards with Mulg on left edge of his army.

I ran up very far on my first turn, probably too far in all honesty.  The goal in this matchup is to try and pick off the Fenns without Shifting, but since I ran so far forward the Fennblades were close enough that I’d have to Shift or risk losing pieces to a charge.  Fortunately, Mulg had advanced far enough up that I could get the Stormclad on him with a TK, so that gave me an excuse to feat early.

Stuff focus-fired attacks onto individual Fennblades to eat up shield gaurds, the Stormclads bulleted in and killed Mulg and I was also able to get most of the Fennblades dead under my feat.  Unfortunately, the remainder was able to gum up the Stormclad pretty well.  I don’t think I played the follow-up to the feat turn particularly well; I was super worried about Madrak getting on the Stormclad so I spent most of my resources TKing and Bombing him to keep him out of threat range of the Stormclad.  In hindsight the best plan should’ve been to deliver the Stormclad to the Warder brick and kill as many as I possibly could before forcing Madrak to deal with the Stormclad.  At that point I could afford to spend the FOC to keep Madrak away and go for a scenario victory.

Instead, I only succeeded in killing a couple Warders with guns and finishing off the rest of the Fennblades.  On my opponent’s turn the Stormclad was in position to get charged by a couple Warders (3-4 because there was rough terrain in the way), but Madrak was behind the brick so it had to activate first to give him a way through and no one got Bloodfury.  The Warders attacking the Stormclad rolled pretty poorly and only ended up scratching the paint, even though the other unit succeeded in killing off the Firefly.  Madrak fueled the stone and finished off the Firefly, standing in the middle of the zone and threatening just about everywhere.

I got a little scared at letting Madrak get so aggressive.  In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have worried; I could TK/Bomb him again and set about murdering Warders, but I saw an opportunity to take him out and end the game early before he does something crazy.

My opponent had made a mistake and filled his only remaining Warbeast on Fury to keep Madrak topped off (thinking about it now he would’ve been topped off with spirit bond Fury from Mulg… #justmk3things), giving me an opening.  He was sitting behind a clump of 3 Warders that needed to die; I had most of my army to shoot at them as well as a couple swings w/ Death Field from Thorn so I felt like I had a pretty good shot at killing them.  With those models gone, Haley could TK Madrak in, away from the rest of his Grim Salvation targets to get murdered by Dynamo.

So with that in mind, everybody set about shooting bullets at Warders.  If I remember correctly the dice weren’t great and my opponent was good about using Shield Guard to spread the damage around, but I did succeed in killing one Warder and leaving the other two on ~2 HP.  Thorn went in to finish them off but rolled pretty poorly; missing an attack that required a boost from Future Sight to hit and flubbing a couple damage rolls, leaving one Warder alive.

Normally I wouldn’t be super worried about Madrak getting to shunt (probably) one attack, but my target priority had been off a little bit with Thorn’s attacks and the one Warder that was alive blocked off the optimal spot to move Madrak to, putting him in range to one more grim salvation target and forcing Dynamo to spend focus to charge.  At this point I probably should’ve scooped on the plan and focused on killing Warders, but I kept with it.  Haley TK’d Madrak in and Accelerated Dynamo and the Stormclad failed spectacularly to kill off Madrak’s last Grim Salvation option besides the Warder in front of him.  Looking worse and worse…

So Dynamo charged in, killed off 2 Warders via Grim Salvation, and missed an attack.  He did roll spectacularly on the one damage roll he got through, leaving Madrak on 3 boxes.  Womp womp.  In response, Madrak charged away, using Grim Salvation to ignore free strikes (oh boy is that tilting) and surfed through my solos with his Feat to get closer to the right side flag and killed off the Stormclad with his remaining Focus.

I was low on time and needed to end the game quickly, so the GMCA Shadow Fired one Warder in the front of the brick to give Thorn LoS.  Haley TK’d the Bouncer out of Madrak’s control and hit him with a Time Bomb, boosting damage to finish him off.  Boosted 8 to force a tough check; she rolls a 6, which I boost… and roll a 1, leaving him on 1 box.  I try to get some other stuff in range but there’s nothing he can’t Grim Salvation and I clock out.

A disappointing game to say the least; I think I made some strategic mistakes early on; moving too far forward so I had to feat prematurely and not focusing as much on killing Warders as I needed to.  I also played kind of slowly and was at a significant clock advantage.  At the end, I think 2 Arcane Bolts are mathematically a little better than a single Time Bomb as well, so that may have been a better plan.  Still, my opponent played well and the rest of my team won their games, so we won 4-1 and moved on to round 3!

Round 3 – Scotland Irn

We were pretty trepidatious going into the third round; Scotland was a very strong team and we were the only US team still pushing forward in the winner’s bracket.  To make matters worse, the match was being streamed!  No pressure.

Irn had a super strong lineup of lists and there weren’t many I wanted to see; our captain put me into what was probably my best matchup out of the bunch; Billy Cruickshanks w/ his Convergence of Cyriss.  The scenario was Outflank and we settled into Haley2 vs. Lucant.

Father Lucant, The Divinity Architect    [ bunker ]
*Father Lucant, The Divinity Architect +28
- Corollary 6
- Inverter 15
- Conservator 12
- Conservator 12
- Conservator 12
- Conservator 12
- Conservator 12
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex 2
Optifex Directive 4
Clockwork Angels 5
Clockwork Angels 5
Clockwork Angels 5
Objective: Bunker

Side note; I adore this list.  I think it’s cool AF.
I lost the roll to go first which was a pretty big deal given all the high DEF Angels on the other side of the table.  Things progressed pretty normally from the start; the Angels ran up into terrain and Lucant Deflected to make them DEF 1 million.  Vectors ran up all over the place.

I set about trying to kill as many Angels as I could before they jammed the crap out of me.  The firefly shot Alten Ashley in the back to get some leaps into a unit behind a wall, only killed 1 Angel but rolled the 9 to kill Alten.  Not a great start.  Haley did succeed in Arcane Bolting a few of them however.

In response, all the Vectors ran forward and Lucant Feated.  Exciting stuff.  I figured an early Shift would be fine as long as I did significant damage to a bunch of the Conservators; so Haley TK’d 2 of them closer, Dynamo ripped half of one off and the Stormclad advanced in the center between the zones and did a ton of damage to another.  The B13 contested the left zone from a patch of rubble and the right had a million Warjacks in it.

With only some flimsy B13 dudes in the zone, Billy seized his chance.  One Conservator on the left walked over to another and got thrown in between the Lynch and Watts (Ryan was hiding outside the zone) and squishing them, putting Billy at 1 CP.  A great play to score on Haley’s Feat turn!

I was kicking myself for not charging the Stormclad to toe into the left zone and prevent scoring, which it could’ve done easily.  Still, “Operation: kill more robots” was still in full swing.  Ragman walked to the middle of all my stuff and Death Fielded; the Stormclad and Ryan contested the zone, killed one of the Conservators and left another on 1 HP while guns finished off the one Dynamo had laid into previously and Dynamo got to kill another.  Haley TK’d all the threats to the Stormclad; a Conservator an the Inverter away so it was relatively safe… or so I thought!

Lucant made an aggressive play; hiding in a forest in the left zone, zapping Ryan with a Dissolution Bolt and putting Positive Charge on the near-death Conservator.  The other remaining Conservator in that zone trampled and bought a couple attacks into the Stormclad, dealing enough damage that a couple charging Angels were able to finish it off, putting Billy at 3 CPs.

Things looked grim; I was feeling pretty confident about the attrition game; I’d already killed ~4 heavies and still had Dynamo and Thorn standing, but at the cost of being significantly down on scenario.  Lucant had played aggressively, however; going down to a 0 camp to clear the zone.  He had 3 Shield Guards and Watcher meant that I couldn’t afford to move stuff too close (so no Firefly bonus for Dynamo mainly), but enough TKs solve just about any problem.

So Haley charged in, finishing off the damaged Conservator and TKing Lucant forward as well as two of his Shield Guards away.  At this point he could only shunt off a single hit to the Corollary.  The GMCA tagged him with a Flare first, which the Corollary took, then all the guns opened up.  Junior cranked a damage roll, dealing ~10 and Dynamo was able to kill the big guy with attacks to spare.

Another nailbiter of a game!  I’d liked the matchup initially but giving up CPs on my Feat was a silly mistake.  Billy played a great game and showed me the power of throws, even under Shift; something I’ll have to keep in mind.  Two of my team mates won their games, with some great plays from what I heard, putting us to 3-2 and 3-0 for the first day!

Round 4 – Sweden Nobel

The team was getting progressively more nervous as we went into day 2 of the event.  We were meant to be the crappy no-good newbies of the US… why were we undefeated?  Then we beat Scotland, one of the favorites to win the whole thing.  It was a weird and crazy twilight zone.

Nobel played the list-selection game extremely well.  Once list selection was done I felt like we’d been outmaneuvered pretty handily; none of our matchups seemed super good; winnable, but not great.  I jumped on a grenade for my fellow team mates and was paired with Andreas Holm… playing Ossyan.  Queue Linkin’ Park and eyeshadow.

Lord Arcanist Ossyan    [ bunker ]
*Lord Arcanist Ossyan - WJ: +28
- Discordia - PC: 18 (Battlegroup Points Used: 18)
- Moros - PC: 11 (Battlegroup Points Used: 10)
Arcanist Mechanik - PC: 2
House Vyre Electromancers - Leader & 2 Grunts: 8
House Vyre Electromancers - Leader & 2 Grunts: 8
Stormfall Archers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 9
Stormfall Archers - Leader & 3 Grunts: 9
Mage Hunter Strike Force - Leader & 9 Grunts: 16
- Eiryss, Mage Hunter Commander - PC: 6
Mage Hunter Strike Force - Leader & 9 Grunts: 16

I dropped Kara Sloan and crossed my fingers.  The scenario was Extraction (not good for me) and my opponent won the initiative roll and took the first turn (also not good for me).  The terrain on this board was actually very interesting; on one side it was relatively clear with a trench angled towards one flag; on the other movement was hindered by a pair of obstructions on each side and some rubble in the center.  I chose the side that would obstruct my movement; I’d have to broadcast the Stormwall’s positioning by putting it in between the obstructions but at least there were lots of places for Kara to be safe.

Andreas moved forward very aggressively on the first turn; the BG moved into the trench on the right side along with the UA-less MHSF and the Electromancers on the left and everything else in the center.

I knew the game was basically going to come down to how many Ret duders I could kill before Ossyan got to feat and blow the Stormwall off the table, and my opponent ran enough of his dudes forward that it looked like I might have a shot.  So Kara feated bottom of 1 and when the dust had cleared the guns had killed off 10 of Eiryss’ Strike Force unit.  The Cyclone on my right was in danger of being shot at by some Strike Force dudes, but it had Evasive Action from Arlan so I wasn’t super worried about it.  Everything else was either out of range of significant damage or behind cover.  Seems good.

With most of my force out of range, the Retribution counter attack was pretty minimal; the Cyclone on my right got dinged up a little from MHSF but jumped around enough with Evasive and didn’t take too many shots.  Stuff sat on the flag so I had to contest on my turn and Moros hopped over to the left flag to contest.

I continued the plan on my turn, crippling Moros, wiping out a Stormfall unit, half of the remaining MHSF unit and a couple Electromancers, positioning to they couldn’t get easy lightning generators on Kara, who was sitting behind a rock camping 2.  The GMCA contested the right flag and a Cyclone sat on the right.

Andreas had lost enough troops that he felt assassination was the only option; with that in mind, Ossyan walked up w/ Quicken, got Kara in range and between his gun, Disco and some Stormfalls was able to kill my objective to give Mage Hunters LoS to the Sentinel.  The Strike Force then killed off the Sentinel to deny Kara her Shield Guard.  The plan hinged on one of the Electromancers hitting an unbuffed 10 to Pulse Fire Kara and hopefully eat through her available Reinforces before finishing her off with lightning-generators from the other guys.  Unfortunately they all missed and my opponent conceded.

An interesting game to say the least; I consider Ossyan to be one of my worst matchups but a combination of lists (I don’t think the double Strike Force is particularly strong, especially with access to some of Ret’s incredible melee options and they’re especially susceptible to Kara’s shooting), favorable terrain with lots of cover and my opponent’s aggressive play giving Kara the first shot helped me out quite a bit.  All told I was very happy to win the match even though the rest of my team lost and we went down 1-4 for our first loss of the weekend.

Round 5 – Sweden Bofors

Sweden again!?  A perfect chance to avenge our ignominous defeat in the previous round!  This time the pairings go well for us and I get faced off against Niklas Bergmark and his Trollbloods; Niklas has bringing an interesting Madrak2 list with Bushwhackers but he dropped Borka1 instead vs. Haley2 on Hold the Line.

Borka Kegslayer    [ bunker ]
*Borka Kegslayer - WB: +28
- Keg Carrier
- R?k - PC: 21 (Battlegroup Points Used: 21)
- Dire Troll Mauler - PC: 15 (Battlegroup Points Used: 7)
- Troll Axer - PC: 10
- Troll Bouncer - PC: 9
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress - PC: 3
Wrong Eye - Wrong Eye & Snapjaw: 17
- Snapjaw
Fell Caller Hero - PC: 5
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes - Leader & 3 Grunts: 6
- Stone Scribe Elder - PC: 3
Northkin Fire Eaters - Leader, Trollkin Grunt, and Pyg Grunt: 7
Northkin Fire Eaters - Leader, Trollkin Grunt, and Pyg Grunt: 7

Niklas got the first turn and ran everybody forward; I spent my first round trying to take out as many Fire Eaters as possible but they’d taken up defensive positions around some good terrain and I was only able to take 3 of them out.

In response; more running.  The Bouncer moves up to contest my flag, Wrong Eye moves back and hides with Submerge and the rest of the brick stays relatively far back.  Borka puts Arcane Ward on himself and hides within walking distance of his flag.

A couple TKs later and the Bouncer and Mauler were dragged into range to get murdered by the Stormclad and Dynamo respectively. Shift went down and the little guns picked off the remaining Fire Eaters and began to pick away at support models.

Stuff durdled under the feat, the heavies stayed pretty far back so as not to be threatened by the scary heavies.  Borka walked to his flag and scored his first CP, camping a bunch of Fury after being topped off the by the Keg Bearer.

Borka was in a pretty safe position at this point; he was pretty exposed, but with Arcane Ward and stumbling drunk he was actually pretty safe.  So I engaged plan win on scenario before Borka does; Haley moved over to the flag and shooting killed more stuff (I think Dynamo blew the Axer off the table) and the Firefly contested Borka’s flag.

Snapjaw was out of range to attack anything, but he made his way over to the flag to contest.  He got murdered the next turn and I scored again but Wrong Eye contested the turn after.  Things were winding down at this point; the Stone was dead and Borka was down to just Rok and the keg bearer and couldn’t contest Haley on the flag.  She was blocked off by Warjacks and there was no landing spot for Borka even with his feat.  He went in to kill Thorn anyway but I think the little guy dodged out and I scored to 3 CPs.  Guns and TK cleared the opposite flag (Rok didn’t stumble back in to contest fortunately) and a Rifleman scored to put me at 5 CPs for the victory!

Unfortunately, my team fell down in their games and we lost the match 2-3 for our second loss in a row of the weekend (and our second loss to Sweden).

Round 6 – Germany Red

Despite being 3-2 going into the final round, this match was the last chance Team White would have to bring ourselves back up to a winning record, so it had some special significance for us.  Germany Red had an interesting lineup including 2 Protectorate players.  We tried to match me up with Madrak2 once again, but instead Trevor; our Skorne player had to take that matchup and I was given the choice between both Protectorate players.  I took Hinnerk Fischer and his Severius2 so our Circle player wouldn’t have to deal with that.

Hierarch Severius     [ armory ]
*Hierarch Severius - WJ: +26
- Blessing of Vengeance - PC: 13 (Battlegroup Points Used: 13)
- Reckoner - PC: 16 (Battlegroup Points Used: 13)
- Reckoner - PC: 16
- Reckoner - PC: 16
- Dervish - PC: 7
- Redeemer - PC: 11
Vassal Mechanik - PC: 1
Anastasia di Bray - PC: 3
Vassal of Menoth - PC: 3
Choir of Menoth - Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven & Honor Guard - Rhoven, Gius & Cassian: 9

I drop Haley2; the scenario is Entrenched.  I win the roll to go first and run everything forward, TK’ing the heavies to get them farther up.  Hinnerk runs forward too; making sure to keep his Reckoners outside of 12” of the Stormclad and Shielding them.  Blessing and Roven & Co. moved around towards my zone to threaten some sweet, sweet scenario scoring.

Haley TK and Accelerated the Stormclad and filled up both heavies on Focus.  Thorn used Reaction Drive to get a charge on one of the Reckoners and knock its Focus off to shut down Oracular Vision.  The Stormclad went in and rolled like a minor god, annihilating the Reckoner Thorn attacked and crippling the nearby Redeemer as well.  The GMCA flared another Reckoner and Dynamo ripped half its boxes out.  Shift went down and I was feeling pretty good (despite scaring myself for a second thinking I’d opened myself up to a non-existent assassination run.

Stuff durdled under Shift; the Reckoners got some shots into the Firefly and did a bunch of damage.  Anastasia came in on my right side to kill off a Rifleman but the dice flubbed and she left him on 2 boxes.  In response, the Stormclad and Thorn got busy, finishing off the Redeemer and a second Reckoner while Dynamo and the B13 blew my opponent’s objective up, letting me control my opponent’s zone and putting me to 2 CPs.

Without Shift up, it was time for the Protectorate ‘jacks to get to work!  Unfortunately, they’d gotten off on the wrong side of the transport wagon that morning.  Severius Feated to kill Ragman and Lynch, blew Arc Shield off the Stormclad and the last Reckoner did a bunch of damage to it, unfortunately missing 2 attacks and leaving it alive.  Blessing got a charge on Thorn and was able to finagle a sweet back arc attack, but snake-eyed its last attack roll and left the little dude alive.  The Dervish went in and killed off my objective, putting the score at 2-1.

I moved the Firefly back to be repaired by the Tinker, cleared my opponent’s zone again and killed both Blessing and the Reckoner between my ‘jacks.  A couple solos ran into my zone to help contest and scored up to 3-1.  Haley ran back behind a forest within range to run into my opponent’s zone on the next turn.

I’d lined up my ‘jacks to block the lane between my opponent’s only models in range to contest (the choir); and his zone.  To clear this, Severius cast his free Creator’s Wrath and went in to lay the beatdown on my remaining Warjacks.  He rolled pretty poorly but was still able to finish off both Thorn and the Stormclad after spending all his focus.  The Choir contested my opponent’s zone and the Dervish and Rhoven and his buddies tried to clear out my zone, but unfortunately failed.  With that; the last couple dudes into the zone got cleared out and Haley ran to score the last two CPs and giving me a 5-1 scenario victory.

Team White ended up taking down the final round in a closely contested 3-2 match that came down to a close game right at the end.  We were happy to have won such a close and memorable match at the end and left the event with a 4-2 record!

In a funny twist of fate; our early wins and especially our win over Scotland Irn (we were their only loss) gave us some excellent tiebreakers and put us in a respectable 13th  place.  That left us far above the other US teams, who placed 19th and 21st.  Not bad for the awkward crew of misfits nobody wanted on their teams!

Personally, I was very happy with a 5-1 record; especially since my one loss was due in large part to some poor dice.  Cygnar has some very poor matchups in the current meta but the WTC format helping me cherry pick out the worst ones helped a lot.  Seeing some of the new meta contenders on the table gave me some good ideas about how they play and how to fight them.

Overall, the weekend was great; the team environment was fun to play in and the terrain, tables and organization was superb.  I’m definitely going to be applying for the team next year and plan on trying to attend the even, even if it’s only as a solo competitor.