tisdag 1 december 2015

Tournament Report: Battle at Lund - Day 1

After a quite long hiatus from Warmachine since the WTC, only playing a couple of games over the 2 months since, I finally got around to going to a big tournament again.

This time in beautiful (and apparently snowy) Lund in southern Sweden.

51 players from Sweden, Denmark and Finland turned up, alot of WTC-players among them and with Wedding organizing the event I felt it was a very open affair. I didn't go into it with any high hopes for victory because of not playing in a long time and also going with a new/old list that I last played at WTC 2014.

So, on to my lists:


Saxon Orrik
Iron Fang Kovnik
Man-O-War Drakhun

Iron Fang Uhlans (5)
Greylord Outriders (5)
Doom Reavers
Doom Reavers

I chose to go with Vlad2 instead of Sorscha2 this time, mainly because the EE/Runes pairing means you're in a list chicken when playing B3/S2, so I wanted a list that could handle both EE and Runes. Also, Trolls have really exploded in the Swedish meta lately so I expected alot of them.

I also love playing Vlad2, even though I haven't in a long time.

-War Dog

Raluk Moorclaw
Koldun Lord
Gorman di Wulfe

Boomhowler & Co (10)
Alexia & the Risen
Greylord Ternion

New to my list this time around are the Greylord Ternion. I pick them over Widowmakers because of their awesome utility. The clouds can really help keep Butcher safe a round where you fuel a jack up but want to apply pressure with Butcher himself as well. The Ice Cages are VERY helpful for the Juggernauts and Alexia if even 1 hits. And their un-jamming and lane clearing ability with their sprays are really good as well. The War Dog / Rage Howler combo is also something I have come to love with this list and the Boomies are great for scenario play.

Game 1 vs. Robin Fredman (Gorten)   Two Fronts

I hate facing Mercs. Simply because I don't play against them very much and I don't feel like I know what they can do. Also, the Earthbreaker is always scary.

Anyway, Robin was playing a Gorten/Ashlynn ADR pairing and I quite easily spotted the Gorten list as an anti-B3 drop, so expected that and picked Vlad.

After ADR subs Robins list looked something like this:


Kell Bailoch

Press Gangers (10)
Press Gangers (10)
Kayazy Eliminators
Kayazy Eliminators

Robin wins the Roll-off and choose to go first. Here's a pick of our deployment:

Round 1:
 Robin runs his stuff up.
I take some shots with the Widowmakers and Eiryss and kill 2 Press Gangers after misses and Toughs. Vlad hides from the Earthbreaker behind a rock.

Round 2:
 Robin goes for a play to get rid of Eiryss, running his Press Gangers up to engage her and then shoot the closest one with the Earthbreaker blasts, but he misses and the scatter means he just kills his own models. I also get a Counter-Charge off with the Drakhun, killing another one.

I start grinding down the Press Gangers, and position my Cavalry for a feat next round to go into the Earthbreaker. One of my Uhlans get a charge off and puts some damage on the EB. The Drakhun frees up Eiryss who runs within 5" of the EB. My Doom Reavers also gets stuck in on the Press Gangers. The Juggernaut tramples up to Robins objective and kills it, squashing a couple of Press Gangers on the way. 1-0

Round 3:
The EB without focus gets Tuned Up and kills 1 Uhlan and a couple of Doom Reavers. Eiryss gets killed by the Eliminators on that flank. The other Eliminators go into my Juggernaut with a couple Press Gangers and put light damage on it.
In the middle of Robins turn, this is what it looked like:

The Vanguard also charges in on the Juggernaut, doing minimal damage. 

I get rid of most of the Press Gangers by now, thanks to relentless Widowmaker fire and Outrider sprays. I think I kill Saxon Orrik and Hawk this turn with Outriders as well. I feel I must feat this turn to be able to eventually kill the Earthbreaker, but thanks to my rather poor positioning of my Uhlans (far left) I can't quite feat on the targets I'd like to. Feat goes on the Doom Reaver right in front of the EB, the one Uhlan in my zone, the Drakhun, 1 Outrider in his zone and 2 Doom Reavers on my right flank. The Doom Reaver in fron of the EB clears away his blocking Eliminators and Toughs the PG, then my Cav charge in and knocks out his right side, the Drakhun also going in for some more damage. I position my IFK to charge in next turn. The Doomies on the right, together with the Juggernaut kills the Vanguard after some good rolls and also kills one of the Elims on that flank as well as a couple of the remaining PGs. 

Round 4:
Thor chose to Tune up the EB instead of repairing the right side, which will have consequenses later in the game. The EB spends his turn by stepping into my zone and killing the feated Drakhun, including dismount. In Robins zone things are looking grim for him with not much that can stop my rampaging Juggernaut. Gorten and Gastonne starts shooting it, but it has plenty of boxes left. His remaining Eliminator charges into my Widowmakers, but misses both attacks. 

I go for clearing his zone this turn and successfully does so, however I make a huge mistake when I move Vlad up to dominate. I realise as soon as I start activating other stuff that Gorten just has to feat and then I'm in great Earthbreaker-related trouble. Robin actually has almost run out of stuff to contest his zone with by now, the single Eliminator and Gastonne being his only models able to contest it after my turn and I have an overwhelming presence in his zone so I will be able to clear it again (likely kill both of them next turn if I just go for the control and wait the game out.) I also have a clock advantage (4 minutes to his 2) so giving him this rather good assassination was totally unnecessary. Anyway, I am camping 4 focus, so he'll be dice off 7. 2 Uhlans get charges off again, and the Doom Reaver and IFK gets into the EB as well, leaving him on something like.. 15-20 boxes I believe. I dominate his zone. 3-0

Round 5:
Robin goes for the inevitable assassination and feats with Gorten, Gortens Both Barrels attack + the EB leaves Vlad at 2 boxes after the EB rolled only 1 shot on his good side and 2 shots on the knocked out side, even missing a KD Vlad twice with the broken guns and pretty low damage rolls in general. So I survive.. phew. And score 2 more CP in his turn because he didn't contest so a 5-0 scenario victory. Didn't really feel I deserved that one.

I was super lucky to come out on top of this one and my rusty play really showed this game. Huge mistake putting Vlad in harms way like that when the game was under control, all I had to do was control his zone, kill the Elim and Gastonne next turn and control it again and then dominate it. That is if my opponent didn't time out first. It was a wakeup call for me though and I played my casters super safe for the rest of the tournament. 

Game 2 vs. Jan D' Souza (Gaspy2)   Incursion

Jan is a super sweet guy from one of the Danish WTC teams that I haven't really talked all that much to, so it was really nice to finally meet him in a game. He had Gaspy2 and Gaspy3, so it was quite obvious what the matchup was gonna be:


Bane Lord Tartarus
Orin Midwinter

Blood Witches (6) + UA
Bane Knights (10)
Bane Thralls (10) + UA
Withershadow Combine

I might be missing something from his list, but this was pretty much it. 

I won the all-important roll and went first. There was a large hill between the left and middle flag reaching out to his side and a big obstruction on my right side just outside deployment. He also has a diagonal wall in the middle just outside his deployment.

Deployment was fairly straightforward, I had Doomies to either flank with Widowmakers + solos in the middle for AD and Vlad + Jugger and solos in the middle with Outriders to my right and Uhlans to my left. 
Jan deployed his Knights and Orin as well as the Arcnode to my right and Witches + Thralls to my left with the Helldiver and WSC centrally.

Round 1:
I run my Doomies max to threaten as much of the board as possible. This does 2 things: Threaten an assassination if Gaspy wants to walk forward and pushes his troops back unless he wants to fight a battle where he is disadvantaged. I keep all of my excarnateable troops well out of his reach (which extends 24" from his Arcnode) even Uhlans are very much excarnateable. Uhlans also swap sides with the Outriders as Orin is deployed quite far out to my right flank. I push up with Eiryss as well, because she isn't really excarnateable (Stealth + shutting down Channeling from Warjacks within 5") so Gaspy would have to personally get very far up the board to be able to excarnate her. This also gives me an even greater assassination pressure. I put her so as to be able to move to either side of the wall on his side, should he move up and thus ignore the cover. 

Jan answers my aggressive play with a VERY cautious advance. Hell, both of his Bane units had models running backwards which was a very satisfactory feeling. His Blood Witches ran up the extreme left flank, staying on the table edge. He gave me 2 Bane Knights to trigger Vengeance off of, that's it. Gaspy also moved backwards and put up a couple of clouds as well as Hellbound. Orin casts a Lightning thingy into one of his own Bane Knights and kills a Doom Reaver that way. The Knight survives.

Round 2:
I pretty much maintain my dominant position in the middle of the board, not advancing much as to not outpace my other units that has to hold back as long as the Doomies are alive. Eiryss and the Widowmakers clear the 2 front Bane Knights and my Doomies shuffle around just past the flags on the center line. Eiryss stays up, but critically I forget about his Helldiver and leave her open for a charge. 

He goes for Eiryss and allocates 2 to the Helldiver. His Banes start running towards the flags now, as otherwise I will have a really easy scenario victory. I think his Knights to the right just kills 1 of the Doom Reavers even though they got multiple charges off. The Helldiver kills Eiryss and, critically, this makes him move Gaspy up the board and into threat. He puts up 2 clouds to block off the Doomies to my right, but he's still open from my leftmost Doom Reavers and I think I got 3 in threat.  Gaspy is camping 1.

Round 3:
I decide to go for the assassination. I finally get to do the "Doom Reaver Pain Train" which I discussed a little in my Vlad2 tactica :D Jugger and Drakhun takes care of the Helldiver to free up a charge lane. Vlad then moves up to extend Transference and feats on most of my leftmost Doom Reavers. Saxon gives them pathfinder, and here we go. One Doom Reaver runs into B2B with Gaspy and 3 others charge him, although 1 is out so I only have 2 feated Doom Reavers. I boost the hit roll on the Doom Reaver I charged in the back, as if I miss that one I'm done. Hit. Berzerks into Gaspy, boosting hit and damage. The other guy redirects his charge attack and since Vlad is just sitting on 1 Focus (should have dropped Assail) I had to choose which roll to boost. I choose to hard roll the 5 needed to hit and then boost damage which kills Gaspy! :)

It felt really good the way I could control the midfield against such a powerful caster and prevent him from using his strengths. I had a legit scenario game at this point as well, I could quite easily score 3 points this turn if the assassination failed, but against Lich2 I usually just want to end it as soon as possible because he can have huge swings with excarante and feat. 

I also have to compliment Jan, he's a great guy and the game was really exciting and interesting up to this point. Looking forward to playing you again mate :)

Game 3 vs. Jeppa Resmark (Axis)   Recon 


Enigma Foundry
Enigma Foundry
Enigma Foundry
Enigma Foundry

Obstructors (10)
Obstructors (10)
Obstructors (10)
Reductors (10)

I felt pretty good going in to this game as Convergence is one of the easier matchups for Khador, on paper. However with Jeppa crewing the ship anything can happen (as he proved going 4-1 in this tournament and facing 2 Khador and 3 Cryx) That said, I was unsure how well I would be able to handle the attrition machine that is Axis theme with my Vlad2 list. Butcher3 wasn't even on the table here, both of Jeppas lists was good into him.

I get the first turn, which is so important with Vlad2. Jeppa choose the side with a linear obstacle behind his zone where Axis could hang out waiting to dominate and a large hill behind the flag to my right. I had a forest to my center left which could be ideal for my Outriders to hang out in. 

No pictures from this game unfortunately. 

I deploy Uhlans to my right and Outriders to my left, again Vlad, Juggernaut and solos in the middle. Widowmakers go on the left flank and Doomies mid and right. Eiryss hang out with the Widowmakers. Jeppa deploys his list symetrically, as befitting a CoC player.

Round 1:
HoF goes on the Outriders, Jugger get Assail and Transference on Vlad and off we go. Everything runs to be just out of his 10" threat. 

Jeppa runs up with everything as far as he can, inviting me to kill as many models I can chew on :P

Round 2:
Widowmakers, Eiryss and Outriders go to town on the left flank and utterly demolishes it, killing far more than his Foundrys can suck up. I commit 1 or 2 Doom Reavers from each unit, keeping the rest back. I go in with a single Uhlan as well, trying to kill as many dudes as I can when I got his Foundrys overloaded, but he Counter-Charges it with a Conservator, which actually gives me a lane on it with 2 other Uhlans, so I go for some damage into one of his heavys. This move turns out to be pretty crucial for how the game pans out. 

Jeppa strikes back by feating with Axis, thinking it will delay my feat and buy him time to gain an attrition advantage. He has real trouble getting to my Outriders though and only kill 1 of them. In the middle crucial events take place. One Conservator goes into and onerounds my Juggernaut after some good rolls. Another Conservators rolls 3 snake eyes in a row trying to hit one of my Uhlans, which means the one behind it is stuck as well. He also fails to kill it, leaving it on 1. This means Axis has no Shield Guards, and Eiryss is still alive, albeit engaged by Obstructors. On my right flank he kills a fair amount of Doom Reavers with the extra bit of threat he got from his feat, leaving 2 in each unit.

Round 3:
I think about this for a while and decide to go for some early damage on Axis. I have 1 Doom Reaver that, if I feat as well, can get to Axis. The Outriders go to work, killing a whole bunch of Obstructors again (I killed one full unit by now) freeing up Eiryss and the Widowmakers. I get 3 Widowmaker shots on the last guy in another unit, but they all miss their 9s as he's in cover. Eiryss aims and shoots Axis and I feat, getting 6 models again. I go for the IFK, Drakhun and all remaining Doomies. The 2 Doom Reavers to the right actually have amazing Berzerk clutches, both killing 4 Obstructors each. I get my one Transferenced attack on Axis and leave him on 7 Boxes. My IFK, Drakhun and the other Doom Reaver from that unit kills the Conservator that just killed my Juggernaut, again with some help from Transference. My 2 remaining Uhlans hang back in the hopes of charging something next round. 

Jeppa finally kills that annoying Uhlan with some sprays from the Reductors. He sends one of his heavies into my Drakhun, triggering the Dismount which he then can't get to. Unfortunately for Jeppa nothing he has that can reliably kill the Doom Reaver engaging Axis can get to it, so Axis has to stay put and kill it himself unless he wants to risk a P+S 16 Weapon Master Freestrike, which is 50/50 to kill him. His other Conservator runs into position in front of Axis. He runs some Obstructors in to engage Eiryss and the Widowmakers again. He kills 1 of the 2 Doom Reavers to the right with CMAs.

Round 4:
At the start of this turn I just set out to attrition hard and hopefully kill full units, but I wanted to try Jeppa a bit as well and tempt him to Counter-Charge his Shield Guard away from Axis. I activate the Outriders first and one of them goes into a very good position where I get 5-6 models with a single spray and he decides to go for it. He kills the Outrider, but my remaining 3 easily clears Eiryss and my Widowmakers clears a charge lane for the IFK to Axis. Eiryss aims, again, and shoots off Axis Focus, again. Vlad moves up and boosts a Razorwind into Axis for the win. 

The plan was to charge him with the IFK, but as it turned out I didn't need to :)

The Outriders were absolute stars in this game. The many units and their low CMD and defensive stats meant I easily got 4-5 dudes per spray and HoF meant that I only missed like 3-4 hit rolls over the entire game. It was crazy. 

Of course, it's quite a big mistake by Jeppa to Counter-Charge his only Shield Guard away from Axis at 7 boxes, but it speaks volumes that such a good player would do that to kill a single Outrider. They were that hard to deal with for him. The attrition game had actually swung in his favor by now, it would all come down to how many units I could eradicate completely this turn and also if I could handle his 2 remaining heavies. That was most uncertain. 

Anyway, that wraps up day 1, it was indeed a pleasant feeling going to bed still undefeated. 

Day 2 coming soon!

torsdag 15 oktober 2015

Weighted Dice, 24 man Steamroller

Hello everyone, and sorry for not updating in a while. I've spent the weeks since the WTC recovering and writing on both the WTC recap and a Zerkova2 article, which the WTC shed some useful insight upon, but in the meantime I'm going to write about this steamroller tournament that took place the week after the WTC, called Weighted Dice.

So this was a standard 24-man Steamroller, 50pts 2 list tournament, I took the following lists:

-Conquest (Bonded)
-Sylys Wyshnalyrr
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich
Gobber Tinker
Great Bears of Gallowswood
Aiyana & Holt
Winter Guard Infantry (max)
-3x Rocketeers
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (max)
-Koldun Kapitan Valachev

Objective: Effigy of Valor

Raluk Moorclaw
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Koldun Lord
Kossite Woodsmen (min)
Greygore Boomhowler & CO (max)
Alexia & the Risen

Objective: Fuel Cache

So, some new Tech in the B3 list. Basically I have been a bit annoyed at the Widowmakers in that list, since they are harder to get good work out of in the matchups the list is supposed to drop into. I was trying out Kossites here insted of the Widowmakers to see if Ambush is worth the downgrade in RAT and defensive stats. I find vs Legion that they pretty much just go for support anyways, and Kossites will have an easier time getting there in one piece, theoretically. Also, Alexia1 has been included because I felt a lack of punch to follow up on the Boomhowlers. Alexia handles that very well and the occasional Thrall Warrior is also great.

The Sorscha2 list is also back to "normal". Man I really missed Valachev on the Nyss during the WTC.

Also, a disclaimer: I suck at taking pictures. Totally forgot it throughout the whole tournament, for which I once again apologize for. Next time...

Game 1 vs. Nils Evertsson with eMadrak (Two Fronts)

Nils just had his eMadrak list which looked something like this:

-Pyre Troll
-Rune Bearer

Fell Caller
Gatorman Witchdoctor
Alten Ashley

Swamp Gobbers
Pyg Burrowers
Fire Eaters
Fennblades + UA
Stone + UA

Objective: Bunker

So I had the choice of B3 and S2 into this list and I took some time thinking about it, because both seemed fine. I ended up on Sorscha2 after concluding that he could handle my B3-3 list okay with Bloodfury. Also, Stationary is really powerful into eMadrak, both from Freezing Grip and the Conquest bond (which prevents Madraks feat attacks).

Nils wins the roll and takes first turn. I take the side with a forest just outside my deployment zone to the left, there is also a forest in the middle of Nils zone to the right which his Objective sits in.

He deploys Madrak + BG in the centre with Fennblades to my right and Warders to the left. His AD is Pygs to the right and Fire Eaters to the left. I have Conquest centrally with WGI to the right aiming to contest his zone should he start scoring it, and Nyss to the left.

He andvances cautiously with his AD units, but not quite cautiosly enough, while running full with everything else. Madrak drops everything into the stone.
I walk + Zephyr the Nyss up and kill 2 Fire Eaters and leave the last one on a couple of boxes. Conquest also walks and shoots his main gun on a bunch of Burrowers that ran up in B2B with his Bunker Objective, but since I crit they all go flying. I kill 4 of them. Winter Guard Bob & Weave up and get Iron Flesh.

His Burrowers run to engage my Winter Guard. Fennblades run up some more, taking aggressive positions for next turn which will probably be feat turn for Madrak. Warders run up and the last Fire Eater sprays a couple of Nyss.
Nils has positioned his Fennblades so that they block up pretty much the rest of his entire army, so I go for a boosted Freezing Grip which I get. My Winter Guard happily take MAT 4 (up to 6) Freestrikes from the Burrowers and kill them all, plus a couple of Fennblades and Alten Ashley.
My Nyss on the left side charge in. I get 3 into the Pyre Troll and roll amazingly good and kill him from full. They also kill the last Fire Eater and put some damage on a Warder. Conquest walks into my zone and shoots something, probably a Fennblade.

With his entire army locked down behind the Fennblades Nils can't do much. The Warders kills a couple of the Nyss that killed his Pyre. Madrak moves up into my zone with the stone in tow.
I go for another Freezing Grip on the same Fennblade (made sure not to kill him last turn) and get it, locking up his army again. My Winter Guard starts going deeper into his zone, but the forest in the middle of it still protects his Witchdoc and Runebearer. They kill some Fennblades that arent blocking stuff. My Nyss charge in on some of the Warders and bring 1 down I think. Conquest durdles around in the zone and shoots.. something. I think he kills one of the Swamp Gobbers with blast damage.

Nils realise that I will grind him down slowly but surely at this pace so he starts killing his own Fennblades. He gets 3 Warders into Conquest and the last one misses a Nyss. He does moderate damage. A Bloodfuried Fell Caller also finds his way into Conquest and puts some more damage in, but nothing crippled so far. Madrak throws his axe at my Objective but doesn't quite kill it, so feats just to throw another and kills it this time. Because they are stationary the Warders and the Fellcaller that went into Conquest gets no attacks on the feat. The Witchdoc sacs a Swamp Gobber to kill a Winter guard. CP: 0-1
Conquest gets 4 and manhandles everything that went into him. The Gobber Tinker also repairs him for 6 boxes, what a hero. Nyss kill the last Warder and a couple of stone dudes with more charges. My Winter Guard clean house in is zone and kill both the Witch Doc and the Runebearer as well as all the Fennblades except the UA and one other dude. I can't kill his Objective though, because it's Bunker. Sorscha gets into my own zone behind Conquest and Dominates for 1 since Madrak is the only enemy model left in my zone. CP: 1-1

If Madrak stays where he is he will get a very angry Conquest to his face, and not even the World Ender likes that kind of stuff. He runs away to his own zone, dropping some fury into the stone. The 2 remaining Fennblades lay into some Winter Guard, with low success and the Impaler does the same, with the same result. I score one in his turn because he didn't contest my zone: 2-1
I mop up, killing the stone and the Fenns, but leave the Impaler on 5-ish boxes. Score my zone again for 3-1

Nils realise he can't win and killboxes himself for a 5-1 Scenaro victory!

Good grindy game! I think I had about 3 minutes left on my clock, but I didn't really feel I could have lost the game on time since I would win automatically on CP with all his stuff dead.

I really thought he would take a chance and go in with Madrak on Conquest the round after his feat turn, but I'm happy he didn't, since tiebreakers would be important as the organizers had capped the tournament to 4 rounds so I was pretty happy getting the scenario victory.

Game 2 vs. Arvid Österlund with Haley2 and Haley1 (Fire Support)

Arvid is a long time gaming buddy of mine from the same club, so it's kinda sad to face him this early. Today he brought Haley2 and Haley1, ultimatley dropping Haley2 into my B3 list.

His list was:

-Stormclad (bonded)

Arlan Strangewayes
Journeyman Warcaster

Gun mages + UA
Storm Lances
Aiyana & Holt

I win the roll and choose to go first. Arvid choose the side with a wall in the middle towards the left and a forest to the right on his side. On my side I have a forest on the right opposite his forest. Once again my opponents objective is in a forest.

I deploy B3 and the battlegroup to the left, in case I want to start scoring my own flag and also in an attempt to stop him from going for my flag. Boomhowlers and Alexia go to the right to contest his flag if he makes such a play and just tie up his units and be annoying. Eiryss sets up in the forest in front of the Boomies.
Arvid deploys Haley and her battlegroup centrally with Lances to my left and Gun mages to my right. His Eiryss go into is forest and Alexia2 opposite my Boomies.

I run up max with the battlegroup and Energizer for 3 to project my threat ranges. Boomies run just under 11" so his Gun mages don't get to shoot first turn.
Arvid runs up with everything and cast Deceleration, however I believe his Stormclad runs a bit too far and into Ruins threat. He Arcane Shields the Stormclad.

I check my CTRL and see that I will have to Energizer for 2 to get there, so I load up Ruin with 3. I don't want to feat for this however, so I start building Fort Butcher with the doggies, Raluk, the Vanguard and the Juggernauts, but I think I was keeping him back a bit too much as to be relevant.
Kossites come in on my left flank behind the Storm Lances as well. Arvid kept most of his juicy support pieces in the middle of the board so I went for some attrition with them instead. Ruin goes in on the Stormclad, but a missed attack means I leave him on 2 boxes. The big thing here is that the Storm Lances fail their Abomination check from Ruin. A Thrall Warrior from Alexia finish off the Stormclad as well, so all good. Boomhowlers run up and tries to be annoying, tying up Eiryss and a couple of Gun mages. Then the Kossites go in on the Lances. I put 3 each into 2 Lances, kill one of them and leave the other one on a couple of boxes.
Arvid goes for some plays on his turn. Haley walks up into melée with Ruin and TK's him out of the Stormclad wreck and with his backside to Arvids army. Aiyana Harms him, Holt, Gun mages shooting crit Brutals and a fully loaded Thorn lays into Ruin and leave him on 2 boxes in M. Alexia2 creates a thrall from a killed Boomhowler that goes in as well, but misses the attack roll. Ruin lives. The Storm Lances rally. His support kills a couple of Kossites.

I send in a fully loaded Juggernaut on Thorn and kill him with some good rolls. I then proceed to rebuild Fort Butcher with what I got left, because I was really fearing an assassination attempt at this point, since the grind was going in my favour. The Boomies charge into the Gun mages, Alexia2 and Eiryss, however a 2-man CMA critically misses Eiryss, but I kill Alexia, a Gun mage and do some damage to his objective. Then my Alexia activates and create a Thrall in Eiryss back arc which kills her. I breathe a sigh of relief. Arvids dice are infamous around the club when it comes to assassinations, so getting rid of Eiryss was really important for me as it skews the odds in my favour. Ruin try to hit Arlan Strangewayes with his broken stick, but fail miserably.
Arvid then, not seeing an assassination, starts toying with my Warjacks. Haley goes and Dominatets my Juggernaut into killing Ruin. He then TK's it to show it's ass to his army and out of the Wreck. Haley feats. With Storm Lances rallied, he has no problem killing the Juggernaut as well, with some help from Aiyana & Holt and some Gun Mage crit brutals. 2-3 Boomies go down to his support and a few Gun mage shots.

I Energizer my last Juggernaut with 1 focus from the Koldun Lord into one of his Storm Lances and kill it. Boomies just advance and tie up the Gun Mages. Alexia boosts a shot into a Gun Mage and kill it. My 2 remaining Kossites walk to tie up a Storm Lance.
Arvid gets very little work done, as i have tied up most of his remaining forces. He gets 2 Storm Lances into my last Juggernaut, but don't cripple anything. The Gun Mages take a couple of freestrikes and die to my Boomies.

Alexia creates a Thrall to finish off the objective and Eiryss walks up to control his flag. Butcher camps full and run toward Arvids flag, with the Vanguard and the doggies keeping up to protect him. Raluk kills a Storm Lance, and the Juggernaut getting powerboosted by the Kodun Lord kills the 2 going into him. 2-0
Arvid can't do much at this point and also times out, which is unfortunate for me.

Since he didn't contest his flag I go up to 3-0 but nothing could have stopped me going to 5-0 if I had gotten another turn. Chasing those tiebreakers ;)

I felt pretty safe throughout the game, always having Butcher and the feat in the back pocket (which I didn't use).

Game 3 vs. Alexander Oskarsson with Xerxis1 and Xerxis2 (Incursion)

I had a tough choice on my hands here in the list selection, but decided against Butcher3 as both Alexanders lists had ALOT of stuff that could kill Butcher on full camp. His lists was Fist and Xerxis2 beast brick, he dropped the latter:

-Gladiator (bonded)

I won the roll and went first. Alexander choose the side with a wall to the right and a rather large forest to the left, touching the left flag and then extending towards his deployment zone so that was a bit in the way for him. I had a wall to my right as well and an obstruction to the far left.

I deploy Conquest centrally with Nyss to the right and Winter Guard to the left. Alexander puts his heavies and Xerxis in the middle and all the Basilisks to the right.

I Boundless Charge the Conquest up the board and everything runs. Winter Guard get Iron Flesh.
Alexander runs up as well, keeping his heavies together. The Drakes and the Krea take cover behind the wall to the right.

I go for a delaying action, doing a large Winter Guard CRA into the Gladiator and the Nyss puts 2 CRAs into one of the Drakes, doing minor damage with some bad rolls. The Conquest go for an impressive crit, but don't get it. I get some more damage into the Gladiator though.

Alexander sends his two ARM 21 beasts to the middle flag, I'm not sure why but I guess to contest? He put them in the threat of my Conquest though, which I believe was unnecessary as he massively outthreats me. The Bronzeback and the Gladiator hang back a bit.

I want to save the feat to the turn he kills Conquest (I have no doubts that he will) so I just allocate 4 to Conquest. The Winter Guard do a 10-man CRA on the Sentry and puts some good damage on it. Aiyana Harms Tiberion and then the Nyss does the same on him, doing good damage, Conquest then goes in and kill them both.
Xerxis feats and an Enraged, Ignited Bronzeback kills Conquest after some rahter good rolls (I know what S&P can do to your dice, oh boy) The Gladiator kills a Winter Guard. The Drakes come forward to spray on some Nyss and I allow Alexander a takeback which costs me Aiyana. Not sure if I'd do that again, but I felt that I was ahead.

I counter feat and the Great Bears makes short work out of the Bronzeback . Then I make a big mistake. I drop Iron Flesh off of the Winter Guard, Joe yells Bears Strength and I charge a bunch of them into the Gladiator. I roll poorly and it survives with a lot of boxes remaining. I wanted to take a chance and maybe kill it, but the correct play would have been just disengaging with the engaged Winter Guard and put a big meaty CRA into him for guaranteed damage and then hopefully finishing him off next turn. Instead, I just served my Winter Guard on a silver platter to Alexander. Terrible play by me. The Nyss charge into the Basilisks and I kill one of the Drakes.
In Alexanders turn the Gladiator goes for a Trample from downtown. Turns out he goes pretty far with Mobility and Rush. He gets to 2 of the Great Bears, but only kills one. He accounted for 6-7 Winter Guard with the Trample though. The last Drake kills another, and his Beast handlers kill 2 Nyss.

The Gladiator Trample did leave the left flag uncontested though, so Joe runs up to start scoring. My remaining Great Bear whiff his damage rolls against the Gladiator and just does a couple of boxes. More Winter Guard charge in on him, again under Bears Strength and does ok damage, I think he has about 5-6 boxes left at this point. I also charge Xerxis himself with a couple of Winter Guard that do some boxes to him. The Nyss grind it out with the Drake, Krea and Handlers, but poor dice again sees them not doing much. Sorscha hangs back, careful not to get too close to the Gladiator. 1-0
Alexander moves a Beast handler up to contest the left flag. Xerxis starts bashing the Winter Guard in front of him. The Gladiator kills the Great Bear, and a Winter Guard. Another Nyss or 2 dies on the right side grind.

I still have some Winter Guard left, so Joe calls out For the Motherland! and shoots the contesting Beast handler. Winter Guard sprays down the other 2 that Alexander kept back for further contesting and I try to block Xerxis path to Joe. The Nyss grind on, and I think I get a couple of charges into the Gladiator at this point to finish it off. Sorscha continues to hang back, ready to pounce on Xerxis, or whatever would try and contest. 2-0
Alexander can't get anything to contest this turn, but Xerxis plows a path through my Winter Guard, killing all but the Standard Bearer. The Krea takes a free strike and run toward the left flag to contest next turn. another Nyss go down to Beast Handlers (the Drake was pretty crippled and out of Xerxis CTRL at this point). 3-0

My dwindling army takes some potshot at Xerxis, but achieves nothing. The Nyss finally bring the Drake down. Sorscha and Sylys stays back, ready to pounce. 4-0
The Krea goes up to contest, with the Feralgeist in tow, as Xerxis slays the last of the Winter Guard, lining up Joe for next turn.

I have a couple of choices here, which I pause to think about for a moment. I can go in with Sorscha, Razor Wind the Feralgeist and try to kill the Krea, but if I fail Sorscha dies. On the other hand Alexander is really low on his deathclock and I pretty much pass the turn to him again so he times out.

Another REALLY grindy game, but I got there in the end. Bad rolls plagued me during this game, but the thing that made the most damage was my grave mistake of charging in the Winter Guard on my feat turn. They could have killed the Gladiator with a good damage roll on the CRA, and even if they hadn't I would still have all my Winter Guard left as him hitting DEF 17 is quite unlikely. And then dealt with him the turn after. That was a mistake that almost cost me the game with the Gladiator rampaging through my army.

It was a great game though, down to the wire :)

Game 4 vs. Jakob Oskarsson with eMadrak and pMadrak (Outflank)

Going into this game I was pretty sure the matchup was going to be pMadrak vs. Sorscha2, as those are our 'safe' drops. I can play B3 into eMadrak, but don't like him at all vs. pMadrak. Now, Jakob could probably have dropped eMadrak into my Sorscha2, but I feel his pMadrak list was better into both my lists. It ends up as predicted.

-Pyre Troll

Fennblade Kithkar
Fell Caller

Stone + UA
Pyg Burrowers

I do have a good advantage in the scenario though, this beast brick doesn't really split up well.

I win the roll and choose to go second. There are 3 large forests on this table, one centrally on the side I chose a bit tilted to the left, just outside the zones. Then there is a large one in either zone, blocking Jakobs path into the zone a bit as they extend outside of the zones on his side.

Jakob deploys Madrak and the battlegroup centrally with Warders to my left. I keep Conquest centrally with Winter Guard on my right and Nyss to my left.

Jakob just runs everything up, Madrak casts Sure Foot on himself. My Nyss walk  + Zephyr and shoot some Burrowers. I kill 2-3. The rest of my army runs up.

Jakob then sets up his brick front and center, but outside any of the zones. The Burrowers burrow. In fact he contests with a minimum amount of models, just a single Warder toeing the zone on the left and the Fennblade Kithkar hides out inside the forest in the zone on my right.
I see some easy scoring, which I go for at first, but then I get greedy with Conquests main gun and shoots into his pile of Warders and the Pyre Troll instead of finishing off the single Warder toeing the zone. This results in 2 hurt Warders, but no CP for me. On the right I flub it as well, as I forget to give the Winter Guard Desperate Pace, so only a single Winter Guard gets line of sight to the Kithkar in the forest. Poor play by me sees me taking 0 CP this turn. 4 Nyss are contesting the left zone.

Jakob sees his chance and go for a domination of the left zone. The remaining 6 Burrowers pop up and kill all my Nyss with some help from Carnage. Mulg and the Eartborn moves into the zone and Janissa puts her wall up to cover them. The Warders bunch up in the zone and shield Madrak from Conquest. 0-2

This is the gamestate after Jakobs turn 3, taken from my opponents prespective. (When you suck at taking pictures it's nice having an opponent that doesn't).
In return I go for a play that involves casting Freezing Grip on the Warders and placing Conquest in the zone, with the Warders between Mulg and him, however Sorscha misses this critical Freezing Grip with Arcane Secrets, so that plan goes out the pooper. Conquest charges in and Kills 2 Warders, but is left open, as is Sorscha, so I try to plug any holes that will leave her open to assassination. The Nyss retaliate on the Burrowers and kill 3-ish. The Winter Guard kills the Fennblade Kithkar and I score 1 in the right zone. 1-2

Jakob sees an opening to get to Sorscha, and I nervously sit and watch Mulg surf on a couple of Winter Guard, two Great Bears, the Gobber Tinker and Holt, before he finally realise he won't quite make it in thanks to the forest Sorscha stands in. Mulg has taken a freestrike from Conquest in the process and been forced to Regenerate for 1, so he doens't quite kill Conquest (who was already a bit hurt from 3 Warders charging him). He's left with no arms though and my repair is dead. The remaining Burrowers wittle down the Nyss under Carnage and gets some help from a charging Fell Caller as well. Only 1 Nyss, Cylena and Valachev remains. The Runebearer makes it in to contest the right zone and the Earthborn with Janissa in tow moves towards it as well.
I narrowly escaped that one. Conquest gets 4 focus (thankfully his cortex was still functional) Sorscha Feats,  then charges out of the forest and Cyclones into the right zone. Conquests makes short work of Mulg, even with his arms crippled, and also kills two Warders in his dying breath. My Winter Guard overruns the right zone and kills the contesting Runebearer and some of the Stone dudes. The Nyss vs. Burrower grind continues, I kill the Fell Caller and leave Jakob with 3 Burrowers left alive. Sorscha dominates the right zone for 3-2

Jakob moves the Earthborn into the right zone and gets Janissas wall up next to it, Janissa engaging one of my Winter Guard. Madrak goes in and kills the Conquest. I think Valachev bites it this turn, but the Nyss are still contesting.
I can't kill the Earthborn this turn, so Sorscha backs out of the zone. I set up Aiyana and my last Great Bear to kill it next turn. I want to kill Janissa, but with Force Lock in effect, I can't CRA her. In hindsight I should have just sprayed my own dude in the back and then CRA:d her, but clock was running tight so I didn't think of it at the time. Instead I clear the stone and do a couple of points to the Earthborn with a CRA. The Nyss kill 1 Burrower.

With Madraks limited CTRL the Earthborn can't really do anything, so he just stands there and contests the zone. Jakob manages to clear the zone however, with his last 2 Burrowers killing Cylena and the last Nyss and Madrak himself killing the 2 Winter Guard that made it in. 3-4
I realise that my odds at killing the Earthborn are pretty bad because I didn't kill Janissa, so instead I go for an assasination attempt at Madrak, camping 1. Going into it I thought I had fairly good odds. I can get Sorscha there on 4 Focus and before that I get 4 2-Man CRAs into him, boosted to hit with re-rolls to hit. He had already taken some damage from cutting earlier. Unfortunatley Aiyana misses the Harm, but he transfers the first CRA to the Pyre, the remaining three hit and he dies on the fourth, not having used his scroll.

Another really grindy game that was down to the wire! Phew! While the final stages of our game was being played we also received news of the pairdown loosing his game, so I was the only one left undefeated. An amazing feeling after such a tense final game!

Jakob did well, but his assassination attempt was not the best play for him. He could have just killed Conquest outright instead and he would have been up on attrition. Now I could claw my way back and eventually outgrind him, as my Winter Guard proved too difficult to deal with for what he had left.

Anyway, it felt great winning a tournament as I haven't gone all the way in some time now. I want to thank my opponents for some great, down to the wire games and a big thanks to the organizers as well!

Looking forward, I hope to have the WTC recap done and published by the end of the weekend/early next week and hopefully my Zerkova2 musings done the week after that. I will also practise my photography skills until the next tournament.

More coming soon!

onsdag 2 september 2015

Iron Moot Day 2 - Iron Gauntlet Qualifier

A new day, a new tournament! And not any tournament, today we're playing the Iron Gauntlet Qualifier.

I chose a little different approach this time around regarding listbuilding. I obviously want Vlad1 for the Gauntlet Rounds, but he doesn't fit in very well with Sorscha2 and Butcher 3, and in this edition of IG I have to play him during the preliminaries if I want to play him in the Gauntlet Rounds, so I want a good list for him.

In the end I went for Vlad1, Sorscha1 and Butcher3 as I felt this lineup covered enough matchups for me and also gave me all the tools I required if I were to advance to the Gauntlet Rounds. Also all the lists have a purpose.

This is what they looked like:

Kovnik Joe
Gobber Tinker
Winter Guard Infantry
-3x Rocketeers
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters
-Koldun Kapitan Valachev
Great Bears of Gallowswood

Seem familiar? Well, it's pretty much my Sorscha2 list, with a few exceptions only now it's piloted by Vlad and it works really quite well.

-Sylys Wyshnalyrr
Kovnik Malakov
Widowmaker Marksman
Kell Bailoch
Dougal McNaile
min Greylord Outriders
Aiyana & Holt

I tried this list out with a couple of games before the Iron Moot and really liked how it played. It works wonders into Cryx.

-War Dog
Koldun Lord
Raluk Moorclaw
Gorman di Wulfe

Same Butcher list as the day before.

Game 1 vs. Alexander Nilsson (Denny2)  -  Incoming

I picked Sorscha because I had 3 good matchups against his Denny2, Goreshade3 and Skarre1 lists. He ended up going for Denny2 and his list looked something like this;

-Skarlock Thrall
Gorman di Wulfe
Warwitch Siren
Pistol Wraith
Pistol Wraith
Bane Thralls + UA
Blood Witches + UA
Bile Thralls
something more that I don't remember

He wins the roll and takes first turn. He deploys Denny centrally with the Bane Thralls to my right together with the Warwitch Siren and the Deathripper. The Blood Witches, Pistol Wraiths and DJ go to the left.

One thing about this list is it's very easy to deploy. I basically put everything centrally, except the stuff that has AD. All the snipers go to the left to counter the Blood Witches, while Eiryss hangs out in the middle.

Round 1:
Alexander runs his stuff up and Denny advances about 6" which is quite enough to get penetrated by a Disruptor Bolt.

This is bottom of 1. Sylys runs up to the wall. Sorscha charges him and Wind Rushes forwards to catch Denny and a whole lot of banes and other stuff in her feat. I then cast Tempest on a poorly placed Bile Thrall (you can see the Tempest-shaped hole in the picture) that also hits the Bane UA and 2 more banes. Luckily, I kill the UA meaning the banes don't shake stationary the next turn.
Dougal moves up behind Eiryss and minifeats. Eiryss then go and tag Denny with her lovely Dirsuption Bolt. To add injury to insult she also rolls boxcars on the damage roll, getting Denny down to 8 boxes.
Malakov casts Redline on Behemoth who tramples up and has some amazing scatters. First shot scatters onto the Skarlock Thrall and I boost damage to kill him. Second shot scatters onto the Bane Standard Bearer, so I boost damage and kills him too.
Outriders run up for some spraying action next turn if necessary, and my snipers takes some shots on the Blood Witches and kill a couple. Kell kills a Pistol Wraith, just 'cause.

Round 2:
Alexander can't really do much at this point. Deathjack waddles up a bit and a couple of Blood Witches run to engage my snipers, but thats about it.

Sylys gives Sorscha Arcane Secrets, she the Charge a Bane near Denny and boosts a Tempest at Denny, also boosting damage and killing her.

If you don't know the threatranges of this list it is truly devastating and this is also why I love it. It almost feels like I'm cryxing harder than the Cryx player considering level of unfairness :P

Game 2 vs. Mathias Groth(Kreuger2) - Incursion

Sorscha2 is normally my Circle drop, so I dropped Vlad here. He'll do. I think Mathias got the big 3 in Circle, Brad, Morv2 and Kreuger2 but ended up with Kreuger, a strong pick considering the scenario.

-2x Rotterhorns
Druids + UA
Swamp Gobbers
Shifting Stones + UA
Gallows Grove
maybe something else

I win the roll and choose to go first.

I deploy Conquest centrally, Nyss to the right and Winter Guard, followed by Alexia to the left.
He deploys like Kreuger always does.

Round 1:
I run at him with reckless abandon, Boundless Charging Conquest to get him further up.

He does Kreuger stuff, setting up the cloud wall on his central hill and running all his stuff up behind it. Kreuger decides to get a little feisty in order to get Stormwall further up the table and charges up + Telekinesis to end up in one of the Druid clouds.

Round 2:
Well, I am definatley in range for a Throw, so I go for it. He's only camping 2. It's amazing how far you can get this throw under pVlad btw. Feat + Signs & Portents helps alot!

So Vlad puts up S&P, Gobber runs, Conquest throws him and nails Kreuger with the little guy and his cart. The Nyss then go and pewpew Kreuger dead. Signs & Portents really helps there as well.

So 2 quick assassinations, looking good so far!

Game 3 vs. Jeppa Resmark (Lucant)  - Fire Support

So now I get to face Jeppa and his mighty CoC. Jeppa was a member of last years WTC team but have had less opportunities to play this year. His lists was also quite interesting breaking some new ground in the CoC listbuilding department. I must say I quite like it. It's mostly about stripping away support and taking more dudes and jacks, this is his Lucant list:

Obstructors max
Obstructors max
Reductors max
Accretion Servitors

I pick Vlad, because I can't play Butcher3 into the Watcher shenaningans he can pull and Sorscha1 feels.. maybe ok, but Vlad felt much better.

I win the roll and take first turn in order to present a threat to his infantry from the get go. I deploy Conquest centrally with WGI and Alexia to the left and Nyss to the right. Jeppa deploys with his battlegroup centrally and one unit of Obstructors on each flank. The Reductors hang out behind the jacks.

Round 1:
I run up as far as I can with both units and Conquest gets Boundless Charge and charges up.

Jeppa correctly decides to Shield Wall his Obstructors turn 1. Since he has no recursion he can't afford to loose that many by running them up. He casts Deceleration and Watcher and runs up his heavies, mostly staying out of my melée threat.

Round 2:
I can maybe Feat + Boundless Charge into 1 of his heavies, but that would be a poor trade for me, so I go for some shots instead. Conquest crits his big cannon on one of the Inverters and gets the Corollary, Lucant and a couple of Obstructors as well, doing some damage to Lucant and the Inverter and alot of damage to the Corollary.
Nyss go for a big CRA on one of the Conservators and WGI go for CRAs into Obstructors, killing 1 or 2.

Jeppa moves up yet again, still in Shield Wall and Lucant feats to delay my feat.

Round 3:
I make sure to keep my distance and shoot some more into his heavies, doing minor damage thanks to Feat and Deceleration. Nyss and WGI both go for big CRAs to be able to do anything at all.

Jeppa goes for my Objective this turn with a Conservator and kills it. a couple of Obstructors gets to the Winter Guard, still in Shield Wall, and kill 1 or 2 with CMAs. He once again moves up to threat my Conquest.

Round 4:
One of is Inverters are pretty damage by this point and Jeppa has positioned so that I only get that one if I charge in with Conquest, which makes me think that I can shoot it to death instead of serving him Conquest. However, this is clearly a mistake, as I can't really back off more now he is going to be in charge range, at least with a Hunters Mark and I can't get to the Diffuser. Which in turn means I will get nothing out of Conquest, instead of at least 1 heavy, but well played to Jeppa for this setup. I go for the shots and fail to kill it. Alexia goes into the Conservator that killed my Objective but rolls really poorly and needs the help of Joe, shouting Bears Strength and a bunch of charging Winter Guard AND a charging Thrall Warrior. It finally goes down though. Other Winter Guard go for charges on Obstructors and kill 3 more. One Great Bear and the Nyss also charge in and kill the other Conservator and a couple of Obstructors.

Jeppa obviously takes the opportunity I have given him, Positive Charge goes on one of the Inverters and he then charges Conquest with both his Inverters, but leave it on 3 Boxes. 2 Obstructors charge in and finish him though. Since my Winter Guard charged last turn he kills a bunch of them and a single Obstructor kills Alexia. The Nyss holds up nicely, but I'm afraid he will be able to clear my flag soon if I can't clear up my left flank. We are both pretty short on time though, but I have a slight advantage.

Round 5:
I start the round off with clearing up the left flank with my remaining WGI and I feel fairly certain the flank will hold for now.
The Nyss then go and charge some more into the rightmost Obstructors and kill a bunch more.

I don't know if I'm too used to Sorscha2s feat (I certainly believe I am) but I fully expected 2 Great Bears to be enough to kill his two Inverters. In fact, I was so certain of it that Vlad casually walks up to the damaged one, puts up Signs & Portents and kills it himself. The two Great Bears charge the other Inverter, but does indeed no kill it. I did leave it without an Induction Node and the reach weapon though, however, too late I realise Jeppa has an Accretion Servitor perfectly placed about 6" behind his Inverter. I can already see what is coming.

He Bodges the Inverters Induction Node, gets 3 from the Corollary and Lucant even charges up to give him Positive Charge. The two Obstructors that finished Conquest does a CRA and kills off the Great Bear that blocks the Inverters path, it then charges Vlad, knocks him on his ass with the Macropummeler and kills him dead :(

That's what I get for being so cocky....

I keep kicking myself when I think back on that game, mostly because this outcome was easily avoidable. Vlad did not need to go into his heavies. Like at all. He has no business there, especially when I have a time advantage and an (ever so slight) attrition advantage. I could comfortably sit back with Vlad and play on the clock if I wanted to. Secondly, I could easily have killed the Accretion Servitor with my WGI, however I activated them before the Great Bears and when I realised it was there and how important it was I had nothing left to activate that could get to it. I could also have taken out the Macropummeler with my last attack from the Great Bears. I actually had the choice. I went with the other weapon becuase I though "well he can only attack once with that one", but it's the wrong choice. If I'm knocked down his other weapon kills me, crippled or not. I'm going to blame that one on clock pressure, but that was terrible play. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I should have charged Conquest into his damaged Inverter in Round 4. Then the whole situation would have happened away from Vlad, and more importantly he is another heavy down. That means he probably must charge in with Lucant as well if he wants to oneround Conquest.

So, all in all a pretty long list of mistakes on my part, but again, I can't take anything away from Jeppa. He played the matchup (whitch is good for me) perfectly and the clutch Accretion Servitor placement in the end was a great play.

Great game buddy, keep up the good work! And props on your lists, I really like them! :)

I actually still had the chance to qualify for the Gauntlet Rounds since we weren't quite 64 players, so on I went and in round 4 I faced....

Game 4 vs. Stefan Benediktsson (Denny2) - Destruction

So, once again I get Stefan in the last round, which is unfortunate, but at least I get a chance for revenge!

He drops a fairly standard Body & Soul and I drop Sorscha1

I win the roll and choose to go second. It's really good to go second vs. B&S with this list. Normally, the Denny player wants to run her 14" up the board when going first, but if they do they will embrace certain death against this list and if they don't, well then you have some space to play with.

Round 1:
Stefan does exactly what I want him to do and runs up far with Denny, thinking Pursuit on Eiryss will protect him. He does make sure to stay outside of 14" of her though, so I can't forefit movement and still shoot him with Dougal minifeat. He is graceful enough to not even block LoS to Denny, so I'm going to go for it.

Just as in the first game Sylys runs up, Sorscha charges him and Wind Rushes to feat on Stefans entire Battlegroup. Eiryss then activates, advances and, since his stuff can't advance from being Stationary, Pursuit does absolutely nothing. Denny eats the Disruption Bolt, Behemoth then tramples up for free with Redline and shoots Denny dead.

Absolutely love this list.

So I end up 3-1 with a slight possibility to advance, since Jeppa went on to the Gauntlet Rounds, but alas, SoS is not on my side and I end up 9th.

Still, I had alot of fun and played some really sweet games. They started handing out prizes for fastest assassination during this tournament, so I naturally collected 3 out of 4 of those :P

All in all the weekend was awesome, I had loads of fun and the prize support was great! They were basically handing out blisters for achieving certain goals, and also for taking down one of the "big five". Both Mikkel and Stefan was on the list and I went home with a classic Spriggan, a Bombardier Bombshell, another Vlad1 (I'm currently working over my Khador and giving them a facelift) and Rhupert for another project.

The venue was a big step up from last year, having the event, your room and your food in the same place makes it all very convenient. The food was really good as well. 

And as usual it was really great to meet everybody!

This is the highlight of the year as far as tournaments in Sweden goes and i fully recommend it!

måndag 24 augusti 2015

Iron Moot, Day 1 - Swedish Masters

Two weeks ago, Iron Moot, Swedens largest warmachine event was held in beautiful Gothenburg. I of course attended, and here follows my battle reports from the weekend.

Day 1 was Swedish Masters, 50 pts Masters event with ADR. I brought my tried and tested duo of Sorscha2 and Butcher3 to the tables:

-Conquest (Bonded)
-Sylys Wyshnalyrr
Kovnik Joe
Gobber Tinker
Cylena & Nyss Hunters
-Koldun Kapitan Valachev
Winter Guard Infantry
-3x Rocketeers
Great Bears of Gallowswood

-War Dog
Koldun Lord
Raluk Moorclaw
Gorman di Wulfe

Game 1 vs. Gustaf Kullring (Gaspy2) - Fire Support

I don't remember what his other list was, but Gaspy2 is the obvious drop into Khador. I of course dropped Sorscha2.

His list (from memory):
Saxon Orrik
Bane Knights
Bane Thralls+UA
Blood Witches + UA
Bile Thralls min
Withershadow Combine

I was relieved to see no Helldiver, because without that the constant assassination-threat is lifted and he was probably going to feat to kill my Conquest.

I win the roll and choose to go first. I have Conquest centrally vs his Bane Thralls, Nyss to the left vs the Knights with a forest between them and Winter Guard on the right vs the Blood Witches/Thralls.

Round 1:
I run up as far as I can and is careful to position my infantry more than 19" away from the lead Bile Thrall. Conquest gets Boundless Charge and charge up to contest my flag. WGI gets Tough & Fearless and the Nyss get Iron Flesh.

He basically just runs at me, full steam ahead. The Blood Witches minifeat this turn as to not die from Winter Guard sprays. Gaspy puts Hellbound on himself.

Round 2:
I have some nice attrition plays that I go for, the Nyss CRA 4 Bane Knights to death and Zephyr out of retaliation-range. Alexia Hellfires a Blood Witch, claims her Soul and Breaks the unit! Super important for the coming rounds. Conquests main gun is short by 1/4 of an inch to reach the desired Bile Thrall, but still scatters and kills 2 of them. I also put up some Creeping Barrage templates to make it less tempting for any Bile Thrall purges, and shot a Knight dead. WGI Bob & Weave and recieve Courage of the Forefathers again. Most of my stuff is out of his threat, so I'm feeling pretty comfortable for the long game.

Gustaf starts his turn with failing to rally the Blood Witches, which is huge. 2 Knights get off charges on Nyss, but even with Curse he can't hit the Def 18. Gaspy moves up to put protecting clouds in front of his Blood Witches and Bane Thralls in the middle/right, and ends the turn on 1 camp in reach of much of my army, I smell an assassination.

Round 3:
Sorscha allocates 3 to Conquest. She then moves up and feats on Gaspy and Cyclones away. The Gobber Tinker runs up in front of Conquest, who then proceeds to Double Hand Throw him at Gaspy. It hits. I'm STR 18 vs Gaspys ARM 17, doubling damage and rolls an 8 for 9x2=18 damage and one-shotting gaspy with the throw attack!

My opponent was overextending his caster here and camping way too little to be in such a position. I could probably have killed him without the throw, putting CRAs, Rockets and Conquest shots into him under feat, but this felt way more satisfying! :)

Game 2 vs. Mikkel Ernst (Egern_WM) (Vlad2) - Outflank

Mikkel had Butcher3 and Vlad2 as his pairing and I felt comfortable with playing Sorscha2 into both of those. Mikkel picked Vlad2, probably for the off chance I would take Butcher3, but I explained to him afterwards that dropping B3 into his Vlad2 list probably was not a good idea, which he acknowledged.

Mikkels list:
Man-o-War Drakhun (with dismount)
Saxon Orrik
Doom Reavers
Doom Reavers
Greylord Outriders min
Cylena & Nyss Hunters
-Koldun Kapitan Valachev
Kayazy Eliminators

Now, this game was quite intense, so I sadly forgot to take pictures. I will have to make good with words instead.

Having played a lot of Vlad2 myself, with similar lists, I knew pretty well what he can and can't do. He will have trouble with my Colossal if I can get rid of his Doom Reavers before he can feat them into Conquest, so staying out of threat in the early game will be important. I have just the tool for killing Doom Reavers though.

I take first turn and puts Conquest centrally, WGI to the left vs one unit of Doom Reavers and the Outriders and my Nyss to the right vs his Nyss, the other unit of Doom Reavers, Eiryss and the Drakhun. Spriggan and Eliminators deployed centrally.

Round 1:
This was one of the few games where I ran Conquest first turn, since I wanted to place him with more precision. Winter Guard and Nyss also ran up. Alexia is to the right with the Nyss.

Mikkel makes a measured advance, keeping his Doom Reavers back and well spread out. To the right they take up position on a hill bordering the zone. His Nyss runs up behind and to the right of the Doom Reavers on the hill and Ragman, the Spriggan and the Eliminators moves up centrally. His Outriders moves up next to the Doom Reavers to the left. The Drakhun runs up into the middle of the right zone to Counter-Charge anything I put into the zone.

Round 2:
This is the turn I either need to kill alot of Doom Reavers and/or leave Conquest out of threat from as many of them as possible. The Drakhuns placement complicates things though because if I don't put Conquest into the right zone he will be poised to clear it and go up to 2 CP. The Drakhun further complicates my contesting options, so I decide to actually run Alexia up and engage the Drakhun to prevent a Counter-Charge. I then try to advance Conquest into the zone, but a bit poor placement from my side sees him just out of it. He does kill a bunch of Doom Reavers and Nyss though, although sadly not Valachev or Cylena. I also decide to kill one of his Eliminators, since they also hit hard as nails under the feat. Killing one stops that to an extent.
My Nyss do CRAs, prioritizing his Doom Reavers to the right and I either wipe them out or leave 1 alive well out of range of Conquest.
The Winter Guard do their thing on the other flank and kill 4 Doom Reavers.

This is Mikkels feat turn as he is going to fall irreversibly behind on attrition if he doesn't feat. Vlad charges Alexia, but miss the charge and a bought attack. He feats and gets 5 models. The Drakhun, 3 Doom Reavers and an Outrider gets the good stuff.
The Drakhun proceeds to kill Alexia, but at least he is not feated, in the middle of my army.
His Nyss, with HoF kill some of mine, including Valachev and Eiryss kills Cylena, which is bad for my right flank. A couple of feated Doom Reavers charge in on the Winter Guard, but only manage to kill 1. They do engage a couple though. The Outriders also move in to spray, but have great diffuculty dealing with DEF 17 Winter Guard.
The Spriggan, out of reach of anything, positions for next turn and Ragman moves to contest the right zone and possibly get Dark Shroud onto Conquest the next round.
Mikkel has cleared the zone and goes up to 0-2.

Round 3:
I contemplate going for a throw assassination, but he is camping a few and I don't really have anything meaty to get into Vlad since Cylena died. I make the decision to keep the attrition going. Conquest gets 4 focus and Iron Flesh on the WGI is upkept.
My remaining Nyss do what they can, tying up Eiryss and contesting the right zone.
Conqeust goes into beast mode and scatter templates everywhere, Killing Cylena, Ragman and a good portion of his remaining Nyss.
On the left flank my Winter Guard gets For the Motherland and mops up the feated Doom Reavers and 2 of the Outriders, but fails to kill the feated one. They also try to position themselves between the Spriggan and the Conquest, but I fail a bit with their positioning. I do get a few of them into the right zone as well though.
Since it's becoming apparent that I'm winning the left Sorscha puts herself in a position to dominate next turn.

Mikkel goes for a risky play, but in the end it pays off for him. The Spriggan gets 3 focus and charges Conquest, bulldozing away my interfering Winter Guard and putting some big holes in him. I don't remember if anything else charged in on him as well, maybe some Nyss, but Vlad charges in himself and finishes the last 15 boxes. Eiryss dies to a freestrike I believe, and he tries to clear the zone once again, but he runs out of attacks.
I think the Drakhun kills a Nyss or something. 
Saxon runs into the left zone to contest and the remaining Outrider fails to do anything other than tying up Winter Guard in melee.

Round 4:
This is my feat turn since I have a Spriggan sitting Stationary right in front of my Great Bears. Sorscha feats and then charge the last Outrider, killing him and Cycloning further into the left zone to keep safe. The Winter Guard recieve For the Motherland and kills Saxon after some ifs and buts, but down he goes. I also get a bunch of them into the right zone and solidify my attrition advantage by wiping out his Nyss.
The Great Bears charge in and wreck the Spriggan.
I score 2, which leaves us at 2-2.

Mikkel only has Vlad and the Drakhun left, and Vlad starts things off by killing all the Great Bears. He then tries to run the Drakhun into the left zone for a contest, but since he has to run through the wreckmarkers of Conquest and Spriggan he is just out. I go to 4-2 on his turn and win on my next.

This was a really intense game against a good player trying to claw his way back from an unfavourable matchup. Sorscha held for the pressure this time though.

Well fought buddy, I look forward to facing you again! :)

Game 3 vs. Henrik Oskarsson (Karchev) - Close Quarters

I have only faced Henrik once before but I got the impression he is a solid player. Today he plays ADR: Vlad3 and Karchev. I saw alot of anti-B3 tech in his Vlad3 list, so i chose to go with Sorscha again, she should be fine into both. He surprises me by choosing Karchev. His list after ADR looks something like:

min Mechaniks
Greylord Ternion
Kayazy Eliminators
Widowmaker Marksman
Saxon Orrik
+ some stuff I can't remember and in no way was important for how the game turned out

I win the roll and choose to go first, which might have been a mistake. Anyways, I have Conquest centrally, Winter Guard to the right and Nyss + Alexia to the left. I have a trench to my left inside the killbox and a big obstruction to the right. In the middle there is a wall and to my right on his side there is a hill.

He deploys Karchev and the Jacks centrally with Nyss to my left and the Widowmakers deploy onto the hill on my right.

Round 1:
I move up really aggressively with both my units first turn, both running 14" (WGI thanks to Desperate Pace) and Conquest get Boundless Charged and charges up as well. The Nyss gets Iron Flesh and Alexia make use of the trench on my left.

His Widowmakers starts off by killing some Winter Guard. Karchev casts Tow and drags Behemoth and Ruin with him, Ruin staying 2" behind him and Behemoth 2" infront trying to scatter some AOEs on the Nyss and getting 1 or 2. His Ternion puts up clouds on the Eliminators and Behemoth and they move to block LOS to Karchev and Ruin. His Nyss advances towards my Iron Fleshed Nyss.

Round 2:
Respecting the threat Behemoth poses I'm planning to put Sorscha in the trench to keep her safe. Terrible play as it turns out. Anyways, I go for some great attrition plays: I have a shot at his Cylena with a move+zephyr+shoot from Nyss and a 3-man CRA takes her down. Alexia also Hellfires a Nyss and ends the turn on 2 Souls. My Winter Guard recieves For the Motherland in an effort of killing his Widowmakers and Eliminators as well as launching some rockets into Malakov, but i do forget he has Sucker! and after he feeds the first one to a Mechanik I change plan. The sad part though is that I miss all sprays on the Eliminators, so the clouds stay up. I also roll poorly against the Widowmakers and leaves the Marksman on a few boxes and 2 from the unit alive.
Conquest desperatley tries to scatter his nipple guns onto the Eliminators and gets one, boost blast damage, but leave her on 1. Bummer. He then boosts the main gun on Behemoth and Crits, throwing him 2" backwards.

This is after my turn 2:

And this is Henriks turn 2:

Karchev, adding insult to injury by mooning you while Ruin kicks your teeth in!

Basically, Ruin threats 23" inches with Karchev. Thats a long friggin way. Now, in hindsight my positioning is awful. I could have easily prevented this by placing Sorscha behind Conquest. He could still have shot me with Behemoth, but really, that's pretty unavoidable and his odds on that assasination isn't that great anyway.

As it turned out Behemoth tripple-sixed his first hit roll on Sorscha in the trench, so that didn't really help :P Then Ruin kicked my teeth in.

I played this matchup terribly, but that is not to take anything away from Henrik. He went into this game knowing full well this was pretty much his only plan for the game, and I failed to both see it and appreciate how far Ruin actually threats with Tow in the picture. The fact that killbox was active in this scenario just makes Henriks case even more. 100% the right choice.

The defeat stung a fair bit and I zoned out a good 5 minutes after the game, but when I finally came to my senses I went to find my opponent again and thank him for the game and we had a little laugh about it.

Unfortunately this means I'm out of the running, but I soldierd on because I could still place fairly well.

Game 4 vs Mattias Bergström (Calandra, Evolutionary Elementalism) - Two Fronts

His list was something like this:
-3x Storm Trolls
-4x Slag Trolls
-1x Winter Troll
-2x Pyre Trolls

apologies for no pictures this game either, but my dissapointment after the last game, combined with some tilting made me forget again. I really must work on this.

I win the roll again and choose to go first. My deployment is pretty simple with Conquest in the middle, Winter Guard to the right and Nyss to the left.

Round 1:
I run up and is careful to stay out of his threatranges to get the alpha next round. I'm feeling he has a pretty good assassination on me if I'm not careful, so I place Sorscha behind the obstruction in the middle. I also have a wall to the right flank just outside his zone.

He moves up with all of his trolls and activates the stone. He keeps centrally with most of them and the Runeshapers run up on my left.

Round 2:
I fuck up completely and killbox myslef. I specifically stated "Sorscha activates and measures the killbox" checking if I could go behind an obstruction to the left and still be in the killbox. The answer was no, but then I forgot to actually do anything with her and moved on activating other stuff.
Other than that I actually had a pretty good turn. Conquest crits a Slag into another Slag, and knocking out both of their spirits which is huge since they can't shake knockdown at that point, which means Conquest is safe. Thanks to that and my positioning he could only get a single Slag onto him next turn. I take some shots that don't do much with the Winter Guard and put 3 of them in his zone with Iron Flesh and Tough. The Nyss do some CRAs on the single Storm Troll on their flank and the Runeshapers. 0-2

He obviously goes for the scenario play on his turn, but thanks to some ungodly tough-rolls on my part it takes all of his trolls to clear his zone to dominate and kill my objective. This means Conquest is unscathed and is in a position to charge into the big mess of light trolls in the middle of the table.

Round 3:
I go into hyper-aggressive mode, if he clears any of the zones I'm done. I feat and Sorscha gets behind that wall to the right, just outside his zone. Conquest goes in and kills a Slag and a Pyre. Star-Crossed means I have to boost to hit, which sucks, but them is the breaks. He also makes sure to contest my zone. Alexia runs into his zone and I also cram as many Def 17 tough Winter Guard into it as I can as well. They do some damage to a Pyre/Storm but nothing major. The Nyss charge in this turn, but Star-Crossed means they miss all their attacks. I make sure to contest both zones with everything I got though, and with Conquest in the middle of his light beasts tying several of them up I hope I can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

He first try to clear his own zone, but after a couple of Storm Troll activations realize that he won't make it he goes for attrition instead. Calandra moves out of her zone and feats. 2 Slags kills almost half of Conquest and he kills some Nyss and Winter Guard. He also kills Alexia with a Pyre in melee.

Round 4:
All I can do is grind on and keep contesting. Conquest keeps whacking light trolls, I think he kills 1 this turn. The Nyss kill the Storm Troll on their flank after some good rolls and the Winter Guard I believe kills one of the Storm Trolls as well. I keep the zones hotly contested.

He gets Conquest down to 2 Boxes I belive, but fails to finish him off, even charging some Stone dudes into him, and it's only now that I realise that I have forgotten to use my Bond the entire game. That would have helped alot in hitting under Star-Crossed. This is very unlike me and just shows how much on tilt I were.

Round 5:
I've had enough of this! Calandra is camping 1 with Bullet Dodger up, but I allocate 4 to Conquest, the Gobber repairs him, he Aims and Shoots Calandra 3 times, hit all 3 even under Star-Crossed and then Kovnik Joe finishes her off! For the Motherland!

What a game... I though I was done for, but somehow, don't ask me how, I won in the end. After thinking about it I came to the conclusion it was a clever trap designed by me to get my opponent to focus on the scenario rather than killing my models.

In all seriousness his second turn was the most important in this game. Instead of beating up Conquest a bit and focusing on attrition he went for the scenario and that cost him in the end. 100% the right play, but still, this allowed me to get Conquest on full health stuck in and he was already some Slags down, which means he will have trouble dealing with him. 0-4 is not a great position for me to be in, obviously, but when I could contest the zones as heavily as I did and at the same time keep alot of his stuff engaged with Conquest I actually managed to ride out the storm.

Game 5 vs. Stefan Benediktsson (Scaverous) - Incursion

I draw my good buddy and sparring partner Stefan in the last game. He is, as usual, locked into Scaverous the last round. If you have paid attention you'll know I'm also locked in - to Butcher3..

This is a brutally bad matchup for Butcher and 3 Khador jacks and I will not write a real battle report on it.

Basically what happened is I ran up, he charged in his Bane Riders, I kill them and then he kills Butcher with Scaverous feat.

I hoped not to face Stefan, since it's a bit sad that we can't both do well, and also that Scaverous list gives me fits. It's uneblieveably good into Khador.

Anyway, that wraps up a pretty meh first day for me personally, going 3-2. Some serious mistakes made sees me ending up on 17th place out of  63 players. I had hoped for better, but I placed like I played. All I could do was hoping to reap vengeance on day 2 in the Iron Gauntlet Qualifier!

Day 2 Battle Reports coming soon

fredag 26 juni 2015

eVlad - The Dark Champion the Motherland deserves

Today I'm going to write an article about one of my favourite casters: Vlad2!

eeeh.. right. I couldn't find a decent pic, so this will do.

I rarely see this guy getting played, and apart from Jason Flanzer talking about him Here I don't hear all that much about him anymore, so I thought I'd put a change to that.

Vlad2 was the first caster that made me feel in full control of the game. He has so many great tools and options up his sleeve and the threat ranges are long enough for me to be able to dictate the pace of the engagement in most matchups. He truly is a joy to play simply because every game with him is uniqe and requires you to use your abilities as a player in different ways.

So what does he do for Khador in a tournament environment? A few really neat things actually:

 For starters he is the best drop we have into Gaspy2. Between Wind Blast to take away his clouds, Hand of Fate and Transference to make sure attacks on high value targets do what they have to and the excellent threat range our models get under his feat he really has all the tools to give the cursed Lich Lord a run for his money. He also doesn't die easily to Gaspys feat thanks to Might of Kings (unless you're knocked down. Look out for that Helldiver!) and actually can make short work of Gaspy himself if he gets to him thanks to Balefire on his sword.

He's also a really good drop into Vayl2, however he requires a slightly different army build for that (however you can compromise a build that can handle both Vayl2 and Gaspy2 ok). The big thing here is that everything in your army can potentially make huge holes in Legion beasts and be a pain in the ass to remove after having done so. The battle plan is to push the Legion army back because they want to minimize the effect of your alpha and then jamming them there and following up with more heavy hitters.

That said he can deal with a lot of opponents thanks to his fluent and adaptable playstyle.

The Legion drop

In contrast to some popular Khador casters it's what Vlad brought with him that sets the limit for what he can and can't do, moreso than for others. First off, let's look at the list I brought to last years WTC:

Vladimir Tzepesci, the Dark Champion (*5pts)
• Juggernaut (7pts)
Doom Reavers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
Greylord Outriders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (9pts)
Iron Fang Pikemen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
• Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & Standard (2pts)
Iron Fang Uhlans (Leader and 4 Grunts) (11pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
Iron Fang Kovnik (2pts)
Man-o-war Drakhun (with dismount) (5pts)

This is a dedicated anti-eVayl list. It has some game against Gaspy2 as well, but it's not the best list for that matchup.

To make it better in the Legion matchup I have taken out some othewise great things to have, like Eliminators or Nyss, but I'll go into how Vlad makes them awesome later.

As it turned out I played this list 3 times, 2 vs Gaspy2 and once vs Vayl2 and ended up 2-1 with it. Pretty solid.

First off, this list cannot at all handle Lylyth2, and Saeryn is a problem if she doesn't feat defensively. However, if your other list is a shooting heavy list Saeryn is unlikely to get dropped.

So, what makes this a great Legion drop? Doom Reavers, Pikemen and Uhlans all tear up Legion beasts like it's their job, if you can get them there in one piece. Your feat enables you to deliver them and puts their damage output up three notches. Eiryss2 needs to be in here to shoot off Admonition and Tenacity. She's important, so don't get her killed before you feat. Gorman is in there because he's a nucieance to the Legion player and can decide the outcome of a game with a well timed Black Oil. The Outriders doesn't do terribly much in this matchup, but are important none the less as they can clear any jams the Legion player tries to protect his beasts with. You can also use them to block LOS to your Uhlans and the Drakhun. The IFK also mainly clear jamming lessers, but he is also a great Feat target in this list, plus some added utility with his abilities. The Drakhun is just money with eVlad and one of the best Feat targets Khador has to offer. And becuase the feat is in effect for a round, his Counter-Charge hurts alot the turn after you feat. I chose to go with the regular UA for the Pikemen becuase:
a) Pathfinder is important
b) the minifeat synergizes oh so well with the feat. Feated IFP will walk 9" and Shield Wall after charging 12" and will now be DEF 16 ARM 21 jamming even further into the Legion lines, and are difficult even for boosting Legion heavies to remove reliably.

The plan

First turn is huge in this matchup, but you can never count on it because Vayl2 usually has +1 on the roll. If you get first turn you catch the Legion player on the back foot and he has some difficult decisions to make already, because you have the speed to position for a turn 2 feat. Let's do the math: 7" deploy + 16" run + 16" feat turn charge threat and you will have Uhlans in his deployment zone top of 2, tearing up his beasts. Most Legion players will stay defensive and not come at you, which is the right call. 
I'm always looking to feat on turn 2 in this matchup as you want the swing to happen early so he can't sandpaper you away. This means you will take some losses for one turn and then you will be on him. You want to make it hard for him to get your Uhlans and the Drakhun as they have the longest threat and are also hitting the hardest. I usually screen them with the Outriders since they aren't super important in the matchup. You don't want to screen your infantry, because you will just give him good targets to place Scathers off of. 
I usually aim to incapacitate 2 heavies on my feat turn, because that is realistically what you will get to. You might end up with less than that because of the random nature of the feat, but you will generally be able to tear up 2 beasts pretty good, if not kill them. You then want to position the models not charging into the enemy as a strong followup, which is key. The Legion beasts will struggle with the enhanced stats of your feated charging models, and then you get to charge them again with fresh troops. 
Let's take a moment to consider how awesome the Feat makes some models defensively:

Uhlans go to DEF 16 ARM 20, 22 if they have Defensive Line (which they should have) and 5 boxes. Armour Piercing Angels will still kill them, but other than that nothing is really guaranteed to oneshot them, and the Angels still have trouble hitting them. 

MoW Drakhun just goes nuts. DEF 14 ARM 22 10 boxes, and if you got the dismount (which you also should, seriously, it's hard to get more worth out of 1 point) 8 more boxes after that. DEF 14 forces them to boost to hit, so he will take less attacks than he otherwise would. It will cost the Legion player alot of resources to get rid of this guy altogether. 

IFP is similar to Uhlans at DEF 16 ARM 21 (because feat turn is likely to be your minifeat turn as well) being 1 box infantry they are easier to deal with though. 

Doom Reavers go to DEF 16 ARM 17 you mostly feat on these guys because they hit like trucks. 

Dealing with jams

Legion players will do almost anything to stop you getting to their heavies. Therefore you need to position to clear jams as well as threaten to tear his throat out. 

The ususal suspects are spawned Stingers or Shredders, Raeks or Hex Hunters/Legionnaires. Here is where the Outriders shine. They can both shield your valuable Uhlans and clear them a path should your enemy try to block it. Legion infantry is generally not a problem, because they will die to Outrider sprays not to mention impact attacks from feated Uhlans. Lessers are more troublesome, but the Outriders handles them pretty well, with the IFK as backup. Raeks is another story. Here you need some serious hitting power and the Outriders can't realiably deal with that many High-def boxes, so here I would consider the IFP. They are excellent, because you can feat on 1 or 2 and lead CMAs with the feated models, kill the Raek and then minifeat to get out of the way of the Uhlans. 

On turn 1 I always put Hand of Fate on the unit I think will be doing the unjamming, let them do their thing and then feat and swap it to most probably the Uhlans, or the IFP if they have better targets. 

The Long Game

So what does all this get you? It generally gets you an engagement on the Legion player's side of the board where he will struggle to get anything that will survive a round of beating into a zone. Therefore Scenario is very important in this matchup. Every CP counts. This is also why I have chosen to go with a Juggernaut for the battlegroup. That guy kills heavies dead, unlike the Berzerker and can clear a zone if he needs to. Drago on the other hand can be made an argument for, but he's 1 more point for less-to-similar hitting power and less durability. The increased MAT and Affinity is nice though.  

I ususally think of this list as a wave attack:

The first wave are generally your feat targets, plus any other models that were in range to charge. Usually Uhlans, the Drakhun and some Doom Reavers or IFP. The first wave sets the line of engagement and forces a reaction.

The second wave are the guys from those units that didn't get to charge. They should have positioned to attack whatever is now trying to deal with your first wave. I also count Gorman to the second wave, becuase a Black Oil is huge in the attrition game at this stage. The second wave's mission is to cripple the enemy's ability to hurt you in any significant way.

The third wave are comprised of your Jack, any remaining Outriders, the IFK and any guys that couldn't charge with the second wave. If they are needed, the third wave will insure total victory on all fronts.

While all this is going on you should be able to score some CPs. The Outriders usually have nothing better to do after your feat turn, so they and other models of the third wave are a great tool to remove contesting models. Vlad should stay reasonably safe, however camping 3-4 focus + Might of Kings ususally means Vayl can't kill you reliably herself. The Ravagores are therefore an important target for the second wave to ensure they never get to shoot Vlad. If you fail to take them out or tie them up significantly you will have to keep Vlad somewhere safe, preferably behind a wall or in a trench, but a forest or hill will make due in a pinch. I usually win my games against Legion on scenario with this list, so take all the CPs you can.

Lets talk army building!

Alright, let's move along into some army building discussion, as the above list is almost exclusively focused on taking down eVayl. So what do I like with the Dark Champion if I'm bulding him as an all comers list?

Man-O-War Drakhun: This guy deserves a place in every Vlad2 list. He's a good model to begin with, but Vlad2 makes him into a beast. Again, one of the absolutely best feat targets. You should always get the dismount for him as well, for only 1 point it's well worth it.

Kayazy Eliminators: Preferably 2 units! Seriously, these girls are insane under the feat. They are also a very  real assassination threat if the opposing caster is within 13,5" of them. With the feat and Gang they go up to MAT 12, P+S 14 and have 2 attacks each. Charging through models and ignoring free strikes. If you can get Hand of Fate in there as well it gets ridiculous and then there is always Transference so you can boost the non-charge attack damage roll, or the attack rolls for that matter (getting screwed by dice sucks). They also tear up heavies, as they are P+S 18 if they use their Combo-strike. Or you can clear 4 infantry models with them and stand on DEF 20 against melee attacks and ARM 14, 5 boxes. Do you think all this is worth 3 points of your army? Then go buy yourself some murder-twins, silly!

Iron Fang Uhlans: Ironically the best Uhlan caster is not Vlad3, in my opinion it's Vlad2. I usually take a min unit at least. Why I hear you say? Because they really like the feat. Think about it this way: During feat turn they are like a charging Juggernaut (and costs the same). That threats 16". At MAT 11. Getting all 3 attacks with boosted damage. That can impact attack through impeding models. For no Focus cost. Interested yet? These guys pretty much oneround a heavy, especially with Hand of Fate (might as well throw it in there to make sure).

Greylord Outriders: Vlad also synergize well with our Light cavalry. Hand of Fate is just what these guys ordered and I always take a max unit of Outriders. That's how great they are. There are also occations when you want to feat on these guys, especially in the Gaspy2 matchup. It won't help them hit or damage their targets, but their threat range go up to 20" which enables you to keep them back and safe, but still be relevant. 

Doom Reavers: These guys are good with Vlad for a couple of reasons. First off, his feat is one of only a few buffs that work on them thanks to Spell Ward. And what a buff it is. MAT 10 P+S 16 Berzerk Weaponmasters sound ridiculous to you? They are also good in the Gaspy2 matchup as a first wave, since they can't be excarnated they can do some nice early work, but make sure to keep your other vulnerable infantry out of Excarnate range as they can certainly still be eradicated by Purges. 

 Nyss + Valachev: A great all-round unit for a great all-round caster. These guys are awesome on their own with Valachev giving them Zephyr, but when you add the Feat and Hand of Fate into the mix it gets ridiculous fast and their adaptable nature of both strong shooting and melee power synergize very well with how Vlad2 wants to play. Have you ever tried Hand of Fated Nyss? If not, please do. It's a pleasure. You will have to look after Valachev though since he is the enabler of this awesomeness. 

Iron Fang Pikemen: First off, I always take the regular UA with Vlad2. The synergy you get from the minifeat is awesome and Relentless Charge is very useful. Hand of Fate is just what IFP needs to shine as well. You'll notice I bring up HoF alot. That's because it's awesome and you should cycle it each round to get maximum use out of it, it really makes all Khador models tick. These guys are always solid and Vlad2 does some really nice things for them. 

Then there is always the ususal support solos: Eiryss2, Gorman, Saxon Orrik (important if you are running Doom Reavers and/or Eliminators), Orin Midwinter, Widowmaker Marksman, Iron Fang Kovnik (very nice feat target) as well as nice-to-have things like Widowmakers (usually don't take these guys if I take Nyss) or, as an alternative to the Nyss, Winter Guard Rifle Corps + Joe. I would probably take Nyss over the WGRC module though, unless they are a must have for my other list. 

A sample army list might look like this:

Vladimir Tzepesci, the Dark Champion (*5pts)
• Drago (8pts)
Man-O-War Drakhun (with dismount) (5pts)

Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Saxon Orrik (2pts)
Doom Reavers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
Greylord Outriders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (9pts)
Iron Fang Uhlans (Leader and 2 Grunts) (7pts)
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena & 9 Grunts) (10pts)
• Koldun Kapitan Valachev (2pts)
Kayazy Eliminators (Leader & Grunt) (3pts)

I would be quite comfortable taking this into a tournament and play into a variety of different matchups. You can easily re-distribute the points of the list. You could, for example, take the Doom Reavers out and put in another unit of Eliminators along with a couple of extra solos, or a unit of Widowmakers if you change Drago into a Juggernaut. You could also easily swap Nyss+Valachev for IFP+UA+Kovnik if you want it to play better into heavy armour (although the Nyss are almost as good with their Weaponmaster claymores) and it would still preform nicely. 

The Gaspy2 matchup

So let's discuss the Gaspy2 matchup.

First off I would like to highlight important units to have in your army for this matchup specifically:

Greylord Outriders:  Nothing clears Banes like Outriders with Hand of Fate. Absolutely must have in this matchup.

Doom Reavers: are great here simply because of Spell Ward. No excarnate = no insane purge threat, so these guys usually form the vanguard and do the early work on whatever they can get their Fellblades on. 

Nyss + Valachev: While they can't engage the Bane Thralls, Nyss under Valachev are excellent for killing Bane Knights. With Hand of Fate you are now killing them on average with single shots and Zephyr let's you escape retaliation from the rest of the unit. The threat of a large CRA onto Gaspy himself is also great to have.

Eiryss2: First off, she is vital in other Cryx matchups like B&S or pDenny, but she is important here too, because she is the only one that can enable a melée assassination on Gaspy, shooting off Hellbound. She's also a RAT 9 sniper and killing dudes is always good against Cryx.

Uhlans: Yep, I want them here as well, but a min unit is enough. They can take out any heavies, if they brought any, and are great for taking out Tartarus for example and can kill a fair few models between impact attacks and charges. They also kill Gaspy dead if Eiryss succeeds in shooting off Hellbound.

So how do you play the matchup? Cautiosly. I usually send in Doom Reavers first, preferably 2 units and hold back everything else excarnateable so they can do their work without getting Purged to oblivion which is tricky in and of itself. They will eventually die, but they can hopefully get some work done and get the ball rolling. You still want to threaten any scenario zones with your Uhlans, but 16" is a long way and you need to use that to your advantage. Uhlans are still very excarnateable, even though it gets dicey, but Puppet Strings makes it quite likely. It's only after this clash that you want your Outriders and Nyss to engage, which is why it can be important to feat on the Outriders in this matchup. If they hang back they might not have that much of an impact, which you must make sure they have as quickly as possible after the Doom Reavers have faded.

When the Doom Reavers are gone, you start wearing down the Banes for real, with the Nyss and the Outriders. Between them you should kill most of the Banes. Also keep a look out for taking out the Biles, as they are a strong tool against your list. Remember to use Wind Blast if he puts up clouds, the key to winning against Gaspy is to take away his options (and his Banes) while not loosing your caster to the feat.

The Helldiver is super important to keep track of, as a successful headbutt/slam into Vlad will loose you the game. You want to make it as hard as possible for him to even get there, so keeping your heavy just over 3" in front of Vlad will go a long way. He can still run one of his own models to slam into you, so that's why you need to kill alot of dudes quickly. Also remember that Vlad has Defensive Strike, should the Helldiver slam Vlad directly, or walk up to Headbutt him. It's not much, but at least you have a chance to cripple an important system. Best not let him get to there though.

I usually save the feat and the Uhlans for as long as I can, just to threaten an assassination, or if I can get hold of a bunch of important stuff like Tartarus, Darragh, an Arcnode etc. Eiryss2 is key, so keep her safe. She can sit at 12" from the frontmost bane and contribute to the attrition game with her shot until she can get a bead on Gaspy. Her threat is 19", so be careful when you position her and keep in mind what areas you want to threat. Ideally you want her to be out of excarnate-purge threat from the Biles. If Gaspy walks into it you can always pull the trigger and see if it works out. I prefer the Uhlans to go in on him if you successfully remove Hellbound, but Doom Reavers will do if he exposes himself eary, or even Nyss Hunters in the late game. You will usually have to clean up some crap in front of Gaspy to get to him, but nothing that Outriders and Nyss can't handle, however Though on the Bane Thralls might make it a dicey proposition.

If you haven't screwed up and gotten Vlad knocked down Gaspys feat will likely go into your heavy, or just trying to kill as much of your stuff as possible to even the field. Gaspy can be quite hard to deal with lategame, so make sure you got Eiryss2 around and put the Lich back in the ground. Transference works wonders if you can't shoot Hellbound off since you can still boost your damage rolls.

There is actually a way to kill Gaspy in melee even if you can't shoot Hellbound off. It requires Saxon Orrik, Doom Reavers and your feat.

1) Saxon grants Pathfinder to the chosen unit of Doom Reavers
2) Vlad feats on said unit of Doom Reavers and moves up to apply Transference
3) Doom Reaver 1 Runs close to Gaspy, preferably into B2B.
4) Doom Reaver 2 Charges Doom Reaver 1 and makes sure to keep Gaspy in his melée range and LOS
5) Doom Reaver 3 Charges Doom Reaver 1 or 2 and makes sure to keep Gaspy in his melée range and LOS and so on....
6) Doom Reaver 2 kills Doom Reaver 1 with his Charge attack and Berzerks into Gaspy, boosting with Transference
7) Doom Reaver 3 kills Doom Reaver 2 with his Charge attack and Berzerks into Gaspy(or, if he also charged Doom Reaver 1, redirects his attack to Gaspy). And so on.

Doom Reaver 1 can be from another unit activating before, so as to grant the Back Strike bonus.

I have never preformed this maneuver myself, but it looks hilarious on paper and I'll be sure to try it if I ever get the chance.

Enough of that piece of jank. In all seriousness the way you win this matchup is through attrition, since your army excels at it and also by keeping your caster safe. Sometimes you need a finisher, but if Gaspy is all he has left you will be able to win on Scenario pretty quickly.

Playing the Dark Champion

So why is Vlad2 good? I would say it's his adaptable playstyle that lets you analyze the situation and come up with the suitable response, and the potentially huge atrittion swing that should come with your feat. However it takes player skill to identify valuable targets in the enemy list, the best way to neutralyze those targets and really, creating good matchups for the variety of units you bring. Vlad2 was the first caster that I actually swapped sides with my units on turn one if I weren't happy with what they were going up against. Of course, the variety of high SPD units you bring with him makes this easier. You also need to know when to pop your feat and when you should hold on to it. Usually you want to feat early to create a snowball effect, but sometimes that's not the case. 

Another thing that is quite important is to be aware of your threat ranges, because they are so long. You need to be able to tell if your Uhlans are within 16" of that enemy heavy, or if your Doom Reavers are within 14" of that cluster of infantry. Another challange is to identify targets for the feat. This is not always as easy as it sounds, and it comes down to priorities. When you roll only 4 models for your feat you need to know what target is the most important and what target you can take the risk of not killing fully. 

When you got him down though, Vlad2 is an attrition machine that rarely runs out of gas. He has some bad matchups though:

Lylyth2: The only Legion Warlock I wouldn't consider dropping Vlad2 into. Her superior threat ranges forces you to feat defensively and try to run to engage her greatest assets, which really sucks and even through that she can kill alot of your stuff. This is a very bad matchup for Vlad2, possibly the worst.

Cygnar: Khador has a general problem with Cygnar, and so do Vlad2 although it's not as bad as the Lylyth2 matchup. You can certainly make a game out of it, but beware that he has trouble killing the Stormwall because of his reliance on single wound infantry. The Uhlans only go so far. 

Protectorate of Menoth: More specifically Harby. He has very little going for him in that matchup when Harby can prevent his units from charging. If you feat you can go in with Uhlans and the Drakhun on her feat, but Enliven is gonna suck because nothing else is likely to make it close to his Jacks and you have nothing to prevent Martyrdom apart from volume of attacks. 

Those are by far the worst, and you usually have a fighting chance in most other matchups.

So what would I pair him with? Butcher3 is indeed a good second list here, as he covers all the shortcomings of Vlad2 and currently is the only one to do so in the Khadoran stable of Casters in my opinion. While Reckoning doesn't really change anything for Vlad2, it might shake some things up for the other list and we might see someone else emerge that can handle these matchups, probably with a Rager at his/her side. Thinking about it, Irusk1 could be our man. 

General Tips & Tricks

With regular IFP and Outriders you have excellent jam-clearing as the Outriders can just Light-cav out of the way and the IFP can minifeat to make room.

Don't underestimate the Nyss' melée power. Under feat they are MAT 9, P+S 12 Weaponmasters that threat 13,5" with Pathfinder and can see through forests. That's like more accurate, faster Great Bears. 

You usually want to allocate nothing turn one and get all 3 of your upkeeps out (that is Hand of Fate, Assail on the Jack and Transference). It's almost always worth it to upkeep these spells throughout the game and it's ALWAYS worth it to cycle Hand of Fate. That shit cray.

Learn the Cavalry rules. You are going to be playing Cavalry alot with Vlad2 so you better know what they can do. Impact Attacks is a very important part to know, as well as Tall in the saddle and the fact that you get +2 MAT on the charge attack.

 The Drakhun get the Feat bonus on your opponents turn as well, so if he trigger Counter-Charge he will be sure to regret it.

If you feat on a unit Leader they get +3 CMD for CMD checks, which basically makes you pass them automatically. It also allows you to spread out further, but be aware that at the start of your next turn your CMD goes down to normal and anyone outside of formation will not get to attack.

Other than that I can only encourage you to learn how to weigh the flow of battle and getting a feel for what course of action is the strongest, but that can only come with practice. 

Vlad2 is the caster I have had the most fun with playing this game and would thoroughly recommend him as he is very rewarding to the player once you learn his if's and but's.

That's all for now! I'd be more than happy to recieve any feedback on this article, so please let me know how it was for you.

Over 'n out!