onsdag 17 juni 2015

Battle Report from 'Masters of the Universe (and Westridge)' 43 player Masters tournament

This is the annual large tournament that my gaming club organizes, previously know as Battle of Westridge, but since we were doing it Masters-style this year someone had the bright idea to change the name into that.

We ended up with 43 players in the end, which is decent. Only 3 WTC-players showed up though, and toghether with a couple of up-and-coming players there wasn't really that many known names attending so I felt pretty confident going into the tournament.

Now, a quick disclaimer. Since I had not yet planned this blog at the time of the tournament I took very few pictures from the actual games to share with you, something I will change in the future.

The lists

The Swedish meta, especielly here in the middle of Sweden, is saturated with Trolls. Add to that an overrepresentation of Cryx & Legion and you really need to bring the right lists into tournaments to reach far. For this specific tournament though, I opted out of a dedicated Cryx-drop since all the really good Cryx players were not attending, with one exception, and instead focused on covering the Legion and Troll matchups while still keeping in mind what the players that I expected to go far were playing.

In the end my lists were the same as in the IG Finals:

Raluk Moorclaw
Koldun Lord
Iron Fang Kovnik
Iron Fang Pikemen
-Black Dragon UA

Objective: Fuel Cache

This list has really become a favourite of mine, especially given the Legion-heavy Swedish meta. I usually run Boomhowlers instead of IFP when I'm at home, because they are in my opinion better vs Legion and I choose IFP when I expect to face Cygnar (Who are very rare in the Swedish meta for some reason). This time I was just feeling at home with the list I played at Lock n Load, so the IFP stayed in.

I'm looking to drop this list into Legion, Protectorate and Cygnar first and foremost.

-Sylys Wyshnalyrr
-Conquest (Bonded)
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich
Battle Mechaniks (min)
Great Bears of Gallowswood
Winter Guard Infantry (max)
-2x Rocketeers
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters
-Koldun Kapitan Valachev
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt

Objective: Arcane Wonder (will swap this to Effigy of Valor)

Having played this list for about a year now I consider it one of the best in Khador. It covers a broad field of matchups and got many small tricks that helps in specific situations. I'm basically looking to drop this into anything the Butcher isn't designed for.

The one weakness with this pairing in my opinion is the Cryx matchup. Regular Cryx will have next to no problem steamrolling these lists if the players are equally good. This Sorscha2 list can play into Cryx, but it's not the best drop out there. 

Day 1


Game 1 vs Jan Jakubowski (Protectorate of Menoth) Destruction

He has High Reclaimer and Harby, which results in a list-chicken. My preferred matchups are Butcher3 into Harby och Sorscha2 into Reclaimer. However, considering the missions I decide Butcher3 into Reclaimer will be preferable over Sorscha2 into Harby, so I drop Butcher. He drops Reclaimer.

He has:
The High Reclaimer (*6pts)
* Devout (5pts)
Exemplar Bastions (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8pts)
Exemplar Errants (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
* Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard Bearer (2pts)
Exemplar Vengers (Leader and 4 Grunts) (11pts)
Idrian Skirmishers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
* Idrian Skirmishers Chieftain & Guide (3pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor (2pts)
Objective: Effigy of Valor

I win the roll and elect to go first. There is a forest in the middle of the zone which is going to be a problem for the player to get there last. He chooses the side where the forest cover the entrance to the zone the most which I'm grateful for.

I mostly just run up turn 1, Butcher energizers for 3 and a Widowmaker manages to pop one of the Errants.

He moves up slowly and puts up his cloud wall. Idirians minifeat and Vengers swap flanks to be on my left, while the Bastions and his mercs gets traffic-jammed behind his AD troops.

My turn 2 sees little action. He has his entire army behind clouds, so my Widowmakers just run up the right flank, while Eiryss runs up the left to try and draw some attention. My Juggernauts are well into the zone by now with Ruin trailing behind for a counter-attack. I Shieldwall and minifeat the IFP and position them to take out the objective. Since he has very little shooting to threaten Butcher I send in both the Vanguard and Raluk into the zone, ready to do work.

He takes the Eiryss bait.. sort of. 1 Venger charges her, while 3 other charge my objective and kill it. Eiryss lives. His Eiryss then tries to shoot mine, but miss. The forest is now screwing him over, as he takes some pot-shots on my Juggernauts, but he doesn't seem to want to commit so he just shuffels around a bit and keep blocking his Bastions. His cloudwall goes up again and Orin says that I can't do magic. 0-1

So, here we go. I need to kill 1 Venger and his objective to score the zone and go to 3 CP. I can also, thanks to his unwillingness to commit, jam past the zone with my Jacks and IFP, which is exactly what I do. The Vanguard runs into his frontline, engaging alot of Errants and Idrians. The Iron Fangs mostly just run into his frontline as well to jam further, while 2 charges the Venger in the zone and 3 charge the objective. They kill both targets. The Widowmakers also run into his lines since they got no good targets. Both Juggernauts are half outside the zone on his side, ready to kill anything contesting, Ruin on the right side to support there and Butcher walking into the zone on the left side (this was necessary because the forest cut LOS through the zone) camping 6. My Eiryss kills his Eiryss with an aimed shot. Take that imposter! I go up to 3-1

To my surprise he hardly tries to contest at all. Holt runs into the zone, but that's pretty much it. Most Errants and Idrians are engaged and the Bastions are caught behind them, which stops him from doing much but to hit my jam.

I try to be stylish by throwing Holt out of the zone (there will be more Holt-throwing later ;) ) but he misses the boosted attack. He then hits the unboosted Ice axe and puts it straight through Holts face. Oh well. I'll take it. 5-1 Victory

Game 2 vs. Fredrik Rabén (Legion of Everblight) Close Quarters


Fredrik is one of the up and coming players I was talking about earlier and we have had some really tight games in the past. I got a surprise for him today though. He have been talking alot about his pVayl into Butcher3 which could be troublesome to be sure, so I'm planning to drop Sorscha2. It's not without risks however, since his second list is eLylyth. That is close to an auto loss, but my gut tells me he will drop Vayl, so I go for it. I was right.

Vayl, Disciple of Everblight (*6pts)
* Shredder (2pts)
* Raek (4pts)
* Raek (4pts)
* Scythean (9pts)
* Scythean (9pts)
* Seraph (8pts)
* Typhon (12pts)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt) (1pts)
Blighted Nyss Shepherd (1pts)
Strider Deathstalker (2pts)
The Forsaken (2pts)
The Forsaken (2pts)
Objective: Fuel cache

Would she ever hurt you?

He wins the roll and elects to go first, which means he will be able to get into my colossal top of 2. I pick the side with a hill to the right and a wall to the left. He gets a trench in the centre and a forest to my left, opposite the wall.

He runs up with everything and Vayl throws up her upkeeps. He got Vayl centrally with Typhon, one Scythean and a Raek on each flank and the Seraph slightly to the left.

I make a very cautious advance this round. The Nyss take some cover behind the wall, but otherwise try to stay out of threat. Conquest runs up centrally, slightly towards my flag and I run the mechaniks to b2b him in the front, so as to stop Typhon from getting into melée with him (a neat trick that works well against Bradigus as well). I then cast Iron Flesh on them as well to get them to Def 18 Arm 14 with Iron Sentinel. The Winter Guard Bob & Weave up my right flank and gets Courage of the Forefathers to complete the turn.

 He elects for a cautious play this turn, but he is sort of forced to feat anyway. Vayl walks up, Leashes Typhon and cast Incite and makes sure Conquest is within. She snowballs a Mechanik and feats. Typhon walks up and Sprays Conquest 3 times doing some damage, but nothing critical. Scytheans just chill. A Raek goes in to punch some Mechaniks and successfully kills 2 and putting some more damage on Conquest with the charge attack and is then stationary (he forgot about the bond). His feat allows him to walk out of most of my threat ranges, he puts Vayl in the trench with 3 transfers with Typhon a couple of inches next to her, also in the trench. Seem safe to you?

So, let's teach him the fabled Conquest-throw assasination! Now, I have a problem from right out of the gate. I don't really have a great throw target. My one surviving Mechanik is blocked by a Winter Guard and I need their attacks to kill Vayl. My only choice is Holt, so he runs into position 6" in front of Conquest, who then boost the Double-handed throw against Holt, hits it and proceed to hit Vayl as well with a boosted attack. 15 Damage from the throw forces the first transfer. Sorscha use Desperate Pace on the Winter Guard, which enables me to get 2 sprays as well as 2 rockets into her. She transfers one of the sprays that got a big roll and one of the rockets which leaves her at 4. The Nyss then go and Zephyr to get as many as possible within range, but the first one kills her. Assassination Win!

Game 3 vs Gustav Berggren (Legion of Everblight) Fire Support


Gustav is another good player, and he is rocking Vayl1 and New Blood (Thagrosh1 newest theme force) I feel like Sorscha2 should be a good drop into both of those, so I pick her again. He drops New Blood. I have never actually faced New Blood and this was an eyeopening experience.

Tiers: 4 - New Blood
Thagrosh, Prophet of Everblight (*5pts)
* Naga Nightlurker (5pts)
* Ravagore (10pts)
* Ravagore (10pts)
Spawning Vessel (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3pts)
Spawning Vessel (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3pts)
Spawning Vessel (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3pts)
Beast Mistress (3pts)
* Harrier (0pts)
* Harrier (2pts)
Beast Mistress (3pts)
* Harrier (0pts)
* Harrier (2pts)
Beast Mistress (3pts)
* Stinger (0pts)
* Stinger (2pts)
Beast Mistress (3pts)
* Shredder (0pts)
* Stinger (2pts)
Shepherd (1pts)
Objective: Armoury

Theme force benefits:
Tier 1: Increase the FA of Spawning Vessels and Beast Mistresses by 2
Tier 2: Each Spawning Vessel in the army begins the game with one corpse token.
Tier 3: Add one warbeast to each Beast Mistress’ battlegroup free of cost.
Tier 4: Beast Mistresses and warbeasts in their battlegroups gain Advance Deployment.

 He takes first turn, and positions aggressively. Winter Guard gets Bob & Weave and Iron Flesh. I advance my Nyss into the threatrange of his Harriers and loose 4 to autohitting sprinting Harriers. His Ravagores kills a couple of Winter guard.

Conquest starts off the turn with a crit on one of the pots, hurting it, throwing it backwards and killing all but 1 potlady. I put some damage into his lessers, but kill none. I get some rockets into another pot damaging it and killing 3 potladies.

A Ravagore advances to take a pot-shot at Sorscha, which thankfull misses, but she is caught in the blast and takes some damage as well as fire. He kills some Winter Guard and a Nyss, but atrittion looks good for me.

Sorscha feats, heals up to 12 boxes (she took a big old hit from the fire) and puts Iron Flesh on herself. Conquest charge the offending Ravagore and kills it easily (in retrospect I should have Shatterstormed him to prevent his feat). My infantry kills somewhere between 5-6 lessers this turn as well. I try to block LOS to Sorscha from the last Ravagore as best I can. I have one layer of 2 Great Bears and a second layer of Aiyana, the last Great Bear and a Mechanik.

He starts talking about going for a Mutagenesis assasination and sets it up, killing the Mechanik with a Harrier (who had to take a freestrike from Conquest) but he had 3 potential Harriers to send in and I missed my attack on the second one. He then tries to get to Aiyana, but is out of range. He changes plans and Mutagenesis as Winter Guard on my right flank instead and go there to stay away from Conquest. He Feats, camps 2 and bring up his other Ravagore.

Sooo, here is where my judgement lapsed. This was possibly the most fail turn I have played ever in Warmachine. So, I'm stressed here. I got the feeling I dodged a bullet and with my caster on fire I want to end the game as fast as possible. However, he only got something like 6-7 minutes on the clock and my left flank is looking pretty good. None of us has scored any points so what I should have done was just to focus on attrition and keeping Sorscha safe. That is not what I did. Not even close. Instead I go for a convoluted plan to unjam one of my Great Bears so he can get into Thagrosh, who is knocked down thanks to Conquest throwing a Ravagore into him. However, I brainfart in doing so, as this will give him another 2 transfers (it was a created Harrier from one of the pots) and my assassination fails miserably and that leaves Sorscha on no camp, without Iron Flesh in Thags charge range.

He kills the Great Bear that is blocking the lane, takes a freestrike from the other one which he transfers and charges Sorscha. He misses the 3 first boosted attacks, but hits the fourth and oneshots her with the boosted damage roll. Assasination loss!

Terrible play on my part and I really should have won that game, but my lack of judgement and the fact that I felt stressed because of the damage done to my caster already ultimately got me to loose the game. If I only would have kept Sorscha safe and kept attritioning I would eventually have won on time or scenario. Oh well, lessons learned.

Game 4 vs. Hugo (Charmant) Svanborg (Mercenaries) Recon


Hugo is a decent player, full of jank. I always have trouble placing his lists and trouble knowing what to drop against him. This time he brought Gorten and Ashlynn. I felt Butcher was better into Ashlynn, but couldn't risk facing a bunch of Kayazy Assassins which would be alot of trouble for his list, so I went with Sorscha2 again. He dropped Ashlynn.

Ashlynn d'Elyse (*6pts)
* Vanguard (5pts)
* Rocinante (9pts)
* Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2pts)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
* Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Steelhead Halberdiers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
Steelhead Heavy Cavalry (Leader and 4 Grunts) (10pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Gastone Crosse (3pts)
* Vanguard (4pts)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (2pts)
Objective: Effigy of valor

There was a large area of shallow water right in the middle of the board (and the zone) otherwise the terrain didn't really matter. He won the roll and chose to go first.

He runs up aggressively, probably preparing to cast Distraction on my Winter Guard. Quicken goes on the Steelhead halberdiers who positions to jam me next turn with the Cav behind them.

My first turn is very cautious as I don't really want to get my Winter Guard hit with Distrcation. I do however position one of them a bit poorly. They get Iron Flesh and Bob & Weave and advance on the right flank. Nyss stays way back on the left flank since they are facing the Gunmages. 

The Steelheads run up and jam me, however Hugo made one critical mistake here and left one of them within 2" of Conquest. Ashlynn charges a Steelhead and successfully casts Distraction on the Winter Guard thanks to 1 poorly placed fellow. She is camping 3 and feats.

 Conquest gets 1 Focus and Sorscha moves forward to cast a boosted Freezing Grip on the stationary Steelhead. I get it and Feat on Ashlynn. Now, my initial plan was to Power Strike a Steelhead into Ashlynn, however, during Conquests activation I realize I will not be able to move far enough to get my target Steelhead past the Steelhead that Ashlynn charged. This was really bad planning, because both Sorscha and Holt could have shot this guy to death before I activated, but I didn't think about it. That almost lost me the game, but I lucked out in way. So, plan's changed. I instead do a Double-Handed throw at the Vanguard that is hanging out behind Ashlynn, hoping to scatter towards 1 and still hit her. Luck smiles on me though, and I hit the Vanguard with an unboosted 7 under Ashlynns feat and it knocks her right on her ass. I roll really bad damage on the throw though, only 6 damage with my feat. So, Holt activates and puts a 2 more damage on her and then the Nyss go. I have chosen to do CRA:s to break her ARM 18, first 2 hit and he Shield Guards it with the Vanguard. Next I elect to do a 3-man (I had 2 more that probably could reach her) and kill her. Phew! Assassination Victory!

I could easily have lost this game because I didn't shoot that Steelhead, but I lucked out and pulled through.

3-1 after day 1 leaves me not entirely happy, but I have only myself to blame for my loss. I'm still in the running for a good placement though, so I'm pumped to see me matched up against a fellow WTC-player in the 5th round: Denis Korzun and his Trolls!

Continued in part 2

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