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:
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich
Great Bears of Gallowswood
Aiyana & Holt
Winter Guard Infantry (max)
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (max)
-Koldun Kapitan Valachev
Objective: Effigy of Valor
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
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:
Fennblades + UA
Stone + UA
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:
Gun mages + UA
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:
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.
Stone + UA
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!