So on Saturday I attended a 50 point Steamroller Tournament out at The Dragon Games in Guelph (about 30 minutes from where I live). This event was being run by their Press Ganger Chris, and managed to draw in a respectable 16 players, including gamers from distant Windsor (3 hours) and Vaughn!
This would be my first tournament with Kraye (ever!), and I was very hopeful that he would be a better drop than Stryker3 turned out to be last week… let’s find out, after the cut!
As mentioned before, this is yet another step on my road to the WTC (I hope!). My aim is to start landing in the top 3 spots in every tournament I attend for 2015… which I’m hoping will be around 2 a month, including some major cons (Adepticon for sure, WarMachine Weekend hopefully, and the Southern Ontario Open, as well as the first ever Ontario Team Championships!). This means starting to play the big-boy warcasters… which for me, is the Haleys. eHaley is a top 3 warcaster, no question, but I’m not yet good enough to unlock her full potential… you really need to know your opponent’s army as well as your own to get even acceptable mileage out of her, or you’ll leave something able to kill her in a single shot.
Trust me. Been there.
So! pHaley it is… a great warcaster, and more importantly a pretty phenomenal drop against Cryx… she’s not good enough to compensate for sloppy play, but she’s strong enough to force Cryx into a fair fight, at least. And pairing with pHaley I brought Kraye, who is pretty good at compensating for her shortcomings (runs melee heavy, isn’t too worried about armies with movement insanity, is pretty tanky, etc…).
My Haley List, as it currently stands, is this:
Captain Victoria Haley
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers (ATGM)
Tempest Blazers (max)
Aiyana and Holt
Anastasia di Bray
I like the list, but to be honest… It’s not quite right. It’s an EXCEPTIONAL Cryx drop, really… magic weapons everywhere! But I think that Aiyana and Holt are wasted in this list, and I think I may swap them out for a Journeywoman Warcaster and another Stormcaller for the next tournament. Or… you know… scrap the whole list, go Double Stormwall, Storm Strider, and just Stormcallers… both are about equally likely.
Paired with her, I brought the following Kraye list:
Captain Jeremiah Kraye
– Officer and Standard
– Stormgunner (x2)
Sword Knights (max)
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord
Alexia Ciannor and the Risen (“pAlexia”)
The Black 13th (“B13”)
This list is *okay*, but it needs work. Specifically, there are 4 ways to give Pathfinder to this army (Rhupert, Runewood, Stormblade Captain, Kraye)… I think I’ll drop Runewood for eEiryss next time. Or, alternatively, drop the Stormblades and take a 2nd unit of Sword Knights and use those extra points to take Eiryss… with the Minutemen able to get wherever the heck they need ridiculously fast, the Sword Knights can actually get a very respectable amount of work done (“Flank” is a thing). Follow that up with pAlexia taking a heavy off the table (heck, with a full load of Risen, she can do a number on most Colossi!)… and then I just need space for Aiyana and Holt, and I think we have an ideal list!
So, moral of the story: good list, but now that I’ve played it a few times, I can make it better. Faster, stronger, more Cygnaran!
We were running the new (and modified) Steamroller 2015 Beta package for the tournament, and as a result I’m not allowed to go into specifics about the scenarios: if you’re curious, please speak with your local Press Ganger to take a look at the rules. Some of them are cool, some of them are wonky… I don’t like the new Incursion as much as 2014’s Incursion, to be honest… but whatever, it will turn out okay, I think!
Round 1: Circle Oroboros
My first opponent was a gentleman named Paul, who was bringing the New Traditional Circle pairing: Bradigus and eKrueger.
This is okay! I built my Kraye list SPECIFICALLY as a counter to Circle and Fist of Halaak! It his raison d’etre! Time to see if he’s up to snuff!
I drop Kraye, Paul goes for Bradigus… I’m a little surprised (I thought eKrueger was an auto-drop against Cygnar). The list was a Tier List (in a shock to nobody) and included the following:
– Wold Guardian
– Wold Wrath
– Wold Watcher (x5)
Sentry Stone & Mannikins
The addition of the Celestrial Fulcrum is the only real difference from the other times I’ve seen this list played… but that stated, it was still my first time going up against the new Circle shiny, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
The Scenario is the new Incursion. You’d have to be blind to not notice what’s changed in 2015, but again, I can’t say what it is, so don’t ask. It is different, and it’s Killbox.
We rolled for initiative, which I thankfully won and elected to go first. My opponent took the side o the table with less stuff in the way, and we were off.
I set up the Stormblades on the left with their Captain and the Stormclad nearby. The Sword Knights, Rhupert, and Alexia went on the right. Kraye went in the middle, and both Minutemen Advanced Deployed near a flank.
Paul set up his Celestial Fulcrum on my left, Bradigus and his two heavies in the middle of the table… and then put all 3 units of Shifting Stones in rows with Wold Watchers interspersed.
Cygnar, Turn 1
My goal with this list is pretty straight forward: get the Minutemen onto Shifting Stones, and destroy those before he triple-warps something B2B with Kraye and clobbers me. My Minutemen are SPD12 with Kraye, but lose their awesome 4″ guns as a result… still, the trick will be committing them at the right moment, and not too early.
As a result, I give out no Focus, and we begin.
The Journeywoman goes first, putting “Arcane Shield” on my Stormblades. Rhupert goes next and gives the Sword Knights “Tough”.
The Sword Knights run forward into 3-man pods, and I immediately wish I had given THEM Arcane Shield instead of the Stormblades… ARM19 is more likely to survive than ARM18, obviously, especially when combined with their higher native DEF. Gah, stupid. Oh well. This is what you get for not playtesting your lists BEFORE a tournament, folks!
The Minutemen walk forward and then Light-Cav up a little further.
Kraye activates and rides forward, casting “Full Tilt” on the closer Minuteman.
The Stormclad activates and runs forward.
The Stormblades run forward and spread out, with the Captain following along.
Runewood runs forward, as does Alexia, spreading out the Risen behind my Sword Knights.
Lastly, the B13 flank hard right, leaving Lynch out in the open (momentarily forgetting that Watts is the useless one).
With that, my turn was done!
Circle, Turn 1
Paul approached the situation with the ease of a practiced professional.
The furthest right Wold Watcher went first, moving up, boosting to hit Lynch (who was in range, sadly)… tagging him, and turning him into a forest.
“Oh well. 1 corpse token for Alexia, at least…”
“Nope. That’s a Remove From Play affect.”
He then uses his Animus for free and casts “Stone Form”… or Roots of the Earth… whichever it is, he ends up DEF5 and ARM21.
Another Wold Watcher moves up and boosts a shot into my Minuteman on the right, hitting and inflicting moderate damage (I forgot how much boostable POW12s can sting an ARM15 warjack!). He then does the free animus thing and spell.
The two Watchers on the left move up and pumps 2 shots into my Minuteman (I misjudged the distance there!), crippling its right arm and inflicting heavy damage. They both do the Animus-spell-thingy to get up to ARM21.
The Manikins move forward and turn themselves into trees. The Sentry Stone pops out a new Manikin.
The Wold Guardian and Woldwrath move forward a bit, and the Shifting Stones shift themselves around. The Woldwrath uses “Geomancy” to put a Crevace in the middle of the table (yay, more rough terrain!).
The Celestial Fulcrum moves up and fires a Cloud at my Minuteman: it’s out of range, but it scatters back into a good position to hide Paul’s troops.
Cygnar, Turn 2
Okay, so I’ve lost one of the less-useful B13 and I have a Minuteman on the cusp of being useless, plus the loss of one Sword Knight. Not too bad, not too bad… but I’ve got to kill a couple Shifting Stones this turn, or I’m going to be in a bad way… and only get worse every turn. Sadly, I think most of my troops are well out of Charge range, and the few that have it probably don’t have LoS to their targets… so I decide to jam forward and hope for the best!
Kraye upkeeps “Full Tilt”, the Journeywoman upkeeps “Arcane Shield”, and we’re off.
Ryan and Watts go first. They both walk forward: Watts can’t get LoS to anything (useless!), but Ryan gets a clear line to the closest Wold Watcher. She drops a Magestorm on it, which fails to wound it (dice-9), but does inflict a few points on the Shifting Stone behind it.
Rhupert goes next, giving the Sword Knights “Tough” again. Runewood then moves up and gives them Pathfinder.
The “Full Tilt”d Minuteman moves towards the closest Shifting Stones, but I misjudge the distance of his walk+Leap and can’t get the Stones close enough to be B2B with them. Instead, it Flak Fields, killing the remaining Mannikins, and plants a few ineffective punches into a Wold Watcher (which I desperately just want to throw at something else… but no luck due to their Stone Form).
The Sword Knights run forward, jamming up a couple of his Wold Watcher. Alexia moves up behind me and plants a shot into the Wold Watcher in the Magestorm, hitting and inflicting light damage. She goes B2B with the closest flag, hoping to score some CPs if I can clear out a few light warbeasts.
The crippled Minuteman (on the left) moves up and pumps 2 shots into nothing, since everything is out of range (boo).
The Stormblades run forward and spread out, while the Stormblad Captain moves up to stay close by at the edge of the hill.
My Stormclad moves up and toes onto the hill as well. Kraye shuffles up a little and camps his remaining Focus behind a wall, and my turn is done!
Circle, Turn 2
No major losses, and no major damage to Paul’s troops yet… good for him, bad for me.
Paul starts with a misunderstanding: he was under the impression that Shifting Stones take off 1 Fury per Stone, while in reality each *unit* of Stones can take off 1 Fury. As a result, a bunch of his Wold Watchers are left with 1 Fury on them (irrelevant, since they can’t Frenzy), but still significant.
The Wold Watchers go first, getting the Synergy Chain up to around 4-5 while killing a handful of my Sword Knights (and again denying corpses to Alexia). The last one takes a shot at Alexia which manages to hit and inflict 12 damage: I survive by wiping out most of my Risen, leaving me with 1 box and 1 Risen surviving.
The Shifting Stones shift themselves around a little, and then the Woldwrath and the Wold Guardian both charge in, mulching my Full Tilt Minuteman and yet more Sword Knights (but at least giving corpses to Alexia, finally!).
The Celestial Fulcrum moves up and pumps 2 shots into my battered Minuteman, scrapping it, and sprays over a few Stormblades (but unable to kill them due to Arcane Shield).
Bradigus goes last, moving up into a unit of Stones and protectively casting a bunch of spells.
Cygnar, Turn 3
I have been granted another turn to do things, and despite not having charge, my remaining Sword Knights *do* have Flank… they might yet get some work done. We shall see!
First Alexia pops out her new Risen, sending them behind a nearby Shifting Stone. I’ve only got 4 on the table at this point… hopefully that’s enough! Kraye pulls from the Squire, gives 2 Focus to the Stormclad, the Journeywoman upkeeps Arcane Shield, and we’re off.
Kraye goes first, moving up a touch and casting “Easy Rider” and popping his Feat. He camps his last 2 Focus and stays protectively behind a wall.
The Stormclad charges in on the Woldwrath, easily scrapping it and inflicting a few points of damage on the Guardian.
The Sword Knights shuffle around a little and take “Flank” attacks on a few Watchers and the Guardian, inflicting a few points of damage through “Penetrating Strike” (dice-11, even on 3d6, isn’t really worth risking) and a few through straight dice on lower ARM models.
The Stormblades charge, and manage to cripple several Wold Watchers and put some damage on some others (one Assaults the Celestial Fulcrum, but of course it’s immune to electrical damage!). The Stormblade Captain charges in and scraps a Wold Watcher.
The Piper moves up and gives the Stormblades “Tough”, Runewood shuffles up a little.
Ryan and Watts activate: Ryan takes 2 Brutal Shots at the nearest Wold Watcher but both shots ping harmlessly off it, and Watts lines up a shot at a Shifting Stone and manages to miss with 1,1.
Lastly, Alexia charges the closest Wold Watcher: misses the Charge attack (of course) and burns through all her remaining Risen without destroy it (boo).
Circle, Turn 3
In retrospect, that was the money turn, right there… would the damage I inflicted be enough? Thankfully, Kraye was safe behind his wall far, far across the table from anything threatening… right?
Bradigus pulls in all his Fury again, and we’re off!
The remaining Wold Watchers smack stuff to get the Synergy chain up, as does the Wold Guardian. The end result is a Synergy of 4 on Bradigus.
The 1st unit of stones teleports a stone from the 3rd unit as far forward as it can while being in formation. The 2nd unit of stones teleports Bradigus to the edge of the newly-extended 3rd unit of stones. That 3rd unit of Stones then hop-scotches Bradigus forward to within 2″ of Kraye.
Post Game Analysis
Well, I guess I have learned a very valuable lesson today… the threat range on Bradigus is insane! He actually had another 5″ if he needed (from his Feat)… I knew taking out a few Stones was important, but I honestly thought that I was safe where I was.
Oh well. This is my first 1st-round loss in quite some time, and as is often the case, it took a lot of the pressure off. And I’ve learned a lot about how to play against Bradigus for next time (because, let’s face it… there WILL be a next time!).
On to Round 2!
Round 2: Circle
My Round 2 opponent was named Sean, and was also rockin’ the Circle Oroboros… his 2 lists were a pMorvahna and the following Kromac, which he selected:
Kromac the Ravenous
– Warpwolf Stalker
– Druid Wilder
– Stone Keeper UA
Blood Trackers (max)
– Nuala the Huntress UA
Druids of Oroboros
– Druid UA
Neither of his lists had huge ARM-skews or eKrueger, and therefore I figured my pHaley list might have a better shot at this game than Kraye. So I dropped her.
The Scenario for this one was one of the new Steamroller 2015 Scenarios, and therefore I can’t talk about it. But it looks something like what you’ll see in the pictures… those are flags to the left and right and objectives in the zone. But I can’t talk about it.
Either way, Sean won the roll and elected to go first. I took the side of the table with the much bigger hill, and we set up.
I dropped my 2 huge bases first, right in the middle of the table.
Sean set up his warbeasts and Kromac opposite my Stormwall. Everything else had Advanced Deploy!
I set up my Blazers opposite the hill on the right, while my ATGM went opposite the forest on the left. Haley went in themiddle with Aiyana and Holt.
The Blood Trackers went opposite my Blazers (who they Prey’d), while the Druids and the larger unit of Shifting Stones went opposite my ATGM (oh, poor, poor Sean). The other unit of Stones went in the middle of the table with the Gallows Grove.
Circle, Turn 1
Sean spent most of his turn running forward and spreading out. The Druids on the left moved up and popped Clouds, with the Stones shifting up behind them.
Sean put out a few defensive spells, but nothing of note (Inviolable Resolve on the Trackers) : the Warpwolf Stalker warped for Prowl, although there was nothing to give it to him.
Cygnar, Turn 1
Sean has a plan… but he hasn’t played Cygnar before (or at least in a very, very long time). Time to kill stuff and keep the Prey targets WAY away from those pointy-stick throwers!
Haley camps everything and we’re off.
She goes first, charging forward after putting “Arcane Shield” on the Strider and casting Temporal Barrier. She fails her charge (gasp!) behind the objective near the middle of the table.
The Stormwall walks forwards and lobs a Lightning Pod as close to the Blood Trackers as possible. It sends 2 Big Gun shots out, killing a Druid and out of range of the Warpwolf Stalker. It drops Covering Fire in the middle of the table.
The Storm Strider moves up and shoots the Lightning Pod twice, the shots happily electrocuting 3 Blood Trackers as they chain merrily around.
My Tempest Blazers go next. I have the majority of the unit curl behind the Storm Strider and Stormwall, while 1 brave soul moves forward. He shoots the Lightning Pod with an Electroleap: it kills the pod, but also another Blood Tracker. They then Light-Cav move further towards the left, away from the pointy-sticked barbarians.
My ATGM move up and open fire on the Druids, ignoring the Concealment and Camouflage bonuses from the clouds. They drop all 3 Druids still in clouds, plus ping the Blackclad Wayfarer for 3 points (so close!).
Aiyana and Holt move up behind the Stormwall, and my turn is done.
Circle, Turn 2
Considering this was his first time up against Temporal Barrier, Sean took it in good stride. After carefully explaining it, he nods and begins his turn by pulling in his Fury and dropping Inviolable Resolve.
The Blood Trackers go first. 2 get LoS to Haley and throw their sticks: both fly wide (phew!). Nothing else is in range.
Noting that Haley is far further than 12″ from the Stalker, it walks forward and the Stones shift themselves up around it again.
The Gallows Grove teleports over to a nearby hill. Why not.
Kromac moves up towards the zone and gives “Inviolable Resolve” to Ghetorix, who moves forward while the bigger unit of Stones shifts around him.
The 3 remaining Druids move up and casts spells at my ATGM: 1 connects and kills, but the others fly wide. Sean elects to keep the Blackclad back and in “safety”.
Cygnar, Turn 2
Do you smell that, my friends? That’s a Feat Turn on the wind… smells like victory.
And oregano. But mostly victory.
Haley gives 2 to the Stormwall, pulls from the Squire, and upkeeps Arcane Shield. It’s go time!
She activates first, popping her Feat and casting Temporal Barrier. She stays planted safely behind the Objective, camping her last Focus.
The Stormwall goes next, moving up and dropping a Lightning Pod B2B with Ghetorix (oh Hyper Aggressive… fool me once, shame on you…). It then pounds 3 big gun shots into the warbeast, boosting the damage when possible. I then pump the left Metal Storm shots into Ghetorix as well, while the right Metal Storms go into the Stalker.
The Strider activates and shoots at Stalker 3 times: I vapourize the Warpwolf on the last shot, and in the process wipe out 5 of the remaining 8 Blood Trackers.
I love my Strider. I really do.
The Blazers activate, shuffling forward, shooting, and then Light-Cav moving back. Sadly, none get range on the remaining Blood Trackers: the one in front pumps a shot into the Gorax for moderate damage.
Lastly, the ATGM activate. The first shot drops another 2 Druids: the last one breaks. The next shot finishes off the Blackclad. The rest of the shots go into Ghetorix, trying to knock him down… the last shot does so!
Aiyana and Holt activate: Holt moves up and pumps 2 Handcannon shots into the knocked down warbeast, and inflicts enough damage to cripple its Mind and leave it on only a handful of boxes (so close!). Aiyana hangs out behind the Stormwall.
Circle, Turn 3
Ouch. Few other words for that kind of turn, my friends… just “ouch”. But Sean is determined to make a fight of it… gotta respect that! He drops Inviolable Resolve again and fills Kromac up with Fury. He then Forces Ghetorix to stand.
The Gorax puts “Primal” on Ghetorix. Kromac puts another buff of some stripe on him as well, but hangs back.
The Stones Shift Ghetorix forward, easily getting distance to the Stormwall. And, in a completely unexpected turn of events, he makes the Blazers break!
He Forces for Healing, restoring his Mind. He then spends his Initials plus his remaining Fury scraping over half of my Stormwall! Unpleasant!
The Druid fails to Rally, and the Stone Keeper moves up but fails to hit any of my mages.
Lastly, the remaining 2 Blood Trackers throw their pointy sticks at the Storm Strider, giving it 2 Power Tokens in exchange for a few points of damage.
Cygnar, Turn 3
Okay, battle plan: Kill Ghetorix! Wow, that really hurt… even with a half-dead, 2 Fury-less warbeast! Haley pulls from the Squire, gives 2 to the Stormwall, and we’re off.
Haley goes first, casting Temporal Barrier again, swapping Arcane Shield over to the Stormwall, and camping the last of the Focus.
My Blazers go next: the one engaged by Ghetorix walks away and is splattered: the rest of the unit fail to Rally (boo!).
Aiyana and Holt go next, both moving into melee with Ghetorix. They pass their CMD check: Aiyana successfully kisses Ghetorix, and Holt puts a few points of damage onto him.
The Stormwall then leisurely rips Ghetorix limb-from-limb. It spends 1 Focus wrecking the only other thing within Reach (a Shifting Stone).
The Strider kills the last few Blood Trackers effortlessly (+6 to hit them once all the bonuses are added in!), and then dumps its last shot into the Objective, inflicting 6 boxes and wiping out both the Ghetorix and the Druid Wilder with electroleaps.
The ATGM go next, moving forward and pumping round after failing-to-Brutal round into Kromac. They do some damage, but the warlock is yet unbowed!
Circle, Turn 4
It’s winding down, but Kromac still has 1 card left to play… himself! He Beasts-out during the Maitenance Phase.
Kromac activates and then walks forward and Leaps behind Aiyana, engaging her and the Stormwall. His first blow kills Aiyana (and surprisingly, Holt doesn’t break!). He then spends his entire stack but fails to destroy the Stormwall! Woo!
Of course, that’s before the Feat… Kromac Feats, taking 7 damage (leaving him on 5!) and gets 7 Fury back. He spends 5 of them to finally drop the Stormwall.
Sean ends his turn.
Cygnar, Turn 4
Now the question is: Temporal Barrier and hope that my guns can take down the warlock, or camp the full stack and try to do it with Haley solo… if I don’t kill him, no question he’s going to finish Haley on his turn!
I elect to go big, but not stupid: The ATGM activate first, pumping Thunderbolt rounds into the warlock, hoping for a Knockdown: once again, they all fail to Crit, but do succeed in pushing him into the wreck marker (making him almost impossible to hit, even from the back!).
Haley charges Kromac herself, easily getting distance. She boosts to hit, lands the blow, and inflicts a few points. She buys, boosts, hits, boosts the damage, and drops the mighty warlock!
Victory to Cygnar!
Post Game Analysis
Well, despite failing to critical at all with my ATGM, and the Blazers Fleeing all game… that went pretty well! Mental note about the ability of a still-almost-dead-and-half-full-of-Fury Ghetorix to destroy warjacks… I knew he was powerful, but that was insane!
Victory in hand, and learning that Paul won his game (giving me a shot at 2nd!), I waltzed happily into Round 3.
Round 3: Khador
There aren’t a lot of well-known Canadian WarMachine players… Marc-Andre Leblanc is the name heard most frequently around these parts (and with good reason: the man is a marvel at the game), but if there were a title for “Most Promising Rookie”, my opponent would have it. Bubba (as he is affectionately known) has only been playing for a year, but has a remarkable record at tournaments and just a few short weeks ago came in 2nd at WarMachine Weekend’s “Last Chance Qualifier” event (losing to Trevor of “Chain Attack” fame).
Yeah. THAT Bubba.
However, Bubba was not having a good day. He had lost his first round game, along with the aforementioned Marc-Andre (who attempted a 70%+ assassination run and was diced) and, of course, yours truly. On top of that, Bubba was on the verge of exhaustion, and his expression when learning he was playing me can only be described as “abject nausea”, both due to the exhaustion and, no doubt, the fact he knew he was going up against pHaley.
Still, he wanted to soldier on, and I’ve been itching for a chance to take down Bubba for a few weeks now (we’ve only played 1 game previously, a 25 point game in the middle of a Journeyman League he helped me run: I forgot Stryker1 had Snipe, moved about 1″ too close to Gorten, and was dragged towards all his guns and blasted to pieces… not a strong showing!).
Bubba dropped pIrusk and the following list:
Kommandant Irusk (“pIrusk”)
Kayazy Assassins (max)
Alexia Ciannor and the Risen (“pAlexia”)
Winterguard Infantry (max)
– Officer and Standard
– Winterguard Rocketeer (x2)
Aiyana and Holt
Gorman di Wulfe
The Scenario for this round was the new Fire Support. Again, my apologies, but all I can say about the scenario is “look at the pictures, I can say nothing else.”
I won initiative and elected to go first. Bubba took the side of the table he was closer to.
Again, my huge bases are dropped in the middle of the table. The Blazers went to the left, the ATGM to the right, Haley in the middle.
Bubba deployed his troops in a long, long line. The Kayazy Assassins went to the left with Kell, Irusk, Gorman, Sylys, Reinholdt, A&H, and the Eliminators went in the middle, and the Winterguard went to the right.
Cygnar, Turn 1
Time to get up the table… Haley gives 1 Focus to the Stormwall, and we’re off!
The Blazers go first, running towards the middle of the table and spreading out slightly.
The Stormwall tramples forward and lobs out a Lightning Pod towards the right side of the table (hoping to use it to Triangulate later).
The Strider runs forward.
Haley tucks herself between the Strider and the Stormwall, putting Arcane Shield on the Strider.
The ATGM run behind my two huge bases towards the left flank (figuring they will be FAR more useful against the Kayazy than they are against the Winterguard!).
Aiyana and Holt move up and give themselves Stealth. That’s my turn!
Khador, Turn 1
Bubba might be exhausted, but he wasn’t going to give me an easy victory. Oh no. He gives Behemoth 1 Focus and begins.
He starts by running the Winterguard forward, and spread them out.
Alexia walks up behind them and crafts a Thrall, who runs forward to engage my front-most Blazer.
The Kayazy run forward and spread out.
Aiyana and Holt hang back, while Kell moves up a little.
Gorman moves up and pops a cloud, which Irusk moves up behind and casts “Inhospitable Ground”. Sylys and Reinholdt shuffle nearby.
Behemoth (the large base with 1 leg on it) runs forward.
The Eliminators run forward, Kovnik Joe gives the Winterguard “Tough”, and Bubba is done.
Cygnar, Turn 2
Okay, that’s a lot of bodies… and if I don’t kill them now, they are going to come to ruin my day next turn. Let’s see what we can do, yes? Haley pulls from the Squire, gives 2 to the Stormwall, and we’re off.
Haley goes first, moving up between the Strider and Stormwall. She pops her Feat, casts “Deadeye” on the Blazers and Temporal Barrier, and then pumps a shot into the Thrall engaging my Blazer: needing 8 to hit, I nail it and dust the undead warrior! Her Feat shot goes at a Winterguard but flies wide.
The Strider goes next, moving protectively in front of Haley. It pounds 3 shots straight into Behemoth, inflicting moderate damage and wiping out vast swathes of Kayazy and Gorman through electroleaps.
The Stormwall goes next, walking forward… sadly, it can’t *quite* close the gap between it and the Strider, leaving a 0.5″ hole. Uh oh. Well, too late now… it drops a pod between Behemoth and it. It then fires a big gun shot at Behemoth, hitting and crippling its right arm… as I go to take the 2nd shot, Bubba accurately (and intelligently) points out that my Stormwall isn’t actually looking at Behemoth and therefore can’t get both guns on him! Gah, stupid, stupid, stupid… instead, the shot kills a Winterguard. The Feat shot goes into Behemoth, inflicting light damage. I drop Covering Fire in good positions (I hope), and he’s done.
The Blazers activate, moving forward. A couple manage to get range on Kayazy and wipe out more, leaving the unit at 6 members (including the Underboss). Other shots wipe out Winterguard by the droves, letting Alexia fill up on corpses. I use the Light Cav move to block LoS to Haley with 1 of the Blazers,engage a Kayazy with another, and just spread out the rest.
The ATGM go last, moving up and taking Snipe Shots: they manage to kill a few Winterguard, but for the most part are well out of range of anything to be of use.
Aiyana and Holt move up, but Holt ahs nothing to shoot.
With a heavy heart, I end my turn.
Khador, Turn 2
I’ve seen my fatal mistake already, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Bubba is too strong a player to miss the opportunity, and I know it. He gives the Behemoth 2 Focus to its Subcortex, and we’re off.
Irusk goes first, moving forward and popping his Feat. He then shoots the Blazer blocking LoS to Haley and easily hits and drops him. His last few Focus goes into an “Airburst” that hits Haley effortless and then boosts damage: he inflicts 6 points (Haley is out of Focus to Vortex away the spell… another blunder!).
The Winterguard go next: a few move forward, with a Rocketeer who has LoS to Haley aiming. The Rocketeer ends up not having the range (although it is damn close), the rest don’t bother to do anything.
Alexia moves up and spends a Risen to boost her shot: she hits, and spends another Risen to boost damage: she cranks it, and inflicts another 8 points, leaving Haley on 2.
Behemoth activates and strides forwards through a Covering Fire template, taking a few points (not nearly enough to cripple anything useful). He boosts to hit Haley, needing a 12: nails it, boosts the damage, and can’t possibly NOT kill her.
Post Game Analysis
Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy… no other way to describe it. A rookie mistake, and it cost me the game (as it well should have!). If I want to be taken seriously at tournaments, mistakes like that against players like Bubba are exactly what I have to avoid.
Oh well. A lesson was learned! And Bubba, despite his utter exhaustion, was a class act the whole way… super fun to play, and very informative (it was this game that I learned the +2″ CTRL range from a Squire requires the Squire to be within 5″! I always thought that only the “Reroll Missed Magic Attacks” required it to be within 5″… nope! Another lesson learned!). I’ll get him next time…
On to Round 4!
Round 4: Cryx
Ah, Cryx… as my opponent (Dwayne, I think?) said… “So, who am I going to be taking against pHaley?”
He decided on pDenny (a very solid choice), who was in the following list:
War Witch Deneghra (“pDenny”)
– Bonejack Arc Node (the one with a cannon)
– Bonejack Arc Node (same)
– Stalker (light bonejack with Grievous Wounds)
Satyxis Raiders (max)
– Sea Witch
Satyxis Raider Captain
Bane Knights (max)
Cylena and the Nyss Hunters (min)
War Witch Siren
Blackbane Ghost Raiders (min)
Solid list, with a lot of variety (and way more guns than I’m used to in a Cryx list!)… and pDenny makes anything shine. That stated, I don’t think he has any way to take off Arcane Shield, and Haley can Arcane Vortex off offensive debuffs all day!
The final scenario was Destruction (identical to 2014: 2 objectives with a central 12×6 zone).
We rolled for initiative, which I won, and it was all downhill from there. For Denny, of course.
I dropped my two huge bases in the middle of the deployment zone (shock!), and then put my ATGM to one side, and the Blazers on the other side. Aiyana and Holt went near the Strider, with the Stormcaller (who might actually get used this fight!) behind the ATGM.
Denny deployed in the middle, with her Blackbanes nearby, the Satyxis crowding in the middle, and the Bane Knights to the right. The Nyss went to the left, and one Bonejack went to each flank, while the Slayer went to the far left.
With that, we were ready!
Cygnar, Turn 1
Gotta get stuff up the table… gotta be careful of the guns on the opposite side of the table, but thankfully there aren’t THAT many, and until Denny Feats, they won’t be able to hit squat.
So, with that in mind, Haley put 1 Focus on the Stormwall.
Haley goes first, putting Arcane Shield on the Stormwall, and then moves up the middle of the table. She camps the rest of her stack.
The Stormwall and Strider both run forwards.
The Blazers run up and flank hard left.
The ATGM run up the right, with the Stormcaller following.
Cryx, Turn 1
Undeterred, my noble opponent levels his steely gaze over his assembled forces…
Wait, he’s a Cryx player.
Undeterred, my blighted, misshapen, twisted freak of an opponent levels his jaundiced gaze over his ragtag mob. He puts 1 Focus on both the Slayer and arc node on the left.
He starts with the Satyxis Captain, giving “Desperate Pace” to the Raiders.
The Raiders then run forwards. Dwayne (if that’s not his name, I am super-sorry!) decides to send 4 forward to tie up my troops: 1 on a Blazer, 1 on the Strider, and 2 on the Stormwall. The rest spread out and move up into the zone.
The War Witch Siren moves up and Powerboosts the other Arc Node.
All the light warjacks run forward, the ones on the left going on the hill and the right behind a wall.
The Nyss run up onto the hill and spread out a bit, with the Pistol Wraith nearby.
The Blackbanes run up the middle of the table, spreading out a bit.
Lastly, the Bane Knights run up onto the hill on the right.
Cygnar, Turn 2
So far, so good… now to kill all his stuff and not die in the process. How hard could that be?
Haley pulls from the Squire, and elects to camp the full stack. Most important thing at this point is to not die on the next turn, and that requires both blocking LoS and camping.
She activates first. She pops her Feat, casts Temporal Barrier, and moves up just to the edge of melee range on the Raider engaging the Strider. She stabs her, hits, and kills her with the first stab… wasting her Feat attack (but that’s okay!).
The Strider, thus freed, walks forwards and moves in front of Haley. It takes a shot at the Satyxis Sea Witch: it hits effortlessly, fries her, and then vapourizes 3 more. Second shot takes out another 4 Raiders. Last shot goes into the Arc Node on the hill: it hits, inflicts heavy damage (doesn’t cripple anything, though), and then vapourizes Cylena and 1 other Nyss Hunter.
The ATGM activate. A few aim, the rest move up. The aiming ATGM drop both of the Raiders engaging the Stormwall, and the rest of the shots polish off the rest of the Riaders (except for the one engaging my Blazer and 1 by Dwayne’s Objective, and they break). I send a couple shots at the Arc Node on the far right behind a wall: but it’s pretty untouchable, out of Temporal Barrier range and at DEF-ridiculous.
The Blazers activate and move forward. They pump shots into the Arc Node on the left, firing e-leap bullets: they damage it heavily (still functional Cortex and Arc Node), and wipe out wide swathes of Nyss. One of them fires a Brutal Shot into the Pistol Wraith, vapourizing him. They take their Light-Cav moves to engage all of Dwayne’s things: 2 on the arc node, 2 on the Slayer, 1 that tries to get to the closest Blackbane Raider but doesn’t quite get the distance.
Next, the Stormwall activates and walks up to block LoS to Haley, dropping a Lightning Pod in the middle of the table. It drops Covering Fire in front of the Bane Knights, and sends its big gun shots at the Impossible-to-hit Arc Node on the right (it misses!). and then 2 big gun shots at Nyss, missing. Oh well.
Aiyana and Holt move up.
Lastly, the Stormcaller moves up and strikes down 1 Bane Knight (no Vengeance from Lightning Calls).
Cryx, Turn 2
Okay, so Dwayne has decided that his only hope after losing so many troops is to go for the assassination run… and if anyone can pull it off, it’s this Denny list. I’ve done my best to keep Haley safe… will it be enough?
The Blackbanes go first, running forward. Dwayne places 3 of them in front of my huge bases.
Next, the War Witch Siren Power Boosts the unengaged Arc Node on the right.
It runs forward, lining up with 1 of the Blackbanes.
Denny goes next. She moves forward, pops her Feat, and fires a spray at 1 of the Blackbanes. The Venom goes through them (wiping 2 out, phew), hits the Strider, and Haley! Dwayne rolls to hit… and hits! She boosts damage (Haley is camping 2 Focus, bringing her back up to ARM14)… and only inflicts 4 points.
Second Venom spray targets the other Blackbane through the arc node… it hits the Blackbane (vapourized), the Stormwall (no damage), and… misses Haley! Phew.
With that, Dwayne acknowledges that he’s basically screwed, with Denny at the front of his army, and ends his turn.
Cygnar, Turn 3
Wow, that was a lot closer than I would like! Still, we both knew it was all over except for the final blows. Especially when the Corrosion on Haley expires.
Haley only has 5 Focus due to the Feat… she pulls a Focus from the Squire, gives 2 to the Stormwall, and we’re off.
She starts by casting Temporal Barrier. She then crosses her fingers and hopes.
The ATGM then activate, 2 of them moving up to try and get LoS. Sadly, those 2 are too slow (at SPD4) to get into a position with LoS, so the fire at the Arc Node to push it a little out of the way. The others all fire Snipe Shots at Denny: by aiming, they’re back up to RAT7… 4 shots later and it’s all over.
Post Game Analysis
Nice. I’m really starting to love the Cryx matchup… pHaley just makes it such a fair fight for once. Not easy-button by any extent of the imagination, but lowering them to the same level as the rest of my opponents! And that assassination run… if he could’ve freed up that other arc node so that he had 3 different points to pull off the Venom spray, Haley would’ve been very, very sad. DEF14 (after Feat), needing only 7s to hit… that could be really dangerous.
Still, this was obviously intended as a “Hey, let’s see if I can do something really awesome!” more than “This is a tactically brilliant maneuver which will unquestionably win me the game”. Neither of us were in the running for the podium, so nothing wrong with that!
Post Tournament Analysis
So Bubba ended up landing 2nd in the tournament, which means if I had played a more intelligent game that round, I had a solid shot at second… especially considering that Paul finished first! His final game won exactly the same way that he beat me… build up Synergy, get Bradigus on the enemy warcaster (in this case, Xerxis), and apply rocks-to-face until victory was established.
Overall, a very solid tournament and one which I learned a lot. Next tournament, I’ll have my pHaley tweaked to handle Cryx, Legion, and Khador, and Kraye crafted to take Skorne, Circle, and Mercs… I’m feeling increasingly confident each time I play these guys. I still need more practice with Kraye, but I’m getting there!
I had a great time, and the Dragon in Guelph is a great venue (although the smooth tables are a little problematic to work with… but still, great terrain!). Fun times had by all! Thanks to Chris for running the event, and to the incredible competition that helped me grow!
And thanks to everyone who worked through this novel of a report! Questions, comments, and criticisms are always welcome!