One of our memeber wrote up this battle report from a tournament last month in which he won first place. Enjoy!
This past weekend, I played in a Blood, Sweat and Tiers event, representing my Gaming Club Team, Dark Omen, and playing Circle, and won! I wanted to post the BR’s for all to enjoy (or flame). Thanks to Clockwork Comics in Orange, CT for hosting and to PG Dan Mirandi for running a great event!
Tourney: 2 List max (non required), 50 pt., tier restricted (minimum 1).
Heart Eaters (T1): Kromac Ghetorix Stalker x2 Gorax Bloodtrackers (Full) w/ Nuala Ravagers (full) Reinforcements: Wolfriders (full)
Call of the Wild (T1) eKaya & Laris Feral Gnarlhorn Gorax Pureblood Stalker x 2 Wilder Warwolf Reinforcements: Arugs x2, and Stones
In the interest of full disclosure, I literally never play tier lists (ever). I don’t find the fluff for them interesting, and more often I don’t agree w/ the choices that are supposed to by fluffy (like why Morvhana can’t have heavies, but I cannot find a picture of her that exists w/o out the Pureblood in it). Okay, with that mini rant aside, I decided to join this tourney, as my club team was playing, and I had my schedule clear up last minute; and I love to play WM/H!
The thought behind the lists isn’t highly strategic, I was bit limited on choices, and once I reviewed the options available, I chose these two warlocks. I’m most comfortable w/ Kromac (as he is my favorite to play) and while I wanted to go w/ eKrueger (IMHO mine, and our, best warlock) I didn’t like what I could do w/ his Tier; so I settled on eKaya, as her Tier 1 bonus is ridiculously good. My game by game list choice would be based on the opposing factions and list constructions. Neither list was built for a specific purpose, just overall functionality based on the model selection I had available. I did paint up Ghetorix and the second Stalker for this event specifically, so I was definitely getting them on the table once (each) no matter what…
Round 1: vs Cygnar Matchup: eKaya vs. eNemo Scenario: Restoration
Opposing List: eNemo Squire Thunderhead Cyclone Dender Centurion Stormguard (full) Stormsmith x2 Journeyman
Synopsis: My opponent in the opening round, Andrew, plays at my LGS sister store (where this event was being played; my home store is not where the event was hosted). We have played in the past a handful of times. Originally, when I was not supposed to play in this event, I helped him construct one of his two lists (eStryker). So it was a humorous draw in the first round (for me more than Andrew). As such, when presented with his two lists eStryker and eNemo, Andrew opted to play the list I was unfamiliar with: eNemo. I honestly thought I was going to face eStryker, and it probably would have been a much tougher matchup had he played that list. I chose eKaya as I figured I’d need to crack the ARM 23 of Vadar running around the board. Turns out I was not going to have to face him. Andrew won the start roll and chose table side and to go 2nd. This was his other major mistake in the game, IMHO. Allowing me first turn, with the AD of the heavies meant I was going to control the flow of the scenario. Plus there was a lot of impassable terrain on the board (my third distinct advantage), with the Pureblood on the table.
My first turn I pressed the zone, and threatened his lines, leaving him the choice to make on what he wanted to trade with me. Forced Evo was on the Feral and Shadow Pack was up. He wisely put the Stormguard up front in response, and did some nickel and dime dmg with the Stormsmiths, threatening with his Jack wall in the rear, but not conceding the scenario.
On my turn 2nd turn, Stalker activated cleared the infantry in front of the objective and Lightening Striked away. The Feral had a path to the Objective, so I sent him in, and after four swings the objective was toasted. The Feral Warped ARM to make him as tanky as possible (as I didn’t need the ST to take out the objective w/ Forced Evo up) Used the rest of my activations to clear as much of the infantry as possible and left myself in strong position to threaten the scenario on my next turn. My opponent used his jack wall to contest the objective, and decided not to pop his feat. He was hoping that my dmg that turn was limited w/ his ARM buffs. Andrew opted not to kill the Feral, instead wanted the Gnarlhorn off the table to remove the animus and counter slam. No point scored.
My next turn I feated, sent a fully kitted out Stalker (who did not gain the benefit of the feat) in to take out the Centurion, cleared the zone, and scored my first objective point after the rest of my beasts completed mop up duty. Feat time for Nemo. He activated, had to rush the zone w/ his battlegroup, which was about all he had left. He took out the feral and poured dmg in all my bests w/ DJ Thunder. Threw my outlying Stalker into the obstructing rocky enclave on the R to do even more dmg and camped the zone w/ three healthy heavies. He left Nemo outside the zone, but bereft of focus.
The game was truly in the balance; I was not going to be able to win the game on scenario this turn. I had a KD beast, everyone was dmg, and his jacks were all healthy and camping the zone. I had no Gnarlhorn or Feral and really only had one heavy in good position. With Nemo having a nice charge lane open to him, I opted to go for the win. I measured my control and knew a successful dog pile would get the job done, so I prepared to do it twice (if the first on failed). I dropped my upkeeps as they weren’t going to be needed ran Laris around the defender so as to not be engaged. Activated the Pureblood to get him into command of the Stalker, and dropped a spray to put some dmg onto Nemo and DJ Thunder. Gorax activated put Primal onto the Stalker, and took out a few remaining infantry. Activated Kaya and arced Dog Pile onto Nemo, hit, which allowed me to cycle Forced Evo onto the Stalker. I opted to charge the Defender, as I figured in melee was as safe a position as any; near Laris even better. I took out the defender gun (thanks to flank) and if I had to I could make movement difficult by getting my other Stalker over to the engage everyone if needed. My pumped up Stalker warped Ghostly, thanks to the PB, and dialed up a charge on Nemo. I couldn’t fit in to w/in 0.5” of Nemo, so I stayed at full Reach, and next to the Squire, just so I could crunch that if things went wrong. It mattered not, as my charge attack landed, I was +6 on the charge dmg roll and one shotted Nemo. We were off to a good start…
Round 2: Cygnar (Again) Matchup: Kromac vs. eHaley Scenario: Bunkers Opposing List: eHaley Stormclad x2 (one bonded) Thorn Squire Stormblade (Full) w/ UA ATGM (Full) B13 Alren Strangeways Stormsmith x2 Reinforcements: Charger and Lancer Synopsis: My round 2 opponent, Wyatt, was my partner in a team event two weeks ago down at Temple Games, is a member of Dark Omen, and a regular at my LGS; suffice to say we are very familiar with each other. That being said, I had not faced him in a tournament before, nor while he is using eHaley who he has begun to play quite a bit of lately. The scenario was Bunkers, one in which we played in our previous tournament together as teammates; which also means it included the Reinforcement Artifice. If you look at my two lists, you will notice that two Argus are not the sexiest of reinforcement options, as such eKaya was not getting real consideration. I’d much rather have the Wolfriders coming on in reinforcement; moreover, Kromac with Bestial is going to force Haley to have to come closer, which is much more important. Since this was not a two list required variant, once I knew Wyatt was playing eHaley, I did not expect to see him play anybody else, and was prepared when he said that’s who he was indeed playing.
This was, by far, the best game of the day for me. Both my opponent and I had VERY decisive turns, and the match swung heavily each time we took the dice. This was indicative of the strong play on both sides of the table. Noting the setup, and the scenario, I decided that Ghetorix and a Stalker would cover my L side and attempt to hold the objective, Kromac would have to stay center massed, accompanied by the retinue of Ravagers and a Gorax, on the R was the unit of Bloodtrackers (who would AD) with Nuala and a Stalker. I was very comfortable with my setup, as I knew the Wolfriders would be coming in soon to help take the R objective, and was confident that the early stages I had all the pieces in the right positions. Of course, facing (by many accounts) the best Warcaster in the game meant that I was going to have really play well to manage not to lose by scenario.
In the opening turn I cautiously advanced, took up positions on both sides of the board in woods. Had my beasts prepared to cover the objective in Turn 2 on my L and the Bloodtrackers on my R in the woods, waiting for the Wolfriders next turn. I put bestial up, Inviolable Reslove on Ghetorix, and cast Warpath. My opponent responded by taking out about half of the Bloodtrackers right thru the woods with the ATGM, much as I had expected. the rest of his force repositioned, and Haley stayed a very healthy distance away to be able to cast and stay out of harm’s way.
I took the dice in turn two, and decided it was time to see what Ghetorix could do (as this was his first appearance on a table for me, freshly painted to boot). I cycled Wild Aggression onto him, had the Gorax give him Primal. Triggered a warpath move to edge him out of the woods and sent him off to scrap the non bonded Stormclad. Took a total of 4 swings and two fury to scrap him. I used my last two swings to clip a few nearby by models. In hind sight, I should have put up Ornary to strike on the inevitable counter chargers next turn, and left Inviolable Resolve on him to keep the ARM buff, he would have survived and beat more face; the ST buff likely wasn’t needed. I moved the Stalker on my L to the edge of the woods under Prowl to contest the objective, and brought my Wolfriders on the table from the opposite board edge. They along with remainder of the Bloodtrackers, blasted thru the woods to take the ATGM nearly off the table (as both units were preying them) and then retreated to safety with Reform (BTs) and Light Calv move (WRs). The first huge mistake of the game was moving the Stalker up to an area behind the woods and incorrectly judging the threat range of the Stormclad. I moved the Ravagers up to engage the Stormblades to prevent them from shooting at will. Wyatt took the dice and grabbed control of the game. He brought on his Reinforcements, activated Haley, TK’d a fully pumped up bonded Stormclad into position, then dropped Temporal Accelaration on him to give him range to get to the Stalker. Stormclad had range, and worse arced lightening off the Stalker to take out the remainder of the Bloodtrackers (save for Nuala). On the other side of the board, he sent everything he had to take out Ghetorix, included three light jacks, and the B13. It came down to Arlen Strangeways with the last die roll of the turn to take him out. Still no control points, and Haley’s feat is up. Kromac, Stalker, and the Wolfriders were not in the feat. Bonded Stormclad on one objective and I’m down two heavies, most of my Ravagers and Bloodtrackers.
My turn to feat, and I decide to go into Beast form with Kromac, so my upkeeps drop. I start w/ the Stalker, I moved out and beat on the Charger, taking him out and sitting behind cover on the objective. Now to deal with the Stormclad. Nuala first then I activated the Wolfriders, and was able to get three of them on the Stormclad. After taking out the remainder of their prey target, I rotated the prey onto Stormclad and did some good dmg to him. Two were able to Light Calv move away w/o a free strike, one remained. Kromac activated moved and leaped into the woods but in melee range of the Stormclad, and burned thru about 10 fury to kill the Stormclad, securing the first control point of the game. Wyatt took the dice back, on his heels a bit, as he admitted later he didn’t think I was going to bring Kromac over to the Stormclad, or be able to kill him that turn. Haley moved up to take some shots at the Wolfriders. At this point the Ravagers were cleared by the Stormblades who moved to occupy the control point so I couldn’t score on his turn, nearly a full unit, some sitting in cover. The lancer ran over to engage the Gorax who had been basically stuck in position from the previous turn to ensure that he could not charge Haley. Thorn and the B13 went to town on the Stalker but were unable to kill him. So I received the dice back with a chance to win the game.
The Stalker was barely hanging on, the Gorax had taken dmg and couldn’t get away from the Lancer to charge Haley, so I had to clear the unit off the objective to secure the second control point. Nuala first, quick work allowed her to get two. Kromac, who stayed in beast form leaped out of the way of the Wolfriders, and chewed thru another four. There were three remaining. Wolfriders assaulted, killing the final three, sealing the final control point and the victory.
Misplaying the Stalker nearly lost me the game, but the Wolfriders MVP performance made the difference. Thinking back on the game, and noting how much Haley did not get into her feat, she probably should have come farther forward to get more in the feat, or not feated at all and saved it for the next turn. The Ravagers were a threat, but not one worthy of the feat with the Stormblades in the way. In the heat of battle it seemed like the right decision, but in retrospect, it may not have been.
Round 3: Cryx Matchup: Kromac v. eDenny Scenario: Diversion Opposing List: eDenny Skarlock Nightmare Seether Nightwretch x2 Stalker Deathripper Bane Knights (Full) BlackBanes Ghost Riders (Full) Synopsis: So what’s the reward for getting through eHaley in round 2? Your opponent showing you two versions of Denny lists in round three. Sweet… so Kromac it is. I needed to stop the arcing and the infantry clearing would be paramount. My opponent, Jose, and I had only played once or twice before, and were not too familiar with each other. My second faction is Cryx, and I’m an eDenny player so I was very familiar with her. The scenario was a radial, and the terrain basically gave both Denny and Kromac a linear obstacle granting cover that we could move into comfortably which was very near to the Zone, so our dojo’s would be easy to protect.
I won the roll to go first, and took it, advancing into the cozy position behind cover, put up Beastial, Inviolable Resolve on Ghetorix, and Warpath. I ran the AD Bloodtrackers out to the L into and near the forest, took up the middle of the board with the Ravagers, then flanked my well covered position for Kromac with the beasts. My opponent was stymied on arcing, which is why he probably didn’t take Prime Denny as that would have been much worse for her, he too took up a cozy position in cover, but if you look at a scenario map, you’ll notice that both Kromac and Denny were not sitting too far from each other. He did check to make sure he was outside the 14” so he could cast. He ran his Nightmare into the woods to try and scare the Bloodtrackers but they didn’t care. The Ghost Riders took up position around their flag to protect it, and the Bane Knights flooded the middle of the board charge a few of the Ravagers and protecting Denny’s front.
On my turn I spent a good two minutes looking at the board and eyeballing if I could sling my Stalker, after a warpath move to clip Denny. She had focus on her, but wasn’t full and even if I couldn’t kill her right now, if I did 10+ points to her, I would have him on tilt the rest of the game. I started w/ the Bloodtrackers who put a decent bit of dmg into the Nightmare on javelin throws; took out a column maybe. I used the Ravagers to clear the Banes out from in front of Denny, along with some additional throws from the Bloodtrackers, and even took out the Stalker (Cryx one). I took the last one to Warpath the Stalker forward. Kromac put Wild Agression on the Stalker, and the Gorax put Primal on him. Off he went. After about 45 seconds of very careful measuring, turns out I was maybe a ¼” short. Was very close to a turn two assassination, and since I was about to lose a Stalker, I was not about to do so in vain. I trampled Ghetorix over some Banes and into position behind the Stalker. So my opponent wiped the sweat off his brow, and went incorporeal with Denny, and feated, moving closer still to Kromac, with the comfort of the feat. The Nightmare loaded with Focus was sent in after the Stalker and did the deed. The Bane Knights cleared some Bloodtrackers and Ravagers and put damage on Ghetorix (on Vengence and on their turn). Then Seether lined up to launch on Ghetorix. The ARM 21 and DEF 14 was too much for him to handle, and really only did about 1/3 dmg on him. Ghost Riders crashed the obstacle on Kromac, and got in my other Stalker’s face.
I took the dice, and had a rules discussion on Kromac, beast form, leap and the feat. EO ruled I could leap as it’s a place effect and not a move. I measured the distance and turns out it was not in range, was about 7.5” away. So just shy again. As such I chose to stay as a caster, cycled Wild Agression onto Ghetorix, along with Primal and I got a little greedy, feated, jumped into a pack of Ghost Riders and mopped up most of them (mainly to get away from Bane Knights). Ghetorix time; in melee range of both the Seether and Nightmare, it was go time. POW 21, MAT 9 = two dead heavies, and 2 fury to spare… Let’s just say I have a new favorite toy :D. Stalker cleared the Ghost Riders who had attacked previous turn, and I turned the dice over to my opponent.
He was running out of models, and got a little too desperate a little too fast. He decided to charge Denny into Kromac and kill him herself. I had three Fury camped, and had taken four dmg from the feat. He needed 10’s to hit, and was dice minus four on dmg. He was gonna get three boosted attacks off, and even if he hit all of them I had transfers. He opted not to Dark Banish on the first two as he wanted to burn my Fury and Dark Banish me into the Banes. But he failed to hit on the last attack, and couldn’t move me. My turn was a formality. I stayed in beast form, had the Gorax put Primal on the Stalker, and moved him into attack Denny. I boosted the first attack roll and ended it on the first swing.
At the time I really thought it was a bad idea for him to come in that turn with Denny. Ghetorix was frenzied, and I was pretty clogged up with the Incoporeal models nearby. However, in retrospect, the Dark Banishment would not have been bad if he pulled it off. He needed a decent roll however, especially as he dwindled his focus down to the last roll, the idea still could have failed, plus I still had Fury to burn. It was a hotly contested game, as there was some big shots taken by both of us. Reviewing the early game, the Stalker move felt like a failure, but really allowed me to trade one heavy for two which ultimately dictated the feat turn. Additionally it forced Denny forward, into her feat, and probably caused a whole string of events that ultimately lead to the victory.
Round 4: Trolls Matchup: eKaya vs. Calandra Scenario: Incursion Opposing List: Calandra Earthborn Axer Troll Moses Pyg Burrowers Kriel Warriors (Full) w UA and 3x Cable Throwers Krielstone (Full) w UA Scattergunners (full) w UA Fell Caller Chronicler Synopsis: The championship round was going to be played against another Dark Omen member, Matt, who is, to date, the best list maker I have played against on a regular basis. Currently his favorite warlock is pretty much the one that I fear the most in my meta: Calandra. So, when I was presented with two lists, one being Borka and the other Calandra, I was of little doubt who I was facing. The question for me was who to take. Starcrossed is pretty much the inverse of Dark Guidence and wrecks me. I knew I would need to boost to hit, and high ARM would be abound; so I decided to go with eKaya in the finale. He won the roll to go first, and set up his 45 50 models, and the realization set in that I had no idea what I was going to win this game. I set up, and figured that based on terrain (we were back on the table I played my first game on where the terrain included several obstacles that were impassable) that I would have a chance if I was lucky on the random flag removal roll. So I knew he’d rush, then I’d try to run up clear models and lightening strike away. But with tough and Starcrossed I didn’t see that as being a viable option.
He did rush first turn, and was in the middle of the board. I activated and was extremely tentative on my turn, knowing he’d press farther forward, but I was still out of charge range of most of this things. With my heavies I wasn’t overly worried about Pyg’s and knew he wouldn’t feat this turn. Forced Evo was on the Feral and Shadow Pack was up. His turn 2 the Pyg’s popped up, and did some dmg, namely taking out the Gnarlhorn. I was okay with that, I needed to do some real dmg this turn or it was over. I had the first opportunity to score points,
and figured if I didn’t get one now, I’d for sure lose on scenario cuz the feat turn was next. So I started with Pureblood, warped Ghostly and dropped a nice spray across the Burrowers. Unfortunately three tough rolls out of 5 and I wasn’t able to spring both Stalkers. The one that was free, was able to bezerk into the second line, but not enough to clear the control point, after about three more tough rolls, I was out of forcing. The second Stalker warped Ghostly and tried to kill some more Kriel, but tough and the ARM buff was killing me. I forced my Feral onto the control point to contest, and realized I was about to take a ton of dmg. I really was not equipped to win this game.
He took the dice on turn three, activated Calandra, moved forward, to get all of the beasts in feat range, and did the deed. I proceeded to watch as his units go to town on my army. The feat, plus Fate Blessed caused my high DEF models to be KD by Cabal Throwers, and all kinds of uber dmg rolls ensued. I lost a Stalker, Feral, and Warwolf. Everything was damaged except for Laris, Kaya, and the Wilder. They had taken two control points and I had all kinds of units in my grill. As I assessed my turn, the only chance I had was if I found a way to kill Calandra. After spending the first couple of turns questioning my selection of eKaya, I was now thankful, as she had the hail mary in the playbook that I was going to have to call. I dropped all the upkeeps and executed the deep route. The Pureblood I activated first, trying to put any damage on Calandra, and failed, but with warping Ghostly I was able to get out of Laris’s way. I stood up the remaining Stalker and bezerked, using every last fury to kill the remaining models blocking Laris’ run path. Laris activated next and ran round back and into Calandra. Moved Kaya up, cast Spirit Shift, and there I was next to Calandra, flanking with Laris, and four fury left for the game. The good news was, Calandra burned all but one of her fury using Fate Blessed last turn. So I had a MAT of 8 and needed 6’s to hit, I was rolling three dice on DMG thanks to Flank. No need to bother boosting, with Star Crossed my odds are no better than 50/50 to hit, so here goes nothing: After three hits, enough dmg has been incurred to force a transfer. Last chance for glory: three dice rolled, drop the highest, I hit! With three dice in hand I rolled my flank dmg and did enough to kill… pending the inevitable tough roll… “3”… I WIN!!!!
OVERALL: Was really an awesome end to the day with the whole thing coming down to an epic Kaya Spirit Shift for the win. In review, of the two lists, I grew a great respect for the eKaya Tier 1. Not just because it was the championship winner, but more because the Tier 1 bonus is EXCELLENT, and it’s pretty much how I play her anyway. Moreover, I don’t have any personal gripes with the ‘fluff’ of the list as it seems to fit how I think she’d run in the story arc.
Additionally two Stalkers are an absolute bear to deal with. They hit hard move fast, and when they are surrounded with other beasts you have to deal with, it almost becomes painful to have to go after them. I was playing lists I was not familiar with and strong tactics are strong tactics no matter what your playing.
Ghetotrix, according to my Cryx opponent, “Hit’s like a Space Shuttle”. If you didn’t know, now you do, he’s a bad man.
6th man award goes to the Pureblood. I know this has been a hotly contested debate, but the Wraith Bane Animus, Ghostly on demand, 10” spray… all of it. The options he gave me all day were just awesome. Especially if you have other beasts on the table, he becomes easy to ignore because he’s not
the most obvious threat (which is true), but he’s a late game win condition, and gives you all kinds of options that your opponent will have trouble keeping track of.
Awesome day, awesome event, and very proud of my Win! Feel free to contact me with questions or comments…