This weekend I played in a nice four round event at BNI in Torrington, CT (http://www.bnigames.com/); special thanks to Howard who hosted the event. BNI will be having events on the same Sunday every month, giving away great prizes so look out for those in the future. This is not my LGS, but Sunday’s tournament, however, was too hard to resist, despite the hour long drive across the state; as we were going to compete for a Colossal!!!
None of my DOGC teammates could join me to compete in this event, so it was up to me to represent us, and hopefully represent us well. I have been playing a LOT of my main faction, Circle, preparing for the NTT next month. However, in events that only allow one list (like Hardcore), I find the Circle ‘locks I play are more likely to fall victim to ugly match-ups. As such, I decided to return to my Hardcore list roots, and play my other faction, Cryx, using Terminus. Some of you might remember I won a Hardcore event earlier this year (up at the Whiz) and the list I played Sunday was a stripped down version of that list. With zero prep time, this list is tried and true, as such it’s easy to reach for it, and take my chances no matter what I face. Noting that, here is the list:
Bane Thralls full
These are the main components of the full list, and there isn’t any bells and whistles. The premis is to use the Banes to take out whatever actually poses a credible threat to Terminus, use the Seether to bait off of Terminus, while Tartarus and Pistol Wraith support the above by way of their individual special skill set. The tourney was 20 points as noted, single elimination (no consolation prizes), and had no scenarios; so straight caster kill, with 90 minute rounds. Now to roll the dice…
Round 1: vs Skorne
Beast Handlers min
Synopsis: The opening round opponent was a semi-regular player at my LGS, so I was fairly familiar with his play style, and the Molik Karn bullet was going to be in order. I lost the starting game role, and my opponent opted to go second, taking the side with a nice fat obstacle in his deployment zone, to my far and deep R. There was terrain in the middle, hill piece. Nothing else worth noting that would play into the game. I deployed Terminus center massed, behind the hill, Seether and Tartarus to his R, and Banes to the L, supported by the Pistol Wraith. Skorne deployed everything to my R side of his deployment zone directly in front of the large piece of impassable terrain. He was foreshadowing his late game strategy early.
My first round was standard fare, Malediction up on Terminus, charge him forward to the top of the hill. Ran the Banes up the L to the middle of the board in front of Terminus, PW back round them to the middle, Seether straight away and flanked Tartarus in the backfield behind the Banes. Skorne moved the Nihilators to the middle of their brick style setup, with the two heavies behind. and Handlers and Makeda in the rear. Put Defenders Ward on the Nihilators and Savagry on Molik Karn.
Second round it was time to feat, Terminus activated first, upkept Malediction and charged in to take out two Nihilators. Tartarus then followed up charged the Nihilators, Cursed them and Threshered four, two made tough rolls, also making two Banes. Speaking of which, the remaing Banes followed up, and closed ranks getting nearer the action. Seeither charged in and earned Terminus another Soul, five in total, sitting at ARM 29 in front of Molik Karn I was okay with his status. The Nihilators activated and failed to kill a Bane. Archidon activated, killed a Bane, and put Lightening Strike on Makeda. Molik Karn used Savagry to shimmy across the line I had built, from L to R, killed a Bane, then poured damage into the Seether, crippling both arms, but he was still standing. Staying at full Reach he put Fate Walker up. Makeda had the same, and both retreated back round the large obstacle. The game of cat and mouse would begin.
Turn three Terminus and the Banes mopped up the Nihilators, the Archidon, and nearly all the Handlers. Makeda and Molik Karn took out a few more Banes, and retreated back behind the large Obstacle. Following turn it was time to start trapping them behind the obstacle, Terminus flew to the far L of it, Seether to the R w/ Tartarus, and Banes in both directions w/ the leader in the middle. Molik Karn charged Terminus out fo the back, and took out about half his health. Banes and Terminus finished off Molik Karn on the following turn, and Banes crashed the back side of the obstacle into Makeda. Only one reached and failed to do anything. The next turn she escaped the free strike but was unable to get past some very Tough Bane Thralls that stood between her and Big T. Failing to reach Terminus, my opponent opted for concession.
Round 2: vs Cryx
Bane Thralls min
Synopsis: The mirror match is never fun, and w/ Cryx even less so; especially when you want souls. There would be no feat this game. My opponent won the starting game roll, and once again opted for second. We were on the same table I had just played, and this time I would depploy on the opposite table edge. Mirror matches are difficult for many reasons, most of all equal threat ranges. That being said, in this game to overcome the inevitable dance, I decided I’d have to offer something to control the initiation of the piece trade, and for me it was going to be the Seether.
Opening turn I ran into position as always, with Malediction up on Terminus. My deployment had the Seether to my L, with Terminus in the middle, Pistol Wraith and Tartarus to the R and between Terminus and the Seether was the Bane unit. With everyone into position, I turned the dice over to my opponent. On the opening turn for him, he put Infernal Machine on the Nightwretch and ran him over the hill into position to arc into Terminus. Expecting Curse of Shadows, instead it was the beginning of a game full of Stygian Abyss attacks on Big T. The rest of the force inched forward and Deathjack most importantly stayed on the hill to my R, not coming close to the game at this point.
I took the dice back and decided this would be the turn to position the first piece exchange. I charged Terminus into the Nightwretch and dispatched of him easily thanks to the Malediction. Next I activated the Banes and moved them around the wreck maker into two lines on the hill, a front and back row was established; four and six respectively. Then to to offer the Seether, I ran him to front side of the hill in front of my Banes, on an angle across from his Bane unit. Pistol Wraith moved up w/ Tartarus hanging back. My opponent swiftly activated Tartarus and moved up to curse the Seether, to ensure his Banes could make it to the hill to engage the Seether. Then the Banes took to attacking the Seether; five Banes in total made it, and he was scrapped, one Bane hung in the back. Coven would move forward and Feat, which would allow Deathjack to advance into the game with no fear of attack.
My turn three started, and I had successfully begun the piece exchange with the Seether down, the path was cleared for the Banes to engage their opposing counter parts. I moved up Tartarus, to within 5″ of the closest Bane to get them Cursed. My unit of Banes were not far enough back to need to charge, and most were close enough to be able to see their targets despite the feat. They were able to engage 5 of the 6 Banes, and dispatch all of them. I moved up my Pistol Wraith to fire on Deathjack, hit the first shot, missed the second. Successful turn for me was completed. My opponent took the dice for his turn three and opted to have Deathjack charge the cluster of Banes on the hill as he was able to get his hands on about half the unit. After failing all the tough rolls, half the unit was gone. Tartarus charged the Pistol Wraith and whiffed, but the Curse on my Tartarus would help his last Bane dispatch my Bane Lord. Coven moved up to put Veil of Mists up in front of the Terminus and the Banes blocking LOS to most the game.
I took the dice back, started with Terminus, moved into the Veil of Mists and was able to reach Deathjack subsequently getting a nice dent in him and with in effect of Malediction while not spending Focus. The remaining five Banes were in the cloud, not far enough to prevent a charge on DJ. All five would land shots scrapping him on the final roll. My opponent took the dice, and started the retreat with his own Tartarus and remaining Banes.
For the second time today the game of cat and mouse would ensue; as such I ran my Banes across the board, and Terminus to follow. Since everything was out of charge range for the Banes, Tartarus was able to counter charge and thresh three of my Banes, and one made a tough roll. The last Bane took on another Bane, and I only had one left at that point that would actually be able to do anything next turn, along with Terminus. Coven activated, put Veil of Mists in front of Terminus again and moved further back onto the hill on the far R corner of the board from where I stood.
I took the dice back and Coven were in strong positoin, having Tartarus and a Bane a good spot that could not be directly charged by Terminus and the Coven perched nicely on a hill. The only thing I could see was my own Bane on the ground, thanks to the Veil, as such I opted to charge him, was successful, dispatched my own guy after rightfully failed his tough roll, took my second initial on closer opposing Bane, then bought one on Tartarus, the dice +1 was not enough to take him out. However, I was not going to spend another Focus, as I had my last Bane in range. He in fact charged in, and was able to dispatch the Bane Lord. My opponent took the dice, and noted the clock on the game round, and opted to try to squeeze a tie, casting a flurry of Stygian Abyss, was able to get the crit on the second attempt, getting Shadow Bind on Terminus. They opted to get the last Bane off the board and not move off the hill, and used the last of their Focus to Stygian Abyss him, successfully done and a failed Tough roll removed him from the board.
Shadow Bind prevented me from moving, but not shooting, and I had an nice 10″ Spray and my opponent was not spreading his Coven out at this point, they were in a close cluster on a hit, just enough to drop the fat end of the spray on all four models. I did so, needing 10’s on Egregore and 13’s on the Coven. I would take this opportunity, and new I had to hit somebody with four boosted attempts. I missed the first witch but landed on Egregore, and at dice even rolled fire on damage, 15, my opponent spread the damage evenly across all three witches. I missed the next witch, but hit the last, in another solid roll. Opted not to boost, and at dice plus two, with only three boxes left she was auto dead. One mistake in retrospect, was that I should have feated that turn, not a huge deal, but none the less it would have netted me a soul. With one witch dead, the Focus pool was significantly depleated, and Perfect Conjunction was disabled. This meant that they were able to only try one Stygian Abyss, failing to crit, or hit for that matter, they only had two focus remaining. there wasn’t enough room on the board for them to move out of threat range. As such Terminus was able to charge Egregore, and put everything into the dirt on the first swing.
Round 3: vs Menoth
Synopsis: My third round opponent, was a newer player that was mostly using a battlebox, but having won in the first two rounds, he was using it to great effect. Prime Kreoss is a beast and KD on everything is hard to overcome especially when there was some heavy hitters in that bunch that Terminus didn’t need to see up close and personal, unless it was on his terms. I again lost the starting game roll and my opponent opted to have me go first. I deployed, and this board was one of the more interesting I had ever played on. The board was made entirely of sand, with some terrain pieces scattered throughout, and a river on my L that ran the length of the board where you rolled dice. It was a unique experience for sure.
Start of game I had a sizable obstacle just out font of my deployment zone, and with trees scattered on the L half of the board, the most open terrain area we had was on the R half. I setup the Banes to my L, center massed as the table stood, Terminus and Pistol Wraith behind the obstacle, and Seether on the R side of the table, very edge, with enough room to move past the obstacle. Tartarus was on the L of my Banes on the opposite end of my deployment from the Seether. Everything moved up and, despite Kreoss anti upkeep abilities I decided to put Malediction up, and see how my opponent handled it. On his turn he took the dice, and decided he would face tank my alpha, moved both heavies up in front of Kreoss, then the Repenter up , dropped a flame template on four banes, killing one after rolls and Tough checks. Additionally the Revenger charged a Bane, killed it, then Kreoss arced Cleansing Fire onto more banes, and killed another one. Not a bad opening turn for the Menites, then I took the dice.
Unfortunately I would not get a feat this game either, but there was a mechanic on the board, so why not. He was in range, behind the two heavies who were adjacent to each other. I charged the Crusader, feated, put the two initial attacks into him, doing poor damage, but landing the crit pitch on the off hand attack. I opted to throw him into Kreoss, hit and KD both, unfortunately neither damage roll was good, I only did two damage to Kreoss. Had I done more, I might have had the Pistol Wraith go for the victory. Instead, I decided that the Crusader was the biggest threat to Terminus on the board. As such I used the Pistol Wraith to get Death Chill on him, so he would be out of the game next turn. Tartarus activated and Cursed the Revenger. Then the Banes activated, charged one into the Templar, one into the Repenter, and the rest into the Revenger. After some horrendous rolls on the Revenger, I did not scrap him. The one Bane on the Repenter did nearly half the damage on one swing. Weird how that works out; both were still standing. The other Bane put some good damage on the Templar, with Malediction and Dark Shroud. However, he was there to make it easier for the Seether. I charged the Seether in, landed my three initial attacks doing really poor damage, and my opponents marker broke on the third damage and spread ink on the card, so we were not really sure how much damage he took. He wasn’t dead for sure, so I opted to chain attack smash and grab into Kreoss. However, again I did not roll great, did another couple of damage on Kreoss, and all three were on the ground. Overall, it was a very unsuccessful turn, IMHO. My opponent took dice and I knew the feat was coming. He KD’s everything. The Crusader was effectively nuetralized, and the Templar would have to do the heavy lifting. The Revenger did not get any focus, and just used his one attack to destroy a Bane, and turn to face the arc target. Kreoss activated and KD’d everything, then dropped an AOE on Terminus the Pistol Wraith and the Bane; Pistol Wraith made a tough check and the Bane failed. Repenter then turned his flamer on all of them, and finally took care of the Pistol Wraith, and then set Seether and Terminus on fire. Templar charged in on Terminus, after spending one to stand up and one to charge, only had one left, so he opted to boost the attack roll hit, and damaged, did 5 damage. Then turned the dice over to me.
I had 7 focus, spent one to stand up Terminus, and one (free) to stand up Seether, and one to upkeep Malediction. Seether moved forward, chain attack Smash and Grab on the Templar, and threw the Templar into the Crusader; both were KD again. The lane was now clear for Terminus, who would charge Kreoss. My opponent conceded once it was determined that Terminus was in range of the charge.
Round 4: vs Menoth (again)
Temple Flame Guard min
Synopsis: My final table opponent was a player I had played in the past before, however, not often as we don’t play at the same LGS. He is a long time Menoth player, and was familiar with my Terminus list. I finally won the starting game roll, and opted this time to go second. This table had a lot of terrain, and was mostly hills. he deployed in waves TFG up front, jacks next, and Kreoss w/ support staff on a hill deep in deployment. I deployed my Seether to the L of my zone, w/ Terminus on a hill center massed, and Banes to the R w/ Tartarus. Pistol Wraith was on the L.
On the opening turn, he ran everything forward in the same order, and promptly cast Lamentation, as he did not want Malediction in play w/o it being painful to me. My turn, I obliged and even though was not in CNTL range to be affected by Lamantation, I decided it would not be used this game. I ran Seether to the hill, Terminus ran over the top of him to the L off the hill. Banes forward of the hill, and Pistol Wraith with Terminus on the L and Tartarus on the R.
Turn two he was in range of my front line, upkept Lamentation and Defenders Ward on the TFG. Kreoss first, activated and feated. He KD’d my whole force, but did not have range to everything. The TFG charged, and the primary mission was to kill Tartarus. He only had two that could reach. Was able to do enough damage to force a tough roll on the second swing, and I failed the Tough check. I would only make one the entire game. Between the TFG and Redeemer shots, he would kill about half the Banes. Reckoner tried to assault the Seether failed to get into melee range, but got the shot in. Everything else stayed away.
I took the dice, spent one to stand up Seether, and Terminus. The next portion of the game is important to anyone who plays in tournaments, it’s IMPERATIVE you mark your board with tokens to acknowledge what effects are in play. I charged the Seether into the Reckoner, hit doing about 7 damage, only to have him trigger Enliven. It was not marked, and anyone who has experienced this misunderstanding would concur that is a very frustrating experience when a critical game effect is not shown on the table, especially at the final table of a tournament. Obviously agitated by the sequence of events, I gave my opponent the gift of feedback as to why not marking things like that are important. I consented and he took the Enliven move, advancing the Reckoner away and I used the remainder of the activation to kill TFG. Now realizing this game was about to get significantly harder, I activated Terminus who had five Focus left, I feated and moved into melee range of three TFG. I needed 8’s to hit, and boosted the initial attacks to garner the soul exchange for ARM and removed some TFG from the table. Everybody else forfeited move or action but nothing else was killed, so no more souls.
My opponent took the dice and sent the Reckoner right to the Seether removing him from the board, and all but a single Bane. Now it was Terminus versus nearly the entire Menoth force. Terminus and I were not concerned, however, as we had been here before. With everything in close proximity to Terminus except for Kreoss and the Choir, I decided to run Terminus across the board to face tank Kreoss, putting my ‘caster in the back arc of all the jacks and out of walk distance. My opponent decided to drop Defenders Ward, and upkeep only Lamentation, wisely camping the rest. Moving everything into position on Terminus.
The game of cat and mouse was afoot again, this time different than before. I was flying around the board, staying in the back arc of the Reckoner, unafraid of everything else. The Choir who had previously failed their Abomination check, were an easy target; I garnered two more souls on my two initial attacks. I was in the middle of all his forces and still behind the Reckoner having flown back over the top of him again. My opponent gave three to the Reckoner, and tried to lay into Terminus, and did about five damage throwing everything he had in his bag at him. Kreoss ran as far as he could away as he had only three focus.
Terminus now at ARM 26 would once again fly across the board, to once again face tank Kreoss. Rinse and repeat the turn where he had nothing that could reach Terminus and Kreoss upkept Lamentation and camped the remainder. Now being in melee range of Kreoss and not having to run to reach him, I moved to the opposite side of Kreoss and took a swing, hit and opted to boost damage, and was able to do 7 damage. My second initial missed. I camped the rest, turned the dice over to my opponent.
Seeing his ARM at 23, and Reckoner in Assault range for the first time since this cat and mouse game started, my opponent thought this would be the turn he could put Big T into the dirt. He activated Reckoner, assaulted and failed the hit roll. Hit his initial charge attack and did four damage. Opted to buy and boost the attack roll and did another point of damage. Terminus had taken about 10 damage at this point. Kreoss charged from within engagement, and after using all but one Focus was only able to do another bit of damage. Kreoss was standing next to Terminus, and both players knew the tournament was a mere formality from being over as I took the dice. One boosted attack and damage roll by Terminus was all it took; I had one the event…
In retrospect a few things I took away:
1. Terminus, in small games, is a relatively poor choice. In games of this slight scale mean mostly battle group and typically limited model count, meaning even more limited soul count. In the last three games I garnered a total of four souls combined over the three rounds as a result of the feat. Without his feat, and especially without the free upkeep from the Combine, he is a paltry ARM 23. He took damage in all four rounds, and was not nearly as survivable as you would come to expect.
2. Please, if you play in tournaments, mark ALL of your effects. The days can be long, especially in an event like this that runs four rounds, lots of happening and games blend together. Forgetting something small can ruin an otherwise well played game and leave to hard feelings. Worse it puts your opponent in a compromised position of feeling guilty if they prevent you from using your unmarked ability, and worse, could ultimately lead to a hollow victory.
3. Small point games are much more interesting of a test than you might remember, if you grown accustomed to the large 35,50 or even 75 point games. It’s hyper focused on the bare strengths of the force you’ve put together. The chess game is there right from the beginning, each resource is valuable, as well as limited, and every move has strict repercussions. Engage in these games and events, they are an excellent change of pace, and loads of fun w/o out the extra time spent.
4. Play games all the way to the end, and you can turn games around, even those that start poorly; especially if you are using a Warcaster. Camping focus creates conundrums, and many ‘casters can get themselves up to ARM 23 or higher with the combination of buffs and camping. That is a tipping point that makes you very difficult to take down, and it’s not a late game strategy that’s exclusive to Terminus. Play the game to the end, and force your opponent to win, don’t offer it over.
5. Lastly, delicious are the spoils of victory…
hope you enjoyed, and feel free to contact me w/ questions!