While we didn’t take home the trophy (this year), we had an awesome time, played well, and were finally able to show off our new team shirts! First of all to Paul and Snakeman we have to send a special thanks for running a great event. The NETT continues to grow, and is something everyone in the region looks forward to each and every year. Now as far as our team performance, we sent two teams to the NETT, and we were proud of our participants for the time and dedication they put into preparing for the event. Here is what the teams and their perspective lists looked like, by team, in order of Captain – 1st Lt. – 2nd Lt.:
DARK OMEN (DO):
Jarl – Bomber, Impaler x2, Runebearer, Nyss Hunters, War Wagon
Borka – Keg Carrier, Mulg, Axer, Kriel Warriors w/ UA& Cabers x3, Kriel Stone w/ UA, Chronicler, Fell Caller, Saxon Orrik
pCaine – Cent, Wyshnalyrr, JR, reinholdt, b13, ATGM w/ UA, LG Full, A+H: Reinforcements: min ForgeGuard w/Piper
eNemo3 (Tier 3) – Finch, StormWall, 2x FireFly, Strangeways, 3x StormSmiths, 2x StormTower ; Reinforcements: min Stormlances
Kromac – Ghetorix, Stalker, Gorax, Wilder, Bloodtrackers (full), Stones w/ UA, Gallows Grove; Reinforcements: Wolf Riders w/ War Wolf
Morvahna – Woldguardian, Stalker, Bloodtrackers (full) w/ Nuala, Stones w/ UA, Druids w/ UA; Reinforcements: Wolf Riders w/ War Wolf
DARK OMEN TOO (DOT):
pMakda – Savage, Gladiator, Marketh, Cetrati (min), Paingivers (min), Ferox (full); Reinforcements: Totem Hunter, Void Spirit x2
Zaal – Krea, Gladiator, Imoortals (full), Karax (full), Swamp Gobbos, Ancestral Guardian x3, Hakaar; Reinforcements: Ferox (min)
eHaley – Stormclad, Thorn, Squire, Gun Mages w/ UA, Precursor Knights (min) w/ UA, Strangeways, eEiryss; Reinforcements: Ironclad
Constance – Gallant, Precursor Knights (full) w/ UA x 2, Sword Knights (full), Journeyman, Runewood, Harlan Versh; Reinforcements: Ironclad
pKreoss – Reckoner x2, Hierophant, Choir (min), EE Seneshal, Errants (full) w/ UA, Rhupert, Covenant, Visgoth; Reinforcements: Zealots (min), Vilmon
eFeora – Reckoner, Vanquisher, Redeemer, Choir (min), Ayiana & Holt, TFG (full) w/ UA, Vassal x2, Wracks; Reinforcements: Daughters,
Both teams spent time and effort to plan their lists, and their roster. DO decided to have Matt run as Captain due to his style of Trolls being particularly difficult to assassinate. Steve had the least amount of bad match-ups based on list builds, so he would play second, and despite his tourney record in 2012 Anthony would play third. He was most susceptible to bad match-ups, and in case an opposing team tried to hide their best player in the third spot, he was best equipped to handle that.
DOT went a more traditional route, Patrick captained the team, having far more tourney and Con experience, over a variety of formats, than his teammates. That experience is key when you try to settle into your first event. Alex was originally playing third, but on the night before, they decided to swap him and Don. Constance is an unexpected skew list, and would catch a lot of people off guard. Don’s two lists were much more traditional Menoth fare, and as such they felt stronger with him in the third position running anchor.
From a team strategy perspective, both teams agreed that they would save their feat for the final round, in order to position themselves best at the end. Additionally, the format being Divide and Conquer, not simply Two List Required, changed everything. It means that players would essentially be locked into nearly all their games after the first match. As such each of our players mapped out who they wanted to put on the table in the final round. This meant picking the caster/lock they felt most confident in, regardless of match ups. Once they made their choice and then worked backwards in preparation for what they would likely have to play in each round. However, as we all know, the best laid plans change when the dice hit the table…
Round 1 (Diversion)
In the opening round, as DO captain Matt has said, you are most susceptible to a defeat. Your mind is not as engaged as it is later in the rounds, and thus, mistakes even careless oversights can cost you an otherwise would be victory. As such both our teams took to the tables in the opening round:
Dark Omen – Matt opened the round in the Captains match, facing a Harbinger player. Matt astutely recognized that he would have to run everything into position in expectation of the feat next turn. Matt would be correct, and Harby would feat. Unfortunately his game 1 prophecy would come true, he moved Borka too far forward, and he couldn’t use the Keg Carrier to top him off. The plan was to bate Avatar, stumble away, and have Mulg put Harby on tilt. Unfortunately a sober Borka won’t stumble. Avatar was in range, and it took two swings to end the match. Two tables down, Anthony was engaged in a match pitting Kromac against eMadrak. His opponent faced Circle regularly, however, it was a radial and the threat ranges were not registering with him. Kromac, going second, got eMadrak stuck in Bestial and was able to get Ghetorix on the scoring flag to dial up two quick points and it was over by turn three. This left Steve to carry the round. In his match, he pitted eNemo3 vs Kromac. He had survived some early poor dice, and ultimately traded Stormwall for Ghetorix and a Gorax. Had already removed one stone from each of the two units on the board, limiting what movement shenanigans were available. He was able to steal a control point w/ a Stormsmith early, and after some nifty triangulation, Steve was able to get a Firefly in for the last control point. DO 1-0 moving on to the next round.
Dark Omen Too – Patrick opened the match considering using the team feat, but the game plan was to save the feat until the last round, as such they saved it. pMakeda took the dice against eKrueger. The match-up wasn’t great, however he was fortunate that eKrueger went all in on pMakeda on turn 2, and failed the assassination run. Unfortunately dice turned against Makeda who left one hit box on eKrueger after pouring four Cetrati and two Ferox attacks into him. One shot from Eiryss on his opponents next turn and it was over. Alex, in his first tournament, fell victim to the first round follies. He picked Constance to face off against Mortenebra. He positioned everything correctly and was threatening both the zone and the flag with his feat still in his pocket. Unfortunately he forgot to move Gallant to protect Constance. Morty used Overrun to sling a fully loaded Deathjack into Constance, ending it on turn 2. Don’s game, due to the losses of his two teammates in the opening round was a mere formality. He had a mirror match vs Menoth, and he played eFeora vs eSeverius. It was a grind fest that lasted deep into the opening round. Ultimately the greater control range and strong use of the feat kept eFeora at bay unable to cross the midline of the table. As such Seve ground down Feora and ultimately won the game on scenario, DOT 0-1.
Round 2 (Incursion)
Dark Omen – Before each round DO huddled to review the lists and go over any quick tips to help each player. As they huddled before this match, they reviewed the lists and saw unfavorable match-ups, highlighted by Steve drawing what would likely be eHaley. They discussed feating briefly, and ultimately decided to stay with the game plan, fighting thru the poor match-ups. As was perceived early in the pre-match discussion, Steve’s game did not last long. His opponent was a competent Cygnar player, and the scenario dictated that Steve’s stagnate list would have to advance on the scenario to compete. He put himself on tilt starting the game, facing the uphill battle, and admittedly did not play well; which was worsened by the one flag Steve had easy access to disappearing. His opponent executed the feat, and ultimately won the game on scenario. About the same time Anthony’s game was coming to an end. Morvahna vs pBaldur. This was not a great scenario for Morvahna, as she likes to brick in the style Anthony plays her. However, his opponent played overly conservative being afraid of the long threat ranges, and not wanting to use his feat early, he bricked up. There was a favorable break for Morvahna when the flag she posed the least threat to disappeared. Anthony moved his force to clear the two remaining flags quickly, and took two early points, proceeding to lean on his opponent before pBaldur ultimately succumb to the scenario despite his feat. So now it was all down to Matt, who took early control of the game, playing Jarl and clearing Doom Reavers in the opening turn, and Kayazy in the second turn, scoring two CP by the third. Karchev was left w/ only two damaged jacks while Jarl had two Impalers and Nyss still on the board. Unfortunately dispatching the two units sapped too much time off of Matt’s clock, and after a failed attempt to crit slam the Kodiak off a flag that would have won the match, his clock expired and he lost the game, DO 1-1.
Dark Omen Too – There was one team that was not able to fill three spots on their roster, as such DOT was able to win their second round via a bye. Worth noting, Patrick did engage in a contest vs the only player on the opposing team in that round. Delivering Haakar under Last Stand on Zaal’s feat to the caster ended the game, as Patrick’s plan was executed perfectly, DOT 1-1.
Round 3 (Bunkers)
Dark Omen – Having now eaten lunch, both teams were disappointed that neither had made it to the semi-finals. However, there was still two rounds to be played. Each game lasted a while in this round, as the matches were relatively evenly pitted. Steve was able to card a victory in the first game that ended. Siege vs pCaine, and luckily, Steve was well equipped for this match. They traded gun fire for two turns, before pCaine was able to draw a bead on Siege w/o any focus. Matt’s game was second to end, and having never faced Damiano, Jarl’s force was chewed to pieces by Steelhead Riflemen, ultimately preventing Matt from being able to contest a zone, and handing him a loss. It fell to Anthony to deliver a win for DO, playing Morvahna again, this time facing Grim Angus. The scenario fit what Morvahna wants to do, bricking up contesting the zone and grinding the opponent down. Grim didn’t have an answer for Regrowth, and ultimately succumbing under pressure of the clock. DO 2-1.
Dark Omen Too – In the strongest showing by DOT on the day, Don took them out to an early lead in his game with pKreoss vs Calandra. It was a pop and drop for the victory, as Don executed the game plan perfectly, not having to worry about Star Crossed when you can KD everyone. In the next game to finish Alex carded a W with Constance vs pKrueger. The inability to use spells on most of his army was a strong factor in ultimately winning the game. Leaving a spell on the Feral allowed Gallant to put him in the dirt with ease. The Iron Clad off the flank with the help of Precursors Knights were able to score the control points necessary to secure a victory. Their Captain, Patrick, ground his opponent down to the last seconds of his clock literally, before he made the final damage roll on Zaal as his clock expired, although the loss mattered not, his teammates had both won; DOT 2-1.
Round 4 (Outflank, Outfight, Outlast)
Dark Omen – Entering the last match both teams had their feat, and their opponents lost the roll, opting to feat, and DO then opted to feat back, putting the match ups back to where they were originally ensuring Steve and Anthony kept their strong favorable match ups. Captain Matt took the dice after a long day, sending Borka to the table for the last time, this game vs pBaldur. A well played feat by Baldur made the scenario a foregone conclusion as Borka wasn’t able to get anything to the CP to contest. Anthony’s game came to a conclusion shortly thereafter, Kromac against Bethayne. Kromac was able to get Bethayne’s force under Bestial early thanks to the feat, negating the Hex Hunters, and after some fancy use of power attacks, and Warpath, with some reinforcement help from Wolf Riders, Anthony claimed the game on scenario points after removing most of his opponents army from the table. Steve was last to finish, having never relinquished control of the game versus Harbinger with eNemo3, however his biggest challenge was the clock. A turn after scrapping both the Reckoner and Avatar, he sent Stormwall into Harbinger, thanks to Martydom damage, he one shot her for the victory, DO 3-1.
Dark Omen Too – They team feated to shift the match-ups to a more favorable set, and sent Patrick and pMakeda vs eMakeda. His opponent made an early mistake allowing Patrick to take control of the scenario. However, eMakeda wa able to carve a hole for an Archidon to end the day for Patrick on a loss. Don drew the short straw on match-ups facing Terminus. Tough ruled the day, none for Don’s Errants, and all of them for his opponents Banes. Ultimately Terminus was delivered to Kreoss at ARM 28, he was able to face tank the damage, and put Kreoss into the dirt the following turn. Alex was left to a game of pride, after his two opponents had lost, he had eHaley against Kromac. They traded CPs early, and Haley was able to deliver a Stormclad to Kromac, however unable to kill him, and then feated locking things in place. However, his opponent being worn down by the day, used his Gnarlhorn to kill Thorn and Warpath away from the Control Point, handing the game to Haley via scenario, DOT 2-2.
Reflections of the day…
A few note worthy performances by the team: Top billing is Anthony going 4-0 on the day, he was one of only three players (out of 46) to do so in the event, amassing 9 CP’s, with three of his four wins coming via scenario; it was a dominant tournament performance. Steve and Alex both went 3-1, Steve showing off his new Colossal, and warcaster 3-mo, was surgical like in each of his wins, leading both teams in PTS destroyed. Alex showed up strong in his first tourney; after losing his opening match he would not lose again, playing very well over his final two games winning both by scenario. Overall DO finished in 5th place, a mere few tie breaker points out of the top three, and DOT finshed 10th, near the top of the 2-2 teams.
Additionally, the preparation for this tourney definitely lead to the team being able to win 13 games over four rounds. Understanding all of the scenarios, playing under a clock, and knowing how to score CPs and go for PTS destroyed showed as we won the majority of our games played. Plus as our players recognized early on, they more prepared than most of their opponents when it came to how to score, win, and leverage a scenario. Finally, least we not forget this was our first team event, as such we have to be proud of our effort, and the results.
Some suggestions to those thinking of embarking on this endeavor; first off you should refine your lists and commit to them as early possible. Once committed play them exclusively for the final few weeks leading up to the event. You’d be surprised how the repetition can alleviate the stress of a crowded tourney setting, especially early on. Practicing scenarios is also very important to your prep, for everyone on your team. Finally there is no hard and fast rule about how to set up your team. The ‘best’ player doesn’t necessarily have to play as Captain. Teams mismatch as a strategy some times, and most times the teams you face are comprised of equal caliber players (because they all come from the same dojo). The real question is about match ups, and your team feat. Practice your list matches, and decide when and how you want use your feat. The Captainship is for the person who wants to take point for the team, organize the practice effort and make sure everyone is prepared for tourney day. Other than that, have a ton of fun, just like we did…