This past week (January 12th) at Dragon’s Den in Poughkeepsie, NY, Anthony won his 5th event as a member of Dark Omen (in the last ten months); it was his 7th final table, and as he gears up for TempleCon here is a Battle Report review from his side of the table…
I have participated in two prior events at Dragon’s Den and have fallen short, so as I ramp up for TempleCon, I really wanted to make a strong showing in my last event there before the big dance. Special thanks to Stan for running another really great event, and making some sweet objective and linear obstacle markers for the participants! Also thanks to Dragon’s Den for being a great host as always, looking forward to seeing our ugly mugs on your store page!
Regarding the event, as I have said in 2013 I’m intending to play Cryx in all major events; so as we move closer to TempleCon I want to have them on the table as much as possible. I will likely take a break from them after, for a bit, but for now, they are my faction for competitive play. The event was a 35 pt, 2 list required, 2013 SR Beta; here are the lists I ran:
Satyxis Raiders x10 w UA
Mech Thralls x10
The list I have been working hard on is the eSkarre list. She is a new Warcaster to me, and I have had a hard time with her survivability, and taking advantage of the intricacy of her playstyle. Much more unforgiving than other Cryx Warcasters. I really wanted to play the Kraken with her, and I’m enjoying it. I’m finding that he is not often removed from the game and it’s really great to have him around late game. Additionally I have never before played Deathjack (I know, blasphemy as a Cryx player) and I’m liking the interaction of the two. I keep an arc node in there to not put pressure on DJ to get my early game debuffs up, and extend Skarre’s threat, w/o having to extend Skarre herself. The Necrotech and Necrosurgeon are auto includes to me; nobody takes a Colossal w/o a way to repair it, and Skarre definitely bleeds herself all game long, the Necrosurgeon is paramount, IMHO. The last few points I have toyed with, but have begun to settled on the Pistol Wraith. He does crazy good work under Black Spot, and her Feat allows him to stay around when filled up on souls.
The Terminus list is nothing new to you if you’ve read my battle reports in the past. I’m a Terminus player, and especially when I’m playing something new, I need my second list to be something very reliable. Additionally, in my experience eSkarre is very susceptible to competent ranged lists, and has a low model count; Terminus is polar opposite in both regards. It makes for a really nice pairing. Now onto the games, as always I’ll do my best on the opposing lists…
Round 1: vs Jeff
Scenario: Support by Fire
Zealots full w/ UA
Vessel of Judgement
Recap: In the opening round, I was facing two Menoth lists, both that had lots of guns, so to me the choice was easy, noting my commentary on my lists, this was not a match-up I wanted for eSkarre, so Big T it is. Turns out I made the right choice, as Jeff chose to roll w/ Kreoss. I would not have been in a good place w/ her. Jeff is a competent player who I have seen in all the events I have attended at Dragon’s Den. He pushed his position quickly, and had the Zealots out front, on my R, and the Reckoner and Redeemer in the middle w/ the Vessel facing my L flank. On my end I decided to layer my approach, with the Raiders out front, and run them right at the Zealots, having the MechThralls batting directly cleanup, w/ Terminus centermassed amidst the Thralls, w/ all the support in the rear, I pressed forward as far as I could after casting Malediction.
On the next turn, pKreoss decided to use his feat and wipe the Raiders from the board, which was to be expected; he was able to get all of them in his feat. The Zealots used their damage buff and went to town on the Raiders, leaving only 2 or 3 in the unit; they did pass their command check. He also was able to clip a few MechThralls, but nothing significant. There were two mistakes, the first was not using the mini-feat from the Zealots, the second was leaving Kreoss out of the Kill Box giving my two early CPs (under the new SR beta it is no longer auto lose). I believe that Jeff thought my stuff was out of range, perhaps getting a bit too greedy. About half of Mechthralls were in the feat and could not charge. I figured with Darrage Wrathe and Death Ride, I was able to get the rear ones just close enough to get back in the game. So I took the dice, activated Wrathe moved everyone up, and then let Terminus take over the game. Now in range, Terminus put his Feat up, cast Ravager on himself, and charged the Zealots. Blowing thru about 5, that were clumped to have close range on the Raiders. Then the Necrosurgeon activated to bolster the ranks of the Mech Thralls and I was able to get a few more into charge range. I brought Saxon up to pathfinder them over the linear obstacle in the middle of their charge lanes, and unleashed them on a few remaing Zealots and the Objective. They took out the objective, and added a few more souls to Terminus tally, Dragon’s Call had him camping at ARM 29, bearing down hard on the opposing force; when the dust settled I had 3 CPs.
Kreoss was now officially in a really bad spot. He had to leave the kill box, and was going to be in range of Big T, no matter where he went. He opted to pour every bit of damage he could on him, and run Kreoss to the farthest possible point from Terminus, hoping to maximize free strikes in the charge path. His attempts to damage the Liche Lord were futile, as he was already in god mode, and was unable to block the landing area with the Vessel. I took the dice on my turn, and made sure to maximize CPs before I closed the game out. I activated the Seether, took out the last objective, and ran the Withershadow to control the flag, ran Saxon up to take control of the other flag, then activated Terminus to charge Kreoss. It only took one focus and two swings to end the game; the extra steps taken earned maximum CPs for me. A good start to the day.
Round 2: vs Alex
Precursor Knights x 10 w/ UA
Sword Knights x10 w/ UA
Recap: Alex is a common opponent for me, and I’ve watched his development over the past 18 months as a Warmachine player. He has found his wheelhouse with this eStryker list, having just won the last tourney he played in at The Battle Standard, and his second tournament win in his last few events. He was representing an eHaley list as his second option, but I knew w/ little doubt, he was going to be playing Stryker. As such, I decided this was the round to play eSkarre, as his force was heavily melee oriented, and Admonition on eSkarre would make it difficult for Stryker to ever get to her and Vadar. This game ended up being one of the more epic contests I’ve played recently.
I won the roll, and opted for second as there was a slight advantage on the other side of the table with a well placed piece of cover closer to the action, so that was the spot for Skarre. Alex took the dice, and put Stryker and Rowdy in the center of his setup, the Precursors on his R (my L) with the B13th and Rhupert behind them, and on the other side of his deployment was the Sword Knights with Runewood and the Journeyman trailing. The SK took their elite cadre move then ran first turn, coming nearly to the middle of the board. Everything else ran and lagged a bit behind, not before Jr put Arcane Shield on Rowdy. I took the dice on my turn, gave one to Kraken who was L of center, gave one to Nightrwretch who was center massed. DJ was center behind the piece of cover that was just outside the center scoring zone just in front of my battlegroup. The Necrotech was behind the Kraken, and ScrapThrall was on on my deployment line L of the Kraken, Pistol Wraith was also on the L of the Kraken, and the Necrosurgeon was adjacent to Skarre, with the Stitches surrounding them both. I ran the Nightwretch at the Sword Knights, in order to have Skarre arc Black Spot onto them, and was successful; thanks to Seas of Fate I didn’t need to boost. Put Death Ward on the Kraken, and positioned her on a hill to the R of my deployment zone. I activated the Pistol Wraith who promptly took out four Sword Knights. Then the Kraken took his aim, started firing his Flayer cannon at the Knights, proceeding to take his Black Spot attacks with the Hellblaster and poured those onto Runewood. Was able to splash him with some damage. There were only a few Knights left. DJ put Admonition on himself and moved forward into the zone, out of threat range of everything on the board.
Next turn Alex took his opportunity to charge w/ the remaining Sword Knights at the Nightwretch, using Runewood he buffed them and they did enough damage to take out the all important arc node, but was otherwise unarmed. He positioned the Precursors as a roadblock for Death Jack to Stryker, ran Madelyn to a safe spot in the woods on the L corner of the table (as I looked at it) just off the zone, kept the Journeyman back, and put Rowdy within 6” of DJ, threatening the counter charge. Used the B13 to drop Magestorm to drop LOS to Rowdy and the Prescursors right in front of DJ. The only thing in the zone was Rowdy. I took the dice, and knew this was feat time, as I’m sure Alex did too. I took the damage to upkeep all three spells. Gave one to the Nightrwetch and one to Kraken. Started with the Necrosurgeon and was able to heal all three damage, I didn’t want to wait as I knew I was going to move Skarre out of their range and not be able to heal her, after feating. I then activated the Pistol Wraith who took out more SKs, and was full on souls again. The Kraken was able to move up, finish the Sword Knights and use Kill Shot to hit Journeyman with some damage. The Sword Knights now gone allowed the Nighwretch to take a boosted damage attack on the Monolith nearest him. Then the Scrap Thrall charged in did his POW 16 charge attack to the monolith. DJ activated next, and threw Rowdy out of the zone stuck behind the objective, and pinned the Precurors out of the zone. Skarre activated last, feated, and moved into the zone to get more of the Cygnar force in range. I opted to feat on DJ, Skarre, and the three B13. Blocking those gunshots, in retrospect, was a rather important move, as it prevented him from taking highly accurate shots at my support, before I was able to get them engaged.
Alex took the dice back, and was trying to prevent damage the following turn. He moved Rowdy back in the zone, and after he moved, I used Admonition on DJ and to get out of AOE KD attack I assumed was coming. The rest of the Precursors moved into bodyguard Stryker who was now full on the L side of the zone, right in the middle of the board, with Rhupert and Madelyn behind the full unit of Precursors. The Journeyman decided to come forward and take a fully boosted shot at the Pistol Wraith, and his poop RAT left him short on the dice. On my turn I knew this would be decisive, I gave one to the Nighwretch again, and three to DJ, upkept Death Ward by taking damage, and buckled up for my turn. I activated the Nighwretch, thanks to Seas of Fate was able to hit the Journeyman without boosting, which allowed me to boost damage, and take out the Journeyman. I then activated DJ, w/ Rowdy now back to ARM 20. I was able to kill him with two focus still on DJ. I used those two to put Admonition back on him. The Pistol Wraith then used boosted damage rolls to take out the Objective closest to the R side (for me). Which allowed the Kraken to get into the zone, and start killing Precursor Knights. Necrosurgeon attempted to heal Skarre, to little avail. The Necrotech stood next to Kraken, and blocked space and LOS to Skarre over about an 8” area.
Cygnar turn started by Stryker taking his Corbeau move toward the short side to avoid the wreck marker left by Rowdy; after the advance was over, I triggered Admonition on DJ to block his path to my side of the battlefield, as it was now cluttered with Precursors and DJ. He opted to use the rest of his turn to kill DJ. Which he did, and Stryker finished the job by taking a mini Vadar, one die of damage, then using his feat to gain the extra attack to finally put him in the dirt. On my turn, I took the dice back, gave three to Kraken, and he went to town on the Precursors, using a Kill shot to take out the Squire, and leaving only a few Precursors. Pistol Wraith came foward and mopped up two more, tucked behind a wall just off the zone. I moved Skarre to the far opposite corner of the very edge of the lower R corner (as I look at the board) directly diagonal from Stryker who would have to circumvent Kraken if he was going to try to get to Skarre who was as far as she could be from him.
As time started to wane down now, Stryker moved to start to shrink the gap between him and Skarre, and the Gune Mages tried to take out the Pistol Wraith, only two could shoot, and both shots were missed, thanks to DEF 18. Now getting the dice back, I gave three more focus to Kraken, one to Nightwretch, and stopped taking damage to upkeep Death Ward. as I wasn’t healing enough and needed to try and catch up, leaving her with two focus. The Nightwretch took a boosted damage shot on the only Monolith left, and Kraken took to swing on it at dice plus 1, and one shot it. Then started swinging on Precursors, and took a kill shot that took out Rhupert, and the remaining B13th. As time became crunched, I saw that my opponent only had Stryker and Corbeau left, neither of which were in the zone, and I had two CP for Objectives destroyed, and I was controlling the zone for a 3rd. I failed to realize that the scenario only called for four (4) CPs, not five (5), as I could have simply moved Skarre forward and dominated for the final two CPs.
Alex started his turn with only two activations left. Opted to Vadar to kill the Kraken, and did enough damage to take him down to half about ¾ done. At that point, with less than a minute left, I gave Kraken 3 focus Power Striked him out of the zone, boosted the attack and damage roll, I rolled pretty high, but barely paid attention, as I moved Skarre into the zone, to dominate and score what I thought was the final two CP to win, with less than 30 seconds to spare!!! Both Alex and I forgot the new SR rule that Warcasters and Warlocks don’t contest, so it didn’t matter that I pushed him out, either way was a tremendous game. Max CP earned again, and near tabled my opponent in points destroyed.
Round 3: vs Pat
Scenario: Supply and Demand
Recap: Here we are again, Pat and I at the final table again in Poughkeepsie. Last time we played, Pat was able to pull out his first DOGC career tourney victory, needless to say I was seeking revenge! Pat had two lists eligible for this round, and opted to go w Darious. Knowing he had both lists available and after reviewing each, it was clear there were plenty of guns available to him in either list, which meant I was opting for my Terminus list.
With the center scenario in play, I opted to go first, and get as far forward as I could before Stormwall could get covering fire down. There was a wall on my side of the board just outside the control zone. I opted to put my Raiders off to my R flank and try to divide Stormwalls attention between them and the McThralls. On my opening turn I ran the Satyxis to mid board still on the R flank threatening the Rangers on that side of the board. Then I ran the McThralls into the nearest edge of the zone, and brought Terminus to my side of the linear obstacle after casting Malediction. Darius took advantage of his Tier benefits by dropping all three pods after trampling 10” forward. The two units of Rangers were flanking either side of his deployment line, and he moved them up. The Rangers nearest the Raiders were able to clip a couple of girls, and then braced for impact. Darius activated last and put Fortify on Stormwall
I took the dice back and knew I had to take advantage of Stormwall trampling and not dropping covering fire. As such I pounded home with some McThralls and a couple of Raiders, doing some Feedback damage to Darius, and doing nominal damage to the Colossal. The remaining Raiders engaged and took out all but two of the Rangers on my R flank, and Terminus took the opportunity to get into the zone, surrounded by MechThralls, and his support. With all the Tough rolls around me I wasn’t worried about Stormwall attempting to get to Big T. Just to be sure I moved the Seether into the zone to make it difficult for Stormwall to fit any place easily. Darius took the dice, and started the precision execution of removing my pieces. He used his Stormsmiths to take out a few Raiders, and MechThralls. Then he trampled the Centurion foward off the R edge of my zone, protecting his objective, w/ Polarity Shield up, also preventing the Raiders from circling to the rear of his lines w/o taking free strikes. Stormwall dropped covering fire to force me to move McThralls away from him, and prevent new ones from getting to him. Lastly he moved a few Rangers forward and was able to get close enough to Saxon to remove him from the board. With nothing in the zone, I scored a control point at the end of his turn.
As I took the dice, I contemplated camping the zone to Dominate for two more and trying to get to his objective to score another one. After thinking it over, I knew if I did that, he would simply move Stormwall into the zone, and even if I made a run at him, I would have a very hard time removing him thanks to Darius feat. Additionally the Rangers on the far side were dwindiling and if I didn’t feat this turn I wouldn’t have another opportunity to gather any souls. As such, I went that route, started with Terminus, put Ravager on him, and charged a small group of Rangers in the woods off the L of the zone. I took all four tasty souls, and was nicely behind the forest they were in out of LOS of Stormwall. Then my McThralls started to clip away some additional souls for Terminus, even the Withershadow got into the fun grabbing another couple of souls. All said and done Dragon’s Call had netted me 8 souls, and I was camping on ARM 30. The remaining Raiders on the Far Side charged into the far R of Stormwall, the Centurion, and the objective. I usd my mini-feat and did a bit of damage to everything, good for a couple more points of Feedback on Darius. Lastly, I walked Seether thru the Covering fire and did some more damage to Stormwall. I still controlled the zone for CP #2, feeling good about where I was I turned the dice over to Pat. He decided he had to get into the zone, as I suspected he would. Used the a Stormsmith to clear the three McThralls in front of Stormwall out, and made room for him to toe in the zone. He decided to not use his guns this turn and sweep attack on the models on his L side. Centurion also got in the mix, on full focus, he charged the Seether, and did a bunch of damage, but was unable to scrap him or take out any meaningful systems; but the zone was contested. Lastly, Darius activated and fully healed both his jacks with his feat (boo…)
On my turn, surveying the battlefield, Pat was getting low on clock and everything had gone accordingly to plan at this point. I now had 12 focus and was relatively out of the game, being on the far L flank. I had two choices, charge Stormwall and see what I do with Big T and the rest of my McThralls, since covering fire was not down this turn, or face tank Darius who is already damaged, and dare him to go for it with Stormwall and the Warcaster. I liked that option better. I started with the Seether, I threw Centurion out of the zone, to force him to spend two focus to get back to me. I charged the Stormwall with about 8 McThralls, combo striking for a bunch of damage on him, taking him down to a little less than half. I cleaned up the last Ranger with Withershadow, and then ran Terminus to behind Stormwall out of Reach and into melee range with Darius. I was able to get a few more Raiders engaged to the Centurion. Dice back to Pat, Darius was looking at the Abomination at ARM 30, and decided that he no longer felt compelled to save his Colossal, and moved the Fortify to Darius (more on that later), and camped the rest. Stormwall took some shots on some support pieces but was unable to hit needing 8’s, and the Centurion got some hot dice hitting with both his attacks on the Raiders clearing his path for next turn.
I received the dice back, I had four and half minutes left and Pat had flipped the clock back to me with only 28 seconds left on his own clock. I looked at Darius, he was ARM 23 at the time, now that I was down to my usual allotment of Focus (6), even with my debuff, I decided that it was not worth it to blow and assassination run on Darius if the dice didn’t cooperate; in my experience dice minus 5 is a tricky proposition on damage with a Warcaster that has a good amount of damage boxes. As such, I decided to take the Stormwall out this turn. I used my Corbeau move to move Terminus backwards into melee range of Stormwall to get him in Malediction debuff range, and now the unbuffed Colossal was a paltry ARM 17. The McThralls activated and were able to scrap the Stormwall, leaving a huge wreckmarker. As I myself was getting low on time, I didn’t do much else with the turn, and took CP #3 before turning the dice back over to Pat. Darius was out of options and all but conceding the match. He gave a focus to the Centurion, who ran into the zone next to the Seether, and Pat clicked the clock back over to me with 8 seconds left on his time.
Knowing it was over, I opted not to swing on Darius again and risk losing a game I had been in strong control of, moved Terminus back into the zone then clicked the clock back to Pat; with only too little time left, his clock went dry, and Terminus declared another tourney victory!
After reviewing the game, as we always do, we talked about meaningful activations when a clock is running down and ultimately realized that Pat had an illegal buff on Darius. Fortify is for a battlegroup Warjack, and could not have been put on Darius (obviously changing how I handle that decision to assassinate). Good news is that the game ended as it should have, and we didn’t lament any unfortunate oversight that changed the outcome of a final table at a SR, at that we shook on a great game and another fun tournament at Dragon’s Den…
In some reflections of the event, I realized a few things that are really important going into SR 2013 season. The Scenarios originally seemed like they would be ‘hard’ to win needing so many CPs, however, the interaction of Dominating and Warcasters inability to contest makes for an unexpected quick sequence of events that scores points. My feeling, walking away from this experience, is to take the opportunity score points in most cases, even above removing models in certain situations. I would suggest keeping the scenario on the forefront of your mind all the time, and consider how you can score each turn when scoring is available.
Additionally, make a concerted effort to know what your opponents stuff does, even if you don’t know, look at the card. Unless you’re 100% sure you know what something does, check again. It would have been an uncomfortable end if that misuse of Fortify had cost me the game; both for my opponent and me. Oversights happen, we all do it, try to mitigate it as best you can.
Also, Cycling upkeeps late game is an artform :). Remember to move your buffs around, especially as they expire. Things like Admonition mean different things early in the game than late.
Lastly, not in a game that I played, but in events I have played in recently, I have seen some player disputes (not hostile) where the people involved tried to work something out, and one person was left with an unsatisfactory feeling. I always urge you to simply get the TO involved, and be willing to live with the decision they make. I promise you’ll feel better about the results of discrepancy when it’s all said and done (even if it doesn’t go your way).
Looking forward to another sweet tourney season, hope to see you across a table soon!