DOGC Announces Boost for a Cure 2015!!!

Boost for a Cure is back in 2015!!!

Our fourth annual fundraiser returns once again and we look forward to your help in making this year even better! In the past three years we have raised nearly $7000 in donations to charities in honor of those members of our community. This year in our fourth year we want to top $10,000 lifetime goal!

This year’s charity will benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in honor of our own Walter Johnson. Walter is an original member of DOGC and he is moving with his wife back to southern California to start his family. While we will miss him greatly we appreciate all he has done in his time with DOGC.

As this year’s honoree he has selected the charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and our door prize! Walter, as many of you know is an avid Protectorate of Menoth player, so for this year’s door prize we will give away a NIB Anson Durst army!!!

DETAILS:

~ Entry Fee $30 – Includes Lunch, the welcome bag, and the entry to the door prize!

~ Pre – Reg tickets as in previous year sold through our PayPal to darkomenclub@gmail.com

~Tournament – 50 Point SR, 2 List D&C (1), Death Clock

~ Registration starts at 9 AM – Dice roll at 10 AM!! (Yes Zosia, Trevvy, and co. dice ROLL at 10, we don’t show up at 10)

~ Location – Gamer’s Gambit in Danbury. Some of you may remember the venue from last year’s DOI. We are moving it from our location the past two years to lower expenses in order to hit our fundraising goals; we want the most dollars possible to go to the charity! We will be using the large open retail space next door to Gamers Gambit.

~Food all day, and as per usual proceeds go to the charity

As always Raffles Prizes are a big part of what we do, and will be announced in the weeks leading up to the event, so follow the event page for more details as we get closer to the event!!!

BE SURE TO PRE -REG!!! This event has sold out EVERY year, and last year completely sold out in days!!!

DOGC Repeats as New England Team Tournament Champions!!!

For the second time in as many years, DOGC is NETT Champions! This year’s team was again captained by Anthony Ferraiolo, with Alex Buganski as 1st Lieutenant and Steve Sharnick as 2nd Lieutenant. Anthony switched to Cryx earlier this year, while Steve and Alex were both running Cygnar. The competition this year would be even more difficult than a year ago; not only does the event keep expanding to its’ largest size ever, it also was not part of Captain Con the best new convention in the North East, that garnered over 250 unique attendees playing Warmachine! Here is the lists and battle reports in the players own words…

 

Lists

 

Captain – Anthony Ferraiolo – Cryx

 

“I was comfortable in my lists, and had been playing them since Cause for Paws last month; I was thinking (in general) Denny vs Warmachine and G3 vs Hordes; creating enough matchup problems that my opponents could use their Team Feat and I would still be solid even in uphill battles.”

 

eDenny

Nightmare

Deathripper x2

Bane Calv (full)

Soul Hunters (full)

Satyxis Raiders (full) w/ UA

Blood Witches (full) w/ UA

 

eShade3

Harrower

Deathripper

Blackbanes (full)

Mech Thrall (min) w/ UA

Necrosurgeon

Soul Hunters (full)

Darrage Wrathe

Aiakos

Leviathan

Wraith Machine

 

~~~~~~~~~~

1st Lieutenant – Alex Buganski – Cygnar

 

“I was in the 2nd spot, the 1st Lt, and I went 3-2. Which while worse than last year I am still proud about my showing since I had five great games against five great players and the two games I lost were close. I was playing Cygnar and here are my two lists:”

 

ECaine

-Ol’Rowdy

-Squire

Lt. Allison Jakes

-Hunter

Reinholdt

Gorman

Eiryss2

Stormsmith

Boomhowlers

Aiyanna and Holt

Arcane Tempest Gun Mages w/ UA

Black 13th

 

EHaley

-Stormclad (bonded)

-Thorn

-Squire

Jr

Eiryss1

Anastasia

Nyss Hunters

Arcane Tempest Gun Mages w/ UA

Sliver Line StormGuard

 

~~~~~~~~~

2nd Lieutenant – Steve “Red Steve” Sharnick

 

Steve was also playing Cygnar, he did not decide on his two lists until very near the start of the event! Here is what he finally decided to play:

 

Caine2

Captain Allister Caine – WJ: +5

– Squire

– Ol’ Rowdy – PC: 9

 

Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator – PC: 1

Journeyman Warcaster – PC: 3

Alexia, Mistress of the Witchfire – PC: 4

Thrall Warrior – PC: 0

Viktor Pendrake – PC: 2

Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord – PC: 2

Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist – PC: 2

Eiryss, Angel of Retribution – PC: 3

 

Rangers – Leader & Grunts: 5

Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 6

– Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer – Officer 2

Greygore Boomhowler & Co. – Boomhowler and 9 Grunts: 9

Horgenhold Forge Guard – Leader & 5 Grunts: 5

 

Kraye

Captain Jeremiah Kraye – WJ: +6

– Squire

– Minuteman – PC: 5

– Minuteman – PC: 5

– Stormwall – PC: 19

– Lightning Pod

 

Stormsmith Stormcaller – PC: 1

Stormsmith Stormcaller – PC: 1

Stormsmith Stormcaller – PC: 1

Journeyman Warcaster – PC: 3

Captain Arlan Strangewayes – PC: 2

 

 

Rangers – Leader & Grunts: 5

Lady Aiyana & Master Holt – Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt: 4

Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 6

– Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer – Officer 2

~~~~~~~~~~

 

Round 1:  vs The Corpse Tokens

Scenario: Close quarters

Summaries:

 

Captain: vs Circle

“My opponent had pKrueger in his list pair, and I don’t recall his other Warlock, but I had no doubts on who I was getting dropped against me; I decided to go with Goreshade. He is who I prefer against Hordes most of the time anyway. The game plan was to get pressure on Krueger quickly, and get the Feat out as soon as possible so I didn’t have to worry about it late. Mostly the plan worked, and I was able to get up into his grill quickly as well as take out a stone with a Soul Hunter charge (meaning no more teleport!). After a piece trade, I felt I was ahead, and Krueger came forward to swing the tide with his Feat and went down to 1 Fury, casting Earth’s Blessing on himself to finish his turn. As a Circle player you would think I would know what that does. So I had Shade burn his Feat in attempt to assassinate Krueger. That obviously didn’t work (thanks to the Animus), fortuntaely when I realized that it wasn’t going to work, I was able to go into damage control. Luckily there was a rocky out clove I was able to keep Shade behind. Following turn Krueger went all in to try and capitalize on the error but Megalith (with Lightning Tendrils) couldn’t reach Goreshade over the impassable terrain. Having survived the failed counter assassination, Shade was able to charge in and finish the Warlock. I was fortunate to survive that one!”

 

1st Lt.: vs Cygnar

“I was playing a local CT player, Ben Adams. He had Siege in his list pair, so I knew I was getting him; I decided I would counter with eCaine. I also knew there would be a lot of killing in this contest so I wanted to make sure that I was threatening his flag and controlling the wall in the center with Rowdy and the Hunter. Both of our units of Boomhowlers were deployed next each other on my left with his gun mages there as well, I would be relying on Heightened Reflexes and 4+ tough to save me (which it did). My Gun Mages and Black 13th were on the right across from his Storm Blades. First turn he ran and so did I but I was able to snipe out Boomhowler with the Hunter; thank god for 14″ and AD! He moved up and killed some of my Gun Mages and put Fox Hole on his Stormblades. I countered by using Ryan of the B13th along with Gorman for some nice AOE damage to take out the unit; then my Boomhowlers killed his. We continued to kill each other but he was losing out on attrition and while we were both starting to score points. He used Siege to Force Hammer Rowdy away from the flag that I had ran to control, dropping him to two focus and I took the opportunity to assassinate as we were both on our flags and he was too close not to try. I went with Jakes, Jr and Hunter to kill his JR to drop Arcane Shield, then two Gun Mages, Watts and Caine teamed up to kill Siege with the help of my Feat. I was the first one done but both Steve and Ant looked to be in good shape.”

 

 

2nd LT: vs Skorne

“I was facing Makeda2; in her list was a Titan, savage, Molik Karn, Cetrati, Nihilators, Hakkaar, and support. I decided to drop eCaine figuring he was best in this matchup due to ability to super solo and high damage output on demand. I was able to get first turn and jam up the board. A big Moment in the game was when Gorman survived a CMA from a pair of Cetrati after he successfully blinded some of them to slow them from getting to my zone. The blind bomb allowed Caine and Rowdy to clear off most of the remaining unit. After Gorman survived the CMA, he was able to blind the Titan and Karn for two consecutive turns. Once the piece trade happened and the blind bomb helped me hold up and clear the zone, I set the line of engagement so Boomhowler was able to Rage Howl and hold the line so that Caine could continue killing stuff while dominating the flag. Eventually I was able to kill the Cyclops which allowed, Caine to Feat and RFP Molik Karn leaving Makeda with no transfer target, so I was able to finish off Makeda.”

 

 

Round 2: vs Granite State Irregulars

Scenario: Fire Support

 

Captain: vs Cygnar

“Originally we agreed to Team Feat before this round to swap Steve and I to get me into the matchup with the Troll player who was boasting a rough matchup for Steve in the 3rd spot. My opposing Captain was Ben Cort, I lost the die roll, and still decided to use our Team Feat as planned (which in hindsight was a silly thing to do, as they would obviously have to Feat back), and Ben astutely counter Feated to swap the matchups back.

So Ben and I would re-match; honestly I didn’t have a great matchup for what I knew he would drop, which was eHaley. Last time we played I was list locked into Goreshade3, and this time I had a choice. I opted to go with Denny2, figuring I would get up field and faster with Denny2 and use my Wraith ability to stop the assassination. Well, the first part of the plan was easy, run at the opposing army and hope the opposing dice cooperated. Unfortunately I lost a bit more than I wanted to, but I was able to force Haley to Feat, allowing me to Counter Feat and full camp. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get as much in the Feat as I wanted, so my Incoporeal was not able to save me from the assassination. Good news is I was able to keep the game going long enough that both of my Teammates had won before my game was over, so that part of the plan went off without a hitch! Thanks to my teammates for carrying me through to round 3, and grats to Ben for handing me my first (and only) loss ever in NETT.”

 

1st LT: vs Legion

“This game was against Greg Fournier; matchup would be eHaley vs eThags. I knew off the bat that I was going to go straight for scenario. I deployed my Nyss on my left and my Stormguard and ATGM on the right. We both ran and I took some pot shots. His second turn he brought his Raptors up, on my right, and tried to kill a few Stormguard. My turn I started with Haley and gave one Focus to each jack. I ran Thorn then Halely activated moved slightly forward, gave Dead Eye to the Mages and TK his Ravagore to face backwards and then Feated. My Nyss then ran engaging a few beasts and preventing him from getting to my flag. My Stormclad ran to the flag. My Gun Mages killed 4 Raptors (yay Dead Eye!), and then the Stormguard charged in killing the last one as well as put 13 points on the objective. Junior walked up and also shot the objective, killing it, and then Anastasia ran into contact with the flag giving me three points. With my feat up Greg wasn’t able to get much into contesting the flag even with the use of his feat.  On my turn I just used the ATGM to push the Angelius that he did position to contest  and then ran Haley to dominate the flag for the win. I then turned to Ant just to watch him lose, but fortunately Steve was well ahead closing out his game at the end of this round; on to round 3!”

 

2nd LT: vs Trolls

“I was facing Dave playing Trolls, and he opted not to go with the list I was more worried about, instead dropping Grim 2. He had a Bomber, Pyre, Fenns, Warders, Scatter Gunners, and other stuff I forget.. :). I dropped Kraye; opening up with Full Tilt on Stormwall, with Minutemen along side so they could both threaten the Fens and Bombers next turn, the rest of my force ran for position. Trolls opted not to drop a bunch of shots, but instead run to cover the board and be in the scenario.  In response I dropped covering fire with Stormwall and boosted a lot of shots into the Bomber and leave it with a couple of hit boxes. Then I had Ayiana Kiss the Fenns, and with a pod and Stormcalls do a number on the. I start pushing warders back with ATGM. Next turn I lose some Gun Mages and a Ranger, and the Minuteman as the Trolls crash my lines. Next Turn I finish off the Bomber and Warders, clear out the Fens, kill objective start so I can start scoring. He can’t respond, thus I win on scenario!”

 

 

Round 3: vs Team Muse

Scenario: Destruction

 

Captain: vs Cryx

“Seeing as I was not pulling my weight at all to this point in the day, and now I was facing one of the national champions from Australia at the helm of Team Muse, I knew I was time to kick it up a notch if we had any plans on repeating. My opponent (who just happens to be my new best friend in W/M) Aaron Wale, was playing eLiche2 and pDenny. I assumed I was going to get Liche as most often in the mirror that’s what my opponents have done. I was going with eDenny, I was right about Aaron choosing Liche; bad news was I lost the roll to go first. Liche’s opening moves were not very aggressive, so I took strong board position, and was able to run an Arc Node far enough forward to Hellmouth a Bane and catch Gorman. Following turn Liche layered his forces in, and prepared for impact, however he only was able to get about a half dozen models to the zone. On my turn, I crashed home, cleared the zone and Feated on the whole of the opposing Cryx force, and finished by scrapping the objective; three points to me. Aaron’s following turn he wasn’t able to do much but get the Hell Diver in the zone. I charged it with Denny and was able to use Dark Banishment to clear the zone again, winning the game on scenario. Glad to get a win in a contest like this! Having known Steve got Nigel out on the top of 2, we were on to the semi finals!”

 

 

1st LT: : vs Menoth

“I was playing John DeMaris from Muse and the matchup was High Reclaimer vs eHaley. This was a great game. His list was built for EHaley (thanks Keith) and with the amount of clouds he was getting down I was not getting much done. I had to feat first turn or face getting overrun and I used the opportunity to time bomb his stuff, kill the objective and get up quickly 3-0. I put John in the position that he had to kill my jacks and flood the zone to prevent me winning which he was able to do. He kept putting Knights Exemplar and Paladins in the zone and I was not able to kill all of them, or any of them for that matter. It came down to him up 4-3 with me only having Haley and the Squire left so I went for a wonky assassination that had almost a 000.2 % of working, which it didn’t, so John won on scenario. Thankfully Ant and Steve were able to pick up my slack so we still advanced.”

 

2nd LT: vs Khador

 

“This round I was paired against Nigel playing Khador and his Ocean’s 18 pSorcha vs eCaine. Nigel runs into position right away putting Sorscha behind wall on left side and his stuff up to woods on right. I put Heightened Reflexes on Boomhowlers move Caine up an inch or two and the rest of the force to the right further away from Scorcha then Magic Bullet a Gun Mage. Camp 2, and have Jr. put Arcane Shield on Caine. Had Ranger run to within 4” of Eiryss, I shoot him with Gun Mage and the subsequent Magic Bullet kills Eiryss. I felt pretty safe Sorscha could get up on attrition but not assassinate me; as with the wall and rough terrain in the way meant she needs to burn everything to actually try for it. Just didn’t seem like Nigel would go for it given the risk/reward of the situation. Turns out I was wrong, Nigel goes Boundless Charge on Sorscha and Behemoth, Wind Rush up, charges and pops Feat to get most of my army. Next he Power Boosted Behemoth who then charges his own Gorman to get max distance and in range of Caine, he hits twice, boosts one damage roll and does one non-boosted damage roll; does about 10 damage, failing to kill Caine. Fortunately, nothing else had Caine in range so the rest of his turn he spent killing random models. Caine shakes, feats and kills Sorscha… (ed. note: Nigel apparently hasn’t seen an assassination attempt he doesn’t like!).”

 

 

Round 4: vs Dark Omen Too

Scenario: Two Fronts

 

 

Captain: vs Khador

“Amazing that in the semi finals of NETT, two of the remaining three undfeated teams were both DOGC! Unfortunately we would be playing our own brethren in this round.

Shane and I have played a number of times leading up to NETT and Captain Con, so we were well versed in what this matchup would be. Shane, assessing the situation and knowing that he had not played his pVlad list yet on the day opted to go a different direction. He felt that even if he dropped his eSorscha, he might still lose the game; furthermore he believed his teammates were in VERY strong matchups with Alex against Meat Mountain, and a likely Lucant match for Steve; both ugly for Cygnar. So pVlad it was, he was gambling to ensure if his team won he would have his best list in the Finals; a well played and courageous decision by the captain. In Two Fronts, I did indeed drop Denny, and I was not able to get first turn this game either. With Conquest and Behemoth, my whole game plan was to win on scenario. Shane ran his army out as best he could to make sure scenario wasn’t a foregone conclusion; I also went up the board quickly. Used my pieces to pin the Khador force back and mostly  off their own zone. The objective was an unwitting ally for me keeping the Colossal at bay. Next turn, Shane did what he could to get into the zone with the IFP. It wasn’t enough, with Curse of Shadows, and my speedy units, I was able to clear the zone, killing Behemoth and Feat on most of his force to score 3. On the following turn, Shane ran Vlad to the zone with Malakov and a couple of remaining mechanics that were all not in the Feat. Denny came forward and dropped a Hellmouth to clear the Mechanics and was even able to one shot Malekov; for a quick end to the game. Now to see if Shane’s gambit would work, checking in on my teammates.”

 

1st LT: vs Trolls

“This match against our own teammates and I get our friend Stu playing Meat Mountain! I had a feeling this was coming. I was able to duck Stu the entire time I was in Ireland and was hoping that I wouldn’t have to play him especially since I wasn’t playing Stryker which sucked. But here we were, in round 4 and I needed to make the most of it. So little advice to Cygnar players, Meat Mountain suuuuucksss, and I would say our best options are Stryker and Siege. I played Haley because with Time Bomb, TK, my feat and Gun Mages it lets me delay the engagement and try to screw with him as much as posssible; which is what I did. Stu did exactly what I thought he would, one unit of Warders and Champs to each side and Mulg and the Axer in the middle with the stone behind them. So I used the Gun Mages one the left to push his Warders around and the Silver Line in front of them to deny charges. On the left I used the Nyss Hunters in full 10 man CRA to pick off a Warder coupled with Eiryss’ Death Bolt. I used Thorn to slow the Warders down and the Stormclad to kill them. Now this game probably goes well for me if I feat turn 2, I keep Anastasia and probably wipe the units on the right earlier but I FORGOT TO FEAT (yeah buddy)!! Well Stu made me pay, killed Anastasia, hurt Thorn and pretty much wiped out the Silver Line. I responded by Feating, and killing some stuff; unfortunately he killed more. I then killed Mulg and the stone but had left Haley open to Grissel and he got in there and killed me. But once again Ant and Steve cleaned up my mess.”

 

2nd LT: vs Convergence

“We had a weird list chicken at the start of this game with both of us playing a list the other wasn’t expecting. Matt ended up playing Iron Mother (and not Lucant) with Axium, Corollary, Mitigator, 7x Diffuser, min Reductor, and repair stuff (list on Captain Con episode of F2F).This was a match I was not looking forward to, seeing as we both counter guessed incorrectly, it ended up in an assassin duel. Basically I start well with my positioning, however a mistake cost me Boomhowler (after I changed my mind with Rowdy’s final spot). I had a chance to get Mother around turn 4, but I botched the activation order and turns out I was out of range with Caine; fortunately I was able to Gate Crash to safety with Caine; in retrospect I should have just jammed the lines. Same turn I had also successfully Black Oiled the Axiom which Alexia was blocking from getting into zone. Following turn Mother goes Feats, casts some spells and fires her gun. Then that nasty Diffuser group goes; I lose a lot but he doesn’t move Mother away, and luckily leaves Eiryss alive (but engaged in melee) and I still had a couple of Gun Mages and the Squire.. Caine took some damage that turn, and I was running out of pieces; so I feat and go for it. The remaining ATGM push a couple models and clear Eiryss; the Mage Hunter aims and clips Mother dropping the focus, and it’s go time with Caine. Needing 6 to hit missed a bunch attacks (oh dear), last damage roll needed a 6, get it and somehow we advance!!!”

 

 

Round 5: vs Team Ontario

Scenario: Incursion

 

Captain: vs Cryx

“My first game against Tim Banky, and I have to say he is not only a great player but a great part of the community and a real boon to the budding Canadian meta! We were playing mirror warcasters, and I was fairly certain he was going to run G3. I really didn’t want to the exact mirror match game, so I decided to zerg and go with eDenny. On the surface this seemed like a bad matchup as my Incorporeal would save me nothing; turns out that is exactly true! However, I was very concerned that my match was going to be pivotal in this championship bout, so I wasn’t about to tuck and run. Banky jammed his Kraken down my throat quick on the opening turn. However, I wasn’t able to get any charges on him in retaliation (thanks to his strong positioning), so I tried to keep my pieces ready to counter hard next turn. I opted not to Feat, which proved to be a pivotal decision as I felt I wasn’t going to get enough to warrant it, and could possibly die to assassination anyway. Next turn Kraken crashes home and cripples the Nightmare. and with most of the rest of his force out of real threat, he doesn’t do a ton of other damage, but closes ranks quickly. I follow up by Feating on my turn and catching nearly all of his army; the fact that everything had closed in meant that I also got to use the Feat offensively. So I did a ton of damage on this turn, cleared out all of the Soul Hunters save for one way in the back, (outside of Darrage Wrathe Command), and locked in the arc node; lastly putting a bunch of damage on Kraken. Bad news was I didn’t get Goreshade. However, I was able to lock enough in where next turn Banky couldn’t muster an assassination turn. The game started to turn back to me from this point on; next turn I finished off Kraken and Goreshade was forced to back off and regroup. Denny took position behind a nearby wall and was able to clear a bunch of models off the table leaving Shade mostly alone. This forced G3 to come forward and try to mount the comeback my himself; however he wasn’t enough and was overwhelmed next turn. Looking to my teammates it turned out we had already swept 3-0 to repeat as NETT Champions!!!”

 

1st LT: vs Menoth

“My opponent, Chris, was running an interesting Feora list using four jacks including the Judicator. I got lucky that he had quite a bit of rough terrain on his side of the board, with two pieces of rough terrain off-centered from the center flag. I deployed as I normally do with my eCaine list, with the Boomhowlers on the left and Gun Mages on the right. He had two of his jacks on my right and his Vanquisher on my left. He ran and I ran to open the game; I tried to snipe out the Monolith Bearer in his Zealots unit but I failed to hit boosted 7s. The flag on the right disappeared and he tried to engage everything. He did serious damage to the Hunter but not the Boomhowlers as they stuck around with their 4+ tough. His Vanquisher was stuck in the rough terrain even with running and Escort. I started my turn by using Jakes to Energize the Hunter and move him to contact the flag since he couldn’t run because his movement was out; stupid Zealot grenades! I used the boomhowlers to engage the Vanquisher and prevent the movement of the Zealots to the flag, I love medium bases!! I used Eiryss to move within 5″ of all the other jacks and deny them focus and then shoot his Vanquisher for a little extra insurance. The Gun Mages took pot shots at the jacks and the Black 13th dropped a Mage Storm on some Zealots for next turn when they weren’t invulnerable. I moved Caine into a position behind a wall and close enough to move to the flag next turn; making it 1-0. With the Boomhowlers in the way having 4+ tough with Heightened Reflexes, and no Focus for the jacks, Chris couldn’t get anything to the flag; I went up 2-0 on his turn. Bad news was my Hunter was on fire and he died on my turn; that tough little jack. So on my turn I killed as many Zealots as I could, put Arcane Shield on Caine, blocked in the Vanquisher and moved Caine to the far flag scoring up to 4-0. At this point Chris had to go for an assassination but he couldn’t free up the Vanquisher, he was able to kill Eiryss and Feat focus back to his Judicator to shoot Caine but that only did a few points. I was on fire but even a box cars wouldn’t kill Caine, but the Vanquisher was able to move within four inches. So I used Aiyanna and Gorman for a -4 armor swing and feated with Caine to take the jack off the table and win on scenario with another domination. Just as I finished up Steve won with an assassination so it was time to break out the whiskey!!!”

 

 

2nd LT: vs Cygnar

“My Finals opponent was Dustin playing Cygnar; he ran Haley2 with StormWall, Squire, Rangers, Gun Mages, Storm Blades, Junior, Victor Pendrake, and some other stuff. Cygnar mirror match for me means Caine2. He runs stuff up on the opening turn; I run as well, put blur on the Gun Mages, Arcane Shield on Boomhowlers, Magic Bullet a Ranger to bounce off Stormwall into something but missed. Chris takes the dice, pops Feat, however Stormwall whiffs, and Boomies tough. Under feat I Black Oil my own Boomie to catch Stormwall, then Rage Howl. Caine cast Magic Bullet on himself twice and shoots Stormwall a bunch to bounce into Haley; does 8ish damage. Alexia grabbed a couple of Souls during the Feat, so she was loaded up for my counter next turn. He is able to get Haley to far flag to dominate next turn, and kill Alexia. Rowdy knocked down Gorman  who survived a non boosted pod and stormcall (his lucky day!!!). I decide to go for Magic Bullet assassination. I hit Haley with Jr somehow and do some damage, then Eyriss hits for a couple points. Unfortunately Gorman missed Black Oil on her which deviated onto a Stormblade. Caine charges my own Forge Guard and uses his Second shot into Stormwall with Magic Bullet, but just short of the 4”. After assessing and not wanting to blow the assassination, I realize I can shoot my own Stormblad that was black oiled. Magic Bullet myself again, buy a shot and this time get Haley with Magic Bullet Damage… let the drinking ensue!!!”

 

~~~~~~~~~~

 

What a weekend for DOGC at Captain Con, with 4 players qualifying for Masters, and Anthony ultimately winning; repeating as NETT Champions was the crowning achievement!!! Red Steve is MVP for this year’s run going undefeated leading the team to the title from the 2nd LT spot; and to the victors go the spoils and another year holding on to the historic trophy!!!

 

NETT Champions 2014 – Back to Back!!!

Hardcore Win at TempleCon – Anthony Rides the Goat to Another Title

The Hardcore at this year’s TempleCon was quite literally, round by round, the best test and set of games in one tournament that I have played to this point in my competitive Warmachine career. I played against five truly great opponents with some exceptional lists, and was able to run the gauntlet to the top. I’m still quite amazed at the accomplishment given the challenge; this one will be one that I am proud of for a long, long time.

 

Leading up to TempleCon I had started to grow curious about how my eMorvhana list would perform in the Hardcore format. I took it to a tourney in the NYC area and was able to come out successful and feeling good about the list in the format. As such, I resolved that if I was able to qualify for Masters before Saturday of the Con, I was going to make a run at Hardcore. As it would turn out, I was fortunate to be able to get out to a quick start and qualify on Thursday, so on Saturday I broke out my eMorvy and made a go.

 

The 2014 Hardcore format, much like 2013 really pressures players to push their lists into the middle and play; my particular build can do a great job of getting to the center of the board making my opponent make difficult decisions quickly while my pieces are bearing down on the opposing lines. Also the heavy recursion mechanic in the build also bodes well for pushing more models back into the zone as well as really putting a lot of pressure on my opponents to keep up with the model trade. My list has not changed from it’s original version throughout the whole run, and in case your not familiar with it:

 

eMorvahna

Feral

Wold Guardian

Tharn Ravagers (full) w/ WA & UA

Skin Walkers (full) w/ UA

Wolves of Orboros (full) w/ UA

Stones w/ UA

Gallows Grove x 2

 

With my history of playing Cryx in Hardcore, I do not have trouble getting through a lot of activations quickly, so I am comfortable with the amount of models. The significant difference with this compared to my past experience is the number of additional die rolls this list makes with the multiple attacks, buying attacks, and re-rolls. So learning how much  to push things and when to use all the extra resources was the hard part. Fortunately I have had a lot of opportunity to play the list over the past 8 or 9 months, so I had a pretty good handle of what is needed and when. However, given the level of competition I would see in this event, I would need to muster all the skill I had.

 

 

Round 1: vs eButcher2 (tier)

Synopsis: There are a few matchups I really don’t want to see with my eMorvy list and after I surveyed the field before the event, there was a couple of lists I definitely wanted to avoid. At the very top of the list was Tom Hoffman, the defending TempleCon Hardcore Champion and his Doom Reaver spam list. The Doom Reavers can one shot my Ravagers, and, even worse, on a charge can one shot my Skin Walkers as well. Moreover Berserk means they are doing more work per model than one model normally would. I narrowly escaped it when I faced it at GenCon in Masters and in a condensed time format it would be decidedly worse being that it’s so well suited to pick me apart. So who do you think I get in the first round? … Tom Hoffman it was. The last time that Tom and I played it was TempleCon 2012 and also my first ever competitive Warmachine game at a Con. Certainly a lot has changed since then, and Tom and I have had some good banter back and forth about the eMorvahna/eButcher matchup. So while I’m not relishing this matchup in the opening round, I’m excited to have a go against an awesome player like Tom.

 

Going into the game, as I said earlier, I felt that Tom had a list advantage and to make matters worse he had first turn. There was a forest in the middle of the board that was going to impact the game; I had more Ravagers than he had Man Hunters. So I was hoping this would slow down the Doom Reaver rush enough to keep me in the game long enough that my Feat would put me over the top late. So on the opening turn the opposing line came blazing up the board, with Fenris bringing up the rear on my right side of the forest, and Butcher holding down the left of the forest in the rear guard. The Doom Reavers were funneling around the forest and creating layers in a strong positional set up by Tom; it would only allow me to deal with the front line. Getting the dice on the opening turnI made a quick decision to sacrifice my Stones and use them as Death Knell beacons to clear the front Doom Reavers allowing me to spring into the second line. I focused on the R side first as I had a wall on my near side for Morvhana to hug (benefits of going second). I dropped one Stone out in between four of the nearest Doom Reavers. I used the Stone Keeper to Rock Hammer (targeting the Stone) damaging the two nearest Doom Reavers, thanks to re-rolls. Then I was able to drop a Death Knell (through a Gallows Grove) to clear the other two. Then I sprung two Ravagers over and a Skinwalker into the next line to clear another half dozen Doom Reavers, leaving Reach models blocking my rear lines. The WoO on the left launched forward with the help of another Ravager to clear about five more off that side and one Man Hunter. I was not unhappy, but not feeling great, as the first turn of real damage was about to come my way, I knew Tom was going to get the most out of every model.

 

On turn two, the lone Warjack in Butchers battle group started to come forward, around the left side of the tree, and I lost my front swath of troops to the oncoming Doom Reaver charge. Turns out the front row of reach troops and distance I left between my models meant the Doom Reaver horde  was not able to reach further into my lines. Bad news was Man Hunters were pressing off the left forest seeing right through and Fenris astutely set to counter anything I did and threatening to win the game on the Feat. When I got the dice back I presumed Butcher’s Feat was coming next turn, so I wanted to get as much off the board as possible to limit the damage it would do, but I also needed to protect a few pieces so I could Feat to gain the upper hand. I started with a similar move as last time, dropped another stone forward on the right side to clear more models with the same combo used in the prior turn only being this time Morvahna was close enough to move out cast at the stone and Light Calv back. With the path clear three more Skinwalkers were able to get into the Doom Reavers and clear about five more. Then the Ravagers got into the mix and cleaned up about another half dozen models, and the WoO were also able to get forward and take out another six themselves. Bad news was my force was mostly completely exposed to the Doom Reavers at this point, good news was the horde of maniacs running at me was down below half of it’s starting numbers. Most importantly I was able have one model in each of my units safely tucked back; now I was  hoping my positioning was good enough that I wouldn’t lose a whole unit. With a deep breath I turned the dice over to Tom bracing for the Feat incoming.

 

Tom did in fact Feat this turn, and was able to dig all the way to the my rear lines after the Feat move with a few important models. He was able to get my Stone Keeper, my last Gallows Grove, my WoO UA, and both my Ravager attachments (using his Juggernaut to do so). I still had a few models in each unit left, including a couple Ravagers and about four of the WoO unit and one Skinwalker left. It was a decisive turn by Khador, I would be able to Feat my models back but I would only have limited models that could actually attack on my turn; this was my fear entering the game, would I be able to do enough with the active models I had left to limit his retaliation on the follow up turn. If this turn went well, my hope was I would put myself into position to start getting Pressure Points next turn. So I started with Morvahna, killed the nearest Doom Reaver engaging her. Moved Carnivore to the WoO as there was more of them left alive (and thus more able to attack and leverage the healing on Morvy), and then Feated down to a single HP to bring back 15 models that I had lost including bringing the Skinwalkers and Ravagers back up to full.The Feral trampled about three Doom Reavers to land next to Fenris, doing enough damage to dismount him, and hitting all of his attacks on the Trample. Then the WoO activated to clear the way for the Wold Guardian (and heal Morvahna back up to about half life), I was able to get my heavy beast into the Juggernaut to bring him down to barely functional. Then the remaining Ravagers charged and finished off the Jack. Feeling good about this turn, I had already survived eButcher’s Feat, and pulled ahead after my Feat; I was feeling like I was finally ahead in the game having the only two heavies left on the board.

 

The next turn was Butcher’s first to really get into the game. His resources were limited, and dwindling but he began to level the playing field with Lola. He came into the forest to clear a number of Ravagers, and his remaining force started to clear out what was engaging them as they had now been jammed in place by models Morvahna brought back with the Feat. Fenris was able to do some damage to the Feral, but not nearly enough.When the turn was over, there was only a single model in the zone besides Butcher; this meant I had an opportunity to start to put damage on Butcher with a Pressure Point. I took the dice and used my remaining pieces to clear all the remaining models besides Butcher. I trampled Wold Guardian into the zone however, was not able to put a scratch on the Warcaster. I was able to Control the zone scoring the first Pressure Point meaning Butcher would eat five points of damage.

 

With no models left and a heavy in the zone, Butcher had to deal with the Wold that was in his face, so he went to town on the beast dispatching him; and realizing that I still had the Feral and a few pieces left, Tom decided to blow the rest of his stack to clear as many models as he could reach. taking another five damage because I was still controlling the zone. I took the dice back knowing that if I moved Morvahna to dominate the zone, it would only take a few points of damage on Butcher to end the game. So I charged with the remaining WoO UA that I had feated back and as fortune would have it, they still had the mini feat! So I popped it and landed what would be enough damage to end the game once Morvahna moved into the zone. So Tom and I shook on an awesome game played! This was a monster win to get in the opening round of the tournament, and I was happy to be on to the second round!

 

 

 

Round 2: vs Gorten

Synopsis: In my second round I faced the fifth international player I had played on the weekend to that point He and I had played before, at TempleCon 2013 in the team tournament. He was playing Gorten then as well. However, since that time the Earthbreaker had come out. This really was a huge issue for me because He has the Auto KD on the two main guns, and normally I would keep myself immune to blast damage by staying B2B with the Wold Guardian, however with the Quake shot that would only make it easier to KD Morvahna and lose the game. That said there was also limited time to react and I was going to have to pay special attention to how close I got to the Colossal. I didn’t see it right away, but this really was very bad for me. Luckily I had the advantage of having a quick list, in shortened Hardcore turns.

 

I did win first turn and ran my Skinwalkers out on my right side and the WoO out on my left. The Ravagers went up the middle to the top of the hill where their DEF bonus would not be benefited versus the Colossal thanks to the Driller rule. Morvahna put up Fog of War and put Flesh of Clay on herself then separated from any nearby models. The Guardian and Feral moved up into the Stones that had ported further up field to threat the position of the Earthbreaker, just behind the Ravagers. My opponent took the dice ran the Colossal into place, and pushed his Forge Guard up as far as they would go. Dropping a wall out in front of himself, Gorten moved up to a strong position behind the Forge Guard, and was flanked by Arcanist Corp. The support solos moved up behind Gorten and the other infantry moved up to oppose the WoO on my far right. Lastly the Basher was able to circle out from behind the Earthbreaker and position between the Colossal and the Skinwalkers.

 

Turning the dice over to me, I charged the Skinwalkers into the Basher, and was able get some very good damage on him. The Ravagers then charged forward and got into the lines of the Forge Guard. They were positioned well so I couldn’t get passed them, but was able to get around a few to hold the Earthbreaker in place. The front of the Forge Guard were wiped, then the WoO launched into the infantry on the right pushing the line forward. I moved Morvahna to the very edge of the kill box as far from Earthbreaker as I could be, and up kept Fog of War and re-applied Flesh of Clay, this time moving Carnivore to the Wolves. Then I moved the Stones further forward, and put the two heavy beasts further forward to threaten the Colossal. My opponent took the dice and operated confidently, putting Tune Up on the Earthbreaker and then activating the Basher to Flak Field the Skinwalkers and using his attack to kill one.  Then the Earthbreaker when to work on the Ravagers and Skinwalkers nearest him. He put boosted shots into the Ravagers in front of him and the Skinwalkers near the Basher. Then used his Repeating Cannon to start taking out the KD Ravagers and Skinwalkers, taking out four of them was a reasonably productive activation. The Forge Guard then counter assaulted the Ravagers and started to thin their numbers even more. Gorten pressed forward still and put the Rock Wall back up and the Arcanists again moved to protect the key solos.

 

This was not going well as I took the dice back and I had to spend a minute to think through my turn. I was going to have to Feat this turn or risk losing my most important units. The WoO were going to be able crash home, but I knew my opponents Feat was coming next turn, so I would likely have two turns of non productivity out of my models and risk wasting my Feat on models that would just die on the following turn. The next important piece was that I was going to also have to be mindful of where Morvahna ended up. I really had no opportunity to go anywhere else with her. I decided to port the Feral over to the Basher to finish him off and spring the remaining Skinwalkers into the Earthbreaker to continue to hold him in place. So that’s what I did; the Feral ripped through the Rhulic jack quickly, allowing the last couple of Skinwalkers to get into the Earthbreaker. They were finally able to put some damage onto the Colossal; then the remaining Ravagers launched into the Forge Guard getting the UA to the Colossal. He landed a big rip on the Colossal meaning he had some measurable damage at this point. Morvahna then replenished her forces with the Feat and reapplied Flesh of Clay after upkeeping Carnivore and Fog of War. The Wolves then got into the mix with the remaining Forge Guard and cleared them off mostly, save for about two, healing Morvahna quite a bit. The new forces were successfully jammed into the opponents remaining pieces with a comfortable layer ready to counter assault after the retaliation next turn. I turned the dice over to my opponent feeling okay about where I was.

 

Gorten’s turn to Feat, and he activated first, pushing into the lines, Feated and pushed all the nearby models back and away freeing up his own remaining pieces to charge and push the line back further protecting his support that was keeping him in the game. Then used his Dual Handcannon to start taking models off. Then his remaining Forge Guard came forward and cleared out a couple of Ravagers. Then the Arcanists started to throw Flame Blasts at Wolves taking out some of the nearest, and dropping one cloud in front of Gorten. Then Thor Tuned Up Earthbreaker again and he used his guns again to clear out the Skinwalkers nearest him, KD the nearest set then putting them down with boosted damage shots from the Repeating Cannon. It really was tilting to have that shoot things down he was in melee with that are normally a bear to deal with. With most of my remaining models affected by Land Slide, my retaliation was going to be limited. Good news was the Feral was not affected and within charge range of the Earthbreaker. So that was the first order of business; if I could finish the Colossal this turn, I felt I would be able to hang on to win the game. So the Feral charges the Earthbreaker and puts six attacks into him doing enough to get him down to just a few boxes. The Wold Guardian was teleported in by the Stones into melee with the Colossal and was able to finish him off. Feeling great about that, I moved what Ravagers I could into melee with the nearest models and started to swing. I cleared the rest of the Forge Guard, and clipped an Arcanist. The Wolves had a few models outside the Feat and I was able to get two of them to Gorten and mini Feat for Power Swell. They did some reasonable damage on him (about half his HP). and the remaining models move forward into the group of support solos. Morvahna was now back up to full health, and camped three Fury upkeeping both spells again and reapplying Flesh of Clay. My position felt very strong now, and I felt that I had to make it through whatever last ditch effort Gorten had I was moving on.

 

On the final turn of the game, my opponent assessed his options and realized they were very limited. He opted to keep all his Focus, and try to kill the Guardian. After all his Focus was spent, the Wold was still standing; with two heavies looming over the Caster my opponent opted to concede the game. After a scary round two, I was onto the third, hoping for a bit of a reprieve in the matchups before the late rounds.

 

 

 

Round 3: vs Lylyth3

Synopsis: As I was saying, after last round I was hoping for a reprieve, only to look up at the board and see I was playing one Jake Van Meter; so much for that reprieve. I had just played Jake the night before in the team tournament, and seeing as I pulled that game out of my butt with Mohsar, I was pretty sure I wasn’t beating JVM twice in the same weekend, but we would give it the old college try anayway.

 

I did get first turn, but in this case it didn’t matter, the Legion list had plenty of guns, with a unit of Striders, Angels, Ravagore, Lylyth herself… you get the picture, there was a lot of guns. What’s worse is that Jake going second gave him the chance to get his guns across from where he needed them to be, the high volume low pow Striders would show down right against my WoO on the right flank and the battle group would lean on my Ravagers and tear into my multi wound models. Unfortunately I did not have a choice I had to get across aboard; if I was fortunate it would not cost me my Feat to get there. Up side was Jake wasn’t coming to me and this was Hardcore, so there was a punitive kill box and a short clock for him to contend with.

 

Opening turn, I blast across the board and threat saturate like a champ. I had a hill on my side of the board where I put my battlegroup blocking LOS to Morvy, and had a command bunker, WoO running up my R flank and the Skinwalkers advancing up the L,and Ravagers up the middle. I tried to space a layer that would leave some of his guns out of range of my second wave in hopes of saving my Feat. Jake took the dice, and as you might imagine I wasn’t successful in my positioning. The Striders on the R took out a half dozen WoO, and the front four ravagers went down to the battle group. He burned every inch of his clock to get through the attacks and made sure Lylyth was inside the kill box as to not take auto damage next turn; dice back to me.

 

So, that went as expected and unfortunately even running my second wave would not engage enough and as such I was worried about losing too many models to recover with my Feat, so Jake had successfully forced me into my Feat on the top of two. I was able to rush forward, engage his line and Feat my lost pieces back onto the table and engage the jam to slow his guns down, and put the pressure on him, half my models engaging his and the other half pending retaliation; clock back to Jake. He took a long minute to ponder the turn on how to not lose the game next round as Lylyth was potentially going to be exposed so this was his Feat turn. His plan was to Death Chill the rear line and wipe the first one. The support pieces came forward and started to clear the front line out to allow more shots. That was a tall task, and wasn’t as successful as I suppose he would have liked. He did successfully Death Chill or kill most of my Ravagers thanks to Angels, Overtake, and Lylyth. When he put the dice down, I only had about six models left alive that were not Death Chilled.

 

Well, my Feat was successfully burned, and he had managed to attrition me down to where he would have the piece advantage by the end of his next turn. I surveyed the board and decided to go for assassination, as Lylyth only had a single transfer left. I believed I could get four or five models to her, and spring a couple Sunder Spirits to finish her off. I up kept Carnivore on the WoO and for some reason had thought I had it on the Skinwalkers. So when I went in with them I needed hard 9’s to hit and not the 7s I had thought (thanks to Tenacity); to make matters worse Morvahna was out of range for Scales of Fate. I was moving quickly, and never thought to CMA, but it mattered not as my dice loved me enough to land two of my four attacks (yay Rapid Strike) on sweet 9’s. Then got one Ravager in on her, at MAT 9, who, after careful judge measurement, was within reroll range, and landed the blow that Lylyth would transfer. Then I tried to get two WoO into Lylyth with mini-feat up, however, again after judge help, it turns out I could only get one in, but it was still enough to get her down to very few life points. Given I only needed a couple points, I did not want to risk re-rolls on non boosted attacks, I went for one fully boosted Sunder Spirit, and landed it finishing the job.

 

It was a fast and furious contest with not only one of the best players in the game, but one of my favorite people to play with. I think we both knew what the others plan was, it came down to getting the chance to pull the trigger, and having the dice cooperate when it was needed. I was fortunate to have the chance and do it the old fashion way… who needs re-rolls anyway? 🙂

 

 

 

Round 4: vs Retribution

Synopsis: In the semi-final round I was paired up with Tucker, a local CT player whom had knocked off one of my teammates, Walter, in the last round. He was playing Kaelyssa infantry spam with eEyriss3 in the mix. Out of the three games I had played so far, I felt the most confident in my list heading into this match. High DEF infantry is what this list does well, and my recursion mechanic was strong in this matchup. I wasn’t going to get the alpha, but I wouldn’t need it as my Reach advantage was significant; just needed to avoid dying in a silly way to Energy Siphon.

 

Tucker jammed across the board quickly and popped Feat to ensure he would get ahead quickly. So I spread my Reach advantage across the front lines, and made sure to put Flesh of Clay on Morvhana to stop anything dump from happening and put Carnivore on the WoO. I felt like the next turn would be the worst of it, I braced and flicked the clock back.

 

Retribution did the best they could to crash home, and the Reach did mitigate what they could do significantly. There was a lot of gun fire from the MHSF that cleared off some of my front layer of WoO allowing the lead Infiltrator unit to get into my lines a little deeper. The Ravagers held their portion of the board up and the Skinwalkers were left largely alone being the farthest away. Getting the dice back, the damage incurred was not so bad at all. I countered with the WoO who were able to get some good work done. Then the Ravagers responded to clear another swath of models, including putting damage on a light jack that had come forward. Before I activated the Skinwalkers to crash in behind the Ravagers, I had Morvahna rotate Carnivore to them in order to get the most out of their attacks, she also Purified off Phantom Seeker from Kaelyssa before retreating with Light Calv. I decided not to Feat, as I felt that my units were mostly safe, and that he wouldn’t be able to clear them off during the next turn based on my position and jam. This was risky, but if it worked I would be well ahead next turn. Lastly my Guardian ported in to finish off the jack, and bait his remaining jack forward.

 

With Ret now back on the clock, Tucker lined up an assassination on Morvahna. He had his arc node forward, and his heavy to clear a path for some spell slinging. Eyriss’s unit crashed in and unfortunately her targets were Skinwalkers. She would have to kill a Skinwalker to generate a Quick Work shot on Morvahna. Fortunately he was unable to kill the heavy infantry which stops the assassination train. Full fledged damage control mode was the next play for Retribution, and on this turn, they were not able to get their full offering of attacks, meaning that the game was about to tilt into my favor. He did commit his heavy to kill the Guardian with some help, but his heavy was in my face and I was down one.

 

Getting the dice back, I knew this would be Feat turn for me, with the assassination failed, it’s time to capitalize; started with Morvahna, who feated back nearly all the models lost, and then I elected to box myself after the turn was over, so I would not be in danger of another assassination, and was sure to put Flesh of Clay up before I was done. Next we teleported the Wold Guardian in order to wipe the arc node further reducing any chance I could get clipped, and then the Ravagers surged forward to through the forest in the near middle of the table and cleared most of the infantry in the kill box; the Skinwalkers mopped up the area so it could be scored. The Feral charged in to finish off the heavy, and lastly the Wolves got into the last remaining pieces of the gun lines jamming them out. Carnivore healed Morvahna back to more than half her life, I took a pressure point at the end of my turn, but scored one in return.

 

Kaelyssa had most of her force gone, so she was forced to jam whatever was left into the zone, and put every available attack and shot on the Feral. Thanks to some hot rolls the Feral was unexpectedly taken off the table. The Warcaster moved around the forest camping what she had left and she took a position to try to threaten Morvahna next turn if she survived. On my turn with most of my army now back on the table, I moved all my pieces to clear the zone again. With another pressure point impending, Kaelyssa had moved into range of a Gallows Grove from which I could safely arc a boosted Sunder Spirit into her. I only needed a few points of damage at this point to auto finish Kaelyssa.when Morvahna moved into dominate the game was over. I got what I needed from the SS, and moved to the zone to finish off the game.

 

Phew! That one was way too close for comfort. The Energy Siphon is very serious and the Eyriss3 tech is scary as well. Eating the pressure point I felt like was the right thing to do given how far I was ahead on attrition, and it’s worth noting, why give your opponent a 20%er if you can give them a 0%er? Now… Onto the final!

 

 

 

Round 5: vs Butcher1 (tier)

Synopsis: As fate would have it, there would be another final table in a high profile event at a major con for Chuck and I; as he likes to say we only like to play at final tables in big cons :-). Chuck and I agreed to turn off the round timer on this one (with PG permission) and go until there was a final winner, as we didn’t want a TempleCon Hardcore final coming down to who jammed what into the zone as the clock expired. We wanted to see a Hardcore win with a caster dead; as it should be.

 

With that, it was pButcher and a Claws of the Dragon Tier list that stood between me and my first Hardcore win at a Con. They won the roll to go first (Tier benefit) deployed their two jacks in the middle with either unit of Black Dragon IFP flanking each side, and Butcher right in the middle. My setup was the same, with Wolves to my L and Skinwalkers to my R and the battle group in the middle with Ravagers out front.

 

On the opening turn he moved across the board and layered his front line in Shield Wall formation. With Shield March and Advanced Move from the tier, the IFP were nearly halfway across the board. They did not use the mini Feat, as really there was no reason to waste it when they could jam with with it next turn and I couldn’t reach a lot of Chuck’s stuff anyway. On my turn, I crashed with Ravagers cleared the front models, and filled in the gaps behind with my rear guard units. We had both successfully jammed the zone and I had taken first blood.

 

Chuck took the dice back, and the play was clear: Shield March, advance, and kill as much as possible then pop mini Feat, hoping to mitigate what I could do. Chuck was able to clear all but one of the Ravagers with his two units, thanks to some good CMA work, and got a Skinwalker and a couple of WoO. On my turn it was Feat time, as I only had a Ravager left, and didn’t want to risk losing all those bodies for good. I activated Morvahna, up kept Carnivore and Feated back everything I had lost. Healed myself a few and camped. Wolves then mini-feated, charged and cleared a good amount of IFP on the L. The Ravagers moved back to jam the Jacks and Butcher back, then the Skin Walkers went to Work on the R, killing a few more IFP, and a Kovnik. Despite their work, that flank was looking strong for Khador as I hadn’t killed as much as he did; good news was I controlling the other flank pretty well.

 

Khador turn, Chuck decided to push the Flank he was strong on. The remaining Kovnik activated to clear Butcher of a Ravager. Then Butcher activated popped Feat and rushed into a few more Ravagers and a Skinwalker. He easily dispatched the three models he was in melee with which allowed his IFP on the R side to really push forward and charge into more of the Ravagers, and clear a few more. Then his Jack ran forward to engage some of the remaining Skinwalkers so their next turn would be mitigated. On his weaker board side, Chuck’s other Jack moved forward to clear a couple of WoO, continuing to anchor that side preventing the zone from clearing. The last of the IFP pressed forward and took down another WoO.

 

On my turn, I surveyed the board, and saw that we were starting to run out of pieces, but I had to start to get rid of his heavies, and this would require using mine. Good news was one of his Jacks was nearly out of the game way on the L and at this point, not threatening to my battle group. I had my Warlock and two heavies to deal with Butcher and a Juggernaut. So I opted to port the Feral in, in hopes of one rounding the Khador heavy, which would force Butcher forward to deal with my heavy beast, hopefully leaving the warcaster exposed for retaliation my next turn. Let’s see if I can make it happen. Feral goes in and leaves the Juggy on life support. The Skinwalkers CMA to finish him off. On the L side the remaining Ravager and WoO clear off the IFP on that side and jam up the now lone Jack. I finish off my turn by moving the Guardian into the stones to be able to teleport to where the Feral was so Butcher could be dealt with, if he indeed comes in. I activated Morvahna, put Carnivore on the Guardian before ending my turn, setting up my counter plans for next turn.

 

Khador turn, and it quickly becomes apparent that Butcher is going to get his hands dirty. The Kovnik activates again, clearing the path for Butcher to the Feral. He is able to one shot the Skinwalker in the way, and clears a nice charge lane for Orsus to the Warpwolf. The charge attack missed, but don’t worry, he two shots the beast and camps the rest. Juggernaut does kills another WoO on the far side, and Chuck clocks back to me… and closes his turn proclaiming, “Let’s see if the bitch can kill me!”

 

Let’s see indeed!

 

The piece trade has happened as planned and now it’s go time, I up kept Carnivore, ported the Wold Guardian in, boosted the first attack roll and landed it, KD Butcher, boosted damage, then boosted my second damage roll and had him down to less than half life. Go, go Goat! She charges in, Life Trader and brings Butcher closer to the end, another attack, and I’m a few HP away; and her third attack with Life Trader and boost finishes the game, winning me a Hardcore Title!!!!

 

 

 

Overall what an amazing tournament! As I said at the onset, most difficult stretch of players I’ve ever had to overcome to win a single event. Kudos to all the guys I played, especially Chuck who proves every time I see him play why he’s the best in the game. Can’t ask for a better person to play a great game with, or have more fun playing against.

 

I have become extremely impressed with how truly versatile my list is; adaptable to a bunch of different styles, and it has performed so well across the board. After playing through this event this past weekend, I have to say it may be best suited for Hardcore. It gets across the board quickly, recursion in the opponents face, and makes it difficult to stop from eating pressure points. What’s more is Morvahna herself is difficult to assassinate with access to Flesh of Clay, Empathetic Link, Fog of War, Imperishable Conviction and the Fury mechanic which is another asset in the Hardcore format.

 

Couldn’t be prouder of my performance or how the list performed this weekend! An amazing event, with awesome opponents, resulting in one of the crowning achievements of my competitive career!

 

DOGC Announces Junior Dark Omen!!!!

As was discussed on Forgot To Feat: Episode XVII; we are very proud to announce a special project that we feel is going to be great for not only DOGC, but also for the community that supports us… Junior Dark Omen!!!

This gaming club has become so much more than we envisioned when we began; we not only improved our own ability to play the game, but also raised thousands of dollars for charity, created a podcast that has become a platform to introduce the great players/personalities from the northeast to the national community, and brought a Warmachine Weekend Invitational Qualifier back to our region. While we are so proud of these accomplishments, our true ultimate goal is having this gaming club be something that persists into the future. There is no better way to do that than to foster the game with the next generation of players

Junior Dark Omen is going to be for any young person in the community that has interest in joining. If you have a child, young sibling , know a young person, or you yourself fit the criteria, please reach out to us via our email: darkomenclub@gmail.com or at any of our social media feeds (on Twiiter, Facebook, or Google+). Here is what being a member of Junior Dark Omen entails:

  • At least 13 years of age to join
  • Dues: NONE – club will strongly support (and recommends) any parental requirement for the young player (eg. minimum grade level in school, chores at home, etc.)
  • attend one practice every other month on the last Saturday of the month starting July 2015
  • DOGC will bring our Jr. members to one event with us every 6 months and incur any associated costs of the vent and travel (notified in advance and with parental permission).

We are all very excited about seeing more young people start playing the game, joining the club, and helping build the future of the meta! Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you want to be part of the next generation of DOGC!!!

 

Woldwrath, or How I Came to Love the Magic Monkey

When Gargantuans and Colossals were released, I don’t know anyone that wasn’t excited in extreme anticipation to see what ‘theirs’ was going to do. Were Gargantuans going to have 7 Fury?!!? Were Colossals all going to be able to get 5 Focus? ARM 21 base? Strength 20? Okay so these were all the meanderings of wistful thinking Warmachine nerds. That’s fine, we tend to do that; but never was there a release that was going to be this impactful to the game, or so it felt.

Much to my chagrin the big construct was pretty much the complete opposite of everything I had hoped and anticipated. He had a one shot gun, ZERO magic weapons, and couldn’t be buffed!!!! WTF!?!?! Half the fun of these big baddies is pondering all the silly combinations you could possibly muster with all the in-faction buffs; who cares if it’s hardly realistic to actually make any of them happen! Dammit I wanted to live the dream with my (non) Magic Monkey just like a Merc player could with Galleon… just imagine if we can get Gorman, A&H, and Ragman into position with Damiano’s Feat, HE’LL ONE ROUND THE WORLD!!!!

C’mon I’m not the only one who thinks of this nonsense, don’t lie.

My faith was renewed, slightly, early in 2013 when, of all things, I took the Kraken to TempleCon and was able to ride that Colossal to a top 8 finish in Masters. Playing a 20 point model was a different thing entirely than I had experienced before. There was a new level of satisfaction and dominance when it was done right that I really enjoyed. Previously I resolved I was never going to play the Woldwrath in sincere and (not so) silent protest. However I received the Woldwrath as a gift, and after having a positive experience with a Colossal at TempleCon I decided to give the big monkey a go; and that’s where we begin this article…

 

Monster Made of Stone

Like all Gargossals the Woldwrath brings dual threat capabilities, the difference for Circle being he is a rare commodity in that he joins just 4 other beasts that actually have boostable ranged and melee attacks. It’s not just that he has both a gun and fist, it’s more that he may have the best of both with highest base damage ranged and melee attack in faction; neither are to be trifled with. Don’t agree? Let’s discuss!

Lightning Strike is the boostable gun at POW 15, and range 14 which is an attack powerful enough to rip an arm off a jack, destroy UAs, or one shot calv models. Not to mention threaten a Caster or Lock from 19″ away. All that is not even the reason I have grown to appreciate it; the electro leap is really where it won me over. Often Woldwrath is unchallenged early in the game allowing him to fire for several turns before he has to engage. My target selection with him usually starts by identifying a pesky solo or UA that is standing near a lower DEF heavy or objective whom I can shoot and subsequently electro leap into the unsuspecting low ARM valuable friendly; it’s actually quite reliable when the opportunity is presented (which it often is). I have gotten Eryiss, Gorman, Ayiana, Arcanists, Mage Hunters, Mechanics, Souless, Bayle,  Wilder, Succubus, Madelyn, Sylas… ok, you get the point. It’s a reliable way to reach out and touch a number of important support pieces. How about simply removing a couple of models blocking charge lanes for your heavies? That is a more common use, especially late game. What about the one model at the back of the zone contesting that you can’t reach otherwise? How about running your own guy out in front of the target and use use the electro leap to clip said target up to 24″ away. Not bad! I’m not suggesting you pay 20 points for an electro leap gun, however I do believe it is added value on his abilities that may not be correctly quantified.

Second part of Lightening Strike I learned to love is the POW 10 AOEs it leaves behind covering the board in a swath 6″ wide. In the event I dont have an important solo to clip, I’ll shoot shoot the lead grunts on a unit, and use Storm Generator to be problematic for the remainder of the unit. If you really don’t believe that matters then go ask a Cygnar player what that does to board control. I have wiped multiple calv models running through the AOEs on the same turn. Did I hot roll? Sure, however the fact that its possible means your opponent cannot simply ignore it. Models with Tough hate it because its a clogged mess if one grunt makes their check. Needing 4, 5, 6 or even 7 on a damage roll will make an opponent think twice about running through it. That means Woldwrath can often dictate his own terms of engagement. Worried about missing and not getting the benefits of the one shot? Welcome to Warmachine, it’s a dice game. There is a 75% chance you hit a boosted 14 DEF, over 80% vs a DEF 13, and over 90% vs a DEF 12; you really shouldn’t be shooting anything higher than that. Those odds are about as good as your going to get in this game. I am frustrated by this criticism every time I hear it; while I understand it, I simply don’t believe it’s a detriment to him more than any other model in the game. Ultimately the gun gives Circle a long range support threat we have never had. Sending a beast in on a heavy and worried about one rounding? Drop a shot into it first, might save you a Primal. How about destroying an objective that your unit or solo failed to clear? Drop a shot. On paper I did not appreciate it until I had it on the table. There is a reason why Circle doesn’t have an abundance of great guns, and after playing this guy a lot, I understand why.

Moving on to what I like to call the Earthshaker Fist, you can make an argument for it being among the best base melee attacks in the game. I know some of you are ready to punch your screen, but think about it: it has an auto KD effect, which has a threat of +4.5″ of KD on nearby models, or put another way, Woldwrath can reliably KD any model (not immune) within +12.5″ of his starting position!!! For the mathematicians out there, he has 2″ reach, center the 4″ AOE on the model hit, netting another >.5″ to the center of its base (if it’s small based, more if it’s larger), plus the 2″ gained from the AOE itself. KD on on the fist is not an overlooked ability per se, but I think the abuse that it can lead to is under appreciated. It’s super reliable in clearing LOS and catching unsuspecting high DEF models that hover too close to anything that is more easily hit. The fact that Woldwrath is the same P&S as Ghetorix after he warps for ST seems to be missed a lot as well. We’ll get to Spell Ward in a bit, but, at its base, P&S 19 is hardly pillow fisted. While G-Rex has 1″ greater threat, the Woldwrath is more survivable and has Reach on both weapons as well as two open fists. The one detriment of the fists is that you run the risk of KD your own stuff, a concern I had when I first started playing him. What I found is that while you have to be cognizant of it, it’s not the huge issue I anticipated it being. Circle is typically model light and the risk of having your own models in the way is less than I thought. Most often I found myself playing him off to a flank and he wasn’t getting near or in the way of much. The benefits gained from the AOE KD effect on his reach fist are far greater than the inherent risk to your own pieces. In my experience the weapon has been money, and he is one of the most reliable melee models I have ever played. This is largely due to the fact that Spell Ward often prevents my opponents from stopping him from doing what he wants to do. His POW/KD combo is very consistent, and his damage output has never been disappointing. Speaking of Spell Ward let’s go there next.

Spell Ward originally felt like a huge issue to me and really made me not want to play him, as I mentioned at the onset of the article; however, once on the table I begun to feel much differently about it. Playing Gargossals I have found that often my opponent needs some type of spell to help deal with them, either by crowd controlling them out for a turn or by adding some type of damage enhancer. While this is not necessarily true 100% of the time, I would venture to say it’s true more often than not. Once I realized how much more survivable Spell Ward made the Woldwrath it began to unlock him for me. I cannot think of a time when I had him taken off the board by a single activation, often it took 3 turns of damage abuse before he went down, if he went down at all. Most opponents that realize a main asset of dealing with a Gargossal (spells) is off limits means they focus their valuable resources towards dealing with other pieces of the army so as to not get behind in other areas. Often that lead to Woldwrath being around until all other pieces that could effectively deal with him were off the table; which usually meant the game was won. All of the Gargossals are most valuable in attrition, however he seems to shine there much more than I ever thought. Where many of the Woldwrath’s abilities come into play is late game when opponents options for dealing with him become much more limited. So the first point on Spell Ward that I want to emphasize is the natural increase to a Woldwrath’s survivability that it brings; while it can at first seem frustrating, in the long run, you will find it keeps him on the table more often than not.

Regarding Spell Ward as a limitation, I’m with you… well, wait, let’s consider that for a minute. The important buffs that come to mind first that he cannot have are Stone Skin and…? Hmm… Okay, I’m being ironical but the point I’m getting at is, when I started to really examine what buffs he could actually receive most that come to mind are already not available to him by virtue of being ‘living’ or ‘self’. When you stop to think about it, really the only ones that you might miss are the ARM buffs: Inviolable Resolve, Restoration, and RoE (outside the Feat). That said, given what we just spoke about in the above paragraph, would we really rather have our opponents with the ability to increase their damage output on him? My experience tells me no. Moreover, I don’t want my opponent preventing him from doing what I want to do with my 20 point investment. I’ll sacrifice the ARM increases for the Spell Ward and base ARM 20.

I admit that there are some buffs that might be interesting: Carnivore would be nice, however I would not trade Spell Ward for those as he already has an accuracy enhancer built in with KD on the fists. So now what are you worried about? Our own damage enhancement? Let’s talk about what buffs he can receive. The one that is most obviously good is Curse of Shadows. It’s on two Warlocks in faction, and brings him up to effective POW 21. That means he should be able to one round most other heavy chassis in the game. My personal favorite buff on him is Wraith Bane from the Pureblood (yes he can still receive Animus cast by beasts), which allows him to ignore the buffs on opposing models, and gives him magic attacks (YAH!!!). With CoS he is dice plus 2 on an Arcane Shielded Storm Wall or a Warded Judicator; put another way that means he will do nearly 50 damge to either in spite of them being buffed!!! A different use that I have gotten out of Wraith Bane on him is his ability to go in and KD a bunch of Iron Fleshed models with multiple attacks and allow the rest of the support to clear the now KD models; it’s situationally brilliant. The most overlooked buff, in my opinion, is Hunters Mark; which he can gain from a BCW or Lanyssa. It will increase his threat by 2” bringing it to a scary 12”, and bringing his KD threat to >14.5”! That is pretty intense given all the melee potential he has, combined with how unsuspecting most opponents will be of his melee threat distance; not to mention the free charge. Speaking of threat extenders, how about Bounding on him? Another 2″ of threat, and +2 to a charge attack roll?? Sounds legit to me, especially when combined with the aforementioned Hunters Mark bringing him to 14″ and > 16.5″ KD threat. Pretty crazy on a Gargantuan. Another one that I have not tried but feel has merit is Amuck. Maybe not ideal at first, but in the event you get clogged in with a lot of infantry jamming the way, you can use this ability to rip through them with a Power Sweep. MAT 6 doesn’t make you excited to use Amuck? Ask Trolls what they would give for this ability on a MAT 6 Mountain King.

The summary on Spell Ward is this: when I started to examine the faction, there wasn’t nearly as much to buff a Woldwrath with as I thought. What’s more, once I realized the real impact of the defensive benefits of having it I can honestly say I’m no longer disappointed in him having Spell Ward and feel he truly benefits from it, all things considered.

A few other items on his card I want to address, starting with possibly his most overlooked base ability stat which is SPD 5, not 4 which a lot of players forget. That extra inch can make a huge difference (that’s what she said). Especially when many of his counterparts (Conquest, Judicator, Mammoth) are all SPD 4. Feels like we stole one here and I’m really happy about that. The threat of 10” base is a different feel than 9”, and the fact that with Hunters Mark he can threaten across an entire zone makes him that much more scenario relevant. The extra 2 inches of run speed early means he gets to position right away with no positional issues on turn 2. All in all, SPD is probably the piece that is missed most often on Woldwrath’s card, but one I take exception to note here and I’m sure upon second thought you will feel the same way.

His Animus was probably the most revered ability upon immediate release, and likely the most underused ability by the general player community a year later. Funny part is everything we thought early on about the ability is still absolutely true, so why aren’t we using it? To be honest, I’m not sure. Part of it is that Woldwrath isn’t really played a ton. Secondarily, when he is it seems that he is used as a gun platform in a list where he is one of maybe two beasts. When you boost and attack and damage, you don’t want to max out Fury and not be able to transfer to your best target; which ultimately means can’t use Druids Wrath. For me, I played him in a beast heavy list, so I was able to max him out without fear, and while the Animus didn’t come up often for me either, when it did it was situationally brilliant. The pieces that benefit from it probably number nearly half the faction, so I won’t list them here, we’ll discuss which models (I believe) he likes the most in the next section. For now, what I want to mention about the Animus is that it’s an extra die not boosted. This is a significant difference maker and when you need every bit to help ensure you land that crucial spell, going to 4d6 is huge. Additionally it exponentially enhances your chances for a Crit to trigger.

And last, but not least… transfers, oh my lord transfers! While this is certainly not unique to Woldwrath, what is unique is his ability to take more of them than any other Gargantuan in the game. Yes I realize (more than most) that Baldur is the only one that can heal him, however Stones do exist and offer you the opportunity to get him back functioning when you need it most. The point is, the ability to transfer a 15+ point whollup and not sweat it is… well, glorious. You won’t know the true comfort of that unless you have experienced it. While the Woldwrath is healthy, and you have transfers on you, your Warlock is nye unkillable; what’s more important is that Woldwrath will likely come out of it still ready to rumble. This goes back to the whole discussion on survivability. When it comes down to it nobody trades better, or harder, than this big stone monster. Having him in your corner as a transfer target is a warm and cozy blanket that, until experienced, you won’t truly appreciate.

Friends of  Stone

Now that we have discussed the foundational abilities, it’s important to discuss what models Woldwrath likes to hit the table with. While some of this has been hinted at already, let’s go into a bit more detail. Again, this isn’t necessarily every option available to him, however, these are the ones I feel are most worth noting. Let’s begin with:

 

Warlocks…

pBaldur – It can be argued that nobody loves the big stone more than him. I have a detailed article (click here), if you want to read about it some additional details. Here are the highlights, the free Power Attack is clutch, the ability to heal him, and access to making your models immune to KD makes this combo really sing.

eBaldur – a lot of the same benefits as his Primal version, minus the mass KD immunity. The one big boon here is for one turn he can push this guy’s ARM way up, which also can’t be touched with magical debuffs. The Feat also means your Gargantuan gets the alpha. It’s a strong scenario and attrition combo.

Cassius – these two love each other, he is one of the two CoS Warlocks we have. Additionally Black Roots and Druids Wrath mean Hellmouth is on demand. Also Stranglehold is great for holding heavies that are dangerous at bay until Woldwrath can dispatch of them, which is also made reliable by Druids Wrath (and spammable!). A huge base to hide behind is never a bad thing either, and sometimes the Feat can buy Woldwrath the alpha.

eKrueger – this one has been explored quite a bit on the interwebs. Stormwall does prevent opponents from softening him up further extending his survivability. More importantly Gallows and Telekinesis extend his threat range, and eKrueger is a Warlock that loves having access to Druids Wrath more than most. Also this is another Feat than can buy Woldwrath the opportunity to draw melee blood first, probably more so than any other..

Mohsar – probably one of my favorite Warlocks for Woldwrath. He is the other Warlock that has access to CoS, but that is just the beginning. Druids Wrath and Crevasse is incredibly powerful on a Fury 8 Warlock. You can routinely spam it 3 times off Mohsar himself easily wiping a dozen models regardless of DEF or Stealth, and still camp 2 or 3. Pillars partners extremely well with the AOEs left from Lightning Strike. Fun fact, quickest way to get a judge called is to use Pillars to block LOS to your huge base Gargantuan. Woldwrath is also a decent Maltreatment target and works well in order of activation if you want to put Druids Wrath up first and get your AOEs out. Also its a nice base for Mohsar to hide behind as well. All in all this is a marriage that has not been explored nearly enough in my opinion.

pMorvahna – while less obvious of a choice, I like his gun combined with my models follow up in melee in conjunction with her Feat. Plus she is an awesome attrition Warlock and he is an awesome attrition piece. She has no natural ARM fixer so taking our highest POW beast is not a bad idea for her either. Her Feat can also be one that allows him to get the first strike on the follow up turn. The obligatory mention of a great huge base for her to hide behind is worth noting again.

eMorvahna – while it’s well documented that putting these two on the table together is effective, it is not something that I personally do; that doesn’t mean it should not be noted in this article. There is nothing she doesn’t pair well with and re – rolls on Woldwrath is about as good as it gets for Scales of Fate. He is is a great transfer for her despite that she can’t heal him, it allows her to bleed lower and transfer more. She probably benefits most from being able to hide behind him thanks to her own large base. Overall this is a tried and true marriage on the table.

 

Beasts…

Pureblood – Wraith Bane is my favorite buff on WW so is not surprising the PB made this list. They play off each other well thanks to their ability to operate well independently while both also having high POW boostable ranged attacks.

Ghetorix – is my favorite beast to play with the Magic Monkey. Together they are such a dynamic duo. G-Rex is a great trade piece and Woldwrath loves to have a partner that is equally if not more scary than him. Another bit that I love about Ghetorix is how he can regenerate and snack. Healing 6 damage in a turn means you need another 2 attacks on top of what he had left to get him off the table. Having him be survivable along side Woldwrath means the heavy piece trade is going to be that much more difficult for opponents.

Gnarlhorn – his Animus is one that really shines on WW. The +2 on charge attacks and extra 2″ of threat can really be amazing. Plus counter charge can be great as defensive tech for WW when an unsuspecting opposing heavy is caught by the Gnarlhorn saving the WW.

Razorwing Griffon – i like light beasts in general with the Woldwrath because with a shot from the Lightning Strike and a buff they can effectively eliminate many heavies that would threaten Woldwrath. When you can get a heavy in exchange for a light it’s always a good thing. I’m noting the Razorwing in particular because his Animus is worthwhile putting on the WW, and he’s got Flight meaning he ignores the huge base for LOS purposes.

Woldwatcher – a shield guard isn’t necessarily bad for the WW to have next to him, and this little guy can be a good speed bump preventing an opposing heavy from getting to the Gargantuan in certain cases.

Feral – a lot of the same things about G- Rex is also true here. He is a great swap piece, can regen, and can kill many of the things that Woldwrath might be afraid of; not a bad partner for the Gargantuan to have..

 

Other pieces to consider…

Fulcrum – not as crazy crazy as It sounds, when combined with the Woldwrath that’s a lot of firepower on the table, and with Storm Generator in conjunction with Flame Blast that’s 10″ of board that creates difficulty for the opponent. It’s a little out of the box but I like the potential in the right list.

Blackclad Wayfarer – Hunters Mark is a great buff to Woldwrath as we already noted. Additionally, he is a great target for Woldwrath to shoot to electro leap into an annoying model that you can’t seem to get rid of. He can be teleported out ricocheted off of and phase jumped back. Also he benefits from Druids Wrath on his spray attack which is never bad, don’t forget the Crit KD chance there!

Lanyssa Ryssal –  while not as good of an option as BCW, she still has Hunters Mark (but does not benefit from Druid’s Wrath 😦 ). Also Winter Storm can be situationally brilliant and should not be overlooked.

Gallows Groves – threat extenders on spells that benefit from Druids Wrath are never a bad thing. Plus medium base models can block paths to WW that can be problematic for opponents.

Shifting Stones – one of the few reasons I would consider taking two sets sets in a list is for Woldwrath. They can heal the WW outside of Baldur, block movement to the Woldwrath and the UA gains the benefit of Druids Wrath with Rock Hammer which also has a KD effect.

Skinwalkers/Ravagers/Bloodpack/Gatorman Posse – medium bases are good friends for Woldwrath to have on the table. Stops trampling and these units hit hard enough that with a little help from Lightning Strike they can take out a heavy and prevent infantry from getting to WW.

Druids – i feel obligated to note them due to to their sweet magic missile and Crit effect that benefits so obviously from Druids Wrath.

 

Shtics and Stones

Throughout the article a number of tactical ideas have come up, but here are a few reminders.

1. Use the gun as support, not just a way to do isolated damage. It’s a combined arms addition to Woldwrath’s kit and can be used to carve out support, crowd control infantry, or score VPs by clearing zones and finishing objectives.

2. KD is a hugely powerful ability that is the beginning step to many critical turns or assassination runs. Use the AOE KD effect to max advantage. It’s unique to him in that he can do it on every swing with a huge swath of impact.

3. Power attacks, use them! Woldwrath has a threat of 12″ on thrown large base model, 17″ if count his SPD. With a selection of Steady models in faction and a no KD upkeep; that is a lot of reliable jenk.

4. Keeping him alive is relatively easy, but leverage that to win the attrition war. If the Woldwrath is the last heavy on on the board, there is a good chance you’ve won the game.

In closing, I would offer this… Play the magic monkey! He has a lot of depth and is much more than meets the eye. You can build around him in many ways, and we have a lot of unique things to help take advantage of his kit. Have fun with that!

I hope you enjoyed this article and found something new and insightful. As always feel free to find me on the forums (phatheadaf) and look for more from DOGC at handcannononline.com or darkomen.org

DOGC Opens 2014 with Hard Core Win!

This weekend in Nanuet, NY at Toy Whiz, Anthony Ferraiolo started the year off right for DOGC winning the SR 2014 Hardcore Event. Here is a review of the games played and how the day was won…

It was a great day for a tournament on a snowy Saturday in January! It was my first trip to Toy Whiz and the store is an awesome venue for an event of any size. I encourage everyone to take a trip to Nanuet, NY and check it out. Also want to give a quick shout to Jeff Frederickson, PG extraordinaire who ran the event and did a good job getting us out of there in a reasonable amount of time. Now onto the event at hand!

Whenever I head down for games in the NYC Metro, I know there will be a strong collection of players; this field was no different. Despite being only a dozen players, there was 3 or 4 multi time Masters qualifiers in the mix, so there would be no soft games. I attended with the intent of trying my eMorvahana build in the Hardcore format. I had not played Hardcore in 2013 at all and my last experience in 2012 was with Terminus who is an entirely different ball of wax than eMorvy.

I’m still running the same version of the eMorvahna list I’ve had since GenCon. I see no need to make changes at this point, but again I want to stretch it a bit and see what it can do in different formats. If you need another copy of my list you can find it HERE. The only thing the Morv build shared in common with Terminus list was the mass of infantry models on the table. However, the models in the Terminus build are required to do less work, and the real threat is imposing him upon the opposing force. With my eMovahna list, each model is doing more in each activation, and Morvahna is a true support piece. Her positioning is also much more tricky, especially in Hardcore where time is short. I don’t have the luxury of being able to make a mistake, especially when she is likely be taking damage. I will try to use my strength in numbers and speed to my advantage in hopes of taking control of the zone and scoring Pressure Points on the opposing Lock/Caster. Let’s see how this goes!

ROUND 1: vs Siege

RECAP: This round was vs someone I haven’t seen since before TempleCon last year, and a lot has happened in a year, for sure, but I was happy to be across the table from Dave Serrano. Playing Cygnar with Circle is never a great feeling, and playing Siege is even less fun. Circle is more susceptible to boostable guns than most others. Siege, presents a unique challenge as with the Feat he has an opportunity attrition my Feat out of the game by killing whole units while also posing a hugely credible threat to Morvahna herself. I didn’t like this opening match up at all, but hey, this is what we are here to see.

Dave wins the start roll chooses to go first. I survey the table, and there is a building on one side, and a wall in the zone more on one side of the table than the other, that is also supported by a forest deeper on that side of the table, and I decide that’s my ticket. I figure that if I need to I can take a Pressure Point and hide behind the forest, which Mage Site shouldn’t be able to get around; if all goes right I can push my position to the zone and camp the wall. Siege sets up with Stormwall in the middle of his zone, and puts the Avenger to the R (from my side of the table), then sets the gun mages to the far R with a Stormsmith and Arlen. On the L is Siege with two more Stormsmiths, Junior, Reinholdt, and a Squire. AD out front are the Rangers with Eyriss out the far R. On my side of the table I setup my line w/ Morvahna in the middle, the Wolves of Orboros to my L with Feral just next to Morvahna, the Woldguardian flanking Morvahna ot the R, and the Skinwalkers on the far R. The Ravagers AD out front center flanked by the two Gallows Groves, and stones mixed in the lines with the Ravagers.

On the Cygnar opening turn, the Rangers slunk forward, and Stormwall moved forward dropped a pod. The Gun Mages run into position, and Eyriss ran into position ready to do damage when needed starting next turn. Junior put Arcane Shield on Stormwall, and the Stormsmiths ran to each flank. On my turn, I didn’t waste much time, I knew I had to get up the board. So I pushed my line; the storm pod was close enough to charge with the lead Ravager, and the rest ran to engage what they could, I got a few Rangers stuck as well as an outlying Gun Mage. The pod was easily dispatched. Next I had the Wolves run at the building on the L, reason why I picked that side to deploy them was because they could successfully envelop it and the UA could hide behind it. The Skinwalkers moved freely in the woods on the R to the edge thanks to Pathfinder. I put Fog of War up and dropped and arc node in front of Eyriss. I didn’t have much time to eyeball the distance to see if I could get within Stealth  range and decided to try slinging a Sunder Spirit at her; taking her out first turn saves headaches later. Alas, my opponent positioned her astutely and Morvahna ate the Sunder Spirit and took some damage. Not a stellar way to end the opening turn but my lines were up the board. Finally I moved my beasts forward to flank Morvahna, leaving them far out of Stormwalls gun threat range. My opponent would have 7 quick minutes to respond.

On the next turn Siege had the turn to do something, and he started in on the Ravagers. Between the Rangers, Stormwall, and the some Gun Mages, he was able to take out about half of the Ravagers, and some WoO. The damage was not significant at this stage, and with a rather indecisive turn (thanks to a lot of Reach and good board position), I decided to jam his lines aggressively knowing I had to stop the Feat,  that was inevitably coming next turn, from blowing me off the table. The remaining Ravagers ripped through the Rangers thanks to corpse tokens and re-rolls. Morvahna activated and put Carnivore on the Skinwalkers before retreating to the woods near the back of my table side. Skinwalkers activated and charged into Eyriss and the Gun Mages they could reach. The ATGM made the Terror check but failed Command check for the damage they took from losses sustained from all the charges. Eyriss was eaten by two Skinwalkers. The WoO finished the job of clearing the zone on turn 2, putting the first Pressure Point on Siege, doing 5 damage to him. I finished the turn by having the Wold Guardian put Flesh of Clay on himself and the Feral ran to the wall to take a good position. The Stones flanked the heavies ready to port into Stormwall whom I suspected was coming forward next turn.  I was much happier with this turn and turned the dice over to Dave.

Top of 3, I knew Siege was going to Feat this turn and I suspected it would be in an effort to take out the Feral. I was right about the Feat as the Warcaster activated first and used his Ground Pounder attack to clear out the area in front of Stormwall. He had to make room for the Colossal to contest the zone, which also met he wasn’t going to be able to gain the aiming bonus. As such, not willing to risk two missed Defender cannons on 12’s, he opted to have Stormwall kill what he could within melee reach and drop covering fire to cause problems for my units next turn. The Feat had made quick work of the Ravagers, although I was able to keep 1 alive back by the wall next to the Feral. The WoO had taken losses as well thanks to the Storm Smiths and Junior. All said and done, the only thing in the zone was the Stormwall, but he was completely untouched and I was nearly out of Ravagers, but had a Feral and a number of other attacks to put into him. That was the plan this turn, start with the Feral and do as much as I could, then get the WoO in on him with a mini feat, I also knew I could get two maybe three Skinwalkers there on a charge and my last Ravager, then Feat with Morvahana and hopefully jam out of the zone; hopefully not to run out of time! The plan went off very well, the Feral did a ton to the Stormwall who did not have Arcane Shield anymore as it was moved to Siege after he came forward aggressively last turn. The Skinwalkers activated next and they finished off the Colossal with two that reached him, and the others cleared the remainder of the ATGM and Stormsmith. Sweeping the R flank successfully. the WoO activated and charged to clear off the rest of the support in the rear leaving just Siege, Arlen, and a Stormsmith with the Avenger. I then moved Morvahna forward, Feated back all the Ravagers and most of the WoO that had been lost jamming his remaining models as best as could be managed, then Light Calv moved to the wall. I would dominated for another Pressure Point and 7 more damage to Siege.

Turning the dice over to my opponent. Dave surveyed the board, and he indicated there was little hope of what he could do. Siege couldn’t contest the zone, the remaining Stormsmith couldn’t navigate the wall of reach weapons to get to the zone and the Avenger with a Colossal wreck marker in the way and being attached to the ATGM could not move far enough to get to the zone. All that being true, I would dominate the zone again that turn ending the game via Pressure Points assassination.

Opening Round Final Shot

ROUND 2: vs eButcher3

RECAP: Another player I hadn’t played since before TempleCon last year, Will; who is now running Butcher3… shaking my head just thinking about it. Only 2 players there with Butcher 3 on the docket, and I get one of them in Round 2. Will was coming off a strong showing in round 1 where he top of two assassinated one of the masters players (Charlie Moss) playing his list from TempleCon Hard Core where he finished top 5. Given that result I new Will was well versed in what he was doing with the list. Fortunately, this is a list I want to see more because I need to get comfortable in this matchup as I will see Butcher3 for sure. Looking at the matchup and the board, I decided I wanted to go first. Last time I faced this list in the Invitational I had to go second and realized that taking board position against this list is very important especially with the pressure Butcher can put on you starting turn 2. So I opted for first; my opponent astutely took the side with the wall to deny me the natural protection it offered.

On deployment I decided to go with my WoO on my left as there was a building on the right and it was close enough to the zone that I would have to entirely sweep around it with the larger unit, unlike the last table; so I wanted my smaller more maneuverable unit to navigate that, which means the Skinwalkers to the R. Beast load out in the middle, and Ravagers would AD out front center. Will decided to deploy his Widowmakers and Eyriss directly across from the WoO which was the most sensible place, then took his two units of Black Fang IFP and double stacked them across from the zone with his Juggernaut and Butcher to the center L (as I looked at the board), and Fenris was on the far L flank by himself to avoid the unnecessary abomination checks on his friendly models. Madelyn and Saxon were near Butcher to support the army as needed.

On the opening turn, I took strong position with the Ravagers in the zone to threaten anything that came into the zone, and new I would be getting the alpha, everything else ran forward to support and make a nice battle line about the 20” line or so up the table. I moved Morvahna to my R where I had a hill to toe, and decided to put Carnivore on the Skinwalkers this turn as that is where they where it would be needed most next turn, given the amount of troops on that side. Comfortable with my position I turned the dice over to Will. The lead IFP unit ran into the zone and right into engagement with my Ravagers to set the line of engagement as far up the table as they could, but it cost him Shield Wall on the opening turn. The Widowmakers took position on the L side with Eyriss and fired from the woods to put work into the WoO.

On my next turn, I knew it was going to have to be decisive and with only 7 minutes, I had to go immediately. I could to clear the Ravagers with the Skinwalkers so they could spring into the second line of troops. I upkept with Carnivore on the Skinwalkers and moved into the spaces behind and around the Ravagers with Carnivore to clear most of the IFP that were in the way. I then activated Morvahna and cycled Carnivore onto the WoO, slung a well positioned Death Knell onto a few IFP before moving her into safe position at the edge of the kill box diametrically opposed to Butcher. The WoO activated and charged the Widow Makers, Fenris, and the lone IFP still in the way. Cleared all I encountered thanks to Powerful Charge + Carnviore + CMA. Fenris was dehorsed, and the Ravagers were now primed to charge into the second wave of IFP. I had to move quickly so I did what I could to get through their activations. I was still tied in a bit, but managed to clear the zone of IFP, however, I could not score as I was going 1st. However, I felt good about the position I was in, with ⅔ of the IFP gone. I moved my two beasts into more threatening positions and dropped stones in front of them and Morvahna and my two heavies. Will took the dice and was pretty far down on model count and I still had my Feat, so I was in commanding position. He used the IFP remaining to Mini Feat and move into the zone, and cleared about half the Ravagers. The Juggernaut now moved into the zone to clear a few more models. The Widow Makers were all tied up, but Fenris managed to kill a few models. The Kovnik was able to get a Skinwalker, triggering Relentless Advance and he had managed to stop me from scoring a Pressure Point but this turn it was likely going to get bad next turn.

On my turn, there were a half dozen IFP in the zone w/ a Kovnik, and the Juggernaut. I up kept Carnivore on the WoO, and mini feated to charge them in to clear some IFP, put damage on the Juggernaut, and remove unmounted Fenris. I then activated Morvahna and cycled Carnivore onto the Skinwalkers. I charged them in behind the Ravagers again to poke holes in B2B lines of the IFP under Iron Zeal and Shield Wall, enough to leave them vulnerable to the remaining Skinwalkers. I had a couple of Ravagers charge the Juggernaut and do some additional damage to him. Then the Wold Guardian was dropped in and able to finish the Juggernaut off clearing the zone. I took a Gallows Grove and dropped it in front of the Wold to stop Butcher from pulling him from a safe position; he would have to come forward to deal with him. With that, the zone was clear, and a Pressure Point on Butcher for 5 damage. Will took the dice and knew Butcher would have to get his hands dirty this turn, and it started with him moving forward to clear the models between him and the Wold, with the Argii attacking the Ravagers they were engaged with. Butcher cleared the models in the way, then used impending doom to pull the Wold in. He did enough damage to take out the remaining models around the Wold and took out his Spirit. The feated, back to full Focus, and with the clock running low, decided to stop there, believing he would only make himself more vulnerable next turn with the a lot still in range of him. Before I took the dice, we tabulated that Butcher would take another Pressure Point because he was not contesting the zone; that’s a total of 1o damage on Butcher.

As my turn started, I still had my Feat, but wouldn’t need it, because I only need to cause three damage to Butcher and dominate the zone by moving Morvahna in to cause another 7 points of damage from the final Pressure Point to end the game. I activated Morvahna first, moved Carnivore to the Feral and used my remaining Fury to sling a boosted Sunder Spirit into Butcher doing some additional damage. I activated the Wold Guardian relying on two chances at a re-rollable 8 to KD Butcher, and I had Feral with Carnivore as a fail safe. The first swing from the Wold was successful and Butcher was on the ground. No damage, but he was prone. Feral was teleported in on the first swing he did the requisite three damage to ensure that that he was done at the turns end. The remaining attacks from the Feral and finished Butcher without needing the final Pressure Point. This was a solid victory against a tough list and opponent. Was happy to be moving onto the next round.

semi final final table shot

ROUND 3: vs eButcher3 (again)

RECAP: After the end of my last round I learned the pair down from the previous round had lost, meaning I would be playing on top table in the next round. This round would be against Jeff, a player whom I’ve not faced since he was playing Skorne a year earlier at the Dragon’s Den. Now he has moved onto Butcher 3, and I would have to overcome him again if I was going to win. The difference in this match was the list had two Devestators, making my ability to gain pressure points that much harder. I again won the roll for first turn, and took it, and my opponent again put me on the side of the table (we were on the same table I had just played on). My deployment had worked out well last time, so I opted to do the same thing this time. Jeff only had only one unit of IFP (which he stated later was to save time and prevent scenario Pressure Points) and put it in the same place as my previous opponent, and everything else was mostly the same.

On my first turn, opened up just as last time, with my Ravagers going strong to the center of the board, the WoO and the Skinwalkers moving way up the board, with Carnivore on the Skinwalkers and Fog of War up. My opponent had a different opening turn in this game, however, using the Kovnik to Shield March the IFP who Shield Walled, and used their Mini Feat, allowing them to touch the outside of the zone. The Widowmakers took the same position at the edge of the woods with Eyriss and opened fire on the WoO. Fenris ran around the flank full bore to try and force an Abomination check but was unable to get there.

My second turn I would have to charge the Ravagers across the zone, luckily the POW 15 from Brutal Charge would help break up the IFP under Iron Zeal. I did just that, and was able to get about 5 IFP off the board. Then I dropped the right Gallows Grove up the table and was able to get it in the back arc of the Kovnik, despite him having cover from the building. I was able to get him off the table with a Sunder Spirit from Morvahna. Then used the Mini Feat from WoO to dehorse Fenris on the L, and piled the Skinwalkers and remaining WoO into the zone behind the Ravagers. The Beasts moved into the zone and the stones dropped in front of them to protect from Impending Doom and be sure they could threaten the whole zone. Butcher took the dice and moved the remaining IFP into action by starting to clear the front line of the unit, and get into the zone. The Jacks moved forward as much as they could but did not want to open. Widowmakers were able to get another round of shooting due to how effective they were last round I wasn’t able to get them engaged. Eyriss then moved forward again and the WoO were down to less than half, and the Ravagers were down a few models. Saxon also was on fire this game plucking his second model in as many turns. The dogs were able to help at this point and so was Butcher. Ravagers were down below half as were the WoO. Zone was contested, and the two jacks were going to be able to get in next turn.

On my turn, I decided I would Feat back what I lost and score a Pressure Point this turn to get damage on Butcher and perhaps make it difficult for the ‘jacks to get in the zone. I activated the remaining Ravagers first and got a few IFP, then activated the WoO who were finally able to engage Eyriss and the Widow makers as well as Saxon. I up kept Carnivore on the IFP and then Feated 10 of the models I lost back onto the table. Then had Morvahna use a Gallows Grove to get a well placed Death Knell on the IFP Flag, Corbeau, Ayianna and an Argus. I was able to kill all but the Argus. I then retreated to the rear of the zone, and let the Skinwalkers kill the remaining IFP to heal Morvahna about half of the damage she had taken. The Stones moved farther forward, and the beats were now pressed further forward in the zone. I had successfully cleared the zone, and dominated putting 7 damage on Butcher. Jeff knew that the game was tilting in the wrong direction and had to get into the zone, and be aggressive with Butcher. He started with the first Devstator, moved forward and popped open, clearing most of the models around. This allowed the second Devestator to move into the zone, pop, and clear more infantry, he hot rolled a lot of damage on the 8 box models. The space available now cleared room for Butcher to get into the zone and start to really cleanup. He cleared the models around him, impending doom feated, and cleared some more, and ended the turn with 4 focus on him.

Butcher was in the zone, close to Morvahna, who had now been healed back to to full thanks to Imperishable Conviction. The two jacks had opened up, which allowed me the opportunity to possibly take them out. However, Butcher was in the zone only on ARM 22 and down ⅓ of his HP. So I decided to go for him. I did not upkeep Carnivore. I activated Morvahna first, put Carnivore on the Wold Guardian, and threw a Sunder Spirit into Butcher, with a re-roll had Butcher down to half life. I activated the Stones and dropped the Wold Guardian behind the Butcher, and activated the Wold, who went to town able to KD the Warcaster on the first swing. Then using Ram started pushing Butcher toward the Feral so I could walk into Melee with the second heavy. However, on the final swing with the Wold, Butcher was finished. Tourney over!

Final Table Shot

This event was a great exercise for me. I was fortunate to win, given the matches I had. As I said at the onset I wanted to see how the Morvahna list worked in the format and I think it has real potential. The jam tactic does have a lot of viability because it puts direct damage onto the opposing ‘Lock or ‘Caster if I can use it to score Pressure Points. Additionally once damaged, her assassination becomes that much more live. Also, when the opposing Caster/Lock is bleeding my infantry becomes that much more likely to finish the job with charges and re-rolls. The trouble is having to activate everything and move quickly. Unlike the Cryx lists I have run in the past, I cannot rely on my Feat to keep me in the game alone, and to support my tactic of trying to take over the zone, I have to get the most out of my activations, which creates the leverage in the attrition. Additionally I saw that I don’t need to Feat to win with the list in this format. While I obviously would prefer to do but, with time constraints that I have it doesn’t need to happen. Seeing that go successfully in round 2 gives me confidence that it’s a viable thought going forward (when applicable and I need to save time). I believe it’s a list that can be played in the Hard Core format, as long as I get through my progressions efficiently, and don’t waste unnecessary time.

Another take away from the event now getting a better look at Butcher3, I realized the value of having the immobile models; being able to prevent the Impending Doom from pulling everything in is huge. That means placement on Stones and Gallows Groves can save your battlegroup from certain death. That doesn’t mean they can tank the opposing army, just means you can use them to buy time, or even catch an unsuspecting Butcher 3 player from failing to realize the interaction. Killing the Kovniks slows the army down, but unless you can get them early, it doesn’t make enough of a difference to waste a high priority magic missile on them.

The last point of note was that the Butcher3 lists were nearly identical to what I saw at the Invitational, with some combination of IFP, Widowmakers, Eyriss, Corbeau, and Kovniks. The additional points expenditure on Fenris or A&H, or whatever are subtle details, to what the list wants to do. You have to manage his threat range and make him burn focus to clear the jam between your caster and him. The heavy jack in his list is only a trade piece, and while it’s a problem, it’s important not to take the bait and give a heavy to make it happen, only to have Butcher mop it up in retaliation. Recognize that and not wasting the effort to kill the heavy, when those pieces are really need to kill Butcher.

I’m overall happy with the table time from the event, and got some pretty sweet games in, bonus was being able to take home the W! Toy Whiz is a great venue and thanks to Jeff Frederickson for running the tourney.

DOGC’s Anthony Ferraiolo Wins GenCon Masters!!!

This past August, in by far DOGC’s most significant accomplishment to date, Anthony ran the table at GenCon in Indianapolis, one of the largest gaming conventions in the world, to win the Warmachine Masters title. Here is a recount of the games in his own words…

What an amazing weekend at GenCon! It’s hard to explain the deep sense of pride and humility I experienced; this was, and is, as rewarding a moment for a hobbyist and gamer as I could imagine. I do love this game, like I’m sure many of you, so to live this dream is just that, a moment you don’t know will come nor can you ever expect it. To do it at only my third major con is just… crazy. Nonetheless, I will take you through the two events and seven games as best I can remember, tho I promise the details will be sorted as it was a bit of a whirlwind, especially as the rounds and games mounted.

The place to start is with my lists, which I received many, many questions about…

pBaldur

Woldwrath

Ghetorix

Stalker

Bloodtrackers (full)

Shifting Stones w/ UA

Witch Doctor

Swamp Gobbers

Kromac

Stalker x 2

Pureblood

Gorax

Wilder

Woldstalers x 2

Shifting Stones w/ UA

Galows Grove

Lord of the Feast

Swamp Gobbers

—-

eMorvahna

Feral

Woldguardian

Ravagers (full) w/ UA and WA

Skinwalkers (full) w/ UA

Wolves of Orboros (full) w/ UA

Shifting Stones w/ UA

Gallows Grove x 2

So yes, no Megalith, no Nuala, no second unit of Stones (in any list), and yes, I did play a Pureblood, Ravagers, Feral, and Lord of the Feast; Baldur was not in Tier, and I did use a Woldwrath. Guilty as charged. After it was all said and done, it was somehow good enough to win GenCon Masters :D. Honestly, it could not have worked out any better, and every list performed as I had prepared it to. The pBaldur list, as I have said in other BRs, was built around the Woldwrath and what I think takes advantage of what it does best. Ultimately it’s an attrition list that swaps heavies until an unkillable Gargantuan is the only thing left and overall the list is really really strong in scenario play; it does struggle with massed infantry however. The eMorvahna list construction has generated the second most questions. In my opinion her list wants to be in melee; Reeves and Bloodtrackers just didn’t do it for me. I did not have a great experience with them and found that the Ravagers really ‘deliver’ the list well, are great in melee, and 8 box infantry are tremendous on her feat turn. The list also handles guns lines fairly well, as it engages everything quickly and Morvahna herself is fairly hard to kill at ranged given the protection built into the list. It’s in general a good all comers drop, while being a strong counter to a lot. Lastly Kromac is built in not a completely atypical way, I have a few twists that brought some different things to the table. The entire list brings magical weapons, and the Lord of the Feast brings a different dynamic than most opponents expect from a Kromac list, as does the Pureblood. That said the list does struggle with scenario but is excellent at taking opposing pieces off the board in any order I choose (most of the time).

GenCon runs a two day masters with two qualifying heats, three list Divide and Conquer [1] (each qualifier and the final) which means you have to play each lists one time (in each event). The opening heats were only slated for three rounds which means you would essentially be locking yourself out of a list each time you played a list, and by the last round you would be completely locked in. I really wanted to qualify in the first heat to give myself as much mental rest as possible as well as giving myself an extra half day to enjoy the con.

Masters Qaulifier – Heat 1

Round 1 – vs Menoth

Scenario – Outflank

Recap – I don’t remember my opponents three lists, but I do recall he was playing three non Purification Casters which is what struck me. Purification is the bane of most Warlocks/Warcasters in the game, but feels much worse for me as a Circle player than it does for anything else I play, so not having to deal with that set me at ease early. The selection of the first list was actually the hardest choice of the event because essentially you are forfeiting whatever list you choose for the rest of the day. That said, I was not entirely sure what he was going to drop, but suspected eKreoss2 Tier as the auto hit and extra attack on Feat turn are bad news for high DEF Circle; given that after considering all things I decided to go with pBaldur. I know dropping difficult terrain is an issue for a lot of Menoth; the Feat can really allow me to get ahead on attrition, and it’s the list that I expected my opponents to be ‘least’ familiar with. Plus if I have to live without it the rest of the day I feel my other two lists can handle what the Baldur list is normally good at.

Sure enough my opponent dropped eKreoss2; good news is that I have two local players that have run this list quite a bit so I’m very well versed in facing it. My opponent won the die roll and opted to have me go first, which I thought meant that he wanted to move from the side of the board with the impassable terrain; however he chose to stay where he was. So I’m happy to take the opening turn and take board position. In this scenario, it’s a bit tougher because I have somewhat limited resources to protect two distinct zones, so what I like to do is have Woldwrath hold up one zone, and use the rest of my battle group in the other, and the BTs to support either, creating a barrier between my opponent and Baldur. There was no comfortable wall in my area so I had to rely on this barrier and blocking LOS with Gobbers and Rapid Growth. After deployment I had the Prey put on the Daughters that had deployed to the far R side of the board, looking to flank.

As such the opening turn I ran the Woldwrath forward toward the Left zone, with Ghetorix in the middle, and Stalker to R, with the BTs out front and the Shifting Stones in a strong position toward the R center with Ghetorix, Stalker, and Baldur within. I put Stone Skin on the BTs, and Solid Ground up. My opponent took his turn and did not move as aggressively forward as I had expected; ot seemed that he was somewhat unsure of my threats, and wanted to keep out of obvious threat. He pushed most of his forces to the zone where the Woldwrath was, moving the Daughters and the Fire of Salvation to the edge of the other zone, towing in, then turned the dice over to me.

On my turn 2, I knew I was in strong position to feat, he did not have much in the R zone at all, and just a few daughters and the jack. on the right he had clouded 3 units of Knights Exemplars on the edge of the zone, and the Exemplar Errants in the middle also protecting the zone. So I started with Woldwrath who put a shot into the lead unit of KEs dropping two 3” AOEs in the front of his massed infantry, killing two, and keeping Woldwrath far outside of their 8” threat. I moved the BTs up, and had them open fire on their Prey (the Daughters) and needing 7’s helped quite a bit as they were cleared from the zone, and the remaining Daughters failed their command. I also was able to kill a few KEE’s. Then I activated Baldur, Feated, and cycled Stone Skin onto the Stalker. Stones activated and dropped the Stalker in front of the Fire of Salvation that was the only Protectorate model remaining in the right zone. He dispatched of him w a few Fury to spare, successfully clearing the zone. Witch Doctor toughed the BTs, and I turned dice over. My opponent was officially fully locked up in Baldur’s Feat, he couldn’t get anything over to the zone I currently owned, as the effects of the feat were limiting his movement, and he knew it. So he decided to do what he could to flood the left zone, as he started to run through the two AOE’s he lost the first two models that ran though, and decided that was not the best choice, and started to run around it really limiting his movement further. The KEEs opened fire on the BTs and really couldn’t hit any as DEF 18 on the feat was too much to ask, the couldn’t aim due to Stealth (he needed to move to get in range), and they didn’t have range to charge. So after doing no damage on his turn, he turned the dice over, allowing me to score the zone on the right for the first point.

My turn 3, I dropped Stone Skin from the Stalker as it was no longer needed there, I then used the Stalker to kill the two remaining Daughters, allowing me to move Prey to the KEEs. The Bloodtrackers then went to town killing nearly 2/3rds of the KEE unit, leaving them with only 3 and all of the them on the far left side of the board. I activated Woldwrath, had him go forward into the Knights Exemplars that had run into proximity, and Power Sweep killing 3, then killing two more on buys, and KDing two more that were out of Reach but in the 4” AOE. Then Baldur activated, moved Stone Skin to Ghetorix, put Rapid Growth in front of the Woldwrath (not to block LOS but to create difficult terrain), and then moved into the zone for an easy Dominate. The Stones then dropped Ghetorix onto the unsuspecting Reckoner, who was subsequently scrapped by the character beast. Firmly in control at this point, I turned the dice over at 3 CPs. My opponent was feeling the pressure, had no jacks, Gravis, Kreoss, and a unit and half of KEs left and a few KEEs left. So he decided to Feat this turn, and go for what he could. He started with the unit of KEs nearest Woldwrath and declared a run/charge, only able to get two on WW, he did minimal damage. The rest were blocked out by the Rapid Growth. The Errants moved forward to try to deal with BTs, but thanks to Tough and no KD, were not able to do anything meaningful. With a hole cleared to Ghetorix, and seeing that the game was likely out of hand, he activated Kreoss feated and charged G-Rex. Then activated Gravis to do the same. After all had settled G-Rex was still alive, and I had scored 2 more CPs on my opponents turn winning via scenario on the bottom of 3. Onto the next round!

Round 2 – Cygnar

Scenario – Into the Breach

Recap – Cygnar is one of the matchups where I like to have pBaldur available, and of course he’s off the table already. Honestly in this matchup there was really no choice for me but to play eMorvahna. Admittedly I really wanted to save her for the third round as she is my most well rounded list, and Kromac is susceptible to match up issues especially versus the boostable guns of the swans. Knowing I have to win this round to worry about the next, I resolved myself to drop eMorv regardless of which caster my opponent is playing. My opponent was one of the solid Canadian contingent named Matt, and he had eCaine left along with another (eHaley maybe?). However I expected eCaine, and I was right. It was the ever popular Mercnar list, with eCaine at the helm; right down to the Forgeguard, Alexia, and Boomhowler. Luckily, I have faced eCaine enough to know how to manage this matchup.

I did win the roll to go first, which I had incorrect on the RFP podcast interview (apologies Matt and Omnus), and took the opportunity to do so (now that I can recall the details correctly and look at the photos :D). Obviously I did not want to give eCaine’s infantry heavy list a chance to unpack, so I had my Ravagers deployed out front across from the scoring zone on my R so they could engage quickly, with my battlegroup and Skinwalkers backing them up. There was a piece of impassable terrain in the middle of my half of the board, and I put the Wolves of Orboros on the L side of my deployment, to the far side of this piece of terrain; they would work to keep the flag contested if need be, and close on the flank long term. My opponent established his whole line directly across from the main scoring zone, all three units, layered with Boomhowlers first, Alexia second and Forgeguard last, with Ol’ Rowdy on my L nearer to the flag with eEyriss. My opponent, Matt, looked at me and said, “this one is going to go on for a while,” I knew he was definitely going to be right.

On the opening turn I moved to the zone, putting half of my Ravager unit at the 29” line, across half way, knowing he was going to have to move into threat range, and did not have an easy way to bring Caine out to start firing early, as he was buried behind all three units. I had Fog of War up early, Carnivore on the Wolves of Orboros, and pushed my line to the center of the board. On my opponents turn he did the best he could to move out, and ran directly out to get some Boomhowlers into the zone, and pushed Alexia up to my R to free up the Forgeguard to get into a backup spot behind the Boomhowlers. Eyriss took position on a hill and on the far L and I knew she would stay to help the Rangers shoot down the WoO as they came across the board.

On my turn two I sprung the Ravagers into action and crashed home with all four Tharn in the front, and another shot from the Shaman plus and electro leap. With that I had officially set the line of engagement way up the board, and pushed up with the Skinwalkers, and sent the WoO into the Ranger lines to take most of them off the table. Rowdy did counter charge and squish one. On my opponents turn, he fought back with the Boomhowlers to get back into the zone, and pushed Alexia to the hill on the R side near the scoring zone, in a good spot to dictate to the zone. Then Ol’ Rowdy pushed closer to the zone and killed a few more WoO that were threatening Eyriss, and she shot another. On my turn 3 I surveyed the board; I had lost some Ravagers, but to good purpose as his line was beginning to dwindle and Alexia was unexpectedly exposed. I decided to send the Skinwalkers forward thru the gaps left in the Ravager lines, and clear out the models that were in front of Alexia, so I could spring a Ravager onto her. The Skinwalkers did well to make room, and thanks to a Powerful Charge, Brutal Charge, and a re-roll, Alexia had taken enough damage from the Ravager that it could not be absorbed by Death Magic. She was now gone, as such I was able to be a bit more aggressive with Morvahna. I had a nicely positioned forest just off the zone on my side of the table that I could safely keep her in and around. The remaining Ravagers were able to get into the second level of models and start doing work on the Forgeguard. The WoO crashed into the flank to clear remaining Boomhowlers, and  were now threatening the rear lines of his Caine’s support. I was happy with my position; had Fog of War up, Flesh of Clay on Morvahna, and three transfers available. I was in the forest at the edge of the zone, and confident I was out of Caine’s threat. I turned the dice over.

My opponents turn 3, and he was basically out of Boomhowlers and Rangers, Alexia was dead, and he was left with Rowdy and the Forge Guard; but still had his Feat. At this point Caine now as able to get LOS to some of my stuff to help his army clear models. He started to do his work, and allowed the Forgeguard to get into the Ravagers and Skinwalkers. They did quite a number, killing a half dozen models, plus a few WoO. Rowdy continued to dwindle the WoO as well and moved closer to the zone charging the UA and Standard to eliminate them. When I got the dice back on top of turn 4 it was evident it was my turn to Feat, and I planned bring nearly everything back; I alsoI had a good chance to kill Rowdy this turn as well as long as I could remove the Arcane Shield upkept by Jr. (which I didn’t want to have to use Purification to manage). This was a critical turn, so I was methodical. I started with the Ravagers and Skinwalkers, and wanted to use their activates to clear as much as possible, with their mulitple attack mechanics, before bolstering their ranks with the Feat. I was able to clear the last of the Boomhowlers, and Risen as well as reduce the Forguard to less than half. I activated Morvahna, brought back the UA for the WoO and all the Skinwalkers and Ravagers I had lost, then put Flesh of Clay on Morvahna again and light calv moved back to the woods, but this time staying on the edge of the zone, as it was now clear to be dominated. I sent the WoO to work using their minifeat to kill Jr, Reinholdt, and the Squire along with some more of the Forgeguard, and even ding up Rowdy (getting the buckler!). Now with Arcane Shield off of Rowdy, I activated the Guardian who charged a damaged Rowdy to finish him off with four swings and a little help from Scales of Fate. I moved the Stones to get the Feral and Woldguardian within the triangle of terror and I was able to successfully dominate for the first two points of the game; nearly the entirety army was back on the table versus only about 8 or 9 Cygnar models on the table.

My opponent took the dice, and still had his Feat, he contemplated a lot. Morvahna was on four transfers, she was at about half life after Carnivore healed her a bit, and had Flesh of Clay on her as well. She was in concealment from the forest and Caine was pinned in behind a wall of Ravagers and Skinwalkers. So he would have to Gatecrasher to the zone, kill a model in melee and use the remaining shots to try for the game. He did just that, but instead of going for Morvahna he opted to try and gun down the Feral. He did not upkeep anything, as he was only a Focus 6 caster at this point, he spent three to Gate Crasher to the Ravager; Feated and went to town. It took him an extra attack to kill the Ravager than he planned, then started in on the Feral, but was unable to kill him. With Caine being the only model in the zone, I was able to dominate again with Morvahna, and now be at four points. The game was already over, as I could auto dominate again, but seeing as Caine was there for the taking, I activated Morvahna, put Carnivore on the Woldguardian, healed him for one, and put a fully boosted Sunder Spirit into Caine, which took him to a third of his life. The Guardian was teleported to Caine, boost to hit, KD on the first swing and killed him on the first damage roll. The game ended and I was able to dominate one more time for max CP and nearly max points destroyed. The game stat line appeared more lopsided than it really was, Matt played a strong game, but it’s even harder to attrition out my particular eMorvahna list (more so than it already usually is), and she is well suited to stand up to his Feat with transfers and Flesh of Clay. With that game behind me, I was now one win away from qualifying for the Masters final on Saturday!

Round 3 – vs Skorne

Scenario – Close Quarters

Recap – My third round opponent was Skorne with eMakeda. It was not a particularly good matchup for Kromac, but not a bad one either; it was going to be a game, and I was happy to have a punchers chance to qualify for Masters with a win in this contest. Both of us were Beast heavy, but his list had the unusual position of out threatening my Kromac list and had the goods to hit me reliably with the eMakeda feat. I won the roll to go first, looked at the board, and decided I wanted the opening turn to get myself into position to threaten everything he had on turn two. I had an objective that was impassable just outside of my deployment area, center massed, that was in a good spot for me to keep Kromac just behind to be in the kill box but completely walled off from my opponent. My opponent had five heavies including three Archidons, Molik Karn, and a Gladiator. They were all deployed in the middle of the board, and the Nihilators were deployed on my L side of the board, with support scattered as needed behind his lines.

On the opening turn, I moved both units of Woldshirmp up the flanks to firing position, put Wild Aggression on the Stalker to my L nearest the unit of Nihilators, Lord of the Feast had Inviolable Resolve, and Warpath on Kromac. I had Kromac behind the obstruction I noted earlier and the Pureblood and other Stalker on the R side of the the impassable terrain. My opponent came out in response being super aggressive with his beasts. Putting one Archidon in my face, ran the Nihilators far forward as possible, and had Molik Karn threatening just behind them, and then the remaining three heavies batting clean up with the rest of the support. As I took the dice back for my turn 2, I saw that Molik Karn was well within threat of my Wild Aggressioned Stalker so long as I could remove a Nihilator or two. So I activated the Woldshrimp on that side and took out the requisite Nihilators, Warpath moved the Stalker, had the Wilder put Lightning Strike on him and then activated him, warped ST and charged the Molik Karn (for free thanks to Wild Aggression). Intuition wasn’t going to save him, and he was dispatched of with Fury to spare, I then LS back to relative safety. The Lord of the Feast went next charged the Archidon and took up a spot next to a wall the Archidon was hugging in the middle of the table. I then activated Kromac, cycled Wild Aggression to the other Stalker which subsequently ported over the obstruction to the Archidon that was most forward to kill him easily after the LOTF had taken a chunk out of him already. The rest of the battle line took up position to threaten the line nearest my own flag. I figured I was safe in my line of battle (within striking distance of my opponents flag), unless Makeda wanted to get super aggressive and come forward to Feat.

As it turns out, he did indeed want to be super aggressive; needing redemption for losing two heavies, he pushed Makeda forward to his own flag to get her CNTL area to my include my heavies and dominate, and sent his remaining Archidons in to take both of my Stalkers off the table; he also got LOTF in the process. It was a surprisingly aggressive move, but I could see why, as he was now up 3 heavies to my 1, but Makeda was exposed with only 2 Fury (after upkeeping Leash and casting Road to War). So I look at the board, and I see that I can get a Primaled Wild Aggressioned Pureblood to her. His only transfer target is a fully healthy Gladiator, the other two beats were full on Fury. I was going to have to do something about the Gladiator. I started by plopping the Gallows Grove out into the middle of the board toward Makeda where the Pureblood would be. I used the Stones to port the Pureblood onto the far side of the Archidon protecting Makeda, just past it’s melee arc. I activate Kromac, who upkept Warpath, cast Wild Aggression and Primal onto the Pureblood through the arc node tree, then Feated, gains back all his Fury, switches form, moves and jumps into melee with the Gladiator. Now in Beast mode he goes to town with 4 boosted damage rolls on the the warbeast bringing him down to near dead. The Woldshirmp kill a remaining Nihilator to trigger Warpath on the Pureblood, allowing him to walk into melee with the opposing Warlock. The Pureblood is now MAT 8 POW 18 under Wild Aggression, with four Fury to push. Makeda was able to transfer one attack to the Gladiator before suffering splash damage, and she died on the third attack from the Pureblood.

That game was fast and furious (phew)! My opponent was aggressive and pushed me to play that way in response. Taking Molik Karn so early was critical from my perspective, but my opponent told me afterward that he hadn’t needed Karn in most of his games, so he was a bit of a decoy. However, he admitted that he underestimated the Pureblood and didn’t see all the pieces of the assassination with him which is why he got so aggressive with Makeda. I was extremely happy to be advancing to the Masters Finals on Saturday in the opening heat and now I could enjoy the next day and a half of the con!

Masters Finals

Round 1 – vs Retribution played by Bob Grant

Scenario – Process of Elimination

Recap – So here we are, opening the Masters, and I had been this far before, but I definitely wanted to improve upon my showing at TempleCon. Assessing the field, I felt good about my three Warlocks; but drawing the only Ret player in the field was a bit of first round bad luck. I normally would want to drop eMorvahna against infantry spam ranged lists ala Cygnar and Ret. However, it was too early to put her on the table, which left me with Kromac and Baldur; of the two, Baldur is far better against ranged lists, with a huge transfer target, LOS block, and a cover granting Feat. That said, of the three lists Bob was sporting he had Ravyn with Snipe Feat Go, eVyros Griffon spam, and Kaelyssa. Of the three, Kaelyssa presents far and away the most problems for Warlocks, so I fully expected to have that one dropped on me. I was right. So Baldur v Kaelyssa it was.

Bad news in this matchup is that Kaelyssa at any point can assassinate Baldur and just needs range thanks to Energy Siphon and Phantom Seeker. That means she ignores most of what Baldur can do to protect himself. The other issue in this matchup is that he had lots of infantry, three full units: Sentinels, MHSF, and MHI. Baldur is really not great versus infantry so I would have to get the most out of my Feat to have a chance. My opponent had first turn, and on deployment he had set his Sentinels on the L zone and the MHI on the R, MHSF in the center, with the jacks accessible. On my side of the board I had the Woldwrath on the L zone, which is likely why the Sentinels set up across from the zone with my battle group on the R side of Baldur and the Bloodtrackers in the middle; I put Prey on the MHSF, which proved to be a visionary decision. On the opening turn he MHI ran full blast out ahead, toward the R side of my area, the MHSF moved to the center of the board, and the Sentinels moved into the zone on the L. He tucked Kaelyssa in the rearguard of the army, behind a nice obstruction where she could dictate to the board. The jacks moved to the middle of the table behind the line of infantry. On my turn I decided that I would have to Feat opening turn to not be jammed out of scenario and allow me some time to take board position; this list was very far up the field.

On the second turn, my opponent had a bit of a conundrum with a lot of infantry and losing pathfinder. He took his two Mage Hunter units on moved them them out of the way of the jacks and sentinels to the R side of the board, and the Sentinels moved more forward into the L zone. The jacks ended up in the middle of the table. Kaelyssa Feated in response to my Feat to limit my guns, and prevent me from getting my beasts up the table. At the end of my opponents turn, I had him check his own Kill Box, turns out Kaelyssa due Baldur’s Feat really mitigating all the opposing infantry movement, was not able to get into the Kill Box, awarding me two quick CPs. This changed a lot for me. At that moment, I resolved myself to going full bore on the scenario. The plan was to put my beasts on the R side of the table take the objective for the third point, and put my BTs Tough and Undead with no KD in between the L zone and the rest of his infantry. I started by using the BTs to kill some Sentinels that were closest to the Stalker. I put Stone Skin on the Stalker and used the stones to port him into the Phoenix, and due to some bad rolls the Phoenix was still alive and operational. However, he was still on the R side of the table.Then with the way clear of BTs that had moved L, Ghetorix was able to get to the objective on the right side of the table and make quick work of it. I moved the Woldwrath forward to shoot at the Sentinels, however missed due to Kaelyssa’s Feat. up 3-0 I turned the dice over to my opponent to see how he responded.

My opponent assessed the situation and as I suspected the prospect of killing two heavies this turn was too much for him to pass up. He used his Sentinels with their Vengeance move and charge to get to the Stalker and take him off the table; then used the two heavies to take out Ghetorix, and was sure to move Kaelyssa into the Kill Box to not auto lose the game. At that point, he realized that he had very little in the zone on the L. The only thing remaing was the MHSF what was more in the R center of the table. So they just ran as far L as they could, able to get three of them in the zone. On my turn, the game, at a glance looked bleak as I was down two of my heavies, and his models owning the R side of the table. However, the devil is in the details, me up on CPs within a turn of winning. I had to clear the zone on the side to win the game. I could reach the objective easily and had enough movement to get the BTs in plenty of range to the the MHSF, whom I was happy to have Prey on at this point, and I had enough attacks to clear the rest of the Sentinels. I started with Woldwrath and tried to shoot to the two Sentinels in the zone with his gun, and missed. Bad start to the turn, but I had plenty left. Before WW was done I put his animus up, which was circumstantially brilliant at this moment. Baldur was next, charging the objective, destroying it and dropping an Earth Spikes on the Sentinels removing them. Now it was just the MHSF. I activated the BTs who had enhanced speed being so close to their Prey and they succeeded in getting into range of the remaining culprits in the zone I was able to clear all but but one MHSF. I still had two good attacks left, however only needed the Witch Doc. I moved the Gobbers up into position to be a sweet Sac Strike target, and was able to move forward with the Witch Doc and finish the game successfully clearing the zone. I still had the Stone Keeper with a boost attack on his POW 14 magic missile as a fail safe; however the Witch Doc finish was stylish :). It was a good opening round W, handing the sheet in at 5 CPs and zero points destroyed was a little silly, but I was happy to won a game against a good opponent with a great list and be on to the second round!

Round 2: vs Dan Smilek playing Khador

Scenario: Into the Breach

Recap: After finishing round 1 in relative short order, it allowed me some time to relax before my round 2 game. Shortly after the matchups dropped, Mattie K (from endgamegaming) gave me the tap to notify me that I would be put on film for my round 2 match vs Dan… cuz their wasn’t enough to worry about with my competition across the table :). That said, I truly didn’t mind and was a little excited to be on my first endgamegaming video cast. What I didn’t know is that I would be at that table the rest of the event.

As we swapped lists, my opponent had two vlad lists, one of which was all the horses Vlad3 tier which he used in the opening round, he still had his Butcher 2 Doom Reaver spam list, and a eVlad2 list. Given that the Vlad3 list was dropped in the opening round I fully expected that I was getting Doom Reaver spam; and I was correct. Baldur having been dropped in round 1 really wasn’t an option. I torn between Kromac and eMorvahna in this one, seeing as I expected the Doom Reaver list, I thought both lists had a good game against it. However, I don’t like Kromac in the scenario as much as eMorvahna. Kromac wants to keep distance from the opponent and stop retaliation, which can lead to being a bit gimped in scenario play. I knew the Butcher list can really push and I was worried that I would not be able to attrition in the manner I would prefer and have to start sacrificing my position to stay in the scenario, so I decided to drop eMorvahna. In retrospect I still feel I made the right choice.

I won first turn and set up my line with the Skinwalkers directly across from the zone, as I feel they are the best at contesting an area in the long game, and the Wolves of Orboros across from the flag as they are quick enough can get to the flag to ensure no early points are scored, as well as threaten a Caster that may go near the point and are harder to hold out of the area as they are a large 12 man unit. I finished my deployment by putting my Ravagers out in the L center nearer to the in front of the Skin Walkers. My opponent responded by setting up four of his units to the R side (as I look at the table) of his deployment area, with two units to the L across from the zone, supported by the two jacks, Man Hunters, and Yuri. Butcher and Fenris were center massed IIRC. To me his deployment indicated that that he was going for the flag on the R, and throwing waves of Doom Reavers at the zone to win a long attrition game on scenario. I thought this was an astute response to me gaining first turn. I felt good about where I was to start and was ready to take the center of the board on the opening turn.

As the game opened I moved the Ravagers from Left Center to hard Left and was careful to stay out of the Doom Reavers charge range, and essentially put as much pressure on the zone as I could on the opening turn. I had some decent terrain on the R side of the board including a piece of impassable on his side of the board, and some forest on my side. So he would have to navigate all that on the way to me. I took the WoO up in an around the forest to use that piece as a flank protector. I had the position I wanted so turned the dice over to my opponent. In an interesting twist, he took Butcher and his two jacks and rammed them forward max distance, and set a line of engagement with the Doom Reavers that was going to allow me to charge him next turn, starting the piece trade in the zone. On the R side of the board they began flooding up the board, in and around terrain. Nothing exciting, but we were prepped to engage on the next turn.

On turn two, I sent the Ravagers into battle, charging them forward, and taking out nearly a whole unit of Doom Reavers on the L side of the board, with about 3 of my Ravagers including the Shaman and his assault shot. On the R side of the board I had a wave of about 4 WoO charge forward and set a line of reach models for the bulk of the Doom Reavers coming my way, flanked by the forest for further protection. Morvahna had taken up residence behind a nice wall on my side of the table about 18 inches from my board edge, flanked by my warbeasts. Giving the dice back to Dan I had started the piece trade and felt good about what I had taken and what he was going to take back. The Doom Reaver responded in kind sending the second wave on the L side of the board into my advance Ravager models, taking them all off the board. On the R side, the Doom Reavers pressed forward hard, flooding around up the far R flank and wiping the front four WoO, with Fenris now near the 24” mark of the board backing up that side of the Khador line, with Yuri and the Man Hunters spread evenly across their lines. What was the most interesting part of the turn, when had expected Butcher to go towards the flag, he did not; instead he cast Boundless Charged pm both jacks and charged Butcher straight forward with the Jacks putting one in the Zone.

I took the dice, and pondered my opponents decision, and it was clear Butcher was coming my way, and he was not interested in scenario play at this point. So I measured where I was, and decided to start moving my line into the Zone, and wanted to start putting damage on the Jacks to be in position to make a move next turn. I used another three Ravagers to take out the second Doom Reaver unit on the L side, and a Man Hunter thanks to Corpse Tokens and re-rolls, as well as get a great charge attack on the nearest jack doing double digit damage to it. I then moved forward with the Skin Walkers setting my second line comfortably. On the R side, I pushed further into the Doom Reavers with the WoO, however the line of engagement on that side was pushed pretty far forward. I then sacrificed another two WoO on the far side of the tree to hold the line at bay from the extreme flanking maneuver they were attempting. I made sure to keep my flag safe so I had my re-roll on leadership checks available. I also made sure to tuck one WoO to the L, in with the my other infantry pieces to make it hard to clear that unit off the table, incase I needed to Feat them all back to hold my opponent off on the R side of the table. Next the beasts moved farther L and Morvahna held the wall with no real threat to her coming on this turn. Dan had successfully closed the gap between his lines and mine as he took the dice. He decided this would be the feat turn. He used both jacks to clear the Ravager that was in Butchers way, then decided to get Butcher going popping his Feat. Butcher cast Boundless Charge on himself and got range to my WoO lines, charging into the them and starting to pac-man his way up the board. He ate through more a half dozen models and ended up with 6-8 inches of Morvahna. He gave rage tokens to a few select models to start to dig out my key pieces in the back lines. He made a hard push to clear all the WoO off the table and was able to get somebody into a Stone to make sure I wouldn’t be teleporting anyone. Then he needed to secure Butchers position as he was very close to my Battlegroup so he flooded the area around Butcher with the nearest unit of Doom Reavers from the R, and pushed the other two units up behind them. Having done quite a bit of damage he handed the dice back to me.

At this stage, I was not feeling terrible about my spot, and realized that I had a relatively reliable assassination available to me on Butcher. He was not camping much focus (one I believe), and all that stood in the way of him and my Beasts was Doom Reavers. So I looked at my resources and went to work. I decided to drop one of my remaining Stones in the middle of the Doom Reaver unit protecting Butcher. I activated Morvhana dropped a nice fat Death Knell on the Stone, and IIRC had 5 models in the AOE, I was able to clear all the Doom Reavers that were in the way, and boosted damage on the Stone to make sure it was gone. Then I moved Carnivore to the Woldguardian. With the path to Butcher now clear. I charged the Guardian into Butcher, boost to hit and KD him, allowing me to take three swings at dice minus a few to take Butcher down to a few hit points. The Feral was able to activate and walk forward to seal the deal.

All of a sudden I was heading to the semi-finals of GenCon!

Round 3: vs Lou Coduti playing Cryx

Scenario: Incursion

Recap: Before the round started I had noted that there was Legion, Menoth, and Cryx players as possible opponents in the semi final round. Having used both Baldur and Morvahna in my first two rounds, I really wanted to be able to get Kromac on the table this round; as such I never wanted to draw Cryx so badly. If I drew Legion or Menoth I was going to have to go a different direction if was pushed into a matchup with one of them likely being forced into Kromac in the last round. However, when the pairings went up, I couldn’t contain the smile that crept across my face, Cryx it was! At this moment it was the first time at any point where I felt like I had a real chance to win the whole thing; though I wasn’t going to dwell on that though too long, as I had a very formidable opponent in front of me. Lou, my brother from another italian mother, was my Masters semi final opposition. He was showing eGorshade, eDenny, and eGaspy3 who was also the only warcaster he had not played to this point. We listed off, and I really didn’t give any thought to not playing Kromac; Lou dropped legendary Gaspy as I had suspected he would given the factors in play. Oddly enough I happen to think this incarnation of Liche has a lot of game versus Circle; good news for me is I’m also a Cryx player so I’m very comfortable in this matchup.

This game went so very long, the details are definitely the fuzziest out of all the games I played that weekend. If I recall correctly Lou won the roll and opted to go first, and I chose the side with the comfy wall right outside my deployment zone. After a quick exchange it appeared that Lou’s list was built more on incorporeal than he realized and too his dismay literally every attack in my list was magic based, or could be. On deployment he had Raiders AD to my L, with Mechanithralls behind them, Wraith Engine center massed with Blood Witches to the R, and all the support laid in behind the lines on either side of Liche (as he had every notable merc solo available in the list!). For me, my deployment is pretty standard with two units of Woldstalkers on either side of my deployment the two Stalkers in the middle with the Pureblood on the R of Kromac and Gorax on the L. Wilder and Arc Node were on the R of Kromac I believe.

On the opening turn, the Raiders moved to a strong flanking position spreading themselves out in three separate lines. The Blood Witches ran forward and the rest of his line moved forward with the Wraith Engine pressed forward to the middle line of the board thanks to Apparition and running. Liche put Ashen Veil on the Raiders, and took up a good spot in the middle of the board. On my opening turn, I put Wild Aggression on the L Stalker so he could deal with the incoming Raiders, Inviolable Resolve went on Lord of the Feast and Warpath up on Kromac. I then had the Wilder put Lightening Strike on the Stalker and charged him out to the nearby Raiders that had come very far across the board. Killed what was there, then took the opportunity to move back behind the wall that was in the middle of my side of the table. I then teleported the LOTF forward with the stones, then during his activation using the Raven on a Blood Witch to get right next to a Warwitch Siren and Hag. The Blood Witches promptly failed their leadership check at the hands of my Terror causing LOTF; which had a pretty big impact on Lou’s psyche, more than it probably should have. Better news was the I was able to get both the Hag and and Siren dead, as well as a Blood Witch or two with his Blood Reaper attack. Having successfully locked up that side of the board, I moved up the Woldstalker unit to support the LOTF and really whittle down the Blood Witches more. With buffs up and feeling good about my position board wide, I decided to end my turn and give the dice back to my opponent. At the end of my turn the flag on the far L side of the board had disappeared, which was beneficial to me as the Raiders were all over that area of the board and that would have been the hardest for me to get to.

On the next turn, my opponent was pretty flustered with LOTF in his lines, and not wanting to walk into duel Stalkers, but he had no choice. The Raiders took position in front of my Stalkers who were protected by the wall, and moved the Wraith Engine behind them, with the Cankerworm supporting the battle engine in hopes that he could trade for a heavy next turn. The Blood Witches rallied but it didn’t matter much this turn. He was able to get Gorman over to blind LOTF that turn, which was the only good news at this point for Lou. The Mechanithralls were now moving in behind the Raiders, and it was apparent that was where the Cryx push was going to come from. I took the dice back, and surveyed the board briefly before continuing to sandpaper his army down. I used LOTF to walk over to Gorman and engage him, unable to do much else. Then the Woldstalkers on the R side opened fire on the Blood Witches who were standing there waiting to be shot to pieces. On the L side, I used the Gorax and some boosted attack rolls to clear the Raiders that were jamming my Stalker that was under Wild Aggression, then used Warpath to get out of the way. The Wild Aggression Stalker mowed through a few more Raiders before using Lightning Strike to retreat to the wall again; not before triggering Warpath on the other Stalker. Kromac activated moved Wild Aggression  to the other Stalker along with Warpath, then took up a position a little closer to the game within 1” of the Wall getting the DEF bonus, if it should come up. Then the other Stalker moved out to take out more of the Raiders, and Lightning Strike back to the wall. Lastly the Pureblood moved to get his spray on more Raiders who were down to just a couple models left in the unit thankfully having not done anything to this point. With two of the three infantry units down to really very few models, and no chance for my opponent take over scenario yet, I decided that I was still confident with my position, having lost very little if anything at this point.

Third turn and Cryx was not looking good, so Lou knew he was going to have to pull it together if he was going to get back into the game. He started advising the Wraith Engine was going Incorporeal, then activating Liche to get Carnage up, and pops his Feat preparing for my retaliation. He then activates his Wraith Engine that had Apportioned forward declaring he wants to charge my Stalker over the wall. After some careful measurements with the help of a nearby Judge it was determined that the charge failed. As such, Lou’s frustration with the game mounted further; but he kept composure and attempted to rally. Charging the remaining Raiders into my lines through his incorporeal battle engine, he was able to pop their mini-feat and do some meaningful damage to my Pureblood. Then Cankerworm and Gerlak converged on the Pureblood, and when it was said and done the Pureblood was still alive. Gorman then opted to take a free strike from LOTF, which was whiffed (wtf??!!!) and subsequently was able to blind the character solo again. The remaining Blood Witches charged the Woldstalkers on the R side of the board near the flag, and were able to kill one, holding up immediate scoring next turn. The dice then came back to me, and I surveyed the board again carefully. The potential for me to go after Liche was there. Having the Stalker in Carnage meant that Liche was w/in 14” and possible threat of assassination. However, his Feat was up, and he was camping 4, which means ARM 21, healing with every Fury spent, and he had a few straggling Raiders with Ashen Veil nearby which could make things very interesting for placement and hitting thanks to their Reach weapons. With all that going on, I felt that I was in good control of the game and decided to not go for the assassination right then not willing to risk bad dice; and instead I would continue to attrition him out. The Wild Aggression Stalker was first to activate to kill the Cankerworm, then Gerlak, which allowed the Pureblood Warpath so I had a path where I could move past the remaining Raider and not have to navigate the wall. Kromac activated, moved Wild Aggression to the other Stalker and put Lightening Strike onto him as well. Then Kromac Feated so he could put Beastial up to counter Liche’s Feat next turn (with the pile of Souls he was gathering); he also healed the Pureblood and took position behind the wall again. The Wilder then put Wraith Bane onto the PB so he could actually damage the Wraith Engine who was still incorporeal thanks to his failed charged last turn. The Pureblood was able to scrap the Cryxian battle enginge, allowing the another Warpath on the Gorax. He moved up and killed some more Raiders that were holding in the Stalker again. Having freed up the Stalker that was now under Wild Aggression, he was able charged into the oncoming wave of Mechanithralls, using Warpath after Berserking through a number of models, (it seems like a dozen at the time); however he was not able to Lightning Strike back to the wall, so he was out in front. On the R side, LOTF moved to engage Gorman again, and the remaining Woldshrimp cleared off the flag allowing me to score my first point of the game.

My opponent took the dice, and realized that despite Kromac being accessible, he couldn’t use spells, and didn’t have charge range even if he had a Madelyn move. So he opted instead to try and take the Stalker off the board. He decided to have Gorman take another free strike from LOTF and again I whiffed (fml!!!) this time allowing Gorman to blind the Stalker closest to Liche. That done, Liche was able to come forward and camp the flag with less fear. Then the Necrosurgeon made more Thralls, bolstering their numbers before they charged. On the charge they were able to kill the Stalker, and when it was said and done Liche had scored 2 CP dominating the center flag. All of a sudden a game I had controlled so well, was not in such good position. That said, I had scored on my opponents turn as he did not get anything near the R flag so I was able to grab another point; we were tied at 2-2. On my turn I knew my goal was to put my foot on his throat in scenario play and Gorman had to die. So I moved the Pureblood up to spray Gorman, boosted to hit and killed him, then used the Warpath move to get the PB into base with the flag on the R. Then I used the remaining Woldshrimp to shoot at Madelyn, but was unsuccessful. I put Wild Aggression on the remaining Stalker, and moved Kromac away from Liche and towards the obstruction on the R side of the board on my side of the table. Moved the Gobbers in front of him and dropped a big cloud so he couldn’t see. I had a couple transfers, and was getting cover on Kromac. The Stalker then went to town on the remaining McThralls and Necrosurgeon, before Lightening Striking back to the wall. The Gorax was now free to run to contest the flag stopping Liche from dominating again. As I turned the dice over, I had scored on the flag on my R again, now leading 3-2.

At this point, I noticed the crowd around the game had really grown quiet a bit as we were the only game this round that was still going; Lou and I took the opportunity to have some fun banter with the on lookers. My opponent, feeling like he had a reasonably good assassination run at this moment with little recourse in the game, decided to charge the Swamp Gobbers with Asphyxious (to get into the cloud) and cast a Hex Blast at Kromac (who was on half health thanks to the Feat). However, given the cover, even a boost was not enough, and he missed. He then tried it again, couldn’t boost, and missed again. He moved up Corbeau to contest the flag on the R. On my turn I had a few choices, perhaps go into Beast form and try to kill Liche, or just clear the scenario. I opted for scenario, I moved the PB to get Madelyn into melee, killed her and Warpath backwards to the flag. Before I could finish my turn, Lou gave me his concession with a high five on a well contested semi final match… meaning…I just advanced to the GenCon Masters Final!!!!

Round 4: vs Legion played by Chuck Elswick

Scenario: Close Quarters

Recap: So here we are, GenCon Masters Final. At this point, whatever happens in this game is just excess. To have gotten this far in one of the largest tabletop conventions in the world is an accomplishment unto itself. I didn’t have time to really let sink in what had happened thus far, by the time my semi-final game had ended, they pretty much had us ready to start the final. I have to say all the opponents I played all weekend were great, especially my masters opponents, Bob, Dan, and Lou; all were great players and gentleman across the table. However, I have to tip my hat one more time to Chuck; he is the best opponent you could wish for at a Masters final table. Not only is he a great player, he’s a great competitor and great ambassador for the game. He set the tone before the game even started as pulled me aside before the dice rolled. Recognizing the moment and setting the tone so we can have an awesome game, that was relaxed, while still being a top shelf competitive game. The spotlight was new to me, but not to him, and the fact that he took a minute to acknowledge that and set me at ease over it really resonated with me. Now to the dice rolls…

Chuck, as is well documented at this point, had list suicided into Absylonia in the final match. I had been fortunate enough to play each of my Warlocks in the first three rounds, so I had my druthers over whom I would play. I had the pBaldur card in my hand, and was really REALLY close to playing him in this matchup; he was my Legion drop, tried and true over the past few months. However, I was fixated on Purification and the upkeeps available to Abby, and selfishly I knew I was really wanting the headline of the game to be Woldwrath vs Archangel. After a brief consult in my own mind, I decided that I could not pass on what appeared to be the stronger play with Purification and eMorvy. Looking back, I have to stress, despite the outcome of the game, given what I know now, I made the wrong decision and should have played Baldur. I think I would have been able to force my agenda more, and not have to allow Chuck to dictate the game like he was able to. What I didn’t recognize about the Absylonia list was the insane amount of RFP that was available. In my list, I really built it to take full advantage of the Feat. When you have five (yes five!) ways to RFP models each turn, it really can add up. I definitely underestimated the full capability of the list I was facing, and this game was as tough as it appears when read, and hopefully see on endgame.

Chuck deployed Archangel center cut on the board with Absylonia behind him, the Ravagore was on the L as I look at the board, and the Scythean on the R. The Pot was in the rear of the lines, with the Afflictor near by. The Shredder pair were split on the board, and the Harrier was near the Pot, all of it were in range of the Pot, so he could mint more. The Foresaken were on each end of his deployment. For my setup, I had the Ravagers AD across from the Ravagore, to get to him quickly, and I made a small adjustment to have the Wolves of Orboros behind them for quick follow up. I wanted the Skinwalkers nearest my Flag to make scoring on my flag that much more difficult. I had the Feral and Woldguardian on either side of Morvahna in the middle of the table.

On the opening turn, Chuck moved his Ravagore forward to good firing position, the Scythean ran to the wall on my R on his side of the board, directly opposite of my flag. his Afflictor moved to the edge of the forest moved up and lessors moved into the woods behind. The Archangel took a position in the middle of the board, blocking LOS to the Absylonia. Abby put up Forced Evo on the Archangel, and turned the dice over to me. On my turn I ran the Ravagers into strong position, in two waves in the middle of the board, the WoO up into the gaps behind them. I advance the Skinwalkers up towards the Flag on the R side, and moved Morvahna up to wall out in front of my deployment area, with Flesh of Clay on her, and Carnivore on the Wolves. I moved the Feral up next to her on the L and the Woldguardian w/ Flesh of Clay on him, Trampled into b2b with Morvahna so as to prevent blast damage from the Ravagore.

Turn two, Legion took the dice and the Ravagore opened fire on the closest Ravager killing him. Then the Afflictor came forward charged a Ravager, killed him, and created an incubui who would get into the second rank and kill another Ravager. The Archangel ride by attacked and dropped a few shots into the Ravagers, missing most due to range at that point, but getting a scattered damage. The Foresaken took the opportunity to fill up on Fury. On my turn, I took the opportunity to crash home with the Ravagers. I was only able to get one Ravager into the Ravagore, but was able to do decent damage. I was not able to kill the Afflictor with two non charging Ravagers, but was able to get the Incubi. I also moved the Skinwalkers farther forward, to the midline of the board, having two out front, and 4 in the rear, attempting to bait the Scythean out from behind the wall. The WoO moved forward, and filled in the space left behind by the Ravagers. I had not had a great turn, and could see that Chuck’s model positioning was extremely sharp and he was well practiced in being outnumbered in model count. I turned the dice over anxious to see what Chuck was going to do in response.

Again the Archangel used Ride by attack to shoot more Ravagers, and this time killing one, down to only a couple. The Afflictor activated to kill another Ravager, and spawn another Incubi, who in turn took the opportunity to charge into the rear of the Ravager engaging the Ravagore, killing him. The lessors came forward and killed another Ravagers as well. The now freed up Ravagore was able to fire into a small clump of WoO staring to whittle them down. The Pot then activated and killed a number of it’s own models to fill up and create a new Lesser. The Scythean opted not to come forward that turn, and wait me out. On my turn, I was now unable to Feat back the Ravagers as most had been RFP from the Incubi and snacking from the Shredder. So I decided not to Feat, charged the remaining Ravager into the Archangel and begin doing damage to him. I charged the forward most Skinwalkers into the Archangel and the Scythean who wisely opted not to come forward. One into each, and ran another to block the Scythean at the wall. I was able to do some additional damage to the Archangel and some damage to the Scythean. I had three Skinwalkers forward, and another line of three near the flag. The plan there was to get the Scythean out from behind the wall after the AA cleared the way to the Skinwalkers, or have the second wave of Skinwalkers hit the Archangel and possibly kill it before Abby could Feat. The Wolves of Orboros were able to kill the Lessors, and finish off the Afflictor as well as the Incubi. However all that in the way meant I was not able to get to the Ravagore to engage him with WoO. I had heavies still on either side of Morvahna to respond to threats to his heavies.

On turn 4, neither of us had Feated to this point. Chuck had a chance to clear the Ravagers off the board, and possibly get all the Skinwalkers as well. So he went to it, starting with the Archangel, he was able to kill both the Ravager and Skinwalker he was engaged to. Then a Harrier was spawned and charged the Skinwalker nearest to him from across the board to kill the Skinwalker. Then a remaining Shredder had come forward to kill another nearly kill another Skinwalker blocking the way for the Scythean. The Foresaken came forward and popped his Blight Bomb to kill finish off the Skinwalker. That mean the Scythean was free to go get the second layer of Skinwalkers. He charged, put Slaugtherhouse on himself and destroyed the rest of the Skinwalker unit. The Ravagore then fired his shot into the UA for the WoO and took out the officer. Now the game was clearly in Legion’s favor, as I was out of my two 8 box infantry unable to bring them back, Legion still had all of it’s heavies on the board, and nearly untouched. I took the dice and saw the I had the opportunity to swing the game back in my favor. Now that the Scythean had come forward, I had a chance to kill both the Ravagore and Scythean this turn, which would force his AA forward to deal with one of my heavies. So I started with Morvahna, Feated the UA back into play for the WoO giving me their mini-feat back, and then put Carnivore on the Woldguardian. I activated the WoO who mini-feated and charged the Ravagore, killing it, with attacks the spare and clearing out the remainder of the Pot crew. I probably didn’t need the mini feat to do it, but I wanted to be sure and not rely on a bunch of re-rolls to get it done. Then I used the stones to port the Woldguardian into melee with the Scythean. He made quick work of the Scythean was now in threat range of the Archangel. With the turn gone exactly as I wanted, I turned the dice back over to Chuck, with tide officially turning!

Turn 5, Chuck acted quickly deciding to take out the Guardian in range. He began by moving the Foresaken forward that still had Fury on it, to Blight Bomb the Wold, rolled silly to take a third of it’s life away. Then activating the Gargantuan choosing to ride by attack the Archangel still under Forced Evolution, was able to finish off the heavy Construct, before moving back in front of Absylonia. Abby then activated and feated the AA back to fully healthy before turning the dice over to me. At this stage, the last turn and half had progressed exactly has I had anticipated, I was able to trade the Skinwalkers for access to the Scythean, and able to use the WoO to get the Ravagore. In response the AA came forward to take the Wold and that left the Gargantuan in range of a teleport from the Feral. I looked at the board, and was able to get the remaining WoO into the Archangel with charges and re-roll taking him down about ten damage or so to the AA. Then Morvahna activated, I contemplated using Purification, but decided to put Carnivore on the Feral before teleporting him in to as it was more Fury efficient. I dropped the Feral in on the AA and he was able to rip him apart, leaving nothing but an empty space where the Gargantuan was between the Feral and Absylonia. With that, the game that I had been behind nearly the entire time, had now swung fully in my favor. I turned the dice back to Chuck.

With no choice Abby had to kill the Feral to have a chance of surviving. She used a Fury to force herself to gain ST, then charged the Feral. Did some damage and took it down to about ¼ of it’s life. Then created a Stinger from the Pot, who was not able to charge, and got in on the Feral but was unable to kill him. Then in a last ditch effort the Foresaken in range charged to try and bring the Warpwolf down. When it was all said and done, the Feral was sitting on one box in front of Abby. On my turn, I did not debate long, I started with the WoO who promplty failed their Abomination check by getting near Abby. Tough break, but I would not be deterred. Morvahna charged the Forsaken, hit with the Goat attack, and rammed her back an inch before killing her to get within Reach of Abby. Having kept Carnivore up on the Feral, I had 6 Fury left. I had three attacks on her, all extra die of damage, one fully boosted. I burned Abby’s last transfer, and killed the Stinger w/ the damage. The Feral only needed one swing to kill the Warlock.

GENCON MASTERS CHAMP!!!!

After I shook hands with Chuck, I pulled my hat down over my eyes to absorb the moment just for a few seconds, then turned to my friends who were all front and center watching at the edge of the table where I had just played. My teammate Shane was the first to grab me for the most epic sweaty man hug of my life! What an awesome awesome moment, not just for me, but for all the Dark Omen guys who help me practice and make me better, and the Northeast meta where I play. I could not have been prouder to accomplish this in all their names.

I’ve had a long time now to reflect on the games and the accomplishment, and it still is surreal to think of myself winning. I’m very grateful for the experience, and humbled by the accomplishment. There are so many take aways from the weekend that I want to share, but will narrow it down to three:

The first of which is to tell any of you reading this that want to compete but feel they aren’t good enough, that you simply have to put yourselves into the arena and play. You don’t really know how good you are or how much success you can have until you put yourself out there. You win zero percent of the events you don’t play in, guaranteed. Compete because you enjoy it, not because you want to win; if you enjoy competing, you are guaranteed to have success no matter what the outcome of your games.

Secondarily, luck is when practice meets opportunity. I’m sure you have heard how luck always plays a part in qualifying for a Masters, and certainly winning one. While that is true, I think clarifying what luck means is important. If I had not had the preparation to take advantage of being paired against Cryx in the semi-finals match playing Kromac, luck would not have mattered. While being lucky may well give you the opportunity, you still have to have the skill to take advantage of it. That is true in any endeavor and certainly this game. Yes, there are going to be times when you need to ‘get lucky’, but what you do when that happens defines your ability to be successful… that’s call seizing the moment. When it comes to that, there is no amount of luck that can do it for you. You do, or do not, as they say; there is no try.

Lastly, the lessons of being a high level competitor and how we manage ourselves and our opponents are probably my biggest takeaways. This is probably the most underrated skill that many, if not all, of the top level players have. You are going to run into situations that have to be navigated with your opponent and if you want to compete, you have to learn how to handle those situations, and handle them well. Etiquette of the game is an oft debated topic amongst players as I’m sure you know. While there is a clear rule set, and even some additional aids such as the judges and players guide; there is a an unwritten social contract to this game. One that cannot be scribed into a document; it can never really be expressed, only understood. Playing with Chuck, and other great players of the game, I can assure you that how you win, is more important than simply winning. Unfortunately not everyone subscribes to this notion (whether intentionally or unintentionally). While we all want to play by the rules of the game, and make sure our opponents do the same; we should also strive to bring the best out in our opponents, winning or losing, while playing our best game in response. That means you don’t look for points of inadequate advantage over your opponents, instead look to make them better by not allowing that to happen. Play with a level of integrity where the spirit of sportsmanship is upheld, not dishonored. Just because you can take advantage, doesn’t mean you should, regardless of whether the rules as scripted allow for it or not. Win because your best moves were better than your opponents best moves, not because you caught them in a clear misunderstanding of an application. All easier said than done, of course; and we all fear being taken advantage of in that manner. I watched as many great players did uphold this standard, repeatedly refusing to let their opponents walk into unknowing free strikes or be taken advantage of by mistaking an in-game effect… and still managed to win the right way. I know competition can get the best of all of us, me included. That doesn’t mean we should give an opponent the right to run all over us, but it means we should give them all the chance to be treated the way we want to be treated. This past weekend, I saw and played with many a gracious opponent, and I will strive to continue hold myself to that standard going forward in hopes that my opponent will hold me in the same regard despite any success I might have. It was awesome to see and experience first hand, as I travel nationally to play and I encourage everyone to do the same in their LGS and local meta.

What a weekend, what a tournament, and what an experience; one that I will truly never forget. With GenCon a fond, fond memory, I will now embark on my next Warmahordes journey… to St. Louis and the Warmachine Weekend Invitational :).