DOGC has first player qualify for Masters!!!

This past weekend at TempleCon, in Warwick, RI our own Anthony Ferraiolo completed an incredible run to be the first Dark Omen member to qualify as a Masters player. He put together his Battle Reports for the Standard Issue Tournament on Saturday where he qualified…

As I reflect on qualifying for my first Masters this past weekend at TemleCon, the largest Warmachine event in the world, I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t start by thanking my teammates and friends. Without the constant encouragement, practice, and support I would not have been able to accomplish this. TempleCon, one year ago, was my first ever Con. After my friends and I played against the best in the world we decided, despite only having about a year in the game, that we wanted to form our own Warmachine clique to compete at a high level; like so many other great metas around the world. So we did, and one year later, to the day, we were celebrating our first Masters appearance!  I feel that this is not so much about my performance this weekend as it is about all the players in DOGC, and the community that supported us. THANK YOU!

Now to the Battle Reports:

For those of you that have read/followed the DOGC Battle Reports leading up to TempleCon you would know that the lists I have been working on were Terminus and eSkarre, and that is exactly who I ran all weekend. The lists were the same, (and are now publicized by MattieK), but in case you haven’t seen them:

Satyxis Raiders x10 w/ UA
Mechanithralls x10
Bane Knights x10
Witherwshadow Combine
Pistol Wraith
Bane Lord Tartarus
Darrage Wrathe
Madelyn Corbeau

Satyxis Raiders x10 w/ UA
Pistil Wraith x2

My lists had been a work in progress up until the final week of the event. I had settled on them and was playing at a relatively high level, confident in both their strengths and weaknesses. My strategy for TC was to view my opponents list, and if I felt that it was a good matchup for eSkarre, I would play her, if not, I would play Terminus. Sounds remedial, but it was really that simple. She really is a poor play against competent ranged, and she is not nearly as survivable on her feat turn as many people think. I would consider what my opponent had played before each match, and what lists they had available. But ultimately my strategy was fairly simple to execute. Now to the games!

I played a TON of highly competitive games this weekend, and the lists/scenarios I played against started to run together in my memory, but I will do the best I can:

Round 1: vs Khal (Toronto, Canada)
Scenario: Supply and Demand
Opposing List:
Mountain King
Slag Troll
Kriel Stone w/ UA
Trollkin Champion Hero

Recap: So Khal is a player from a surprisingly large contingent of Canadian players that made the 9 hour trek down to TC. His crew organized the first ever Canadian Masters! As such, I was certain I was in for a formidable match. He sported a Grim list (I believe) and his Borka List. With Bombers in one list, and a Borka list with a big POW 16 Spray that I could not stop from firing, and the ability to scrap a Kraken with Rage, Acid Touch, and the Stone I felt that Skarre was not the right play, thus based on my pre-game strategy, it was Terminus for me.

I lost the starting roll and my opponent chose to go 2nd; for deployment I had a lot of terrain on the table w/ Forrest on my near L and far R, and wall in the dead center of the battlefield. I put the Mechanithralls on the side of the near forest (my L); I figured it best that they were delayed early rather than later when trying to engage. I put the Knights on the R so they could go right through the terrain if need be. Raiders in the middle as per usual. My opponent put the Mountain King dead center, Mauler on the L (as I look at him) with the Slag Troll, and the Axer on the R w/ Borka, Stones and Champion.

On the opening turn I moved up to threaten the middle of the board w/ the Raiders, and ran everything else up in support, w/ Terminus in the middle of it all w/ Malediction up. My opponent ran the MK forward but not in the zone, and put the Slag Troll up front to start the piece exchange, with the Mauler slightly in front of the MK but in the zone.

I took the dice back and opted to make this my minifeat turn w/ the Raiders, charging the Slag Troll and the Mauler. While I was able to remove the Slag Troll from the table, I was also able to do a lot of damage to the Mauler as well, and pin back the Gargantuan, not too bad. The rest of my MechThralls were ready for a counter charge, as were the Bane Knights. My opponent moved forward the Axer and Threshered some Raiders out of the way to allow the MK to get into the zone, and the Mauler fought back, reducing the Raider unit even more. He brought the Champion thru the woods to threaten my support hiding behind, and made the mistake of killing a lone Bane Knight, triggering Vengeance.

The next turn was going to be crucial to the outcome of the game as I had to deal with the MK; I decided to charge everything into the Gargantuan and was able to get him down to about single digit boxes with most of the Mechanithralls and remaining Raiders, used the Bane Knights to charge the objective, and stones, with a few swings on Borka. I had Terminus left. I knew if I did not take out the Mountain King everything was going to die as he could heal back up to full. I used the Pistol Wraith to clear a few MechThralls so Terminus could get b2b and used both attacks to try and clear him off. With the Stones aura gone (by self sac), and Malediction up I was dice minus very little and the charge attack took the Gargantuan down. Unfortunately with all the models clogged in the middle i was not able to get the Seether in too far to clog the path and was concerned about the Terminus well being at this point, but removing the Mountain King was paramount. I moved up Darrage Wrathe to further protect him w/ Beyond Death. Then braced for Borka’s counter assault, which would likely be for the game; I did score a CP for destroying the objective.

Khal didn’t hesitate, now knowing the game was on tilt for him w/out the Mountain King. He topped off, put Rage on Borka, and put up the Stones ST buff. He was POW 19 and sucked a free strike on the way into Terminus, unable to charge was a good thing for me. He put up Mosh Pit, and KD Terminus on the first swing, but wasn’t able to do much damage, he only had one attack boosting to hit and damage. The Mauler activated ate a bunch of Whelps and healed, put Rage on himself and took three more free strikes on the way in which despite the heal took out his Body and Spirit again. He was outside the Stone Aura so was only POW 19 and under the effect of Beyond Death which wouldn’t be enough against a full camp Terminus. I took the dice on my turn to clean up. Used Tartarus to Curse Borka and put him under Dark Shroud, then the Bane Knights moved to lock Borka in place so he couldn’t stumble. With no Fury, and being at DEF 12 and ARM 13 due to all the debuffs, he didn’t survive the Knights, despite a tough roll. On to round 2!

Round 2: vs Craig (California, USA)
Scenario: Into the Breach
Opposing Lis:
Woldstalkers x2
Shifting Stones w/ UA
Shifting Stones
Gallows Grove x2

Recap: In my second round match I drew Circle which is always somewhat relieving for me because I’m so familiar with them, I don’t sweat the pairing as much. Going into the matchup I also knew that I was going to play eSkarre, as I can really neuter their shenanigans with her feat, and nothing they do really catches me by surprise. My opponent is a regular tourney player from California and a great opponent. This would go on to become the most epic game I’ve ever played, given the stakes, and the twists and turns it would ultimately take.

My opponent had eKaya and Kromac, ultimately he chose Kromac and this is a matchup i’m very comfortable with as he is my main Circle Warlock and I had already played my eSkarre list against Circle the night before and it worked out fine. Circle beast heavy lists are very capable of killing Terminus and I find it to be a relatively poor matchup for him, so eSkarre was never not going to get played. I won the starting roll this time, and my opponent opted to go first. I had a building of sorts to the R of  my deployment zone, and a wall to my L so I put the Kraken in the middle, w/ Skarre near the wall so she could advance up to it, and the Nightwretch in between the two, with all the support behind and the Pistol Wraiths flanking my deployment. I put the Raiders amidst the building ruins, and Deathjack on the opposite side of the Linear at the very R end of my deployment opposite a forest on my opponents side of the board. Kromac deployed essentially across from Skarre, w/ the majority of his battlegroup on the L side (as I stood) ready to jump the zone) supported by one unit of Woldshrimp and the Stalker on the other side of his deployment across the forest from Deathjack supported by the second unit of Woldshrimp and the Gallows Grove.

I opened the game with the Raiders moving to threaten the zone but not too far in total, put a Pistol Wraith and Ragman in the ruins on the L of my deployment area behind the Raiders, and had Skarre put Death Ward on Kraken and move to the linear obstacle, supported by a Pistol Wraith and Necrosurgeon with the Nightwretch moving forward as well. I had DJ put Admonition on himself and moved him behind the wall as well. Kraken took an erroneous shot at their lines to let them know he meant business, scattered onto the Gobbers and killed one! Kromac’s force inched up as well on the opening turn; the Warlock put Inviolable Resolve on Ghetorix and Warpath on himself, camping the final few in case of another long shot from the Hellblaster Cannon. He moved the battlegroup up, save for the Stalker (who was not near him), into the Stones to threaten Teleportation, and the Stalker toed into the far side of the forest outside of 3” LOS, and in Prowl.

On the second turn I could see this match was going to be cagey. I gave one to the Kraken and camped the rest. I moved the Raiders in an extreme flanking maneuver, to the far L side of the board (as I stood) walling them off in the zone between the ruined building (on my side) and a wall (on the other side), with the zone in the middle. I was very happy with the placement. Deathjack remained back, as I was afraid of Kromac triggering Warpath on the Stalker moving him 3” forward and having LOS to DeathJack so I camped the wall, and stayed w/in 4” of the Flag. I could have moved him forward and used Admonition but I wanted to save it, and not have to recast. Kraken took another long Hellcannon shot and this time took out a non Stealth Shifting Stone, a subtle yet super important piece off the board. I turned the dice back over to my opponent. Kromac was going to start to engage, Zephyr’d the Woldshrimp on the side of the board with the zone forward starting to shoot the Raiders. They clipped one, and triggered Warpath on the Feral, moving into the zone and then it went on to kill a couple more Raiders. Blood drawn but nothing serious at this point. He did inch the Stalker forward and had Kromac put Wild Aggression on him, as well as casting Beastial for the first time. DJ and the Stalker now had LOS to each other, but I did not want to go into the forest and get stuck there for a turn, plus I wasnt’ sure I would be able to make it w/ the difficult terrain.

I took the dice back and was still not in a position to do a lot, but he did have the other unit of Stones available for the Raiders to reach. So I opted to use their minifeat and charge into them and the Feral. I took out two stones, and did a good amount of damage to the heavy beat, 12-15 pts or so. Now with both unit of Stones no longer able to Teleport, I opted to run Deathjack into the game in front of the Kraken, at extreme threat range of the Feral and Ghetorix, with Raiders in between. With Beastial up I was not going to be able to arc on that side of the board anyway, I opted to use the Nightwretch to contest the Flag, and used the wall as best I could remaining w/in 4” of the Flag.The Pistol Wraith on my L ran from behind the ruins across the zone and up against the wall on my opponents side of the board across from the Woldshrimp unit. Kraken opened fire on the Woldshirmp and plucked a few, then took a Hellcannon shot on the Wilder and did 4 damage from the blast, then I used the other Pistol Wraith to finish off the Wilder. I turned the dice back over to my opponent waiting to see how he would respond. Kromac was not going to get aggressive as most of my army was not accessible, so he did not take the bait on sending a heavy across the board at DJ. He instead opted to use the Stalker to kill the Nightwretch. With no more Wilder, he had to come forward a bit to keep the Stalker in his CNTL to force him appropriately. He decided to not upkeep Inviolable Resolve on Ghetorix, and but kept the other two spells in play. He moved forward to make sure he could force the Stalker, but only just enough. Then took the free charge on the Stalker into the Nightwretch, put Lightning Strike on himself, and warped for ST. He destroyed the bone chicken then and Sprinted back to the woods. The Woldshrimp came forward and took the Pistol Wraith off the table. The Feral and Ghetorix moved foward and continued to close the ranks on the Kraken but only slightly, not wanting to give up the alpha, and continued to take apart the Raiders, who were holding up rather well. The Woldshrimp on that side failed to hit the Pistol Wraith, who was still causing problems, by contesting and shooting at the rear ranks.

As my turn started, I realized that Craig had brought Kromac too far forward, he was within range of a Perditioned Deathjack. Craig didn’t see it but I had Skarre move to the R end of the wall (out of Beastial range) and cast Perdition at the Woldshrimp, killed one, and moved the Deathjack forward, with full focus. I then Feated, putting it on DJ, Skarre, the Stalker, Necrosurgeon and one Raider making charges on the Kraken difficult, I then moved Admonition to Skarre, typically the feat turn is the best turn to rotate that spell to her. I didn’t think it would matter, as Kromac was only sitting on two Fury, I charged DJ in, MAT 8, 7 attacks, +4 on damage. I hit the charge attack, did 20 damage, which transferred to Ghetorix. I missed the second, hit the third which he took, I missed the fourth, and hit the 5th which was transferred. With two attacks left, Kromac had 6 boxes and no Fury remaining; I needed 7’s to hit, opted to take two chances instead of one boosted, and missed them both… :(. (As i’m sure you might be questioning, Deathjack at this point, was outside of Skarre’s CNTL area so I could not use Seas of Fate. I disappointed obviously, but was still in good shape as I was under Feat and his battlegroup was very damaged. Ghetorix, was locked in, and the Feral had a number of Raiders in front of him. My opponent handled this about as well as he could have. He boxed Deathjack in so he couldn’t move before attacking. Used Ghetorix and the Woldshrimp to spring the Feral; snacking as he went to heal. Kromac then feated (crazy I know), took 1 damage point, cast Wild Aggression on the Feral and swapped to Beast form, so he could jump to place 5” away avoiding a free strike from DJ, well done. The Feral then braved the charge past the remaining Raider in the path, she whiffed and he crashed home on the Kraken taking out his entire L side. He then ran the Woldshrimp that were near Skarre straight back behind the forest so they could not be Perdition targets again; leaving the tree as the only contesting model on the flag.

I took the dice back knowing that I was still in control of the game. I should likely finish off Ghetorix w/ DJ, and get the Feral w/ Kraken after a heal from the Necrotech and help from Ragman. That would leave the Stalker versus both heavies, DJ on full boxes, and Kromac w/ only 5 left. Sounds like a plan; I started w/ Necrotech, who got enough to get the L arm back up. Then Ragmen was up, gets Death Field cast. Kraken’s turn, he goes to town on the Feral with full focus and leaves the Feral on 1 box… :/. I have recourse still, but Deathjack is next. This should be easier, w/ 5 attacks, Ghetorix had healed to about half, so I should not have an issue finishing him off. Five attacks later, and Ghetorix had taken… 1 wound. That’s correct, one friggen wound! I missed four attacks and rolled snake eyes on damage (dice -1) for the one I did hit. Now all three heavies were available. This is not good. I charged the remaining Raiders into the Feral’s rear, and finished him off thanks to Deafthfield and CMA. I opted not to use the last Raider to go near Ghetorix out of fear of not making the CMND for the Terror check, she couldn’t do enough damage anyway. I used Skarre last to take a shot at the Gallows that was not more than 5” from me, and took it out, to score the first CP of the game. At this point, I took stock in the game state,  it was a contest that I had clearly had well in hand not long ago; then the past two turns the dice had just taken it away from me, and now it was a matter of time before I was going to lose. I’m not one to ever complain about dice, as this is a game of chance, as any game of dice is. Even if there are negotiable odds, it’s still chance; if I didn’t want dice involved I would play Chess. However it is what it is. My opponent was great about it and promised me a beer… or two, after he was able to finalize the game. On his turn he took care of business, Ghetorix under Primal took the boots to Deathjack, turning him into scrap, with a little help from the Gorax. Then Kromac moved up to cycle Wild Aggression back onto the Stalker. He charged in and finished off the Kraken. He finished his turn by running the Woldshrimp forward and contesting the Flag again.

So… what to do, what to do, what to do. Kromac is sitting on three Fury at the moment, after not upkeeping anything, and casting Wild Aggression. I have a Pistol Wraith that is behind him, and Skarre left, w/ Ragman, a Necrosurgeon and a Necrotech. Since he had to come forward to buff the Stalker, he was completely in the open. I have no jacks left, my only recourse at this point was to to try and finish Kromac off. As such, I moved the Pistol Wraith forward, keeping him in Kromac’s back arc, and was able to tag him twice! Were my dice finally going to come around? I did five damage each time, meaning he had to transfer both or die, the last hit splashed a couple of damage back onto Kromac; three left. Skarre was left, she had full focus, a gun and a spell list. Here we go: first the Hand Cannon shot, hits!!!! I rolled boosted damage on him, did enough to cause the last transfer, killing Ghetorix, and causing splash back damage again. Now down to a box, I cast Blood Rain on him, hit!!! Damage roll… GOT HIM!!!!! Don’t call it a comeback :D. After I picked myself up off the mat (literally and figuratively) I was moving onto round 3.  Most epic game (for me)… ever.

Round 3: vs Zak (Massachusetts, USA)
Scenario: Fire Support
Opposing List:
Reckoner x2
Knights Exemplar Errants x10 w/ UA
Zealots w/ UA
Bastions x5
Choir x3

Recap: I looked at my opponents lists, and saw that he had played Harbinger in both of his previous two games, my suspicion was that he would likely do the same in this match, either way in both lists, he had double Reckoners. This was not a match up I wanted Skarre in, Purification is pretty horrendous for her and with those long range guns, I really wanted no part of that; so it was back to Terminus for me. Of course my opponent dropped Harbinger, who I have become used to seeing at this point.

I lost the starting roll, and my opponent opted to go first. He set up his battlegroup all to the L center (as I looked at the board) supported by the Bastians with his Zealots on the R. The Errants would set up front and center. There was terrain mostly in the middle horizontal line of the board, with ruins on the L and woods on my R. I decided to put the Bane Knights on the L to deal w/ the Ruins and my opponents battlegroup supported by the Seether, and the MechThralls on the R to deal w/ the Zealots, as they would be fronted by the Raiders allowing the Mechanithralls to navigate the woods..

My opponent went first and moved out aggressively, Feating on the opening turn, opting to pin me back as far as possible. This is a strong tactic and one that I am not unfamiliar with, so I toed around the edge of Harbinger’s CNTL area, ran the Raiders to the extreme R flank, and edged the rest of my force forward to the outside of her feat. I ran the Seether to the ruins, and decided I would have Terminus support the Banes to deal with the opposing battlegroup. I was comfortable in my position, as Harbinger would not be able to score this upcoming turn and both sides of my force were properly supported.

Harbinger’s fwp turn went reasonably well, both Reckoners took Assault shots on the Seether, and the Vassal allowed for one more; my opponent caught some hot dice and took him down to half boxes right away. Not good for me, but I’ll take it as the Seether is serving his roll correctly, and still alive to have a fwp turn. He activated the Errants and started to fire on the Banes, killing one and triggering Vengeance. On the other side of the battle, the Zealots triggered their minifeat and ran forward. Not a lot of blood drawn, but I’m ready to start counter assaulting. I took the dice back, and in response to the Zealots, I ran the Raiders to complete the extreme flanking maneuver to the far side of the battllefield deep into my opponent’s half of the board, to about ¾ of the way across threatening the objective and the rear of the zealots as well as the flank of Harbinger. I ran the Mechanithralls in to engage the Zealots and camped the Necrosurgeon behind the trees setting up the McThrall factory next turn, protected nicely by a piece of terrain to hide her Stitch Thralls in while they collected corpses. On the other side of the board, I crashed home with the Banes, and did a number on the Errants. I moved my support and Terminus to back up their efforts, affording them Tough and Curse, as well as Beyond Death. That entire side of the battlefield was locked in melee. With the early game clearly in Harbinger’s favor, I felt that the game was at a pivot point, ready to turn in my favor.

My opponent was frustrated on the main side of the battle by all my Banes Reach weapons clogging his lines; he was not able to do much and really unable to get his Bastions into the mix the way he wanted. He did clear a couple more Banes, but was facing down counter assault from more Banes and the support next turn. The Bastions were able to finish off the Seether on the near side of the wall, leaving a nice piece of difficult terrain to clog things up more. On the other side of the battle he turned the Vanquisher away from the main scrum to help deal w/ the Raiders, dropping a pie plate on a few to set them on fire. The Zealots started to dig their way out of the McThralls, but that was a losing proposition, as they were only fueling their own demise. I took the dice back ready to start stepping on Harbinger’s throat. I mini feated the Raiders and charged into the Objective, Zealots and Vanquisher. They took out the Objective for the first CP of the game, and had took the Zealots down a few models. The McThralls did a number on the Zealots as well, and there was only a one or two left when they were done. On the other side of the board, Terminus continued to close ranks on Harbinger. Tartarus activated first, and charged into the Reckoner threshering four Errants, making three more Bane Knights, who popped up behind the line of the jacks and Bastions. They activated next, and took apart the rest of the Errants, and started to do major damage to the Reckoners, also leaving the Bastions all tied in. With one Reckoner ready to go down, I decided to commit Terminus to finishing the job, as there was a Mechanik lurking in the background close enough to start repairing it next turn. The combo of Dark Shroud from BLT and Malediction from Terminus allowed him to swing once and finish the heavy jack off. I finished my turn by moving Darrage Wrathe forward to get Beyond Death up, and then turned over the dice to my opponent feeling good about my spot.

Harbinger assessed the board and it was apparent the flank on the R (from my view) was collapsing rapidly, and the main battle front was falling with one ‘jack now gone and another in severe shape. The Errants were all but eliminated, save for the standard bearer,, and only a couple of Bastions remained. Zak thought it was time to try and salvage the game with an assassination run. He gave the Rekoner full focus, and walked it up, hit then proceeded to roll HUGE damage, triple box car… :/. Really!?!? Sad part is, that this was not the first time that has happened to me in a Terminus v Harbinger game; apparently, here we go again. Good news is the followup attack missed leaving Terminus at half his damage boxes. Harbinger was next and was not able to get super close due to the Banes clogging the way, and dropped a POW 15 Cataclysm on Terminus, not doing any damage. Phew! I was not concerned until those trip 6’s dropped, ultimately it was okay, and Harbinger died to Vengeance attacks the beginning of my next turn. Winning round 3, now Masters clearly within my sights, just one victory away!

Round 4: Tom (California, USA)
Scenario: Incursion
Opposing List:
eLiche (2)
Bane Knights x 10
Bane Thralls x10 w/ UA
Blood Witches x10 w/ UA
Bile Thralls x6
Wrong Eye & Snapjaw

Recap: Mirror matches are simply never fun. My opponent was sporting eLiche and pDenny. I knew with little doubt that he was going to play eLiche; he had played both lists to that point, but had played Liche twice; given that a spot in the masters was at stake I knew that his horse was eLiche in this match. That list was one of the two that I really don’t have a good answer to, the other being a double Stormwall list. I considered my options, I knew that eLiche would have little trouble with Kraken, based on his feat, and while the Biles wouldn’t be a huge issue, they were still an effective way to deal with the one unit of infantry I had in the list. That left the entire game on Deathjack to win, and I wasn’t comfortable with that. To be honest, I wasn’t comfortable w/ my Terminus match up either. I don’t play Biles with him, and given I have 40 models in the list, I would expect to get purged off the table. So neither was really preferable, and in that situation, I fall back to what I’m most comfortable with, which is Terminus. So I dropped my Terminus list and away we went.

I won the starting role, and opted to go first. There was ruins on the L side of the battlefield just out front of my deployment zone, and a hill out front of the R side of my deployment zone. A small forest on the L side near my opponent’s deployment zone and a wall on the R also near his zone. I put Terminus in the middle as per usual w/ the Mechthralls on my R and the Bane Knights on my L so they could easily navigate the ruins. The Raiders AD out in front on the hill on the R of my board. My opponent put Liche just behind the wall so he could move first turn and camp there. The bone chicken was next to him on his L (as I looked at the table), with the Bane Knights to the L of the them and the Bane Thralls to the R. WE&SJ were supporting the Bane Thralls, and the Witches were on the far L of the board, across from my Bane Knights. In the middle of his deployment was a conga line of Biles separating the arc node from the Bane Knights, in a single file line going directly back towards his own table edge.

On my opening turn, it was standard fare, I put Malediction on Terminus and charged him up the board, and surrounded him by the MechThralls and the Banes. I moved the Raiders to a tentative position middle of the board, on the far side of battle, on the hill out of threat range of the Bane Thralls. The Seether ran up along side Terminus, and I turned the dice to my opponent. On the opening turn, he ran the bone chicken into Excarnate range of the Raiders near the hill, and then activated Liche and did just that; successfully casting then popping a Bile and purging three Raiders from the table. He then put Hellbound on himself; and was very aggressive with the rest of his army, as his Feat allows him to be, and forced his army down my throat. The Witches as expected moved to front my Knights and did their mini feat to prevent the alpha. Liche’s force was in a strong position.

I surveyed the table, and could see that this battle already looking bad before it had really begun. I could not stand toe to toe w/ Tom’s list, based on my build, and decided instead that I would try to put some quick damage on Liche and see if I could get him on his heels. So I started w/ the Raiders, figured they would likely be purged from the table next turn anyway, so charged in and mini Feated sending four at the Nightwretch; my hope was to get a few points of Feedback damage on Liche. Plan executed well, I did two to Asphyxious and was able to scrap the bone chicken after a few CMAs. I also fronted the Bane Thralls, taking a few of them down. With Liche at the wall, I was within spray range of him w/ Terminus after a move. Liche was on little camp, so I decided if I could get a decent roll, He would be well below half right away and that would change the landscape of the game, forcing him backwards and neutralizing his feat. So I did, and caught good dice, doing another 10 damage to him, putting Liche down to only 6 boxes. I did forget that he was suffering Corrosion continuous effect, but realized it in the middle of my next turn. I was satisfied at this point, and engaged the rest of his force crashing around Terminus to thwart any effort to get to him this turn, killing what could be killed. Finishing w/ the Seether blocking off the charge lane from Snapjaw if Liche was able to clear the area in front of him with purging. With that I turned the dice back over to my opponent, hoping I had bought myself some breathing room on his Feat; if so I could begin to apply my resources next turn. Liche went first, backed straight away from Terminus, and dropped his Soul Reaper on the Raiders clumped in front of the Bane Thralls. After upkeeping Hellbound, he camped the rest leaving him on ARM 22. The Biles did there thing and netted him another five (or so) souls, and freeing the Bane Thralls to mix it up and get more in the game. Snapjaw was not able to get free from behind the infantry, and only inched up. The Witches crashed home on the Bane Knights but did minimal damage as they could not get thru the Reach in most cases. Overall it was a rather moot turn for Liche, which made me feel like my plan was working.

In taking the dice back, I surveyed the setup, and after very little deliberation it was apparent I could go for the game this turn; I was relatively surprised that Tom didn’t get Liche further away with a Teleport. The plan was rather simple, use Puppet Strings to cheese out the dice on another spray from Terminus, and use my Feat if it didn’t work. I could fuel Terminus up with Witch souls which could be easily snatched by my Banes and McThralls all mixed in. I could secure his position with the wall and negate charges as I would have Big T in everyone’s back arc. It was actually a relatively low risk assassination attempt. At this point I remembered the Corrosion, too little too late for the prior turn, but it made me feel a lot better about what I was about to do. So I used the Vengeance attacks from the Knights to clear what needed to be cleared in front of Terminus. Trampled the Seether into Snapjaw so he would not be a factor next turn. Then activated the Combine to put Puppet Strings on Terminus, and moved him up to the wall were Liche once was, and sprayed him again. Boost to hit, and damage. Got the hit, and on the damage I rolled a 6,1,1 so I opted to use the re-roll on the two ones, and… BOOM a 5 and 3, which means another 6 damage… wait count it again… yup 6 damage FTW!!!!!!  GOING TO MASTERS!!!!

It certainly took a moment to realize what just happened, then I was swamped by my teammates from all around so it became real right away. I have to say receiving lots of love from all the players at the Con, as anybody who has ever tried to qualify knows how difficult it is, was probably the best part of the whole thing.

A number of people have asked me since this weekend how I was able to qualify with only a year of tournament experience. You have to be a good player of course, but it’s more than that. You also have to have a reasonable draw, the dice have to cooperate, and you need to have stamina for days… literally. I played 12 games in 3 days, which may or may not sound like a lot, but I promise you by itself that alone is taxing, add in the pressure of each game that mounts as the days build, plus the combined 30+ hours of standing, and people draped all around you while play, especially as the rounds go later. It is a mental exercise like not much else I have experienced in my life.

If qualifying to play in a Masters is something that you want to try and go for, my #1 piece of advice is that you definitely need a meta that shares the same goal. I cannot say enough about my DOGC friends. Not only do we push each other in our practice sessions, but this weekend, they truly supported everything I was doing. Staying after their events were over to watch me play. Making sure I had water and food so I didn’t starve, and generally knowing you have ‘fans’ supporting you makes you play that much better. The second piece of advice I can offer, is to not be intimidated by the scene. We all just like to play games, roll dice, and push models around a table. Of course there is more on the line than that, but it seems to me what holds a lot of good local players back is the assumption that other players are ‘better’ than them or they are generally afraid to put themselves in the arena for fear of failure. Just enjoy the games, put yourself out there, play lots of games, and don’t feel like you have to reinvent the wheel to have a chance. Play what works for you, and don’t try to do what somebody else is doing, unless it’s what you want to do. It’s a game above all else, if you’re not enjoying yourself then don’t play. Find what you like to play and play it, if you get comfortable with what that is, the wins will come. If you want to play better in big events, then put yourself in big events and play, how else is it going to happen? If you get your teeth knocked in, you learn and get better. I learn way more from losses than I do from wins. I’m pretty sure most players who are honest with themselves will tell you the same thing.

Of the other reflections from TempleCon this weekend, the biggest one is in regard to dice. I never have felt much sway of dice on my game play in one game or another. I have always felt that players saying ‘i got diced’ or ‘they diced me’ was a quasi cop out on a game they probably made other mistakes that allowed you to be in a position to be ‘diced’. After my second round game with Craig in Standard Issue, it did feel like the dice had gone way past uncooperative, and I wanted to start making that excuse. What I learned though, is that solid tactics still prevailed, in spite of epic bad dice. I think what bad dice do is lead to bad play or a self fulfilling prophecy that you ‘feel’ like you’re ‘supposed’ to lose the game so you play in a manner that facilitates that. If the dice won’t cooperate, don’t simply hand the game the game over, play it until it’s completion. Finish what you started, and make your opponent win the game. If you’ve played a solid game to that point, there may well come a point where the dice have a chance to come around again or your opponent simply makes a grave mistake. That’s what happened to me in that 2nd round, and if I gave up on the game, I would not have been playing in Masters on Sunday. It’s a dice game, and I encourage you to always remember that. Rolls go good and bad; play each game the best you can, never assume anything ‘will’ or ‘won’t’ happen, and never concede a game willingly because of dice, make your opponent win the game, don’t simply lose it for them.

Another reflection from this weekend is about poor matchups. I would argue that I faced a number of them in my 12 games, namely Harbinger, whom I saw multiple times, and eLiche. Bad matchups are going to happen, and the same rule applies as it does with dice. Uphill battles exist with any build; you need to have a plan on how you’re going to deal with it. I wouldn’t just offer over the game because the matchup is not one you want to face. Play the game, and again make sure your opponent has to play well to win. Be able to understand why that matchup beats you, do the best you can to avoid falling for the usual tricks and traps. I have found that often times your opponent knows it’s a favorable matchup, the same as you expect it to be unfavorable, and often will get impatient because they want to hurry up and win an ‘easy’ game. That leads to mistakes and/or sloppy play, and very few games at all are auto lose for any combination in my experience. If games were played on paper, we’d have no reason to paint the models!

Overall, the experience I had this weekend was a great one, and I hope it’s one I will have a chance to live again. I finished strong in Masters going 2-1, and finishing among the top 8 players in the Con. I can’t wait to go at it again, I hope to see you all across a table soon, and wish you the best in your own gaming endeavors be it Masters, or open play night at your LGS!

Two wins in two weeks for Anthony and DOGC

This past weekend (January 19th) DOGC continued to make the rounds on the regional tourney scene in preparation of TempleCon, and Anthony stayed hot winning for the second time in as many weeks; this time in Rhode Island at The Temple. The win is not only Anthony’s 6th, but represents DOGC’s 4th win in the month of January (most ever), and their 16th win throughout the Northeast in this, the inaugural year! Here is the battle report review from Anthony’s side of the table…

Before I get into my game notes, I want to say thanks to Temple and Grant for hosting the event. Despite the mounds of TempleCon paraphernalia piled around the store, we were able to have a pretty sweet event! Thanks to Tom for dragging himself out of bed to moderate the day, and a VERY big congrats to J-Wow on successfully walking the plank… I mean getting married :); AND to Roger for moving into his first home, but still making time to stop by and say hello to his geek fam! Now onto the table top review…

As I continue to count down to TempleCon with my friends and teammates, I’m trying to put in as much table time as possible before then. As such, I’m playing in my second tourney in as many weekends, and this time I have a 50 pointer to sink my teeth into. It’s important given most of the events to this point have been 35 points, and all the events i’m registered for at the Con are 50s.

The event was a 2013 SR Beta with Specialists to prep for TC. Noting that, here are my lists:

Satyxis Raiders w/ UA (x10)
Pistol Wraith (x2)

Satyxis Raiders w/ UA (x10)
Bane Thralls w/ UA (x10)
Mechanithralls (x10)
Withershadow Combine
Bane Lord Tartarus
Darrage Wrathe
Madelyn Corbeau
Saxon Orrik

In both cases my Specialists was the the Satyxis Raider Captain. I really have not hashed out what I want in my sideboard at this point, however, if I ran into a list that had a major KD effect, I thought it was good to be able to swap her in to make sure my Raiders can still do their job effectively. It didn’t come up in the event, but it turns out there was a Barnabus player in the midst, so it might have been important had it come up. My lists continue to develop as we arrive closer to the event. The major news on this front is that my Terminus list will change for the first time since it’s inception, moving the Bane Thralls out in favor of the Bane Knights reducing the need for Saxon and allowing me to get a Pistol Wraith in the list. I REALLY like this switch, however for this event the Knights were not ready, and as such I went with my standard kit. For the Skarre list, I find that I have MUCH more freedom at 50 than 35, as the Kraken is quite restricting at the lower point levels, however the list really starts to hum when I can put the Raiders in, and give the DJ a bit of a buffer. Onto the opening round…

Round 1: vs Mercs
Scenario: Close Quarters
Opposing List:
MacBain (!!!!!!!!!!!)
Kayazy Assassins w/ Underboss
Nyss Hunters
Boomhowlers (Specialist swap for WE&SJ)
Kelll Bailoch
Stannis Brocker

Recap: For those of you that have been to, or frequent, The Temple, Charlie is a fixture at their events, and everyone should have the Charlie experience at least one time when playing there! It was my first time playing him in a competitive event, as such I was excited to dial it up in what I expected would be a really great game against an animated opponent.

Charlie was only playing one list, as any MacBain player would appreciate, so my list selection was made a bit easier. I REALLY wanted to play Skarre in this matchup, however, I could not resist all those juicy souls w/ Terminus, so I opted to play big T. At the announcement of specialists, I was not opting to play any, and Charlie decided to swap Boomhowler in for Wrong Eye and Snapjaw. More souls for me, but an interesting choice that would change the ebb and flow of the game.

I won the deployment roll and opted to go first, setup Terminus front and center, with Banes on his L and MechThralls on his R, Satyxis AD out front in the center, and the Seether was deployed w/ the Mech Thralls on the R, with support in the rear. First turn I cast Malediction as per usual and pushed everything to the middle of the board, but not too far forward, all to about the 24” mark. MacBain setup in the rear of his force, with the battlegroup on his R (my L) flanked by Kell, Boomhowlers middle R (as he looked at the board) and the Kayazy middle L and Nyss far L (all my R) supported by Stannis and Eiryss. he pushed Eyriss forward to cover supported by Stannis, and Kayazy were a bit tentative, with Boomhowlers pressing forward supported by the two Jacks, all camping the scoring flag on his side of the board. Kell fired a couple worthless shots. Iron Agression was the Nomad and Fail Safe on the Mangler and lastly the Nyss pulled an extreme flanking maneuver pushing to my far R.

I took the dice back and opted to not feat this turn as I really couldn’t crash home and with the 4+ Tough from Boomies (the only thing really in range) I didn’t want to waste my feat in a game w/ so many tough rolls. As such, I charge/ran the Raiders into melee, and was able to get two into combat with Eiryss, losing a third to a Defensive Strike from Stannis (bastard!). However a CMA from the whips was able to catch dice and put Eiryss into the dirt. On my R side I decided to run the MechThralls at the Nyss, and stalemate them on the far side of the board, and moved my Banes up to square off against the Boomies that were now locked in melee w/ the Raiders. Charlie started his turn and contemplated for a bit (presumably considering his Feat), and ultimately decided not to do it. Instead he would spend his turn to wade thru my Raiders, cried 4+ Tough again on his turn, pushed his Jacks up to support the Boomhowlers with each heavy flanking a side of the unit. Stannis pressed forward to clear MechThralls, and the Kayazy continued to lurk in the rear, presumably saving their mini feat for late game shenanigans. Nyss cleared MechThralls but were unable to do a lot of damage due to the spread formation and engagement. Important note, Charlie ran out of time on his turn and was not able to get Rupert’s full activation done, but opted not to use his extension for one half solo activation (a wise choice), but that also meant no +1 DEF and Terror for Boomhowler.

With MacBain not feating, I decided it was my turn to feat with Dragon’s Call. I activated Terminus put the feat up and camped the flag preparing to score my first scenario point and set the rest of my force to work. I used remaining Raiders to grab a couple, and now with the charge lanes clear, I used Saxon to give pathfinder to the Banes to allow them to crash home on the Boomhowlers. Then activated the Seether who took out Stannis, and the turned on the MechThrall machine w/ the Necrosurgeon making three new Thralls and charging into the Nyss again. All in all, I was able to score a point w/ dominating my own flag, and had gathered a half dozen souls to push my ARM to 30. Charlie stated at the beginning of his turn that he would be using his extension. He upkept both spells and gave three focus to the Nomad. He proceeded to work thru Banes and get them down to about half. Then took the Kayazy and charged the Seether getting 6 into melee range, and taking it down to just a few boxes. The Nyss continued to work thru the MechThralls, and tried to close on the Flag to contest but were unable to get into range. Then MacBain feated and marked 7 models: Rhupert, Boomhowler, Underboss, 3 Trolls, and one other Kayazy.

With my feat turn now expired and MacBain safely out of range, it appeared as if Charlie had successfully weathered my feat. Looking over the board I noticed that my Seether was in b2b with a half dozen Kayazy, had no movement, and I was facing his rear arc. I considered the options and realized I had an opportunity to live the dream with Annihilator!!!! First time in the multi year history of playing Terminus I was going to be able to blast this spell off. Since I had a pile of Focus, I was casting at an effective 8, needing an 11, so I didn’t boost and hit, SCORE!!! 6 souls from Annihilator!!!! Charlie didn’t appreciate what just hapened but for those Terminus players out there you can imagine how glorious moment was for me. I then decided to abandon the flag and force MacBain’s hand  by pushing Terminus into easy threat range, moved up Terminus and engaged the Trolls by charging the Nomad and taking a chunk out of him. I continued to use the McThrall machine to hold off the Nyss for yet another turn. I moved the Withershadow up to defend the flag if it became an issue, brought Darrage Wrathe forward to cast Beyond Death. Tartarus was finally able to get into the mix, threshered and did some damage to the Mangler and added a couple Banes to the unit. With the jacks now exposed the remaining Banes scrapped the two heavy jacks. Turned the dice over now that I was firmly in control of the game.

MacBain decided to brace for impact as the Event round timer was ticking low. The Nyss were starting to break thru the McThralls, as they only had a few left, however, the left one on the board, and were unable to shoot down the Necrosurgeon thanks to Sac Pawn. The Withershadow ensure that at least for this turn they would not be able to score the zone no matter what they did. Boomhowlers failed their Abomination check at the start of the turn so were useless this turn, and at that MacBain camped the rest and turned the dice back over.

I knew the game was over, so I decided to try and be tidy with my turn, and mop up as many points destroyed as possible. Use the Banes to get the debuff on MacBain, then killed some more trolls and Kayazy, also finally Kell was put into the dirt. As I declared my charge on MacBain which would have  gotten Terminus to b2b with his flag (which MacBain was never able to do himself) and end the game; the round clock expired before I was able to do the deed and I won on tiebreakers.




Round 2: vs Trolls
Scenario: Into the Breach
Opposing List:
Stones w/ UA

Recap: In the second round I played someone I had not previously known, C, who had taken a leave of absence from the game after MKI, and has recently come back to the tourney scene. He was playing Doomy and Gunnbjorn; and had already played Gunnbjorn in the first round. Given this was a Divide and Conquer SR, I presumed he would be playing his Hoarluk list; as such I thought it was not the best idea to put Terminus back on the table with so many hard hitting heavies in his build and access to Wild Agression, a SPD buff feat and all the tools that Doomshaper has. Thus, I opted to reach for eSkarre. Turns out I made the right decision.

I lost the starting roll, and my opponent opted for me to go first. That is a sign to me that he was unsure of what I was capable of and wanted to see my deployment. I deployed my Kraken to the L center of my deployment zone, with the Nightwretch on the centerline, Skarre next to it on the R of the centerline, next to the Necrosurgeon and the support pieces bringing up the rear with the Pistol Wraiths deployed on either end of my setup on the front of my deployment line. My Raiders were AD out front of my deployment to the R, and DJ in front of the Kraken. My opponent had an obstruction out front of his deployment zone which made for interesting choices. He deployed all his beasts to his R (my L) meaning all his beasts were on one side of the board; it appeared his strategy was to force me to fight all of his army with half of mine, and use the obstruction to protect and wall him off from half the board.

On the opening turn I ran forward, decided to use the obstruction to allow my Raiders to advance up the field deep and own one side of the board and allow my feat to buy me two turns of fighting his main army and then allow my Raiders to close around the obstruction. I ran the PWs forward, and pushed the Kraken as far forward as I could. I didn’t press DJ that far forward for fear of an early feat and eating Mulg to the face, so I kept him parallel with Kraken. I could not afford to lose a heavy with that many big beasts across the table. Skarre put Admonition on the Death Jack and Death Ward on the Kraken. My opponent then activated to respond and moved Doomy to behind the Obstruction putting Refuge on Mulg and dumping Fury onto the Stone, and which ran in support behind him. The beasts ran forward making an almost diagonal line to from my L to my R but ending on the centerline of the table pointing to his side of the table edge.

I took the dice for turn 2, and he was clearly out of melee threat range, but as I looked closer Doomshaper had no Fury on him. He had moved forward enough to be in range of my guns, and while my LOS was not immediately accessible, I could move and garner shots to possibly end the game right now, or at least put a lot of pressure on him. I gave three Focus to Kraken, and one to Nightwretch. I activated the node first and ran him into range of Doomy. I then activated Skarre, and arced Blackspot onto Doomy and succeeded. Then I feated and put DJ, Skarre, both Pistol Wraiths, and Doomy under the feat. I wasn’t in range of the beasts w/ Skarre or I would have tagged Mulg. Next I activated the PW farthest from Doomy so I could move thru everything in the way to get a bead on the Warlock. He tagged him twice and put about 5 damage on him, and my opponent took the opportunity to use Protective Fit and moved Mulg toward my army also in threat RNG of Kraken. As such, I opted to switch gears. In the event that the assassination effort failed, and now that I could reach Mulg I decided I would take him off the table. I activated Ragman and used Death Field, then put the Kraken to work charging him to within his 4” melee RNG. Unfortunately the dice didn’t cooperate and Mulg was still standing there. I had to start damage control, so the last Pistol Wraith activated and Death Chilled the Earthborn. The Raiders ran around the obstruction to threaten the stones next turn and force Doomy’s hand from both sides, but I extended the unit out and used two Raiders to jam up Mulg as best I could, by running them round the near side of the obstruction. Lastly I ran the DJ up into the battlegroup’s grill to block Warlock in. I wasn’t as pleased with my turn I’d hoped I would have been, but I turned the dice back to him.

My opponent decided to focus the entirety of his efforts on taking out the Kraken. With Mulg still standing he was able to heal and go to town on Kraken. Doomy upkept Rampager on Mulg, and healed him, then moved to a far point on the board, to protect himself from the followup turn with DJ. Mulg activated first, spent his initial attacks to clear the Raiders, then used Goad to move into melee reach of Kraken. He bought attacks and had taken the the Colossal to below half. Mauler activated pug Rage on himself and charged the Kraken. However, the dice didn’t cooperate and he left the Colossal with a few boxes; justice for what happened when I tried to take down Mulg! The Bomber and Axer ran to protect the Warlock, and prevented any direct assault on him.

Now onto turn 3, I was fortunate to still have the Kraken standing. Skarre gave three focus to both the Colossal and DJ, upkeeping all three spells thanks to Blood Trade. This was going to be Deathjack’s turn to shine, but first I had to get the Kraken back into action. I started w/ the Necrotech and was able to repair all damaged systems, then Ragman put Deathfield back up. I started with Death Jack, who was next to Mulg, and was able to put him in the dirt easily. Then he used Perdition to move into melee range of Mauler, using the rest of his attacks was able to kill his second heavy of the turn! Now it was time for Kraken to mop up, with his systems back in action, he was able to scrap the Earthborn, taking out the third heavy of the turn. The Raiders now were able to circle the Obstruction and take out all the unit members of the stone, save for the stone itself. Lastly, w/ no threat to Skarre, I moved her up to dominate the Flag taking a CP. My opponents position was clearly compromised at this point. He took the dice, and tried to manage damage control as best he could. He used the Bomber to charge the DJ, but thanks to Admonition. He followed up w/ a second charge from the Axer, and did some damage to character ‘jack. However, it was minimal; other good news was he continues to contest the zone, and camped enough Fury to make an assassination run possibly tricky if I wasn’t careful.

Taking the dice back, I gave the Kraken two focus, DJ had two Souls which turned into Focus and I allocated another so that he was full on Focus again. I again upkept Death Ward and Black Spot using Blood Trade then cycled Admonition to Skarre, in case things went wrong and continued to camp the zone. I activated the Necrotech again to continue to heal the Kraken. Ragman cast Death Field again and Kraken then activated performing a two handed throw on the Bomber into Doomshaper. Seas of Fate made hitting a breeze. As such I was able to buy two attacks with focus on the Axer and put him into the dirt. Then DJ activated moving up to Doomy who was now KD, and despite three transfers and a tough roll was able to dispatch the Warlock and end the game.


Round 3: vs Skorne
Scenario: Supply and Demand
Opposing List:
Reivers x10 w/ UA
Gatorman Posse

Recap: At the final table I faced a formidable opponent that I have had the opportunity to play before in my SR tour of the Northeast, Derrick; many of you may have run into him if you have been on the tourney scene yourselves. He is a strong player who has come within a game of qualifying for Masters at TempleCon that past few years, moreover his main faction is Cryx and his main Warcasters are the two that I am currently playing! As such I was in for a hard contest for sure. In my list selection, Derrick had suicided into his last round list, by playing his pMakeda list in the opening two rounds, therefore he was forced to play his eHexy, which in all honesty worked out to his favor, as it was a reasonably strong answer to anything I put on the table. I thought it over intently, and given his access to Black Spot and Ashes to Ashes, along with his feat and his beast load out, I thought Terminus was a poor choice again, and opted to reach for eSkarre for the first time at a final table.

I won the starting roll and opted to go first. We were on the same table that I was playing on the round before, and again my opponent chose the side with the obstruction protecting their deployment zone. I set up with Kraken to one side opposite of the obstruction and Skarre to the R of the Colossal and the Nighwretch to the the Kraken’s L, all the support around the battle group. I AD the Raiders to the L side opposite of the obstruction this time and DJ directly across from the obstruction. Derrick set his Warlock behind the obstruction, and the beasts all to the one side of said obstruction as my last opponent did (on my L), and had the Posse take the R side of the board with the Thrullg.

On the opening turn I pushed the Raiders to over midline, with Deathjack near them, and running the PW’s to just behind the Raiders flanking Kraken; also ran the Nighwretch into the mix. Skarre once again put Death Ward on the Colossal and Admonition on Death Jack. Derrick took the dice and decided he was going to grab ahold of this game with both hands, sent his bonded Sentry out front, put Locker on him, and ran the Posse out around to the side of the obstruction (my R). Then activated his other two heavies moving them to threaten counter assault on anything that came near the Sentry; Hexy then went into action, started to sling spells at the Raiders. He missed an unboosted Black Spot, then opted to use his feat to pour two Ashes to Ashes into the Raiders, getting them down to about half. Lastly the Reivers took two CRA shots killing two more Satyxis, leaving only four in the unit.

I took the dice back, having my Raiders thoroughly decimated, thankfully w/ Inspiration RNG of Skarre so command wasn’t an issue. I knew this was my feat turn, and I wanted to return the favor of moving a unit off the table; I gave three focus to Kraken and Deathjack each, then moved the Nightwretch forward into threat range and activated my Warcaster. Arced Black Spot into the Reivers successfully, then feated, protecting DJ, Skarre, the Nightwretch, and both Pistol Wraiths. I set the PWs to work, and the dice didn’t cooperate as I had hoped, ‘only’ getting 5 Reivers between the two of them. Kraken did decent, taking out another 5 Reivers thanks to Black Spot. The remaining Raiders popped mini-feat and charged, three at the Sentry, and the last one at a remaining Reiver, was careful to leave room for Deathjack. They ignored the shield and did some damage to make DJ’s job easier, also took out another Reiver and a Pain Giver. Deathjack then charged the Sentry and took him out with his initials and one extra swing. Then he used Perdition to advance into the Gladiator and swung one more time doing a healthy amount of damage, grilling both the Bronzeback and the Gladiator. Feeling good about my turn I returned the dice to my opponent. There wasn’t a lot for him to do this turn thanks to my feat; the Reivers were decimated, Pain Givers were fleeing due to the Abomination nearby and the Posse were not in range of anything, so they ran to camp the zone and threaten my support. Bronzeback used Trainwreck to kill some Raiders, and then Derrick put down his dice.

Turn 3 I knew the Bronzeback was going to take DJ, but not before I got his Gladiator. I gave Kraken three as he was going to have to engage the Posse and Thrullg, I didn’t give any to DJ as he was sitting on a free one from the Soul he garnered in the last turn by killing the Sentry, plus his customary two. I was comfortable with that being enough, and decided to keep the rest on Skarre to avoid some squirrely Ashes to Ashes coming my way. DJ dispatched of the Gladiator, leaving Hexy with only one beast. Kraken successfully engaged the Posse, killing three, plus a successful Kill Shot on the Thrullg taking him off the table. Now he was full on Corpse tokens, and ready to be a beast the rest of the game. On my opponents turn, as I expected he charged the Bronzeback into Deathjack, I triggered Admonition, to move him backwards, out from behind the obstruction, and Derrick wisely used his Counter Charge ability to make sure he was able to scrap Death Jack. He did indeed take out my character jack, however an important interaction there was now the Bronzeback was not behind the obstruction and in threat RNG of the Kraken thanks to the Admonition and Counter Charge swap. Derrick was aware so he swung his two Gatorman posse to the side of Kraken to use their medium bases to block his path to the Bronzeback. To make matters worse he was able to get the Agonizer with Spiritual Affliction up near enough to the Kraken to deny him focus on the upcoming turn. It was officially a chess match with the Bronzeback and Kraken being the keys with the tournament on the line.

I took the dice back, and still had both Pistol Wraiths and the Nightwretch who was now engaged by Hexeris. Bronzeback was sitting in cover left by DJ, and Kraken had 16 boxes of Posse in front of him. I upkept Death Ward, and couldn’t allocate to the Colossal, so I decided not to use Blood Trade and gave my Necrosurgeon a chance to catch up on healing Skarre. The Bronzeback was so close but so far. I wanted to use the Pistol Wraiths to kill the Posse, but they were engaged and had a ton of boxes. I did have some souls to spend but it was going to be ugly. Instead I thought it better to use their activation to try and Death Chill the Titan who was a healthy defense himself, however I was close enough to use Gunfigheter on him. Before I started shooting, I noticed that I had one Raider left on the board and she was w/in melee of the Bronzeback, so I decided to take her swing first in the event I was able to get the crit, he would be KD. Turns out it was an astute play, as I got the crit and KD him. I used my first Pistol Wraith to Death Chill him, and he was effectively neutered. Now that he was under control I decided to not be greedy and risk Skarre to kill the Posse, who were at the far extent of her threat RNG. The remaining Pistol Wraith took out the Agonizer and Kraken’s activation was used to remove both remaining Posse.  Lastly I activated Skarre and cycled Admonition onto her. The game was feeling firmly within my grasp at this point. Derrick activated, and decided to back his Bronzeback up behind the obstruction and heal him. He scrapped the Nightwretch, and took a boosted Ashes to Ashes onto the Pistol Wraiths and was able to take both of them out; a successful recovery turn for Skorne, the game was clearly not over.

We were pacing well, but I knew the Round timer was starting to wane, so again I gave Kraken three, and did not use Blood Trader to upkeep as Necrosurgeon wasn’t getting good rolls on the heals. Kraken moved to destroy the objective and allow me to start scoring points. I finally got a roll from the Necrosurgeon and had Skarre nearly back to full health. Hexy’s hand was now going to be forced, the Bronzeback ran back into the game and healed some more and was getting back up to full at this point. Derrick ran some remaining schwag into Kraken’s way making it hard for him to reach Bronzeback without removing them; also contesting the zone.

This, all of a sudden, was a hugely important turn, if I wasn’t able to kill the two models in the way, I was in danger of losing a big chunk of my Kraken to a Bronzeback charge which I may well not be able to recover from. I upkept both spells with Blood Trader and gave three to Kraken. I measured CNTL RNG with Skarre and had both models in her gun and spell range. She stood still and shot one remaining Reiver and used Perdition to remove the last Pain Giver. Kraken now had a runway to the Bronzeback, which allowed me to successfully put the Titan into the dirt. Another CP, and Skarre was safely behind her Colossal. With only about 4 models left on the board, Hexy decided to go out in style and charge the Kraken, but alas couldn’t scratch the surface. He was standing in front of the Colossal with no Fury and nothing to do with it even if he had some. With my turn being a formality thanks to CPs and his Warlock flapping in the breeze, Derrick conceded a really well fought game, and I took down my second tournament in as many weeks!

In review of the event and my games, for the second week in a row the 2013 scenarios feel much more prevalent, in each game, than they did in 2012 especially if you’re playing a control/attrition style. That game plan dictates that the game will typically become close and late game the CPs start to go fast and furious when each side runs out of contesting pieces. This seems to be the result of Casters/Locks not being able to contest themselves.

I still have not been able to get into the flow of reinforcements. The Raider Captain, as I noted earlier, was the only piece I had listed and I’d probably leave her in for sure, but I have to find 8 more points to include. I’m tinkering around with it a bit more and trying to tailor each sideboard to what I feel like the lists ‘poor’ matchups are. For example, I don’t like playing my eSkarre list against a competent ranged list, and would typically reach for Terminus; however, if I’m forced into that matchup, I’d like to have some help in that regard, so a Bokur is likely to find himself into the sideboard given that weakness. I think in future builds even for my other factions, I’m going to try to build my sideboards that way, and while that may seem obvious, it’s a bit more of an art than you might think if you haven’t contemplated this yet. Considering what you would remove from the list is ultimately as important, possibly even more important, than what you would slide in. It’s not reinforcements and it kept feeling like it was when I was building it out. I’m not sure it’s going to be as big a player in the SR scene as it might feel right now, but learning how to manage it is going to important, because TOs are going to take it out for a test drive for sure.

In regards to my on the table work, eSkarre has come along nicely. There are two big contradictions I have found with what is generally thought to be true about her. First, she feels a lot like playing one of my Circle ‘locks, there are MANY things that can clip her on the feat turn. She is really a great Warcaster for sure, but I think the feat gives people a false sense of reality and typically if your using her abilities you’re likely doing half the work for your opponent by bleeding her down. Players running their own models in front of her, and ricochet damage into her, sprays, throws, now Tramples (as of the newest errata). Moreover, it seems to be a sense of pride for players to take ill advised assassination attempts on her during the feat simply for bragging rights. Typically on that turn she is going to have about ⅓ of her health gone by definition, so a moderately designed assassination effort will do the deed in many cases. Second, I have read a lot that people feel she loses a bit at 50; to me, with the Kraken, she actually gains quite a bit. Perhaps her traditional build in the pre-Colossal era, if you’re playing the character jack spam, she might be better off at 35, but given the state of the game today, I really would encourage players to try her with Kraken if you haven’t already. My list really hums at 50, and I’m having much more success with her at 50 than I originally thought. Fair warning tho, she scales up quite a bit from other Cryx casters, and she might be a noob stomper, but competent players will find her easy to dispatch if you’re not super careful.

Regarding Terminus, I feel the new Kill Box Artifice raises his game for 2013. He was going to be a player as a meta tilter anyway, but knowing you have to essentially always be in his threat range is a scary proposition. You will likely see him more this year, IMHO.  Additionaly, while you don’t see it in this BR, the inclusion of the Bane Knights over the Thralls has been an eye opening experience, and the Pistol Wraith inclusion is just gravvy. The list flows much better than it used to and the ancillary benefit of a huge threat range (16”!!!) that I honestly didn’t see untill I had them on the table, is just redonk. They don’t support the list the way the Thralls did, but these guys have a much bigger role to play game in and game out. They do much more than bat cleanup, and give me a very strong win condition that I did not previously have. The PW also is another mechanism to mitigate real threats to Terminus, not to mention adding a magic weapon.

All in all it was a sweet event, with good comp, and it’s always good to see Grant and the crew at Temple. Looking forward to taking my win streak to TC and press my luck! Hope to see everyone on February 1,2, and 3rd….


DOGC Wins again in January

This past week (January 12th) at Dragon’s Den in Poughkeepsie, NY, Anthony won his 5th event as a member of Dark Omen (in the last ten months); it was his 7th final table, and as he gears up for TempleCon here is a Battle Report review from his side of the table…

I have participated in two prior events at Dragon’s Den and have fallen short, so as I ramp up for TempleCon, I really wanted to make a strong showing in my last event there before the big dance. Special thanks to Stan for running another really great event, and making some sweet objective and linear obstacle markers for the participants! Also thanks to Dragon’s Den for being a great host as always, looking forward to seeing our ugly mugs on your store page!

Regarding the event, as I have said in 2013 I’m intending to play Cryx in all major events; so as we move closer to TempleCon I want to have them on the table as much as possible. I will likely take a break from them after, for a bit, but for now, they are my faction for competitive play. The event was a 35 pt, 2 list required, 2013 SR Beta; here are the lists I ran:

Pistol Wraith

Satyxis Raiders x10 w UA
Mech Thralls x10
Withershadow Combine
Darrage Wrathe
Madelyn Corbeau
Saxon Orrik

The list I have been working hard on is the eSkarre list. She is a new Warcaster to me, and I have had a hard time with her survivability, and taking advantage of the intricacy of her playstyle. Much more unforgiving than other Cryx Warcasters. I really wanted to play the Kraken with her, and I’m enjoying it. I’m finding that he is not often removed from the game and it’s really great to have him around late game. Additionally I have never before played Deathjack (I know, blasphemy as a Cryx player) and I’m liking the interaction of the two. I keep an arc node in there to not put pressure on DJ to get my early game debuffs up, and extend Skarre’s threat, w/o having to extend Skarre herself. The Necrotech and Necrosurgeon are auto includes to me; nobody takes a Colossal w/o a way to repair it, and Skarre definitely bleeds herself all game long, the Necrosurgeon is paramount, IMHO. The last few points I have toyed with, but have begun to settled on the Pistol Wraith. He does crazy good work under Black Spot, and her Feat allows him to stay around when filled up on souls.

The Terminus list is nothing new to you if you’ve read my battle reports in the past. I’m a Terminus player, and especially when I’m playing something new, I need my second list to be something very reliable. Additionally, in my experience eSkarre is very susceptible to competent ranged lists, and has a low model count; Terminus is polar opposite in both regards. It makes for a really nice pairing. Now onto the games, as always I’ll do my best on the opposing lists…

Round 1: vs Jeff
Scenario: Support by Fire
Opposing List:
Vassal x2
Zealots full w/ UA
Vessel of Judgement

Recap: In the opening round, I was facing two Menoth lists, both that had lots of guns, so to me the choice was easy, noting my commentary on my lists, this was not a match-up I wanted for eSkarre, so Big T it is. Turns out I made the right choice, as Jeff chose to roll w/ Kreoss. I would not have been in a good place w/ her. Jeff is a competent player who I have seen in all the events I have attended at Dragon’s Den. He pushed his position quickly, and had the Zealots out front, on my R, and the Reckoner and Redeemer in the middle w/ the Vessel facing my L flank. On my end I decided to layer my approach, with the Raiders out front, and run them right at the Zealots, having the MechThralls batting directly cleanup, w/ Terminus centermassed amidst the Thralls, w/ all the support in the rear, I pressed forward as far as I could after casting Malediction.

On the next turn, pKreoss decided to use his feat and wipe the Raiders from the board, which was to be expected; he was able to get all of them in his feat. The Zealots used their damage buff and went to town on the Raiders, leaving only 2 or 3 in the unit; they did pass their command check. He also was able to clip a few MechThralls, but nothing significant. There were two mistakes, the first was not using the mini-feat from the Zealots, the second was leaving Kreoss out of the Kill Box giving my two early CPs (under the new SR beta it is no longer auto lose). I believe that Jeff thought my stuff was out of range, perhaps getting a bit too greedy. About half of Mechthralls were in the feat and could not charge. I figured with Darrage Wrathe and Death Ride, I was able to get the rear ones just close enough to get back in the game. So I took the dice, activated Wrathe moved everyone up, and then let Terminus take over the game. Now in range, Terminus put his Feat up, cast Ravager on himself, and charged the Zealots. Blowing thru about 5, that were clumped to have close range on the Raiders. Then the Necrosurgeon activated to bolster the ranks of the Mech Thralls and I was able to get a few more into charge range. I brought Saxon up to pathfinder them over the linear obstacle in the middle of their charge lanes, and unleashed them on a few remaing Zealots and the Objective. They took out the objective, and added a few more souls to Terminus tally, Dragon’s Call had him camping at ARM 29, bearing down hard on the opposing force; when the dust settled I had 3 CPs.

Kreoss was now officially in a really bad spot. He had to leave the kill box, and was going to be in range of Big T, no matter where he went. He opted to pour every bit of damage he could on him, and run Kreoss to the farthest possible point from Terminus, hoping to maximize free strikes in the charge path. His attempts to damage the Liche Lord were futile, as he was already in god mode, and was unable to block the landing area with the Vessel. I took the dice on my turn, and made sure to maximize CPs before I closed the game out. I activated the Seether, took out the last objective, and ran the Withershadow to control the flag, ran Saxon up to take control of the other flag, then activated Terminus to charge Kreoss. It only took one focus and two swings to end the game; the extra steps taken earned maximum CPs for me. A good start to the day.

Round 2: vs Alex
Scenario: Destruction
Opposing List:
Ol’ Rowdy
Precursor Knights x 10 w/ UA
Sword Knights x10 w/ UA
Black 13th
Madelyn Corbeau

Recap: Alex is a common opponent for me, and I’ve watched his development over the past 18 months as a Warmachine player. He has found his wheelhouse with this eStryker list, having just won the last tourney he played in at The Battle Standard, and his second tournament win in his last few events. He was representing an eHaley list as his second option, but I knew w/ little doubt, he was going to be playing Stryker. As such, I decided this was the round to play eSkarre, as his force was heavily melee oriented, and Admonition on eSkarre would make it difficult for Stryker to ever get to her and Vadar. This game ended up being one of the more epic contests I’ve played recently.

I won the roll, and opted for second as there was a slight advantage on the other side of the table with a well placed piece of cover closer to the action, so that was the spot for Skarre. Alex took the dice, and put Stryker and Rowdy in the center of his setup, the Precursors on his R (my L) with the B13th and Rhupert behind them, and on the other side of his deployment was the Sword Knights with Runewood and the Journeyman trailing. The SK took their elite cadre move then ran first turn, coming nearly to the middle of the board. Everything else ran and lagged a bit behind, not before Jr put Arcane Shield on Rowdy. I took the dice on my turn, gave one to Kraken who was L of center, gave one to Nightrwretch who was center massed. DJ was center behind the piece of cover that was just outside the center scoring zone just in front of my battlegroup. The Necrotech was behind the Kraken, and ScrapThrall was on on my deployment line L of the Kraken, Pistol Wraith was also on the L of the Kraken, and the Necrosurgeon was adjacent to Skarre, with the Stitches surrounding them both. I ran the Nightwretch at the Sword Knights, in order to have Skarre arc Black Spot onto them, and was successful; thanks to Seas of Fate I didn’t need to boost. Put Death Ward on the Kraken, and positioned her on a hill to the R of my deployment zone. I activated the Pistol Wraith who promptly took out four Sword Knights. Then the Kraken took his aim, started firing his Flayer cannon at the Knights, proceeding to take his Black Spot attacks with the Hellblaster and poured those onto Runewood. Was able to splash him with some damage. There were only a few Knights left. DJ put Admonition on himself and moved forward into the zone, out of threat range of everything on the board.

Next turn Alex took his opportunity to charge w/ the remaining Sword Knights at the Nightwretch, using Runewood he buffed them and they did enough damage to take out the all important arc node, but was otherwise unarmed. He positioned the Precursors as a roadblock for Death Jack to Stryker, ran Madelyn to a safe spot in the woods on the L corner of the table (as I looked at it) just off the zone, kept the Journeyman back, and put Rowdy within 6” of DJ, threatening the counter charge. Used the B13 to drop Magestorm to drop LOS to Rowdy and the Prescursors right in front of DJ. The only thing in the zone was Rowdy. I took the dice, and knew this was feat time, as I’m sure Alex did too. I took the damage to upkeep all three spells. Gave one to the Nightrwetch and one to Kraken. Started with the Necrosurgeon and was able to heal all three damage, I didn’t want to wait as I knew I was going to move Skarre out of their range and not be able to heal her, after feating. I then activated the Pistol Wraith who took out more SKs, and was full on souls again. The Kraken was able to move up, finish the Sword Knights and use Kill Shot to hit Journeyman with some damage. The Sword Knights now gone allowed the Nighwretch to take a boosted damage attack on the Monolith nearest him. Then the Scrap Thrall charged in did his POW 16 charge attack to the monolith. DJ activated next, and threw Rowdy out of the zone stuck behind the objective, and pinned the Precurors out of the zone. Skarre activated last, feated, and moved into the zone to get more of the Cygnar force in range. I opted to feat on DJ, Skarre, and the three B13. Blocking those gunshots, in retrospect, was a rather important move, as it prevented him from taking highly accurate shots at my support, before I was able to get them engaged.

Alex took the dice back, and was trying to prevent damage the following turn. He moved Rowdy back in the zone, and after he moved, I used Admonition on DJ and to get out of AOE KD attack I assumed was coming. The rest of the Precursors moved into bodyguard Stryker who was now full on the L side of the zone, right in the middle of the board, with Rhupert and Madelyn behind the full unit of Precursors. The Journeyman decided to come forward and take a fully boosted shot at the Pistol Wraith, and his poop RAT left him short on the dice. On my turn I knew this would be decisive, I gave one to the Nighwretch again, and three to DJ, upkept Death Ward by taking damage, and buckled up for my turn. I activated the Nighwretch, thanks to Seas of Fate was able to hit the Journeyman without boosting, which allowed me to boost damage, and take out the Journeyman. I then activated DJ, w/ Rowdy now back to ARM 20. I was able to kill him with two focus still on DJ. I used those two to put Admonition back on him. The Pistol Wraith then used boosted damage rolls to take out the Objective closest to the R side (for me). Which allowed the Kraken to get into the zone, and start killing Precursor Knights. Necrosurgeon attempted to heal Skarre, to little avail. The Necrotech stood next to Kraken, and blocked space and LOS to Skarre over about an 8” area.

Cygnar turn started by Stryker taking his Corbeau move toward the short side to avoid the wreck marker left by Rowdy; after the advance was over, I triggered Admonition on DJ to block his path to my side of the battlefield, as it was now cluttered with Precursors and DJ. He opted to use the rest of his turn to kill DJ. Which he did, and Stryker finished the job by taking a mini Vadar, one die of damage, then using his feat to gain the extra attack to finally put him in the dirt. On my turn, I took the dice back, gave three to Kraken, and he went to town on the Precursors, using a Kill shot to take out the Squire, and leaving only a few Precursors. Pistol Wraith came foward and mopped up two more, tucked behind a wall just off the zone. I moved Skarre to the far opposite corner of the very edge of the lower R corner (as I look at the board) directly diagonal from Stryker who would have to circumvent Kraken if he was going to try to get to Skarre who was as far as she could be from him.

As time started to wane down now, Stryker moved to start to shrink the gap between him and Skarre, and the Gune Mages tried to take out the Pistol Wraith, only two could shoot, and both shots were missed, thanks to DEF 18. Now getting the dice back, I gave three more focus to Kraken, one to Nightwretch, and stopped taking damage to upkeep Death Ward. as I wasn’t healing enough and needed to try and catch up, leaving her with two focus. The Nightwretch took a boosted damage shot on the only Monolith left, and Kraken took to swing on it at dice plus 1, and one shot it. Then started swinging on Precursors, and took a kill shot that took out Rhupert, and the remaining B13th. As time became crunched, I saw that my opponent only had Stryker and Corbeau left, neither of which were in the zone, and I had two CP for Objectives destroyed, and I was controlling the zone for a 3rd. I failed to realize that the scenario only called for four (4) CPs, not five (5), as I could have simply moved Skarre forward and dominated for the final two CPs.

Alex started his turn with only two activations left. Opted to Vadar to kill the Kraken, and did enough damage to take him down to half about ¾ done. At that point, with less than a minute left, I gave Kraken 3 focus Power Striked him out of the zone, boosted the attack and damage roll, I rolled pretty high, but barely paid attention, as I moved Skarre into the zone, to dominate and score what I thought was the final two CP to win, with less than 30 seconds to spare!!! Both Alex and I forgot the new SR rule that Warcasters and Warlocks don’t contest, so it didn’t matter that I pushed him out, either way was a tremendous game. Max CP earned again, and near tabled my opponent in points destroyed.

Round 3: vs Pat
Scenario: Supply and Demand
Opposing List:
Darius (Tier)
Rangers x2
Stormsmith x2

Recap: Here we are again, Pat and I at the final table again in Poughkeepsie. Last time we played, Pat was able to pull out his first DOGC career tourney victory, needless to say I was seeking revenge! Pat had two lists eligible for this round, and opted to go w Darious. Knowing he had both lists available and after reviewing each, it was clear there were plenty of guns available to him in either list, which meant I was opting for my Terminus list.

With the center scenario in play, I opted to go first, and get as far forward as I could before Stormwall could get covering fire down. There was a wall on my side of the board just outside the control zone. I opted to put my Raiders off to my R flank and try to divide Stormwalls attention between them and the McThralls. On my opening turn I ran the Satyxis to mid board still on the R flank threatening the Rangers on that side of the board. Then I ran the McThralls into the nearest edge of the zone, and brought Terminus to my side of the linear obstacle after casting Malediction. Darius took advantage of his Tier benefits by dropping all three pods after trampling 10” forward. The two units of Rangers were flanking either side of his deployment line, and he moved them up. The Rangers nearest the Raiders were able to clip a couple of girls, and then braced for impact. Darius activated last and put Fortify on Stormwall

I took the dice back and knew I had to take advantage of Stormwall trampling and not dropping covering fire. As such I pounded home with some McThralls and a couple of Raiders, doing some Feedback damage to Darius, and doing nominal damage to the Colossal. The remaining Raiders engaged and took out all but two of the Rangers on my R flank, and Terminus took the opportunity to get into the zone, surrounded by MechThralls, and his support. With all the Tough rolls around me I wasn’t worried about Stormwall attempting to get to Big T. Just to be sure I moved the Seether into the zone to make it difficult for Stormwall to fit any place easily. Darius took the dice, and started the precision execution of removing my pieces. He used his Stormsmiths to take out a few Raiders, and MechThralls. Then he trampled the Centurion foward off the R edge of my zone, protecting his objective, w/ Polarity Shield up, also preventing the Raiders from circling to the rear of his lines w/o taking free strikes. Stormwall dropped covering fire to force me to move McThralls away from him, and prevent new ones from getting to him. Lastly he moved a few Rangers forward and was able to get close enough to Saxon to remove him from the board. With nothing in the zone, I scored a control point at the end of his turn.

As I took the dice, I contemplated camping the zone to Dominate for two more and trying to get to his objective to score another one. After thinking it over, I knew if I did that, he would simply move Stormwall into the zone, and even if I made a run at him, I would have a very hard time removing him thanks to Darius feat. Additionally the Rangers on the far side were dwindiling and if I didn’t feat this turn I wouldn’t have another opportunity to gather any souls. As such, I went that route, started with Terminus, put Ravager on him, and charged a small group of Rangers in the woods off the L of the zone. I took all four tasty souls, and was nicely behind the forest they were in out of LOS of Stormwall. Then my McThralls started to clip away some additional souls for Terminus, even the Withershadow got into the fun grabbing another couple of souls. All said and done Dragon’s Call had netted me 8 souls, and I was camping on ARM 30. The remaining Raiders on the Far Side charged into the far R of Stormwall, the Centurion, and the objective. I usd my mini-feat and did a bit of damage to everything, good for a couple more points of Feedback on Darius. Lastly, I walked Seether thru the Covering fire and did some more damage to Stormwall. I still controlled the zone for CP #2, feeling good about where I was I turned the dice over to Pat. He decided he had to get into the zone, as I suspected he would. Used the a Stormsmith to clear the three McThralls in front of Stormwall out, and made room for him to toe in the zone. He decided to not use his guns this turn and sweep attack on the models on his L side. Centurion also got in the mix, on full focus, he charged the Seether, and did a bunch of damage, but was unable to scrap him or take out any meaningful systems; but the zone was contested. Lastly, Darius activated and fully healed both his jacks with his feat (boo…)

On my turn, surveying the battlefield, Pat was getting low on clock and everything had gone accordingly to plan at this point. I now had 12 focus and was relatively out of the game, being on the far L flank. I had two choices, charge Stormwall and see what I do with Big T and the rest of my McThralls, since covering fire was not down this turn, or face tank Darius who is already damaged, and dare him to go for it with Stormwall and the Warcaster. I liked that option better. I started with the Seether, I threw Centurion out of the zone, to force him to spend two focus to get back to me. I charged the Stormwall with about 8 McThralls, combo striking for a bunch of damage on him, taking him down to a little less than half. I cleaned up the last Ranger with Withershadow, and then ran Terminus to behind Stormwall out of Reach and into melee range with Darius. I was able to get a few more Raiders engaged to the Centurion. Dice back to Pat, Darius was looking at the Abomination at ARM 30, and decided that he no longer felt compelled to save his Colossal, and moved the Fortify to Darius (more on that later), and camped the rest. Stormwall took some shots on some support pieces but was unable to hit needing 8’s, and the Centurion got some hot dice hitting with both his attacks on the Raiders clearing his path for next turn.

I received the dice back, I had four and half minutes left and Pat had flipped the clock back to me with only 28 seconds left on his own clock. I looked at Darius, he was ARM 23 at the time, now that I was down to my usual allotment of Focus (6), even with my debuff, I decided that it was not worth it to blow and assassination run on Darius if the dice didn’t cooperate; in my experience dice minus 5 is a tricky proposition on damage with a Warcaster that has a good amount of damage boxes. As such, I decided to take the Stormwall out this turn. I used my Corbeau move to move Terminus backwards into melee range of Stormwall to get him in Malediction debuff range, and now the unbuffed Colossal was a paltry ARM 17. The McThralls activated and were able to scrap the Stormwall, leaving a huge wreckmarker. As I myself was getting low on time, I didn’t do much else with the turn, and took CP #3 before turning the dice back over to Pat. Darius was out of options and all but conceding the match. He gave a focus to the Centurion, who ran into the zone next to the Seether, and Pat clicked the clock back over to me with 8 seconds left on his time.

Knowing it was over, I opted not to swing on Darius again and risk losing a game I had been in strong control of, moved Terminus back into the zone then clicked the clock back to Pat; with only too little time left, his clock went dry, and Terminus declared another tourney victory!

After reviewing the game, as we always do, we talked about meaningful activations when a clock is running down and ultimately realized that Pat had an illegal buff on Darius. Fortify is for a battlegroup Warjack, and could not have been put on Darius (obviously changing how I handle that decision to assassinate). Good news is that the game ended as it should have, and we didn’t lament any unfortunate oversight that changed the outcome of a final table at a SR, at that we shook on a great game and another fun tournament at Dragon’s Den…

In some reflections of the event, I realized a few things that are really important going into SR 2013 season. The Scenarios originally seemed like they would be ‘hard’ to win needing so many CPs, however, the interaction of Dominating and Warcasters inability to contest makes for an unexpected quick sequence of events that scores points. My feeling, walking away from this experience, is to take the opportunity score points in most cases, even above removing models in certain situations. I would suggest keeping the scenario on the forefront of your mind all the time, and consider how you can score each turn when scoring is available.

Additionally, make a concerted effort to know what your opponents stuff does, even if you don’t know, look at the card. Unless you’re 100% sure you know what something does, check again. It would have been an uncomfortable end if that misuse of Fortify had cost me the game; both for my opponent and me. Oversights happen, we all do it, try to mitigate it as best you can.

Also, Cycling upkeeps late game is an artform :). Remember to move your buffs around, especially as they expire. Things like Admonition mean different things early in the game than late.

Lastly, not in a game that I played, but in events I have played in recently, I have seen some player disputes (not hostile) where the people involved tried to work something out, and one person was left with an unsatisfactory feeling. I always urge you to simply get the TO involved, and be willing to live with the decision they make. I promise you’ll feel better about the results of discrepancy when it’s all said and done (even if it doesn’t go your way).

Looking forward to another sweet tourney season, hope to see you across a table soon!

DOGC adds another winner to the 2012 tally!!!

Last week up in Massachusetts at Pandaemonium Games DOGC youngling Alex Buganski took some time out of his busy college class schedule to win his first career SR! The 11th win of 2012 for DOGC, in it’s inaugural year, and with Alex’s win they have 6 members with tourney wins to their credit. Here’s the breakdown in his own words…

This tourney was 25 points and I decided to bring tier 4 Constance as my list. I had  Constance, Gallant, 2 min units of Precursor Knights with UAs a min unit of Sword Knights, Jr and Archduke Runewood

Game 1:
I faced Durgen Madhammer in the incursion scenario. He had Nyss hunters, a driller, a gun bunny and a few support solos. I went second and ran everything up into the zones around the flag and feated to try and persuade him not to kill anything. (I didn’t work) He tried and ended up killing half of my precursor knight unit in the middle. He moved a Gun Bunny to the flag on the right to shoot and was just out of contesting. I killed the Gun Bunny and most of the Nyss and Gallant rolled bonkers on the Driller taking out most of it. Well he responded by trying to kill my infantry but didn’t get much. He had moved Durgen up to do so, and Connie charged him killing him in three hits.

Game 2:
I faced off a eHaley list with a Centurion, Thorn, Gun Mages, Jr. and Harlan Versh. It was a flank scenario and I was able to flood one zone with a PK unit and went after the other with the other PK. He used the Centurion to try and kill gallant but left him with one box. Constance killed the Centurion and over the next two turns I killed the rest of his army until Connie killed a fully camping Haley. Go go Flank!!

Game 3:
For final table I faced pDenny with full Soul Hunters, min Raiders, two Arc Nodes and Wrath. He ran everything into the middle, which was a forest and I responded by charging after casting Crusaders Call and feating. I killed most of the raiders. He only killed 6 of my guys and then feated (in return). Well the next 4 turns was a mixture of my PKs miming it up in the middle while Constance and Runewood killed the Arc Nodes running around the edges. It finally came down to Constance and Gallant against Denny and the Soulhunters; he also only had a minute remaining on his Death Clock and I has (approximately) 10. He ran as long as he could but I eventually cornered Denny and Connie and Gallant teamed up to take her down winning me the tournament!


Alex was so busy winning the event he didn’t take many pictures along the way, but here is a few shots including Gallant facing down pDenny for the win!

DOGC Chalks Up 10th Win of 2012!!!

This past Saturday DOGC sent two members travelling to Rhode Island to The Temple to participate in the 50 Point Hardcore Tourney, and came home with another 1st place finish!  Anthony won his 4th tournament this year, marking his 5th final table, and 2nd Hardcore win of the 2012 tournament season. Here is the battle report in his own words:

First off, very special thanks to Grant at Temple Games for hosting this awesome event, and even providing outdoor table gaming on a beautiful Saturday afternoon! Also to one of The Temple PG team Jeff Wowkowych who ran a really awesome event. Secondarily, I have to say that I have played in many tournaments, and this was one of the few times where each opponent was a truly great player, and an awesome person to play against. Many times at an event there is one regrettable experience or one particular opponent who is new to the format, the game, or events. On Saturday I really had four opponents who were all very capable Warmachine opponents, who were also a blast to play against, with high fives and handshakes before, during, and after. It’s a testament to the player community at Temple Games, and I can’t wait to go back again!!! Now onto the battle report…

Hardcore, as I have said before, is not a format I particularly enjoy, tho, I can see why it has the cult following within the Warmachine player base that it does. In a game that breeds a competitive tabletop balance, the Hardcore format is the purest form of the most basic essence of the game: kill the caster. To me, however, the time constraints are such that it leads to racey, if not sloppy, play in some cases just to get thru your activations; which, to me, can take away from the enjoyment of what is normally a sharply played tabletop tournament game.

All that said, it definitely does have it’s place, and for me, someone who enjoys being a competitive Warmachine player, it is an arena where you earn your stripes among the community. That said, to my list:

Mech Thralls (full)
Satyxis Raiders w/ UA (full)
Bane Thralls w/ UA (full)
Withershadow Combine
Darrage Wrathe
Bane Lord Tartarus
Madelyn Corbeau
Saxon Orrik

This is the third level of a list you have read in my previous battle reports. The first, at 20, the second at 35, and now at 50. To me, this is probably the best overall list I have that most easily fits into the Hardcore style. A 50 point game is one in which you have to really account for all things you might face, especially in a Hardcore Format, where it’s one list to rule them all. I am certainly not inventing the wheel with this incarnation, but it does have my own flare.

Some of the major con Hardcore Big T lists include Bane Knights over Thralls, Witches for magic weapons and Bile Thralls for good measure. I prefer the Satyxis Raiders for their ability to get across the board quickly, pin the opponent into position to allow the rest of my horde to rush forward. The Mech Thralls are standard fare for every Terminus player, and I prefer the Bane Thralls for the debuff over their Knight counterparts and I include Saxon to account for the lack of Ghostly. I have been criticized for including the 3 point UA for the Thralls over say, a Pistol Wraith, or other perceived better uses. To me it’s a few things, for one, tactical diversion as many opponents will attack the banner to remove Tough, which isn’t really necessary when Terminus is usually providing it to the unit regardless. Additionally Dead Rise is a big deal in my experience, also when Terminus has to break off from the Banes for any reason, the fact that they remain Tough is a significant factor in the units ability to persist throughout the game. Corbeau are Wrathe are Terminus’ personal court IMHO :). As always I prefer the Seether over a DJ simply for the points efficiency. I have toyed with the idea of dropping the Bane Thrall UA in lieu of DJ, but I simply don’t like anything competing with Terminus for souls during Dragon’s Call.

Now to the Battle Reports…

Tourney: Hardcore – 50 point -1 list required, No Extensions, Assassin Scoring, Close Quarters (all rounds), Artifice Killbox

Before the dice rolled, as was usual and customary, players milled around and scoped each other’s travel boards out. The commentary prior is always the same when you are putting almost 50 models on the board, which is this: in a time constrained game is how do I get thru all the activations? In truth, you’d have to ask those who play against me how I fare for the best assessment; but for my money, sometimes you simply don’t get to all your pieces. So the acquired skill in this format is activating the things that are highest priority first and keeping the most critical activations in the correct order. I know that is not exactly a pro tip :); however, I’m want to be sure to note it, as it is the most important skill to develop if you want to play competitively in this format. In standard Hardcore timing, I do find this much more challenging that with the Death Clock Variant. For those that aren’t familiar with Hardcore formats, they have one time slot less than that of a standard game of the particular size you are playing, in this case 7 minute timed turns (because we were playing 50 points) and NO extension per the TO. This is a much different challenge than with Death Clock, as you don’t have the ability to bank time for the most important turn that will come at some point. On that crucial turn you have to know it going in, and crank because you will get no additional time in timed turns as you would in Death Clock. At the end I will give some additional reflections.

As always, it’s hard to recall every detail in complete accuracy, so I will do my best. Apologies in advance, especially to my opponents (if they are reading), for any details missed.

Round 1: vs Skorne

Opponents List:
Molik Karn
Pain Givers

Synopsis: So, of all the ugly matchups I could draw in Hardcore is the very matchup that has taken down many a Terminus list in the past: a pMorgul beast heavy beat stick list. I personally watched this very match at the final table of Hardcore, ironically enough, at Temple Con earlier this year. My opponent, Derrick, is a really skilled player, who was in attendance at my last Hardcore tourney win up in Massachusetts at the Whiz. We did not face off that day, and this would be our first match. Worse news for me is that Derrick is primarily a Cryx player, therefore, nothing I had was going to surprise him.

The set up for terrain was fairly neutral as we each had a obstacles flanking our deployment zones, only difference was I had trees on my L, as oppose to impassable. I won the roll to go first, and as such chose to take advantage of that. My deployment was standard with Terminus in the middle, and instead of stacking my units which I normally do, I put the Banes to Big T’s L and Mech Thralls to the R. Seether to far R, support in the rear, and Satyxis up front. The Skorne setup was a brick with the Sentry and Tiberion up front, flanked by the Gladiator and Bronzeback with Molik Karn just behind that meat line next to Morgul and Marketh with the PG in the very rear.

I opened by getting my Satyxis clear across the board, putting three raiders in front exposed, and the rest of my horde up behind them, using Saxon to get the Banes thru the woods. Malediction was up on Terminus, and then used Death Ride from Wrathe to inch (literally) forward. My first derp of the day, I inched Big T too close to the Sea Witch forcing the Abomination check, luckily I made the successful check and moved on. Morgul opened up his brick advanced forward, and slung Molik Karn out to clip the up front Raiders, and Fate Walker back. This did force the brick forward and to be a little more loosely set up to allow for Karn to make his way back behind the lines.

On turn 2, I crashed home with the Raiders, sending most of the remainder of the unit at the Sentry, as I wanted Locker off the table. Raiders minifeated and thanks to chain weapons, multiple attacks and some friendly dice, I was able to remove that beast from the able. I backed loaded the Raiders with the remainder of my line, and prepared for the counterattack. With one heavy off the board, Morgul took to starting to wade thru the infantry. He used Tiberion to to clear the Raiders blocking the way to the Banes, and thanks to Train Wreck was able to get out of the way of Karn. As such Molik activated next, and burned thru a number of Banes, before ending the turn retreating back behind the Gladiator and Tiberion. Morgul finished the turn by feating to hamper my ability to allow Terminus from helping at all, and keeping the Seether out of the battle. As such it would be up to my remaining units to do the heavy lifting.

I took the dice on turn 3, and decided not to feat, as there really was no benefit, my plan was to only take out beasts which at best would net me three souls; again not worth it. Additionally, there was a handful of Pain Givers on the board, and if this continued to attrition down, I would enjoy those tasty souls in the late game. As such, I activated Tartarus cursed Tiberion, and sent the Banes to work. I was able to get most of the remaining unit onto the character beast, and they were able to get it done, as he already had some damage on him. The Bronzeback was the next priority as he was the biggest threat to Terminus. I activated Necrosurgeon (remembering) to make some Mech Thralls, replenished the unit a bit, and sent them to work on a debuffed Titan, currently under Dark Shroud. Combo striking charges from a handful of Mech Thralls were able to put that beast into the dirt. I was able to finally get damage onto Karn as he did not retreat far enough to get away from a Darrage Wrathe charge and I had him under Dark Shroud, so while not off the board he was bleeding. II felt pretty good about my position, as he was down three heavies, I still had mine, and two of my three units mostly in tact. Derrick took the dice and put Molik Karn back to work. Weaving thru the lines sidestepping, he was able take both Darrage Wrathe and Tartarus out of the game. Gladiator activated and cleanup as many Mech Thralls as possible. He had snuck the agonizer around to within 4” of the Seether, and thus prevented him from being allocated focus, very astute move I did not see coming on my flank.

It was getting down to the nitty, and model count was getting low, and he still had two heavies. I decided it was time for Terminus to get into the mix, I activated the Withershadow Combine, giving Big T the Puppet Strings, and sent him off to charge Molik Karn. I didn’t need the re-roll, but the combination of Malediction and Dark Shroud while already being damaged was too much for Karn to withstand and Terminus’ initial attacks put him into the dirt. I activated the Necrosurgeon making a few more Mech Thralls and sent them to finish off the Gladiator. Now with all the heavies off the table, the game was effectively over, I ran Saxon to the Control point, and ran the Seether across the board to cause Terror on the Pain Givers, who subsequently failed the check. Skorne was about to be done in, but Derrick was not going to let Morgul go down without a fight, he put Admonition on Morgul, and started to pick off my remaining models with spells from him and Marketh, while sprinting away after he was done.

As the round clock had to be getting low, I didn’t want this to come down to a tie breaker as the format for the tourney was calling for a different order of tie breakers, starting with Army points destroyed, and we were both pretty depleted. Morgul did not spring so far away as to leave the control point, as such I was able to slip Admonia from the Combine up, and Disbind Admonition, and then put the re-roll on Terminus; who in turn activated and one shot the little angry Warlock in a big hack.

I’m sure this opening round will read very long, but it’s consistent with the back and forth grind of the game. I never felt like I truly lost control of the game, but there were a few tenuous moments in the middle. In reflection with my opponent, we observed that he likely spent too many resources trying to kill Darrage Wrathe and Tartarus, when he should have been trying to remove the remainder of the Banes from the table. It’s a tough decision under a pressure clock, but in retrospect he may have been correct. That said, Big T and I were moving on…

Round 2: vs Legion

Opponents List:
eVayl – T4
Throne of Everblight
Legionaires (full)
Spawning Vessel (full)
Sheppard x2

Synopsis: My new favorite player at The Temple has to be my second round opponent, Roger. He had a beautifully painted eVayl Tier 4 list, so much so that he actually won the Master Craftsman Award (shared with me in fact :)). I had played Roger previously in a team game with our long lost play mate Eric (who has since departed for the left coast). That team game came to an epic finish that ended on round time as my partner and I were attempting to make our finishing moves, then we subsequently lost to Roger and Eric on tie breakers. Some of you reading this might even remember I exacted revenge on Eric at the last Hardcore battle report in an epic finish pitting Terminus against Harbinger. Today was my chance to complete my vengence in my first mano y mano with Roger. Tho this battle would be a different matter entirely and this Legion list was set up to make battle tough on Terminus with cheap heavies, spawning lights, and the hit and run ability with Refuge. I was going to have my work cut out.

Vayl won the starting roll thanks to the tier benefit, and wisely seized the initiative going first. I chose deployment and took the side with a hill that had a bunker atop. I didn’t want Vayl to sit and pontificate to the board behind cover on a hill. As such deployment ensued, and I used my usual deployment with Terminus center massed, Banes to my L and Mech Thralls to the R, with support in the rear and this time had the Seether in the center of the table with Big T with all the support in the rear. My opponent had obstacles flanking his deployment and decided to lead with his heavy hitters, and keep all the souls in the rear guard of the army to prevent Terminus from using Dragon’s Call to great effect.

On the opening turn the Ravagore both fired shots into the Satyxis, setting a few on fire, and the remainder advance up to the extreme of the threat range of the Raiders, and the rest of the army camped in behind as Vayl spread out the buffs. I took the dice, and sent the Raiders at both the Angelius including the one with Admonition. After moves the Angelius that could used Admonition, and I put a couple of attacks on the remaining Angelius to no consequence. I moved the remainder of my force up and braced for impact. The opening turn had gone exactly as Vayl had wanted.

Roger took the dice and went to work and used the combination of Ravagore AOEs and Anglius Overtakes to eliminate nearly all the Raiders, then cleared a hole for the Throne to get into the Bane Thralls, and more importantly pinning my lines in place with a huge 5” base, countering my own game plan. This allowed him to get his own infantry into the game in the second level behind the Throne mixed in with the beasts, and thanks to flight and Refuge he would be able to yo-yo the Angelius at will. He had also feated to cycle all his upkeeps for free. There was a critical moment on this turn that could have had a huge impact on the game. There was a brief rules question where the TO came over to answer a question that was quickly resolved, however the clock that we used subsequently failed to restart despite making the noise, and as Roger was cranking thru his turn it took several minutes before we realized it. This was an unfortunate occurrence in the game and a player of Roger’s caliber was fully capable of maximizing that to his advantage doing as much damage as possible.But those things happen, and we have to play thru it.

On my turn, I had to turn the tide of the battle now or never, after two successful turns for Vayl and the mishap with the clock she is winning this battle right now. With the Battle Engine in my face, I start with the Banes and let them go to town and as expected they take the Throne down. Now is the time to feat for the first time all day. I activate Big T, he casts Ravager on himself and charged into the Legionnaires, starting to reap souls. I went until my initial attacks and berserk attacks ran out. This cleared the way for Tartarus to get into the mix. He was able to Thresh effectively on a charge, finishing the Ravagore, and one shotting the Harrier thanks to the Malediction and Dark Shroud, as well as few more from the Legionnaire unit.The remaining Raider was able to get a couple more souls from the Spawning Vessel unit and the Mech Thralls were able to get a Sheppard. With Terminus gorged on souls and ARM in the 30’s I felt that I had adequately put the pressure back on my opponent.

Roger sized up the game, Terminus between two Angelius and a Ravagore; the math said that he likely couldn’t put Big T down this turn with his ARM so swollen, instead decided to begin the late game attrition battle and start to whittle down what I had remaining. After what seemed like a long deliberation in hardcore he activated the first Angelius and beat on some more Bane Thralls, and then activated the Ravagore to take out Tartarus, after using his initials and buying, Tartarus made a tough roll. Vayl activated and the clock had less than 30 seconds left. She considered Terminus position, check CNTL put Admonition on one of the Angelius nearest Terminus and the Seether, then put Refuge on the last Angelius then took pause as she had to back up, but the Kill box was imminent and the clock was waning, with no extension available. He noted the Angelius still had to activate and had Tartarus on the ground in front of him and didn’t want to leave him there, and had to make a Refuge move to limit Terminus access to Vayl. After Roger realized he had to make all that happen he saw he only had about ten seconds left he eyeballed the best position for Vayl and moved her back behind some pieces but she was still in RNG of Terminus. Finally he activated the Angelius took a quick attack on Tartarus who made another Tough check (just to add insult to injury) and then he rushed to Refuge the Angelius back in front of Vayl to block the landing area for Terminus as the clock expired. Roger already knew the first question from me was going to be to check Kill Box on Vayl, and as we dropped the measuring tool, he had rushed so quickly he didn’t recheck his CNTL once he moved to make sure he was in the right position. It was an unfortunate end to an otherwise well contested game. I call it the table top gods getting even for the clock going awry mid battle! All kidding aside, it was an awesome game, and I look forward to the chance to play Roger again!

Round 3: vs Circle

Opposing List:
Druid Wilder
Tharn Wolfriders (min)
Wold Stalkers
Shifting Stones w/ UA
Shifting Stones
Gallows Grove x2

Synopsis: Tom is the other Press Ganger for the Temple and is a big part of the community out there in Rhode Island. Unfortunately for him he was playing my favorite Warlock/Warcaster in the game which means I was very familiar with his bag of Circle tricks. Unfortunately for me, he was expecting to see Terminus on this day and built his list with this very matchup in mind, hence the three beat stick heavies that could all end Terminus’ day.

I lost the roll to go first in this match and my opponent chose to go second, wanting to see my setup. I had an obstacle on my R and trees just in front of my deployment zone on my L. He had a hill  with a bunker on it on the R (as I stood) of his deployment zone, and some difficult terrain and a linear obstacle on the L (as I stood) of his deployment area. I setup the Mech Thralls behind the trees with Saxon to escort, and then had the Banes on the R, with Terminus in the middle and Seether on the far R. He setup with all his beasts center massed Kromac in the rear with the stone units equidistance apart out front of the deployment area, Woldstalkers on the far L (as I stood) and the Wolfriders on the far R who preyed the Raiders.

I took the dice first and moved the Raiders aggressively forward to threaten his line, trying to bait him into using the stones to sling the Stalker forward and tear deep into the Raider line, hopefully not retreating far enough away. The rest of my turn was standard fare with Malediction up, and the remainder of my force rushing up behind the Satyxis Raiders. Tom took the dice, and decided Kromac did not want to be too aggressive, not taking the bait. He did move his beasts into the stones, forming a strong position in his own CNTL zone, he put Wild Aggression on the Stalker and Warpath up. He ran the Wolf Riders out to the R flank and decided to run the Wold Stalkers into my L flank face tanking me to hold up my line.

Turn two, and I knew priority one was to eliminate one stone from each unit, as such I activated the Raiders, popped the mini feat and sent them into the stones, getting three on the one to my L and two into the one on my R. The rest ran to front his line, or clear some Wold Stalkers. I was able to successfully eliminate both stones. So I felt safe in moving up behind my Raiders and really pressing Kromac’s position; turning the dice over to my opponent. Kromac lead with sending the Wild Aggression Stalker into the Raiders, clearing most of the unit out, then dropping the remaining Stones to block charge lane in my lines. Sent the Wolf Riders up to clear some additional Raiders before retreating away. Lastly he activated Kromac, decided to cast Inviolable Resolve on himself and not to move forward at all, as nearly the entirety my force was on his half of the board, and w/o full stone units he could not hop around at will.

I took the dice for turn three and began the motions of what I knew would have to be a pretty devastating turn. As I began my activations, Tom stopped me and alerted me to the fact that he believed he had Kill Boxed himself. Unlike last game, I didn’t think it was in play at this point, and never paid it any mind, until he pointed it out. Upon recollection, I don’t believe Kromac ever left the deployment zone. That said, it was a rather anti-climatic end to what I thought was going to be one of the more interesting damage dealing turns of the day for my force. Unfortunately we had to shake on the game and will have to play another day.

Round 4: vs Legion

Opposing List:
Nyss Striders
Death Stalker x2

Synopsis: So, here we are at final table, fifth time this year, and last time I was upended by one of my teammates, so suffice to say I definitely did not want to let this one slip away. Moreover, my opponent Eddie was buttering me up before the game by singing up for Boost for a Cure securing his spot in our DOGC Fundraiser next month!!! Eddie had already ousted my teammate earlier in the day and had an excellent pVayl list with all the goodies. I was able to catch some of his round 3 game and knew that he would play this list exceptionally well. The biggest challenge for me was mitigating Dark Sentinel as my infantry approached.

I won the starting roll and took the opportunity to go first. My opponent took the side of the table that had two buildings flanking the deployment zone to try to funnel my approach. I setup with Banes to my L and Mech Thralls to my R, I put the Seether this time on the far L, and the rest of my support behind with the Raiders in the vanguard. Legion setup all between the funnel of the two buildings with the Striders AD out front w/ the solo support, and the support Solos in the rear of the deployment and Vayl center massed behind it all.

I took the dice for first turn and was facing a capable row of fire from the Striders and Stalkers across from me, as such I didn’t want to be out of threat range next turn, I was unable to reach them straight out as they did not deploy the full way out in their AD zone, astute move by Eddie. I moved to what I thought was just outside their 12” stand still range. and moved up my force to right behind the Raiders but was pinned much farther back than I wanted to be. Legion took the dice, and Striders went to work ,rolling fire, taking out over half my Raider unit, and forcing the command check; however I passed with gusto rolling snake eyes. He moved up the Ravagore to leave a nice AOE making straight charges awkward. Leaving the Striders to face tank the Remaining Raiders.

Taking the dice, I had taken more casualties than I had wanted, but the good news was he did not come forward really at all, as such I had to push into his position and turn the funnel against him. I ran/charged the Raiders into the Striders, downing one but mostly forcing their line to deal w/ the Raiders and allowing the rest of my lines to push into their lines. I ran the Seether again up the L to be behind the building, flanked by Tartarus, and then pushed Terminus that way as well, as that was the farthest diagonal point from the heavies on the board and handed the dice back to my opponent, knowing that I would have to be patient in this game as my opponent was dictating the ebb and flow. On my opponents turn, he activated Vayl and first cast Chiller onto the Raiders, then put up Incite, and feating so he could reposition after this was all over. She then set Typhon to work to clear the reamaining Raiders from the front line. Thanks to all the buffs/debuffs, this was not an issue. Then sent the Striders and Stalkers off to the L behind the house to hold the back side of that area to at least delay the Seether that was closing. He dropped an shot from the Ravagore into the middle of my lines downing a handful of Thralls and leaving a nice big AOE to make movement difficult. The remaining beasts then moved forward to clear more models. When everything was done the Striders and Stalkers moved farther to flank, beasts backed up to turtle up again, and Vayl moved clear behind the building protecting her completely.

This was the turn I knew I had to seize control of the game, to this point Vayl’s plan was being executed exceptionally well. However, they did not advance anything forward that turn, and only had one model in the control zone. As such, I moved Tartarus up cursed the solo Deathstalker (who was the only model contesting the zone), and then sent three banes off to remove the one model in the way. I was hoping the dice would cooperate as I didn’t want to use Terminus and burn focus for this. Luckily the dice cooperated and off the board the Strider went. I moved up Darrage Wrathe put up Beyond Death and claimed the control point for the turn. Banes were now in the mix, as were Mech Thralls, both had gotten to heavies this turn and started to put damage on them. I ran the Seether into the Striders to cause the Terror check, which they passed. Grabbing a control point, I felt, put new pressure on Vayl to bring her beasts out from behind the building’s safe zone, even if she could stay back there.

Eddie realized that the scenario was now a concern he would have to account for, as such his first order of business was to run the Feralgeist into action and onto the control point. Now contesting, he could then set on the troops in his face, as he couldn’t advance forward without removing them. More sprays, and using the animus from the injured Scythean he was negating my Tough, and between the Dark Sentinels on my turn and effective use of resources on his turn, I was just about out of Banes, and low on Mech Thralls, down to about a dozen models on the board. Eddie feeling satisfied he turned the dice back over to me. He had brought his beasts forward to deal with models but was still pinned back and out of the zone with everything but the Feralgeist. I did not want to commit Terminus to this either as it would have exposed him to three heavies. Fortunately, I have Darrage Wrathe with a nifty magic weapon, who charged the Geist, dispatching him easily using battle wizard to cast Beyond Death and the light calv move to back up and make room for models to charge the heavy beasts. The Necrosurgeon who was loaded up on corpse tokens was able to make new Mech Thralls. I activated Combine to put Puppet Strings on the Bane Lord, then Tartarus when to work, charging three heavies that were clumped up, and all damaged. He charged Typhon specifically and Threshered into Proteus and the Scythean. He finished off the Scythean and put big dents in the other two. The Mech Thralls then charged Proteus and Typhon. Typhon used the Dark Sentinel ability to kill the McThrall that reached him likely saving himself; however Proteus caught the brunt of the impact from that unit and was finished off in short order thanks to Dark Shroud and combo strikes. Off the  extreme L flank the Seether continued to work his way around the rear of the board, and was now behind the beasts and Vayl but still out of threat range. Finally Madelyn Corbeau moved forward and Cryx claimed their second control point.

Now Vayl’s hand was clearly being forced, she had the Seether behind her but couldn’t send the beasts backwards to deal with it because he was forced to contest or lose. As such, he sent Typhon forward, sprayed removing a number of models, including Madelyn Corbeau, and was left damaged, but contesting the control zone with Excessive Healing up. Then ran the Ravagore in the zone as well forcing me to have to kill both to win the game. I took the dice and knew that the round clock had to be getting very low, and he still had two heavies on the board and I was very depleted. He had one fully healthy beast and one that would heal every time I damaged it. I had to commit Terminus now or never. I activated Darrage Wrathe, used Death Ride to clear room, and get Big T close enough to be able to charge and get to both beasts. Then the Combine put Puppet Strings on Terminus, and with the stage set I activated Big T. Moving carefully, measuring CNTL as I approached to get both beasts in my reach and stay out of Dark Sentinel range. Worth noting, I activated Terminus before the Mech Thralls as I was not sure how much round time was left and didn’t want to pander with extra models for no reason and run out of time. After my two initial attacks and one Focus spent, Typhon was in the dirt. I bought three more attacks and then used Puppet Strings to crank my last damage roll against the Ravagore putting him into the dirt. With nothing left in the control zone, Terminus claimed the final control point, winning the tournament!!!!

In reviewing the tournament, it was really a hard fought day. I’m extremely proud of this tourney win against some really tough competition. I tallied over 200 points destroyed in four games, and was able to share the Master Craftsman Award with my man Roger, and of course was fortunate enough to take home the Vanquisher Award for winning the event. A couple of things I will remember about this one and take away for future contests:

1. Holy Heavies!!! As it turns out, there is a regular Terminus player in that group that was expected to show up, as such everyone was loaded for bear. Hency why I didn’t face a list with less than three beat stick heavies, faced two players with four heavies and one with five including two characters! I would argue that I faced four consecutive tough matchups and nobody was in a bind with no way to deal with my bag. This is one tourney victory I am very proud of!

2. As I play more tournaments, I noticed that my opponents often will reveal precisely when they make a mistake, letting me know that they did something wrong or missed an important activation. On my side of the table, I simply never acknowledge that. I forgot many things throughout the day, sometimes big things; however, I keep that to myself. My opponent doesn’t need to know if I made a mistake. For one, drawing attention to something alerts my opponent to go for it and exploit it if possible; or in the contrary, by not saying a word about it, my opponent will invariably ask “why didn’t you do x?” Often that will cause some confusion where they think it was strategic in some manner, where it may or may not be, but they don’t know for sure, and they can spend time trying to out think something that doesn’t need to be out thought. That’s the closest thing to a pro tip I can offer for those reading that are looking to play more competitively.

3. As I said earlier the question I get most often from players after, or before, a Hardcore tourney is how do I get through all my activations with nearly 50 models. Personally, I keep my order of activation left to right as I look at the table, as best I can. Obviously you have to prioritize in the right order, but I always address the table going left to right. Now that I’ve had that in mind it’s a force of habit and helps ensure that I don’t forget anything. Additionally, as far as pumping out dice rolls, sometimes you just don’t get to everything. There were many times I didn’t get to activate models, that happens I don’t sweat it, and try to end my turn non frantically. Keeping composed helps me maintain control of the match ebb and flow. If I start to rush to make sure I move every single piece, it makes me feel frantic, and that spirals. Sometimes you won’t get to move a solo in the back of your army, not the end of the world. Leave him, often forgetting something will actually become a benefit later, as they will be in position to do something you hadn’t thought of prior.

4. Kill Box… really? Before Saturday, I had only won one previous game as a result of Kill Box, I did it twice during this event. Some may read and say “that never happens” or feel that it’s a “noob” mistake. I assure you it’s not. But don’t take it from me, at this year’s Lock N Load, at the final table of Hardcore the person who lost Kill Boxed himself. Yes that is a fact, at the highest level of play, on the grandest stage, at the championship table of this event style, the mistake can happen. So, it is absolutely part of the strategy of this tournament style. There are the random clear cut mistakes, but then there are the stratigcally forced ones as well. I had both during this tourney. I would wager that my second round opponent, Roger, would agree that to some degree my aggressive position forced him to have to move in a non optimal situation and the time constraints allowed for the mistake to happen. Is it a mistake, but it’s a forced error. My third round opponent, Tom, made an unforced error by making a simple mental mistake because he was focused on keeping his warlock safe. So know that and keep it in your plan before every game. Can I put my opponent into a precarious position where he may make the mistake and walk out, forced or unforced.

5. Patience, yes patience in Hardcore as in any other event is the next level for me personally, and maybe for you too. I said in my last post tourney revelations when I won Hardcore up at the Whiz, I struggled early on in my Warmachine career with Terminus, and many of my other Warlocks and Warcasters by over extending them too early too often. As I grew to not be so anxious to whip out all the tricks in my bag, I became better. Now, as a player, the next level of my development, is having the patience to see a plan develop in game, and then see it thru, exemplified by my play at the final table bout in this tourney. Nobody goes into a Hardcore game thinking “how can I win this by scenario”. Quite frankly it’s not designed to be won that way, and the purists hate that it can be, however it’s part of the format now. The lesson learned for me, is recognizing that my position was such that I could try to win that particular game by scenario, and take advantage of a fundamental positional advantage I had which I would not have known until I was in the middle of the game. I had my opponent pinned, and it allowed me to take control of the CP during the game. To make that commitment, and be patient enough to see it thru for the next two turns, totaling four or five turns in a game takes discipline and self control that I have developed over time. I see it now, and I didn’t see that before. It’s hard for me to not be all brass all the time, especially when I’m playing Big T! But for me, it’s a point worth developing further as I believe it will improve my game; maybe it will help improve yours!

All in all it was an AWESOME day at The Temple! I’m very proud of my performance against some really excellent competition. I made some new friends, that I hope to see across the table soon, and hopefully spread the good word about Boost for a Cure coming this October. It’s been an amazing year for me, my hobbying, and my team; and I look forward to being able to finish the year strong! For now I turn my attention to the MATT, hopefully see you there :)….



Five months, five states, five wins for DOGC!!!!

This past weekend out in Poughkeepsie, NY at the Dragon’s Den. Three of our team members traveled to participate, and finished 1,2,3!!! Patrick was victorious doing what nearly nobody has been able to do in a tournament this year, defeat teammate Anthony in a tournament event. Patrick wins the first tourney of his DOGC career! He did so by defeating each of his own teammates on the way to the top, Berger in the semi-finals, and then Anthony at the final table. Here is the narrative of the tournament, in his own words:


So Anthony prodded me to do a write  up of my road to victory, I am normally pretty bad at these since I forget many details, but I will do my best to give a good run down of my games.

My lists:

Points: 35/35
Supreme Aptimus Zaal & Kovaas (*5pts)
* Basilisk Krea (4pts)
* Titan Gladiator (8pts)
Immortals (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
Praetorian Karax (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
Ancestral Guardian (3pts)
Ancestral Guardian (3pts)
Hakaar the Destroyer (4pts)
Void Spirit (2pts)
Void Spirit (2pts)
Bloodrunners (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
Bloodrunner Master Tormentor (2pts)

Points: 35/35
Archdomina Makeda (*5pts)
* Cyclops Savage (5pts)
* Titan Gladiator (8pts)
* Aptimus Marketh (3pts)
Cataphract Cetrati (Leader and 5 Grunts) (11pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Praetorian Ferox (Leader and 4 Grunts) (11pts)
Totem Hunter (3pts)
Void Spirit (2pts)
Void Spirit (2pts)

Pretty much what I used at NETT, with some small changes to the Zaal list. (A few thoughts on) my list construction:

Mekeda, was the brain child of Berger and I.  Berger planted the seed and I watered it and watched it grown into a wrecking machine.  The list is basically broken down in to 2 main elements, the Cetrati and the Ferox.  The glue that makes this work is Marketh to allow the spell cycling.  The list it designed to deny and harass at the same time.  The Ferox with Savagery can cover an massive 18″ of the board a turn, allowing me to get them in your back lines with ease on the second turn.  The Cetrati under Savagery can advance 10″ and still shield wall, also Mekeda has Defenders Ward, this bumps them up to DEF14 ARM22.  While the army seems like it plays straight forward, it is quite the opposite.  It takes a significant amount of patients and careful moving to make sure you line things up.  There is a Gladiator and Savage in the list as well, and those are normally the 2 that will capitalize on mistakes made by your opponent.

Zaal, this list has been through many changes.  Zaal has many nifty abilities that deny your opponent souls, and for every model your opponent kills his feat gets more and more destructive.  Again my list is based around 2 core elements, a denial unit and a harassment unit.  For denial I use the Karax, they are cheap and can keep Zaal safely hidden behind DEF12 ARM18, this is also supported by a Krea that can bump that up even further against shooting.  The assault troops for this list is the Immortals supported with an Ancestral Guardian.  I will sling the Immortals as far up as I can but only put 3-4 at a distance my opponent can get to easily, then 3-4 more will have back further to tempt my opponent to commit deeper, and the remaining back further normally to catch an armor buff from Zaal.  Haakar and additional AG’s are in the list to bring out the mighty Kovaas.  Kovaas is the keystone model in this list.  While the list could function just fine with out it, if my opponent brings Kovaas in to play and has no way to deal with it that is normally game for me.  There is a Gladiator in the list for heavy lifting if needed, but I have rarely had to bring him up to get the job done.  It should be noted that my most recent change to the list was to drop Swamp Gobbers and an AG to add 2 Void Spirits.  This change was made to take advantage of a few things, first if you have no/low magic weapon count I can walk them around to cause command checks, and try and shut down units. Second way I can use them, though I have not gotten to practice much with this, if I produce Kovaas on my turn to send them forward to split up your magic weapons to deal with multiple incorporal models.

Both lists were designed around the need to have both offensive and defensive elements.  I want to be able to deny you the ability to score points, while harassing your lines to create openings.  Mekeda’s list does suffer a bit from low model count, and can get overwhelmed, but Zaal can handle that with his higher model count.  Both lists can also suffer a bit to well structured gun lines, but (on Saturday at the event) I was able to weather Lylyth’s feat and take no loses with DW Cetrati; Berger was unhappy.

First game, Gauntlet (Center Scenario), my opponent brings a beast heavy PMorghoul list.  I can’t recall everything in the list, but Karn, Bronzeback, Gladiator, Brute, Paingivers, and an Agonizer were definitely in there.  I picked Zaal as my weapon of choice.  His other list was a Zaal list and I was banking on the fact he is not want a mirror match with the same casters.  His Morghoul list with a huge lack of magical weapons was going to cause him problems.  First turn I run everything forward, I fan the immortals out to bait him to kill a few and trigger Vengence; Karax make a line with everything else pretty much behind it; Haakar and AGs start getting into key positions to pop a Kovaas. My opponent does the same, and Morghoul puts Admonition on the BB. Second turn I advance further up the field, jam the control area on my side with Karax, and put the Immortals at striking distance to his front line.  I know at this point I am giving him an Alpha with Karn, but some of my models need to die to power the feat anyways. Haakar comes up behind the immortal so he can get some vengence action and my Gladiator moves to the right side of the board to help deal with his BB.  My opponent sends Karn to wreck a bunch of Immortals, charges with BB and fails, at this point Morghoul is stretch to the limits of his control area and having a hard time trying to keep pace with his army.  My turn I vengence forward to engage or set up charges, and get a few swings for nothing concrete.  Everything set I full bore this turn on my right I charge the BB with the Immortals on the right and get a lot of damage on him, on my left I tie up his Gladiator with is beginning to threaten my lines. I put some major damage on all his large beasts, and knock out some key aspects on some of them. I move Haakar and Gladiator in to key strike position.  My opponent answers by slaughtering most of the troops that are engaging his beasts, my feat tank is now full of bodies, and to do this he needed to run his beasts hot and Paingivers had already been used up to heal damage.  Morghoul move to my right side, and the brute is in front of him.  My turn, I check control and think that my Gladiator has range to the Brute but not Morghoul, so a slam will be required to make this work, only thing in my way is a BB.  Now the BB is already pretty messed up, but regardless I activate Zaal pop feat and Last Stand Hakaar.  Haakar charges the BB and wipes him out.  The lane is not open, Gladiator casts Rush on himself for free, since Awaken Spirit is on him, and slams the Brute.  I make it with a 1/2″ to spare.  With the feat I roll 3d6 to hit, and slam with ease.  Slam distance 4″, nicely puts the Brute on the other side of Morghoul, and puts Morghoul on his ass.  Gladiator follows up, and stops at Morghoul.  Forgot to make the collateral damage roll, but at this point it was mute.  I buy an attack against Morghoul that auto hits, buy a boost with the feat, and hit 3d6+3…one punch kill Morghoul.

Second game, Envelopment (Flank Scenario), my opponent – Berger -, brings his eLylyth list. So I don’t suicide (aka force myself into one list) in the last round, I play Mekeda.  My first turn I move everything up with haste, I try to play my Ferox back a bit to no take arrows from all Berger’s AD models. At end of turn Ferox are under Savagery and Cetrati are under Defenders Ward.  Berger moves up and still manages to catch 2 Ferox.  Second turn I bring in my reinforcements, Berger’s unit of Striders is in prefect striking distance.  I charge the striders with one void spirit who fails to connect, but this let me gauge how far I can charge the other one, the second charges in and hits, eruption of ash catches 3 more, and they fail the command check, totem comes in leaps and tries to clean up a bit more.  The remaining Ferox move and leap and get in Lylyth’s grill, having a hard time connecting but manage to get a few points on her, Cetrati, Savage and Gladiator form a wall to try and protect Mekeda and Marketh.  Berger’s second turn he blows his feat, shoots and insane amount of attacks at the Cetrati but fails to open up a hole to see Mekeda.  Does however get Pursuit on the Cetrati, which is important for my botch in the next turn.  On my turn, he has left Lylyth out in the open in charge range of the Cetrati.  I start off with Mekeda to put up Carnage, then I was going to move to the Ferox to leap and box in Lylyth, but I get excited and used the Cetrati first.  I make a my charges and runs, then Lylyth runs away.  Plans foiled!  Not to worry, I keep cool and just use the rest of the turn to do as much damage to his army as possible.  I bring the Voids over closer to Mekeda, and I use the Gladitor to slam a Raptor and follow up, unfortunately this puts me out of control so I can not kill the other on I end up standing next to…this seems bad but actually works to my advantage.  Berger bring Lylyth into my deployment zone and finally gets a bead on Mekeda.  I am on 2 fury, I take a few shots but do not transfer since the damage is not huge, and there are poison arrow Raptors going next.  Only 1 Raptor can get a shot, and connects for tons of damage, I transfer.  After all that Mekeda ends up with no fury on her, the Savage has 1 and in control and the Gladiator has 1 but out of control.  I leech the one and cut for 1, Gladiator makes his threshold.  Mekeda activates and puts up carnage, there are a few Cetrati that can make it to Lylyth but pursuit is still on them, and I will not make that mistake twice.  I check control and I can get the Gladiator back in control on the back side of Lylyth.  I walk him over and decide to do a headbutt, boost to hit, and with carnage and back strike I am basically MAT 10, hit boosted damage and Lylyth takes a dirt nap.

Third game, Guidons (Distant Scenario), my opponent – Anthony -, brings his Kromac list.  I had a choice of both lists, I decide Zaal is a stonger choice since I have played Zaal against his Morvahna list and it was a challenge with Anthony, and his Kromac list was short on magic weapons.  Do to a large building in my way my setup is subpar.  I move up with my standard fare sending the Immortals out in front to bait and strike with I move things into position.  I give up my void spirits early, not remembering that the Gallows is an arc node, this also allows Anthony to get Haakar pin down in a rift.  Most of my stuff out front is getting wiped out as it should.  I don’t manage to get my Guidon in the zone but Anthony does, allowing him to score 2 points on my turn and then on his.  Due to this frustration turn of evens I had forget to use Zaal’s abilities to had out souls.  On Anthony’s turn he continues is slaughter of my Immortals, but forgets to activate Gorax to kill the final one, he kills an AG that brings Kovaas in but with only 1 soul…weak sauce…but also leaves Kormac in strike range.  At this point Kormac has feated and has 7 damage on him and 3 fury.  I decide that this point even if I can get the guidon in my area to prevent the winning score on the end of my turn, Getorix can get to it and smash it to score on is turn.  So, it is time to get balls deep.  I bring Zaal forward and put Last Stand on Kavaas, drop my feat and sling a Hex Blast as some Bloodtrackers.  I kill enough to charge Kovaas up to full.  The move up was also needed to get the control area close enough to Kromac.  Kovaas charges Kromac and starts pounding on him, with 3 transfers only gets a little bit on damage on him.  If Anthony has not been mindful of that Kovaas would have wrecked face.  After all that was done and Kromac still stands I was worried this was over for me.  That I saw my salvation, the lone Immortal that had not been killed due to Anthony’s error of not activating Gorax.  I charge with it, and boost on the feat, boost damage from the charge and game over.  I think if Anthony had not made a mistake the game was his.

All in all, a great turn for us, Dark Omen took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  The store was awesome, and the people we played against were all good sports and eager to lean more about the game.  All of them are new to Warmachine, but that did not deter them from trying to hand it to us.  I think we should return there in the future, and help support their growth.  And as Berger would say 5 months, 5 states, 5 wins.  Go Dark Omen.

DOGC shows up well at the NETT…

While we didn’t take home the trophy (this year), we  had an awesome time, played well, and were finally able to show off our new team shirts! First of all to Paul and Snakeman we have to send a special thanks for running a great event. The NETT continues to grow, and is something everyone in the region looks forward to each and every year. Now as far as our team performance, we sent two teams to the NETT, and we were proud of our participants for the time and dedication they put into preparing for the event. Here is what the teams and their perspective lists looked like, by team, in order of Captain – 1st Lt. – 2nd Lt.:



Jarl – Bomber, Impaler x2, Runebearer, Nyss Hunters, War Wagon

Borka – Keg Carrier, Mulg, Axer, Kriel Warriors w/ UA& Cabers x3, Kriel Stone w/ UA, Chronicler, Fell Caller, Saxon Orrik

Red Steve

pCaine Cent, Wyshnalyrr, JR, reinholdt, b13, ATGM w/ UA, LG Full, A+H: Reinforcements: min ForgeGuard w/Piper

eNemo3 (Tier 3) Finch, StormWall, 2x FireFly, Strangeways, 3x StormSmiths, 2x StormTower ; Reinforcements: min Stormlances


Kromac – Ghetorix, Stalker, Gorax, Wilder, Bloodtrackers (full), Stones w/ UA, Gallows Grove; Reinforcements: Wolf Riders w/ War Wolf

Morvahna – Woldguardian, Stalker, Bloodtrackers (full) w/ Nuala, Stones w/ UA, Druids w/ UA; Reinforcements: Wolf Riders w/ War Wolf



pMakda – Savage, Gladiator, Marketh, Cetrati (min), Paingivers (min), Ferox (full); Reinforcements: Totem Hunter, Void Spirit x2

Zaal – Krea, Gladiator, Imoortals (full), Karax (full), Swamp Gobbos, Ancestral Guardian x3, Hakaar; Reinforcements: Ferox (min)


eHaley – Stormclad, Thorn, Squire, Gun Mages w/ UA, Precursor Knights (min) w/ UA, Strangeways, eEiryss; Reinforcements: Ironclad

Constance – Gallant, Precursor Knights (full) w/ UA x 2, Sword Knights (full), Journeyman, Runewood, Harlan Versh; Reinforcements: Ironclad


pKreoss – Reckoner x2, Hierophant, Choir (min), EE Seneshal, Errants (full) w/ UA, Rhupert, Covenant, Visgoth; Reinforcements: Zealots (min), Vilmon

eFeora – Reckoner, Vanquisher, Redeemer, Choir (min), Ayiana & Holt, TFG (full) w/ UA, Vassal x2, Wracks; Reinforcements: Daughters,

Both teams spent time and effort to plan their lists, and their roster. DO decided to have Matt run as Captain due to his style of Trolls being particularly difficult to assassinate. Steve had the least amount of bad match-ups based on list builds, so he would play second, and despite his tourney record in 2012 Anthony would play third. He was most susceptible to bad match-ups, and in case an opposing team tried to hide their best player in the third spot, he was best equipped to handle that.

DOT went a more traditional route, Patrick captained the team, having far more tourney and Con experience, over a variety of formats, than his teammates. That experience is key when you try to settle into your first event. Alex was originally playing third, but on the night before, they decided to swap him and Don. Constance is an unexpected skew list, and would catch a lot of people off guard. Don’s two lists were much more traditional Menoth fare, and as such they felt stronger with him in the third position running anchor.

From a team strategy perspective, both teams agreed that they would save their feat for the final round, in order to position themselves best at the end. Additionally, the format being Divide and Conquer, not simply Two List Required, changed everything. It means that players would essentially be locked into nearly all their games after the first match. As such each of our players mapped out who they wanted to put on the table in the final round. This meant picking the caster/lock they felt most confident in, regardless of match ups. Once they made their choice and then worked backwards in preparation for what they would likely have to play in each round. However, as we all know, the best laid plans change when the dice hit the table…

Round 1 (Diversion)

In the opening round, as DO captain Matt has said, you are most susceptible to a defeat. Your mind is not as engaged as it is later in the rounds, and thus, mistakes even careless oversights can cost you an otherwise would be victory. As such both our teams took to the tables in the opening round:

Dark Omen – Matt opened the round in the Captains match, facing a Harbinger player. Matt astutely recognized that he would have to run everything into position in expectation of the feat next turn. Matt would be correct, and Harby would feat. Unfortunately his game 1 prophecy would come true, he moved Borka too far forward, and he couldn’t use the Keg Carrier to top him off. The plan was to bate Avatar, stumble away, and have Mulg put Harby on tilt. Unfortunately a sober Borka won’t stumble. Avatar was in range, and it took two swings to end the match. Two tables down, Anthony was engaged in a match pitting Kromac against eMadrak. His opponent faced Circle regularly, however, it was a radial and the threat ranges were not registering with him. Kromac, going second, got eMadrak stuck in Bestial and was able to get Ghetorix on the scoring flag to dial up two quick points and it was over by turn three.  This left Steve to carry the round. In his match, he pitted eNemo3 vs Kromac. He had survived some early poor dice, and ultimately traded Stormwall for Ghetorix and a Gorax. Had already removed one stone from each of the two units on the board, limiting what movement shenanigans were available. He was able to steal a control point w/ a Stormsmith early, and after some nifty triangulation, Steve was able to get a Firefly in for the last control point. DO 1-0 moving on to the next round.

Dark Omen Too – Patrick opened the match considering using the team feat, but the game plan was to save the feat until the last round, as such they saved it. pMakeda took the dice against eKrueger. The match-up wasn’t great, however he was fortunate that eKrueger went all in on pMakeda on turn 2, and failed the assassination run. Unfortunately dice turned against Makeda who left one hit box on eKrueger after pouring four Cetrati and two Ferox attacks into him. One shot from Eiryss on his opponents next turn and it was over. Alex, in his first tournament, fell victim to the first round follies. He picked Constance to face off against Mortenebra. He positioned everything correctly and was threatening both the zone and the flag with his feat still in his pocket. Unfortunately he forgot to move Gallant to protect Constance. Morty used Overrun to sling a fully loaded Deathjack into Constance, ending it on turn 2. Don’s game, due to the losses of his two teammates in the opening round was a mere formality. He had a mirror match vs Menoth, and he played eFeora vs eSeverius. It was a grind fest that lasted deep into the opening round. Ultimately the greater control range and strong use of the feat kept eFeora at bay unable to cross the midline of the table. As such Seve ground down Feora and ultimately won the game on scenario, DOT 0-1.

Round 2 (Incursion)

Dark Omen – Before each round DO huddled to review the lists and go over any quick tips to help each player. As they huddled before this match, they reviewed the lists and saw unfavorable match-ups, highlighted by Steve drawing what would likely be eHaley. They discussed feating briefly, and ultimately decided to stay with the game plan, fighting thru the poor match-ups. As was perceived early in the pre-match discussion, Steve’s game did not last long. His opponent was a competent Cygnar player, and the scenario dictated that Steve’s stagnate list would have to advance on the scenario to compete. He put himself on tilt starting the game, facing the uphill battle, and admittedly did not play well; which was worsened by the one flag Steve had easy access to disappearing. His opponent executed the feat, and ultimately won the game on scenario. About the same time Anthony’s game was coming to an end. Morvahna vs pBaldur. This was not a great scenario for Morvahna, as she likes to brick in the style Anthony plays her. However, his opponent played overly conservative being afraid of the long threat ranges, and not wanting to use his feat early, he bricked up. There was a favorable break for Morvahna when the flag she posed the least threat to disappeared. Anthony moved his force to clear the two remaining flags quickly, and took two early points, proceeding to lean on his opponent before pBaldur ultimately succumb to the scenario despite his feat. So now it was all down to Matt, who took early control of the game, playing Jarl and clearing Doom Reavers in the opening turn, and Kayazy in the second turn, scoring two CP by the third. Karchev was left w/ only two damaged jacks while Jarl had two Impalers and Nyss still on the board. Unfortunately dispatching the two units sapped too much time off of Matt’s clock, and after a failed attempt to crit slam the Kodiak off a flag that would have won the match, his clock expired and he lost the game, DO 1-1.

Dark Omen Too – There was one team that was not able to fill three spots on their roster, as such DOT was able to win their second round via a bye. Worth noting, Patrick did engage in a contest vs the only player on the opposing team in that round. Delivering Haakar under Last Stand on Zaal’s feat to the caster ended the game, as Patrick’s plan was executed perfectly, DOT 1-1.

Round 3 (Bunkers)

Dark Omen – Having now eaten lunch, both teams were disappointed that neither had made it to the semi-finals. However, there was still two rounds to be played. Each game lasted a while in this round, as the matches were relatively evenly pitted. Steve was able to card a victory in the first game that ended. Siege vs pCaine, and luckily, Steve was well equipped for this match. They traded gun fire for two turns, before pCaine was able to draw a bead on Siege w/o any focus. Matt’s game was second to end, and having never faced Damiano, Jarl’s force was chewed to pieces by Steelhead Riflemen, ultimately preventing Matt from being able to contest a zone, and handing him a loss. It fell to Anthony to deliver a win for DO, playing Morvahna again, this time facing Grim Angus. The scenario fit what Morvahna wants to do, bricking up contesting the zone and grinding the opponent down. Grim didn’t have an answer for Regrowth, and ultimately succumbing under pressure of the clock. DO 2-1.

Dark Omen Too – In the strongest showing by DOT on the day, Don took them out to an early lead in his game with pKreoss vs Calandra. It was a pop and drop for the victory, as Don executed the game plan perfectly, not having to worry about Star Crossed when you can KD everyone. In the next game to finish Alex carded a W with Constance vs pKrueger. The inability to use spells on most of his army was a strong factor in ultimately winning the game. Leaving a spell  on the Feral allowed Gallant to put him in the dirt with ease. The Iron Clad off the flank with the help of Precursors Knights were able to score the control points necessary to secure a victory. Their Captain, Patrick, ground his opponent down to the last seconds of his clock literally, before he made the final damage roll on Zaal as his clock expired, although the loss mattered not, his teammates had both won; DOT 2-1.

Round 4 (Outflank, Outfight, Outlast)

Dark Omen – Entering the last match both teams had their feat, and their opponents lost the roll, opting to feat, and DO then opted to feat back, putting the match ups back to where they were originally ensuring Steve and Anthony kept their strong favorable match ups. Captain Matt took the dice after a long day, sending Borka to the table for the last time, this game vs pBaldur. A well played feat by Baldur made the scenario a foregone conclusion as Borka wasn’t able to get anything to the CP to contest. Anthony’s game came to a conclusion shortly thereafter, Kromac against Bethayne. Kromac was able to get Bethayne’s force under Bestial early thanks to the feat, negating the Hex Hunters, and after some fancy use of power attacks, and Warpath, with some reinforcement help from Wolf Riders, Anthony claimed the game on scenario points after removing most of his opponents army from the table. Steve was last to finish, having never relinquished control of the game versus Harbinger with eNemo3, however his biggest challenge was the clock. A turn after scrapping both the Reckoner and Avatar, he sent Stormwall into Harbinger, thanks to Martydom damage, he one shot her for the victory, DO 3-1.

Dark Omen Too – They team feated to shift the match-ups to a more favorable set, and sent Patrick and pMakeda vs eMakeda. His opponent made an early mistake allowing Patrick to take control of the scenario. However, eMakeda wa able to carve a hole for an Archidon to end the day for Patrick on a loss. Don drew the short straw on match-ups facing Terminus. Tough ruled the day, none for Don’s Errants, and all of them for his opponents Banes. Ultimately Terminus was delivered to Kreoss at ARM 28, he was able to face tank the damage, and put Kreoss into the dirt the following turn. Alex was left to a game of pride, after his two opponents had lost, he had eHaley against Kromac. They traded CPs early, and Haley was able to deliver a Stormclad to Kromac, however unable to kill him, and then feated locking things in place. However, his opponent being worn down by the day, used his Gnarlhorn to kill Thorn and Warpath away from the Control Point, handing the game to Haley via scenario, DOT 2-2.

Reflections of the day…

A few note worthy performances by the team: Top billing is Anthony going 4-0 on the day, he was one of only three players (out of 46) to do so in the event, amassing 9 CP’s, with three of his four wins coming via scenario; it was a dominant tournament performance. Steve and Alex both went 3-1, Steve showing off his new Colossal, and warcaster 3-mo, was surgical like in each of his wins, leading both teams in PTS destroyed. Alex showed up strong in his first tourney; after losing his opening match he would not lose again, playing very well over his final two games winning both by scenario. Overall DO finished in 5th place, a mere few tie breaker points out of the top three, and DOT finshed 10th, near the top of the 2-2 teams.

Additionally, the preparation for this tourney definitely lead to the team being able to win 13 games over four rounds. Understanding all of the scenarios, playing under a clock, and knowing how to score CPs and go for PTS destroyed showed as we won the majority of our games played. Plus as our players recognized early on, they more prepared than most of their opponents when it came to how to score, win, and leverage a scenario. Finally, least we not forget this was  our first team event, as such we have to be proud of our effort, and the results.

Some suggestions to those thinking of embarking on this endeavor; first off you should refine your lists and commit to them as early possible. Once committed play them exclusively for the final few weeks leading up to the event. You’d be surprised how the repetition can alleviate the stress of a crowded tourney setting, especially early on. Practicing scenarios is also very important to your prep, for everyone on your team. Finally there is no hard and fast rule about how to set up your team. The ‘best’ player doesn’t necessarily have to play as Captain. Teams mismatch as a strategy some times, and most times the teams you face are comprised of equal caliber players (because they all come from the same dojo). The real question is about match ups, and your team feat. Practice your list matches, and decide when and how you want use your feat. The Captainship is for the person who wants to take point for the team, organize the practice effort and make sure everyone is prepared for tourney day. Other than that, have a ton of fun, just like we did…

Clash for a Colossal – 20pt. Tourney … another DOGC win!!!

This weekend I played in a nice four round event at BNI in Torrington, CT (; special thanks to Howard who hosted the event. BNI will be having events on the same Sunday every month, giving away great prizes so look out for those in the future. This is not my LGS, but Sunday’s tournament, however, was too hard to resist, despite the hour long drive across the state; as we were going to compete for a Colossal!!!

None of my DOGC teammates could join me to compete in this event, so it was up to me to represent us, and hopefully represent us well. I have been playing a LOT of my main faction, Circle, preparing for the NTT next month. However, in events that only allow one list (like Hardcore), I find the Circle ‘locks I play are more likely to fall victim to ugly match-ups. As such, I decided to return to my Hardcore list roots, and play my other faction, Cryx, using Terminus. Some of you might remember I won a Hardcore event earlier this year (up at the Whiz) and the list I played Sunday was a stripped down version of that list. With zero prep time, this list is tried and true, as such it’s easy to reach for it, and take my chances no matter what I face. Noting that, here is the list:

Bane Thralls full
Pistol Wraith

These are the main components of the full list, and there isn’t any bells and whistles. The premis is to use the Banes to take out whatever actually poses a credible threat to Terminus, use the Seether to bait off of Terminus, while Tartarus and Pistol Wraith support the above by way of their individual special skill set. The tourney was 20 points as noted, single elimination (no consolation prizes), and had no scenarios; so straight caster kill, with 90 minute rounds. Now to roll the dice…

Round 1: vs Skorne

Opposing List:

Molik Karn
Nihilators min
Beast Handlers min

Synopsis: The opening round opponent was a semi-regular player at my LGS, so I was fairly familiar with his play style, and the Molik Karn bullet was going to be in order. I lost the starting game role, and my opponent opted to go second, taking the side with a nice fat obstacle in his deployment zone, to my far and deep R. There was terrain in the middle, hill piece. Nothing else worth noting that would play into the game. I deployed Terminus center massed, behind the hill, Seether and Tartarus to his R, and Banes to the L, supported by the Pistol Wraith. Skorne deployed everything to my R side of his deployment zone directly in front of the large piece of impassable terrain. He was foreshadowing his late game strategy early.

My first round was standard fare, Malediction up on Terminus, charge him forward to the top of the hill. Ran the Banes up the L to the middle of the board in front of Terminus, PW back round them to the middle, Seether straight away and flanked Tartarus in the backfield behind the Banes. Skorne moved the Nihilators to the middle of their brick style setup, with the two heavies behind. and Handlers and Makeda in the rear. Put Defenders Ward on the Nihilators and Savagry on Molik Karn.

Second round it was time to feat, Terminus activated first, upkept Malediction and charged in to take out two Nihilators. Tartarus then followed up charged the Nihilators, Cursed them and Threshered four, two made tough rolls, also making two Banes. Speaking of which, the remaing Banes followed up, and closed ranks getting nearer the action. Seeither charged in and earned Terminus another Soul, five in total, sitting at ARM 29 in front of Molik Karn I was okay with his status. The Nihilators activated and failed to kill a Bane. Archidon activated, killed a Bane, and put Lightening Strike on Makeda. Molik Karn used Savagry to shimmy across the line I had built, from L to R, killed a Bane, then poured damage into the Seether, crippling both arms, but he was still standing. Staying at full Reach he put Fate Walker up. Makeda had the same, and both retreated back round the large obstacle. The game of cat and mouse would begin.

Turn three Terminus and the Banes mopped up the Nihilators, the Archidon, and nearly all the Handlers. Makeda and Molik Karn took out a few more Banes, and retreated back behind the large Obstacle. Following turn it was time to start trapping them behind the obstacle, Terminus flew to the far L of it, Seether to the R w/ Tartarus, and Banes in both directions w/ the leader in the middle. Molik Karn charged Terminus out fo the back, and took out about half his health. Banes and Terminus finished off Molik Karn on the following turn, and Banes crashed the back side of the obstacle into Makeda. Only one reached and failed to do anything. The next turn she escaped the free strike but was unable to get past some very Tough Bane Thralls that stood between her and Big T. Failing to reach Terminus, my opponent opted for concession.

Round 2: vs Cryx

Opposing List:

Witch Coven
Bane Thralls min

Synopsis: The mirror match is never fun, and w/ Cryx even less so; especially when you want souls. There would be no feat this game. My opponent won the starting game roll, and once again opted for second. We were on the same table I had just played, and this time I would depploy on the opposite table edge. Mirror matches are difficult for many reasons, most of all equal threat ranges. That being said, in this game to overcome the inevitable dance, I decided I’d have to offer something to control the initiation of the piece trade, and for me it was going to be the Seether.

Opening turn I ran into position as always, with Malediction up on Terminus. My deployment had the Seether to my L, with Terminus in the middle, Pistol Wraith and Tartarus to the R and between Terminus and the Seether was the Bane unit. With everyone into position, I turned the dice over to my opponent. On the opening turn for him, he put Infernal Machine on the Nightwretch and ran him over the hill into position to arc into Terminus. Expecting Curse of Shadows, instead it was the beginning of a game full of Stygian Abyss attacks on Big T. The rest of the force inched forward and Deathjack most importantly stayed on the hill to my R, not coming close to the game at this point.

I took the dice back and decided this would be the turn to position the first piece exchange. I charged Terminus into the Nightwretch and dispatched of him easily thanks to the Malediction. Next I activated the Banes and moved them around the wreck maker into two lines on the hill, a front and back row was established; four and six respectively. Then to to offer the Seether, I ran him to front side of the hill in front of my Banes, on an angle across from his Bane unit. Pistol Wraith moved up w/ Tartarus hanging back. My opponent swiftly activated Tartarus and moved up to curse the Seether, to ensure his Banes could make it to the hill to engage the Seether. Then the Banes took to attacking the Seether; five Banes in total made it, and he was scrapped, one Bane hung in the back. Coven would move forward and Feat, which would allow Deathjack to advance into the game with no fear of attack.

My turn three started, and I had successfully begun the piece exchange with the Seether down, the path was cleared for the Banes to engage their opposing counter parts. I moved up Tartarus, to within 5″ of the closest Bane to get them Cursed. My unit of Banes were not far enough back to need to charge, and most were close enough to be able to see their targets despite the feat. They were able to engage 5 of the 6 Banes, and dispatch all of them. I moved up my Pistol Wraith to fire on Deathjack, hit the first shot, missed the second. Successful turn for me was completed. My opponent took the dice for his turn three and opted to have Deathjack charge the cluster of Banes on the hill as he was able to get his hands on about half the unit. After failing all the tough rolls, half the unit was gone. Tartarus charged the Pistol Wraith and whiffed, but the Curse on my Tartarus would help his last Bane dispatch my Bane Lord. Coven moved up to put Veil of Mists up in front of the Terminus and the Banes blocking LOS to most the game.

I took the dice back, started with Terminus, moved into the Veil of Mists and was able to reach Deathjack subsequently getting a nice dent in him and with in effect of Malediction while not spending Focus. The remaining five Banes were in the cloud, not far enough to prevent a charge on DJ. All five would land shots scrapping him on the final roll. My opponent took the dice, and started the retreat with his own Tartarus and remaining Banes.

For the second time today the game of cat and mouse would ensue; as such I ran my Banes across the board, and Terminus to follow. Since everything was out of charge range for the Banes, Tartarus was able to counter charge and thresh three of my Banes, and one made a tough roll. The last Bane took on another Bane, and I only had one left at that point that would actually be able to do anything next turn, along with Terminus. Coven activated, put Veil of Mists in front of Terminus again and moved further back onto the hill on the far R corner of the board from where I stood.

I took the dice back and Coven were in strong positoin, having Tartarus and a Bane a good spot that could not be directly charged by Terminus and the Coven perched nicely on a hill. The only thing I could see was my own Bane on the ground, thanks to the Veil, as such I opted to charge him, was successful, dispatched my own guy after rightfully failed his tough roll, took my second initial on closer opposing Bane, then bought one on Tartarus, the dice +1 was not enough to take him out. However, I was not going to spend another Focus, as I had my last Bane in range. He in fact charged in, and was able to dispatch the Bane Lord. My opponent took the dice, and noted the clock on the game round, and opted to try to squeeze a tie, casting a flurry of Stygian Abyss, was able to get the crit on the second attempt, getting Shadow Bind on Terminus. They opted to get the last Bane off the board and not move off the hill, and used the last of their Focus to Stygian Abyss him, successfully done and a failed Tough roll removed him from the board.

Shadow Bind prevented me from moving, but not shooting, and I had an nice 10″ Spray and my opponent was not spreading his Coven out at this point, they were in a close cluster on a hit, just enough to drop the fat end of the spray on all four models. I did so, needing 10’s on Egregore and 13’s on the Coven. I would take this opportunity, and new I had to hit somebody with four boosted attempts. I missed the first witch but landed on Egregore, and at dice even rolled fire on damage, 15, my opponent spread the damage evenly across all three witches. I missed the next witch, but hit the last, in another solid roll. Opted not to boost, and at dice plus two, with only three boxes left she was auto dead. One mistake in retrospect, was that I should have feated that turn, not a huge deal, but none the less it would have netted me a soul. With one witch dead, the Focus pool was significantly depleated, and Perfect Conjunction was disabled. This meant that they were able to only try one Stygian Abyss, failing to crit, or hit for that matter, they only had two focus remaining. there wasn’t enough room on the board for them to move out of threat range. As such Terminus was able to charge Egregore, and put everything into the dirt on the first swing.

Round 3: vs Menoth

Opposing List:


Synopsis: My third round opponent, was a newer player that was mostly using a battlebox, but having won in the first two rounds, he was using it to great effect. Prime Kreoss is a beast and KD on everything is hard to overcome especially when there was some heavy hitters in that bunch that Terminus didn’t need to see up close and personal, unless it was on his terms. I again lost the starting game roll and my opponent opted to have me go first. I deployed, and this board was one of the more interesting I had ever played on. The board was made entirely of sand, with some terrain pieces scattered throughout, and a river on my L that ran the length of the board where you rolled dice. It was a unique experience for sure.

Start of game I had a sizable obstacle just out font of my deployment zone, and with trees scattered on the L half of the board, the most open terrain area we had was on the R half. I setup the Banes to my L, center massed as the table stood, Terminus and Pistol Wraith behind the obstacle, and Seether on the R side of the table, very edge, with enough room to move past the obstacle. Tartarus was on the L of my Banes on the opposite end of my deployment from the Seether. Everything moved up and, despite Kreoss anti upkeep abilities I decided to put Malediction up, and see how my opponent handled it. On his turn he took the dice, and decided he would face tank my alpha, moved both heavies up in front of Kreoss, then the Repenter up , dropped a flame template on four banes, killing one after rolls and Tough checks. Additionally the Revenger charged a Bane, killed it, then Kreoss arced Cleansing Fire onto more banes, and killed another one. Not a bad opening turn for the Menites, then I took the dice.

Unfortunately I would not get a feat this game either, but there was a mechanic on the board, so why not. He was in range, behind the two heavies who were adjacent to each other. I charged the Crusader, feated, put the two initial attacks into him, doing poor damage, but landing the crit pitch on the off hand attack. I opted to throw him into Kreoss, hit and KD both, unfortunately neither damage roll was good, I only did two damage to Kreoss. Had I done more, I might have had the Pistol Wraith go for the victory. Instead, I decided that the Crusader was the biggest threat to Terminus on the board. As such I used the Pistol Wraith to get Death Chill on him, so he would be out of the game next turn. Tartarus activated and Cursed the Revenger. Then the Banes activated, charged one into the Templar, one into the Repenter, and the rest into the Revenger. After some horrendous rolls on the Revenger, I did not scrap him. The one Bane on the Repenter did nearly half the damage on one swing. Weird how that works out; both were still standing. The other Bane put some good damage on the Templar, with Malediction and Dark Shroud. However, he was there to make it easier for the Seether. I charged the Seether in, landed my three initial attacks doing really poor damage, and my opponents marker broke on the third damage and spread ink on the card, so we were not really sure how much damage he took. He wasn’t dead for sure, so I opted to chain attack smash and grab into Kreoss. However, again I did not roll great, did another couple of damage on Kreoss, and all three were on the ground. Overall, it was a very unsuccessful turn, IMHO. My opponent took dice and I knew the feat was coming. He KD’s everything. The Crusader was effectively nuetralized, and the Templar would have to do the heavy lifting. The Revenger did not get any focus, and just used his one attack to destroy a Bane, and turn to face the arc target. Kreoss activated and KD’d everything, then dropped an AOE on Terminus the Pistol Wraith and the Bane; Pistol Wraith made a tough check and the Bane failed. Repenter then turned his flamer on all of them, and finally took care of the Pistol Wraith, and then set Seether and Terminus on fire. Templar charged in on Terminus, after spending one to stand up and one to charge, only had one left, so he opted to boost the attack roll hit, and damaged, did 5 damage. Then turned the dice over to me.

I had 7 focus, spent one to stand up Terminus, and one (free) to stand up Seether, and one to upkeep Malediction. Seether moved forward, chain attack Smash and Grab on the Templar, and threw the Templar into the Crusader; both were KD again. The lane was now clear for Terminus, who would charge Kreoss. My opponent conceded once it was determined that Terminus was in range of the charge.

Round 4: vs Menoth (again)

Opposing List:
pKreoss (again)
Temple Flame Guard min
Choir min

Synopsis: My final table opponent was a player I had played in the past before, however, not often as we don’t play at the same LGS. He is a long time Menoth player, and was familiar with my Terminus list. I finally won the starting game roll, and opted this time to go second. This table had a lot of terrain, and was mostly hills. he deployed in waves TFG up front, jacks next, and Kreoss w/ support staff on a hill deep in deployment. I deployed my Seether to the L of my zone, w/ Terminus on a hill center massed, and Banes to the R w/ Tartarus. Pistol Wraith was on the L.

On the opening turn, he ran everything forward in the same order, and promptly cast Lamentation, as he did not want Malediction in play w/o it being painful to me. My turn, I obliged and even though was not in CNTL range to be affected by Lamantation, I decided it would not be used this game. I ran Seether to the hill, Terminus ran over the top of him to the L off the hill. Banes forward of the hill, and Pistol Wraith with Terminus on the L and Tartarus on the R.

Turn two he was in range of my front line, upkept Lamentation and Defenders Ward on the TFG. Kreoss first, activated and feated. He KD’d my whole force, but did not have range to everything. The TFG charged, and the primary mission was to kill Tartarus. He only had two that could reach. Was able to do enough damage to force a tough roll on the second swing, and I failed the Tough check. I would only make one the entire game. Between the TFG and Redeemer shots, he would kill about half the Banes. Reckoner tried to assault the Seether failed to get into melee range, but got the shot in. Everything else stayed away.

I took the dice, spent one to stand up Seether, and Terminus. The next portion of the game is important to anyone who plays in tournaments, it’s IMPERATIVE you mark your board with tokens to acknowledge what effects are in play. I charged the Seether into the Reckoner, hit doing about 7 damage, only to have him trigger Enliven. It was not marked, and anyone who has experienced this misunderstanding would concur that is a very frustrating experience when a critical game effect is not shown on the table, especially at the final table of a tournament. Obviously agitated by the sequence of events, I gave my opponent the gift of feedback as to why not marking things like that are important. I consented and he took the Enliven move, advancing the Reckoner away and I used the remainder of the activation to kill TFG. Now realizing this game was about to get significantly harder, I activated Terminus who had five Focus left, I feated and moved into melee range of three TFG. I needed 8’s to hit, and boosted the initial attacks to garner the soul exchange for ARM and removed some TFG from the table. Everybody else forfeited move or action but nothing else was killed, so no more souls.

My opponent took the dice and sent the Reckoner right to the Seether removing him from the board, and all but a single Bane. Now it was Terminus versus nearly the entire Menoth force. Terminus and I were not concerned, however, as we had been here before. With everything in close proximity to Terminus except for Kreoss and the Choir, I decided to run Terminus across the board to face tank Kreoss, putting my ‘caster in the back arc of all the jacks and out of walk distance. My opponent decided to drop Defenders Ward, and upkeep only Lamentation, wisely camping the rest. Moving everything into position on Terminus.

The game of cat and mouse was afoot again, this time different than before. I was flying around the board, staying in the back arc of the Reckoner, unafraid of everything else. The Choir who had previously failed their Abomination check, were an easy target; I garnered two more souls on my two initial attacks. I was in the middle of all his forces and still behind the Reckoner having flown back over the top of him again. My opponent gave three to the Reckoner, and tried to lay into Terminus, and did about five damage throwing everything he had in his bag at him. Kreoss ran as far as he could away as he had only three focus.

Terminus now at ARM 26 would once again fly across the board, to once again face tank Kreoss. Rinse and repeat the turn where he had nothing that could reach Terminus and Kreoss upkept Lamentation and camped the remainder. Now being in melee range of Kreoss and not having to run to reach him, I moved to the opposite side of Kreoss and took a swing, hit and opted to boost damage, and was able to do 7 damage. My second initial missed. I camped the rest, turned the dice over to my opponent.

Seeing his ARM at 23, and Reckoner in Assault range for the first time since this cat and mouse game started, my opponent thought this would be the turn he could put Big T into the dirt. He activated Reckoner, assaulted and failed the hit roll. Hit his initial charge attack and did four damage. Opted to buy and boost the attack roll and did another point of damage. Terminus had taken about 10 damage at this point. Kreoss charged from within engagement, and after using all but one Focus was only able to do another bit of damage. Kreoss was standing next to Terminus, and both players knew the tournament was a mere formality from being over as I took the dice. One boosted attack and damage roll by Terminus was all it took; I had one the event…

In retrospect a few things I took away:

1. Terminus, in small games, is a relatively poor choice. In games of this slight scale mean mostly battle group and typically limited model count, meaning even more limited soul count. In the last three games I garnered a total of four souls combined over the three rounds as a result of the feat. Without his feat, and especially without the free upkeep from the Combine, he is a paltry ARM 23. He took damage in all four rounds, and was not nearly as survivable as you would come to expect.

2. Please, if you play in tournaments, mark ALL of your effects. The days can be long, especially in an event like this that runs four rounds, lots of happening and games blend together. Forgetting something small can ruin an otherwise well played game and leave to hard feelings. Worse it puts your opponent in a compromised position of feeling guilty if they prevent you from using your unmarked ability, and worse, could ultimately lead to a hollow victory.

3. Small point games are much more interesting of a test than you might remember, if you grown accustomed to the large 35,50 or even 75 point games. It’s hyper focused on the bare strengths of the force you’ve put together. The chess game is there right from the beginning, each resource is valuable, as well as limited, and every move has strict repercussions. Engage in these games and events, they are an excellent change of pace, and loads of fun w/o out the extra time spent.

4. Play games all the way to the end, and you can turn games around, even those that start poorly; especially if you are using a Warcaster. Camping focus creates conundrums, and many ‘casters can get themselves up to ARM 23 or higher with the combination of buffs and camping. That is a tipping point that makes you very difficult to take down, and it’s not a late game strategy that’s exclusive to Terminus. Play the game to the end, and force your opponent to win, don’t offer it over.

5. Lastly, delicious are the spoils of victory…



hope you enjoyed, and feel free to contact me w/ questions!


Hardcore Tournament Win at The Whiz – Cryx 1st Place – May 2012

This past weekend I played in a Hardcore tourney at The Whiz in Westborough, MA representing Dark Omen; played Cryx and won!!! As such, I wanted to share my battle reports, please enjoy, and feel free to shoot me questions or comments… Special thanks to The Whiz and their Press Ganger, Craig, for allowing a few CT boys to come up, as well as hosting a really nice event, and to the participants who were all a lot of fun.

Tourney: Hardcore – 35 point, 1 list, Death Clock variant, Close Quarters (all rounds)

My List:
Satyxis Raiders full w/ UA
Mech Thralls full
Withershadow Combine
Darragh Wrathe
Madelyn Corbeau
Saxon Orrik

A few notes on strategy and list building; originally I was torn, between playing Circle (my main competition faction) and Cryx. I had done some experimenting with eKaya, but as the event drew nearer I could not sort out her bad matchups. I had not prepped anything else in Circle for hardcore, and I turned to Cryx. The list above has been vetted out since I started playing Cryx when their faction book came out in Mark II. However, I needed to spend a few practice sessions leading up to the event becoming used to the time constraint with a list that has 30+ models in it. I was more comfortable playing Big T against unfavorable matchups than anything else I had in my collection. In a Hardcore tourney you want the most straightforward play possible, IMHO, so Big T is as straightforward as it gets.

Using the feat timely is the key to the success of the list, and not overextending Big T, as you may well want to, ensures that his reputation of being durable will in fact hold up. The right blend of aggression and respect is what it takes to work well. The list is pretty standard fare for a Terminus build. I have play tested with a Skarlock instead of Saxon to cast Ravager on Terminus and save him the Focus, and also have used a Saytxis Captatin as well, but in the end Saxon is the right play. Ensures both my units have access to Pathfinder, the rifle comes in handy, as does the anti-hordes ability he has.

The BR’s will follow for each round, and the liists my opponents played are roughly accurate drawn from memory…

Round 1: vs Circle
Opposing List:
Feral WW
Druids w/ UA
Shifting Stones
Gallows Grove

Synopsis: My opening round opponent some of you may know as a local New England PP play tester, Jared. He plays all factions but Circle is his main, and The Whiz is his LGS (I believe). This was my first time playing him, but based on this experience, to say that he is a good player is a conservative statement at that. The game opened and I won the roll and chose to go first. The table had a trench line across the middle of the board with linear walls on either side of the trench line, so lots of cover.

On my first turn I ran the Satyxis forward up my right flank followed by the Seether, Mech Thralls to the middle just on my side of the trench line, with Terminus center massed, and my support behind the main line. On his turn he opened up with his dice on fire, the Druids going 6 for 6 on needing 7’s to hit on the Raiders, then failing to hit on his first boosted Chain Lightning on the Raiders missed, then the he proceeded to hit with the second unboosted attempt. He then feated to block most of the charge lanes, and put Lightning Tendrils on the Woldguardian, and positioned him w/ in triangle of the Stones.

On the second turn due to pKrueg’s feat I was unable to use mine effectively, so with that decision made I started to take pieces away. The remaining two Satyxis charged and mini-feated to take out a stone, and remove the possibility of the Teleportation. Mech Thralls filled the middle in the trench to garner cover, and clog the way to Terminus. The dice went to my opponent. He took away a AOE from the feat, upkept the Tendrils and moved the Guardian past the Satyxis, to take out the Seether in the trench. He did severely damage it but it was still standing. He activated the Krueger and started the process of removing Mech Thralls was able to clear all but one out between the Gnarlhorn and Terminus, he then moved Tendrils to the Feral so he could clear out the Mech Thralls in his way. He used the Druids to clear more Mech Thralls, and left one in the trench. The only Mech Thrall that made a tough roll was the lone remaining one standing between the Gnarlhorn and Terminus preventing the Slam. As such the Gnarlhorn moved back to protect pKrueg. The Wilder activated and cleared the Fury off the Feral. I note this becasue Krueger had moved far away from Terminus, leaving the Woldguardian out of his CNTL and removed the only remaining Fury on the table from the Feral. Then I took the dice.

Feat time for Terminus, as there was not much to gain, but what was there I was going to grab. Moving Tendrils to the Feral allowed Big T to move away from the Guardian w/o fear of KD. He scrapped the Feral, and the Necro Surgeons added more Mech Thralls and took out more Druids, to pile Soul Tokens onto Big T for Dragon’s Call (aka the Feat). Turn the dice over to Circle. He knew at this point he had made several mistakes last turn, depriving himself of Fury, moving Lightning Tendrils, and failing to eliminate the Mech Thralls. As such he had to try and win the game with just the Gnarlhorn, and he was woefully underpowered to do so. He gave his best effort to take down Big T, but it wasn’t nearly enough. The Guardian finished off the Seether, but was too far away to threaten Terminus in any real way, and pKrueger was inches from Terminus… the concession was his only move left.

Round 2: vs Menoth
Opposing List:
Errants w/ UA
Choir full

Synopsis: In the second round faced a familiar foe from the last time I travelled out of state for a tourney. You may have seen Eric at Warmachine Weekend as he is originally from St. Louis, and one of their host/organizers. I do put in a lot of work versus Harby in my local meta, so I was familiar with her workings. He won the roll and chose to go second. The terrain was less obnoxious in this game, as there was an obstacle (house) just outside my deployment zone to my R, and a large two tier hill covering two feet along the length of the board between my opponent and I on the extreme R edge of the board (as it faced me) and on the left of my edge off my deployment was a small forest as well as one diagonally opposite on my opponent’s side of the board. For my deployment I chose to use the house to guard my R flank and setup using an extreme L flank setup, with the Seether next to the house, Terminus center massed as always, and the Mech Thralls L of him and Satyxis AD on the far L. Harbinger was setup in the middle as well, with the Exemplars batting cleanup behind the KEE that were AD out front setup across from the Raiders.

The opening turn I moved the Raiders out to just behind the small forest, moved the Seether around the house to the large hill, and the Mech Thralls to the middle in front of Terminus, I expected the feat right away so I didn’t move out that far, to limit the exposure to damage on the ensuing turn. Menoth took the dice and as suspected Harby did feat right away. The Errants moved up to shoot some Raiders to little avail, and the Exemplars ran up the board, along with the two Jacks, and Harby, who Purified to remove Malediction.

Second turn with the feat up amounted to me doing little. He was still pretty far back, and I had no reason to move forward, so I ran the Seether back into game, along the same path he originally went, around the back of the house to rear R flank of my force, and chose to not recast Malediction this turn, in case he was able to clear my sac pawn targets and pluck Big T w/ a Reckoner shot, then braced for impact. The KEE charged the Raiders, and were somewhat limited by LOS due to the forest terrain, and were not able to maximize model frontage. Their high DEF and reach severely limited the impact of the charge. the Exemplars were not close enough to get all their models engaged in melee, but still did some damage. The jacks moved up in a threatening position behind their line, and protecting Harby from any possible threat from Terminus, making sure to put Enliven on the Avatar.

I took the dice very pleased with how well I survived the feat turn. I then looked at the board and decided to make an aggressive play, with Big T, feat and charge into the Reckoner to kill him (standing next to the Avatar). My gamble was that moving Terminus’ big base out of the way would allow the units to really engage maximum models and hopefully maximize souls for Dragon’s Call (the feat). It took all 6 of my focus for Big T to scrap the Reckoner, and now it was time for my units to bail me out. The Exemplar’s and KEE took the full brunt of everything I had. Harby did everything she could to deny me souls and took so much damage from Maryrdom that she only had 2 boxes left when the dust settled. In the end, her efforts were futile as Terminus had collected 10 souls and was sitting at ARM 28. Menoth took the dice, with few models left, namely the Avatar and Harby. Avatar tried to beat on Terminus after the Choir buff, but only did a few damage leaving the heavy lifting to Harbinger. Despite her POW 20 Cataclysm, the math was slanted heavily that she would not be able to get it done… until she rolled triple box car for damage on the first dmg roll!!!! Oh dear… leaving Terminus with only 1 hit box left. On the next and final Cataclysm he did enough to do one more dmg and cause the tough roll… which Terminus MADE!!!!! My opponent had no more activations and was starring at Terminus who would have 16 Focus next turn, and only two hit boxes left on Harby, so he decided leave it where it was and shake on a super fun game.

Such an awesome end, and was all the sweeter after a loss to Eric in the team tourney by round time in the last event we played in against each other. Upon further review from one of my DOGC teammates who was watching over my shoulder; he advised me that my Eric and I did the math wrong during that final sequence due to the frantic play, and Terminus did not actually need to take the tough roll; however, the story is much more fun the way it played out on the table!

Round 3: vs Cygnar
Opposing List:
Hunter x2
Stormblades with UA and Gunners
Gun Mages w UA
Black 13th
Stormsmith x3

Synopsis: My teammate from DOGC Wyatt, was my third round opponent, once again meeting him in a tourney while both of us are undefeated. This time it was the semi-finals for a chance at the final table. We were playing back at the board w/ the long trench line, and linear obstacles. IMHO this really was a very poor match for eCaine. The sac pawn, coupled with the cover readily available all over the board, completely neutered his force. The good news for Wyatt is that he’s faced this Terminus list probably more times than anyone so there was nothing he wasn’t familiar with. For deployment I setup my Mech Thralls to the L of Terminus, and AD the Satyxis in the middle, with the Seether and support out to the R of Terminus. Cygnar lined up their ATGM and B13 on either flank with the Hunters AD to my R, and the Stormblades center massed and Storm Smiths spread out.

Wyatt won the roll and chose to have me go first, so I took the dice first, and utilized the terrain differently this time, running the Satyxis into the center trench and the Mech Thralls in just behind them (instead of trying to have them both occupy a trench). I put Terminus in a strong center position, with plenty of sac pawn options available, and put Malediction up. Cygnar activated, eCaine moved to a camped position behind a linear obstacle, and had his ranged infantry start to fire on the Raiders, but with Force Barrier and cover, it was a very futile effort. He braced for impact on turn two.

On my turn, I decided not to feat, as I had a chance to put some nickel and dime dmg on Caine by charging his Hunters and taking advantage of feedback. Plus charging out to the R would clear the trench for the Mech Thralls and set them up for next turn, and I spread the Raiders out to tie up a lot of shooting, and put Terminus in a trench next to the Mech Thralls. On Cygnar turn, the first order of business was to take advantage of a noob mistake, eCaine put Magic Bullet on Darragh Wrathe and quickly Madelyn Corbeau was dispatched for hanging out to close to her living friend. The Stormblades did their level best to wipe the Raiders, and even took some help from the B13, but they left a few standing, and the ATGM went after the Mech Thralls, but 4 tough rolls later, they left nearly the whole unit intact.

Honestly, taking the dice this turn, I was very confident the game was well in hand. The previous turn by my opponent burned a ton of his clock, and I was in a very commanding position. It was feat time, I used Terminus to scrap a Hunter and thanks to Ravager, bezerked into a handful of models. I crashed home with the Mech Thralls, and when it was said and done Dragon’s Call reaped me an ARM of 30, and both Hunters were gone. along with most of the Stormbaldes. Cygnar took the dice, and being short on time, eCaine began to run, Gatecrashing out of threat distance, and putting his gun mages into the mix of the trench and shooting down some Mech Thralls.

The game had turned into Caine running for his life, but their model count was dwindling rapidly and so was their clock.I turned to the center of the board, and instead of camping the scenario I took the pile of Focus and ran right into combat with eCaine. I mopped up nearly all of the remaining models Cygnar had, and handed the dice back to Cygnar. Wyatt saved his feat in order to bleed me out of souls to gather, in hopes that then he would be able to feat and win; however, the clock would not allow him the opportunity, with about 2 minutes left on his clock, he stopped running, stayed in combat, feated, and fell very far short of the goal. With his clock all but gone along with all of his Focus, Wyatt decide to shake on the game and with that Terminus was ushered to the Final Table.

Round 4: vs Circle
Opposing List:
Warpwolf Stalker
Shifting Stones w/ UA
Bloodtrackers min w/ Nuala
Lord of the Feast

Synopsis: My championship table opponent was Nick, who is an honorary Dark Omen team member, after having played as a partner to our own Berger and winning the Team Tourney at Temple Games in Rhode Island earlier this year. However for this tournament he went to his Hordes bag and played Circle. So both of us were playing our “other” faction, and we play the same two factions (using the opposite as our mains), so it setup to be a very interesting final match.

The terrain for this game was fairly benign. There was a small trench in the middle and few evenly spaced pieces of forestry on either side of the table. I won the roll and for the first time all day I had the chance to go second. Circle setup their beasts center massed in front of Kromac, then AD the Bloodtrackers out front to my L, LOTF to my far L, and the Stones in a center position, finally putting prey on Terminus for the Trackers. I set the Mech Thralls again out to Terminus L, and AD the Raiders directly across from the Trackers and the Seether across from the beasts.
On turn one, Bloodtrackers trickled forward but stayed out of charge range, the Stones repositioned out front of their deployment zone, and the Stalker and Ghetorix moved into the triangle prepared for next turn. Kromac cast Warpath and put Inviolable Resolve on Ghetorix. I took the dice, and pushed the Raiders partially into the trench and ran to engage nearly all the Trackers. I put the Mech Thralls in behind the line of Raiders, and put Terminus behind them out of teleportation range of the stones, after putting up Malediction. Darrage brought up the rear and put up Beyond Death.

Second turn was Circle’s chance to do damage, starting with the Trackers they rolled fairly well on their melee attacks, but couldn’t do a lot of dmg on the quick work attacks, and then reformed to engage more Raiders. The LOTF then moved up, and shot the Raven into Darragh Wrathe, promptly killing Madelyn Corbeau, but failing to damage Darrage. Then the Stones teleported the Stalker into the middle of my lines and cleared a handful of Mech Thralls then Lightening Striked forward into Terminus. The Gorax came up and took out a couple of Raiders. I took the dice and new that this was the feat turn. I started with Terminus, feated, moved to get both LOTF and the Stalker in melee range of Big T. I went to town on the Stalker, and the dispatched the LOTF. The good news for my opponent was that Terminus was successfully pinned back. I then activated the Seether who took the fight to the Gorax, and put him in the dirt w/o needing the free focus. This sprung the nearby Raiders, who did their mini feat, to ensure I took out a Stone, and wiped all but Nuala from the blood trackers. Dragon’s Call (the feat) netted me an ARM of 31, and I was relatively far from the fight, but Circle was very low on models.

Circle took the dice and Ghetorix promptly charged the Seether, however failed to take him out with poor dice on attack rolls, and decided to not fill him up on Fury so he could be transferred dmg. Kromac activated, moved Inviolable Resolve to himself, then threw a Rift at the Mech Thralls, then feated back up to full and charged the Seether to finish him off. He had four Fury remaining when it was done. My turn I activated the remaining Raiders to finish the Stones and their UA. Then charged Darragh Wrathe into Kromac, and then brought Admonia up to Unbind the two upkeeps on him for another 5 dmg.. He had only a few hit boxes left, and still had three transfers. I activated Terminus, and after careful measuring of my control area, Nick and I agreed that I would not be able to charge Kromac, based on positioning, as such I consented to charge Ghetorix and put him into the dirt with a remaining ARM of 25. I did get a charge on Kromac with Saxon Orrik, but was unable to kill him, but it was a rather funny afterthought moment, remember I could send him in there, as I surveyed the board before turning the dice back to my opponent.

Circle’s turn started with nearly no clock left, however all he had was Kromac to activate.. He was -11 on damage rolls, needing 6’s t hit, and still managed to hit 6 times doing about 8 damage. A lot more than he we both expected. However, there was not much left to do, the first attack from Terminus ended the tournament…

What a great day for a tournament. was a rainy cloud Saturday so it was good spring day to spend inside playing the event. SR 2012 has started off really great for Dark Omen, as this win represented the 4th event win a row for DOGC, and was second of the year for me personally. A few observations from the Hardcore prep and tourney:

1. Beyond Death is a lot better than Death Ride for Darragh Wrathe, especially for a strict time format such as a Hardcore. A lot of extra moving wasn’t really necessary in most of the games I played, but the -2 to damage rolls mean models survived, didn’t take damage, or cost and extra focus/fury to deal with. Was a much bigger advantage than I originally thought when I embarked.

2. It’s almost always better to attrition down than take a calculated risk to kill a caster/lock. In my early games with Terminus, I always over extended him and put him into a position he didn’t need to be, just because I wanted him to win games in 2 or 3 turns. It wasn’t necessary, and he really began to click when I learned just a bit of patience..

3. Saxon Orrik is the coolest solo in the game, bar none. 😀

4. When choosing a Hardcore list, pick something you’re comfortable playing even in a bad matchup. I know that is limiting from the beginning, but it’s a starting point for building a Hardcore list, if you don’t’ have experience in the format, that is what I fell back to, and it worked.

5. In Hardcore things go quickly. Stats blend, and so do dice rolls. Hardcore is more a feel than anything else. Those that spent too much time thinking, or being too deliberate on their turns saw their clock dwindle and by turn three they were nearly clocked. I never got down to less than 5 minutes, and I typically had more models on the board than any of my opponents. Pay attention to the dice rolls, stop everything if you lose track or think something may have been wrong. If you lose control of the game, winning becomes much more difficult.

Hardcore is a very different format than regular SR play, and initially I did not like it, but it grew on me over time, and by the end, I really enjoy the no nonsense of it. I’m very proud of my win, and please post your questions or thoughts!


Clockwork Tier Tourney BR – Circle 1st Place – March 2012

One of our memeber wrote up this battle report from a tournament last month in which he won first place. Enjoy!

This past weekend, I played in a Blood, Sweat and Tiers event, representing my Gaming Club Team, Dark Omen, and playing Circle, and won! I wanted to post the BR’s for all to enjoy (or flame). Thanks to Clockwork Comics in Orange, CT for hosting and to PG Dan Mirandi for running a great event!

Tourney: 2 List max (non required), 50 pt., tier restricted (minimum 1).

My Lists:

Heart Eaters (T1): Kromac Ghetorix Stalker x2 Gorax Bloodtrackers (Full) w/ Nuala Ravagers (full) Reinforcements: Wolfriders (full)

Call of the Wild (T1) eKaya & Laris Feral Gnarlhorn Gorax Pureblood Stalker x 2 Wilder Warwolf Reinforcements: Arugs x2, and Stones

In the interest of full disclosure, I literally never play tier lists (ever). I don’t find the fluff for them interesting, and more often I don’t agree w/ the choices that are supposed to by fluffy (like why Morvhana can’t have heavies, but I cannot find a picture of her that exists w/o out the Pureblood in it). Okay, with that mini rant aside, I decided to join this tourney, as my club team was playing, and I had my schedule clear up last minute; and I love to play WM/H!

The thought behind the lists isn’t highly strategic, I was bit limited on choices, and once I reviewed the options available, I chose these two warlocks. I’m most comfortable w/ Kromac (as he is my favorite to play) and while I wanted to go w/ eKrueger (IMHO mine, and our, best warlock) I didn’t like what I could do w/ his Tier; so I settled on eKaya, as her Tier 1 bonus is ridiculously good. My game by game list choice would be based on the opposing factions and list constructions. Neither list was built for a specific purpose, just overall functionality based on the model selection I had available. I did paint up Ghetorix and the second Stalker for this event specifically, so I was definitely getting them on the table once (each) no matter what…

Round 1: vs Cygnar Matchup: eKaya vs. eNemo Scenario: Restoration

Opposing List: eNemo Squire Thunderhead Cyclone Dender Centurion Stormguard (full) Stormsmith x2 Journeyman

Synopsis: My opponent in the opening round, Andrew, plays at my LGS sister store (where this event was being played; my home store is not where the event was hosted). We have played in the past a handful of times. Originally, when I was not supposed to play in this event, I helped him construct one of his two lists (eStryker). So it was a humorous draw in the first round (for me more than Andrew). As such, when presented with his two lists eStryker and eNemo, Andrew opted to play the list I was unfamiliar with: eNemo. I honestly thought I was going to face eStryker, and it probably would have been a much tougher matchup had he played that list. I chose eKaya as I figured I’d need to crack the ARM 23 of Vadar running around the board. Turns out I was not going to have to face him. Andrew won the start roll and chose table side and to go 2nd. This was his other major mistake in the game, IMHO. Allowing me first turn, with the AD of the heavies meant I was going to control the flow of the scenario. Plus there was a lot of impassable terrain on the board (my third distinct advantage), with the Pureblood on the table.

My first turn I pressed the zone, and threatened his lines, leaving him the choice to make on what he wanted to trade with me. Forced Evo was on the Feral and Shadow Pack was up. He wisely put the Stormguard up front in response, and did some nickel and dime dmg with the Stormsmiths, threatening with his Jack wall in the rear, but not conceding the scenario.

On my turn 2nd turn, Stalker activated cleared the infantry in front of the objective and Lightening Striked away. The Feral had a path to the Objective, so I sent him in, and after four swings the objective was toasted. The Feral Warped ARM to make him as tanky as possible (as I didn’t need the ST to take out the objective w/ Forced Evo up) Used the rest of my activations to clear as much of the infantry as possible and left myself in strong position to threaten the scenario on my next turn. My opponent used his jack wall to contest the objective, and decided not to pop his feat. He was hoping that my dmg that turn was limited w/ his ARM buffs. Andrew opted not to kill the Feral, instead wanted the Gnarlhorn off the table to remove the animus and counter slam. No point scored.

My next turn I feated, sent a fully kitted out Stalker (who did not gain the benefit of the feat) in to take out the Centurion, cleared the zone, and scored my first objective point after the rest of my beasts completed mop up duty. Feat time for Nemo. He activated, had to rush the zone w/ his battlegroup, which was about all he had left. He took out the feral and poured dmg in all my bests w/ DJ Thunder. Threw my outlying Stalker into the obstructing rocky enclave on the R to do even more dmg and camped the zone w/ three healthy heavies. He left Nemo outside the zone, but bereft of focus.

The game was truly in the balance; I was not going to be able to win the game on scenario this turn. I had a KD beast, everyone was dmg, and his jacks were all healthy and camping the zone. I had no Gnarlhorn or Feral and really only had one heavy in good position. With Nemo having a nice charge lane open to him, I opted to go for the win. I measured my control and knew a successful dog pile would get the job done, so I prepared to do it twice (if the first on failed). I dropped my upkeeps as they weren’t going to be needed ran Laris around the defender so as to not be engaged. Activated the Pureblood to get him into command of the Stalker, and dropped a spray to put some dmg onto Nemo and DJ Thunder. Gorax activated put Primal onto the Stalker, and took out a few remaining infantry. Activated Kaya and arced Dog Pile onto Nemo, hit, which allowed me to cycle Forced Evo onto the Stalker. I opted to charge the Defender, as I figured in melee was as safe a position as any; near Laris even better. I took out the defender gun (thanks to flank) and if I had to I could make movement difficult by getting my other Stalker over to the engage everyone if needed. My pumped up Stalker warped Ghostly, thanks to the PB, and dialed up a charge on Nemo. I couldn’t fit in to w/in 0.5” of Nemo, so I stayed at full Reach, and next to the Squire, just so I could crunch that if things went wrong. It mattered not, as my charge attack landed, I was +6 on the charge dmg roll and one shotted Nemo. We were off to a good start…


Round 2: Cygnar (Again) Matchup: Kromac vs. eHaley Scenario: Bunkers Opposing List: eHaley Stormclad x2 (one bonded) Thorn Squire Stormblade (Full) w/ UA ATGM (Full) B13 Alren Strangeways Stormsmith x2 Reinforcements: Charger and Lancer Synopsis: My round 2 opponent, Wyatt, was my partner in a team event two weeks ago down at Temple Games, is a member of Dark Omen, and a regular at my LGS; suffice to say we are very familiar with each other. That being said, I had not faced him in a tournament before, nor while he is using eHaley who he has begun to play quite a bit of lately. The scenario was Bunkers, one in which we played in our previous tournament together as teammates; which also means it included the Reinforcement Artifice. If you look at my two lists, you will notice that two Argus are not the sexiest of reinforcement options, as such eKaya was not getting real consideration. I’d much rather have the Wolfriders coming on in reinforcement; moreover, Kromac with Bestial is going to force Haley to have to come closer, which is much more important. Since this was not a two list required variant, once I knew Wyatt was playing eHaley, I did not expect to see him play anybody else, and was prepared when he said that’s who he was indeed playing.

This was, by far, the best game of the day for me. Both my opponent and I had VERY decisive turns, and the match swung heavily each time we took the dice. This was indicative of the strong play on both sides of the table. Noting the setup, and the scenario, I decided that Ghetorix and a Stalker would cover my L side and attempt to hold the objective, Kromac would have to stay center massed, accompanied by the retinue of Ravagers and a Gorax, on the R was the unit of Bloodtrackers (who would AD) with Nuala and a Stalker. I was very comfortable with my setup, as I knew the Wolfriders would be coming in soon to help take the R objective, and was confident that the early stages I had all the pieces in the right positions. Of course, facing (by many accounts) the best Warcaster in the game meant that I was going to have really play well to manage not to lose by scenario.

In the opening turn I cautiously advanced, took up positions on both sides of the board in woods. Had my beasts prepared to cover the objective in Turn 2 on my L and the Bloodtrackers on my R in the woods, waiting for the Wolfriders next turn. I put bestial up, Inviolable Reslove on Ghetorix, and cast Warpath. My opponent responded by taking out about half of the Bloodtrackers right thru the woods with the ATGM, much as I had expected. the rest of his force repositioned, and Haley stayed a very healthy distance away to be able to cast and stay out of harm’s way.

I took the dice in turn two, and decided it was time to see what Ghetorix could do (as this was his first appearance on a table for me, freshly painted to boot). I cycled Wild Aggression onto him, had the Gorax give him Primal. Triggered a warpath move to edge him out of the woods and sent him off to scrap the non bonded Stormclad. Took a total of 4 swings and two fury to scrap him. I used my last two swings to clip a few nearby by models. In hind sight, I should have put up Ornary to strike on the inevitable counter chargers next turn, and left Inviolable Resolve on him to keep the ARM buff, he would have survived and beat more face; the ST buff likely wasn’t needed. I moved the Stalker on my L to the edge of the woods under Prowl to contest the objective, and brought my Wolfriders on the table from the opposite board edge. They along with remainder of the Bloodtrackers, blasted thru the woods to take the ATGM nearly off the table (as both units were preying them) and then retreated to safety with Reform (BTs) and Light Calv move (WRs). The first huge mistake of the game was moving the Stalker up to an area behind the woods and incorrectly judging the threat range of the Stormclad. I moved the Ravagers up to engage the Stormblades to prevent them from shooting at will. Wyatt took the dice and grabbed control of the game. He brought on his Reinforcements, activated Haley, TK’d a fully pumped up bonded Stormclad into position, then dropped Temporal Accelaration on him to give him range to get to the Stalker. Stormclad had range, and worse arced lightening off the Stalker to take out the remainder of the Bloodtrackers (save for Nuala). On the other side of the board, he sent everything he had to take out Ghetorix, included three light jacks, and the B13. It came down to Arlen Strangeways with the last die roll of the turn to take him out. Still no control points, and Haley’s feat is up. Kromac, Stalker, and the Wolfriders were not in the feat. Bonded Stormclad on one objective and I’m down two heavies, most of my Ravagers and Bloodtrackers.

My turn to feat, and I decide to go into Beast form with Kromac, so my upkeeps drop. I start w/ the Stalker, I moved out and beat on the Charger, taking him out and sitting behind cover on the objective. Now to deal with the Stormclad. Nuala first then I activated the Wolfriders, and was able to get three of them on the Stormclad. After taking out the remainder of their prey target, I rotated the prey onto Stormclad and did some good dmg to him. Two were able to Light Calv move away w/o a free strike, one remained. Kromac activated moved and leaped into the woods but in melee range of the Stormclad, and burned thru about 10 fury to kill the Stormclad, securing the first control point of the game. Wyatt took the dice back, on his heels a bit, as he admitted later he didn’t think I was going to bring Kromac over to the Stormclad, or be able to kill him that turn. Haley moved up to take some shots at the Wolfriders. At this point the Ravagers were cleared by the Stormblades who moved to occupy the control point so I couldn’t score on his turn, nearly a full unit, some sitting in cover. The lancer ran over to engage the Gorax who had been basically stuck in position from the previous turn to ensure that he could not charge Haley. Thorn and the B13 went to town on the Stalker but were unable to kill him. So I received the dice back with a chance to win the game.

The Stalker was barely hanging on, the Gorax had taken dmg and couldn’t get away from the Lancer to charge Haley, so I had to clear the unit off the objective to secure the second control point. Nuala first, quick work allowed her to get two. Kromac, who stayed in beast form leaped out of the way of the Wolfriders, and chewed thru another four. There were three remaining. Wolfriders assaulted, killing the final three, sealing the final control point and the victory.

Misplaying the Stalker nearly lost me the game, but the Wolfriders MVP performance made the difference. Thinking back on the game, and noting how much Haley did not get into her feat, she probably should have come farther forward to get more in the feat, or not feated at all and saved it for the next turn. The Ravagers were a threat, but not one worthy of the feat with the Stormblades in the way. In the heat of battle it seemed like the right decision, but in retrospect, it may not have been.


Round 3: Cryx Matchup: Kromac v. eDenny Scenario: Diversion Opposing List: eDenny Skarlock Nightmare Seether Nightwretch x2 Stalker Deathripper Bane Knights (Full) BlackBanes Ghost Riders (Full) Synopsis: So what’s the reward for getting through eHaley in round 2? Your opponent showing you two versions of Denny lists in round three. Sweet… so Kromac it is. I needed to stop the arcing and the infantry clearing would be paramount. My opponent, Jose, and I had only played once or twice before, and were not too familiar with each other. My second faction is Cryx, and I’m an eDenny player so I was very familiar with her. The scenario was a radial, and the terrain basically gave both Denny and Kromac a linear obstacle granting cover that we could move into comfortably which was very near to the Zone, so our dojo’s would be easy to protect.

I won the roll to go first, and took it, advancing into the cozy position behind cover, put up Beastial, Inviolable Resolve on Ghetorix, and Warpath. I ran the AD Bloodtrackers out to the L into and near the forest, took up the middle of the board with the Ravagers, then flanked my well covered position for Kromac with the beasts. My opponent was stymied on arcing, which is why he probably didn’t take Prime Denny as that would have been much worse for her, he too took up a cozy position in cover, but if you look at a scenario map, you’ll notice that both Kromac and Denny were not sitting too far from each other. He did check to make sure he was outside the 14” so he could cast. He ran his Nightmare into the woods to try and scare the Bloodtrackers but they didn’t care. The Ghost Riders took up position around their flag to protect it, and the Bane Knights flooded the middle of the board charge a few of the Ravagers and protecting Denny’s front.

On my turn I spent a good two minutes looking at the board and eyeballing if I could sling my Stalker, after a warpath move to clip Denny. She had focus on her, but wasn’t full and even if I couldn’t kill her right now, if I did 10+ points to her, I would have him on tilt the rest of the game. I started w/ the Bloodtrackers who put a decent bit of dmg into the Nightmare on javelin throws; took out a column maybe. I used the Ravagers to clear the Banes out from in front of Denny, along with some additional throws from the Bloodtrackers, and even took out the Stalker (Cryx one). I took the last one to Warpath the Stalker forward. Kromac put Wild Agression on the Stalker, and the Gorax put Primal on him. Off he went. After about 45 seconds of very careful measuring, turns out I was maybe a ¼” short. Was very close to a turn two assassination, and since I was about to lose a Stalker, I was not about to do so in vain. I trampled Ghetorix over some Banes and into position behind the Stalker. So my opponent wiped the sweat off his brow, and went incorporeal with Denny, and feated, moving closer still to Kromac, with the comfort of the feat. The Nightmare loaded with Focus was sent in after the Stalker and did the deed. The Bane Knights cleared some Bloodtrackers and Ravagers and put damage on Ghetorix (on Vengence and on their turn). Then Seether lined up to launch on Ghetorix. The ARM 21 and DEF 14 was too much for him to handle, and really only did about 1/3 dmg on him. Ghost Riders crashed the obstacle on Kromac, and got in my other Stalker’s face.

I took the dice, and had a rules discussion on Kromac, beast form, leap and the feat. EO ruled I could leap as it’s a place effect and not a move. I measured the distance and turns out it was not in range, was about 7.5” away. So just shy again. As such I chose to stay as a caster, cycled Wild Agression onto Ghetorix, along with Primal and I got a little greedy, feated, jumped into a pack of Ghost Riders and mopped up most of them (mainly to get away from Bane Knights). Ghetorix time; in melee range of both the Seether and Nightmare, it was go time. POW 21, MAT 9 = two dead heavies, and 2 fury to spare… Let’s just say I have a new favorite toy :D. Stalker cleared the Ghost Riders who had attacked previous turn, and I turned the dice over to my opponent.

He was running out of models, and got a little too desperate a little too fast. He decided to charge Denny into Kromac and kill him herself. I had three Fury camped, and had taken four dmg from the feat. He needed 10’s to hit, and was dice minus four on dmg. He was gonna get three boosted attacks off, and even if he hit all of them I had transfers. He opted not to Dark Banish on the first two as he wanted to burn my Fury and Dark Banish me into the Banes. But he failed to hit on the last attack, and couldn’t move me. My turn was a formality. I stayed in beast form, had the Gorax put Primal on the Stalker, and moved him into attack Denny. I boosted the first attack roll and ended it on the first swing.

At the time I really thought it was a bad idea for him to come in that turn with Denny. Ghetorix was frenzied, and I was pretty clogged up with the Incoporeal models nearby. However, in retrospect, the Dark Banishment would not have been bad if he pulled it off. He needed a decent roll however, especially as he dwindled his focus down to the last roll, the idea still could have failed, plus I still had Fury to burn. It was a hotly contested game, as there was some big shots taken by both of us. Reviewing the early game, the Stalker move felt like a failure, but really allowed me to trade one heavy for two which ultimately dictated the feat turn. Additionally it forced Denny forward, into her feat, and probably caused a whole string of events that ultimately lead to the victory.


Round 4: Trolls Matchup: eKaya vs. Calandra Scenario: Incursion Opposing List: Calandra Earthborn Axer Troll Moses Pyg Burrowers Kriel Warriors (Full) w UA and 3x Cable Throwers Krielstone (Full) w UA Scattergunners (full) w UA Fell Caller Chronicler Synopsis: The championship round was going to be played against another Dark Omen member, Matt, who is, to date, the best list maker I have played against on a regular basis. Currently his favorite warlock is pretty much the one that I fear the most in my meta: Calandra. So, when I was presented with two lists, one being Borka and the other Calandra, I was of little doubt who I was facing. The question for me was who to take. Starcrossed is pretty much the inverse of Dark Guidence and wrecks me. I knew I would need to boost to hit, and high ARM would be abound; so I decided to go with eKaya in the finale. He won the roll to go first, and set up his 45 50 models, and the realization set in that I had no idea what I was going to win this game. I set up, and figured that based on terrain (we were back on the table I played my first game on where the terrain included several obstacles that were impassable) that I would have a chance if I was lucky on the random flag removal roll. So I knew he’d rush, then I’d try to run up clear models and lightening strike away. But with tough and Starcrossed I didn’t see that as being a viable option.

He did rush first turn, and was in the middle of the board. I activated and was extremely tentative on my turn, knowing he’d press farther forward, but I was still out of charge range of most of this things. With my heavies I wasn’t overly worried about Pyg’s and knew he wouldn’t feat this turn. Forced Evo was on the Feral and Shadow Pack was up. His turn 2 the Pyg’s popped up, and did some dmg, namely taking out the Gnarlhorn. I was okay with that, I needed to do some real dmg this turn or it was over. I had the first opportunity to score points,

and figured if I didn’t get one now, I’d for sure lose on scenario cuz the feat turn was next. So I started with Pureblood, warped Ghostly and dropped a nice spray across the Burrowers. Unfortunately three tough rolls out of 5 and I wasn’t able to spring both Stalkers. The one that was free, was able to bezerk into the second line, but not enough to clear the control point, after about three more tough rolls, I was out of forcing. The second Stalker warped Ghostly and tried to kill some more Kriel, but tough and the ARM buff was killing me. I forced my Feral onto the control point to contest, and realized I was about to take a ton of dmg. I really was not equipped to win this game.

He took the dice on turn three, activated Calandra, moved forward, to get all of the beasts in feat range, and did the deed. I proceeded to watch as his units go to town on my army. The feat, plus Fate Blessed caused my high DEF models to be KD by Cabal Throwers, and all kinds of uber dmg rolls ensued. I lost a Stalker, Feral, and Warwolf. Everything was damaged except for Laris, Kaya, and the Wilder. They had taken two control points and I had all kinds of units in my grill. As I assessed my turn, the only chance I had was if I found a way to kill Calandra. After spending the first couple of turns questioning my selection of eKaya, I was now thankful, as she had the hail mary in the playbook that I was going to have to call. I dropped all the upkeeps and executed the deep route. The Pureblood I activated first, trying to put any damage on Calandra, and failed, but with warping Ghostly I was able to get out of Laris’s way. I stood up the remaining Stalker and bezerked, using every last fury to kill the remaining models blocking Laris’ run path. Laris activated next and ran round back and into Calandra. Moved Kaya up, cast Spirit Shift, and there I was next to Calandra, flanking with Laris, and four fury left for the game. The good news was, Calandra burned all but one of her fury using Fate Blessed last turn. So I had a MAT of 8 and needed 6’s to hit, I was rolling three dice on DMG thanks to Flank. No need to bother boosting, with Star Crossed my odds are no better than 50/50 to hit, so here goes nothing: After three hits, enough dmg has been incurred to force a transfer. Last chance for glory: three dice rolled, drop the highest, I hit! With three dice in hand I rolled my flank dmg and did enough to kill… pending the inevitable tough roll… “3”… I WIN!!!!


OVERALL: Was really an awesome end to the day with the whole thing coming down to an epic Kaya Spirit Shift for the win. In review, of the two lists, I grew a great respect for the eKaya Tier 1. Not just because it was the championship winner, but more because the Tier 1 bonus is EXCELLENT, and it’s pretty much how I play her anyway. Moreover, I don’t have any personal gripes with the ‘fluff’ of the list as it seems to fit how I think she’d run in the story arc.

Additionally two Stalkers are an absolute bear to deal with. They hit hard move fast, and when they are surrounded with other beasts you have to deal with, it almost becomes painful to have to go after them. I was playing lists I was not familiar with and strong tactics are strong tactics no matter what your playing.

Ghetotrix, according to my Cryx opponent, “Hit’s like a Space Shuttle”. If you didn’t know, now you do, he’s a bad man.

6th man award goes to the Pureblood. I know this has been a hotly contested debate, but the Wraith Bane Animus, Ghostly on demand, 10” spray… all of it. The options he gave me all day were just awesome. Especially if you have other beasts on the table, he becomes easy to ignore because he’s not

the most obvious threat (which is true), but he’s a late game win condition, and gives you all kinds of options that your opponent will have trouble keeping track of.

Awesome day, awesome event, and very proud of my Win! Feel free to contact me with questions or comments…