I was able to head down to Costa Mesa for one of the Mercenary Market tourneys. They had a decent turnout again – 12 people, and it was a fun mix of newer players as well as veterans. Turned out there were 4 of us with Khador at this tourney, so Inyoung and I decided to run some crazy casters and tried to not double up casters with any of the other people just in case someone had to do a couple of khador matches in a row.
First my lists:
List 1: Tier 4 Charge of the Horselords
Vladimir Tzepesci, Great Prince of Umbrey – WJ: +5
- War Dog
- Drago – PC: 8
- Spriggan – PC: 10Fenris – PC: 5
Man-O-War Drakhun – PC: 4
Uhlan Kovnik Markov – PC: 4Iron Fang Uhlans – Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Greylord Outriders – Leader & 4 Grunts: 9
Battle Mechaniks – Leader & 3 Grunts: 2
- Battle Mechanik Officer – Battle Mechanik Officer 2
List 2: Tier 4 Hunting Wolves
Koldun Kommander Zerkova – WJ: +6
- Vanguard – PC: 5
- Vanguard – PC: 5
- Conquest – PC: 19Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist – PC: 2Greylord Outriders – Leader & 4 Grunts: 9
Kayazy Assassins – Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Widowmakers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 4
Greylord Ternion – Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Game 1 vs, Tony’s Cygnar
Okay let me be up front here and admit my problem. I don’t usually like to play against Cygnar. They are a bunch of damn dirty cheating swans who seem made to foil everything Khador wants to do. Last time we played I was a bit salty even though I won. I went into the game with a better headspace this time because Tony a pretty stand up guy and knows the rules well and is pretty easy going. Basically, it is definitely not him, it is me.
Anyway, he was running Nemo2 and Nemo3 and several huge bases which meant I reached for Vlad3 as he is my anti-huge base go to guy. Tony went with Nemo3 (2 storm striders, storm wall, Eyriss2, 2 or 3 storm callers, mechanics, ayanna and holt, junior, squire, something else maybe). This was my first game with the Outriders and I was stoked to get them going. I began the game by deploying them right next to Fenris and then when I went to start my turn I realized that I needed to make an abomination check. Pro play there. Luckily they passed. Unfortunately, my reasoning for putting them there was to put hand of fate on them, which I forgot to do.
I ran the Outriders forward to ridge to get some extra defense from the strider and storm wall shooting, everything else moved forward but not too far (this was a mistake, I should have presented a full line).
Tony’s turn his dice went up to 11. Literally. eLeaps were getting 3s for number and then one shotting the outriders. Note that this wasn’t even on Nemo’s feat turn. I have never seen so many 5s and 6s in my life. eLeaps dismounted the drakhun for crying out loud. I was able to take some cold comfort in the fact that at least he was consistently rolling high so his storm smiths failed their skill checks.
My follow up turn the remaining 2 outriders sprayed and killed something and then light cav moved to engage – one went to Eyriss, the other went to a storm smith.
I did manage to get 2 control points but put myself in a risky position, but really, at this point I was kind of playing for game 2 and 3.
Nemo popped feat and killed pretty much everything else and did about 5 to Vlad despite me camping something like 5 focus, though he did overexpose Nemo so I saw the possibility of vlad being able to pop feat and charge Ayanna and then side step over to Nemo who had 0 focus.
Humorous things which happened this turn as well were Eyriss2 stepping away from the outrider and him killing her on a free strike. He then had a gobber mechanic charge the outrider and not only hit with an 11, but also kill in one shot by rolling 3 6s for damage. Yeah his dice were that hot but it was such a funny sequence that we both laughed. I suggested that gobber get “promoted” to becoming his new tinker solo…
As a quick aside here, I spent something like 5 minutes (it was death clock and obviously not going to go to time) going over the scenarios in my head. I had to go through a storm wall free strike and he would have needed something like a 15 to kill Vlad. On most days I would have been okay with it, but with how hot his dice had been I was worried that he would just free strike me with a full camp. Also, I could get to him with an extra initial attack by charging him directly, but then would have been –1 str on all attempts which, over the course of 4 attacks was an extra 4 points which could be the swing I needed. Also, I considered doing 2 extra attacks rather than hand of fate, but needed to make sure I hit Ayanna on the charge to get the sidestep over. In the end I decided to just cast dash and hand of fate and see what happened. I hate dying to free strikes.
I charged Ayanna to get the blood token and side stepped over to him and hit with the now pow 14 weapon (dice –5 with 3 focus and 1 initial left needing 7s to hit). I would have to roll slightly above average, but it was not out of the realm of possibility and that is kind of what hand of fate is for anyway. My first attack hit and did nothing. My second attack missed. My third attack did 3 and my last attack did 6. Not quite enough, but I had seen a shot and taken it. All in all, I consider it a karmic balancing for our first game against each other and a test if I could take that kind of tilt and keep smiling, which I did. Mostly.
Game 2 vs Zac’s Kromac
I went with Vlad again for this matchup mostly because the Zerkova list doesn’t like seeing lots of beasts across the table. His list was Kromac, Ghettorex, Stalker, Feral, Gorax, blood trackers with Nuala (who preyed the Outriders), shifting stones with UA, full skin walkers with UA, maybe something else.
This game I was a bit more conscientious on my deployment and decided I was going to give the Outriders a chance to kill the girls preying them and then see how things developed.
I was going second so most of his stuff advanced. On my turn Vlad did a ride by attack and put hand of fate on the outriders and then moved over into position for the jacks, fenris and the drakhun to surround him and cast dash and feated making sure that all of the targets I wanted to sprint off were in his control. The outriders advanced and sprayed down Nuala and all but 2 blood trackers. For their light cav move, the one who failed to kill advanced to lock the girls in and the other fell back making sure to that the one outriding outrider was still in command range. The uhlans charged and killed the three front skin walker and one of my uhlans was even able to make it to the second line and he hit but failed to kill. As penance, he shifted over to get both the UA and one skin walker in melee range, the rest sidestep and then sprinted back to basically exactly where they were. The Drakhun charged forward and killed a shifting stone and then fell back next to vlad Fenris killed a different stone and then sidestepped over to the gorax and took his second attack and then sidestepped back and sprinted back near where he deployed. It was pretty much an ideal feat for Vlad – though it would have been nice to have had him get some business taken care of but I couldn’t complain.
Zac was definitely on his back foot after this. He had lost much of his first wave and I wasn’t really any closer to him than I was the first turn. The blood trackers tried to kill the outrider and failed (armor 15 and 5 wounds is kind of nice), Ghettorex got the full suite of murder put on him and charged the Spriggan. He wrecked the the Spriggan but it took 4 fury – the left arm was the last thing he took out. The stalker then charged Drago but was countercharged by the drakhun who ended up doing something like 14 points damage total between impact and regular attack (but wasn’t knocked down – I am still waiting to live that dream). I think I did take out his mind though. In return, despite going up to max fury he only took out Drago’s cortex and one of his axes.
On my turn the mechanic UA and one of the other mechanics were able to base up to drago and fix him up for 8. The other 2 valiantly passed their terror check and based up Ghettorex so that the primal auto frenzy might hit them instead of Drago. I couldn’t give Drago any focus but he still did some decent damage to ghettorex thanks to the affinity. The Uhlans charged the stalker and knocked him down to something like 4 wounds. The outriders finished off the blood trackers, put a couple of the gorax, a couple on Kromac and then backed off to the side basically giving Zac the choice of ignoring them for the rest of my army (after the game I told him I thought he should have cast bestial, and he said he just underestimated them) or diverting either the feral or kromac himself over to deal with them. He chose the former and wrecked one of them. Fenris finished off the gorax.
On Zac’s turn he had to leave the stalker on 1 fury and he frenzied, killing an uhlan instead of drago. Drago’s luck help as ghettorex thrashed a poor hapless mechanic. His family did get a medal on his behalf, so that has to count for something. Drago was fully functional and Vlad handed him 2 focus which which to thrash ghettorex. Vlad then cast dash and the uhlans charged out of the stalkers range into the wilder and the last remaining stone killing them both. As an aside, dash was really awesome this game. Zac kept saying, I can’t believe these guys are riding by on horses and I can’t take even swing at them. The drakhun charged and finished off the stalker. The remaining outriders continued their reign of spray terror With one moving back into melee with the feral at the end so he couldn’t get to the rest of the game.
Things were looking pretty grim at this point so Kromac feated, took the 7 points of damage to get back up to full (he couldn’t cut up to full and then do the charge feat thing taking 7 more because of the nickel and diming the sprays had done over the last couple of turns) and charge/jumped to just be in range of vlad. Vlad at this point was camping on 2. Kromac missed one of his attacks and did a total of maybe 9 to vlad. Drago turned around and ended the game.
Game 3 vs. tjhairball’s Sorscha2
Game 3 I was paired up against one of the other khador players there. I heard from someone ahead of time that tjhairball likes to run Zerkova and is pretty good with her so I was hoping to pick up some tips. I picked my own Zerkova but he ended up going with Sorscha2. Since I was running conquest and his Zerkova list had a bunch of marauders in it, it was definitely right choice (PLEASE FIX COMBO SMITE AND COLOSSALS).
His list had Sorscha2, Conquest (bonded), full IFP with IFP UA, full winter guard death star, sylys, ayanna and holt, drakhun with dismount a manhunter and yuri. I think that was everything.
I matched my eliminators up with my outriders on the left, the widow makers center left in a forest, zerkova behind it along with her best bud Gorman, then a vanguard, then conquest, then another vanguard, then the min kayazy.
The scenario was the one with the effigies that act like warcasters for purposes of dominating zones. He advanced a little bit and other than his drakhun who threatened across from my eliminators, widowmakers, and outriders to try and lock them into place with threat of countercharge. The IFP got iron flesh and then ran up near the zone. Yuri and the manhunter ran opposite my kayazy assassins.
On my turn the widowmakers put 3 points on the drakhun (one rolled snake eyes) and then the outriders did some spraying at extreme range (I was only able to get 4 on him) but they managed to dismount him and then the eliminators charged in and finished him off. The ternion then put clouds on the two eliminators creating a wall of smoke to protect the outriders (they were out of range anyway but they had nothing better to do) I dominated the objective and bounced it into the friendly zone. On the other side conquest advanced a bit and fired a shot off at an infantryman who was standing a bit too close to Sorscha. I didn’t get the crit and did a little bit of damage I think but nothing of consequence. He then laid down 4 covering fire templates in front of the winter guard, because if those things were ever going to do blast damage, now is the time, right? My assassins ran 4 dudes into his zone. Zerkova just cast watcher and everything shifted right just a bit. Zerkova also tried to razorwind the manhunter but missed despite a boost.
His IFP did a shield wall and toed in 4 or 5 models into the zone. His conquest tried to shoot at the eliminators that had killed the drakhun but they all drifted. Fortunately for him they drifted onto the widowmakers basically killing them all and he did get one of the eliminators (the other passed her command check). This was a good strategy here that I hadn’t considered with conquest firing the secondary battery at something that you are likely to auto miss to get that second shot off. The outriders tried spraying the IFP but they had iron flesh and were on a hill so didn’t really do anything, but they moved back out of range of anything. My surviving eliminators all did a run charge into the IFP. I killed one of them with a combo strike and side stepped up locking a whole lot of them in place due to the triangle formations.
On his turn, iron flesh was cycled over to the WGI and joe called tough and then moved behind Sorscha. The IFP did a charge/run order and tried tw 3 or 4 man CMAs on the eliminators but both missed (I seem to recall that the ua needed a 7 and the other group needed an 8 which would be 3 mans). The winter guard did some shooting and really flooded his zone hard moving right through the creeping barrage templates. I don’t think I killed a single model with the creeping barrage. Yuri and the manhunter killed 3 of the assassins in the zone but the 4th one survived and they passed their command check. Hmm actually this may have been the turn that he called boosted to hit and tried spraying through conquest at zerkova.
Zerkova gave 2 focus to conquest put icy grip on the IFP and then moved behind a forest. Conquest shot joe and killed him but again no crit dev on Sorscha. I think at this point I noticed that I had something like 24 minutes remaining while he was down to 10 on the death clock. A vanguard moved over and killed the manhunter that had threatened Zerkova. I think the remaining assassins killed Yuri. The eliminators killed the IFP they were engaged with and sidestepped away a bit and the greylord outriders went to town killing every single one of the remaining IFP with sprays (I think the ternion added some icy death sprays here as well). It is worth mentioning again how absolutely fantastic a 9 speed is on a spray unit. I never had fewer than 3 or 4 models in a spray despite his best attempts at spreading out. I wish I would have taken a picture because the zone seriously looked like the moon with the IFP being craters all over it. At this point I was able to get a control point and he wasn’t able to get anything over to contest (due to the large based outriders pressing the area that conquest would want to go into so I got it again on his turn.
He popped Sorscha’s feat and did some really beefy CRA’s into conquest and then his conquest wrecked face on mine and I think he just wrecked the entire right have and disabled the fist on the left side. It was near this point that his clock beeped giving me the win.
Whew what a tough match but also a super fun one! I know that I ended up kind of combining two later turns in the above because a few other things happened that didn’t really affect the game like my eliminators running to engage his mechanics after the IFP were dealt with and I had 3 control points and when he clocked I should have gotten the 4th but was a knucklehead.
After the game I asked for some Zerkova tips and he gladly gave up some dark secrets regarding the Koldun Kommander – not least of which was don’t forget to feat. Also he suggested that I could play her a bit more aggressively since the feat is such a good denial one and with vanguards shield guarding and watcher providing some protection, so I think will be trying that in the future. Overall, I love playing her and her style so will be getting a lot more time in with her.
I ended up getting 4th in the tourney but had I not been an idiot and scored the final table state I would have been 2nd, so I am pretty stoked! Inyoung ended up getting 3rd. I have always thought that the game just ended immediately on assassination or clock so have never given myself those points. Oops. Totally on me, but let this be a lesson to you – ALWAYS make sure you understand completely how scenarios and scoring work.