Posts Tagged ‘tourney’

We are looking at one of the classic sr2013 scenarios today – Close Quarters. Close quarters is a a staple scenario for tournament play and is a great scenario for pickup games against a new opponent. It doesn’t require any zones nor does it have interactable objectives – just two 40mm flags.

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Close Quarters is one of only two scenarios that have neither zones nor objectives. The table setup for this one looks like this:

Scenario3 Deployment

As mentioned in the previous post on the Supply and Demand scenario one of the first things you want to look at when you see a scenario are the scenario win conditions. In a 2 (or more) caster tourney, the win conditions will often inform your choice of caster almost as much as your opponent’s force.

Look for things like hills, walls, forests, and other defensive options within 4″ of a flag (since that is the range to contest). Also you might want to look at the approach to the flags – if you are playing melee heavy with few pathfinder options you might prefer to take the clearer side to get you across the table quicker since you know you aren’t going to have to go much further than the center line for most games. Conversely, if you are a shooting force you might want to look at fire lanes and where you want to end up on turn 2 in order to give you maximum coverage. As always, remember that the player going second will have the first opportunity to score the flags and plan accordingly.

Let’s look at the specific rules for this scenario now:

Scenario3 Rules

Like the previous  scenario this one also has the Kill Box artifice. Basically, this means if you end your turn with your caster completely within 14″ of ANY table edge that your opponent immediately gets 2 Control Points. Sometimes it can be worth it to give up 2 points to save your caster, but make sure if you do that it is a conscious decision and not a game changing accident. It is also worth noting that, unlike CPs gained via control or domination of flags/objectives that Kill Box is only scored once per round.

This scenario uses “flags”. Let’s take a look at what the means in sr2013:

Flag (40 mm base): All flags are models with the following qualities: Incorporeal, stationary, immune to all game effects. They do not activate and cannot be targeted, damaged, moved, placed, or removed from play.

A player controls a flag if he owns one or more models that are not immobile, fleeing, wild, or inert B2B with a flag that an opponent does not contest. There are no additional requirements for solos, warjacks, or warbeasts.

If the model B2B with the flag is a member of a unit, the unit must contain 50% or more of its starting number (rounding up) and all those remaining models must also be within 4 ̋ of the flag. 

So controlling a flag with a full unit can be problematic as the entire group must be within 4″ of the flag AND be at or above 50% of the starting size. Solos and small units are good choices for controlling a flag, but aren’t typically great at clearing out contesting models which still having one in base to base with the flag. Ranged solos are a decent option for controlling once the area is cleared out as they will still be able to influence the game while scoring on a flag. Solos also tend to be kind of quick and you can often get a surprise control by running the solo to claim the flag if it the zone is cleared or just unmanned – keep that in mind as you are moving your solo on the flank – it is worth setting it up for a turn or two down the road. The down side of using a solo for this is that they tend to be much more fragile.

A warbeast or warjack is also a decent idea for controlling an enemy flag since they are usually a bit more resilient, but often your opponent will be able to see this coming and will direct more energy to killing a warbeast or warjack.

To dominate the flag a caster needs to be in base to base with it and no enemy models (other than other casters) within 4″. Since flags are models, another model cannot end their movement on it. This really helps mitigate the threat of assault from non-reach troopers since the number of models that can end up in melee with them is reduced by 40mm worth of space. The flag doesn’t block LOS and is incorporeal so it doesn’t do anything vs. shooting, and it also means that models can move completely through it and still attack you as long as your model doesn’t leave their melee range before they move through it. This is an odd interaction of charging that is worth knowing. Once a charging model has its target in melee in must keep it in melee until the end of the charge. In a nutshell, what that means is since LOS is typically the front arc a model can only move until the middle of their base is at the point furthest from its initial charge. Models always move directly forward on a charge. If there isn’t room to place their base in that location due to the flag the charge is likely a fail.

This scenario is a staple for a reason. It is a lot of fun to play and the combination of Kill Box, the ability to dominate one’s own flag for control points, and the central-ish location of the 2 flags typically mean there will be a big mashup in the middle. This is one of the scenarios that it really pays to think of the long game in. Once you get the number of models down dominating the zone gets pretty powerful and since enemy casters are unable to contest and it is possible to score on both flags getting an actual model advantage is extremely valuable.

As always, thanks for reading, I hope it has been useful, and feel free to add any other tips or corrections to the comments!

 

 

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Today in the SR2013 Primer Series we’ll be going over Scenario 2: Supply and Demand.

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You’ll notice that this a Guard Scenario. That doesn’t really mean anything for all practical purposes other than the bucket that the scenario is in.

Usually when you belly up to table the first thing that will stand out to you in the table setup, which is why I have chosen to cover the layout first. You can often get your first hint as to what scenario you are playing by taking a look at what is set up on the table.

In the case of Supply and Demand you will notice (in addition to the terrain) a circular zone and 2 objectives.

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So looking at the table lets us know that we will be able to score control points in three different ways; controlling the zone, dominating the zone, and destroying the enemy objective. In a multi-list environment before you have even seen the specific scenario being played, just taking a look at the table can give you hints for which caster to choose as well as whether you will want to go first or second. Going second gives you the option of choosing table side and while it is common to just choose the side you are at, this is a great opportunity to really look at what the table terrain offers you. Is there a piece of terrain on one side that will give you an opportunity to dominate with your caster from the relative safety of a wall or hill? Are there any LOS issues or places you can hide a solo completely yet still impact the game by digging in and contesting the zone? Are there any choke points that will affect your ability to bring your forces to bear?

A single zone is often more difficult to get control points out of than multiple zones and this is especially true with the large circular zone. It won’t tell you which to go for, but it can help inform your choices. It can also give you a bit of insight into how your opponent will want to win.

Now that we have taken in the table layout, let’s take a look at the special rules for Supply and Demand.

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The first thing we notice in the rule box is that this scenario has the Kill Box artifice. What this means is that if, starting at the end of the first player’s second turn, your caster is completely within 14″ of any table edge your opponent immediately scores 2 control points. Kill box combined with the single circular zone typically means that there will be quite a scrum near the middle of the table. The fact that your caster must be within 10″ of the center of the table also means that you must usually take additional precautions to protect your caster.

The active ways to get control points are to control the zone (1), dominate the zone (2), destroy the enemy objective (1), or dominate the enemy objective (2).

Let’s review the specific requirements:

The first player to get to at least 5 control points wins the game. To control a zone we need to have at least one model in the zone with no enemy non-caster models. Additionally, if that model is part of a unit it must be at least 50% in strength and all of the models must be in that zone.

To dominate the zone the caster must be in the zone with no enemy non-caster models.

Destroying an objective is fairly straight forward – starting with the second players second turn you can attack the objective like any other model. A card is included with the scenario because the objectives are slightly different in each one. The one below is the stat card for the Supply and Demand objective, (aka Supply Cache).

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The Supply Cache is armor 15 with 15 wounds making it the easiest to destroy. A warcaster dominating this objective (by being within 2″ with no enemy models within 2″) can have a warjack within 2″ charge or run for free. Of interesting note, you can dominate an objective starting on turn 1.

This objective also has a special rule with doesn’t allow a caster to dominate the zone if the enemy supply cache is in their control area which means you are probably going to want to destroy the enemy one. While there is the opportunity to score 2 control points by dominating the enemy objective this is unlikely unless you have a caster with a fairly crazy movement range and/or are willing to run to it – this will likely put you behind enemy lines but if you have a chance and are 2 control points from winning, it is worth remembering.

Conversely, if you think your opponent might try and pull this it can be worthwhile to destroy your own objective. Please note that this will give your opponent 1 control point, but if you feel that they can dominate that objective it might be better to give up that one control point than two.

In general with this scenario you can expect mass casualties. The combination of a single central zone, kill box, and single objective per player means that both players will be concentrating their forces and typically you are going to have to just grind out the win on scenario. It also means that there is a higher than average danger of your caster being threatened by an assassination. This also means if you have an assassination caster you might see some good opportunities.

It can be possible to “jam” your opponent out of the zone with particularly fast or possibly resilient pieces to score an early control point or two so be aware that is a possibility.

This is a good scenario for those  casters who like to move up and get stuff done in person anyway. Good candidates are the brick casters like Xerxis or Butcher or the ranged assassins like Ravyn or Lylyth2. Finally, since it is a single zone, some of the control casters can bounce enemy models out of the zone and win fairly quickly with a 6 point control point swing over 3 player turns which gives enough to win. Magnus2 and Kreuger2 both have feats to watch out for.

Remember that control points are tallied on each players turn and that both players can earn those points so if you can dominate the zone your opponent absolutely MUST either get a model into the zone at any cost (possibly even running and sacrificing an otherwise active piece’s activation opportunity).

Thanks for taking the time to read this and If you have any questions, tips, or want to point out something I screwed up please do!

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Welcome to the first installment of a series of articles introducing players to Steamroller 2013 (SR2013) play. I would like to start off with a bit of a disclaimer. I am a good player, but definitely not one of the greats. Since these are my thoughts at the time of writing they might be completely inaccurate. I also reserve the right to change my mind on any of these. This is just an overview primarily for the fairly young (playtime wise) meta at my FLGS, Emerald Knights in Burbank. The official Steamroller packet is at http://privateerpress.com/organized-play/steamroller-tournaments if you want to download them for yourself (which I highly recommend).

30 Second Wrap Up (aka tldr; give me the good stuff)

/begin 30 second wrap up

This is a really basic intro to SR2013. Tourneys can be very fun and the more prepared you are the more fun you will have.

Terrain is important, put some thought into it. The tables should be fair but not symmetrical. Make it a real choice between going first or choosing table side. Good terrain makes the game more fun.

Use some form of clock. Timed turns and chess clock are the most common forms of clock. There are pros and cons to both, but both can really improve the game experience

“Thou shalt remember the mission objective and keep it holy.” Scenarios give you an extra win (or lose) condition. Control the zone or flag or destroy objectives and then control the zone or flag. You can’t score any CPs until the second players second turn. Win the game, have fun. It is an extra tactical dimension and can open up new play styles and casters. Read the scenario before every game.

Play the game. Have fun.

/end 30 second wrap up

By the way, I am stealing the idea of a 30 second wrap up from Mike Shea over at mikeshea.net – let me know what you think of it.

I absolutely reject the idea that competitive or tourney play sucks all the life out of the game. It is a great opportunity to exercise your brain with some tactical problems as well as stretch that social leg and meet new people plus you get to play several games in a relatively short amount of time. The vast majority of people at a tournament are going to be hobbyists and gamers like you. Most of them are cool and the games will be a fun challenge. That being said, don’t be a “win at all costs” dick. These players are far fewer and further between than the internet would have you believe. They exist, but I have gone to many many events and have only seen one or two of those people. Embrace the soul of Page 5 which I basically like to paraphrase as “play hard, try your best to win, but above all else make sure and have fun”. You can maximize that fun by being familiar enough with the scenarios that you don’t have to think too much about learning them, you can just work on achieving them.

“So, you wanna play a game”

Since the is the first installment I am going to take the opportunity to start from the second floor up for this series. (I assume you already have your game size decided and your opponent picked out).

The first thing to do is to set up the table. I know that we don’t have the best terrain available (yet) but here is the guideline from the SR2013 pack.

“As a general rule, an average table should contain five to seven pieces of terrain placed close enough to eliminate large open areas without unduly constricting movement. The size of terrain pieces is also important. No piece should be insignificantly small or extremely large; terrain pieces that range from 4 ̋ to 7 ̋ in length and width are best.”

There are a couple of other guidelines beyond that – the big ones are no terrain in deployment zones, no terrain within 3″ of another piece of terrain, no impassible terrain within 2″ of objectives or 4″ of flags.

Also, we have had a tendency to set our terrain up pretty much in a symmetrical fashion. This has been fine for our games in the past since we were mostly playing some kind of caster kill and just getting our heads around the game. The problem with this in the longer term is that there is no real reason to consider taking a table side if you win the roll off to see who goes first. The terrain should be even (i.e. if there is a wall on one side of the table there should be something that provides cover somewhere on the other side which may or may not be a wall – it doesn’t have to be exact but it also shouldn’t be ridiculously one sided either).

Terrain adds extra dimensions both strategically and tactically and really enhances the game so I recommend people give this a shot. Also, terrain that sets up a story is always full of win in my book. It is possible to be both fluffy and balanced. Strive for that gaming Nirvana.

“The Final Countdown”
This next category is one certain to cause a fair amount of controversy. Yes, that’s right, I am talking about timed games. There are 2 basic kinds of timed games for SR2013 play and each have their advantages and disadvantages and I will talk a little bit about each of them. I am going to use 35 points as an example for both formats since that is a fairly common size at our game nights.

First up is Death Clock. It sounds intimidating, but really it just means that both players start the game with a “bucket” containing the same amount of time as determined by the size of game being played. This is basically like using chess clocks for those of you who have seen it. A 35 point game gives both players 42 minutes in total to use as they see fit. If a player runs out of time they lose the game immediately as if their caster had been assassinated. They are usually said to have “clocked themselves”. Interestingly, in an actual tournament, there is a round timer going as well which is set to the total of both players clocks (so 84 minutes in our example). This can come up if you have been pausing clocks a lot but it is rare. Deployment is done on the clock in Death Clock.

There are several benefits to the Death Clock format. You can bank up time on those early turns by keeping them quick. You can take your time on those long feat turns and don’t have to worry about running out of time (unless you are very near the end of your clock). The tournament organizer can predict very closely to how long the total tournament is going to run. A game will rarely end in a tie and you are far less likely to have to rely on tie-breakers to determine the winner. It allows list styles and casters which might be unfeasible under timed turns.

However, Death Clock is not without its drawbacks. If one player gets a significant time advantage they can start to play the clock by withdrawing and hoping to force their opponent to run out of time. A player can determine that they don’t feasibly have a chance for the scenario and the format discourages just trying to get an advantage on scenario points. Chess clocks can be expensive (although there are a lot of good free apps for smart phones).

Timed turns present their own set of benefits and drawbacks. For 35 point games each player gets 7 minutes to complete their turn with one optional extension of 3 minutes for a total game length of 70 minutes +/- d3 minutes x the extension duration (so the actual game round time is from 61-79 minutes). The variable is included to keep players from knowing exactly when the game is going to end and stalling on their turns as the game goes on if they are in a superior position for tiebreakers. If a player forgets to send the clock over their opponent when they are done with their turn it can have dire consequences.

Now, on to the benefits of this format. Your time management is forced but the hard deadline of the turn time. Your opponent has the exact same amount of time per turn as you. It keeps the game moving at a quick pace through the entire game. There is a very real reason to try and get up even just 1 or 2 control points and hold.

The main drawbacks: a player in a superior position could start to “slow play” toward the end of the round and use the full 7 minutes hoping for the game to end. It can be difficult to run some casters who have long feats and some list styles don’t work as well like mass infantry or heavy shooting for example simply because those tend to take a little longer to resolve. A player can play “keep away” a bit more effectively and prevent a solid engagement. A game can end in a tie.

My personal preference is Death Clock. I like being able to take a long turn or two if needed and a draw to me is always less than satisfying. I would rather a clean loss than a draw. That being said, some people prefer timed turns and a lot of the time when you are playing in a tournament it will largely depend on what timing devices the store has available. As an organizer Death Clock is preferable as well for the aforementioned reasons.

Either way I highly recommend putting some kind of clock on the game. I find that regardless of the result, playing a 4 hour 35 point game feels like a loss to both players. If you are intimidated use casual or relaxed timing – say 10 minutes per turn for a 35 point game just to get used to playing with a clock.

“Why are we doing this again?”

There are 3 core concepts for victory conditions in the SR2013 scenarios. These concepts are Zones, Flags, and Objectives. I’ll talk a little bit about those below. These concepts are what allow you to score control points and win games by scenario. Control points are also an important tie breaker for both the game round and the tournament as a whole so I would recommend you try and get them while keeping your opponent from doing the same.

There are only 2 kinds of zones. Rectangles that are 6″x12″ and a 12″ circle. Regardless of the shape they have the same basic rules for scoring. You have to have a friendly model in the zone and there can be no enemy models in the zone to control it. Additionally, if the models you are trying to control a zone with are part of a unit, the unit must be at least at 50% of its starting strength with all members of the unit in the zone. Jacks, beasts, and solos as long as they are functional can control it even if just down to a single box. Contesting a zone does not have the at requirement, just a single model in the zone will contest but it cannot be fleeing or a beast or jack without a controller.

Casters cannot contest a zone. Nor do they control a zone. Instead, they “dominate” a zone which typically gives you an extra control point. You cannot both control and dominate a zone.

Flags are “models” that are on 40mm bases. They are incorporeal which means that you can move through them as long as you can get completely past their base. They can’t be targeted or affected in any way. You can also draw line of site through them. The way you score a flag is by having one or move models in base to base with the flag and no enemy models within 4″ of the flag. Like with zones, there is no additional requirement for solos, beasts, or jacks. For a unit the entire unit must be within 4″ of it and the unit must still be at or above 50% of its starting strength.

The dominate rules are the same as above with the exception that the caster has to be base to base with the flag.

The final scoring concept is the objective. This is a 50mm model and each scenario contains a card with the stats of the objective for the scenario. Whereas flags are, for the most part, static and not “interactable” objectives can be targeted and destroyed (often for points) and many of them do stuff. There is also the idea of friendly and enemy objectives. An enemy objective counts as a an enemy model for all practical purposes including contesting zones.

Typically objectives can only be dominated by the caster and the caster must be within 2″ and no enemy models within 2″.

There is a wider variety of scenario specifics for objectives than for flags so I will just refer you to the specific scenario for the rules governing that objective. As I am doing scenario overviews I will also cover them more in depth.

Whether dealing with zones, flags, or objectives you cannot score control points until the end of the second player’s second turn. Objectives can be neither targeted nor damaged until the second player’s second turn and only one objective can be damaged per turn (thus only one can be destroyed per turn).

Scenarios are great because there are some casters who really just do not compete in caster kill only games but shine in a scenario game. Maybe that caster you may have loved the background or the model for but could never quite make work will be able to show you the good stuff.

The point of this series and the recommended scenario at Emerald Knights is not to force people to play a game they don’t want to play. It is totally optional but highly recommend because it can really open the game up in new ways. At the end of the day though, this is a hobby and a pastime – so please enjoy it!

I have rambled on this longer than I expected to and God forbid I edit so instead I am just going to wrap this up here.

The next article will be on Scenario 2: Supply and Demand (since my group has already done our game night focus on Scenario 1. I will get back to it eventually though.

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.

Here is my writeup of the Warmachine Weekend Qualifier from Kingdom-con.

I had pretty modest goals going in to this tourney because it was my first major con. I do play in a lot of local tourneys so set my goal to finish middle+1 – turned out there were 45 players who signed up so I was shooting for 22nd. I think I have talked before about my concept of private goals in games and how valuable I think they are, that was mine.

Also my apologies for the brevity in these reports and the fact that the enemy lists might be a bit off, but my brain was kind of mushy after and isn’t a whole lot better now.

My two lists were:

Vladimir Tzepesci, Great Prince of Umbrey – WJ: +5
– War Dog
– Drago – PC: 8
Manhunter – PC: 2
Man-O-War Drakhun – PC: 4
Yuri the Axe – PC: 3
Uhlan Kovnik Markov – PC: 4
Iron Fang Uhlans – Leader & 4 Grunts: 11
Kayazy Assassins – Leader & 9 Grunts: 8
– Kayazy Assassin Underboss – Underboss 2
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Widowmakers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 4
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt – Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt: 4

and

Forward Kommander Sorscha – WJ: +6
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, The Seeker
– Conquest – PC: 19
Koldun Lord – PC: 2
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich – PC: 2
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution – PC: 3
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator – PC: 1
Great Bears of Gallowswood – Volkov, Kolsk, Yarovich: 5
Greylord Ternion – Leader & 2 Grunts: 4
Widowmakers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 4
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Kayazy Eliminators – Leader & Grunt: 3
Winter Guard Infantry – Leader & 9 Grunts: 6
– Winter Guard Officer & Standard – Winter Guard Officer & Standard 2

Game 1 was against Hadrian and his Bart Galleon list I selected Vlad primarily because he is my anti-colossal list. Hadrian’s galleon is absolutely gorgeous. It has a crow’s nest and an angel masthead figure. Anyway the rest of his list was pretty standard fare, boomhowlers, Eyriss2, wrongeye and snapjaw, dougal, and some other stuff. He jammed up the middle hard and was able to put scenario pressure on my pretty early, but I was able to swing that back around. The Uhlans charged a harmed galleon but still failed to do anything meaningful that I remember. Maybe they took out a side, I am not sure. I was able to put a bit of pressure on the flag and he was forced to start feeding his support solos over to stop me from scoring on his turn. He turtled Bart up behind galleon and I was able to get a mini feat assassins charge and get just a single model on him. He tried to clear off with the boomhowlers but I made the terror check from rage howler and they weren’t able to do much thanks to my high def. I shifted a bit with them on the following turn and cleared a single space for vlad who popped feat, cast dash to ignore the free strike from galleon and then killed, sidestepped, flashing bladed his way next to bart and forced him to make some tough checks. He made the first 2 and had me worried, but in the end Vlad took the win. In all it was a super fun game and I was sweating bullets by the end. I think this is the first time that I wished I had swapped A&H and Eyriss2 between lists.

Game 2 was vs. Andrew T’s Rahn Andrew had won the mageslayer award at hardcore with Ravyn vs. pDenny the night before so I knew he was no slouch. The lists presented to me were a Ravyn list and a Rahn list. Sorscha2 would wreck Ravyn but really struggle to Rahn, Vlad3 was decent against both so I took that. Also, I had been saying on the khador forum that assassins were a pretty good match against Ret in general and wanted to either support my argument with play or disprove it. Andrew took Rahn because of the potential Sorscha matchup. His list was Rahn, Hyperion, Phoenix, Chimera, Sylys, 2 units of stormfalls, 1 unit of battlemages, Eyriss2 and 2 arcanists. Early game his shooting was fairly brutal killing about half of the Kayazy however I managed to jam the kayazy in pretty hard along with the uhlans. I also tried locking him up with Yuri but the phoenix burst into flame killing him. He popped feat on turn 2 to try and create some space to his shooting but enough kayazy survived and with minifeat still in play he ended up having to sacrifice a bunch of his own models (including an arcanist) to phoenix fire to protect Rahn. Polarity shield was up on Hyperion so I just had Drago walk into melee. I wasn’t able to give him any focus thanks to Eyriss but did manage to swing a crit amputation which saved Drago the following turn. The eliminators also charged in and did some damage. The other eliminators charged a stormfall archer and arcanist but somehow failed to kill either. Hyperion beat Drago down pretty hard, but only having a single die on one of his initials mean that he missed and Drago barely survived. I made a pretty big mistake here – I had meant to have the eliminator on Hyperion charge through to Sylys and then sidestep to Rahn (who had moved polarity shield to himself) but had drago go first. Even rolling a single die to hit and damage, he managed to wreck hyperion creating too big of a difficult terrain footprint for the eliminator to charge. Oops. The phoenix moved over and destroyed one of my objectives but left himself open to charge from Vlad who charged and wrecked the phoenix. I didn’t have much focus left, but was sitting at def 19 to shooting an magic. At this point it really turned into a crazy grind fest that ended up with just Vlad, Holt and the war dog vs. Rahn, Sylys and a damaged Chimera before he got clocked with me on 4 control points. This was the most fun game I think I had all weekend and he was a really great tough opponent. I had meant to take pictures but forgot to mostly.

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