Sorry guys, but I was delayed by a sudden request for a WTC-team video presentation. With a bit of job hunting done, the video waiting for team approval (damn rush job, but when the deadline is yesterday…), and todays meetings done, I can finally get around to writing a bit about the actual games I had this weekend.
The venue was an old school in Copenhagen, and I arrived the day before to hang out with my brother in law and his wife. I brought three lists which is actually a first for me, since the Danes usually don’t go for such fancy things, but stick to the basics. I have to say, that transporting three lists when there’s a Kraken in one of them, is quite problematic when there are character restrictions in play… that’s a lot of models.
Lich Lord Terminus
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Bane Thrall Officer & Standard
Bile Thralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Bane Lord Tartarus
Nothing new or exciting here, just good old Terminus returning from retirement to fight in the WTC. I only had two training games with him, but having played him for so long it was no trouble getting up to speed again. I considered making some changes, but honestly I was having enough trouble trying to figure out my second list.
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts)
Satyxis Blood Witches (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Satyxis Blood Hag
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
Master Gunner Dougal MacNaile
This should be new to everyone because it was for me. I had most of my training games with a list that more resembled my old pDeneghra lists, but I came to realize that not only was my regular shooting lists extremely slow to play, but the Pirate list was nigh impossible for me to run when deployment is on the clock.
I had a look at pDeneghra and asked myself what I could do to keep the ranged game while making it smoother to play. Then at one point I was moving my half finished projects of the table, because we had guests coming over, and suddenly I had the answer in my hands: The Kraken.
I had one training game with the list (which I lost to eCain), and then brought the list to the Masters. I knew we had to send in lists on the first day of the masters, so I figured I could get in another game with the list, and decide afterwards. It was not to be, so I sent in a list I’ve only ever played once, and now I’m locked to that list. Luckily, it seems like I might have made the right choice here, but more on that later.
Wraith Witch Deneghra
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Bane Thrall Officer & Standard
Blackbane’s Ghost Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Satyxis Blood Witches (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Satyxis Blood Hag
The final list was made using the following guidelines. Is it painted? does it make sense with eDeneghra? and does it somehow merge into something useful? I feel I actually achieved a list that was extremely useful, and I said to myself “at some point during this tournament, I have to encounter a player that cannot possibly handle 20+ Incorporeal models and eDeneghras feat at the same time“.
I was faced with Cornelius and a choice of pNemo, pStryker, and… well… I don’t even remember the last list he had, but it might have been Kraye or eCain. I picked Terminus, because it was Cygnar so he’s the obvious choice almost every time, and because it would be nice to start the tournament with something familiar (and I had a grand total of one game with my two other lists, Lamoron style).
The game ended up being pNemo Vs. Terminus, which was something I figured I could do while sleeping, and truly the last thing I expected him to pick against my lists. He won the roll and made me go first, which completely eliminated any doubt I had about the match, as long as I didn’t do something really stupid (which admittedly has been known to happen).
The game was fairly uneventful, with me running up and applying pressure while staying outside his charge range. He only had Old Rowdy and a Defender that could even dent Terminus, so after a feat round of invulnerability and a Machine Wraith Hijacking (and keeping) the Defender I just walked backwards and won on scenario. I’ve lost to Cornelius before, but everyone can have a bad day, and Saturday it seems, was his.
This time I got Andreas Holm, a Swedish WTC Cryx player with almost the same setup as I had. Nap-time was over, but when I looked through his lists I spotted a possible advantage. Andreas was rocking eAsphyxious, pDeneghra, and eDeneghra, so Terminus was out of the question (eAsphyxious just annihilates him), and pDeneghra had to many important models with the unhealthy drawback of being alive, so eDeneghra it would have to be.
I figured that if he picked eDeneghra as well it would be a fair fight, if he picked pDeneghra I would simply attempt to counter feat and time him out (something at least one other player managed later), and with the eAsphyxious nerf and RFP in my list (Hellmouth) I felt comfortable against eAsphyxious. It ended up being eAsphyxious Vs. eDeneghra, and I had a blast playing that game. Here I should also take the time to mention how incredibly awesome a guy Andreas is, and how quickly he spotted his mistake when we unveiled our picks (I don’t think my card had hit the table).
I won the roll to begin, and ran like a madman because eAsphyxious has no real ranged game. With a 14″ run I’m 17″ outside his zone, and while I was surprised that my Blood Witches didn’t get an Excarnate to the face, Andreas later explained that he felt it was more important to delay the Ghost Raiders a turn by making them run around three Caustic Mists. Being that close to his lines meant that he couldn’t really push ahead without receiving everything I had to the face so he shuffled a bit while staying outside my charge range.
The second round I mini-feated with the Blood Witches and ran in 21 Incorporeal models, after snagging six Bane Thralls with a Hellmouth (with that many models on the table and so little room, there’s bound to be massive casualties, but six was more than expected). At this point I completely and utterly brain-farted when I blocked his Bane Knights with my Blood Witches, completely forgetting that I turned them Incorporeal (and Bane Knights have Ghostly of course, making the Blood Witches nothing more than base sized spots on the board where he couldn’t stop).
The next sound I heard was a mirror brain fart from across the table, as Andreas also forgot that the Blood Witches were Incorporeal. He was about half way through the Bane Knight unit when he remembered, which saved several of my models from an untimely demise. I’m not sure it would have made much difference, but Nightmare would have croaked a round before he did.
Aaanyway, with Nightmare still alive there was no way eAsphyxious could move forward, and kill box made sure he couldn’t go back, so Andreas was left with two lateral directions of Teleportation after he killed a couple of Ghost Raiders and as they say in Indiana Jones “he chose poorly“.
I run a Deathripper around the building. I walk up and feat on eAsphyxious, and then Hellmouth the Bile Thrall behind him to pull him out of the zone. Everything he has is locked down, and with the points from kill box I’m going to win. You may have noticed a slight flaw in that plan, namely that I won’t score kill box points until it’s his turn, and that he has Teleport to circumvent the Shadow Bind.
If it’s going to be like that, I’ll just have to kill him. He already had a POW 12 hit from the Hellmouth ding him a bit, so I send in the Pistol Wraiths. They take him to about half, and Death Chill him for good measure. Then I send in the three Ghost Raiders, and at DEF 12 the first one hits him. The damage dice come up very very high, so Asphyxious is down to about four boxes and now he’s on fire as well. The second Ghost Raider also connects and lands me the win.
Jet Black Joe (Simon Sørensen) and I were matched up, and I had a hell of a time trying to figure out who to put down for this one. Simon had Old Witch, pIrusk, and Butcher3 in his lineup, but he had already gotten rid of his pIrusk “third” list. If I picked eDeneghra and he picked Old Witch, I would be steam rolled by Doom Reavers and locked down by his feat while he killed me. If I picked pDeneghra I would have a fighting chance against all three lists, but Simon is a great player and I didn’t like the odds of a game where he had the list advantage.
If I picked Terminus and he picked Old Witch, I would be ahead from the beginning even though it wouldn’t be by much, but if he picked Butcher3 I would be royally screwed with Terminus. I decided to gamble that Simon wouldn’t pick Butcher3 against me, because of his lack of experience with the list, and the game ended up being Old Witch Vs. Terminus, which is a setup where I’ve beaten him before. He won the roll which really bloody sucked, but bad things happen and you just have to adjust.
Simon moves up cautiously, which I think was a mistake. I on the other hand, am facing a list that outshoots me so badly that I have to move full steam ahead and hope for the best. I send the Machine Wraiths on a suicide mission to ensure that either Fenris or the Doom Reavers can impact Snapjaw, but not both.
Simon picks Fenris to hit Snapjaw which takes him to half, and keeps the Doom Reavers mostly safe another round while hacking the Machine Wraiths to bits. On the other flank the second unit of Doom Reavers spread out, with a couple tempting me with a poor but guaranteed feat round (no thanks).
Simon doesn’t feat, and that means I have to have my feat round now (urgh). The upside is, that most of the things he has that can kill Terminus is on the other flank, so if I can wipe out the left (mine) flank Doom Reavers and keep away from Behemoths fists I should be able to survive. Wrong Eye & Snapjaw destroys Fenris, but I had hoped Wrong Eye alone could do it so I could send Snapjaw after the Doom Reavers. Still, he heals a bit and is just outside retaliation range of the Doom Reavers.
I end up with Terminus on ARM 31, in the middle of Simons WG, with only two Doomreavers left on that flank, and Behemoth out of range. Now he has to do something fairly impressive to get me. Then I notice the third brain fart of the day, because Terminus is all out of Sac Pawn targets, and eEiryss is still alive. The Greylords manage to make Terminus stationary, Eiryss takes his Focus away, but he’s still on ARM 25, and the Doom Reavers only ding him for a point or two.
Things are looking grim for Simon so he shifts whatever he can to the right zone and dominates it. I have to do something about that or lose, but luckily I have plenty left. Erebus is fighting Behemoth but doing really poorly, but the remaining Bane Thralls hand Terminus a couple of souls before his activation, which means he can spend his activation spraying Eiryss to death instead. Wrong Eye & Snapjaw get in close with the Doom Reavers, and I roll amazingly well on Life Drinker and their Warbeast bond, returning 3 points to Wrong Eye and 8 points to Snapjaw.
From this point on it’s a matter of time, because I’m running low. I’m way ahead in the game, but I have to actually win it before the clock hits zero. I run in Terminus to threaten Old Witch, and she escapes with Unseen Path. Luckily there’s only one place he can go, and that’s within range of Snapjaw. Terminus runs down to her again to apply Malediction, Tartarus comes in to apply Dark Shroud, and Snapjaw manages to tail slap her to oblivion with 1.20 left on the clock (PHEW!!!).
The night of unholy Terror!
I returned to my brother in law to sleep, but noooooo. I have to taste his new brand of beer first, which he brews himself (yes I was really hard to persuade… promise), and the brown ales as well even though I never liked them. It gets sort of late, and I’m more than a little tipsy, when the 6 month old nightmare wakes up.
Gabriel is awake, he’s ill, and he’s not going to shut up about it. I sort of feel him, because whatever he had I’m coming down with now and it’s really unpleasant, but at the time I wasn’t particularly well inclined towards him when he woke me up every half an hour through the entire night. I got up, zombied my way to venue, and got matched up against Christoffer.
Christoffer had pMorvahna, eMorvahna, and eKrueger in his arsenal, but if he played anything other than eMorvahna he would be locked to her in the finals. I had to play pDeneghra if I wanted to avoid being locked, but as a former Circle player I thought he would pick eMorvahna anyway because of the two upkeep and control casters in my arsenal. Turns out I’m just as bad at Circle now as I was back then.
I picked Terminus, fully expecting it to be Terminus Vs. eMorvahna, but I was wrong. When I saw pMorvahna go down I knew I had made a mistake, and I should have picked eDeneghra for this game but I didn’t. eDeneghra would have stood a way better chance against all of his lists, but somehow my zombified brain decided it wanted something familiar instead. Still, I felt a pMorvahna Vs. Terminus match was pretty fair, but when Christoffer started playing I knew I was in trouble. Hooray, I get to face one of the best players I’ve ever met while being completely braindead.
I honestly can’t remember that many details from the game. I was chugging coffee, and agreeing when he informed me about rules I have written articles about yet seemed to have completely forgotten. I completely lost control of the game, and his zombified (damn you fate, you cunt whore…) Blood Trackers destroyed my right flank. Wrong Eye got telefragged by a Feral (I never get telefragged… seriously… he didn’t even use any shifting shenanigans, I just put Wrong Eye in range) while I had some limited success getting through on the left flank due to brute force.
He was scoring on the flag, and I was scoring in the zone, but at that point I didn’t have enough left to stop him in his turns, while he had enough to stop me in mine, so the game would have ended 5-4 to him. Obviously that would not do, so Terminus grabbed his sack and took on the Circle list alone. If Warcasters could still contest I actually think I might have won, but since they can’t I simply ran out of models to put in his way, while he ran Morvahna away from Terminus so I couldn’t end it. I hope that one day in the future I get to face Christoffer when I’m awake, because watching him play Circle was something else.
I was locked to pDeneghra which made Søren Husum, our WTC Coach, a happy man. I had gotten a chance to shut my eyes a bit during the break, and getting some food helped as well, but I was nowhere near peak performance, so I fully expected to lose this game. It was to be my second game with the pDeneghra / Kraken list, so I was just looking forward to getting some more experience with the list.
Husum picked Rasheth, who not only shuts down Arcing within sixteen inches, but also brought two Agonizers that could prevent my Kraken from receiving Focus, while extending the “no arcing” area to include pretty much the entire table. Right then, so I’m playing without Arc Nodes, and with a Kraken that probably won’t receive Focus unless I’ve already won the game… super.
What I remember of the game was this. He won the roll and went first, which meant that I got to pick pretty much the best defensive position I’ve ever seen on a table. Seriously, it was perfectly placed, with cover in some directions and LoS blocking in others, so when my turn came around pDeneghra walked in there and never came out.
From there on it was a matter of gunning down his infantry with Dougal MacNaile and the +2″ range mini-feated Nyss Hunters, and remaining out of harms way while shooting. Husum pushed forward while under heavy fire, but with the defensive position I had I could pretty much do what I wanted. He HAD to come to me, and when he did I feated and shot him some more.
Sure I had no Focus on the Kraken until the very last turn, but it shoots pretty well without it, and with all the delays I managed to put on him (Crippling Grasp from the Skarlock, The Withering, a Shadow Bind from the Siren etc.) I could take his army out one piece at the time (and the damn Agonizers). I rolled really really well on my Nyss Hunter charge on the Sentry, and since the Skarlock had Parasited it, and the Siren had Shadow bound it, the Sentry almost died then and there.
Without his infantry there was no stopping me from getting Nyss Hunters around the flanks as well, and when his support models began suffering from acute arrowhead syndrome it was all over. It took me a while to work through all the heavies, and the Kraken had to take a charge from the Bronzeback, but without the support models it just couldn’t one-round the Kraken, who in turn had no problems putting the Bronzeback in the furnace.
While all this was going on the Blood Witches were circling around. Most of them were lost in battle, but they took out an Agonizer, a Krea (though Dougal charged in and finished it), a couple of Gatormen, and put some heavy damage on the Gladiator. Three of the remaining witches made it to Rasheth, and when he dropped Castigation I got a Parasite on him, so it was game over.
Husum asked me “what happened”, and I had no real answer for him. I just sort of went with it while shooting and delaying, which somehow worked. Like I said I wasn’t exactly “there” during the game, but it appears that my pDeneghra list is a good one. Due to Strength of Schedule I ended up on third place, with second place being two points of SoS above me, and fourth place was the same distance below. I’m more than happy with finishing third, when considering the night of unholy terror, and on top of that I won a box of Trollkin Champions I can sell.
To all of you who attended, I send a heartfelt thanks for a great weekend.