WTC 2014 – last minute list musing

The missus took a spur of the moment trip this weekend, and I had time to play some games. Now I’ve been reading Overload Online for a while, and especially this article on the current meta has made me think. I basically came to the same conclusion as Anthony does, but my attempts at recreating the premise have failed spectacularly.

Stuck in the meta with you

The problem is, that Anthony is using his dudespam list in order to force a good match-up for his second list, while I really want to play my dudespam list… which means that I’ve designed my second list to cover an entirely different set of match-ups, and thus list chicken becomes my problem instead.

Wraith Witch Deneghra
– Deathripper
– Deathjack
– Leviathan
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Aiakos, Scourge of Meredius
– Leviathan
Necrotech (Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall)
Necrotech (Necrotech & 1 Scrap Thrall)
Warwitch Siren

Pirate Queen Skarre
– Cankerworm
Bane Riders (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Blackbane’s Ghost Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Mechanithralls (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Necrosurgeon (Necrosurgeon & 3 Stitch Thralls)
Satyxis Blood Witches (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Satyxis Blood Hag
Soulhunters (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Darragh Wrathe
Saxon Orrik
Skarlock Thrall

The WTC lists are due in a week, so I’m not really in a position to do much about it, except acknowledge that I have a problem that might have been avoided. The weekends games were all quite interesting though, so a short recap might be in order.

Game 1: Deneghra2 Vs. Rahn

This was a fairly even match-up with two scenario specialists going at it, but I made a critical error and didn’t devote a heavy to the second zone, which meant that Rahn could clear out my infantry and his amazing toolbox of moves allowed him to clear my Deathripper and Admonia, so I lost on scenario when every slam, spell, and pull came up like they were supposed to.

I probably should have won this

The games I’ve had with the Naval Company have been mostly won or lost on the very last moves/attacks (Krueger2 being the massive exception), which I guess means that it’s a balanced list and I don’t do well with those. I then asked my opponent for a chance to see how bad it would be with Skarre1 against that Rahn list.

Game 2: Skarre1 Vs. Rahn

He won the first turn which is always annoying, since the Skarre list really likes the stupid amount of pressure it applies if I go first. He rushes up, and then I do some basic math. If I feat defensively my entire line of Incorporeal models will be ARM 17-18, and his battle mages will hit almost every time while doing an average of 20-21 damage on feat turn.

I decide to ignore my instinct to feat defensively in order to save a couple of models, and my lines explode in a way no other list has EVER managed. I’m still not sure if feating defensively would have been the right move, but not doing it certainly wasn’t a pleasant experience.

Stannis = Fane Knight, Rangers = Battle Mages, and some other Cygnar models are Magisters I think

Please stop hitting me now…

So I kept most of my cavalry, but I lost Darragh Wrathe to that insane threat Fane Knight (proxied by Stannis Brocker) and my Soulhunters are mostly stuck in the forest because I placed them so there would be no LoS to them, and without Darragh Wrathe I couldn’t move them into LoS before their activation.

I desperately try hitting back, and while it does hurt him it’s nowhere near enough to turn the tide, and even with my feat up I’m bleeding models way faster than he is. I end up starting my final round being behind 0-3 on CP, with a handful of models, Rahn on the hill down back, and Skarre on 12 Focus.

Desperation!

I had a LOT of time on my clock, so we discussed options for a bit (the purpose is to learn after all), but the only chance I/we could see, was if Rahn was within spell assassination range. I charge a Soulhunter in to kill the two Invictors blocking Skarres direct advancement, and we measure to Rahn, who is just within seventeen.

The second Soulhunter was engaged by the Phoenix, or I would have run that in and used it to charge Skarre up ahead but since I was in range anyway, I ‘just’ needed to roll some flaming dice. Rahn on a hill is 10+ to hit, and when the first Hellfire hits the damage dice come up 6-6-6. The second Hellfire basically just has to land, and it does for a very surprising come back.

I really really shouldn’t have won that one, but this type of ending is exactly why I need these Emotional Trauma games. I can’t be complacent with Skarre1, even though she runs over almost anything on auto-pilot, and being reminded that she has a 17-20″ spell assassination in her back pocket is exactly what I need.

Game 3: Skarre1 Vs. Syntherion

I drive over to the second opponent that evening. A couple of weeks ago I ran him over because he thought his jacks had magical weapons for a round, but it’s a turn, so my Soulhunters simply chopped down Syntherion in turn two. This time he was better prepared, and it hurt a lot more going in.

In the end my high threat ranges and silly damage potential on feat turn made his list crumble, and a handful of Mechanithralls swinging POW 20 combo strikes took down the Prime Axiom, while the POW 20 Bane Riders and POW 18 Soulhunters simply annihilated most of his battlegroup.

Game 4: Skarre1 Vs. Grissel2 (MMM)

The next day I drove out to our local Trollblood player. Having never played against the true Miserable Meat Mountain list, I needed to see what it was all about (the annoyingly small Danish meta means that we’re quite vulnerable to a lack of experience with many casters/builds).

The MMM does NOT like taking the alpha from high powered cavalry, and Necrosurgeon ‘launched’ Mechanithralls, while being jammed by the little guys. We didn’t even finish the game, but I’m fairly certain a Trollblood player will drop his other list in that match-up, and if he doesn’t I’ll have a massive advantage.

Game 5: Deneghra2 Vs. Calandra (tier)

Sadly I didn’t take any pictures, but that Calandra list was spectacular. It’s a massive wall of light beasts, that have all kinds of rules that are bloody impossible to keep track of. In a tournament game I probably would have dropped Skarre1 but I still need to figure out what Deneghra2 can and cannot do.

Calandra Truthsayer
– Pyre Troll
– Slag Troll
– Slag Troll
– Storm Troll
– Storm Troll
– Storm Troll
– Winter Troll
Krielstone Beare (Krielstone Bearer and 5 Stone Scribes)
– Krielstone Stone Scribe Elder
Trollkin Runeshapers (Leader and 2 Crew)
Trollkin Runeshapers (Leader and 2 Crew)
Trollkin Warders (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Troll Whelps
Trollkin Runebearer

Hilarious and effective. In the end the game ended with Deathjack barely surviving a MASSIVE pummeling, after being repair and repairing himself for several rounds, and then he tossed a model into Calandra to knock her down so the Leviathans could actually hit her. I shouldn’t have won this game either, but another very close win I can add to Deneghras list.

Final thoughts

It was nice getting a whole bunch of games in, as the 0-1 games a week limit has really been letting me rust. I still make a lot of silly mistakes I would never have made a year ago, but I’m slowly getting back in shape, and hopefully I’ll be up to speed when we fight the big boys in Poland! If not I have the Cryx meet-up Saturday in the bar to look forward to :)

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