Now that my cold has resided to manageable levels it’s time to report on my trip to Lund. I hitched a ride with a new face on the tournament scene, and we made our way to Sweden with a stay over in Copenhagen to avoid having to get up at shit’o’clock in the morning. My camera was acting up all weekend so most of the pictures are shaky to a point where I might as well not post them, but the venue was a middle school in idyllic – albeit snow covered – surroundings.
I had been struggling against a budding cold, and at this point I was losing the fight, which I will use as an excuse for misremembering the rules for obstruction height. It didn’t matter in our game, but my first opponent Jens lost his second game because of it, and for that I owe him more apologies than I could express at the time. He was a great sport about it, as massive tattooed guys with nose rings usually are.
Goreshade, Lord of Ruin
Bane Knights (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts)
– Bane Thrall Officer & Standard
Soulhunters (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Aiakos, Scourge of Meredius
Bane Lord Tartarus
I decided to drop Goreshade3 into his Trollbloods, and he predictably dropped Evolutionary Elementalism. I really hate playing against EE, because it always makes me feel like I should be fielding the mindbogglingly boring Skarre1 list with 30 Bane Knights instead of whatever I actually brought.
The game was incredibly one-sided with Jens running me over, but he left a line to Calandra (camping one fury) and a Soulhunter survived the onslaught. The Soulhunter runs to Calandra, my Arc Node moves up, and I go for the Siphon Bolt assassination.
It fails and leaves Calandra at 3 boxes with no transfers, but I’m not worried since I have Darragh Wrathe in range to Hellfire her stationary ass. Darragh moves up and promptly rolls 1-1-6 on his Star Crossed affected attack roll (he would have needed a 5+ to kill her after hitting) and suddenly it seems like I lost instead.
I have a bunch of different banes in charge range of his lights so I decide to see if I can’t attrition him instead, but a combination of Star Crossed and low dice means I kill exactly nothing. I ponder my last remaining model (Aiakos) to see if I can get him in on one of the many many warbeasts hanging out on 2-4 boxes, when I discover that I haven’t actually activated Saxon Orrik.
He has to take a free strike from a Pyre Troll which he dodges, and then needs a hard 9 on damage to kill her which he does. This was to be a theme for the entire tournament, and every victory I had was pulled from my ass at the very last second.
I get matched up against David and his Circle (Morvahna1/Kromac2). I’m thinking his Kromac2 list will be left on the tray as my Goreshade3 list would wipe it, and I need upkeep removal when he drops Morvahna1 so I drop Deneghra3 into his Morvahna1.
Denghra, the Soul Weaver
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts)
The Withershadow Combine
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
Scrap Thralls (3)
Scrap Thralls (3)
Scrap Thralls (3)
Soul Trapper (2)
Soul Trapper (2)
The deployment sees my Nyss Hunters facing off against his Bloodtrackers, which would end poorly for me as the Nyss were their Prey targets so I decide on spending my first turn (going second as usual) running them behind my list in a denied flank maneuver.
Deneghra3 had lost a wing magnet on the trip and I couldn’t find it, but she’s still an impressive model on the table so I thought I might engage in some terror tactics, and since he only really had one model with the ability to kill her I just had to stay more than 12″ away from the Gargantuan.
Now in this picture it ‘seems’ like I have it all under control, and I was winning on scenario at the time as well, but I almost died. In fact the slightly damage Moonhound caught between Ragman and Malevolus – bottom of the picture – takes two free strikes to go debuff Deneghra, and Ragman/Malevolus spikes insane dice to kill it. Had it lived I would probably have died, but without that debuff DEF 17 deflects the Woldwraths gun and I win on scenario.
This game was short. I lose the 10th roll-off in a row and Peter parks his list on the center line. Now I’m going to get shot and/or charged no matter what I do, so I decide to first turn feat and fake charge to the side so only one Angelius can reach me. I move some other models in position first and then run Deneghra3 into position… @£$€#¤%&, I was supposed to feat and charge. He goes all in on killing Deneghra, spends his feat, moves up everything, and leaves her on 1 box while on fire.
The fire goes out, and if I had feated on turn one as I was supposed to I could have camped fully while healing up to eight boxes, but since I didn’t I had no chance. I did my best to jam him, kill his beasts (around half), and block him, but in the end he simply slip streamed the Ravagore out of melee and shot me. I was a wee bit miffed about forgetting such an important move, and I would have stood a chance if I had remembered it, but Deneghra3 vs. Vayl2 is not recommendable.
The Swedes are damn good at evening entertainment, but me and seven others had rented a house in a nearby city and we had to go check in. After we had checked in we drove out to get some food, but every single restaurant was booked solid, and the sludge/snow had gotten worse. Like most of the others my shoes were woefully inadequate and we ended up shivering, wet, and defaulting to Burger King because no one wanted to walk any further. I ate for two people and stuffed my shoes with paper towels for warmth, but it was about as far from what my cold needed as humanely possible.
Feeling sorry for ourselves we bought some beers and hung out a bit, then crashed hard in the surprisingly comfortable house we rented from an asian woman and her polish boy toy husband (seriously, he was like 15-20 years younger than her). The following morning I had a bath in their basement, where the ceiling was so low I couldn’t stand up straight and the floor was made of something I can best describe as ‘sticky sandpaper’, but suitably refreshed I downed half a glass of painkillers and we got back to playing.
I’ll take a minute here to rage a bit about theme forces. The first four games of the tournament featured three theme forces, and while I understand that a theme force is an easy way for Privateer Press to sell models it’s also completely counterproductive. I simply don’t understand it when you consider how much they’re trying to increase the diversity with character restrictions and Active Duty Roster, as the release of a theme force decreases the diversity to a point where nothing they can do matters (except nerfing said theme force).
I absolutely loathe playing against the popular theme forces, because they all have a gimmick that makes them work and you can either counter that gimmick or you can’t. That gimmick is EXACTLY THE SAME for every god damn version of that theme force, and most of the time the choices in that theme force are so ‘locked’ that you couldn’t tell three lists apart if you tried. Please PP, don’t do any more ‘must play’ theme forces, I beg of you!
Back on track then. I faced up against another Vayl2 player and this game was a lot better. I had some bad dice in the beginning and I made some questionable moves, but the game was almost equal despite me losing the 11th roll-off in a row. In the end I lost to horrible positioning errors which I probably wouldn’t have made if I had not been feverish and doped up, but I made them (blocking my own charge lanes, activating in the wrong order etc.) so I lost 2-5 on scenario.
I’ve waited two years for this game. I met Christian at the 2013 Danish Masters and we’ve had a bunch of fun since then, but every single tournament we’ve attended has seen us dodging an actual game. We talked about it just the day before, but now the day had arrived and there were manly hugs and excitement!
Christian wins the roll to start (12th time in a row I lose) and pushes up aggressively with his Harbinger list. I’m faced with a choice and I probably choose wrong. I should have used Deneghra3 in my own zone, forcing the Avatar closer so I could get the Helldivers to Harbinger, but instead I decided to try and play scenario against her. He quickly gets ahead on scenario as he pushes Harbinger up into my zone, using his feat to keep all but two sacrificial Helldivers out of it.
I decide to sacrifice Snapjaw in an attempt to pull in the Avatar so I could eliminate the main threat to Deneghra, and I feat so I’ll have enough focus to kill him and camp the following turn, or bully through my own zone if the remaining forces on the left flank can nuke the Avatar (I got one Nyss Hunter in on him which über spiked damage and dealt 8-9 damage on dice -12). Then I flood my own zone with everything I have over there, as I need another round to complete my plan.
Christian kills Snapjaw with the Avatar as I planned for, but then super problematically clears out my zone and dominates his way to four points, leaving me no other option than assassination. Now before I explain what happened I need you to understand exactly how much energy I had put into killing Nicia and failing. That bitch was unkillable, dodging 5-6 boosted attacks and like 8-9 regular attacks over two rounds, so I really had it in for her when my turn came along.
I pop up my two Helldivers which can reach Harbinger, and I move up the remaining Nyss Hunters which CRA her for four damage, taking her down to seven boxes left and camping at ARM 20. I can’t apply any spells because of the Devout, but my chances aren’t all bad. I have assigned the focus to them, and my arc node is in range to apply Ghost Walk, so all I have to do is juice them up and send them in, then kill what I can to grab CP and AP for the ranking if I fail.
I then start by charging Deneghra3 into Nicia and finally killing her, triumphantly declaring… that I just charged into the ‘no spells’ area of the book without actually applying the Ghost Walks I needed… @£$€”#¤%& motherf#¤%&£$€ shit. Okay then, time for the fine measuring. One Helldiver is easily within range, boosts to hit, boosts damage, and it’s at dice -7 so it needs a 14 to kill but inflicts 2 damage. It then buys a second attack and misses.
The second Helldiver has to charge across parts of two Helldiver wrecks but it’s still just barely in range and the excitement rises, then Christian forgets his defensive strike on the Devout (we rolled it though, and it wouldn’t have mattered) and it boosts to hit, inflicting… three damage, leaving her on two boxes! FUUUUCK. I buy one more attack – my very last – which needs to hard roll 8+ to hit and 9+ on damage, but in order to prove Helldiver superiority it rolls boxcars on damage and pulls another win out of my ass. It was the perfect game to finally play against Christian, with mistakes made on both sides, and with Christian being way ahead until the Helldivers inflicted the great equalizer.
3-2 score, 22nd place out of 52
There was more hugging, and then we drove home. The snow had gone crazy in the mean time – though some areas weirdly had almost none – and the trip was a bit nerve wracking. There were crashed cars, stuck cars, and we had several near escapes with snow boulders on the roads. We made it home though, and I crawled under my covers and spent all Monday watching the new Jessica Jones series on Netflix (recommendable) while chucking hot cocoa and feeling sorry for myself. All in all it was a great weekend despite everything, and I’m hoping I have the time/money to attend next years convention style tournament in Lund.