A couple of months back I decided to go play the Danish WTC Qualifiers, because I rarely get to see those guys outside of the tournaments and I miss them. It turned out that there were seven teams registered so we were welcome, and I reached out to some of the old talent. My two team mates were horribly rusty, not really into the game, or weighed down by newborn babies, but Team Nine Inch Males (return of the love sausage) signed up.
One of the players decided about a month ago that he didn’t really want to go anyway, but then changed his mind back, and then decided against actually buying the models he needed to field one of his lists, so he ended up only playing one list the entire tournament. I’ve played something like six games this year, and on my team that was considered a lot, so going into the tournament we set two goals for the tournament: We wanted to win a round, we wanted to win a game each.
Well five minutes before the tournament started we figured we might want to look at the other team-lists, and while we used to be quite good players these old boys were way behind on knowledge and general understanding of the meta. We resigned ourselves to our fates, and got down to round one against one of the teams we didn’t stand a chance against.
We totally predicted the matchup-phase, it just wasn’t at all in our favor. Team Nine Inch Males Vs. Team Rocket. I was matched up against Menoth with an Amon/Severius2 setup, where dropping Nemo3 seemed like suicide, and Stryker2 only slightly less so. I dropped Stryker2, thinking I might get an opportunity to do Stryker2 stuff and turn the game in my favor.
I won first turn and ran up, then he ran up to just outside my threat range and killed a few of my dudes.
I cloud up and push up, hoping to get some alpha in or force a scenario advantage. I move up Thorn a bit far, and he gets himself exploded by Reckoners and Sevy2.
He doesn’t like the idea of taking a massive charge, but forgets that my Lancers are DEADLY to Warjacks. Eye of Truth might be ARM 23 on Durant, but without a functional Cortex is practically worthless. Bop bop bop goes the Cortex. His fighting Monks are an insane pain to get rid off, and Rebuke on my right unit of Sword Knights isn’t helping. I spend my entire feat round trying to kill them in order to begin scoring on my own zone, as he seems to have fixated on the guys in his own zone.
I go all out on annoyance in his zone, spawning Risen in it, jamming up his jacks, trying to tease him into keeping his focus there another turn, and then I almost crap my pants when Anastasia comes running in from Ambush to deny me the point I needed to win. FAAAHRK!
Stryker2 moves down and fillets Anastasia so I can begin scoring for real. At this point my opponent realizes that despite being way ahead he’s actually in trouble, and he kills almost everything I have left from the knight units, but critically Alexia1 survives the feat.
I spawn eleven Risen and gum up everything! Most of his anti Infantry removal is spells, and they’re difficult to land on Risen. He mops up but the only thing he can get to my zone is the Reckoner. Stryker2 Overloads for three dice because anything else if for wimps, nukes the Reckoner from orbit, and Velocities back to safety where Gibbs can heal him. I jam with my remaining models and Severius can’t get a model to contest, so I win on scenario.
Team win, 2-1
The main team goal is achieved, and we get ready for round two.
We’re matched up against Random Team 47, which is neither random nor poor. In fact they have two players I’ve never beaten on their roster, though that has more to do with the low number of times we’ve played and the poor matchups those times, but still… we were in trouble. I get matched up against Khador with Butcher3/Harkevich, and though I consider dropping Nemo3 he can’t really deal with the Kodiak cloud wall in the Harkevich list, so we end up with a brutal man-off in Stryker2 Vs. Butcher3.
He runs up a bit, but he’s not impressively fast. I push up and cloud up, trying the same tactic as before.
he decides against taking my alpha, and goes for scenario play, behind the massive and annoying as fuck forest between the flags. He does send in a Juggernaut that fails to seal the deal on my left Lancer (yay Set Defense).
I bop bop bop his Cortex away on the Juggernaut, and line up Thorn to deal with whatever he sends down to save it. he has plenty of repairs but they’re out of Range. He’s happy to keep that status quo though, because he’ll start scoring next turn, and I can’t venture up to my flag.
I jam the fuck out of him, sending in Stryker to nuke a Kodiak but he fails spectacularly and can’t retry because he needs to velocity back to safety. I send in Thorn to bop bop the two remaining Cortex boxes, but he somehow also fails to kill it.
He absolutely demolishes me, but in the process he needs to energizer before killing all my dudes with Butcher3, and he leaves himself within Stryker2 range. I evaluate my chances of grinding this out as marginal as all my jacks are dead, so even though all his jacks (except the Devastator) are cortex-less, I think I’ll lose in the end. I have to charge the Kodiak which is blocking me, Velocity to Butcher3 and kill him in three swings.
Stryker, having been healed by Gibbs (oh god I love that!) grabs his balls and rolls the three manly dice, landing on PS 26. He has Pathfinder and charges the Kodiak, but critically he needs to buy an attack to finish it off, and spend two focus to reach Butcher.
With three focus left he’s rolling those 7s to hit, and the first one takes half Butchers health. The second hits and leaves him very low, but the last attack misses… BUT I have Lucky Charm from Reinholdt, re-roll and land it for great injustice, as Stryker teabags Butchers corpse on the battlefield I really should have lost.
Team win, 2-1
Now it’s getting weird, and we’re going to have to face the top contenders in the third round.
We’re matched up against Team Pro Wins, which is three of the best players in Denmark, four time WTC attendants, and generally speaking someone I could take on at the peak of my Warmachine career, but today… ha! I get matched up against Mikkel Ernst, and considering that I only ever win against him when I manage to time him out, I assume that’s a loss.
I didn’t fancy my chances with Nemo3 into Karchev with a bazillion sac pawn targets (what kind of stupid shit is that PP), so I thought that this scenario had Kill box, and maybe Stryker2 could man-mode me out of another shit creek.
I spend all my Trenchers knowing that he’ll kill them, but I hope he hasn’t figured out that my Risen can be super accurate and Alexia is there to pick the Trenchers up. He all but wipes them out, and I get my Risen that charge/run in to gum up everything, while Stryker moves up to a position where Karchev will have hard time avoiding him without kill boxing himself.
He doesn’t really hurt me all that much, but he keeps his position with a clam jack prevent me from scoring on either flag. I contemplate my odds of playing attrition and I’m almost certain it won’t end in my favor. Time for Stryker2 to up his man-mode and kill Karchev on full camp then.
Stryker charges the clam, Velocities to Karchev, and rolls 12 on STR, taking him to PS 27, which is damage +1 since Karchev has enough focus to reduce all my attacks. Stryker2 opens up with a solid 11 on his dice, and on the very last attack Stryker2…
Team loss, 1-2
Sadly my team mates are run over, but I thought we were going to end up 0-3 against these guys, and Stryker2 just continues to be my man. I mean this guy can just go “I know you suck, but if you just roll somewhat well I’ll win it for you anyway“. We slept well with two wins under our belt, but the following morning the first game was at 8 AM, and it was daylight savings time. We weren’t done with round three until 11 PM, and we were half an hour away from where we would sleep. We got up all bleary eyes, but then so did everyone else.
We’re matched up against Team Pugna Flatus, which I think means something like Fighting Farts. They had one opponent I really didn’t want (Cygnar double Storm Division), so this time the other two jumped under the bus to get me away from him. Instead I’m matched up against Trollbloods, and end up playing Nemo3 Vs. Doomy3.
I win the roll and run up. He moves up very aggressively and I’m expecting a first turn feat to force me to semi-waste mine or get overrun, but he doesn’t. He explained after the game, that he had never played against Nemo3 before, and while he had heard that the shooting hurt, he hadn’t really understood how badly.
I load up everything, and Dynamo, Thunderhead, and Nemo3 blow the shit out of the Mountain King after a Firefly runs in. I rolled really well, but I had plenty of shooting left when he died, but the Earthborn is immune to lightning. I run in Mechaniks to make him proc Admonition and see what he does, but he’s tilted completely from the loss of the MK, and leaves the Earthborn in reach of the Stormclad with Lightning Shroud. The Stormclad charges in and roflstomps the Earthborn.
I move up the two other Fireflies and shoot at the Bouncer, throwing leaps into his backyard, and more or less forcing him to send in Mulg to deal with them. I have the Centurion and Stormclad to deal with him when he comes, but if he doesn’t come I’ll get another turn of shooting him to shit or scoring.
My opponent knows he has lost, and goes for some control points and army points instead, sending in Mulg to beat up as much as he can. At that point even with the feat Mulg goes down to two fully loaded heavies with cycled lightning shroud, and I sit back while going for the scenario win. There really wasn’t any way back in the game for him after that disastrous Nemo3 feat turn, but he took it like a champ.
Team win, 2-1
Now at this point our Khador player hadn’t won a single game, so despite being 3-1 we were down an objective on our list, so in the final game we tried to get him a win.
We’re matched up against Unnamed Team 3 (such creativity!). These guys are not bad either, and my opponent Benjamin and I are 50/50 so far, but every game has been a steam roll one way or the other. We end up in a list chicken situation, where I figure my chances with Nemo3 into Vyros2 is better than Stryker2 into Rahn. I pick Nemo3 and he picks Vyros2, which I think is a quite even matchup with our lists.
His list isn’t as immune to shooting as other Vyros2 lists, but it packs an incredible punch, and the rubble in the zone is going to cause immense problems for me. I decide on the long play, and when he runs up to just outside my alpha range, I simply shuffle a bit back and run just the Centurion out front.
If he stays away I can shoot his objective and clear out the zone. Helios is fucked because of Magnetic Field, and he decides to try and force my feat by running/walking/charging in the Griffons. I had intentionally put the Centurion within walking range of one Griffon, and he comes in to slap ineffectually at ARM 24 despite some synergy and strength enhancement.
The Stormclad commits suicide by staying in range of Helios, but cleans up the Griffon there. The Centurion takes down another, allowing more of them to jam with the feat, so Dynamo kills a third, Thunderhead and the Fireflies kill a fourth, leaving my opponent somewhat shaken.
Helios and Imperatus go nuts, after the remaining Griffon has gotten a bit of Synergy up, with Imperatus nuking Dynamo. Helios then charges my Objective and one-shotting it, then punching my Stormclad to death, and landing a dice +1 hit on my ARM 24 Centurion for 8 damage. Ouchies, but now it’s my turn.
I fuck up my activation sequence because time is becoming an issue, and I not only forget to feat but also forget to put Lightning Shroud on Thunderhead, causing me to believe I lost then and there, but Thunderhead and the Centurion grab their sacks and just beat the shit out of it anyway. I rolled so grossly above average on that turn, but we agreed that it was somewhat fair as I should have killed him if I had remember to feat and apply Lightning Shroud… the lord provides it seems.
The Fireflies finish off his last Griffon, and Imperatus is now without Synergy. I have the game in hand but my time is beginning to look really critical. Now for a little interlude here, this is why I think the idea of random game length is retarded, because if this game had ended now we would have missed one of the most fun ending to a game, and instead would have walked away from a boring slugfest. Imperatus utterly whiffs his turn and can’t even kill a Firefly, much less two, but the Artificer slams it away, and Vyros runs to start scoring.
I send the Centurion to kill Vyros but he utterly whiffs the attempt. Thunderhead finishes off Imperatus in style, but my time is getting seriously critical. Vyros runs like mad, and I miss my free strike from the Centurion, because Vyros is running to the other flag, and I don’t have the time to win by scenario.
I try to jam him up in a panic, which is not what I should have spent my time on. I should have killed his objective and simply legged Nemo to the zone, because then I would have had my last 21 seconds to kill his Artificer for the win, but panic fucks me over and I spend time I don’t have running Fireflies to jam him.
Vyros2 has five minutes left and is going to win anyway when his turn is done, because I have 5 seconds left and can’t do anything in that time. Vyros decides he wants a bunch of army points as well, and goes in on Nemo3 who’s in the open with four focus camped. Nemo tanks like a boss and survives on two boxes, but then I still lose.
The amazing upside to this is, that me jumping on the Retribution train allowed our Khador player to get that win, not only completing our team objective but also winning us the round, which in turn had the absolutely unforeseen effect of qualifying us for the WTC.
Team win, 2-1
What the fuck?
We came, we rolled above average, we wrecked face, and now we’re like a dog that just actually caught the car, and has zero clue what to do with it. We took second place and thus won the right to determine the second Danish team, but we’re going to have to talk about this. For now though, I’ll have a beer and just enjoy it a bit :)