I took Circle, as it's my only army. I wasn't sure what to expect - I've been to Warmachine tournaments before, but it's been about 3 or 4 years since I went to one. I worked hard, painted everything (well, the Skinwalkers weren't quite done, but honestly still looked decent), and showed up with a silly Morv2 list! Mostly, I wished I had Reeves and War Wolves, but I owned the Wolves of Orboros (WoO), and wanted an excuse to paint them up. Guess we should go to the jump now.
First, here's my list:
|Actually, my name is Xaereth. Adam Tricola is just a pseudonym|
There were about 12-14 players who showed up, and I instantly felt intimidated - I know next to nothing about most of the armies out there, and in Warmachine, that's a pretty big deal. My first draw was (really, really unfortunately) against my good friend Donald Anderson.
Don owns the nerd store in Laramie, WY, and we've played against each other several times in both 40k and Warmachine. We should have said something to the TO, but it was on us. Still, I hated that one of us would be knocked out of the tournament on the first round.
Here's his list:
Don had initially thought that we would be getting 35 minutes each on the deathclock. Instead, we got a full hour (which is a little bit much, probably). As such, he brought a list he could play quickly.
Two big 12" zones. 1 CP to control it, 2 to dominate. First to 5 wins.
**Don won the roll to go first, and took it.
I knew that I couldn't kill all of his big jacks. There were just too many of them - I could probably kill one or maybe even two, but three was asking a lot of my poor Stalker.
So that left either trying to control one zone and contest the other, or assassinate him. I figured I'd go for both, and see which would work. I was unfamiliar with Sorscha2 and her spells, but I at least knew most of what his other models did.
|I honestly deployed like this most of my games. You'll see. Heh.|
Khador Turn 1:
Don ran up aggressively, casting a couple upkeep spells as well.
|Awkward sideways picture! Not too many of these, don't worry.|
Circle Turn 1:
I put Carnivore on the WoO, and also put up Fog of War. I did a general advance, not really feeling like letting his guys charge me on his own turn.
|Doesn't my army look cool fully painted? :)|
Khador Turn 2:
He didn't do too much, but merely positioned himself to threaten anywhere I would conceivably want to be. He may have tried some shooting/magic, but nothing really got through, to my recollection. Kayazy had Iron Flesh up. Yikes.
|He's threatening the right zone the most, and my WoO aren't really in position to do much to the guys they can get to.|
Morvanha went first, casting Purification to get rid of Iron Flesh on the Kayazy. She then put Carnivore on the Skinwalkers.
WoO charged the nearest Kayazy, needing 8's to hit. I managed to kill one of them in 5 swings (rerolls on two of the swings still didn't do much). Not exactly ideal :-p.
Skinwalkers charged in and killed 4 Kayazy. They didn't really need rerolls, as I remember.
I then tried to clog the zones a little bit and stay out of harm's way.
|I killed some DEF16 Kayazy!|
Khador Turn 3:
Kayazy charged my Skinwalkers, as did his Jack on the far right (think that was Beast 09). He killed three Skinwalkers, and engaged another of them. They also killed a few of my WoO.
In the left zone, the Jack charged and killed one of my WoO, but got somewhat unlucky and failed to hit my 2nd one. He also managed to kill my poor Gallows Grove over there, but I was still (barely) contesting the zone.
Sorscha put up Iron Flesh on the Kayazy again.
|Don didn't do as much damage as he was hoping for, though Beast 09 really messed up some Skinwalkers!|
Circle Turn 3:
Things weren't looking good. I had to stare at the board for a long time, but I finally formulated a plan. After a few pointed questions about how defensible Sorscha was, I decided to go for the assassination attempt.
I upkept Carnivore on the Skinwalkers.
First, the Gorax went, charged a couple Kayazy (missing them spectacularly), and put Primal on the Stalker.
Stones activated and sent Stalker up to within 2" of Beast 09.
Stalker activated and warped for STR, hitting at P+S 20, killing Beast 09 on the final roll. My rerolls really didn't do much good - a couple times I got a "4", rerolled, and got a "3" for damage, haha!
Gallows Grove shifted up 5" to within LOS of Sorcsha.
Morvanha shot a Sunder Spirit at Sorscha, doing some gnarly damage after a reroll.
The path cleared, my Warpborn Alpha and another Skinwalker charged 10" (because the unit had been damaged) at Sorscha. Needing 8's to hit, my first hit (rerolled) hit and finished her off, earning me a somewhat weak win via assassination.
|Hm, that worked out better than I imagined. Oh yeah, my Stone Keeper tried to crit knockdown Beast09 (who was in B2B with Sorscha), but failed, even with a reroll.|
|Random shot of the clock. Mine was the one that read 35 minutes remaining. I don't think I did this for any other games. Heh.|
Game 1 Results: Win for Circle Orboros via Assassination!!
Whew! I got my first win at the tournament vs. a list I wasn't really prepared to deal with! I was happy about that to be sure, though I felt a little out of place with this win - it was going to be a really rough matchup for me. If we had kept playing, I might have had some more stuff I could do, and potentially win in another turn via assassination (I didn't use my feat, which would let me get a Grove close to Sorscha and try to shoot her more), but I would certainly not have been in a great position. The Stalker was destined to frenzy, the Kayazy were everywhere I didn't want them to be, etc.
I was happy with the win to be sure, but felt that despite my one good move (assassination), I had gotten myself too out of position.
Game 2: Circle Orboros vs. Trollbloods (Borka)
His List (from memory :-/)
Troll Champions (max)
Krielstone Bearers (max)
Trollkin Champion Hero
Stone Scribe Chronicler
Probably something else
Two flags. Control enemy flag for 1 CP, dominate enemy flag for 2 CP. Dominate your own flag for 1 CP.
**He won the roll to go first, and took it.
I had no real idea what Borka could do. I knew he had the drunk rule, which would make him really difficult to assassinate. I knew that the rest of his trolls would also be really difficult to kill as well. I decided to just focus on whichever side he was weakest on, and sacrifice my Stalker to kill Rok OR kill 3-4 Champions.
|See? My deployments have thus far been fairly unimaginative. I figured putting the Skinwalkers across from the Champions would potentially create a tarpit situation which let me focus on the rest of his army.|
He advanced, threw a bunch of Fury on the Krielstone, and ... that was it. Of note is that he stacked almost exclusively on my right side.
|I asked my opponent to take this picture. He did, from his own side! Haha, weird, right?|
|Another shot, after I'd already moved my Skinwalkers.|
Circle Turn 1:
As you have no doubt guessed by now, I moved my guys up! He was grossly out of position to contest his own flag, and I wanted to make sure I took advantage of it.
Carnivore went on WoO.
Fog of War went up.
|Still pretty pumped at how my army looks all painted, despite the lack of bronze on my Skinwalkers (I have since finished them, BTW)|
He moved up some more, but not very far at all. Of note was that he only had his Slag Troll close enough to contest his own objective. Still, his whole army would be a tough nut to crack, as his various buffs were all up.
|My opponent took this epic side-picture shot. I really like this picture, actually. I may have to try something similar to it soon.|
|Here's a shot from his perspective. Kind of an interesting way to do batreps, don't you agree? :)|
I upkept Fog of War and Carnivore.
WoO went first, popped their mini-feat, and charged his Slag Troll.
|Might be the last picture I had an opponent take this tournament. Looks like I got 4 or 5 WoO into combat with the Troll.|
The WoO, hitting at MAT 10 and P+S 9 w/ four dice managed to take the Troll down to a single box remaining. Rerolls on 4d6 are ridiculous!
My Blackclad walked up and sprayed him to death.
Then, I moved my Gallows Grove a little, completely forgetting to put it B2B with the objective.
|Aaaaaand, now I can't get a CP for holding this objective. Wow, what a fail.|
Otherwise, my Skinwalkers moved up to contest my own objective, and ensure that the Champions would only kill a maximum of three of them should they charge in.
|Not sure what else Morvanha cast - might have shot a Sunder Spirit at some Krielstone guys or something.|
|Not sure what this picture was for. Maybe just double-tapped the screen?|
Trolls Turn 3:
Rok charged my Stone Keeper, killing him easily, and nearly killing a Shifting Stone with his spray.
Champions charged in, got a few poor rolls, and only killed two Skinwalkers.
Not really the best turn in the world for my opponent.
Troll Champion Hero charged my Blackclad, but failed the charge.
|Poor Skinwalkers, they have no idea how tough those Troll Champions are.|
I upkept Carnivore.
Stones got out of the Stalker's way.
Morvahna went, moved 8" toward the enemy objective, then cast Purification, which took off Iron Flesh and some other upkeep spell that had been on Rok. Her goat move got her into B2B with the objective.
Blackclad got on the hill and got Hunter's Mark on Rok.
Gorax put Primal on the Stalker.
Gallows Grove shifted onto the hill and within 3" of Rok to deny his Tough rolls.
Stalker warped for STR and charged Rok, killing him relatively easily. He might be a tough beast, but it was a little bit of overkill, honestly. I had an extra attack that I didn't even use.
WoO charged the Krielstone guys. They only managed to kill 1 of them, as my opponent went on a Tough spree. By spree I mean that he passed 6 in a row. Madness!
Other Grove shifted close to the Champions to deny Tough.
Skinwalkers charged the Champions and managed to kill the UA.
Morv dominated his objective, earning me 2 CP.
|WoO are running amok!|
His Champion Hero charged my Stalker and did some significant damage to it.
Champions killed a couple more Skinwalkers.
Borka took a few swings at my WoO, killing one and knocking the UA down (I got lucky on his poor damage roll).
Not much else. I had sealed off his objective, and I dominated his objective, earning me another 2 CP, for a total of 4.
|I've essentially won the game at this point.|
Circle Turn 4:
Stalker frenzied and killed the Champion Hero.
I "activated" the rest of my army, doing nothing.
Morvahna dominated his objective one more time, earning me another 2 CP, for a total of 6 CP.
The game ended.
Results: Win for Circle Orboros via scenario!!
I wasn't quite sure what to make of this game. My opponent told me he wasn't aware the WoO were as potent as they proved to be (the kicker being that Morv gave them rerolls when necessary), but I was surprised he was trying to contest his own objective with a single light warbeast.
I made a few mistakes this game as well, the biggest of which was that I somehow failed to grab a CP at the bottom of Turn 2. I need to stop forgetting things, especially the important things like that. *sigh*
Still, at this point I had two wins, and was in the top 4.
Dare I dream of winning the whole thing?
Game 3: Circle Orboros vs. Sam's Cryx (Denny2)
His List (roughly):
Bane Thralls (max)
Satyxis Raiders (max)
Satyxis Raider Captain
Machine Wraith (I think it's called that?)
One zone in the middle, with opposing objectives. We had to kill the opponent's objective before we could claim the zone. Control the zone was worth 1 CP, dominate was worth 2 CP, destroying the objective was worth 1 CP.
**I won the roll to go first, and took it.
This would be a tough match for me, I could tell. I vaguely remember reading about Denny2 and her feat, but I didn't really know what to think. Honestly, this is the thing I dislike most about Warmachine - you don't understand an opponent's army and the way it works until you play against it. In this case, I had no idea what to make of his army. Bane Knights hit hard, I guessed? Satyxis Raiders also hit hard? Did they have stealth? What did Deathjack do again?
I wasn't sure. My goal was to clog the middle of the board, feat when he popped his feat to hold me out of the zone, and try to get an advantage on Turn 3 or 4, after our Feats were popped.
That said, I thought that I had a good chance to win the game, as I generally problem solve pretty well while playing. I knew that he wouldn't be a pushover, but I felt like my list was solid and that my infantry were point-for-point better than his, stat-wise at least.
|Another awkward picture! Notice the lack of variation in my deployment? haha :)|
I did my standard thing, getting Carnivore on the WoO and putting Fog of War up. I wanted to be sure to be close to the zone as possible.
|Skinwalkers are in the forest to avoid being charged.|
Cryx Turn 1:
He moved up, but didn't really run with the Knights. Instead, his Deathjack moved up and tried to Hellmouth me, which really surprised me - I was under the impression that the DJ wouldn't be able to cast spells that cost 4 Focus, since Geomancy in Circle wouldn't let me cast anything over 3.
Luckily, he missed, but that was quite nearly devastating - it would have killed 4 WoO and the Blackclad.
|He's threatening the zone quite expertly.|
I upkept Fog of War, but dropped Carnivore.
WoO charged DJ, but did a small amount of damage. They also charged a stray Satyxis, killing her with a CMA.
Morv got outside the killbox, and put Carnivore on the Skinwalkers.
Skinwalkers charged what Satyxis they could. Satyxis passed their Terror check, but the Skinwalkers killed another 4 or 5 Satyxis, breaking them. Awesome :)
Blackclad walked up and killed another Satyxis with a spray, and also killed a Bane Knight, which would trigger Vengeance next turn. Which, as you may or may not know, was a mistake.
|I felt pretty good about my position, actually.|
Cryx Turn 2:
Vengeance triggered, and Sam killed the two WoO blocking the DJ from getting to the objective.
DJ then walked up to the objective and tried to kill it. I used the objective's rules to block him from killing it by sacrificing WoO.
His Arc Node tried to walk away from my Skinwalker, but the Skinwalker took a free strike and knocked out the Arc Node. Sam then spent a bunch of effort to kill his own arc node in order to give Denny some free cover from the wreck marker.
Denny walked into the zone and popped her feat, casting some stuff that I don't remember the specifics of.
Bane Knights charged my suddenly-DEF 10 WoO and killed everything close, also killing the objective.
He also managed to kill my two Skinwalkers in the zone, though I don't remember with what.
Only good thing was that the Satyxis failed to rally, haha!
Denny dominated the zone for 2 CP, bringing him to 3 CP (because he destroyed my objective as well).
Awesome turn for the Cryx!
|Really rough turn for me, and I won't even be able to move in my own turn!|
Well, Sam did way more than I gave him credit for before. I actually think that if I had had even just ONE more model in the zone, he wouldn't have been able to claim it. Good to remember.
I wasn't willing to quit without a fight.
First, Gorax cast Primal on Stalker.
Stones shifted the Stalker into range of DJ.
Stalker warped STR and killed DJ.
Morv went and popped her feat, putting everything she could inside the zone.
She also used Death Knell on a pocket of Bane Knights, but failed SO MANY re-rolled damage rolls. Bah.
Not much else to be done. Could he kill my 4 WoO, Stalker, and Skinwalker out of the zone to win? If the game continued, I felt that I could probably win, due to how close Morv was to Denny and the relative lack of models available to block my charge.
|Not my best turn...|
Cryx Turn 3:
I had forgotten about Vengeance, and the Bane Knights again did awesome - they killed a bunch more WoO. Needing 7's, Sam got a perfect score on rolls: I think he rolled about 10 of them, lol.
The Knights then activated and killed even more WoO with their 7's :-p
Denny then walks up, hits the Stalker once and (I didn't realize he could do this) blasts the Stalker out of the zone with the weapon's profile! He then does the same to my Skinwalker, clearing the zone with a weapon I had no idea existed.
The game ends.
|This was taken sometime after the end of the game. Ignore oddly placed Skinwalker in the backfield.|
I was frustrated to have lost, but I was also honestly impressed with just how thoroughly I'd been manhandled. I needed to play against the stuff Cryx can do, and though a tournament wasn't the best medium through which to glean knowledge, I was still happy. Rough matchup, but it gave me lots of things to think about for next time.
Next time, I'll be sure to bring either a list that can deny magic well, or just be more aggressive. Sam pointed out that my Stalker/Stones could have been up farther without being threatened, and I agree. If they had been up farther, the Stalker could have potentially killed DJ a turn earlier, setting up a string of difficult decisions for Sam, and making the objective far less obtainable.
I also think that if I had just jammed the Skinwalkers into the middle of the zone, I would have had good things happen. No way that Sam kills all 6 Skinwalkers + whatever else I've got in there in a single turn, even if the Satyxis get some charges off. I should have just mixed my infantry to hold up the Satyxis for a turn or two with reach, while jamming the zone better.
Also, the Blackclad killing a Bane Knight was a foolish move. Vengeance is such a good ability, and he wouldn't have been nearly as capable that turn if I had denied him that extra 3".
Lots of mistakes on my part - I need to get better at this game :)
As it was, I was still eligible to win some sort of award, should I win my final game. I was looking forward to at least the attempt to win my 2nd coin ever (I won 2nd place at Wargamescon about 3 or 4 years ago, believe it or not, haha!)
Game 4: Circle (Morv2) vs. Circle (Kaya2)
Rectangle zone in the middle of the board, controlling gets you 1 CP, dominating gets you 2 CP. Two objectives as well, dominating it removes an opponent's CP.
I was told this was not what was not considered to be a "live" mission, as most armies will struggle mightily to win via scenario, due to the objective being so far back and removing CPs.
**Ben won the roll to go first, and took it. (damnit)
I familiar with the theory behind Kaya2, but I'd never played it or seen it played. It would be refreshing to play against beasts which I knew the stats of, but also exciting to play against a caster I had zero experience with/against.
It was simple enough for me: if I could kill the beasts, I would win. If I couldn't, I would lose. It would be difficult for Ben to be able to use his beasts perfectly while not offering me opportunities to chop down a beast every turn or so - I felt that his ability to remove my WoO in particular would be troublesome for him, as he had no real dedicated anti-infantry. Sure, he could kill what he pointed at, but he wouldn't be able to kill too many if I played it right, and the WoO would in turn kill whatever beast they decided to charge with their mini-feat.
So, the goal was to kill his beasts one at a time and wait to see if any assassination opportunities presented themselves.
|No variation again! Woo!|
He ran up! Really, really quickly! He also got Shadow Pack and put Forced Evolution on his Feral.
|Feral is the one on the right, Pureblood is the one in the middle with a black base. In this case I was lucky in telling them apart, since he was using the "old-school" pureblood sculpt.|
Morv Turn 1:
I also moved up. I wanted to be cautious of him "assassinating" my Stalker, as I knew that it would be quite probable that should he get into me with any of his beasts, the Stalker would die.
I also wanted to present some diverse targets for him to hit and leave him open to the counter-charge. At least, that was my plan. I was pretty tired by this point, and my model placement was sloppy to say the least. For example, look at where my WoO are positioned in the picture below. Behind a forest they can't see through. Not sure what I was thinking, honestly.
I also positioned my Stalker somewhat poorly - I should have positioned him so that you couldn't fit a Feral base next to him, though I was fairly sure I was outside his threat range.
Honestly, probably the sloppiest turn I'd had all tournament. I need to get in better "tournament shape", haha!
After a while of contemplation, Ben popped his feat. He managed to kill off a Shifting Stone (I think his Pureblood shot it with a spray), and a few Skinwalkers. He also killed my Gorax, who was also grossly out of position, and a few of my WoO.
He rolled somewhat poorly, though the turn did hurt, as the Stone and especially the Gorax would affect my ability to punch him back. My Gorax had no business being where he was anyways - not sure what I was thinking, heh. :)
|I should have been able to force him into a bad position by my own board position last turn. As it was, that forest stood to be a really dumb obstacle.|
I still had some good tools with which to make Ben suffer, though I could have done much better.
I upkept Carnivore.
Skinwalkers then charged the Pureblood and nearly killed it. The Blackclad then walked up and targeted the Pureblood, failing to hurt my Skinwalker, but finishing off the Pureblood thanks to a Morv re-roll to hit.
I also did some small amount of damage to his Goat, for whatever that was worth.
|One beast at a time, though I *should* have been able to kill a couple of his beasts this turn, had I been half-intelligent and had my WoO positioned better.|
|Action shot! Those Skinwalkers have almost no chance to live...|
He upkept Forced Evolution on the Feral.
Goat put his Animus on the Feral (free power attacks/charges).
Feral then trampled his way through the Blackclad and fit *just barely* in the little nook there. We were both surprised, however, by his poor rolling, and he only managed to do a small amount of damage to my Warpborn Alpha (who, I'm sad to say, forgot to do his counter-hit thing). Alpha was left with a single hit box remaining.
|Lucky bastard, though the Feral was also quite lucky that I wasn't counter-hitting him back. Also, the Blackclad and Stone Keeper were lucky that they didn't die from the Trample.|
He then killed my other 3 Skinwalkers, and used Lightning Strike from the Stalker to walk into combat with my WoO.
|The Goat was actually knocked down the last turn from the Blackclad's spray attack, and therefore didn't do too much.|
I had him right where I wanted him - if I could kill the Feral and Stalker this turn, I would probably win the game.
But I had to execute correctly, which proved to be difficult for my addled mind.
I didn't upkeep anything, intending to cast Purification, then Carnivore on the WoO.
Warpborn Alpha went first, and did a little damage to the Feral.
Stones shifted up to block any sort of charge lanes from the Goat.
Morv then (for some reason?) charged the Feral, cast Purification, failed all 4 of her attempts to hit (re-rolls, needing 8's), and put Carnivore on the WoO.
Stalker then charged the Feral and was forced to use all 4 Fury, due to only MAT 6 and really poor damage rolls. Morv was hurting after all those rerolls as well.
It was then that I realized that I had forgotten the biggest piece of the puzzle: I had even processed my need to pop the feat and put all 5 Skinwalkers between the Stalker and Morvahna.
I would need to kill the Stalker with the WoO this turn.
So the WoO charged and missed a ton, despite having MAT 8/10, and having 3 to 4 damage dice. The Stalker was sitting on about 3 life remaining, but I hadn't managed to kill it.
Really a poorly executed turn by myself.
|Not much to do at this point but hope the Stalker misses.|
Kaya Turn 4:
He ran Kaya up to the Stalker, cast Force Evolution on it, healed the necessary boxes on it, and killed a WoO or two.
Stalker then trampled through the WoO (I forgot my freestrikes from my surviving WoO, doh!)
He then boosted to hit and ended Morvahna, who had no target to transfer damage to.
The game ended.
Game 4 Results: Loss for Circle Orboros via preventable assassination!!
Gah, I hate losing that way. I played poorly, and the result showed it. If I had popped my feat with Morv, or even just refused to charge the Feral and instead played it safe, I could have won the game. Ben rolled poorly all game, and I was impressed that he was able to win the game despite that (though my rolls were also nothing to be amazed about, his rolls were worse).
I need to do better at protecting my key assets. My Gorax has no real purpose in the army other than his Animus and being a great target for damage transfers, and thus had no point in not just hunkering down close to Morvahna the whole time. Not sure what the point of exposing him that way was.
Ben absolutely deserved the win, and was a great opponent! I didn't mind losing to him at all, though I was obviously mad at myself for losing at all. Sloppiness doesn't work in any game, though I feel that this game was a GREAT example on how it can lose you games all on its own.
I'll do better next time, hopefully.
I'm not really sure how I ended up overall - I had a 2-2 record, so I assume middle of the pack. My Round 3 opponent went on to win the whole thing (top table was Cryx vs. Minions), but none of my other opponents placed. Don (my Round 1 opponent) won an award for the random drawing they do for those armies who are fully painted.
I actually ended up winning $10 in store credit for no apparent reason - they apparently had a random drawing for it.
They then announced the winners of the Grow League. I was fairly certain I hadn't won anything, as I had missed a week, and hadn't painted as much as many people there.
As it turned out, I won the "Best General" award for most game points. I hadn't played nearly as many games as some people, but I had only lost 3 of them, so I had a lot of points. For this, I got another $20 of store credit, and a patch :)
Overall, I really enjoyed this tournament, and will absolutely be looking to go to another one soon. This summer has been busy with lots of fun family stuff, but looking toward late summer/early fall, I should be played more tournaments.
Right now I'm looking at a caster combination of Morv2, Kreuger2, and Baldur1. Not sure if that will stick (I like Baldur2, Mohsar, and Kromac a ton as well), but it seems like fun. :)
Hope you liked the report, let me know what you think! Please don't get TOO stuck on rules mistakes - I'd appreciate knowing big things I did wrong/missed, but would prefer that the conversations dwell more on what I did right/wrong, and how I could have done better.
Thanks for reading!