Friday, October 17, 2014

Warmachine Batrep 31: Circle at Feast of Blades, Day 2 (Team Tournament), Lots of Pictures!

What's up what's up! I have another set of Circle Batreps for you today from my recent foray to the Feast of Blades! If you look at Batrep 30, you can read my harrowing journey through the morass that was the Divide and Conquer event, and my single Iron Gauntlet game against Lylyth2. I'll spoil what happened on Friday after the break, and set up the team tournament. It's kind of awesome, actually. 4 reports total today, with my usual load of pictures and stuff.

So, on Friday, I met my goal of qualifying for the Masters event by going 4-1, and getting 5th in the Divide and Conquer event. This meant that I would not need to play in the Commander's Crucible event later on Saturday, and also that this team tournament was zero pressure at all. I still wanted to win my games, and I still wanted some solid games against good players, but I mostly just wanted to relax on the day before I was to get my teeth kicked in at the Masters.

Our team decided to shake things up a little bit. My teammates were Don and CJ, and they had not really played any games of Warmachine for over a month. Don is a solid player still, but while CJ has a lot of potential (he's good at 40k), he just doesn't have much experience with the game. He was playing Skorne, and we all decided that he was likely to lose all of his games, regardless of who he was paired up against.

So, taking the event format into our consideration, we decided to make him team captain.

The format is this: when a team gets matched up, the Captains play against each other, the Seconds play against each other, and the Thirds play against each other. You can do what is called a "team feat", which allows you to change the pairings in the ways you want, once per tournament.

Our idea was that since most teams would have their best player as Captain, CJ could play them and lose, while Don and myself would play one slot lower than normal, and hopefully benefit from the matchups we were given. This would necessitate myself and Don winning every single game for our team to win the event, but in essence, that was what we would have had to happen anyways.

This is why we called ourselves the "Bus Throwers" - we threw CJ under the bus for 3 games, and used the team feat in the last game to let him pick his opponent, because he did have a bit of a rough day. But we'll get to that.

My goal for the day was to go undefeated, and inflate my record so that I could still have a respectable one once the various masters took me to task.

Here are the lists I took (they're the same as my Divide and Conquer lists):

Slightly less neat hand writing. I got pretty tired of filling two of these things out every event. I didn't realize they accepted typed/printed lists. I'll do that next time, for sure!

Game 1: Bus Throwers vs. Team Venture!

Captains: CJ's Skorne vs. Cygnar
Seconds: My Circle vs. Legion of Everblight (lists below)
Thirds: Don's Retribution vs. Cryx

We decided not to use our feat, and off we went!

Game 1: Circle Orboros vs. Anthony Williams' Legion of Everblight!

His Lists:


Yikes. Haven't played against either of these casters yet.

Pairing Debate:

I didn't really know what Bethayne did, so I read her spell card. She seemed pretty spell-slinger-ish, and whereas I do have difficulty translating abilities on cards to what they actually do on the table, I figured that I could benefit from a little bit of spell protection. This was especially true once I read her feat, and thought about their interaction with Hex Hunters.

That said, I wasn't even sure what caster Anthony would take. I was confident against Abby2, though I'd never played against her. Confident in the sense that I thought Krueger2 had enough answers to her. Because he also happened to be my own spell-protection list (Druids FTW), and also because he's my "usual" Legion drop anyways, I decided on him,

I dropped Krueger2, and Anthony dropped Bethayne.

The Mission: Incursion (three flags equidistant from one another and the table edges in the center. One of the outside flags disappears at the end of turn 1. Dominate outside flag for 2 CP, control middle or outside flag for 1 CP, dominate middle flag for 1 CP.)

**I won the roll to go first, and took it

Pre-game thoughts:

I had no real idea of what to think here. I was actually familiar with most of the units Anthony had taken, but wasn't sure how they were supposed to interact with one another.

My idea was pretty simple, really: get Krueger to the side flag that didn't disappear, clear whatever models are close to it as quickly as possible, feat, and get a bunch of points as quickly as possible. Otherwise, just try to drag Anthony's beasts in with my Druids, and kill his infantry as best I could.

Deployment:

War Spears and Bloodtrackers put Prey on each other :)

Mistake I made is very clear right now: the flag on the left is NOT very accessible the way I deployed. Also, we measured after the game, and this table was a full 5" wider than it should have been. Not that that fact excuses my deployment here.

Circle Turn 1:

I rushed forward, but didn't notice my mistake of skewing my deployment so far to the right. My goal was to keep out of range of most of Anthony's stuff, but perhaps incentivizing the War Spears to run to engage the Bloodtrackers, or use their "Assault" rule. I was fairly certain they were safe, however.

Otherwise, I didn't do much more than my standard stuff.

Which flag will disappear?
Legion Turn 1:

Anthony did indeed issue the Assault order to his Warspears, but they weren't very close at all. Some of them ran after the first few failed assaults.

Everything else ran forward, for the most part.

Tenacity went on the UA to the Warspears, as Anthony wanted to make sure he lived.

The Ravagore took a shot at me, missed, and I had it scatter backwards (Storm Wall lets me choose the direction of deviations), which let it hit my Blackclad, who was immune to the fire damage.

Not much else here.

Please please please let the left flag disappear.

Circle Turn 2:

...the left flag disappeared, making me a lucky, lucky man. The game wouldn't have really ended if it hadn't, but it would have made me do some very awkward things with my models, such as running my Gorax over to contest the flag, and having Krueger TK him even farther.

But, that was not the case. I needed to focus on getting some board control.

Bloodtrackers and Shrimp went next, and between the two of them, managed to kill 5 of the Warspears and a Spell Martyr.

Druids advanced and dragged a Ravagore off the hill on the right, getting him pretty close. I kept the Counter-Magic Druid behind the wall.

Stalker put Lightning Strike on Ghetto.

Stones ported Ghetto to within 2" of the Ravagore.

Ghetto pounded the Ravagore into jelly, and sprinted back into the Stones.

Krueger advanced toward the flag on the left and TK'd himself farther. He also put up Storm Wall.

Not a bad turn overall - I had managed to kill most of the Warspears, as well as getting a "free" heavy. Attrition was definitely in my favor at this point.

I've definitely got a strong board presence right now. Let's see if I can keep it that way.

Legion Turn 2:

Anthony charged in with his Hex Hunters, killing a Druid and engaging another two of them.

His Scythean ran up to threaten my line, and the Ravagore managed to kill a ton of my Shrimp.

The Warspear also obliterated his target Bloodtracker.

I think that Bethayne tried to cast a spell this turn, but missed, or it was inconsequential. Maybe this was actually her feat turn, and that's how so many Shrimp and Bloodtrackers died in the middle there? I actually think that's probably what happened. Sorry - his feat was not as solid as it could have been, due to the presence of Counter-magic.

Belthagore put up his cloud effect, daring my single-wound infantry to enter it and mess with him.

Damnit if Hex Hunters aren't awesome... assuming they can cast their spells, which my Druids are denying...

Circle Turn 3:

I saw an opportunity here. I could potentially just win the turn this turn, provided I killed a few key models and executed correctly.

Bloodtrackers went next and killed the remaining War Spear, as well as a couple nearby Hex Hunters (they shifted Prey to Hex Hunters). They reformed to screen the left flag.

Druids put up their cloud effects and tried to gum up the works a little more.

Gorax charged in and killed a couple Hex Hunters.

Stalker put Lightning Strike on himself, then walked up and stabbed a Hex Hunter with a boosted attack, then sprinted back to safety.

I thought for a while about getting Ghetto into Belthagore (it was very doable), but decided that would open me up to the Scythean who was nearby.

Instead, I had Krueger pop his feat, catching most of Anthony's models, then advance, TK'd himself into B2B with the flag, and ... he spent another fury somewhere. Probably he TK'd something. Who knows?

I dominated the flag for 2 CP.

Score: 2-0, advantage Circle

Hooray for slowing down the enemy army!

Legion Turn 3:

Anthony was in trouble. He was going to struggle to get any of his models to contest the flag. Normally this would not have presented a problem, but Krueger's feat reduced the distance anything could run by 4", and the models it affected were the ones closest to the flag.

Anthony still took his turn, and killed a couple more Druids and other stuff. He was unable to get to the flag, however.

I dominated and scored another 2 CP.

In my own turn, I dominated to score another 2 CP, and ended the game.

Scenario victories for the awesome!

Results: Win for Circle via Scenario!!

Post-game thoughts:

This game (obviously) went well for me. I felt like the Druids really messed with Anthony's game plan, and my lucky roll on the flag disappearing on the "correct" side, really made life easier. If it had gone to the other side, I think I would still have had game, but would have instead had to kill much more of Anthony's army in the process, which would have led to a lot more deaths of my own stuff.

As it is, Incurion is by far Krueger's best scenario. I don't think I've lost Incurion with Krueger2 yet. Not to be cocky, but it just shows that an indifferently-skilled player like myself still does well with Krueger2 in this scenario.

It was always going to be a rough game for Anthony, I think. Druids really messed with the Hex Hunters' ability to deal the kind of damage they want to deal, and also messed with Bethayne herself. That said, he took his loss with equanimity, and I thoroughly enjoyed our game! Good dude, and I do feel like he's a much better player than this lopsided games' results show. We'll have to play again sometime Anthony :)

Team Results: 

CJ lost to Cygnar. He forgot about scenario play, and the guy literally won after killing 4 points of  CJ's army, while CJ killed 1 point of his opponent's. Heh.

Don beat Cryx. It was Skarre1 vs. his Vyros2. He said that he killed Skarre DURING her feat turn, when she was +5 ARM. That's what happens with Synergy chains, I suppose.

So, our team went 2-1, and won the match.

Round 2: Bus Throwers vs. Dragons are Khadorable!!!

CJ was paired with the Khador player who had won the Divide and Conquer tournament the day before. He would be facing off against Butcher3 for the first time. Maybe he'd be able to pull off the upset **cracks up**

I was paired against another Khador player, again with two casters I had never encountered. You'll see in a moment.

Don got to play against Legion.

Neither team feated.

Game 2: Circle Orboros vs. Lance Becker's Khador!

Lance is on the Muse on Minis: Miami Podcast

Pairing Debate:

Knowing I would play against Khador this turn made me immediately assume that I would be dropping Krueger2, as he's probably my own best answer to Khador.

After looking at his lists, however, I had a re-think. Those Iron Flesh Kayazis were going to be very difficult to remove in melee OR in shooting with the tools Krueger has. It could be done, but it would be very difficult.

There wasn't anything in his lists that said I shouldn't bring Morv2. I felt like she would be able to buff her own infantry, while using Purification to get rid of any Iron Flesh they might have. Granted, only Old Witch has Iron Flesh, but I had heard that she's supposed to be a good drop against Hordes, and I suspected (guessed blindly is more accurate) that Lance would drop her.

So, I dropped Morv2, while Lance dropped Old Witch.

The Mission: Close Quarters (Dominate enemy flag for 2 CP, control enemy flag or dominate your own flag for 1 CP, KILLBOX)

**I won the roll to go first, and took it.

Pre-game thoughts:

I was interested to see how this game would go. I felt like Morv2 had a lot of good answers for the questions Old Witch asks, but I had never played against Old Witch, and she might have something fancy I didn't know about.

My idea was basically to just kill stuff as it came to me. The Doom Reavers should be easy enough to charge off the table, and the Kayazi would go down from my combo of Purification and Carnivore.

Behemoth was a problem to be sure, but I didn't feel that his guns would do TOO much damage to me, and my Stalkers should be able to one-round him if necessary.

I had no plans for a scenario win - it was going to be a very attrition-based game, and I just needed to be sharp and notice opportunities to trim my opponent's forces down.

Deployment:

My first time playing against Aiyanna & Holt- seriously.

I'm liking the one-two punch of Ravagers + Skinwalkers more and more!

Circle Turn 1:

I did my standard thing: ran the Ravagers up (I made sure to spread them out to prevent the Doom Reavers Berserking everywhere), and put Carnivore on the Skinwalkers, while Morv put Fog of War on herself.

I did keep the Stalkers to the right, inside the "forest" terrain.

At this point, I had forgotten entirely about the Witch's feat.

Khador Turn 1:

Lance got the Doom Reavers in first - they obliterated two of my Ravagers, and engaged my Gorax.

Everything else just did a general advance. Clouds went on Old Witch and Scrapjack. Iron Flesh went on the Kayazi (obviously).

Old Witch advanced, then decided to pop her feat, which caught one of the Ravagers, meaning the Ravagers could not run or charge, in addition to taking a POW 14 if they ended their move within her control area.

It's a strong feat! Not sure why I didn't expect it on bottom of Turn 1.

Circle Turn 2:

I had to think for a little bit. How could I keep the feat from completely screwing me this turn?

I needed the Ravagers back out of harms way, or risk the feat one-shotting them. The Skinwalkers could be spared to run in and finish off some Doom Reavers.

So, I upkept Fog of War, but dropped Carnivore.

Morvahna went first and made sure she wasn't in Killbox, and casted Carnivore on one of my Stalkers (I had a sneaky plan for him).

Skinwalkers charged in and killed all but two of the Doom Reavers, but also left the UA alive.

Actually, they combo'd with the Gorax, who threw one Doom Reaver at another one, which knocked them both down, but they both passed their Tough checks. Doh!

My non-carnivore Stalker put Lightning Strike on the Carnivore'd Stalker.

Stones teleported my Carnivore'd Stalker into B2B with one of the Kayazi Eliminators on the right, engaging the other.

Stalker then went and butchered both of the Eliminators with relative ease, and sprinted back 6" toward my main force.

Not an awful feat turn, if you ask me.

Poor Skinwalkers took some damage getting in there...

Khador Turn 2:

This was Lance's opportunity to strike, but I had kept a lot of my models safe. Not all though, by any means.

Doom Reavers stood up and killed my Gallows Grove.

Kayazi charged in and killed three Skinwalkers, but struggled to hit my Ravagers, who were DEF 15 in the forest.

Great Bears ran up to threaten me.

Kayazi got Iron Flesh again.

The two remaining Eliminators charged Gorax and did a ton of damage to him.

And now to try to kill a bunch of DEF 19 models...

Circle Turn 3:

I dropped both upkeeps (I knew I was going to use Purification).

Gorax frenzied and killed one of the Kayazi Eliminators that had charged him last turn.

Morvahna went first, and cast Purification to get rid of Iron Flesh, and then put Carnivore on the Ravagers. They wouldn't get corpse tokens, but they would be a base MAT of 9, which meant they would need 7's to hit the Kayazi.

I did forget to feat this turn. Whoops!

Ravagers went and cleared out a bunch of Kayazi that were jamming them, using Morv's rerolls to hit, then healing her with Carnivore.

One Skinwalker charged in and killed the Doom Reaver UA.

I had the Stones teleport one Stalker into range to swing at the Kayazi Underboss, as well as the Great Bears.

Stalker warped for Berserk, and ended up killing the Underboss, as well as a couple other Kayazi, AND all three Great Bears. He didn't even have primal up, though Morvahna did take a beating from all the rerolls.

Blackclad went up and sprayed Kell to death.

All in all, not a terrible turn. I managed to kill 8 Kayazi (including the UA), 3 Great Bears, Kell, a Kayazi Eliminator, and the Doom Reaver UA.

Still no score though!

Can my Skinwalkers survive another turn until I can feat them back?

Khador Turn 3:

First, the Kayazi Eliminator finished off the Gorax. Another time I played him poorly :-/

Doom Reavers killed the one Skinwalker that was engaging them.

Behemoth ran in and put some damage on my remaining Skinwalkers, but didn't quite manage to finish the last one off. 2 boxes from being able to prevent them from coming back.

Scrapjack got Avatar of Slaughter on him, and charged my Stalker. He did some damage, but I believe that Lance rolled poorly, and the Stalker was mostly healthy afterward.

Old Witch had a cloud put on her.

Yeah... not good that my Gorax is dead. Behemoth will be very difficult to kill now.

Circle Turn 4:

I took a long time this turn. I knew that Old Witch was within my striking range, but wasn't sure how to go about getting to her.

See, one of my Stalkers frenzied (I had thought that one Stalker would die, so I maxed fury), and couldn't do anything.

Eventually, I settled on trying to assassinate the Old Witch, mostly because I didn't think I could kill Behemoth on one round with only one non-frenzied Stalker.

First, Morvahna advanced, and popped her feat, bringing back a ton of infantry. She also healed the Stalker for a little bit, and put Carnivore on him. She needed to be close enough to force the Stalker in a minute, after all.

She had feated back a Gallows Grove, which she put behind the Old Witch. She shot one fully boosted Sunder Spirit at the Old Witch, which took her down to about 7 health.

It was then time to see if the Scrapjack's free strike would be able to cripple the Stalker's Spirit (if he can force, then he can warp for regeneration and heal himself).

Scrapjack did indeed roll a "5" in the damage column, but only did about 5 points of damage, which was not enough.

Stalker advanced to within 2" of the Witch, boosted to hit (needing a "7" I believe?), and hit. His POW was at 18, and I think she auto-died from his punch. At any rate, to be sure, I boosted the damage, and she died.

Stalker to the face!
Results: Win for Circle via assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

This game went well for me as well. Lance's feat took me off-guard, despite the fact that we had discussed it before the game. Without the feat though, my infantry would have done some filthy things to the Kayazi immediately. I think that her feat is pretty cool - it got Lance the Alpha he needed against my army.

I played a lot of games that weekend, and I don't really remember individual dice rolls, but my sense is that Lance rolled very poorly this game. I could be mistaken, but I don't believe that his dice did him any favors, other than the double-tough from the thrown Doom Reaver.

I'm actually fairly proud of this game. I played it pretty clinically, and got a bunch of my army involved every turn, which made it efficient. The Stalkers did some ridiculous work, and I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of using them together.

One thing I'm proud of here too is that I didn't just automatically drop Krueger2, who is normally my "for sure" Khador drop. Looking at Lance's lists, it seemed like Morv2 would be better against both of them, and I feel that I was right.

Lance was a great opponent, and I was excited to play against the only control caster in Khador finally! Lance was a lot of fun, and very helpful throughout. We had a very few rules things, but they were handled amicably.

I was also excited to beat someone from a famous podcast - he said he used to be on the Museonminis main podcast, but that he recently switched to Museonminis - Miami. Thanks for the game, my friend! :)

Team Results:

CJ lost to their captain. Butcher3 is almost an auto-loss the first time you play against him, if you ask me.
Don also lost to Legion via assassination.

This resulted in our team sitting at 1-1, with two games remaining.

Round 3: Bus Throwers vs. Beast 09 Inches

We were paired up against Josh "Newbstomp" Nordstrom and his girlfriend Leighanna for this one, along with someone I hadn't met yet. Bummer to play against people we play against all the time at our LGS, but that's just how it goes sometimes!

CJ got the "other" guy - I think his name was Chris? Chris had Butcher3, and CJ instantly became a sad panda. This is partially why we team feated in the last round to let CJ play someone of his choice. Butcher3 isn't an awesome caster to play when you aren't accustomed to the random BS of everyday Warmachine tournament life :-p

Don ended up getting the Newbstomp and his Butcher 2/3 pairing.

I ended up with Leighanna. This game was to be my first game (out of literally hundreds) playing against a girl at a major event. Seriously, not sure how I've managed to dodge women thus far, I've been to SO MANY big events. You'd think I'd have played one by now.

They talked for a while about team feating, but in the end they decided not to, and we obviously kept our feat in reserve for Game 4.

Game 3: Circle Orboros vs. Leighanna Voyles' Skorne

Her Lists:

She has better handwriting than any of the other people I played this weekend. Honestly, I really appreciate it when people have good handwriting. Maybe that's partially due to my vocation, haha :)

Pairings Debate:

So, normally I would just take Morv2 and call it good. There was no compelling reason to use Krueger2 here, and Morv2 just tends to be very strong against Skorne.

Leighanna was a little bummed to be playing against me, though. I'm not sure if she just doesn't like to play against me, or if it's just dislike of Circle in general, or maybe even just that she didn't want to play against someone she played on a regular basis at the LGS. I wasn't sure why, but I did know that I didn't honestly care very much which one I played, and I didn't honestly care much how we did at this tournament overall.

So, I let her choose. I wasn't going to be locked into a caster, and I wanted the game to be as good/fun for both of us as possible.

Then, she surprised me. I was approximately 97.6% sure that Leighanna would choose to play Krueger, due to her hate for Morv2. Hate may honestly be a little too weak a word for what she feels toward Morv2.

But, she picked Morv2. Leighanna had been beaten by her once earlier, and wanted more practice/revenge against her. In turn, she dropped Hexeris2.

The Mission: Balance of Power (I think?) Zone in the middle - control for 1 CP, dominate for 2 CP. Dominate your own flag to reduce your opponents' CP by 1.

**I won the roll to go first, and took it.

Pre-game thoughts:

I just wanted to apply early pressure. I knew that Leighanna's stuff could hit hard, but I also knew my stuff would mess her own stuff up pretty well. My main concern was to keep Leighanna out of the box, so that I could start scoring. I wanted to apply as much pressure as I could, and keep her trying to run models into the zone.

Applying pressure is generally what you need to do in most games. Makes people struggle to find solutions, and hopefully keeps them making mistakes. WM/H of course makes pressure a little more tricky due to the assassination element (apply too much pressure and someone may just take a 20% assassination run, because they're feeling desperate - if that happens 5 times in an event, odds are you will lose one of those).

So, that. Also, I tried (with mixed success) not to be a jerk this game.

Deployment:

Her army is coming right along - she started up with Skorne about the time I started playing the game again.

Spoiler: I forgot about Hexy2's feat this game.

Circle Turn 1:

Standard start. Everything ran up, I put up Fog of War, and put Carnivore on the Skinwalkers. Morvahna toed the hill.

Love how the Ravagers get AD. Just applies so much early pressure :)

Skorne Turn 1:

Leighanna put up Ashen Veil on the Nihilators, and ran everything forward. Bleck.

Things are going to get interesting... immediately.

Circle Turn 2:

My goal this turn was to get rid of the Shaman (he had some rule that let Hexy use him as an arc node), and remove as many Nihilators as possible. The Cetrati were a little out of position (they had to smush up to get past the big impassible terrain piece near them).

This was just a turn to get an attritional advantage.

Morvahna went first, and cast Purification, removing Ashen Veil on the Nihilators. Then, she put Carnivore on the Ravagers, since the Skinwalkers would not be seeing action yet this turn.

Ravagers went then, and three of them killed the Shaman. Actually, I think I spiked damage and two of them killed him, while the third just settled for killing a a Nihilator. One of them killed a Cetrati, while another one killed a Paingiver. I made sure to stay outside of the Bronzeback's 6" counter-charge threat range.

I put Lightning Strike on a Stalker, and had some Stones port him into range of a bunch of Nihilators.

The Stalker killed a bunch of Nihilators (from Berserk), leaving only about three or four total in the unit. He then Lightning Struck behind a fence. Ah yes. This was the time that he kept missing (needing 7's). He missed about 10 swings in a row before he finally connected and killed one. Morvahna's health was a little bit low after that little episode.

All in all, a decent turn. Lots of stuff dead, and most importantly: I was pressuring Leighanna to get models inside the zone, and had my own models positioned to kill them when/if they did get there. Going first against Skorne is mean sometimes :-/

Lots of dead stuff here, but it by no means seals the deal on this game.

Skorne Turn 2:

Leighanna had a lot of models she needed to kill, and (like Andrew in my game against Skorne on the previous day), she did a good job of doing just that.

Cetrati and TyCom, along with the Bronzeback and Nihilators combined to kill all but two of my Ravagers.

This turn Leighanna thought for a long time about how she could kill Morvahna. Hexy's feat would let her leech fury from my beasts, and cast a bunch of Hex Blasts at her. She was on a hill though, and there was no practical way for Hexy to get close enough to Morvahna and stay in line of sight.

So, solid turn for Leighanna, but unfortunately for her, I'd be able to get all of my Ravagers back on my feat turn...

Keep on jammin'!

Circle Turn 3:

I could score this turn, and my goal was to do just that. I also really wanted to kill the Bronzeback, and just jam the zone as well as I could.

Gorax walked up and put Primal on the nearest-to-him Stalker.

The Stones ported my Stalker over to the Bronzeback, and despite poor rolls, I managed to kill him on my last swing.

Morvahna decided to pop her feat (bringing back all the Ravagers, as well as one of my Gallows Groves), then put Carnivore on the Skinwalkers.

Skinwalkers charged in and killed a few random models.

Ravagers did the same, though without actually killing many things (only two of them could actually attack).

I believe this turn I managed to kill a total of two Cetrati, the remaining Nihilators, and the Extoller Soulward, in addition to the Bronzeback.

However, there was one Cetrati model remaining on the very corner of the zone, so I did not score any points this turn.

Looking like a mess for Skorne right now...

Skorne Turn 3:

Leighanna's clock was already almost out - she had taken a really long time on her Turn 2 to figure out how to assassinate Morvahna.

Her Gladiator charged my Stalker, but somehow failed to kill it.

After that, she essentially decided to call it - the clock was in my favor by a large margin, and I was doing really well on the attrition front. Maybe she could get Morvahna to make a mistake and fail to kill Hexeris, giving her the counter-assassination?

Hexeris charged in and killed four of my Skinwalkers, randomly. He popped his feat and put Ashen Veil on himself, giving him some pretty ridiculous defensive stats.

Hexeris is the rightmost Skorne model, next to the hill there.

Circle Turn 4:

I could probably kill a lot more stuff and score some points, but I decided just to end it.

Morvahna went first, and cast Purification to get rid of Ashen Veil. She then shot a fully boosted Sunder Spirit at Hexeris, and forced him to use his one transfer. Or, maybe he just took the damage. I don't really remember.

Gorax put Primal on my Stalker.

Stalker walked up B2B with Hexeris, boosted to hit a couple times, and killed him dead.

Overview shot! Notice Morv is hanging out on the zone to score me points in case I fail to kill Hexy.

Nom nom nom nom nom nom

Results: Win for Circle via assassination!!

Post-game thoughts:

Rough game for Skorne this time. Morvahna has a lot of answers for Skorne's awesome defensive tech (animi and upkeeps go away from Purification), and Carnivore really helps to make sure my models hit.

I did make a mistake this game, which was that I failed to keep track of Hexy's feat. I had a couple transfers, and was DEF 17 against his stuff on the hill (see, I'm getting better at protecting my casters as a habit!), but if I had been even a little bit closer, I think Leighanna would have had at least somewhere around a 30-40% assassination run against me. While my odds are pretty good there, the thing is, I did not need to put myself in that position.

What a noob mistake, to forget about an entire feat. Gotta get better at this game!


Team Results:

CJ lost to Butcher3 again. He got much closer this time though. He does learn fast :)

Don and Josh had an epic game between Butcher2 and Vyros2. Don barely pulled it out at the end.

Because our team went 2-1, we got the win, and were at that point 2-1 overall. Could we place at this event?

Round 4: Bus Throwers vs. a team with Circle, Khador, and Trollbloods!

CJ was once against paired with Khador. His opponent just happened to have Butcher3.

We decided to team feat, and our opponents were awesome enough to let CJ choose his opponent. He ended up picking Circle (and therefore Morv2), which is oftentimes just as bad as Butcher3.

I wanted more experience against Butcher3, so I volunteered to play against him.

Don was fine to play against Trolls. His opponent happened to be Collin Miller, the guy I played against in my first game of the Divide and Conquer the previous day.

Game 4: Circle Orboros vs. Ben Mosseau's Khador

His Lists:


Love the Butcher2 list - 4 lines total, haha!

Pairings Debate:

I had no real question of whether or not I should drop Kruger2. Ben had nothing in either list that made me think that Morvahna would be a better choice. I needed at least one turn to un-jam myself, and Krueger was going to help with that. His feat would keep Butcher3 away for a turn, and against Butcher2, I would be able to stall his advance for a turn for me to shoot. No real question here.

Ben actually asked me which one I wanted to play, and though I would normally "want" to play against Butcher2, I went for Butcher3, mostly because I needed the practice.

The Mission: Outflank (dominate a zone for 2 CP, control for 1 CP)

**I won the roll to go first, and took it.

Pre-game thoughts:

First, let's set the stage a little bit.

Ben is a great player. He won the Hardcore event the day before (which qualified him for Masters), and he had already scored a win at a tournament against me, albeit a while ago (it was the grow league tournament - go check it out)

So, I was excited to get a game in against a good Butcher3 player.

My thoughts were initially to be intimidated, of course. I had played 4 games against Butcher3 up to that point, and I had lost all 4 of them. I really, really, wanted to beat Butcher3 this time.

I knew he would be coming for me, and that his Pikemen would be impossible to kill. His two cavalry models would also be a pain to deal with, and the Clamjack is never easy to kill.

My goal was simple enough: kill the first few layers of Ben's attack (i.e. Pikemen, Dragoons, etc.) and then try to force it into being a scenario situation.

I also really wanted my Druids to live for a while, to negate lots of Butcher's spells.

Either way, Butcher3 isn't an easy game for any Circle caster, and this was no exception.

Deployments:

I put Prey on the purple Pikemen. Alliteration not intended.

My force looks so... beleaguered here.

Circle Turn 1:

I did my advance thing. I made sure to keep one Bloodtracker within 9" of Krueger to keep them fearless, but got the rest of them pretty far up the field.

Druids all popped smoke (aside from Counter-Magic) and advanced down the middle.

I decided to get the beasts to my left, as that was the zone I most wanted to try to take - the Forest would make the other one a little tricker.

Storm Wall is UP, because it's super effective against this army.

Khador Turn 1:

Ben just advanced. He ran Fenris up to jam my Bloodtrackers, and also wanted them to take an Abomination check - they were fearless though.

Purple Pikemen advanced in shieldwall and popped their mini-feat.

Overall, not a ton of stuff happened. Just setting things up for future turns.

Butcher is hanging out behind the wall in the center there, in case you can't tell.

Circle Turn 2:

I wouldn't really be able to do much to Ben's infantry this turn, but I did see an opportunity to kill a Dragoon.

I had the Druids advance, and they managed to pull Drakhun very close.

Krueger put Lightning Strike on the Stalker, and walked over toward the left zone.

Stones ported Stalker to within .5" of Drakhun.

Stalker killed Drakhun, then killed his dismount, and sprinted back to safety.

I actually had a plan here too - I thought that maybe Ben would get a little crazy and get Butcher to charge the Stalker, kill him, then pop his feat to sit on a full stack. I would absolutely take the odds of Ghetto killing Butcher in that scenario.

Otherwise, the Bloodtrackers mostly just fell back to the very edge of the zone, and the three engaging Fenris actually did a couple points of damage on him.

Shrimp managed to kill a couple of the red Pikemen.

All in all, not an awful turn for me, though it was obviously far from over.

I was also hoping to entice Ben into getting Butcher over to the right zone to clear it out and try to win via scenario, since I had an evil plan :)

Khador Turn 2:

Fenris started, and killed all three Bloodtrackers engaging him.

Purple Pikemen ran in and killed a couple more Bloodtrackers and Shrimp. They also engaged a couple Druids.

Red Pikemen charged my Stalker, but only a couple of them actually got to him. They did a little bit of damage, but not a ton.

Not much else happened, actually. I lost less than I had for some reason anticipated.

I would need to make things happen next turn, though.

Consider the zones... jammed.

Circle Turn 3:

My goal this turn was to kill as many Pikemen as possible, and make the right zone as hard as possible for Ben to control/dominate.

Bloodtrackers went first, and a lot of them advanced to be in melee with the purple Pikemen. With quick work, they managed to kill a bunch of Pikemen. Like, down to 4 or so in that unit. They again dispersed as well as possible to keep Ben from dominating the zone.

Shrimp killed a few red Pikemen.

Druids helped the Bloodtrackers clear out Pikemen. One of them even sniped out Madelyn Corbeau, who couldn't transfer the damage due to it being a magic attack.

Blackclad used his spray and killed two Pikemen engaging my Stalker.

Ghetto walked up and killed the last one engaging the Stalker.

I wouldn't be able to clear the whole zone this turn - I was sadly certain of it.

So, Krueger stood still and aimed, killing three more Pikemen.

Stalker charged forward and killed the UA of the Pikemen, but really whiffed back on other rolls and capped out his fury without accomplishing much.

The red Pikemen were down to the Standard and Unit Leader, and the purple Pikemen weren't much better. Really, not a bad turn for me, though I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't clear the zone on the right.

Lots of dead guys at least!

Khador Turn 3:

Ben decided to try and win via scenario. He got Butcher into the zone, and with the remnants of the Pikemen, Fenris, and Butcher, they managed to kill all but one Bloodtracker, who was outside of the zone.

The Clamjack decided to explode himself, and killed several nearby Druids and Bloodtrackers.

Gorman ran up and threw some oil at my Stalker. Doh!

Saxon Orrik ran up and punched my Stalker in the wang, but failed to kill him.

Not much else happened - I lost most of my Druids, nearly all of the Bloodtrackers, and Butcher was able to dominate his zone for 2 CP.

Score: 0-2, advantage Khador

Not my favorite situation to be in right now, but I had a plan...

Circle Turn 4:

I knew that I could dominate my own zone this turn, but Butcher was well ahead of me in terms of zone domination. He'd win unless I did something sneaky.

My goal was to clear the zone, then pop my feat to push everything else far enough back that Ben wouldn't be able to get to my zone to contest it.

Things didn't go smoothly, though. My Blackclad went first, and only managed to kill one Widowmaker, despite 4 rolls (he even hit Gorman, but rolled ass for damage!)

Stones ported Gorax over to kill one of the Pikemen.

Ghetto walked up and did some work, killing off Kell, Gorman, and a Widowmaker. This caused two panic checks for the Widowmakers (terror and massive casualties), and they failed the first one. Whew!

Krueger advanced and shot the Iron Fang Kovnik off the table, healed my Stalker for a point, and popped his feat, getting everything nearby pushed far away from my zone. Including Saxon Orrick. Ut oh.

Druids walked over and shot my Stalker in the back, and I prayed neither of them got a Crit. Neither did. Stalker attacked Saxon Orrick, needing a "12" to hit. I boosted, and hit on my first attack, killing him.

My remaining Bloodtracker ran into the zone to contest it.

I dominated the zone for 2 points.

Score: 2-2, advantage none

I struggled mightily this turn...

Khador Turn 4:

Ben spent a long time trying to contemplate whether or not he could get into the zone or not to contest it.

Eventually, he settled for positioning so that I couldn't get anything from my own zone over to his zone to contest it. He spent a long time on it.

We both dominated our zones (he easily killed my Bloodtracker) for 2 more CP.

Score: 4-4, advantage none

He's forgetting something. See if you can tell.

Circle Turn 5:

I ported my Gallows Grove into the right zone to contest, and ended my turn. The game ended.

Results: Win for Circle via scenario!!

Post-game thoughts:

Whew! What an intense game! I killed a ton of Pikemen, and other supporting models, and I was still really far behind on attrition (at least, that's what it felt like).

Loving Krueger's feat though - if you can clear enough models away, you can really do some filthy things to your opponent's ability to get into your own zone. It's an aspect of him that I'm just now finally starting to explore.

I was pumped - not only had I gone 4-0 on the day, but I had also finally beat Butcher3. So good to get that monkey off my back!

Team Results:

CJ got pissed at Morv2 after he killed all of his opponent's Bloodtrackers besides the one he kept in the back, and when his opponent feated them back, he quit. Heh.

Don actually ended up pulling off the win against Colin, so the Bus Throwers ended up winning another game, moving up to 3-1 on the day. Not shabby at all! I have no idea how we did overall. It didn't matter - no prizes were awarded, and only the winning team qualified for Masters (CJ and Don were running an event on Sunday, and couldn't get into it anyways, and I was personally already qualified.

Overall, a good day to practice my casters in a competitive environment. I beat Butcher3, played against two casters I'd never played against, and just generally had a good time.

It was now time for the pain. The Masters tournament was going to be rough, no matter how you looked at it.

The End, of Day 2, of the Feast of Blades.

(Masters batreps will be up sometime next week, hopefully)

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