Lock and Load 2017 might be a high water mark in what I was able to accomplish in just a few days of gaming. I played a ton of games and met a slew of people, and came home with some Sweet art and other toys.
I am beat, though.
21 Games over 5 days.
Caught up on Tour de Cryx, but I am glad to be home. I took plenty of pictures of most of my games, so I can just walk through each of the few days I made it out there.
First, I wanted to talk real quick about what I did to prepare for Eating and playing at the con. Eating is always a problem for me, as I get swept up in what I’m doing and simply forget. Its also expensive. This year, though, I took some food with me, and by some food I mean all of it. Caffeine for the morning, with some Iced Teas for the afternoon. Snacks (Trail Mix and Tiny Pies) and sandwiches – Uncrustables work for both Ice Pack and sandwich as they are frozen, and protein bars to make sure I didn’t miss any necessary nourishment. While it was heavy to transport into Seattle, it was well worth it. I would pack my food for the day in my backpack in the morning, and never need to leave the hall. Extremely useful for jamming tons of games in.
Second, I made sure I didn’t bring any miniatures I wasn’t going to use. The KR Case (Kaiser 3) that I use held some 7 lists worth of models because of it, including the Sepulcher/Kraken kit and the Wraith Engine. Oh, and a half-case for my Tokens, ect. Making sure that I had only the models I was going to play ensured that I didn’t begrudge walking around with all the models.
When I arrived in Seattle, I got on my way to Bellvue, and was picked up by some awesome friends, Stephanie and Dan. They housed me for the two days before the show proper, and I can’t thank them enough.
Once they got me, I dropped my stuff off and headed over to Mox Boarding house. If you haven’t been there it is worth a trip if your in the area. Plenty of tables, tons of games and a restaurant attached with a solid draft beer selection.
After chatting with a few friends, one of the other PG’s and I got our first game in of the weekend. He asked if he could drop his cryx drop against me, and of course I said it was fine; no better way to figure out how to play into bad match up than to play into it.
He dropped Ossyan Shadows of the Retribution. Its a pretty good list, I’m not going to lie. Its one of the few games I didn’t get pics of, and I really don’t remember much of what happened. The end, though, Was Aiakos jumping behind Ossyan and lobbing a Harpoon at his back, needing a single 12 to win the game. Sadly, It didn’t come up, and he was simply removed from existence. Thats how it goes, sometimes. I wish I could have jumped within Melee, but sadly it wasn’t possible. With that, I went back and took a quick nap. I had an Invitational to go to.
I had talked to Doug Hamilton earlier, and he’d agreed to a game during the invitational, first thing in the morning. With the doors opening at 9:00am and a defeat fresh on my mind, I was looking for a little revenge. Doug was having none of it! The Immortal theme force lead by Zaal 2 is a pretty staunch list, and though I was able to weather much of it, he was able to get a pair of AG’s on me when I was to greedy and tried to get scenario points. Second loss of the weekend.
Next up, I played a game against Devon of Advanced Manuevers and a good friend. He dropped Borka 1, and though I thought I had a good shot at it, Borka was able to weather a veritable swarm of models surrounding him: Stalker, Inflictor, Satyixis Captain, Warwitch Siren. It was simply not in the cards, though, as I couldn’t connect on most of the 7’s. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten to leap Aiakos into a safer(ish) spot, and got pummeled by the Mountain King for my insolence. So be it. Aiakos, sadly, ends with the first loosing record since Sturgis 2 because I can’t keep myself from being greedy. All I needed to do was just be patient. He’s a great assassin and when it gets to be 1 v 1 few can stay away if I have my feat available. I’ll definitely be coming back to him.
My third game of the day is the first that I have with my next voted caster, Morty 1. I got to play against a player who lives just south of me, down in Richmond. We see each other once a year, 3,000 miles from home, but somehow can’t really seem to meet between. I was really stoked to try out two different lists, but I left it up to Hungerford: Light Swarm, or Sepulchura. He chose Sepulchura.
The game wen’t pretty well, but I gave the Sepulchur up in a really, really stupid move ( I swept 6 Invictors instead of shooting them dead), and wasn’t really able to recover. Vyros ended up simply scoring more points and wining on scenario, even though I had ambushing thralls take one of the flags and start scoring.
With that, The invitational was over, but the games weren’t over. I shuttled over to Mox once again with some friends, and got another game in. In my second game with Morty 1, and I was determined not to loose the sepulcher for anything stupid. However. I seemed to be bound and determined to lose Morty herself. While the Sepulcher did annihilate Zuriel and the Banes and a Stalker took care of Typhon, I was speared twice by Azreal and then lit on fire. The fire didn’t go out, and he rolled high enough to burn me out. Sadly, that was a 6. Bah.
Day 0 ended with 5 consecutive losses, and I was feeling a bit insecure so I felt I would just do Iron arena until I got a cool print. It was a better idea, I felt, than getting my ass beat by some of the best players in the world and not having a good time.
After two days of getting smashed, the day was finally here! I was going to get some games in and get me that sweet Zerkova2/Denny3 Print. I got to the show fairly early, and was able to watch the awesome keynote and broadcast that pumped me up for the Scharde Island pirates:
I was then able to start finding games. First one of the day was a fellow PG and a friend from Maryland who had relocated back to Seattle. I don’t think we’d ever gotten a game in, so now was the time. He dropped Ravyn Shadows, as almost all of the Ret Players will. I used the new Dark Host theme. Thankfully, I was able to delay his feat and kill enough of the models that could aim at Mortenebra, which bought me a turn for the Sepulcher to do what it does. Careful not to loose either my caster or the colossal, I shot Ravyn to death with the power of feat and interface. Good times! Finally a win!
Shortly thereafter, I was in a game against a protectorate player on the beaches of the Bloodstone Marches. I was careful not to get my Sepulcher killed and to keep Mortenebra safe again, and was able to whittle down his forces enough to get a hole for the stalker to leap + headbutt and then the Sepulcher to get to Feora and turn her into corpse fodder. I was feeling confident with Mortenebra, and man was it fun. Just being able to shoot that hard, and that reliable made me pretty stoked. I wanted more!
Game three of the day was exactly that, more Mortenebra! Her final game, and the second caster I knocked out, I was feeling pretty strong going in. Siege was the target this time, and I knew his army was going to do a number on the sepulcher. Thankfully, I was able to survive the feat and, in retaliation, started to pick apart his army, including leaving Siege in dire shape with 1 hp. Unfortunately for Siege, he was unable to extricate himself from the problem, so his own hunter shot him in the back of the head to end the game. Chalk one up for the Sepulcher again? I don’t know.
Game four of the day – well, game 5 if you don’t count the multiplayer insanity, which I don’t – and 9 of the weekend, was against an amazingly cool trollblood army with both the Glacier King and the Mountain King. I used a list I started calling The Birds, but ended up just calling Flying Circus 2.0. While I had a hard time getting the pieces into place due to terrain, it still went well for me, and I was able to get the Sepulcher over to Grissel after a huge slog of a battle, wherein old Venethrax had to face tank a Mountain King and survive, which he did.
Finally, at the end of the day, I was able to sneak in one more game. Well, not the end of the day, We didn’t start until 1:00 am. I take that as a win because I went undefeated the “whole day” of day one at Lock and Load. Seems good to me! This was my first game playing into Ghost Fleet with Denny 1 at the helm and I knew I was in for a treat. Probably not a delicious one. This game, though, showed how the list could shine. With the counter-charges and Hyper Aggressive moves, I was able to chip away at many of the models on the board, including some of the more important ones in the list. We did make a pretty solid mistake – counter charging out of melee with Incorporeal models, but I blame that on tired, 2:00 am games. Between a scourge and a charging Deathripper with parasite out, Venethrax was put down for good. Probably shouldn’t have been so aggressive.
With that, I took my models and passed out. Two more days.
After a quick nap, I took a shower and was back at it. A gentleman from last night got a hold of me and we sat down to play. Venethrax against Hexeris 1. It was pure insanity. Counter-charges, Hyper Agressives and flight just tossed these birds all about the board into places that both weren’t expected or needed. Nothing is better than counter-charging an arc node. The game ended when he was so flustered at all the garbage rules that he simply went balls out and just launched his whole army at me, hell or high water. Turns out, he was able to get the damage he needed in. All I needed to do was, you know, not expose my self to the whole army.
After reporting in, I passed a fellow in an Amon Amarth shirt, and had to get a game in. Playing against Carver 1 was a hefty task for the list. Its only got one real heavy hitter, and there were three heavies in Farrow list. Patience and caution paid off, however, and I was able to trudge up field, picking off heavies with the Kraken and making short work of any infantry with the Shrikes, until the Kraken was able to get a good line on Carver and put his poor pig body into the meat grinder.
The Carver player had such a good time, though, that he sent his son’s friend over to play against me. I was a bit worried, because he has Kara Sloan, but he had a moderately unorthodox list with a bunch of infantry and only a few jacks. I made sure to get into melee swiftly and crashed into his lines. This game was the first I had really paid attention to deployment, and what I should do with my list to counter deploy, and did so effectively. Sending all the light jacks against his gun mages, and all the carrion Thralls against his Nyss made it a pretty lopsided battle on both sides. He did manage to destroy the Kraken, which was unsurprising, and then Venethrax was unable to seal the deal on his own, so he sent in the Shrikes, who trampled over her and finished the deal. Venethrax was finished up!
That left, much to my chagrin, me playing Denny 1 Ghost Fleet in Iron Arena. I went around asking people if they wanted a miserable and unejoyable game, and eventually got some takers! First up Was a Gunbjorn player. Though he was immune to ranged damage for a turn, I was able to run around his army on both flanks, as you expect with a small troll force, and pressure him from all sides until the army collapsed and I was able to scourge Gunny and put a few bullets into him to end the game.
Next up, I played a quick game against an awesome friend I see once a year out there in Seattle. Unfortunately, he moved about 1/2″ to close, and I was able to pop a few shots into him at the top of 2, and brought Kromack 1 down. Its a nasty, nasty list. Ghost shot is no joke.
My final game for the day was against the excellent Australian Andrew Haidon. I was playing ghost fleet so he, appropriately brought out Haley 2. It was a compact list with a pretty strong assassination bent. It took him two turns of Arlan making the Hurricanes attacks magic in order to kill the Wraith engine, but by then it was too late, and I scourged her down and shot her to death. Turns out, its a pretty solid tactic!
With that, day 2 was over, and I was ready to wrap up Denny, and maybe get a game in with Skarre 2.
I got up a little later than I wanted, but made my way down there early still. A friends son wanted to get a game in with his Skorne, and it was clearly going to be a teaching game, so I put away Ghost fleet and pulled out the Skarre 2 Dark host I was looking forward to playing. You know what Dark Host needs? Accuracy and more attacks. He was using an immortal based Xerxis 1 army, so we traded blows for something like an age before I was finally able to take down his heavies, leaving each of us with only our caster and a few support solos. Thankfully, Skarre is a monster in combat, and he had no transfers. After shanking him for half a dozen attacks, he was finally put to pasture.
Next up came the last game of the day, and of the Con, though I didn’t know it. A fellow who usually comes to NOVA asked to get a game in against Ghost Fleet, and of course I had to oblige him, even though it was a list built to really hose over ghost fleet. It was a great back and forth game, though the stupid wraith engine couldn’t hit 7’s. ever, to seal the game. Instead, it took two turns of me stabbing Garyth in the back of the head, lighting him on fire, and him running away screaming for him to get to Deneghra and stab her right in the heart. I messed up a number of things in that game, though that is to be expected in my 20th game of a 4 day stretch. Sadly, I was unable to get a final Denny 1 game in, and now I’ve got to take some time to get her in.
All in all, it was a great weekend, and a fantastic set of games. I came out with a slightly winning record, and a few of the tight games I think, had I been running on more than fumes for days, could have been salvaged.
Next year, I’ll be making it my goal to play in champions, but we will see how the timing and the prices work out. It could be that this was my last Lock and Load, and though I hope its not, it would be a great note to have left on.
Until next time!