By the time you read this, I’ll have played in another tournament and likely have done maddeningly poorly, but I wanted to write a little bit about a a few of games I played in the last tournament. In this one, I brought Scaverous and Denny 2, and both lists were ones I created on my own. If you know anything about me by now, know that this didn’t go very well.
First, lets take a look at the lists
Deneghra was testing a thought that flight + Incorp was amazing, and I’m still pretty sure that it is. She’s got a ton of flight, a big beater in Deathjack, and a lot of jam with the Carrion thralls. Her speed is through the roof and can often put an opponent on the back foot. Combined with her personal threat of 16″ and a long placement, she can easily end the game simply by keeping DJ alive.
Scaverous is a TK assassination powerhouse that can deliver a thousand Banes to your door with little effort, and gathers every soul you or your mother brought into this world. Its a fun list that has a lot of vectors and a ton of cool control aspects that allow him greater leeway than it looks like with his focus. Additionally, the 14/17 stat line is particularly vulnerable to bullets, and Dark Host brings clouds, which can hide form a bunch of guns in the game – just not Sloan.
21 people show up to the tournament, and its a very stacked pool. Tons of vets, a smattering of new players and a wide spread of factions. I know its going to be a long day, possible 5 rounds, but I’m ready.
For the first round I pull our local minions player who’s been taking names and making one for himself since he showed up just a few short months ago. He’s running Jaga-Jaga and Rask, but his Cryx answer is pretty clear.
I drop Denny 2 into his Jaga-Jaga, thinking that at least this way, I don’t have a million infantry for him to chew through without any problems.
He wins the roll, so I pick sides, and grant myself with forests and clouds. He runs everything forward, as do I. Its a simple gameplan – Get the birds as far forward as I can and threaten the back of the board. This list is SO fast.
Thankfully, on turn 2 I was able to hellmouth almost a whole unit of frogs, as well as get my feat and the models therein ready for the counterstrike next turn. I knew that a lot of my models would die, but the important models, the jacks and Aiakos likely wouldn’t.
His following turn went about as expected from both parties, though he dropped the dice a little bit on Aiakos and left him with one box after using his feat and ghost walk to blow his noggin off. The turn after, though, I was simply unable to retaliate in the way I had expected, and the sacral vault was still there to be a pain with its free striking magic gun. I made a ton of mistakes this game, honestly, and my opponent made few or none, played the game great, and came away with the Win. Thinking over it for a bit, I really should have had a better shot of winning other than hoping free strikes on a battle engine would miss. While I was able to trample over Jaga Jaga with two of the shrikes and get one of the two scavengers in before the final model was put out of play with a free strike and my time rolled down. Honestly, being more aggressive with DJ and positioning him in a position to remove the Sacral vault prior to going all in on the feet would have been the way to go. It was already perpetually breath stolen. These things happen.
The second round I draw the faction I have the least luck against, pulling into a Kraye list that was built to cause a ton of pain to my face. Thankfully, Scaverous has just the answer and can really give the list fits with TK‘s, weaponmasters and backstabs. The game is set, and I’m ok with the choice.
This one is a short report, because this game did not go how either of us expected. I win the roll to go first, and do so. He chooses sides, taking the one with the trees to hide behind right near the zone.
I deploy and go, leaving gaps between my Croes so that my army can fit between them on the way up. Sadly, I then don’t move than and completely lose their usefulness. This will be a repeating theme throughout the day, so stay tuned for more idiocy. I also forget they have stealth the whole time, and think I need to hide them behind the clouds like an idiot. That lasted until right now, which makes me feel ashamed, because its why I like them. ANYWAY.
He runs his army towards mine and sets up a defensible position, like any good triple-centurion and Cyclone setup should.
My turn, I press into his lines strongly. I threaten all of his Centurions and even try and push his cyclone a bit. I manage a cheap shot over into his Black 13th, and manage to pull out two of the three with a Desecrator shot, and other than that I look to whether the storm and hope for the best.
He comes in and stabs a ton of my dudes, blows more away with his Arcane Tempests, including both Officers of the Bane Warrior Units because I forgot how far his models can reach into the board. I attempted to put scenario pressure on him, but he seemed immune. Could be because I was fighting 3 centurions. He plucked out two Banes with Kraye and repoed back behind the woods.
So. I stood staring at the board for a few minutes, measured the woods in the center of the board a few times, and started executing the plan. The centurion on the left, the one in the picture, had admonition, which meant – seeing that he was in my way – that I needed to trigger it before I executed my plan. The arc node – key to the plan, ran up to be within 8″ of Kraye, within 6″ of the centurion, but not as close as 5″. He could trigger admonition, but could not engage my arc node, which he did and put himself in the way of my Desecrator shot that could reach out to Kraye. After that, I moved on to Scaverous, popped feat, and launched a boosted TK to Kraye, turning him around and pulling him to within a hair of the woods and backwards. Sadly, I knew I couldn’t get him in as we’d measured before, but there was more. I then spend the rest of my TK‘s sending 6 of the Bane Knights that were also outside of the woods into it so they could now see out of the woods and to Kraye’s exposed backside. After running a Bane Thrall over to Kraye to get him the Dark Shroud bonus, I charged the Bane Knights into Kraye under Tartarus’ veteran leadership and ended the whole thing. It was close because I missed a 5 twice, but still pulled it out. Scaverous still has it.
Trollbloods, the ever and always favorite target of Cryx. He has Kolgrima Storm of the North and Ragnor Band of Heroes. With the Stones ability to turn off Incorporeal, he figured I wouldn’t be taking Denny 2. He was right, but mostly because when I see a thousand trolls with high armor, I reach for the bane list. He pulled Ragnor down on the table.
This game, too, goes way, way shorter than either player expected.
I go second, and pick the side of the board with a nice place for Scavs to hide. He runs up turn one, as do I. Turn 2.
Turn 2 he commits his Long Riders into a unit of banes and they get shredded, leaving only a few. The rest of his army just jams into my throat, including the Mountain King into the center of my side of the board, and he pops feat, granting his whole army Impervious Flesh. Jammed tight and unable to extricate myself through his models, and unable to apply proper force on his army with the MK some 6″ away from Scaverous, I commit most of my resources to damaging the MK as much as possible. However, due to that and some poor movement choices, I am unable to contest two zones, and because its trolls I am unable to clear my two. on my turn he goes up 2-0, and on his turn he simply moves the MK, with bulldoze, close enough to my objective to destroy it without effort and win the game 5-0, with neither of us really playing a game.
There are a lot of things I did wrong here. I failed to use the Cutthroats correctly, and I failed to push forward as hard as I could. I failed to rationalize that the MK, while his only beast, was going to absorb attacks meant for the rest of the army and delay me a turn, a vital turn. I failed to position myself with more space to make sure he wasn’t able to blow a whole unit out on the top of 2, and I failed to properly assess the scenario game that I was playing. He won the game, right and sure, but I was sure enabling every opportunity I had to make it easy on him. Made me more sure now than most about how I play scenario, and was a wake up call. Well, the start of one.
The final round was against a good friend playing Skorne, using a tried and true Zaadesh list and a bonkers Jalaam list that seems very, very exciting. Being DnC (as all masters are) he dropped Jalaam because he had to. I hemmed and hawed a lot about it, but ended up going for Scaverous over Denny 2 because the Quantity of magic Swords on his side was extremely intense.
He went first, and I chose the side of the board with the forest in an excellent spot to exploit for clouds. Man, I love these clouds, even though it doesn’t matter for the most part against the the Shamans and the extoller-Cannoneer combo.
We both ran forward, getting into position and threatening each other with our absurdly short threats that can be extended very easily.
Jalaam going first and setting the engagement was a huge pain. He used souls from all three units to push their defense up to 13, and then popped his feat, similar to Ragnor, but on to hit rolls instead of damage rolls. knowing Vengeance was a strong part of his game, I tried as best I could to mitigate how he was going to get use out of it. I cast Icy Grip on one unit, and then took them down with the bane knights, focusing on that unit until it was rendered pretty ineffective, I believe there were three left. The Bane Knights also had Soul Harvester on them, allowing them to pull the souls from the Immortals and give it to Scaverous for feasting. The other two units I ignored. On his turn, he popped incorporeal on as many of the Immortals as he could, and started chopping apart my Banes. My left flank made a momentus stand, either toughing out of magically dodging more attacks than they should have. Tartarus and Eilish both got destroyed way, way earlier than I wanted them to by the shooting inherent in his list. It was a rough day on my solos.
on my turn in retaliation, I was able to cycle soul Harvester and get 11 souls of his, powering Scaverous up for a strong turn to follow, but he simply ran out of time. We both had huge armies that ground against each other until there was simply no clock left, and a lot of banes and immortals lay dead. Scaverous was vulnerable the entire time, and had to play cagey to not get shot in the face the whole game, and the Shamans and Cannoneer did a massive amount of work, drilling down the Desecrator to just a few, barely functional HP. The incorporeal and the +2 def under Jalaams feat is really, really irritating, and if you’ve not faced it, I hope you don’t have to. Stealing his souls was amazingly important for the way this matchup went, and I think if He’d have had more souls on a number of models it turns out different for me.
All in all, it was a great day of games. I know these aren’t too insightful of reports, but Its nice to look back on games and take a fairly solid look at what worked and didn’t. I need a lot more speed in at least one of my lists, and scenario pressure has to exist and you have to know it exists. I look forward to playing the Scourge list once all the toys come out, and might even give it a try soon even with out it, as the list is still scary as hell. I’m thinking Lich 2…
Until next time,