Each year, I author an event called Brawltimore in my local area. This year, for the first time, I managed to also qualify. While a friend and awesome organizer ran the event, I had the privilege of playing, and played four great opponents in four awesome rounds.
As I previewed last week, I was going to play Lich 1 and Gaspy 3 into the field, based on my bracket seeding. These lists ended up being the casters I used, which surprised me because I had been vacillating before I locked in on those two casters. I did make some tweaks to the list, though, so they are presented here for easy reference:
I dropped one of the Bloodwitch units to a 6 man unit and dropped the Satyxis Captain, getting me 9 points. I added in a misery Cage and some Gunslingers, because I liked the idea of both of them.
This round was into our good friend and fellow Cryxian, Brad Park. He’s an ace opponent and a great player, and I enjoyed every minute of the absolute route that he gave me. While I wasn’t stomped right out, he was in control the whole time, as I would expect someone who’d just been to a number of conventions over the last few months to be.
Brad brought Lich 1 Scourge and Skarre 1 Dark Host (Double engines). Looking at the lists each other had, there was only really one choice: Lich 1 Scourge Mirror. Lich 1 into Skarre 1 has to much armor breaking and almost no vital targets to eat, while Lich 1 into Lich three feedbacks the caster into oblivion even camping 7 a turn. Its not really a feasible strategy.
He won the roll to go first, and I chose the side below. I had the forest on my side of the board, the buildings both allowed me access to zones, and I had pathfinder to get through the trees on round 1. No big deal here. I chose pathfinder for my objective, just to see how it shook out.
You can see the top of round 2 below, just after I’ve moved, but before it goes completely south for me.
I felt like I had a solid position, but as Brad was about to show me, I was going to lose 1/5 units of Raiders and almost all of the arc node in front of Asphyxious. He applied parasite to my resin raiders, and went to town with the feat, killing all but one of them, and then killing 5 more of the painted raiders. Teleporting back, and consolidating his position, moving no more than half of any unit within feat range, he kept me at bay the following turn. I did manage to counter-charge Barathrum into the zone, but that left him out of control area, which really hurt as I spent the next two turns struggling to stay safe.
turn 2 I ambushed my thralls, and went for a run to put some damage into his caster. I missed with the first parasite, so I opted to toss another parasite out there and hold the feat. It turned out to be the wrong decision, as I just took a point of damage to my face thanks to Eilish for my trouble, and had my spell removed. I ambushed in my Bloodwitches, but they were well out of range, and simply ran to engage.
on turn 3, he ambushes his Bloodwitches, and starts to invade my left side of the board. He has a feedback+ Breath of corruption assassination run on his mind, and he manages to kill barathrum, dealing a couple of Feedback points, and lands two Breaths of Corruption on me, doing significant damage. He goes to finish me off with the final feedback points into my Arc Node nightwretch, but he’s already damaged it – the stalker had rushed forward and just torn into it turn 2 – leaving it dead before he could feedback me to death.
I managed to take another turn, but it was all over except the dying for ol’ Asphyxious. I took down a bunch of models, did the best I could, but it really wasn’t enough. Camping two focus for insurance, I passed the turn to Brad, who thought about it for a few minutes and then went for a Corrupter assassination. He needed a 10 to hit and a 10 to kill, and hell if he didn’t roll that or better both rolls, finishing off Asphyxious even through the focus camp.
While feedback is good, its not nearly as good as it was an edition ago, and I don’t think I am ever going to plan on it as an assassination. having focus to camp, nearly every turn, mean you need more than a few feedback attacks to make it all worth while. Saxon Orrik was a big ol’ waste of space. I had enough Pathfinder that I didn’t feel I needed him, and it could have been another, different merc or one of many Satyxis solos in the future. The Misery Cage was money. I thought it was going to be difficult to fill it up, but it ended up, turn after turn, with a corpse on it and providing that 8th focus to Asphyxious. The Satyxis Blood Priestess, too, was great. Though I didn’t end up using her correctly, I was impressed with her. I didn’t give her a spell to upkeep, because I didn’t think I had a great Scything Touch location, and she wasn’t nearby when I needed her for that Corrupter shot, but she did kill a Satyxis Captain and use her essence to cast Breath of Corruption, killing a Blood Hag, damaging the Sea Witch, and taking down another raider. Not terrible for 4 points and being badly misused.The Satyxis Gunslingers were great, taking out a ton of models in combat or in positions I didn’t want enemies to be in. The ambushing Satyxis blood Witches, though, kinda fell flat. I fall in the bracket, and brad advances!
This round I’m paired against a fellow Cryx Player, who’s using Skarre 1 Dark Host and Denny 2. I could probably play Lich 1 into this, but I’m feeling that Its going to be bad no matter what I end up doing as the mirror match is not my strong suite. I pick Gaspy 3, hoping to wend my way into a slayer victory, but he drops Denny 2.
I win the roll to go first, thinking that being up the board is pretty sweet. He chooses the side with the building and wall, giving him something to stick behind when things go south.
I deploy first and just rush pellmell up the board. I make sure that everyone, except gaspy 3, is not within 3″ of any other models, because hell mouth is really strong. The Black Ogrun are about 6″ behind the back lines, just in case.
He is extremely aggressive and pushes in with Deathjack, tossing a Breath Stealer on my clearly non-respirating jack, but it does the job. He fails to kill the jack he engages, however, and that leaves me pretty pleased, especially when he misses the Malice-Drag into the jack in the rubble. His turn 2 goes pretty well as he feats and shoves everything else down my throat, making the Deathjack, Malice, two slayers and an Arc Node incorporeal in addition to Deneghra.
On my turn I have a very, very bad puzzle to sort out. I have a Deneghra within 16″ of me, and I know what that means. I need to get the hell out of threat range. Fortunately, he left a Soul Trapper within LOS of Gaspy, so I am able to cast mobility and then charge over into the shadow of the woods so that no one can see me – Yet.
I spend some time slamming and bashing and just getting in the way with my jacks. I have more of them, so I figure that I can try and make his both far away and inefficient by slamming them out of the way and knocking them down. I don’t know that it works, but man it felt good. I do, however, blow up Eilish. Fuck that guy. His feat forces mine, so that I can get something out of his next turn of clear and present work, but I’m not in the position I want to be in in order to capitalize on it all.. Man, I love Denny 2.
On his turn, He puts down a large based proxy right next to Asphyxious early on. I wasn’t far enough away so that Damnation wouldn’t catch me within Deathjacks range, and man, is my sphincter tighter than 10 year old pickle jar lid. He spends the whole turn freeing up Deathjack. He uses Malice, two Machine Wraiths, and a slam, all to get me out of the way so that he doesn’t need to worry about taking free strikes or anything. Denny is sitting on 6 focus, and needs to hit that boosted 10 to tag me with damnation thanks to Ashen Veil. The first on flops, and I look around with anticipation. Am I going to get away with this? The second one rolls, and is again a miss. I stare at the sky and praise luck itself. Where I’d been bit by the 10-10 last game, this time it came to my rescue.
Once the Coins were done flipping, and the turn was over, I had managed to survive and only took a small beating. I needed to finish the game off, and I needed it now. Using my own Machine Wraith, I moved Deathjack out of the way, and ran an Arc Node in range of Deneghra. Moving Asphyxious up, I kill the nearby Machine Wraith to proc Blood Boon, and boost the resulting Calamity into Deneghra. In combat, which I had promptly forgot about. I tag her with the calamity, and then boost the hit and damage on the following 2 Hellfires, resulting in a completely dead Deneghra. By the skin of my teeth…
I love Asphyxious 9 Slayers, because that list has a thousand ways of looking at every issue, and a ton of play into a lot of different lists and archetypes. Weathering peoples feats without getting your entire army wrecked is one of the fundamentals of the game. I was really lucky that he’d left a single model within LOS of Lich 3, and without it I would likely have had to sacrifice much, much more in order not to die. Having those coinflips come up your way is a great boon, but its not something I like relying on, and surely this game goes differently if he lands one of those two Damnations.
This round saw me paired against a Legion player who, until recently, was playing Protectorate. He’d qualified with them, even, and only switched to the Dragon Faction afterward. I saw that he had two pretty solid, fast lists, and opted for my Lich 3, because slayers should be pretty resilient to what legion wants to do, I thought. I wasn’t wrong, as he decided to drop Kallus into me.
I won the roll, like Gaspy enjoys, and chose to go first. He picked the side he was on already because of the huge forest in the center of the game. I could probably work through it, but its a pain. I am so glad that Asphyxious 3 has Mobility.
on my first turn, I ran screaming up the board. I engages his two hellmouths and made it across the center line, making sure to give him plenty to worry about the next turn.
Unfortunately, that worry was little to none, as he simply swung his entire army into the middle of the board and popped his feat. 70 models were arrayed across the center, and there was little I could do to stop them from simply blowing up all my jacks. While he had a plan to drag some of my slayers closer so that he could get the angelii in, he stumbled on one, and the Ashen Veil on the other made it very unlikely to work. The center of the table was flat out jammed with models, and it was a hilarious site. I only have this one pic, in the wrong direction, but it gives the idea.
With him jamming me up and with no where to go, I figured the best thing to do was to kill as many models as fast as I could. I launched Nightwretch shells, trampled, took 5 attacks with slayers. I killed all of the tentacles and trampled over so many other models. at the end of the day, after killing more than a few of the created incubi, I left him with 19 new solos on the board, and 36 minutes left.
I didn’t use a single minute left on my clock to win.
Thoughts: I expect that will never happen to my opponent again, as by the time I get to him again, he’ll be more practiced and solid with the list, but it was the only real way I could see towards spinning the direction of the game in my favor. I’d trampled two jacks into his back lines, and was pretty comfortable, though one was out of range, again. It was going to be a long grind, and I was hoping that I could take out enough models to make it worth while. We played through until the round ended, and even then, I was simply left swinging and trampling at whatever was nearby. If you didn’t play a bevy of jacks, I don’t know how you deal with a list like that. It was amazing, and I look forward to tangling with it again.
The final round was against a cold, calculating machine of an opponent who I have nothing but respect for. He’s able to see things within the game that I’ll never see. He was running Ossrum Battlegroup and Ashlynn Resistance, and he chose to bring resistance.
Knowing he had plenty of jacks in both lists, I decided to drop Gaspy 1. MK II, go!
He went first, and I decided to take the same edge I had in round 1, as I was on the same table. It’d worked well for the misery cage before, and it was going to work again.
He advanced relentlessly, putting his Trenchers way up front, and I took this as a sign that I should, after 13 years, go for the Parasite-feat and kill a whole pile of trenchers. Sadly to report, I only killed 5. I caught 10. 2 bounced, 3 toughed. Sad times. No worries though, I could play the long game. There is no way he has the same crushing destruction of a unit top of two, right?
Sadly, that was the wrong thought. Ashlynn got deep in the guts of my army, flashing bladed at lest 3 models off and shot two more for good measure with her reloaded hand cannon. Repositioning behind the forest for safety once done massacring my models, She was protected from reprisal.
I was able, over the course of the game, to start swinging the pendulum back from its precarious position. I lost many models, but so did he, and I was able to take apart a number of solos and jacks. But, I feel, it was all part of the greater plan. Committing Asphyxious to have to kill not one, but two jacks was really rough in terms of getting work out of him, especially when he wanted to be casting a Breath of Corruption deep into enemy lines, and wasted his activations. It made me feel great as a destroyer of Jacks, but it also brought a lot of problems to my army, having to carry the weight of the game on his shoulders.
This game wrapped up the win condition triple crown for me, ending in a scenario victory for Ashlynn. I had Asphyxious and a blood Witch alive, and he had 7 sword Knights and Ashlynn. It was a pretty clean cut victory for him, and one I don’t regret. It was a great game that I would love to play again.
Thoughts: I need to play against more shrewd players more often. This guy is a top notch opponent, and I love the idea of getting in games against the best in the area, trying to make my game better. Here, I should have held the feat. Normally I do, and I had seen Brad work his magic against me and against a number of other players, so I figured I’d give it a go. Its unlikely I do that again, and having that back pocket assassination forces the opponent to respect your ability to explode them at any given moment. Misery cage and Satyxis Blood Priestess were both top notch this game, and Saxon Orrik once again failed me. Barathrum, too, just wasn’t worth his points, and I really look forward to making a list without him holding the anchor for the team. I don’t know if I drop it to two Deathrippers and replace him with two stalkers, or bump it up to two Nightwretches and replace him with a Corrupter. Both seem like great ideas, honestly.
Until next time,