I don’t get to go to many tournaments. Its not a problem for me, just a statement. When I go, though, I often fret for a while on what I am going take, what I can do to cover match-ups, and how I am going to avoid being curb stomped. Saturday I made it to my first tournament in a rather long time (December?), and my first one back with Cryx. I had a great time, played three insane games, and walked away with my head held high!
This one is long, bear with me! Three awesome games!
This tournament was the first in a store-based team tournament series that will last 8 months, with a tournament per month. Each team consists of 5 members, with three participating in the actual tournaments in each month. The teams are set up in a static formation – Captain, First and Second – with each team pairing of their captains, firsts and Seconds, who will them play against each other. Each team has a feat, allowing them to switch two players slots for the rest of the tournament, enabling a single matchup fix.
Our team, from Titan Games and Hobbies, are the Titanic Bastards, based on our lineup of factions. Each player is allowed to pick two, but we clearly favor one over the other. Cryx (Ret), Cryx (Ret), Cryx (Skorne) Legion (Circle) and Skorne (Protectorate), This was by no means on pourpose, it is simply the lineup of players playing at Titan on a regularish basis.
We know when each of the tournaments will take place, and we have divided our teams representation up so that we get the most and varied participation that we can among all five of us. This, in a rather awesome way, lead to the inevitable trio of Cryx, Cryx, Cryx to open the season.
I’m sure everyone was thrilled.
Thankfully, we were prepared to bring everything that Cryx had to offer across the faction. One pairing was the prototypical Power Couple: Asphyxious2/Skarre1. My list was Denny3/Goreshade3, and to round it out we had Asphyxious1/Asphyxous3.
With the fixed lineup, there are some interesting things you can do to try and influence your matchups, but its all based on player skill, and not faction or caster dependent. There are exactly 6 possible lineup choices based on player strength, basted on Strongerst (1) to weakest (3): 1/2/3, 1/3/2, 2/3/1, 2/1/3, 3/2/1, 3/1/2. As a general rule, players tend to start with a setup of 1/2/3. Its simple and makes the most sense. A fairly good Counter-strategy, if you feel your number 1 and number 2 are fairly equal, is to go to a 2/3/1 setup. These 1’s at the bottom, preying on the perceived weaker players, we refer to as sharks. This often puts players who think about these things in very strange spots. Do you try and pre-respond by Shark Hunting – Putting your strongest or second strongest player in the third slot in order to prevent people trying to Shark you? Is it possible to out shark the sharks? I think so, but I think its by setting up a team as a 1/3/2. Your best player will often be matched against their best player, and if the team has set up as a “shark team” then its quite possible they have set themselves up with only a marginal advantage on the back end and a marginal disadvantage up front, and against a normal setup, you’ve got a marginal advantage on both front and back, with a slight disadvantage in the center. Seeing as you only have to win 2 out of three games to take the round, I like this setup. However, our number one player (Asphyxious 2/Skarre1) wanted to hunt sharks trying to prey on the bottom, so we ended up going with the very typical counter-shark method of 2/3/1.
With that out of the way, I was in the top slot as team captain and felt a bit of pressure. Unless something went very wrong, I was going to be playing uphill all day, or at the very worst i would play even matchups. No softies for me. Earn those wins! I was pretty confident going in with the lists I’d crafted. I think there is still room for improvement, but I was happy enough to play them.
Necrotech + Scrap Thrall
Soul Trapper (2)
Bane Riders (5)
Soul Hunters (5)
Blackbanes Ghost Raiders (6)
Objective: Arcane Wonder
Soul Trapper (2) x2
Satyxis Raiders x10
-Satyxis Sea Witch
Satyxis Blood Hag
-Satyxis Blood Witches (10)
Nyss Hunters (10)
Objective: Effigy of Valor
Going in, these were my pretty crude thoughts. :
Going Second again, I put Deneghra opposite his zone with the objective of pushing for it and dominating for two. The raiders and Bloodwitches, who popped their minifeat, would keep the rest of his army at bay on my side, and allow a scenario victory if necessary. The Nyss and arcnode would take the other side of the board with Deneghra and cause as many problems as possible for my opponent. The Mechanithralls would simply stay in the back and gather bodies and steam each turn as both me and my opponent ground each other into dust, filling in as a final wave.
My opponent took his second turn and pushed aggressively with his troops, but kept Deneghra back a ways, almost where she was at the start of the turn. The Soulhunters cut down a good number of the mortalitied Satyxis including the Grave Winded Sea Witch, gathering their souls as they went along. The Bloodwitches charged deep into his own zone, tying up the Nightwretch and cutting down a number of my Nyss, followed up by his Mechanithrall horde.
I knew Deneghra couldn’t stay where she was and stay safe. I tore down many of the soulhunters that were contesting my zone, and cleared a landing spot at the very back edge for Deneghra to land and start dominating. I got a single point from it. The Nyss, devastated by the charges from the now incorporeal Blood witches, went after the gears of this army, shooting down two stitch thralls and both soul trappers. It was a bloody turn, and I created 6 Mechanithralls.
His turn 3 was indicative of the whole fight, as he pushed further in on his zone, while making little inroads on mine, getting Darragh Wrath on the corner. My Nightwretch was torn down that turn, leaving only a few Nyss and a Stitch thrall contesting the zone. He and I jockeyed for position as both our clocks wound down.
Its is about this time my teammates let me know that its up to me. They’d split their games, and I needed to win this match to advance.
In my turnI both lost the Helldivers to my idiocy, forgetting to unborrow them, and was unable to take down Darragh Wrathe because I attacked with the wrong model first, dismounting him and putting him out of melee with the other one, I settled on cutting down many of his Bloodwitches, what remained of his Soulhunters, and a few Mechanithralls while camping my zone, hoping I could get some pressure on his zone. My Bokur and a Nyss Hunter charged the objective but were unable to actually destroy it
With his clock swiftly running down, Deneghra went all in. She cleared a landing zone near my Deneghra and came in, popping her feat to get 7 bites at the apple with mortality, if needed, and load up the remaining Scavenger. While it took him almost the whole stack of souls, he did indeed land mortality on me. His Bokur, Lurking all this time, charged in. Unable to stick the Charge attack, he instead hit me with the shield for some damage, but that was all it needed for the scavenger to get in there with a boosted charge attack for serious damage, leaving me at 9. He passed the turn with exactly 1:00m left on his clock.
I had about 8 minutes or so left, and figured I had enough time to take him from the table, as long as I moved swiftly. I cleared Darragh Wrath finally, freeing up the Blood Hag to hopefully get the dispel dagger to work, but I had no such luck. I spent a few activations clearing the landing zone for Deneghra, and she declared her ride by attack. Moving up with 7 focus and a soul from earlier in the turn, I boosted to hit with the mortality, cast from a soul. It connected on the first try and brought her defense and armor down to a manageable level. I then spent the entire stack buying, boosting to hit and damage, causing significant damage and leaving her at 3 HP. I was confident that the now- MAT 8 + Mortality Bokur could roll a 7 to hit. He cannot, and the charge attack goes wide. The shield, however, does not, and tags her for 2 more damage. I can hear my teammates gargling in rage as my timer continues to burn, 8 minutes slowly rolling away. Finally, with my last activations of my turn, I charge Denny with a pair of Mechanithralls. Needing 10’s to hit, I declare a combostrike on the first attack, which whiffs. Wanting two more attacks to try and hit that extremely difficult 10, I declare single attacks with the second Mechanithrall. With a hard 10 on the dice, the charge attack takes Deneghra off the board and gives me the win.
Letting out a stress filled cheer, we advanced to the final round!
The final round was against some extremely good players in our local meta, with a Team of Bradigus/Kreuger 2, Sorscha 1/Butcher 3, and Apshyxious 2/Asphyxious 3. Fortuneatly, the Cryx Player had locked himself out of Asphxious 2 player had locked himself into Asphyxious 3, so we knew the matchup going in. We also thought that the Khador player had locked into Butcher 3, though he hadn’t. The player who was paired against Khador on our team, however, was locked out of his Orin Midwinter list, and I was not. We were able to feat, as they had used theirs, and put me across from the what we thought was going to be the Butcher 3 list. Sadly, he’d not locked himself, and I ended up playing into Sorcha 1. I didn’t think I was going to have the best day.
Scenario: Destruction (SO MANY ZONES!)
My List: Deneghra 3
His List: Sorscha 1
I deployed fairly front and center, with the Bloodwitches on the right to run through the house, and the Nyss on the left to get LOS and a DEF bonus from the hill. Satyxis were there to jam out the center zone.
He gave me first turn, so that he could on his first turn pop his feat and take the momentum back, which he exactly did, removing my Nightwretch on the hill along with a number of Nyss and a few Satyxis. However, He ended his turn within threat range of Deneghra.
Looking at my frozen army, his perfectly fine army, all the guns and a threatening Behemoth, I figured I had to go for it now or never. The dead arc node posed a problem, though, because now I had to get in range of Alexia in order to hit Sorscha with scourge. I would clearly be unable to do that with Arcane Disjunction up, so I charged Alexia. Sadly, I was nowhere close to hitting her with an impact attack, I forgot to Feat and Mortality before the Charge attack, and didn’t feel confident, needing this attack to hit, not boosting to hit. Sadly, the damage came up short, doing 9 damage. At that point, unable to cast a single scourge to even attempt the kill, I aborted, popped feat, and went into damage control mode. Scarlock moved up and cast Grave Wind, Bokur moved up behind her, and the Satyxis that could move formed ranks. Bloodwitches tried to kill Eiryss but failed. Sure that I had lost the game in that very moment, I passed the turn.
My teammate came over to tell me he’d won. We were up 1-0, with two more to play. I hoped that my other teammate could pull out a victory.
It was all in time for Sorcha, who gave two to the Behemoth, and started his turn. I was camping 4 at Def 17, but his army seemed to not care at all. Holt took a shot early on, connecting on one and doing damage. The entire unit of Widowmakers, standing still, hit and pinged me for damage. Alexia, penned in by her thralls, sacrificed on to boost to hit and connected, doing more damage. The Nyss hunters freed up Eiryss and took pot shots, doing damage. The Widowmaker Marksman Shot and dealt damage. I’d take 8 damage, all said and done, from random crap that his army could through out. Eiryss finally took her shot, but I was able to shield guard it onto the bokur. He’d had a plan (tempest from Sorcha) but in the heat of the moment, forgot to activate her first. Behemoth, went next, penned in by Reinholdt, and boosted both attacks to hit, connecting with one. Needing 11’s is not easy. Thankfully, with no focus to boost damage, Deneghra only took 5 more damage on straight dice. dropping her to 5. With the game on the line, unable to run far enough away, Sorcha charged in with four focus, but was unable to hit on either boosted attack or her final Hail Mary.
I could feel another failed assassination in my bones, so I took every precaution I could, Starting with using the Nyss to kill a Wolf Rider so that I could use the soul from the soul trapper to mortality Sorcha without needing to knock her down first. I followed up by having the Scarlock Ghost Walk Deneghra and hopping over the models in my way – A speed of 9 is deceptively useful in that regard. It was at this time that I noticed, again, I’d forgotten to unburrow my Helldivers. Down they went! With 15 focus on Deneghra, I spent the first one boosting the attack to hit against Alexia, killing her. Now, I could cast scourge at Sorcha, less than 1″ away, without paying double. The dice were on my side, rolling boxcars to hit the poor Khadoran, and boosting damage I rolled a 6/5/5 leaving her at two, in front of my entire army, knocked down. The game was over! We won the tournament!
with no pressure on his back, our last teammate just turned his army up to 11 and crashed Skarre into Kreuger 2’s army, and thankfully ended up on top at the end of the game.
I’ve knocked team tournaments before, but I never will again. That was fun as hell.