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Monday, 19 November 2012

BLACK STEEL STEAMROLLER

Well, here it is, the tournament I've been practicing for.

It's finally come, after 2 months of practicing. There was a lot more warmachining in those two months than I usually have in 4-5 months.Most of the photos below are courtesy of Alan Mok from Malaysia.


We headed down early on Saturday morning. Funny thing about the tournament is that it was held in a Battlefront Miniatures factory at Legio. We arrived about an hour before the tournament started so we had nothing to do but sit around. There we were, 4 guys from Singapore who had travelled all the way up to Kuala Lumpur to take part in a Warmachine tournament; my very first one in fact. 

I liked the venue. It was pretty spacious the terrain was very nice. A lot more different than what I'm usually used to. For one thing, there was a lot less forests. Or any type of obstruction really. And they even made some new themed terrain for the tournament as well. Check out the following.


This was a pretty nice terrain that they made up. No, the forests aren't really forests but just scenery. Sadly I never got to play on this table T-T I really liked the river in the middle.

Then there was this baby. man, I loved the crystal bits. So much so that I kept picking them up and touching them. I did manage to play on this table though. 

The tournament turned out to be full of Khador players though. Nearly 33% of the players were playing Khador. Not as many colossals as I expected though, only TWO Conquests. Surprisingly, there was only one Legion player. 

We're playing SR scenarios coupled with killbox rules, where any caster found to be within the killbox at end of turn dies. Also, there are also a bunch of various scores for different things; such as sportsmanship, cowardice etc. More on this later.

First round
Khador
Harkevich
-Conquest
-Sylyss

Winterguard with UA
Mechanics
Koldun Lord
Aiyana and Holt

Minions
Lord Carver
-Road Hog
-Road Hog

Rorsh and Brine
Farrow Slaughterhouses
Farrow Brigands
Farrow Brigands

My opponent plays the minion race I've never played against before; the Farrow pigs. It's a strange list with farrow slaughterhouses, farrow brigands, Lord Carver and 2 units of Road hogs. Looking back, it's an assassination list. We play scenario #3; Overrun and he deploys first. 

Turn 1
-He advance moves and everything has pathfinder. He uses that to his advantage and moves everything up. But Lord Carver is standing dangerously close to his 2 road hogs.
+Conquest moves up, takes a shoot at the nearby roadhog and I crit. I throw both road hogs and Lord Carver back several inches. I lay creeping barrages all around. WG runs up.

Turn 2
-He chooses to move nearer the table edge with Lord Carver. He was already skirting pretty close to it, but he moves EVEN closer to it. The rest of his farrows walk and dig in. They actually seem afraid of entering the creeping barrages; though I don't know why. It's 9 on 2d6 to kill.
+My WG bob and weave and spray. A lot of farrows die this turn. Conquest takes another pot shot at the roadhogs but doesn't crit. I make sure my caster is out of kill box area and I end my turn. He loses when his caster is found to be in the kill box.

Thoughts on game
Well, it was fast. And sort of brutal. But we played on anyway after that and it was a pretty interesting game and I think I got a better hang of what roadhogs are capable of now.  

Second round

Well, I'm up against a familiar face and a very familiar army. This will be a no holds barred Khador vs Khador matchup.

Khador
Vlad3
-Drago
-wardog

Uhlans
Markov
Yuri the Axe
Manhunter
Manhunter
Widowmakers
Fenris

Khador
eSorscha
-Sylyss
-Spriggan

Winterguard with UA and rocketers
Fenris
Aiyana and Holt
eEiryss
Widowmakers

Right, we play scenario #5; Supply and Demand. I know I'm at a disadvantage going in because of his ridiculously high defense coupled with tough. 

Turn 1
-Hands of fate on Uhlans, Infernal Machine on Drago. Vlad3 casts dash and he charges up. It's a fail charge but it's more for the distance. I don't bother 
casting windwall first cause he won't be in range of me. Everything else runs. Widowmakers move up and shoot at his widowmakers and miss completely. 

+His widowmakers make short work of 2 of my widowmakers, missing the rest. Eiryss runs up as does Fenris. His winterguard spread themselves out. 

Turn 2
 -I cast windwall and have Drago camp near Vlad. My objective is to bait him into coming forward so I can send Drago into him and hopefully blow him up. Meanwhile I camp near the objective to prevent him from reaching it. I also make sure to keep more than 11" away from Spriggan. Yuri runs up to behind Fenris because I want him to decide whether to go after Yuri or run forward towards me. Widowmakers stand still and shoot at his widowmakers but only hit 1. Fenris charges the Spriggan to damage it. It's not going to do anything but buy time. 
+He chooses to have Fenris go after Yuri. Yuri dies but it buys me a turn. His widowmakers kill one more widowmaker, making me take a panic test which i pass. His winterguard move up a bit more. Holt takes a few pot shots at Markov but misses. My Fenris dies to Spriggan and Winterguard.

Turn 3
-I originally wanted to charge his Fenris with the manhunters but he's just out of LOS. Instead they charge the winterguard and only manage to hit one. Meanwhile I cast windwall again and advance a bit close. Markov runs out to get another charge angle if needed.

+He kills my manhunters and then Fenris runs up so he's engaged with my Uhlans. Winterguard walk up a bit further and try to shoot but miss. Holt takes a few more potshots.

Turn 4
-His winterguard are now within range. Drago takes his chances. 3 focus on him, Vlad3 feats, casts Dash and then Drago walks up and smacks winterguard 1. I boost to ensure hitting and I paste the winterguard into the ground. Sidestep 2" into another winterguard and I boost to hit him too and sidestep again. I use the imprint since there are no enemies near me and then I roll hoping for the best(or worst in this case) but Drago doesn't blow up. Too bad as it would have decimated his winterguard along with eEiryss. Markov and the Uhlans charge several things. Markov however is out of control range so he doesn't get to yoyo back. The uhlans manage to yoyo back except for one. I leave 1 Uhlan stuck base to base with Fenris so I can block charge lanes.
+Fenris kills the winterguard next to him. He feats to try and kill Drago but surprisingly doesn't. Spriggan walks up and takes a few more pot shots at Drago and hits. It's enough to take down my precious cortex. Now I can't drago-bomb anymore. Damn. He chooses to have Sorscha use icy grip on the lone Uhlan that couldn't yoyo back, freezing them in place. Now they're useless.

Turn 5
-I don't upkeep HOF on the Uhlans. Drago walks up and beats Spriggan. It's nothing at this point but at least he still has one functional arm. Suddenly I see an assasination vector. I charge a widowmaker near Markov and then cast HOF on markov. Markov charges into Sorscha who is woefully undefended. It was a good thing Markov couldn't yoyo just now after killing Aiyana and Holt. He hits on impact, and it hurts. I roll on blasting pike and I roll 6,6,6,2 thanks to hand of fate. Drop the lowest but Sorscha is still gibbed. Plus I haven't rolled for the blast damage yet. 

Thoughts on game
Well, that was a lucky break. It would have been a MUCH easier time taking Conquest against this army but I didn't want to be stuck with Vlad3 in the last round because he doesn't work so well against some armies... Still, I manage to eke out a win because my opponent managed to leave his warcaster undefended enough. He chose to move his Spriggan up to try and freeze my Uhlans again. Because they're frozen when they activate, they can't move. And if they end their activation near the Spriggan, they get frozen again so Sorscha can freezing grip them again with impunity. -_- CHEEEESE.

Although Markov's success in the end makes me wonder if I shouldn't be spreading out my Uhlans a bit more, sacrificing that +2 arm from base to base contact for more charge vectors.

It's at this point we break for a quick lunch.


Round 3
This is it, the final round. I've managed to advance this far but will I prevail? SPOILERS:NO.

Holy crap is the first thing I think when I see the army arrayed against me. It's 2 devastators with 2 jacks. How am I supposed to punch through that much armor?? In the end I decide to go with Conquest against this list. 

We play scenario 11; Bunkers and I go first.

Khador
Harkevich
-Conquest
-Sylyss

Winterguard with UA
Mechanics
Koldun Lord
Aiyana and Holt

Khador
eButcher
-Devastator (BinkiBump)
-Devastator (BinkiBall)
-Juggernaut
-Destroyer

Mechanics with UA
Ogrun Bokur

This is a LOT of Armor >_<

Turn 1
-Escort on Harkevich, Fortune on Conquest. I charge up. Everything else moves up. I advance so that I'm spread out evenly in case his destroyer decides to shoot randomly

+ Everything of his charges up. Including Butcher

Turn 2
-I move 1 winterguard into the zone to act as bait. I try to space them out as evenly as possible but it's not possible to calculate all the vectors but I think I can manage to minimise my loss in case of berserk butcher. I try to shoot the Jacks and I succeed but do not crit. A few rolls from my linked guns fall onto the mechanics and kill some of them.
+He feats and charges the winterguard and kills 3 of them with ravager on. However, he's now within shooting range. A devastator charges and fails charge. But then he uses the rage tokens from the feat to give the devastator a free move which he uses to beat my warcaster. He doesn't do much but it's enough. 

Turn 3
-I try and shoot Butcher with the WG but fail to kill him. 9 winterguard shoot him when he's dry on focus but he's still left with 5 hp. Ugh. I then try to shoot him with the jack and broadsides but I fail to hit. Even with fortune on and a boosted attack during Conquest's own activation. I then try and beat the devastator away with beat back and block it with Mechanics but I forget one very crucial factor of eButcher. Don't ever try and block charge lanes. It doesn't work.
+Yep, I was perfectly out of range of him but with ravager on and the mechanics, he manages to reach Harkevich and kill him.

Thoughts on game
Hmm, I really played this one wrongly. Instead of sending Conquest to deal with the jacks, I should have had Conquest camp my own objective because controlling requires the whole of 1 unit to be within the area and sending the whole WG there is like...a free meal for Butcher. However, contesting an area only needs 1 model so I could have just had any 1 WG contest his area every turn. 

That and I really really shouldn't blocked his charge lane with mechanics. I should have just taken the extra beating from the Devastator or tried to critical stalled him so he lost initial attacks. Or killed it with Conquest. I guess I got greedy when I saw he only had 5 hp left. 

Ah well, so close yet so far away -_- At least my opponent then became grand overall champion so I don't feel so bad.

On the other hand, one of our own from Singapore managed to clinch Best General so that's not too bad. 

Thoughts on tournament
Well, I enjoyed the tournament and the door prizes, but I did feel there were a few things that could have been improved. Just two issues really. The first was the strange scoring system. I could understand being given points for assassination or scenario points but deducting points because I had some non-warcaster/warlock models within 12" of my deployment zone just seemed weird. Especially since everytime they were Mechanics or Sylyss; none of which are front line units. This was one score I felt could have been done away with. 

There was also the matter of the terrain on the table. What I felt weird was that the tournament organiser wanted players to sort it out between themselves on what terrain was what type of terrain at the beginning of the match. This resulted in one case where a river feature which was supposed to be ornamental ended up being declared as rough terrain in one game. I'm not saying that's wrong since rivers ARE rough terrain in the game but this confusion could have been dealt with if the TOs had just listed what was what for every table. Could even have made a list and put it on the table. 

Lastly, the tournament was too short. But that's my own personal opinion. We could have gladly gone for one more round ;-). 

But overall, it was a good tournament. I think almost everyone had fun and that was what they set out to achieve. 

For more information or photos, please check out https://www.facebook.com/groups/wmmalaysia/