Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Battle Tour Continues

Just look for the great big hammer. 
Thanks to a scheduling snafu that moved my family's Father's Day dinner to the week after Father's Day, I had the chance to travel to Games and Stuff for a 50 pointer.  GNS is the last of the stores in my extended gaming area to get crossed off my list and it made quite an impression.  It's a two story affair with the shop on the bottom and a big gaming room on top.  They posted a pic of the action this past weekend that showcases this humble author while also showing off the room, which is second only to Game Vault in terms of sheer playing space.  This upstairs space is apparently undergoing renovation but was still the nicest play space I've frequented so far.  I didn't have a lot of time to browse on the way out, so I concentrated my attention on the Warmahordes section and Legion stuff in particular.  They may not have had one of everything in the line on the wall, but it was close enough for me, and it looked like every other faction was represented just as well.  My only real complaint about the store is that it's quite a drive, but that's a small issue.  If you're in the area stop by and check it out.  Enough of the plugs, on with the show.

As noted above, this was a 50 point SR 2012 event with no reinforcements and deathclocks.  Because there wasn't enough time to get all the required rounds in to determine standings in the usual way before the store closed, there was a slight twist to the final rankings in that they would be determined by army points destroyed (after the usual first step of wins).  While this might have influenced my army composition under ideal circumstances, the way it turned out was that I showed up at GNS and had to tweak a second list to accompany my usual Absylonia tier 4.  In case you've forgotten, that Aby list is:
Absylonia, Terror of Everblight  +5 points
* Angelius  8 points
* Carnivean  10 points
* Ravagore  9 points
* Scythean  8 points
* Seraph  7 points
* 3x Shredder  2 points each

Shepherd  1 point
3x The Forsaken  2 points each

And the other list, pVayl, is as such:

Vayl, Disciple of Everblight  +6 points
* Carnivean  11 points
* Nephilim Bolt Thrower  6 points
* Ravagore  10 points
* Scythean  9 points
* Shredder  2 points
* Typhon  12 points

2x Shepherd  1 point each
2x The Forsaken  2 points each

Once again I ran two lists that were basically the same, except this time it was beasts instead of infantry like the Dream Wizards tournament.  I wasn't as worried about this as heavy lists seem to deal with their counters better than infantry lists do.  Plus I got into Legion to run beasts, so I don't feel too bad about it.  On to the show!

Before things went to crap.
My first round opponent was Steven and his Menites.  My first blunder of the day occurred during the list selection phase.  I saw Steven had pKreoss as one of his lists, but forged ahead with Aby anyway.  (pKreoss is a pretty hard counter to Aby with Purification stripping all her free upkeeps.)  He made the wise choice and went with Kreoss (with Reckoner, Vanquisher, Redeemer, full Errant deathstar, max Zealotrs with UA, Choir, Vassal, probably some other stuff).  The scenario had two objectives per side, with the second appearing after the first was destroyed (I forget the name now).  While I scored the first point for knocking the first objective out relatively quickly, Steven dealt me a strong knock on the chin early on when he killed my Angelius, something I'm never prepared for with Aby as DEF 17/ARM 18 on a no knock-downs beast seems nigh unassailable.  I made a pretty mess of his Errants, he shelled me with the Vanquisher and Redeemer while we traded blows in the center, but the real coup came when he destroyed my first objective.  When it popped, it did so in the middle of the Zealots (which I had been neglecting as irrelevant) who nearly destroyed it as soon as it appeared.  I made a desperate push to clear them out as my objective had only a couple boxes left, but I couldn't finish them off and my second objective got blown up soon afterwards.  When I couldn't finish off the Zealots I made sure to kill as much other stuff as possible to maximize my AP destroyed, though I ended up taking not quite half of the points on offer.  I felt I had a strong(ish) position for much of the game, loss of the Angelius aside, but my plan for the scenario was flawed and Steven had a much better approach.  Once again I learned that you have to have a (solid) plan for objective scenarios.

Round two I faced Johnathan and his Cryx list.  I use list instead of lists because he ran only one: Scaverous with all the usual Cryx trimmings (Bane Knights, Tartarsauce, Bile Thralls, Withershadow, Warwitch Sirens, a smattering of heavies and arc nodes).  Upon seeing just the one list I felt pretty good about the matchup, despite having not played against Scaverous before, but as we were setting up Johnathan started musing about the interaction between Telekinesis, Excarnate, and Bile Thralls.  This is some higher level tech (to me at least), so as the game started I was wary of dirty Cryx tricks.  Our scenario was one of the non-scenarios (two zones right on top of each other, take the far zone), so it was a pretty straight fight.  You can see in the picture that Johnathan had a big obstruction in the middle of the table just ahead of his deployment zone which hampered his first turn movement a bit.  He built on this unfortunate start by forgetting to activate pieces and suffering from some of the worst dice I've ever seen.  This game became a rout quickly, so much so that I scored a point by claiming the far zone.  Despite being nearly tabled at the end (only a Skarlock escaped my wrath), Johnathan was upbeat the entire time and seemed to be enjoying himself (as much as possible under the circumstances).  I've never seen a display of sportsmanship like it before so I'll again doff my cap to him, this time in virtual space.  He didn't use TK until the last turn, never used Excarnate, and took the Wooden Spoon for finishing at the bottom, but he did it all with a smile.  Bravo.

Khador vs Legion again, reversed generals.
Round three was a sort of delayed mirror match.  I played Philip, who you might recall from past tournament recaps.  When I finally found the venue and parked in a nearby garage I wasn't sure that I was in the right place, but after looking at the car next to me and seeing Philip in it I figured I was where I should be.  I knew he was playing pButcher and Old Witch from our between rounds chatting, so I was surprised to see the Butcher list already on the table when I moved my stuff (which took longer than it should have since I forgot my box lid transport).  While seeing Orsus glaring at you from across the table is never pleasant, I knew what he did far better than the many tricks Zevana has up her sleeves, so I was happy enough with the setup.  As with the previous two rounds I went with Aby while Philip had the Behemoth, Nyss Hunters with Valachev, max Kayazy, the Great Bears, Widowmakers, Sylyas, Saxon Orrick, a dismountable Drakhun, Koldun Lord, and (I think) Aiyana & Holt tagging along with the Butcher.  (As an aside, the blue primer you see above distracted me the whole game as it's the exact color of the Orks from the old Space Marine [aka Epic] box.  Every time I saw one of those models it reminded me of ancient Ork battlewagons.)  Continuing the mirror trend we played the same scenario we played the first time around, with Khador again having the first turn.  Philip hung back a bit on the first turn, as did I, and then popped his feat in the second turn.  This was a curious move as he only got 3-4 swings off with it since most of his stuff was out of range.  Granted those couple swings were with Nyss Hunters under Fury (POW 14 charging Weapon Masters hurt), but it's a gross understatement to say Philip didn't get the most use out of his feat.  With the threat of an extra die gone early on, I took my time dismantling his army.  Sprays, AoEs, and Forsakens took care of the infantry while Aby locked the Behemoth down with Blight Field.  I was able to park the Angelius next to a wall to crank it up to DEF Ridiculous (north of 20) which is a great metaphor for my approach post-feat: cautious.  Philip is a good player so I made sure to keep Aby covered and not over-extend myself.  I scored a point by taking the left zone, then cordoned off the remaining Khador forces before getting an assassination off with the Scythean.  This game was decided by the too-early feat but otherwise was a near-twin of our first game as Legion steamrolled the Motherland's infantry to put a stranglehold on the game.  I added another bucket of AP to my haul from the second round to get over 100 for the day, which was a decent percentage of the 180 possible considering I'd lost the first round.

At the end of the day we had a clear winner as only one person went undefeated.  I took second by virtue of AP destroyed, a condition I'd kept in mind throughout the day, and bagged $40 worth of store credit as a result.  This came in the form of an actual gift card instead of the usual "tell the guy at the counter," so I could have held onto it until I had more time to browse around, but we ended earlier than I anticipated and I had a good 45 minutes before the store closed.  Since the store was a good distance away and I didn't know when I'd make the drive up again I used it then on Annyssa, Rhyas, and a blister of Acolyths to bring my Spawning Pot to full.  In retrospect I should have gone with a heavy beast kit instead of Annyssa as I won't be getting Raptors any time soon, but you can't argue with free.  While I had to carry the Nomad banner alone, I managed a good showing and got rid of some of the bad mojo from my Dream Wizards showing.  With another event (a 42 pointer...) coming up in about a month I'll have a chance to finish reversing the trend by taking a victory in Virginia's hat.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds cool. I would've liked to be there, but the wife asked me to stay home. Maybe next time you make it up, or maybe i'll make it down to one in your neck of the woods.

    There is another store that just opened in the area, Dropzone Games, but they don't have any tournaments on the schedule yet. Keep an eye out, The owner runs a good shop.