Softcore @ Dark Sphere 29th March

So this weekend i’m entering my first ‘Hardcore’ tournament, its run by the Cross Gaming Club in London. The reason for the ‘Softcore’ name was the removal of the painting requirement.

I ran  a Xerxis T2 list (no surprise), the only change being the removal of the Arcidon and a unit of Incindiarii.

Tyrant Xerxis (*5pts)
* Tiberion (11pts)
* Titan Gladiator (8pts)
Cataphract Arcuarii (Leader and 3 Grunts) (5pts)
Cataphract Arcuarii (Leader and 3 Grunts) (5pts)
Cataphract Arcuarii (Leader and 3 Grunts) (5pts)
Cataphract Cetrati (Leader and 5 Grunts) (10pts)
Cataphract Incindiarii (Leader and 3 Grunts) (5pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3pts)
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer (3pts)

I managed a couple games with this vs Ryan just after SmogCon, lost both via assassination to general bad positioning but it wasn’t really due to the turn times which seemed to be ok (until crunch time turn). The list is solid and should be able to deal with just about anything I see, i’d considered using Molik but as I mentioned in a previous post he’s going with Makeda3 and will stay there until unless I drop her which is unlikely atm as she’s a bit to much fun.

I didn’t take my tray up to London as its far to big for 1 list and the train journey. It was intended for 3list Masters events where i’d have a car to lug everything around. I do kind of regret not smashing out a small one out of Formex just to get some practice with the router in but no big deal.

All names are copied exactly as they were from my sheet.

Game 1 – Tom ‘scumbag’ Hutchings

Tom was using Kruger2 and after winning the dice off opted to go first.

Turn 1 – Tom runs his army force up the board while screaming abuse across the table. On my turn I did the usual 7″ Sheild wall advance for the Cetrati and the rest of my army ran forward. The only change was that I opted to put Defenders Ward on Tiberion who I had run into the zone, something I really shouldn’t have done. I left a hole right next to Xerxis but hastily blocked it with a Paingiver.

Turn 2 – Tom put Primal on his Stalker and ported it into Tiberions back arc (no sheild) killing him with the last attack. He then feated with Krueger and ran his Bloodtrackers to block and engage by front line. His Feat only pushed my backline away as I was surrounding Xerxis with 2 lines of Cataphracts, and there wasn’t enough time on the clock for him to do each model individually. On my turn I Feated and cast Defenders ward on Xerxis. My Cataphracts made a few attacks to kill some bloodtrackers and generally walked up further into the zone despite the -2SPD from Kruegers Feat as I had Press Foward. To get rid of Toms Stalker I charged in my TyCom and a Enraged Gladiator, boosting the attack rolls.

Turn 3 -Tom ran more Bloodtrackers in to stop me from moving forward. He ported Ghetorix into my Gladiator and killed it, mainly as i’d neglected to place another model in B2B with it for the +2ARM. On my turn I moved some Cataphracts around to poke Ghetorix and Megalith but derped right at the end when my clock was running down leaving a nice hole in the middle of my army right in front of Xerxis. Tom took the chance on Turn4 and ported Meglaith into Xerxis and even Defenders Ward wasn’t enough as I had no transfer targets so Tom won through assassination.

Not the best finish, I shouldn’t have rushed at the end and just kept Xerxis safe rather than getting a bit of damage onto Megalith, hardcore times are pretty harsh. I at least get frustrate Tom massively as i’d forced him to kill a whole FIVE models before he got to Xerxis, foiling his Mage Hunter aspirations. Keikaku doori.

Keikaku Doori

Game 2 – Marcin Garbino

I played Marcin at SmogCon earlier in one of the 50pt Steamroller qualifiers, just so happened I was also playing Xerxis T2 then but with the Archidon. Today Marcin brought Morvhanna1 aiming for some sort of silly regrowth stone teleport assassation trick :/. Marcin won the roll off and went first.

Turn 1 – Marcin runs everything forward. I used Shield Wall and ran my army up like last time. I did however keep Tiberion a bit further back as I realised last game there was no reason for me to get him into the zone (scoring on turn 2 and all that >.<). As I was vaguely aware of what Marcin wanted to do, mainly because he told me during breakfast, I surrounded Xerxis with another 2 layers of Cataphracts and Defenders Ward.

Turn 2 – Marcin decides to go for it, using his Wolds to shoot a couple Arcuarii to make space. He then moves his Druids up to try and Forcebolt some more space but misses one attack. Ghetto ports in to kill a Cetrati but in the end has 4 attacks to Xerxis’s 3Fury+Defenders Ward. To make things worse Marcin misses three of them so i don’t even need to transfer. From then as most of his army is very far forward to enable his Assassination I move up into the zone and grind him out winning the game on Assassination since Marcin only had Morvhanna left.

So I took to heart what happened in game 1, and if he can’t kill my Caster then his chances were pretty slim as my army massively out attritions his.

Game 3 – Matt Townsend

So like every other tournament we’ve ever been in together we get paired up >.< my eternal nemesis! Matt brought a Gaspy3 list wildly different from his normal one, Banez!

Turn 1 – Defenders Ward goes on the Cetrati and everything runs up the board. Matt also runs up while spreading his force out as i’ll be lobbing fire at him soon enough.

Turn 2 – My Incindiarii walk up and fire some shots into his Banez and between the four of them they get kill one and set five on fire, not bad! I walk my Cetrati up into the zone leaving a gap behind them so that Tibbers can toe into the zone as well as kill whatever might get into my Cetrati. The rest of my army follows up just behind to avoid a Bane charge. Matt has Tarterus curse my Cetrati and charges in a few banes killing a couple of Cataphracts. Near the end turn Matt moves Gaspy into the zone and pops his Feat.

Turn 3 – So from where Matt placed Gaspy I considered going for an assassination if I could Drag him into my lines using my Arcuarii, ARM24 persuades me not to. Regardless I move my Arcuarii and Incindiarii to shoot some more Banez. I also manage to get one into his bonechicken finishing it off. By Matts turn 3 he’s down nearly all of his Banez which leaves him with mainly his Jacks (he’d taken Erebus and Deathjack) which weren’t going to do the job against my 20ish remaining Cataphracts as well as both Heavies. He started to go for an assassination on Xerxis using Deathjack to cast Boneshaker on Xerxis but realised it wasn’t going to happen so Deathjack just squished a couple Cataphracts. Gaspy walked up to kill a Cetrati and Blood Boon Carnage and Tarterus threshered into two more, his remaining Banez charged into kill another Cetrati and Arcuarii.

Turn 4 – Matt had left Gaspy well within charge range of Tiberion but there were a few Banez in the way, I decide to go for it anyway and with the help of Martial Discipline movement clear the Banez out and open a charge lane for Tibbers. I run a Incindiarii up to Gaspy so that Xerxis, who Feated can walk up and Combo Smite it into Gaspy to knock him down. Tibbers charges in and with five attacks at dice -4 puts Gaspy down on the 4th attack.

VICTORY! Matt definately didn’t have the an ideal list to take on mine as he was lacking the numbers. While he had the focused power through Deathjack, Erebus and the Cankerworm the sheer number of Catapracts means he can’t get enough of them to stop me using a Feat counterattack. The change in list and faster times definately got to him as he had the Withershadow but with the clock counting down forgot to strip defenders ward of with Admonia possibly netting him another Cetrati or two. Regardless, i’ll take any win I can get off Matt :3

Game 4 – Craig McGregor

I’ve played Craig a couple times now, once at a CGC tournament in the old Dark Sphere shop and then at the London Team Tournament. The first was Saeryn vs pHex (not good) then pThags tier vs Xerxis tier (good). Today would be eVayl vs Xerxis, I manage to win the roll off and go first.

Turn 1 – Defenders Ward on the Cetrati and run my entire army up /yawn. Craig chooses not to put on his upkeeps and instead purifies DefWard and boosts an Obliterate into my Cetrati killing one right away. He runs the rest of his army up, his two angels moving into a forest to my left outside of the zone. His Ravagore pops a shot into a cluster of Arcuarii killing one and setting a couple more on fire. With boosted damage rolls and the subsequent fire he gets two more.

Turn 2 – I move into the right side of the zone so I can avoid his Angels, my Incindiarii fire some shots into his Legionaires killing one and setting another on fire. I’d totally forgot they had Vengeance :/. I also managed to luck out and get fire onto Vayl who had zero Fury from last turn, unfortunately it goes out, why!? Craig uses Vayl to Purify again and something else but I forget. His Ravagore does it again blasting out three Cataphracts with boosted damage and fire, I start to consider spreading out but I don’t want Xerxis to get Assassinated. His Legionaires and Sythean all charge into my Cetrati and Tiberion killing two more Cetrati and getting Tibbers down to 10 boxes but lucking out with all Spirals intact.

Turn 3 – When charging into my Craigs Legionaires just about gave me a perfect trample line for my Gladiator and I decide to go for it after measuring my Control Area. Xeris puts Rush up on my Gladiator and off he goes, his back end being just over the last Legionaire, and I pick up six of them. With the Legionaires mostly gone I start working towards clearing the rest of the zone as they aren’t sucking up a large number of my attacks anymore. My Arcuarii to the left kill Craigs Afflictor and an Incubi while my Cetrati Shield Wall up the zone a bit more and finish off the Legionaires. I then Enrage Tiberion to go kill his Sythean which it ‘kind of’ does, in a extremly derpy chain of events I first of all assume that Tiberion charges 9″ even though it doesn’t have rush so I move him 2″ backwards and roll the three attacks to kill the Sythean and pass the turn to Craig before checking that Tiberion is actually 1mm outside of Xerxis’s Control Area so I have to ask Craig to put the beasty back.

facepalm-picardSo on Craigs turn he finishes off Tibbers with his Sythean and Vayl Feats to Obliterate more of my Cataphracts. His Ravagore goes in to try and finish my Gladiator but leaves it with one box left, then spending a silly amount of his time to finish it off as his dice just wouldn’t work (like a charging Shepard who rolled a 12 on damage needing 13s). Running out of time Craig moved onto his Refuged Angel but timed out before being able to get away.

Turn 4 – I have no beasts left but thats ok! Xerxis puts Defenders Ward on himself and Feats. My Cataphracts start charging and killing everything left in the zone so I dominate and deal 7 damage to Vayl. On Craigs turn he uses his Angel to kill a few Cataphracts with Overtake but we end the game with dice down.

So I win the last game by cheating like a boss, I don’t need measuring tapes or rules! Thanks to Craig for the game and being nice enough let my idiotic plays go. I’ve played against Ryans eVayl with Xerxis before and he uses a heavier hitting version which Xerxis still smashed through so I definately had an advantage there.

Conclusions?

Cheat MOAR!

I ended up 3-1 and pretty happy, wish I hadn’t derped in game 1 but hardcore is what it is. The scenario definately worked in my favor forcing my opponent to dedicate his army to the zone, not something you want to do against Xerxis.

 

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