UK Nationals 2014 – Day 2

Wake up not so fresh Sunday morning. Goal is to get that one more win and finish at least 4-3 for the weekend.

Game 5 – Phil Manwaring

Xerxis vs Syntherion in Fire Support

Neither of us are surprised at the choice of drops and get right into the game, myself winning the roll to go first.

Turn 1, I put Defenders Ward on the Cetrati and run everything up. Phil advances more cautiously and has Syntherion Boost a Magnetic Grip on my Cetrati which hits and makes me sad.

Turn 2, so my Cetrati are pretty much useless now. Theres a forest right in the center of the board and they can Sheild Wall 3″ if I put Overcome on them. I decide to force the issue and get myself some board space. The Cetrati get Overcome and run up as a sacrifice. The rest of my army follows with some Incindiarii firing random shots to try and set Optifex on fire.

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On Phils turn he pops his Feat and starts charging. Unfortunately both Diffusers fluff their Ripspikes so he doesn’t get the extra charge distance he needs, his Cipher no being out of range, and one even fails the melee attack. With only one point in Synergy he charges the Prime Axiom in and kills five Cetrati. On the right side his Modulator and Assimilator fire shots to kill a couple of Incindiarii, Ground Pound spreading the damage out.

Turn 3, since Phils Feat turn fell apart  with the bad dice he had, I was a lot better off than I had orginally planned for. I had Xerxis Feat and put Fury on Arcuarii which charged into the PA and took it down to 2 boxes. Two more Arcuarii finished the PA off. I cleaned up the two Diffusers and set some Arcuarii into the Modulator and Assimilator to put some damage into them. Xerxis stayed behind the forest safe and sound. Phil has his Cipher charge in and kill a couple Arcuarii, Syntherion starts heading to the right side while the Modulator and Assimilator clear the engaging Arcuarii. Optifex wander around and repair the damaged heavies.

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Turn 4, I have my Arcuarii kill the Cipher and a unit of Incindiarii take the flag for my first CP. On the right side I kill off the Modulator and continue to engage the Assimilator. Phil has Syntherion move closer right and kill the Arcuarii engaging the Assimilator who Ground Pounds again. His Corollary charges up and I think kills a Cataphract but contests the left flag.

Turn 5, I have my Incindiarii and remaining Cetrati hit Phils Corollary putting it on 1box box but end up forgetting about it as the turn goes on so it keeps contesting :(. Xerxis puts Fury on my Arcuarii who charge into Syntherion as there isn’t much else to do. First one hits and deals a few points while the second one…

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… gets quad sixes (SmogCon dice OP!) but Syntherion stays alive since Phil is pretty close to full camp. By this point Syntherion is also on fire but doesn’t take any more damage. Phil keeps having Syntherion and his Assimilator kill whatever they can.

Turn 6, Xerxis finishes off the Corollary and camps the flag. I have Arcuarii charge into Syntherion again and manage to take him down.

I think I forgot a turn somewhere in there, but it wasn’t too important. Overall the game went pretty damn good for me. Phils poor Feat turn pretty sealed his fate as I think that turn he had to get a lot done or he wouldn’t be able to keep up later on. Sacrificing my Cetrati helped quite a bit as they were never going to get any work done so buying me more board space was more important so I could push the scenario. I’d like to give Phil another game sometime when the dice aren’t quite so fail.

Game 6 – Ben De Bosdari

Xerxis vs pThags in Outflank

I played Ben in the 2013 UK Nationals and won due to some ‘interesting’ dice from Ben (Sythean not finishing a 1/3rd health Gladiator). Rematch time! Ben has had good runs since I last saw him, I remember him qualifying and placing well at the SmogCon Masters earlier in the year. It was nice to play Ben again, I chatted to him occassionally during the weekend and some other events down south. He had a choice between Saeryn and pThags but opted for pThags as it had worked against Gavs Fist (the Molik/Gladiator version) on Saturday. My choice was much easier Xerxis or Mordikaar. I loose the roll off and go second.

Turn 1, Ben runs his army up the board aggressively. I do the same with mine despite being worried about the Warspears as I need to get into the zones before he clears them.

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Turn 2, Phil moves his Raptors up to take shots at my Incindiarii dealing a few points and puts a couple Warspears in the left zone and up to the wall. Right side he moves his spears to the other wall and contests the zone. I opt to try clearing the left zone having my Incindiarii Press Foward they use CRAs and pop both contesting Warspears and a Raptor in the zone, one of the Warspears was behind a wall but RAT 12 helps. I score 1CP from the left zone while I have a unit of Arcuarii run/charge into his Warspears to hold them back while other Cataphracts take cover in the forest and contest.

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Turn 3, Ben moves up and clears the jamming Arcuarii on the right side with his Warspears he also gets one of the cataphracts contesting in the forest. A Carnivean assaults and gets a spray kill on the last contesting model and Thags moves into the zone to get Ben his 2CP. Meanwhile on the left side his Raptors move into the zone and fire some shots while his Warspears charge in to kill some two Incindiarii, one critical Warspear contests from behind the wall in the middle of the board. I’m torn between flooding the right zone to stop Ben or trying to win my Scenario faster via the left. I go with the Incindiarii first as they’ve got not much else to do and I manage to eventually kill a Raptor making them fail a command check. I then work on clearing the Warspears but that single spear behind the wall lives on 2hp and I don’t score on my turn. I put as much stuff into the right zone as possible.

Turn 4, Ben starts clearing the right zone, his Warspears charge up but one Warspear misses his only shot at an Arcuarii leaving it to contest the zone for the turn. His Blackfrost shard (two of which had burnt to death earlier, but not the kiss one) threw out a Kiss onto the Cetrati but with Defenders ward it missed. Without the debuff on them the Carnivean and Sythean needing 8’s to hit couldn’t kill all of them and left 2 Cetrati in the zone. I’m still in the game! I clear out the left zone, Xerxis who had run into the left zone the turn before kills the last annoying Warspear and I use my Feat. I kill as many Warspears as I can get and hurt the Carnivean. Midway I stop trying to kill the Carnivean as Ben will Feat it back and send it into the left zone if I do. I make a ring around the left zone to try and stop him from getting anything in while I contest the right.

Turn 5, Ben sucks free strikes on his Carnivean to get it killed. His Sythean kills some more Cataphracts. He tries to do a Charge and Feat but unforunately pThags is too slow and he has nowhere the place the Carnivean that will let it get into the zone. I win on Sceniaro scoring 2CP on Bens turn.

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Ouch, I thought I was done for when that last Warspear wouldn’t die and Ben was ahead on CPs. The one Arcuarii and Fire killing two of the Black Frost Shard so they couldn’t start Ice Cage and Kiss my Cetrati saved me. I’d lobbed four fire shots at the Shard aiming for the Kiss dude but they just scattered on top of his buddies, how wierd! My turn 2 scoring of  1CP also helped to give me the headstart thanks to lucky rolls, getting the needed 8’s on damage to pop two of his Warspears early. Better lucky than good!

I should also attribute some of this success to my games with Ryan and his pThags from a few months ago. I’ve had a few games versus the Thags Warspears and I think its finally sunk in. Thanks to Ben for a great game, i’ll hopefully see him again at one of the future London events. As a bonus I got revenge for his slaying of Master Roath.

Game 7 – Ed Smith

Mordikaar vs pSkarre in Outflank (yes twice in a row)

I count myself lucky drawing Cryx at the end and being locked into Mordikaar I don’t think  I had a chance vs the factions. Ed was nice enough to play Netrunner (the better game at Nationals) with me on Friday and while talking he’d said he be comfortable dropping pSkarre against me and I was up for a new experience (2nd game vs pSkarre ever). I won the dice roll and went first.

Turn 1, Hollow on the Bloodrunners and five Fury goes to the Agonizer. My army runs up shielded from the Raiders by my Bloodrunners. Ed puts Desperate Pace on the Satyxis who charge up and kill four of my Bloodrunners (in hindsight I should have only blocked with 3). Everything else moves up.

Turn 2, the madness takes me. I see Skarre behind a wall camping 2 Focus. I have 11 Fury, CHANCE! I have my Drake spray and kill a Raiders in the way. My Nihilators charge/run to kill some Raiders. One Nihilator and a Bloodrunner get to within 6″ of pSkarre. I Puppet Strings Mordikaar and they explode! I put pSkarre down to 5 boxes, while also killing the Sea Witch. Whelp, at least he isn’t Feating next turn! I have Mordikaar use his Feat this turn while my army wanders up a bit further. Ed throws his Raiders at me while his Witches clean up a few Nihilators. pSkarre heals everything with help from a Necrosurgeon and is miles away near the back of the board. Gorman scatters a Black Oil onto some of my Cetrati. Feat saves me from a lot but was a turn too early.

Turn 3, my Drake looks at a perfect line of five Witches and drools. I Puppet Strings him and he walks up and sprays, three boosts, a hard 8 and a reroll later they’re all dead. I revive two Nihilators which charge in and kill Tarterus, some Raiders and Mechanithralls. The non Black Oiled Cetrati take offence at Gorman and poke him to death. About now I realise i’ve got Mordikaar one 1 Fury in the middle of the board with nothing in front of him. Bad times. Operation Meat Shield begins, Tiberion and my Paingivers move up.

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Eds turn. pSkarre Feats for five and uses Dark Guidance. Stuff charges in. I loose most of my Cetrati and to my horror Tiberion dies to two Bane Thralls. Not as planned. Ed clears the left zone of Nihilators and scores his first CP. Thankfully my Agonizer prevented his Helldiver from being allocated any Focus so it doesn’t rip my Krea a new hole.

Turn 4, not a lot left. Nihilators get Revived and sent to murder some Witches and Mechanithralls. My Drake keeps spraying down onto his Banes but ARM20 is a problem. Vorkesh kills off a Raider and a Thrall but i’m really loosing the right zone. Ed uses Dark Guidance and has his Mechanithrall clear out the right zone while pSkarre stands on a hill near the back to score another 2CP. Agonizer keeps stopping the Helldiver getting any Focus.

Turn 5, its grim. I’ve obviously failed the scenario game so its time to kill pSkarre. My Drake walks up and sprays onto two Banes engaging my Krea. I then clear out or knock down a couple more Banes in the way. My Krea runs up and survives a free strike from a Raider without getting knocked down. Just as planned. Mordikaar gets Puppet Strings and Press Forward. Mordikaar walks 7″ making sure to stay outside of a Raiders Melee ranged and explodes the Krea over pSkarre who I hit despite the hill and luck out on the damage roll with a 15 taking her down to 4 boxes. Mordikaar now fires his gun, misses. I reroll, another miss. Ed Scores his last two CP on my turn as i’m not contesting.

I got wrecked. The pSkarre swarm is horrible! I dont think I should have gone with the turn 2 double Essence Blast onto pSkarre. Maybe just settled for the Sea Witch and revived more Bloodrunners. Feat should have been saved as well as I didn’t need it as much if i’d delayed Skarres Feat. More positively I still had a slim slim chance to kill her which is better than nothing. Mordikaar can really pull it out of his ass on occasion. 10-15% is better than nothing. 100% would have Fisted had I not been locked in. Ed played his list better than I did mine, I could tell that his familiarity with it helping even when I did wierd, silly or just lucky stuff during the game. Like Ben i’ll have to see if I can get another game against him in London. Revenge!

Wrapping up

I finish the tournament 5-2, and place 9th thanks to a good S0S! Glorius! Great Success! The best result I have ever had in a large event like this and i’m even happier it’s at the Nationals.

Only 2nd best Skorne though as Gav Roath took it going 6-1. So I have to call him Master Gav like the dutiful Padawan I am. I however, still claim Master rights over Marc and Owen, those are MY Padawans! Marc should get a special mention for going 5-2 with his Skorne (Legion are shit, don’t bother mate). Thanks again to Gav for the Mordikaar list, even though I failed him, and Mark Whitenstall for our love child the Fist list I used.

Many thanks to all my opponents for some great games over the whole weekend. Same as well to the organisers for giving me a smooth event. I apologise to PJ for calling him “not a proper judge”, I love you really (thank you for keeping me company in game 4). It was nice to see everyone from the UK again, although I was a bit disapointed Adam Bell wasn’t jumping on me every hour like at the ETC. It was lonely sometimes.

I can’t really think of much to improve the event it just worked this time around. I guess tables occasionally being 49″ but I assume that’s a feature of the NWGC.

The next big event for me will hopefully be Frontlines, but before that is the Midlands Steamroller in a couple weeks. I won’t have another post before the WTC so I wish all the best of luck to the Scottish and English teams going.

List changes…

The Fist is going to stay the same, its my comfort list and I need it to be my anchor while I mess around with other Casters. If anyone is wondering why I dropped it vs Matt its party to do with my opponent being Matt but also due to some advice from a certain Overload Online article.

Moving on, i’ll be taking the Krea out of the Makeda2 list and most likely adding in a Drake. I just prefer them more nowadays. I often find myself dropping the Fist vs ranged armies and the Krea gets nothing done so a up to 10″ walk and 8″ boostable spray sounds much better.

Mordikaar… i’ll just have to play him more. Again i’m not fond of the Krea, especially for a Cryx drop, but sometimes you just need it to play into other matchups.

Overall though I think i’ll work more on a proper Legion drop for now as that gives me a lot of headaches. Menoth and Cryx are still problems, i’m thankful I got no Menoth over the weekend, but no one plays either at my club so i’ll put it to the side.

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