Monday, 23 March 2015

“The Thunder Builds”

My Darksphere Tournament write up.

Ok first a massive well done to Pete and Darksphere for putting on a truly excellent tournament. What a great turn out – 18 players I think. 

The tables were pretty good and the crews pretty varied.
I turned up with an air of excitement and an almost painted 10 Thunder Crew. As usual I stuck to mostly the same crew no matter what the strategy, scheme or opponent. This worked better for me than I expected.

Game 1: vs Guild. I ran Yan Lo, Chiakia, Soul Port, Yin the Panagalan, Izamu, 1 Low River Monk, Two Ten Thunder Brothers and a Katanaka Sniper (I think. My memory is a bit rusty). It was an interesting slug fest. Unexpectedly my “Fat Brother with Da Hammer” held up the Judge, and various others in CC for a ridiculous number of turns. That meant I sneaked home with a 5-4 win and a sense of utter surprise. Time was a serious factor in this game.

Game 2: vs Outcast Friekorp. I ran Yan Lo, Chiakia, Soul Port, Yin the Panagalan, Izamu, Toshiro, Two Ashigaru and a Katanaka Sniper. I deployed badly but played a bit of a mobile game, which my opponent hadn’t expected from Yan Lo and he found interesting. Unfortunately he had just finished a few games against Yan Lo and was co-writing a tactica on him, so he probably knew my crew better than me! Von Schill killed off Izamu in one turn, and Lazarus killed off Toshiro in the same turn giving him a VP for reckoning from my two toughest. I wasted Yin by going to another corner to get a VP for power ritual instead of actually using her to get stuck in and do some damage to the Freikorp. I lost this game quite badly, but I really enjoyed it as my opponent was a good laugh as well as a good player.

Game 3: vs Rasputina. I’ve always struggled against Raspy so I was a little nervous going into the game. I ran Yan Lo, Chiakia, Soul Port, Yin the Panagalan, Izamu, 2 Monks of the Low River, Two Ashigaru and a Katanaka Sniper. Time was a big factor, and some giant purple monster (snow storm?) smashed Izamu to pieces easily. Luckily this game I seemed to remember how to use Yan Lo himself, so I managed to get Lightning Dance going to keep pulling Rasputina’s crew away from scheme markers to make firmly claim Squatters Rights. At the end we got time called on us and had a reached a well deserved draw.

I walked away with a win, loss and draw so I was very, very pleased. Winning a game is a once in a blue moon event for me, so this felt like a really good result.

Things that I learned

General stuff. Keep focused on the time. Don’t over think things. Learn you crew cards. I’m still struggling with this, but I am getting to the stage where I know what Yan Lo can do. I’m still not quite at the fully memorised stage, but I’m getting closer. Keeping an eye on the time means that if you are using a game plan that calls for a late break for VPs, say bodyguard, assassinating a weakened master etc, then you have to up the pace of the game and keep it going.
I kept my cards in a large magic style folder and in plastic sleeves. That meant I could find them easily, and then mark wounds/conditions on them. I kept track of things very easily giving me more time to play the game. A pack of sleeves and dry erasable markers is under £5 so everyone should grab them and stop mucking about with dice on cards for wounds etc.

Next time I’ll photo my crews at the start of the game to make sure I remember what’s what for the write ups.

Yan Lo stuff
I learned that lightning dance and good positioning are key with Yan Lo. He isn’t fantastically mobile and works better not having to run round repositioning. I didn’t get to do any spirit buffing, which is a pity, but his Spirit Ascendent giving him incorporeal is worth its weight in gold. In future games I’ll keep him back bit more whilst he is powering up and only start throwing him out into the meat grinder in Turns 4 &5. 

The Ten thunders Brothers were a little bit tricky to use. They survive fairly well, and are fantastic fun but they suffer from a lack of armour or hard to kill and aren’t the fastest scheme runners. They do a great job of scheme marker protecting so I might start using some Torakage to drop the markers, then push the Borthers up to hold them. 

All in all, a great day, learned lots and had a blast!

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