Thursday, 2 July 2015

Summer Showdown Tournament Report

Well after almost 3 months since my last event (name it) I finally was back in a tournament. This was also the first tournament I had done since finishing painting Zoraida and Pandora so for the first time I was going into the event with more than just one master (Dreamer) to choose from. Was really looking forward to the added tactical choices this entailed. Also since the strategies weren’t pre-announced I would have to be making quick choices. My goal for the day was to use at least two different masters and get four good games in. After not being in a proper event in a while I was too rusty to worried about placing (although obviously I was hoping to do well)

Game 1: Reckoning (Standard) vs Lee Walstow
Plant Evidence
Deliver the Message


My List:
Pandora with On Wings of Darkness, Fugue State, Box Opens
Primordial Magic
Nekima with Fears Given Form
Coppelius with On Dreaming Wings
7 Stones

His List:
Jacob Lynch with Endless Hunger, Woke up with a Hand and On Wings of Darkness
Hungering Darkness with Fears Given Form
2 Illuminated
Stitched Together
2 Terror Tots

I took Plant Evidence and Breakthrough announced (as did opponent). Game 1 Ended up being my only game of the day where I face someone I hadn’t played against previously. Lee was a fantastic opponent and it was an incredibly tightly fought game. He was heavily out activating me so I thought I needed to be aggressive. I decided to use Pandora and Nekima to try to lock up and kill the core of his list while Coppelius and Silurid completed my schemes and Doppelganger teamed up with the Primordial Magic to counteract his scheme running by passing out insignificant. I threw Pandora into his crew in turn one and managed to hurt the and insight his beckoner so by turn 2 I would be able to start denying card draw via woke up with a hand. Pandora got charged by Huggy but managed to cheat in a 13 to get pushed out of range.

Turn two Pandora killed off Huggy and finished off the Beckoner pushed herself towards Lynch. Nekima managed to kill off a Stitched but not before it severe damaged her with Gamble. This at least scored me a point for Reckoning. 2 Illuminated and Lynch managed to team up to kill of Nekima with some nice severe damage flips. I’d also burnt through 4 or 5 stones by the end of turn two on damage prevention. Pandora having to take two damage from Lynch when she cheated to hit him really hurt me. My Primordial magic also managed to make his one terror tot insignificant and doppelganger and Coppelius broke through to start laying down scheme markers as my left flank was open with the death of Huggy/Beckoner. Unluckily I had nothing that could stop his terror tot on my right flank from starting to lay down markers too.

Turn 3 Pandora activated first to try to take out Lynch before she died (she was on 4 wounds at this point and I only had a couple stones left). Sadly he managed to cheat the red Joker in to make one of my attacks miss. This left Lynch with 3 wounds left. I could take him down to one wound and push out of combat with insight since I had the 13 of tomes in hand so it wasn’t awful yet. Then I blackjokered insight… sigh. Pandora actually did managed to survive the turn by making my opponent miss and pushing away with her trigger. But I was in trouble at this point. Doppelganger, Silurid and Coppelis were getting loads of markers down but there was very little I could do to stop my opponent from doing the same. Primordial magic pulled huge weight this game, surviving two turns of combat from a tot and shots from 2 illuminated. Also managed to make one of those illuminated insignificant.

Turn 4 Pandora was killed by Lynch and things started looking bad. Turn 5 my opponent managed to kill off the primordial magic and Coppelius which basically ended the game in a draw since neither of us could remove enough scheme markers to stop the other from getting 6 scheme points. In the end it was a 7-7 Draw. We each scored 6 for schemes and 1 for strategy. This was my first ever draw in an event. I thought at least it would lead to an easier game two draw. Then I found out that Panzer and Dave Hill had also had a 7-7 draw. But it turns out I played neither of them, instead playing James Reeves game two (who was on 1 win). Also game 1 was the continuation of a tournament trend of me being on a table directly beside Panzer but never actually playing him (this continued throughout the day).

Game 2: Turf War (Corner) vs James Reeves
Protect Territory
Frame for Murder
Make Them Suffer
My List:
Pandora with Aether Connection, Cry for Me, Box Opens
Primordial Magic
Nekima with Fears Given Form
Widow Weaver
The Depleted
7 Stones

His List:
Tara with Eternal Journey, Knowledge of Eternity, Scramble
Strongarm Suit with Scout the Field
Gracie with Oathkeeper
Void wretch (should have had 2)
Hans with Scout the Field

Crew declaration was a big surprise in this game. James had only ever seen me play Dreamer and I know he had been playing just Levi in the last few events we were at together. So it was a shock to both of us that it ended up being Tara and Pandora. I was very excited to see his crew list since Pandora does a great job messing with Tara by stopping her from reactivating and he had big hitters that were perfect Pandora targets in the Strong Arm and Gracie. That being said, I really struggled with what scheme to take other than protect territory. I built the list to do Make Them Suffer but with him only taking one void wretch I didn’t think it would be worth taking as it would take far too long to catch a void wretch that would just spend the game running away. I also didn’t have a great frame for murder target (plus I hate that scheme), debated putting it on Nekima but I didn’t really want to let her drop (plus there was no way I was going to get more than 2vp for it). I settled on Assassinate since Tara is one of the easiest masters to kill (if you can catch her) and she would be forced to come into the turf war circle to score points if I could finish off enough of his models. I knew there was a decent chance I wouldn’t be able to score assassinate so my main goal would be to win the strategy.

The game started with me aggressively moving my models to hold the center and be able to threaten anything of his that came close. Waldgeist took 1 damage from a hans sniper shot and he buried Gracie with Tara and moved things into position with Johana and Strong Arm threatening the turf war bubble for turn 2. Turn 2 I made Johana go first (by insighting her turn 2) and then after she had advance to get to the turf war circle I put her on negative wp flips with Cry for Me and charged her with Pandora killing her. And giving up 3vp for frame for murder. Crap. Knowing how difficult assassinate would be to get and how easy it was to score Protect territory I realized I would have to dominate the strategy to win this game. Also by killing Johana I unburied a fast Gracie in the turf war bubble and right up in Pandora’s face. I managed to make her miss with her first attack and push away and then she charged and reactivated herself. Burned through a stone of two on prevention flips. Then on her reactivate I managed to push away again and he decided not to walk back into combat as it would have taken him out of the turf war circle. Hans took another pot shot at someone. Tara ran away a bunch to stay away from Nekima, void wretch hid and Strong Arm moved into edge of turf war bubble. Most of my guys just moved into scoring position in the center. Nekima double walked and was in range for a single attack on strong arm. I stoned for the trigger I wanted and hit strong arm, doing min dmg 4 and making him take a wp test or get pushed 4” in a direction of my choice. He failed and I pushed him out of the turfwar circle (but still in combat with me, forgetting that he can charge while in combat so it didn’t matter that much).

So after turn 2 I was down 3-1 but with a decent chance to hold him out of turf war if he insisted on keeping tara and void wretch hidden (since he didn’t know if I had MTS or assassinate). Pandora tried to hunt down Tara but Tara managed to escape (since she was WP 7 or 8 against casting action) and continued to run away (although at least I was denying reactivate with insight). His strongarm charged Nekima but she managed to take it on the chin and kill the strong arm in response. Widow weaver and doppelganger (copying widow weaver) took some pot shots at gracie to try and weaken her. Turn 4 Nekima failed to kill Hans (due to poor flips) but had him down to 2 wounds. Pandora killed the void wretch and did started to try and chase tara. Widow weaver shot gracie, red jokered damage taking gracie down to hard to kill. Luckily she was within 6” of Pandora so she lost the last wound for failing a wp duel. I also got all my needed protect territory markers down and sent doppelganger to hunt down tara.

Tara managed to escape again turn 5 and place a marker for protect territory before I turned her insignificant with the primordial magic (so she couldn’t get a second one down as I didn’t manage to deny reactivate). I couldn’t kill her but she couldn’t score any more points.  Game ended in a 7-4 victory for me since I couldn’t kill off Tara. Another great game vs James who has to be one of my favorite opponents on the tournament scene. This was also a decider game for us as we had each won a game against the other previously. Knowing that Dave and Panzer also won I knew I would prob be facing one of them in the next game.

Game 3: Squatters Rights (Standard) vs Dave Hill
Protect Territory
Spring the Trap

Part way through turn 1

My List
The Dreamer with Aether Connection, Dreams of Pain, Otherworldly
3 Daydreams
Teddy with Retribution’s Eye
Doppelganger with Mimic’s Blessing
2 Waldgeists
7 Stones

His List
Somer Teeth Jones with Family Tree and Can of Beans
Burt Jebsen
2 Rooster Riders
3 Bayou Gremlins
Two stuffed piglets
Slop Hauler

Dave it was. For the third game in a row I would be directly beside Panzer but not against him which became the running joke of the day for us. This was gonna be a tough game. I have very little experience playing against Gremlins, including none against rooster riders, summoning Somer engine, or Pigapult and Dave is a top player who’s beaten me with my own master (Dreamer) in a mirror match at my 2nd tournament pack in 2014. Also there was no good second scheme for me in this matchup as LITS is tough against Gremlins and two of the other schemes required me getting to Somer early-ish in the game. Also Outflank is probably my least favourite scheme in the game as it is so easy to deny. Dave took protect territory and LITS announced. I took Protect territory announced and spring the trap.

I probably overcompensated for the pigapult as I didn’t realize it really only had two good shots in it since he couldn’t summon any piglets or stuffed piglets and it worked to make me play more conservatively than I should have. I aggressively moved Teddy up the board to try to take out early, but a red jokered damage flip and a severe damage flip killed him off in turn 1. Not a great start as it meant I lost my only heavy hitting piece that could function away from Dreamer. Also one of his Rooster riders charged and killed a summoned insidious madness. He also managed to get two squatters markers flipped and summon 3 bayou gremlins. I moved everything forward slightly, ran the waldgeists up on the centreline to tie up 3 of the markers and get ready to flip them turn 2, and summoned two insidious madnesses and Lilitu.

Turn 2 and 3 kind of blur together. I managed to get two markers flipped turn 2 and then lost my central waldgeist to a combination of a rooster rider and burt jebsen. Lilitu managed to kill off one of the rooster riders after luring it away from the waldgeist into combat with her (took her an attack in turn 2 and 3). Chompy Bits came out and killed Burt Jebsen, avenging the death of the waldgeist. Doppelganger ended up in combat with the 2nd rooster rider and a Skeeter but used the rider’s own attack against him and killed him off before getting shot off the board with the pigapult finally. Doppelganger being at –SH from mimic’s blessing before she activated and using her (0) to get –SH after she activated kept her alive for the first few turns but left her exposed turn 3 when she killed off the rooster. My opponent kept summoning bayou gremlins at a rate I couldn’t keep up with and I brought in more insidious madnesses and a couple stitched (who did little before being shot apart by bayou gremlins). With Doppelganger dead I also had very little chance of being able to remove any of his markers (scheme or squatters) to deny him points.

By turn 4 it was clear I was in dire straights despite having taken out his 3 big hitters and the pigapult being out of ammo. I just couldn’t keep up with his numbers and it looked about impossible to get any points from spring the trap. I had my right flank sewn up with a waldgeist guarding a protect territory marker and two squatters markers and an insidious madness out of his range between two protect territory markers. But I only had Lilitu, Dreamer and another insidious madness by Dreamer left. Since he had moved somer up the board turn 3 I thought that If I won initiative turn 4 I would have a chance of using dreamer and the insidious to drop markers and score points for spring the trap (I only needed 2 markers for 3vp). Instead he won initiative, shot dreamer and cheated the Red joker on the damage with thinking Luck, which caused 16 damage, reduced to 8 by incorporeal. Since dreamer only had 4 wounds left at that point even a severe prevention flip couldn’t have saved him. The blast of the attack also killed the madness, leaving me with only lilitu in the thick of it. He also used a bayou gremlin to finally get down his 4th Line in the Sand marker this turn.

Turn 5 was quick as I tried to maneuver a way to get Lilitu to put down a marker for spring the trap and score me a 9-10 loss but we realized her 4” melee range made it impossible for her to be anywhere she could interact. Knowing neither one of us could deny the other any points, the game ended with him winning 10-7. It was a great game, Dave was a great opponent and I learned a lot about gremlins. Mainly I learned to just play my game and try to ignore the pigapult since there is nothing I could do to stop it and it wasn’t a huge factor after its stuffed piglets were gone. In hind sight Pandora would have been a much better master choice as she could have been a wrench in the summoning engine which I couldn’t stop in this game. Not sure it would have mattered though as Dave is a fantastic player and new my models much better than I did his. My first game against Gremlins in a tournament was now under my belt and I look forward to facing them again. 

Game 4: Reconnoitre (Flank) vs Conrad Gonsalves
Plant Explosives
Murder Protégé

My List:
The Dreamer with Wings of Darkness, Dreams of Pain, Otherworldly
3 Daydreams
Hooded Rider with Retribution’s Eye
Doppelganger with Mimic’s Blessing
Terror Tot
7 Stones

His List:
Nicodem with Love thy Master, Maniacal Laugh, Undertaker
Mortimer with Corpse Bloat
Rotten Belle

I have played Conrad once before when he was first testing Yan Lo. That game was a bit of a whitewashing in my favour but I expected a much closer game going up against Nicodem who I think is obviously a much better choice in Reconnoitre. I also had only played against him a couple times but neither player really knew how to use him and I hadn’t seen his true power yet. After this game I was very impressed. As soon as I saw Mortimer with Corpse Bloat I knew this was an easy game to choose schemes: Murder protégé (Mortimer would be doing so much damage to himself with corpse bloat that I shouldn’t have a trouble taking him down) and plant explosives (almost an auto-take for me). Conrad took plant explosives and distract.

Turn 1 both of us maneuvered around a bit and I summoned Lelu and Lilitu. Was too careless with my placement of Lilitu and Conrad summoned a hang, gave it fast and it walked forward and shot off Lilitu. Oops! Guess Mortimer was safe for at least one more turn. Turn 2 I re-summoned Lilitu, gave her fast and lured Mortimer into the center of the board and then charged him with Lelu doing some damage and piling on some poison. Silurid also leaped out to plant explosives on a necropunk, flesh construct and Mortimer but was unable to as I had forgotten Mortimer’s chatty ability (despite taking murder protégé in part because plant explosives would be too tough with him on the board for this reason). Hooded Rider charged and killed the nurse to allow each of us to score a point for the strategy (although it was clear I was going to have trouble continuing to score at the rate Nico was summoning.

Turn 3 was going to be the key turn in this game as the first two turns had been relatively quiet and the game was going quite slowly so it was very unlikely we were going to get further than 4 turns. So this turn I needed to get all my schemes complete. I used Doppelganger to cheat initiative and activated Dreamer first who walked into range and then used Empty Nights to make Lelu attack Mortimer 2 times. Sadly, due to a bad hand Mortimer was still alive with a couple wounds. I accomplice Lelu who finished off Mortimer and scored me 3vp. LELU DID SOMETHING!! I then used his (0) to push 3 inches and then removed a marker a necropunk had placed turn 2. For a model that is so (rightly) maligned he sure was pulling weight in this game. I also used Doppelganger, a silurid, and a terror tot to place markers for plant explosives scoring me 3vp for that as well. Conrad distracted one of my models and managed to get down a couple markers for plant explosives but due a misreading of the rules and time running out he only scored 1vp for it (since only Lelu was in range of the markers). However Conrad did score another point for the strategy while denying me from scoring the same by summoning and giving fast to a necropunk and moving it into my right flank corner to tie up the amount of models in there.

Last turn got called as we were shuffling our cards for turn 4 but Mike told us we could continue so we started turn 4 knowing there was a very good chance we wouldn’t finish the turn. I was in good position, but wasn’t really sure how the vp were gonna end up so wanted to try and distract points to Conrad and score the strategy if possible. He managed to distract 4 or 5 of my models and get far too many models into my right flank corner for me to score it, but I had a plan to get rid of all the distracts AND score the strategy. I managed to use Hooded rider to get him and a terror tot out of combat and into Conrad’s left flank corner (where he only had 2 scoring models). In a lucky twist, mike called final activation during Dreamer’s activation. Since I couldn’t stop distract now with not enough activations left, I decided to walk Dreamer 21” from my left corner to Conrad’s left corner, giving me 3 models to his 2 there and scoring each of us a strategy point and Conrad a scheme point for distract. In the end, I scored 2 for strategy, 3 for plant explosives, 3 for Murder Protégé. Conrad scored 3 for the strategy. 1 for plant explosives, and 1 for distract. So the game ended turn 4 in a 8-5 victory for me.

In Conclusion:

This was much more enjoyable than my last event at TTN which was far too cold (see earlier tournament report). Mike always runs a great event and this was no exception. Had 4 great games and actually ended up coming in 7th of 24 and was the highest ranked neverborn player (although this event did not have best of faction awards). 7th place tied for my worst finish of 2015 (and the 3rd time I’ve ended up in 7th) but considering the strong players I played and my game 1 result I was pretty happy with the results. It was also great to get back into the tournament scene and to finally use someone other than Dreamer. Need to keep getting some games in with Pandora (still have under 10 in total played) as she seems to be a very good alternative to Dreamer. 

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