Martin’s Martial Martyrdom: Part 8 – WTC aka Worst Tits Competition

Howdy dudes and dudettes! I am coming to you with a slight delay due to the untimely demise of my beloved laptop last week. As promised, I wanna talk about the WTC lists and “meta”. There will be no list mocking and mispronounciation of surnames though, so if you fancy that kind of entertainment, there are plenty Irish podcasts to suit your needs. Instead, I would like to take a look at some of the list choices people made and what their impact on Skorne might be. Finally, I’ll do a quick recap on the recent Czech Masters I mentioned in my last article. To make up for the delay and piss off my Overload Overlord this article is a bit longer than usual, so let’s dive straigt in.

 

The shooty boogie man.

 

The biggest change in lists that I perceived was in Circle. I heard from many Circle players at the past events of this year that Legion is possibly their hardest matchup since Circle relies mainly on Stealth as their one and only defensice mechanism. Cygnar can get around it as well to a good extent and Protectorate gunlines with Purification (to dispell Fog of War) are a tough matchup as usual. As a response, a lot of Circle players at the WTC reached for the Woldwrath in their eMorvahna lists. While resilient, this list has nowhere the tactical flexibility and hitting power of the usual double Stalker build with Skinwalker/Ravager support. I would much rather face the Woldwrath with Rasheth, so this metachange gets two thumbs up from me!

Generally, when people tech against shooting, even with some Shieldguard models it is advantageous for Skorne since it usually means there is less offense and more defense and there is never enough defense against an enraged Bronzeback 😀 You either kill him first or you shake you fist at the heavens and then shake your opponent’s hand.

 

The demise of El Lich.

 

The spoiled Cryx crowd suddenly doesn’t like poor Gaspy anymore as much as they used to. While I would further nerf his stupid Bilexcarnate combo in the blink of an eye, I can see how he became weaker with his lamentable and unfortunate one-use-only of reTardarus. The funny thing is, whom do we thank again mainly for his disappearance? Again, old trusty legion and Def 15 Angeliuses, with a pat on the back to the reTardarus sniping Ravagores. Less Gaspy is good news for mostly everybody, including Skorne.

 

Stormwall – on the double.

 

While I believe there are far fewer of the double ‘walls than last year at team tournaments, there still are some and Skorne tends to be one of the best armies to take on this pretty skew list. Agonizers turn off practically the entire opposing army, so it’s akin to a counterfeat to eHaley, while the Krea makes sure the Titans get there. Strangely enough a lot of people have returned to the old skuul Stormclad bond build, which is probably better against Skorne than the Stormwall build.

 

Our builds.

 

Teams Slovakia is the only team bold enough to feature double Skorne! I am running my tested two caster combo of Rasheth and Mordikaar. With Khador being in a minority and Sorscha2 present only 3 times if I counted correctly, there are practically no matchups I would actively try to avoid.

My buddy Pavel has more or less similar lists to mine with his Naaresh build being Titan heavy with a feat comparable to Rasheth’s and including our denial pieces – the Kreanizer. While he has no Gators (who I would play with Naaresh), 20 Nihilators are quite legit, especially if Iron Flesh sticks on one unit. The combination of a good infantry screen, serious Titan threat and Paralytic Aura/Shieldguard often allow Naaresh to play aggresively forward Lamenting the opponent. I am determined to play Naaresh a lot more myself after the WTC.

The Xerxis brick of all bricks has gained an immeasurable boost with the Incindiarii and it is a very heavy attrition list, again comparable to my Mordikaar build with it’s gameplay. It can solve some surprising matchups as we found out in playtesting as well as at the EU Masters. 26 Cataphracts are hard to chew through, especially since everything that crashes into them is annihilated in return and the army simply has more “waves” than most enemies, with 2 decent beasts on top.

I may be biased here of course, but I think our lineup offers us several advantages in the pairing process. We have Retribution, Legion and Cygnar to put some shooting pressure and solid assassination potential on a lot of Warcasters, while our Skorne builds can smash through anything, especially many of the featured Hordes builds. Of course, while the theory on paper might be sound, reality can and often will turn out differently, so I would not want to make any statements and predicitions here, but I am of the opinion that it is important to have a healthy dose of self confidence and think optimistically. Otherwise one’s own negative prejudices can become a huge handicap.

 

The Czech National Masters 2013.

 

Since we were cordially invited to invade and Brno, the city the tournament took place in, is just a bit over an hour drive, we filled my car with eager wargamers and set off on saturday morning. The Czech republic has quite a long tradition of Warhammer and a Hordmachine community started to form only relatively recently I think. While there seems to be a decent amount of players, not all of them are tournament ready yet, so in the end we came to a round number of 20 participants, including the five of us. We played in a cozy school and the organization was flawless. One of the highlights for me was the lunch on saturday where we went to a Steak/Pizza house and we ordered a Steak plate featuing Kangaroo and Ostrich steaks among the usual ones! The food was very tasty and very cheap, even cheaper than here in Slovakia and the rest of Europe wouldn’t even believe the prices 🙂

I decided to mix up my caster lineup a bit and replaced Zaal with the following pMorghoul list (which I plan to write a separate article on):

 Master Tormentor Morghoul (*7pts)
* Basilisk Krea (4pts)
* Cyclops Shaman (5pts)
* Bronzeback Titan (10pts)
* Tiberion (11pts)
* Titan Gladiator (8pts)
* Aptimus Marketh (3pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3pts)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt) (1pts)
Venators Slingers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
Agonizer (2pts)
Mortitheurge Willbreaker (2pts)
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor (2pts)

The organizers made sure that at least in the first two rounds people from the same gaming group/community wouldn’t meet if possible, so in the first round I got none other than the only Cryx present at the tournament, straight from Prague.

Vojtech picked his pSkarre build as I expected so I got to test Mordi against yet another pSkarre build, which I was looking forward to. It featured a Kraken, Blackbane’s and two units of McThralls topped off with Gerlak and a Pistol Wraith plus the usual support. I was a bit disappointed by the absence of any living models though. The scenario was Incursion and the middle flag went the way of the doodoo as expected. This was bad news for Skarre, since with just a 12″ controll range she couldn’t affect both parts of her army at the flags with Dark Guidance and feat. I went about my usual grind, I traded the Drake for Blackbane right away to not have the ghostly buggers keep popping up on me. I was getting slowly ahead on attrition and time as well. The Kraken had one turn of glory where I missed him with my Agonizer by literally 1 millimetre. Then my Bronzeback charged in and managed to roll snake eyes THREE TIMES, including on the charge attack, so I had to revive two Cetrati to finish off the Kraken. Skarre then charged Bronzi in an act of last defiance and just managed to kill him before the clock announced the end for her.

In round two I faced a very friendly guy who was just starting to learn his PoM. I took Rasheth for a walk against pSevvy. It turned out to be a learning game for my opponent and I tried to show him some stuff and tricks during and after the game. Hopefully, he will remember to not cluster Errants in front of Slingers or at least cast Defender’s Ward on them. Also to not spread out his Bastions in front of the Gators, so each can charge one of them.

So after 2 rounds with 20 participants it was time for us 5 to start playing each other 🙂

I got to play our resident Circle player, so it was Rasheth against eMorvahna at Close Quarters. This was a game of pretty punishing dice rolls from my opponent when in turn two his 4 charging Tharn Ravagers took out my Gladiator with just one use of Scales of Fate. Luckily, I was able to stay in the game with some important 8’s on two dice and 3 or 4 consecutive tough rolls on my Gators 🙂 My Sentry Carnivored his way through the Skinwalkers but the entire Ravager unit got feated back on me. My Gators had a chance on a caster kill with 6 rerollable Mat 9 attacks against Morvahna with 4 transfers and maybe just 7 boxes left, but I missed the very first one allready and 4 or so of the remaining ones inflicted only 5 damage on straight dice damage rolls. I managed however to kill one Stalker with the Sentry later on and had him backed up by the Agonizer to survive the remaining Stalker, but my full health Agonizer got one shotted by the fucking annoying Shifting Stones UA, again without even the need for a reroll. This of course left me with one less Sentry and the game was on the line. Towards the end we both managed to dominate a point or two and eventually with 28 seconds on my clock my opponent timed out which led to some heavy teasing and mocking in the car on the way home.

The next day saw me face our surprisingly unbeaten Convergence player, which was a big achievement, since the army is still very handicapped by the few available releases and he also just started playing Hordmachine after the release of CoC. Matej opted for his Axis list, which included the Prime Axiom, 2 Inverters, 2 units of Angels, one more heavy and 2 light jacks, while I finally put Morghoul on the table. The scenario was Into the Breach and and we both focused our armies into the big zone. Oddly enough, I shot him off the table in the opening rounds downing some angels, 1 light jack and putting damage into another heavy. Slingers are really legit against these tin cans and with the help from the Shaman, Orin and Marketh (adding boosted Torments) I was putting pressure on the tinmen, while also holding the threat range advantage. I positioned Tiberion into the zone which meant he could get to anyone contesting it and so eventually combat was joined. Tiberion charged in, got countercharged allowing my Bronzeback to countercharge the countercharger 🙂 Agonizer cried his lungs out. Axis feated next turn, but Matej made a very strange choice and went for a weaponlock on Tiberion instead of trying to kill him with the Prime Axiom, which he had a good chance to achieve. I waited out the feat with my feat and delivered the Bronzeback on the Axiom next turn, from there I proceeded to clean up the rest. Just as a sidenote, we later had a rematch with some proxies on his side to see how a proper army would fare, but it ended much the same way. The combination of Morghoul’s feat and the Agonizer’s feat is too much for the jack heavy armies to handle. Also, Admonition was a big help against the countercharges.

Since the only other undefeated player going into round 4 was downpaired and managed to loose, the tournament had a clear winner and so I took another beautifull masters trophy home to place next to my Irish one 🙂 As I said, the event was well run and friendly so I am quite curious how the Czech meta will evolve when we return next year, though I hope we will have the opportunity to play even sooner, when the guys hopefully visit one of our tournaments as well.

So, I’m off now to finish painting the last pieces for my Mordikaar list, since the WTC is approaching way faster than expected. If you are attending you can come tell me in person, how Mordikaar sucks and what a noob I am for not playing eHexeris 😀 I’ll be the guy with the coolest metal shirt at the venue!

 

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