Well! An unexpected influx of things to do not related to writing appeared and delayed the finals, for which I apologise profusely.
The 4th round finished with a nailbiting bash against our very own Valkine and left me as one of two players on 4-0, after Jason defeated Dave in a Cryx vs Skorne showdown. That meant I’d be battling Jason for the top spot.
Jason’s got 2 lists, Goreshade with a Kraken and Skarre1 with about 12million dudes. I’d vastly prefer to fight Goreshade, but he picks Skarre1.
Pirate Queen Skarre (*6pts)
* Helldiver (3pts)
* Helldiver (3pts)
Bane Knights (Leader and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
Blackbane’s Ghost Raiders (Leader and 9 Grunts) (9pts)
Bloodgorgers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
Satyxis Blood Witches (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
* Satyxis Blood Hag (2pts)
The Withershadow Combine (5pts)
Captain Rengrave (2pts)
General Gerlak Slaughterborn (3pts)
Pistol Wraith (3pts)
3 Scrap Thrall (1pts)
3 Scrap Thrall (1pts)
So many dudes. So many dudes and I don’t know what they do! Cryx is definitely my least played match-up (Cork is glut with Hordes and Cygnar) and this list looks mean.
I drop Sorscha. In hindsight, Vlad would’ve been better. I immediately got tunnel vision on the Incorporeal-ness of the list and ignored other factors, like the pure jam power of it, which would mean my WGI were useless despite their magic weapons. Doom Reavers could’ve done the same thing, Nyss with Hand of Fate kill Bane Knights all day long and IFP can jam fairly well and kill back just fine.
So I lose the roll to go first, which really sucks against this list, in this scenario, where I have to contest both zones heavily due to the weight of bodies coming towards me.
Jason deploys Skarre in the centre, with a wall outside of the deployment zone, dead centre, that I know she’ll be running to. Gerlak, the Bloodgorgers, the Blood Witches and one Helldiver take my left. The Banes and the second ‘jack take the right. The Ghost Raiders line up in the middle with Rengrave, and the Combine combines with Skarre in the middle. The Scrap Thralls go dead centre.
I put conquest in the middle, Boomhowlers around him (dumb – I’ll explain later). Sorscha and her solos go next to Conquest, the Bears go Centrally as well, the Winterguard take the left zone.
So my problems started with deployment. I made an error straight off in not adjusting my deployment for both the Scenario and my opponent’s army. I should’ve figured that both zones were going to be flooded with dudes, and instead of trying to protect Conquest, I should’ve just countered his zone jam with mine. As it was, the Right Zone was basically devoid of models for turn 1.
Cryx – Turn 1:
Things run. Everything basically runs directly forwards. Bloodgorgers in front of the Left Zone, Witches spread out behind them. Scrap Thralls and Ghost Pirates spread out centre. Bane Knights on the Right Zone. He basically moves his deployment zone 10-14″ forwards and spreads things out. The Helldivers bury themselves, Skarre eats some gribbly thing with Ritual Sacrifice and gets a 5 on her focus (after Puppet Mastering the roll).
Khador – Turn 1:
Conquest gets one. Boomhowlers 4+ Tough and run forward, spreading out centrally. Conquest runs behind them. I figure I’m likely to get Deathchilled, but I’ll just fire the guns Turn 2, kill the Pistol Wraith with something else, then next turn be in a position for one of the zones to be clear for Conquest to get a toe in. Sorscha moves up and Desperate paces the Winterguard.
The Bears and the rest of my support crowd run up as well. Eyriss toes in a forest on the edge of my deployment waiting for a shot on Skarre.
I now make mistake number 2 (isn’t hindsight wonderful?) – What I should’ve done was cast Iron Flesh on the Winterguard and ran them into the left zone. While I would’ve lost a few of them (Tough helps a bit) it’s very likely that the turn after, after upkeeping Iron Flesh and Desperate Pace, the Trolls and Cryx MAT 6 brigade would have had REAL trouble remove them and they can start to fight back.
Instead what I do is desperate pace and walk them towards the zone so I can fire 3 POW 12 rockets at random models and kill maybe 1 Witch. Great job!
Cryx – Turn 2:
Skarre moves up to the wall and casts Ritual Sacrifice getting another 4-5 or so. Doesn’t do anything else. The Cryx army runs forward to jam more. The Pistol Wraith shoots Conquest and Deathchills him. The Boomhowlers take a few charges from the Scrap Thralls, but not a lot is killed this turn either, only a Troll or two and a tough. The Helldivers pop up and kill/tough a couple more.
Khador – Turn 2:
I’m pretty worried now because there’s like 20-30 models in each zone and I’ve not killed anything yet, and Conquest is Deathchilled and in a shitty position. Blargh. My Boomhowlers 4+ tough and run/charge in and start getting a few hits off. The Pistol Wraith decides it’s going to screw my entire game by being hit by a charging Boomhowler and taking 4 damage (that’s a 4 on 3d6). This is a disaster. I have nothing left I can get on the Pistol Wraith and next turn it’s going to Incorporeal its way out of combat and Deathchill Conquest again. Going well!
The Winterguard “Bob and Weave” forwards and into the zone. Sprays, rockets and solid shots tough a few enemy trolls, kill a couple of witches and remove some Scrap Thralls. Not a particularly solid showing but at least I’m doing damage. Sorscha gets her double ghetto boost and advances around the back on Conquest. She gets to within 10″ of a Bane Knight and makes the unit Stationary. At least that’ll help me survive another turn, but I should’ve done it first and wiped them from the table.
Remembering Deathchill, I’m about to sacrifice movement to fire when I realise that Sorscha is in huge danger of being Skarre-bombed, as she’s standing right out in the open with 0 focus (she had to Cyclone to get the Freezing Grip). Nothing is threatening her really except that, but it’s not a risk I can take with the Feat available, and there’s no guarantee that a Free Strike from Conquest will knock out the Helldiver. Because of this, I have to sacrifice my Action on Conquest, and walk him to a blocking position to protect her from the Arc nodes and nukes. I can’t even get him into the zone, either.
At least I don’t ship points at the end of my turn.
Cryx – Turn 3:
Jason is in a commanding position now, he’s got near total control of both zones (Left is held by my Winterguard, who are about to get wrecked, Right is held by a couple of Boomhowlers.)
He just starts killing stuff now. The Trolls start clear Winterguard but they’re spread pretty well and Tough is working in my favour. He eventually has to commit his Witches to clearing the zone as well and does so. The Pistol Wraith goes incorporeal again and moves away, waiting to get that Deathchill on Conquest again. He leaves it for this turn, however.
The ghostly pirates get their charge and clear all but one Boomhowler from the Right Zone, who toughs through it. Jason decides it’s time to capitalise on his advantage and stop me grabbing a foothold in a zone and advances Skarre and Feats, cutting for 5 and catching 90% of his army with his +5 ARM buff. He ritual sacrifices again and gets another 5 Focus. He’s used the feat defensively, which means if I can clear the Bane Knights I might be able to claw my way back in through Conquest’s armour, as his biggest threat to Conquest will be gone. One of his Helldivers runs in front of Conquest to stop his advance. The other continues fighting on the outskirts of the Left Zone.
At the end of the turn he’s controlling the left zone and the right is contested by a single knocked down Boomhowler. That is until the TO pipes up that Knocked Down models don’t contest. Jason is incorrectly scored a second point.
Khador – Turn 3:
Welp, I’m in shit shape now. 0-2 down on Scenario and zones packed with undead nightmares.. I decide that despite the ARM 31 on Skarre, if I can break armour once, under Sorscha’s feat, with Conquest’s POW 22 fists and Aiyanna’s Kiss for POW 24, I can kill her. She’s definitely in a vulnerable and advanced position, as there’s no incorporeal models between her and Conquest. He’ll need to trample to get there, but I just need to clear a landing zone for him and I should be able to get it. I give 3 to Conquest. I realise I still have Eyriss hiding by the Right Zone, so I advance her to get a bead on Skarre but I’m 1″ out. Drat. Had that hit, I’d have just aimed and fired under feat and done away with the Undead Pirate Wench with Conquest’s big gun.
I start by having the Bears slap the Helldiver down that’s in front of Conquest. I kill it easily because of Stationary (Conquest Bond) and move on. The Boomhowlers run/charge to free up space for the Conquest. I fail to kill the Pistol Wrath again, but I’m clearing that big 120mm space for the two important models, Sorscha and Conquest.
I activate Aiyanna and Holt, move and up kiss Skarre, missing the 8 I need. Holt kills a couple of now-attackable pirates that are in the way. After missing the kiss, at Dice-9, I should’ve just given up on the assassination and cleared the Bane Knights as much as possible and got a foot into the right zone. Instead, I tunnel vision and keep going. My thought is still “I need 1 hit (10s) and 1 above average damage roll to win the game”.
As I’m killing them, Jason remembers the feat on Skarre that should’ve stopped me killing the Helldiver. We pause and wait for the TO, who declares that because play has advanced and other models activated, it’s too late to go back. And that’s why I have a giant acrylic FOOT for when I feat.
Sorscha advances to within 12″ of Skarre and feats, catching her. Then she shoots a few more models with her Quad Iron, despite the POW10, she fails to kill pirates. There’s now only 3 models left between Conquest and Skarre. The Winterguard advance and my three rockets start firing. Despite hitting the pirates, I fail to kill two of them, leaving two alive. Conquest doesn’t have enough space to get in. I advance him aggressively towards Skarre anyway, and clear out a few more models, getting a foot into the Right Zone. This is not good.
Cyrx – Turn 4:
Jason’s in a super strong position now. The Pistol Wraith applies Deathchill again. He clears the Left zone and runs Skarre into it. The Bane Knights charge Conquest and do insanely well, half crippling it with their POW 11s. Three double sixes in a row see 3 Incorporeal charging Blackbanes drop Eyriss, Holt and set Sorscha on Fire, doing a few points of damage.
He can’t clear the right zone, but it doesn’t matter. He ends and goes to 4-0.
Khador – Turn 4:
For the Motherland! Sorscha Cyclones and kills my own Aiyanna (she was in the way!) then advances into the zone. She takes some shots at Skarre out of defiance, hits twice and doesn’t break armour. I pass the turn and Jason goes to 5-0 on Scenario.
Play more against Cryx? I’ve never faced an army like this and made a number of key mistakes. In my history of Warmachine I’ve played against Cryx less than 10 times, and they’re probably my biggest weakness as a matchup.
I should have shoved Conquest into a zone early, controlled and eliminated the Bane Knights and relied on him to allow me to control a side of the table. The feat was a concern, but that foothold would’ve allowed me to dictate the pace and line of engagement better than just having a 19 point lump in the middle of the table.
Alternatively I should have dropped Vlad2 and countered his jam with Doom Reavers and forced my way into the zones behind them. Set the line of engagement high on his side, or at least mid table, and fought it out from there. Nyss are tough for Non-thrall Cryx to deal with, and Dark Guidance would’ve forced Skarre into a more vulnerable situation.
I dropped the wrong list, I played the game wrong, and Jason played very well all day to win the tournament.
Jason takes first, our second Pressganger takes second with his Trolls and I take third due to Strength of Schedule. I also score the second most Army Points of the weekend, with 184.
Notably, my nemesis Pat scores 23 CP over 5 games compared to my 5. Really shows the difference in our playstyles!
It was a great event, and I don’t regret switching to Khador at all. We’ve got a tournament on the 16th for WTC Ireland selection and I’ll be bringing them again, so expect a write up soon after that date!
After that, it’s Smogcon and the Masters! Stay tuned for more!
(Ps. If you’re heading to Smogcon and you see a long haired bearded ginger guy walking about the Pit, swearing a lot, feel free to throw down a challenge!)