Irish Masters 2014 – Game 2.

After a resounding victory in Game 1 I had some time to grab some supplies, refuel a bit and get ready for Round 2. As the pairings went up I was drawn against Brett Fogel, a traveller all the way from Texas, who had combined a week vacation with the Irish Masters. That is some dedication right there!

Brett put down Morvahna2 and I dropped eVayl as she’s my safety caster. None of the Circle players in Cork have really picked up eMorv (yes, I know…) so my experience was pretty limited.

Brett’s List (from memory)

Morvahna the Dawnshadow (*5pts)
* Argus (4pts)
* Warpwolf Stalker (10pts)
Shifting Stones (2pts)
* Stone keeper (1pts)
Tharn Blood Pack (Leader and 5 Grunts) (10pts)
Tharn Bloodtrackers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
* Nuala the Huntress (2pts)
Warpborn Skinwalkers (Leader and 4 Grunts) (8pts)
* Warpborn Alpha (3pts)
Gallows Grove (1pts)
Gallows Grove (1pts)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (3pts)
Professor Victor Pendrake (2pts)

Pretty standard anti-Legion eMorv list. Bloodtrackers with Prey + Pendrake and rerolls for spikes allow you to take Angelius’ off the table with ease, as do the Blood Pack with Pendrake. Carnivore on the Skinwalkers lets Morv heal back up after she cuts for rerolls and makes them excellent at countering high-def beasts.

Scenario: Incursion
Deployment:

Despite my +1 to go first I lose the roll off and Brett chooses a table edge with a wall near centre table. The other terrain is somewhat unimportant, there’s a hill by the Right Flag, a forest by the Left and an open space at centre position.

I deploy my Legionnaires + Farilor on my right side, between the Right Flag and Centre, on the hill. The Pot goes next to them, as does an Angelius. I really like this grouping in scenarios where a strong flank presence is required. The Legionnaires can run straight ahead turn one, then head centrally if their flag disappears, or out wide if the flag stays. Back-up from the Pot’s Lessers and a single Angelius means my opponent has to commit resources to that flank.

Vayl goes central with her Ravagores, the other 2 Angelii take the left flank. The Shepherds go left and right, one on the hill.

Brett deploys his beasts central, Bloodpack in the forest on the right. The Skinwalkers take up a middle position. The Bloodtrackers AD into the middle of the table, with Prey set on one of my Angelii.

Turn 1 – Legion

I start by running the Legionnaires and advancing the pot. I don’t feel the need for a Lesser this turn and I’m sure the Pot will have ample corpses soon enough, so my Legionnaires don’t get poked in the butt this turn. The Preyed Angelius makes an 18″ run to the right of the table, away from the Blood Trackers. My opponent will need to come after him if he wants to swap Prey easily. The Angelius that was on the Right runs to the centre in his place. The Ravagores advance and float some shots at the Blood Trackers, leaving Scathers in the middle of the table but catching none. Vayl toes into a forest just out of my deployment zone and puts up Admonition and Refuge on an Angelius each.

Turn 1 – Circle

Everything moves up except one Skinwalker who hangs back to be a feat target, and one Bloodpack who does the same. I’m not going to be getting full units this game it seems. The Bloodtrackers spread out to cover the Centre flag after getting Tough from the Croc Doc, Morvahna goes to her wall with her Gorax. She puts up Carnivore on the Skinwalkers, Fog of War and camps a few.

Turn 2 – Legion

The Left Flag disappears, meaning my Legionnaires are in prime position to control the flag on the Right.

I start by putting Iron Zeal up on the Legionnaires and running them towards the Blood Pack. I’m able to engage a few of them and at ARM 20 they should live through non-charges enough to get some Vengeance on. The Pot advances to keep them all in 10″. I forget here that Tharn also use Corpse Tokens, which will cause me a few issues filling it – that’s one to remember for the future.

The Ravagores have some good targets for shots, they put down a member of the Blood Pack, a Skinwalker and a couple of Blood Trackers with the AOEs. The Admonition Angelius aims and snipes out a Blood Tracker. The Refuged one advances and boosts a shot at Nuala and misses. Not good, he’s well within threat of a Skinwalker or Two, and a couple of Trackers, and with Pendrake, he’s probably going to drop. I use Vayl to arc Admonition onto him instead. I’m aware of Purification, but I want to force Morvahna to cast it and drop her upkeeps, meaning she’ll either be low on fury or without FoW/Carnivore. No Fog of War means Vayl can Obliterate easier, and no Carnivore means less healing and reduced MAT on my beasts, meaning more rerolling. The right side Angelius moves up to the flag, behind the Legionnaire wall and bases it. He’s well out of Control but blocked by a Legionnaire wall and is going to be tough for just the Blood Pack to remove.

Turn 2 – Circle

Brett drops all his upkeeps and Purifies, then puts Carnivore back on the Skinwalkers. He makes sure to Light Cav Morvahna back into the Stones, as he plans to do some rerolling and wants to make sure he can port to safety if he drops too low on health.

The Bloodtrackers get Beast Lore from Pendrake and advance but only a couple can get in range of the Angelius, the rest spread out to contest the Centre Flag. They throw their spears but poor rolls and poorer rerolls see him only take a few points of damage, especially as he’s unpreyed. The Skinwalkers charge but only 2 can get in, the others run, and the Angelius lives, again due to poor rerolling. The Bloodpack get Tough from the Croc and Assault and Battery into the Legionnaires and kill a few, grabbing some Heart Tokens for next turn. I make a note to prioritise Vengeance against those with tokens.

Rerolls have left Morv low but she’s camping a whole lot of fury, so she gets ported behind the wall. His beasts rile up.

We check contestation and while the Centre Flag is bunged up good and proper, the Right one, crucially, has a Blood Pack member just out of 4″, so I score a point.

Legion – Turn 3

I’ve been let off for what was a risky and un-necessary move. I should be an Angelius down and instead he’s only taken around 8 boxes. I reave my Fury, and Vengeance where my dice start doing some work. Once the moves are done, Farilor’s killed a Blood Pack member himself, and the others have knocked off another 1 giving me two corpses for the Pot and leaving just 3 left. A couple of Legionnaires spread towards the Centre Flag, pushing my Legionnaire line out in that direction.

The Shepherd by the Right Flag runs over to get the Angelius in her force range. He uses 2 fury and pokes the Blood Pack member to death that’s contesting the Flag and Overtakes back into base contact. He’s going to Frenzy Check next turn, but I want to be certain I’ve got a model that’ll take a lot of effort to remove. With only 3 Blood Pack members left on this side, and a Stalker well out of range, he should be safe enough.

The Legionnaires knock the Bloodpack down to the sole guy, hiding at the back of the Forest. My Pot is now full after Farilor nails one and half kills another. What a boss. The ones near the Central Flag charge a Bloodtracker and remove her.

My focus for this turn is to score on the Central Flag as well as the Right Flag and kill as many damn models as possible, in preparation for the Feat. I create a Stinger out of the Pot and he charges off and fluffs his damage roll after boosting to hit, leaving a Skinwalker alive. The Left Angelius, that was charged in the previous turn, overtakes his way through another Skinwalker and a Bloodtracker. The Centre Angelius clears another two and a Blood Tracker and overtakes his way onto the Flag. Both Ravagores clear some more models until there’s only 1 Bloodtracker and a Skinwalker contesting.

Vayl puts her Oraculi into the back of a Ravagore and Feats as I want to be certain I clear the objective here, and I want upkeeps and fury for transfers. She Purifies off Carnivore, puts Refuge and Admonition on Angels and Occultation on herself. Icy Grip tries to go onto the Blood Trackers so I can remove them with Vengeance, but I miss due to stealth… doh.

I put 2 points in the bag. I’m WAY up in this game now having dealt with the pre-feat attrition without losing a heavy. My opponent will need a huge turn to swing it back as I’m 3-0 up on Scenario.

Circle – Turn 3

Welp, it has to be Feat turn now as my opponent is running out of models. I had a huge turn, which is one of the strengths of eVayl in this matchup I feel especially against the Non-Woldwrath Build. Every attack from a Beast is killing a model, and when you’re making 20+ fury’s worth of attacks, plus Legionnaires and Pot Lessers and Vayl herself you can remove a huge number of models, especially in scenarios like Incursion where your opponent is forced to commit resources to the middle of the board.

I’m pretty hot on Fury (not hugely, my Shepherd helped) but I’m expecting to lose at least one beast this turn. All part of the plan!

Unfortunately for my opponent, I’ve removed so many models that even if he feats he’ll need to run to contest the centre flag with the Skinwalkers. He activates the Skinwalkers and runs the last guy up to the table centre. Then he feats and puts down 5 Skinwalkers, 5 Bloodpack and 4 Bloodtrackers, leaving her on 2 boxes. He makes sure she’s in the Stones after light Cav move. He’s camping 5 after recasting Carnivore.

The Bloodpack activate and Assault and Battery, killing a few more Legionnaires and Farilor, as well as putting some more hurt on the Angelius who’s been scoring me points all game. He manages to get one within contestation range, and prevents me from scoring there.

The few remaining Bloodtrackers kill manage to finish off one of the Angelii at the Central Flag with some massive damage rolls. The Bloodpack get Tough again. The Gorax Primal’s the Stalker and it goes into the Centre Flag. He’s 1/2″ out getting a Ravagore as well as the Angelius he charged. He two shots the Angelius and contests with the Stalker.

His final act is to port the 2 box Morvahna back to about 9″ up the table. Guess I won’t be killing her this turn either! Getting two Angelii in one turn is nice for him, but I’m pretty sure I can sew this up well.

I confirm that I can score 2 and win the game, which makes my turn much simpler.

Legion – Turn 4

I drop my upkeeps and the Right Flag Angelius passes his Frenzy check. Vengeance nets me another Blood Pack member. I remove the Angelius’ Fury with the Shepherd and he skewers the Blood Pack member that was contesting. After confirming nothing is within 4″ I Overtake back onto the flag for my 4th point.

Vayl walks up and clears some models from the flag with Obliterate. Thanks to the Ravagore and a Harrier from the Pot, Nuala and all the other contesting Skinwalkers are put down. That just leaves the Stalker. My Ravagore double handed throws the Stalker away (We had to go to the rules here, because we matched on the Strength Check, luck was with me as I forgot that Warping for Strength and Primal puts him well up on Strength) and he scatters more than 4″ away.

My Shepherd runs onto the Flag and I score the final point for a 5-0 Scenario victory, with something like 19 Army Points… stupid eMorvahna.

Thoughts:

I was right to drop eVayl here. The list let me kill models and keep on killing. Had the game continued, I reckon I still would’ve powered through the Feat just because of how many models I can remove in a turn with 5 Heavies and Vayl.

I was able to force Brett into the uncomfortable position of having to either Purify, and do without Carnivore (2 transfers is not enough for Morv to sit on vs eVayl) or let me have my buffs. In the end, I was able to use Occultation (again, forcing Morv to Purify brings her to 2 unboosted Sunder Spirits vs Vayl if he goes for the assassination), Refuge and Admonition to keep my models in the game longer than they should’ve been.

Brett had some tough luck with the dice, and he wasn’t able to levy the rerolls much due to Vayl’s assassination threat. My Legionnaires were champions holding the ground between two flags and only losing only 5-6 models and Farilor all game.

Parings go up for Round 3 and I’m up against Alasdair from Scotland, who has Cryx. Nooooooooooooooooooooo.

Martin “I use gold medals for focus” Hornacek asks me who I got, then looks at me and says “He is good. He beat me twice”.

Damn.

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