Monday, June 11, 2012

Stratford CT Steamroller (6/9/12) Results

This past weekend there was a 35 point Steamroller tournament at Gamingetc. in Stratford CT.  While the expected turnout was fairly low but there ended up being about 15 players in the end (I think...) - pretty solid around here for Warmachine/Hordes tournaments.  I wasn't sure if I was going for sure until the morning of the tournament and I'm glad I attended!  I decided to bring along my Circle because they never let me down and are my go-to tournament army - plus the lists I bring are fully-painted!  I was also fortunate enough to bump into some friends who regularly play at my old LGS who decided to make the trip down too!  So let me share the demographics of the tournament (to my best recollection), the lists that I brought, and how I performed in the tournament.

I don't remember exactly how many players there were and I might be missing one but here's what I think the breakdown was:
1 Cygnar
4 Khador
3 Cryx
1 Legion
1 Circle (me)
3 Menoth
1 Retribution
1 Trollbloods

There may have been another Cygnar or Khador player (both seemed fairly popular that day) but I'm 95% sure of the rest.  I can say that I was a little surprised that there were so few Hordes players around and I think that gave be a solid advantage - both because several of the players were unfamiliar with what Circle was capable of.  I did decide to change around my typical pKrueger list, but I can safely say that I wish I hadn't and I'll elaborate on why after I share the lists:

pBaldur (+6)
- Megalith (10*)
- Woldguardian (8*)
- Woldwyrd (5)
Woldstalkers (5)
Woldstalkers (5)
Shifting Stones (2)
- Stone Keeper (1)
Shifting Stones (2)
Sentry Stone & Mannikins (3)
Druids (7)

pKrueger (+5)
- Feral Warpwolf (9)
- Gnarlhorn Satyr (8)
- Woldwarden (9)
Druids (7)
- Overseer (2)
Shifting Stones (2)
Shifting Stones (2)
Gallows Groves (1)
Woldwyrd (5)
Blackclad (2)

You'll notice that the pKrueger list is different than the one I normally take.  I decided to switch out the 2nd Woldwarden for a Gnarlhorn and a Gallows Grove for the "bark" node, but I'm fairly disappointed with the decision.  The Baldur list is great at handling a wide range of threats and is great for taking down low model count lists, but my pKrueger list is really what I need to deal with vast amounts of infantry and only one Woldwarden was not enough to spam Chain Lightning when I wanted to cast other spells.  Krueger needs to cast Skyborne every turn if he wants to keep from dying and he'll want to hold onto at least one transfer as well, leaving him with only 4 fury points to play around with - 3 if he wants to upkeep Lightning Tendrils on something - and that leaves barely enough to cast Chain Lightning himself and even then, D6 leaps can leave you with spending 3 fury for only 2 POW 10 hits.  No, I'd rather have two Woldwardens to throw out Chain Lightning out of activation and be able to even boost damage on one or two targets off of the leaps if I want.  Instead I could just boost the hit and damage roll on pKrueger's ranged attack instead for less fury and deal more damage. 
I do love this guy but he was not what I needed that day

The Gnarlhorn hardly does much of anything against infantry anyway and while I theoretically would want hard hitters besides the Feral, I'll only take the list against infantry-heavy lists and the Feral will be enough to deal with a heavy warjack and the Woldwardens are surprisingly good at dealing with enemy heavies as well.  Everything else I could come up against I'd just bring Baldur anyway.  Lightning Tendrils is great in theory, but it only extends the threat range of a model, and a Feral is already pretty great at wrecking things so the threat range will actually be appreciated.  If you're using Lightning Tendrils for killing off infantry, that's great but I'd rather be doing that at-range from Chain Lightning spam, without worrying about electro-leaps jumping onto my own models.   So in the future, I'm going back to my 2 Warden list - internet haters be damned!

That said, here's how my games went:
Game 1 - pBaldur vs. eSkarre
I won't give you a blow-by-blow but I will give you an overview of what I had to go up against.  This was, by far, my closest and most challenging game.  This list had Deathjack, Malice, Bane Knights, Tartarus, and a Siren to combine for a nasty bunch of models and a tough match-up for Baldur since the Banes didn't give a hoot about my feat and eSkarre's feat could easily shut down any assassination attempts I could make.  Plus, Deathjack is a jerk normally - let alone with Death Ward.  I was able to teleport the Woldguardian into DJ and I was 2 boxes away from killing him, despite being P+S 19.  Since Death Ward let him choose damage columns, of course his last two boxes were one of his arms and his cortex, allowing him to kill the Woldguardian next turn (although he did have to use a few models to do so).  The following turn, her feat not only prevented me from finishing off DJ, hurting Skarre (even if I could get to her, which I couldn't), or Malice - but I couldn't make attacks with Megalith or Baldur.  I thought I was doomed.  I did very little that turn but I was able to teleport some stones around Baldur and after his turn of killing off all of my beasts, I was able to teleport Baldur in range of eSkarre - although she was DEF 16 ARM 20 with 11 boxes left!  I cast Stone Skin, boosted to hit, and hit her!  I knocked her down to DEF 13, boosted damage, and was able to leave her with 3 boxes left!  I only had 2 fury remaining and I had to buy another attack.  Did I boost the hit, needing a '6' and hope that I rolled a 7+ on the damage dice?  Or did I just hope that I could hit '6' and boost for damage?  I did the latter and managed to hit, boosted damage, and finished her off just barely.

Game 2 - pKrueger vs. Kaelyssa
This was a tougher match than it should have been.  Kaelyssa was rocking lots of infantry - full halberdiers, full sentinels, a Phoenix, Stormfalls, and two assassins.  Man, I really wish I had 2 Woldwardens for this game.  With the Sentinels in Defensive Line sitting at ARM 17 and the Halberdiers in Shield Wall at ARM 18, I needed to just roll lots of dice and hope that I could get the 9+ I needed.  Unfortunately, since I didn't have a second Woldwarden, I could not throw out as many Chain Lightning attacks as I needed, and with a giant forest in the middle of the battlefield, it really worked to his advantage with Phantom Hunter letting him shoot past the trees every turn.  Fortunately, Elemental Immunity on the Druids was amazingly useful here - making them completely immune to the Phoenix!  Total gold!  Again, I won't give a blow-by-blow but I was able to kill the Assassins with ease but was too spread out.  This was the scenario using reinforcements which sucked because he had his dragoon charge into my Feral and deal 15 points of damage in one hit - taking out my spirit.  My lightning didn't do much against all of the ARM 17-18 and the only reason I won was due to a botched assassination attempt at Krueger when my opponent wasn't able to roll well on damage and then ended up timing himself out with the Deathclock.  Even if he didn't time out, Krueger would have been in range to go crazy with his spear and as long as I landed a hit with the spear, Sustained Attack would bring me home.  Fortunately, I didn't even have to get that far.  Turns out having lots of models to move every turn is a huge liability with Deathclock.

Game 3 - pBaldur vs. eFeora
By this point I was one of 4 undefeated players and the field had narrowed so I knew who I could be matched-up against next.  The top 4 at this point consisted of me, 2 Menoth players, and a Legion player.  I've played so much against Legion that I was feeling pretty comfortable for that match-up and both of the Menoth players seemed like they were going to be tough to play against.  I got matched-up against a great guy who was running a theme list with eFeora.  His other choice was a Vindictus list which he earned some fame for throughout the tournament.  Given the match-ups, I chose pBaldur because I wasn't feeling comfortable with pKrueger after my last game.  Fortunately, this tournament was 2 lists required so I could ride the Baldur train home.  Fortunately, this player hadn't played against Circle before (MUAHAHAHAHA!) so I was able to set myself up for some teleportation with the Woldguardian.  After he advanced his 30-or-so infantry models, Feora was sitting with an open landing zone nearby, I just had to move her bonded dervish just an inch away.  Fortunately, the Woldguardian is good at doing just that!  Also, since Feora had cast Escort on herself, I was able to punch a hole through the line of infantry and get a couple shots on her with the Woldwyrd, softening her up by dealing some good damage (yay Purgation!).  I teleported the Woldguardian with Stone Skin on him, rammed away the dervish, and pummeled Feora into the ground with relative ease.  Turn 2 victory for me!

Game 4 - pBaldur vs. pKreoss
Going into the final round, I at least knew who I was playing against.  He was also packing Menoth and also had the option of playing with eFeora, but after what he had just seen, he was a little concerned.  In either case, I knew that I had to ride the Baldur train home and in either case, I was going to have a good match-up.  I don't really care about continuous fire with my high-ARM models and fire damage can be transfered by warlocks since fury points don't go away (unlike focus).  With pKreoss, all of my warbeasts are Steady so his feat meant nothing to me as long as I kept Baldur safe.  Even then, with the Woldguardian's animus, I wasn't worried about ranged attacks at all.  Sure enough, he brought out pKreoss and while the Errants with Defender's Ward and Tough (thanks to Rhupert) were annoying, my Woldstalkers and Woldwyrd (yay Purgation!) were able to remove enough to make them largely irrelevant.  On Turn 2 I was able to Trample Megalith over a stubborn Errant (who passed 4 Tough checks!) into one of his Reckoners.  I wasn't able to finish it off but I did enough to it that I wasn't worried about retaliation and I basically ensured that Baldur would be safe for a turn.  The Woldguardian was engaged by some Errants but they did a total of 4 points of damage to him (thanks to ARM 22 with Stone Skin).  Turn 3 came around with barely any losses on my part since my feat protected pretty much everything.  Kreoss did throw up Lamentation and caught Baldur in it, meaning that I decided to just drop my upkeeps because it didn't really matter at this point.  Time to end this.  The book was fairly far upfield and was praying for no knockdown.  I moved up my Woldstalkers and peppered it with some ranged firepower and killed it.  Megalith maneuvered around the Reckoner to the side and used his animus, catching pKreoss in it and dropping everyone's DEF by 2.  This is where I used my clever shifting stone trick.  Shifting Stones A teleported a shifting stone from unit B forward, catching the Woldguardian in the triangular area of unit B.  Unit B teleported the Woldguardian next to pKreoss, and with DEF 13, ARM 17, even without Stone Skin I was able to knock him down and kill him in just a couple of hits.

Not only did I win a fancy certificate and SR coin but also a Warmachine Battle Foam bag with pluck foam!  Huzzah!  It was a great tournament and I hope that I did my part of exposing an outside meta to what Circle is capable of.  It was a fun time and I got to meet some great people in the area and it's always good to get some swag out of the experience.  All I was hoping for was getting 3-4 games of Warmachine in!
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