Monday, 2 September 2013

Headlock 2013. Tournament Report

Two weeks after the Midlands Steamroller I'm back in Walshall to play another 50 point tournament. This time I'm planning on practising the Skarre1 with the Kraken list.

Game 1, Chemical Reaction vs Gavin Wilkinson, Cygnar

Gavin had Haley2 and Caine2 to use against me. Not bad for me as the Skarre list has been built for Cygnar, so lets see how it goes. Gavin picked Haley2 with plenty of warjacks. She had a Centurion and Lancer, the Journeyman had a hunter and the Gun Mages had a defender with them. There was also the Black 13th, rangers and Eiryss2. Neat list but too warjack centric for my liking. The terrain was there on the board but I can't remember it taking much part of the battle.

Gavin had the first turn and moved up with the warjacks in the centre, gun mages and rangers on the right and the black 13th on the left. I ran forward in response with a couple of bane knights out in front to threaten long charges or trigger vengeance but not too far as I was expecting Haley to feat. I wanted to pull her forward enough to be in major danger.

Gavin triggered vengeance for the knights with the rangers and gun mages and shot a few points off the kraken with the hunter and defender whilst the centurion moved forward and stopped any charges targeting the warjack. Most importantly however, Haley didn't feat. Time to punish Gavin for clumping the gun mages together with the rangers. The kraken moved up and took a shot at the gun mages it scattered off but still killed a couple. Together with vengeance, death ride and Tartarus' curse the knights charged and ran into engage the gun mages and rangers to stop the infantry killing shots and I also engaged Eiryss at the same time. Finally the centurion was taken over by my machine wraith.

Gavin did a good job of attempting to clear off my engaging troops with a Time Bomb from Haley and Dead Eye cast on the gun mages but because of some dice rolls not beating my armour and my positioning he couldn't totally clear the gun mages. Gavin did feat with Haley though to cause me a couple of issuese. My turn couldn't amount to much with Gavin in control but he did mess up slightly allowing me to turn his centurion around and into melee range of the Kraken's claws.

Gavin again attempted to clear up the Bane Knights from the Gun Mages but I'd made it as hard as I possibly could. Gavin did manage to destroy the objective on my side though. Now this was worrying as we started slightly later than everybody else and the clock in my head was saying dice down is a possibility. The Kraken takes some shots at the objective whilst Skarre feats, casts Dark Guidance and charges forward. Tartarus now charges the objective and destroys the thing putting us even on CPs. Finally I take my time over getting the bane knights to charge into Haley and put her down.

Things Learnt:

Don't leave an easy objective kill for a shooting army. I could have easily lost due to dice down and being one CP down. Try to stay ahead next time, unless its a deathclock game that is.

Game 2, Supply and Demand vs Martyn Furnival, Cygnar

Cygnar again, I would be happy with that except Haley2 is part of his lists along side Caine1. I stick to my plan of playing Skarre and he chooses Caine with a Stormwall, gun mages, Nyss hunters and some rangers. Again, terrain didn't play that much part in the battle.

I took first turn and ran forwards with everything, kraken slightly right of centre and either side was a bane knight unit. Martyn sent the Stormwall up the direct centre with Nyss on my right, rangers in front and gun mages squished between the stormwall and a forest with Caine in the mix there.

Second turn and I want to put some damage on Caine, so the Kraken boosts a shot into the gun mages killing four and putting minor damage on Caine from the blast. The really good news was that the gun mages failed their command check. Rather than run straight onto Caine's guns the bane knights reorganised and spread out ensuring it was going to be really hard for a feat turn to kill everybody. Martyn then carefully measures his control and gives out three focus to the stormwall. Oh bugger, the kraken is too close to the stormwall. Caine moves up first and feats but only kills 3-4 bane knights due to some bad rolls. Caine then disappears via Teleport and the Rangers and Nyss shot at the right hand unit of banes but left it mostly intact. The Stormwall then declares a charge against the Kraken but Martyn has misplaced a Nyss hunter and the charge lane now isn't open. Stormwall moves up and is about half an inch out.

Right then. Lets get rid of that Kraken and do some damage else where so Tartarus charges the stormwall first to get Dark Shroud on it and curse the rangers. Skarre feats and casts Dark Guidance so I can hit the high defence guys and the Kraken wails on the stormwall but fails to kill. So the knights on the left finish it off as well as the rangers on that side. The right hand unit charges in and kill all but one of the rangers (who fails his command check) and heavily engage the Nyss. Martyn shoots a couple of the knights and manages to totally clear off the left hand unit of banes. Whilst the Nyss charge in and do a fair job on the right hand unit.

What I realise now is that the Nyss are Martyn's only source of armour cracking so I concentrate on killing as much as possible whilst dealing with stuff in the zone. The objective on his side is destroyed but I fail to clear the zone. Martyn gets the bane knights down to a couple of members with the Nyss and kills Tartarus with gun mage and Caine shooting. My fifth turn and Skarre hides in the wreckage of the stormwall to be defence 20. The zone gets cleared and the Nyss get down to two members and I score two CPs for dominating. Martyn clears off my solos who were preventing easy access to the zone but fails to contest. So I automatically win as he ends his turn after a really long shot assassination attempt fails.

Things Learnt:

Judge the threat range of the heavy hitters better next time. Stormwall shouldn't have been within 10" at all. Oh and remember that some scenarios are killbox. It's likely that Caine was outside the line most of the game but neither myself or Martyn realised to record those CPs.

Game 3, Outflank vs Graham "the Wise" Keen, Retribution of Scyrah

Hmm, Ossyan or Kaelyssa. Ossyan is probably the worse match up here as I really rely on my armour to survive. I again stick to my plan and Graham chooses Ossyan with Hypnos, hyperion, battle mages, strike force and two units of stormfall archers. There was terrain but, again, I can't remember it taking part of the game.

I'll ignore much of what happen during the first couple of turns. My right hand unit of knights had a couple of members shot out of it and then vengeance and charged into the strike force to tie them up. Where the battle really gets started is when Ossyan feats to kill my kraken. Plenty of shots went into it and suddenly I was left with a large wreck marker and plenty of bane knights, time to feat in return then. Due to vengeance moves and death ride I managed to get a charge lane to Ossyan so Skarre feated and cast Dark Guidance whilst charging forward to end in the centre of the board. Tartarus charged into hyperion and forgot to curse Ossyan as the bane knights then activated to destroy Hypnos and hyperion. Unfortunately the two I managed to get onto Ossyan missed by one or two points but I did run my Captain into engage four out of the remaining six stormfall archers whilst the right hand knights engaged as much as they could.

With hyperion and Hypnos gone Gavin didn't have much to kill Skarre with and the infantry killing part of his army was mostly tied up. Battle mages did a good job of clearing a couple of strike force but Skarre only suffered one damage point from shooting. He tried to clear out the area surrounding Ossyan with Ossyan's sword but some major dice fail left most of them alive. After that I just cleared a route for Tartarus to charge in and finish off Ossyan.

Things learnt:

Though this list isn't built for attrition it can do it if I feat at the right time, stopping the counter attack from having any teeth. I need to ensure I'm not wasting the kraken though. It didn't really do much this game as it was shot off the table. It's a survivable jack in Cryx which is awesome I just need to position it better.

Game 4, Close Quarters vs Brian Clarke, Legion

Throughout the day I've been chatting to Brian and watching him do well throughout the tournament. I thought I would have to face him again and this time it's in the final. Brian had Saeryn and Lylyth2 again and I really wanted not to play Skarre against either of those two. Saeryn can really kill bane knights easily and Lylyth will shoot Skarre very easily. However, I stuck to my plan again and played Skarre vs Lylyth. Two ravagores, min unit of striders and UA, bolt thrower and a scythean made up Brian's list.

I had first turn and ran forward as normal. Except Skarre. I was really scared of the assassination threat so she moved forwards a couple of inches at most. Brian moved a ravagore either side of the battlefield and the striders took a shot or two at the bane knights. Unfortunately for Brian he only killed one.

My second turn and I decide to be slightly aggressive. Skarre camps as much as possible and moves right up behind the kraken who has moved forward and shot at the striders killing one or two. The two necrotechs move to either side to block line of sight and the striders get engaged by vengeancing, Death Riding bane knights. Brian decides to go for it and Lylyth feats and shoots at a bane knight. Doesn't kill. With the feat attack he attacks the left side necrotech. Doesn't kill. He then stops making attacks with Lylyth saving three fury. The right hand ravagore then takes a shot at the right hand necrotech killing it and setting Tartarus, the kraken and Skarre on fire. Bugger. Its second shot takes out a stitch thrall and sets it's brothers on fire. The bolt thrower takes out the left hand necrotech and that leaves a lane open for the last ravagore to get to Skarre with direct shots. Two boosted attacks and one boosted damage later and Skarre is on 6 health and burning.

I think I might have been too aggressive. To see if I manage to get another turn I see if fire goes out on Skarre. It doesn't and the resulting damage takes her down to one health. So that takes my feat out of the question. Looks like it's kill or be killed in this turn. The bane knights that can vengeance and set up for charges on Lylyth. Tartarus curses Lylyth and Skarre moves out side of the scather templates to cast Dark Guidance and heal for one but now is on no focus. The necrosurgeon heals up a few more points but not enough for me to feel safe. The right hand bane knights charge in and four get there. Needing eights to hit (without Dark Guidance) three of them manage it and take her down to six health remaining and one transfer. The left hand unit also charge in and two make it this time. Fortunately Dark Guidance covers them and Lylyth goes down for the count.

Things learnt:

Be very scared of Lylyth's assassination run if you are a squishy caster. Fire is no joke. Next time I'll have to put a couple more models in the way it seems. Right at the end I was also planning to kill Lylyth with the kraken if the bane knights failed but I screwed up Tartarus' positioning and the huge base wouldn't have made it into combat. So I need to ensure that I don't do that again.

All in all every one of the games was a challenge and against a great opponent. Looking back at the games there was always terrain but I really don't remember it taking much part in the battle. As for the Skarre list, it worked well. Only time will tell if it can stand up to Menoth as I'm yet to face them in battle.

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