Back to 35 points for the next tournament. Held at Wargames Workshop's Milton Keynes store and ran by Barrie and Ian (of Guardians of Tyr). My plan was to have Gaspy3 and Skarre2 to run but I had forgotten one important model, Skarre herself. So a quick look through the lists stored on my phone and out came a Gaspy1 theme list with two mechanithralls, two slayers, reaper and Cankerworm.
Game 1, Incursion, vs Alistair Rolt, Legion of Everblight
Alistair had Thagrosh1 and Absylonia with him. Thags had Typhon, Carnivean , swordsmen, striders and the spawning vessel. Abby brought the archangel, striders & UA and I think the swordsmen again. Gaspy3 was going to be the best choice here. Alistair chose Thags1, took first turn and I set up my blood witches against his swordsmen and the raiders against the striders.
Alistair sent the striders in clump up around the left flag while the swordsmen ran into straight lines facing the right flag. Both beasts and Thags took the centre. My raiders got desperate pace and ran to engage all of the striders, taking them out of the equation, especially with Ashen Veil on them. The blood witches ran to be able to charge the swordsmen while mostly staying out of their threat range. Nightmare and Gaspy hid behind a nice little wall.
As the middle flag went away Alistair was going to have a bit of difficulty scoring control points here. Swordsmen advanced past the right flag and the Carnivean moved in support while Typhon tried and mostly failed to spray my raiders on the hill with the striders. The striders also failed to kill any of the raiders. My turn and I loaded up Nightmare and feated. Nightmare failed to kill his carnivean prey, taking out the body and mind though. The blood witches charged into the swordsmen and had their best turn ever. Alistair had six swordsmen on the front line and with death strike only one swordsman at the back survived. They also went incorporeal this turn to prevent counter-strikes. The raiders killed most of the striders this turn as well, who then failed their command check.
No control points scored as yet but with the striders fleeing, the carnivean heavily damaged and Typhon out of position Alistair couldn't do much. The carnivean boosted to hit Nightmare and removed a few boxes. Striders rallied and that's about it. So Gaspy had a few focus points to enjoy so he cast Mobility, fuelled up Nightmare and moved to dominate the left flag. Ragman ran to the right flag as the blood witches charged and removed the carnivean from play. Nightmare then went and destroyed Typhon. The raiders cleared the flag of the last of the striders and I scored three control points.
Alistair plays this turn very cautiously and while Typhon was feated back into play very few attacks were made against me. Typhon contested the right flag and the spawning vessel moved to surround Nightmare's current prey, Thagrosh. However, as Alistair didn't contest the left flag I went to five control points and won the game.
I realised after the day had been done I forgot about Death Shroud, the -2 strength aura of Thagrosh1. It wouldn't have made much of a difference but it was something we both missed. Hopefully that won't happen again.
Game 2, Close Quarters, vs Daniel Bearup, Cygnar
Here's also were I remembered my camera so the photos started to happen now. Last time at Milton Keynes Daniel defeated my Gaspy3 list. But given the scenario I thought Gaspy1 had a very good chance against Haley2, Siege could have been a slight issue but I didn't see Daniel picking him. Fortunately for me I won the roll-off and went first to gain board position.
Below you can see the results of my first turn. My warjacks were on a major push forwards as I hoped to push Daniel to feat his first turn. The mechanithralls hung slightly back as they needed to fuel up the necrosurgeons and Gaspy sat in a wreck marker.
The plan worked and Haley feated first turn as the fireflies and sword knights ran up. Haley also sent in the stormclad against the Cankerworm who lived but only had three boxes left, all in his head. My luck was in it seemed. So with Daniel controlling my turn things shuffled around but he allowed the Cankerworm to activate before the reaper. This allow me to un-engage the stormclad and drag him in. Meanwhile the right-hand slayer took care of the right-hand firefly.
At this point the game became a grind fest. The sword knights killed more mechanithralls and Haley used telekinesis on the left slayer to pop him outside of contesting range. She moved up and started the control point battle. A firefly was put in the way of the slayer who was also disrupted. 1 CP to Daniel.
More mechanithralls came on the table and this time the skarlock landed Parasite. Using each fist individually the sword knights took a battering as the right slayer killed a stormcaller, (I forgot, he killed Anastasia de Bray the turn before). The reaper tried a long shot drag on Haley but failed to hit and Gaspy moved to his flag. The slayer again moved into contesting range of Haley's flag. 1 CP for both of us.
Daniel used both his last remaining stormcaller and the squire to jam up my left hand jacks. After he had telekinesis'd the slayer backwards again. The last of the sword knights went into the mechanithralls and that was about it for his turn. 2 CPs for Daniel, 1 for me.
Knowing dice down was happening very soon my skarlock moved up and killed the only sword knight within contesting range of my flag. The right hand slayer charged into the journeyman warcaster to remove Arcane Shield and the two heavies on the left cleared out the squire and the stormcaller to also move into contesting range. The mechanithralls killed all but one of the sword knights and then dice down was called. 2 CPs each. I won via the third tiebreaker.
Two things saved me here. Forcing Haley's feat early and the order Daniel got me to activate my models while within the feat. I can't hope for the second one ever again so I'd better do the first one next time I face Haley.
Game 3, Into the Breach, vs Ian Wardle, Trollbloods
Facing off against one of the tournament organisers now. Ian only had one list with him; Calandra, two axers, Mulg and fennblades. I chose Gaspy3 and won the roll to go first. The photo below shows the aftermath of my first turn. Blood witches ran into the zone on the left as raiders moved towards the flag. Thanks to Mobility Nightmare was also front and centre threatening his prey, Mulg.
Ian gets the two axers into the zone and fennblades up on the right flank. Mulg was hanging towards the back, protecting Calandra who had cast Starcrossed. As I wanted to strike first I upkept Scything Touch on the witches and Ashen Veil on the raiders. The raiders killed a few of the fennblades but the real magic happened with the blood witches. They severely damaged one axer and took the other one off the table with some hot dice. Nightmare didn't want to end within Mulg's threat range so he moved back slightly and Gaspy hung back as well.
Ian's turn but the fennblades' vengeance failed to hit any of the raiders and as the blood witches were incorporeal only Calandra or Mulg could hurt them. So he buffed up the fennblades and they managed to kill a couple of the raiders. Mulg moved up as well, into the zone I believe and Starcrossed was cast again. Nightmare was fuelled up again and both spells upkept by Gaspy. The blood witches took down the last axer and did a little bit of damage to Mulg. Nightmare then went in and finished him off. The raiders did a little more damage to the fennblades but that was about it. 1 CP to me.
With all his beasts gone Calandra couldn't do much. First up a hero went up and with thresher he removed four witches and put some damage on Nightmare. The fennblades were buffed again and this time cleared out most of the raiders and Vociferon as well. Calandra then moved up and was unfortunately out of spell range of Gaspy. So she used all her fury killing a model or two with her spells.
See that not much was in the zone and Calandra was around four inches away from Nightmare I wanted to finish off the game fast. Fuelled up Nightmare and moved Gaspy into the zone, while casting Carnage. Cleared the zone then sent in Nightmare to kill Calandra, which he hid. 3 CPs and an assassination win.
I think this was a great example of moving things up too far on the first turn. Ian effectively gave me the axers as he had no reason to contest the zones. He was the one who could score first as the second player.
Game 4, Outflank, vs Dean Hubbocks, Legion of Everblight
Oh crap. Now I get to face my club mate in the finals. He had brought along both Vayls to the tournament but I had a feeling he would bring out Vayl2 to face me. I'm sure that he was counting on me bringing out Gaspy3 and he was right. Gaspy1's list wouldn't be able to handle two angelii and ravagores without loosing a lot on the way in. As you can see in the photo below, Dean's list was two angelius, two ravagores, spawning vessel, harrier and two shepards. He took first turn.
Dean thought his best chance was to go for an assassination this turn. So the pot moved up but the first two acolytes failed to hit their brethren. Instead the harrier ran to be in-front of Gaspy and then Vayl moved up and started the assassination run. Icy Grip went on me first and an obliteration came in next but by the end of Vayl's activation I had only suffered 3-4 damage. The right hand ravagore came in next and hit me but only managed to set me on fire. The two angelii also tried their luck but they either missed or did no damage. Lucky me.
I camp as much as I dare on Gaspy, five focus this time instead of the four previously. Two focus went to Nightmare to deal with his preyed angelius. The raiders charged into the left ravagore and the left angelius. With power swell they destroyed the flying beast but the ravagore lived, fairly healthy. The blood witches went next and hurt the other angelius and killed the harrier. Nightmare finished off the angelius. Gaspy hid behind the wall and feated to attempt to stay safe.
Thanks to the spawning vessel Dean could try another assassination run. He upkept Icy Grip and out came a shredder from the pot. Vayl moved backwards and shot the shredder in the back. Well, the second shot hit. Then the Obliteration hit and the damage roll was excessive. Gaspy went down to about five health. The right hand ravagore then shot at gaspy but with the having to boost to hit and damage Gaspy healed slightly and Dean had to do something risky. He took three free strikes from the raiders and the third one rolled double six, knocking down the ravagore.
My turn again and I'm running really low on health. Thanks to Dean spending a little bit of fury I had ten focus to play with. Scything Touch went on the raiders, Nightmare had one or two and Gaspy camped six or seven. The blood witches and Nightmare dealt with the right hand ravagore whilst the raiders killed all of the acolytes and put a bit more damage on the left ravagore. I didn't, however, kill the pot. Big mistake there.
Dean goes for another assassination run. With Icy Grip upkept again and the pot able to produce another shredder all on its own he was well positioned to fire off another Obliteration. This time the boosted to hit spell missed. Dean's last ravagore runs the gauntlet of raiders again but another critical happens and that spells the end of his go.
Given that Vayl has had to cut for fury a couple of times now, she is running really low on health. Nightmare gets loaded up with focus, Mobility is cast to give extra threat range and Nightmare finishes Vayl off.
Wow, Vayl2 is a right problem caster. Purification, Refuge and Admonition are major spells to get around. Gaspy3 does seem to have the tools to deal with her but it is a very tough match-up. I need to watch out for her at Blood & Oil.
So I won all my games and came out at the end the winner of the tournament. The organisers had also been counting up the positions of players throughout all of the tournaments held at Milton Keynes. Kinda like Formula 1 does. Winning this tournament pushed me past Daniel and into first place of the championship as well. A bit of an extra reward there. Thanks again to the organisers and I'll see everybody soon.