Sunday, 2 February 2014

Welcome to SR 2014 - Tournament report

So after the Invitational tournament I went across to Tabletop Nation to play my first 2014 Steamroller event. Hopefully you've read my quick evaluation of the new packet (link bait) so lets see that put into practice.

I took Skorne for the second time to a tournament. Both times have been 35 points but in the first tournament I won one of the three games played and I wasn't able to remember the games in enough detail to write a report afterwards. This time I was able to recall more details so I get to write about a different style of game from my usual Cryx.

I took Makeda1 and Hexeris2 to the event. Hexeris as he has a good generalist playstyle and able to cope with most things. Makeda1 as an infantry based list to counter Hexeris' beast load out.

Archdomina Makeda
- Molik Karn
- Titan Gladiator
Cataphract Cetrati (max)
Nihilators (max)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min)

Lord Arbiter Hexeris
- Basilisk Krea
- Bronzeback Titan
- Tiberion
- Titan Gladiator
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min)
Venator Slingers (max)

Game 1, Outflank, vs James Layfield, Mercenaries

James was running Searforge it seemed with Ossrum and Gorten as his two casters. I went for Makeda1 as I doubted the dwaven shooting could get through Defenders Warded Cetrati and they would be able to punch through his armour. James picked Ossrum and won the roll so picked a side that favoured him.

I won't go too much into detail about this game. James went into shield wall with his highshields in his first turn and thus was heavily out of position for the rest of the game. I won via scenario on my third turn.

Things learnt:

Perhaps I should have checked that he knew what the scenario was and what it meant for the game before we started. After his first turn I did try to check his knowledge but he assured me that he knew about the scenario.

Game 2, Destruction, vs Aaron Wilson, Circle Orboros

I've seen Aaron around, mostly as a PGer running various tournaments so this was going to be the first time playing him and with Morvanha2 and Krueger2 to face me I was in a difficult choice. Makeda likes her upkeeps and Purification screws that up something rotten and Hexeris doesn't like his beasts being slowed or teleported around. In the end I decided to go for Hexeris as Tiberion wouldn't move no matter what Aaron had planned for him. Krueger was chosen and as Aaron chose to go first I picked the side with concealment leading to the zone.

Aaron's bloodtrackers preyed the slingers and immediately ran towards them. The stalker, feral and gorax also sped towards my lines with Krueger moving up fast along side them. I rushed my beasts as best I could trying to protect the gladiator and bronzeback from dying in one turn. They went to the right side with the gladiator slightly in-front of the bronzeback (I was thinking about counter charge). Tiberion went up the centre and the slingers hung back to draw the bloodtrackers further in.

This went about a well as expected as the bloodtrackers took down a couple of the slingers thanks to prey and the fact they are easy to kill. Krueger moved up and feated on my beasts but Tiberion stayed in one place. The stalker and feral moved up as well, the feral to just outside the fence in the centre of the zone.

And that's what gave me hope. I could rush Tiberion and at reach start to hit the feral. Hexeris went first and with his feat killed four bloodtrackers via two ashes to ashes (I had to target my objective to get them). The slingers ran in to cause issues with the blood trackers while rush was cast from the gladiator onto Tiberion. He moved up and hit twice as he boosted both attack rolls. With the second I rolled the critical and wacked the feral into the objective to cause some more damage.

Aaron asks about the shield and how it applies to attacks in the rear (it doesn't). The bloodtrackers finish off the slingers but cause little damage to anything else. Then Krueger moves up and casts Telekinesis on Tiberion, who doesn't move. So with Primal on the stalker it comes in to hit Tiberion a bit, who lives with one health. The feral retreats and licks its wounds a bit.

My bronzeback and Tiberion get enraged thanks to the beast handlers and the gladiator puts rush on the bronzeback who promptly charges the gallows grove next to the objective and puts them both into the ground. Ashes to Ashes get cast at the bloodtrackers again and Tiberion gets healed up thanks to Vampiric Harvest. He then charges the stalker (moving 0") and again, with the last hit gets the critical to send the feral away. He doesn't get much of a distance unfortunately but the attack kills the stalker exactly.

Aaron sees that he's losing the capability to kill heavies and decides to try an assassination run. Krueger charges the bronzeback and casts Telekinesis at the gladiator, who is a dodging bugger thus Krueger needs a second go. Then Telekinesis is cast at Hexeris who is also missed, thanks in part to Ashen Veil being on him. The next part of the plan was for the feral to come in and attack Hexeris but with Aaron's dice not agreeing with the plan we stopped it there as the bronzeback was likely to kill Krueger who was camping nothing.

Things learnt:

Tiberion is as solid as a rock. Not moving messed up Aaron's plan's something rotten. One misplaced feral and the stalker failing to kill put me back in the game. The slingers were ablative armour for the beast handlers I feel but they were never going to be able to shoot at the blood trackers.

Game 3, Incursion, vs Dave Downs, Cryx

I played against Dave in the London Team Tournament so it was good to play him again. He'd brought along Goreshade2 and Mortenebra to use and I noticed that neither of them was really leaning on the infantry side of things so Hexeris wasn't going to be as useful as he normally is. I chose Makeda to ensure I could cover both sides of Incursion easily. Dave picked Goreshade2 with a kraken and a unit of bane thralls. I won the starting roll and decided to take first and gain board position.

My cetrati went middle left supported by the gladiator and Molik Karn went middle right supported by nihilators. Dave sent the bane thralls after the nihilators, the kraken went slightly left of the centre flag and the Withershadow Combine were out on the left. Easy first turns as always. Then the left flag disappeared.

Dave had picked what match-ups he wanted for his troops quite well and thus I didn't want to give him too many free bane thralls from my nihilators. A couple of them ran in-front of the thralls to cause free strike issues while the rest hung back in relative safety. The cetrati had Defenders Ward cast on them and they moved up behind the central flag in shield wall. Which was great against guns but against the kraken's chain weapons, not so good. Molik didn't move, he was in a good position and Makeda moved closer to her pet beast as the gladiator moved behind the cetrati again. Oh and Makeda feated to recover the expected dead models.

The plan with the nihilators worked well. Dave surround the three up front with bane thralls and thanks to some good tough rolls only killed one of them. The kraken also came in on the cetrati but thanks to poor dice rolls here every single one of them lived. Other than that not much happened.

Makeda upkept Defenders Ward and the cetrati charged the kraken. It still lived afterwards but the gladiator came in to finish it off. One of the cetrati charged Tartarus and killed him to take him out of the game. Nihilators went for the bane thralls and killed a fair few of them but tough helped Dave out as much as it did me last turn. Molik moved up slightly to get a better threat range on whatever he liked whilst Makeda moved to be within dominating range of the flags. (I should have moved slightly further right as dominating the central flag only gives one control point). Thanks to some really lucky placing of the cetrati all were within 4" of the central flag and thus I scored one control point.

Dave used the skarlock to cast Hex Blast and remove Defenders Ward from the cetrati then the necrotech moved up and turned the kraken's wreck into more scrap thralls. A couple of them attacked the cetrati for not much damage and the rest got turned into the bane thralls I'd already killed this game thanks to Goreshade's feat. The bane thralls themselves got a couple of hits on the nihilators but they bared the assault well.

As Goreshade was hanging at the back, presumably worried about Molik Karn, I decided to go for a scenario win. Molik goes for the bane thrall standard and after killing him and the officer the nihilators finished the bane thralls off. The cetrati go into shield wall and kill Admonia to stop her free upkeep. The gladiator bases the central flag but Makeda can't quite reach the right flag to dominate it. 2 CPs

Dave does a bit more damage to the cetrati by the skarlock and remaining Withershadow Combine. He also makes sure to contest the central flag with the necrotech.

My turn and Makeda casts Carnage and Fate Walker on herself. With the Carnage bonus the gladiator easily deals with the necrotech as the cetrati finish off everything else except Goreshade. Makeda Fate Walks to the right flag to score the five control points.

Things learnt:

Dice can be really fickle. One turn I made five tough checks out of six or seven attacks. Also the threat of Molik Karn had a greater affect than his actual killing power this game.

Game 4, Process of Elimination, vs Sherwin, Skorne

Skorne on both sides of the final table isn't something you see usually and though Sherwin was playing different lists I knew from our previous games he's a good player. He'd been using Makeda3 for the first three games and thus was locked into Naaresh to face me. I chatted it over with Chris Cawthorn and he suggested that Makeda was the right choice as the beasts can only kill a couple of cetrati at a time, leaving the other to hit back strong. I don't know exactly why I chose Hexeris instead. Gut feeling or the fact Tiberion tanked a stalker so I was over confident in his abilities. Anyways, I won the starting roll and decided to go second to get the better side and get the chance to score first.

Sherwin's first turn gets the bronzeback and gladiator towards the left zone, rhinodon in the centre and nihilators on the right. I run Tiberion up the centre, bronzeback left and gladiator behind Tiberion. My slingers went right with a few in-front to take the first hit.

Sherwin sends in the rhinodon to the right-hand zone and kills a slinger. This let the nihilators come through the gap and engage a couple of slingers. Sherwin's gladiator ended up in the middle of the board after casting rush on the rhinodon. His bronzeback just moved in to be opposite mine in the left zone. Finally the agoniser moved up and his wails caused my warbeasts to be hitting at less power.

My turn and I need to sacrifice a beast to deal with the rhinodon. Gladiator and rush are far too important and the bronzeback is out on the flank so that left Tiberion to deal with him. The slingers went first and tried to kill the agoniser but couldn't get enough damage on the poor tortured thing to put it out of its misery. Hexeris then went and with his feat cast two Ashes to Ashes into the nihilators but left a couple alive. The feat did allow me to steal a load of focus from Sherwin's beasts but I should have saved the feat for later I feel (hindsight helps a lot). Tiberion then went and wacked the rhinodon. I was still within the aura of the agoniser but I still destroyed the beast and put Bump on myself to cause issues.

Sherwin sends the last two nihilators into the slingers, but with Ashen Veil not much happened. The cyclops shaman then charged Tiberion to remove Bump. His gladiator came in and with help from enrage killed Tiberion. Sherwin was considering an assassination run and possibly could have done it, except critical smite on Tiberion made him nervous and after he killed Tiberion I had too many transfers to get through. Instead he feated to protect his beasts (extra armour) and used his bronzeback to destroy the left objective.

Sherwin had a load of fury on the board at the end of his turn but I was most worried about destroying his remaining heavies. I buffed up my beasts as best I could, even paralysing the enemy bronzeback. Sent them in and didn't kill either the bronzeback or gladiator. This could have been possible if I'd remembered that titans add their tusks to headbutt damage rolls. Opps. Anyways. The slingers try to deal with the nihilators but one still lived.

The bronzeback had all its fury removed and was quite happy on the left. Sherwin's gladiator however, decided to frenzy and hit my gladiator. The cyclops shaman tried to get some damage on my gladiator but failed so Sherwin sent in Naaresh to destroy the right objective and get ahead on scenario. He failed though, leaving it on a wound or two. His bronzeback did better, removing mine from the table.

My turn and I see an opportunity here. The slingers finish off the objective and the agoniser whilst the gladiator killed its counterpart and put some damage on the shaman. Hexeris then charged Sherwin's bronzeback and destroyed him. One boosted Hellfire into a beast handler and I had control of the left zone. One fury though and my beast handlers ran up to cause charge lane issues.

Sherwin sees that he has no heavy killing power and decides to go for the assassination. One unit of beast handlers buff Naaresh whilst one of the others kills a beast handler of mine in the way. Naaresh then comes in to deal the finishing blow but Hexeris lives though the attacks as Sherwin boosts a few attack rolls. At this point dice down is called and I win, five control points to one.

Things learnt:

Tiberion isn't as much of a tank as I hoped. I'm also having issues with the slingers as they didn't really do much in this match-up either. We'll see about them in the future. Other than that I will now remember about hard head helping out my damage rolls.

So I won my first tournament with Skorne. That Makeda list worked pretty well and Hexeris worked well enough but needs revision for the future. Maybe when I have incindiarii built I can put them in the list.

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