It’s tournament season! Something about November apparently means that every place I game is hosting Warmachine and Hordes tourneys. The first one was at Drawbridge Games, a 35 point three-round tournament with variable missions chosen from the Steamroller 2015 pool (each table rolled randomly at the start of each round). The tournament was dubbed the Goldun Ogruns 2015, by me, as I was the one who made the trophies by cobbling together a few pieces of display wood, some metallic paints, and a commandeered set of Blighted Ogrun Warspears from prize support. With three trophies on the line: Tournament Winner, Best Painted Army, and Best Painted Model, I was excited to get some games in!
My 35 point Skorne force for the tournament. I went with Hexeris2 and a warbeast heavy approach. It includes the Bronzeback, a Cannoneer, an Aradus Sentinel, a Cyclops Brute, and my favorite model for Hexeris’ bonded channeler: the Razorworm. Rounding out the force were some Beast Handlers, an Agonizer, and a Void Spirit. The force is pretty general, relying upon his Black Spot to enable my shooting beasts to do their damage on enemy forces as they arrive, and the arc node, Bronzeback, and in a pinch Hexy or the Void Spirit to be the threat vectors for the enemy casters or specific model removal. I knew that this force would struggle with scenario points unless my foes were smaller in size and/or lacked the magic weapons/spells to deal with the Void Spirit, so I kept caster kill at the front of my mind in games. My first matchup was against Tony’s Trollbloods. They were a solid list of Warders, Krielstone bearer, and Northkin Fire Eaters, backed by Janissa Stonetide. The Warlock was Borka1, with an Earthborn Dire Troll, a Troll Axer, and a Pyre Troll as his warbeasts.
You know you’re in trouble when the person you’re playing against is wearing a shirt with a picture of his own painted model that you’re facing! This was going to be an uphill battle. The Troll of the match proved to be the Troll Axer. It got an initial lucky charge in by a squeeze–just slipping completely past the flag marker. That locked me down in the middle. While I was getting lucky on my right flank (the Warders were inexplicably missing my Paingiver Beast Handlers that I had to draft into emergency speed bump duty), my own actions led to my demise in the center. I enraged my Aradus Sentinel, only to find that Borka ended up on the subsequent phase with his back to it. It would have been a perfect back shot with poisoned weapon, but sadly the Enrage compelled him to charge or slam so he slammed the Axer out of the way of my other models to set up spell and ranged attacks on his caster.
The critical mistake was not remembering the difference between Hordes and Warmachine for a moment when it came to my Agonizer. I was counting on its cries of baby elephantine misery to prevent forcing… but no, it prevents allocation of focus to Warjacks but only turns of the animus of affected warbeasts. I had forgotten, and it cost me. The Earthborn two-handed threw the Cannoneer right through Hexeris, leaving both knocked down. Then the Axer simply forced his stand up and rolled in to finish my Warlock with ease.
I don’t want to take anything away from my opponent with this, as he played a great game that kept me really on my toes. It was a tough assassination to set up even if I hadn’t blundered on the Agonizer. All in all a very fun game.
My second round draw was against Kevin and his Puppet Masters Mercenary Contract list. Headed by Exulon Thexus, the list was three big groups of Drudges, a number of Cephalyx Agitators, a Pistol Wraith, and two of their Heavy Monstrosities. My Advance Deploy warbeasts got up field as fast as the two insectiwurms could scurry, which let Hexeris start unloading his spells through the channeler on turn two, joined by the Aradus Sentinel belching out its poisoned AoE. I cleared a whole lot of chaff in my first turns–using my feat early to get a second casting of Ashes to Ashes off. While the Cephalyx left some dents and dings in my warbeasts, they weathered that storm. Exulon was as sneaky and manipulative as he should be, sliding my melee pieces all over and allowing his Heavy Monstrosities to get advantageous positions.
It quickly became clear that I’d need to press the assassination vector, as getting control points was going to be tough given the closeness of objectives and manipulations my opponent was using. The Razorworm was able to chomp its way to freedom thanks to Drag Below, and advance through a gap to leave the Warlock and a Cephalyx Agitator in its sights. Hexeris was then able to use the presence of the close model to shunt AOE damage onto Exulon without directly hitting him (to avoid his Sacrifical Pawn ability to pass hits to nearby Monstrosities). The Warlock had taken the rough end of some Warbeast ranged weapon blast damage on prior turns, so this strike was enough to finish him off.
I was pleased with the win, but I managed zero control points for my trouble, leaving me still back in the standings for the tournament. It was a three-round affair, but it became clear at the end of round two that two of the players were ahead of the rest and would be the tourney deciders (due to victories and points)–so the rest of us took a break and watched the “championship” match up. I was glad to see that my opponent from the first round, Tony, managed to win the final “championship” game and the trophy.
All in all it was a great little tournament. I need to work out a way to put the squeeze on my opponent with objectives when playing my Skorne. I have a unit of Paingiver Bloodrunners that I’m thinking of prioritizing on the painting table, as a way to put quicker pressure on foes with my Skorne lists (plus they’ll suit Morghoul2 just wonderfully). Even with the advance deploying warbeasts, they’re not speedy enough to really give the scenario pressure I need and they’re further hindered by control range. Until I get that sorted out with the Skorne, my options are limited because I always seem to be the one who’s falling behind in scenario points–a problem which I don’t seem to have with any of my other forces. Soon enough I’ll crack that code. More tournaments like the Goldun Ogruns can only help!
While I didn’t win the overall victor, I did manage to win one award: Best Painted Army. I was really pleased about that result, as it wasn’t chosen by the TO/store owner but rather voted on by the other players. It was a little odd winning a trophy that I had made and donated for the event, but I’m still pleased.
Battles (Privateer Press):
Overall Total 2015: 25 (Win/Loss: 20/5/0)
12 Wins (Fiona, Sorscha, Morvahna2, Ossrum, Borka, Kaelyssa, Stryker, Venethrax, and Butcher, Thagrosh, Exulon) / 3 Losses (Kromac, Kaelyssa/Kaya, Borka)
0 Wins / 1 Loss (Kaelyssa)
Protectorate of Menoth:
3 Wins (Morvahna2, Kaelyssa) / 0 Losses
Legion of Everblight:
5 Wins (Caine2, Kaya, Sorscha, Rahn) / 1 Loss (Fiona)