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Latrobe tourney

Latrobe tourney

On a bit of a whim, I took a bit of a drive down for a Saturday in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to a Steamroller tournament at SCG Hobby. With my recent change to Skorne for the Company of Iron campaign at Drawbridge, I was itching to try all the newer stuff I’ve completed for my Trollbloods that I haven’t really had out on the table much. Of course, a nice competitive Steamroller is the perfect spot to run a brand new warcaster to me (Doomshaper2) with an odd sort of list. So why not do it? My other list was a Jarl Skuld speedy infantry list variant that I’m pretty familiar with. I just wasn’t going to tell my opponents that I intended to play Doomshaper2 in every match just to get practice.

The list is probably an abomination: Doomshaper2 with two Dire Troll Blitzers, an Earthborn Dire Troll, a Troll Bouncer, a Troll Impaler, a unit of Pyg Bushwhackers with Officer and Mortar UA, a unit of Trollkin Scouts that were the client of a Trollkin Sorcerer, Janissa Stonetide, and some Whelps. The list was Company of Iron stuff plus some pieces I’ve been wanting to try with Doomshaper2, and ended up to be rather Frankenstein-ish to be honest.

So here’s how it went:

The first match I completely forgot to take photos of my opponent Rob’s beautifully painted Retribution army. He fielded Adeptis Rahn, with a list chock-full of Battle Mages. So much pushing and pulling–one Dire Troll Blitzer was dragged about 8 inches forward, then pushed back about  (without a single knockdown, luckily). It started to get grave pretty quick, as he got ahead on scenario points by clearing one of the zones. So I had to go for a pretty low-chance assassination. A Dire Troll Blitzer got pretty deep, got a fair number of shots on Rahn (that actually hit), and followed with some Primal Shock action from Doomshaper. While some landed and damaged, it would have taken pretty hot dice rather than my decidedly lukewarm rolls to get the job done. Great opponent and fun game, and taught me some initial lessons about running Doomshaper2 to be sure.

Circle vs Trolls 1My second match was against Les’ Circle Orboros force–a beast-heavy list led by Kromac.

Circle vs Trolls 2My list on their side of the battlefield. I was hoping that the Sorcerer could do some work by shutting off Pathfinder–hoping to catch his forces on one side of that center lake with the Sorcerer doing his thing on the far side. Alas, that was hardly what happened. 

Circle vs Trolls 3I lost the Earthborn to the Ghetorix, as Kromac’s ability to get beasts deep and everywhere is just amazing. Sensing the jaws closing again, it was time for another attempt at ill-advised assassination run. Kromac was close enough that my Dire Trolls Blitzers could get some shots on him, and then Doomshaper2 could potentially Primal Shock from the closer one. I did just that, but Dire Troll Blitzers are just terribly awful shots who need to boost too often. Because of that, the hits didn’t quite do enough damage… leaving him able to simply take some of the hits and not transfer, so that as I worked through the couple of transfers I was left without a way to finish the job. He quickly killed Doomshaper2 in return to end the game. 

Cygnar vs Trolls 1Third game was against Bill’s Mercenary-heavy Caine2 list. I felt like I had a decent shot against this list, as long as I could build my defensive fortress for Doomshaper2 each turn closer to Caine2, I could eventually launch a feat-driven assassination into him to finish him off. 

Cygnar vs Trolls 2My forces arrayed with a refused flank, ready for the wall of troll warbeast meat to advance right into the enemy guns. 

Cygnar vs Trolls 3This was probably my best-played game of the tourney. I did a few good things, and felt like I started to get better use out of my two Dire Troll Blizters (not just saving them to be assassination threats). They needed to get work done, and that meant getting situations against multiple targets where they could shoot and swing (and snack).

That said, it all went astray on the bottom of the third turn. I had a good wall against Caine2 (big bodies, stone wall from Janissa, Bouncer close by with Bump up). But there was a slight gap on the side… and Caine2 was too close (as I was intending). He got a move to the line, so the feat just shot me down. Doomshaper2 does not have the ability to stand up against him. I realized I should have had the trolls up, and Doomie2 much further back with the Bouncer and Impaler doing his screening. Too much Madrak2 and Jarl in my Trollbloods experience–they can get a fair amount closer to the foe and be okay. Doomshaper2? Not so much. 

All in all a fun event. I was good playing three brand new players, and I got a crash course in what makes Doomshaper2 tick (and not tick). Primal Shock in particular is not nearly what I thought it would be in planning the army, mostly due to order of operations. Warbeasts cannot use the feat movement to advance into amazing spots for the spell, as they cannot go in the middle of the Warlock’s turn. Still, I’m liking some of what Doomshaper2 can do–and with more practice I hope to improve on him a fair amount.

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

73/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 20 (Win/Loss: 13/7/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:

8 Wins (Butcher, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre)/ 1 Loss (Rask)

Trollbloods:

1 Win (Karchev) / 3 Losses (Adeptis Rahn, Kromac, Caine2)

Cryx:

4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad)  /  3 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3)

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Company of Iron Begins

Company of Iron Begins

This week marked the first week of Company of Iron games.* First up, the painting progress I made:

 

Trollbloods Pyg BushwhackersPyg Bushwhackers add 5 points to my total. I think they turned out really nicely. 

Void Spirit SkorneThe Skorne Void spirit on the right adds another 2 points. I also added the Heap of Corpses that I created and painted myself as we’re doing some terrain modeling competition as part of the league. 

Why the Skorne Void Spirit when I was working on Trollbloods for the league? Well, because as the Press Ganger running the event it felt like a bummer doubling up Trolls when one of the players decided to run them for the league. So I decided to run my Skorne in the league instead (there’s also a Cryx player, so my third army was no-go too). I don’t mind, as I love my Skorne and there are some upcoming tournaments that I’m leaning on taking them too over the summer. I’ll post updates on those, especially my entries for a regional Tier Four tournament in June.

My first battle of the league was a larger game against Ryan’s Cryx, followed by a platoon skirmish against Andy’ Minions. Because I had been focusing on painting the Trollbloods, my Skorne Platoon is sadly only partially complete in the pictures below.

1 eHexeris SkorneMy Hexeris2 list with the Platoon included. The list is pretty shooty, with the Platoon intended to be a skirmish screen and contest objectives while the shooting core whittles the foe down. 

2 pSkarre CyxMy opponent Ryan’s Cryx. Led by pSkarre and containing the Cryx Platoon, this was going to be a tough fight for my force.

3 Cryx vs Skorne Companies ClashPlatoon on Platoon action… the Void Spirit slowed the Black Ogrun crew down, and took a free strike at the last one to leave his range (but missing, of course). 

4 Cryx vs Skorne ScrumThe center was a jammed, overlapping mess. Skarre has a real advantage in a grind situation, so I had to get some quick success or Hexy2 would not be able to finish things. 

5 eHexeris vs pSkarre assassinationThe Cannoneer is normally a shooter, but this time he had to clear the path with his melee ability (and present his back to Hexeris2 as a Ashes to Ashes target should I need an easy defense to hit). Skarre was on only a single Focus point, so Hexeris2 charged and lit into her with his spells (all the more powered by his feat). He cut her down with a final blast of magical force. 

6 Company of Iron SkorneThe second game saw my Skorne Platoon defending a safe house that my opponents were trying to get a military officer into. It’s a great little mission that plays well with the small forces. 

7 Company of Iron MinionsAndy’s great-looking Minions Platoon for the league were my opponents. 

8 Skorne vs Minions Company of IronThe clash with the Croaks was just too much for my forces in this scenario. I had a couple of shining moments where the granted Poltergeist ability for the Platoon made for good protection, ultimately I wasn’t able to seal down enough space nor able to reach out and take out the Military Officer. 

So far so good for the Company of Iron League. The Platoon Missions especially seem promising, and I’m excited to see how my Skorne fare in further battles. I’m thinking that I need to swap Hexeris2 for Mordikaar, as the Void Spirits and the Paingiver Bloodrunners both seem to really fit his abilities well.

*Note that I’m going to only count the 35 or 50 point games for my battle total. The Platoon Skirmishes are fun, but much more story than something to reflect in my battles total. 

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

73/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 17 (Win/Loss: 13/4/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:

8 Wins (Butcher, Deneghra, Shae, Sorscha2, Feora2, Severius, Skarre)/ 1 Loss (Rask)

Trollbloods:

1 Win (Karchev) / 0 Losses

Cryx:

4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad)  /  3 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3)

Goreshade3 and Me

Goreshade3 and Me

I attended a 50 point Steamroller tournament at Legions Games, and brought my Cryx along for the ride. I really wanted to bring my Skorne, but I’ve been playing so much Cryx lately for the Journeyman League that I was just more comfortable with them at the moment. This event was a two-lists event, so I chose to bring Goreshade3 and Scaverous–the two casters I’ve been running the most lately. Goreshade’s list was designed more for handling infantry, while Scaverous’ list was much more of an assassination vector if my opponent had thin lines and was vulnerable if a corridor is opened (Scavy’s specialty).

First up, painting. I finally added the first Mercenary unit I’ve ever purchased to my force, an Orgun Bokur. The main reason was to give a bit of defense to my caster, as the Bokur can use Shield Guard to take incoming shots for them. It helps prevent nonsense that would cause my caster to lose focus or be unable to cast/gain focus in the next round.

Cryx 1This brings me to 37 points painted this far in 2016. I’m a 10th of the way to having painted a point per day! I did him in the colors I’m doing the rest of my Cryx in, as he’s likely to only ever hit the table alongside my Cryx force. 

The field of 14 players was pretty heavily slanted with four Cryx, three Khador, two Legion, and two Circle. My first opponent was a Cryx player, my second opponent was a Cryx player, and my third game was against Khador.

Cryx 3First up was a pretty balanced Skarre list run by Ian. My Shrike actually did a pretty impressive job in this game. I got jammed by a group of Satyxis Raiders early, so to make sure I could contest I had to use Goreshade3’s feat on the top of turn two. The good news was, that meant the Shrike auto-hit on a long line of tramples and he soared a whopping 13 inches (thanks to Infernal Machine) and obliterated one half of the jammers in a literal fell swoop. The rest of the game he spent dodging attacks from the Bane Knights thanks to his high defense, until one finally tagged him and destroyed the little birdjack. 

Cryx 2Skarre’s alpha strike really hurt, especially the Soulhunters simply annihilating my Revenant Crew. However Goreshade3 was able to rush back and apply some scenario pressure, dominating the zone and getting some points for me while my opponent never quite cleared their zone. It meant that Skarre needed to go for the assassination, but it didn’t quite take. Goreshade was left in range of Skarre with a Helldiver behind her: the little jack surfaced, headbutted her to the ground, and Goreshade3 finished her with a charge. 

Cryx 4Round Two I faced Cryx again. This time I was facing Ryan, who dropped his Goreshade3 versus mine. Our lists were pretty different except for Mechanithrals and Bile Thralls, and Ryan got the first turn–which proved to be pretty decisive. He played his Bile Thralls up, charged and destroyed some with Goreshade3, then used Mockery of Life to get them placed even further up the field. A variation I should have done to him if I had gone first–but instead I had to play a bit defensively and creep around the sides. 

Cryx 5My Goreshade3 played up to the objective between two forests, recognizing that if I was going to do anything I’d need to increase the scenario pressure a bit. 

Cryx 6The problem was that I had to keep flooding the middle to keep him from scoring, and the Kraken and Bane Riders kept him well ahead of the curve. I kept the pressure up as much as I could, but once he got my objective dead and dominated the center for a round, it was all over but the taxes for most part. I crowded the zone once more, but his Kraken did its thing and I was too little too late. Still a fun game, as Ryan is always a great opponent who I learn a lot from when I play (he went on to win first place in the event). 

Cryx 7My third round match was against Justin’s gorgeously painted Khador force. Just look at that Behemoth. He fielded Vlad, which meant that my forces would have to sell themselves dearly–whenever he attacked me he was sure to hit and damage because of the added dice. I started my pressure early with the Mechanithralls and Revenant Crew, and while they did indeed die in droves they at least took some stuff with them–in particular heavily damaging the Behemoth. 

Cryx 8I ended up winning thanks to the death clock–Justin timed out for the round. It was a lucky thing too, as I was definitely losing the attrition game. My jacks were intact, and I was deciding whether I could try to scenario or simply had to nudge an arc node up and hope for a Hail Mary assassination through spells. Thank goodness for the Revenant crew in this game–I think a lot of time was spent dealing with them. Though I never got any back from their unit’s ability (only through Captain Rengrave adding models), the question they ask of “can you kill enough and then get the job done on the unit leader?” is a time sink for the opponent. Overall a great game, as Justin was a really fun player to face and his army was wonderfully painted.

For the tourney, I ended up 6th overall out of the 14, with a 2-1 record, 3 total control points, and 87 army points destroyed. I ended up playing Goreshade3 in all three games, each time for different reasons. Ultimately, that was fine by me as I was proud of my performance. Pretty good for only having started Cryx in December!

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

37/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 8 (Win/Loss: 4/4/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Skorne:

0 Wins / 1 Loss (Rask)

Cryx:

4 Wins (Caine, Karchev, Skarre, Vlad)  /  3 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2, Goreshade3)

The Journey Ends

The Journey Ends

Well, we reached the end of our winter Journeyman League. It was spread a bit more than six straight weeks because of the holidays, but I judge it to be a great success. We had 13 total players show up, including two who split a 2-player starter box on the first night and started building the models right there. Everyone made progress painting, and almost every player earned the full badge set! Glad we got the reinforcements booster!

For the last event, we changed up the scenario from the league ones as people were wanting a bit of variety. For my game, I finally got a chance to play against Colton’s Khador. He had been using Sorscha as well as Karchev in the league, and I was excited to face off against his Karchev list. First up painting, then a bit from my battle, before the rest of the league.

A ShrikeCompleted my Shrike bonejack. Modified slightly to be flying, rather than taking off. Takes me to 34 points painted for the year!

Cryx 1My army arrayed for battle. Even at 35 points, Cryx makes for a fearsome large battle line.

Cryx 2Colton’s Khador line of battle, led by Karchev the Terrible at the front. Less widespread, certainly, but equally imposing as the Cryx line. I had my work cut out for me. 

Cryx 3The battle was joined, and Karchev led the way all across the board to the flag on my side. My poor Defiler was no match for the armored destruction. 

Cryx 4Goreshade3 followed suit, and rode across to the opposite flag himself. To win the game, I merely needed to defeat one destroyer. It took me a full turn of Goreshade3 and the Mechanithralls, then surviving the return attacks from the crippled warjack, and finishing it off the next round. Man, those crabjacks are tough! I managed to pull off the win, but only just. 

Other 1Other games from the evening. Andy’s Thornfall Alliance hog squad against Terry’s Protectorate of Menoth–the smell of bacon grilled on the flames of the righteous!

Other 2Brandon’s Trenchers dig into the zone, firing madly at Dan’s advancing Khador line. 

Other 5Another game for Brandon’s Trenchers, this time facing fellow Cygnarian compatriots in Tony’s force. 

Other 6Careful application of force can sometimes trump raw numbers. Ryan’s Cryx had been the most successful faction at racking up caster kills through the league, but this time the kill went to Rico’s Legion of Everblight. A bow shot and Parasite from Lylyth onto Asphyxious made him quick work when the Carnivean trampled in. 

Other 7The conclusion of the Protectorate/Thornfall match between Andy and Terry. Beautiful models on both sides lured me to get an extra shot of the action. 

Z Journeyman CrewMost of the Journeyman crew. From left to right: Andy, Tony, Ryan, Rico, Dan, Brandon, Colton, and Terry (I took the photo). We had a grand total of 13 players who participated in more than one evening of the event, with 11 who participated in all but 1-2 nights. 

Awards were as follows: 

Overall Journeyman Points: Dan

Most Hobby Points: Andy

Most Battle Points: Tony

All told, a great time. The next events planned at Drawbridge are a “Who’s the Boss” tournament at the end of February, and then participating in the Privateer Press Company of Iron campaign. With all the great painters and modelers, I’m pumped about that event!

366 Points Challenge Progress (2016):

32/366

Battles (Privateer Press):

Overall Totals 2016: 4 (Win/Loss: 2/2/0); 2015: 43 (Win/Loss: 29/14/0)

Cryx:

2 Wins (Caine, Karchev)  /  2 Losses (Asphyxious, Lylyth2)