Meta crunch 02 – AAW 2012 Tournament recap

In my last article (http://museonminis.com/meta-crunch-01-prepping-for-aaw-2012/) I described my list building and prep work for Agram Arena Winter 2012, so today I will present the battle reports of my games at my first foreign SR tournament since the start of Mk2 (warning: it is a pretty long article).

The morning of the event:

We arrived at the venue roughly one hour before the Steam roller started, so we had time to meet with the other players and get up to date with some changes from the rules pack and schedule posted on their forums…

For starters the Serbs didn’t show up, dropping us to 8 players (the tourney was kept to 4 rounds though), three of which were Khadorans, one Cryx, Retribution and Circle generals, plus my Cygnar and Legion buddies.

When we started unpacking our models, we noticed none of the locals had their armies painted and found out it has been decided not to enforce fully painting requirements (although they were in the rules pack for the event); too bad we didn’t know that beforehand, since in that case one of our local Troll players would have come along.

Lastly we discovered that the fourth round scenario (Bunkers) would not actually use reinforcements, which changed the dynamic of the flank deployment and scenario quite a bit. Anyway they told us we could modify our lists if we wanted to move in models used in the reinforcements, but my ‘corrected lists’ stayed pretty much the same:

Vlad, the Dark prince (-5)

–          Conquest (19)

Gun carriage (9)

Battle mechanics – min unit (2)

Lady Ayanna & master Holt (4)

–          Koldun captain Vlachev (2)

Widowmakers (4)

 

Kommander Sorscha (-5)

–          Behemoth (13)

–          Sylyss Wishnalyrr, the Seeker (2)

Gun carriage (9)

Gun carriage (9)

Widowmakers (4)

Eyryss, Angel of Retribution (3)

Anyway, the pairings for the first round came out and I already had reason to feel down…

Round 1 (Restoration): Vs. Ivan Knezovič (Cryx)

Out of the 7 possible opponents I got the match up I least wanted to see: two Cryx infantry swarms (satyxys raiders, mech thralls and banes) with pDenny and pSkarre at the helm. Wonderful! Anyway looking at the lists I expected my opponent to pick pDenny, so I went with the list I had more experience with: pVlad. The list he picked was:

Warwitch Deneghra (-5)

–          Nightmare (10)

–          Deathripper (4)

–          Defiler (5)

–          Skarlock thrall (2)

Mechani thralls – max unit (5)

Necrosurgeon and Stitch thralls (2)

Satyxis raiders – max unit + UA (10)

Warwitch siren (2)

I won the roll and opted to go first. In the picture you can see roughly how we deployed and what the board looked like.

Turn 1: With Signs & portents and widowmakers I managed to kill 3 satyxis before they got to activate, while rushing the rest of my army forward. He on the other hand ran his raiders to engage my snipers and repositioned his forces to threaten my huge bases.

Turn 2: Ok, I had to get rid of the satyxis before they started causing real problems. I first freed my widowmakers with Valachev’s magical spray and concentrated my remaining small arms fire at the sea witch (Holt and widowmakers), then used the gun carriage to charge, knock down and scrap the closest arcnode, while lobbing shells in the mech thrall cluster, while conquest finished off the remaining raiders, now without Force barrier (so I managed to kill off all the raiders, 7 mech thralls, 3 stitch thralls and a defiler). In response Denny feated, ‘Parasited’ my battle engine and ‘Crippling grasped’ my colossal (trough the other arcnode) and scrapped the gun carriage with the re-spawned mechani thralls.

Turn 3: In turn I tried to limit the impact of her feat by obstructing Nightmare’s path to my conquest (his prey) with mechanics and widowmakers, while trying to kill the necrosurgeon (kept sac pawning to nearby mech thralls). He kept pressing me while staying just outside of my walking melee threat range with conquest.

Turn 4: Here I did the biggest tactical mistake of this game… I started by giving conquest 3 focus, popping Vlad’s feat and casting S&P, but forgot to move Vlad back and away from Nightmare. Then conquest advanced 6’’ (because you first double/halve stats and then apply modifier from spells and skills), within 4’’ of Denny (so I could ignore her stealth) and blasted her with all my guns, needing 12 to hit and missing them all (first 3 shots were boosted under S&P), killing only the siren nearby… Great! On his turn he noticed that with the Spd bonus on Nightmare (from being within 10’’ of his prey) and Ghost walk he could get around the obstacle on to Vlad, so he gave him 3 focus, dropped Crippling grasp from conquest and charged in. He did 16 dmg with the charge attack (leaving Vlad on 2 health), but fortunately for me, missed his remaining attacks and didn’t manage to get those last 2 points of damage with any of his remaining models.

Turn 5: Vlad allocated 3 to Conquest, moved out of combat (having parry) to cast Boundless charge on conquest (because otherwise it couldn’t get the base entirely over the obstacle in the way) and my colossal splattered Denny with a boosted charge attack…

So I lucked out of that assassination and managed to win due to a few mistakes on my opponent’s part (not sure why he dropped Crippling grasp from conquest, since he had 2 focus to spare at the end of his turn), but the list performed rather well, grinding out his entire army, except the re-spawning mech thralls. I still have to learn to better protect my caster (more on that later).

 

Round 2 (Destruction): Vs. Jurica Korač (Circle of Orboros)

After barely surviving the Cryx match up, I was up against Circle: eKaya and Kromak to be accurate. Looking at the bright side, at least he didn’t have eKrueger with Stormwall (the spell). Anyway I did expect the opponent to pick eKaya for her Shadow pack, so I couldn’t rely on Sorscha’s ranged assassination and chose pVlad again. His list was a tier 2 eKaya theme list:

Kaya the Moonhunter and Laris (-3)

–          Warpwolf Stalker (10)

–          Feral Warpwolf (9)

–          Pureblood Warpwolf (9)

–          Druid wilder (2)

Shifting stones + UA (3)

Warpborn Skinwalkers – min unit (5)

 

The benefits of the theme lists were that his warpwolfs got deployed in AD and his skinwalkers got to ‘advance move’ before the first turn.

He won the roll off and chose to go first, so I chose the side of the board with the forests (since I didn’t want to leave that to his Prawl and Forestwalk models to exploit).

Turn 1: My opponent rushed forward with his entire army relying on Shadow pack and Stealth on the shifting stones, to protect him from my guns. However one of the stones came within 11’’ of my widowmakers, that in turn advanced within 5’’ to ignore the stealth and managed to kill off that one stone, preventing teleportation for the rest of the game. At that point I shifted my army to my left flank, leaving the objective on my right to the mercy of his warpwolf stalker. Deciding it would be easier to defend the second objective on this flank, while threatening his objective and skinwalkers with my superior fire power.

Turn 2: Here he made a couple big mistakes, by charging his stalker out of control (so he couldn’t be forced and left the objective alive on 4 boxes) and advanced his other 2 warpwolves close together. I took the chance to Harm the feral and charge my gun carriage into the wolves and knocked them both down with impact attacks. Killed the feral with the battle engine alone (1x pow 14 impact, 1x pow 14 charge attack, 2x pow 16 cannons and 1x pow 13 rifle all under S&P), while conquest’s guns finished off the pureblood and 2 skinwalkers.

Turns 3 and 4: At this point my opponent finished off my right hand side objective and slowly started moving toward my other objective, while I cleared out the rest of his models on my flank, destroyed one of his objectives and also started moving conquest toward his other one. Anyway he left the stalker too far forward so I managed to Harm and charge it with a ‘Boundless charged’ battle engine that again killed it off on its own. At the end of the turn the opponent just conceded, since he had somewhere to go and I got full CPs (since in my following turn I would have gotten conquest in melee with the last objective).

The MVP of the game was the gun carriage, backed up by S&P + Harm, for killing 2 warpwolfs and assisting in the execution of the third.

Round 3 (Command and Control): Vs. Tomaž Kovačič (Cygnar)

As expected in the third round I met my old rival, the ‘Noob bashing champ’ from Slovenia, our friendly local PG and most competitive player in my meta: S’tan (aka Noobuaddib on the forums). There were no surprises in the list selection, since we already played all the match ups between our lists for practice in the last 2 weeks, so we both knew it was going to be pVlad Vs eCaine:

Captain Allister Caine (-5)

–          Sentinel (4)

–          Sentinel (4)

–          Squire (2)

Arcane Tempest Gun Mages + UA (8)

–          Avenger (9)

Rangers (5)

Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3)

Journeyman Warcaster (3)

Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator (1)

Stormsmith Stormcaller (1)

He won the roll off and went first to prevent me from getting my battle engine and colossal to the center zone before he did.

Turn 1: We both just pushed toward the middle of the table trading shots of opportunity (I managed to kill eEiryss and 3 rangers, but they passed the Cmd check).

Turn 2: He cautiously advanced Caine to the center hill, flanked by both of his sentinels (for shield guards), left his utility solos at the back, cleared out my widowmakers with his gun mages and avenger and ran the remaining rangers to the ruins on my left flank. At this point I had a few different approaches I was thinking about (like feat with Vlad to slam a sentinel into Caine with conquest, but between Arcane shield and focus he was on Arm 23 with one shield guard still standing, so I couldn’t really kill him and I abandoned that plan), but again had a brain fart in execution (the fact I already emptied 1/3rd of a bottle of vodka didn’t help…). Anyway cast S&P and moved Vlad back on a small hill (not far enough, because I wanted to keep the battle engine further up field in my control area), charged the gun carriage into his avenger, caused some damage with the melee attacks and used its cannons to pick off some of his support solos in the back line (I got the squire but drifted off Reinholdt). Conquest then tried to get a critical throw with the main gun on the sentinel closest to Caine to possibly knock them back, but just managed to get some damage on the jack, so I used his secondary guns to decimate the gun mages on the hill (got the UA at least).

Turn 3: The rangers ran within 5’’ of Vlad, Reinholdt reloaded and then Caine advanced within range of my caster, popped his feat, spent the first 2 shots to kill mechanics screening Vlad and then riddled him with bullet holes… In hindsight I should have shot one of the battle engine’s crater AoEs at Caine, to leave him in rough terrain, thus preventing him from getting within range of my caster or alternatively just moved Vlad further back. Lesson learned.

Had the tourney ended on this round S’tan would have been 1st and I would have ended up 2nd or 3rd but we went to the fourth round, as per schedule and things went a bit astray… Anyway since I knew at this point I was ‘fighting’ for tiebreakers, I decided I would try to win the next game by scenario (since I assumed CPs would be the primary tiebreaker for the final standings).

Round 4 (Bunkers – without reinforcements): Vs. Petar Knezovič (Khador)

After the third round with only 8 players, the match ups got a strange and I got paired up with a fairly new Khador player with only Karchev (no second list). Ironically enough Karchev, with his high base armour and 30+ health boxes, has a decent chance of surviving my pSorscha ranged assassination, so I picked up my Vlad list, for the fourth time in the tourney, against it:

Karchev the Terrible (-5)

–          Behemoth (13)

–          Spriggan (10)

–          Destroyer (9)

Eiryss, Mage hunter of Ios (3)

Koldun lord (2)

Saxon Orrik (2)

In this game I forgot to take pictures of the deployment, so here you can see the situation at the start of my 3rd turn. I won the roll off and as usual chose to go first to gain better board position (especially since we had no reinforcements coming in).

Turn 1 and 2: We both advanced aggressively toward the enemy zones lobbing shells at each other (his Eiryss went to contest his own zone, but got blasted by conquest’s guns), until he sling shot his spriggan at my battle engine, but didn’t scrap it, because he opted to cast Unearthly rage, rather than loading the jack with focus.

Turn 3: Looking at the table I estimated that he would not be able to contest his objective zone next turn, unless he ran Karchev within 10’’ of my conquest to tow the Behemoth in position to run in the zone, which would leave him exposed to assassination. Anyway, since I decided beforehand I needed to go for a scenario win I just ran conquest in the zone (keeping the feat for a possible assassination attempt next turn) and used the rest of my army to jam my zone and cripple his spriggan; got the first CP at the end of my turn. In response his jack scrapped my gun carriage, while Karchev tried to deliver his other jacks in the zone, but ended up being too far away to actually contest the zone with anything and I won the scenario, before having a chance to counter attack.

Now for the weird stuff… S’tan got paired up with another Khador player (fielding Strakhov) and got eCaine assassinated by Beast 09 (according to him, he would have won on scenario, if the Great bears contesting the zone would not have passed an insane amount of tough rolls on the turn before…). That meant that now we had 4 people with 3 wins each, so it came down to tiebreakers for the first 4 slots…

Final standings:

Rank

Name:

AP

CP

1

Ivan Knezović (Cryx)

89

2

2

Tomaž Kovačič (Cygnar)

89

0

3

Filip Grozdanović (Khador)

85

2

4

Jan Kleva Ivančić (Khador)

75

4

5

Dean Vilić (Legion of Everblight)

63

0

6

Petar Knezović (Khador)

48

1

7

Jurica Korać/Ivan Kandrač (Circle Orboros)

39

1

8

Goran Krunić (Retribution of Scyrah)

33

2

In the end I found out that for this tourney, army points killed were the primary and control points were only the secondary tiebreakers (the opposite of what I assumed), which left me in fourth place and got my Cygnar rival second. Ironically enough, if I had gone for assassination in my last game, instead of gunning for CPs, I would have gotten 25-30 more APs and won the tourney overall, but at that point I had too much vodka in my blood stream to bother whining about it…

On the bright side I did get Best painted army, my pVlad list performed rather well against match ups I don’t see in my local meta and (despite my tiebreaker miscalculation) ended up in the top half, so I guess I achieved the objectives I set out to get and learned a few things to watch out for next time.

 

Ok, that will be all for this week. My next article will either be about the pVlad conversion I didn’t manage to finish before this tourney or some more colossal sketch art (depending on how busy my girlfriend will keep me during the festivities…). Anyway cheers and happy holidays!

Author: Baffo

My nickname means 'mustache' in Italian and dates back to my middle school days. As the name suggests, I am a fiercely hairy fellow and depending on the haircut I can be mistaken for Chubaka, Manson or Rasputin:) I am a mix breed of nationalities from Slovenia (not to be confused with Slovakia), a very small European country between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia; our national meta is very small but has some fairly competitive players so we don't get bored. My main skills in tabletop war-gaming are sculpting, scratch-building and converting, so that is what my articles will cover... Anyway, cheers:D

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