TheEmu’s trip to Polish Masters

I’m a 23-year-old student from Finland, totally hooked for WM/H. For long time I’ve been wondering if I had something to say here, but this tournament/”Long weekend in Krakow” report was the final push to get registered. This is a report about our trip to Krakow (Poland) for Polish Masters. We also took a couple of days to get to know the city a bit. If you’re not interested about our tourist adventures, just read the “Pre-tournament” and “Polish Masters” parts of this article. Any comments and critisism is more than welcome as this is my first longer article in the interwebs. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading this!

 

 

Pre-tournament

A group of Finns, specifically five from Turku (southern Finland, near-ish to the capital city of Helsinki) and one from Oulu (waaaaay up from north) decided to travel to Krakow for the Polish Masters on November 17th and 18th. We had first heard about the tournament in June when the Poles were visiting our tournament (the Nordic Open Tournament) in Turku. They were awesome guys and we heard Krakow was an excellent city to visit so why not?

I’ve been playing Cygnar for quite some time now. Before the OETC I came up with an eStryker list I really love, but I was not totally happy with my eHaley list there. I came up with the idea of eHaley pirates and the list duo was born:

  • System: Warmachine
  • Faction: Cygnar Casters: 1/1
  • Points: 50/50
  • Major Victoria Haley (*5pts)
  • * Thorn (8pts)
  • * Centurion (9pts) (Bonded to Haley)
  • * Squire (2pts)
  • Press Gangers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
  • Sea Dog Crew (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
  • * Mr. Walls Sea Dog Crew Quartermaster (2pts)
  • * 3 Sea Dog Crew Riflemen (3pts)
  • Anastasia di Bray (2pts)
  • Bosun Grogspar (2pts)
  • Doc Killingsworth (2pts)
  • First Mate Hawk (2pts)
  • Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
  • Journeyman Warcaster (3pts)
  • Lord Rockbottom (2pts)
  • Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord (2pts)

 

Reinforcements:

  • * Charger (4pts) (Controlled by Haley)
  • * Charger (4pts) (Controlled by Haley)
  • Alten Ashley, Monster Hunter (2pts)

 

and

  • System: Warmachine
  • Faction: Cygnar
  • Casters: 1/1
  • Points: 50/50
  • Lord Commander Stryker (*6pts)
  • * Stormwall (19pts) (Bonded to Stryker)
  • * Squire (2pts)
  • Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (Leader and 5 Grunts) (6pts)
  • * Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer (2pts)
  • Black 13th Gun Mage Strike Team (4pts)
  • Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
  • * Captain Jonas Murdoch (2pts)
  • Field Mechaniks (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
  • Archduke Alain Runewood (3pts)
  • Journeyman Warcaster (3pts)
  • Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)
  • Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)
  • Stormsmith Stormcaller (1pts)

 

Reinforcements:

  • * Charger (4pts) (Controlled by Stryker)
  • * Charger (4pts) (Controlled by Stryker)
  • Captain Arlan Strangewayes (2pts)

 

The idea behind the eStryker list is to stand back and shoot everything dead, until there is only eStryker vs their caster (which is when you win). It works out quite well as long as you’re being winning the shooting competition and not losing to scenario. Incursion and other “rush to the middle” scenarios are really bad for this list but it enjoys Gauntlet, Process of Elimination and the like, where I can just stand at the back edge of the area and blast with guns. Also two covering fires and magestorm to deny movement from closing troops.

So I needed my other list to deal with Incursion and the like, and that’s what eHaley’s pirates really do. I try to go first (nice with Anastasia), rush to flags/zones and see opponent frustrately trying to deal with Deceleration’ed pirates.

What I realized after submitting the lists is that neither of those really deal with heavy targets. eStryker’s list can deal with a couple of jacks and with eHaley’s feat her Centurion can also deal with couple. But if the opponent has multiple colossals/heavies I’m screwed. Especially if I lose eStryker’s Stormwall before it gets to do any significant damage. I also really missed eEiryss but sometimes I just can’t get her fitted in the lists…

So basically, eStryker deals with melee armies and non-scenarios (and heavy armor to some extent), and eHaley deals with scenarios and shooty lists.

Here’s a picture of my armies (it’s bad picture, but at least it’s something):

 

 

The tourism part

We, the gang from Turku, decided to take a couple of extra days off and spend them touristing around Krakow. Our plane left at 11 on wednesday from Helsinki, which meant quite early wake up for us. We got to our hotel without any incidents and turned out it was a sweet appartment. We then met up with our friend Yaro who guided us on some sights nearby. A couple of pictures from Krakow:

A picture of our posse in the Krakow’s night:

From left to right: Mikko, Yaro, Mika, Teppo, Hermanni (and me behind the camera).

We also found this awesome dragon statue near a castle…

… which breathed fire randomly. How awesome is that!

Yaro also took us to really nice restaurant which had awesome food:

After that there were some drinks had in a karaoke bar…

For thursday we booked a trip to Auschwitz concentration camp. It may not be a funny tourist place to visit but we felt it was something definitely worth visiting, at least once in a lifetime. The guide there was excellent, slowly telling about all the horrible thing happened there.

After returning from Auschwitz it was somewhat hard to focus on anything besides thinking what happened there but slowly we gathered ourselves, grabbed something small to eat and went to see their local gaming store at Krakow:

The LGS was quite a bit smaller than I had expected but it fitted a couple of tables nicely. Atmosphere was cheerful and we get a couple of practice games under our belt before the tournament. After this we wandered around the city some more

For friday we booked a trip to a nearby salt mine, Wieliczka. The salt mine consists of thousands of chambers where they’ve mined for over 700 years now. There were insanely awesome salt rock statues everywhere and also the biggest underground chapel (which was huge).

Sadly I didn’t take any pictures besides this one from the elevator:

It was a bit cramped there…

Then we got back to Krakow and decided to visit a museum dedicated to Oskar Schindler, the guy who saved over 1000s Jews life during World War 2.

Again, nothing funny and casual to visit but something definitely worth visiting.

Later we met up with our Swedish reinforcement, Rickard who’s flight had to land on a different airport than Krakow due to fog.

While waiting for Rickard, one of us got a bit unlucky, and got fined, for drinking in public, of course.

After a loooong search we found Rickard at the central railway station and went to meet with the Poles. We found a restaurant with a nice atmosphere

which served great food

which was on fire sometimes. How cool is that!

After that we took control of a bar and even managed to get an hour or two sleep before the tournament starting on saturday!

 

 

The Polish Masters 2012

 

In the morning we took a cab to get to the tournament venue which was public school number 29 (or something, not totally sure about the translation)

Instead of a gym or something, the tournament was held in a one very long hallway. It was actually quite nice to see all the tables side by side.

On the place we met with Dr Norbert and took a group photo of team Finland+Sweden and him

From left to right: Teppo, Juho, Mika, Norbert, Teemu, Hermanni, Mikko, Rickard. (Picture blatantly stolen from Norbert, hope that’s okey!) Then we all gathered for the starting briefing.

In total we had 44 players. 6 from Finland, 4 from Norway, 1 from Sweden, 3 from Slovakia, Norbert and the Poles. Pretty nice turnout, since (if I’m not mistaken) this was the first international tournament in Poland!

And so we start the first round! I’m paired against Jakub Lisinski who is playing Khador. The scenario is Incursion so I pick my eHaley list (pretty much without looking my opponent’s list) and he chooses pSorscha (Spriggan, double Doom Reavers, Koldun Lord + Decimator, min Uhlans+Markov and stuff). We roll off and I win, yay! I choose to go first and deploy pretty much everything quite centrally. Jakub deploys Uhlans and Widowmakers on left (from my point of view), Doom Reavers on far right and the rest centrally.

I run up with everything and cast Arcane Shield on Centurion and Deceleration. Widowmakers make a couple of shots at Press Gangers and Sorscha casts Freezing Grip to Sea Dogs (oh noes!), everything else just moves up a bit. I move Centurion to score the center flag (when the time comes) and jam Press Gangers to his face. Jakub charges Markov to Centurion, runs Spriggan to contest the flag and charges some Doom Reavers on (yet again Freezing Gripped) Sea Dogs. Centurion kills Markov, Telekinesis moves Spriggan out of the zone and I score the first point.

Now the game goes to grind mode. I have no way of stopping him casting Freezing Grip on the Sea Dogs (at least that’s what I think) but he has no way of dealing with the Centurion. After a couple of rounds I manage to score the center point the second time but at the same time he has scored the right flag with Doom Reavers twice, so CPs are 2-2. Time is running really low on his clock (2 minutes), but I have only Thorn and Squire to contest the right flag while Centurion keeps on stomping on the middle flag. On his turn Decimator Beat Backs Thorn out of the flag and Rutget Shaw charges Squire dead. Sorscha runs to capture the flag, he ends his turn and stops his clock. I remind him that he has nothing to contest the center flag which Centurion is scoring so the CPs are now 3-3 instead of 3-2 for him. I move Thorn to contest the right flag and score my fourth point to win the game.

What I thought would be an easy stomping for eHaley turned out to be a great and really tight game. It could have gone either way in the end but luckily for me it went this way this time. My opponent was a super nice guy who took the “Yay I win! Oh noes I don’t win?” situation really well. My hat is off to you, sir.

In the second round I was paired against Wojciech ‘Fafel’ Guzowski who was playing Mercenaries. Scenario was Outflank, Outfight, Outlast. His Merc lists seemed to lack any real hitting power (that could come through covering fires and magestorm) so stomping around with the Wall sounded nice. So I picked eStryker and was against Ossrum (3 Gunners, OAC, Forge Guard, Jonne, Thor+Basher and stuff). My plan was to have Stormwall contest the left zone and have all of my infantry in the right zone to maybe have some to survive and later have eStryker camp there (on camp mode). Turns out I horribly underestimated the threat ranges of Gunners and everything under Ossrum’s feat (and OAC with Snipe) and just got shot to pieces on turn 2. I guess that’s what happens when you play against something completely new unprepared.

Again, super nice guy to play against and I felt surprisingly good after a loss. At least it was an honest loss against a good opponent, nothing wonky about dice or anything. Superfast casterkill (one way or the other…) gives you plenty of time to cooldown for the next game.

On third round I’m paired against Jonas Eisenhorn from Oslo, Norway with the scenario Guidons. I’m afraid of the pairing eStryker vs pSkarre (undeads would just run through my covering fires and kill my poor poor Wall) so I choose eHaley but surprisingly Jonas pics Witch Coven (DJ, 2 nodes, 2 units of Satyxis Blood Witches, Blood Gorgers + Gerlak and stuff). I win the roll off and go first. I run everything up as usual. Jonas casts Infernal Machine on a node, runs it near eHaley and starts spamming Stygian Abyss. After the dust settles, eHaley stands there with two damage boxes left and Shadow Bound. Not exactly the first round I’d like to see but at least I’m alive! With Telekinesis I’m able to get myself to a position to move the objective to the Guidons area and Gorman produces a smoke on the other side of eHaley. I transfer Arcane Shield to Haley and camp something around 4 focus. I’m feeling somewhat confident that I might survive the next turn but you never know. Besides my “Must save Haley” operation, pirates killed some stuff and Centurion wandered around the field.

On his turn with Infernal Machine DJ gets the charge on Centurion (I do not know why, I should outthreat him by a mile…) but Jonas didn’t allocate him any so DJ fails to kill Centurion. Now his stuff kills some of my stuff (quite irrelevant to the main game, it seems). I TK Centurion out of DJ’s melee, throw blind bomb on him, start hitting him and pop eHaley’s feat to prevent retaliation. Next turn he moves his Ball just a bit too close and pop his feat, assuming he is safe. TK, Temporal Acceleration and bond speed and Centurion doesn’t need LOS to charge a Ball, he can just walk there and start hitting it. And nicely the six attacks are barely just enough to kill the witches. Also a super nice guy to play against and one tight and nerve-breaking game from the first damage roll (against eHaley) right till the end. Also, after the game Jonas offered me some Norwegian booze, I can approve this…

Sadly I didn’t take a picture of this game, but here’s a kitten kicking a dog. I think that’s almost as good as Cryx losing… 🙂

Round 4 turns up and I’m paired against an old friend of mine, Michal “Gobos” Konieczny playing Circle Orboros. He has pKrueger and eKaya, so my eStryker is straight out and I’m playing eHaley. Michal chooses pKrueger (not surprise there). His list consists of Feral, Megalith, Gorax, Gatormen Posse, Tharn Ravagers, Shifting Stones and stuff. Scenario is Sacrifice (totally fine by me). We roll off and I win, again, yay! My first turn I run everything up, as usual, Centurion goes to hang around the zone and Thorn keeps close to the flag. His turn, Michal feats and shoots chain lightning like a baws and kills about half of my pirates. Next turn I charge Press Gangers into Gatormen and some Gallows Groves, killing everything I can get to and Sea Dogs shoot (with Deadeye and Money Shot) about half a unit of Ravagers. I popped my feat so he basically does nothing. Next turn I kill the rest of the Gatormen with Centurion and Gangers and the Sea Dogs shoot Ravagers. One of the Sea Dogs sacrifices for the team and I score a point. Michal Tornadoes Centurion (for six inches) out of the zone and sacrifices the last Ravager to tie the CPs. But he makes a crucial mistake of only putting one last Gator and Totemhunter in the zone. Two Telekineses later they are out and Rhupert sacrifices and I win on scenario.

I have a feeling that it was hugely beneficial matchup (and scenario) for me as he had no tools to deal with the Centurion. I was a bit surprised to see that many pirates to live through the feat and chain lightning but it really helped me to deal with his heavy infantry. Great match, great opponent, as usual.

After the last game of the day there was the best painted army -voting. Here are some pictures of the armies:

And this was the ultimate winner of them:

None of the pictures do justice to the armies, but that’s the best I could do. I’m not much of a photographer, sorry!

After the army voting we conquered a restaurant with Finnish-Swedish-Norwegian-Slovakian-Norbertian forces. As always, food was great as was the company.

The food was excellent and mainly meat.

And sometimes on fire.

After that: Harassing the night of Krakow as usual.

Then came the sunday morning. I’m paired against Andrzej ‘Orkish’ Kasiewicz playing Cryx (pSkarre and Coven) on Close Quarters. For some reason I pick eStryker (even though the undeads still come through the covering fires with pSkarre…) and he chooses pSkarre (Satyxis Raiders, two min units of Knights, min Soulhunters and Darragh, Tartarus, Combine and stuff).

Andrzej starts and runs up, Satyxis to the left taking the hill. I run Stormwall and Nyss Hunters as his right flank (from my point of view) is pretty empty and gun mages back up just a bit. Stormwall is in threat range of two Knights and four Satyxii or something. He decided this is the feat turn, moves arc node up and casts Backlash on the Wall. His dudes charge the Wall, inflicting heavy damage under the feat but not killing it. At the back lines eStryker really really hates the damage coming from Backlash. Nyss Hunters charge the node and couple of Knights, SW deals with the guys in contact with him and gun mages kill some Satyxises. Second unit of Bane Knights finish off the Stormwall (Stryker is at 4 damage boxes at the moment or something) and Tartarus kills a bunch of Nyss (moar Knights). I switch eStryker to camp mode, only casting Rebuke to deny Knights charges to him and he manages to chop off a couple of them but they are too many and I’m slowly overrun with them, someone finally managing to chop off eStryker’s head.

The game didn’t go really well for me but I’m not sure what I should do against pSkarre. She seems like a tough nut to crack. But the opponent was a really nice guy, making the loss a bit easier…

At this time I’m out of the top places but I’d much rather go 4-2 than 3-3 but we’ll see. Round 6 comes up and I’m paired against Konrad ‘Kondzioro’ Sosnowski playing Cryx (eDenny, pGoreshade). eStryker is usually my go-to list versus Cryx and so it is this time too (eHaley would have a bit of a problem dealing with a colossal). Konrad chooses to play pGoreshade (Kraken, Bane Thralls, Revenants, Blackbanes and stuff). The game is otherwise going just as planned: covering fires and magestorm controlling the board while my shooty stuff shoots but I make one crucial mistake in the colossal vs colossal match. The whole game I think “he’ll get the charge on me, but it’s okey since I can take that and then punch him to death with Positive Charge”. There was a Pistol Wraith lurking around I couldn’t really deal with but I thought I had no problem with it. I could just forfeit movement and punch the Kraken in the face if he comes up. Ooops, I totally forgot about 4″ reach which totally screws about this plan. So Kraken charges in, damages about half of my boxes but I can’t do anything in retaliation and he finishes my poor Stormwall the next round. I have to deal with Kraken with eStryker myself which is totally doable but leaves me hardly wounded and susceptible for assassination. Well, at least I killed a Kraken with three attacks! 🙂

3-3 was definitely not something I was aiming for, but nicely I come up with the best SoS in the 3-3 bracket and end up on place 16/44. Not my best tournament, but nothing to be that shamed of either.

All in all it was one great tournament experience! Polish players were all really friendly and knew their rules and tactics. I didn’t have a single game that couldn’t gone either way.

There were some real nice trophies and other prize support.

And of course a group photo of us all.

Huge thanks to everyone involved in the tournament (and props to anyone who read all through it). It was awesome, hopefully we’ll see next year too!

Author: TheEmu

I'm a 23-year-old guy from Turku, Finland. I study mathematics at the university and I am completely in love with WM/H. I started as a really casual player among a couple of friends but all the time it has gone more and more towards competitive play which at the moment I enjoy greatly. I've gone through all of the factions but at the moment I'm settled for Cygnarmercenaries.

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