On the road again, this time off to Squigs for their 1st Warmahordes tournament of the year. Will this be a successful stepping stone for a great year using my menoth, or an ill fortunate trip down the stairs?
Finally the first warmachine/hordes tournament of the year is only 4 days away and I can hardly wait! I started playing warmachine around Feb 2010 last year, but our community has been slow going lately and the interest in tournaments has wanned, resulting in only 2 minor events(one even didn't become a tournament) during 2010. However this year the excitement and to some extent the ability to get the needed models, has increased and hopefully will be a more interesting warmachine/hordes year. .The tournament is a standard tournament using the new 2011 steamroller package, a 7 min turn limit and 25pts. Here are the 2 lists I will be bringing to this event.
Vice Scrutator Vindictus 6
Repenter 4ptsVanquisher 8ptsChoir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts) 2ptsHoly Zealots (Leader and 9 Grunts) 6ptsHoly Zealot Monolith Bearer 2ptsKnights Exemplar (Leader and 5 Grunts) 5ptsKnight Exemplar Seneschal 3ptsVassal Mechanik 1ptHigh Executioner Servath Reznik 6
Repenter 4ptsRevenger 6ptsScourge of Heresy 9ptsHierophant 2ptsChoir of Menoth (Leader and 3 Grunts) 2ptsHoly Zealots (Leader and 9 Grunts) 6ptsHoly Zealot Monolith Bearer 2ptsThere has been alot of talk about the many different ways to choose lists for tournaments. My goals this tournament are to challenge myself, have fun and find out the limitations of my lists. Keeping this concept in my head while writing these lists I wanted to explore the extent of what I can actually pull off at 25pts, because to be quite frank it can be limiting for menoth, because this faction relys alot on solos and Ua's to buff and support the faction; at this points limit you just can't take everything you need. But at least my opponents will be in the same boat so not too much to worry about.
Looking at the Vindictus list, I'm feeling fairly confident about it because its a variation on what I normally use in most of my games. Vindictus was my first caster and by far the one I feel most comfortable using in those difficult matchups. Looking back on my experience with Vindictus, I find that its not really him that shines during the game, but the actual unit combinations and army composition. However he really does add alot to those units allowing them to carry the weight. True path is just golden, giving my infantry speed boosts, making them speed across the board, regardless of terrain. Defenders ward will always be useful granting a model or unit some much needed DEF and ARM bonus. Other then that his functions involve me just spaming TP and DW and using the remaining focus to support my focus efficient warjacks. Pretty simple, and thats the best part because in a faction like menoth where every activation must be carefully used, Vindictus gives me a decent chance to manage my turn time and perhaps might help me later on when we start having more hardcore events locally. The Knight Exemplars are just fantastic in this army, under TP they can charge 10 inchs, allowing them to engage tougher and slower targets like warjacks. In one previous game I was able to wreak the deathjack with 3 knights, which got strength boosts thanks to their Bond of Brotherhood(2 knights had died already). The zealots I have already addressed in a previous post, in short they benefit alot from Vindictus allowing them surge up the table and swamp a control zone. The seneschal is very fun to use in this list because I can launch him into the fray early and if he happens to get killed, hopefully some other infantry die near him, allowing him to stand back up and keep on fighting. Plus having a free slam is always useful.. :) The Repenter and Vanquisher are there to simply laydown some covering fire to clear out control zones and hopefully allow me to out number my opponents.
The second list is also very interesting and this one is the most experimental out of the two. After reading Ben's post on Reznik, I do have to agree with all his points on Reznik, and in fact I believe Reznik shines in larger points games and not in 25pts. So why am I still taking him and with the scourge no less? Well for my second list I really wanted a warjack heavy force, and out of all the other menoth warjack warcasters I have the most experience using Reznik. The Revenger is truly a must have for Reznik, because his main spell, perdition will be the main delivery system for his warjacks to get into combat(or move around to lay down some sprays!). The repenter is just a great warjack and I really should take 2. Finally the scourge, I just like him and I really, really want to use him.
He has an interesting learning curve and may not be worth the effort, but thats for future postings. Combined with Iron Aggression and if he fights an upkeeped model the Scourge can potentially get 4D6 to hit(with his sword, which also has Cont Fire effect) and If I boost or charge him 4D6 Pow 18,,,,,,very nice, situational, but very nice! :) I will be having to use perdition to get the most use out of him, but maybe a zealot tarpit will give him that opening to wreak an opposing heavy or two. The heirophant is very important because I can drop the cost of perdition and give me the extra focus to boost. Pretty simple, except that Reznik can have a complicated activation and already it has been difficult to properly allocate focus or activate the support pieces during practice games. I guess I will see if I can make him work.
Now on to the tournament!
So I arrive at the club during the morning having to drive an hour and 1/2, while battling the fog and snow. Needless to say I was ready to start the tournament!
Game 1 Now the first game is truly memorable for a variety of reasons: it was killbox, it was fairly short, it was against Meg and it was my first game against circle. I'm fairly aware of all the hordes factions and the types of playstyles that are matched up with each group. However with only a handful of games against hordes under my belt I wasn't sure how I should approach this particular matchup. The mission was Killbox and combine that with the mobility of the circle army I was fairly safe in my assumption that caster kill would be her top goal. Looking at the 2 lists, the first one being an ekaya list with some skinwalkers, and warpwolves. The second list was a construct army led by baldur. I was fairly concerned with the eKaya list because it was fast, immune to shooting(stealth to battle group) and could pull off several unique movement tricks. The Baldur list also looked very tough, mind you it was alot slower compared to the eKaya list and it could bunker up while reducing my own ability to advance or use blast damage. In the end I chose my Reznik list because I figured she would go for the kill and trample over my infantry list so that she could strike down vindictus. At least with my Reznik list I had enough heavy metal to hide behind and force a counter attack if needed. Turns out Meg picked her Baldur list so the game would turn into a metal-stone smack down! Heres a brief look at her list.
Baldur the Stonecleaver 6
Woldwatcher Megalith Woldwarden Sentry Stone (Leader and 3 Manikins) Shifting Stones Stone keeper
She moved forward into the corner of the killbox with her sentry stone and manikins out in front backed up with the woldwatcher. Towards the center the megalith was flanked by the woldwatcher and the shifting stones on the right. Opposite of the Mankins I had deployed by line of metal from right to left the repenter, Scourge of Heresy, and Revenger. My zealots formed on the flank across from the shifting stones. My support was placed behind the main battle group and reznik just in behind. The first couple of turns we both moved forward ready to dish out some damage. I advanced the repenter forward and flamed the woldwatcher, but more importantly the sentry stone just behind him, damaging it and putting both on fire. The zealots popped their mini feat and formed the blob. In Meg's turn she counter attacked and trampled with the megalith, but failed to reach reznik, who was a couple inchs away. At this point in the game it was obvious that Meg's options were limited and so she went for an all or nothing gambit. She created a forest within Baldurs control area and then forest walked right next to reznik!! He then proceeded to swing 3 times and even with boosting only managed to deal 6 damage......In my next turn I turned on the engine of destruction and wracked Baldur in one blow......nice :). Regardless it was a great game and after the game Meg mentioned to me that see really should have used her Kaya list because it suited this mission much better then her Baldur list. I felt that while her list was durable for a circle list, it didn't have a whole lot of staying power, so when she would eventually counter attack, I could turn all my attention to those key factors (Megalith, Woldwarden) and then overwhelm the rest. Anyways it was great game and thanks again for the match Meg!
Game 2 This game was against Taylor, another regular at squigs and he brought 2 lists his eVlad and eIrusk lists. The mission was capture the 2 flags towards the center. Since this was capture the flag I felt a faster infantry army would help me out more compared to a caster kill focused force. So now it was up to Vindictus to carry the day. Taylor took his eVlad list which was fairly solid and had many powerful elements.
Vladimir Tzepesci, the Dark Champion
DevastatorDoom Reavers (Leader and 5 Grunts)Great Bears of GallowswoodEiryss, Mage Hunter of IosFenrisGorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
A fairly small army for sure, but it was pretty capable of kill tons of infantry and using high profile solos to potentially set up a caster kill opportunity. Combined with eVlad and the Dev, it would very difficult to remove them from any objective. Taylor got the roll for first turn and moved up. In my turn I surged up with the zealots and exemplars. The seneschal followed behind flanked by the repenter. The vanquisher went up the center, and vinny placed defenders ward upon himself giving him Def 17 and Arm 18. In my second turn I score 2 control points, forcing Taylor to surge forward and contest both flags. The greatbears proceed to kill the repenter and the doom reavers kill a handful of zealots. Fenris attacks the vanquisher and scratchs the paint. The dev kills an exemplar knight and camps on the second flag as Vlad pops his feat giving most of his forces 3+ to most of their stats. I upkeep Defenders ward and allocate 3 focus to the vanquisher, camp the rest and pop my own feat which isn't too useful against this army, so heck why not? The remaining zealots move over the doom reavers and kill them with their bombs, while the seneschal charges the great bears and a awesome smack down. He hits with his inital attacks and kills 2 great bears, he gets his free slam and but misses with the attack. The vanquisher knocks fenris off his horse and 2 knights engage, but miss.....Taylor nets a control point and throws an oil bomb on the seneschal, but misses and scatters missing him and the great bear. Eiryss fails to do much and Vlad moves by the dev near the flag. In my turn I kill fenris and the great bear securing me another point netting me my second win!!! I feel that Taylor's list was a solid, but I don't believe it was well suited against an infantry horde especially in a take and hold mission. With that said eVlad is a tough warcaster to deal with, because as he takes damage he gets tougher and stronger making him very difficult to deal with if you aren't able to concentrate on him. The devastator is pretty annoying as well because it has Arm 25 and has a nice area of effect attack that can clear out infantry. I had to feed it a knight each turn so that I could slowly damage this warjack and not expose all the knights to its death radius. After each knight dies the unit gets tougher and stronger. Another great game!
Like at most of the tournaments I seem to go to, I seem to have a game against Troy, but fair enough Troy is one of the Best wargamers in the area so this is to be expected. Also he's a pretty good friend of mine and we usually have a blast beating the crap out of each other at tournaments!!!!Troy decided to take his butcher list out for a spin and I was feeling fairly comfortable with Vindictus at this point and since the mission was Overrun, I didn't mind taking more infantry.The Butcher of Khardov
JuggernautWar dogIron Fang Pikemen (Leader and 5 Grunts)Iron Fang Pikemen Officer & StandardWidowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts)Winter Guard Mortar Crew (Leader and Grunt)Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue AlchemistManhunterManhunterOgrun BokurTroy had a great selection of utility units and solos. This list has a surprising amount of shooting and can just tear through 1 wound infantry like nothing. I got into the box early, but on that note troy prevented an early point by moving in as well. His snipers and mortars just murdered the knight exemplar, pretty easy when they don't need to wound. The manhunters were on both flanks, the iron fangs ran into the zealots and popped their mini feat allowing them to form a shield wall. Troy then cast Iron fleash on them to make them nearly unkillable. The juggernaught and dog moved up with the orgun up the center. My zealots popped their mini feat, walked back immune to damage and threw their bombs and killed over half the IFP. My warjacks advanced forward, Now after this turn I made 2 key mistakes, for starters I didn't move vindictus closer to the infantry and I forgot my feat......This would have made the next few turns better for me because once the zealots started to die they would take a IFP with them. Next because I used the prayer of battle, the zealots could be targetted by spells, so the butcher cast obiliteration, killing 4 zealots, this could have easily been avoided by using the prayer of warding.... So forgetting these two things and having the zealots die to IFP and the knights exemplar to widowmaker fire, things weren't looking too good. During the next few turns I had several opportunitys to kill the butcher with ranged firepower from the repenter and vanquisher and I managed to do some damage and put him on fire, but I just couldn't kill him. In the mean time Vindictus was swarmed by 4 ironfangs, the ogrun and the war dog.
But I was still in it!!!!!!WHAT! Thanks to my godlike Def 17 (MENOTH BE PRAISED!!!) Vindictus layed a smack down of untold fury!!! He not only killed the pikemen, and the Ogrun, but he dodged a manhunter and killed him as well. The down side to this story of course is that during this time all troy had to do was sit in the rectangle and claim the control points. I'm always cautious exposing my warcaster and because most of my opponents are usually retribution or cygnar players I tend to forget how great def 17 can be against an average shooting army. If I had realized this earlier I wouldn't have been too cautious with Vindictus earlier and maybe I would have won? But this is all speculation of course and I don't feel bad about losing to troy, this match dragged on much longer then this article can provide descriptions for and I was about to give up on several instances, but their was always an opening, and it just didn't work out.....this time!!!
With Day one wrapped up, we all decided to hang out for a while before heading out, then more snow started to fall.....oh......great.....more.....snow.......
After a fairly successful day 1, I was fairly happy about my overall performance so far having only lost one game. But I was skeptical about actually getting first place at this point, I would have to win both of my next two games and then hope the current leader Troy, would lose at least one or two games. Regardless this tournament wasn't over yet and I had alot of ground to cover.
Game 4Now unfortunately there was a mid tournament drop out and instead of getting a bi, I got to play against Roy the owner of squigs using his Phinneus shae merc pirates list, the mission was destruction!!!! A perfect pirate mission fluffwise.... :)
Captain Phinneus Shae
BuccaneerBuccaneerFreebooterCommodore Cannon & Crew (Commodore and 3 Crewmen)Press Gangers (Leader and 9 Grunts)Sea Dog Crew (Leader and 5 Grunts)Mr. Walls Sea Dog Crew QuartermasterBosun GrogsparDoc Killingsworth
Because objective missions like destruction can be pretty difficult to win at 25pts, due to the lack of hitting power, unless your cyngar or have a cannon. Then caster kill is the more likely option for alot of armies, because in order to win through mission objectives you need to destroy 2 def 5 arm 20 objectives that have a large amount of damage boxes. Now I'm not saying you can't win this way or that I couldn't I'm just saying your more likely to kill the warcaster first, so keeping this in mind I chose my Reznik list. Now compared to how long last game was this game was by far much longer, so I will try my best to actually remember...Roy goes first and thanks to his tier list he gets a bunch of movement and other advantages for his army. He advance deploys the majority of his army on one side with his press gangers teamed up with the sea dogs. The freebooter and buccaneers with the cannon stayed on the right side opposing the first objective. I keep Reznik and the his battle group nearby in the center and the zealots on the side facing off against the pirate units. Roy surges forward and actually gets into contact with the zealots first turn and he only kills a hand full of them. The 3 warjacks advance in a horseshoe formation and the cannon shoots at the objective taking a couple wounds off. Not looking to good at this stage, and its only the first turn. In my turn I obviously pop the zealots minifeat and have a couple leave combat to completely destroy most of the sea dogs. I keep a few zealots in combat because If they leave and fail to kill the press gangers who have tough on 4+ thanks to doc and can stand up automatically thanks to grogspar, I could have them running behind my lines straight for my caster. I move the repenter on the flanks and completely lay the template on them all, I manage to kill most of them, but a few survive due to tough and continue to be a thorn in my side. Over the next couple turns I eventually wipe out both units and grogspar, but doc, just won't die. Jumping back a few turns the threat of the warjacks and cannon is present and I have to focus most of my troops and warjacks to dealing with the infantry threat, so I send the Scourge of heresy forward with Iron aggression on it and manage to perdition it into the freebooter, unfortunately I was so distracted by the press gangers that I forgot to put any focus on the SoH.....! So I buffed him before with the choir and hoped for the best.
AND the best is what I got, he swung with his sword and left the freebooter with 5 damage boxs left and the morning star damaged the buccaneer to half health. Not bad for only 2 initial attacks. For the next two turns the Scourge would be beaten around until he died, but during that time he was able to kill the freebooter and significantly damage the other buccaneer that joined the fight. The Scourge would get knocked down, and then give up his movement to stand back up and in each turn I'd upkeep Iron Aggression and threasher with the morning star. To see and image what this battle would have looked like in a movie would have been sweet!! The scourge ended up dying but he had basically taken the opposing warjacks out of the game, not bad. What the SoH really has going for him is a high mat value of 7, boosted to 9 with the choir. and having 2 really powerful attacks he can really kill most things. If I had remembered to put focus on him, maybe he might have killed both warjacks on the charge? I find the biggest problem with this warjack is his speed and lack of reach but frankly perdition makes up for this and if Reznik's focus is properly planned out he can have the SoH deal with just about anything.
During this time the Cannon had been shooting at the objective all game and it brought it down to 2 health. He moved up the 2 bucaneers, but I was able to deal with both using the revenger. Towards the end of the game I advanced the revenger on one side of batle field backed up by the choir and the repenter tagteamed with reznik. Shae through up veil of mists preventing reznik from drawing line of sight to the cannon, but in a true dragon ball z fashion, I channelled Hex blast through the Revenger and blasted the cannon crew into nothingness. Roy only had Shae at this point but didn't realize Reznik could be affected by witch hound, so I moved him up and one swing later Shae was wracked!!
Roy had put up a really great fight and had me on the back foot from the getgo, but thankfully I was able to remain calm and see the combos and angles I needed to win this very very long slug fest. Thanks to Roy for showing how unique mercs can be and how awesome pirates are!!
My last game was against Aaron who's Merc army is showcased in my most recent blog posts. His army looked fantastic and he was a very challenging opponent. The mission was incursion, so we had a similar flag mission with instead 3 flags and one of them would randomly disappear after turn 1. thankfully this wasn't a key factor in our game. Aaron had drake and pMagnus as his casters and he ended up taking Magnus.
Magnus the Traitor
RenegadeRenegadeNomadLong Gunner Infantry (Leader and 5 Grunts)Steelhead Halberdiers (Leader and 9 Grunts)Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue AlchemistSince this was another objective game I thought I could score some quick points early like in game 2 and a Def ward vindictus might survive against a random renegade rocket shot, so I decided to play that list again. The game played out in a similar fashion to game 2 as I surged forward and jumped on the objectives, I minifeated the zealots as they bombed the steelheads halberdiers. The exemplars surged to the other objective and held it against the nomad and the long gunners. It looked like I was on the verge of winning the slug fest until magnus in Aaron's 4th turn popped his feat and surged the nomad foward into contact with Vindictus. Amazingly again Vindictious kills the nomad and is untouched. This leaves Aaron with only the option to run Magnus into contact with vindictus and boost to hit, knocks him down with his mechanical arm and smacks him silly until he dies. Frankly thats how I want to vindictus die in the fluff, yeah magnus should just beat him silly.
Another great game, and considering this is the only game I lost due to caster kill I can't feel that bad about it.
So 3/5, what a great result for the first tournament of the year, but what does the final standings look like?
AAAGH!~!~!~ Because my computer crashed on me the entire page has been delated!
So heres a very brief summary of everything, I will have to elaborate in future blog posts.
Troy Khador 1st
Darren Retribution 2nd
Adam Menoth 3rd
Aaron Mercs Best in Show
Meg Circle Best Individual Model
(Roy, Mercs YARRGH!)
Looking back on at the tournament and my choices leading up to the event I can feel pretty good about my lists and playstyles, but like everything in life something can always be done different. Starting off with Reznik, I can see why it can be difficult to play him in a timed turn event because he can have a very complicated activation and focus allocation which will take alot of time away from your turns, more then required usually. The Reznik/Scourge combo is interesting, but ultimately it runs into issues, because a lot of their abilities overlap or are made irrelevant. I still like using him with Reznik though because having the option of IA and up to 4 focus can really help in those tough matchups. I think in future lists I will move him over to the vindictus list because during the entire tournament I was using Sac-Lamb and killing random zealots and exemplar so that all my warjacks got 1 extra focus, this ability isn't great with one warjack, but with several focus efficient warjacks this spell works wonders. The Scourge would always have 1 free focus and I could add 1 for a run. Plus then it really opens Arcane vortex as a viable ability for the scourge.
Repenters and the revenger combo is really, really effective with Reznik because when they are given a crucial buff on the caster kill turn, you can attack 15inchs with the revenger(Perdition) and Hit with Mat 12 (Powerful charge, choir, Ignite) and Pow 17 (Choir and Ignite) thats boosted(Charge). Or with the repenter use perdition to move it forward. Buff with the choir and flame your opponent with boosted attack and damage rolls(focus) In any given turn you have these options, so you don't necessarly need a heavy warjack to fill the caster kill roll.
Over the past few months I have been using Flame guard cleansers more frequently in my army(vassal) and I think I will be adding them to my main vindictus army. A unit of 10 guys that can lay down 10 pow 12 sprays has alot of potential, the trick is not getting them locked into a combat. I have had alot of success deploying them with a buddy, so usually no more then 2 models are engaged in combat at a time. The rest combine range attack or lay their sprays into the combat and since the TFGC are immune to fire they laugh as their opponents become crispy. Plus getting a 2+ for back strikes is nice for the combined range attack template. In a vindictus list they get speed boosts so they can get to where they need to be and be a real pain. My most recent game against a good friend, Jacob(Retribution) this unit was able to hold off against a unit of battle mages, 2 mage hunter assassins, and a light warjack. I will getting them and some daughter of the flame, which are just too good to ignore, Speed 9 and the potential for def 17 in a vindictus army.....oh and they can ignore models too....!
I'm going to try to write a hardcore vindictus list, MADNESS!!!!!! try being the key word.
My Army, finished and Based
Apparently I like shifting stones as my Wracks,.......
Darren's fantastic Retribution army
Squigs, obviously..... :)
Footage of my game 2 against Taylors Epic Vlad list, mission was the basic capture the flag. Apparently Fenris wants to give my guys hugs instead of the usual manslaughter
Hey random titans, why not?
Troy's great khador army! Troy is an old opponent of mine and when it comes to the top competition in the region Troy is the man to beat. He can make any type of army work and given enough time he can pull a out a victory from the jaws of defeat. A great guy and hell of player.
One of the other protectorate armies that came to the event, Chirs has a fair amount of variety, including some of the faction favorites: Harby, Avatar, Temple flamguard, pKreoss, etc. A great guy and a fairly resourceful opponent.
Aaron's (Holy S*#t thats an amazing looking) army, it comes as no surprise that he won the Best in Show award. I managed to play against him in my final game.
Game 1: Meg moves her sentries forward....oh did I mention that shes a women? Thumbs up for gamer diversity!! ;)
Game 2: My army surges foward to stare down Taylor's Great Bears and Gorman, and everyone's favorite elf of multiplication and manipulation
Game 2: Flexable movement....
Game 3: The Troy match...stay tooned
Game 3: Zealots vs Iron Fang Pikemen.
Game 3: Game Deployment
Heres an indepth look at Aaron's best in show merc army
Aaron's favorite warcaster, Drake Macbain. If you like anything themed after Steelheads, then Drakes your man. Also he loves his Nomad heavy warjacks
The Mule a surprisingly effective steam jack that is one of the best ranged warjacks in the game.
A closer look at Aaron's Steelhead halberdiers, I personally like how each one has a nickname.
Everyone's favorite gobber sidekick. Except siege is no where to be seen?
Game 3: Game deployment
The winners, not sure I like the guy with the bronze trophy though, seems like a pushover to me. :)
Also Apparently both Troy and Darren like Dethmuffins as well.....?
Game 4: Pirates!!!!
Game 5: Deployment
Award for Best in Show
Aaron holding his spoils of war......
Thanks again to everyone who made this event happen and congrates to all the winners(a little ego eh?) and everyone who was able to make the trip to this wonderful event. Also thanks to mike and others for providing some of these photos. Hopefully the weather will be better going to the next tournament and with that....
Till Next Time...