Sunday, 16 February 2014

Warmachine Masters Practice (9/2/14) Tournament Report

The Irish Masters is coming up very soon (March 8/9) and one of our local Press Gangers, Stuart Gorman, ran a Masters Practice tournament in Gamers World. It was a good chance to test out lists for the Masters, over 3 rounds players had to use each of their lists once.

As I have pretty much settled on Bloody Barnabas, Maelok the Dreadbouns and Rask as my three Masters warlocks, I set to writing lists for each. In the case of Bloody Barnabas, I decided to try out his Tier list, and decided to go all the way to Tier 4 in order to get cheaper warbeasts.

List One - Apex Predators Tier 4
Bloody Barnabas (6 WP)
   Blackhide Wrastler (8*)
   Blackhide Wrastler (8*)
   Swamp Horror (7*)
Croak Hunter (2)
Croak Hunter (2)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (3)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (3)
Gatorman Posse [Leader & 4 Grunts] (9)
Gatorman Posse [Leader & 4 Grunts] (9)
Bog Trog Ambushers [Leader & 5 Grunts] (5) 
* Points Reduction for Tier 4

List Two - Blindwater Congregation
Maelok the Dreadbound (6 WP)
   Blackhide Wrastler (9)
   Bull Snapper (3)
   Bull Snapper (3)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (3)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (3)
Thrullg (3)
Gatorman Posse [Leader & 4 Grunts] (9)
Gatorman Posse [Leader & 4 Grunts] (9)
Gatorman Posse [Leader & 4 Grunts] (9)
Bog Trog Ambushers [Leader & 5 Grunts] (5)

List Three - Blindwater Congregation
Rask (6 WP)
   Blackhide Wrastler (9)
   Ironback Spitter (8)
   Bull Snapper (3)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (3)
Gatorman Witch Doctor (3)
Totem Hunter (3)
Gatorman Posse [Leader & 4 Grunts] (9)
Gatorman Posse [Leader & 4 Grunts] (9)
Bog Trog Ambushers [Leader & 9 Grunts] (8)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (1)

I know there's a few unpainted models on my side of the battlefield, I don't normally do that but as it's a Masters practice, I wanted to use my intended Masters list.

Game 1 vs. Anthony O'Reilly (Cryx) - Balance of Power Scenario

Anthony elected to field his Terminus list. He had a Kraken, min Bane Thralls, min Satyxis Blood Witches with Hag, The Withershadow Combine, Darragh Wrathe, Gorman di Wulfe, Ragman, Madelyn Corbeau and Wrong-Eye & Snapjaw. I picked Rask.

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Anthony won the roll off and opted to go first.

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Both armies ran forward to get stuck in.

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Anthony ran his Satyxis into my lines and popped his mini-feat to make them incorporeal. He had me jammed up pretty well between the impassable building and the forest. My Totem Hunter leapt over the building to free himself up, while Gorman moved forward to throw Black Oil at my Wrastler. He missed but hit the Ironback Spitter instead. In my turn I saw an opportunity to threaten Terminus. I saw the chance to get the Wrastler into Terminus' face. I needed to use my Gatorman Witch Doctor to use Sacrificial Strike on a Gatorman to kill the Satyxis Blood Hag to clear a charge path. I then advanced Rask, cast Fury on the Blackhide Wrastler and fired an Arcane Interference shot at Terminus to strip his Focus. Completely forgetting that Terminus had Sacrificial Pawn and passed off the shot to a nearby Bane Thrall. I charged the Wrastler in anyway, Death Rolled Terminus to knock him down but only did minor damage. The Gatorman Posse took out Gorman.

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With my assassination having failed, I knew I was in a poor position. I pushed my Bog Trogs forward to protect Rask. Anthony pushed his heavy hitters forward and laid into my force. I lost the Wrastler in short order, Wrong Eye and Snapjaw ripped into my Gatorman Posse and Anthony set up for the victory. The Totem Hunter failed to kill Wrong Eye and free up some Gatormen, meaning I was unable to kill off all of the Withershadow Combine. I was playing for tie breakers at this point and just tried to kill as much as I could. In Anthony's turn, he wiped out the Bog Trogs and then sent in Terminus to destroy Rask.

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Loss, by Assassination. 0-2 CPs, 22-34 PCD.

Anthony is a very strong player, and Cryx is always a bad matchup for the Gatormen. I decided to take a risk, which, without Sacrificial Pawn, would have worked, but it was all I had, so I went for it anyway. It was just a matter of time before I was beaten.

Game 2 vs. Adam Fox (Minions) - Destruction Scenario

Adam was also bringing Gators. While he had a Farrow list as well, he had already played it and had to decide between Bloody Barnabas and Rask. I also had Barnabas available, but decided on Maelok instead. Adam went for Rask. His list was as follows : 2 Swamp Horrors, a Bull Snapper, three full Gatorman Posse units, Wrong-Eye & Snapjaw, and a Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew.

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Adam won the roll off and took first turn. You will note that I deployed my Bog Trogs on the table in this game rather than using Ambush, as Adam had no light targets and deployed centrally.

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We both rushed forward towards the zone. Knowing I outranged him (his Gators were living, mine undead), he feated in his second turn to prevent my charge.

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Since Adam wasn't going to let me charge, I wasn't going to allow him to either, so I jammed two Gatorman Posse units right up in his face. I got my forces deep into the zone, and we started to beat on each other. Adam made good use of Rask's Fury spell, cycling it between two units each turn. While he had the edge in damage rolls, I had the advantage in DEF and having Tough, so we traded blows for a turn or two.

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Adam was killing more of my Gators than I was of his, so I sent in my Blackhide, the Thrullg and my reserve Gatorman Posse to try to even things up a bit.

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As the slugfest continued, it began to open up a bit of space. Adam sent his Swamp Horror to attack my Blackhide Wrastler and came very close to killing him. I decided it was time for Maelok to use his feat. I moved some of my Gatormen behind his lines. I got some attacks in on Rask but not enough to kill him. The Blackhide mauled the Swamp Horror after Maelok healed him up a bit. I also killed off Adam's Bull Snapper. I did need to get my Gatorman Witch Doctor into place to prevent Snapjaw from getting to Maelok. With much of Adam's army engaged and unable to get to Maelok, Rask and his remaining Swamp Horror and Gatorman Posse tried to free up Rask. He wasn't able to get him free or enough attacks on Maelok to finish him. I tried to finish off the Swamp Horror to take away Rask's last transfer target. I had four Gatorman Posse attacks at dice-4 to take out the Swamp Horror, but some below average dice left me requiring boxcars to finish it with the last attack. A quick rub of my dice on Snappy's head, a flick of the wrist and.....double 6. After dealing with other models, I sent the Blackhide Wrastler into Rask and chomped on him.

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Win, by Assassination. 0-0 CPs, 39-28 PCD.

It was interesting to play against Gators for once. I couldn't rely on the advantage of my opponent being unfamiliar with what my army did. I think my key advantage was the Gatorman Witch Doctors, which kept my Gators alive at important times, and then used my feat to get my models into a game winning position. I don't think that Swamp Horrors were the best choice for Adam's army, I think he missed the outright power of the Blackhide Wrastler.

Game 3 vs. John Foster (Khador) - Fire Support Scenario

My last game was against John's Khador. At this point, I had Bloody Barnabas left. His opponent was the Butcher of Khardov, one of my favourite warcasters. I like the model, playstyle and backstory to the character, and used him in my first ever introductory game of Warmachine a long time ago. If I ever play Khador, he's my first warcaster for them.

John's list was a Conquest, Beast-09, a War Dog, an Ogrun Bokur, Doom Reavers, the Great Bears of the Gallowswood, and full Kayazy Assassins with an Underboss.

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This was not the type of army I wanted to fight. Having a Conquest which would be difficult to crack without Rask and his Fury spell. In addition Iron Flesh meant DEF 19 Kayazy in melee and there was no way I was hitting that. I got first turn this time and pushed up. John sent in his Doom Reavers early but a couple of successful Tough rolls saved my Gators.

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John held his Conquest back for supporting firepower, which actually suited me as I didn't really think I had the means to take it out. I killed off most of his Doom Reavers and sent a Blackhide Wrastler into Beast-09 and managed to take out the big Ice Axe before he could swing. The Gators engaged the Kayazy and failed to hit, while I managed to take out more Doom Reavers and one of the Great Bears.

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John pushed up his Butcher and unleashed his feat. He got a couple of his Kayazy to Barnabas, but didn't do enough damage to kill him. Luckily for me, a lot of his attacks missed. In retaliation, I decided to go for the kill. I pushed Barnabas as far forward as I could and caught a chunk of John's army with my feat, most importantly the Butcher. Barnabas killed the Kayazy he was engaging and used Blood Boon to hit Butcher with a Flesh Eater. The Bog Trogs took out John's objective for a control point, and leaving a Gatorman a charge lane to Butcher. I killed a few more Kayazy. The Swamp Horror charged Butcher, hit with a tentacle and dragged Butcher into range of his bite. I did some damage before sending in the Blackhide Wrastler to finish him off.

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Win, by Assassination. 1-0 CPs. 38-0 PCD.

I didn't fancy this game at first, but I think John got too aggressive with Butcher and not aggressive enough with his Conquest. I could weather the gunfire but couldn't have dealt with it in melee. When the chance for the assassination came up, I had to go for it. Had it failed, I was in big trouble as I had loaded by warbeasts with FURY and would probably have frenzied a lot had there been another turn. One mistake I did make was going immediately for the assassination when I saw it, I should have taken my time and killed more of John's army first to improve my tie breakers, even if it didn't matter it's a habit I should get into, as it might mean something in future events.

All in all, another fun day of gaming. I learned a few things that I need to put into practice.

Final Positions
Player (Faction) - [Score-SoS-CPs-PCD]

Anthony O'Reilly (Cryx) [3-8-7-131]
Eoin Brennan (Circle Orboros) [3-7-0-128]
Paul Quigley (Trollbloods) [2-7-8-108]
Jason Jensen (Cryx) [2-7-8-81]
Brian Leonard (Minions) [2-7-1-99]
Noel Flynn (Trollbloods) [2-5-10-66]
Mike O'Brien (Legion of Everblight) [1-9-3-69]
Eoin Dornan (Protectorate of Menoth) [1-6-0-60]
John Foster (Khador) [1-6-0-41]
Adam Fox (Minions) [1-6-0-38]
Damien McGurrell (Circle Orboros) [1-5-3-27]
Conor Goulding (Cygnar) [1-4-0-66]
Declan Lowry (Protectorate of Menoth) [1-3-0-12]

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