I went to Council Fires this past saturday, a miniature convention, in Brantford and played in their warmachine tournament and had a fantastic time! I was super excited because I would hit my 200 games for the year goal at the tournament on the last round! Let me tell you about it:
First a quick thing about Council Fires: It’s traditionally been a historical miniatures convention but Marc Qu of Combo Smite managed to arrange for a warmachine tournament with prizing sponsored by Forbes Hobbies in Cambridge. Much thanks to Marc Qu for running an excellent tournament and to Forbes Hobbies for sponsoring it! You can check out the following links for more info on them :
Council Fires: http://www.councilfires.net/
Combo Smite (Marc’s blog and pod cast): https://www.facebook.com/combosmite/
Working up to the tournament I had been experimenting with Mist Riders and was pleasantly surprised with their capabilities. I had also finished my last 2 shadow horns and was excited to try lists with 4 shadowhorns. I spent several days trying to make a list pairing including a 4 shadowhorn list and a mist rider list and found it stressful and anxiety inducing. I just couldn’t make a pairing that I felt comfortable with that would at least give me some chance of success.
I ditched the idea of the goats, deciding to save that for a time when I had at least practiced a bit with it, and focused on another idea that interested me. In mark 3 there is a lot less upkeep hate and I have noticed that players have been letting their upkeep flag fly proud and I decided I would like to punish that tendency. I had experimented with a Pureblood/double wold wyrd module that was very effective at murdering stormlances with arcane shield at range and I thought it would work well into other upkeep happy matches.
The mark 3 tournaments I have been to have been saturated with Cygnar, Retribution and Legion so I decided that I would focus my pairing on those factions and just wing anything else that came my way. I ended up with this:
The idea was that Wurmwood would be my main drop, going into everything cygnar, most of Retribution and Legion. Krueger would cover Kaelyssa, Trolls (ie Madrak 2) and anything dude spammy. The morning of the tournament I remembered that Charles Soong was going and that him and Tim Fung would be playing the Merc tier: King Maker so I swapped out 1 Stoneshaper and the Chef in Kruegers list for a Night Witch solo to try and chew through the dudes.
We got to the tournament in good time and I immediately noticed that the meta was not what I had hoped for, it was saturated with Trolls, Mercs and Khador. There was 1 cygnar player, 1 Ret player and maybe 3 legion players out of 26, oops, so much for the plan!
Trollbloods, Close Quarters, Madrak 2 and Grissel 2
My first round opponent was Fraser, a gentleman I had played at this past years OTC and failed spectacularly to assassinate on the bottom of 1 with Morvhana 2. I hoped for better this time. I dropped Krueger 1, expecting to see Madrak but he dropped Grissel instead. This had me a bit worried as his list had a Mountain King in it and I was concerned I wouldnt have the muscle to one round it.
Frasers List was: Grissel, MK, Full Fenns with UA, Fell Caller, Dhunia knot, Min Kriel with UA, Chronicler, War Wagon
Fraser won and decided to go first. I took the side with the house and a nice screening forest on my left and no pathfinder issues for my feral on the right so I could effectively protect my flag from the MK… I hoped. Fraser deployed and I countered putting my flight elements on the left with the screening terrain and everything else arrayed on the open area to the right so they murder the trolls as they charged at me.
Fraser ran up and I positioned Una’s griffons behind the forest with Una way back. Everything else positioned safely out of threat range and Krueger put out lightning tendrils on the Night Witch and cast Gale Winds. I think I misplayed my Blackclad wayfarer, I really needed a free charge on the MK when it came to the crunch but I decided that the birds needed some help with the warwagon and ran him behind the building.
Turn 2 I was expecting Fraser to jam hard in with the FennBlades but he was cautious and just advanced up, he wheeled the war wagon around looking for something good to shoot but between Gale Winds, forests and Stealth he really didnt have much and his shot deviated wide. The MK inched his way closer to my flag but well out of my threat range.
I was a little thrown off by the cautious advance, I was hoping to feat and kill all the fennblades and maybe get lucky and take the warwagon as well. I decided it was still worth it to try to damage the wagon or at least keep it busy. Una advanced to keep her birds in control, Kreuger advanced behind the house, put primal on one of Una’s birds and cast Gale Winds, I though about feating to stop the fennblades from getting into me but decided I needed my feat to do damage. The birds charged the wagon through the forest and did a paltry amount of damage but at least it would be busy for a while. In the center I sprayed and shot a handful of fennblades dead with sentry stones and wyrds and positioned defensively. Again I messed up my black clad running him up behind the forest.
Fraser’s turn and time for things to heat up! The fennblades vengenced up killing a couple twigs and then charged in doing surprisingly little damage. The mountain king assaulted a twig and then killed the gobber chef to kill shot another spray but with Gale Winds up neither spray hurt anything. The war wagon was jammed in with the two scarsfels and shuffled deviating a shot onto the black clad and killing him. Fraser ran a whelp onto the flag and scored but to my surprise did not feat.
Alright, it’s go time!I had two goals for this turn: cripple and grievous the MK and kill all the fennblades. It would require Krueger to be exposed, which made me nervous, but it needed to be done! I upkept Lightning Tendrils on the Night Witch, she had work to do, and activated Kreuger first. He cast Skyborn and flew over the house in dramatic style, positioning so that the Krielstone was just in my control. I feated and killed a pile of fenns and boosted on the Krielstone but it toughed. I also primalled the Feral leaving krueger on only 1 transfer. I couldn’t soften up the MK for fear a whelp would spawn in my ferals charge lane so the wyrds finished off the Kriel stone and the Sentry stones killed all the fenn blades, except the ones the night witch needed to pac man to the MK with and also pegged the Chronicler.
The Night Witch went in on the Fenns killing 2 and needing to kill the UA to overtake into melee range of the MK and failed needing a 5, damn girl! You had one job! LOL, anyway the gun was cocked so I sent in the Feral, even though I knew it wasn’t enough, He did well and a follow up spray from the pureblood took the MK down to 5 with crippled Mind and Body. The Birds on the Left killed the Fell Caller and did a tiny bit of damage to the wagon. Una also helped mow down Fenns.
Frasers turn and I was fairly confident that I was in very real danger of being assassinated, I mis-positioned my pureblood and really should have had him screening Krueger. The wagon didn’t have LOS to Krueger but he tried drifting an AOE on him anyway but it went wide killing a twig. He healed up the MK with the Dhunia knot and also put Puppet master on him. He then activated the MK and put up rage, which cost an extra for arcane suppression and then he started discussing throwing the Feral at Krueger. Unfortunately the Feral was too far for a throw, even with Rage, and Fraser dropped the idea and decided to beat on the feral instead. It didn’t go well even at dice +6 he failed to kill it. Grissel Feated and I survived.
We talked about this moment after the game and there was two alternate things Fraser could have done to assist in an assassination. First was to throw the Night Witch at Krueger (He just didn’t even see her at the time), it would take some rolls but with puppet strings and a back up kill shot it would be good odds, or just boost a spray at Krueger to drop his defense down, then follow up with Grissel shouting him dead! These options were certainly obvious after the game but in the heat of the moment with your clock running down things look a lot different.
In my turn, it was relatively trivial to mop up the remaining trolls, Una boss rolling the warwagon dead, and at the end of my turn it was just Grissel and one Dhunia Knot. Krueger full camped and ran to her flag to dominate.
Fraser clocked out in his next turn.
Cryx, Recon, Nikalaus, Venethrax and Goreshade 1
I seriously considered dropping Krueger 1 again but his Venethrax list was very heavy with jacks and I didn’t that list could cut it so I dropped Wurmy and he went with Venthrax.
Nicks list was: Venny, 3 slayers, Inflictor, 2 deathrippers, 2 pistol wraiths, 2 soul trappers, Orin, Ragman, Rorsch and Brine, machine wraith.
Nick won the die roll and took first so I took the side with the forest at the end of the zone, it would give me an excelled base for the sentry stones and I could hide wurmy behind it all game if I liked. Nick deployed with heavies in the middle and a deathripper on either flank, two pistol wraiths on my left and machine wraith soul trapper on the right. Rorsch and Brine were slight Left of center. I counter deployed with the brigands to my left almost everything behind the forest and alten ashley out on the right. I’m not super familiar with the new Venethrax, seeing as cryx is all but extinct in my meta so I settle down with his cards while Nick runs his dudes.
My turn and I’m pretty cautious, brigands advance and dig in, sentry stones kill the machine wraith and prowl up in the forest. Alten ashley picks off the soul trapper, wurmy puts up a forest to further screen me and I settle down.
Without much to get at and concerned I’ll dominate scenario nick runs his jacks into the zone, fires off a blood rain, kills like 3 or 4 twigs and ships clock.
Ok, Nicks stuff is really close to me and I don’t want to overuse my living beasts or he will pop his feat. I activate a wyrd first and move up to take a shot at orin but I get counter charged by a deathripper. The wyrd instead shoots the light jack and takes out its movement. The pureblood shuffles over and kills it without generating fury. Between my other wyrd and Alten I kill Orin and Ragman. On the left the brigands shoot off their prey jack after I engage the jacks with twigs so I don’t get counter charged. They switch prey to another slayer. Gheto walks into position and I activate cassius and run him to a spot I can strangle hold a slayer but I mess up and when I activate wurmy we realize I engaged something with cassius so I just call him back and feat.
Nicks turn and I think he has a decent chance of dominating the zone, messing up the stranglehold was pretty bad! The pistol wraiths pick off a few brigands in the forest, the slayer I messed up the stranglehold on charges a sentry stone and takes it out. Ventrax wanders into the zone and casts Terminal Velocity and another slayer tramples into melee with the sentry stone and objective. He kills my shaman first and then kills the objective but fails to get the sentry stone, leaving it on 4 boxes. Everything else positions.
My turn and I really need to get serious about scenario! The Brigands shoot off another slayer and then proceed to kill both pistol wraiths. Between mannikins, a wyrd and ghetos initials I kill the last slayer. I get a wyrd, alten ashley and shifting stones into the zone. I back up the pureblood to counter on the right. I run cassius to the right flag and dark path wurmy over there to score and he puts up a forest in front of the stuff I have in the zone.
Nicks turn and he realizes he’s lost but decides to dominate and then get assassinated (his words not mine!). He has to use venethrax to kill the wyrd and alten as he the only one close enough to get through the forest to them. In doing so he turns them into clouds screening venethrax. His remaining models easily clear the 2 shifting stones in the zone and he scores to 3 and I score to 2.
I move the last shifting stone into a position so I can hellmouth Venethrax into the clouds, Cassius runs and I put curse of shadows on Venny and then hellmouth him in. Ghetto charges Venny and crushes him.
Good game, with at least one major mistake on my part. Nick admitted he didn’t really have anything to play into wurmwood and hasn’t played much into circle in mark 3. This was my first game into Venethrax and maybe my 5th into cryx in mark 3.
The Pit, Dave Ross, General Ossrum and some other dwarf caster.
I just saw lots and lots of jacks so I knew I had to play wurmwood, he dropped Gorten.
His list was: Gorten, Sylyss, 5! Bashers, 2 mortar crews, thor with Avalancher, Jorne and the little dwarf and Croes.
Dave won the roll and went first, I took the side with a bit of rubble and a forest (which was a bit on the flank to do much but Alten could hide in it). Dave deployed in a block across from the zone and I favoured my left with only the brigands, the chef and Alten on the right. The Advanced Deploy was important as I wanted to square off the sentry stones vs Croes and that’s what I did on the left.
Dave moved up aggressively in the middle and the croes got snipe and Jorne got Fire for effect. The Croes took some shots at twigs in the rubble but missed.
My turn and I kill a couple of manikinns and then spray a couple of croes dead. I bunker up in the rubble and put a rapid growth on wurmwood, brigands advanced and dug in while Alten prowled in the woods.
Dave’s turn and he kills a few manikinns with croes and then repositions closer to contest my flag. His basher crew lines up opposite my flag and a couple threaten the brigands. Mortars take some shots at Alten but they drift harmlessly away.
Ok, time to start scoring! Plan is to kill all the croes and stranglehold a Basher. I port wurmy up to the flag and I do some work with the sentry stones killing a few croes then activate the wyrds and they kill 5. Wurmwood is all full on souls now. I go through my activations and totally forget about Croe standing 9″ away from wurmy, I dont even put up wind storm with Llynssa because I can’t get his jacks in the bubble. So by the time I’m done, I’ve put a hand full of brigands in the zone and I’ve strangle held one basher and scored one.
Daves turn and he allocates some focus, puts bullet dodger on Ossrum and toes the zone. Croe then moves up and taps wurmy so I wont be able to cast spells. His bashers start trampling into the woods, flak fielding and what not to kill all the brigands and do some minor damage to wurmy. He clears the zone and dominates to 2!
Ok, mistakes were made, I now have 10 fury and can’t do any spells meaning I can’t move wurmy out of the danger zone. I upkeep curse of shadows and go to work on these ARM 22 Bashers! I get rid of croe, giving me a soul, then the pureblood charges through the cursed of shadowed Basher onto the Avalancher catching Thor in the assault spray. I boost on Thor and kill him making the Avalancher autonomous.
The brigands shoot the preyed/cursed basher and do a bit of damage before repositioning into the zone. Cassius charges the cursed Basher and does a good bit of damage, Ghetto moves in and punches the cursed basher for its last point and then wrecks a second damaged basher. I position the shifting stones so Ghetto can’t be bulldozed out of the zone. A wyrd moves over and purgations Ossrum doing 3 damage and making him use a focus. The brave Chef runs and engages the dwarf cannon on the flag.
Daves turn and things are messy as all get out in the zone, not only that we are both around 8 mins left on clock. A quick allocation of focus and Ossrum charges the chef to base his flag. Dave spends a bit of time killing some models and trying to finish Cassius before having the basher beat on Wurmy a bit more. I transfer the small bits of damage to a crippled wyrd just to manage my fury a bit. Dave scores to 3 but has about 1:15 left to my 7:54.
My turn and I quickly have ghetto wreck the basher on Wurmy then warp the pureblood for ghostly and run him in to contest the flag, The manikins run but can’t quite get there, I ship clock with 2:30 left.
Dave tries to run through his turn but can’t get rid of the pureblood in time to score before his clock goes. Crazy game! Sometimes the Pit turns into a bloody mess!
Line Breaker, Jeremy McClure, Legion, Llyth3 and Abby 2
Jeremy’s lists was: Llyth3, succubus, Typhon, Seraph, Bolt thrower, shepherd, Forsaken, Full raptors, Annysa, Hellion
Jeremy is a good friend (at least I like to think he is!) and he started our sit down talking up Krueger 1 in an attempt to get me to play him, not a chance McClure, you get the TREE! Jeremy drops Llyth 3.
Jeremy wins the roll and I spend a few minutes looking at the table. There is a forest around the objective on one side that was really tempting as it would screen so much of my army from llyth, but the other side also had a nice forest on the right flag which would be a great base for sentry stones and offer screening if I found an opportunity to rush to dominate his flag. I gave jeremy the side with the forest hoping it would cause him more trouble than it was worth.
Jeremy deployed with Llyth on my left, battle group middle to left and Raptors on the right. I decided to favour right with my army and keep my anti upkeep hate module just left of the objective to try and put some hurt on Llyth if she wandered too far up the table.
Jeremy moved up cautiously, linebreaker is a very weird scenario and we were both feeling this out while trying not to blunder into the danger zone.
My turn and I make a forest wall between the objective and the forest on my right and bunker down behind it. I put the two wyrds together and hid lynnsa behind them. Ghetorix destroyed a mannikin from each unit and I spawned them out and moved the sentry stones up just enough to get a couple sprays off, I hit one but only did 1 point of damage.
Jeremy sniped out the mannikins that he could and he even slip streamed a raptor into the forest and took a shot at Cassius but missed. Llyth moved up and with farstrike she damaged a wyrd and tried to hit a brigand but it toughed denying blood boon. The bolt thrower on the left put out the damaged wyrd’s mind.
Feat turn! For a few minutes I entertained the idea of running Cassius to Jeremy’s right flag and dark pathing Wurmy onto it but I was a hair out of that. The brigands cleared the hellmouth tentacles, the sentry stones took out a couple raptors and a wyrd took out another one. I shuffled the Pureblood and the shaman over to contest the left flag, ran Cassius, strangleheld Llyth, dark pathed Cassius back and feated then ported wurmy up. Lynnsa moves up and wind stormed to try and slow down any tentacles that might be spawned.
Jeremy spent a fair bit of time trying to figure out what he was doing. The remaining raptors and Anyssa went in a picked off some manikinns and brigands, the death striders moved into the forest and picked off a brigand or two and swift hunter into jamming positions. With little to shoot on the left, Llyth and the battle group positioned defensively.
My follow up turn and I clear out the rest of the raptors, Anyysa and one Death Strider. The non crippled wyrd gets wraith bane and puts some shots into Llyth doing some damage. The pure blood, crippled wyrd and shaman position to contest the left flag. Wurmy dark paths into the stones, pops a forest in front of Ghetorix and Cassius runs out of the danger zone. Lynnsa moves into the forest and pops wind storm.
Jeremy commits to making a play for my left flag, Llyth feats, tramples up and shoots the wyrd a bunch leaving it on 1 box and freezes the Pure blood. Typhon gets slip streamed up and then advances and sprays the pureblood down leaving it on 10 boxes. The bolt thrower advances and shoots the pureblood but leaves it on 1 box. The hellmouth made a tentacle in Lynnsa’s back arc but failed to kill her. He ends his turn with Llyth on the left flag but 2 of my beasts contesting on 1 box each. The last death strider and the dragon riding solo run to contest his right flag. Jeremy is also at 1:05 on his clock but I won’t let that fool me, Jeremy regularly wins as his clock runs out.
My turn and I’m going for Llyth, I have a lot of fury out there but I clear Gheto and the undamaged wyrd. The pureblood passes it’s frenzy and shakes stationary. I measure the distance from Gheto to Llyth and I need a hunters mark and Hellmouth to get him there. Lynnsa lands the hunters mark so step one is good. I activate the brigands and leave one within 3″ of Gheto. Cassius runs into position and Wurmy activates and wraith banes the wyrd and hellmouths the brigand. I pull in Lynnsa, Ghetto and the warlord (oops). Lynnsa and the brigand die to the damage but the warlord survives on a few boxes and he’s in Ghetos charge lane.
Alten shoots the warlord and does 2 points. The wyrd activates and shoots the warlord with his first shot killing him. I then put two shots into Llyth forcing a transfer and doing some damage. Gheto charges Llyth and I stupidly warp murderous only to remember that she’s a battle engine. After two boosted POW 17’s I leave her on 4 boxes. The stones activate and port wurmwood behind the right hand forest.
Jeremy launches into his turn and tries to kill Gheto with Typhon but fails as his clock runs out.
I had a great time and playing my 200th game of warmachine for the year with Jeremy and having my dice steam roll him was extremely satisfying. I ended up going 4-0 but so did Charles Soong and his SOS was way better than mine so he took first and I took second, Tim Banky came in third and I also got best painted!
All of my opponents were great gentlemen and a lot of fun to play against, luck plays a big role in tournaments and I was thankful to have so much of it (especially against Jeremy)!