I went to a Steamroller on Saturday, which I had high hopes of doing well in. I wanted to go at least 3-1 to get some good points in for the provincial league, but at the same time I felt I had a good shot at placing in the top 3.
My pairing was Thexus and Fiona, but Fiona never left the tray. Thexus is just looking so good in the current meta, so unless I see something like Nemo3 it’s go go go, plus I wanted to show off my newly converted Professor X Thexus.
2x max slavers
1x min slavers
3x max benders
2x machine wraiths
Game 1: (David D with Haley3 Gravediggers)(2 circles, 2 rectangles, 2 objectives)
Being that I had helped David create this list (several of the models were actually mine) I felt confident that I had a significant experience advantage, so I felt good going into the game. The list had two units of commandos which could rip through my drudges, but if I could remove them I would be fine, and then there is always the fact that Haley3 loses a lot on clock so that would be something I would be keeping an eye one.
Turn 1 he runs up and brings out the echos. I allocate 3 and 2, cast decel, and run up. Turn 2 his trenchers assault into me, and the commandos and lights start shooting, but when all is said and done he’s only killed a small handful of models, and half his clock is gone, meaning clock is now going to be my primary win condition. I respond by feating and taking out the trenchers, half the commandos, and a grenadier. Turn 3 the commandos, including Finn, charge into me and kill a significant number of drudges (Finn kills a unit by himself). It’s a good attrition turn for him, but again is costly on the clock. I kill Finn and continue to pick away, although the high defense means I can’t get much done. Turn 4 he gets more aggressive to set up for an assassination play, but I play it safe and take out some lights, and on turn 5 he clocks.
Looking at the board I really didn’t have a lot left. The longer this game goes the more it’s in his favor as I lose key pieces and he keeps reviving. The list certainly has game into Thexus, and going forward this is going to be a tougher and tougher match up as David learns the tricks to picking apart the Cephalyx. Luckily the clock is also the factor, and the Haley3 player needs to make a choice between doing the most attrition and limiting the attack to save on clock.
Game 2: (Troy S with Skarre1 kraken cav)(2 circles, 2 flags)
I was happy to see a Cryx player with no ghost fleet, and when he dropped his Skarre1 list I felt even better. The battle engine was going to be a problem, but the double max cav was the perfect target for adrenal flooded drudges, and the kraken can be smashed too. As long as I kept Thexus alive I felt fine.
Turn 1 I allocate 3/2, cast deceleration, and run up. He also runs up. Turn 2 ambushers come on and I’m able to kill one cav from one side, and two cav from the other (almost got 3). I wondered if he was going to feat defensively, but he didn’t and instead started the grind into my drudges, which didn’t go well due to tough (especially when it ruined impact attacks and caused failed charges). Turn 3 I kill all the cav except one, send some drudges into the kraken, and continue hiding from the wraith engine. His banes then come into me doing some good damage, and the battle engine moves over to block my wrecker from getting onto the kraken, but in doing so stops contesting my flag so I score and go to 1-0. Turn 4 I kill Tartarus and all the banes except for the banner (drat), and send more drudges into the kraken bringing it down to about 30% left, and score to go to 2-0. He kills some models, but nothing significant, and now Skarre is moving up to threaten Thexus. Turn 5 I kill the kraken and clear the left side, and Thexus runs away while I make a ring of drudges to protect him, and go to 4-0. Seeing he has no chance of assassination he feats and kills a wrecker with Skarre, and half kills the other wrecker with the battle engine, and then I win on scenario 5-0.
This was a match up that was really in my favor. Just so many good targets for me to take out, and meanwhile his high power attacks are wasted on cheap tough drudges. Other than pushing for the battle engine assassination, I’m not sure that he could have done much more in that game.
Game 3: (Paul K with Skaverous jank)(2 rectangles, 2 objectives, 2 flags)
Another cryx player without ghost fleet, but that doesn’t matter when it’s Paul. He likes to play crazy jank you never knew Cryx could do and then surprise you with it, and there has been several games I thought I was fine and then he just does his thing and kills my caster. Biggest worries for me in this list were deathjack and the stalkers on aiakos, so they and the arc nodes would be my #1 targets. He also has cutthroats, but sac pawn should keep me safe from them.
Turn 1 he runs up with deathjack hiding behind a house in the center of the board, and give him +2 armor, and a stalker the spell where he makes souls for the caster. I allocate 3/2, cast deceleration and run up, except for Thexus who actually moves a bit back as my spidie senses are tingling. Turn 2 he measures the distance from the stalkers to Thexus, and apparently I’m safe by about half an inch, otherwise I would be dead (See! This is the shit I’m talking about!). The soul stealing stalker goes in and kills a couple overlords while he keeps the other one back in reserve, and the cutthroats take some shots and kill a couple. Turn 2 my goal is to kill the stalker and both arc nodes, and as many cut throats as possible, but then I realize I have a good shot at a scenario jump, so I kill the stalker, kill the cutthroats in the zone, but then one of the adrenal flooded drudges misses the arcnode to leave it alive, so I abandon that and just score on my flag to make it 1-0. At this point he realizes he’s in a bad spot and that he won’t be able to win this long term, and goes for the assassination. He frees up the arc node and runs it up, Scaverous then feats and TKs one wrecker to be more than 3 inches away, turns around Thexus, but can’t get the other wrecker more than 3 away due to drudges (maybe he could have if he moved Thexus differently, but it was too late at that point). Thexus is at full camp because I figured this would be assassination turn. He hits Thexus with Feast of Worms, which lowers his armor by 2, but then he rolls damage and gets an 11 on two dice, and then casts excarnate, hits, boosts damage and rolls a 16 to kill Thexus! (Had I cast Deceleration I would have lived with one box.)
We talk about it after and this really was a matter of dice. He had actually thought he could shoot in with the remaining cutthroats, thinking it was shield guard rather than sac pawn, so really if he had rolled anything reasonable he would have failed and been in big trouble. Like I said, maaaybe he could have TK’d better to make it so thexus was 3 inches away from both, but it’s impossible to say after the fact. Honestly I was really disappointed. Likely I should have cast deceleration and camped 5 rather than the full 8, but regardless dice happen and it’s something you need to accept. Rather than killing cutthroats I should have put everything into killing the arc nodes, but I didn’t. A weakness of Thexus is spell assassination, and is always something I need to be careful to guard against, and there is no shame in losing to Paul.
Game 4: (Taylor P with Thagrosh1 beast brick)(2 circles, 1 rectangle)
The tournament pairing gods have smiled down upon me and delivered a perfect match up. Taylor isn’t a bad player or anything, but we both knew from the start that this was highly in my favor. His beast brick couldn’t score on the circles, and thanks to rampager I could just kill off his beasts one by one until I eventually won on scenario. Hell, I even got to go second and picked a side with a forest to hide Thexus behind!
Turn 1 we both run up. Turn 2 he puts his feet into the zones. I flub my attacks on the seraph and fail to kill it, but between feat and TKs I clear all zones and make it 3-0. Best yet most of my infantry is on the other edge of the zone, so I’m basically forcing him to stay back and lose on scenario, or run deeper into the zone and die. Turn 3 he kills the wrecker I used to score the middle zone and gets back into the zones, but then I kill and TK what I need and score another 2 to win 5-0.
That was a perfect Thexus wet dream right there. Taylor was good natured about it though, and we both knew that had the scenario been something else like Recon that then he would have had a more fighting chance.
In the end I finished 3-1, but due to SoS I was 4th, whereas Paul took 3rd. Overall I was happy with it, although I still left disappointed in my third game, and wondering if there is a better pairing for Thexus. Maybe Cyphon to protect me against magic? I don’t know… my club mates keep telling me to run Ossrum, but at this event there were 2 Old Witch2 players, 2 Old Witch 3 players, and 2 Gravedigger players, so it seem the meta is really turning against shooting lists. So maybe I’ll give Cyphon a spin.
A friend of mine also gave me Siege2 as an unexpected gift for hosting weekly gaming nights, so that was awesome, and clearly that means I need to get that sucker built and on the board.
Anyway, thanks for reading!