On Saturday I went to a 32 person Steamroller put on by Evolution Gaming at Sentry Box in Calgary. It was the first event since the theme dump so I was excited and nervous to see what crazy things would come up.

For my pairing I decided to go with Thexus/Fiona. I considered my Siege/Stryker2 pairing to deal with Ghost Fleet, but Calgary has waaay more troll players than you would expect, I figured there would be a lot of anti-shooting tech from Old Witch2, and when you are facing stuff you don’t know it’s best to have a resilient list to guard against ‘got yeahs’. I was also excited to see how the newly allowed machine wraiths would do.


List 1:

Fiona Nomad spam in Irregulars.

I’m not even going to bother to post it because I didn’t play it during the tournament, nor have I ever, and was just there to set up better match ups for Thexus in the list chicken.


List 2:


2 Wreckers

2x max slavers

1x min slavers

3x max benders

2x overlords

2x agitators

2x machine wraith


Pre Thoughts:

Looking around there were a lot of different lists, and as expected a done of troll and other horde lists, so I made the right call with Thexus. My goal was to go 3-1, with slim hopes at 4-0 as the tournament would end with two 4-0s as there was only time for four rounds before the store closed, but there are a lot of good players there.


Game 1: (Chris Dancocks. 2 circles 1 rectangle.)

God damn it… I was hoping for a relaxed first round, and instead I get Canadian WTC player Chris and his trolls, and more importantly Madrak2 who is an absolute nightmare for Thexus in a theme that ignores tough. The match up is playable, but I am going to have to be perfect with my positioning.

(Madrak 2) Madrak Ironhide, World Ender [+28]

 – Dire Troll Mauler [15]

 – Earthborn Dire Troll [15]

 – Trollkin Runebearer [0(4)]

Fell Caller Hero [0(5)]

Fennblade Kithkar [4]

Kriel Warriors (max) [11]

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min) [6]

 – Stone Scribe Elder [3]

Trollkin Champions (max) [17]

Trollkin Fennblades (max) [15]

 – Fennblade Officer and Drummer [0(5)]

Trollkin Warders (max) [17]

He won initiative and picked to go first, which was fine with me, as my win condition will be on scenario.

Turn 1 he loads up the stone and runs up. I allocate 3 to each wrecker and run up to be outside of his charge range.

Turn 2 he positions up carefully, and I mock him for bothering to put his champs in base to base. I feat, spray down a bunch of fennblades, some kriel warriors, and adrenal flood some drudges to kill 2 champs. I would have killed 3 but I actually forgot to take them out of base to base with the feat… sigh…

Turn 3 he goes into the tank and then says “I’m going to play this one cautiously.”, which is music to my ears. I had tried to space carefully, but there was still a line to Thexus IF he could hack through a heavy. Him playing carefully meant I would have time to attrition more and get scenario going. He kills some of my guys and scores on the center zone (0-1). I do my best to spray the rest of the fennblades, and kill a champ, but just can’t get thinks going against the kriel warriors. I score on the left zone (1-1).

Turn 4 he feats and kills some drudges, but my careful positioning pays off and it’s not too bad. I clear the left zone again, finish off the champs, and kill the mauler (2-1).

Turn 5 he clears out the right zone but can’t get into my zone (3-2). I contest his zone and start making sure he can’t get into mine. (4-2)

Turn 6 time is getting low, and it’s clear he’s in trouble. He starts grinding towards Thexus but fails to clear his zone (5-2). I keep jamming and kill the earthborn (6-2)

Turn 7 he clears his zone and kills a wrecker (7-3), and I contest his zone and just make sure I don’t clock and the game ends (8-3).

Man, I won that one, but it was intense. Madrak2’s feat and Road to War can easily kill your army, or your caster, or both, at any time if you aren’t careful. I also have to mention that I played this game a bit sloppy and Chris called me on it. Things like I thought an adrenal flooded drudge had a clear charge path, but I didn’t check it, so we resolved those as me not getting the attacks. Chris was completely in the right with these, and it was good to have my hand slapped early so I would play cleaner for the rest of the tournament.


Game 2: (Robert Statham, 2 circles 2 flags)

Another Madrak2 player, are you kidding me! It was a different build, but clearly this tournament would be a day of stressful suffering for me. There was also a large forest in the center of the table which was going to be interesting.

(Madrak 2) Madrak Ironhide, World Ender [+28]

 – Dire Troll Mauler [15]

 – Troll Bouncer [9]

 – Troll Impaler [11]

 – Trollkin Runebearer [0(4)]

Fell Caller Hero [0(5)]

Horthol, Long Rider Hero [8]

Stone Scribe Chronicler [0(4)]

Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min) [6]

 – Stone Scribe Elder [3]

Long Riders (max) [20]

Sons of Bragg [11]

Trollkin Fennblades (max) [15]

 – Fennblade Officer and Drummer [5]

He won the initiative and picked to go first, which again I was happy with.

Turn 1: He loads up the stone and runs up. I allocate 3 to each wrecker and stay out of charge range. (Hmmm, this seems familiar…)

Turn 2: The fennblades commit and rush forward whereas the cav ‘stays out of charge range’ (when I explained the threats in the beginning he forgot about adrenal flood), Madrak2 gets on his flag, and his lights contest mine. I feat and decimate the fennblades, but adrenal flooded drudges only kill 2 of the 4 cav I was hoping for. Bouncer had to be rampagered away due to animus, but a machine wraith contests his flag, and I score mine. Due to not wanting to put too much in threat of his feat I fail to score the left zone (1-0)

Turn 3: He kills some dudes, and is able to score on the left zone, and his flag, and contest mine, making it 1-2). I continue to grind and kill both lights but, whereas I had planned to TK a model out of the left zone, I didn’t notice a wall was stopping me, plus I fail to kill a single infantry model that was contesting my flag, and forgot to contest his flag. So even though attrition is going very well it is now 1-3 and if he can clear both zones with his feat (which I think he easily can) he’ll win on scenario.

Turn 4: He feats, but the way he unpacks just doesn’t work and he’s unable to score on the zones, but still it goes to 1-4. I’ve been given a second chance, and I’m going to embrace it! Full on attack! I clear the left zone, clear my flag, contest his, and almost score the right zone. (3-4)

Turn 5: He does his best to grind, but he has lost too much. He clears his flag, and contests the left zone, but doesn’t get to my flag (4-5). I kill the mauler and am at the point that I’m killing his support and threatening his flag and make it 6-5.

Turn 6: Madrak2 is killing what he can, but there isn’t much left of his army and clocks (8-5)

Damn I’m lucky I didn’t lose that one. Just simple mistakes and not putting enough into the left zone almost lost it for me. Luckily the attrition advantage let me catch up once he was unable to contest. The best news is that all the troll players have at least lost one game, so no chance of facing Madrak2 three games in a row…


Game 3: (Matt Chen, 1 circle, 2 rectangles, 2 objectives)

I don’t think I’ve ever played Matt before, but I know he’s normally a Cryx player so it was surprising to see him play Circle. He was running Bradigus/Morvahna2, and he decided to drop Bradigus. I don’t know what theme it was as I’m having trouble remaking it.

(Thorle 1) Bradigus Thorle the Runecarver [+27]

 – Wold Guardian [17]

 – Wold Guardian [17]

 – Woldwarden [16]

 – Woldwatcher [9]

 – Woldwatcher [9]

 – Woldwatcher [9]

 – Woldwatcher [9]

Shifting Stones [3]

Shifting Stones [3]

Sentry Stones [5]

Sentry Stones [5]

Blackclad stoneshaper (3)

Blackclad stoneshaper (3)

Blackclad wayfarer (4)

I won initiative and picked to go second.

Turn 1: He runs up with Synergy up. I allocate 1 to a wrecker and run it up to channel a Rampager to move up a light and cast Deceleration, then send 3 adrenal flooded drudges into it to take it out. Killing a beast on turn 1 feels dirty but sooo good.

Turn 2: He starts to castle and take some shots and sprays to take out some drudges. I kill the manikins and blackclad wayfarer and again cast Deceleration and Rampager to take out another light, and take out his objective (1-0). 3 other drudges also went into another light, but because it wasn’t rampagered is was in stone form and I only did about a third of the damage.

Turn 3: He does his best to grind and begrudges the fact that Thexus is hiding so far away (I ain’t no fool!), but unfortunately forgets to put his lights into stone form. I then am able to kill both lights, both sentry stones, and one of the shiting stones. Thexus feats the guardians out of the zone and I score in the center (2-0).  

Turn 4: Things are obviously going very badly and he has no choice but to stop sending in the heavies. I rampager up one of them, but it takes both wreckers to take it out, but I’m now scoring on the right zone (3-0)

Turn 5: Bradigus charges into a wrecker and fails to kill it (4-0). Thexus uses TK to moon walk into the zone to win the game 5-0.

I felt really proud of this game. I played clean, smart, and picked apart my opponent’s army. Unfortunately this was soured when it came up that there had been a mess up and the organizer had put in my last game as a loss, so another undefeated player and myself were actually doing a pair down. Things would work out as a pair down would lose next round, but it certainly put a shadow on my standing. Mistakes happen (hell I made plenty) so I wasn’t upset with the organizers. Just sucks that I couldn’t be as proud of my 3-0 standing as I wanted to be.


Game 4: (Josh Richter, 1 circle, 2 rectangles, 2 flags)

Josh is a club mate, a hell of a good player, and would be my second WTC player of the day. He was running Butcher3 and Vlad1 (and was sure he would drop Vlad1) but he surprised me and dropped Butcher3 in a scenario I felt favored me. I looked forward to a highly tactical game and looked forward to my machine wraiths finally having jacks to control.

(Butcher 3) Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed [+22]

 – Marauder [10]

 – Marauder [10]

 – Marauder [10]

 – Ruin [17]

Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich [4]

Winter Guard Mortar Crew [0(5)]

Winter Guard Mortar Crew [0(5)]

Winter Guard Rifle Corps (min) [8]

 – Winter Guard Rocketeer (3) [6]

Winter Guard Rifle Corps (min) [8]

 – Winter Guard Rocketeer (3) [6]

Winter Guard Gun Carriage [17]

I won initiative and picked to go second and took a side where my rectangle was guarded by a forest, a building, and a flaming forest (sooo good!).

Turn 1: He rushes up towards my rectangle, making it clear he’s not going to give it up easily. I blunder and forget to allocate focus (so much for smart tactical play…), cast deceleration and move up.

Turn 2: He moves up carefully and starts to shoot, killing some drudges but nothing significant. I allocate to my wreckers finally and I swarm the rifle corps on his flag. Machine wraiths contest the center zone and his rectangle, but I fail to get an agitator to my flag as I foolishly put drudges in the way, and don’t score in my zone as I would risk losing a heavy early to Butcher3. I do manage to get 2 adrenal flooded drudges into Ruin and manage to take out the cortex, so that was good.

Turn3: He decides to go for it and clear the center zone while putting Butcher3 in my face with a marauder on either side, and ruin behind. Even though he feats, his plans to score fail as he unfortunately didn’t know you couldn’t pull in incorporeal models, and the funny thing is that now he has a machine wraith that can help peel apart his guard, but who can’t peel away Ruin (who wants to cancel some spells with two souls he got) because his cortex is out. To stop me from getting two wreckers into Butcher3, the gun cartridge intentionally drifts a shot over which luckily for him goes to the perfect spot to block one of my wreckers with rough terrain.

This is where I go into the tank. I could go for attrition/scenario and take out 3 of his jacks and start scoring, but Butcher3 is likely going to find a way to kill me as he’s currently less than 10 inches from Thexus. I measure it out and the rough terrain makes it so even if I TK up I can’t get to Butcher3 unless I TK him, and in order to do that I would need to make three 6+s in a row to get past Ruin blocking my spells. I decide to go for it.

I cast TK and Ruin stops it, and then I fail the second casting (enter several curses here). I keep going though as I’m committed, and hit the next two so he can only stop one and then I move B3 up and backwards. I also feat to move the jacks to allow more to get to him. The machine wraith takes control of a marauder which goes behind Butcher and punches him in the back of the head (hehe…), and then the wrecker behind the rough terrain slams that marauder into Butcher3 to knock him down (and kill the machine wraith). Overlords spray and pick away, and then I adrenal flood three drudges and declare a charge only for him to remind me that I can’t charge him due to the feat (Damn it! I was close enough to walk up and punch and now all that damage potential is gone!). All that is left is to instigate with the agitator and send in the other wrecker, and unfortunately I don’t get the spikes I need and after I burn through his camp he is left on 10 boxes (drudges would have done 15 on average). I then sit down and wait to die…

Turn 4: He takes some mortar shots first that scatter and do nothing, and then gets to the main show. Butcher3 energizes away and… I stop him. “Um… that’s a free strike…” “What? No it’s not, it’s a place.” “No it’s an advance. I have to deal with this from Ossrum all the time.” “Well… damn…”

Now I’d like to say normally when people trigger free strikes I let them know and offer them to do something to would avoid it, but this is the final table, and more importantly he didn’t let me walk in with my drudges, so it seemed only fair. Plus I would need a 7+ to hit, and would need to roll a 15 on damage to get past the -5 focus reduction.

I roll and hit (ok, first coin flip test passed), and then roll the damage and… 6,5,5! I even overkill him by a box! Somehow in this comedy of errors I’ve managed to win!!!

We chatted after and there were no hard feelings. This game was just crazy with the number of mistakes we both made and was actually a fun break from our normal precise tactical games we normally have. (Plus it’s the first time I’ve beat him in like half a year, so it was nice to break the losing streak.)


Post Thoughts:

In the end I was 4-0, and after tie breaks I came in first for the event, with second going to my brother and his (dirty) Cryx. In fact all six of us from our club that drive down went 3-1 or better, so that was awesome.

I was definitely rusty with cephalyx, but luckily it didn’t cost me. I like them into most of what I saw other than Ghost Fleet, but everything has a weakness. I just need to get some practice in with that Fiona list so it becomes a better part of my pairing.

It was nice to see everyone excited to play with new stuff, and even a good amount of people who were either playing a new faction or plan to thanks to the theme dump. Feels like this is what the Mk3 launch should have been, and I’m glad we’re here now.


Well thank you for reading, and we’ll see how the next one goes. Please comment below if you have any thoughts on my lists, my games, or the state of the game.