Scott and I went to a tournament at Xplanet. It’s part of a series called Store Wars and it is the second to last in the series. Lucky thing is Captain Con was going on this weekend so almost all the heavy hitters in our meta were away cavorting in the bigger meta pond, leaving 18 of us scrubs to duke it out for the scraps!
I took Cassius and Bradigus. I had been pairing Cassius with kreuger but I’ve been finding krueger too demanding and I’m starting to think I’m maybe not smart enough for him. Bradigus is very mechanical and I do pretty good with mechanical unimaginative lists (Axis tier) so I thought I’d give him a try.
My lists were:
Cassius the Oathkeeper – WB: +6
– Wurmwood, Tree of Fate
– Druid Wilder
– Gorax – PC: 4
– Warpwolf Stalker – PC: 10
– Ghetorix – PC: 11
Gallows Grove – PC: 1
Gallows Grove – PC: 1
Shifting Stones – Leader & 2 Grunts: 2
– Stone Keeper – Keeper 1
Swamp Gobbers Bellows Crew – Leader & 1 Grunt: 1
Druids of Orboros – Leader & 5 Grunts: 7
– Druid of Orboros Overseer – Overseer 2
Farrow Bone Grinders – Leader & 5 Grunts: 3
Tharn Ravagers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
– Tharn Chieftan – PC: 2
And this guy:
Standard, 6 watcher double guardian build.
The pairing has some very glaring weakness’ vs say pvayl, abby 2 or Thaggs 2 but I was done with kreuger for now and I’ve been playing Cassius a ton lately.
ROUND 1: DESTRUCTION vs RETRIBUTION
I’ve played this pairing before and cassius is not viable, and Ossyan can’t effectively play into bradigus with all the shield guards and forests so it was down to a SYNERGY OFF – Vyros vs Brad!
His list was (from memory so excuse me if Im off a bit): Vyros, 2 arcanists, 4 griffons, 2 aspis, imperatus, Destor thane, full sentinels with UA and the sentinel solo. Tier obviously
Ray Ray won the roll and went first, which honestly I’m cool with with. Brad has extreme threat range and he likes to put scenario pressure on the opponent so that he has to commit and then Brad can initiate the piece exchange. He deployed in line and I deployed in standard brick.
Ray Ray moved up aggressively spreading out the sentinels in front, but didnt feat. I advanced with the intention of taking as many sentinels as possible and between manikin sprays and watcher shots I took about 4 or 5. I did drop some forest and made some with the watcher guns which was important because I wanted to put him under pressure to use Easy Rider and leave him with less focus to allocate. I also tried to position my forward watcher so they were tantalizing synergy targets for the griffons but I was fairly sure they were out of charge range (as long as he didnt fleet).
Ray Ray wasted no time in allocating so he definitely had a plan; 2 to imperatus. An arcanist put the +2 Strength on Imperatus and another allocated 1 focus to a griffon. Ray tried two charges (one with fuel objective aid) on my right flank watcher but both griffons were short. He charged in the sentinels and did decent damage, even charging one dude who woule be in Imperatus’ charge lane with the UA, brilliant. Vyros feats and Imperatus charges a watcher in front of brad without any synergy but with POW 19’s. With his two initials he takes down the watcher and is on Bradigus with 2 attacks. Bradigus has 1 transfer, I don’t think I was ready for this!
Imperatus hits brad and ray rolls an 11 for damage at dice plus 3, I transfer that one. He thinks a bit on the second attack, he’s debating cracking a stone or giving brad another smack, he chooses glory and hits brad again and rolls 10 on damage putting brad down to 4 and on fire. He finishes by scrambling some lights in front of Vyros but his positioning isnt very good as he makes a line directly in front of vyros instead of like 3 or 4 inches in front.
My turn and fire doesn’t go out and Ray Ray needs an 8 for damage but rolls a 1, whew!
I’m pretty much all in on the assassination now but I can’t kill anything or vyros will run away with a feat move. Tricky but that’s what power attack pushes are for! I push stuff around and build synergy to six, port Bradigus, feat slide into contact with a griffon hit it with my initial and I’m on a naked vyros with 5 attacks at MAT 11 and pow 13. My dice crap out a bit but I finish him with my last attack. A very aggressive and quick game, Ray took me by surprise with the top of two assassination attempt, honestly the math wasn’t good, but some good rolls put me in desperate straights.
ROUND 2: RECON
PARTY FOUL SCOTT with Body and Soul and Goreshade 3.
Scott was not happy to see bradigus, we had talked about this prior to the tournament and he knows his pairing is very vulnerable to him but he said he’d just dodge him. Well that didn’t happen.
Very Importantly, I win initiative and go first. That alone made the game ten times worse for denny as scenario becomes almost impossible and puts her in the position were she has to attrition and bradigus grinds better than her.
Scott puts pursuit on one sentry stone and the other upkeeps on a couple of watchers. My turn and advance just outside of the zone, mystic wards off the upkeeps and pop the manikins off the pursuit sentry, phase up and put out 2 more manikins in positions were they can spray at the advancing drudge horde.
Scott runs up into my face. I advance into the zone putting my entire battle group in it. I kill and rfp some drudges and spray some other ones. I have my sentry stone on the flanks to try to stop anything getting around my wall.
Scott feats and commits Nightmare to a watcher he curses, he beats it up okay but his dice are garbage and it lives. My lines get charged by drudges and some damage is sustained. My right flank looks open and not being able to advance with her feat I will need to shore it up with something. He moves up some overlords to spray at stones but gets caught in mystic wards. He ends by putting a swarm of infantry in front of denny with DJ standing nearby.
I start punching stuff and RFPinf everything and build synergy to 4 and then break the arms off nightmare with a watcher. I have to teleport a guardian over to my right flank to prevent the drudges from breaking through to the stones.
Scott curses the guardian and then kills it with drudges and sprays. Nightmare pops a stone and flails at watchers. More drudges and mcthralls pile into the scrum. I don’t lose any watchers but the damage is mounting.
More punching and grinding, seriously, this was a slog for both of us. Scott is keeping denny way back at the end of the zone and a swarm of dudes in between. DJ is lurking waiting for me to screw up. I hold my last guardian. I think Brad throws a rock and the sentry stones are doing a good job keeping the flanks secure. Nightmare is crushed by Bradigus at synergy +6 and then I beat back and fill the area around him with stones as denny is only 12.25″ away and can go incorporeal.
This continues for a couple more turns and I’m about 4 mins up on scott. He realizes he’s lost the attrition war and can’t clock me so he moves up denny and DJ. Denny is incorporeal and I bet he’s hoping I screw up and put Brad on her but I know Brad just has rocks. I build synergy, by now the 5 remaining watchers are advancing and picking out support models like ragman. The guardian ports up at synergy +5 and trashes DJ, I could have attacked denny but she was camping 6 (I devoured one of them), and I didn’t want a dice fail leaving scott a chance to come back.
Scott runs denny straight at bradigus which admittedly suprised me. I have a slight clock advantage: 3 min to 2 min.
My guardian destroys the objective and I clear the zone with watchers. Bradigus runs into a set of stones taking a free strike from denny (which she misses) and I port him onto the left flag scoring 3.
Scott charges bradigus with denny and spends his stack but I transfer everything.
My turn and I quickly try to clear the zone but fail. Bradigus moves off the flag to get closer to the beasts.
Denny spends her stack but scott clocks and I have 1:20 left.
ROUND 3: OUTFLANK
Matt playing Legion, Epic Abby and Epic Llyth
I’d heard Bradigus could have some problems with the fast hard hitting variety of Legion, specifically pvayl, eabby and ethags. Well I guess I’d have to give him a test as Cassius just can’t manage either of these! BTW my camera was dead by this point so no pics 🙁
Matt went with Epic Abby and his list was something like: abby, succubus, naga, 2 scythean, raek, neraph, 2 forsaken, shepherd, shredder, feralgiest.
Matt went first and deployed pretty heavy on my right hand zone with only the raek and a feralgiest covering the left zone. We played about 4 turns of jockeying for the alpha and Matt sniped out a stone (bad positioning on my part) and set a couple watchers on fire.
By turn 5 I was looking to shake things up a bit on the right so I went in with my manikins and sprayed his forsaken off. Emboldened by this I went for a repeat on the right and managed to get his second forsaken. I knew I had left him with conferred rage targets but I tried to position my guardians out of threat range, I was off, way off.
Matt moves up, procs conferred rage and teleports abby back on 2 transfers and tenacity. He then sends in both scytheans and kills both of my guardians, a watcher and a sentry stone. In hindsight my positioning was really bad and Matt punished my horribly for it. That said I was positive that abby was within port and feat slide range of bradigus. The question was, would +5 synergy be enough?
My turn and I had two choices, assassinate or clear the left zone (he had commited the raek). I did the stuff in the left zone and killed the raek, I had my last watcher left and I could try for a boosted 9 on the feralgiest to clear the zone or build one more point of synergy, have bradigus kill the one scythean and the teleport him into the zone to dominate. The long term prospects on it weren’t terrible, the only model he could reasonably get in was a shredder and a ravagore and he’d have to run both. That and he would have some serious fury management issues in his next turn. It would then become a race to see who would dominate faster.
The assassination would be 5’s to hit at dice plus 1, I honestly wasn’t crazy about that but I hated banking on a boosted nine so I built my last point of synergy and sent Bradigus in. He got her with an attack to spare.
The bad news is I was locked into Cassius, the good news is all the Legion players were in the losers bracket. I did some recon and the other two undefeateds were trolls and skorne. Good, that’s Cassius’ sweet spot.
ROUND 4: Incursion
Corey playing Chain Gang and Epic Hexeris.
Corey went with Chain Gang, which I expected. I’ve played the match once before and it’s a grind but doable, I really need to tease out his feat and then counter to control the tempo.
His list was: Rasheth, smoke gobbers, Bronze back, 2 x sentry, Gladiator, Bokur and swamp shramblers, full croak raiders, task master, 2 agonizers
He went first and I picked the side with the hill further up the table, I wanted to get my models up to a def that the croak raiders would have trouble hitting. He deployed pretty heavy on the left with the shramblers out to hold the right flag. I may have made a mistake but I deployed my ravagers out on the right opposite the shramblers (I ussually want them taking down heavies) but I intended on curse of shadowing the shramblers and charging the ravagers through into something worth while.
Corey ran up a raider and pushed Rasheth up so he could arc a breath of corruption into my deploy. Luckily I wasn’t too bunched up and he chose to target my stone keeper so it deviated. Unluckily it deviated back killing my wilder, a bonegrinder and hitting Cassius and Wurmwood (who I had deployed in the back). I had to transfer 6 pts to the gorax and eat 3 more. Cute.
I responded by hellmouthing 4 raiders and positioning to threaten the flag but give him nothing to go after. I put up counter magic and elemental immunity and put everything in clouds on the hell.
Corey ran to raiders up and arced a breath through one into another clipping a druid and a gallows. Luckily he didn’t kill the gallows. He positioned a sentry aggressively on my left with an agonizer crying behind him on the flag.
I needed to kill the sentry but I was in that difficult position of whether or not to primal. I used a druid to push the agonizer back so my stalker could engage out of the aura. I then cursed the sentry strangleheld the second sentry who was posturing aggressively by the middle flag.
Without primal I was dice minus 1, with dice plus 1, with 4 attacks I was 30 damage hitting on 5’s, with 40 hitting on 3’s. I couldn’t leave it to chance and I hoped that I would be able to cover the stalker with my feat forest in the following turn. I Primal and teleport the stalker in and kill the sentry. On my left I charge the ravagers into the shramblers, I just didnt have the fury to spare for curse of shadows.
Corey’s turn and he clears the left flag and the center flag and scores 2. He also positions his bronzeback close to the stalker.
My turn and as the stalker frenzies on a druid the bronzeback counter charges (very smart play) but misses. I curse the bronzeback, primal the gorax, and feat. I then send the gorax in on the bronzeback and cross my fingers. The Gorax comes up 2 boxes shy on the bronzeback. I primal gheto and port him into the sentry. He easily kills the sentry. My ravagers continue to scrum with the shramblers and raiders, sorry lads just not enough fury to go around without the wilder!
Corey does rasheth, rushing the gladiator, throwing out a blood mark onto gheto, feating and shuffles over to the left flag. The gladiator handily kills gheto. A paingiver heals the bronze back but only rolls a 1 so his mind was still out. The Bronzeback kills the stalker but doesnt have enough to take down the gorax. The shramblers and ravagers continue to scrum. Corey scores again on the left going to 3.
The gorax frenzies and kills the bronzeback. I stranglehold the gladiator and throw a few odds and sods at Rasheths flag.
I stranglehold the gladiator again, heal the gorax for 6 and run him to the flag. Corey has like 2 mins left to my 15.
Corey tries to breath of corruprion the gorax dead but comes up 8 boxes shy. He’s down to 20 seconds.
I teleport two more stones over to that flag, heal the gorax for 4 and stranglehold the gladiator. My ravagers are finally breaking through the shramblers.
Corey clocks out trying to kill the gorax.
Okay, so I went 4-0! Woot! I’ve only ever won a hardcore like 2 years ago so it was a big deal for me, even if a lot of the big names weren’t around it still felt good.
Bradigus does seem to agree with my mechanical nature so I think I’m going to stick with him but look at alternatives to Cassius. I love Cassius and he’s a ton of fun but he has a fair bit of totally horrible match ups.