12/9/2006 Warmachine Tournament Report

Last Saturday I attended a local Warmachine tournament at the Clicks in Crestwood Plaza – a 500-point Steamroller event. This was only the second event I’ve been able to attend since I started getting involved in the local scene. Most events lately have been 750-point events, and I’m just not as big of a fan of the larger games. The few 500 point events that have taken place have been on days I had prior engagements, so it’s been a while since I was actually able to play in a tournament. Fourteen players showed up for the tournament, so it was a pretty good showing. Faction representation was relatively even, with the exception of the Cryx; there were two Cygnarans, three Menites, three Khadorans, five Cryxians, and a merc player. All are members of our local forums.

In addition to the standard Steamroller rules, the Pressganger added an additional rule to try to finish the tournament quickly so everyone could make their holiday events. If it was your turn when time was called, you had five minutes to finish your turn. If you had gone first, your opponent then had five minutes to take his last turn. Personally I wasn’t a big fan of this rule at all – it meant the last player may have five minutes to try to counter his opponent’s ten-minute previous turn, but the majority wanted it so it was put into place.

I decided to give the Harbinger a shot in this tournament, but mine is still in pieces. There’s a few conversions I’m toying around with, and I didn’t want to do a rush job to get her on the table so I borrowed a fellow Menite’s figure instead. My initial choices for my other caster were Kreoss and Amon, but the lists I had come up with were both similar builds, and I needed something to cover the Assassin scenario better, so I went with Severius. My lists were as follows:

  • Harbinger of Menoth
    • Devout
  • High Paladin Dartan Vilmon
  • Paladin of the Order of the Wall
  • Paladin of the Order of the Wall
  • Choir of Menoth (6)
  • Knights Exemplar
  • Temple Flameguard (9)
  • Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios
  • Gorman Di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist
  • Rupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord

This list was primarily designed around denying my opponent Victory Points and Control Points through Martyrdom and letting the army do most of the work. It worked well enough, but there was one flaw I’ll mention later.

  • Grand Scrutator Severius
    • Revenger
    • Revenger
  • Knight Exemplar Seneschal
  • Wrack
  • Wrack
  • Choir of Menoth (6)
  • Exemplar Errant (8)
  • Holy Zealots (9)
  • Monolith Bearer
  • Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios

This second list was designed primarily to tie up my opponent’s army while I went for the caster with arc nodes and Severius’ spells. Similar lists worked ok for me in the past, but the game I used it… well, I’ll get to that below.

Round 1: Assassination vs. D.Vader (Khador)

D.Vader eventually won best of Khador and Overall Champion with his Khador lists; one featuring Vlad and one with the Old Witch. Our scenario was Assassination, and after army selections it was Severius against Vlad. Vlad brought the Behemoth, two Mortars, a unit of Widowmakers and a unit of Man-O-War Demolition Corp.

I took first turn, but this game turned south quickly. My plan was pretty simple; advance the Zealots and move the Advance Deployed Errant toward the Widowmakers, drop Holy Vigil on them, toe the woods, and get ready to catch the Widowmakers on turn 2. Sure I’d probably loose a few, but between DEF 16 and Bond of Brotherhood I didn’t think there would be much of a problem. Unfortunately a perfect scatter on a mortar shot deviated directly over five Errant and by some fluke rolls, they all died. Then on my following turn Severius (with Eye of Menoth) missed an Ashes to Ashes onto the Widowmaker Kapitan by rolling 5 on three dice. :/ An Immolation and Death Bolt forced a command check but the Widowmaker’s passed. Zealots prepped for a bombing next turn and the Seneschal and Jacks moved up, but Vlad countered by feating and running the Behemoth across the table and into the tiny woods Severius was behind and it dropped a couple of boosted mortars on his head, killing him.

Vader has a great strategy and earned his win, but the way the dice went was extremely frustrating. He’s always a great guy to play against, even if he somehow cursed my dice beforehand.

Round 2: Killing Fields vs. Laughing Man (Cygnar)

Laughing Man only brought one list to the tournament: Haley, a Lancer, a Hunter, GMAC, Longgunners, Trenchers, and Eiryss. Looking at the table, there were two column-like structures between the side points and the middle that blocked LOS between them. I decided to try to take the middle and the right one, so deployed between the two. There was a small forest between my TFG and the middle point, but I knew I was going to March them first turn and it didn’t matter. My opponent had a much larger forest on his side, and decided to mirror my deployment, putting Haley and the Lancer in the middle, and the Longgunners out to the far right flank. After Advance Deployment he had his trenchers just in front of the rightmost point, so I made a quick decision – the Piper Marched my TFG and they made a dash for the left point while the knights and paladins moved up towards the center. Laughing Man countered by spreading his forces out, trying to send a Lancer to the TFG. He was eventually able to get over there and Chain Lightning the TFG, but in doing so left Haley open to a Crusader’s Call-Marched charge from the a couple Knights Exemplar on turn 3.

Last turn was called, and the game was basically over. With my four Control Points to his one, my having taken his battlegroup’s VPs, and Godhead being up, there really wasn’t much he could do. He tried to get a few VPs; Eiryss missed two melee attacks on my knights and the GMAC shot the Piper before we called the game.

Laughing Man’s deployment really decided this game. By putting the Longgunners out on the left flank he basically gave them one point they could shoot at. And when he put the Trenchers on the same flank, he left Haley, her jacks, and Eiryss to hold the other two. With my mobility I was able to quickly shift the game and force him to react where he was weakest, giving me a big advantage.

Round 3: Pendulum vs. Feeple (Cryx)

The third round I took the Harbinger again against Feeple (who’d later take best of Cryx). His list featured Skarre, the Deathjack, a Nightwretch, Tartarus, a min Bile Thrall unit and two min Bane Knight units. I went first and deployed most of my army in the center, and Feeple countered by spreading out. From right to left he had Banes, Nightwrech, Biles, Skarre, Tartarus, Banes. The Deathjack was advanced deployed to the right of center, so I decided to gamble and put Eiryss in a graveyard near the leftmost Banes. The game plan was to run everything forward and cross the line first, scoring a control point, then trying up his army winning there. The Harbinger would Martyr as necessary to prevent Tartarus from creating banes or to keep at least one model on his side of the table.

Both sides moved forward on turn one, then on turn two an early Death Bolt left one Bane Knight unit without a leader but cost me Eiryss. It was worth it to keep the Bane on that flank from being able to run or charge, though. After that I pushed my TFG into his face and forced him to deal with them before being able to do anything else. Eventually as time was running out I ran for it. Some my remaining TFG ran to as far back in his corner as he could get. The Exemplar ran across the line as well, away from the Death Jack. I wanted to get Vilmon up the field under Impervious Wall again but time was called on my turn and I didn’t get a chance to activate him OR the Harbinger, which was rough. Feeple tried to clear my models out of his side of the table, but couldn’t get enough killed by the time his five minutes were called and I won on Control Points 1-0.

This game really showed how the five-minute rule could hurt things. Feeple might have been able to finish the job and tie on Control Points, thereby winning on Victory Points (where he led) but just didn’t have the time to deal with everything I threw across the line.

Round 4: Assassination vs. Neomorte (Khador)

I fought Neomorte last tournament and he was a tough opponent. I managed to squeeze out a victory on a misjudged whoosh… but just barely. Although I didn’t look forward to fighting either of the lists he brought list I knew it would at least be a fun game. Fort his game he brought out the Butcher accompanied by a Spriggan, Grigorovich, two squads of Winterguard both with Rocketeers, and two Mortars. He met the Khador special forces requirements, so gained the benefits from that as well. I didn’t think either caster would be too easy to kill the Butcher with, so the Harbinger came out again to either win the battle of attrition or hope for an unexpected foot-long charge from the Knights or Paladins.

The terrain was pretty poor this game; there was a very large building in the middle of the table that took up most of the space. Neomorte went first and deployed his forces in the middle. When I deployed, I decided to go ahead and go all to one side to force him to move to counter and bring the fight to one spot as opposed to two. The first couple turns were advancing and his mortars hurting my TFG, with a few being Martyred. The Spriggan got close in the second turn, so I had Gorman throw Black Oil on it, ran my TFG run to engage is front line, and had the Harbinger step out and Feat. Neomorte had the Butcher use his feat as well, but couldn’t get anyone in a position to attack the Harbinger without taking damage from her feat. He did have his winterguard turn partially sideways and tear into my TFG ranks, but at least it kept them stationary, which was what I hoped. By my turn I had lost half the TFG but was able to Rust the Spriggan and charge it with some Crusader’s Call/Marched Knights and a Paladin to wreck it, earning the win on VPs.

In all likelihood different terrain would have completely changed the game. As it was I was able to find the Harbinger some cover when I needed it and really cut down on the firing angles his second mortar had. The second winter guard unit also didn’t really have a chance to get into the battle, though the building also let them not get LOS to the Harbinger on her feat turn. Between the terrain and having last turn, I was given an advantage that a normal non-tournament game wouldn’t have presented me.

Results and Thoughts

As I mentioned before, D.Vader won best of Khador and Overall Champion. He also won an award for killing the most warjacks on the day. Aslain Kheog won second and best Protectorate, Feeple best Cryx, Viking best Mercs, and Spout best Cygnar. SaultyDog earned Best Sportsman as well.

Aslain had a Harbinger list as well, but the difference between our two was the flaw I mentioned earlier. Although we both walked away with 3-1 records, my list wasn’t quite built to go out and kill as much as it was to simply prevent members from dying. Throughout the day I only killed a single caster. On the other hand Aslain’s list was more aggressive and scored quite a few more VPs, netting him the top spot.

All in all it was an enjoyable tournament. I think I did fairly well with my first real attempt at playing the Harbinger. I’ll probably try her again once I get my model put together. Thanks to Clicks for hosting and Xanathon for running the tournament. I look forward to the next one.

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