Tournaments

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: MCP Scotland May Event 07May2022

Gareth and I made our way across to Stirling’s Common Ground Games for another Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament run by Allan, this time with the imaginative name of ‘MCP Scotland May Event’. We were meant to be joined by another friend but she pulled out; luckily this meant that there were an even number of attendees so it wasn’t all bad.

I’ve been back and forth a bit on affiliations lately but decided it would be fun to go back to the Black Order. I began with them as a solo affiliation but found a bit of a weakness at 14 and 15 threat so swapped in Web Warriors for most of my splash characters so I could have a wider control option. The basic plan is to hope for 16 threat which gives me Thanos, Corvus Glaive and Proxima Midnight, and then add characters as they fit at higher threat values. For the Web Warriors I’m really intended to use Spider-Man (Miles Morales) as my leader but I do have Amazing Spider-Man in case I want to use them at a higher threat value… though I have to admit that I find Amazing Spider-Man very variable in his offensive output.

[Characters]
– Amazing Spider-Man: 5
– Black Panther: 4
– Bullseye: 2
– Corvus Glaive: 4
— Infinity Gem: Reality: 1
– Doctor Voodoo: 4
– Ghost-Spider: 3
– Proxima Midnight: 3
– Spider-Man (Miles Morales): 3
– Thanos, the Mad Titan: 6
— Infinity Gem: Mind: 1
— Infinity Gem: Space: 1
– Venom: 4

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– All Webbed Up
– Brace for Impact
– Climbing Gear
– Execute
– Indomitable
– Lethal Protector
– Medpack
– Mothership
– Sacrifice

[Extract Crises]
– Deadly Legacy Virus Cured? [C]: 19
– Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities [D]: 18
– Research Station Attacked! [E]: 16

[Secure Crises]
– Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due? [E]: 19
– Intrusions Open Across City As Seals Collapse [C]: 19
– Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park [B]: 18

Game 1: Liam playing Brotherhood of Mutants

For our first game of the day I’m matched up with Liam, one of the best players in my country and who is playing soon in the finals of the current online league. He wins priority and chooses Secures, leaving us with Sinister Syndicate and Deadly Legacy Virus. I think that I’m probably better off going wider here considering the mission and pick 19 threat. I use Web Warriors and splash in Doctor Voodoo to hopefully mess with Liam’s objective game. When I see his team I realise that I’ve probably picked the wrong option though – I’m never going to get to use Venom as he’ll spend the entire game getting pushed away and Miles and Gwen’s control doesn’t work on size 3 or above characters.

Extraction: Deadly Legacy Virus Cured?
Secure: Super-Powered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate!
Threat: 19
My team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Amazing Spider-Man, Ghost Spider, Venom, Doctor Voodoo
My cards: All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Indomitable, Lethal Protector, Medpack
Liam’s team: Magneto, Juggernaut, Thanos (Space and Reality stones)
Liam’s cards: Asteroid M, Do You Know Who I Am?, Field Dressing, Magnetic Refraction, Patch Up

Round 1: I send ASM into the centre to get the syringe, then he heads back to one of the Secure markers. Liam passes a couple of times and eventually Juggernaut smashes some terrain on the left to hand out power and picks up a syringe. I’m going to have to commit something to the game so Gwen goes onto the right syringe and takes it. Thanos pulls her in and one-shots her before Portal-ing Venom backwards. Magneto and Doctor Voodoo contest the centre. The score is 3 – 2 to Liam.

Round 2: Thanos one-shots Gwen again to KO her and Portals Doctor Voodoo away. ASM goes into Magneto and achieves nothing at all, so Magneto dazes him in return with a little help from Thanos using Death’s Decree. Venom moves back into the action but can’t put any damage on Magneto. Over on the left, Juggernaut tries to play Do You Know Who I Am? to punt Miles but I stop it with Indomitable; he does get slapped for 4 damage though. Doctor Voodoo moves back to the centre and does no damage to Magneto while Miles uses Medpack and moves back to the Secure. The score goes to 8 – 4 in Liam’s favour.

Round 3: Magneto KOs Amazing Spider-Man and Voodoo dazes Magento in return. I need to get lucky and send Miles over Juggernaut but I don’t get any damage on him; Thanos eventually uses Cosmic Portal to move both Venom and Miles off the Secures while Venom strolls back onto the point he’s been bouncing off all game. I didn’t note what Juggernaut even did this turn, but it seems unlikely that Liam forgot to activate him. The score moves to 12 – 6.

Round 4: Magneto dazes Doctor Voodoo and Venom, both from full health; Venom tries a So Many Snacks counter attack but can’t do a single point of damage. Not surprisingly, Miles is not able to drop Juggernaut, and though he does have the power to Venom Blast the syringe off him I don’t have the power to pick it up. The finish with a flourish, Thanos saunters over and picks up the two syringes lying around to KO himself and score 8 VPs. We finish at 20 – 6.

Well, it’s been a while since I was outplayed that badly. With hindsight I probably would have been better off going with a Black Order core here as many of my control tools were wasted against Liam’s team. The dice also were not helping me; I didn’t roll a single success on any dice until round 3 and I was picking up my characters left and right as Liam’s team delivered damage with impunity. It’s not really easy to explain in the text but I do want to point out the fantastic positioning of both Magneto and Thanos in the mid-board; Liam has them snuggled up between bits of terrain so even if I had ever generated enough power to use my throws and pulls I couldn’t actually have meaningfully displaced them. Still, I really enjoyed the game – Liam was a gentleman throughout and executed his game plan very efficiently. Hopefully we’ll get to play again sometime and I can put up a bit more of a fight.

Game 2: Paul playing Guardians of the Galaxy

I was hoping that I might get a bit of an easier game here as I was in the 0 – 1 bracket but it was not to be as I faced Paul. However, this was great news as Paul is an excellent old friend who I know from back when we were both playing a lot of Malifaux; I was honestly a bit surprised to find him here with me having lost his first game too as he’s a very good player. Paul won priority and chose Extractions so we ended up with Cubes and Intrusions; I picked 17 threat because I wanted to specifically try Black Panther in this match-up; he has good defences and mobility and I think he’s quite resilient in general to the physical and energy typed attacks I was expecting. My plan is to contest across the middle in round 1 then abandon one of the Portal markers and consolidate between the other two until I can get an attrition advantage.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Intrusions Open Across City As Seals Collapse
Threat: 17
My team: Thanos (Mind and Space stones), Corvus Glaive (Reality Stone), Black Panther
My cards: Brace For Impact, Climbing Gear, Indomitable, Medpack, Mothership
Paul’s team: Star Lord, Rocket, Nebula, Toad, Thanos (Mind and Space stones)
Paul’s cards: Field Dressing, Indomitable, Medpack, No Matter The Cost, Sacrifice

Round 1: Paul gives Winging It tokens to Star Lord, Rocket and Thanos. Toad and Rocket take the Cubes on Paul’s side of the board and, after a couple of passes, Corvus and Black Panther take mine and sit on the left and right Portals respectively. Nebula attacks Black Panther for no damage while Star Lord double moves onto the right Portal. My Thanos pulls him in but fails to do any damage, then his Thanos strolls up to the centre and moves Black Panther and my Thanos away, taking the Cube there in the process. The score is 4 – 3 in Paul’s favour.

Round 2: Paul gives Winging It tokens to Nebula, Star Lord and Thanos. Black Panther dazes Star Lord and then Nebula and Rocket take pot shots at him for minimal effect. Corvus goes through the Portal but the roll goes against me and Paul puts him in a really awkward place on the far right of the board so I have to use Climbing Gear to get him into the action. Sadly this needed the power I was hoping to use for a tasty Death Blow attack. He does at least manage to daze Rocket. Toad breathes a sigh of relief that the scary man has gone away and hops onto the left Portal. My Thanos punches his Thanos a couple of times, throwing him into Nebula to daze her and drawing out Indomitable in the process. Paul’s Thanos slaps mine a bit, moves both him and Corvus away and applies a Field Dressing to Star Lord. Star Lord then rolls brilliantly, doing the exact amount of damage to both Corvus and Black Panther that they will be dazed by the Cubes in the next power phase, which pretty much ensures that the game is over. The score is 9 – 6 to Paul.

Round 3: My Thanos slaps around a couple of Guardians but I would need to get pretty lucky to KO anyone, especially as Paul can play Sacrifice to ensure that two different victims get hit. Paul could probably daze my Thanos if needed but actually he just needs to pick up the Cubes and stand on the Portals to win anyway, so he does just that. Paul wins 17 – 6.

Oh dear, this is not going very well at all! Despite the margin of victory here, I think that this is actually closer than it looks. If Star Lord had done either one more or one less damage to either Corvus or Black Panther at the end of turn 2 I could have made a game of this as they could have actually got some attrition work done; probably KOing one or both of Nebula and Rocket (and perhaps even more if it had been Corvus). Paul played a solid game and in retrospect I think that I made an error in which way round I put Black Panther and Corvus. Corvus would have been more useful on my right with Thanos while Black Panther’s speed would have made him more effective in hunting down Toad on the left. Full credit to Paul, he used his team solidly and played him tactics cards at the right time to stop me doing what I needed.

Game 3: Craig playing Asgard

For game three I do indeed get an easier match-up (at least in terms of experience) as it turns out that this is actually going to be Craig’s third game ever. Craig wins priority and chooses Extractions so we end up with Cubes (again) and Mutant Madman; I go for 18 threat as this will mean that I can have a decent team that will use the last two characters from my roster who I haven’t used yet today. Mutant Madman is arguably better for Asgard than it is for me as they have so much power available, but on the other hand I like it because I can keep my characters moving around. I’m careful to explain how this Black Order team works as Craig almost certainly hasn’t played them before and the range from which Thanos can pull in his victims can be quite surprising.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Centre Into Lethal Amusement Park
Threat: 18
My team: Thanos (Mind and Space stones), Corvus Glaive (Reality Stone), Proxima Midnight, Bullseye
My cards: Brace For Impact, Execute, Indomitable, Medpack, Mothership
Craig’s team: Thor, Angela, Valkyrie, Black Widow, Baron Zemo
Craig’s cards: Disarm, Field Dressing, Inspiring Monologue, Odin’s Blessing, Rainbow Bridge

Round 1: Angela collects a couple of Cubes and sits in the middle of the board. Proxima double moves to the back left Secure and takes it but Bullseye fails to flip the near left one. Black Widow gets the one on the far right. Thor comes forward and Thanos pulls him in while using the Space stone to move Corvus forward onto the Secure. Corvus does Corvus things and dazes Thor, collects a cube and flips that Secure. Zemo and Valkyrie scoot into the centre. The score is 3 – 3.

Round 2: Corvus lays into Thor but can’t quite seal the deal through Odin’s Blessing, so Thor revs up and slaps Thanos silly. I go with Thanos who gratefully applies a Medpack before KOing the Asgardian prince. He also Cosmic Portals Valkyrie and Zemo back further from the action. Angela smacks another five damage into Thanos, who may be beginning to wonder if today is not his day! Bullseye throws a knife at her just to get the power and then collects the nearby Cube and flips the last Secure to atone for his failure last turn. Zemo bounces off Thanos and Proxima collects the Cube fragment from her corner and starts to gallop back in the direction of the action. Valkyrie tears into Thanos, leaving him on a single wound. We move to 10 – 6 in my favour.

Round 3: I get a bit greedy with Corvus hoping for the Flurry trigger but don’t get it; Zemo is left on one wound and Angela gets dazed. Zemo makes no mistake this time and dazes Thanos. Bullseye plinks a couple of wounds off Valkyrie and she then dazes Corvus and collects one of the Cubes scattered around the floor by all these dazed characters. Proxima finally makes it into the fight and dazes Zemo before picking up both cubes. Black Widow can’t get the supreme luck that she would have needed to drop Proxima this round. The score goes to 17 – 8 in my favour.

Craig was a lovely opponent and I have to credit his bravery and confidence to come along to a tournament without having played even a single game before. That said, the mis-match of experience was great enough here that I think that the actual result wasn’t really in doubt and my only hope is that Craig enjoyed the game (and indeed, the whole event) enough that he’ll come back next time with some more games under his belt. From my side, I decided that I could get away with having Corvus and Proxima on opposite sides of the board on the basis that I was likely to keep priority regardless of combining their activations and by the time I needed to worry about that I would probably have enough power on them to Mothership them around.

Game 4: Ryan playing Web Warriors

For our last game of the day I was matched up with Ryan. For the fourth time I lost priority, though Ryan had also lost priority for his first three games so one of us was destined to end the streak here. He chose Secures and I was quite happy to have a nice brawl across the middle; I went for 18 threat for the simple reason that I would be able to use the same team as last time and not worry about it. My basic plan was to have Proxima take the right Hammer and then leg it back to the centre so I could brawl between the left and central Origin Bombs.

Extraction: Fear Grips World as ‘Worthy’ Terrorise Cities
Secure: Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians
Threat: 18
My team: Thanos (Mind and Space stones), Corvus Glaive (Reality Stone), Proxima Midnight, Bullseye
My cards: Brace For Impact, Climbing Gear, Indomitable, Medpack, Mothership
Ryan’s team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Amazing Spider-Man, Ghost Spider, Black Cat, Captain Marvel
Ryan’s cards: All Webbed Up, Aunt May’s Wheat Cakes, Mission Objective, Patch Up, Spider Tracker

Round 1: Miles flips the left Origin Bomb and Proxima races up to snatch the right Hammer. Thanos pulls Miles in for Corvus, though this was probably a mistake and I should have had Bullseye take the left Hammer instead. Ryan takes advantage of my error and has Ghost Spider pick up that Hammer so Bullseye plinks a few wounds into her and fails to reflip the Origin Bomb. Annoyingly Corvus can’t put the remaining two wounds onto Miles, but fair’s fair so ASM completely fails to hurt Proxima on the far side. Captain Marvel takes the last hammer and heads for the centre. The score is 5 – 2 to Ryan.

Round 2: It seems like a waste to use Corvus to deal with Miles when Bullseye can do it without relying on rolling dice, so Miles gets dazed and Bullseye successfully flips the left Origin Bomb from under Gwen’s feet. She’s having none of his nonsense though, and dazes him easily. Proxima slaps Black Cat for a good few wounds and I see a chance to make ASM’s life really annoying so Proxima applies All The Conditions to ASM via her spender attack. He does punch her back but without power he’s very hard to get good value out of; he also plays Aunt May’s Wheat Cakes to remove damage from most of the Web Warriors. Thanos pulls Ghost Spider in and dazes her before flipping the central Origin Bomb. I don’t pick up the dropped Hammer with him partly because I think it’ll be more useful on Corvus and partly because I want to see if I can bait Ryan to move Captain Marvel in there to stand next to my two big hitters. Instead she dazes Proxima so Corvus picks up the Hammer, dazes her in return and collects the third Hammer. Black Cat picks up Proxima’s hammer and comes over to slap Corvus for minimal effect. The score is now 8 – 6 in my favour.

Round 3: Corvus with three Hammers turns out to be a bit of a murder machine and he KOs both Miles and Ghost Spider. Captain Marvel hurts him in return and applies Stagger to Thanos with her spender before Thanos dazes Black Cat and gets the last hammer. ASM more or less bounces off Proxima. The score moves to 17 – 6 in my favour.

That felt like the sort of game where everything just went my way. I was pretty lucky on the dice and Ryan wasn’t. Amazing Spider-Man in particular is extremely reliant on good dice to get the power he needs to do all his cool stuff, so between generally not rolling well and having Proxima stick Poison and Stun on him in turn 2 meant that he didn’t really get rolling. This isn’t a match-up where you can afford to have your biggest hitter bouncing off their targets. In many ways this felt a bit like the reverse of my first game against Liam, where this time I was the one who just had to stick to a solid game plan while my opponent floundered against me. Ryan was a lovely chap and I hope that we get to play again soon.

Overall this was perhaps a result I’m happy with but not the manner that I came by it. I’d normally be perfectly pleased with a 2 – 2 result but it felt like I came up short playing into the stronger players against whom I compare myself and got one of my wins in a match-up against someone who was never going to be able to compete because of the huge mismatch in terms of experience level. Still, it’s just some games of dollies so even if I lose four in a row I’m pleased to be able to get four games in with lovely opponents. Many thanks to Liam, Paul, Craig and Ryan for four very fun games of Crisis Protocol, and of course thanks to Allan for putting the event on. I’ll be back!

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Avenging April 02Apr2022

I was fortunate to be able to travel over to Common Ground Games in Stirling for another of Allan’s Marvel Crisis Protocol events. The scene is steadily growing here in Scotland, thanks in no small part to Allan’s own efforts, and along with a few travellers from the north of England we ended up with a nice neat 16 players.

At the end of my last event I had stated that I wanted to play Cabal for this event, mainly because I was trying to get Cassandra Nova to work for me. After many games against Gareth and others I just couldn’t get a satisfactory amount of work out of Cassandra Nova and I found that Cabal are just not really my cup of tea at the moment either. Luckily, I have no shortage of dollies available to play with so I went back to X-Men, partly because they’re a comic book favourite of mine and partly because there have been a few new releases for them which mixes up the possible rosters quite interestingly. I locked in Doctor Strange as an unaffiliated member as he synergises very nicely with Storm’s leadership, leaving me with two spaces. I wanted to include Mystique (quite an annoying scenario piece with some cute tech, plus she has the Deception card to keep the other team on their toes), Hulk (a much-needed brawler who I’ve used in X-Men previously) and Doctor Voodoo (the current meta hotness due to his scenario-based superpower but also rather hard to put down for an old wizard). After going back and forth on all of these, even on the train travelling to the event, I ended up keeping them all and taking Gambit out of my roster.

[Characters]
– Beast: 3
– Doctor Strange: 5
– Doctor Voodoo: 4
– Domino: 3
– Honey Badger: 2
– Hulk: 6
– Mystique: 3
– Rogue: 4
– Storm: 3
– X-23: 3

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– Brace for Impact
– Climbing Gear
– Deception
– First Class
– Indomitable
– Jonathan the Unstoppable
– Medpack
– Mission Objective
– To Me, My X-men!

[Extract Crises]
– Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities [D]: 18
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17
– The Montesi Formula Found [E]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Deadly Meteors Mutate Civilians [C]: 17
– Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park [B]: 18
– Portals Overrun City with Spider-People [D]: 18

Game 1: Stephen playing Avengers

For the first round I get paired up with Stephen. By luck I’d actually met him on the train earlier and we had discussed some roster selection choices as he, like me, had 11 characters that he needed to pare down to 10 spaces. I won priority and picked Secures; none of his Extracts were looking terrible for me and I prefer to pick Secures so that I can leverage First Class.

Extraction: Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People!
Threat: 18
My team: Storm, Rogue, Domino, Beast, Doctor Strange
My cards: Brace For Impact, First Class, Indomitable, Medpack, Mission Objective
Stephen’s team: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Hulk, Killmonger, Vision
Stephen’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Field Dressing, Indomitable, Medpack, Usurp The Throne

Round 1: I don’t think I’ve got what it takes to drop Hulk here so I’m going to use Doctor Strange to control him as much as possible and play the scenario with the hope of winning before Hulk kills all my team. I play First Class. Storm takes the left Portal and fails to find the Skrull, then Vision comes over and gets it on her side which is probably not a bad result for me – I don’t want it to end up on Hulk. Rogue flips the Portal on the right and Beast and Captain America take each of our ‘home’ Portals; Beast positions so that Doctor Strange can get as close as possible to Vision with the X-Men flip. Killmonger Charges Rogue and retakes the right Portal; I could try to take it back with Domino but I think I’m better trying to drop Killmonger while he’s not in Bodyguard range of Captain America so she puts a nice few wounds on the Wakandan. Doctor Strange gets a couple of nice shots into Vision, pushing him closer to my team to hopefully relieve him of the Skrull shortly. You can see in the photo that I’ve lined up Vision to get a perfect beam attack into Beast and Doctor Strange which was rather silly of me. Finally Hulk races over to the left Portal but fails to flip it and gets placed away due to rolling a skull. The score is 4 – 2 to Stephen.

Round 2: I need to keep Hulk out of my hair (easier said than done) and get the Skrull off Vision here. On the right I’m not too worried; if Killmonger gets a turn he’ll probably daze one or the other of Domino and Rogue but the other one ought to daze him in return. Vision zaps Doctor Strange but leaves him on a single wound remaining and I have to play Indomitable to stop him from being dazed by a throw into Beast. He also Medpacks himself, which Doctor Strange immediately follows suit. I use Strange’s spender into Vision (he’s too resistant to energy attacks at this point to feel likely to daze him) and get the stagger but leave him standing. I could attack him again and hope for a spiky roll but decide to push Hulk away instead and make him spend some effort coming back to me. Killmonger easily dazes Rogue and Beast can’t quite drop Vision which is going to be a bit of a problem for me as I’m expecting Captain America to come over and take hits as needed after that, which indeed he does after playing Avengers Assemble to get everyone into a much better position on the left. Storm zaps Hulk to apply Shock then drops Vision (this was surely an error from Stephen as he probably had the power to Bodyguard it onto Captain America). She X-Men flips over and picks up the Skrull – go Storm! Sadly her elation is short-lived as Hulk strolls over and smites her easily and for once I remember to play Mission Objective to hand the Skrull to Beast. Over on the right, Domino dazes Killmonger and reflips the Portal. The score is now 7 – 5 in my favour.

Round 3: I’m almost certain to give up the Skrull here so I need to deal with Killmonger and then get Rogue and Domino over to take Stephen’s home Portal and get involved in the brawl. To my huge surprise, Hulk can’t quite drop Beast after I have Doctor Strange use all his power on shielding him, plus Beast’s own re-rolls and the effect of Shock on Hulk; Doctor Strange does get dazed by a throw though. That changes my plans a bit so Beast high-tails it out of there as fast as he can. Stephen is obviously mindful of the situation over on the right so Killmonger KOs Rogue. Storm uses two powered-up beam attacks since Captain America, Hulk and Vision are neatly lined up; the first one is totally useless but I do get some nice damage out of the second. Captain America and Vision chase Beast but the former gets unlucky with a shield throw and the latter has to shake stagger. Meanwhile Domino KOs Killmonger, which is certainly a relief. The score moves to a rather fortunate 11 – 7 to me.

Round 4: Now that I have priority, my first plan is to somehow keep Beast alive. I could just keep moving him but I think that Doctor Strange can probably use a bit of control to reduce Stephen’s options. Over on the right, Domino is now free to start making a run for the open Portal on Stephen’s side. Doctor Strange dazes Captain America after he Bodyguards a shot targeting Vision and pushes Hulk away from Beast. Vision still somehow can’t finish off Beast and even with a throw into Strange he’s able to survive with Brace For Impact; however this does make it easier for Hulk to get to him. Beast keeps on his slow Skrull-laden jog away from the action. Hulk applies Field Dressing to Captain America and has enough movement to get within range to throw a building at Beast. I need four blocks from four dice on the dodge roll and, incredibly, I get it! At this point I’m apologising to Stephen for my crazy defence dice on Beast. Storm makes up for it by failing to push through the one point of damage she would need to daze Captain America again and retakes the left Portal; Captain America saunters over and takes it right back. The score moves to 15 – 9.

Round 5: I don’t actually need to do anything at all here as there is no way for Stephen to relieve me of the Skrull and both of my Portals, but we play it out anyway. Hulk finally smashes Beast into the ground like a tent peg and collects the Skrull. Doctor Strange dazes Captain America and KOs Vision, then Storm and Domino take the last two Portals. We finish up at 19 – 11 in my favour.

Well, that was a funny game with Beast’s defence dice. I think that I had enough board presence to keep ahead on the Spider Portals even if Hulk had taken the Skrull when he probably ought to have done in turn 3, though I would have needed to prioritise things a bit differently. Stephen was a great chap to play and credit to him for keeping himself in the game even when Beast was leading a charmed life. I think that he probably wasted Killmonger a bit as he was never going to get Usurp The Throne while he was on the opposite side of the board from Doctor Strange.

Game 2: Ewan playing X-Men

This is going to be an interesting mirror match. It’s good to finally be able to get in a game against Ewan as he’s travelled down from Aberdeen for all of these events at CGG but I’ve never actually faced him. Ewan wins priority and decides to take Secures. I go for the lower threat as I can see that he has Juggernaut and I want to make sure that he’s a big investment in such a wide scenario. I swap in Mystique as I want to be able to threaten a Deception to either pull a Hammer-holding character in for the kill early while unsupported or drag someone off a scoring point into no-man’s-land.

Extraction: Fear Grips World As ‘Worthy’ Terrorize Cities
Secure: Super-Powered Scoundrels Form Sinister Syndicate
Threat: 18
My team: Storm, Rogue, Domino, Mystique, Doctor Strange
My cards: Brace For Impact, Deception, First Class, Indomitable, Medpack
Ewan’s team: Storm, Juggernaut, Gambit, Wolverine, X-23
Ewan’s cards: Bitter Rivals, Do You Know Who I Am?, Patch-Up, Wolverines, X-Ceptional Healing

Round 1: I want Doctor Strange to end up on the central point to push people around, then I think that we’ll probably end up with two Hammers each unless Ewan is a bit careless on Mystique’s side of the board. I play First Class. Both of our Storms collect a Hammer on the sides and Juggernaut and Rogue take the ones closest to our deployment zones. The combat is pretty uninspired, with Gambit failing to hurt Storm and Doctor Strange similarly failing against Juggernaut. The score is a neat 4 – 4.

Round 2: I need to try to break the deadlock. I’m not very likely to take Juggernaut’s Hammer off him so I’ll have to control him if possible and go for Storm; that has the advantage of possibly dislodging her from that point. Storm puts Shock on Domino but Mystique rolls very nicely to daze Gambit so I put her on the back left point to be annoying with Martial Artist. Juggernaut crashes over and drops Storm to a single hit point. She has to go and use Medpack before I lose her and she zaps Wolverine a couple of times in the (forlorn) hope of applying Shock. Doctor Strange leaves X-23 on a single hit point too and forces her to play X-Ceptional Healing and Rogue dazes her. The score goes to 8 – 6 in my favour.

Round 3: The plan remains the same here; control Juggernaut and get Storm’s Hammer. Ideally I’ll also KO Gambit but I think that I’m pretty likely to lose my Storm too. X-23 gets stuck into Storm, nearly dazing her, then plays the Wolverines card. Since I’m about to lose her, my Storm puts Shock on Juggernaut, meanwhile Ewan’s Storm does nothing useful to Domino. Mystique leaves Gambit on a single wound so he zaps her back a bit before Doctor Strange KOs him. Wolverine dazes my Storm and collects her Hammer and Rogue slaps Juggernaut a bit. The big chap dazes Mystique with a cheeky Power Slide and pushes Doctor Strange off the central point. Domino dazes Ewan’s Storm and picks up her Hammer. The score is tied again at 11 – 11.

Round 4: We’re tied again on the Hammers so I need to up my game as far as the Secures go here. Having KOed Gambit will work in my favour as it means that Ewan is even more thinly spread for board presence. Juggernaut starts us off by hurting Domino who rolls some hilariously bad attacks into Storm (no hits for Rapid Fire, not even any skulls to turn into criticals). The run of weird dice continues as Storm fails to get her back and Mystique does nothing to Wolverine, also not rolling a single hit. Wolverine makes short work of my Storm and Doctor Strange can’t quite finish off the other Storm, though he does move back to the central point. X-23 and Rogue both move to sit on Secures. The game ends at 16 – 14 in my favour.

That was a fun game, and it shows the interesting breadth of Crisis Protocol as despite this being a mirror match we only had one character and no cards the same. I think that I possibly got a bit lucky in dazing Gambit so easily in round two and it set me up to have a slight numerical advantage which turned out to be critical in the end. On the other the dice also got a bit weird in round four and I could perhaps have hoped to get a bit of an attritional advantage then if the game wasn’t about to end anyway. Juggernaut is pretty spooky under Storm’s leadership; he’s already a pain to deal with so the extra cover is a huge problem, and he loves the positioning too. Ewan played him very well and I don’t think that I had a great answer to him.

Game 3: Allan playing Brotherhood of Mutants

Allan was able to play in his own event in order to avoid needing a bye, and it was great to get to play him again. We actually got to play a few games a couple of weeks ago so I don’t think that either of us had any big surprises for each other here. I win priority and choose Extractions as I don’t really mind his Secures too much but I don’t fancy playing Alien Ship at 20 threat. I put Doctor Voodoo in as I figure that this is going to be a brawl in the middle and he is quite tough, plus I only just painted him and want to get him on the table. Allan’s team is a bit of a surprise, I was expecting to see Juggernaut instead of Toad and Magik.

Extraction: Struggle for the Cube Continues
Secure: Intrusions Open Across City as Seals Collapse
Threat: 19
My team: Storm, Rogue, Domino, Doctor Strange, Doctor Voodoo
My cards: Brace For Impact, Climbing Gear, First Class, Indomitable, Medpack
Allan’s team: Magneto, Magik, Doctor Voodoo, Toad, Rogue
Allan’s cards: Asteroid M, Indomitable, Journey Through Limbo, Mind If I Cut In?, Patch Up

Round 1: Since we’re playing Cubes and I have priority it would feel rude not to take the central one straight away so my plan is just to be on 3 vs 2 of the Cubes and not give up anything silly on the Secures. I play First Class. Doctor Voodoo get to be the lucky bait and moves into the centre to collect the first Cube; there is actually a nice play with X-Men where a medium base medium move character can get to the centreline for an Extract and then away again but since I need to be there anyway for the Portal I don’t need to use it. Toad comes right over to my side of the board for a very cheeky play to take the near left Cube. Doctor Strange uses the X-Men flip to get in sight of him but leaves the little chap alive and he is able to Slippery away off the second attack. Magik comes over on the right, collecting a Cube en route. Domino walks up and dazes Toad which lets me collect ‘my’ Cube fragment from that side; I admire the boldness of Allan’s play there and I think that it has a pretty reasonable chance of working out for him. Magneto walks twice and throws the first of many bits of terrain at Doctor Strange and everyone else just gets settled in on the centreline for a brawl. The score is 4 – 2 to me.

Round 2: I want to KO Toad and get him out of my hair and also keep at least one of the side Portals free; the centre is going to be a huge scrum whatever we both do. Rogue gets us started by hitting Toad and Doctor Voodoo, the latter uses Indomitable to avoid the throw into the former. Allan has his Rogue play Mind If I Cut In? then Doctor Voodoo starts chewing through my Rogue’s wounds. My own Doctor Voodoo KOs Toad by throwing Rogue at him and she then uses Patch Up on his Doctor Voodoo. Doctor Strange pushes Rogue away from the action then Magneto dazes my Doctor Voodoo, collects his Cube and plays Asteroid M to bring Rogue back into the fray. Storm puts Shock on Magik and throws her off the point, and of course Magik comes right back over and uses Journey Through Limbo to send Storm away instead. Back in the centre Domino dazes Rogue and neatly leaves Magneto on a single hit point. The score moves to 8 – 6 to me.

Round 3: I need to get some attrition work done here and just keep myself in the game. We start off with Magento’s Cube dazing him which is a rather nice way to get going. Allan’s Rogue dazes Domino and my Rogue hurts Doctor Voodoo and throws him into Allan’s Rogue before his Doctor Voodoo dazes my Rogue. Hmm, quite confusing! Storm dazes Magik but can’t get back onto the Portal. My Doctor Voodoo KOs Allan’s Rogue (that ought to make things a bit simpler), picks up a pair of Cubes and strolls to the left Portal. Finally Doctor Strange dazes Allan’s Doctor Voodoo and takes his Cube. The score moves now to 15 – 6.

Round 4: Allan’s going to have his work cut out here as I only need one more point and he can’t get over the line in one turn even if he scores all the points. My best bet is going to be holding onto the left Portal so I want to keep that clear and also get Storm as far away from Magik as possible to keep her Cube in play. Magneto is full of power and angry, he drops Doctor Strange and almost polishes off Domino. Storm runs away from Magik but the scary lady catches her anyway and dazes her to take her Cube. Domino guns down Doctor Voodoo and the game finishes at 19 – 9 in my favour.

As ever, Allan was a fun opponent and I really enjoyed this game. In a sense things hinged a bit on the results of his Toad play right at the start – if I couldn’t have dazed Toad then he would be a thorn in my side for much longer, would have scored an extra point for him in round one etc, and more importantly me KOing him in turn two meant that I could really start to take advantage of the attrition in the centre using Doctor Strange’s defensive and healing superpowers to extend my team’s longevity.

Game 4: Jay playing Defenders

It’s the final game and I’m up against Jay, who has spent the day very modestly talking down his skills but is clearly a strong player. Jay wins priority and chooses Secures, and I go for a lower threat value in the hope that being locked into an expensive leader will be slightly more annoying for him. Actually that doesn’t make any difference at all as I also pick Doctor Strange, partly on the basis that he’s been doing well for me all day and partly thinking that his pushes and healing will be quite handy here. I did consider taking Hulk instead (and swapping around some of the X-Men, of course) and it would be interesting to try that match-up and see how it played out.

Extraction: Struggle for the Cube Continues
Secure: Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest
Threat: 15
My team: Storm, Rogue, Domino, Doctor Strange
My cards: Brace For Impact, Climbing Gear, First Class, Indomitable, Medpack
Jay’s team: Doctor Strange, Luke Cage, Moon Knight, Vision
Jay’s cards: Brace For Impact, Field Dressing, Follow Me, Heroes For Hire, Seven Suns of Cinnibus

Round 1: If I get the chance I’ll send Rogue up the middle for the Cube as she’s the hardest to kill but as Jay has priority I’m expecting him to pick it up with Luke Cage (also not trivial to kill!) and that I’ll end up with two Cube fragments on my side of the board. Storm will sit on my ‘home’ point and zap stuff, Rogue and Doctor Strange will be on the middle point and Domino can just float between them gunfighting… at least this is the plan. I play First Class for a little bit of power efficiency. Jay leads off by sending Moon Knight to take his right Cube and then returning to his shelter so Rogue goes up the middle to take the central Cube. Doctor Strange collects the back left Cube and pushes her off the point, applying Hex of course. I put my own Doctor Strange in the mix and push his away. Storm and Domino collect the Cubes on my side of the board and head for the shelters. I didn’t realise it at the time, but my poor positioning in the centre with Doctor Strange and Domino practically holding hands is going to cause me big problems with Jay’s beam attacks next turn; in retrospect this is even more frustrating since I made the same mistake against Stephen’s Vision in game 1. The score is 4 – 3 to me.

Round 2: We’ve picked up all the Cubes so it’s just going to be a straight up brawl from here on in. Doctor Strange uses Seven Suns of Cinnibus and zaps my Doctor Strange and Domino. I possibly should have gone with Strange here so I could heal him but instead used Rogue who hits Vision then Luke Cage Bodyguards her spender and gets thrown. Vision goes to work with his beam, dazing both Doctor Strange and Domino and forcing me to use Indomitable in the process; Storm does at least daze him in return. Cage picks up the fallen Cube fragments and Moon Knight rolls like a monster to drop Rogue to one wound. The score goes to 9 – 7 to Jay.

Round 3: I need to get some good work done here, especially as Rogue gets dazed in the power phase by her Cube fragment. I decide to go with Domino first on the basis that Doctor Strange is not likely to die in one go and therefore might be able to use his healing power. She does manage to daze Cage but leaves Vision on one wound and he doesn’t make the same mistake on Strange, KOing him in a single turn and throwing Domino away for good measure. Storm throws Vision to KO him at least and get him out of the way. Moon Knight comes up and dazes Storm and Strange stands on my shelter. Jay takes the game 17 – 9.

That was certainly a lesson! Jay was a tremendous fun opponent and I’m hopeful that I can get many more games in with him, though clearly I need to up my game considerably. Jay very charitably put this down to dice but I think I gave the chance for the dice to be against me; simply positioning Strange and Domino further apart in turn one would have made his life considerably harder as it allowed Vision and his Doctor Strange to beam through them very effectively. I also didn’t play my cards very well; I missed a couple of good opportunities to use Climbing Gear to get around the board and Medpack was never used simply because my heroes went from healthy to zero in a single activation. It also occurred to me on the train home that I could actually have played a fairly amusing Defenders list myself (using Doctor Strange, Hulk and either Rogue or Doctor Voodoo) but I’m relying on Hulk holding a lot of Cube fragments there and I suspect that he would spend a lot of time being pushed around by Jay’s Doctor Strange.

In the end I still come in second, top of the 3 – 1 players on Strength of Schedule which I’m very happy with. More importantly I had a fantastic day out gaming with fun and interesting matches. Many thanks to Stephen, Ewan, Allan and Jay for four fun games of Crisis Protocol, and especially to Allan for also doing all the work to organise everything. I’ll be back for the next event in a month or so, and I’m already thinking about what to bring!

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Be My Vibranium Valentine 12Feb2022

Marvel Crisis Protocol is back on at Common Ground Games in Stirling so I went out to try my luck again at Allan’s event. Previous MCP tournaments locally have tended to be around a dozen players so it was a wonderful surprise to us all that we had 26 attendees for this one hailing from across Scotland and the North East of England.

I played Criminal Syndicate again, swapping out Ant-Man and Beast for some new acquisitions in the form of Mysterio and Hood. My game plan remains simply sitting on Secure points while not letting the Extract game get too far away from me. I’ve found that I play a more aggressive Criminal Syndicate game plan than some others; mainly this is because I find it more fun to interact with the game rather than just gently push the other team around while never attacking them.

[Characters]
– Black Cat: 3
– Black Dwarf: 4
– Bullseye: 2
– Crossbones: 3
– Hood: 3
– Kingpin: 4
– M.O.D.O.K.: 5
– Mysterio: 3
– Okoye: 2
– Omega Red: 4

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– All According to Plan
– Brace for Impact
– Carbonadium Synthesizer
– Climbing Gear
– Hood’s Gang
– Medpack
– Mission Objective
– Shadow Organization
– The Grand Illusion

[Extract Crises]
– Deadly Legacy Virus Cured? [C]: 19
– Research Station Attacked! [E]: 16
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Infinity Formula Goes Missing [B]: 17
– Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses [C]: 16
– Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0 [D]: 17

Game 1 – Alastair playing Spider Foes

Alastair is an old friend and we’ve been trying to arrange a game anyway so it was very pleasant to be drawn into him in the first round. He wins priority and picks Extracts; I think that my game at lower threat is a bit stronger than his so I pick the lower option.

Extraction: Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
Secure: Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses
Threat: 16
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, Black Dwarf, Okoye, Bullseye
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Medpack
Alastair’s team: Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, Lizard, Kraven
Alastair’s cards: Grand Illusion, Medpack, Monkey Brain is Lizard Home, Sinister Traps, Well Laid Plans

Criminal Syndicate really hate Spider-Infected as the random pushes are as good as a stagger for them most times. On the other hand, Missing Witnesses can be quite fast scoring and I think I can probably rack up 4 points a turn, so if I can just keep the extracts under control then I can probably survive into a round 3 win.

Round 1: Alastair plays sinister traps on my left Spider-Infected. Okoye gets us going by picking up the central marker but Green Goblin drops her in a single shot despite the cover to pick it up himself. Black Dwarf triggers the traps on the left (better him than Bullseye) so Bullseye has to stand on the left Witness. Luckily, Mysterio is too slow to contest it so I still score thanks to Kingpin’s leadership. I take a 6 – 3 lead but forgot to take a photo until partway through the next round – Alastair is the kind of gentleman who would probably be happy to rewind the game state so I could take one but I didn’t ask since it’s a Serious Business event.

Round 2: I do get pretty lucky with the Spider-Infected pushing Green Goblin back a bit but not affecting Black Dwarf or Kingpin. Mysterio gets going with his trickery to move both Bullseye and Black Dwarf around and use traps to hurt them. Bullseye survives on a single hit point so I throw some knives into Mysterio. Doctor Octopus really hurts Omega Red so he uses Carbondium Synthesiser and Medpack then slaps him right back in a tentacle-on-tentacle fight. Kraven stabs Okoye and Kingpin hurts him before throwing him away. Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus play the least effective Well Laid Plans ever, getting no damage on Black Dwarf and only one on Kingpin which he pays power to ignore. In a rage, Green Goblin lands some tasty damage onto Kingpin. Okoye dazes Kraven and Lizard gets stuck into Black Dwarf with minimal effect, though I do play Brace For Impact to avoid the damage from a rather cheeky throw. In return, Black Dwarf smacks Lizard around, then throws him off toward my corner. The scoring continues at the same rate; 12 – 6 to me.

Round 3: The Spider-Infected shuffle us around a bit but crucially allow me to move Lizard right into the corner away from the action. Kraven uses Expert Hunter on Black Dwarf and Kingpin, adding Corner the Beast to the latter before getting stuck in with his spear. Black Dwarf dazes Mysterio, to my great relief. Doctor Octopus daze Kingpin and Medpacks the damage he took last turn, then Okoye sticks a bit of damage into Kraven. Omega Red pulls Doctor Octopus off the right Witness and stands on it himself. Lizard can only double walk back to the left Witness and I’m just resigned to going another round when we both remember that Bullseye is still on his healthy side. So he strolls over and scores that Witness too. I get the win at 17 – 9.

That was a really fun game that I think was closer than the scoreline suggest. Alastair is a really great chap to play and could have won if the dice had favoured him in a few key places; notably the Well-Laid Plans being completely ineffective was a big blow to his chances. I’m not sure if I would perhaps have been better off just letting Green Goblin take the central Spider Infected and sending Okoye out to the left side to shore up the mess that Mysterio was making of my positioning over there; on the other hand it wasn’t particularly likely that he could drop her in a single shot so maybe it was worth the risk.

Game 2 – Stephen playing Guardians of the Galaxy

Stephen is a new face to our tournaments and it was great to see him and his own isolated gaming group coming out to join in the wider Scotland scene. I win priority and pick Secures as he had a couple of ‘pay to flip’ cards that I don’t really want to play with for Criminal Syndicate.  We end up playing the basic teaching scenario from the core rule book.

Extraction: Struggle for the Cube Continues
Secure: Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0
Threat: 17
My team: Kingpin, MODOK, Crossbones, Hood, Bullseye
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Climbing Gear, Hood’s Gang Medpack
Stephen’s team: Star Lord, Angela, Ronan, Rocket, Groot
Stephen’s cards: Deadly Duo, Field Dressing, I Am Groot, Lovable Misfits, Medpack

Crossbones and Kingpin really love Cubes as they can choose whether to take the damage or not. I picked MODOK as he’s great on D maps where he can just sit on the back point and zap fools around the board with his huge range as required. I often find that the action is drawn away from one or other of the edge points so I thought if I tried to keep the action away from the right spot it might be a good place for Hood to stand and plink away at people.

Round 1: Not much happens as we mostly just position ourselves around the edges. Stephen makes a mistake (in my opinion) by taking the central cube with Ronan rather than Angela so he’s left hanging about in the middle for MODOK to shoot with mind bullets. We go to 4 – 4 on the score.

Round 2: Winging It tokens are given to Angela, Rocket and Ronan. MODOK rolls like a champion, dazing Angela and Ronan; he didn’t even need to throw any terrain! Rocket uses Deadly Duo to hurt Bullseye and Kingpin, so Kingpin throws Groot away but annoyingly can’t drop Rocket – I guess I used up my luck with MODOK. Groot strolls back to the point and uses We Are Groot to heal Rocket back to full. Star Lord shoots MODOK and then uses Field Dressing on Ronan; I do explain about Bullseye’s superpower but he’s happy to do it anyway. So Bullseye of course just drops Ronan again and gets thrown away after a smiting from Ronan’s The Accuser superpower. He uses Climbing Gear to get onto the left console and somewhere in here Crossbones collects Angela’s cube. The score moves to 11 – 5 to me.

Round 3: The same three characters get Winging It tokens, and I play All According To Plan. MODOK continues his rampage, KOing Angela and dazing Star Lord, then Bows Ronan to walk away from the action. Rocket dazes both Kingpin and Bullseye with an application of his Hadron Enforcer, then Hood and Crossbones move to cover the back and right Secures. Ronan hits MODOK after a long slog back to relevance and Groot picks up Kingpin’s cube, but it’s too little too late for the Guardians and I win 17 – 9. However, it seems that I forgot to take a photo.

I really enjoyed that and I hope that I didn’t put Stephen off tournaments! It’s hard to learn much from a game where everything goes so nicely in my favour, and especially because MODOK just did so much attrition work in the centre that Stephen was going to have a really uphill fight to stay in the game.

Game 3 – Jay playing Wakanda

I’ve never met Jay before but he seems highly experienced mainly through playing in the TTS leagues. He had a really cool dual-affiliation Asgard and Wakanda roster but I think that I was expecting him to lean more into the control side of Wakanda against my Criminal Syndicate. He wins priority and picks Extracts, which I suspect is to avoid the risk that I draw Research Station or Deadly Legacy Virus. I again pick the slightly lower threat as I don’t really want to see Thor getting rerolls from Shuri.

Extraction: The Montesi Formula Found
Secure: Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses
Threat: 16
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, Black Dwarf, Okoye, Bullseye
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Medpack
Jay’s team: Black Panther, Shuri, Okoye, Lizard, Enchantress
Jay’s cards: Bitter Rivals, Blind Obsession, Indomitable, Medpack, Wakanda Forever

I picked the same team that I used again Alastair in round 1 as I figured that it worked well enough. Black Dwarf is now big enough that Black Panther and Shuri can’t push him around which is a very nice advantage. On Jay’s side, he is clearly looking to enjoy the brief window before Indomitable gets added to the Restricted list by taking it in his cards.

Round 1: Lizard walks up and takes the central book. Enchantress Bows Bullseye off the left point to take it and Shuri pushes Omega Red on the right, forcing me to commit Black Dwarf over there. The score is 3 – 3 as for some reason Jay never took the time to collect the book at his end; Okoye has mine.

Round 2: Shuri picks up the last book, and Kingpin rolls really well to daze Enchantress; he also throws Okoye away. Lizard hurts Bullseye then throws Kingpin at him, forcing me to play Brace For Impact to keep him in the game. Bullseye dazes Okoye and Omega Red walks back to the right point. My Okoye walks onto the Witness and zaps Shuri and Black Panther with her spellbook before Black Panther pounces, pushes her away and applies Medpack. Black Dwarf begins a very slow trudge across the board to become relevant and Kingpin uses Climbing Gear to get back onto the Witness. The score moves to 8 – 5 in my favour.

Round 3: To no-one’s surprise, I use All According To Plan. Black Dwarf throws Lizard into Shuri, dazing her, then collects the fallen book and beams Black Planther and Lizard. Lizard moves back into the mix. Kingpin moves onto the point, headbutts Black Panther (but Okoye Bodyguards it) and tries to throw Lizard but he pays for Indomitable this time. Enchantress moves over and uses Spurned Affection to beam Kingpin and Bullseye and Okoye dazes Kingpin. Black Panther dazes my Okoye and collects her fallen book. The score is now 11 – 9 to me.

Round 4: Kingpin throws Lizard for the daze, but can’t finish off the Enchantress with a headbutt. I made a mistake here; I should have had him pick up the book and beam Enchantress and Okoye; the extra die might have been enough to push through one last point on Enchantress to finish her off. Shuri pays for Bitter Rivals on Bullseye, then Enchantress Bows Okoye into line for a beam and tags her (for the KO), Bullseye and Kingpin twice each. I made a huge misplay here; I should have used Parting Shot on the first attack to drop her and save myself all the damage from the second beam. Wakanda Forever gets played to drop Kingpin too, and Okoye puts a bit of damage onto Black Dwarf. He throws Okoye into Black Panther to KO her but can’t polish off the Wakandan king so he uses Medpack. Black Panther pounces to finish off Bullseye but doesn’t hurt Black Dwarf. The score is now 14 – 12 in my favour, but I’m going to lose.

Round 5: Lizard uses Blind Obsession on Black Dwarf but it’s not needed and Black Panther dazes him and collects the book. The final score moves to 17 – 16 in Jay’s favour and he takes the well-earned win.

What a game! That was nail-biting right down to the end of round 4 and could have gone either way very easily. I made two big misplays in round 4 which I think was probably enough to swing this tight game in Jay’s favour. Thinking over the game in more detail, I wondered if I might have been better placed to move Okoye over to the right so that Omega Red could have come across to get involved in the scrum on the left, where he would have been more useful. But the mobility advantage was very much on Jay’s side so I suspect that I would have just had Okoye getting beaten up by Black Panther for a couple of turns instead. Jay was a really fun opponent and I very much hope to see him across the table again so I can try my luck against his formidable skills once more.

Game 4 – Martin playing Midnight Sons

I was really glad to get matched up in the final round against Martin as we’ve played before and he’s a really nice guy with a very strong understanding of the game. I won priority here and picked Secures as I didn’t fancy Martin’s (and he knew it); I was quite surprised that he picked the lower threat value though.

Extraction: Alien Ship Crashes in Downtown!
Secure: Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses
Threat: 16
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, MODOK, Black Cat
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Medpack
Martin’s team: Blade, Black Dwarf, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight
Martin’s cards: Blind Obsession, Highway to Hell, Medpack, Patch Up, Siege of Darkness

Since this was the final game and with nothing in particular riding on it (we were both out of contention for an outright win) I decided to try MODOK in this split scenario and see if his control would be enough despite having to spend his first turn walking. I wanted Black Cat to give me an option on stealing the Core if needed, and I just like Omega Red. When I saw Martin’s team I realised that part of Martin’s game plan would be using Highway to Hell to get MODOK way out of the action.

Round 1: Black Cat, Blade and Kingpin move directly up to their respective piles of rubble and all fail to find the Kree Core. Moon Knight starts throwing attacks into Kingpin. Black Dwarf and MODOK move into the right scrum and also don’t find the Core, but Black Dwarf crucial blocks off Omega Red from getting near the Witness. So Omega Red has to content himself with giving Black Dwarf and Blade some Poison. The score is 2 – 2.

Round 2: MODOK bounces frustratingly off Ghost Rider and Bows Black Dwarf to move away. Ghost Rider, by contrast, rolls like a hero against Omega Red, Medpacks a little damage away and then finds the Core. Omega Red gets a similar turn of luck, dazing Ghost Rider and collecting the Core (I didn’t note it but I think that I must have also used Medpack here). Moon Knight dazes Kingpin, forcing me to send Black Cat that way rather than heading right to help out MODOK and Omega Red; in retrospect I wonder if this was a mistake. Black Dwarf puts a bit more damage onto Omega Red but can’t drop him so the score is now 6 – 4 in my favour.

Round 3: Moon Knight puts Blind Obsession on Kingpin. Omega Red hurts Ghost Rider, then Blade hits back. Martin plays Siege of Darkness so Moon Knight pays to stick some damage into Kingpin and Ghost Rider dazes Omega Red. Blade picks up the Core. MODOK lets fly but leaves Ghost Rider and Blade on a single hit point each which is a really annoying outcome. Moon Knight has no such trouble, finishing off Kingpin before Black Cat dazes him. Ghost Rider plays Highway to Hell with all the power that MODOK kindly gave him to get my big headed one way away from the action near my board edge. The score moves to 8 – 8, though at least the Witness moving over dazes Blade and KOs Ghost Rider.

Round 4: Omega Red lets loose on Blade and again leaves him on just a single wound, so Blade just moves away from the witness. Black Cat Staggers Moon Knight, but he dazes her anyway. MODOK uses Climbing Gear to get back in the action but can’t finish Blade; in the end I can either Bow Black Dwarf away or take my chances throwing something at Blade and decide to go for the former. Black Dwarf moves back in and throws MODOK off the Witness. The score goes to 12 – 10 to Martin, but at least the Witness finishes Blade off. The Witnesses are doing better than my villains!

Round 5: Omega Red is not able to deal with Black Dwarf but MODOK dazes him. On the other side of the board, Moon Knight continues his rampage by KOing Black Cat. I didn’t actually note what happened to the Core here but presumably neither of us picked it up. The score is 14 – 12 to Martin, and I guess I also forgot to take a photo.

Round 6: Black Dwarf finally polishes off Omega Red and picks up the Core. MODOK would have to get staggeringly lucky to take it off him (which is what is needed now) and doesn’t manage it; he does at least Bow him off the Witness so I can score it. We finish at 18 – 14 with a win for Martin.

This was a really fun way to end the event, and I’ve very much enjoyed playing with Martin. Strategically, I think that I would probably play the game largely the same again if I’m honest. Moon Knight dropping Kingpin as fast as he did is pretty improbable and hanging on for another turn would have allowed me to use Black Cat on the right. There were also an frustrating number of times where I left Blade or Ghost Rider on a single wound and if any of them come up with a daze of KO instead I think that the momentum is back with me. Still, it’s no good blaming the dice – Martin played his team and cards very well, making the moves he needed to very cleverly to keep me on the back foot for most of the game. Martin is the host of the Tales Of Crisis podcast so I’ll look forward to hearing about how this looked from his side later on.

So when all the dust settles I’m still in a fairly creditable 9th place, top of the 2 – 2 players. More importantly, I had a great time and got to play four very fun games of MCP against four very nice gentlemen. That’s probably it for my Criminal Syndicate for now as I have a hankering to play Red Skull Cabal for a bit; if they’re fun to play I’ll aim to take them out to the next event. Many thanks to Alastair, Stephen, Jay and Martin for the highly enjoyable games, and of course to Allan for running the whole thing. I’ll be back!

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: The Bearded Card Trader Monthly 08Jan2022

Allan and I (without Gareth this time) travelled down the A1 again to Stanley to take part in a Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament at The Bearded Card Trader. The turnout was similar to the last time but with a different mix of locals which is probably a good sign of a healthy scene in the area.

This time I opted to play Criminal Syndicate. This is mainly because I recently acquired Omega Red and wanted to try him out, but also the scenario-focused playstyle of Kingpin’s leadership makes them a lot of fun to put on the table. Adding to the interest are the recent changes to Bullseye making him an in-affiliation two threat character, plus the presence of one of my favourite MCP characters (to play, I’m not particularly fussed about him in the comics) in the form of MODOK. The game plan is basically to sit on the Secure points and rack up VPs while either annoying the other team over the Extracts or, more likely, beating them senseless to cement an attrition advantage. If I lose Priority I can get it back with the All According To Plan tactics card which I’m aiming to play in round 3 if necessary. In terms of out-of-affiliation picks, I took Beast (has a cheap throw and I love to play him), Ant-Man (very mobile so I could use him to jump on an unguarded Secure late in a round), Okoye (another two threat, plus she’s disproportionately hard to kill in a brawl) and Black Dwarf (really hard to kill, has a cool throw and is quite hard to get off a point without special tech). I also borrowed the Research Station card from Allan to use as an Extract since it’s pretty much a Secure in disguise.

[Characters]
– Ant-Man: 3
– Beast: 3
– Black Cat: 3
– Black Dwarf: 4
– Bullseye: 2
– Crossbones: 3
– Kingpin: 4
– M.O.D.O.K.: 5
– Okoye: 2
– Omega Red: 4

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– All According to Plan
– Brace for Impact
– Carbonadium Synthesizer
– Climbing Gear
– Cruelty
– Disarm
– Field Dressing
– Shadow Organization
– Tactical Analysis

[Extract Crises]
– Deadly Legacy Virus Cured? [C]: 19
– Research Station Attacked! [E]: 16
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Infinity Formula Goes Missing [B]: 17
– Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses [C]: 16
– Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0 [D]: 17

Game 1 – Martin playing Midnight Sons

First round I got paired up with Martin. I’ve never played him before but I recall that he played Allan to a standstill at the last tournament so he must be pretty good. I win priority and, since I can live with all of his Secures I pick to select Extracts.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Demons Downtown! Has Our Comeuppance Come Due?
Threat: 19
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, MODOK, Crossbones, Beast
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Field Dressing
Martin’s team: Blade, Black Cat, Doctor Voodoo, Ghost Rider, Moon Knight
Martin’s cards: Bats the Ghost Hound, Climbing Gear, Medpack, Patch Up, Siege of Darkness

I figured here that if Martin wanted to meaningfully contest the centre then he’d have to commit far enough forward that MODOK could sit on my back point and zap whoever came in. Ideally I could pin Martin back close to his home Portal, score the centre one with either Kingpin or Omega Red (preferably the latter considering his own good range) and then just harrass with Beast. Crossbones got the nod on the basis of being cheap and being able to ignore the damage from any Cubes he happened to pick up.

Round 1: Beast zips forward and picks up the central Cube while Moon Knight and Crossbones collect the ones on the right. Ghost Rider and Doctor Voodoo zap Beast and MODOK bounces an ineffective shot off Ghost Rider. Kingpin and Blade collect the last two Cubes and the latter pings a damage off Omega Red who has come onto the central Portal. The score is 5 – 3 to me.

Round 2: Beast goes crazy and dazes both Ghost Rider and Moon Knight, picking up the latter’s dropped Cube. He’s going down this turn anyway so I figure I might as well make Martin work for it. Black Cat uses the Midnight Sons leadership to get in range of Crossbones and gives him Stagger – if ever there was a character who didn’t want to get even slower it is surely him. Omega Red uses Carbonadium Synthesiser to get rid of Incinerate and Bleed and pokes Doctor Voodoo for fairly minimal effect. Blade dazes Beast without much effort and scoops up those Cubes, then Medpacks Doctor Voodoo. MODOK sadly can’t finish Doctor Voodoo, sadly leaving him on one wound with Bleed; at least it’ll force an interesting decision from Martin on what to do with him. This also draws out Martin to use the Bats the Ghost Hound card to keep him in the game so it’s not totally worthless. He then goes on a rampage, dazing Omega Red from full in one attack then hurting Kingpin and making him drop the Cube fragment before finally dying to Bleed. Kingpin is in a bit of an awkward position in that he can either collect the dropped Cube or get into the action but not both; I decide to have him move up to contest Martin’s home Portal and he also applies Field Dressing to Omega Red on the way. The score moves to 9 – 6 in my favour.

Round 3: I play All According To Plan to get Priority back. Beast throws Blade into Black Cat to damage him since he’s been badly hurt by the three Cube fragment he was holding last turn, then KOs Moon Knight to get him out of my hair; he only has enough power left to collect one of the Cubes lying around. Martin plays a very effective Siege of Darkness with Black Cat and Ghost Rider teaming up to daze Kingpin and Doctor Voodoo easily dazing Omega Red. Ghost Rider then follows up by also dazing Crossbones. MODOK is clearly impressed with this show of power as he then does nothing whatsoever to Doctor Voodoo who uses this opportunity to collect a Cube and Black Cat collects another two. The score moves to 11 – 11.

Round 4: Kingpin fails to hurt Blade with his attacks but he does at least Stagger him and throw him off the Portal. Blade uses Patch Up to heal Black Cat and then nearly kills Beast. Beast goes after Black Cat but sadly can’t quite get her before he KOs himself by not clearing the Bleed condition. Doctor Voodoo throws everything he has at Crossbones but leaves him on a single wound (rather a theme for this game!) so Crossbones throws him off the Portal and KOs Ghost Rider. Martin passes, which I think is a mistake – I reckon that he should have activated Black Cat and had her run away. Instead Omega Red moves over and pulls her in with Ensnare, dazes her and collects one Cube before using Climbing Gear to get back on the Portal. Time is called before we go any further and we get to 15 – 12 in my favour so I get the win.

Wow, that was such a tight game. Martin was a tremendous opponent and pushed me at every step. As mentioned, I think that he made a mistake in not running away with Black Cat right at the end but that was pretty much the only thing that I could capitalise on. Most of my game went according to plan (rather fittingly for Criminal Syndicate) and I even managed to use most of my tactics card which is a bit of a change. MODOK’s performance was a bit of a disappointment but Doctor Voodoo is a hard target for him and he did keep my Portal safe and score 4 points so maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt.

Game 2 – Sam playing Guardians of the Galaxy

Sam had just finished a very tight Guardians mirror match to beat Allan so I was looking forward to seeing how he played. Interestingly there were four Guardians players at the event, albeit one of them was dual-affiliation with Asgard. Sam won priority and, slightly to my surprise, picks Extracts. I choose the slightly lower threat on the basis that he has both Angela and Hulkbuster in his roster and I want to make it hard for him to use them.

Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Secure: Mayor Fisk Vows to Find Missing Witnesses
Threat: 16
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, Bullseye, Crossbones, Beast
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Field Dressing
Sam’s team: Star Lord, Ronan the Accuser, Nebula, Enchantress, Groot
Sam’s cards: Brace For Impact, Crew of the Milano, Loveable Misfits, Medpack, We Are Groot

I picked the same team here except swapping MODOK out for Bullseye to account for the lower threat. Kingpin and Crossbones are both fine with Cubes and I actually think that Criminal Syndicate don’t mind the Crisis anyway as they can stay ahead with the Secures and are happy if the other team take the chip damage from holding Cube fragments. I’m basically going to send Kingpin to stand on one Witness and Omega Red on the other and then send the rest to plug gaps as required. I put Bullseye and Beast in the middle; if Sam collects the Cube in turn one then I can try to start taking him down with them and if he doesn’t then I’ll send Beast in later on and cross my fingers.

Round 1: Star Lord, Ronan and Enchantress get Winging It tokens. Not very surprisingly, Star Lord zooms to the centre and picks up the Cube there. Bullseye saunters forward and casually rolls four successes to no blocks against him so this is looking quite spicy already. Groot, Crossbones, Enchantress and Omega Red collect the other cubes but only Omega Red actually bothers to move to a Witness token. Over on the right, Ronan, Nebula and Kingpin stand by the Witness; Nebula’s not actually close enough but since she doesn’t context objectives it doesn’t matter anyway. Beast moves up and dazes Star Lord, picking up his fallen Cube in the process. The score is 7 – 2 to me.

Round 2: The same three characters get Winging It tokens again. Sam moves the Witness tokens such that Crossbones, Kingpin and Omega Red take the damage and the stun. I’ve rather unwisely positioned Bullseye and Beast right next to each other so Enchantress dazes them both with her beam attack and picks up the Cube that Beast drops. Oops! Kingpin dazes Nebula to keep her out of my hair but can’t do much more than Stagger Ronan. Ronan then plays Crew of the Milano to get rid of that annoying Stagger, Medpacks himself and beats up Kingpin. Omega Red puts some nice damage into Enchantress and Star Lord zaps a few wounds off Crossbones, who in turn gets Ronan down to a single wound. Sam uses Lovable Misfits – Ronan does a bit more damage to Crossbones and Kingpin before Star Lord and Groot move. the score moves to 13 – 5 to me.

Round 3: Once again Star Lord, Ronan and Enchantress get Winging It tokens. The Witnesses get moved to do some slight damage to my characters, though Crossbones and Kingpin both pay to ignore it and they’ve all got Stun already. I start the round out with All According To Plan and Bullseye uses Hit and Run and his I Never Miss power to daze Enchantress, pick up her Cube (surely the most hotly contested in the game!) before moving to join Omega Red on the left. That’s basically the game right there as Sam doesn’t have anything remotely near that Witness and even if he did it’s pretty unlikely that he can deal with Omega Red in one go. Nonetheless we play on for the sheer pleasure of it. Ronan dazes both Kingpin and Crossbones, perhaps not surprising considering the pasting they’ve both taken. Beast uses Climbing Gear to get back in the action, hits Groot for not much effect and throws Nebula into Ronan to daze him. Sadly Ronan’s revenge strike hurts Beast pretty badly and Nebula has no difficulty KOing him. Groot collects a Cube lying on the ground and Star Lord moves over to see if he’s in range to deal with Bullseye, but can’t get there. We finish up at 18 – 9 in my favour.

Sam was a very nice chap to play with and I enjoyed the game a lot. I made a few positional mistakes, notably with Bullseye and Beast at the end of round 1 which let Enchantress pick them both off for free (though in fairness she could have used Siren’s Call to line it up anyway if needed) but Sam didn’t really use Groot at all and never even tried to tackle Omega Red for the Witness or Cube on the left which meant that I could just rack up points on that side.

Game 3 – Anthony playing A-Force

For the final game I get paired up against one of the two other undefeated players (the other one gets a pair down against Martin from game 1) with a nasty looking A-Force roster. I’d ideally like to keep the threat low here but I win Priority so that’s not likely to happen. I don’t fancy Anthony’s Secures much so I pick them.

Extraction: Alien Ship Crashes In Downtown!
Secure: Riots Spark Over Extremis 3.0
Threat: 20
My team: Kingpin, Omega Red, MODOK, Black Cat, Black Dwarf
My cards: All According To Plan, Brace For Impact, Carbonadium Synthesiser, Climbing Gear, Field Dressing
Anthony’s team: She-Hulk, Angela, Black Cat, Enchantress, Okoye
Anthony’s cards: Battle Lust, Blind Obsession, Follow Me, Medpack, Special Delivery

I did briefly consider going wide here but this is not going to be fast scoring game and if I take squishier characters then She-Hulk et al will just wreck them one at a time long before I can hope to eke out a scenario win. I put in Black Dwarf as his huge sack of hit point, Stagger on his spender and epic throw are likely to come in useful. Black Cat is a no-brainer for a single-extract scenario like this one, but when I see that Anthony has (not surprisingly) also picked her in addition to Enchantress I’m going to struggle to hold on to the Power Core. In deployment Anthony makes a mistake putting Enchantress next to She-Hulk instead of Angela which will prevent him using Special Delivery until the mid game – neither of us spotted this at the time but Anthony realised it early in round 2. I’m also a bit surprised to see She-Hulk all the way out on the left but Anthony is clearly a more experienced A-Force player than me so perhaps this was part of a cunning plan.

Round 1: Omega Red finds the Power Core in the very first turn all the way over on the right. This is a huge stroke of luck for me as She-Hulk and Enchantress are stranded all the way over on the far side of the board. Anthony’s Black Cat moves up very agressively and Black Dwarf beats her up a bit before MODOK leaves her on a single wound. Angela comes in and throws digger at my Black Cat who uses this extra power to Stagger the Asgardian. She-Hulk moves onto the left point and I decide that I’m quite happy to leave her there so Kingpin moves more centrally. The score is 4 – 2 to me.

Round 2: MODOK attacks Angela in teh hope of getting enough power to throw something at Black Cat but does no damage. Oh well, I attack Black Cat instead and fail to damage her either. Good work MODOK, only needed to do one damage to Black Cat. Predictably, Black Cat pinches the Power Core off Omega Red and hoofs it back up the board. Black Dwarf dazes Angela. Critically, we forget at the time that Black Cat will take a point of damage from the Power Core at the end of her activation, which would have dazed her. Since we’ve already rolled the dice on Black Dwarf, we agree to just play the game as it lies, so a grateful Okoye rushes over to pick it up. Omega Red can’t drop her so Okoye gets to keep it this round. Enchantress moves back to the back Secure and my Black Cat follows her. Kingpin puts a bit of damage on She-Hulk and throws her off the left objective but can’t get there to score it himself. The score moves to 7 – 4 in my favour.

Round 3: Enchantress dazes my Black Cat then MODOK does a bit more damage to She-Hulk and Angela before moving the latter away with Bow to the Will of MODOK. Okoye plays Battle Lust and moves to the centre so she can push MODOK off the back point. Kingpin applies Stagger to She-Hulk and moves to score the left objective. Angela now plays Special Delivery and drops She-Hulk on Kingpin but between the two of them (and including She-Hulk playing Blind Obsession) they can’t bring down the big chap. Black Dwarf fails to hurt Enchantress but does at least stand on my back objective since MODOK has been moved off it. Omega Red pulls Okoye in with Embrace but unfortunately she ends up close enough to use Martial Artist and he can’t drop her. The score is now a rather tight 9 – 8 to me.

Round 4: Kingpin Staggers She-Hulk and KOs Angela which is certainly a relief. Okoye flees Omega Red but this is probably an error on Anthony’s side as she walks right into range of my Black Cat who steals the Power Core and legs it up the board, using Grappling Hook to increase the distance from Anthony’s Black Cat. A bit of a possible mistake from me here too as I had enough power to use Climbing Gear to increase the distance still further and this turns out to be critical as Enchantress races over and uses Siren’s Call to bring my Black Cat into range of Anthony’s. Also critical though is that this move ends up with Enchantress within range 2 of Omega Red so she gets Poison. MODOK just moves back to his point and fails yet again to hurt Enchantress and She-Hulk finally dazes Kingpin. Omega Red puts some nice damage into Enchantress and the A-Force Black Cat races over and collects the Power Core off mine, but ends up next to Omega Red and gets Poison for her trouble. Finally, Black Dwarf moves to sit on the back point – note that I’d actually premeasured this earlier (when he couldn’t fit as Black Cat was standing in the landing spot) which I shouldn’t have been allowed to do, and Anthony very kindly let me away with it. The score changes to 12 – 11, still in my favour.

Round 5: I play All According To Plan, and Omega Red uses Death Factor to daze Enchantress and hurt Black Cat, then finishes off the latter and picks up the Power Core. She-Hulk hammers Kingpin but he survives on a single wound (and with Stagger) after judicious use of Intense Physical Conditioning. Black Dwarf tries to deal Okoye’s final couple of wounds but of course bounces off her, and he doesn’t even have enough power to throw her. Okoye makes a last desperate attack to finish Kingpin but I roll really well on defence and it doesn’t work, so Kingpin throws She-Hulk off the objective and stands on it himself. The game ends at 18 – 11 to me.

Well, that could have been the most intense game of MCP ever. The dice were very interesting in that we seemed to roll consistently no successes or a yahtzee of criticals; I don’t think it favoured one of us over the other, but it made the attacks very spiky. Anthony’s positional play (apart from his error with Okoye in round 4) was spot on – I constantly found myself millimetres out of range to attack his pieces. Otherwise, I think that our skills matched up well and the game errors (especially with the Power Core dazing Black Cat in round two) were not decisive. He was also considerably better than me at using his tactics cards while I yet again had a handful of them left at the end.

When the final scores come in, I’m the only player left undefeated as Martin won in the pair-down. This is probably greatly to the relief of tournament organiser JP as Longshanks (the tournament matchmaking and stats software) went down during round 2 and I’m sure that he was very glad not to have to manually calculate tie breaks. Once again I had a great time playing a very lovely group of people. Many thanks to Martin, Sam and Anthony for three very fun games of Crisis Protocol, JP for running the show very smoothly and of course to Allan for kindly driving us down to Stanley.

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: The Bearded Card Trader Monthly 11Dec2021

For the first time in a long time I was able to take a road trip out of my local area to attend a tournament, this one for Marvel Crisis Protocol at the Bearded Card Trader near Durham. Allan kindly drove Gareth and me down the A1 and it was a pleasure to be able to do the pre- and post-game chats on the road… just like in the times before COVID made all this travel harder and more fraught than the past. The shop itself was bright and spacious, though it’s not easy to find, and the locals were very welcoming. It was particularly nice to meet Nate and Scott again, both of whom I’ve played Malifaux with in the past.

For this event I’ve decided to play X-Men. If I’m honest about it, part of this is because I really enjoyed the X-Men comics and cartoons of my youth, and the Bryan Singer films were (along with Blade, Batman and the Tobey Maguire Spiderman films) the beginnings of the modern superhero franchises on the big screen. Mechanically they seem to be regarded as rather middle-of-the road but they’re a lot of fun, especially Beast who feels very dynamic and is never short of cool things to do. Storm’s leadership allows a friendly characters to ‘jump’ across each other once per round so I picked the three biggest based characters I own – Black Dwarf, Hulk and MODOK. Hulk recently got a notable power-boost with the balance pass in November while all three benefit a lot from the addition of size caps (usually at size 3) to many of the control elements in the game like Shuri’s Panther Gauntlets. Finally, I took Okoye in case anyone forced a 14 threat SWORD on me so that I had the option to go 5 wide.

[Characters]
– Beast: 3
– Black Dwarf: 4
– Cable: 5
– Cyclops: 4
– Domino: 3
– Hulk: 6
– M.O.D.O.K.: 5
– Mystique: 3
– Okoye: 2
– Storm: 3

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– Brace for Impact
– Children of the Atom
– Deception
– Disarm
– Field Dressing
– First Class
– Follow Me
– Gamma Launch
– To Me, My X-men!

[Extract Crises]
– Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities [D]: 18
– Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan [F]: 17
– Struggle for the Cube Continues [F]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Cosmic Invasion! Black Order Descends on Earth [D]: 16
– Infinity Formula Goes Missing [B]: 17
– Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park [B]: 18

Game 1 – Liam playing Inhumans

I got paired up with Liam playing an Inhumans roster. I’ve never played against any of the Inhumans apart from Medusa before so this was sure to be interesting; I figured I’d aim to play my game and worry about how Liam could disrupt me reactively. I win priority and choose Secures as I want to force ‘pay to flip’ objectives and get value out of my First Class card.

Extraction: Research Station Attacked!
Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People
Threat: 18
My team: Storm, Beast, Domino, Mystique, Hulk
My cards: Brace For Impact, Children of the Atom, Deception, Field Dressing, First Class
Liam’s team: Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, Lockjaw, Deadpool
Liam’s cards: Attilan Rising, Elemental Infusion, Bitter Rivals, Last Minute Save, Grievous Wounds

I’ve enjoyed Hulk lately so I just picked the 3-threat core of X-Men (Storm, Beast and Domino), then Mystique as another fun 3 threat option and finally Hulk to bully the centre. I sent Storm to go for the left Portal as she can fly and I thought that might be handy with that huge building but in retrospect I might have been better served sending Mystique that way and made use of Storm’s range in the centre.

Round 1: I play First Class, though with Research Station being more of a ‘secure in disguise’ I’m not sure it made too much difference. Storm flies up on the left and flips the Portal and Crystal immediately zooms over to take it back. Domino flips the right Portal and Deadpool moves forward to contest the Researcher in the middle. Mystique takes a couple of potshots at him for no damage, then flips my home Portal and gets teleported backwards for her trouble. Over on the right, Lockjaw teleports Medusa forward and she pushes Domino off the Portal and flips it herself. Hulk flips over Beast (what a cinematic image!), Gamma Leaps forward and smashes Deadpool into the turf; Beast follows to the centre to make sure that I control it. Black Bolt zaps Beast a bit but hasn’t positioned close enough to the back Portal to flip it. X-Men lead by 3 – 2 and I move the Researcher closer to Liam’s board edge.

Round 2: Hulk smashes Black Bolt, giving him the Stagger token and throwing him away. He then throws Deadpool away from the Researcher to waste one his actions coming back into range. Deadpool shoots Hulk to minimal effect. Storm zaps Crystal a couple of times, giving her Shock but not actually damaging her; she does manage to take back that left Portal for me. Mystique gently tickles Lockjaw, Black Bolt takes the Portal on Liam’s side of the board but Crystal is as effective into Storm as the other way round (i.e. not at all) and fails to flip the Portal back. Beast flips over Hulk to daze Lockjaw, then throws Deadpool further away from the action. Over on the right, Domino shoots Medusa a couple of times and takes that Portal again for me, so Medusa dazes her and takes it right back again. The score moves to 7 – 4 in my favour and I move the Researcher onto the Evac Point.

Round 3: Domino starts us out by dazing Medusa and taking the right Portal back to me yet again; she gets teleported backwards in the process. Crystal Dazes Storm but rolls terribly to retake that Portal and I get to move her right so she’s in range for Mystique to attack. Hulk dazes Black Bolt and throws poor Deadpool even further from the action; the latter continues to fire back without much effect. Beast pushes Lockjaw away from the Researcher so the Good Boy takes the right Portal back from Domino. Mystique puts a couple of ineffective shots into Crystal then moves to flip Liam’s home Portal. Now that the Researcher is safely on my Evac Point, the score moves to 14 – 5 to me.

Round 4: The game seems pretty comfortably in my favour now but there is still plenty of fun to be had. Black Bolt lines up his cool Whisper attack on Beast and Mystique but some fairly uninspiring dice from Liam means that neither of them get dazed. He does flip back his home Portal though, so that’s helpful. Domino KOs Lockjaw and drops Medusa to a single hit point with some fairly spicy rolls and good use of her superpowers; Medusa is having none of this and KOs her right back. Storm finally gets her act together and dazes Crystal. Deadpool comes into the scrum and spreads some damage around with Maximum Effort but it’s too late. As the game is done I don’t bother using Hulk, Beast or Mystique to try to pick off Black Bolt, Deadpool or both as it seems rather needless. The final score is 20 – 7 to me.

That was a very fun game. Of course, it’s always nice to start with a win but more importantly Liam was a lovely opponent and we were keeping up the cinematic commentary as the game went along. It turned out that Liam is quite new to MCP so hopefully he learned from that game and will carry on his good attitude. From my side of the board Storm’s actual output continued to disappoint; that four dice builder just seems to roll low so often. On the other hand she’s only 3 threat and her leadership ability is really good so it’s not like I’m not going to play her.

Game 2 – Scott playing Midnight Sons

This time I got to play Scott; a real pleasure as I’ve known him and (I’m pretty sure) played a few games with him back when we were both regulars at Malifaux tournaments. He had a combined Midnight Sons and Convocation list but opted to play the former based on the Secure that was flipped. Scott won priority and picked Extracts.

Extraction: The Montesi Formula Found
Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Into Lethal Amusement Park
Threat: 18
My team: Storm, Beast, Domino, Mystique, Hulk
My cards: Brace For Impact, Children of the Atom, Deception, Field Dressing, First Class
Scott’s team: Blade, Moon Knight, Black Cat, Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme, Winter Soldier
Scott’s cards: Siege of Darkness, Trip Up, Mission Objective, Advanced R&D, Patch Up

That team from the previous round seemed quite effective so I decided to just use it again. The time Storm was assigned to the right to deal with that massive building by just flying over it; Domino and Mystique got the left together as the building there was going to make positioning a bit tricky for anyone who wasn’t a Wall Crawler or could Fly. My hope was that Scott would send a hero to the centre to collect that book and I could then use Hulk to beat them senseless.

Round 1: I play First Class, of course. Moon Knight and Storm claim the back left and near right Traps; the former also moves toward the centre. Domino takes the opportunity to put a few bullets into Moon Knight but fails to claim the near left Trap marker so Mystique has to do that. Blade takes the back Book and positions cautiously and Black Cat moves to pick up the central one. Hulk flips off Beast and Gamma Leaps to be close to both Black Cat and Moon Knight, then exceeds my wildest expectations by dazing both (and collecting Black Cat’s Book in the process). Over on the right Winter Soldier takes the final Trap and Beast picks up the last Book. The score is 4 – 3 to me.

Round 2: Moon Knight pokes Hulk and moves toward Storm but does little to her. Hulk KOs Black Cat and Staggers Doctor Strange, also throwing the latter into Blade. Doctor Strange clears the Stagger and pays to Scalpel himself next to Hulk and uses Shining Circle of Seraphim to heal a bit (though due to the way that Stagger works, this wasn’t also able to clear Stagger as Scott had planned). Beast hurts Winter Soldier and Doctor Strange again, flipping the back right Trap, so Winter Soldier pushes him off and flips it right back. Storm continues her run of poor attacks, failing to damage Winter Soldier at all (though she does at least stick Shock on him). Mystique takes the back left Trap but doesn’t manage to hurt Blade who then dazes her and takes it back. We continue to score the same; 8 – 6 to me now.

Round 3: Scott plays Siege of Darkness; Blade stabs Mystique and Mon Knight hits Storm. Doctor Strange then dazes Beast, picks up his Book and retreats behind the big building at the back left. I’m honestly a bit perplexed here as it would be a great way to eke out the last couple of points and claim a win but the game is nowhere near ending and anyway I’m in the lead. Perhaps Scott just didn’t want Hulk to hit Strange again. Instead, Hulk dazes Winter Soldier, KOs Moon Knight and flips the back right Trap to my side. Blade KOs Mystique and takes the near left Trap; Domino leaves him on a single health. Storm uses Field Dressing on Beast who flips the back left Trap and then immediately dazes again due to Bleed. The score is now 12 – 9 in favour of the X-Men.

Round 4: Blade dazes Domino and flips the back left Trap again. Hulk KOs Winter Soldier then Doctor Strange comes back into the fray and zaps Storm a little. Beast throws Blade into the building to get rid of his last hit point and then flips both Traps on that side. The final score in 18 – 10 to the X-Men.

I enjoyed that game, and it was especially lovely to play against Scott after all this time. Scott’s dice weren’t great in the first couple of rounds (especially defending against Hulk’s attacks on Black Cat and Moon Knight in round 1) and I think that frustrated him a bit. The game ended up being very dynamic as heroes, particularly Blade, scurried back and forth trying to claim the Traps. From my side, I was aiming to use Hulk to get an attrition advantage and it paid off when Black Cat went down early in round 2.

Game 3 – Stu playing Defenders

One of the other games was a draw so this ends up very neatly with only Stu and my on 2 – 0 so we’re playing for the tournament here. Unfortunately Stu has another engagement that means he’ll have to leave partway into the round. He offers to play as much of the game as we can, then we agree that we can try to assess the likely winner at that point based on the board situation; he also very kindly offers to favour me if it’s looking even as it’s his appointment that will cut the game short. I don’t want to win based on a biased judgment call so hopefully we can end up with one side clearly ahead when we have to stop playing. Stu was an absolute gentleman about all this; there was no drama and we (and the TO) were both fully in agreement about how to proceed. Stu wins priority and chooses Extracts.

Extraction: The Montesi Formula Found
Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Into Lethal Amusement Park
Threat: 18
My team: Storm, Beast, Domino, Mystique, Hulk
My cards: Brace For Impact, Children of the Atom, Deception, Field Dressing, First Class
Stu’s team: Doctor Strange with the Soul Gem, Valkyrie, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Shuri
Stu’s cards: Brace For Impact, Heroes For Hire, Patch Up, Pentagram of Farallah, Seven Suns of Cinnibus

We somehow end up with the exact same combination of Extraction and Secure cards as my last game. Since it worked out fine last time, I decide to stick with 18 threat and use the same team. There isn’t so much terrain for Storm to worry about so I put her on the left; that turns out to be a bit hairy as Stu stacks that side; on the other hand I guess it means that Domino and Mystique can try to deal with Luke Cage on the right before swinging toward the centre.

Round 1: As always, I start out by playing First Class. Shuri takes her home Book and moves toward the middle. Storm, Cage and Domino all take their Traps but I get a bit too aggressive with Storm’s placement and she ends up in walk + Charge range of Valkyrie. I’m a bit lucky on defence and she takes little damage but that was a definite unforced error. Mystique takes the central Book and uses Deception to lure Shuri into Hulk range. Doctor Strange flips the final (back left) Trap. Hulk flips off Beast’s base and Gamma Leaps up to daze Shuri and take her Book while Beast picks up the last one. The score is 5 – 2 to the X-Men.

Round 2: Doctor Strange zaps Beast then plays Seven Suns of Cinnibus to unleash a tasty beam attack which dazes Beast and hurts Hulk; he also picks up the Book dropped by Beast. Hulk knocks Shuri down to a single hit point and Staggers Valkyrie leaving her also on a single hit point and a throw also leave Iron Fist on a single hit point which is a little awkward. Iron Fist kicks the absolute hell out of Hulk, leaving the big green chap on just four health remaining. Storm throws Valkyrie at Iron Fist and Stu uses Brace For Impact, after two attacks she does at least manage to push through the remaining single point of damage to daze Valkyrie. Luke Cage marches up and punch Domino, paying the power to also apply Hex. Mystique guns down Shuri to finish her off and then flips the back right Trap. Finally, Domino clears Hex and shoots half of Cage’s wounds off him. The score moves to 9 – 4 in my favour.

At this point, Stu has to pack up and leave. We briefly discuss the probable outcome of the game. On the right, Cage may daze Domino if he gets to go before her but will probably eventually fall to her and Mystique; I’ve also got both Traps on that side nicely under control. Over on the left, I’ll probably lose either Hulk or Beast to whoever activates first but it’s not likely that they both go down; whichever is left can then throw Iron Fist around to daze him and probably drop Valkyrie. In the end, Stu decides that it’s likely that I hold on to my substantial points lead for the eventual win and so that gets recorded.

Despite the very speedy turns we took and having to cut the actual game short, I really enjoyed that. Stu was an absolutely terrific chap to play with and I hope to get the chance to do so again. He’s clearly very talented at the game and apparently has only recently started playing so he’ll clearly be a force to be reckoned with. My plan was going quite nicely, taking Shuri out early for an attrition advantage but Iron Fist’s dice absolutely exploded on Hulk and that made everything a bit more worrying! Stu is the only person so far just to focus fire on Hulk and perhaps that is the best approach to dealing with him.

So when the scores are added up, I’m the only player left on three wins so I get first place and a very nifty little trophy to take home with me. Allan finished in second place with two wins and a draw but Gareth has a bit more of a tough time including losing his last game to Allan; fortunately the only match drawn between those of us who travelled down together. Many thanks to Liam, Scott and Stu for three very fun games of MCP and of course thanks to JP for organising the whole thing. We’ll definitely be back for another event when schedules allow.

Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

Marvel Crisis Protocol tournament report: Not Quite Halloween Heist 16Oct2021

It’s been a long time since I was at any kind of wargaming tournament, but this weekend Gareth and I had the opportunity to join in a Marvel Crisis Protocol event put on by my good friend Allan at Common Ground Games in Stirling. The scene for this game, which is currently my favourite, is still growing locally but we got 10 players joining in which is more than enough for a fun time.

My roster is a combined Black Order and Web Warriors option. The idea is that I can switch between primarily control options with the Web Warriors or straight-up brawling with the Black Order as dictated by the crises chosen. I have competent (if not actually good) options at all threat levels from 14 to 20 but my preference is going to be either to force Gamma Waves at 15 and just beat people up with Thanos et al, or go wider at 18 threat under the leadership of Miles Morales Spider-Man (just Spider-Man from here on in for my teams as Peter Parker doesn’t feature at the moment).

[Characters]
– Black Cat: 3
– Corvus Glaive: 4
– Ghost-Spider: 3
– Infinity Gem: Mind: 1
– Infinity Gem: Reality: 1
– Nebula: 2
– Proxima Midnight: 3
– Spider-Man (Miles Morales): 3
– Thanos, the Mad Titan: 6
– Venom: 4

[Team Tactics]
– Advanced R&D
– All Webbed Up
– Brace for Impact
– Execute
– Field Dressing
– Lethal Protector
– Mothership
– Uneasy Allies

[Extract Crises]
– Fear Grips World as “Worthy” Terrorize Cities [D]: 18
– Skrulls Infiltrate World Leadership [C]: 17
– The Montesi Formula Found [E]: 17

[Secure Crises]
– Gamma Wave Sweeps Across Midwest [E]: 15
– Mutant Madman Turns City Center Into Lethal Amusement Park [B]: 18
– Portals Overrun City with Spider-People [D]: 18

Game 1 – Callum playing Avengers

I’m drawn against an old friend I know from playing Malifaux, Callum. Callum is new to Crisis Protocol but is always a good player of wargames and I will have to be on my toes if I’m going to beat him here. Callum wins Priority and opts to choose Secures.

Extraction: Infinity Formula Goes Missing!
Secure: The Montesi Formula Found
Threat: 17
My team: Thanos (Mind Gem), Corvus Glaive (Reality Gem) Proxima Midnight, Nebula
My cards: Advanced R&D, Brace For Impact, Execute, Field Dressing, Mothership
Callum’s team: Captain America (Sam Wilson), Black Widow, Valkyrie, Warmachine, Baron Zemo, Winter Soldier
Callum’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Field Dressing, Mission Objective, Odin’s Blessing, Patch Up

I just wanted to play a straightforward brawl here; I don’t think that my chosen team is especially good at this combination. My idea was to send Thanos up the middle to collect a book and then split either left or right depending on how well Corvus and Proxima were doing on the left, while Nebula did annoying Nebula things on the right. Callum’s team is pretty well set here to collect some books and play keep-away with their greater numbers while just picking up points from the Secures that I couldn’t stand on.

Round 1: Captain America moves to take the central book and Nebula takes a random pot shot at him; this turns out to roll like crazy and drop four points of damage onto the poor hero. Black Widow picks up a second book and the uses Avengers Assemble to try to get Captain America back to safety. I scent blood here so after Thanos picks up a book he rolls into the centre and Mind Gems Sam back into the middle. Annoyingly Proxima fails to put the last damage point on him with a thrown spear but it works out fair as Valkyrie has similar luck with a speculative move and charge into Thanos. Everyone else just saunters onto scoring positions. The score is 5 – 2 to Callum.

Round 2: Proxima dazes Sam who uses Mission Objective to hand his book to Valkyrie. A clever play, but Proxima and Corvus daze her too and Corvus one-shots Warmachine for good measure with a little help from Thanos in the form of Death’s Decree. In a bit of a misplay from me, I make the book drop into a place where the lamp post stops Corvus from picking it up and scoring the Secure on Callum’s side so it’ll just sit there for a turn; still, I guess I can’t complain about the way the dice fell there. Over on the other side, Zemo leaves Nebula on a single hit point but then she doesn’t deal with him in one go (I guess we can’t all be Corvus Glaive!) and Zemo finishes the job with a Counter Strike. Thanos Portals Proxima onto my left Extraction point since she was a bit shy of scoring it after she was done with Sam and Valkyrie though this does require the use of my Advanced R&D card. He then walks to my right Extraction point and Mind Gems Zemo out of the way. The score moves 7 – 6 in Callum’s favour.

Round 3: Proxima hurts both Warmachine and Valkyrie, then Corvus KOs both Captain America and Warmachine; only Odin’s Blessing saves Valkyrie from the same fate. Valkyrie throws everything she has at Corvus but in the end he stands on one hit point. Winter Soldier takes one look at Thanos and high-tails it across the board to stand on the back left Infinity Formula; Thanos dazes Black Widow and Nebula dazes Zemo. The score is now 12 – 8 to me, though the swathe I’m cutting through Callum’s team means that he now has Priority.

Round 4: Valkyrie doesn’t make a mess this time, dazing Corvus and throwing Proxima off her point. Proxima gets back in place with a spear throw that KOs Valkyrie and uses Field Dressing to get Corvus running again; not surprisingly considering how my dice have been this game, he easily dazes Winter Soldier. Zemo applies a lot of damage to Thanos who embarrassingly fails to finish off Black Widow before dazing from Bleed damage. Black Widow puts Stagger on Nebula but the latter only needs one action to KO Nat. The game finishes 17 – 8 to me.

That was a very fun game, but I was helped both by Callum’s inexperience and my hot dice whenever Corvus was rolling. I’m not sure that Montesi Formula is particularly good here for me and I’m thinking about swapping it out; I think that Black Order probably want Secures in the middle to force victims to brawl with them, rather than Extractions where the other team can pick up the goodies and run away. Demons Downtown is pretty appealing in terms of objective placement but I’m not sure I want my elite crew to be easier to drop with all the Incinerate there; maybe having Incinerate on the other team is overall a benefit if my game plan is primarily to stay in the game on objectives and win by KOing stuff and scoring for doing it with Thanos’s leadership.

Game 2 – Adam playing Web Warriors

This time I’m drawn with Adam, a nice chap I’ve played against in a recent Crisis Protocol open play day. I consider him to be a strong player who know how to focus on winning the game rather than being distracted by brawling so I need to make sure that I have a plan to keep on top of the scoring. Adam wins Priority and decides to choose Extraction.

Secure: Portals Overrun City With Spider-People
Extraction: Spider-Infected Invade Manhattan
Threat: 18
My team: Spider-Man, Ghost-Spider, Venom, Corvus Glaive (Reality Gem) Proxima Midnight
My cards: Advanced R&D, All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Execute, Lethal Protector
Adam’s team: Spider-Man (Miles Morales; leader), Ghost-Spider, Black Cat, Amazing Spider-Man, Medusa
Adam’s cards: Advanced R&D, All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Medpack, Spider-Tracker

I have to admit that I was a bit surprised that Adam selected 18 threat here (17 was also available) as we’d played a match-up previously with similar rosters and he noted that 18 threat was a bit awkward for him; presumably he’d tweaked things in the interim to cover that weakness. I need to go wide here as I can’t just allow the Spider-Infected to be left lying around and each hero can only carry one at a time, so that indicates Web-Warriors. I like this particular team at 18 threat and have played it several times so it has the advantage of being comfortable and familiar. The particular layout will allow me to gain priority by moving with Corvus to collect a Spider-Infected, flip a Portal (which he’s amazing at, thanks to the Reality Gem) and still be in range to chain activate Proxima. I will also note that we’re playing a Web Warriors mirror match using a Spider-related Secure and Extraction; how thematic could we get?

Round 1: To no-one’s surprise, Amazing Spider-Man races out to pick-up the center Spider-Infected and then moves back to safety. Black Cat uses Advanced R&D to give him her power so that he can also flip the nearby Portal. I use Corvus on the left to collect the nearby Spider-Infected and flip the left Portal before using the Husband and Wife combo to activate Proxima who flips the central Portal. Adam hesitates over on the right and this allows me to send in Ghost-Spider to stand next to the Portal there having picked up a Spider-Infected on the way. My Spider-Man eventually flips the Portal over there, getting placed forward by it, and I back him up with Venom; meanwhile Adam’s team seem a bit unsure and don’t commit at all on that side. The score is 5 – 4 to me, then both Corvus and Amazing Spider-Man get moved away from the action by their Spider-Infected while Adam’s Ghost-Spider is moved towards my team.

Round 2: Venom helpfully dazes Medusa, so that is one thing out of my hair. Adam’s Spider-Miles takes my home Portal so my Ghost-Spider takes his. Black Cat attacks Ghost-Spider rather too effectively for my liking which gains her the power to steal her Spider-Infected before running to the right Portal and failing to flip it thanks to Venom’s hulking presence. Adam’s Ghost-Spider and Proxima take our respective home Portals back over and the latter also pokes Spider-Miles a bit; Adam then cleverly uses the Spider-Tracker card to move Miles to safety when Corvus comes after him scenting blood. Amazing Spider-Man decides that scoring points is more useful that punching a few of my heroes and heads out on his own to the left and flips my Portal over. The score evens up nicely at 9 – 9; Corvus gets pushed around again by his Spider-Infected.

Round 3: Venom continues his good run by KOing Medusa even after she uses Brace For Impact to avoid an ambulance being thown at her; it doesn’t help me with points but it’s a huge relief not to have her messing up all my plans by pushing my heroes out of position. Adam’s Ghost-Spider dazes mine and uses Medpack on Black Cat and pushes my Spider Man back. He gets revenge by dazing Black Cat anyway, picking up her Spider-Infected, then hitting Ghost-Spider with Venom Blast to make her drop her own Spider-Infected. It doesn’t lie there for long as Adam’s Spider-Miles rushes over to pick it up before Corvus comes over and dazes him to drop it again. Amazing Spider Man puts some damage onto Proxima but doesn’t have enough power to web swing to my Portal and also flip it. Proxima walks to the Spider-Infected that’s just lying on the ground, uses her spear throw to daze Ghost-Spider and place near the newly uncontested Portal on Adam’s side of the board and flips it to me. The game ends at 16 – 10 to me.

Wow, what a great game. The sheer mobility of both teams just meant that none of the Secures were ever safe from a cheeky switch and any Spider-Infected on the ground would be snapped up in the next activation. I had to be very careful with Venom and Medusa as they both counter each other very effectively; here I was able to use Corvus and Proxima to guarantee turn 2 priority to make sure that Venom got the drop on Medusa and I was lucky enough that I got to put her down both times.

Game 3 – Grant playing Avengers

For my final game I’m drawn against Grant, a new face to me. I really like the way that these tournaments match me up with new and old friends and I hope to get many more games with Grant. He’s also on two wins here so clearly no pushover. This time I win priority and choose secures; I was hoping to force a 15 threat Gamma Portals but it gets discarded.

Secure: Mutant Madman Turns City Centre Into Lethal Amusement Park
Extraction: Struggle For The Cube Continues
Threat: 18
My team: Spider-Man, Ghost-Spider, Venom, Corvus Glaive (Reality Gem) Proxima Midnight
My cards: Advanced R&D, All Webbed Up, Brace For Impact, Execute, Lethal Protector
Grant’s team: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Deadpool, Baron Zemo, Hawkeye, Amazing Spider-Man
Grant’s cards: Avengers Assemble, Brace For Impact, Disarm, Escort To Safety, Eyes On The Prize

I picked 18 threat here pretty much purely to play this team again as I felt happy that it could do what I needed here; pick up a bunch of Cubes and then run around with the fast elements and pick off unattended Secures. I made a mistake during set-up by putting down Venom early which let Grant counter-deploy Hawkeye.

Round 1: Proxima takes the centre Cube, then Deadpool and Corvus take the ones nearest them; the latter also switches the right trap to me. I don’t need to chain activate this pair this time as I will already have Priority going into round 2. Zemo fails to roll any successes on his right trap so I zoom Ghost-Spider over there and take it myself. Spider-Man also fails to take my left Secure and so strolls forward, sadly I misplay here and put him too far forward so Hawkeye shoots him; no damage but does cause Shock which (spoiler alert!) will be annoyingly relevant for much of the game. Venom and Captain America take the Cubes on the left and finally Amazing Spider-Man punches Ghost-Spider a bit and fails to switch the trap over to me. The score is 5 – 3 in my favour and Amazing Spider-Man takes a bit of damage from the nearby trap.

Round 2: Ghost-Spider plays All Webbed Up to slow Amazing Spider-Man, Deadpool and Zemo, but it’s at this point that my dice just start to say ‘no’ as two attacks into Deadpool get me a single point of damage. Captain America and Hawkeye get Venom down to a single wound left; return attacks from him and Spider-Man achieve nothing except throwing Captain America backwards into the shipping container with Klyntar Rage. Corvus and Proxima both go into Zemo but can’t drop him; Zemo’s return attacks daze Corvus and he picks up the Cube while Deadpool dazes Ghost-Spider. Amazing Spider-Man plays Eyes On The Prize to take the Secure back, then dazes Proxima and takes the Secure on my side of the board too. The score moves to 10 – 7 in Grant’s favour.

Round 3: In the power phase, the Cube dazes Venom which is awkward timing. Well, at least I have Priority and Corvus and Proxima are all revved up. It doesn’t help much; Proxima does daze Deadpool (taking his cube) and flip the back right trap but Corvus just can’t take the needed two wounds off Amazing Spider-Man. Zemo KOs Ghost-Spider, but at least Amazing Spider-Man fails to repeat the performance of last turn and largely bounces off Corvus while failing to take back that trap. Over on the right, I try a desperation play to deal with Captain America and Hawkeye; Spider-Man Web Swings over and fails to damage on one attack, then gets the wild throw on the second which of course Grant sensibly uses Brace For Impact to ignore. In fairness, Captain America was able to use his Vibranium Shield and Bodyguard to great effect here so I would have to have been very lucky to do anything substantial to either of them with Spider-Man. He does at least pick up Venom’s dropped Cube before Captain America Shield Bashes him away and Hawkeye takes some shots to little effect. The turn ends 15 – 10 to Grant and Zemo suffers a damage from the trap in that corner.

Round 4: Well, I’m up against it now as I either need to stop Grant scoring at all or somehow ourscore him by six points, both of which seem a bit improbable. Helpfully both Captain America and Baron Zemo suffer the same fate as Venom did last time, taking their last point of damage and dazing in the power phase. Corvus and Proxima do team up to finally put down Amazing Spider-Man; the latter uses Spear Throw very effectively to cover the ground needed to swap the near right trap back to me and the former ends up holding both Cubes on that side of the board. On the left, Hawkeye picks up the cube that Captain America dropped and runs for the corner, even using Avengers Assemble to get further away from Spider-Man. Venom takes the back left trap for me and then Deadpool gets stuck into Corvus Glaive. After using a huge amount of the power he’d accumulated, Deadpool couldn’t quite put down Corvus who stands on a single wound but proudly still clutching both Cube fragments and also causing Deadpool to fail to switch back that trap. Finally, Miles Web Swings and walks toward Hawkeye who has just a single remaining wound but can’t drop him. This is super tight but when we add up the points I get the win 18 – 17.

That was as close and as fun a game as I’m ever going to get. I genuinely thought that I was out of it after Corvus and Proxima’s continued failure on the right during rounds 2 and 3 combined with the ease with which Zemo, Deadpool and Amazing Spider-Man were able to deal with me on that side. In the end I was able to make more of the board positioning due to my high mobility; on Grant’s side only Amazing Spider-Man and Baron Zemo were likely to push through to the Secures on my side and they were both on the same flank. This meant that Venom and Spider-Man could leave the near left Secure and ensure that their fight with Hawkeye and Captain America was always threatening the trap on Grant’s side of the board rather than mine. Grant was a very fun opponent and I look forward to getting more games in with him.

When the final scores were counted up, I was the overall winner with three wins. I had a great time and I’m already looking forward to the next event. Many thanks to Callum, Adam and Grant for three very fun games of Crisis Protocol, and of course especially thanks to Allan for running the whole thing. I’m not sure if I’ll stick with (some variation on) this roster for the next one; there are so many heroes that I’m keen to put on the tabletop it might be interesting to switch around for a while. In the meantime, here are a few things I’ve learned:

  • Montesi Formula isn’t particularly useful for Black Order so I either need to make a plan to do that one with Web Warriors or swap it out.
  • I’ve been consistently terrible at remembering to use my Tactics Cards; I must make a concerted effort to use them in my games as it feels like a wasted resource at this point. I think I always ended up with at least two cards left over. I’m also not finding that I want to use Uneasy Allies so I might try to find something else to put in for that.
  • Web Warriors have a lot of pulls and pushes that I’m using as a second thought after attacking people with them. Perhaps I should aim to make that part of their game play be ‘plan A’ to starve the other team of power.
Categories: Battle reports, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Tournaments | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Warmachine / Hordes tournament report: Leap Year Tournament (75 points); 29Feb2020

After a long gap in playing Warmachine / Hordes, I took the opportunity to attend another tournament at Common Ground Games in Stirling, this time organised by Frazer Penman. I’ve been painting up some Cryx and had originally intended to take them along but since I have literally not managed to get a single game in with them yet I decided to stick with Minions for one more time so that there might be some chance of at least remembering the stats and abilities of my own armies.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2n13fy0M1d1d0L0L0LbOfCjVnd4c___-2njP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Arkadius 1] Dr. Arkadius [+32]
– Battle Boar [7]
– Gun Boar [8]
– Road Hog [15]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [0(4)]
Hutchuk, Ogrun Bounty Hunter [0(6)]
Kwaak Slickspine & Gub, Croak Sorcerers [0(4)]
Underchief Mire [4]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Brun Cragback [16]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Rorsh [15]
Totem Hunter [0(6)]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (max) [17]

No changes at all to my lists, mainly because I haven’t played any games since the last tournament.

Round 1 – Bunkers vs Andrew’s Infernals (game 19)

https://conflictchamber.com/?cg201b_-1yo7oaoaoaoaoaolosonoSoqoqopofogou___-1yo8oeoaoaoaolosonoSotoqoqopogovogohou

Infernals
[Theme] Dark Legacy

[Omodamos 1] Omodamos, The Black Gate [+28]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Lord Roget d’Vyaros [4]
Alain Runewood, Lord of Ash [0(5)]
Great Princess Regna Gravnoy [0(6)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
The Wretch [4]
The Wretch [4]
Valin Hauke, The Fallen Knight [7]
Cultist Band (min) [5]
Cultist Band (max) [7]
Infernal Gate [12]

Infernals
[Theme] Dark Legacy

[Zaateroth 1] Zaateroth, The Weaver of Shadows [+26]
– Foreboder [4]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Lord Roget d’Vyaros [4]
Alain Runewood, Lord of Ash [0(5)]
Great Princess Regna Gravnoy [0(6)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [0(5)]
Nicia, Hound of the Abyss [4]
The Wretch [4]
The Wretch [4]
Valin Hauke, The Fallen Knight [7]
Cultist Band (max) [7]
– Master Preceptor Orin Midwinter [4]
Cultist Band (max) [7]
Griever Swarm (min) [8]
Infernal Gate [12]

Until this morning I had pretty much not been aware of the existence of Infernals as a faction, at least not to any useful level of detail. Andrew kindly and patiently explains what everything does and I decide to pick Dr Arkadius as it looks like I’ll be chewing through a lot of heavies here.

I win the roll-off and move first so that I can get some board presence at least.

Turn 1: Minions
I run up as far as I dare (which is quite far in this case) and cast some spells. Mire puts Weald Secrets on a War Hog and Dr Arkadius casts Guardian Beast on himself and Forced Evolution on a nearby Road Hog. I picked Guardian Beast as I felt that it might be more useful than some desultory movement from Aggravator, not to mention that I often feel that I’m giving my opponent a free threat range increase when I trigger hyper-aggressive.

Turn 1: Infernals
Nicia shoots a Road Hog to no effect and then immediately gets sacrificed to bring in a Desolator. Zaateroth also puts up Road to War and casts Scything Touch on one of the Tormentors. Regna summons a Lamenter (edit: I originally wrote Desolator in error).

Turn 2: Minions
Both of my casters upkeep all their spells. Hutchuk ambushes in at the back and kills a couple of Cultists. Dr Arkadius puts Adrenaline on both Road Hogs and they kill a few nearby Grievers and Sprint back to safety. Kwaak Enlivens both of them too in case things get a bit too dangerous.

Turn 2: Infernals
The lead Tormentor gets Pathfinder from the Objective and Zaateroth decides to drop Scything Touch. The Desolator on the left drops Hutchuk with ease, triggering Road to War to move the lead Tormentor. Grievers fly up to get in my way, though the lead one is killed by a Guardian Beast attack (hurray, I actually remember to use it!). The Gate places the front Tormentor forward a bit more and then shoots the nearer Road Hog which Enlives back out of reach. Zaateroth Feats and summons a Soult Stalker from a Wretch who has run forward. Valen runs to score the central flag and Regna casts Deceleration, presumably out of habit since my Gun Boar would be the only thig affected. Andrew scores his flag and we both score our zones; 2 – 1 to him.

Turn 3: Minions
Wow, that Feat is hard to deal with if you don’t have any kind of accuracy spell. I was worried about time here so stopped taking detailed notes, but basically I ended up having to Primal most of my hitters and then still boost to hit to even have a chance to actually land damage. In the end I take out the front row (and the gate, since at least I can hit that) and clear enough space to get onto the central flag. On a couple of occasions when I do hit, Orin forces a re-roll into another miss. Most depressingly, much of what I’ve killed has been summoned in anyway, so the net impact in the game is not very impressive. I also both score my zone; 3 – 2 to me.

Turn 3: Infernals
Zaateroth and Regna both cut to full Essence. One Tormentor kills a War Hog by throwing it in ot a Road Hog which is eventually killed off by some other random attacks. Roget puts Ghost Walk on the Cultists to get them forward. Other heavies take out both the Wrastler and the exposed War Hog on the far right. Zaateroth summons another Tormentor from Roget and Regna summons a Desolator. The Foreboder contests my zone (though I will admit that I thought it was a Griever at the time). Andrew scores his zone; 3 – 3.

Turn 4: Minions
I try to clear out as much as possible but there is too much there and not enough of my stuff, not to mention that the few remaining models I have are obliged to Frenzy. The Battle Boar does kill the arc node to clear my zone so at least I score a point (as does Andrew from his zone); 4 – 4.

Turn 4: Infernals
Two Cultists and the Hermit fill up most of the heavies with Essence, then they kill my remaining heavy warbeasts mainly by chain attack throwing them around the place. Andrew contests my zone and scores his own; 5 – 4.

Turn 5: Minions
I try to clear my zone and the left flag to get Mire onto it but clock out before doing anything useful. Minions lose on deathclock and I also fail on photo-taking.

Well, that was certainly pretty hard. Knowing what I know now, I suppose that Jaga Jaga might have been the better approach as I could have leveraged Signs and Portents to at least hit my targets and Swamp Horrors could possibly do some amusing work pulling models back in when they teleport away on the Feat turn. On the other hand, I’m not sure that list has the hitting power to work through the Infernal summoning and get any useful result out of it. The game itself was a lot of fun; Andrew is a very nice chap to play with.

Interestingly, Andrew opined that Infernals are rather over-tuned compared to other factions, and he eventually won the event. That’s not to say that he wouldn’t have beaten me even if we had our armies the other way round as he’s a much better player than I am. It was, in some ways, pleasing to continue my run of always losing to Andrew or his brother at every event I attend. Things I learned:

  • I probably should have Feated one turn earlier as it was wasted into Zaateroth’s Feat.
  • Although the Infernals seem largely immune to knockdown I probably should have considered a few throw options just to get some board position. Andrew used them very well and it is certainly something that I don’t usually even think about.
  • Ambushing Hutchuk is hard to do right. He’s not hard for a heavy to kill, but doesn’t really do great work clearing infantry. Perhaps I should just give up on him entirely.

Round 2 – Anarchy vs Nick’s Infernals (game 20)

https://conflictchamber.com/?cg201b_-1CpglVosgbomlUonlM1Goqorop30ohou___-1yo8oeoeoaoaolomonoSot4ioqoropofogoyovohou

Infernals
[Theme] Hearts of Darkness (Protectorate)

[Feora 3] Feora, the Conquering Flame [+27]
– Judicator [35]
Alain Runewood, Lord of Ash [0(5)]
Deliverer Arms Master [3]
Eilish Garrity, the Dark Seeker [5]
Exemplar Warder [5]
Great Princess Regna Gravnoy [0(6)]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [6]
– Redeemer [11]
The Wretch [4]
Umbral Guardian [0(6)]
Valin Hauke, The Fallen Knight [7]
Choir of Menoth (max) [6]
Griever Swarm (min) [8]
Infernal Gate [12]

Infernals
[Theme] Dark Legacy

[Zaateroth 1] Zaateroth, The Weaver of Shadows [+26]
– Foreboder [4]
– Foreboder [4]
– Tormentor [12]
– Tormentor [12]
– Lord Roget d’Vyaros [4]
Eilish Garrity, the Dark Seeker [5]
Great Princess Regna Gravnoy [0(6)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
Nicia, Hound of the Abyss [4]
Saxon Orrik [4]
The Wretch [4]
Umbral Guardian [0(6)]
Valin Hauke, The Fallen Knight [7]
Cultist Band (min) [5]
Cultist Band (max) [7]
– Dark Sentinel (3) [0(6)]
– Master Preceptor Orin Midwinter [4]
Griever Swarm (min) [8]
Infernal Gate [12]

Well, this is quite the tutorial on playing into Infernals. Despite my losses last time I feel that Dr Arkadius is still needed here if I’m to have even a hope of dealing with the Judicator, and Nick helpfully backs me up by playing the Feora list. I out threat the Judicator in melee but it can do a lot more at range than I can so I will need to be a bit circumspect about distance here. I’m not actually too worried about anything else as Feora’s long threat range is hampered a bit by the fact that I can go further than her on my Feat turn. Severius improving everything that the army does is pretty annoying though! I also think that this is the first time that I’ve seen an army choose not to take the Hermit in a long time.

Nick wins the roll and picks to move first. His theme benefit is to start with his upkeep spells out so Redline is on the Judicator, Banishing Ward on Feora and Road to War on Severius.

Turn 1: Infernals
Nick races up to be just a hair outside my melee threat ranges with Feora and the Judicator, everything else hangs back a little. Regna summons a Shrieker.

Turn 1: Minions
I realise that since Nick didn’t take the Eyeless Sight objective, I can cloud up behind the central forest and stay clear of the Judicator as much as possible. So Mire drops a few clouds to extend the forest and most of my warbeasts take up position behind it. On the right one of my War Hogs moves in to keep Nick honest on his positioning with Feora. The Judicator can’t get to it so I’m hopeful that the ranged attacks available on the right aren’t enough to put the War Hog down. Dr Arkadius puts up Aggravator (which I’ll forget instantly, of course) and casts Forced Evolution on a Road Hog.

Turn 2: Infernals
Feora and Severius upkeep their spells and Allocate one to their Warjacks. Regna eats a Choir boy and Allocates three to the Shrieker. The Choir sing Battle on the Warjacks. The Shrieker and Redeemer pepper the exposed War Hog with what felt like rather tasty dice and the Grievers eventually finish it off. That’s unfortunate, I was hoping not to lose that for nothing. Runewood comes forward and puts Shadow on another War Hog. Finally, and slightly to my surprise, the Judicator backs right up.

Turn 2: Minions
I decide not to Feat this turn as I doubt that I can get to the Judicator and I can instead use Sprint on the Road Hogs to put some nice damage out and stay fairly safe. Plus, I’m not so worried about the Judicator when it is standing far away. Dr Arkadius needles both Road Hogs and they charge in and kill Runewood, Eilish, the Shrieker and most of the Grievers. One Sprints back toward my lines and the other one (with Forced Evolution) jams itself deep to contest the right flag. I’m not really sure if this is the right play but I figure I’ll never find out if I don’t try. At the very least it’ll take up some of Nick’s activations to deal with it. The Witch Doctor gives Ghost Walk to Kwaak who runs onto the left flag; 1 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Infernals
Feora and Severius upkeep their spells and allocate to their Warjacks again. Feora Feats and charges into the lead Road Hog, killing it easily. The Umbral Guardian kills Kwaak but can’t quite touch the flag itself. The Choir sing Battle on both Warjacks and Regna summons a replacement Shrieker, seemingly mainly for the Focus efficiency. The Judicator gets a line on the second Road Hog and kills it, then turns its attention on the central War Hog. Almost everything else available targets the War Hog too, and it finally goes down to a Griever. Again, I felt like the odds rather favoured the War Hog surviving but it was not to be. The Gate pulls Feora back and resummons a few Grievers. Neither of us score; 1 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Minions
I was hoping to have a bit more punch available to work with here but I’ve given away far too much on Feora’s Feat turn. I end up turbo charging the last War Hog with Forced Evolution, Ghost Walk and Primal, then Feating it forward and hoping to get it directly to Feora. Unfortunately the positioning of Valen and flag don’t allow me to get straight into the Warcaster so I’m obliged to try to Overtake into her. Even with Primal the War Hog misses all three initials into Valen and so doesn’t have enough to put down Feora. Mire kills the Umbral Guardian and sits on my flag to score it again; 2 – 0 to me.

Turn 4: Infernals
Well, I am certainly in trouble here. But on the other hand, Nick has taken a lot of time over his turns so he only has about 2 minutes left to seal the deal through Dr Arkadius’s 3 transfers. Feora does a bit of jiggery-pokery to clear a lane to charge Dr Arkadius and burns a transfer before Fire Stepping away to clear space for the Judicator. The big machine has time to ignite its flamethrowers before the clock beeps, letting me away with yet another literally last-second reprieve. For amusement, we roll it all out and Dr Arkadius does not get the astonish luck that would have been needed to not die to the Judicator. Minions win by deathclock.

Yikes, that was close. I played pretty badly there and gave up far too much of my army far too easily. Part of that was mistaking the threat ranges on Nick’s stuff, part of it was not accounting for slight high-rolling taking two Warbeasts where I might have held on to them both, and part of it was constantly forgetting that all the Infernals can just move through each other with no problems. On the other hand, I did it all in a timely and efficient manner whereas Nick spent a lot longer thinking about his moves. It was very lucky for me to get a win here as Nick outplayed me all the way through; to his immense credit he didn’t get frustrated about crushing me through the entire game and then losing to the clock, but rather he took it like a gentleman. Things I learned:

  • I waited a turn too long on the Feat here. I think that there was an assassination on in turn 2 by Overtaking through Grievers etc into Feora; instead I got too greedy thinking I could just let the Judicator sit at the back.
  • I didn’t position my solos well to score flags and ended up having to run Kwaak into danger just to score a point. If I’d thought out where he needed to be on turn 1 I could have used Enliven and maybe kept stuff alive.
  • More accurately – a thing I didn’t learn. Hutchuk stayed off the table entirely. In this match-up I wonder if I might have been better served starting him on the table anyway as there was nothing going wide enough to be threatened by an ambusher.

Round 3 – Invasion vs Marty’s Skorne (game 21)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c9201b_-2cfkm_mZ6u6un2n2n2ncn8n1n9n1mBmB___-2c6Qm_n46un2n2n2ncn9n1mB

Skorne
[Theme] The Exalted

[Zaal 2] Zaal, the Ancestral Advocate [+29]
– Desert Hydra [35]
Abidan the Keeper [0(5)]
Ancestral Guardian [5]
Ancestral Guardian [5]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Hakaar the Destroyer [0(6)]
Immortals (min) [8]
– Extoller Advocate [3]
Immortals (max) [13]
– Extoller Advocate [3]
Supreme Guardian [16]
Supreme Guardian [16]

Skorne
[Theme] The Exalted

[Hexeris 2] Lord Arbiter Hexeris [+27]
– Desert Hydra [35]
– Mammoth [35]
Ancestral Guardian [0(5)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Hakaar the Destroyer [0(6)]
Immortals (max) [13]
– Extoller Advocate [3]
Supreme Guardian [16]

Both lists involve clouds of high armour statues and a load of huge based models such that I feel that I need to leverage the pure hitting power of Dr Arkadius [edit: I’ve added Marty’s actual lists now]. So even though I quite fancied putting Jaga Jaga down, there is no way that she’s getting picked before Dr Arkadius. The extent to which I out-threat these lists is also significant. Marty picks Zaal2 apparently because he forgot to pack the Mammoth from his other list.

I win the roll off and pick to have first turn again. I want to pin the Skorne back as far as possible so that they have to either come to me or just surrender the scenario.

Turn 1: Minions
I race everything forward as fast as possible. Mire puts Weald Secrets on the Blackhide Wrastler in case it ever becomes relevant (which I doubt). Dr Arkadius casts Aggravator and puts Forced Evolution on one of the Road Hogs as per usual. There probably isn’t enough shooting for Aggravator to be relevant but with Marty’s list I can’t see Guardian Beast helping much either.

Turn 1: Skorne
The Immortals and Supreme Guardians race up the outsides as quick as they can manage. The Hydra casts Sand Storm on itself, which could mildly inconvenience the Gun Boar if it was remote near to anything I might actually shoot. Zaal also puts Vision on the Hydra and then Feats.

Turn 2: Minions
There doesn’t seem to be much point in committing this turn as Zaal’s Feat means I’ll get almost nothing done and then be killed by the Supreme Guardians in return. My only attack is the Gun Boar taking a random shot into right Supreme Guardian for some trivial damage (after an amusingly high roll). I definitely don’t want to trigger Vengeance on the Immortals. One Road Hog ends up in range of the Supreme Guardian on the left as I need to contest that zone somehow; hopefully Enliven will keep it going.

Turn 2: Skorne
Both units of Immortals and their support staff swarm out to take up as much of each zone as possible. The right Supreme Guardian take a desultory shot at the Gun Boar; the one on the left gets a couple of swings into the Forced Evolution Road Hog before it Enlivens back out of reach with some fairly large chunks missing. The Desert Hydra continues to clog up the middle. No-one scores.

Turn 3: Minions
I’m never going to get a better Feat turn than this one. Hutchuk appears on the right and lands a Rust bomb on the Supreme Guardian before clobbering the Novitiate hanging around at the back. The Gun Boar blows up an Immortal and positions charge a pesky one when I Feat (but it will fail to kill anyway). The Wrastler eats its way through an entertainingly high number of Immortals thanks to Overtake and Mire kills one right the middle of the board before applying Rage to a couple of War Hogs. Over on the left, the Battle Boar Primals a Road Hog. Dr Arkadius casts Psycho Surgery to heal up that badly damaged Road Hog, Primals the last War Hog and lets fly with his Feat. The Feat attacks position the right War Hog in range of the Supreme Guardian, the centre one gets a very tasty swing at the Hydra (which is then cancelled with Vision) and the left one and both Road Hogs charge into the other Supreme Guardian, leaving it already looking rather peaky. When the individual actions come up, the War Hog on the right smashes the Rust-ed Supreme Guardian with attacks to spare and Overtakes its way through a few more Immortals. On the left, the Feat attacks leave the War Hog able to finish that Supreme Guardian without even using all its initials so it also Overtakes away to chop up some more Immortals. The central War Hog rolls like a champion and drops the Hydra after maxing out on Fury. The two Road Hogs eat an Ancestral Guardian and Hakaar, mainly because there are not any better targets. Marty has seen more than enough and concedes. Minions win.

I had some excellent dice during that game and it contributed hugely to the result; it says a lot about Marty that he just took it in his stride. That said, I think that with the board state at the start of my final turn I was more or less sure to take out all three huge bases as I had a lot of spare attacks to go round. Marty could have made my life a lot harder by forcing me to go through the Immortals before getting to swing at the Supreme Guardians. Things I learned:

  • Getting a good Feat turn with Dr Arkadius is a really sweet feeling, especially if the dice are kind to you while it happens. What a nice way for the Doctor to sign off on our journey together.

So when it was all wrapped up I came in a nice mid-table position of 5th of 12 players. Many thanks to Andrew, Nick and Marty for three very fun games, and of course to Frazer for running the show. That is probably it for my Minions for now as I’m planning to get some games in with Cryx over the next few months.

Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Tournaments, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes tournament report: November Pain (75 points); 30Nov2019

I took my Minions to another Warmachine / Hordes tournament run by Allan Gibb at Common Ground Games in Stirling. There were three rounds with a possibility to extend to four based on the need to reach a clear winner. That wouldn’t be likely to apply to me and anyway I had to leave after round three anyway to go to a friend’s birthday party.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2n13fy0M1d1d0L0L0LbOfCjVnd4c___-2njP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Arkadius 1] Dr. Arkadius [+32]
– Battle Boar [7]
– Gun Boar [8]
– Road Hog [15]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [0(4)]
Hutchuk, Ogrun Bounty Hunter [0(6)]
Kwaak Slickspine & Gub, Croak Sorcerers [0(4)]
Underchief Mire [4]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Brun Cragback [16]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Rorsh [15]
Totem Hunter [0(6)]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (max) [17]

This is the same pairing that I’ve been using for a while with only very minor changes. There are certainly new options available (notably the various Archons) that would probably make a better list for both Jaga Jaga and Dr Arkadius but I don’t own them and anyway I am still at the stage in my game where I will get more value out of just playing better than adding yet another different set of options to my armies. Broadly I’m looking to use Jaga Jaga into lists with a lot of infantry and Dr Arkadius to face into heavily armoured lists with a smaller model count.

Round 1 –King of the Hill vs Marc’s Protectorate of Menoth (game 16)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1q1b1q1X1G1G3ImelUoRlM1q3z3z2_2_3G3H___-1O0T1OgSeVlVf73t3z3z3B2_2K2L

Protectorate
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Reznik 1] High Executioner Servath Reznik [+28]
– Dervish [7]
– Guardian [15]
– Redeemer [11]
– Redeemer [11]
– Scourge of Heresy [16]
– Hierophant [3]
Exemplar Warder [0(5)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Dervish [7]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Idrian Skirmishers (max) [15]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [5]

Protectorate
[Theme] Guardians of the Temple

[Severius 1] Grand Scrutator Severius [+28]
– Blessing of Vengeance [13]
– Eye of Truth [20]
– Hand of Judgment [18]
– Judicator [35]
Pyrrhus, Flameguard Hero [0(5)]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Vassal of Menoth [0(3)]
Wrack [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Temple Flameguard (max) [11]
– Temple Flameguard Officer & Standard [0(4)]

Two sets of big armoured things with a couple of relatively minor infantry options? Sounds like a job for Dr Arkadius either way. Marc chooses to play Reznik. I have a huge advantage over him in terms of threat range, so my idea is to leverage this with a few Road Hog sprays and Sprints and then Feat at some point when there is enough in range to make it worth doing so. If Marc plays very defensively then I can hope to lock him out of the scenario. It did occur to me partway through set-up that some Protectorate models are immune to fire which could be a bit of a problem, but it seems that this was not the case here.

Marc wins the roll and chooses to go first. His Idrians choose the Wrastler as Prey and they start with Ignite on them as part of the Theme benefit.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
Everything rushes at me as quickly as possible to claim some board space before I start threatening into Marc’s deployment zone. Severius casts Road To War to get a bit of additional threat range on his Dervish.

Turn 1: Minions
Most of my list has no concerns about taking meaningful damage next turn so it heads forward as far as their little legs will carry them; I’m not likely to stay out of range of the Redeemers regardless of where I go. Over on the left I realise that the Wrastler is going to have to eat a turn of shooting from the Idrians so it moves up and Mire covers it with some clouds (it is probably worth noting that I only had one cloud template of the correct size handy; the larger blast template is still being used for the 3″ ring). Kwaak casts Enliven on both Road Hogs and Dr Arkadius puts up Aggravator and casts Forced Evolution on one of the Road Hogs.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
The Redeemers get some Focus and the Vassals finish loading them up. Reznik upkeeps Ignite and Severius upkeeps Road To War and fuels up the Dervish. The Choir sing Battle on the light Warjacks and Passage on the heavies, then the Hermit moves up rather aggressively to cover the lead Road Hog with Master of Ruin. The Redeemers open up and chip some damage off my Warbeasts; the Road Hog Enlivens away from the Hermit at the first opportunity. Slightly to my surprise, the Idrians run for board position rather than shooting my Wrastler to death.

Turn 2: Minions
I drop Aggravator but upkeep Forced Evolution. Hutchuk ambushes in on the left and kills the Idrian Chief with a grenade and another in melee (sadly I couldn’t reach the Guide). The Wrastler overtakes its way through a bunch more Idrians but can’t quite make it into the zone. The Witch Doctor gives Ghost Walk to the Battle Boar which clears the Idrian jamming the left War Hog and enables it to smash the Objective and overtake into the zone. Sadly, I’ve run out of things to kill off the last jamming Idrian. Dr Arkadius stabs both Road Hogs with Adrenaline; one wrecks the Dervish and the other one gets the Hermit down to a single box and is therefore unable to Sprint back to relative safety. The Hermit is on fire though, so it’s not all bad. I score a point for the Objective; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Both upkeeps are dropped. The Redeemers and Scourge of Heresy get a Focus each and the other Dervish is fully loaded up. The Choir put Battle on everything, and the Vassals top up the Redeemers. On the right, the Dervish makes short work of the Gun Boar and then chops some boxes out of my Objective. The Redeemers kill one of my Road Hogs but the other one is able to Enliven back to safety. The Guardian charges over and finishes off my Objective and Reznik goes for a desperate casting of Perdition which would allow Scourge to get into the action; luckily (for me) he misses. Scourge runs up to contest the centre instead. Marc scores the right zone and my Objective; 2 – 1 to him.

Turn 3: Minions
Well, Reznik is just right there waiting to be killed. The Wrastler clears the left zone and then I decide it is assassination time. The Battle Boar kills an Idrian and puts Primal on the left War Hog. Dr Arkadius casts Psycho Surgery to get all my Warbeasts active again, puts Primal on the right War Hog and then Feats. Feat attacks from the three Warbeasts in the centre are enough to almost wreck Scourge and the left War Hog gets across and kills one of the Choir. The Road Hog then finishes off Scourge, and the Primalled War Hog goes in and eats first the Warder and the Reznik himself. Minions win by assassination.

That went rather as expected. I think that Marc’s army just didn’t have enough of a threat to take me out of my comfort zone. I could just hang around on the edge of my zones and force him to come to me, the Feat and kill off half of his stuff. Even if he had played more defensively and kept Reznik back in a safer place I could have done so much damage that I think I would have had an insurmountable lead on attrition; I didn’t even use two of the War Hogs after Dr Arkadius’s Feat. Things I learned:

  • Sometimes you just have to accept the damage from very long-ranged pieces (i.e. the Redeemers) while the rest of the army gets into position.
  • Overtake on Warbeasts allows crazy assassination angles on the one hand, and also enables a surprisingly effective infantry clearing option.
  • When Ambush works it is really useful. I think I’ve valued it a bit low as Joe (my main opponent) is just really good at avoiding it.

Round 2 –Recon II vs Sean’s Legion of Everblight (game 17)

https://conflictchamber.com/?ca201b_-2iewepkK2828eJbwaO29292929bebeoRcob9fTfT___-2hbskEkBcocob5kLkFkGkJkJfTfT

Legion
[Theme] Ravens of War

[Absylonia 2] Absylonia, Daughter of Everblight [+28]
– Blight Wasp [3]
– Golab [17]
– Harrier [0(3)]
– Harrier [0(3)]
– Neraph [12]
– Proteus [19]
– Seraph [14]
– Shredder [4]
– Shredder [4]
– Shredder [4]
– Shredder [4]
Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion [0(6)]
Blighted Nyss Sorceress & Hellion [0(6)]
Hermit of Henge Hold [5]
Spell Martyr [1]
The Forsaken [4]
Hellmouth [6]
Hellmouth [6]

Legion
[Theme] Primal Terrors

[Kallus 1] Kallus, Wrath of Everblight [+30]
– Blightbringer [32]
– Ammok the Truthbearer [4]
Spell Martyr [1]
Spell Martyr [1]
Blighted Ogrun Warmongers (min) [8]
– Gorag Rotteneye [0(6)]
Blighted Rotwings (min) [7]
Blighted Rotwings (max) [12]
Chosen of Everblight (max) [20]
Chosen of Everblight (max) [20]
Hellmouth [0(6)]
Hellmouth [0(6)]

I don’t think I’ve ever played against Legion of Everblight before and certainly not against either of these Warlocks. Taking a look at both lists, I feel that Dr Arkadius is probably a slightly better bet against Kallus1 and also preferable into Absylonia2 so I go with him again. Sean selects Absylonia2 and kindly explains what she actually does. It seems that this is going to be an interesting game of threat ranges!

Sean wins the roll and picks to move first. I pick the side with houses to hide Dr Arkadius behind, though on reflection I wonder if the other side would be better as Sean’s Warbeasts can mostly just fly over the houses anyway.

Turn 1: Legion of Everblight
Absylonia casts Bracer on Proteus, Slipstreams Golab and charges up. Most of her army take the same approach of rushing headlong at me; this is probably the only opportunity they’ll have to move up without worrying about my threat ranges.

Turn 1: Minions
So now if is me who has to worry about ridiculous threat ranges. I move up mostly trying not to offer up my whole army too easily. Dr Arkadius casts Forced Evolution (on a Road Hog) and Aggravator.

Turn 2: Legion of Everblight
Bracer is upkept. The Seraph Slipstreams the Neraph forward and lights up the Wrastler with Flare Absylonia gives herself Dodge and Feats. On the right, the Neraph makes short work of the Wrastler and Sprints back to the centre. A couple of Lesser Warbeasts hurt my left War Hog quite badly.

Turn 2: Minions
That didn’t end up quite as bad as I had hoped but my poor positioning last turn has left my Warbeasts in a bit of an awkward position. I decide it’s time to Feat anyway, and am able to take out Golab, the Neraph and a few of the Lesser Warbeasts. Hutchuk appears on the right and kills one Sorceress and the Gun Boar blows up the other one. Kwaak sits on my Flag; 1 – 0 to me.

Turn 3: Legion of Everblight
The Hermit strolls into the scrum of my Warbeasts and uses Master of Ruin. Shredders start eating a War Hog and Absylonia personally finishes off a Road Hog. Proteus finishes the first War Hog and puts some tasty damage into the other Road Hog; the Seraph finishes it. No-one scores; still 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Minions
That hurt more than the Feat turn! On the other hand, Absylonia is sitting right in front of me with no transfers. Hutchuk misses a Quake grenade into her, then Kwaak misses a pair of Venoms and finally Mire does about two damage with a pair of fully boosted attacks (rolling hilariously low on four damage dice). So I guess that is off the table; I probably needed to get a bit lucky to make it work out. The lead War Hog kills the Hellmouth on the left and Dr Arkadius runs away from all the scary blighted beasties. I score the left zone; 2 – 0.

Turn 4: Legion of Everblight
The Hellmouth kills Mire, the Seraph kills Kwaak and Absylonia kills Hutchuk. Proteus takes care of my Objective. Sean also scores the right zone and flag; 3 – 2 to him.

Turn 4: Minions
I kill off the Hermit and Objective; Dr Arkadius runs to my Flag. I don’t have anything that can contest on the right. 5 – 5 as we both score one flag and one zone.

Turn 5: Legion of Everblight
The Seraph contests the left zone and kills the Witch Doctor. A Tentacle contests the flag while Sean scores on the right side; 7 – 5 to him.

Turn 5: Minions
The Gun Boar kills a couple of Tentacles that are in my way and Dr Arkadius Primal Shocks the last one. This clears the War Hog to deal with the other Hellmouth and conveniently also contest the zone. We both score our flags; 8 – 6 to Sean.

Turn 6: Legion of Everblight
The Seraph flies to a place that I’ll never realistically get to it. Proteus makes a real mess of dealing with the War Hog thanks to some awful dice from Sean but does eventually pull my Warbeast away from the zone where Shredders eat it. 10 – 6 to Sean as he scores on the right again while contesting on the left.

Turn 6: Minions
I’m pretty much out of options here. In the end I try to kill Proteus with the last War Hog in the hope that I can then run the Gun Boar into contesting range and hope that Sean clocks out before he can wrap up the game. I can’t even kill off Proteus, so I concede to Sean. I think that this is, strictly speaking, a scenario win for Legion of Everblight.

That was a tight game, and I think that with better positioning at the start I could have hoped to win it. Sean used his superior mobility well and I got caught up trying to work my way round the central house. For example, I had two War Hogs just slowly trudging their way round the board in the late game and I wasn’t really able to bring both of them to bear. By contrast, the threat of Proteus remained relevant in the centre for the whole game.  It would have been interesting to play this again with me going first as I feel that getting the initial board position is probably quite important in this match-up. Things I learned:

  • I actually think that Guardian Beast would probably serve me better than Aggravator in this match-up now that I’ve played it out. I was initially worried that there would be a lot of long range shooting from the Seraph but actually Sean just jumped down my throat at the first opportunity.
  • I used Witch Doctor poorly here; I could have probably had some good value out of Ghost Walk as I stumbled around the house in the centre.
  • Despite their abject failure to kill Absylonia, I was quite pleased with the performance of Kwaak, Mire and Hutchuk. They jammed up the right on a turn I needed it, scored me a point on the flag and killed off a couple of annoying little things. The assassination was probably a long shot but it felt like it could have been achievable.

Round 3 –Bunkers vs Nick’s Skorne (game 18)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c9201b_-1sey6r4v4xm_n46Nf4ea5G5U___-2c6I6r4x6S4C6N6un2n2n2ncn3f4n9n1n9n1mBmB

Skorne
[Theme] Disciples of Agony

[Xerxis 2] Xerxis, Fury of Halaak [+28]
– Agonizer [0(6)]
– Basilisk Drake [8]
– Basilisk Krea [0(7)]
– Desert Hydra [35]
– Mammoth [35]
– Aptimus Marketh [0(5)]
Swamp Gobber River Raider [1]
Tyrant Zaadesh [4]
– Titan Gladiator [15]
Paingiver Beast Handlers (min) [5]

Skorne
[Theme] The Exalted

[Rasheth 1] Dominar Rasheth [+28]
– Agonizer [6]
– Basilisk Krea [7]
– Cyclops Raider [9]
– Cyclops Shaman [8]
– Aptimus Marketh [0(5)]
Ancestral Guardian [5]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Extoller Novitiate [0(2)]
Hakaar the Destroyer [0(6)]
Immortal Vessel [3]
Swamp Gobber River Raider [1]
Immortals (max) [13]
– Extoller Advocate [3]
Immortals (max) [13]
– Extoller Advocate [3]
Supreme Guardian [16]
Supreme Guardian [16]

I’m torn here. I think I want to put Dr Arkadius against Xerxis2 but probably slightly prefer Jaga Jaga into Rasheth. In the end I select Dr Arkadius, figuring that Immortals should be as flammable as anything else and at least I’ll have the armour cracking power to deal with the Supreme Guardians. Nick chooses to play Rasheth so we’ll get to see how I play into a recursion swarm of tough, no knock-down infantry. Actually I’m pretty sure I’ve never played Skorne at all before so this should be interesting.

I win the roll off and pick to have first turn, hoping to set a high line of engagement and keep Nick out of my zone entirely.

Turn 1: Minions
I race everything forward at top speed. Mire puts Weald Secrets on the Blackhide Wrastler in case it ever becomes relevant. Dr Arkadius as usual casts Aggravator (not much shooting but it might be handy to if the Supreme Guardians fire a late-turn shot) and puts Forced Evolution on one of the Road Hogs.

Turn 1: Skorne
A swarm of statues runs towards me. Two of them position to extend the cloud wall once Rasheth zaps them in the back; one even survives. Initially Nick was going to have three of them out but realised that even with Harmonious Exaltation this would leave Rasheth sitting on zero camp so I let him take back the moves. I’m not certain that I could have got many big shots into Rasheth but it would have felt like a pretty rubbish way to finish the game.

Turn 2: Minions
Hutchuk comes on the right and blows up an Immortal Vessel. One Road Hog gets the Adrenaline needle an Assaults the Immortal in the cloud before Sprinting back to safety. A combination of low damage rolls and good tough rolls means that I only get one, so I pretty much trigger Vengeance for nothing. Mire puts a couple of clouds out and the Gun Boar ensures that I don’t have to worry too much about the left flag by blowing up the River Raider.

Turn 2: Skorne
The Immortals on the right Vengeance forward, getting a few of them into range of my Warbeasts. On the left they spread out; one hits my Gun Boar for a little damage. Rasheth uses his Feat and puts Blood Mark on the central War Hog and Carnivore on the unactivated Immortals. The Extoller Novitiates power up the lead Immortals a bit more and they all charge in and put some rather tasty damage on both Road Hogs and the Blood Marked War Hog. The Supreme Guardian on the right sets Hutchuk on fire and the Raider finishes him off. We both score our zones; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Minions
Dr Arkadius uses his Feat. The War Hog on the left gets Primal and wrecks the Supreme Guardian over there, while the one on the right Overtakes his way to the Agoniser during his activation and the kills it with the Feat attack. The rest of the Warbeasts chew their way through a lot of Immortals but Nick has jammed me quite effectively so my board position is quite week. Kwaak runs onto my flag and we both score our own zones; 2 – 1 to me.

Turn 3: Skorne
The Novitiates turbo charge the Supreme Guardian and Hakaar. It turns out that Supreme Guardians have Thresher (which I didn’t know) and that I’ve left a whole load of my Warbeasts in perfect Thresher formation. The Supreme Guardian charges in and kills both War Hogs and Kwaak; Hakaar finishes the Road Hog. Rasheth swaps Carnivore on to the other Immortals and they kill the third War Hog. We continue to score our own zones; 3 – 2 to me.

Turn 4: Minions
The Witch Doctor comes over and puts Ghost Walk on the Wrastler, and Mire adds Rage. The Wrastler walks into the Supreme Guardian’s back arc and kills it satisfyingly. I needed Ghost Walk as I doubted it could survive the Defensive Strike. The Road Hog kills Hakaar and the Gun Boar kills a couple of Immortals (looking back, I think I forgot to activate the Battle Boar at all). We score our zones again; 4 – 3 to me.

Turn 4: Skorne
Immortals kill the Battle Boar in the middle. Nick throws all the ranged attacks he has at the Wrastler but leaves it standing on a single box. The Road Hog takes a bit of a beating from the Ancestral Guardian and the remaining Immortals on the right but stays standing. Yet again we fail to contest each other’s zones; 5 -4 to me.

Turn 5: Minions
The Wrastler gets healed and Raged by Mire. It then charges the Novitiate in the centre and Overtakes its way over to the Krea, which it also eats and finally takes a nice bite out of the Shaman. The Witch Doctor gives the Road Hog Ghost Walk and it strolls out of melee to immolate a few Immortals, admittedly to depressingly little effect. I couldn’t quite get the Wrastler into Nick’s zone so we both score again; 6 – 5 to me.

Turn 5: Skorne
At this point I notice that Nick has only about 35 seconds on his clock. In his haste last turn he forgot to drop any Fury from Rasheth so his Warbeast both Frenzy. That eats up his remaining time, though I don’t think that he could have pulled out a win even if they hadn’t Frenzied. Minions win by deathclock.

Wow, that was rather close. I feel like I could probably have held on for a victory even if Nick had been able to use his last minute or so freely instead of resolving Frenzy moves, so I guess that from his side the learning point is to be a bit more decisive. Things I learned:

  • Supreme Guardians have Thresher, and I shouldn’t form a neat semi-circle of important models for them to exterminate in one go. In fairness I think that Nick probably was going to warn me about this but the last Warbeast moved into place to allow the charge as basically my last move of the turn. I suppose that this is more broadly ‘know / ask what the other army does’ although there are so many options now in WarmaHordes that it seems unlikely that any but the most dedicated players could conceivably know them all.
  • Playing efficiently can be enough to win the game, even if your stuff is being pulverised every turn.
  • Pay attention to what you have done each turn. I think I forgot to move the Battle Boar at all one turn, and it was only Nick pointing it out that stopped me from using the Wrastler twice early on.

In the end I’m listed as 8th place of 14 players though presumably not playing the last round might have impacted that a bit.  I had a really good time and learned a lot, even playing against two factions that are new to me.  Thanks to Marc, Sean and Nick for three fun games of WarmaHordes, and of course to Allan for running the show.

Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Tournaments, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Warmachine / Hordes tournament report: Scottish GT (75 points); 03-04Aug2019

I traveled to Common Ground Games in Stirling to take part in the Warmachine / Hordes (just Warmachine from here on in) Scottish Masters. Note that, despite the name being ‘masters’ it wasn’t necessary to be some kind of expert player; just as well really as otherwise I’d never get a look in. Just like the only other Warmachine event I’ve attended, this was run by Allan Gibb and all the organisation in the lead-up was smooth. I had been really looking forward to the tournament as it’s been a long time since I took part in a competitive wargaming event.

My objective here in terms of performance is not to come last. If I can get two wins, I’ll be delighted.

https://conflictchamber.com/?cb201b_-2njP4cjNjNjWbM7y7F4njD7g___-2n13fy0M1d1d0L0L0L0YbOfCnd4c

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Jaga-Jaga 1] Jaga-Jaga, the Death Charmer [+27]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Swamp Horror [15]
– Gatorman Soul Slave [0(5)]
Brun Cragback [16]
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor [0(5)]
Rorsh [15]
Totem Hunter [0(6)]
Farrow Valkyries [8]
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. (max) [17]

Minions
[Theme] Will Work For Food

[Arkadius 1] Dr. Arkadius [+32]
– Battle Boar [7]
– Gun Boar [8]
– Road Hog [15]
– Road Hog [15]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
– War Hog [14]
– Targ [0(3)]
Gatorman Witch Doctor [0(4)]
Hutchuk, Ogrun Bounty Hunter [0(6)]
Underchief Mire [4]
– Blackhide Wrastler [16]

My lists are the same two I’ve been using for Minions for the last few games. Dr Arkadius is there to threaten an assassination but can attrition surprisingly well against Warbeasts (because I can get a good alpha strike with Dr Arkadius’s Feat) and a limited amount of infantry (because Overtake lets me pinball around, and two Road Hog sprays can be quite effective. The Jaga Jaga list is intended to be used against infantry, and especially to use her Feat to take out annoying solos and unit attachments; it also has a bit of hit-fixing with Signs and Portents.

Round 1 – King of the Hill vs Ross’s Retribution of Scyrah (game 8)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c5201b_-1ohH1gms3y3y3A3J0w4L2wfW2zmo31___-1ndUhImx9v3y3y4141dP35363u3536hT

Retribution
[Theme] Legions of Dawn

[Goreshade 4] Lord Ghyrrshyld, the Forgiven [+28]
– Chimera [8]
– Imperatus [20]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Dawnguard Destor Thane [7]
Dawnguard Sentinel Scyir [0(4)]
– Hydra [15]
House Shyeel Artificer [0(5)]
– Griffon [8]
Lys Healer [3]
Dawnguard Destors (max) [20]
Dawnguard Sentinels (max) [18]
– Dawnguard Sentinel Officer & Standard [0(4)]

Retribution
[Theme] Defenders of Ios

[Issyria 1] Issyria, Sibyl of Dawn [+29]
– Hemera [16]
– Hyperion [32]
– Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker [0(4)]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Arcanist Mechanik [2]
Ghost Sniper [0(3)]
Ghost Sniper [0(3)]
Houseguard Thane [0(4)]
Houseguard Halberdiers (max) [13]
– Houseguard Halberdier Officer & Standard [4]
– Soulless Escort (1) [1]
Houseguard Halberdiers (max) [13]
– Houseguard Halberdier Officer & Standard [4]
Arcantrik Force Generator [17]

I picked Dr Arkadius here as I was worried about how I would deal with the colossal in the Issyria list. Ross chose Goreshade, so that wasn’t helpful. I’m a bit worried about chewing through Dauntless Resolve, Steady, Tough Destors (or Sentinels, depending on how things go) as they seem tailor made to kill my Warbeasts. On the other hand, I think that Ross has to use his Feat early or play very cautiously with Goreshade unless he wants to risk a Feat / Overtake assassination.

Ross wins the roll and chooses the board edge so I go first. I’m aiming most of my army for that bottleneck in the centre as I think I’ll need to get through there. The Gatorman Witch Doctor seems important here to be able to get through the terrain.

Turn 1: Minions
Everyone runs forward. Dr Arkadius puts up Aggravator in case of any cheeky late-turn shooting and casts Forced Evolution on the left Road Hog. Mire casts Weald Secrets on the Blackhide Wrastler simply because it would be free later on. Some of my Warbeasts don’t run as otherwise I’ll end up with too much Fury on the board and I’m not confident about leaving Dr Arkadius on zero camp.

Turn 1: Retribution of Scyrah
Most of Ross’s list also runs full-tilt toward me. Goreshade puts a couple clouds up in between the central forests to ensure that I can’t see his army. Dauntless Resolve goes on the Destors along with the Steady aura, so I can see that I’ll have a tough time getting through them. The Sentinels form a loose screen in front of Goreshade while the Griffon goes for the left zone.

Turn 2: Minions
I think that I can use a trick with Dr Arkadius’s Feat to get the assassination this turn since Goreshade didn’t use his Feat. Hutchuk runs in from the left and fails to do much of anything to the Griffon. The Gun Boar runs into the clouds to be a Frenzy target and the Witch Doctor casts Ghost Walk on the War Hog. Mire and the Wrastler put Rage on the right-hand War Hog and Road Hog while the Battle Boar and Dr Arkadius put Primal on the left pair. Dr Arkadius then Feats, sending the left heavies into the cloud wall (and banging up the Gun Boar in the process) and the right ones round the other side of the forest. Over on the right, the War Hog makes a bit of a meal of killing the lead Destor but the Road Hog gets an amusing charge which lights Goreshade on fire with the Assault shot and then Overtakes though a handful of Sentinels. The left Road Hog puts some more damage into Goreshade with its flamethrower and clears a path through the Sentinels before eventually Overtaking out of the War Hog’s way. The Primalled War Hog has Goreshade in its sights and puts the Warcaster down in the first swing. Minions win by assassination!

Well, that went surprisingly well. Ross was a really nice chap, explained what his stuff did and took his Warcaster’s early demise with a smile on his face. I think that this was the narrowest win possible in Warmachine; I didn’t get any scenario points and the only thing I scored army point from was Goreshade himself. Things I learned:

  • I need to get more value out of Ancillary Attack and the Adrenaline option on Dr Arkadius’s Needle. I’m not really using either to any great effect.
  • Taking down Destors with Dauntless Resolve, Steady and Tough is really hard to do. In general, I don’t have any tech against Tough other than just spending Fury and hitting them again.
  • Cloud Walls are a bit of a problem as I have no way to see through them. Luckily in this case I was able to Frenzy onto one of my own models to get through Goreshade’s clouds, but if positioning had been a bit different that could have been off the table too.

Since that took such a short amount of time, we re-racked back to end of Ross’s first turn, and applied Goreshade’s Feat. I had to back off and cede some ground and lot of damage but eventually I managed to land a fully powered-up War Hog on Goreshade again and get a second assassination. No photos or clock from that game though, we were just chatting our way through options.

Round 2 – Recon II vs Kyle’s Protectorate of Menoth (game 9)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1qfZgS9xg9e49x9xlM9x9x2_2____-1r1l1q1rm3l-l-m03p7z2mbQ2m2jfV2jfV

Protectorate
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Malekus 1] Malekus, the Burning Truth [+30]
– Eye of Truth [20]
– Repenter [8]
– Revelator [37]
Initiate Tristan Durant [0(4)]
– Repenter [8]
– Repenter [8]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Repenter [8]
– Repenter [8]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
[According to my notes there should also be a couple of Vassals of Menoth in here but for some reason it isn’t working out in Conflict Chamber]

Protectorate
[Theme] Exemplar Interdiction

[Vindictus 1] Vice Scrutator Vindictus [+29]
– Dervish [7]
– Devout [9]
– Fire of Salvation [14]
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal [0(5)]
Exemplar Bastion Seneschal [0(5)]
High Exemplar Gravus [8]
Knights Exemplar Seneschal [0(5)]
Rhupert Carvolo, Piper of Ord [4]
Exemplar Errants (max) [16]
– Exemplar Errant Officer & Standard [4]
Exemplar Errants (max) [16]
Knights Exemplar [9]
– Knights Exemplar Officer [4]
Knights Exemplar [9]
– Knights Exemplar Officer [4]

My knowledge of game match-ups is only at the most basic level possible. In this case, I looked at Kyle’s pairing and mentally broke it down to ‘lots of Warjacks’ and ‘lots of infantry’. Since we were playing a scenario that didn’t have any zones that could be scored by infantry, I figured that he would go for the Warjack list and selected Dr Arkadius accordingly. It was a bit of shock when Kyle picked Vindictus and I ended up facing a huge swarm of light infantry across the table, especially as I couldn’t set them on fire with Road Hogs.

Kyle wins the roll off and chooses to go first so I pick the side with slightly less annoying terrain. His army is more or less evenly spread across the line and I do the same, except that Mire and the Dracodile are in the middle since they are Amphibious (and have Immunity: Corrosion in Mire’s case) and hence can get around that irritating corrosion swamp.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
A huge swarm of infantry races toward me, ably assisted by True Path. Defender’s Ward goes on the Errants on my right, and Rhupert makes them Tough too. Everything other than the Infantry is a bit more cautious and hangs back behind the woods.

Turn 1: Minions
Everyone runs forward as usual. I don’t want to let too much of Kyle’s infantry get into me, but on the other hand I certainly can’t afford to get jammed out of the scenario. Dr Arkadius casts Aggravator in the vain hope that I can use it to shut down some cheeky potshots without exposing myself too much, then casts Forced Evolution on the nearer Road Hog. The Road Hogs put out a few sprays to minimal effect.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
Defender’s Ward is upkept, the Vindictus strolls up and uses his Feat. The various Exemplars jam me hard, and I lose the Road Hog on the left to charging Knights Examplar.

Turn 2: Minions
We weren’t sure of whether Dr Arkadius’s Feat would allow me to charge into Vindictus’s Feat so decided to assume that I couldn’t do it. I un-jam myself as well as I can with Overtake moves, and the Battle Boar lives the dream by Primalling itself and then eating the entire unit of Knights Examplar. 1 – 0 to the Protectorate as I can’t clear my own flag and forgot to ambush Hutchuk on to contest Kyle’s.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Defender’s Ward is upkept again as Kyle judges that there are enough Errants left to be worthwhile. On the right, the infantry jam back in but I somehow don’t lose any of my Warbeasts. On the left, it’s less pretty as the War Hog is slammed out of the zone by the Bastion Seneschal (and eventually killed by Errants) and the Battle Boar is killed by the Dervish and Knights Exemplar Seneschal. Vindictus casts Admonition on Fire of Salvation. 3 – 0 to Kyle as he scores his flag again and the left zone.

Turn 3: Minions
Hutchuk makes an appearance and runs to contest Kyle’s flag. The Wrastler and Mire do some sterling work on the left, taking out the Dervish, both solos and a few more Errants. Dr Arkadius uses his Feat to get an extra few attacks out on the right and I’m feeling more comfortable about how much stuff Kyle has to come back to me with. One of the War Hogs heads for Fire of Salvation but it Admonitions away. Dr Arkadius gets on my flag; 3 – 1 to Kyle.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
Kyle throws all he has at me. Fire of Salvation gets fully fuelled and kills the lead War Hog. On the left, the Devout manages to leave Mire on a single box. No-one scores as everything is contested.

Turn 4: Minions
Hutchuk leaves Rhupert on a single box so the Gun Boar has to kill him from range (and a high damage roll hurts Hutchuk quite badly too). Mire and the Wrastler clear the Devout from the left zone and I think Kyle is out of things to meaningfully contest it. Over on the right, the War hog and Road Hog finally finish off the last of the infantry but I can’t pin down the Fire of Salvation with Admonition. I’m reduced to trying to block his route in, and Dr Arkadius applies Crippling Grasp to hopefully keep it out of my face. I score the left zone and both flags to bring the score to 4 – 3.

Turn 5: Protectorate of Menoth
Kyle is down to almost nothing on his clock. Vindictus personally polishes off my War Hog, then Fire of Salvation gets fully fuelled and just barely makes it into Dr Arkadius. Fortunately, my Warcaster survives the round and Kyle’s clock runs out. Minions win by deathclock.

That was tight! Kyle was a really lovely man, and on discussion with him was probably about as experienced at Warmachine as I am (i.e. not very). So in that regard this was really a perfect game for both of us. Things I learned:

  • Positioning of my Warlock is of paramount importance. I could have moved Dr Arkadius to various positions of safety but ended up needing the dice to save me.
  • The match-up into this cloud of light infantry wasn’t as bad as I expected. The warrior models need to clump up if they’re going to do anything of note to my heavy Warbeasts and doing so leaves them really vulnerable to sprays or Overtake chains in retaliation.
  • Getting the Berserk attacks off with the Battle Boar was extremely satisfying. It’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity to use that ability and it felt good.

Round 3 – Spread The Net vs Billy’s Protectorate of Menoth (game 10)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c2201b_-1q0ylV7jlUk9e4lVlM1G1G3t2____-1pm11UlVme3k3k7jjCjClR3C2_3F3Hninini

Protectorate
[Theme] The Creator’s Might

[Kreoss 1] High Exemplar Kreoss [+29]
– Judicator [35]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Exemplar Warder [0(5)]
Exemplar Warder Elias Gade [0(5)]
Initiate Tristan Durant [4]
– Judicator [35]
Scrutator Potentate Severius [0(6)]
– Redeemer [11]
– Redeemer [11]
Vassal Mechanik [1]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]

Protectorate
[Theme] The Faithful Masses

[Harbinger 1] The Harbinger of Menoth [+27]
– Crusader [10]
– Judicator [35]
– Hierophant [3]
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist [3]
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist [3]
Anastasia di Bray [3]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Champion of the Order of the Wall [8]
Hand of Silence [7]
The Covenant of Menoth [4]
Choir of Menoth (min) [4]
Idrian Skirmishers (min) [9]
– Idrian Skirmisher Chieftain & Guide [5]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]
Initiates of the Wall [0(7)]

I’m well and truly in the shark tank here; Billy is regarded as a potential winner of the whole event, plays in WTC and so on. Both his lists have Colossals in them so I figure I need the sheer damage output of Dr Arkadius again. Billy chooses to play with Harbinger. I’m just hoping for a lucky opening to get a Road Hog onto Harbinger or something.

Billy wins the roll-off and chooses to take first turn.  Neither side has much to recommend it so I take the one with a wall that I can hope to hide behind a little.  The Wrastler and two War Hogs go to the right in order to face off the Judicator; perhaps the threat of a long range attack from Raged War Hogs will make it play a bit further back.

The Idrians pick the painted Road Hog as Prey.

Turn 1: Protectorate of Menoth
Billy tuns his stuff up in a brick, making sure that Harbinger is far enough back that I can’t possibly land any assault sprays on her from the Road Hogs.

Turn 1: Minions
I move up and try to leverage my larger threat ranges. I’ve got Aggravator up in case I can get any moves out of cheeky shots from the Idrians that won’t also involve the Judicator getting an easy route into my heavies, and Forced Evolution goes on the nearby Road Hog.

Turn 2: Protectorate of Menoth
The Idrians and Judicator drop one of my War Hogs at range, and Harbinger casts Purification to clear off my upkeeps. The Champion and some Initiates are careful to block me off from the Judicator. The Allegiants move to be annoying, one of them runs to the right flag.

Turn 2: Minions
Hanging back isn’t likely to help me as I don’t have any ranged threats so I figure that I need to pull the trigger now and hope to do enough chipping away at the infantry that Harbinger will slow down on the Martyrdom. I need to get that Champion out of the way, but I seriously underestimate how tricky it is to clear a model with high armour, Tough, no-knockdown under Awe, when Harbinger can just take a bit of damage to keep him up. Now that I write it, possibly this should have been more obvious! In the end, my heavies get completely hung up on this one model and I can’t make any progress into the Judicator despite using my Feat, Primal, Rage and any thing else I could bring to bear. It didn’t help that the Champion passed his first five Tough checks before even needing to be Martyred. I do set a few things on fire but Harbinger Martyrs away any significant damage. Over on the left, I dismount the other Champion but have to Primal the Road Hog to get anything done at all. Hutchuk ambushes over to contest the right flag and Targ scores me for the left one. Billy scores for the left zone; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Protectorate of Menoth
Harbinger loads up the Judicator and it kills the Wrastler and another War Hog. The Idrians take out the right Road Hog and Anastasia comes on the left and Toughs Targ. Billy scores his zone again; 2 – 1.

Turn 3: Minions
There isn’t much that I can do here. The Battle Boar kills Anastasia so that I can at least score another point. Just for fun I power up the last War Hog and it leaves the Judicator on a five boxes, so at least that was satisfying. Mire kills a few Idrians but I can’t get the whole unit. I score the left flag and right zone while Billy scores the left zone; 3 – 3.

Turn 4: Protectorate of Menoth
It’s just mopping up here. All but my rear-most miniatures are efficiently killed off with the Judicator and surviving Idrians doing most of the work. Minions lose on scenario (I think; from my notes I believe it was only 6 – 3 in Billy’s favour when we called it… anyway, I wasn’t coming back into this).

Overall that went more or less as I expected. Billy was a classy opponent, always polite and friendly even when he was crushing all my stuff. Spoiler alert: he did go on to win the whole event, so I don’t feel bad about being comprehensively crushed by him. Things I learned:

  • Despite the result I think that I picked the right list to use here; at least, I think that Jaga Jaga would have been even worse. It seems to me that I would need to bring some very different tech to give myself a fighting chance here. But perhaps I’m wrong, and the difference here was simply the vast gulf in skill and experience between us and I could have done more by simply playing better. If you have any thoughts on how to approach this match-up then I’ll be really glad to read them.
  • I need to get better at using power attacks. The Champion gummed me up completely trying to get my heavies into the Judicator. I think that it could have been possible to use one of them to throw him out of the way without messing about trying to kill him.
  • As with the Destors in game 1, I don’t really have a good answer for Tough, Steady models other than hitting them lots of times. In this case, the combination of Awe and Martyrdom made it even harder to deal with.

With that, the first day ended and most of us went out of some drinks and a rather lovely Italian restaurant. It’s one thing I do really appreciate about two-day events – being able to make an evening of the tournament and get to know people outside the context of the game that brings us together.

Round 4 – Bunkers vs Sean’s Grymkin (game 11)

https://conflictchamber.com/?ce201b_-2khvh2nlnlnlnlnlnlh4h4nFhmhmhmhn___-2khth2nlnlnlh4h6h3h3hmhmhmhmhr

Grymkin
[Theme] Dark Menagerie

[King of Nothing 1] The King of Nothing [+28]
– Cage Rager [14]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Crabbits (2) [0(7)]
– Crabbits (2) [0(7)]
– Baron Tonguelick, Lord of Warts [4]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [3]
Lady Karianna Rose [4]

Grymkin
[Theme] Dark Menagerie

[Dreamer 1] The Dreamer [+28]
– Cage Rager [14]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Clockatrice [13]
– Crabbits (2) [0(7)]
– Gorehound [6]
– Skin & Moans [15]
– Skin & Moans [15]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]
Death Knell [13]

I’ve literally never seen Grymkin on the table before, so Sean very kindly talks me through his lists. I see that there are nine Clockatrices between the lists so I figure that they must be The New Hotness; after Sean’s explanation I decide that Swamp Horrors are probably the tech I need to deal with them so I go with Jaga Jaga. Sean picks his Dreamer list with a mere three Clockatrices.

Sean wins the roll off and chooses to go first. I pick the side with a trench to hide Jaga Jaga in. I’m aiming to use Brun and Rorsh to get on the outside flags and then run the rest of my stuff up the middle. The Totem Hunter goes behind the forest in the hope that I’ll be able to abuse that for some cheeky charges, although there aren’t really any great targets for him here.

The Arcana chosen are All Fall Down, Sacrifice and Labyrinth. I forgot to note what the Totem Hunter chose as Prey; I think it was probably the Clockatrice on the far right.

Turn 1: Grymkin
Everything just runs right at me. The Dreamer puts out an Artifice of Deviation on the right, presumably to stop any shenanigans with Rorsh. She also casts Mirage on the right Skin and Moans

Turn 1: Minions
Those Clockatrices have me out-ranged so I move up far enough to hopefully bring them into my range if they want to spray my Warbeasts. Jaga Jaga puts Grave Wind on the Totem Hunter (not that it ever saves him!) and Battle Host on herself. Brun and Rorsh cast their upkeeps since they’re free to keep in play thanks to the new theme benefit. Lug is relatively far forward in the hope that I can bait out some awkward positioning to gt round counter-charge.

Turn 2: Grymkin
Mirage is upkept and the Gremlin Swarms predictably stroll onto the flags. I have a plan to deal with the ones on the left but I can’t see myself doing more than contesting the right now. All three Clockatrices come in and apply a variety of penalties to both Swamp Horrors and Brine; the rest of the army moves up to counter punch if I can take them out. Another Artifice of Deviation appears to stop me doing anything useful with Brine.

Turn 2: Minions
I upkeep all my spells. The Soul Slave puts Ghost Walk onto the Boomhowlers and they run around and plink away a little at the front line. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and Feats, killing the left Gremlin Swarms, one of the Crabbits and otherwise clearing some of my own models out of the way. She also puts Rage on one Swamp Horror and the Wrastler does the same for the other one. The Swamp Horrors, slowed as they are, do manage to get both Clockatrices (actually the Totem Hunter has to finish the last one). Sean did good work having them Stutter to places where I couldn’t pull them in for bite attacks but eventually they went down. I’m a bit more stuck on the right and Rorsh is resigned to just taking a couple of potshots and contesting the flag. Somewhere in here Labyrinth was played. We each score our own zones; 1 – 1.

Turn 3: Grymkin
The Dreamer moves slightly and casts Manifest Destiny. The Skin and Moans on the right kills Brine but Rorsh lives on a single wound. The Cage Rager takes out the Swamp Horror on the right, saving me some worries about Fury management. The Gorehound charges across and eat Orin; I’m a bit annoyed with myself on this one as it was totally avoidable – I hadn’t realised that Gorehounds have Ghostly but more importantly Orin could easily have been a few millimetres further back and remained safe. The last Clockatrice kills the Totem Hunter and the heavies on that side start to pressure me through the forest on the right. The Crabbit contests the left flag and a Phantasm runs into my zone so only Sean scores his zone for 2 – 1 to Grymkin.

Turn 3: Minions
Battle Host is upkept for free, then Jaga Jaga kills the small Phantasm, puts Rage back on the Swamp Horror and casts Signs and Portents. Lug swats the Crabbit and Brun moves to be slightly less irrelevant while still scoring. The Soul Slave is going to need to get on the left flag so moves into range to run onto it next turn. The Swamp Horror eats both the Gorehound and Cage Rager and the Wrastler takes out the Death Knell. Boomhowlers run to contest the back zone and generally get in the way. I score the left flag and my zone; 3 – 2 to Minions.

Turn 4: Grymkin
Turns are moving quite quickly now as we run out of miniatures. The Phantasms move to contest and the Dreamer zaps the contesting Boomhowler before casting Manifest Destiny. The pair of Skin and Moans drop the Wrastler (needing to work quite hard for it) and the Clockatrice clears the right flag by killing Rorsh. Sean scores his zone and the right flag; 4 – 3 to Grymkin.

Turn 4: Minions
I need to send the Soul Slave to sit on the left flag this turn so I enjoy my last free upkeep of Battle Host. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and waves goodbye to the Soul Slave. The Valkyries and Boomhowlers contest, jam and clear Phantasms as best they can manage and the Swamp Horror takes care of a Skin and Moans. Brun and Lug both leg it to the centre flag. I score my zone and two flags, Sean gets one to bring the score to 6 – 5 to Minions.

Turn 5: Grymkin
Unfortunately, it turns out that I’ve left Jaga Jaga close enough to my objective that the Skin and Moans can charge it and buy attacks on her. So the Clockatrice takes care of the blocking Valkyrie and the Dreamer moves up to cover the landing spot with Manifest Destiny, and it does just that. Minions lose by assassination.

This was the only game a felt a little disappointed in my performance. Not because I particularly expected to win, but rather because the manner of the defeat was so avoidable; simply moving Jaga Jaga about 1” to my left would have left her safe. Of course, there were still plenty of options for Sean to win it, but I wanted to push him a little further to get the win. Oh well, just something else for me to try to think about in these games. Sean was a lovely opponent throughout. Things I learned:

  • As above, I’ve got a bit of a habit of not checking for threats onto my Warlock until after I’ve finished their activation. I really need to consider positioning for them much more carefully. I guess I didn’t really learn my lesson from game 2.
  • Signs and Portents showed it’s worth again and again in this match-up. On the other hand, Sean was casting Manifest Destiny for one Fury less and getting the same value out of it so maybe I should be wishing for that spell instead!
  • Swamp Horrors were as good into Clockatrices as I hoped. Sean did a good job of Stuttering them round the base of another model so I couldn’t drag the Clockatrices in for a good beak attack though.

Round 5 – Anarchy vs David’s Cryx (game 12)

https://conflictchamber.com/?c4201b_-1WnUc31hkpe2kwkr2IoIkgkk1____-1U0Z19193ci2dWdWhZh_hZh_bB

Cryx
[Theme] Scourge of the Broken Coast

[Rahera 1] Captain Rahera, Terror of the Wailing Sea [+28]
– Kraken [35]
– Stalker [8]
– Satyxis Blood Priestess [4]
Aiakos, Scourge of the Meredius [4]
– Kharybdis [17]
Axiara Wraithblade [0(6)]
General Gerlak Slaughterborn [0(6)]
Ragman [4]
Blighted Trollkin Marauders (max) [15]
– Jussika Bloodtongue [0(5)]
Bloodgorgers (max) [15]

Cryx
[Theme] Dark Host

[Coven 1] The Witch Coven of Garlghast [+26]
– Deathripper [6]
– Deathripper [6]
– Desecrator [14]
Bane Lord Tartarus [0(6)]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Wraith Engine [15]

I had a feeling that David was going to go for the swarm of Banes here and decided that my Dr Arkadius list would want no part of that. In addition, there is no incentive for the Witch Coven to play even remotely far forward so there wasn’t even much danger of getting a cheeky assassination. Jaga Jaga came out to play and David did indeed pick Witch Coven.

David wins the roll and decides to go first. I put both lesser Warlocks on the left to try to hold that flag and stick the Boomhowlers on the right with the hope of holding that zone at some point. The battlegroup goes in the centre so that I can see where things end up, although with such a wall of warrior models coming at me I suppose that the answer is ‘everywhere’.

The Totem Hunter picks Bane Lord Tartarus as Prey; I figure it might make David play him further back at least.

Turn 1: Cryx
Everything rushes right at me. David is careful to measure out proper landing zones for the Witches and Egregore. Occultation is cast on the right Bane Riders, Infernal Machine goes on the Desecrator and a Veil of Mists is put out to extend the wall of forests and theme-benefit clouds.

Turn 1: Minions
There’s not much to do but run right at them. I try not to offer too much to the alpha next turn, but on the other hand I also want to get deep enough that I can do some work under the inevitable Coven Feat. On the left, the Valkyries stay out of range of the Bane Riders as I can shoot them next turn unless they back right off the zone. Grave Wind is on the Totem Hunter and Battle Host goes up, along with the upkeeps from the lesser Warlocks.

Turn 2: Cryx
All spells are upkept. The Coven move up and, predictably, Feat to cover much of my army. The Bane Riders on the right come in and slap through the leading Boomhowlers. One of them kills the Totem Hunter too (actually it missed the impact attack but I let David take that back as he said he wasn’t aware of the Poltergeist thing); poor Totem Hunter. Otherwise everything is surprisingly cautious. The Wraith Engine swaps sides but I’m not really sure I understand why.

Turn 2: Minions
I look to see if there is any way that I can trample anything into the Witches while they’re far forward and eventually decide that it won’t work out. Jaga Jaga, Brun and Rorsh upkeep all their spells for free. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and Rages the Wrastler, which then goes in and Overtakes its way through three Bane Riders. Boomhowlers move out to get in the way a bit more; I’m hoping that there will be enough of them left to be worth using my Feat by the time next turn comes round. Rorsh uses Diversionary Tactics to get an additional move out of Brine, who walks into the Desecrator. Frustratingly, even under Signs and Portents Brine misses half of his attacks and leaves the Warjack on a couple of boxes. On the left, I realise that I can’t give away too much to the Bane Riders so the Valkyries gun one of them down. Brun scores my flag; 1 – 0.

Turn 3: Cryx
The Coven drop all their upkeeps and load up the Desecrator; the objective also heals it back to full functionality. The Bane Warriors on the left drop Brine without any problem after the first one runs to stop Lug’s Counter Charge. The Desecrator and one Bane Rider kill Lug too, along with most of the Valkyries though helpfully the last one Toughs and contests the left zone for me. The Bane Riders and Warriors on the right plow through a bunch of the remaining Boomhowlers (clearing the zone) and gum me up in the centre; finally Tartarus remembers to sit by his flag. 2 – 1 to Cryx.

Turn 3: Minions
Right, I feel like now I can get some work done as I can actually get to the Cryx army this turn. The Soul Slave puts Ghost Walk on the few remaining Boomhowlers and they walk up to stab a few of the Bane Warriors. Jaga Jaga casts Signs and Portents and Feats on the rest of the Boomhowlers apart from the Trollblood himself, clearing a bit more of the mess on the right. The last Valkyrie sacrifices movement to take a shot at a Bane Rider, then Rorsh gets to work. He aims and starts unloading, killing the Desecrator and a Warrior. Brun kills the contesting Bane Rider to clear my flag. The Wrastler and both Swamp Horrors go on a highly entertaining Overtake rampage, wiping out the last Bane Riders on the left and seriously thinning out the remaining Bane Warriors on either side. We each score our flags; 3 – 2 to Cryx.

Turn 4: Cryx
The Bane Riders on the left clear the Valkyrie to claim that zone while the Warriors move to contest my flag and kill off my Swamp Horror. Over on the right, the Deathripper charges into Boomhowler but crucially misses him. Later Warrior attacks just force him to Tough, which he makes to stymie David’s plans. The rest of the Warriors put some fairly desultory attacks into the Wrastler. Finally, the Wraith Engine goes Incorporeal and rushes forward. Cryx score their flag and left zone; 5 – 2.

Turn 4: Minions
Orin runs to the flag and Rorsh aims again to finish the left Bane Warriors. Brun charges into the left zone to kill a Rider, but mainly to contest. Boomhowler, the Wrastler and surviving Swamp Horror do great work on the right but can’t quite polish off the Deathripper nor one Warrior that snuck behind them. The Swamp Horror does pull in Tartarus and eat him as part of another Overtake chain though, so that felt pretty good. I was actually planning to send the Swamp Horror into the Wraith Engine until David kindly reminded me that it was Incorporeal this turn. I score my flag; 5 – 3 to Cryx.

Turn 5: Cryx
David is pretty much out of clock at this point but canny observers will note that, once again, I have neglected to move my Warlock a tiny amount to safety. The Deathripper runs toward Jaga Jaga and the Coven first put Curse of Shadows on her then follow-up with a couple of Stygian Abysses (luckily none of them get a critical hit). The Wraith Engine then charges her but misses enough attacks that she survives. David has 1 second left on his clock so he concedes. Minions win by deathclock.

Another close game, though in this case I think that David had run out of things to really threaten me with once I tidied up his Wraith Engine. It was nice to play into this kind of list as I’ve not really had experience into anything like it, and David ensured that it was a fun way to play. Things I learned:

  • Yet again, I failed to follow my own advice about keeping my Warlock safe. In this case, I thought that I would have the Wraith Engine in hand anyway but I had forgotten that it was Incorporeal so I couldn’t attack it. Nonetheless, I could have had Jaga Jaga playing less far forward than she was.
  • Sometimes it can be worth throwing something unexpected at a player to get them out of their comfort zone. I gave away Brine in exchange for most of the Desecrator but it was probably still effective as it meant that David had to slow the Bane advance on that side to deal with him. Of course, I was hoping that I wouldn’t miss so many attacks and actually kill the Warjack but it wasn’t to be.
  • The game is long enough that I can afford to back off and cede some scenario points to avoid a really bad situation (like strolling into David’s threat ranges under the Witch Coven’s Feat). No need to rush in as long as I can contest at least on my turns.

When all the scores are in, I somehow finish a remarkable 10th place out of 30ish people. Far, far better than I had expected, and actually slightly above Joe on whatever tiebreaker comes first (I think it is Strength of Schedule); more personally I surpassed even my stretch goal to win two games. Many thanks to Ross, Kyle, Billy, Sean and David for five fun games of Warmachine, and of course to Allan for running the whole show.

Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Tournaments, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Warmachine / Hordes tournament report: Southside Steamroller (75 points); 03Nov2018

I recently attended my first ever Warmachine / Hordes (or WarmaHordes, or whatever… just Warmachine from now on) in Glasgow. Apparently this was the first Steamroller in Glasgow for something like five years, so it wasn’t only a first for me. I’ve got to admit that I was a little nervous for two reasons. Firstly, the Warmachine event scene has a bit of a reputation for taking their gaming seriously and I was worried that by going along and being really bad at the game that I’d be effectively denying one player per round a decent game. Secondly, competitive Warmachine is played on a Death Clock, meaning that it is possible to lose the game just by playing inefficiently. Joe helped me with the latter by giving me a timed game to practice, and I’m pleased to report that the clock was not an issue as he’d finished beating me long before time was up.

https://conflictchamber.com/#c7201b_-0b0g0r9DiRjpiXjq7d6R750k0m

Trollbloods Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Power of Dhunia

[Skuld 1] Jarl Skuld, Devil of the Thornwood [+30]
– Dire Troll Bomber [19]
– Dire Troll Mauler [15]
– Earthborn Dire Troll [14]
– Mulg the Ancient [22]
– Troll Basher [7]
– Trollkin Runebearer [0(5)]
Janissa Stonetide [0(4)]
Troll Whelps [0(4)]
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (max) [19]
Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes (min) [6]
– Stone Scribe Elder [3]

My list is mainly put together as a combination of things I own, things I think look fun to play and things I think look good in an army. The only concessions to playing competently are the Runebearer (seems like a no-brainer choice for Jarl Skuld but has a boring miniature) and the Nyss Hunters (useful jamming unit in a theme force that doesn’t have any units, and anyway I already own them). The basic game plan is to move aggressively at the start and use Jarl’s Feat to block much significant attacking that turn. Then ram Warbeasts in with Rage applied and hope that the other force runs out of pieces before I do. The Nyss usually either jam or take shots of opportunity as needed.

Having a single list is a bit of a disadvantage as the other player can choose whichever of their lists will be best placed to face it. I did consider taking a second list but decided that would be a waste of time. I don’t have any experience with another list and even if I did, I’m not really sure yet when I would drop one or the other anyway.

Once I arrived in the admittedly rather ropey looking pub that was hosting us, I chatted with some other players and was pleased that I wasn’t the only attendee who was hopelessly inexperienced. I will note that I prefaced each game with an apology to each of my opponents for the likelihood of me getting some of the complex rule interactions wrong and they were all very cool about it.

Game 1: Andrew Murchie, Convergence of Cyriss

Scenario: Recon 2

https://conflictchamber.com/#cc201b_-0ilIdndndBd9d9dbdCdedfdfdgdz___-0id8dndBd9d9d9dedfdfdgdgdzdFdF

Convergence Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Destruction Initiative

[Locke 1] Aurum Lucanum Athanor Locke [+29]
– Conservator [12]
– Conservator [12]
– Corollary [6]
– Inverter [15]
– Inverter [15]
– Prime Axiom [38]
Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex [2]
Attunement Servitors [0(4)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Optifex Directive [4]

Convergence Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Destruction Initiative

[Axis 1] Axis, the Harmonic Enforcer [+30]
– Conservator [12]
– Corollary [6]
– Inverter [15]
– Inverter [15]
– Inverter [15]
Attunement Servitors [0(4)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Elimination Servitors [0(3)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Reflex Servitors [0(4)]
Optifex Directive [4]
Transfinite Emergence Projector [19]
Transfinite Emergence Projector [19]

Andrew selects the Axis list, presumably on the basis that it is better for dealing with a smaller number of tough targets. I choose to move first.

Trollbloods turn 1: My Theme Force benefit allows me to start the game with my Warlock’s upkeep spells cast. I have Quicken on the Bomber, Tactical Supremacy on the Krielstone and Weald Secrets on Jarl himself. Most of my force runs forward at top speed; Jarl dumps most of his Fury into the Krielstone.

Convergence turn 1: Many clockwork robots run at me. Iron Aggression is cast on one of the Inverters and a cloud of Servitors spread out to make my impact shooting irrelevant with all the Shield Guards.

Trollbloods turn 2: I think that I can take out the right side Transfinite Emergence Projector. The Nyss drop some Reflex Servitors on the left (they’re quite good at this since they ignore Concealment) and try not to line up too many nice sprays from the second battle engine. Jarl Feats to put his cloud wall in the way of Andrew’s central advance and casts Quicken on the Mauler. The Runebearer then casts Rage on it and the Mauler smites the Transfinite Emergence Projector with some Fury to spare. This does mean that I can’t manage to get the Runebearer onto my flag as I had originally planned.

Convergence turn 2: Axis Feats and swaps Iron Aggression on to the Inverter on the right; it makes short work of my Mauler. The remaining Transfinite Emergence Projector lines up shots on Nyss via the Conservator and kills a few. Convergence score a point from the flag and the right zone; 2 – 0.

Trollbloods turn 3: There’s not a lot that I can do this turn thanks to Axis’s Feat. I back off a bit to limit the damage those Inverters can do to me. Jarl kills a couple of Servitors with Magic Bullet to at least allow me to score my own flag but I can’t get anywhere near the other one. 3 – 1.

Convergence turn 3: Andrew could kill a load of my stuff here but he realises that he can just win the game via scenario instead. Axis casts Bulldoze. The Transfinite Emergence Projector clears the rest of the contesting Nyss. The Conservator pushes the Bomber out of the zone and the central Inverter kills the Runebearer; this allows Andrew to score both zones and his own flag. Trollbloods lose on scenario; 1 – 6.

Despite the one-sided nature of the game, I really enjoyed this. Andrew didn’t have to do anything particularly clever but he was very clear in his explanations as to not only what he was doing, but why he was doing it. This was really helpful – I learned a lot, and hopefully I can apply it in future games. In particular, it seems that I need to be a lot more aggressive against this kind of control list and just suck up the damage that inevitably comes after it.

Game 2: Stuart Fraser, Cryx

Scenario: Spread The Net

https://conflictchamber.com/#c4201b_-0B0WkA1u1hi22nf0f0dWhZh-h_h-h____-0UbY1k1f1t1e1u1u1v1v1v1h2k2nf02B2B

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Dark Host

[Terminus 1] Lich Lord Terminus [+27]
– Barathrum [15]
– Seether [13]
– Stalker [8]
Bane Lord Tartarus [0(6)]
Necrotech [2]
Soul Trapper [1]
Soul Trapper [1]
Bane Riders (max) [20]
Bane Warriors (min) [10]
Bane Warriors (max) [16]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]
Bane Warriors (max) [16]
– Bane Warrior Officer & Standard [0(5)]

Cryx Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Black Industries

[Asphyxious 3] Asphyxious the Hellbringer [+24]
– Cankerworm [9]
– Nightwretch [0(7)]
– Reaper [13]
– Ripjaw [0(7)]
– Seether [13]
– Seether [13]
– Slayer [10]
– Slayer [10]
– Slayer [10]
– Stalker [8]
Machine Wraith [2]
Necrotech [2]
Soul Trapper [1]
Warwitch Siren [4]
Warwitch Siren [4]

Discussing before the game, it seemed that Stuart was rather more at my level of experience than other players attending, so I had high hopes to make him work for his victory here. He selected Asphyxious and I ended up with the first move again.

Trollbloods turn 1: Once again I start with Quicken on the Bomber, Tactical Supremacy on the Krielstone and Weald Secrets on Jarl. This looks like quite a live scenario and I know that Asphyxious can make his Warjacks move very fast so I need to get some table position before I get locked out of scenario. Jarl fills up the Krielstone.

Cryx turn 1: Everything moves up but the advance is rather more cautious than I was expecting.

Trollbloods turn 2: With help of Magic Bullet, the Bomber and Jarl clear out the solos on the right. The Nyss do a couple of massive Combined Ranged Attacks and cripple movement on the Stalker and drop Vociferon. I have no idea what Vociferon actually does, but it looked like something that was worth getting rid of while I had the opportunity. Especially considering the Carapace rule on all the Warjacks making the Nyss shooting a bit less effective. Jarl Feats too, covering the centre of the board.

Cryx turn 2: On the left side the Warjacks come in and clear about half of the Nyss; the Stalker and Ripjaw position to contest my flag too. Asphyxious uses his Feat. On the right, Stuart seems curiously reticent to engage Mulg, so I get to score my zone with the big chap; 1 – 0.

Trollbloods turn 3: Janissa charges in and drops the Stalker in one shot while the Earthborn wrecks the Ripjaw. The Nyss ding up the Nightwretch, Seether and Slayer and generally gum things up. The Runebearer puts Magic Bullet on the Bomber which scratches the paint on the central Warjacks and takes out the Warwitch. The Basher gets both Quicken and Rage and rushes over to smack the central Slayer. I’m not actually expecting to kill it; I just want to keep those Cryx Warjacks away for another turn. The Krielstone move into the central zone and I score 3 points; 4 – 0.

Cryx turn 3: The Seether tries to position for a drag on the Mauler but can’t because I explain the Whelp placement will stop it. The Seether comes in and hurts the Mauler anyway and contests. The Basher remarkably survives the attentions of the Slayer due to some bad dice on Stuart’s side. On the left, the remaining Nyss are killed off by Warjacks. I still score 2 point this turn to Stuart’s 1, so I get a rather surprising scenario victory. Trollbloods win on scenario; 6 – 1.

Well, that certainly went better than I expected. Stuart probably was too cautious with his movement, especially in turn 1. I don’t think that I have enough good attacks to deal with so many Warjacks coming across the board at me. By slowing down his advance, especially on my right, I was able to deal with the Warjacks in more manageable chunks. I was quite pleased that Jarl did what I expected of him, i.e. kill off some annoying solos and stop them from scoring or contesting. This was a nice, relaxed, fun game between probably the two worst players in attendance.

Game 3: Shane Frost, Circle Orboros

Scenario: Standoff

https://conflictchamber.com/#c8201b_-0p5v4QjGjF4H4H4Hg4g45gmVmV0U5e5e5f5f___-0WgM4B4B5H5H5H5H5H5H5HmO5g5g5f5f

Circle Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] The Bones of Orboros

[Wurmwood 1] Wurmwood, Tree of Fate [+27]
– Megalith [20]
– Wold Guardian [16]
– Woldwarden [14]
– Woldwyrd [9]
– Woldwyrd [9]
– Woldwyrd [9]
Blackclad Stoneshaper [0(3)]
Blackclad Stoneshaper [0(3)]
Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]
Gallows Grove [2]
Gallows Grove [2]
Farrow Bone Grinders (min) [5]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]
Sentry Stone & Mannikins [5]
Shifting Stones [3]
Shifting Stones [3]

Circle Army – 75 / 75 points
[Theme] Call of the Wild

[Una 2] Una the Skyhunter [+29]
– Gorax Rager [7]
– Gorax Rager [7]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Scarsfell Griffon [8]
– Storm Raptor [34]
Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]
Blackclad Wayfarer [0(4)]
Shifting Stones [0(3)]
Shifting Stones [0(3)]

During the pregame discussion phase, Shane decided that he would treat this as a teaching game. I get the impression that he’s pretty good (anyway, much better than me) but was having a bit of a bad day at the office with results so far. He chose to use Una on the basis that it would make for a more entertaining game. I get to go first again.

Trollbloods turn 1: I start with Quicken on the Bomber, Tactical Supremacy on the Krielstone and Weald Secrets on Jarl. Jarl fills up the Krielstone and everyone rushes forward as fast as possible. No reason to change a ‘winning’ formula.

Circle turn 1: Shane’s force unpacks. It has a much bigger threat range than my army so the actually movement forward is not so much. Everything is still in range to do horrid things to me next turn though.

Trollbloods turn 2: The Nyss take a massive 10 person CRA into the lead Griffon but roll 1,1 to hit. That’s quite annoying as they could have done some rather good damage if they’d landed it. The Bomber and Jarl land a few hits on the Griffons on the left and Jarl Feats. Shane spends a good amount of time explaining and advising on good places to put my clouds to mitigate the effect of his next turn.

Circle turn 2: Una Feats and puts Hand of Fate and Primal on a couple of Griffons. Despite the inconvenience of the cloud wall I lose the Bomber and Janissa (though I expected to lose her easily) but otherwise get off quite lightly. The Storm Raptor moves to my right in preparation for electrocuting all my Nyss next turn. Circle score 1 points (back zone) while contesting my zone. 1 – 0.

Trollbloods turn 3: It takes a bit of work to unjam myself from the centre Griffon since it dodges away from my first couple of attacks. The Nyss put some damage onto the Storm Raptor. On the left, the Mauler finishes a Griffon and Jarl puts Weald Secrets back on himself and continues to shoot chunks out of the Griffon lurking behind the wall on the left. We both score for the rectangular zones; 2 – 1.

Circle turn 3: The Storm Raptor wipes out all the Nyss in a single go. One Griffon comes into the Mauler to trigger Flank but the Primalled one can’t get the job done and the Mauler survives on a couple of boxes. Shane scores the right and back zones while I score my rectangular zone; 4 – 2.

Trollbloods turn 4: The Mauler heals up by eating Whelps and kills the first Griffon and leave the Primalled one on a couple of boxes. Jarl takes a few wounds off Una with Magic Bullets bouncing off Shifting Stones and the Basher charges in to start hurting the Gorax in the middle. Mulg commits and smacks a Blackclad. Finally, the Earthborn is powered up with Quicken and Rage and rushes over to take a good chunk out of the Storm Raptor. We both score for the rectangular zones again; 5 – 3.

Circle turn 4: The Storm Raptor and Griffon make short work of the Earthborn but a Whelp survives to contest and even the Blackclad misses it. On the left, the Frenzying Griffon fails to finish the Mauler. The Gorax hurts the Basher rather inconsequentially. Once again we both score for the rectangular zones; 6 – 4.

Trollbloods turn 5: The Griffon on the left leads a charmed life; avoiding all my attacks to survive to contest again. Mulg goes in to kill the Objective and contest the rectangular zone and Jarl continues taking potshots at Una (I think I forgot that he has Black Penny so I could possibly have killed that Griffon). I score my rectangular zone and one for the Objective; 6 – 6.

Circle turn 5: The Griffon and Storm Raptor come in and attack Mulg but he turns out to be quite tough. The Mauler finally goes down but the Whelp improbably survives another round. Una pushes Mulg out of the zone so we both score our rectangular zone; 7 – 7.

Trollbloods turn 6: Mulg can’t quite finish the Storm Raptor; the Basher drops the Gorax. Jarl continues to pump bullets ineffectively into the Griffon on the left. We score a point each; 8 – 8 .

Circle turn 6: The scrum in the centre continues without any kind of resolution. The Griffon attacks Jarl but can’t make anything stick. The Whelp gets ignored in favour of the Blackclad desperately trying to deal with Mulg but failing. More scoring rectangular zones; 9 – 9.

Trollbloods turn 7: My last turn. The Basher attacks Una, killing the Gorax through transferred damage. Jarl kills the Griffon and moves to cover both the circular and rectangular zones. Mulg finally offs the Storm Raptor. I score both rectangular zones and the left circular zone. 9 – 12.

Circle turn 7: Una and the last Raptor flail ineffectively at the Basher and Mulg respectively. Scoring is the same as last turn so Trollbloods win 15 – 10.

I know that Shane was going very easy on me, but it still felt nice to come out of that with a win. I was quite close to running out of clock (less than one minute left) but since I had no actions left it didn’t really matter. I got cocky with Jarl a couple of times and Shane did point out twice when he had reasonably good chances to win by assassination so I definitely have some more to learn about keeping my Warlock safe while still being relevant. I’m very appreciative for the teaching opportunity, and I hope that Shane enjoyed the game process as much as I did.

So, in the end I got listed with two wins and one loss, though that should really have been two losses since I’m pretty sure that Shane could have beaten me if it had mattered at all. Either way that far exceeds my expectations for performance here. Overall I had a really good time and I’m especially pleased that the Warmachine gaming scene is indeed not as hardcore competitive as I had heard. Thanks to Andrew, Stuart and Shane for three fun games and of course to Allan for running the event and making it all happen.

Categories: Battle reports, Hordes, Tournaments, Warmachine | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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