In a similar vein to TobyN from England Roses, I thought I would provide a write up on my games from the WTC this weekend. I played on Team England Knights, we managed to go 4-2 overall as a team, and come 16th. I took Grim2 and Grissel2, and somehow managed go 6-0……but there were some ridiculously close results (see below), so I could very very easily have ended up with a couple of losses.
Lists are below. In high level summary, I decided to take a Mountain King in both lists, and try and bait out some of the heavier hitting match ups. I felt that Grim2 (Mortality) and Grissel2 (KD and Unyielding/Wailing) would be able to cope with these kinds of match ups, plus both have good assassination options.
Min stone plus Elder
Swamp Gobber Chef x 2
Swamp Gobber Chef
Min Stone plus Elder
The Grim list above probably deserves some explanation. I’ve played Grim2 as one of my caster pair for close to 2 years now so wanted to take him to the WTC (the event was his final farewell tour, he’s retiring now so I can explore new casters!). The concept of his Mark3 list is to keep the MK back till late game/all the threats to him have gone, and do the initial trading up with the lights. The selection of lights (Swamp, Impaler, Bouncer) does initially look odd but the idea is that between Mortality, Rage and Stone Str you can get a +6 damage buff (plus also Mat buffs via mortality, deafen or just simply KD). Also, Grim just needs to hit the target to give Blood Lure, so that gives an extra attack via the free charge. To give an example, you can have a Swamp Troll with 5 pow 18 attacks…. So you can pretty much take any light you want, use them in their primary role and then switch up for a melee role when the opportunity presents.
Where you might expect to see say an Axer for a melee light, I chose my lights to fulfil specific roles – Bouncer for Grev Wds protection and Earths Blessing, Impaler for Far strike, Swamp for crit consume/drag and Swarm animus. I also looked for other melee synergies – Swamp Troll has natural pathfinder, Imapler has reach, Bouncer has chain weapon to ignore shields etc. Further synergies come from the feat turn snipe allowing the Impaler to be raged (and stone strengthed) for that one turn to give a potential range 12” pow 17 shot. I then lead with whichever light I can afford to give up first given the particular match up – for example, if no Grevious Wds, then the Bouncer would act as screen for MK.
With Mage Sight and feat, I can scalpel out what I need to, then when the game switches to melee, all of the lights can punch surprisingly hard in melee. Backing all of this up are Dhunia Knot re-rolls, to make everything more consistent, in particular landing the mortality – this is crucial for the game plan. I’m often having an initial go with a puppet mastered Runebearer, which really helps lighten the load on Grim, allowing him to dish out more animi instead, or land a second mortality. The list also has some specific tactics into Madrak and Wurmwood – both of which I played in the event, so have commented on these below.
Game 1 – vs Greece Prime, Grissel2 vs Butcher3
Scenario is Incursion, and I spot that the game is going away from me, as my opponent quickly works out exactly where my main contesting piece, the MK, will need to be sitting (between two of the flags to contest both) and is lining up his heavies accordingly, and on the third flag he’s got an immovable devastator. So I go for an assassination run on a fully camping Butcher3. I’m not happy about having to go all in for this - I am offering up my army, am convinced I’ll lose if I don’t kill him on this run, and it’s not that great odds. MK goes first, assaults and lands the deafen spray for -2 def on Butcher, and doing a below average chunk of damage. I then go with Grissel, who hits and KDs Butcher and shoots him two more times, all with boosted damage. Against all these shots he is Arm 23, so I’m only doing small bits of damage. The Bomber shoots him twice, again boosted damage, but I leave him on 3 health… uh oh. Grissel is camping 1 fury, she’s also standing in difficult terrain.
My opponent starts his turn and immediately goes with Butcher, I think it is so obvious to him that he’s going to kill Grissel. I point out that Deafen means he can’t give or receive orders, and as his argii are still around he’s a unit, so cant issue the charge order (I believe he could have killed the argus with his own models first, thus turning Butcher back into a solo warcaster, allowing him to charge – but this does not come up/occur to him). So after spending 1 focus to get up, he then has to spend 2 focus to get the distance via Energiser (instead of charging the extra 3” for free), then advances. He then casts Impending Doom, but due to Grissel being in terrain, this only drags her 2.5” not 5”, and is just out of melee range. So he has to waste his 6th focus, feats to get 6 focus back again, spending 2 more to do another Impending Doom. So he now has Grissel in range, for his initial attack plus 4 more focus. Between a couple of misses (he needs 6s to hit), my one transfer and taking some of the lower damage rolls, he somehow leaves Grissel on one wound. The rest of his turn is spent trying to get the last damage onto Grissel, mainly from an Orin e-leap (survive the pow10), and sniper shots but def 19 prevents this. I somehow survive, and then kill him the following turn. Stupidly lucky to get out of that game with a win, the terrain was crucial in wasting 3 focus/attacks for him (but my team loses the round 2-3 anyway).
Game2 – vs Swiss Chocolate, Grissel vs Magister Hylena.
Scenario is Recon, and there’s a wall in the middle of the zone which prevents my MK from charging to his jacks on the far side of the zone, and he doesn’t have pathfinder to cross it, and if he goes to the other side of it then he’s in MK threat range. So a staring contest ensues, with him just boosting shots into the MK for most of the game, which I then heal back up with whelps and Dhunia Knot healing.
He’s chosen to go second and deploys his sentinel unit on the opposite side to the MK, which was a pain – as my plan for sentinels (especially with Hylena as you can use her arm buffing feat and spells to your advantage) was to deafen spray the leader with MK. With all the arm buffs on sentinels and choosing not to boost a damage roll, the MK was unlikely to kill him, thus denying the CA the ability to issue orders (and any others you hit the ability to charge). Those sentinels are using that 4th charge dice to do the real damage on the charge (ie 3D6 attack on Arm 21 MK is 1pt of damage, 4D6 is 4-5pts damage), so it is a good way of controlling them. If you really want to bamboozle them, you can wail the MK, so any that vengeance in then can’t charge.
In the end, I lose my bomber to dealing with the sentinels, which instantly reduces the assassination threat on Grissel (loses far strike, so still have 10” spray, but only pow 12 and no KD). He then starts coming in closer with his jacks. He gets into melee with the MK with Disco and a Banshee, but fails to kill it. He also doesn’t get any critical Grevious Wounds from the Banshee (more luck for me!). The two jacks are close enough to each other, that Grissel can walk round and shoot one (boosted 6s with Knot re-roll vs def 16 in melee) which knocks both down. So raged MK makes short work of those two.
He sends two more jacks in, and finally does finish the MK, but times out. I only had 20secs or so left myself, so a super grindy game. I didn’t really have a scenario win condition in this one, until he commits his jacks to me in melee, and losing the bomber meant his caster was largely safe, so I had to just try and keep alive.
Game3 – vs Ireland Ceol, Grim2 vs Madrak2
Scenario was Outlast, my Madrak opponent runs screaming across the board with Madrak2 surrounded by 2 full units of warders plus Sons of Bragg in close attendance. Rok, Bouncer and Axer following close behind. I’m slightly nervous of this large brick hurtling towards me!! So I decide to try and take out a large chunk of the beef, and see what Madrak then decides to do. Mortality goes on one unit of warders, the MK charges the nearest one. His assault spray catches 6 warders and a SOB. After that, the charge attack, another couple of punches and a killshot spray, I’ve killed the SOB and about 4 warders, and chipped a few wounds off some of the others. I was intending to soften up as many mortalitied warders as I could with the MK, to then make it easier for the Highwaymen to finish them off (fewer wounds left, no tough). Grim feats, shoots a warder to trigger blood lure, casts rage on the impaler, and reforms as far away as possible, traps laid in between him and Madrak.
Highwaymen continue to shoot warders, impaler charges one, bouncer charges another. These last two beasts are really close to Madrak, and are intending to be road blocks. The Highwaymen are close enough to Madrak that he could surf through them, so the Swamp Troll goes and stands at the end of the chain, as a ‘fire break’. If he wants to surf through and go for my caster, I’m thinking that he will need to spend several fury to kill the swamp troll so net loss of fury. I’ve done this before against madrak – give him the option of surfing but having a hard target at the end which forces him to spend fury either on blood fury or attacks. It’s also helpful to rile up those fire break beasts, as if madrak does go for the assn run, you can reave the fury back as he comes through (ie after he’s committed to it) to suddenly make the caster kill odds much worse for him.
I then pass the turn and await the Madrak decision – assn run or not!! At this point, I’m thinking I want him to go for the assn run on Grim, as the attrition play is probably stronger for him. Rather than starting far away and coming through the highwaymen towards my caster, he could kill the swamp troll, and then surf back away through the highwaymen to clear the zone, score 2CPs and be well out of my reach. A Primalled rok could also do some serious damage to the MK – but I’ve put impaler and bouncer in madrak’s way, so if he wants to go for the assn, then he has to use rok to clear at least the impaler, maybe the bouncer too.
He decides to go for the assn run, as he says surfing through medium bases is harder than you think (as they are naturally more spread out, when compared to small bases and his 1” move and 2” reach often struggles to keep going). So Rok kills bouncer and impaler (I’d foolishly charged bouncer max distance and just out of stone aura, when I could have stayed in the aura and still been in 2” melee on the warder he charged), and snacks to deny me the fury.
The route is now clear for Madrak, who surfs through the stone unit to arrive at Grim with 9 fury. Crucially, the fell caller was too far back to war cry madrak, so he’s only mat 8 vs Grim’s def 16. He spends 2 on blood fury (I’m not sure that was the right call, its straight damage anyway, I have two transfers, I’d rather be dealing with fewer slightly heavier hits). He has a terrible damage roll on his first hit from the feat (5 on 3D6), so I take that. He then misses a boosted 8 to hit on his first bought attack. By this point he’s down to 5 fury and I still have 2 transfers and the ability to probably take one more damage roll. So he switches to trying to hard roll 8s, and proceeds to miss all 5…..
So this is how you tank a Madrak2 9 fury assassination run – I didn’t even need to use any of my transfers….. [During my previous turn, I was debating putting swamp troll animus on Grim for Def18 in melee – but was slightly concerned this would put him off too much and push him towards the attrition play, seeing as he couldn’t get the fell caller bonus onto madrak. It is another option however – and in most situations, probably needed to offset the fell caller war cry bonus ie keep it at 8s to hit Grim.]
Grim then casually mortalities Madrak2 and rifle butts him into the ground!!
Day 2 to follow soon....