Monday, 10 October 2016

Battle of Westridge, 10-11 september (battles 7-11)


today's blog post will be about a tournament called Battle of Westridge, which was played in the middle of September. Why the delay, you ask, avid reader? I've had shitloads to do at university for the weeks following BoW, and after that, WTC, and after that, shitloads to do again. Prioritising real life? That is, to quote myself (which I have gathered is a bad thing to do), sickening, I know.

These were my lists:


- Thorn
- Stormwall
- Ironclad
- Squire
Min Storm Lances
Lanyssa Ryssyl
Journeyman Warcaster
- Firefly


- Thorn
- Grenadier
- Grenadier
- Ironclad
Max Trenchers
Max Storm Lances
Journeyman Warcaster
- Charger

Anyway, it was a cool tournament. We wound up 40 players I believe, which is a bit smaller than last years BoW. I think the main organiser of last year's success was slacking off to be honest. The gaming hall is a big hall in a local High School in Västerås (pronounced like Westeros, but luckily without dragons) with loads of free air above us, making it the one and only tournament without gaming stank and lack of oxygen. Splendid times were had, as a result.

Gaming-wise, similarly great times were had. My first game was versus Magnus Forslund from up north somewhere (I'm not great at Swedish geography), playing mercenaries. 

This was a long time ago, so I won't remember the exact lists. I faced Damiano with Idrians with UA, Steelhead Halberdiers, Steelhead Riflemen, Aiyana & Holt, a heavy of some sort, a Freebooter or Mariner, and 3 light warjacks. 

Scenario was Recon I believe, so my plan is pretty much to advance into the zone so I won't lose on scenario somehow and then just slowly whittle his army down. I rely on Haley3:s OP-ness to carry the day here. 

Deployment, except Damiano moved of course.

 I cloud up as a reponse. The forest helps me be a little more spread out behind the clouds.
Magnus ran a light into my lines here and jammed some trenchers and the right grenadier. I couldn't figure out a way to get the smoke down after killing it, so the smokewall is less than perfect. The proxy base next to Past Haley is my Ironclad.
I missed taking a picture after his turn. He sent a heavy into my Ironclad, and missed the second attack for his chain-attack: smash and grab. The heavy dies in retaliation. I think I decide to drop Tactical Supremacy by now, it's too annoying and I rather want trenchers doing work here.
 Magnus jams me again, killing some stuff I guess.
Thorn and Ironclad slowly working their way through idrians and steelhead riflemen. Storm lances with echo support are eventually winning versus a light and halberdiers. 

End of the game. Damiano is the only bad guy left.


What wound up happening was pretty much Magnus got choked on the temporal flux-enhanced army of Haley3 and couldn't grind through it all. I did have a tough time getting through all of this stuff as well, mostly because Past Haley suddenly couldn't even deliver the beatdown to a light with a shield properly. What the fuck. 

His list did have a good shot at attritioning down Haley3 though. Deadeye goes a long way to clear my stuff, and Damiano apparently has some kind of aoe-thing on his gun which Magnus utilised very well. 

This isn't exactly a fancy, strategical game. You just have to rely on Temporal Flux to get you there eventually, while keeping Prime Haley safe and trade well.

My second game was versus fellow WTC-player Stefan Benediktsson. He brought cryx, Deneghra1 and Coven. I sort of wanted to drop Haley2 here, but I was a bit afraid of Deneghra1 shooting the shit out of my stormwall, and well, everything else as well, if I did that. The Haley2 list doesn't have incredible ways of punishing stealth models either, which put me a bit off. On top of that, I had played versus Stefan quite recently, where I ground out a scenario/attrition win with Haley3 versus Coven. All these things in concert made me choose Haley3. 

Stefan dropped Coven. He ran Deathjack, Barathrum, 1 node, 2 stalkers, full Soulhunters, Withershadow. Maybe something more, but that was generally it.

What happened in this game is pretty much that I fucked up late-game. The scenario is Extraction, which is neither a fast nor a slow scenario in my experience. My game plan is to give up 2 scenario points to get him to expend his feat, and then contest heavily from there. 

So first half of the game is pretty much according to plan, even though we jockey for position a turn longer than I had expected. I give up two CP, but I even get 2 for free since Stefan killboxes himself on accident. What needs to happen following this is I get lots of models including the echoes up to contest, as I hinted at before. What I do instead is, well, I don't contest heavily enough. The one side I clear out to the degree that Stefan can't reliably get to at all, BUT the other side I only get like thorn, a grenadier +1 trencher and a storm lance into. 

I misposition my storm lances badly here, getting them stuck behind that huge obstruction for the late-game. They should probably all be more central instead.
This is the last turn I played well, I think.

I fuck up my positioning and don't even get past Haley there because I somehow decide it's more important to lay the beatdown on Deathjack (who only loses like 3/4 of his boxes anyway, much disappoint). As a result, Stefan clears everything out (needing Malice to come drag Thorn out of there, which she easily gets done). Had I gotten the echo in there, I might've been fine, and had I decided to charge both echoes there I probably would have been. 

Apparently the best I could do, contesting wise. I'm a scrub.
Malice with the clutch drag-shot!

Crushing defeat.

All isn't on me in this game though! Stefan played very well, and had learned more from our last game than I had (not uncommon, I find that the winner typically learns less, all other things equal). 

By the time the late-game had started, there were a small crowd watching our game since it probably was one of the most high-profile game this early in the tournament. Cygnar and Haley3 in particular is very disliked amongst my gaming buddies, so quite a few heckling comments and wishes that I lost were thrown around, all in jest. We have a discourse where this is acceptable behaviour so no hard feelings towards them, but I must admit it did get to me some and I probably played worse than I would have otherwise. 

Either the following round or the one after that, Stefan got paired versus Olov who runs identical lists to mine. Olov dropped Haley2 and trounced Stefan quite convincingly from what I was able to gather, so maybe I dropped the wrong list. 

Round 3 I'm up against Hugo Svanborg and his mercenaries. He runs Magnus2 and Damiano Kingmakers as his pairing. I think Haley2 probably also would have been fine here, but being more comfortable with Haley3 that's what I go for. 

Hugo runs 3 nomads, a buccaneer to knock Damiano down every turn, 2 full trencher units with ua, rangers. I think he had min Boomhowlers ambushing, but forgot to bring them on? I can't remember really; there were no trolls on the board so if he had them he forgot to bring them in. 

As far as over-arching plans go, this game was similar to the first game in my eyes. I wanted to get my ironclad and on echo into my zone to lock that down, and then get storm lances and another echo plus the trenchers who live long enough into Hugo's zone. Again, Damiano has a decent shot at grinding versus Haley3, except that Tactical Supremacy gives me a huge leg up. A specific note for Damiano Kingmakers is that the buccaneer can knock Damiano down every turn, allowing him to spend focus A LOT more safely. Cute piece of tech in my eyes!

Hugo goes mainly for his friendly zone as can be seen from the first picture below, probably the correct choice.

First turn with aggressive advances from both of us. I can't remember who went first. The forest is good to me, considering how far I can extend my LoS-blocking this way. 
At this point I have gotten some trenchers down in his zone with some potshots and the charging storm lance. I think it did some damage to the objective here. On my right, I remember the grenadier getting 3 focus and shooting out the cortex and right arm of the nomad. Hugo was mighty salty. 
I missed a turn in between here, but where Hugo had his trenchers on my left put down smoke to allow Damiano and the heavies to stand unmolested from the storm lances. What I managed to get done this turn was getting Future Haley into his zone (I think Hugo is at 2 CP here), Past Haley into my zone, and most importantly, I got Thorn into both his heavies by triggering his reaction drive and then walking there through his cloudwall. We're both pretty low on trenchers here, me losing a couple every turn and then this particular turn downing like 8 of his. 

Hugo, hating Haley3 with the fire of a thousand suns, tilts too hard after getting both heavies disrupted. The following turn he can MAYBE kill Future Haley but definitely not Thorn. He runs Damiano towards my Storm Lances, turn around, and say "do whatever you want". 

So yeah I kill him. 


Nothing much to say here, the list does what it does.

For the last round of the day I get paired up against Niclas Ledin, whom I haven't played that many times. Sadly I only seem to get to face him the last round of the events we play, so I'm always pretty tired, and with that often comes some sloppy playing, not in a cheating way, mainly in bad placement on my part. I'm pretty sure that happens to most people in this game, but I often seem to get it very bad versus Niclas in particular. He's a good sport about it though and doesn't seem to mind much when I get bitchy because I'm disappointed in my playing.

Niclas, being the gentleman he is, runs Doomshaper3 and one of the Grissels. No Madrak2 here! He chose Doomshaper, who ran with Krielstone, Janissa, double Fire Eaters, Mulg, Mauler, Dozer&Smigg, Axer, Lanyssa pretty much.

I briefly considering choosing Haley2 for this game, thinking that she probably can work with brick style armies such as the ones Niclas is running. I end up choosing Haley3 though, mainly because I'm better with her than with Haley2.

Close Quarters being the scenario, with a big forest protecting my flag, I think I can slowly tick this down on scenario. Niclas deploying heavily towards his flag makes this an even more likely proposition. 

Niclas went first, and this is past my turn 1. I push forward a bit cautiously, not being a huge fan of losing Trenchers to fire eaters early. 
Niclas went for a cool throw-play which I didn't even consider he had. He casts implacability and tries throwing Mulg twice. The second throw fails though, so Mulg just has to walk up towards my lines. 
I got lucky! Had the second throw got off I would have lost a grenadier and some trenchers definitely, a huge set-back for my attrition plans. Anyway, since Niclas feated, I won't get much done at all this turn. I think my storm lances tangle with some fire eaters, and I push up slightly on my right flank.
This is past Niclas turn again. Mulg failed to kill Past Haley. Believe it or not, that's not too unlikely. He needs 11:s to hit, and then hitting at plus a couple (Haleys have Arcane Shield by now) he needs like a 8 or 9 to kill considering the echo is camping. The rest of his stuff is too far back to really work versus my army at this point.
This should be after my following turn. I'm too scared to advance Prime up to dominate the flag yet, but I kill a fire eater at my flag. And Mulg of course. I spent feat to accomplish this. I have no idea why the pictures are so different suddenly.
This is following my next turn. I have advanced Prime onto my flag, killed the last fire eaters, and started pushing into his flag. During the course of the game I do tons of damage to the mauler in particular, but he can snack a couple of models each turn sadly. Considering my scenario position this doesn't bother me overly. Niclas did score first, but he has no models to contest my flag with. 
Slowly working my way around the forest. I don't remember exactly how many turns this part of the game took, but I scored on his turn at least once.Thorn is barely within Flux range at this picture, making him hard as fuck to shift.
Niclas is moving the Stone very far away from me here. This is to preserve his heavies attrition-wise, which does work, but on the other hand he gets down to having no models to contest my flag with instead. 

This is the end of the game, with me winning 5-3. Thorn finally went down, and a grenadier got thrown away from the flag. I think Niclas did score this final turn, but at this point I have pretty much just used the rest of my army to jam him away from my flag. I boxed in my Ironclad last turn or he would've killed Dozer. No matter.


Had the throw-Mulg-plan come together better for Niclas things might've looked differently come mid-game. As it was, this game felt very much under control, even though I played my models poorly. 

First game day two, I get paired versus Mercenaries, AGAIN. This time it's double dwarves, Gorten and Ossrum. These fine short-legged fellows were piloted by Benjamin Hyvönen, from the north. I forgot to take any pictures at all for day 2, but it'll have to do. Luckily, this is the game I remember best from the tournament, so get ready for a wall of text I guess.

Both Benjamin's lists are similar, running a high number of light warjacks. He drops Gorten, which has like 3 heavies, 6 lights and a unit of Forge Guard and Aiyana & Holt. 

I'm not entirely sure I have what it takes to chew through that kind of list with Haley3, so it's time for Haley2. The scenario is Outlast, which being rather live I think is good for me. 

I get to go first, and push up very aggresively turn 1. Stormwall in the middle, storm lances on the left, ironclad and thorn on the right. Benjamin answers by advancing too, but he's a dwarf so it's not very aggresively. He keeps his jacks a bit back too, being very cautious of Haley's ability to steal a jack.

My turn two I go hard for scenario on my left side. I push Haley forward, feat aggresively, catching everything except his Aiyana and Holt I think. Maybe Gorten gets away, being far to my right. I kill the light warjack in the zone, and two outside it. Thorn gets placed sort of haphazardly in the middle, originally to keep a light warjack out of my left zone, but the robot got killed by the stormwall so he's in the wind more or less.

Even worse is my placement of my ironclad. I run him up a bit, still in the right zone, to pressure Benjamin for the next turn.

What winds up happening is that the Ironclad is placed perfectly to be drug into Benjamin's forge guard, a heavy and Gorten. It dies, unsurprisingly. 

So losing a heavy on Haley2 feat turn is fucking TERRIBLE, and to make matters worse, I didn't jam his lights properly so one can get into the left zone. I don't score on his turn, while he does control the right zone. He also got a fair bit of damage done to Thorn, knocking his arc node out.

Luckily I score 2, dominating the left zone next turn. I also get to run my squire into his the right zone, wasting to of its free focus, since I gave away the ironclad for free. I kill 2 lights or something here. Thorn is stuck in front of his forge guard, after disrupting a heavy, since I forgot about the arc node being out. I had a great plan to TK him, reaction drive, nuke both Aiyana and Holt and thus score 3 on this turn. Alas, it was not to be. At this point I'm even more annoyed with myself.

So considering I only contest with my Squire, it comes as no surprise that Benjamin scores. He moves Gorten in to dominate, to get up on the scenario clock. He also sends in a bokur and a heavy to kill half the stormwall, and gets a light into the left zone. 3-2 to Benjamin.

My only chance at winning here is to score 3 this turn. Luckily my zone is easy; Haley can charge a bunny and TK it out of the zone. I need to control the right zone too though. Since I accidentally jammed Benjamin with first my ironclad and then thorn, I'm running out of models. As an upside, he hasn't gotten very far up the board, being occupied with killing high-value models. He's got Aiyana, Holt and 2 forge guard in the zone, and Gorten. An intense couple of minutes of planning later, the Firefly is the designated hero. He gets fully allocated from his buddy the journeyman, gets telekinesised, temporally accelerated. Stormwall has to shoot down 2 forge guard. Sadly for the firefly, the stormwall steals some of her thunder and kills his dwarves and Holt. All that remains is for the Firefly to charge Aiyana, stab her and the game is mine.


After a couple of shaky plays early and mid game, I salvage the game with a great last turn. Haley2 really is a great caster. A Gorten jackspam list is sort of rough on Cygnar, I think, but Haley2 has a decent game at worst, and a rather good one if the scenario is favourable as it was here. 

This turns out being the last round of the tournament as our pair-down loses. I go 4-1 but with bad SoS puts me at 8/40. Unexpectedly so, honestly, since all my opponents tend to do well at tournaments. Hugo dropped after the first day, and the rest sort of underperformed sadly. But moving past that, I went 4-1 versus good opponents so I'm feeling pretty good about myself going into the WTC, two weeks after this tournament.

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