08 February 2010

Sevwall reporting in with Templecon experiences:

I came in 8th out of 8 in the finals, so take any experiences I give with a grain of salt. I’m just some dude who got lucky enough to qualify.

But first, I have to qualify. I was planning on playing in 3 tournies, starting with Midnight madness 75 points two caster. I would stop playing tournaments when I qualified.
So, I've played maybe, just maybe, 3 or so 2 caster games ever. I was thinking I was trolls, and that while we may be tough, nothing is tougher than a two caster feat turn the likes of say Irusk1/Butcher1 combined feats.
So I'm thinking that the format would be dominated and won by the list with the most reliable kill condition. Once you kill one caster, the game is easy, especially if your kill condition is not a caster of your own (sorry epic stryker).
Two casters in the trollblood arsenal facilitate the assassination better than most (without risking themselves, sorry Grim). The first is obviously eHoarluk. Wild aggression is just amazing, Goad lets you move two inches when you kill a model, even your own, and the feat lets you strike far, for free. Calandra makes sure that your run doesn't suffer any of the foibles of cold dice, and that you can get higher than average rolls with the feat and fate bound.
After that, it was simply adding things that work easily for tired people (midnight madness is held at midnight and runs until about 10 am, so as little tricks as possible are good).
The final list was as follows:
Calandra

Blitzer (ranged support/caster kills)

Slag (damage buff/jack removal)

EHoarluk

Mulg (smashy)

Earthborn (good animus/smashy)

Axer (Rush)

10 Pygs (I hadn’t realized the awesomeness that is Nyss Hunters yet)

10 Fennblades (cheap and good threat range)

5 champs (are champs)

Fellcaller (look at all that infantry)

Hero (please don’t run, infantry)

Chronicler (slows down melee lists)

10 whelps (regen, fury management, goad enablers)
I played it once that day to test it. Seemed pretty good, so lets go for it. Nobody is going to understand how deadly it is, even if they see it coming. Choose a primary target caster, try to kill them first.
So, first game. Details blurry on most games.
Played against…. ECaine and eStryker, I think. ECaine can paste my casters, and is primary target.
Went first. This happened in all four games, so the deployment and first turn are the same in all games. Hoarluk goes on the right with his battlegroup, champs behind. Calandra goes on the left with everything else. Hoarluck puts Wild Aggression on Mulg, sometimes rushes the EBDT, and moves forward. Everything else runs aside from the Axer, who rushes Mulg. The Pygs get Hero’s Tragedy to try and slow down melee armies, or to merely bait out people or provide a distraction.
Game one. ECaine is behind some infantry. Double feat, Rush, Mulg charge. Mulg gets to Caine using his initial attacks, kills Caine in two hits, slamming him into Rhienholdt, killing both. Goes on to slam Piper into Arlen, killing both. Slams Defender over the ATGM UA. EBDT charges Ol’ Rowdy, kills in 5 hits, Goads to eStryker and does 9 damage. Other stuff engages and does stuff. He goes. He is outside kill box, so he must get in towards the center of the board. Mulg survives counter attack, EBDT missed freestrike on Stryker. Stuff happens. Mulg tramples over to Stryker, killing him.
Game two. EMakeda with 6 beasts. EMagnus with 2 Renegades. EMakeda is prime target. I go, he goes, eMakeda behind a wall of centrati, eMagnus mostly screened by jacks.
Feats, buffs. Mulg charges Centrati, kills, moves up, kills Makeda in ?3? hits, kills some Centrati. Blitzer gets 3 shots and hot dice, kills Magnus.
Game three. Hordes vs Hordes for the ‘best hordes in the tournament’. Kromac and… um… eKrueger. Kromac is 16” away, behind a Shadowhorn and some stones. Feats, buffs. Mulg charges stones, goads, buys attack, kills stone, goads, makes 4 attacks killing Kromac. Krueger lived, did stuff, then died next turn to ????.
Next game vs eventual tourney winner. eNemo with 7 heavies and 2 lights, eStryker with Thorn. eNemo is the obvious target. I move, he moves, leaves a gap big enough to get a large base through, even though I have to eat a Centurion and Stormclad free strike to do it. Charges Stormcaller. Takes free strikes, makes two whelps, eats one to heal back a branch. Kills stormsmith, goads to try to get to Nemo. Lancer is in the way, but slams are nice. Slam lancer over nemo… 2”. Least displacement pushes nemo ….Oh noes! Just out, assassination failed….. except for that whelp I made. Buy an attack, kill, goad, have nemo in range. Buy last attack, roll a 5, lets reroll…. Oops! Moved him out of Calandra’s feat. I didn’t need to, I just got tired, and put him too far up without thinking and without measureing control. I was dice –2 due to focus and arcane shield, so I did 3, and my next attack did 7. He has 4 left, and its really game at that point due to his jacks benefiting from doublefeat and crushing me.

I had the game and I botched it on a dumb move. No slight to the opponent of course, who was PG_Moz, had a great, great list, and is a really nice guy. He just left a small opening and thought (with pretty good reason) that he was safe, but Mulg is really good at making holes.
That was the final game I played. I could have fought it out for 3rd with a Retribution player, but had no desire to play another game at 9am after having played for 9 hours. 4th place, and I’m in finals.
I played pick up games that day on little sleep. I bought Nyss Hunters, because I had been meaning to, and tried them out with Borka. They did nice things, and they stack really well with most troll casters, so I decided hell, lets use these guys.
List building for finals was not something I put much thought into. Its been too soon since MKII dropped for me to have any go-to lists with all the changes that have occurred, especially the last one that warped my lists away from Kriels, Mulg and Thumpers and more onto Bushwhackers and Fennblades. The Nyss replaced the Bushwhackers in what I consider to be a relatively good decision (though I am valuing tough on the bushwhackers more after playing with untough models).
I took what I knew pretty well, and one list with Borka, because he is fun and good enough to perhaps surprise someone.
Lists:

Ehoarluk, Mulg, EBDT, Axer, Nyss, whelps, gobbers

Grim, EBDT, Blitzer, Slag, Axer, Nyss, gobbers

Borka, EBDT, Slag, Nyss, Fennblades, Fellcaller, Totem Hunter
First match I was up against future third place guy What(?82?) playing Cygnar, with Nemo, Stryker and Siege as the potentials. He is playing trolls, so I suspect Siege, which I am not thrilled with. I take eHoarluk, because its my best shot vs the feat, which will wreck the other lists (excepting perhaps the borka list, but that was susceptible to AOE power and all the magic weapons).
He got first turn, moves up. I move up much like in the 2 caster tourney. He attacks a bit, dealing some pretty nice damage to Mulg, keeps 2 focus and casts arcane shield on Siege. I do the math wrong in my head, thinking he is at 21 ARM, and thus I will do 15 damage on average which is close enough that I will try a kill. I try for a kill, needing to trample the get there. I trample, Goad off the trample, buy a swing at Holt, miss the boosted 8 I needed (uh oh), buy another attack, need to Goad, buy an attack, he is apparently ARM 22 (uh oh agains) roll okay but not great, get affinity attack, slam Siege into a stormsmith, and fail to roll the 15 I need to kill him. The game is over at that point, for I had overextended myself for the kill. Unlike the previous tourney, this was down to a poor decision on my part, and smart defensive moves by my opponent.
First loss means no prizes unless Jarred loses next round, and there’s practically no chance of that (I thought) so I just played to have fun and try stuff out against competitive lists.
Played Borka against Rahn, lots of Stormfall, Battlemages, 2 MHA (I think every single one of the retribution lists had 2, surprise!) Arcanist, Manticore, Chimera, soulless UA on every unit.
It came down to scenario, being 3 flags with one getting removed. I aquitted myself well, but was pretty confident that I was going to lose on Scenario to Rahn with 2 Magisters and a unit of mages on one flag. Moral victory as a MHA got killed by a deviated feated Chain blast. It was fun.
Third game we agreed to go balls out so that we could finish fast and watch finals. Grim vs… oh, come on, Rahn? Fine. Moved up, feated, was KDed via slam and dragged into the waiting arms of a Manticore. Unluckily the finals were almost as quick, so we didn’t get to see that much.
Great times, great opponents, every single one. Special shout out to my Hordes competion in the Deadly Duo’s event, who was a smart player who had to deal with a tired Sevwall on too few hours of sleep. Also to PG_Moz, for running the coolest Cygnar list I’ve ever had the pleasure to lose to. And of course anyone who made it into finals.
Things I learned from Templecon:
I’ve become an assassination player recently. These changes to champs have really allowed by gameplay style to become what I’ve always thought I was (I really should be a Cryx/Circle player) while still being in the faction I like. Sure, we aren’t terribly good assassins, but we got much better at it.
Mea Culpa: Mulg’s not bad. He’s really expensive, and for his points cost he really should be a little better. He does provide something unique outside Molik Karn as a heavy who can chew through lines to get to a caster. I’m concerned that his use forcecs you into a one-chance list, where your one real chance is to kill a caster with Mulg, or lose, at least at higher level. You have to put so many points into it to make it effective, and take the most fragile caster in the game to get access to it. Its all of your eggs in one basket. And it works a decent percentage of the time, if your opponent underestimates it. So save it for that rainy day, because once its common knowledge its gone. Each and every one of my opponents was surprised by its power, even when it failed.
Trolls competativeness: I personally don’t think I played to the strongest factors in our faction, focused on the outlying assassination possibilities. I focus on them because I think at a high level to go for scenario lets an assassination opponent get too much freedom to pull his own trigger.
Retribution: Sadly, no lists I saw really surprised me. They have some pretty bonkers stuff. Rahn and battlemages is, I think, the smart players top caster. Movement effects out the wazoo, incredible defenses for a caster, and a feat that is limited to one unit, but a unit that has access to movement effects. KD and movement effects are the most powerful thing in the game, and Rahn has that. There are very few board situations where a good, smart retribution caster can’t get some kind of line on your caster. If I really, really wanted to win, I would strongly consider taking them.
Nyss Hunters: have probably replaced Bushwhackers in most of my lists from now on. Any buff we can give them, either brings them to exactly what the Nyss hunters already are unbuffed, or they can be applied to Nyss Hunters as well. Test them out. You just might find that ranged support you always wanted.
Tis all for now.

5 comments:

  1. Hey nice work Sevwall, way to go representing the Kriels. Next year I'm there, though I'll lose more I'll be there for moral support as you come back swinging in the championships.

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  2. A good read, thanks.

    PG_Melo, Nicolai

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  3. When I thought my casters safe behind layers of stuff Bill comes and teaches me otherwise. Haha. Well played!

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  4. Crystal Said...

    Thank You delicious Chicken Soup.

    If its Chinese.

    ReplyDelete