'Red October ... well, actually June' - Lock & Load 2015

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Jamie P
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'Red October ... well, actually June' - Lock & Load 2015

Postby Jamie P » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:51 am

Welcome back sports fans! I haven't done this in a little while so bear with me. Today is the 7th of May and a little over a week ago I got surprised with the knowledge that I would be receiving an invitation to the Iron Gauntlet World Championship Finals that takes place at Lock & Load in Seattle from June 5th to June 7th. So I've been madly scrambling around trying to sort out time off work and funding to be able to pay for the trip and now that the dust has settled I've ended up with a sponsored trip to America! So the next thing I want to do is give an huge thank you to my sponsors who have truly made this short-lived dream a reality.

Guild Ball
Element Games

As well as my independent supporters who just gave money for the cause because they are enormously generous people. I won't embarrass them by naming them but if they wish to make themselves know by all means feel free to do so. I am thankful to these people either way.

Okay so, I have been entered into the Iron Gauntlet Finals which take place on the Saturday of Lock & Load. It is a 4 round event using 3x 50 point army lists with no specialists. The semi final and the final however will be 'gauntlet rounds' where we take only our 3 chosen warcasters/warlocks from the lists submitted for the event. After being allocated an opponent, a table and a scenario we both choose a caster at the stage where you would normally choose an army list to play. Once we have both selected a caster we go away for 20 minutes and write a 75 point army list but only using components from the 3x 50 point lists that we submitted at the start of the event. I love this aspect of the event and it really rewards depth of preparation and ingenuity in list design as you build in to your lists the tools you need to win 50 point games but also the tools you may want to take into the gauntlet rounds later on... if you get that far!

I will also try to get into the Lock & Load Masters but I am currently on the reserves list for that event (due to my late entry) and am unsure whether I will get to play in it or not. For simplicities sake I will just be using 2 of my Iron Gauntlet lists in the Masters event if I am able to get a spot. The first 4 rounds of the Masters is played on the Friday and the final 4 rounds are played on the Sunday (again, for those who made it that far!)

I have chosen to take my Khador. I could talk for a long time about why I am taking them rather than my Legion but truly it boils down to the fact that I am a sentimental person at heart. When I first journeyed to the US in 2012 for that epic Templecon experience I took my Khador and I used my reds in both of my Iron Gauntlet qualifiers to get to this stage... it just 'feels right'. Also without going into intense details I also feel that I have roughly the same chance of doing well or winning any solo events right now with either faction.

Sorscha2 (+6)
+ Conquest - 19 (bonded)
10 Winter Guard Infantry - 6
+ Winter Guard UA - 2
+ 3x Winter Guard Rockets - 3
10 Nyss Hunters - 10
+ Valachev - 2
Great Bears - 5
Alexia2 - 4
Sylys Wyshnalyyr - 2
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich - 2
Gobber Tinker - 1

Butcher3 (+4)
+ Ruin - 10
+ Juggernaught - 7
+ Juggernaught - 7
Raluk Moorclaw - 2
+ Vanguard - 5
10 Iron Fang Pikemen - 8
+Black Dragon UA - 2
Widowmakers - 4
Ragman - 2
Eiryss2 - 3
Koldun Lord - 2
Ironfang Kovnik - 2

Vladimir1 (+5)
+ Behemoth - 13
10 Kayazy Assassins - 8
+ Kayazy UA - 2
5 Greylord Outriders - 9
10 WG Rifle Corp - 8
Aiyana & Holt - 4
Tactical Arcanist Corp - 4
Andrei Malakov - 3
Saxon Orrik - 2
Gorman Di Wulfe - 2

My Sorscha2 list isn't really anything original and I actually refer to it as 'Khador 101'. It poses a lot of statistical problems to the opponent because it can all hit from a distance and is composed of both huge elements of health & armour in the Conquest and a full complement of high defence infantry with Nyss and Winter Guard with also have access to extra DEF with the Iron Flesh spell. Sorscha's feat allows the list to deal a crippling amount of damage in one turn which can often win an attrition struggle outright. Sorscha also brings the spell 'Shatter storm' to the table which causes the attacks of friendly units to remove from play. With recursion abilities on the rise in the competitive game right now the sheer volume of RFP attacks that this list can bring to break is particularly important. I must also give a nod to 'my boy' the Conquest who allows me to win games alarmingly often by literally throwing one of my own models at the enemy caster to generate a long range, accurate POW 18 hit with knockdown leading to an assassination. Alexia2 is the most often remarked upon choice in this list because it is more common for Gorman Di Wulfe or other power solos to take her space. I love the range of abilities that Alexia brings to the table but most of all her speed and manoeuvrability. The rest of this list has a very slow and purposeful style to it and Alexia allows me to perform some more dynamic plays particularly when dropping 3 Rune Thralls onto a caster that's just been knocked down by a throw from Conquest.

This is my patented 'jack-Butcher' build which was originally conceived by Trent Denison of OzMachine fame and later plagiarised and edited by me for use in the UK. Me and Trent have actually written an extensive article about how this list works which can be found here:

http://museonminis.com/the-butcher-unle ... g-heavies/

The only thing that the article doesn't talk much about are my conclusions with regards to Ruin. Ruin has slipped into the list replacing my old Spriggan and he works perfectly. I did play around with changing out some of the solos but I ended up just changing out the Spriggan and going back to my old set up outside of that. What I will say is that between the Sorscha2 and Butcher3 lists I believe that I can play a reasonable game into most match ups and feel that I have a chance at the game. If I do manage to get a place in the Lock & Load Masters event I will be playing the Sorscha2 and Butcher3 lists. I have used these two lists together before in the SmogCon 2015 Masters where I reached the semi-finals with them.

The Vladimir1 list is something of a risk. The Iron Gauntlet format is particularly strange when you play it with just 16 players because you have 3 army lists to play in 2 games before the gauntlet rounds come into effect. So by my reckoning players have a choice to bring 3 army lists that are all playable in order to provide more options in each of the earlier rounds. The other choice is to bring 2 serviceable lists and a 'junk' list which is basically comprised of all the elements that you want to bring into your 75 point builds later on. This Vlad list is somewhere in between. It is capable of playing a reasonable game into light infantry armies and a few other things but it can certainly be classed as a junk list. A decision that I have not yet made (and I may make this on the flight to the US or even on the day of the event) is just how much I want the option of a Spriggan. The flares they have are Khador's only access to pin-point anti stealth and having no other access to that at 75 points could be a big problem for me - the issue is that change leaves no doubt in anyone's mind that the Vlad list is a junk list where as at the moment it is partially disguised. My other alternative is to leave Ruin at home... and I'm just not that crazy not even on a weekend.

Vladimir1 is hands down my choice for the best 75 point Khador warcaster because the Signs and Portents spell only gets better the bigger the game you play... and that's about as far as my thinking goes on that subject. But hey, it worked for the qualifiers right?

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Jamie P
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Re: 'Red October ... well, actually June' - Lock & Load 2015

Postby Jamie P » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:52 am

So results wise Lock & Load didn't go as well as I'd hoped. I actually played the lowest amount of games ever at a con with just 6. That said I did spend all of Sunday running demos of Guild Ball and watching the Masters event when I was taking a break (note, for anyone that cares I did run every demo back at the hotel rather than in PP's back yard). Everyone that had a go of GB loved it and so it seems the hype train that's gathered momentum (see what I did there?) has made a beach head in the USA.

I did manage two rounds of the Iron Gauntlet and I've been pondering on whether to write them up. They were both sweet games and the second of them was probably the most exciting match I've ever played in. It was also recorded by Privateer Press and commentated upon by Will Hungerford & Michael Plummer. I will link the video at the end of the report.

I woke up ready to play on the Friday and thankfully just managed to get a spot in the first of the two Masters qualifiers. I don't get to play as much Warmachine at home as I used to so this was mostly a warm-up for the IG but I'd by lying if I said I wasn't hoping to qualify. I made a friendly bet with Trent Denison that I could get more assassinations enabled by a conquest throw than he could get assassinations with Zera of the Devil's Shadow Mutineers.

In the first round I came up against Brett Fogel who has managed to get a spot on Team UN for the WTC this year. We played Sorscha2 vs Krueger2 where Brett mounted a well constructed defence against me where he was set up to counter attack and annihilate my infantry and Conquest in one fell swoop. I managed to break the deadlock by using Conquest to throw one of Una's Rotterhorns at her which led to her death. With the Rotterhorns out of the game Brett couldn't handle both my high defence units and Conquest at the same time and a few turns later I won by shooting Krueger to death. Me and Trent counter the throw kill on Una as half a point :)

In the second round I was matched against a Skorne ADR player whos name I can not remember (sorry friend!). He threw down Naresh against Sorscha2. I got far too over excited that he came too far forward with Naresh on turn one. I threw Alexia at him and knocked him down only to remember that he had put the Krea aura up which made Naresh's armour too high to assassinate from range. Hilariously I was able to use Arcane Vortex on Alexia to cancel some of Naresh's spells before she was killed but to add salt to the wound my opponent made sure his Brute put Safeguard (immune to Knockdown) on Naresh in every subsequent turn, dang it! I managed to slowly grind down my opponents army and eventually kill Naresh... without a throw. Fortunately Trent was far too scared to drop his Deneghra1 list meaning that Zera hadn't had any table time yet! I was winning 0.5 - 0!

In the third round I was matched against Ben Leeper of Australia. A good friend of mine Ben and I actually had 2 practice games on Vassal in the weeks running up to Lock & Load. We ran Butcher3 into Thagrosh2. From our practice games we know that Ben can not prevent me from getting Butcher into Thagrosh but what he can do is make it very very difficult for me and the more focus I spend on the way into Thagrosh the less attacks I get when I arrive. I got Butcher into base contact with Thagrosh with only 2 focus remaining for attacks. Two attacks later Thagrosh is on 1 wound remaining and he takes my head off in reply. You're such a complete douchebag Leeps! But seriously, you're a good guy. Ben went on to play in the Masters final against Jake van Meter but narrowly lost.

Because we did not have a full 128 players it was possible for one player to make it into the Masters with a 3-1 record. I played the last game into a Cryx player called Andrei who said that he was excited to play the game because he had started out on Khador and had read some of my old reports. We had a more fun time talking than we had in the match. Andrei had never used Terminus in a tournament before and grinding down Terminus was one of the first things I learned how to do with Khador when I started years ago. I made some miss-placements which made the job much harder for myself and my Nyss with Zephr and aiming bonuses with aid from Alexia for some reason took 4 turns to take out the opposing Nyss unit. However I know that if you prevent Terminus from having a game breaking feat turn he cant come in and kill Conquest for fear of the reprisal from the waiting Sorscha & Great Bears. I manged to do this and due to his clock running down Andrei was forced to go for a last gasp assassination on Sorscha which led to Conquest pummelling him into the ground.

Unfortunately 8 player did finish on 4-0 meaning that I had no chance of making it into the Masters, womp womp. However I was still winning the bet with Trent!

ROUND ONE - Ryan Chirboga - Cygnar - Outflank

I (and my opponents) probably drew the most difficult pool of players possible within the list of attendants. My first round being a member of the winning WTC team from 2014 and if I won I would get to play either Trent Denison of WTC Australia or Tom Guan who is the new addition to WTC USA and possibly the most feared player in America running up to this event..... also...... Cygnar...... I...... hate...... Cygnar.......

Even though I dispise the faction my opponent couldn't be a nicer guy. I know Ryan from previous trips to the USA and his appearance at the WTC. We were both unhappy at drawing each other in round 1. He had Haley 1, Haley 2 and Nemo3. I was convinced he would drop one of the Haleys and after looking over Ryan's lists I chose butcher3

Aiyana & Holt
6 Mechanics
3 Stormcallers
Journeyman Warcaster

I was very surprised to see Nemo3 as the choice but ultimately relieved it wouldn't be a Haley. I asked Ryan about the Haley lists and he said that he wanted to drop Haley 1 into Trent (cryx) if he won round 1 and he thought that I would annihilate his Haley2 list because I could absorb his two stormclads and respond in kind - which I think I could have done as he had no Lancer to play telekinesis tricks with.

I won the roll off and chose first turn. There was a small obstruction to my left just outside deployment and two forests to the right, one of them outside my deployment zone and one outside Ryan's with both just touching the right hand zone. I also had an area of shallow water between the obstruction and the closer forest... not idea. There was an area of rough terrain just outside the left zone on Ryan's side. I set up one Juggernaught on the left of the Obstruction with my Koldun. The second Jugger, Butcher, Ruin & the Vanguard on the other side of the obstruction & the Pikemen & Widowmakers more to the right aiming to go between the shallow water and the forest. Eiryss was off to my left.

Ryan placed the Stormwall ready to go into the left zone and the Stormstrider ready to go into the right zone (done before me, in pre-deployment). Everything else was placed between the Stormwall & the Strider.

TURN ONE - I have a quick think about Ryan's ranged threat ranges and then run my two juggers forwards and Energiser them up further. I need to get Butcher up the table as far as possible to pressure Ryan back out of the zones - he know Butcher is capable of killing everthing in his army if I can get it into Butcher's melee range at the same time! My Widowmakers run up the right and Eiryss up the left. Pikes run as far as they can between and through the terrain.

After checking my threat ranges with Nemo's control area Ryan runs the stormwall to just outside the left zone and the Strider to just outside the right. Nemo stands between them behind the rough terrain. Dynamo stands next to Nemo with open ground ahead of him. Aiyana and Holt run around to the left of the Stormwall. Failsafe goes up on the Stormwall and Arcane Shield on the Stormstrider.

TURN TWO - I know that my melee threat ranges far outstrip Ryan's but I have to endure his feat turn and a hailstorm of shooting to reach him. I keep all my focus on Butcher and push forwards as far as I can with everything. The Pikemen use Iron Zeal and Shield wall up. I get Butcher, Ruin & 1 Juggernaught in range of the Vanguard's shield guard but I know I'm going to suffer heavy losses in the next turn. My hope is that I can take him out with what I have left. I built this list to be resilient - time to test that out.

Ryan allocates 3 to Stormwall and 3 to Dynamo. Nemo Feats and puts two pretty decent damage rolls into the Juggernaught nearest to Butcher. He spikes the roll on Butcher causing some damage and kills one of the Argus. I actually didn't know that the electroleaps don't trigger Vengence... craft beggar! Dynamo steps up and puts 4 rounds into Ruin. I shield guarded the first one but the other 3 kill Ruin from full health leaving me flabbergasted! On average under the Nemo3 feat he causes 20 points of damage and caused 34! The Strider kills 4 of my Pikemen. Aiyana Harms up the damaged Juggernaught and Stormwall puts two big gun shots into it leaving it with 4 boxes left and only a cortex system active. I knew I was likely to lose Ruin but I'd rather lose Ruin if that meant getting Butcher into Ryan.

TURN THREE - I notice that Ryan has only contested the left zone with Aiyana & Holt and 1 mechanic gobber. The Strider didnt enter the right zone. I can score 1 point easily by advancing the pikemen but I can not easily score the right zone without spending lots of focus on Butcher which would be bad. Ryan spend a lot of time pondering angles to use Force Hammer to knock Butcher down but decided against it. But Ryan doing that meant that I knew he would probably look for chances to use it next turn too and start putting big damage into Butcher. I thought for a few minutes and concocted a reasonable plan that wouldn't cost me any of Butcher's focus. I did think about just throwing 2 fully boosted obliterations at Nemo (which would kill him on averages) but decided against it because the long game could still be won. The Koldun power boosted the undamaged Jugger. My Tinker runs upto Aiyana & Holt and the Jugger declares a slam into its back. I hit the 6 required and the slam kills Aiyana & Holt. I had a look at Eiryss' position before hand and it looked good so I moved her up towards the gobber and took a shot. She was just within range and she caps him. Butcher tanks up in the left zone. My Pikemen Shield Wall up in the right zone uncontested. I charged my Vanguard off into Dynamo to buy me a turn of taking its attention away from Butcher. At the end of the turn I score 3 control points.

Ryan now has a serious problem. He didnt think I would be able to clear the left zone without using Butcher's focus. At ARM 24 and Dynamo engaged by a Vanguard the odds of assassinating me from range were looking slim. Ryan allocated 3 each again and upkeeps his armour spells. The Strider advances into the zone with the pikes and kills a few more with its guns. Dynamo kills the Vanguard in melee with 4 swings. The Stormwall advances into the left zone and punches the healthy Juggernaught to death. Ryan uses the stormpod to kill Eiryss The Gobber mechanics run and spread out in the left zone. Ryan hopes that Butcher can't kill all of them and the Stormwall due to how far they are spread.

TURN FOUR - I ponder the goblins for a moment then have a spark of an idea. Butcher charges into the Stormwall but does not engage the Gobbers. He kills the Stormwall in 7 swings and feats back up to 6 focus. Butcher uses energiser to engage the Gobbers and they automatically fail their Terror check due to Butcher's feat. I win the match 5 control points to 0 and am through round 1!

Also, in the most important statistic of the weekend I am still winning the bet with Trent 0.5 - 0!

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Jamie P
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Re: 'Red October ... well, actually June' - Lock & Load 2015

Postby Jamie P » Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:53 am

GAME TWO - Trent Denison - Cryx - Fire Support

Ah the Aussies... We knew the draw that morning so as soon as my game was over I knew my round 2 opponent would be Trent or Tom. Tom gave a good fight and chewed through most of Trents Skarre1 army with a set of Blight Wasps with Absylonia2 but Trent managed to power through to meet me in the second round. We were told about 1000 times that we were going to be on the live stream table... Trent, just so you know, we were being filmed the whole time okay champ? Anyhow I love playing these guys. As much as I seem to get my head kicked in every single time which I've decided is down to some Aboriginal curse that must have been put on me when I lived in Melbourne for a brief stretch when I was 11. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the Australians may be pretty darn good at Warmachine. I digress, for those that want to skip reading this the video and commentary of our match can be found here:

(note, I don't really lean over in this video at all and those logos are really really not obvious so just in case you wanted to know my trip was sponsored by Element Games, Tiebreak & Guild Ball)

From discussion in the weeks leading up to Lock & Load Trent knew full well that my Vlad1 list was a junk list but I also knew that he would never drop Goreshade2 into my Sorscha2 list where I can literally shatter storm his list off the table. We knew before hitting the table that the game would be Sorscha2 vs Deneghra1. I joked that Conquest & Zera would be going head to head!

10 Nyss Hunters
6 Boom Howlers
6 Mechanithralls & Skarlock Commander
Withershadow Combine
Devils Shadow Mutineers
Pistol Wraith
Skarlock Thrall
Lord Rockbottom
Dougal McNaile

I wont explain the table lay-out because you can see it in the video. I won the roll for sides & decided to go first. Even though the scenario push on Firesupport can be quite strong going first allows me to get Conquest up the table a little quicker and I can set the line of engagement slightly further towards Trent with my fast moving units (Desperate Paced Winter Guard run 14 inches). When going second Conquest often has to walk to shoot and lay down his Creeping Barrage. The low-pow covering fire templates often get slated by Khador players but against ARM 12 infantry such as Mechanithralls they are super relevant. I was worried that Deneghra could just hide behind that large obstruction to my left and Ghost Walk through it when he needed to but if Denny is spending most of the game back there she is also having less of an impact on the game.

I set up Conquest centrally with the Winter Guard on the left (more bodies, access to Tough & Fearless makes them more resilient than the Nyss for defending my Flag/Objective). The Nyss went down the right which was doubly important because there were two reasonably sized forests on that side of the board. I fully expected to have them face off against Trent's Nyss but Ironflesh and Alexia2 (who also set up on that side) gives me a strong advantage in the Nyss-off.

Trent set up Denny, his two bonejacks, Mutineers, Pistolwraith, Withershadow Combine, Rockbottom & Dougal slightly to the left. Boomhowlers, Necrosurgeons & Mechanisthralls to the centre and Nyss with Aiakos off to the right. We had to wait for the commentators to do an introduction to the game so we were stood opposite each other for a good 10 minutes which was exactly what Trent needed having been awake for the last 30 hours straight. The pause before the match began left him at a physical advantage over me so clearly I stood no chance from the outset. Thinking about it I don't know why I even thought I stood a chance.

TURN ONE JAMIE - I ran everything up the table. I pondered Iron Flesh on the Winter Guard or the Nyss. I banked on the Winter Guard doing a lot of work in this match up because even with Crippling Grasp on them I can shift them at normal speed thanks to Desperate Pace and they can still fire off accurate POW 12s & combined ranged attacks. I put Iron Flesh on the Nyss which should help me to dominate that side of the table without too much trouble.

TRENT - Trent runs his Boomies up the centre and uses the 4+ Tough call. The centre-most bonejack takes cover at the side of the obstruction and the left-most one toes the hill for added defence. The Mutineers spread out over the same hill. Denny takes up quite an aggressive position but is in no danger thanks to a full camp of 7 focus and Stealth. The Nyss advance very cautiously and its clear that Trent is largely hoping to delay my Nyss rather than attempt a shooting war which he will instantly lose. I realise part way through his turn that he is setting up a major problem for me. There is a trench which some of my Winter Guard are stood in and his ranged solos and bonejacks are positioned in such a way that if Sorscha goes anywhere near that trench he will knock me down with an auto hitting Scourge (if arced from within 4"), Feat & Parasite me down by 5 armour and shoot me the death with no problem. I am NOT losing Sorscha to Zera!!!

TURN TWO JAMIE - So I expected Trent to feat in his next turn and no amount of me trying to protect my Winter Guard would save them from what was coming. In this case the cliché was true and the best thing I could do was be as aggressive as possible in my attack and take out as many of Trent's specialist pieces as possible to try and minimise the strength of the inevitable counter attack. I kept Ironflesh for free (thanks Sylys) I had a good look at main cannon targets for Conquest. The key to the big man is never to expect the Crit but try to place a shot that will do decent work whether you get it or not. I allocated 1 to Conquest. Conquest goes first and strides up the table and I eyeball a Mechanithrall that is stood near to Dougal, a Necrosurgeon and the centre-most bonejack. Trent complements me for the target choice and I roll the Critical Devastation. The bonejack is caught in the obstruction and just falls over where it is taking some superficial damage but the Necrosurgeon hits a Withershadow member behind it and dies in the resulting collateral damage... result! 2 Creeping Barrage templates go down in the small central forest.

I activate Sorscha next and pondered for a moment. Shatterstorm is pretty useful here as Trent is packing a strong recursion game with the Mechanithralls and the Mutineers... but honestly I couldnt guarantee knocking out both arc nodes and with this being a Killbox scenario I would always be at risk of assassination. I chose not to use Shatterstorm primarily because I couldn't guarantee taking out both arc nodes. Sorscha used Desperate pace and moved up to the butt of the Conquest where she was safest from all of Trent's shooting while being within the Killbox. Joe calls Boosted Attack rolls and the Winter Guard move up another 8 inches and unload a hail of shots into the Boomhowlers killing 3 of them. I throw a rocket at the knockdown bonejack and roll very fortunately knocking out its arc node system with a spiked damage roll. I have 3 normal Winter Guard within range of the other bonejack so I try my luck with a combined attack and they roll 10 damage down the 4 column and both arc nodes are shut down for the game. I laugh and gladly accept Trent's unrepeatable barrage of insults for me being super lucky. I throw a rocket at Zera and knocked that B off the hilltop with some sideways gangsta shot and apologise to Trent for my good rolls. Alexia takes a run up the table and the Nyss advance and shoot a Boom Howler which puts a Soul onto Alexia. I put a few shots into another Boom Howler but he passes two Tough rolls (to be fair, the first ones Trent passed at all so far). Valachev Zephyrs the unit back to a more safe range from Trent's Nyss. My main weakness is that I have chosen to walk the Conquest up between the flags rather than towards a particular one. My gambit is that Trent shouldn't win the game on a scenario rush without risking Denny and if I can survive his feat turn I can walk Conquest towards whichever flag is most threatened. Both me and Trent made the mistake of thinking he could control the right hand flag where in actual fact he could only dominate it with Denny who was over to the left. Had I realised this at the time Conquest may have been a few more inches to the left.

TRENT - So Trent openly says 'time for a change of plan' as losing both his arc nodes forces a change up. Trent agrees with me that he will be able to base contact Denny with the flag with a charge move. He begins to activate models to clear her charge path. The Withershadow activate and fire off some Dark Fires which all miss. Rockbottom gives the Devils Shadow boosted melee attack rolls and they charge in killing a few winter guard and bringing back Zera in the process. Trent's last resort was the Pistol Wraith who aimed and took out two more winter guard one being the essential one blocking the Deneghra charge. Denny charges and contacts the flag, she feats and puts crippling grasp onto the Winter Guard. Denny also fires off a Venom to kill more Winter Guard and now the only thing contesting the Flag is my objective and 2 crippling grasped, feated winter guard. I'm struggling to see what is going to kill the objective now because Trent got so unlucky with his earlier shooting just to clear Denny's path. He activates Aiakos to kill some mechanithralls and he walks his Necrosurgeon up directly towards the objective. Because of the positioning of a few other models (I think one was his damaged bonejack) he can only get one thrall within charge range but at ARM 16 its possible it could just one-shot the objective. I miss a winter guard free strike that could have killed it on a 7 to hit. The Skarlock commander also charges but has to go through a creeping barrage template. If he can kill a model he can battle wizard into the objective and boost the damage roll with a soul and the two together is pretty much dead certain to kill it. I double 6 the creeping barrage roll and the commander is killed (I needed an 11 by the way). The new leader of the thralls runs as far as he can but cant get the charging thrall into its command bubble and so Trent is also unable to make its attacks on the objective.... massive. Trent noted in his recent OzMachine episodes that if that comes off I have a near impossible time trying to contest the flag and he is likely to take a quick win 5-0 on scenario. He is absolutely right on this and in hindsight it was a mistake not to position the Conquest 2 inches to the left at deployment (which would have allowed it to contest the flag on my next turn) and another mistake to not Ironflesh the Winter Guard (as that could have saved a few more bodies to contest with and generally given Trent a slightly harder time of things). As it was I lucked out and its 0-0 and all to play for. On the other side of the table not much important is happening the Nyss did one massive CRA to kill one of my Nyss.

TURN THREE JAMIE - So I cant get conquest to contest the flag and as I just said this would have been catastrophic for me had Trent managed to kill the objective. I can't do a lot in this turn because everything except the nyss and Alexia are in Denny's feat. I need to keep Sorscha safe but remain a threat so Conquest waddles up 2 inches and Sorscha remains behind him camping her 4 focus. Conquest put down his creeping barrage because if he wants to Trent could just remove the conquest pretty trivially with spawned mechanithralls next turn if I don't. I move the few winter guard up and shoot a few more of the Mutineers but not Zera this time. The Great Bears run around the back of the Conquest to the left and get in a position to threaten things next turn. The Nyss advance and pop off shots into a Boom Howler and kill him and the last necrosurgeon. I have 2 thralls on Alexia and a tonne of ways to use them so I figure that I can throw a lot of rolls at Trent and if any of them work its pretty huge. My Nyss threw a 3 man CRA at the enemy Cylena but missed it. Alexia walks into melee range of the enemy Nyss and they pass their CMD on a 9 (which would have failed had Cylena been killed, but I have no room for complaints about dice considering how the earlier game went). Alexia drops 2 rune thralls and I hoped to get both in the rear of Aiakos but only one managed to and both didnt get the charge bonus. Unfortunately both missed which left Aiakos alive and with that I am sure to start losing the right flank on attrition next turn with both things having failed. I wasn't on massive odds to pull either one off but this side of the board is also not critical to losing the match yet and I did manage to cap the last necrosurgeon which is huge.

TRENT - Denny cant stay on the flag now because if she does shes going to get killed by a combination of Conquest the Great Bears and Sorscha. She is on 8 focus though because she got a soul from a winter guard last turn. I knew his Warwitch Siren was going to charge and shadowbind Conquest but there was nothing I could do about it and I didnt fancy throwing boosted AOEs at it when Sorscha is so close to Denny and never really 100% safe from an assassination attempt. My plan was to tank this turn and see what options Trent leaves me with. The Withershadow put Puppet Strings onto Zera and she pops 2 shots at the objective. First one rolls 1,1 and he rerolls into a hit but causes no damage at -6 to the roll and he's on 3 dice damage... the second shot rolls another 1,1.... Trent killed the Mechanithrall leader forcing a promotion which brings the thrall closest to the objective back into Command range and it kills the objective with a combo strike. Denny runs back and around in an attempt to start moving over to the other flag because his Nyss are now making massive headway against mine with aimed CRA shots he kills Cylena and a number of other Nyss. Aiakos leaps behind Alexia and kills her in his first melee attack. Boom Howler also did his Rage Howl to lower the MAT/RAT of Conquest. The game state is now wide open again anything can happen from here. Trent scored one control point from the objective.

TURN FOUR JAMIE - I see my chance. I preach the qualities of colossal power attacks and Conquest is one of the best at them but that Rage Howl means im on 12s to hit Denny with a boosted throw and its the Rage Howl that makes me choose the Power Strike option. I put 2 focus into Conquest and the Nyss take a charge order into Boom Howler and some other pieces. Valachev runs infront of Conquest at his maximum reach. Conquest Power Strikes Valachev likely needing a 3 on the distance (+2 on the range for being a colossal making a slam) but I only get a 2 and Valachev gets killed for nothing. If that comes off Sorscha can move around conquest and boundless charge two of my great bears, feat on Denny and kill the stationary Siren engaging them allowing the bears to charge and eat Denny alive. at POW 12 rolling 4 dice vs ARM 22 im likely to kill her using just the two charge attacks (14 average becomes 4 damage doubled to 8 twice) not counting their back swings and any damage from the Power Strike itself at POW 18. But the distance was short and my best chance at the match passes me by. Time is also starting to run really short so the Great Bears just advance and start hacking into nearby models such as the mechanithralls, bonejacks and siren and I pass the turn back.

TRENT - Denny crippling grasps Conquest and moves onto the right flag. he kills all but 2 of my Nyss, most of the Great Bears and im left with only a couple of Winter Guard. Trent scores his second control point.

TURN FIVE JAMIE - Conquest begins to amble his way towards the flag that Denny is on and if he cant stop me moving again he will be in contesting range next turn. I can draw a little line of sight around the forest and I drop my main cannon and 2 smaller cannon shots into his Nyss which are clumped fairly close together. The scatters are ideal for me and I remove 7 of the Nyss in this turn and I think they failed Command as well but Im not 100% sure if they did. My remaining models continue to make attacks on the solos left. All of the Mutineers finally died and I got the Pistol Wraith too. At this point Trent has about 3 minutes left and I have about the same so I need to get a move on. I move Sorscha into the trench near to his last mechanithrall and attack it but miss. A quick think and I decide im better off on a bigger camp than buying attacks on one thrall so I pass the turn.

TRENT - Realisng that he cant stop the Conquest Trent starts looking at what he can get onto Sorscha and missing that damn mechanithrall has actually made it a bit easier for him. The Skarlock puts Ghost Walk on Denny and Denny moves through the forest directly towards Sorscha. She Scourges the Mechanithrall in the back needing a 7. If she hits she Knocks Sorscha down and has enough Focus left to Parasite me and its pretty academic from there. Trent misses the 7 but rolls 5 inches to the 6 direction which would have flown right over Sorscha had Denny not been so close to the Thrall. Because he is closer than 7 inches the AOE travels less than 3.5 inches and still clips Sorscha knocking her down. Parasite hits Sorscha and all of Trents remaining ranged solos pile shots into Sorscha until she dies.

A few early game choices I could have made slightly differently would have changed the game that we played. Perhaps going second would have been better for me and just running conquest up the table but either way I most certainly should have committed him to one of the flags rather than trying to threaten both of them. My initial plan was to just try to take as much of Trents army off the table as quickly as possible and have Conquest delay the Scenario game long enough for me to remove all of Trents army which this Sorscha2 list is most certainly capable of doing. Trent noticed my mistakes and capitalised on them but got severely unlucky on multiple dice rolls throughout the match which was realistically the only thing that kept it an open game. Overall I don't feel like I was playing badly but a few of those early choices really put me on the back foot and Trent fully deserved the win.

That brought an end to my competetive Lock & Load games and I didn't have much to do now except watch the Iron Gauntlet Finals and run some Guild Ball demos. That said I had a blast just catching up with people I rarely get to see so even though Id have prefered to have been playing those finals games I made the most of my time there. Awesome trip as always and if I get another chance to go back I will but as time goes on these chances get rarer and rarer... But I won the bet with Trent boo yah!

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Re: 'Red October ... well, actually June' - Lock & Load 2015

Postby Gazzor » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:32 pm

Thanks for taking the time to post those up. :)

Nice to see Khador doing well.

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Have Robin Cruddace hammering on a keyboard and you get the Tyranids codex...

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Re: 'Red October ... well, actually June' - Lock & Load 2015

Postby saint.barbara » Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:37 am

Nice write-up. Better red than dead!
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