First tournament complete!
Despite attempting to keep the construction required for the tournament to a minimum, I still didn’t get done until 01:30am, and that included missing a few tusks and tassels. Still, I had Xerxis1 and his terrible Titans ready to go and packed for the journey with enough time to have a decent enough sleep. I decided to name the army Full Sweat because I enjoy layered puns (explanation is not forthcoming.)
It was my first time at the Hutt Club and was surprised to see a great number of other games going on in the other half of the hall, although I didn’t recognise what system they were. The preamble didn’t take long, registration and commentary from the event organiser Chris O. saw us all promptly matched up in our round 1 pairings and games were underway. NB: I didn’t pause during the games to take photos or notes due to the rounds being timed, and I wanted to pay attention to the tournament format in close detail. Thankfully, all our piccy needs, an organisers perspective, and overall standings can be found here:
Xerxis1 – Full Sweat
Round 1 – vs Nemo2 (Bob)
This was perhaps the perfect opening match-up available to me. All Jacks vs All Beasts. I found playing my 6 Titan herd a lot trickier than I thought it would be. Xerxis1 doesn’t have a lot of Fury to cast spells with each turn, so I had to rely upon getting my order of activations spot on to manage my fury correctly with the Bronzebacks leadership. As a result, my turns took a while to puzzle out and we ended up running out of round time with my having taken 3 turns, to Bob’s 2 and 1/3. I certainly learnt that I need to be more decisive about my actions, and my biggest lesson here was to pick up my play speed. Bob and I agreed at the end it would have been interesting to see how the game played out. He had a really good position to keep pulling my beasts apart, and had done some substantial harm to my force by destroying my Bronzeback. I likewise was putting a lot of damage into several of his own pieces, and was well positioned to jam his jacks away from my own flag, and there was potential to start contesting his from next turn onwards. Whether I could have survived the attrition game he was winning long enough to get the lead on control points will remain unknown and the official result was 1 control point each, and so we both lost.
Round 2 – vs Goreshade3 (Kane)
From the moment I sat down across the table from Kane I could tell I was in trouble. There were some ghostly blue figures that looked suspiciously incorporeal to my untrained eye. Sure enough it was Blackbane and his Ghost Raiders. Xerxis was my only model that could combat those. All in all this was a very short game and Kane handily used his knowledge of Goreshade3’s tricks to do a really sweet turn 2 assassination on Xerxis. A SPD9 Stalker leaping into Xerxis back arc, followed by exploding ghost raiders making Xerxis stationary. The subsequent barrage of spells and ranged attacks shattered Xerxis into a pile of frozen tears. It was a very impressive assassination under Goreshade3’s feat and not at all how I expected the ghost raiders to be used. A big lesson on keeping my caster safe was learnt, as I did have the opportunity to do so if I had any inkling about what was coming. As the only model I lost that game was Xerxis himself, Kane got to score for “Seriously, what just happened?!” As the game was over with so quickly, Kane was good enough to then proceed to explain the multiple layers of backup plans held by his list. Hearing about the several extra options available with his list gave me a little more insight into what other things to look out for when playing against Cryx in the future.
Round 3 – vs Stryker2 (Mitch)
I cannot recall the scenario name, but there were 3 flags across the middle of the table, and the first to 3 would win. I wasn’t sure how to approach this and the distances were such that if I tried to cover more than 2 with my single battlegroup, I would be spread far too thin. Stryker had a couple of journeyman casters and/or jack marshals with him, so was well placed to spread his Jacks across the board. I opted to try and open a single flank by concentrating my entire battlegroup between the middle and right hand flag. I was able to jam my Sentry and one Gladiator right up into his cavalry’s face as I wanted to deny them the charge (Rush, trample, reposition makes for some scary fast Titans.) This initially seemed would work really well as I had engaged 4 of the 5 knights. However, I was caught out by how much damage Cygnarian cavalry can do under Stryker’s feat, and how damn hard Stryker2 himself can hit when he buffs himself. While I was able to do a fair bit of damage in retaliation, mostly killing his cavalry and dragoon over the following two turns, I had essentially already lost at this point and Mitch proceeded to mulch my battlegroup into paste. Xerxis pushed on with his go down swinging attitude, and Mitch won by picking up the last control points he needed at the end of the turn. A complete reverse of the previous game where instead of only losing Xerxis, this time he was all that was left. Mitch pointed out in our post-match discussion that my primary mistake was over-committing to the jam by also using the Gladiator. Losing him like that severely limited my ability to fight back the following turn.
What a blast. I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun scoring 0 for anything before. It was a great first experience and my losses were well deserved. I learnt more than I can fully express here in the process, and was really pleased to pick up the Iron Valour award on top of it all. Sportsmanship was phenomenal across the board and all my opponents were really helpful keeping me on track at times when I was uncertain of an exact rule interaction. The post-game discussions about my principle mistakes or missed interactions were very insightful, and think I will be much better prepared for a tournament format on my next appearance.
However, I don’t think I’ll bring a full herd next time.