1 month from today, the Lords of Ruin tournament will be hosted in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. It is a national tournament and a fair number of players will be coming from across the country. Current count I believe places us at 39 players, 18 of these from out of town. This is essentially a Steamroller 2016 tournament, with the addition of the Active Duty Roster pack, 2 list maximum.
My recent taste at tournament play during the Full Steam event had left me hungry for more, so as soon as the opportunity arose I signed up for Lords of Ruin and paid the entry fee. This will likely prove to be another challenging experience as so far my only 75 point games have been the Full Steam games where I fielded only Titans. Not only is my experience at 75 points so limited it’s almost inconsequential, my experience with the array of models in other factions is tiny, AND the rounds are timed with a 60 minute death clock. Timed turns is another thing I’ve never done before.
Due to my participation in the Journeyman League, I’ve not taken opportunities to play outside of the league games at the 75 points level so far. I’m not concerned by this however as the league will have grown to 75 points by August 24, followed by a short-form tournament using our final week league lists. That gives me a whopping 2 weeks to play at the 75 points level and I’ll probably fit 5 to 6 games in during that window, counting the JML tournament. 1 or 2 of those games will even be with a list I’ll use at Lords of Ruin.
By the end of Lords of Ruin I’ll have doubled my experience with balanced lists at the 75 point level!
aka Trust Me, I Have An Imagination
I’ve been through 3 phases of list building to get to where I am now. I had already decided some time ago on a stable of 3 Warlocks I will concentrate on, so I started just creating lists with them. Many, many lists.
Phase 1 – Abstract Art.
Some idea would pop into my head and I’d throw it into a list on a lunch break, or during the commute to work. As a couple of weeks went by, I started to see shapes appearing. Some go-to combinations that I was slotting into multiple lists over and over again. From this, I identified a handful of modules (collection of models/units taken all at once to achieve a desired interaction) that I was really digging in my head. This phase ended with me deleting every single list I’d made (well, except for my Journeyman League lists) for a fresh canvas in Warroom.
Phase 2 – Confirmation Bias.
As I don’t have the luxury of lots of games to test some theories on the table, I turned to the fathomless depths of google, the Privateer Press forums, and Facebook to see what the ‘word on the street’ was. There was also a lot of negativity to wade through, including some very strong opinions that a few of my ideas were built out of worthless pieces (what do they know!?) However, for some of the modules I had thought up, at least parts of them were supported by commentary I came across (see, I knew I was a genius all along!) I’m perfectly aware at this point that it is confirmation bias, but it’s better than nothing.
Phase 3 – Distillation.
Time to build lists again, but now I was doing so with gradual layers of refinement. I would start with what I will call the keystone module, the piece of my list (sometimes Warlock independent, sometimes not) that would be the star player the rest of the list would support on the field. Then I would find a support module or two that would directly support the keystone modules game plan, and finally fill any points gap at the end with something that made sense. This was an extremely interesting and varied exercise as that support didn’t have to be in the form of buffs/debuffs or other direct interactions. It could also be simply to fill a role that the keystone module did not. As I made these lists I swiftly gravitated to a strong core of 50 points for each one, and was most often spending the majority of my time finding a way to fill the remaining 25 or so in an efficient and logical manner. Eventually, I trimmed the lists that were proving to be ‘too hard’ a puzzle to solve for now, and picked my favourite 2, giving me my tournament list pair.
For better or worse, I put them up on the Privateer Press Skorne Forums to see if the community there would suggest any tweaks that I might not have considered. Sure enough, one came through pretty quickly but despite liking the suggestion and seeing a further improvement it would allow, I’m going to stick with my design for now because I don’t have the models necessary to make the change.
Void Seer Mordikaar – WB: +29
– Despoiler – PC: 18 (Battlegroup Points Used: 18)
– Titan Gladiator – PC: 14 (Battlegroup Points Used: 11)
– Cyclops Brute – PC: 8
– Cyclops Brute – PC: 8
Void Spirit – PC: 4
Void Spirit – PC: 4
Wrong Eye – Wrong Eye & Snapjaw: 17
Paingiver Beast Handlers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 5
Paingiver Bloodrunners – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
Praetorian Swordsmen – Leader & 9 Grunts: 13
– Praetorian Swordsman Officer & Standard – Officer & Standard: 4
Fuel Cache – Steamroller Objective
Tyrant Xerxis – WB: +28
– Titan Cannoneer – PC: 17 (Battlegroup Points Used: 17)
– Titan Cannoneer – PC: 17 (Battlegroup Points Used: 11)
Mortitheurge Willbreaker – PC: 4
Hakaar the Destroyer – PC: 7
Extoller Soulward – PC: 3
Legends of Halaak – Valgesh, CIdaar & J’Deth: 8
Praetorian Ferox – Leader & 4 Grunts: 21
Paingiver Beast Handlers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 7
Praetorian Karax – Leader & 9 Grunts: 11
Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer – Tyrant & Bearer: 6
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew – Leader & 1 Grunt: 2
Stockpile – Steamroller Objective
Disclaimer: These lists are still open to further tweaks, and I will likely discuss my sticking points and the variations available in a future post.