Lords of Ruin

This post comes somewhat late. I have been in a gaming void due to recently purchasing a house and filling my free time with first-time-house-ownership related activity. Now that things are settling in to a more even keel, I have a great number of topics and projects to talk about. But first, what actually happened at the national Lords of Ruin tournament?

Sean and Jimmy put on a great 2 days for us all at the Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt, and from my perspective it all went without a hitch.

Final Prep

After a call out a few months back looking for a billet for one of the Auckland field marshals I had put my hand up, having a spare pallet on the floor. On the proviso they were ok with a dog in the house, mine was open to them. One Matt C took up the offer and we had an awesome time chatting about such intellectual topics as Horse Mountain transport challenges and how Skorne was so over-powered I was taking a single list instead of my original 2-list pair*. Eventually we discovered our mutual enthusiasm for science-fiction television, and seeing as I have all of Farscape on DVD, and Matt had never seen Farscape, we had our evening wind-down sorted for the weekend.

*I posted around 1 month out from this tournament that I had finalised my list-pair for the tournament as Xerxis1 and Mordikaar1 and detailed the contents of the list. I was really happy with how they had shaped up, with a planned tweak for the future. Because I had so many models to assemble before tournament day, as I was on the closing stretch the night before I realised I just could not get all the infantry I was going to use assembled in time. This was a big problem, and so I came up with a last minute solution. I took my two lists, smashed them together and played the resulting abomination list against all comers. Feast your eyes upon this masterpiece:

Void Seer Mordikaar – WB: +29
– Despoiler – PC: 18 (Battlegroup Points Used: 18)
– Titan Cannoneer – PC: 17 (Battlegroup Points Used: 11)
– Cyclops Brute – PC: 8

Void Spirit – PC: 4
Void Spirit – PC: 4
Wrong Eye – Wrong Eye & Snapjaw: 17
– Snapjaw
Tyrant Rhadeim – PC: 9

Paingiver Beast Handlers – Leader & 3 Grunts: 5
Paingiver Bloodrunners – Leader & 5 Grunts: 9
Praetorian Karax – Leader & 9 Grunts: 11
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew – Leader & 1 Grunt: 2

Armory – Steamroller Objective

Day One

My day one pairings were… challenging, to say the least, and exhausting to be a touch more descriptive.

First up, I faced Chris playing his Cryx lead by Venethrax1. A good match, and I certainly enjoyed tackling the puzzle of Field Marshal: Counter Charge. End result was a loss on scenario, but I went down fighting. My first game playing with a death clock, so I was quite proud that I’d fought it out to a loss on scenario with 12 minutes still on my clock. I didn’t dither too long on my decisions and didn’t give away an easy win to Chris, although he was never pressured back in any meaningful way, I forced the longer game out. If nothing else, it gave me some measure of confidence that I wasn’t completely out of my depth for the tournament.

And then I played Mitch. I had the dubious pleasure of fighting a bunch of Mercs led by Bartolo1 riding his Galleon. Go check my list again for a hint as to how this game worked out. The Galleon was my swimming coach, and I was drowning. I spent most turns confused about what was going on, and trying to formulate a strategy without any knowledge of my enemy. Still, despite having absolutely no idea what I was up against, and being on the back foot the whole game again, I still felt pleased with myself fighting it out to another loss on scenario. So far, this was shaping up to be a ‘just don’t get assassinated’ tournament.

And then I played Mike and his Menoth. No hesitation, no doubts, Kreoss1 steps up to the plate. “I’ve heard of this jank” I think to myself, and proceed to set up a very clever defense and screen, with avenues to go up on scenario as the game progressed. At least, it would have been clever apart from at least 3 things. I forgot about Purification and so Mordikaar lost Safeguard. I didn’t see that Eiryss1 could remove all fury with Disruptor Bolt, so I had no transfers. It is a trivial matter to see a prone old man who is lying down on the far side of a likewise prone titan. Assassination victory to Kreoss on the final round of day 1, top of turn 2. Seeing as the game ended so fast, Mike and I went ahead with an immediate reset, and played a friendly rematch. I still lost, but at least it was on scenario this time after 4 turns each.

Day Two

I was excited going into the 2nd day. I learnt many things from the first day and felt confident that my list would… well, that I could play some more good games.

Round 4 was another Menoth match, this time against Alex who dropped Thyra1 onto the table. Alex was a brilliant opponent. He taught me many things, of which perhaps the most important was that Kicky Monks are the official name of … Kicky Monks. Sounded legit. The entire game was full of laughter and wild speculation. The Karax were described as riot police when dealing with the Kicky Monks by stoically standing behind their shields and watching the baldies do kung-fu moves while saying “come at me, bro.” There was some speculation as to what the Choir were actually singing as the Void Spirits set about eating most of the unit. This game went very well for me. I steadily increased my lead in attrition each turn, and was scoring on scenario. Match result: I lost. Damn death clock. (Best match of the tourney, thanks Alex.)

Next up for the penultimate game of the tournament I was against Kane, who was playing Cryx with a Skarre1 and Kraken flavour. This game was a bit of a rematch for us, as we had fought previously in my first tournament. Last time we fought, Kane assassinated my warlock with his Kraken and I was very keen not to let that happen again. The first couple of turns had us both playing around the edges trying to get a positioning advantage, which I managed to achieve, allowing me to jam Cryx out of the scenario, and score each turn. Kane wasn’t about to let this happen uncontested and had the most amazing assassination run onto Mordikaar. I learnt that Krakens can get 4″ reach on their melee weapons. In a nail biting finish, I think we both held our breaths as the Kraken made its attack rolls on Mordikaar. Old Stoopy proved to be too agile and used the moves he’d picked up from the Kicky Monks to dodge each swing. Skorne wins on scenario. 1-4 on the scoreboard!

Last round of the day put Phil and I head-to-head. I was up against my dream match-up, as Phil decided to drop his Khador jack spam with custom Harkevich1 fuel system against me. At least, I think dream is the right word. One of those things you wake up from in a cold sweat, screaming. This game did hold the single greatest moment of the tournament for me. Harkevich had a shot at Mordikaar who I was playing way up the board. Using his Kicky Monk inspired prowess once again, Mordikaar poltergeisted the shot and pushed Harkevich clear out of the kill box. I went from 0 to 4 control points before Phils next turn. Suddenly I had gone from seeking an assassination victory to only needing 1 CP to win. There was an unharmed Decimator toeing the zone I needed, and I couldn’t slam it off with my Cannoneer because a wall was in the way! I mucked around with some last ditch attempts at assassination which all failed, and passed turn to Phil who used said Decimator to saw Mordikaar in two. It was such a great game that Phil only just missed out on my sportsmanship vote. (The power of the Kicky Monks could not be denied.) P.S. I completely forgot Mordikaar could cast Host of Shadows, so this game had both my greatest moment, and my greatest mistake of the tournament.

Tournament Results

I didn’t donut like I did in my first tourney! (That’s scoring 0 wins, see how the 0 is shaped like a donut? I think it’s an official term. Kicky Monks probably eat them at the carnival.) The final standings can be found here, and you’ll see I improved from my dead-last position at my first tournament. (I’m the player listed as Kristofr D – it’s a Facebook thing) Well, you’ll see my improvement if you factor in kill points for my bracket. Otherwise….

I can’t speak highly enough of the experience. It was tiring, I didn’t always understand why I was losing, and my opponents were all great to play against. I experienced games that were somber and serious affairs until the final handshake, and others that were jocular and full of laughter and grandiose explanations about the actions the models were taking.

Lords of Ruin: Will play again.

Casualties

The Skorne empire suffered the following losses during the tournament:

  1. Cyclops Brute – 4
  2. Titan Cannoneer – 1
  3. Void Spirit – 13
  4. Praetorian Karax – 40
  5. Paingiver Bloodrunners – 36
  6. Tyrant Rhadeim – 4
  7. Despoiler – 5
  8. Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew – 4
  9. Wrong Eye – 2
  10. Paingiver Beast Handlers – 2
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