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NHSD: Rocky Mountain Rumble 10/15/11 - Cheyenne, WY

Posted October 16th, 2011 at 12:42 PM by Elginb
Updated October 16th, 2011 at 11:51 PM by Elginb
Preparation: This is probably the first tournament for which I made essentially no preparation. I didn't even start thinking of potential armies until 2 days before, and got zero playtesting in. What's more, I've been swamped at work the last couple months and had only gotten a smattering of games in (mostly for the SoV). Since I usually do a lot of preparation, I pretty much wrote off my chances of winning this tournament, so I figured I'd throw together a goofy army.

I knew right away that I wanted Taelord (after all, "costs too much" is his middle name). The first army I came up with was this:

Taelord, Syvarris, Feral Troll, WoAx2, Repulsors x2, Isamu and Otonashi

I figured that Syvarris' range with Taelord's boost would be pretty formidable, and if anyone got close, the Feral Troll could take out the heroes, the WoA could take out the melee units, and the Repulsors could take out the soulborgs. Still, my main ranged option felt a bit fragile, so I started thinking about more defensive minded ranged units.

Now I love the Nakita Agents, but I always worry about their vulnerability to special attacks. Still, they were a wide ranging, versatile defense option that wasn't spelled R-A-E-L-I-N, and they were also a unit that rarely gets used in tournaments-- all goofy goodness. But if I used them, I'd be giving up the huge range I got with Syvarris.

So then Laglor came to mind. Not only did he boost their range up to 8, but he brought with him a special attack, something my original build didn't include. He's not quite as goofy as Taelord or the Nakitas, but he hasn't been a regular part of competitive builds lately (though he used to be considered top notch).

So Taelord+Nakitas+Laglor=410 pts (out of 560 total). I was a little worried that my core group was just a wee bit too expensive. But then I was like, "Screw it-- my only hope of winning is confusion, anyway." So I went on to look at filler units.

Our tournaments usually involve Marvel units, so I needed a counter. I figured Thanos could just walk up and kill each of my guys without breaking a sweat, so I wanted at least one big hitter. I had already decided on the Marro Warriors as a second ranged option, so I was looking at only 100 points to fill. I figured it not only needed to be a heavy hitter, but be large or huge for various immunities and what-not (I always get dressed for my date with Braxas, even if she always stands me up).

I considered using the Krav Maga Agents instead of the Nakitas so that I would have 120 points to fill instead of 100. With the Krav, I was considering Krug or the Hydra, while with the Nakitas I was considering the Iron Golem or the Ogre Pulverizer-- I didn't ultimately decide on the combination until I got to the tournament.

I just don't have faith in Krug-- he's too easy to ignore until the end of the game, especially without bonding. I ultimately ruled out the Krav and Hydra because they seemed too much like units dok would use. So that meant I had the Nakitas and had to choose between the Golem and the Pulverizer. After a discussion with my ride, Troy, I decided on the Golem... but it turned out I had forgotten to bring his card with me, so I settled on the Pulverizer.

My army ended up being:

Taelord, Nakitas, Laglor, Ogre Pulverzer, Marro Warriors, 560 points, 10 spaces.


Round 1 vs. Emily (Mimring, DW 8000, Iron Golem, PhantomsX2, Arrow Gruts) on Remains of Clionesia

Emily was one of the quartet of newly discovered Boulder 'scapers who I'm excited about. This game started out awkwardly, as Emily's group uses certain house rules that I'm unfamiliar with, so we had to hash out how we were going to play up front. We ended up using the more standard tournament rules, so I figured I would have an advantage just because I'm used to playing by those rules. But it didn't turn out to be so easy.

I made the mistake of leading with Taelord. I moved him up to a plateau, spread around my Marro Warriors in an attempt to guard some glyphs, and advanced my Pulverizer up the central road. Well, Emily walked up with her DW8000 and wiped out Taelord and severely wounded my Ogre in one turn. I managed to advance on Mimring and kill him with one punch, but the Iron Golem snuck in and finished off my Ogre. I was already feeling pretty quashed-- my low expectations were panning out right before my eyes.

Anyway, I took a deep breath and tried to focus. First off, I limited DW8000's movement and target choice by engaging him with my a Marro Warrior, which survived several rounds (DW8000 luck only goes so far, you see). Another Marro Warrior hopped on the wind glyph, which handicapped her Phantom Knights.

In the meantime, I managed to use my Nakitas superior range to take out the Deathwalker and her Phantoms from the high ground. The game finally came down to two Nakitas and Laglor against the Iron Golem, and victory still seemed up for grabs. With the road, it wasn't going to take the Golem long to get to where my folks were. But my Nakitas ended up getting the lucky rolls and the Golem was gone.


Round 2 vs. Paul (Sgt. Drake 2.0, Major Q10, Brandis Skyhunter, Moriko, ???, Otonashi) on Sidewinder

I was really concerned about this army because it was so hero heavy. Heroes, of course, don't have to worry about the Nakita's engagement strike as much (being able to give up a wound to engage them), and Paul also had some solid ranged special attacks. However, the wound glyph was on my side of the board, and that's what it all came down to.

Paul has a very methodical style of play and he wanted to get his heroes to a staging area on the far high ground. I don't think he took the wound glyph seriously enough, because I was easily able to grab it build a security perimeter around it. Paul's army pretty much had to come to me, and my superior range did a good job of eliminating his units before they could. The Ogre Pulverizer managed to get high ground on both Q10 and Drake (my biggest concerns) and finished them and the game.


Round 3 vs. Estes (Venoc Warlord, Omnicron Snipers x2, EOV, Izumi Samurai, Venoc Vipers x2) on Blacktop

This was an interesting match-up. Without any special attacks, I think my Nakitas gave me the edge in army construction, but you never know with Venoc Vipers-- a couple good frenzies and it's over.

It started off promising for him-- he quickly grabbed the move+2 glyph, giving him an 11 threat range for his Vipers. I had positioned my Marro Warriors to run a bit of interference, but the Vipers took out a couple of them. Still, they couldn't seem to frenzy (I think he rolled 5 or 6 times without getting a frenzy). Because of this, I was able to kill off the Vipers fairly easily with my Nakitas before they could reach the meat of my team.

All the while, I was maneuvering toward the wound glyph on this map. Once again, my opponent didn't seem too focused on it, so I got it pretty easily (even though I lost a Marror Warrior on the first roll for it). I also managed to get a Marro Warrior up to the high ground and clone, so he was always attacking up with his Snipers, who seemed to be rolling blanks. Once again, my Nakitas were able to use their superior range and resulting target choice to clean them out.

The Venoc Warlord made his run toward the end, but it and the Izumi Samurai were never really a threat. Truth me told, Estes got some seriously crappy rolls, with neither the Vipers nor the Snipers working as promised.


Round 4 vs. Ninja Status (Captain America, Cyprien, Stingers x3, Isamu) on Swamp Helix

before playing round 4, I had gotten confused about the time. I thought it was just a few minutes before 2:30, when the semi-final matches were set to begin. I had the option to play a match, but I chose to take a break because a) I thought it might be my only chance to grab food before the big conclusion and b) I thought it would be cool to go in to the semi's with a surprising 3-0 start. After chowing down on some trail mix, it turned out that it wasn't quite as close to 2:30 as I thought, so I started up another game.

This was a pretty scary team to play against. On a straight-away, I figured I might have a chance, but with all the height variance, it looked like a Cyprien playground. There was a wind glyph on the map, but it didn't ever get used.

Rafe started by bringing Cyprien up to the high ground while going for some glyphs with his Stingers. I brought my Marro Warriors and Pulverizer up top. The Marro Warriors were spread out enough to limit Cyprien's snacking options, and they were able to shoot down any Stingers trying to gain high ground. Swamp Helix is also constructed in a way that rewards leaping from tall drop-offs, and I used that to my advantage to either grab or block him from grabbing some glyphs. I had the Attack +1 for a couple rounds, which was long enough to kill Cyprien with my Ogre (though he chilled 3 wounds on him before going).

The Stingers managed to take the Attack +1 glyph from me, but it was Captain America who advanced on the high ground. My Pulverizer got a shot on him, but took two wounds from his attack (since Cap has counter-strike, his excess shield caused the Ogre double damage). Cap took out the Pulverizer, then swung around the corner threatening my start zone. I moved both Taelord and Laglor up the steps to make it so that Cap couldn't target my Nakitas without taking a leaving engagement swipe, and after two turns of Taelord boosted Nakitas shooting at the shield-slinger, he was gone. But Laglor was also gone, and Taelord was wounded.

It came down to a severely wounded Taelord and 2 Nakitas versus 3 Stingers and Isamu. I put Taelord in the center of the bridge which almost guaranteed my Nakitas an attack boost, and the Stingers went down pretty quickly. Isamu dodged a bit, and took out a Nakita, but ultimately couldn't keep up the good evasive rolls.

I felt really lucky to win this this game. If, instead of trying to secure the glyphs, Rafe had stormed the high ground with his Stingers and used Cyprien as an assassin against the Nakitas, I think I would've been quickly demolished.


Round 5 (Semi-finals) vs. Bonesnap (Nilfheim, Kaemon Awa, Raelin 1.0, Greenscales x2, Guilty, Marcu) on Common Ground

After winning 4 straight games, my confidence was up. I saw dok sitting next to me in the other semi-final vs. Troy, and he was using a really non-traditional (for him) team. If I faced him in the finals, I felt like I had a reasonable chance of stretching my 2-game tournament winning streak against him to 3.

But first I had to face Bonesnap, who had a really scary team. Like Paul's earlier team, it had lots of heroes and special attacks, and I didn't have the benefit of a wound glyph to grab. It also had the Greenscales to help with glyph grabbing and, of course, Raelin.

Truth be told, I think the game decider happened early. On Common Ground, there's a little island off to the side on which you're both allowed to place one figure. Also on that island is the Initiative+8 glyph. Nathan put a Greenscale Warrior and I put a Marro Warrior there. The early part of the first two rounds were spent tussling over that glyph-- I sent another Marro Warrior over to try and secure it, but the Greenscale won. Before I could use my second Marro Warrior to take it back, Guilty McCreech snuck over and took him out. After that, I just gave up on it. Dok has half convinced me that the initiative glyph doesn't matter after the first round its used-- and he might be right, if only I could remember that he was on the glyph. There were several times in the game when I should've/would've/could've played it cagey if I had simply anticipated that I probably wasn't going to win initiative again.

Still, it ended up being a fairly swingy game. I had advanced my Pulverizer and some Marro Warriors behind one of the central walls, but they actually got eliminated fairly quickly. the Ogre did take out a Greenscale and (I think) put a wound on Kaemon Awa, so it wasn't a complete waste. But he managed to control both glyphs (the other one was the move+2 glyph) and the middle ground. I was pretty much trapped in my start zone.

Still, long range and a Taelord boost have their upsides. Bonesnap tried to keep his units all in Raelin's aura, but that was allowing me to just take pot-shots at him as he advanced. As it turns out, 3 attacks of 4 can break down just about any defense, even if boosted by Raelin, so he started taking some risks and advanced Nilfheim. Nilfheim went down under the Nakita's onslaught. Then he brought out Kaemon Awa, who didn't risk getting close enough for his special attack, but my Nakitas were going wild with their smoke powder, and normal attacks just weren't cutting it. After putting a couple wounds on Kaemon, he retreated behind the wall and advanced some Greenscales, then started using Guilty McCreech as his main ranged support. The Greenscales didn't last long, but Guilty turned in a performance well above his 30 point pricetag. Where Nilfheim had fallen, Guilty survived the threat of the Nakitas and managed to take one of them out, along with Laglor.

Without my range, things were looking pretty bleak, so I thrust forward with Taelord in the hopes of using him as a meat shield. He held out long enough for the Nakitas to advance and kill Kaemon and gain the high ground. In fact, the Nakitas managed to get two shots against Raelin rolling 5 attack dice each (+1 for height, +1 for Taelord's aura), but didn't get any wounds on her (in my mind, she should've only had 2 life left). The full life Raelin then flew up to the Nakitas and took them out rather non-chalantly. With only 1 wound left, Taelord was no match.

If I hadn't kept forgetting about the initiative glyph, I really think I could've pulled this out. That and if Guilty hadn't been such a bastard. But a really fun game, never-the-less!


Round 6 vs. Chief (Zelrig, KoWx2, 4th MassX3, Kyntela) on Remains of Clionesia

I didn't realize until we started playing that this was a map I had already played on. That left me worried-- my experience has been that playing a second time on a map late in the day is bad for me, especially after an important loss. But I hadn't played Chief in over a year, so it had to be done.

Once again, this was a scary looking team. Zelrig pretty much negated all my special defense options, and a swarm of 4th Mass and Knights were a concern of mine, anyway (like heroes with a lot of life, cheap squad figures can take risks engaging the Nakitas).

As usual, I started with my Marro Warriors and Pulverizer, while Chief took the Move+2 glyph with Zelrig to help him speedily advance his Knights. Zelrig then proceeded to leap frog around the battlefield taking pot shots at me, and totally out-maneuvering my Ogre. His knights took out my Marro Warriors while Zelrig took out a Nakita (losing even one this early is devastating). I managed to shoot down Zelrig and some of his advancing Knights.

But then he started heavily activating his 4th Mass. He managed to occupy Move glyph which gave him the ability to avoid the central corridor and slink around behind the side walls, taking away most of my target options. I was hitting a few, but he wasn't afraid to engage my Nakitas and ended up taking another one out from an adjacent position. At that point it was just Taelord, Laglor and one Nakita, so I decided to start using Taelord and Laglor as a 1-2 punch.

I was especially hoping to take advantage of Taelord's stealth flying and bounce around the choppy terrain, picking my targets and minimizing his. But then he decided to stop slinking and focus on the central corridor. He gained the high ground, so the best I could hope for was equaling their position. From there, it was all about strategically engaging his soldiers so that they couldn't target either of my guys more than once per turn, or if they did, making sure they couldn't do it with "Wait then Fire". Slowly but surely, I whittled his 4th Mass down, but I lost Laglor in the process.

In the end, it came down to a 1-life Taelord versus one Knight and Kyntela. Chief hadn't managed to take the wind glyph, so it meant that Taelord would pretty much get the first shot of the last round. He swooped down on the Knight and took him down. But a 2-life Kyntela had the next order marker. Taelord survived her last blow and put her down immediately afterward.

I had a lot of swingy and close games this tournament, but this one was the toughest and most enjoyable-- thanks for the great game, Chief!



Wrap-up: I really surprised myself with the Taelord-Laglor-Nakita trifecta. I think I got some free points because people weren't very familiar with the figures, but I think they worked very well on their own terms, too. Laglor's range boost more than compensated for the Nakita's weakness to ranged special attacks (I think I only lost one of them to a ranged special the whole tourny), and Taelord's attack boost made a bigger difference than I was expecting. Oddly enough, it makes me respect the Stingers even more-- 3 attacks of 4 is really, really effective, even against the sturdiest defenses.

At the same time, I'm frustrated that I earned another great record without winning the tournament. I'm not sure if it's a mental block or if I really am bringing armies that are too high risk to go all the way without a loss (and you basically have to go undefeated to win around here). Well, there's always next year.

But all-in-all, this tournament was probably my favorite one so far. I did well with an unusual army, and most of the games I played had lots of drama. I look forward to the next one.
Total Comments 8


killercactus's Avatar
Nice report!

KCU Master 2007 had quite a bit of success with Taelord + Laglor + Nakitas up our way too. It's surprisingly effective if you can keep the Nakitas alive. Kudos though on winning 5 games with some underused figures. I love it!
Posted October 16th, 2011 at 03:46 PM by killercactus killercactus is offline

Did KCU Master 2007 play that combo for NHSD? That's pretty cool...
Posted October 16th, 2011 at 06:40 PM by Elginb Elginb is offline
killercactus's Avatar
I don't know if he played at all this year, but I think he did really well in a KY NHSD tourney with it a year or two ago. I remember a 600 point build that looked something like:

Taelord - 180
Raelin - 260
Krav - 360
Nakitas - 480
Laglor - 590
Isamu- 600

He might've even won.
Posted October 16th, 2011 at 09:59 PM by killercactus killercactus is offline
dok's Avatar
Yeah, I mentioned that KCUM2007's Rae+Tae+Laglor+Krav+Nakitas build to Elginb yesterday. He did win a tournament in KY with it.
Originally Posted by Elginb
I ultimately ruled out the Krav and Hydra because they seemed too much like units dok would use.

Well, they're units I have used, so yeah. Although I really want Raelin with both of those. Like you said, the Nakitas are less Raelin-dependent.

I don't know if you got to use the OP inside Taelord's aura very much, but there's a bit of backdoor synergy there, as the extra attack die makes it that much less likely that you'll be smacked by Lumbering Bully.

Originally Posted by Elginb
I saw dok sitting next to me in the other semi-final vs. Troy, and he was using a really non-traditional (for him) team. If I faced him in the finals, I felt like I had a reasonable chance of stretching my 2-game tournament winning streak against him to 3.
While it was a very classic style of build, my army was not really "my kind of figures"... other than Raelin, anyway. But I've always liked that Roman army at 555 points, and I've never played Romans or Marcus (or, aside from filler in a draft, MBS). I figured if I was ever going to play them, this was the spot.

I had four other armies I was considering - two of them would have crushed your army, I think (one of them had you-know-who), one would have been tricky but I think I'd have had a small edge, and one of them would have been pretty bad against your army.

If we had played with the army I did bring, I would have had to play very differently than I did against anyone else. Trying to set up Marcus and Raelin in a forward position early on would just be feeding red meat to Taelord-backed Nakitas. Basically, I would have intentionally strung my army out, sending out one or two 10th at a time to take potshots and the Nakitas, and try for some powder+defensive whiffs. A third or fourth attack aren't likely to make it past smoke powder anyway, and by limiting my attacking figures, I would limit how many figures the Nakitas can kill... without venturing outside of the Laglor/Taelord auras, anyway. Once a couple Nakitas go down, I can safely move up my heroes and start to set up in the middle of the map.
Posted October 16th, 2011 at 11:07 PM by dok dok is offline
I forgot that you mentioned that team to me yesterday-- it makes a lot of sense; super-duper range and your shooters become as tough as melee units in Raelin's aura. Raelin certain seems like a natural boost to a Taelord-Laglor-Nakitas-- the Deathreavers would've worked, too. Either of those would've made that a particularly tough team (maybe enough to advance to the finals?). But I just can't bring myself to include them in my armies... yet. I could see doing a Raelin-Sudema or Raelin-Dund team. Deathreavers I'd like to see mixed with an all cowboy army or something...

I believe that I did get to use the Pulverizer in Taelord's aura in one game. That may have been when I was attacking Captain America (though it could've been the Attack+1 glyph I was getting the boost from). I had actually been counting on giving the Ogre the Taelord boost, but I had a heck of a time justifying a turn marker on Taelord while he was still alive. In almost all my games, the Pulverizer seemed more like a sacrificial lamb, but he was effective at times. He was supposed to be the bodyguard for the team if anybody got close, but I used him more as a roaming goon.

To be honest, I think your team would've crushed mine. You had a lot of cheap commons to overrun my Nakitas. I think the only thing I had on you was a bit more maneuverability-- you had an awful lot of figures shackled to Raelin. My only hope, since you were using a less familiar army, and I was using an unusual army, was that sheer novelty might work to my advantage. That and my secret weapon, the always underestimated Marro Warriors (who probably saved my bacon a lot more than I let on in my battle report above).
Posted October 16th, 2011 at 11:49 PM by Elginb Elginb is offline
Also, dok, just curious-- weren't you worried about Zelrig with that army?
Posted October 16th, 2011 at 11:53 PM by Elginb Elginb is offline
dok's Avatar
Sure, I was worried about big Z. I also had no real answer to a good rats & range build. A horde of 4th Mass or stingers probably beats me, too. Silver Surfer might have been trouble, too. It was far from a matchup-proof build.
Posted October 16th, 2011 at 11:59 PM by dok dok is offline
I should've brought my all-Shaolin Monks army...
Posted October 17th, 2011 at 12:04 AM by Elginb Elginb is offline
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