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Elgin's 1/28/12 Event Battle Report

Posted January 29th, 2012 at 03:34 AM by Elginb
Updated January 29th, 2012 at 01:26 PM by Elginb
Preparation: This was an unusual tournament in that we didn't decide the format until 3 days before the event, so it didn't leave much time for preparation. We finally decided on the following:
Spoiler Alert!

For the second tournament in a row, I came in pretty cold, having played no Heroscape since the NHSD tournament. My passion for Heroscape has been at low ebb for a while, mostly due to job pressures, but also because of a renewed interest in Chess and other projects of mine (shameless plug time-- check out my music at http://soundcloud.com/davidlc). However, since I had been so successful throwing together a goofy Taelord army for NHSD, I was confident I could do something similar this time.

Since the point values for the army were so high this time, I decided I wanted to use a Red Skull army-- he costs so much, it's hard to give him enough heroes to work with in cheaper armies. In the past I had considered using a Red Skull/Shades army, with the idea that the Shades would just steal the heroes the Red Skull needed from the opponent's army-- but the Shades were cost prohibitive, and it always left the Skull unprotected. Now I figured I could add some quality filler to keep the Skull safe and sound. Still, because this was a heat of battle-ish format, I expected most armies to be squad heavy, which would minimize the Shades' impact. So I was wondering how to make a Heat of Battle environment more welcoming to an all hero army (especially without Deathreavers to choose from), and I came up with the idea of using a boat load of Air Elementals. I had 6 of them, so I incorporated that into my brainstorming. When I arrived at the event site, I had narrowed my choices down to two armies:

Red Skull, Dund, Syvarris, 3xShades
Red Skull, Ogre Warhulk, DW8000, Theracus, 6xAir Elementals, Otonashi

I really liked the idea of using Dund, and have had some good success playtesting Dund and the Red Skull as teammates, but I ultimately decided on the second one because it had a special attack.

MY ARMY: Red Skull, Ogre Warhulk, DW8000, Theracus, 6xAir Elementals, Otonashi

Round 1 vs. Seth (Iron Man, Omnicron Snipers, Zetacron, Microcorps Agents, Nakita Agents, James Murphy) on Divided V2

During placement, I managed to get a couple Air Elementals and the Ogre Warhulk on the top castle walk-way, while Seth got his Snipers and Iron Man up there. Seth's Zetacron was set on lower ground, but still looking down on my start zone, though the Red Skull and DW8000 were conveniently just out of range with an Air elemental blocking Zetacron's advance. Seth left Murphy, the Nakitas and Microcorps back in his start zone, and I also had Theracus and Otonashi hanging near Skully.

I managed to kill all of Seth's Snipers up top, and then was very forunate to take out Iron Man with my Warhulk (with some help from a spunky Air Elemental), though my Warhulk and several elementals went down soon afterward. I was able to get Deathwalker up to the top walk-way, taking out Zetacron in the process, and used my superior range to avoid being smacked down by the advancing Nakitas. At this point, DW8000 got hot and took out the Nakitas, Microcorps and Murphy in rapid succession.

Early on, this felt like a pretty close game, but it's amazing how quickly things can change with Rapid Fire Special Attack. 1-0

Round 2
vs. kpucblek (Moltenclaw, Venoc Warlord, Brave Arrow, 3xRoman Legionnaires, 3xMohicans) on CORVUS

Chris had the kind of army I was expecting-- squad heavy with a melee emphasis and a couple of heroes to fill in the gaps. I got to place first, and I chose to set all my Air Elementals out one by one, starting with one on the high ground, and just spreading them around the middle to make movement super sludgy. By doing this, I had the advantage of getting to see where Chris was going to put all his figures before having to commit any of my big hitters to the battlefield. On the downside, I really gave up most of the key spots on the middle ground to his squads, while his heroes hung out in the start zone. I chose to place the Warhulk just outside of Chris' start zone, with the hopes that it would pull some of his squads away from my heroes in my start zone.

Things got ugly early. Chris was having some trouble moving through my windy morass, and I decided to activate my Warhulk. I was actually close enough to his start zone to have run in and engaged all his heroes; instead, I was intimidated by his massive build-up in the middle high ground and decided to go attack me some squads. But the Warhulk was ineffective on low ground, so I decided to take a triple disengage to gain some high ground (my thought was that if I got up there, my air elemental would keep his other units from sneaking up above me too quickly). Unfortunately, I received 3 wounds from leaving swipes, then failed to cause much damage before getting demolished. Clearly, I should've invaded his start zone, though in retrospect, I think I should've placed the Warhulk smack on top of the high ground from the get-go, then worked my way down. Anyway, Chris had a big advantage at this point, having taken down my biggest squad and hero killer.

The Air Elementals did manage to slow his army down pretty well-- he was forced to focus on taking them out while I took pot shots at him. Unfortunately, DW8000 was always shooting upwards and Chris did a great job of clustering his Leginnaires together and using the shadow tiles for protection. I was able to position my figures so that I could limit the number of squad figures attacking my guys at any one point, but eventually he brought up the Venoc Warlord, then Moltenclaw, and the Red Skull was finally downed. 1-1

Round 3
vs. Rosencrantz (Thanos, 5xZombies, Theracus) on Around the Bend

When I had heard that both dok and Rosencrantz had Thanos in their armies, I immediately regretted not using the Shades army. Not only would they be great against Death's boyfriend, but they'd also have a mobililty advantage over the zombies, not to mention they wouldn't help them rise again. But, alas, that wasn't the army I had, so I was expecting Thanos to throttle my entire army single-handedly. In fact, this turned out to be my closest match-up of the day.

I had placed my Air Elementals on various high spots between my start zone and the middle of the map. Troy had placed most of his zombies toward the middle of the map near the glyphs and near my Warhulk, but had also placed a couple squads aggressively just outside my start zone. The Warhulk didn't get too lucky, only taking out a couple zombies and not quite making it to the healer glyph, but unlike my other games, my Air Elementals really held up in this game and the Zombies had a hard time killing them. This allowed me to advance with DW8000, who managed to take out about 2 squads worth right off the bat. As a response, Troy brought Thanos forward and killed the Deathwalker, but then Skully iced Thanos with his Dust of Death (rolled a 19, baby!). At this point, Troy's zombies were kind of scattered about and still having the darnedest time taking out my Air Elementals. Theracus was able to fly forward using Otonashi as a blocker so as to pick and choose targets, and slowly eliminated the undead and the evil bearded Theracus from an alternate universe that Troy was using. My Theracus finally went down, but at one point Troy had only 2 zombies, and I had the Red Skull and an Air Elemental left-- victory was at hand! But then Thanos was revived. Skully hit the healer glyph to reboot, which gave him two chances to dust Thanos again, but it wasn't to be. 1-2

Round 4
vs. Daniel (Tagawa Samurail, Kozuke Samurai, Syvarris, Warden 816, Sir Hawthorne, Ne-Gok-Sa, 2xWarriors of Ashra, Otonashi) on If you can't take the heat...

Daniel was very aggressive with his unit placement, putting his Ashra just outside my start zone on the nearby high ground, and with both Samurai Squads near the glyphs and favoring a forward push. This forced me to place a bunch of my Air Elementals in my start zone to keep the Red Skull and DW8000 protected. Daniel kept almost all of his heroes in his start zone. My Ogre Warhulk's 8 life allowed me to place him on the middle high ground while risking lava field damage, and that placement turned out to be very useful.

Daniel hadn't played with the Air Elementals too much, and quickly realized how difficult it was going to be to advance his Ashra the way he wanted, especially with my Deathwalker shooting them up. He changed tactics briefly and attacked my Warhulk with his Kozuke, and they really laid a can of whoop-ass on him-- the Warhulk did manage to deep six them (the benefits of having high ground) but with only 1 life left. With little chance of survival, I had the Warhulk suicide charge his start zone, and I managed to actually take out the Warden and wound Syvarris before biting it.

At this point, Daniel decided to play Sniper with Syvarris. He managed to take out some of my Air Elementals but my activation of Theracus and Otonashi cut off some of his maneuverability and soon the Gryphilin downed the archer in the lava field. Ne-Gok-Sa started to advance around the edges, but some how Otonashi managed to put several wounds on him, making him a risky bet. The Tagawa started advancing on my start zone while I was busy shooting down the rest of the Ashra. The Tagawa killed enough of my Elementals to get fully juiced, but I had enough wind in my start zone that I was able to run circles around them. Finally, Sir Hawthorne made his advance, but just before reaching his destination, he decided to join my team. Ne-Gok-Sa went down soon afterward. This was the one game in which I felt like my team worked exactly how I imagined it would, and it's possibly because Daniel forced me to place my elementals in a different way. 2-2

Round 5
vs. dok (Thanos, Ne-Gok-Sa, 5xGoblin Cutters) on Divided V2

Having come so close to beating the other Thanos army, part of me thought I might have a chance against dok (just a chance... I think I got really lucky against Troy; Thanos should always be a bad match-up for this army), especially if DW8000 could get hot against the Goblins (they're one of the Deathwalker's best match-ups). But the truth is, I lost this game after the first placement. Unlike Seth, dok knew how to take up space on the castle walk-way so that my elementals had no good place to sit. In fact, I realized too late that I would have to place DW8000 up there from the get-go if I was to have any chance at all. I did get the Warhulk up there, but I was blocking his path with my own guys and, again, dok didn't leave me much room to maneuver. What's more, while I was sloppily playing catch-up on top, dok pretty much secured all three glyphs down low.

I did manage to activate my Deathwalker and took out two squads of Cutters, but Thanos ended that quickly. I managed to slug Thanos once with my Warhulk, but it didn't do much good, and soon Thanos eliminated that guy. There wasn't much else to do but have Theracus fly Skully up top in hopes of dusting Thanos, who tried to fly away, but Skully was willing to risk leaving emgagement strikes and falling damage to get to him-- but without luck. It was pretty much the Air Elementals after that. Dok was nice enough to try to kill them with his Cutters, and I had a chance to see how the Air Elemental could actually be an effective clean-up figure-- with its stealth flight, it can do a pretty good job of limiting an earth-bound squads' engagements to one per turn. However, the cutters scatter is a natural way to overcome the whirlwind. Once I was down to one Air Elemental, Thanos mercifully killed him and my tournament winning streak against dok was at an end. 2-3


I think my success with the Taelord team during NHSD made me a bit cocky-- I got it in my head that I could throw anything together and have a chance at winning. I didn't really prepare for the worst possible match-ups the way I could have-- I simply wasn't prepared for Thanos, even though I knew there was a big chance he'd make an appearance. I also wish I had done some scrimmaging ahead of time-- more than other armies I've used, the initial placement of these units was absolutely key. If I had done a couple playtests ahead of time, I think the placement issues and alternate strategies would've presented themselves clearly. Whatever the case, this is my first losing record in a Heroscape tournament and it stings a bit-- but I think it's been a good learning experience.
Total Comments 9


chief's Avatar
Great reports!
Posted January 29th, 2012 at 03:52 AM by chief chief is offline
Thanks, man! Next time we'll have to have a game for me to report on...
Posted January 29th, 2012 at 04:08 AM by Elginb Elginb is offline
Typhon2222's Avatar
Juicy stuff. Love starting my day by reading battle reports like this. Thanks.
Posted January 29th, 2012 at 12:51 PM by Typhon2222 Typhon2222 is offline
Glad you like! I should say that, even though I got my ass handed to me on it, I really liked your map "Corvus".
Posted January 29th, 2012 at 01:04 PM by Elginb Elginb is offline
dok's Avatar
Honestly, I think the biggest flaw in your build was the inability to stake out real estate with a squad in the placement phase. Something as trivial as a couple squads of nagrubs or blade gruts, or even one squad like Marro Warriors or Tarn Viking Warriors would probably have helped you a lot. You didn't really need them once the game got going, but they would have been nice in setup.

As always, great game.
Posted January 30th, 2012 at 12:38 PM by dok dok is offline
Well, that's kind of you to say, dok, but this was definitely my worst defeat at your hands-- every other time we've played, I thought I had at least a chance to win in the middle of the game. I knew I blew it right away with this one. You didn't just out-metagame me, but you outplaced me-- the actual game seemed almost an afterthought.

With both you and Chris, I think it would've helped if I had placed the Warhulk first-- On Divided, there was a way to place him on the bridge so that I could've saved space for DW8000 on top. From there, I might've been able to use the Air Elementals to protect my backside and limit your ability to get three cutters adjacent to me. That wouldn't have stopped Thanos, but it might have given me another turn or two to shoot Goblins with my gattling gun (and limiting your engagements would help the Warhulk do damage, too). Against Chris, if I had placed the Warhulk up top, I could've saved one of the single space high spots for an Air Elemental, which would've left him with just one place to get height advantage on me. Then I could've placed the Air Elementals elsewhere on the map (maybe more between my start zone and the middle of the board-- that worked really well against Daniel and, to a lesser extent, Troy). But none of that would fix my glyph grabbing problems... I would definitely need some squads for that.

I was actually wondering if Kurrok would've been worth it with Red Skull + 6xAir. There were times when I thought, if the Air Elementals had been a 70-point 2-figure squad, or had Wyrmling-like bonding, they would've been devastating to some of the melee units I faced. Spending just one turn rearranging 3 of windies could totally stymy my opponent (and the Red Skull could sort of place the elementals if he moved Kurrok and had him revive them). What do you think about this:

Red Skull 190
DW8000 130
Kurrok 120
AirX5 150
Brunak 110
Total = 700

Brunak works as a combo Theracus and Warhulk, and gives me a second special attack; and his survivability would be enhanced by the wind shield from the elementals. Kurrok would turn the Air into a revivable 3-figure squad, which would've been a reasonable threat even to Thanos (if only to bog him down with three units at a time, but the -1 defense when attacking flyers would've been good, too, as well as against Moltenclaw or Iron Man). I'd have to occasionally take order markers off the Red Skull, but I was doing that anyway with the Air Elementals-- Kurrok would've made it much more worth it, and may have allowed me to do it less, even.
Posted January 30th, 2012 at 09:35 PM by Elginb Elginb is offline
Updated January 30th, 2012 at 10:20 PM by Elginb
dok's Avatar
I like it better. Thanos still probably has that army for lunch, but Kurrok and the Elementals can make scurry ineffective with their move-attack-move-attack-move-attack turn sequence. It's more effective both against me and against the melee hordes like Chris's build. (I'd wish that I had brought TKN if I played against that.)
Posted January 31st, 2012 at 12:20 AM by dok dok is offline
kpucblek's Avatar
The problem with adding Kurrok is his A- ranking. That wouldn't work in our event. (right?)

Anyway... It is always loads of fun playing the Elginb! We always seem to have some pretty epic battles. Thanks!
Posted February 1st, 2012 at 09:37 PM by kpucblek kpucblek is offline
Actually, the Fire Elementals are A-... Kurrok is but a B+! I had a fun time playing you-- I should know to expect you to bring a big army like that. Hopefully I'll give you a bigger challenge next time...
Posted February 2nd, 2012 at 12:22 AM by Elginb Elginb is offline
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