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Louisville Battle Report - June 2011

Posted June 13th, 2011 at 12:12 AM by Deroche

510 points. 12 hexes only.

Putting the hero back in HEROscape, right? Meh, not so much. Okay, a little, but not enough if you wanted to WIN a tournament.

My first reaction was that this would be a great format to run Firestorm, but been there, done that.

Another thought was a compromised version of dok's cheeseheads 2010 Gencon winner; that army had some nifty heroes, but you run it with seven rats instead of 12. Then I thought of Minionsx3/Atlaga/Raelin, which brought me back to wanting some kind of auto-wounding for something annoying like Minions, so droping a squad of rats for three black wyrmlings might be a good thing perhaps in dok's build if I wasn't going to run Firestorm. Turns out that was a stupid thought on my part after play-testing it a bit: If you want to maintain a screen via scatter for your Hydra, those extra three rats are far more valuable than some auto-wounding BWs. Yeah yeah, I know...I'm still learning.

How about a dragon? Greenscalesx3 plus a Lizard King plus one of the Raelins? I really liked the idea of Charos with Raelin SOTM because not only did the points work out to exactly 510 -- ever notice how obsessed we get with not wanting to waste points, even if it makes the army worse? -- but because the larger defense aura from Raelin 2.0 didn't slow you down so much like the giant anchor that's the orginal Raelin.

And yet, still not enough HEROES! So it occurs to me that this format isn't too far off from the GenCon "Heroes Only" format. Granted, Gencon's is 550 and includes Marvel, but that didn't stop Matthias from taking it down with no Marvel whatsoever. Since we're 510, that meant I could run his core two heroes (Jotun and Krug) and throw in an Iron Golem as a lesser Shurrak, with 65 points leftover. I opted for Zetacron instead of Marcu and the Chainfighter because I was fairly certain I'd want to have the girly range. My hope was this would work well against other hero builds and that if I did encounter squads, they weren't going to be in sufficiently large enough numbers to be a problem for Jotun.

The problem is, it never occurred to me to think about the Steamroller. Well duh, why do you think Marcus (El Diabolo) set up a 12 hex tourney in the first place? Because Steamroller is his favorite army! And if you did think that, well, that's amazing! -- most of you don't know him, do you? I don't own any Capuan's myself, and I find that I'm guilty of not preparing for certain obvious builds at all if I don't happen to own any of the figures. I'm really in trouble the first time I face Glad/Blasts. Yeah yeah, I know...no reason not to playtest with proxies.

So my friend Craig comes down from Indianapolis the night before the Heroscape tourney because it turns out that both of us are scheduled to play in a Texas Hold'em tournament together on the same day as the 510/12 hex event, (Heroscape during the afternoon, Hold'em in the evening; busy day). I ask him if he wants to learn Heroscape and perhaps play in a tourney? He says sure because that's the easy going kind of guy he is and so I give him the GWx3/Charos/Raelin army and I play with Jotun/Krug/IG/Zetacron. He learns fairly quickly and it turns out to be a close game. We practice one more match and then decide to call it a night.

We arrive to build some maps and one thousand people show up for the event. To be more accurate, it was only 20, but I was rounding up. In a panicked frenzy, we build a couple more maps -- thank God our beloved leader Marcus had the terrain on hand to do so because we weren't expecting more than 14 to 16. I've got just enough glyphs to allow one power glyph and one treasure glyph per map if I try to use what's currently being proposed for GenCon this year. We're getting ready to start and I'm still debating between either Minions or Jotun and friends before deciding to roll with the Heroes only army because ultimately I decided I wanted more practice with some of the figures I might be using at Gencon this year. I have absolutely no idea how to play this army other than if I saw range, I was hoping to snipe with Zetacron from a greater distance. So off we go...

Battle Report

Game 1 vs Jonathan on Fulcrum (DeathKnightsx3, Taelord, Khosumet, Iskra, Dumatef Guard)

Here's a chance to square up against a bonding army from one of the recent waves. Jonathan is a co-worker of jschild who only plays with jschild's collection, but he's a competent player (I remember him from my first tournament; he kicked my ass). Looking for revenge, I'm fairly dismissive of what I see across the board from me. Oops.

His army isn't that fast, so I lead out with Jotun to get the T-Glpyh before he can (I think it was the Scarab of Invulnerability - it ended up not mattering). Getting the glyph and height, Jotun ends up near two DKs, Taelord, and the Dumatef. With height and a high multilife hero, my thinking was that I could take advantage of his 4 dice special attack and hit four figures per turn. I felt if I could get in several throws, I'd have a good roll among them and knock out more figures faster instead of only using a single, albeit massive, attack roll per round. Maybe it's hindsight, but that was probably a mistake. I only had a chance for three special attacks before I lost Jotun. For three attacks, he only ever positioned Khosumet near him. Since I wanted the special attack to hit adjacent figures, if I had used Jotun's Throw successfully on Khosument and lost the ability to Wild Swing with no one there, then I might as well have thrown a 9 dice special attack on him anyway.

All three special attacks only yielded one skull. I think he whiffed once with Taelord, otherwise nothing landed. But each turn, he was able to get a in a wound or two from Khosumet. Finally he rushed forward some DKs as well and between Khosumet and the reduced defense rolls from the DKs, Jotun falls with a glyph roll of 15. D'oh, one number short of two wounds.

Well that sucked.

Not being sure what to do, I started shooting with Zetacron while I could -- I had spent an early order marker on him to get a little bit of height adjacent to the start zone. That lasted for one full round before he's surrounded and gone. I think he got some hits in, can't remember.

Next up was the Iron Golem. I went after units that weren't in Taelord's aura to give his 4-defense-dice-when-facing-DKs a better chance. But three life doesn't last long against two skulls when you keep whiffing. I think he managed to kill a couple DKs.

So at this point, all I have left is Krug and Jonathan still has seven figures on the board (I think). Throughout the match my other three heroes were disappointingly ineffective. And to be fair, Jonathan was consistently rolling skulls while, more often than not, I couldn't roll enough shields to counter.

I'm starting to think I'm going to be in for a long afternoon if this is how my army is going to perform when Krug got all, well, Kruggy.

I charged Krug towards Taelord right away, managing to kill a DK in his path after Krug took a couple hits and got up to around 4 or 5 attack dice. At this point, getting in two attacks per figure with 5 dice that will escalate upward started to make a difference. Surviving long enough to kill Taelord was the key because Jonathan stopped rolling double skulls against my one defense-die Krug and now if I swung at something, it was dead (the Dumatef never got a chance to take a swipe). Suddenly he was down to three figures and I had hope. But I'm getting low on life and when a DK swings at you, it's still just one defensive die to counter with. Furthermore, I'm running out of time (35 minute rounds). We only just started the next round and rolled for initiative when "Time!" was called, but the ruling was to finish out whatever round you were on, so the match was allowed to continue. I got lucky with a win on that initiative and it led to getting in a first strike and now he's down to two figures, one DK and Iskra. If I can survive his next order marker, I might win this.

Closing in for the kill, Krug is still alive after their attacks.

Krug then rolls massive skulls both times. Somehow I've won and I feel bad for Jonathan, the match should have been his.


(Feeling grateful and relieved to have won, I decided to celebrate between matches by finding jschild's son Josh and call him a punk. I had to hide behind jschild for a bit until Josh calmed down.)

Game #2 vs Mariah on Trailblazer (Mezzodemonsx4, Major Q9, ONE Black Wyrmling)

For those of you counting at home, this army comes out to 470 points and 11 hexes, thus failing to take advantage of the bonding offered from TWO Black Wyrmlings. Poor Mariah, she should have never trusted her father to put together an army for her (that would be El Diabolo, our clueless fearless leader). Then again, if I had paid enough attention to her point total before we played, I could have pointed this out to her, so I'm clueless as well.

We have a trend here: another late wave two-figure squad that takes advantage of the hex restriction format, thus avoiding the more successful 16-to-20 figure melee squads an thereby gets a chance to have their day in the sun.

Mariah leads out with Q9 and I follow suit with Jotun. These two tangle right away and by the end of order marker two, Q9 is dead from a Jotun attack on height that rolls seven skulls out of nine dice after she only manages three shields. Ouch. So I send the Iron Golem after the Initiative glyph since he ignores the lava terrain and I spend a few OM's on Zetacron to grab some height.

For the rest of the match, it's a case of wearing down her exoskeletons while she's wearing down my multi-lifed heroes, one or two successful skulls at a time. I managed to maintain height while she choose to snipe from afar to avoid throw attempts as much as possible. Mezzo's do a fantastic job at avoiding my bucket-o'dice heroes: all the high skull rolls in the world are wasted when a single exo-wound marker wipes them out. Wipes them out eight times. Soooo annoying. So by the time she's run out of exo marker's I've lost Jotun and the IG, and there's several wounds on Krug. Krug manages to wade through the Mezzo's, taking out six of them before he finally falls. So now it's a sniping match between Zetacron and the two remaining Mezzodemons. One of them manages to get a wound through his five defense dice from height, but he's rolling three attack dice because of height and both times he rolled two skulls for four hits, neither of which her Mezzo's could fade. She obviously played well enough to win: I only made it through with 30 points left intact from the partial scoring.

Another close match against a tough army for the format. I now realize that although I have an army that's capable of winning, there's a good chance it's always going to come down to a die roll at the end.


Game 3 vs El Diabolo on Crystal Watch (Capuansx3, Crixius, Spartacus)

I guess he could have thrown in Isamu or something...I didn't even pay attention if he had. Probably not, that wouldn't have been THEMATIC. So now I get to face Steamroller. Big whoop. I mean, whatever dude, I'm up against Marcus. If the man can't even do right by his daughter's army, he obviously won't fight his own army effectively either.

I soooo don't want to type the next part.

I can see Marcus is going after the T-Glyph with Crixius, so I set up Jotun to get after it as well. I miraculously win the initiative and get to it first. It's the Attack +1 glyph. For Jotun. Thanks...really helpful. That was kind of a foreshadowing for what was to come, actually.

I don't think Crixius ever rolled less than 5 skulls per swing throughout the whole match. I think Jotun was dead by OM3.

During the second turn, Crixius and some other Capuans bore down on my IG and Zetacron. I think Zeta had managed to kill one gladiator. By the end of Turn 2, the IG and Zetacron are dead and Crixius got a wound or two from somewhere.

Start of Turn 3. Marcus wins the initiative -- as you would expect from Steamroller -- and takes out Krug with Crixius and two gladiators with his first OM. Match over. In about ten minutes.

Grinning, Marcus said this might be the best day of his life. I'd be lying if I hadn't planned on saying the same thing to him if I had won. Ours is a special relationship.


Game 4 vs David on Guardian (Charos, Su Bak Na, Kelda, Stingersx1)

This map had the Lodin glyph and so David was practically drooling over the possibilities of improved Stinger Drains and Kelda healings. Flying SBN towards it in the hopes of getting on it right away and then later camp a Stinger there instead, that bought me some time to get Zetacron on some height and thus let me shoot across a lot of the board. I twice hit SBN with 3 skull rolls, each being worth six hits and just like that, SBN was done. I was relieved for that -- I didn't want his seven attack dice getting anywhere near me.

At this point, I ran Jotun towards Charos and got height on him. I kept raining dice down on him and David kept spending an OM or two per round on Kelda, interspersed with Charos attacks. Although Kelda prolonged the fight, there was no way she could keep up with Jotun's nine attack dice.

Being left with nothing but his one ranged squad, David did manage to Stinger Drain his way towards Jotun's demise, but Jotun had served his purpose by taking down the counterstrike beasty. I'm fuzzy on the final details, but I do remember Zetacron closing out the match having the greater range.


Game 5 vs Sawyer on Hail and Brimstone (Braxas, Charos, Marro Houndsx1)

Sawyer's army was designed to face squads, not mine. And it showed. Our match was over in less time than it took for Marcus to wipe the floor with me. Jotun and Charos tangled right away and I had two massive attack rolls from height that five defense dice could do nothing about. Sawyer knew Charos was his only hope, so in an effort to get at least some points, he flew Braxas towards Zetacron and killed him. My Iron Golem then took out Braxas just about as quickly as Jotun took out Charos with some equally massive skull rolling of his own, so it was only a matter of time before Jotun finished off the hounds, suffering only a few wounds in return.


My record earned me 3rd place overall. Hard not to be happy with the result given how close the first two matches ended and could have easily gone the other way. 1st and 2nd place were both of the Steamroller armies, breezing their way through the entire field on the way to the championship match (and if MegaSilver had attended, he would have ran that as well). At least Ben (Brownsfan82) beat Marcus in the final. Probably because he also included Otonashi. Ha! See what THEMATIC gets you, Marcus???
Total Comments 3


Deroche's Avatar
And to comment on my own Blog...

I'm still not sure how to play a Jotun/Krug pairing. Zetacron was obvious if I needed to outrange someone and I thought of the Iron Golem as something for Lava/Firestorm/DoubleHex Map Blocking/Damage Sponge to Engage somebody with.

I had assumed I'd usually lead out with Jotun if I knew I could get to a worthwhile hero early -- all of the games presented such an option -- and try to clean up the game with Krug if/when necessary. Should I have led with Krug instead?
Posted June 13th, 2011 at 12:19 AM by Deroche Deroche is offline
Filthy the Clown's Avatar
Great, entertaining report!
The 'reduced start zone' seems like a great format for Steamroller, with a lack of rats and swarms. It also sounds like Jotun has had several recent opportunities to shine, which is cool: it is always refreshing to read about those underrated, seldom used figures (even Khosumet, who Taeblewalker touted in his last tournament). Will Sudema be the 'next' hero in the limelight?

It sounds like you made the right move in leading off with Jotun, although the dice did not agree with you with your game 1 Wild Swing rolls. Jotun seems to be a bit more versatile in a lead-off role: facing heroes, smash em to bits; squaring up against squads? Swing away! In your one loss, it sounds like Crixus, with 1-shield D, would have stymied either hero that you led with, although Krug would have given you an extra attack on the big C, in retrospect.
Posted June 13th, 2011 at 09:23 AM by Filthy the Clown Filthy the Clown is offline
twilkerson's Avatar
That's the way my group plays in San Antonio!
High Points + Small Startzones = HeroScape
Posted October 21st, 2013 at 05:50 PM by twilkerson twilkerson is offline
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