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Elgin’s 3/19/11 Event Battle Report

Posted March 21st, 2011 at 10:20 AM by Elginb
Updated March 21st, 2011 at 11:59 AM by Elginb
I had a great time hosting the event at my place. I spent much of the week ahead of time prepping maps for it, though, unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to actually play-test the maps before setting them loose on the unsuspecting players—that meant they probably weren’t as balanced as I would’ve liked. That being said, I played on all of the maps, and I can’t say that I felt unduly restricted by them—maybe because they’re the types of maps I like to play on, and maybe because the draft format allows you to adjust your army to fit the maps—I think my wins/losses all had more to do with the choices my opponents and I made during the game.

My Army Pool:

Jotun, Charos, Rhogar Dragonspine, Kozuke Samurai, Zetacron, Roman Archers x2, Iskra, Rechets, Repulsors x2

Because I was building maps and cleaning my apartment (and dealing with Birthday engagements all week long), I didn’t put too much thought into the army pool. I was dabbling with a Red Skull/Unique Hero based pool, but I ultimately decided to go with the above mix of heroes and squads that I like, but other folks don’t seem to think highly of. This event was the first one I’d been involved with that had a draft format, and Eric and I practiced the draft rules for about 90 minutes the night before, but didn’t get a chance to play a warm up game against each other.

Round 1 Vs. Eric – (Army Pool – Spider-man, Protectors x2, Krav Maga, Atlaga, WoA x2, Arkmer, Repulsors x3, Deathreavers x2, Guilty, Marcu, Kyntela, Otonashi)
The armies ended up being:
Eric – Spider-man, Roman Archers x2, Arkmer, Iskra, Rechets, WoA x2, Guilty (550 pts)
Elginb – Jotun, Rhogar, Krav Maga, Atlaga, Marcu (545 pts)
Map: One of my original maps
Map Glyphs: Wind, Wound, Defense +3 Treasure, Scarab of Invulnerability Treasure

I had chosen the start zone closer to the wind glyph, and I drafted with the idea that Jotun would throw the Krav up to the top of the high ground abutting the start zone while other figures nullified flyers. Since Eric drafted Spider-man, the wind glyph wasn’t so important, but I still worried about Iskra and her Rechets causing some serious damage if I didn’t keep it under control, so I had Atlaga fly over and sit on the glyph. Jotun was then able to throw one Krav Agent up high while slowly moving forward.

In the meantime, Eric was advancing his WoA and Arkmer, who managed to grab the Defense +3 Treasure. His WoA were getting shot down pretty quickly, though, so Eric advanced Iskra, grabbing the Scarab of Invulnerability and unloading the Rechets on me. I managed to take out the Rechets pretty quickly, but they allowed some Ashra and Arkmer to threaten me. Jotun took 3 wounds and Atlaga took one before taking out Arkmer and the closest Ashra. By then, Jotun was half-way up the high ground overlooking Eric’s start-zone, and I sent Rhogar up to heal him a bit, but Spider-man joined the fray and Eric’s Roman Archers were starting to amass. The archers went down pretty easily to my Krav, and retreated before shooting an arrow volley at Jotun.

At this point, Jotun was faced with a decision—climb further up the high ground and try to throw Spider-man into the near-by lava pit, or make a surprise attack against Eric’s forces huddled behind the high ground. This, I think, was the crux of the game—if I went for Spider-man and succeeded in killing or severely wounding him, the game was probably mine; but if I failed, Jotun would be open to a couple turns of Arrow Volleys and/or a normal attack from Spidey from higher ground; if I went for Eric’s huddled masses, I could pretty much destroy the vast majority of his army, and maybe get a shot at Spidey, too. I opted to go for Eric’s huddled masses with a wild swing, but didn’t wipe out as many units as I would’ve liked, then Eric wisely spread out, limiting Jotun’s movement and targets. Spidey managed to web-shoot Jotun down from the castle wall, but I at least got rid of most of Eric’s army—Spidey and Iskra were the only units left of significance.

But Spidey and Iskra are an excellent clean-up crew, even though I had the Krav Maga, Rhogar, Atlaga and Marcu. In fact, at this point, I thought I was probably going to lose. Iskra was advancing up the high ground, taking cover behind the scattered battlements. Iskra had actually taken a couple wounds earlier, and I was eager to take him out, so I abandoned the wind glyph so that I could get 3 quality shots at him with my Krav (and maybe get them into better position to handle Spider-man later). I got some good rolls, but so did Eric, and the Scarab of Invulnerability did its job. Iskra was then free to eat some Krav before being taken out by Atlaga (I think). At this point, the web-head didn’t have any wound markers on him, and Rhogar had 2 or 3, but had healed Atlaga to full life. Atlaga was about my only chance here and I flew up, got high ground on Spidey and threw that Bolt of Witherwood—but failed the roll; then I rolled 4 skulls for his normal attack! Spidey’s spider-sense failed, he rolled no shields, and suddenly I had a web-slinging Deathwalker on my hands… there was a real chance I could pull this out. However, Spidey took out Atlaga in one or two punches, and Rhogar wasn’t far behind. My only chance at this point was to fly Marcu over to the wound glyph and hope to win it that way, but I rolled a 20 on his first activation and Eric flew him into the lava.

0-1

Round 2 Vs. dok (Army Pool – Snipers x2, Brutes x4, DED, Izumi Samurai, Goblin Cutters x5, Repulsors x3)
Armies ended up being:
dok – Charos, Zetacron, Izumi Samurai, DED, Repulsors x4 (550 points)
Elginb – Jotun, Cutters x5, Brutes x1 (one Brute was destroyed due to start zone limitations) (550 points)
Map: Arcane Sanctum
Map Glyphs: (all treasure) Attack +1, Defense +1, Poison, Giant Hunter Stone, Defense +3, Cloak of Invisibility

This was an interesting map. It had lots of castle walls with water on top of the pillars (and two lower areas of high ground with water on them, as well). There were six treasure glyphs, randomly chosen, and a custom trap – if the trap went off, every unit on water immediately had to defend against an attack of 6, then again after each player’s turn for the rest of the game. Since water was on all of the most valuable high ground, it made it very risky to use. Except for the two lower water spaces, this trap really only affected Charos, which was the only unit that could get on top of the castle walls.

I won the roll at the beginning of the game and had dok choose first. He chose Charos, so I chose Jotun and, since there were no more special attackers, I took all of the Goblin Cutters. Even with all the counterstrike on dok’s team, I felt really confident that I had this one in the bag—my experience with the Cutters showed them to be amongst the best units in the game. My plan was to have the Cutters kill everybody on dok’s team except for Charos, who I would save for Jotun. In fact, I thought that dok bringing all those cutters in his army pool was a huge mistake, sort of like bringing Raelin and Q9 without a viable counter along—it made the game subject to whoever controlled the draft. That being said, it actually turned out to be a very close game.

Dok started out by having Charos grabbing every glyph and its mother on his side of the map. In the meantime, I amassed my army of cutters behind the central castle wall. That allowed me to get closer to dok’s army without risking getting shot by his ranged units, and I figured the overabundance of road tiles would allow me to attack pretty much anything dok advanced. I was careful to cover the Treasure Glyphs on my side of the map to discourage Charos from coming over. I also sent a few cutters out just to engage several of dok’s advancing Repulsors and slow them down. After the first round, I pretty much controlled the middle of the map, and dok was basically stuck within a few hexes of his start-zone.

There was one glyph that I didn’t control but that dok hadn’t grabbed with Charos. I was worried about Zetacron, but he didn’t have any turn markers on him, moreover I had a set of Cutters poised to storm through dok’s front lines and attack him, and Jotun was close enough to the glyph to grab it and retreat out of Zetacron’s range. This is where I realized my two biggest errors in the game. First off, I’ve never played with traps before, so I didn’t realize that if the trap goes off, you don’t get to pick up the treasure. Well, the trap went off and Jotun was left standing there empty handed and forced to choose between retreating or grabbing the treasure and risk an attack from Zetacron. Since it was a defense +1 glyph, I decided to grab it anyway, but Jotun ended up taking 4 wounds from the soulborg before scurrying away behind a wall. My second howler was with the Goblin cutters—I thought you just needed two cutters adjacent to the figure you’re attacking in order to use mob attack, but it turns out you need two cutters in addition to the attacking cutter. Oops. This slowed me down immensely. With the battlements and the Repulsor’s short height, it was very difficult for me to get 3 cutters adjacent to any of them. Jotun could break through a lot quicker with his wild swing special attack, but I wasn’t going to have him limp out there without getting rid of Zetacron first.

So began my slow-going attempts to send my Cutters around the long way. Dok had bunched up most of his choice units on one hillside near his start zone. On the other side, he had Deadeye Dan and a few repulsors he tried earlier to use to break my hold on the middle. At this point he activated his Samurai and had more success killing my Cutters than with his Repulsors—obviously, I was afraid to attack his Samurai head on, so my strategy was mostly to disengage with scatter and get as close to Zetacron as possible. It worked well enough that it kept dok’s Samurai from advancing to the middle of the map, which was good, and eventually I managed to get a wound on Zetacron. While all this was going on, I was also making small headway against the Repulsors clogging the closer route to Zetacron—after my round-about units started threatening Zeta, I finally burst through with the straight-ahead units and killed the soulborg.

By this time, I was down to a 3-Life Jotun, 2 squads of Cutters, and 2 Brutes; dok had a full life Charos, all his Samurai, DED and a couple Repulsors. Up until this point, I had some of my Cutters sitting on my local treasure glyphs, but it was time to let Jotun grab them. Charos was close enough to get adjacent to both glyphs, but not actually land on them, so I had to configure my Cutters in such a way that they took away Charos’ landing zones. Dok sent his Samurai forward to attack the Cutters, but it mostly allowed me to reposition my Cutters better. Jotun collected the Giant Hunter Stone, then took out some Samurai, but the Brutes finally advanced to take out at least one of the Samurai. With Jotun nearing, Charos moved to a safer spot, and it was a tricky one—there was one glyph left (Poison) which I needed for when the Jotun-Charos show-down finally happened. The problem was that Charos could land on the castle wall next to the glyph and attack Jotun from high ground whenever he tried to grab it. There was a bit of jockeying for space here as Jotun tried to find a spot from which to threaten Charos without having to give up high ground (dok and I both knew the game would end pretty quickly once they tangled). Finally, Charos chose a spot from which he couldn’t threaten the glyph retrieval, so Jotun nabbed it.

Showdown time was upon us, and dok finally placed Charos in a spot that Jotun could reach, but couldn’t gain high ground. I took the opportunity to strike first and, with the help of the Giant Hunter Stone and Poison glyphs, managed to score 7 wounds on Charos. Charos had the Attack +1 and Attack +3 treasures, and also was attacking from high ground, but only managed to cause 3 wounds—Jotun survived! I won initiative and Jotun was able to climb up to even ground and took a final shot at the dragon—but failed; however, Jotun managed to block Charos’ follow-up attack. Now, I actually didn’t expect Jotun to still be alive, so I had placed my remaining order markers on the Brutes—I figured they at least had a chance of killing Charos after Jotun died, but with Jotun alive, it looked like a poor decision not to gamble on the Giant. But good fortune shone on me as my Brutes managed to kill Charos, then ran down and took out DED. Dok was left with one Repulsor at the top of a hill, while I had 3 scattered Cutters, one Brute, and a one life Jotun left. Based on the positioning of the Repulsor, I think dok still had a slim chance of pulling this out, but he decided to concede.

This was a great game, and despite how much it came down to dice rolls at the end, it felt like a good old-fashioned chess match most of the way through. Very fun.

1-1

Round 3 vs. Daniel (Army Pool: Braxas, Nilfheim, Moltenclaw, Su-Bak-Na, Charos, Nagrubs x2)
The armies played:
Daniel – Charos, Moltenclaw, Kozuke Samurai, Zetacron (530 points)
Elginb – Charos, Nilfheim, Roman Archers x2, Repulsors (545 points)
Map: One of my original maps
Map Glyphs: Summoning, Negation, Heal, Revive

I think Daniel has been at all the Heroscape events I’ve gone to, but I’ve never played him. I was a little nervous, because he won the last tournament I went to and has had some great results at some other events I didn’t go to. And the map made things weird, too—the last thing I would want to play on it are super powerful heroes, yet there was no avoiding it from the choices in the army pools. Daniel’s army pool was the only one that befuddled me out of all the ones I came across—the choices were so powerful (yet so limited), that both players would probably have to draw heavily from it to build their armies. I don’t know if Daniel just threw together a bunch of fun units or built the pool strategically, but it had the effect of throwing me for a loop—I had brought along my Roman Archers and Zetacron to be counters to Charos and Jotun, but I wasn’t expecting this kind of dragon-on-dragon action.

I also think I bungled setting up my start-zones. I don’t usually practice placing my units on the board army-card by army-card, and this is a situation in which I needed to pay more attention to that. During the drafting phase, I realized half-way through that I should’ve had Nilfheim and Charos on different sides of the start-zone.

The game started off with Daniel running his Kozuke Samurai out to the Negation glyph, while I flew my Charos and Nilfheim up to the high ground. When Daniel got to the Negation glyph, he actually surprised me by negating my Charos instead of Nilfheim. I was also surprised that he basically surrendered the Summoning glyph to me—I flew Nilfheim over and summoned Zetacron, a unit which left me gunshy after the previous round, and swiftly killed the soulborg. At that point I had my Charos on high ground without the ability to fly, and I moved him to low ground to… I’m not sure exactly what I was planning to do; in retrospect, I should’ve kept him on high ground for later use. Daniel swarmed my Charos with the Kozuke Samurai, again ignoring Nilfheim. So I flew Nilfheim up to the high ground overlooking Daniel’s start zone, and was able to target his Samurai, Moltenclaw and his Charos. Daniel’s Samurai were proving difficult to kill, so I took more shots at his Charos and Moltenclaw. I managed some wounds on his Charos, but he grabbed the healer glyph (before my Charos could).

At this point, he flew his Charos up to Nilfheim and attacked him from low ground. From high ground, I actually took out his Charos pretty quickly (I had one 7 skull roll in the melee), but at just about the same time his Samurai killed my Charos. Nilf killed Charos with an Ice Shard special attack and followed up by killing both remaining Samurai. Now I had a 3-life Nilfheim on high ground, Roman Archers x2, and Repulsors x2, while Daniel had only Moltenclaw—I thought I had this game in the bag. Then Moltenclaw rolled 4 skulls on burning breath, Nilfheim rolled 1 shield, and the ice dragon was gone.

I thought I still had a chance with the Roman Archers, even though Moltenclaw is hardly their best match-up. At the start of the game, I had staggered my placement of the Roman Archers for fear of a start zone attack by Moltenclaw, but this had left them a bit out of position to use Arrow Volley. I had considered putting an order marker on the Archers in the first round to fix their situation, but chose against it—now I was regretting it. However, I still managed to get two Arrow Volleys off from low ground (could’ve been even ground had I set them up properly earlier), but only scored one wound before the lava dragon cleaned up.

I made a lot of mistakes in this game, many because Daniel kept surprising me—he’s a good player. All I can say is that I’m looking forward to a re-match.

1-2

Round 4 vs. Wild_Imagination (Army Pool: Atlaga, Protectors x2, Goblin Cutters x2, Mind Flayer Mastemind, Mohicans x2, Brave Arrow, Mogrimm, Axegrinders x2, Guilty, Isamu)
The armies played:
Wild_Imagination – Charos, Rhogar, Atlaga, Mind Flayer, Guilty (540 points)
Elginb – Protectors x2, Mohicans x2, Zetacron, Brave Arrow Repulsors x2 (550 points)
Map: One of my originals
Map Glyphs: Thorian (on lava field), Move +2 (on lava field), Teleportation Treasure, Disengage Treasure

I was on the side closest to the Thorian glyph and chose a bunch of ranged units to take advantage of it. I was expecting Wild_Imagination to use the Move+2 glyph to quickly swarm my start-zone or take the treasure glyphs, but it didn’t play out that way. Instead, he sent Charos on his own to attack my start zone. Once he was there, he took out a few units, but I managed to kill him after a couple turns with Combined Arbalest. I decided to advance on the high ground and, seeing his advancing Atlaga, placed Brave Arrow on the Thorian glyph. Atlaga quickly dispensed with Brave Arrow, using a braver Bolt of Witherwood, then shot another of my units. By then, however, my Mohicans could storm the high ground, and so they killed Atlaga, killed the Mind Flayer who was sneaking in from behind, then wounded Guilty before we had to stop—Wild-Imagination had to hitch a ride home with Daniel and Kpucblek, who were leaving. This one turned out to be a bit lop-sided, but it was still fun.

2-2

All-in-all, a great day! I really, really love the drafting format, as I think it captures the chaotic fun of the game better than pre-set armies. I should also note that I managed to break my streak of 3rd place finishes, even though it’s because I ended up in 4th <<sigh>>. Right now I’m jazzed to play more ‘Scape, so I’ll be looking forward to the next Colorado event!
Total Comments 3

Comments

Old
dok's Avatar
The name of the map we were on was Arcane Sanctum.

Jotun actually did "only" 6 wounds with his initial attack on Charos - 4 wounds with the 9Av6D attack, plus the 2 poison wounds. Then I did 2 (not 3) wounds with the return attack of 9Av6D. 3 wounds would have killed you...

Then I lost initiative - I had intentionally set it up so that your only chance for first strike would be with initiative in round 3, so that I would have a chance at two consecutive followup attacks with height. Losing initiative allowed you to get even ground, and do another two wounds. Then you full-on blocked my next attack on even ground with 1 life remaining.
Posted March 21st, 2011 at 11:19 AM by dok dok is offline
Updated March 21st, 2011 at 11:33 AM by dok
Old
Ah, yes-- I meant to add the map name before posting; I'll change it now...

So when my Brute clubbed Charos, he only had 1 life left?
Posted March 21st, 2011 at 11:58 AM by Elginb Elginb is offline
Old
dok's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elginb
So when my Brute clubbed Charos, he only had 1 life left?
I believe so. My notes are not totally clear on this part. I know Jotun did 6 wounds with his first attack. I'm pretty sure Jotun did 2 and the Brute did 1 in the subsequent attacks, but it might have been the other way around.
Posted March 21st, 2011 at 12:20 PM by dok dok is offline
 
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