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  #25  
Old May 14th, 2010, 12:31 PM
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Re: dok's battle reports

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FINALS
opponent: chief (Phantom Knights x2, Axegrinders x2, Braxas, Airborne Elite)
map: Underground Iceways (Move and Unique Attack)

It took 12 days, but chief paid a visit to casa de dok to play out the finals. Chief's army really has an answer for everything: Braxas for expensive small and medium figures, Axegrinders for the big guys, PKs for entrenched range, and the AE to put the fear of God into ya. I figured the game was going to come down to matchups. I love TKN against Braxas, and PKs against airborne elite, but I had to tread carefully lest I end up with Braxas gassing PKs and TKN mobbed by Axegrinders.

The AE failed to drop in each of the first two rounds, and the result was a very cautious slow-roll by both armies. I posted PKs at most of the high spots on my side of the map, put TKN on the road with his grubbies, put Raelin on the elevated shadow, and managed to get a grub on the unique attack glyph, which slightly reduced my Airborne-phobia. Jeff put an Axegrinder on the move glyph, but collected most of his dwarves in a pod surrounding Braxas on the elevated 7-hexer just in front of his startzone. Both of us made some probing attacks on the other glyph-holder, but it was all blocks.

In round 3, the AE dropped, and things got busy quickly. chief won initiative, but what followed was probably the key turn of the game. The shadow-protected Raelin emerged with only 1 wound from three attacks, and the PKs took out three of four AE on the next turn. Braxas did manage to gas a couple PKs at the end of the turn, but it was cold comfort as the PKs took the move glyph and established board control.

chief rushed in with PKs after that, and despite some TKN stomping, he did manage to eliminate Raelin after a round and change. Meanwhile, though, the PKs and grubs were chewing away at the idle Axegrinders. By the time Raelin was dead, there weren't enough dwarves left to really threaten TKN, and it was simply a matter of working across to Braxas. It didn't help chief's cause that Braxas was rolling subpar on her PAB, too. TKN eventually engaged Braxas head-to-head on the same 7-hexer where she had spent most of the game, and his glyph-enhanced attack of 7 took her down with only one (nagrub-healed) wound to show for the trouble.

Because of the flat road on the approach and the PKs that could clog up the high ground, my army presented a pretty tricky tactical nut for Jeff to crack. After thinking about it for a while after the game, I came to the conclusion that he probably should have played Braxas more aggressively. I think he was just a bit too conservative - using her like she was Q9 in stead of a fast, disengaging dragon. It would be risky, but rushing in to try to gas Raelin and a bunch of PKs early on might have swung things. Also, having the AE drop in the first turn, win initiative, take the unique attack glyph, and rain 4 attacks of 5 on my start zone would have been a good strategy, too.

6-1, First place.

So, my undefeated record in tournaments ends, but I keep my top finishing streak alive.
great game chief, and thanks for making the drive to make it happen.
great summary, and nothing to add. Always a pleasure and look forward to another game someday!

Record Count Since First Tourney
Wins 45 Losses 52
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  #26  
Old August 9th, 2010, 03:48 PM
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Re: dok's battle reports

GenCon 2010 General Wars

I got into Indy very late on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, my bags did not - my bags that had all my figures, as well as my badge and event tickets. After getting situated at the Hilton in damja‘s, ZBeeblebrox’s, and Scott’s room, I began a flurry of text messaging and PMing to try to cobble together the army I wanted to use. I had already settled on:

90 Marrden Nagrubs x3
220 Tor-Kul-Na
210 Phantom Knights x3
520, 20 hexes

I had already won a Colorado event with this army, plus Raelin, at 600 points. I really like the way this army plays, and I find that the PKs complement the TKN/grub combo perfectly. The exact situation that TKN hates - ranged squad figures on irregular terrain - is the situation that the PKs thrive in. While Raelin really helps the TKN/grub combo, I figured I could still do pretty well against most armies without it. My worst matchup was almost certainly a horde of 10th regiment, as the 10th actually match up fairly well against Phantom Knights, and are about as nasty against TKN as anything. I was also a little worried about Cyprien, especially with Hydras, although I thought it was less likely that I would see that. I knew the 4thx5 armies would be tough, but testing suggested that I had a chance against them.

Fortunately, ZBeeblebrox came through with the PKs for me, Mattsertruckrally’s Columbus crew brought me TKN and the grubs, and R˙chean provided dice, wound markers, and OMs. Thanks, guys.

Round 1
Opponent: Nate (Kaemon Awa, TSAx1, Retiarius, Ana Karithon, Shiori, Kiova)
Map: Warden (initiative and move)

Nate was a fairly young player who didn’t have a ton of experience with the game, and his army was a bit of a hodgepodge. I led out with PKs to grab the three glyphs, then sent TKN and the grubs straight across the top of the map to his start zone. TKN repeatedly stomped Kaemon and attacked other figures, killing Shiori, Ana, and Retiarius in succession. While Kaemon did manage four wounds on TKN in one turn, TKN healed and finished off the remaining heroes before stomping out the squad figures. Other than those caused by the wound glyph, every wound was recorded by TKN himself.

After the game I gave Nate some advice on OM management and general army design. I didn’t get a chance to play him again, but he did play several other events, and it seemed like his army selection improved.

1-0

Round 2
Opponent: EternalThanos86 (10thx4, Marcus, Kaemon Awa)
Map: Just Passing Through (move and healer)

I knew the moment I read the matchup off the wall that I was in a tough spot - this was the absolute last army I wanted to face. If you matched our two armies up on a random map from the pool 10 times, ET86 probably wins 8 of those 10 times. However, I got two very big breaks right off the bat. First, we were playing on “Just Passing Through”, which I knew from testing was the very best map for me to face WTF armies on. Not only can I quickly reach my opponent, but most of the start zone gives up height advantage of the adjacent hexes, so the Phantom Knights can simply stealth fly from side to side, attacking with height against figures that haven’t yet evacuated the start zone. My second big break was that the move glyph was in play. The move glyph allows most of my PKs to jump from my start zone to those spaces just outside his start zone in a single order marker. Given these two breaks, I think my odds jumped from about 20% to probably a bit over 50%.

Still, I didn’t expect anything like what actually happened in this game. To put it simply, it was a total slaughter. This was my luckiest game at the Con, without any doubt. I took the move and got to work, and my PKs just mowed through the redcoats. I was mostly attacking with height advantage, but still, ET86 just could not roll shields to save his life. By the end of the second turn of the second round, I had killed 10 of his 16 redcoats. At that point, he had gotten the surviving ones to level ground, and since they were mostly tied up with PKs it seemed like the right time to shift gears and bring in TKN. TKN quickly took out half of the remaining redcoats. I was careful to put a grub on the map’s lone single-hex perch, as I wanted to deny it to Kaemon Awa. ET86’s order markers predictably shifted to Kaemon, but TKN walked over to him and killed him with a single attack. At that point, ET86 conceded rather than try to beat my largely intact army with Marcus and a few redcoats.

I was apologetic afterward - I played the matchup correctly in my opinion, but the dice really deprived ET86 of any fair chance to win. Eric handled the situation extremely well - he showed way more class than I would have in the same situation, I assure you. As he proved the next day (as well as last October in Iowa), Eric is a great player, and he’s also one of the nicest guys I met all weekend.

2-0

Round 3
Opponent: ManOfWar (4th Mass x6, Sir Denrick (sit 1 minuteman))
Map: Jotun’s Gap (Move and Defense)

Having just beaten my very worst matchup, I was feeling a bit more confident in facing the 4th, who aren’t quite as bad because bayonet charge is actually really useful against the PKs. I also liked that we got the most powerful glyph set possible in Gencon - the move/defense combo. My army definitely benefits more from it that his did. However, the PKs are not a full OM faster to the glyphs than the minutemen on this map, so I needed to win opening initiative in order to guarantee that I could hold the glyphs.

As it happened, ManOfWar won the opening initiative, and set out towards both glyphs. However, I managed to bait him into engagement by putting my PKs at enticing spots, and when their defense dice held up I was able to stealth fly and hit both glyphs on turn 2. At that point I was feeling very good about my chances of being 3-0. However, the dice gods apparently decided that I needed some payback for what had happened in the previous round, and despite abundant height advantage, I couldn’t really put a serious dent in his 4th Mass before I ran short of PKs. I killed the minutemen at a 8 to 4 clip, but with only 3 PKs left aside from the glyph holders, I had to switch gears and hope that TKN could carry me the rest of the way. He cruised across the gap with 8 move… and took 4 wounds to WTF. He healed, charged into a loaded start zone… and whiffed on the first stomp attempt. I lost initiative... and then the 4th WTFed TKN to death. I played out a few more OMs, hoping for a miraculous run with the nagrubs, but it wasn’t in the cards, and I conceded the match.

So, this was my second loss in tournament play, and it gave ManOfWar bragging rights over the rest of the Gencon field for quite a while, as it turns out.

2-1

Round 4
Opponent: HSer314 (Marro Stingersx6, Marro Hive)
Map: Elswin Plateau (Initiative and Wound)

I had never tested against this army, however, I had tested against stingers, and I felt pretty good since the PKs are practically anti-stingers. As with my previous games, I opened with the PKs taking glyphs and attacking ranged figures. HSer314 was playing the stingers fairly conservatively and holding his army back, so after 3 PKs and 6 stingers were dead at the end of the second round, I shifted gears to TKN. HSer314 knew that you want to kill TKN fast, so he started rolling for drain. Unfortunately for him, he seemed to be rolling one of those old-school d20s that just have the numbers 0 through 9 repeated twice. TKN had a stompin’ good time ripping through the start zone and bashing the hive, and the game was over pretty quickly.

3-1

Round 5
Opponent: Tristan (Marro Stingersx6, Marro Hive)
Map: Warden (Move + Defense)

At the time there were no 4-0 Utgar armies and only one other 3-1 Utgar army, and that army lost this round*, so in retrospect this was the Utgar championship. Obviously, I was facing the same army as the previous game, but the map, and in particular the glyph set, was far more favorable to me this time, so I felt very confident.

I lost initiative, but the stingers can’t reach the glyphs in one turn while the PKs (thanks to the nearby move glyph) can, so it didn’t matter. However, my PKs rolled pretty horrible defense dice, so I had to switch gears to TKN much more quickly than I would have liked. Because the PKs were getting pushed off the defense glyph, I had to bring TKN down via the low path so that he could clear the glyph of any stingers and put grubs in their place. Predictably, Tristan tried to take advantage of this with stinger drain, however, he appeared to have borrowed HSer314’s d20 from the previous round, and the drain attempts were mostly counterproductive. TKN climbed up to the opposing start zone and proceeded to go on one of those stomp runs that he is infamous for, killing 8 stingers and the hive in two order markers. After that it was just cleanup.

* (Correction: it turns out that Mecha Frog's Ornak, Hyrdax2, Stingersx3 did win in the last round. His only loss was also in the third round, and also to a 4th Mass build. Strength of schedule between us must have been really close.)

4-1, Utgar champ.

For my victory representing evil in general wars, I won a really cool plaque, and a SotM set. I had planned to play smackdown right after General Wars, but my bags had finally reached the hotel. Rather than try to beg and borrow another army for smackdown, I opted for a shower and some fresh clothes.

Last edited by dok; February 10th, 2011 at 09:48 AM.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 03:49 PM
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Re: dok's battle reports

Championship Report...
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... or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the Fen Hydra.

I'm going to link this in my regular battle reports thread, where I will also put my General Wars and Heroes only battle reports, but I figure I should put the championship report in its own thread so that it's easier for people to find.

Before I get to the actual games I played in the Gencon championship, I’ll talk about what led me to the army I played. Those who play me in the local scene in Colorado know that I’m not shy about playing Raelin and Q9. I had pretty much decided I was playing them at the championship, and I was going to build out from there. With the popularity of Braxas and Grimnak in the previous year's event, and the somewhat similar format, I wanted a powerful large/huge ranged figure, and Q9 was my guy.

My signature army, insofar as I have one, is the Raelin/Q9/Zombiesx4 combo, which I won the inaugural Colorado NHSD with last year. I tested a similar variant at a game day in July, and I was definitely leaning towards playing that army in the championship for most of the summer. The zombies are a lot more competitive than people give them credit for, and I sort of wanted to pull a killercactus and make day 2 with my pet army.

However, I kept playing with other options for the last (up to) 250 points of that army. And one I kept coming back to was three sets of Deathreavers and the Fen Hydra. I actually suggested this army on the forums just a couple weeks after the release of the stats of the Fen Hydra (nicknaming it "cheeseheads" at the time). I'd never played rats in a competitive setting before, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of putting the Hydra alongside Q9 behind a screen. The Fen Hydra, like Q9, is immune to PAB/Chomp d20 powers. And while Q9 is at his best mowing down low to mid-defense squad figures, the Hydra excels at taking down tough heroes or high defense melee squaddies, making them a natural complement to one another. And the Hydra, with its effective range of 2 (there aren't many spots on Gencon maps where Reach is different than a range of 2) actually works quite well with rats, unlike pure melee figures. Combine Q9/Hydra with the extra defense of Raelin and the board control of the rats, and you have an exceptionally tough and versatile army. Moreover, if I left out Isamu and went 10 points light, I had extremely strong upgrades available at every point level for day 2. The Fen Hydra is an inherently high-variance figure, but since the rest of the army is so low-variance, this seemed acceptable to me.

Still, I wanted to play the zombies, and I probably did 60% of my championship playtesting with that army and only about 30% with the Hydra build. It was only after the Gencon prep tournament a week before the Con, where I played the Hydra army, that I started leaning that way. I have won all the events out here, so winning a tournament in Colorado is not that big of a deal for me (sorry guys), but the level of dominance the Q9/Raelin/rat/Hydra army displayed was just dumb. The more I thought about it, the less doubt I had that this was the strongest possible army I could pick for the championship event, given the maps, glyphs, and the set of opposing armies I expected to see. I packed the zombies for Gencon, but it was largely symbolic; by the time I arrived in Indy I already knew I was going with the cheeseheads.

DAY 1

Round 1
Opponent: Fishtako (Raelin, Q9, Marro Dividers x5)
Map: Invasion (Wound and Healer)

I had actually brought up Fishtako's exact army on the championship speculation thread, and it was definitely no joke. (For the record, I had also brought up my own army. The signal to noise ratio on that thread wasn't great, but there was plenty of good stuff if you knew who to read.) It's closely related to the zombie army that I know and love to play. I liked my end of the matchup, for sure, but not all that much.

The opening round started out with both of us spooling out our screening figures and parking our Raelin next to the jungle bush on our right hand side. My Raelin was covering the wound glyph, and Fishtako put the first wound on Raelin. This surprised me, but I guess it's possible he was already worried about giving up points in a game that was almost sure to go to time.

In round 2, both of our Q9s got to work at the opposing screen. My Raelin-protected Deathreavers pretty much refused to die, but the dividers were hitting enough divides that the game stayed pretty close. Once I had the dividers cleared from the high ground on the left side, I moved the Hydra up and prepared to take on Raelin and Q9, hopefully in that order. Fishtako intervened with Q9 and a divider, clogging things up so that I couldn't reach Raelin easily. Fishtako put the second Wannok wound on Raelin.

At that point, I made what was probably the biggest tactical error I made in the entire Con. Rather than attempt to kill a 10 defense Q9 (certainly doable with 4 attacks of 5!) or disengage, hit the healer glyph if necessary, and work the Hydra around the outside, I chose to bring the Hydra into the center of the map on the far side of the hive to try to outflank Q9 that way. Predictably, this led to the FH being mobbed with dividers, and a few bad rolls later he was dead. I was unlucky to lose the Hydra so quickly in that spot, but I really had no business putting him in that spot in the first place.

However, Q9 bailed me out by taking out Fishtako's wounded Raelin from behind the safety of my rat screen. (This, of course, just further underscores why I shouldn't have been playing the Hydra that way.) I had taken out two squads of dividers at this point, so I was ahead on points. Fishtako, aware that this game wasn't going to get finished by this point, slid his Q9 across and tried to take out my Raelin. He actually did get three wounds on Raelin before I killed the dividers on that side and managed to get my Q9 face-to-face with his, with mine in Raelin's aura. At that point, time was called, and I was comfortably ahead - the wound glyph had taken out a couple dividers, bringing my total above three full squads. If he had killed my Raelin I actually still would have won, but only by a tiny margin. Still, I felt a lot better that my Raelin was still alive, as that gave me a comfortable lead by the "who would probably win if the game were untimed" measure.

It was a really tough opening game - certainly no softball like I got in general wars. As it turns out, Fishtako swept through the rest of the day, and didn't take another loss until the semifinals on day 2, when Mantrainchoochoo took him down. It was an impressive and well-deserved run for Fishtako and the dividers.

1-0

Round 2
Opponent: Cleon (Nilfheim, Stingersx5, Marcu)
Map: Just Passing Through (move and defense)

NERV game!

Things certainly weren't getting any easier for me with this matchup. Cleon's army was offense, offense, and more offense. However, the map draw, and in particular the glyph draw, was pretty favorable to me. However, I lost my game of what I call "glyph gambling". Let me explain: at Gencon, the glyphs are revealed after armies are placed. On a couple maps in the pool (most obviously Midnight Lagoon and Just Passing Through, but others to a lesser degree), the startzones are so wide and the glyphs are so wide that figures can really only be placed near to one of the glyphs. In those cases, I have to decide on which side of the startzone to place Raelin/Q9/Hydra, and which side just gets a smattering of rats. In this case, I stacked my startzone toward the side with the move glyph, while the real prize, the defense glyph, was on the far side. It's a gamble I have to take, and I lost.

At any rate, things started well for me as I won initiative, claimed both glpyhs, and screened off the potential Stinger approaches to my side of the map. Nilfheim was very effective clearing the defense glyph, though, and I had to devote order markers to rats in the second and third round to engage Nilfheim and re-fill the glyph. Stingers actually claimed the defense glyph at one point, but I held it for most of the game.

In the second round, I brought the Hydra across the map and had him drop four attacks of five on stingers that were idle in the startzone. I figured this would lead to the death of the Hydra, but I also figured that it was worth given the amount of damage it could do in that spot.

Cleon chose to try to work across the map to get at my Raelin/Q9 pod with Nilfheim. My rats double-engaged him twice, leading to two disengagement wounds for Nilfheim. Nilfheim did land two wounds on the Raelin-protected Q9, but Q9 managed to take down the weakened Nilfheim. While the stingers eventually did take out the Hydra, the rats kept them from reaching a threatening position, and Q9 was able to clean up the remaining stingers without too much trouble.

Cleon ended up winning his next two games, only to take his second loss of the day to Fishtako, dropping him to 17th place, one spot out of day 2. It's Cleon's second time missing day 2 by a slim margin, which is pretty brutal. He won Monster Mash at the end of the Con, bringing back at least one title for the northeast.

2-0

Round 3
Opponent: Dragonmaster384 (Zelrig, Nilfheim, Greenscale Warriors x2, Isamu, Otonashi)
Map: Rift Valley (Initiative and Healer)

Greenscales with one of the big special attacking dragons (Nilf/Braxas/Zelrig) is definitely one of the tougher matchups for my army. It can clear rats with the dragon king and take key spots with the Greenscales, sort of like how the Heavy Grut army works. However, with relatively weak glyphs, and with a map that's one of the easiest ones in the pool to clog up, I wasn't too worried about wanting OMs on my rats. Also, this double dragon/no Raelin/2 squad version is not quite as intimidating to my army as the versions that Jexik and EternalThanos86 rode into day 2.

Chris took a long time trying to decide which dragon was going to be his king for the game, and eventually settled on Zelrig. Obviously, the goal was to drop some Z-bombs on the most Z-bomb friendly map out there. He opened with OMs on the GSWs and won initiative, but a first turn majestic fires whiff made his good luck suddenly look pretty bad. By the time I had evacuated the lava field in my startzones and put rats all over the road ring, I had only lost one rat to Z-bombs; they were still rolling 4 defense dice, after all. Raelin herself was the primary victim, as she had taken two wounds.

Q9 was just starting to get to work sniping at Greenscales when the key sequence of the game happened. DM384 sent Nilfheim across into my startzone to attempt to kill Raelin with adjacent normal attacks. My Hydra was engaged to Nilfheim, but I took a disengage (no wound) to wind around a tree and re-engage Nilfheim with height advantage. On that turn, I dropped 20 attack dice on Nilfheim... and got 2 wounds. After winning initiative to start the next round, I dropped another 20 attack dice on Nilfheim... and got one more wound. DM384 took one more swing at Raelin but couldn't get the kill, and the third round of 20 attack dice finally managed to eliminate Nilfheim. Even though it was frustrating at the time, I gotta say that it was pretty fun to roll that many attack dice!

Chris brought Zelrig and his Greenscales forward to near my startzone, but Q9 queglix'ed Zelrig to death soon after that, and DM384 conceded rather than try to defeat my largely intact army with some kingless GSWs and a couple ninjas.

I tend to think this is the most surprising army to make day 2 (although you can easily make an argument for killercactus's viper swarm), so even though our match wasn't all that close, Chris gets a lot of respect from me.

3-0

Round 4
Opponent: R˙chean (10th x3, Romans x2, Marcus, Raelin)
Map: Midnight Lagoon (defense and healer)

I joked with R˙chean that he had an unfair advantage since we were playing on his map. However, we both knew full well who had the edge here. R˙chean was my first opponent without any special attacks, and Mark was going to have to conjure some clever tactics to come up with the win. He was not very high on his chances.

I lost on glyph gambling again on this map, and my Raelin was out of position to cover the defense glyph. However, Mark hacked up his startzone placement even worse than I did, and ended up not being able to claim the defense glyph despite winning initiative (his 10th, who took the early OMs, were on the wrong side of his startzone). Ry tried to contest the glyph as best he could, but it was a scatter-fest, and once I had the approach to the glyph screened off with rats, he decided to concede the glyph and try to take out my heroes in the center of the map. My Raelin slid over to the right on the low ground (the consequence of my failed glyph gamble) while Mark's Raelin moved up to the high ground on the left (non-defense glyph) side of the middle of the map.

R˙chean was sniping at my Raelin with the 10th, so I moved Q9 up to start shooting back. I left an opportunity for R˙chean to get elevated bayonet hits on Q9, and the 4Av10D attacks did manage one wound on Q9. However, the Fen Hydra followed in behind Q9, and was able to take out the nearby 10th. I moved the Fen Hydra forward outside Raelin's aura to continue the killing and tie up the remaining redcoats. This allowed the FH to get bayoneted and eventually brought down, but it bought Q9 time to move onto the high ground on the right side of the middle of the map and finish off Raelin.

At this point, I secured my rat screen around Q9 and finished off most of the remaining 10th, pushing R˙chean under a full squad of redcoats. R˙chean started to move up his Romans, but they got tied up and it looked like just a matter of time before Q9 chewed through them. Rather than play it out, Mark simply offered a handshake and congratulated me on making day 2. Fortunately, I gave him enough of a strength of schedule boost that he ended up being one of three 3-2 armies that made it as well.

4-0

Round 5
Opponent: Matthias Maccabeus (Sir Gilbert, Knights of Weston x4, Airborne Elite)
Map: Elswin Plateau (move and healer)

As we were both 4-0, this was essentially a game for seeding, which is to say, a game for pride, since the seedings on day 2 don't really count for much. However, at this point all four of my previous opponents were 3-1 with their only loss being to me, so I was pretty sure that a win would get me the top seed for day 2. And I liked the sound of that.

Once again I was playing against an army with no special attacks (other than the grenades, which aren't all that great). The Airborne Elite dropped on the opening turn, leading to me putting three OMs on Q9 while Ken put three on the AE. Matthias carefully arranged the dropped figures so that Q9 would not have a shot on more than one if I won initiative, but he ended up winning it. He made what I thought was a curious decision to concentrate his fire on Q9 rather than Raelin, but he did manage 2 wounds before Q9 killed the last AE in turn three.

At that point, we were left with a classic knights versus rats & range fight, give or take the Fen Hydra. I spooled out rats, taking the move glyph to speed things along a bit, while Matthias cautiously advanced his figures out of range or behind ruins. He mobbed and took the move glyph from me, but I decided to try to continue to build my shell on the high side of the map with my three heroes inside, rather than contest it. It seemed to me that Matthias was trying to bait me to push Q9 forward to Queglix his figures, but I was content to use the normal attack, knowing full well that the knights inevitably had to come to me. I avoided shooting Gilbert as this would just lead to a trip to the healer glyph. Matthias put all of his experience on display as he probed every weak point in my rat screen, managing to get one knight through to Raelin at one point and engaging Q9 in another spot shortly after that, but as he closed in, the scatters became more frequent and the Q-gun and Hydra head attacks became more consistent. When "last order marker" was called, I had killed about six knights and the Airborne, and had lost only four rats. Ken tried some desperation double-disengages in order to take a shot at Q9, but it was not to be.

Matthias thought that he still had a good chance to win that match. Given his track record, I'm hesitant to say that he is wrong, but I really didn't see it. Since Q9 was now unengaged behind a solid wall of rats, I was going to slide Q9 back two hexes to make room for some Fen Hydra reach hits on the three nearest knights. I don't think it was going to get much easier for the knights of Maccabeus after that. Unfortunately for Matthias, he ran into the other rat-podge, piloted by Mantrainchoochoo, in the round of 16. Honestly, my army and MTCC's army are the only two armies in the day 2 field that I would have been at all confident picking to beat Matthias.

5-0, first seed for day 2.

Since I was into day 2, I wasn't going to be able to play my Charos, 4thx3, Eldgrim (the eventual winner!) army in Dragon Wars the next day. My plan had been to play the 4thx4, Captain America army in Marvel if I made day 2, as this gives me an alternative valiant army. However, after five pretty intense games, I really just wanted to relax and get some food in my system, so I decided to bag it rather than cash in some generic tickets and play Marvel.

The upgrade roll was a symbol, leading to the maximum possible upgrade, all the way to 640 points. I had considered multiple options at each point level, but when I considered that my first opponent was playing stingers and my likely second opponent was playing 4th Mass, it was pretty obvious that a fourth squad of rats and the Krav Maga Agents was the best option. This took me to exactly 24 hexes, gave me a better offense/defense balance, and made for a pretty amazingly nasty army. I used to agree with the people who say that three squads of rats is all you really want. I don't agree with that any more. It's probably all you want at 500, but only because you need offense more. At 640, the 16 rat army makes a lot of sense.

DAY 2

Round of 16
Opponent: wdgrant (Stingersx5, Raelin, Fen Hydra, Kaemon Awa, Marcu)
Map: Fossil (move and healer)

Despite some suggestions otherwise, wdgrant made the correct decision in my opinion by adding Kaemon on day 2. Against some other armies, adding two more squads of stingers is probably better, but I think having Kaemon the rat killer was pretty crucial for him.

I opened the game with rats, grabbing the move glyph and taking spots on the high ground all the way on wdgrant's side of the map, and moved Raelin up to the high ground next to the big tree. wdgrant had some very hot early stinger rolls, taking out 5 rats by the time Q9 had sniped a single stinger, and basically clearing out his side of the map. He then moved Kaemon up to his high ground, and shot straight across to Raelin with his normal attack, getting 4 wounds in only two OMs. Realizing that Kaemon was simply going to quick release any adjacent rats or normal attack Raelin if he was free, I had to take out Kaemon, but in order to do that I decided to first take out Raelin 4 hexes back in the startzone. I pushed Q9 forward, and he did manage to kill Raelin right after Kaemon killed mine. wdgrant tried to get his Hydra in the game, but it was pretty tied up with rats, so he wasn't really able to do much with it. However, elevated, juiced stingers then proceeded to kill Q9 with only two shots.

I was feeling pretty low at this point, and figured I might end up being a first round flameout. However, the newest addition to my army ended up bailing me out. The Krav moved up, and three turns later Kaemon and five stingers were dead. It was about as sudden and dramatic a swing of fortune as you'll see in a game.

At that point it was Krav, Hydra, and 9 rats versus four stingers, a Hydra, and Marcu. The Krav finished the stingers off, and I managed the truly nasty Hydra reach over rats, from elevation, to put three wounds on the opposing Hydra. The Krav finished the Hydra, and when a 4-wound Marcu decided that Eternal Hatred sounded better than the healer glyph, wdgrant conceded the match.

This game ended up being far closer than I had thought it would be, and while some of that was the early luck killing rats and Q9, none of that would have been possible if Dair hadn't had such a great game plan. He took Raelin out the only way that was likely to work, and then drew Q9 in to where he had a chance to take him out. The luck did end up more or less balancing out by the end, anyway.

Quarterfinals
Opponent: Pickle4112 (4th Mass x5, Braxas, Raelin)
Map: Fissure

Rather than his most obvious upgrade of 6 minutemen, Pickle decided to add Raelin to give Braxas a bit more of a chance against my large figure pair. He opened the game with Raelin, putting her on a perch where she could aid Braxas's advance. Q9 tagged her for 2 wounds on the first OM, but after that I left her alone, as Braxas had to advance further to engage Q9 or the Hydra anyway.

The second round was a dance between the three large/huge figures while the rest of the figures sat idle. If Pickle made any mistake in this game, it was continuing to fight Q9 and the Hydra rather than disengaging to my startzone in an effort to gas Raelin and the Krav. At any rate, at the end of the second round Braxas was dead, mostly at the hands heads of the Hydra, and I hadn't taken a single wound.

Pickle was obviously in a bind at this point, but he put up a valiant (ha) effort anyway. I put my Raelin on the map's extreme peak and sent rats across, leaving pickle with a maximum of two minutemen who had a shot at Raelin each turn. Meanwhile, Q9 and the Krav methodically picked off the 4th. Pickle did get some good fortune, getting three wounds on Q9 with 3v10 shots, and getting a 6D whiff on a Krav. Eventually I got with the program and realized that it's better to lose reavers than risk high defense whiffs, and I swarmed his startzone completely.

At that point, there was really nothing at all Pickle could do. He was obviously and understandably frustrated. I didn't take out Raelin - in part because she's not as big a deal with +1 defense, in part because her presence restricted where pickle went and cost him an OM at one point, in part because I did manage to attack defense 2 minutemen a few times, and in part because killercactus was watching and I wanted to impress him. Anyway, I methodically eliminated one minuteman after the other, finally taking Raelin out second-to-last.

Pickle had done me a huge favor in the first round by defeating my very worst matchup: the Heaviesx4, Grimnak, Nerak, Krav, Raelin army of Scaper_Dude. The 4th/Braxas combo is probably the worst possible matchup that army has, while my army is probably the worst matchup for 4th/Braxas (give or take my Krav addition, which is a juicy target for Braxas). It formed a matchup triangle, and I was very fortunate that the seedings led to the games playing out in the order they did.

Semifinals
Opponent: RoninValentina (Knightsx3, Gilbert, Finn, Krav, Fen Hydra, Marcu)
Map: Fossil (wound and initiative)

I won initiative, but I committed a major OM SNAFU by accidentally putting my "2" on the Krav in stead of the rats. Oy. This kept me from sealing up the map, and when the Krav failed to kill the lead knight and Ronin got a good dispatch roll on the next OM, a knight managed to get up to my Krav and get an adjacent attack. I got a block, but then I rolled a 1 for the wound glyph, lost initiative despite the initiative glyph, and lost the krav to a second attack from the knight that was past my screen. Oy.

It was a nasty cocktail of a brain fart and some bad luck, and it denied me the opportunity to rain 3 attacks of 4 on approaching figures for the remainder of the game, which would have made things go a lot faster. But I figured I was still OK as long as I didn't let the screen collapse again. My Q9 managed to take out two of the three Krav with three turns of 111111111, and my Krav managed to wound the Hydra with attacks of 4 from height. All the while, RV was slowly grinding through my rats. I was steadily giving ground, backing up in one hex increments to limit him to only a couple of attacks per OM. Eventually the Krav brought down the Hydra and it was only the knights left.

Ronin managed to slip Finn through (I believe there was a disengagement involved) and get some attacks on Raelin, so I had to kill Finn - his spirit went on Gilbert. As the screen slowly contracted in more tightly, the Hydra got involved, taking out several knights and wounding Gilbert before the rat screen was finally broken by RV's knights. Raelin died, and the Hydra was brought down to one wound, but he couldn't quite land that last wound. Q9 finished off Gilbert, the last knight, and Marcu. I had Q9, a 3 wound Hydra, and a single rat left at the end.

I had some lousy luck (and some poor play) early on, but my Hydra held up like a champ at the end, so it evened out fairly well. I'm pretty sure that Q9 never even took an attack, much less a wound, so I really felt fairly in control. If I had lost this game, I would probably never have forgiven myself for that critical first round OM error. The game did take an awfully long time - Mantrain had annihilated Fishtako in the other semifinal, and was watching to see who his finals opponent would be for a while.

Finals
Opponent: Mantrainchoochoo (Deathreaversx4, Raelin RotV, Major Q9, Kaemon Awa, Marro Warriors, Arkmer (drop a rat))
Map: Warden (defense and initiative)

Before I get to the game, I should probably comment on what is the significance, if any, of a match between two ratx4/Raelin/Q9 armies in the finals. On the one hand, this could be seen as a horrible thing - the logical endpoint of people minmaxing their builds, and something which could have a stifling effect on competitive Heroscape. I know I'm not an unbiased observer, but I don't see it that way. First, while the army I brought is in my opinion the strongest army for the current Gencon championship metagame, it is far from unbeatable. In fact, there are several builds that are probably favored against it, even if those builds may have fewer strong matchups overall. Secondly, there is still a great degree of diversity in the top builds.

Third, and I really want to emphasize this one - playing a Raelin/Deathreaver/unique range army well is not easy. It requires a lot of skill to make all the right decisions on order marker management and figure placement. Yes, it's very, very powerful, and I'm not asking for anyone's sympathy. But there's a number of other top competitive builds that are, in my opinion, significantly easier to play. There were other rat/Raelin and rat/Q9 and even rat/Raelin/Q9 armies out there on day 1, and only Mantrainchoochoo and myself made day 2. If it was just the army, we would have seen more similar armies in the top 16. But Ben is a freaking incredible player, and I happen to think I'm pretty good too. It's not just the army. Yes, it's favored over a lot of stuff on paper, but you've got to know what you're doing.

OK, sorry, that's the end of the rant. Let me get to the game, because hoo boy, does it deserve some comment. I know some people were saying that this was going to be an unwatchable match with 31 rats on the map. I think we heard the "5 minutes, guys" joke about 10 times over the course of the game. But honestly, this was the most tactically intense game of Heroscape I've ever played, and I'm not sure any other game I've played really rates all that close. To say this was a game worthy of the final is, in my obviously biased opinion, a gross understatement.

(As an aside, it didn't take all that long, either. Any game with two full startzones is going to take a while, but it wasn't ridiculous. It was over an hour, but it was shorter than my semifinal game, shorter than the third place game that happened parallel to it, and shorter than some games I've had in other tournaments. Ben plays really fast, and I play reasonably fast, and with our special attacks scatter almost never happened in this game.)

On paper, my army had the advantage in this battle. While Kaemon is certainly very useful in a fight with so many rats, The Fen Hydra is a great weapon to have to use against the opposing Q9. More crucially, though, I had the Krav, while Mantrain had Marro Warriors and Arkmer (who crowded out a rat). While Arkmer may have had some use in Mantrainchoochoo's first match against knights, he was basically 50 points of dead weight in our match. (We speculated after the match that MTCC may have been better off sitting Arkmer for another rat, actually.) The upgrade regime was just a lot easier to handle for my 500 point army than it was for MTCC's 510 point army.

When the glyphs flipped, it was immediately obvious that both of us would be racing for the defense glyph, and the initial initiative roll was absolutely crucial. I lost initial initiative, and both of us agreed that that might decide the game right there. Sure enough, MTCC had rats on defense and wound on turn 2, conceding the relatively unimportant initiative glyph to me as consolation. At that point, both of us moved up our Q9s, and the rat-killing began.

As I said earlier, MTCC is an incredible player. Where he stands out more than anything else, to me, is OM management. He's the only player I've ever faced where I felt like he wasn't just planning out his best moves for the next round, but consistently figuring out what I was going to do and then setting his against that. (And somehow completing this entire process in under ten seconds.) Because we were both relying on special attacks and not triggering scatter, each of us was putting OMs on the rats in nearly every round. For two rounds in a row, I cleared the defense glyph, had my next OM on the rats to claim the glyph myself... and Ben flipped his rat OM. It was uncanny. Then, in the third round, I cleared defense after the second OM but didn't put OM 3 on rats because I figured he'd have his OM 2 on rats. Nope. It was his 3. He had me second-guessing myself between every round, trying to figure out what he was thinking that I was thinking and how he would plan against that.

I've gotten ahead of the action, though, so let me back up. In the second round, MTCC brought up his Raelin to the shadow tile on the edge of the central platform. I think the intention was to bring Q9 up next to it, but I walled off MTCC's side of the entrance to the platform with a pair of rats, which allowed me to slip Q9 onto the platform myself, and I managed to kill his Raelin. (If Ben made any mistake this game, it was that he moved Raelin up a bit too early.) MTCC was working his rats across the map on the initiative side of the map, but I was walling off the platform as best I could with rats. I moved my Raelin up to the mirror image spot to where MTCC had put his, but at this point it was relatively safe. I brought the Fen Hydra up into the aura as well, although I lost a head to a disengagement strike along the way. By the fourth round I had claimed the wound glyph in the middle, which was nice because it was clear this was going to be a war of rat attrition and every little bit counted.

While I was concentrating most of my fire on rats, MTCC was trying to kill Q9. I was hucking 10 dice on defense, but you've gotta whiff sometime, right? MTCC did get Q9 to 3 wounds, but that fourth wound just would not come out. Rather than risk losing Q9 and basically having no way to get the defense glyph back, I retreated Q9 to the low ground on the defense side of the map, still in Raelin's aura, and shot at the rats from there while standing on shadow. At long last, after five rounds, I had whittled the rats down to just the one on the defense glyph. The Krav got in the game and finished off the last rat, and I finally had the glyph. I advanced my Hydra over the top and put two wounds on Q9. The Hydra took a couple quick wounds from Kaemon, but was still tying up Q9, so I then switched to the Krav, who got on the elevated platform and started doing what the Krav do when they have height, Raelin, and a screen.

When I took down Q9 with a shot from the Krav, I actually started to believe I was going to pull off the comeback after losing the opening race for the glyph, and win this thing. The Marro Warriors and Kaemon put up a fight - MTCC was trying to bust a hole in the screen with Kaemon so that the Marro could engage the Krav, so I took out Kaemon first. The Marro actually did kill a Krav thanks to a stealth dodge whiff on seven defense dice. Q9 returned from exile in the lowlands to take out the last two Marro. Arkmer only had one activation and no attacks before Q9 finished him off.

It was an almost surreal experience playing in this game. Like I said, it was a super intense game that required a ton of concentration, and it was only every few minutes or so that I would look up and remember, "oh, right, there's a decent-sized crowd gathered around us watching this game". Having people applaud when the game ended was also sort of surreal, albeit gratifying. Again, I have to also give props to Ben, who is such a great player. He only needed one more whiff from my Q9 in those middle rounds, and he cruises to the win. It was a razor-close game.

Anyway, for winning the championship, I got an RotV set (my first! I've only had the figures!), a full wave of D2, one of those cool hologram skull trophies, a awesome plaque with a digital picture frame in the middle that cycles through Heroscape pics, a gift certificate to Miniatures Market, a dice tower, one of Cav's lexan maps, the autographed copy of River of Blood, and a set of the much-coveted Gencon custom dice. It was a lot of swag.

Unfortunately CVN was apparently off babysitting some executives all weekend, so I didn't get to play against him. Too bad; that would have been my chance to finally whip out the zombies.

Last edited by dok; August 10th, 2010 at 12:32 AM.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 03:51 PM
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Re: dok's battle reports

HEROES ONLY... or, whatchya gonna do when the firestorm runs wild on you?

Winning the main event got me the D2 hero pack, so I immediately decided to drop out of Monster Mash and sign up for heroes only so I could run the firestorm. I was a big early pusher of the power of this build, so I naturally wanted to give it a go in tournament play. I actually wasn't the first to try it, though - Pickle4192 had run Kurrok and 8 elementals in heat of battle. I think he had two losses. It's pretty tough to run the firestorm at that low of a point total - with so few wounds in your army, attrition starts to hit you very quickly.

Heroes only, with its 550 point total, gave me the opportunity to run a more fully-formed version of the firestorm. While my ideal firestorm build has two squads of rats in it, here I subbed in Raelin, which is not so bad. However, given the unusual metagame of heroes only, I had a few bad matchups. All of my testing with firestorm had been against typical squad-based armies, and as I thought about it, I realized that playing against heroes, particularly melee heroes, would be a very different animal.

In a standard squad-based event, I am far more worried about losing all my fire elementals than getting Kurrok killed, but in heroes only, the dynamic flips completely. Cyprien can fly in, and it's pretty much a coin flip whether he chills me to death before the FEs bring him down (the firestorm has an edge, I think, but it's small). Jotun and Krug and Charos can merrily disengage and absorb wounds with their high life, and then drop Kurrok with their high attacks. And the fire-immune heroes from the new packs combine high attacks with the ability to ignore Searing Intensity. Raelin helps in these matchups, but it's still worrisome.

As it happened, Matthias was playing a stronger version of his heroes army from the previous year - Jotun, Krug, and Shurrak, plus Marcu and a Drow Chainfighter to fill out the points. That army is pretty much a worst-case scenario for my army. To make matters worse, fomox was running the same thing. I figured the chance of both of them losing before I had to face them was pretty close to zero, so I had very little chance of winning the event. Oh well, no matter - a-firestorming we will go!

Round 1
Opponent: ninthdoc (Air Elemental x4, Atlaga, Raelin, Concan, Zetacron, Deadeye Dan, Guilty, Marcu, Otonashi)
Map: Jotun's Gap

Funny side note: four or five times at the Con, matchups for a round were screwed up, and they were hastily re-posted minutes after they were first posted. My original matchup this round was Retlaw, who was basically playing the same army I was except that he had fewer elementals, and he had an Iron Golem and Brunak in stead of Raelin. While I might have been able to pull that one out, it was NOT the matchup I was looking for. I was jokingly calling out that the matchups were messed up, and then lo and behold, they were! What luck. The re-draw paired me with Ninthdoc.

I started by putting Raelin on a perch over the narrows of the gap, and moved Kurrok a bit up the hill with the next OM. Raelin draws some fire from Zetacron, and a bolt of witherwood from Atlaga, but holds firm. Kurrok directed the fire elementals across the gap, and I got a quick wound on Zetacron, but ninthdoc started throwing his Air Elementals out to slow the advance. This works to some degree, but the AEs aren't really doing much damage, so it's something of a wash. After a couple more turns, Zetacron and the Air Elementals were down, and I moved Kurrok further up after I'd finished emptying the startzone. Humorously, I accidentally move Raelin next to a couple FEs, resulting in some unintentional self-searing. However, at this point it was just a matter of time. The FEs took out Raelin and Concan, and then swiftly finished off the remaining heroes in the startzone. After one successful summoning, the total was just 3 dead elementals in my army.

1-0

Round 2
Opponent: Matthias Maccabeus (Jotun, Shurrak, Krug, Drow Chainfighter, Marcu)
Map: Midnight Lagoon

So, here it was - the worst possible matchup for my army, piloted by the player I feared the most, on probably the worst map in the map pool for my army (super wide, impossible to block up, lots of swamp water). I told everyone in earshot to gather 'round if they wanted to see my second loss of the 'Con. I had given Matthias his only day 1 loss in the championship, too, so this was his chance to even the score.

Matthias led out with Jotun while I set up the fire elemental shell. Matthias made a space-counting error and thought he was out of threat range of my Fire Elementals, but I managed to engage him, and he went up like a Roman candle with three searing intensity wounds. I added a fourth with disengage, but Matthias won initiative in the next round and was able to charge in on Kurrok, delivering four wounds with an 8Av5D swing. The elementals managed to kill him on the next turn with attacks of 4 and searing Intensity, but the damage was done.

Spoiler Alert!


Matthias brought Shurrak up next. He was very cautious, working him around the outside and collecting some treasure glyphs. Eventually he barged in. He took a couple attacks and disengages from FEs, but he took a healing potion for a clean slate once he reached Kurrok, and managed to finish off Kurrok with three life remaining.

I would complain that it sucks that I had to play Matthias in the second round, but the bottom line is that nobody else was beating Matthias that day. If I had been lucky enough to duck him for four rounds, he would have beaten me in the finals. He knew exactly how to play the matchup, and despite some good breaks for me, he won with a Krug to spare.

1-1 (and 1-1 against MM)

Round 3
Opponent: Connor (Q10, Agent Carr, Ne-Gok-Sa, Brandis Skyhunter, Raelin, Darrak)
Map: Fossil

This game did not start out auspiciously, as Q10 and Brandis took out Raelin in 2 OMs. However, After that, things pretty much went my way. Q10, Brandis, Raelin, Carr, Darrak, and NGS all fell quickly and quietly to sear and advance. Not much to say except that I kept his ranged figures engaged before they ever had a shot at Kurrok.

2-1

Round 4
Opponent: David K (Fen Hydra x2, Nilfheim, Kaemon Awa)
Map: Midnight Lagoon

David K is a solid player who made day 2 in 2009 with a Roman army. He had actually been a victim of Pickle's firestorm in heat of battle, and he was clearly unhappy to see it again. He didn't exactly understand how the dynamic worked, and he definitely didn't understand how to play against it. Moreover, he had exactly the sort of army that the firestorm likes to take down - it's a very solid army for Heroes only in general, but my army is a real outlier in the format (well, in any format, really).

David led off with Kaemon, found the attack glyph, and dropped 4 wounds on Raelin in one shot. He had Raelin dead on the next OM, but I swiftly engaged Kaemon with elementals. David brought up Nilfheim to try to clear out the elementals, and Nilf did manage to kill four of them, but all he was really doing was doubling the speed that the firestorm inflicted wounds.by giving me two targets. This left David with two Hydras, which are pretty much the last thing you want against the firestorm other than a Deathwalker. I killed one in the startzone, and while the other one ran around doing a treasure hunt, it was only a matter of time before I had it engaged and seared off its heads.

3-1, fourth place.

I won a pack of road for my finish, which gave me a 16-2 final record at the Con.

Last edited by dok; August 9th, 2010 at 03:57 PM.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 04:29 PM
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Re: dok's battle reports

Quote:
Originally Posted by dok View Post


Round 4
Opponent: HSer314 (Marro Stingersx6, Marro Hive)
Map: Elswin Plateau (Initiative and Wound)

I had never tested against this army, however, I had tested against stingers, and I felt pretty good since the PKs are practically anti-stingers. As with my previous games, I opened with the PKs taking glyphs and attacking ranged figures. HSer314 was playing the stingers fairly conservatively and holding his army back, so after 3 PKs and 6 stingers were dead at the end of the second round, I shifted gears to TKN. HSer314 knew that you want to kill TKN fast, so he started rolling for drain. Unfortunately for him, he seemed to be rolling one of those old-school d20s that just have the numbers 0 through 9 repeated twice. TKN had a stompin’ good time ripping through the start zone and bashing the hive, and the game was over pretty quickly.
More specifically, it only seemed to have the numbers 1-4...

Well based on your record I don't feel so bad about losing to you now! Congrats on all your triumphs!

And by losing, of course I mean I got thouroughly destroyed.

Last edited by heroscaper314; August 9th, 2010 at 05:25 PM.
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Old August 9th, 2010, 04:38 PM
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Re: dok's battle reports

Quote:
Originally Posted by heroscaper314 View Post
Well based on your record I don't feel so bad about losing to you now! Congrats on all your triumphs!
I think a lot of us in Colorado are thinking the same thing-- maybe we're not really that bad, he's just that good...
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Old August 9th, 2010, 04:42 PM
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Re: dok's battle reports

These are the posts I've been waiting for, dok, and they didn't disappoint. Thanks so much for taking the time to make us feel like we were there, and, again, congratulations.

Also I'm pleased as a (somewhat) oldtimer on this board to see ninthdoc's name come up.

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Old August 9th, 2010, 06:48 PM
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Re: dok's battle reports

GREAT posts, always a good time reading your reviews. I look forward as always to playing you, and good luck with any other games you might play!

Record Count Since First Tourney
Wins 45 Losses 52
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  #33  
Old August 9th, 2010, 09:01 PM
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Re: dok's battle reports

Dok, it was a fun match we had. Thanks for spelling my name right. I'm glad I picked Kaemon Awa over the Omnicron Repulsors. He held his own and would have given me a better chance in later matches if I had won the first round. Congratulations again on the win.
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  #34  
Old August 14th, 2010, 05:44 PM
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Re: dok's battle reports

dok, great reporting as usual. Congrats on winning everything. (We Colorado guys knew you were gonna win it all anyway). Like Elginb said, it makes us feel better that you won (at least it makes us realize we may not be all that bad afterall).

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  #35  
Old September 26th, 2010, 12:18 PM
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Re: dok's battle reports

Here's my battle report for the September 25th Colorado event.

The format was the pooled draft format. I just can't stress enough what a great format this is. It totally levels the power ranking playing field, because bringing powerhouse figures just means you're going to see them drafted out from under you. It also means that every game is with a different army, which really tests your flexibility and tactical thinking as a player. The only downside is that it does take some time to set cards up and run the draft each game - a tournament that uses timed rounds should leave an extra 10 minutes each round for this.

My draft pool featured guards and the warden, and some figures that I thought might be good counters to figures other people might bring.

300 Granite Guardians x3
220 Tor-Kul-Na
90 Marrden Nagrubs x3
50 Drow Chainfighter x2
90 Warden 816
10 Otonashi
120 Omnicron Repulsors x3
120 Black Wyrmlings x4
1000 (maximum allowable total)

The only thing I really wanted to include but couldn't was the zombies, but once I hit on the guard theme/synergy, there really wasn't room.

Game 1
Opponent: Wild_Imagination (Raelin, Thanos, Warforged Soldiers x2, Nakita Agents, Kurrok, Air+Water Elemental x2)
Map: When Paths Cross
I played: Raelin, TKN, grubs x3, Warforged Soldiers x2
Wild_Imagination played: Kurrok, Air+Water Elemental x2, Nakitas, Warden 816, Granite Guardians x1

I won the opening d20 roll, which was the "Raelin roll" all day for Steve. That's the risk of bringing an A+ figure to this event. At least he got the yellow start zone.

In round 1, I lost initiative, but still took the defense glyph as Steve spread out his elemental activations. I took out a Water Elemental, but took two wounds on Raelin from an Air Elemental. In round 2, TKN made his way into the opposing start area, and it was basically a matter of time. Steve rolled good defense for a while, but he just didn't have the numbers or the hitting power to bring down the big hivelord, and he never got his figures into positions that could really give TKN trouble.

Other than the one OM on Raelin to put her on a perch, it was the marro show. In the end I had lost 4 grubs (two to healing) and had taken two wounds on Raelin.

1-0

Game 2
Opponent: Daniel (Werewolf Lord, Wolves of Badru x2, Khosumet, Anubian Wolves x2, Kurrok, Fire+Water+Earth Elemental x2, Dumutef Guard, Otonashi)
Map: Hard Eight (Heroic Rune and Talisman of Defense)
I played: Werewolf Lord, Wolves of Badru x2, Anubian Wolvesx2, Marrden Nagrubs x3, Otonashi
Daniel played: Tor-Kul-Na, Kurrok, Fire+Water+Earth Elemental x2

Daniel picked TKN with his first pick. I considered the options and went with the denial draft of the grubs, and the Werewolf Lord. (Note to players in this sort of format - if you're going to draft half of a synergy pair, draft the half that's better to be stuck with alone first. This will keep you from being vulnerable to tactical denial drafting like this.) Things went smoothly after that, with the two of us clearing out most of Daniel's drafting pool.

My early OMs went on the wolves of Badru, with a combination of pounces and attacks with height leading to a few dead elementals. The Werewolf Lord was killed by TKN in the second round, but not before drawing a couple wounds. The real MVPs of the game for me, though, were the Anubian Wolves, who killed TKN with a combination of stomp denial and a well-timed roll of 18 for moon frenzy. Daniel tried to summon his way back into the game, but the Anubians cleaned up without too much trouble.

2-0

Game 3
Opponent: Dylan (Moriko, Mogrimm, Arkmer, Darrak, Rhogar, Brandis, Wyvern, Mindflayer Mastermind, Protectors of Ullar x1, Warforged Soldiers x1, Black Wyrmling, Blue Wyrmling)
Map: "A River Runs Through it"
I played: Warden 816, Granite Guardians x3, Black Wyrmlings x5, Otonahsi.
Dylan played: Mindflayer Mastermind, Brandis Skyhunter, Wyvern, Rhogar Dragonspine, Warforged Soldiers, Blue Wyrmling

The map was a custom build by lafleurhero; it was a swamp map with abundant jungle and a high, narrow central plateau that had a river running under it.

Dylan is a young kid who is still learning the game. His army pool would be a big weakness in most formats, however, in this format a hodgepodge army pool isn't really a weakness. (In fact, chief intentionally went with the hodgepodge draft pool strategy, and mostly drafted from his opponent's figures all day.) That said, he still struggles with OM management and overall strategy, and has trouble using special powers correctly.

Dylan spent his early turns turtling in his startzone while my Warden-assisted Granite Guardians worked their way over the central high ground. I used my black wyrmlings to take out his warforged soldiers, then pretty much let my GGs do the rest. Dylan rolled pretty well on attack dice, and managed to take out 2 wyrmlings and 4 GGs before the end.


3-0

Game 4
Opponent: kpucblek (Deathreaversx2, Mohicans x3, Brave Arrow, Nakita Agents, Gorrilinators x2, DW9k, Zettian Guards, Warden 816, Marcu)
Map: A Stone's Throw (no glyphs)
I played: Deathreavers x2, Mohicans x3, Brave Arrow, Black Wyrmlings x4, Drow Chainfighter x2, Marcu (sit one rat)
kpucblek played: Omnicron Repulsors x3, DW9k, Zettian Guards, Nakitas, Warden 816, Otonashi

This was the only army I faced all day where my Omnicron Repulsors would have been useful, but after I won the d20 roll-off, I picked Chris's two squads of Deathreavers. This led to him taking my repulsors, naturally.

On such a tight-in map, I felt that devoting early OMs to the rats would be a poor investment, particularly given the nine repulsors he had on the board. So in stead, I sat a rat to get under the hex limit, and never activated my rats all game. While kpucblek took out my two advanced rats right away with a DW9k explosion and sent his repulsors out to take out more of them while plinking at Mohicans, I put five of my first six OMs on the black wyrmlings, and went after his high-value unique squaddies. At the end of the second round, I had lost five of seven rats (mostly to overload), plus one Mohican and one Wyrmling, but I had acid-breathed all of the Zettians and Nakitas to death. (The black wyrmling's ability to use fledgling acid breath against one figure while engaged to another was absolutely crucial in this battle.)

At that point, I switched over to the Mohicans, and they had little trouble taking out the rest of kpucblek's army. The Deathwalker roll in round three didn't help Chris's cause much (3 skulls for Brave arrow, one shield for DW9k). I really enjoyed playing the Mohicans - I don't own them, I've never proxied them, and I've only faced them once before (and that was without Brave Arrow), but they are pretty neat. They make you think about all sorts of positioning and engagement issues in a different way.

Interesting side note - this was the only game all day where I rolled for a ranged attack.

4-0

Game 5 (finals)
Opponent: lafleurhero (Tagawa Samurai Archers x3, Hatamoto Taro, Tagawa Samurai, Gurei-Oni, Shiori, Quasatch Hunters x2, Tarn Viking Warriors, Valguard, Otonashi)
Map: Ratcatcher
I played: Tor-Kul-Na, Marrden Nagrubs x3, Tagawa Samurai Archers x3, Drow Chainfighter, Otonashi
lafleurhero played: Black Wyrmlings x4, Granite Guardians x2, Tagawa Samurai, Gurei-Oni, Otonashi

Marshall is one of three players to have a tournament win against me (ManOfWar and Matthias Maccabeus are the others) and he was excited to get a rubber match with our head-to-head record sitting at 1-1. I was excited to finally get a tournament game in on Ratcatcher. I've professed my appreciation for this map in the past, and while I understand the objections the BoV judges had for that map, a format like this one really lets the players adjust to this map's unique features.

lafleurhero won the initial dice-off, and he strongly considered drafting second before picking first and taking the black wyrmlings. I countered by taking the Nagrubs and his Tagawa Samurai Archers. When he picked Gurei-Oni, I knew I was going to win or lose with Tor-Kul-Na.

As it turned out, it was win. I never revealed an order marker on anything except the nagrubs for the entire game. Marshall won opening initiative and put the black wyrmlings up on the plateau. Careful nagrub movement (and an OM on the Granite Guardians) kept him from aciding anything, but poor stomping and attacking rolls meant only one wyrmling bit the dust.

However, round two was a different story altogether. TKN and the grubs took out 2 more wyrmlings up high, and TKN then headed straight for the opposing startzone and went on one of his trademark rampages. Four turns later, all the Tagawa Samurai and all but one Granite Guardian were dead. Marshall used clever placement of Gurei-Oni, as well as some "gain low ground" moves, to force me to disengage several times, and that combined with one great G-O attack got TKN heavily wounded. But it was too little too late, as TKN took out Gurei-Oni at the start of round 4 to end the match.

5-0, first place.

Again, I really can't emphasize enough what a cool format this is, and I strongly recommend that other areas try something similar.

Last edited by dok; September 27th, 2010 at 01:08 PM.
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  #36  
Old September 26th, 2010, 12:42 PM
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Re: dok's battle reports

Nice battle reports, they made a good read.

Your pooled draft format looks quite interesting, I really like the effect it has on unit choice(I have a ton of units I'd love to play in a tournament, but don't because they fail against certain matchups, this format makes sub-'A' units much more viable IMO). If I ever end up running any events around here(and I may, as the closest ones anyone else runs are usually 1-2 hours away from me), I'm leaning towards trying this out.

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