Last weekend, Bartek, Samir, Alex and I went north to the Nordisch Masters in Bremen, where we wanted to find out who would become the new King in the North! Its May, so Winter isn’t coming for a good long while – and thats enough with the GoT references.
Nordisch Masters is a 64 player Masters event that is always fully booked. It usually attracts the elite of Germans Warmachine scene to Bremen to fight until only one was left. No matter our goals at the tournament, it would be a tough ride – just because there were so many good players attending.
Since I had quite a bit of success with the list, I brought Haley 2 in Heavy Metal to the tournament. It gave me my first ever tournament victory a while back and suits my playstyle really well.
(Haley 2) Major Victoria Haley [+25] [Theme] Heavy Metal
– Charger 
– Hammersmith 
– Stormwall 
– Thorn 
– Squire [0(5)]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes [0(4)]
Journeyman Warcaster [0(4)]
– Charger 
Lieutenant Allison Jakes [0(4)]
– Stormclad 
Fuel Cache (Steamroller) 
As a second list I went back to an old MK 2 favorite – Caine 1. Sadly, the awesome MK 2 “Sons of the Tempest” theme force wasn’t possible anymore, not the least because of the nerfed Gun Mages. But the new Storm Division is a suitable replacement.
(Caine 1) Lieutenant Allister Caine [+30] [Theme] Storm Division
– Hurricane 
– Squire [0(5)]
Captain Arlan Strangewayes 
Journeyman Warcaster 
– Firefly 
Major Katherine Laddermore 
Stormblade Captain [0(5)]
Field Mechaniks (min) 
Storm Lances (min) 
Storm Lances (max) 
Stormsmith Grenadiers 
Fuel Cache (Steamroller) 
You’ll notice the Stormsmith Grenadiers in there. That came about, because I stumbled across their blister in my “to assemble” box and thought I’d try them out. Spoiler alert – they haven’t done anything yet. If they fail to do anything in the future, I can swap them out for 2 more Lances (would have to get rid of the Mechaniks as well though).
Anyways – my personal goal was to go 4 and 2 at this event, 3-3 at the bare minimum. Lets see if that is possible.
Round 1 – the “Monkey wrench” Game
Pairings for round 1 threw a monkey wrench into my plans. I was paired up against Dominic, only the best player currently in Germany. He is on a hot streak since German Nationals last year (and probably before that). So unless he is completely drunk or forgot to bring his minis, I am not gonna win this game.
He wasn’t drunk and he brought his minis. A Makeda 2 list with 2 units of kitties. Great. We are playing Extraction and he wins the starting roll and elects to go first. It goes downhill from there.
I drop Haley 2, cause I don’t see Caine doing enough. But ultimately it doesn’t matter.
Turn 1. He runs. I try to shoot stuff, but he “Stay Death” them. So yeah – not much happening. I don’t go forward to much, cause I don’t want cats in my face.
Turn 2. He shuffles around a bit, positioning for later. I finally manage to kill a cat and even Orin Midwinter. I feat.
Turn 3. More shuffling and he starts hitting the Stormwall. I try to score on the flag, but don’t manage to.
Turn 4. Everything turns to shit. The ‘wall goes, as does Thorn I think. He kills Jakes, so the ‘clad is inert. I think he also kills the objective? Anyways, he scores. I think for a moment and then just tell him I do nothing, letting him score again and he wins via scenario.
Conclusion: Well, this was totally predictable. Dome told me I should have started to TK people outside of Stay Death’ range and killed them. I maybe also should have feated Turn 1 (incidentally the idea didn’t even occur to me – in Turn 2 I went ‘Oh, Haley has a feat as well’) and run everything in his face. I stayed back and allowed him to get into perfect position for the rest of the game. I never had a chance at killing Makeda.
Round 2 – the “Wait, Feora 2 still exists?” Game
I get paired with a fellow named GrmlDeHmpf. Contrary to the past, he is bringing the Protectorate of Menoth (instead of his usual Skorne). Which is fine by me, double Skorne to start the tournament would have been overkill. His other list is Kreoss 3. I contemplate dropping Haley again, but ultimately I want to shoot his jacks, so I take Caine 1. I also think he can deal better with the opposing infantry then Haley.
We play Entrenched. I win the starting roll and go first. Everything runs up, as he doesn’t have that much long range shooting. The Lances are in a position to threaten his Zealots next turn, the Hurricane goes toward his zone where only his battle engine is (and a Reckoner).
Turn 2. I think about a caster kill for couple of minutes, as one of the Redeemers stands really close to Feora and is in range of the sniped Hurricane. So if I manage to slam the Redeemer over Feora, she is dead. The angle doesn’t fit though. I still slam the Redeemer into the 2nd Redeemer and kill it. The Hurricane also moves up first and into position to potentially clear and score the zone next turn. I switch Arcane Shield over to the colossal, because the Reckoner is in charge range and I want the Hurricane to get as few damage as possible. The Lances kill 7 of 11 Zealots, but not the UA. A couple of choir boys die to e-leaps. Caine toes his own zone, with 1 focus on him. The Lances have repositioned to block my opponent from getting into the zone on his turn.
So if he can’t contest I score 1 in my zone. Next turn I can score my own zone, kill his objective and score his zone for 4 CP overall. Everything looks good – see this picture:
But I didn’t place my Lances well enough. The Battle Engine, the Reckoner and the Redeemer all get line of sight on Caine. The BE hits and forces me to spend the focus on a reduce. Reckoner doesn’t hit, Redeemer only drifts 1 shot onto Caine, doesn’t kill him. He hadn’t cast Firestarter, so Caine wasn’t on fire. Now he went for a hail mary – Feora charges a Lance, kills it and tries to kill me with a Convection I think. Doesn’t get there.
After that, he doesn’t even activate the rest of the army, but switches the clock over to me. Since she is 10″ from Caine and without focus, I just kill Feora.
Conclusion: His reasoning for the Feora move was, that he wouldn’t be able to deal with my colossal AND the Lances, so this was his only chance. I am inclined to agree with him. He could have brought back all of the Zealots and started to thin out my Lances, but he wouldn’t be able to one round an Arcane Shielded Hurricane and there was little he could do to prevent me from scoring to 4 CP on my turn. Caine would have teleported to other end of the zone behind a forest then and that would have been that.
Still – it was incredibly dumb of me to even give him the opening for the casterkill. I could have just not casted Deadeye on the Lances and instead teleported into the forest. Or I could have positioned my Lances better to completely block line of sight.
Round 3 – the “Hey, its my favorite Haley scenario” Game
I get paired up against a local Troll player. Have never seen him before at a tournament, playing against new people is always nice. He brings Borka 1 and Grissel 2. It doesn’t really matter though, because he drops Grissel 2. She brings 2 Bombers, an Axer, a Mountain King, Janissa, the Knot – all in the Power of Dhunia theme force.
We play Outlast – by far my favorite scenario, especially with Haley 2.
So, naturally I drop Caine into this. Mainly because Borka has Windwall, but also because I think I can deal better with his Borka list in general.
Turn 1. I go first and run everything up. Not enough for his bombers to reach me, but in a position to do stuff next turn. He runs as well, the MK straight up the middle towards the zones. Janissa puts a hill next to the King, Grissel empties herself and goes on that hill. 2 Stone Scribes stand before her to block LOS.
Turn 2. I go for a casterkill. He is easily in range of the sniped Hurricane. If I can slam one of the Stone Scribes into Grissel and then her into the Stonebearer behind her, she is dead. Alas, the angle is wrong again and the Stone Scribe slams into his buddy. I miss the shot on Grissel as well (DEF 17), but manage to kill Janissa. Then I run as much stuff in front of the Hurricane as I can manage, because he is in charge range of the Mountain King. Caine goes into the left zone, behind a forest, the Stormblade Captain holds the right zone – all in case he doesn’t contest. The King gets a few damage points.
He manages to remove enough stuff to charge the Mountain King into the Hurricane, thus also contesting the left zone. A whelp contests the right zone – so no points for anyone. Since he didn’t cast Rage on the Mountain King and the Hurricane has Arcane Shield, he doesn’t nearly do enough damage and the Hurricane survives. He does have Wailing on the King, so my Lances can’t charge the King. But between Laddermore & SB Captain charges, Lances just hitting and the freshly repaired Hurricane, the Mountain King goes down. I clear both zones and score to 3.
Turn 3. At this point there isn’t much he can do. He has no angle whatsoever onto Caine. He won’t be able to kill off the Hurricane. He just goes and kills a couple of Lances and Laddermore, puts a whelp on the far end of the left zone. The Axer (who killed the Lances) is contesting the left zone as well. A Bomber toes the right zone (after killing 2 Lances).
The Hurricane moves up a bit, within 8″ of the right Bomber. He shoots and slams the Axer out of the zone and kills it. Caine then activates, aims and kills the whelp. And for good measure I thunderstrike the Bomber out of the right zone and win. Then I realize the Bomber was overkill, clearing the left zone would have gotten me the win already.
Conclusion: I am happy I managed to go for the casterkill and NOT immediately loose the game afterwards. If he had managed to kill the Hurricane, I would have had a hard time to come back from that. I think he played his Bombers too conservatively, they should have gone in the zones earlier to make it harder for me to score. I was quite happy with the Mechaniks – second game ever where they were in a list (never owned them before) and they healed the Hurricane for 9 points.
To be continued…
PS: On Saturday we went into the city looking for some food, where I made these photos.