Nordisch Masters, Part II

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Part 2 of the Nordisch Masters (Go here to read about Part 1). So now I am 2-1 and pretty confident I can win at least one more game. After Dinner Round 4 starts. I get paired against Kevin from Berlin with Legion. He is a pretty good player, so this one is gonna be hard.

Round 4 – the “Oh, thats now the arc node” Game

He brings Thagrosh 1 and Vayl 2 – both out of theme. I think I have a better chance with Haley so I drop her, he drops Vayl 2. We play the Pit.

Turn 1. He goes first and runs up, carefully trying to stay out of range of stuff. I have a house in front of my flag, so naturally I gravitate towards that. Since his Raptors have run very far up the table and have Occultation on them, he pressures me early. Annyssa has preyed Alison Jakes – so I need to be careful, otherwise I lose a 22 point module.

I think long and hard about what I do. Go forward carefully, try to survive his next turn, or go in and feat and do some damage next turn. I do the latter. Stormwall gets Temporal Accleration, a Charger gets TK’d and I put the Scythean down to 1 box. Haley goes to the flag and feats, Stormclad kills a Raptor.

Turn 2. He feels his only recourse right now is an assassination. Vayl didn’t get caught in the feat, neither did 1 Raptor. And this is where it gets hard for me to play against Vayl 2. You just don’t see ALL the angles she can come at you from. This time the Naga gets to be an arc node – he sticks Icy Grip on me. One Raptor has a smidge of LOS to Haley, so he can shoot her as well. The Raptor outside of the feat has range as well.

He puts me down to 6 boxes.

Puh – barely survived. I am still not entirely sure it was a good idea to feat bottom of 1, but mostly sure. Now my big mistake happens. I get greedy and desperately want to start scoring. So Haley stays at the flag to score. Thorn, Squire and the house shield her from the Raptors. I shoot everything I got at the Seraph, but don’t kill him. Stormclad kills the Naga and 1 Raptor. Jakes kills another Raptor. The Scythean and a Nyss Warlord die as well.

I score 1 point and attrition is looking really good for me.

Turn 3. Alas it really isn’t. Haley is on 6 boxes and camps 3. He slipstreams Typhon, who charges the Stormclad and sprays Haley to death.

Crap.

Conclusion: Well, I could have played this one way better. Feating Turn 1 was the right move. Staying at the flag after he nearly killed me in my feat was definitely not. I should have abandoned the flag, move right and make sure the Seraph dies. Then I would have had a definite attrition advantage and could have even started scoring on his flag. A turn later I could have cleared the zone and scored there as well, all the while staying behind the Stormwall, not giving him another chance at killing me. If I stay safe, I doubt he could have swung the game – Naga, Seraph and Scythean would have been dead, so he won’t kill the Stormwall, let alone the ‘clad or Hammersmith.

End of day 1 and I am 2-2. I am ok with that. First game was not winnable, and despite the fact that better play could have gotten me the win in game 4, I was ok with that loss. I lost to a better player (Kevin would go on to place 5th overall).

Round 5 – the “Wait, Roots of the Earth did go WHERE?” Game

As the title suggests, I got paired up against a Circle player in round 5 on sunday morning, after a good nights sleep (and contrary to saturday morning without the headache). Jacob brought Baldur 2 and a Morvhanna, I believe and dropped Baldur 2. We play Take & Hold. I don’t think Caine can deal with the armor Baldurs list can bring, so I choose Haley 2. I am not really confident going into this game, as I expect this to be a really hard one. And if I want to make my goal of going 4-2 a reality, I need to win both games on sunday.

Turn 1. He goes first. We both have theme forces that give +2″ deployment zone. He deploys most of his stuff towards his flag, I do the same. Baldur casts his Rock Wall and charges behind it.

Before that he casts Roots of the Earth.

Twice.

On the Sentry Stones!

He thought I had AOE’s that could hurt an ARM 18 model – that has Prowl and the ability to put down a forest. I had nothing that ignored stealth.

Bottom of Turn 1. I measure a bit and think it through, but ultimately go for it. Thorn runs in range of Baldur. Haley activates, casts TK on Baldur (need a 9, but roll an 8 – Future Sight it for the hit), turns him around and puts him further than 1″ back from the wall, as I can’t TK him in front of the wall. I TK the Charger on Junior and Temporal Accelerate the Stormwall.

I don’t even need the Charger, the 3 Stormwall shots kill Baldur, despite needing to Future Sight 2 of 3 hits! He misplayed his Shield Guard (announced it after the damage was rolled, instead of after hit), but I rolled the Chargers hits as well and that would have killed him anyways.

Conclusion: Put Roots of the Earth on your caster or Haley just kills you. There really is no other conclusion than that. Playing attrition and for scenario probably wouldn’t be too easy for me over the long run, but I think I could have pulled it out eventually. Unfortunately I wasn’t fast enough to nab the “Fastest Casterkill” award.

Round 6 – the “Oh, not another Baldur 2” Game

Yeapp – I get paired against Circle again. After that epic conclusion of the 5th game, I had at least a 3-3 in the bag. My opponent brought Baldur 2 and Tanith. His Baldur list had Megalith, a Woldwrath, 2 Wold Wyrds and the Battle Engine in it – something I was even less keen on dealing with with Caine 1. Thunderstrike and the Hurricanes guns would be useless, so I dropped Haley 2 again. I knew this opponent wouldn’t make it as easy as my last one. He dropped Baldur 2, as expected. We play Recon.

Oh and something peculiar happens. He professes a profound joy at playing against Haley 2. Loves the way she forces her opponents to really think and really play the game. And he meant it.

Turn 1. I go first and inquire about the Shifting Stones and if they can get TK’d (they can’t), because I want to kill one of each set. I still manage to Arcane Bolt one to death and Thorn retreats to a safe distance. Everything else runs in position.

He runs everything up – the BE kills another Shifting Stone and puts a cloud in his place. He parks a Wyrd behind it. Baldur moves behind his objective (Bunker) – and feats.

Turn 2. Hm… I can’t get at the Wyrd behind the cloud, and I don’t want to deal with ARM 19. Instead I think I will try and kill the Battle Engine. It has ARM 22 right now and 20 boxes. I can put 2 Charger shots and 3 Stormwall shots into it. Dice really need to go my way, but maybe I can kill it. I don’t. I leave it on 5-6 boxes (still above average dice).

On the other side of the board, I move up Stormclad and Hammersmith – staying more than 7″ away from the Woldwrath, because I am stupid. Haley feats of course, so I could have moved a lot closer. Besides, there were 3 Shifting Stones standing between the jacks and the Wold Wrath. The Charger on that side tries to damage the Wrath – instead of trying to shoot the Stones. And to add insult to injury, I move it out of Juniors CTRL. Junior had already activated. So the Charger wouldn’t have any focus next turn. Crap.

Turn 3. He moves the BE back, because he doesn’t want to trivially lose it. The Wyrd on my right side shoots the Arcane Shielded Stormwall, but does minimal damage (much to the dismay of my opponent). The Wrath shoots something, but stays in place otherwise. Megalith moves forward, puts down Undergrowth and Roots of the Earth on himself.

The other Wyrd starts shooting at my Hammersmith. When I point out afterwards that the Stormclad had an upkeep on it, my opponent gets a little mad at himself for a moment. The Shifting Stones port into b2b with my jacks.

Baldur stays behind the objective, but shuffles around it a little. He casts his wall in a place that denies my Stormwall a landingspot to go after Megalith in the zone. And he casts Roots of the Earth on the Woldwrath. He camps 2.

I calculate it for a moment, then decided I go for it, eliciting a groan from my opponent. It takes a moment to maneuver Thorn around Undergrowth and the Woldwyrd, but he gets into position.

Haley TK’s Baldur forward and turns him around. Stormwall moves forward into range of even his small guns and opens up on Baldur. Afterwards it takes one shot from Juniors Charger (with a focus from Strangeways), who can aim. I would have had a second Charger as well.

Conclusion: Cast Roots of the Earth on your caster against Haley 2. His whole 2nd turn I was just waiting to see what he did with Baldur and where RotE would go. If he did cast it on himself it would have become hard for me. The BE would go for sure, as would 1 Wyrd. But my stupid mistake a turn earlier would have prevented me from really going after the Wold Wrath. I wouldn’t have been able to one round it, but still. And I could have started to score on the right flag. Maybe I could have pulled out a victory, but that was far from sure.

Getting another opportunity like this was way too good to pass up though. And it had an even higher chance of success, since Baldur wasn’t behind a wall this time and I got more shots into him (Oddsmachine tells me it was a roughly 70% chance of killing him after the TK).

Final thoughts: This was a fantastic tournament for me. I am really super happy with the way the weekend turned out. I really wanted to win 4 games and I actually went and did it. Sure, I was really lucky my opponents made such huge mistakes, but a win is a win is a win (old Ferengi Rule of Aquisition). I really don’t mind my 2 losses – winning against Legion in round 4 wouldn’t automatically have meant 5 victories.

I am also really happy with my lists. The Hurricane is an amazing piece in the Caine list and that Haley 2 list is just bonkers. I really like the fact that I have such a strong ranged presence in that list, but that I can also dish out the hurt up close if necessary. And the combination of Haley’s spell list with Thorn is borderline not ok.

PS: Here are photos of the entries (and 2 out of competition entries) for the Best Painted Award at Nordisch Masters. Come for the Slave 1 Helios, stay for the Dinosaur Lylyth 3 and the Eye of Truth. Minis are painted by Paul de Geus (Legion, Eye of Truth), Henning Wolf (the whole Star Wars thing), Tom Zickora (the bearded Wold Wrath and the Circle Army/also, my last opponent) and others (sorry, don’t know who painted the Ghetorix).

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