Thursday, 2 August 2012

Warmachine ETC Review

NOTE: I forgot to take any pictures during the event so have scoured the internets to bring you semi-relevant imagery... sort of. Also it took me ages to get around to writing this and I know its not very well written - but its the best your getting.

The dust has now well and truly settled after the Warmachine ETC 2012. I have heard from numerous sources that no Warmachine tournament has ever contained as many players with well over 200 involved in this one.

We found out ahead of time that our first round was going to be against a team coming across from Denmark. This was very exciting as I have not played any international Warmachine games before and we had hoped we would get the opportunity at some point over the weekend. The lads from Denmark were great and as well as some great games on the friday night we enjoyed catching up with them at several points over the weekend.

After buying a round of drinks (the Danes were drinking a mix of Old Empire and Vimto - but thankfully not in the same glass - or the same Dane, if you take my meaning) we got down to doing the pairing. If you do not know how this works I suggest reading the rule pack as whilst I now have the hang of it, explaining it is a different matter.

pKruegers time to shine (or at least spark).

Round 1

I ended up playing an Cygnar eHaley player with a Stormwall! (Stephan Garhakk, "Team Eyes Wide Shut") This was going to be my first chance to test myself against a Collosal and it was something I had been anticipating since the changes to the event were announced that would allow people to put these into their lists. Whilst I did not know whether or not my list would be able to deal with a Stormwall I knew I had some beasts that could deal out a large amount of damage so I had a chance.

Hello Big Boy

I felt that the game opened with my opponent taking the advantage. He was able to hit me first from range and then get the best of the opening melee exchanges by using eHaleys feat to lock me in place. However I had given myself 2 aims - to weather eHaleys feat turn first and to take out the Stormwall second. I knew if I was still in the game and achieved these two things then I would have a good chance.

His Stormwall charged my Feral Warpwolf on eHaleys feat turn and due to some odd choices in when to and when not to boost from my opponent (he was needing 8s to hit) the feral was left alive. Luckily for my opponent he did not have reach so I couldn't retaliate that turn whilst locked under Haleys feat.

The next turn the Stormwall finished the job and put the Feral wolf down. But I was then able to open up a lane for a horizontal charge across my lines from two of my Tharn Bloodweavers to dispel arcane shield from the Stormwall. I then put primal on Ghetorix, warped for strength and then teleported him into the Stormwall. I had hoped this would be enough take him down but I managed to find a double 1 in one of my attack roles and I eventually left the Stormwall on about 4 boxes. Not bad but I was a little worried at this stage that I had missed my chance.

Ghetorix went down on the next turn but I was able to take the Stormwall down with the Gorax. From here both of our lists where very depleted and it turned into quite a tactical battle over control points. Despite being the second to score I managed to get my Gatormen, Gorax and Stones into the control zones and eventually I secured the win by 3 control points to 2, after my opponent failed to clear enough models from the zone to get the win.

Unfortunately my team mates had not faired quite so well in this round and we slipped to a loss. I was not too disheartened by this as I knew it meant we would get a more favorable draw tomorrow and also bought me a little bit of time - My main goal was to not hold the team back and starting with a win (and against a Stormwall) was fantastic.

Result: Win (1-0)
Team Result: Loss (0-1)

That was a bit much - I will keep the following reports briefer.

Denmark (Legoland) Triumphant - I won my battle but we lost the war... 

Round 2 

After some drinks on the friday night, a brief sleep at the illusive travelodge, pan au chocolat and a briefing from Tim King and the maelstrom team. We were back into the thick of it.

I got a  Mercenary player with a pMagnus tier list. (Tyler Evans from Team Epic Slayer) There was plenty of steelhead infantry and cavalry in the list and Kruegers lightening made quick work of these.

I thought Ghettorix and the Feral Warpwolf would make easy work of the two Manglers on the other side of the board. However Ghettorix was quickly gunned down by 12 long gunners combining their shots and when the Ferals chance to shine came... my dice let him down and then two manglers tore him to shreds on the following turn. I was left with very little to deal with the opposing jacks and from here the game descended into an incredibly hard fought battle. I nearly managed to steal a control point from under his nose which may have nicked the game but in the end pKrueger was brought down.

Result: Loss (1-1)
Team Result: Loss (0-2)

Round 3

Next up we played another team with strange foreign accents - from Sunderland.  Our illustrious captain Paul was feeling pretty alarmed that we had not picked up a team win yet and so chose to use our team feat to give us slightly more control over the match up.

I was paired against a player (sorry can't find my notes for this one, anyone remember this guys name?) playing eDenny (cryx) - I had no doubt my army full of infantry clearing was alarming to my opponent but I was certainly afraid of his list too with fully Satyxis Raiders, Blackbane Pirates, Bane Knights and Bane Thralls I was facing a huge swarm of infantry and was worried as to whether or not I could deal with them all.

I whittled away as much as I could but it was clear the bulk of  his force was going to sweep over me on the turn following his feat. eDennys feat means I cannot advance to do anything other than change facing so this almost guarentueed him a charge against me on the following turn.

I spotted a potential assassination run by using my shifting stones to move a beast onto his caster as this is a place effect and not an advance it bypasses Dennys feat. I had to do some engineering to clear out the space with chain lightenings but putting a primaled warpwolf on the caster was enough to score me win number 2.

Result: Win (2-1)
Team Result: Win (1-2)

Round 4

In the last game of the saturday we were matched against a team of people we know quite well from the York club (Paul also being from York and the rest of us attending their club from time to time).
I was drawn against Adam Wilkie, whose I had played in the mangled metal tournament in York earlier in the year. Adam was using his Circle army today and had an interesting out of tier eKaya list.

I think I must have been pretty tired at this point as I played the game very poorly and as Adam is a very good player he took advantage and slowly whittled down my army.

Feeling like I was well and truly beaten I decided to stop the game dragging out and try a very silly assassination attempt which I did not really expect to work but I felt if I could give him a bit of a fright then the game would have seemed a little close and I would be leaving Krueger open for Adam to put me out of my misery.

I had very few pieces left but teleported up two of my shifting stones and placed them 4 inchs apart with the furthest across the board being 4 inchs from one of Adam's own stealthed shifting stone which was placed next to his caster.

I then advanced pkrueger 6 inches forward to put him within 10 inchs of my own shifting stone and cast a chain lightening into it. I needed to roll a 4 for it to bounce all the way to his caster and I also needed my positioning of my stones to be perfect both in terms of distances between stones and stones between other models. Luckily I had eyeballed the distances right and as it was so tight we decided it was best to call over a judge to make an independant call on which models where closer to which so we could determine how the lightening would flow.

I rolled a 5 and the lightening washed down the chain and I boosted the damage on eKaya who was sat on no transfers. I put about 8 damage points onto her. I felt very pleased as this was slightly above average but I still did not expect to get the kill as I needed to roll another 4+ to send the lightening down the chain and then on top of that I still needed to roll very high on the dice to take away her remaining wounds.

I rolled a 6 on the chain lightening and got another chance to roll damage against Kaya. I lucked out and cranked the damage roll doing just enough damage to kill her off. Unbelievable.

I think the chances of that assasination working were probabaly under 5% and whilst I was really pleased to finish the day on a win, I did feel dreadful that the better player had not won and that the win came down to lucky dice probably more than tactical play.

Lucky Dice Indeed!

Adam was very courteous and pointed out that games go like that sometimes - I am not so sure I would have been so composed had our situations been reversed and I have no hesitation in saying he deserved to win that game.

Result: Win (3-1)
Team Result: Win (2-2)

Round 5

I played a nice chap from London's Charring Cross gaming club with his pHaley Cygnar army. This was a cracking game and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting to and playing this one as we played a competitive game in the right spirit and we both narrowly missed out on winning before the final blow was struck.

Flush from my chain lightening success in the previous game on saturday night I saw an opportunity to kill a couple of models who were near Old Rowdy to make Haley the closest model to him.   I then put the lightening tendrelled Feral into old rowdy and had 6 or 7 lightening bounces into Haley.  I then put some chain lightening and other lightening bounces (via the feral, old rowdy and then Haley to get around her anti spell ability) into her causing some damage. After all of this Haley was left on one or two wounds. I looked around desperately for a way to finish her off but having no further ranged attacks I needed to protect Krueger as best as I could. He was left with 1 transfer I think so I advanced my gatormen in front of him. I was trying to create a wall of gators but due to being unable to run I couldn't quite hide him off and there was a 2-3mm gap to allow him to shoot me.

I expected that this was probabaly game over but when I had gone for the assassination myself I had taken a number of precautions against it failing. I had used my feat defensively to position it so that his gunmages would be hampered as would his boom howlers. In the end I think this safed me as the number of models that he was able to bring to bear on my caster was limited. With my high defence and a transfer I JUST managed to survive against my expectations.

From there it was an easy finish for a war beast to go over and finish off Haley. It was a really good game and I would love to play my opponent again as it was one of the most enjoyable games of the weekend.

Result: Win (4-1)
Team Result: Win (3-2)

Round 6

Sitting at 4-1 with a single game to go it was mentioned to me I may have been in with a shout for Best Circle General if I managed to win the last game. Talk about kiss of death!

We were drawn against the Belgiums and I was playing the runner up of the Hardcore event from the friday, He was using Khador with pIrusk. I was pretty tired and could see I was against a strong opponent so I went for an ill judged assassination run. I did not really know what Black Ivan did and it turns out Superiority cast on him he has the defence of a warp wolf and even worse - when you miss him he advances towards you. Suffice to say his messed up my assassination run. I did my best to protect Krueger but my opponent made easy work of killing me on the next turn.

So all in all I finished with 4 wins and 2 losses which I knew would not be enough for top Circle but I didn't mind as I would never have contemplated even being in the running before the event and I felt I had given a really good account of myself.

Well played Belgium, Well played.

Individual Result: Loss (4-2)
Team Result: Loss (3-3)

Final Individual Result: 4-2
Final Team Result:  3-3

It was a great weekend and a great chance to hang out with some mates, drink some brews (Doc Killingsworth's Grog mainly) and have a good laugh. I'll definitely be going again next year.

Congratulation to our sister team, Andy, Andy, Nick and Pickles took 3rd and were the top placed finishing Brittish team. Go TEAM GBR! 


  1. Very nice bud, and well done!

  2. Crackin' write up mate, sounded like you had a blast at the event too :-)

    I loved the Chain Lightning assassination with the careful placement of Shifting Stones, pure genius!