So here is my report on the Welsh masters. Hopefully this should talk you through most of the games. Sadly I didn’t take a copy of my opponents’ lists but I’ll have to remember for next time.
Major Markus “Siege” Brisbane – WJ: +5
– Squire – PC: 2
– Stormwall – PC: 19
– Lightning Pod
Reinholdt, Gobber Speculator – PC: 1
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution – PC: 3
Stormsmith Stormcaller – PC: 1
Stormsmith Stormcaller – PC: 1
Stormsmith Stormcaller – PC: 1
Journeyman Warcaster – PC: 3
Tempest Blazers – Leader & 4 Grunts: 10
Greygore Boomhowler & Co. – Boomhowler and 9 Grunts: 9
Rangers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 5
Major Victoria Haley – WJ: +5
– Squire – PC: 2
– Stormwall – PC: 19
– Lightning Pod
– Thorn – PC: 8
Journeyman Warcaster – PC: 3
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist – PC: 2
Anastasia di Bray – PC: 2
Captain Arlan Strangewayes – PC: 2
Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios – PC: 3
Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Pistoleers – Leader & 5 Grunts: 6
– Arcane Tempest Gun Mage Officer – Officer 2
– Hunter – PC: 6
In general my default drop is Haley2 with the option to put down Siege if I think the armour is going to be too much or if I could have LOS issues/Stealth.
Game 1 – Pat Vance – Legion
Siege vs Thags1
So game 1 I hit Pat Vance who had Bethanye or Thagrosh1 and he drops his Thagrosh1 list against my Siege.
I wasn’t feeling great about the matchup but figured if I could drop three beasts before losing Stormwall I might be in a winnable position.
I get first turn and basically run everything up. I have the range advantage but at some point it’s going to come to a melee brawl. In response he runs up leading with the throne.
Seeing a chance to drop the throne I decide it’s probably best to take it so Siege and the Stormwall shoot and drop it and Siege sits in his bunker. He manages to hit an assaulting carnivean spray on Siege and does a few points of damage as well as dropping some of the Boomhowlers
I decide it is feat turn and hope I can drop the Scythean and Carnivean with a Stormwall charge. Sadly this doesn’t come off and although I majorly hurt them both I don’t do enough to drop one due to Thags -2 aura. I manage to put a fair amount of damage on Thags with a tempest Blazer brutal shot which he transfer off but although I did a lot of damage it doesn’t help my position all that much. In retaliation Stormwall gets majorly hurt and loses the left arm and superstructure but still holds on to his right arm and cortex. Both objectives go down this turn.
I finish off the carnivean and try and hurt Thags but he is pretty well covered hiding behind a wall I get some transfer damage across to Zuriel and do a bit more to Thags bringing him down to about 5 health. He finishes off the Stormwall clears out the zone and dominates. He brings back the carnivean with his feat which kills a few Tempest Blazers.
I don’t have a whole lot left to finish Thags off but I give it a try he is in cover from the wreck and he has enough transfers to keep going and I don’t really have anything left to throw in to contest so Pat takes the game on CPs.
Game 2 – Rich Morson – Cryx
Haley2 vs Witch Coven
Having followed my usual tournament MO and lost round 1 I’m now feeling confident that I can get things back on track. I get drawn against Cryx which is usually not a bad match for Cygnar but he sadly has the Coven tier with two units of soulhunters and I realise I’m very quickly going to get swamped and a scenario win is basically off the table. He also had an eSkarre list but he drops the Coven. The problem he has with that particular list is that he is really going to struggle to put enough damage on Stormwall and I can cause him one or two problems with Haley’s feat.
He goes first and moves up his army casting very little (which I should have paid more attention to). The soulhunters are on either flank and I realise I’m very quickly going to enveloped on both sides with very little I can do to counter it. I advance up and see a nice line to a witch from the hunter and completely forgetting their rules and the massive stack of focus he has on the egregore I pop off a shot when he tells me it’s dice -11 a little part of me dies in abject failure but I still manage to do 2 points of damage which although seemed like a mistake actually plays a huge role later. The second shot I put into Deathjack and do a few points of damage. I feat this turn to try and slow his advance.
He moves up some more and I despair at the amount of stuff he has which I’m really going to struggle to carve through. He also feats and gets most of my stuff which is going to have an effect in my turn but he underestimates just how far the Stormwall can walk under Haley. So I load him up put temporal acceleration into him use Gorman to blind DJ and walk the Stormwall up. Stormwall utterly whiffs his rolls and leaves DJ on about 4 boxes but at least he’s blind and not in melee with anything.
He decides to come up on Stormwall. To make more room he moves DJ out who eats a freestrike and dies. He then casts Curse of shadows on me and sends in the blood witches. He goes to use dispel but I point out it will take out his COS as well as my arcane shield but this is still a net gain to him so he rolls and gets double 1 so I keep the spells on me. The rest of the witches do very little at dice -8. He then sends in a unit of soulhunters who again do very little and stormwall takes about 25% damage. In moving the witches he leaves a gaping hole in the middle of his lines right in front of the egregore. So seeing that I have very little else to do I load up stormwall trample him over the witches and into the nice big gap and pound on the egregore. I drop a pod to get a witch aswell as the electroleaps and with the last attack I manage to do just enough damage to drop all the witches. So my turn 1 mistake actually won me the game.
Game 3 – Paul Garster – Menoth
Siege vs Reznik1
This time I end up against Menoth. He has Feora1 or Reznik1 and I have no idea which he is going to drop. Sticking to my pre-tournament plan of Siege being my Menoth drop I drop him and he decides on Reznik1.
I run up he runs up not much of any note.
I drop the cortex on one of his Jacks with shots and kill some errants. Boomhowlers screen everything so they are pretty much all he can get to. I drop a paladin with the Blazers. He kills some Boomhowlers and some rangers but nothing too important to my overall aims.
I feat severely hurt the errants and go for a nice ground out scenario victory. In doing this I put a lot of damage on Reznik from a group pound and instead of following it up I keep grinding away. This was probably a mistake but both his Jacks were fairly useless at this point and his bastions were stuck so Stormwall was reasonably safe or so I think. He sends in Reznik under Engine of destruction and severely hurts Stormwall but I have an arm and my cortex and Reznik is stood in melee range.
Stormwall turns Reznik into a mushy paste on the ground.
Game 4 – Rhys Phillips – Skorne
Siege vs Xerxis1
He has Fist so he’s going to drop that I didn’t even look at his other list. I decide on Siege as the better drop but I deployed to try for scenario which has a massive mistake. I should have realised he could contest the zones with very little problem and concentrated on using foxhole to get LOS to Xerxis and dropping him as fast as I could. He only had Tiberion to transfer to but you live and learn.
I run up he runs up.
I put some damages into Tibs with Stormwall and Siege. Boomhowlers jam him up some. He kills some Boomhowlers and rangers and gets a deviation onto Eiryss to but doesn’t kill her.
I feat and kill some Cetratri and knock out two aspects on Tibs but really don’t do enough due to my positioning. Also mess up my activation and don’t shoot off defenders ward before I do anything else. He gets some arcurii on Stormwall with fury and does a lot of damage but he messes up and forgets to heal Tibs so doesn’t send him in. He also kills Eiyrss this turn and feats.
I do very little of note I try to finish Tibs off but fail due to the damage on Stormwall. The Blazers are now almost around the back but I wasn’t aggressive enough with them so they are not threatening as much as I need them to. He finishes Stormwall after sending in a healed up Tibs and I realise the game is pretty much over and switch to what should have been my plan from the start.
I foxhole the models covering Xerxis but don’t have enough shots left to drop him. Tibs eats Siege.
So the end of day 1 and I was 2-2. I was reasonably happy with the games but realised I had completely messed up the last game and should have acted completely differently in several aspects which was a bit annoying. I was only aiming for 3 or 4 wins so if I pick up another win on day 2 I would be reasonably happy.
Game 5 – Becky Barton – Cygnar
Haley2 vs Haley1
As this was the first game of day 2 I knew the night before who I was facing and I also knew she had Siege. I figured she would have eHaley as a pair to make it a fun mirror match up and rolled up Sunday expecting one of the dullest games in existence of the Epic Haley off. Luckily for me when I turned up and looked at her lists she had decided on pHaley instead. This basically gave her two bad choices against me as eHaley causes them both major problems as decel hits Siege really hard and pHaley is not a fan of being shot.
She decided on pHaley which I felt was the worse choice but she had previously played the Siege list into eHaley and decided to see what the pHaley list could manage. She won the dice roll and chose to go second. This was a great move and meant my objective was completely locked out by a forest on my side of the table and was exactly what I wanted to do to her.
I ran up Decel up, temporal acceleration on the hunter, power boost the hunter and two snipe shots into Dynamo doing a fair chunk of damage.
She ran up in counter while trying to keep her gun mages out of the threat of mine and used a her hunter to knock a column off my hunter. To get temporal barrier onto everything she had to move up quite far and pHaley was well advanced.
Seeing pHaley that far up the table gave me an assassination shot and if I feated I figured that it was almost zero risk to me. So 4 to stormwall, the hunter aimed and killed a precursor knight which was blocking my LOS. Stormwall aimed and 2 boosted big guns later pHaley died.
Was a fairly short game but I think the matchups were very biased towards me whatever she did. She did come away with the best female award though so still a good weekend for her and a really nice opponent.
Game 6 – Matt Townsend – Skorne
Haley2 vs Mordikaar
We get the draw and I see I’m playing former WTC captain Matt Townsend. So I curse the matchup gods and move to the table. At least he was playing Skorne with no Fist of Halaak so I was reasonably happy that Haley could handle it. He had Mordikaar and Makeda2 so I expected Mordikaar and that is what he dropped.
I get first turn and decide to abuse the hunter against Tibs before he can get Paralytic Aura up. My dice explode and I take about half health off Tibs. He moves up and puts hollow on the bloodrunners and tries to essence blast Anastasia he hits but decides to keep a fury and doesn’t boost and she survives.
I move up some more put some more damage on Tibs and feat. He has Mordikaar in a Cetrati bunker so I don’t see much of a chance of getting to him but it allows me to stop him moving much due to the position he has his bunker in. He moves up and doesn’t do much else but tries to essence blast Anastasia and misses.
I shoot a bit more into Tibs and drop him to 2 boxes then I trample Stormwall in and finish him off and hurt the drake he has. Gorman blacks oils 2 cetrati to cause him one or two more problems. He does a few damage to Stormwall but due to the kill box he is very trapped as to where he can move to. He engages the gun mages with cetrati and the Tyrant commander.
I consider my options and am thinking of a way to free up the gun mages for a shot at Mordikaar but can’t see an easy way of doing it. He has Vorkesh so I can’t hit the cetrati with spells. In the end I decide to TK the krea away from mordikaar. I time bomb mordikaar to put a few damage on him and then shoot everything I have at Mordikaar. He transfers the big gun shots over but I am also in chain gun range and I get 3 shots from one side and drop him with resources to spare.
Game 7 – James Gradwell – Khador
Haley2 vs Butcher3
So feeling pretty good after getting to my Target of 4 wins I hit Circle Jim who was playing the wrong faction. He has Sorscha2 and Butcher3 and I know I’m seeing Butcher so I drop Haley.
He gets first turn and runs up including 2 units of eliminators who get into very annoying places. I move up and damage one of his jacks but don’t do a lot else.
He moves up some more and sends an eliminator into Stormwall which he then uses to Sidestep into Eiyrss. He doesn’t hit which makes me happy as she can really ruin Butcher’s day. In return I feat TK Eiryss out drop one of the eliminators and send the stormwall into an undamaged Jack and drop him. I also drop a pod to kill Gorman but can’t get anything on his Eiryss so I know that Stormwall is not getting focus next turn. I black oil his other jacks using my Gorman and and arcane bolt Madelyn.
He moves Eiryss into Stormwall to stop my allocation and puts his other eliminators into the gun mages where he rolls fire and takes the unit down to 3. I don’t have a lot there to deal with them so I’m a little bit stuck. He runs his own greylord up and chain lightning’s it using Orin in the back and kills my Eiyrss. He also gets his Bokur into Gorman and kills him. He only has Eiyrss in one zone so Stormwall pods Eiryss and just rolls enough to kill. The gunfire kills Orin. Haley moves into the zone and dominates his jack out and it puts a few damage on Butcher. I score 2 CP’s and decide that Butcher probably isn’t dying so my best bet is scenario.
He sends both Argus’s (Argi?) into the zone I’m dominating to contest but he doesn’t have a whole lot left in the other zone. He spends his time deciding if Butcher can get to Haley but decides he doesn’t quite have the range. So I decide to spend my turn turfing everything out. He has the two dogs in one zone and a Jack a Bokur and 2 widowmakers in the other. While working out my focus needs I forget to allocate to stormwall to take all the dogs out which potentially turns into a blessing later on. The hunter drops one of the widowmakers but the other refuses to die to the 2 Arlen sprays I manage (espionage on Butcher). Stormwall drops 1 of the Argus’s but doesn’t do much else. Haley then dominates the Jack in the zone and moves him out then hits the TK on the Bokur and misses the TK on the last widowmaker in the zone luckily the squire was in range so I rerolled and hit. This then left me two focus to TK the last argus if I hit I win on scenario and if I miss Haley get’s charged by Butcher and dies very painfully. Luckily it hits moves the last model out and I score the 3 CP’s I need by dominating one zone and controlling the other.
So I finished 5-2 and 25th overall which is a lot better than I was expecting at the start of the weekend. I also went 3-0 on the Sunday which was pretty good and finished best of the Leeds players up (Neil went 4-3, Alastair 3-4 and let’s not talks about Dave). We managed 8th in the team rankings (this doesn’t include Alastair because he’s a defector) which is pretty good considering the teams that were there.
I’m still debating if my Haley list is what I need it to be but possibly it just needs more practice and the 3-0 on the second day I had with it had it clicking a lot more than I previously managed. Every time I consider changing it the list does something magical and pulls a game out where all the pieces fit perfectly. I think I’ll probably switch pEiryss out for eEiyrss and then pull out a stormsmith from the Siege list and put in Aiyana and Holt.
Overall a really good event with plenty of prizes on offer in what is the best venue in the UK currently. I’m not sure I can praise the venue enough but it’s massive nicely done and with a ridiculously well stocked shop.