Our masters tournament came and went yesterday. We had a 35 player turnout, including most of the guys from Muse. The day began pretty horribly for me since I forgot my Highwaymen, Fire Eaters, Pendrake, Warders and Bone Grinders. The TO gave me bye for the first round to figure things out and my wife drove the models to me. So yeah...
However, she came in just as I was setting up my first game, and I owe her a ton. She told me she was going shopping and I pretty much just nodded my head and off she went. There could have been a new Ford sitting in my driveway when I got home, and I would have been understanding of that.
A lot of work went into this tournament. ADR is a really cool format and I've been looking forward to it, but between Exigence, plastic resculpts and the option of 20pts of sideboards, I realized how many models I don't own because I simply don't have room for them in lists. Pendrake's a good example. Pendrake, to me, is a Specialist model. There's so many 2pt solos and I'm always going to want an SSC, but against say, Legion, Pendrake is better. So I ordered him, and actually, everything that I listed above. In fact, they were sitting in their own carboard box on my painting table, which is why I forgot them.
I also built a huge wood tray for this thing. There may or may not be a tutorial for that later, but it's basically just fancy work with a holesaw and a lot of 1/4'' plywood. My original model count with ADR factored in was 94 models, and only 19 of those were small based. Trolls are a pain to transport. However, I played my Kriel Warriors a few times, and they really annoyed me, so I dropped them from the lists and replaced them with Fenns until I understand Kriels better. So that saved me like, 15 model spots. So, lists.
Max Long Riders
Max Fenns w/ UA
Jarl is my Legion, Cygnar, some Circle, and support heavy list counter, E.G., some Skorne and Menoth. The ADR options are pretty simple. Storm/Pyre swap depending on Circle/Cygnar or Menoth/Legion. If a Colossal enters the game, Mulg and the Fell Caller come in, and Horthol, Pendrake, the Slag and the Runebearer come out.
Min Bone Grinders
Max Fenns w/ UA
Min KSB w/UA
Grim is my all-comers. He's primarily tailored for Cryx, but there's not much he can't deal with. I can tarpit, deal with ARM, DEF, and if all else fails and I really need an ARM skew of my own, I drop the Fenns, HWM and SSC and bring in the Specialists.
So yeah, I byed the first round. Second round I landed Crump. MoM Miami #52 talks about this tournament a bit, and he covers it pretty well. He ran Kallus and Vayl1. Jarl is my Legion drop, and I've played Kallus before, but at that point I only had the models for Jarl, so I wasn't really considering what else I could do. Going in though, I was very aware that Long Riders were going to get shafted by Kallus's feat and Incubi spawns. Crump ran a ton of units, no solos and 3 shredders. Long Riders can handle infantry swarms, and I had Fire Eaters too, but Incubi spawning in behind everything pretty much shuts down my Riders bad. On top of that, Blight Blades came in from behind and pinched my army in pretty well. I failed to score any CPs, and lost pretty quickly.
Grim2 would have definitely been a better drop, but I do think Jarl could have handled it a bit better than I let him. I'm not super worried because the chances of running into Kallus again are pretty slim, but yeah. The highlight though was that by turn 3, I was fully aware that I could not win this game. We had plenty of time left, so I told Crump that my goal this game was to see how many things Fire Eaters can kill. Keith was sitting right next to me, and Crump was interested too. Turn 2, one unit of FIre Eaters killed all a unit of Blight Blades effortlessly. On turn 3, they killed another 8 models between legionairres, swordsmen and incubi. This was while they were lit on fire, so it was pretty much only a question of range and SPD. If a model was in range, it died. I was pretty happy with them.
Round 3, I landed Legion again. He dropped Thags1 and I dropped Jarl again. This was actually a legion list I was ok with, even though there was a ton of arm in this list. He ran tier, with two units of Warspears, 2 scytheans, one carnivean and 2 pots. I had a forest right central in my deployement path, so that was an issue. However, most of my list has easy access to pathfinder, even without the Fell Caller. So stuff flanked, and the pathfinder stuff ran through the woods. The Warspears tried to assault things, but the juiciest targets were the Long Riders, and they were DEF16 because I know this trick. This is not the first time Warspears have needed 11s against Long Riders, and it makes me happy. However, it made for a pretty solid wall that his beasts hid behind. The scenario was Fire Support I think too.
So Fenns charge in, jam, and miss the Fell Caller a lot. I think, needing 8s, only 3 hit, and did little to no damage because Thags1 has an automatic STR debuff that's dumb. Jarl feated behind them, covering them in clouds and protecting everything else, and then he went to the right. Long Riders hid behind clouds except one that smashed a pot. Horthol did the same thing on the opposite flank, but failed to kill the pot, but he took two turns to dislodge. On the legion turn, the warspears tried to clear Fenns and did ok, but that was pretty much all that happened.
At this point, I realized that my Fenns were pretty much gone, but the right flank was completely unoccupied and I had the means to clear the objective and dominate pretty easy. So the Fire Eaters charge in, and annihilate the world. Not kidding. These 5 models (the Carnivean sprayed one and cranked the dice.) killed almost all the warpsears. It was amazing. 4 were on fire. 8pts, made back super easy. The Long Riders finally commit to the fight, leaving the objective on one box, and basically trying to block paths to the flag. I blocked a good charge lane for my long riders with the Impaler that I charged into a Scythean, because I just wanted him to engage, but otherwise it went ok. Jarl moved in, magic bulleted a model, killed the objective and swift huntered into the flag to dominate for 2, taking me to 3.
Legion counterattacks, and kills most everything. He gets a Scythean into my Long Riders and kills all of them, and Thags charges in at his own model. This is pretty key. He's trying to get a mutagenesis on Pendrake so he can land next to Jarl and kill him. However, he charges, kills his model, and I put an ash cloud down because I'm the one with surplus 3'' rings. This blocks LOS to Jarl, because Thags wasn't close enough to the model he charged to be in the cloud, as far as we know. My opponent got ahead of himself, removed the model and I placed the ring, and then we didn't know if Thags was in the cloud or not. If he had been, a Mutagenesis would have happened, and Jarl probably would have died. The better option would have been to charge the model, and because he lands in range, he doesn't fail the charge. At that point, he casts Mutagenesis because he can cast a spell at anytime. He lands near Jarl and uses his initial there instead of at his own model. It's not a failed charge because he made melee range. I was not aware of this trick, and my opponent forgot it. Would it have got him the game? I don't know. It would have been close.
However, on my turn, there's a Scythean in my way of dominating. So, I begin a very careful order of activation. I have one fire eater (that blows his fire out, dangit), pendrake, Jarl, a Pyre that can shoot, a Slag a long ways away and... that's it. I really want to charge Pendrake in and use dismember, but it's actually better to KD the beast if at all possible. So Pendrake moves, KDs the beast, and blocks my Slag's charge lane.
I'm an idiot.
So the Pyre buffs the Slag, moves in, shoots the Scythean. Does ok. The Fire Eater assaults and does solid, getting most of a spiral, which is awesome. Jarl activates, quickens the slag, shoots Pendrake and kills him, and shoots the Scythean, boosting damage. The Slag charges in, has range (I was iffy, but he was well within what he needed to be), and on the very last roll, kills the Scythean. I end turn and dominate for my 5 CPs total that I need.
Round 4 shows up and I get Fox from Muse, and he's got Denny1 and Goreshade3. Either way, my Grim2 list is my drop, and I don't want Warders for this.
He drops Denny1. Croes, bonejacks, Nyss, 2 units of Banes... All that stuff. Fenns get Crippling Grasp right away. Top of two, Denny pushed way in and feats, catching most of my stuff. Happily though, she's not far away.
So Grim2 moves up, feats. Burrowers come up, mark target everything. Grim lands Mortality on Denny (and mage sight, because Gorman put a cloud up) and hits her, doing decent damage. The Bomber moves up, and is just a hair out of range. I was leaving room on a central hill for my HWM to get LOS to her, but after I had already moved Grim2 and left him on no transfers and forgot to reform him, I realized that HWM cannot igore stealth. So yeah. If I had put him on the hill, the Bomber would have range, and it would have been a different game. As it was, I targetted something else with his second shot, and dealt some decent blast damage to Denny.
Then I prepared to die. Somehow, that did not happen. My fenns get pretty much wiped out, and I take some losses in everything else. Denny tries to run a way, but Killbox won't let her. So Grim2 pulls in everything, moves up, boosts Mortality and MISSES. So I boost my rifle shot, hit, and leave her on one box....
Then Rok assaults and misses her. And the Bomber tries to move, and dies to a free strike (Three total hits from Banes over his turn and my turn.) 1 Box, and denny survives.
So he tries to kill Grim2 again. Tales of Mist is up on him, and he's on a hill. Nyss try to get him, he toughs, and cannot be targetted. However, a bane sneaks in and finishes him off. And Gorman blinded him. Not in that order, but yeah.
1 box. I should have boosted to hit, boosted damage, and it'd of been game. But I wanted Mortality, for Rok.
Overall though, I reeeaally enjoyed the tournament, and it was good to meet some of the Muse guys. The two I played, Crump and Fox, were decent guys to play and Fox specifically was a pretty funny game. It took us awhile to roll off successfully because we both rolled a 6, then we both rolled a 5, then a 4. It finally broke at three, and he won the rolloff, but there for a bit it was weird.
Great games though, and I love Fire Eaters. So much. Now that Masters is done, I'm excited to go back to other casters. I want to push Calandra's EE tier a bit more, and I want to run Borka2's tier.
Until then, enjoy your spring weather guys. It's beautiful out here, and I'm loving it.