Had a local tournament come up last weekend that I was planning on dropping Grim2 and Madrak2 into, but decided to go RoW/Madrak2 instead. Grim2 and Madrak2 both struggle into shooting lists unless Madrak2 bricks up with MMM style stuff, and Grim2 simply can't outshoot Cygnar. By trading Grim2 for RoW, I was losing my dedicated Anti-Cryx list, but our local Cryx player has been running Denny3 and RoW handles that better anyways, IMO.
My RoW list is a hair different. I dropped the Mauler for Runebearer, Whelps and a Pyre troll. It's worked a lot better for me, getting a boostable AoE, fire immunity to really shaft Legion/Menoth. I also like whelps a lot, for the DEF bonus and other general adaptability I'm able to pull out. Blocking charge lanes is a particularly fun thing to do.
My Madrak2 list has developed a lot. I bounced around with 5-6 units, and ended up with 5 units. The biggest change is dropping the KSB and putting Scattergunners in instead. I also dropped a Stormtroll and put a Swamp in instead to shave a point and get Swarm on Madrak2 regularly.
Max Fenns w/UA
Min Scattergunners w/UA
Witch Doc Croc
I have essentially 15pts of support, which is possibly too much, but the endgame is generally Madrak2 surrounded by Scattergunners, a Pyre and three or four solos that are either PS13 or weaponmasters before bloodfury and/or Flaming Fists. Everything seems to work well so far except the Swamp. Madrak needing to cast Swarm himself is less safe than just keeping two transfers. The Witch Doc Croc is an easy fearless solution for burrowers, which means I can change my objective to the bunker one. The other thing is that Kromac2 and Harby are both in my meta, and Harby in particular is making a comeback. So the Witch Doc beat Victor Pendrake for support. I've thought of removing the Kithkar for Pendrake, but he's really the only thing that can go and clear charge lanes for Fennblades, outside of Fire Eaters.
So, for turnout, we were expecting upwards of 30 players, including some of the Des Moines guys, and maybe KS City, but Mayhem in Des Moines ended up doing their tournament simultaneously, and we landed the date that Omaha has it's Boardgames convention, so the turnout was actually only 12, 13 guys. We ended up with 2 Legion, 2 Circle, 2 Trolls, 1 Skorne, 1 Khador, 1 Cygnar, 3 Menoth, 1 Cryx.
Round 1 pitted me against one of our local Menoth players. He had Harby and Sevy1. I'm well aware that Harby is his trolls drop, so I automatically chose Madrak2. When he put his list down, I was a bit more concerned. His list was Harby, standard support, Devout, Avatar, Reckoner x2, Temple Flame Guard w/UA and... 4 Paladins + Vilmon. Impervious Wall, Magic attack only, all day long. Scenario was incursion, and I lost the rolloff.
His army was Harby's tier, so everything pushed hard, and she feated, leaving me about 1.5'' of movement outside of my deployment zone. My Runebearer paid the price, burrowers burrowed and everything else creeped up. The Scats ran wide after the far right flag with a unit of Fire Eaters that killed half the unit. For the rest of the game, those three units did little else other than kill eachother.
On his second turn, stuff moved up, Avatar gazed and Paladins all went into Impervious wall and I had a problem. So the Burrowers unburrowed behind the jacks, my opponent discovered that the Point Blank POW14s of the dygmies do not count as ranged attacks so the choir song didn't work. Also, between Fell Call, and Witchdoc, they were MAT8 against DEF10. I was really happy with my decision on the Witchdoc. They did some damage, but not a lot, and the Fenns charged in as best they could. Madrak moved up, boosted an attack into Vilmon on the far left and managed to crit. Boosted damage to be absolutely sure and killed him. One paladin down, 4 to go. My opponent cleared a lot of burrowers, put a few shots into Madrak, but wasn't able to do much else. On my turn, I was gazed, so it limited a lot of my movement, but bloodfuried fenns and Madrak killed both Avatar and a Reckoner and Madrak2 stood on the left flag. I couldn't clear the Paladin unfortunately, so no points, but the attrition game was well in my favor at this point, and Harby didn't have a charge lane.
She did, however, have a cataclysm assassination run, which required exactly 1 or less toughs on a group of 4+ trolls surrounding Madrak2. None of them toughed, including Madrak2, and that was game. Was very close, and I felt really disadvantaged going into the matchup against 5 paladins and only 1 magic attack. I felt that I played it pretty well though, and gave it my best. It also meant that the day had just become a casual game day, and I'm ok with that.
Round 2 put me into the other troll player, and he had Borka2 and EE. I looked at his lists and thought, man, I can't possibly screw this up. RoW handles EE, but not Borka2 super super well, but Madrak2 destroys Borka2, and probably can handle EE. So I dropped Madrak2, and I haven't been able to figure out why since. Remember what I said about Madrak2 hating shooting lists? Still true. This was a horrible game for me. I was pretty frustrated with myself for not dropping the clear choice of Runes, and forgot to fell call Burrowers, and I failed to mitigate freezer which removed most of my fenns and Burrowers. Madrak2 ended up killing 2 beasts on his own, and almost a third, and actually nearly toughed out the assassination, but to no avail. EE isn't bad if you can outshoot it, or just stack armor that's not warjacks, but trying to take a lot of infantry into that many attacks is horrible.
Round 3 was actually the exact same game I played earlier in the week if you saw my twitter. I went down for the FLGS WMH game night and played Madrak2 into Zaal2 on destruction, and the exact same scenario happened again. In the game I played that night, Madrak2 absolutely smashed the Zaal2 list. Fire Eaters killed most of his Keltarii, and Fenns didn't struggle with much ARM. He also failed to use his void spirits from his Despoiler to contest zones by attacking things and losing incorp. (again, Madrak2 the only magic weapon in the list), and I pointed that out at the end of the game. So fast forward to tournament day, and my list had changed a few things, but his had not, and he knew what was coming. He still chose to drop Zaal2 into Madrak2, and it went even worse. Burrowers popped up on his side of the zone, killed a few cetrati, his Brute, his objective. Fire eaters nearly singlehandedly killed all but four of the Keltarii, and Madrak dominated the zone for a total of 3pts. On his turn, he squeezed the Despoiler and one cetrati into the zone and popped a Void Spirit that tried to kill my Kithkar, once again losing incorporeal. The Kithkar killed it by himself, and killed the contesting Cetrati on his own. One unit of Fire eaters assaulted the Despoiler and left him on five or six boxes and Madrak2 killed it for the final 2 points and game. There's only a few Skorne casters I don't want to see with Madrak2. Zaal2 and I think Mordikaar was his other one. Neither of those am I afraid of with Madrak2. Hexeris1 concerns me more than anything.
Round 4 had me locked into Runes, and I landed a Cryx opponent who dropped Gaspy3 with a bonejack, Revenant Crew, Raiders, Witches, Bloodgorgers x2 and the Combine. Scenario was Fire Support I think or something. He won the rolloff, I deployed my stuff. The only thing he had with reach in the game was Raiders, and he deployed them front and central against me. My stuff did typical Runes stuff, moved up, and I put my Axer up front and center. The raiders failed to do much to him, maybe got one spiral. With Fortune the next turn, he killed half of them. Doomshaper1 stepped out in front of one of the tier walls and got next to the flag, which worried me a little but Gaspy would start dominating next turn as well. I cleared that area with runeshapers though and Janissa got her wall in place.
Every turn, more stuff would hit the walls and kill a couple more Runeshapers, the Axer would Thresher, Runeshapers kill revenant crew and witches that I could affect with the stone, and Mulg would kill important targets. The only thing that could really hurt my army was Gaspy himself, and his feat turn was fantastic between all of my magic attacks. I think he had like sixteen, seventeen focus. Somewhere in there, I clocked, but the tournament was essentially over and we were really enjoying the game so we played on, and he clocked two minutes later.
So, we continued. I fully expected him to try to kill Mulg and the EBDT at that point, but he didn't want to give up scenario, and didn't know if he could get it done and then survive whichever beast he left alive. He went for a spell assassination, and couldn't make it work. By that time, Mulg was across the board and swinging at him, and game ended 4 CP and an assassination for me.
Outside of EE, I really enjoyed the tournament. 2-2 isn't my end goal, but that first game was super close and I'm pretty happy with it. I felt that my list building was pretty solid, and most of my games were fairly clean. The biggest mistakes were a few order of activation issues, but the main one was dropping Madrak2 into EE and not Runes. Runes would have been great against EE, and plenty manageable against Borka2. I don't know what I was thinking.
Overall though, great tournament. Really enjoyed it and enjoyed being a part of it
All that being said, Doomy3 is probably going to replace Runes for me. Holy cow. That caster is amazing. I'm pretty sure we won this book. We'll touch more on that in the next few days once it drops.