Wow! What a weekend?! Over the last two days the Irish Warmachine/Hordes Masters 2012 was held at Leprecon, in Dublin. I played five hotly contested games and somehow managed to come second overall. Here’s the story of my preparation and the games over the weekend… if you can’t be bothered reading it all you can just check out my tournament record sheet!

The Build Up

I played very few games in preparation for the Masters. I’ve been playing Legion almost exclusively for over six months now, so I’m very familiar with the faction and I stuck with the warlocks I know best – Saeryn, Absylonia and Kallus. I’ve had good success with all of them and they all fulfil different roles. I thought Saeryn would be great against melee focussed factions, such as Skorne, whereas Absylonia was for anyone who’s have problems dealing with armour. Kallus was my all comers warlock. Here are the lists I went with –

Army Name: Absylonia
Theme Force: Winds of Change Tier 4
35+5 points, 11 models

Absylonia, Terror of Everblight +5 points
* Angelius 8 points
* Carnivean 10 points
* 2x Harrier 2 points each
* Ravagore 9 points
* 2x Shredder 2 points each
Shepherd 1 point
2x The Forsaken 2 points each

Reinforcements: Raek, Shredder

Additional Rules
Lesser warbeasts in Absylonia’s battlegroup gain Advance Deployment.
For each Forsaken, one heavy warbeast gains Advance Move.

This is a lovely tier list. It is exceptionally fast and mobile. There is an upkeep spell for each heavy beast and I love the versatility of the lessers for clogging up enemies and solo hunting.

Army Name: Kallus
Legion of Everblight
35+5 points, 23 models

Kallus, Wrath of Everblight +5 points
* Carnivean 11 points
* Ravagore 10 points
* Shredder 2 points
10 Blighted Legionnaires 6 points
Shepherd 1 point
1 Spell Martyr 1 point
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew 1 point
5 Warmongers 8 points

Reinforcements: Striders, Spell Martyr

I’ve really grown to like Kallus. He adds an element to the faction that wasn’t there before – a strong troop focussed warlock. I still went with two heavies, but the plan with this list was to capitalise on Unyielding, pop the feat at an appropriate time and keep Dark Guidance in play as much as possible. That didn’t work out so well in the one game I used him in the tournament, but more on that later!

Army Name: Saeryn
Legion of Everblight
35+5 points, 19 models

Saeryn, Omen of Everblight +5 points
* Angelius 9 points
* Carnivean 11 points
* Harrier 2 points
* Shredder 2 points
Shepherd 1 point
Striders 6 points
* Strider Officer & Musician 3 points
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew 1 point
3 Warmongers 5 points

Reinforcements: Raek, Deathstalker, Spell Martyr

This is my most competitive list. Saeryn is one of Legion’s top warlocks and this is a force I have a lot of practice with. The Striders are a unit I don’t often play with her, but they work really well. They’re an expensive unit, but with CRA they can deal some solid damage to whatever they need to. With high DEF they are great for slowing up low MAT units when really needed.

The Games

Game 1 was the Gauntlet scenario and I was up against Adam and his beautifully painted Skorne. He had pMakeda, two Titans, two Cyclopses, some light infantry and a bit of support. Adam is relatively new to the game and hadn’t fought Legion before. My Saeryn list was designed for fighting almost exactly what he fielded. His beasts were no match for mine, particularly with Saeryn’s feat, so I made quick work of the two titans and a Cyclops on the left flank (aided by the Striders CRAs). The Warmongers almost took down the other Cyclops on the right which a Blight Bringer centred on a Harrier cleared out most of the light infantry. pMakeda was on the back foot from then and when Adam accidentally maxed the Fury on the Cyclops a trampling Carnivean backed up by a boosted Blight Bringer finished her off.

Game 2 was the Restoration scenario, but it factored even less than the Gauntlet did in the first. I was up against Eoin, again a newish player, with Cygnar as his faction. I have a healthy respect for Cygnar and was torn between Kallus and Absylonia as my list choice, but I went with Abby. Eoin’s army was led by pHaley and it had … well … it doesn’t matter what else was in it! Absylonia’s theme force benefit allows a heavy to advance move for every Foresaken, so I moved the Ravagore and Carnivean up. Eoin had the first turn. He cast some spells with Haley, using all of her focus and then charged my Carnivean to make maximum distance. Unfortunately, this meant there was nothing fast enough in her army to move to screen her. On my turn I put my upkeeps in play, moved the Ravagore up, put up his Animus, boosted a hit onto Haley and then boosted the damage. This left her on 4 boxes. At the start of Eoin’s turn two she succumbed to fire. I think we spent longer setting up than we did playing that game!

Game 3 was against Tomek and his stunning Terminus army, consisting of a Seether, Deathjack, Blackbane’s Pirates and two units of Revenant Crew. We played the Envelopment flank scenario which is a great scenario. I went with Kallus, in part to use each list on Day 1, but also because Kallus’s feat neuters Terminus’s feat. Well that’s the theory. When the time came I forgot Kallus’s, not once, not twice, but on three consecutive turns! Terminus and his army came on fast and were in my ranks in turn two. As I had forgotten my feat they decimated my army. I saw an opportunity to grab a scenario point as Tomek only had his Seether barely in the scoring zone. I ran the Shepherd in and then tried to clear a path for the Carnivean. It didn’t quite happen – I had to trample to get to it and then didn’t have enough Fury to finish it. The Seether took it apart and Terminus tore apart my Ravagore, leaving me with only the Shredder in my battlegroup. In a do or die move Kallus charged Terminus (even though the moster was on at least ARM 24!). I managed a few points of damage with Ignite up and I prudently camped two Fury. Tomek converted a couple of souls to Focus and allocated two to the Seether. It charged Kallus and dealt 11 damage, which I transferred, almost killing the Shredder. Then it came to Terminus. He swung, and missed; then he swung, and missed again; and again; and then he hit, for a reasonable amount of damage, but Kallus was still alive. With his final Focus he swung again and dealt a tiny amount of damage. I could not believe it! Kallus had six boxes left… cut him for five of those to bring him back to full and then upkept Ignite on him. Then I started swinging. My luck was better than Tomek’s and I managed to fell him with my last Fury. I jumped for joy! Then Tomek reminded me Terminus had Tough. He rolled 4… phew! What a game. I had no right to win it!

Game 4 was on the morning of Day 2. I reckoned I’d be facing either Harry’s Cygnar or Ciaran’s Skorneas they each had three wins as well. When it turned out to be Harry I knew I needed to keep Saeryn in hand in case I managed to make it into the final against Ciaran. Harry had Siege, pNemo and eNemo as his Warcasters. As the scenario was Diversion, one of the radial scenarios, I thought Abby’s army’s speed could really help in challenging for the scenario. Harry went with eNemo and load of ranged ‘jacks and some support. This was a tight game, but with a good timing of my feat a solid use of terrain I managed to gain the upper hand in a game that devolved into an attrition fest. A well place Blight Field prevented eNemo from effectively commanding his ‘jacks. The game went to dice down and as neither of us had scored a scenario point it came down to army points destroyed. I had taken out all of Harry’s ‘jacks for the loss of the Angelius, a few lessers and a Foresaken. After a hard fought game the win went to me.

Game 5 (The Final!) was, as predicted, against Ciaran’s Skorne. Realistically, there was only one army choice for me – Saeryn. Ciaran went with Rasheth, three Titans (Cannoneer, Sentry and Gladiator), two Agonizers, full unit of Gatormen, Paingivers and a Paingiver Task Master. The scenario was Incursion, one of my favourites. Ciaran opted to go first. He moved up quickly, particularly with the gators, who sped up the left flank. I cagily moved up, popped Respawn on the Carnivean and pushed the Striders towards the right-hand flag. Thankfully the left-hand one disappeared. The gatormen were a lot faster than I expected. Ciaran Rushed two of them and they managed to charge the Carnivean, causing decent damage. I feated with Saeryn and put a lot of effort into clearing a charge path from the Carnivean to the Sentry. The Carnivean almost took it down, but thankfully the Angelius was able to finish the job. The Striders picked up a scenario point. Ciaran came back hard and destroyed the Carnivean… twice because of Respawn! He moved models to contest the right-hand flag too. We then began to exchange control points and whittle down each other’s forces. Ciaran definitely had the upper hand and was in good shape to assassinate Saeryn when dice down was called. We both ended the game on three scenario points each. It went to the next tie breaker and Ciaran had more army points in scoring positioned, so the win and the Masters went to him. That was another great game.

The Aftermath

Here are the final standings –

Player Name Faction Score -(SoS)-(CP)-(PC Destroyed)
Ciaran Bolger Skorne 5 -(13)-(4)-(125)
Owen Conlan Legion of Everblight 4 -(12)-(3)-(133)
Neil Kettles Retribution of Scyrah 4 -(11)-(9)-(103)
Jason Soles Protectorate of Menoth 4 -(9)-(1)-(119)
Harry Cullen Cygnar 3 -(16)-(0)-(101)
Eoin Brennan Cygnar 3 -(16)-(0)-(72)
Gerry Nolan Legion of Everblight 3 -(15)-(5)-(109)
Anthony O’Reilly Cryx 3 -(12)-(6)-(102)
Steven Coleman Circle Orboros 3 -(12)-(2)-(93)
Ian Alderdice Minions 2 -(16)-(0)-(51)
Damien McGurrel Khador 2 -(12)-(3)-(80)
Philip Culleton Protectorate of Menoth 2 -(12)-(0)-(100)
Phil Johnston Cryx 2 -(8)-(3)-(46)
Peter MeenanCryx 2 -(8)-(0)-(48)
Tomek Dobros Cryx 1 -(14)-(0)-(72)
Robert Randall Khador 1 -(14)-(0)-(61)
John Foster Khador 1 -(10)-(3)-(29)
Adam Fox Skorne 0 -(15)-(0)-(44)

I am really happy with my performance all the way through. I got lucky at times, but for the most part I felt like I played pretty well. My armies were balanced and competitive and I chose the right list for each match-up. I played five great opponents and each game was fun. It also turns out I was the most vicious player with more army points destroyed than anyone else! What more can you ask for from a weekend’s gaming. I won an Extreme Juggernaut. I’m really looking forward to painting it. Maybe I’ll bring Khador next year! Or maybe Cryx! Or maybe Mercs!

Until next time,