Thursday, May 19, 2016

CMON expo. A tale of an almost first place finish.

Greetings all.  This is Jon.  Adam asked me to report my exploits and shenanigans.  So instead of sending him bits and pieces I figured I would give this blogging thing a whirl.  Writing is not something I do often so if I am somewhat vague feel free to ask questions or leave constructive criticism.  Also my phone takes crappy pictures.  I am very aware of this.  I will upgrade in the near future.  With the disclaimers out of the way on to the tournament!

Game one:


Normally I would name opponents but I misplaced a sheet so I'm doing that round by memory and there may be some content that can be construed as a negative play experience.  While it is relatively easy to extrapolate who I am talking about, I will leave all names out as I feel its a polite thing I can do.  I'm not angry.  There are several things I did wrong to lose that game and it was a hard lesson in tournament scheme selection.


Round one:
Strat: Guard the stash.  Schemes: Convict Labor, Set up, Undercover Entourage, Leave your mark, Exhaust their forces.  Deploy:  Corner

Going into this one I was going to use Brewmaster because his defensive trigger is debilitating in corner deployment.  But my opponent told me he was relatively new to the game (less then 10 games played if memory serves.  So I figured a more straight forward master like Lynch would A. play faster on my side and B. not be so confusing and be a NPE for a newer player by making his models do nothing all game.

So the lists: 10 Thunders Vs Arcanists
Lynch, Woke Up With a Hand, Rising Sun, Recalled Training
Hungering Darkness, Recalled Training
Yin, Smoke Grenades
Chiaki
Illuminated x 2
10 Thunder Brothers x 2

Rasputina, Child of December, Decembers Pawn, Shattered Heart
Wendigo
Ice Golem, Armor of December
Hoarcat Pride
Ice Gamin x 3
Sabretooth Cerebus

I don't remember who won flip or who deployed first.  There was no from the shadows I started by the building with the grey roof, and my opponent in the opposite corner.  I sent a brother down each flank to complete convict labor and then to peel off for leave your mark, an illuminated toward each stash marker (hugging cover), Huggy to support one and Yin the other.  Lynch set up behind a fence where he could not be seen between both strat groups.  He came up kinda in a cloud formation and I'm not really certain if there was a plan other then to try to win combat and sweep past me.  This was probably one of his first games since Huggy's incorporeal was frustrating him.  So much so he used smash when Huggy was on one wound top of turn two (probably unaware he was only buried).  Removing Huggy left a lane for my illuminated to skirt past the golem and charge Raspy. He tried to harass one of my thunder brothers with the hoarcat.  Lynch deleted the cerebus releasing huggy who charged the hoarcat and deleted it so my markers on that flank would count.  With Raspy effectively neutralized (don't remember if I killed the golem somewhere in there) he decided to call it.  We both failed the strat turn 3 so I got that game 9-1.  I don't particularly enjoy beating brand new players this bad.  I only hope he sticks with the game and gives it a chance.

Game two:


This table was interesting.  The stairs up to the platforms didn't seem set up in any logical way and I knew I was taking 3 models that don't care.  This guy was running Outcasts but also said he was relatively new.  So we agreed everything was climbable.  Since he showed up with a box that didn't look like it could hold the rat engine and if it did all my stuff can act independent and it was standard deploy sooo...

Round two:
Strat: Turf War.  Schemes: Convict Labor, A Quick Murder, Public Demonstration, Show of Force, Exhaust their forces.  Deploy:  Standard

The lists: 10 Thunders Vs Outcasts
Lynch, Woke Up With a Hand, Rising Sun, Recalled Training
Hungering Darkness, Recalled Training
Yin, Smoke Grenades
Chiaki
Illuminated x 2
10 Thunder Brothers x 2

Von Schill
Hannah
Lazarus
Strongarm Suit
Librarian
Hans

I don't remember his upgrades as I didn't write them down but every model had an upgrade.  With Turf War and Show of Force having obvious synergy I didn't expect I could compete in Show with just Yin.  As an aside with his crews only threat to my scheme runners being Hans I knew I had 3 points locked up for convict labor (or he would have to potentially lose a stat point and a scheme point to contest my markers).  Public Demonstration while this being the easiest set up I will ever get the list is not built to do it and it relies too heavily not picking off an Illuminated before I spring it.  In hindsight a quick murder on the Strongarm was probably the way I should have gone but somewhere in the back of my mind what if he plays cagey with an obvious melee model and stands back shooting people?  So I settled on Exhaust.  The Brothers didn't have to guard markers anyway as he was obviously all in on a rush to the middle.

Something that didn't happen is I didn't stop to think what he probably took for the second scheme.  I can rule out Public Demonstration seeing as how he had 0 demonstrators, not enough models to attempt Convict, and Exhaust is difficult if you are being out activated (but not to be ruled out) so it was almost certainly a Quick Murder (which my list inadvertently thwarts with attacking Yin at a double negative outside of 6"). But had I did this step I would have deployed Yin in cover for an extra negative.  Even though it turns out Hans doesn't have a built in positive like the other snipers these are the kinds of mistakes I'm going to need to eliminate from my game.

Turn 1.  I deploy on the closer side in the picture.  Brother on each flank and everything else aiming to support the fight for the middle.  He takes a pot shot with Hans (set up on the walkway behind the building for cover) at Yin which misses (still not triggering my spidey senses).  I advance everything into cover except the Brothers.  I send Chiaki to support the thunder brother on my left flank so I can get the markers down quick to maybe get him into the scum turn 3 for Exhaust.  He brought the Strongarm and Librarian down my right flank but angling for the center.  I think he got Hannah and Schill up to or on the walkway towards the center.  I still don't know what the plan for Lazarus was but he was back by Hans on the ground.  Score 0-0

Turn 2.  He advances Strongarm and Hannah up to score.  I charge Huggy in to melee range of both putting some damage on Hannah so the Librarian would have to think about randomizing.  I advance an Illuminated to score.  Between Hans and Schill they kill that Illuminated.  So I advance the other one and Yin in for scoring.  I start running the left flank bro toward the center and advance the other to cover to maybe make a run at Hans.  Score 2-2 (Convict for me, Show for him).

Turn 3.  This where my opponent says 'That's where it all went horribly wrong really'.  I win imitative pop Recalled Training stone for the envelop trigger.  I hit the Strongarm for a straight damage flip and top deck the red joker for 11 damage.  Then I stone for envelop and hit Hannah for 7.  And suddenly there were 2 less models.  (turns out he forgot a legend to live up to which is basically hard to kill.  The math as I see it is I would have killed both of those models with Lynch next activation if he skipped the librarian to get rid of Huggy and in the end of that turn he might have scored 2 less)  He jumps Schill into Huggy burying him.  The Librarian moves up to score.  Still no clue what Lazarus is doing.  I move Yin and the Illuminated up on the walk to go after Hans next turn.  Chiaki and the thunder bro came up to score the strat.  I score exhaust somewhere in there I think it was Yin on Lazarus.  Score 5-4

Turn 4 .Pick off the Librarian, exhaust Lazarus, and engage Hans.  Turn flew by pretty quick.  Score 8-4.  Called the game here 10-4 me.

With a +14 differential and at most 5 undefeateds barring ties (which there is very likely at least a few) means I'm probably playing for first place next game.  There were no table numbers and match ups just picked a table, set up, and go.  So outside of the final standings there is no way for me to tell at this point if I'm playing for 1st or the second place table (where 1st is possible if the the first place table ties and being in 5th at this point being highly unlikely but mathematically possible).


Game three:

This was the table my opponent suggested.  When you see his list it will be obvious why but someone beat us to it.  This is Shenlong, Hans, and two snipers all day.  I will gladly trade my 6 shot to his 3.  But instead of dwelling on what almost was a completely different game...


 

This table seemed relatively balanced.  More outcasts and 'kinda new player'.  I'm going to hedge against ratjoy and bring Aionus.  Somewhere in the chaos I put an element in my list for Reconnoiter and not Reckoning.

 Round three:
Strat: Reckoning.  Schemes: Convict Labor, Take Prisoner, Detonate the Charges, Covert Breakthrough, Hunting Party.  Deploy:  Standard

The lists: 10 Thunders Vs Outcasts
Lynch, Woke Up With a Hand, Rising Sun
Hungering Darkness, Recalled Training
Aionus, Recalled Training
Chiaki
Illuminated x 2
Torshiro, Command the Graves

Leveticus
2x Waif
Rusty Alyce
Hans
2x Trapper
2x Convict Gunslingers

I lost the deployment flip.  This wasn't as debilitating as it could have been considering he had 2 models with from the shadows I failed to account for in my set up.  I chose the corner with the small square building.  He deployed both Trappers together one one the ground behind the rectangle building on my side and one up on the roof in the corner as close to the corner of the board as you can get* (I'll touch back on this as I got cheated).  Hans was up on the building in the middle of the other side.

Instead of doing a play by play or turn by turn I'll just run the highlights.  Not taking any bros cut Convict out of contention.  So I went with Breakthrough and Detonate because Chiaki could probably score me 2 on that.  I tie up Hans with Huggy turn 2 after killing a Gunslinger to get him back.  I tied up Levi with Torshiro for a couple turns.  He scored the strat turn 2 and had I ran my Illuminated down the right flank and pretend it was dropping convict markers I could have stopped him from scoring 3 (for the game) on hunting party.

Where this game went sideways for me is when I tried to shoot the Trapper on the roof (who had move up turn one cause it was out of range or something but it was still more than 2 inches from the edge of the building facing my deployment zone)  He was running the other Trapper to do break through but he hadn't dropped any markers yet.  So he told me I'm pretty sure you can't shoot that guy because vantage point rules.  I didn't bother to check the rules at this point because this guy was slow playing me weather he intended to or not.  So I just changed target to the scheme runner and cheat to what would have been a tie unless he cheated the red joker and he cheated the joker.  I had the red joker in hand and I tie/win the game had I played it there.  I was saving it to one shot a buried Levi with Aionus.

So there is this last round call at 15 mins and we are seconds from the end of 4. score going into 5 is 4-6.  And he calls the game with some lame excuse of I have to be ready to drive 3 hours after this.  If that's the only way you can win buddy have at it.  Top of 5 I have Lynch w/ 5 wds, huggy full and in charge range for Levi, unwounded Aionus, and Chiaki.  Levi had one wound, 2 Waifs hiding in a puddle of piss and the Trapper on the roof who at this point had been cheating the entire game to shoot at me as it turns out that the vantage point rule runs both ways.  Chiaki could still score me detonate for 2 or 3, Lynch could pick up a marker. And I would have scored strat for killing Levi twice that turn.  I turned in the sheets with 12 minutes left and there is no way we would have not finished with 8 models on the table.  But whatever.

So what did I learn from all that?  Take models to do the schemes I chose, have a fall back model, and score a fast as possible.  I don't mean for this to sound salty but I'm sure it does.  I learned several things from all three games, generally had fun (I can't prove the last guy meant to cheat me but you can be for certain I have vantage point seared into my brain and that won't happen again).  I need to slow down and focus at the selection step because this is not the first time I made this type of error.

And a week from this tournament is BKFuax (last weekend at the time of posting this).  So more tournament reports to come.