Reminds me to write up the last game, cheers Will
Anyways, going into Round 3 there were three people on 2 wins, so this round would determine if we played a 4th round or not (if the pair down (the 2 win player that has to play someone on 1 win/1 loss) loses then we stop at 3 rounds). The other two people on 2 wins were a Circle player and a Merc player. I'd have been happy to play either, but was secretly hoping to get the Circle player to see if I could unravel their "anti-Legion tech". Pairings were announced...Round 3 - Close Quarters vs Circle
Looking at his lists, he had Morvahna2 and Cassius.
I could drop Vayl2 against either, since Morvahna2 was pretty much double Stalker plus all medium-based infantry, which I could go toe-to-toe with Ravagores and Angels, and Morvahna2 doesn't like getting shot in the face. Against Cassius, Vayl2's Ravagores just keep shooting Wurmwood (the tree) till Cassius falls over.
Though, I could drop Vayl1 against either too. Double Scythean would get a brutal RFP (Remove From Play) alpha on Morvahna2's medium-based infantry to basically deny him much of a Feat, and then back up to do it again next turn. Likewise, against Cassius, I can RFP the infantry to deny the tree souls, and I have Hex Hunters to tussle with his infantry.
Deciding that it was too late in the day for finesse, I decided to try and just power through it with Vayl1. I think my opponent decided the threat of massed RFP from Vayl1's list was too much for Morvahna2 and plumped for Cassius;
Cassius the Oathkeeper
- Feral Warpwolf
Max Bloodtrackers + Nuala
Shifting Stones + UA
Min Bone Grinders
It was when he deployed Pendrake that I realised I'd been a bit remiss when looking at his lists, Pendrake is normally "the tell" when a list is intended for anti-Legion. Beast Lore'ed Trackers can tear up Legion 'beasts a treat if they get in range.
I lost the roll off and my opponent opted to take the side with a wall pretty much on the edge of the Killbox, though to be honest I was happy with this, as soon as the Stones are taken out of the equation Ghetorix and the Feral aren't staying safe from Ravagore shots with their lack of Pathfinder.
Doing what Vayl1 does, I decided the best course of action (as always) was to threaten smashing his flag and sending some token stuff to contest mine so he can't get easy points. Battlegroup sets up pretty much directly opposite his flag. Spawning Vessel and the min Hex Hunter unit sets up opposite my flag. Bayal's Hex Hunters (advance deployed) set up just ahead of my battlegroup, with a wee gap for Vayl1 to activate first and still get her full 6" forward.
My opponent responds with Cassius pretty central, the Nyss to my left to take his flag, Ghetorix and Feral to my right opposite my flag (not overly concerned with their placement, it's a long walk from the wall to my flag). Trackers set up opposite my flag, presumably intent on over-running it (can't be having that). His Trackers Prey Bayal's Hex Hunters (fine by me, with Chiller my Hex Hunters and the Trackers will more or less wipe each other out, and my Hex Hunters are slightly cheaper than his Trackers).
Vayl starts by Slip Stream'ing and Leash'ing the Ravagore forwards, throwing Chiller on Bayal's Hex Hunters and then Tenacity'ing herself just in case. Bayal's Hex Hunters pretty much run full pelt towards his flag, careful to stay outside 8" of the nearest Trackers (to deny them charges and the associated Quick Work attacks, 8" LOS with Vayl1's theme force). Seraph Slip Streams and fake-charges forwards to get Vayl 2" further forward ready for Turn 2. Ravagore moves his full 8" up and is a gnats nut away from getting a direct shot on Wurmwood, shot scatters and sets the tree and a Shifting Stone on fire. Scytheans move up pretty much as fast as they can go, but remaining just within 6" of Vayl (so she can cast Leash / Chiller on them before she moves, if she needs to), both are positioned to be able to smash anything he puts within 4" of his flag. Spawning Vessel and min Hex Hunters run up cautiously and mill about near my flag.
Fire doesn't go out, the few damage taken is transferred to the Gorax. Looking at the board position, I think my opponent realised that I'm setting the line of engagement at his flag, if he goes for my flag then his Trackers get intercepted by half Bayal's Hex Hunters as well as the other unit, and his 'beasts are severely out-threated by Vayls, so he turns to his own flag. Trackers take a run order as they can't charge any of Bayal's Hex Hunters, to spread out just behind his flag, 'clouding' out and generally making the most of Nuala's CMD 9 to spread out. Nyss and kind of penned in by the Trackers, but they run up and mill about. His non-UA Shifting Stones form up just outside his advance deployment zone, whilst the UA Shifting Stones form up around Cassius, Wurmwood, the Feral and Ghetorix. Essentially, if I leave both units of Shifting Stones intact then he can double teleport Ghetorix up into my flag. Realistically, it's not going to happen as Cassius would have to leave the safety of his wall to keep Ghetorix in his control area. Ghetorix warps Hyper Aggressive, and the Feral warps for ARM, and they both stay well out of Vayl's Scythean threat ranges. Pendrake hangs about at the back, in position to give anything Beast Lore should it need it.
Turn passes to me, and in hindsight it was probably one of my most reserved Turn 2's with my Vayl1 list. Chiller gets upkept on Bayal's Hex Hunters, Leash is dropped as the Ravagore is in range of everything now. Looking at targets for said Ravagore I came to the conclusion that if I nuked the unit of Shifting Stones that everything was currently stood in, that'd mean I could ignore the other unit for a turn. Looking at his Stone Keeper UA, he hadn't Stone Formed, so sitting pretty at DEF 14, 9's is pretty easy for a Ravagore to miss, eying up the Stones in the unit one was next to Cassius. Perfect, double dipping on Fire (getting Cassius and Wurmwood on fire) is a surefire way to burn through his health and transfers quickly. The Ravagore activates, pops his animus (continuous fire) and boosts to his the Shifting Stones, boosts damage to kill it, boosted blast damage on Cassius is taken and not transferred. Time to thin out the Trackers so my 'beasts can actually move up safely, Bayal and his Hex Hunters were absolute champs here, missed most of the Battle Wizard attacks, but only one Hex Hunter missed his melee attack (effective MAT 9 with Chiller is a thing). Seraph advances and strafes a couple more 'Trackers. At this point, I can't get my heavies into his heavies, so it's definitely not Feat turn (think this might be a first), so Vayl spams Tenacity on all her heavy 'beasts and shuffles up till she's within 8" of the Tracker that survived the Hex Hunters melee attack and kills her with a boosted damage Oraculus shot. Nestling behind her Seraph, both Scytheans form up either side of the Seraph to block LOS to Vayl from the Nyss / would-be Strangleholds from Cassius etc. Pot Acolytes slaughter each other until there's 3 corpses in the Pot, and spawn a Harrier to kill another 'Tracker before Sprint'ing away. min Hex Hunters shuffle up and take some speculative Hex Bolts at the non-UA Shifting Stones, blowing one up as well. To add insult to injury, the last couple of Trackers failed their CMD check for losing 50%, so they're a non-issue for me next turn
I was pretty happy with that turn, I've taken out most of the infantry that threatens my 'beasts, shut down most of the mobility for his 'beasts (he still has Hellmouth shenanigans, but most of the stuff near my 'beasts is Stealth so not easy to take advantage of) and Vayl's pretty safe.
Starting his turn, he ports 2 Shifting Stones into the midst of Bayal's Hex Hunters, Cassius then takes 5 Souls from Wurmwood and double Hellmouths 5 Hex Hunters + Bayal (by targeting the Stones). Cassius cranks the damage on the Shifting Stones and kills both. Hex Hunters pass their CMD check like a boss. The Nyss shuffle up to within 4" of his flag, and take some 2-man CRA's into the remaining Hex Hunters, but fail to land any hits. Ghetorix then takes a charge at my Harrier, easily killing it with his charge attack. His Feral warps for armour, and runs near Ghetorix, to counter-kill anything that goes into Ghetorix. Swamp Gobbers cloud up in front of Cassius, mainly blocking a Scythean's landing spot if I try to kill Cassius.
Looking back at his turn, I was pretty happy that he hadn't Stranglehold'ed any of my heavies, checking Vayls control area I'm pretty sure I can kill Ghetorix with a Scythean and get away outside the Feral's warp-strength charge range, if he warps speed then the Scythean is likely to survive. Chiller is upkept. Hex Hunters activate first, charging into the Nyss but only killing one and generally doing not-much. Obviously not that inspired now Bayal's dead. Seraph tries to Strafe the remaining 3 Nyss on his flag, but only rolls 2 shots. Guess that's the end of that plan then... Vayl casts Slipstream and then advances towards Ghetorix to get within 9" of him, placing the Scythean 2" closer with Slipstream, casts Incite and then cycles Chiller on to the Scythean, and pops her feat (Cat & Mouse, lets me move a model at the end of the turn for every enemy model in her control area). The Spawning Vessel stabs at the min Hex Hunters for a couple of bodies and their brethren to spawn a Stinger (back-up attack in case Scythean doesn't get the job done!). Scythean charges into Ghetorix and kills him with a Fury to spare. With that done, checking Vayl's control area again I'm pretty much certain the Feral will need warp speed to get into the Scythean once he's backed up, so next plan is take away Primal. The Ravagore shoots the Gorax, and the Stinger charges the Gorax, but without Incite they don't do anywhere near enough damage, leaving him pretty healthy. Shredder goes Rabid so he can walk 8", to cast Tenacity on Vayl. The other Scythean just advances, ready to form up a wall around Vayl with the Feat. Using my Feat moves, the Scythean backs up 6" directly away from the Feral, the Seraph Ravagore and Scythean form a small wall around Vayl to again keep her as safe as possible.
Baiting my opponent into throwing Ghetorix forward paid dividends there, he basically traded his 11pt heavy for a 2pt (free, if you count the fact it came from the Pot) Lesser. Still, the Feral can try and even the trade. Nyss kill off a couple more Hex Hunters, the Trackers rally this turn. He then ports one of his Shifting Stones forwards, with some careful measurement of his control area to be just about within 3" of the Scythean that just killed Ghetorix. Due to the angle of the Spawning Vessel itself he wasn't able to pull the Scythean 3" directly towards the Feral with Hellmouth, but he got him a couple inches closer. The Gorax punches the Stinger in the face, easily killing it. My opponent opts not to Primal the Feral (he didn't cast Curse of Shadows on my Scythean either), I ask him what he's warping, he declares strength, checking the charge range the Feral is 9.75" away from my Scythean so fails his charge.
Passing turn to me, Chiller gets upkept, Vayl casts Incite and camps 4 transfers (in my experience, back someone into a corner and they'll pull a hail mary assassination out of their backside, and Cassius has a pretty good one, coming back to that in a moment...). Shredder casts Tenacity on Vayl again for good measure. Scythean smashes the Feral to pieces with Fury to spare. The other Scythean charges into his left-most Gallows Grove that I've not been able to get to till now and easily kills it with his charge attack. Ravagore shoots the Gorax for a little more damage. Spawning Vessel poops out a Stinger that charges the Gorax, and kills it. Cassius is now out of transfer targets, Seraph it's time to shine... Seraph advances directly towards Wurmwood and rolls 3 shots with Strafe, 3 boosted damage Strafe shots into Wurmwood leave Cassius on one box. In my haste to run through my turn, I hadn't cast Dragon Fire on the Seraph with the Ravagore, so unfortunately Cassius wasn't on fire.
Starting his turn, my opponent is down to about 5 minutes on his Deathclock, vs my 10 minutes, so barring spiky dice I should have this. Bantering a bit with one of the tournament scene regulars who was running an adjacent tournament in the same venue, we both know Cassius' best long shot at the moment but twig that my opponent hasn't seen it, as he's on about 2 Nyss shots, an Arcane Bolt from the 2 remaining Pigs, and 5 Strangleholds from Cassius. After a couple minutes, he works out the double Unseen Path to get Cassius into melee with Vayl. Brazen... The remaining 2 Nyss walk out of combat with the Scythean, he kills them both with free strikes thus filling up Wurmwood with Souls (if I didn't kill them, they'd have tried to shoot Vayl). First Bone Grinder walks up to get LOS to Vayl, triggering Dark Sentinel, so the Ravagore punches him in the face, second Bone Grinder gets LOS and misses his Arcane Bolt. As a last act of spite, Pendrake Beast Lores the remaining Tracker, who charges the Stinger that killed the Gorax, and kills it
Last activation with about 90 seconds left on his clock, Cassius charges my Seraph, before making his charge attack, he casts Unseen Path to place Wurmwood 2" ahead of him, and then casts Unseen Path again to get into melee with Vayl. 7 Fury left, and his initial attack still to make.
MAT 6 POW 12, so 10's to hit at dice -2 for damage. If he goes for boosted attack rolls, he can only equal my number of transfers (i.e. Vayl is guaranteed to survive) so he has to swing unboosted attacks.
First attack... double 5. Lands. Damage roll... 5 & 6, 13 damage. Ouch. Transferred.
Second attack... double 6. Lands. Damage roll... rolls a total of 6, so 8 damage. Vayl takes it.
At this point, I'm basically bricking it, he's got another 6 attacks left to go...
Unfortunatly, the dice aren't kind, and he whiffs the rest
Start of my turn, drop Chiller. Leach Fury from 'beasts, walk out of melee with Cassius (free strike misses), cast Incite, throw Oraculus at Cassius and boost damage for the kill
At this point I'm pretty shattered from a taxing game, I'm thankful when I look over at the other table with the pair down and the young lady on 2 wins has lost, so my game was the "finals", and thus ends the tournament
First place bagged me a nice 1st place medallion that'll take pride of place on my mantlepiece
Still doing what I can to break the Pigmar curse