Lock & Load Masters

This year I decided to play in the Masters event at Lock & Load.  It is something I have been meaning to do on a national level for over a year now, and I figured this would be a perfect time to try my hand at it.

As I mentioned Monday, I went 2-2, which was pretty cool.  There were two things that kind of bugged me, that I wanted to call out first (to get them out of the way), and then I will go on with the lists I had, the battle reports of my opponents (such as they are), etc.

Unfortunate Events

The first one was that, in the initial pairing, I was paired against someone from my local meta.  Now, I know this isn’t an impossibility, but the odds of it were so low that I was completely gobsmacked it happened.  (Out of everyone there, there were 4 of us, including myself, competing in the Masters event).  That was disappointing, because part of traveling all the way to Seattle for the convention is the opportunity to play new people.  It also meant that at least one of us out of our local meta was going to be down by one guaranteed after the first round, which was unfortunate as well.

The second thing was that after we had chosen lists, they mentioned that this year the Masters event would keep the same lists between the two days, and you only had to play each list once over all 7 games.  If I had known that going in, I probably would have chosen a different list against my first opponent.  But, such is the way things work out.

Now, on to the rest of the battle report!

The Lists

Bit of a funny story about the lists – the Zaal list I put in originally was 5 points under, completely by accident.  I had miscalculated (or War Room had, or something), so I was called up to the front when they realized it to fix the error.  Embarrassing, but better to get it fixed than to be disqualified!

List The First

  • Tyrant Xerxis (+5)
    • Basilisk Krea (4)
    • Bronzeback Titan (10)
    • Cyclops Shaman (5)
    • Titan Gladiator (8)
  • Mortitheurge Willbreaker (2)
  • Mortitheurge Willbreaker (2)
  • Agonizer (2)
  • 6 Cataphract Cetrati (11)
  • 6 Cataphract Incindiarii (9)
  • 4 Paingiver Beasthandlers (2)

List The Second

  • Lord Arbiter Hexeris [Hexeris 2] (+6)
    • Basilisk Krea (4)
    • Bronzeback Titan (10)
    • Titan Gladiator (8)
    • Cyclops Shaman (5)
    • Titan Sentry [bonded] (9)
  • Agonizer (2)
  • Mortitheurge Willbreaker (2)
  • Mortitheurge Willbreaker (2)
  • 4 Paingiver Beasthandlers (2)
  • 6 Cataphract Incindiarii (9)
  • Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer (3)

List The Third

A note – the parts in red are the ones added in at the last moment because I was 5 points under – whoops!

  • Supreme Aptimus Zaal (+5)
    • Kovaas (-)
    • Basilisk Krea (4)
    • Cyclops Brute (5)
    • Aptimus Marketh (3)
  • Ancestral Guardian (3)
  • Ancestral Guardian (3)
  • Ancestral Guardian (3)
  • Hakaar The Destroyer (4)
  • 6 Cataphract Incindiarii (9)
  • 10 Praetorian Swordsmen (6)
    • Praetorian Swordsmen Officer & Standard Bearer (2)
  • 10 Nihilators (8)
  • Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer (3)
  • Mortitheurge Willbreaker (2)

The Games

First – Seth Kurk

I chose to run the Xerxis list, while my opponent chose a nasty Borka list, which was the standard Borka theme list, Family Reunion (at Tier 4 naturally):

  • Borka Kegslayer (+5)
    • Keg carrier (-)
    • Rok (11)
    • Pyre Troll (4)
  • Trollkin Champion Hero (3)
  • Trollkin Champion Hero (3)
  • Stone Scribe Chronicler (2)
  • 3 Trollkin Champions (5) (-1 for theme)
    • Skaldi Bonehammer (3)
  • 3 Trollkin Champions (5) (-1 for theme)
  • 3 Trollkin Sluggers (5) (-1 for theme)
  • 10 Greygore Boomhowler & Co (9)
  • 6 Krielston Bearer and Stone Scribes (4)
    • Stone Scribe Elder (1)

All in all a nasty, bricky matchup.

The scenario was Scenario 4: Outflank!  Which was why Xerxis was a terrible idea.  I had a plan for him to brick up and move up the center, and that scenario does not play well that way.  With him having much more mobility with his troops, he ended up scoring his VPS by killing off my left flank force and bogging me down in the right control point.  As I said, he is one of our local players here, and he is a fantastic Trollblood player.  He did a really good job, and I was really impressed by how well he ran Borka.  This game continued to prove to me that I hate Borka Keygslayer with a passion.

Second – Andrew Durso

Another Skorne player for the second matchup.  I really dislike faction-on-faction games, but that is the way it goes.  I chose Hexeris 2, and so did he.  And since our lists were very similar, it was a very strange, surreal mirror match.

  • Lord Arbiter Hexers [Hexeris 2] (+6)
    • Bronzeback Titan [bonded] (10)
    • Titan Gladiator (8)
    • Basilisk Drake (4)
    • Basilisk Drake (4)
  • Extoller Soulward (2)
  • Mortitheurge Willbreaker (2)
  • Mortitheurge Willbreaker (2)
  • Agonizer (2)
  • 10 Nihilators (8)
  • 4 Paingiver Beasthandlers (2)
  • 6 Incindiarii (9)
  • Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer (3)

When I said these were mirror lists, I wasn’t kidding!

The scenario was Scenario 5: Into the Breach.  He did a strong play towards my right flank, which had the flag on it, on the first round, while I pushed more up the center.  However, he didn’t have much in his left flank (the contest area), so I pushed in on my second turn, cleaned it out, and pushed Hexeris into the zone, scoring two control points.

The next round he countered by putting guys in there to contest, and pinged Hexeris with a few points of damage from drakes.  I had my Nihilators, TyCom and Incindiarii holding the left flank in a retreat-style fashion to slow him down.  The next turn I cleaned out the zone again (killing his Bronzeback in the process), and scored two more points.  He went for the hail mary assassination, but thanks to the kills I had made, I had healed up just enough to survive it.  I cleaned out the last single guy he had in there (a paingiver) and won on control points.

Third – Renée Vanderwoolf

My third round I played a gentlemen from Europe (the Netherlands I think, but I could be mistaken – if you see this, and I get any information wrong, please feel free to correct me in the comments and I will correct it ASAP)

He played Circle and chose a Baldur 1 list.  I chose my Zaal list.

  • Baldur the Stonecleaver (+6)
    • Pureblood Warpwolf (9)
    • Warpwolf Stalker (10)
    • Warpwolf Stalker (10)
  • Shifting Stones (2)
    • Stone Keeper (1)
  • Tharn Bloodtrackers (8)
    • Nuala the Huntress (2)
  • Gatormen Witch Doctor (3)
  • Victor Pendrake (2)
  • Lord of the Feast (4)
  • Swamp Gobbers (1)

We played Scenario 2: Close Quarters.

He did a very good job of playing to the scenario, getting Baldur in base to base with his flag and scoring point after point.  Finally, after he had 4 points, he killed one of my Ancestral Guardians, bringing out my Kovaas with two Soul tokens on it.  I cleaned out some of the problems in the area, Zaal feated and put Last Stand on the Kovaas.  The Kovaas charged a Swamp Gobber (because it couldn’t see Baldur), but used thresher to fill up on souls, and used the feat tokens to boost hit and damage rolls against Baldur.  4 dice to hit and damage (on a MAT 8 POW 14 solo) meant even with two transfers he couldn’t quite take all the pain, and I killed him on assassination with the last damage roll (although I had puppet master up on the Kovaas, so I could have rerolled damage dice if they were terrible rolls).

Fourth – Robert Shrouds

I could tell I was getting tired here, because I chose Hexeris 2 against a Cryx player instead of my goto, Zaal.  Whoops.  He chose Deneghra 2, and with the scenario we were playing , I was unable to get to him in time.

  • Wraith Witch Deneghra (+6)
    • Deathripper (4)
    • Deathripper (4)
    • Skarlock Thrall(2)
  • 10 Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (10)
  • 10 Satyxis Blood Witches (6)
    • Satyxis Blood Hag (2)
  • Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2)
  • Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor (2)
  • Pistol Wraith (3)
  • Satyxis Raider Captain (2)
  • Warwitch Siren (2)
  • 10 Satyxis Raiders (8)
    • Satyxis Raider Sea Wtich (2)
  • Wrongeye & Snapjaw (9)

The Scenario was Incursion, and we lost the middle flag.  So, he ran Denny over to my far right flag (where he was jamming up the entry), feated, and sat there safe, getting his victory points, while I was unable to get to him.  It was well played, and he really took advantage of my poor list selection.  It was a fast game, and somewhat of a downer to have such a blowout at the end of the event, but I had a fun day overall.

Closing Thoughts

The event was a ton of fun.  I wish they had been more upfront about how they were doing list selection management, but that is a minor quibble.  I will note to anyone thinking of playing in a Masters event – they do NOT give you a break for food.  So have some sealed in a lunch bag, or have someone bring you some food during a break after a game, because it is a long day of playing.  Without the help of my wife (between her seminars) I would have been very, VERY cranky from low blood sugar at the end of the day.

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