Playing With Time

With convention season kicking up, and people looking to play competitively, there is often one sticking point: the clock.  Many players see the clock as a necessary evil.  Something that has to be there to keep the game flowing, to keep someone from slowing down tournaments unnecessarily.

I would argue that the clock is an important part of gameplay, especially at a competitive level.  And that playing well, truly understanding the game, requires that one play on a clock.

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CoC Tournament Report

Last Saturday (the 22nd of February, 2014) I had the pleasure of joining in on a steamroller at the Game Empire in Pasadena.  Since I was traveling via air, and didn’t want to take a ton of stuff, I brought my (unpainted) Convergence of Cyriss with me.

The tournament was a fairly standard steam roller – 50 points, 55 minute death clock, Divide and Conquer 1 (play each list at least once).  It was a blast, and I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in playing competitively in the area to head down there.  The players were all very nice, and respectful, despite my abysmal showing.  I learned a lot, saw some things I don’t ever see locally, and got to play some games even when traveling, which was fun.

The lists I ran, which were not exactly optimal, but were what I had put together, were the following

List 1 – Tier 1 The Great Machine

  • Syntherion (+6)
    • Cipher (9)
    • Cipher (9)
    • Diffuser (3)
    • Diffuser (3)
    • Galvanizer (3)
    • Galvanizer (3)
    • Mitigator (4)
    • Monitor (8)
    • Monitor (8)
  • Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex (1)
  • Algorithmic Dispersion Optifex (1)
  • Optifex Directive (2)
  • Optifex Directive (2)

This list is a pretty standard Syntherion list.  I really like how it plays, although I am going to be playing around with a Prime Axiom, and once the Corollary comes out, it will obviously enter the list (taking it to tier 4 as it stands, as the galvanizer is free at that point).

List 2

  • Axis (+6)
    • Diffuser (3)
    • Galvanizer (3)
    • Inverter (8)
    • Inverter (8)
    • Galvanizer (3)
  • Attunement Servitors (2)
  • 5 Perforators (9)
  • 5 Reciprocators (9)
  • 5 Eradicators (9)
  • Optifex Directive (2)

This list is not the Axis list I would play with normally – it is closer to an Aurora list I have been kicking around.  BUT – it was what I had together that I could transport, and it was still a lot of fun to play.

Round 1

I played against a Khador player who was running Butcher 3.  I chose my Axis list to try and get it out of the way.

The game boiled down to me making a tiny mistake in my eradicator placement, which meant he could get butcher near me, killed the stuff in the way, moved closer, and killed Axis without having to feat.  So, that game was quickly over.

Lesson learned?  KEEP AXIS BACK!

Round 2

I played against a Retribution player playing Vyros 2.  I chose to play Syntherion against him, which was the right choice.

This matchup was brutal – lots of dead bodies on the ground, and was easily the longest matchup I had all day.  In the end, he got a Griffon to me and barely killed me, after one failed assassination attempt earlier.  The earlier assassination attempt should have never happend, but I forgot to KEEP SYNTHERION BACK.

Lesson learned?  KEEP THE WARCASTER BACK!

Round 3

Played against a Legion player who chose a fairly standard Thagrosh 1 list.  Lots of warspears, two ravagores, a naga, striders with UA.  I am sure there was other stuff, but that was the stuff that mattered.  He took two potshots at Syntherion with his ravagores, at dice-3 on each.  He rolled a 17 and a 14 for damage, killing him outright.  Lesson learned?  You can’t beat hot dice, I guess?

I honestly don’t know what I could have done differently there, since I was back quite a ways with Synth, and he was going to get a round of shooting on me before I could close well.  And with dice rolls like that, well…

I should note – this is NOT to say he would not have won anyway – it is just to state that I have no idea, given those kinds of rolls.  :)

Lesson learned?  Well, there is a theme here – KEEP THE WARCASTER BACK!

Round 4

Played against another Retribution player who chose Issyria against me.  I chose Axis, and he used the Mage Hunter Strike Force on her feat turn to gun him down.  *sigh*  In this case, it was a killbox, so I don’t know how much more back I could have kept him, but…

KEEP THE WARCASTER BACK!

Conclusion

Even though I went 0-4, I had a ton of fun.  Everyone there was really competitive, but in a good, fun way.  In that way that makes you want to play better, to learn better, to strive for more.  I never felt like anyone was being disrespectful, and everyone was very nice to me, even when they found out they probably wouldn’t ever see me again.

Would Play Again?

Yes.  Hell yes.  If you have a chance, and are in the SoCal area, I strongly recommend attending one of their Warmachine tournaments.  They occur every 4th Saturday, I believe (although you can call the store for more information, I am sure).  The staff was super nice as well, so that was a huge bonus for me too.

Lessons Learned

Well, the first one is, as always, KEEP THE WARCASTER BACK!  I cannot emphasize that enough for me.  I have been playing primarily Hordes for the last 2 years, and the switch to Warmachine – and how relatively squishy Warcasters are – is taking me a bit of getting used to.

I need a LOT more practice with CoC if I am going to try and compete with them this year.  Also, I really felt the absence of the Corollary.  Needing to use Syntherion’s focus to get people moving, as well as needing to use it to cast his upkeeps at full price on the first turn, means he generally can’t camp anything on the first turn.  While it wouldn’t have stopped the Legion assassination in round 3 (because, let’s face it, hot dice), it would have made it less palatable, and he might not have even gone for it, instead opting to try and take down one of my lights or heavies.

Biggest thing?  I need LOTS of practice with CoC, and I need people to try and kill me more, so I can have it beaten into my head that I need to KEEP THE WARCASTER BACK!

Thanks to everyone at Game Empire in Pasadena – it was a blast.  Next time I am in SoCal, I will be coming there for a tournament if I have the time.

Food Machine

I know these are usually done during November or December, but food banks need food all year around!

We will be doing a Food Machine tournament on Saturday, February 9th.  Entry is 10 cans, and there will be a prize for the winner of the tournament, as well as for the person who donates the most cans or canned goods as part of the tournament.  So come on down to Rook’s.  Sign ups start at noon.  More information is on the event’s page.