Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pod Tournament Report Game 3: Master Ascetic Naaresh vs. Grissel Bloodsong, Marshall of the Kriels (75pts)

Hey everyone!  This is the third and final game in the weekly portion of the pod tournament.  I still had my Mordikaar combined arms, Naaresh beast brick, and Xekaar ranged brick for lists.  My opponent this week was Josh, who had brought Trollbloods.  He was bringing Ragnor with a beast brick, Horgle 2 with a Mountain King, and Grissel 2 with a Mountain King and 2 bombers.  My strongest drop into all of them was Naaresh, who had good armor cracking and an Arm buff.  Josh was on the fence between Grissel and Horgle, but went with Grissel.

My full list was:

Master Ascetic Naaresh (*32pts)
*Tiberion (22pts)
*Bronzeback Titan (18pts)
*Titan Gladiator (15pts)
*Cyclops Brute (8pts)
*Basiisk Krea (7pts)
*Agonizer (6pts)

Paingiver Bloodrunner Master Tormentor (4pts)

Paingiver Bloodrunners (Leader and 5 Grunts) (9pts)
The Legends of Halaak (8pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (5pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (5pts)

*Titan Sentry (15pts)
*Archidon (10pts)
*Cyclops Brute (8pts)
Orin Midwinter, Rogue Inquisitor (5pts)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt) (2pts)

My basic melee brick.  It has a lot of armor and armor cracking, and is very resistant to shooting.  There are a bunch of Shield Guards in the list, and Naaresh is hard to assassinate.  There's also a fair amount of scenario presence with multiple Animi that allow pushing.  For this game, I dropped the Bloodrunners and BRMT.  They would just be blast template bait against Josh's list.  Instead, I put in the Archidon, which would probably be a good jamming model, and would let my slow list make some aggressive moves the Bloodrunners are usually there for.  I made up the points with the Gobbers, who might actually be quite helpful against Josh's Grissel list.

Josh's list was:

Grissel Bloodsong, Marshall of the Kriels - Power of Dhunia
*Mountain King
*Dire Troll Bomber
*Dire Troll Bomber
*Troll Axer
*Rune Bearer

Janissa Stonetide
5 Troll Whelps

Kriel Stone Bearer and Stone Scribes (Leader and 5 Grunts)
*Command Attachment (Stone Scribe Elder)
Dhunian Knot (Leader and 2 Grunts)

Scenario and Deployment

The scenario this round was The Pit: one big circular zone in the middle with 2 flags across from each other on the diagonal.  Dominate your own flag, control the zone, or control the enemy flag for 1CP.  Dominate the zone or enemy flag for 2CP.  Kill box is in effect.

I won the roll-off, and chose to go first.  My basic plan was to start dominating my flag starting at the bottom of 2, and force those ranged models into my melee range or win on scenario.  Naaresh would be bricked up, and buffed with multiple layers of defense.  I put Naaresh in front of my flag with the Brute and Krea to keep him company.  The 3 Titans basically went in front of the zone.  The Legends, Archidon, and Gobbers went on the far side to harass Josh's flag as needed.  The Paingivers and Agonizer took up the rear.

Josh stacked both Bombers and Grissel in front of Naaresh - it looked like assassination was his Plan A.  The Mountain King went in the middle, the Axer went near on the MK's far side, and the support brought up the rear.  Two Whelps started in play, near the Mountain King and one Bomber.

No AD for either of us this game, so we were good to go.  Grissel got to start with her upkeeps in play, so she started with Discord on the Mountain King for a nice big bubble of denial.

Skorne Turn 1

I mostly ran.  Naaresh put up Lamentation on himself, and Blur on the Legends to start with.  I'd probably want Lamentation's denial early on, and I wanted the Legends to live long enough to screen and do some damage against a very shooty list.  The Krea used Force Aura, and walked up to support everyone else.  Otherwise there was a little Rushing and a lot of running.  The Gobbers, Legends and Archidon were leading the way on my right flank.

Not a bad first turn, but not a very exciting one.

Trollbloods Turn 1

Most of Josh's list also ran.  The exception was the Mountain King, who got Rushed by the Axer, and Assaulted the Gobbers.  It was barely in range of both, and yelled at them to death.  All the Fury went on the Stone, which used its Aura and ran.

Whoops.  Losing the Gobbers was ok though.  I still had a good plan, and now was the turn to start implementing it.

Skorne Turn 2

Naaresh upkept both spells the Skorne way, by stabbing himself.

The Brute and Gladiator pushed up to just ahead and center of my flag.  Naaresh went to Dominate, and cast Safeguard to stay alive.  The Krea advanced and used Paralytic Aura to keep Naaresh and his friends safe.

The Legends ran into the center of the zone to screen.  Tiberion ran into the Mountain King's threat range to bait and/or threaten it.  The Bronzeback took up position to counterattack if the Mountain King charged in.  The Paingivers spread out, and did their things, including Enraging the Archidon.  It charged in, and did some damage to the Mountain King.  The Agonizer backed up Tiberion with some Gnawing Pain.

I was doing well.  If the Mountain King charged in, I'd probably be able to kill it.  If it stayed put, I'd be able to keep hurting it.  Naaresh was in position to score on Josh's turn, and Josh would have to either commit ranged models or bleed out his support to contest my flag.  He could do a fair amount of damage this coming turn, but I was feeling pretty good about my chances.

Trollbloods Turn 2

Grissel upkept Discord.

The Stone used its Aura again.  Grissel moved in toward the center a bit, and put Rage on the Axer.  The Axer charged the Archidon, but failed to hit it.  The Mountain King advanced, killed Valgesh and Cidaar, and damaged the Archidon badly (but didn't quite take out any aspects).  The Bombers pummeled the Brute with... bombs, damaging it pretty badly.  Janissa raised a hill between my stuff and the Bombers.

And that was it.

I scored a point, and was feeling a lot more confident now.  The Mountain King was in charge range of both the Bronzeback and Tiberion.  The Bombers were far away from my flag.  All I needed to do was keep Naaresh alive and next to my flag, and I'd be able to dominate for the win by turn 4-6.

Skorne Turn 3

Naaresh dropped both upkeeps.  The Archidon miraculously passed its Threshold check.

The left Paingivers whipped Naaresh a little, and healed the Brute a little.  He then cast Safeguard and Blur on himself, and used his Feat, damaging all my heavies to give them +3 Str and Arm, and healing himself up to full.  The Krea stuck by him, and cast Force Aura.  The Brute and Gladiator moved to screen him.

J'Deth moved out of the way of the Bronzeback and Tiberion, and the Paingivers Enraged them.  The Bronzeback then charged and killed the Mountain King.  Tibbers moved to screen Naaresh a little better.

I scored again.  With the Mountain King off the table, I was basically set.  I would need to spend most of my energy babysitting Naaresh, but he is pretty darn tanky with the right support.

The Rest of the Game

I won't do a blow-by-blow of the next couple turns.  Naaresh sat at Def 20 Arm 19+ against ranged attacks, immune to KD, camping 3 Fury, and near 2 Shield Guards for the next 2 turns.  Josh made 2 all-out ranged assassination attempts, but didn't do more than kill a few Paingivers.  A single Whelp contested my flag once, but otherwise Naaresh sat on his flag, and won on turn 5.

Victory to the Skorne!


I played a very solid game, and did what I needed to do to counter a list that was a very bad match for Naaresh in this scenario.  I probably could have started with Blur on Naaresh, but I wasn't sure how long my heavies would need to play chicken with the Mountain King.  I did well with the Archidon, which was a solid addition to the list, and jammed the Mountain King on a critical turn.

This game, my list was really able to do its stuff.  It was pretty gratifying to see it working so well, but I do want at least a few more even games in with it before I'm willing to render a final judgment.

Josh's biggest mistake tactically was with the Mountain King, which could probably have gotten to Tiberion and maybe killed him.  The Mountain King might not have survived the next turn, but with Grissel's Feat up, it might have.  Josh did forget to pop his Feat on his second turn, but it was really the Mountain King's positioning that killed it.  After that, Josh had to rely on a ranged assassination my list was very well equipped to counter.  He might have tried to kill off the Brute and Krea with his ranged attacks instead of spending both his 3rd and 4th turns going after Naaresh, but that also might have put him in a really tough spot scenario-wise.

Josh's list is very solid.  He told me he'd blown his previous opponent's 'caster off the table with it in pretty short order.  It seems like a well-honed assassination list with decent attrition thanks to the Mountain King backed by Grissel's Feat.  I just had all the tools I needed to keep my 'caster safe from it.

That's it for the first 3 rounds of the Pod tournament.  There are 3 or 4 rounds yet to come at a Steamroller in mid-March.  There will be one SR for the finalists (which it turns out I might qualify for but probably not), and a second concurrent one for everyone else.  I'm really hoping to attend, although as I said before, Saturday can be difficult for me.

As always, thanks for reading!

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