As I mentioned last week, we had a Warmachine tournament last Saturday to try out some new options and just throw down some games. We went pretty light on some rules you might otherwise see in a tournament, so we had some proxy models out… oh, and we could bring a list from each of two different armies. I figured that was what almost everyone was planning to do.
And I was wrong.
Turned out, I was the only one who took advantage of this, and I put a bunch of work in building and repairing models to do so. I finally got my Convergence back on the table, with the new theme allowing the use of their infantry again (which is great because I have roughly one of everything in the faction, which was just not cutting it in the other theme; also: Clockwork Angels). In thinking about matchups, I figured everyone else would have two armies, and was guessing at what they would be bringing, and I liked my odds with Convergence against everything.
We also went pretty loosey-goosey with the matchup process, so first round I ended up with my light guns list into a heavy armor list. Very asymmetrical game, which was fascinating.
He didn’t have the volume of attacks to clear me out, and I didn’t have the firepower to take him down. He identified before me that it was going to come down to assassination, but thankfully I was standing in a safe enough spot that I lived… and then he did not.
I should say we also had an odd number, and I had mentioned I would be probably unable to play the last round, because we were planning on Blade Runner 2049, and I’d had those plans first. So I knew I’d be getting a game into round 2, then found out who I would be up against and knew what he played and I’m like, alright, perfect, so his other list is probably… oh wait, what? He only brought elves? Retribution and Retribution? Nah, it’s fine. Time to drop the Angels in!
Here’s where things got really loosey-goosey. We didn’t show army lists before selecting, just went for it. So I did not know what I was getting into – beyond just having expected something wildly different. So basically, we got two of the wackier assassination casters in the game versus each other.
I snagged this picture somewhere into his first turn. We have two very fast lists, two casters that want to get in each other’s face, moving over whatever is in the way, and get the kill. After he moved up, I got the first shot at it… and failed. So then he moved on up and stood basically right in front of me threatening it, and also blocking a lot of my abilities. So, I ran laterally across the board max speed. He pursued. And, with minutes left on my clock, I tried something wacky… no luck.
Like half an hour later, I realized that if I had moved over, killed the couple of models closest to the flag (so kill the metal models behind my guy with shields there, closest to the orange marker), then by the rules of the scenario I would have actually won. But in the 3 minutes I had at the start of my turn, the options – and the scoring rules that made it work, like the fact that his warcaster couldn’t stop me from scoring, and that I only needed 5 and not 6 points to win – did not come to me.
This game was so wacky, because his warcaster’s rules almost completely negated my gameplan, and I wasn’t able to roll crazy hot dice to try to salvage things. I burned up a ton of my clock thinking through my options. Still, I found out that if I had just continued leveraging my more likely win condition – scenario play – I could have had the game in hand.
I love getting to the end of games I’ve lost, and seeing that there was a way out or a way to turn it around. This means, really, that I made one main mistake. And spent a whole lot of time, playing an army for the first time. It’s a reminder both that the game is more balanced than the results of a single game might lead you to think, and that I’m playing decently and just need to work on my decision-making. I tend not to think in terms of win conditions, going more for the attacks, dice rolling, and fun, but knowing that the win conditions are there is nice.
I did indeed miss out on round 3, and my round 2 opponent lost the final – someone did succeed at killing the caster that I couldn’t get! Someone who I think might have brought two armies helmed by the same warcaster? Again, we didn’t quite do the rules as solidly as they should be done…
I think everyone had fun, though, and there were some great games! Now: waiting for the Trollbloods updates, to give me a ton of new options that I want to play…