Battle Report 63: Las Vegas Open Invitational Round 3 - Wurmwood vs. Baldur 2

Prologue:

Going into the Semi-Finals, there were three Circle players and a Convergence player. I really didn't feel great into any of the lists (or the players, the shark tank at LVO is real!), and looking back at it, I hadn't eaten or had anything to drink in about 8 hours at this point. 

Pro tip - stay hydrated and eat snacks at big events, it's important. 

Ready or not, I was paired with Tom Guan in the Semi-finals. He had a Wurmwood list that was similar to mine and a REALLY cool Baldur 2 list with the Storm Raptor on Una 1. 

He dropped Baldur, I dropped Wurmwood. 


Baldur 2:
- Megalith 
- Pureblood

Una 1
- Stormraptor
Ogrun Bokur x2 (clients to Sentry Stones)
Gobber Chef

Sentry Stone x2
Shifting Stones
Swamp Gobbers Bellow Crew

vs. 

Wurmwood
- Cassius
- Megalith
- Pureblood
- Woldwyrd x3

Gallows Grove
Blackclad Wayfarer

Sentry Stone x2
Shifting Stone x2
Min Bone Grinders
Gatormen Bokur


I won the roll off and chose second, taking the side with the big forest. 

Also I forgot that Una 1 gives her battlegroup Birds Eye - I haven't played her with anything but Scarsfells in so long that I just remember they have tracker. 




Baldur turn 1:

He runs at me turn 1. No spells up, nothing. Una snuggles into the Storm Raptor and stays in the trio of Shifting Stones.

Megalith tramples at the very end and puts Roots of the Earth on the Storm Raptor.


Wurmwood turn 1:

This turn kind of signals how the rest of the game is going to go, and it all starts so innocently.

The Bone Grinders craft Wurmwood a talisman and then try and ritualistically murder eachother like they do every game, but I miss two attack rolls.

Awkward.

I have a Woldwyrd shoot two of them, but miss once and then the second one toughs.

Basically I can't get to three souls on the tree to save my ilfe.

I port Wurmwood to exactly 12 inches from the Storm Raptor, and Tom kindly reminds me about Birds Eye, so I try, and fail, to Stranglehold the Raptor before camping four.

Megalith tramples up and also tries to Stranglehold the Raptor, but fails.

I brace for impact. Tom likes to go for assassinations I've been told, and Wurmwood is within charge range.

Unfortunately I really don't have a choice here. He's up a gargantuan to my three lights, and I need to bait it out in order to have a chance.

I flood the zone and pass the clock.


Baldur turn 2:

Tom's Sentry Mannikins go nuts and blow up everything the Storm Raptor needed dead.

Una gets ported up, casts Dog Pile at Wurmwood and misses somehow, and then casts it again and hits.

The Storm Raptor charges in but fails to kill Wurmwood. Phew.

Everything else he has toes the zone and he passes the turn. Una is camping nothing.



Wurmwood turn 2:

I place a Mannikin in melee with Una, and another in the zone.

Wurmwood gets nine fury.

Una dies to the first Mannikin attack, and I breath a sigh of relief. I was still playing in my head with Mark 2 wild beast rules, which meant that I thought the Raptor was stuck where he was. (Spoilers, I was wrong).

Lanyssa casts Hunters Mark at the Bokur in front of bad Megalith (she couldn't reach Megalith with it).

Wurmwood gets Curse of Shadows onto bad Megalith, and yanks Cassius back.

My Megalith charges and kills bad Megalith, but for some reason I don't buy my last attack on the knocked down Bokur.

One of my Woldwyrds kills his Central Sentry Stone, and I push into the zone with Shamblers.

I score 1 point, and Baldur does not thanks to a contesting Mannikin.

Score 1-0
Advantage Wurmwood

Baldur turn 3:

Tom spends a few minutes reading the Wild rules, and then has me look at them to confirm we both get it. Turns out, you can literally run a Wild warbeast anywhere now. Uh oh.

He clears a landing spot for the Storm Raptor.

His Pureblood warps Strength and kills Megalith (remember, I had to transfer to him).

The Raptor runs, taking one pretty good free strike. Baldur walks up and spends a fury to restart the engine, and I'm suddenly in big trouble again. Baldur Feats, and casts a Rock Wall as well.

I score again.

Score 2-0
Advantage Wurmwood

Wurmwood turn 3:

This is the turn where things started to go really wrong.

I get Curse of Shadows on the Storm Raptor and put Wraithbane on one Woldwyrd and the Pureblood.

And then I don't Feat because I want the Bokur to charge the Pureblood.

What I SHOULD have done is simply put Wraithbane on both Wyrds and Strangleheld the Storm Raptor before popping feat.

This would have let me shoot the Raptor down to about half health, protected Cassius, and let me get another point, all the while making his entire list basically useless.

Instead, I get greedy and charge the Storm Raptor.

I miss my charge and one bought attack, and my Woldwyrds whiff for damage rolls, leaving the thing on 17 boxes.

I jam the Pureblood with the Bokur (again, he should have been hanging out in the back of the zone under Wurmwoods feat here).

I get another point.



Score 3-0
Advantage Wurmwood

Baldur turn 4:

Turns out, Curse of Shadows lets any model move through the model.

The Gobber Chef and Bokur do some damage to the Pureblood, and then Baldur finishes it, putting Roots of the Earth on the Storm Raptor.

The Storm Raptor kills the Bokur, and the Pureblood assaults Cassius, killing him and the Sentry Stone next to him AND contesting.



Score 3-0
Advantage Wurmwood

Wurmwood turn 4:

I see an opening here. If I can kill the Raptor with two wyrds, a charging pair of Shamblers, and Lanyssa, I can use the other to kill the contesting Shifting Stone. I can port Wurmwood into the zone, Hellmouth the Pureblood OUT of the zone, and Hellmouth the two contesting models to death (if the Sentry Stones don't kill them first).

Long story short, it takes every single attack I have to kill the Raptor, and I don't kill the Chef.

I Hellmouth the Pureblood away from the flag, and then I just sit on four fury with no transfer targets instead of healing up to 10 boxes. I feat.

I surround the Pureblood with Shifting Stones and score again.


Score 4-0
Advantage Wurmwood

Baldur turn 5:

Tom has Baldur heal the Pureblood to full. The Pureblood Warps Ghostly and tramples to Wurmwood, killing him.


Victory for the (other) Druids!

Post-Game Thoughts:

This was such a grind. There were probably ten people watching this game just shaking their heads at the craziness as Tom and I traded advantages back and forth. I feel like I made a couple of critical mistakes in the later turns that cost me the game, although the only reason I've found them is by looking back at the game over and over and over again. ( I had a long plane ride home with not much else to do). 

If I'd gone with the plan of Feating a turn earlier and whittling the Storm Raptor down, my Pureblood would have lived, and the Raptor would have been dead after one more turn of shooting and having the Pureblood charge at the end of that. If I'd healed Wurmwood every turn after the first, I would have likely liver through the Pureblood assassination. 

Those two mistakes cost me the game. I'm incredibly impressed that Tom was able to salvage his situation after turn 2 - the guy is an incredible player. 

I'll be writing a "what now" article at some point in the next couple of days, but I was very happy with my performance at the LVO. Breaking into the semi-finals undefeated was a huge accomplishment for me, and I'm extremely excited to look ahead to the next set of tournaments in 2017. 

Thanks for reading!

Battle Report 61: Las Vegas Open Masters Invitational Round 1 - Wurmwood vs. Una 2

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!

The mythical day two.

Naturally this is a good time to panic right?

In consultation with Bret F. (chocobsessed) and a few other people, I made a quick pair of swaps in my Wurmwood list.


Out
- Brennos
- Blackclad

In
- Pureblood
- Lanyssa


The reason for these changes was simple - there was a lot of armor buffs in the top 16, and there was a LOT of Una 2. The Pureblood is better into both of these, and Lanyssa can randomly strip flight off a few birds, making them much less scary.


Of course, this meant that I was destined to play Bret round 1.

I was very nervous going into this game. Bret is one of the most respected players in the states, and he's also been playing Circle for a lot longer than I have.

He had Tanith and Una, and we had both agreed his Tanith list had next to no chance into my Wurmwood gunline, so I knew he was playing Una and he knew I was playing Wurmwood.


Bret:

Una 2
- Scarsfell x8
- Pureblood
- Gorax

Wrong Eye
- Snapjaw
Gobber Chef

Sentry Stone x1

Arcane Wonder

and me!

Wurmwood
- Cassius
- Pureblood
- Megalith
- Woldwyrd x3

Lanyssa
Gallows Grove

Shifting Stones x2
Sentry Stones x2
Min Bone Grinders
Gatormen Bokur

Fuel Cache

I won the roll off and windmill slammed going first, and Bret took the side with the trench for Una to hide in.

We were playing on the sweet, sweet table that Tyson had made for LVO. The Terrain for Bret's side is a trench and a forest and a huge obstacle.

On my side, it's a forest, a pond, and a hill.


I deployed nice and centrally. I needed to force him to come to me with his feat to run around my models or I didn't have a chance, and I actually present quite a significant shooting threat to his list. 

The birds...so many.

I should also point out that this game was played pre-Una 2 nerf, so her original feat was still here and so was the Scarsfells having Long Leash.


Good Circle turn 1:

I basically run like mad. I need to project as many threats as possible. I keep Megalith and the Pureblood central, there are so many griffons on my right side that I suspect he's going for Scenario here and I want to keep my options open.

The Bokur is great into the birds, he stops so many landing spots, and he keeps on coming.



Bad Circle turn 1:

He skews the Griffons hard to the right and puts Una into the trench. Mirage is on a Griffon, and he doesn't cast Hand of Fate, electing to shoot down Sentry Mannikins with Una instead.


Good Circle turn 2:

I see an opening. I can Hellmouth Una out of the trench with a Mannikin. She's only camping two, and I can get two Woldwyrds, Megalith's animus, and a Pureblood spray on her.

I run Shamblers around like crazy, keeping them in command. We premeasure it out, and Una gets Hellmouthed out of the trench. I boost damage and she transfers.

Megalith tramples up, pops his animus to make her DEF 13, and Strangleholds her for a few more.

The two Woldwyrds leave her on a few boxes, and the Pureblood sprays her to death.


Victory for the (good) Druids!

Post-Game Thoughts:

We had a decent laugh after this game because I'd talked about how this tended to happen and Bret told me what I already knew - put two heavies in front of your caster and this is basically impossible. 

If that hadn't have worked, I think I was going to be able to get a really, REALLY good Winter Storm of with Lanyssa by walking her over to the obstacle and making....all? of the Griffons lose flight the next turn. I don't think that he could have walked more than one over to her, and I could have stopped that by blocking her in with a Woldwyrd. 

I'm really glad I didn't have to play this out, since I don't think I am favored in this matchup. 

That being said, after consulting with various other Circle players since then, I think that a Wurmwood gunline can be built to have a very strong matchup into pre-nerf Una 2 (not that that matters anymore), and with the loss of long leash, I think Wurmwood is actually quite favored into the matchup now, since Una has to be constantly afraid of dying.