After losing a round, typically you get to play in the "fun" bracket and get less intense and more laid back games.
Not so with this event. We found ourselves facing the fearsome Florida Meta, second place at last years' ATC and some of the best players in the entire country for round 3.
I got paired with Ryan playing Khador, and we both decided to drop Old Witch. This was a much better choice on his part since my Old Witch list is a gunline and his Old Witch list is unaffected by Windstorm.
I won the roll off and opted to go first. Ryan gave me the side with two pieces of rough terrain in the way and off we went!
Old Witch of Khador
Greylord Outriders (min)
Old Witch of Grymkin
I'd like to talk about Ryan's deployment for a minute here, because it looks a little strange, but it's actually brilliant and the biggest part of the reason I would go on to lose this game.
He's skewed incredibly hard to my left, with all of his infantry ready to go in and take over that zone. Doomreavers murder dudes SO hard.
On the right, he's got a lonely Marauder. Watch him over the course of the game. He's almost never in Witch's control area, he's almost never contributing to the fight or threatening my important pieces.
But that Marauder is Ryan's game winning model there, as it will sit behind the forest all game and prevent me from scoring the right hand zone and keeping parity. Scenario pressure will force me to overcommit my models, and then the Doomreavers and Outriders will obliterate them.
This is another game that I think was largely won on deployment and understanding of the terrain. It was quite humbling to look back and see how masterfully out played I had been.
Grymkin turn 1:
Everything runs up. Old Witch puts Windstorm up, casts Boundless Charge on herself, and gets up the field.
The apparition/charge threat range of Doomreavers is pretty impressive (13 inches), and I asked the right questions to find out that Fenris gives them Relentless Charge, so I have to keep my models back a bit in order to not get obliterated on the bottom of turn 1.
Khador turn 1:
Ryan, in turn, just keeps his models out of my (smaller) threat ranges and starts exerting some serious scenario pressure. He's going to score next turn unless I contest really well and there's not much I can do about that.
His Outriders (which apparitioned) kill off my cast imps with sprays and then they reposition back five inches.
Old Witch casts Windstorm which makes my Hollowmen threat effectively 12 inches.
Grymkin turn 2:
I'm able to corrode three Doomreavers with a Frightmare, keep Windstorm up, and then I run a unit of Dread Rots to engage Doomreavers.
I had forgotten about Curse of Shadows' extra effect allowing models to charge through affected models, so I was a bit surprised at how many models I would lose the next turn.
Khador turn 2:
Ryan apparates some dudes forwards, and then Witch blinds and then Curse of Shadows' the jamming Dread Rot unit.
Doomreavers are able to charge through and kill a lot of guys. Windstorm up is neutering the Hollowmen pretty hard, and he puts the Marauder in the right hand zone behind the forest where I can't really get to it.
At this point, I'm still feeling okay ish about the game, I think I can kill most of the Doomreavers he exposed at this point, but it's going to require a LOT of sevens.
Grymkin turn 3:
Long story short, I miss a lot of sevens this turn. I think I kill three total models. Bad planning means that you need good dice to save you, and they weren't heading my way this turn.
Khador turn 3:
The slaughter continues, and I'm down to one lucky contesting Hollowman in the left zone. I also lose all but three Rots in the right zone from Outrider sprays. Ryan scores the center zone.
Score: 0 - 1
Grymkin turn 4:
It's desperation time. I've had Curse of Shadows on that closes Marauder for a couple turns and been shooting it with the Frightmares as I can so it's dinged up a bit. Witch takes matters into her own hands and charges it, killing the jack dead and putting Curse of Shadows on the Juggernaut.
I get a few charges and shots into it and just fail to kill it, leaving the cortex and right arm alive.
I also kill a few Doomreavers in the left zone.
Score: 0 - 1
Khador turn 4:
Ryan really has this game under control now and he knows it.
He clears the left zone pretty easily, leaving me with one ish Hollowman left. The Juggernaut comes into my Witch and does a lot of damage.
Ryan scores a point.
Score: 0 - 2
Grymkin turn 5:
I more or less have to clear my zone this turn and score or I lose on turn seven no matter what.
Witch kills her Juggernaut (go Scrappy go!) and my Hollowmen can't do it in the Marauder.
I contest the left zone but the writing is on the wall. My only hope is that Ryan, who is two minutes down on clock, times out.
Score: 0 - 1
Khador turn 5:
Rinse and repeat. Clear the left zone, clear the middle zone, send a heavy into the Witch and just barely fail to kill her.
Ryan engages more or less everything that I have left so I won't be contesting on the left.
Score: 0 - 4
Grymkin turn 6:
I'm able to kill the Marauder with Witch finally, but I can't barricade off my zone well enough and I can't contest Ryan's zone either.
We both score a point.
Score: 1 - 5
Khador turn 6:
Ryan just has to contest my zone, which he does, and he scores another point for the win.
Score: 1 - 6
A loss for the Grymkin.
Post- Game Thoughts:
It was really easy to lose track of my mistakes in the immediate aftermath of turn 3 when I got so very little done. DEF 13 saved a lot more Doomreavers than I had counted on, and after that turn the game spiraled downhill very quickly.
That being said, there were definite mistakes I made in the early game with my first turn placement that sort of locked the game where it was. You'll notice that Ryan's Old Witch was always behind his Doomreavers, giving them a lot of lateral and vertical options. My models didn't have the option to go side to side very well because of where I had Witch.
The other thing Ryan did VERY well was identify the Marauder on the right being the key to denying me scenario. It took me so long to get around to killing the jacks that even though they didn't do much, it did not matter as they just controlled and contested for several turns in a row.
A great game, Ryan was a great opponent, and looking back at it has been really valuable as analysis.
I hope you enjoyed the report, see you all for game four!