Warmachine Hordes Tournament Recap: Atomic Games West 30Sept17

I hate to play a tournament in which I'm not contending. It's just not any fun for me. Phil Mickelson

Atomic Games West hosts a Steamroller every month. This months event just happened to be a day after THEMPOCALYPSE and I figured there would be a lot of unknown going on. This is also the first event I've been able to make in a long time, and certainly the first since I picked up Grymkin. I decided to bring my "crutch", the King of Nothing. In addition I decided to pair it with Heretic just in case I ran into Ghost Fleet. 

Conflict Chamber

Grymkin Army - 75 / 75 points

[Theme] Bump in the Night

(King of Nothing 1) The King of Nothing [+28]

 - Crabbits (2) [7]

 - Gorehound [6]

 - Gorehound [6]

 - Rattler [8]

 - Rattler [8]

Eilish Garrity, the Occultist [0(5)]

Glimmer Imp [0(4)]

Lord Longfellow [0(6)]

Dread Rots (max) [12]

Hollowmen (max) [13]

 - Lantern Man [3]

Murder Crows [9]

Neigh Slayers (max) [12]

Neigh Slayers (max) [12]

Twilight Sisters [7]

Grymkin Army - 74 / 75 points

[Theme] Dark Menagerie

(Heretic 1) The Heretic [+28]

 - Cage Rager [14]

 - Cage Rager [14]

 - Crabbits (2) [7]

 - Rattler [8]

 - Skin & Moans [15]

 - Skin & Moans [15]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Gremlin Swarm [0(3)]

Lady Karianna Rose [4]

Dread Rots (max) [12]

Death Knell [13]

Pre-Event Thoughts

Going in I was hoping to cash in on all this King of Nothing practice into most of my matchups. I feel with the cloud wall and diversity of the infantry he's playable into almost anything. The Heretic is someone I want to practice more, and has a few solid drops I feel comfortable playing him into, most notably Ghost Fleet. It's worth noting this event was ADR. The only thing I ever really ADR'd in was a Madcap and a Trapperkin going into the Kings list a few times. More on when and where I did this later.

Round 1 vs Phil Lemon's Skorne


I think I said this going in, with the theme drop there is going to be a ton of stuff I don't know, and luckily they won't know it either. Phil's one of my good friends, and we had played his Morg1 into my Heretic earlier this week. It was pretty one sided, favored my way. So I had a feeling he was leaning towards Makeda 2 cats and thats what he picked.

Makeda 2 cats is super annoying, tough, no knockdown, then spend a focus to Stay Death. The threat ranges are bonkers, and my RFP triggers after he can "Stay Death". In addition this new Skorne Theme, "Masters of War" gives all his infantry RFP on melee. So I know I need to be able to put multiple attacks on each model I want to kill. With the limited number of attacks the Heretic brings I felt safer dropping the King into this matchup. Not saying the Heretic couldn't do it, I just feel better with the King. I adr out the Crabbits for the Madcaps and Trapperkin. The Madcaps are super strong into any of these "cryx" style lists with no real range. I'm happy sitting them just outside my deployment zone and cranking out Cast Imps all game. I take Fortune's Path and Labyrinth.

He wins the roll and elects to go first. We're playing Spread the Net. I take the side with a wall and trench to help hide the King. The Murder Crows Prey the widest Ferox unit and we start off.

I think talking about prey selection is worth a pause in the recap.

  • Prey something you know you'll kill. 
    • The Cats are too expensive for him to play passively. They'll be the first thing into my line, and he's counting on them to do a lot of work. Also with a 5 man unit I doubt he'll "hide" a cat to deny me prey rolling to another unit.
    • In addition I imagine he'll send the Cetrati up the middle and use the Cats wide, so the odds of the Crows making it to them is higher.
    • Prey something you actually need the pray bonus against. 
      • The Cats are def 13, arm 17 with 5 boxes. With prey a charging Murder Crow should drop a cat assuming he has a gang buddy, without Prey I need two Crows per to kill.

They game ends pretty early. Turn 1 he runs, I run. Turn 2 he comes into my line. He commits the preyed cats deep to kill the MadCap unit and a few other infantry models. I am able to trigger Fortune's Path on a missed cat swing. The other unit of cats come in and kill some of the "sacrificial" Neigh Slayers. Makeda is hiding behind the shield walled Cetrati. First thing I check is she is in fact within 17 of Longfellow, if he drops to 1 or 0 I'm going to put shots into her. I decide I can kill the Preyed Cats and ambush the crows on the other side hoping to roll prey to a Krea and clear his flag. I kill the preyed cats, the ambush crows live the dream and kill a Goblin Chef, Will Breaker, and then a Krea! I put enough attacks onto the other cats that he spends to 0 to keep them alive. A Gorehound charges the Cetrati blocking LOS, pulls him out of shield wall and kills him. I Sprint into melee with Makeda. King walks up, Scything Touches the Gorehound, Sands of Fates back. Eilish (he's good read about him on LOSWarmachine)puts Puppet Master on Longfellow, who walks up and spikes damage. 

I felt in control either way. A full unit of cats was down, plus 2 solos and a Krea. The other unit of cats all had one wound on them. Looking back I do think I should have put in Frightmares to sprinkle corrosion on the 1 wound infantry. I also should have pulled the Twilight Sisters as 7 points for two bone shakers is just too expensive. We're 1-0 with 0 cp and not a lot of army points going into round two.

He was super stoked to be part of my blog
He was super stoked to be part of my blog

Round 2 vs John B's Skorne


Denver is weird, we have TONS of Skorne players. John's another friend and he's playing Masters of War with Xerxis1, and Imperial Warhost with Zaadesh. With Xerxis being an option I don't think I can drop the Heretic into it. Xerxis is able to really increase his models damage output, and I think my Heavies would just crumble. So back to the good ole King of Nothing. John drops Masters of War, we're playing Standoff. I take Fortune's Path and Labryinth again. He wins the roll and takes the side without the flaming hill. I'm surprised he lets me go first but I'll take it.

I push hard for a strongly controlled flank on my west using clouds to dictate the engagement. The Neigh Slayers charge in, repo out, clouds separate the lines. On the other side I just flood him with bodies. I end up close to tabling him, I kill Xersis and end up on scenario too 7-2.

I don't think Masters of War is a bad theme list at all, I just don't think it's one you want to drop into the King of Nothing. Maybe I'm wrong though. What do you guys think of it?

  • You can include up to one minion unit and up to one minion solo
  • For every 20 points of Praetorian or Cataphract models/units and/or battle engines you get a free solo or Tyrant Commander & Standard Bearer
    • Free models don't count towards the points limit.
    • Models disabled by a Skorne warrior model's melee attack can't make a tough roll and the Skorne player can chose to remove the victim from play.
    • Gain +1 to starting roll

I LOVE/HATE any theme with a +1 to starting roll. It's the single most random roll in any Warmachine game, and it's a huge difference maker. I'd love to see game start be 2d6 plus your Warcaster/Warlock's CMD or something. I hate just single d6 off. Moving onto round 3. The other undefeated players are Cryx, Mercs, and Cygnar.

Round 3 vs Rory's Merc Jank Factory


Rory and I have been playing since Mark1. At this stage I think we're the only mark 1 players left in the Denver meta. I've taken a lot of time off between then and now, but he's been a pillar in the local Warmachine Community. He's playing an Ossrum list with 3 120mm bases, and some crazy Connie B Jack marshal list. I really thought he'd drop Ossrum, and I was worried he'd be able to shoot the Death Knell out from under the Heretic. I think the King with smoke can engage the 120mm bases on my terms, and hopefully not lose too much in the reprisal... To my surprise he drops Connie B. 

We're playing Outlast. After staring at the board for a long time I end up taking Desolation, and Ruin. There is a tight area between a burning hill and a house I'm hoping to drop an Acid Pool in between and really funnel his infantry shieldwall advance. He wins the roll and elects to go second. He takes the side with the Trench, where Connie will basically live for the entire game. 

  • I'm able to get up on scenario early, and keep the pressure and eventually win 7-2. I constantly tap my flag, and occasionally the left zone choked by the hill and building. He underestimated the King's Damage swing. I was able to get 2 jacks one turn where he expected me to not kill either. Desolation wasn't as big as I thought it'd be. I was thoroughly impressed with the damage output of the Merc Jack-Marshals in the "Irregulars. Luckily I don't have any large targets he can sink them into. But I really feel this theme has promise. Have you guys played against the Irregulars yet? I think it would have waxed the Heretic.
  • For every full 25 points of units or warjacks in your army, you can add one command attachment or solo without the Lesser Warlock rule to the army free of cost.
  • Marshalled warjacks gain Flanking with friendly faction warriors.
  • For each unit one heavy warjack gains advance move.

Some of you know Mercs was my first faction and first love. I'm excited to see what this theme develops into. 

Final Round vs Andrew K Cryx


Andrew has Denny1 Ghost Fleet and Gaspy3. We're playing the Pit II and I'm fairly certain he's dropping the fleet. His fleet list is a little different. He took out the Blackbanes (which I LOVED when I played fleet) and added a Bokur and another Pistol Wraith. I pick the Heretic, he takes the Fleet. He wins the roll and decides to go first. I know the Heretic is my "ghost fleet drop" but I'm far from confident going in. I don't get a lot of reps into Ghost Fleet, and they are so damn annoying. Also with 2 Pistol Wraiths and the Hellslinger he shouldn't have too many issues killing my Gremlin Swarms. With that in mind I need to be conscious of scenario. I don't have anything to contest with he can't trivially remove out side of my heavies. I take Ruin and Shroud. He wins and elects to go first. I take the side with less rough terrain.

This game is a grind with mistakes on both sides. I misposition a Rattler on turn 1 and lose it to a hail of pow 10's and it finally dies to Fire. I swing back grabbing an arc node and proceed to get stuck in. The RFP train of the Bone Picker heavies is impressive, and hard for the fleet to deal with. He forgets to feat on turn 3 and I get a full corpse, fury Skin & Moans onto Denny. I have to charge and boost to hit, I miss. I connect with the second and boost damage to leave her on two boxes. The game keeps grinding I'm able to RFP a unit leader and most of another unit. He's up on scenario 2-1 and I'm going to have a REALLY hard time contesting the right zone he's controlling with the Wraith Engine. I arc a hexblast at denny, deviate an inch boost the damage and she dies. If the game kept going I'm not sure I could have stopped her Scenario win. With Denny as low as she was though I may have been able to get a weird AOE onto her at some point. While Andrew isn't a bad player by any means he's newer to the fleet. I think a more experienced player would have beat me.

I like the Heretics kit into Ghost Fleet. He feels almost unkillable with some solid positioning and a few Crabbits. That being said I'm fairly certain I over camped most turns. Which certainly didn't help the fury issues I had for basically every turn after engagement. Our heavy selection really slugs into them well, and they are hard to remove. I feel like Denny1 Fleet has some really solid answers to Gremlin swarms, Pistol Wraiths and Venom both handle them nicely. I think I need to be more aggressive with the Heretic himself. I'm not sure what I do about scenario other than play the matchup more, and get better at it!

Event Recap

I end up winning the event. I'm super happy with the Kings performance. I'm glad all my games grinding with him weren't for naught. While he isn't the most popular caster I honestly think he's one of Grymkin's best. I'm confident the Heretic is the right direction to head for another caster to learn, I just need more reps. The dreamer is another one I'm still trying to grind games with, but for the time being I like my Heretic, KON pair. I'm also super excited for the theme drop in general. A lot of general game excitement and it looks like most factions (sorry Ret) got some cool stuff to play with. So what have you guys been doing in the theme drop madness? Are there any themes you're really worried about?