I was fortunate enough to qualify for the 2017 Warmachine Weekend Invitational this year, with a combination of top 4-8 finishes at a variety of conventions over the last year.
Unfortunately, I found out that round 1 I would be playing against Chris Orr, who is an excellent Legion player from one of the Canadian WTC teams.
Why is this a problem? Abby 2 is the only matchup in the game that I think Grymkin can't claw their way past a 35% win probability, and I spent a lot of time theory machining out the matchup and building lists, since I knew Chris would be playing her.
I ended up with this concoction:
- Skin and Moans
- Skin and Moans
- Cage Rager
- Cage Rager
- Cage Rager
- Crabbit (free)
Eilish Garrity, the Occultist
The theory here is that 3 Cage Ragers is a bit too much for the Legion army to chew through.
Chris had a pretty standard Abby 2 list.
- Nage Nightlurker
- Blight Wasps
- Bight Wasps
Sorceress on Hellion
Unfortunately, the scenario round 1 was Spread the Net and the terrain was extremely well suited to flying models with Slipstream. This was going to be a tough fight. To make matters more complicated, Chris won the roll off and chose to go first.
I picked the Desolation and Ruin Arcana. Desolation is really good in this matchup because it can be used to block Line of Sight for second charges into targets by placing a forest down. The Ruin Arcana can cancel a crucial Slipstream or Hex Bolt and get rid of Bracer at the same time.
Legion turn 1:
Chris ran everything at me. Bracer started the game, as usual, on Proteus.
He had one unit of Wasps for each side of the table, which was a really smart play since only one of the wasps needs to toe the rectangle zones to score a point there.
Grymkin turn 1:
I stay out of his impressive threat ranges, which I think is the right play this turn.
I stick Mirage on a Skin and Moans, but I screw up his placement so he can't apparate fully. With Abyssal Gate and Mirage, it can actually outthreat most of Abby's list.
Legion turn 2:
Chris stays out of my threat ranges with his army. It's on me to come to him at this point. He runs a unit of Blight Wasps on my right, contesting with one and engaging my Frightmare with another.
He puts a Shepherd on his flag and has Wasps in his other zone.
Grymkin turn 2:
I decide to play cautiously this turn, which in hindsight is completely the wrong play. I was so fixated on denying Abby 2 the Alpha Hunter that I didn't think about my lose conditions.
I was able to get Enfeeble into his Carnivean, and with that in place, I think I should have just run my three Cage Ragers up the center of the table and had my Skin and Moans behind them.
I also decide not to take a free strike with my Frightmare and instead throw one Blight Wasp into the other, but the second one does not die so I don't have that zone cleared.
I do score on my flag, but I'm not contesting my zone with anything but a Frightmare and I'm not contesting the middle zone with anything but two Cage Ragers.
Chris scores 2 and I score 1.
Score: 1 - 2
Legion turn 3:
Chris capitalizes on this, seeing a way to score 4 points to my none this turn, and is able to get a Neraph into my Frightmare, Abby nearly kills one Cage Rager on her own, and then Proteus and the Carnivean kill the two heavies in my zone.
After Proteus' first damage roll, I call it (I needed him to roll poorly and I still had a chance), so the picture doesn't reflect Chris contesting my flag or actually clearing the second Rager.
Sadly, a loss for the Grymkin.
It was a bit of a perfect storm here - the matchup I didn't want, the scenario I was afraid of, and hard terrain.
That being said, I also misplayed this pretty horribly. I've thought about this game a lot since Warmachine Weekend, and I think my path to victory is just shoving my army into Chris' and seeing what happened. Enfeeble on the Carnivean meant that he wasn't going to likely kill all of my Ragers, nevermind my Skin and Moans behind them, and Grymkin heavies with Manifest Destiny have no problem at all killing Legion heavies.
Chris was a fantastic opponent, holding both himself and me to an incredibly high standard of play while being a very friendly guy the whole way through.
I was very happy to get to the Invitational this year, and although I was disappointed to be out round 1, I'll be back in the future!