We got to find out our pairings the night before Day 2, and I knew I was playing Mark on either Spread the Net or Standoff. I have to admit, I was freaking out a bit, and I spent a lot of time thoughtmachining the different matchups.
I eventually came to an important conclusion - Mark was playing Madrak 1 almost definitely. A live scenario like Standoff or Spread the Net is hard to drop a Power of Dhunia brick into, and that meant I could just focus on which of my two lists would bully the Madrak list best.
With that in mind, I decided that I needed to drop the list with Fire Eaters. Champs are 14/18 against ranged attacks with Madrak 1, and a Fire Eater spray hits that pretty trivially and does 4.5 damage on average dice and leaves them on fire. 2-3 Fire Eaters should, theoretically, kill an entire unit of Champs since they like to clump up.
We got to the table and Mark did, in fact, pick Madrak 1 and I dropped Borka 2. I won the roll off (very critical) and chose to ambush one unit of Bears. Mark chose to ambush both (!!) of his Bear units, and so we began.
- Glacier King
- Northkin CA
- Northkin CA
Borka turn 1:
It's time to get up the table really, really fast. I want to force Mark into either feating turn 1 or letting me alpha really hard. I run up an aggressive clump of Fire Eaters on the left, and on the right side I assault my three Fire Eaters up, such that I get to spray two of them with the third and light them on fire in preparation for next turn.
Between a good Krielstone roll and not really needing the ARM buff this turn, Borka has enough fury to cast Battle Charged on turn 1 as well.
Madrak turn 1:
Mark thinks for a few moments, and then decides to just run everything at me. He makes a choice to screen his Krielstone with Champs instead of moving the Stone up aggressively.
He puts his Glacier King quite far into the zone and uses Madrak to kill one Raider and force tough on the other because, fun fact, Rathrok doesn't have Grievous Wounds on Madrak 1.
Borka turn 2:
Well...he didn't feat, so it's go time! I light up the Fire Eaters on the left and assault them in. Clever use of Sanguine Bond means that only three of the Champs are dead, but that's a pretty good trade as far as I'm concerned.
I am able to get Hunter's Mark onto the Glacier King and charge him with four Raiders and two Bears, all under Stone. I leave the King on 10 boxes. I pull my other Fire Eater unit back to prepare for an incoming Feat. I really need the second unit to carve through the Champs later and there's no point in putting chip damage onto them since Madrak's feat will heal them up.
Madrak turn 2:
Bears ambush, both on my left side.
Between a Fell Caller charge and Madrak throwing an axe, two of my Fire Eaters perish. Madrak Feats and casts Even Ground. The Glacier King heals for six. Madrak also casts Jackhammer a number of times, and the Glacier King gets to snack for max a few times.
As the King clears himself off, he snacks back up to 28 total health left, but Mark has baited my Mauler with it by putting me in trample range.
Bears murder my Pyre Troll sadly, and just flood the zone. Mark has nothing that can get to my rectangle, and he's cleared his, so we both score a point here.
Score: 1 - 1
Borka turn 3:
My Bears ambush left as well.
I clear out a trample lane for my Mauler by moving up and whacking on Champs. My Mauler gets a free Rage from Borka, and tramples up. Average dice says I do 20 damage and I'm hoping for a bit more so that I have a chance at a Fire Eater spray finishing him off. I spike the dice though, and the King goes down.
I put the Earthborn into the zone and kill a Champ.
On the left, my Bears walk in and kill a bear. Valka charges and kills another Bear. I walk my Pyg who is still on fire up and light a bunch of Champs on fire and do reasonable damage.
I score a point and Mark does not.
Score: 2 - 1
Madrak turn 3:
Lanyssa charges and kills the Fire Eater engaging the Fell Caller (!!!) and the Fell Caller moves up and misses his spray onto my Raider contesting the left zone.
Mark's Champs don't quite finish off the Mauler, so Madrak has to go and do that himself, doing some chip damage to the Earthborn as well.
I'm still holding my zone and contesting everywhere, so I will easily score 3 - 1, and then next turn kill his objective, score my zone, and quite likely clear the right hand zone to win on Scenario. We talk it out a bit, and Mark decides to concede and get some water before the final round.
Victory for Borka!
I really feel like I made the correct choice in list selection here. The Raiders hit hard enough to worry the Champs and the Glacier King when they're under stone, I'm immune to the Glacier King's shooting and his animus doesn't bug me, and I outthreat his entire army by a lot.
If the King hadn't died that turn, I feel fairly confident in my ability to continue pushing for attrition and keeping models out of my back zone to slowly build up a commanding scenario lead. Madrak can do a fair amount of work on his own, but he's not got the speed or damage output that Borka has, and I'm pretty happy chucking Borka at a unit of Champs or the Glacier King if needed.
Either way, got a bit lucky here with dice on the King and I was on to the finals!