This last weekend I had the opportunity to get to the Las Vegas Open, one of my favorite conventions to play Warmachine at. Tyson runs an amazing show and it's always a huge pleasure to show up and get some games in with a ton of wonderful opponents, and this year proved to be just as awesome or even better than the last.
Jaden and I spent the first day helping Tyson as floor judge's for the Champions event, but in day two we put on our serious faces and jumped into the Masters qualifying heats. I've been working pretty hard for LVO this year, and was feeling good going in that it should be a solid run.
My pairing this year was a Thyra/Reznik1 ADR pair, relying on my Thyra Faithful Masses double idrians + paladins build and a Reznik build Jaden and I worked out which I thought had some interesting power to it.
High Executioner Servath Reznik
-Scourge of Heresy
min Choir of Menoth x2
The Covenant of Menoth
Visgoth Juviah Rhoven and Honor Guard
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Thyra, Flame of Sorrow
The Faithful Masses
-Blood of Martyrs
Idrian Skirmishers w/Chieftain and Guide x2
Champion of the Order of the Wall x2
Paladin of the Order of the Wall x3
High Paladin Dartan Vilmon
Allegiant of the Order of the Fist x2
min Choir of Menoth
Deliverer Sunburst Crew x2
Deliverer Arms Master
Eilish Garrity, the Occultist
I'll go a bit more into the function of these lists in another article but for now, that's what I ran!
I'll be going into a general description of each round, unfortunately I didn't take pictures and won't be able to do a really thorough turn by turn break down because... it was a lot of games and it's hard to remember specifics.
My first competitive game of LVO was against Kraken, who is an LoS fan and Trollbloods player. She let me know she was a bit of a newer player, hitting the convention to get some real practice against good players, which I think is awesome. It's easy to get nervous about the idea of leaping into such a large event with less experience, but in my opinion if you want to become a stronger player competitively, throwing yourself into the biggest shark tanks you can with the right attitude and a desire to learn will get you very far, very fast. She was running a Borka2/Madrak1 pair; I forget the Borka list but Madrak1 was the Band of Heroes, double Champions style, running a full unit of Warders, a pair of Fel Callers, all the usual trappings of a slow but hard brick.
I opted to drop Thyra, she chose Madrak1. Our scenario was Breakdown. I won the starting roll and decided to go first; it occurred to me being able to score first would be really good, but at the end of the day once the Champions are in the zones, you have to pretty much kill everything to get them out of it so an early scenario push was likely not my victory condition, and I've very rarely lost a game with this Thyra list in which I got to go first. Also, while the terrain on LVO's tables was actually really good, this one happened to have only minor variation between the two sides as far as what actually impacted play, so choosing sides wasn't going to be a big deal.
This was essentially a game of the slower Madrak army taking a lot of Idrian shooting. This many Idrians will shoot right through a unit of Warders' ability to consistently shield guard it, and she was forced to feat bottom of one to not just lose her entire army instantly due to my extreme threat range. After the first round of shooting was done and some good tough checks, only one Champion had died but the units were on 1-2 hp per model, which means they would fall extremely fast after the next turn. She was able to clear a jamming Champion of the Wall and eventually got through my Allegiants but after a pretty long grind, nothing was really left on the table. She scored her own zone a good number of times but ran out of contesting models and eventually the game ended in my favor on scenario, 9-4. We both had around nine minutes left on our clocks; she had a lot of attacks and movements to make to work the army properly and I just had a ton of meat to chew through but got there eventually.
Was overall a good start to the day, into a matchup I had hoped to try the Thyra list into. My opponent had an awesome attitude, she just wanted to get practice and asked for any critiques or ideas on how to play better afterwards, which are some of my favorite conversations to have, since that's how my meta as a group handles almost every game we play. All in all this particular Madrak list, in theory, isn't a version I was quite as concerned about; there are versions running single or even double Fennblades that have the speed to force the line of battle back quite a bit, whereas this version with the single full warder unit and plenty of support ends up sort of having to sit back and use the feat to stop me charging, and the turn I do get to charge the army sort of dissolves. That said, game is a bit different if she's able to go first since the army being further forward would let her contest my zone while not letting me contest hers, but that's one of the dangers of playing a slower armor brick like this one. All in all, great game, and I felt prepared to go on to my next opponent... Cryx.
Keep an eye out for the description on that round in a couple days!