For the second round of the team event, we ran into one of the two teams that we were actively afraid of. This team, with the unfortunate moniker of Dumpster Fire, had multiple players that I respect and fear when I head out to play in Washington and B.C. events.
I was pretty sure that I wouldn't have to play the Troll mirror, as both Aaron (Winner of the Intermountain Cup this year!) and I would try to dodge eachother and play an enjoyable game rather than grinding away.
Unfortunately, Aaron saw me in the pairing process, looked right at me, and grabbed my sheet. He also quickly chose a fantastic table for him (assuming I played four huge bases) with multiple buildings in the middle of the zone on Spread the Net.
We both had the Dancock's Borka 2 list (because why wouldn't you) and he had the Kolgrima list I played at Mox a few months ago (you can find reports for that here, here, here, and here), which is a list that I really like.
Neither of his lists were super insane ARM skews, so time to drop Grim and see what we can do.
Aaron played Kolgrima, and I won the roll off (go theme benefits!) and slammed going first. Aaron chose the side with good defensive terrain and off we went!
Grim turn 1:
I derped this turn pretty hugely. I ran everything full speed at Aaron's side of the table, but rather than being smart and spreading my huge bases out, I clumped them all loosely in the middle of the table. If I'd pushed things 4-5 inches farther to each side, I could have forced him to choose a side to put Kolgrima on and then gotten to do some serious work with the Battle Engines on the other side instead of doing absolutely nothing next turn.
Ah well, live and learn.
Kolgrima turn 1:
Basically as expected, Kolgrima moves up, feats on the entire army, and puts down three clouds. As I've thought about this game a little more, I think that I need to have Lynus and Edrea in my ADR if I'm going to play this at Lock and Load. Something like cutting the Lookouts and Feralgeist and putting in Lynus and Edrea and a pack of Whelps seems pretty good.
Everything else runs up and jams me as far as they can get, with the exception of the beasts who stay pretty far back.
Grim turn 2:
I ambush my Lookouts in the back on the right to go after Aaron's Fell Caller, and I actually see a super cool assassination run here that I should have gone for if I'd remembered one crucial thing - Mantrap does damage. This is called "I haven't played this caster enough", but Mantrap is actually a POW 12 damage roll and KD.
Here's the plan.
Step one: RED - Runebearer moves up and Mantraps the Fennblade really close to him. With no stone Aura that far out, it's sixes to hit and kills on anything but.
Step two: BLUE - War Wagon charges the second Fennblade, hitting on boosted 6s and killing automatically. It Repositions to be 2 inches away from Kolgrima exactly.
Step three: YELLOW - Grim moves up and FEATS. He casts a Boosted Mantrap on Kolgrima who is now DEF 12, needing sixes to hit. Dice off 5 for damage is 2 damage. He then shoots her for another 3 damage or so before casting the Sea Kings animus on the War Wagon which pulls Kolgrima forward.
Aaron and I had premeasured the Sea Kings threat range, and Kolgrima was sitting just about one inch outside of it, so a two inch pull would have easily brought her into his trample range.
Step four: MAGENTA - The Sea King tramples up and buys four attacks at dice +5 into Kolgrima. She's sitting on one transfer and is already knocked down. Oddsmachine says that this is approximately a 100% chance to kill.
Note to self - remember your rules.
Anyway, what I do instead is I move Grim up and Feat. I kill off the Fell Caller with Lookouts (go go Lookouts!) and I use my left Wagon and the Sea King to kill one Champ thanks to a couple clutch tough checks from Aaron.
Kolgrima turn 2:
Aaron makes the most of his army being slow as heck by charging my left War Wagon with two Long Riders and walking into it with two Champs. He leaves it on three boxes. Kolgrima moves backwards and puts some more clouds down (curse you -2 to hit!).
His Earthborn moves into the zone and says "come at me" with Earth's Blessing up.
His Fennblades mini-feat and the three of the, that can charge do. The rest just jam my battle engines.
I should note here that most infantry would be trivial beyond words to unjam from the War Wagon, since it can impact attack everything multiple times. Fenns though are immune to impact attacks, which kind of stinks for me.
One of the Long Riders moves up and engages/kills Lookouts.
Aaron contested with a Long Rider and he's got the Feralgeist on his flag so he scores a point.
Score: 0 - 1
Grim turn 3:
I consider a number of angles here. I think I can get enough into the Earthborn to kill it, but it's really dicey. I eventually just decide to start with the Hooch Hauler, who has two beautiful sprays lined up. Sadly, I miss most of them and Aaron toughs a couple times, so that doesn't kill much. The big bomb does a fair amount of damage though, and the Thumper Crew slams a Fenn into another Fenn.
On the left, Grim puts Wield Secrets on himself after the Runebearer uses Harmonious Exaltation and then puts Marked for Death on the Champs to lower their defense.
My War Wagon on the left impact attacks and KDs the Long Riders on it's way to charge a Champ. I realize here that I could have impacted them both twice, but I forgot that War Wagons are allowed to do that.
The Wagon kills two Champs, and then the Sea King activates. He kills one Champ easily, and then Skaldi makes two tough checks in a row and I decide not to rile for any more since Grim is camping two.
I charge my other War Wagon into the Krielstone and chuck a Knockdown shot at Kolgrima which does TWELVE damage now that the stone aura is down. Aaron transfers to the Earthborn. I do some more chip damage to her with the spray and reduce the Krielstone numbers by a bit.
I then FORGET TO REPOSITION and am not able to contest the flag. Both of my Lookouts die to freestrikes trying to contest, and sadly Aaron scores again.
Score: 0 - 2
Kolgrima turn 3:
Aaron has to kill the Sea King and both War Wagons and he wins the game on the spot.
The first War Wagon on the left dies to the Long Riders.
Rage on the Mauler and the Earthborn and a Hunters' Mark into the Sea King is Kolgrima's turn, leaving her on one transfer.
The Mauler charges the Sea King and rolls monstrously for damage. I believe Aaron rolled a 9 for damage 5 times in a row on two dice. The two Champs don't quite have charge distance by about an eighth of an inch, and Aaron's last dice roll needs a boosted nine to kill the Sea King. Aaron rolls an Eight.
I may or may not have yelled with excitement and joy at that point.
The Earthborn and two more Long Riders leave the other War Wagon on a handful of boxes, with the Earthborn not using a last attack to make sure Kolgrima can transfer to him.
Aaron scores again.
Score: 0 - 3
Grim turn 4:
Well...it's do or die time. The War Wagon activates and smacks the Earthborn, doing reasonable damage and slamming him out of the Krielstone Aura!!!! The War Wagon tries to kill the Krielstone with a spray, but it doesn't succeed. It does land a shot into Kolgrima though, and knocks her down, forcing her to transfer to the Earthborn. the poor Troll is on six boxes.
Braylen gets into the Earthborn's back arc and...leaves him on one.
Grim moves up and shoots Kolgrima, leaving her on five and one transfer. He heals the Sea King for two.
The Krielstone charges the contesting Long Rider and kills it, so I'm going to score a point this turn.
I am able to bulldoze a path for the Sea King to draw Line of Sight to Kolgrima, and he puts a poison shot into her that finishes her off.
Victory for Grim!
Holy smokes that was an intense game. Some poor positioning on my part for sure. Spread the Net is a really difficult Scenario to play for this list which is good to know.
Fennblades...man they're actually a pain for this list. Immunity to impact attacks and collateral damage is really rough on a list that requires those to happen every game.
I also really should have positioned the Lookouts better and not let them all get engaged by a Single Long Rider. If I'd had even one of them alive, I could have killed quite a few more Fenns with my Hooch Hauler.
I definitely need to think about my Cloud Wall out for this list too. I don't think that Stealth is a huge problem because of Marked for Death, but the Clouds are an issue. ADR will fix that for now, but in the future it's going to be rough getting the points free for it.
Finally, Mantrap does damage, and that's something I can't believe I didn't realize. The Runebearer seems more clutch than ever in this list.
As always, Aaron was a fantastic opponent. I've dodged him at a couple events, and played him once before. Our games always seem to start off with me playing poorly for the first couple of turns and then slowly chasing his caster around the table until I kill them.
I fell even more in love with the list as I played here though. I can't wait to jam some more games with it at Lock and Load!