Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Event Recap - 50 Point Steamroller at Crit Hit Games

This past weekend saw the second of the Brawltimore events for January (and the year) - a 50 point, second list optional Steamroller 2015 event held at Crit Hit Games in Abingdon, MD. The event had a solid turn out (around 16 based on my memory), and it ended up being 4 rounds of excellent games. Join me after the break for a rundown of the event, post game thoughts, and things to change for next time.

Here are the lists I opted to run:

Butcher3 - 50 Points:
Kommander Zoktavir, The Butcher Unleashed (*4pts)
   * Beast-09 (11pts)
   * War dog (1pts)
Cylena Raefyll & Nyss Hunters (Cylena and 9 Grunts) (10pts)
Iron Fang Pikemen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
  * Black Dragon Officer & Standard (2pts)
Greylord Ternion (Leader and 2 Grunts) (4pts)
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (4pts)
Gorman di Wulfe, Rogue Alchemist (2pts)
Saxon Orrik (2pts)
Madelyn Corbeau, Ordic Courtesan (2pts)
Ogrun Bokur (3pts)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution (3pts)
Iron Fang Kovnik (2pts)
Objective: Bunker

This list is a "back to basics" effort with Butcher3. It's pretty much the first list I ran with him, with a few tweaks. Beast-09 is meant to be an early game bullet, with the benefit of not being a Focus drain on Butcher during turns where it just wants to run.  Gorman brings all the crazy stuff that he usually does to a list, plus a placeable smoke cloud for Butcher to hide behind.

The Nyss are my substitute for a second unit of BDIFP. That's kind of the "classic" Butcher3 list, and while I'm sure it's effective, there's no way I'm ever going to buy a second unit of BDIFP. Nyss are my attempt to find a reasonable substitute, and they also bring a solid shooting element to the list.

If you read my original post about my 50 point lists, you may recognize that Butcher3 did not make the final cut originally. I opted to sub him in over Irusk2 due to a concern about not having a great colossal answer (Sorscha2 is okay, but only just,) and to try and get some more experience playing Butcher3 in general (I still only have 10 or so games with him under my belt.)

Sorscha2 - 50 Points:
Forward Kommander Sorscha (*6pts)
   * Conquest (19pts)
   * Sylys Wyshnalyrr, the Seeker (2pts)
Great Bears of Gallowswood (5pts)
Kayazy Eliminators (Leader and Grunt) (3pts)
Man-o-War Drakun (no dismount) (4pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Winter Guard Infantry (Leader and 9 Grunts) (6pts)
   * Winter Guard Infantry Officer & Standard (2pts)
Ragman (2pts)
Battle Mechanics (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Widowmakers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (4pts)
Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich (2pts)
Objective: Bunker

This is very similar to the 50 point list I've been running with Sorscha2, with some minor tweaks to accommodate moving some solos into Butcher3's list (namely Eiryss2 and Gorman.) That made me pick up Ragman to keep an ARM debuff in the list, and switch one of the units of Eliminators out for a Drakun w/o dismount. 

As with the last event report, there are a lot of rounds to get through, so this will be mostly hitting the highlights from each game. This event was run using the shiny new SR2015 rules, and just to reiterate: this event was one list required, no D&C (not that it was a big deal for me and how the day played out.) I tried to remember names this time, with moderate success (with a huge bonus that two people I played had the same name.)

Round 1:
Scenario: SR2015 Recon
Opponent Faction: Retribution

My opponent this round, Mike, was playing Ossyan and Vyros2 (Griffons aplenty + Imperatus). I had heard that Butcher3 doesn't match up particularly well against Vyros2 and his Griffon horde, and Ossyan absolutely shreds him, so I opted for Sorscha2. My opponent chose his Ossyan list, which was (going off of memory):

Lord Arcanist Ossyan (*6pts)
   * Banshee (10pts)
Houseguard Halberdiers (Leader and 9 Grunts) (7pts)
   * Houseguard Halberdiers Officer & Standard (2pts)
Houseguard Riflemen (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
   * Houseguard Riflemen Officer & Standard (2pts)
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt (4pts)
Mage Hunter Strikeforce (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
   * Eiryss, Mage Hunter Commander (3pts)
Stormfall Archers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (5pts)
Stormfall Archers (Leader and 3 Grunts) (5pts)
Houseguard Thane (2pts)

I won the roll off and opted for second turn. I deployed with the Conquest and WGI angled towards the zone, with the Drakun, Eliminators, and Great Bears on the right flank. My opponent deployed his battlegroup centrally, the Halberdiers opposite Conquest, the Riflemen opposite the WGI, and the MHSF angling on both Conquest and the WGI.

This fight quickly became a fight over the center zone, with me trying very hard to kill as many of Ossyan's shooters before his feat turn as possible. I had some luck with this early on due to the Riflemen bunching up a bit while the Drakun and Eliminators tried to tie up as many shooters as possible. My opponent sunk as much damage into the Conquest as he could early on, but unfortunately for him his Stormfall Archers kept fleeing whenever they'd take enough casualties, and Aiyana died early on.

I managed to score first by destroying the objective and controlling the zone, and Ossyan as almost able to respond with an assassination on Sorscha2, but thankfully I didn't move her up far enough. The attempt left Ossyan exposed, and Eliminators managed to kill him with help from the feat.

Round 1 Result: Win via Assassination, 3 CPs scored,  ~50 army points killed.

Round 2:
Scenario: SR2015 Destruction
Opponent's Faction: Skorne

My opponent this round, another Mike, had Makeda2 paired up with Morghoul2. I wanted to get some more Butcher3 experience, and I was concerned with trying to spend all game dodging Molik Karn with Sorscha2, so I opted for Butcher3. My opponent chose his Makeda2 list, which was:

Supreme Archdomina Makeda (*5pts)
   * Basilisk Krea (4pts)
   * Archidon (7pts)
   * Molik Karn (11pts)
    * Titan Gladiator (8pts)
Bloodrunners (Leader and 5 Grunts) (5pts)
Cataphract Incindiarii (Leader and 5 Grunts) (9pts)
Farrow Bone Grinders (Leader and 3 Grunts) (2pts)
Paingiver Beast Handlers (Leader and 5 Grunts) (3pts)
Agonizer (2pts)
Bloodrunner Master Tormentor (2pts)
Mortitheurge Willbreaker (2pts)

My opponent won the roll and opted for first turn. He deployed his battlegroup centrally and the Incindiarii angling on the zone, with the support staff hanging around behind all that. I deployed Butcher3 opposite Makeda's battlegroup, with the BDIFP on his left and the Nyss on his right. My opponent then counter deployed the Bloodrunners and solo against the Nyss.

This game was quick, as both of us expected. Makeda and crew advanced on the zone while the Incindiarii set everything they could on fire. The biggest mid game moves were Beast charging the objective and killing it, which allowed it to score, while Butcher3 held back and watched the Bloodrunners and Nyss fight (as the Ternion chipped in with sprays.)

Makeda's battlegroup responded by killing Beast and Gorman, which left Molik Karn slightly exposed. Butcher then moved up and pulled Molik Karn in (which resulted in him being killed) before shuffling back, but unfortunately Butcher couldn't move back far enough and the Archidon was able to get to him and end the game.

Round 2 Result: Loss via Assassination, 2 CPs scored, 17 army points killed.

Round 3:
Scenario: SR2015 Incoming
Opponent's Faction: Cryx

My opponent this round, Nick or Nate (this is where my memory gets hazy) had Asphyxious3 paired up with Mortenebra. Sorscha2's list is designed to be a decently rounded Cryx drop, so I decided to go with her. My opponent chose Asphyxious3. His list was:

Asphyxious the Hellbringer (*4pts)
   * Cankerworm (5pts)
   * Deathjack (12pts)
Bane Riders (Leader and 4 Grunts) (11pts)
Bane Thralls (Leader and 9 Grunts) (8pts)
   * Bane Thrall Officer & Standard (3pts)
The Withershadow Combine (5pts)
Bane Lord Tartarus (4pts)
Darragh Wrathe (4pts)
Saxon Orrik (2pts)

I won the roll off and opted for second turn. I deployed Conquest centrally, with the WGI, Great Bears, and A&H opposite my zone, and the Eliminators, Drakun, and Widowmakers opposite the enemy zone. My opponent deployed the Bane Thralls, Tartarus, the Deathjack, and Darragh Wrathe towards the enemy zone, and the Bane Riders and Withershadow Combine towards his friendly zone.

Both sides advanced aggressively on their respective zones. The Bane Riders ended up taking the first casualties from Conquest and Widowmaker shots, and they were frozen shortly thereafter. The WGI tangled with the Bane Thralls, with the WGI winning out due to the Bane Thralls being unable to hit the WGI consistently.

The Drakun and Elminators were able to clean out the enemy zone and score, while the Bane Thralls, Deathjack, and Cankerworm were killed fighting over the right zone (taking out several WGI in the process.)

Gaspy3 charged into his friendly zone to kill the Drakun, which ended up leaving him in range of Conquest. The counter charge under Sorscha2's feat was enough to finish him off.

Round 3 Result: Win by Assassination, 2 CPs earned, ~45 army points killed.

Round 4:
Scenario: SR2015 Two Fronts
Opponent's Faction: Circle

My opponent this round, Dave, I think (still fuzzy with names; if only everyone could be named Mike) was running only one list. The only list anyone is talking about on the Internet: Bradigus, Terror of Game Balance. With Bradigus as the, uh, obvious drop, I opted for Sorscha2; I've heard that Butcher3 fails hard at that game and I can absolutely see how that would be the case. My opponent's list, for the record:

Bradigus Thorle the Runecarver (*6pts)
   * Wold Guardian (9pts)
   * Wold Guardian (9pts)
   * Woldwatcher (5pts)
   * Woldwatcher (5pts)
   * Woldwatcher (5pts)
   * Woldwatcher (5pts)
   * Woldwatcher (5pts)
   * Woldwatcher (0pts)
Sentry Stone & Mannikins (Leader & 3 Grunts) (3pts)
Sentry Stone & Mannikins (Leader & 3 Grunts) (3pts)
Shifting Stones (Leader & 2 Grunts) (2pts)
Shifting Stones (Leader & 2 Grunts) (2pts)
Shifting Stones (Leader & 2 Grunts) (2pts)

My opponent won the roll off and opted for first turn. I deployed Conquest centrally (notice the theme?) with the WGI and Great Bears towards the enemy zone, and the Widowmakers, Eliminators, and Drakun towards my friendly zone. My opponent deployed centrally, with both Sentry Stones on the flanks.

This game, as expected, became a fierce battle over the zones. I managed to get lucky early on and pick off a Woldwatcher with a Drakun charge and Eliminators charging that spiked super high, to which my opponent responded by killing the Drakun and boxing out three-quarters of the Conquest's grid with one of the Wold Guardians.

That left the Wold Guardian and one of the Woldwatchers exposed, which allowed Conquest to easily kill them under Sorscha's feat. Unfortunately for Sorscha, the Eliminators opted to charge Bradigus instead of destroying the nearby Shifting Stones, which made it easy for Bradigus to build up a Synergy chain, teleport, Feat, then Beat Back into Sorscha and stone her to death.

Round 4 Result: Loss via Assassination, 1 CP, ~24 Army points killed

Overall Result: 2 wins - 2 losses, finishing 6th place overall.

Event Impressions:
This is another event that was well run and organized by the store owner and TO. One of the big challenges this event faced is that the initial response was huge (20+ people wanted in) and the store had to take special measures to accommodate the rush of players. Everyone who could stepped up - bringing in extra tables, opening the store early for an earlier start time, etc - and that made a big difference. Despite the number of players relative to the size of the store, the event didn't feel crowded or overburdened, and the store owner and TO stayed as late as needed to see the full four rounds through.

Funny Moments:
 - Conquest charging Asphyxious3, whiffing the first two boosted attacks (including the charge,) then connecting with the last boostable attack and killing him with unboosted damage.

 - The Drakun surviving a silly amount of attacks in the first game. All of that was due to fortunate dice (for me) and as a result he ended up getting way more work in than I ever thought he would.

 - The Drakun charge on the Woldwatcher in the last game was a nice surprise. He ended up doing damn near max damage, which made it possible to pick one of the little buggers off early in the game. I would have been happy with solid damage, or even a broken aspect; I'm glad the Drakun felt like going above and beyond that day.

 - I can't stress how badly command checks screwed up my first opponent. I wasn't really able to clear out all of the Stormfall Archers, so it was a huge help when they kept freaking out whenever half the unit was killed. The worst part was that my opponent even chose Effigy of Valor as his Objective, but it never was close enough to help out.

Key Mistakes By Round:
Round 1 -
I almost got Sorscha killed twice. The first was when I moved Reinholdt in front of her, just arbitrarily. The Banshee was almost able to break free and blast him into Sorscha, but thankfully my opponent couldn't quite manage it. I could have prevented that by either a) not moving Reinholdt in front of her (Sorscha had Iron Flesh and camp at the time, so she likely would have been fine against anything else,) or b) trying harder to kill the Banshee. I could have probably used her feat to ensure that the Great Bears finished it off. Oh, and: c) when I was picking columns for Great Bears damage, I really, really, really should had started on column 4 to ensure that I'd eventually drill out the cortex. Instead, I left it with a functional cortex and not much else, which meant it was still dangerous.

The second screw up was moving Sorscha forward at all after dodging the Reinholdt bullet. Ossyan ended up being fairly well short of catching Sorscha in an assassination attempt at that point, but I seriously didn't need to move her up at all. If I was going to dominate the zone, I could have done it from where she was standing already; moving her up just put her in unnecessary danger.

Round 2 - 
I initially thought I was wrong to feat defensively with Butcher when I sent Beast in, but after thinking about it and running the math I think it was the right call. Based on where everything was, I think Butcher was in range of at least Molik Karn trampling over to him (he was 3" into the woods to block LOS, but needed to be in the Killbox so he was further up than I'd like.) Even if my opponent didn't see it, the angle was still there, and I'm pretty sure Molik getting to Butcher on zero camp with Makeda's feat up (and Beast Handlers, Puppet Strings, etc,) kills the hell out of him.

I think I may have mistakenly deployed the IFP and Nyss; they may have done better on opposite flanks. Or maybe I could have done more by being offset. I lined up pretty much straight across from Makeda's army but maybe things would have worked out a little better if I offset everything by 4-5" (and swapped the units.) 

The one thing I'd really like to try over again is Beast's activation. As nice as it was to score some CP, that game was probably always going to come down to assassination in some form. I think it may have been better to just give Beast a couple of Focus (for Imprint and charge) and throw him into the Incindiarii. I had managed to Blind some (trying to scatter onto the beast brick) and I'm almost certain Beast could have killed the other 4, maybe 5 (they were extremely bunched up.) Beast almost certainly dies in response, but doing so would pull the beasts towards the IFP (who'd be safer thanks to the lack of Fire templates coming their way) and it might give me a better angle on killing two of the beasts in response. At that point, maybe I can engineer a way to have Butcher survive, or maybe that situation lets me hold Butcher's feat for offense instead of defense.

Round 3 - 
This is game actually went mostly the way I planned. The one mistake I definitely remember is that when I charged the Drakun into the Withershadow Combine, I ended up using Impact Attacks to kill both of them (including my charge target) which forced that goofy overrun situation that got him killed. Though that set up the charge on Gaspy3, so I guess it worked out alright in the end.

Round 4 -
One big one, a few little ones here. The little ones first: on turn two I advanced Conquest for a lulz shot on a Shifting Stone, with the hope that it would Critical and throw nearby Bradigus (Shield Guard absorbs direct hits, but doesn't move the template) into the Wold Guardian behind him. It wasn't a great plan, but I thought it'd be funny. That ended up pulling the Conquest just close enough to have one of the Wold Guardians teleport into melee with it. If I had been an inch or two back, Bradigus would have had to feat, which I'm sure would have made it hard to follow up on next turn, but it also would have pulled Bradigus' feat off the table.

I also way, way over allocated Focus to Conquest on the turn I sent it in to kill the Wold Guardian and one of the Woldwatchers. I didn't really run the math on what my expected damage would be beforehand, and I also thought I'd be able to make it into melee with another Woldwatcher (which ended up being pretty obviously out when I looked at it again.) I probably could have gotten away with two fewer Focus on Conquest, which would have either let Sorscha camp, or possibly switch Iron Flesh to herself. I don't think either option saves her (MAT 11, P+S 18 Bradigus will crunch her kind of regardless,) but it would have been smarter to recognize that all the same.

Similarly, I mis-used the Great Bears in this game. They ended up flanking wide and killing a Sentry Stone, with a set up to charge some Woldwatchers next turn, which is all fine and dandy. But where I really needed them to be was hanging out behind Conquest, threatening a counter charge on the Wold Guardians. I thought that my opponent would need to commit both Wold Guardians to kill Conquest, even with Synergy, and I ended up being right. The upside to that is that my opponent made a mistake and let me have Conquest for another round. The downside is that if he had made the correct force allocation call, I would have had absolutely nothing nearby to threaten the Wold Guardians. With the Great Bears behind the Conquest, A&H near them, Ragman around to hand out Dark Shroud, and Sorscha's feat turn still on tap, I think I can manage a good counterattack in that situation (one Great Bear should be enough to kill a Harm'd, Shrouded Wold Guardian, and the other two can likely take out a Shrouded Wold Guardian, all assuming feat turn.) But not when the Great Bears are on the other half of the table!

The big mistake was, of course, not breaking the two full units of Shifting Stones when I had the chance. I totally flaked on the possibility of the teleports and paid the price. The Shifting Stones were clumped up enough that I very likely could have engineered an Eliminator charge on each with Gang, and that makes their Combo Strikes likely to destroy one each. That shuts down teleports for the rest of the game (I managed to sneak a stone earlier in the game) which would have helped long term. I think the game would have still come down to a scenario grind that I probably wouldn't have come out on the good side of, but it would have been a better way to close the game out.

Things To Improve:
I need a lot more Butcher3 practice. More on that later though. Otherwise, I need to work on the normal things - positioning, layering, timing of abilities, threatening the right areas of the table at the right times. Continued refinement of that overall Warmachine skill set that's so important.

Things I'm Happy With:
In list form:

 - Once again, I didn't Deathclock all day! A couple of the games were getting a little tight on time, but in all cases I was able to finish out the game without having to rush. I do still need to get  faster - I'd rather not have time be an issue at all outside of really grindy games - but that will come with more reps with the Sorscha2 list.

 - I feel much more confident and comfortable with Sorscha2. Not even due to success or failure; I'm starting to really appreciate how the list operates, what to move where and when, what abilities to prioritize, etc. Still lots of room for growth and improvement, but I feel like I'm in a good place with this list.

 - Kind of a personal note: I made it through two games that probably would have frustrated me (the Makeda2 game definitely, and possibly the Bradigus game) without tilting at all. I've been able to stay calm during my tournament games (at least in terms of agitation/anger/frustration) which I'm very thankful for. I've had issues with frustration, dice rage, and in general being a downer in the past, and I don't want to bring that kind of attitude to a gaming table anymore, let alone at an event when I'm playing against people I don't know. Hopefully I can keep this up all year!

 - I'm holding strong at 2-2. Maybe an odd thing to be pleased with, but the people showing up to a lot of these events are practiced, skilled players, so I feel like I'm playing some very difficult games. Just being able to hold my own is great, and with more practice and list refinement I hope to more consistently break 3-1. 4-0 would be lovely, but baby steps.

 - I feel like I'm getting good practice against a variety of lists. This meta feels kind of weird (virtually no Cygnar, very little Cryx, lots of Skorne and Khador) so I'm seeing a lot of things I wasn't necessarily expecting. That's given me a lot of perspective on what makes for a "good" list, and some things I need to focus on when refining lists I don't like.

Thoughts About My Lists:
I really like Sorscha2. This specific list worked very well, and I'd be happy to run it again. I'm seriously considering working Nyss into the list, but that would involve some serious points re-jiggering and I'm not sure I want to rock the boat that much. This list seems to do what I want it to (in general at least) and is flexible enough that I can put it up against a variety of challenges. I'd have happily run this list all day, and honestly I may have done better overall if I had.

Part of that is because I think this list is pretty strong. The other, bigger part of that is that I have zero confidence in my Butcher3 list. It's a problem I've had with him for awhile now, partly I'm sure due to a lack of experience with him, but I'm also running into a meta-list design issue: I built this list to combat something I haven't even seen at an event yet, let alone faced (Cygnar/Merc/Convergence colossal anchored lists.) I feel like in a lot of ways I need to go back to the drawing board with him, though this time I have a lot more experience and insight to work with.

Of course, the delicious irony is that I probably would have been better off playing Irusk2/Sorscha2 like I originally planned. There were all of two colossals at the event (one of which was mine!) and a Bradigus list sneaking around (which I ended up fighting), both of which lessen the value of Butcher3 and increase the value of Irusk2. I still have some general concerns about Irusk2, especially with how popular Skorne is around here (and, by extension, Incindiarii,) but I do think he would have been a better pair in this event. I'm not sure if I'll rotate him back in or not, though I am giving it serious consideration.

And, since the meta here is kind of ultra-weird, I'm also deeply tempted to break out one of the Vlads and see how they do. I really enjoy running all of them, and with precious little Cygnar to worry about, maybe I can have some success with him?

(Now that I've said that, the next event will be be nothing but a mix of Haley2/Siege and Bradigus/Krueger2.)

For the Record...
If you're going to events, it is seriously in your best interest to put together a "survival kit" of things you'll need. These things often run very long, with few breaks, so you need to have on hand whatever you think you may need. Snacks and water are crucial, as is possibly some form of caffeine (though I'd strongly recommend against any form of energy drink to avoid possibly crashing/having to pee constantly.)

Add to that survival kit: some form of headache medicine (whatever you prefer/can take.) I ended up with an absolutely wicked headache around halfway through the first round, and it did not let up. Food and water were no help, but thankfully I was able to get back from the lunch break early and dart over to a nearby Walgreen's for some meds. I'll be keeping those handy in the future, just in case, and I'd recommend to anyone looking to play in a WM/H tournament to keep some on hand.

Also: always get yourself on the waiting list if its an event you're interested in. I ended up just barely not making the original cutoff (I was #17 or 18 out of 16 slots,) but the store owner was able to secure some extra tables, which got me into the event. There were also several players who unfortunately had to drop in the days leading up to the event, which allowed most (if not all) of the players on the wait list to ultimately make the event. Don't get discouraged if you end up on the wait list, and definitely don't let it keep you from registering entirely.

Closing Thoughts:
I don't have much else to add that I haven't already said. I'd like to expand on my Butcher3 thoughts in a separate post, and I may write up a quick post about Bradigus now that I've actually seen his list on the table. I'm no expert (nor was my opponent; 5th or so game with Bradigus, though he's a long time Circle player,) but any insight is good insight when you're talking about the current meta boogeyman.

Once again, thanks to everyone I played against for a set of excellent games, and thanks to Whit and our PG (not sure what his forum handle is, and it feels weird dropping names) for running the event.

Next stop: Core World Games and Hobbies on 2/15. I'm going to try and actually get on the registered list this time and not have to luck into a spot from the wait list, though we'll see how that works out. Brawltimore is proving to be very, very popular.

As always, thanks very much for reading!


  1. Nice set of reports as usual, and a good showing overall. One thing I've found about my local SRs is that it's often flooded with people outside my usual meta, and that adapting on the fly can be difficult - you did well with your matches, it seems.

    On a list-related note, have you thought about using pIrusk instead of B3? He has the same kind of damage output as I2 but doesn't favor Pikes as strongly, he and the Nyss with Valachev are quite strong, (which makes him ideal against Bradigus) he's probably the best 'caster to run Uhlans with, is probably one of our 'jack enablers, and is decently safe against assassinations. He does suffer a bit from being an all-rounder, but that also means he doesn't have that many bad matches. As for fitting in A&H into the eSorscha list, I recommend taking the Widows and Ragman out, putting the pair in and adding in two Rockets for the WGI. As Christopher Davies once said, the Rockets are essentially WMs with lower base RAT, greater power, and an AOE that's effective against stealth troops and/or light infantry. And with Take-Up, Iron Flesh, and Tough, they have similar survivability.

    As for Vlad 2, I'd actually recommend against him. He's an awesome caster and one of my favorites all-around, but his big shtick (Khadoran infantry with low ARM) hasn't aged well as MK II has gone ahead. Although his ability to boost damage has allowed him to be more viable than say Old Witch, his only way to increase his army's durability is his feat, and a +3 to DEF and ARM, even on Eliminators and the Drakhun, isn't always enough. I played against eGrim on Vassal, and the ridiculous amount of buffs he can lay down (up to RAT 12 Burrowers with Snipe) will eradicate anything. I admit it wasn't a good match-up, and I still won, but it's an example of how boned a heavy-melee army of one-wounds can be nowadays.

    As always, great reading.

    1. One of the things that surprised me most about these events was how many people were traveling in from other states just to play. I've probably played against more people from VA and PA than I have people from MD. :) It's a great experience, and it's exposing me to play styles and list compositions I haven't seen much in my local group (or in events before everyone started coming from far and wide.)

      I actually hadn't given that much thought to Irusk1, but you bring up some great points for him. My biggest concern has recently been that he's very infantry focused in a meta that's becoming less and less friendly to that approach (well, single-wounders anyways) but Uhlans help offset that (while also giving the army a helluva punch.) I'll definitely start dojoing with him.

      For Sorscha2, the thing I was considering was finding a way to put the Nyss in. I figured out a few ways to do it without having to break down Conquest, and the resulting lists still seem pretty solid. I do like having those flank runners in the list though (Eliminators and Drakun,) and if I run anyone other than Butcher3 in the other list slot they'll probably get the Nyss + Valachev anyways.

      As for the Rocketeers, I know I should be using them more, but for the life of me I have the worst damn luck with them. I admit that a sizable portion of that is probably user error. They're something else I need to get more practice with.

      You are absolutely right about Vlad2. I always tiptoe up to the edge of trying to play him again, and then immediately back off. He's a lot of fun when he works, but as you said the meta has swung very, very hard against him over the past several years.

      Thanks very much for reading, and for the excellent comment.