The Road to the Top, A Tale of Lock and Loadon June 22nd, 2011
Hello everyone! My name is Will Pagani and I placed first at the first ever Lock and Load Masters event. I’m going to discuss in this article what lists I brought, why I brought them and go through each match I played, and why I picked that list for the match. I will try to recall as much of my opponents list as I can and give an accurate retelling of my games. So, without any further introduction, here are the lists I brought to Masters:
Kromac the Ravenous
Stoneward and 5 Woldstalkers
Stoneward and 5 Woldstalkers
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt)
This is the strongest list in my arsenal. It combines infantry clearing with hard hitting in the form of Warp Wolf Stalkers with Kromac’s spell Warpath as well as the Woldstalker units. It is resilient against shooting because of the ability to warp Prowl on the Warpwolf Stalkers. The spell bestial creates problems for many factions that rely on arc nodes for either assassination, or buffing of their own units. This list is especially strong against Khador, Trolls and Menoth, and is weak against Legion.
Mohsar the Desertwalker
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt)
Tharn Bloodtrackers (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Nuala the Huntress
This list was designed to abuse pillars of salt as much as possible. With Megalith and the Woldwarden you could spam curses of shadows and crevasse while keeping all of Mohsar’s fury to cast pillars. With the Stalker you can sprint back then throw pillars up to block charge lanes. The Gorax is there to bump the Stalkers MAT and POW in situations when you need it, and is a great Maltreatment target for Mohsar as he will charge for free afterwards. The swamp gobbers are there to turn on your Stalker’s Prowl as well as keep Mohsar free from shooting. The Black Clad is there for Hunters Mark to increase your threat as this list has no way of doing that. The War Wolf is a point filler, but comes in very handy to contest/claim objective points. This list is strong against Khador, Trolls, Cygnar and Cryx. It is very weak to Menoth and Legion.
Baldur the Stonecleaver, Rock of Oroboros
Sentry Stone (Leader and 3 Manikins)
Stoneward and 5 Woldstalkers
Stoneward and 5 Woldstalkers
Balder is in my opinion one of the best anti-Cryx casters that Circle has. And with Cryx being the best army out there, you need to have a solid plan against them. This list has that, and is also just a very good scenario list. With 4 heavies most armies do not have the hitting power to bring them all down allowing you to attrition out your opponent. Balder also has a mediocre assassination run. This is a Tier 4 Balder theme list, and utilizes very well the Advanced Deploy given by it, as well as the discounted war beasts. I have seriously thought about dropping 1 Blackclad and putting in a Wilder for the larger control area as I constantly find my woldguardians get out of my control area (Thanks to shifting stones…) This list is not particularly strong against any faction except Cryx, but I feel is also not weak to any faction. This is a great tournament list to have as a catch all.
Morvahna the Autumnblade
Bog Trog Ambushers (Leader and 5 Grunts)
Swamp Gobber Bellows Crew (Leader and 1 Grunt)
Tharn Wolfriders (Leader and 2 Grunts)
Warpborn Skinwalkers (Leader and 4 Grunts)
Wolves of Orboros (Leader and 9 Grunts)
Wolf of Orboros Officer & Standard
I am rather disappointed in this list. I played it at Temple Con and I felt it needed work, but I could never figure out what to do with it. I still feel this way. Bringing back the Wolves has been by far the best regrowth target I’ve found. MAT 8 charges are far better than about anything else I’ve tried for their points. The +2 armor on Skinwalkers makes them one of the better tar pits in the game, especially when you park your 2nd unit of stones behind them to heal them all each turn. Morraig hits very hard, and the bog trogs keep them on their toes. The double Woldguardian was a choice to attempt to stop eLylyth from assassinating Morvahna. And it works! The beasts also make a great wall for just about any assassination attempt, and considering the scenario focus of this list they are also great for pushing heavy targets off of objectives. This list is strong against anything without a way to get rid of upkeeps, and especially Cygnar and Legion. It is weak to very high armor concentration armies like some Khador and Skorne.
So, now that that’s over, lets start talking about the tournament. In round 1 I fought Cryx who brought eGaspy, eSkarre, eDenny and Terminus. After analyzing his lists for a moment, I decided that I could deal with all of these lists with Balder, Terminus being my biggest worry. We were playing a radial deployment scenario, which pretty much made Terminus a null issue because he could have problems with the scenario claim/contest. I was hoping to play against Gaspy or Denny, but I got eSkarre. I deployed my Woldstalkers on the flanks, beast’s right up the middle and AD’d my Sentry Stone a few inches short of his AD line (Go tier list bonus!). His list as I remember it was something close to:
Satyxis (Leader + 9)
He deployed Deathjack on his right flank, Satyxis and Banes up the middle, reaper on the left. I won the roll for first so I took my advanced move on the Woldstalkers, ran them up the flanks, put my beasts in the middle. Balder casted stone skin on the 1 Woldguardian that didn’t AD and advanced after casting solid ground. He then cast a forest between Megalith and the DJ blocking the LOS for a charge. The twig men walked up and sprayed the Satyxis raiders, the first one boosting on the sea witch but missing. I killed 1 raider total. On his turn he charged with the Satyxis, popping mini feat. He killed all of the twigs, the stone for the twigs and 1 Woldstalkers. He put a few damage on a woldguardian this turn aswell. He maneuvered his DJ to get a charge the next turn and brought up the banes behind the Satyxis. Reaper advanced. I advanced with all the wolds after upkeeping my spells. Killed some Satyxis with boosted hits, and stomped on his deathripper with Megalith till it had no more arcnode. Woldstalkers on the left flank zephyred out of melee, and killed the 3 Satyxis that engaged them (5 tries at an 8, hit 3, I’ll call that some good rolling!). The other unit of stalkers zephyred forward and killed 5 bane knights. Balder walked into a unit of stones, feated and placed up about 4” behind his meatwall of 4x Wolds. This stopped DJ from charging into my line, as well as keeping a few of the Satyxis away from the Woldstalkers on the left side. Said go. On his turn the banes charged, but a massive hurt on the woldwarden which had transferred stone skin to himself with geomancy. Tartarus explodes most of the right flank Woldstalkers and engages a guardian. Skarre feats selecting the death jack, herself, the reaper, Tartarus and Megalith. Satyxis kill a few Woldstalkers on the left, and the reaper about half kills Megalith I am now officially worried about the Deathjack mauling 2 heavies next turn. I pick up my fury, calming affect a little with the stones and upkeep everything but the forest. The objective is covered in models, so that’s out of the question. Megalith starts off, pops his animus and sits tight. Between the Woldguardian on the left and the Woldstalkers the rest of the Satyxis are cleaned up. The last Woldstalker on the right kills another bane after zephyring out of melee with the DJ. Woldwarden kills 2 of the Knights he’s in melee with leaving 3 left in the unit. Black clad sprays and kills another clearing a spot for a forest from Balder to block off the DJ. A unit of stones teleports around the backmost Woldguardian ready to place it the next turn. I throw a little happy party. Next turn, his reaper takes out Megalith. Admonia dispels stone skin on the woldwarden. Banes and Tartarus take out the warden and put a few points on a guardian, and one whiffs on a stone. My turn, Balder walked up stone skins the guardian who is placed behind the Deathjack. The death jack cannot admonition away because I never moved, so the guard lays into him with 5 attacks, destroying him. The other Woldguardian charges a hunter’s marked reaper, also trashing it. I am now feeling confident about this game. The final Woldstalkers on the right shoots and kills Admonia. The 2nd unit of stones teleport up to him and get ready to place or heal him on my next turn. His turn the banes come up with Skarre and kill the Woldguardian. Back to me, the woldguardian comes up and kills Tartarus. Balder sets up in a unit of stones behind him. Skarre comes forward to try to kill the 2nd guardian, fails by a few boxes. Balder places behind her with the stones and succeeds in killing her.
My game 2 I played against Circle (Boo for mirror match!). He had pKreugar, eKreugar and eKaya left (I think?). He chose pKreugar. I saw a chance to play Mohsar. Against hordes and a winnable Scenario? I’ll take it. So we start deploying. I win the roll for first.
List as far as I remember:
Warp Wolf Alpha
Druids + UA
Bloodtrackers (Leader + 5)
Shifting Stones + UA
Skin Walkers Min
We both deployed in balls near the center of the table. Scenario was Revelation. Flag to my left was #1. We both AD our Bloodtrackers on the left. I run up my Blood Trackers, put mirage on them, shift forward my Woldwarden and run the stalker into the newly formed 2nd triangle of shifting stones to my right. I throw up some pillars to block LOS. His Skinwalkers run up on my right, the rest of his army goes left to get ready to claim the objective. I charge in with my blood trackers, killing 1 of his. Megalith advances up near the objective with the wold warden. Pillars block his heavies and leave a small gap for his Blood Trackers. His Trackers come forward and massacre mine to the man (He rolled way better than I did :D). Druids advance and throw up some clouds, his stalker runs up on the right flank. His Woldwarden kills 2 pillars freeing up LOS for his stalker to spray my woldwatcher and does minimal damage. The skinwalkers continue to advance up the right side. He ships it back. On my turn I start off by putting sprint onto the stalker with the wilder, placing the stalker into melee with the skinwalkers, warp for strength and kill2, sprint away from the 3rd. Megalith activates, charges and kills his feral. Wold Warden advances up and makes a forest. My army shifts left, Mohsar throws up some pillars to continue blocking his heavies from the fight. The rounds pass forward and back with him pushing megalith off of the objective with druids, Kreugar throwing the woldwarden off of it aswell, but the gorax and stones contest for his turns. The warwolf gets a claim (*fist pump!*). Eventually the stalker on my right clears through the last skinwalker, and I win by scenario on the turn it would have killed his Alpha.
Game 3 was a slug fest. I played against Skorne. He has Xerxis and Rasheth left, I had Kromac and Morvahna left. I look over at the other undefeated table and see Menoth Cryx. I know that Kromac is a much better choice against those, so I pick Morvahna. She is also strong against Skorne because they have 0 ways to get rid of upkeep spells (outside of the thrulgg, which he didn’t have in any of his lists) I was really hoping to face Rasheth. He chose Xerxis. I knew I was in trouble from the get go. My army did not have ANYTHING that could kill a unit of Cetratii.
List as far as I remember:
WC attachment solo
He split deployed, Cetratii on my right, Arcuraii on my left, Ferox on my right, Rhadiem in mid. Beasts on the right with the Cetratii. Scenario was Capture the Flag, and to note we had a large obstruction in the center of the table. I went second, deploying Skinwalkers on the right (In a futile attempt to stop the Cetratii from just steamrolling me), Guardians in the mid with Morvahna. Wolves to the left with Morraig and the riders. Stones in the standard middle deployment. His first turn he ran just about everything and shield walled around his objective. I ran up to try to set up a counter hit with Wolves of Orboros in front Morraig behind w/ my cav. Skin walkers advanced, but not into charge range of the Cetratii. Wolds moved up the middle supporting both flanks and blocked by the obstruction. His turn 2 Rhadiem came in, jumping over the wolves and killing mounted Morraig. His Ferox came in, jumped over the wolves again and killed 2 out of my 3 cav. I had totally not expected them to make it that far, but Xerxis gave them the +2 movement buff. Arcuraii came up and killed a few wolves which would regrow the next turn. His Cetratii advanced a slow 5” and cautiously guarded his objective from the bog trogs. He feats in hopes of me charging the Cetratii, which I do not. On my next turn I positioned the skin walkers ready to charge should his Cetratii advance, charged in the wolves that regrew onto his Ferox, and the rest into the Arcuraii that now had defenders ward. I killed 2 of them, and managed to only land 2 hits on his Ferox (needing 5’s… =/) bringing both close to death. My Cav activates and finishes off the 2 low HP Ferox and light cavs into the 3rd. A woldguardian crushes Rhadiem and sets up in a unit of stones just on the opposite side of the middle obstruction. 2nd wold readies to charge the advancing Cetratii and gets a smoke cloud in front of him from the gobbers. Morvahna casts harvest and I end my turn. He starts off by throwing up the basilisk’s aura, and activating his Ferox. It jumps over my wolf rider and misses her twice. Arcuraii retaliate in kind on the wolves, killing 4 of them, all of which will be regrown the next turn. He uses a basilisk to spray down 3 more leaving only 5 left in the unit. The shaman comes up, uses the Krea animus and misses his attacks against a wolf. Xerxis moves up behind the obstruction in the middle and camps 5 fury. Beast handlers remove all of the fury from the beasts. He doesn’t advance with his cetratii, camping his point to make sure I cannot score. I rejoice at this, as I have no way in my army to deal with these guys. I continue to grind my wolves into his army putting about 10 damage on the Cyclops, stabbing down another Arcuraii. I place a Woldguardian into melee with his basilisk as I do not want him to spray the wolves again – this cold cause the whole unit to die. If this happens, I lose the game immediately. I put about 20 damage on the basilisk leaving it with very low HP and hit, but fail to kill 1 Arcuraii. The Skinwalkers continue the stand off over his objective, neither of us walking into threat of the other. The 2nd Woldguardian moves up into the stones to be placed on the following turn. The first unit is now missing a man, and moves up to heal the previous guardian that was placed up. On his turn, the grind continues with the Shaman, and Arcuraii killing some wolves, only to have them regrow next turn, the drake gets Fury from Marketh and wails on the guardian doing a decent amount of damage. Xerxis moves up, casts fury on himself, and combo smites the Guardian, launching him away from the stones that were to heal him and leaves him at 3 hp (all on spirit), also smushing 2 wolves. The wolves regrow at the start of the turn, take out some beast handlers, grind down on the shaman and drake leaving the drake with 3 hp. I place the 2nd Guardian behind Xerxis, attempting to go for the kill. On my first attack I’m Mat 6 vs a def 10 Xerxis (13 base -1 for fury, -2 for back arc) and pound away. He has 2 fury on him. After transferring to the Krea and taking the next 3 hits I leave him with 2 HP. I’ve got this game won I think. I pick up 3 fury from dying beast handlers and the like on Morvahna and advance to influence the last Arcuraii near the drake. If I can kill that drake my other woldguardian can charge the knocked down Xerxis and at dice -1 I can easily put the final 2 damage with 4 attacks on him at 1 dice of damage. I boost to hit the Arcuraii, hit him. He hits the drake. Roll 1 shy of killing the drake (Needed an 8 I believe on 3 dice, and roll a 7). Drake lives with 1 HP, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Guardian walks up to engage it anyways, unable to hit a def 13 with only 1 dice. The 2nd Unit of stones teleports around Morvahna and gets ready to start healing her cuts when both of my beasts are going to die this next turn. Turn passes. Drake, Krea and Shaman are all healed by beast handlers. Xerxis finishes off the last guardian and camps 4 fury. Drake advances to spray Morvahna and it gets sack pawned to a stone doing it a few damage. Cyclops Orin, and the remaining Arcuraii kill a 7 wolves bringing the unit down to 2 men left. Super close to losing this game. The Cetratii declare a charge, 4 of which are able to get onto the Guardian in his back field and put a large amount of damage on him. A charging Krea w/ Fury manages to finish him off. I am not out of beasts and must rely on Harvest and cutting for Fury. Turn comes back to me. I upkeep my 2 spells, letting Harvest drop (Wasn’t the best idea now that I’ve thought about it a bunch…) and cut up to full. Regrow 5 wolves, 4 of which can charge Xerxis. I charge in with 3 of them, CMA and miss as he now has defenders ward from Marketh. The last remaining wolf charges and kills market, while the 4th regrown one charges and puts another 3-4 damage on the Cyclops. It has 2-3 HP left, as does the Drake. Krea is not looking too swell after the transfers. My Skinwalkers charge the Cetratii and miss 3 out of their 4 attacks needing 6’s to hit. Wish that would have gone better, but oh well. Morvahna gets healed by 1 stone, and the other full unit teleports around her to block LOS. Drake is now engaged by 3 total wolves. His turn he kills the 3 wolves in melee with Xerxis and backs away with him, bringing Xerxis over to charge Skinwalkers the next turn. Takes 2 free strikes on his Drake which kill it (he is running dangerously close to out of time on his death clock now. Probably around 6 minutes left on his clock. I have about 15.). The shaman stabs away at the wolves killing a few more, The last remaining Arcuraii does the same. I cut for 7, upkeep and regrow 5 more wolves. Their charge brings the Cyclops to 1 hp, kills the Krea, Marketh and Orin. Bog trogs finally come in on that side as I have now realized he will never give me a shot at that objective, and 1 makes it in range to charge the Cyclops, killing it. Neither of us have beasts anymore, and he reaves up to 5 fury. His turn Xerxis charges into the Skinwalkers, kills 1. His Cetratii CMA to kill a 2nd. Turn comes back to me, The wolves clean up the rest of the Arcuraii and his beast handlers, wolves CMA down 1 of his damaged Cetratii and I heal up Morvahna. This is when I made a mistake. I should have walked Morvahna farther away from Xerxis who now can charge through his troops to the stone blocking LOS to Morvahna, kill it and beat back into melee with Morvahna. I immediately lose if this happens. I pass turn back without doing this. He CMA’s the last Skinwalker in his way to charge with 2 Cetratii needing a 15 to kill on 3 dice. Rolls it. He declares his charge and I start sweating. He takes 2 free strikes, the first of which kills Xerxis on 7 to hit and 9 to kill. I immediately wipe my brow of sweat and shake the hand of the man that gave me the best game I played at the convention. We count points and turn our sheets. I’m 1 game away from the whole shebang
In my final game I know I have my strongest list left. I unleash Kromac and he reveals Thyra. I am already feeling confident about this because I have a ton of experience of Kromac vs Menoth. I know how to get around enliven and how to deal with the Avatar. I’m not scared of Daughters with this list and the grievous wounds spell doesn’t really scare me. We deploy and he runs turn 1. I do my standard advance, which is Gnarlhorn in my #2 unit of stones and set up the #1 unit that has the UA about 6” farther up. Stalkers move up the flanks and the Woldstalkers run down the sides. I try to take a shot or two at his daughters, but they have occultation on them. *D’oh*. His turn 2 he charges up his daughters engaging a few Woldstalkers and whiffing all his attacks on my Shifting Stone UA. Runs up his Reckoner, Bastions and Avatar. Thyra advances onto a hill on the right flank. On my turn I do a little bit of control area measuring and decide I can get my Gnarlhorn to Thyra. I upkeep Wild Aggression on a stalker, and Warpath on Kromac. The stalker kills the daughters that ran up the field blocking Kromac from advancing far enough to keep the Gnarlhorn in his control area then sprints back with its animus clearing the spot. Kromac casts Wild Aggression onto the Gnarlhorn and charges a remaining daughter to get the distance needed to keep him in control. Wilder uses the Gorax animus on the Gnarlhorn. 2nd unit of stones activates and shifts him forward into the first unit. First unit activates and tries to place him into melee with Thyra. There isn’t enough room for his base between Gorman, the book and Rhoven. I place him in B2B with Gorman. He activates and attacks Gorman with a fist attack. Hits needing a 6 w/ free boosts. Easily kills at POW 16. Takes his warpath move up into Thyra. 3 attacks later Thyra is no more and I am the Masters Champion.
I would like to thank everyone that helped me play test, and helped me theory craft my lists into the perfection that they were for this tournament. My crew here at Asgard Games was an invaluable asset to my victory. The Texas Renegades also did great this weekend and I am as proud of them as they are of me.
Cheers to everyone that congratulated me, hats off to you.
Thank you Privateer Press, Hacksaw and Jen for running such great tournaments and supplying such a great game for us all to play. We all love you down here in Houston. I look forward to seeing a lot of you again at Gencon.
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