Hello all, this is the first part of the WTC write up from 2016 and its been a long road to get here. Over the year we have seen an edition change, a complete shake up of the meta and even some doubts that Legion would even have what it takes to make it in competitive play! The event was absolutely fantastic both for the comradeship of the teams, the quality of play and the sportsmanship displayed by the global community. With a new edition to view the WTC has given a cross examination of every faction with some surprising results and really energised communities to throw themselves into Mk3. For the first part I will talk about my first three games as well as the bonus game from the Ashes, but by popular demand it will be in a more casual format than the battle reports. If there is a specific game you would like to know more about just let me know here on the blog, find me at General Cross on the forums or on Twitter @general-cross1. In the second part I’ll go on a little about the meta and the direction that each faction seems to have gone in. Otherwise enjoy!
For completeness these were my lists I took to the event, both with the Bunker objective:
Lylyth, Reckoning of Everblight
– Bolt Thower
– Naga Nightlurker
Kallus, Wrath of Everblight
The team I played with was England Knights, nominally the third team we were permitted to take after a stunning performance last year by England Roses and England Lions. The team consisted of our captain Chris playing Mercenaries, Kenny and Andy G playing Trollbloods and Andy M playing Cryx. Whilst we were all confident with our factions in Mk2 there was some concern that without any of the Mk3 power factions like Cygnar, Khador or Retribution we would be selling ourselves short in the new edition. Our experience at the ETC demonstrated that our factions were still competitive and we all came away feeling happier that we could continue playing our own factions rather than jumping ships to greener pastures. Our caster pairings were as follows:
Mercenaries – Gorten and McBain
Trollbloods – Ragnor and Madrak2
Trollbloods – Grim2 and Grissel2
Cryx – Coven and Skarre2
Legion – Lylyth3 and Kallus
Whilst not a conventional team build a lot of time had gone into how we could cover each others weaknesses and get matchups we decided. By the second day we had a really good idea of not just our own strengths and weaknesses, but how to play as a team and think beyond the individual pairs. Even with all this I can confirm now that every single game came down to the wire and a few different rolls would have left me 6-0 or 0-6! This was the case in almost every game which speaks of the quality of the players in the event.
Game 1 – The Ashes!
For those who don’t know there is a traditional England vs Australia match held the night before the WTC to claim the Ashes, a trophy containing beloved things once lost (Gaspy2’s Mk2 card for example…) and we were randomly allocated off for an 11 a side rumble! I drew against Liam from Australia Wallaby playing Minions with an Arkadius/Carver pairing. The scenario was Take and Hold and faced with some heavy battlegroup lists I decided to play Kallus. Liam’s Carver list was as follows:
Lord Carver, BMMD, Esq. III
– Battle Boar
– Battle Boar
– Battle Boar
– Battle Boar
– Splatter Boar
– Splatter Boar
– Splatter Boar
– Splatter Boar
– War Hog
– War Hog
Lanyssa Ryssyl, Nyss Sorceress
Carver went first and pushed up aggressively with the battlegroup and Legion followed only giving a couple of models in threat range. What I didn’t realise is that the Battle Boars can use Adrenalise to get Berzerk and Overtake which punished my by losing about seven models from one Boar. The counter attack was effective with a lucky Swordsmen killing Lanyssa and taking a couple of lights off the table. Liam had got the anti-hellmouth formation on lockdown (putting models B2B so they can’t be pulled) so the Hellmouths weren’t getting much done but the Gremlins stood near my flag to stop me scoring due to being incorporeal. Carver waited out his feat turn until after Kallus’ but models were dropping fast. Once the game had spread out the Hellmouths began dragging in models for the Blightbringer to devour and attrition swung towards Legion with no scenario points taken.
In the late game I jammed up and left a Warhog on a few boxes left in the center and had Kallus charge and kill a Gremlin Swarm which opened up an assassination vector. Carver moved up, put Quagmire on the other Gremlin Swarm which ran into B2B and feated so the last Battleboar could try and clear out the jamming models. Unfortunately the Grotqsue Assassin survived both gunshots from Carver meaning the War Hog had to trample and with only three bought attacks he couldn’t finish Kallus off, meaning that I could Dark Guidance, drag in Carver with a Hellmouth and set the Blightbringer on him for a Legion Win by Scenario!
The matchup felt pretty strong initially with Hellmouth and high damage output but the Berzerk on the Battle Boars was pretty unpleasant! I would have liked a way to threaten Carver better and some magic weapon access so my opponent couldn’t shut down the scenario. I got some lucky breaks killing Lanyssa and Maximus with one Swordsmen over two turns, the Def 14 really saved my bacon (pun intended). The Carver list is definitely one to be respected and it plays a lot like the Mad Dogs Karchev list so watch out for it. Unfortunately we lost the Ashes 4-7 but the Aussies are fantastic players and great sportsmen so we will just have to try harder next year! After an early night it was time for the main event…
Round 1 – England Knights vs Greece Prime
For the first round we were drawn against Greece Prime featuring double Skorne, Khador, Cryx and Trolls. When all the matches were said and done I drew into the team captain George playing Skorne with a Rasheth/Hexeris2 pairing. Both lists had few shield guards and could clear infantry for days so I dropped in Lylyth and got Hexeris2 for my troubles:
Lord Arbiter Hexeris
– Bronzeback Titan
– Titan Gladiator
– Razor Wurm
– Cyclops Brute
Beast Handlers (min)
The first thing to note is that the Brute’s animus prevents stationary so my feat/assassination plan was off the table as long as the light was in play, however Incursion suited my maneuverability well. For deployment I put my Deathstalkers across from the Keltarii on the right with the Bolt Thower, the battlegroup centrally and the Naga in a position to go after the right flag. Legion went first and both sides ran forward being wary of threat ranges. The Keltarii recieved Ashen Veil meaning my Deathstalkers were relegated to contesting the flag and the Razor Wurm pushed out hard to the right side. Top of Turn 2 Lylyth shoots down the Agoniser in the back and the Naga and Typhon take out the Razor Wurm meaning that there isn’t much to contest the right flag. The Archangel puts some damage into Tiberion and backs out of threat.
On Skorne commits in hard on Turn 2 and score on the central flag but don’t do much damage to Legion forces, and Legion retaliates with Lylyth killing Orin, the Blackfrost Shard tagging Tiberion and the Archangel killing him. The Deathstalkers stab two Keltari luckilly and the Naga moves onto the right flag and kills the contesting Chef. Typhon kills the Bronzeback and puts some hurt onto the Brute so Legion scores to tie up on scenario. In response and the Keltari clear up the left flag to score again whilst the Gladiator and Brute kill the Archangel, contesting the right flag in the process. Unfortunately I end up with one fury left on Typhon who frenzies into the Brute and does nothing in a game changing swing. The Bolt Thower does manage to knock down the Gladiator and cripple it’s spirit so it is also out of the game for a turn and the Blackfrost Shard comes in to contest the left flag.
Typhon goes down to the combined efforts of the Brute and Hexeris with some decent dice whilst the Keltari clear off the left flag once more as well as the center now. With the scenario at 4-1 I have no option but to go after Hexeris with Lylyth who is on no camp but with immunity to stationary. The Naga is fractionally out of reaving range and frenzies harmlessley so Lylyth puts boosted pow 12s into Hexeris, missing the third boosted 8 and leaving him on four boxes. The Bolt Thower misses the boosted 11 and the last Blackfrost Shard misses the unboosted 9 of the Ice Bolt leaving Hexeris alive and a Skorne Victory by Assassination!
This was a real nailbiter of a game where a few key errors cascaded. The early attrition game was strong, picking out the Agoniser and clearing the right flank particularly but with the changes to fury management I had to play a more risky game which happened not to pay off. George was a great opponent and recovered the game well, we had been joking all game that the Hexeris vs Typhon match was going to happen eventually! We lost the round 2-3 with some equally close matches which was a little disappointing at the time, but the close fought games would set a precedent for the rest of the event!
Round 2 – England Knights vs Switzerland Chocolate
For the second game we drew up against Switzerland Chocolate, who instantly won the award for best opponents because they gave us all some chocolate! They had brought an all Warmachine cast of double Menoth, Cryx, Cygnar and Retribution. Once we had paired down I had the pleasure of going against Giaccomo playing a Haley1/Haley2 combination. Lylyth was certainly the best option for this match and my opponent dropped Haley1 to my slight surprise. His list was as follows:
Captain Victoria Haley
Gunmages with UA
Gunmage Captain Adept
Arcane Tempest Rifleman
Arcane Tempest Rifleman
Probably the definition of the Cygnar Gunline this list has magic weapons for days, I went first deploying Lylyth centrally, Typhon to the left and the Archangel to the right who could clear the forest. My opponent put Haley in the center with the Stormwall, the Black 13th to the left and the Gunmages to the right. I pushed up aggressively Turn 1 staying just short of threat ranges and putting up Battle Host. Turn 1 had Cygnar move up and get some upkeeps out but inflict little damage on the Legion forces. For Turn 2 I moves the Archangel to threaten the zone, had the Deathstalkers kill a couple of Gun Mages and Typhon also move in to pressure the zone, hoping the Stormwall would step in range. Lylyth picked off two of the Black 13th and put up Windwall, camping two fury with Battle Host up.
Cygnar didn’t like the look of the way the table was going with the Stormwall under serious threat and no easy to kill targets so we began discussing an assassination. After half an hour of premeasuring and planning the run began with Haley receiving Pathfinder and feating, catching Lylyth in Temporal Barrier to bring her to Def 13. The Cyclone moved up (gaining magic weapons thanks to the gunmages attachment) and used the +2 to attack rolls jack marshall to shoot at Lylyth with Snipe. Rolling up all 6 shots and the additional from the feat the jack did 8 points of damage to Lylyth with some slightly warm dice. The Riflemen moved up and put shots in as well doing another 4 points between their shots despite being dice off 8. Four more gunmages shoot her and do another three damage (also dice off 8) so by the time the Stormwall goes Lylyth is on 3 health. Uh oh!
I had held on to my transfers for the big gun shots which spared me two and the third one left Lylyth on one box remaining leaving it all down to the chain guns… Only one hit needing the unboosted 7s but at dice off 8 it was a 9+ to kill which the Stormwall got leading to a Cygnar Victory by Assassination!
I can’t lie, this was one that I needed to step outside for a moment and breathe some fresh air after! There were some clear tells on the first turn that my opponent was looking for the assassination win against me and had I taken a moment to look at what magic weapons were in the list (all of them) I could have cast Excessive Healing and been immune to the assassination run. Even so there were a lot of things that needed to go right and roll well, but 10% of the time a 10% chance happens. Giaccomo was a great sportsman about it and we agreed that it was probably the best shot he had from a long game perspective. Fortunately the team carried me onwards with a 3-2 round win overall but this is absolutely an example where going to auto-pilot can be a wrong choice. By habit Windwall saves me from ranged assassinations but in this case it was the incorrect defensive spell to use. Lessons were learnt!
Round 3 – England Knights vs Ireland Ceol
For the final round of Day 1 we ran into our Irish cousins with some more conventional lists than the ones we had been playing against before! They had brought Cygnar, Legion, Trollbloods, Retribution and Circle and once the pairs had been brought down I had pulled up Pat playing Cygnar. Whilst I’d not met Pat personally he has a reputation as one of the best players in Europe so this would be a tough match! He had brought Caine2 and Haley2 so once again I put down Lylyth and got Caine2 for my troubles:
Captain Allister Caine
Storm Lances (min)
Storm Lances (min)
Gunmage Captain Adept
The scenario was Outlast and I won the roll so I picked to go second to deny Caine the forest and let me score first. Caine deployed opposite a rock just outside the left zone next to the Stormwall with the Cavalry on the flanks whilst I deployed Lylyth opposite, the Archangel towards the right flank and Typhon on the left. Cygnar Turn 1 had the army move up with Caine casting Heightened Reflexes on himself and walking forward. In my turn I had Lylyth move up and boost a couple of shots at Caine doing an early 7 damage onto him before backing up and camping. Typhon and the Archangel moved up to threaten the rock he would hide behind and I passed turn. For Turn 2 Caine put some shots into Typhon to remove Excessive Healing and used Gate Crasher to get behind the rock with Stormwall blocking Lylyth’s LOS, followed by the Charger, Stormwall and Storm Lances finishing off Typhon thanks to the Ranger bonus. Importantly Caine also used two focus to heal himself for two damage inflicted the previous turn. I finished off the rest of the Rangers in my Turn 2 and cleared the right zone of Storm Lances to score on Turn 2 but Caine feated and took out the Archangel shortly after.
Left with just Lylyth and the lights left I could either push to clear the right zone and dominate to score again but I was concerned that the Stormwall would come into the zone and prevent me from scoring again whilst Caine had dropped Heightened Reflexes to ensure the Archangel died. In a longshot assassination I moved up Lylyth and shot a Storm Lance to Blood Boon a Frost Hammer at Caine and hit the boosted 12. With a critical Stationary! Boosting damage brought Caine down to four boxes left and I bought another Frost Hammer but left him alive on two boxes (the same number he had healed before!) I had messed up my fury slightly and forgot that I could have boosted damage on the second spray (I rolled afterwards and got a 1 anyway!) but it was always going to be a longshot assassination anyway! Unsurprisingly Caine took out Lylyth in return leading to a Cygnar Victory by Assassination!
The Caine2 vs Lylyth3 match is a really interesting one and can be very scenario or terrain dependent. If Caine can hide himself properly he can contribue much better than Lylyth but Lylyth’s assassination out threats him. I think that its probably slightly weighed in Caine’s favour providing he has terrain to protect him because he can kill or cripple heavies so easily but scenario or lists can change the match. In a game of equal skill it probably tilts towards Caine more often than not but Lylyth certainly has the tools to answer him. By having the Archangel my list was more geared for anti-control casters like Haley2 and it gives Caine an easy feat target.
So at the end of the first day I had gone 0-3 which was somwhat discouraging to start with! That being said all of the games were very tight and it could have easily been three wins with a few slightly different rolls either way. As a team we had gone 2-1 today with plenty of other close games but as a team we were covering each other well and there were very few games where we felt particularly disadvantaged. After a good night’s rest we would step into day two…
Thanks for reading all, Day 2 is hot on the heels of this post! Hopefully this is more useful as exploring how the games and matchups went rather than a “Legion lost three times”!