Picking up right from where we've left off on Day 1 of the Sigmar Spice Rack Tournament we will go into the final two games, a summary of the outcome, a broader retrospective and some fun stats and all lists we've faced. So without further ado, and not just because I have nothing else to put here, let's go into game 4, with the record so far standing at 2-1 or 38-20 on the differential.
Game 4: Skaven (Warbringer, Rat Ogors, Warp cannons, Skyres, and even a Doomwheel) on The Nidus Path
This event was surely full of interesting scenario picks, as I couldn't even remember when was the last time I even saw someone play Nidus, not to mention play on it, though luckily I packed my markers (shout out to propaintedstudios for almost all the counters you can see me use. Not paid for, just a big fan of Matt's work). One notable thing about the scenario is that Nidus paths you can use to pull out of combat without retreating. Or combine it with a retreat to really get out of dodge. Anyway, to the game plan!
Skaven always changes, but also Skaven always stays the same. There are so many lists for the Horned God that it's hard to have a standardized approach for anything but the few more popular variants, notably 6 Stormfiends and 2 Vermilords come to mind. For anything else I seem to always have to fall into improvisation on the spot, but as Nurgle flies are generally the favourite in that matchup that's not the end of the world. The plan I concocted on here is to have Oggie with 2 flies either kill or slow down the Warbringer (his lack of Deceivers teleport is a massive shortcoming, and I don't think higher damage makes up for it), while 4 flies and bloab will go straight ahead and mop up rest of the board. LoA is going to be extra useful, as it was in Game 2, as disabling rat heroes will greatly reduce the effectiveness of Ogors, Skyres and the big blob of meat that is the Abomination. The ideal kill order there will be to take out abomination down first with bloab, and then let him mop up the unbuffed Ogors while 4 flies chop through Cannons screen, and the other 2 flies clear up Skyres if they jump through the Gnawhole (sadly not pictured, but it's in the bottom right corner). By the time I work through everything, the cannons should be dead, or almost dead of their own actions, so I don't really plan on going and killing them anytime soon.
Round 1 we go, and I happily give my opponent the first turn, together with a firm handshake and honest wishes of luck.
The Skaven moved very conservatively, not willing to extend far, Abomination and Ogor Rats only going far enough to tag the objective in front of them, though to my surprise the Skyres waited for nothing and jumped where expected, taking a few extra shots together with Doomwheel at the Bloab, with minimal effects. The cannons overcharged and shot at a group of 2 flies, causing some wounds to a single fly, not enough to remove a model. Warbringer repositioned to the west side and that was the turn, with screens pulling back a bit. Scoring 5 points and it's time for Nurgle to strike.
Instantly Warbringer (hiding behind the tower in front of Oggie) popped his finest hour, an unexpected but I think correct move, and the entire Nurgle mass moved forward. Two flies charged the Skyres, Bloab charged the Abomination, LoA jumped on the roof, stinking up Master Moulder, and the four flies moved forward but failed their charge against redeployed Clanrats. Oggie decided to not charge into Finest Houred Warbringer (a possible mistake, more on that in the Retrospective), and the remaining two flies went right into the Clanrats to hopefully remove them from the board and take the objective. Bloab simply took out Skyres, and the Clanrats while taking tons of losses, refused to die with help of Inspiring Presence. Good removal but no cigar, ending with only 4 points as the capture of the NW objective failed, we go to round 2 and Skaven takes priority.
In round two Warbringer comes out and outright murders Oggie on his best day, ah well, Doomwheel charges into two flies and gets bogged down in the fight. Rat Ogors charge into Bloab, and get significantly cut down in response. The cannons shoot into the group of 4 flies, finishing one off, and one of the cannons explodes along the way, the other being on the singular wound left.
While I took some losses, those were as planned - keeping Warbringer stuck away from the main fight to enable mop-up. Skaven scores four points, unable to get control of More, and Nurgle counterstrikes.
Doomwheel was now bogged down with two flies, Oggie gone and singular fly on retreat, taking cover in high ground. Bloab wrapped up the Rat Ogors, keeping firm control of the objective, while the unit of 3 flies fails to rally and charges, together with LoA into the group of Clanrats, Engineer, Master Moulder and cannon, which explodes due to impact damage.
After that, the game was realistically done for, with barely any troops left of the Skaven he clung to score one or two points each turn, with all battle tactics failing (one due to Bloab rolling a nefarious 6 on redeploy, and Warbringer failing to make the now-nine inches charge).
Eventually, the game ended with a 20-0 differential win for the Nurgle, as Skaven at most could score a single point, where I kept firm gains of 5 each turn + the grand strategy.
I think not attacking with Oggie was a mistake. While it would possibly get Bloab killed, complicating things on the eastern front, Oggie with Finest Hour should be able to outright murder the Warbringer, letting me easily push through the NW corner of the map and completely box the Skaven into his starting corner, saving me on the Benny Hill in the late game. It would also remove some possible Battle Tactics from him, as Warbringer was the one reliable killer on that list. This decision was a bit harder to see on the table than it is now, but well lesson learned, as that's the point of this exercise!
Game 5: Stormcast Eternals (Karazai with Longstrikes and 2 Annihilators) on Ours For The Taking
This is a game I don't think I had a solid grip on from the onset, and then just awfully uncooperative dice sealed the game by the end of round 2. Because of that, I'll merge the Recap and retrospective together, with a bigger focus on what was my plan, and how it actually played out. You tell me if what I wanted to do had legs.
Recap and Retrospective
Tough game for the flies, big central dragon with support characters in the scenario which at the same time wants you to have a big brawl in the middle, but also somehow retain control of your home objective. I can do one, but I cannot do both, whereas my opponent with two units of Annihilators hovering in the sky can do just fine. I was briefly tempted to utilize LoA deep-strike to try to get the Longstrikes, but then I don't have enough force on the board to even pretend to challenge SCE in the middle, so that plan went nowhere. Instead, I wanted to start with most of the forces at the home objective, covering against double drop at 9'' as I don't have enough troops to realistically screen against the 7'' singular drop. But that presents a problem, as I cannot just give up the middle either, even if I can then dislodge the SCE ball from there, by that time I will be outscored into oblivion. That's why Oggie and 2 flies were deployed in the middle, with the tree on the far side ready to drop 3 Drones on the back, putting pressure on Opp's home - in the end, he is running a low-unit count army too.
So with all that thinking laid out, and pregame sorted, I am forced to take the first (to absolutely no one's surprise) and make a bit of movement across the board, moving forward, taunting the SCE to bring it in. I need to score high and keep him at far from the central objective as I can. This way while we fight for it, I should be able to keep control of it.
Bloab was misplaced, I should've kept him on the objective and tanked the inevitable mortals from double annihilator drop rather than screen it from both of them have an easy ride onto the objective, though that leaves LoA exposed to the possible assassination, and he is not THAT tanky.
But then SCE moves, and again not far, with shooting + jaws going quite above par - removing one and most of the other fly. That's when a 7'' drop on the home objective flies dropped, dealing tons of damage before combat, and then lifting them entirely with attacks. Oof. That's also where I kinda stopped taking photos, the game was a bit tense. But what followed was Oggie charge to remove the screen unit from the big dragon, failing to do almost any damage (dealt a total of 6 on the finest hour and AoA, with a fantastic amount of rolls of 1, on all 2/2 attacks), and got murdered immediately after. What followed were even worse rolls, that made my entire army collapse and unable to stop the Opp from scoring and letting me score. Fun things like bloab getting unbound after casting on a 10, charging into Annihilators and failing to lift a single model, just to get murdered in response, and middle having to fall back constantly just to not get tabled too quickly.
And do you remember the screen unit Oggie failed to kill? As it lived, it was able to hug the tree, and completely derail my one-off chance to get back at this game with summon of the drones to alleviate some of the pressure from the main fight. Controlling (almost) nothing, and soon to be tabled, a crushing defeat of 0-20 on the differential.
I don't think my plan was wrong. The execution had flaws, Bloab should've sat with the 2 flies just for that reason, and put the entire group close enough to screen LoA from assassination. Using Oggie as a trade piece, to remove the enemy unit, score a battle tactic and possibly take some more shooting I think was correct, ultimately that keeps me in control of the middle for longer, gaining the ever-important points, and leaves Opp to screen the tree with his general if he wishes so, which was out of running range at the time. But alas, it didn't happen, the dice just refused to give me a respite, or a double after Oggy's death to try to claw back (that would be the drones-summoning moment).
Despite the rolls ultimately deciding the game more than they probably should, we had absolute fun. Opp was a great sport, we had massive laughs as some ridiculous roles continued to happen on both ends, and we parted ways changing contact details to have some more games in the future. Definitely looking forward to it.
Whole event recap
I had absolute fun through the weekend, with the mild exception of game 3 where some things happened that probably shouldn't, and I don't think it's all down to dice but more to fatigue letting things slip. Normally I would pay more attention to things like enemy spell ranges and buffs, as I have tokens ready for everything, but it's what it is, play slower on game 3 fatigue is a valid lesson to learn.
I am definitely looking forward to their next tournament, as the competition level was good, with an interesting mix of very creative and outright sweaty top-tier lists, including two very nasty Slaves to Darkness players stomping on people's necks.
From some interesting stats, on Day 1 from pacing around the tables I did just shy of 8.8km of walking, and respectively 6.7km on Day 2. Oggies shooting rolled anything other than 1 only once through the entire event, and that failed to wound anyway. That's all the fun stats I have I think.
And very quickly screencaps of the lists I've played against.
So that's all folks, thanks for reading and let me know if you liked it or you didn't. While I write it mostly for myself as it helps me to formulate the game review process, I am sharing it for others' enjoyment and very debatable education, so your input is important and very welcome. See you at the tables!