The first of many, read on to see how I fared at my second Grand Clash.
Back in March I attended the first Warhammer World Grand Clash and came 11th out of 68 with my offensive Steelheart’s Champions. I had a great time and the whole thing kick-started my motivation to start this very website. The question was how would I fare now at the second event?
This time things would be a little different as I had my offensive Skaven with me. They had roughed out 8 weeks of playtesting and at 8 different tournaments, winning 6. The April Grand Clash would be the real test however.
In the first round I was paired against an awesome chap called Paul. He’d come 2nd at the last WHW Grand Clash and had beaten one of my gaming mates along the way at the very same event. The moment I saw him I knew it was going to be a great but super tough game.
Rocking into the first action phase of game 1 I was able to kill Bonekutta and Gurzag at the bottom of the turn and by action phase 2 I had wiped out the whole warband, ending up with a score of 18-5 (thanks to Annihilation 😉).
Going into the 2nd game, the setups were the same but this time Paul was able to adapt to my Skaven and this time he smashed me, wiping me out and scoring an amazing 3-19 to him.
The 3rd round was super close, with both of us reaching the same number of glory but I was able to kill Gurzag at the bottom of action phase 1. The next turn was incredibly close but my opponent had made a major mistake, he thought it was the final turn so had cycled through his deck and made plays to edge me out on glory for the end of the turn. My trusty turn counter had saved the day but I was able to capitalise on the mistake and edge out a win on 12-10. However if turn 2 was played differently, I had positioned myself in such a way that I was waiting for an attack and would have punished any attempt on my precious rats. Either way it was a super tight and highly enjoyable set of games but I ended up on 2 wins with a single loss and sadly a glory differential of -1.
In the next round I was on table 1 (yay!) but this was due to the fact that I was the lowest ranked person with 2 wins (boo 😭). I was paired against a lovely chap named Alkis. He was running Steelheart’s Champions and I was keeping words of wisdom passed onto me at the last round from Paul about Relic Steelheart’s.
The game began with my opponent cycling cards, as a Stormcast veteran myself I expected I was playing against a Relic deck. When it came into action phase 2 I awaited the relics but was greeted with defensive upgrades instead. Confused, I went in for the kill and by the end of action phase 3 I had killed most of the armoured warriors, winning 12-6. Interestingly it turned out my opponent was running purely defensive Stormcast, just without relics.
For game 2 it became a vertical affair. The first action phase was spent moving my rats up but my opponent burnt all his push cards. For action phase 2, this allowed me to take the lead in glory with Alone in the Dark and Supremacy. In the final phase I went in for the kill, with a sneaky Time Trap getting me enough glory to secure a tight 9-8 win. While a tough match-up, I was still confident with the pairing. My opponent asked what could he have done differently, I told him that when my opponent is not moving at all, the game is already in my hands as now my rats have the board under their control. Still he was a tough player and did super well considering he was very new to the game.
Deja-vu struck me when I was paired against a player called Dan. We had played at the last WHW Grand Clash and his skellies smashed my Stormcast with superb hold objective play. He had beat me 2-1 but would history repeat itself?
Going into game 1, I drew a hand of my perfect ploy setup. This was my game to win. How wrong I was. With his Reavers, Dan was able to kill Skritch, Krrk and a clan rat all in the first phase with a great use of ploys and tactics. Thanks to my crit-rolling rats I was able to stop a Total Annihilation but I ended up losing 9/12.
Game 2 was a more controlled attempt on my part. Thanks to an unlucky set of charge attacks from Garek on my leader in phase 1, Skritch was able to kill Garek with a Victorious Duel and then went on to mop up the rest of the Reavers with his glory-fueled binge. He was almost killed by a 6 dice Targor but (un)luckily for me he only rolled 1 hit and I defended. The game ended on a 19-8 win for the rats.
Game 3 was very close. We both scored similar glory points for the first 2 phases. However my rats were able to out-kill the Reavers again and thanks to Targor failing his 5 dice attack by only rolling 1 crit (to which I crit’d back), I was able to win 19-13. In the post game chat it turned out that after 20 games, his Reavers had only lost 1 game until me. I took it as a great honour because Dan is a top-tier opponent and his Reavers have both a beautifully crafted deck and playstyle.
I was back on table 1 again but once again it was because I was on the lowest score for a player with 3 wins (2 game losses and a glory differential of +20). This time I was paired against Lee. We had played in the Outpost tournament final 3 weeks prior and I had come out the victor against his Skaven key warband. This time he had Steelheart’s Champions and I had a sneaking suspicion that they were of the relic variety…
Game 1 started off with a vertical setup. Slowly making my way up and setting up a supremacy, my opponent played Great Concussion. Upon playing mine, I was Forceful Denial’d and thus my chances of a supremacy were killed. With no glory going into phase 2, I was able to get 1 point but my charged failed and no one else was in range. By phase 3 the relics were in full effect and my attacks all bounced, meaning I lost 1-24.
Game 2 was a closer affair. As I had won deployment, I was able to make it a square-on horizontal deployment. Skritch moved up while scoring glory and then in phase 2 Krrk and his boss moved in to kill a cornered Brightshield. Sadly I was only able to do 2 wounds to her as the rest of my attacks failed but I was able to kill her at the bottom of 2 instead of the beginning. Going into phase 3, Sevrin had 6 relics but I had priority. My Lurking Skaven charged in, pinning the Stormcast in the corner and then Skritch charged in preventing any Quick Thinker. My rat was victorious but sadly the Glory had already been claimed and I ended up losing 11-15.
Post game was an interesting discussion. I could have won or at least drawn out if Brightshield died earlier but I feel not much else could have been done as the main way for my Skaven to win is to make sure I have control of board setup. One consolation was that I was the only player able to score double digits against him up until the final.
In the end I finished 24th with 3 wins, 2 round losses and a glory differential of -1. Even if I had won the final game, I knew I would have never made it into the final. I had a very tough tournament, all my opponents were top-notch players and I’m happy I was able to do so well against them all. The people I beat in rounds 1 and 2 finished in top 16 above me and the person who beat me ended up coming 2nd. My Skaven performed really well and everyone loved how my warband worked, finding them a great challenge to play.
Sadly due to the Grand Clash format, my Skaven currently do not perform well. My warband works in a Swiss setting where there will always be 1 true winner but due to the nature of a Grand Clash, getting into the top 2 cut will be very hard. I love playing my Skaven but I will probably have to switch things up if I want to win a Grand Clash.
Nonetheless I need to go back to the drawing board, especially when it comes to beating Steelheart Relics. My next Grand Clash is in 2 weeks at Warhammer Fest so my timing will be…critical 😏