Even a Grand Clash is not enough to satisfy my tournament appetite.
A bit of a disclaimer here, something I don’t normally do. I was very tempted to run my own Steelheart Relics at these past 2 events due to past experiences against it and with playtesting from last week. Playing against them has really put a downer on the game for me but I’m extremely glad that I decided not to use it at both events. While it would have guaranteed me wins on both days, with my Skaven me and all my opponents all had fun so it was a win regardless the outcome.
So, how would my Skaven do in this new Relic meta?
I was down at Ibuywargames. Last time I was here it was back in April where I had come 2nd for their trophy (sad times 😢). This event was more of a last minute decision. I had just finished a 12.5 hour night shift and I had always wanted to see if I could win a Shadespire tournament after one. I had planned to do it at Weekend Warlords in Loughborough last month but I didn’t finish work in time. This time would be a different story.
Round 1 was against Skaven, objective Skaven. The first game was a close affair with his Skaven being surprisingly killy. A poor placement decision on my part after Skritch died meant I missed out on 2 glory from an objective, resulting with me losing 7/8. After a brief pause and refocus, I was back in game mode. Hulking-out my Skritch, I was able to win the next 2 games 10/1 and 17/3. In the end, keys are no match for being stabbed in the knees with Shadeglass.
Round 2 was another Skaven affair. This time I was playing a chap named Paul. I had played him at Ibuywargames last time in the final round against his Orruks who were not prepared to be slaughtered by the ratmen. I had not played another aggro Skaven player for a long time so I was interested to see how it would play out. Game 1 was quite bloody buy my Skaven were able to snowball faster and win 17/11. Game 2 was far more closer, with each other gaining glory equally so no one was massively ahead. Thanks to changes I made post Grand Clash however, I was able to sneak out a tight 11/10 win. Tough but the new reliability and refinement of my Skaven played edged out the win against very good aggro play.
Round 3 I had the fortune to play another great player, Brad. We had first met at 40k Heat 2 last December and he always has such beautifully painted and converted miniatures. Somehow we had missed each other at the last Grand Clash but he was using his converted Skaven team again. Game 1 started of brutally, by the bottom of phase 2 my Skritch had killed most of the warband. Sadly he was taken down by a heroic Hungering Skaven. Still, his glory lived on and I won 15/6. Game 2 was a long-ways affair but I was able to implement my anti-relic tactics to full effect. A cornered Skritch was killed by the surprise appearance of a Festering Skaven with the Shadeglass dagger, rolling 3 crits to stab the boss directly in the knees. Still, the enemy Hungering Skaven was inspired by the death of Skritch and went on a killing spree, murdering friends and foes alike. Sadly it was not enough and I won again 15/3.
All in all it was a great set of games with awesome people. I was shocked I was able to even play, let alone win, after my night shift with such good opponents (although I did make a few questionable decisions…). It was even better that there were no SCE relics at all, an armour-free day!
It was Darksphere time. A Shadeglass trophy was on the line and it was my home turf of central London. I was already the champion of Magic Madhouse and Warboar but could I add Darksphere to the list and have my control over old London town?
Round 1 was against my friend Simon. We always have a back and forth relationship with our Shadespire games. When we last met he had beat me 2-1 with his Reavers but this time he had the Farstriders, a warband I had played with but not against. It was also his first set of games with the warband as well. This game was going to be a tough one. It started off with my Krrk going in for a charge, knocking a few wounds of the guy and then pushing him away so there were no chance of supports. The rest of the phase continued with moves and salvos from the Farstriders until Skritch zoomed towards Farstrider at the bottom of the phase, cutting him down and securing me a Victorious Duel to net lots of glory. The bloodshed didn’t stop there and thanks to my crits I was able to wipe out the Farstriders by the bottom of phase 2, netting me a win of 21/7. Round 2 started off with a more defensive play from the Farstriders but once again Skritch was too sneaky, able to kill one of the Stormcast at the bottom of phase 1. Phase 2 ended with a dead Farstrider and a wounded Vanguard left. However in Phase 3 he Hulked-out with Army of One, taking down 2 Skaven before Festering Skaven stepped in to end his rampage. The result was another win of 14/7.
Round 2 was against another regular opponent of mine, Alec. Our games are always very close and I always find Reavers tough due to how hard they can hit. Game 1 was close but I was able to resist the bait once I was in the lead to secure a win of 11/9. Game 2 started off strong for me but holding back at the end of phase 1 led to my defeat. I had won priority so if I had used Skritch to kill the 2 weaker Reavers, I would only have had to deal with Garek and Karsus vs Skritch and my clanrats. Luckily I was able to squeeze out a lot of glory but still lose 12/15. Game 3 started off brutally again but I was able to take the lead. Sadly we had to call the game due to time the bottom of phase 2 and I won 10/8 but we worked out that I still would have gotten enough glory to win anyways in the next phase. A tough and bloody game proving Reavers are always a threat.
Round 3 was against the sneaky Skaven, this time I was playing another great chap who had joined the Londoners down at the Grand Clash last week. Game 1 started off with a bang, I was able to net 5 glory from kills but my opponent was able to use a canny Hidden Paths and Sidestep to take control of all my 2 objectives and net an impressive 4 glory. Realising I needed to end this quickly before the objectives got too much glory, my Skritch went into overdrive. He killed the enemy Skritch after taking the former’s charge and then went to mop up the rest. After 2 phases of bloodshed I came out with a 18/9 win. Game 2 started off similarly to the first but this time I was able to limit the glory gained by my opponent in phase 1. Phase 2 started off with the most intensive power step ever. Between us we played 9 power cards in a back-and-forth mental duel that had our Skritches teleporting around the board. Sadly his dice failed him in the following activation and my rats then went on another rampage. I was able to wipe out the enemy Skaven by the end of phase 2. Phase 3 was mop-up time and ended in 20/6 win for me.
After 3 great games, Darksphere and London was mine! My 11th tournament win at my 20th tournament. It was great seeing the turnout of players with also no relics once again, London remains relic-free. Everyone had also taken on all my anti-relic tips that I had brainstormed with the rest of the London lot and implement them into their gameplans without hindering their play, which was totally awesome. The changes I made to my deck and what I learned from the Grand Clash last week also were implemented well by myself as I learnt so much from the games I won and lost there.
Now I have 5 official Shadeglass trophies, 2 more to go to complete my plans. Some people even say I need some kind of golden gauntlet… Either way I had a blast of a weekend that reaffirmed my love for the game. My next upcoming events are the Warhammer Fest Grand Clash and then the London GT Grand Clash. Whatever I bring, I’ll be relic-free and rolling crits to a tee.