Another weekend, another Grand Clash 😂
Last Friday I was at the UK Game Expo for their first Grand Clash (and my 5th one this year). The last Clash I had been to was the London GT and I had come 2nd there, I was itching for a 1st place finish. The location was Birmingham and the sun was shinning.
My first round was sadly against a Skaven player and fellow Londoner Daniel. We had last played in the Dark Sphere store tournament final where I had beaten him to win the event. However, we knew we’d have a blast despite the pairing and flew into our first game.
Game 1 start with an offensive push from my opponent. When we last played, I was able to smash the objective Skaven so this time Daniel had changed things up to be more offensive. I did not expect just how offensive he would be. His Krrk ran in and killed my clanrat and then got buffed up with Deathly Fortitude. After this, I decided to ignore him and went on the counter offensive with my Krrk. Phase 1 ended with a lot of kills on each side and Daniel ended up ahead 5 glory to 4, he had out-aggro’d me! Going into phase 2, I charged into Krrk thinking I could kill him but I somehow thought he had 4 wounds instead of 5. I asked if I could take it back and Daniel allowed it, so I went to go on an objective instead. Our Skritches had whiffed each other but I had Supremacy in-hand. Daniel then also played an upgrade but then wanted to take it back, which was fine. After all, he had done the same for me plus we’d both rather not win over small errors made by accident. As I had more glory from that instead of kills, I went for the objectives. Daniel was playing Objectives too and I knew he wouldn’t play Great Concussion as it would stop him scoring as well. At the end of phase 2, my gamble paid off and I netted Supremacy and Master of War! Phase 3 started with the death of enemy Skritch and then I ended the phase with a damage 5 Skritch killing the 5 wound Krrk, scoring Precise Use of Force, ending with a 12/7 win to me.
Game 2 started like the first, although I was able to keep up the pace more. The second game mirrored the first but I was just able to keep ahead with the kills. It didn’t help that I was able to kill his Skritch at the end of the second phase. Still, the game ended on a 13/8 win for me but it was still a close fight, Daniel had improved his game greatly to give me a tough fight.
Gurzag and his boyz were my next opponents, played by a great gent called Phil. Game 1 was a rather tepid affair. I deployed back and made the Orruks waste a turn moving up. I scored 2 glory but he was able to score 1 thanks to Hold Objective 2, which was quite a surprise to me. With the Orruks in my face, phase 2 was going to be tough, if not for the fact that the Orruks missed all their attacks. Sadly the same went for me and Skritch missed 3 attacks in a row and the phase ended with both of us on 3 glory. Phase 3 started with a Quick Thinker from me, denying Gurzag any kills. Once again, the Orruks missed every attack but then the same was for Skritch who failed 4 attacks for 7 failed attacks in a row! Still, I was able to score Ploymaster but expected my opponent to score Denial or something else but luck was on my side! Nothing was scored so I ended winning 4/3 somehow.
Game 2 was a much bloodier affair. Both of us got kills fairly early but a similar whiffing effect started to creep in again. Highlights of the game was when my opponent played Mighty Swing then moved in. He was planning on playing Kunnin but Brutal, however, I used Quick Thinker to save a clanrat and steal the reaction window to deny use of the card! Skritch then dispatched Gurzag at the bottom of phase 2. Phase 3 was a bit of a stalemate until Skritch finally managed to kill Bonekutta and then Hakka, ending on a tight 9/7 win for me.
In the next round I was paired with another great chap named Barnaby. I had a feeling I would be paired against Stormcast and I knew there was a defensive player rolling about somewhere. As I won deployment, I decided to go square-on. If he was defensive, I had just won the game but if he was aggro, I would have to adapt. Phase 1 started off with cards from both of use and then and advance from the Champions, clearly not Defensive SCE at that point! I charged in but mainly just wounded Obryn. I then Charged in with Skritch but whiffed. Playing Great Concussion, I broke up the Stormcast and netted Alone in the Darkness but he also scored via his great neutrals. Still, phase 2 started with Skritch killing Obryn. My opponent rolled for Last Chance but it was not enough to save him. The phase ended with Skritch killing Brightshield. I went first in Phase 3 despite not being in charge range and drew a card. After charging in and failing, I began a buff-war between our leaders. Once we were both fully upgraded, he then played Righteous Zeal. I could have gambled to keep Skritch to tank the hit with Tethered Spirit and Acrobatic but I decided to play Illusory Fighter to place him safely on my back edge. Sevrin charged in and killed Lurking Skaven instead but I had denied any potential Victorious Duel and Precise Use of Force. I then sent Hungering in to deny Denial and ended the game with 8/6 to me.
Game 2 was similar to the first. We both cautiously advanced and then started combat in phase 2. Luckily the crits were strong with me and every attack either hit or crit and I was able to wipe out the Stormcast by the end of phase 3 which resulted in a 7/5 win for me.
On reflection, I asked my opponent as to why he never charged into my clanrats in phases 1 when he could have. He explained to me it was pointless killing them because it would pull his Champions out of position (it was bait) but also that I could just bring the rat back on his starting hexes and effectively get a free move/reposition. I hadn’t thought of that and did not plan on doing it but it is definitely something I plan to implement in future games.
I was currently 6th despite my lack of huge glory difference but thanks to my undefeated streak and tough opponents I played. Winning this would push me into the final, so I was close to my goal once again. My last opponent would be David his gorgeous Farstriders.
Game 1 was interesting. I won deployment so was not sure whether he was aggro, hybrid or defensive. I went for a neutral-aggro setup that would punish defensive play. Once again, it turned out my opponent was an aggro player! Phase 1 was rough. He advanced forwards and then when I charged with inspired Skritch, he played Rebound and knocked him down to 1 wound. He had also killed a clanrat in retaliation to being attacked with My Turn. He then played Great Concussion to push into my territory. I played the card back but couldn’t break everyone apart, so I lost out on Alone in the Darkness but stopped 2 Stormcast inspiring. Phase 2, Skritch killed 2 Farstriders leaving 1 left and my 2 clanrats at the end. In phase 3 he attacked first but missed. I attacked back with Shadeglass Dagger and Awakened weapon to roll no hits. I then played Time Trap but only got 1 hit vs a crit and a shield. My 2 Rats died and I ended with a 6/8 loss.
Game 2 was much different. I was able to get the kills early and survive Rebound. By the bottom of 2 all the Farstriders were dead and I cycled most of my decks. Phase 3 was mop-up and i scored a cheeky Supremacy and Superior Tactician to end up with a 15/2 win. Finally my combos had gone off.
Going into game 3 was very tense. Winning this would most likely mean me being in the finals and I’d be lying if I was saying it wasn’t on my mind. Phase 1 was quite bloody and by the bottom of 2 only Farstrider was left. We went into the objective step and I scored 2 objectives for 3 glory. I didn’t play Great Concussion because it would move my fighters out of position and Farstrider just into no-man’ land. Then my opponent scored his 3rd end phase objectives. Now here is where the problem arised. I thought it was phase 2 and my turn counter said 2 but my opponent was 100% sure it was 3. When I began thinking, I realised I was not 100% confident so in the end we came to the agreement it was phase 3 so we drew 7/7. Thinking back now, yes it was mostly likely only phase 2 bit still I’m only 90% sure. Either way I had a great set vs a very tough but brand new opponent to the game.
The event ended (for me) and I came out 5th with 3 wins and a draw. Winning would have put me into the final but I still had a good experience. I met a lot of awesome people. Shout-outs go to the legendary David Sanders for running a great tournament, the players for showing the great sporting spirit of competitive Shadespire players and 2 awesome Italian blokes who came up to say hello to me after they missed their games due to a delayed flight and how much they loved my blog. It was amazing to see I’m helping people all over the place and to meet such great Shadespire players willing to travel so far.
So what did I learn? A good player looks back on their mistakes and thinks about how to make sure they don’t happen again. So here, I present to you my new turn counters!
Never again will I make that mistake! For now, I’ll be relaxing a bit. There aren’t many Shadespire events coming up (that I can make 😢) plus I’m getting a little burnt-out so I’ll be taking a little break with Shadespire. Now that doesn’t mean I’ll be not posting anymore, just that I’ll be giving other people a chance when it comes to store tournaments 😉
Either way, articles will keep coming and crits will keep flowing!