That’s no Skaven…
My journey continues with new warbands. This past Saturday saw me playing at The Game Shop Aldershot. I was running Sepulchral Guard this time because there’s nothing like picking hard mode. I sadly was unable to test the deck but it had been barely a week since I had last played so I was still in that Shadespire groove.
I had spent the week theory-crafting with a good friend of mine who is a skelly veteran. I decided to go for the full aggro approach and ditch any kind of hold objective card. Was it madness? Yes but no one would expect it. Plus I live, eat, breath, sleep and think aggro. What do you expect 😂
The plan was to surprise people with my aggro skellies. Lure them in thinking I was going for objectives and then smash them with bone power. I was experimenting with Tyrant’s Command to use it after a fighter has used Quick Thinker or Hidden Paths to give me an additional move. Hidden Paths and Spectral Wings were my extra movement ploys and Rebound was there to help my skellies from the ceaseless attacks they would receive.
I would have liked to test it out during the week but alas I had no spare time as mentioned earlier. It was trial by fire and I had faith in my spooky, scary skeletons.
My first opponent was Martin and he was running Sepulchral Guard as well! It was a skelly off! We had ran into each other at the last 2 UK Grand Clashes so it was nice seeing another friendly face travelling around.
Game 1 started with me losing board placement. This was ideal for me because if my opponent was playing hold objectives he would be at a disadvantage and have to come to me. Winning priority by deploying first, I let Martin go first. He moved on to all the objectives while I began moving up all my undead. Sadly I lost the Harvester but was able to bring him back in the power step. While my opponent scored Supremacy and an instant off the kill to net 5 glory, I scored March of the Dead, Ploymaster and Well-Guarded to score 4 glory.
Phase 2 had me take the lead. The Harvester now had Frightening Speed but he just kept getting killed. I still brought him back and used him as bait to pull enemy skeletons out of position. I used the Prince to knockback the enemy Harvester into range of my Warden, netting Defensive Strike and Skills Unforgotten.
In phase 3 the Harvester died again but I was able to get enough kills thanks to speedy skellies. Despite my opponent scoring highly, I pulled out a 16/10 win while scoring pretty much all my objectives!
Game 2 had me winning deployment this time. With The Forge Board and March of the Dead, I knew I could do it again. However my lack of experience with my new warband would be my downfall. In the 2nd activation, my Warden was exposed to the enemy Harvester even after I used Great Concussion. He took 2 damage. Fearing a sneak attack I swung back after using Inspiration Strikes on the Warden. Sadly I did no damage but pushed him back. With his fighters out of range, Martin moved up. I moved the rest of my fighters and went to the end phase. I triumphantly scored March of the Dead. Until I realised I did not move the Warden. I went from a 2/0 lead to a 0/0 stalemate. I feared I had just cost myself the game.
Phase 2 started with my Warden killing the Harvester, scoring Skills Unforgotten and Precise Use of Force. Sadly he was then charged by the Champion and killed. I played around as best I could but then had 2 if my petitioners die to Shardgale as I had moved them onto lethal hexes earlier.
Tied on glory, I was able to scrape ahead with a few kills in phase 3 thanks to the enemy Shardgale. I went into the end phase thinking I had somehow pulled the win until my opponent scored 7 glory, beating me 11/14.
Game 3 started with a charge from the enemy Harvester. He missed his first attack and then got Rebounded! I capitalised on this and the Prince hit back, scoring Precise Use of Force and Defensive Strike. I wad able to get out of losing a friendly skeleton and sneaked in another kill to score Escalation and end up 5 glory to 0 at the bottom of 1.
Phase 2 was bloody (dusty?) on both sides. The enemy Harvester was brought back to life while the enemy Prince was killed by my Champion. The enemy Warden was caught off guard by a sneaky charge and was brought down.
With a lead in phase 3, I played a bit more defensively. The enemy Harvester then used Hidden Paths to teleport next to my Warden. I used Great Concussion to space them 2 hexes apart while still supported by my friendly fighters. I then charged up and missed, using the Necromancer Commands to kill him and score Masterstroke with Skills Unforgotten. Martin was still able to score big but so was I and we ended on a 17/12 win. A tough set of enjoyable games that put me through my paces against a similar Sepulchral Guard force!
Round 2 was against Alec, a regular opponent of mine. It would be a tough set but I had plans as I could basically stop the Reavers from inspiring.
Game 1 started aggressively. Winning deployment, I made sure both boards were as close as possible to minimise the mobility of the Reavers and the poor movement of my skeletons. Phase 1 saw me kill Garek and Saek while I lost the Harvester. In phase 2 I was able to kill Karsus and Arnulf, with my Harvester dying again. In phase 3 I was unable to close the distance with Targor so did my best to score what I could. Still in the lead, the Reavers caught up to me thanks to their comeback objectives meaning we were on 14/14. I won thanks to tiebreaker rules due to having more fighters left (4 to 1).
Edit: It was a draw, we both got it wrong but still managed to have 3 great games regardless (:
Game 2 had me lose deployment. I avoided a charge from Saek but then Garek came in and killed a Petitioner, netting 3 glory. Alec then ran away and I was unable to catch up with my speed. Unable to net any glory, I ended phase 1 on 0/5. Deciding not to ditch my objectives, I went in for the kill again but missed. My fighter was then picked apart and I was left out of range as my opponent wouldn’t come to me. Phase had things going way but it was too late. I got a few kills and racked up some decent glory but I had bled too much glory so I ended up on a 8/19 loss.
Game 3 had me ditch my had of Superior Tactician, Well-guarded and Alone in the Darkness. Not what I wanted to do but I had no choice, sadly I had lost all my end-game glory. The same thing in game 2 happened again. I was able to score earlier this time and get a few kills off too but I only had 1 glory objectives without the mobility to score my instant objectives. I was unable to catch the Reavers who went in for 1 kill and then ran away. I ended up losing 6/15. A tough set of games were Alec did everything right. I realised my opponent had no need to come to me once he realised I was all about killing and movement 2 sucksssss.
Andy was my final opponent with Steelheart’s Champions. I didn’t know which build he was running so I was going to put my board theories to the test.
Game 1 had me losing deployment. I placed “The Cogs” board first in case I was going to be long-boarded. Instead my opponent played normally with a small choke point to minimise my swarming capabilities. Luckily for me I won priority with 3 crits! The Harvester immediately charged into Sevrin and Brightshield. I did 2 damage to both and only Brightshield inspired! Andy healed Sevrin to full wounds and he charged in, killing my Harvester. My Champion charged in and killed Brightshield thanks to my cleave. I inspired the Prince who charged into Sevrin, his 3 hammers hitting home and pushing Sevrin into a lethal hex leaving the stormcast with 1 wound. The Warden then killed Sevrin. I had taken the lead 7/1. In phase 2 Obryn missed and was quickly swarmed by the undead. At the bottom of 2 he was pulled down by the skeletons. Phase 3 was spent cycling cards and I ended up wining 15/2.
Game 2 had me winning deployment and setting up with no chokepoint. This time the Stormcast got the upper hand with kills and quickly took the lead. However I was able to kill Sevrin and score some glory back leaving me 4/5. In phase 2 I began my grind with the Stromcast in my face. Brightshield charged the Prince and knocked him down to 2 wounds. I charged in with the Champion and did 2 wounds. Obryn charged in and killed my Harvester again (RIP 😢). He then played Ephemeral Shield. I inspired the prince and charged in but failed to do any damage with 3 attack dice vs 3 defence dice. I then played Ceaseless Attacks and used the Champion next to her, who killed Brightshield thanks to his support and cleave. In phase 3 Obryn moved into my 6 wound Warden but I then played Great Concussion. He then poked Obryn to death over 3 activations. Sadly I was too concentrated in my own territory and did not stop Denial although I pulled out another 15/6 win. Another fun set that almost saw me get crushed in the early stages but my skeletons were able to just use their numbers to beat out Sigmar’s warriors.
With all the results in I was able to claim 2nd place! Sadly the trophy was held due to low turnout but I still got some fancy loot. The experience was fun, frustrating and educating. Aggro Sepulchral Guard works when the opponent comes to you but they need a reason to do so and suffer against foes with greater mobility or those not interested in combat. I feel the issues for the undead would be resolved if they could resurrect onto any starting hex but such a thing will not happen.
Once again I’d recommend popping down to The Game Shop Aldershot if you’re nearby or want to play at a good store that can run events. Has a great gaming space and locals so you’ll always have a good time.
Still I will continue to work at it and try to find a way to make the Sepulchral Guard work. I may put them on the backburner for a bit but I think I just need some more time with them. They did help me roll a lot of crits after all.