For real this time.
Continuing my adventures with the Sepulchral Guard I attended 2 trophy events this weekend with sights set on winning with the skeletons.
Firstly I went to the Dice Saloon in Brighton on Saturday. A lovely shop near the main train station. Sadly it was a best of 1 tournament but that was the only downside of the event. I had just finished a 12.5 hour night shift before the event but I had done it previously and won an event, I was just severely tired haha.
Here’s the quick write-up of it:
Faction: Sepulchral Guard
62 – March of the Dead
234 – Advancing Strike
243 – Change of Tactics
252 – Defensive Strike
257 – Escalation
278 – Our Only Way Out
284 – Precise Use of Force
291 – Superior Tactician
292 – Supremacy
296 – Tactical Supremacy 1-2
297 – Tactical Supremacy 3-4
L29 – Well-guarded
73 – Restless Dead
329 – Great Concussion
331 – Hidden Paths
334 – Inspiration Strikes
347 – Quick Thinker
348 – Ready for Action
349 – Rebound
361 – Spectral Wings
L38 – Inspired Command
L42 – Quick Advance
78 – Ancient Commander
83 – Frightening Speed
373 – A Destiny to Meet
378 – Concealed Weapon
384 – Deathly Fortitude
391 – Great Strength
395 – Incredible Strength
410 – Shadeglass Dagger
420 – Soultrap
L49 – Hero’s Mantle
A less aggro version of my last build. More objective play to secure glory and force people to me and then go crazy with killy upgrades. I had tried a full objective build and that did not work out well at all.
Mouse was his name but he was not a mouse by nature with his Fyre Slayers. The game started off with me having drawn March of the Dead and Supremacy. Expecting to only score the first card, I moved up and survived charges from Grimnir and Vol. However I was able to capitalise on an error made by my opponent and ran forwards with Spectral Wings to grab the 3rd objective in enemy territory, ending 5/2 at the bottom of 1! Phase 2 was quite tense as I was able to score 2 glory while my opponent caught up with 4 of his own. Phase 3 was the decider. Charging in, Grimnir missed! He was the quickly dispatched by the Warden along with Vol and I was able to win 15/8. Tough but a very enjoyable game.
Tom would be my second opponent as well as a regular gaming buddy. This time he had Garek’s Reavers instead of Magore’s Fiends. Phase 1 was tight and I bled glory but I was able to score March of the Dead. In phase 2 I played Great Concussion early to get a Defensive strike but then that allowed Tom to score Supremacy and take an even greater lead. Normally I would have held it but I need to kill to cycle cards and score glory due to Tom being hit and run. Sadly the lead proved to be too much for me to catch up with. I played Hidden Paths with the Warden and just needed to kill Saek then play Ready for Action to move onto it to score Supremacy and Our Only Way Out. Sadly it failed, resulting in my losing 9/14. A tough game vs a very skilled opponent.
Simon was my third opponent with beautifully painted Steelheart’s Champions. I deployed The Cog board for traps and in case of defensive play. The Stormcast charged in phase 1. I lost the Harvester but was able to bring him back. I did no kills but knocked Sevrin into a lethal hex. I then used Hidden Paths to put my Warden on his back field. Obryn broke off to go after him and then I played Great Concussion to push him out of charge range for phase 2. My opponent scored nothing while I got March of the Dead. In phase 2 Sevrin and Bright Shield delved in deeper to my territory while the Warden killed Obryn. I bled a few glory but scored Supremacy and Our Only Way Out while also knocking Sevrin down to 1 wound. In phase 3 I lost The Prince to Brightshield and then Sevrin charged into the corner and killed a Petitioner. Valiantly, his Petitioner brother charged into avenge his death. He scored a single hit and Sevrin rolled a death, the Stormcast was pulled down by the heroic skeleton, scoring Defensive Strike and Precise Use of Force. The game ended with a 20/10 win for Nagash!
James was my final opponent for the day with his neon Orruks. Deploying the forge board I faked out a Supremacy and scored March of the Dead while losing a skeleton. I then followed up with a phase 2 Supremacy and Our Only Way Out while there were casualties on both sides. In phase 3 my opponent edged out a lead. I had scored Escalation but I needed 1 more glory. With my last activation I gambled on drawing a power card and pulled A Destiny to Meet! At the end of the fame it was 14/14 but I won via tie breaker rules due to being on more objectives. A tough but very enjoyable game that I snatched from the jaws of defeat.
All in all it was a great event. I came 4th. The only thing I’d change is if the event was best of 3 but the players, venue and staff were a blast. The Dice Saloon is awesome and recommend a visit, they have huge gaming spaces, food, drinks and even home-made Sicilian pizza!
Eclectic Games in Reading was my next event on the following Sunday. Now as a fyi, this was the worst tournament I have been to. We started at 11am and we had 7 players. We asked the TO if we could do best of 3 instead and he then took a vote. 5 out of 7 players wanted best of 3 but then he said no because of fears of overrunning and due to the store OP rule book. That was fair enough but then why ask for a vote in the first place?
Then after we finished round 1, the TO told us we were running the event now and left us with a printed out pairing list of numbers. If they had just told us that in the beginning, we could have easily done 3 rounds of best of 3 but now we were stuck with 7 best of games that no one really wanted. To make things worse we had no one to properly manage scores and pairings. I decided to take the mantle of TO as I have helped run events before, have the most experience out of all the players there and if I didn’t then the tournament would have fallen apart.
Did TO’ing and playing in the event have an effect on my performance? Maybe but I doubt it. The situation was just annoying as it is not how normal UK store tournaments go where players are expected to run the events themselves.
Anyway I made a few changes based on Saturday after sleep. I dropped Shadeglass Dagger and Hero’ mantle for the Keys for Objectives 1 and 5 to net more glory.
Rhidian was my first opponent with the Fyre Slayers being my foes again. It was a Forge board-off! With only 2 objectives I played very sneakily. Grimnir went down my left flank while Vol charged in. I resurrected the dead fighter and charged onto his closest objective, ending with a Supremacy and Our Only Way Out. Phase 2 only has me score Escalation as my opponent caught up in kills, leaving it 7/4. In phase 3 I killed Grimnir and Vol while losing another skeleton along the way. It ended 11/6 to me, a close but fun game that was a great start to the day.
The mighty Orruks lead by Jon were my 2nd opponent. I was able to score a March of the Dead early and starve the Orruks of glory. In phase 2 I whittled down Gurzag to 1 wound and scored more glory while bleeding my own. In phase 3 I was 8/6 ahead and just needed to kill a single Orruk to score an instant and secure victory. Sadly I couldn’t and was able to just get a single key, ending up losing to my opponent’s own Great Concussion 10/12 by pushing a Orruk with a key onto an objective. Frustrating but still a good game.
Game 3 was against fellow Sepulchral Guard player Sam. We had last played at the Berkhamstead tournament so I had a fair idea how he played. I lost deployment so placed The Cog board to deter length-ways play so we had a normal setup. I placed the Warden offensively forward as possible because he was my secret weapon. I moved up with the Champion and Harvester and then Invisible Walls was played against me as my opponent moved back. I then moved 2 petitioners onto objectives and later put the Warden on guard. He moved a petitioner away but then I played Spectral Wings and charged in, nabbing an objective in the process and sneakily scoring Supremacy after drawing it and Our Only Way Out. With my main Objectives scored I then switched to offensive play. My Warden’ rampage was put to an end in phase 3 by the enemy Warden but my Champion then ran in to kill the enemy Champion and inadvertently stop Peerless General, ending on a 14/6 win to me. A very interesting game were we both would have loved tosee play a best of 3 to see things how would play out. Alas we could not but it was still a great game.
My next opponent was James. I won deployment again and went for an aggressive placement again. This time I decided to charge in with the warden in phase 1 which completely confused my opponent. Phase 2 was more stabbing from my Warden who then went on to score me Supremacy and Our Only Way Out. In Phase 3 the Warden died and I bled some more glory. I was unable to kill any Stormcast but I used Hidden Paths and a Key to tie us up both at 11/11, pulling out another win thanks to controlling an objective. A very tough matchup that was well-played by my opponent, who just lost out due to all my sneaky tactics.
Tom would be my opponent again and I was ready for the rematch. I played offensively again and had the tools to get the glory I needed. Sadly I lost the Harvester, Champion and Warden all in the first phase due to 5 failed attacks in a row. I had needed to play offensively to take the early lead but my gambit had failed and I was now 5/0 down. Phase 2 didn’t go well as my resurrected Harvester was killed leaving me with 4 fighters and still scored nothing. Phase 3 had me claw some glory back via kills but it was already over. I had my one successful attack and managed to score 6/9. I clawed it back but there was nothing I could do. Tom played really well and my gambit failed.
My final games was against Steelheart’s again, played by Lewis. Phase 1 started off with me denying my opponent any glory and scoring Supremacy and Our Only Way out again. Phase 2 I scored Escalation while weakening the Stormcast and bleeding a little bit of glory. In phase 3 all my attacks failed and my skeletons all died to reactions from failed attacks despite all being inspired or having cleave. I was in a position where I had to charge or face being charged but once again my dice bounced. I was able to score a key but because I could kill a single eternal, I lost 10/11. Another close defeat but still a well-played game.
All in all the event was a mixed bag. I placed 5th while Sam was able to take the tournament with Skellies thanks to having the highest glory difference! It was a well-deserved win. All the players were amazing and very supportive. They made a bad event great and helped a lot with my TO’ing to ensure we had a decent event, helping show how great this community is.
For the store however, I cannot recommend going. The locals are great and the gaming space is good but it was the worst run event I have ever been to with the highest entry fee. The store have responded to my criticisms as well as the players, which is good but I’ll wait and see before committing to another event there. It was a shame as generally store tournaments are amazing to go to and very well run.
Once again I’ll give a shout out to the Dice Saloon. Easily one of the best store tournaments I’ve been to for so many reasons. Plus if you lose you can just sit on the beach and have a deep reflective thought about why you hate Garek’s Reavers so much. Or just get an ice-cream, they’e good too.
For Sepulchral Guard, I need to go back to the drawing board. I’ll be retiring them for now and playing with other warbands, I think giving them 3 tournaments back-to-back was a fair attempt. The flaws are they are not well designed at the moment due to their inspire mechanic, movement and resurrection limits. It is also because they are very tough to use due to how inflexible they can be but mainly I need more practice with them. It’ll probably take more time than I’d like to invest with them to make the Sepulchral Guard work. My only other hope is to only roll crits 😂